Friday, 22 June 2018

Refugee Crisis 2018 Style

I'm sure when i was younger i remember appeals for refugees where they would ask for money to buy tents and blankets for people fleeing war zones and we would be shown miles and miles of poor buggers in tents with a couple of water taps and not a cage full of children in sight.
The life of a refugee in 2018, especially the ones fleeing warzones and poverty in an attempt to leave behind the problems caused by the richer nations of the world dropping bombs on their nations, is not a happy one.
Considering 'Made In The West' is stamped all over the slave camps in Libya and the bombs falling on Iraq, Yemen and Syria, us Europeans are decidedly reluctant to help the poor and downtrodden when they reach our borders.
America is rightly being pilloried for their inhumane treatment of refugees but just this week a boatload of them was turned away from Italy so we may not break up the families but seem perfectly fine with keeping families together and letting them take the gamble of not drowning in the Mediterranean.
The answer to any refugee crisis it seems is to not flee but stay where you are and either our humanitarian missiles or those of our allies will be along to blow up the bad guys real soon and given a fair wind and a bit of luck, we will try our best not to kill too many of you, we promise.

Melania's Coat

Donald Trump has never been big on immigrants apart from the ones he married and his latest foreign wife was always considered the less toss-potterish of the Trump clan but then she went and proved that indeed she really is a Trump by wearing a coat with the words 'I really don't care, do u?' while visiting children locked up in cages by her husband like the child-catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Of course it could just be it literally is just a coat she decided to wear that day as is the view put out by Mrs Trump's spokeswoman but that contradicts the orange one's own tweet that explained it: 'refers to the Fake News Media', probably in reference to his affair with a porn star while she was recovering at home from giving birth.
Maybe she was putting out the message that she really doesn't care that her husband is a scumbag but maybe it was a message to her husband and not caring for his policies which include incarcerating kids but by far the most popular view is that she was belittling people's concerns about what her awful husband has been doing in his quest to Make America A Laughing Stock Great Again.

Just Say No

For some reason there seems to be a call for legalising cannabis and the justification is that alcohol and cigarettes are legal so let's do something for the weed smokers and legalise the drug's recreational use.
I guess the argument makes sense if you are a regular user of cannabis but to anyone without the muddled mind of a stoner it is like saying there are two ways to cause immense damage to yourself, so we may as well introduce a third.
My thinking is if alcohol and cigarettes were only just discovered and people were trying to introduce them today, would we be saying despite knowing the immense social and individual harm they cause,  the Government should give their consent to them being consumed?
Any answer other than 'What The Feck, of course not' then you have been tugging a bit too long on the funny fags and i use you as evidence to support my case that taking the side of the argument made by people not firing on all their brain cells is not a good idea.
Next week, why we should drink more milk by the Milk Marketing Board.

Boycotting American Goods Once I Find Any

As the Trade War between the USA and pretty much everyone else kicks into gear, i have decided to do my part and boycott buying all things American, problem is after a thorough search, nothing seems to have Made in USA stamped on it.
In response to Trump's tariffs on European steel and aluminium, the EU has imposed tariffs on imports of US cranberries, orange juice, sweetcorn, peanut butter, bourbon whiskey, cigarettes, cigars, cheroots, cosmetics, motorbikes, boats, jeans, leather footwear, swimwear, underwear and steel products.
As none of the above in my home are American, i guess i have unwittingly done my bit by not buying them anyway but i will make sure my next motorbike is not a Harley Davidson or my next packet of cigarettes Lucky Strikes especially as they will be 20% more expensive than good old European ones.
As American industries are going to have problems selling the few things they make in the EU, Russia, China, Japan, India, Mexico, Canada and Turkey, i can't see how easy to win this trade war is going to be for America and economists Trade Partnerships Worldwide are saying the S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks has fallen around 4% or $1.2 trillion already, but at least 450,000 jobs could go as well.
I'm sure there are some things made in America i can boycott but for now i will just carry on not buying things made in America until i can find something made in America i can purposely not buy.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

How Soon To Celebrate Third Reich At World Cup?

Watching the supporters at the World Cup, the question must be asked just how long is a decent length of time before murderous regimes become acceptable?
I can't see any German fans turning up in full SS regalia but the Third Reich was only 80 years old so far too soon but so far i have seen England fans dressed up as Crusading Knights and Scandinavians dressed as Vikings.
That the brutal Crusades which killed millions in the name of Christianity were 12th Century and the Viking raping, killing and pillaging invasions were in the 11th Century, obviously you need to give it at least 800 years before the murderous savages become cuddly figures to celebrate.
By the World Cup in 2818 we can enjoy the sight of Germany supporters in full Hitler costume complete with funny mustache and seig heiling their way to yet another victory.

Looking For The Other Irsael

I have been poring over an Atlas to find the other Israel, the one that the Americans say have been unfairly criticised at the United Nations and the reason why they are pulling out of the UN Human Right Council.
That Trump is berating anyone on Human Rights while caging children is laughable but i'm perplexed by exactly where this Israel is that is being picked on by the United Nations.
It obviously can't be the Benjamin Netanyahu run Israel because last time i looked they had just killed 110 unarmed Palestinians and injured a further 14,000 for protesting against the 70 year military occupation and monstrous border wall deemed illegal by the international court of justice.
That since they forcibly took over Palestine they have invading at will and built apartments on occupied land in defiance of United Nation Resolutions and have broken another 65 UN resolutions and have a secret nuclear weapon program and up to 400 nuclear warheads so it can't be that Israel that America are standing up for.
That particular Israel has scuppered peace talks at every turn, hold over 9,000 Palestinians in its prisons, destroy farms, bulldoze homes and businesses, use Palestinian children as human shields and have been accussed of war crimes on numerous occasions so there HAS to be another Israel because nobody would want to be seen backing this Israel and accussing anyone of bias, especially
not a nation run by a racist sex-pest with a iffy record themselves including starting illegal wars, backing terrorists and dropping nuclear bombs.
I will have to keep looking through the Atlas i guess.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Revisiting The PIIGS Nations

When the Global economy had it's latest of a long line of hiccups in 2008, the PIIGS nations were targeted at the countries that would be hit the hardest and so after a decade of turmoil and austerity, how are the PIIGS doing?

P is for Portugal who had a debt of 71% of GDP and after going down the punishing austerity route and a loan of €79.0 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and after a decade the debt stands at 126% of GDP so not a resounding success.

I is for Italy who have recently seen their government collapse amidst a stagnant economy that in 2008 had a debt of 120% of GDP and a decade on the debt has increased to 139% of GDP and rumours persist that Italy will leave the Euro to try and get a grip on a basketcase of an economy.
 
I is also for Ireland who were on the verge on bankruptcy in 2010 until a €67.5bn loan from the European Central Bank and IMF bought them some time and despite dramatic austerity measures the debt of 42% of GDP in 2008 is now 68% today.

G is for Greece who made all the headlines with a debt at 109% of GDP in 2008 and despite eyewatering austerity which led to riots, strikes and the collapse of the government who have borrowed €230bn so far to stay afloat and are expected to return to the IMF and European Central Bank to ask for more, the debt per GDP today is a staggering 180%.

S is for Spain who saw the collapse of its banking system and a €100bn loan from Brussels amidst internal turmoil with some regions attempting to break away as it juggled a debt of 102% of GDP. The only one of the PIIGS who have seen their debt decrease, although at 99% of GDP today it is nothing to get excited about.

In all, the five nations who where most hardest hit by the 2008 economic crisis are still in a whole lot of bother despite loans of almost €500 billion between them and a decade of cost cutting, austerity, collapsing governments and general misery for their citizens.

Whatever they are doing isn't working very well but they will continue to do it anyway.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Bible Say's Caging Kids Is Okay: Romans 13

I don't really know much about the American Government's decision to separate children from parents who are accused of illegally crossing over the American border but seeing who is heading the Government, it's obviously awful.
Even Trumps wife, Melania, has spoken out against it as reports emerge of children being held in cages at a warehouse in Texas after being separated from their parents. One cage had 20 children inside.
The chorus of criticism has been quickly rising and even the UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called the policy 'unconscionable' as the Government put the number of separations at 2,000 since April when the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced a new 'zero-tolerance policy' to prosecute every migrant who crosses the border illegally.
Reporters who have toured the facilities where families are separated by border patrol officers describe hundreds of children wrenched away from their parents and waiting in cages with concrete floors and foil blankets.
Jeff Sessions has defended the administration’s policy by reaching for the Bible and quoted the same passage that was also used to justify slavery which you would have thought would tip him off that he was on rocky ground.
'I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order' Sessions said, 'Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful'.
Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders summed up the same idea: 'It is very biblical to enforce the law'.
So tearing families apart and putting kids in a cage is perfectly justified in the Trump administration as it was in 1850 when Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act which allowed escaped slaves to be forcibly returned to their owners.
While nothing the idiot Trump does should surprise us, the image of kids being dragged away from their parents and held in cages and using the Bible to justify it should be a lurch towards authoritarianism that anyone with a moral compass should be up in arms about.
That said, the American right-wing religious nuts who support Trump are not known for their ability to judge what is right and wrong, the amazingly awful gun laws they uphold are a case in point of that so why would they care about the uncivilised, inhumane and cruel way the children of immigrants entering and living in the USA are being treated.

Implications Of The Rise Of The Sexbots

The growth of AI and robotics is scary but for some it's not growing fast enough but not because they welcome the advantages robots can bring to humans but because they want to have sex with them.
There are currently four companies today sell adult, female sexbots, and they explain that they can help people have safe sex and lessening exploitation and sex trafficking, decreasing instances of predatory behaviour and curb the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
A British study probing an increased use of sexbots is not so sure the future is quite so rosy though and think things will be considerably worse as it will reinforce the idea that women are sex objects and should be constantly available for the pleasures of men. Researchers say such an outlook could lead to the further victimisation of women and children and increase instances of malicious sexual behaviour.
They evaluated the arguments for and against the sex robot industry and assessed: 'While a human may genuinely desire a sexbot, reciprocation can only be artificially mimicked and instead of lessening loneliness, these robots might make us crave human contact more'.
They conclude that eventually, those who use sex robots could find it difficult to navigate a romantic relationship with an actual human being.
Researchers also found absolutely no evidence that interaction with a sexbot would make children safer or decrease sex trafficking and it might, instead, normalise such acts to the predator themselves and therefore make such heinous incidents more common.
If the rise of the robots isn't scary enough, the creepy men most likely to use them for sex are about to get a whole lot worse.

NHS Was Never Safe In Tory Hands

'The NHS is safe in our hands' so said David Cameron when he became Prime Minister in 2010 but the NHS has been anything but safe as one of their first actions was to slash the annual budget increase from 4% to 1%.
Since 2010, the budget has gone up by 8% while historically it should have gone up by 32% which means they are actually 24% down on the deal or in cold hard cash, with an annual budget of £100 billion, its got £1 billion a year instead of the required £4 billion so since 2010 it should have got £32 billion but it has only received £8 billion.
Surprise surprise the NHS is struggling but the Government have rode in to help and are handing over £20 billion which is still £4 billion less than the NHS needs to keep it's head above water. 
The Government have said that tax rises will be needed to pay for the boost in NHS funding and nobody will begrudge 1p on Income Tax or National Insurance but what about when the other essential services such as Police or Education come knocking, they could make an excellent case for an extra 1p of tax for them also.
The taxation system is badly in need of an overhaul but regardless of the tax intake, the way it is divided out is down to the ruling Government and if they want to underfund the NHS, police or schools for their own ideological reasons, that will continue regardless.