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About helen

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  1. Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association has finally got his script together. Elites want to “eliminate our firearms freedoms and eradicate all the individual freedoms”, he said. “They hate the NRA, they hate the second amendment, they hate individual freedom.” “They don’t care if their laws work or not. They just want to get more laws to get more control over people.” He claimed schools were “wide open targets.” “Evil walks among us and God help us if we don’t protect our schools.” “Schools must be the most hardened targets in this country, and evil must be confronted with all necessary force to protect our kids.” He also said that the NRA had helped build the current background check system. But he added: “We all have to be careful that this doesn’t become a runaway train. What if all of your medical records ... do we really want all that on a government list, in a government database?” He attacked “socialists” who “oppose our fundamental freedoms enshrined in the bill of rights”. “This growing socialist state dreams of manipulating schoolchildren to squeeze them for information about their parents ... Do mommy and daddy own a gun?” “And all of this private information will be entered on to that ultimate list, that cloud of data storage ... and then it’s just a short hop to the systematic destruction of our basic freedoms in this country.” “If these so-called European socialists take over the House and the Senate and god forbid they win the White House again our American freedoms will be lost forever, and the first to go will be the second amendment to the US constitution.” “To stop a bad guy with a gun it takes a good guy with a gun.” Sieg Heil!
  2. Out of the frying pan?

    A joint investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Guardian found that hygiene incidents in some of the US’s biggest meat plants are at numbers that experts described as “deeply worrying”. Unpublished US government records highlight numerous failings. A new analysis reveals that as many as 15% of the US population suffers from food borne illnesses annually. Kerry McCarthy, former UK shadow environment minister and Labour MP, called for urgent reassurances from both the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and “the top of government” that standards would not be allowed to slip as trade negotiations with the US get underway. Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of UK pressure group Sustain, said the figures underscored concerns about future US-UK trade deals: “The US has already warned us that we will need to lower our food standards in exchange for a quick trade deal, but we need to fight this hard. They are desperate to sell us their chlorine-washed chicken, but we know chlorine and other unpalatable treatments can mask dirty meat, low hygiene standards and poor animal welfare, which the UK consumer will not stand for.” “In recent years, the UK meat, dairy and egg industries have improved food safety; so we should all be alarmed about any trade deal that opens up our market to products that undermine this progress.” Professor Erik Millstone, a food safety expert at Sussex University said: “The rates at which outbreaks of infectious food poisoning occur in the US are significantly higher than in the UK, or the EU, and poor hygiene in the meat supply chain is a leading cause of food poisoning in the US.” Much ado about nothing if you ask me. What harm can a chicken/pig/turkey/cow come to that a good strong dose of bleach won’t cure?
  3. The empire strikes back. After a respectful pause the right wing media and conspiracy websites are homing in on the students of the Parkland school who have spoken out about gun control, looking for or inventing left wing connections or anti-Trump conspiracies. One student, David Hogg who reported the events while they were happening and whose father works for the FBI has come in for special attention in attempts to create such an anti-Trump angle. One retired military ‘expert’ claims the FBI “has been hiring Social Justice Warriors for years”. There has even been speculation about a second shooter, (perhaps stationed on a grassy knoll nearby). I suppose they will succeed. Once the publicity dies down and America’s gun war returns to the inner cities and black kids shooting black kids it will all seem like a lot of fuss about nothing much.
  4. A few interesting background numbers: The population of the USA was about 326,000,000 at start of 2018. Between 55 million and 75 million Americans own guns. 3% of American adults own half the country’s guns. Most gun owners have just one or two, but a tiny group of super-owners, who have an average of 17 each, collectively own half of the country’s 256 million guns. The National Rifle Association claims 5 million members, Less than 10% of America’s total gun owners, according to the best survey estimates. That is about 1.5% of the population. The National Rifle Association spent $30 million to put Donald Trump in the White House. According to the best available data from the FBI, only 3.55% of gun murders were committed with any kind of rifle from 2010 to 2014. There are dramatic racial, economic and geographic disparities in American gun violence. Black children 17 years old and under are 10 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than white children. About half of America’s gun murder victims each year are black. The census tracts (areas of the country) that saw the worst gun violence in 2015 represented about 1.5% of the country’s total population, but 26% of the total gun homicides. Most American gun control groups agree that fighting for universal background checks on gun sales is the law that would do the most good. They have shifted their focus away from banning assault weapons to closing the loopholes in the federal background check system, which currently allows private sales between individuals with no background check.
  5. A picture of the sad young life of Nikolas Cruz is emerging. Of a child orphaned twice and taken in by a third family. According to an account in the Independent: “Mr Cruz went to live with the Snead family after his adoptive mother died of pneumonia last November (2017). Their son asked whether he could join them in the family home. As well as providing him with a roof over his head, they registered him in adult education classes and helped him get a job at a local pound shop. They were forced to teach him basic chores such as how to cook, use the microwave, wash his clothes and tidy up after himself. "He was very naive. He wasn't dumb, just naive," Mr Snead, an army veteran, said. "I told him there’d be rules and he followed every rule to the T." The parents said they were alright with the teenager storing guns in the house as they long as they were kept in a gun safe. They told Mr Cruz he had to ask permission before taking out the guns. Mr Snead told the paper he thought he was the only person who possessed a key to the safe, but he now thinks Mr Cruz kept a key for himself. Mr Snead added: “Everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know. It’s as simple as that.” Only in America.
  6. It is such a relief to learn those lying bastards in the media and politics have been making it up all this time. I had believed some of these things really happened: Stoneman Douglas High School shooting 2018 17 dead Las Vegas shooting 2017 59 dead Sutherland Springs church shooting 2017 27 dead Orlando nightclub shooting 2016 50 dead Umpqua Community College shooting 2015 10 dead Washington Navy Yard shooting 2013 13 dead Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 2012 28 dead Binghamton shootings 2009 14 dead Fort Hood shooting 2009 13 dead Geneva County massacre 2009 11 dead Virginia Tech shooting 2007 33 dead Red Lake shootings 2005 10 dead Atlanta shootings 1999 10 dead Columbine High School massacre 1999 15 dead
  7. Bringing mental health into this latest attack is a red herring. Nikolas Cruz may turn out to have mental health issues but he was a teenager with a grudge and a big gun; a tragedy waiting to happen. Making comparisons between the USA and Britain is also limited. America is unique among the developed countries. It has given itself special permission to be more angry and violent than any other and they wallow in it. They love their guns because they love their guns, they care about them more than their children and have convinced themselves that if they give them up tyranny will be just around the corner. Of course this is bollocks but America is a looking-glass world. None of this would matter much (unless you are one of the bleeding heart liberals who happens to care about the lives of children), but when I see TV pictures of angry, arrogant British youths describing their own violent gang culture I only have to look at how they dress and talk to know who they are copying.
  8. Weekend massacre

    Who am I? Am I Melmoth or Viking Way? I don’t think I am Jack. Jack wore a cowboy hat, I would have remembered being Jack. No, I am sure I am not Jack. Who is E W-B? I can’t be her because I have never been a parish councillor. It’s hard to know who is who because hardly anyone here speaks English. I do hope I don’t turn out to be Tudor.
  9. It’s mental health, it’s the internet, it’s the news media, it’s the government, it’s the dysfunctional family, it’s irresponsible youth, it’s society, it’s drugs. It’s anything but the guns.
  10. Out of the frying pan?

    According to Greenpeace’s investigative unit, and reported by The Guardian, a self-styled “shadow trade talks”, set to include 10 rightwing and ‘libertarian’ groups from the UK and the USA, are preparing to push their “ideal free trade agreement” between the UK and USA that would allow the import of US meats, drugs and chemicals banned in Britain. In Britain the project is being overseen by the Initiative for Free Trade (IFT), an organisation founded by the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan. It includes the Heritage Foundation, an American organisation which claims to be ‘No. 1 when it comes to impact on public policy’ and which has pushed for the lifting of environmental protections in the USA. According to a document published by mistake online by the IFT, the groups will “hash out an ‘ideal’ US-UK free trade agreement” that includes Britain recognising US standards which are widely seen as weaker than those adopted by the EU. Such a move would allow imports of chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef to be sold in the UK for the first time. It states, “US exporters of agricultural produce (beef, for instance) would have a brand new market to sell to, and British consumers a cheaper alternative to the current options.” It also advocates scrapping the EU’s “precautionary principle”, under which traders have to prove something is safe before it is sold, rather than waiting for it to be proved unsafe. Greenpeace UK’s policy director Dr Doug Parr said: “This network of secretive pressure groups is trying to hijack US-UK trade talks to impose its anti-regulation agenda. They want a free-for-.all Brexit that waters down rules on food safety, animal welfare and nature protection". A spokesperson for the IFT said the plan was an internal document not meant for public consumption. “We don’t hope to pressure the government to do anything,” “If consumers don’t want to buy products made to different standards to our own, they will see the US flag on the packet and not buy it,” I suppose that could count as taking back control.