Category: WTF

Is There No Privacy Anymore?

Is There No Privacy Anymore?

After reading about Facebook handing over chat files, I have concluded that there is no privacy anymore.

Let me fill you in on the details so you also can shout out, WTF?

Oh, and before we begin, this is NOT about whether abortion laws are right or wrong.

Nebraska’s abortion law  currently (as of 14th July 2022) prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization).

This story is about an investigation launched in April 2022, even BEFORE the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. It is centred around a mother and her then 17-year-old daughter who became pregnant. The mother acquired abortion pills which the daughter took. A friend (truly? Friend?) dobbed the girl to the police after she saw her take the first pill.

As she was around 23 weeks pregnant, she was accused of breaking the law. But it’s not the law that is being discussed here.

Wait for it…….

As part of the investigation into the supposedly illegal abortion, Nebraska police served a warrant on Facebook.

The warrant covered the phones and laptops and the Facebook accounts of both. On top of these, Facebook also handed over private chat messages between the mother and her daughter (a minor at the time).

This is not good. Activists have warned that this will become more prevalent as abortion laws become more draconian and authorities pursue abortion cases.
There is also the threat that law enforcement will get trackers of all who become pregnant within their region. However, it’s more likely that they’ll wait until they get a tip and then use their subpoena power to get digital evidence of ‘criminal intent.

Facebook certainly could put privacy coding in place to boost the user’s privacy. At the moment, they do offer encryption on the messenger app. You can check if the” End-to-end encrypted chats” function is enabled. But if you really want to have secret messages with someone, you’ll have to open a ‘secret chat manually’.

Click here for the ‘How To’.

Of course, you can always use the Vanish Mode, which means the message vanishes altogether!

We do need to remember that privacy has always been an issue. Even in the days of hand-written letters, they can come to light and be used against the writer, as we’ve seen a few times with Royals and celebs.

As my father used to say, “only write what you wouldn’t mind someone other than the recipient reading.”

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COP 26 a Farce?

COP 26 a Farce?

I must admit that I struggle as to why the powers that be actually take the time to have these COPs.

Let’s face it, this “Conference Of the Parties” (COP) is simply a platform for corporate, politicians and billionaires to pedal their propaganda. And COP26, the farce that it was, was no exception.

I don’t even know where to begin.

Before the conference began, the youth climate activists confronted Joe Manchin (West Virginia US Democratic senator who you could say is funded by fossil fuel) as he stepped off his yacht and chanted, “We want to Live”. He is one of the Senators who blocked the significant investments in climate in the ‘Build Back Better Act’. 

The same chant was heard in Glasgow as the leaders from more than 200 countries flew in their private jets, eating meat meals to the conference’s opening. They didn’t even have the decency to curb their polluting actions and show some sense.

 

effects of global warming
Effects of global warming

Right at the beginning, it seemed that something was actually going to be achieved. More than 40 countries committed to shifting away from coal by 2030. WOW, even major coal using countries like Poland, Vietnam and Chile were in on the pledge. But wait! Where were China, Australia and the US? Yup, they weren’t going to sign any coal agreement.

Some 20 countries (including the US) did sign up to end public financing for “unabated” fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022…. like, not even in their own backyard!

The more the coal deal was worked out, the more loopholes were inserted. Instead of reducing coal emissions to 1.5%, the deal put the world on target to an increase to 3%. And guess who was drafting this? The major polluters and big business!

And just so you know:

The earlier draft called for the phasing out of

“coal and subsidies for fossil fuels”

The final draft was re-worded to say The phase-out of:

“unabated coal power and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuel”

Then there was the question of gasoline and diesel cars and trucks. Six major automakers and 30 governments pledged to phase these out by 2040, BUT Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan-Renault and Hyundai-kea refused to sign, as did the USA, China, and Japan.

There was another Whoot-Woo moment when the world leaders agreed to halt and reverse global deforestation over the next ten years. YAY, finally, the earth’s lungs will be restored, and instead of emitting around a billion tonnes of carbon a year, it can go back to absorbing it. Reference: Amazon’s co2

And there was not only China and the USA declaring this, but Jair Bolsonaro from Brazil the worst culprit of all.

Hold on! What? It’s not the Amazon they’re talking about?

Nope. It’s the second-largest rainforest. The one that runs from the eastern Siberian taiga to the Congo basin – nowhere near the Amazon.

       🤦

And then, to make matters worse, the one big polluter was not even on the agenda – animal agriculture.

So here’s my tuppence worth. Capitalism drives the climate crisis. 

Capitalism and expanding the pie. “What pie is being expanded?” I hear you ask. It’s the pie of commodity production, not the pie of citizen welfare. 

The environmentalist movements do an excellent job to the extent that they’re able, but they’re limited in several respects. For example, they tend not to have a sufficiently robust understanding that capitalist growth ultimately drives the problem. They think of it in terms of individual consumption and behaviour and believe these must change.

The crises we face is driven by the production system, which is organised around perpetual expansion. Capitalism is constantly overproducing. It then has to find a way to absorb this overproduction to maintain value.

All this comes under the heading of growth. That’s how governments sell it to us. And it’s that growth we buy into.

The problem is that the issues are structural. They’ve been hard-wired into our economies from slavery, colonialism, imperialism to neo-liberalism. The rich are growing richer on the backs of the ever-growing poor.

Sadly everyone knows what needs to be done with the energy and food systems, but no one is willing to take a dramatic stance and say out loud that we need a new economic model.

Many delegates from different organisations, frustrated and fed-up at being locked out of the talks, on the 2nd to last day banded together and did an impressive down tools walk out and walked en-masse out of the building to join the environmental protesters.

One bright spot is that Denmark and Costa Rica have launched the “Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance”. This is the first high-level diplomatic initiative to phase out fossil fuels. It doesn’t surprise me as both countries are very environmentally conscious.

And then to show that the two superpowers are good people!!! USA and China announced an agreement to work together to address the climate emergency. And so they should; they are both the highest polluters!

Although with the tensions between them, how much they can agree on is any ones guess.

It seems to me that these COPs over the years have been a total waste of time and money. Nothing has been achieved. The world has already heated up by around 1.2°C since pre-industrial times. And, according to science, results from a wide range of climate model simulations suggest the average temperature could be up to 5.4°C warmer in 2100 than today.

However, we don’t have to be lost – there is a way forward. Take a look at this video:

Would this be something you could be part of?

 

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Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Selling Ice Cream!

Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Selling Ice Cream!

I didn’t mean to get you all upset with the title of this post telling you that Ben & Jerry’s are going to stop selling ice cream – that would be disastrous. But they are going to in a selected area.

The arm of the law has got its fingers everywhere. When a government is suing a company because it chooses not to sell its products in a specific place – isn’t this a little 2-faced from the said government?

Here’s what’s happened.

Do you know the ice cream Ben & Jerry’s? Darn good!!!

ben & jerrys

Now, B&J’s is owned by Unilever (since 2000); however, the decision to remove the ice cream from certain places was made by Ben and Jerry and the independent board of directors, which was set up to (among other things) protect and defend B&J’s brand equity and integrity.

The furore came when B&J announced that it planned to stop selling ice cream in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. Wow – that got the heckles up, and the Israeli government quickly got into action, launching a legal attack.

Israeli PM Naftali Bennet said the move was “morally wrong” and would prove to be “financially wrong”. And the Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the move a

“disgraceful capitulation to anti-Semitism and the BDS movement”.

Ah, then here comes the long arm of Israel.

Israel’s ambassador to the US asked 35 US governors to enforce state laws that make it a crime to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (The BDS movement calls for a complete boycott of Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.).

Meanwhile, Republican senator James Langford of Oklahoma, called on his state to block the sale of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, claiming the company’s new policy violates Oklahoma’s anti-BDS law.

Some grocery chains in Israel have pulled the ice cream off their shelves or are putting them to the bottom of the freezer. (I’d still find it!!!). They seem to think that boycotting is a waste of time.

Avi Kaner, Co-owner of Morton Williams Supermarkets, said:

“Even the most liberal-minded person who believes in a two-state solution knows that ultimately there will be territorial exchanges and swaps. It is not up to Ben & Jerry’s to dictate what the borders should be.”

So it’s okay for a government to boycott, bomb, be heavy-handed with apartheid type laws and dish out the racial injustices? But when a company chooses not to sell its products in certain areas, god forbid that this is seen as morally wrong!

Ben & Jerry’s have said that continuing to sell ice cream in the settlement would be “inconsistent with our values” they also said the decision reflected the concerns of “fans and trusted partners”.

Who are Ben and Jerry? Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are both Jews who have a track record of campaigning on social issues such as LGBTQ rights and climate change and now the blatant apartheid in Israel.

Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Selling Ice Cream!

I applaud any company that stands up for its ethics even in the face of financial loss and government harassment.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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Why Ingredients Lists are Scarier than Getting #Cancelled

Why Ingredients Lists are Scarier than Getting #Cancelled

What’s with a label that says “contains milk”  but it doesn’t?

For a long time now, I’ve been reading labels; it comes from being vegan and making sure there are no animal ingredients.

So why is it that ingredients lists are scarier, as I said in the title, than getting #cancelled?

Most of the time, I am up with the ‘animal’ products and numbers you find on products’ back. For example, whey is dairy and gelatine is made by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones. But for newbies, it can be quite the minefield deciphering the ingredients.

With a new product the first thing I look at is “contains….”, which is underneath the actual list. It also can say “may contain…” meaning that the product is made in the same factory as products using these specific ingredients.

It took my son to point out that a particular brand of potato chips (crisps) are, in fact, vegan. They do NOT contain milk as is stated on their packet. He has even gone so far as to ring the company to ask if dairy is in the chips. I believe he’s won a few bets with this knowledge.



By law (in N.Z.), all allergy products must be printed in bold within the ingredients list. And these products are nuts, Soy, Wheat, dairy and eggs. Getting back to the crisps, even though the label says

“contains milk or milk products”,

and it’s in bold, it is totally devoid of all dairy products.

The only bold product in the ingredients list is Soy. Where is the dairy?

Why Ingredients Lists are Scarier than Getting #Cancelled

 

Now I’m lazy. So I just see the notice and put the chips back on the shelf… can’t be bothered reading the ingredients list.

My question is. Why not say “may contain…” as other companies do? Does this company not have a dictionary and therefore cannot understand the meaning of the word “contain”?

Let me enlighten them.

Dictionary meaning:

contain: to have within

I think it’s funny, but then I am well aware of the law. What about those who don’t? And they do not need to be vegan – the lactose intolerant would also be put off.

Wouldn’t you think Bluebird would want make sure they are covering all audiences?

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The Power of Words.

The Power of Words.

Spin doctors – copywriters – marketing hype etc., all rely on the power of words to tell you a story.

The latest comes from the oil industry who have finally come on board with the whole climate thing. In other words, no longer saying it’s a hoax.
But now, especially in the U.S., since the new government is back into the whole ‘save the environment’ mode, big oil is getting the message out that ‘natural gas is now ‘low carbon gas’.

Come again?

Yes, you read that right. The ‘low carbon’ talk is being ramped up and being spun in all sorts of directions. ‘Low carbon solutions’ or how about ‘low carbon technologies’? These are the words that are currently being used.

Now methane (short-lived but 86 times more potent than carbon) is a massive problem. It comes from many different sources, including leaking out of pipelines or being burned off at refineries. By the way, methane emissions are increasing more rapidly than scientists thought, and in the past 20 years, it’s risen by 150%, whereas carbon’s gone up 50%.

So our friends at big oil want us to keep our eye on carbon and are getting us to believe that natural gas is the ‘good guy’ because it is ‘low carbon’. Don’t fret your beautiful head about methane – it’s short-lived, so not the worry.

It’s all bullshit. No matter what the industry or governments, for that matter, tell us. Coal, gas, oil, animal agriculture, rotting food all play an enormous part in the mess we find ourselves in as they all emit methane. And my money is on methane being the elephant in the room.

So ‘low carbon’ is just another play on words that is being spun to the plebs to get them to believe they are doing something that will help reduce emissions.

And on we will go – forever forward and upward with our emissions.

Research ref:  Research.noaa.gov

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About Me

About Me

Thanks for dropping by, my name is Fee O’Shea. I’m a mother and grandma, an author and an Improver. I’ve got a resource website to help peeps go plant-based, I’ve scribbled six books centred around veganism, and have helped others write and publish their own stories.
But this blog is for my thoughts, my rants, raves, reviews and things that have grabbed my attention. From politics to social media to beauty, health and the environment. Fee’s Ramblings Over Coffee is written to bring you a smile or get you thinking. Enjoy.

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