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The Australian Catastrophic Colliding Canine

I tend to keep my eyes on Europe, mainly because what impacts the UK today will have an impact on Australia a week later; in addition to that, what happens in Japan today when it comes to consumer electronics and mobile events will get to Australia 3-5 years later. In that respect having a larger view on matters is essential to keep an eye on what could become an impact tomorrow.

Yesterday was different, with ‘Regulation needed to save Australian journalism from Facebook and Google, watchdog says‘ we see the impact for Australia now and to be honest, I can’t stop laughing at present. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/11/regulation-needed-to-curb-facebook-and-google-competition-watchdog-says)

When I read: “Rod Sims, said the digital platforms inquiry, which delivered its preliminary report in December, reveals that the market power enjoyed by the digital behemoths is weakening Australian media“, the giggles increase. Especially when we consider ‘the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news’, well we could consider that the Australian media is for the most not doing that either. For the most Australian media is weakening Australian media plain and simple. To name but a one issue, October 2012, I alerted the media to an issue impacting 30 million gamers within the commonwealth. I directly alerted Channel 7, Channel 9 and the Sydney Morning Herald; the all ignored it to the largest degree. There were clear screenshots on how the impact was given, yet the left it on the left of what was important. A change by Sony for their gaming community 3 weeks before the PS4 was released, they all (except for the Australian Guardian) ignored it for the most, and perhaps it was not news? What they (as I personally see it) intentionally ignored is that the Sony Terms of Service is a legally binding contract, the mention of a memo is merely a piece of paper that could be ignored the very next directors meeting. The press needed advertisement dollars and Sony is high on that list of needs, PlayStation 4 was big bucks, plain and simple. In addition there were debatable reviews of Microsoft for the period of two years and the least said about Apple the better, as I see it Australian Media is its own worst enemy. It is my personally view to size up global media as a collection of prostitutes with a priority towards the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers, the audience comes in 4th position at best. So when I see: “However, while taking the lion’s share of advertising revenue, the platforms are not creating any original, quality Australian news“, we need to wonder where Australian quality news is found. I will agree that this is found at SBS and ABC, but they are the two exceptions to all this.

When the British Daily Mail gives us on the 9th of February “Respected Channel 7 news reporter Emily Angwin (pictured) was said to be furious at a number of work emails questioning the integrity of the newsroom in Melbourne” is anyone actually surprised? Is it true? We cannot tell because in many ways most of the Australian media is no longer that reliable. And from my vantage point it becomes worse when we go to https://au.news.yahoo.com/. Here we see above the fold ‘Hero pitbull breaks out of home to find help for owner during gas leak‘, ‘Restaurant blames waitress for ‘incredibly racist’ receipt‘, and ‘‘Whoah!’ Man’s breath test returns ‘biologically impossible’ result‘. This is the kind of emotional reporting that gives news a bad name. Compare that to abc.net.au where we see: ‘Global drug trafficking operation run out of Villawood detention centre, phone taps reveal‘, ‘Missing persons expert slams investigation of young mother’s suspected homicide‘, as well as ‘Why the AWU wants to question Michaelia Cash in court over union raids‘. So one is clearly about news, the other is about creating emotional events. I let you decide which is which, and as we take notice of: “Given all this, it is also vital that media businesses are not disadvantaged through the exercise of market power or other mechanisms that make it difficult for them to compete on their merits” We see that the there is another case in dispute. The dispute is ‘media businesses‘ versus ‘journalism‘, so I hope that the ACCC realises that not only are they not the same, they are at present mere dimensions apart.

And questions need to be asked at the Channel 9 address as well. We can agree that the headlines are better than those of Channel 7 when we see: ‘Exclusive: Vampire Killer Tracey Wigginton’s disturbing new posts‘, ‘Man found with gunshot wound to his stomach in Melbourne’s north-west‘, as well as ‘Snorkeller found dead on sea floor off Mornington Peninsula‘, yet there too we have issues as every news item gives us headers and banners of advertisement. News is news and the main players have resorted to self-indulgence of advertising, reloading at every page. The journalism is merely second best at best.

It becomes a different puppy when we look at the mention “The financial viability of these businesses is also not assured as demonstrated by BuzzFeed and Vice recently announcing redundancies in Australia, as well as worldwide“, you see from my point of visibility, we see the Wikipage part (for mere illustration) where the visible information is: “Originally known for online quizzes, “listicles”, and pop culture articles, the company has grown into a global media and technology company, providing coverage on a variety of topics including politics, DIY, animals, and business.” Now, I have seen those buzzfeeds on my Facebook page and I decided not to give them any consideration (as a news source). Even as we now see (I was honestly not aware) “In late 2011, Buzzfeed hired Ben Smith of Politico as editor-in-chief, to expand the site into serious journalism, long-form journalism, and reportage.” We can accept and appreciate that Buzzfeed was taking a serious gander into journalism, yet when people are not aware (or another part of them has created more awareness), we get the impact of consideration versus awareness and non-awareness loses clicks, it is that simple, and the same applies for Australian sources. For the most, the only Australian sources I give consideration to are: ABC, SBS, the Guardian (Australian edition) and that is pretty much it; the rest is too often a waste of time. When we are serious about news, we go to the places where they offer it, not where they claim to offer it. That is how I personally see it and I use the Guardian as a source (as it is free) and I neglect the Times (most often) as I am not a paid subscriber and I feel it is money not greatly spend when I am, like most others on a budget, as such it is not money I have available to do that. It is an important factor as I am merely one of many that need to get by on a budget, that too impacts the news and the ACCC is a little ignorant on that part as well.

They might want to strike out at Google and Facebook. Yet Google News gives us ALL the headlines, from almost every source and that links to the local news articles. So when we see “The preliminary report recommended a powerful new authority to oversee the commercial activities of Google and Facebook” My question becomes ‘How is that going to make a difference?‘ In the end this is not about journalism, but about media and they are not the same, if the ACCC wants to make an actual impact, looking at the quality of journalism we will see that Australia will be left with the Guardian, ABC and SBS. When we were introduced to: “The Turnbull government has announced a funding freeze for the ABC but a boost for the Special Broadcasting Service“, whilst the boost is a mere $14.6 million over two years, when we realise that this all reads like a joke, how useless is the ACCC in all this and whilst we see the decimated pool of journalists, what are they doing (apart from wasting our time on something that the seemingly see as a waste of effort and budget), it is from my point of view a mere article on the foundation that reads: “Australian media is seen as irrelevant, we do not know what to do“, and it is shown against the likes of Facebook and Google, where we need to realise that they are also two different dimensions. Facebook is a mass advertisement channel, a channel that assumes that they know what their granular population wants through scripted likes and the scripted likes of the connections of that person, and Google shows the news in directions that the people searched in, or searched for. One is budget based, the other is user keywords based and the ACCC is seemingly in the dark on the fact that for the most people no longer see Australian media as relevant. That is shown a mere 34 seconds ago when I searched for “Channel 7 News” in the News tab, I was treated to: ‘Channel 7 presenter makes heartbreaking plea‘, ‘Ripped bodybuilder ends TV interview on a wild note‘, as well as ‘Caesarean birth to be broadcast live on Channel 7‘. As I see it, when it comes to visibility is seems to me that Channel 7 has a lot to learn as to the bidding on keywords as well as their methodology on how to properly position news, as well as their approach on how they want to present the ‘news’ (https://7plus.com.au/seven-news-sydney), for most people a 44 minute newscast is not the way to go (having one is still important for many though).

In the end, as I see it, the ACCC is up against the image of certain channels, their digital policies, as well as the approach they have towards news and advertisers. It is becoming less about journalism and merely about the positioning of media which is done tremendously below average. If you want to see how it should be done, watch The Guardian (UK) and BBC News (also UK), for those with language skills, the Dutch Volkskrant (at https://www.volkskrant.nl/), as well as The Swedish SVT (at https://www.svt.se/). As I personally see it Australian media has a lot to learn and that lacking part is not up to the ACCC, apart from them bashing the Australian media from drowning people in advertisements to a level that is just making them irrelevant. It is merely my point of view and I might be wrong, yet I personally do not think so. The foreign amount of visitors to the Guardian, the NY Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the French Le Monde (at https://www.lemonde.fr/) are indicative of my views.

So in all that, how are regulations going to solve anything in any near future?

 

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The Good, the Bad, and North Korea

This article is late in the making. There is the need to be first, but is that enough? At times it is more important to be well informed. So let’s start with the good. The good is that if there is a nuclear blast, North Korea need not worry. The game maker Bethesda made a management simulator called Fallout Shelter. You can, on your mobile device manage a fallout shelter, get the goods of food, energy and water. Manage how the people procreate and who gets to procreate. Fight off invaders and grow the population to 200 people, so with two of these shelters, North Korea has a viable solution to not become extinct. The bad news is that North Korea has almost no smart phones, so there is not a device around to actively grow the surviving community. Yes, this matter, and it is important to you. You see the Dutch had some kind of a media tour around 2012. There were no camera’s allowed, still the images came through, because as the cameras were locked away, the military and the official escorts were seemingly unaware that every journalist had a mobile with the ability to film. The escorting soldier had never seen a smartphone before in his life. So a year later, we get the ‘fake’ news in the Dutch Newspaper (at https://www.volkskrant.nl/buitenland/noord-korea-beweert-smartphone-te-hebben-ontwikkeld-niemand-gelooft-het~a3493503/) that North Korea finished ‘their’ own local smartphones. This is important as it shows just how backwards North Korea is in certain matters.

The quote “Zuid-Koreaanse computerexperts menen dat hun noorderbuur genoeg van software weet om cyberaanvallen uit te voeren, zoals die op banken en overheidswebsites van eerder dit jaar. Maar de ontwikkeling van hardware staat in Noord-Korea nog in de kinderschoenen“, stating: “South Korean computer experts believe that their northern neighbour knows enough of software to instigate cyber-attacks, such as those on banks and Government websites earlier this year. But the development of hardware in North Korea remains in its infancy“. I believe this to be a half truth. I believe that China facilitates to some degree, but it is keeping its market on a short leash. North Korea remains behind on several fronts and that would show in other fields too.

This is how the two different parts unite. You see, even as America had its hydrogen bomb in 1952, it did not get there in easy steps and it had a massive level of support on several fronts as well as the brightest minds that this plane had to offer. The same could be said for Russia at the time. The History channel of all places gives us “Opponents of development of the hydrogen bomb included J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the fathers of the atomic bomb. He and others argued that little would be accomplished except the speeding up of the arms race, since it was assumed that the Soviets would quickly follow suit. The opponents were correct in their assumptions. The Soviet Union exploded a thermonuclear device the following year and by the late 1970s, seven nations had constructed hydrogen bombs“, so we get two parts here. The fact that the evolution was theoretically set to 7-10 years, the actual device would not come until much later. The other players who had nowhere near the academic and engineering capacity would follow close to 18 years later. That is merely an explosion, something North Korea is claiming to consider. With the quote “North Korea’s Foreign Minister has said the country may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific“, we need to realise that the operative word is ‘may‘. Even then there will be a large time lapse coming. Now, I am not trying to lull you into sleep. The fact that North Korea is making these steps is alarming to a much larger scale than most realise. Even if it fails, there is a chance that, because of failed safety standards, a setting that is often alien to North Korea, wherever this radiation is, it can impact the biological environment beyond repair; it is in that frame that Japan is for now likely the only one that needs to be truly worried.

All this still links together. You see, the issue is not firing a long range rocket; it is keeping it on track and aiming it precisely. Just like the thousands of Hamas rockets fired on Israel with a misfiring percentage of 99.92% (roughly), North Korea faces that same part in a much larger setting. You see ABC touched on this in July, but never gave all the goods (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-06/north-korea-missile-why-it-is-so-difficult-to-intercept-an-icbm/8684444). Here we see: “The first and most prominent is Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, which the US has deployed in South Korea. THAAD is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles in the terminal phase of flight — that is, as the ballistic missile is re-entering the atmosphere to strike its target. The second relevant system is the Patriot PAC-3, which is designed to provide late terminal phase interception, that is, after the missile has re-entered the atmosphere. It is deployed by US forces operating in the region, as well as Japan.” You see, that is when everything is in a 100% setting, but we forget, North Korea is not there. You see, one of the most basic parts here is shown to undergrads at MIT. Here we see Richard C. Booton Jr. and Simon Ramo, executives at TRW Inc., which would grow and make military boy scouts like Northrop Grumman and the Goodrich Corporation. So these people are in the know and they give us: “Today all major space and military development programs recognize systems engineering to be a principal project task. An example of a recent large space system is the development of the tracking and data relay satellite system (TDRSS) for NASA. The effort (at TRW) involved approximately 250 highly experienced systems engineers. The majority possessed communications systems engineering backgrounds, but the range of expertise included software architecture, mechanical engineering, automatic controls design, and design for such specialized performance characteristics as stated reliability“, that is the name of the game and North Korea lacks the skill, the numbers and the evolved need for shielded electronic guidance. In the oldest days it would have been done with 10 engineers, but as the systems become more complex, and their essential need for accuracy required evolution, all items lacking in North Korea. By the way, I will add the paper at the end, so you can read all by yourself what other component(s) North Korea is currently missing out on. All this is still an issue, because even as we see that there is potentially no danger to the USA and Australia, that safety cannot be given to China and Japan, because even if Japan is hit straight on, it will affect and optionally collapse part of the Chinese economy, because when the Sea of Japan, or the Yellow sea becomes the ‘Glowing Sea’, you better believe that the price of food will go up by 1000% and clean water will be the reason to go to war over. North Korea no matter how stupid they are, they are a threat. When we realise just how many issues North Korea faces, we see that all the testosterone imagery from North Korea is basically sabre rattling and because they have no sabres, they will try to mimic it with can openers. The realisation of all this is hitting you now and as you realise that America is the only player that is an actual threat, we need to see the danger for what it is, it is a David and Goliath game where the US is the big guy and North Korea forgot their sling, so it becomes a one sided upcoming slaughter. It is, as I see it diplomacy in its most dangerously failed stage. North Korea rants on and on and at some point, the US will have no option left but to strike back. So in all this, let’s take one more look, so that you get the idea even better.

I got this photo from a CNN source, so the actual age was unknown, yet look at the background, the sheer antiquity that this desktop system represents. In a place where the President of North Korea should be surrounded by high end technology, we see a system that seems to look like an antiquated Lenovo system, unable to properly play games from the previous gaming generation, and that is their high technology?

So here we see the elements come together. Whether you see Kim Jong-un as a threat, he could be an actual threat to South Korea, Japan, China and Russia. You see, even if everything goes right, there is a larger chance that the missile gets a technology issue and it will prematurely crash, I see that chance at 90%, so even as it was fired at the US, the only ones in true peril are Japan, South Korea, Russia and last China, who only gets the brunt if the trajectory changes by a lot. After which the missile could accidently go off. That is how I see it, whatever hydrogen bomb element they think they have, it requires a lot of luck for North Korea to go off, because they lack the engineering capacity, the skills and the knowhow and that is perhaps even more scary than anything else, because it would change marine biology as well as the aftermath as it all wastes into the Pacific ocean for decades to come. So when you consider the impact that sea life had because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the longest time, now consider the aftermath of a bomb hundreds of times more powerful by a megalomaniac who has no regards for safety procedures. That is the actual dangers we face and the only issue is that acting up against him might actually be more dangerous, we are all caught between the bomb and an irradiated place. Not a good time to be living the dream, because it might just turn into a nightmare.

Here is the paper I mentioned earlier: booten-ramo

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The finality of French freedom

Even as the world is looking at the Dutch elections, we see initially that the biggest fear in the Netherlands is gone. Geert Wilders is still number 2, yet the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) did not lose as many seats as initially expected. This is good for the current Prime Minister, yet not as good for Geert Wilders as other parties had vowed not to work with him, no matter how many seats they got. Well, the initial numbers are out and now we see that the Netherlands will have some tough times. To get the next Cabinet to work they will need 4 parties, which becomes a small issue. The easiest alliance would be involving the CU (Christian Union), yet any medical ethical issue would cause concern on a few levels (the usual suspects like the pill, abortion, prolife issues). The second option is with the Green Left party (GroenLinks), which is predominantly youth driven, here the VVD will have some issues and there seems to be a level of unwillingness to work together. Now, the first option gives only one seat in majority, the second option gives a little more space to breath, but neither is a great match, both are decent matches. The Dutch labour party has been decimated. It went from 38 seats to 9 seats (Source: Volkskrant). They will need a serious amount of time to lick their wounds. No matter how this all fares. If Geert Wilders can keep his cool, he would keep a few options down the track. Here it is anyone’s guess what will happen next. I predicted that there would be no going around the PVV, yet I was proven wrong. Green Left grew a lot stronger and the VVD kept a few more seats than most predicted, so there is that too. Yet, with this situation, Nexit has basically become a non-issue, it is off the board for the Netherlands, so as that certainty becomes a reality we see that Mario Draghi wasted not even a second to give the French people his demands and ultimatum. In  the Express (at http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/777170/Euro-irrevocable-ECB-draghi-Le-Pen-Frexit-vote-warning), we see the headline “‘The Euro is IRREVOCABLE’ Euro Bank chief fires warning at Le Pen over Frexit vote promise“, so if we would be a lot less diplomatic than we ought to be, we would state ‘Mr Looney Tunes has decided to be a slamming tactical in his claims‘. The two published facts given are “The ECB chief insisted the Front National leader was not a threat to the euro’s future, which he said was a measure of solidarity among members. His comments come after Ms Le Pen’s promise to call a vote over France’s membership of the monetary union if she wins the election in May“, You see, with smaller members pushing pressure Draghi had no chance at all, now, he has a few more options by trying to persuade the system players with “a measure of solidarity among members“, which I can counter with ‘perhaps spending the trillion you did not have was perhaps not the best idea?’ In that we can agree, we can disagree, but we all know that no matter the direction, it was a pretty dangerous step to take. It is the next two parts that are the cause of issues: “Market worries over the presidential race have increased as polls charted the rising popularity of the right-wing candidate, with France’s borrowing costs jumping, while the euro suffers sell-offs. In an apparent shot at the right-wing candidate, Mr Draghi today dismissed fears of the breakdown of the currency as ‘unrealistic’“.

Is that so? If that actually was the case, he would not have needed to reinforce it, didn’t he?

So the two parts are ‘with France’s borrowing costs jumping, while the euro suffers sell-offs‘ and ‘the breakdown of the currency as “unrealistic”‘, no, it is only unrealistic as only Brexit is coming and until now, we have seen levels of misrepresentation and downright corporate ‘blackmail’ to anyone not singing the false tune Mario Draghi is giving us. Last week there was some economic recovery, but the sharp sell-off that had been visible is still a factor, that whilst the Dutch Nexit was never a true reality, we all knew that. France is another matter, the French has not seen decent economic days, for at least two administrations, which is why France is a big deal, that whilst they represent one of four anchors keeping the Euro in place. With the British anchor removed, the stress on the three is intense, the Euro cannot continue with the remaining two anchors that is the desperate game Draghi is facing now. Weakness and non-decisions from 2012 onwards have caused this mess, and of course he is not done yet. As we see in Reuters, last Monday he stated “If non-high-tech companies adopt more innovative technology, that would provide a boost for European productivity“, speaking as the European Central Bank President last Monday, it that so? With what funds? Innovations requires money, such steps have a cost. To get into deeper debt without the true prospect of revenue and incomes is too dangerous a game to play for too many companies. Many who think in such short-sighted ways will not survive the next fiscal year. In all this, it all hangs on how the elections are going in France. Mario Draghi might be voicing ‘a measure of solidarity among members‘ but the people behind the French member have been in a bad place for too long. In this there is even more pressure growing from Italy. Bloomberg gives us ‘production declines after rising for three straight months‘ as well as ‘Unemployment unexpectedly rose to 11.9% in fourth quarter‘, more important, the production loss is the biggest one in 5 years and pretty much nullifies the last two months of growth. That whilst we see a growth in unemployment. It is in this light that France should consider its options. That is, in equal light should reflect on whom they need to support in an election that will have a massive impact on the course that France will take into the future seas of turmoil. Steering towards the new elected President. What is equally disturbing is that the French political lines are changing, to a much larger degree than ever before, for reasons that are actually slightly unsettling.

The question becomes why?

You see, French Senator Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne is now endorsing Emmanuel Macron, we knew that François Fillon is pretty much on his way out and François Hollande never had a chance; so is this an act to enforce any party that is not Front National? Consider that question, it is now no longer for some to support the net best candidate and the best winner. No, there are now signs that certain power players will unite in backing whomever is most likely to stop Marine Le Pen. Certain plays have become this dangerous, not for what she is, who she is and what she stands for. No, certain members seem to fear and not embrace economic change. The Status Quo is everything. In equal measure, Macron has won the endorsements of those abandoning Benoit Hamon. Some press have even resorted to headlines like: ‘Hamon plans radical departure from EU ‘blabla’, some parties are now extremely worried, especially as the Status Quo groups could lose their Billion Euro gravy train. This is almost a unique situation where we witness the change of approach towards the need of individual economic momentum, which now trumps the electing the need for the good of France (I am not stating or implying which politician represents that).

My evidence?

There are several pieces in the more respectable news carriers. In this case a first is the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/cbf9a59c-04a1-11e7-aa5b-6bb07f5c8e12), who gives us: “Fifteen years on, however, the anti-far right “republican front” to stop the FN appears to be crumbling“, which is only an indication. The chart that they present in that article gives a very nice indication of the splitting of votes. The strong push from Fillon and Hamon towards Macron is almost unheard of. The abstention group is however still large enough to make an impact, yet the shift from 24.5% to 60.5% is also a little more than amazing. Such landslide victories are so rare, that seeing it twice in a row is no longer a mere coincidence. In this Mario Draghi could actually end up being the contributor to the success of Marine Le Pen. As he proclaims the quotes I used earlier, the large group that currently represents the younger voter that currently seems to be set in Emmanuel Macron camp at present, could realise between now and voting day that the words of Mario Draghi are hollow at best and that his ‘proclamation’ will be replaced hours after the election by apologies and words of hardship whilst claims of better economic times cannot be fortified or made into any level of reality on any way shape or form.

In that light, is it not weird that an investment banker who has never been elected to political office, is at present not a projected frontrunner, is forecasted to carry an optional 60% for round two? That isn’t just unheard of, it is a statistical anomaly and in the political field, such landslide levels are a no-no to say the least, especially twice in a row. Someone is buttering the electoral sandwiches in new unheard ways. Now, France or not, we can agree that extreme vote options like Marine Le Pen tends to sway a decent amount of people to go towards ‘anyone but this one‘, yet the numbers at which this is happening at is just too weird. In this we see that both Bloomberg and Citigroup are playing their own little game, especially as the collapse of the Euro would be devastating to those involved. At https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-15/le-pen-win-would-wipe-out-25-from-french-bank-shares-citi-says, we see ‘Le Pen Win Would Wipe Out 25% From French Bank Shares, Citi Says‘, which is really intense and I wonder what evidence they can present, especially after these players got it so massively wrong after the Brexit vote. So the first quote “A victory for Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential elections would cripple the country’s banking stocks, says Citigroup Inc” is one that cannot be countered easily, yet when we see the graphics on that page, we also get: “The analysts predict declines of 30 percent and 34 percent for Credit Agricole SA and Natixis SA, respectively“, there it is, everyone’s favourite French government banker (Natixis) would lose 34% value, which would send anyone reeling, but in this case as the information as I presented them in my blog articles over the last two years, this drop would be impacting long term plans and Natixis does have a decent amount of fingers in all sorts of government pies. And the quote “Even though Le Pen’s policy plans threaten to shake up the country’s banking system, financial institutions including Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and Axa SA have avoided contact with her team“, which is also really weird, would you not try to talk to a candidate and even if they are all in the mindset that her approach is wrong, the veritable truth is actually in a direction on a path that is 180 degrees from shown. A dialogue trying to understand her path and showing the evidence to other directions and perhaps even alternative ways for both to get what they want.

Yet as we have seen, certain players are in the Segregation, Isolation and Assassination mode. Which is me stating that some shady solutions which are usually limited to HVT’s are now optionally tactics in which the larger corporations will engage to keep their status quo, this is nothing new, but it has never been this outspokenly clear before, there is that much at stake for them. Even if it is merely political assassination, Fillon is already crying those words and the setting towards the investment banker Emmanuel Macron is now clearly visible. I reckon that in this regard, the switch by French Senator Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne came slightly too soon, too soon as an increasing amount of voters are now wondering why the change, because such a shift would not have been needed until after the first round. As I personally see it, French Senator Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne used himself to create a momentum towards Emmanuel Macron, an act that will only create more momentum over time. This I see as the second piece of evidence that this time, the elections are about something a little more unsettling. I wonder if the French people see it in the same light.

In the Bloomberg article we see the included wrong vision too. As you see “losing the May 7 runoff against more business-friendly leaders such as Francois Fillon and Emmanuel Macron” gives us the ‘implied‘ fairness of two candidates, yet at present, two days after this, we see that Fillon got gutted, not surviving on his present 19.5% setting (3rd place), he gets to be the chance for Macron to solidify the pole position.

Citi is currently doing to France what several UK players did to anyone supporting Brexit, the question becomes: ‘Will the French voter realise this in time?

More important for Marine Le Pen will be whether this would realign those who are now predicted to go the Macron way. Time will tell and when we start seeing accusations in 2018, 2019 on how big business is influencing French votes, you better realise now that the warning signs have been all over the place and the non-intervention seems to be relying on the press and a select group of financial power players. By the way, it does not stop there, it goes on in several direction. Now, I do not feel inclined to prove them all wrong, it would make this merely a ‘he said-she said’ debate, what you should consider is the final part that Bloomberg gives us, “the analysts predict” is in the middle. You see, predictions require models, they require data and a few more little titbits that make up for the forecasting models. This model has to deal with two elements it cannot correct for as it has never happened before. First is the fact that President Hollande is currently the least favourite French president in modern history, and soon to be the only one term President in French modern history, so one of the data outliers is based on a premise that had never happened before, the second part is the ‘forecast’ that an politician, never elected in public office before becomes the person growing to over 60% in one round, as I see it, another prediction that is not a given. Are you getting the image? Whatever forecast we are introduced to will be a lot less accurate as several elements in play have never seen the light of day ever before. As such, there are serious questions in play on any prediction given in this election, no matter in which direction it goes.

I personally believe that Marine Le Pen is not the given loser (with 60% opposition), there are a few elements in play, but in equal measure I do not believe that Emmanuel Macron will be the given winner to the degree forecasted either. In the end, we will leave it to the French People to decide who will go to the Élysée Palace, not the banks, not the lenders and not any collection of ‘storage and media clowns’. All these proclaimers are for the most, all on the gravy train of globalisation (the Macron side), a term that has been filling the French with disgust for the longest time and the last 10 years have not been kind on any positive feeling of globalisation. Still, in the end the French will need to remain a little pragmatic, which does not mean surrendering to Globalisation, yet in equal measure there is uncertainty on how France will deal with Frexit, unlike the UK, they are directly tied to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain, so there are a few more practical considerations for France. I believe it can be done, but it is up to the French to select the referendum to leave the EEC and the Euro. We can forecast all we like, but if there is one thing the Dutch election have taught us, is that these matters are not black and white and that the outcome is currently getting bounced on the waves of identity and economy, two elements that never worked well together.

 

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Two sides of a political nature

The NOS (source: www.nos.nl ) is again inspiration to today’s blog. The Dutch television mentioned two articles that have bearing on this. The second one is about Syria, so you the reader will probably have your own views. The first one is an important one, yet, it might at present not be on your radar.

A scandal hit Dutch politics as the Chairman of the First room. A position that is comparable to speaker of the house in the US or the speaker of the House of Lords in the UK has resigned. His position must be one of pure neutrality. A position that came into question in an article by the newspaper called ‘the Volkskrant’ (translated: The People’s paper). In that article he was quoted to have stated that keeping a politician out of the procession during the Royal inauguration was in the back of his mind. That is regarded as a huge ‘no no’ and as such, to prevent escalation, he resigned his position as speaker of the house.

This is not about former speaker Fred de Graaf. It is about a certain approach to certain political parties. You see in the 90’s there was the CP (Centrum Party). This was an ultra-right movement with such an outspoken disdain for that what did not fit, that they made the Ku Klux Klan look like a social moderate organisation. Yes, they are that extreme. Whenever its speaker ‘JanMaat’ spoke out, politicians would walk away, not debate, just remain silent. I always regarded that as an utter mistake. Political scientists told me on how good the approach was, how the wind was taken away from his sails. Yet, as he was allowed to speak unchallenged a fearful thing happened, people accepted his words to some extent. He gained 3 seats in parliament (Dutch version of the House of Commons). Finally someone woke up and they started to debate issues and of course, that resulted in the Centrum Party losing all three seats in the following elections 4 years later. Silence is NOT golden!

Following that event a new party came, the name was ‘Leefbaar Nederland’ (translated as ‘Liveable Netherlands’). This was led by a person named Pim Fortuyn. This was nothing like the Centrum Party! Mr Fortuyn was a person of Charisma, he was a true politician and he was an excellent speaker. The issue was that there were similarities. The platform still had ‘full=full’ in a central position. You see, the Netherlands is not that large. In the US it is only slightly larger than Maryland (30%), and Tasmania Australia is 50% larger than the Netherlands, a nation with 17 million, making it one of the densest populated nations on the planet. He had a few radical (read politically incorrect idea’s) those messages do not matter. What was the issue, was the fact that his charisma gave him ten times the following the Centrum Party ever had. In the end Pim Fortuyn was assassinated by a person who was regarded as mentally unstable and an environmental activist. It became a source for years of conspiracy theories.

Now we have Mr Geert Wilders of the PVV (Party for freedom). Mr Wilders visited Australia, which in its own was quite the show as the Australians rebelled against such an extreme politician. The last one has been active in the Dutch House of Commons. An interesting event was that he was denied entrance in the UK. When he did travel via Heathrow with reporters he was detained, only to be shipped back on the next plane.

It seems to me that Geert Wilders is to some extent ignored in political circles. The danger here is that this man is no Mr Janmaat of the CP. This man is highly intelligent and a decent speaker. He is also a lot stronger political muscle then the previous two politicians. Not engaging him has strengthened him, and as such his party now has 10% of the seats in the Dutch House of Commons. It could be debated that as he is a strong speaker going up against him would have a risky factor for anyone debating him as he can be ruthless.

So the question becomes, why are politicians so easy to choose the ignore option to fight the values they and many others detest? Is that not a showing of cowardice? If we are truly vested in not allowing a growth of right wing extremities to grow into political houses, then ignoring is not a solution. If you think that we are all in a better place, think again. Look at the statistics of poverty and unemployment rates then consider that we are close to the levels that we had in the times leading up to WW2. That was the beginning of a group that held a great power to politically manipulate in the past. To see that part escalate, read on below where we look at Syria.

As history is to repeat itself, we see a growing fear of returning events of escalations. Syria has according to the evidence engaged the use of Chemical weapons on a small scale. The body count has surpassed 150 (dying of the effects of chemical warfare) and now several parties are under agreement that the straw that broke the camel’s back had been delivered. A coalition which currently contains France and UK, with the US now ready to join ranks has put their foot down. We have seen the consequences, we have seen the movies and medical evidence, yet the Russians are not convinced (in a state of denial). When we look at Chemical warfare, we see a weapon of Mass Destruction. So did the Press speak to people like Oznobistchev, Saveliev and Arbotov? Are they not supposed to be experts in the area of WMD? So did the press get to them, or was there a health statement of laryngitis by Director Bortnikov? #JustSaying. The issue is not just the Yay or Nay. It is that again we have two sides. The Russian side, delivering S-300 missiles to Syria and there is the other side. I have no issue with Russia delivering the hardware. It is legitimate hardware and no matter how we feel, the sovereign ruler of a nation bought a defensive weapon system for its country. In all honesty I must confess that at 3% commission, selling missiles at 250 million per system looks appealing. Charging that much for a weapon system that the Russians took off the market in 2012? I’d sell that! One must always be ready to pay the tailor, and Saville Row is slightly costly. Those systems are not used to deploy chemical weapons, but they will stop those who want to stop them. Where is this going?

This re-reads like the beginning of another Vietnam. One goes one corner, one goes the other (music by: Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes). This is the level of high stakes poker we currently cannot afford to play. This is likely to have repercussions on all levels. From the previous part one could come to the conclusion that politicians prefer to evade. That might actually be less of an option. This is because larger players now have their ego at stake. The issue is not them, as whatever escalates will be far from their bedrooms. The issue is now quickly becoming Jordan AND Israel, as they both will get caught in the middle. Jordan already has rising issues as the Syrian population is running for their lives, straight into the arms of Jordan’s dwindling resources. It will also raise risks for Israel as HAMAS and their allies will see this as an option to really light the tinderbox.

So what can we do to solve this? Well, what if we can get info from another party? Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan was/is a member of the WMDC (weapons of mass destruction commission). This all affects his country one way or another. What are his views? Has he seen any evidence? I think that this is more about settling the Syrian war. Settling that war can never succeed if we do not bolster stability in the region overall.

I believe that when, not if that stability fails, America will not need to worry about finding Lone-Wolf terrorists. There will be every chance that people from Morocco to Egypt will rush to enlist with Al-Qaeda, a scenario no one wants.

I fear that some have lost sight of that. There is too much smoke and the wrong people are calling to push buttons, whilst they are not at risk at all.

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