Saturday, 7 January 2017

I Give Trump 3 Months

Before an assassination attempt, successful or otherwise.

He's running a narrative that is the very opposite to the one the intelligence agencies are trying to push.

"The Russians hacked the election!" is being shouted by the CIA and others, yet "It didn't impact the election result!" they say.

Now excuse me for being a bit dumb, but IF the election was hacked, IF it didn't cause a problem, why is it such a big deal?

Now, is this a ploy to piss off the half of the US population that didn't vote for Trump? Is this a ploy to de-legitemise him?

As far as I can tell, the Russian hacking amounted to breaking into the Democrat's poorly secured computers and passing the information to Wikileaks. Hardly the crime of the century or an attempt to destabilise a country. In fact its almost the sort of thing that journalists should be doing, if they were true journalists. The exposure of yet more high-level emails on unsecured servers just shows how poor the Democrats view net security.

I thought it was a felony in the US to have top security documents on unsecured servers or to export them from high security servers to low security ones.

I remember my time working for big finance companies. Cyber security was taken extremely seriously.
The data centres were like Fort Knox, with x-ray scans of baggage and metal detectors for the human traffic, lest you secrete a memory stick on your person.

Emails were only sent internally and to vetted addresses whose network was confirmed as secure as the home network in advance. Emails transferred between networks were always encrypted by a secondary encryption system.

Now that's just a financial company. For feck's sake, this is government traffic we're talking about in the US. Something that should NEVER be on servers less secure than the source.

Anyway, I'll stop digressing. The CIA "briefings" for me are pretty strange. Either they affected the election result and are actionable, or they didn't and aren't. A handful of Russian teenagers hacking into Democrat email servers is not a reason to go to war. The intelligence agencies are not chumps and they don't like being made to look fools. Okay, this time they sort of did it to themselves, but still...

Obviously there's a bit of disagreement between Trump and the intelligence agencies. If I were him, I'd watch out. If just one anti-Trump person is incensed enough to take a pot shot then the intelligence agencies have the smokescreen they need to cover any attempt to get rid of Trump and impose a replacement. Better look into who the vice-president is a bit closer  then....

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Brexit plan in less than 15 seconds.

1. Prepare for the end game of being completely out and trading under WTO rules.

2. Spend 2 years negotiating better access and terms at no extra cost to us and with Referendum promises intact..

3. If regotiations fail to deliver 2. fall back to option1.

That. Is. It.

I still can't understand all the endless hours of TV coverage, with numerous talking heads espousing opinions.

All the clamour for a plan from the government. The plan is: plan for the worst, negotiate a better option.

That's what negotiations are all about. it's the same as trading: you negotiate to buy at a low price, without revealing to the seller how high you are willing to buy, how much you are willing to spend. You then negotiate to sell without revealing how low you would sell at. It's something you don't reveal in advance. Ever.

It's called maximising profit, leverage, commercial advantage.

Something those MPs in Parliament baying to be told the plan have no clue about.

Hence the apallingly poor deals we've had on PPI, Defence, Health, and virtually any other contract the government have negotiated.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Post-Truth... Post-Expert??

There was an interesting debate on Radio 4 this morning between Michael Gove and Stephanie Flanders on the role of experts in determining policy, reporting on trends and generally advising on all things.

The problem with so-called "expert opinion" is it's just that: an opinion. However, if that opinion suits a media agenda is is jumped upon and reiterated as fact ad nauseum. Despite a mandate for fairness, the BBC are one of the worst culprits, offering no counter argument to whatever claim they are making.But they are no worse than Sky, Fox, CNN, RT or any other news channel.

Doing this is essentially biased reporting and at worst no better than propaganda.

I've watched TV news since I was a kid and the most startling change in my lifetime is the introduction of news processed as drama and the increase of biased viewpoints. Way back when, news was factual with very little overt bias. Any bias was easily identified by an opposing viewpoint and a reasoned brain filtering the outlandish claims from the facts.

I've already noted the issue with Brexit: because the BBC are biased against Brexit (and I suppose their fat subsidies from the EU) they report everything bad as "because of Brexit" and anything good as "despite Brexit". So much so I see Guido has started a #DespiteBrexit hashtag on his website. So called experts are wheeled in front of cameras and microphones to decry leave voters, to prophesy doom and gloom, to the exclusion of the opposing viewpoint. Well, only to expose people with an opposite viewpoint as loonies, cranks or people not to be taken seriously.

The other problem for "experts" is their dire warnings of doom don't occur. Which is what happens with opinions and theories. They are a viewpoint, they are extrapolations of what MAY happen in the future.

Their opinions and theories have no more weight than any other but are touted as absolute truth..

The same goes for any other. Global warming is gospel according to the BBC, the science is settled, with absolutely no physical evidence. It's all heresay, statistical, with no proven mechanism, no proof that increased CO2 drives global warming, let alone man made CO2 is the main influence. It could be that the globe warming is a totally natural process and the increase of CO2 is driven by the warming rather than the other way round. But no science is being done to prove that hypothesis, there's no money in it. Science is very much made to fit the model. You'll never hear that viewpoint taken seriously on any mainstream media.

The phrase post-truth has emerged this year to describe the rise of populism, the rejection of the elitist version of reality reported to us as absolute truth. It's supposed to be an unhealthy thing. But it's plain that the media and elites are just as bad at offering lies as truth.

Getting back to the point, the problem isn't "experts" per se, it's the media's attempt to process opinion as fact, theories as proof, without opposition. Telling us what we should believe, rather than reporting both sides of the story and allowing us to weigh either side of the argument and divine the truth for ourselves.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Germany's terrorism Problem.

It's widely accepted that Germany has allowed close to 2 million migrants into the country thanks to Angela Merkel's poor choice of words and political viewpoint.

Whatever her motives, whether it was to show that Germany was still left of centre, to show they still hadn't embraced any right of centre thinking, I'm not sure.

But what I am sure of, is that she seriously undermined the security of Germany by employing the policy she has.

We can accept that the majority of the migrants we saw streaming across Europe's borders were male and of fighting age. Not that the females are without suspicion. There have been a few cases now of extremist brides turning impressionable young Muslim males into extremists.

So, lets say 0.1 percent of those 2 million are extremists (0.1 percent for those unable to quickly do the maths is 1 terrorist for every 1000 genuine refugee or asylum seeker. Seems a fair estimate given the number of fighting age males that streamed across Europe's borders over the past couple of years). That's 2000 people the Germany authorities have to identify AND then continue to monitor. That's quite a task for the internal security services. Given that you'd probably need a team of 12(*) or more people to monitor each suspect 24/7, that's a lot of manpower that I assume the German authorities just don't have. Just think, paying for at least 24000 people to monitor extremists and that's only the ones imported in the past couple of years. And that's only the surveillance teams. You then need to factor in the analysts, handlers, management, etc. The back-room people that coordinate everything.

Sure, both France and Germany have had terrorists before, but not in the numbers created here. A group of 50 people is relatively easy to surveil, but when it runs to thousands or tens of thousands across Europe it starts to turn into a massive logistical exercise. So massive it's probably beyond our current internal security services.

That is what people mean when they say allowing masses of immigrants into countries undermines security. The fact that they have arrived in European countries in millions means it only takes a fraction of a percent of those people to be extremists to overwhelm the security services.

Only in a Police state could those people be  properly surveilled. Just park that idea and continue to watch events. I mean, what better way to bring about a Police state than to create a security problem that makes people actually ask for more security and less freedom.

Anyway, hopefully the miserable Merkel will get the boot this year and someone with a more sensible view on immigration and the problems it causes with open borders gets into power in Germany.

I did hear the other day that a few countries in Europe are now coming to the opinion that Shengen and the open border policy is an issue and are asking for it to be suspended. It's interesting because that was one of the things that David Cameron asked for two years ago and failed to get from the EU commission. One of the things that would have kept the UK in the EU.

It's also interesting that the very people promoting an open, integrated united Europe are the very people that have triggered it's destruction. Failing to take a pragmatic viewpoint and allow flexibility to deal with the immigration crisis, their very dogmatic and inflexible response has effectively killed the European Union.

(*) 12 is probably the minimum team number (2 mobile, 2 fixed, in 3 8 hour shifts), with a high chance of detection. If you want to be as covert as possible, then the team size grows in order to make sure there are enough face changes when tailing a suspect. The same face tailing a suspect for 8 hours has a very high chance of being recognised as a tail. Yes, teams can be assigned to different suspects on different days, but the lower the number, the higher the chance of a regular, familiar face being picked up by the target and team changes also rely on targets being in the same area, which again increases the chances of recognition and detection. Of course every time the team number grows, the amount is multiplied by the number of targets.

It quite quickly becomes impossible to monitor all suspects 24/7, so then you start to prioritise targets, which is where the "lone wolf" types can successfully slip through the net. A low priority target can suddenly decide today is the day and cause havoc because they weren't up at the top of the risk table.

The risk assessment of each targets then boils down to "have they contacted anyone higher up the list or a known organiser recently, possibly plotting an event?" In essence that's the only way you can find them. You can't factor in changes in physical behaviour, because they are not under surveillance. The reliance is on electronic intelligence, which is why every western nation wants to hold everyone's data indefinitely, so if someone previously unknown or low risk does pop up on the radar by carrying out an attack, their communications can be wound back and contacts confirmed. Then a network is established by backtracking and finding out which other people contacted the suspects contacts. In effect identifying the hubs or organisers in the network.

Way too late of course to stop the event that just occurred, but probably just enough to stop a fair number of other attacks. 

Of course if the suspects go dark electronically and use cold war old school spycraft, the authorities are fubared. Unless resources are majorly beefed up which then tends towards the Police state style security where everyone is either a suspect or an informant. Just like the good ol' GDR. Oh, back round to Mrs Merkel then...

Monday, 28 November 2016

Castro Death Output Provides Political Bellweather for BBC output Bias.

If ever there was a bellweather for the BBC's political leanings, it has to be the reporting of the death of Fidel Castro.

A huge section on the web page, with a picture of Castro taking up almost half the page.

Not content with eulogizing a dictator, they had several "experts" and others from the looney left on the news channel tripping over themselves to express how big a socialist icon he was.

I think Castro was a bit more radical than socialist, but when you're as far left as the BBC and their Kensington Kremlinista champagne socialists, a few summary executions, the impoverishment of a nation and almost causing a nuclear war just fade into the background I guess.

I'm working class, come from "up North" and I'm still not as lefty as these idiots. It's great when you have enough independent wealth to afford to be a trot, or someone else is paying for it like the Unions or Local Councils. But those of us true working class people know what deluded morons they all are.

Something really needs to be done to bring the BBC back to providing balanced reporting.

Mind you it would be nice if they would stop trying to make every bit of news into a drama and actually report factual news. Rather than have a trail of bleeding heart stories, or some gormless bystander doing the reporter's job for them, or having "are you affected by this news? Please email....." messages.

Am I getting old? Is it just me that's sick and tired of the lack of actual facts in the news?

Friday, 11 November 2016

BBC Question Time, and the Irrelevance of the Political Elite

The past couple of weeks, I've sat through BBC's question time amazed at the lack of balance, intelligence and common sense on all sides.

Last week the main issue was Brexit (again!) With one old guy in the audience shouting that the referendum should be ignored because those that voted leave did so on the basis of lies and untruths spoken by the leave campaign.

Sorry old geezer, the people voted and no matter what their reasons, they voted to leave. The reason why they voted to leave is irrelevant. Just because you didn't get what you want, doesn't give you the right to overthrow the will of the people.

Last night was worse, with much wailing about Trump's win. The panel was 4-1 against Trump, which was hardly balanced.

It was like a kids party, where no-one was happy, everyone was name-calling and the one Trump supporter on the panel was continually shouted down. It just struck me how juvenile politics in the UK has become. The most adult viewpoints came from the audience, who had a more pragmatic view.

The thing that struck me is not one of the 4 anti-trump members of the panel could understand his appeal. And that carries on across America as we see anti-trump protests appearing in various towns and cities.

I'd like to explain why trump won. Outside the neo-liberal political bubble viewpoint that is constantly shown on the media with no counterpoint, there is a majority of people that don't hold that view.

In the UK, is surfaced as an anti-EU, anti-immigration, anti-PC, anti-establishment vote that got the win for the leave campaign. You can rationalize it as a protest vote if that soothes your mind and allows you to think there isn't a majority of  people out there that have the opposite view to the neo-liberal "let everyone in, there are no Muslim terrorists, women and minorities should be given preferential treatment instead of equality" viewpoint.

In America, it crystalised as a "low-tax, no-more-illegal-immigrant, pro-homegrown business, anti-white-collar, anti-corporation, anti-government-expansion" viewpoint.

The women on Question Time last night could not rationalize that women would vote for Trump. They couldn't accept that minorities would vote for Trump. Indeed they tried to rationalise it as the majority didn't vote for Trump, in that the popular vote (the absolute number of votes cast for each candidate) was greater for Clinton and therefore she was somehow cheated out of office.

But the majority of people in America and the UK are poor, white and/or working class.

The poor, white working class are despised by the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic. Their viewpoints are refuted, shouted down even,  at every turn by the political elite that refuse to acknowledge they exist, let alone support their viewpoint.

With Brexit and the American Presidential election, someone came along and started speaking their language, publicly aired their opinions and fears and won.

It's now time for the political elite to start working for the majority and keep their lefist, elitist, nose-snubbing opinions and policies to themselves.

They need to remember they work for us.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Article 50 Court Ruling: Constitutional Crisis Ahead.

The courts have just voted in favour of MPs having a vote on invoking article 50.

Given that the majority of MPs are in favour of remaining in Europe (and maintaining the EU gravy train) and the majority of the public have voted to leave, this throws up a crisis where Parliament is unrepresentative of the will of the public.

I seem to remember a previous spat between the supreme authority (the king) and parliament caused a civil war. Hopefully it won't get that far, but it is a huge indication of how MPs in Parliament put themselves far above the will of the people and how removed they are from the will of the people.

The public are the sovereign power, they give power to their representative in Parliament for 5 years. Their representative must respect the will of the majority of their constituents. They are not there to represent the minority view, the view of a small number of lobbyists, or their own personal view on the matter.

MPs handed power back to the public by act of Parliament when the referendum act was brought into law. The majority of MPs voted to agree to the referendum and by doing so, to abide by the outcome of that referendum.

The majority of the public have voted and MPs must bow to the authority they invested in the people.

If they don't then they show the same contempt for the power we the public invest in them that Charles did for the power of Parliament back before the civil war.

This is no time for the majority to be silent. The majority that voted for Brexit need to make it clear in no uncertain terms that if their MP votes to remain, they will not be voted for in the next election. This is not a matter of party politics, it's about the will of the people and democracy.

The public needs to understand this is what you get when you vote blindly for MPs without questioning their loyalty to us the voter. Keep voting the same person in year after year and they get a sense of entitlement, that they will be voted in time after time without them needing to respect the wishes of the people that vote them in.

It caused a civil war last time, all we need to do is watch and remember just how our representative voted when it came to represent the true will of the people. And then vote accordingly at the next opportunity.

It's something those died-in-the-wool Labour heartlands I come from that voted to leave need to understand and the Conservative safe seats of the South I've lived in since.  Stop guaranteeing their accession to power.

As a final observation, I just wonder if there would have been so much opposition to the result had the referendum gone 52/48 in favour of remain? I've a good idea that the leavers would have had to swallow the result, shut up and put up with it.