Tag Archives: the Guardian

Consider or Contemplate?

It is a stage we all face. Should we consider that the media is corrupt, or contemplate it is? It is not out of the blue, the media did this to themselves. First hide behind ‘the people have a right to know’, then hide behind the ‘miscommunication of crimes’ (like the phone hacking scandal) and then the crocodile tears that they can manage themselves (the Leveson report) and even before the ink dries going back to their old habits (the MH370 suicide jab). The amount of examples is legion (and as I know the devil, he was never THAT outspoken). 

So what got me here?
Well there are a few items, but the Guardian pushed me to that side again almost two days ago. The Guardian is not more of anything, it was merely that article that brought it to the surface and when you search, you will see what I mean (and you can seek out the other culprits), they too are legion. 

As I said, it started yesterday with the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/may/30/elizabeth-holmes-enters-prison-11-year-sentence) with the ‘capturing’ headline ‘‘People wanted to believe the fairytale’: the downfall of Elizabeth Holmes’. Well actually they didn’t. This is the story the media pushed. They wanted their media darling, they wanted the nicely scrubbed youngling. She didn’t finish (drop out) Stanford University at the age of 19. She had the Steve Jobs look and, Theranos was (at some point) valued at more than $9,000,000,000 and Holmes became the world’s youngest billionaire and the media wanted that, they wanted another Disney Story and nothing Frozen about her, was there? 

So when we get “It began with a 2015 article by Carreyrou that revealed Theranos’s revolutionary technology wasn’t exactly what it seemed” we all feel sorry, we are all left in the dark, yet that too is was the cards the media wanted you to see, hiding behind ‘miscommunications’ and by leaving things unsaid. That setting is not unique. In Market research there is an expression, a running joke if you like. If you want a linear result merely plot two events and fit the story as such, these two point will for the most ALWAYS show linear result, the rest make it a liability. It is almost like the lawyer who will not ask a question that he does not know the answer to. It gets these persons where they want to go. In the case of Elizabeth Holmes (and Theranos) it is the same with the media. 

My evidence?
In January 2022 NPR (one of the few sources) gave us “He blew the whistle on Theranos when he was just 22 years old. Now 31, he was ready for closure. “This story has been unfolding for pretty much my entire adult life,” said Shultz in a long-ranging interview with NPR from an in-law suite at his parents’ home in Silicon Valley’s Los Gatos.” I mentioned it in the smallest way with “Where was the Guardian interviewing the Whistleblower Tyler Shultz? Thanks to him this was stopped,” and I did so on February 6th with ‘That courtesan called media’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2023/02/06/that-courtesan-called-media/) the issue is that the media to the largest degree shunned him and Erik Cheung and I personally believe that the reasoning is self-centred and therefor corrupt. And corrupt is exactly the setting, look it up in the dictionary It will give you “having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain”. If they were not then between January 2022 and now we would have seen at least one article on Tyler Shultz. So count the articles they have Elisabeth Holmes, and count the articles that give us Tyler Shultz and it does not end there. NPR also gave us “Being a Theranos whistleblower would soon morph into a much bigger nightmare. Soon, he was dealing with private investigators Holmes hired to follow him. Lawyers tried to intimidate him. Holmes tried to destroy his life.” It showed Holmes to be a backstabbing little bitch, but that didn’t fit the Disney view that the media wanted, did it? And with “Shultz was on the government’s witness list. He was never called to testify. He isn’t sure why.” We get the larger question. The whistleblower was not asked to testify? It puzzles me, but there might be a legal reason, I honestly do not know the answer. What I do know is that the media with a few exceptions steered clear of him and they are all about the people have a right to know? You get a right to see the story the media spins, all with the approval of share holders, stake holders and advertisers. So is there a contemplation or consideration that the bulk of the media is corrupt? I believe there is and with Elizabeth Holmes we see another side of that media, one that needs to stop even if it means that the media loses their 0% VAT rights. 

And the news goes on (and on and on). Vanity Fair gave us “business editor Ellen Pollock was put on the spot to defend a soft-focus profile of the disgraced Theranos founder, telling staff she didn’t “give a fuck” about the criticism.” The news and ‘soft focus’? WTF? So do we see the New York Times going soft on crimes and criminals? Perhaps there is more and when you consider that Holmes set the stage for “Many of the marquee names that made up the Theranos board — former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former Sen. Sam Nun and George Shultz” Tylers Grandfather and former United States Secretary of State no less. Holmes had them all under her spell which would apply to a false prophet, not a media darling and that is perhaps the biggest failing of all. If NPR (at https://www.npr.org/2022/01/05/1070474663/theranos-whistleblower-tyler-shultz-elizabeth-holmes-verdict-champagne) hadn’t given us the goods, we would all be in the dark. Perhaps there are more but I was unable to find them. Seek Google for “Elizabeth Holmes Tyler Shultz”, or just seek “Tyler Shultz” these two seeks should give you at least a little more on the media and their spin. 

So whatever you do, consider at least that the media once again were trying to sell you a bag of goods, just like those researchers having two observations and making a linear claim. What did they all leave on the floor?

Enjoy the day.


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My boiling point

Yup, I have one and the Guardian pushed my button. We all have buttons that can be pushed. If you sing “It’s a cruel Summer, leaving me, leaving me here on my own” really off key to Summer Mcintosh there is a chance she’ll blow a gasket too (it is based on classical music by Ace of Base, 1992). Some dislike the limelight, others (like me) have other buttons. And there is the start for today. The article by Rupert Neate a wealth correspondent (whatever that is) is by their own submission a reporter on covering the super rich and inequality, again whatever the hell that is. But let’s look at that article (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/2023/may/29/2-tax-uk-rich-list-families-raise-22bn-year-reform-inequality) where he starts by hiding behind ‘could’ making him some clueless labor tool. The text “A modest wealth tax on the richest 350 families in the UK could raise more than £20bn a year – enough to fund the construction of 145,000 new affordable homes a year – according to research by fairer taxation campaigners” and there is the emotional useless stage. ‘Constructing 145,000 new affordable homes a year’ We will not get the equations there. We do not get locality because that pricing leaves London far outside of the scope. No his goal is limelight, to hide behind ‘could’ and emotions. Then we get “A 2% tax on assets above £10m held by all members of the Sunday Times rich list could raise as much as £22bn, according to analysis by Tax Justice UK, the Economic Change Unit and the New Economics Foundation (NEF).” And still we get no equations or justification on these numbers. We get another emotional ‘tax the rich’ by an emotional tool. And he merely ‘emotionally validates’ some Sunday Times list without justification. 

You see, lets take a look at the Guardian from June 2017 where we were given (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/21/battersea-power-station-affordable-homes-almost-halved-by-developer ) ’Battersea Power Station developer slashes number of affordable homes’, there we see how Malaysian investors slashed 40% of the agreed affordable homes. How did that end? Nothing (and nowhere), you useless tool! Where is the prosecution of exploiting foreign investors? Where are your values there?  In my personal opinion Rupert Neate needs to buy a lollie, sit in a corner, suck on that and shut the fuck up (pardon my language). 

It is always labour minded idiots that are heralding ‘inequality’ and that is a larger problem. I am not against PROPER taxation, but these people according to taxation law paid their fair share and then some. You see in 2022 according to one source “629,000 people paid the additional rate of income tax is 45%, and is paid on earnings above £125,140 a year”, so these people already are in the 45% bracket (don’t worry I have a solution). They have paid their fair share, yet there is another matter. I am not blind to certain levels of inequality. You see fair taxation is also needed on corporations, Apple didn’t become a trillion dollar industry because of their devices. Their tax write offs are unheard of and that had to change decades ago. I wish them all their profits, yet there should be taxation. Retail Gazette gives us ‘UK Apple stores paid less than £800,000 tax despite £971.5m of sales’ did that useless wealth correspondent look at that part? And they are merely one of dozens of companies that are legally stretching the lines of taxation laws. Then we are given “Those on the rich list include the prime minister Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty at number 275 out of 350, with £529m, and the 32-year-old Duke of Westminster, with £9.9bn, at number 11.” And that might be true, so did they pay their taxation? It seems Apple didn’t. And that list grows, whilst the useless people are focussed on people who paid their dues according to tax laws. You see, there is another income stream. We get so much emotional garbage from magazines and newspapers that they should LOSE their 0% VAT setting, we can set that to 6% or 10%, there is your income right there. If you cannot properly report the news, you should be taxed. You forgot about the mirror image you see when you get up in the morning. So I give you another income source. If you cannot properly do your job, you get to be taxed as well.

Issue solved!

You see, if we are to believe the HMRC, six hundred and twenty nine thousand people pay their fair share and then some. So this rich list is utter BS, I say we tax the media, lets see how long they can play games whilst letting some useless wealth correspondent continue their ‘labor’ needs. Yes, this is personal, but we see this come again and again whilst no one is doing anything about tax laws or exploiting investors. Why not? It seems that the Guardian has a few fences to mend and I suggest that they hop to it, I reckon that they could spring that 10% VAT bill, but there is a chance that they will cry like little bitches, just like they did when the Leveson report was released. 

So, they pressed my button and this was my response. So, have a nice day whilst I kill a few people in Skyrim with a bow (we all unwind in our own way), they will never know what hit them.

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Ding Ding, the premise is set

Yes, this is not new, I made mention of this danger several times over the last two years. And now the media is tarting to catch on. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/26/russian-weapons-manufacturers-hosted-at-saudi-trade-event) gives us ‘Russian weapons manufacturers hosted at Saudi trade event’, you see, some might think one part, or the other part, but personally I believe that they were invited as a courtesy. There is the option that they were invited to make sure that the China offers are financially sharp, but that is the sales world for you. You see, they might offer Russian Helicopters, like the Ka-52 Alligator helicopter. Yet the Ukrainians have ben shooting them out of the sky by the dozens, so the options are speculatively not there I reckon and the way Russia is losing hardware, every machined piece of cavalry and artillery better come with a ballpoint (for write off purposes). This was the stage that was going to happen no matter how you slice it. The US thought it was clever and it is now (not so) cleverly losing billions in defence spending by Saudi Arabia and its allies. So when we see “Perhaps the most significant participant in the meetings with the Saudis is Rostec, a Russian state-owned defence systems” and we consider the byline “Companies with direct links to Russian military set to attend, which is likely to heighten tensions with US” no one seems to be noticing that Stephanie Kirchgaessner with her anti-Saudi writing is involved and the larger question is missing is “a similar trade forum with Chinese businesses had also been held recently, although those businesses did not involve firms with connections to the Chinese military.” Really? 

The Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group has no links to the Chinese Military? Tell me another one. Then there is “What is different here, and these recent business events are just one sign of it, is a major reorientation of Saudi policy towards Russia and China, and away from the USA and west Europe”, which comes from some unnamed source. The fun part is that I have ben saying this for close to two years and the first year there was an option to turn this around, yet the US and UK were sitting on their hands and now it is seemingly too late. This is the consequence of a stupid game played by the Pentagon, US Congress, the White House (in and out of office) and the House of Commons. This is the result of stupidity and there is no “heighten tensions with US”, the US is about to lose so much revenue that certain banking moguls will cut up the US credit card (and lower credit ratings in the process). 

Another step achieved by ego grandstanding and inactions. So where will Saudi Arabia, the UAE and a few other players go to? My money is currently on the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, but it is a speculative view and I lack certain levels of industry knowledge in that direction. As such I could be wrong, but I do feel that the failures in the Ukraine makes Russia a non-player in this game. Merely a column C option and it is there to make sure that those in Column A and B keep their prices down. This make makes it (for me) about half a dozen predictions right on the nose. Not bad in this day and age I reckon.

Enjoy the Weekend

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The stupidity of some

Yes, we all see that and it has repercussions for these people. We might sit on the sidelines laughing, but it shows a dangerous premise, the stupidity of America, the stupidity of some Americans and how they scuttled their own ship called ‘Future of us’ and ‘us’ could also be seen as ‘US’. This is shown in two articles. The first one is from Yahoo Finance. There was a little better NY Times article, but that was behind a paywall, so you would not be able to read the whole text.

The article (at https://news.yahoo.com/disney-cancels-1-billion-florida-185105108.html) gives us ‘Disney Cancels $1 Billion Florida Expansion’. A setting that came because an idiot (aka Gov. Ron DeSantis) decided to start a war for a trivial reason. He wanted to ‘Douse the Mouse’ (sorry Brittlestar, this is too good a slogan to pass up). And now Disney has cancelled an expansion where we get “The 10-figure office complex near Walt Disney World would have brought more than 2,000 jobs to the region, according to an estimate from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity” So not only does this governor rub any fat cat the wrong way. He now has grievance with the Commercial houses of Florida, his Republican back, the Democrats of Florida and a few other people. Along with the 2000 people not getting a job, up to 8 people connected to anyone losing that job, as such he is 25,000-50,000 votes down and there is likely a larger loss for the Republican side. An ego centric stupid act on the premise of perception that should not have existed in the first place. It is stupid for a few reasons more. The American have alienated Saudi Arabia, optionally the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon as well. Billions in defence industry is now going to China, building contracts in Syria and Saudi Arabia are now going to China, as such the EU and USA are losing out on billions more. The idea that the EU will cater to another Disney-world giving the EU billions more is not out of the question, all money lost to the US, in a stage where they have over 31 trillion in debt. An act too stupid to contemplate and this could have been avoided. In the 70’s my elders taught me ‘Do not bite the hand that feeds you’ and in 1968 we have the premise ‘Money talks, bullshit walks’ and the US seemingly only has walking left. In this day and age I saw the option for millions more in revenue in IT and it will likely go to the UK, the EU (Germany most likely) and Australia (weirdly enough). I am not ruling out Canada, but I know too little about their abilities in that field. Millions more and the list goes on. America dropped well over $5 billion a year on my recent watch alone. And all this before you realise the blunders that signify the USS Zumwalt with its $4 billion expense and the massive drop in abilities. Just to be clear, I am no naval expert, but I dit get a degree in ships engineering and navigation in 1979, so I am not totally in the dark here. The USS Blue Ridge that launched in 1970 outperforms it by a lot and the cost of that rubber ducky is a mere 5% of the failure that the USS Zumwalt represents. I reckon the idea that a congress would not order the smart bullets that the Zumwalt needs (at $800,000 per bullet) might have been the wake up call some people needed. In that environment we get to the second linked article. 

The second article is from the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/commentisfree/2023/may/18/us-debt-ceiling-crisis-republicans) and here there is another side. I do not agree. You see, we can listen to the emotional ‘The US debt ceiling crisis is more proof of Republicans’ cynicism and bad faith’. Here I am on the Republican side. There is a folly to let 31 trillion fester and fester to something more. This is a pox on both houses and it has been for well over 25 years when a tax overhaul was needed and we all hear the same BS. Too hard, too complex. Well, they are close to default on whatever they have left and as Disney goes towards the EU they will open more doors. IBM, Adobe, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are already diversifying leaving the US with nothing (well almost nothing). And as they alienated the few allies left they see an exodus to China, China of all places. 

This is the act of stupidity, stupidity on both houses that would not act when they could and now they are in patters of indecision and they are all trying to find fat jobs in global corporations before the house collapses and it is close to collapsing. This, (and a few related items) was why I tried to sell my IP to the Middle East. In the first you go where the money is. In the second you find a place where you can enjoy your golden years. Because as I see it the US will be a very dangerous place to stay soon enough. Over 200 million desperate people? Yes, that is not a place for me and when the energy shortages hit it will get a lot worse soon enough, they had options there too, but they squandered those options in the last 5 years. 

So whilst everyone is pointing at me stating that I am the stupid one (a fair thought to have) consider that my IP was right in at least two cases, optionally two more that are now evolving. Yet I have a few more and they are all destined to go towards places like Huawei and Tencent technologies. And in all honestly between nothing and  few crumbs, ill take the crumbs, especially if that results in a view like below. 

This is not my 39 coins of silver. It is merely a retirement dream that could optionally be true. And what would you do when you have the choice between what I choose and a retirement home without resources? Because that is what the US (EU and UK too) created with their ego driven decision tree.
Dousing the mouse? When was that ever a good idea, especially when it decides to cancel a billion dollar expansion? Will it go to Euro Disney? With the economic setting the French have, that might be a realistic option for the minions of Walt Disney, and the US? Well it made its own bed, to bad for them that as the others leave that sinking ship well over 275,000,000 Americans will be caught in the middle. They had their options and they voted, or they did not vote and lost their right to complain.

Have a great Friday.

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The paper tiger

There is a tiger is the fields, the people aren’t afraid, they aren’t worried because the tiger is a paper one. That is the setting and it came to me from the Guardian. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/may/14/more-than-300000-syrian-civilians-died-any-attempt-to-rehabilitate-assad-is-utterly-shameful) gives us ‘More than 300,000 Syrian civilians died. Any attempt to rehabilitate Assad is utterly shameful’, is that so? Well, it is a point of view, and Simon Tisdall is not completely wrong, actually he sort of is. I cannot fault him for anything but the reality is a lot less appealing and that is the problem, the less appealing truth behind this. You see no one ever cared about Syria. The west did not because Syria has no economic value, it has no oil, just like Yemen. And for all intents and purposes America is already broke and the EU and Japan are right next to America in this. So whilst we saw the Ghouta chemical attack and we saw the news of what happened on 21 August 2013, almost 10 years ago now. Was something done? A week later investigators looked around and The UN investigation team confirmed “clear and convincing evidence” of the use of sarin delivered by surface-to-surface rockets. Nothing was done. That is the reality and we need to take notice. You see at present Syria is one step away from becoming a Russian satellite state. Now with the Arab League back in the fold they will get some of the rebuilding revenue and it will not all go to Russia, I reckon a better setting. So even as I understand the setting of Simon, making Syria a pariah is a lot worse and that goes nowhere. In addition to all this is that the Yemen side is there too, nothing was done by any of us, only now that the Ukraine is under attack things are done, not enough and not fast enough, but something is done. Basically the world did 100% more in the case of the Ukraine then it did in case of Syria or Yemen. I feel that the west is only acting because the Ukraine with its 21st largest army was able to stop Russia with one of the three largest armies in the world and the losses are adding up for Russia

And these numbers are staggering that the Ukraine with the army and hardware they had were able to pull this off and now the west is starting to become aware that there is no aftermath for them. Germany had been for the longest time been pussyfooting on hardware delivery, only to see that Pro-Russian politicians in Germany were stoping this. American politicians were no better here. In Florida we get “Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla, a leader of a small but vocal wing of isolationist Republicans in the House, has introduced a “Ukraine Fatigue” resolution seeking to end “military and financial aid” to Ukraine.” And he is not alone in the US. America has (in my humble opinion) become a collection of pussies that were nice when they were nothing more than rich bullies, but that is now over, the wealth is gone and as such the field of superpowers is changing. It will soon evolve into a new setting with China (the force), Saudi Arabia (the bank) and India (the consumer), in that stage I want Russia to have as little options as possible and we might not like this, but it beats Russia having satellite nations making things globally worse. To prevent it actions were required, actions that remained absent in the west and that danger is still not over, because Iran is still a consideration and Russia likes a nation with so much anti-American sentiment. As such the evolution that the Arab League is making makes a lot of sense, I prefer these two listening to Saudi Arabia than taking snacks and ‘carefully considered actions’ from Russia, because that will surely make things a lot worse. 

And now as we see more and more technology interactions between Russia and the UAE, economic values will spread all over the Middle East, which is good. Yet they also fall away from American shores which is not that great, especially when you see that America remains one step short on defaulting on their loans. 

Yay, Monday!

Enjoy the day.

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Is UNemployed a thing?

In the first we need to put a pin in the end of yesterdays mentions. The presentation I saw yesterday l saw literally blew me away. It involved Snowflake and Coalesce. It makes the show for the new Bentley look feeble. What a show and what an approach. Players like Aramco need to taker a look, because the future of data mobility was shown to me and they can check it out in June in the SumIT in June in Las Vegas. They would be able to show people like Brent oil how far they are behind the curve. 

But today it is about something else. It is about the Dominion (not the Star Trek one), they went after Fox and Fox was eager to settle, the spinners of lies and misdirection got their First Amendment handed to them in a few ways, which beckons the thought ‘Should Fox be allowed to  exist as a news organisation?’ But about that more at a later date. 

First up is the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2023/apr/19/the-legal-problems-still-overshadowing-fox-news-after-its-dominion-settlement) who gives us ‘The legal problems still overshadowing Fox News after its Dominion settlement’ there we see “Fox agreed to pay voting equipment company Dominion US$787.5m, ending a dispute over whether the network and its parent company knowingly broadcast false and outlandish allegations that Dominion was involved in a plot to steal the 2020 election” in this I personally believe that they settled because of the roll call to the court. These people would paint themselves in a corner to such an extent that it would cost more then viewers. Several of them would pretty much end their TV careers, not even E! Entertainment would hire them as a joke. Yes, it is a personal view, but I think I am hitting the nail on the head in one. In the second degree the fact that Rupert Murdoch would be in the dock as well. So what will the Wall Street Journal do? What will the Times, or several of its other papers? Spin the story and lose a bulk of readers, or just keep silent? It is anyones guess and the setting is far from over, the settlement which was only $787,500,000.00 is small fries against the claim that Smartmatic launched and it has been given a green light. Their claim comes in at $2,700,000,000 which is decently higher and even if Fox settles that one, it will be a much higher settlement. Smartmatic has no free ride, it must prove malice and even as Fox wants to hide behind ‘reporting’ and relying on the freedom of the press. But with the Dominion settlement the stage of lies has been proven and there the shoe becomes tight. You see, when you report on lies is that freedom of the press? And there is a catch the Smartmatic people must prove the addition ‘knowingly’ and that is a much harder case. There are the bulk of the views which include that Tucker guy who will still enter the dock for testimonies. I wonder how many of them will rely on ‘I don’t recall that’, still if the attorneys taped the events, they might have a decent case (in case Fox accidentally loses all their recordings) in addition there is one reflection from the side of Fox as well. It is Bill O’Reilly, who (at https://www.billoreilly.com/b/Special-Message:-Fox-News-Settlement/883858753726419363.html) gives us “Going forward, Fox News faces a similar lawsuit from the Smartmatic Company and perhaps thousands of lawsuits from Fox shareholders. What a disaster. This is what happens when money becomes more important than honest information. Since I left FNC, the template changed from “Fair and Balanced” to “tell the audience what it wants to hear.” And millions of Trump voters, to this day, want to believe the 2020 election was rigged. That opinion can certainly be presented if you provide a counter opinion – equal time.

However, once the facts begin to overwhelm any point of view, a news agency has an obligation to say that. On BillOReilly.com, I examined all the fraud charges and concluded that no federal court would accept the cheating allegations. Therefore, the election was not going to be refuted by our legal system.” This shows that Bill O’Reilly might not have been everyones taste, but he was a real voice and he might have lost a thousand premium members but he remains a winner until the very last, what a class act and as I see it Fox lost the one Republican beacon it actually had, all for weak minded people catering to the voice of ‘THEIR’ people. The loss will be unmeasurable for Fox in the end. I reckon that is what happens when you become friends with a former president, the man who has no real funds, lots of debt, lots of losses and is proven to be nothing more than a paper tiger at best.

Last there is the BBC (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-65320001) and with ‘Fox News lawsuit: Can it afford the $787.5m Dominion settlement?’ And with that article they do not offer a lot more, but they do give us “It still has outstanding cases against Fox’s smaller rivals Newsmax and OAN plus several of former President Donald Trump’s associates.” As I see it, these small players have their own legal sharks and they smell blood in the water. Should Fox settle Smartmatic, or lose in the trials these small sharks will come and take huge chunks out of the Fox cadaver. No matter how you slice it, it will leave a gap for any contender of Fox to step forward because for 1-2 years it will have to contemplate how to go forward and how to invest funds going forward and that leaves their number one customer the Republican Party. Any contender could snatch that client away from Fox, which leaves Fox in a bind. Because the Democrats will not do business with them and as the Republican Party goes, so do their advertisers. A future happily bestowed on them by some loser paper tiger and they ‘associates’ of that paper tiger are going after the paper tiger as well, they have too much to lose now. For some TV presenters it will mean the end of their careers no one will hire them after this law setting, they are scared for their own stations and media. Now these people will be set into a new setting. They will allegedly be working for the United Nations as they are soon to be UNemployed?

Enjoy the day

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What was this about?

That was the second thought I had, not the first. To be honest, I was swept up by emotional phrasing that was done rather well, but the whole mess changed when I had some time to think it through. It started about 2 days ago when I saw ‘My bank did not stop £6,500 payment to holiday scammers despite my pleas’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/money/2023/mar/20/bank-did-not-stop-payment-holiday-scammers). The initial thought was what screwed up thing did the banks do this time, it was accelerated by the small issue of £6,500, which for a lot of people is regarded as loads of cash, especially when you arrange your budget in pints, which in some places outside of London will bank you 1,625 pints. For some people that is a drinking option dragging you on for well over a year, 18 months and that is a lot. So why the beer reference?

Money is a direct number, but how to compare it? There is a discussion whether an annual event can be compared to  normal monthly budget. Personally I do not believe it is valid or even acceptable. If we did that we might never have a vacation ever again at present. But back to the article. We are given “Graham says that for more than six hours after she had authorised a €7,155 (£6,500) payment to a Bank of America account in the US, the money continued to sit in her First Direct bank account. When she received an email an hour after making the payment warning her that the villa’s listing on Vrbo had been removed for security reasons, she immediately phoned First Direct back to halt the transfer”, now there are issues here, but that gets to legal to consider, but VRBO removed the villa AFTER payment was processed, there will be legal issues for VRBO. The second part is that this is a US setting, with seemingly no representation in the UK, that is the actual issue for me. Then we get “At this stage, she says, the people purporting to own the villa said they might be able to do Graham a deal if she was prepared to move outside Vrbo’s email system, and to email directly.” Taking VRBO out of the loop sets VRBO free, why do you want to be out of ANY loop? And that is where the victim gives us “They have been about as useless as they could be”. The woman who is referred to as Sarah Graham is wrong. 

In the first the bank correctly performed a payment setting. At the time of the payment it was ‘agreed’ on by both parties. In the second, the move outside of the VRBO loop got VRBO off the hook because they were unaware of what was going on. 

Now a small education for the stupid people out there. Scammers are pretty much everywhere, where ever there is a quick deal, a cheap deal (£800 cheaper) there is an exponential growth of a scam in place. There is a travel agency in almost every corner of any street in the UK and EU. There is a reason for that. Looking at a hotel in Crete I see one for 113€ a night, that is including the flight a lot less than £6,500 for a month.

There is a growing issue with people thinking that they can get the cheap deal and when you do not know the party on the other side, there is an increasing chance of losing your money. With local travel agencies (in the UK) they tend to have ATOL protection. 

This means that the scheme provides protection for travellers who book a holiday, which includes a flight. If an ATOL licensed travel company collapses, it ensures that your money is protected and you can get home. And now we get to the real part, the article does not once mention travel agency or ATOL. As such the question towards writer Miles Brignall becomes. Did you do anything more than exploit the victim? If you wanted to alert the people you would have mentioned travel agencies, ATOL licences and the issue with foreign organisations, even though I will admit that all facts taken aside, VRBO is in the clear, the scammers made sure that they were out of the loop so that they could collect, and in this the banks have no blame either. A service was performed and the bank performed it. 

This was about a person trying to get the golden deal for a lot less whilst she knew none of the parties. How does that usually go over on the internet?

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An actual surprise

That happens to us all and to me about an hour ago when I was about to go imitate a sawmill when a tweet reached me. The Tweet came from Democratic Jeff Jackson, United States Representative since 2023 for North Carolina. And the tweet was worth it, I would call it the best political video I saw in years. 

It gives a clear concise and brief overlook of the Silicon Valley Bank situation and the actions that are in play. Now, I do have questions but not on the video, everyone should see that one. The video can also be seen on YouTube (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFo-AQ5aQm0), so watch this. 

This was about soothing and assuring people and that is a good thing. It was a one of the best surprises I have seen in years. Then we get to the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/14/first-thing-global-markets-gripped-silicon-valley-bank-collapse) there we see
The bank’s parent company, SVB Financial Group, and two top executives have been sued by shareholders over the collapse of SVB. The bank’s shareholders accuse the group chief executive, Greg Becker, and the chief financial officer, Daniel Beck, of concealing how rising interest rates would leave its SVB unit “particularly susceptible” to a bank run”, for this we have a few items and it is not the Simpson illustration even as that was a hilarious one (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovfap2VtpHM) and even to some degree on point even as Bart Simpson never went to the Silicon Valley Bank, the run shows that something set it off, in the case as I saw it, the bank trying to raise 2 billion dollars. Yet I still have questions. You see, I comprehend what happened, I merely do not understand it. I never understood greed (as I personally saw it). I raised the issue (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2023/03/12/i-honestly-dont-get-it/) with ‘I honestly don’t get it’, there I made mention of the European phrase CET1 (Common Equity Test), it was an essential step into Basel III. When the US (under non-leadership of the town clown Donald Trump) lifted the Dodd-Frank act which stopped banks take unnecessary risks, without that act these dangers are back and now it comes to the question as I also gave you in the previous article “mainly US government bonds” that is the setting of the question which is:

How many US government bonds did EVERY US bank buy since the Dodd-Frank act was lifted and I reckon that the SVB bought too many, but they are nowhere near the only ones and as such the US needs to look at these stages and what is required to set a decent level of footholds in place so that the US banks can pass some level of Common Equity Test. Now, there is every chance that this list of banks are limited and that is OK, but remember that a run on two banks nearly started a new financial crises, which would close to immediately sink their economy. And make no mistake, I was a Republican once and I cannot stand this level of stupidity, so the Republicans get to wear that cloak of shame, all thanks to the Trump disaster creation team. He took such great pride of dwindling down Dodd-Frank, now let him face the fallout too.

The action was great, the question remains, but that is for another day, for now this administration needs to avert a new financial crises, and they seem to be doing just this. The end will not be known until early next week I reckon, but that is a pure speculative timeline.

Have a great day!

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When is a fence not one?

That is the thought I had a few days ago when I was confronted with ‘Finland’s main parties back plans to build Russia border fence’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/19/finland-main-parties-back-plans-build-russia-border-fence), it was a newer story with added parts, and they do not matter at present. You see, the Finnish border with Russia is 1,340km, like the Texas Mexico fence, it is folly. On the stage of getting a 1,340,000 metre fence costs more than the combined reserves of ALL EU nations, as such Finland cannot afford it. Then we get the simple setting that large parts of such a fence can be tunnelled under in simple ways. And to withstand the power of any tank that wall needs to be strong and it might merely delay any invasion by an hour, so what gives anyone the idea that this wall is a solution, other than the delusional thoughts of some politician? 

I honestly do not get it. Then, if you look at the map, the northern part of Finland borders Norway, who then borders Russia, so how to solve that? Build a wall that includes Norway? There are a dozen settings where the wall falls short, as such the use of a wall there is just folly. 

So what gives someone the idea that a wall was any kind of a solution to anything at all? And when you consider the Russian smugglers who use Finland to get to the shores to Sweden (the Lulea – Tornio – Russia route), I feel sure that some people will see the wall fail there as well. But the Guardian seemed to bite on that red herring with “Finland’s border guard last month suggested building a fence several metres high, topped with razor wire and equipped with surveillance cameras and sensors along 160 miles of the border – roughly 20% of its total”, so we have a wall that is covering 20% of the border, as such where? And when you consider that 80% is still available what does it do but take resources away, resources Finland does not really have that much to begin with. Then we get “The fence would protect areas identified as posing a potential risk of large-scale migration from Russia, mainly in south-east Finland, where most traffic crosses the border, but also around border stations in the north of the country”, which now implies that the Lulea – Tornio – Russia route could also make money for refugee smuggling, so yes, that was a really good idea from day one (sarcasm implied). And then we get the juiciest steak in political Finland. It is given to us with “The project would take up to four years to complete and could cost several hundred million euros, according to border guard estimates. Final approval for the main phase could be delayed until April, when Finland is due to hold parliamentary elections”, did you catch the stage? At a minimum of 200M, the fence will cost $1.3M per mile, which is ridiculously cheap, as such the cost would be well above 400 million and that is still decently cheap. Because border guards, electronic surveillance and a few other items will put the wall, the limited wall at no less than a billion, which is a lot more than several hundred million euros and that is before budgets are overrun and the entire mess will be useless at the price of close to €2,000,000,000 and that is still pinching pennies whilst the wall has no depth, implying that digging under it would be decently easy. So in this time of need, which nation has 2 billion ready to waste on solutions that go nowhere? At present NPR gives us that the Mexican wall is set to around $20,000,000 per mile, implying that Finland is looking at $3.2 billion, implying that my simple calculus exercise was right on the nose with €2,000,000,000 and as Finland has time issues (like Winter is coming) the 4 years is also over optimistic. Increasing the Finnish army by 300% might be cheaper and as we saw that the Ukrainian turned the Russian bear into sishkebab, that idea might be a lot more effective. A wall that cannot defend itself is merely a place you can get around and in this day and age, walls are avoided most of the time. To b e honest, I would like the politicians behind this give us the numbers on how they got to the few hundred million euro. I reckon we can all use the entertainment.

I reckon looking closely at the construction firms and their connections might reveal a few additional items, but that is me, ever the skeptic. Oh that is all before we look at the cost and maintenance of guards on that stretch of wall, you would need well over 80 guard groups, with 24 hour coverage, travel settings and food/drink options. I reckon I low balled the cost by a lot.

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The blocking question

That is what CB left me with. The article (at https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/alphabet-google-committee-block-summon-1.6762908) gives us “A parliamentary committee is calling four of Google’s top executives to appear before it after the company began testing ways it could block news content from searches if Parliament passes the Online News Act.” And this MP Julian, perhaps MP Julian Assange? No, my bad. It was MP Peter Julian. You see, we do not get the proper setting. And it is not on Google. We are given “Google’s actions have been irresponsible. Google’s actions amount to censorship and Google’s actions are disrespectful of Canadians.” I do not think this is true and because some politicians are trying to remain as vague as possible, issues and question remain, but the people who are pushing this are the remnants of William Randolph Hearst and they all should become as obsolete and buried as Hearst is now. 

They lost credibility and they lost integrity, but that is not how we need to proceed. You see the article gives us “All types of news content are being affected by the test, which will run for about five weeks, the company said. That includes content created by Canadian broadcasters and newspapers. An Australian law similar to C-18 took effect in March 2021 after talks with the big tech firms led to a brief shutdown of Facebook news feeds in the country. The law has largely worked, a government report said.” Well, not exactly, has it?

You see, we are given one line, but it is not one line, it is a document with many paragraphs, many facetted paragraphs. But the politicians do not want to go there, do they? 

This is the first example. It comes from Twitter. The LA Times gives us the heads up, but it is not that, when we click on it it becomes a block. An advertisement block and the LA Times is not alone. So, did we accept that FREE advertisement by the LA Times? That is the question and it is not a simple one line answer. 

The second example is Google search, I wanted something on Bundaberg (where the good rum comes from) and I looked at the news, the top part is what I saw and there is nothing wrong with reading about youthful enthusiasm in medicine, so I clicked on the article, but was I informed? No! I got an invitation to PAY for the article. Lets be clear, it might be OK for newspapers to allow this approach, but is it up to Google Search to cater to free advertisement? These two examples are the tip of a mountain a lot bigger than the ice-block that sank the Titanic, but the article as well as PM Julian are keeping us in the dark about it. There are others like the Guardian, the Dutch NOS, BBC, CBC and many others that do not use this approach, but for news outlets that cater to this approach we see a different catering and I think that Facebook and Google get to block these players. They newspapers are making claims of loss of revenue, but they advertise in this way, so is blocking all the question? I do not think so, but I am not on the board of directors of Google (even after I was able to hand them close to $20,000,000,000 in revenue). Ah well, another day, another dollar.

The block setting is not that simple and these politicians are nowhere neat ready to properly look at this. They want their cowboy story and Google is the nasty evil, but that is not true, it was never true. But then the politicians involved could never figure this out, but that is how I see it, and I accept that others have a different point of view. That is fair, I can only give you my point of view and perhaps it will stir questions, perhaps it will not.

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