Tag Archives: NY Times

It’s fine that fine

I saw he news last week and it was one sentence that made me stop on the spot, but I needed some time to digest it all (and there was news from Iran to contemplate too). Facebook has been fined, the fine (the largest ever at $5,000,000,000) is not the sneer at, but for Facebook it will be business as usual soon thereafter. The amount is nothing more than an Apple building at the edge of the Mojave desert, so it seems little, but that would be the facade that we are offered. The article I initially saw (I forgot the source) stated: “paying fine to stop further investigations“, from my point of view that this would be worth a bundle, I believe that Facebook had been stupid to some degree and super clever in other ways. Let’s face it Mark Zuckerberg is on my level of data knowledge, so he is thinking several iterations ahead of all others and he needs the FTC of his back during the start-up of 5G, whoever is there first has a larger advantage to gain momentum. All my investigations into the dumb smart device shows that, all the data I see optionally coming requires unhindered acceleration and my device was meant to suppress data drag and emphasize on facilitation. Facebook needs this, Google needs this and Huawei has the advantage at present.

The new system when operational will give them (especially with Oak/OS) a 15%-24% advantage and in data terms when we consider that 5G is set to top out at 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), that difference is a lot, it is everything to enable a larger market advantage. Add to this the new devices that offer independence to SME and franchise markets, the stage would push towards smaller independent solution providers, if Google, Apple and Facebook even hesitate for one week the difference will be seen and short thereafter felt as well.

At that point every contract in the new setting will entice 3-5 others to follow as well. It is not word of mouth, it is companies watching their competitors gain advantage and that observed difference is almost exponential against mere word of mouth. And that part will also increase choices.

Yet it is not about what comes next (only partially) it is about what is now. There are two essential parts in the fine. The first is how it was a 3-2 split, with the Republicans all in favour to continue and the Democrats all eager to block. There is a polarising difference there. I am partial on the Republican side, Democrats clearly misrepresented this with the quote: “the dissent of the two Democrats on the commission because they sought stricter limits on the company” (source: NY Times). It is not about stricter limits one the company, it is the fact that the data has grown to dimensionality far beyond what governments have and it is available for purchase (to some degree). The element that we forget with the fine is what the Guardian gives us (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jul/12/facebook-fine-ftc-privacy-violations) when we see: “Facebook will now re-examine the ways it handles user data, but the settlement will not restrict the company’s ability to share data with third parties, reports said“, it is to some degree about the ability to share data and how granular that data is set for the upcoming war that the Democrats want to wage. It has direct implications in insurance and healthcare and the Democrats have a system in mind that cannot function when all that data is available for health care scrutiny (one of many issues), yet healthcare is the most visible one. One short thought like on what drinks (alcoholic) you like and you might be seen as a higher risk and as such see your premium rise. Alcohol, tobacco and recreational pharmacy might be the most visible ones, but as the data net grows, we see a more comprehensive flag system that pushes close to 20% out of healthcare soon enough (as premiums go up and up on the risky groups) and it is not that this point is coming soon, this point has already been passed and the moment that data gets out, the ducks come home to roost on a coffin.

As the New York Times gives us the quote: “Last year, the European Union fined Google $5.1 billion for abusing its large market share in the mobile phone industry. More recently, numerous officials and lawmakers around the world have rushed to regulate Facebook” (at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/technology/facebook-ftc-fine.html), we seemingly all put it on one pile, yet that would be a massive problem and wrong too. In one side (source: the Verge) we get: “Google also made customers sign contracts forbidding them from including rival search engines on their sites alongside Google’s own. In 2009, Google allowed the inclusion of rival search engines as long as Google’s was more prominent. In 2016, around the time the EU announced its case, the company removed these terms altogether“, we can debate the correctness, but we can also accept that Google started this and took the advantage that they engineered, as in most places software cannot be patented, so it had to find another path to gain the advantage it created whilst followers re-engineered whatever Google published as soon as humanly possible. We can call it wrong (or not) but that stage is in place and it links to now and it also links to Facebook. The 5G wave is all about getting there first and at present the FTC was in a place to stop Facebook innovation and paying the fine will give larger gains to Facebook than to let investigative wave after wave continue to slow Facebook down, and when we realise that Facebook is no longer the only player on that level Facebook needed to make a tactical decision.

Still, there is a remaining issue with the Facebook data and how it becomes available and the lack of answers should remain to be a cause for concern. It comes down to the beginning when we got: “The F.T.C.’s investigation was set off by The New York Times and The Observer of London, which uncovered that the social network allowed Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm to the Trump campaign, to harvest personal information of its users. The firm used the data to build political profiles about individuals without the consent of Facebook users“, that was merely the tip of the iceberg and those who comprehend Facebook data know this to be true. The issue is not merely how the data is collected; it is what else becomes available and what else is collected. To see this we need to consider the added image.

At present there are some stages where larger contracts give people their advertising over different locations. Yet what happens when you have a complete mobile image on where what is shown? What happens when we see interactions of an advertising and where it actually works and how users react, that is the next stage and the data is ready and to some degree in that setting Facebook is more ready than others, that is the image that pushes us all and the innovation through handed data and as we can see Facebook people either do not care, or have no comprehension of all the data linked to their actions.

I took that data and more into another innovation and pushed it to a new stage, giving the collector even more data, more advertising options and optionally even more data opportunities on a larger scale. It is that shift that is all the difference between a 5% and a 9% market share for companies and now it is no longer local, the data allows for global exposure, so consider that exposure in New Delhi (India) could also expose those in Little Bombay (New Jersey) addressing a similar group at the same time, brand exposure that becomes global changing the entire setting for smaller enterprises at close to similar prices, driving advertisement bidding wars and pushing revenues for those in that area and that is merely the first part of the IP I created. Places like Facebook could get a much larger advantage and transform advantage into momentum pushing that advantage further and faster. It is only for the bigger puppies (Google, Facebook, Huawei) but they all want the largest juiciest bone to gnaw on and that is where the group of innovations push the difference, so in the end $5 billion is chicken feed under what is pushing towards the surface at this very moment, and they all want to nibble on that pie, they merely need to be the first in the game to gain advantage through momentum. As I see it IBM and Microsoft are already out of the game trying to facilitate the systems and the data and to be fair Microsoft Azure does have a larger advantage here, but IBM is not sitting still and we know that Facebook (to a lesser degree) and  Google have systems that work. The playing field is near level and the match is far from over, now with the Huawei push and Oak/OS they have opportunity to gain advantage and they can decide who to allow access to that new system, so even as Google seemingly had the advantage, the Trump trade war took that advantage away from them, so there is a second level war going on and whomever makes the larger deal with Huawei gets the gain, the issue is that Huawei hardware is more advanced and that is their advantage, the Trump trade war stopped innovation towards the US, so as such in a global setting now pushes the advantage to Europe, India and the Middle East. In this the US loses more than it comprehended in advance and it all depends on how they react to the change. It is the error in judgement on 4G and 5G is where the American disadvantage lies. In 4G is was ‘Wherever I am‘, now with 5G it becomes ‘Whenever I want it‘ and for that step the most advanced provider wins , it is not Ericsson, not Nokia, not Telstra, and not Sprint. It is Huawei that can facilitate towards ‘Whenever I want it‘ to a much larger degree at present and that wins the race, but the others are not done yet and there the Facebook data becomes a power player, an optional sledgehammer for those who know how to bash a wall and that is happening now, so when we see: “Facebook and other large tech companies are under an increasingly harsh spotlight in Washington, D.C., including at a “social media summit” at the White House on Thursday in which President Trump repeatedly bashed Silicon Valley as being unfair to conservatives. Facebook wasn’t invited to attend, nor were other tech companies. They have previously said they police their platforms without regard to political ideology“, we see a setting that we accept to some degree, yet those who are all about that “Social Media Summit” seemingly do not comprehend the application of data to the degree they need to and as such they as shooting themselves as well as their economic options in the foot, which is good news for Huawei, not that much for the other players.

I reckon that I will be proven correct within the next 12 months. When the dust settles we will see the first clear winners, I am certain that Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics shows me to be correct and it will show the first larger winner, at present in this culture of short sighted decisions Google and Huawei will have the largest advantage, but 2 other players are not out of this race yet, so plenty can happen before we see the Olympic flame light the fires and start the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

 

 

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Desertion

Desertion is an ugly word, it is often contributed to cowardice and cowards, the truth is actually less straight forward. We can consider that the choice is left to someone who can no longer tolerate the actions of their government. Then there is another form, when it is not linked to a military decision, when in its purest form the application is the action of deserting a person, cause, organization or even a government, and even then people try to hide it behind words like forsaking, abandonment, shunning, stranding or jilting.

They consider desertion too harsh a word, but that is exactly what the US government is doing as the New York Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/11/us/politics/house-democrats-saudi-arabia.html) gives us: ‘House Moves Again to Cut Off Support to Saudi War in Yemen‘, so when we see: “to prevent the Trump administration from using its emergency authority to transfer munitions to the kingdom, delivering twin rebukes as Democrats sought to leave their stamp on military policy“, when we see this, we should consider betrayal of an ally, abandoning a nation that the US claims to have good ties with. And it goes further than that, there is actually an issue that has been left unpublished for a much longer time (to the degree it should have been published).

Qatar has been accused of being a facilitator for state sponsored terrorism. This is not a light subject, it is quite heavy an accusation. Let’s be clear, I am not accusing them of this, they have been accused and it is an important accusation, because the US is in much deeper waters than you think. Even as Saudi Arabia is getting cut off from defence options to defend itself against Hezbollah and Iranian supported Houthi units, attacked by (mostly) Houthi forces using missiles, we learn that mere hours ago “a Houthi rocket was fired indiscriminately and targeted a non-military area“, the target was Dhalea in SW Yemen, so the fighting goes on and America is pulling out, or are they? With the news from ABC that less than 24 hours ago (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-10/qatar-donald-trump-military-and-commercial-deals/11294500) we are given: ‘US and Qatar ink deals for ‘tremendous amounts’ of military weapons and Boeing planes‘, the quote: “Qatar has agreed to buy “tremendous amounts of military equipment” and Boeing planes from the United States following a visit by Gulf Nation’s Emir to the White House, according to President Donald Trump” implies that the United States wants to be part of the Middle East, more importantly it is seemingly on track to keep stability to a nominal minimum, which is only serving America at present. It was given (by ABC as well ) that Qatar has an issue, in 2017 we saw the accusation “According to James Piscatori, deputy director at ANU’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, “It is probable that the regime, as well as some wealthy Qataris, have been supporting various groups, such as the Nusra Front.”” and unlike the implied murder of a journalist no one cares about, the accusation against Qatar is not one that requires ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, it requires ‘is it more likely than not‘ and that bar was seemingly passed. Over two years there has never been clear evidence produced that this was not the case and now we see that in the backwash of implied state sponsored terrorism we see the US making happy deals. The fact that these questions are not out in the open with the media is a lot more pressing than one might imagine. Media inaction allows for the accusation to fester and that is happening.

So when we get the additional quote: “The terrorist group, which has since changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, began as an offshoot of Al Qaeda. It’s been fighting President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war and wants to establish an Islamic caliphate“, the fact that this was given to AC out in the open in a stage where we see the American non treasury see a shift from one player to another is more pressing, there is a larger concern and as the US is keeping stability in the region to a minimum, the dangers will mount to larger degrees soon enough. the problem remains a large one, not because of the lack of evidence pointing one way or another, it is the statement from Gen. Charles Wald, former commander of U.S. Central Command Air Forces, who gave us only a few days ago: “Qatar is helping Iran“, now this is a loaded issue, first of all, there might be a large issue with Iran, but that does not mean that some nations do not have an economic need to play mean to dump Iran as a business partner. Can we (or should we) prevent medications and food to be shipped to any nation? If we have a humanitarian side, it wold be that a population need not be hungry, famished or denied medical provisions. And we also acknowledge that less than 48 hours after the attack on the World Trade Centre, Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar opened business to America so that it could have a strategic advantage. Even as we acknowledge it all, we also see the view that this general has with: “Qatar must choose: It can keep its U.S. air base or its ties to Tehran“, I am willing to think that issues are this simple, but they are not. Yet the state funded terrorism accusation lingers.

Then the second tier comes into play, consider that the accusation is true, how high does it go? Consider that Qatar is a monarchy with Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani at the head of that table. No matter the accusations have never been linked, or were there any serious accusations (with some level of evidence) that a member of the monarchy was involved. Is Qatar therefor still guilty, or are there elements in Qatar (high ranking ones) part to the stage where state funded terrorism is a valid accusation? The fact that the media is not looking there, does not mean we must shun the question.

When we look at family, we see the father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, under his rule as previous ruler, we see that two US military bases were hosted, large investments in western corporations for well over $100 billion, there was the support of Arab spring and founded Al Jazeera, these are all actions that imply futuristic thinking, not funding terrorism and we need to acknowledge that. Then there is the brother (of the current monarch) Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as well as at Sherbourne School (Dorset), none of this screams terrorist support, this does not mean that it is not happening, it merely implies that the ‘more likely than not‘ might be a wrong standard and there has been very little investigation towards the guilt or innocence of Qatar.

Still these sides do not imply that the US is wrongfully selling arms, it does still support the tactic of minimalizing stability in the region and that is wrong, the abandonment of Saudi Arabia seems clear too and as such the dangers in the Middle East are escalating, not lowering, which is a large failure.

What happened?

For this we can turn to yesterday’s Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/the-saudi-qatari-breach-explained/2019/07/09/96ec69de-a260-11e9-a767-d7ab84aef3e9_story.html) Here we see: “The crisis was sparked in 2017 when hackers published a story on Qatar’s news agency quoting Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as criticizing mounting anti-Iran sentiment after a trip to the region by U.S. President Donald Trump. Qatari officials quickly deleted the comments, and appealed for calm as Saudi and U.A.E. newspapers, clerics and celebrities accused Qatar of trying to undermine efforts to isolate Iran“. Here my issue becomes ‘when hackers published a story‘, and they have journalistic integrity how exactly? Hackers tend to lack credibility, not to mention in an age with over 10,000,000 hackers there is a group (well over 90%) that have only greed driven needs, so how is that reliable?

How money flows

Then the Washington Post gives a gem that is worth its weight in gold. With: “Some Qataris have provided support to al-Qaeda and its spinoffs, U.S. officials say. According to the State Department’s report on international terrorism, despite government controls, “terrorist financiers within the country are still able to exploit Qatar’s informal financial system.” The U.S. report uses similar language in its section on Saudi Arabia. The report details efforts by both the Qatari and Saudi governments to counter terrorism financing. It offers greater praise of the Saudi efforts“, it does something strong, the premise of ‘more likely than not‘ now fails to a much larger degree. when we see: ‘Some Qataris‘ we recognise that there is a small issue, but when we place ‘some Qataris‘ next to the thousands of terrorists that America has (the members of the Ku Klux Klan to name merely a first group), we see that the accusations against Qatar are suddenly less powerful. Now we accept that the issue existed in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, yet we see that Saudi Arabia has been more eager to fight this than Qatar it does not make Qatar more guilty, it merely means that optionally more is required from Qatar, yet in all this there remains the issue on why America abandoned Saudi Arabia. I believe that these steps have seemingly nothing to do with commerce, merely with reduced stability and in this day and age in the way that Iran is jumping around not a good thing, when the kettle boils a short decisive war would be essential and America just made that a non-option.

so when we get back to the New York times, we see how the US government is making themselves liable (as I personally see it) “But the most consequential amendments on Thursday continued Congress’s months long effort to intervene in the Yemen conflict and punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of the dissident Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi” you see, no evidence was ever presented, no evidence can be presented at present making a government privy to intentional murder, there is no body, there is no forensic evidence, there is merely circumstantial evidence at best and even then, some of that evidence in tainted. So the US taking the work of an essay writer (seemingly named Eggy Calamari) as gospel to the degree it is doing is not staging any level of progress, it was a document at best and presented in three stages, every time merely meant to attack Saudi Arabia, progressing destabilisation in the Middle East (better stating inhibiting stability).

It gets to be worse (for America) when we consider “Lawmakers voted 236 to 193 to prohibit the administration from using funds to support the Saudi-led military operations — either with munitions or with intelligence — against the Houthis in Yemen“, especially when we see mounting evidence that Houthis have directly been targeting civilians, have engaged on a larger scale firing Iranian missiles into Saudi Arabia and using drones to attack ships and airfields in the region, that is a group you want to protect? I think that there are optionally 236 voters guilty of supporting terrorism to a much larger degree, I wonder which excuse they will use for letting the battle rage on, stopping humanitarian aid to go forward towards the Yemeni civilians and now with the added accusation that Houthi forces have recruited 30,000 child soldiers up to this point (source: Middle East monitor). As I see it, when the dust settles, I will have fun! I will try to publish the photos of the cadavers from all over Yemen with (or is that ‘in’) all their exposed guts and glory. I will on the principle of the matter make sure that these 236 names are published with these images so that the American people know who they voted for and how humanitarian their actions were in the end, that’s only fair, right?

When you desert your ally, you should be proud of that fact and get named in full, should you not?

 

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The Australian Catastrophic Colliding Canine

I tend to keep my eyes on Europe, mainly because what impacts the UK today will have an impact on Australia a week later; in addition to that, what happens in Japan today when it comes to consumer electronics and mobile events will get to Australia 3-5 years later. In that respect having a larger view on matters is essential to keep an eye on what could become an impact tomorrow.

Yesterday was different, with ‘Regulation needed to save Australian journalism from Facebook and Google, watchdog says‘ we see the impact for Australia now and to be honest, I can’t stop laughing at present. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/11/regulation-needed-to-curb-facebook-and-google-competition-watchdog-says)

When I read: “Rod Sims, said the digital platforms inquiry, which delivered its preliminary report in December, reveals that the market power enjoyed by the digital behemoths is weakening Australian media“, the giggles increase. Especially when we consider ‘the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news’, well we could consider that the Australian media is for the most not doing that either. For the most Australian media is weakening Australian media plain and simple. To name but a one issue, October 2012, I alerted the media to an issue impacting 30 million gamers within the commonwealth. I directly alerted Channel 7, Channel 9 and the Sydney Morning Herald; the all ignored it to the largest degree. There were clear screenshots on how the impact was given, yet the left it on the left of what was important. A change by Sony for their gaming community 3 weeks before the PS4 was released, they all (except for the Australian Guardian) ignored it for the most, and perhaps it was not news? What they (as I personally see it) intentionally ignored is that the Sony Terms of Service is a legally binding contract, the mention of a memo is merely a piece of paper that could be ignored the very next directors meeting. The press needed advertisement dollars and Sony is high on that list of needs, PlayStation 4 was big bucks, plain and simple. In addition there were debatable reviews of Microsoft for the period of two years and the least said about Apple the better, as I see it Australian Media is its own worst enemy. It is my personally view to size up global media as a collection of prostitutes with a priority towards the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers, the audience comes in 4th position at best. So when I see: “However, while taking the lion’s share of advertising revenue, the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news“, we need to wonder where Australian quality news is found. I will agree that this is found at SBS and ABC, but they are the two exceptions to all this.

When the British Daily Mail gives us on the 9th of February “Respected Channel 7 news reporter Emily Angwin (pictured) was said to be furious at a number of work emails questioning the integrity of the newsroom in Melbourne” is anyone actually surprised? Is it true? We cannot tell because in many ways most of the Australian media is no longer that reliable. And from my vantage point it becomes worse when we go to https://au.news.yahoo.com/. Here we see above the fold ‘Hero pitbull breaks out of home to find help for owner during gas leak‘, ‘Restaurant blames waitress for ‘incredibly racist’ receipt‘, and ‘‘Whoah!’ Man’s breath test returns ‘biologically impossible’ result‘. This is the kind of emotional reporting that gives news a bad name. Compare that to abc.net.au where we see: ‘Global drug trafficking operation run out of Villawood detention centre, phone taps reveal‘, ‘Missing persons expert slams investigation of young mother’s suspected homicide‘, as well as ‘Why the AWU wants to question Michaelia Cash in court over union raids‘. So one is clearly about news, the other is about creating emotional events. I let you decide which is which, and as we take notice of: “Given all this, it is also vital that media businesses are not disadvantaged through the exercise of market power or other mechanisms that make it difficult for them to compete on their merits” We see that the there is another case in dispute. The dispute is ‘media businesses‘ versus ‘journalism‘, so I hope that the ACCC realises that not only are they not the same, they are at present mere dimensions apart.

And questions need to be asked at the Channel 9 address as well. We can agree that the headlines are better than those of Channel 7 when we see: ‘Exclusive: Vampire Killer Tracey Wigginton’s disturbing new posts‘, ‘Man found with gunshot wound to his stomach in Melbourne’s north-west‘, as well as ‘Snorkeller found dead on sea floor off Mornington Peninsula‘, yet there too we have issues as every news item gives us headers and banners of advertisement. News is news and the main players have resorted to self-indulgence of advertising, reloading at every page. The journalism is merely second best at best.

It becomes a different puppy when we look at the mention “The financial viability of these businesses is also not assured as demonstrated by BuzzFeed and Vice recently announcing redundancies in Australia, as well as worldwide“, you see from my point of visibility, we see the Wikipage part (for mere illustration) where the visible information is: “Originally known for online quizzes, “listicles”, and pop culture articles, the company has grown into a global media and technology company, providing coverage on a variety of topics including politics, DIY, animals, and business.” Now, I have seen those buzzfeeds on my Facebook page and I decided not to give them any consideration (as a news source). Even as we now see (I was honestly not aware) “In late 2011, Buzzfeed hired Ben Smith of Politico as editor-in-chief, to expand the site into serious journalism, long-form journalism, and reportage.” We can accept and appreciate that Buzzfeed was taking a serious gander into journalism, yet when people are not aware (or another part of them has created more awareness), we get the impact of consideration versus awareness and non-awareness loses clicks, it is that simple, and the same applies for Australian sources. For the most, the only Australian sources I give consideration to are: ABC, SBS, the Guardian (Australian edition) and that is pretty much it; the rest is too often a waste of time. When we are serious about news, we go to the places where they offer it, not where they claim to offer it. That is how I personally see it and I use the Guardian as a source (as it is free) and I neglect the Times (most often) as I am not a paid subscriber and I feel it is money not greatly spend when I am, like most others on a budget, as such it is not money I have available to do that. It is an important factor as I am merely one of many that need to get by on a budget, that too impacts the news and the ACCC is a little ignorant on that part as well.

They might want to strike out at Google and Facebook. Yet Google News gives us ALL the headlines, from almost every source and that links to the local news articles. So when we see “The preliminary report recommended a powerful new authority to oversee the commercial activities of Google and Facebook” My question becomes ‘How is that going to make a difference?‘ In the end this is not about journalism, but about media and they are not the same, if the ACCC wants to make an actual impact, looking at the quality of journalism we will see that Australia will be left with the Guardian, ABC and SBS. When we were introduced to: “The Turnbull government has announced a funding freeze for the ABC but a boost for the Special Broadcasting Service“, whilst the boost is a mere $14.6 million over two years, when we realise that this all reads like a joke, how useless is the ACCC in all this and whilst we see the decimated pool of journalists, what are they doing (apart from wasting our time on something that the seemingly see as a waste of effort and budget), it is from my point of view a mere article on the foundation that reads: “Australian media is seen as irrelevant, we do not know what to do“, and it is shown against the likes of Facebook and Google, where we need to realise that they are also two different dimensions. Facebook is a mass advertisement channel, a channel that assumes that they know what their granular population wants through scripted likes and the scripted likes of the connections of that person, and Google shows the news in directions that the people searched in, or searched for. One is budget based, the other is user keywords based and the ACCC is seemingly in the dark on the fact that for the most people no longer see Australian media as relevant. That is shown a mere 34 seconds ago when I searched for “Channel 7 News” in the News tab, I was treated to: ‘Channel 7 presenter makes heartbreaking plea‘, ‘Ripped bodybuilder ends TV interview on a wild note‘, as well as ‘Caesarean birth to be broadcast live on Channel 7‘. As I see it, when it comes to visibility is seems to me that Channel 7 has a lot to learn as to the bidding on keywords as well as their methodology on how to properly position news, as well as their approach on how they want to present the ‘news’ (https://7plus.com.au/seven-news-sydney), for most people a 44 minute newscast is not the way to go (having one is still important for many though).

In the end, as I see it, the ACCC is up against the image of certain channels, their digital policies, as well as the approach they have towards news and advertisers. It is becoming less about journalism and merely about the positioning of media which is done tremendously below average. If you want to see how it should be done, watch The Guardian (UK) and BBC News (also UK), for those with language skills, the Dutch Volkskrant (at https://www.volkskrant.nl/), as well as The Swedish SVT (at https://www.svt.se/). As I personally see it Australian media has a lot to learn and that lacking part is not up to the ACCC, apart from them bashing the Australian media from drowning people in advertisements to a level that is just making them irrelevant. It is merely my point of view and I might be wrong, yet I personally do not think so. The foreign amount of visitors to the Guardian, the NY Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the French Le Monde (at https://www.lemonde.fr/) are indicative of my views.

So in all that, how are regulations going to solve anything in any near future?

 

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What possessed them?

The LA Times brought us the article ‘The Navy’s newest destroyer, the Michael Monsoor, is as much an experiment as a ship-killer‘ (at https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-michael-monsoor-zumwalt-20190126-story.html) a few days ago. My personal view is that it is the ugliest vessel I have so far ever seen. Now, for a functioning being pretty, pleasing or even appealing is not a requirement. It needs to be the killer that scares every other killer and even there it falls a little flat.

The initial consideration for laughter is seen when we consider the line “In the end, what was once intended to be a class of 32 destroyers will now be only three — making for a per-ship cost of about $4.4 billion, according to a December 2016 estimate by the Government Accountability Office, the most recent cost estimate available. Including development costs, that number balloons to $8.2 billion, the GAO said“, so basically the US gets three dinghies for a mere twenty four billion dollars (aka $24,000,000,000), or twenty four thousand million

Three mechanical driven rowboats that amounts to one third of the entire US national budget on education, how perverse is that? Well, it is their tight to choose of course. Yet when we learn that “Despite the higher price, the two advanced gun systems have no ammunition, cancelled because of cost“, a smart bullet system that costs $1,000,000 per round. With the added “The gun’s shells were to be rocket-propelled, guided by GPS and loaded by simply pressing a button“, we are treated to a system that congress will not fuel with ammunition. That is the foundation of a failed and sunk project whilst the vessel is for now still afloat. It was even more fun to learn that optionally the system I designed to sink the Iranian fleet could also be used here, giving us an optional $135,000 solution to drown a $8,300,000,000 mishap, how is that not return on investment? On my side that is!

Do not get me wrong, the US is our ally and I have no such inclinations, my focus was sinking the Iranian ego trippers, I merely found it interesting to know that for a stealth boat, any stealth boat has a similar weakness and mine was set to kick the Iranian dinghies a little, so I take no pleasure that my solution is likely to work there too and it shows the failing of a design and project to be much larger than anyone considered, giving us all a lot more to ponder, because some elements should have been clearly seen on the drawing table and it seemingly was overlooked to such a large extent.

The second part in the mishap is seen when we consider that the design was awarded in 2008, laid down in 2011, launched in 2013, christened in 2014 and repurposed in December 2017 with ‘New Requirements for DDG-1000 Focus on Surface Strike

When USNI News gives us (at https://news.usni.org/2017/12/04/navy-refocus-ddg-1000-surface-strike) “The Navy is revamping the Zumwalt-class destroyer’s requirements and will morph it into a focused surface strike platform, the director of surface warfare (OPNAV N96) told USNI News today” Are you kidding me? After 8 billion and change, a path that spans 10 years (with all the fiasco’s on the internet), we see the calling of ”revamping’ instead of loudly calling the entire Zumwalt class a failure? Did the $1,000,000 per shot not give a clear indication that something extremely weird was afoot? Was there no quality calculation showing us that some implementations were not realistic and that a system like this having a flaw that might be swallowed by a $135,000 could spell a lot of trouble in any direction?

I feel particularly concerned with Rear Adm. Ron Boxall when we see: “I was very pleased with where we came out because some of the decisions were much more about the concept of what we’re getting instead of the actual platform we’re getting“. To him I would go (off course in an informal way) with: “Robby, pal, when the betrothed concept is too far from the begotten actual, we need to consider, ‘product fraud’ (you did not get what you ordered), we can go with ‘failure’ (they did not deliver what was promised) and we certainly need to go with ‘fiasco’ (congress will not allow you to purchase the bullets that the dinghy fires)“, so overall there are three levels of non-success to consider on a whole range of issues that these three puppies have and lets not call them ‘ship-killers’ ever, OK?

And when we see “at the same time look at some of the challenges we’ve had. It’s no surprise, we have some very expensive bills still outstanding with the LRLAP (Long-Range Land-Attack Projectile)” so is that a way to state that invoices were unpaid, or that paid invoices have not met practical delivery? The question is out in the open, because we can go in a few directions. It becomes a larger issue when we see the NY Times Magazine (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/06/magazine/navy-gunfire-ammunition.html). Here we see: “All three of the failed projectile programs had similar design features and shared a fundamental conceptual problem. “When you try to make a rocket-boosted projectile that can steer itself to a target, you basically have built a guided missile,” said Tony DiGiulian, a retired engineer who has studied all these weapons“, with the added “So why not just build missiles in the first place?” he said. “That’s what you’ll end up with anyway” at the very end, yet leave it to an engineer to apply common sense to an optional working solution. What stopped you guys? Too much outstanding issues with Raytheon and Northrop Grumman? I could have told you that part and I am certain that the navy has scores of common sense people around, still the eight billion was spend and congress will not foot $600 million for a full armory of shells, is anyone surprised?

So not only are we confronted with “the Navy then spent $700 million to have BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin develop the Long Range Land Attack Projectile for the Zumwalt deck gun. It also came to nothing” with an added “rivaling the cost of the Tomahawk cruise missile, which has a 1,000-mile range“. And now we are treated to: “they are evaluating a new shell, called the “hypervelocity projectile,” that is lighter and narrower and could potentially be fired from the upgraded five-inch guns at targets 40 miles away. The program is experimental and in its early stages, and it is unlikely to produce a viable weapon soon“. So not only is the US Navy in a phase where they have nothing, they have been in an 11 year phase of denial and unsupported science fiction ideas that went nowhere with an optional total bill of $256 billion, averted to a mere twenty four billion by scrapping 29 (ugly) vessels.

The fun part is that there was an option to consider, weirdly enough it was not DARPA or the US Navy who came up with the idea; it was film director Jon Favreau who had the brainwave in 2009. Yes, it was a drone used in the movie Iron Man 2. Yet the idea is far less weird and less science fiction then you might think. The air force has its drones, yet the navy could have deployed its own drones, vessel drones are not a myth and even as they are not stealth, they are small enough to get in quick, fire and get out, with a Zumwalt cruiser as a home base. So when we see: “We just doubled the range of our artillery at Yuma Proving Ground,” Gen. John Murray, Commanding General of Army Futures Command, told reporters at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium“, we see that the Army has one part of the equation and that droning that solution might have saved the US treasury a few billions. The drones will not endanger manpower, the drones do not required oxygen and can approach submerged and all that at a fraction of the cost, was that so hard to figure out?

Now we get that the brief was never about drones, yet when you try to find a 2010 solution for a 1988 version of smart bullets (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfGnUzGRIuY) we need to consider that someone spending billion to not get there was a terrible idea from the moment the first invoice was paid.

Did I oversimplify the issue?

Let’s also realise that the road to triumph is paved with failures, that makes sense, as not every solution is the breakthrough we aim for, more precisely the failures tend to contribute to future success, yet in this case there seems to have been a lack of common sense on a whole spectrum of issues (or so it seems). And it is there where we see the issue in the larger field, especially with all the failures that seem to define the Zumwalt class, especially as the bulk will be shoved under the carpet through ‘revamping’.

In addition, when we revisit General Murray and consider the quote: “A 70-kilometer target range is, by any estimation, a substantial leap forward for artillery; when GPS guided precision 155mm artillery rounds, such as Excalibur, burst into land combat about ten years ago – its strike range was reported at roughly 30 kilometers. A self-propelled Howitzer able to hit 70-kilometers puts the weapon on par with some of the Army’s advanced land-based rockets – such as its precision-enabled Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System which also reaches 70-kilometers“, what would stop us from adding a drone part in there? Not in the launch, but in the shell itself. Consider the simplicity, when there is one shot, there is a lot less cyber security needed, that whilst the vision for the drone operator is merely the need to adjust the trajectory and there are accurate low expense solutions there. The initial cyber part is not too expensive and merely requires a 240-300 second fail-safe on hacking, there are plenty of solutions there. When we consider that an artillery round could be adjusted, the enemy needs to know the frequency, the codes and the option to interfere, the drone operator might not have to do anything and merely need to lock out changes at some point. An optional 12% increase on a 89% certain hit, making every shot a hit, a better result could not be asked for, so when you consider my ad-hoc idea (open to loads of scrutiny at present), we are still left with the ‘what on earth possessed them in the first place‘, we get it, the defense gravy train is very lucrative, but to revamp the brief on a 24 billion fiasco that was 10 years in the running is taking the mickey out of the entire train ride (staff, fellow travelers and equipment).

War never changes, the technology does but at some point we are confronted with the simplicity of common sense and adjusting the view towards another direction would not have been considered and preferably before the ship was launched might not have been the worst idea. If an optional solution to force a reactor meltdown is seen in a snow globe, what other ideas have not been looked at? Even when we look at it from a complete non-military way, what other options have we never investigated?

It is the same for 5G, when we consider that not the telecom operator but the consumer is at the heart of it all, we see a whole new range of solutions that brings new technologies, and new innovation and they can lead to new services and new foundations of income and profit of course.

 

 

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Three privacies walked into a bar

It is not merely the beginning of a bad joke; it has become a distasteful one. Now, for the most I have never really been against social media like Facebook, as it was free and nothing comes for free. Yet in this, I have always advocated and expected certain levels of decency. The Guardian revealed two days ago that large levels of decency have been trampled on to a much larger degree than ever contemplated, and the people remain silent. The people are so uppity uppity on possible transgressions by governments seeking criminals and terrorists, yet they will allow for any transgression towards greed and exploitation, how can we accept any of it?

  1. Show us your tits

It is an old expression, and I heard it first somewhere in the early 80’s. It broadly represents: ‘What have you got to offer?‘ Mostly used by people with absolutely no adherence to either diplomacy or good manners (unless a guy makes the joke to a good male friend). It is the first part in the stage that the Guardian offers in an article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/19/facebook-shared-user-data-private-messages-netflix-spotify-amazon-microsoft-sony) where we see not merely ‘bending’ the rules; it is the breaking of basic rights towards privacy that is now out in the open. Even as we accept to the smaller degree: “making user data available through loopholes to companies including Amazon, Microsoft and Sony“, can we even contemplate the impact that we would have to face through: “Facebook gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read and even delete users’ private messages“, the fact that these two were allowed to ‘delete’ messages is crossing a line the width of the grand canyon and the fact that those fruits and nuts on Capitol Hill (aka Senators and Congressmen) are clueless in their interviews, showing one stupidity tainted example after another and questions like ‘giving away rights to delete private messages‘ remained largely undisclosed shows just how useless the elected officials have become towards the larger fields of technology.

  1. Merely the tip, or can I shove my whole penis in there?

A small reference to the comedian Jimmy Carr, who once stated: “I can’t get a word in there, let alone my cock“, and that setting gives us the New York Times view of: “Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages” (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/technology/facebook-privacy.html#click=https://t.co/p565d1TX5L). As we contemplate: “Acknowledging that it had breached users’ trust, Facebook insisted that it had instituted stricter privacy protections long ago. Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, assured lawmakers in April that people “have complete control” over everything they share on Facebook“, we see a much larger field opening up. We can think on one side that Mark Zuckerberg had become clueless on what is going on, or he remains intentionally silent on what he believes are personal rights of privacy, the mere realisation that Facebook acknowledges that not one user on Facebook has any rights to privacy is at the core of this stage. It goes further with: “the deals described in the documents benefited more than 150 companies — most of them tech businesses, including online retailers and entertainment sites, but also automakers and media organizations. Their applications sought the data of hundreds of millions of people a month, the records show. The deals, the oldest of which date to 2010, were all active in 2017. Some were still in effect this year” there is a clear transgression going on, and it is merely speculative on my side when we considered the impact of Bing and Microsoft. They have become so afraid of what Google has become that they are willing to stage new settings of alliances against whatever fictive war they face, the innovations that Google has brought and the innovations that Chinese player Huawei is bringing is scaring these large players beyond belief. If they cannot get up to their imaginative version what it means to be ‘on par’ they feel that they will be considered as derelict and considered as merely trivial in the 5G field. That is a much larger realisation and people need to be aware that as they contemplate of what it means to be a major player in the 5G field, the mere perception that they are not that, that they have lost the trust of the people is a much larger hurdle.

The NY Times shows that part in their article with: “Mr. Zuckerberg was determined to weave Facebook’s services into other sites and platforms, believing it would stave off obsolescence and insulate Facebook from competition. Every corporate partner that integrated Facebook data into its online products helped drive the platform’s expansion, bringing in new users, spurring them to spend more time on Facebook and driving up advertising revenue. At the same time, Facebook got critical data back from its partners“. We could contemplate that this is optionally the Ponzi version of a data scheme, but it is as I personally see it more sinister than that. You see, the lower levels would never advance to a higher level and the data would merely flow up to the tip of the pyramid, leaving the rest as mere exploitable facilitators in all this.

  1. Supply Filofax’s to the Russians, it is very organised crime

There is one additional part in all this that could be the beginning of the end for Facebook, as the NY Times gives us: “Facebook, in turn, used contact lists from the partners, including Amazon, Yahoo and the Chinese company Huawei — which has been flagged as a security threat by American intelligence officials — to gain deeper insight into people’s relationships and suggest more connections, the records show“, we are introduced to a much larger issue. Not only has the US been unable to prove the lie (read: non-truth) that Huawei is a National Security danger. We see the makings of the fact that American Corporation (read: Facebook) has been handing over the data voluntarily. As a business solution, Huawei had been able to see where the interactions were the largest and also predict where hardware and software would make it a much better regarded update for consumers, the fact that this data became available gives the first rise (after shown levels of non-comprehension) that technology firms are replacing politicians, politics and policy making them useless as these technology firms have been setting the beat of who gets what data and at which price, yet the US government is not allowed access, not when it can be sold at $14.99 per kilobyte of raw data.

This remains an evolving field and it is not until we get to the part “Apple devices also had access to the contact numbers and calendar entries of people who had changed their account settings to disable all sharing, the records show. Apple officials said they were not aware that Facebook had granted its devices any special access. They added that any shared data remained on the devices and was not available to anyone other than the users“, so not only does the new iPad pro bend under the smallest pressure, which Apple claims is normal (something the consumer was not informed about), we see that the ignorance of their own technology is now a much larger issue all over the playing field. the mere fact that disabled sharing of data still allowed for sharing is an architectural failure of much larger proportions than ever contemplated. In all this data sharing in Huawei devices remains unproven and in all this it seems that Google is not the black sheep some proclaim it is, all whilst Facebook is showing to be without ethics, without regards and without morals, so at what point will we relabel Facebook to Faecesbook?

So as the article ends with: “How closely Facebook monitored its data partners is uncertain. Most of Facebook’s partners declined to discuss what kind of reviews or audits Facebook subjected them to. Two former Facebook partners, whose deals with the social network dated to 2010, said they could find no evidence that Facebook had ever audited them. One was BlackBerry. The other was Yandex” gives a much larger rise to the lack of privacy that up to two billion users have not had for the longest of times. We could argue that it is in the interest of Google, to fix Google+ and allow people to port away from Facebook. When we look at the two players, it seems that Google+ is not nearly as dangerous as Facebook is more and more showing to be. Even as we are considering that Washington DC is suing Facebook, the realisation we get from: “Washington DC has sued Facebook for allowing the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to gain access to the personal data of tens of millions of the site’s users without their permission“, when we set it against the stage that the guardian, the Times and the New York Times have shown the people. We merely have to print the log of all data shared and number all instances of data transgression will optionally show Facebook to be the most reckless and unethical corporation in the history of technology, that is quite the achievement, and it works for Microsoft as they might proclaim themselves to be saints in a tar pit.

When we consider the quote: “According to a letter that Facebook sent this fall to Senator Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat, PricewaterhouseCoopers reviewed at least some of Facebook’s data partnerships“, we see a massive failure by Facebook to police and protect the data of others, and as we already know, those who have the latest mobile phone, we need to realise that this is no longer a mobile phone, the latest phones and the ones for 5G are no longer merely mobile phones, they have become personal data servers and as we are seeing the impact where Facebook has made most of all that data shareable, with people you never agreed on having access, in how much anger will you be from January 1st 2019 and onwards? For me it works out nicely, it merely increases the value of my new IP, which is currently on the rise to a much larger degree than even I contemplated. 2019 might be finally be the year where my life turns largely to the better and at present I feel a lot safer handing that IP to Huawei than to anyone else, that is one reality that Washington DC has shown to the largest of degrees (Mountain View remains a strong contender for now).

The only part in all this is why large parts of all this was not shown clearly in the senate hearing of September 2018. Just contemplate this weekend, what else did that so called Senate hearing not figure out, and how unsafe would you like your personal data end up being in 2019?

 

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A mere warning

The Washington Post gives us an interesting article today. It is not really about Jamal Khashoggi, even if it is about him. You see, the headline gives us: ‘U.S. spy agencies sued for records on whether they warned Khashoggi of impending threat of harm‘, with that stage the University of Columbia is being set up for a rather weird trip. When we get “The Knight First Amendment Institute on Tuesday sued the U.S. government to learn whether agencies complied with what the institute asserted was a duty to warn journalist Jamal Khashoggi that he faced a threat of harm. Khashoggi, who lived in Northern Virginia, was killed Oct. 2 by a team of Saudi operatives soon after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his impending marriage.” They were kind and accurate enough to add the text, oh they actually were not. You see, Journalist or not, Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi Arabian citizen. In addition, he was not in America at the moment it happened, which might be merely a consideration. The third part of the equation is that the alleged act was done on Saudi soil, making it an internal Saudi matter, so, where do we stand?

Well, the WP gives us the Directive 191 reference, so that is where I will go next. The directive in the definitions do tell us “Duty to Warn means a requirement to warn U.S. and non-U.S. persons of impending threats of intentional killing, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping.” There is one issue that I cannot comment on as F.10 of the directive has been redacted; as such I am not certain if the situation had changed. You see, it is the implementation regarding an optional targeted person that matters now. From my point of view, the onus is now on the Washington Post to show part of F2, where we see: “IC elements shall designate senior officers responsible for reviewing threat information initially determined to meet duty to warn requirements to affirm whether the information is credible and specific, so as to permit a meaningful warning. IC clements shall also designate senior officers responsible for making waiver determinations based on criteria identified in this Directive. The senior officers designated for affirming that duty to warn information is sufficient for a meaningful warning and for making waiver determinations should not be the same individual.” It is the Washington Post that needs to prove at this point that ‘threat information’ was clearly available with the senior intelligence officer(s). Merely the notion that a journalist’s life might optionally have been in danger does not hack it. If so, let Martin Baron be a kind boss and give the world notice on the 214 media people in Turkish prison, please please, pretty please?

And then we get the good stuff, the reason why the University of Columbia has signed on for a see-it-all tour of the ocean floor on the USS Titanic (drinks on the rocks will be served). The wavers are almost passed; there is no setting where we see that Jamal Khashoggi was any of that by the American definition. It is the ‘almost’ that gets us to F3e. Here we see: “The information resulting in the duty to warn determination was acquired from a foreign government with whom the U.S. has formal agreements or liaison relationships, and any attempt to warn the intended victim would unduly endanger the personnel, sources, methods, intelligence operations, or defense operations of that foreign government;” How was the clear and present danger to Jamal Khashoggi acquired? Was it ever acquired? More important, if CIA clandestine services got the intelligence as part of internal Saudi acquisition, we might actually stumble on the waver activated through section F3d.

If we go by the innuendo, a group of a little over a dozen flew in, were ALL those people tracked? If there was a call for execution, how did it come into the hands of the intelligence agency? All elements that cannot be answered, so unless the University of Columbia has a clear inside source, the entire exercise was debunked in 414.2 seconds (roughly). All this is even before F8 is seen. The mention of: “Communication of threat information to the intended victim may be delivered anonymously if that is the only method available to ensure protection of U.S. government personnel, sources, methods, intelligence operations, or defense operations.” implies that anonymous delivery would not have been an option, making matters more compromising for the intelligence individual given this part of canine excrement (a paper shaped one mind you). So not only are we in a stage where anonymous delivery is not an option, there is the clear requirement that the intelligence had been weighted, disseminated for wavers and at that point this point would be acted on. Also, we see 63 million articles on Jamal Khashoggi, yet which ones give us a timeline of his whereabouts from September 1st, to October 2nd? At what stage and exactly when was there a credible threat to his life? I am not saying that this was not the case; I am saying that I do not know and whilst we have millions of articles from all kinds of sources playing parrot on innuendo, yet the entire timeline is not shown, as far as I was able to tell, not even in the Washington Post, the American paper he worked for.

The one part that we do not look at is the purpose in all this. When we consider the purpose where we see: “This Directive establishes in policy a consistent, coordinated approach for how the Intelligence Community (IC) will provide warning regarding threats to specific individuals or groups of intentional killing, serious bodily injury, and kidnapping” we need to wonder if the intelligence agencies have any chance of getting anything done, basically any journalist and opposition of drugs in Latin America is basically in danger at this point. For me, I see the entire University of Columbia action academically sound, yet loaded with political oppositional premise. The action in opposition comes from “The lawsuit states that before Khashoggi’s killing, “U.S. intelligence agencies apparently intercepted communications in which Saudi officials discussed a plan to capture Khashoggi.”” This is indeed part of the directive. Yet the timeline is not clear. The intelligencer section of the New York Magazine (at http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/10/report-the-u-s-heard-saudis-talk-about-capturing-khashoggi.html) gives us: “The Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there, this person said. It was not clear whether the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him“. We need to consider two parts, Jamal Khashoggi was on Saudi soil (consulate when the events happened), in addition, there is also still mention that we see the optional ‘the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi‘, which also implies that danger to life was not a given and Saudi Arabia has every right to arrest its citizens, especially on Saudi ground. We cannot merely state after the fact that it was ‘to kill him‘, there were too many unknown parts and intelligence agencies acting on too many unknown parts tend to drop the ball, foil their own plot and moreover tend to imply more controversies on themselves. Oh, and did I mention that part of it happened in Turkey, a place that has arrested and jailed well over 200 journalists?

It is also reflective as they quote the WP in this. That article gives us again: “Before Khashoggi’s disappearance, U.S. intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him“, yet a clear timeline is missing. How much time was there and consider that the intercepted information does not imply killing, more important, when a government takes a person into custody it is not kidnapping, it is called arresting nullifying Directive 191. What is interesting that no one in that entire intelligence structure decided to act by themselves (or directed to do so), walking up to Martin Baron (sometimes doubled by Liev Schreiber) and tell him that there is a credible issue with one of their journalists. As the issue at that part was not national security. That one call and his rapid ‘relocation’ to: İstinye Mahallesi, Poligon Cd. No:75, 34460 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Turkey where quick travel arrangements could be made. Is that absence not interesting too? So when we consider that part, was there any time at all?

I am not saying that this is the case; I am merely framing the questions.

So when we see all that, I am considering that this in the end goes nowhere, yet the activity to open Directive 191 to scrutiny was not wrong, not wrong at all. I reckon that the Law Faculty of the University of Columbia will have handed out, or soon will hand out to their freshman students an essay assignments of 1,500 words asking them: “Argue the situation where Directive 191 could have preventive, or would be ineffective in preventing the alleged killing of Jamal Khashoggi“. I think that Martin Baron should publish the best entry as a column entry in the Washington Post with a supporting by-line by Gillian Lester the Dean of Law of Columbia Law School. Scrutiny is always good, especially when it has the option to become an exercise to educate people. I wonder what the take by Mark M. Lowenthal is, the man behind ‘Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy‘, and is it not interesting that he is (or was) an adjunct professor in that very same University? This part is actually important as the entire setting is precisely the stage that we saw in 2009 (at https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/us/09cia.html), it is a different stage quoted as: ““If Panetta starts trying to feed people to that commission, his tenure at C.I.A. will be over,” said Mark M. Lowenthal, a former senior C.I.A. official and an adjunct professor at Columbia University. “If it happens, C.I.A. people are not going to start plotting against the president, but they are going to withdraw from taking risks, and then the C.I.A. becomes useless to the president,” Mr. Lowenthal said.“, yet the impact of Directive 191 becomes a near identical spotlight and it might end up setting exactly the same premise that Mark warned us for in 2009. My idea that someone gets a whisper to talk to Martin Baron and give him the heads up would have been the zero pain and least effort required solution. It is my idea, yet I am 99.3224% certain (roughly) that there are people more clever than me in the Intelligence branch who would have had that very same idea leaving me with the speculation that there merely might not have been enough time; with tens of thousands intelligence snippets arriving at https://www.cia.gov/cgi-bin/forlang_form.cgi every hour (and many more intelligence snippets from all over the world, as well as from Flat 3b, 3 Hans Crescent, London SW1X 0LS) there is every chance that the message might not have been read in time, or merely that other matters mattered more and in that we should optionally thank the University of Columbia for their optional assistance of upping the CIA budget by a speculative 42.3% (minus $7.49 for my venti cappuccino and a toasted blueberry muffin).

Could I be wrong? Of course I could be, but I added the directive for you to consider yourself and in the end when you put the elements on a row, how likely was the fact that there was a clear plan in place from the beginning? the entire Khashoggi mess, and the nonstop innuendo and lack of evidence given to the media and others, whilst we see a lack of scrutiny and a lack of commitment form the governments in all this gives rise to a lot more issues than the one I showed, making me wonder whether Jamal Khashoggi was important or merely became important after he allegedly died, showing the additional pressures that Iran is trying to push for via Turkey, oh and all those Turkish imprisoned (and optionally alive) journalists, how much media coverage are they still getting at present?

Did I oversimplify the matter for you?

Cool bananas and have a great Thursday!

Directive 191

 

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Media, call it as it is!

I saw the news yesterday and I initially decided to ignore it. It was not really ‘news’ news if you know what I mean. It is sad, it is not a surprise and it was always going to happen. The dice were rolled and the children in Yemen rolled two ones. Some call it snake eyes, but the impact is severe, you automatically lose with that roll and that was the state of things from the very beginning. We start with CNN (at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/02/middleeast/yemen-famine-amal-hussain-intl/index.html). We see the direct truth with “The three-year conflict between the US-backed Saudi-led coalition and the Iranian-aligned Houthis has devastated Yemen and reportedly has killed at least 10,000 people“. CNN does not mention that Saudi Arabia got involved when the deposed elected president called for help, no we do not get that. We get “the international furor over the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul“. We get no information that Iran and Hezbollah have directly intervened in making Humanitarian aid utterly impossible there. One Quote gives us: “Yemen’s information minister called on the Lebanese government to stop Hezbollah supporting Houthi rebels, insisting the group’s activity will prolong Yemen’s war. On Sunday, Moammar Eryani said Hezbollah was providing the Houthis with logistical and military assistance, turning Beirut’s southern suburbs — known collectively as Dahiyah — into a centre for media attacks against the Arab-led coalition“, in this CNN decided not to go there. We also get Yemen’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Marwan Ali Noman giving us: “the Yemeni suffering is caused by the Houthi militias, which are executing the agenda of Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah party in the region. He added that the militias practiced all kinds of murder, torture and forced displacement in all Yemeni cities that they invade“. CNN had no issue using the Khashoggi incident to present an anti-Saudi Arabia view, but fell silent on the actual issues in Yemen, yes: ‘That was CNN!

The New York Times gives us (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/world/middleeast/yemen-starvation-amal-hussain.html), and after that blazingly stages “The devastating war in Yemen has gotten more attention recently as outrage over the killing of a Saudi dissident in Istanbul has turned a spotlight on Saudi actions elsewhere“, yet it merely gives one mention of Iran in: “Saudi officials have defended their actions, citing rockets fired across their border by the Houthis, an armed group professing Zaidi Islam, an offshoot of Shiism, that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy, views as a proxy for its regional rival, Iran“, and in all this we see ZERO mention of Hezbollah, is that not strange? Neither is the part where the Firing of missiles is a direct result of Hezbollah and Houthi forces firing missiles into Saudi Arabia towards civilian targets. One source giving us that as per yesterday over 200 missiles have been fired into Saudi Arabia. Would you not think that this element is equally important? Let’s be honest it all started with the death of a toddler, but that was not what it was really about for the New York Times, was it? Yet they do give us “THE SAUDI COALITION IS NOT solely to blame for Yemen’s food crisis“, yet goes a little short in pointing on where blame, a much larger blame lies. It lies with Hezbollah, the tool and puppet of Iran provoking Saudi Arabia as much as possible.

The New York Times also gives us: “Tensions reached a climax this summer when the head of the United Nations migration agency was forced to leave Sana after clashing with the Houthi administration. In an interview, the Houthi vice foreign minister, Hussain al-Ezzi, denied reports of corruption, and insisted that tensions with the United Nations had been resolved“, it is a stage where Houthi officials are now enriched. It is a stage where we see that halting towards humanitarian aid and preventing the other 20,000 children from dying too. In this we see one additional quote that is identical in nearly all the newspapers I saw: “In an interview, the Houthi vice foreign minister, Hussain al-Ezzi, denied reports of corruption and insisted that tensions with the United Nations had been resolved“. My question becomes, was it an interview or was it merely a presentation by Hussain al-Ezzi finding a moment to state: ‘I’m not a crook!‘, which he probably learned form an American, namely former president Richard Nixon to be more precise.

The part that most publications are not giving us is that the death toll of children is roughly 130 children per day, in 2017 50,000 children died (Source: Al Jazeera).

The setting is not a nice one, on neither side. The Saudi Coalition includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Senegal. Al Jazeera also gives us: “Iran has denied arming the Houthi rebels, but the US military said it intercepted arms shipments from Iran to Yemen this March, claiming it was the third time in two months that this had occurred. Iranian officials have also suggested they may send military advisers to support the Houthis“, yet we have seen an utter lack of larger political activities by many nations other than the USA against Iran and Hezbollah, exactly how does that add up?

I particularly liked the quote “Commentators in the Arab Gulf States often claim that Iran now controls four Arab capitals: Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa“. I like it because it is the first part that gives the light of Iran, of what Iran is trying to achieve. The stage is not merely Hezbollah; it is not merely Turkey who has skin in that game too. It is the stage where we see the foundation of what Iran would call a holy war in defence of their sites. We are informed via “For the last six months the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun using waters further up the Gulf between Kuwait and Iran as it looks for new ways to beat an embargo on arms shipments to fellow Shi’ites in the Houthi movement, Western and Iranian sources say” and most of the western media is not even trying to look into these parts, it is actively avoiding any coverage on Iran. From that side we do get “The European Union is trying to preserve a version of the nuclear deal, but the recent incidents in Denmark and France have heightened the tensions.” In this it seems that Denmark is the strongest pusher against the Iranian actions, with the aid of France. We are all treated to the arrest event that was about a failed operation to bomb a June rally organised by Paris-based Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran, also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), it is a stage of oppositions are to be killed, no negativity on Iran in Europe. This stage is now labelled by Iran as: “Iranian officials view the claims as designed to derail Europe’s efforts to salvage the JCPOA, particularly the planned European economic package for Iran“, the partial impact for now is that the Nordic parties who were initially extremely in favour of sustaining the JCPOA, are now less likely to fully support it.

What happened to the girl?

Well, the question is who cares? The girl is dead now! A photographer got his Pulitzer price, humanitarian aid in Yemen is a joke and the players behind the screen are all playing their own game. On both the Saudi and Iranian side there has been too little on humanitarian aid and that part must be clearly shown. Even as Saudi Arabia is much more on the defensive side of what they do, the clear staging where the work of Iran and Hezbollah is ignored by the media justifies the current position that Saudi Arabia is taking up. In all this the UN has blood on its hands too, even as it is through inactions. That part we get from the Irish Times (at https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-s-war-in-yemen-yields-hunger-and-devastation-1.3681488). They give us: “Only two famines have been officially declared by the United Nations in the past 20 years, in Somalia and South Sudan. An UN-led assessment due in mid-November will determine how close Yemen is to becoming the third“. Yet the Independent and a few other papers gave us almost a year ago: “More than 50,000 children expected to die of starvation and disease by end of year“. So I would think that the threshold for famine had been long passed. Would you not agree?

Save the Children gave us a little more a year ago, they also gave us: “an estimated 400,000 children will need treatment for acute malnutrition this year, the charity said“, at what point did it require an additional fifty weeks to get the label ‘famine’ attached?

Yemen, once the poorest country in the Middle East is about to become an extinct one. It happened as some nations were overactive in that region and the others are guilty through total inaction on almost every level. So even as we might feel for the title ‘Starving girl who became symbol of Yemen crisis dies‘, we should not be allowed to do so, our inactions give us that. And as the news staging goes on with Al Jazeera giving us: ‘US calls for the end to the Saudi-backed war in Yemen‘, we see again that the absence of Iran and Hezbollah in that equation might give the Saudi coalition additional fuel to continue. It might have been different if 100% of all support to Lebanon would have been halted until all Hezbollah troops have left Yemen, but Europe is not willing to go that far, are they? There are plenty of sanctions on Iran and I am not sure what else could be achieved there, yet barring Lebanon from EVERY negotiation table until Hezbollah is no longer in Yemen has not been attempted has it? It would force Iran to either engage of step back. In the second case the Yemen situation would be quickly resolved in the first case we would have a clear theatre of war with Iran, a war we might desperate need. Not for the fun of it, but until the hurt can be brought to Iran, they will continue their proxy war until they get lucky. Statistically speaking that will happen and the consequence of that will be a lot worse and it could have been prevented if the inactive players would have acted when there was a chance to limit the damage, for that it is far too late and the death on one 7 year old girl is merely the start for an optional 300,000 children to die within the next 30 weeks. Now you tell me, when we get to the 1st of June 2019 and you wake up to the statistics that in Yemen 453,261 children will have died at that point from starvation and disease, how happy will you feel? Will you have that Coffee with an Éclair? Will you have the steak or the fish that evening, optionally with grape juice? I cannot blame you for not caring, but I can point you out on the hypocrisy you let happen, the stage you allowed for and the media giving us half a story again and again is equally guilty in all this.

It is not merely an imperfect world. This world is descending from bad to worse at the same speed that is currently killing the children in Yemen. I think that we can soon state that we stopped being humanitarians in 2019, so feel free to box that thought wrap it in shiny paper with a bow and place it under the Christmas tree. Ignore that package and watch another version of a Christmas carol on TV whilst you deceive yourself that you are such a better person than Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Bah! Humbug!

P.S. Yet should you genuinely care (and you could optionally suffer to lose a few coins) then click on the link below and make a donation to Save the Children by pressing the donate button. You might just be the hero of the day and safe a life that way.

 

 

 

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