Tag Archive: Africa

A police state for benefit claimants? « Ron’s Rants…

It Was labour What Done This…

ESA Notes Sheet ESA 40 04/09

ESA Notes Sheet ESA 40 04/09

That it was.  I first threatened and then did leave the Labour Party over it.  Right at the time they were trying to bring in Identity Cards and lock uncharged people away for 90 days, reduced to 42 days (yes really, they were – It’s like a bad dream) they also added some “rules” for state benefit claimants.  These are well explained at the top of Ron’s blog entry:

A police state for benefit claimants? « Ron’s Rants….

Ron writes;

It’s been brought to my attention that page 16 of the ESA Notes Sheet ESA40 04/09 contains this gem:- You must also tell us if you or your partner (among much else):- My parentheses and italics. go away from home, even if it is for a day

Ron

Ron (for it is he!)

And indeed it is so!  The document can be downloaded in full here on the DirectGov website.  A screenshot I’ve taken, highlighted the important bits and shown it here.  n.b. Ron is disabled, in several ways, not least by having the fat burned from the soles of his feet with a lightning strike!

Why Is This Important?

English: Human Rights logo: "FREE AS A MA...

A.    Well actually, it contravenes everything that Britain and other freedom-loving peoples have fought for regarding the right not just to life, but to a decent life, free of oppression, free to move and enjoy living just for its own sake, the UK having signed up for all of this in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It’s part of the United Nations Charter, adopted in 1948 and part of International Law since 1976.

English: Former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosev...

Image via Wikipedia

Here are the bits in which the highlighted line in the screenshot above breaks the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  • Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status – BROKEN.  Ron’s status is different from others in that he is disabled.  And, by limiting his freedom of movement as described, this breaks
  • Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. BROKEN.  Ron’s freedom of movement is not the same as those not on benefit.
  • Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  BROKEN.  It is degrading to have to inform faceless bureaucrats of one’s location on a daily basis.
  • Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. BROKEN AGAIN.  It is degrading to have to inform faceless bureaucrats of one’s location on a daily basis.
  • Article 27: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.  BROKEN:  Ron cannot participate freely.  Neither can his partner (if he has one).  He must inform the government of his movements which then prevents his free enjoyment that life in a free society provides.
  • Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.  BROKEN.  The UK state has removed Ron’s rights as defined and make law in the articles above.

What Else is Bonkers About This?

You may have noticed I highlighted another line.  For the lazy, this is how it reads, and when you’ve read it, then realise how bad these draconian rules really are:

You must also tell us if you or your partner, DIE!!!

Laughable bureaucracy, eh?

Finale

Of course, I can see why the state may want to do all of this – the powers-that-be have been making a big play in rustling up public opinion against “scroungers”.  But what Labour started, the Tories, as I predicted, have taken all of this up with a vengeance.  True, it’s fine to have paid work and/or a vocation that enervates oneself.  It’s part of the human condition to feel wanted and valued among one’s fellows.  But it’s all wrong to penalise the weakest in society and those that need the most support, by infringing and removing their basic human right of free movement to enjoy the society we’ve created.

Q. How to solve the conundrum?

A.  I don’t know and I don’t care actually, because I’m not in government and don’t have the power to change.

Those that are, you know, the elected or non-elected ones who decide that they’re better than us, they’re the ones who must, should and can change the rules, because they’re the ones that set them up in the first place!

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Facebook, MSNBC, Jesse Willms’ Swipe Auctions and Doctored Photos

Introduction

Readers of these pages will need no introduction to Jesse Willms, self-proclaimed philanthropist and former purveyor of counterfeit software.

But in the interests of traceability into the continuing insidious nature of the on-line marketplace, here’s a run-through of how to get from Facebook or MSNBC to Jesse Willms’ SwipeAuction (formerly SwipeBids), including a few screen-dumps of the dubious methods employed.

p.s. I could equally well run through the links from any spam I get today to Fox News to BidCactus or whatever.  Okay?

(p.s. SwipeAuctions is no more, the SwipeBids domain expires soon and rumours are rife about a possible new auction site.  Watch this space.)

MSNBC to Willms

This MSNBC page that Joseph spotted http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39118941/ns/world_news-mideastn_africa/ had a different set of ads when I looked.  Indeed, just like this website the ads rotate.  What was interesting is that they still went back to Willms’s based websites via fake news websites.

First, there were three ads in the bottom right when I viewed the page.  Refreshing the page shoves out two or three.  They rotate daily, but tend to stay the same on a given day.  The three images are the websites I’ve been taken to…

Site 1

Site 2

Site 3

It’s important to note the similarity between Site 2 & Site 3.

Because they both use the image of the French TV newsreader Mélissa Theuriau!

In the first she’s “Karen Simpson” and in the second she’s “Julia Miller”.

These are affiliate websites of unknown ownership.   Take a look at the car “won” by the woman in the advert.

Fake Car Auction

Car…and woman!

To save you time, this is the car and woman full size.

Now take a close look (it doesn’t need to be very close actually!) at the woman and the car mirror.  Does it seem a bit odd?  Well it does to me!

Using the TinEye plugin for Firefox allow one to trawl the web for similar images.  In this case it comes up trumps!

Because the image is obviously a composite one.  This is the TinEye search:

http://www.tineye.com/search/83bfb2d5784c45b67b0e780943a4a032bf6c4814/

Original car – no woman!

It pulls out six instances of the image used elsewhere on the web.  The URL for this one is:

http://www.leasetrader.com:80/photos/actual144203/150×112/Honda-Civic-EX-Sedan.jpeg

Car Auction Conclusion

I love to play

I love to play

Well pretty obviously it says in the image above that the woman “Samantha Warren” from Florida “won” that Honda car in one of Jesse’s “auctions”. (remember these details – they’re important for later)

(p.s. Since being written, these car pictures have been seen on even more fake news websites, all of unknown ownership.)

SwipeAuctions now have pictures on the landing page right next to his bold claim about helping 112+ children worldwide, where people say they “love to play” on the website.  See the “Anita P” screenshot from today.

(note from editor and US FTC: you can play a game, like a lottery or any other game of chance; you cannot play an auction!  The bold claim of this and many other Bid Auction websites is that it’s part ‘entertainment’, which may be so, but it’s still gambling.)

Facebook to Willms

Facebook ads this morning

Three ads were showing on the right of my Facebook page.  If you’re on Facebook, then you’ll have seen similar.

The first one was for a tips-laden army-type audio-visual that ends up wanting money to stay slim.

But one showed a woman who’d just won an iPad for £26.75.  yep.  It was  SwipeAuctions.  (p.s. these ads later disappeared to be replaced by other bid auctions sites for a time, although they’re now currently almost unseen.)

Honda Car – a co-incidence?

Another Honda? From Florida?

Another Honda? From Florida?

A neat photo from the front page shows a guy, “Pbh201”, mysteriously and co-incidentally (surely) from Florida, again winning a car.   The model?  Well Honda, of course!

Unfortunately, and for now, TinEye has not pulled out any image duplications.  But on past form, who’s to say what might pop up?  (p.s. later information has appeared which shows this Honda ‘win’ from various ‘angles’ – more later.)

Judge?

I’ve edited this post from the original following threats from Jesse Willms legal representative.   Currently there is a legal case against CTV  for showing these videos on television.  Part of the remit is that CTV misrepresented Willms’ businesses and said that 60% were his when they weren’t.

Given that the affilaites’ websites are there to promote businesses and yet are on the whole anonymous, my opinion is that the TV show displayed information in the way that “the common man” would interpret these things.  If the common man is very easily confused, then that is a problem but ultimately the person that benefits from deceptive advertising must shoulder some of the responsibility for their contractors’ behaviour, should they not?

Judge for yourself.

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Message from the Chief Protocol of Independent Corrupt Practises Commission (ICPC)

I got a phishing spam this morning from Nigeria!

Typical 419 that I usually see: Office of the Seante House Nigeria

Nothing unusual in that, you say – the Nigerian 419 scam has been going on for years!  It even has it’s own scambusters (see references later) and the actual advanced fee fraud is usually just called a 419 scam because that’s it’s number in the Nigerian criminal code, apparently.

Anyway, I’ve not seen this particular version, and so I provide a full copy of all the spelling, syntax and language mistakes for your information and enjoyment.

From: Mrs. Marisa Smith <[email protected]>

Subject: Pls Reply

Attention: Sir,

I am Mrs. Marisa Smith the Chief Protocol of Independent Corrupt Practises Commission (ICPC) in alliance with economic community of West African states (ECOWAS) with head Office here in Nigeria. We have been working towards the eradication of fraudsters and scam Artists in Western part of Africa With the help of United States Government and the United Nations.

We have been able to track down so many of this scam artist in various parts of west African countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN, TOGO, GHANA CAMEROUN AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody here in Lagos Nigeria. We have been able to recover so much money from these scam artists. The United Nation Anti-crime commission and the United State Government have ordered the money recovered from the Scammers to be shared among 100 Lucky people around the globe.

This email is been directed to you because your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file and computer hard disk in our custody here in Nigeria. You are therefore being compensated with $2.5 Million Dollars. We have also arrested all those who claim that they are barristers, bank officials, Lottery Agents who has money for transfer or want you to be the next of kin of such funds which do not exist.

Since your name appeared among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of $2.5 Million, we have arranged your payment through our swift card payment centre. The swift card ATM has been specially prepared to enable you withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is Five Thousand Dollars Only per day.

For proper execution of this project i decide to handle payment myself. Provide the information bellow to enable him prepare your ATM Master Debit Card including your Pin to access it.

1)YOUR FULL NAME.

2)YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS.

3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.

4)YOUR PROFESSION.

5)YOUR ID/AGE

Best Regard,

Mrs. Marisa Smith

Further Reading

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What is the Point of Fine Words?

Obama

Obama Hope Painting

Obama: Hope and Change?

President Obama was elected under the banner of change.

  • Change for the overall health of his nation
  • Change in economics and finance
  • Change of a re-assertion of the higher ideals of his nation expressed in the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Rights.

In this last, he even promised this change in his inaugural speech on that cold January day, and a very big thing was made of it too!

Freedom Cracks

The executive order signals a sharp break with the Bush Administration

The executive order signals a sharp break with the Bush Administration

Barely 100 days had passed before Obama was revealed as the head of a United States, professing freedom for all while at the same time condoning torture.

Guantanamo was promised to be closed and the abuses stopped. The guilty would face the full majesty of the law.

Broken Promises

Even this bold Obama-ite sensed something was possibly wrong when the author stated back in January,

In the last week or two, Obama has been making a point of saying really depressing and right-wing things

Then in July, the same author said,

His world view isn’t set by the media, and the Western media at that.

The thing is when Barack speaks…

Photos showing prisoner abuse in Iraq caused a major scandal in 2004 (click for news item)

Photos showing prisoner abuse in Iraq caused a major scandal in 2004 (click for news item)

The thing is, it all sounds great when Obama speaks.  But as with everything, it’s actions that count, not words.  And the latest action in America is not pleasant at all.

Under direct command from Obama, Defence Secretary Gates has blocked the publication of any more images featuring Americans abusing and torturing people.

Q. The Reason?

A. National security, of course!

These aren’t all old images, mind you!   No!    The images span the period from the Twin Towers’ collapse to 22 January 2009 – this year!  Gates’ reason for blocking the picture releases is;

“Public disclosure of these photographs would endanger citizens of the US, members of the US armed forces, or employees of the US government deployed outside the US”

Germany Calling

Now can you imagine the scenario if a German had said that at the Nuremberg Trials after WW2?  What would the US and British media have made of that?   Let’s see what it sounds like, should we?

“Public disclosure of these photographs would endanger citizens of Germany, members of the German armed forces, or employees of the German government deployed outside Germany”

It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?  The whole point is that these people have done wrong.

Obama and Opinion

Eye Swear, hope to die .......

Eye Swear, hope to die .......

Obama’s new response to the blocking of all torture images is wholly at variance with Eisenhower’s at the end of WW2.

Eisenhower got all media and persons to visit the death camps and tell everyone they knew all about them.

Obama?  He said;

“…the release of such images would be ‘of no benefit’ and might inflame opinion against the US” – !!!!  ???

My opinion is that across the globe, people have been yearning for some leadership on this.  A demonstration of the ‘right way’ to behave.  A feeling that justice can be done.   A beacon of hope to show that actions and attitudes really can change.

There’s a fat chance of anything like that now, is there?

Q. Just what exactly did Obama learn when he lived abroad and elsewhere as a “normal person” as this author confidently states?

A. It certainly wasn’t ethics and it certainly wasn’t honour.

France

Shakespeare says in Henry V, “Done like a Frenchman: turn, and turn again!”  So despite being cool about Sarkozy, Obama has definitely picked up lots of tips on his French trip on D-Day this year about how to behave like Frenchman and how to run a Republic.

See My Old Posts on This – I won’t stop until they do!

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Brave Italians versus Torture

CIA Guilty of Torture and Kidnap – Damages of 1.5 Million Euros

Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr was snatched from a street in Milan

Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr was snatched from a street in Milan

Amazing news today.  An Italian court has bravely taken on the leader of the Western World and convicted 22 CIA agents of kidnap and torture. (see CIA agents guilty of Italy kidnap).

The man on the left with the wacky beard and hat, was snatched from the street in Italy, flown to Egypt, and tortured.

America’s great liberal hope, President Obama, and his government, have expressed,

…”disappointment at the convictions”….

This is not surprising to me, given what I wrote here earlier in the year when I realised that after only 100 days in office, Obama thought torture was okay… (contrast this to the optimism shown here and here, for example.  Sometimes speaking well just isn’t good enough, especially if your actions are in complete disregard of your own constitution.)

Absent From Trial

The CIA people (including high ranking colonels etc) were all tried in their absence – you see, Italy doesn’t kidnap people! (Interestingly, the CIA, as judge, jury and executioner have just bombed 2 ‘insurgents’ in Pakistan with a drone plane again – “It is not clear if there was any high-value target, We also do not know the identity of the militants” the CIA said; but Insurgents …were pulling bodies out of the rubble… Obama condones all this as drone flights and civilian deaths have wildly escalated under his rule.)

So while Italy is usually thought of as the laughing stock of Europe because of the uncountable number of elections it has and the current buffoon of an incumbent that they keep electing – it’s actually been very brave and done the right thing.

Will America do the same?  Will it do the right thing?  Will Obama strive to regain the high moral ground that he stood on to be elected and which he espoused so eloquently on Inauguration Day?

No Confidence

I doubt it very much.  When 52% of USA citizens think torture is okay and Utah remains a cesspit of corruption and evil business practices, when most Americans don’t care a damn about rising sea levels – and the rest…  ..and the rest!!

I doubt it very much indeed.

UK Caught With Pants Down and Hands on the Trigger

Our UK government isn’t any better having colluded in the kidnaps (called extraordinary renditions as a smokescreen to reality) and torture.  Are they in Europe or out?  Do they agree with “The Hague” or not?  Have they signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or not?

Answers

Answers to these and other questions can be found in my earlier posts from this year.  What a year!

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