The New World Order

Previously on Earth, we’ve all lost our minds, well, that’s what it seems to me, here in Britain we voted for Brexit, over in the good ol’ US of A, they voted, somehow, for Trump, leaving me to question what’s next, Elmo for President of France, the Count to run for Chancellor of Germany, (these are ridiculous suggestions to prove how stunned I feel).

The world has developed from one of confusing sense to one where I won’t even try to make sense of things, its simple really, for example, if you take the Popular Vote for the US Presidential Election, never mind the ultimately confusing Electoral College system that the Americans use, then here is the result as it stands as of the 23/11/2016:

Clinton: 63.7 million  Trump: 62 million

The Count So far

That’s votes by the way, Clinton’s leading the way as far as the Popular Vote is concerned, which is leading many, as Trump prepares to settle his Cabinet, to call for the American Democratic System to alter from the Electoral College vote version to the Popular Vote, as Clinton is apparently the third most popular candidate in history, though she was ranked as the second worst candidate to run, the worst being the President Elect.

My fascination with this has led me to question when the Electoral College system first started running, thanks to certain sites I found that the Electoral College system came about as a by-product of the 12th Amendment, here are the details:

The Twelfth Amendment requires each elector to cast one vote for president and another vote for vice president.[4][5] In each state and the District of Columbia, electors are chosen every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and then meet to cast ballots on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.[6] The candidates who receive an absolute majority of electoral votes among the states are elected President and Vice President of the United States when the Electoral College vote is certified by Congress in January.

Confusing huh, anyway, with that question answered I had to wonder why the country that prides itself on being the bringer of Democracy was using an archaic system that ignored, in this case, the mass feeling of support for Clinton and not the President Elect (I am saying this phrase instead of Trump to get used to the fact that he is going to be President).

Now, I turn my focus to Trump’s initial actions, In the first 100 Days of his Presidency Trump has promised to do the following:

  1. Remove up to 2 million Criminal/Illegal Immigrants: This idea that he is only going to target Criminal immigrants, especially if they are illegal is a Tautology, if they are Illegal they have already broken the law, so therefore they are criminal, so he is defining a difference when there isn’t one, enacting such a deportation, on this scale especially will be a mammoth task, though it has been suggested that Trump could employ more Border Agents to undertake this task.
  2. Build A Wall between the US and Mexico: This is probably his most famous policy, he is still going ahead with this, some thought he would ditch it after becoming President but apparently not, he has already conceded that the wall may be a fence in some sectors, like the one that exists now in some sectors, that’s not really going to prevent anything or anyone from getting across, if you are determined enough, then even the largest wall Trump could build would be seen as a hurdle and let’s not forget, there are tunnels, numerous tunnels under the ground between the two nations.
  3. To Appoint a New Supreme Court judge: After the passing of Anthony Scalia, Obama has nominated a replacement but the Republican controlled Senate refuse to even glance at this suggestion, Trump will be able to fill this space as he will not be seen as the Enemy at the Gates, with the other Supreme Court judges approaching or over 70, there is a feeling this appointment could be the first of many for Trump.
  4. Repealing EVERY Executive Order Obama made: It would be possible, Obama made 32 Executive Orders in his time as President, lifting sanctions on Myanmar (Burma), his most controversial one however will probably be the one that is targeted first, the plan to lift the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented migrants and giving these individuals the right to work.
  5. Scrapping Obamacare: This is apparently the first thing Trump will do, he has been quoted as saying on ‘Day One’ he will get Congress to repeal this reform of the Healthcare system, reversing it from a close relative of the NHS here to the system America had before.
  6. Restrictions on White House Officials becoming lobbyists: This one will be the one he will have to fight with his own colleagues about, the Republican controlled Senate may baulk at this idea as it will have an impact on their future earning potential.
  7. Cancellation of all payments to the UN Climate Change: This is one that has widespread support at home but this is international law so even if he manages to get this idea passed by the two Houses that the US have, then it would take up to 4 years to withdraw from this idea.
  8. Using the money from No:7 to fix US infrastructure: Trump may think this is a fantastic plan but considering, in the last days of the campaign he ran, he promised a whole raft of changes, improvements and additions, he will need every penny to reach the £800 billion price tag that his plans intend to cost.
  9. Cut Taxes: This is the one that made me laugh, I have to admit, Trump hasn’t paid tax since the nineties, he is living the life of Reilly and quite honestly, it will never be easy to accept that he is now President, this is traditional Republican territory but coming from a man that DOESN’T pay his taxes, its laughable.
  10. Label China a Currency Manipulator: This will make the Chinese shake in their boots won’t it, it will do little to affect the largest economic powerhouse in the world, if anything it will probably do one of two things, tickle them or annoy them.

So that’s the 10 things Trump wishes to do in the first 100 days of his Presidency, from the ridiculous to the sublimely silly, I hope that these happen because then the world’s stand up comedians will be safely employed for the next four years, it is truly laughable.

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The Brave New Old World

Trump is PRESIDENT, just thought I’d bring that to people’s attention before I start, America has voted in the least competent and experienced, even professional male they could find, even Elmo from Sesame Street could be a better choice, though that’s more of an insult to Elmo.

Look, I know that America is in financial hardship, I know the country’s industrial heartlands, like Ohio have fallen on hard times but the idea that Trump, who is clearly going to look after his own intentions and those of his friends and fellow million/billionaires, then there is the point that, one of the major reasons, as far as I can see, that Trump was put into power was because he wasn’t part of the establishment.

Let me address this now, America, like many other countries, is a Democratic, Capitalist State, it is a nation built on the prosperity of business, trade and individuals, so, why and how is Trump not part of the same establishment, I would understand if they meant that he wasn’t part of the same Political Establishment because he has no experience in Politics but there is another issue there, Trump is not a Republican, he funded Hillary Clinton’s previous run for President, he is a Democrat and, amazingly, he has even stated in the past, in amongst all of his sexist, chauvinistic and racist beliefs, that the Republicans are the dumbest group, therefore he would probably run for them, though since then there have been numerous reports that this did not happen, so I will state that Trump is alleged to have said this, he may not have and if so then I apologise.

Returning to my original point, the issue is that those who voted for Trump believe that he will return the business to the Industrial centres of the nation, that he will rebuild the manufacturing industry and bring the country back from the brink, however, he is still adamant on chucking out immigrants, he recently took part in an interview, his first since becoming President-elect, where he stated that his administration would remove 2-3 million immigrants, this seems like quite a statement but consider that this number set for removal probably won’t stay removed, what’s to stop them, the Rio Grande, a fence, an expanse of land in certain sections, determined ‘patriots’ wanting to remove them by repeatedly and dilgently patrolling the border, the US Border Force, if you are determined enough, not even the most powerful of hurdles can stop you.

Trump will become President in the New Year, giving us time to take in his policies, his ideas and his aims, though it seems that certain nations are taking advantage of the fact that Trump is basically powerless until January, Australia have just made an agreement with the USA to move 1800 asylum seekers to the country, this is a one off deal but it looks like a moment of opportunism from the Australian government, who will remove these individuals from Nauru and Manus islands in the South Pacific to the land of the free.

You have to tip your hat to the Australians, they really know how to be bold and this proves that to a certain degree, though that is one side of the argument, on the other side, Nigel Farage has stated that Trump wants a ‘good’ future for the UK – US relationship, though if others are to be believed, Theresa May, our current Prime Minister was last to be contacted by Trump, he phoned nine other leaders, countries that range alphabetically from Australia to Turkey, thus proving that the Special Relationship is not as important to Trump as it might have been to previous leaders.

The UK is now just a small fish in a large lake, the days of the country being one to reckon with or be a significant part of the world economy are behind us, China, India and even Korea lead a more important stance than the UK has, it is a reminder to those who still believe that the UK is a great and powerful nation, (‘which once ruled a third of the Earth’ blah blah blah), that we are just a small island in the North Sea, that may yet become smaller if Scotland breaks away in the future, for if that ever happens then Wales and Northern Ireland will not be too far behind.

SO, as far as the future is concerned, to borrow and paraphrase a slogan from a former mobile operator, the future’s not that bright but it might be orange and mushroom shaped.

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Silence in the Stands

Time for a change of pace, as well as subject, just a brief detour but one that I feel is rather important or at least significant, for it seems that the honorable organisation in charge of football around the world, FIFA, has thrown its hat into the ring in a subject that it would have probably been better to ignore, Remembrance Day, for it turns out that the England vs. Scotland game that is scheduled to take place, as part of the World Cup Qualifiers, has landed on the 11th of November, an important day both historically and generally….

For this is Armistice Day and both sides of the Auld Rivalry would like to show respect by wearing poppies during this game, FIFA said no, now for a group that is generally very well-liked, wee joke there, this is one subject where they should have been rather lenient, as they were when it came to the alleged bribes that some of their hierarchy received to give the following two World Cup competitions to Russia and Qatar.

Now, it is understandable that the World Organisation would like to make some sort of show of power, as they do not allow political, religious or divisive issues to be represented, though the fact that they are not allowing the players to wear poppies is rather too much, there is no religious significance to the poppy, anyone can wear one and show respect, even beyond that, there is no political significance to the poppy either, so the reason that this ban is in place is rather bemusing, the poppy is simply the flower chosen to represent Armistice Day, the thanks that we express to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, on either side of the barbed wire in WW1, on either side of the coin in WW2 and the following conflicts, the day is set aside for us to pay our respects to those who gave their lives for freedom and our continuing existence, there is no religious gain from this, no political advantage, it is simply a way for us as a race to stand together and remember that brave men and women gave their lives for the greater good.

It is not an easy subject to talk about, especially seeing as there seems to be this idea that there are Winners and Losers in every war, one side is victorious and another is defeated, though think about it, people, military or civilian, died in the course of every war, life is lost, in vast numbers in WW1 and incredible numbers in WW2, though there is this idea that the Allies won both World Wars, despite the death, destruction and devastation caused, not only to the families of those who died or were horrifically wounded but also for the society as a whole, every time there is a war, we all lose, because it is proof that we are willing to cause the loss of life to fight for ideals that are, in one view, never achieved, and in another, unachievable.

Its a rather blunt and probably divisive or controversial way to view war and conflict but it is a view that, thanks to the freedom that the soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, I can hold and consider, you may disagree but again that is a right that those who fought died for, to allow such freedoms is a way that we differentiate ourselves from others, we believe in different things, have faith in different things, live different lives and exist in dissimilar societies, all because our predecessors believed that we had these rights, that is part of what it means to be human, the freedom we enjoy.

I have to admit I was rather tempted to state that there would a WW3 in our future, though that would be too depressing or divisive even for me, so I shall simply end by quoting the words that are known and quoted during the Armistice Ceremony, Ode of Remembrance (Stanza 4):

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.’

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In Demi-God We Trust

Hi Folks, The madness continues to haunt this site, when i say madness I mean my writing, just a little joke there, today we shall be exploring the US Presidential Election in some detail, so, let us begin.

Recently, the third and final Presidential Election took place, it was as bitter as the last, though proof was there for all to see that it doesn’t really matter what gets said about Trump, his support, his steadfast and determined supporters still believe his message, which they see as ‘Make America Great Again’ as being the only true message.

Hillary once again came under attack, though this time she combated this by retaliating with the issue of Russia, claiming that Putin would prefer ‘a puppet for president’, a claim that Trump would not fight or argue against the Russian leader, this immediately came under intense scrutiny from Trump, who stated that ‘You’re the puppet‘, like I said, intense scrutiny, though the issue became rather clouded when The Republican candidate refused to say if he would accept losing the election after making claims earlier in the week of “large-scale voter fraud”. He added: “I will tell you at the time, I will keep you in suspense.”

The fact that Trump is prepared to claim that both the Democratic system, which has worked for as long as America has been an Independent nation and that the result, like a coin toss, is up for debate is amazingly childish, its like a child stating that they want to do something again because they slipped or if a professional golfer cried Mulligan every time a shot didn’t go where they wanted it to.

This surely is a clue as to what kind of a person Trump is, if he doesn’t get his own way, he claims fraud, that the vote or result is rigged and has stated previously that he will not accept the result if he is not elected President.

It is amazing that the country which prides itself on its freedoms and its Democracy, it is seen as the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, to quote the National Anthem, what I didn’t think I would see is an American multi-billionaire declare that he would build a wall to keep immigrants from Mexico out, this along with banning Muslims from entering the US, shreds the idea that a person can build themselves a part of the American Dream there, its like Trump’s willing to put up a sign saying ‘Closed‘ when he becomes President, that he will isolate the US from the rest of the world, that technique might have worked back in the early part of the 20th century but not now.

Especially when you consider that he wants to build 350 new ships for the Navy, 36 new battalions for the Marines and 1,200 Fighter jets for the Air Force, these are actually the suggestions made by Carly Fiorina a year ago and by Mitt Romney 4 years ago, he’s borrowed ideas from others, surely if you are going to run for President you should have a view on the differing issues that will come into your directive instead of borrowing from other people, he then went on to declare that he would spend tens of billions of dollars to fund a larger and better-equipped Military.

This from the man that wants to build a wall between America and Mexico, with the added benifit of deploying 25,000 Border Agents, utilizing Predator Drones (used mainly by the military) and to follow the Immigration Laws to the letter, strengthening them where needed, deportation of 11 million, that’s right 11 million Undocumented Immigrants, as well as Deporting any and all Criminal Aliens from the US, yeah because crime is only committed by those who came from other countries, Visa Tracking systems installed and any who outstayed their welcome, so to speak, would be joining the other immigrants that aren’t allowed in the US and would be deported.

Basically, any Utopian Nightmare that you can think of, is probably where America is heading, Deporting Immigrants, criminal or otherwise, building a wall, which isn’t going to be cheap, because Mexico isn’t going to pay for something that they aren’t responsible for or wanting (this proven by the fact that Trump visited the Mexican President during the Campaign and didn’t mention the Wall at any point), then he wants to increase the military and to decrease the amount of Corporate Tax from 35 to 15%, this would cost more for the country, according to the Tax Foundation, an independent policy research group, it will cost $10 trillion dollars over the next decade.

Then there is also the issue that the Education Department would be cut, to reduce the country’s already substantial deficit, it currently stands at $19 trillion, that is eye-watering, though considering that Trump will be spending millions on the military and building a wall, then enforcing said wall with border guards, that would actually cause the already gargantuan debt to probably double if not worsen further.

He will dispose of Obama-care, the seemingly controversial Affordable Care Act will be removed, this would mean returning to the system that was in place before, though one of the main foundations of Obama care, which will apparently be kept by Trump is the idea of making insurers give coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

The Immigration Train continues to roll on as a further point, which I did not notice until just now is included in Trump’s plans, the Ending of Birthright Citizenship, whereby the children of illegal immigrants in the US would not be protected, they would therefore form part of the 11 million that would be deported, though this is despite claims that undocumented workers were used to build Trump Tower over 30 years ago, then there is the issue of Pausing Green Cards and making employers offer jobs to ‘US workers first’.

All in all it seems that America would not be Made Great Again, if Trump were to become President it would seem that America would be put to the Grater not made Greater, though with every poll that has come out since the last US Presidential Debate, Hillary Clinton has led, though her lead has been, at times, rather close-run or tight, though the mere fact that the experienced Representative is leading could mean that the US will have its first Female President, which is a massive milestone for the nation but it will probably be overshadowed by Trump’s complaints, if he chooses to reject the result of the Election, though that is all yet to be known, roll on November.


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Has Anyone Seen Sanity?

Hello friends, I just thought I’d change tack at this point briefly by taking a wider view of the UK and US Political stage at the moment, firstly let us begin at home, where the word ‘Brexit’ has come into use, its not a real word…..its a made up term coined by the fellows and females of Westminster, Brexit is simply the words British and Exit slammed together, we could have done that here in Scotland with the Scottish Independence Referendum, Sexit doesn’t really have the right gravitas though.

The phrases and promises spilling into the Thames from the ageing Palace of Westminster is becoming a sort of numbing agent,  phrases like ‘Brexit means Brexit’, Theresa May, our unelected and new Prime Minister stated this, rather clearly, though the thing is that, although it might suit the Rolling News Channels to have a short and sweet pressbyte to chew on, for most of us, it is rather, what’s the word, vague.

For example, here in Scotland, we didn’t vote to leave, there may have been individuals that took their democratic right and voted to do so but the result in Scotland and Northern Ireland was that both countries voted to remain, whereas England and Wales voted to leave, yet everytime the idea that the Devolved Parliaments should have a say is brought up, the response is that we will be ‘consulted’, okay, that’s a bit condescending, if the UK Government wish to drag the entire UK into a world of uncertainty and rising costs, then go ahead but don’t be surprised if this is taken as a starting gun for Independence in Scotland.

The next issue with Brexit is the uncertainty it is causing now, the Pound recently ‘flash-crashed’, dropping to its lowest point against the Euro/Dollar for almost thirty years, even beating the level dipped to during the Recession and the Financial Crisis, the issue from here on out is the Cost of things, because there have already been warnings of prices going up, food, clothing, fuel, so being taken out of the EU, although it is happening, may cripple the country long before Article 50 has been triggered.

There’s the other thing, the UK is going to negotiate with the EU about what kind of relationship the two will have after the UK leave, now, I may be wrong but I get the feeling that the Germans will lead the discussions, as they are the economic and industrial power in the EU at this point, beyond this there is a few issues that have slipped under the radar, thanks to the focus being on the Brexit issue.

Firstly, the UK government have initiated the building of a 4 metre (13 ft) wall along the route to the port of Calais, already dubbed ‘The Great Wall of Calais’ the construction has recently begun and aims to lessen the flow of immigrants illegally crossing into the UK from France, the construction is taking place only a stone’s throw from the well-reported and vast Jungle, which is where many of the immigrants have set up their temporary and makeshift homes before risking everything to get to the UK.

The idea is to help the French gain the right amount of security to keep illegals out, this according to Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, who also said that; “We support the French with money to help them do that,” “It is up to them how they decide to secure their borders in Calais and around it.”

This is weirdly reminiscent of a promise made by someone over the Atlantic, who is still in contention for the US Presidency, Donald Trump, though recently, the campaign has hit a few hurdles, from quotes or incidents in his past, to things that he has done more recently, like the apparent Tax Evasion that he has been accused of.

Recently, the Second Presidential Debate took place, it was a bit less on point and more about Personal point scoring, the result being that the two candidates, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump was probably one of the darkest seen in a generation, according to the Washington Post…

The second presidential debate veered into ugly territory Sunday night in St. Louis, as the two nominees swapped insults and interruptions.

Republican Trump claimed that Hilary had ‘Hate in her heart‘, though his opponent retaliated by stating that Trump lived in an ‘alternate reality‘, the only real genteel moment, according to the Washington Post, came when a questioner asked the pair to say something nice about each other, Clinton spoke of her respect of Trump’s Children, while the Republican Candidate replied by stating:

“She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She’s a fighter,”  “I consider that to be a very good trait.”

From this distant analyst’s point of view, the whole situation has become quite dark, chilling and depressing, Trump has a vast swathe of support, Clinton isn’t exactly lacking in support but her experience in Washington apparently means that she is part of the ‘establishment’, both candidates could be considered to be part of an ‘establishment’, Trump being a multi-billionaire who owns buildings across the US, has two golf courses in Scotland and has shown no signs of slowing down his energetic pace.

He has become rich through the same system that works in any other Capitalist nation, yet, he is not considered part of the ‘establishment’, instead, he is seen as the outsider because of his lack of Political Experience and ‘tell it like it is’ approach, fair enough, though considering that the supporters, his die-hard supporters are ignoring certain aspects of their demigod, then it seems that the darkness will continue.

Trump in the past few months has gone from a sideshow point of the Republican Nomination Race to the Vanguard of their intention to get back into the White House, this recently has caused the most Senior Republican, the House Speaker, Paul Ryan to state that he will not campaign or defend the Presidential Nominee, he has been the latest in a long line of fellow Party members who have seen Trump’s statements and claims of late as giving the wrong message, Newt Gingrich, the main supporter of Trump, has even balked at the things that Donald Trump has said, this has caused many to believe that the wheels are starting to come off the Trump Train.

However, the support remains, despite the accusations of Racism, Sexism, Tax-Evasion, though recently, there has been a rift exposed between Trump and his Vice Presidential running mate; Mike Pence, who claimed that a Trump administration would install a safe zone in Syria and stand up to Russian Agression, though when asked about this issue, Trump stated that he did not agree with Mike Pence.

“I believe we have to worry about Isil before we get too involved,” he said, speaking of the jihadist extremist group. Mr Trump claimed that although he didn’t “like Assad”, the Syrian president was “killing Isil”.

Though despite all of this, his support remains, this is a rather scary thought, like nothing negative Trump does will shake these diehard supporters, there are even those that commented on their candidate’s Tax Evasion like it was a Positive.

The Election occurs in November, meaning that there is one more debate between the two candidates and, although in the polls they can’t be separated, the support seems to be there for Trump and lacking for Clinton because of her experience dealing with situations in both Washington and abroad, weird, if Trump becomes President, then this will be the first time when experience isn’t actually better, the scariest thing is that Trump is determined to build the wall, to ban Muslims from the US and to take ‘Make America Great Again’, really, he wants to cut off their Southern neighbour simply through a belief that there are ‘Rapists and Murderers’ down there, through fear of uncontrolled immigration and simply to try and cut down the numbers of migrants making the trip over the border.

Then he wants to ban Muslims, strengthen gun laws and say goodbye to the EPA (Enivronmental Protection Agency), Bar Syrian Refugees (kicking out those already in the country), Heavily Surveil Mosques (even closing a few), Prosecute Hilary Clinton, Allow Russia to deal with IS in Syria, then later bomb IS, target and kills relatives of terrorists, Reintroduce Waterboarding, Putting a billionaire hedge-fund manager in place of the current Japanese Ambassador, Ensure Americans can afford to play Golf and, lastly, End Birthright Citizenship.

These Promises range from the unbelievable to the ridiculous, he is clearly a man that likes to promise the world but deliver the moon, though considering that a lot of these issues, if Trump does become President, will have to be passed through the Senate, then there is little that he can do if the House of Representatives or the Senate turn his proposals down, he could enforce an Executive Order but that would be one for every issue that gets defeated, which would amount to Trump being known as the Executive Order President, though looking at both nations, the UK and the US, you would be forgiven for thinking that life is becoming dark and depressing, simple solution to this is to escape all of the hot air escaping from Westminster and wherever the Presidential Nominees are visiting and focus on things that make you happy, because after all, the news is negative, the politics of the world is confusing, so really it is simply a case of finding something to keep you happy and making that last…..

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I-deal in Reality

There was recently a survey that suggested that employers that discriminate against those that have tattoos, either in noticeable or visible places or hidden on their arms or other not easily seen areas, could be losing out on excellent and hardworking employees, it took a SURVEY for that to be known, really, I could tell them that simply by the fact that tattoos are not a way to describe how a person will act.

When some people think of tattooed people or individuals, they nearly always consider the Biker community, though this is due to the American concept of a Biker, like a Hell’s Angel, who are part of a group of like-minded figures, more than likely there will be a lot of tattoos on display but that is not to say that they will be either hostile or violent, that is pigeonholing, stereotyping and prejudice in one easy package.

A tattoo is an expression of individuality, some have sleeves or have covered their torso in tats but there are those who are happy with one or two, does that mean that every person with a tattoo has a mean streak or is going to be incredibly hostile or antagonistic, no, its a presumption that would bring a person to this.

Consider for a second that tattoos are Art, well, if a man can dress as bear and run around a Museum in Berlin and be considered for Awards in this category, then why is there such a reluctance by some to accept that although they may see tattoos as being ‘unsightly’ that the person they see them on clearly doesn’t think that way and wants to express themselves.

A painter has an easel, a writer has a pen, so a tattoo artist has both, only the artwork they place down, it is individual to the person they are tattooing, whether it be the name of a loved one or the image of your favourite celebrity or franchise character.

Tattoos are no less art than the idea of countless metal figures being placed along a shoreline looking out to see would be.

To each their own, that’s what I have always believed, if you want to get tattoos to express who you are, go ahead, there should be no one that can stop you apart from you, criticism happens for numerous things, the judgmental will always find something to whine or complain about, so, if you don’t like tattoos, then that is your view, if you do, then that is your right, this is the beauty of life, we have all got different views and though, in the minority, expression of such views will create hostility or nastiness, when it is done in the right way, an expression of views can be the beginning of a debate, conversation or even more deeply, a friendship.

Do not think that I am writing this because I have tattoos and therefore am biased, I do not, I would like to but I don’t feel too great when faced with the needle, so I am a bit of a coward, though I can appreciate tattoos for what they are, distinctive works of art, differing from one person to the other.

Tattoos, to me, they are another way that details how individual and different we are from each other but that is just another reason why the differences we each have should only unite us not divide us, we have but a short time on this wondrous and jaw-dropping world of ours, there is no time to bicker, fight, persecute or harm our fellow mortals, at the end of the day, we were born to live an individual life and then report to our maker what we did.

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Honestly Out on A Limb

Hello friends, I know that this site was designed primarily to be a platform from which I could impartially dissect the political issues of the time, from the UK Elections to the continuing issue with Equal Rights in the US (Immigration and Civil Rights coming to the fore in this subject).

Now, although I have done my best to stay unbiased and neutral, I feel it is time to get a few partial things said, because I am human and like any human there are things that rankle with me, this blog will name and explain, probably even dissect, these issues that I find so jarring.

  1. Domestic Abuse/Assault: Now, this is a major issue for me, the idea that it is somehow acceptable to raise a hand to anyone, especially your partner, is madness to me, though I know that some, mainly those who do it, will come up with some pithy response or reason, let me say this first, you physically, verbally, sexually or psychologically assault the person that is supposed to be the closest member of your own individual world, you attack them for no reason, rhyme or understanding, you hurt them, not only during the act itself but also in the future, why, well, my theory is simple, you don’t prize your comfort enough.

The majority of attacks are committed by men against women but there are incidents where the opposite is true, where men are attacked by those they are with, now, some may believe this to be shocking, alarming or, to some men, funny, because there is still a feeling, in the 21st Century that abounds that I find horrific and outdated.

Though that is next, my feelings are still focused on Domestic Abuse, there are those that think that, along with when a women is attacked, that she brings it upon herself, what backwards thinking arses are these people, so, a woman goes out on a night out, enjoys herself, gets drugged and is attacked and it is her fault, what the hell is that, no one, not a man or woman has ever warranted, deserved or planned to be assaulted, it just happens and the blame lies with the idiot that is unable to perform normally.

Back to Abuse, the thinking behind such incidents is quite confusing, a person, probably a normal man or woman to everyone else, goes home and decides, apropos of nothing to harm their partner, they then continue this assault until either they are arrested, their partner walks out or, the untimely and unfortunate ending befalls the situation.

Consider for a second, if a man assaults or abuses a woman then he is labelled a person undeserving of being with anyone, he is looked down on and is treated as such, though if the roles were reversed, what happens, little is known of this situation, despite the fact that there are men out there that have lived through such instances, consider also, a man assaults a woman, either physically, mentally or sexually, this relationship ends and he meets someone else, the cycle restarts with a new victim, men like these don’t change, they are wired wrong somewhere along the way, to think that is, at any level, acceptable to hurt your partner for whatever reason, that proves you have something wrong in the workings of your brain.

2. Chauvinism: Yes, in this day and age there are still men that believe they are top dogs and the creme de la creme, I find this concept almost as ridiculous as trying to walk on water, you’ll sink fast and be soaked in no time, this is the 21st Century, even then the idea that women are somehow only capable or should only be allowed to cook, clean and be nothing more than trophies, irritates me, this is where I go against the grain, for I have always believed that Women are BETTER than Men, quite simply because we men are ridiculous, at the end of the day, the idea that there are people still out there that feel that women shouldn’t be allowed to flourish, succeed and excel is depressing.

Women can aspire to be and do anything today, we have a female First Minister in Scotland, a female Chancellor in Germany, numerous other female leaders and digniteries, though consider that, if things go a certain way in America in November of this year, then we may have a Female US President; in other fields we have leading names, figures and individuals who are all female and are as hard working, if not moe so than their male counterparts, so, why, in the midst of all of this success and aspiration, do we still have those who believe that a woman’s place is in the house or even more specifically the kitchen, this backwards and disturbing way of thinking has to be killed of now.

There is a female equivalent where men are seen as useless, pointless, sexist creatures but that is for another day, though this belief is also flawed an argument could be made that it was a consequence of the Chauvinism of the 1950s and the individuals who still adhere to this way of thinking.

3. Divisive Notions (Racism, Sexism, Sectarianism, Homophobia etc.): Yes, another major bugbear of mine is the idea that, whatever skin colour or tone we are, we can be so easily divided by our skin, religion, orientation or other points that make us unique, distinctive and unmatched, we should celebrate these thoughts but no, certain points of the world and society target these maliciously, even Society itself, an unseen civilisation, is rather biased in this regard, only recently did Plus Size Models arrive, only recently did we have the understanding that not everyone is a skinny, thin, twiglike figure, Fashion is a major culprit of this but, in a way, pop culture is also to blame, watch any movie and the hero will probably end up with a svelte female, who used to be ditzy, unfeasibly beautiful or a damsel in distress, nowadays there are strong female characters but the damage is done.

Looking to Music, watch music videos and the focus of any love song, pop song about romance or such like is usually centred on a thin, smiling woman with perfect teeth, hair and body, not every person is like that and, in reverse, not every man is looking for a stick thin model or a hunk (depending on orientation).

Turning to the issue at large, we are humans, each of us, cut us we bleed, hurt us we cry (Unless we are Le Chiffre from Casino Royale who leaks blood from his tear ducts), so, we are HUMAN, no religion, orientation, gender or skin colour can hide that underlying FACT, we have but a brief snippet of time in the world, we are not here to judge, critique, harm, offend, insult, discriminate, intimidate, persecute or downright dishearten a fellow human being, the moment we realise this, as a race or a species, that will be the happiest moment of life, until then, it will, unfortunately, continue, despite the fact that it isn’t a great thing to look back on on your death bed.

Imagine that conversation with your nearest and dearest:

I had a good life….” You will say. “Did you, what did you do that you should be proud of?” They will reply. “I made a fellow human being’s life on this planet a living hell!” You respond. “Interesting.” They answer.

Or even, imagine the pastor/humanist speaking about you at your funeral.

They lived doing what they loved, harming another human being, making their lives a lviing misery….”

Not really a great thing to be remembered for, despite this, it exists, so, clearly the only smallminded people in this world are those that are guilty of any of the previous 3 issues, if you discriminate against someone simply because they are different, pause for a moment and wonder, how would you feel if the roles were reversed, would you consider it to be an acceptable way to live if you were being persecuted for being different, perhaps not, maybe you will, in which case further consider how you will be remembered, though of course, you will probably have already had kids and raised them to follow in your footsteps so that is a failed concept, each to their own, just enjoy HELL when you see it..

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Any opinions expressed are those of the individual writing and are not meant to cause offence, distress, harm or insult, I simply wish to break through the miasma of jargon and such like, the idea behind Talk Honesty is to talk with honesty, not hide any issue or feeling in a veiled way, simply put, I wish to be straightforward and blunt but without causing offense, so I write here that if, at any point, I cause any harm to you, the reader, I must and will gladly apologise without doubt, question or qualm.

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The Common Sense Crusade

With a new year, (this author’s birthday) fast approaching, I have decided to begin an initiative that I will take on both here via blogs and essays but also thanks to other forms of media, i will be able to take this project on to greater things.

The reason I wish to begin this venture is because I am tired of seeing things that would normally be resolved by the use of straightforward thinking, this is the main reason, the secondary reason is a personal one, I feel, undeniably and staunchly, that this life is a brief, swift and fleeting time of events, moments and memories, we should be doing everything we can to make everyone’s life on this Earth as comfortable as possible but instead the divisions of Man seem to get in the way.

These Divisions include: Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Sectarianism, Chauvinism (yes, this still exists) as well as good old fashioned, plain and simple hatred.

Take for example the minority of people that believe that immigrants, whether they arrive here, in the UK or over in the US, or in any country in the world, especially the Western World, the apparently civilized part of the planet, there is a small band of people that hate them simply for being immigrants, then there is a percentage that dislikes them because they are either of Middle-Eastern descent, Muslim, or rather straightforward and bluntly, from another creed, culture or religion.

These people usually take to right wing groups like the E and SDL (English and Scottish Defence League respectively), the BNP or other extremist groups; over in the good ol’ US the issue is focused, at this particular time, on the Muslim percentage that enter the country, a certain group within the populace believe that the immigrants that practise Islam are, by the mere fact that they believe in this religion, terrorists, then of course you have the ongoing dislike for Mexicans, Hispanics and other immigrants.

The problem with this stance is that America, though the minority will probably ignore this concept, is that the people who protest against these immigrants arriving in their country are, in point of fact, descended from immigrants themselves, for the US has prided itself on being a place where religious and social freedoms should be able to be practised and, in its founding years, the majority of its populace were immigrants from Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and other nations, plus the unfortunate chapter in the USA’s history where they employed slaves (this causing a civil war to be fought over the idea of employing slaves), so the country, rather than New York, is a melting pot of differing nationalities, colours, creeds and orientations, the country is supposed to be the ‘Home of the Free’, then why do the minority insist on treating those who try to start a new life there with such disregard.

Imagine if the roles were reversed, imagine if those protesting the arrival and presence of immigrants were actually the ones trying to find a new home themselves, would they appreciate being treated with such disdain, hatred and, in certain cases, lynching, the nation was founded on freedoms, surely the biggest freedom of all, not only for the US but here in the UK too, is the right to live your life, now of course, i understand that having said that, there will be people out there that will believe my words are such that I sympathise with extremists, HELL NO, I understand that there may be the minority within the group of immigrants that arrive in countries throughout the world that will either immediately or eventually turn into terrorists or murderers, even that some who find their new home within a compassionate nation will turn to crime, so do not think for one second that I am looking at this issue with rose tinted glasses.

In truth, I am simply spelling out the side that I see as being the unwanted side, the hatred and dislike for the majority, rather than focusing on those within the group, for there undoubtedly may be some, that will one day turn against their new home’s welcoming approach and make the nation that brought them in regret ever allowing immigrants over their border.

In closing, this is one of the major sources of hatred, unjust in the majority, though even if the groups I have mentioned or those who hate immigrants stumble upon those that will then cause the people of the country harm, surely that won’t dissuade them from their choice, if anything it will strengthen their belief, which brings the question how to solve such an issue, well, that is for more learned figures to discuss, I am simply looking at the idea of hatred and, in my eyes, the Anti-Immigration groups or individuals out there are the biggest cause that are in and out of the news.

As mentioned earlier we also have homophobic, sexist, racist, sectarian and Anti-(select a religion) figures out there that make life a rather tumultuous affair for those they target, either verbally, physically, online or by other means, in the end, a person’s life is a brief snippet of time on this planet, whether you spend your time being hated or hating someone, there is one thing that at the end of the day is undeniable, we are all HUMAN!!!!

So, forget gender, race, colour, orientation and other divisive thoughts, consider that every person out there is human and, with certain exceptions, they deserve to live as trouble free a life as possible.

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The American Issue

Recent events in America (USA), have left the world stunned, a similar event also occurred in the UK which has brought the same poignant and human reaction, though before I begin this document, I would like to state that this essay is simply a general thesis on the issue of Gun Control in America, I do not mean or am setting out to cause offence.

Terrifying footage has been presented, showing what things were like inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando during the shooting, fear and apprehension clearly visible on the faces of those in the video, the witness accounts and news from Florida painted a horrifying scene of what had occurred inside the club.

The reaction to this incident has varied from the acceptable, touching, human and compassionate, to downright naive and ridiculous, one particular issue will be discussed but first i would like to state that once again, for the most part, humanity showed how truly united we are in times like these, on both sides of the Atlantic, in America however, prospective Presidential candidate Donald Trump stated, in the aftermath of the nightmarish event in Florida, that the scene would have been different if every person within that place was armed, then the incident would have been different.

“If in that club you had some people, not a lot of people … but if you had somebody with a gun strapped onto their hip, somebody with a gun strapped onto their ankle and you had bullets going in the opposite direction, right at this animal who did this, you would have had a very, very different result,” Trump said Saturday at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

The idea that arming more of the people inside the club, in order to stop a SHOOTING, is ridiculous, sure the concept was for more people to be armed, rather than every person but could you imagine the scene, guns firing all over the club, people running for cover, if you are not a trained marksman, soldier or police officer then the chances of you hitting the offender without harming innocent civilians around them is slim, I am not for one second saying i agree with Mr Trump’s idea, which he has only recently backed away from (done a U turn as we are used to seeing our politicians in the UK do), I actually think his concept is flawed worse than the gun laws that are in place now.

The mere suggestion that the scenes witnessed at Pulse would have been, in anyway somehow less nightmarish because more people would have been armed is insane, he then went on to state that people on terrorist watchlists would be banned from owning or being allowed to buy a gun, that’s interesting, because if this were the case, then it wouldn’t really change anything, because the people that carry out these shootings are usually normal members of the public, the problem is that the gun laws in America are enshrouded by the 2nd Amendment.

The situation boils down to this, in the USA, it seems that their life revolves around the idea of carrying guns, that this is acceptable, the issue is considered to be in line with the freedoms that the country was founded on, the citizens of the US pride themselves on the freedoms their forefathers founded the nation on, rightly so but I don’t think that the ‘right to bear arms’ is a freedom, safety from religious persecution is.

Gun Laws in America need immediate tightening, there is no two ways about it, for Pulse was not the only recent shooting in America, there was also an incident at UCLA in Los Angeles, where 1 person was shot before the gunman took his own life, I believe, as an outsider looking in, that the Gun laws in America require immediate attention, it is no excuse or reason to use the 2nd Amendment constantly, there is a reason for this legislation, it is a document, historic piece of writing that was done so during a time of war and struggle, when the Americans were fighting the British for their independence, the 2nd Amendment is used as a right, as a sort of shield however, to read it, you would struggle to understand why.

The 2nd Amendment reads:  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Now, although it is not quite clear-cut as to what the definitive meaning is, there is the use of the word ‘militia‘, which to some, myself included, has brought the consideration that the ruling is only meant to be used in defence of the country as part of a militia, though this document was founded in the time when the British were losing control of America and the liberated Americans wanted to strengthen their nation’s security.

The problem is that there is no direct definition of the 2nd Amendment, however, this has allowed certain individuals to believe that the 2nd Amendment is their right to carry arms, weapons, this is unclear but it does not allow for the use of said weapons to shoot and injure, maim or kill innocent civilians.

The idea that gun control laws can be amended is difficult, as there are difficult barrier to overcome, firstly, the Americans have several active organisations, the largest of these being the NRA (National Rifle Association), who are die-hard believers and activists about the 2nd Amendment and their right to carry guns, beyond organisations like the NRA, there are individuals within the American population who are supporters of the 2nd Amendment for differing reasons, there are some who believe that they shouldn’t have their rights restricted, that they have the right to defend their property and those closest to them and that they have the right to protect their property by any means, this is the major hurdle to any reworking of the Gun laws.

Americans, the Pro 2nd Amendment individuals especially, believe that they have the right to carry guns, though this is not an overall belief as proven recently by a cross-section interview of NRA members who believe that their should be Universal Background Checks, though they did not consider this to be in line with any form of gun control, though some stated that this Background Check should be restricted to those that wish to buy fully automatic weapons.

There is one stat that horrified me when I read it, out of the developed world, including countries such as Germany, Canada, Finland, Australia and the UK, between the years of 2000 and 2014, the USA had 133 mass shootings compared to 6 for Germany, 3 for Canada, 2 for Finland and Australia with only 1 for the UK, 133, that is far larger than even i thought it was and the gulf between the USA and the nearest country on this survey is even more stunning, 127 more incidents, it truly puts things into perspective when you see stats like this.

Now, we come to the most provocative part of this essay, consider for a moment that, despite the range of incidents, from shootings at schools to Colleges to Universities, it seems to me that there is no real rush to alter the gun laws, there were a few weeks between the shootings at UCLA and Pulse, speeches were made about the horror of having to make speeches like these repeatedly, but there was no action, talk was centred on changing the gun laws and rules regarding gun ownership but nothing altered, though this is because it is not simply a case of rewriting or amending a piece of legislation, as there are differing issues for all of the states in America.

The two main sides of the argument, those for strengthening of the gun laws, even those for the removal of guns from American society and those who want to remain with the right to carry guns and feel there is no need to tighten the regulations, have clashed repeatedly, making any discussion or debate on the subject almost impossible to comprehend.

The two sides clash repeatedly over the idea of preventing future shootings, some want the rules to be tightened, others want to have the laws remain as they are, though one thing is for sure, if there is no discernable change then there will be shootings in the future and more innocent lives will be lost, stubbornness breeds naivety, this defence of the 2nd Amendment was taken to extremes recently when an interview happened in America and the interviewee, either through lack of preparation or simply misunderstanding, kept quoting ‘2nd Amendment’, (the interviewer had asked him to state this if the interviewee felt their rights would be infringed by any of the suggestions the interviewer made.), the changes suggested included the Universal Background Checks that had found ‘surprising’ backing from members of the NRA, according to some press sources.

The repeated use of the words ‘2nd Amendment’ to every suggestion, every one, even ones that were put in for a laugh, makes the issue seem a bit more difficult to solve than some, particularly this outsider would have believed, for there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding that the 2nd Amendment is a constitutional right, an undeniable and overwhelming right to carry guns no matter what the legislators of the day want, this is wrong, the 2nd Amendment was written during a time of war, it has no bearing on the peacetime world of modern day America, so, in my suggestion, which follows, I may cause some offence, i simply wish to offer my view, it is not important and it is simply one opinion, so i would like to state categorically that I do not intend or wish to cause offense, insult or harm to anyone.

The 2nd Amendment is, in my opinion, irrelevant, it is an outdated and archaic piece of historic legislation, a part of American history no doubt but that is where it should remain, there should be, at the very least, an attempt to amend this part of the constitution and the connected gun laws, to bring it up to date with the way America is now, though, as far as I can see, the 2nd Amendment hasn’t been touched since the time it was created, perhaps it is because I am on the outside and think it is easier than it probably is, but the issue is not one that can be easily resolved, I understand this, however, to prevent future shootings, future scenes of despair, grief and horror, there has to be, at the very least, a concerted effort to try and amend the rules, to introduce some protection or barriers, because as I see it, you can walk into a shop on the Main street of any town or city and buy a gun without a person batting an eyelid, this is horrifying to me, I could visit America, buy a gun and then take innocent lives with such ease it is the stuff of nightmares.

The idea of Universal Background Checks might have received backing from some members of the NRA but it is not easy to implement nationwide as State law would intervene in the 50 states of the nation, the mere fact that every time one of these incidents happens that life is lost, irrevocably changed or harmed by the event, this should be reason enough to prevent future scenes being played out in places across the USA.

For the greater good and the good of future civilians or citizens, the American Government needs to at least look into the idea of tightening gun laws, for if there is no change in the laws, the scenes in Pulse, at UCLA and at Antigo in Wisconsin where two students were attending a prom and were shot and injured by gunman Jakob Wagner, who later died of injuries received in a later gunfight.

Shootings in America in 2016

One look at this list, one glance at the victims and amount of incidents, would make anyone understand that the idea of tightening gun laws is an issue that should be taken up immediately but, because I am an outsider, I cannot help but think that this situation is solely….An American Issue.

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