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Common Sense Rules For Transgender Bathroom Usage…

So I was watching Tech Talk featuring JayzTwoCents and Barnacules on Youtube and Jay and Jerry (Barnacules) were talking about the whole furor over transgender people using the bathroom of the sex they identify with. I was all ready to get mad with Jay’s view on men should go into the men’s bathroom and women in the woman’s bathroom, but I listened to his view and he made some valid points.

First of all, neither Jay nor Jerry is suggesting that we should have laws enforcing rules one way or the other, instead it should come down to individual businesses choosing to take gender consideration away and have unisex bathrooms or choose the traditional separate male and female bathrooms.

The bathroom issue comes down to personal views, same as religion; these views should remain personal and not be politicized by making those personal views city/state law. In some cases, Oxford, Alabama has actually criminalized using a bathroom not of the gender on your birth certificate, meaning a trans-person could be fined upto $500 or even jailed for six months for using the “wrong” bathroom.

We have to remember that businesses do not have to provide a bathroom at all, it’s a courtesy, not a right. Local or federal government regulating public bathrooms that do not belong to them is crazy! How do they plan to enforce these bathroom laws, will they have a “dick checker” at the bathroom door?

It does amuse me that the same people that oppose big government when it comes to gun control are the same people that support these ludicrous bathroom bills. Of all the issues America faces in 2016, these petty bureaucrats are worried about what bathroom a person goes into to relieve themselves.

I understand people fearing that men could enter a woman’s bathroom and attack them, but most of that belief is based on political and media scaremongering, just like the Trump campaign on Muslims and terrorism. The reality is that it could happen anyway, even with these discriminatory laws and there is next to no evidence that transgender people, pre or post-op have committed crimes in a bathroom.

The question is; should we be forcing transgender persons who have fully transitioned into the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate? The photo below is of Michael Hughes, a transgender man from Houston, TX in a woman’s bathroom. This will be the result of these bathroom laws that will make him use the ladies facilities instead of the men’s, which I guess would make women feel uncomfortable?

Transgender Man In Woman's Bathroom

This just highlights the absurdity of these bathroom laws, politicians pass bills according to their personal beliefs without thinking about the real world consequences of their, let’s call it what it is, bigotry.

For trans women, it’s worse, fully transitioned women being forced into the men’s room are likely to be attacked and beaten, despite being a female in every way apart from her birth certificate saying male.

Society is changing and passing laws to try to slow that change will not work. Regardless of the laws, most transgender persons will use the bathroom of the gender they identify with and the majority of people will be oblivious to their transgender status. These laws are designed to be discriminatory against those who are different, just like the civil rights era where non-whites were excluded from everyday activities.

Let’s be brutally honest here, these laws are driven by religion, which itself is a form of control, follow God’s rules or you will be punished. We’re supposed to have separation of church and state; which in 2016 couldn’t be further from the truth, laws and even presidential campaigns are driven by religious beliefs. Businesses can somehow be religious entities and force it’s employee’s to follow it’s doctrine.

I have lost count of how many times presidential candidate Ted Cruz has used God and religion in his policy speeches. Religion has no place in politics full stop, end of story. Any politician using their PERSONAL BELIEFS to create legislation should be immediately removed from their position.

Of course, that won’t happen, GUNS & BIBLES, two words to sum up America at this time. Hopefully in the future that will change as younger progressives gain power and change the position of the USA.


Thumbs Up For Target, Thumbs Down For #BoycottTarget’ers

First of all, I congratulate Target for publicly supporting inclusivity, not exclusion and standing up against the increasingly discriminative laws against the LGBT community under the guise of religious liberty.

I know that it has been an unwritten policy of Target and many other mainstream stores for some time, it’s not like there are people actively monitoring who uses the bathrooms in their stores. I would say that overall, this will benefit Target as a business, progressives are becoming more and more common, especially in the younger generation and those people will shop at Target even if they didn’t before.

The conservative argument against transgender people using a public restroom of the gender they identify with is that it allows for predators, rapists and pedophiles to enter a female bathroom and attack woman and girls, it’s the typical “protect the children” defense. Bottom line is if these predators wanted to commit such a crime in a bathroom, they’d commit the crime regardless of these discriminative laws.

The people that support the #BoycottTarget movement and these “bathroom” laws are the same people that refuse to allow same sex couples the same rights, privileges and protections as they enjoy as man and wife, i.e the “marriage should be between one man and one woman” religious right brigade.

The simple fact is that most of us have been in a public bathroom with a transgender person and never even realized. There is this idea that trans people are instantly identifiable, basically a man wearing a dress; which is far from the truth, most trans people are indistinguishable from non-trans people.

As for the idea of trans people attacking women in bathrooms, there are zero cases of that happening, what’s more likely to happen is a trans-woman being forced to use the male bathroom by some regressive business owner and then brutally beaten by the even more regressive idiots in the bathroom.

The reaction to Target’s inclusivity is truly disgusting, many people suggesting harm to transgender people, and you call trans people mentally ill, you need to take cold hard look at yourself in the mirror.

The more I read from these mostly conservative Christians, the more I despise them and Christianity. I am not saying that all Christians are backward thinking fools, but it seems the majority of them with a social media account are. When I hear expressions that being transsexual (or LGBT in general) is a mental disorder that can be fixed, the more I want to start my own country where religion is banned!

I wonder how many of the 635,000 people (at the time of writing) who signed the American Family Association #BoycottTarget petition actually shop at Target and how many just jumped on the bandwagon? I don’t often shop at Target, but I did today because of their inclusivity policy. Oh, the petition itself is sexist, it talks about men entering woman’s bathrooms; but it doesn’t mention anything about women going into the men’s room. Transgender works both ways, a female can feel/become male.

Final Note: you know the biggest irony, the #BoycottTarget proponents claim that the liberal / Marxist / communist / socialist media is forcing their agenda on them… Yet, they protest to try to get Target to change their policy and bend to their will, how is that any fucking different? Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses because her religious beliefs doesn’t allow it, despite it being a function of her job, that is forcing her will on others, but the religious right all agree with that, fucking hypocrites the lot of you!


Is it possible to say “America is a democracy” with a straight face?

Earlier this week, the New York primary took place and it was a disaster with hundreds of thousands of people unable to vote due to being purged from the electoral roll or missing the registration deadline, six months before the election for voters changing affiliation or six weeks prior for new voters.

New York is a closed primary, which means that people that missed the deadline to register or simply choose to be an independent are unable to vote on their choice of preferred presidential candidate. I fail to understand why being able to vote is so restrictive, it’s almost like the BOE don’t want people to vote.

In my view, all elections should be open (and fair) with the option to register party affiliation on the day of the election, not 6 weeks to 6 months prior to the election like in New York, then we have the over 100,000 people who were removed from the electoral roll for various, frankly dubious reasons.

I am a Bernie Sanders supporter and feel that he was screwed by the disenfranchisement and purging of voters. I’m not saying that Bernie would have beaten Hillary in New York, but I believe it would have been much closer as a large number of purged voters were from Bernie’s home borough of Brooklyn, NY.

It’s not just New York, Maricopa County in Arizona closed 140 polling locations, leaving just 60. That’s one polling place for roughly every 20,000 people, which created a five hour wait time to vote for many voters. Many voters were given provisional ballots because they were mis-registered as independents despite being lifelong democrats. A provisional ballot often means that their vote will not be counted.

And it’s going to happen again, Rhode Island will close 2/3 of their available polling places to save money. The state will open just 144 locations of the 419 that are available. It gets worse, Robert Kando who is supposed to oversee these elections will be on unpaid suspension, this all sounds very dubious indeed.

To the title of this article, it’s hard to take the US presidential primary seriously given the many different types of elections in different states with varying registration deadlines. This is an election to choose a presidential candidate for each party, we need a standardized system, preferably open elections with same day registration, meaning every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot for their preferred candidate.


Cenk On A Plane, A Customer Relations Disaster

Although the title is about Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks American Airlines experience at Los Angeles International Airport. This article is also about the disturbing lack of customer service skills in the US in general, either deliberate or through incompetence. I have experienced dozens of incidents where customer service was severely deficient, which sadly seems to be the norm, not the exception.

First of all, I am not condoning cursing or getting in people’s faces to force a resolution, in my view, that often achieves nothing. The front line staff often get to face the backlash of decisions made by people that never have to deal with the real world consequences of their actions. I have worked in customer service (tech supt) and know what it’s like to have to deal with angry customers, the first thing you do is apologize for the situation. In this case the supervisors at American Airlines, LAX failed spectacularly in defusing the situation, their disdain for angry, frustrated customers further escalated the situation needlessly.

Airlines expect you to be at the airport upto 2 hours before the flight, yet think nothing of delaying flights for four hours with no reason given. Saying a plane is being brought from the hanger to the terminal in 20 minutes, that plane fails to arrive, people get understandably agitated, they have paid $400+ for the flight, you expect it to be on time baring mechanical or safety issues, passenger safety first and all.

There were so many options available to American Airlines, moving passengers to other flights, offering refunds or just being nice and understand that their customers are frustrated. Usually if people are taking internal flights, they need to be somewhere at a certain time for business meetings for example. The whole idea that they can delay you or even not allow you to board without financial repercussions is absolutely crazy. “We f**ked up your trip and we’re keeping your money”, disgraceful customer service.

I do like that Cenk live streamed the whole thing to Facebook and later uploaded to YouTube. I really do like the way social media and connected devices hold these companies accountable in real-time. Gone are the days where businesses can provide terrible customer service without any financial and marketing repercussions. This is why it’s often better to Tweet @company than call customer service, I have done this many times and got my issue revolved within hours instead of being given excuses over the phone.

I truly hope that American Airlines lose business over the live streamed treatment of customers, I would only fly American Airlines as a last resort. Oh, yes, the official reason for Cenk being booted from the flight, he was filming the whole debacle. American Airlines claim that its policy to not allow recording of their locations and staff, so why did no-one make the number of people recording aware of this policy?


Suspended!!!

I have had a few days to calm down so hopefully expressing my views will make more sense than it would have three days ago. On Tuesday I get a call from the assistant principle at our son’s school notifying me that he has gotten himself suspended for violent conduct and that I need to come pick him up. This is not the first incident of violent / anti-social behavior or even his first suspension and it was 100% unprovoked, hence why I took a few days to calm down and try to make sense of the situation.

And, to be honest, even after 3 days of reflection and discussion, I find myself still angry, disappointed and embarrassed as we have not raised him to act like this. This behavior either comes from school or from the Internet, Youtube etc. Clearly we need to do a better job of monitoring his Internet usage, not that he will be getting any non-school related Internet usage for an indefinite period of time.

This is our son’s third suspension, his second out of school suspension in 2 1/2 years, all for violent / anti social reasons. To say that the wife and I are disappointed is an understatement, but we need to find out what is happening in his head; our son is autistic, but it’s too easy to blame that diagnosis, we think it’s more than that. Dare I say some of it is genetic, his biological father, who our son has never known has all the same traits that our son has exhibited in recent years, it’s too much of a coincidence to ignore.

This incident happened during recess when our son was playing basketball with some other boys and because our son couldn’t not get the ball from the other kid, he hit the other kid with a closed fist and then yelled “takedown”. Our son claims it was an accident and it was an open hand, but five other kids who witnessed the incident said it was a fist. Our son claims they all hate him and they are all lying to get him in trouble. I don’t like to admit it, but our son is a proven liar, always redirecting blame on others.

Our son even called my wife and I liars when we were talking to his teachers and assistant principle about a pattern of behavior we have observed in and out of school. We are going to have to seek professional help, maybe a visit to his psychologist. Our son is about to turn 12 and will be in seventh grade after the summer. This sort of behavior is going to him in serious trouble should it continue in the future.

I understand that people may think we are being harsh on him calling him a liar, but he has been caught in bold face lies, lying about things when he was caught red handed. We recently allowed him to play computer games again, resetting his computer ban as his poor grades were reset to zero after the change of semester. He knows he has a set time limit of 2 hours, but he sneaks back into his room and continues playing, then tells me he was about to turn it off when I bust him after more than 11 hours of usage.

Then a few days later, on a school night, I catch him watching TV in his room after I told him to turn it off. He tried to turn off the TV like he was was not watching it as I entered his room. Honestly it seems like he doesn’t understand or doesn’t care that there are consequences to his actions. Unlike computer games, you can’t just reset and start over, as things stand, we are back to a complete computer/TV ban.

All my wife and I want is to get a passing grade in school instead of being in the D and F group each week, for him to do as we ask at home, which isn’t much, we don’t ask him to do chores. But he continues to be defiant at home and school then cries like a baby when we hand down punishments for his actions. No matter how many times he gets busted, his behavior never changes leaving us baffled and frustrated.

UPDATE [Apr, 6 2016, 12:04]: SIGH! my son went and got an in school suspension for fighting at recess, I’m not going to go into detail, but I feel we are heading down a dangerous path. I have asked the school if they could keep my son inside away from the other kids to avoid this sort of issue in future.


The Democratic Primary Process, What The Actual F**k?

Due to Bernie Sanders running for president this election season, I have taken more notice of the political process and I have to say “what the actual f**k?”. The process is very convoluted and undemocratic and we are talking about the primary for the democrats, not the GOP; what a complete and utter joke.

I’m going to start with the biggest issue, super-delegates, elected officials who can vote for whichever candidate they want regardless of how the people of their state voted. The USA is supposed to be a democracy, how can this be when super-delegates can go against the public vote. Sanders has won 44.7% of the pledged delegates while Clinton has 94.5% of the super-delegates, how is this democracy?

If we take away the super delegates, Clinton’s lead over Sanders is just 239 and with the super-delegates her lead is 694, this is the figure that the likes of CNN, FOX and MSNBC like to use, giving the public a misleading impression of the presidential candidate race. Super-delegates have the option to change their allegiance at the Democratic convention later in the cycle, so should not be counted in poll results!

Next we have the different types of elections, we have caucuses, open primary and closed primary. Let’s start with caucuses, voters pick a side, literally standing on sides of the room, then a representative tried to convince undecided votes to go to their candidates side, the person with the most on their side of the room wins. Basically this is the reverse of how we picked who team captains choose their teams in school.

Next we have open primaries where people can vote for whoever they want without party registration, which is how it should be in a democratic system. Finally we have closed primaries where voters have to register as democrat, republican, green or independent before the day of the day of the election.

There is a clear issue with closed/hybrid primaries like Arizona. In the state there was clear voter suppression, lifelong democrats were suddenly registered as independents, which meant they could vote, but that vote would not be counted. Also in Arizona, Maricopa County only had 60 polling locations compared to over 200 in 2012, creating a five hour wait for some, who due to the computer system showing them as independent meant that they had a wasted journey as their vote counted for nothing.

The Arizona primary was a disaster and frankly the whole result should have been thrown out as tens of thousands of voters didn’t get to cast a valid vote due to either deliberate sabotage or a glitch in the voter database. There is even a petition to the White House demanding the federal government investigate.

The whole process is drawn out and clearly susceptible to corruption, Arizona is not the first state to face accusations of voter suppression. I fail to understand why the whole country doesn’t just go to the polls on the same day and cast their vote for their preferred candidate and the person with the majority of votes overall, not including super-delegates wins the nomination for president for their respective party.


Germany Vs England International Friendly

I have not watched a single England match since their disgraceful exit from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, including Euro 2016 qualifying, but today I happen to be browsing through the Electronic Program Guide on my cable box and found Germany Vs England and decided to watch it live, albeit not with high hopes.

I had a mixture of feelings during the match, in the first 30 minutes, England were attacking although they lacked the finish in front of goal and were fortunate that the assistant referee incorrectly flagged Mario Gomez’ goal offside. Then in the final 15 minutes of the first half, the Germans came back at England and scored through Toni Kroos’ long range effort in the 43rd minute defeating injured goalkeeper Jack Butland, who was immediately stretchered off the pitch and replaced by Fraser Forster.

The second half started as the first half ended with the Germans on top doubling their lead in the 57th minute through Mario Gomez’ header, leaving Forster rooted to the spot. At this point I am fearing the worse, thinking Germany would go on to Embarrass the English. BUT to my surprise, England mounted a fightback in the last 30 minutes, Harry Kane starting the fightback with a low drive in the 61st minute, then substitute Jamie Vardy’s flick leveled the scores and Eric Dier made it 2 – 3 in the 91st minute.

It could have been 2 – 4 but Dele Alli who had been a play-maker all match long and deserved man of the match, missed a sitter from the middle of the penalty box in the 84th minute to his clear frustration.

So what can we take from this game? England need to work on their defence, I feel that the German goals were kinda soft. I can accept the first goal was due to Jack Butland’s injury. But the second goal was definitely poor defense, Gomez was allowed too much space while Forster stood there ball watching.

The plus side is that England kept fighting and against the odds beat the World Cup winners on their own turf. So from a midfield and attacking point of view, things look promising, but not good enough at this time with a leaky defense, England can’t play with a “we’ll score one more goal than you” attitude.


Why I Support Bernie Sanders

First thing that attracts me to Bernie Sanders is the fact that he is an independent, i.e. not part of the “establishment” running as a democrat for political exposure reasons. I honestly do not trust the vast majority of Washington. Politicians that take money from the interests they regulate ignoring the wishes of the people they represent is everything that is wrong with modern day politics. If I had my way, I would have all of the establishment forced onto a boat and let the US navy use it for target practice.

Single Payer Healthcare (Medicare For All)

As someone who hails from the UK where single payer healthcare has existed for 68 years, this is a common sense decision. Right now, the US healthcare system is broken so badly that people choose to not take essential medication to keep them healthy, get treatment when needed and in some cases, choose to die so family members don’t have the financial burden of being treated for terminal illnesses.

The cost of prescription drugs is insane, even if you have medical insurance, often you have to pay a hefty deductible before insurance will pay. From a personal perspective, this has affected our life immensely, my wife suffers from fibromyalgia and requires a number of drugs that costs hundreds of dollars each.

Finally, although I believe Obamacare to be a step forward, it has flaws, the individual mandate is a big stumbling block. Having to pay a significant penalty tax should you choose either through hardship or free choice to not buy insurance is crazy. Even with a subsidy, some people still can not afford to buy insurance due to financial hardship. A single payer system would mean more taxes, but overall Americans will pay less each year due to not needing medical insurance and lower treatment and drug costs.

Pay Equality & $15/hr Minimum Wage

I support a living wage for all and equal pay for women; i.e equal pay for equal work, however I do not necessarily support $15/hr as a blanket minimum wage. $15/hr in New York is barely a living wage, but here is Kansas, $15/hr is significantly more than a living wage. I think we need to have a minimum wage that will be based upon living costs in any given area, which can vary massively from state to state.

Eliminating Corporate Welfare

In the USA today, mega-corporations receive massive tax breaks and subsidies, in some cases, these corporations pay a negative tax rate after subsidies. How can this be right when as individuals we pay a higher percentage of tax than companies making billions of dollars? The US has massive debts, yet the GOP’s trickle down economics is still prevalent despite it been proven to not work. These corporations take the money and put it in offshore accounts and make little to no investment in jobs and infrastructure.

Bernie’s plan would tax these corporations at a fair corporate tax rate to pay for all his plans he has should he become president such as free community college, medicare expansion etc. Bernie also wants to break up the big banks while stopping said banks from making risky investments, knowing they will be bailed out by American tax payers money when it all goes wrong like what happened in 2008.

Remove Money From Politics

Again, this is a common sense move, our government is supposed to represent the interests of the people of America, not corporations who pay for their election campaigns. Anyone who believes that these companies give money out of the goodness of their heart are delusional, just follow the money and see how senators and congressmen who received the money vote in congress. Another reason to like Bernie, he is almost completely funded by individual donations and workers unions, not super-corporations.

Free College For All

This one I partially agree with, I believe we should have a system that doesn’t cripple people financially for decades just because they want a better standard of education and prospects for the future.

But, I believe it should be a means based system, for families that can afford to pay or partially pay for college without hardship, I don’t believe college should be free. The taxpayer should not have to foot the bill for people who can afford to provide for themselves and/or their children, this seems a fairer system.

Less Involvement in International Conflicts

This has been a major bugbear of mine for years, I always felt that it is not America’s role to be the world’s policemen. The cost, both physical and financial has been high, how many civilians have been killed? how many soldiers killed? how much money spent war that could have been used fixing the US’ internal issues? I’m a firm believer in getting your own house in order before telling others how to run theirs.

America as a country has no right to dictate what other countries can and can not do, frankly it’s none of America’s business. If America does not like what countries like Iran are doing, leave them alone, don’t dictate to them. There are plenty of examples where America’s involvement has had undesired effects such as removing Muammar Gaddafi from power in Libya, which has now become a stronghold for ISIS.

Miscellaneous

I firmly stand with Bernie on his stance of equality for all, whether it be marriage, income or religion. While the idiotic Republican candidates want all sorts of harassment and even torture of Muslims because of the actions of the few, Bernie’s message is “fight the terrorist, not the religion”. This evil group of people only represent a fraction of Islam, less than 0.002% are believed to be ISIS fighters.

The hate message coming from the Republicans is not at all American. The US is melting pot, a country based upon immigration, most American’s are effectively immigrants or children of immigrants.

I often hear how the Christian right are being suppressed, their religious freedom being infringed, yet that doesn’t seem to apply to non-Christian religions, this is hypocrisy of the highest order. Just look at the amount of hate crimes and terrorist acts committed by Christians, yet there is no talk of banning Christians entering the country from Trump or patrolling Christian neighborhoods like Cruz suggests.


Formula One Management Really Don’t Have A Clue…

After the debacle of last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix qualifying session, teams voted to revert back to old qualifying format from 2015. But it seems that F1 has changed it’s mind again and will retain the new for 2016 qualifying format as debuted in Melbourne and will be reviewed after the Bahrain GP.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that teams didn’t know what they were doing in Melbourne and that was half the problem. To me, this shows what a bad idea it was to implement changes so quickly, teams didn’t have enough time to understand the new system fully. Beta testing a new format in front of a live international audience on TV is never a good idea. However this is typical of FOM in recent years.

At the Australian GP there were issues in all three sessions. We saw drivers sitting in the pits as their time ticked down and Albert Park has a quick lap time compared to many on the calendar. The only way I can see a timed knockout system working is if we had tyres that can last the full length of the session and all cars have to be out on track for the whole session, pitting, changing tyres and refueling takes too long.

There were also issues with tyre allocation, Jenson Button said he stayed in the pits in Australia’s Q2 session because of the lack of tyre availability. So we need to change the way tyres are allocated as well, maybe have a separate allocation of tyres for qualifying, a set of medium/hard tyres per session, maybe?

From what I have been reading, this decision, should it actually happen is based upon commercial interests and not sporting interests. Which seems crazy to me, the fans hated it, many fans, myself included disliked the idea of the new format, yet we, as fans are being ignored again. Formula 1 as a sport claims to be listening to it’s fans, but I see very little evidence of that claim based on their actions.

Here’s another example of how FOM is alienating fans of the sport. It has been announced that from 2019 through 2024, live races will be exclusively on Sky Sports with highlights and the British Grand Prix shown on “free-to-air” television. As to what the free-to-air channel will be, we do not know at this time.

All but the most ardent of F1 fans will not be willing to spend extra money to watch F1. And it’s not exactly cheap, first of all, customers will need a ROKU based NOW box for £25, which connects through your broadband internet connection. It will then cost £6.99 to watch to race, qualifying and practice will be £6.99 extra per day. There’s is a weekly option for £10.99 which would allow you to watch all sessions. There is also a monthly option for £31.99, however, this cost does include all seven Sky Sports channels.

F1 viewership has dropped due to half of the races only been shown live on pay television, so this decision doesn’t make too much sense. Logically, people will simply be turned off the sport, to me, watching F1 is not worth the money it will cost to subscribe. It honestly seems that Bernie Ecclestone and CVC are out to milk F1 as much as possible and to hell with the fans and the long term future of the sport.


Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2016

We have to start with the elephant in the room, the stupid, embarrassing qualifying session using the new timed knockout format for 2016. To say it was an unmitigated disaster is an understatement, after the initial rush to post a lap time, many drivers sat out the remainder of the session in their cars waiting for their time to run out. Heck, Sebastian Vettel was out of his race suit wearing jeans before he was eliminated in the final Q3 session. The result, the 2015 qualifying format returns for Bahrain in 2 weeks.

Now we have addressed the elephant in the room, e.g. disastefying; we can move onto the race and it was a half decent race thanks to incidents and shock pace from some runners. Maybe my perception is skewed a little as I had such low expectations that the race seemed pretty good from my point of view.

The initial start was aborted due to Red Bull’s Kvyat stopping out of position on the grid which resulted in the Russian not even taking the start. After another installation lap, everyone managed to get off the line with Ferrari duo Vettel and Raikkonen getting amazing starts to be first and second by the exit of turn 2, while Mercedes duo Rosberg and Hamilton got bumped back to third and sixth places respectively.

Hamilton soon dispatched the Williams of Massa by lap 4 to take 5th place then cruised upto the back to Verstappen’s Toro Rosso in 4th place by lap 8 but got stuck behind the Toro Rosso until lap 33 when the Dutchman made his second stop for tyres. Hamilton also had to endure the insult of being passed by Vettel’s Ferrari after the German had made a stop two laps earlier, Hamilton still on his original tyres.

Talking of the Toro Rosso’s, Verstappen was acting like a royal dick in the season opener, having a full on expletive laden tantrum over the radio because his team mate Sainz would not slow and let him pass. The Toro Rosso pit wall said a number of times that Verstappen could attempt to overtake his Spanish team mate, but couldn’t get the job done, so he bitched some more over the radio. Put your big boy pants on and get the job done, stop bitching over the radio, trying to force your team to give you preference.

Unfortunately for Vettel and Ferrari, McLaren’s Alonso had a coming together with Haas’ Gutierrez resulting in the Spaniard hitting the wall, then flipping end over end before finally coming to rest deep into the gravel trap. Alonso amazingly walked away from the horrific crash that all but destroyed his McLaren. The net result of this was that a red flag was called meaning Vettel’s strategy was ruined.

I think Ferrari still had a chance to win from the safety car restart of the race, but for some reason elected to install super soft tyres on his Ferrari, which were not significantly faster than Rosberg’s medium tyres meaning that as soon as Vettel pitted for tyres, his German compatriot took the lead. And because the STR’s released Hamilton on lap 33, Vettel also fell behind the Englishman when he pitted on lap 35.

Vettel managed to make up the gap to Hamilton on soft tyres; but by that time the German’s tyres were shot and he ended up sliding wide at the penultimate corner giving the Briton some breathing room meaning Vettel had to settle for that all too familiar third step on the podium while it was another 1-2 for the all conquering Mercedes duo, Rosberg extending his run to four wins, including last season.

Meanwhile Aussie, Ricciardo made the pass on Massa into turn 1 under DRS to claim fourth place, matching Mark Webber’s best ever finish in an Australian GP. Grosjean drove a solid race, keeping out of trouble to bring his Haas F1 home in sixth place, an amazing result for the brand new American team. The squabbling Toro Rosso drivers finished the race in 9th and 10th where they had been for the majority of the race. Hulkenberg and Bottas claimed 7th and 8th places respectively with solid if anonymous drives.

Overall I would give the race a solid 7/10, we had a shock start with both Ferrari’s darting off the line getting ahead of the Mercedes. We had spectacular crashes, red flags and a safety car restart, great racing in the midfield and temper tantrums from 18 year old Max Verstappen. Next we’re off to Bahrain.