A kind of informed opinion

Author: ellielonsdale (Page 1 of 2)

The trade war between China and the US

Ok so when I was reading about this I had 17 tabs open because I had to google every other word I read, so this is dumbed down X10.

First off, what the fuck is a trade war, I hear you think, but not say out loud. And no it’s not anything to do with the hit TV show ‘storage wars’ which is both stupid and fantastic. It’s actually where a country imposes trade barriers like tariffs (the increase of tax on an item) or quotas, (a limit on how much of said item can be exported) on exported goods. The war bit comes in when another country retaliates and does the same thing, and it goes on and on until someone cries, but even then it still carries on. The current war, is between the USA and China.

A country might get into a trade war to knock out competitor products and force people to buy their countries own goods. America for example, are involved because China, the worlds largest steel exporter, are making it impossible for American steel companies to compete. Trump made a tweet on the matter the other day;  “We must protect our country and our workers, Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!” And I have to agree with the guy, in fact, while typing up this article I’m sipping on a hot steamy cup of steel and crying steel tears.

According to Trump, America are fighting a losing battle, he took to twitter again to comfort his nation with his wise and soothing words; “We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”  But their sorry state of affairs worsened when America’s 1,300 long, list of  tariffs on Chinese products, was responded to by a much tougher Chinese list of American products, including soybeans, beef, cigars, whiskey, cars and aircraft.

Their retaliation came hours after America’s list, but experts think they’re just twisting their big steel knives so Trump backs down. China don’t really want to be involved in a trade war, but as the old Chinese proverb says “it’s only polite to reciprocate” (e.g. if someone spits in your food, spit on their face.)

The imposition of such tariffs won’t only effect the countries in question though, it will do nothing other than distort trade, and ultimately will lead to a loss of jobs. Other countries are also worried about the tactics the US is using. Trump intends use a little-known trade law to claim that steel and aluminum imports are a threat to national security. Critics claim that this undermines the rules of the World Trade Organization, and will ultimately disrupt the whole global trading system.

It’s for this reason that countries are prepared to also be involved, some threatening that if they are hit by the trade war, they will simply hit back. For example the EU is ready to impose tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon whiskey and Levi’s jeans as retaliation. so everyone is abit tense because they love jeans and alcohol and motorcycles, as all of which make you look really cool.

Millennials could be the ‘fattest generation ever’

Millennials, (people born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s,) are set to overtake baby boomers (people born in the years following the Second World War) as the age group with the highest proportion of overweight or obese people, according to cancer research Uk. After reading this I kind of wondered why cancer research were looking into obesity, because you never really think of a prominent link between excessive weight and cancer. Instead, the focussed link is between excessive weight and heart disease or diabetes etc. But around 13 types of cancer are linked to excessive weight gain, and Polling evidence shows that only 15% of Britons know that obesity increases the risk of cancer. Following these worrying figures, Cancer research launched a campaign highlighting said link, to spread awareness of the dangers of being overweight. However the campaign was not widely accepted, with some calling it ‘hateful’ and ‘fat shaming’

Sofie Hagen took to twitter to share her outrage at the campaign, This is one of many of her tweets regarding the matter, she goes on to say that cancer research must just ‘hate fat people’ hhmmm. I don’t know them personally Sofie, but I cant help but feel that cancer research had other motives behind their campaign, other than to fulfil their fat hating agenda. Perhaps to prevent cancer?

So why this generation? Why such a sharp incline of obesity? There’s obviously a lot of reasons, for example it could be the ease of access to such unhealthy foods, nowadays you can literally get a little man to go get you a burger and cycle it to your house! how great but bad is that! It isn’t just takeaways though, it seems to be the avoidance of cooking in general. The eating-out trend continues to rise with the average household spending £57.30 a week eating out.

But I believe the most prominent change in our societal perception of body image, is the growing idea that ‘all sizes are beautiful’  (Sofie would fuckin love that phrase.) While it is indeed a positive movement to promote self love, it also encourages acceptance of an an unhealthy body, whether this be under weight or over weight. Humans are supposed to strive for health, which is why the healthy body is one which is widely thought of as the ‘ideal body’. But the ‘ideal body’ should not be the end goal, being healthy should be the end goal.

Florida High School Shooting

On the 14th of February, the world saw the death of 17 students and teachers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, Florida. News of the most recent school shooting unfolded as it was happening via twitter. 14 year old Aiden Minoff, live tweeted the shooting to provide the world with “useful information”  as there was “no major news source at the time.” The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, who was arrested shortly after the incident, is said to have been an unsettled person, who often got into trouble at school and home.

In trump’s speech regarding the shooting, he talks about the importance of friends and family at such a difficult time, and claims that “making schools and our children safer will be our top priority,” It was actually quite a moving speech and would almost seem sincere if Trump wasn’t pro-guns.

A common procedure seems to happen after every mass shooting in America. The photo circulates of the disturbed culprit of it all, we hear about the figures like how many people died, where this placed in histories worst massacres, etc, close ups of parents tearful faces emerge on twitter, then to finish, the President sends his love, and we wait for the next one. it’s too sad.

Oxfam Sex Scandal

Amid recent claims that senior staff of the international charity, Oxfam, were involved in a prostitution scandal in Haiti, the organisation are under treat of the withdrawal of government funding, which is a big deal when considering they received £34m in state funding just last year, which is about the same amount I owe my mum but she’s a bit more forgiving than the government. Senior executives are to meet with the government today to explain why Oxfam allegedly covered up that their staff slept with prostitutes in Haiti, in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. It’s expected that they’ll excuse their cover up by claiming ‘it was not a case of exchanging sex for aid’. (because apparently that’s the only time it’s bad) However it has also been speculated that the senior staff member in question was appointed to the job despite directors holding concerns over his behaviour towards women, so their case in general is looking a bit weak.

However, according to Priti Patel, the former Aid Secretary, this case was just ‘The tip of the iceberg’ and it’s actually a much broader issue. This claim is backed up by various figures compiled about British based charities. Oxfam recorded 87 incidents of sexual harassment in 2017, Save the Children recorded 31, Christian Aid 2, while the British Red Cross reported a “small number of cases”. Patel then goes on to say that “Britain must stop funding aid agencies who fail children” Obviously this lady knows her stuff, much more than I do, but I cant help but think that although this is an awful case, such are the other cases that have been reported, that doesn’t make Oxfam as a whole an awful corrupted charity, and so to end funding would surely negatively impact all causes that it works to help, and send aid to.

In saying this, there’s a lot of things in the world that I feel I don’t know enough about to comment on, and it is a rising issue that “predatory paedophiles” were now targeting charities in order to “access children” in the developing world. Although this seems to be the first we’ve heard of it, perhaps it’s a bigger problem than we could know about, and so if any traces of such behaviour exists in a particular charity, it should indeed be cut off. It’s a case of deciding whether the charity is producing more good than bad, and until you’re as clued up on the matter as Priti Patel, I don’t know if you can make a conclusive decision.



MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy

Patients suffering from eating disorders are receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a form of recovery. However its not as fun as you might think, it will be administered at limited doses, under strict monitoring, and given only within a very specified kind of psychotherapeutic environment. lol squares. 
The drug is used not as a treatment to any condition, but as an aid to psychotherapy sessions. Under these controlled and secured conditions, It is thought to help patients open up to their psychologist, and I’m not surprised, getting high on MDMA with your therapist must really build a certain level of trust. kidding. The therapist prefers crack.
it’s still early days as he drug is yet to complete the final stage of FDA trials before becoming legal for this use, and due to a lack of funding, there have not been any formal studies carried out. so it’s all sounding a bit shady so far, but apparently these scientist guys know their shit. Research into the nature of the drug indicates that it will indeed be appropriate for this use, because it acts on the serotonergic and dopamine systems. these are very big words so I trust them. Timothy Brewerton, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the University of South Carolina, explains that what makes MDMA particularly unique and relevant to eating disorder therapy sessions, is the oxytocin system. (another large word) “This has to do with social bonding and pro-social feelings and can enhance therapeutic alliance.” in dumb person terms, the drug could be useful in building trust between a patient and their psychologist, which is imperative to total disclosure, and consequentially, helping them overcome the disorder. If the drug passes the final stage of FDA trials, this would be one of very few medications prescribed to 
those suffering with eating disorders, and therefore could be a real breakthrough in recovery for the disorder. 

It all sounds slightly weird, but I think thats just because we associate MDMA to those tiny colourful pills with smily faces on, but I’m sure the doctor isn’t gonna hand you a little bag full of those and tell you not to tell your mum.

The 1918 Representation of the People Act

Before the 6th of March 1918, democracy was restricted to wealthy men, and therefore a further act to reform the electoral system was deemed necessary. Millions of returning soldiers, who have a government forcing them to go to war, were not entitled to the vote, and therefore were unable to choose said government. Not only did the pre 1918 electoral system disregard the views of lower class men, it disregarded all women. The 1918 Representation of the People Act, widened suffrage by abolishing almost all property qualifications for men, and allowing women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications to vote. So even though women got the chance to vote they still didn’t quite get equal treatment, they still had property qualifications and the minimum age for female voting was 30 as opposed to 21 for men. Despite this, women still accounted for about 43% of the electorate due to the mass loss of men in the war. This was a massive step towards equality which is why on the centennial anniversary of the reform act, women are celebrated. But not men. At all. even though a generation of working-class men, also had their first chance to choose their own representatives. wait a sec what?

So on the morning of feb 6th 2018 I was watching the news ready to welcome Naga Munchetti and Charlie Stayt to my morning and Charlie wasn’t fuckin’ there. BBC Breakfast had an ‘all female line up’ to celebrate women’s suffrage, which I’m not denying is a great thing, I just feel that men are being ignored on this day which also marked an advancement in male voting rights, and to tell the boys that they weren’t allowed to come to work because today is all about the gals seems a weird move. The 1928 equal franchise act should be more celebrated, in my opinion. That was is a day of equality where males and females were finally given equal voting rights. big love to Pankhurst though, thanks pal xxx


Grid girl Ban

The F1 owner announced earlier this week that the company was to let go of the grid girl tradition because it no longer fitted in with the sport’s new ‘brand’ image. However the decision has caused a stir amongst the sports community, with some describing it as a ‘decision against women. 

I do respect their decision to end the tradition, and I think there were only good intentions in the move, but it’s an inconsistency to society. what I mean by this is that although its a weird tradition to begin with, the world is full of weird traditions. These girls are made to look pretty because they want to make the sport more attractive and have a kind of sexier look about it, and parading attractive women up and down the track is an easier way to boost this image than to put bikinis on the cars. BUT if you make the decision to end this, are you also gonna end cheerleading? or modelling? Niki Lauda, the non-executive chairman of Mercedes, joins those criticising the grid girl ban:

“Men have made the decision over the heads of women. This is not doing any favours to F1 and especially not for women. How stupid can they be? Are they nuts?” -She then adds that it wouldn’t be strange to introduce ‘grid boys’ to reinstate the idea that this isn’t a sexist tradition.

Some might argue that the objectification of someones body, whether it’s male or female, should not be encouraged, and personally I think that the Formula 1 industry will gain more respect in their move to ban grid girls. However others might say that it’s doing not much else other than putting these women out of a job, while this kind of thing happens in endless other industries. Theres no denying that it does happen, and for some people it is needed, and I’m sure that for some people it has saved them that they could turn to something like stripping to get quick easy money. But does that make ok? Does that justify it as a useful industry? I’m not making a parallel between gird girls and stripping, but as I said before, to disagree with one role is to disagree with other roles of the same nature or purpose. It’s such a tricky one, but I think its a step in the right direction.

Donald Trump ❤️ Piers Morgan

Morgan built up this interview as if he was gonna give Trump a proper grilling and sort him out, but after watching it, I feel like he just wanted to hold his hand and give him a present. Theres a lot more grilling and challenging things that could have been said if Piers Morgan wasn’t so set on getting a kiss after the cameras turned off, but whatever, it looks like they both had a nice time.

The interview started off by the two reminiscing about where their ‘special relationship’ started, when Piers became Trump’s champion on the apprentice. I find it super weird that Trump was doing that kind of stuff before becoming president, like doing TV shows and pageants before becoming the most powerful man in the world. haha look at this picture how fucked is that?

Anyway after Piers reminded Trump of when he said something nice to him one time, the interview kind of started. Morgan asked trump about a lot of stuff, but it quickly moved on to Trumps twitter account, the one which often uses capital letters to portray anger, that is both funny and scary at the same time. Anyway, obviously a big controversy caused by trumps twitter account was when he retweeted offensive and racist tweets from Jayda Fransen’s account (deputy leader of Britain first) so Piers confronts trump about this, and when I say confronts, I mean kindly brings up the issue to allow Trump to justify why he did it;

Piers: This caused huge anxiety and anger in my country, because Britain First is basically bunch of racists, fascists…

Trump: Of course, I didn’t know that.

Piers: Well, that’s what I wanted to clarify with you. What did you know about them when you did those tweets?

He then puts an apology in the floppy mouth of Trump who graciously chews it and spits it out again. All of the topics covered have this nature, like: ‘you did this bad thing, did you mean it? I don’t think you did!’ all in all it was a weird interview to watch, I felt like I was interrupting a date, but at least Donald Trump got a nice Arsenal top out of it, and Piers Morgan got a lovely new twitter profile picture.


David Attenborough asks us to ‘think of the consequences’

Before even listening to what David Attenborough had to say in his speech at the NTAs this year, I already felt like a despicable piece of shit and I was ashamed of myself.

Upon collecting the ‘impact award’ at the NTAs, the team behind Blue Planet took to the stage to give audiences around the world a very important message.

we were all trying to raise an issue that is of great importance to not only this country, but worldwide – what we’re doing to our planet. If our television programmes have helped stir the consciences of people around the world – and that we are going to do something to protect this beautiful world – then all of us will be very pleased.” in other words, you are all dreadful. fuck you

no no I immediately take that back, I don’t think David Attenborough (otherwise known as Jesus christ) has ever said a mean word in his life. But his short and poignant speech was all that was needed to summarise why blue planet won the impact award, because we are all bastards and are wrecking the world, but it also may have won because its excellent material to fall asleep to. either or.

Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua

The worlds first monkey clones, created in a Chinese laboratory, were born a few weeks ago except apparently they did it before but nobody remembers because they used a less sophisticated method of cloning it was just shit and nobody cared. They made two clones; Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua who are genetically identical, and will therefore be ‘useful for research into human diseases.’ So basically their monkey lives will be full of prodding and poking, but at least they’re useful!! There are obviously loads of ethical issues presented by the birth of the two monkeys, most of which are pretty obvious but the fact that they’re the result of 79 previous attempts, is particularly unsettling, one of which produced the birth of two other monkeys, who didn’t survive. It MUST be noted, however, that the scientists involved followed ‘strict ethical standards‘ so that’s very very good. very good. It was also made clear that this advancement in cloning was ‘not a stepping stone‘ i.e. they’re not moving onto bigger things like making a clone of me who’s clever and good at socialising. So although the procedure will likely lead to advancement in understanding, and the monkeys will indeed be ‘useful,’ it is a bit weird, and there are obvious issues surrounding cloning as a whole. To conclude, everyone is scared but we don’t entirely know why.


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