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Privacy Issues that Affect You……

29 Apr

Forward C/O 38 Degrees38 Degrees

 

Have you heard about the latest data sell-off? Right now, the taxman, HMRC, is considering a plan to sell our personal tax details to private companies. Our incomes, the amount of tax we pay, and our tax histories could be sold to the highest bidder.

Tory MP David Davis has branded the plan “borderline insane”. But right now, HMRC is thinking about whether to go ahead anyway. If enough of us come together to create a huge petition, it will show HMRC, and the government that we won’t stand for them selling off our tax details.

Can you sign the petition now to demand HMRC rethink these plans?

Only a few months ago NHS England floated plans to sell off our health records. The outcry was huge, with organisations like the Royal College of GPs responding furiously to the idea that individuals might be identifiable from the data. In less than 24 hours, 150,000 members of 38 Degrees pledged to opt out of the scheme. Together, we forced a change of plan. NHS England panicked and paused the sell-off for 6 months.

If we act fast, we can do the same with HMRC. There is already opposition. MPs have criticised the plans. Tax experts have expressed concern, and organisations like Big Brother Watch are worried about “serious risks to privacy.”

A huge petition could make headlines and embarrass HMRC into dropping the idea. Can you add your name now and stop these plans before it’s too late?

Thanks for getting involved,

The 38 Degrees Team……38 Degrees

Click here for the 38 Degrees home page to sign up for the newsletter and add your support (The 38 Degrees membership is often larger than your MPs majority, so together we can effect change).

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Big Brother – Beware……

18 Feb

The Care Data Project – A Snoopers Charter……BB_Eye_01

During these times of austerity our Government has announced its latest hugely expensive, unnecessary and intrusive IT project, which based on their track record will cost three times as much as has been budgeted for and not work……

The new database will include medical information collected from your GP and hospital records.  It is unclear if this a re-launch of a proposal made at the start of the coalition or something entirely unconnected.  But, like the last attempt, it is an ‘opt out’ rather than ‘opt in’ system.

nhs_logoThe proposed database is intended to improve patient outcomes and, although the data stored will be anonymous, it is not beyond the capability of hackers to trace its source.  It is unclear at this stage who will have legitimate access to the information stored and as we have learnt, it is not beyond major multinational companies to employ dubious and illegal methods to obtain whatever they need……

GPs have expressed concerns over the new database and although it is reported to be ‘anonymous’, the Police can access the database under certain circumstances; no specific details of what circumstances would warrant this……

The Pharmaceutical industry would also have access.big-brother-01

Cost Benefit Analysis……

In yet another disturbing story, the Government is pushing the BMA and NICE to apply a cost benefit analysis to the prescribing of some medications.  There has been talk of withholding medications from older people.  Although it may be beneficial for the patient, their contribution to society may not be as good as that of a younger man with the same condition.  It is almost as if they are regarding us as batteries……

‘Since writing this article is has become clear that this IT project is the one previously……’

 

The original article was entitled ’The Snoopers Charter (Cont’d)’ posted on 28 December……

Terrorism, Planes and Bureaucracy……

12 Oct

‘You may have been under the impression that since 9/11 flying has never been safer and you’d have been right, but not as a result of terrorism……’ 

Just How Safe is Flying……?

The chance of being involved in an air incident, terrorist or otherwise, is astonishingly small.  It is approximately 11 million to 1 or, by way of comparison, you are far more likely to die in a fatal road accident travelling to the airport or, die from natural causes in the time elapsed since booking your ticket and surprisingly, if you were involved in an accident your chances of survival are still around 50/50.  Nevertheless, you might imagine that the airlines have installed all of the latest technologies designed to detect a terrorist attempting to board and combined all of the worldwide intelligence available to disrupt an attempt; on either count you’d be wrong……

Technology……

Technology is always improving and has now reached the point at which a full body scanner is available that allows security staff to effectively ‘see through’ clothing; this sits alongside the traditional doorway metal detector.  Its introduction has caused controversy due to privacy concerns, although if you see the system in action the image the operator sees is akin to a 3D shop-front dummy.  Doubtless there are individuals who might ‘get off’ on seeing a computerised 3D image of fat middle aged business men but I’m sceptical they’d attempt to work their way up through the airport security business simply to get themselves into a position where they could become an imagine operator when all they’d need to do is log on, enter a few choice search terms, and voila, Google will provide them with all the material needed to satisfy their sick and twisted desires [other internet search engines are available, for now at least].

Baggage scanning has been around for years although was not routinely used on all checked in baggage until after 9/11.  Swabbing an individual’s hand luggage has also been around for many years but, like all security, relies on the instinct and training of handlers.  I have a friend who was caught out by this system when traces of Cocaine were found on his toothbrush by US immigration officials.  His explanation of the ten dollar call girl having used it the morning after got him out of that scrape; I’m not so sure how he explained it to his wife however!

Not all Airports are Equal……

The majority of the major hub airports have the security measures described above but smaller ones don’t and just how difficult would it be to hire a sightseeing trip whilst on ‘holiday’ with which to make mischief?

Information is Power……

Since 9/11 the airlines have cooperated by supplying lists of passengers to their allies.  The problem with lists is who goes on them and why.  The US has four such lists, the first of which is ‘persons of interest’ and numbers 600,000 names.  Bearing in mind the way in which Muslims name their children, there’s an awful lot of Mohamed, Abdul, Osama’s and combinations thereof.  Plus, as any victim of Microsoft will tell you, the software is only as good as the person who wrote it.  Taken into account that there are 1,423,500,000 people taking flights each year and you soon end up with information overload and one hell of a cross referencing task.  The list of misdemeanours that can get you onto the database is wide ranging and can be something as simple having been arrested at a student demonstration years ago.  There is also the problem of radicalised terrorists who have never had so much as a parking ticket and are unlikely to be flagged up by an automated system……

How Useful have the Security Systems Been……

Thus far not a single terrorist incident has been discovered with the technology on offer.  In December 2009 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to bring down Northwest Airlines flight 253 bound for Detroit on Christmas day.  His journey began in Ghana, changing planes at Schipol, Amsterdam, one of the worlds’ most sophisticated airports with all of the security systems discussed.  Having cleared security at both Ghana and Amsterdam he successfully boarded Northwest Airlines flight 253.  Throughout his journey he had a small package of an explosive called PETN in his underwear.  His plan was to inject a small amount TATP into the package theoretically resulting in a chemical reaction and explosion.  Thankfully, and solely down to luck, the bomb failed to go off and the flight landed without incident (discounting a pair of very scorched bollocks and DIY Brazilian).  The explosive, PETN, was the same explosive as Richard Reid, the failed shoe bomber, had tried to use in an earlier incident, leading to the extra security precaution of passing passengers’ shoes through the X-Ray device.  It also led to the restriction on the quantity of liquids allowed in hand luggage……

Failure to Act on Information……

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was not your stereotypical image of a suicide bomber.  He was the son of a successful banker, well educated, well spoken and not at first appearance a Muslim.  Following discussions with his father in which he expressed the view that his father’s work was ‘immoral’ and ‘un-Islamic’, his father became concerned that his son was becoming radicalised.  On November 19th Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father spoke with two CIA officers at the US Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria to express his concerns about his son.  The CIA added Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s name to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list, the lowest threat category of the four lists used by US Intelligence Services.  No other action was taken and Abdulmutallab’s student visa was not revoked which enabled him to board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 without so much as a blinking computer icon……

A Lucky Escape……

Considering the intelligence available, the fact that Abdulmutallab evaded two airport security checks and a miscalculation of the amount of chemicals needed to explode the device, the December 2009 incident was indeed a lucky escape for the passengers of flight 253 which would have been destroyed on its final approach to Detroit.  But the fact remains; no amount of technology will make commercial air travel failsafe.  Intelligence is perhaps a glorified term for what is actually information and computer geeks have a term ‘GIGO’, which means garbage in, garbage out.  Probably the most effective security device in any airport is the human being at the gate.  They posses something that technology and computers don’t; instinct, and it is that which proves the most useful tool in the ‘war on terror’……

And One Final Thought……

Perhaps, if the ‘civilised’ countries of the West took a long hard look at what is going on in their own back yards and the effect that global consumerism is having on ‘the axis of evil’ there would be significantly less radicalised individuals and organisations hell bent on perpetrating headline grabbing acts of terrorism to highlight the inequality and hypocrisy under which we live.  Somehow, without the removal of Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Paulson and the rest of the Neo-Conservative zealots, along with the World Bank, Federal Reserve, IMF, Bank of England, Central European Bank that they effectively control, halting the development in most of Sub-Saharan Africa and most of Asia, the trouble will continue conveniently categorised as ‘religious extremism’ even though 99.999% of Muslims are peace loving people going about their daily business just like the rest of us.

The Al Qaeda myth has been allowed to grow under the influence of the western media.  They started off as a group in Afghanistan under the leadership of one Osama Bin Laden, whose family are close friends and business partners of the Bush family.  Blamed for the 9/11 ‘false flag’ attack on the US they have now spread all over the globe.  Any pissed off Muslim is automatically labelled ‘Al Qaeda’ whether they have anything to do with them or not.  They are nothing more than a replacement for the ‘reds under the bed’ after the fall of the Soviet Union; the perfect enemy.  They come in all colours, from all countries, are of all ages and sexes.  In the PNAC document, written by the Neo-Cons a year before 9/11, they talk of a ‘war without end’ against an ‘unseen enemy’ and even the need for a catalysing event like a ‘new Pearl Harbour’ to rapidly advance their plans.  And hey presto……

Search for PNAC PDF to read their sinister plan……

‘Guess that’s me on the no fly list……’

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Political Gestures……

3 Aug

Plain Packaging, Plain Arrogance……

The recent proposals to introduce plain packaging for all Tobacco products have been put on hold whilst the Government waits to check the efficacy of the Australian ban.  After all, you wouldn’t want to rush into taking ineffective measures that would damage the enormous profits and tax revenue created by an industry which legally sells a product that kills half of the people who use it.  No; better to wait and see before imposing draconian and expensive measures on the multi-billion dollar industries, who insist that their advertising isn’t aimed a children.

It would seem like a no brainer to most people but not the political elite like Karl McCartney MP, who, along with other political cronies, received a nice Champaign lunch at the Chelsea Flower show, worth £1,100.00 before voting against the ban [no inferences have been drawn].  Mr. McCartney’s benefactor, Japan International Tobacco, didn’t send me a gift, even though I’ve been a loyal customer for 25 years.  I can’t imagine why……

Evidence……

As our Government are so keen on evidence based policy right now, they might like to look at the recommendations of UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) who said in a recent report that the way the Government collect, analyse and use evidence is ‘inadequate’.  They also recommended the setting up of a Royal Commission but it was rejected out of hand by the Prime Minister and Home secretary.  Keith Vaz MP said that ‘After a year of scrutinising Drug Policy, it is clear that many aspects [of the policy] simply aren’t working.

Whilst the Government may want to see whether plain cigarette packaging has any affect on smoking in Australia, no less than seven independent reports by experts in the field of drug prevention, harm reduction and rehabilitation have had any effect on policy.  In fact, every recommendation has been ignored leading to the resignation of Professor David Nutt, the Government’s Chief Policy Advisor.  I’m guessing this may be because drug dealers don’t lobby political parties and give MPs generous gifts……

Other Evidence……

The bravado shown by our Prime Minister with his promises of pornography filters that will keep us all ‘safe’ from indecent images, is evidence that the PM understands less about computer search algorithms than he does about economics.  I have yet to see an expert explain how this could be made to work.  The very idea that someone could simply conjure up a program that can identify what is, and isn’t, indecent images is laughable.  He has offered no suggestions as to how the magic filter will work but has promised us all an ‘opt in’ button as standard.

The definition of what is ‘acceptable’ pornography and what isn’t is the first hurdle.  It is my understanding that sexual acts between consenting adults is legal regardless of how distasteful Mr. Cameron finds it.  We already have an agency which deals with online child exploitation and abuse that do a very good but difficult job.  To bring the PM’s proposals into the fold will make things infinitely more complicated but it’s good PR all the same…….

Stupid Posh Men……

We have a stagnant, crippled economy due the actions of the rapacious financial services industries to which Government pampers and has done nothing to tackle the problem.  Gideon’s jumping for joy over a 0.3% increase in the GDP of our failing economy which is meaningless to people who can’t afford to eat.  The out of touch ‘members’ think they deserve another £10k per year when our hospitals are killing us; not due to bad nursing, due to the seemingly endless appetite for privatisation, centralisation and outsourcing.  Public services have a duty to provide for us.  Private companies have a duty to show returns for their shareholders, the consequence of which is a race to the bottom; selling contracts to the lowest bidder.  A few examples are the ATOS Healthcare mess, G4S incompetence, the now empty centralised fire control centres and the ‘111’ out of hours service.  All Government initiatives, especially those requiring new IT systems, run over cost, over time, over budget and don’t work.

Meanwhile, the best decoy tactics are to demonise the most vulnerable sections of society with a constant barrage of selective statistics that make it appear unemployment and disability is bankrupting the welfare state when the majority of spending goes on pensions (50%), Child and Working Tax Credits and other ‘in work’ benefits, primarily because the people who ‘want to work hard and get on’ are not paid a living wage by the multinational companies who pay almost no taxes themselves.  Perhaps Mr. Cameron should provide them with an ‘opt in’ button on their accounting software.  Immigration is a prime target of spin, when in reality they have no accurate figures but choose to waste tens of thousands of pounds on their divisive mobile billboards stating “In the UK illegally?  Go home or face arrest”.  Because if were here escaping a brutal regime that rapes women in conflict zones and forces marriage and genital mutilation, I would be on the phone quicker than you could say, “Inept, out of touch Etonian posh boys who couldn’t manage a McDonalds, let alone a country’……

Finally……

I’m sad that I live in a country that is run by corrupt back room deals done by the old boy network, where unless you are born into the right bloodline, your chances of progression are severely impaired.  The Police are a disgrace; just ask Mrs. Lawrence, the family of John Charles de Mennenez, or the mothers of children born to climate change protestors of undercover coppers because of the paranoia of ‘the state’.  The mainstream media too are as corrupt as their paymasters.

If anyone still believes that a bunch of tribal cave dwellers, with rusting Kalashnikovs, their transistor radios illegally connected to the intermittent state controlled power supplies, are running a highly organised, well resourced, worldwide terror network ready to strike at any moment, working tirelessly to bring down the UK so they can invade us and impose Sharia law, is sadly mistaken.  The conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and all the others are as old as written history.  Their only reason to attempt to bring it to our attention with their ill conceived and usually futile attacks is to send a simple message: ‘Western countries get out of our lands and go home”.  Only the workings of a real organised worldwide network of terrorism can pull off 9/11 and 7/7, and they are our own, working under a false flag to give impetus to a global ‘war on terror’ to support the Military Industrial Complex.  They have but one goal; return a profit to the Global Elite whom they serve and sell it to us as a necessary ‘security’ measure.  Munitions aren’t measured in lives lost and lives saved, they are measured like everything else in this shitty world; profits……

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Coincidence, Convenience or Conspiracy……

27 May

‘It could pure chance but recent events point conveniently toward a reason to advance the timetable of government policy to control the internet and curtail freedom of speech……’

 

All Roads Lead to Rome……

In the past few weeks events both here and abroad have shone a spotlight on the ‘war on terror’ and a new agenda to contain the spread of information, starting with the Boston bombing which is where my investigation begins.

On 15 April 2013 two devices exploded near to the finish line of the Boston marathon.  The event was caught on camera by individuals and the media alike.  Many questions remain as to precisely what happened but is does not appear to be the straight forward ‘extremist’ attack portrayed in the mainstream media.  There are many inconsistencies with the events of that day which have been highlighted predominantly by eagle eyed internet users and seemingly ignored by the broadcast media.  Here are a few of the issues.

The blasts were filmed from many angles by many people and highlight equally as many apparent incongruities.  An examination of the blasts is a good place to start.

Boston Explosion Flags

This image is one of many taken at the instant of the blast.  The smoke is very impressive and I’m sure any pyrotechnic of that magnitude was capable of breaking nearby windows but note:  The row of flags seems completely unaffected by the explosion.  Surely, any blast capable of removing peoples’ limbs (which we’ll come to shortly) would have contained enough energy to move a few flags?

Now let’s look at the guy whose trousers were almost completely blown off.  Any explosion capable of blowing a man’s lower garments to shreds would surely have left some degree of injury to his legs?  Still, he escaped with only grazes and his modesty in tact.  My mother always told me to wear clean underwear just in case I was involved in an accident.  She never mentioned wearing bomb proof underwear but I’ll consider it next time I go out.  At this point it is worth pointing out the pain on this mans face.  Clearly he loved those trousers; unlike our next ‘victim’ who seems unaffected by the loss of his lower garments, and limbs.

Boston Explosion Trousers

‘Wheelchair Guy’, as he has become known is a bit of a celebrity.  Here he is just after the blast having had both legs blown off, surrounded by some pretty unconcerned people, in what can best be described as ‘Freddy Krueger’ styled blood.

Wheelchair Man 01

Next we see him, presumably having been attended to by the paramedics, being wheeled away in a chair.

Wheeelchair man 03

Wheeelchair man 02Note how he does not appear to be in much pain and unconcerned by the bone sticking out of what used to be his leg.  Now, I’m not a paramedic but I would have thought a man who’d lost so much blood would have been put on a drip to maintain his blood pressure and stop his heart from failing, but no IV lines can be seen.  He also appears very alert for a man who one would have expected to have received some heavy weight pain killers on top of loosing so much blood.  Then one has to ask the question why a double amputee was placed in wheel chair and pushed 400 yards to an Ambulance with, one assumes a perfectly serviceable engine and driver?

The inconsistencies in the Boston story are many and if I detailed them all my computer and ISP would probably crash but have a look for yourself and you’ll see what I’m getting at……

Timing is Everything……

On the other side of the Atlantic in the UK two events have unfolded, giving the Government an opportunity to revisit the Communications Data Bill, aka the ‘snoopers charter’, with impeccable timing as the CEO of Google is the guest of honour at the forthcoming Bilderberg Group meeting in June.

First there was the apparent ‘hijacking’ of a Pakistani Airlines flight by two unarmed men.  The flight was escorted by RAF Typhoon jets to StanstedAirport where the men were arrested without incident or injury to passengers.  The precise details of the ‘hijacking’ are unclear but do not follow the ‘standard’ modus operandi of a hijacking.  The hijackers did not divert the plane, attempt to crash it, injure any of the crew or passengers or appear to have any motive behind their actions.

Second, is the attack on Lee Rigby, the off duty soldier which, although abhorrent, has lead to some interesting events.  Thus far eleven people have been arrested in connection with the attack, some on charges of conspiracy to commit murder.  One must assume that unless Lee Rigby operated like clockwork and rotated his T-shirt wearing with an anally retentive consistency, that this attack was a random event and, therefore, its preconception and planning, highly unlikely.

From past experience it would seem that Theresa May, the feckless Home Secretary, has found, or created, the perfect bilderberg - logoopportunity to resume plans for the ‘snoopers charter’, a step toward control of the internet and the inconvenient freedom of speech it provides, and at just the right point in the calendar to coincide with the shady meeting of the Bilderberg Group……

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‘Ask questions, check details, search the internet and never take anything at face value……’

Bilderberg 2013……

22 May

‘The shadowy globalist Bilderberg Group will meet at the Grove Hotel, Watford, England from June 6th to June 9th.  Amongst the usual invited ‘guests’ including government ministers, financiers, policy makers and royalty will be the CEO from Google with potentially worrying items on the secretive agenda……’

 

bilderberg - logoBilderberg – A Brief History……

The group first met in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands which is where it got its name.  Originally intended to bring about convivial relations between Europe and America after the World War II it was intended to develop a better understanding of the political, strategic and financial policies of the two sides.

Over time the annual meetings of the Bilderberg Group have become ever more elitist with some of the most influential people on the planet in attendance.  Although they claim it is simply an opportunity to talk frankly about policies, they are in reality the policy makers that affect everything from economics to war.  The meetings are held in secret surrounded by tight security and the locations kept tightly under wraps with disinformation used to keep journalists at bay as far as is possible, a practice that is proving harder with social networks and citizen journalists having the means to communicate instantly.

Insiders and infiltrators in recent years have reported surprisingly accurate details about future events including economics and warfare which have come to pass.  For an innocent ‘think tank’ the Bilderberg Group go to great lengths to keep their ‘guest list’, meeting locations and discussions as secret as possible and many well informed journalists who have followed Bilderberg closely for many years speculate that they are a globalist shadow government agreeing policies and represent a New World Order……

Google-Zeitgeist-2011Google & Bilderberg……

Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, has been a regular attendee of previous Bilderberg meetings and the annual ‘Google Zeitgeist Conference’ will be taking place at the Grove just before the Bilderberg meeting.  On the agenda will be how an association between Google and Bilderberg will benefit both parties.

It is hard to understate the potential power of Google’s vast database.  Around 70% of all internet searches are done using Google and it has even slipped into everyday language as the generic term for a search.  It is the way in which information and trends in everything from economics to politics can be gleaned from analysing Google searches and the sites they lead users too.  There is virtually no other company in the world that knows more about your habits than Google.  Thus far we have been assured that Google respects our privacy and I have no reason to doubt that claim, but trends can prove particularly useful when making judgements about financial markets.  Chatter can also indicate where political uprisings are stirring; useful if you are in the arms trade or running an army of mercenaries.  With geo-location software which is built in to most new smart phones can even tell you the whereabouts of a group or individuals.  Under US anti-terrorism laws all new mobile phones are fitted with an RFID chip which can locate a phone even when it contains no SIM card and the battery is removed……

Conspiracy Theories and Crackpots……                                                                                                                                                            The Grove 2013                                                     

Doubtless the accusation of paranoid conspiracy theorists will be levelled at those of us who are concerned at the dominance of one company on the worldwide web and even more so when the business dealings of the Bilderberg Group are included.  But when the worlds global elite and policy makers team up with the worlds largest internet service provider, there is good reasons to be concerned……

The Nanny State……

3 Jan

Whatever Next…..?

 

A report by what is laughably referred to as a ‘think tank’ has suggested that Doctors should be able to prescribe exercise and those who fail to follow the advice they could have their benefits cut.  This comes after yesterday’s revelation that the NHS should ‘crackdown’ on expensive medications in a bid to cut £8 billion from GPs budgets……

 

Do the same Rules Apply to MPs…..?

 

Why this new Orwellian suggestion only applies to people in receipt of benefits I don’t know but we had a little ‘think tank’ of our own and found that the tax payer would make a substantial saving on the MPs expenses bill if some of their over weight colleagues spent a bit less on the food that they clearly don’t need and shouldn’t be allowed to claim for anyway.  There is also a substantial saving to be made on fuel if ministerial cars didn’t have to lug fat MPs like Eric ‘no neck’ Pickles around when on official business……

 

Why Stop with Fat People…..?

 

We should refuse to treat smokers with chest infections, DIY ‘enthusiasts’ who cut off bits of themselves, girls who wear high heels and break their ankles and car crash victims, after all, it was their choice to drive.

 

This is yet another demonstration of the degree of stupidity that officials with nothing better to do can come up with to try and save the ‘poor hard pressed tax payer’ some money.  If we really are that short, which we are bound to be due to the fact that all ‘money’ borrowed by our Government comes with interest attached and will never be repaid, then here’s a few suggestions on how to save some:  Get rid of the monarchy or let it spend it’s huge personal fortune looking after itself.  Stop spending billions of pounds fighting wars, in countries that half of the MPs couldn’t even find on a map, on the false pretence that it’ll stop 2 non-descript, non-geographical ‘terrorists’ from attacking us.  Stop the scandalous expenses scam that MPs are milking for every penny they can get their corrupt grubby little fingers on and, finally, stop fucking telling people what to eat, when to fart, how fast to drive, how much to drink and what drugs not to take.  Just one last tip or two to get us out the shit that you got us into; tax corporations, don’t waste money on ‘think tanks’, sporting events that no-one gets to see, don’t give charity for dictators to pocket and if you really, really, really want to help; make Sodium Thiopental available over the counter, and take some……