Closing Thought–20Feb17

Just a FYI piece for my readers

This would be a good post for my more tech oriented readers to reply about….I am not a techno geek….Hell I still hunt and peck with 3 fingers….

Ever get annoyed by those pop-up adverts that appear out of nowhere when you are trying to watch something interesting?

Did you know that many of those advertisers are getting popped by hackers for millions, even billions of dollars?

Computer hackers are a sophisticated system of fake websites and artificial web users to deceive advertisers into thinking that people are clicking on billions of online adverts and videos every day.

The fraudsters create a series of fake websites and use computer programs called “bots” to record the starting and stopping of videos and clicks on adverts, which are then reported to advertising companies as activity by humans on real websites.

In fact, some experts believe that 70% of online advertisements are never even watched or clicked by humans.

This statistic stunned Ron Amram, vice-president of media at Heineken USA, who admitted to Bloomberg in 2014, “It was like we’d been throwing our money to the mob.”

Source: Hackers use ‘bot fraud’ operation to cheat advertisers out of billions every year

I have mixed emotions…..on one hand serves them right for being irritating douches and the other no one deserves that kind of punishment….

Signing off for the day…posting will start again tomorrow….chuq

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Stand By Your Man

Not a cheesy country song from the 60’s…..but this about our new leader, Trump and his supporters.

I visit lots of different blogs and most are well thought out and well written….even some of the ones that cheer lead for Trump.  I do not mind that they support their man…all good American voters should stand by their choices….but there are times when they seem to be less in support and more just cheese eating….

There is even an article about this phenom…..

Lee Snover is a born-again Christian, a mother of one, and a boss. She runs a drywall and framing business based in Northampton, Pennsylvania. She manages 15 full-time employees – 50 when you count subcontractors. She calls them her “guys”. They work in four states. She supported John McCain for president in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. She wasn’t in love with either candidate, but it didn’t matter. Her father was a Republican activist and she took after him. She has always been a loyal party soldier.

Then Donald Trump came along, and Snover’s investment in politics changed. “Whatever it takes, that’s what was running through my mind,” she told the Guardian last week. “If I have to lose it all, I need for him to win.”

Source: Trump loyalists stand by their man – but the resistance is taking root | US news | The Guardian

Like the article said…even some of his biggest supporters in the election are starting to see that he is NOT the person they thought he was during the campaign…..

For instance the lies about jobs….jobs….jobs!

There is one industry that is just not seeing an uptick in business and will not create many new jobs that is unless something changes….tourism…..

America – that great land of opportunity – doesn’t seem to be an attractive travel destination anymore.

At least that’s the conclusion being drawn from a study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), who claim that the US travel industry suffered $185million (£148million) in lost revenue since Trump’s executive order banned citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

According to travel agency Hopper, flight search demand to the US dropped 17 per cent since Trump’s inauguration and the implementation of the travel ban. This is compared to the final weeks of Obama’s presidency.

In fact, flight searches to the US dropped in 94 of the 122 countries Hopper has data on.

Source: Donald Trump’s presidency has cost US tourism £148million already | indy100

But never fear these nose picking ass scratchers that support Trump will have an answer for this slow down in tourism….and I for one cannot wait for it.

The one I want to hear about from these people is the money spent.

For 8 years there was endless whining and ranting about how much the Ohama get-a-ways cost the taxpayer…..they would go on and on about the money that was wasted on the trips and the golf games……and now I want to hear from them on this steaming pile of manure…..

A few years ago, President Trump called then-President Obama’s travel expenses “unbelievable,” ABC News reports. According to the Washington Post, those expenses were estimated at $97 million over eight years. Trump and his family are on pace to exceed that total in just seven months, and taxpayers are footing the bill, New York Magazine reports. It starts with the president himself. Despite once promising he would “rarely leave the White House,” Trump is spending the weekend at Mar-a-Lago for the third week in a row. Those three trips are estimated to have cost the US Treasury about $10 million. And the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office says it pays $60,000 in overtime for every day Trump is at his golf resort.

But it doesn’t end with the president. New York City is paying $500,000 per day for security at Trump Tower, where Melania Trump and Barron are living, and estimates it will spend more than $180 million per year. Meanwhile, Trump’s adults sons and their Secret Service detail are in the United Arab Emirates for a Trump-brand golf course opening this weekend. A similar trip to Uruguay recently cost the Secret Service and US Embassy nearly $100,000. All told, the Trump family’s “unusually elaborate lifestyle” is expected to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years—far more than is typical for presidents. And some of that money will go directly to Trump himself, as he hasn’t divested from his businesses.

There is one thing you can say about Obama and his trips…..not much to the money spent went into is personal checking accounts….can Trump say the same thing?

Black History Month–Bobby Seale

When I was a much younger man I was a political activist, early to mid 70’s, during my travels I got to Oakland, California….I had heard about the work of the Black Panthers and wanted to see how they were pulling off their mini revolution…..about here some will be rolling their eyes but those are the people that have NO ideas what the Panthers were doing other than the propaganda crap that the government and the media was feeding the country.

When we got permission we were introduced to Bobby Seale and a quick hand shake with Huey Newton……we were told that we could walk around and talk to people freely…..I witnessed an amazing co-operative going on with food banks, clinics, pre-school, legal help…I witnessed many programs designed to help the community….I was impressed but the tour was far too short.

I think the people like Bobby Seale do not get the historic coverage they deserve simply because someone did not like their politics.  I will attempt to change that with every opportunity……that is why I am highlighting Bobby Seale here on IST…..

Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense at a community center in North Oakland, California, in October 1966, and acknowledged it was a living testament to the Work of Malcolm X. The Black Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs. The party was one of the first organizations in U.S. history to militantly struggle for ethnic minority and working class emancipation. The Black Panther agenda was the revolutionary establishment of real economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines. The FBI labeled Seale and his colleagues in the Black Panthers as “Public Enemy Number One”.

Robert George Seale was born on October 22, 1936, to a poor African American carpenter and his wife in Dallas, Texas. The Seale family moved to Port Arthur, Texas, and then to San Antonio, Texas, before finally settling in Oakland, California, during World War II. Attributing his failure to make the basketball and football teams to racial prejudice, Seale quit Oakland High School and joined the U.S. Air Force. After three years in the Air Force, Seale was court-martialed and given a bad conduct discharge for disobeying a colonel at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.

Read more on this unique civil rights activist……

Source: Civil Rights Leaders- Bobby Seale

History does not teach many Americans about “Black Nationalism”……there is more to it than the negative headlines…….whether one agrees with the ideology is of no concern…it still should be taught and understood.

It is a political and social movement prominent in the 1960s and early ’70s in the United States among some African Americans. The movement, which can be traced back to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association of the 1920s, sought to acquire economic power and to infuse among blacks a sense of community and group feeling. Many adherents to black nationalism assumed the eventual creation of a separate black nation by African Americans. As an alternative to being assimilated by the American nation, which is predominantly white, black nationalists sought to maintain and promote their separate identity as a people of black ancestry. With such slogans as “black power” and “black is beautiful,” they also sought to inculcate a sense of pride among blacks.

Time to learn more about the real work people were doing in their communities and Bobby Seale is a fine example.

Do not dismiss what you do not understand.

A Staggering Record Of Failure

Today we celebrate the American presidents and what better subject than the one that they must make the involves millions…both in dollars and in lives?

I know why don’t we talk about a subject that most Americans refuse to think about for any reason….WAR!

Why, with what we believe is the greatest military in the world, is the United States’ record in war and military interventions so failure-prone?

Think not?

Then when was the last time we actually won a war?

Don’t hurt yourself…..1991….Desert Storm (not a win in the official sense but close enough for government work).  Before that it was 1945….World War 2……

The official end of the Cold War came in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of the Russian Federation. Since then, remarkably, the United States has been at war or engaged in significant conflicts and military interventions in which tens of thousands of its soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen have been killed or wounded for over two-thirds of the intervening years. Iraq in 1991; Somalia in 1992-93; the global war on terror and Afghanistan 2001-present; Iraq 2003-present; and Syria and Yemen since 2016 represent a total of 19 of the past 26 years.

Using the end of World War II in 1945 at a starting point and including the Korean War (1950-53) and Vietnam Wars (from 1959 when the first Americans were killed to withdrawal in 1974), Americans have been in battle for 37 of the past 72 years or well over 50 percent. And the record has not been impressive. Korea was a draw. Vietnam was an ignominious defeat vividly portrayed by the poignant image of the last Huey helicopter lifting off the roof of an apartment building in Saigon.

Source: Why does the U.S. military have such a staggering record of failure? – UPI.com

WE continue to fail…..these wars that we engage in are more about the profits than the principle….this cycle will never end until the American people start caring about the waste of life and funds…..and that will not happen until the people learn the realism of war.  And that cannot happen until they, the people, remove their heads from the sand.

What Is Morocco Up To?

Today is President’s Day…..where we Americans celebrate all those men that served as leader over the years….

After I graduated from university I went to Tunisia and applied for a job with the UN as an analyst…..did not get the gig some dude with lots more letters after his name got the call.

Not the end of the story I was then approached by a Spanish newspaper to be a researcher/analyst and so began my 4 years of work in the Middle East and North Africa.

I was assigned to Rabat Morocco and was researching a story on the annexation of Western Sahara…I was granted an interview with one of the leaders of the opposition, the Polarsio and spent 2 weeks among the people of Western Sahara….great people.

Since those days I have been watching and writing about the struggles of Western Sahara…..

Source: Where Is Western Sahara? – In Saner Thought

Source: Meanwhile Back In Western Sahara – In Saner Thought

Source: Armed Conflict Could Return To Western Sahara – In Saner Thought

Just a little background for Morocco is making news these days…..they have rejoined the African Union (AU) after a 33 year absence….and some are asking….why now?

Morocco is ready to raise its global stature, flexing its muscle before the world by joining the African Union (AU) and making clear what it can offer — or withhold — in the areas of finance and security.

The country’s investments, security and migration control will remain its power points with which to bargain for political support from the West, which in turn wants a greater presence in Africa.

Morocco wants to put to bed international friction over its decadeslong battle with the Polisario Front independence movement over disputed Western Sahara territory recognized by some countries as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). In fact, Morocco left the AU’s predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, in 1984 to protest the group’s admission of SADR.

But now Morocco is back.

Some are questioning this move by Morocco…..is it more about trying to salvage their claim to Western Sahara than anything else?

King Mohammed VI’s new African policy reflects the Moroccan monarch’s pragmatism and realism. While in the past, Morocco had adopted a disastrous “empty chair” policy, the new policy is proactive and positive for the outlook of Morocco’s territorial integrity and the controversy it is facing over the Western Sahara.

Owing to Morocco’s absence from the African Union (AU) over the past 33 years, Morocco’s rivals, mainly Algeria and South Africa, have been using the pan-African body to push their self-serving political and ideological agendas.

The two countries have seemingly dominated the organisation and attempted to use it as a tool to weaken Morocco’s position with regard to the Western Sahara.

Source: Moroccan pragmatism: A new chapter for Western Sahara | Morocco | Al Jazeera

This situation will be an interesting one for us IR geeks….what will be the future of Western Sahara?  Who holds the keys?