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20150622

Yemen: Saudi-led Attack an Ideological Debacle

"These constant reports that the Houthis are working for the Iranians are nonsense, but the view is right out of the neocon playbook. The Israelis have been touting this line that we lost Yemen to Iran. That’s absurd. The Houthis don’t need Iranian weapons. They have plenty of their own. And they don’t require military training. They’ve been fighting Al-Qaeda since at least 2012, and they’ve been winning. Why are we fighting a movement that’s fighting Al-Qaeda?” — Michael Horton, Yemen expert

Since March of 2015, Saudi Arabia and its allies have been bombing Houthi forces in Yemen. Their intent was to reinstall a democratically elected President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi.

However, the idea was bad from the beginning and despite supplying logistics and intelligence, the US was not an active player in the 9-state Arab coalition.

Overall, the consensus is that the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have killed mostly women and children. Political interference from Saudi Arabia has led to the failed Geneva peace talks, recently concluded on June 19, 2015.

However, the important thing to remember is that the US only provides logistics and intelligence to the coalition of 9 Arab states involved in one of the biggest humanitarian crises since the mainstream media labeled the 2011 Libya Civil War a humanitarian crisis.

Libya gives us an idea of the aftermath of that foreign policy. However it is a unique situation and different from the situation in Syria and Yemen, both of which have the perceived ideological threat of Iran and Hezbollah to Saudi Arabian government hegemony.

Yet the situation in Syria is different from Libya because the Assad government is also perceived as an economic threat. Four years after Arab Spring, Syria still has a functioning government.

According to what I have read online about the Yemen attack, the Saudi-led coalition attacked Yemen while implementing Riyadh's foreign policy in the Middle East. Its strategy is to attack a perceived threat, and to let other nations handle the fallout once the enemy turns out to be a formidable opponent.

Meanwhile it continues a propaganda campaign against the enemy and sends in militants loyal to Riyadh to terrorize the threat. When peace talks occur, the Saudi Arabian government will use its influence to frustrate a peace deal.

However, no foreign policy analyst or diplomat in the West is buying the idea that Iran and Hezbollah are as equal a threat as the Islamic State.

Here are recent events of note for June 2015:

According to a news report from Tehran as of June 9, 2015, Saudi Arabia is deploying pro Hadi extremists near border areas with Yemen. These extremists are purportedly in the guise of Bahraini soldiers. Additionally, the Saudi government is bribing Najran sheikhs to dissuade support for Yemeni forces.

On June 14, the Tehran source cites a UAE news website that Saudi Arabia is facing few options in Yemen which shall force them to accept Ansarullah's rule over Sana'a, the capitol of Yemen. Ansarullah is the Shiite movement which overthrew the Saudi-backed Yemen government of President Hadi, who was ousted out of power back in January 2015.

Recently on June 19, Press TV reported that Yemen's Ansarullah — aka the Houthis — said that its demands were not met in Geneva peace talks, due to interference by Saudi Arabia.

What good is peace talks when Saudi Arabia runs interference to prevent Ansarullah from getting what it wants from the peace deal, all because it fears Iran's influence in Yemen? Yet it is doubtful that Iran is in Yemen.

As well, the IRIB French Radio reported on June 19 that Iran and Russia advocate the immediate end of attacks against Yemen.

Both Russia and Iran support the Geneva peace talks on Yemen, and demand the military attacks end immediately so that the ceasefire may be established to enable sending humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Timeline on the 2014-2015 Yemeni Coup D'état (based on mainstream media reports, via wikipedia)

Back in January 2015, the Houthis, a Shi'ite Muslim minority group, had radicalized to the point where they ousted the Saudi-backed Yemen government of President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. At that point, the US government was still in talks with them.

After the situation deteriorated further, Saudi Arabia decided to launch an attack on Yemen.

When the Al Saud attack on Yemen to bring Hadi back to power began in March 2015, the US provided logistics and intelligence to the coalition of Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations (Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan).

That coalition was deployed to prevent Yemen from becoming a Shi'a dominated state. This problem started back in September 2004 when Saudi feared that the Shi'a Muslim Houthi movement could become a problem in Yemen and used force to assassinate its leader, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

Originally al-Houthi was a member of the Yemeni Zaydi political party Al-Haqq (The Truth). After the party supported South Yemen separatism, they were targeted by the Yemeni government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an ally of Iraq's Saddam Hussein. In response, the al-Houthi family (al-Houthi, his father Badr al-Din Tabatabai, and his younger brother Abd al-Malik) fled Yemen, first to Syria, and eventually settled in Qom, Iran. Reportedly al-Houthi formed a relationship with Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, and Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader.

In the 1990s Hussein established the Believing Youth (BY) movement to promote a Zaidi revival in Saada to counter the dominance by Saudi-backed Yemeni regime since unification. Originally the BY movement was a moderate theological movement which preached tolerance with a broad-minded view of Yemeni people. After 1995, over 17,500 students had attended BY summer camps, which included lectures by Lebanese Shiite scholar Mohammed Hussein Fadhlallah and Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Lebanon's Hezbollah Party.

Then 911 happened.

As a result of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Ansarullah was radicalized by the influence of Hussein al-Houthi. Youths affiliated with Believing Youth chanted anti-American and anti-Jewish slogans in the Saleh Mosque in the Yemen capitol city of Sana'a after Friday Prayers. This attracted the attention of the Yemeni authorities who were worried of the extent of the al-Houthi movement's influence.

So they arrested 800 BY supporters in Sana'a in 2004. Then Yemen President Saleh issued an invitation to Hussein al-Houthi to a meeting in the capitol which Hussein declined. In response, Saleh ordered Hussein's arrest in June 2004. This resulted in an anti-government insurgency by al-Houthi, which led to his death in September 2004.

Most of the insurgency was over by 2010 when both the Houthis and the Yemen government agreed to a cease-fire. Arab Spring in 2011 led to the 2011 Yemeni Revolution and the ensuing National Dialogue Conference, both of which Houthis were a participant. Yet their rejection of the provisions of the Gulf Cooperation Council deal meant that the revolution was not over.

Meanwhile, President Saleh is deposed in 2011 and his Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi is made President in 2012.

By May 2012 the Houthis control most of Saada, Al Jawf and Hajjah governates, and have also gained access to the Red Sea. By the end of 2014 they control most of Sana'a and other towns such as Rada'. In response, a strong challenge for control of the region is made by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

At this point it is apparent that Iran was giving aid to the Houthis and that Saudi Arabia was aiding various militant groups such as AQAP and Islamic State.

In January 2015 the Houthis seized the presidential palace in Sana'a. During this takeover, President Hadi was present in the palace but left unharmed. By February, the Houthi Revolutionary Committee dissolved parliament and declared itself the acting authority in Yemen.

In retaliation, March 2015 saw the al-Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques come under suicide attack during midday prayers by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (now Islamic State).

On March 25, 2015 Saudi Arabia and a coalition of nine Arab states begin airstrikes in neighbouring Yemen.

Finally on April 21, 2015, the operation is declared over. However, the aftermath is still ongoing.

Behind the scenes, it turns out that former President Saleh is working as one of the leaders of the Yemeni coup d-etat led by the Shi'a Muslim Houthi militants. Tribesmen and government forces aligned with Saleh have allied with the Houthis.

Saudi Arabian diplomats failed to persuade Russia to abandon its support for the Assad government in Syria, and Riyadh is now containing a potential media fallout over its exposure.

References:

Background on Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian-led_intervention_in_Yemen
Background on Yemen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemen
Background on Ansarullah aka Houthis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houthis
Background on al-Houthi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hussein_Badreddin_al-Houthi
Background on Saleh: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Abdullah_Saleh
Background on Hadi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_Rabbuh_Mansur_Hadi
Background on South Yemen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Yemen
Background on North Yemen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Yemen
Background on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda_in_the_Arabian_Peninsula
Background on ISIS/ISIL/IS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant

US generals: Saudi intervention in Yemen ‘a bad idea’: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html

The Huthis: from Saada to Sana'a: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/iraq-iran-gulf/yemen/154-the-huthis-from-saada-to-sanaa.aspx

Pentagon: US officials in communication with Yemen’s Houthis: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/americas/16668-pentagon-us-officials-in-communication-with-yemens-houthis

U.S. Backs Saudi-Led Yemeni Bombing With Logistics, Spying: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-26/yemeni-bombing-led-by-saudis-is-backed-by-u-s-logistics-spying

Saudi Arabia is deploying pro Hadi extremists near border areas with Yemen: https://piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/riyadh-deploys-pro-hadi-extremists-near-border-areas-in-guise-of-bahraini-soldiers-saudi-govt-bribing-najran-sheikhs-to-dissuade-support-for-yemeni-forces/

UAE Website: S. Arabia Facing Few Options in Yemen Forced to Accept Ansarullah: https://piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/uae-website-s-arabia-facing-few-options-in-yemen-forced-to-accept-ansarullah/

Yemen's Ansarullah says its demands not met in Geneva peace talks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0_833cJBlE

Yemen’s Ansarullah, Political Factions: Saudi Derailed Geneva Peace Talks
http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid

Iran and Russia advocate the immediate cessation of attacks against Yemen (French):
http://french.irib.ir/info/moyen-orient/item/373318-l%E2%80%99iran-et-la-russie-pr%C3%B4nent-l%E2%80%99arr%C3%AAt-imm%C3%A9diat-des-attaques-contre-le-y%C3%A9men

Deprived of Checkbook Diplomacy in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia Flounders:
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/06/26/deprived-of-checkbook-diplomacy-in-yemen-and-syria-saudi-arabia-flounders/

20150608

Make War No More in the Middle East (satire)

This article is not an anti-religion rant; it is an anti-war message. For my purpose for hurting the feelings of religionists, especially the post-Christians, is to spill my figurative guts about the forever war started by Christendom against the Muslims with the First Crusades.

All the Western powers that be are doing are perpetuating this war, rather than peace because they are forcing Western democracy on the Muslim nations and the Jihadis are also complicit in all of this too.

When the West admits that the War on Terrorism is a religious war against secularist globalism by the jihadis such as ISIS, that will mark their willingness to confront the truth.

Indeed, the Catholic Church has to make amends to the Muslim nations, and put their support behind the West and their UN and NATO forces.

As seen through jihadi eyes, the UN and NATO peace-keeping forces are viewed as a secular Crusade that threatens the integrity of world's only believers of God Almighty, ISIS and their al Qaeda and Taliban allies.

I condemn the Catholic Church for the trouble in the Middle East since the First Crusades, which was a mad grab for land, fame and power as well as removing unwanted lesser nobility so that the regal elite of Europe could vie for the honor of being offered kingdoms for forcibly converting the Teutonic, Gothic, and savage barbarians such as the Huns and Mongols.

As well, the Church failed to stop its petty wars in the Holy Land where it implemented proxy wars which still play out today. Indeed, the Crusades is the reason of why the Muslims are divided between jihadis and its Salafi origins within Saudi Arabia and the rest of Islam, both Shi'ite and Sunni.

Why do you think Christians are being persecuted today? Because of the delusion called "a healthy ego" and the rise of narcissism that gives rise to the arrogance of individualism. Even the public education system in the West promotes the ideals that is seen by the jihadis as "decadent hedonism" e.g. abandoning overdressed tradition for nearly-naked modernism.

Back over a thousand years ago, the First Crusade was when the current war against jihadis began &madash; back when the Saracens were growing more civilized in their conquered lands, two hundred years after Mohammed's death circa mid -7th century and continuing until the modern era.

It is indeed the epitome of a forever war; not in 1947, though.

For the rise of the state of Israel is actually a continuation of the rivalry between the French and the English, which was started when the Normans conquered England so long ago that only legends of that time remain.

Thus the proxy war that Bashir Al-Assad of Syria mentioned in an interview recently originally began with the Frankish and the English nobles founding a handful of kingdoms in the Holy Land.

Today, both France and England continue their rivalry in the Middle East to this day through their dealings with the US, Russia and China.

As well, the jihadism, the Salafism and the Islamism are also not new: they began right after Mohammed's death and continue on to this day.

It is time for the Church to continue to make amends with the Muslim nations, and to admit its part in this abuse of power starting with Charlemagne circa 768 CE.

For it is the backing of the State by Religion that is truly an evil: for example, the current case of the Orthodox Church in Russia. In their arrogance, the Russian Orthodox Church shows signs of corruption. Putin's pogrom against homosexuality is no different from the anti-gay rhetoric from the pulpits of Christendom in the Byzantine Empire. By scapegoating the LGBT community, the world's religions are distracting us from the fact that nobody really cares if a person is gay except to exercise control over their private affairs.

Likewise, the Muslim nations exercise control over the lives of its community with a big obsession with cleanliness, as though washing the hands and feet is enough to truly be clean.

No religion's hands are truly clean when it comes to war if they cannot turn their swords into ploughshares.


Originally posted August 31, 2014 at 4:52 PM PDT

References:

Background for First Crusade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Crusade

Background for Charlemagne: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne

Background for Jihadism, Islamism, Salafism, and Wahhabism:

Jihadism started circa early 19th century in the Fula Jihads: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fula_jihads

Islamism begin in early 18th century: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamism

Salafism developed in the latter part of the 10th century: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salafi_movement

Wahhabism arose in the 18th Century:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ibn_Abd_al-Wahhab

It's a Holy War to the Jihadis! (satire)

In order to fully comprehend what is happening in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East, let us begin with the Crusades.

How do we explain the Crusades to post-modern society?

That is when Europeans were asked by the Byzantine Empire to defend Christendom from Arabic Muslims, who were "liberating" the Middle East from oppression of Christian "heretics" by the religious orthodoxy and their state collaborators.

This moment in history is and was a clash between religions: Islam versus Christianity.
Yet the actual result of the First Crusades was the establishment of Christian kingdoms run by minor European nobles who lusted for the glory of an imperial dynasty.

Both sides of this conflict in the Middle East did so for the noble cause called "the Glory of God." For sometimes religion is used to distract us from the fact that both sides were in it for fame and fortune.

Please keep that in mind when you hear about the Islamic State being bombed by the US.

It is a religious war for the jihadis. It is not just a terrorist crisis. Rather, it is a moral crisis, a war between decadent secularism and holy Islamism. The irony is, the jihadis may be viewed as a corrupt people operating outside of mainstream Islam.

These jihadis are not really "good' Muslims, but fervent religious fanatics who may be worse than Westboro Baptists hating gays.

It's a holy war for these Jihadis.

In a way, it is no different from the religious right have been co-opted by the GOP in America, the Christian democrats running Germany, and even Vladimir Putin's ties to the Russian Orthodox Church with his ban on homosexuality in Russia.

Ah, those silly end-of-days fanatics need to rein in ushering in the end of the world!

Originally posted August 20, 2014 at 4:30 PM PDT

20150527

Shailene Woodley's Breasts (nwsf)

I take no responsibility if you are a minor and you click on the link or if you are at work and click. By clicking on the video link below, you verify that you are over 18 and of a mature nature, but not adverse to female nudity. If you do not understand this disclaimer, then let your parents decide ASAP. As for you there in your office cubicle: stop wasting company bandwidth. Your company's IT department knows where you've been.

It's nothing to get excited over since she does not have Irish genes, Italian genes or even Provencal/Catalonian/Berber genes. That might change if she decides to take the plastic surgery route, depending on how narcissistic she is.

Overall, these are young adult female breasts, shrunk by dieting, and only when she hits thirty will she develop a more appealing torso, except if she keeps dieting.

Good luck if you think these breasts are sexually attractive since she is barely out of her teens as it is.

This link might get blocked. YMMV


20150511

Fixing Bluetooth and Wireless (WiFi) Issues

Disclaimer: This blog article is for experienced Linux users who installed Fedora XFCE - my recommendation is to add the full Cinnamon desktop package or better yet, install Fedora Mate.

***Update for June 28, 2015: Removed WICD since I do not want to alter the DHCP client settings. Unblocked wifi using /usr/sbin/rfkill as desktop session setting.

***Update for June 14, 2015: a full Cinnamon, MATE or XFCE4 Desktop install is the alternate to figuring out GNOME and GNOME Classic. Openbox does not show a panel by default. Fedora is definitely for the experienced Linux user.

***Update for June 13, 2015: Adding the Mate Desktop improved everything. For anyone bold enough to make the jump to Fedora or even Mint Linux, the Mate Desktop installation is recommended. If you depend on Bluetooth and WiFi, then please choose Mate Desktop.

In the following article, I have documented my experience installing and using the XFCE4 Desktop version of Fedora 21. Since May, I have upgraded to Fedora 22 and added Mate Desktop.

Despite adding a script (start_dnsmasq) to enable local DNS, it still has to be run in a terminal. My guess is, Fedora considers such a script to violate security policy and will not run it. I have clicked on System: Preferences: Personal: Startup Applications to add it to the startup applications but Fedora does not run my script. Thus, I will continue to run the script from the terminal.

Wicd was installed, replacing wifi-radar. WiFi is currently detected by the system. My guess is, wifi-radar might have "forgotten" wifi when I opted to use a wired connection rather than WiFi. Perhaps Gnome might have "assumed" that WiFi wasn't needed anymore, resulting in no WiFi.

In any case, the Mate Desktop is much more to my liking than Gnome was.

***UPDATE: I have resisted as far as I could, but now am running Chrome browser, but it still isn't fast as the Firefox. In a new post on my blog, I will tell you how much fun it is to work with Fedora!!

XFCE4 is light, so light that they decided to program Fedora to turn off Bluetooth and eventually the WiFi network via rfkill.

According to the developer of Cinnamon, the workaround is to install these bluedevil packages:

bluedevil.i686
bluedevil-autostart.i686
libbluedevil.i686

For details, see: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showpost.php?p=1685034&postcount=4
Thank you, leigh123linux, for the suggestion of using bluedevil.
Note: Blueooth does not work with XFCE4, LXDE, LxQT, and Cinnamon.

It only works with Gnome. So upgrade to Gnome.

— SHK 20150517.0320 UDT

After installing Fedora 21 on my EeePC 1000HE last Tuesday (May 5), I could not get Bluetooth to work. By Wednesday, I had lost wireless and only had a LAN connection.

On Sunday (yesterday), I decided to tackle the problem since the only time Fedora would detect WiFi was by plugging in a WiFi USB adapter.

After checking /var/log/messages and /var/log/messages-20150510, I discovered that only the ethernet network adapter worked:

lshw is run showing the Class "network" entry for the Ethernet interface. Even though the Atheros is a Gigabit or Fast Ethernet, my LAN cable is CAT.5E, and thus limits the speed to 100 Mbit/s.

I also discovered that the netbook's WiFi adapter uses the ath9k module for the Qualcomm Atheros AR9280 WiFi chipset:


So I found the solution here: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showpost.php?p=1729572&postcount=5

> I installed rfkill and lshw
...
> prompted rfkill list = Soft blocked = no and Hard blocked = no

In my case I got the following:

$ rfkill list
0: hci0: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: no
1: asus-wlan: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: no
2: asus-bluetooth: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: no
3: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: yes
Hard blocked: no


and here: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showpost.php?p=1489711&postcount=2

> rfkill unblock all

Similarly, I unblocked all the soft blocked interfaces (bluetooth and wireless):
$ rfkill unblock all && rfkill list

$ rfkill list
0: hci0: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no
1: asus-wlan: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no
2: asus-bluetooth: Bluetooth
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no
3: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no

After unblocking the netbook's wireless and Bluetooth interfaces, I then used modprobe to install the ath9k module:

$ sudo modprobe ath9k

This loads all the ath9k-related modules - ath, ath9k, ath9k_common and ath9k_hw with the associated 802.11-related modules, cfg80211 and mac80211:

$ lsmod|grep ath
ath9k 112655 0
ath9k_common 29490 1 ath9k
ath9k_hw 433891 2 ath9k_common,ath9k
ath 23507 3 ath9k_common,ath9k,ath9k_hw
mac80211 597573 1 ath9k
cfg80211 461788 4 ath,ath9k_common,ath9k,mac80211


Once the Atheros modules are installed, it is trivial to set up the WiFi network using the NetworkManager-applet.

After bluetooth is unblocked and enabled, the solution to enable bluetooth for the plain vanilla Fedora 21 XFCE is to install Cinnamon and its related packages:

cinnamon.i686
cinnamon-control-center.i686
cinnamon-screensaver.i686
cinnamon-session.i686
cinnamon-desktop.i686
cinnamon-menus.i686

Here's a screenshot from my netbook showing the configuration menu in Cinnamon:


By clicking on the Bluetooth and/or Networking icons, the configuration menu may be viewed and can be edited.

Specifically the networking area consists of Wired (LAN), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Nexus 4 entry refers to my smartphone which is a paired device which can be used to provide internet via the phone's data service. The Bluetooth entry shows a connected device (the smartphone) which uses the netbook as an audio device.

After reflection on my original Bluetooth issue with the XFCE version of Fedora 21, I could have saved myself the hassle of this issue by installing Fedora 21 Gnome.

This article would not have happened without the help of Google Search - "Google is your friend!"

Kudos to two members of Fedora Forums:
  1. feihuhotain for providing the tip for installing lshw and rfkill, and using rfkill to list the wireless interface (Bluetooth and WiFi), and
  2. aks for providing the tip for using rfkill to unblock all the software blocks of wireless interfaces.
Fedora Forums: http://forums.fedoraforum.org/

20150506

Preparing Nexus 4 for Android 5.10 Upgrade



Synopsis: to prepare your Nexus 4, first wipe cache partition and then upgrade to Android 5.10.

  • Wiping Cache Partition
    1. If your phone is on, hold the Power button to restart it.
    2. Hold the appropriate device-specific buttons until you see the word "Start" in green and a large Android robot on its back.
      On the Nexus⁴: Press and hold the Volume Down, Volume Up, and Power buttons at the same time for several seconds.
    3. Press the Volume Down button twice to highlight "Recovery mode," then press Power button. The words "Google" will show on the screen followed by an image of a small Android robot on its back with a red exclamation mark and the words "No command."
    4. While holding down the Power button, press the Volume Up button. Some menu options will appear.
    5. Use the volume buttons to scroll to "wipe cache partition" and press the Power button to select it. It takes up to 10 minutes to complete the process. Problems can occur if one is impatient and attempts to reboot during this process, so it's best to just let it complete.
    6. After the cache is wiped, scroll to "reboot system now" and press the Power button again to restart the device.
  • Note: If your phone becomes unresponsive at any point during these steps, you can restart it by holding down the Power button for several seconds.

To make the above instructions more meaningful, on Youtube is this video on how to wipe the cache partition on the Google Nexus 4.




After clearing the cache, download and install the Android 5.10 OTA update.


Commentary: after wiping the cache partition, I upgraded my Nexus 4 to Android 5.1 without any issue.


Reference:

Thanks to saadro for the Wiping cache partition instructions in: https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=80149#c86

20150430

Satan as Superstition (satire)

Contrary to a few of Christendom's arrogant posture that their faith is based on a new offshoot of Judaism lacking true syncretism, the assimilation of local traditions into Catholicism is nothing more than syncretism in which the early Church absorbed pagan traditions and remade the gods in God's image as angels, demons and Satan.

However, Satan is a tempter who has no real power, except through people aligned with the dark side of human nature.

Ergo, absolute evil and absolute good never existed before mankind thought them up, given that, according to the Bible, God is the sole author of good-and-evil.

Satan is not real. Rather, superstitious fear of the devil is the most diabolical of what man has wrought on innocents.

It has led to witch hunts from the 15th Century up until the 19th Century, and sometimes occurs in the Old World.

In the name of religion, socio-political turmoil, Catholic versus Protestant conflict, functional explanations, class conflict and gender conflict better explain what really happened in those times. Men relied on their prejudices and fears stoked by religious excess to oppress other men, women and children.

Today, few people believe Satan is real, and most of us know he is not a real being. Indeed, he has no physical power in the material realm at all, being merely a metaphor for the potential of great evil, just as God is the metaphor for the potential of great good in us all.

Reference:

God as sole author of good-and-evil: http://biblehub.com/isaiah/45-7.htm
Satan: the devil mind: http://www.truthcontest.com/entries/the-present-with-religion/satan.html
Witch hunts in the early modern period: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_trials_in_the_early_modern_period

20150417

Debt Collectors Charge Interest (satire)

Recently I talked with my new debt collection agent "Greg", and discovered the following:

He alleges that Rogers Mobility, is charging a daily interest that works out to 25% per year, thanks to compound interest. Actually, the collection agent that Rogers has retained charges interest. To avoid conflict with the debtor, a debt collection agent will remind him that the company he owes money to is charging that interest.

Indeed, the collections agent is besmirching the reputation of Rogers Mobility. Though it is doubtful that what the debt collector says to me in confidence will actually harm the reputation of Rogers Mobility, given the satirical nature of this blog entry.

Rather than be confrontational, I have decided to play along with Greg since the aim of debt repayment is to continue paying the debt off at the rate which the debt collector and I agreed upon (originally $100 biweekly - every two weeks).

So, I see no harm in letting Greg tell me a fib. He is only concerned getting me ot pay off the debt, not cause me to feel enmity towards the corporation that he represents.

According to Greg, the remaining debt balance I had calculated is $650 is incorrect. Due to compound interest, it is actually $900. That works out to a difference of $250 - which accumulated from November 14 to April 16 (130 days).

That works out to almost $2 a day of interest which gets incrementally smaller every day due to my bi-weekly payments of $100.

So I calculated how long before I am debt-free. it works out to almost 5 months. Once I make my ninth payment circa August 14, I just have to pay off less than $50 and the account will be closed.

My decision then is to increase my bi-weekly payments to $150, which will reduce the debt faster. Rather than waiting up to 5 months, I would be debt free in 14 weeks (3.5 months), with less than $50 to pay on the 14th week.

Rather than give a lesson on the math used to calculate debt, I turned to the solution of an online debt calculator.

https://creditcanada.com/node/30/done?sid=45622&token=6d95d4a74e3445fff9647a1816b32635


No, I didn't go to Credit Canada for help, nor is this a product endorsement of a company that negotiates an interest free debt management plan.

Here's the calculator itself: https://creditcanada.com/debt-calculator

After July of this year, I will have paid my debt to Rogers Mobility. It will another six years before my credit rating improves.

If you need to get your credit report, this URL is useful: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/how-to-check-your-credit-report-1.1185975. They have links to Equifax and Transunion to get your annual credt report.

Note: all dollar amounts mentioned in this blog entry are rounded up from the actual amount of debt owed. To meet my debts, I have doubled my work hours and even taken extra work with my employer.