New York Daily Sun - The Trusted New York Daily Broadsheet » Featured New York’s Daily Newspaper Reporting News, Sport, Politics, Finance, Fashion, Features and Scandal. Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:39:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SEO Terrorism in the UK Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:01:19 +0000 admin Type the following individual search terms into Google: Nadine Dorries, @nadinedorriesmp, Dominic Wightman, Dennis Rice. You’ll notice certain websites and blogs crop up regularly as search results; even higher than results of some national newspapers and broadcasting outlets. The results have 3 things in common – they are created by trolls, portray a very negative message & they have been heavily search engine optimized, so negatives found always trump positives buried later on in search results.

There are many other names we could add here who are also victims of the same cluster of search source results.

Take the one example of @nadinedorriesmp. @nadinedorriesmp is the Twitter name of the British Member of Parliament for Mid Bedfordshire, Nadine Dorries. The first two results that appear on Google are Twitter accounts in her name. But they are nothing to do with her. One is entitled “A massive T**T”. Both accounts are what are known as sock-puppet accounts and were created purposefully by trolls and operated regularly by these trolls to embarrass and torment Nadine Dorries.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. In short, it’s manipulating a site so that search engine crawlers push it up rankings. This is achieved through various means – one of which is adding links from other sites, particularly powerful sites, known as link-building, to specific keywords. In this case the SEO has added links to keywords which are the actual names of his victims.

The Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) behind the current high presence on search engines of these negative stories and fake social media accounts is notorious. We shall not name him as the UK authorities have advised against naming him whilst he is the subject of ongoing investigations and legal actions.

Let’s just say he has become even more tarnished this week after one of his victims – Nadine Dorries MP – revealed in the press that she has been the victim of this SEO/Stalker for several years and he has caused her life to be “a living hell”. The courageous actions of Nadine Dorries in exposing this man have led to dozens more of the SEO’s victims coming forward. To read up more about what he has done to Nadine Dorries, see here & here & here & here & here.

The SEO in question has a blog he set up way back in 2001 (which he has cultivated to make it powerful on search engines) which he can use as his main source for power links to boost the position on search engines of all the negative posts and stories. He then spreads those links – and borrows links from other websites – to the negative sites of his trolling crew so their negative stories also feature high on searches against the names of his victims. Soon, a victim’s online reputation is smothered by his bile.

The SEO in question is an arch manipulator – someone who is clearly obsessed and seriously disturbed – who manipulates his crew to seek to “destroy” the reputations of others. The most cunning of his many manipulations is the manipulation of search engines to achieve his goals.

How does his behaviour affect the lives of the victims he optimizes slander on? In short, the SEO has almost achieved his aim of destroying the reputations he sought to annihilate by SEO. How do they feel about this? What can they do to fight back?

We spoke to one of his victims, Dominic Wightman (pictured), who is a businessman (and a shareholder in Allied Newspapers) living in the UK. He claims that the SEO and his crew of trolls have cost him a fortune in terms of cash, wasted time and personal stress. His story is shocking and makes one wonder about why legislation has not caught up with these SEO terrorists/trolls:

“I first came across this SEO in 2008 – he focused on me because of my links to the Conservative Party –  and he launched an attack on me in his blog in the same year. I happen to be the only ‘Dominic Wightman’ on the planet so it was pretty easy for the SEO to wreck my online reputation. Another attacking blog piece followed then another. Soon the first couple of pages of my Google and other search engine results were replete with his slander; some of which he passed to his associated cabal of trolls to post online. The most vile filth he posted about me he used proxies for; meaning he would be unlikely to ever get traced.

The immediate effect of his posts was to anger me. I thought what right does this oik have to dare write this filth about me? I had to explain to colleagues – and worst of all, to members of my own family – that the slander posted about me online was not true. I had to go to the police who were sympathetic and made me keep a log of all the slander but they were powerless to intervene as the slander that was being posted was cleverly written so as not to break existing laws. I was lucky in that my closest colleagues and my family knew of this man – he was well known locally as a stalker and a nutter and many good people had complained about him. The police advised me to attack the man and his associates using a civil case but at the time their assets weren’t worth much more than a Mars Bar.

There were two years that passed of regular slander posting by these trolls. I tried rebuttal – which certainly annoyed the SEO and his troll friends – but it just meant more slander was produced. I found if I was silent he became paranoid and posted more filth. If I posted rebuttals he’d post more filth also.

Soon the first 5 pages of a name search of me were full of his lies. I tried setting up Linked In and other accounts and they did rank well for a week or two but then the negative stuff seemed to jump above it every time I spent some time trying to outdo the negative stuff. So I called Google and Bing and they just came back with the freedom of speech line – I love freedom of speech and I love Google & Bing, so I decided to grin and bear this. Others before me paid a far higher price for freedom of speech, I thought. I guess that’s the Catholic in me – we’re all capable of being martyrs.

Then things got far more serious.

In 2011 I had a business deal collapse because one of my clients did a search of my name on the search engines at a crucial time in the deal-making process. The deal was worth a considerable amount of money. I called to explain about my stalker and the things written about me were his vile concoctions but by that time the client had found another partner. In the same week a business competitor used the negative Google results to attack me and my business. Then, worse than that – I have a dear and brilliant friend who is mentally ill after a breakdown at Oxford who depends on his frail seventy year old mum who is his carer. The SEO and a troll associated with him started peppering the friend’s mother with slanderous emails about me. They then emailed fellow company directors with similar slander. It was like a bombshell a day from them. They emailed a man in his 80’s who they knew had angina and posted a negative piece about me with him included. I was taking calls from targeted people all the time and I was getting sick. One day I had had enough. The police were doing nothing. My friend’s mother called me in tears to say my mentally ill friend was scared stiff about these stalkers. I felt powerless.

That was when – under all that pressure – I made a mistake. I sent an article to the Westminster Journal going public about my tormentors. In the article I mentioned jokingly something to the effect of, “If I saw these (trolls) loitering on my driveway I’d run them down in my Tory Blue Range Rover”. The line was metaphorical – it could certainly have been better chosen.

I sent off the first copy to the Westminster journal uploader based in the Far East. I then went about editing the article and actually added to that line the words “albeit a fantastical dream” as a kind of disclaimer. The uploader posted the first version and only changed it to the second version the next day when he woke up. Because of time difference the article was up in its first version without the edits for some hours. I always knew that in PC Britain it was important to watch one’s words. Then what happened was bizarre……

Two weeks later I had a call from Surrey Police. I was asked to go down to the police station for an interview, which I did. The policeman involved was a decent bloke and very affable – a bit embarrassed I felt – and sat me down to talk with me. I didn’t think I needed a lawyer. I was always taught to be open and honest with the police, which I was. I admitted writing the article and I mentioned the disclaiming edit. I was slapped on the wrist for being a dumbass, told to choose my words more carefully in future and I was offered the opportunity to take a caution for “malicious communications”, which I quickly refused (in the UK accepting a caution gives you a criminal record). I told the policeman I’d prefer to risk a summons than get the caution and he totally understood. The policeman and I shook hands. Both of us presumed that would be that. I told him I’d be cleverer in future and somehow not react to these sick, twisted fools and bade him good day.

The next week a summons arrived from the local magistrate’s court! I had been summoned to defend the “malicious communication”. I was flabbergasted that the CPS had so much time on their hands to bother about little old me.

At first I thought I’d been “done over” by the friendly policeman but what I now know had happened is this – the SEO had written out a vile statement saying he feared for his life and thought I was genuine in running him down in my Tory Blue Range Rover (since he’s a stalker, he knew full well I drove a red Jag). He had the gall to claim that he was now the victim! Some person at the CPS had swallowed the “victim” statement and decided to take the matter to court.

So, I instructed a lawyer, lost even more money and time – the stress was huge on me and my family – over six months preparing my defence. I’d never been to court – never even had a parking ticket let alone a speeding ticket – and I was now having to defend my probity because of some stalker SEO who had none. Let’s just say I saw all this as a test to strengthen me – the only positive of being the victim of stalkers like the SEO is that you definitely have to grow balls of steel.

Finally in month 7 of this pallaver - after my lawyer had written to the CPS to clarify the law to them – someone more awake at the CPS saw sense and dropped the case.

In the meantime I started to think smart. I realized that the SEO and his troll friends were seriously affecting me, my health, my work colleagues and – worse – my family. I sought the advice of lawyers, experts and other search engine optimizers. I even started a collaboration with a young search engine optimizer and supplied him a load of clients just so he would focus on improving search results for my name. I’m not technical but I learnt how SEO works.

For a year – between 2012 and 2013 – the stalking SEO’s negative results were below normal articles / posts about me. Optimizing positive results with the young optimizer to beat his highly-linked negative results cost me thousands of pounds. In late 2013 I had collected enough evidence about the links on the negative posts, as compared to links on the positive posts, to show that the SEO had been optimizing his negative results of me. In other words this man had been using SEO to stalk me.

I began to see my stalker as an SEO terrorist. That is what he is. I saw his work in link detail and saw him for what he really is. He’s a middle-aged saddo who sits in some dusty old room and adds links to negative articles about me and others then posts more filth about us online …. offline his life is a mess …. online he thinks he’s some kind of evil wizard. If the reality was not painful to me, I’d piss myself laughing at what a weakling and a coward he is!

I stopped paying for my SEO when I had these results – the people I work with all know me for who I am and not what he portrays me as – and I have been quietly making huge progress in my life away from the SEO and his troll friends. I am at the point now where my lawyer in the US has got a strong case together which I am confident will force the SEO and his friends to stop.

I can only congratulate Nadine Dorries with her efforts in trying to stop this man. As an MP she is better placed than I am to have stalking laws changed. I admire anyone who stands up to this man – the SEO – as I have done since 2007 (at one time in a less than intelligent way).

He has been like a dark cloud in my life since I had the misfortune to stumble across him. I have often asked the police to deal with him and his friends and they failed me – this is not their fault; they simply do not have the apparatus/legislation right now with which to nail these evil pests; nor always trace their deviousness.

I especially admire how the likes of Paladin are forcing legislative changes to rid the UK and the web in general of these kind of sick, twisted individuals. The SEO in question I firmly believe thinks he is doing good. He calls himself a “caped crusader” on the one hand then Tweets about shooting Nadine through the head on the other. He is an arch manipulator and a particularly unpleasant guy. He really needs some professional help.

I pity his new girlfriend – who seems also obsessed with Nadine Dorries – who I think is a decent egg but lonely and malleable. She has now got roped into doing his evil for him. I really do not feel sorry for his Troll friend who publishes as much crap as he does about me – he knows exactly what he is doing, has a good grip on optimization himself and I would like to see both he and the SEO have some time to think about their evil in jail here or even abroad. The police in the UK should be allowed to separate these people from the Internet and restrict proxies.”

From what Mr Wightman says it would seem the pendulum is swinging against these online stalkers. The victims have a fight on their hands but are showing the kind of strength needed to win.

If you feel you are suffering at the hands of a stalker then you can contact the National Stalking Helpline in the UK at or if you feel you are a cyberstalking victim of the same perpetrators as Mr Wightman or Nadine Dorries then contact Nadine Dorries at the Houses of Parliament Westminster or the New York Daily Sun If in the US, The Network of Victim Assistance is available on 1-800-675-6900

Nowadays Google and Bing are the go-to places to check on people. What is the difference between optimizing slander on search engines about individuals and spraying negative graffiti all over their house? Law needs to change so these vile people are classed as criminals and pay the price for their wrongdoing in the real world – offline.

]]> 0
Joan Rivers 1933 – 2014 Fri, 05 Sep 2014 09:11:45 +0000 admin US comedian Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81. Throughout her career, she was renowned for her many acid-tongued pearls of wit which took swipes at other celebrities but also turned inwardly, mocking her own later penchant for plastic surgery.

She once said: “Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.”

Here is a selection of her best one-liners:


“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.”

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”

“I am definitely going to watch the Emmys this year! My make-up team is nominated for Best Special Effects.”

“Looking 50 is great – if you’re 60.”

“The only way I can get a man to touch me at this age is plastic surgery.”


“You know why I feel older? I went to buy sexy underwear and they automatically gift wrapped it.”

“I said to my husband, ‘my boobs have gone, my stomach’s gone, say something nice about my legs’. He said, “Blue goes with everything.”

“When a man has a birthday, he takes a day off. When a woman has a birthday, she takes at least three years off.”

“You know you’ve reached middle age when you’re cautioned to slow down by your doctor, instead of by the police.”

“The fashion magazines are suggesting that women wear clothes that are ‘age appropriate’. For me that would be a shroud.”


“Elizabeth Taylor was so fat that whenever she went to London in a red dress, 30 passengers would try to board her.”

“At my funeral, I want Meryl Streep crying in five different accents.”


“I said to my husband, ‘Why don’t you call out my name when we’re making love?’. He said, “I don’t want to wake you up.”

“I got a waterbed, but my husband stocked it with trout.”

“My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on.”

“My husband killed himself. And it was my fault. We were making love and I took the bag off my head.”

“Trust your husband, adore your husband, and get as much as you can in your own name.”

“My daughter and I are very close, we speak every single day and I call her every day and I say the same thing: ‘Pick up, I know you’re there.’”

]]> 0
10 Very Annoying Things Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:33:05 +0000 admin 1. People who point at their wrist asking for the time… I know where my watch is pal, where the hell is yours? Do I point at my crotch when I ask where the toilet is?

2. People who are willing to get off their a** to search the entire room for the TV remote because they refuse to walk to the TV and change the channel manually.

3. When people say “it’s always the last place you look”. Of course it is. Why the hell would you keep looking after you’ve found it? Do people do this? Who and where are they?

4. When people say while watching a film, “did you see that?” No Loser, I paid £15 to come to the cinema and stare at the floor.

5. People who ask “Can I ask you a question?”… Didn’t give me a choice there, did you, sunshine?

6.  When you are waiting for the bus and someone asks “Has the bus come yet?” If the bus came, would I be standing here???

7. When people start getting on the train as others are still getting off. Savages.

8. When cyclists don’t stop for red lights or obey signs on the road. Buy a car or ride in the bus.

9. When dining companions are rude to waiters / serving staff. Get up and speak to the chef or the restaurant owner. Ill-mannered fools.

10.  When street preachers tell you that by walking by you’re not going to go to heaven like them. Why would I want to go to your heaven if it’s full of detritus like you?

]]> 0
Heat in Brazil Turns Up Mon, 26 May 2014 08:56:25 +0000 admin The heat in Brazil is the main reason that German star Marco Reus thinks Germany should not be considered favourites for this year’s World Cup in Brazil. Others like former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar also think the heat will be too much for most – putting Brazil up there as favourites to win their sixth World title.

Betfair Sports Betting also has the Brazilians as favorites although the market is chopping and changing as news of players’ fitness emerges. For example, Suarez’ injury saw Uruguay’s chances of winning the World Cup decrease massively.

England’s hopes of winning the World Cup are slim. However a blend of youth (Sterling, Barkley and Luke Shaw) and old stalwarts such as Rooney and Gerrard have some English still dreaming. Perhaps Roy Hodgson the England manager can find some way to get out of the Group of Death England finds itself in with Uruguay and Italy expected to emerge from the Group rather than unfancied England.

With just a couple of weeks to go until the World Cup there is massive confidence in Spain, who think they have what it takes to add to their recent Euro Championship wins and the 2010 World Cup which they won in South Africa. You’d be brave to bet against the team that seems to conquer all with its passing football and impressive guile.

Argentina are also expectant. With Messi, Aguero and other superstars Argentina this year have an abundance of riches. But they have failed to deliver for many years now and one wonders whether their team can manage under the great weight of expectation back home. Messi also – who never seems to show up to World Cups – must see that to be really great like compatriot Maradona or Brazilian Pele there has to be a World Cup Winner’s medal in the trophy cabinet.

The heat is turning up.

Our favourite?




]]> 0
Top 10 Hollywood Idiots Thu, 31 Oct 2013 19:05:56 +0000 admin Hollywood stars invariably get involved in the political debate from the left side of the spectrum.  What better way to draw attention to themselves than to testify before Congress about the latest threat to humanity, even if their cause is laughable.  It was hard to narrow it down to only 10, but here are the Top 10 Most Obnoxious Hollywood Liberal idiots.

1.  Sean Penn:  The two-time Academy Award winner has traveled the world to denounce the country that made him rich and famous.  He has been used as a propaganda tool by the Iranian regime, met with Cuban President Raul Castro, and went to Iraq as an antiwar activist.  Penn is so close to Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez that the tyrant, in one of his televised speeches, read an open letter Penn wrote to Bush, condemning the Iraq War, calling for the President’s impeachment and saying that Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice were “villainously and criminally obscene people.”

2.  Michael Moore:  The portly director made hundreds of millions of dollars off of the highly fictional Fahrenheit 9/11, a “documentary” that alleged close links between the Bush clan and Osama bin Laden’s family.  Recently he said that private wealth is a “national resource” that belongs to all the people and called for jailing the rich.  Then he called bin Laden’s death an “execution.”  For a man who made a fortune exploiting 9/11, denouncing wealth, and the action against the al-Qaeda leader, is beyond disingenuous.

3.  Danny Glover:  Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover was a campus radical as a student at San Francisco State University and has been an advocate for left-wing causes ever since.  He chums around with the likes of Hugo Chavez, is a union rabble-rouser and said the Bush administration was composed of “liars and murderers.”  After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Glover was quick to blame the tragedy on global warming.

4.  Barbra Streisand:  From her appearance on President Nixon’s “enemies list” to her singing performance at a fund-raising gala for Barack Obama, Barbra Streisand has a long history of political involvement.  Most notable is her bankrolling of left-wing causes, with the Streisand Foundation steering millions to groups promoting every liberal fantasy.  Among her favorite causes are women’s issues, nuclear disarmament and the environment.  She even donated $1 million to the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation to help solve global warming.

5.  Jane Fonda:  “Hanoi Jane” deserves a lifetime achievement award for left-wing activism.  Between her anti-American radio broadcasts from North Vietnam and appearing at anti-Iraq War rallies, Fonda demonstrated against Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank and supported feminist causes, speaking out against patriarchy.  This is someone who once said, “I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees, that we would someday become Communists.”

6.  Alec Baldwin:  “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin is an animal-rights advocate, a strong supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and serves on the board of the left-wing People for the American Way.  During the Clinton impeachment, Baldwin publicly fantasized about murdering Rep. Henry Hyde and his family.  If he had only followed through on his threat to leave the country when Bush was reelected.

7.  Susan Sarandon:  From supporting the Nicaraguan Sandinistas in the 1980s to speaking at a pro-union rally in Wisconsin this year, film star Susan Sarandon is still plugging progressive positions, although no longer with her former longtime companion and political fellow traveler Tim Robbins.  She was an anti-Iraq War activist, protesting the Bush administration with the likes of Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan, and is a major donor to the feminist group EMILY’s List.

8.  Janeane Garofalo:  This B-list actress and Air America refugee has taken left-wing hate speech to a new level with her rhetorical blasts aimed at the Tea Party.  Here is a sample of her rants:  “It’s about hating a black man in the White House.  That is racism straight up.  This is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks,” and, “The functionally retarded adults, the racists—with their cries of, ‘I want my country back.’  What they’re really saying is, ‘I want my white guy back.’ ”

9.  Joy Behar:  While on “The View,” Joy Behar said there are ways to get information from terrorists other than tough interrogation methods such as waterboarding.  “There are other ways of getting information out of people … pay them off,” Behar said, while suggesting offering a terrorist a “$6 million book deal.”  This is the same brainiac who once said, “It is really not easy to make fun of the Obamas, because they’re kind of really perfect, aren’t they?”

10.  The Sheens:  This father/son duo deserves a mention.  Martin Sheen played the liberal’s dream President in “West Wing,” and has embraced every left-wing cause, from antiwar and farm-worker activism to protecting seals by attacking fur traders.  His son, Charlie Sheen, was an outspoken Truther, alleging that 9/11 was an inside job, before he became a traveling carnival act with his Tiger Blood and “Torpedo of Truth” tour.

]]> 0
Lone Ranger: Massive Flop Wed, 07 Aug 2013 08:47:43 +0000 admin Walt Disney has warned that its Lone Ranger summer blockbuster will lose it between $160m-$190m (£104m-£124m) after heavy spending on promotion failed to bring returns.

The news came with the entertainment giant’s third quarter results.

They showed earnings almost unchanged but revenue up 4%, thanks to its theme parks and cable networks, such as ESPN.

Disney said it earned $1.85bn in the quarter to the end of June, up from $1.83bn last year.

Revenue at its theme parks and resorts grew by 7% to $3.7bn while cable network revenue was up by 8%. The losses from the Lone Ranger film, which stars Johnny Depp, will show up in the next quarterly figures.

The film opened in early July and made $29m in US and Canadian ticket sales over its first weekend, a figure considered weak in the industry for a major release.

The company said Iron Man 3, which was released in late spring, had fared worse than The Avengers which was out a year earlier, but that its Pixar movie Monsters University was doing better than its children’s film Brave did a year ago.

Disney chairman and chief executive Bob Iger said he was happy with the results, adding: “We are confident that our strategy of creating high-quality branded content positions us well for the future.”

He said he appreciated the risks associated with high-cost films, but that he still thought they were worth the risk.

“One way to rise above the din and the competition is with a big film, not just big budget, but big story, big cast, big marketing behind it,” he said.



]]> 0
Infrastructure and Prosperity Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:19:26 +0000 admin In the past, if you were to mention the word “infrastructure”, the only mental association would have been: “physical”. Infrastructure comprised roads, telephone lines, ports, airports and other very tangible country spanning things. Many items were added to this category as time went by, but they all preserved the “tangibility requirement” – even electricity and means of communication were measured by their physical manifestations: lines, poles, distances.

By Sam Vaknin Author of ”Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited”

Today, we recognize three additional categories of infrastructure which would have come as a surprise to our forefathers:

Social infrastructure – laws, social institutions and agencies, social stratification, demographic elements and other social structures, formal and informal.

It is amazing to think that previously no one thought of the legal code as infrastructure. It has all the hallmarks of infrastructure: it spans the entire country, it dynamically evolves and is multi-layered, without it no goal-orientated human activity (such as the conduct of business) is possible. A foreign investor is likely to be more interested to know whether his property rights are protected under the law than what are the availability and accessibility of electricity lines.

An investor can always buy a generator and produce his own electricity – but he can never enact laws unilaterally. The country’s denizens are bound to encounter the law (or resort to it) sometime in their lives, even if they never travel on a road or use a telephone.

The second category of infrastructure is the human infrastructure. What is the mentality of the people? Are they lazy, industrious, submissive, used to improvise, team-spirited, individualistic, rebellious, inventive and so on? Are they conservative, open-minded, xenophobic, ethnically radicalized, likely to use brute force to settle disputes? Are they ignorant, educated, technologically literate, seek information or reject it, trustful and trustworthy or suspicious and resentful?

An educated workforce is as much part of a country’s infrastructure as are its phone line.

The last category of infrastructure is the information infrastructure. It is all the infrastructure which tackles the manipulation of symbols of all kinds : the accumulation of data, its processing and its dissemination. Words are symbols and so are money and computer bytes. So banks, computers, Internet linkups, WANs and LANs (Wide and local area computer networks), standardized accounting, other standards for goods and services – all these are examples of the information infrastructure.

The development of all these types of infrastructure is intimately linked. They usually evolve almost concurrently. They form feedback loops. The slow or hindered development of one of them prevents the flourishing of all the others.

This is really quite reasonable. If the workforce is not educated, it will not be keen or qualified to manipulate data and symbols. It will buy less computers, use the Internet less, bank less and so on. This, in turn, will reduce the need for phone lines, office buildings and so forth. There seems to be an “infrastructure multiplier” at work here.

This multiplier is a two way street: an increase or decrease in each type of infrastructure adversely or positively influences the others.

The West itself is in dire need of infrastructure. Its current infrastructure is crumbling, either owing to advanced age or to over-usage. Roads in large parts of the USA are in poorer condition than they are in some countries of Africa. In 1997, America-On-Line, a major Internet provider, was unable to provide services to its customers for weeks on end because communication lines in the USA were totally jammed. Certain places in Israel could receive television signals only in the last few years, as infrastructure reached them. Infrastructure is a universal problem.

The West invests in the infrastructure of developing countries through two venues:

Through international finance organizations (such as the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development). The terms and conditions of this kind of financing are very lenient. Those are really grants more than credits.

The implementation of these infrastructural projects is awarded to contractors via international tenders, with bids submitted from the world over. Rarely does a local firm outbids its better financed, better equipped and better motivated first world rivals.

Alternatively, multinational firms get involved in local projects directly. But this kind of financing comes with a lot of strings attached. The multinationals expect to recoup both their investment and a reasonable return on it. They come heavily subsidized by the governments of their countries. Their contribution to the local economy, during the construction of the infrastructure, is fleeting, at best. They prefer to employ their own crews and equipment. They do not trust the locals too much or too often.

But whichever way the infrastructure is created, problems arise at the host country.

Consider international, multilateral, finance organizations. Inevitably, think and plan on a global scale. They invest in infrastructure only if and when it services – or has the potential to service in the larger scheme of things – a cluster of neighboring countries.

Clear regional benefits have to be unequivocally demonstrated in order for multilateral organizations to get involved. They neglect, overlook, or outright reject investments in much needed local infrastructure.

Such financial institutions always prefer to invest in a cross-border highway rather than in a cross-country road, for instance. The benefit to the domestic economy of the aforementioned local road could be appreciatively more sizeable. Still, the international fund would encourage the cross border highway. This is its charter – to promote multilateral investments – and this is what it does best. The interests of the host country are a secondary consideration.

On the other hand, the private sector invests only in countries with well developed infrastructure in all the aforementioned categories. But this is a conundrum: if the infrastructure is already developed, investments by the private sector are less beneficial. The result is that straightforward investments by the private sector – not subsidized, not partial, not co-funded by international institutions – mainly flow to the developed, industrial world.

Studies unearthed four disadvantages of countries with under-developed infrastructure:

Such countries suffer from interminable bottlenecks in all the levels of economic activity, especially in the production and distributions phases (principally in the transportation of raw materials to factories and of finished products from industry and field to the marketplace).

This adversely affects the availability of the country’s domestic produce in both local and foreign markets. Agricultural produce is most affected but, to a lesser extent, so are industrial goods. If the communications infrastructure is decrepit, the service sector is similarly impacted.

A second issue is the distortion of the price mechanism. Prices increase owing to the wastage of resources when trying to overcome problems in infrastructure. Prices are supposed to reflect inputs and values and thus to assist the markets to optimally allocate resources. If the prices reflect other, unrelated, issues, then they are distorted and, in turn, distort economic activity.

The third problem is that one country’s disadvantage is another’s advantage. Other countries, with better infrastructure benefit : they attract more foreign investment, they conduct more business, they export more, they have lower inflation (cheaper prices) and their economy is not distorted by irrelevant, ulterior, non business considerations.

The fourth – and maybe largest and longest term – handicap is when the country’s image is affected. Infrastructure is much easier to fix than a country’s image. If the country acquires a reputation of a mere transit area, an underdeveloped, inefficient, non productive, hopeless case, it suffers greatly until these impressions change. The image problem has the gravest possible consequences: repelled investors, reluctant financiers, frightened bankers, disgruntled foreign investors.

There are eight known solution to the problems of a country with underdeveloped infrastructure:

It can privatize its infrastructure (commencing with its energy and telecommunications sectors, which are the most attractive to foreign and domestic private investors alike).

Then, it can allow the business sector to operate parts of the national infrastructure. The usual arrangement is that firms invest in creating infrastructure and then collect fees for operating and maintaining it. The fees collected are large enough to cover both the investment and the maintenance costs and to return a pre-determined profit. The most famous example are toll roads, often constructed by the private sector.

Another way is to commercialize the infrastructure (to collect fees for using the telephony network, or the highways) and to plough back the proceeds exclusively into projects of infrastructure. Thus, all the income generated by cars passing on a highway can be dedicated to the construction of additional highways and not funneled into the general budget.

The fourth method is to adapt the prices of using the infrastructure to the real costs of constructing and of operating it. In most developing countries, consumers pay only a fraction of these real costs. Prices are heavily subsidized and the infrastructure is left to decay and rot away. This, obviously, is a political decision to be taken by the political echelons. In many countries, such readjustment of prices to reflect real costs frequently creates social unrest and has severe political ramifications.

The country could condition investments in multilateral infrastructure projects upon investments in its own, local infrastructure. A multinational firm which wishes to invest in a highway (and thus reap considerable rewards), can be required to invest a portion of its future profits in local roads and other forms of infrastructure. A multinational fund interested to invest in a telecommunications project which involves three countries can be asked to commit itself to a “local investment” clause, a “local content purchase” clause, or an “offset” arrangement (the purchase of local goods against any import of goods connected to the project to the country).

The country must open its markets to domestic and foreign competition by de-regulating. It must dismantle trade barriers : tariffs, quotas, restrictions, anti-investment regulations, restrictive standardization and so on. Competition both lowers the costs of infrastructure and improves its quality, as rival firms strive to supply more value at a lower price.

An important condition is that the country does not prefer one kind of infrastructure to another. All categories of infrastructure should be simultaneously and similarly stimulated. This will carry favor with the international business community and is bound to alter the image of the country for the better. It will also create a positive feedback loop whereby an improvement in one category of infrastructure yields improvements in all the others.

Last – but far from least – the country must promote international agreements which facilitate reductions in the costs of cross-boundary transport of goods, services and information. Less documentation, less one sided fees, less bureaucracy will reduce the costs of doing businesses (transaction costs) and the total damage to the national economy. The less encumbered by red tape, the more a country tends to prosper.

Author Bio:

Sam Vaknin ( ) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain – How the West Lost the East, as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics and international affairs.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician and served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, eBookWeb and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

Visit Sam’s Web site at

]]> 0
Boeing Faces Crunch Inspection Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:37:36 +0000 admin Boeing has requested airlines to carry out inspections of a transmitter used to locate aircraft after a crash. A UK regulator had recommended the inspection after a fire broke out on a 787 Dreamliner jet parked at Heathrow airport earlier this month.

It was traced to the upper rear part of the plane where the part – Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) – is fitted.

Boeing said it had asked operators of 717, Next-Generation 737, 747-400, 767 and 777 airplanes to inspect aircraft.

“We’re taking this action following the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) Special Bulletin, which recommended that airplane models with fixed Honeywell ELTs be inspected,” Randy Tinseth, vice president marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a blog post.

“The purpose of these inspections is to gather data to support potential rulemaking by regulators.”

As a result of the fire on the parked Ethiopian Airlines plane, London’s Heathrow airport was closed for 90 minutes.

After the fire, the regulator had asked all Boeing 787s switch off an electrical component until further notice and suggested a safety review of similar components in other aircraft.

In a statement, the AAIB had said that the component needed more “airworthiness action”.

It had said that “it was not clear whether the combustion in the area of the ELT was initiated by a release of energy within the batteries or by an external mechanism such as an electrical short”.

It added that as the the ceiling space where the ELT is located does “not typically carry the means of fire detection… had this event occurred in flight it could pose a significant safety concern and raise challenges for the cabin crew in tackling the resulting fire”.

Honeywell International, the company that makes the emergency transmitters, had said that it backed the proposal to switch them off while investigations continued, but added that it was “premature to jump to conclusions”.

Last week, two airlines disclosed issues with the wiring on their Boeing 787′s emergency transmitters,

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), the world’s biggest operator of Dreamliners, said last week it found damage to the battery wiring on two 787 locator transmitters during checks.

And the US carrier United Airlines said that it found a pinched wire during an inspection of one of its six 787s.

These inspections could be make or break for Boeing.

]]> 0
“Traitor” Manning on Trial Fri, 26 Jul 2013 07:49:15 +0000 admin The US soldier who disclosed hundreds of thousands of secret documents to Wikileaks betrayed his country to win fame, a prosecutor has said. Pte First Class Bradley Manning, 25, knew al-Qaeda militants would see the material, a prosecutor said in closing arguments at the court martial.

Pte Manning has already pleaded guilty to 10 of the more than 20 counts he faces, and could face life in prison. The case is considered the largest-ever leak of secret US government documents.

Last week a military judge refused to dismiss the most serious charge against Pte Manning, aiding the enemy, which carries a life sentence.

Analysts say the verdict, to be decided by the judge alone, could have a big impact on future leakers, as well as on Snowden – the latest Wikileaks whistleblower.

The defence will deliver its closing statement on Friday.

On Thursday, prosecutor Maj Ashden Fein dismissed the defence’s portrayal of Pte Manning as a confused and disillusioned young man, saying that the leak was an abuse of trust while he worked as an intelligence analyst for the Army in Iraq.

Sitting in the courtroom wearing full military uniform, Pte Bradley Manning occasionally wrote notes as he listened. Prosecutors have painted a picture of him as a soldier who leaked thousands of documents for one main reason: to gain a “lifetime of notoriety”.

There’s no doubt Pte Manning’s actions attracted worldwide attention, but he denies he was driven by a desire for fame. Prosecutors describe Pte Manning as self-interested and calculated, and say he wasn’t a troubled and naive soldier, as the defence have said.

As an intelligence officer in Iraq, he was given training on how to handle classified information, using sophisticated software. By going into minute details of when, where and how Pte Manning breached computer networks and conducted webchats with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the prosecution argue he was well aware that any leak of information could fall into the hands of America’s enemies.

“The flag meant nothing to him,” Maj Fein said.

He said that when US Navy Seals raided Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, they discovered among his belongings digital copies of documents leaked by Pte Manning.

Maj Fein also quoted chat logs between Pte Manning and hacker Adrian Lamo, who eventually turned the soldier in.

“Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack,” Pte Manning wrote to Lamo, said the prosecutor.

Fein, who described Wikileaks as “a bunch of anti-government activists and anarchists”, argued that Pte Manning had “pulled as much information as possible to please Julian Assange”.

Some two dozen supporters of Pte Manning protested outside the army base in the hours before the court opened.

Pte Manning has not denied his role in the leak, but in February said at a pre-trial hearing he had disclosed the documents to spark a public debate about US military and foreign policy.

His defence lawyer, David Coombs, argued earlier in the trial that there was no proof Pte Manning had aided the enemy. Mr Coombs acknowledged the soldier was guilty of negligence, but said he acted without the “general evil intent” required to justify the charge of aiding the enemy.

Military prosecutors maintain the leaks damaged national security and endangered American lives and those of foreign intelligence and diplomatic sources.

Among the items sent to Wikileaks was graphic footage of an Apache helicopter attack in 2007 that killed a dozen people in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, including a Reuters photographer.

Pte Manning was arrested in May 2010 while serving in Iraq. He spent weeks in a cell at Camp Arifjan, a US Army installation in Kuwait.

Whatever prison sentence Pte Manning receives will be reduced by 112 days, after a judge ruled he had suffered unduly harsh treatment during his initial detention following his arrest.

Surely Manning deserves a life sentence for the deaths he has allegedly caused. With a bit of luck he’ll soon be joined by his warped fellow traitors – Assange and Snowden.

]]> 0
Rolling Stone Sinks to New Low Thu, 18 Jul 2013 13:16:19 +0000 admin Rolling Stone magazine has defended its new cover story featuring Boston bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, which has prompted uproar. The magazine said a profile of Mr Tsarnaev suited its “commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage”.

But the mayor of Boston said the publication’s cover “rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment”.

A number of US retail chains have announced they will not stock the edition.

Mr Tsarnaev, 19, pleaded not guilty last week to all charges in connection with the 15 April bombings, which killed three people, including an eight-year-old boy.

Janet Reitman, Rolling Stone’s contributing editor, spent two months interviewing Mr Tsarnaev’s friends and family for the forthcoming issue’s article.

The sepia-tinted photograph, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears rather dreamy and vacant, looks like a relic from the 70s. Again, it has fuelled criticisms that the magazine is softening, even glamorising, his alleged crimes.

This controversy also says a lot about the state of the American magazine market, and the pressure on publications to produce eye-catching and newsy images. This week Newsweek spliced together the portraits of the Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, the man acquitted last weekend of his murder. Bloomberg’s Businessweek depicted a hedge-fund manager with a graph coming from his groin that intentionally looked phallic.

“The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day,” it said.

It added that many of its readers are in the same age group as the bombing suspect, and it was important for the publication to explore the issue.

But two Massachusetts-based convenience store chains, Rockland and Tedeschi Food Shops, as well as Cumberland Farms, said on Wednesday they would not stock the edition.

Two national pharmacy chains, CVS and Walgreens, quickly followed suit.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said on Wednesday the Rolling Stone was “ill-conceived, at best, and reaffirms a terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their ’causes’”.

Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy said the cover was “disgusting”.

“Rolling Stone has marketed Tsarnaev as a hero, a misunderstood teen, a product of two incompatible cultures,” he said in a statement. “He is not. He is a coward and a murderer who is appropriately facing the death penalty for his crimes.”

Commentators on social media networks also said the magazine cover was tasteless.

Some likened the picture of the suspect, which he posted online himself, to an old Rolling Stone cover featuring Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors.

More than 15,000 mainly outraged comments were posted on Rolling Stone’s Facebook page.

Boston punk band Dropkick Murphys, who recently donated $300,000 (£197,000) to victims of the bombings, also expressed their anger.

“Rolling Stone you should be ashamed,” the band tweeted. “How about one of the courageous victims on your cover instead of this loser scum bag!”

The New York Daily Sun condemns the Rolling Stone Magazine cover in a continuing show of solidarity with the Boston bombing victims and continuing show of disgust at what the likes of Tsarnaev do in the name of so-called “Islam”.


]]> 0