Tag Archives: President Trump

As the party ended

Consider a firm, it has 1.4 million employees and 4672 stores in the US. So basically this employer is employing 0.43% of the entire population that makes it an extremely large player. Now, I have been critical of this player in the past on several occasions. A player this big tends to maximise profit at the expense of whatever gets in the way. It is for all extent and purpose, the American way. So what happens when places do not make the cut? What happens when the plug is pulled? Don’t get me wrong, I will not oppose the right of this player to do that, pulling the plug is a business decision, and for the most a valid one. So when I read: ‘What happened when Walmart left‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/09/what-happened-when-walmart-left), we need to ask several questions. The quote “But for the people of McDowell County – proud country folk labouring under the burdens of high unemployment, low income and endemic ill health – even such a fleeting visit to this rural backwater by the world’s largest retailer had a profound impact. Both in the arrival, and in the hasty leaving“, as well as ““All Walmart was interested in was how many millions of dollars they made, they weren’t interested in helping the community,” says McDowell County commissioner Gordon Lambert. “When they didn’t make the profit they wanted, they left.”” Here we see corporate America in action, yet in all this, should we blame Walmart? Personally I say ‘No!’, you see, this is not about what is right, it is what is correct and legal and the US government allowed and pushed for this path for the longest of times. It legally does not matter how rich the owners are, even as I have objected to the level of exploitation, my objection were based on social correctness, legally nothing wrong was done. You see, the first step to blame, if blaming is the proper word would be Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, Terence Richard McAuliffe is an American Democrat, politician and former businessman. As for the other areas, we have Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R) in the Senate, as well as Evan Jenkins (R), David McKinley (R) and Alex Mooney (R) in the House of Representatives. The question is what did they do? What options did they have for those suddenly out of work? You might think that they have nothing to do with this, yet when ONE employer has given 0.43% of the entire population a job, closing 154 stores in 2016-2017, that implies that thousands of jobs are lost, not all of them with the option to be retrenched, so at that point the House of Representatives would have needed to take a long hard look at the alternatives in stopping the creation of ghost towns and derelict business properties. We might not consider the impact or the legality, yet what would have been possible to limit the damage to some extent? There might have been a few options, yet in that certain legalities should be changing in that regard and as such the political side in all this, seems to have been largely too quiet.

The article by Ed Pilkington in McDowell County, West Virginia shows the devastating impact. Some might find it a little too emotional, yet what other side is there? If the political side remains absent, what stories of opportunity are possible? Another quote is ““The Walton family are billionaires,” she said (also no exaggeration – their collective worth is put at about $150bn). “They developed a system that just made us worse off, and then they took even that away from us.”” is not invalid, yet that shows that there is a clear political failure. We can argue the legislative side, yet as the laws are not broken, the US political branch has a clear requirement so alter certain views. It is an essential change towards any employer that has such a powerful grasp on any geographical infrastructure as the one that a player like Walmart has. We see the news on a nearly daily basis that there is a pressing need for Gag orders on search warrants, yet there is no protection on the risk of thousands of people becoming homeless. As given, there is a growing concern that the US is moving towards a phase where the ‘rights to life‘ is being removed from people. I discussed part of this in ‘Confirmation on Arrival‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/07/04/confirmation-on-arrival/), in this “We went from governments, to organisations, we left fair opportunity behind and moved to ‘those who have and those who have not‘, and they are soon to be replaced for the ‘enablers and obstructers‘ and those who are the latter would fall into the shadows and face away.“, when we look at West Virginia, the bulk of these people went from enablers (or those who had), into those who don’t have any longer and are seen as ‘obstructers’ of profit requirements, and now? It seems that the political branch is failing these people as are the better part of the administrative side where those without a job and options fall. The issue is that under the minimalized options that Walmart was allowed to ‘hide’ behind, we see thousands of people who had no option to build any reserves, so as such their plight is even more drastic and diminishing increasingly so.

Yet, is that at present a political issue?

I think it should be, as the administrations catered to the need of maximised profit and took away levels of rational accountability, the large players could walk away. So should Walmart not be allowed to walk away? No, that would be equally wrong, yet for any company to have such a large stake in any location to this extent, means that the political players should have played for a different scenario, where the leaving party would be required to give extended severance packages for a much longer time. In addition, an alternative would be that the county would in fact confiscate all equipment from those local Walmart stores, allowing for the start-up of butchers, grocers and other shops. Small community shops that would give to some extent a longer lasting time and perhaps keep some economy going in McDowell County. Let’s face it, Walmart would have written off this stuff for the longest times. In addition, not allowing for some cheap lease option means that the shops have an actual local commitment. It might not have saved too much, but some saving could have been an option. Even as Walmart walked away because of profitability from their spreadsheet, small local businesses might still have thrived, which meant that McDowell County could see a larger prevention into becoming a ghost town. There is no guarantee here, yet in all this, how would the pressure be on places like Asheville, Hickory and Morganton and as certain start-up phases are instigated, would that also benefit those places? More important, could the negative drag be minimised in this way? Consider the quotes we see in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, where earlier this year we see ‘Education, technology focus of Gov. McAuliffe’s visit to SWCC‘ (at http://www.bdtonline.com/news/education-technology-focus-of-gov-mcauliffe-s-visit-to-swcc/article_9a6356be-3f60-11e7-9b53-5bcd6e225a58.html), now consider the impact merely an hour away where thousands of jobs are lost. What would be the education impact, both in retaining students as well as gaining new ones? These are the real life local challenges and a strong political support system is essential in preventing such infrastructure disasters. If the impact of Walmart was so big, why allow this place to be lost, even if that means getting independent providers to retaining business? If one Walmart is a grocer, baker, butcher, electronic store, a gun shop, a furniture store, a liquor store, a sports store, a clothing store and with their large infrastructure making some profit, there is no way that small 1-2 family stores could not take over the bulk of business needed and not make a profit. What level of non-Walmart retrenching was in place? Was there any in place?

So as I go back to the article with “It was a big thing for people round here when Walmart pulled out. People didn’t know what to do. Young people started leaving because there’s nothing for them here. It’s like we exist, but we’re not existing.”“, in addition there is “She remembers the excitement when the supercentre opened. “People welcomed it with open arms, we needed the jobs,” she said“, the question is not merely the jobs, it is about the consumption and the people buying. So what if that one large box becomes a large box with 20 small stores? The building is there, the power connections are there. Could it be retrenched as a small mall? The statistics shows the decline from 100,000 to 20,000 a coal fell away, yet 20,000 people still need goods, they need clothes and food, in the end it might be cheaper for the government to consider side steps instead of letting it fall away, and in all this Walmart loses a vote of rights to property. They walked away did they not? It is a written off place and even as their accountants cannot resell or write off, they would have to accept the losses, and they walked out. There might not be a legislative option, yet there should be one, this is why the governor was my numero uno person to point at. He is el-Jefe (Just Everyone’s Friendly Executive) of Virginia and solution driver (or should be). If we can turn this around (extremely speculative), there would finally be a starting point to turn the US economy around. When the presented vulture economy is reduced to a community economy there would be a starting wave of growth. Now, do not expect this to be the actual solution, yet any waves that limits reduction can also be seen as initial growth. It is from those moves that visionaries are grown that will change that wave into actual forms of visionary retail. This has been proven again and again as places like JC Penney started in 1902. That is well over a century ago. I cannot predict what will come next, because the world will be changing in large ways over the coming 10 years, yet as I see it, the larger vultures like Walmart and Target are either transforming or on their way out, mostly they are on their way out as they are trying to consolidate maximised profit, when that happens we see truly see new places grow that are all about personalised customer interactions, and this will start with small stores. This is not about data, this is about interactions and that has forever started with a family business. You see, from the early days we saw that, for every one Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates there were 10 George Dayton’s. This is where the new economy will come from, not from the large iterative players, but from the small innovators. They will not merely build new business; they will keep places like McDowell, VA on the map. It is a first clear requirement for infrastructures not to lose the plot, of where they are on the map (You are here —> X), yes ‘X’ will mark the spot for the new player, and as new options are rising from the ashes, there will be economic movement, small art first, but that is how any train starts, it starts slow! This is in opposition to all those large US players who seem to live of the virtual possibility that they are all AAR Standard S-4200 trains that hold the acceleration of a formula one car. When you realise how short term, stupid, that train of thought is (pun intended), you get to see the first realisation that is drowning the US economy. For the reality is that those who not truly create are merely in the process of instigating decline.

Donald, now President Trump, stated: ‘let’s make America great again‘. In that I agree that it would be possible, yet only if certain ‘truths’ are not just adhered to, but actively supported through government. It might not save places like McDowell, VA, yet it is possible to reduce its decline and give time for the local community to see where growth could be created. It could be the starting template for other communities to follow. You see one Walmart is merely a store, a community is an optional force of nature and when fighting nature you always lose! In history the Dutch are the only ones ever to win a fight against nature and the fight they won was not getting drowned. Those dikes are merely holding back water, yet as the lowest point in the Netherlands is 23 feet BELOW sea-level and when you also consider that 21% of that nation is below sea-level and 50% is merely 3 feet above sea-level, it is one hell of a fight they did win. In the end it was one person, Cornelis Lely (1854-1929) who created the concept in 1891 that would change the war against the sea forever, merely one visionary creator!

So as the party for some of these places have ended, it will be up to the governors of their states to see what changes can be set to alter the future of these areas by first diminishing the recline and allow for time to give birth to the next visionary. They might not just save the state; they could captain a new direction for a nation that is in dire need of a few actual visionaries.

 

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Prognosticated WaterhouseCoopers

I forgot what fun it is to go up against PwC, I missed slapping them around and the article ‘Netflix and Amazon ‘will overtake UK cinema box office spending by 2020’‘ was a mighty fine reason. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jun/14/netflix-amazon-uk-cinema-box-office-film-dvd-blu-ray-pwc) gives us a few things. The title is fine, I have no issue with that and there is every reason to believe that this is true. I always prefer and love to watch the big screen, but I know that I am a majority here. It is the subtitle that got me. With “Film industry will remain ‘pretty healthy’ but DVD and Blu-ray sales will go into ‘terminal collapse’, says PwC” they gave me a reason to have a go at them. As I search deeper and deeper, we are confronted with a wave of titles that have been released on Blu-Ray and DVD, yet there is no Netflix date, they do not seem to have any titles released to disc from 2017. So that is the first group. I reckon the Marvel fans would race to the shop to pick up Logan as soon as Wolverinely possible. The second thing I found is that a decent list of TV series is absent. This is a lot harder to predict, yet Grimm, Lucifer, Sleepy Hollow, Battlestar Galactica and a list of others do not even show on Netflix. This makes the need of Blu-ray consistently there. There is no doubt that those with really good bandwidth will prefer Netflix, so there will be an impact, yet the size of that impact is not a given for now. You see, as Net neutrality becomes more and more endangered, we will see shifts. We saw President Trump put Jessica Rosenworcel in the FCC seat and she apparently champions net neutrality, yet there is a rustling in some bushes, especially the adult entertainment bush. What people ignore, or like me do not care about is that certain ‘settings’ is seen in International Business Times (at http://www.ibtimes.com/july-12-net-neutrality-day-action-will-slow-down-your-pornhub-videos-2552375). It is a place like ‘Pornhub’ that brings the news. The quote “Pai’s proposal would remove the FCC’s authority to enforce net neutrality and other consumer protections while simultaneously allowing companies including Verizon, Comcast and AT&T to create “slow lanes” that force consumers to pay more for certain sites or as a competitive move among corporate telecom rivals“, is one thing, the second quote from a related article gives us “The Washington Examiner reported Trump deliberately withdrew her nomination when he took office. That move temporarily gave Republicans a majority in the FCC. Since then, the FCC has voted to revoke net neutrality regulations. If Trump’s renewed nomination leads to her confirmation, as is expected, then this idealist could return to take on the telecom industry head on.“, these quotes give only an indication of what will happen next, it is seen a little better when we consider the Law Times (at http://www.lawtimesnews.com/201706126217/focus-on/focus-u-s-and-canada-diverge-on-net-neutrality), which is 3 days old. Here we see: “With the possibility of broadband rate regulation looming on the horizon, companies investing in next-generation networks hesitated to build or expand networks, unsure of whether the government would let them compete in the free market,” he wrote, advocating for a return to a “light-touch” approach to Internet regulation“. This is now the indication, as the FCC rolled back a few things, they leave it with the providers and a ‘free market’ to offer ISP packages, which of course comes at different prices. So, as net neutrality comes back, it comes with the option that is linked to a Service Level Agreement and they tend to come with $$$ labels attached. In addition we see “The CRTC’s decision and policy position on “differential pricing” arose out of Videotron’s 2015 launch of Unlimited Music, a premium service that allowed customers to stream as much music as they liked on services such as Spotify without having the data use count against their monthly allowance“, so as we get premium ISP options, how do you think that this will impact the Netflix use? Are you sure that this billion user service will not come with nails attached? You see, the issue is no longer mere net neutrality in speed; it is now ‘the elimination of data caps for home and mobile Internet use for Canadians?‘ This implies not just Canada; it is merely a stepping stone for America as they use Canada as a show case, what will happen when the gamers are added? This is a simple math part. Assassins Creed Unity sold over 2 million copies (exact number unknown), now in December 2014, the owners had to download a patch that was 34GB in size. So consider 2 million downloads of that patch, how congested will the internet get? As the number was global, there is no way to tell how the patch impacted on areas, yet as caps are removed, we will see more and more shabby developers getting new patches out ‘as soon as possible’ making us download patches more and more. So as there are globally well over 105 million Consoles (next Generation only), the millions of Gaming PC’s, now consider the amount of patches and the impact on the internetworking’s, as well as the Internet of Things, because bandwidth hits all options. Now consider 3 massive games released per month, game download and patches and now consider how Netflix is impacted, because it will. I am putting those two groups together because they get their ‘net mobility’ from the very same fuel tank. Now add Spotify and a few other players in this domain. There was never any question that there was a need for net neutrality, yet in all this it goes via an ISP and that player is greedy, so if the cap cannot be pushed in place, or when it is removed, why do you think will happen next? There will be an impact on speed.

This is set in an easy equation (not an accurate one, but it shows certain factors). Fuel = data_amount * speed * users, so if data_amount is infinite, how will that impact speed? The same we see when the user base become massively larger, speed is again impacted. yet there is another consideration, to keep speed high, the number of user and data_amount needs to remain in a state of balance and set at a nominal place, when we realise that this is not an option from day one, speed will always be impacted and that is where the ISP’s are now, creating in a conjoint setting the Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) and the option to price it all. The FCC can claim it is out of their hands and as the FCC is about avoiding ‘anything that negatively affects competition and innovation in the sector‘, the FCC rules are altered and whatever comes back might seem nice, but will come with the ability to let the ISP call the shots. As such Netflix, unless it sets ironclad contracts with ISP’s, these users will see a shift of options and usage, at a price that is.

How does this make sense?

You see, even as the numbers are global based, the US has a lot more congestion than the UK at present, yet the current growth as seen, which is before the upcoming 5G data need, the ISP’s have been milking their system and these providers have not been addressing the ‘fuel tank’ they had. Now, this issue is in the UK and Western Europe is nowhere near the mess that the US is in, but as the UK rural growth is now growing at an accelerated rate, the congestion is still becoming a factor, Cisco tells us: “Services like YouTube, iPlayer, Netflix, NOW TV and Amazon Prime Video continue to be a huge draw, which has in turn helped to fuel demand for superfast broadband connections”, in addition, we get “Cisco forecasts that the average Internet user is expected to generate 140GB (Gigabytes) of Internet traffic per month in 2021”, which is average and I expect that to be a conservative low estimate. Now consider that a Netflix movie can take up to 7.5GB, now consider 3 million people in London alone will watch a Saturday movie, and now consider that in the UK another 15 million will do the same, do the numbers start adding up? Even if these 18 million do not start it on the same time, there will be a sizeable overlap, there is enough indication that congestion will be an issue, which either ups the price of the internet, or there will be an increased agitation for Netflix. This is why there is enough questions on ‘terminal decline’, there is in addition consideration that when 5G hits, the curve will steepen by a lot. It is too soon to predict a near exponential growth for data need, but it is not unrealistic, especially when we consider the push from 3G to 4G and data usage curve when most moved to 4G.

Now I go back to these gamers, even as the Statistics state the gamers group to be a steady penetration of around 42%, their data need has grown more than exponential. The Next generation consoles, as well as the growth of being online whilst gaming has grown. So this is not just about downloads and patches, merely the online presence which fuels uploads, Even as some statistics state that they are on average 5 hours per week online, there is enough data to question that. Polygon gave us the title ‘PS4 owners spend about 50,000 years a week gaming’, again a global number, but that already gets us an average of 7 hours a week, which is 40% higher and these are 2016-2017 numbers. As it all comes from the same ‘fuel tank’, I hope that we can clearly see that it impacts the ability to service Netflix. I believe that congestion will be its worst enemy and as we see a shift in costing, the prediction is unlikely to become reality (yet, I am willing to accept that I could be wrong)

So back to the Guardian article! The quote “PwC predicts a “terminal decline” for DVD and Blu-ray sales from £1.22bn in 2016 to just £533m by 2021. The report predicts that internet video will overtake DVD sales this year, but some analysts claim this has already happened“, I believe that the market will adjust in a different way. I believe that the initial shift will be in price. The price of $40 for a new movie cannot be maintained with monthly services and as the margin is large, we much consider that shift. It has been stated a few times that “high-definition mastering costs for Blu-ray will run close to US$40,000 per title with a pressing cost of US$2.00 per Blu-ray disc”, so at 100,000 discs sold, the making comes to about $2.50, so selling at $20 would still leave a large margin, There is a given that mastering goes down in price, yet at this pace, the impact becomes negligible. So when we consider that owning a movie we like at $20 is still a good idea, even if we have Netflix, my view is that there is an impact, yet not to the degree PwC claims.

Could PwC be right?

Yes, that is indeed the case, especially if the economy does not pick up. If the economy stays in the bad shape it currently is in now, Netflix might be the only option for some people, yet the options will still depends on whatever internet options that household has. In that, we see the impact on both sales down as the economy faltered whilst buying movies is equally a non-option.

There is one element that has been ignored by me and it is time to address that now. The mention ‘some analyst’s claim this has already happened‘ is one that needs a look at. It comes from the January article ‘Film and TV ​streaming and downloads overtake DVD sales for first time‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jan/05/film-and-tv-streaming-and-downloads-overtake-dvd-sales-for-first-time-netflix-amazon-uk). one element is ‘Netflix has rapidly grown to 6 million UK subscribers since launching in 2012‘, which is fine and the issue that physical retail is in decline cannot be countered either. The fact that the UK cost of living has been through the roof; so as we see the price of a Blu-ray being equal to 2 months of Netflix, people adjusted their budget. Yet in all this, the internet bandwidth remained an issue. As long as it could be pushed through Wi-Fi and more importantly the Free Wi-Fi places, people were fine, yet just like some of the more advanced filters, when those places start actively blocking Netflix, the user game changes too. You see, Spotify demands cellular data and does not stream via Wi-Fi. So remember the earlier formula? Spotify has 50 million users. Now consider that the other elements were speed and data amount. As these services grow congestion will be a logical consequence, meaning that the ISP’s have reasons to push through the SLA solution, solving all their issues and none of yours.

Netflix is here to stay, nobody opposes that, there will be an impact on DVD/Blu-ray sales and nobody opposes that either. It is the part of ‘terminal collapse‘ that I oppose and I am certain that at some point it will happen, yet not in the time period PwC says it will be. I could be wrong of course, but I don’t think so.

If they were wrong, then nothing is lost, for that PwC analyst there could be a golden future in show business for them as a the new member in Orange is the new Black Season 7 named ‘Wall Street Bitches‘ (speculated conjecture).

In the end?

In the end, the Guardian article does have one larger benefit; it is bringing congestion issues to the surface, as such the article had a good side, In the UK most people know it as ‘Internet Rush Hour’, yet what happens when the infrastructure will no longer provide for that side? The BBC gave us in 2011 “UK broadband speeds drop by an average of 35% from their off-peak highs when most people are online in the evening, according to a report”, yet the growth that we have seen then was at the beginning of 4G, even as the ISP’s upgraded their equipment, the user base In the last year alone, went up by 1.5% for the entire population. In addition, over the last 5 years, the amount of inactive internet users decreased by 13.3%, which is a lot, also consider that the UK Netflix user base is expected to double between 2015 and 2020; these numbers show a dangerous part. The largest one is that the numbers seem to have been incorrectly speculated. I get there as the growth of subscriptions grew by 1.8 million during 2015-2016, which was almost a third of the 100% expected growth. You might think that the Guardian article is therefore a lot more accurate, I still disagree, merely for the fact that congestion is a larger risk, which now gets us back to the Net Neutrality issue. Because as this grows, ISP’s will have additional ammunition to start thinking and pushing for Service Level Agreements on consumer markets, it is what the FCC sees as ‘anything that negatively affects competition and innovation in the sector‘, yet what the ISP sees as commercial opportunity. Here I truly hope to be wrong, yet some sources (read: ISPreview) are already revealing prices to rise close to 10%, in addition, the prices will rise even more next year due to the 2017 Digital Economy Act. This is where we get back to the ‘Pornhub’ part. You see, I give not a toss about them, but they illustrated a part that other sites are now getting into. When we look at Endgadget, we get: “There’s one slight issue with age gates in that we’re still no clearer on how they are to be implemented. Proving age using credit card details, the electoral roll and pay-monthly mobile phone contracts have all been suggested, but the government has admitted that forcing you to expose your identity might be a step too far. And so, it’ll likely be some time before this new law can be enforced as the government and newly appointed regulator decide on the best and least intrusive way for porn sites to verify age.” You see, it is not about the fact that it is about adult content, it is about the option to classify, so consider that via politicians (never a good start) to settle on what defines the boundary and needs more than mere access. It is the first time that there would be commercial option to slice services, not cutting them, but restraining the maximum bandwidth. When we see the quote ‘the new data-sharing regime effectively being lawful already’, we might think ‘government’ but that is the least of our concern, it is “Any business that handles large volumes of personal data is required to employ a data-protection officer under the new rules, and any breach must be disclosed within 72 hours”, you might think that this covers it, but what about back-ups, what about social media with multiple ownership over a larger amount of nations? It is the commercial value that is being played with and the EU does not have a great track record when it comes to commercial versus private interest. So as these elements come into play, there are now already three upcoming levels that would cater to ‘Service Level Agreement’, which is defined to charges a person has. It gives one more level that Net Neutrality is already a thing of the past. This is seen in “Reed Hastings seemed to walk away from fighting for net neutrality but his company has done a big 180”, so in the two days that I worked on this, Netflix did a massive corporate ‘about face’, the direct implication of ISP’s and the limit of bandwidth is showing now, almost a year before it actually hits us. News Network (at http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/after-ceo-downplayed-the-importance-of-net-neutrality-netflix-changes-tact-and-rejoins-the-fight/news-story/654c63348e3dbd4f7d697fe322eeb350) also gives us “major Telco company AT & T is in bed with media conglomerate Time Warner. Because of this high level of “vertical integration” there’s a lot more scepticism in the US that companies will be compelled to engage in anti competitive and “non mutual” practices”, which I already knew. Yet the clarity as given in my earlier setting in ‘anything that negatively affects competition and innovation in the sector‘, is now showing its fruition and that is before the dozens of new 5G services come to our mobiles and TV settings. As this collides, and it will! People will happily return to a worry free Blu-ray ad DVD, if the makers adjust pricing and remove the 5 iteration contribution application, the discs will be here to stay for at least a decade or (hopefully) two more.

 

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False Bloated Information?

As we look at all kinds of news, trying to figure out what is going on, the Guardian gives us “An investigation by the FBI has concluded that Russian hackers were responsible for sending out fake messages from the Qatari government, sparking the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in decades“. It comes from ‘Russian hackers to blame for sparking Qatar crisis, FBI inquiry finds‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/07/russian-hackers-qatar-crisis-fbi-inquiry-saudi-arabia-uae). It seems like the Russians are behind nearly everything. The issue I have here is that clear intelligence is not found, there is a lack of information giving correct information. You see, if that was the case, if there was a situation with ‘sending out fake messages from the Qatari government‘, there would be a battery of messages, showing those messages and with the clear statement on how they were spread. You see, hacking was not needed. When we see: “The UAE wants Qatar to sever its ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, and Iran. It also wants news outlets seen to be critical of the Gulf monarchies, such as the Qatari-funded al-Jazeera, to be closed down. Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders live in Doha, and Qatar has shown a willingness to retain diplomatic contacts with Iran, partly due to joint economic interests, including a large underwater gas field“, so as we see that the Muslim Brotherhood is in Qatar, that would be enough to make Egypt angry, the rest is just gravy. Is the term ‘An investigation by the FBI has concluded that Russian hackers were responsible’ is that a new way for the FBI to state that they are in the dark? #JustAsking

Now, is there a chance that hackers have been busy all over the place? That is probably true; it could even be true that some of these hackers have a Russian nationality. Yet the implied newscasts are all about ‘Russian hackers‘ with links to the Russian government, I am not denying that this could be a fact, but is it more likely that a Russian hacker is working for the FSB or for organised crime? Consider the ‘opportunity‘ certain shortages bring. Is it not interesting on how the lack of evidence, no matter who failed to produce it, seems to be accepted because it comes with an FBI stamp. How fake is our news? With CNN we see: “Because it was started based on fabricated news, being wedged and being inserted in our national news agency which was hacked and proved by the FBI.” So why not a clear communications on what actually was happening why is that not picked up by news everywhere? No, we get massive re-quotes from Reuters and other outlets and nobody bothered showing any evidence. Perhaps you remember this from the past, the need to show levels of guilt from those perpetrating the events. I believe that ‘confirmed by FBI‘ just does not hack it anymore. A weird situation, is it not? The issue that has been an issue for the longest time is “who have long objected to Qatar’s foreign policy“, there is a large following of that issue. I cannot confirm that the hack story is fake, but I think that the papers need to give a lot more evidence besides the two paragraphs before they go towards other issues like how many Saudi’s were in 9/11, or switch to the optional food shortages in Qatar. The news is as flaky as it can get on any story. The issue seems to be devoid of information, especially as the aftermath of the elections would have had plenty of options to dig into that small issue called ‘evidence‘.

So what do we make of all this, why did the FBI even bother planting the ‘a fake news‘ issue stamp on Qatar? In light of everything that is currently in play, perhaps the French news that just now brings us “fresh signs the world’s largest economy is not in peak condition“, an issue for a country that has a debt well over 20 trillion. So when President Trump claims that the US economy is tremendous, is that fake news or is that merely a typo from the autocomplete (read: terrible).

There are several questions we need to raise, the actions from the FBI (going all the way back to the Sony hack) is giving us a collection of issues that makes us wonder what is actually going on and who the real perpetrators are. When you Google for ‘Qatar Hackers‘ you get a massive group of people shouting for or against the fact that it is fake news, but none of them are showing any evidence. I am asking questions because we see no concrete evidence not from any side. There is in equal measure no report on news sites and news channels showing us the fake news, when it was published and what the actual Qatar position is. In 5 minute I came up with 3 possible solutions on how the world stage could have been defused, that whilst I know that there are plenty of people working in that industry those are more intelligent than I am. So what failures are happening and what are they trying to not tell the audience?

The entire issue takes another turn when we consider the news (at http://www.news.com.au/world/donald-trump-blasts-exfbi-director-james-comey-on-twitter-as-uk-media-report-he-has-cancelled-state-visit/news-story/70199076e7f849888efac550b4e06d49), where we see ‘Donald Trump blasts ex-FBI director James Comey on Twitter as UK media report he has cancelled state visit‘, in here we see: “Fellow Republicans are pressing President Donald Trump to come clean about whether he has tapes of private conversations with the former FBI director. And if he does, they want the President to hand them over to Congress or else possibly face a subpoena.” Now we see another side to it all, we see a situation where the US is having an internal issue growing and it is about to hit the world. My reasoning is not just the clarity that James Comey showed. The degrees he has, the fact that he is the former US deputy attorney general and that he has been on several board of directors, including Lockheed Martin and HSBC. This is not someone who plays some fast and loose game. He is no typo twitter user and the world pretty much realises this. The article does not go into the fact on the title, the ‘cancelled state visit’ is actually merely delayed, yet consider the importance that an ally like the UK is, what prevents the so called leader of the free world to bolster his defences in the White House? This is where the FBI seems to flaw and not intentionally. The events of the last 6 weeks give rise to an actual investigation of the White House and that is not something the FBI was ever equipped to do, in addition, there will be issues with the Secret Service as well. With the Huffington Post reporting that “Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner all repeatedly sought financing for various investments in recent years from leading figures in Qatar“, we now have a new issue. The FBI is now on the pace and in the moment of having to investigate its own president in links to terrorism. The quote “President Trump on Friday characterized Qatar as “historically” a “funder of terrorism at a high level,” an accusation that came just an hour after his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appealed for “no further escalation” in the Gulf Cooperation Council squabble“, so if Qatar is a strong partner in combating terrorist financing, how are we supposed to see the implied links as seen by the FBI? You see, even if we accept the words of Ambassador Dana Smith there is now a clear level of miscommunication between the ambassador, the state department, the White House, the Department of Justice and the Intelligence branches (CIA, NSA). So now we get the FBI having to sort out what is what and that is after someone in the White House thought it was a good idea to sack the previous director of the FBI, all this over a term of a mere 4 weeks. The question becomes ‘what is going on?‘ is not just the smallest issue in play. We could speculate that there are internal forces within Qatar who approach different parties, in this the President of the United States has been used as a cheap tool and his ability to typo twitter adds to the laughter of the US Democratic Party, whilst the FBI should be in tears and not in a good way. I wonder if any of these investigative agents ever signed up for this mess, an internal mess that is far above their own pay grade, and it is only Tuesday.

Fat Bloated Information gives rise to the events that are playing, part is due to FBI decisions on a level that I do not comprehend as I have been able to punch holes in several issues in mere minutes and there are a few people much more knowledgeable in cyber issues than I am and they concur on my findings through their own published findings long after I stated my views. Part of it is now finding the limelight as they have to go into rounds of analytical refurbishing of disseminated information (yes I can talk BS too with the use of a dictionary). So as we are getting more and more questionable news, the FBI now has to go over the news given by the White House and seeing what needs to be qualifies as actual news and quantify the damage made over the last 8 weeks. I wonder if the FBI will be able to comment on how much they never signed up for that part.

The final part is seen in a news article by Fox News, the article titled ‘Qatar taps former US attorney general to help ease regional crisis‘ (at http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/06/12/qatar-taps-former-us-attorney-general-to-help-ease-regional-crisis.html) gives us the final side in all this. The quote “Qatar has paid $2.5 million to the law firm of a former attorney general under U.S. President George W. Bush to audit its efforts at stopping terrorism funding, a matter at the heart of the Gulf diplomatic crisis that erupted last week“, the issue is not that it is happening, the issue is how it is set in motion. You see, if this was about getting results, I would have gone to the UK firm 25 Bedford Row, who has expertise in this. Not only as its QC Paul Hynes is a true expert and one of the voices behind “International Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing – a UK perspective“, Sweet & Maxwell, 2009 Paul Hynes QC, Richard Furlong & Nathaniel Rudolf.

The list of cases as given by 25 Bedford Row (at http://www.25bedfordrow.com/site/expertise/criminal-barristers/terrorism/) shows us levels of expertise that the firm of John Ashcroft has not shown at present, even more outspoken, I am not sure if they have this level of expertise at all:

  • R -v- Ciarán Maxwell – The “Marine who turned to terror”
  • R -v- Anjem Choudary and Another – A case concerning encouraging support for IS
  • R -v- Mohammed Alamgir and Others – A Luton Al-Muhajiroun cell infiltrated in an undercover operation
  • R -v- Feroz Khan and Others – Prison disorder said to be a Lee Rigby copycat incident
  • R -v- Humzah Ali and Another – An IS Syrian traveller and terrorist material dissemination case
  • R -v- Yousaf Syed and Others – The “Poppy Day Plot”
  • R -v- Roshonara Choudhry – The attempted murder of Steven Timms MP
  • R -v- Muktar Ibrahim and Others – The 21/7 London Bombings
  • R -v- Abdul Saleem – The Danish Cartoon Protest Case
  • R -v- Kanyare & Others – The “Fake Sheikh” red mercury case
  • R -v- Samina Malik – The “Lyrical Terrorist”
  • R -v- Zakariya Ashiq – The “Walter Mitty Muslim”
  • R -v- Kamel Bourgass and Others – The ricin conspiracy
  • R -v- Ahmad Ali and Others – The liquid bomb transatlantic flight plot
  • R -v- Dhiren Barot and Others – The “Dirty Bomb” conspiracy
  • R -v- Omar Khyam and Others – The “Fertilizer Bomb” operation
  • R -v- Abdul Raheem and Others – A West Midlands network connected to Parvais Khan
  • R -v- Sulayman Zain-Ul-Abidin – The first UK Islamic terrorist prosecution
  • R -v- Abu Hamza – Incitement to murder and possession of terrorist material
  • R -v- Babar Ahmed – A terrorism based US extradition

And that is just a selection of cases to choose from. So when we consider the need of Qatar, and how they addressed it by going to John Ashcroft, a former Attorney General, a decently renowned one mind you; yet in all this, they are merely appeasing some American view, or are they trying to achieve something else? There is no way that the FBI will not have to take a deeper look at this, especially as there are already levels of miscommunication between the White House and the State department that require investigation. So, in all this, did Qatar truly act in the best interests of Qatar?

I will let you decide the issues in play, just consider that it took less than an hour to find more holes in all this and additional choices which from my personal point of view would have been much better from the start. So am I giving you ‘Fat Bloated Information’, or are the players using imaged projections of representation to make the waters a lot murkier than they were a mere two months ago. I am not the expert to give you the rulings on what is false and what is fake news, I am merely showing you levels of information that should be regarded as dubious and questionable, which is something the FBI is bound to look into. So if you think it is going to be a dull week, think again.

I am however not too sure if it will a nice week for some.

 

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Silence in our hearts

There is no avoiding it. There was an incident in London and this is not some ‘I told you so‘ moment. This is the moment when we need to remember is the 1st of September 1939. That was the date that the war on Germany was pronounced by the act of invading Poland. This is the moment the people had enough. Neville Chamberlain mentioned on the 30th of September 1938 the phrase “Peace for our time“, that fateful day that he held a piece of paper that unlike Celeste value, no longer had value. Those pieces of toilet paper would later be known as ‘the Munich Agreement‘ and the ‘Anglo-German Declaration‘. It took another 11 months for the war to start; I am stating that we are now moments away to be in that same position. Not some dubious moment of diplomacy. This is where we go into any nation that has Islamic State fighters. We kindly tell these governments to get out of the way or be destroyed together with Islamic State. There will be no borders, no disputed ground. If it holds Islamic State, we will come and we will kill whoever is there. You can hide behind Human Shields; we will no longer stop, give consideration or give opportunity. We have come to kill you and your children. We are no longer waiting for the diplomats who failed us again and again; we will no longer await the need of politicians to give one final option. We seek war, because we want it now!

This is not just about the seven dead and the dozens that were injured. This is because this has been going on for too long in too many places. We kindly request, that the French armed forces join us in this upcoming endeavour. We hunt, we get to them. I feel certain that Legio Patria Nostra is every bit as ready as all the other legions and all the other branches. This is where we change the game from intelligence in just hunting and killing. I feel certain that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would welcome our arrival. According to Indonesia there are now 1200 IS militants in the Philippines. So let’s start to clean Marawi, and we will happily include Maute in the death toll. They have now resorted to using children; we will come like Hell’s winter to remove them from life. This is because the right of life no longer applies to anyone who is Islamic State. We see too much inactions as ISIL executed anyone who was unable to quote the Quran.

No worries, we will not require a reading test. In case of ISIL, the literate and dyslexic are both equally worthless. I do not care for the political excuse: “It’s Ramadan, it will be over soon“. No, I have several Muslim friends; they suffer (read: are fasting) through the Ramadan day and remain in peaceful loving union of their friends and family in the evening. This is shown in even more daring ways, if we can accept the news in the National today (at http://www.thenational.ae/world/southeast-asia/filipino-muslims-shield-their-christian-friends-in-bold-escape-from-extremists). Here we see: “More than 200 civilians walked out of the besieged Philippines city of Marawi in a daring escape from their Islamist captors, concealing dozens of Christians and saving them from almost certain murder“, that is an action that counts, which gives an annoying silence in our hearts when we contemplate the words by Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO. We get the quote “NATO allies are now, in many ways, contributing to a very important fight that will take time, to defeat ISIL and extremists“. ‘It takes time‘ because you aren’t going to war, you are trying containment. There is a tactical difference. There was once a tactical advantage to that, but that time is gone. If there is one clear revelation seen from the attacks on Paris, London and Baghdad. Is that containment no longer hacks it. It is time to go on an actual assault with the clear intent to decimate the numbers of ISIS/ISIL.

The third front in the Philippines is happening and it is time to show them what we are capable of. This is not some: ‘let’s not wake up some people‘. No, this is now the clear moment where we are awake and may whatever god you pray for show mercy, because we no longer will!

So, are you now in a state of: “What on earth is happening now?“, then consider this the clarion call for war! The locations in the Philippines, Syria, France, UK, Somalia, Libya and Egypt (Sinai) are an initial focal point. If we decimate their existence in these 6 places, we not only turn the tide, soon thereafter deaf ears will get pleads of mercy from ISIS/ISIL trying to strike a dialogue. At that point it is our side that gets to decimate a little longer, so that they will finally realise that terrorism will never ever work. At best you a get a little limelight, at worst you wake up a monster. Guess what! The second is now a reality. This is not just within me, not just some rage of anger (which is actually partially true). This is the call of people who have had enough of high paid politicians and executives giving long speeches with term like ‘it takes time‘, time that has been wasted since the beginning of the Syrian war where everyone did almost nothing and where the US suddenly had no way of telling who started the Chemical attack, even with all the satellites there, they just could not tell. Well, we know who attacked London and let’s actually do something about that, not just talk about it, not just arrest someone; we put the hurt on the other side.

I personally believe that cleaning the Philippines is a first need. If they get an actual foothold and get traction in Indonesia we would have to face a decade of war in South East Asia, with a realistic chance that ISIS/ISIL growth in Brunei becomes an actual danger. Now we get to part 2 of this, which is seen in ‘Donald Trump berates London mayor over response to terror attacks‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/04/trump-berates-london-mayor-sadiq-khan-terror-attacks), the Lord mayor of London correctly replies with: “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks“, which is correct. As stated, I am not in some rant; I am in a tactical mode, showing certain high paid players the error of their errors of inaction. If we add the responses by President Trump then I will need another 25,000 words and I just cannot be bothered with that. That is unless the Chancellor of my University will accept it as a thesis. The thesis ‘stupidity of a President‘ might find an appreciative audience in the social sciences, the drama department and the entertainment groups. It might not be of any use to those trying to get a master in Diplomacy, but that is at present not a requirement I reckon. You see, Sadiq Khan as the Lord Mayor has an organising responsibility and a political responsibility. That is why he was elected. I have been in a war mode, in military tactical analyses and looking at where to strike. OK, I am not getting paid for it, but those who are seem to be either silent or allegedly ignorant at what needs to be done. That last one might actually be a wrong assessment. It might be the situation that ‘they do what they are allowed to do as ordered by the political branch of government‘. Is that not the part we forget? The military cannot act against those who attack the UK, because the politicians are desperately seeking a non-military active solution. I believe that we passed that point by at least 5 years. I think we have hit rock bottom when it is the terrorist organisation Hezbollah that is telling Riyadh to seek dialogue and negotiations. I am willing to give a little leeway to Hamas trying to talk to the high officials in Egypt, yet if there is any continuation of rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel, their options will be removed. Yet here too we have issues as Palestinians (not confirmed members of Hamas) have been fighting alongside ISIS in the Sinai, yet the result might he as harsh as we need it to be. We can argue high and low, but in the end, we merely need to consider if we are willing to get our less militant way of life back. ISIS/ISIL will make that impossible. Anyone making any mention that there could be talks is merely deceiving themselves and those around them. We know that war is not a nice thing and that it is the beginning of a lot of ugly things, yet in all this, we did not start this. We might not be entirely innocent, yet we have forever been willing to talk, that path is no longer there because the attackers removed the option. The question becomes: ‘Can we submit to a war‘ that stops it, or will we be confronted by politicians and high brass that implies that ‘fucking around‘ is the better path. If they do, please tell them to submit evidence on when that approach ever worked. I am willing to bet that the number of successes can be counted on the fingers of a man who had his hands removed.

So yes, there is at present silence in my heart. Not because of what happened, but because what needs to be done. There is no validity to rejoice, because only the truly insane rejoice at a war where they have to pick up the weapons to act. That is a political fiasco of an entirely different nature. When your enemy has decided to use children to fight in this war, we can only feel a pain in jour heart to fight, but that is the part we have to do, because we need to be able to spare our children such actions.

 

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Actively  Missing direction?

The daily star is giving us (at http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/politics/618722/Who-should-I-vote-for-in-the-General-Election-quiz-Conservative-Labour-Lib-Dem) a nice little questionnaire on who to vote for. I tend to have mixed feelings on these polls, but curious as I am, I took the list and behold, my choice was known and it was my direction. Yet, there are still issues on the questionnaire. You see, it’s fun, and perhaps those who do not know who to vote for should take it to get a general direction, but still there are issues. So let’s take a look at these 15 questions. Yet, this is as you will see the beginning of a much larger issue. What is beneath the surface is a combination of inaction, denial and delay. We are all plagued by the inactions of politicians and we have to pay for their ‘non-choices’. Let me take you on a tour explaining that.

  1. There should be a second Brexit referendum on the terms of the deal.
    Really? There was a referendum and the brits decided to move out. So let’s get on with it! Politicians, especially the sore losers want to turn this all around. I would state because they are sore losers. The last year has been about fearmongering on several levels and even my own party is not innocent here.
  2. Immigration to Britain should be reduced over the next five years.
    Why? Well, I went with never mind, because some might like a reduction on several fronts, yet in the end, we need to think long term, keeping immigration stable seems like a good thing, reducing it? Perhaps it is, perhaps not. What is clearly evident is that as Australia closed immigration and hindered it to some extent, Australia avoided the infrastructure collapse after the 2008 financial crises, if Australia had allowed for the boosted Silicon Valley growth option, the Australian infrastructure would have been in deep trouble and their version of the NHS (Medicare) would not be around today, that part is pretty much a given.
  3. There should be a Bank Holiday on each patron saints’ day.
    I think we have enough bank holidays at present. We could go to the old days (before 1950) when a bank holiday also implied a mandatory visit to the church; you still game at that point?
  4. More selective grammar schools should be opened in the UK.
    I have never ever seen ‘selective’ schooling to amount to anything but excessive pressure on students, that is just a really bad idea. Also, selective schooling tends to imply that certain elements are removed from schools. I believe that the wider and more generalist grammar school is, the wider the development of the student. That has always been a good idea, especially as today’s children in a grammar school will enter the workplace with technologies that we at present haven’t designed yet. So whatever selectivity they now face, the harder some adjustments tend to be.
  5. Key industries such as railways, water and energy should be nationalised, funded by higher taxes.
    This is a real Labour question. This is one of those dangerous questions as the element missing here is that this step alone will drive the UK into deeper debt, a cost that will exceed a quarter of a trillion pound. That is not a good idea at present. The option to nationalise part is not a bad thing, but the UK coffers are empty, a blatant fact Jeremy Corbyn ignores as his promises are all based on the need to drive debts up. Which will be an issue the next two generations will have to pay for, how irresponsible is that?
  6. Britain must help defeat ISIS militarily in Syria and Iraq to tackle the threat of terrorism.
    I believe we should commit to that, we were part of the start, the UK way of life is in danger within the UK. So stomping out those dangers is a clear need. No matter where we need to go to fight it and as it stands at present, with ISIS growing on the Philippines, Opening a large UK base in Darwin, where the ladies are underdressed, the man are overdressed, the sand is warm and the animals are deadly is not out of the question at present.
  7. Older people with more than £100,000 to their name should help pay for social care
    I am not certain here. I would state don’t mind, but we need to see how fair it is. Older people who worked their entire life, saved up, and now get to retire, but because they did well they get additional bills is not really that fair is it? The question is dangerous as the term ‘should help pay’ could be higher premiums, less options or loss of certain pension rights, might be in play and none of these are fair on those people. There are options to barter on certain parts, but in the end, £100,000 is not that much anymore. Look at your annual food bills to realise that impact. I see that there are issue here.
  8. Wealthier pensioners should not automatically receive the winter fuel allowance.
    Impacts on the previous question and here I agree. I see the winter fuel allowance for those in the lowest income groups, there is no validity on them having to live in the cold, decimating their health. This is where I saw the ‘option to barter’ in the previous question. In this case the winter Fuel allowance is for those in the lowest and no income groups, we have a duty to shield them.
  9. Businesses should pay more in taxation to help fund public services.
    A sound ‘yes!’ is clearly reverberating on the grassy hill. The bulk of large businesses are ‘blessed’ with too low taxation. Having all corporations see an increase of 1% with a clear maximum to fund infrastructures is not the worst idea. There should be a clear max as it is equally unsound to have places like Apple, Acorn, Amazon et al pay an additional 1% of their total revenue, we would like that, but we also must acknowledge that this is not fair either.
  10. Britain should have up to date nuclear weapons.
    Are you flipping kidding me? They work, they go mushroom-boom, and it will be the end of it all. Having them updated is merely wasting money to me. Replacing them if they are obsolete is another question. I remain committed to lower the nuclear arsenals over all. Wasting money on up to date nuclear weapons gets zero consideration from my side.
  11. Income tax should be increased for everyone to free up money for the NHS.
    Again, I agree, but it is a dangerous question, because people are pretty much taxed to the max. In my view that would be an option, only if the 0% group goes up by £1200-£2000 per annum. I would have done the offset by increasing layer 2 by 2% and layer 3 by 1%, giving us a little more whilst leaving the lowest group with more. Changing that to layer2 a 3% increase and a layer3 a 2% increase is fine with me. That would require that all the added taxation goes straight to the NHS.
  12. Britain should borrow more money to invest in the economy and abandon the aim of cutting the budget deficit.
    This is another Labour question. Absolutely not! Investing in the economy is a farce from certain people with diminished mind capacity. There is evidence all over the place that this does not work and abandoning the deficit cutting is an even louder no. I am all in favour of imposing mandatory jail sentencing for any politician who is not keeping the deficit in check, which pretty much adds to the fuel of dumping Corbyn in jail for the rest of his life if he is elected and starts nationalising anything.
  13. Students should be able to attend university for free.
    Not merely for the superstitious. I don’t mind, yet the reality is that this is no longer a feasible solution. In some nations this still happens (Germany and Sweden), but they have a very different social and income structure. Germany has a massive manufacturing side, the industrial area that is the envy of entire Europe and Sweden has a social structure and super taxation. Also Sweden is a mere 10 million people. When a nation surpasses a certain size, the solution of free education and certain infrastructures are no longer a solution, it will be a millstone hanging around the neck of the treasurer. It is lovely to offer it when it is a clear option, for the UK that is no longer the case and might never be an option again.
  14. Cannabis should be legalised and taxed.
    The one Lib Dem side that I can live with, legalising it, taxing it could be a solution, especially as the war on drugs is a complete waste of resources as there is no solution and that war cannot be won. There is the option that it could lower the amount of people into hard drugs. This is an option, yet the opposition claiming that once into soft drugs, the jump to hard drugs is massively lower and more easily walked into. That view is equally valid as I personally see it. There is not enough data to prove or disprove any of the paths. The willingness to consider it is perhaps not a bad idea. Yet in equal measure, as binge drinking cannot be controlled, offering legal cannabis in the field remains a controversial option. The fact that this would be taxed is good for the coffers, yet in equal measure, making the NHS pay for it might be another side that should be barred. Setting the field of healthcare regarding narcotics to private insured or paid up front is not the worst idea to have.
  15. More police officers should be recruited to make Britain’s streets safer.
    Yes, the final question is a dangerous one. Who pays for it? Labour offering it as a promise whilst the budget cannot pay for it remains an issue. In addition, in light of the size of increase, there is no evidence that this would make the streets safer. The fact to guarantee that change is the amount of police increase that is just slightly short of absolutely bonkers. Nice to have, but not realistic.

So, these are the 15 questions and they are good ones, yet in a few cases, the changes we want or do not want also have a cause and effect beneath the waterline. The Titanic made that mistake once (well actually the person at the wheel), so we need to take mind of what lies beneath and that part is not always clear to the persons basing their decision on merely this quiz. Still it could be path to take and then look deeper at the party that came out on top. Just be aware of the issues we see and the issues that we cannot see. That is not an attack or criticism of whoever made the quiz. It is merely the consequence of a world that is slightly more complex than we think it is.

And as we see the international impact, when we hear Mario Draghi state: “still requires substantial stimulus” (source Hong Kong Standard), when we see how much deeper in debt the UK is set because no one has the ability to muzzle Mario Draghi, when we get additional noises from other sources that change of this policy is needed, we should question the validity of the Eurozone and the ECB. This fuels now the issues in the elections of Italy as the Central Bank of Italy is now stating loudly: “leaving the euro zone would not solve the country’s economic problems“, which is actually quite true, yet the Italian woes are so intense that staying in might not be preferable to Italy. It might be better off trying to float itself back into business. That is my own unrealistic view. Yet in all this, those before have made the entire mess just too large. The dangers I warned France about are now becoming the one issue that three players are dreading. The quote “The right-wing Northern League wants to pull Italy out of the euro zone, and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which some opinion polls say is now the country’s most popular party, wants to hold a referendum on the issue” is giving us two things. The unrealistic growth of Northern League, headed by Matteo Salvini remained unrealistic, yet Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement is another matter, him growing to the extent he did, was not foreseen by me and ignored by too many others. If these two could strike a deal of cooperation, especially if the Italeave referendum result is not one France wanted to face. Because in the previous scenario it left the Euro to Germany and Italy, with the bag in the hands of Germany and France (if Italeave prevails) becomes another matter, it would become an actual fight between those two nations on how to proceed and that would be disastrous for France. The initial downturn of Frexit would be noticeable, yet the downturn when Italy leaves and France gets hit by the swells would show a severity in excess of 250%, it would become a game changer. So as Emmanuel Macron wanted a Eurozone in an age of dangers, whilst Brexit is proceeding, Italy might force the issue under a timeline that neither France nor the UK wanted. That is the consequence of dragging your heels!

Now, as the election must be before 20th May 2018, the later this happens the better for the other players, but their intent of remaining in denial is a bit of an issue for all the players. So those who hid behind ‘What if we play it in such a way so that we don’t have to decide?‘ are now optionally placed in the mortal dangers of getting pointed at as the vile dangerous beasts they forever were. So as the Italian elections are likely to be within the next 5 months, we will see a new scenario unfold. Italy is now becoming much stronger in its ‘reduce deficit’ messages, yet as I see it, that delay is about 5 years too late. In addition, when we realise the intentional misrepresentation of “Visco said Italy must focus its energies on bringing down its huge public debt, the highest in the euro zone after Greece’s at around 132 percent of gross domestic product” is pretty hilarious when you consider that the Greek debt is 336 billion, whilst the Italian one is 2.2 trillion. So the Italian debt is 700% larger than the Greek one. Yet the Italian population is merely 560% larger giving a much larger debt per person. We do recognise that the economy of Italy is vastly better as roughly 99.9945% of the financial world executives wants a Ferrari, a Lamborghini or a Maserati. That is some, most want one of each, and at least these people have actual money to spend. In all this the larger issue is partially avoided if Grillo denies any actions with Salvini. No matter how the Northern League grows, they are nowhere near the size that they need to be to become the major player and lucky for those disliking the far right, Salvini lacks the charisma Farage has, so there is that working against Northern League too. A reality is that as Renzi and Grillo are close to one another, the dangers of a hung government is actually not that far stretched, which gives options to alignment with people like Speranza and Alfano. So as we continue to cater to the ‘next elections’ we need to consider that UK inaction will also act against them down the road (as well as the UK itself). In all this, some players behind the screens have been hoping for that scenario to come, yet I predicted that in the worst case scenario Italy will force the hand of the others, which is now an actual reality. With the public debts to be too large, with the government is massive deficit and with Italy trailing in the economy, being pushed into deeper debt by Mario Draghi is an option most are rejecting. This is now an issue as the talking duo Draghi & Visco would go straight out of the window the moment Grillo wins. That does not mean that the game is over at that point, the official referendum in Italy would still need to be held, but that is at that point only a mere timeline to adhere too. In all this the UK needs to step up its game, because when Italy forces the issue, the UK will lose too much and they would have to give in in several other fields. In this, that would be the good side in all this.

You might wonder how this reflects on the UK election quiz. You see, questions 1, 2, 9, 12 and 13 all influence international links. Q9 could drive some business out of the UK, whilst Q2 and Q13 are an optional source of influx into the UK. A changed European field would also impact all the issues in the UK and as that field changes having clear trade deals would be essential. Yet as my pun intended comment was set at, the Italian car industry will agree to any deal that gives them trade space, so there we see recognition. Also as the job market sees shifts, international workers see changed places of interest. None of this is news, but as we hear the non-relenting cries of Brexit, Bremain and new referendums demanded on setting another chance to Bremain. Yet now there will be a price, these people laughed as a former investment banker became president in France and is now advocating a stronger Eurozone and his ‘proclamation’ of demanding reforms of the European zone has been thrown into a drawer and might never return. Yet Italy is another matter, is it not? The Italians have two parties where one is anti-Europe and the largest one now states that a referendum will happen, that whilst the Italian quality of life has been stagnant for a decade. Overall there is no way to see how that goes, because there is not too much data on the size of these groups. The largest issue is the refugee stream into Italy. That danger is fuelled as we see that Italy is the closest destination for anyone from Tunisia and Libya. With 300,000 refugees in dire desperation, their attempt to get out has only Italy on the menu. In addition the massive shift of African refugees from several places as they all head for Libya, hoping to get to Europe from that beachfront. So as Italy gets a larger and larger stream of refugees, the Italian infrastructure is collapsing more and more (read: under severe stress). Those losing out on essential infrastructure needs will blame whomever they can. The UN has no contingency plan, Italy is buckling under the stress in a few fields and this drives right wing support more and more. If Salvini was a more charismatic person, the drama would be massively larger. So thank the heavens for small favours in all this, one could state. All this also impacts on the UK front, you see, the dangers of deeper debts (like nationalising services) will leave the UK with less and less options. That tends to be the issue with draining towards debts, a lesson Jeremy Corbyn seemingly never learned. The UK should remain business friendly, yet the level of tax avoidance that is currently an option needs to be removed. Corporations need to realise that the party is over; they need to pay their fair share. Nobody denies their valid need for profits, I am merely curious as to what some define as ‘fair’. I remain in opposition of Corbyn who wants to tax them to the age of the Flintstones; I prefer a little more subtle approach where they must pay an honest share. Tax reform is essential here, whilst the people need to realise that Return of Investment is the large equaliser, if the ROI drops too much, they will find other shores and over that thought, the loss of jobs would quickly vastly increase. We might not care too much over financial services, but when it affects manufacturing, the drain will be a lot larger and much wider for longer.

So as we consider the moves that were offered by banks, by mergers and above all the adaptation of Dr Seuss to adapt the readability of what the Bank of England offers, I will take their advice, yet the question becomes, will the voter get this message clearer? Well, the bank with the Cat (Credit Assured Termination) might see it to as a way to flam the flim and get us ‘a story’ in a way, more digestible, yet will it be comprehensible? So as we consider “Romer told staff of the Development Economics Group to write more clearly and succinctly, limiting the use of the word “and.”“, we would want to consider that ‘and’ is the form of inclusion, it seems that it is about clarity of the services and deals offered.

Just like the quiz with 15 questions, it might be fun and it might give us an idea, yet the danger is that anything linked and underlying is now not clearly seen so we tend to trivialise the matters at hand. We forget why it is too dangerous to nationalise services that have been ‘vultured’ in the private sector. We forget that we would love to have all the social perks for every yet that requires the Treasury to have filled coffers, something that stopped to be a reality a decade ago and the politicians of today are vastly in denial of all the wasteful spending, promising all kinds of hires, but they cannot account for the costs of it.

So let’s take a little sidestep using Dr Seuss before the final part is shown. (apologies, WordPress sucks when it comes to table elements).

Jeremy Cobyn Tim Farron Theresa May
I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
Corbyn with SPAM

I do not like him,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
Corbyn with SPAM.

Would you like Corbyn
Here or there?

I would not like Corbyn
Here or there.
I would not like Corbyn
Anywhere.

I do not like
Corbyn with SPAM.

I do not like Corbyn,
Voter I-am

I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
Farron with Jam

I do not like him,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
Farron with Jam.

Would you like Farron
Here or there?

I would not like Farron
Here or there.
I would not like Farron
Anywhere.

I do not like
Farron with Jam.

I do not like Farron,
Voter I-am

 

I am Voter
Voter I amThat Voter-I-am
That Voter-I-am!
I do not like
That Voter-I-am

Do you like
May with Lamb

I do not like her,
Voter-I-am.
I do not like
May with Lamb.

Would you like May
Here or there?

I would not like May
Here or there.
I would not like May
Anywhere.

I do not like
May with Lamb.

I do not like May,
Voter I-am

 

This now gets us to the final part in all this. The ISIS escalations as Russia launches an attack, as we see the issues in the Philippines, we read “Teenage ISIS fighters are said to be shooting people dead for failing to quote the Koran“. In addition we see one source give us “Islamic State has issued a chilling call to its followers to use online classified websites such as Gumtree and E-bay to lure unsuspecting people to their deaths” In all this I remember the movie Eye in the Sky, a gem with no one less than Colin Firth as one of three producers, and a movie that is another Alan Rickman gem, as well as stellar performances from all the other cast involved. You might think, that because it involves Kenya and Somalia, you feel removed, but the movie achieves quite the opposite. In addition, it shows the players in a really bad light. Some hiding behind the collateral damages option. Yet the direct impact is seen early, the dangers that two suicide vests give, the three top players in terrorism and the delays we see. Some would think of Manchester, yet when we see these vests with the amount of C-4, we see hesitation of a pilot for one small girl, yet the two suicide bombers would be able to kill hundreds. In addition we see a political delay. The one issue we are confronted with today in real life is shown with: “James, the legal argument is that we could wait but that we need not wait. The military argument is that we should not wait”.

So even as we see the unfolding of ‘need not wait‘ and ‘should not wait‘ hundreds of lives are basically endangered. Now, this is a movie setting, yet the reality of ISIS, now a clear issue in Philippines, we see the effect of pushing issues forward. The acts on Brexit, on debts and on how the effect becomes when inaction forces us down a very different path. France had every right to make its choices, yet when Italy makes another path by actively choosing to leave, France will not be allowed to cry, they only have themselves to blame, that same issue plays in the UK, as some are trying to undo, trying to push forward and to remain in denial, we see that the push from other players will remove options the UK has down the road, yet the politicians decided to play their version of Eye in the Sky by claiming ‘we need not decide’ whilst the other player will decide leaving no options to choose from. As ISIS is changing the game on several fronts, some out of desperation, the end result is the same; we are all left with fewer options. Soon we could face ourselves in a mandatory ‘boots on the ground’ in several ‘theatres of action’. Nobody wanted any of them to actually happen, but that would have required actions to have been taken long ago. Now that we see reports that ISIS attacked a resort in Manila, the game changes further, because with every non Philippine death, those governments will speak out, yet they are unlikely to act. There is the game changer, the non-acting. It will give rise to more extreme parties growing faster. So as some with political and social studies go into denial, consider the actions in Italy when several Italians get killed. How will the Salvini shift go at that moment? There is no way to predict the shift. As we see many try to appease people with talks and presentations, finding new ways to spread a message, the way that they want to spread the instilling of comprehension. A bank with Dr Seuss, others with WannaCry and violence, the UK is now facing an election where it is not merely about a message, but who will act against those willing to blow up the Manchester Arena with as many casualties as possible? In this Eye in the Sky showed a groups of decent people, yet as some found ways to not act, we see that the need to act was clear, it is that delay that aggravates more and more voters. The USA had ‘no boots on the ground’ which was made worse with the Benghazi incident. As a result the USA now has President Trump, which according some is now a place of ‘action without wisdom’. In the Philippines we now see actions without remorse or restraint. If this stops junkies and addicts, what do you think will happen in Italy later this year? Social values are only valued in places with actual wealth. That is a lesson many learned for decades as Europe waltzed into WW1 and WW2, lessons forgotten as free reign to greed was given, now we see similar issues unfold as we do not take notice of underlying issues. There are already increased actions by the Indonesian navy to stop ISIS from crossing their borders. The question is will it work and how will we all react the moment ISIS has any success in Jakarta. So as we saw “Terror attacks in the UK due to military intervention overseas, says Jeremy Corbyn“, how can his willingness to not act and not act overseas be seen as anything but disastrously dangerous?

When we see all these elements, not all linked, yet all still part of the greater whole, are we all (including me) to some degree in denial on what needs to be done? We can all agree that no body actually wants to act, but when we are forced between the options ‘act now’ or ‘react too late’. Who wants to be in the ‘too late’ team and what damage is brought whilst we all only have ourselves to blame for that?

 

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At these shores

We have been ignorant, we have been in denial, and now we get to pay for it. it comes in a currency that we have not considered ever before. ISIS has arrived at the shores of Australia and we are seeing it just across the waters of the Philippines. The Guardian gives us ‘How and why Islamic State-linked rebels took over part of a Philippine city‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/29/explainer-how-and-why-islamic-state-took-over-part-of-a-philippine-city), there is no reply from me on how right or how wrong, I myself have been ignorant of the dangers in regards to the Philippines and perhaps our ignorance whether it will affect Indonesia in a similar manner. I can sum up the elements, but you are better off to go to the Guardian link I provided and go over the facts there yourself. The article is an excellent source of information, yet there are other elements that require attention. One part is seen in “his year-long presidency characterised by bloodshed, with a “war on drugs” that has left thousands of alleged drug addicts and suspected dealers dead. He has been condemned internationally for supporting vigilantism“, we see ‘condemned‘ whilst those other governments have not ever found any form of solution to settle the war on drugs. We can debate the ‘alleged drug addicts‘ to some degree as there is an alleged elements, yet he decided on a course no government has ever been willing to do, to make dealing and addiction both a crime, one that can be solved through execution. Is there a truth that when someone sees all those dead people taking drugs might be less interesting? We have to consider the issues as the Philippines has had its economic turmoil and bad times does impact anyone’s quality of life and we do know that drugs gives any person an escape from that. In addition, he has according to the Guardian made an appeal to other organisations to take up arms against Maute, it is the mention by Sidney Jones, the Jakarta-based director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict that gives us the impeding optional dangers to Indonesia as well. The quote: “In an October report, Jones predicted the current tumult. Facing losses in Syria and Iraq, Isis have increasingly looked to the Philippines to establish a province or “wilayat” in the region, the report said“, the question becomes: ‘Just the Philippines?

I have no direct answer, because both countries have collections of islands where oversight would be hard to say the least. Both places have area and villages in turmoil and in disarray. When we consider “They have been convinced by Isis that the answer to Mindanao’s problems is Islamic law“, yet this is just Maute. Is there any intelligence on how the other groups react to that? There are additional concerns as Maoist-led rebel talks in the Netherlands have halted. The US has blundered here too (my personal view) as US restrictions on arms supply have forced the Philippines to seek these products from China and Russia (Source: Reuters UK). That also gives Russia additional options to offer the Philippines more lucrative commercial solutions on a long term basis. It seems hilarious that it is ISIS that will hunker down with some success on the list of allies that the US has. In all this, it seems that the Maoist-led rebels are getting new options and perhaps an optional Philippine future which is a bit of a new-age surprise in a time when we considered the rise communism and Marxism a thing of the past. The question remains, once the Maute have been dealt with, what happens after that. There is clear movement as the US bungled a few diplomatic steps in light of the ISIS rise in the Philippines. Yet we must understand that the diplomatic picture here is a lot more complex than the Maute incident is currently giving visibility to. The Diplomat (at http://thediplomat.com/2017/05/why-is-the-philippines-turning-away-foreign-aid/) gave us “The Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte recently rejected a 250 million euro ($280 million) foreign aid package from the European Union (EU) on the grounds that the EU is trying to enforce human rights regulations in exchange for its aid“, which is fair enough from both sides. Yet with ISIS trying to get ground here, why has there not been a stronger response from London/Canberra? With Australia now on the doorstep of ISIS, another solution would have been required. It makes sense that there are questions from both sides, and to give a view to the severity of either side whilst knowing all the elements would just be folly from my side. Yet there is now a start of the acceptance of ISIS by Maute, which changes the game to some effect. For one, US drones are off the table, as are several other options. As long as Maute is one this path, several players could end up with their options not on the table. As some try to impose what they call ‘minimum guidelines‘, we now call a hindrance to deal with ISIS, which means that the war on terror as some tend to call it will be minimised in efficiency.

Yet there is another side that Manilla needs to realise and it is stated by Chithra Purushothaman: “To think that foreign aid from China would be entirely altruistic with no strings attached would not be wise. While human rights regulations might not come attached to Chinese aid, there is the chance of slipping into a debt trap that Manila would find hard to escape.” We should argue in equal matter that Russia would have a similar approach and for them a foothold on the Philippines could be the new nightmare scenario for the US Navy.

So how will this move forward? The open direct and non-compromising statements from President Rodrigo Duterte might sound awesome to some, yet after the Maute incident, the Philippines would need to get back to any sort of business plan, meaning that the need for conceding in some way on pressures from the person who gave them the goods and the money would form a second wave of changes. In which direction could not be stated, but geographically speaking, the Philippines are too interesting a place to just ignore for both Russia and China.

So as we see that ISIS is now an issue on the doorstep of Australia, we need to wonder how Canberra will react to the latest events and if they see it as a threat at all. With a Filipino population in Australia now approaching 200,000, both ASIS and ASIO would have their hands full on getting a hold of data that could enable them to figure out how large the risks would be for Australia. They might have had a good handle on the data in the past, yet the change in the Philippines to opt for vigilantism also includes an additional risk to ID Fraud and officially handed out incorrect passports, which does not help anyone, not even the Manilla government. Now, this last part is speculation from my side, yet when we see the messages as to the promises made by the president, if it is in the interest of President Rodrigo Duterte to hand out new identities to those who came to his ‘aid’, do you think that getting a new passport would be the hardest thing to get? The problem becomes what some extremists would do when they do get that new identity. That is the worry for those not in the Philippines. In the end, as the news is still escalating over the last week. We will not know what will happen next. Even when we realise that the ISIS claim for the suicide bomb in Indonesia is a real issue, the parts that remain an unknown for now is how large ISIS has grown in Jakarta and where they are growing towards. We get “President Joko Widodo said Indonesia needed to accelerate plans to strengthen anti-terrorism laws to prevent new attacks” from Asian Age, yet the reality is that the Indonesian president required more than a mere anti-terrorism law. They need an actual battle plan. If Mauta in Marawi is not actively stopped, ISIS would have a decent free go to anyone in the Sulawesi sea, which also implies that Brunei in play to some degree. We might be fooled by the Speech of President Trump to both Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and other distinguished guests, the ISIS issue is in South-East Asia and there is little evidence that it will let up soon. As President Trump gives a very different message to the Muslim nations (compared to former President Obama), there are indications that his version is more readily accepted. There is more as we see CNN, where we see an attack by Phelim Kline of Human Rights watch, which is her version and I am not stating that it is an incorrect one, yet when we read “Any assertion by any world leader, including US President Donald Trump, that Duterte is doing ‘an unbelievable job’ by cheerleading a murderous campaign that has killed more than 7,000 Filipinos is not only a gross insult to those victims and their family members, but sends a signal to Duterte and his willing executioners that their lawless killing spree can continue with a vengeance without fear of international criticism and repercussions“, I am not stating her version to be incorrect or inaccurate. Yet in this age, when we see that nobody can hold a budget, that services are denied more and more, and the people on a global scale have to accept that drug users are poor people who alas have a habit and they then take away services for thousands of people. The war on drugs has been a humongous failure on a global scale that is the denial of many people and even more politicians. Politicians who hide behind ‘a level of acceptance and tolerance‘, which is their right, yet some people have decided that enough is enough and started another path. The path that these politicians considered to be a non-option is being walked by one nation at present. Their fear is not how far will it go, their actual fear is what happens when it makes an actual difference. It takes one success for adaption to propagate a plan that is not humane.

As CNN makes a quick reference to a photo event (at http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2017/03/world/city-of-the-dead/), yet here we see part that the CNN people offered as evidence, yet did not talk about loudly in that opposition to the Philippine president: “Methamphetamine, or “shabu” as it’s known locally, is used by 860,000 — 49% — of the country’s 1.8 million drug users, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime“, 2% of the entire Philippine population is addicted to drugs! The CDC sets the Percentage of persons 12 years of age and over with any illicit drug use at 10.2%, which was a 2014 number, but it gives a rather large realisation, the US war on drugs has been lost on pretty much every field, the politicians are in denial because admittance is not just the only issue, the people would demand action and the US government has no options or funds for that. In addition, the stat is not entirely fair as the CDC goes for ‘illicit drug use‘ which is a much larger concept than the use of narcotics. So there is an unbalanced comparison. Yet when a nation has 2% of its population set to addicts, we need to accept that there is a much larger problem, it does not make the actions of President Rodrigo Duterte the right one, but I wonder if this at present is the only one remaining. When we consider the Netherlands with its population and its liberal approach of drugs, the numbers indicate that its narcotics addition is set to a mere 0.5%, I have no idea how reliable it is, yet the numbers come from the Dutch NRC, which is actually one of the much better national newspapers the Dutch have. So there the addiction numbers are a mere 25% of what the Philippines currently faces.

This all has an impact, because that would fuel the extremists agenda’s by a lot, in addition as we see that Islam prohibits all drugs that are not medically prescribed gives the drugs addicts even less options, so there is a growing concern to face.

This does not give acceptance of any party, and it will not give ISIS any additional options, the fact that Maute is ‘connected’ to them should fuel the fear of the other parties that are talking to ISIS at present. This gives light to the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte, we just do not know at present how this will play out. What is a given is that ISIS is stretching to the places a lot closer to home than we considered before, the question for us becomes: What are we willing to do to stop ISIS from actually landing here?

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United Stupid

Update: This story is two days old. I was unable to post it yesterday, so it reads a little out of time.

We have all been there, we were in a position to state ‘I know something’, and there it was, the person speaking would suddenly get additional attention, because that person ‘was in the know’. This happens ever so often and for the most it tends to be just embarrassing for those exposed. We all tend to react to it differently. Yet what happens when that idiot has a high security clearance and works in the White House? Give me one situation when exposing the options of an allied intelligence operation benefits in any way when you spill the bacon whilst you don’t have actual skin in the game? The question at that point becomes, why was that person so utterly stupid? Whatever British Intelligence had in mind, their options went to zero when some retarded White House official decided to give out the name. There is of course a local upbeat. The US has been trying to bend over backwards to get their fingers on Julian Assange. It is not unlikely that the ‘cooperation’ in that regard could stop. Let’s face it, the US screws over the UK, yet still insists on having a person extradited who on the literal interpretation had not committed a crime. I still don’t like the dude, and what he did was stupid and irresponsible beyond belief, but when we look at the letter of the law, he broke none. So as one stupid act cancels another, the White House basically cut its own fingers. There is of course the outspoken and very publicised former US Navy Admiral Robert Gilbeau, who has been what some call: ‘a naughty boy’, my issue is with the dozen or so pending cases. Yes, the US would not like the visibility of certain construction companies to be out in the open because they are at a critical stage to close certain large deals that would surpass the 2011 bipartisan budget agreement by a lot. Yet here I state that the people have a right to know with what kind of firm they are (or rather would be) getting in bed with (that is apart from the prostitutes they might provide). You see, it is more than merely the overcharging by Glenn Defence Marine Asia. It is also the third parties that they introduce and we are entitled to know, are we not? So as the US is now going all out on what they have, we should ask the right people at GCHQ and DGSE on what they have in certain respect. I see it not as a tit for tat, but as a stern warning to those ‘blabbing’ and releasing photos allegedly from the alleged White House source, that there are consequences to this level of bungling.

You see, as we are now getting drowned on the issues of Salman Abedi, the fence is pretty much gone. Those who had links have either destroyed any evidence that could have been optionally found, burner phones all gone and even as some evidence remains it will be circumstantial at best. The other option is that those linked have faded into the background, not to be found. So as people start reading ‘What we know about him’, the reader better realises is that this is what he wanted people to see (for the most), some limelight seekers will come into the forefront to get their 15 minutes with a nice cash bonus and whilst most people will not care on what is and what is fake, the people who are trying to keep the others safe are now doing it will their hands tied, their options melted away, because someone blabbed. We can also ponder whether this was done so that the people would not look too closely to the US Budget as it was released. In that piece of work, we see that being poor in America will leave them with even less. The military get more and far beyond what the 2011 bipartisan budget agreement allowed for, so there is that to look ‘forward’ to, so whatever deficit reduction was in mind, or on the mindful pretty much goes out the window, in that side, with the ‘benefits for large businesses’, there is every chance that the USA would add 2-3 trillion to the debt within 15 months. Which is now also a driver for Europe as we see Macron and Merkel in ‘renewed’ Europe and Euro efforts (leave that to the president investment banker in the house). So are these elements linked? No, they are not (as far as I can tell)! The issue is on how certain things were released and the fact that it was an ‘unnamed source in the White House’ gives light to other issues, which we see in the guardian (athttps://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/23/trump-administration-manchester-bomber-name-leak). The quote: “Perry Cammack, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, added: “I don’t think in and of itself this episode will do lasting harm; I sense this was a miscommunication. But the context is that we’re in the midst of a political crisis in Washington of the first order. The institutions are leaking at an unprecedented rate. It feels like things are under stress here.”“. You see, I agree for the most, yet there is one side I do not agree with is ‘things are under stress here‘, I think that the current administration has ‘accepted’ a collection of amateurs to get into the professional mix, which is not some version of ‘miscommunication’, but rather a collection of ‘tools‘ at best and at worst a group of individuals the house or representatives would not consider hiring under the most liberal of conditions.

As I see it there are two dangers. The first is that fictive evidence will come to the surface, carefully inclined voices on what they thought they heard, especially in light of the fact that ISIS claimed the attack, which is a possibility and not a given. It gives them the option to make a cloud of additional claims driving security levels to even higher setting. The second side is that as the actual intelligence gets muddier, the approach to quality intelligence becomes harder and it will be more of a challenge to keep places secure and to get a handle on who is an actual threat, who is the wannabe and who is utterly innocent. This is a complication in any Lone Wolf issue, yet as there is a path of intelligence flow, there is a decent chance on separating the wannabe’s from the innocents. That path becomes less clear, so as the people who need to get this done are focussing on the wrong groups, the actual threats have a less threatened path for a longer time. Just because someone wanted ‘friends in the media’ to know that they were ‘in the know’. It is that utterly United Stupid!

Yet in all this there is a second level of issues. This level would have happened no matter what. It now influences other timings, but it would have happened. We see this in another Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/23/manchester-attack-police-investigate-katie-hopkins-final-solution-tweet). People like Katie Hopkins, were never imbued with any quality level of intelligence, so when she called for a ‘final solution‘ she got reported to the police. Now, in her favour…. actually, I’ve got nothing, she is that dumb! You see, we can say for certain the the attack on Martin Place (Australia) a few years ago was done by a person with mental health issues. The attack in Paris on the cartoonist was clearly a terrorist. Yet what was Salman Abedi?

The attack should be seen as a terrorist attack, yet does that make this an attack by a terrorist? I am not stating that it is not, but consider, what happens if the attacker has clear mental health issues? It does not make the transgressor innocent, it merely makes it more important to find the people who got him to do this, they are without any doubt terrorists. You see, he was accepted into University, which gives us that the man was intelligent. Yet was he intelligent enough to make a suicide bomb? The Manchester Arena might not have bomb sniffers, but does it have metal detectors? Was there security at the entrance? It does not make the security guilty, it merely gives voice that the making of the bomb and the evasion of detection gives rise to intent. So, what if he did not make the bomb, what if it was handed to him? Again, it does not make Salman Abedi innocent, it merely gives voice that there is a support system in place making these events happen. There is a collection of intelligence, now possibly lost to British Intelligence as someone in the White House allowed this news to get out prematurely, and that makes it a much larger failure than some of the media is making it out to be.

As the information gets more and more blurred, the quality of knowledge diminishes. At present we cannot tell, because not enough is known for now, and later on, the media will obscure the clarity of vision, so that part is still there to deal with. A suicide bomber is not by definition a clear terrorist (although the act is). We know that Al-Qaida and ISIS will use whatever tool they can find and someone that can be easily impressed is a tool. The given fact that he was a University drop out, could be that he was under stress and could not hack it on that level. Such a person, depending on when he dropped out will have PTSD and depression to deal with. If you drop out on something like that, you would be depressed too, we all would. So as that news goes around, it just takes one person even from within the mosque to send the message pointing at him, for a wave of ‘reassurances that the world does not accept you‘ to come his way. Many of us all contributed to that with accepting anti-Muslim waves. Whether intentional or not, that was the outcome. So as the Intelligence Branch will have more issues trying to decipher who got to Salman Abedi, Salman Abedi ended up getting to 22 people and wounding 59 others. A media mess that would have been here no matter what. If there is one upside to it all then that would be “A Sun journalist was allegedly attacked while knocking on doors in Manchester to speak to families of those affected by the bombing“, as we have seen on the useless effect that IPSO has on the decency of the press, it is heart warming to learn that slapping such a person silly might still work. It is not a ‘final solution’ to the intrusive press, but it might be a start for them to stop and ponder their actions, before doing something this thoughtless.

So as the news cycles continue, we see another event happening. We see that there is more sadness as we wave goodbye to the suavest Bond of all. Sir Roger Moore passed away. He was my First Bond (Live and Let Die, 1973). Later I would see him in the Persuaders on a rerun. We would all admire his presence in several other movies too. I watch him as a kid in Ivanhoe, but not when it originally aired. You see, this impacts me a lot more than the events in Manchester. Not because of the severity, but because of the personal connection to the movies and TV series I watched. It will not mean anything to those directly affected by the events in Manchester, they will be in deep grief and so they should. For me there is a second realisation, it is the fact that Roger Moore had given joy to millions on the big screen, yet his visibility in the UK press seems to be a mere drop compared to all the speculations they are giving on Salman Abedi, is that not sad too? I get it, what is news? Yet, as I see certain news ‘unfold’ I remember my day at Dulles Airport 18th July 1999, Fox and others were all about the plane with Kennedy junior that crashed, which would be a sad day for many Americans. My issue is that for two hours in the department lounge I got to see a camera pointed at a sailor on a boat as the reporters were hoping to catch a first glimpse live on TV. I heard rambling and speculations, nothing more. It was like the other news that the world had, was paused. ISIS knows this and pushing this form of media is actually enabling ISIS. Would it not be a lot better to show the world what amazing feats Sir Roger Moore had done? How a collection of novels by Leslie Charteris published between 1928 and 1963 became the inspiration of a TV series done more than once, but largely identified with Sir Roger Moore as Simon Templar. He played James bond for the longest times playing the role many times. That is news that should matter, and to a lot it should matter more than the events at the Manchester Arena, that is unless you know someone there. We all need to realise that it is important to take the wind out of the ISIS sails as much as we can, it will not be possible to get that completely under control, because the events have taken place, but we could try to minimize the events by not being like US network news stations and point the camera at a sailor on the back of a boat, hoping to get the shot the instance it happens. that is equally United Stupid (as I personally see it) and that is seems to be a much larger global problem. For those not directly involved hearing it a little later is not the end of the world and so far all the latest revelations regarding Salman Abedi seems to be based on debatable sources, giving less value to what we read. A small fact that could just be my faulty view on the things that are currently being reported on.

Update: After this was written, there was additional news that the investigating parties were looking into an entire terrorist ‘network’. That news came more than a day after I had finished this.

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