Saturday, March 31, 2007

All neat and tidy.

Seems David Hicks will only be serving nine additional months for his 'crimes'. read here. So it won't cost Oz all that much. better than seven extra years for Hicks.

I was interested in the terms of the plea bargain. As part of the bargain, Hicks also withdrew claims he had been beaten by US forces after his capture in Afghanistan and that he had been sedated before learning of the charges against him.

How convenient. Withdraw the accusations or we will keep you here without trial for the rest of your life. We could even execute you. Or we will let you go but you must promise not to slander us. A binding agreement with no pretence of justice.

What a farce. Now we have no real idea of this guys guilt or not.

He won't be the last either.

Is this what is called punishment?

Reading this article on a Pedophile being jailed for raping a man and two years two months for 'failing to notify police of a change in his sex offender status'.

What does 'failing to notify police of a change in his sex offender status' mean? I'm sure that it must mean something like telling them where he is living or something. Surely they don't expect him to phone up and say I've just raped someone else so knock me up a notch on the weirdo list. Surely status means exactly that, he is or he isn't, he is a minor threat or a big threat. Now isn't that for the police to specify not him. I just don't understand why they don't just say what they mean.

Additionally according to the article. He got an indeterminate sentence for the rape. He got three years for sexual assault and two years two months for the failure to notify. All sentences to run concurrently. So basically he only gets the longest sentence. He is to serve a minimum of five and a half years for this. Pretty low you may think considering his other two crimes alone come to nearly that. But such is British justice.

But wait, this wasn't the first time. He had 11 previous convictions for 25 offences and nine of the offences were of a serious sexual nature and included serious sexual offences against children. What! How this guy was even out of jail to commit the next crime is beyond me. Five and a half years. He should never be out while he is alive anyway.

In the meantime OAPs are being put in jail for being poor. British justice.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Justice and justice. Which one is served here?

It seems that David Hicks has worked a deal where he will plead guilty and gets to serve up to seven years in an Oz jail. Read here.

Now call me whatever you want but I think there are a few issues with this.

The first one that pops to mind is they actually don't have anything on him. Besides his confession and who wouldn't confess after five years in that hell hole. So they are settling knowing that the eyes of the world will be on them. Making a deal means you don't have to prove anything and as far as he is concerned he actually sees a life beyond a cell guilty or not. So a deal benefits both but leaves a unsettling aftertaste.

The second is that if his sentence is only seven years or so then what does that crime compare with in the US courts and considering that very few people are kept in the sort of conditions at the camp a year there must be a lot more psychologically damaging. Knowing that regardless of human rights and the laws of the lands you have been in you have no comeback on what is going on. Now I'm all for more severe sentences where people have to deal with harsh conditions. No PS2s, TV pool etc. Let them spend their time reflecting on their crime and for those that will never get out there is no need to spend money educating or taking any risks. Drop them in a pit and lower their meals.

The interesting part is that serving the sentence in an Australian jail. Sounds like a good deal for the US. They get to sentence him for crimes which are unlikely to stand up in Oz yet Oz have to pay for his jail time. Plus what will happen if he appeals which he has every right to do? Will he get sent back to the US for his appeal or will his appeal be heard in Oz? What about parole and reviews. Will he be treated differently to all the other prisoners in Oz. You can bet on it.

One thing I am sure of is that the US is not coming out of this clean. This whole situation seems to be a cockup from beginning to end and yet, no one in the US will take any fall and yet the whole thing leaves a bitter aftertaste.

It's just not seen as Justice.

Yawn. Politics in action.

It seems that despite the high profile given to using renewable energy the government still won't just allow us to put up turbines willy nilly. Read here about Cameron having to have his removed until it can be re-sited to meet local planning rules.

What if his rickety old house couldn't stand having this turbine attached to the chimney? After all it must be running like Billy Whiz to generate 30% of his power requirements. Think of the webcam, computer, etc. at the very least. His bills must be above the norm. A good question is will he actually put it back up now he has already reaped the publicity?

Anyway, what that means is with Cameron now having to pull all of his power from the grid for the moment that could mean a spike in usage we need to compensate for. Maybe we should ask all conservativestory voters in that area to cut back and make one less cuppa a day or something.

The issue here however is that local planning rules mean that people can't just add on items like this to their houses. It might upset the neighbours. So it's not just the cost of the turbines, it also the additional costs of the local planning office and expert installers who we need to get involved. On the other hand our local councils can do what they want to meet their environmental targets. Will we be seeing massive wind turbines on school fields or parks because the public is not putting up enough?

More importantly, why am I not really surprised to see this?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

You reap what you sow.

Police investigating the accidental running over of a seven year old girl had stones and missiles thrown at them by youths. A police car was damaged and they retreated. It seems that community workers tried to defuse the situation but other adults did nothing. Read here.

There are two things here. The first is that the youths threw the stones and the police retreated. I was surprised that was seen as a problem. Nowadays the youths can't be stopped because it denies them their basic rights or something and our police always seem to back off if it comes to butting heads. A policy that emboldens these people and makes these scenes more likely.

The second is that adults stood by an did nothing. I don't think I would do anything either. If you did you would end up being stabbed or shot as the police were racing away. You don't have a right to self defence and the capability is removed as the police are supposed to look after you and they can't even look after themselves. In addition the police would be looking for you ten minutes later to arrest you for crimes against humanity if you shouted at them. The community workers probably went around saying 'Don't do that' as anything else would have been too risky. Again policy encourages people not to get involved.

You reap what you sow. And Labour have sown a lot over the last decade.

What! All my sacrifices are in vain.

Talk about making sacrifices in vain.

It seems that for the past two years or so I've been religiously sorting my waste under threat of prison to help in our never ending fight against ourselves.

Now it appears that all the good work I, and millions of others, are doing is wasted.

This article is titled 'UK greenhouse emissions show rise'

Now surely all the work that has gone into this over the last year or so would have had some impact. If this has not how bad is it going to get and how much forced out of us. It looks like we are going to need all these extra prison spaces after all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Keep in touch with your voters. I'll need more money for that.

Unbelievably our politicians are going to be giving themselves an extra £10K to connect with their constituents. Read here. This is all because we seem to be avoiding politics. As a cure for this these people are going to be able to get their hands on another revenue source to allow them to set up a web page with podcasts etc.

It's beyond parody. I really can't say any more about these thieving scum without repeating myself endlessly,which I am willing to do, and joining the swearbloggers.

Being a politician must be the best job in the world. No responsibilities, wage rises any time you want it. Everything you do is paid for by people who would rather you died but they have no choice and adoration by a few sycophants.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Better late than never. It only took 10 years.

This article on targeting the 100K who commit 50% of all crime in the UK has a very interesting statement from our wonderful leader. He says 'If we want a criminal justice system that works, we have to target the offender and not simply the offence'

Whoopie Do dah! Finally he gets it. Although after driving all over the world just as he is pulling into the car park at his destination he decides to use a new driving technique. Isn't that typical. He doesn't seem to be saying that it's someone else's fault and they are driven to it. It seems that he might recognise it's a way of life that needs to be stopped.

With a lot of luck the thinking behind that single statement could change society in the UK.

The War on Terror has a big win.

Yep. It seems that Snoop Dogg and P Diddy have cancelled UK shows because Snoop Dogg couldn't get a UK visa. Read here.

So all that money spent on TWOT and extra resources at the Home Office wasn't wasted after all.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Isn't science wonderful.

Let's see more of this sort of scientific advance. Boosting women's sex drive. Read here.

The only thing is. It's that law of unintended consequences again. It's going to lower the male life span as we all get heart attacks from attempting to keep up with all the horny older women.

I see my retirement diminishing in front of my eyes. Don't know if it's a curse or a blessing.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Local council solves dumping problem.

Reading our local paper I came across an article on dumped cars and how much it is costing local taxpayers and it's way of resolving this issue. It dove tailed very nicely with this article on car dumping which claims it is costing £250M pa.

So, what is our wonderful government doing to cut down on this crime that is costing so much?

It's rather simple really. They are setting up a scheme where you can get your car collected and destroyed for you. TaDa!

So instead of having the hassle of pretending you are selling it to a third party who dumps it three months later and has the hassle of actually taking it to the dump site. Instead we get it picked up free of charge. Only of course it's isn't free.

The good news is that it solves our crime problems. There isn't one now. The bad news is now that people that would pay won't so the costs will increase. Nothing in the proposals decreases the costs. It increases it by the production of destruction certificates.

The really bad news is that I suspect they will be looking at the high murder rate next. Bring your victims to the local centre and we will bump them off for you as the stress involved in killing, hiding the body and lying to everyone is bad for you. It'll bring the crime figures down as well.

Police working for an hour a shift. If we are lucky.

I've come across this a bit late. I've seen it referred too a couple of times now and finally clicked on the link to get the full details. It refers to the fact that only 1 out of 58 policemen are out on patrol at any one time.

Looking at the details a bit more we discover that there are indeed a record number of police officers. There are 143,000. However out of that only 81,877 of them actually go out on patrol. That is just over 57%. Now out of each of those on patrol it seems that patrol time equates to one hour per shift. Of course the poor coppers are working like mad to keep up with the forms they have to fill in.

Now from experience whenever I see any police they are out with their snazzy new radar equipment clamping down on the real criminals in our society. The drivers.

And we wonder why crime is out of control and the public does not support the police.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Home Informations Packs seem to be back.

I was getting beaten up by my grandchild this morning. For some reason she has taken to head butting. I've considered getting an ASBO put on her but as she's sorted out a space on the wall for it I'm pretty sure it won't be a deterrent.

Anyway trying to distract her I switched the TV on and there was someone, I think from the law society, talking about the Home Information Packs. There is also an article on the web now.

I seem to remember that we were originally looking at £1,200 for some houses but that seems to have come down. I didn't realise they were back and now will cost £400. Interestingly enough the TV said that if you ignore them you can be fined £200. A questions was asked. Spend £400 or £200. It seems it won't be a criminal record with KGB style DNA and fingerprints. A nice simple transaction. £400 for a parasite to take up lots of your time and produce paperwork or £200 paid via a cheque or card with minimal time wasted. The law society guy seemed put out that people would not follow the law. I laughed out loud at his bristling. After all nobody breaks the law.

Can this lot do anything right?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Police clearly not finished filling the forms yet.

I was reading this article about a prisoner being taken from Police custody by three men armed with knifes. Read here. Pretty unusual. It must happen but it seems to be a rare occurrence. Particularly when it seems the guy didn't want to escape.

The statement was quite clear 'Aaron Williams was heard shouting "Don't let them take me" as three men dragged him from the GSL security van outside the Salford court'

In a case that has clearly stretched the investigatory powers of the Manchester Police a spokesman said 'they have not ruled out the possibility that Mr Williams was taken against his will'

Clearly that is what they get paid for but I'm not really sure how they managed to work that out from the limited evidence available.

Children to judge children.

This new proposal that children should judge other children is interesting. Read here.

Luckily for the victims it's sentencing is limited to paying cash, clearing up their vandalism or writing a letter of apology to their victims. You see unlike these out of touch judges kids are very much into crime and punishment. If it wasn't off the table then the death penalty for stealing someones pedal bike would probably become a common occurrence.

Although if I was a judge I would be very concerned about being seen as one of the establishment. Clearly they are going to have to be very picky about who they choose. Are they all going to be high flyer's destined for private schools?

It will be interesting to see what sort of sentences these people give out and if they have to conform to stringent guidelines defining justice.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tax shocker.

It seems a government report has said that people who live in the most valuable houses in England should pay more council tax. Read here.

What a surprise. I read this immediately after the item that said Brown had cut the basic rate of income tax by 2p in his budget. Read here. My first thought was that he must be going for a quick election before the wheels fall off. Or that it means means 2p in total with the scrapping of the lower rate. Or even that will be more than made up by increases added on for green items hidden in the budget or not even declared yet. So we will in fact be paying more but it looks like he is being generous. Unless you are a nonsmoker/drinker living in a cave with no windows or even running water where you will be 2p pa better off. Or even then would you be? After all the view would be tremendous and with the weighing that would give to your council tax you would likely be paying more yet again when that comes in.

I don't know why I read this sort of stuff as I know that by this time next year I will be paying more to the government than I am now no matter how much it is wrapped up and sprayed with nice smelling stuff.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sacred Lands? It's in mid air.

Reading about this skywalk, and what a skywalk, being built at the Grand Canyon.

However, besides the obvious engineering issues and the engineering involved the bit that I found interesting was that some tribal members say this is a desecration of sacred ground and environmentalists are also concerned.

Sacred ground? It's hanging over empty space and the edge of a big big drop. Not many people have been buried in places like that or set up homes. Yawn! Just going out for a quick jimmy. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr Splat. The environmentalists are up in arms because bald eagles used to fly through that space and will now have to detour a bit. What a bunch of whiners. We would be back in the stone ages if they have their way. Oh wait! Climate change! It's already happening.

Just for info the only way you would get me on this skywalk is if I was tied up and on a rack like Hannibal Lector.

Such a long way to go.

Reading this about the world ignoring Iraqi refugees which made me wonder how many people are there still in Iraq willing to kill.

Iraqi population is 26M Ref. Which includes 25M of martyr age. Estimates are that between the West and the internal factions we have bumped off about £1M of them. Making the remainder hate us and the other factions. 2M are official refugees and there must be another 1M at least who have crossed other borders as unofficial refugees to stay with family.

Now the questions are;

1) Will they run out of people to do the killing? Unlikely.
2) Will they run out of ammunition. More likely.
3) Will they settle down to a truce. More likely.

Now the only question is how many more have to die or run for it before the scales tip over? I make it only 19M to go then.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bet this student is the most law abiding person in the world.

Seems that we have the usual farce of the US military investigating itself and surprisingly discovering nothing wrong. Read here.

Protesters have built a replica of the cell where David Hicks has been held for the last few years. It is 1.8m wide and 2.4m long which btw is bigger than I would make them.

The bit I found funny though was that one student was close to tears after spending just two minutes alone inside. (S)he must have a hell of a job going to the toilet. Although I bet (s)he is making a point of breaking no laws. Isn't there a posh name for that sort of fear.

And they say crime does not pay.

In the olden days when criminals were treated as such and ordinary citizens followed the rules the saying 'Crime does not pay' and 'If you can't do the time. Don't do the crime' was common talk and people conformed because as a society we need too.

Nowadays of course it is different. Now very few people actually get 'time' and law and order has been reduced to a farce. Additionally it seems that they don't have the resources to even catch these people.

Now, ahead of the new taxescharges for throwing out non-recyclable rubbish it seems fly tipping has increased to gigantic proportions. 2.5M cases during April 2005 to April 2006. Now out of all those cases there were just 24,460 prosecutions. Less than 1%. The best bit was that out of those there were 8 custodial sentences, 44 community services and 120 absolute or conditional discharges. A total of 172 cases gives just under 0.007%. And they say crime doesn't pay. I must admit I've not heard 'If you can't do the time. Don't do the crime' for a while. Maybe it got too many laughs and cynical smiles.

Anyway my advice to would be fly tippers when the new regulations come in for household waste. Remove all identifying items such as addressesDon't do it. Crime does not pay.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

How they pick and choose.

It seems that Huntley should die in jail. Read here. Apparently it's what the public wants.

So what about stringing Tony up? What about an inquiry into the Iraqi Invasion? What about the road charging? The list seems endless.

I'm all for what the public wants. It's supposed to be all about that in a democracy.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The nightmare continues.

Seems that Chlorine bombs have been used in Iraq. And apparently not for the first time. Read here.

Now I must admit to feeling a little bit concerned about this as it seems an escalation but it could actually indicate that they are running out of explosives.

But in the meantime the kit that saves our troops from explosives won't be of much use for chemicals so looks like they will need to go out ready for both. That can't be good.

In the meantime of course the real people feeling the brunt are the general Iraqi population and keeping out the way now is a lot more difficult depending on the winds.

Will this never end?

Friday, March 16, 2007

When is rubbish food?

When you want to make a point. Read here.

It seems that something that is inedible is classed as a food when it supports the case for how wasteful we are as a society. The headline reads 'Homes 'dumping a third of food'. The story then goes on to say 'Half of it is inedible items, such as teabags.'. It's inedible but still classed as food. What is our Food Standard Agency up to?

Then there is the information about how much it costs. '15p of each £1 spent on food is wasted' But that appears to make the assumption that all food is priced the same. So a 50p cucumber a third eaten and a £10 roast a third eaten would work out OK if that is all you bought but who is it that wastes a big chunk of a roast. It is usually the cheaper stuff that is used to fill the plates up, bread, veg etc.

There is even the obligatory carbon message. 'one-fifth of our carbon emissions are related to the production, processing, transport and storage of food.' Thus 15% of that is 3%. So they are saying 3% of our carbon emissions are wasted. Plus that makes some massive assumptions. The main one being that food waste is across the generators of the carbon equally. As before i find food waste is bread, veg, etc. all the inexpensive local stuff really. So as it's not been flown in from Swaziland or wherever it's carbon footprint is much less. The prawns or exotic fruit I get from abroad don't tend to get wasted so much because they are more expensive and we like them a lot which is why we pay the premium. Of course that does not help our tax loving and/or people hating friends so they will ignore it.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Got to love it.

Must be a hidden agenda somewhere. I wonder what it is?

The power of the people.

Well it seems that people power is making itself known in Camberwell. Read here. Found via Mr Chalk.

Sadly it is the wrong type of people power. The one where people terrorise other people and make them too frightened to lead a normal life. It seems that the police not only are not going to do anything but also said to the citizens impacted 'Staying inside between 3.30pm and 4.15pm is something you are going to have to learn to do'

I wonder if he would be so tolerant towards someone who doesn't believe they should be illegally imprisoned in their homes for nearly an hour and went out and an altercation occurred. Who would be the one being dragged down to the police station, arrested and taken to court? I have the feeling I actually know the answer to that question.

This situation sounds like something you would expect to see in a ghetto in the US or in a third world country. How far we have fallen.

I'm actually interested to see what our police actually do for us nowadays that we could not do a lot better ourselves. British justice. What a farce. Are we going to end up with a situation similar to the US where there are entire areas we will not be able to go to? How bad does it have to get too before we do something about it?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Shooting yourself in the foot.

It's bad enough doing it once but it seems that this inquest is a farce and the MoD and DoD have shot themselves in the foot again. Read here. Knowing our lot it will be a different foot.

Now after seeing the cockpit video and hearing what has gone on then it is plain that a terrible accident has occurred. Yet why don't they just throw their hands up and cough the job? All the harm has been done now. There is no clear benefit of hiding information. What could possibly be on those hidden 11 lines that could not be shown in court even if it had to just be to the coroner.

No wonder people are suspicious. There is nothing obvious to be hidden yet they are clearly hiding 11 lines of something.

Interestingly enough it is usually the UK that over classifies everything while the US gives it away under their FOI legislation. Seems kind of strange that this seems to be the reverse.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Who really runs the EU?

Reading this where the EU MP's are complaining because there is nothing to debate and the decision are being made in secret. Read here. At the same time Charmed is on the TV and there is a group of five men in cloaks telling demons what to do and organising the Apocalypse.

Now maybe it is just me but I'm certainly leaning towards the idea of an small cabal of evil dictators running the EU from the deep recesses and sending their minions out to terrorise and persecute the peasants leading to the demise of the world.

It just seems to real. It's freaky.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This needs to be done right.So it won't be.

It seems that there is a proposal for the Government to set binding carbon targets. Read here.

These targets mean failure will require going to court. Now of course this would be good if it meant that these stupid idiots would end up paying fines with their own money on their own stupid legislation but what it really means is the Secretary of state for Useless Government will plead guilty and then write out a government cheque which of course the tax payer will pay. No different than the screw up DEFRA made over the farmers payments where we were fined £300M+.

What is it with these people. Can't they think anything through?

The only bit of good news on this is that people who up until now have been too thick to understand the implications of these things are now being hit in their pockets. They are now seeing changes that they don't like.

It's taken them long enough to wake up. Will their though process stay on track for long enough though with all the distractions such as terror trials and David Cameron's hair.

Fallen Angels.

From the way that some of these people go on you would think that we were imprisoning women for trivial matters like council tax bills and not having control of their childrenwho were innocent little angels who would not harm anyone. Read here about proposals to put less women in prisons.

Now I believe that already it leans the other way in, yet again, more +ve discrimination. Women don't go to jail for crimes that men are sent down for. The judges treat them with a soft touch, which they are, and err on the side of a non custodial sentence. So this means that besides the issue of them going to prison for not forcing the kids to school they actually have to be worse than men to go inside.

Clearly many women do commit crimes that need custodial sentences and to change the system so that fewer go to prison will mean that more women will perform crimes knowing that they will be immune to any custodian sentencing. Of course, if Myra Hindley was up for sentencing now it would be all blamed on Ian Brady. He would be sent down for ten years and she would have got two years.

How people can consider changes like this and actually think it is a good idea is beyond me. If they actually looked at who was inside and released those that shouldn't be there in the first place then they would have plenty of spaces. It's starting to get beyond words.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Well done those experts.

Reading this about mock up blasts shown at the 21-Jul bombing trial.

Now the bit that confuses me is that these were not devices created by the defendants. These were devices created by explosive experts. They then blew up. What a surprise. I'm sure these experts could built a bomb out of nail clippings and old socks.

I wondered if they had considered the fact that the flat they raided had running water. Water as you know is H2O. Hydrogen and Oxygen. Wonder if they considered showing a Hydrogen bomb explosion instead.

I suspect it is just to push the jury a bit by showing them a what if. Wonder if they pointed out that most of the jury probably had the ingredients in their own home for a bomb.

Sounds more like a PR exercise to me than a display of the facts. Makes me think they are getting desperate now to have a few successes.

Digital security

Being paranoid I'm always interested in reading about security issues.

Spy Blog has an article up with a couple of links that are worth a read as well on digital security in the modern day.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Musical day today.

Just spent the day making another MP3 compilation for the car. My daughter, who was the one that originally wanted a compilation, finally shamed me into creating them. Sadly because of this stupid DRM I had to reload every CD and rip the tracks to make the compilation. It really annoys me that despite the CDs sitting on the harddrive it won't allow me to make an MP3 copy without additional software.

Anyway after hours of frustrated copying and cleaning and reloading I got the tracks I wanted. I seem to remember these CDs were supposed to be indestructible. Remind me never to buy body armour or clothing from Sony and co. My daughter's CDs are different from mine and so I needed to load all of them as well. It's quite interesting how her CDs are all scratched and covered in something sticky and unidentifiable yet every one, every bloody one, without fail loaded first time. Yet mine, looked after and in some cases only played once had lots of problems. It's a conspiracy I tell you.

Anyway. I'm off to watch a vid so I'll leave it till tomorrow before looking to see what's going on.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A cunning win win plan for the US.

Reading this article about Bush signing an agreement with a foreign country to supply bio fuels as an alternative to buying real fuel from a foreign country and to reduce it's dependency on foreign fuel. Mmmmm.

But then I thought about it a bit longer. It has it's advantages.

For one thing it means we can let all these people sitting on real oil starve and fight among themselves with little involvement of Western casualties. If they reduce the number of fanatics enough it might be viable to go back, buy the place and then harvest the real oil later. Long term strategy there. Risky though with the Chinese needing oil. So they may have to make sure before they leave that puppet governments sign up for some long term deals first.

In addition if the new foreign supplier gets a bit uppity they can introduce democracy and remove the threat on their own doorstep from their own country. No longer having to rely on long distance support. Plus these guys are not nutters and will not be queueing up to kill infidels and get a 1st class ticket to get their 72 virgins. It's a big place as well so that there will be plenty of bio fuel available.

As the icing on the cake they get to look good on the world stage by working towards environmental targets and developing technologies to reduce our reliance on oil.

So all in a good plan to work towards reducing reliance on oil with plenty of profits available, being seen in a good light and yet leaving flexibility in for the long term future.

Planning for the future though does seem a bit strange for Bush. Must be some oil think tank thought of this though to increase profits and power. Government lackeys don't seem to have thinking capability in the US either.

Could this be the end for our daily cuppa?.

Seems that tea bags have been used in the bombs made in the 21-Jul bombs. Read here.

So that means that with our current government in charge who ban everything they can think of we should be looking at a ban on tea pretty soon. I wonder if that includes green tea and the other fruity flavours or just the common indian teas?

I'm a bit concerned because I have a stash of teabags and if I get raided one day for speeding or something then that, the self raising flour and the bottle of nail polish remover will have me on a plane to Cuba faster than you can say human rights.

When will someone find traces of sprouts in a bomb? I could live with them being banned and would in fact become an informer if anyone tried to serve them to me. And that should sort out those people that think I have no respect for the laws of the land.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Talk about out of touch.

Seems that the real problem we are having with the prisons is the length of the sentencing. Read here.

Seem like the murderers are being put away for so long that they are taking valuable prison spaces away from the more deserving council tax dodgers and the people that fiddle the benefits system.

Don't these people get it? Crime and punishment. No punishment no deterrent. If you can't do the time don't do the crime. Murderers don't spend enough time in prison at all never mind what these people are proposing. These people seem to be coming round to the opinion that all crimes are equal so don't pay your council tax or kill someone and you go down for six months, serving only three.

Unfortunately the other option of creating your own courts like the Islamists want is a bit beyond what we would do which would be based on vigilante action. And both of those actions are not what I would like to call Justice. But if we can't get it from our justice system there are not too many options. It can hardly be classed as an unintended consequence either. It's a well know scenario.

What is happening to our once proud society when the guardians of our justice system are as weak and useless as our politicians? No wonder our police force is demoralised. They catch them and our political CPS doesn't prosecute and those that are so serious that the CPS can't easily let them go get light sentences from our judges.

So again the pendulum swings slightly closer to the abyss.

Another defining moment for the UK.

It seems we have had another defining moment in our society. Patrick Mercer was sacked yesterday. Read here.

Looked at in isolation it's not a big deal. Someone who made a statement that they believe is true and the higher ups, the ones in power, have decided that in this PC world we live in it's a NoNo and that person must be crushed without mercy.

Now of course people split on what is seen as an issue. On one side you have the PC bunch and their appeasers where any criticism is seen as an executable offence. In a way we are lucky that Capital Punishment no longer exists in the UK. if it did it would certainly be expanded to include any anti-PC activities. On the other we have a growing number of the general public who are getting fed up with all this PC nonsense and making their feelings known by going over to the BNP and such like.

All these little, truly insignificant things become major issues nowadays and the pendulum moves slightly towards the abyss.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Paradox of Choice.

Just finished reading a book called the 'Paradox of Choice- Why more is less' by Barry Schwartz. It was a Business week Top 10 book of the year.

I'm a bit disappointed. It goes on about how having too much choice causes confusion and makes us unhappy. It talks about the rates of depression and with no clear link in my view at all blames it on the amount of choice we have in life. It takes tests and survey results, which look odd but I work on the assumption are true, and uses them to justify the theme of the book.

Now I've been in most of the situations in the book and not had any of the issues that it talks about although, from the book, I am a 'satisficer'. I scored 40 on the score and 6 on the regret scale. It seems I am 'a good enough' which is true. I make my choices quickly based on the facts at the time and don't tend to regret them. Sure, I've made mistakes but I acknowledge them and move on. None are serious.

The premise is that we cannot evaluate too many things and trying leads to unhappiness. Looking around it could be right but the book also says that having no choice leads to inertia. We just don't bother when out choices are made for us. It may be right, but I'm still for the choices. We just need to handle the situation better and if necessary question why we view all things so seriously.

For a while now when talking to people I use the example that the people in the UK are in the top 10% of the world. We have enough to eat, generally nobody starves, we get looked after health wise, generally, and we have roofs over our head. Yet what do we do? We look at the top 10% of where we are and strive to be in there. When we get there we are in the top 1% on our planet and what do we do? We strive to be the top 10% of that niche and so on. Bill Gates is still working at building his fortune. We always strive to be better. That is the human condition. Those that don't are the drag on our society to slow progress and unfortunately there are a lot more of them and with our state reducing their options and making them docile it's getting worse. A big -ve for democracy.

For me, I'm happy where I am. I live comfortably, I have a close family, a well paying job I enjoy, less so at the moment, I'm good at what I do, and can afford to do basically what I want. Every decision I make is weighed up and made and I don't tend to look back with regret. Certain decisions are revisited. I look at my Insurance, Gas, Electrickery and mortgage every few years and spend a few hours making a fresh decision and when it comes to the serious, future defining decisions, I spend as much time as necessary before making a choice. I'm a maximiser when it counts.

I also cause trouble at the team building exercises and so on because I don't look at everything so seriously. Choose between good health for your children or yourself. What? Although I've seen quite balanced looking individuals choose a nice house in a good area over their and their children's health. wtf? I remember starting a big argument over that test series.

Although saying all that there was a couple of interesting snippets in the book. Although it could have been less than half the size it was and still had the same snippets and it could have explained better on how to move from being a maximers to a satisficer for some things with examples based on the examples in the book itself. A wasted opportunity.

On to 'The Hard Way' by Lee Child. I love these type of stories.

Virgin stops my big climax.

There is a joke that takes the mickey out of Richard Branson's firm Virgin.

'I've always been wary about flying Virgin Airlines. I want my flight to go all the way'

I've used it a couple of times in conversations regarding most of Virgins products and always got a smile. Last night however the joke came horribly true. After watching Stargate and StarGate Atlantis for 20 weeks or so and BattleStar Galactica for 15 weeks or so last night there was nothing but a long message basically saying 'No Sky One'.

My first real dealings with Virgin and I don't get to go all the way. No climax to any of the shows I'm watching. No real ending, just cut off so close to a result.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sticking with Blogger.

Spent a bit of time today sorting through the new blog template I had set up in January. It's basically wordpress on a subdomain of mine.

After spending early evening after work configuring it and still not getting it the way I liked I then discovered that I couldn't even import my new blogger files. It would only do old blogger so I would have lost all my posts and comments.

Then I thought why am I wasting my time on this? I'll take on all the hassle I currently have with Blogger and also add on additional hassle with user accounts and spam avoidance etc.

So I'm sticking with Blogger until it actually becomes beneficial to leave.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

They never learn.

How can we genuinely complain that our kids never learn when it is clear our lords and masters are no different. Read here about a new super dooper initiative.

Here we are banning yet more items because they are being used in attacks when the previous bans on, well, just about everything have worked really well. Not.

What is the phrase? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Our government does the usual response of banning things and thinks that will be the end of it.

btw : My understanding was that quite a few homeowners have been buying these swords to keep at home to defend themselves. Wonder if the real purpose is to protect the criminals again. At least with all the criminal activity our government has been accused off we can see a reason they would protect the criminals over the law abiding.

Something for nothing.

It seems that Denmark is having a bit of an issue with it's scroungers. Read here.

The bottom line is that these activists have been living in this building free of charge, having concerts and parties for decades. Then in 2000 the owner sold the building to someone else and an eviction order was served but the activists refused to move. Obviously it's taken a few years but finally action has been taken.

With police moving in to evict the activists there was rioting with cars being set on fire and hundreds of arrests. Bit like France where rioting seems a way of life as well.

With the destruction of the building it seems like it is finally over for this site. But it just goes to show what happens when socialist states make laws protecting the workshy who ignore other people property rights. they give these people something for nothing and yet they still want more. It seems to be the way of the world now. It happens in all these places where human rights legislation is perverted and used to protect these sort of people by our PC crowd.

Monday, March 05, 2007

It's bark is worse than it's bite.

Yet again we have a statement from our beloved leaders about changes to the Welfare State they have nourished for so long. Read here.

This time the message is clear. 'Get back to work.' Although I'm a bit confused about how they are going to do this.

When they say get back to work they actually really mean get off the dole. That is why they want to increase the school leaving age to 18. That takes the school leavers off for an additional two years. With the side bonus of in that two years some of them may even pick up addition or subtraction. Even if it is only one. Then they want to encourage more people to stay on further education, again it doesn't show on the unemployment figures then of course there is the ultimate. Government employment. Just like the dole in that the taxpayers pays for it but it does not show on the unemployment register and they don't have to be any good either. Double bonus, employment for all those that can't add up, reason or have any common sense.

So what can they mean? For one thing they can't really do anything without providing jobs. That is really what they meant by the other part, getting businesses to get involved. But business would if it could it's just not worth it. So no jobs nowhere to go. Unless the government is going to fund non jobs in private firms. After all every firm could use a H&S man and a equal opportunities man. Although when I say man it would be filled by black, lesbian women to tick all the boxes. In addition any real jobs must make them at least marginally better off. There are cases where people are literally £10 worse off for working by the time they take into consideration transport. It's only the work ethos of these idiots that keeps them going. Hell, even if it was £10 better off would you work for 25p an hour when you could be doing other things like playing games, being on the black economy or whatever. Not me that much is certain.

But what about all those who have kids they can't afford without the welfare state. People will chose kids rather than work as;
1) They are mass produced by unskilled labour.
2) They protect parents from jail, work and politicians.
3) It costs 20 times more1 for the government to look after them than the parents.
4) They don't even have to care about the kids.
5) They can blame the kids for all their woes.
6) They will spend most of the waking day in schools or out.
7) They will never get a job that will allow them a major lifestyle change.

1) Basing that on something I read about putting kids in homes rather than fosters because not enough right type fosters are coming along. By that I mean gay or lesbian foster couples.

So have a kid. Gives you back 12 years of mummy not expected to work. Can't really make much difference to daddy, if he is there. Rent is still paid, council tax, food on the table and booze and fags. What have you to lose?

So again it will only hit single people who can't get a job. I suppose it is a start although by encouraging mums to have more kids isn't that going to make it tougher to actually deal with this in the future. We are toothless when it comes to kids. We can't let them starve, we can't let the mums homeless and we encourage them to have more.

Perhaps a better first step would be to remove any support for parents to have more than one child that they cannot afford. One child, perhaps two, get child allowance etc. the rest don't get a bean. So one child gets child allowance, two children get 2 x child allowance and 23 children get 2 x child allowance. No bonuses for housing, no help for transport etc. For those that approach the social with threats we simply take the kids away and adopt them out. Of course that would mean changing those rules as well but it's about time they were changed anyway.

The big issue we have is nobody want to be the ones that take on and resolve the problems with welfare where there are children, nobody wants to be accused of putting kids out on to the street or taking them away from their parents. We seem to know we need to do something but what is so full of emotion and self interest that we can't look at it properly. Until someone grasps that particular nettle then all this talk about resolving the welfare state will simply move the problem from one area to another. And this area has long term implications for our entire society and is only getting worse as we leave it. In fact all the other incentives just encourage it.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Is it April the 1st already?

Reading this article about a government commissioned paper which is going to say 'Private firms and voluntary groups should run schemes to get people off welfare benefits and into work' Read here.

I almost fell of my chair laughing. I wish we had thought of that. It's almost as if we don't like investing funds to get a return on our money over and above the bank rate. It makes it seem that they have done something spectacular with the money they were given to investigate and provide this report when all they have done is define the basis of capitalism and free trade. Although it does seem that the real agenda is to reduce the welfare state.

Now does that mean they will get out of the way and reduce the sky high taxes and bureaucracy that means that the profit you make is taken away in taxes although you take the risk, with your money, and do all the work? Nope. It doesn't look like it.

The good news though is that clearly the bill for the welfare state is getting too much. Something must be done. The climate changes taxes won't be here in time. Although to give people money to provide jobs is another example of sleight of hand. Perhaps a better way to do it is if the dole was where people had to turn up and do something. Make blankets or something that meant they were not sitting watching the TV all day or out causing mischief.

Put to tell private companies that they should take people off welfare is a bit much. All firms would so it if there was money in it. That's what they do. I don't think these civil servants actually understand how business works.

Changes are clearly afoot though. Interesting times are ahead.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Claiming fame.

Quick browse of the BBC site and I noticed that there were two articles on the Lib Dems. Big PR day for them as none of them mentioned gays, drink or age.

1) Lib-Dems plan £1M home tax. Read here.
2) Sir Menzies wins vote on Trident. Read here.

Now I was curious about why something that appears to show Ming in a good light, him actually getting his own way on something in his own party has his name all over it. I think it means to show how in charge he is but I think it shows the opposite. For one a win is so rare that it is a news item. Two it can hardly be a major deal that he and his party are in agreement on something. It's not like they are taking a brand new path. Everything they are doing is the usual tried and failed stuff.
Which brings me neatly on to the second item. This is more like what we expect from our politicians. More tax. A quick look makes it look like it's going to impact the super rich but it's going to hit a lot of middle class people more particularly in the well hammered SE. Of course Ming's name seems to be missing from that one. It's almost as if he wants to be personally popular.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A sad case but it made me think.

Just reading this article on this poor kid who had leukaemia and who died today because he couldn't find a suitable donor. Read here.

I was just thinking how sad it was and wondered if we spent less on war and more on research we may have had a cure for this by now. I also wondered how many actual donors there could have been and wondered if someone identified would go through a painful process to save someone else's life. I think I would do it for a family member but would have concerns about someone I don't know.

An easy leap then to our super dooper new databases such as the DNA and NPfIT one which could be used to identify donors. Imagine the pressure you would be under if you were identified as the only donor to save someones life. Taking the next step. What if you were the only donor who could save Tony Blair's life? Would you be found dead in your local wood with slashed wrists if you did not volunteer? How far would government or major corporations go for what they see as the greater good?

Sometimes this thinking outside the box is not good for you.

Hold on. Tony told us this was not true.

Seems that the War on Terror has made the world a more terrifying place. Read here.

That can't be so. Tony told us it would make us safer and that the attacks here were not even linked to his disastrous foreign policies.

Seems he was mistaken.

Is there a problem with Blogger?

Is it me or is there a lot of issues with Blogspot pages and links? I've been getting a few error pages when trying to load Blogger sites. In addition those I do load I can't comment on because almost everybody uses the word validation and if you can't load the pictures the chances of you getting the password right is pretty slim.

Maybe I should increase the work i am doing to set up my blog on my own site. If I spend a couple of hours on it this weekend I will have spent, well, a couple of hours on my task. OK. So far I set the blog up on 8-Jan-2007, and it works, total time 30 minutes and have not done anything since then. Better get a move on.

What kind of Intelligence do you have?

Your Dominant Intelligence is Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

You are great at finding patterns and relationships between things.
Always curious about how things work, you love to set up experiments.
You need for the world to make sense - and are good at making sense of it.
You have a head for numbers and math ... and you can solve almost any logic puzzle.

You would make a great scientist, engineer, computer programmer, researcher, accountant, or mathematician.
What Kind of Intelligence Do You Have?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wow! Reid must be salivating?

And I thought our guys were draconian on drinking. Read this. Picked it up from a blog I had not been to before called The Freeway to Serfdom.

Think of the impact this would have on people having to call at a cop shop twice a day for a test. How about if you went on business trips or whatever. Paying for these tests and the associate costs so you can keep your car. I don't drink yet I think this is way over the top for ordinary drink drivers. Maybe for the one or two that repeatably do it it could be justified but I would prefer to lock em up to make a point.

How soon before it gets transferred to drug use? Caught with a joint causes a visit to the cop shop for testing twice a day. Been done for speeding a tacho in your car which has to be checked twice a day.

This seems way over the top for me and must be an abuse of power.

A very good point.

A good point at Chicken Yoghurt regarding Brown's speech on immigrants community service. Read here.

I remember reading it at the time and thinking how ridiculous it was because here we were making them do unpaid work when they could be actually working and not being a burden on the State.

I particularly liked the closing phrase 'And you thought Blair was the master of here-today gone-tomorrow back of a fag packet cobblers. Brown’s supposed to be the brains of the duo'

New stage in the Sky/Virgin love tussle.

Looks like the Sky/Virgin discussions have reached a new stage with the removal of the Sky channels from Virgin's cable system. Read here and/or watch a filler on Sky One. Lucky I watch Stargate Atlantic, my third hour, last night.

I know this is not exactly news but considering until this week it was hardly mentioned as an issue to have it cutoff will come as a big surprise to most customers.Some won't notice till they come to watch their favourite shows. The first lot will be this evening. I'd hate to be working in Virgin's call centre tonight.

Now somebody correct me if I'm wrong but if I have an agreement that I will buy services from a company who then renege on that, for whatever reason then they have broken the terms of the contract. I can then leave and go somewhere else for no penalty. To be honest I'm well over the 12 months minimum by several years but there must be many who have just signed up and will not want to stay without the Sky channels.

I can't get Sky installed in less than a week nor get BT broadband installed but when I hit next Tuesday if Sky One is off then so am I. Although I may just stick with freeview rather than getting a dish. But I can't do without broadband. BT must expect a deluge of phone calls over the next few days.

Oh Oh. Business Bingo. I'm a winner. I think.

From my travels yesterday I jumped to this list of Business Bingo Words from a link I've forgotten. Sorry.

Anyway, Had to shutdown at that point so didn't get a chance to look at them yesterday. I just have and they made me smile. It seems that I use a lot of these words on a daily basis. I've even used them in this blog and in my general writings.

Sadly, I'm not sure what that actually means but I'm sure it can't be good.