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Showing posts with label usa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label usa. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

American hotels and breakfast

One of my first surprises on trips to the USA was that few (no?) hotels offer breakfast. They expect you to get this down the road. Most have places to eat very nearby, but if you are not used to this it comes as a surprise. I have an old work colleague who is in Indiana for a conference and he was caught out.

Once, in eastern Canada, we stopped for breakfast at a roadside cafe. There were 6 fried eggs and lots more on the plate. It was huge. We did not go hungry!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

USA Presidental Elections

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35538361

The people of the USA continue to trouble me.

If it was just the USA that mattered, then I could not care less, but the leader of the USA has his hands on the nuclear trigger and will be key to so much in the world. Is a rich billionaire really who many in the USA want as their leader?

I have no wish to get embroiled in a debate over the US presidential elections, but if a large number of Americans think their best interests are served by a rich billionaire then this says a lot about American society as a whole.

I am not advocating any candidate or any party, but this vote matters for the whole fragile planet we share. All I ask is that every single person in the USA thinks very carefully.

Monday, 19 October 2015

The USA and guns

I read today that the USA have banned Kinder Eggs to protect children. At the same time they permit automatic weapons. Such hypocrisy! All the Americans I have known have been kind, caring and generous-  lovely people.   I find this at odds with USA gun laws. The USA is a violent country but the widespread ownership of guns surely makes people less safe than those places where guns are rare.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

USA and Cuba talking

Like many of my age, I was at school in the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis. I remember going to school wondering if we would be in a nuclear war before the day ended. I was terrified and greeted the peace that broke out at the weekend as if life had started again. Years later I found out that it was even closer than anyone of us knew.

Image is on Wikipedia site.
"LeMay Cuban Missile Crisis". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LeMay_Cuban_Missile_Crisis.jpg#/media/File:LeMay_Cuban_Missile_Crisis.jpg

I find it odd that relations between the USA and Cuba have been so distant for so many years. The Cuban Missile crisis was 1962 and we are now in 2015. At long last, moves are being started to defrost the hostility. Not a minute too soon.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-32263880 .

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Last USA hostage dead in Syria

So tell me, how does killing an innocent aid worker, Kayla Mueller, guarantee "paradise" in an after life?

These barbaric people need treatment as most Muslims think they are just doing evil deeds. Nowhere I am told, does the Prophet say such deeds are permitted.  In our age, such barbaric acts have no place and win no friends. A change is needed. Peace and love always conquer evil.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-31375445 .

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Only in "the land of the free"

Sometimes it would be hard to make this up, but a 3 year old reaching in his mother's handbag for an iPad managed to shoot both his parents with his mum's gun with the same bullet.  Thankfully, both are recovering. Gun freedom? As I said, "land of the free".   Albuquerque, New Mexico.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31082294 .

Friday, 19 December 2014

Sony film hack - how will the USA strike back?

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30555997.

USA President Obama has vowed to strike back at North Korea for its alleged hack of the Sony Film Studios. I wonder what action he has in mind?

The USA allegedly does far worse with regard to cyber-crime. It would not surprise me if, as we talk, the USA is busy trying to tap into Russian, Chinese and North Korean systems, amongst others.  The difference is the North Koreans were caught in the act, allegedly.

In the dirty game of cyber-crime the golden rule seems to be, "don't get caught in the act".

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

USA and Cuba

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30516740 .

After far too many years, it looks like Cuba and the USA are set to resume "normal relations". It has amazed me that this has taken so long. Like a pair of children squabbling. Both countries should benefit.

Obama and Castro met at Nelson Mandela's funeral.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

USA and UK growth and debt

The BBC News reports that the US economy is growing at a greater rate than expected and that the number of jobs created has averaged 241,000 a month this year. They say the USA economy powers the world. It all depends on whether or not an economy really can live on debt.

It seems to me that both the USA and the UK economies depend on debt to exist. This is not sustainable. Every nation has to live within its means or ultimately wither. When nations like China will no longer buy government IOUs (gilts) the game is up. The debt game cannot go on for ever. In reality, we all know this.

We no longer rule the world. We no longer have an Empire to exploit. We live in a new world order and the sooner we wake up to this the better for us all.  Up to now, the UK has always paid those it owes money to on-time. There may come a time when it cannot or the pound will be devalued and people will no longer want to buy our debt.

See http://www.dmo.gov.uk/index.aspx?page=gilts/about_gilts .

Homeland?

Sometimes it is hard to separate fact and fiction. The recent US TV series "Homeland" was about the dynamics between the USA and Al Qaeda. Today we hear news that the latter's leader has been killed. in Pakistan. This is very much like the latest series.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-30358538 .

Sunday, 16 November 2014

TTIP

See http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/about-ttip/  .

The latest G20 meeting seems to have "oiled wheels" on this trade deal between the USA and Europe. David Cameron is in a difficult place as the USA wants to deal with Europe and not with Europe less the UK and the UK.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes out of the G20 on climate change policies. Australia is the worst emitter of greenhouse gases and did not really want to talk about it.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Senate now under Republican control in the USA

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29910542 . After mid-term elections in the USA the Republicans now control the US Senate. This must weaken the powers of President Obama, who is , of course, a Democrat.

I keep out of US politics but the so called Tea Party faction does seem to be a group of head-cases.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

MH370 disappearance

I am still puzzled by the disappearance of this aircraft. Surely the USA with all its spy satellites must know where it is. As far as I know, not a single item from the plane has been washed up - anywhere. Sorry to be suspicious, but was the USA in some way complicit in the plane's disappearance?  Surely, if the USA is innocent they would have volunteered data by now?  I smell a rat.  Perhaps I am wrong? Could the plane still be intact somewhere?

The latest Malaysian plane crash in E.Ukraine at least should have retrievable black boxes. I am told that the IR traces of missiles should also be detectable, so someone will be able to tell who fired the missile that downed the plane, if indeed this is what happened.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Israel - are they ALL mad?

BBC link corrected.

Israel totally baffles me.

You would have thought the nation would realise it needs good relations with its neighbours for its long-term security. Instead they seem hell-bent on upsetting the Palestinians. Already treating the Palestinians as non-people with no rights  for years and years, it has now said peace talks  (a real joke) are off if the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation goes ahead.  See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27149225 .

Israel, please realise you need to make peace and not war unless you want to live forever in a state of insecurity.

Israel's position is strengthened by the ongoing support of the USA.  Surely the USA must become more even-handed in the Middle East. It chooses its friends for its own vested self interest.    The USA is a plutocracy not a true democracy.  From Wikipedia, " In modern times, the term is sometimes used pejoratively to refer to societies rooted in state-corporate capitalism or which prioritize the accumulation of wealth over other interests."  Is this not the USA?

The Middle East issues could so easily be fixed with a true will for peace on all sides. The precidents of N. Ireland and S. Africa give me some hope. Nations and individuals can and do change.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

National Debt in the UK (and USA)

Sometimes I feel like we are living in the 1930s: we can see a crisis looming but carry on hoping it isn't going to happen, yet in my gut I feel that it is imminent.

What is bothering me? Well it is the indebtedness of the UK (and the USA) and the almost inevitable deep crisis that will result if it continues to mount. The true level of the UK's debt (around £900 billion) is VERY close to that in Wiemar Germany in the early 1920s when inflation went mad (money became worthless) and social unrest and national socialism took hold.  If interest rates rise by just a few percent, the UK will be unable to repay its debts, banks will fail and there will be no government money to bail them out. In summary we would be in totally uncharted territory where no savings, salaries or pensions would be safe. It is quite possible that social order would break down and a revolution and far left or right politics would be the order of the day. This is just in the UK. The same story is likely in the USA and across the Eurozone. The stability we have enjoyed since WW2 would be well and truly over.

I hope and pray that I am wrong.

The ONLY answer to this is for the nation to live within its means both nationally and on an individual level. We CANNOT continue to borrow money to support services and lifestyles we cannot afford.  

Read http://pro.moneyweek.com/myk-eob-tpr123/PMYKP703/ to get the background on this. I also recommend the book "How did we get into this mess?" by the BBC financial commentator Robert Peston.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Edward Snowden and the Russian/USA discussions?

This evening, I read that Edward Snowden, the US contractor who has leaked details of US spying activities, has (reportedly) asked for political asylum in Russia and that President Putin has said,

"If [Snowden] wants to go somewhere and there are those who would take him, he is welcome to do so," and  "If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must stop his activities aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners, no matter how strange it may sound coming from my lips."

Now, to my suspicious mind this sounds a very strange comment from a Russian head of state. One can only imagine the behind-the-scenes contacts between the US and Russian governments that prompted this utterance. We all know that the USA spies on Russia and that Russia spies on the USA, so why this apparent support for the USA? 

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23138073

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The US presidential election

As I write this, the US election is a few days away and the two main candidates are neck and neck. What puzzles me about the USA is the fixation on candidates who are rich millionaires  totally out of touch with the common man.  Looking in from the outside, it appears a broken society with a lot wrong with it. OK for those with wealth but far from OK if you happen to be at the bottom of the heap. I can't help think this is a recipe for revolution at some point in the future.