Saturday, April 26, 2014

Vatican accidentally lets anyone whatsoever send emails to millions of people via their official press release list.

For a brief moment the Vatican opened its doors to give voice to anyone who wanted to speak. Advertisements and annoying emails were sent out to the unwashed masses via their mailing list to thousands of journalists including myself, and no doubt many others who resquest their press-releases to be sent to them.

From strange comments about what an email author thought was a deluded Vatican, to away-from-work-notices and awkward questions... the Vatican allowed subscribers and journalists to be bombarded in a hellish technological failure.

For about an hour Today, my inbox became cluttered with mass mailed messages sent to me from the Vatican's Vatican Information Service mailing list. I was not the only one, as seemingly Vatican staff allowed anyone who emailed their mailing list reply-to-address: access millions of people. Some of the emails sent included advertising, and others' emails to the Vatican reply-to-address revealed to many people that a person might not be home. This sort of error should be easily avoided, given the zero day possibilities to heavily embarrass the world's oldest existing organization.

Here is a screenshot of my phone's inbox at the time, with one of the many emails partially open, which were sent to many from the Vatican's address.

Diabolically, the Democratic Alliance did dutifully deceive as they changed a peaceful police act, into a massacre.

The voice blasted with a consistency over the radio. Winston Churchill might have awaken and noticed.

'We are witnessing our police officers' homes being burnt to the ground, police officers are being attacked and murdered, police stations are being attacked and this will serve only to fuel such attacks on our officers,' the sound bellowed over the radio, as I listened.

A Democratic Alliance voice responded, claiming it was mere news footage, and said of it that were they in the wrong to it use it to gain votes, then much of what appears on the news should be barred from air. What was not news footage was the clever editing, and the voice over, which police say lie of the context of the scene.

The police dug into the archives before their rather specific, extensive response about context.

This was not a massacre like Marikana. Bekkersdal had erupted into rioting once again, police armed with rubber bullets had attempted desperately to restore order. The men with blue shirts, the Democratic Alliance colours, must have appeared opportune for advertising. If only they had really been shot, this complaint might never have been made. Perhaps if the Democratic Alliance had taken footage from Marikana, all would be okay. They attempted to use that tragedy also, although the surviving miners booed and bellowed for them to leave and be gone back then.

The police were not given a chance to respond to the politician's asserting it as mere news in the advert, on the radio news show. Instead, the announcer of news mentioned that the South African Police Service, had filed late to have the advert banned, that the police claimed to have been previously unaware of the advertisement. The South African Broadcasting Corporation had banned the piece by the Democratic Alliance candidate for Gauteng, along with an advert by the Economic Freedom Fighters advocating damaging property. After the Democratic Alliance threatened the SABC, the public broadcaster put the anti-police message upon their airwaves. The Democratic Alliance anti-police piece had already gained many YouTube views, from the curious and their supporters. ICASA, the broadcasting independent regulator has yet to rule whether the advert incites violence, but Yesterday it was to determine whether it could condone the SAPS late filing of their complaint.

The police complaint will be heard. Yet, what fascinates me most is the apparent subterfuge of the DA's news footage claim, and how different it happens to be from the police version.

The SAPS said Yesterday:

'The “Ayisafani” advertisement depicts the DA’s 2014 election candidate for Gauteng’s Premiership, Mr Mmusi Maimane in which among other things he said: “We’ve seen a police force killing our own people”. The advertisement’s footage depicts a police officer allegedly shooting at two apparently unarmed people who are cowering away from the police.'

'In fact, the advertisement’s footage is inaccurate and misleading as the two people shown in the image were never killed or shot at and no live ammunition was used. The footage was carefully selected from one of Bekkersdal’s illegal and violent protests where the police had to restore public order to protect the life of law abiding citizens and their property.'

Yet, with a media so keen to echo the message of the face that did not launch a thousand battle ships, but which certainly has had enough plastic surgery to attempt such a feet, will this police version make the front of many a news publication?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Democratic Alliance diabolically deceive with out of context anti-police video

According to the South African Police Service, the Democratic Alliance which has claimed that they were merely using news footage of police actions, via their voice over lied. The protesters wearing blue shirts were neither killed nor shot at. Police did not use live ammunition at the protest in question, say the boys in blue.





The South African Police Service have released a long press release, below I quote part of it:


'The “Ayisafani” advertisement depicts the DA’s 2014 election candidate for Gauteng’s Premiership, Mr Mmusi Maimane in which among other things he said: “We’ve seen a police force killing our own people”. The advertisement’s footage depicts a police officer allegedly shooting at two apparently unarmed people who are cowering away from the police.

In fact, the advertisement’s footage is inaccurate and misleading as the two people shown in the image were never killed or shot at and no live ammunition was used. The footage was carefully selected from one of Bekkersdal’s illegal and violent protests where the police had to restore public order to protect the life of law abiding citizens and their property.

We lodged a complaint in terms of Regulation 6 (9) on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Advertisements and the Equitable Treatment of Political Parties by Broadcasting Licensees and Related Matters, 2014 as we believe that the DA deliberately carried on with this fallacy to suit their egocentric agenda, an act that we feel strongly that is utterly irresponsible, desperate and borders on lack of morality and falsehood.

The regulation states that a party that submits a political advertisement to a broadcasting service licensee for broadcast must ensure that the advertisement does not contravene the provisions of the Electoral Code, the Electoral Act, the Constitution, the Electronic Communications Act 2005, (Act 36 of 2005) and the Broadcasting Act.

Furthermore, the regulation clearly states that the advertisement must not contain any material that is calculated, or that in the ordinary course is likely, to provoke or incite any unlawful, illegal or criminal act, or that may be perceived as condoning or lending support to any such act.

As SAPS we feel strongly that the advertisement breaches the Regulations, because there is a likelihood that it will incite or provoke violence against the police. The SAPS requested the ICASA’s CCC to make a finding that the advertisement breaches the Regulations and to recommend that ICASA as the broadcasting regulatory body, instructs the SABC to terminate broadcasting of the advertisement.

It has become clear that the Democratic Alliance sought to drive a wedge between the SAPS and community it serves. We are witnessing our police officers homes being burnt to the ground, police officers are being attacked and murdered and this type of statements will serve only to fuel such attacks on our officers. SAPS will continue to serve the community with utmost objectivity, due diligence and respect for human rights to ensure that people of South Africa are and feel safe. This victory over the DA is indicative of much we value our relationship with our communities.

We call upon South Africans to condemn any and all acts of violence and/or speeches that incite violence. We will also continue to respect the democratic rights of people to demonstrate but we ask that such rights be exercised in a peaceful manner and within the confines of the law. Carrying of weapons and acts of violence during these demonstrations will not be tolerated.'

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The #Selfie: key to communication in a world of pure text?

A founding principle of the Camera always was that someone else should take a photograph of you. It kind of meant you had to be worthy of photographing. Once upon a time people paid a price per photograph and had to have these photographs developed. The result was that people were picky about things. A photograph of you was likely to be a good photograph.

In the digital world we communicate by Text. We live in surreal times when people can have never met, yet are known to others. In old times, with the printing press authors and scientists became known of: famous, infamous, noted. For me it is a strange reality that the internet has caused us to know others, and be known by others we will never ever meet. According to Google, my Google Plus profile will have had 500 000 (Five Hundred Thousand) views, mostly by people who have never met me in person no doubt: I am on 498,946 views currently. Perhaps from people who liked what I have said, and perhaps from the curious, or from people who dislike my perspectives. Yet, either way, I have played some role in lives of people I don't know from any other person I also don't know. We live in a world where one person can communicate to millions, and yet not have their life change much for that.

How do these people know that I am real? Generally the fact I have photographs up on social networks might help. Are they photographs of myself: yes... but perhaps the consistency of photographs being the same person helps. A famous blogger in the middle east turned out to be the machination of a government intelligence network of one of the world's nations recently. A picture was stolen from a Facebook and became the respected voice of many journalists. It was a non-existent voice.

The selfie seems to build upon the gap of text. Like an icon or avatar of old, it seems to turn text into humankind. Perhaps you looked at my picture as I wrote. Maybe you decided based upon my appearance whether you want to listen to my voice.

The other side is self obsession. Everyone can speak on social networks. Everyone is given a platform. This is where trolls emerge and prowl where only rich trolls once were able to hunt. This is a world where people commit suicide because of words said online. This is a world where every person carries a camera, and is deemed a photographer. When people are able to speak, those who are vain are able to speak almost solely of their own self and their alleged view that they are more worthy than those around their self.

My answer to selfies tends to be this: I look much better when someone takes a photograph of me, than when I awkwardly attempt to myself take of a photograph of myself. I prefer to ask another person to photograph me. The photo tends to be better than if it were a self portrait. Make no mistake, I love photography. I used to take and I used to develop photographs, and I still enjoy to film the world. Yet, I prefer if others photograph my self.

That said, there are some amazing self portraits in history, from Van Gogh, to a pretty celebrity, who is smart enough not to look like she is holding the camera. Are selfies essential to online communication, or are pictures? Some people I respect the view of neither have a picture nor show their identity whatsoever.

Either way, text and photographs and videos, and 3d and high resolution, and virtual reality are all no analogue to real life communication.

We live in a real world, with the advantage of digital communication.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Beautiful filmography, amazing camera work, spectacular use of reverse play technique, and a hauntingly sung melody

Music is no longer what is was once, at least often it isn't. It isn't musicians singing and daring you not to care. It isn't sound that alters your mood. It isn't fascinating, gripping music videos, which alter your perceptions and call upon you to banshee screech in delight at the music that is sound. Instead, it is as though one is watching the naughty after hours channel, or Fashion television. Scantily clad men and women, aimed at selling not wonder but sexual frustration.

When I hear a song such as this mash up of the girl band, The Arrows and Five FM's DJ Kent, I rejoice.

Heavenly rhythm, an otherworldly experience: a must watch:


When people say the word God in a the children are sleeping voice.

My religion is not words, and songs, and candlelight or karaoke. It is in my actions, integrity, morality, steadfastness, loyalty, truth!  To me, I far more preach the gospel if I write a truthful article as a journalist than a pastor at a mega-church who is a vain hypocrite, or his bleating repetitive sheep repeating phrases they neither understand daily nor believe.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, my Facebook filled with badly drawn paintings and the wondrous phrase: 'He is Risen.'

For some reason it annoyed me. The same annoying phrase repeated again and again on my Facebook feed. Not even a good phrase, although it might have been quoting the bible or something in context that might have been great. Was Jesus really dead on Good Friday 2014? Or are we speaking of a almost 2000 year old event? For me it is the latter. Jesus rose +- 2000 years ago. And the effect of this action is retroactive into the birthing of the universe, just as his pain in crucifixion goes right into the creator's consciousness at the beginning of all things.

All of the Easter Christians were posting: 'He is risen!'. But who was risen? Did they realise that to some of us it is like someone posting Rebecca Black songs on their wall? Why not post 'Jesus rose from the dead, yes I believe that.' I can almost imagine them using their small child voice or that 'The children are sleeping voice,' as though God were a myth not a reality, as though they were playing a game or relaying stories of Santa Clause, or something crazy they don't expect any anybody to believe.

I am not much for days such as Easter. Except the part of attending mass it is unimportant to me. For me God must be every breath. If you only attend mass on Easter you missed point. The 'He is Risen' people seemed to be stating the obvious but in a very cryptic way.  Fine, he rose 2000 years ago. Are you living that, I asked myself of them? It is like the person who quotes some song, and expects people to ask, or posts 'peanut butter'... no doubt so some friend will like the enigma of it. It is like someone who speaks Zulu when I who have not spoken it in ten years am present and am being excluded from some insider conversation.

For me religion is pruning every hint at thought, it need not be stated, because it is lived within and without. I hate hypocrisy. If I think of lying or sinning I believe that has an impact, in the least on my relationship with God. I try to insure all my thoughts are truthful. There is a reason I object to AFP calling what essentially are Christians who are mass murderers in CAR: mere 'Vigil Antes,' for their war crime of ethnic cleansing Muslims. There is a reason I write highly controversial articles which are well researched and against the narrative: because I bother to discover the truth first. If God is truth, then every moment needs to be worship of truth: not just in reality, but in the beauties which fiction reveals, and which sarcasm and jokes bring forth. It means that actions inconsistent with truth need to be opposed: human rights abuses, abuse of religion to justify harming people, so much more than that too. Most especially the right to disagree must be protected. My true friends are sometimes my opposite, and I love them all the more. Spirituality is a celebration, a feeling, a party. It is fleeting and disappears. Religion is a choice, and a consistent integral lifestyle! If Jesus is the truth then live by that. Live a honest sober life, celebrate, but don't turn God into a party trick. Or a self-help seminar.

Some people say God in a don't wake the children voice, as though he were a myth, like Santa Claus. When I talk of God my voice is straight forward. I speak as though God is alive, because I believe God is alive,Just as I believe God died. Not because I am so great and God loves and worships me. Not because 'Jesus loves me.' But because God is great, and he cares enough about us, like a parent of a trouble child might, that he in his integrity died, to solve a problem if we let him: to let us live honestly...

Let us not betray that by living the ceremony and the stories yearly, but not living an entirely honest spotless life if we can. I don't mean don't have fun, or don't celebrate life and enjoy it. I don't mean don't have a bit of wine now and again. I mean this: be true to yourself in everything. Don't change just to please people on anything of importance. Ask why you are Christian or whatever else, and investigate if you made the right decision to be so. I know I did. It is why I believe now.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Russians have: Super-fast technique of taking off your shirt: which they guarantee will impress your lady(s)

Crazy Russian Hacker has a romantic gesture for you to try with the old ball and chain... guaranteed to impress her... or make her laugh....



Russian innovation has again shown why Mr Putin's nation wins...

Unlike the video above, this is a photo-shop... but it does show the importance of being shirtless in Russia.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Not really 'Pro-Russian' 'Separatists'? Ukraine Eastern Protesters' posters claim to be defending a united Ukraine!



This image was published Today by the BBC. Slogans in English, both references to American interference, with one referencing the EU also. 'Leave Ukraine Alone', is very suggestive of their real enemy. It isn't their countrymen, but the foreign powers which gladly conveyed those supporting the Maiden riots into power and continue to support them. Maiden was all a protest against not signing trade treaties with the European Union. Europe felt much obliged to support the protesters and oust the Democratically Elected but Europe despising President who refused to sign his predecessor's planned treaty.

The slogans seem to suggest the protesters are patriots, not separatists. It is not that they want to join Russia, but that they are objecting to the Maiden Riots installed government that replaced the one they elected.

These are not Separatists or Pro-Russians, these are Ukrainian patriots, of the anti-Administration variety. Think occupy Wall Street but with guns, in a country where the government might very well shoot protesters for such an occupation. After all, the army has been summoned in, not riot police or the Ukrainian variety of SWAT teams.

Christian Science Monitor recently interviewed people on the streets in Ukraine's Russian Speaking part... they didn't find pro-Russian or separatist views at all, and even stated that the armed building occupiers themselves who they were unable to interview, seemed to be protesting for a plurality of demands, changing what they want every five minutes, and certainly not in any firm way supporting joining Russia or Russia itself.

The swift, outright rejection of the Russian supported Geneva agreement further emphasizes the fact that protesters don't care about not embarrassing Russia. Some in media have even now decided to call what they called pro-Russian separatists 'rebels', although protesters still is the term the majority of actors are best described by.

To quote what I wrote Yesterday (If you read it, there is nothing new I have to say in this article):

It is strange how quickly the parliament of Crimea declared the new Ukrainian leaders illegitimate after the ousting of the nation's democratically elected East loving President. Crimea had been perfectly happy to remain in Ukraine right until about that point.

Likewise the swiftness with which that new Ukrainian parliament approved a bill to ban speaking Russian is astounding (their new President vetoed that bill but only after the East expressed their outrage).

Once Crimea joined Russia, amidst civilian activism for it, other Eastern regions saw ethnic Ukrainians, who speak Russian in their daily business lives, occupying buildings much as the Maiden protesters did. Unlike with the Maiden protesters, deadly force against the Eastern protesters was something the West not only stomached but seemed to yearn for.

The USA praised the Maiden installed new Ukrainian government for sending the army in to quell the dissent in the East of Ukraine and in the South, calling such a move 'restraint'.

Ukraine has always been split between Russian speaking and Ukrainian Speaking. Such is the legacy of history, and of its once being 'one nation' with Russia. The Maiden protesters were from the latter, they spoke Ukrainian, the former President from the former, his support came from the East and from the South.

With massive Western support for the Maiden protesters and the government they brought to power through Molotov cocktails and EU pressure, the Eastern peoples in Ukraine saw that one side of the world stage opposed them. How many reports call them terrorists, or a mob or many other things? Their objection to a government they never elected taking power specifically to ally with the EU, could be a dangerous game without backing from Russia or the East, Kiev looked like a war zone under Maiden protests, but no one dared call it anything but legitimate protest in the West.

In Geneva, Russia and other Geo-Political players hashed out a deal: Constitutional reforms and amnesty in exchange for the de-occupation of buildings. Unfortunately for these powers, Russia is not in charge of the protests. The Protesters are often lukewarm to Russia whatever their official claims. The Geneva agreement has been rejected by protesters, who don't seemed awed by the Russian request that they quiet down.

The Eastern Protesters needed some powerful card to protect them from a crackdown and almost certain death. They chose Russia, though their real desires are not to join it. This is why they reject an agreement between everyone but themselves.

As I wrote recently:

The Pro-Russians in the East and South East hardly said much of a word that anyone might have noticed before the Maiden riots in Kiev ousted the democratically elected President of Ukraine, and saw him put on the new leader's wanted list as a criminal. Likewise, protesters in the east are called 'terrorists', and the West seems to support use of force against them: a far cry from its position in almost every other recent conflict. Is it not possible, as Christian Science Monitor found, that there is very little support for Separatism among the people in the East and South East, and even among the Pro-Russians. Is it not possible, that this is merely what they see as the safest way to protest against an unelected government, which has attempted to ban the language all business is done in: Russian (The new leaders' President vetoed a bill that the new leaders' parliament voted for: banning Russian). Is it not possible that these pro-Russian ethnic and national Ukrainians, are merely worried about the events in Kiev, and are thus ordinary voices of dissent, voices which are being silenced by force of death?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reason Pro-Russian Separatists rejected Geneva accord: they are neither pro-Russian, nor Separatists... #Ukraine

It is strange how quickly the parliament of Crimea declared the new Ukrainian leaders illegitimate after the ousting of the nation's democratically elected East loving President. Crimea had been perfectly happy to remain in Ukraine right until about that point.

Likewise the swiftness with which that new Ukrainian parliament approved a bill to ban speaking Russian is astounding (their new President vetoed that bill but only after the East expressed their outrage).

Once Crimea joined Russia, amidst civilian activism for it, other Eastern regions saw ethnic Ukrainians, who speak Russian in their daily business lives, occupying buildings much as the Maiden protesters did. Unlike with the Maiden protesters, deadly force against the Eastern protesters was something the West not only stomached but seemed to yearn for.

The USA praised the Maiden installed new Ukrainian government for sending the army in to quell the dissent in the East of Ukraine and in the South, calling such a move 'restraint'.

Ukraine has always been split between Russian speaking and Ukrainian Speaking. Such is the legacy of history, and of its once being 'one nation' with Russia. The Maiden protesters were from the latter, they spoke Ukrainian, the former President from the former, his support came from the East and from the South.

With massive Western support for the Maiden protesters and the government they brought to power through Molotov cocktails and EU pressure, the Eastern peoples in Ukraine saw that one side of the world stage opposed them. How many reports call them terrorists, or a mob or many other things? Their objection to a government they never elected taking power specifically to ally with the EU, could be a dangerous game without backing from Russia or the East, Kiev looked like a war zone under Maiden protests, but no one dared call it anything but legitimate protest in the West.

In Geneva, Russia and other Geo-Political players hashed out a deal: Constitutional reforms and amnesty in exchange for the de-occupation of buildings. Unfortunately for these powers, Russia is not in charge of the protests. The Protesters are often lukewarm to Russia whatever their official claims. The Geneva agreement has been rejected by protesters, who don't seemed awed by the Russian request that they quiet down.

The Eastern Protesters needed some powerful card to protect them from a crackdown and almost certain death. They chose Russia, though their real desires are not to join it. This is why they reject an agreement between everyone but themselves.

As I wrote recently:

The Pro-Russians in the East and South East hardly said much of a word that anyone might have noticed before the Maiden riots in Kiev ousted the democratically elected President of Ukraine, and saw him put on the new leader's wanted list as a criminal. Likewise, protesters in the east are called 'terrorists', and the West seems to support use of force against them: a far cry from its position in almost every other recent conflict. Is it not possible, as Christian Science Monitor found, that there is very little support for Separatism among the people in the East and South East, and even among the Pro-Russians. Is it not possible, that this is merely what they see as the safest way to protest against an unelected government, which has attempted to ban the language all business is done in: Russian (The new leaders' President vetoed a bill that the new leaders' parliament voted for: banning Russian). Is it not possible that these pro-Russian ethnic and national Ukrainians, are merely worried about the events in Kiev, and are thus ordinary voices of dissent, voices which are being silenced by force of death?

Squeaking on thin ice? Edward Snowden writes Guardian editorial in which he calls Vladimir Putin a liar, insults Russia.

Edward Snowden, Whistle-blower Extraordinaire may soon find himself short of a country, if European analysts' collective view of Russia is both true and correct.

To begin, Russia's media have won awards for neutrality, internationally. Often one might watch an interview with a Russian state official on state sponsored RT, in which the official or government spokesman is being viciously attacked for holding the party line. There tends to be questioning with extensive cross examination, with all the hardest questions being rapid fired out, and somehow by calm argument, the Russian official is able to escape the questioning by intelligent and intelligible sounding answers. Whether for propaganda purposes or truth, whether sudden or 'scripted', the Russian approach seems to be to ask the tough questions and to have them answered. Edward Snowden did that in Russia, he asked Putin about Russian surveillance. American pundits attacked him for doing so, for asking the Russian President about spying, because the Russian President answered the question. So be it, it is okay to ask questions, and Snowden was going to be criticised no matter what the response, he is a persona non grata in his homeland.

What Snowden did next, could, if narratives portrayed in the West are correct, make a person not only question Snowden's understanding of politics, but his desire for self preservation in a non-ideal world. Perhaps this risky choice of his is proof of his truthfulness in his: it-is-all-about-anti-spying claims? Because he just bit the hand that feeds and protects him. Edward Snowden, whistleblower extraordinaire just accused Vladimir Putin of being a liar:

'In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial – and we'll get to them soon – but it was not the president's suspiciously narrow answer that was criticised by many pundits. It was that I had chosen to ask a question at all.

'I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticise the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question – and Putin's evasive response – in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.

'The investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, perhaps the single most prominent critic of Russia's surveillance apparatus (and someone who has repeatedly criticised me in the past year), described my question as "extremely important for Russia". It could, he said, "lift a de facto ban on public conversations about state eavesdropping."

'Others have pointed out that Putin's response appears to be the strongest denial of involvement in mass surveillance ever given by a Russian leader – a denial that is, generously speaking, likely to be revisited by journalists.

'In fact, Putin's response was remarkably similar to Barack Obama's initial, sweeping denials of the scope of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs, before that position was later shown to be both untrue and indefensible. '(The Guardian | 'Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama' by Edward Snowden at 18 April 2014 05.06 BST)

Does Russia have mass illegal surveillance? To be honest I do not know. South Africa does spy on her citizens all at once, via RICA: but allegedly all the data is just stored permanently in catch all, until a court order for someone's data is requested by intelligence.

Was his question to Putin scripted propaganda? I don't know. I know that if Putin were 100 other leaders, he would not want such a question which puts spying on the front page. I know with certainty that such a piece as in the Guardian, which suggests Putin were lying would not be tolerated by most leaders. Snowden needs to get his Russian refugee status renewed shortly enough. He has called the president of that country a liar, and asked for reforms.

Perhaps this is it, the litmus test for Snowden. He has certainly risked everything, being the guest in the house accusing the husband of keeping secrets from his wife by writing to the village newspaper about it. Will Vladimir Putin tell Snowden to stick his nose elsewhere? Has the gimmick worn off? Or is Russia really harbouring Snowden out of respect for his human rights?

I still think the latter is a real possibility. Russians have a different understanding of human rights than the Guardian or Human Rights Watch, but while it is different than in the West it is certainly consistent. It certainly holds a holiness to Putin to feel he is enforcing international law and human rights. As for what human rights are, or aren't, it seems someone else is being consistent. Edward Snowden is crying about mass surveillance in Russia as much as in his homeland.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

SAfrican Opposition leader Helen Zille's passionate adulterous kiss with strange black man.

Mostly to the dismay of majority black onlookers, elderly married opposition leader, Helen Zille, passionately kissed a strange man... in Hammanskraal, specifically the Chris Hani informal settlement there. Helen Zille isn't letting any stops go: she has been mimicking traditional African attire, dancing after African standards (allegedly poorly), and now has used her feminine wiles upon the black gentleman in the picture.




Ukrainian protesters armed with Molotov cocktails gunned down by soldiers in Ukraine's South East.

Both sides agree that at least 3 people have lost their lives. Both agree that all of these victims of the unrest, were pro-Russian in their outlook.

The Ukrainian government calls these people attackers, claiming they attempted to storm a military base. The pro-Russian citizen journalists however say that the crowd had merely approached the base and asked the soldiers to defect, rallying towards the base without firearms, but with words, and ordinary protest behaviour in hopes of convincing the soldiers to abandon their posts. This type of peaceful approaching of bases makes sense, as many soldiers stationed in the South and East are from those areas under government rules, and are likely sympathetic or empathetic to protest demands. Some Western Reports put the crowd at 300, and reports have about 5 dozen arrests, none of which match a dialogue of a separatist attack.

Russia's RT news service says that local media report that some of the pro-Russian crowd had been armed with Molotov cocktails, the same sort of weapon that the current leaders in Kiev got into power through.

13 people were also Injured, according to Kiev's Interior Ministry. It would appear they mean to say all 13 are pro-Russian activists. While uncertain that as many as 13 people were injured, the pro-Russian citizen journalists have also claimed that the injuries that happened were on the pro-Russian side.



Putting this together, if the Pro-Russians had stormed the base in an attack, surely some Ukrainian soldiers would have been hurt, especially if as the Ukrainian new leaders would have us think: the Pro-Russians were Russian special forces, among the best in the world. Instead, what both sides seem to agree about is that the Pro-Russians did approach the base, and only pro-Russians were killed and injured.



This story is similar to one Yesterday, where the Ukrainian New Leaders' Defence Ministry claimed that 6 Armoured Personnel Carriers or APCs had been captured, seized by force by the Pro-Russians, who they were sent to quell as 'terrorists', for doing just as the Maiden Protesters had in Kiev and taking over government buildings. The pro-Russian citizen journalists in comparison have claimed the soldiers manning the APCs, had laid down their weapons, handing their vehicles peacefully over to protesters. Reports later that day have women and children being photographed around the vehicles. It seems highly unlikely that the Pro-Russians could have surprised and forced out 6 APC units without any casualties or reports of a fire fight, if this were a capturing by force.



Also, the Pro-Russians in the East and South East hardly said much of a word that anyone might have noticed before the Maiden riots in Kiev ousted the democratically elected President of Ukraine, and saw him put on the new leader's wanted list as a criminal. Likewise, protesters in the east are called 'terrorists', and the West seems to support use of force against them: a far cry from its position in almost every other recent conflict. Is it not possible, as Christian Science Monitor found, that there is very little support for Separatism among the people in the East and South East, and even among the Pro-Russians. Is it not possible, that this is merely what they see as the safest way to protest against an unelected government, which has attempted to ban the language all business is done in: Russian (The new leaders' President vetoed a bill that the new leaders' parliament voted for: banning Russian). Is it not possible that these pro-Russian ethnic and national Ukrainians, are merely worried about the events in Kiev, and are thus ordinary voices of dissent, voices which are being silenced by force of death?









Monday, April 14, 2014

Sorrow just doesn't make the cut!

Sorry. Quite the word. We teach children from their earliest days to say that word. Sorry. Apologies, regret... and when we have no control of the situation: strongest condolences... really.

Sorrow certainly is a start when we truly miscalculated, though often it is a power game, a game designed so that the winner lords the word over the one who said it, and the one who said it merely said so to escape the bind. Sorry might as well mean: you were right, rather than I was wrong. I say sorry often, and when I say sorry I mean it, I almost certainly regret the course of events caused by my actions. Yet, few people will ever apologise, and often I am asked to apologise by someone when it is them in the wrong, and sometimes I will, for my part of it.

The thing about not apologising when you are slightly in the wrong even if someone else is massively in the wrong, is that it appears stubborn, and it appears self serving and as though one too much enjoys power. If you take your nasty tasting medicine, also, while the other does not: it is no longer a fight with two wrongdoers: you are no longer in the wrong, and by apologising you can invite your enemy to join you in the right. I once retaliated to someone doing something shocking. I later reported them to the authorities for their actions as action and retaliation spiralled out of control. The authority involved asked if I would apologise to the offender for my small but significant retaliation to their threat: I readily apologised. They refused. If I was out of line I am not afraid to admit it. It doesn't make their actions right, nor does it mean I was entirely in the wrong, even if part of my actions were out of line or discourteous: but if I did not make that admission, then surely my entire action stands as wrong and not just the excess. What is more, it allows my opponent to take my ego and perhaps theirs out of the equation. My wrongdoing is from the past, their stubbornness counts against them when they refuse to admit what others see as wrong to be wrong. Such a power play as refusing to admit honest regret is one which weakens a negotiating position. People prefer parity.

I was easily able to admit where I had been wrong, I was able to admit my regret for my actions, even though their wrong against me was far greater than the claim which was theirs against myself.

An apology does not mean: you were right, I was wrong, it simply means I was wrong. That is all it means. And whether you admit your regret or not, people still see when you are wrong. People still treat you accordingly, but they might well form the impression that you are unable to face the music, unable to take accountability for your actions. This impression might be entirely false, but it tends to emerge from a refusal to admit when you regret your actions. Again I am saying admit regret: not to confess to heinous crimes or beg for forgiveness, but simply to admit regret. Regret is half of what people want from a wrongdoer or one who commits a social faux pas. Most punishment is handed out to make a person regret. Those who learn to regret without punishment, but in order to grow, are achieving an end others require punishment to learn. They are growing. They are learning. They are becoming great.

I am very quick to apologise and to make peace with an adversary. Why? Because we both know where I was wrong. As for where they were wrong, I am sure we both must know also, with any adversary I might face. Whether it is conscious or not.

My admission that I was wrong, does not do much for the person I say sorry to. It is said, they might or might not feel vindicated, although my being wrong does not make them right. What it does for me is much more important. It puts me at peace with others, it allows me to fix my flaws and act differently in other circumstances. It allows me to grow.

You see the problem: sorrow does not make the cut. Saying sorry does not either. If it is merely a power game, all you have done is acquiesce. Self reflection however makes the cut perfectly. If I can look at myself and honestly regret some or other action I have done. If I can honestly do so and express that sorrow, and have the courage to change my actions in future, then I am far more powerful than if I give a false apology, or if I refuse to apologise, as though it justifies my opponent's wrongdoing: in fact it simply puts me right with the world again. It does not make any wrong against me any less wrong. That is an important distinction, and if I am sometimes successful where others fail that is it: whenever I make a faux pas, it stays with me, even if no one else notices it. When I make an error I am certain to learn from it, and I am not afraid to share my regret. Because regret leads to growth and growth leads unto life.

We don't mind that you killed Reeva, 'We love you' 'Hero' Oscar Pistorius: his fans share with white balloons...

Shock came across tabloid media in South Africa when controversial paralympian Oscar Pistorius was arrested for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. Shock met his admission, to get bail, that he in fact had shot her, although he said he thought he was shooting someone else. With all the shouts of killer, and claims of murder, Oscar's adoring fans wanted him to know that they still love him. They brought white balloons to court, to court the attention of their dearly beloved killer star.



Oscar's fandom has not escaped him, as he signed an autograph thanking a fan for their 'love and kindness' today while he left the court:



Below, a remake of the Nancy Sinatra song: My Baby Shot Me Down: It is uncertain what Oscar's fans think of such a song:

Mockery or Flattery? Helen Zille pretends to be black to get votes.

It isn't just black dancing that Helen Zille is attempting to get votes with. The woman who likes to be referred to as gogo (grandmother), by her few and far between black fans, has also taken to dressing like a black Grandmother, hoping it will buy her votes. So the question is: is her belief that dancing and dressing like a black grandmother is all it takes to get the black vote offensive or flattering?

Is she underestimating the intellect of her voting electorate with offensive gimmick, or is she spot on, is this all South African politics comes down to? And why is she so offended when people say she wants to become Zuma's wife (surely a show of her true disposition, of her secret disgust with the culture she pretends to emulate?

You will note in the screen shot below, she instantly goes in the attack, claiming that any man who takes a younger wife is the cause of HIV/AIDS).

We have also reported on her statements of who is not welcome in the Democratic Alliance: xenophobes, homophobes, sexists, etc. The people who believe homosexuality to be morally wrong, or fear jobs being taken by foreigners, or who have patriarchal views of society, consist of most South Africans statistically. This trend is especially most notably among black South Africans who may or may not know that due to their beliefs (whether applicable or not to a situation), they are not wanted by Gogo Zille. Helen remains very white in her ideological outlook, but thinks a bit of dress-up and dancing are what it takes to win over people she openly states she despises as we reported in the article linked to here.

The voter outing makeover?



p.s. one of the retweets was by our editor in order to comment on it, not to endorse it.

Below: a song by the Corrs, with a music video about dishonestly mimicking an audience for money.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Be kind: this is the first piece of music I have ever composed! Life by Marc Aupiais

It is sort of moody, but for me it is from me and my inner composer. I do play a bit of piano, but this I composed and had software turn to sound.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

It seems I am a tad popular on Google Plus?

487,680 views is Google Plus guestimate of my profile popularity, says Google. It seems a network I hardly use, has a lot of visibility. 


Friday, April 4, 2014

Forget about your 20th Century scare crows, scare-coyotes keep geese away from baseball games @ Fenway

I don't know much about baseball. I assume it involves four bases and a ball and a bat. For the Red Socks, seemingly a baseball team, it also involves coyotes, or faux coyotes. Geese are thought a no no for baseball, so before games (The Opening Game in fact), coyote lawn ornaments play the role of scare crows...

Perhaps after all, I should read up a bit on this, such a fascinating sport that employs lawn ornament coyotes for anything really...


Photographically documented incident of cheese factory workers bathing in milk sparks investigation

In Russia, bathing in the milk that makes the cheese, and taking a wholesome photograph of the whole event is not acceptable. The factory specialises in string cheese... though one hopes the sweaty workforce were at minimum wearing g-strings (and hopefully the shorts the Telegraph says they had on) below the water... Here is a picture from the footage that sparked a criminal investigation and saw cheese removed from shelves in the Motherland:




The managers of the cheese factory could face two years in jail if found guilty of producing unsafe food.

'The Investigative Committee announced it was probing the factory in the Siberian city of Omsk for producing food that could cause harm to health after photographs of grinning workers bathing in foaming milk horrified Russians.
'"It has already been established that the liquid that the factory workers were bathing in was the raw milk that was used for making the cheese," the investigators said in a statement.
'The scandal broke after a worker at the Omsk Cheeses factory posted the photographs on a social networking site with the caption: "Actually our work is pretty boring."
'One photo shows six workers posing in a vat, several wearing only shorts, and raising victory signs.'
'Video footage also emerged showing factory workers kneading the cheese bare-chested in a dirty-looking production area, gaining more than 300,000 views on YouTube.
'Russia's food watchdog banned the factory's cheese late last month and a court on Thursday closed down the factory for 40 days.'
(UK Telegraph | 'Russia investigates cheese factory after workers photographed bathing in milk' by AFP Wire at 11:17AM BST 04 Apr 2014)

In France, they have utilised that writing in the front of a bus to propose marriage... very pedestrian?

A lass named Lydia (Lydie Le Bras) has been asked to marry a young lad (Alexandre Martineau, 35), in an image now immortalised by French media. She said a soft 'Yes', after he, her sweetheart appeared on the bus where she has her morning commute, and asked the question in front of her fellow passengers. Before boarding she had seen the destination electronic writing which rather than saying where the bus was going, was asking for her hand. The destination writing alteration was only the ask before the ask, as he asked for her hand in person, and all went as planned for Alex. Pedestrian or deeply romantic?



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

West purposely deceitful to world on Ghostly Russian force build-up say Christian Science Monitor of Ukraine quagmire

I have reported extensively on the truth on the ground in Ukraine, as with many conflicts. As was the case in a good portion of the tragic conflicts I report on, the ground truth is easily misconstrued or journalists choose a party line instead of self thought. The Telegraph recently failed to find the phantom-like Russian force build up, and ended up concluding in despair and concluding in defeat that Russia must be waiting for the drier weather which best suits their heavy megalodon reminiscent death wielding monstrous T90 heavy tank battalions. The Christian Science Monitor adds to the quagmire where Western intelligence sources are apparently either lying or dealing with Ghost armies of ice white long dead remains and corpses of the ancient vestiges of past menacing Russians.

Note especially the statements where we set the font to bold in our direct quotation of Christian Science Monitor (The body of which claim they repeated again on 2 April 2014 in another article we also reference below). We also added in square brackets the word 'The' at the very beginning of our quote.

'[The] beleaguered Ukrainian interim government, saddled with a legitimacy deficit and struggling to assert its authority across the country, has plenty of reasons to hype the threat of Russian invasion in order to create a unifying sense of national emergency. Might Western leaders be inclined to help them out by dropping a few misleading statements?

'It's not an issue that can be definitively settled, but available evidence suggests that – at least for the moment – the Russians are not preparing to attack, nor even mounting a credible threat to do so.

'Analysts say the numbers being bandied about by NATO do not jibe with Russian military doctrine. "Any attempt to occupy eastern Ukraine would be far more complicated and on a much greater scale than the operation to secure Crimea was," says Alexander Golts, deputy editor of the liberal Yezhednevny Zhurnal, a leading military expert, and a critic of Putin. "At a very minimum the generals would want 100,000 troops."

'Mr. Golts says that what NATO is observing is probably the "vestige" of Russia's big operation earlier this month to take Crimea, which included contingency plans to block any sudden Ukrainian military thrust to relieve the 20,000 Ukrainian military personnel stationed in the territory. "But that's winding down. Those troops are returning to their barracks now," he adds.

'Viktor Litovkin, a military expert with the official ITAR-Tass agency, says the Russian Army is more active than it was a few years ago, and it is not unusual to see troops and equipment moving around the countryside, staging exercises, in any part of Russia these days. "Armies are supposed to exercise, and that's what ours does year round," he says.

'Another perspective comes from journalists who've toured Russia's borderland searching for the invasion army, and so far found no sign of it.

'An NBC camera crew headed by veteran correspondent Jim Maceda covered 1,000 miles, or almost the full extent of the troubled Russo-Ukrainian frontier last week, often taking to back roads and poking their noses into spaces that might be suitable for hiding an armored division or two. The only troops they reported finding were located in established military bases and doing routine things like "latrine duty" and holding a "wrestling match."

'When the crew accidentally broke Russian law by entering a closed security zone, they were briefly detained by the FSB [former KGB], and tapped lightly on the wrist before being permitted to go on their way. That's probably the best evidence of all that, at least for now, the Russians likely have nothing to hide down there.'
(Christian Science Monitor | 'Why Russia may not be poised to roll into Ukraine after all (+video)' by Fred Weir at March 31, 2014)

The Christian Science Monitor repeated this claim again in: 'NATO general: Russia has 'entire suite ready to go' for Ukraine incursion' by Whitney Eulich at April 2, 2014.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools Day: Graduation for University of the Witwatersrand Lawyers

Today is the big day. After 4-5 years of study, and having passed our final exams last year, and having been given our transcripts and declaration of graduation, Wits law faculty LLB students are graduating... on April Fools Day...

This day, I am to be celebrated, the day fools are celebrated, the day of the trickster gods' mockery of us, of humanity, and the day too, when lawyers officially enter the world, from this top legal University. An irony not lost. For, perhaps the statistics show our profession as one of the most treacherous to succeed in. Perhaps we are all fools in love, and loss to ever have considered this prestigious, beautiful, wondrous thing: the law, to be our fickle but dynamic adorable lover.



Every year of the degree, a massive half of us dropped out, right until final year. Those of us who didn't, will be given a chance: we will graduate this 1st day of April, a symbol of the joke played on us as mankind, by some or other Greek or Nordic deity. And yet of those who today graduate, most will not remain. It speaks volumes for our profession where half of us will be disbarred, and yet more will leave their jobs realising they never did like law. Yet more, might become ambulance chasers (but quietly because touting is banned). April Fools Day, the day the University of Witwatersrand has chosen to give over the certificate law students have fought for: LLB: Legum Baccalaureus.

I, along with people I spent years with studying hard, fighting inch by inch with, are on this list:



http://www.wits.ac.za/files/c909v_625092001395306163.pdf





I am sure there is a hidden meaning in the date somewhere in there. But to assure you this article is genuine, and not some joke, I included my tweet from last night. My graduation ceremony is on April Fools day at 13h00. Somehow it takes away from the prestige. Just slightly. Perhaps the joke is on me, and all those others who fought from dawn to Cinderella's hour: and even then to witching hour, to insure we were well prepared for a career in law: whether or not this preparedness was enough visible in all of our exams. Or at least with some students,they  did so during some preparations for some exams some of the time (it is Wits not Harvard, after all). And some I suspect might not have studied at all, others we may see for the first time Today. Such is graduation, and we are all the April Fools to have studied this prestigious subject at all, or so the clock chimes, at 13h00, when we get our certificates, and leave behind the glass slipper of our youth?



- Marc Evan Aupiais

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