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Alistair S

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Alistair S last won the day on June 20

Alistair S had the most liked content!

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About Alistair S

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  • Birthday 20/08/1957

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    Reading, Berkshire, UK

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  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?
  • Musical Influences?
    Neil Young, James Taylor, Leonard Cohen, Tracy Chapman, Tom Waits, John Martyn, Harvey Andrews, Ralph McTell

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  1. Alistair S

    President Trump

    That must be a great comfort
  2. Alistair S

    President Trump

    I just wanted to say that I agree with you about US immigration policy. I think there are bigots in the system, but the policy works, and that there is something odd that happens to some Americans in a uniform (or maybe uniforms attract a type) and they can tend to forget the fact that they are public servants, assuming a level of authority they don't have. But that's not what I really want to say (even though some US border guards - and TSA - really need some character guidance, imho!) The USA does do its part in terms of taking in immigrants. Due to the sheer size of the place, they take the highest number but they also compare well when looking at the per capita numbers across the G7. There is an interesting article here (albeit from 2016) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/12111108/Mapped-Which-country-has-the-most-immigrants.html . Canada looks as if it comes out on top, which surprised me, if I'm honest. The USA does not have the most migrants as a proportion of population worldwide - the top 3, interestingly are Middle Eastern countries (UAE, Qatar and Kuwait) but the USA stacks up well against the G7. Anecdotally, however, there does appear to be a problem people have with refugees and asylum seekers, as opposed to economic migrants. I'm not so sure about how well policy is holding up with these, the most vulnerable, people.
  3. Alistair S

    Just curious, what's Junes contest gonna be?

    I going on holiday in 7 days for a little over 2 weeks, so I won't be able to run it. It may be better to just hold off until July and kick something off then? Edit: Yep. I think that's what we are going to do.
  4. Alistair S

    President Trump

    Psst ... no link!
  5. Alistair S

    President Trump

    It doesn't look very pleasant. However, from that article: "... unaccompanied minors are being housed in this large facility ... " (I added the bold) "This is the makeshift way station..." Both of these statements lead me to think that this was a short-term place from which unaccompanied kids could be moved to somewhere else. I'm not sure we are talking about quite the same thing. While I'm sure things weren't ideal in the Obama era (and I'm really not interested in making any pro-Obama argument) I don't believe there was a policy to separate children at the time (especially those claiming asylum). I'm glad to see that new policy is being reversed - which doesn't negate the need for improvements in the way immigration is handled.
  6. Alistair S

    President Trump

    It looks as if even Trump is going to back-track and stop this - though it's not clear to me that he understands why it is unacceptable to civilised people.
  7. Alistair S

    A Non-Trumpian Topic For Us To Ponder

    I'm with you! We have a much better system for student loans over here but I still feel that the direction of travel is wrong. Somehow, it suddenly became important that everyone went to university and got a degree. It used to be that employers provided training and that was an alternative way of starting a career, but that has pretty much disappeared now. Extending education by a few years also helped government manipulate unemployment figures. Now we have a lot of people doing "degrees" at institutions that are not that great (the number of universities and thus university places had to be "magically" increased to accommodate all of the people who would not have gone to university in the old days - and it isn't credible that they were all as qualified to teach as the existing, older universities). The end product doesn't appear to me to be any more equipped to start their working life than people who came straight from school (except they are a bit older and burdened with more debt). There are exceptions, of course. My daughter, for example, completed a Masters degree in geology at a top university here and went straight on to earn great money in Australia leading exploration teams in the outback. Mind you, she then decided she didn't want to work in geology any more!
  8. Alistair S

    A Non-Trumpian Topic For Us To Ponder

    I'm not surprised - and there are moves to deregulate financial services ...
  9. Alistair S

    President Trump

    Absolutely you can't have open borders. No argument there. If they don't claim asylum, an immediate deportation sounds like a good option (but, if they are not Mexican, that might not be to Mexico unless Mexico will accept them). If they do go back across the border the potential issue is that they can then try again - maybe at another crossing, or between crossings. I assume their biometric information is taken (fingerprints, photos) so that repeat offenders can be identified. They may need to be jailed and, if they have children with them, something still has to be done with the children (hopefully something more appropriate than what we are seeing with the current arrangements). However, if they do claim asylum, international law (1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees) says that they need to be heard and, if they can show that they meet the criteria, they need to be allowed in. That may be under refugee status and for a fixed period, but they need to be allowed to remain (and cannot be returned while they still face persecution in their own country). Some of these claims could be fast-tracked but, even then, I can't see it being done in less than a week. If their claim fails, they can be deported. These families should surely be kept together while their case is considered. In some cases, this may need to be in a secure facility (but NOT anything like a prison) or it may be possible to find other accommodation and use tags or daily reporting. From what I can see, this new policy has been put in force with inadequate preparation and is proving a crude instrument. I don't think most Americans are comfortable with the way it is being applied (and I'm not clear that many understand asylum). At the same time, I think there is recognition that illegal immigration is a problem (though less so than it has been) and changes are needed. I know Congress is looking at immigration. The way Trump is talking, it does sound like the cruelty of the policy is being used for leverage and that seems wrong to me.
  10. Alistair S

    Guns anyone?

    Exactly! Hopefully, somebody is investigating where they came from and looking for further prosecutions.
  11. Alistair S

    Guns anyone?

    Maybe the key aspect here is that he is a felon and I think I'm right in saying that he shouldn't have been able to acquire weapons. Something has clearly failed and surely some other people have some explaining to do?
  12. Alistair S

    Guns anyone?

    That's kind of the way Jonie packs to go on holiday (except with clothes and shoes, not guns) - "I just need to have choices!", she wails!
  13. Alistair S

    World Cup

    And Brazil only got a draw against Switzerland! Strange start to the finals ...
  14. Alistair S

    World Cup

    The population of Iceland is less than 350,000. It's amazing they even managed to qualify! I think this is the first time they have made it through the elimination stages to make the finals. I guess the favourites to win would be Brazil. I'd never bet against Germany but, by all accounts, they haven't been great in the lead-up. Spain look very, very good. France, Belgium, Portugal all have a chance.
  15. Alistair S

    World Cup

    Oh, I think most families are like that! Have a good trip home and don't spoil it now! Happy birthday to your Mum!