Tag Archives: USA today

The Syrian Fuck Up

There are a few things playing, for one the Bremain group is trying to push again in some way to scare people and set uncertainty all over the place. To be quite honest, at what point are such people regarded as traitors? I know the term is much to harsh, yet the fact is that the vote has been passed, there is a direction and those people are actively trying to mislead left right and centre, like the roaches of the old ways of profit, profit for the few! How come that side is not placed into the limelight? The second issue is seen in NY and a few other places where bombs are exploding. We can speculate in several ways, but that is not my way and until solid intelligence is seen, only then can we form a view. The most likely being that the US is now seeing the direct consequence from lone wolf attacks. There is no likely answer immediately, it will take time, yet the numbers are on terrorism. Confirmation is outstanding for now, but the most likely scenario. We will see later, no matter what the answer is, for the US their issues have now become a lot more complex. It is my personal view that I still believe that Edward Snowden is to some extent a joke at best and a traitor at worst. By illuminating actual parts of projects like PRISM, the lone wolves are now taking other measures and what might have been prevented will now only be prevented after many casualties, so feel free to send him a card with the text “شكرا لمساعدتك” (source: Google Translate).

Where we are actually going is Syria. You see, there has been an issue for a long time, we can go with the idea that people have been lucky for too long and there is the idea that a truce was never an option in Syria. Yet when we read ‘Syria ceasefire on brink of collapse after raids on Aleppo, Syrian troops’ (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-19/syria-ceasefire-teeters-after-raids-on-aleppo/7856670). You see, my view comes from the initial issue I had when President Obama claimed ‘No boots on the ground in Syria‘ (at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2015/10/30/16-times-obama-said-there-would-no-boots-ground-syria/74869884/), shows that this statements goes back as far as ‘meeting with Baltic State leaders, August 30th, 2013‘. Here we see the quote “In no event are we considering any kind of military action that would involve boots on the ground that would involve a long-term campaign. But we are looking at the possibility of a limited, narrow act that would help make sure that not only Syria, but others around the world, understand that the international community cares about maintaining this chemical weapons ban and norm. So again, I repeat, we’re not considering any open-ended commitment. We’re not considering any boots-on-the-ground approach“. You see, my issue is that any air force strike needs quality intelligence. You see, as I personally see it, the Air force is meant to be force in support of the Army! That’s how it is supposed to be! This is not negativity, because the Air force is its own power in the sky, but when it is required to go after ground forces, it needs eyes on the ground, which implies boots on the ground. It is that simple. Of course they can try to rely on the INTEL that they get from third parties, but that tends to lead to wrong tagging, inaccurate intelligence and not to mention the wrong coordinates get to be transmitted. I reckon that this latest issue could be either one of those failures. And when we get to see this “Russia said the situation in Aleppo city was “especially tense” on Sunday, blaming the instability on rebels.” The amount of shelling by rebel groups against positions of the Syrian Government troops and of residential areas is increasing,” Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said“, so what ceasefire? If a ceasefire is one-sided, there is no ceasefire. It seems to me that the issues shown on the news is that there is inaccuracies on all sides, not just the military parts. That can be construed from the quote “Also on Sunday, a senior adviser to President Bashar al-Assad said Damascus believes Saturday’s strike that killed the Syrian soldiers was “intentional”.” None of the facts on the ground show that what happened was a mistake or a coincidence,” Buthaina Shaaban said.” This could be the case on one side, if there was no ceasefire. So what is the case? Al Jazeera gives us ‘Ceasefire terms pose major risks for Syrian rebels‘ (at http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/09/ceasefire-terms-pose-major-risks-syrian-rebels-160915092126740.html), there we see the agreement painted as a one-sided solution for the Syrian government. Sharif Nashashibi writes in this article “This is a clear indication that, to him, such ceasefires are stepping stones to achieving that aim, not to a negotiated political solution. Indeed, pro-Assad forces continue to besiege rebel-held areas during the current ceasefire“, so from all this we can speculate that that fingers can be pointed on more than one issue. When we look at the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37398721) we see “The US said its planes had halted the attack in Deir al-Zour when informed of the Syrian presence. A spokesman for the US administration expressed “regret” for the “unintentional loss of life”.“, as I remember it, a meeting at the United Nations Security Council under these conditions tends to be not too boring, so my advice to the Honourable Matthew Rycroft and the Honourable Gerard van Bohemen would be to bring tea and cucumber sandwiches to the next meeting, it should be fun to watch the US and Russian incriminate back and forth!

Now, I am not going to give you the goods on those two, the upcoming cold war will be a fun job soon enough. What is essential is to realise that the Air force could possibly have acted on incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete data soon enough. This is however an issue on more than one level. If you recall the initial chemical attacks, the US was unable to give clear evidence on who did what, meaning that either the satellite lag is too great or lacking too much details. You see, this is not TV, this is not an episode of NCIS where we see that the satellite could be used to watch a topless girl sucking the sunshine. This is real life and even as we know that it can give clear mechanical movements, troop movements, especially in an urban environment like Aleppo could be an issue to some extent, this is corroborated in this event. There will be conspiracy minds giving the notion that the US is trying to win by striking Assad forces ‘accidently’, a scenario that is not impossible, but likely a lot more improbable. Without clear deniability President Obama would not got near this issue now, so close to the election with the possibility of wrecking the election chances of the Democratic Party. In addition, with minus 18 trillion and no exit strategy there, increasing actions and requirements in Syria is one part he cannot afford in any way shape or form. That leads back to the attacks on the US, if there is any possibility that this is indeed a lone wolf wave, the US will have dire need for many more resources soon. No matter how it looks in the news and how it is played. Syria has been an issue for too long and as politicians and ambassadors seem to try and find a solution that will make everyone winners, I have to look back at 1939 when the UK decided that Hitler had to be stopped. It would take 2 years and a large sacrifice of part of the US Navy until the US took that stance openly. The issue is that too many politicians are taking the Charlie Brown approach (Walk softly and carry a Beagle). I think that with so many political fires stating that you are the fireman and you are here to chop away flammable constructs is not the worst position to take. In all this there is a genuine issue of missing trust. The BBC stated “Russia’s defence ministry earlier said that if the US air strikes did turn out to be an error, it would be because of Washington’s refusal to co-ordinate military action with Moscow“, it is not that Russia has any level of record in creating trust. The Ukraine and the Crimea region both have visible scars regarding that issue, there is of course the MH-117 so I reckon that Sergey Shoygu should review his options and find a third solution all parties can work with. The simple truth is that during these election the US side (for now) will be flaccid and useless unless a clear and distinct order is given by the Obama administration. Russia might gain trust all over the field if an actual solution for Syrian battle intelligence is found.

The worst issue in all this is that this is a serious fuck up, because the intelligence as given, is now sitting on the premise of two sides. From the initial part we can go with the two possibly oversimplified sides. US Air force was either unable or unwilling to see the intel. This path is taken because it is a simple truth, when we cut away the sides these two give rise to the actions. If actions were taken whilst unable to see, they would be rash actions, showing that boots on the ground were essential to recon data. If they were unwilling to see the Intel, it becomes a very different discussion, one with large implications on the US military actions. This path is taken to show you that for the most the path was not that complex. The only complexity is the accountability of actions. Sometimes, especially in armed conflict the issue tends to remain simple, or better stated ‘lacking complexity’. So why was it a ‘fuck up’? Again, in my personal view, and standing aside human error, the air force relies on levels of quality intelligence. Whenever we add just one level of impurity, we see that actions become a risk or rash to say the least, the fact that there was no supporting recon team means that someone let US pilots enter a blind stage where identification is hard at best. That is not the fault of the pilot or his commander. In this arena where uniforms are very much alike, telling one party from another becomes nearly impossible. This explains why ‘no boots on the ground’ was close to idiotic from day zero. This would always happen and it is a near miracle that it did not happen more often. One could argue that the entire mission as set out as it was doomed to fail from the very beginning, which now makes us wonder if the current administration wanted a clear victory to begin with. If not, we have ample evidence that this American administrations wasted billions on posturing, which sounds odd too.

In the end, the reality around this will take years to clarify and even then messages, mails and documents will have been ‘accidently’ destroyed or classified for 2 generations at least. In the end, for the most it is easy to agree that the Syrian events were a fuck up, but to what extent and until which person and function (read: who’s desk) is a question not easily (if ever) answered.

 

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Homerun by UKIP

UKIP scored a home-run and we missed it. Some were watching the game and did not realise the play. Some were watching as the opposing party and hoped that no one else noticed. I did notice, but there was time to let things unfold. I saw what he stated (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buCUlPOsuNg) when he starts around 5:27. Those who watched might have wondered, might have looked and no one reacted. Those who needed to react did not, mainly because they did not comprehend what they just heard. So let’s look at that genie out of the bottle again. Remember, that this was stated in December 2015, we have seen many escalations since then, not in the least, the refugee issues.

  1. 3 billion a year in aid to Turkey without guarantees.
  2. Visa free access by Oct 2016.
  3. Fast track Turkey into EU (97% of that nation is in Asia).
  4. A nation that prefers bombing Kurds than fight ISIS.
  5. A nation that ignores ISIS travelling within its borders.
  6. 8% of Turks support ISIS (source: Pew Institute)
  7. Accuses Turkey of Buying ISIS oil.
  8. It is bordering Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The clear path of blackmail is seen all over the place and the fact that the EU is giving in to blackmail gives us the question, who runs the EU? Is it merely big business holding onto politicians like a puppeteer to a puppet on a string? Is it America holding the collapse of the Dollar and the Euro over the heads of all, making the Bankers push the politicians the way that is most beneficial to greed? Whatever and whomever is holding the strings, we can see that the solution is actually decently easy, when you take America out of the equation.

  1. It is at present 3 billion a year. Yet the one part everyone forgot is that the financial aid to Turkey would increase to 60 billion the moment they become part of the EU. That truth is actually easy to see when we look at point 8. When the EU becomes the border of Syria, Iraq and Iran, as stated. The moment any ISIS, via Turkey, makes one successful hit on Russia, you better believe that after the initial stupidity of Turkey (shooting down a Russian Jet for allegedly being over their airspace for 10 seconds), Russia will not play nice, Turkey would become a direct target, with the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, it is not just Adm. Aleksandr Vitko who is spoiling for a fight with the Turks. When the Turks become part of the EU, the massive lack of Turkish intelligence will soon there after force Europe into a war they have no way of winning.
  2. When we see Canadian Global Research (at http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-isis-oil-trade-with-turkey-documentary-reveals-secret-oil-deals-between-turkey-the-islamic-state/5522560), we see confirmation on statement 2 by Nigel Farage. More important, that is yesterday’s news (quite literally), meaning that certain power players have had this in their hands for MONTHS! The EU has decided to ignore those little titbits, giving additional power to my speculation on how the EU is becoming a mere puppet to greed and the Dollar. The initial source (Russian Today), gives us in addition the quote ““Crossing the Syrian-Turkish border was also very easy. It was like crossing the street,” ISIS member from Saudi Arabia, Muhammed Ahmed Muhammed told RT“. Now this could be Russian propaganda, but the timing fits, when we consider the Turkish actions. So this is a place, where you want to give 78 million threats to European security free passage? Yet when we see news in Al Arabiya that Turkey destroyed 900 ISIS members, we see that the numbers cannot be verified independently, so it is their word against verifiable facts. You should feel free to make that call. In addition we see the quote “Turkey has deported more than 3,300 foreigners suspected of links to militants groups, particularly ISIS militants“, so how were they deported? With weapons and ammunition? When we see the final quote “Turkey, long accused of turning a blind eye to the extremists crossing into Syria, has now taken a larger role in the fight against ISIS, opening a key air base in southern Turkey to the US-led coalition fighting the extremists and reinforcing its border to prevent infiltrations“, which is decently close to where the Russian Jet was shot down, so are the Americans there to keep the Russian of Turkish backs? Even when we consider the implications of ISIS and their threat to Turkey, we see another side (at http://heavy.com/news/2016/04/watch-new-isis-mass-execution-video-is-directed-at-turkey/) WARNING, THIS VIDEO SHOWS EXECUTIONS IN GRAPHICAL DETAIL! It is an ISIS video, even as we consider the fact that the Turkish subtitles, there is no emphases on the fact that the ‘Nazi like rap’ is in German, it mentions how ‘they’ are on route to Europe, there is a likelihood that the video is equally a message towards the sympathisers that might be in Germany, but that is pure speculation on my side. The article raises the following issue in the quote “It is also widely believed that beyond the Islamic State’s appeal to some in Turkey, the Turkish government is playing a “double game” with ISIS. Outwardly opposing the group, while possibly striking oil deals with its leaders“, Farage was raising the issue spot on. How can anyone in the EU consider any alliance with a government that is basically nothing more than a Benedict Arnold with a stronger dislike for Croissants!

Here we pause for a moment. You see, the issue has already been made, several power players must have been very aware of Turkey. There is no way that the intelligence community at large was in the dark on this. Journalists (especially Russian ones) tend not to be that good, which brings additional pressure why the people at large was kept in the dark. Not just those in the UK, but in equal measure the French German and Dutch populations at large have not been made clearly aware of these dangers and the pressures Turkey has been bringing to the table for some time now. I kept Italy out of that list because of additional religious indications.

You see, the one part that is harder to prove, but has a given on April 8th we got “He told AFP that Turkey still has to fulfil 72 conditions on its side to gain visa-free travel to Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone“, this came from Marc Pierini, visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe. So how far are these 72 conditions? You see, Turkey has so far not shown anything real when it comes with verifiable actions against ISIS, so when I see “Turkey is slated to receive benefits including visa-free travel for its citizens to Europe, promised ‘at the latest’ by June 2016“, whilst a large amount of the 72 conditions are not met, how come that the papers at large are not keeping a keen eye on those 72 conditions and a list of the ones that are met and the ones that are not met, whilst Spain with its own legislation will not make issues any easier as it is within their penal code as it is illegal to forcibly deport and transfer people from EU territory. So will we see something according to the air of ‘Yes, we did not do all the tasks but fuck it! Make us a Eurozone member anyway!‘, because that is the straw that will break the EU’s back. The people at large in many nations will not continue to be in an open border situation under those conditions. So hello Brexit and Goodbye Schengen! I wonder how things will change when the borders fall shut. America had been playing a dangerous game with Greece, but Turkey is one game that will not be tolerated by the European Community at large.

In all this, we have now seen that Nigel Farage has shown in multiple ways why Brexit is the way to go. The brilliant statement by Mark Carney in the House of Lords will not stand as a shield strong enough to counter that, meaning that my conservatives will need to take a massive detour on several fields if they want to hold the centre of parliament regarding Brexit and even then it remains a challenge whether the next administration will remain Conservative. If the quality of life for Britons goes up it would be possible, but it cannot be stated as a given, because too many issues are currently surfacing, many of them directly linked to America and the IMF. In addition to all this, there has been a rising amount of warnings about ISIS hotspots in Turkey, targeting American tourists. This news and the fact on where the events are taking place, implies that either ISIS has a run of the land in Turkey, giving ample evidence to Nigel Farage claim 5, or there is a growing issue with sympathisers and even though there is no clear evidence on the percentage, we should emphasize that even 1% would give ISIS the run of the land in Turkey, at 8% they could be running Turkey soon enough, giving additional reasons to not let Turkey anywhere an EU membership for a long time to come.

Yet in all this, I have to add my side to this. The side that looked at other remaining factors. Factors like the news one week ago where we see in an IMF report “Turkey’s economic growth continues to show resilience despite several shocks. Growth remains based on domestic demand, in turn, supported by accommodative monetary and fiscal policies“, resilience? This place has the GDP of Costa Rica that is nothing to be proud of. In addition, the report (at http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2016/pr16182.htm) shows “To this end, the government has announced an ambitious program of reforms aiming to increase potential growth and reduce external imbalances in the medium term“, with what currency? There are billions pushed into Turkey each year because they could not get their space (read: their nation and their head space) in order. When we look at the stated forecasts by the IMF, we see that Net Exports are set at -0.9% this year, yet after that, Turkey makes a miraculous forecast of suddenly increasing their net export by 0.6% (in 2017), whilst there is no data of any kind that could explain such a massive increase. Now consider a realistic growth and the net exports go towards to -0.6%, which would be awesome for Turkey, it gives other nations the impression that their goods will be bought as Turkey imports more than it exports, but with the sliding exports there will be no cash left to pay for the imports, making this document a larger danger than many realise, it shows how Turkey could become the next Greece (read: not that big a chance, but not impossible). With unemployment going from 10.8 this year to a forecasted 10.5, we see a document that is forecasted at the margins, making things a little more positive than they actually are and we will see the sudden management of bad news in about 6 months. But that is already too late, the influx of Schengen Turks would have commenced, and under those conditions the United Kingdom at large would hope that Brexit becomes a reality, there will be a massive change and suddenly we have to give in, because America could not clean up its act during the last two administrations. It had to do something really stupid thing, like sending a lame duck president to do some scaremongering. In that regard, Ted Cruz is right, even if he is not elected president, the US needs the UK. It needs it for several reasons, economy being a larger one. I like the quote in USA Today last week: ““Instead of standing with our allies President Obama routinely hurls insults at them,” Cruz wrote. He said Obama’s comment was “nothing less than a slap in the face of British self-determination”“, which is at the heart of the matter. It is entirely likely that his analysts have already deserted him whilst trying to get the best after administration job in the commercial industry. In addition to that, we see a lacking side of the press when we try to learn which of the conditions have yet to be met by Turkey. Considering that, according to Turkish officials the Visa Free commitment towards Turkey is now only a month away. Is that not weird too?

Too many Britons are realising that they are being presented a joke, a message with no reality or national future behind it. The EU has taken too much and not reigned in those who should have been dealt with from 2008 onwards. That is at the core of the matter and it will boost the numbers of Nigel Farage, which should have been prevented by my party a long time ago. I wonder why they decided to leave it in the middle, unattended for this long.

 

 

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Below the skin of life

Like many others, I looked at what is going on in Ferguson Missouri and I wonder how things went so out of control. As per today, as I saw events erupt, I decided to take a little look at why this was happening. Not the fact of the boy who was shot, but what brought all this about. Doesn’t it seem strange that the events as they are evolving, that there is little to no mention at all in the press on this?

So what got all this started?

Well there is more than one story. First the one in USA Today (at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/michael-brown-ferguson-missouri-timeline/14051827/)

12:01 p.m. – The officer encounters Michael Brown and a friend as they walk down a street. Brown is shot to death as a result of the encounter.

This is not much, is it?

We get a lot more from the NY Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html) Here we see: “At 12:01 p.m., they were stopped by Darren Wilson, a police officer, who ordered them off the road and onto the sidewalk, Mr Johnson, who is 22, later said“.

So this is because two kids were walking on the road and they were told to get on the sidewalk?

I am certain that the press is not hammering on this fact, but it seems to me that this escalation is purely due to events that go way beyond the mere shooting of a teenager named Michael Brown.

The wiki page (not too reliable a source) is slightly more informative, which seemed to be a combination of three papers. There we find: “Michael Brown, an 18-year-old male, died after being shot at least six times by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old Ferguson Police Department officer. Brown was walking in the middle of the street along with his friend Dorian Johnson when Wilson stopped them and told them to use the sidewalk. From there, a conflict between the two erupted at the vehicle, as Brown allegedly assaulted the officer through his window. The officer allegedly reached for his weapon inside his vehicle shooting Brown in the thumb then shooting when Brown allegedly charged the officer, ending with Brown’s death from multiple gunshot wounds“.

So from this part we see a policeman alleged to be under attack. I use alleged as there is conflicting evidence on this. As you read the NY Times article, which is a very good and informative read, we also see a first inkling on how much limelight attention this is drawing.

The article also has a statement that is part of the problem “Thousands of protesters demanding information and justice for what was widely viewed as a reckless shooting took to the streets here in rallies that ranged from peaceful to violent“, this reads in two ways. The first is that if the entire part of moving to the sidewalk is true, then not only did Michael Brown bring this on himself (based on the evidence), but consider this, a cop tells you to get off the road and walk on the footpath, you do this, matter closed, no deaths, no shootings and no city on fire.

Is this oversimplifying the matter?

The second part is that if we alter the previous statement a little (for illustration) “Thousands of protesters demanding information and justice for what was widely viewed as a reckless shooting took to the streets here, rallying violently“, this is not done for correctness, this is done to illustrate one particular group that has been there all along. If you doubt me, then look at the photos of Ferguson in flames. This also leaves a clear indication that there is a lot more at play then we are seeing.

What we see here does not even come close to the London Looting scene from August 6th until August 11th 2011.

There is however a lot more, certain events are escalated in view by possible the press and possibly several political players. Can someone explain to me how it comes that the Brown family, they are, as we can all agree under a sad situation allowed to address a UN conference in Geneva on torture? This is seen in ‘Brown family returns to Ferguson from UN conference in Geneva‘ (at http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/brown-family-returns-ferguson-un-conference-geneva). If we look at Amnesty International (at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT40/001/2003), we see a document where on page 36, at 2.4 we see “The CRIPA provided the federal government with an important civil remedy, enabling the US (federal) Department of Justice to seek federal court orders or injunctions to eliminate patterns of abuse or unconstitutional conditions in state and local institutions“. This in itself is not an answer, what is shown that there are issues in play, there are remedies and legal avenues, so why were the Browns in Geneva? Was this a political play and a waste of time? Yes, I state a waste of time, because there are many issues in the world, many nations where torture is a real issue, where in many nations domestic violence against women (which I personally see as torture), is still at the foundation of society ignoring it all the way up to the top of national legislation. This includes Australia, the United Kingdom and several EEC nations as well.

It sounds extremely harsh to say it, but the shooting of an African American walking on the road does not cut it for the UN on torture (but it should be investigated).

It should be investigated, for the reason that we see the statement by Dr Baden in the NY Times to be “The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body

Yet, NBC (at http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/michael-brown-shooting/vonderrit-myers-case-cops-say-shot-teen-had-gunshot-residue-n225761) states: “The St. Louis teenager fatally shot by an off-duty officer, which set off fresh protests in an already tense atmosphere, had gunshot residue on his hand and the waistband of his jeans, according to lab results released Tuesday by the police department“.

So there is a conflict of data already, according to the NY Times: “Dr Baden, 80 80, is a well-known New York-based medical examiner, who is one of only about 400 board-certified forensic pathologists in the nation. He reviewed the autopsies of both President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr., and has performed more than 20,000 autopsies himself“. It seems that this person is top notch in his field, which gives ample questions on where the NBC information comes from.

The entire issue that the police officer was attacked in his car! If we go back to USA Today, we see as the timeline for August 10th at 10:00 “10 a.m. – Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed, St. Louis County Police Chief Joe Belmar says in a news conference. Belmar says Brown physically assaulted the officer, and during a struggle between the two, Brown reached for the officer’s gun. One shot was fired in the car followed by other gunshots outside of the car“.

We now have an issue, there is conflicting evidence and the gunshot residue is part of the smoking gun (it really is). So, what happened?

There is an issue on several levels and no matter how the Grand Jury goes; there are massive issues, because the death of one teen (in a nation with well over 17,000 homicides in 16 states) does not seem like a big number (statistically speaking). Linked to this is one more part that we saw in the NY Times “According to what has emerged so far, on Saturday, Aug. 9, Mr Brown, along with a companion, Dorian Johnson, was walking in the middle of Canfield Drive, a fistful of cigarillos in Mr Brown’s hand, police say, which a videotape shows he stole from a liquor store on West Florissant Ave.“, so we see a possible result of a crime, which can only come to light after the facts, we see a shooting with conflicting data.

There is a lot going on in Ferguson, Missouri, yet the press are all focussing on the fires, I have seen little to nothing in regards to how these fires got started in the first place. Is this the direct consequence of a collapsed economy, a collapsed morale anticipating no future? If so, then Ferguson is only the tip of the iceberg and we will see a lot more escalations, likely far beyond the state borders of Missouri.

 

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What was once America!

This story will go into a very different direction, it also holds several values that might not be agreed with and several are debatable to begin with.

You see, we are allies of America and I am fine with that. I think we need America in the free west, but the actions of America makes them more and more ‘unwanted’. As we see changes on the global scape that is all over the field, we see an America that has become unjust, unequal and desperate for political points on a sliding slope for governmental bankruptcy.

Perhaps some remember this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. It is in the constitution, a tourist attraction, currently on display north of the National Mall at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C. Most Americans have forgotten it, we might state that the bulk of Americans, might remember it, but they do not know exactly what it is any more.

I did make a few accusations, here is the reasoning (without it, an accusation is just hollow).

Unjust

Injustice is harder to state, we see it, many feel it, but where is the injustice? There is social injustice, economic injustice, racial injustice? As American is a nation of laws, there is also a part that is not covered by laws. Yes, there lies the injustice, consider the enabling of wealth as I wrote about it on September 29th in the article ‘Vindication‘, how “Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are both calling for Congress to investigate the New York Federal Reserve Bank after recently released secret recordings show the central bank allegedly going light on firms it was supposed to regulate” which came from the Huffington Post. We see an enabling force to those swallowed by greed and wanting ever more. Racial injustice remains, as it always has. This is not meant to be an attack, but a mere statement of fact.

Unequal

This is seen in the Business Week article of last April (at http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-03/top-tenth-of-1-percenters-reaps-all-the-riches), it boils down to the fact that the top 1% owns the same wealth as the bottom 90% of the entire American population. The wealthiest 85 persons on the planet (not all Americans) have more wealth then the sum of the bottom half of the planet, if we consider this as an iceberg, then we see 9% above water, the rest is just drowning. This sliding measurement of equality is even more visible in America, whilst the Walton Family gains billions each year, the bulk of its entire full time staff is on food stamps and requires additional government support. Some would argue that workers value is where we value it at, but in this age of exploitation we see that as people are numbered into spread sheets, we see how people are numbered out of existence. We see large places (not just Wal-Mart!) sell at ridiculous low prices, which gives us “at least two of the factories on the list have continued to send massive shipments of sports bras and girls’ dresses to Wal-Mart stores in recent months, according to interviews and U.S. customs records“. Consider getting three sport bra’s from Wal-Mart at $8. I took that article as it requires a little more work than a boxer short. How can you make any profit on something that seems to be cheaper than the bare materials required; now it needs to be made, packaged and shipped? How dim is the person thinking that things are truly made that cheap? When we read on how some clothes from Wal-Mart comes from Bangladesh, where ethicality is out the window and the children get to work for a living and a future they will never have. How surprised can you even be?

Desperate

Now we get to the good stuff, here is where the connected danger lies. There is a presumption that you must take into account, much of this is directly from news sources, I have tried to focus on certain parts, but as any analyst can tell you, the better the data quality, the more reliable the information and the assessment of that what is in play. The first part is ‘Binyamin Netanyahu ‘chickenshit’, say US officials in explosive interview’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/29/binyamin-netanyahu-a-chickenshit-say-us-officials-in-explosive-interview), of course, there are questionable issues with this, or was the ‘slip of the tongue’ literally applied. The quote “The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most” (at

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/10/the-crisis-in-us-israel-relations-is-officially-here/382031/), you see, this has been discussed by me before, however, until now, most of it was debatable (as I would readily admit), and in light of these two articles we get a new vision. I wrote about all this in ‘Selling Israel‘ on October 3rd and ‘Puppet on a string‘ on July 30th. These were about the side of Israel, now here we see the side of America. America is in a bad way, it needs to show resolve, it needs to show success. This current administration has bungled more than once and as the tally comes, they are seeing that their balance is not good. “Israel has rebuffed those requests and demands in ways that have been very embarrassing to Obama administration” from US News, as well as “Kerry, who made pursuing Middle East peace a cornerstone of his time leading state, was a part of the peace process that collapsed earlier this year, and relations between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama have long been chilly further complicating any hope for a resolution to the region’s strife“. I foresaw several of these points never working in July, so why did some think it was ever going to work? Israel is surrounded by people who want them dead, ever since WW2, they still want to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. That will NEVER ever be the setting of success. An interesting article can be seen in the LA Times (at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-makdisi-israel-apartheid-20140518-story.html) in regards to Israel and apartheid, with the link to the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1973. I do not completely agree with the article, as Israel has been the victim of apartheid, pretty much since Germany European Tour 1939-1945, so as we see the term apartheid, are we certain that it is correctly applied? When we see the quote: “While overcrowded Palestinian schools in Israel crumble, Jewish students are given access to more resources and curricular options“, which sounds nice, yet consider the no-stop attacks on Israel, in August 2014, the numbers if even partially correct, implies that the funds required to fire these missiles in one month exceeds ten times my average annual income of the last 15 years. So, perhaps not firing missiles and using the cash for upgrading schools might be an idea?

Yet, this was all about America, why the side step? America needs success stories, John Kerry came up short, which we knew was going to happen, yet this is not the only issue. If Donald Trump is even only partially correct, then we will see no later than march 2015, that the US will get an enormous fall in economy, a large rise of the jobless population and the cost of living will go through the roof making America not that great a place to be. In addition, as we see in Moneynews (at http://www.moneynews.com/Outbrain/Trump-Aftershock-American-Economy/2012/11/06/id/462985/), in addition In 2006, Robert Wiedemer and a team of economists foresaw the coming collapse of the U.S. housing market, equity markets, private debt, and consumer spending, and published their findings in the book America’s Bubble Economy. Now we have ourselves a party, as the US is losing ground, as they are losing the economy and as they are again in some dispute with ISIS (one that they should have dealt with some time ago) we see a nation with bills, no real production other than virtual events and one with an aging population that needs an almost exponential need for healthcare and social security. In that field we now see a faltering democratic party that needs to score, which gets us back to the Israel debacle. The quote at the end states “Instead of attacking Israel and forcing it to accept suicidal terms, it should be strengthened. I call on the US administration to renounce these coarse comments and to reject them outright“, here we see the crux. America lost out to Israel on selling missile technology to India. It is only half a billion, but there is prestige on the line, in addition to long term additional orders we see that Israel has taken a step forward. The fact that they also got drone technology from Israel gives pause to wonder, is Israeli merchandise better, or is the US too expensive? That debate is up in the air as I have none of the facts, but in an age where any bit of good news counts, losing 0n these two orders just does not help, insulting the Israeli Prime Minister might have additional consequences, I personally see it as a consequence of not getting a grip on the deficit for half a decade, more and more players in the field are now seeing that America WAS a great nation, its future however remains for now extremely uncertain, a possible legacy that the Democratic party is desperate to prevent. It is not just my voice here, to some extent we can see similar issues in the Washington post, which does not suddenly make my revelation fact, but it does show that there is an issue of leadership, on that is showing to be unable to do what actually needs to be done.

It is also important to give notice to one element that was not within their control, Wiki-leaks, when it released the diplomatic cables instigated waves of hardship that were equally unjust. Not because of what they published, but because they published only one side, the American cables, which means that America was continuing a poker match whilst all their cards were in the open and the others remained hidden. This is not the largest issue, but it is an issue. We see ‘attempts’ to get another peace talks in the works, we see America now talking to Iran, Gaza is not going their way and Russia remains a hot potato, these are all reasons for concern, but to what extent?

That is at the heart of the matter, yet it is also an unknown, we might decide to trust the IMF, the DOW and other proclaimers of good news, yet in the last two years, most predictions were missed and overly positive.

Consider these two texts: “After a temporary setback in the first quarter of 2014, the U.S. economy has rebounded. Temporary constraints—an unusually harsh winter and a sharp correction to an earlier inventory build-up—have now receded. Growth reached an annualized 4.2 percent in the second quarter. Improving housing activity, stronger on residential investment, and steady payroll gains suggest that the rebound is becoming more sustainable (Figure 2.2). The unemployment and labor participation rates stood at 6.1 percent and 62.8 percent, respectively, in August” From the official World Economic Outlook for the IMF.

The second text are two texts from the same article: “The third-quarter gain in output outstripped economists’ expectations, but growth in domestic demand braked to a 2.7 percent pace after a brisk 3.4 percent gain in the April-June period, giving the report a softer tenor” and “A slowdown in inventory building weighed on growth, and economists warned that pressure would likely persist into the fourth quarter“, the second source is Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/30/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN0IJ0A020141030).

The people are bombarded with several DIFFERENT sets of results (which look like statistical results); we see a massive push for reports on a restoring economy, which is in all matters not exactly true. Yes, the economy is picking up, but the only ones truly seeing that happen are those who are a member of the top 9%, also known as those not drowning at present. There is no real solution until America changes and I mean truly changes the way they operate and the way they hold people to account. Their solution of taxing the rich is equally unwise (stupid seems so harsh a label). I am not against holding the rich accountable, but that there is a difference, holding the rich accountable is not the same as taxing the rich, the latter looks, reads and smells like discriminatory injustice, which is what we do not want either. Yes, they must pay their fair share, but the emphasis is on fair. There is no real fairness at present, instead of designing ‘custom’ tax deductibility’s where only the top 2% gets a joy out of, why not tax EVERYONE and every business at 15% and make every tax deductible program obsolete, no hiding, no off-shoring and no complications. The current path is not working, it only works for the top 3% and they do not want change, so is adhering to them in an age of democracy not plain treason? Is America not for ALL the people (in America mind you).

By not acknowledging cycles and cold years of industry, all got sentenced to an autumn of life with only winter to look forward to, with every cycle, the autumn got longer, whilst captains of industry avoided winter, yet what came, the spring and summer are now shorter and shorter, whilst the autumn is getting longer and longer, which is doing no one any good.

This is what once was America, past summer in mid-autumn with as we see it now, 5 years of autumn ahead and possible no spring after that. When a nation is about the time past summer and only 1% gets to see the sunshine, life for a democratic option becomes less and less likely. This now gets us to the final part of the Israel debacle. As we watch USA Today (at http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2014/10/29/obama-benjamin-netanyahu-israel-iran/18106253/) we see how the White House is distancing itself from insulting comments that unnamed officials made about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a new magazine article. Distancing, not investigating, and not prosecuting, but mere distancing! The man who spoke is taking one for the team I reckon, a team I might add that once spoke so highly and still claims to speak highly on the USA – Israel bond, yet at present we see the quotes “US officials, while not confirming the reports, have recently said there are multiple combinations of ways that Iran’s breakout time could be extended, and the focus should not only be on the centrifuge numbers in a deal. The goal, US officials said, should be a deal that closes off all possible pathways for Iran to make fissile material for a nuclear weapon, either through producing weapons-grade uranium, plutonium or through a covert facility” (at http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/10/28/the-endgame-for-iran-nuclear-talks) and “Discreet, low-level intelligence sharing: The United States can degrade Islamic State from the air, but Iran is crucial to root out and destroy them on the ground, at least on the frontlines. Since Washington doesn’t talk to Tehran directly, the Pentagon still presumably coordinated airstrikes with Kurdish and Iraqi intermediaries” (at http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/10/28/the-u-s-iran-non-alliance-alliance-against-islamic-state/) all these events (including calling Benjamin Netanyahu a ‘merda di pollo‘, I used Italian to make it sound at least the tiniest fraction of diplomatic), now we see the links, as the implied brotherhood between Israel and USA is under strain, other parties seem to be brokering deals with Iran so that the current political democratic wind can leave the boots on the ground to Iran and the Obama administration is left with the statement ‘we kept OUR promise, no boots on the ground!’, a promise that was never realistic until they left that part to someone else. So how good are relations between Israel and USA as we see these developments?

This is open to debate, but as this economy continues, that what was once a great America is now for sale at Wal-Mart on isle 5 and its going cheap.

 

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About America, chapter 11

This is a short story; it is not part of a novel where you have seen the first 10 chapters. This is in all seriousness an issue when we consider Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, number 11 deals with bankruptcy.

So why take my word for this? Why am I right, when every journalist, every economist claims that this is not the case? How diluted am I to think this?

These are all valid question. Now consider the facts. The US treasury (from various sources) had collected in 2013 around 2,700 billion dollars. This seems like a lot, yet the budget as President Obama stipulated in 2012, the budget had spending set to around 3,800 billion dollar, so the US is already 1 trillion short. If we consider the total US debt at 18 trillion, meaning 18,000 billion, then the total debt would need 100% of all taxation for 6 years, an act that is totally unrealistic.

Now take this to your own homestead. I remember that I could never get a loan for a mortgage for more than 4 annual incomes. Now, this is like comparing apples to oranges, but is my train of thought so far out of bounds? It is my view that these seemingly ‘clever’ economists have been rolling their gambling dice in several ways for too long.

Consider the Dow Jones Index. We get fed the line that the economy is good, because 30 companies are doing ‘well’. Ever since the ‘dip’ it took in 2009 to 6547 (at http://stockcharts.com/freecharts/historical/djia1900.html), the Dow has ‘restored’ itself to 16743 (as per now). So, in the time when all was well, before the first economic collapse in 2004, when the Dow was 11722, and until the second collapse in 2008 when the Dow went from 14164 to 6547 in 2009, we now are in a time when many in the US are down on their luck and finances, when many all over the world are feeling the brunt of recession and other financial calamities, the almighty Dow is at 16743.

Is anyone considering the notion on how dislodged the entire Dow Jones concept is in regards to the reality of life?

Consider the following information:

– Amazon is buying Twitch for a billion Dollars in cash (at http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/25/6066509/why-it-makes-sense-for-amazon-to-buy-twitch)

– Roche to buy U.S. biotech firm InterMune for $8.3 billion in cash (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/24/us-intermune-roche-idUSKBN0GO0PI20140824)

These are two of several (read dozens) of large shopping sprees, throwing cash around like it is nothing and as these billions come into the other parties’ hands, what taxation ends up getting paid? This is at the heart of the founding issue that should keep our minds busy ‘Is America Bankrupt?

There are two sides. First there is the Sovereign Default. No matter how you twist or turn it, if a nation cannot pay its debt, it will default and should be seen bankrupt. A good example is Greece. After Europe bailed out a nation with 11 million people, by ‘giving’ it well over 300 billion, it is still complaining. The reality is that it should have been allowed to go under in bankruptcy. Not because I like it, or because I have anything against Greece (in all honesty, Crete is one of the loveliest places I ever saw). The natural cycle of economy has been ‘arranged’ (I would call it mismanaged) into cycles of only good news. You talk to any farmer, they will all tell you that no field can survive on spring and summer alone, nature is all about balance and as we threw away balance, we started to undo our own prosperity.

It is said that a business is stated as ‘insolvent’ when its debts exceed its assets.

Is that not the case here? I have stated in the past that I have reservations about the true value of LIBOR.

If we continue the question: “How much money they need to borrow from their peers to plug any holes in their balance sheets and if they have an excess of available cash, how much they can afford to lend“, which is at the heart of LIBOR (at http://citywire.co.uk/money/qanda-what-is-libor-and-what-did-barclays-do-to-it/a600479), considering that the margins had been played with in the last two years, is the idea that the total valued amount has also been tweaked?

This is all based upon an availability of actual existing Cash. But the entire system is based upon a certain value of assets and goods, as I personally see it, I do not trust that list as it is dependent on the ego of honest bankers, which seems an impossible concept and no one can produce at any given moment an exact list of it. So what value exists in all reality (not in the eager mind of a commission driven banker)?

We now get back to the Dow Jones Index. If we consider the past (when life appeared good) and the now where most of have lost a lot (if not all), then is that index not artificially driven upwards? This is not just my view; several parties, including USA Today (at http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/03/04/federal-reserve–quantitative-easing/1963539/) are showing us a view that shows an economic system that is driven upwards in artificial ways. So we now get a different view. Are all these mergers and multi-billion dollar deals we see regularly now on TV about growth, or about the top of the US industry that seems to leave the sinking ships before the system collapses.

This is at the centre of a few issues, where the US is rallying for ‘support’ whilst not showing one iota of accountability to get its budget under control. The last part is at the heart of the need to call the USA bankrupt (not because I desire it). It will cost many a lot, but is growth not depending on the downfall of others? If we consider that all together we are 100%, does our growth not depend on the need that someone else does less? That intertwining, where we ignore basic foundations that growth is not eternal, we see that there is a consequence to overinflating (yes, this also applies to my ego).

Yet, economists have time and time again stated that there is more here and there (whilst they point to virtual spaces). Now we see the heart of the problem, who has the actual 18 trillion that the US is down for? If we look at the oil links, should USA perhaps mean ‘Unionized Saudi Arabia‘? If we consider the real wealth, are they not the ones holding the oil reserves (one of the big four) and as such, the outstanding debt? I know it is not that simple, it never is, but when we ask a summary of where the debt lies; we will get some clever list from a highly educated economist and some excuse ‘that it is all a lot more complex then it looks‘.

He is not incorrect, but he is also not telling you who hold the 18 trillion the US had been spending in one way or another and as such, the realisation should now be upon you. If America is bankrupt, then what will happen next? Japan will pretty much be permanently out of commission and I reckon the UK will be in very deep waters, but we the Commonwealth must find a way to go it together if we are to survive.

It seems to me that America never realised that lesson, like several others, they all used to max out a credit card in virtual space whilst the actual, supporting currency is not there, so why has America not been declared bankrupt?

I reckon soon enough we will get more and more long winded talks, but in the end no one is sayng anything because those who will be making the speeches are at the heart of what went wrong and no one wants to hold on to that guilt when those left without their house ask them the question ‘where are my savings?‘.

 

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No Press, No Facebook!

So, another day in the life of you, the reader, me the blogger and us, the victims of big business in a way that neither of us expected.

Why are we in a stage of No Press? Well, I cannot confirm this for the UK, Canada or Europe at large, yet in Australia it started last year, the second week of November.

Most did not ever bother to look at this, but one I found (at http://www.cinemablend.com/games/PS4-Doesn-t-Block-Used-Games-Game-Rentals-60480.html) wrote the following: “A new last minute reputation management troll-rumor has surfaced online in an attempt to curb Sony’s momentum leading up to their big launch later this week“.

This is a hilarious ‘sucking-up-to-Sony’ response! So what actually happened?

In the two weeks before the launch of the PS4, Sony decided to change the terms of service (at https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/legal/software-usage-terms). I gave the information to Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10 and the Sydney Morning Herald.

NONE!
I say again NONE of them did anything about it. There was a flaccid message (to follow shortly).

So what is so important?

Sony wanted to start putting in place several issues to enforce DRM and to end certain practices. As the PS4 had not launched yet, they could not be too vocal about it, which meant that those claiming to be journalists had a duty to look into it, especially as these changes affected well over 80 million consumers globally. So either journalists only care about the boobs of Rihanna and on how people prefer fake boobs (of course, the possible silicone in a chest is always more newsworthy then the silicon chip that holds an economy).

So what is the exact issue?

Two points from the terms of agreement

  1. 3. You must not lease, rent, sublicense, publish, modify, adapt, or translate any portion of the Software.
  2. 1. You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher.

I will admit that 6.3 is badly phrased (a big no-no in any term of service agreement), but in this form it specifically targets one area of usage, which where at blockbusters one could rent a game for a week. An interesting try before you buy approach (not debating the validity or invalidity of this).

It is 7.1 that is the big issue, by agreeing to this (if you do not you lose your PSN account and online abilities) you confirm that you will not resell your games or buy second hand games. This was the big killer for Microsoft in the beginning in addition to the fact that this issue hits 80 million consumers. How is this not in EVERY newspaper? Perhaps their bosses where in the act of ‘hustle for advertisement coin’ (whoring seems like such a harsh word here).

When we look at Eurogamer (at http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-11-12-sony-reiterates-you-can-sell-and-share-your-ps4-games), we see the following: “Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida added on Twitter: ‘If you are concerned about our new European TOS, we confirm that you are able to sell or share your disc PS4 products, including in EU.’” This is the flaccid response I referred to. If this is the case, then WHY make it part of the terms of agreement? Because Sony lawyers are perhaps cheap? (They really are not!)

We do not doubt the words of the Sony CEO, yet his word can be changed in a simple board meeting, the terms of service is a legally binding document between the consumer and the corporation offering the device and the service. Why am I the one person explaining this ‘oversight’ to the press?

This is a massive issue! The impact on the software industry would be felt in several countries. The fact is that many shops are in business only because they make a few extra dollars of second hand games. If not, new games would have to rise in price. Also, there is, especially in these economic times a large group depending on cheaper game solutions. A pre-owned game, which is at times at least 50% cheaper than the new alternative is one way for some to play a few games. The simple truth is that many cannot afford a $120 game, more often; their parents also are not in possession of such spending sprees, which makes the pre-owned game market an essential part to cater for a sizeable chunk of these consumers.

The second issue is the one that we see evolving now.

I was confronted with this almost two weeks ago, but something about the list of changes seemed so horrifying that I decided not to upgrade. This is still evolving and there are genuine concerns. Yet, what is the actual truth?

If we look at the Bull (at http://thebull.cbslocal.com/2014/08/07/facebook-crosses-the-line-with-new-facebook-messenger-app/) we see the following:

  • Facebook can change or alter your connection to the Internet or cell service without telling you.
  • Facebook can send text messages to your contacts on your behalf.
  • Facebook can record audio, and take pictures and videos, at any time
  • Facebook can read your phone’s call log, including info about incoming and outgoing calls
  • Facebook can read your contact data, including who you call and email and how often
  • Facebook can read personal profile information stored on your device
  • Facebook can get a list of accounts known by the phone, or other apps you use, it can connect all your accounts and Intel together.

It is in part the worry I had when I was looking through the rights I had to agree to when installing the Facebook Messenger app, which I decided against. If I lose my messenger history, so be it!

If we consider the Sydney Morning Herald (at http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/facebook-is-forcing-messenger-app-on-users-and-they-arent-happy-about-it-20140729-zycfb.html), we see the following quote “CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed during last week’s earnings call that the company eventually wants to monetise Messenger and the app will eventually ‘overlap’ with payments, though, as TechCrunch notes, he acknowledged the company still has a lot of work to do before users will see payments cropping up in the app“. It is fair enough that people will get to pay at some point. At that point people can return to the old Yahoo Messenger, which has forever been free!

My issue here is that there is a lot more visibility here, yet why this is not the lead with every news channel as this affects BILLIONS of people is also a little beyond me.

There is of course the other side. Is what ‘the Bull’ stated true? I am not stating that they were lying, but the android permissions are at times a little out there. This view is actually reinforced by CNBC (at http://www.cnbc.com/id/101911170).

The confusion seems to have stemmed from Android. “The app when you install it, it explains in a list what it needs permission to do, and this is the list that frightened a lot people initially,’ Simons said. ‘That doesn’t mean it sort of willy nilly goes about contacting friends or recording you as you go about your day using your phone camera,’ he added.

I cannot disagree with this view, yet the truth is that just like with Sony, we agreed on something, we made a binding pact and that what is and that what could be are now intertwined and as such it is not about handholding, it is about clarity! When Big Business forces you the consumer, they will be precise (example: ‘we hereby charge you $11,732.34 to be deposited within the next 10 days‘). Yet when they would like something from you, they hide in ambiguity (example: ‘we can change all your savings into a fortune, deposit all today and the larger returns could be yours quite soon’). So, how large a deposit, how much larger, how soon? These answers would not be forthcoming until AFTER the deposit I reckon.

So where do we stand?

When we consider the issues that have plagued the tech savvy population, like the TPP, Sony, even government spending seems to be missing on the glasses of those ‘considering’ themselves to be Journalists. Another bash of that seems to have missed the larger view in news (at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/08/05/federal-spending-transparency-money-missing/13485581/).

The first quote is “the data that does exist is wildly inaccurate, according to the Government Accountability Office, which looked at 2012 spending data. Only 2% to 7% of spending data on USASpending.gov is ‘fully consistent with agencies records,’ according to the report“, which makes me wonder who is keeping track of the deficit and how much larger could it be?

The second one is “The Department of Health and Human Services failed to report nearly $544 billion, mostly in direct assistance programs like Medicare. The department admitted that it should have reported aggregate numbers of spending on those programs“, which reads like, if we aggregate numbers, you are less likely to find anything and we can hide it under a total header. Failing to report on half a trillion is a big thing, it is well over $1000 for every resident in America.

So, does that mean that the deficit of the US is a lot larger? That would indeed be news as it would put the US in a peculiar financial position, or better a position they no longer hold. I am not stating that I am right or that I am wrong (both are an option). It seems that the papers and newscasts we get bombarded with every day seem to become more and more selective on what they consider important. One article affecting 80 million (the combined population of Australia and the UK) as well as the new issue which hits over a billion people does not seems to be important. The last news of last week is one that does bear scrutiny, yet to get something from USA Today and not the Guardian or any of the Australian news bringers does pose questions.

The Facebook issue will hit us for some time and it might result in something different. The issue linked to this is whether Android has a registration system that bears scrutiny. Android has its own faults (also not too overly reported on by journalists) and just pointing the finger at Facebook is also not entirely the right thing to do.

There is also the difference on what some will do and what some could do. It is the ambiguity that is slowly getting to more and more people.

So what should the journalists be doing and what should Facebook not be doing?

 

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To be deleted!

I stumbled upon an article by Kevin McKenna that was an interesting read. It was published last Sunday (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/05/google-right-to-be-forgotten-kevin-mckennas-own-confessions). The headline caught me at first stating “Don’t hide your dark side from Google. Much better to tell all“, which works out really well for Google, but what about the person? In his ‘journey’ as a starting Facebook user, this quote seems the strongest “And I realise with mounting horror that this is how real people with normal lives interact with each other and that it is I who am out of step once more. So I fear I may soon have to conclude my Facebook experiment before I alienate that dwindling band of those who still regard me with some fondness“, but as I see it, the article never ever goes anywhere near the issue why people want things to go away. The reference “we discovered that prominent people are beginning to deploy some arcane European privacy legislation to force Google to ‘forget’ about their historical misdemeanours“, sounds funny enough, but is that it? The following reference “American financier Stan O’Neal who helped drive his bank to ruination in 2007 were ‘deleted’“.

This sounds all fun, but is Google paying Kevin for this article? You see, Mr McKenna does not get within one mile of the actual issues, the dangers that Social media brought upon us all (many were likely never a consideration when Mark Zuckerberg came up with the idea to begin with).

We get the following from Forbes “But there’s another good reason for checking out a candidate’s Facebook page before inviting them in for an interview: it may be a fairly accurate reflection of how good they’ll be at the job” (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/03/05/facebook-can-tell-you-if-a-person-is-worth-hiring/). Here is the kicker: the workplace is riddled with people not really that great in sizing other people up, a fair chunk of them in HR and upper management. I have been around for a long time, and these people look at ‘presentation’. I have met my share of managers with ‘fuck all’ (pardon my French) idea of what actually needs to be done, like most sales people they will have a nice PowerPoint, and when reality hits, they will dump it on the people who will end up doing the actual job, which often enough is not them. In addition, we see recruiters who have no idea how to be a recruiter. I used to have one that never had anything for me and actually send ME the resume of others asking if I had a job for them. Really? These people will seek you out on Facebook and judge you for what YOUR FRIENDS will post on your page?

Mr McKenna has spent absolutely no words in that regard. To those youthful young undergrad recipients, Facebook could at this point be nothing less than a career death sentence; even if those around them know that those people will work their asses off getting it all done. That part is never on Facebook and they lost out on a job. Better stated: that corporation lost out on a person who would have been one of the best Returns On Investment EVER!

CNet adds a little more (at http://www.cnet.com/au/news/facebookers-beware-that-silly-update-can-cost-you-a-job/), here we see the headline “Study shows that companies have rejected 1 in 10 people between ages 16 and 34 because of something the person shared on social media“. CNet has graphics too, so check it out. It goes in the same direction as Forbes, but there is one quote that I have heard about, but never experienced, or met anyone who directly experienced it “In January, six states officially made it illegal for employers to ask their workers for passwords to their social media accounts“.

These people should reply with the fact that many agreements state the following “You must not reveal your password and must take reasonable steps to keep your password confidential and secure“, the very fact that personal privacy is transgressed to this degree is questionable, or is it?

In USA Today (and many other papers) we see the statement “Burglars use social media to target homes” (at http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/komando/2014/01/03/social-media-identity-theft-home-videos/4248601/). It is not a new ploy, it has been around a little longer than that, but what is new is the linked approach that is slowly becoming visible.

Although at present, no ACTUAL events are currently documented, other than from the less reputable journalistic sources (Daily Mail and the Telegraph). There is more and more talk on how social media will influence your insurance claims. If you tweet your events, as might your children whilst on Vacation in a place ‘far away’, your local homestead might be missing several pricey items when you get home. Burglars keep their eyes on those who boast travel. It only takes one jealous school ‘friend’ for the parents to miss out on TV, Jewellery, computers and so forth. There is more and more talks on how insurance policies might not cover it in the near future and that mandatory alarm systems as well as spectacular premium rises are linked to these events.

So there is a massive need from many people to be forgotten all over the place!

A more long term consequence tells us (at http://healthissocial.com/healthcare-social-media-ethics/the-healthcare-insurance-impact-of-your-social-media-graph/), that social media goes so much further than that. As a data miner I have always seen this, but many are only now seeing the dangers. This article voices is perfectly by stating the following two thoughts:

What if health insurance companies realized that with whom you associate may correlate to your health and thus risk?” and “What if your online behaviour indicated (directly or indirectly) your health behaviour – either psychiatric or otherwise?“, so not only could your health care cost spike, in some cases you might not be able to get coverage as you are considered too much of a risk factor. So a person’s unadulterated need, to speak out ‘Suicidal and standing on the edge‘, might in light of their upcoming ‘healthcare premium to be’, seriously consider taking that one final step at that point.

There is one quote I saw that covers the dangers of Social Media that we should all mind “Behind every successful student , there is a deactivated Facebook account“. The issue for us all is that there is genuine truth in that statement (or status). Not because of what the student does, but because of what others do with the data and with the image incorrectly reflected. In one account I took a look at his page had references to ‘Hash Brownies’ and ‘Funky mushrooms on his bacon and egg roll this morning’. The man is a Vegan with an utter dislike for chocolate (I tend to get his chockies around Easter). So, will he see his premium rise by insurances in the future? Because SOMEONE said so?

So Mr McKenna, The ‘right to be forgotten on Google’ is not a strange concept at all, in this day and age it might be the next essential thing if we are to move forward in an affordable way.Because at this point, there is every indication that our cost of living could quite soon be linked to social media data. The worst thing is that mined data just is, and what is taken for ‘granted’ often never is, that is the one part that no cleaning pass in data mining can provide for, whoever claims it can, is in my view clearly lying.

 

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