I just saw this article on the BBC website. Coronavirus has killed four members of the same family in New Jersey.
Grace Fusco was 73. She, and six of her adult children, fell ill after a larger family gathering of up to 20 people. One of those children, Rita, was only 55 and had no underlying health conditions. The story doesn’t mention the ages of Carmine and Vincent, who also died.
It’s a tragic story – and one those over here who are vowing to keep working no matter what should bear in mind.
Having said that, I appreciate that many instructors are in terrible positions. I’m fortunate. inasmuch as I have now have an income from a private pension from my previous employer (hack, spit) of around £250 a week, and a lump sum in the bank from that which I wanted to save, but which could keep me going for several years if I needed it (hopefully, I won’t). And I have no mortgage or debts.
Many instructors – especially the younger ones – have nothing. They have mortgages, car loans, and other debts, as well as kids to feed. Driving instruction is not a high-paying job in the first place – even at best it is ‘adequate’, but you have to have been doing it for years and built up a financial buffer for that to matter.
My primary (selfish) concern is not passing COVID-19 to my parents. My secondary concern is not passing it to my pupils who have Downs children, who are pregnant, or who have vulnerable relatives. Money comes in third.
I can understand the dilemma many find themselves in. I just count myself fortunate right now.
Another mass shooting in the USA. And just when you think that, this time, someone must start to take gun control seriously over there, you see this:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, however, said gun control would probably not have stopped the attack.
He added that if a “crazy” gunman launches such an attack, there is no way that law enforcement officers could be there to stop it.
“The best way is to be prepared to defend yourself,” he told CBS News.
Look, you right wing, NRA-affiliated prat, if he couldn’t have obtained the gun in the first place just by showing his ID (and reports suggest he didn’t even have to do that because he bought it online), this almost certainly wouldn’t have happened – like with most of the mass shootings your country is famous for. How the f**k does anyone over there have the ‘right to bear’ an assault rifle? It’s designed to kill people. Period.
It is lack of gun control that has led to it, and lack of gun control which continues to fuel it.
And what Paxton has said is doubly stupid given that the situation is still ‘live’, and no one could possibly know enough about the shooter to determine his motives at this time, and thus conclude so absolutely that his actions weren’t preventable. Gun control would have likely prevented at least some of the 251 people who have already died in mass shootings in the US this year.
We don’t have mass shootings in the UK to anything like the level they do in the USA. Over here, it needs a special kind of psychopath with an especially deep sexual inadequacy to get hold of a gun and kill a lot of people all at once. In America, you can get a gun with your corn flakes, and if it then turns out you’re also inadequate, you’re already tooled up for what comes next.
And I woke up this morning to discover that as well as the 20 dead in El Paso, another 9 have been killed in a separate incident a few hours later in Ohio. The jackass this time was carrying a high-capacity assault rifle and extra magazines.
Gun control is the only answer. Not the full answer – but a damn sight better one than what they have right now.
Is it just me, or does every Australian cookery programme revolve around barbecuing 2-foot long shrimps and an octopus in front of Sydney Harbour?
I’m watching the cookery channel and they’ve got an Australian Day. Every bloody programme it’s the giant shrimps and cephalopods. And Sydney Harbour.
If you want even one shrimp that size over here you need to re-mortgage your house.
This made me smile. An 18-year old kid in Germany passed his driving test, then got caught by police with a radar gun doing 60mph in a 30mph zone on his way home (with four of his mates in the car). This happened 49 minutes after his test pass.
He’s got an automatic four-week ban, and will have to take further “expensive” training. He also got two points on his licence, a €200 fine, and his two-year new-driver probationary period has been extended to four.
Plus ça change, eh?
Like Brexit, Donald Trump is another anomaly from 2016 that just keeps on giving.
His latest stunt appears to involve restarting the Strategic Defense Initiative – aka “Star Wars” – which was first started by Ronald Reagan in 1983 at the height of The Cold War.
The big differences this time around are that:
- Ronald Reagan wasn’t a certified nutcase
- technology wasn’t up to it the first time
- the key world leaders involved now are bordering on insanity
I think the picture above gives a good representation of what is involved – at least in theory.
2016 saw two of the biggest catastrophes the world has seen in a long time. Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump as POTUS.
There has been a collective movement of denial over Trump. To some of us, he was a f—ing w–nker in 2016, he has remained a f—ing w–nker all the time since 2016, and he has just shown how much of a f—ing w–nker he really is by pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Within minutes of his announcement, Iran said it is going to start enriching uranium again, and Israel has begun bigging itself up ready to go to war with Syria because it reckons Iran is supplying it with arms with which to attack Jerusalem. Russia reckons the action will jeopardise the Korean pact, which means the North will restart its nuclear trials. If Israel attacks any Muslim country, other Muslim countries are likely to join in. Every f—ing lunatic hardcore Islamist who isn’t in Syria will start trying to get at Trump by blowing up whatever country they are currently residing in. And the price of oil is likely to skyrocket. Every civilised country has condemned Trump’s decision.
Britain is in a bit of a cleft stick, because we’re in the middle of trying to spit on Europe, whilst simultaneously being in the middle of shaping up to have Trump’s babies (along with lots of chlorinated chicken) to make up for what we’re about to lose. And thanks to the Brexit effect on the pound – which, in spite of the Brexiter rhetoric a few weeks ago, is now back down the what it was the day after the Referendum versus the dollar – everything is costing more. Fuel prices are already creeping up again (5p in the last three weeks) even before the effects of Trump’s latest folly kick in. In other words, we’re trying to go it alone at what has become the worst imaginable time in which to do so.
I pointed out in 2016 that by leaving the EU we could not foresee what was around the corner, and that a war with someone was possible. Trump has made that even more possible – almost likely.
The problem is that the Iran deal was actually working. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than what Trump has now condemned the world to. He has pretty much proved what the less civilised countries already believed: that America can’t be trusted.
Ironically, America can be trusted. Just not with Trump as POTUS.
The thought occurs to me that I hope I wake up tomorrow (ambiguity in that comment deliberate).
After the recent tragedy in Florida, and yet another mass shooting spree in a school, with multiple fatalities, it seemed like the time had finally come for America to realise that virtually unrestricted gun ownership had to be curtailed.
Donald Trump looked like he was about to make a decision that would finally make him come across as a proper POTUS. No, he really did.
It would appear that the solution he is now suggesting involves allowing teachers to carry guns so they can get into shootouts with lunatics like Nikolas Cruz.
Cruz, you might recall, was carrying an AR-15 – a semi-automatic version of the M16 used by the US Military – which he used to kill 17 people. He had a total of 10 weapons, though the identity of these is being kept secret for some reason (no need to guess why, since American gun laws wouldn’t put ownership of a small thermonuclear device outside the reach of the average citizen, purely on “constitutional” grounds). It is known that he purchased a shotgun and an AK-47, and the owner of the shop which sold them to him appears to have done so willingly and with no fuss whatsoever.
This is made so much worse by the fact that Cruz appears to have been a certified head case (if anyone had bothered to check) – certainly enough of one for any sensible person not to sell him a blunt stick, let alone military-grade weaponry (and lots of it).
Trump’s idea is that teachers would carry “concealed” weapons. You don’t need to be an expert to realise that it would be extremely difficult to conceal an AR-15 unless you had very long legs, since it is almost a metre long and weighs about 3.5kg. Therefore, a teacher would have something much smaller and much less accurate except at close range. In short, a hand gun. So Trump’s idea is for teachers to put their lives in guaranteed danger by confronting people like Cruz who, it must be said, could also be carrying grenades (I believe that these can be obtained legally, though with difficulty), explosives (more easily obtained or manufactured), or any number of noxious substances. Of course, where control is so lax to start with, obtaining such materials illegally is even simpler.
I don’t want to make light of a very serious issue, but if this is what Donald Trump thinks will solve the problem, there is every likelihood that his next idea will be for helicopters to drop gasoline on wildfires in order to extinguish them.
Last month, I mentioned an email I’d received which informed me that I’d got $950,000 waiting in a Zimbabwean bank. All I had to do was send $95 for delivery of the ATM card which would unlock these untold riches.
I just received another one. Apparently, I have $12,000,000 now – $24,000,000 if you allow for the fact I got two copies, one to each of two of the various email addresses I use:
This is to inform all contractors and business owners whom have done any business in Africa without been paid that, they are free to contact the office of the WORLD BANK COMPENSATION COMMISSION for immediate payment considerations.
The function of the Commission, is to verify and evaluate claims, and in so doing, to determine whether the applicant is entitle to any compensation in the amount not less that $12,000,000:00 (Twelve Million Dollars).
The Commissioners assess the type of compensation due to the claimants and recommended compensation to the Governing Council and intelligible claimant/s is paid within four (4) working days.
This Compensation Commission is headed by the Executive Secretary who is appointed by the board of the World Bank after consultation with the Governing Council. Since the establishment of the Commission in 2014, the staff of the Secretariat comes from approximately 32 different countries and at the height of claims processing, the Secretariat is made up of approximately 30 lawyers, accountants, loss adjusters and information technology specialists.
To begin with the process of this compensation, all eligible persons or come any is require to to send the following to the office of the Commission
A. FULL NAME/ COMPANY NAME
B. CONTACT ADDRESS
C. TELEPHONE/ FAX NUMBER
All information should be sent to:-
Not very bright, are they? Mind you, some of the people they send these to aren’t, either.
Some questions in life just don’t have a viable answer to them.
North Korea is a pariah state. Every other country on the face of the earth hates it. It has acquired big boys toys – nuclear weapons – primarily because it is run by a Big Boy. Well, a fat, retarded specimen with the mind of a very backward child, anyway, who has spent the better part of two years dividing his time between threatening to destroy America (and a few other people), and firing missiles. He’s also allegedly managed to kill a few dozen of his close associates, some of whom were family, and assassinated a defector (also family). He also allegedly has executions carried out using anti-aircraft guns. I’m sure he went and had one off the wrist after watching that.
The thing is, if he did start any sort of war – nuclear or conventional – although there would obviously be a lot of damage, North Korea would quickly be blown off the face of the planet. Kim Jong Un appears to be too stupid to realise that, as well as being too stupid to understand that you don’t win friends and influence people the way he’s going about it. I’m sure he’s also too stupid to realise he’s gone so far down that path, he’ll NEVER have any friends. HIs people don’t like him. They hate him – but they’re afraid of him.
The man simply has to be insane not to realise what a complete tosser he actually is. No nation is ever inherently evil – only individual people are. Like Kim Jong Un.
I just caught this story on the BBC website.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (TGTBATU) is the best film of all time. I should say that that’s just my opinion, but I don’t want to water it down. It just is.
It has sentimental value to me as well. An uncle, who died many years ago, was going to take me to see it when it was on at the cinema. I had been captivated by the music, which was being played a lot on the radio, and he said he’d take me. It never came to pass, because about five minutes after he’d said it, my auntie pointed out that it had an ‘X’ rating and they wouldn’t let a 7-year old in.
I digress. A while back, I was playing around with Google Earth, and since TGTBATU was on one of the satellite channels again I looked up the location of Sad Hill cemetery – the setting for the iconic final scene in the movie. The scenery in the film had always impressed me, but the location in Northern Spain turned out to be overgrown. It was an unofficial off-the-beaten-track tourist target, but it was just an overgrown valley – albeit still with great scenery. I’d made a mental note to visit the place if I ever got the chance.
Anyway, it appears from this story that a group of volunteers has renovated the site and put it back to the condition it was in when the movie was shot.
Time to start planning the trip.
Where is Sad Hill on Google Earth?
I can’t believe someone found this story based on that search term!
If you launch Google Earth and type “Sad Hill” into the search box, it takes you straight to it. No choices to make, it just goes there. The address is shown as Sad Hill Cemetery – 09610 Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos, Spain. Coordinates are 41°59’25.71″N, 3°24’30.77″W.