Category Archives: politics

Bad Men Need To Stop Getting Guns

160612132853-20-orlando-shooting-super-169Living in America is awesome. It’s a fantastic place: freedom of speech; wide open spaces; friendly people; good education & creative drive that echoes around the world. If America was a person they’d be a confident, fun, smart & energetic. America is great, whatever Trump says & I love it. But there is one big problem:

BAD PEOPLE KEEP SHOOTING LOTS OF FELLOW AMERICANS.

This has been known for sometime, but there seems to no stopping it. And guess what also:

IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO GIVE BIRTH TO HOMICIDAL ASSHOLES & RAISE THEM TO BE HOMICIDAL ADULT ASSHOLES.

The world has produced many: Anders Behring Breivik (Norway); Thomas Hamilton (Scotland); Martin Bryant (Australia). Mentally ill people who are determined to kill lots of people. And unfortunately they don’t wear clearly marked clothing so we know they are psychotic killers.

And another major fact:

MOST PEOPLE WHO COMMIT MASS SHOOTINGS / MURDER OTHERS EITHER GET WEAPONS ILLEGALLY OR SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Yes, responsible gun owners: homicidal nut jobs & violent gang members are ruining your sport / right to protection / constitutional rights. And it’s going to keep happening: Virginia Tech; San Bernardino & now Orlando. It didn’t even change things when Sandy Hook happened: 28 dead including 20 children shot by a mentally ill man who should not have had access to any weapons. 20 children murdered and nothing changes, then let’s face it, whose going to give a fuck about 50 gays right??

SORRY AMERICA: NOT GOOD ENOUGH. 

Something can be done and something should be done. I agree with the NRA that most gun murders are through the use of illegal weapons not by law abiding citizens. I wrote a much more unemotional piece last year: https://hankreardenuk.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/gun-control-why-it-isnt-working/ but today, I’m angry. I’m angry because some dick shot 50 people last night (June 12th) because he was a closet homosexual who couldn’t work out his daddy issues.

Anyway, the answer isn’t:

  1. More guns – although I do buy the argument that if we protect our airports & banks with guns, why not our schools. Also, you really don’t want to allow guns in nightclubs – I’ve seen plenty of bar brawls in my time, if guns were in the mix, I’d be dead from a stray bullet long ago.
  2. Banning Muslims from America – 1st amendment crossed right there. And it’s the extremists we want to stop coming in and they’re on no fly lists. This latest terrorist shooting and the last, were home grown, they’re already here.
  3. Making being Muslim illegal – again, 1st amendment and if you punish a whole religion, you’re sure as shit going to get more home grown extremists. And you won’t even know who they are if they’re smart, until you read their name in the news like Omar Mateen.
  4. Shutting down the internet to stop ISIS sending out their sick shit which seems to appeal so much to homicidal assholes. Terrorists can be born muslim, emigrate to the US from a muslim country or even convert and look as American as Brad Pitt. Samantha Lewthwaite was raised in the Home Counties of UK, yet went onto plan the  deaths of 400 people, all in the name of a religion that she converted to. The internet is free speech now and it’s global, so not going to happen.

So if we cannot stop homicidal maniacs being born we need to accept that:

(a) Homicidal maniacs are NOT LAW ABIDING: they are going to be prepared to break the law at some point (violence, robbery, being part of a gang. Guess what, that’s what criminal records are. We often know who these people are simply by the fact that they’re idiots and they go on from theft, to violence to murder.

(b) They are going to have some kind of MENTAL ILLNESS. That’s what doctor’s records are for. A paranoid schizophrenic, of which there are 100,000’s in the US, is not necessarily dangerous to other people, but they sure as hell should not have a semi automatic weapons.

(c) They have a large interest in Islamic extremism or a.n.other flavour of extremist (White Power, KKK etc.). These people are often known to the mighty CIA, NSA & FBI. They are all on no fly lists. The internet providers pass their details on.

All of the above people are BAD MEN THAT NEED TO STOP BEING ABLE TO GET GUNS. Because you can’t kill 50 people in a nightclub with a knife; you cannot kill 100’s in a music concert with a knife. So, how do you protect the constitution, allow responsible gun ownership, at the same time as stopping these bad people getting hold of guns. Simple & it’s big state I’m afraid:

MAKE OWNING A GUN LIKE OWNING A CAR.

See, it’s that simple. But does that mean that the President is going to be able to TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY? Well no, because it’s not the law abiding people we give a damn about. It’s the criminals, the mentally ill and the extremists that are going to have their guns taken away. Not a 70 year old widow who has a handgun at home for protection or a 30 year old hunter. So here it is:

  1. MONTH ONE: A National Gun Database Is Put In Place: yes, your tyrannical government is going to have to know you have a gun, because the terrorist nut job muslim convert cannot get one, you lose this right. Sorry NRA, you need to not just deal with this, you need to propose it. You should design the fucking thing in fact as you’ve prevented any study on getting a solution.
  2. MONTH TWO: Every Gun Should Be Registered To An Owner. Every gun needs to be registered to one owner much like a vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you bought it at a gun store or from a friend, but there will be 10 months to register all of your weapons with the local authority. Going forward, when any gun is sold, ownership should be transferred to the new person within 4 weeks, much like a car. Not to do so will be a crime. If you have a mental illness, criminal record or on a watch list, you will need to surrender your weapon.
  3. YEAR TWO: at this point we can assume all of the responsible owners will have registered all of their weapons. That means if after this point, if you don’t have a valid registration matching your firearm, your weapon will be confiscated (but no jail at this time). Any time police stop a vehicle they will be allowed to check for weapons – no registration: confiscation. Gang areas like South Chicago are going to have the hell out of them searched for non-registered weapons. If you commit a crime / become mentally ill, you’ll need to surrender your weapon. Again, the bad guys have really fucked the fun up for everyone here.
  4. YEAR THREE: now if you have an unregistered gun, you’re going to jail. Any gun sold after this point that is used in a murder within one year of it being sold by an unregistered user, the gun shop that sold that weapon, will be liable for criminal charges. Straw buying is how most illegal weapons get on the streets.

In fact, this is easier than getting a car as I’m not proposing a licence to get the gun or retain it. I’m not proposing that every gun owner requires insurance. As a libertarian leaning individual rights advocate I realise what a hypocrite I’m being & I’m going to get ridiculed for writing these words by my libertarian community, but we need to face the fact: BAD PEOPLE WANT TO KILL AMERICANS. Please, can we try and stop them? One of my children or my friends have not been shot. But the extremists hate what we have: freedom to choose, freedom to be gay, freedom to have fun, democracy, burgers, beers, fast cars etc. etc. So they’re targets & I’d like for them to be free to live without fear of being who they are. And if the NRA say these proposals are unconstitutional and undemocratic, well LET’S HAVE A GUN CONTROL REFERENDUM. Let’s put it to the people to decide – direct democracy. I think the NRA should be very scared of that because it may result in a complete gun ban. Which again why the NRA need to be part of the solution & if they can’t they should lose.

That’s my ideas. Call me a liberal fag, call me a statist twat, whatever, but give me some better ideas: give the President some better ideas. Even if you hate the Government, it’s pretty hard to hate 20 kids shot dead because we had no ideas.

But let’s stop saying nothing can be done to stop bad people getting guns. The alternative of banning a whole religion, building a wall, deporting all muslims & stopping all muslims entering the county is so much easier right? Be really, giving up is not just fucking shit: it’s giving up. And that’s as un-American as you can get.

 

 

 

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Stop Expecting The Government To Solve Problems. It Won’t

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Tribal politics is a funny thing. It makes people fanatical & like religion blinds logic. Anyone who has come into contact with a rabid UKIP supporter knows exactly what I mean – they simply cannot comprehend that you don’t share their views, even when you present them with facts. Labour supporters tend to be nicer, but I have been called Tory scum because I don’t wholeheartedly support a large welfare state. Even a Tory abused me when I pointed out David Cameron had the convictions of a carrier bag (I believe members of the cabinet privately agree on this).

Well it’s lucky that words on the internet don’t really phase me too much & if I’m comfortable walking in the rain with my daughter’s ladybird umbrella, I’m sure as shit comfortable with some keyboard warrior in Derby telling me I’m thick. I digress though. There is one thing though that unites all of these apparent warring factions: and it’s this. That their team will save the day. Newflash kids: they won’t.

UKIP primarily are the most deluded right now. They believe their “small state” party will protect British workers from global competition. Guys, it won’t. We saw this in the 1980’s with the coal mines. You seem more left wing than a ranty union member when you bleat on about cheap labour from Poland taking all the jobs. As my British builder tells me, you can’t find an English bricklayer in London now. I’ve had the United Nations work on my house but the Polish get a notable mention not because they’re cheap but because they’re good. The Brits have often been sloppy, start at 930 and gone by 4. The “cheap immigrants” have been perfectionists. This is the equivalent of US cars vs Japanese cars played out in the US in the 1980s. People went for a superior product. The solution is to get better not ask for state protectionism.

Now for Labour. Ah, the last preserve of the socialist. Well probably not, the real left seem to have moved to the Green party who actually seem to have some ideals left. Ed Miliband would probably be the worst PM on his leafy street. Every idea he has (breaking up banks, mansion tax, energy company attacks) are riddled with holes. They’ve spent the banker bonus tax so many times they’ve had to come up with new taxes. Throwing money at the NHS does not win my vote (and by the way, it’s not MY NHS anymore than Downing Street is my second home) and now following UKIPs line on immigration is particularly disappointing. The Ed’s on a global scale with a large economy would be a frightening mess for sure.

Which I suppose leaves the Tories (I’m not going to talk about the LibDems as whilst I admire their liberalism, they’re as popular at the ballot box as Jimmy Saville at a kid’s party). Cameron should be talking about the positives of immigration but he isn’t. He’s talking tough on renegotiating the free movement of people. Dave: forget it – either you’re in or you’re out, but if you’re in, this is a key pillar of the EU. On a global scale, he does not have a fraction of the impact that Blair ever had or beliefs that Thatcher did. This cabinet are led by the Daily Mail, not what is right or just. And Right to Buy, what was that about??

So, where does this leave you? Well, putting you cross in the box you think whose shit stinks less or not voting at all. I go for the former but I understand both views, unless you’re Russell Brand. But one unifying factor is that if you’re still thinking any of the above parties will solve unemployment, stop poverty, take down Putin , fix the NHS, get you a bigger house, a better partner or make you more attractive, you’re misguided. My view is that the bigger the government the more they’re likely to fuck things up. That’s not universally shared but voting one donkey because you think it can fix the macro issue the other donkey can’t is going to leave you disappointed. The last governments in power just wanted to keep that power and leave themselves a nice nest egg for themselves afterward. The Tories should be well ahead in the polls but they are they’re so busy in fighting or defecting to UKIP they negate any power for change they may have.

So stop expecting the government to solve your problems. If you want a better job, get more skills; if you want a nicer house, get a pay rise; if you can’t afford a house, move to Eastern Europe! Be the change or whatever, but don’t sit their sulking that all your problems would be solved as long as Nigel “man of the people” Farage gets in power. He won’t. Now get over it and stop voting populous politicians giving you promises they cannot deliver on.

Suspend Your Cynicism. For A Moment

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There are lots of behaviours that lots of people exhibit: bravery, altruism, charity etc. But there is one behaviour that you can guarantee that all people will display: self interest. Protecting their families; ensuring that their interests (pay, home etc) & reputation are served first. So whilst there are many with a deep sense of morality who will go out of their way to help others, there are plenty who will walk past someone in distress & only do something to make money or improve their image.

Which is why there seems to have been a great deal of cynicism over celebrities & politicians (or president’s wives in particular) holding up notices with #bringbackourgirls. You know, I get it: Kanye West is better known for marrying a vacuous woman & thinking he is God rather than caring about girls in Africa; Barack Obama sends drones to bomb other nations, so when Michelle appeals for morality, there is going to be some cynicism.

However, and it’s a big however, social media pressure DOES work. Social media can make and break careers, and one thing you can guarantee is that a great deal of world leaders don’t want their precious image or ego taking a bashing by people around the world making them look stupid (see Cameron on the phone to Obama for example). You can take leaders like Putin and Assad out of that mix, but Goodluck Jonathan seems no different. Yes the regime is by all accounts corrupt, but this is a leader who doesn’t want the West to think he’s an incompetent fool who has let 200 of his citizens disappear without taking any action (regardless of the fact that this is exactly what has happened).

So, will a large number of (sometimes hypocritical) celebrities & politicians holding up a piece of paper make a difference? My opinion is resoundingly yes. If these were your children, what would YOU do?  Everything. And you’d get the media on your side. If these were kids in the US, France or the UK, the governments would be all over this and the parents would not rest until their children were safely returned. The same should apply to these children in Africa. The reality is that these girls may not be returned safely, that this will all go horribly wrong, but with the world watching and with attention back on this event (and remember, that attention did disappear), everything should be done (bar Western military invasion) to resolve this.

So suspend your cynicism for a moment. Celebrities are often vain, vacuous & self serving. And maybe that’s why they are standing there with a sign on social media saying #bringbackourgirls. But in this case their vanity (or maybe their altruism?) is being used for a cause that is worthwhile.

 

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Expenditure Must Equal Tax Take

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OK, so first off, what is the tax take of a country?

  • My definition is – the exact amount of money that a country receives in tax revenue in any given year
  • NOT what it hopes to receive but what it actually receives
  • Any tax collection authority has an idea of what their tax take will be any given year and they will take account of leakage (tax evasion which is illegal) and an idea of what won’t be paid via avoidance (they set the rules, so they expect people to exploit the holes)

So now we’ve got that straight, the tax take is what you should expect to get and you should plan to get. Whatever your view on tax (hate it or think people should be taxed more) assuming you will get more is silly – it’s like saying people won’t commit crime. Criminals will avoid paying tax and most people (call them immoral if you want, morality is not one size fits all) will ONLY pay the tax they have to.  I have my own personal view of tax and it’s that there should be a flat tax BUT that’s not for discussion now – my only point today is that the tax take must equal the expenditure any government makes.

According to this article the UK will pay £1billion a day in interest supporting our debt. http://www.cityam.com/article/1399490719/closing-deficit-isnt-enough-uk-debt-risk-financial-stability. You can beat me up on the difference between deficit & debt but one thing is clear: you cannot pay off the debt until you are spending less than you taking in in tax receipts. Why is this so important to me and why should it be important to you (as let’s face it, prudent economic ain’t sexy)? Well I pay a lot of a tax and I’m not alone in that. If you’re a single person earning £50,000 you will pay out £15,000 in tax. That’s a lot of money, you have no kids, don’t use much public services & still the government cannot balance the books. I’d be pissed with that. I give you £15,000 every year & you still overspend? And you want MORE?? Exactly.

So, considering most people don’t want to pay more tax and let’s face it, it’s the lowest tax brackets that generate the most tax, the expenditure clearly has to come down. The left wing will say armed forces, trident etc will have to come down & the vulnerable cannot be impacted; the right wing will say the benefit system is too generous, the NHS is a behemoth and the armed forced must be protected.  I see both views but I don’t want to start that debate here, but let’s get one thing straight – we have our tax take, we have our current expenditure & it’s frankly too high. Choose your current UK expenditure you hate and tell your MP you want it gone. But we cannot keep going on like this, we cannot keep servicing a debt that costs so much, having someone earning £12,000 a year paying for a Tory MPs stables to be heated or the Royal Family’s Range Rover.

As Vince Vaughn in Starsky & Hutch said:

“Coke it costs money, planes they cost money. This yacht, this perm, my kid’s braces, it all costs money”

It all costs money kids & when we the taxpayer funds that bill, we MUST force our MP’s to ensure that the current tax take (no more than it is now) equals what is spent.