Tag Archives: US

This is weird!

Yup, it is weird and you will see what I talk about soon enough. You see, not unlike the Sony fiasco, some players are all about blaming the one we all see as a boogeyman, it happens and it lulls us all to sleep. Yet when the BBC gave us 18 hours ago ‘North Korea hackers stole $400m of cryptocurrency in 2021, report says’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59990477) I took a little time to mull a few things over. You see, it is nice that we are given a (state) hacker and a setting what apparently gave them $400,000,000, yet the danger is different. For me it started with the Sony hack, it gave me an idea to create a new hack that was never done before and the nice part is that it could be implemented in several ways and in several places. Yet then I started to think: “How can a nation observed by so many agencies pull this off, all whilst we saw evidence, journalist supported evidence, that military officers in North Korea had NEVER seen a smartphone, or one of its base functionalities?” This thought matters, because that lack tends to seep through the fabric of ANY organisation (to some degree). So I felt certain that the Sony hack was never done by North Korea, and several accredited and more capable cyber people than me felt the same way. 

So here when I see “From 2020 to 2021, the number of North Korean-linked hacks jumped from four to seven, and the value extracted from these hacks grew by 40%,” Chainalysis said in a report” I feel that I am in a stage where I am watching a blame game develop, all whilst the fault is somewhere else. And there is more, the report the BBC talks about gives us “These complex tactics and techniques have led many security researchers to characterise cyber actors for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as advanced persistent threats (APTs). This is especially true for APT 38, also known as “Lazarus Group,” which is led by DPRK’s primary intelligence agency, the US- and UN-sanctioned Reconnaissance General Bureau. While we will refer to the attackers as North Korean-linked hackers more generally, many of these attacks were likely carried out by the Lazarus Group in particular.” It is an issue, because “cyber actors for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as advanced persistent threats (APTs)” implies an infrastructure, one that a lot of open nations do not get to have. I am not stating North Korea is innocent (well, they might be of this), I am stating that someone wants us to think it is North Korea, so that others stop looking in THEIR direction. You see, the reference to the Lazarus group (one I personally take offence with) and the DPRK gives a rather large voice, but in that it could only be if senior ranking North Korean officers knew what a smart phone was and that part is weird as some journalists who were in North Korea (2019, I believe) saw the opposite. This does not make sense. As such we cannot ignore hackers, optionally hackers who for a fee took shelter in or near North Korea, yet that puts them in the most watched part of the internet by at least half a dozen players. Personally it makes much more sense if they were working from China. 

And now we get to the good stuff. This is seen in “Once North Korea gained custody of the funds, they began a careful laundering process to cover up and cash out,” the report on last year’s cyber attacks added. A United Nations panel that monitors sanctions on North Korea has accused Pyongyang of using stolen funds to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes as a way to avoid international sanctions.” I reckon that laundering is not beyond the abilities of North Korea. Yet the setting of “accused Pyongyang of using stolen funds to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes” something that is possible, but the knowledge North Korea has stops this, moreover, their ballistic programmes are set upon failure after failure. Which with $400,000,000 in merely 7 operations sounds goofy to say the least. 

It is my personal feeling that the hackers might be anywhere but in or near North Korea. The Sony hack is optionally a slice of evidence towards that. Consider that Russia has now Arrested REvil, yet no one is wondering how this group had “more than 426 million rubles (£4m), including about £440,000 worth of crypto-currency”, including 20 premium cars. These things get noticed, as such I believe that REvil had some massive levels of protection, a setting North Korea cannot do, it is too unbalanced. With REvil, there was a Russian valve of protection, a state player that is on the top tier, a place where North Korea has no access. When you see these elements questions rise and a lot more questions rise that one would expect. So who did steal that $400,000,000? I have no idea, but consider that someone offering North Korea in its current state is offering $100,000,000 for denying the blame, is that good business practice? It would allow the perpetrators months to set safe 75% and a nice settlement in a very nice place. I would definitely consider such a move and with the world searching, getting the not look in the wrong place is a good place to start.

In all this, I could be wrong, but am I? How much evidence of advanced computer technology (outside of Olympus has fallen) regarding North Korea have we seen? We saw the images of a North Korean president and his top staff looking amazed at a 3 year old Dell computer, one we see in many households. Where is the advanced hardware needed to remain undetected? All questions in addition to the dozens watching their every digital move. If they get away under these conditions, they would be more able than the NSA, DGSE, or FSB. How likely is that? When you look at the larger frame, too much of this is weird. On the other hand, it gave me the idea to create the Hop+1 listening systems, just a little idea I had to scare the Pentagon a little (I need my amusement too). So perhaps this will set me on track for another piece of IP, I have done more with less, so here is hoping.

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Greed, Consumerism and safety?

There is a dangerous stance, a stance not on the safety of people, but on the revenue that they represent and there is every chance that this level of greed driven consumerism is at the core of a lot worse to come. 

Part 1
Part one is seen in the article (at https://www.reuters.com/world/china/us-criticizes-china-canceling-some-flights-over-covid-19-cases-2022-01-12/) called ‘U.S. criticises China over canceled flights’. There we see ““China’s actions are inconsistent with its obligations under the U.S.-China Air Transport Agreement. We are engaging with the (Chinese government) on this and we retain the right to take regulatory measures as appropriate,” a U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) spokesperson said.” OK, we can accept that, but in that setting can that spokesperson please show us the paragraphs that deal with issues like pandemics? The greed driven will see and focus on ‘obligations’, but what of the safety of the people? The Chinese government is obliged to look after the safety of people, so where is that part? I am not taking a side whether one or the other is right and which party is wrong. Yet when I see “identify a path forward that minimises impact to travellers” I wonder who they are working for. In December, Bloomberg gave us ‘Omicron May Double Risk of Getting Infected on Planes, IATA Says’, I heard from a friend who went on vacation that the return flight was filled with people coughing and yes, two days later he had covid too. When will people learn that IF YOU ARE SICK YOU STAY AT HOME? And more important those who get sick on vacation are all about ‘safely getting home’ dangers be damned. And that is the core problem with air travel. So I cannot fault China for its position, I understand the greed driven side for getting people to travel, yet it seems to me that the greed driven do not care as long as they see the revenue, infections be damned. Those stating that they take all precautions are delusional, there will never be a safe route in this.

Part 2
The second part is given to us by SBS. There we see (at https://www.sbs.com.au/news/another-53-people-have-died-from-covid-19-as-nsw-posts-record-92-264-new-cases/4809f03d-d922-4c30-bfe8-6c1251568bfa) that ‘Another 53 people have died from COVID-19 as NSW posts record 92,264 new cases’, the issue is that when we see it next to the UK (120,000 cases) all whilst the population of the UK is 300% larger, we see that things do not add up, in that same setting the US with 829,000 cases are a larger setting. The us has around 500% of the population of the UK, yet they have a lot more infections. Now this is not the proper way to vet numbers, but there should be some linearity and these numbers are all over the place. So in this India with 247,500 cases all whilst they have 4 times the population of the US does not make sense. The numbers do not add up, I get it there could be a dozen elements influencing other facts, but the numbers are wrong, and I personally believe that India has a much larger problem, so when we consider that is it really wrong for China to act the way it does? 

The entire setting of flight have to continue in an era where we live in a pandemic, someone needs to wake up. The entire need to travel all whilst a lot of issues can be resolved virtually gets to be on the centre stage. In addition to that view we see “China has all but shut its borders to travellers, cutting total international flights to just 200 a week, or 2% of pre-pandemic levels”, is it right, it is wrong? It seems to me that it is to stop a wave of infections that have close to free rule in any nation that did not lock its borders. Last November the NY Times reported “At least 13 people who arrived in the Netherlands on two flights from South Africa on Friday were infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, and more cases will most likely be found, Dutch health officials said on Sunday.” We saw South Africa protesting that it was a mild issue, now we have over 3 million new cases EVERY DAY, so how is that mild? How is the drastic shortage of hospital beds a mild consideration?

Is this what happens when greed shakes hands with consumerism? I do not know, but from where I sit, the view regarding the safety of people is close to totally ignored. There is every chance that those who closed their borders stand a much better chance. That is unless you open borders for tennis players who later admit “that he released a statement with new admissions, including the fact that he sat for an interview and maskless photoshoot knowing he had Covid without disclosing his status”, so a person who knew he had covid went knowingly and willingly maskless. And China is the one that is painted as the attacked party? I reckon that our laws and our regulations are blatantly failing in these pandemic stages, I will let you ponder on why that is and before you blame China for anything, wonder why no spokesperson raised issues on pandemic obligations that should be out there. I wonder how consumerism won that side of the battle. And before you think it will be easy peasy, consider what optionally might come AFTER Omicron and when that part is less mild, what will the consequences be? 

I do not know, but more important, the scientists that should know do not know either, it is new turf for them. So when we listen to obligations and consumerism lets also wonder how safe these obligations were in the first place, especially as yesterday gave us an additional 3,201,862 new cases. I will accept that most will be mild, but 1% might not be and that means that globally for 6-8 days 32,018 new beds need to be secured for the yesterdays cases alone. So what about tomorrow and the day after that? How many beds are left then? I do not know, do you?

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Commencing Crazy

This all started before ‘Call for change!’ Which I wrote on October 25th 2021 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/10/25/call-for-change/), I saw the numbers and the idiocy of non-vaccination. I do not care what they call it, it is their life, but in that it is their life and they also need to accept the consequences. So as I wrote “The first port is that anti-vaxxers and those not vaccinated with a good provable reason will have to pay UPFRONT for any hospital admittance for COVID. So there are no stories about “Anti-vaxxer Kristen Lowery”, or those radio hosts and stories on how sorry they were lying in a comfortable hospital bed. They can tough it out at home and optionally die there.” I saw a station we were all heading to and today (11 hours ago) the BBC gives us ‘Quebec to impose health tax on unvaccinated Canadians’, the story (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-59960689) is not the first one, others have reported on similar settings, we also see some of these facts here. Singapore took my advice (seemingly) which requires Covid patients to pay for their own medical bills if they are not vaccinated. Greece imposes a fine and others will follow, when their national health care systems collapse due to those non vaccinated, this is a result and it was always heading this way. I do like the response that Premier Francois Legault gives. He states “I think right now it’s a question of fairness for the 90% of the population who made some sacrifices,” Mr Legault said. “I think we owe them this kind of measure” and I agree with him. Even as some news agencies are hiding behind positive flames like ‘Omicron may be set for rapid dip in US, UK’, I merely wonder how stupid these people are. They are (clinically speaking) telling a truth, but behind that facade we see numbers that globally went from 1.7M cases on January 1st to 2.4M cases on January 9th, All whilst the cases were 50% to 65% lower a week before. This is not going away soon or quietly. It has become a numbers game and in that game the numbers are overwhelming a stretched health care system on a global stage. All this whilst one source gave us 20 hours ago ‘Intensive care doctor reveals EVERY critically ill Covid patient being treated at his hospital is unvaccinated’, that is the reality and it is not the vaccinated people who are the larger danger, they do get sick but their symptoms are seemingly mild to really mild. And in the UK with so many unvaccinated people the dip as some might call it will not matter, a lot of them will die (which brings down housing prices), so there will always be a silver lining. Just not the one the media or anti-vaxxers rely on. And still the the issue is not as good as you think it is. The numbers from India with 1.3B people does not add up, so there will be a lot more coming all our ways. So whilst CNBC gives us ‘U.S. sets fresh records for Covid hospitalisations and cases with 1.5 million new infections’ today, we see the need to vet the journo’s who give us ‘Omicron may be set for rapid dip in US, UK’, as the data show us it was not directly a lie, yet the underlying issues we are already seeing, the people catering to that article are out of their minds. And in all this I reckon that the US and UK will soon follow the path Canada is taking and it will happen to people who cannot afford to pay, so they are denied access to hospital health care. It is one way to cull the herd, but it is not one that comes from choice, it is one grown through necessity and that is a much harder lesson to face. When the systems buckle, when the systems that gave us the protection we expected, when they collapse the real crazy starts and it will be some sight to behold, that much is an absolute given. 

So, as I personally see it. Things are about to get worse and it will come with populist claims, it will come with the blame game and when the reality pulls through and we say the unvaccinated people do not get a voice in all this, that is when matters get worse fast. People are all about complaining and not about taking responsibility of their acts and their life. It is the nanny state on steroids and now we will see just how strong the nanny state vibe will be in several nations. I reckon the next two weeks will be decently exciting ones.

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The virtual quarterback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Card or Con? Friend or Foe?

Forbes got my attention, just as I was reconsidering part of something that happened a few months ago. It was the article https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/20/i-need-medication/ titled ‘I need medication!’ It reverberated in me as I took notice of Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/12/27/is-it-time-to-disrupt-your-call-center/)there I got served the quote that matters, it was “I recently received a letter from a major credit card issuer. To process my application, they needed some additional information and verification. The problem? I had not applied for a new credit card. The letter was valid, but the application was fraudulent. The letter instructed me to send the required information for verification or call a toll-free number, with no option to text or chat. I opted to call the toll-free number. This was truly a call center, not a contact center.” The setting where we have “Monday morning, I navigated the maze again and got into the hold queue where I was informed my hold time was one minute. Success! Two hours and twenty minutes later I hung up. I looked up the credit card fraud phone number for the provider and called them. Within moments, I was connected to an agent. Yes, she would be able to help me. Before I could speak, I was transferred to — you guessed it — the same number I had called previously.” Here we get a setting, a setting that takes hours, in that time all kinds of fraud could have been commenced. Of course there is all kinds of chances that Forbes was adding the spice of drama, but I think it is simpler than that, there is a failing in Fintech as a whole. It seems that it is about revenue and for the most they will not care about the people, no matter what claim they make. If there was a true customer service then there would be checks and balances, there would be more than “To process my application, they needed some additional information and verification.” I believe that this is not an American issue, it is a European, a British, and Australian, a Canadian and several other nations. A massive failing in Fintech and the policy makers and lawmakers are falling behind, no matter what the excuse, they are falling behind. 

We see some laces giving us numbers (they call it statistics).

  • In 2018, $24.26 Billion was lost due to payment card fraud worldwide
  • Identity theft makes up 14.8 percent of reported fraud
  • 69 percent of fraud starts with a consumer being contacted by telephone or email, such as overdue loans or prize scams

Those were the numbers, now we see: 

  • Instances of identity theft by credit card fraud increased by 44.6% from 271,927 in 2019 to 393,207 in 2020
  • Identity theft by new credit card accounts increased by 48% in 2020.
  • From 2019 to 2020, the number of identity theft reports went up by 113% and the number of reports of identity theft by credit cards increased by 44.6%.

This shows (to some degree) that the larger stage is Fintech and a much better system is required, a much larger check needs to be in place. The fact that a consumer got “they needed some additional information and verification” could be seen as evidence. Overall systems are designed as ‘customer friendly’ all whilst it is (as I personally see it) a system for automated credit allocation not allowing a person to take time to reconsider, a straight push for credit and spending sprees. What happens if credit cards are treated like the acquisition of a pet? To set the stage of a ‘cooling off period?’ Is it that weird to let the person going for the credit reconsider for 24 hours? 

In this day and age there is a larger concern, it is not merely that we see the passing of 5,419,538 people, a large amount of them might be facing all kinds of fraud and hardship and that passes on  to the next of kin who are already devastated. 

However, it is not all Fintech. Forbes also gives us “I received a phone call from another card issuer’s fraud department. Their question was simple: Did I apply for one of their cards? When I responded no, they immediately flagged it as fraud and advised me to check my credit reports for other suspicious activity. Their systems analysed the same data available to the first bank and flagged it as possible fraud.” So some are better than others, the question becomes, how can the system be improved? That is the real conundrum and the customer service part is essential in all this. Whether we look at a Friend of Foe solution, whether we have a connected bank or not. I reckon that there is a solution to implement blockchains that allow for a much more secure station, a setting that is not propagated. What if the block chain is in two parts? A part that only the consumer has, one part that the bank has, one can check the other, yet a new bank will not have that part, only the current bank has it, a setting that could limit the damage we see with 

  • Identity theft by new credit card accounts increased by 48% in 2020.

It is not a perfect setting (yet) but when we consider the part I wrote about in the earlier blog. “To make sense, I need to take you back to the 80’s. There was a fab in those days, radio’s had a sort of enhanced METAdata part, so when a song was playing, you saw the band and the title in your display. It is almost like someone took that idea and put it on steroids, I cannot think of another explanation, what is more, I have no idea what my brain was working out. It is like someone figured out to hide more than a FoF (Friend or Foe) message in the radios broadcasting, with some cypher that gave the relevant information to any visor it faced. Yup, quite the ride and it went on for some time in my dream, the arrows had numbers, but the numbers made no sense to me, but to the co-pilot they made a lot of sense. They were following along the path of a canal with several branches, and the arrows were pointing along the canals they were on, several (not all) pointing in some sort of flight guidance setting.” So what happens when block chain meta data points at the actual person, not the applicant. There might be a station where we see that the 48% increase dwindles down by a lot, optionally arresting a lot of fraudulent players in the process. This is not a given, it is a mere thought, but I am trying to consider a new approach, one that a lot of players are not making, I am not saying that they weren’t doing anything, because I cannot answer that question, yet as I see it a lot of issues are ignored due to ‘customer friendly’ issues, whilst it tends to benefit fraudulent behaviour a lot more. 

And it is essential, because in 5G this station will get a hell of a lot higher and the Law, Big Tech and Fintech are not ready, none of them seem to be. However, that is merely my take on the issue.

Enjoy the day.

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Can covid glow in the dark?

Yes, an odd question, but an essential one. You see there are a few larger settings out there. In the first a complete collection on all sources on COVID is not really there, and what is there is not that reliable anymore. We think that the global increase of 748K a day is reliable, but it is not. You see, India with its 1.3 billion are registering an increase of +7,189 cases. It is about 50% of the Netherlands with its 25 million population, it does not add up and perhaps there are delays in reporting, but the setting is too much like political players staging numbers and in this day and age, it is too dangerous to play that game. If they disagree, then they better stop yapping like bloody chihuahua’s wanting vaccines. You cannot be fair and open, you get zilch. That is how I see it and that was the introduction, let’s go to the main event.

The news given to us by NBC a mere 16 hours ago shows that there are indications that China is now facilitating to Saudi Arabia on getting ballistic missiles. Personally I think it is high time, the political player downplaying on Iran and their actions were beyond stupid and now there is every indication that Iran is playing another game, we will see over the next week, but I will not be surprised to see more tantrums coming from Tehran and I think it becomes increasingly important that Saudi Arabia is ready. The article (at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/saudi-arabia-building-ballistic-missiles-china-iran-rcna9893) gives us “The assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies is that the kingdom, which is long thought to have acquired missiles from Beijing, is now manufacturing its own, according to a source familiar with the matter and a U.S. official.” Which is both BS and instrumental nonsense. You see the Kingdom has always been against this step, but was forced into this direction as American and European politicians are flaccid like marshmallow dildo’s and it shows. Iran is playing them six ways from Sundays, others are playing the ‘lets not arm Saudi Arabis card’ and now we see the beginning of hundreds of billions forsaken by the US, the UK and the EU all these funds will go straight to the treasury coffers of Beijing. 

I personally feel that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia needs to do what is best for its Saudi’s and its land, Iran does not fit into that stage and as Iran feels that its options are falling away, they will become the screaming Chihuahua making claims of false and unfair business all whilst they all catered to stupidity and with them the politicians hoping to fill their pockets in some way. Iran itself reported ‘Iran Selling More Oil In 2021 But Middlemen Reap The Profit’, in this I wonder if we will ever see a list of these middlemen, or will it be a nondescript setting where suddenly a lost more business men and its politicians will have a lovely stage of support funds? 

No matter how you slice it Saudi Arabia was sold the short stick and China is now allegedly standing up and offering alternatives. Consider all that and the US sales of billions falling away. The US might play the coy game, but there is a larger stage of danger for them. We are given through all kinds of channels that the blocking of the $650M of arms sales failed, but what happened to the other billions? Lost? Nowhere? Well China clearly has a plan that goes way beyond missiles and Saudi Arabia recognises it needs to be ready as the western politicians just aren’t up to the task. In this I have no idea how it will play out, but the stage I wrote about a year ago is now coming into play (alas without my bonus). 

And as I see it it is not about the missiles, it will be about the billions of revenue losses. Some sources gave a number that goes beyond half a trillion dollars. Not sure it was ever going to be that much, but if the US, UK and EU miss out on that much, their goose will be cooked and any economical setting they hope for goes out of the window until 2025 and that gives China the leverage that it needed all along, even with the setbacks they had, the change of stage implies that US or Russian partnerships with larger players is no longer THEIR benefit, once China will have proven itself, it will surpass both in the arms field. I do need to tell General Wei Fenghe, Minister of National Defense that I think he needs to send a Christmas hamper to the tea grannies of the CAAT at Unit 4, 5-7 Wells Terrace, London, N4 3JU, United Kingdom. They were the first to make it happen, they do deserve their cup of tea for depriving the UK billions in revenue, do they not?

And there is a larger upside for the General. You see with the Huawei solutions deployed all over Saudi Arabia, and the Neom City cluster coming online there is a new stage, Saudi Arabia can evolve its network into Egypt, it also opens doors for Chinese defence operations ready for sale and deployment all over Africa as well. It is a stage others neglected, but Saudi Arabia is about to become a telecom powerhouse, and soon thereafter a defence structure as well and when the first stupid Iranian thinks that someone will praise him by firing a missile into Israel hell will unleash and Iran will not have any options, even Turkey will set up a giant out of office notice at that point. Iran will be isolated and at the mercy of everyone and with the Chinese solutions in Saudi Arabia, they have no navy, no airforce and no missile solution, whatever they send will be stopped and the response in five fold or more will end Iran, they will feel proud with all their nuclear accelerators and they can slap their glow in the dark chests when it goes south, because it will go wrong. Iran was so busy getting ahead of themselves that they forgot on checks balances and infrastructure. A recipe for disaster on day one and now with the US, UK and EU lacking funds, a lot of funds. It will be Russia and China who will sit at the table with Saudi Arabia and find a solution, in this they have no further need for the marshmallow dildo’s we trusted (aka politicians and stakeholders). 

If anyone asks me on whether it was a good idea for Saudi Arabia to have these missiles, I will say that it is the wrong question, it was a clear case that Saudi Arabia was forced into this area as the west was unable to deal with Iran and that is where the real issue is. No one deals with Iran and now a stage exists where Saudi Arabia and Israel can deal with them. It will not be a nice way, but it is the only remaining way.

So here we see the question whether Covid can glow in the dark, the answer does not matter, our inactions with Iran for the longest of time will have made this an upcoming reality that will most likely happen and it will be bad for everyone around. Inactions tend to have negative results, it nearly always does and we did it all to ourselves. 

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Timeless Art

Yes, that is a setting at times. Art that is truly timeless. We see it in paintings and sculptures, yet we forget that the boob tube and the big screen have these settings too. Take I, Claudius (1978) is one of these pieces. It fulfils the 4 elements. A script, the cast, the directors and the chemistry. With Robert Graves they had the book, it was altered and tweaked for TV by Jack Pulman. Then there was the cast. Derek Jacobi, Siân Phillips, Brian Blessed, John Hurt, George Baker, Margaret Tyzack, Patrick Stewart, John Castle, James Faulkner, John Rhys-Davies, and many more. Some will argue that the cast director got lucky and that might be true, several of these people were largely unknown, but not after I Claudius, That much is very certain, and the chemistry between all these actors, all set to the task of making real one of the most illusive books became a reality. When you realise this, it is now time to get you to the real story. You see, this has happened again in 1978, Billy Wilder would give us Fedora (not the hat), an equal amazing piece of work. With Marthe Keller, William Holden, Hildegard Knef, and Jose Ferrer. These people would do something that is close to the perfection we saw in I Claudius. They created a piece of art that is still remembered 44 years later. I would suggest that it is time for a remaster with a new cast, and a female director. The idea that we set the elements of the movie in a new stage (me trying to avoid spoilers) with the view of Kathryn Bigelow, Sofia Coppola or Olivia Wilde might make it an interesting journey for the people watching it. Let’s be clear there is nothing wrong with Billy Wilder, but at present he is busy with other projects. And these is something mesmerising on a female view in this setting. Still it will become a tall order. Billy Wilder was a legendary director, the script was really good and so was the cast. Yet I believe that after 44 years and the alterations in real life that we see and those events thrust upon us, some of the elements in the movie might do well with an upgrade and I believe the new movie could be better for it. I am not stating that Billy Wilder dropped the ball, the movie was full on and way beyond interesting in 1978, we merely have more to go on in this day and age. To be honest, it seems that most have forgotten this gem and that is sad. There is no recrimination, there is no blame, it is as it is and perhaps me tossing the ball in the air will give a scriptwriter the inspiration to take this to the next level. 

Enjoy the day!

P.S. Enjoy the day as much as you can, there are 744,297 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours, so if only 1% is terminal, there will be 7,000 jobs and optionally up to 7,000 houses and apartments available early next year. And with the US and UK racing for first position, all whilst the UK has 20% of the US population and 50% of the cases that are inflicted on the US the race is wide open towards more affordable living. So you can write a script or start screaming like the other anti-lockdown people. It is up to you. I tend to be as productive as possible and as I do not interact directly with other people I will for the longest time avoid getting this irritating flu, and let’s consider that we can call it the super-flu, just like Stephen King did in the Stand. How did that end again?

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A new service

The AP news just gave me an idea, well an idea for all of us as I am making it public domain right now. You see, that dim witted bully might have ‘protection’, loads of lawyers and options. But a lot of us in all walks of life do not. So what if there was a service that could aid us? In this the article ‘Court rejects Trump’s efforts to keep records from 1/6 panel’ it is about “keeping records from”. You see in this digital world you CANNOT keep things from anyone, data will be gotten to, but what if that changes? 

Consider the image

Cloudcypher

We see three elements, the cloud where the goods are, the connector (your computer, phone or tablet) and the data on USB stick or micro SD card. Now we can get robbed, we can get hacked and places get intruded on, but all three? So you can keep details and information safe, especially when the three settings are different placed. And all three are required to get ALL the information. The stick or SD card has an encryption file that is created through the cloud, more importantly it has elements that YOU need to remember, passwords, a pass phrase in two locations. Now we are off to the races, There are vault solutions that have this, but it is always local and I for one believe in these settings, but it is not always a great idea. So what if someone offered the service, yet the cloud version can never be accessed without the other two. The other two CAN rebuild the file, yet that will take time and the original is up to you what you do with it. A service I call CloudCypher. A place where anyone can safe their important goods. Images, documents, solutions, IP and many other settings there are pretty much millions who have such elements. Consider a place in the clouds that can be accessed anywhere in the world if the other two are presented, a solution in three parts.

Now there are always options to sink this solution, there are always alternatives yet I did not find anywhere or any place that this was offered. Yet some have access and in a state and place where the US is pretty much bankrupt. It was Jockum Hildun, at the University of Helsinki, Finland who gave me the idea. He gave me “public authorities cannot readily move their operations to the cloud and use the services of US companies because sensitive personal data of Swedish citizens could be transferred to US law enforcement without Swedish judicial review”, I knew this already, but I never gave it much thought, yet the danger of the US nationalising IP and more in the next year gave me the idea to eep other things from them. In this the Commonwealth has options for new services, but they cater to the yanks a little too easy. Scandinavia is an option but so are the zero tax states. Confidential services can remain confidential if the cloud server is in a place the US cannot touch and if the solution is in three parts the US has no access (and neither does Russia or China for that matter). There are several nations that could cater to this, but that made me consider a truth we hear in the movie the Patriot (with Mel Gibson). Why would I change my life with one tyrant 8000 miles away when I optionally end up with 8000 tyrants a mile away. There is truth in that and the option is to have a solution where no one has access, only the owner does and no matter what happens without the owner there is no access and there is one weakness, if any of the key elements are lost, then so is the data, but that is with EVERY vault. 

I checked and no one offers this service, so for anyone with a cloud server system, this is your option to add to your services and for a few $$$’s you might get more long term clients, not the one that need your cloud solutions, but the future is always fluid, at this point they are with you and how you treat them will be the setting that keeps them with you, it is up to you.

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The old joke

There is an old joke, I heard it in the 70’s. The joke goes like “John, I have no idea how this firm has any chance of surviving without your presence, but as per this coming Monday, we will give that a try!”, and whenever I see staff removals happening, including me getting made redundant years ago, that joke goes around my brain. So when the BBC gives us ‘Boss says sorry for ‘blundered’ Zoom firing of 900 staff’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59573146). So we get the outrage linked to “Mr Garg was heavily criticised after he sacked 900 staff in an online meeting”, There is one other setting that I do not get. You see, we get the following part “A deal is likely to value the business – which Mr Garg founded in 2015 – at between $6.9bn (£5.2bn) and $7.7bn”, so in 6 years a firm has grown to $7,000,000,000 and he casually fires 900 people? Didn’t they help the business grow? So, as we set the larger stage we get ““Organisations do have to make job cuts sometimes, it is a hard reality,” says Rachel Suff, senior policy adviser on employee relations at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. “But how they go about it and the humanity they approach it with can have a fundamental impact on how people deal with that shocking news.”” Yes, we can be humane, and we can be callous. Yet the stage of firing 900 people when you went from (assumed) zero to $7,000,000,000 in 6 years is quite the success story, as such the move makes no sense, unless he wants to hang his coat up and retire a multi billionaire. As I see it, the setting of “to float the company on the stock market”, a choice that might be valid, it might not be. I cannot tell, it is not area of expertise, yet the question becomes towards it mission statement “Better.com, which aims to use technology to make the house buying process “faster and more efficient””, is that one direction, was it also safer to do that, or has someone figured out that the faster and more efficient comes with larger safety holes? I actually do not know, but that is the first question that pops into my head. 

You see, we do see “The market has changed”, yet I also find “Home values in New York (statewide) have risen 14.2 percent (current = $363,990) in the last year and will continue to rise in 2021. Over the last year, home values in New York City have increased by 4.5 percent. The latest market forecast is not available for NYC”, so I am not sure what is going on and before we go all high and mighty on the 900 removed people, it represents 15% of removed staff, implying that better.com did one hell of a job, it implies that he still employs 5100 people. The article does not really bear that out does it? I am not blaming the BBC for that, but the setting of what still is remains important. If there is one critique on this, then it is their homesite that still has a career page that is hiring. I reckon that there should be a clear page setting something like “Due to volatile market settings, all hiring activities are temporarily suspended”, as such I reckon that this Vishal Garg optionally missed the ball twice over. But that small part was not picked up either by the media. The website actually looks decent, so the business is seemingly not too shabby.

So whilst the BBC is all about slapping him around, and that is fine. No one is considering the fact that 5100 are still employed and that a startup has grown from close to zero to $7,000,000,000 a feat that is pretty rare to say the least. 

I find it hard to condemn the act (I had been made redundant more harshly then that in the past). It happens to us all one day, unless we are on the board of directors, in which case we get a huge bonus and we are escorted to the limousine.

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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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