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The Whole Julian Assange Debacle

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2018 by kathydasilva

 

IMG_2556.JPGI have followed the whole story of Julian Assange from the moment he sought asylum(2012). I could not understand that an Australian in London, UK, would have to make a bid for asylum to Ecuador, in a country such as ours where we presumably are still considered a democracy. That was the first reason for showing an interest. I had caught the tail end of the news on the Saturday, when at first a crowd was drawn to the balcony appearance of an Australian publicist who had created a site on the world wide web for anonymous whistle blowing. It was a new concept, and new kind of drop box where people could experience a freedom to say things that perhaps might have endangered them if they had put their name to the information.  On the Sunday I had listened to the Andrew Marr show, and by the following week, my curiosity took me physically down to Knightsbridge. I met with some of the close nit vigil supporters including Ciaron O’Reilly and, was told the whole story, not just the one in the press about some sex scandal involving two Swedish women, both whom I understand had invited Julian Assange to stay over with them in the first place. When I read something, I always listen to everything that is said. I am not a quick judge. I can say that on the day I made the trip to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, I had also brought a gift card with some well wishing message, it was the day I woke up. I had found too, through subsequent research that the news as we thought we had received it is not necessarily so. It was a big wake up moment. I saw a few videos on YouTube.com about the people who had questioned 9/11 and it had a dramatic effect to my whole sense of what was real and perhaps what was fake. It was like  a penny dropped inside. I really felt something significant was happening, and had happened. It was like the mist of the deception had been lifted. I now know I have not been imagining things.

Julian’s interviews with people are many on YouTube.com and listening to his general talks and conversations, it led me to wonder even more, why he had ended up shut away in this place.  There has been a lot of talk with other historic persons involved with the whistle blow experience, but, too, they did something out of conscience not out of greed. Daniel Ellsberg often talks about his work to help stop the war with Vietnam, a war most of the American troops, had such a hard time with.  It was a sort of endless war, and who is to say what is right and wrong. Some sons of America died, in number, but too, some sons of the Vietnamese north too had died. What is the result after all the debate. There is still a divide. The weapons cause pollution wherever they are dropped. There are people in Vietnam still crippled with the effects of bombs and chemical weapons that were used, I think there is mention of agent orange for example. After a while countries that have been involved in conflict start to mend, and yet, there is devastation to overcome. Anyone who has lost someone they care for will know the anger and resentment that might fill a person left behind to pick up the pieces.

The whistle blow of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, exists like the work of Ellsberg, it was a moment of conscience for Manning. It must have been hard watching your fellow countrymen doing something quite disastrous in front of your eyes. The world we are living in is getting very glib. If laughter ensues at the sight of people falling to the ground after a round of ammunition, then we as humans are in a strange place. I remember talking with an English veteran of the Korean/Vietnam era. He talked to me because of needing to tell me his story. I was living in a  bedsit in Penge, I was 25 years old, it is some time ago. I am retelling this because this man had been affected by his job as a marine/soldier. He was someone who had maintained his sanity by simple routine, and keeping his house albeit a single room clean and tidy, he had trophies on his wall, he was in the past a keen sports person. He told me, he had been involved in war, and that the memory never left him. He said there were times when the men had ‘dug’ in in some sort of bunker hole and that the enemy, perhaps the Viet Con had come toward where they were, and that the rounds of ammunition had not stopped until the hundreds of bodies brave as they were in their own terms had piled up high in front of the bunker. The sight of which was something shocking. They had had to fire until everyone of them was dead.  He had grief over this episode in his past, I was glad to listen and perhaps take some of the pain away. I could not judge him it was his job at the time. But, this man was a divorcee, and living alone, but also having to pay for his children from a distance. The war had destroyed his marriage, his post traumatic stress too much of a burden.

I have never seen Julian Assange as a single human involved in the anti-war effort, I think he has tried to create a new media outlet. I think there was nothing technically wrong with it at all. Even if people go to the press, as Edward Snowden did, there will always be these moments in time when something unusual comes to light. The surveillance state, is something people should become aware of, if for no other reason but to question it. Is it the kind of reality that is necessary for solving crimes?

I think, that nothing comes from nothing… the whistle blows come about when things go wrong. I too also now look at all the people who hope to be a leader to their own population, because there is so little that is known about even for example Theresa May or David Cameron.  May in particular was seen visiting the Saudi Arabian leaders, and we are told, there have been exports of weapons to the Saudis from our country. Nothing is said about the war that has been nonstop for more than three years with Yemen. Saudi bombs Yemen, and somehow aid is  not allowed inside the country. What do bombs teach anyone? Buildings, houses, schools, bombed. A school bus bombed with children on it. Scarred lives, the images of blood shed, and the whole conflict will take many years to put right. And it has not stopped.  Germany’s prime minister Angela Merkel has stopped weapon export to Saudis in the last month, and also so has Denmark’s leader.

The isolation of Julian Assange, and intended incrimination  of his organization Wikileaks, is something both American politicians and indeed our English government has been involved in. This is something certain, because of the continued heavy policing of the building in Knightsbridge. I think the whole thing is so heavy handed, and unusual. There is nothing wrong in training to be an ethical hacker for the industry. It is a technology, the computing technology that is a fast paced industry, moving forward daily. Julian Assange is an expert in his field. He taught at colleges of higher education and was a respected educationist. He is a very friendly guy. His pursuit  of the development of a drop box website to help people feel bold enough to come forward with whistle blows, is not an evil concept. He is being set up for an accusation of spying, simply on the basis of the information that was sent to his website. It has been said that for example the ‘leaked’ emails of Hilary Clinton, were given to Wikileaks from an insider of the Democrat Party, using the Wikileak drop box. All of the news from Wikileaks has been proven genuine.

On Tuesday last an Italian journalist Stephania Maurizi, challenged the Metropolitan Police commissioner through our legal court system, to reveal the information held about three journalists involved in the work of Wikileaks. The access to the information initially had been denied to Ms Maurizi, but she has appealed on the basis that all three journalists had conceded to needing her to help them and had signed consent forms to the effect. J Farrel, Sarah Harrison and  Kristinn Hrafnsson all wanted to see what information was held against their names, and what had been shared to the USA. The Freedom of Information Act, allows a person to examine this information, and the court judge was determined to enforce the view that subject of the information meaning either Sarah Harrison, J Farrell or Kristinn Hrafnsson, should have filed for their own information. However, the outcome, might turn in Ms Maurizi’s favor in the end, as they spent the good part of a morning and afternoon session fleshing out the content of the applications. The result will be made known in a few weeks time, but, suspiciously this seems a very protracted decision for the judge to make. Considering the pressure now placed on Julian Assange and his tenancy at the Ecuadorian Embassy, the real defense of Assange may yet be the fact that certain agencies deliberately withheld information from his legal team, and that Britain had a hand in some of the Swedish fiasco of accusations. One thing too that could so easily be ignored, is public interest. The judge at Stephania Maurizi’s appeal court, made mention of the fact the police commissioner had stated that there was insufficient pubic interest. I am not saying she might only be thinking of government politicians, when saying this, but for my part, there are over a million Wikileaks subscribers who might very well disagree with her statement and would indeed be very concerned that Julian Assange would be allowed to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy without arrest and charge. The future of our world is in our own hands to stand up for what is right. Every journalist worth their salt should join in this debate.

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Swansong

Posted in Current affairs, education, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2018 by kathydasilva

Many times over in the past, the question about use of nuclear energy has been raised. The element of safety particularly catching the attention of those in our communities globally with regard to environment and the future safety of generations to come. Nuclear energy in Britain began with the opening of a plant, in Cumbria, Calder Hall at Windscale, in 1956. From Hunterston to Dungerness, Britain still has about eight or nine open and operating plants. And more recently, the Tory Government has decided to increase this number

(https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/03/mini-nuclear-power-stations-uk-government-funding)

, and created the portal for doing so with funding being made available from tax payers. It is something to heavily debate with regard to what happened in Japan at Fukashima. Even during the first months of this year, new earth movements have been recorded, big enough to be of concern and reported in news items on television networks and papers.

(https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/28/cumbria-hit-32-magnitude-earthquake-residents-describe-shaking/)

Notably France has developed and used nuclear energy to supply electricity for its population. There is little mention of how waste is dealt with, but, I do suspect like the USA, they bury it probably deep in a mountainous area, supposedly away from heavily populated zones. How sad if something then might disturb these safe areas or sealed safe areas, say by way of an earth quake for example. I am so glad and grateful to all those who have campaigned for safe renewable energy and for all the provocative and thoughtful protest against dangerous fuel types of energy. Thankfully Greenpeace and anti-nuclear groups did enough work to make people aware of what the world might look like if we were to pursue this type of fuel. Additionally, it is notable, that whenever any kind of unusual event occurs, perhaps a change to the magnetic polar positioning of the planet, that governments stay still tongued and I would have to say ‘scared’ at the prospects of what might happen.  I kept thinking of the information I read about Fukashima and the radioactive plume effect that resulted from the leaks coming from the plant after the Tsunami hit the island of Japan. Some reports are saying the Pacific is ‘dead’ of animal life. There was mention of the China syndrome, which is the result of the melt of highly active particles supposedly burning a hole right the way through the planet. Well, with mentions of the mid-Pacific floor being on the move, (material from the upper mantle rises through the faults between oceanic plates to form new crust ocean floor spreading) and further earthquake and volcano activity, it leads me to think, that, we just may have gone  too far with the development and reliance on nuclear fuel. Fukashima is still in a dangerous state. The whole of at least the north east side of Japan will feel the effects of the radioactive material for many years to come. The pollution from the Fukashima plant is still entering the ground water system of the island and also thus flowing too out into the Pacific. There is an abundance of silence. I wonder where politicians spend their free time. It clearly does not reflect in their plans, the absolute tragedy of Fukashima, or possible equivalent happening our side of the globe. All seas meet. The radioactive isotopes, the particles, these have free flow in water. There is no magic switch to undo the radioactive element.

Our supermarkets are selling fish caught in Pacific waters, including Alaska, cheaply as fish fingers, or white fish in the freezer cabinets. I am terrified for people who are unaware. It horrifies me that fish is seen as a healthy option, and parents with little time to research these issues, will find their loved ones succumbing to cancers. Cancer anomalies will begin to show again around any nuclear plant zone, as this was also the public outcry before around the Sellafield plant. Are we going to sit idle waiting for this horrendous plan to be carried out? Or will people address these issues through their local MP’s and finally government? Comments  welcome.

(https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/jul/14/greenpolitics.science)

 

No It’s Not Hollywood!

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by kathydasilva

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I am mindful of the event and the post event news of the Glenfell Tower fire as I speak. My own head did the analysis thing, of weighing the information as it was bled to us the public via news media and television reportage. My heart and mind did the thing of saying so how did the people, above floor twenty think, how did they think they could be rescued? And the sad surreptitious bleed from an off duty fireman to a fellow ‘brother’ revealed a significant detail. The man passed the information privately, but, still it came to be known via a twitter feed uploaded video. The information told us the ordinary public, 42 people had been found dead in just one flat. And amongst the forty two people were young children, and elderly mainly. They had hope of rescue, and were organized, as far as possible, probably sheltering in the least damaged flat, at the outbreak of the whole ordeal. The firemen, never came, the ‘airlift’ possibility never came about. I think of the famous film Towering Inferno, and the reality was and is, there is no Steve McQueen,  or  Paul Newman, let alone some swanky additional, like Harrison Ford to come and do ‘rescue’. Yet and I repeat, yet! They could have thought outside the ‘box’. Why no use of say a helicopter for people on the roof survivors? Why no thought of ropes and pullies, and some sort of bag or stretcher to let people too frail to climb or come down stairs, be rescued? The fire raged for about four hours, from about midnight. And most of the victims, suffered really badly from smoke inhalation. But, too, smoke can make the way ahead so difficult to see, so they tripped and maybe fell and knocked themselves out too. The building housed at least 600 tennants. Someone saw a child on fire, and then they fell out of a window. And we blame it on the time of day. There are people, who can climb with the minimum of equipment the height of one of these towers for sport. The sea rescue crews, are familiar with almost impossible situations, would it have hurt to call upon their skills? Mountain rescue teams similarly, carry ropes, and safety equipment, in the most hazardous conditions. It was also tweeted, from a fireman’s phone, obviously a young fireman, because the whole horror, of what they found, was unlike anything else before that they had seen before, he had captured using the iphone technology, the picture of the tower from floor to roof, in flames and had asked the question, ‘How are we goint to get in there?’ This was uploaded to twitter and maybe youtube but, it made me think how film obsessed we have all become. ‘We’ are being brought up on the wrong architypes. Not everyone is going to be an action hero. If it is hard to contemplate what the need to have the nerve to risk one’s own life is like, then, perhaps, this decision is already something fireman have come up against. I think men have to be the heroes they were destined for to be. And that might be a risky business. Some young muslim men, did go knocking doors all round the tower block vuluntarily. No one paid them. They did it out of the duty of good will, that God teaches us all. It is the sort of situation that Edward De Bono, would have used his ‘lateral’ thinking cap for. How do you get over a hundred people of possibly frail disposition down to ground level, through thick poisonous smoke fumes? The book of ‘how’ needs to be written before the next big tragedy, and maybe it is preventative measures only that will succeed in overcoming our high rise fears.

A Society that Could Care

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2017 by kathydasilva

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I picked up on some of the headlines this morning in the newspapers, as I went for a shop in my local supermarket. I was just popping in to a Tesco near my flat, for cat food, milk and oh a paper, well, I could not ignore the spread from left to right of the ‘media’ lynching of Jeremy Corbyn. Why? Well the Tories who own most of the papers albeit via Rupert Murdoch, are resplendant in their attack, as and when they choose. You or I, will see in the next few weeks the most abusive system of communication at work that I can possibly have imagined might have come into being. And perhaps this needs some sort of legislation adjustment, and still no debate via TV live platform, for Jeremy Corbyn to answer questions alongside Theresa May. Why?

I have been focused today, on trying to get to grips with online marketing potential for my published books which have been enabled by createspace.com the company with affiliations with Amazon.com so far so good, the product, my books, are there online and being sold by different online agencies. However, the problems with marketing are far harder for an individual with no money set aside for advertising, than through established publishers who do offer authors pay in advance sometimes for the work they do. As I have no advance, there is very little I can do other than small scale advertising to further the knowledge of my book creations.

Alongside my efforts this day to follow up and find, where people can buy one of my books, I also started to reflect on books I had read in the last year, and books that I looked at for style, technique and skill. My mind chose to focus first on a favorite of mine from a long time ago, John Steinbeck, who had the talent to put down in words all the characteristics of an individual, no matter how common or bizarre. He is so skilled in making focus on human suffering and economic dilemmas. And he does so with warmth integrity and incredible durability of image. I still like to browse over the old texts of the novels, of his era. The most remarkable thought came to me today, with also the need to deeply reflect on the politics that do exist today in England, and the thoughts were specifically of the society we are building for future generations. Are we all so sure, that building wealth is the goal and the only goal, that a person should be about?

I have made myself read or re-read Psycho this year by Robert Bloch, with the well known character or villain Norman Bates, a vulnerable mentally ill adult, who had put up with quite a coarse upbringing. And also, having digested this classic decided to read the more up-to-date, subsequent book of our own era, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I managed to read Psycho cover to cover. However, when it got to trying to be as thorough in my approach to American Psycho, my stomach for the ‘detail’ or catalogue of ‘sins’, that the new psycho character of Patrick Bateman, is blamed for, well, I had to put it down for another time, when I have recovered from the dark images. I will detail that Ellis’ psycho is a modern man walking amongst us. He with the million dollar lifestyle, wears the highest costing designer cloth money could buy.  He gets away with ‘murder’. He is so violent to a homeless man, and tears at his flesh in such a fashion, having torn at the man verbally, he fulfills his angry desires, on the weakest of individuals. He is presented in the book as a cannibal. He eats and cooks to eat parts of his victims. He destroys the women he takes home to his flat,  by luring them in for sexual encounter, and then tying them up, ready for torture. Eventually he kills them, having given them, a nightmare of the worst kind. And hence, I could not really say, that I enjoyed the detail. However, the worst part, of the story is how this could happen? How, could this evil exist, move around people in society, slip in and out of normality, sit at tables in expensive restaurants, pretend such calm control?

I was looking recently at the stats of people who had been on disability in Britain, who had had their benefit or disability pension revised, by the new rules under the present day Conservative Party. Apparently, 30,000 individual souls or more, perished within weeks of being put back onto the dole queue for ‘able bodied’ persons who were ‘fit for work’, in the last year or so. Some of the ‘victims’ were people who had had major surgery, and that included double organ transplanted individuals, who died within weeks of the start of a new job, or for that matter, in the effort to fulfill and not starve, the regulations of the new government.

I am not sure what I am more shocked by, American Psycho or the politics of our era, set to reinstall the same ‘madness’, that this country has been enduring for a that last few years. I just hope that the public become more greatly informed and choose to read more independent media articles. We use to call it reading around the subject, in order to get a balanced view.

When I visited my friend Bruno in France last summer well it was nearly autumn, I became utterly amazed at the feeling of sheer, ‘freedom’, that was experienced, once in the country of France. I was there only for a short four day break, as he had offered the holiday for free. I could not have gone away without the charity of a friend. I had had an accident in the April, where my ankle had been crushed by a vehicle in Ilford. I had been in the news, but not named. The car had run over my foot too in the process.

When and if you do read American Psycho, so much of what obsesses the man, the main character is to do with position in life. The clothes people are wearing and which designer shoes are being worn by who. Where they would eat, and would it be good to be seen eating in these haute couture, stylish places. The grubby, hungry, and homeless seen as a nuissance like the rubbish strewn and ready for collection.

I photographed, the student protest a year or so back, and within the hour of the demonstration finishing, and not even making the evening news, the borough of Westminster, had the street cleaning vehicles and people to broom away the abandoned placards, out in number. Who could have told that the students had even been there.

What worries me more is if we follow suit with America in ‘all things’. We seem to have allowed the grant system to fall foul of the capitalist system, in a major way. This in turn, will also mean less equality generally. Fewer people will seek an education if it also means living with a life long debt attached to their ankles like a ball and chain.

The delight in which Tories hold the ‘fort’ of Westminster, is a worrying sign. You could almost hear the laughter, from Theresa May’s cabinet ministers, at the Corbyn, dilemma of having by accident? Run over a BBC journalists foot. He will live another day, no doubt, and the NHS will put his foot back together. I just wonder if the BBC could manage to not show bias?