Tag Archives: US Congress

One sided coin

When is a one-sided coin like a watchdog? That is the underlying question, and the answer is seen in this article ‘When they are shallow’. We all have needs, we all have centred targets, but what happens when that setting makes you miss the larger picture? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against watchdogs, I have nothing against the media, or politicians, but when they give a one sided brief just to please themselves, how shallow will they be? It is not the first time, but in this case it starts with ‘US watchdog report cites civilian casualties in Saudi arms deal’, now this might be correct, might being the operative word and not towards optionally pointing fingers and not towards the setting. We see “The Saudi-UAE air raids hit farms, schools, water supplies, and energy sources, triggering what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” now, I am not making a statement that they did not do that, but in all that, was it truly some civilian hit target or were there Houthi and/or Hezbollah fighters there? So whilst some focus on ‘precision-guided-munition components’, no one is looking what they were clearly firing on, because that too is an unknown. So whilst some focus on one side of “Tens of thousands of Yemenis, many of them civilians, have been killed by the Saudi-UAE air strikes – often with American-made weapons, targeting information and aerial refuelling support”, in a stage where should consider on ‘how many were civilians (and how many were not)’ in the sentence “Tens of thousands of Yemenis, many of them civilians”, yes we can hide behind ‘many of them’, but precision is essential, even if the weapons are not. In addition Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee gives us ““This obvious pre-spin of the findings reeks of an attempt to distract and mislead,” Engel said, adding that he feared the classified annex to the report would be “used to bury important or possibly incriminating information””, and I am not debating that, yet in all this, the stage where Eliot Engel is optionally helping our the Iranians, that is still up for debate, is it not? So when we check NPR and we see the question “Congress had concerns about $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and those concerns included how the arms might be used in the war in Yemen” and the only thing that Eliot Engel gives us is “Yeah”? By the way the interview (at https://www.npr.org/2020/08/11/901431799/engel-discusses-ig-report-on-u-s-selling-8-billion-worth-of-arms-in-middle-east) gives us nothing on ‘Iran’, ‘Houthi’ and ‘Hezbollah’, three tags that are essential in the Yemeni war, as well as the current Saudi Arabian state of affairs, so why are they missing? So whilst Engel gives us “Meaning that all the excuses that they give us, all the reasons they give us for doing what they have to do are phony and are made up. It’s just that they don’t – they want to have freedom to operate, not have the public know anything, certainly not have Congress know anything. And this is the way they’ve operated from day one. And it’s not really, you know – on the Foreign Affairs Committee, this is our jurisdiction. We’re supposed to be investigating these things, and they look at us as somehow intruding on their private purview”, a view that is his and might be valid, but the Yemeni war is larger and the three elements (Houthi, Hezbollah and Iran) are left out of it giving us an unbalanced and one sided story. Now, there is a side that accept, the US can decide on how it does business and who it does business with, and consider the hilarity we see when that $8,000,000,000 dollars goes to the Chinese or Russian treasury coffers? The US has been alienating its middle eastern partners to such an extent (all whilst ignoring to a larger degree the activities by Iran), we need to see the way that ball rolls down the hill and away from the congressional weapons sales teams. So whilst some might applaud the activity of watchdogs, the absence of the whole picture is actually rather disturbing. Not merely to the stage, but the fallout is other large. This does not reflect on Eliot Engel, but his congressional party is seemingly ignoring a much larger stage and this stage includes both Hezbollah and Iran, so why is Eliot Engel and his band of naughty congressionals ignoring that? Consider that the people for a week have been aware of ‘Saudi Arabia’s project clears 177,637 Houthi mines in Yemen’, now, we accept that some would have originated in Yemen, but not all and when we see these elements in the equation (and that is merely the beginning of that mess), we need to wonder why the US watchdog is so one sided. An investigation into the forces active in Yemen, as well as the weapons used and one side is left off the table completely. So how does your humanitarian side react to that? Oh and for desert I offer ’84.000 children in Yemen are dead, who is holding the Houthi and their methods to account?

 

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The Aftermath

Of course, I did one just before and now one more, 4 tech giants and US congress? It was too good to pass up, if I was in Washington DC, I would have opened a popcorn cart at the entrance (if that is allowed), so as I looked via the BBC before, I will do so again.

It starts with democrat Congressman David Cicilline who gives us “a year-long investigation by lawmakers had revealed patterns of abuse by the online platforms” my question becomes ‘Where is that report, can we see it?’ It might have been made public, it might not, I do not know, but I was not directly able to find it, yet the Boston Glob had the headline ‘Today is the biggest day of David Cicilline’s political career’ as such this man seeks the limelight, so why is that report not all over the media? So far in well over half a dozen newspaper sites, none of them had the link to that report, as such h I have questions and I fear that when I read it a lot of questions will pop to the surface. And when we see “The dominant platforms have wielded their power in destructive, harmful ways in order to expand” the question I had in the previous article rises again, why is Microsoft not there? Show clear evidence of ‘wielded their power in destructive, harmful ways’, and when showing that evidence also give rise to what laws were broken please? IBM and Microsoft have wielded power in harmful ways for decades, yet they did nothing illegal. As such proof of illegality would be ni

Next is Google, there we see: “lawmakers accused Google of having stolen content created by smaller firms, like Yelp, in order to keep users on their own web pages” did Google steal it, or did some duplicate their opinion in both to double THEIR visibility? I am not stating that Google is innocent, I do not have the evidence, yet ‘stolen content’ gives rise to a crime, presented evidence would be nice. So whilst we see accusations, we also got “some Republicans signalled they were not prepared to split up the firms or significantly overhaul US competition laws, with one committee member saying “big is not inherently bad”” the problem again is were there any illegalities made? When some go for “significantly overhaul US competition laws” we see the implied non-illegal stuff and that is where the problems lie, the US government, both the senate and congress should have overhauled Tax and competition laws well over a decade ago, their fault not the four tech bosses and I have stated this failing for years, so why go after the four and leave Microsoft (who is also running advertisements) out of the mix, I have some questions on how David Cicilline is seeking the limelight if you don’t mind!

Then we get the US president “a long-time critic of Amazon and threatened his own action on Twitter, writing: “If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders.”” It sounds nice, but pointless, there is a lack in legal sides in both competition law and tax laws and a nation of laws cannot reside in a discriminatory state living of executive orders, whilst they can be legally countered. As I see it, the entire charade was a cowboy approach to something that has no bearing, will pay lawyers for a decade and will amount to nothing, all whilst overhauling two sides of the law is ignored again and again.

In this I have to take the sides of the tech boys. With the added side that if David Cicilline does not spread these legal documents of ‘wrongdoing’ these hearings are merely the end of his political career, and in light of the fact that I have never heard of him not a good thing I reckon (OK, that was my egocentrically side). The more articles I read from more newspapers, the more that the feeling of a cowboy and Indian approach by this congress is the stage we face, in light of the non committing towards overhauling Tax laws and competition laws merely strengthens my feelings on the matter.

 

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When Congress becomes something more

So as I stated in ‘The Fantastic Four and the Bully’, the four getting grilled are not the bad guys. Well, there is some debate, but the foundation is that these four tech entrepreneurs are getting grilled by people who are clueless on tech matters. So as some read the BBC part “At issue is the fact that Apple doesn’t allow apps to be installed onto iOS devices from alternative marketplaces, and that it enforces tough rules over the way subscriptions and other digital items can be sold.” The issue soon becomes, will congress be responsible for any bad app and data gathering app that Congress would want to allow for? Even as an android user, I see that there are very few bad apples around, as such most apps are safe. There are a lot more dangerous apps on Android. This is not the fault of Google, there are several ways that a personal device gets to be the victim, there are a lot less issues on Apple, as such and as Congress might demand third party options, will they not be responsible for the damage that they put on Apple and its users? There is another side, a these tech giants come under fire, the chances of Chinese hardware makers making it bigger only increases by 35%-55%, how is that of use to congress? We might see Fitbit mentions and other mentions, but these products are closely followed by Asian alternatives, the entire setting does not add up. Then we get the advertisements, until Google Ads was here, we had DoubleClick, there were versions that equal Epom, with price tags that started at $250 a month, then $1000 a month, $2500 a month and higher. So, can the US Congress give us a list of all the small business and small startups that had that kind of cash? Google Ads was one of the first AFFORDABLE solutions for small business units, the fact that the bulk all switched should be a larger consideration, in addition, Google Ads was one of the first to truly die a larger rise to localisation and languages. Usually one or the other was missing, as such, is the growth of Goole Ads to be blamed on Google, or on all the others who could not be bothered? Not everything is perfect at Google, we all know that, but we also know that the ignorance in congress is a little too large to wonder who they are serving, they claim the people, but in reality? I am actually wondering who they are setting the stage for, I see it as a different stage that the one they tell us we are on.

And even as we accept Sundar’s optional defence of “Today’s competitive landscape looks nothing like it did five years ago, let alone 21 years ago, when Google launched its first product, Google Search”, we need to see that this landscape is largely influenced on the upcoming 5G and as it is now, especially as well over 50% of all searches are done via mobile, the only thing I see coming is that China gets a much larger share of it all and Congress intervening on matters that they do not comprehend is a much larger danger to that happening. I have always been favour of Huawei technology, that does not mean that I want China to have the bulk of all the business. The White House wants us to think it is the same, but it is not. They have set the stage that unites Huawei in a political tool for China to set a much larger field, they were pushed by US stupidity, not Huawei needs. The US took it away and now we see a very different stage, one where Huawei is still independent, but taking the customers that China is pointing at. The stage is changing and Congress is adding fuel to that fire by chastising the big four tech makers, each entrepreneurs. Each understanding the digital landscape. I had no clue in the early 90’s when Amazon started, I thought it was mad to continue when the losses were so great, now the owner has is worth in excess of $35,000,000,000, a personal value that exceeds a lot of nations. I am not saying that all is kind and kosher with each of the four, I am stating that when we are getting told changes, we are properly getting told by people who understand that business and in Congress, I doubt that they can rub together 2 one dollar coins on the subject on digital advertising. The more ‘diplomatic’ answer comes from Facebook’s own Zuckerberg. With “Our story would not have been possible without US laws that encourage competition and innovation. I believe that strong and consistent competition policy is vital because it ensures that the playing field is level for all. At Facebook, we compete hard, because we’re up against other smart and innovative companies that are determined to win” and some of them are Chinese. Some are Russian and others are all over the place, yet Facebook has other problems too, privacy and marketing do not go hand in hand, not in their granular market and that is where part of the problem lies. We could decide that from the four, they are the bad apple in this, but that would be wrong. I worked for people who had no idea how to dress a Facebook market when it was offered to them, their bullet point presentations could not deal with that unknown side of business, that was the strength for growth for Facebook, it was so new, there were no defining borders and there is where we see part of that problem, a lot never caught on, not to the degree that Facebook represents and there I see the dangers of the US Congress, they are not that clued in (as I personally see it). So as we get to one of the topics ‘One of the matters concerning the committee is the degree to which three of the tech companies now control the market for online adverts’ we need to recognise that these players made it affordable for a lot of businesses, the old way was dictatorial and something only rich companies could afford, they refused to give way and when Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon gobbled up the small fry, the large fry moved positions because their provider was no longer the bee’s knees. Three never ruled it, the grew it changing the rulers and the old stage should never return. And finally, according to numbers one in three uses Bing and Microsoft search and are therefor exposed to Bing Ads, so why is Microsoft not in that stage? There are 4 players and one has well over 20%, so why is Microsoft not in the meeting? Is that asking for too much?

Those who have read my articles over the year have seen that I have chastised each and every one of these four (5 if you include Microsoft), but here I see no blame, not from any of the 5, the stage was set, the rules were followed and when the opportunity was there 20 years ago, most would not wonder there, I was a personal witness when some stated that there was no future for a business form of Facebook in 1997, as such what is the US Congress bitching about? And as we look at the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-us-canada-53582909) we see the graph by eMarketer, yet Microsoft and their Bing is absent, why is that? So whilst they claim it is merely about the smaller rivals, it is about something more and something different, I wonder if we will ever be told the truth. As I personally see it, the members of congress have a different set of needs and I wonder what they are.

 

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Double Standards

You might have heard of this new tech company in China, it makes all kinds of telecom stuff and they are known as Huawei. What is interesting is that we got a lecture by Alex Younger (fearless leader MI-6), he was all about the fact that at no time a national infrastructure should be done by a foreign nation, now as reasons go, this is a decent one, there is no need for evidence, it is about national interest. I was not in favour, but I do not set British policy (apparently) and as such I believe that it is an acceptable view.

In that light I have a hard time looking (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50879809), where we are treated to ‘Cobham takeover: Boris Johnson defends £4bn sale to US equity firm‘, so we see a stage where British national security concerns are now going through an equity firm putting Wall Street in charge of a large chunk of British Defense. Can anyone explain that to me?

The US has one directive, serve the needs for the US and the US only, then we get Wall Street where profit is the run of the coast, so at what point was selling Cobham to any other nation a good idea?

Even as we see the statement from Boris Johnson “A lot of checks have been gone through to make sure that in that particular case all the security issues that might be raised can be satisfied and the UK will continue to be a very, very creative and dynamic contributor to that section of industry and all others“, I wonder if proper checks have been made from situations that are in opposition, the entire Yemeni war and the position of the US Congress is an apt description. Admiral Lord West was concerned and not without reason.

Issues like:

The risk of “unauthorised persons” obtaining information about the MoD’s capabilities and activity is a big one, keeping secrets in the US and on Wall Street is a challenge at the best of times and this will bite the UK before 2030, optionally before 2022. 

The threat to existing MoD programmes (due to funding cuts or moving capabilities “off-shore”), more important, whatever is done to keep the invoices low will be an affront to Wall Street an equity managers, so they will oppose whatever options the MoD finds to lower invoices. Then there is the other issue, do you think that ANY equity firm will pay £4,000,000,000 unless they can get at least double out of it? So where is that marging coming from? There is no way that this was merely for the nicety, it is an equity firm and I get that, yet what business are we in when governments hand over control of defense contractors and the power that they have within the MoD to a foreign nation? It does not rhyme and we see an absence from MI-6 setting that stage correctly (and optionally openly). 

I also believe that the moment things do go South, the people in the UK will dress up like angry villagers and quarrel their settlement with pikes and pitchforks with Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom who was kind enough to validate “she was satisfied the risks that had been identified had been mitigated “to an acceptable level”” you see an acceptable level is a subjective term and of course it will bite and probably whilst she is still in office. I am also interested in the fact that a Business Secretary sets the stage for national defence, was that her job? And I am completely with Admiral Lord West on this one, which issues had been mitigated? How were they mitigated and why was mitigation a point of discussion in the first place. 

There is another side, the side of the equity firm (advent) and in this case Shonnel Malani who states “We are confident the transaction and undertakings being given on national security, jobs and future investment, provide important long-term assurances for both Cobham’s employees and customers, particularly in the UK and also globally“, these words when you look deeper take no consideration of stock and change of stock, this is a statement of people, data and hardware are not considered in this, and perhaps the government looked at it, but I wonder to what degree. Consider the complete data branch of Cobham Airborne Surveillance not having one storage location, but now also is handed to the US data farms for intel grinding. That would be worth a pretty penny, would it not? And lets not forget, Cobham is a global player, so advent will get doors open all over the alphabet group (as well as alphabet). There is a lot of intelligence in Cobham and the deciding factor of where it goes is now in the hands of a Wall Street pleaser. 

I checked (at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-update-on-the-proposed-acquisition-of-cobham-plc-by-advent-international) and I was right, again we see “After meetings with the parties, advice from the Defence Secretary and carefully considering the consultation responses, Ms Leadsom has made the decision that the undertakings offered by the parties mitigate the national security risks identified to an acceptable level. She has therefore accepted the undertakings that were consulted on“, yet there is no protection of data as far as I can tell, the owners can get access to it to the largest degree. Even after Brexit, Advent can sell it to Strasbourg, leaving the UK with less options in the long run, a shortsighted response and I do personally hope that  Andrea Leadsom gets to personally deal with the cloud of angry villagers when failures come out (she is likely to be on the next plane to the US for granting this merger).

I also liked the idea that Mrs Leadsom had added “meticulously thought over” in several places. The consideration of it tends to lead towards parts no one thought off. You see, the fact that an equity firm agrees to a £4,000,000,000 caper indicates that there is a 20%-30% to be gained annually, which in the end in the long lasting set would not have made sense so sell at all, so we go towards other venues that Cobham allows for, data is one (yet not the only one), available stock is the other one. It is called vulturing, yet when we realise that there could be up to £ 6,000,000,000 in valued hardware the 30% is easily reached and over three years Cobham would be in a worse state, that last one is speculation, yet is it far fetched? Consider WHO is buying and the government as well as the stockholders are OK with it does not sit well with me. There is a truckload of value that we underestimate in any firm. We might accept “provide important long-term assurances for both Cobham’s employees and customers, particularly in the UK and also globally“, it sounds nice, but what happens when their workload doubles because Cobham ends up doing service for another player who becomes part of Cobham? Selling off was checked, yet adding inferior players to cobham seemingly was not. I look at it because the buyer is an equity firm and I tend to not trust them, I merely trust their need for greed and when they decide, they have a larger play to make profits, yet in that game there is always a victim, it is close to a given, I merely want to make sure that British defense is not that victim. 

I believe that Cobham grew well beyond the vision of Sir Alan Cobham and that is fine, but I reckon that in this case the UK government did not really “meticulously thought over” several factors and it worries me, whenever greedy firms get into a defense branch defense, the defense group tends to lose and that is never good.

 

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The 11th hour of Chapter 11

It was around 01:00 this morning when a ‘recommended video’ made it to my stream. Now, I am known to have a sense of humour, a flaky one at best and to see the name Jon Stewart (yes the comedian) to be on that ‘recommended stream’ regarding a PBS News hour was something new to me, but I was a little curious and I took a look.

What I was confronted with did not merely blow my socks off; it gave the impression that America is currently in such a bad state that it makes me wonder why at present this issue does not grace the front page in EVERY NEWSPAPER on the planet.

I have seen my fill of political windbags, their past acts gave Chicago the name ‘the windy city’, it gave the impression that a cocaine dealer has seemingly a higher regard for ‘their word’ than most members of the US Congress. Still, there was no stopping Jon Stewart as he gave his view in congress.

The story (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5FTrIZN-E) shows that Jon Stewart is not merely a person with a sense of humour, the man talks up a storm, not a windy one, but a perfect storm. You need to hear it to believe what America and American politics is doing to the first line of defence of the city of New York, what has been done to those running into the area where the World Trade Centre, to give aid and to save as many people as possible. In a room that was filled with first responders, a room that is filled with the pain and agony of what they had gone through and the members of US Congress (the bulk of them) are not there, not there to stand protecting the first responders of America, not there to protect the first responders of America and not there for those putting their lives on the line for the annual amount that is less than 0.1% of what an average Wall Street banker takes home on an average month.

The headline pretty much states it with: ‘Congress ‘should be ashamed’ over inaction on helping 9/11 first responders‘, but that would be a disservice, US Congress failed on a much larger scale than that. The members of congress did not even have the respect and courtesy to show up. And during all this is the voice of Jon Stewart advocating for these people intentionally forgotten. Stated is that one member got there as he is up for a 69th round of chemo. I cannot even fathom anyone living past 2 dozen treatments, let alone an additional 45 treatments past that point. I personally have never felt such pride in being a witness to a person like Jon Stewart, what some would call merely a comedian standing up and advocating for a group that should have been protected by 320 million Americans calling and shouting at their senators, their congress representatives, their governors and their alderman to fix this immediately. Is America this broke, this bankrupt that denial of an essential and required need for first responders to be given at any given time? As Jon states, they were there in 5 seconds, the first responders were actively aiding and assisting the fallen and the wounded in 5 seconds. And it gets to be worse!

FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, EMS responded they all did and Congress is now holding the implied ‘were out to lunch’, ‘we are currently unavailable, have a nice day’ signs, in my view every American should stand shoulder to shoulder with Jon Stewart making their voices heard making sure that first responders get better service and better protection than any member of congress every could hope to get. We are after this exposed to details that I have (to the best of my knowledge not seen anywhere, not to the degree it should be exposed to). The never ending waves of denial from those who should have been a circle of protection is not merely baffling, it should be beyond shameful. Anyone on that track should be barred from public office. that is how it should be, but it is not. It merely shows that government is not in charge, Wall Street seemingly is and these people have become too expensive to the American way of life.

Consider this

Even in the wildest time when the US was merely known as part of the British Empire, these people had a better standing and better protection than they now have in American society. Can you imagine the shame where rescue services as a member of the British colonies, serving the British Empire and the King of England in 1760 would have been treated better than those of the United States of America in 2001-2019?

Can anyone imagine the shame of it all?

Then optionally making an attack on America a New York issue, I wonder how congress would have treated this if the jets had flown into Mount Rushmore, would that have been an unfortunate collision with a shaped hill? The fact that the ‘pile’ had such dire issues to the health of first responders is also a much larger concern. Evan as ABC news gave us (at https://abcnews.go.com/US/911-toll-growsl-16000-ground-responders-sick-found/story?id=57669657) “Twenty-three NYPD officers were killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. In the 17 years since, the department says another 156 have died of illnesses contracted from their time on what was then known as “the pile,” the mountain of toxic debris from the fallen towers.” the fact that there is every indication that the number of people dying of disease directly due to the toxic elements of the WTC debris is staggering, the fact that 23 NYPD members died on the day and 156 died of health related issues, directly related to the WTC toxicity events since is a much larger concern. How did all that toxicity be part of that building in the first place?

Last august to total tally was a mere 28 people difference, there is every indication that the total deaths since 9/11 will surpass the first responders casualties on the day it happened in early 2020 and they did not go direct, instantly and gently, they were hollowed to nothing by toxicity and left to their own devices. How can any nation stand by and let this happen?

And when Jon Stewart mentions the hundred, nay thousands of tweets by officials giving us ‘Never forget the heroes of 9/11‘ and we now see that they are shunned and ignored, we see the anger that every American should have, because who will you count on when this happens again? Do you think that under these conditions first responders have any actual responsibility when their government, their congress abandons them?

It is hard to not be hit by the directness of Jon Stewart, I is hard to ignore that what Jon Stewart brings, but for the most, the media was silent, but not anymore, only a few hours ago I learn that ‘House panel unanimously passes 9/11 victims fund bill after Jon Stewart bashing‘, this is great in some respect, but why was the international media silent for so many years, and why did it take so long for this bill to pass? I reckon that the success that Jon Stewart booked will be reason enough that the global media picks up on this story, but as I personally see it, that act is a decade late and for the world of me, I cannot fathom why the media stayed silent on the plight of first responders for to the degree it did for such a long time, can you?

The only remaining part is now, why was action absent for that long, is America truly broke? If so should catering towards large corporations not end, or better stated has facilitation to this degree and for this long not been one of the most shameful acts? Who is to blame for such levels of denial and facilitation? Just image the reality of what I say and what I just proved. In one month we got close to 70,000,000 articles filled with speculations (often absent of actual facts) on what happened to one reporter no one cares about (harsh but true), yet how much awareness and articles were created since 9/11 2001 on the plight and hardship of first responders? When we realise this, how big was the failure to American first responders from 9/11 2002 onwards?

 

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Iterative diversity never goes anywhere

Facebook has been on the minds of many people, so merely on how to procrastinate (a student thing), some on the value of the company and some are investigating on how data issues were reported. CNet reported merely a few hours ago ‘SEC asking if Facebook properly warned investors of data issue‘ (at https://www.cnet.com/news/sec-investigating-if-facebook-gave-investors-enough-warning-about-data-issue-wsj-says/), the origin is the Wall Street Journal. My issue is at the top when we consider the quote “The agency is looking into how much Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of data, says a report in The Wall Street Journal“, do you think that any evidence is still there to be found? Even if the brightest minds unite to finding anything, by the time all the proper access is granted, the decisionmakers will be facing a new government resetting priorities.

Now, I get it. That is the job of the SEC. With “The SEC has requested information from Facebook to learn how much the social-networking company knew about Cambridge Analytica’s data use, according to the Journal. In addition, the SEC reportedly wants to learn how Facebook analyzed its risk as developers shared data with others against Facebook’s policies“, we see that the SEC is merely doing its job and even if we believe the meida and some of the revelations that passed our screens, the SEC has a clear directive, merely set in factual evidence. Yet the can of goods is seen with “The SEC is also looking into whether the company should’ve told shareholders about Cambridge Analytica’s policy violation when Facebook found out about it, in 2015“, it is not the game, but it is a setting of the stage. In my view there is doubt that this was properly done. The issue is not whether it happened, it is the setting that we must speculate on what would have happened next, and that whilst there is no evidence that something was done. Not the acts of Cambridge Analytica their part is a foregone conclusion. The issue is as long as there is no evidence showing that the data was sold on to other parties. The value of the company would not have been impacted, which would have negatively impacted shareholders. That is the game the SEC is set with that is their duty and they are doing that just fine.

The question becomes on what stage is speculation of something that might have happened set in actionable consideration two years after the fact, that is the setting and that will be a dry bone as far as I can tell. Still the SEC has a duty to perform and they are doing that. Even as Endgadget goes with “the agency might disagree with Facebook’s perspective and find the company at fault for not properly informing shareholders“, the setting is not a given. You see, the impact of value was after the revelation and after the shareholders were spooked by the fear mongering media. As long as there is no evidence that a third party has all the raw data, the value impact is close to nil. The only impact that the SEC should be allowed to consider is the negative impact of value, if proven that data left control of Facebook and only when that evidence is proven to have impacted Facebook before Jan 2018, only at that point is there an optional issue and there is a second tier in all this. If any shareholder is in both companies, it becomes a little murky, because at that point the shareholders themselves will be up for investigation. Whether this is true cannot be said because the first part for the SEC is proving that the second player actually has the raw Facebook data, in all this aggregated data lacks value and interactions on aggregates data is just too shallow for consideration.

And this is just one of the settings. The second and main setting is the Diversity report that Facebook has presented. The Verge is all about the focus on ‘Change is coming slowly, if it comes at all‘, which is a given in most companies (Apple and Google are optionally the exception). The setting is however no longer just about optional diversity, it is about bankable value and the national patent value that these places have in that setting diversity be damned and Endgadget knows this the fact that they took a page to focus on ‘diversity’ whilst there are much larger fish swimming in the Facebook pond is to some a total mystery. The IP Watchdog gives us another side and a side that in this day and age are actually really important. There we see (as a small grasp):

  • U.S. Patent No. 8732802, titled: ‘Receiving Information About a User From a Third Party Application Based on Action Types’. Issued to Facebook in May 2014.
  • U.S. Patent No. 8938411, titled: ‘Inferring User Family Connections From Social Interactions’. Issued to Facebook in January 2015.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9740752, titled: ‘Determining User Personality Characteristics From Social Networking System Communications and Characteristics’. Issued to Facebook August 2017.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9798382, titled: ‘Systems and Methods of Eye Tracking Data Analysis’. Issued to Facebook October 2017.
  • U.S. Patent No. 9923981, titled: ‘Capturing Structured Data About Previous Events From Users of a Social Networking System’. Issued to Facebook March 2018.

These are only 5 out of a large basket of patents and the issue is not about diversity of staff, it is about the diversity of the population. The setting does not change that much, because changes might be small, but consider that in this case we have an additional 1 TB a day that can now be used very effectively. So even as the Verge reminds us with “Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) took some time out of a congressional hearing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to grill CEO Mark Zuckerberg about increasing diversity at the company, something that Zuckerberg said that Facebook was “focused on.”“, we can take diversity as stated with ‘increasing diversity at the company‘ as either staff diversity or data diversity, I guess that I am going with number two on that one. You see, even as I tipped on ‘diversity’ we all recollect places like Forbes and the Financial Times on how it leads to better profits. It is the reason it reflects on the shareholders on how that notion gives them an on the spot hard on, male and female shareholders alike. Yet, the much larger revenue boost is seen when we combine the setting of the patents, the data that Facebook has and now we get to yesterday’s story, In yesterday’s article (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/07/12/seeking-security-whilst-growing-anarchy/), I left a few screws fall all over the place. With ‘Seeking security whilst growing anarchy‘, I gave a title that could be read in more than one way. The part I just skipped yesterday (as the story would have been too large) was seen with “So now we get the setting of ‘who is exactly waging war on who’, or is that whom?“, as well as “the defense ‘laws governing wars were devised with conflicts between states in mind‘ can no longer be upheld“. These were true settings, yet the setting of the data was partially set in “how many flags were raised by that one person, yet now not on 5 tests, but on dozens of tests, against people, places, actions and locations at specific times“, there we see the issue, but there is a complication, the bulk of the people actively sought all use burner phones, they tend to be nervous and do not call, yet they are closely grouped together and that is a first setting. Now consider that for the most burner phones are useless, now consider these people taking hours to keep busy and some will go for the silliest diversion. A diversion like a simple Candy Crush, now take another look at the 5 patents, consider that the burner phone is useless for intelligence, but now reconsider that value when these patents are used, not merely for tracking needs, but reconsider the ‘Eye Tracking Data Analysis‘ add the camera to take a silent image of the iris, it is almost as good as a fingerprint. Now add ‘Structured Data About Previous Events From Users‘. Two of the five added to the billions of users on Facebook and now we have a system that does a lot more, it is the 32% that Palantir inc. does not have, the patents that Facebook has allows not merely for a diversity growth factor, it will be one of the few times that any company had two massive niches in data, when Combined it allows the US to have a grasp of a system that allows near real time tracking of anyone they seek, this system can void well over 80% of the false flags making the data system well over 10 times as efficient than ever before. So yes, we can argue the truth of “Not to worry, says Facebook VP Allen Lo, head of intellectual property. “Most of the technology outlined in these patents has not been included in any of our products, and never will be,” he told the Times in an email” as a master of IP I do know the length that Facebook has been through with patents and he is telling the truth, the product of Facebook is Facebook, that system will not go there, but will be in all kinds of different technical solutions that allows for new methods of data gathering. Even as it is a burner phone, when they take it for a mere leap into betting solutions and gaming procrastination, they will hit some top 10 app of the month and that is when one element of data is connected to the ones that matter for those seeking these really welcome people for personal one on one interviews. And there we see the link between places like Palantir and Zuckerberg (not Facebook). Sen. Maria Cantwell was asking around the edges for a reason, the April interview had another reason, one that I was never aware off (or considered). It seems that she heard water cooler chats on settings of Palantir, this was about a larger issue and the Patents had clearly indicated options for Facebook, it was not about the setting (as she put it) ‘the talent and the will to solve this problem‘ it is given that Palantir knows that Facebook Inc. can become a contender and with the data that could be available, we see a setting where Palantir would be going up against a new player having 500% of the data that the Palantir customer has and more important, Facebook has the patents to partially solve the burner phone issues much better then Palantir ever had the option for and that is a real new path in this field. So as I personally read it, Sen. Maria Cantwell was asking whether Mark Zuckerberg was ready to become a player in this field.

So yes, even as we see that some steps are small (like diversity and torts law), Facebook has an optional setting to take a leap forward, not by a mere length, but by an entire class of data options, which is new and that is where those investigating Cambridge Analytica never looked at, or so we were meant to believe, Sen. Maria Cantwell might be the first through orders or insight to do just that.

That setting is now still under debate, not because of the tech, but because of a case of OIL STATES ENERGY SERVICES, LLC v. GREENE’S ENERGY GROUP, LLC, ET AL. No. 16–712 (decided April 24th, 2018), this case changes the game all over, because until overruled by the US Congress, we now have a setting where we see that the possibility that patents are no longer property rights is close to an absolute. Patents are not property rights and will not be property rights until Congress overrules the case, so in this the entire patents side is now a new setting that it is set as a government franchise, so in all this Facebook has the one play to set themselves apart from the rest of the data players, and some might state that the setting of the decision of the Supreme Court was a forgone conclusion close to two weeks earlier, so Sen. Maria Cantwell was either on the ball or asked the perfect questions two weeks in advance, I wonder who ended up with a boatload of speculated wealth, because someone definitely got rich in that process (happy speculation with a smile from the writer).

In all this it was not merely the setting of diversity and how to see it, but the fact that a place like Facebook might think iterative within its Facebook app, it has options and therefor opportunities in a much larger field than merely the Facebook app. So if Palantir is not worried on what comes next, they are more asleep at the wheel than you imagine; a small spoiler alert here: the people at Palantir are a lot of things, they have never ever been asleep so they know what is coming and as the path of Facebook is allegedly on now is regarded as government Franchise terrain, we need to wonder where this goes next as they are still all about finding those illusive extremists, all depending on burner smart phones.

I wonder when the rest realises what the patent holders have been able to achieve in mobile communications, now consider 350% of speed increase and 700% of data markers with the release of 5G, now revaluate the Patents that the Facebook corporation has and consider how much larger they could optionally become by 2021. Now reconsider the Forbes list of ‘The World’s Most Valuable Brands‘ and consider its position in 2021. I doubt that it will be #1 at that time, but it will be equal if not bigger then Google by then taking its #2 position away from them, and leaving Microsoft a distant #4. Although Microsoft is doing plenty to diminish its value all by themselves, they do not need to rely on Google and Facebook to reduce their position for them.

Iterative act never go anywhere, it is the setting of new stages where true fortunes are gathered.

Happy Friday 13th everyone! (Please don’t meet a guy named Jason today)

 

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Identity denied

There are moments when we resort to other ways of expressing ourselves; it is in our nature to find alternatives to the story, so that we can tell the story. Nearly every person does it. Sometimes we ask ‘would you take that extra pastry?‘ instead of telling someone that you really feel like having another pastry. So when it comes to social media, we see not ourselves, but the person we want to be. We want to own the Hall of Faces (Game of Thrones) where we can mask ourselves with the identity of a dead person, like Ethan Hawke in Mission Impossible, walk in, sound like the person we are not, because we do not like ourselves in that particular moment. So when we look at Facebook, are we thinking the Hall of faces? In light of all that was revealed, are we in a stage where we prefer to be someone else?

You see, the shit is on the walls as some would say. Mark the Zuckyman did the right thing, he stood up (after a few days of silence) and held himself responsible and we are all over this that he is the culprit, but is he truly guilty? We see all kinds of articles on Facebook, like ‘You’ve decided to delete Facebook but what will you replace it with?‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/31/youve-decided-to-delete-facebook-but-what-will-you-replace-it-with), even after a week this is still highly valid, because for millions of the multibillion users of Facebook, it has yet to sink in. Go to WhatsApp? Instagram? Both are owned by Facebook, so where does that leave you? So when we try to trivialise it with #DeleteFacebook, we need to realise that this is new territory. We now talk about the Social Media Landscape and it is not small. It is huge and most importantly, this is the first true generation of the Social media generation. We were not ready, and i have been trying to explain that to people for nearly 3 years. Now we see overreactions whilst sitting down contemplating it all was never an option. The law was missing it as it is more interested in facilitating for commerce, exploitation and profit (Sony and Microsoft are nice examples there), Human rights are failing, because the issue of Digital rights is only seen in the relation of commerce, not in the relation of privacy, in this the entire Google and the people’s rights to be forgotten is merely a reason to giggle, a Google giggle if you preferred.

The article has one funny part, with “For those determined to exit the Facebook ecosystem, the best approach is more likely to be a patchwork of sites and apps that mirror individual features. Messaging is the easiest: apps such as Telegram and Signal offer messaging and group chats, as well as voice calls, with encryption to keep your communications private. Telegram even has a thriving collection of chatbots, similar to Facebook Messenger“, you see, it is done on a smartphone (mostly), so you could consider dialing a person and have a conversation, your mum if she is still alive is not the worst idea to have. You see, the plain point is where you end up. So when we see “Part of Vero’s appeal to Facebook deleters is its determination to be ad-free. It is planning instead to start charging a small annual subscription at some point“, you see these people designed it for wealth (as one would) so where are they getting the money? The small annual subscription does make sense, but in light of that you better remember where all your data is and even as we see ‘emphasis on privacy‘ we need to realise that there are clear situations where the word Privacy is open to suggestion. What people forget is that ‘The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes‘, so are their settings of what is private the same as yours? Also, when they sell their company for a mere 2 billion, make no mistake, the word privacy is not open for debate, it will be whatever the new owner decides it to be. This is merely one side of data, as data is currency. That is what I have been trying to explain to nearly everyone (for 5 years now) and they all shrugged and stated, ‘it’ll be right‘, so is it right? Is it all right now? If you are considering becoming a member of the growing party of #DeleteFacebook it clearly was not.

So when we are treated to ‘News of Facebook’s secret tool to delete executive messages caps days of chaos‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/06/facebook-using-secret-tool-to-delete-messages-from-executives) we see another part of Facebook, we see new uproar. The question is whether this is justified. You see, when we see “the company has a two-tiered privacy standard (one for executives, one for everyone else) and over its use of facial recognition software“, in most cases this makes perfect sense. Corporate executives tend to be under scrutiny a lot, as it sometimes is valid; they still have a job to be done. I was amazed on how many people Mark Zuckerberg was connected to in the beginning of Facebook. It was awesome and cool, but I reckoned that it was not always constructive to productivity. I have been in places where the executives had their own server for a number of reasons, mostly for HR reasons and whether it is valid or not, it is a corporate decision, in that light I am not amazed, only when I was doing work for Google was I on a system where I could see everything and everyone all including what I thought was the board of directors. Here is where it gets interesting, because Google has a (what we refer to) a true open system for all who work there. It is invigorating to get access to so much information and my first night was me dreaming of combining things, what if we did ….. and ….. would we then be able to …..? It was exhilarating to feel that rush of creativity, in areas where I had no skill levels to boot. With a ‘closed’ system like Facebook, we need to consider that by setting the state of all is open that it is a legal trap when you give billions of people access to systems and situations. The mere legal differences between the UK, US and AUS, all common law nations would be the legal nightmare of decades. Shielding the executives from that is a first priority, because without them at the wheel it all falls to chaos.

That reality is seen with “Facebook says the change was made following the 2014 Sony Pictures hack, when a mass data breach at the movie studio resulted in embarrassing email histories being leaked for a number of executives, ultimately costing co-chair Amy Pascal her job“, some might remember the mail that George Clooney send in regards to the Monuments Man, it made pretty much all the papers. I love his work, I enjoy the artistic values he has, shares and embodies, but without certain levels of privacy and shielding his artistic side might take a large dump towards uncertainty, not a side I am hoping for, because even as he is merely 360 days older than me, he should be able to create another 30 years of movie excellence and I would like to see those movies, especially as we see that he is doing to Matt Damon in Suburbicon, what the Coen brothers were doing to him in Burn after reading and Hail, Caesar!, so plenty of fun times ahead for all us movie fans.

Even as we are all looking where we want to go next, the foundation of issues remain. There is an utter lack of Social media legislation; there is a mess of issues on where privacy is and what is to be regarded as privacy. The users gave it all away when they signed up for options, apps and ‘solutions’ again and again. Until that is settled, any move we make moves the issue and moves the problems, it will not solve anything, no matter what some of the app developers decide to state. In the third part “‘The third era of Zuck’: how the CEO went from hero to humiliation” (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/apr/06/mark-zuckerberg-public-image-cambridge-analytica-facebook), I think he got kicked in the head real hard, but not humiliated, although he might think he was. So as we recall Dean Martin with Ain’t That a Kick in the Head? we need to realise that is what happens. That is what happens when Social media becomes a multi-billion user behemoth. Mark Zuckerberg made mistakes plain and simple. What do you do? You get up from the floor, fix it and restore the need for growth. And now still we see that mistakes are made. This is seen with “On Friday morning, the company apologized and pledged to stop deleting executives’ messages until they could make the same functionality available to everyone“, the largest mistake and it opens social media to all kinds of organised crime. Merely send the threat, tell the people to do …. or else and after an hour, after it is seen to have been read, the message is deleted, it becomes a miscommunication and no prosecution is possible.

That is the biggest mistake of all, to set a multi-billion user group open to the needs of organised crime even further then it likely is. How stupid is that? You see, as I interpret this, both Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg are in the musical chair setting, trying to do things on the fly and that will hurt them a lot more than anything else. We get it that mistakes were made, fix them, but not on the fly and not just quick jumps overnight. Someone has pushed them into defence play and they actually suck at that. It is time for them to put their foot down and go into offensive and attack mode (pun intended). When we consider what was before, we get it that Zuckerberg made mistakes and he will make more. We merely need to look at Microsoft and their actions over the last 3 decades to see that they screwed to pooch even more royally than Zuckerberg will be able to do, but the media is silent there as it relies on Microsoft advertiser funds. IBM and Apple have made their blunders in the past as well, yet they all had one large advantage, the impact was never towards billions of users, it potentially could have hit them all, but it mostly just a much smaller group of people, that was their small blessing. Apple directly hurt me and when I lost out on $5500, I merely got a ‘C’est la vie‘ from their technical centre, so screw that part!

There will be a large change sooner rather than later, the issue with Cambridge Analytica was too large to not make that happen. I merely hope that Zuckerberg has his ducks on a row when he makes the jump, in addition to that was Steve Bannon arrested? Especially when we consider Article 178, violating the Free decision of Voters. You see, it is not that simple, social media has never been used in that way, to such an extent, the law is unclear and proving that what Cambridge Analytica did would constitute a clear violation of the free decision of voters, that is what makes this a mess, legislation on a global scale has failed when it came to privacy and options regarding the people in social media. Steve Bannon can keep on smiling because of all the visibility he will get for years to come and after years when no conviction comes, he can go on the ‘I told you so!‘ horse and ride of wealthy into the sunset. That situation needs to be rectified and it needs to go way beyond Facebook, the law itself has faltered to a much larger degree.

The fact that politicians are all about terror cells and spilling inflammatory messages whilst having no resolution on any of this is merely showing what a bunch of apes they have proven themselves to be. So when we saw in January ‘Facebook, Google tell Congress they’re fighting extremist content‘, where were these congressmen? Where the fuck was Clint Watts, the Robert A. Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and National Security analyst as CNN now reports that optionally 78 million records have been pushed onto the Russian servers? (at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/08/politics/cambridge-analytica-data-millions/index.html), now implying that Cambridge Analytica has undermined US safety and security in one operation to a much larger extent than any terrorist has been able to achieve since September 13th 2001. That is 17 years of figments, against one political setting on the freedom to choose. I wonder how Clint Watts can even validate his reasoning to attend the US Congress at all. And this goes way beyond the US; in this the European Commission could be regarded as an even larger failure in all this. But it is unlikely we ever get treated to that side of the entire show.

The media needs both players a lot more and bashing Facebook makes for good entertainment they reckon. Time will tell whether they were right, or that the people at large just never cared, we merely end up having no social media identity, it will have been denied for reasons that were never real in the first place.

 

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Pussy in the White House?

Yes, the Washington Post is bringing us another White House, not the one that we see in some Debbie does Dallas version, the original movie, not the Broadway event. Yet in that version Bambi Woods shows to have more balls than the White House officials seem to have nowadays.

So the issue as shown (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-divided-over-how-to-handle-two-isis-militants/2018/02/09/17c2fafe-0dc6-11e8-8890-372e2047c935_story.html) whost the two parts, the first is the one I agree with. That view is: “top counterterrorism adviser, Thomas P. Bossert, favors sending the pair to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba“. The other one is “families of American hostages killed by the group want the men brought to the United States for a criminal trial“, the fact that this view was given any consideration was fair enough. Yet the dangers that wherever the trial will be, will have increasing dangers of Lone Wolf activities as well as the emotional ball that the media will play in every direction they can. It is nice for those families to have their day in court, but it is a view that is in every direction short sighted. Yes, I do feel for these families, yet in the end they will never get any justice, at best they end up having some peace of mind. Yet the price tag of that peace of mind, with the added dangers that they are inviting is just not worth it. The GB (Guantanamo Bay) solution by draining them of all intelligence and in the end when there is nothing more to get, a mere 9mm through the back of the skull is basically the best solution all around. So as we see the quote “The men, who grew up in Britain, had travelled to Syria to fight with the Islamic State and were part of a four-person cell known as the “Beatles” because of their British accents“, giving them a John Lennon end is not entirely out of bounds. So is that to be the fate of El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey? Let’s not forget that they were seen in gruesome videos beheading American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and other hostages. So why should that fate not be theirs? Because we are so much better than they are? You only have to watch the cut throat activities in Wall Street to know that that part is not entirely true!

The Mother of beheaded victim James Foley stated: “I certainly don’t want them to go to Guantanamo or any place like that, because something like that would just bury the truth. I think there needs to be a public, open and fair trial” is fair enough. She has a right to speak and I will not invalidate her view. I would state that the truth was not buried, that decapitation was tweeted and social media channeled as much as those ‘terror Beatles’ could, as for fair trial? When you become a terrorist you throw away your rights, you decided to invalidate the right to life of others beyond any reasonable view, as such, why should they be given any. The only reason why I want them in GB is because they might still have info. Even as we see: “The two men have been undergoing questioning by U.S. officials, including Special Operations forces, for “operational intelligence,” said two national security officials“, there is a chance that they missed something, not intentionally, but because the data files have too many interactions and we want to make sure we know everything we can. If that was inaccurate these Special Forces could draw straws as to who gets to execute them, if they so desire.

I can understand that the UK has a few issues with this and when we see “Any effort to transfer Kotey and Elsheikh to Guantanamo will run into stiff head winds“, we see a view that is not really surprising, yet in opposition we see: “The citizenship status of the men, who both grew up in west London, is unclear. Elsheikh’s family emigrated from Sudan. Kotey has a Ghanaian and Greek Cypriot background“. This is interesting, because if the UK cannot provide actual evidence of their British citizenship, it would indicate that the UK has no opposition to offer. If there is no clarity, it implies that these two were either illegal immigrants who left the country, making it a non-issue for the UK, or they are British citizens removing the uncertainty of a citizenship status. You can’t have it both ways in this case.

I believe that it is Rita Siemion, international legal counsel at Human Rights First who gives the quality opposition that counts. As she gives us: “Sending them to Guantanamo to be prosecuted in the military commission or detained there would be a serious mistake, the federal courts have a proven track record for handling international terrorism prosecutions quickly and effectively, while military commissions are just the opposite” is a valuable view, yet how many of these federal court cases have there been and what has been the time span of those cases? That part is equally important as it puts a large target to any court facilitating to that trial and there had been Lone Wolf activities in the US. In that regard, any wannabe terrorist or upcoming ‘martyr for Allah‘ would want to hit that place for their limelight and the limelight support that their family could get. That risk is actually larger than it was a few years ago and that risk is only going to get larger and not just in the US. Jennifer Daskal, a former senior official in the Justice Department’s national security division gives an additional view that is legally important. With: “Most importantly they are connected to ISIS, as opposed to al-Qaeda, and the Supreme Court has never authorized the detention of ISIS fighters,” she said using an acronym for the Islamic State. “Bringing these men to Guantanamo would put their detention and possible prosecution on shaky legal grounds and set up a good legal basis for them to challenge their detention“. This is an important distinction. Yet I myself and many like me are in opposition with “Why are terrorists given any consideration or rights?” Let’s face it, their victims weren’t given any. Merely watching two beheadings will get you that evidence driven views, so why give them any? Because we are better? Because we believe in the rule of law?

I actually do, but there is a pragmatic difference. You see 99.9999% can fall under the law. This includes any first time offender, any repeat offender and almost every serial killing monster. Yet there is 0.0001% that is so driven to kill everyone, so driven to denounce the rights of others and so determined to blow up whomever they can that pushing them into that same jurisprudence setting whilst we know that dozens upon dozens would knowingly face death whilst the law remains idle is wrong. You see that degrades those victims to human sacrifices for the benefit of that Golden Cow names Jurisprudence and that is just a little too hypocrite for my blood.

The additional fact that the law would require to pass legislation for every splinter group, which we get to consider when we see: “a legal battle could undermine the U.S. government’s overseas military operations if a court rules that the government has no authority to detain ISIS militants under a 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress to be used when going after al-Qaeda and its affiliates” is also scary. It could mean that every extremist Muslim splinter commander would seek another name, getting the limelight as he is given consideration under US Congress, his acknowledgement and as such the US military could face additional complications. All this whilst the defined term ‘Terrorist’ could have settled it all.

In all this revisiting the discussions on Proportionality in targeted killing as discussed in the 2015 publication of ‘Global Alert’, a work by Professor Boaz Ganor might be a better path to take. In that keeping in touch with Professor Ganor might be more important than you think, because if there is a trial in for example New York, the fact that these Lone Wolves might be seeking ‘assistance’ or we see the internet growing call for martyrs is a view he discussed in his 2007 publication ‘Hypermedia Seduction for Terrorist Recruiting‘. Wherever that trial gets to be better prepared for a long hot summer and that hot summer can be viewed in the most negative narration possible.

So even as we understand that the White House is seeking a legally acceptable solution, yet as the events in the Middle East are still heating up, is that a path that they can afford? With ISIS all over the Sinai, Libya, Syria and still being a presence in Iraq, the lack of stability is working for ISIS, not against them. So it is in that setting that we need to contemplate, not merely the values we have, but also the pragmatism of them. You see it is great to have values and to keep them, but at what point in this changing world can we hold on to those values?

It would be great if that was an actual fact, but in this day and age you only need to look at the ever growing problems that the ‘pension crises’ represents, showing that governments at large (on a near global scale) do not have any solution, pushing forward actions on assuring pensions. The US and UK are the more visible ones, but they are not the only ones, not by a long shot. In this day and age where they all misrepresent the collapsing pension systems, at this point do those people want to be the bringers of ‘legally acceptable’ solutions to terrorists?

There is nothing more dangerous than relying on jurisprudential handholding whilst the politicians are largely in denial of the actual problems we face, because they all want to leave it for the next person as it is not an immediate concern. You only need to consider the fact that one firm alone (General Electric) is currently facing a $31 billion deficit, which they are trying to plug using a $6 billion loan. So in this face, whilst the US has currently a deficit of a number exceeding $200 billion, so as we are all so concerned for a decapitating population of 2, we see the White House in a light that it cannot make decisions, hiding behind the law in one side and refusing to enforce or strengthening laws to protect those who have worked a life time to making the US big, so how good is the US economy?

In my view not wasting the courts time on Terrorists and going after these companies who have basically betrayed their employees, who have given their life being faithful employees seems to rate higher on my ladder for a few reasons.

Yet that is merely my likely to be regarded as a ‘short-sighted point of view‘.

 

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As messages pass by

There has been a lot of throwing regarding e-mails in the 11th hour of the campaign. As elections are officially about to start, the need to get them out in favour of the Republican side seems to be clear. Yet, in all this there is an equal worry why the Democrats have let this get so out of hand.

For those who do not keep up to date with the daily need of any Clinton e-mail, let’s mull this over, so that the sequential parts will be a lot easier to understand. For the most, part of the history (at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/29/the-history-of-the-clinton-email-controversy.html) will give you part of the goods, but it is still a little short.

You see, this all goes back to 2012, when the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia started a coordinated attack against two US government facilities in Benghazi, Libya. It resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. It was the New York Daily News that reported on State Department officials who were criticized for denying requests for additional security at the consulate prior to the attack. In her role as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton subsequently took responsibility for the security lapses. So, that should have been the end of it, should it not? The basic premise is that mistakes will happen, it is really not great when lives are lost, but it is a danger many foreign dignitaries in conflict places face.

Although, at this point, one valid question becomes debatable: ‘Should any elected official making such a lapse of security be regarded as a possible president of the United States?’

I am merely phrasing the question, it is not an answer pushing you into the direction of the Yes or No answer. What followed was a media rush towards the semantics of ‘Act of Terror‘ versus ‘Act of Terrorism‘. I am calling this an issue of semantics as in the end Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens ended up being equally dead, so in that regard there was no impact. Just as many have seen, but perhaps not realised that syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer claimed that a State Department e-mail, which passed along a report from Embassy Tripoli that Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility for the attack on Facebook and Twitter was evidence that the White House knew of terrorist connections to the attack almost immediately. Charles Krauthammer stated, “This is really a journalistic scandal. I mean, the fact there was not a word about any of this in the New York Times or the Washington Post today.” This comes from the 23rd October 2012. The issue now is that there are layers of issues not dealt with. Consider this part and also consider the Senate Hearing Response by Hillary Clinton “With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans?! What difference, at this point, does it make?!“, which is only part of the response, yet the response in the hours before the attack would have been important, especially as the movie linked to all this ‘Innocence of Muslims‘, a movie by an Egyptian born Coptic Christian, an anti-Islamic movie with the intent to denigrate Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. Was there really no clue that this would have repercussions? In addition, Anti-Islamic content had been added in post-production by dubbing, without the actors’ knowledge (source: Christian Science Monitor). What is interesting is that Sarah Abdurrahman states “If you watch closely, you can see that when the actors are reading parts of the script that do not contain Islam-specific language, the audio from the sound stage is used (the audio that was recorded as the actors were simultaneously being filmed). But anytime the actors are referring to something specific to the religion (the Prophet Muhammed, the Quran, etc.) the audio recorded during filming is replaced with a poorly executed post-production dub. And if you look EVEN closer, you can see that the actors’ mouths are saying something other than what the dub is saying.“, this is important because it clearly implies an attack on religious values, one that the Muslim community values above all others. Now we cannot expect that the internet is policed to a certain extent, yet in light of the trailer, was there really no one who asked ‘could this get out of hand?‘, whilst in the other direction, the fact that the trailer had been online for almost 50 days, were there no danger flags at all? So on a September 11th day, was there no perception at all that there could be a dangerous situation? In addition there was a PDF (at http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo33519/Flashing%20Red-HSGAC%20Special%20Report%20final.pdf), where the Regional Security Officer in Libya compiled a list of 234 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012, 50 of which took place in Benghazi.

  1. America and American interests were (regardless of reason) under direct terrorist attack.
  2. The State Department should have increased security on several levels
  3. It gives another view to the Senate hearing in light of certain facts (January 23rd 2013)
  4. The United States Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs paper from December 2012 shows that additional security would have been essential.

Now, why is this so important during an election? For the most, we could call trivialise all this in regards to ‘administrative failure‘, which will happen, even as we all realise that lives were lost, it gives weight to the response that Hillary Clinton gave. As she stated “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again” as well as “The Intelligence Community has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out”, which now makes the second one a killer to say the least.

This is now part of the problem!

You see, the email controversy is not just that mails were missing, it became publicly known that Hillary Clinton, as she served as the United States Secretary of State, had used her family’s private email server for official communications, instead of the State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. So certain triggers could have been missed and an issue of reporting now exists. In addition, the mere notion that thousands of emails that would later be marked classified by the State Department retroactively had been on other servers is also a clear case for response. This now gets us to Bill O’Reilly (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCYma3zZf7U), who now informs us on two sides that matter. At 2:11 we see the ‘accountability of people in power‘, which is an issue at any given day, yet there might be a clear explanation, yet the implied issues as seen gives us that there has been a level of miscommunication going all the way to the Oval Office, which is now a really big issue. In that regard, the Clinton campaign is getting cut all over the place, in addition, at 4:16, there is now the implied issue that FBI director James Comey was either not aware or covered up the private email issues as they were missing from the summation of the case.

Now, after all the grief that FBI director James Comey is now receiving. In addition, Nevada Democrat Senator Harry Reid gives us ‘James Comey may have broken law‘, is that so Harry? The trouble with Harry is that he doesn’t seem to mention on how private email servers and not the State.gov servers were used. Can we all agree that this might be the bigger issue, for more than one reason? The fact that impeachment could be due to all or any crime that abuses office powers, we could surmise that there is an optional case of perjury. If proven, we can avoid the entire election. That is not, as Harry Reid states ‘interference in an election‘, but the investigation of possible criminal acts. On one side, if this goes up after the elections and should Hillary Clinton win, than it is a first in history that both members of a family, both in a position of presidential powers gets impeached for ‘Perjury and obstruction of justice’, which is at his mere age of 76 still an interesting event to personally witness. Harry gets enthusiastic in his speech as given on the Huffington Post. You see he states “letting her GOP opponent get away with breaking the law“, which is interesting as the system does not seem to make a criminal ineligible for running for office. It mentions that you need to be an American and once elected you cannot run a second time for president (re-election does not apply), so a one term president cannot be a president again. When we look at the Constitution, Article 2, we get an interesting side. Section 4 gives us: “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours“, this implies that a felon can legally become president of the United States, practically that is a lot less certain.

So here we get the trouble with Harry. You see, until the election it is the premise of conviction, if Hillary Clinton gets prosecuted and convicted regarding the Benghazi mails after a successful election, she would be impeached. It is a possible and practical solution, but it isn’t likely and in addition initially James Comey made a notification of events. In light of the Washington Post (as well as the Guardian) we see “Their decision partly reflected the institutional power of the FBI director, Comey’s personality and the political realities they were facing, according to current and former Justice Officials. In this case, officials said Comey put the department in an untenable position by informing them that he was sending a letter to Congress because he had an obligation to lawmakers or they would feel misled“, is this separation of powers at its finest, or is this a mere loophole? We need to see this in contrast to another quote in the same article. Here we see: “At the July news conference, Comey announced that the FBI had completed its investigation of Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. Comey said he was recommending to the Justice Department that Clinton not be charged, but he added that Clinton and her colleagues had been “extremely careless” in their handling of classified information.”” So it was after July that things escalated. The part that we see ‘when Harry met Hillary’ is that the path that is taken is odd to say the least. The mention by James Comey ‘in an unrelated case‘ as well as the fact that when this all happened Hillary Clinton should have had a cleaning pass on a very high level. That never happened, for the most it is an actual consideration exactly HOW Anthony Weiner got these mails to say the least. Consider that he left congress in June 2011, a little more than two months before it all happened. So how and exactly why was he kept in the loop? If the facts are correct, we are now facing a case where Hillary Clinton mailed classified materials to an outsider. A part that leads to even more questions when we see “FBI director James Comey revealed the existence of the emails, which law-enforcement sources said were linked to Weiner’s estranged wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin“, which now gets the Clintons in even more hot water. It came from a private server, it went to the top aide and she was using the laptop of resigned congressman Anthony Weiner, now it seems that the mails were meant for his wife, did she not have her own laptop (at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/30/fbi-obtains-warrant-for-newly-discovered-emails-in-clinton-probe–as-reid-accuses-comey-of-hatch-act-violation.html)?

From my view, the fact that classified materials went via unqualified sources to a device owned by a person who’s is no longer in office. It seems that Harry is spinning his way through legal mentions whilst ignoring transgressions of classified communications. So, Harry needs to be careful on whacking the paint brush around. In the end, there is of course a chance that it will influence the election, but we could in equal margins consider that the Clintons, due to careless ignoring mails in the field, the entire mess ended up hurting themselves again.

It is because the clarity of what actually happened is out there is missing, is exactly why this is now coming to blows now. As for the mention of ‘Reid Accuses Comey of Hatch Act Violation‘, we should in equal measure consider that this is not an act where we see ‘political activity’, this is an FBI director who is now looking into possible criminal negligence and the fact that classified materials were on a laptop not owned for the person who the intended mail was, in addition, it belonged to a person no longer in office, so those conditions could well spell more mess as former Hillary Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and another top aide had “some” classified material on laptops they turned over to the bureau in its probe of Clinton’s private server use as secretary of state. Through her own statements, we saw that she was unaware what classified meant, she did not use the proper protocols on sending classified, secret and more than 20 top secret emails. So as we see Senator Harry Reid go all up in arms, we need to consider one additional quote from the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/comey-gives-in-to-shameful-partisanship/2016/10/30/c31c714a-9ed8-11e6-8d63-3e0a660f1f04_story.html). “The evidence suggests that FBI Director James B. Comey is a decent man. The evidence also suggests that he has been intimidated by pressure from Republicans in Congress whose interest is not in justice but in destroying Hillary Clinton“, that seems to be the driving force here. It is my personal belief that this is what happened and this is why the initial mail was so vague. If I resort to calling a spade a spade then I would state: “Yo Harry, we know that you are stupid, but you are not stupid. You know what I am saying?” Instead of lashing out to the Republicans in congress, instead of looking why the massive level of ignorance from a former Secretary of State wasn’t properly cleaned up the moment it was a clear visibility issue, we will get to the direct consequence of dropping the ball on the bottom of the 9th when you are down 4 points and this is the last play. It could cost you the game and that is exactly what could happen at this point. When you trace all this information back you get to the clear understanding that WikiLeaks doesn’t need to find whistle-blowers, with the cyber negligence we see at present, Congress could in theory be supplying WikiLeaks with Top Secret information for decades to come (dramatically over-sized speculation). Perhaps Congress could take a moment to send an unclassified email to Maj Gen William T. Lord (you know the dude in charge of the Air Force Cyber Units) requesting a highly needed presentation on ‘Common Cyber Sense‘, it seems that a sizeable population on Capitol Hill is in dire need of one. #JustSaying

 

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Penis Aqua Rosa Congressista

The Dutch used to have interesting names for classifying people. There was ‘Penis jujubes’ (originally: Droplul), which amounts to Liquorice Penis, which captions the non-Dutch titles dick, asshole and idiot. The other one was ‘Penis Aqua Rosa’ (originally: Lulletje Rozewater), which gets us Rosewater Dick, which is an expression for a man that has no backbone, a man that is weak and submissive. The latter one seems to apply to the US Congress in a few ways.

You see, the  article ‘Drug company boss Martin Shkreli refuses to testify to Congress‘ gives us part of it all (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/04/martin-shkreli-refuses-to-testify-congress-drug-daraprim), an issue that might be seen in the wrong light, if you only go by the one side of the story. You see, this is situation that Congress and their US laws created for themselves. Even if we get the ’emotional’ statement: “One member begged him to examine his conscience“, we all seem to ignore, that this is something Congress achieved all by themselves. You see the quote “Earlier, Shkreli and Turing’s chief commercial officer, Nancy Retzlaff, were criticized for hiking the price of Daraprim despite the fact it is the only government-approved treatment for the rare infection toxoplasmosis, which can be fatal for some Aids and cancer patients and endangers babies in-utero” is at the core of this.

Instead of setting up the law that fairness was at the centre of it all, politicians set the speculation that every pharmaceutical company and their fields would be ‘distributed’, that there was no overlap (for the larger extent), as such pharmaceutical had a clear field for maximised profits. How long did you think it was going to take before someone weaselled themselves into that crowd, with the simple goal of maximising his Return-on-Investment? The United States of America has always been about capitalism and living the dream. Martin Shkreli is doing just that, now we get what some might call ‘sissy noises‘ from the Halls of Congress!

Let’s be Frank (or Punch and Judy; whatever works for you), what Martin Shkreli does is utterly unacceptable, yet, it is Congress that did not legislatively clip the wings of unbridled greed. They sat around as President Bill Clinton called for the end of the Glass–Steagall Legislation. As the majority remained silent additional doors to greed got opened. In all this, the lack of visionaries in Congress, even after 2008 lacked action when it came to protecting the citizens of the United States of America. So when I see the response from a member of congress “member begged him to examine his conscience“, I will kindly tell that congressperson to cry me a river and I’ll do so whilst playing worlds tiniest violin.

Congress is in an emotional state, suddenly crying for those who cannot afford it, yet what clear provisions in legislation has it given to the coffers of the United States? You see when we consider November 23rd (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2015/11/23/pfizer-and-allergan-merger-ranks-as-biggest-ever-pharmaceutical-deal) and we see “On Monday, Pfizer PFE +0.10% and Allergan unveiled an all-stock merger that will allow the combined company, Pfizer PLC, to move its headquarters to Ireland and focus on corporate cost cuts“, which is set at $160 billion, you better believe that this impacts the taxability of that corporation by a lot. As far as I can tell from the surface, the total of pharmaceutical mergers LAST YEAR ALONE is well over 600 billion, so half a trillion dollars, all now going via Ireland. How much noise is congress making there? Or do these ‘respectful’ members of congress have a few too many friends in ‘those’ circles? Better to loudly focus on the one man out as Pfizer, Allergan and a few others. Can we all agree that the difference of 600 billion, being taxed at 25%, or being taxed at 17% is worth moving house over? You see, I love Sydney, but when someone tells me that moving will get me $48 billion, I will start singing ‘My heart is in Ireland‘ and I will enthusiastically pack my bags. You see, I can always get a second apartment in Buenos Aires and life of my self-made cash cow, getting me $50K a day and still allow me to double my fortune before I retire, making me live of $200K a day until I die. That is the track that Congress left open. This can be seen (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2015/11/23/pfizer-and-allergan-merger-ranks-as-biggest-ever-pharmaceutical-deal), the quote there “move its headquarters to Ireland and focus on corporate cost cuts“, can be seen as ‘tax cuts’ and now guess what a chunk of those cost cuttings will go? You probably guessed it, the gents (ladies too) of the board of directors of Pfizer.

So, when I state to the person in Congress ‘go cry me a river’, I am being pretty serious. For the mere reason after all those hard words that the media published on how this was going to get stopped, on how some African American in a non-circular room (according to whitehouse.gov) decided to call for ‘Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes’ in July 26th 2014. I am guessing that this was unsuccessful as Pfizer basically walked out with well over half a trillion. The move started in November 2015 and the press has been absent of any failure to stop Pfizer from moving away from the American non-tax havens, towards the shores of paddy’s Irish Whiskey and the real tax havens.

Let’s be clear, that this does not excuse Martin Shkreli from the acts he is doing, or would it stop me from legislatively going after Martin Shkreli if I could. The mere reality is that it will be close to impossible to do because the US Congress had enabled much of what Martin Shkreli did, which is not what they intended to do, yet it is what is the non-emotional result, so in that matter ‘examine his conscience‘ applies to a much larger extent to Congress and its need to clean up the mess that allows corporate American to get around taxation. A mess congress might not be willing to fix for the simple speculation that when not re-elected those members of Congress need to rely on large corporations for their next pay check.

I am not the only one on this horse, as far as I can tell ‘the New Yorker’ and a few others are starting to realise that no matter how objectionable the acts of Martin Shkreli are, there is now a focal point change. This focal point is about how Congress itself is part of the problem, not part of anyone’s solution (at http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/everyone-hates-martin-shkreli-everyone-is-missing-the-point), how there is an unlabelled coffer with funds to buy items of survival for people who cannot afford it. The New Yorker states it as “mysterious corporate bargaining, and occasional charitable acts“, this includes (as I personally see it) Pfizer and their transplanted plus 600 billion, moving to Ireland.

So even when we consider the acts of Martin Shkreli to be vile and evil, how is the inaction of Congress not worse? How is it that we cannot condone the acts of a failed administration, whilst the acts of a person who was in it for the money from day one to be such a surprise?

A man that graduated from Bernard M. Baruch College of the City University of New York, who became a hedge funds manager, ‘evolved’ as an entrepreneur and who is living the American dream.

How are any of the unfolding elements a surprise to anyone?

 

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