Tag Archives: President Vladimir Putin

Guns on a plane

The Washington post is giving us another look at a situation we saw but most of us (including me) in the light it deserves. I mentioned it a week ago to some degree, but in this (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/02/27/hypocrisy-takes-flight-in-georgia/), we see that Karen Tumulty takes an interesting look at hypocrisy. She starts pretty hardcore direct with “Republicans have been trying for years to convince us that corporations have First Amendment rights — at least, that is, when it works in their favor“, although in this light the wooden spoon should hit the democrats with equal vigour. So when we see “Protecting free speech was the principle behind the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United v. FEC case, which lifted the ban on corporate spending in elections and opened the spigot for unlimited outside spending” we see the first part, and with “Religious freedom is the rallying cry in a raft of efforts to give businesses the ability to deny birth control to their employees or to refuse service to customers based on their sexual orientation” part two. Yet we see the power that Karen has a much stronger point with “I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back”, in that instance I agree with the sentiment to the smallest degree and less with the action that Casey Cagle, ‘replacement’ (read: secondary) Governor of Georgia is making. You see, I saw the Delta move not in regards to enticing NRA members, as guns are not allowed on a plane, but the fact that they decided to cater to 5 million members, basically the discount was wooing almost 2% of the American to choose Delta instead of the other company that owns planes. It was just a good business strategy. In light in all this, when we use the Delta information with “Adjusted pre-tax income for the September 2017 quarter was $1.7 billion, a $182 million decrease from the September 2016 quarter”, so why they are given a $50 million jet fuel sales tax exemption t begin with is beyond me, it is not like the US government with 20 trillion in debt should be able to give tax exemptions to begin with. It does remain a matter that America is a populist culture that is emotionally blaming the largest target that makes them short sighted, a failing skill in marksmanship and overall they are not too clued in, which still remains their right to have.

But it is not about them, it is about the way that corporations are running for their life because the NRA member is the preferred member to discriminate at present, which is hypocrisy gone nuts I say. There is however another side that Delta was happy to ignore. You see, when we see: “In other words, it was a business decision, made not to promote a political agenda, but to distance the airline from controversy by treating NRA members just like its other customers” is one take, but consider that up to 5 million will now NOT be flying Delta, whilst the others are not Switching to Delta (in light to a previous annual downturn of profits) gives rise to the likelihood that Delta will have to report their numbers to be down for at least another year. In light to the reference to Delta withdrawing support from the New York City’s Public Theater shows them to be not strong of character, merely weak in the back, merely paperbacks, not a hardcover among them. So when the $50 million jet fuel sales tax exemption does not pass and they lose on customers as well on reduced cost of ‘existing’, how will Delta then look at its poor record of character?

Even as we are all likely to agree on: “There is a reasonable argument to be had over whether that kind of tax break is smart economic development on the state’s part, or corporate welfare. But Cagle’s threat makes it clear that what’s really going on here is political retribution, not economic policy” we need to acknowledge that Delta basically got caught between populist shortsightedness and 17 cadavers. Yes, I am stating it that blunt, in light of the UN ceasefire failing in Syria and the 250 fatalities in Syria in the last 2 days alone. How much outrage against the Syrian government and the Russian mercenaries was shown? Oh, no! Perhaps it does not count if it is done with plane bombs and artillery shelling?

It is cruel to set the Florida victims in such light and I do apologise for that, but it is important to see that we seem to have multiple grades of values in place and that is not fair (read: acceptable) either, especially as these NRA members, those 5 million get the hatred and bullying in light of acts they never did, contributed to or set any level of approval towards. This entire matter is exploding (with exception of the family members of these victims) by people who hate people that like guns. It feels too much like the segregation and isolation of the Jews in the Germany in the 30’s as well as the Netherlands (and several other nations) during WW2 (an exaggeration, I admit). Yet in all this, I feel that the NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch is equally off her game (at http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/florida-school-shooting-nras-response-to-parkland-attack/news-story/9f565d930e6fe7e9a6d1fd768190f696). With ““I don’t believe this insane monster should ever have been able to obtain a firearm,” Ms Loesch responded. “This individual was nuts,” she said. “None of us support people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others, getting their hands on a firearm.””, she is right of course, but the entire mess of calling him nuts sets the mental health issue in play and even if we agree to some extent with Joe Rogan, the comedian and podcaster of ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ as he stated in one of his podcasts on “how the “gun problem” is actually a mental health problem“, he brings a decent case, but there is an issue on several matters. You see if a person is sane enough not to trigger flags when trying to buy a gun there is a more complicated matter in play, optionally not all set towards mental health, in addition, none of the parties involved have touched on the ATF failings, which I found and continued on after the Deutsche Welle brought it to my attention. That part alone is a much bigger failing on ALL the parties involved. I raised that issue 6 days ago (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/02/22/united-they-grow/), with the reference to the Deutsche Welle article. At this I understand that the NRA needs a working relationship with the ATF, but that should include showing them the failure (read: fault) of certain matters, even if that causes ‘discomfort’ of the consumers towards the issues of second hand firearms sales. Dana could have conceded there to some degree showing how certain matters could have been safer, no matter if that impacted the Florida shooting or not. Any improvement is one that both sides need to grasp.

So even if we give proper acknowledgement to “To her credit, Ms Loesch did have the guts to show up to CNN’s forum, knowing she would face a hostile crowd. And the survivors of the Florida shooting grilled her“, I equally see that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel saw things wrong. He has a point only to some degree, yet with ““I understand you’re standing up for the NRA and I understand that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “But you just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You’re not standing up for them until you say: ‘I want less weapons.’”” he shows a flaw. That is not or has ever been the function of the NRA and it is not about wanting fewer weapons, it is about stopping a person who had been flagged more than once and nothing ended up getting done, as well as keeping the American environment safer due to proper handling of firearms, as well as emphasising on the need for proper gun care and gun safety. The previous articles show that. He is correct with “stricter gun control needed to be introduced“, yet equally the ATF issue was not raised, even as the Deutsche Welle article had already hit the limelight by the time the forum happened. So why was this element not discussed there? In that regard I am happy to exclude the family and friends of the victims on that topic, but they should have been informed by the US media at large and that was not the case either.

If there is one element that Dana Loesch requires a discussion on it is given with “I had to have a security detail to get out. I wouldn’t be able to exit that if I didn’t have a private security detail. There were people rushing the stage and screaming ‘burn her’. And I came there to talk solutions, and I still am going to continue that conversation on solutions, as the NRA has been doing since before I was alive“, in that she should open the discussion on the ATF elements, as well as seeing their budget increased by close to 100%, so that the ATF can look at the current situation and get a report in place that might actually result in better gun control, because in that light not only does it serve the NRA, there is every confidence that in the end it will also serve the 5 million members that the NRA has, even if it comes with 1-2 inconveniences, in that light I can state that inconveniences have until now never resulted in fatalities, unless you are in Syria, where we see “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a daily five-hour humanitarian pause in hostilities in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, as bombardment has continued despite a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire“, apparently a 30 day ceasefire was too much of an inconvenience. Yet there is another side not mentioned. This was only brought to light just now by Fox News. We see (at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/27/nra-just-got-new-member-here-s-why-this-mom-two-joined-group.html) on how “a mom of kids in elementary school, I became a proud member of the NRA for the first time last week. I did so because the absence of common sense that I’ve witnessed recently is alarming to me as a parent“, this is to some degree to be expected, yet in light of the entire populist emotional mess that the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is now bringing. You see the entire emotional mess that is pushed by too many ‘gun hating sides‘, not the friends and family of those victims mind you, which I see as an excluded group as they get a pass to be as emotional as they want to be, the others should have taken some level (read: any level) of a common sense road. The entire matter worsens when we realise that in the last event there is plenty of blame to go around. Even as the FBI admits to its failure, it in equal measure should have mentioned the many times it got things right, which gives us: ‘the terrorist axiom’. Any terrorist only needs to get it right once for any valid system or solution to be under attack and soon thereafter could become less effective. That danger is very much in play here and still the ATF remained off the sniper scopes of the media at large, especially in the USA, which is a rising oddness in all this.

To me the highest issue are the politicians and populists who are stealing the limelight in the guise of those poor 17 fatalities, whilst with a brazen state of illusion going after the NRA. It is in comparison almost like me calling Bill Gates a weepy geriatric softy because Apple IOS exists, and it only exists because he could not get the Windows editions, and safe affordable windows phones hack free and fast in time for Apple to be irrelevant. it is a weird and utterly obsolete way of thinking, but that is what we face and in that regard, the Fox News article which gives us “When I joined the NRA last week it was because I was tired of being preached at by people who are unwilling to look at the problem and only want to treat the symptom. It’s easy to blame the NRA, and it’s easy to blame guns. It’s the new trendy target, but it’s not the solution” and that is the truth of the matter which all the shouting parties are ignoring as well. So, as a pro gun person, am I happy with what the woman did? I cannot tell, the article does not tell me that she is a responsible gun owner, that she is clearly trained in properly using a firearm (which can be done in one weekend), but also whether she has all the right settings and safeties in place, so that when she is working, her early teens, when they are that, and find the gun and start playing with it because it looks cool and that is how ‘cops’ and ‘detectives’ hold their guns and shoot when they go after their ‘criminals’ in their playful fantasy. The Fox article is short of certain questions that should have been asked, or have been intentionally omitted from the article, I cannot tell either way, but that is also an issue here. And even when we see the trivialisation of “Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer to kill 168 people in an Oklahoma federal building in 1995“, whilst we see no mention of the technological solution to reducing the usefulness of Semtex to terrorists as well as the control and monitoring of the sale and distribution of Semtex. So in that changes has been made to some degree, we cannot tell how well it works but changes were made, so Fox News misses the target at least twice, making the article nothing but a shot in the dark at best, a worrying one, because mothers tend to get frantically neurotic when it is about keeping their children safe and as such thousands of new NRA members could come to the NRA fold, but as a gun lover, do question if they are doing it in the proper path, because the right way does not hold any water to a mother in fear of her child and too many are seeing that no guns is not a realistic option and mothers tend to look for and demand Direct Action in that regard.

And all this merely fades into nothingness when we realise “The U.N. humanitarian chief warned Tuesday that conditions in Yemen are “catastrophic” after three years of war, with a record 22.2 million people needing aid and protection“, (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/un-humanitarian-chief-calls-yemen-conditions-catastrophic/2018/02/27/651660e8-1be0-11e8-98f5-ceecfa8741b6_story.html), so when we see “Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock warned the Security Council that conflict in Yemen has escalated since November, leaving more people hungry. “Famine remains a real threat,” he warned“, a nation where close to 85% of its population is now stricken with despair, famine, disease and death. As the UN reports to the people that close to nothing has been achieved, 85% of a nation approaching death. So as we relate that to the emotional and populist activities that followed a tragedy of 17 victims in regard to their limelight. We can make that into a movie and call it ‘Guns on a plane‘, in relation to its Herpetological cousin that cost $33 million to make and made $66 million in revenue, so there would be that consideration to keep.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

Losing values towards insanity

Even as we see more and more anti NRA actions and other actions that are indeed positive geared towards making schools ‘safer’, there are now also people who are trying to cash in quick, school safety is an exploding business and some should be ashamed of that. Yet it is not about that, it is not about the schools. It is about the children. So tell me, how come that these 17 American children, are seen as more important as the 101,500 civilians killed in Syria. The total amount of civilians killed is close to 1/3rd of all casualties. In one week, we see 13 children and 10 women all killed. Not much noise there, is it? So when we see that the UN Security Council failed to agree after a second day of intensive talks on a proposed 30-day ceasefire across Syria to allow for emergency humanitarian deliveries and medical evacuations. How much as a failure should we regard ourselves? How we pat our backs by stopping Hertz discount to NRA members, not the people at the NRA, merely the members of the NRA. The utter ridicule that people are setting themselves up to be for hating people who like guns, for going after targets for the mere pleasure of ones ego, that whilst the UN is failing hundreds of thousands of people. So as we see “The talks at the UN headquarters in New York followed an appeal by French and German leaders to Vladimir Putin, asking for Russia to stop blocking the measure’s passage, pointing to the dire situation of the trapped civilian population in the rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus” (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/23/macron-merkel-urge-putin-back-ceasefire-syria-eastern-ghouta), the infuriating part is that I gave rise to this on October 17th 2016, so 16 months later after I wrote: “I reckon all the players know that, yet, having long conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose only concern is to stall so that the population can be made extinct before the resolution passes, reads a lot more like the Friends edition of Pinocchio, than the original by Carlo Collodi” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/10/17/a-new-disney/), so here I present the first piece of evidence that the United Nations is no longer a functional apparatus. Because the evidence as given by the UN themselves (at http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-i/index.html), in its first article stating the purposes of the United Nations. Here we see in the first paragraph: “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace“, I think that we can state for the record that the United Nations has failed the Syrian people in the most amazing way. that failure and the repeated stalling by one of its members (in both cases Russia) most people seem to merely turn a blind eye, look at the populist activities that will lead nowhere, merely harass and abuse people. Go after 5 million members who never fired their guns in any school or at any child. Think yourself clever and pat yourself on the backs because your non-actions will get another 50 children killed before the end of the month.

So as Al-Jazeera gave us ‘the meeting, however, has already been delayed multiple times as negotiations continue over the wording of the draft resolution‘ , we see that whilst people are trying to be clever about events more people will get killed. So yesterday (according to the AP) “Syrian government warplanes carried out a sixth day of airstrikes Friday in the rebel-held suburbs east of Damascus, killing 32 people, activists said, as the death toll from a week of bombardment soared over 400“, how many will it be today? The fact that according to several sources (Washington Post amongst them) we get: “the situation was complicated further by reports that Russian mercenaries had taken part in the attack and were among the dead“. You see, no one might cry about these mercenaries, but as they are basically not part of any army, they will kill first and consider asking questions later. More important, the mercenary firm Wagner, allegedly owned by Yevgeniy Prigozhin is reaching out in other directions too. He is linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Petersburg. He has been indicted (at https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download) for his part towards violating criminal laws with the intent to interfere “with U.S. elections and political processes“, according to the Justice Department. Some state (not too reliable sources) that they are now growing in making botnets, not to spread issues, but to collect data. So, even as he is connected, he is growing data, knowledge and opportunity on almost a daily basis.

How does that connect to Syria?

Apart from the money he makes on the mercenaries and their actions, he is now in a position where he can set the foundation to get access to all the Syrian national data on almost all levels, whilst having a comfortable place to start collecting data on everything on all the nations bordering Syria too. This is not some cake walk or just fun. When we consider the WP on this, we see: “Wagner first gained attention for its operations in 2014 in Ukraine, where mercenaries with the group — mostly military veterans and ultranationalists — were reported to be fighting alongside Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country. The group was believed to have been led by Dmitry Utkin, who until 2013 had served in Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency, the GRU“, do you think that billionaires, especially Russian ones are in it for the ego? No, he wants to grow, grow fast and in every direction. At least two other sources give us “A former lieutenant colonel and brigade commander of the Spetsnaz GRU detachment. The 700th Independent Spetsnaz Detachment of the 2nd Independent Brigade of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (Части и подразделения специального назначения (спецназ) Главного управления Генерального штаба Вооружённых сил Российской Федерации). These are not kids playing on the side of the road, these people tend to have very serious plans and when they are not connected to an official army they tend to get selfishly lucrative really fast.

That does matter, because professionals like that are not in it to kill civilians, yet they will kill whatever gets in their way or in the way of them completing their mission, so in this it matters what their mission is in all this.

There is a second part in all this and be aware that this is all pure speculation from my side. When we consider the Washington Post quote “Russian mercenaries had taken part in the attack and were among the dead — making it the deadliest U.S.-Russia clash since the Cold War“, so what if that is exactly what they want? What is a new cold war is their intent? As people are shouting and arranging all kinds of partially useless actions regarding 17 kids, in a nation that is basically beyond bankrupt, how much will it take to flame a new cold war, one where the US and NATO are on the roes due to lack of brainpower and resources. The technical advantage that the US and NATO had during the previous one is no longer there. You might remember stories of Russian men in ridiculous rain coats, having almost no knowledge of electronics. That time has passed and the US no longer has the options it used to have, whilst in addition they tied their own hands in several ways. At this point a cold war could end up being devastating to the west. In addition, when we are treated to both “The USS Michael Monsoor, the second and latest Zumwalt-class stealth destroyer, suffered an equipment failure that prevented the ship from conducting sea trials” as well as “It’s been more than a year since the Navy decided to cancel procurement of an expensive new ammunition for its Zumwalt-class destroyers, but the service is still pondering how to best replace the munition, a Navy official said Wednesday. In 2016, the Navy decided to stop buying the Long Range Land-Attack Projectile, or LRLAP, after discovering that its price had spiked to $800,000 per round. LRLAP was the only ammo developed specifically for the ship’s Advanced Gun System“. So not only are these ships dodgy (for now), they can’t afford the ammunition, it seems to me that (even though we know that the US navy is a lot larger) that we should see the developing issues as a worry. You see this all links back to Syria. Do you think that Russia is going to play ball when there is no need? A paper tiger is only scary for the time you do not know that it is merely a paper one. After that all bets are off and it is entirely possible that this is the gamble that resident Putin is currently making. If proven correct we will see all kinds of developments, not merely in Syria, but the Kurds will get more tank slamming by Turkey and the dangers of Iran v Saudi Arabia would become a likelihood too.

So back to Syria, as the WP gave us on Yevgeniy Prigozhin: ‘He now has a reputation as a man willing to do Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dirty work‘. I think that this is the cost of doing business. I think that there had been a clear plan in place, even as I do not agree with Alexey Khlebnikov, a political risk consultant and a Middle East expert at the Russian International Affairs Council. He calls this a “double-edged sword”. The risk is almost negligible for Russia, even as we see the quote “details have trickled out in embarrassing ways“, getting captured is not an embarrassment it is merely an inconvenience. It seems that Yevgeniy Prigozhin is the creative side, when you take a High value target like Dmitry Utkin you get something else, on his level a person does not get to walk away, there is a tactic in play and whilst we stare at certain parts we all forget that a man like that over 25 years has created its own network of people and skills. It could be that Wagner will grow faster because of opportunities, but in which direction? That is a part we can see when we realise that smiley face Dmitry is also CEO of Concord Management and Consulting. With these two gentleman owning 50% (actually more than that) into LLC Megaline, with Megaline receiving a large chunk of the capital construction contracts for the Russian military we see that link. When the dust settles, Assad will need to rebuild, and they will be the front player and possibly only consideration on a nation needing to be reconstructed. So now how weird are their actions? Both Yevgeniy Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin are now perfectly placed to rake in billions and in that regard we get back to the options for the dying in Syria; they don’t get to have any. Whilst everyone is settling around clever text on how to word the phrase ‘cease-fire‘ in that timespan Damascus could be adequately be made devoid of life bringing the optional closure of the Syrian war with President Bashar Hafez al-Assad remaining in power. If only the US and NATO had actually acted in 2012, the picture might have been a lot different. Yet for now, up to yesterday 150 children, were killed in Ghouta, yes the loud actions on behalf of 17 school dead children from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida makes a lot of sense in a global perspective, especially as we see the shouting and actions that are partially senseless and baseless, all emotional outrage whilst none of them are on the failings of the ATF (not due to their own accord) and its legislation.

Just like Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief as well as the letter Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel sent to Putin on Friday said the continuing attacks on civilian populations represented “clear violations of international humanitarian law”, all actions that look nice when covered by the media, yet in the light of the U.N. Security Council delayed a vote on a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian cease-fire across Syria until Saturday in hopes of closing a gap over the timing for a halt to fighting, that whilst we hear that “after six hours of negotiations, Kuwait’s U.N. Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaiba, the current council president, told reporters Friday evening that members ‘are so close’ to agreement, and negotiations are continuing“, so there will be more killing and more bombing and more actions for at least 12 more hours. So how many children will die in the next 12 hours and how ridiculous does the man with the yellow card look with the text “NRA stop killing our kids”, an act they never did, an act they would never approve of or support, are you starting to comprehend the insanity of it all?

internet_research_agency_indictment

3 Comments

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Military, Politics

In speculated anticipation

This is on a matter that is slippery like a promiscuous nymphomaniac lady contemplating monogamy. In a world where any person next to you could be a pimp, a whore or merely psychotic. Welcome to the cold war! Merely a few hours ago, the Guardian gave us ‘Obama orders sanctions on Russia after campaign hacking during US election’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/29/barack-obama-sanctions-russia-election-hack). Now, we have known the CIA and other parties to be blatantly incorrect when it came to Sony and North Korea. Yet, here in this case, there are a few elements in play where it is indeed more likely than not that if there was real interference that Russia would have been guilty, involved or at the very least privy to the events. In this China is a lot less likely, because as business deals go, they are a lot better of with the Ignorance of former State Secretary Hillary Clinton, than they will ever be with President elect Donald Trump, so as the calling of garden grooming spades, the one turning the soil is overly likely to be the Russian side.

There was an earlier article referred to in this one, where we see: “He dodged whether Putin personally directed the operations but pointedly noted “not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin”“, which is actually incorrect. You see, and President Barack Obama know this to be an absolute truth is that deniability is essential in some operations. Yet, in this even as President Vladimir Putin would have been kept in the dark (likely by his own request), it is less likely that Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu is involved, yet if the GRU was involved than Igor Korobov would know for sure. You see, the FSB is the second option, yet for those who have seen some of the reports that Darknet has regarding investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov gives at some parts the inclination that the FSB funding on more advanced cyber actions was lacking making the GRU the opponent of choice. This comes with the assumption from my side that less advanced equipment would have given US cyber sides a lot more data to show earlier that Russia was intervening with the elections. The reports of a group called Fancy Bear gives way to the technology they get access to and the places they can access them at. There is another piece that I have not been able to confirm, it is speculative and even as it gives base to giggles of all matters, it remains a speculation. It is said that Fancy Bear operatives have been able to work from North Stockholm, if so, they might have accessed the IBM backbone there, which has a massive amount of data pushing power. Giving way that the US gave powers to enable hacking of the US election system, live is just too cynical at times.

Another quote is also linked to this, but not from the cyber point of view. “Obama repeatedly weighed in on what he saw as increased polarization in the United States. “Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave. How did that happen?”“, in that my response would be ‘Well Mr President, if you had gotten of your ass and actually do things instead of politicising things. If you would have actually kept a budget and not push the US into 20 trillion of national debt people might be less on the fence for the other side, right?‘ There will be no reply because not only as this administration been close to useless, the actions of the last few days where the new electorate gets an agenda pushed down its throat where a clear cooperation with terrorist organisations is seen is plenty of food for thought, yet that rave needs to seize as it does not completely apply to the case at hand!

There are however other matters for concern “In a conference call with reporters, senior White House officials said its actions were a necessary response to “very disturbing Russian threats to US national security”“, which beckons three things:

1. Why was it a conference call and not on every video or a live presentation?
2. Wow long has this been actually known?
3. Where is the actual evidence?

Like Sony, like other parts, the press wants to see evidence and NONE has been presented. No station, as far as I have been able to tell has shown any schematic on how the election could have been tampered with evidence. There are hundreds of anti-Clinton and anti-Trump conspiracy theorist videos, yet none form any reputable news channel. Which also now gives voice to the thought whether the US intelligence branch in this administration has been the biggest joke ever (North Korean accusations et al).

Still in all this, the US is pushing for a cold war, which might not be the worst thing, yet as the US is to be regarded as bankrupt, the upgrades that will involve a data centre and 4-6 billion in equipment and resources is something there will be no room for any day soon.

So what is this about? Is this about the Democrats being really sore losers? I am not sure what to think, yet the entire approach via conference calls, no presentation of evidence, there are a few too many issues here. In addition, if there was evidence, do you not think that President Obama would present it, to show at least that he is capable of publicly smiting President Putin? Let’s face it, he does need to brownie points. Yet, in light of some evidence not shown, the actions at the 11th hour, are they a sign that the Democratic Party will be relying on act that some could regard as Malfeasance in office? Of course these people will not need to give a second thought as they will be removed from office in a few weeks, yet to leave open the next public officials to added pressures to clean up not just their last 8 years of action, but in addition acts of impeding elected officials could have long term consequences. Let’s not forget that the Republican Party starts with both a Republican Senate and Congress, as well as their guy in the White House, so if the Democratic Party wants anything to happen, being nice is pretty much their only option.

In addition, when we look at the US recount (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/28/election-recount-hacking-voting-machines), we see first off ‘US recounts find no evidence of hacking in Trump win but reveal vulnerabilities‘, in addition we see “In Wisconsin, the only state where the recount was finished, Trump’s victory increased by 131 votes, while in Michigan, where 22 of 83 counties had a full or partial recount, incomplete data suggests was a net change of 1,651 votes, “but no evidence of an attack”“, which is not amounting to evidence in total, we do see that two places were not intervened with, still the system is setting the pace that there are future concerns. The message ““We didn’t conclude that hacking didn’t happen,” he told the Guardian, but “based on the little evidence we have, it is less likely that hacking influenced the outcome of the election” does clearly state that hacking did not happen, it is given with some clarity that any hacking if it happened, that the outcome was not influenced by hacking. This now gives rising concerns to James Comey and what is happening on his watch. More important, the responses that the Guardian had (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/29/fbi-dhs-russian-hacking-report) where we see “The report was criticized by security experts, who said it lacked depth and came too late” as well as “Jonathan Zdziarski, a highly regarded security researcher, compared the joint action report to a child’s activity center“, which is not the first time we see it. More important is the quote “Tom Killalea, former vice-president of security at Amazon and a Capital One board member, wrote: “Russian attack on DNC similar to so many other attacks in past 15yrs. Big question: Why such poor incident response?”” is exactly the issue I had in the initial minute of the information being read by me and that is not the only part of it. The fact that the involved parties seem to be lacking more and more in advising actions as well as a clear cyber security pathway (the Clinton private mail server issues) that is correctly enforced and checked upon. The utter lack of proper ‘Common Cyber Sense‘ as seen for close to a decade at present all over official and governmental US is cause for a large amount of problems, yet the amount of evidence produced that there actually was Russian Cyber actions into changing the election results have not been brought and was brought was done in a very unconvincing way, in a way that top people had deniability of involvement in fingering the Russians. The PDF reads like something less serious in a few ways. You see, the techniques described are not wrong, but it leaves it open to who was the participating party. It could have been mere private hackers, the Russian Mafia is also a cyber-player. The fact that alleged actions from summer 2015 are only now coming into the light.  Is that not equally strange? By the way, the fact that Russian intelligence would try to ‘visit’ the files of the US Democratic Party is not that weird. Is there any indication that NSA, GCHQ and ANSSI would not have been accessing (or trying to) the United Russian party servers for intelligence is equally silly! Neither shows intent to influence an election. Let’s face it, Benghazi was a large enough mess to sway the vote in the first place and US insiders were all too happy to leak information, the Russian merely had to sit back, laugh and drink Vodka. In addition, the fact that malware was on the systems in not in question, it happens too often in too many places, yet clear evidence that APT28 or APT29 were the culprits implies router information, router data and clear information on when EXACTLY is happened (summer 2015 is a little too wide). More important, this also implies that proper malware defence was NEVER in place, so how shallow do these people want to get?

From page 8 we start seeing the true ability of the intelligence to envelope themselves into the realm of comedy. Items like ‘Update and patch production servers regularly‘ and ‘Use and configure available firewalls to block attacks‘ as well as ‘Perform regular audits of transaction logs for suspicious activity‘, these events should have been taking place for a long time, the fact that registered events from 2015 and now show that these mitigation elements are mentioned imply the fact that IT reorganisation has been essential is a larger issue and heavy on comedy if that has been absent for 2+ years. I think negligence becomes a topic of discussion at that point. The least stated on ‘Permissions, Privileges, and Access Controls‘ the better, especially if they haven’t been in place. So in retrospect, not having any ‘evidence’ published might have been better for the Democratic Party and especially for James B. Comey and Jeh Johnson. The main reason is that these events will have a longer term implications and certain parties will start asking questions, if they don’t, those people might end up have to answer a few questions as well.

In that regard the Guardian quote “The question hasn’t even been asked: ‘Did you take basic measures to protect the data that was on there?’“, a question that seems basic and was basically voiced by Sean Spicer on CNN. The fact that according to 17 intelligence agencies agree (as quoted by CNN), brings worry to those agreeing and the laughable bad quality PDF that was released. Consider that we are seeing the reaction of unanimous agreed intelligence without any clear presented evidence, actual evidence, so what are they agreeing on? As stated by Sean Spicer in the CNN interview, the burden of proof is on the intelligence community. Especially as there is an implied lack of due diligence of the Democratic National Committee to secure their IT systems. The fact that the implied lack of diligence should give view to the fact that there are plenty of American citizens that are anti democrats in the US alone to give worry on WHO have been jogging through the DNC servers.

A view that seems to have been overlooked by plenty of people as well.

In the act of anticipated speculation we should speculate that proper presentation of the evidence will be forthcoming. The presentation on a level that will give a positive response from security experts will be a lot to ask for, yet in all this, you should be asking yourself the one question that does matter, it is possible that the FBI got it wrong three times in a row? If so, in how much trouble is Cyber America?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Law, Media, Military, Politics

Working for a new boss

This morning starts off with an entirely different wave of events. Brexit is turning out to the two teams misrepresenting issues as much as possible, many of these representations are about scaremongering. The NHS is going on and on and on and other views are given. In both cases I agree with some parts, I disagree with loads of it (from my point of view with decent evidence). Yet all this we would have overlooked almost half a dozen articles. The story is only the smallest part of it. What is massively interesting that there is for a chosen few a job available! It is not glamorous, you will be frowned upon, but consider a job that will get you a 7 figure income (after a while), a decent house, possible tropical views a few times a year. In this day and age? Who would not accept that? Perhaps the single ideological man or woman, but that leaves a few million people, all ready to accept a position with the glamorous firm of Mossack Fonseca, a panama based law firm, with services on a global scale. Clients like Russian President Vladimir Putin (allegedly). They operate in tax havens including Switzerland, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, and in the British crown dependencies Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. I would love a nice job on Guernsey, a nice house, retirement at some point. I am a Trade Marks attorney, one that would love to get an additional degree in finance if that gives me a good job with Mossack Fonseca, is that not what you saw?

The first article ‘What are the Panama Papers? A guide to the biggest leak in history‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-panama-papers), assisting the rich and famous store their wealth in tax havens. You see, this is all legal, this is not FIFA screwing its soccer fans over breaking ethical boundaries. This is all thankful to a multitude of short-sighted politicians (or really clever ones depending on your point of view) who enabled options in their tax homes. The article ‘used lawfully to anonymously hold property and bank accounts, these companies were registered in a range of tax havens and this map shows the most popular locations among its clients. The British Virgin Islands held more than 100,000 companies‘, so you would not be breaking the law. You just have to accept that some people pay (a lot) less taxation. After 30 year I have clearly seen and learned that living morally correct will get you a one bedroom apartment in the suburbs, a place you will not be able to pay off before you die. So as morality is not a legal requirement, as all this work is perfectly legal, why not?

This is all coming to light because of a leak, someone (as stated by the Guardian) got a hold of 2.6 terabytes of data. The quote is literally “There are 11.5m documents and 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database“, which implies that the facts were discovered through criminal activities. This means that Mossack Fonseca might have a case against those perpetrators. Another interesting quote is “Using offshore structures is entirely legal. There are many legitimate reasons for doing so“, so why not become a service provider here?

On the other side there is the quote “In a speech last year in Singapore, David Cameron said “the corrupt, criminals and money launderers” take advantage of anonymous company structures. The government is trying to do something about this. It wants to set up a central register that will reveal the beneficial owners of offshore companies“, which is equally valid. Mossack Fonseca stated: “it complies with anti-money-laundering laws and carries out thorough due diligence on all its clients. It says it regrets any misuse of its services and tries actively to prevent it. The firm says it cannot be blamed for failings by intermediaries, who include banks, law firms and accountants“, this gives us another side too. When we consider banks we can consider Barclays (Libor 2012), Marcus Agius, former chairman of Barclays, resigned from his position over it. He’s sitting pretty being amongst others on the board of the BBC. Now, there is no evidence that he was directly involved, but it happened under his nose (so to speak), with a few exceptions most got out with their bonus intact and this was a legal transgression, so why would anyone not want to work for Mossack Fonseca, who is not breaking any laws?

When we consider law firms we should consider the news form the Independent in 2013 where we see: “The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) knew six years ago that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance were hiring private investigators to break the law and further their commercial interests, the report reveals, yet the agency did next to nothing to disrupt the unlawful trade” (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/the-other-hacking-scandal-suppressed-report-reveals-that-law-firms-telecoms-giants-and-insurance-8669148.html) and when we see the word ‘accountant’ I think Tesco and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. For example the quote I used “Tesco paid PwC £10.4m in the last financial year – plus another £3.6m for other consultancy work“ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/09/30/thriving-team-tesco/) in the article ‘Thriving Team Tesco?‘, where again the case of wrongdoing should be regarded as more likely than not, so why would we not consider perfectly legal work at Mossack Fonseca?

Let’s not forget that the governments on a global scale are enabling this to get some tax revenue. Consider that the British Virgin Islands have 100,000 companies, without them, how much taxation would have been collected? It is a mere case of need and availability.

For example, a fictive person goes to His Excellency John Duncan and states: “Sir, if you offer us a favourable tax option, the option would be open to bring industry and taxable revenue in access of $1,000,000,000. Would you be willing to consider a low taxation plan?” to this the governor would respond “My dear man, we have no profit tax and no corporation tax!

So how long until the big boys move a few billion to a place like that?

We seem to find time to worry about ethical issues, when the installed governments in Europe have yet to show a mere accountable bone in their bodies for overspending trillions. We seem to be ignoring the obvious. Even if this was illegal, how many banker have gone to prison from 2004 onwards? This is not illegal, this is a mere application of true globalisation. In addition, consider that offshore companies and offshore trusts are in most cases taken out of the view of taxation to begin with, so why not employ this option?

You see, the part that is in the middle of all this is not answered, it is skated around. No one seems to care on HOW the information was gotten at. The quote “2.6 terabytes of information drawn from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database” implies hacking. This does not mean that it could not have been facilitated by internal sources. Such an amount of data does not just easily download, so either someone got access and mirrored a drive, which implies that the server was accessible, what is more likely (read: speculation), is that this is one of the first cloud hacks. To have such a large environment, so global gives the option that data was in the cloud and someone was able to access it. This morning IT Pro had the following quote (at http://www.itpro.co.uk/data-leakage/26293/panama-papers-leaked-through-server-hack-1). “it had opened an investigation after discovering that “unfortunately” it had suffered “an attack on its email server” and that it is taking “all necessary measures to prevent this from happening again“, which could be the case. My issue here is that from a server, getting access to that much data should either be noticed (bandwidth), or it was internal (read: facilitated). When we consider the e-mail data overall, there is nothing that raises flags. Oh yes, there is! That much data with a truckload of attachments gives food for thought. Even as we consider no criminal acts have been undertaken, one would try to secure that much data. Perhaps this was done, but how was so much data gained?

In my view, encrypted UNIX servers would have required massive amounts of time to access and a good IT team always keeps one eye on their servers. Fortune quoted “Mossack Fonseca is calling the 11.5 million leaked documents a “limited” breach” (at http://fortune.com/2016/04/04/panama-papers-law-firm/), which is also likely, yet in all that if that was limited, yet fortune gives us one quote the Guardian would be unlikely to state “It appears that you have had unauthorized access to proprietary documents and information taken from our company and have presented and interpreted them out of context“, now that part will be close to impossible to prove, because the Guardian clearly stated “Using offshore structures is entirely legal

No matter how this plays out, it seems to me that politicians on a global scale will start playing their ‘hypocrisy card’. Which is another laughing matter altogether. I cannot predict how this will officially play out, but they do have a website at http://www.mossfon.com/ and they are also in Trade Marks, so I should see what my options are. For you the reader, especially those with a degree in wealth management. I suggest you send your resume to:

The MF Group
54th Street, Marbella
Panama, Rep. of Panama

You could also go to web page: http://www.mossfon.com/about_service/careers/, if you want to post your resume online!

Let’s not forget, these people have not broken any laws (at present).

Have a fun day and dream of a life without debt in a place you could never have afforded in any other legal way.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Politics

The old reasons

There are a lot of high running tensions in play at present. There is the Gaza, which has been going on since I was there in 1982 and there is the downing of MH17, which is now becoming an increasingly political hot potato involving the Russians.

Yesterday, Nick Clegg called for stripping Russia from the world cup 2018 (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/27/nick-clegg-russia-world-cup-2018-stripped-mh17-ukraine). I do not think I can presently agree with this. Yes, there are issues that need to be answered, yet, there is enough evidence to clearly state that Russian separatists, not the Russian army shot the plane down. The last group might not be innocent, yet for this we need actual evidence, which is currently (for now) not available.

David Cameron seems to be in agreement with me (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/27/david-cameron-russia-2018-world-cup-ukraine).

In my case there is another reason. If we are to resolve any issues, then we need to make sure that diplomats get as many options as they can to smooth things over. In three years the issues of MH17 will have been passed, yet what lies around the corner? There is not a person in the world who can give us any answer in that regard, nor should they have to. If we want options, than we need to look no further than the Olympics, especially the ‘original’ ones (you know, the ones you might have seen in 776 BC).

In those days, there was an important side to these groups of people, who were always bickering with each other using swords and spears. It was stated “During the Olympic Games, a truce, or ekecheiria was observed. Three runners, known as spondophoroi were sent from Elis to the participant cities at each set of games to announce the beginning of the truce. During this period, armies were forbidden from entering Olympia, wars were suspended, and legal disputes and the use of the death penalty were forbidden“.

It was a stroke of genius! This was a time when certain officials could off the books meet and possibly broker solutions in a way where the ego and reputation of a person was not on the line. It was a time when some people could meet and possibly longer lasting truces could be held. Even today, when the emotions run high, we need to make certain that such an option remains.

This brings me to the second part in this, which is only casually linked. It was my blog of March 19th 2014 called ‘Any sport implies corruption!‘ where I looked at some of the issues regarding the accusation of corruption by Qatar in getting the World cup 2022. There were a few views that caused me to question whether there was actual corruption, or was this a push by big business to replace Qatar for revenue reasons? What is ‘more likely than not’ is the question in this case!

Last week the Guardian gave us additional information (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jul/21/ethics-investigation-private-fifa-michael-garcia), in the article, where it states: “Former attorney expected to deliver evidence by end of July“. It is now the end of July and we see the quote “Garcia’s report will go directly to FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckhart, who is not expected to make any rulings until August or September“, so there will; be another delay in finding out the truth.
Moreover, I feel at present that after that another delay will come as certain people could be offered high income positions in other places before the news comes out. Will that happen? I do not know, what I do know is that the allegations have gone on for way too long and the additional delays, whilst we see more and more press on this should anger us all beyond belief. Big Business made a try and as such they hopefully failed. Of course we will not know until the rulings are made, but I remain adamant in my view! I demand the disclosure of names and participants in these events. In addition, the quote “Shortly before the World Cup in Brazil, Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that some of the ‘millions of documents’ it had seen linked payments by former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam to officials to win backing for Qatar’s World Cup bid” (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/25/us-soccer-fifa-qatar-idUSKBN0FU1M720140725), I could not get the Sunday times link as people need to pay for it and it cannot be fully shown, yet the quote is seen at CNN (at http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/02/sport/football/football-qatar-world-cup-sunday-times/) which states: “We’ve seen millions of documents that prove without a shadow of doubt that corruption was involved. There is clear evidence linking payments to people who have influence over the decision of who hosted the World Cup“.
I think we should DEMAND the display of these documents. If there is corruption, we are entitled to see it, on the other hand, if we accept that it is more likely than not that an industry that misses out on millions of dollars are behind the accusations, then we are allowed to see that as well. In that regard, if the Royal commission would prefer not to be the laughing stock regarding the press, then in my view, it should have only one response to the quote from the Sunday Times, when it is proven wrong. The Sunday Times is to cease all operations for no less than 6 months, all staff to be paid during this time, no online activities and no revenue based activities. Subscribers get an automatic 6 months extension.

Is that too harsh?

The claims here, the claims in regards to MH-370 that were made by the Telegraph, none of it founded and no actual evidence ever presented.

Why is this such a big deal?

As the Olympics evolved, the base need for honest and open competition is what allows for differences to be settled. The concept of the Olympics was also continued in other events, like the World Cup Soccer and the Commonwealth Games. These events go beyond the events on the field. It allows for trade discussions, diplomacy and other conversations that have larger impact, in some cases none of them an option in an official capacity. This is why I disagree with Nick Clegg on this.

Even now, I have been adamant about the need for President Vladimir Putin to speak out harshly against these separatists since the first day it happened. It is likely that he relied on the wrong advisers (as I see it), but to cut off options of diplomacy is NEVER EVER a good idea. Even now, we see news (at http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/07/27/vladimir-putin-facing-multi-million-dollar-lawsuit-for-aiding-separatists-who-shot-down-mh17-lawyers-say/) where the headline “Vladimir Putin facing multi-million dollar lawsuit for aiding separatists who shot down MH17, lawyers say“.

How is this even realistic?

Is there ACTUAL evidence that Putin did directly support in the act that resulted in the downing of MH17? Yes, I agree there are issues with the hardware the separatists have and I mentioned that the first day, whilst the press were all about the ’emotional stories’ (which is not journalistic out of place). The facts are there and they need to be answered, but that lawsuit is a joke. Consider the fact that Osama Bin Laden was a product of the CIA, trained to some extend and funded to a larger extent. Was President George W. Bush, Senator Charles Wilson or many others ever sued for 9/11? Both premises are equally ridiculous. I see them all as meagre attempts from certain individuals to claim income and/or visibility from where ever they can.

So, why this switch?

If any of these issues are to ever be resolved we need to keep one open path, one path no one messes with to remain. We need sports to remain to be about sports, so that those attending (not those who participate), to divert the conversation to non-sport matters. If we can keep peace through an innocent informal conversation, then by all means let us do that. Preferably without a group of bloody Murdoch’s miscreants making claims without producing the actual evidence trying to divert games towards a better ‘big business’ marketable environment. My reasoning here is twofold. First the quote as “We’ve seen millions of documents that prove without a shadow of doubt that corruption was involved”. Were these people really that stupid? The one true rule here is that if it isn’t written down, it does not exist, would people state ‘in writing’ such events (people who should be a lot more intelligent than I am), or is it just a bluff? You see, evidence (or not) did the press not have clear, distinct and utter responsibility to produce and print this evidence? The people who have been hiding behind every sleaze report with pictures stating ‘the people have a right to know’, now suddenly they hide behind innuendo and silence? That is part of the picture I have a problem with.

The old reasons are now clearly in focus.

Sport should be about sport and sport alone. The people in the field are all about that what they excel in and as such, it might be the only true entertaining excitement left to us. This atmosphere will always allow for officials who are admiring their team. What was more endearing, more powerful and more sportive then seeing the Royal Dutch family amongst the Dutch, all in Orange, cheering for their team! What a massive adrenaline jolt it must have been for those players to hear their own royal family cheer for them! Is anything more amazing in sports? Is there a chance that his royal highness, King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands shook hands with an official from another nation, perhaps starting a conversation? The fact that Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin were there for the match and had a conversation can only be a good thing for all kinds of reasons in the long run.
We seem to forget these old reasons. We get the sports, but foremost, we get the commercials and we get clobbered to death by sponsors with their trinkets, foods and drinks. That last part is the part too many are catering to. The bringers of news (especially in paper forms) are at least one third advertisements. Income is dwindling here and papers are more and more about keeping their (possible) advertisers happy. Even though these politicians can hold talks anywhere, allowing them to hold onto as many as informal places as possible is a given need. So, as such, for now, I feel that Moscow 2018 should continue.

If not, then Moscow should have never won the bid in the first place.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Law, Media, Military, Politics