Friday, 4 December 2015

Why have an American President

As President Obama comes to the end of his term of office I ask myself why do people vote and elect someone to an office which they can't do anything with?

Over his term Obama has tried to introduce Medical Care changes and gun laws which he was given a mandate to by the electorate.  Yet when he tries to instigate these changes he is constantly blocked  by Congress.  The House of Representatives and the Senate both vote against him since the opposition is often in greater numbers than his own party.  What is the point?

It would appear the Presidential position is purely an ambassadorial one which is used to give the American message around the world.

Why not just vote for your representatives in Congress and let them fight it out.  The Presidential position is outdated and ineffective.


American Shootings continue

Having just returned from the USA I have had a number of conversations with people about the state of gun laws and access to guns in the USA and the responses are quite surpising.  50% for guns and 50% against.  The against lobby have all of the usual answers about needing more control and that would seem an obvious soultion but the for campaign have some intresting arguments which I would like to air here based on my conversations.

The 2nd Ammendment of the Constitution is a favourite with the right to carry arms.  A number of the people we met do just that.  The fact that the Constitution was written in the 1700's seems to suggest that its about time it was rewritten with the 21st Century in mind.  In those days you took your life in your hands every day with bandits all over the place.  Some of the present day pupulation would state that nothing has changed but I beg to differ.  Pointing out that the British "Constitution" (if you can call it that) has evolved over time as judges make judgments based on present day situations and not those that took place over 300 years ago.  The American Constitution is a rod that is breaking the back of one of the most powerful nations in the world. Get rid of it and start to re-evaluate your priorities.
The other argument that comes up is the fact that Mental Health is what is responsible for these killings and that Mental Health patients are not being treated well and so more killings occur.  I agree that Western Nations need to do more for Mental Health patients but how is it that other western nations don't have this shooting problem even though they have Mental Health patients?  The reason is that they can't get hold of the weapons in the first place.  Access to weapons in the USA is completly open with few serious checks.  They argue that Chicago has the strongest gun laws in the USA yet there are more killings here than many other cities.  The people who argue this seem to forget that guns dont stop at the city boundaries and in fact most of the guns used in killings in Chicago have been brought in from other parts of the USA.  It like imagining that disease stops at our borders.  Viruses don't recognise borders either.
And another reason for having guns available appears to be as a deterent to robbery.  Having a gun in your home will act as a deterent? In that case I suppose robbery must be at its lowest in the USA compared to any other Western country.  Of course this is not the case.  So I'm afraid that is no deterent and people continue to get robbed and probably shot at the same time as burglars are more likley to be armed since the owner of the house may be armed as well.  Criminals see themselves as invincible so have no fear about carryin weapons.
When householders shoot people,even in the back, as they run away the "instruction" isto drag the person back onto your land so you cant be prosecuted.  What a ridiculous situation.  Everything a person does to protect themelves needs to be proportional.  If you life is in danger then the reponse should be different than if a person is running down the road with your TV.
And so the arguments go on.  And so do the killings.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Roseburg shootings

I'm sitting in Roseburg Oregon as reports of the shootings come in at Umpqua Commuity College.  Nothing surprises us anymore does it? The issue of gun control continues to be debated. The plea goes out from the gun lovers that as responsible citizens they shouldn't have laws thrust upon them when they are not to blaim.  Freedom for the individual and less control from government is the shout yet again.
When will these individuals start to analyse this statement.  On this principal all laws are useless.  Any law that goes against an individual's wishes must be a bad law using this principal.  Let's get rid of all road law because I don't like red lights. I should have the right to crash the light because it affects my right as an individual.
Until these ' head in the sand' individuals get the message that if you want all the benefits of the society we live in - health care, education, law enforcement - then you have to accept that some laws will restrict your activities as an individual and in this case it's owning a rapid fire machine gun or multiple guns to start with.  Get the message you gun lovers


Thursday, 17 September 2015

European Crisis - displaced people

As the European crisis continues to grow and people move from their home countries to the haven that they see - Europe isn't it about time we stopped referring to these people as all Refugees.  They are not.

The media once again uses this catch all title to label all these people as individuals and families running away from conflict.  Yes some are, but some are economic migrants who all they have in their mind is making a better life from the one they had in their own country.  Many see it as a way of making a fast "buck".  We need to be sorting out the wheat from the chaff before these people get into Europe.  German has increased this problem further by having an open door policy which simply encourages these people to head "West Young Man. "

The incidents at the Hungarian border where Migrants are seen to be shouting orders for the Hungarians to open the gate is no way to get people to feel sorry for them.  Throwing rocks at the security forces? What do they expect when tear gas and water cannon are sent back at them.

Some of these people need our care and sympathy but the media is doing nothing to separate these people out.  They interview them as if they all had the same reasons for coming West.  They do not.

The little boy who was found drowned - it turns out his father was living in Turkey as an economic migrant.  He was perfectly safe and his family had joined him.  He wanted a better life for his family.  Well go through the appropriate channels to emigrate and then things might work out.

Germany aims to take over Europe since they have failed to win through 2 world wars so now they plan to create a Federated Europe with no boundaries that they will control.  Well now they are suffering the consequences of this plan. They also have a falling population which enables them to pick the highly skilled Migrants to boost their economy.  Unfortunately they are bringing misery on the other less wealthy countries in the EU by their open door policy.  Greece has enough problems with its economy without it being expected to manage this sudden influx of people. Germany says "All Syrians welcome".  What about the other hangers on from Bangladesh and other Eastern areas who feel Europe is paved with gold?  What will happen when these conflicts end?  Where will the young men be to help these countries rebuild themselves? They'll be in Europe having tasted the high life do you really think they will return? They media needs to start pointing these things instead of going for the sympathy vote all the time.  The true Refugees need a home and Britain is doing the right thing by taking them from the camps around Syria.

A usual the Media goes for the headline and ignores the full story

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Long time no post - Post General Election

It's been some time since I put finger to keyboard and maybe I should have done prior to the General Election here in the UK.  I could have made a bit of money in saying who was going to win but to tell you the truth I wasn't convinced the British people would have the sense to see that the opposition, under the leadership of Ed Milliband, was not the answer to our financial troubles.  However, sense prevailed and the best party won even though I think their Education policy stinks.

We live in a society where Britain stands head and shoulders above other countries when it comes to innovation.  We hear the brains of the millennium telling us that jobs will disappear as AI takes over in the form of robots.  These jobs are seen to be those where people earn less that £30000 a year.  I would go further and say that some of the jobs we take for granted as being safe will also change to a point where fewer people will be needed to carry them out - how about repetitive surgical procedures where surgeons can operate remotely (appendicitis).

We need a new society that looks more at creativity than at memory.  This government continues to test and reward subjects that are deemed the core subjects (Maths, Eng and Science) Obviously these subjects are important and need to be within the core curriculum but what is happening is that educational establishments are not being encouraged to take on the creative subjects as they don't count as much.  They drop down the League Tables. The Baccalaureate is encouraged covering the subjects on Maths Science English, Modern Foreign Language, History or Geography.  Where's Art, the Crafts or Drama.  Where are the opportunities for pupils to show original thinking - the key to our society remaining top of the game.  Vocational subjects and Creative subjects need to be given an equal rating so a Plumbers qualifications can be seen on the same level as a degree course

All this comparison with other countries such as China is stupid.  China statistically takes its Maths results from a handful of city schools.  The schools in the country areas aren't included where the results are much poorer.  The Chinese and other Eastern countries haven't an original idea in their heads.  They are great at copying other people.

Don't lets get dragged down to becoming  an exam factory where we turn out vast numbers of A* in subjects that show no original thought.

Wake up Government and give us back the subjects we are noted for.