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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

220. Mexico v Trump & why America is literally breaking.

Trump’s infamous statement on Mexicans
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you (indicating his audience at the rally). They’re not sending you (indicating again). They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people"

Mexico on Trump?
“When America elects its president, they’re not electing their best. They’re not electing you (decent people). They’re not electing you (my blog readers). They’re electing a man who has lots of problems, and he’s bringing those problems with him. He’s bringing racism. He’s bringing failed corrupt business. He’s a sociopath, a narcissistic misogynist. And no way, I assume, is he a good person.”

Bizarrely the great negotiator (Trump’s own description, not mine) was tweet owned by Pena Nieto in round 1 of the wall fiasco. It was like David and Goliath if David had stood on Goliath’s toe and Goliath pissed his pants!

Have you noticed that the world’s eye-catching leaders are quite a freak show at present?

The madness is not just in the US. 

President Trump – embarrassing – presiding over a racist, misogynistic, environmentally disastrous administration, green lighting torture and endangering US troops while obsessing about TV style popularity.

Prime Minister Theresa May – out of touch – presiding over Britain’s decline on the world stage (see last week's post) and showing that, as of last Friday, the Special Relationship means toadying to a man with Special Needs…
N.B. the UK’s racist foreign secretary Boris Johnson not only defended Trump’s invitation to Britain, he claims to have won concessions for British nationals regarding the Muslim ban. Just like Chamberlain claimed he had won ‘peace in our time’ in September 1938.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey – ruling over an increasingly totalitarian state – also approving torture and clamping down on press freedom.

President Assad of Syria – simply presiding over genocide of his own people.

Malcolm Turnbull Prime Minister of Australia – presiding over inhumane behaviour towards migrants.

Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel – another right-wing populist wall builder - he is blundering ahead with hostile settlements, wrecking the chance of much needed calm in that region.

Russia’s Putin – thinks it’s 1960s – and I’m not talking flower power – overt misogynistic policies compete with international aggression in terms of political priorities.

Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia oppresses its own people while failing to invest in infrastructure – wasting the ever-decreasing oil reserve revenue. As a side dish, having failed to make any significant overtures to Syrian refugees, the regime is attacking civilians in Yemen.

Philippines’ demagogue Rodrigo Duterte, like his pal Trump, has to have his rabid ramblings constantly explained and reinterpreted by his entourage. His pastimes include disappearing people, calling those he doesn’t like ‘sons of whores’ and joking about rape.

We’ll stop there. You get the picture.

Meanwhile in America, Oklahoma state suffered a ten-fold increase of serious earthquakes in 6 years. Scott Pruitt ex Attorney General of Oklahoma and midwife to unhindered fracking in that area, is Trump’s choice for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Yes, it is like putting a rabid hyena in charge of the baby gazelles. Pruitt has no interest in protecting the environment and workers at the EPA have already been gagged. But with the geological devastation happening in his old state, it is impossible to hide the reality that America is literally breaking.

Soon Mexico may need a wall to keep out US citizens fleeing the socio-political, ecological and actual ruins of America…

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Remember to check out Zero One Zero Two https://www.amazon.com/zero-one-two-are-dead/dp/1539762602/ref  What is happening NOW in Oklahoma is predicted in my futuristic novella.
If you want something more child friendly – listen to http://amandabaker.bandcamp.com/ N.B in response to the actions of Trump's government in relation to Muslim countries - Bandcamp will be donating their portion of revenues this Friday 3rd Feb to the American Civil Liberties Union


And remember if you like a post to follow/share/tweet/ or whatever you young folk do. THANK you.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

219. God created Empire Zombies, Trump & Silver Bullets


Come on, stick with me now, you know it will work out…

A silver bullet is – in common parlance - an absolute solution to a difficult problem. The term springs from the notion that silver bullets were the ultimate and terminal antidote to supernatural evil creatures; most specifically werewolves. And let’s face it many people are howling at the moon right now – not least the Brexiters or The Empire Zombies.

We are lead (no pun intended) to believe the power of the silver bullet is mythical like the unicorn, fairies, and equality.

But metaphorical silver bullets can work.

For example -
The UK’s National Health Service is in crisis again. We are often told there is no easy solution, no silver bullet, but there is. There is one catch-all answer to the questions of poor management, under-funding and the current siphoning off of money by private companies. No one who has private health care should be allowed to make decisions about the NHS. That’s it. Simple. If they had to use it they wouldn’t abuse it.

Ditto state education.

As for the weirding of politics and the rise of dangerous short-term populism? There is a double-barrel shot gun of silver bullets. For example, no one who exclusively gets their news off facebook OR spends more than 4 hours a week watching reality TV will in future be allowed to vote.

Let’s take a more specific issue – the irritating arse-wits in this country who keep banging on about ‘foreigners not speaking good English’. Firstly – a lot of British people don’t speak good English. Anyone bellyaching about language rather than making people feel welcome so they WANT to integrate, should be barred from any country whose language they don’t speak. Unfortunately, that would mean the return of thousands of loud orange ex-pats that we could probably do without.

How about - trolls actually have to live under bridges…

It even works on a smaller scale.

Shop till workers would be allowed to ignore rude people who don’t get off their phones when they are being served.

And so on.

The beauty is that these metaphorical silver bullets are about using the wrong-doers ‘wrongness’ against them. So, if I can come up with this maybe God did too.

Suddenly the madness of the last two years starts to make sense.

I’ve been wondering why / how here in the UK we’ve ended up with a bunch of halfwits trashing the country so effectively and how has the US ended up with Dump and his slimy cronies. And then it dawned on me. If God was looking for a silver bullet to cure American arrogance/dominance, to lance the boil of rampant consumerism etc. – what better than an arrogant, self-aggrandising, narcissistic mega-consumer who doesn’t understand the difference between truth and lies? It’s like America just publicly pulled down its knickers and wobbled its flabby bum at the rest of the world.

And to cure the conceited, entitled, born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-their-mouths elite in a country that made its historic wealth from colonialism and slavery – we have the Empire Zombies with the mentality which gave us Brexit and is evident in the horribly cringe-worthy foot-stamping negotiating attitude to Europe.

After centuries of Britain riding rough shod over many other peoples, unexpectedly the colonial fog has gone and it is as clear as day to the rest of the world that the scrawny old Emperors are wearing no clothes and have been naked for some time.

How else do you explain the inexplicable and the apparent car-crash of coincidental horrors? The FBI leak, the Russian involvement, peak stupidity/misogyny and racism, a flawed electoral system, Republican political constipation, and a handy tax-avoiding sociopath to take advantage of all that?

The anti-Brexit campaign is stymied from ever gaining momentum by being associated with people we cannot stomach like Allan Milburn and Tony Blair (yeah – you know the guy who kicked off the middle east crisis that lead to Armageddon and the migrant crisis – that guy). The old Etonian David Cameron was happy to play Russian roulette with Britain's future and there has been NO FUNCTIONING OPPOSITION for a long time leaving a vacuum for xenophobia to get hold and Farage...oh jeeez Farage.

For the struggling world to get out from under the 1st world shade they needed to see that what they feared or respected or thought was immovable is just a tired old mess. If you wanted to show the downtrodden, abused exploited people of the world that the old oppressors are no more, you could not do better than Dump and Brexit.

You got to hand it to the big guy – it’s going to hurt but its weirdly, hypnotically beautiful.

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Now – if you are reading my blog for free – again -  and you STILL haven’t paid a tiny amount of money for my new book ZERO ONE, ZERO TWO – which you will like if you like this blog (its BGOTR with sci-fi) get on and buy the e-book or the paperback. Unless you’ve bought a copy by next Tuesday’s blog (as payback for all these months of freebies) I will come to your house and FORCE you to read every stupid, idiotic, self-aggrandising, lunatic, sociopathic, juvenile, deranged Trump tweet ever thumbed. If you think I can’t find you, I’ll just ask that bloke Putin. SO, JUST BUY IT for crying out loud. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539762602

And remember if you like a post to follow/share/tweet/ or whatever you young folk do. THANK you.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

218. Lidl – 0, Barack Obama -1


Lidl lost. Me!

Have I finally gone off my trolley – albeit it a shopping trolley? I’m boycotting Lidl for a couple of months. Yep – you can see them shaking in their boots as they lose the few quid they’ve been making off me for the last 13 years.

Having met Nelson Mandela (sorry for the name drop - see blog 44) and having taken part in student boycotts in the apartheid years – I don’t wish to bandy the term around lightly. BUT small though this may be, sometimes you have to do what you think is right regardless of whether anyone takes notice.

A while back I posted blog 147. ‘More less contact is making us Horrible’. This lack of connection makes it easier to treat each other with something that falls short of human decency.

SO

A few weeks ago I noticed that my local Lidl on Gorgie Rd was installing those self-service machines. I don’t like them. If I want self-service I will STAY HOME. But more to the point, I don’t want to see even more people made redundant and yet another potential human interaction wiped from daily life.

I politely challenged the young manager about this and got that curled lip and exasperated attitude and a throw-away statement that nothing would change – and – more to the point – if I wanted to use a proper till I only had to ask. Well, I shop quite regularly – not being a car owner I buy small amounts. Many times, I’ve had to ask for a till to be put on and almost an equal number of times my request has been met with heaving sighs, rolling eyes and, three times, an argument.

Saturday 14th January I was in Lidl. As I approached the only open till the young guy operating it pointed at the self-service machines and yelled CLOSING at me. I said I didn’t want to use the self-service machines. He rolled his eyes, huffed, then we had a ‘lively exchange’ as he roughed my items through the scanner while glowering.

With money, harder than ever to come by for those at the bottom of the pile, despite what we are being told, I do not want to give, even my pathetic sums of money to a company that is doing its best be de-humanize me and reduce staffing. I don’t want to pay for no service especially while they are spending on breathy we’re so lovely advertisements on the radio.

I hate the term ‘consumer’. But I do occasionally have to be a grocery shopper because my daughter has that annoying habit of wanting to eat! When I am shopping, I want to be treated like a human being. I always want to be treated like a human being – I’m funny that way. I want everyone – from an old person buying a stamp in the post office to a vulnerable child fleeing war (see blog 200 – ‘Suffer the Little Children – again’), to be treated humanely. Machines are getting between us and our humanity. More machines is NOT about efficiency it’s about profit.

Monday 16th Jan I was in Barclays bank with my friend who was directed to a self-service banking machine. 25 minutes later when an employee came up to me to ask if there was anything he could do I replied – ‘no – I am waiting for someone – 25 minutes and counting’. The young guy huffed (what is it with me and guys huffing?) and walked off. We escaped after HALF AN HOUR. Yes, I timed it.

In the UK, there is currently a rail dispute between the unions and Southern Rail. It is about this very thing. While the rail companies mop up eye watering profits from the public and subsidies from the public purse they treat that public like shit. And still they want to reduce staff numbers. It’s a shame the unions have been so crap at handling the public relations on this because this is one of the big issues of our time.

The final thing the exasperated Lidl till guy said to me was “you talk, I talk – it doesn’t matter”. Well – isn’t that the truth. It doesn’t matter because in the pursuit of profit large corporations don’t need our humanity they just want our money.

In his moving leaving speech President Obama urged people to communicate “in real life”. Partly it is harder to disregard or be callous to someone with whom you have eye contact and real interaction in a real place in real time.

We need to look each other in the eye more often. Talk without the aid of electronic devices more often. Touch, smile, react, empathise, discuss the weather, be aware of each other as humans. Hug. Care.

Before we forget how.

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I know I am banging on about it – but do please check out my new book (paperback or e-book)  Zero One Zero Two if you want to see how this could go. 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539762602 Thanks.


And remember if you like a post to follow/share/tweet/ or whatever you young folk do. THANK you.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

217. Does and Don’ts for a great 2017


Be more sparkly and gorgeous, attractive to the opposite sex, rich maybe even discover you have secret magic powers and can speak to kangaroos… with the BGOTR New Year super plan.

Yes – now the season of first world excess is a dull memory and Brits have a sickening hangover caused by 2016 – it’s time for the self-flagellation which is as much a part of January as an empty bank account and an extra inch round the midriff. So, like the shops that encouraged you to stuff your face, overspend, and stock up with crap in December, I too am now offering help to shed pounds, clear out and get shiny and new in mind and body. But my method does not involve expensive diet products, Yoga balls or an electric juicer.

Just follow this 5-step, painless, money saving, energizing programme.

1.    STOP buying shit you don’t need and didn’t even know you wanted until some swanky advertising agency turned that product into a glitzy, hysterical, two-minute sleight-of-hand fantasy on the telly.

2.    If you are not, yourself, a tax-avoiding, xenophobic knacker STOP buying The Daily Mail. And if you are not white, middle-class, male, privileged and/or living in London had you thought to STOP paying your BBC licence fee? Or even if you are just tired of ‘news’ content made up of Farage soundbites or stuff you read on the internet three days previously or comedy that sounds like it was made up in a private school common room on a wet Tuesday lunchtime.

3.    STOP blaming immigrants for everything that is wrong with the UK and START blaming the folk who actually wrecked the economy. If you can’t remember who that was Google 2008 and ‘banks’.

4.    Your kids don’t need to go to Disneyland or force down a MacDonald’s 'happy meal' to love you. Just STOP spending all your time with your face in your phone.

5.    If you are the Prime Minister Theresa May or the so-called leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn STOP attempting to lead by stumbling three steps behind every passing bandwagon. And take some It’s-not-1975 therapy – you are making the rest of us feel sick.

Plus – while I am in my helpful January mood - here are some helpful tips if you are not an individual but a country. I’ll call this the DON’T section.

1.    If you are lucky enough to live in a functioning democracy DON’T elect a tweeting sociopath (woops). Also – don’t complain about other countries interfering in your elections when you’ve spent the last 4 decades doing the same.

2.    If you are a large country in the southern hemisphere with strange creatures known for jumping and large birds known for running and putting their heads in sand DON’T treat migrants like convicts transported to Botany bay in the 1700s and 1800s.

3.    If you are Wales and a net gainer from the EU and your
government trashed your steel industry by failing to support France, Italy and Germany when they were trying to protect Europe against Chinese steel over-production – DO vote to remain in the EU (uh-oh – too late on that one as well...).

4.    If you are Saudi Arabia DON’T buy any more British arms to kill/torture civilians. DO spend that money instead on infrastructure, food, roads, schools, helping refugees in your region yada yada yada.

5.    If you are Britain DON’T sell any more arms to murderous regimes while taking the moral high ground re everyone else’s crap behaviour.


It’s really that simple… Happy 2017.
If you enjoy my blog and you'd like me to have an improved 2017 - do remember to get my satirical sci fi novella - 
zero one zero two  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539762602

And remember if you like a post to follow/share/tweet/ or whatever you young folk do. THANK you.