Tag Archives: WSJ

The 51st State

Consider that the US just grew a little, it seems that Canada has become the 51st state, Governor of that state is Justin Trudeau, that is until President Trump decides that he is not allegiant enough. How did I get here? A few sources are giving us ‘US court issues summons for Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman’, under normal circumstances there wouldn’t be a big thing. Yet consider the events, an exiled person moves to Canada, when we are confronted with “Mohammed bin Salman attempted to send Tiger Squad to Canada to assassinate al-Jabri, according to a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in August 2020”, so a person went in exile in Canada and now relies on US jurisprudence? And if you are in doubt, the other element is (rephrased) “allegedly attempted to send a Tiger Squad to Canada to allegedly assassinate al-Jabri”, so in the first it was an alleged attempt, in that case where is the evidence of the alleged attempt? What evidence is there to assassinate al-Jabri? Beyond that, why is this case not heard in Canada? In the second, it is my personal belief that Saad al-Jabri needs to get evicted from Canada into America, he is so sure of their legal system. And of course there is the stage where we need to investigate on why an optional case of alleged events in another country are being heard in America, is that not a question that baffles you too?

And it does not end there, the only additional information is given by Gulf News. I am making mention of it as I cannot vouch for the information. I am not willing to use merely one source because it fits my speculation better. Gulf News (at https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/report-fugitive-saudi-official-misspent-11b-in-government-funds-1.72662340) gives us ‘Fugitive Saudi official misspent $11b in government funds’, and lets face it, if I walked away with $11,000,000,000 I would move to Canada, buy the Edmonton Oilers, or the Calgary Flames, buy a nice mansion in either city, train to be their goalie and live the life until I die. It is a plan, not a plan everyone will embrace, but I like that plan, especially if I have that much money. Oh, and the quote gives is “Al Jabri, a 61-year-old with a doctorate in computer science, was the virtual No 2 in the Saudi Interior Ministry, which was run for years by Mohammed bin Nayef. Al Jabri ran a special ministry fund that mixed government spending on high-priority antiterrorism efforts with bonuses for himself and others, according to documents reviewed bio y the Journal and interviews with Saudi officials and Al Jabri’s confidants,” the WSJ report read”. In all this and in fact of tha accusation of corruption and through that (as well as) “spending on high-priority antiterrorism efforts with bonuses for himself and others”, who else was paid? So in this, how much investigation was done by the FBI, for did they allegedly acquire enough self-funding to be above the law? I am merely asking!

So in this universe where Canada is the 51st state of the US, and as we see a quote by the Wall Street Journal, how much investigation did the US do? How much investigation did the Canadians do? The are mere questions but they matter, even as the newspapers on both countries are all about “A former top-ranking Saudi intelligence official living in exile in Canada alleged in a lawsuit filed in a U.S. court that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a team to kill him in 2018 but the effort was foiled by Canadian authorities” if those are the facts, what investigation was done by the Canadians? Consider that I would be angry when someone steals $1,000,000 from me (an amount I do not own mind you), so an amount that is 11,000 times higher will get the blood boiling in many persons. So in all this, the entire matter does not make sense, Oh I get the need to add $11 billion to my bank account, that makes sense, although I would hope to use my own IP to get there, then there is the stage where I doubt that it was about ‘assassination’ I reckon the Saudi’s want their money back, so there would be a stage of alleged kidnapping, not assassination. And lastly, I reckon that the US would love Saad al-Jabri to move to the US so he can spend $11 billion (minus addition taxation) freely in the US and the US is so bankrupt, they are willing to set the legal stage in their nation, a nation of laws they will claim. 

Yes it is a brand new day as we see the optional stage of laws to whitewash money that was not the property of the person white washing it. It is my point of view and some will claim that it is not a valid one, but consider, how many papers set the stage of making the money link in all this? That is the $11 billion dollar question of the day, have a great one!

 

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Corona?  I Never touch the stuff!

There is a lot happening here. New Zealand has closed its borders for people coming from China. The death toll climbing to 360, creating more death than SARS did (only 349) and I see here in Sydney a larger population in facemasks which is partially hilarious and China’s Global TV network (CGTN) Tweeted “Central China’s #Hubei Province, the epicenter of the #coronavirus outbreak, reported 2,103 new cases of the infection on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 11,177 in the province. more: https://t.co/HbG7VtIQbH pic.twitter.com/XLAmlgtVpI

This made me look out, as there were only 6800 cases when I wrote about it 3 days earlier. Also when we see the bells tolling 300 dead a day ago, we see a larger shift, this becomes more visible when we consider the New York Times a mere 5 hours ago ‘Wuhan Coronavirus Looks Increasingly Like a Pandemic, Experts Say‘, to be honest, I am not entirely sure why experts give the “is now likely to become a pandemic“, I mean, it was not rocket science, I gave the defenition in ‘Just like in the movies‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/01/30/just-like-in-the-movies/) where I wrote “Each country where one person stated ‘Not me, I merely have a cold‘, that person will infect dozens more each day. That is how a pandemic starts. Let’s be clear, the term pandemic means an epidemic of disease that has spread across a large region (including multiple continents).” As such the pandemic stage had been surpassed 3 days ago, consider that it was then (among other places) in  Hong Kong, the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, Finland, and the United Arab Emirates, pretty much every continent was covered. So far it seems that Russia does not have it, but I reckon that is merely the ostrich with its head in the sand syndrome. 

In all the statistics on this are also a problem, the information is all over the place and as one source gives 12036 infected, another gives 14550 infected, as such there is a time line that does not always match up. The BBC actually covers that in ‘Doctors fight back against misinformation online’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-51327671), where we see: “With viral misinformation about the deadly coronavirus in China spreading rapidly online, some doctors and scientists have taken to social media to fight back against false reports.” It merely shows that Facebook can spread ‘social news’ faster than any rumour could travel. Yet in this, it is more than not likely that the retweeting of older news and news from unconfirmed sources by Twitter will aid in this madness.

Chinese news outlet, Tencent reported on the cases in China, as per their stage it is ‘deaths at 361 and confirmed infections in China at 17,238‘, yet beware, this is for China, there are now close to two dozen nations with confirmed cases. The one from Sweden is perhaps the most illustrative one. “The patient is a woman in the Jonkoping region of southern Sweden who had visited the Wuhan area of China. She sought medical attention after arriving in Sweden on Jan. 24. “One case doesn’t mean that we have a virus outbreak in Sweden,” said the agency’s Karin Tegmark Wisell, who added that the country’s health-care is well prepared to deal with the virus.” I do not disagree with Karin Tegmark Wisell, yet she was a carrier and passing on the disease before the patient knew she was a carrier, as such she would have been in Arlanda (most likely), then a train or a car with stops and for some time she was unaware that she was sick. There is every chance that she infected 3-50 people, depending on how she travelled back and the 24th was before the madness began. Now, my 3-50 is highly speculative, but I have been to Sweden, I know the airport, the cafe’s, the train station (if she went per train). The article by Bloomberg was given last Friday (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-31/sweden-reports-first-case-of-confirmed-coronavirus), yet Swedes get colds all the time and before the news they might not have realised that it was the Coronavirus.

However, the Wall Street Journal throws fuel on the fire with ‘The outbreak of novel coronavirus appears more contagious than seasonal flu and is on par with SARS in 2002 and 2003, studies say‘ (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/experts-race-to-figure-out-how-contagious-the-wuhan-virus-is-11580672317), we also get “China says that as of Sunday there were 5,142 infected people in Wuhan, the locked-down city where the outbreak began” Yet in light of other news, (Tencent) and other sources we need to consider that Corona has take a large flight out of Wuhan, the numbers do not add up and the confirmed cases that we see as reported by several sources give a very different picture, a picture that implies that Corona is indeed highly contagious, even more so than SARS ever was. In addition the WSJ gives us “The researchers started identifying and collecting cases around the start of the year, by interviewing patients, relatives and other close contacts. They estimated the reproduction number at 2.2 and said that the majority of patients weren’t hospitalized until after five days of being ill.” I cannot vouch or attack the number, because so far all the data seems to set this, yet how many have the disease and are untested? Again the Swedish example, this lady might have been an initial case, and she might have infected others, yet that view comes reality when we see the issue in Spain, there we see “The first coronavirus patient in Spain, a man living on the remote island La Gomera, was apparently infected with the virus after being in contact with an infected person from Germany, the Spanish Health Ministry said.

My issue is finding a way to properly informing m readers using the best sources available and not making them panic (which is slightly more difficult than I thought). In addition, if you are not in China, freaking out over a person sneezing in the room makes you not cautious, more crazy and that is the reality we face. Here in Australia, an ‘island’ with 20 million people, here we have 12 cases (at present)  4 in New South Wales, 4 in Victoria, 2 in South Australia, and 2 in Queensland. As such the reaction from people here is a little too strong. Yet on the other side we have the ‘better to be safe than sorry’. However, numerically speaking, of all NSW cases were in Sydney, we get 4 out of 6,000,000. The numbers go my way when I say ‘do not overreact’. That is the truth of the matter, yet we also see that too many people are not reacting when they have a cold. The truth of the matter tends to be in the middle of what we face, that has been my view on most issues. 

And in Australia we tend to be a little more down to earth, so when someone asked me: ‘what I thought of the Corona situation’, I merely answered ‘I never drink the stuff‘, testing her sense of humour and her lack of accuracy all at the same time (I thought that the event would go different in the end).

Yet, I was making light of a situation that is actually a lot more serious than most think it is, that is what the Scientific American gave us last Friday (at https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/study-reports-first-case-of-coronavirus-spread-by-asymptomatic-person/), as we see “A woman from China infected a person in Germany before she began displaying symptoms“, you might have noticed that I have made several of these claims over the two articles on this, but did you understand it?

That is actually more important than you think, The stage of (what nerds call) ‘First Case of Coronavirus Spread by Asymptomatic Person‘ is the darker part. You see, most people are most often knowingly sick when they spread a disease. They might not show anything, but they have in themselves a part of the disease already eating them (flu like symptoms), this setting is almost unique and it makes the setting of the Coronavirus much harder than anything before (like SARS). As such we see “The infection described in the new paper involved a woman from Shanghai who traveled to Germany for a business trip from Jan. 19 to Jan. 22 and displayed no signs of the disease, which include cough and fever. She only became sick on her flight back to China” and that setting is why I focussed on the Swedish woman and looked at the other cases. Yet the foundation of passing on before awareness is too big of an issue to ignore and I believe that the statement we saw in the beginning ‘is now likely to become a pandemic‘ was the wrong statement. There is a pandemic and we have no solution because this disease works outside of most borders, the fact that we can infect others before we even realise we are sick is almost unheard of and that makes Corona for a much harder nut to crack.

 

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That’s entertainment

Today is a weird day, it is globally weird. You see, today billions will focus on who is getting an Academy Award, some are hoping to see the idol of their life, like Chris Hemsworth or Scarlett Johansson. Some hope that Stan Lee will be asked to hand out an Oscar and others (many ladies) are hoping to see the extravagant post fashion styles that the ladies will cloth themselves in. Among them millions of movie fans that get to see if it is the movie that they liked will win the Oscar. Now with Saudi Arabia opening cinemas in Saudi Arabia, will the MBC Group be there this year or will they start broadcasting the event next year? Another optional group of 34 million viewers in a group that currently is set to billions.

So whilst we wonder which one will become the best movie, my vote is on the Shape of Water, yet I believe the statue is likely to go to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. No matter who will win, we see that in Syria ‘forces loyal to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, have captured six villages and towns bordering the besieged rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta, as hopes that a long-planned humanitarian convoy might enter the area were dashed again‘, so as we learn that the death toll of 103 since Saturday highlighted the paralysis of an international community that had demanded the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid, we need to realise that the UN and the UNSC has become nothing more than a paper tiger that has the ability to roar towards the media, but without claws and teeth, it can no longer be the legislation that bites, or the shield that scratches. Just like the Wonder Woman 1:1 figurine (at https://www.cbr.com/life-size-wonder-woman-statue/), that is for sale for $1990, pretty, nice, but basically something you can walk around and unless you have real space in your apartment space that remains wasted but for the true Wonder Woman fan. It is a shame that the once mighty organisation has lost its impact on the world, well that is how the 475,000 fatalities in Syria feel about it. Oh, no, they do not. They are dead, they no longer feel anything.

So whilst we look back on the Oscars, wondering who best actor and actress will be, I have to admit that I am clueless. I had not seen Margot Robbie, or Saoirse Ronan, but both Francess McDormand and Meryl Streep did shine in their parts, my money will this time be on the 3 billboards main character, but it is anyone’s guess, I can’t even be sure if the experts in acting can figure out who will win that one. So as we are in that part, we need to realise that Danny Danon is quoted by the Jerusalem Post (at http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/UN-Ambassador-Danny-Danon-decries-UN-inaction-on-Iran-at-AIPAC-544188) to do something about Iran. Now, this is not the first time that Israel has issues with Iran. So when we see “While speaking at the AIPAC Committee Policy Conference in Washington on Sunday, Danon said it was crucial that the international community recognizes the threat Iran poses to regional stability. “It is vital that the UN focus on the real problems of the world, like Iran,” the ambassador said. “We all know just how dangerous this threat is, but the UN is wasting time and energy on votes and reports against Israel.”” we see nothing new, yet in the opposition, we see (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/03/iran-calls-on-us-europe-to-scrap-nuclear-arms-missiles.html), that Iran has a warped sense of needs. With “Iran will not negotiate over its ballistic missiles until the United States and Europe dismantle their nuclear weapons, a top Iranian military official said on Saturday“, so not China, or Russia, or India. Merely that the US and Europe dismantle is. From my point of view, the ‘top Iranian military official‘ was born stupid and the man stopped evolving after birth. Naive and stupid in one efficiently compact package, could we get it any better? So when we see “Iran says its nuclear program is defensive because of its deterrent nature“, should we consider its delivery to Yemen as a defensive posture? And what happens when the Iranians ‘accidently‘ (due to their lack of intelligence) send the wrong missile to Yemen? Will we get to see the UN representative go ‘oops!‘? I am merely asking because of the short-sighted situation here and in all this the stage of the theatres in politics and the theatres of war seem to overlap, none of them worthy of an Oscar in this particular setting, but we thank the nominees for playing their part. So whilst we saw the Paper Tiger called ‘United Nations’ in other settings, we see that the acts by the “UN Human Rights Council’s “blacklist” of Israeli and international companies operating in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights” is setting the premise in a different light. So whilst we see “a US delegation visiting the West Bank had to be rescued by Palestinian Authority policemen on Thursday after being attacked“, we see that Palestine is still demanding to be recognised by the UN, whilst still sending rockets into Israel. Some things will never change I reckon, but it is a sad state of affairs across the decades.

When it comes to the supporting acts in the Oscars, my hopes are for Sam Rockwell and Octavia Spencer, that whilst the others would be equally deserving, especially Richard Jenkins, yet in the end, we can only cast out votes once and that is how I would have voted. In that same light as the United Nations Security Council cast its vote a week ago on a Russian sponsored resolution regarding Yemen, we see that the Toronto Star reported that 55 people dies in the clash in Yemen, so whilst we see (at https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/03/01/us-senators-want-vote-to-end-support-for-saudi-arabia-in-yemen-war/), that we see ‘US senators want vote to end support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen war‘, that whilst the rightful ruler asked for the help of Saudi Arabia, in all this, where was America? Oh and where is America in regards to the Syrian war? Perhaps some will remember the attack on 21st of August 2013, so when the UN inspection got there and they confirmed “clear and convincing evidence” of the use of Sarin delivered by surface-to-surface rockets; in addition a 2014 report by the UN Human Rights Council found that “significant quantities of sarin were used in a well-planned indiscriminate attack targeting civilian-inhabited areas, causing mass casualties. The evidence available concerning the nature, quality and quantity of the agents used on 21 August indicated that the perpetrators likely had access to the chemical weapons stockpile of the Syrian military, as well as the expertise and equipment necessary to safely manipulate large amount of chemical agents“. Yet the American satellites were useless, even as they got the IMAX view with stereo sound of the speculated 1600 bodies, who all screamed a horrible death as they died, the American saw nothing, or so they say. Perhaps it is like Turkey and the Armenian genocide. They were just too worried to kick the wrong political pile, or as the NY Times stated it “A bill to that effect nearly passed in the fall of 2007, gaining a majority of co-sponsors and passing a committee vote. But the Bush administration, noting that Turkey is a critical ally — more than 70 per cent of the military air supplies for Iraq go through the Incirlik airbase there — pressed for the bill to be withdrawn, and it was” (at http://www.nytimes.com/ref/timestopics/topics_armeniangenocide.html) and Bush was not alone The Obama administration did the same with “Ben Rhodes and Samantha Power, key foreign policy advisers to Obama, say his administration was too worried about offending Turkey” (at https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/19/armenian-genocide-ben-rhodes-samantha-power-obama-349973), pussies, the whole bloody lot of them on both sides of the isle. So as we get “As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama promised that he would formally recognize an Armenian genocide as historical fact. But as president, he passed up multiple chances to do so, including in 2015, when Armenians marked the 100th anniversary of the atrocities“, we need to recognise that recognition is no way to commerce and cash is king, especially in a bankrupt America, or so say the rulers from Wall Street. So in light of the inactions, will Hollywood make it up by making ‘Last Men in Aleppo‘ documentary of the year? I cannot tell because I did not see any of the documentaries, I do believe that Inside Job in 2010 was the last documentary I saw and that one actually gives more rise to the rumours that Wall Street is the actual ruler of America. The fact that Kim Kardashian, yes Kim Kardashian of all people who ended up bitch slapping the Wall Street Journal for denying the Armenian genocide must be the highlight for the WSJ to set in stone, sometimes the people you ignore because they are outside of ones scope of entertainment are the ones surprising you beyond belief. So as we are getting close to the start of the Oscars, as we wonder if there is going to be the crossing of dictionaries between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon, we wonder if Jimmy is going to get a few jabs in against Mrs Damon’s favourite Martian.

As we wonder whether the UN has any values left by targeting Israel whilst ignoring Iran, whilst their actions regarding Syria are unanswered and unnoticed by Syria and Russia, we also see the accusations via Haaretz (at https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/allegation-kushner-punished-qatar-resurfaces-in-mueller-probe-1.5869124), that ‘Kushner Punished Qatar for Not Investing in Real-estate Deal Resurfaces in Mueller Probe‘, where we see “Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked witnesses about Kushner’s attempts to secure financing for his family’s real estate ventures, focusing specifically on his talks with people from Qatar and Turkey, as well as Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, NBC News said“, so even as it is about Qatar, the smallest part with ‘talks with people from Qatar and Turkey‘, so even here we see actions that involve Turkey somehow. The question becomes what did Turkey get out of it, because going back to 2001, we have seen that Turkey only acts when it (largely) benefits Turkey, a stance that cannot be faulted, but we can wonder if the other side has any business trying to do business with Turkey in the first place. so when we look at the Global Magnitsky Act (at https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/13/us-global-magnitsky-act), where we see: “In an important step for global accountability, Congress built on the original Russia-focused Magnitsky law in 2016 and enacted the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the executive branch to impose visa bans and targeted sanctions on individuals anywhere in the world responsible for committing human rights violations or acts of significant corruption. The act received widespread bipartisan support. Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, introduced a version of the bill, and five Republican senators and five Democratic senators signed on as co-sponsors. President Barack Obama signed the law on December 23, 2016“, yet as far as I have been able to find, there are no Turkish Parties in any of this, is that not odd. When we see the acts in Syria, or even closer to Turkey, the 6 journalists that have been ‘praised’ with life imprisonment, how humane has Turkey shown itself to be?

Yet in the end, we can see all this as a mere form of entertainment, there are the Oscars, we have the Raspberries where (unsurprisingly) this year the Emoji movie took a near clean sweep of all possible wins, we could get the Golden Bazooka, or the golden Rack (that device that adds 6 inches to your length in 5 minutes), is there any doubt who would win those trophies? I wonder if people would stay at home for that. Eating popcorn, watching the atrocities and voting who was the worst of the worst. It entertainment, that is how our lives are minimised and scrutinised to, because actually improving the overall state of the world might no longer be an option, in that we can see that the financial sector on a global scale removed all available funds for that endeavour.

That’s life, that’s entertainment and it is the way we now choose to live!

Through acts of inaction, shame on us!

 

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What news is news?

There are several pieces, not just in the Guardian, the BBC, the Independent or the Times. They all tell us that they have news, but do they have any actual news? The Guardian shows us a tech article (in the Tech section) called: ‘the node pole: inside Facebook’s Swedish hub near the Arctic Circle‘, all innocent news, one could surmise that it is just a space filler. Or was it done to give extra view to the article ‘Facebook is making more and more money from you. Should you be paid for it?‘, or perhaps to give extra light to ‘Facebook case may force European firms to change data storage practices‘, which I gave my views on in my previous blog. You decide!

In the business section we see VW to get some centre stage, which makes perfect sense and that is just the Guardian. The independent also has a go at Facebook, but now has a go at its users, well, actually it is not the Independent, but the employee tribunal. Now the article shows all kind of signs of bullying, which is never OK and in that regard Rachael Roberts has a real case, but in light of the events, Mrs Bird does not seem to be a friend of Mrs Roberts, so why is the act of unfriending on Facebook the killer? Yet it is the quote “But employment lawyer Josh Bornstein told ABC news the unfriending incident was found to be workplace bullying in the context of several other issues“, which baffles me, if they are not friends, one or the other could unfriend the other party, that part seems clear cut to me, not bullying. So out of the 18 allegations of bullying in total, the unfriending in Facebook took the cake? It does not add up to me!

In addition we see two whole articles on Facebook being down and oh yes, the new iPhone is for sale! Let’s not forget the fact that the iPhone now allows for sextracking. So, parents buy your boy or girl on of these bad boys so you can find new ways on how you are about to become a grandparent! Really? You need to keep scores on your phone now? Didn’t Ashley Maddison teach you anything regarding sex that is on the internet, everyone will know soon thereafter?

Finally they also gave visibility to ‘Hospital apologises for removing RAF sergeant from A&E because uniform could ‘upset’ patients‘, which is a can of worms in its own right. In that light I expect the NHS to move all drug and binge drink casualties to their basement as not to invoke bad thoughts from the Presbyterian community. How insane was the idea to move a wounded RAF sergeant in the first place!

All these events, some are actually news, but no one seems to have any balls. No one is looking at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Which of course ties in nicely with the words of the Dalai Lama ‘Dalai Lama on Britain’s policy towards China: ‘Where is morality?’’, the answer might not be such a high moral one, it goes a little like “Who is willing to suck the smallest extremity for the good of one’s career?

To some extent we can accept that the SFO is silent, only to the smallest extent. You see Tesco is dealing with a write-off of £6.4bn, which of course is massive. We have seen all the news on how some former Tesco entities are getting grilled (as they should) but the press on many levels in many nations keep on rehashing the old news and no one is digging into PwC. No one is digging there. Does that not sound awfully weird? Yet here is the kicker, we see more and more messages like ‘Multinational tax avoiders targeted’, with quotes like “while the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia warned about throwing up new hurdles in what is already a high-cost economy. The chamber’s board includes representatives from ConocoPhillips, GE, Boeing, PwC and Exxon Mobile“, yes it seems it is never a good time to go after tax avoiders (not to mention the impact it has on the bonus benefits for those working in that part of the financial branch).

Before you whisk this away as mere banter (which you are of course allowed to do), take a look at this article that is a little over a week old. It is from the Wall Street Journal, which I do not look into too often. The article (at http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2015/09/15/the-morning-download-identity-theft-key-to-attack-on-cisco-routers/) called ‘The Morning Download: Identity Theft Key to Attack on Cisco Routers‘, starts with: “Good morning. The international attacks on Cisco Systems Inc. routers, disclosed earlier today by security firm FireEye Inc.’s Mandiant unit, began with the theft of legitimate network credentials. Securing and managing the identity of network users continues to be a massive challenge for CIOs and CISOs and ultimately, the CEO and the board. The attacks have been named ‘SYNful’ because of how the malicious software moves across routers using their syndication functions “Cisco said SYNful did not take advantage of any vulnerability in its own software. Instead it stole valid network administration credentials from organizations targeted in the attacks or by gaining physical access to their routers,” Reuters reports today. Mandiant said in a blog post that it had found 14 instances of router implants, which replace Cisco’s operating system

Now, to complement that statement, I will add the following. On June 5th (more than 3 months before the WSJ article), I wrote ‘In reference to the router‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/06/05/in-reference-to-the-router/) , here I stated: “Soon thereafter no more firewall, no more routers, just the bliss of cloud servers and data, so much data!“, which reflected on the article I wrote on February 8th (more than 7 months before the WSJ), there I wrote “I think that ‘hackers’ have created a new level (as I mentioned before). I think that Cisco IOS was invisibly patched“, (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/02/08/the-next-cyber-wave/). I was literally accused by some to be insane, there was no way that this would EVER happen. Now we see in the Wall Street Journal: “Mandiant said in a blog post that it had found 14 instances of router implants, which replace Cisco’s operating system“, interesting how I am now proven correct. Are the members of the Baboon family (usually found in the FBI) reconsidering their North-Korean option? Let’s face it, this took top level skills, we can (as I pointed out in the past) find those boffins in the US, UK, FR, the FSB and Chinese Intelligence, however in North Korea not that much!

The Reuters article shows a lot more (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/16/us-cybersecurity-routers-cisco-systems-idUSKCN0RF0N420150916), however, they are just rehashing something I stated for almost a year, the quote ““That feat is only able to be obtained by a handful of nation-state actors,” DeWalt said, while declining to name which countries he suspected might be behind the Cisco router attacks” adds to my view that I was correct all along (finally another ‘I told you so!’ opportunity). The only difference is, is that DeWalt includes Israel, I have no real quality data on the Israeli cyber capabilities, so I am willing to give him that one. Finally we should consider the quote “Infected hardware devices include Cisco routers 1841, 2811 and 3825“, which is fair enough, yet in my article I offer the option that the CF unit found in nearly EVERY router could also open doors, so the danger could in theory go far beyond those three routers.

I also stated that my thoughts were based on sound speculation. You might wonder what sound speculation is. Basically, it means that even as I might not have them skills to program, I do understand that my solution is viable, the fact that routers are getting programmed with a new OS is clear evidence of that. In addition, it also gives weight to two infestation systems I speculated on as well as the weakness that those believing in the cloud are not realising at present. I was willing to look beyond the veil, a side everyone ignored. Yet when a router can be reprogrammed to the extent it was, also clearly means that data in motion is no longer safe, which means that pretty much any cloud data can be gotten too, the user only has to access the file to make that happen.

I even had a thought on dealing with the Iranian glow in the dark power plants when the time is there, just by thinking out of the box. It does involve a Piranha valve (which actually already exists in name, but mine is so much cooler). None of this is newsworthy, speculative opinion one might state. Yet in my speculation, I have shown solutions to be real in several occasions and in addition to that I also clearly outlined long before the press decided to show the minimalistic amount of balls (read testicles), that a look into Pricewaterhouse Coopers was adamant. It seems that apart from a December 2014 message from the SFO (rehashed by nearly all papers) not much happened, apart from that news, the press at large stayed clear of mentioning PwC and Tesco in one sentence. Is that not utterly weird?

Of course the luggage of someone’s mum in Tenerife (shipping at £122) gets front seat exposure, yet, the issue on £6.4bn getting lost due to assistance (better stated too weak opposition) by Pricewaterhouse Coopers seems too trivial to keep pressure on. Way to go Consumer Champions, Money! I actually mean that! They did do a good job and they have done so in the past, yet I fear that a letter by Dave Lewis on how his firm lost £6.4bn as the keeper of his books was not prudent, or is that tenacious enough to ring that bell very loudly when things looked too odd. Will Consumer Champions find that money? Will they write “Pricewaterhouse Coopers must accept responsibility for the signing off on books as the “accountant”?” Consumer Champions might not get this done, which is fair enough. It should not be on their plate, but the parties this should be very visible on are also not doing anything as far as we can tell, they remain silent, they remain this silent after 9 months.

Yet in all this there is one part both the Guardian and the Independent are getting right. It is the news on the NHS, there are massive problems and knowing them all is essential in finding a solution. In this matter the press has played a good role. In my view exposing former and current politicians a little more on the political game they play, so that we all understand that a proper solution is needed and taking the politicians out of that equation might not be the worst idea, the end result stays the same, the NHS is now too close on the edge of collapse to be acceptable, yet where lies the solution? Although I understand the issue the Independent shows, I partially disagree. The headline ‘New NHS junior doctor contract would discriminate against women, senior medics warn‘ is not incorrect (at http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/new-nhs-junior-doctor-contract-would-discriminate-against-women-senior-medics-warn-10516885.html), yet in all fairness, the quote “Under the new contract, trainees who decide to work part-time would see their pay increase more slowly than their colleagues” is a can of worms! Why would my co-worker doing 32 hours get the same raise as myself working 60 hours? (Remember, I am not a doctor). A choice was made! Yet, there is a level of fairness here too. Which means that to tackle it should be done in another way. Even as there is a shortage, the burnout of physicians is a known issue and making a maximum of 40 hours a week a mandatory status could be close to the only solution. Perhaps we have been too indulged, perhaps some options should only be there during the week. Perhaps the change to healthcare is essential (like hiring 40% more staff), but we also accept that at current not one government remains to afford that change (well perhaps Easter Island where there are less than 10 doctors). In the end the system has been ignored for too long. Too many politicians are on the ‘let’s get the computers up and running‘ whilst they know that staff will remains a problem for a long time.

That is news! That is what matters, but too many papers and too many news broadcasts are about the emotions and not the actual news that matters. That might be an incorrect view and a very biased view. It might be that some news is more important than other news parts, I will instantly agree, yet in all that the complete silence from pretty much all the papers regarding Tesco and some involved book keeping parties remains a mystery to me, how is that part not news? We will see more events that will not get the proper light in newspapers, both in paper as well as online, I’ll let you decide how that measurement applies to an involved party to events that started a £6.4bn downgrade.

 

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The not so neutral net

This time, it was the Epic Times (at http://www.epictimes.com/2015/02/how-do-you-feel-about-net-neutrality/), who gave me the goods). To be honest, I have stayed away from Net Neutrality for several reasons. The first one is, because for now I remain on the fence. Reasoning here is that we are not really ready for Net Neutrality.

On one side, the US starting this works out nice for the Commonwealth (mainly Canada), there is a decent chance that some companies will move to speedier shores. But, let me get ahead of it all, because that might help the entire issue. So here is the initial response I gave:

There is an overwhelming need to be against it. Judgement was not correctly passed here. I do not essentially oppose net neutrality, however, that can only occur if the internet is correctly addressed, which it is not.

You see, people think that they are now better off, but they will be contending for the same bandwidth with a few thousand spammers, who use an equal bandwidth to a few million users. By forcing all in equal opportunity, spammers, and marketeers. We see that in this ‘ruling’ “Broadband providers cannot block or speed up connections for a fee”, so your fee to block is now no longer an option, which might mean that you get to drown in spam. In equal measure, you cannot pay extra to speed up, which is not unfair, but when corporations are no longer given the speed, they will move to other shores, so if places like Equinix (to name but one of many) will move to Canadian shores, feel free to thank those for net neutrality for giving a few thousand jobs to your northern neighbours. A data centre is about revenue, and net neutrality is not evil, but it has setbacks, revenue being one of them.

the next part is in “Internet providers cannot strike deals with content firms, known as paid prioritisation, for smoother delivery of traffic to consumers”, so this will inflict massive damage, which means that high pressure connections like Oracle forms will not get a whole new issue, working from home could be impacted in new not so nice ways.

Yet the one part “The FCC won’t apply some sections of the new rules, including price controls”, which than implies that all people will end up paying for bandwidth, there we see the connection to rule one and rule two, if fees cannot be used for speeding up, and prioritization, we could speculate that there is one price, a business price for all, I feel certain that the Facebook family and Google Plus family will just love the new pricing for staying in the loop on a social media level, for if there is no priority control and no speed control, the only price control is one price, and it will be a charged one.

And this is only one side of it, net neutrality will never work when the people cannot be correctly protected from cyberbullies, cybercriminals and cyber hackers, for the mere reason that under these conditions, monitoring will become a lot harder, you see those special accounts also meant that they needed less monitoring, because the origin is known, which is why I personally opposed the view of the White house. They stated “Our pursuit of cybersecurity will not — I repeat, will not include — monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic”, how? Consider yourself in the street, walking, the police is looking for a wanted criminal, now consider where you walk and EVERYONE is wearing exactly the same outfit, do you really think the police will have an easier time finding the culprit? Of course not, now they need to scan every person they pass, not just the person they were looking for in a Green Armani suit wearing purple loafers’ size 12. Good luck finding the right person.

There is a positive issue to net neutrality, there is no denying that, but until they have a way to find the extreme abusers of the net, the neutrality step will make it a lot harder, not easier.

So, you might disagree with me, which is always fair enough, so let’s get the ball rolling on a few parts, because, I have support, I am not the only one here.

They are the first example to use. The BBC (which does not stand for ‘British But Conservative’, at http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31638528), had the following part: “”The internet is built on infrastructure. Even to keep at a steady state providers are going to have to invest in infrastructure but they need certainty that they can get a return on their investments,” said Mr Belcher” which is fair enough, however, if business is no longer investing as they do not get a premium speed, what do you think they will do, stay in the US, or move to Mejico where they revere speed, Ariba Ariba Andale Andale! And when business moves off-shore, where will your cheap provider remain? It will not, it will be pushed out of business fast, or people will have to pay an actual amount.

The next one we get from the Wall Street Journal (at http://www.wsj.com/articles/broadband-investors-should-wake-up-to-net-neutrality-heard-on-the-street-1424975993), here we see “The long-term bull case for cable relies on two main factors: The ability to grow market share of residential broadband and the ability to raise prices. The latter rests on the idea that broadband providers’ pricing power will increase over time, an assumption that could be called into question if the reclassification stands“, my issue, which I do no applaud is the premise on ‘the ability to raise prices’, it seems like a small thing, but do you think that 50.000.000 Americans will like the increase due to the loss of business as they find safer shores? Business relies on visibility, which means speed and priority, when those fall away, that loss must be paid for. There is no way to tell how much more, but it seems to me that an additional $5-$10 per week is not outside the realm of reality, did these net neutrality people figure on that part? I have called big business exploitative on more than one occasion, the other side is that their power was the speed at which they could move, take that away and you get the same need for exploitation, but from a place where they feel safe, they do not feel that in any neutral version of the net.

It is tech liberation that gives us another view on the dangers, issues that I did not completely consider. Not because I disagree, or because it is incorrect, but there is a hint of conspiracy theory here and I am not sure if that ride is one you should focus on, but I will not withhold it (at http://techliberation.com/2014/09/26/net-neutrality-and-the-dangers-of-title-ii/). It is not a new piece, it was written in September 2014, which gives us “As I’ve noted before, prioritized data can provide consumer benefits and stringent net neutrality rules would harm the development of new services on the horizon. Title II–in making the Internet more “neutral”–is anti-progress and is akin to putting the toothpaste back in the tube. The Internet has never been neutral, as computer scientist David Clark and others point out, and it’s getting less neutral all the time. VoIP phone service is already prioritized for millions of households. VoLTE will do the same for wireless phone customers“, you see, streaming services, bandwidth requiring services like Oracle Forms (one of many) are all about the proper priority. When that falls away, we get black-outs in data, which makes a system fall over, yet here we see another side, which seems to agree with the FCC. Most companies have VOIP, not an issue there. But VoLTE is another matter, Voice over LTE must be a monitoring nightmare to some. I am not talking about the intelligence branch (it worries them too), but about the Telco’s. Once we get free Wi-Fi AND free VoLTE, what will telecom companies be left with? When all your calls go across a simple Wi-Fi the game changes, I would think that roaming over free Wi-Fi using VoLTE is the best thing and traveling sales executive will ever face, now consider the Telecom companies with no more Roaming revenue, can you see the pain they would feel? So even if it is a valid view, is it a correct one? You see, I do not know, but I have seen Telco’s sweat blood because of the fear of denied ‘easy peasy revenue’, so there is my view in those matters.

The one missing part is where I wrote in regard to the cyber-illegality actions. In my view, Cyber-crime is hard to solve, most often it does not get solved, because the seekers were too late. Now consider that group and consider the additional delay because the hunters did not have to look in certain places, now that this part is gone, they will have to look everywhere, how will that help solve crimes? I now get back to a quote Fox News had: “No one disagrees that the Internet should be free and open. The president’s plan just does not accomplish that goal“. I agree with this, I will take it one step further, we all had free internet because business drive reachability and innovation (for reasons of greed mind you), when that drive is removed, it becomes a service for all (which is fine), but one that ALL have to pay for, so how did that oblige towards the goal of ‘free internet’? This will drive the need for stronger regulations in regards to ‘fairness’, which will than remove the term ‘open internet’ as well.

I am not against Net Neutrality, but until it is a global thing, which is actually globally ‘enforced’ (read accepted), Net Neutrality will only achieve in driving business to a place called elsewhere.

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