Category Archives: Politics

The Price of a Life, Mr Trump?

I’ve not posted on here in ages, but I popped the following on facebook and wanted to make sure I had it to hand…

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trumps-views-guns-shifted-time/story?id=39234442

This just popped into my head. Trump’s campaign received (a quick Google tells me) $21m from the NRA – who also spent $19m in non-partisan anti-Hillary advertising, etc. But we’ll stick to that $21m.

Since the orange shitball took over, there have been 35 deaths (students and staff) in school shootings, including one on his inauguration day [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shootings_in_the_United_States#2017].

In the same period, including the above where relevant, 103 people have died in mass shootings [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_shootings_in_the_United_States].

Over 15,591 people died from gunshots in the US in 2017, not including suicides (22,000!) [http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/past-tolls].

So, let’s put this in terms that Trump can understand:

One student or faculty member is worth $600,000
One mass shooting victim is worth $203,883.50
One person killed by a firearm (non-suicide) is worth $1346.93
One person killed by a firearm (inc suicides) is worth $558.64

The price of a life, eh? And of course, as time goes on and those numbers of dead rise, the value of a life falls.

Hope the NRA are pleased with the bargain they got.

UKIP – are they all racist and homophobic?

UK Independence Party
UK Independence Party – Hatred R Us? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A nice article in the Mirror outing some of the scum in UKIP (a British “UK Independence Party” which originally claimed to have the simple aim to keep the UK out of Europe), including some senior party members.

Douglas Denny from the Bognor Regis branch had the following to say about gay people on the party’s “Private Message Board”:

“I just wish they would keep their ­homosexual nature and practices to ­themselves and stop trying to ram it down my throat telling me they are ‘normal’ when they are not.”

He then complained to the Mirror, who published his comments, by saying: “Private forums and private posts should stay private.”

This raises several points I would like to make:

  • As well as being a homophobe, he has a wonderful ability to pick the right words to make it so easy to lampoon him. “…ram it down my throat”, indeed! Priceless.
  • I have never had a gay person try to convince me to “convert” or in any way try to change my mind about what is a private thing. This is because, on the whole, gay people don’t do this! Unlike certain organisations (usually churches) that try to convince gay people that they’re mentally screwed up and try to “fix” them, gay rights activities are pretty much limited to pride marches and the like which are a simple means of saying “We’re proud of who we are and happy to be that way, just leave us the hell alone to do what we want in privacy.” The only reason gay people try to shove anything (figuratively!) down anyone else’s throat is in reaction to being vilified by small-minded dick-weasels like Mr Denny.
  • Mr Denny has less concept of privacy on the internet than many 12 year olds that I teach. Claiming that a “private forum should be private” is akin to saying that “if I am chatting to my friends in the pub then I shouldn’t be held accountable for anything that a passer-by could overhear”. If you put it on the internet, don’t expect it to be in the least bit private. Ever. Keep your hate speech to lamp-lit conversations in little run-down houses with the curtains drawn where it belongs.

And I’m not even going to start on the likes of Dr Julia Gasper who reckons that gays are also more likely to want to engage in bestiality. Frankly, looking like her, the only chance she has of getting lucky is to find someone with a predilection for bulldogs with facial injuries.

Or the other member (un-named) who thinks that black people are more likely to be schizophrenic because they smoke more weed.

These people got 16% of the vote last time out? Come on, they’re so utterly hate-filled that even the Tories don’t want to partner up with them. That should speak for itself. When the leader of a party so self-centred as the Conservatives has a leader who labels you as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”, you really should just give up.

Mind you, as a nation we can’t really hold out heads up high. I think we still have two elected members of the European Council who are also in the BNP. How the hell did that happen?

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The Scottish Question

Welcome to Scotland
Soon to be accompanied by border guards and customs if Salmond has his way

I originally wrote the following as a comment on this BBC News article regarding the current tiff between Holyrood and Westminster over a referendum for Scottish Independence. Unfortunately, the BBC don’t make it clear there’s a (fairly short) limit on the number of words/characters in comments so I thought I’d shove it up here instead.

I’m English born of Scots and Welsh parents. I grew up predominantly in England (Newcastle and Bradford) with a short stint in Scotland and now live and work in Glasgow where I reckon I’ll be settling for the very long term.

I also dislike the Tories and the current UK government. However, I dislike Salmond and his hyperbolic rhetoric even more. I find myself amazed to say this but I fully support Westminster – and the Conservatives – on this matter.

While part of me does see a future for 16/17 year olds getting the vote in general elections they – as yet – cannot. As such they should not vote in any referendum. The simple reason for Salmond wanting them to do so is that they are, at that age, very reactionary and nationalistic. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your country but I can’t accept that this would allow them to help make an informed choice in such a vote. It would, however, help Salmond’s cause.

I also seriously doubt the maths which “prove” that Scotland could survive financial independence. I am prepared to be corrected, but have these figures been published and confirmed by an independent body?

By all means have the referendum, but Salmond must be prepared to do it within the existing rules. He can’t go making his own up until/unless they win – and even then, they have stated, it will only be taken as an advisory vote as to the opinion of the country. Not, as people seem to be thinking, the immediate departure of Scotland from the UK.

We are a United Kingdom. Our strength comes from that unity. Much as there is rivalry amongst the countries and separate national identities we’ve worked wonders as a nation combined. I also agree with other viewpoints that the departure of Scotland from the UK shouldn’t be a decision for Scotland alone. It would affect the other three nations every bit as much and they should have a say – based on the results of the referendum – as well.

It has the potential to be a hugely historic move. But would it be a good one? I wholeheartedly doubt it.

 

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An open letter to Mike Russell

Curious to see if I get a reply:

Mr Russell,

I would be glad if you would clarify your statement on STV this evening that, I quote, “‘The actions of the Government and Local Government along with the new deal with teachers will ensure there are more jobs next year.”

I ask as your own figures state that there will be a drop of 1057 jobs this year. Far be it from from me, as a Computing teacher, to tread on the toes of the Maths or English departments to argue numbers or semantics, but I usually associate a “drop” with a lessening, i.e. resulting in a lower number. Not an increase, as the word “more” implies.

Or, dare I say it, are you just lying to the public in a bid to gain support while you destroy our education system?

Many thanks, (etc.)

If you want to ask him yourself, he’s available at Michael.Russell.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

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Say goodbye to your internet

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11:  Secretary of ...
Secretary for Business and out-of-touch sleazebag

People my age will remember the old days when someone would tell you off for something, and the response would be to tut and say “it’s a free country”.

Well those days are coming to an end and there’s no worse example of why than the new Digital Economy Bill unveiled today. How do you fancy these for powers:

  • Your internet can be cut off if someone in your household is suspected of filesharing. No evidence or proof is required nor formal charge need be brought
  • ISPs are forced to snitch on you or face a fine of up to £250,000
  • Accused of filesharing? £50,000 please – even though it might not be you that’s done it
  • These rules not working? The the Business Secretary (an unelected role) can make up any new punishments and regulations as they see fit. Just for a laugh.
  • Eavesdroppers funded by “rightsholders” (that’ll be our friends in the movie and music companies) who will be able to freely poke around your internet traffic, data, usage patterns and then demand that you remove files, block websites and so forth. Privacy? What privacy?

Then there’s some stuff about a rejigging of the games ratings system which actually isn’t that bad as it takes the BBFC out of the loop. This means, hopefully, that games may be more evenly rated and unlikely to be banned.

What’s amusing is that this whole mess is the brainchild of one Peter Mandelson. Mandie came up with this great idea after a free holiday in Corfu paid for by Geffen. Who happen to be one of the aforementioned rightsholders. Of course, he’s saying this is coincidence.

We are being told to behave ourselves and to follow rules and not steal stuff by a man who was forced to step down from government not once but twice due to his inability not to be a sleazy little dick.

This whole bill is a travesty. It’s the digital equivalent – worse, even – than speed cameras where you’re guilty until proven innocent. The only winners here are the near-sighted media corporations who are too old-fashioned to embrace a new technology and instead seek to stifle it while they continually fail to catch up.

Please, check out the articles linked below. And if you feel as I do then go to the Number10 website and sign the petition. Of course, this makes the assumption that the government we elected actually give the faintest damn about what we have to say.

Not something I think most of us believe to be the case these days.

If you at all doubt the government’s integrity or my attack on it then bear in mind that when they announced the Bill, it was with the statement that it had 99% support of British ISPs. Have a look at the man who started the petition. He’s TalkTalk‘s head of strategy and development. BT, if I recall correctly, threatened legal action if it went through. The ISP industry as a whole announced it’s “disappointment” with the wording of the Bill as it stands.

Hardly 9% support, let alone 99%.

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