Tag Archives: UAE

The questions not asked

We get that there are unanswered questions, there always are, but what of the questions no one is asking and more important, why are these questions not asked to begin with.

That was the state of mind I had when I was confronted with ‘Saudi-led coalition hits Yemen rebel camp in capital Sanaa’. In the first is that the western media is massively absent here. It seems that some of the stakeholders need to compose themselves after too much Christmas dinner and snacks. Even when you see something in the news, it will be mostly ‘Saudi bashing’, yet the question that should be on our minds is seen with this quote “the attack was a response to ‘an attempt to transfer weapons’ by the Yemeni rebel group”. You see, after all these years there are weapon transfers? A cluster of weapons to this degree, the degree that clears an airstrike implies that someone is arming the Houthi forces. So after all the bitches stop whining about arming Saudi’s, we see clear indication that someone is arming the Houthi’s (aka Iran), but we see no whining there, do we? We have not seen any whining on that side of the fence for way too long, so why is that?

So then we get to the partly replicated quote “The coalition, which backs Yemen’s internationally recognised government against the Houthis in the civil war, said it destroyed weapons storehouses in the rebel-held capital, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).” Yet it holds two elements. The first is “destroyed weapons storehouses” which implies larger collections of arms and we see an absence of that reporting for the longest of times. The second one is that we see the western press ignoring or avoiding the SPA (Saudi Press Agency), why is that? 

And now, only minutes ago the Khaleej Times (UAE Newspaper in Dubai) gives us ‘Saudi-led Coalition says Iran, Hezbollah aid Houthi militias in Yemen’ (at https://www.khaleejtimes.com/gulf/saudi-led-coalition-says-iran-hezbollah-aid-houthi-militias-in-yemen) I knew about Iran, they are not much of a surprise. I knew about the activities by Hezbollah as well, but seeing Hezbollah in this setting in the media is rather scarce, the western media for the most avoided it, they have political games in Beirut, they do not need these revelations, I merely wonder why not?

You see, if Hezbollah (apparently speaking for all Palestine) wants help, they better come forward with the list of activities that they are involved in, I am not holding my breath on their stupid actions that blew up Beirut, they are all hiding from that massive (pardon the expression) fuck up.

And when we let the claim sink in. The claim that tells us “Arab Coalition spokesman presents proofs of Hezbollah militants’ support to Houthi’s attack on Saudi Arabia”, we see the danger Palestine now faces. You see instigating war by ATTACKING Saudi Arabia has larger consequences. Palestine is now in danger of alienating Egypt as well as Jordan in this and that is a stage they cannot afford, you see Iran cannot cover all their needs and the backlash will be large and so far the western media ignores it. They might think ‘If we ignore this, it will go away’. There is the speculation that they all watched the movie ‘Don’t look up’, but it is a speculation given by but a few people. 

The accusation is there and the evidence was shown by Turki Al Malki “Malki showed reporters a video clip which depicted “the headquarters of Iranian and Hezbollah experts at the airport” where, he alleged “Hezbollah is training the Houthis to booby-trap and use drones”.” It is as suspected a few times, but this is the first time I see that there is a decent level of evidence. In this light it will be important and essential for the EU, UK and US to stop ALL AID to Palestine until matters are resolved. That setting also comes with a new alleged setting of evidence. If Hezbollah is still training Houthi forces on using drones (which might be fair enough), it also means that Houthi Forces could NEVER have hit Aramco the way they did. That was out in the open for almost 2 years. With this evidence we see the first brick unveiled that the attack was done by Iran, optionally with Hezbollah but Houthi forces could never have hit Aramco to the degree it was. Yet I reckon that the media, the western media will ignore it more and again, it will be too uncomfortable to the people the media reports to and I can tell you right now that the people were never a consideration here.

A stage that was out in the open for the longest of times and it is also riddled with questions we never saw asked, why is that and why is the reporting on these events so one sided, not by them, by us? We are so about freedom and the right of expression, so why do we express that right by keeping silent on what we see, we keep silent of what is clearly out there and we keep silent on Iran and Hezbollah. Why is that? When you know the answer to these two questions you will know a lot more than you think you do.

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When is limelight a void?

I stumbled upon an article be Al Dia Politics. A source I do not know, but I saw something that reflects on my findings. The article (at https://aldianews.com/articles/politics/what-happened-revelations-pandora-papers-latam/68469) gives us ‘What happened to the revelations of the Pandora Papers in LATAM?’ My first feeling is ‘What Revelations?’ You see, the ICIJ and everyone parroting them is a group of emotional flamers, flamers never bring revelations, they merely say they do and then spin that shit, they always do. So when I see “After the results of an investigation last October revealed tax havens for the world’s most powerful, after-effects have been null and void.

As I see it there are two reasons

  1. There was never a summary of who was involved, it is merely a beacon to flame things as many flames as possible, especially by these essay writers (aka journalists). 
  2. Were there any crimes committed?

These two give an inkling that there was nothing to act on. The stage is that zero tax havens are legal, the UAE, Monaco, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Andorra, Bahrain and a few others are nations that have zero tax, it is their approach to make things run and attract investment dollars. They have a legal right to do this, it is the other nations that have not cleaned up their tax laws (including the US and several other nations). 

Why does this matter?
The US has a little over 24 hours before it hits its debt limit as per Janet Yellen’s statement. So I reckon it will take a day before the media will flame leagues of tax the rich articles claiming that they are merely reporting. It is also almost a month away since I made the claim 25 years ago that tax systems needed to be overhauled. So there are two reasons to watch this from the sidelines. A stage that I will enjoy because no matter how bad my situation is, I was right all along and when I checked certain counters, it seems that other documentation will hit here too, the counter is around 75% of where it needs to be. 

Then (back to the story) we see something that might be a revelation “It is important to remember that the names revealed by the investigation have been involved in the diversion of capital and the concealment of fortunes, which translates to tax evasion. Among those involved were Sebastián Piñera, president of Chile, and Guillermo Lasso, his counterpart from Ecuador, and their respective governments investigated them seeking to find evidence to remove them from office.” There is a chance that the Pandora papers were an CIA and NSA operation to secure funds for the US whilst changing the political lands they were facing. This matters because no government has ever done this to this degree. It could show that the US is truly desperate without pissing off their friends (like the Koch family), it also means that there will be no overhaul of tax laws making matters worse for them and perhaps two other players.

There is a larger political stage, but I am not the best source for that, especially in Latin America. But it also draws a few other settings, the fact that the ICIJ would make no attempts to find the source, this reeked and the ICIJ should have known better, because there is now the need for a list of 600 essay writers that catered to the US governmental needs, people never considered that part did they? And it helps the US to get flames rolling on their ‘tax the rich’ groups, especially when the need is escalating way beyond dire. And I am not one to be nice, especially to certain groups that think that they are above anything, so there will be a need for these 600 names soon enough and then? How much credibility will these newspapers and media outlets have when that comes to light?

We see all these articles on house meetings and investigations, but we see nothing on results and reporting of that nature. OK, the Guardian did have a piece where we saw in October regarding former Prime Minister Tony Blair “While there was nothing illegal about the transaction, and there is no evidence the Blairs proactively sought to avoid stamp duty”. A hole page of wasted space, mentions of ‘could’ and no substance. And in all these months no dashboard (something I would have started in the first hour), the limelight on void issues, no illegality and merely stomping and pretending. So, yet in a trove with 12,000,000+ documents, the CIA/NSA will have something for you, but is it stuff you care about? 

At this point I care about that list of 600 essay writers and the amount of money they cost whilst not bringing anything real to the media. I have actually met troll-hunters who got more real work done in one day that these 600 essay writers in months. Ponder that for a second. 

When the media is setting up the limelights to waste it on a void, you know that they are catering to a powerful population and we get no real information because that would make some people really nervous at present. So I am guessing that there will be a new wave of ‘tax the rich’ this month, all whilst the Us (EU too) have not overhauled any of the tax laws that required overhauling. What say you?

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Somewhat connected news

Yes, news has two options, it is either connected or it is not. This sounds silly, there are plenty of news articles with no connection at all, but what happens when there is a link (to some degree)?

It is that setting we regularly face. I actually wanted to link in Reuters news, but they screwed up their system, there is no replacement for competency and Reuters seemingly lost that. But to some degree there is a larger stage. CNBC gives us ‘U.S. to release oil from reserves in coordination with other countries to lower gas prices’ yes that is a setting we get, but the article at Reuters, which is now beyond reach is alerting us to market volatility, that is a setting we get. Yes we see all kinds of voices to state that we have to let go of fossil fuels and I get that, it makes sense. Yet we now get “The U.S. will release 50 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the White House said Tuesday”, this sounds great, but consider that this represents a little under 10% of that reserve. So what happens when the reserves are gone? So when we see “part of a global effort by energy-consuming nations to calm 2021′s rapid rise in fuel prices” we all tend to see a good thing, and it is for the most a good thing. The issue that Reuters cannot give us is that there are larger concerns. These oil executives are right, even though they are in part buttering their own bread, the reality is that the need for fossil fuels is so in our systems, the need will remain for at least a decade, a decade we actually do not have, but COVID could kill over 22.8% and solve the issue for us. 

You see, if you want to debate that and oppose that, that is fine. To these people I say ‘Drop the use of your car and your furnace for a month, just one month and you will be right’, that is a lot harder to do is it? How many can go without your car, your motorcycle, and your oil based heaters? You might think that you are in an apartment building, so it does not hit you, but your entire building has a heater, shut that down for a month and see where you are then. These two alone will result in the ‘Yes, I will, I just have to’ group. They cannot leave their car alone, it is part of them and that is fine, but you cannot have it both ways. 

I think it is a decently wise move to sell from the reserves now, but there is only so much reserves and this will not go away, so when we realise that, oil will go from $87 a barrel to $154 a barrel in a hurry and there is a second thought, that market will be a lot more volatile when the reserves are gone. And that is before people realise that agreements when dropped tend to be more expensive once they pick them up again, because that is most likely the result of enduring volatility. The US is not alone in this, but in this case their setting is important. You see, France became part of this. We can say it serves the US right for messing with their submarines, or we can look at the larger station. The news ‘France signs $18B weapons deal with UAE’ (at https://www.defensenews.com/global/mideast-africa/2021/12/03/france-signs-18b-weapons-deal-with-uae/), which replaces the Reuters news, for competency reasons, is one that shows us “The UAE is buying 80 upgraded Rafale fighters in a deal the French Armed Forces Ministry said is worth €16 billion (U.S. $18 billion) and represents the largest-ever French weapons contract for export. It also announced a deal with the UAE to sell 12 Airbus-built combat helicopters”, I am honestly happy for France (even though I lose out of 3.75% commission now), but the larger stage is that the US loses the anticipated $18,000,000,000 as well. And it is not that they didn’t need it with debt ceilings, resource shortages and contracts they might lose after that. And this links to it as others (Saudi Arabia) will also consider alternatives. So when you see this in the light of ‘the sector’s largest 25 companies totalled US$361 billion in 2019, 8.5 per cent more than in 2018’ (source: Sipri) a setting where the shift in the top 25 will shift to other players in that list, the US economy would take a massive hit in 2023-2024 I reckon, a setting that they could have avoided and the senate issues next week are important. When they are cancelled, take notice of ALL the senators who opposed them, you see they will give you some BS human rights setting, and that is fine. But the consequence is that Americans will face larger and harder heating bills and fuel prices. And then there is the setting that Rand Paul (Kentucky), Mike Lee (Utah) and Bernie Sanders (Vermont) leave you with, not the setting of “argued earlier on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen’s civil war, including an air and naval blockade of Yemen, “is an abomination.”” What they (intentionally) forget to mention is that the Houthis are the aggressors and they get direct support from Iran, and to some degree Hezbollah too. A stage that the people do not get to see, the media is making sure of that, or at least their stakeholders are. 

And it will fuel the fuel prices. You see the US needs these funds to pay debts and to get a smooth quality of life result in the US, when that falls away settings that I have stated over the last few weeks will hit US citizens hard, much harder then ever before with dwindling sources of revenue. 

And the jester from Kentucky adds to this with ““For years now, ships that would otherwise carry food, fuel, and medicine are turned away by the Saudi-led coalition, depriving the Yemeni people of the necessities to sustain civilisation,” Paul wrote in an op-ed published in The American Conservative” Yet when we see “Three-way talks between the Houthi rebels, the UN-recognised government of Yemen and the UN have foundered, despite repeated warnings, including at the UN security council, of the impact if the tanker explodes, breaks up or starts leaking. UN officials have been unable to secure guarantees to maintain the vessel, including its rotting hull, which is now overseen by a crew of just seven”, I am giving you another part, yes, there is a blockade by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, yet the setting is that too many goods will end up in Houthi hands and it is something that US intelligence operations know as well, it is a dirty mess down there (not part of this conversation). 

The stages are fossil fuels and revenue. The US needs both, and as the reserves are now tapped, the US will desperately need revenue, a setting that is diminished by some of the players. Not merely the stage of lost revenue, the stage of catering to Iran is a much larger problem. 

So the articles are merely casually linked, or perhaps more correctly stated ‘seemingly casually linked’, seemingly is a much larger word in that equation and it is ‘hindered’ by my personal view, yet I have shown (way too often) that I tend to be correct in that setting. So enjoy the future people in the US (EU too) will face. When the reserves run dry (no exact date can be given), the loud Ka-Ching sound in the sky will be the start of your energy and fuel prices going up by 20%-30% again and again, I personally believe that it will take a few more months after that months until the previous maximum of June 2008 at $156.85 per barrel will be reached, but after that the sky will be the limit for those selling fossil fuels. You did realise that, did you not?

So when you consider that over the last year energy prices have gone up by almost 50% (in the US), consider where it ends as revenue goes down further, consider how much reserves would be needed to address just the last year price hike and the price hike seen over the next 12 months. I reckon that the reserves will end up getting tapped by well over 10%, and I have no idea how long that will stop the price hikes, there is too much data missing and those who have that data are not lining up to share it with the world, let alone little old me.

So the stage of somewhat connected news is set to raise the bar on several fields. And for people to feel the need to stop Saudi arms sales, I get it. I would feel the same way if I was given such a one sided story by the media, but I learned to look to a much larger station (and a lot more sources). Yet with all the COVID protestors help will come from an unconsidered option, we merely need to lose 32% of the population to halt fuel price hikes, stop pollution settings and reduce the carbon footprint by enough, as well as food shortage that will come next. 

Yet I feel certain that plenty of people will disagree. 

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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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When politicians lie

This is a setting that is out in the open. What happens when politicians lie? When does a lie become a lie? That is the question I was pondering on when the BBC gave us ‘Saudi Arabia expels Lebanon ambassador amid Yemen row’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-59096578). Here we are given “Mr Kordahi, who was speaking in August before he became a minister, called the conflict “futile” and said the Houthis were acting in “self-defence”” Is it a lie? Does a terrorist organisation have the right to rely on ‘self-defence’? For those who had forgotten the origins of the disagreement, let’s go back to September 2014 when Houthi forces took over the capital city Sanaa, which was followed by a rapid Houthi takeover of the government, a legitimate government no less. Houthi forces started a more and more brutal offensive against all they saw as enemies and did not stop there, they led drone attacks on civil Saudi targets, an act that was only possible through direct funding and equipment from Iran. I reckon that this is the price of Iranian fuel for Lebanon. 

Then we get to “The Lebanese government said Mr Kordahi’s remarks did not reflect its position – but relations between the two countries have worsened in recent years. The Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, which also backs the Houthi rebels in Yemen, has grown in strength in Lebanon”, yet in all this, we need to look at the larger picture. In Al-Arabiya we see “Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi said on Wednesday his country “cannot remain subject to blackmail” in response to calls for his resignation after his statements about Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s involvement in the Yemen war.” So blackmail from who? It seems that there was a price for all that Iranian oil. There have been claims in the past from different parties that Hezbollah had been active in Yemen (no clear evidence was seen by me), and in this stage his claim to ‘self-defence’ is as empty as a peace offering from Hezbollah towards Israel. 

And as we get exposed to ““I am now part of an integrate government, and I cannot take a decision alone, it must be the government’s [decision] as a whole… I place the interests of Lebanon above all interests. And we cannot be in Lebanon exposed to blackmail by anyone, not by countries, or ambassadors or individuals,” Kordahi said in a press conference.” So when we put  ‘The Lebanese government said Mr Kordahi’s remarks did not reflect its position’ next to ‘I am now part of an integrate government’ it seems that someone here is not being truthful, so is it the Lebanese government, or is it Mr Kordahi. The fact that He was appointed on September 10th 2021, as the Lebanon’s Minister of Information. Is a larger problem. To me it implies that the Lebanese government has taken the Iranian route and when that implodes (as any agreement with Iran tends to do), the Lebanese people have nowhere to turn to and nowhere to run to. 

So now that Al Jazeera gives us ‘Lebanese president says he wants ‘best relations’ with Saudis’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/30/lebanese-president-says-he-wants-best-relations-with-saudis) and (optionally) hides behind “Lebanese politicians are scrambling to resolve a diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) followed Riyadh with measures against Beirut to protest against comments by a cabinet minister about the war in Yemen” and whilst we see mentions of “maintain good communication”, I reckon that President Michel Aoun seemingly learns the cost of catering to Iranian needs and ignoring real facts. On the other hand they have a harbour full of evidence of what happens when Hezbollah calls the shots. And the setting Al Jazeera gave us three weeks ago “Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Tehran willing to rebuild Beirut port and construct two power plants in Lebanon” seem to set the larger confines of the Lebanese problem and in all this Hezbollah remains part of the problem, not the solution. The problem is that a lot more people know this. They all hide behind the simple part of “The explosion resulted from the detonation of tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a combustible chemical compound commonly used in agriculture as a high nitrate fertilizer, but which can also be used to manufacture explosives. The cargo of ammonium nitrate had entered Beirut’s port on a Moldovan-flagged ship, the Rhosus, in November 2013, and had been offloaded into hangar 12 in Beirut’s port on October 23 and 24, 2014” You see, clear scientific evidence gives us “Compared to most combustible materials, ammonium nitrate itself is not exceptionally explosive. But the compound can contribute to explosions because it belongs to a chemical class known as oxidisers” It needed something more and that is the part that Hezbollah fears. When the people learn of Hezbollah stupidity too many people there will demand larger changes, that is what Hezbollah fears and for now they are willing to dance to Iranian music and there is where we see George Kordahi, no longer presenting who wants to be a millionaire, he is now catering to the millionaires Lebanon needs and we get it. But with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain severing ties, Lebanon is now left to the mercy and resources of Iran and when that runs out (or gets weird delays) the setting changes even more. 

So, How wrong am I?
Consider the facts, consider what happens from September 2014 onwards, it clearly shows Houthi forces as a terrorist antagonist, we see conflicting information from Lebanese spokespeople and there is the larger stage where FOUR nations have cut ties with Lebanon. In a stage where Lebanon needs all the friends they could find. A stage of segregation and separation, the first two stages or eliminating any source.

Yet in all this, There is a clear lack of critical analyses on the acts by George Kordahi, which in light of the Iranian settings is weird. Wouldn’t it be the first that the US would do and the first thing that (overly quick) gets leaked to the NY Times or the Washington Post?

OK, that previous point is somewhere between assumption and presumption, but the setting in light of all we have seen so far makes sense. 

In all, I get the stance of Saudi Arabia here, I get the stance of the other Arabian nations here, yet in all this the acts of George Kordahi and President Michel Aoun are seemingly weird. In a stage where Lebanon desperately needs Saudi Arabia, the setting of a flaccid response towards the actions of George Kordahi are off, especially as three other nations took sides with Saudi Arabia. One might think that Lebanon has no idea how to deal with the requests by Iran and that too matters. If communication lines there are presently so convoluted, Lebanon faces a lot more hardships soon enough and they are only weeks away from the December cold. December to March gives them 11 to 13 degrees on average. November and April are not far off from that and with the winter stage and without power, or 1-2 hours a day at best Lebanon is looking to one of its worst winters in decades. In all this the promised Iranian power centres sound nice, but they will not get there before late autumn 2022, so it will be a hard time for the 7 million Lebanese, that much seems a given at present. 

Were the politicians involved lying? That remains the part that is unclear, no matter how they slice it, they were stretching facts and truths far beyond points of breaking (which does not make it a lie), but it sets the premise that catering to the wrong people now comes at a price that Lebanon never considered having to pay ever before and that too matters, because that stage could determine the degrees of freedom that Iran will have in Lebanon, optionally as part of Hezbollah.

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Lemon of the Century

Yes, you have seen it, we have all seen it in some form, but when was the last time you saw a genuine Lemon? Not to mention a Lemon of the century. You would think it is a near impossible task, but Lockheed Martin, an American company pulled it off. In thee cases it is so much sweeter if the accomplishment is American.

I made a case to sell (as a corporate individual) to sell the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia either the British BAE Typhoon, or the somewhat better match the Chinese Chengdu J-20. Now, this is not on principles, but the US making Saudi embargo after embargo, all whilst it is mere puppet play and there was no direct need to stop the sales, especially as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was under direct attack by Houthi forces directly sponsored from Iran and the people were eager to ignore that fact. So there I was taking a stab at a 3.75% sales commission, and in light of a $11,000,000,000 sales ticket could bank me $412,500,000 over a few years. Now, I know, am I greed driven? Nope! But I am not walking away from such a massive mealticket! 

All that happened and was mentioned before, but now there are more reasons as ABC news gives us. The article ‘F-35 program’s future uncertain owing to design flaws, parts shortages and cost blowouts’ (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-08/f35-program-design-flaws-part-shortages-costs-opinions-divided/100431664) there we see “He said the combat jet currently had almost 900 design flaws, with seven considered critical.” This is given to us via Former US Marine Corps Captain Dan Grazier. So this is not out of thin air, this comes to us by decently informed people and at what point is anyone accepting a lemon with 900 design flaws? We get it, a plane with a current whole of life cost estimate of $2.3 trillion we need to consider that there is a massive flaw in the entire process. It becomes worse when you see and consider the Naval failure called Zumwalt class destroyers. That is two out of three, so now we merely need to add an army failure and the US forces will be 3 for 3. So how often do major projects on these scales fail? There is optionally the second stage where both China and Russia are not afraid for a war with the US, because the US is lacking in functional equipment. They have functioning 5th generation planes. I cannot tell if they are better, merely that they are. And I am am the mouse who loves that 412 million dollar cheese wheel, whether I retire or eat myself to death is all equally similar and there is a customer base who would want something that actually works so overall there is more than one seller and there is a definite buyer, so I am game.

Yet the article also gives us “It said that would grow to 40 per cent of jets grounded by 2030, if the repair backlog didn’t improve” this implies that the US airforce needs to grow by 250% to keep the effectiveness numbers of 2017, that is one hell of an investment. I am not denying what the pilots are saying, that it is a game changer that it will be effective, we get that, but it has 900 flaws, and there are a lot of questions in the background when we consider the seven critical problems. So when we consider the claim “Mr Grazier said the cost per flight hour in the United States was around $36,000” and the math man in me consider that at present there are (unverified numbers) “1,763 F-35As for the USAF, 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs for the USMC, and 273 F-35Cs for the USN” it would require the DoD $88,416,000 an hour to get it all in the air, in light of the Afghanistan clambake, which lasted 2 decades, count your losses today. Is someone doing the math here (apart from me)? This is a plane with 900 design flaws. So if China (or the United Kingdom) can beat these costs they have a real chance in getting a new customer in their arsenal and it is one that has money, so that part will be the smallest of concerns.

We could go all (overly) marketing and say:

Chinese
Hellbringing
Equalising
Negotiating

Goalseeking
Defence

Unit

But that might be slightly over the top, what matters is that the US has a real problem and, oh, that reminds me. Is that why they pulled out of Afghanistan? 40% of their flying capabilities wasn’t up to it? I know, it is grasping and it is speculation, but I am trying to get my hands on that 3.75% and that makes me a little giddy. With the Zumwalt it was the principle that it didn’t meet its need, it was too expensive and it was ugly as hell. I still hope to test my new stealth anti naval weapon on it, merely because it is just too ugly to see and congress never approved the shells needed to fire these guns, and a stealth ship with a Raytheon solution is just not a stealth ship. And as a $22,500,000,000 failure it is too expensive for such a failure be allowed. Consider that ABC ends the article with “To respect that dependency, we remain laser-focused on continuing to enhance the capability, affordability and availability of the F-35. With the help of partners and customers, I have no doubt we will succeed.” Which is all fair enough. Now consider that 12 nations have committed to ordering, now consider that if 3 leave that group (Singapore being the most interesting one) and China gets Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE on board as well, the stage changes on a global scale at that point. Now reconsider the military power play where we accept “There are developmental issues that come up because it is a very high technology advanced aircraft. Over time, these issues are resolved.” Yet 900 flaws imply that this will not be resolved until 2029, with spare parts and shortages of equipment lasting until an expected 2036. That implies that these players will not have a real effective airforce for well over a decade, so how many nations will get nervous on that premise and how many will consider a change (please do not change to Russian option, as they give me nothing). So in that light is there really nothing to worry about? And that is before we see the other 9 nations with billions invested all for… what for? 

So whilst I have nothing against Lockheed Martin (I really do not), being in the stage where they are now with 900 design flaws is just too weird. Yes we accept that it is a developing project, but design flaws imply that it is not developing, it was wrongly developed and as such the F-35 should still be in an earlier stage, that is until well over 600 flaws (and the 7 critical ones) were resolved ahead of where they are now. 

So here I am, just a man, a (really) poor man, hoping for his 3.75% before he retires and retirement is not that far away. And in all this, I remain optimistic, because I have things to smile at, especially if I get to test my creative sinking idea on the USS Zumwalt. Yes, it is a gasser (in more ways than one). So feel free to agree (or disagree) but when you see something that should be the lemon of the century, would you not shout that from the tallest building? Especially if it was your neighbour who bought the Ford Edsel. So Ford can now relax, Lockheed Martin surpassed their failure with an impressive larger one.

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Would it still be news?

We get that at times. A question regarding the news, not what they bring, but what they are. I was left with a few questions today when I took notice of ‘Saudi news channels start moving operations out of Dubai’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/9/1/saudi-news-channels-start-moving-operations-out-of-dubai). Just as the BBC is in London, the NOS is in the Netherlands (Hilversum), Swedish News is predominantly in Stockholm. I always assumed that Saudi News was in Riyadh, so to see that they were in Dubai which is a nice and large town in another nation was a little bit of a surprise. So as I take notice of “Riyadh has told international firms to put their MidEast hubs there by the start of 2024 or risk losing out on business” has a certain amount of sense.

The question becomes who offers more, Dubai or Riyadh? I am not talking money, even though for the international stations that will be some part of it. Dubai has its yachts, its connected jet-setting, yet what does Riyadh offer? It is a genuine question. I must admit that I only recently saw Riyadh through the eyes of YouTuber Jason Billiam Travel, and he did an excellent job, if you have never been to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the view that (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk_4wPK6oks) where I got my first glimpse of the Kingdom Tower at the beginning of the video no less. He was able to give me a clear impression that Riyadh, the capital is larger than the entire nation of Bahrein and he gives us a lot more over several movies, more on Riyadh and more on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There is one element that there is no yacht club in Saudi Arabia. If I had the ability to create one in Riyadh, I would. Even if it is just to set aside my sense of humour as the nearest decent amount of water is almost 400Km away (Sea of Dammam, aka the Persian gulf), so the idea to have a restaurant in the building that represents a yacht would be a fun idea. A place where 8 million people live and most have never seen a boat with their own eyes, so to create a concrete yacht that is a restaurant and optionally an international hotel will get the eyes of a lot of people. But we were talking about the news and Al Jazeera also gives us “Saudi Arabian news channels are starting to transfer operations out of Dubai amid a push by the country’s crown prince to get multinational companies to relocate their headquarters to the kingdom” and it makes sense, although it would have made initial more sense to have Saudi news offices in Saudi Arabia, but that is merely me and it is a thought that is based on the idea that news channels should be local. So when I see “Saudi Arabia has been pressuring international companies to put their Middle East hubs in the kingdom by the start of 2024 or risk losing out on business in the region’s largest economy” I do realise that too many people will focus on ‘pressuring international companies’, yet is that fair? Consider that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should award business to its local parties, so Dubai has benefitted with its Media centre to the largest degree for well over a decade. And the reason seen in “The move is intended to limit “economic leakage” and boost job creation” makes perfect sense. 

There are actually two additional reasons to contemplate, whether it is all news is in the middle. With that shift the media will get a lot more exposure to Neom city as well as the tourist visibility places that Riyadh has to offer, the Kingdom Tower is merely one of them. The Grand Mosque of Riyadh is according to many another one.  

The entire setting made me wonder why Saudi news was not set on a local premise in the first place. I am not saying it was wrong, I am merely wondering what was the reasoning in the first place. There are many valid reasons that come to mind, yet none of these have been tested at present and with Neom City now a mere 9 years away, the local presence seem to make more and more sense. There is of course more, there is a larger stage to promote Jeddah as well, we can argue that this could be done from either place, but I have seen on how minds get distracted from other places as the distance increases and Dubai is very far away from Jeddah, it is not enough a reason, but it is one and consider that in the last 24 hours globally ‘Neom’ was mentioned 10 times. One in Chinese, three in Arabic and the rest in English, in a world where there are thousands of publication, 10 mentions? Yes the news needs adjusting and perhaps it starts with getting the international news stations local. As I see it it is a lot less about economic leakage and more about ignoring Saudi events, in this the Houthi attacks on civilian Saudi targets might finally get the exposure it deserves. 

Will it still be news after the switch? I hope not, as it had been happening for too long, but that is merely my 2 coins on the subject. 

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The limits of an intellect

We all have them, we all see we have them, but do we realise the limitations we have? I am confronted by this, confronted in me. We all want to see the BBC as the big evil one, yet they are not evil. The issue that Martin Bashir brought to the forefront in not the evil in the BBC, yet I wonder how strong the needs and the facilitation of the Shareholders and stakeholders are in the larger setting of the BBC. I know that data leads to information, which leads to knowledge, leading to insight and optionally to wisdom. Yet we seem to forget that the lines of wisdom are really thin at times and some lead to shape a dragon of the conspiracy theorists. Any person not on the setting there is lost. Consider a cloud, you are looking at the clouds in the sky, then you see one shaped as the island of Crete, one is shaped like a sheep and one is a face. Is it real? Is the likeness a coincidence, or is it shaped due to your imagination, and the connections it makes? If all clouds are randomly shaped (well within the limits of liquid particles), there is every chance that one cloud will look just like Crete, so what (optional missing) part did the brain fill in? 

That is the stage we face, or better it is the stage I face. I get it, Martin Bashir has made me more angry than anything else. I personally always believed that the BBC was above certain matters and now I see this is a kitten, in the dark just as grey as all the other kittens. And it matters here.

Consider the BBC middle East page, we see all kinds of information, on ‘Princess Latifa: Dubai photo appears to show missing woman’, a day old. So who cares? I do not mean this in any negative way, there is news that is 5 days old, news from the 16th of May, yet the news from Yemen, news like the Arab News gave us 16 hours ago ‘Saudi project clears 2,500 more mines in Yemen’ and Reuters, who reported 4 hours ago ‘Saudi-led coalition in Yemen foils Houthi attack south of Red Sea’ we are shown news that the BBC should have been on top of, but they were not, why not? Or perhaps what ABC News gave us 11 hours ago ‘US military presence has deterred Iranian aggression on Saudi Arabia’, where we see statements by US general McKenzie. Why is the BBC not all over that? Why do we see a setting of limitations, limited exposure to what is happening, as I personally see it, the Martin Bashir setting is one that has larger ramifications. And here we see the problem, and I see the problem optionally within me, do I see lines of knowledge leading to wisdom, or are they showing me the lines that will form a unicorn, an Afreet or a dragon? Some roads will feed the conspiracy theorist, some will feed the wise and the nance is at times not visible, too small to spot the difference, and what we see is not always a given, or as Freud would say, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but we are here now and we will be in this stage for some time, it will be this way because the BBC now correlates to the CIA, two organisation that decided to wash away their credibility and we are all a little more paranoid and largely distrusting because of it all.

That is the road  the BBC faces, so when we get “أنا سائح مرتبك أحاول فهم إشارة الطريق”, will we know what to do? And is this any better? “المهرجون إلى اليسار حيث توجد المناجم ، يمزحون إلى اليمين حيث توجد الثعابين”, it is limited to what we know, what we understand, the Vatican does understand “laqueis mortis sinistra dextrorsum anguis mortem”, so what will they chose? Perhaps they will wait for option three or four to open up and that is the problem, we do not know what drives the BBC at present, and we might never know, yet we need to act, we want to act but is any act by those who do not know what is the situation bare value, or bear recognition? (Sorry, I could not resist that pun), yet in intelligence analysts, business analysis and geologic, we do not always know and it is the fate of missing data, the recognition of data that I not there and more important, some decisions are arbitrary, not valid, not invalid, merely arbitrary, and in this we merely ignore the shareholders and stake holders. Is it right, is it wrong? I cannot tell, it depends on the data and there is none, recognising that is a first in the difference towards the lines making insight and the lines showing a unicorn, we need to accept and understand that, or we are lost.

We would like to blame the BBC for all kind of things, let’s make sure that the reason of blame is a valid one.

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And then there was delusion

Yup, we all see it, we all recognise it, yet who has ever called on it? I know I do, but the list is getting smaller and fading as the news is absent in too many cases. As Reuters gave us ‘Major arms sales flat in 2016-20 for first time in more than a decade’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-arms-trade-sipri/major-arms-sales-flat-in-2016-20-for-first-time-in-more-than-a-decade-idUSKBN2B60QD), it is my believe that some might overlook “three of the world’s biggest exporters – increased deliveries, but falls in exports from Russian and China offset the rise”, which is interesting as those three nations include USA, France, Germany, all whilst Germany, UK and US have been in a spin to not deliver to Saudi Arabia, losing them billions in sales, sales that China is working hard to deliver on. In addition there are voices that give us that the US was in a WYSINWYG stage (What you see is not what you get) in the last year, and the buyers are taking notice. As the arms industry is trying to find appeal and aspiring new technologists for their arms industry, all whilst I had an Ice-coffee and a sandwich and I rolled out a new solution to sink the Iranian fleet, it’s all in a day’s contemplation. So whilst we are trying to make sense of “The United Arab Emirates, for example, recently signed an agreement with the United States to purchase 50 F-35 jets and up to 18 armed drones as part of a $23 billion package. Middle Eastern countries accounted for the biggest increase in arms imports, up 25% in 2016–20 from 2011–15. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest arms importer, increased its arms imports by 61% and Qatar by 361%”, we see the absence of the Saudi blockade of goods by the US Congress, something that China is soon to be rather happy about. And as we see the numbers ($23 billion) for the UAE alone, my reflection on the amount approaching $7 billion for Saudi Arabia does not seem that far fetched, does it?

So whilst we get to the end of the message handing us ““For many states in Asia and Oceania, a growing perception of China as a threat is the main driver for arms imports,” said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher at SIPRI, said” the part avoided is that the non-sales by Germany, the UK and the US is driving their sales, and it does not stop there. Even as the filtered information bringers are giving us the golden newslines on Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, there is a larger stage to consider. It is my speculation (which means absent of factual data) that the arms driven pie slices will decrease as the slices for the US, Germany, UK and France will add up to 10%-19% less, whilst those shares will largely go to China. I believe that the increase in Russia and China will be roughly 30% and 70% of the total amount lost by other parties. There is every chance that players like Saudi Arabia will try to get a deal with both, but that remains speculation at present. This is information that is partially out in the open, as such I wonder what the drive of Reuters was, perhaps it was as simple as giving the limelight to SIPRI. The stage that the UK is mentioned to increase its nuclear platform is taken out of the equation, it is for the most a buy once, go nowhere solution that has 1-2 specific vendors, but that out in the open after the laughingly deceptive Iranian story (at https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/16/iran-reveals-underground-missile-city-as-regional-tensions-rise.html), yes they might have something, but apart from the concrete bunkers, the footage showing 100 missiles (twice), do they actually work or are they defence movie props? The dozens of launchers next to one another, are they real, or are they faulty equipment? Answers that cannot be given and the sources giving us answers might not be that trustworthy, but it happens at the same time that SIPRI is shouting that arms sales are down, it is one way to start a fire sale with increased prices. So consider the timeline and feel free to wonder whether I am the delusional one, or the other players. I know a few have seen me as the delusional party and I have no issue with that, I give you the links, and for the most I hand the information that you can decide what is real, but in all this, who gave us any indication of looking at the Iranian video handing out any expected clarity on how real it was and when does Iran give the goods on their military? Is anyone looking into that part?

Have a fun day!

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Filter by Gender.

Yup we have all done it, we tend to filter. The horny (especially teenagers) want to talk, chat and video whatever to the members of the other gender (well, most of them anyway). We filter by the needs we have, business needs, personal needs and artistic needs, we filter. There is for the most nothing wrong with that. Yet it also tends to keep you in a little box. I come from the previous internet era, I never got into Napster but I loved Audiogalaxy. I had it so I could listen to music when I was travelling and it opened up doors. I learned about the Corrs, Bond, the Dixie Chicks, Linkin Park, Orbital and a few others. It grew my CD collection by leaps and that made me happy, in an age where my work kept me from MTV, Audiogalaxy showed me other venues of music. I forwent the filter and I learned about and got to appreciate bands I would never have considered. Filtering is not all bad.

Yet what happens when filtering goes overboard in another direction? Today I learned a new word, I word I should have been aware of but I do not remember hearing it. The word is ‘Femicide’ and it is not a good word. It was Al Jazeera that made me aware, the article ‘Rage boils over amid Argentina’s unrelenting femicide crisis’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/24/rage-boils-over-amid-argentinas-unrelenting-femicide-crisis). It got my attention in the first as it was about Argentina and my mother was from there. In the second it was the by-line “Femicide of 18-year-old Ursula Bahillo pushed thousands into the streets of Buenos Aires this month to demand action”. In this there are two parts, the first is “About 87,400 results” (when we look for Ursula Bahillo) and the second part is that the big newspapers are missing on the news search result on the first page. A Spanish version from the BBC is at the bottom of the page, no Washington Post, no NY Times, no Times, no Guardian (the list goes on) and it sickens me for another reason. You see, one hour ago the Guardian gives us ‘Princess Latifa letter urges UK police to investigate sister’s Cambridge abduction’, some princess gets the news on optionally being abducted and whilst Al Jazeera reports “Nearly 300 femicides were reported in the country in 2020”, other newspapers keep us in the dark and these idiots demand money from Facebook and Google, whilst not informing us? I see this as one of the clearest ‘What the Fuck?’ moments of the year.

I never felt comfortable bout honour killings. I understand that it exist and in those countries there is an issue, I am massively against that setting in other nations. I cannot convict it as I am not Muslim, yet outside of Muslim nations it is an issue, yet femicide should not be ANYWHERE and the fact that we are kept in the dark by most papers is a larger issue, but I will let you worry about that. It kind of intersects with ‘Australia urged to follow allies in denouncing China’s repression of Uighurs as ‘genocide’’, the fact that genocide is happening and someone needs to ‘urge’ Australia shows that we are not as evolved as we think we are. By the way, the first 5 pages of that search shows no Australian papers at all, as such should they be allowed to exist? That is a more serious question than you think. If the ACCC are all about media laws and the need to blame tech companies, in this my message after seeing ‘ACCC chief claims victory after Facebook standoff’ to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims will be “Sir, I consider you to be a fucking joke! You are hereby responsible to make sure that the events around Ursula Bahillo are to be seen in EVERY Australian newspaper as per immediate. If you (as it seems) champion discrimination, you need to be openly told this”, my issue here is that Microsoft was left out of the media consideration, they were waiting all their resources on their Azure cloud and now that we see “Microsoft will ensure that small businesses who wish to transfer their advertising to Bing can do so simply and with no transfer costs.  We recognise the important role search advertising plays to the more than two million small businesses in Australia” (source: Microsoft) all whilst we see western media absent to the plight of Ursula Bahillo and hundreds more shows that the media was never to be considered any options (if the Leveson report was not enough evidence). As such, how much action did the UN take to the Femicide cause? I know they have done some work, yet when I see ‘United Nations asks UAE for proof that Princess Latifa is alive’ all whilst the Google Search “Ursula Bahillo United Nations” gives no real links on the western media, why is that? That is even beside the fact on how active UN essay writers became against the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they even went so far to push for issues regarding  cyber crimes on an American Industrial (Jeff Bezos) all whilst the presented evidence had several shades of debatability. As I see it, we need larger changes and if the media relies on political bitches (as one might say) to do their revenue work for them, they will need to be held liable, yet I reckon that some editors will cry like little bitches and point towards ‘freedom of the press’, I wonder how long it will take for someone to consider that ‘accountability of the press’ is also a matter that needs consideration. Al Jazeera brought more to the surface than some media players are happy with. Consider your paper, or their website (whichever it is) and look for Ursula Bahillo, how many articles did you find? What we are shown matters, whether is be Femicide in Argentina, persecution of Uighurs or any other news. As I personally see it when we filter by gender and the filtering agent is the media we have lost control and the insane are at the helm of a ship called sanity. That’s merely my $0.02 on the matter.

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