Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Strategic Importance of Blogs/Forums

(Oct 30th, 2008)

The military have a tactical maneuver, which’s name I haven’t the faintest and is irrelevant, that has two objectives to it: identify the enemy’s capabilities and intentions.

You pretend you’re attacking and pay close attention to whatever reaction you get.

Basically it’s poking the animal to test its reaction, and from it deduce what he is capable of.

If it’s a bull, you get head-butted, but if it’s a cow, a moo and a glass of milk is all you’re entitled to.

The other advantage of this maneuver is that it allows to keep the enemy pinned down. Either by making sure it doesn’t stick his head over the trenches, under the penalty of the obvious, or by keeping it busy with trivialities while remaining focused on what is important and crucial.

And as long as you know that he is in front of you, you know that he is not anywhere else, especially where he could harm you.

I’ve already stated here, on other occasions, that there is a war raging on. Not between McCanns and Mr. Amaral, not between Britain and Portugal, not even Britain allied with Portugal against the British and the Portuguese.

This whole issue has surpassed long ago that obnoxiously infamous couple who gave fame to this all. Even Madeleine, the child we honor, has relegated to the backstage by events.

It’s about dignity.

This has hit our dignity pretty hard. Each and everyone of us. We’ve been treated like a retarded herd, led to think as if our thoughts were not only ours to manage, but theirs to own. And our wounded dignity is what we are trying to salvage here. If the other side wins, it means we’ve lost.

And I for one, am not willing to live without it.

Today, it’s quite clear that only three kind of people still believe, wholeheartedly, in the McCanns innocence: the mentally seriously challenged, the illiterate and those who will be hurt by the truth.

The first two, deserve my total respect. About the third, well, all I want to say at this point is that it’s a larger group than thought. He who defends the indefensible can only justify with other reasons than reason itself. It’s not that the truth is unknown.

It’s been out as of July. It only lacks minor details that do little alteration to the main conclusions. But each one feels that it has to hide it. Sneak peaks, clandestinely, like a criminal. All simply because it differs from the official version.

Only when the adequate communication entities, known as media, accept its existence will the truth appear “out-of-the-blue”. A miracle of modernity. So, until this happens, we have on one side, the truth-bearers, fighting in name of dignity, and on the other those that, due to survival, will do anything to destroy it.

The first outnumber the latter by about 300 million to 1. Or even greater ratio.

But the latter hold the physical means with which modern society determines what is true, and what is not.

It’s guerilla warfare. They have the “tanks”, we have the spirit.

Using a WWII analogy, Britain has become occupied France, where the British commoner resists at the expense of his peace and comfort, and, who knows, personal safety and financial security.

Portugal, as in the Portuguese, has become Britain, a safe-haven where the British Resistance seeks, and finds, support. Portugal, as in Portugal, has just become a domesticated English province where the fight is to be fought. Preferably by local mercenaries.

Thus the Cipriano trial.

However, as everybody is aware, only when the British newspapers are forced into overturning their positions will this disgusting deck of cards fall. And only then a memorial in Madeleine’s name can be erected with justice.

This forum, and those sites with similar purposes (like the one of my dear friend Xklamation) are the tools we have to keep the offensive on the enemy.

Keeping him pinned down. The ONLY ones with which we can keep on poking him. Irritating it, making him spend resources of time, money and people.

The enemy holds the newspapers and the courts. But here, on the frontierless internet, he is helpless. Even fragile, because he cannot afford for the truth to escape him, or permit himself the luxury to stop paying attention to it.

Here he has to fight as equal, and he’s not even that. We are armed with the truth, he with the lack of shame. The lack of truth implies lack of argumentation. So the enemy hires people, equally shameless, to do its fighting. Whores selling their talent for a handful of coins.

These employees populate the various sites. Threats, bullying, misleading comments and intentionally misinterpretation of opinions, you’ve seen them all.

The most dangerous among them are those that don’t identify the side to which they belong. Sometimes they even disguise themselves as friends, winning your trust.

The tactic is always the same. Politely dropping, here and there and very subtly, a distorting idea in a manner that entices you into going down the path that makes you lose sight of what was you were trying to state in the first place.

This is to erode your will a bit by bit. Reinforcing the feeling of uselessness that invades when we cannot put across our, apparently simple, idea. Wearing you out. Making you lose momentum and sight of reason. Making you give up. And everytime somebody gives up, its one less to face.

We have the reason, but they have the time. We have the truth, they have the patience. Even if they have nothing else. So, if dignity is important to you as it’s to me, don’t give up.

Show them that it’s not easy to pull the wool over your eyes. That you, as an individual, are entitled to information. And that, without any help, you’re able to deduce from it your OWN opinion.

The way to show all that is through participation. Show how many we are. A simple one-word entry is enough. Inundate them with IPs, so that its physically impossible for them even to try and follow most, much less all. Even if they use national resources and institutions. Paid for from the tax-payer’s money. Your money.

So comment away. The decision to unfold the white flag is solely yours. As is your choice to exercise the right of speech, and to demonstrate that you, as citizen, don’t want to lose the capability of intervention.

And if you HAVE to give up that right, they know that you will fight them all the way. Speak now or forever hold your silence.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Innocent until proven Guilty - A Citizen's Right to Judgement

Oct 29th, 2008

The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” tends to be misread. And most of the times, purposely.

What is guilt? It’s the fact that one has done the deed. That solely makes one guilty of doing something. Simple as that. You did it, you’re guilty. Or for the more of a romantic nature, you bear the guilt.

The courts exist to determine, in the name of civilized society, the accountability of the guilt. And once confirmed the guilt of the one standing judgement they apply the law using a simple mathematical table with two entries: “deed” and corresponding “sentence”.

The confirmation is done by way of proof, thus the expression “to be proven guilty”. It’s considered confirmed/proved once there is no REASONABLE doubt as to who practiced the action that resulted in crime.

It’s very subjective to quantify how much or how little is “reasonable”. Depending on whose shoulder lays the decision, and many are condemned but would be freed had there been another set of ears hearing the exact same facts. The system should guarantee that this never happens. And if it does, that it’s always the exception, and never the rule.

Summarizing, the courts punish the guilt that exists as of the moment of the crime. One does not walk innocent into a courtroom, and walks out guilty. One walks in guilty, and comes out punished, or sentenced. Justice is thus served. If one walks in innocent, then it should be guaranteed that the exit is done in the same manner.

As it is set up, all is noble. No question to that. However, we all know it has flaws. The main one being that it has become a science with algorithms that have nothing to do with the accountability for the crime committed. These mechanisms exist, correctly so, as a set of means that protect, as much as possible, each and every citizen against possible miscarriage of justice. No one is to walk in innocent and come out condemned. This principle is taken so seriously that it’s preferable to release a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one.

But, in this science, as in all, there are good, very good, brilliant, awesome and exceptional scientists. The price each one charges for the services rendered is in accordance with each one’s capabilities. These, in practical terms, are quantified by the amount of positive results obtained. A positive result is basically the non application, to the maximum extent possible, of what is determined by law for the act upon the client. In the abovementioned mathematical table, it’s just to fiddle with the “deed” so that the corresponding “sentence” is minimal. The existence, or not, of guilt, is basically only relevant in the definition of the tactics to be used.
If the guilt is not explicit, the common tactic is to convince the court of its inexistence, thus valuing the “deed” to a no-sentence. If it is, then all knowledge will be applied to justify the criminal behaviour thus mitigating whatever is to be determined by the court.

This means, as one can easily see, the verdict of “not-guilty” does not prove innocence. It may be based on it, but what it truthfully says is that “the findings of this court are that it cannot punish”. And these can be based on the true innocence of the defendant, but it may also be because the “scientist” did his job well albeit the guilt. And what I have just said is easily proven by the way it’s not uncommon for the appeals to overrule initial court decisions. Graver, it’s not uncommon to hear a no-guilty verdict for someone who we know is as guilty as the night is dark no matter how many lamps are lit. Do I need to refer examples? Don’t think so. You’re probably thinking of someone that I haven’t even thought about, and that substantiates significantly what I just said.

The courts are the only rightful places to conduct these procedures. But, they err. I accept that. However, I, as a citizen, am entitled to make judgements in accordance with my conscience and knowledge of facts. What I am not entitled to is to have the necessary means to hold accountable those that I think are guilty. I should never be allowed to deprive someone of their freedom, or much less throw a rope around their necks and head for the nearest tree. That’s a responsibility of society, and although I belong to it, I do not, obviously, represent it.

All above said, I don’t care how, when, where or if the McCanns and friends are ever brought to justice and found guilty in a court of law. Because, they may one day go to court, and come out free as birds. For me, they are guilty. Although I did not come to this decision lighthearted, yes, I may be wrong. And if I find that I am, I’ll have no problem in reversing it. It brings me no pleasure in pinning the death of a child on her parents and friends. Sadness is what I find. Just another stone placed in the building of human mistrust.

Also, for the same reasons, it’s irrelevant for me that Mr. Gonçalo Amaral is found guilty or not-guilty by the courts in the Cipriano case. For me, he not only is not-guilty, as he is innocent. Like with the McCanns, I’m willing to change my mind. However, in both cases, the more I’m informed, the more I believe my beliefs are correct.

Also I believe that I’m not alone in my beliefs. I think that the majority think like me. I think the judicial systems of both countries should be aware of that before putting up these circus acts that we’re currently being forced to witness.

Although we have the numbers, we don’t have the resources. A powerful few control those. But history has shown that the powerful can be proven meek

Author's note: this text was published in on Oct 25th, 2008