Tag Archives: Straits Times

Data is all

There have been a few oppositions to two of the articles on India and covid I wrote in the last week. I stand by my view, but the opposition is there. For the most they are merely echoing other sources and that is fine. So let’s take another look with new sources, very credible sources.

About that island
In the far lower right, to the left of New Zealand is the island of Australia. It is a large island and had 25 million people. There SBS gave us ‘One new community COVID-19 case recorded in NSW as authorities hunt mystery source of infection’, it is the quote “Health authorities have been unable to find a link between a returned overseas traveller who harboured the same genomic sequencing as a Sydney couple who tested positive”. I do not know and there is no evidence that there is foul play afoot. So there is AT LEAST one link between the two, but there is no way to find it at present. This is a place with a mere 25,000,000 people. Now consider India with its 1,300,000,000 people. This implies (emphasis on imply) that India has at least 52 undiscovered cases, now consider the image I posted of a market in India taken last October (and below).

Now consider that at least one such a person is in such a market, this implies that tomorrow at least 50-75 will get it, after that the numbers go the wrong way really fast. It still takes time to get there, as such the dip in numbers as well as the statement “India may have Covid-19 under control by February, says top scientist” (source: Straits Times January 2, 2021). It was the obvious very debatable statement  “While there is no definitive single reason, epidemiologists and scientists believe a key factor is that dense urban centres, which were the worst affected, now have some level of community protection”, really? Community protection? Where is that now with 21,000,000 sick and 230,000 no longer living and it will get worse, but on the plus side, they will beat the USA in one event, the number of dead people, which was pretty much a given with 1.3 billion people and no lockdown. 

But it is not all bad news, as the Guardian reported “medical experts and international human rights groups, including the United Nations, have called for an immediate reversal of the Biosecurity Act determination, I am on the fence in this case, yet in the end thousands more will needlessly die, so rent prices in Mumbai might go down a twitch.

The problem is that too many cases go undetected, there was news earlier this year that Dutch scientists had found the the quick tests gives a false negative in 40% of the cases, at what point will you realise that a much larger danger exists? There is a larger problem, the Indian government did not act when they could and they want us now to take up the slack. It is hard to chastise them as a nation with 1.3 billion will have unique issues with a situation like this, I do not oppose that, but there is months of data showing that the entire situation was mis managed, and some excuse like “now have some level of community protection” does not hold water in any way or shape. And when we are given a truck load of emotional responses like “Vamshi is furious that the information he provided about his mother’s condition was enough for his exit exemption but not enough for her to be allowed to travel to Australia to stay with them”, I wonder if they needed a bloody slide ruler to work out the numbers. This disease KILLS! It is that simple and containment is a first need for EVERY government. Data is all and it shows a picture that is not so nice, and it will not be resolved in India quickly. Any message that a short time and a short course towards any solution is found is non existent. We need to avoid the media with BS emotional sides, we need to rely on the cold numbers and the ones India are giving us do not add up, yet the media and several others are not questioning that part. In this the NPR (at https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/04/30/992451165/india-is-counting-thousands-of-daily-covid-deaths-how-many-is-it-missing) is giving us ““There’s a shortage of coronavirus tests. Nobody’s getting tested! So the government’s numbers for our district are totally wrong,” he told NPR on a crackly phone line from his village. “If you’re able to get tested, results come after five days.””, so how come NPR is nearly the only one who gives us some of the goods? It does not mean that NPR is the more reliable source, but it does explain a much larger part of the problem, when numbers are delayed and ‘mis-categorised’ we will unlikely ever know what is the true down low of India and the covid numbers. 

Data is all, but when that data is (I expect) intentionally ‘adjusted’, we will not know what the actual situation in India is and in that respect, shutting down ALL transport to and from India might be close to the only option left. Yes, the UN will object but will not be able to cater to the time needs of the dangers, but then they might also need to wrote another essay for Jeff Bezos, so their time will be used no matter how they sail. 

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Lollies to the right

 

Yes, today is Friday and as every Catholic is seeking out the best place to find their serving of Friday fish, others seek their food from optionally different vendors. Yet for many Muslims, its Dutch Sweets day, and let’s be honest the Dutch have a great sweets department, from the liquorice (the best in the world), Haagse Hopjes, gingerbread, ginger snaps, chocolate letters, butter cake, Apple Pie and custard pies, the Dutch know how to present some of the very best Vitamin C (Candy) items on the planet. Yet for many today, the menu wants a slice of Geert Wilders. It seems that finally the setting is that Geert Wilders has opted to cancel the Mohammed Cartoon competition. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/30/geert-wilders-far-right-dutch-mp-cancels-muhammed-cartoon-competition) is telling us that his response was “To avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided not to let the cartoon contest go ahead“, which is actually a bit weird. You see, he pretty much had to flee Texas, USA in 2015 over a similar event. Did he think that something unacceptable to Muslims in the USA would suddenly be tolerated in the Netherlands whilst hiding behind ‘freedom of expression’? For me it is actually a little sad, as I had a nice setting to take away Dutch business for myself (for mere professional, and greed driven reasons), in addition it inspired me to write a film script for Netflix called ‘How to assassinate a politician‘, aka ‘The Essay‘, and that is off the table now too (or perhaps not).

And in light of what was presented, we are also seeing two settings of falsehood. The first by him with ““It’s not just about me,” Wilders said in the statement. Opponents of the event “see not only me, but the entire Netherlands as a target”“, that is not a truth, it is correct (but for other reasons), it is a non-Truth because Geert Wilders instigated the outrage in a way that he would create the outrage. He got to play the ‘Muslims hate us card’ whilst he is very aware that his actions and his actions alone instigated it. The second player was not lying, but still acted (as far as I can tell) in falsehood. You see, when we see “Rutte added that people in the Netherlands have far-reaching freedom of speech rights and the government did not intend to seek the contest’s cancellation” we see a falsehood and a dangerous setting. Dutch law does not allow for certain settings.

When we look (at https://www.wodc.nl/binaries/ob248-volledige-tekst_tcm28-68659.pdf) at the Dutch Paper ‘Profanity, discriminating expressions because of religion and hate speech‘ we are confronted with the setting of Dutch Criminal Law Article 137. Here we see: “He who publicly, verbally or in writing or image, deliberately exhausts a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief, their heterosexual or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental disability, is punished with imprisonment of a maximum of one year or a fine of the third category“, it applies, because Islam is outspoken on the fact that there will be no image of the prophet Muhammad, that is one setting that the Dutch Prime minister cannot avoid and in that, the setting we see that not only was the competition planned to be held in the Dutch parliament building, the fact that we are confronted with the quote “Rutte added that people in the Netherlands have far-reaching freedom of speech rights and the government did not intend to seek the contest’s cancellation“, a clear setting where we see more than a mere collision of ‘freedom of speech’ and the law. So even as we see on page 26: “the discrimination provisions of relatively recent make-up, and were only introduced in the Netherlands in 1971“, considering that it was introduced after he was too old to be breastfed by his mommy and long enough to accept that the law was in place long before he got elected into politics, it is from that point of view that we can establish his intent in the act of insulting Islam.

In addition to this, the entire matter was handled incorrectly by Dutch Parliament, even the setting that the cancellation was not sought. There might have been some defence possible if the venue was not in a Dutch Government building, but that was not the case, tying the hands of Dutch politicians through their inactions.

So the predictions that I made 8 days ago in the article ‘Liberalism overboard‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/23/liberalism-overboard/) and the fact that we now also see that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been requested to cut ties with the Dutch, so in this we are still seeing escalations. In this Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan Ardi Stoios-braken is about to get an interesting anniversary day, as she assumed the office on September 7th last year, in this there is now the smallest chance that she will not even be able to complete the one year milestone. The additional part where we see that Pakistan is importing close to $400 million from the Netherlands each year is optionally be getting hit as well. 54% if that pie is consumer goods and even if overall the amount is not that big a deal, there is still the chance that it will also impact Dutch exports to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Indonesia and Qatar, to what extent is impossible to say, but the wound reopened by Pakistan is much larger than most people realise, especially ass the Dutch Prime minister had the option to diffuse the situation in May 2018 and decided not to do that, that in itself is the larger evil to deal with. The other element in all this is Tehreek-e-Labbaik, a hard-line party that is close to one year old. The issue is that they have the options to sit in conversations with the imams, who would be reaching out to the nations mentioned earlier and even more so the nations I did not mention (Jordan, Iran and Yemen for example). In all this the crises is still continuing and anyone thinking that this will blow over, think again. For Pakistan the issue is actually twofold and Al Jazeera gives these two parts with “Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Pakistan’s newest hard-line religious party, which calls for blasphemers to be put to death and celebrates those who have murdered the alleged perpetrators“, which should be regarded as a risk and danger towards violence. the second part is seen with: “A year ago, this kind of a political rally, in the heart of the political base of Pakistan’s ruling party, would have been unthinkable” this second part gives us not merely that there is a hard-line growth within Pakistan, it also implies and gives consideration that those voices will be listened to in Saudi Arabia and therefor also in Indonesia, which in turn might escalate issues in Egypt as well, although I have zero information that there is an interaction of thoughts between these groups at present, the likelihood of it happening should be set to much higher than not.

All issues that could have been prevented by not allowing such an anti-Islam provocation on Dutch government grounds and the additional timespan that the Dutch government would have had to soothe the emotions of Muslims in all this is now pretty much null and void.

In conclusion, it is the Media that also has a negated responsibility. When I am confronted with ““I have decided to cancel the competition to avoid the risk of making people victims of Islamist violence,” Wilders said in a statement. “I don’t want Muslims to use the cartoon competition as an excuse for Islamist violence.”” (Deutsche Welle), as well as “Wilders said adding that the competition is not to “provoke or insult”” (Straits times) are all settings of falsehood. this is not merely my opinion, the evidence can be seen with “Two men who opened fire Sunday outside of an event in Garland, Texas attended by Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker and outspoken critic of radical Islam, have been killed by police“, which was an event in Garland Texas on May 4th 2015. Geert Wilders at that time responded on Twitter with: “Shots fired at Garland Mohammed cartoon free speech event. I just left the building after speeching. #garlandshooting — Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) May 4, 2015“. So not only was there an event three years ago, there was also every clear indication that it would happen again and with the Dutch Criminal Law in place, as well as the additional Dutch inactions, we can clearly see that there is a larger issue in play and the inactions of its current government must optionally be taken as a setting that is more about anti-Islam than with Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Expression from my point of view, but that last part is my personal take on the issue.

So when we do see escalations, hopefully all non-violent ones. We need to consider on the increasing collisions that we see in Freedom of Speech versus Freedom of Religion. It is my view that we are nearing a critical point where Accountability can no longer be avoided and if we agree that some will act on a freedom, we must also hold these people accountable for these actions (and perhaps they will be perfectly valid ones). I wonder what happens when that happens, if people start to think before they speak, we might see levels of de-escalation or better stated an increasing level of common sense whilst awake, which is never a bad thing.

So have a good Friday and do not forget that Monday morning is (at this very moment) a mere 59 hours away.

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Short Sighted Dangers

For those who have an easy time not remembering things, we need to start to take them back to 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives with an infamous silver coloured briefcase, and no one knew what was in it. It was evidence of Iraq and the fact that they had Weapons of Mass destruction. The Guardian, on June 2nd of that year give us: “The Bush administration, under increased scrutiny for failing to find Saddam Hussein’s arsenals eight weeks after occupying Baghdad, yesterday confronted the damaging new allegations on the misuse of intelligence to bolster the case for war“, in all this, under Prime Minister Tony Blair Operation Telic gave rise to 182 fatalities in the UK armed services (2003-2011). Proof of the existence of WMD’s were never shown, there have been stories on both sides of the camp on WMD and in the end, it all remained speculation and conjecture from unreliable forces. The most fitting (possibly wrong) view became, the UK went to war on intentionally bad intelligence. From my personal view it should have been simple and clear. There would have been the mere need to show one clear functional missile filmed by the associated press stating something like: “Here is a Weapon of Mass Destruction, it was captured at [whichever location] by [whomever was there] under command of [some big bird in charge], now let’s talk to this commander on the find!“, it would have been the simple justification, that message never came and speculation and conjecture on a war that was started under the most weird of circumstances might have been justified, that moment never came.

So when the Guardian gives us ‘Rudd’s refusal to publish full report into extremist funding ‘unacceptable’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/12/uk-terror-funding-report-will-not-be-published-for-national-security-reasons), you could see the issue that history is about to repeat itself. Now, for the most we see all kinds of valid arguments, yet in all this, the one element missing is still the element in the Pork Pie in the making.

The quote “But the home secretary, Amber Rudd, said the move was based on national security and claimed that the full report contained sensitive and detailed personal information” is actually the one that matters the least, the colourful honourable Rudd would be quite correct in setting certain premises on visibility and for that she is not getting into trouble. It is the top line setting, when we see “The statement gives absolutely no clue as to which countries foreign funding for extremism originates from – leaving the government open to further allegations of refusing to expose the role of Saudi Arabian money in terrorism in the UK.” is the most important one and it came from Caroline Lucas, which makes sense on several levels. As co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, she was hitting the nail on the head. Interesting how Tim Farron just did not have seemingly has a clue in this instance (regarding the news info I could find). You see, the entire Qatar situation is linked to all this. The UK will be partially depending on what Germany finds and more important, all the information they might be unable to find, or in the end will not report on. In this the entire Turkey escalations as it enters a place and theatre of War they basically have no place to be in, this all links and the clarity of the report as to the original of the funds has bearing on this. In light of “Some extremist Islamist organisations “portray themselves as charities to increase their credibility and to take advantage of Islam’s emphasis on charity”, and are vague about both their activities and their charitable status, it said“, there should be an increased need to give rise and visibility to the sources. When we see “Instead, there is a strong suspicion this report is being suppressed to protect this government’s trade and diplomatic priorities, including in relation to Saudi Arabia. The only way to allay those suspicions is to publish the report in full” there is a rising stress point on how to find a way to work with legitimate governments, so as such there is a clear need to see if there are false pears in the apple bag. The issue becomes larger with “For a small number of organisations with which there are extremism concerns, overseas funding is a significant source of income. However, for the vast majority of extremist groups in the UK, overseas funding is not a significant source.” This makes the statement an optional interpretation in more than one way (read: the intelligence community loves their ambiguity). In the end, it seems to imply that as extremist groups rely massively on ‘donations‘, there is either not enough data or there is clear evidence that the UK charities are merely a minimal contributor at best. Which is pretty much as good as it gets, to be a zero donator is pretty much a non-option and the fact that donations might not even get to a 4 figure number implies that one spare part of a rifle is the best any extremist group could hope for, in addition the UK groups don’t seem to be getting any interesting level of cash. Yet that does not give rise to the value that is set towards the creation of Lone Wolves in the UK, yet in that there is absolutely no clue whether the intelligence community has even close to a comprehension how those streams go, how the funding and recruitment goes and where to look for decent quality intelligence (or how to obtain it). As I have seen it (to the smallest degree), it seems to me that short term radical pamphlets to see who reacts is as good as it gets at one University in Sydney. This creates the situation that their luck would likely run out long before they become an actual threat. The nice thing about the island of Australia is that those wannabe’s really have no place to run to and it gives rise that an Island like the United Kingdom (significantly smaller in size) they could have less options. As the Straits Times is just now reporting that the Qatar crisis not resolved, we see that the centre stage is now for US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will now try to find new solutions in the events that are still escalating. Do you not think that the mention of sources could have been a little help in keeping the conversation going? The mention of clear Qatar involvement or absence of it would have made a large impact. In equal measure any evidence of the use of banks in Riyadh might have had another impact altogether, the need for Saudi Arabia to consider the overhaul of certain banking policies (something the US has been desperate for, for some time now), all elements that could diffuse certain pressures. So as we see “UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan told reporters during a visit to Slovakia that Tillerson’s visit was unlikely to resolve the row. “I think it will ease tensions, but it’s just postponing the problem, which will grow in the future.” In a joint statement issued after Tillerson and his Qatari counterpart signed their counter-terrorism pact on Tuesday, the four states called the accord inadequate.” We see no reason that there was anything wrong on the decision that the Honourable Amber Rudd has taken, yet the added information of sources could really impact on a few levels the issues to address or reinforce the term of ‘inadequate accord‘. With additional Turkish troops arriving in Doha, the pressure will go up, because a room full of powder kegs it merely takes one spark and the chance of that spark increases with every additional element in that equation. a threat that does not grow linear, but exponentially. So how does that support the need to keep certain facts hidden? Consider that one element in the summary gives rise to a relief of pressures, the question from Caroline Lucas could soon be the topic of debate in several places in London, and should the powder keg go boom, that debate could become toxic for several key government players soon thereafter.

Yet in all this Qatar is also sending different waves, as owners of Al-Jazeera, we now see (at http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/uae-slams-al-jazeera-for-anti-semitism-inciting-hate-1724062) that there are issues escalating that give rise to several issues to those opposing Qatar. The subtitle gives the one side with ‘The United Nations has warned that demands that Qatar close Al-Jazeera by a rival Saudi Arabian-led alliance, which includes the UAE, violate basic freedoms‘, yet in the article we see the statement by United Arab Emirates’ state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, when we see presented facts regarding spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi : “he added, had “praised Hitler, described the Holocaust as ‘divine punishment’, and called on Allah to ‘take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people… and kill them, down to the very last one’“, so when we see that, we see that this all is fuelling even more pressures and as the Muslim Brotherhood is seen as the extremist group it has shown to be in Egypt as well as an openly voicing enemy of the State of Israel, the evidence counter is moving against Qatar. It seems to me personally, that in this present state of affairs, to give rise to the voice of the Muslim Brotherhood, whilst there are plenty of other options (read: less radical ones), Al-Jazeera is either biting the hand that fed them from birth, or that the Qatari government should have had better reigns on those who are in charge of Al-Jazeera. It seems to be a mess that is currently not in favour of Qatar, no matter how you slice it (read: as shown by the western media). It also gives visibility to another part that another Guardian article gave us with “Noura al Kaabi, the UAE minister responsible for media regulation, told the Guardian the station had given a platform to “some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world” and needed to be subject to new and externally-monitored editorial controls“, a view pretty much all parties but one will agree with at present. The final part from the UAE minister is shown with: “Al-Kaabi questioned the value of the memorandum. “We have lost trust with the government of Qatar,” he said. “The difficulty is that it is one thing to sign an agreement, but the true test is whether it is ever enforced. An agreement is not an agreement if it is not honoured.”“, this shows that the work that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has cut out for himself is becoming increasingly more difficult soon enough; this reflects back to the overseas funding report, the inclusion of the foreign sources in the summary could give Rex Tillerson the indication that there is either a more intense problem within Qatar, or that there might merely be the issue with some aspects of Al-Jazeera. That difference is the difference between a possible short term resolution or the beginning of a long term consequence, that evidence (if regarded as such) could give rise the second part as Turkey would be forced to take a clear step in one way or another, which would limit the actions of Iran, all optional changes to the absence of one element in a partially classified report. In this I do hope that the Honourable Amber Rudd takes heed from the 2003-2011 partial fiasco that brought the loss of 182 fatalities, because if this powder keg does go, the list of casualties might become a lot higher and not just for the UK, which in turn will give rise to additional escalations in directions no one has any clue on how far that would go.

And remember, in this instance a point of view is merely a vantage point for those seeking an advantage, there is growing overwhelming bias on nearly all fronts, the question that many cannot answer is ‘Which one is based on ambiguity and which can be met with academic scrutiny?’ This is a question that I myself find unable to answer, merely because the original source has been edited out in more than two occasions.

 

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