Archive for November, 2015

@UKLabour what are the politics behind Cameron’s burning desire to go to war?

November 22, 2015

Wonderful! there are generals, who believe that they could clear up ISIS in 21 days, given a ground assault.
All things being equal, they probably could; just as the Israeli’s destroyed the Iraqi forces and the Syrian forces and the Egyptian forces, who had invaded to wipe them out.
However, everything else is not equal.
First, there is no-one in ISIS to surrender and call off further attacks.
Second, the Kurds, who are mooted as being the ones to oversee the peace are being attacked by the Turks.
Third, the Turks, our allies in the region, have been allegedly providing “comfort” to ISIS, in exchange for attacking the Kurds.
Fourth the Russians, who have joined with Turkey in building gas pipelines (economic battle with EU) are also assisting Assad destroy forces opposing him and ISIS.
They might not be happy about US and European having dominance in this region.
Do we attack from the South and hope Turkey will join the Kurds in preventing ISIS escaping North along routes, which have allegedly been open to them?
Do we attack from the North and assume that Turkey will allow us to aid the Kurds?
What about the Kurds? Kurdistan was split up and parcelled out to Turkey, Iraq and Iran, by the Western powers, after WWI, won’t they be expecting a little quid pro quo?
After Blair and Bush’s adventure in Iraq, the main complaint was that there had been no exit strategy, only the dishing out of rebuilding contracts.
Is this what will happen with Cameron’s war?

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databases are continually being hacked/leaked. Identity Fraud must be the banks responsibility.

November 16, 2015
It’s hypocritical of politician’s to berate Talk Talk for being slow to react to the recent hack of its customer database.
This isn’t the first company to be hacked and it won’t be the last.
Politicians need to do more than complain about how slowly the stable door has been closed, after the horse has bolted.
Stretching the analogy, it’s obvious that stronger bolts aren’t the complete answer, although there are encryption techniques that companies can use to help limit the damage..
We need measures to ensure that once the hackers have customers details, they can’t exploit them.
Exploitation can done by making purchases, using customer credit cards but
Banks have the software to identify unusual transactions and that could be enhanced by companies having some means of fingerprinting their databases.
Banks could also prevent fraudster’s from using customer details to take out new credit cards, without adequate checks.
Banks could agree a maximum level of monthly withdrawal, without customer presence.
This would prevent phisher’s using customer details to empty customer bank accounts.
In all cases, banks are ultimately the key to defeating hackers and this may be the real problem; persuading politicians to pass legislation holding banker’s to account, for releasing our money to the fraudster’s and, so, financing further attempts by them.

The real threat of ISIS is that it will throw back civil liberties to the time of the Peterloo Massacre.

November 16, 2015

Reference the attascks by ISIS: It is the loss of our freedoms that we should be concerned with.

Hitler and Stalin would have loved the powers that our Governments have given themselves.

They can track us, individually, via our GPS systems in our cars and phones. Presumably this was why the terrorists in the previous French attack¬† (known by the Security forces to be dangerous, without a blanket trawl of everyone’s on-line activity) used a couple of dozen different mobile phones in arranging the attack and the escape of their families.

The power, to hack our phones, means the security services can activate the microphones in our smart phones, download all our messages. All whilst we think our phones are switched off (according to Snowden).  As many have their mobiles linked to their bank accounts, it is conceivable that they could be emptied, also.

We have more CCTV’s per head than anywhere else in The World: These can be connected to software which can identify people from faces, from a mile away (I think it’s called Sentinel).

They have been intercepting our emails for over a decade (Echelon) and even local Authorities are allowed to do so. The new legislation just makes some aspects legal.

As far as reading all those emails, that’s not necessary; they have software which, like Net Nanny, looks for key phrases and flags up suspect ones

Other liberties are in danger; in response to the recent attack, in Paris, it is likely we’ll see armed units on our streets, maybe even private militia (the government likes to privatise and has used G4S in Afghanistan etc.) with Army supervision.

We could have a generation growing up thinking that these trappings of a Police State are normal.

We could have a generation of politicians thinking that it is their right to use these power’s against people who won’t behave themselves, as was the case at the Peterloo massacre.

Is Snooper’s Charter worth the cost?

November 16, 2015
Theresa May’s Demand for all browsing history to be kept for a year has greater ramification’s than an intrusion on our privacy.
Besides increasing the risk of hacking and ID theft, it will cost ISP’s to hold that data, raising the price to user’s.
This will provide ammunition for those U.S. cable companies, who want to introduce a two-tier system, slowing down access rates for domestic use, thus reducing broadband speeds.
All that the snooping will enable is the post-mortem examination of an attack, because serious attackers will be careful to avoid arousing attention.

Snooper’s charter wouldn’t stop Paris attack here, so why yield our freedom?

November 16, 2015
The attacks in Paris are thought to be by incomer’s, probably aided by other anonymous incomer’s and, maybe, residents.
Presumably it is the covert resident’s that the snooper’s charter is allegedly intended to discover.
With 128 dead and many more injured, it seems unlikely that a snooper’s charter would have prevented the attacks in Paris.
The best it could do would be to enable a trawl for the accomplices and identify the killer’s, as known terrorists. What use is such “intelligence” ?
Such an approach would be a lengthy one with a lot of luck needed and with little hope of preventing another closely followed attack, if one was intended.
In fact, in all such incidents, where Security forces had advance warning, including those, where the IRA phoned in the attacks, they seem to have been unable to prevent attacks, e.g. the homegrown Luton cretins and the Charlie Hebdo attacker’s, where they orchestrated their actions by mobile phones.
Under our Laws, there is very little that can be done, until a crime is committed and even when a crime has been palpably committed, little can be done to those involved, or their instigator’s e.g. the butchery of Drummer, Lee Rigby.
A better approach would be to focus on the attacks.
It might be expensive but Army units and/or SWAT teams on stand-by would have limited the number of deaths in an attack, like that in Paris.
Rapid response teams could, at least, enable a more prompt arrest of lone wolf killer’s, against a decision to continue their slaughter.
If Hi-tec is seen as the answer, then devices, emulating the ability of sniffer dogs to smell out explosives, could be deployed, using Networks similar, or parallel to the myriad CCTV’s, observing our every move.
A short term measure might be to make possession of plastique, or Kalashnikov’s punishable by a mandatory 10 year sentence.
Cabinet member’s and Member’s of Cobra, are awarded salaries suggesting they are considered to be of high quality. Surely they can come up with better solutions to fighting Terrorism, than the equivalent of steaming open the wife’s mail to see if she has a lover, who is stupid enough to delare it in a letter.
Government should stop trying to micro-manage its citizenry and take measures to deal with the aggressor’s.

poppy day is no longer genuinely meaningful for most of the present generation.

November 9, 2015

There was a time, when the poppy was the only badge-pin sold as a charity.
It was made by ex-servicemen, using wire, red-paper and a tar button.
My dad always wore one to commemorate the men he knew, who had died.
The reason I wear one is to respect my Dad and those he remembered.
Most of my dad’s generation have died and I’ve noticed that there isn’t the same respect shown poppy day, anymore.
The anti-war white poppy misses the point, entirely, but has, despite its disrespect for those who died, a certain validity in decrying the political realities, which led to those deaths.
To me. it’s like wearing a white golliwog badge to show that you oppose racism, or anti-clockwise Swastika to show you’re an anti-fascist.
I know that the wearer’s are all fervent supporter’s of the white poppy and their interpretation of its significance. It’s just sad that the original point of wearing the red poppy has been distorted to the point that they see it simply as a symbol glorifying war.
The reason that this has happened is that rembrance day has moved into the political arena.
Originally, the politicians attending the State-run Service were ex-servicemen, who, like my dad, were actually remembering those, with whom they had served. However, few, if any, of the present generation of politicians have any awareness of that era, when people stopped at the eleventh minute, of the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, without any bell, hooter, or klaxon to tell them that they should.
In fact, the generation, epitomised by Blair, show that Remembrance day has become more of a mock show of respect by those, for whom, it has no emotional significance beyond that of being seen to appear to be respectful.
It maybe that we should, within the next decade, drop the pretence of an emotionally charged ceremony, except amongst Service personnel.
I, personally, lost my respect for The British Legion, which administers the funds collected,when after the Falklands war, we were informed that disbursements were made according to rank. i.e widows of officer’s were paid very generous pensions but those of squaddies received nominal sums.
It would be nice, if we had a Government, which truly represented us and looked after those who placed their lives on the line to protect us.
It would also be nice, if our politicians saw our soldiers, as compatriots (true patriotism), rather than toys to be gambled/ expended in unnecessary foreign adventures.