Tag Archives: USA

Scenes on Sunday ~ Wyoming Wilderness

The clearest way into your mind is through a wilderness.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

all these pictures were taken with a compact Lumix by the girl riding shotgun.

So, Guns Don’t Kill People…

Guns make very small men feel very big.

The whole world must know by now that on St. Valentines day a nineteen years old youth called Nicholas Cruz carried out his very own cowardly massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida.  After about 7 minutes of shooting, 17 people lay dead, and 14 others were wounded, some of them critically.

Nicholas Cruz was expelled from that Florida High School for ‘disciplinary reasons’ after ‘getting into trouble’.  It is now said that this cowardly youth is mentally ill, has a history of killing animals, showed off his kills and firearms on social media, and that his mother called the police to their home 39 times to try and ‘talk some sense into him’.

It is also said that the other students were very afraid of Nicholas Cruz and his propensity for violence when he did attend the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida.

So, how was it that Nicholas Cruz was, ‘perfectly legally’, able to buy an AR-15 assault rifle and magazines at Sunrise Tactical Supply, of  7600 Wiles Rd. Coral Springs?  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say that; ‘No laws were violated in the procurement of this weapon’.

Really?  And now 17 people are dead and at least 14 injured, some of them critically.  Because Nicholas Cruz was allowed to legally buy an AR-15 and magazines.

The Colt AR-15 assault rifle is a military weapon of war, and a variant of the US military’s M16 rifle.  Along with the Russian AK-47 (Kalashnikov), the AR-15 is the weapon of choice for terrorists and mass murderers who carry out insane random shootings.  Stephen Paddock used a variant of the AR-15 to kill 58 people in Las Vegas on October 1st 2017.

The AR-15 is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle, either 16, 20, 0r 24 inches in length.  It fires either the US .223 Remington, or 5.56 x 45 mm NATO cartridge, with a probable rate of fire of 90 rounds a minute, and an effective range of 600 yards.   It is said to be a very user-friendly ergonomic weapon.

The gun laws in Florida are very lax.  Florida is a ‘shall issue’ state and will routinely allow ‘concealed carry’ licences for handguns.  You don’t need a permit to buy or carry a rifle or shotgun in Florida, nor do you have to register your weapons.  You can buy as many guns as you like, all at the same time, including assault weapons with large-capacity magazines, and .50 caliber rifles.  All you have to be is 18 years of age, (or a minor must have the permission of their parent or legal guardian), and you can equip yourself to start a reasonably sized war in the State of Florida.

Nicholas Cruz wasn’t old enough to buy a beer, but he was more than old enough to buy a deadly weapon and carry out his own St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

And Florida is not alone, the most lenient gun laws in the USA are to be found in; Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming, Vermont, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Utah, and South Carolina.

From England, the gun laws and gun culture in the USA look utterly insane.  The US Constitution’s Second Amendment looks like a throwback to 1765, 1776, and 1783.  The British Redcoats are not going to march down Pennsylvania Avenue anytime soon.  The only time an American President likely to hear the massed bands of the Brigade of Guards play ‘The British Grenadiers’ would be on a State Visit to London.

Keep your Second Amendment and keep your mass shootings.

You are in our thoughts and you have the deepest sympathies of all England

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

Marmaduke Enjoying Utah

Marmaduke liked the wide open spaces.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Long USA Road Trip

I’m beginning to recover from the 3,500 road trip I had in the USA recently.  There were some strange places on the route.  Like Beaver in Utah.

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Downtown Las Vegas.

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And Big Bear Lake.

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The girl riding shotgun did get very buzzed in Big Bear, but that’s more down to the altitude than anything else.

I would not have missed this trip for the world.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some long wide roads out there

 

Marmaduke and I went to the USA to witness a total eclipse of the sun.  To Marmy and me, the USA seems to be doing pretty well right now.  We saw quite a lot of people driving Jaguars.

Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse.  All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night…  The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.  ~  Victor Hugo

During our trip we travelled some 16,000 miles, including driving 3,282 miles in our rented SUV.  (We needed an SUV rather than a Mustang convertible to take all the luggage the Girl Riding Shotgun brought on this long road trip.)

Marmaduke and I visited Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, Dublin in Ireland, Amsterdam in Holland, LAX, Orange County, drove through California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and into Wyoming, (then back again to Orange County in sunny Southern California).

We also visited the Queen Mary in Long Beach for a champagne Sunday brunch, went up to Big Bear Lake, and kicked back at the Southern California beaches in Little Corona, Aliso, Laguna, and best of all Crescent Bay.  Went shopping in the local Mall and sundry thrift stores, checked out the Parks in Orange county, and generally hung out in some cool bars.

Finally flew back to the UK from LAX, via Paris and Dublin before arriving back in the UK on September 10th ~ broke, exhausted, and filled with amazing memories.

Right now, and back in the garret, Marmaduke and I have 1,111 unread emails in my inbox, 3,970 pictures on my camera, a good suntan, a little jet-lag, and a pile of laundry from our trip.

Marmaduke also wants to know why he couldn’t stay in SoCal… dude…

My advice?  Go on a very, very long road trip in the USA.  But, whenever and where ever you travel, take half the luggage you think you will need, and at least twice as much money as you think you could possibly spend.

It’s best not to stare at the sun during an eclipse. ~ Jeff Goldblum

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Pictures taken with a Panasonic Lumix

Scenes on Sunday ~ Marmaduke USA

It’s Very Nice To Go Traveling.

But it’s so much nicer to travel home.

Carrying a teddy bear from England to the West Coast of the USA isn’t quite as easy as you would think, what with curious Homeland Security sniffer dogs and all….

On the other hand, I know Marmaduke did better than me when it came to exploring the romance and attractiveness of California Girls.  Although that wouldn’t be so difficult. I can be so very stuffy, preppy-style, repressed even, some of the time.

On the other hand, poor Marmaduke struggled a bit in the desert ~ what with his fur coat and everything.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

all these shots taken with a Panasonic Lumix

The Curse Of Cannabis

Marijuana use causes mental illness

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Some say that cannabis is safe and non-addictive.  And, that using marijuana can ease the pain of many debilitating illnesses.  All I know is that skunk causes schizophrenia.

woman smoking cannabisTwenty-five years ago most doctors would have said there was no link between cannabis use and mental health problems such as schizophrenia.  Now, Professor Sir Robin Murray, (the foremost authority in Britain on the effects of smoking marijuana), has raised some very alarming warnings in a study published in the professional journal The Lancet Psychiatry.

The study concludes that 24 per cent of ‘first episode psychosis’ cases in South London were caused by smoking strong cannabis.  There is a strong link between cannabis use and mental illness

In an experiment for a television documentary, broadcaster and former Member of Parliament Matthew Parris tried ‘skunk’ cannabis.

The effect was stunning ~ and not, (for me), in a good way.  short-term memory went walkabout.  I would forget what I was talking about even when I was talking.  I became shaky.  Time went haywire.

In the same experiment television news presenter Jon Snow said;

By the time I was completely stoned, I felt utterly bereft.  I felt as if my soul had been wrenched from my body….  I would never do it again.

Recent events have shown that the effects of cannabis use may be much, much worse than that.  There is a litany of violent crimes and terrorist attacks where the perpetrators had a history of heavy cannabis use.  One example is the Copenhagen Killer, Omar El-Hussein, who had twice been arrested for cannabis possession.  The recent Paris killers were also known cannabis users, so were the killers of soldier Lee Rigby, and so is the chief suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013.

obama-selfieYet, it is fashionable among the urban elite both to admit to cannabis use, and to legislate to make this dangerous drug even easier to get.  US President Barack Obama has said that smoking marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol.  Personally, I trust every word Mr. Obama says, maybe, or maybe not.

I couldn’t make it up.  Using mind-altering chemicals is no way to attain a spiritual life.  I have known two people who committed suicide after smoking marijuana.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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