Tag Archives: the Guardian

A woman’s voice

Something bothered me, it bothered me from the beginning, but I let it go. There are several important things going on in the world and this was not one of them, or was it? It was the Guardian that pushed me into action. The article ‘Hollywood stars back Emma Watson after Palestinian solidarity post’ gave me the view that is was essential to act, and believe it or not act is the central part of the whole story.

The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jan/13/hollywood-stars-back-emma-watson-after-palestinian-solidarity-post) gives us a few things. Now to be honest, for the most I tend to take the side of Israel, for several reasons. The setting was that Emma Watson showed an image, an image that gives us “a photograph of a pro-Palestinian protest with the banner “solidarity is a verb” written across it. It was accompanied with a quote about the meaning of solidarity from the intersectional feminist scholar Sara Ahmed.” I reckon that Emma Watson agreed and she posted the image. In the initial hours I saw responses and also the accusation of antisemitism and I thought nothing of it, I believed it to be an overreaction. In this, I also saw the tweets by Danny Danon and I believed he was wrong, he too overreacted, but I let it slide. Now that we see all these responses, I feel that it is important to respond. 

As I stated, in most cases I tend to side with Israel. Here there is a truth. The truth is simple “solidarity is a verb”, that is truth, it is a verb until it is followed by acts, commitment and actions. If you want to see that look in your history books on Poland in the 1985-1999 era, solidarity came from actions, until that is done, it is merely a verb. Yet all sources ignore the third side in all this. There is one side, there is the opposition and there is the photograph. You see the photograph is brilliant. It starts conversations,. It starts views and it does create opposition, yet nearly all ignored or overlooked the third party, didn’t you? We see the acts against a young lay, and let’s face it, she is only 382 months old. It is not an excuse, it is not negative, it merely is a fact, just like the fact that “solidarity is a verb”. And she identified with the verb, she identified with the thought. In this she is right and a lot of people are wrong. So it is good to see names like Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Capaldi, Charles Dance, Gael García Bernal, Jim Jarmusch, Maxine Peake, Viggo Mortensen and Steve Coogan standing with her. In this Danny Danon and Israeli officials did the wrong thing, perhaps Palestine was hoping for an overreaction, perhaps it was something else and in all this Miss Watson never uttered an anti-semite word and that needs to be seen and seen as soon as possible. And in all this we see a second failing. Did you pick up on it? The media merely gives us “the meaning of solidarity from the intersectional feminist scholar Sara Ahmed”. So what was the meaning? Why is it (as I personally see it) overlooked? And more important, who is Sara Ahmed? The Quote was “Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.” Do you know where I got that from? Vogue Magazine! They gave a more complete story than the newspapers, how weird is that?

So as we wonder who is right and who is wrong. I gave my view, yet I will not deny that Palestine has a hard situation, in part Palestine created it, but the truth behind the setting is that “Solidarity involves commitment, and work” it is an absolute truth and I wonder all those voices screaming and parroting that Emma Watson is an anti-semite, who did their vetting, who did their investigation? I fear that this group is far too small and that should sadden us all. 

But there is also good news Emma Watson turned 382 months today, so she can celebrate her day in life, her month in life and she can do it holding her head up high, she never did anything wrong here. 

So solidarity is a verb, so is judgemental. Who thought it through and who considered that the photograph did what it needed to do, to get people talking. As I see it +15 points for Gryffindor.

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Media in Limelight

That is the setting, is it time to put the media in the limelight? It started yesterday in Al Jazeera which was based on an article that came from the Wall Street Journal. The article (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/9/iran-likely-smuggling-weapons-to-yemen-confidential-report) gives us ‘Iran ‘likely’ smuggling weapons to Yemen: UN report’I got there over three years ago, with a little later, in December 16th 2019 when I wrote ‘Joke of 2019: United Nations’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/12/16/joke-of-2019-united-nations/), where we see the UN giving us in some delusional Tate of denial “The UN has reportedly so far been unable to confirm Iran was involved in drone and cruise missile attacks on two key Saudi oil facilities in September”, they were that much in denial, one could argue that the UN allowed itself to be steered clear of any evidence involving Iran and the media was happy to oblige. If you search for these elements in Western media you will find very little. The Wall Street Journal who gave us two days ago (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-navy-port-emerges-as-key-to-alleged-weapons-smuggling-to-yemen-u-n-report-says-11641651941) “Thousands of weapons seized by the U.S. along supply routes for Yemen’s Houthis likely originated from Jask in Iran’s southeast, according to a draft report” might be one of the first that takes a larger look at the acts of Iran, well, I have to say that it took them long enough. I have a three year head start on most of them as such I wonder which stakeholder is out in the cold now?

A stage most ignores for the longest time is now a hot potato. So we do hope that General Turki Al-Maliki, serving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will get the support he has been entitled to for well over two years. And all this is before you realise that Arab News gave us (at https://youtu.be/6Ab-8bIHY90) the setting of what Saudi Arabia was getting done in Yemen. Now, I am willing to be skeptical and not one sided, but the media did not report on any of that did they? It would be fair to see opposition, there always is, yet that part is also missing. We see blunt debatable attacks by tools like Stephanie Kirchgaessner (the Guardian, Washington DC) and a few other tools, but that is the extent, this is one of the larger first articles that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in particular General Turki Al-Maliki has been rowing upstream for far too long all whilst the media shuts down any reporting on Iranian actions towards and in Yemen, why is that?

If there was opposition, disagreements on matters it would show, it always does, one side reports on knives being delivered, the other party will state that the manufacturers of stone knives are being pushed out of a job. This is life, but the shutdown on news regarding Iranian actions is another matter and the Wall Street Journal (as well as Al Jazeera) seemingly broke rank. And when we see the response in the WSJ “Iran’s mission at the U.N. said Iran doesn’t interfere in the conflict in Yemen, as a matter of policy. “Iran has not sold, exported, or transferred any arms, ammunition, or related equipment to Yemen in contravention of Security Council resolutions,” the Iranian mission said in an emailed statement.” We get the political side of the statement, yet the part where we see “thousands of weapons seized” tell a very different story. So whilst there will be twisting and turning for some time (which always happen) the one side that does not get to be in denial is the media, two sources? The media are all over each other whenever possible and Yemen is no exception. We need to consider the media and the irresponsible acts of keeping news from us. Keeping us in the dark on what Iran is doing, we need to set the limelight on the media and their stage of denial, it is that simple. When they all start doing their job, the job of some become more outspoken and we see a much larger wheel in motion, and perhaps the headline we saw in September 2021 ‘Iran Selling More Oil In 2021 But Middlemen Reap The Profit’, the setting is simple. In what universe does the middlemen reap the profits, close to all the profits? I wonder if the media will grace us with a list of names, yet I doubt that, the stakeholders on a few levels will not allow for that. This is of course personal speculation, yet consider the revenue that oil has and now we see that the alleged Iranian profits go somewhere else? Do you not think we need to know where they go? Do you think that the CIA, FBI (and many others) are not interested where billions in profits sailed to? The media is suddenly not interested?

If Toyota released another ISIS model, the media would be all over the design teams and asking them which of the members had middle eastern relatives. Now they are quiet? I do not think so! I believe that the Wall Street Journal (al Jazeera too) is exposing a little more than they bargained for and the call for exposing and illuminating the media in the limelight is the right call to make. 

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The virtual quarterback

We can consider me being the Monday morning quarterback, it would be fair to call me this. I have been for the longest time a champion of science, I believe that not unlike evidence in law, science is the cornerstone of all daily life decisions. So I tend to take sides with science for nearly all cases. Yet today, in opposition of a piece in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/02/britain-got-it-wrong-on-covid-long-lockdown-did-more-harm-than-good-says-scientist) I take another side, the non-scientist setting. I oppose the views of Professor Mark Woolhouse. So feel free to oppose my views, which would be fair enough. But in all matters take a long hard look at some of the things we are handed here today. I believe that not unlike some wannabe journalists who wanted to cash in on Jamal Khashoggi with their fiction view of ‘Blood and Oil’ this professor might be trying to find the same rabbit in a different hat with ‘The Year the World Went Mad: A Scientific Memoir’.

So where do I oppose?
It starts with “I am afraid Gove’s statement was simply not true,” he says. “In fact, this is a very discriminatory virus. Some people are much more at risk from it than others. People over 75 are an astonishing 10,000 times more at risk than those who are under 15.” In March 2020 there was a lot we never knew. Do not forget that the disease was out for only 2-3 months, and it had not spread to the degree it has now. China had no answers, and the people who were responsible for calling this a pandemic did not do so. In addition, the media gave us “This might become a pandemic” all whilst the points of calling it a pandemic had already passed. I wrote about it on February 3rd 2020 in ‘Corona?  I Never touch the stuff!’ (At https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/02/03/corona-i-never-touch-the-stuff/), a month before we see given here. I already saw the pandemic threshold passed, yet most media were in denial with “This might become a pandemic” as such, it seems to me that Professor Mark Woolhouse will have to explain a few things. Then we get to “We did serious harm to our children and young adults who were robbed of their education, jobs and normal existence, as well as suffering damage to their future prospects, while they were left to inherit a record-breaking mountain of public debt” in this is resort to the blunt ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ In the first there was a lot we did not know, and for the longest time there are still questions, so the response I see with “We did serious harm to our children and young adults who were robbed of their education, jobs and normal existence” is something I would like to refer to as bullshit marketing. You see the first peak of daily deaths did not start until April 13th 2020, with 6916 dead people (aka the non-living). 

I found a table from April 2020 from New York. In this table we see 6839 died, but the interesting part is that 5151 cases had an underlying condition and in that case the older you get the higher the chance of an underlying condition, and in that up to 44 years old 312 died. Most with an underlying condition, but there was a lot not known in that setting. More important, there was no vaccine, there was no protection. The Pfizer solution was still in clinical trials in November 2020. And when you start looking at the facts as they were known, I believe that Mark Woolhouse is trimming his own trumpet for the sake of book-sales (a speculative view, but it is my view). 

Were mistakes made?
Yes, of course mistakes were made, they were made all over the world and with the US having an idiot as president in those days did not help much. There was a large void of knowledge and there was a large void of experience, so looking at the facts after the fact does not help much (apparently it might help a certain professor with a book to sell). And in all this the professor does not take into account the anti-lockdown idiots spreading the disease, the ignorant anti-vaxxers adding fuel to the fire and then the people who were ignorant of the way the disease spread going to relative, friends and so forth needing their social moment. 

And in London that is a large powder-keg waiting to explode and now that it is doing just that we see the blame game in effect. So consider the anti-lockdown protest, it only 10 people had it at that point, at least 1000 could have it 3 days later. And everyone remains in denial, oh boo hoo hoo!

So when we get to “the country should have put far more effort into protecting the vulnerable. Well over 30,000 people died of Covid-19 in Britain’s care homes. On average, each home got an extra £250,000 from the government to protect against the virus, he calculates. “Much more should have been spent on providing protection for care homes,” says Woolhouse, who also castigates the government for offering nothing more than a letter telling those shielding elderly parents and other vulnerable individuals in their own homes to take precautions.” Where is the time line? When did we know what we know now and that is before we add the complications of Alpha, Delta and Omicron. And with the last quote “By contrast, we spent almost nothing on protecting the vulnerable in the community. We should and could have invested in both suppression and protection. We effectively chose just one.

In the first, the government could not afford both paths (slight speculation), there were too many unknown factors and with Omicron raging now, anti-vaxxer idiots and anti-lockdown dumbo’s, how can you protect a community? You can claim you can but stupid people will do whatever they feel like, the vulnerable be damned. That is how people tend to be. 

So this is my view on the matter and it is a rare event when I oppose a scientist, especially a professor, but here I feel it was needed. And I had a few more views concerning covid over that year and last year too. I kept it low, because I am not a medici (ha ha ha), yet the larger stage is also ignored in the story. The media was fear mongering all over the place and that too resulted in negative actions. There were several factors and I believe that too many factors were unknown, or untested for the longest of times. 

So, if you decide I am the Monday morning quarterback it is fine, I gave my reasoning and my views that go back to February 2020 when it was in the earliest stage. So I am not exactly the Monday morning quarterback, but I am definitely a virtual one. Consider the facts and consider the blah blah from Professor Mark Woolhouse and draw your own conclusions.

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When will people learn?

This is not the first time time that I go all out against a Guardian essay writer (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/20/un-backed-investigator-into-possible-yemen-war-crimes-targeted-by-spyware) So lets take you through this track of what I regard to be stupid bumbles. The title is fine ‘UN-backed investigator into possible Yemen war crimes targeted by spyware’, it is what is reported on, but the stage quickly changes with “a panel mandated by the UN to investigate possible war crimes – was targeted in August 2019, according to an analysis of his mobile phone by experts at Amnesty International and the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.” Why is this important? Well we are not given an iota of evidence on how that was established. More important, we have heard of the experts of Citizen Lab, but who has heard of the experts at the UN? More important, why is this shown 2 years later (aka roughly 840 days)? So then we get to be off to the races. We now get the French Fairy tale division giving us “Jendoubi’s mobile number also appears on a leaked database at the heart of the Pegasus Project, an investigation into NSO by the Guardian and other media outlets, which was coordinated by Forbidden Stories, the French non-profit media group.” This is an issue as I had shown (source: Washington Post) in my story ‘Retry or Retrial?’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/28/retry-or-retrial/) with ““reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents: several Arab royal family members, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists, and more than 600 politicians and government officials — including cabinet ministers, diplomats, and military and security officers. The numbers of several heads of state and prime ministers also appeared on the list”, no evidence mind you, merely statement and boasting. I call it boast, because we see there that the Amnesty’s Security Lab examined 67 smartphones all whilst close to 50% had an inconclusive test. If this is 67, what about the other 49,933?” In this there was another side that no one considered. The list represented $400,000,000 in revenue and the NSO Group never had that, more important, none of these essay writers EVER published a dashboard showing where the 1,000 people were, there the other 9,000 were. If there is a phone list, there is a location and a dashboard on these numbers was never released, something I would do in the first few hours. 

Then we get the other clown (at the UN) with a clear hatred of Saudi Arabia “Agnes Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International, who previously served as a UN special rapporteur, called the news of Jendoubi’s alleged targeting “shocking and unacceptable”” It is that much of a setting, the article goes longer into blah blah mode, but no evidence is ever given to us. And it is then that we see a pie in the face on the clowns involved. We get “It suggests further reprehensible evidence of the Saudi authorities’ utter disregard for international law, their willingness to do anything to maintain their impunity, and it demonstrates yet again a complete disrespect for the United Nations, multilateral instruments and human rights procedures.” And why do I state it like that? In the previous article we see “In this Shalev Hulio is right that he is “continuing to dispute that the list of more than 50,000 phone numbers had anything to do with NSO or Pegasus”, I would too and I found a lot of the disputable issues within an hour, I wonder how shortsighted the media was when they decided to reprint what the Washington Post gave them.” This does not mean that the NSO Group and Saudi Arabia are innocent, but it calls in question the evidence presented. The verge and the Washington Post had issues with that list and I found another issue that could have been verified, as such we see a Stephanie Kirchgaessner who in 3-4 articles reduced the Guardian to a mere level of the Daily Mail, what a lovely way to end 2021, perhaps its editor Katharine Viner might do well by internally vetting what is being published, and perhaps she is part of the setting. Let well, I never stated that Saudi Arabia was innocent, but the fact that the NSO Group cannot see WHO infected (if that was the case) the phone of Kamel Jendoubi’s mobile phone, what other matters did these essay writers ignore to get a nice little hate piece against Saudi Arabia?

When will people learn that evidence is where it is at and several sources have debated the validity and the correctness of that list, and in all those months, no. one decided to look into the list and give us all a dashboard, weird is it not? I am not stating that Shalev Hulio, or Saudi Arab ia is innocent, but there is no presented evidence that they are either, as such the Daily Mail 2 (the Guardian) has a lot of making up to do, but perhaps they are merely doing what politicians and stake holders are telling them to do.

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Cross here to die

Yup it happens, there is a point in our lives when someone points at a road and states that death comes to those who cross here. I (with an uncanny sense of humour) would state that you cannot cross here, but that is me.

This all started with keeping the press accountable with what the Guardian gives us. It is (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/11/omicron-covid-variant-could-cause-75000-deaths-in-england-by-end-of-april-say-scientists) and is called ‘Omicron could cause 75,000 deaths in England by end of April, say scientists’. Let’s start by setting the proper page that the Guardian has done nothing wrong (as far as I can tell). In the second part, let’s look at the non-living rates that I see. One source gives us that at present 146,255 people in the UK stopped breathing (due to COVID). Then we see that this would up the ante by 50% and so far we are told that Omicron is a mild version, so someone is lying to us and the press should be all over this. 

The full text states “prevent Omicron causing anywhere between 25,000 to 75,000 deaths in England over the next five months, according to scientists advising the government”, My issue is that the current numbers are set to Feb 2020 – Dec 2021, so how could a mild version create up to 50% more non-living? OK, we see that it is 25K-75K, but that still does not make sense. This is fear mongering, or this is fear mongering as I personally see it. 

And there is more we get to see “a wave of infection is projected that could lead to a peak of more than 2,000 daily hospital admissions, with 175,000 hospital admissions and 24,700 deaths between 1 December this year and 30 April 2022.” And it is natural that these people hide behind ‘could lead to’, Yet the stage does not match. 175,000 admissions leading to 24,700, deaths. It goes against the numbers I have so far over a lot of nations and Omicron is stated (several sources) that it is a mild version that is more easily transmitted, yet not more deadly, so the numbers do not add up.

Why is the Guardian not all over this, why do we merely see “More follows …” at the end? I get that more will follow, but I think there is a large gap on the numbers the UK people have and saw and what this is now telling them, someone is spiking the drinks (not vetting speculative numbers). Now, I could miss something, I will happily agree to that, but the numbers do not make sense and I have been around intelligence numbers for decades. This does not add up. 

So I get it that some ‘covering’ is needed, but the ‘could lead to’ and ’could cause’ is like me stating “Cross here to die” I did remove the Warning Mines here! sign, but that negatively impacted a lovely photographic stretch of road. And let’s be honest, that sign might have been there too long in the first place, WW2 ended in 1945, a lifetime ago, almost two lifetimes ago.

On the other side, I get it, we might not know all about Omicron, but is informing us not the duty of the newspapers?  So what gives, because this setting is too surreal for words and after we got a lecture from a Nobel winner who states to us all “when lies become facts”, I reckon the news beacons better get there A game on, especially as Al Jazeera also gives us (just now) “Pegasus, the Israeli spyware tool exposed by journalists early this year, is now in trouble with  American authorities and big tech”. In the first, I do not think that the NSO group is innocent, yet no proper evidence has been presented and some newspapers have given us facts that are debatable in the very least on a few fronts (one of those newspapers was the Guardian), And in all this, the infector is yet to be proven and the NSO group is not the only player in that town and if a pervious quote applies that 34 out of 76 might have been infected (might is the operative word), we need to see a lot more and especially a lot better from the newspapers.

Getting people to cross a mine field is relatively easy when you remove the warning signs. And that is what we almost face, we are told that there is a minefield to the left and we need to cross to the right, that sounds nice, until you realise that the signs were moved and now we all get to stride through the boom boom field. 

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It is difficult

One one hand, thee was a reason to be joyful. There was another article by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, so let the bashing begin. On the other hand, this is actually a good article. It is also an important article. And there is a stage where we need to consider what is and what could be. The article ‘Rights groups urge EU to ban NSO over clients’ use of Pegasus spyware’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/dec/03/rights-groups-urge-eu-to-ban-nso-over-clients-use-of-pegasus-spyware). This is interesting in two ways. We see no such ban on Remington, Fabrique national, Glock and a few other firms. And I would like to add that the NSA has done worse, much worse, so why is it now onto the NSO because their clients are skating on the edge of what some people might seem as ‘unacceptable’?

We see “Letter signed by 86 organisations asks for sanctions against Israeli firm, alleging governments used its software to abuse rights”, we see it, but do we realise what is going on? We are holding the publisher of a law book accountable for criminals using those books to stay out of prison. And it is not mere criminals using the books, it is governments using the books. 

This is a slippery slope and as Stephanie Kirchgaessner illuminates this, we are left with questions. I personally want to see a list of these 86 organisations. I am not saying that the Guardian is lying, I am stating that the NSO and us have a right to see these accusers. Yes, we see Access Now, Amnesty International and the Digital Rights Foundation. But where are the others? We also see “the EU’s sanctions regime gave it the power to target entities that were responsible for “violations or abuses that are of serious concern as regards to the objectives of the common foreign and security policy, including violations or abuses of freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, or of freedom of opinion and expression””, it is here that the problem starts. We see “freedom of opinion and expression”, but who allows for that? Who allows for ‘peaceful assembly’? Consider the US and their ‘Black Lives Matter’ setting. We see “Some states have recently increased the severity of criminal penalties for protesters along political lines”, so where is your freedom of expression and opinion now? 

There is an issue, there is and in this Stephanie is right, but is there any kind of stage where the NSO can be held responsible for the actions of their clients? What do you think will happen when the NSO sells what they have to China and/or Russia? Do you think these 86 organisations will have anything to say then? 

And there is a larger stage, the stage everyone is silent about, the stage we all know but no one is willing to look there. We are so willing to blame the NSO group, but no one is wondering why Apple and Google didn’t have better protection? We can understand that there are always, but they do not seem to work and for some reason, Apple and Google have a massive problem. So when we consider Forbes ‘Apple Starts Sending NSO Hack Warnings To iPhone Users’, why was this not done earlier, and more important why was the problem not fixed 5 years ago? Apple is playing the cautious game, leaving the NSO group out of the debate with “State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time. Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete. It’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected. We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behaviour to evade detection in the future.” So why are new phones not more secure? Why are cyber locks a problem? Because Apple (Google too) caters to people who need automation to get better and more revenue and that crosses with the needs of some players who need access. 

In all this, the simplest solution was that no one gets access to your mobile, and it is not a new concept. The Blackberry started that idea and was quickly pushed out of the market (they were not the cheapest either). I saw this come up a few times when I was considering the evolution of a console (name xxxxxxxx redacted) , but the premise is larger and it is all linked to the simple setting that Facebook opened a door and EVERYONE wants to get through. In this case the NSO group saw that as a great idea to collect information and they are not alone, let that be clear, they might be the most visible player, but they are not the only player, but the article does not give that part, do they? You see there were a few nations on the list (that everyone ignores) and they are not NSO group clients, but they have certain abilities, so they are a client of someone and these 86 organisations are about to give that one player (with no scruples) the entire market.

Did you consider that?

Moreover, the accusations from some against the NSO group are still absent of evidence. Several newspapers gave light that the list of 10,000 was bogus and it was from 2017. In addition, I found the financial link missing, 10,000 hacks implied that the NSO group had received in excess of $600,000,000 and they have not. Some give us specifically worded accusations. Like the Citizens Lab giving us that 36 phones might (emphasis on might) have been transgressed upon, 36 out of 76, and we seemingly delete the word ‘might’ with our minds, but I did not. I am not opposing the Citizens Lab, but 36 might out of a debatable list of 10,000 is a long stretch and so far none of the media have given us any clear evidence, but these 86 organisations see there limelight moment, so they are all crying foul (or is that fowl). 

I for one want to see the media become responsible and hand over a dashboard of alleged victims. 10,000 numbers, that would be a massive list, but a dashboard stating how many are government, how many are journalists (which was in one article no more than 180, I think) making that a mere 1.8%. How many infections per nation? The list goes on and the media over all these months presented ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But now we see “Letter signed by 86 organisations asks for sanctions against Israeli firm”, all whilst no clear evidence has been presented EVER. This is ab out something else and it has nothing to do with the NSO group, it has everything to do with a group of journalists who have become obsolete and as we see event after even (like that running Joke called the ICIJ), how much evidence have we see on their so called 11.9 million leaked documents with 2.9 terabytes of data, and zero (none) dashboard giving a summary, even with all that time and 600 journalists no one had time to give us a run down, that is how pathetic the media has become. Oh and they promised not to investigate the source, interesting is it not?

All flaming for digital revenue and presenting close to nothing, flames and way too little  substance. So when we ask these media players for clarity, their most likely answer will be ‘It is difficult’

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The shoddy essay

I actively dislike certain people, especially as they use their position to merely lash out at others. This is seen (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/01/saudi-arabia-yemen-un-human-rights-investigation-incentives-and-therats) when we see Stephanie Kirchgaessner have another go at Saudi Arabia. I honestly think that is all she does. So here is my take. The article ‘Saudis used ‘incentives and threats’ to shut down UN investigation in Yemen’ Of course my first reaction was ‘What UN investigation in Yemen?’ And the article starts off with “Political officials and diplomatic and activist sources describe stealth campaign”. I go into the article and I am treated to “according to sources with close knowledge of the matter”, “Riyadh is alleged to have warned Indonesia”, and lets not forget ““You could see the whole thing shift, and that was a shock,” said one person familiar with the matter”, so what people were familiar to the matter? What actually happened? It is a fair question, especially when we are given “The resolution was defeated by a simple majority of 21-18, with seven countries abstaining”, it is in this case that I am apparently a much better investigator. So, lets take a look.

First lets look at some headlines ‘UN calls on Yemen’s Houthis to release detained staff’, ‘UN: Houthi rebels impeding aid flow in Yemen’, ‘Yemen: Houthi Terrorism Designation Threatens Aid’, and these are just three headlines from dozens in the last two years. In this, the UN and other parties (like essay writers) have been really active in silencing any actions that included Houthi and Iranian forces in Yemen. The article has two mentions on Houthi, one in a photo and none (read: Zero) mentions of Iran. We see one mention of all in “committed by all sides”. The article is that one sided and that much of a hack job. The situation in Yemen is large, much larger then this essay writer makes it out to be. 

I am not making some claim that Saudi Arabia is innocent, but I can tell you it is definitely not that guilty either. Houthi and Iranian forces have at least part of that blame (well over 50%) and we seem to forget that all this started by Houthi forces, The Saudi coalition was asked to come and no one seems to notice that. So whilst the Guardian hides behind “the Saudis appear to have influenced officials”, I merely wonder if there isn’t a much larger picture. We see mention by John Fisher giving us “It was a very tight vote. We understand that Saudi Arabia and their coalition allies and Yemen were working at a high level for some time to persuade states in capitals through a mixture of threats and incentives, to back their bids to terminate the mandate of this international monitoring mechanism”, here we see the stage, but we ignore the lighting. In addition to that stage, what evidence is there for “through a mixture of threats and incentive”, you see Iran and  Houthi Yemen do not want any monitoring for a few reasons, and they are non-mentioned parties, why is that? Shovelling BS all on one pile is nice at times and we love to see all that BS piled up at Strasbourg, but that will not happen either will it? 

You think that this I the end, but it is time to add flavour to it all,  because in all fairness, Stephanie Kirchgaessner is not in this alone, the stakes against Saudi Arabia are much larger. That is seen when we add the Conversation (at https://theconversation.com/jobs-are-no-excuse-canada-must-stop-arming-saudi-arabia-171792) where we see “Jobs are no excuse — Canada must stop arming Saudi Arabia”, and I would state ‘Yes, handing more revenue to China is the way to go!’ I would love to get a larger billion dollar stake holding a 3.75% bonus setting. Even as we are given “The bulk of Canadian arms exports to the Saudis are light armoured vehicles, known as LAVs”, We see the attack using ‘Human Rights’ all whilst Saudi Arabia is under actual attack, Houthi (apparently Iranian operated drones) are attacking civil targets in South Saudi Arabia, so whilst we are given “Canada has twice been named by the United Nations Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen as one of several world powers helping to perpetuate the conflict by continuing to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia”, and we are not given the clear involvement of Iranian and Houthi settings, it is all a one sided attack and it matters, these people attack one sided for a larger need, an ego driven need and the media is helping them do this. But feel free to state I am wrong, and I am happy to be wrong, especially if $12,000,000,000 going to China might fetch me a nice 450 million dollars (I can dream, can’t I?). when the numbers are this high 3.75% makes a very nice number. And the world is making this happen, so when we see project after project fail in Europe and the US because the moral high ground came at a price, consider the names of people who made that happen. Hunger on the moral high ground is not rare, it usually is linked to all kinds of revenue that they never got. This is not a perfect world, I never claimed it to be, but a commerce world needs to sell all kinds of stuff, also stuff that seems to be wrong, there is no denying that. And when it comes to that side, these two articles leave Houthi and Iranian actions in the dark. You should wonder why that is, because a nation does not spend 12 billion in any one sided event. If it was truly one sided one billion would have been more than enough. Did you consider that?

The US and the EU have at presently dropped 48 billion in revenue, revenue that they desperately needed and now that von der Leyen revealed the ‘300 billion euro answer to China’s Belt and Road’, how will that be paid for? Not from the revenue that Saudi Arabia required to defend its borders. That revenue will support China’s Belt and Road projects, a nice pickle they got themselves in and no one is wondering how this farce can go on, because soon there will be no money left, the overdrawn credit cards from the US, the EU, France, Germany and the UK makes any economic action close to impossible. And soon (in about 3-5 weeks) when the US has another debt ceiling, consider all the things that the US could have done to stop the new stress settings; the EU and the UK as well, now that these funds are going to China, the stage changed, the electricity bill can no longer be paid and there is no fighting ring, there is no event to watch, it is just a dark room in a dark location and that I the setting we all had to avoid. But rejoice, you then know one element that Yemeni people face, they have no electricity either, the Houthi forces made sure of that. 

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The Trap

There is a trap out there, we all fall for it, it is in part our own ego, it is in part the way we believe, or we think we believe and it is in part the elements steering us. I fell for it yesterday and there is no shame, it happens to us all. I was merely happy I figured out what I was doing. I will not give the exact trap I fell for, but it comes down to a weird thought. An example is “People are old when they turn hundred, because that is the boiling point of water”. The link between the two is 100. There is no other link, but the mind at times uses the link to get more out of it and as it finds these supposed links we fall into the trap. As stated it happens to us all at times. So as I was relaxing I noticed two articles by the CBC. 

The first is (at https://www.cbc.ca/radiointeractives/docproject/warhammer-40k). We get ‘Warhammer 40,000 was a sanctuary during my high school years’. This is true, but then we also get “The irony that some Trump fans equated the 45th U.S. president with 40K’s desiccated Emperor isn’t lost on Gillen, author of Marvel Comics’ first Warhammer 40,000 mini-series, Marneus Calgar”. The issues is that behind the larger story (which is actually quite good) is “it has been embraced by Trump supporters and white supremacists”, you see there is another expression we need to see: ‘The sun shines on the just and unjust alike’. This matters, because if you do not you will fall in the trap I almost fell for. The just and unjust all need a game to play, they all need to relax and some play Warhammer, some play Skyrim and some play ‘Bo Red takes a gander’, it does not matter what they play. The game does not make them extremists, they were that and they decided to play a game. Yet there is a larger stage, the unjust will find a game where they can talk and where they can communicate and the more that is done outside of the monitoring elements the safer they feel. I saw this in 2011 in a game (I think), it think it was called ‘Lords of Ultima’, this has nothing to do with the game makers, they had a game and people in a guild could communicate privately, there were 99 private channels. And over time more games offered the option to communicate and the makers got cash for everything. 

The game and its makers are not to blame, the events are merely there. There is no deeper connection (at present). The second story is (at https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/holiday-movies-christmas-inclusive-1.6261313) the article is called ‘Diversity in holiday movies improves, but gaps still need to be filled’, so why is that? I am not opposing, I am asking. You see movies and TV shows are a business, they cater to the largest section they can because it gives them the best revenue. Do you think that Hollywood is anything but a siphon for revenue? And in that setting the bulk of all there watchers are white. It has a market. Bollywood (India) and Nollywood (Nigeria) figured out that there was a gap and they  figured out how they could fill their pockets with the gaps. So will there be a Gollywood, a Lollywood, or a Tollywood? I cannot tell, but those in that direction are seeing whether they can make a profit in this market. Collywood (China/Hong Kong) is steadily growing and as its watching population grows, so will they. So when I see “the film industry is making moves to change what some have previously called a “whitewashed” movie genre, some critics say more work remains to be done”, I am not sure I can agree. You see the business model is there but it is not inclusive. And in that setting when we consider Gollywood, Lollywood and Tollywood. We see people in that market like David Geffen, and they weren’t making large moves to set up that premise, why is that? I reckon that at present the business model is not affordable enough. Even break even might do the trick, but that doesn’t seem to the case. So when we see ‘Geffen has an estimated net worth of $10.8 billion, making him one of the richest people in the entertainment industry’, as well as ‘David Geffen has been ranked the most polluting individual American and second most polluting individual in the world, largely due to his yachts’ we need to wonder how much of it is true. You see, there are 17 yachts bigger than him, and yes none of the owners are American, yet who bought the yacht that was owned by Paul Allen? What happened to the yacht of Bill Gates? So when I see ‘the most polluting individual American’ all whilst we can find the larger setting of “nonprofit Environmental Working Group tested tap water at 19 sites in Northern Virginia and found levels as high as 62 parts per trillion”, a pollution setting three times higher than was noted in 2019, in two years it got to be this bad, but that doesn’t make for good gay-bashing, does it? There was the EPA giving the US citizens “In 2020, about 68 million tons of pollution were emitted into the atmosphere in the United States. These emissions mostly contribute to the formation of ozone and particles, the deposition of acids, and visibility impairment”, as such, does anyone want to make a serious bet that the most polluting individual American was not behind that, or even any serious part of that? So who were and why are their names omitted from any report?

The trap is that we make claims that ‘gaps need to be filled’ all whilst the people with the ability to fill them do not want to fill them and as long as the media is willing to emphasise on partial claims like ‘the most polluting individual American’ whilst avoiding all other kinds of information, we see a larger station, a station of obfuscation and denial. The trap the media sets out for us, just like the Guardian with their ‘carbon print’ all whilst they do a lot to avoid the 15 million flights increase over the last 15 years. 47,000 (or there about) a day more and that situation has no carbon footprint? 

So did we put our foot in the trap, or are we avoiding to look into the direction where the trap is? It works for the stakeholders of the media either way. And that is the larger trap we are faced with. 

Enjoy the week.

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Wow, it was actually worse

Yes, that was pretty much the first thought I had when I was hit with the article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-59290301). The BBC gave me ‘Beirut blast: UN ignored plea for port disaster evidence’ this morning, a story that was out several hours at that time. There we see “the UN has repeatedly ignored requests from bereaved families for information to help the official investigation into the Beirut port explosion which killed 219 people in August last year”. This is seemingly poured on by worse data collection with “The Beirut Bar Association represents nearly 2,000 families and survivors at the investigation. Its chairman sent three separate letters directly to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, asking for some specific details. They requested two things. Firstly, all available satellite photos taken on the day of the blast by member states. And secondly, whether Unifil (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) checked the MV Rhosus – the ship that carried the explosive material which caused the explosion – back in 2013, before it arrived at Beirut port”. There is a larger play in motion. You see, I always had issues with Stephanie Kirchgaessner (an essay writer for the guardian), I showed this a few times over and in this case lets get back to January 28th 2020 when I wrote ‘The incompetent view’, there we see ““The issue is now the subject of an investigation by two independent UN investigators“, we see an almost completed path.” The issues of a blast are not investigated, and the ramblings of a highly debatable investigation by FTI Consulting apparently is. Even as cyber experts (a lot more in the know then me) had shone their light and found the report debatable. The article gives you more if you need it (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/01/28/the-incompetent-view/). There is more, bit it is less relevant than I need it to be for this. 

You see, when we see that the UN is ignoring please for a blast that pretty much wiped a city of the map, all whilst it is allegedly investigating debatable information on a member of the Saudi Royal family, they act? So is the UN the paper tiger is has been seen as for too long, by too many members? Has the UN become nothing more than a political tool for players like the United States? It is not a weird thought, plenty have said so, I merely act on evidence that the media releases, then again on information other media releases, so the thought is not out of bounds. And whilst I await my good fortune (see other stories), I might as well fill it with act on waking people up. 

And this remains on Beirut, the UN seems eager to ignore what happens there. I saw the massive blanket media ignoring the simple facts that a fire could not ever create this amount of an explosion, especially as the fire was near, not on the ship. And the massive explosion implies that there were explosives on the ship and that is what Hezbollah fears will come out and there we see the Iran play, the need it to be about something else and it is far fetched, I will admit to that immediately, but the powers that are controlling the stories dropped a few items and that gets noticed, especially the digital advertisement hungry media. They like their flames in a controlled manner, to make it last longer. Beirut would blow that setting out of the water (and it seemingly did so with additional help). 

So whilst we might take notice of “Until this day we don’t know what caused the explosion, we don’t know if it was an intentional act, we don’t know if it was caused by negligence, we have no idea”, we do need to take notice of “The first of the families’ letters was sent by the Bar Association on 26 October 2020. A follow-up was dispatched three weeks later on 19 November, noting “it has been more than 100 days since the blast, to date none of the member states or Unifil has sent any photos or information”. The third letter, dated 17 March 2021, states: “Seven months have passed since the blast and five months since our letter, and unfortunately our letters remain unanswered and unacknowledged. Lebanon is a founder member of the UN and is asking for help.”” So, is it a lack of support, or is it all about specifically directed support, support that the US hopes will ‘aid’ their need to make Iran heel, all whilst it is aiding Iran to set up delay after delay. And in all this the UN is happy to cater to the ignoring of Beirut whilst bashing Saudi Arabia for good measure. And do not take my word for it, Search for “the Guardian + Stephanie Kirchgaessner” on Google. Should you doubt one of the two parts, when you do set it next to the station of the UN and their 7 months of not looking at the Beirut situation. It can not have the resources as they had it to waste on matters that do not relate to UN activities. So you tell me.

In that station we are all the piggy in the middle. And it is a game with four parties, we are the piggy, the UN is one player, the US is allegedly the other player, but who is player four? Lobbyists? Stakeholders governments? At present still unknown parties? I actually do not know, yet I wonder who does. It is not because I am not trying, it is because the players are really good on keeping their presence, both natural and digital unseen, we can speculate that they get serious amounts of help, but that too would be speculating. You see it is set to the premise of a 4 player piggy in the middle, but that is instinctive speculation, if the speculation is wrong, the field looks different, but there is one clarity, the 7 months silence, the acts of an essay writer and the setting of the biggest non-nuclear blast I have ever seen sets that stage. But I will admit upfront that there are speculative sides, if the speculation is wrong, then so is the view. I will let you do your own searchings and decide for yourself. It is all I can do, it is all I should do.

So as I conclude today, the view is seemingly worse than even I thought it would be, the BBC brought that to the surface and as some media will give more visibility to the failings of the United Nations, feel free to wonder how much they are getting paid and what they should be doing. Consider their failings in Yemen due to acts by Houthi and Iranian stake holders, how far did they get? How often was Saudi Arabia blamed whilst Houthi forces as well as their Iranian benefactors were unmentioned? Now consider the stage of Beirut and what the United Nations has achieved there. We can agree that Hezbollah is part of that equation, but it is not enough for the failing to be this big, there needs to be another player in this game for the math to work decently.

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Worry lines

We all worry. You, me and the people around us. We all worry. The trick is to not be hindered by it, but worry breeds doubt. It does for nearly all of us. At this I wonder about what I see, what I hear and what I read. You see the biggest creator of doubt is the worry on who or what to trust. No matter hat the intended party was, the party creator is behind the doubt that is being created, that is until the matter in the brain is settled. When that is done there will be a backlash, either right or wrong when you stand by that position the doubt comes back, it always does. It is almost the same when you buy something expensive, and for a few days afterwards you still check sources if there was another cheaper one. We all tend to do this, it is in our nature. So this is what was in the back of my mind when I saw (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/nov/16/israeli-firm-candiru-spyware-linked-to-attacks-on-websites-uk-middle-east) by none other than what I personally consider than any politicians favourite tool Stephanie Kirchgaessner. To understand where I stand I need to take you through the article. I gave my displeasure on what she considers journalism a few times, so I am taking you by the hand in the article ‘Israeli firm’s spyware linked to attacks on websites in UK and Middle East’. The article starts with “Canada-based researchers say new evidence suggests Candiru’s software used to target critics of autocratic regimes” immediately followed by “Researchers have found new evidence that suggests spyware made by an Israeli company that was recently blacklisted in the US has been used to target critics of Saudi Arabia and other autocratic regimes” this first part indicates that this involves the NSO Group, the link in the first paragraph also links to the NSO Group blacklisting. The linked article only mention of Candiru is “and another Israeli surveillance company called Candiru had developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments”. We then get “In such attacks, spyware users launch malware against ordinary websites that are known to attract readers or users who are considered “targets of interest” by the user of the malware”, the writer then covers her back by giving us “Unlike NSO Group’s signature spyware, which is called Pegasus and infects mobile phones”. Here we get the first part of what was setting me off. The NSO Group was made part of this to paint them a specific colour of black, just like some politicians wanted to. There is no real comparison as there is a lot of useless mentions of the NSO Group. The only part that mattered in the article was “Citizen Lab said it was able to identify a computer that had been hacked by Candiru’s malware, and then used that hard drive to extract a copy of the firm’s Windows spyware. The owner of the computer was a “politically active” individual in western Europe, it said” Yet the article is massively absent of evidence, and a repetitive “Candiru declined to comment”. The article is absent of a large chunk of information on Candiru, it is absent to support “Microsoft reported that it had found victims of the spyware in Israel and Iran”, she does not say “victims of the Candiru spyware”, there are a few other parts, but these are the parts that mattered. The Guardian is playing a dangerous game by not properly informing, or deceptively informing their audience. Even as the article ends with “the commerce department said it had evidence that Candiru developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used it to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics and embassy workers. The tools also helped to enable foreign governments to conduct “transnational repression”, the department said”, the last part does not state “evidence that Candiru allegedly developed” even as we do not see a list and an explanation of what the evidence is, an explanation of what makes it evidence, not the exact parts, but some form of an explanation and in all this why was the NSO group mentioned so abundantly?

No comparison list, no header of numbers on what kind and how many were shown to be hit, all absent. A mere “Candiru may have deals with Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Forbes has reported”, so when you consider “Candiru, which was founded in 2014 and has undergone several name changes. In 2017 the company was selling its malware to clients in the Gulf, western Europe and Asia”, time was not the problem, the approach is (as I personally see it) nothing less than a farce. And if a newspaper like the Guardian will use its investigative journalists to this degree, what exactly are the others doing? I should give you worry lines, it does me. If certain sources are starting to be absent of credibility and optionally less regarded as trustworthy, what can we trust?

Oh and it just dawned on me, espionage is a tool, a universal governmental tool. So was it “supplied spyware to foreign governments”, or should it be “supplied spyware to governments”?

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