Tag Archives: VOC

Be the bitch

We are confronted with all kinds of changes, some are trivial, some are important, but when do we get to decide what is what? Consider that Iran is now stating ‘Iran says it is ready to enrich uranium beyond nuclear deal levels‘, the news (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/06/iran-says-it-is-ready-to-enrich-uranium-beyond-nuclear-deal-levels), it is all under the guise of the reality. When the main players (the US and Europe) are showing to be the bitches of politics, what are we supposed to do? Trump talks a lot, he yells loudly (adapting poor grammar) but in the end, the US is not acting, neither is Europe, they are trying to remain delusional into the air of ‘saving’ something that had been lost some time ago. In the meantime, as no one acts Iran continues not merely by enriching Uranium, it is the other part, the ‘Saudi Arabia intercepts drones launched by Houthi militia from Sanaa‘ (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1521686/saudi-arabia) that shows a much larger danger. Even as we heard: “the drones actually destroyed in the air by systems belonging to the Arab coalition“, the fact that is being ignored by the media to the largest degree is that these drones come from Iran, there is also still the issue that there is no real evidence that Houthi forces are up to controlling them, yet that part cannot be proven at present, a proxy war that is getting more and more out of control and in this when we add the Uranium pressure, there is every chance that both Saudi Arabia and Israel will have no option but to take this to the next level and whilst the bitches of politics (USA and the EU) are sitting on the sidelines complaining, reeling and dealing for delusionary deals, Iran plays its game and even as we see that the game is badly played, we need to acknowledge that they are getting shit done because they properly anticipated that neither the US, nor Europe would actually act, indecision and incapability to act are at the centre of these non-moves.

For the US it becomes even worse as we see that there is every chance that the denial is likely to grow when we see the CBS news quote: “Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard believes that war with Iran would be “far more devastating” to the U.S. than the war in Iraq was, saying in an interview with CBS News that President Trump was “pushing us closer and closer to war with Iran”“, she is on the European side of inaction, when we see: “that nuclear agreement prevented war“, it never stopped it, it merely delayed it so that Iran could get ready and that part has been shown in several ways over the last three years alone, now that the pressure is growing we need to consider that no one wants a war, but Iran made it impossible to avoid and as they make tally of all who are willing to become the bitch by not acting, that is how we might lose this upcoming war, not merely by inaction of them, but the mere fact that these politicians are willing to grab their ankles and let happen what would happen next. They will call it: “We have reached an immediate cease fire so that a diplomatic agreement can be drawn” that will be the second sign that the war was won by Iran, if that is what you want to happen, then go ahead, but also realise that you lose whatever rights you have. I for one will align with Israel and Saudi Arabia and go to war, because that is how evil is defeated. No matter how decorated Tulsi Gabbard got to be by the Hawaiian National Guard. The world is adhering to terrorist factions too quick and too much, in all this delusional acts by humanitarian laws are becoming a joke and that needs to stop.

When the news becomes about lashing out to a rapper named Nicki Minaj, have we not lost the plot? Oh and before I forget, the fact that we saw only 18 hours ago that ‘Houthis Commit 18000 Human Rights Violations in 6 Months‘ and the fact (as far as I could tell) that only the Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper is giving the world that part, is that not a first indication on how the world has lost the plot on Human rights? And it links because Iran and Hezbollah are directly involved in funding, training and assisting Houthi forces to do that part, but these Human rights bozo’s are really not up to the part to report on that, yet their adversary (Saudi Arabia) is getting the front seat for getting a rapper perform in Saudi Arabia. It is in the realisation of these issues that we see that America and Europe have both become the bitches of others to a much larger degree than most can even fathom.

So when we see (at https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1800416/yemen-houthis-commit-18000-human-rights-violations-6-months) the stage of “the number of kidnappings and imprisonment of women and children escalated this year, accusing Houthis of systematically and physically torturing women, defaming many of them, and accusing them of unethical charges contrary to Yemeni custom and traditions” we see a much larger stage that requires intervention, but where are the Americans? Where is Europe? They cannot act because they have their own clever plan involving Iran and it is backfiring fast and much harder than they realised (failure usually does that).

How long until they comprehend that you cannot reason with a rabid dog, you put it out of its misery plain and simple. And most people are part of the problem, they elected the politicians in Europe not doing anything and in America they are optionally selecting a Democratic president who wants to talk a little more, I wonder what happens when the others are no willing to talk, when these politicians are placed on the sidelines not allowed to speak at all, how fast will the media suddenly acts as some delusional conscience? we know that they are merely the bitch of big business, but for now they are all in denial of that reality and I wonder how many people will accept that delusional stage, because when Iran gets in a first strike the caused war will be much larger and there will be no negotiating with the ones they stuck against, as well as the neighboring countries, that is the impact of a dirty bomb, it freaks out everyone, especially those living next to the place that got hit. so it will not only affect Israel and Saudi Arabia, it will then suddenly impact Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE, and that by all definitions implies the start of World War 3 when one of these nations get involved.

In the end it started not by started a war, but by refusing to act when action was essential, I wonder how the politicians will validate their own existence at that point. Yet there is a bright spot at that point, when it happen, the human rights organisations will not have any reason to be around, because the impact that we get to live through will be a clear indication that talking solves nothing and Human Rights organisations will end up being in the same stage that they were in the 17th century when the VOC was a global power, the HRA organisations will become non-existent.

Could I be wrong?

Well, that is up to you people, check your local news, your local newspapers and what they give you, who else had the Yemen story on Houthi Human Rights violations? As far as I was able to tell, not one of them had it, but several of them all had something on Nicki Minaj, some merely gave view to that UN speaker Eggy Calamari and her accusations (that so called essay) regarding Jamal Khashoggi, the media has become that polarised on the political needs for Turkey and Iran to be cut as much slack as possible and most of us are enabling this to continue.

So when that enabling attitudes starts open hostilities against Iran by Israel and Saudi Arabia, how will the news be reported, or will it at all? Will we merely see some top line report trying to make Israel and Saudi Arabia look as bad as possible as long as Iran signs some fake nuclear deal?

The pressure is rising and there is not much time before things go out of control, all because of inactions, and you better realise that really really fast.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics

The Yellowback politician

There is a phrase I initially heard on an episode of Star Trek (decades ago), the phrase goes “Do I detect a streak of yellow across the good fellows back?“, it was Dwight Schultz (aka Howling Mad Murdoch) as Reginald Barclay in an episode where he pretends to be Cyrano de Bergerac in the episode Hollow Pursuits, and weirdly enough, it all seems to fit, I know that it is just crazy coincidence, but that is just what it is, coincidence (and crazy to boot).

So when we see (in the Guardian at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/01/eu-powers-resist-calls-for-iran-sanctions-after-breach-of-nuclear-deal) the quote: ““Today I call on all of the European countries: stick to your commitment,” he said. “You committed to act as soon as Iran violates the nuclear deal; you committed to activate the mechanism of automatic sanctions that were determined by the Security Council. So I’m telling you: do it. Just do it.”” yet it seems that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is talking to a room full of deaf people, it is exactly as the headline states: ‘EU powers resist calls for Iran sanctions after breach of nuclear deal‘, you see, no matter how it falls, the initial target is not Europe, it will be Israel or Saudi Arabia, I reckon that it is 4 to 1, 80% chance Israel cops it first and only a 20% chance that Saudi Arabia does. In those odds, Europe does not have any risk and playing the waiting game and merely act out to some degree if one of the two is hit will be fine by them, it is the usual response from those graced with the constitution of a weasel. Even as we see the hollow ‘Focus is on averting further breaches and UK says it remains committed to 2015 deal‘, they merely prefer there not be any additional breaches. They ignore the fact that Iran could have temporarily halting production, they ignore that the reporting moment does not coincide with the moment Iran officially transgressed that line, they ignore that there is credible intelligence (OK, more wild rumours) that there is more than one additional unmarked enrichment site, that is all ignored, merely they prefer not to see additional breaches. When there is no skin in the game, when the economy has no real suffrage, the inaction game can be played, no matter who gets hurt.

What they fail to see is that no matter who gets hit, both Israel and Saudi Arabia have no options but to strike Iran, perhaps that is why all the arms deals were stopped? One could argue that the quote: “European leaders had urged Iran not to breach the deal, but the focus may now be on dissuading Iran from taking further, more serious steps away from the terms“, it could optionally be seen as a soft approach towards containing the fallout, quite literally so, and yet there is a first. It will be the first time when Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel as well as the true allies both have the stage where they all unite in a single need, the destruction of Iran, part of me hopes that this happens, it will be the first signal towards the EU to clean their house, it will be the first time that this union will bring fear to the heart of Turkey, they bet the wrong horse and now they become a target right next to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Whatever proxy path was optionally in play will now fall away because no nation has ever faced the wrath of both Israel and Saudi Arabia at the same time. Those who played games in that fashion have no place to run to, they have no borders to hide behind, whatever small options these players have, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Egypt and whatever sympathisers are out there in these nations, facing the wrath of both sides of borders is not a game they signed up for, as such the escalation will be swift and very violent. At that point it will be the first move of Iran to ‘suddenly’ give way to emergency meetings and sit down for some agreement, at that point the EU better sit on the side and not interfere, at that point the race will overtake manners and devour Iran. It is at that point that people like Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani will make some hopeful statement on errors made within the rank and press for a diplomatic deal and some peace conference, but it will be too late, we should not hear of it and those so called European leaders who resisted calls better get out of the way at that point, they missed the option, they scathed their duty and the should remain silent, run and become a barber or an uber driver, it is basically all they have left.

I would prefer to avoid all these complications, but the inactions of those relying on gravy trains and non-commitment have burned their own boats and their own bridges, Iran will not learn one way, so they will have to learn another way. It took me a few hours to design an optional solution to cripple their navy, I feel certain that I could take a look at their air force and airfields and give some additional fun (solving puzzles is actually a lot of fun).

And it goes beyond that, even as we see: ‘Israel preparing for possible military clash between US and Iran‘, it is more likely than not that US will halt its stance before the military clash happens, it will run to the border with all might, but not commit to an armed exchange, it will however not stand in the way of Israel and Saudi Arabia when they do strike, this differs them from the EU, the EU will do whatever they can to force any negotiation, even after a first strike by Iran, optionally via Hezbollah or Houthi forces and that makes this game a lot more dangerous this time around. As no one was able to stop Iran arming the other two, we are in the dark on how much was delivered and how these two will strike. Houthi forces will strike Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah will strike both Israel and Saudi Arabia, yet Hezbollah will more likely than not hide behind Houthi outfits, the rest is still open. As CNN reported hours ago, “Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack Tuesday on Abha International Airport, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels confirmed the drone attack and said it believed Tehran was involved in the operation“, the problem is not merely the attack on the airports, it seems that Houthi (or its Hezbollah/Iranian operators) are getting more adapt at their actions implying that the targets might change soon enough, the fact that Iran is out of options also implies that they need Houthi forces to hit Saudi Arabia harder and that is more likely than not going to happen. Until the shipments stop Saudi Arabia is facing a battle on 2-3 fronts, a third front will happen if Hezbollah openly commits towards Iran and the Al Qurayyat region. There is no intelligence to prove that, but tactically Hezbollah could use that stage to also increase pressures on Jordan and Saudi Arabia at the same time; I cannot help but wonder on how far this could escalate and I cannot stop but wonder how the ignorant inactive politicians in Europe let it come to this. They all knew what was at stake; they all left it to some proclaimed expectation of ‘US actions’ who in their current state could not even afford to go to war with the 17th century VOC (and a 17th century technology navy), their state is pretty bad. Even if they score immediate hits on Iran, it will escalate and until they get direct fire support from both Saudi Arabia and Israel, this could escalate out of proportions giving rise to serious damage to Jordan, Bahrain, and the UAE to boot. Iran will avoid pushing Qatar, but there is no guarantee that they avoid damage. It is a mess that could soon become uncontrollable; the inactions of Europe push for that scenario more and more.

I personally believe that it will come to blows within the next few weeks. I would be extremely happy if it could be avoided, yet as the present stage is, I am uncertain as to how it can be avoided, the best chance would be a first strike on Iran and see if Iran realises that they pissed off too many sides at the same time, but that is not a given. They might not have any chance to win, but they can still do loads of damage to several players and there is no denying that the IRGC is ready for battle, making a quick victory over Iran extremely unlikely, or perhaps it might be more correct to state that a quick victory is only possible through a severe impact on all fighting sides, a cornered party will do weird jumps and that has been a truth in life and nature like forever, so the entire situation is not out of reach and let’s not forget, Iran had the option to create a stage by temporary halt enrichment and they decided not to do that. As such the escalation has clearly be on their side and no matter how the stage with America was, by surpassing enrichment amounts they have clearly given the indication that they care not for the accords and they are calling the bluff of the EU and America to escalate issues further whilst ignoring the danger that either Israel or Saudi Arabia is, as such they only have themselves to blame when the damage in Iran takes on a much larger proportion than they anticipated, the question then becomes will the attacking nations stop, or will they to prevent Iranian attacks continue until Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani and their inner circles are completely removed from power. We might think that this is the best outcome, but it is not. The devil you know beats the devil you do not and in Iran there will always be another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waiting to take the highest seat of Iranian office.

One would have hoped that the yellowback politician was an extinct breed, but that is not the case and I fear that their damage will be visible for decades to come, no matter where that damage is.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics

Seeking security whilst growing anarchy

We all want national security; it does not matter whether you are American, Australian, British, Dutch, French, German or Swedish. National security is a matter that is not just set in laws; it is set in morality, in justice and in perception. Most of us are set in a stage where we are willing to give out many perks so that national security can be maintained. Many liberals grasp back at Benjamin Franklin who once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety“, I would have agreed when he allegedly wrote it in 1755. In those days the biggest fear they had was England, the Dutch trade wars (the VOC) and apparently the French to the north. It was a very different age, in a setting where a naval was not done in minutes, but hours, battle settings took a while and there was clarity on who the enemy actually was (usually the one speaking your language and not firing on you, wearing the same uniform was also a nice indicator).

In this day and age it is not given, nowadays all the wolves have onesies looking like Shaun the sheep and often we cannot tell them apart. This is the setting where oversight, surveillance, data gathering and analyses can help, in equal setting there are a few players that still cannot get their algorithms correct and they are making the same mistake that I caught a few players on in the late 80’s.

There is however a new setting, a line that has been crossed and the Washington Post gives us that setting (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/there-have-to-be-limits-lawyers-for-guantanamo-inmates-challenge-lifetime-imprisonment-without-charge/2018/07/11/f3933faa-8533-11e8-9e80-403a221946a7_story.html). the title ‘‘There have to be limits’: Lawyers for Guantanamo inmates challenge lifetime imprisonment without charge‘ gives us that part and it is one that cannot be ignored, with ‘lifetime imprisonment without charge‘, we see not the first step, but an early setting that the law is changing into ‘Guilty until proven innocent‘ and I am not sure if that is merely a wrongful step, or a desire step for large corporations to give the setting a new life in other directions as well. There can be a setting where it is easier for the courts to work on that level. You see, when a corporation has failed their SLA’s, there will not be the documentation where they can prove it, yet when we see the application to ‘lifetime imprisonment without charge‘ the setting is very much inverted from what we find acceptable. We see the Post giving us “A handful of commission cases have inched along in pre-trial proceedings for years, many of them plagued by irregularities” and it is the ‘irregularities’ where we need to seek first, you see an abused system will rely on irregularities to remain in the shadows and active, whilst it almost never has bearing on National security and it will have even less a bearing on justice or lawful settings. The question becomes where it failed. There is a second side to the Post when we realise that the quote “Justice Department lawyer Ronald Wiltsie said authorities had a responsibility to detain suspects who could pose a future threat, even if it wasn’t clear they would actually take any action against the United States” is incomplete. The fact that we are faced with ‘it wasn’t clear they would actually take any intentional action against the United States‘. You see it comes with the setting that there is no proof that they had actually taken any action against the US, if so there would be a charge and that failure falls not merely on the FBI, it falls on the CIA, the NSA (data gathering agency) and most of all the investigator looking into the matter. We can illustrate this with the weirdest of examples.

In a spreadsheet we can use a random number, so we create 5 groups, each in one column, and each having 100 random observations. Now we will test for them stating that “IF(A2<0.2,1,0)“, I am setting the stage where 80% was guilty (so basically 20% was innocent). If the number is smaller then 0.2, they are presumed innocent. We do this for the 5 groups. Then we count the groups, in the initial test no one was innocent overall, but 3 were innocent on 3 counts and 20 were innocent on two counts. Now remember, this is merely 100 ‘persons’ tested on 5 elements. When we change the setting to “IF(A2<0.25,1,0)” (a joke on the premise that 3 out of 4 all people are guilty of something) we get a different setting. Now we see that two were innocent on 4 counts, yet 10 are innocent on 3 counts and 23 are innocent on 2 counts. Intelligence software works on facts not on random numbers, but the principle is partially the same, how many flags were raised by that one person, yet now not on 5 tests, but on dozens of tests, against people, places, actions and locations at specific times and as we consider that thousands are tested, in the random setting when the number of people are large enough we will get respectfully get a group that was innocent (less than 0.2 or 0.25) on all counts, that is the impact of random.

Yet on the flags raised in real live, we either have them guilty of something, which means that there can be a trial and a charge can be made, when you see the examples next to one another and we realise that the group of all people where no flags is raised did not occur (it will with a larger test group), we need to consider the flaws we are faced with and more importantly, the setting that we open ourselves to in legislation and in law when we allow for ‘lifetime imprisonment without charge‘. So in this setting, no matter how much we want actual national security Missy Ryan makes an interesting case. We get to see the larger issue when we look at Baher Azmy, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, a group representing some of the detainees. With “Baher said the government had distorted a 2001 law authorizing U.S. military operations against al-Qaeda and affiliated forces by using it as a basis for indefinite imprisonment. He said insurgent wars, waged against small, clandestine and evolving bands of militants, could go on forever. But laws governing wars were devised with conflicts between states in mind, he said“, we are treated to the setting that we face in the upcoming decades. We are not waging was on nations, we are waging war on groups and tools. As Hezbollah is still the tool of Iran, the setting of a larger problem becomes apparent. In the first source (at https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en/hezbollah-iran-handled-shiite-militias-integrated-syrian-army-campaign-take-control-south-syria/) we see “Shi’ite forces, handled by Iran, are being integrated into the campaign currently waged by the Syrian army in south Syria. There are at least two Iraqi-Shi’ite forces (the Dhu al-Fiqar Brigade and the Abu F–al-Abbas Brigade). There are also Afghan Shi’ite fighters in the Fatemiyoun Brigade. In addition, it was reported that Hezbollah operatives also participate in the fighting, including operatives from its elite al-Radwan unit, who were sent from Lebanon“, yet when we see “According to ITIC information, Hezbollah and the Shi’ite militias (some or all) have been integrated into the various Syrian army units and do not operate as independent forces. Pictures show Shi’ite militiamen wearing Syrian army uniforms, and it is difficult to distinguish them from Syrian soldiers“, we get the danger with ‘Pictures show Shi’ite militiamen wearing Syrian army uniforms‘. So now we get the setting of ‘who is exactly waging war on who’, or is that whom?

Not being able to identify the setting gives rise that Baher Azmy has a larger issue to deal with, because any denial from the Syrian army that these people were army units, and they get identified as militia who dressed ‘wrongly’, sets the stage that the defence ‘laws governing wars were devised with conflicts between states in mind‘ can no longer be upheld and that escalates the need for a much larger Guantanamo and indeed it continues and even fortifies the setting of ‘guilty until proven innocent‘.

the second source is a week old and gives us ““Hezbollah is a fundamental participant in planning and directing this battle,” a commander in the regional alliance that backs Damascus told Reuters. “Everyone knows this – the Israeli enemy, friends, and even the Russians.”“, it is given to us by Reuters (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-iran/hezbollah-role-in-syrian-south-exposes-limits-of-us-policy-idUSKBN1JV19U), so as the enemy changes its onesie (yup that was funny) we see a whole league of Shaun the sheep and we have no idea how to deal with them in life (the other alternative is solved through hiring people with the actual ability to aim).

Now change that setting away from the current ‘debacles’ in Yemen and Syria and consider the impact when we look at the Indian view of Pakistan (at http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-terrorism-is-pak-s-business-2627746), it is not a hollow part, and there have been accusations from India and Afghanistan for the longest of times. In this setting we are given the quote: “India and Pakistan are not caught in some existential Punjabiyat love-hate relationship. Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism. No other nation has used terror so ruthlessly as an instrument of state policy as Pakistan has done for decades — principally against India but also against Afghanistan” is only the beginning. There are other headlines, even as they should be seen as no more than to illustrate that the issue exist, we cannot tell to what extent. So when we consider “The Islamic State’s flag emerges in Pakistan’s capital. How serious is the threat?” Is there a threat or is it merely a freedom of expression? So when we see the second headline ‘The terrorist group is increasingly present in Pakistan’s southern province‘, we are confronted with how to proceed, yet Reuters gives us 3 months ago “Islamic State claims attack on Christian family in Pakistan“, we see that the game changes. If state sponsored terrorism is the new ‘Letter of marque and reprisal‘, how can we proceed? Is there an actual option other than guilty until proven innocent?

What is clear is that the data crunchers will have their hands full because none of these algorithms and data gathering systems are ready for this leap. And it is not a small setting as Pakistan is a nuclear power who for the most is happy to push the button on India if need be, so the game is not merely changing, the players (Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic State et al) are aware that hiding under the roof of any government gives them options and they accept being the tool for those governments, yet the systems and our mandates are less equipped to act. Yemen has so far been an excellent example on how to not act and it will escalate beyond this. Now consider that I do agree that ‘lifetime imprisonment without charge‘ is wrong, but what options do we have? Until 2016 I believe that the data and the evidence was the weak link. Now we are in a situation where we need to wage war on three fronts, an overt one, a covert one, and a data intelligence war and we need to find a way to intertwine them and use them to find the right checks and balances. We need to evolve what we can do so that we can determine how to do things correctly, or perhaps better stated efficiently to the right opponent.

You might think that this is ludicrous, yet have you considered the actions in Yemen? They were firing missiles into Saudi Arabia, on civilian targets, yet the only thing we see is messages like ‘Yemeni security officials claimed that cluster bombs were dropped in a civilian area of the Western suburbs of the Yemeni capital Sanaa‘, whilst we see ‘after Houthi rebels fired a missile at Riyadh‘ any justification reduced to an 8 word response. The media at large does not give us: ‘Houthi rebels fired a missile on Riyadh, the Saudi Capital with over 5 million people, the fired missile could have caused the death of hundreds of people if struck correctly, Saudi Arabia reacted in the attack against its citizens‘, we do not get that do we? Yet that is the game that is the danger some face. In light of the missiles getting fired under the noses of Yemeni security officials, they need to realise that not stopping the missiles does have repercussions and innocent people will always be caught in the middle.

The change of conflict is large and it will be growing over the next decade. I am on the side of Missy Ryan in this, lifetime imprisonment without charge must be challenged and everyone needs to know about the setting we have here, but when it comes to the defence of that setting, I wonder if we have any actual option to oppose it, those who are send to that place are willing to (allegedly) support people who hide in other uniforms knowingly firing methods of termination on civilians merely because they can and because it makes them continue the fight that they believe is just for much longer. It is a dangerous setting that strips the veneer of civilisation in nearly all nations, look at France and Germany, they went through this several times. We need to set a different stage and we need to do this before we set a legal lawful setting of targeted killing and the wrong people are shot, because that will be the point of no return for all of us.

You see ‘Guilty until proven innocent‘ (forced or not) is merely a first step, when that setting is entered in stone we get the second danger, when cyber-attacks removes the option to prove innocence, what do you think happens next? It is what I personally believe to be the setting stage for chaos leading to anarchy and there the game changes again, because most governments have cut on so many parts in infrastructure that most cannot overcome anarchy for a much longer time forcing the hands of many governments, especially in Europe and I feel certain that some of the players behind the screens realise that too and they might just be banking on it.

 

1 Comment

Filed under IT, Media, Military, Politics, Science

Vision or imagination

The Guardian brought an interesting article, one with far reaching consequences. At https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/13/great-barrier-reef-tourism-spokesman-attacks-scientist-over-slump-in-visitors, we see a few things and it is time that some people are put in front of a hearing committee where they get to answer very direct questions. Fail even one answer and we will confiscate whatever they own and they get to do hard labour for double digit years. Initially, my mind was even less nice. I mistook his first name Col for Colonel, so I was ready to put him in front of a firing squad without a sense of hesitation.

Well, there was hesitation, because I always want evidence, evidence is crucial here, and as the persons have been speaking out, they have the right to a defence, I do believe that any person has the right to defend themselves.

So what gives?

The by-line is actually the one that gives the immediate goods. With “Col McKenzie calls on government to stop funding work of Terry Hughes, saying tourists ‘won’t do long-haul trips when they think the reef is dead’“, to which my initial response is ‘are you fucking kidding me?‘ You see, we have seen the news from several sources and the reef is in serious danger. The quote from Terry Hughes giving “In April 2016 Hughes made international headlines after releasing his final report on extensive aerial and underwater surveys, which showed that of the surveyed reefs (911 individual reefs), only 7% had escaped coral bleaching.” it gives that 93% of these reefs has coral bleaching. So when I read “McKenzie said that gave the impression the reef was “dead”. “All driven off the back of the negative comments made by a researcher paid entirely by commonwealth funds“, my initial thought is to curse at McKenzie like a sailor for an hour after which I can add that 93% of the reef might not be clinically dead, but it is on life support, whilst there is no medical aid given to the reef. And let there be no mistake, the moment the reef is showing to be dead, incomes will stop to a much larger degree than those exploiters think it will.

The second quote by Hughes gives us: “His Science paper, published on 5 January, found that coral bleaching events were now happening too regularly to allow the reef to adequately recover” that gives evidence that Canberra has let this happen. By listening to Dick McKenzie (eh sorry, I meant Col), they have again and again given preference to corporate exploitation above the environmental needs.

Is that actually true?

Well, that is also under debate, you see with “tourism representatives and operators like McKenzie should stop blaming scientists for reporting what was happening to the reef and start targeting major polluters to ensure change” as well as “his most recent peer-reviewed articles in Science and Nature, which deal with the increased incidence of coral bleaching as a result of rising sea temperatures“. So the issue is clearly larger. The question comes how are the temperatures rising? Is it merely polluters or is there a larger issue. You see, at some point we had ‘The 2,300km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral‘, I am talking in the past tense, because are there still over 600 types of hard and soft coral? More important, how is such a large space affected to the degree of 93%?

There is evidence that damage is being done, and some of it by Australians. I think it is time for some laws to change. That was seen in the Cairns Post yesterday (at http://www.cairnspost.com.au/lifestyle/boating-and-fishing/two-fishermen-banned-from-fishing-on-the-great-barrier-reef-after-multiple-offences/news-story/7e187e89b4eeaca194e45fa060ad6d84) we see: “During a recent patrol blitz during the Christmas-New Year period, GBRMPA and partner agencies detected 41 instances of people fishing in the wrong zones, including no-take areas“, I suggest that we change a few laws, like setting the minimum fishing ban of 5 years when caught in a ‘no-take‘ zone and if Col McKenzie is serious about keeping the reef viable and healthy than he will move for this law change, or he can shut up and take a long walk on a short peer. You see people like Col McKenzie are what I consider to be ‘greed driven‘. Now, this might seem harsh, but let me explain. The Courier Mail gave us part with “The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, which represents 110 operators, said it was concerned about back-to-back mass bleaching but more worried about “doomsday scientists’’“, so is Prof Hughes a doomsday scientist? When you show that only 7% of the 911 reefs have escaped bleaching, there is a massive issue, if these numbers can be verified it should count as evidence. It in addition shows Col McKenzie to be an utter idiot, him hiding behind ‘his’ AMPTO, where 110 exploiters are trying to get in the last pennies for as long as they can, because it is their livelihood. In addition serious questions should be asked at the office of the GBRMPA and their chief scientist David Wachenfeld. He is now in my view accountable. He must now show, with scientific certainty where his ‘more optimistic‘ is founded on. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority should now be held responsible for their actions and give evidence on how the reef will restore, and as the article (at http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/great-barrier-reef-row-heats-up-as-coral-bleaching-puts-natural-wonder-under-pressure/news-story/be89af3077ec6d14bf913fce750f2196) gives us “Whatever we do locally, this is a global issue“, I see it as a political cowardly backdoor stating that the damage came from outside Australia. Now, yes, there are global ramifications and there is no denying that, yet how was this part affected, by what factors? The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is unlikely to have clear scientific data, merely political excuses and speculations. Now for the most that is not wrong or out of line, but when I see “more worried about “doomsday scientists’’“, they can now either clearly show that the work of Professor Hughes is flawed and in error, or the GBRMPA will be demanded to get a new chief scientist replacing David Wachenfeld by April 1st, which will be a nice joke for all around.

Don’t get me wrong, I am fine if Wachenfeld is able to show clearly that the work of Hughes is flawed, yet as the technical journals are peer reviewed, I think that he knows that this is not the case. In addition, as the work is published, there can be clear publications on where the work was wrong and that the results would be overly negative. If he fails, then it is bye bye David, and do feel free to take Col with you on the way out. And with “He said reports 93 per cent of the reef was bleached and dead in 2016” as well as “It turned out to be totally inaccurate. We’ve seen positive signs of healthy recovery and vibrant corals along the length of the reef.” we see the lie that he is hiding behind. I used the same path to show one thing; this is why I used it in the earlier part. You see, the EXACT quote was: “the surveyed reefs (911 individual reefs), only 7% had escaped coral bleaching“, which is in the centre of it. You see, he states that 7% escaped bleaching, ONLY 7% escaped it. The 93% has therefor bleaching to various degrees I imagine. So he does not state that 93% is dead, but that 7% is not bleached and that is clearly a very dangerous situation, especially as sea temperatures are allegedly still rising. The guardian had it right; the Courier Mail quoting Tom McKenzie has been trying to flim flam the people around him. I see it because he currently has skin in the game.

How about the Irish terrier?

Well, at the end I will add his paper(s), in the first one we see “We focus here on reefs that have lost their capacity to remain in or return to a coral-dominated state“, which we see in the paper ‘Rising to the challenge of sustaining coral reef resilience‘. So when we look at the future research of such reefs we see the mention: “An improved understanding of the processes and mechanisms that build or erode resilience is urgently required, in order to predict and avoid undesirable phase-shifts (or to regain a coral-dominated phase). Building the empirical evidence for feedbacks, thresholds and hysteresis needs to be a key focus. Reducing fast and slow drivers of change, where feasible, is a major research and policy challenge“, he clearly tells us that he does not have all the answers on how to fix it (if it could be fixed), but understanding the elements in play is a first requirement. He also shows us two pictures (on page 634) with the caption: “A phase shift from a coral-dominated seascape to a sediment-laden system dominated by macroalgae. Both photographs are from the same site on the inner central Great Barrier Reef, indicated by the hilly backdrop.“, so how many would go to any of the 110 operators to go diving to admire algae? You can just get a fishbowl and watch it grow in your own bedroom. No trip to the Great Barrier Reef required. Next to the pictures he shows on how coral dominance reverts to algae dominance, he here mentions elements like Overfishing (which validates my fishing ban of 5 years), nutrients as well as climate change. Well, we all agree that climate change is a global player, so we can, not now, or ever give a marker on that solution, but we can on over fishing and nutrients. You see, if there is less fish, they (the algae) will have more to eat, or will be unable to keep the waters algae clean, so algae can grow to more and grow there much faster. So perhaps I am really light by giving the fishers in the no-take zone a mere 5 year ban. We might consider confiscating their boat and goods. You see, if a ship’s captain cannot tell where he is, he has not mastered navigation and he should not have a boat, or better stated be its captain in the first place. If a captain is intentionally fishing in a no-take zone, because the fish is much better there, then he is endangering the environment. In this case, the environment that over 110 operators relies upon, so they are also endangering economic circumstances in Queensland, so again we can take his boat and leave him with the debt to work off as an Uber driver. That should set the other captains right overnight. And as it benefits 110 operators, Col McKenzie should request that change to be pushed into law. Should he back down then we have additional evidence that he is merely in it for his own petty needs.

On page 635 the Irish terrier educates us on coral health. With “To date, most overviews and meta-analyses of coral reef status have focused on death of corals, rather than why they have lost their capacity to recover from recurrent shocks. In a demographic context, mortality is only one side of the coin. Changes in fecundity, fertilization success, larval dispersal, and recruitment have played a major role in promoting shifts in abundances and species composition, but replenishment processes have been virtually ignored in comparison to the attention lavished on death and destruction“, which is an interesting part because in that earlier statement Col hid behind the 93% dead (hiding is what I would call it). Hughes tells us that 7% is alive and well, which is not the same and here the important part is seen, because if it is about the health of the reef, it should be about the replenishment processes and the cycle to return to a Coral dominated state, preferably mostly free of algae. Yet there is also critical views to be had (by yours truly, or ‘me’). You see, in my uneducated marine biology mind, I see a flaw on page 636. Here we see: “Bruno et al. [20] proposed that 50% cover by macroalgae represents a reasonable indicator of a phase-shift to dominance by macroalgae. Using this cutoff, they conclude that phase-shifts to macroalgae have occurred infrequently across the world’s coral reefs, because the mean cover of macroalgae (pooled across all sampled sites, habitats, reefs and all years between 1996 and 2006) is typically less than 50%“, now from my point of view this is specific to the Caribbean’s. There are larger environmental differences with the Great Barrier Reef, so even as we agree that as a point of reference it should be valued, can we agree that the elements remain the same? So if we agree that the Caribbean and Florida Keys have other elements, the Great Barrier Reef itself has optional additional indicators and elements that we have not considered? In light of the uniqueness of the Great Barrier Reef it is highly unlikely that it is hindered by fewer indicators.

So when we look at the figure on page 636, we see the three areas and the setting of algae and coral. So people like Col McKenzie will see that as an indicator that the corals are healthy in the reef, yet the part he forgets is that the other two have been exploited and brought damage upon by the events that gave the VOC (Dutch East India Company) growth, Dutch traders went into those regions to grow their wealth as well and as such a massive wave of exploitation became fact. The VOC would in comparison be the largest corporation in history. Its value in today’s coin would be in excess of $7.25 trillion, which is larger than Apple, Google, Rothschild’s wealth and Amazon together. There is no way that they would not have a disastrous impact on the local corals and its health. Consider thousands of foreign treasure seekers, moving there within a short time span, impacting its environment in a mere decade, all needing food, nearly all of them plundering Corals and local flora and fauna to make into trinkets, consumer goods and sell whatever they can. The problem here is that there are no records. There is no paper stating how many thousands of coral necklaces were made as polished coral looked like Gemstones and sold as much in Europe. Now this is partially speculation from my side. But is there any evidence that the Coral part of the Caribbean’s was not 15%, but a lot higher before 1600? So if that would be true, how is the interaction of algae now versus then? Would it be fair to state that there might have been additional options to push the algae domination to revert back to corals?

On page 637 we see not merely the flaw of Australian government but the carelessness that they have shown. With “Systematic monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) began in 1992, decades after two major outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish and the earlier degradation of near-shore reefs due to increased runoff of sediment and nutrients in the 19th and 20th centuries“, showing clearly that the Australian elected governments were at least two decades late to the party. That callous disregard for the health of this reef is now resulting in a near death experience for the same said reef.

The professor also takes a look at the Diadema antillarum, or sea urchin. These little blighters have lovely spines and they are well known devourers or algae, which is good for the algae. On page 638 we see how the population of these critters took a massive dive in 1984, from well over 15 per M2, they have sunk to below 5 per M2, so that also impacts Algae as it can grow much more freely and impact Corals to a much larger degree. So as the ecology is pushed out of its balance we see the impact on a few levels and the last part was based on nearly 3500 records from 74 published sources.

The entire report is 25 pages and shows massively more parts that should scare the 100 operators to near death. In addition it shows not only the invalidity of the words of Col McKenzie, it shows that his actions against this research shows that he is merely an exploiter of the reef and as such he should not be given any regards (as I personally see it). That is, unless he can give us clear scientific data that opposes Professor Hughes and his work. Yet this work refers to 112 other academic works, so unless there is clear scientific evidence coming from David Wachenfeld (who might want to remain employed past April 1st), we need to really realise that the reef is in a serious dangerously unhealthy place and much harder actions are required.

From my point of view, based on the published parts, I am appalled that people like Col McKenzie are playing politics with a reef that is in mortal danger to a growing degree, the fact that David Wachenfeld is much more optimistic might be fine, but only if he comes on the record on the clear evidence driven reasoning of that. It should be peer reviewed, for the mere reason that the GBRMPA (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) should be about the reef and keeping it safe, not cater to its exploiters (loosely stated). Now we understand that these operators (not just the 110 on the side of Col) want a healthy reef, it is their bread and butter. Yet the reality is that there is clear evidence that there is an issue and it needs to be addressed. In equal measure the work of Terry Hughes must be critically examined by his peers. Last there is the doomsday part. We need to see who those doomsday speakers are, because the media is not beyond a misquoted reference or two. In some cases it happens unintentional in some cases less so. Playing politics with the Great Barrier Reef should not be allowed, there should be a law against it. It is perhaps one of the few rare times where I want the environmental parties to be in charge.

The paper I am adding has a lot more interesting sides, it is linked to a BBC story (at http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20140916-the-corals-that-come-back-from-the-dead), with “Mumby concurs. “It makes us realise that some corals have a number of strategies to cope with stress that we don’t understand very well,” he says. “That is good news and we now need to understand exactly how they do it.”“. I am willing to accept that the life and death cycle of Corals is perhaps a lot larger and when we consider that we all accept that there are unknown parts, we should equally consider that there is still a question mark residing with the work of Terry Hughes. Is there a chance that there a much more complex interaction of life and death for corals? Perhaps that is true and that might be on the mind of Professor Hughes as well, yet can we take that chance? If we are wrong, we lose the reef and perhaps one of the largest and one of the most unique biome on the planet. Would you want to be the politician who signed off on taking risks with its existence?

So if we accept that 93% shows bleaching to some extent, can we remain to be callous if we are clearly shown that there are dangers and the only way to give guarantee that the Great Barrier Reef truly survives is to limit the risk factors that it is currently exposed to

That’s not doom saying, that is playing it safe for the generations of people that follow us.

Hughes et al 2010

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Politics, Science

United Nations going overboard

I could not believe my ears when I was watching the news this morning. It actually enraged me. The UN advice is that the Dutch feast of St. Nicholas is racist and should be stopped. I grew up in the Netherlands! As a kid, with other kids we looked forward to St. Nicholas as his companions. His companions were handing out hands filled with candy. Pepper nuts, lollies and chocolade letters. Then St. Nicholas would judge us to be good or bad and we would get a present. They were magical years. Of course, when we get around 10, we knew he was not real. We all bragged that we would on THAT year we would tug his fake beard! But of course, when the moment was there, we all chickened out! In part because we still wanted our present I reckon. I was lucky! My dad was Dutch, my mum was British, so I got two parties! Yay to being young in those days. There is an additional thought, when were too old to receive those presents, we hoped that WE would be chosen to get suited up and sooted up, to play ‘Black Pete’ (Zwarte Piet). Then we were the ones giving out candy, handing over the presents. If this was truly about discrimination, do you think we would be so happy to volunteer?

So why this circus? We never thought of discrimination. St. Nicholas dressed as a bishop, his assistants (sometimes named companions) in moorish outfits from the 16th century. Outfits, that were very like the outfits many (black and caucasians) wore in the 16th century. It was Spanish fashion. So why this circus?

A national feast that has been going on for over close to two centuries? If so, then why is Sana Claus acceptable? Is he not that guy who has slave labour going on, Elvish slaves working an a sweat shop to make all the toys for children all year long? Is the honourable Verene Shepherd a little too hypocritical here? All up in arms about discrimination, but sweatshops and slave labour is OK?

The fun fact is that the Dutch outlawed slave trade HALF A CENTURY before America, how is that for insight? Also, slaves were illegal in the Netherlands, which was never the case in America. Yes, I admit that the Dutch were huge in the slave trade in them ‘good old days‘ of the VOC ‘Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie‘. and guess what, the Dutch were the traders, the Americans needed a product and the Dutch traders supplied. If this angers you, well, fair enough, but remember, this was 360 years ago. If we want to get that ‘historic’, perhaps the honourable Verene Shepherd would like to be slightly less sanctimonious and start a trial case against the current American administration? You see, the original inhabitants were displaced, disowned and retrenched again and again. Breach of contract upon breach of contract. A small (extreme rough) esitmate tells us that the Native American population is due 54,000,000 acres American of agricultural and hunting grounds. If the Chairperson of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent would be so kind as to start those proceedings and after that we will consider her plea for abolishing a childrens party, which has forever been all about joy and never about discrimination.

But perhaps this was not about the discrimination and all about ‘the’ party. I had to hear for almost a decade how people from EA, Ocean, Mindscape and a few other bitch about the feast of St. Nicholas. It was not about the feast, but about the timing. You see these boys were all ready for the christmas feast and never for the feast of St. Nicholas, so for a long time small toy firms made decent coin on that time. For the bigger players like Mattel, it never mattered as barbie was timeless (perhaps it still is), but many complained.

So why this much hassle about something that has never been about racism?

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics