Tag Archives: USA

Donald Trump In The Whitehouse: A Survivors Guide

Donald Trump is headed for the White House and for the second time in a matter of months the world is reeling from a vote that no-one expected. Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election is all the more cataclysmic because it is a result that was so unexpected. Admittedly the pollsters had been saying that the gap between Hillary Clinton and Trump was a narrow one, but few doubted that Clinton would carry the day. As the results emerged on Tuesday evening, and it became clear that Trump was set to pull off a staggering victory, there was a sharp intake of breath across the world.

Donald Trump In The White House: A Survivors Guide


America – Land Of The Prisoner

As I get older I have become much more left leaning.  As I was out walking my dogs this morning I came across two deeply disturbing facts.

America calls itself “the land of the free,”  I was surprised and shocked to find out that the truth is VERY different.  Far from being the land of the free the rate that America locks up its citizens is truly shocking.

According to the BBC America locks up its citizens at around six times the rate China does. yet the USA feels justified in slamming human rights in China.

With just 4.4% of the worlds population the USA has 24.7% of the worlds prison population.  The UK incarcerates 148 people per 100k of population, China just 118 whilst the USA sits at 737.

Bottom line is that the USA locks up more of its people than any other country in the world.  Wow!  Black people make up 12% of the U.S. population but official figures show that blacks make up almost 38% of the prison population.

It makes you think that the U.S. should get its own house in order before lecturing the rest of the world.

Donald Trump: The Pantomime Villain Leading The World Towards Armaggedon

From the European side of the Atlantic it is easy to laugh at Donald Trump. In the U.K. people look at Trump and shake their heads in despair. Many in the U.K. see Trump as a xenophobic, racist manipulative liar. The truth is that if Trump had uttered his hate-filled rhetoric here in the U.K. he would be much more likely to be locked up that to be winning Republican party primaries. Many in the U.K. cannot believe that Trump, a man who has never held an elected office, could soon be the leader of the free world.

via Donald Trump: The Pantomime Villain Leading The World Towards Armaggedon.

Donald Trump – A Hate Filled Madman

I have just sat through a news report on Donald Trump’s behaviour at some of his recent political rally’s.  I normally avoid the very mention of that sick, demented, racist, bigoted loudmouth as I despise him almost as much as I despise David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith.

I was appalled to see that Trump could act with seeming impunity when he openly, in the eyes of television crews, tells his supporters to beat up anyone who dares to disagree with him.  In several occasions Trump openly says that he would “smash people in the face” and says he will pay the legal fees of anyone who assaults someone who dares to protest against him.

Of course all of this is entirely in keeping with Trumps personality, he was a bully at school, even get expelled for it.  He was both a bully and a mama’s boy whilst at military school.

Can you imagine how Trump would attempt to bully the world were he to become president of the USA?  Sadly he now looks unstoppable and it seems that the worlds worst nightmare will be heading to the Whitehouse.  A school bully becomes the worlds most powerful man.  Sadly Trump make Bush look like he was both educated and reasonable.  I genuinely despair especially as it looks like the alternate choice could well be Hillary Clinton, another crook who would do anything in the pursuit of power.

Today I simply sit and despair!

Open Carry: Would You Want To Be At A Festival Where People Carry Guns

I thought seriously about attending SXSW this year.  The owner of one of the sites I write for knows the organisers and a number of PR companies wanted to partner with the site for coverage at SXSW.

The festival falls a great time, it is still cold in the UK and festival season is still dormant here.  I have never visited Austin or Texas so SXSW would have been a great opportunity to put that right and with an always eclectic range of new and established musical talent on offer to photograph and interview I would certainly have found plenty to keep me interested and occupied.

Despite the temptation I decided not to attend SXSW and today I am breathing a huge sigh of relief.  This is possibly the first time ever that I have been really happy not to be at a music festival.  Why I hear you shout.

The answer is a very simple one.  Guns!

Those of you who live in the U.S. may not be aware but today is the 20th anniversary of the Dunblane school massacre.  Thomas Hamilton murdered 16 children and a teacher before killing himself.  This still ranks as the U.K.’s worst ever gun related crime.

If any good came out of Dunblane it was the fact that increased gun control since then has resulted in a significant reduction in already extremely low levels of gun crime in the U.K.

I what is the most bizarre irony Time reports today that gun supporters in Texas will “crash” president Obama’s keynote speech whilst openly carrying guns. Seriously, this is the worst kind of lunacy.  I fully accept that the attitude to guns in the U.S. is very different to that in the U.K. and every day I give thanks for that.  Put simply in my view anyone who wants to walk around carrying a gun should be locked up for a very very long time.  Anyone who believes that allowing more people to carry guns will reduce gun crime belongs in the Donald Trump school of race relations.

According to the Washington Post C.J. Grisham of ‘Open Carry Texas’ made the following statement which to me epitomises why I am glad not to be in Texas this week.

“The president is an American, just like every one of us is an American,” Grisham said. “He’s nothing special. Granted, he is the president, but him being there for us doesn’t change anything. We’re no threat to the president, and the president better not be a threat to us.”

Just read that last sentence again “the president better not be a threat to us!”  I don’t know about you but it seems that this idiot just made a threat to the president of the United States.  These are the people who are walking round in Texas openly carrying guns. The mind boggles!

Just look at the banners these idiots are carrying.  “Obama if you want my gun come and take it.” Again an implied threat.  These are the kind of people who would never get anywhere near a gun in the U.K. and for that small mercy I give thanks.

Is The U.S. Finally Ready To Tackle Its Insane Gun Laws

Over the course of recent years we have sat back and wrung our hands in despair at the repeated reports of mass-murder by guns in the USA.  We Brits really don’t get the U.S. obsession with guns.  Our gun controls are moderately strict and there are rigorous background checks by the Police before a gun licence is issued.

Certain guns, assault rifles and the like are beyond licensing.  We in the U.K. have some gun crime of course, there have even been a couple  of mass shootings but what goes on in the U.S. on a weekly basis both shocks and appalls us in the UK.

According to the BBC there have been 353 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015, up to December 3rd, thats slightly more than one a day.  12,223 people have been killed in gun violence and a further 24,722 have been injured by guns.  Think about that for a second four times more people have been killed by gun violence in the U.S. in a single year than died in the 9/11 attacks.  Even more worryingly a huge percentage of gun violence in the U.S. is as the result of legally held weapons.

The awful attacks this week in Oregon and San Bernadino means that Obamas second term in office has seen 994th mass shootings.  It is estimated that there are at least 285 million guns in circulation in the U.S., that is pretty close to one for every man woman and child.  It is no exaggeration to say that gun violence is “routine” an acceptable fact of life.


Every time there is an atrocity the NRA and some in the U.S. government trot out the same tired old platitudes.  It boils down to the argument that the way to tackle gun violence is for more people to have more guns.  This kind of skewed and warped thinking is madness almost beyond belief.  Since 9/11 (up to 2013) over 400,000 Americans have died by gun violence. The U.S. has spent trillions of dollars pursuing the “so called” war on terror as it ignores the slaughter of its citizens by its citizens.

During the same 2001 – 2013 517 people died as a result of gun violence in the UK.  Put simply you are 712 times more likely to die by gun violence in the U.S. than you are in the UK.  Even allowing for the fact that the U.S. population is five times larger than the UK these figures are horrifying.

The lack of gun control in the U.S. is insane.  Earlier this week it was reported that the federal authorities have seized nearly 2300 guns from passengers hand luggage at airports this year.

Newsweek reported earlier this week that authorities in South Carolina have seized an arsenal of 5,000 guns from one man!   A later report on CNN suggests that the true total of guns seized is more likely to be closer to 10,000.

Earlier this week it was revealed that people who are on terrorist watch lists and no-fly lists can still legally buy guns.  Obama himself has declared that this defies any kind of logic.  Seriously a person who is under suspicion of being a terrorist can walk into a shop and quite legally buy a gun!  It beggars belief.  It is insanity of the very highest order.

Obama said in his radio address that the use of military-style assault weapons in the latest mass shooting was “another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.”

Can it be that these latest atrocities mean that the U.S. is finally waking up to the Insanity of their gun laws.  We can but hope.

college football

I Just Don’t Get It – College Football

If you saw my recent post questioning the sanity of people who find the NFL even moderately interesting it won’t surprise you to hear that college football totally bemuses me.

If the NFL ranks as one of the most boring things on the face of Gods green earth could someone explain to me why on earth people would pay to watch a bunch of overgrown schoolboys play the same game.

I guess the UK equivalent would be inter-university rugby matches.  In the UK these games, with one exception, are watched by three men and a dog.  Yet thousands of people pay to watch college football.  The only inter university rugby match that attracts a crowd is the annual Oxford V Cambridge match and the only reason that game attracts a crowd is because it is played at twickenham and people go to get drunk.  No-one cares who wins (not even the players), in fact most people probably couldn’t even tell you the result much less the score afterwards.

Seriously!  College football.  I am beginning to think that you Americans are all bonkers.  Someone please explain.

emily blunt

Emily Blunt Says Becoming An American Citizen Was A ‘Terrible Mistake’

British born actress Emily Blunt has indicated that she believes becoming an American citizen was a terrible mistake. Blunt, who was born in London England, became a naturalized U.S. citizen just last month and made the controversial comments after watching the Republican presidential debate last month. The 32-year-old Sicario, star has enraged conservatives with her comments.


Killer Samantha Crain

Samantha Crain Video Highlights Police Brutality In The USA

This video was dropped into my inbox today by Samantha Crain’s PR company.  It shook me to the core.  I urge you to watch it.  It needs no narrative from me.

“Killer,” is the new video from singer-songwriter Samantha Crain.  It presents a narrative on the police brutality that is directed at people of colour, and through it, the viewer is challenged to speak up in opposition to the injustice and inequality that has been long unacknowledged, but is now validated by cell phone videos and social media.

“Killer” is a protest song that breaks open the reality of police brutality in the African-American community. “Every day we are told that progress is being made toward equality and fairness but it seems there are still widening gaps between classes, sexes, races and creeds,” Crain explains. “This song is a call for awareness…”

With lyrics like, “The killer of girls, the killer of self / Turned the Garden of Eden into a fiery hell / Struck the rock too many times now no water comes out,” it’s obvious Crain pours her heart and soul into the thought-provoking track — and the accompanying visuals help paint the picture she’s created with the song.

Read More: Samantha Crain, ‘Killer’ – Video Premiere | http://diffuser.fm/samantha-crain-killer-video-premiere/?trackback=tsmclip

Yes it’s true, the United States really is the greatest country in the world – but in what? – Stop the War Coalition

Wow, I just came across this article and thought it worth sharing.  I think it throws up some really interesting issues.  Check it out and let me know what you think. Yes it’s true, the United States really is the greatest country in the world – but in what? – Stop the War Coalition.

AMERICAN politicians are fond of telling their audiences that the United States is the greatest country in the world. Is there any evidence for this claim?

Well, yes. When it comes to violence and preparations for violence, the United States is, indeed, No. 1.

In 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. government accounted for 37 percent of world military expenditures, putting it far ahead of all other nations. (The two closest competitors, China and Russia, accounted for 11 percent and 5 percent respectively.)

From 2004 to 2013, the United States was also the No. 1 weapons exporter in the world. Moreover, given the U.S. government’s almost continuous series of wars and acts of military intervention since 1941, it seems likely that it surpasses all rivals when it comes to international violence.

This record is paralleled on the domestic front, where the United States has more guns and gun-related deaths than any other country.

study released in late 2013 reported that the United States had 88 guns for every 100 people, and 40 gun-related deaths for every 400,000 people―the most of any of the 27 economically developed countries surveyed. By contrast, in Britain there were 6 guns per 100 people and 1 gun-related death per 400,000 people.

Yet, in a great many other areas, the United States is not No. 1 at all.

Take education.

In late 2013, the Program for International Student Assessment released a report on how 15-year old students from 65 nations performed on its tests. The report showed that U.S. students ranked 17th in reading and 21st in math. An international survey a bit earlier that year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the ranking was slightly worse for American adults. In 2014, Pearson, a multinational educational services company, placed the United States 20th in the world in “educational attainment”―well behind Poland and the Slovak Republic.

American healthcare and health fare even worse.

In a 2014 study of healthcare (including infant mortality, healthy life expectancy, and mortality from preventable conditions) in 11 advanced industrial countries, the Commonwealth Fund concluded that the United States ranked last among them. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. healthcare system ranks 30th in the world.

Other studies reach somewhat different conclusions, but all are very unflattering to the United States, as are studies of American health. The United States, for example, has one of the world’s worst cancer rates (the seventh highest), and life expectancy is declining compared to other nations.

An article in the Washington Post in late 2013 reported that the United States ranked 26th among nations in life expectancy, and that the average American lifespan had fallen a year behind the international average.

What about the environment? Specialists at Yale University have developed a highly sophisticated Environmental Performance Index to examine the behavior of nations. In the area of protection of human health from environmental harm, their 2014 index placed the United States 35th in health impacts, 36th in water and sanitation, and 38th in air quality. In the other area studied―protection of ecosystems―the United States ranked 32nd in water resources, 49th in climate and energy, 86th in biodiversity and habitat, 96th in fisheries, 107th in forests, and 109th in agriculture.

These and other areas of interest are dealt with by the Social Progress Index, which was developed by Michael Porter, an eminent professor of business (and a Republican) at Harvard. According to Porter and his team, in 2014 the United States ranked 23rd in access to information and communications, 24th in nutrition and basic medical care, 31st in personal safety, 34th in water and sanitation, 39th in access to basic knowledge, 69th in ecosystem sustainability, and 70th in health and wellness.

The widespread extent of poverty, especially among children, remains a disgrace in one of the world’s wealthiest nations. A 2013 report by the United Nations Children’s Fund noted that, of the 35 economically advanced countries that had been studied, only Rumania had a higher percentage of children living in poverty than did the United States.

Of course, the United States is not locked into these dismal rankings and the sad situation they reveal about the health, education, and welfare of its citizens. It could do much better if its vast wealth, resources, and technology were employed differently than they are at present.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of priorities. When most U.S. government discretionary spending goes for war and preparations for war, it should come as no surprise that the United States emerges No. 1 among nations in its capacity for violence and falls far behind other nations in providing for the well-being of its people.

Americans might want to keep this in mind as their nation embarks upon yet another costly military crusade.