Tag Archives: Legal

Another day

….Another day struggling with Canadian Banks. I have a question here, why the hell do Canadian banks behave like they’re still in the 19th Century? You know, restrictive practices, refusal to deal with certain companies and generally being patronising towards their customers? It’s my bloody money and I’ll do with it as I wish. I am breaking no laws, at least that I’m aware of. They’re very happy to take money from any source, but when it comes to moving that money out using the self same brokers as I used to pay it in, result; radio silence, evasiveness and behaving in a way that makes me distrust them, and banking requires trust to operate. Although I prefer to trust, but now I have to verify everything first. Which slows the job up.

Oh yes, and this is getting tiresome. Another digital book burning, and the defence of that deletion by ‘blue checkmark fact checkers’, who use weasel words and lawyers tricks to defend the book burners. Who funds these ‘fact checkers’ anyway? Whenever I read one of these ‘fact’ checks, their reviews are only true for a given version of ‘true’. Heavily conditional and couched in language so slippery a greased pig would look sticky by comparison.

I must say that these implementers of ‘cancel culture’ are quite creative in finding a source of ‘offence’ over which books were cancelled. Who would have thought that Dr Seuss was ‘institutionally racist’ or that a Captain Underpants spin off ‘mocked’ Chinese culture by celebrating martial arts as a plot device? Seriously people?

As for the latest iteration of the WordPress editor. It makes me want to migrate to another platform. It’s that crap. Can we have the ‘classic’ editor back please?

Out here in the wilder west, we’ve been scootling around Clare and Galway looking for properties via the back roads that the Gardai ignore. That said, I was at the south end of Ennis yesterday and the regular checkpoint coming off the M18 had disappeared. All the cones, everything. We were north of Tuam, County Galway the day before that on the motorway, expecting to get stopped at the checkpoint at the end of the motorway. Nothing. A couple of patrol cars passed us by, but no-one was getting stopped. The only precautionary notices we saw were the temporary lit signs reading “Protect each other” and other such patronising idiocy.

I think there’s been a union meeting and the coppers are refusing to stand around in the Atlantic drizzle asking damn silly questions.

I can imagine the rainy morning Gardai briefings “It’s O’Hallorans and Murphy’s turn at the checkpoint. Err, where are they? I don’t see them here.” Says the duty sergeant.
“Sick.” Comes the laconic answer from the back of the room.
“With what?” Demands the sergeant.
“Standing around freezing their arses off.” comes the reply.

We’re told that things will begin to open up again around 12th April and guest houses and hotels will be allowed to open in June, despite the ‘mathematical certainty of a fourth wave’. That mathematical certainty being the results of a predictive model, the kind that have totally failed to reflect reality so far. So there won’t be a fourth, fifth or sixth wave, no matter the wishful thinking of the doom mongers.

Hi ho, another day……

Good grief…

A pleasant surprise dropped into my YouTube feed this morning. David Davies has introduced into the UK Parliament a bill which is meant to promote freedom of expression in the University system.

“A Bill to place a duty on universities to promote freedom of speech; to make provision for fining universities that do not comply with that duty; and for connected purposes.”

Currently awaiting it’s second reading. This is good news, providing this private members bill stays the course. It will be interesting to see who pops up to speak against it, or plays silly buggers with this bill at the Committee stage.

“And connected purposes”? Might this mean all those anti-social media platforms?

Popcorn on standby.

The never-ending lockdown

Well it’s official. From the UK Governments web site. The lockdowns will continue.

(4) In regulation 19(1), for “17 January 2021”, substitute “17th July 2021”.

The lockdowns that don’t work. The numbers say so. Lockdowns that have no real effect upon either infection rates or mortality.

Which begs the question; when will this madness end? Because it is madness. Social and economic suicide. Murder by numbers. And these lockdowns are murder. Every single suicide of people stripped of the means of making a living and now can’t make their mortgages. By their own government. People whose savings ran out. Stripped of their self-esteem with no way out. Murdered by every government agency. Murdered by the Police who force them to stay in their own homes with little respite. Despite the evidence that lockdowns are harmful. Over a hundred scientific papers have proven that salient fact.

As one who is on the cusp of being in an elevated-risk age group I will say only this; I’d rather take my chances with SARS/COV-2.

Update: Yes I know this only ‘allows’ the extension of lockdowns, but does anyone out there for one minute think that this power won’t be (ab)used?

At what point….

Busy talking to Estate Agents and Architects at the moment, not to mention Canadian Banks and my Canadian stock brokers. No news from London, Victoria or Sydney from the last few days apart from gloom-laden family talk of ‘ghost towns’. It’s like the whole of the western world is over-run by fear. An unjustified fear at that.

Well I’m not going to let it ruin my day. I have appointments to keep, business to transact and places to go. Fortunately the Gardai out here in the Wilder West of Ireland are too busy with their real jobs (Catching proper criminals etc) to chase around after ordinary people simply going about their own business.

However, I’d just got off the phone with one guy this morning and found myself wondering; “At what point do these lockdowns get challenged as false arrest / imprisonment?” Do the lockdown regulations constitute a ‘prima facie’ case? This is stuff for specialist lawyers, and might even be broken by a civil tort against the government. One hopes.

I say this because the enabling legislation has often passed through various legislatures who use common law as a basis for their legal systems, with little or no substantive debate. Is it actually legal to keep people confined to their own homes when there is no proof that they are infected with anything? Even if one part of the law says it is?

What are people’s rights if it can be proven that the law is misapplied? Although officially the burden of proof does rest with the restraining authority. Mere allegation on their part is not sufficient, and detention limits, outside of the prevention of terrorism legislation, should still apply.

Note (UK only): “If you are arrested, the police can only detain you for a maximum of 24 hours. This is extended to 36 hours for a more serious arrestable offence.” This applies everywhere. You cannot even be detained in your own home for longer than this. Read the links, check the law. Do not, under any circumstances, take my word for it.

Now, harking back to my enforcement days, I’m familiar with the process of getting a ticket thrown out. It’s very simple; if you get booked, don’t worry, this is simply the first part of a process where you can challenge anything. Keep your cool, say you are unable to comply and clearly state your reason. See lawful excuses below.

Step 1: at time of issue, don’t make a fuss. Keep calm. A fixed penalty notice isn’t the end of the world. You can even ask the issuing officer about the challenge procedure. Under UK law, if asked, they have to telly you how to challenge the fixed penalty notice they have just issued. At least that used to be the case.

If you were physically unable to comply with the issuing officer, take a breath, don’t argue and go home to write a polite letter to the issuing authority, stating why you could not comply, include the numbers on the ticket and the name or number of the issuing officer, and ask nicely for the fixed penalty notice to be ‘set aside’ on this particular occasion. All you have to do is make up a lawful excuse.

Lawful excuses include;
A physical / religious / social inability to comply. In the UK, the enquiring officer cannot ask you for proof, and you don’t have to tell him / her / it / whatever FFS!
An exemption to the stated regulation. Or stating that the issuing officer did not satisfactorily explain you why they approached you, or issued a fixed penalty notice.
Temporary incapacitation “I was tired and needed to rest” is a good one. Or an indefinable medical condition like a mild dizzy spell. Or even “I’ve just had a vaccination and think I’m having a reaction.” If they offer help, thank them but politely decline, saying you don’t want to waste anyone’s time.
Remember, you don’t have to prove anything. The onus of proof is on the issuing officer. Been there, had the ticket cancelled. If he / she / it was rushed, did a sloppy job, or got any one of half a dozen details wrong, the ticket will probably be thrown out at the first stage of challenge. Oh and keep the ticket. Don’t throw it away or wipe your arse on it. This is evidence, and contains all the numbers you will need.

Also note; if you are roughly handled by the officer in question, despite telling them the reason for your non-compliance, you may have grounds for false arrest / assault charge against those officers who mishandled you. Stay calm, take their patrol numbers and memorise them if you can. You’ll need these details for later challenges.

If unsure; phone your citizens advice bureau or similar. They will help you write a challenge letter, which is the first step in the chain. Do this immediately, no matter how upset or aggrieved you feel. Emotion doesn’t work in the legal process. Weeping in front of a judge doesn’t work. Cool headed logic does.

Now if the issuing authority doesn’t like your lawful excuse, you can appeal their decision, and they have to tell you how to do it. Or you can hire an ambulance chasing lawyer to do it for you. However, if you have time and money to burn, there’s always ‘Judicial review’ where you challenge the legislation via the courts. If you have to go to court; do get a lawyer. Rebel Media and the Lockdown Sceptics sites may also be able to help. Ezra Levant and Toby Young are two sterling gentlemen and have been busily fighting this cause (and other civil rights cases) for some time now.

Good luck.

Update: The local Gardai are doing checkpoints and we did run into one today. We were on business, so had a ‘lawful excuse’
Side note; out here in the wilder west they seem to be focussing on major N roads and Motorways close to cities and county towns.

Keeping up to date

Rainy day today, sitting in my office idly listening to the rattle of water on the skylights. Our worldly goods have arrived, been unpacked and set in place. I’m doing so many Amazon deliveries that I’m on first name terms with the postman. A few things to come, and Mrs S and I are getting a bit twitchy, having been forced by the lockdowns to sit on our hands when we should be up and moving forward.

Back at our old domicile I’m told they’ve already had their first snowfall of the year. Which is odd, as Victoria BC is supposed to be one of the most snow-free parts of Canada. They’ve even had November frosts. So much for that much-vaunted ‘man made global warming’ eh? Last Winter we had four snowfall episodes, when in most years up until 2008 the snowfall count was zero. Over here in the wilder west of Ireland, we’re told we might get snow once every ten years. I have a seeming that record is going to get ever so slightly dented this year. We’ve already had one unseasonable frost at the end of October and I think we might have to be out getting the cattle and sheep indoors over Christmas. We’re in the middle of a cooling event that has bugger all to do with carbon dioxide.

Did have a nose at the cold weather events from North America. Serious snow. Cold that is making brass monkeys audition as sopranos and Greenland gain ice hand over fist. Have a look at this web site for real time temperature and rainfall stats. Word to the wise; the clever money is on a thirty year cooling trend.

On the other hand, the dopes of organisations like Extinction Rebellion, who choose to disrespect science and the rest of humanity, still believe in an outdated body of knowledge. Which leads me to wonder, if such people want to believe that humanity is a cancer, why do they choose to carry on living? Go on guys. Depopulation has to start somewhere. Or is it just us plebs who have to pay for your delusions? Thought so.

As for these pointless lockdowns, Ivor Cummins (see below) runs the numbers and find that they don’t support the restrictions. Likewise the real science. By ‘real science’ I mean the real world stats and studies, not the shonky Imperial college data models used by SAGE and NPHET. Tell me again, why are these obvious incompetents still in a job?

Regarding the enforcement of lockdown out here in the wilder west of the Emerald Isle, the most I’ve seen on a visit to Ennis the other day, was a couple of Gard, or should that be Gardai, haven’t got the knack of the terminology yet, talking to two women whose ‘crime’ was sitting together on a car park bench, having a quiet natter over Coffee. If the Irish government were to stipulate draconian lockdown enforcement like in parts of the UK, there just aren’t enough coppers to do the job. As for previous (and red faced climbdowns from) various UK Police forces threats that they would be breaking down people’s doors on Christmas effing day, that has hurt the UK Police services effectiveness and may move enforcement into the hands of ‘private individuals’ (hem-hem) who might not have so many scruples over what happens to your friendly neighbourhood burglar. Which is a bad thing for the rule of law. Worse for the criminals of course, but also really, really bad for good governance.

The lockdown enforcement over in the UK does seem to be very uneven, with certain political groups being given free rein to congregate, but those protesting the lockdown restrictions get the heavy handed treatment.

As for further lockdowns, I don’t see how, given the evidence, that they do any good. Or that they can be imposed, yet again, without serious civil unrest from the general population. As for possible mass mandatory vaccinations, there are laws against that sort of thing from the 1940’s. Laws created because of the medical atrocities committed by the fascist regimes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. In most, if not all Western nations, the powers that be can ask people for their consent to be vaccinated, they can try to persuade, but cannot use any form of coercion, threat of job loss or other legal or extra-legal sanction. That is unlawful, both in international and domestic jurisdictions in most culturally western countries. This goes for any employer. Consent is paramount and the powers that be know it. If they have forgotten, then they need to be reminded. Because no-one in their right mind wants a re-run of those events from the 1930’s and 40’s.

One thing I’ve noticed from the stats is the low level of demographic information, where we don’t know the sex or ethnic heritage of the deceased. I have heard it rumoured, that those of a darker skin colour, or who practice whole body covering without increasing their vitamin D intake, tend to be at a higher risk of becoming a SARS/COV-2 statistic. Now if that information was publicly available; perhaps, he said naively, that lives could be saved. However it is not, so we are left with rumour and surmise as our only analytical tools. Or plucking numbers out of thin air, as so many ‘government advisers’ seem to do.

As for me, the rain continues to fall and I will be playing with a new kitchen gadget today. In these testing times we must find our satisfactions where we can.

Is this the beginning of the end?

Please watch Viva Frei’s analysis of a court case in the USA that strikes at the very foundation of the never ending lockdown measures.

Having listened to the Judges comments in his judgement, yes, the lockdowns not only trampled over the civil liberties of all citizens while favouring some larger businesses, so they have to be deemed unconstitutional. The lockdown exemptions favoured some causes over others, therefore the lockdown orders must be deemed unconstitutional and a flagrant violation of citizen’s rights.

The numbers say that the pandemic is over and has been over since May 2020. The curve has been flattened. The death rate, even with non-SARS/COV-2 deaths being attributed through a very dodgy methodology, is as close to zero as makes no odds. So why the fuck are we still being restricted and forced to wear unsanitary masks?

The Judge in this case makes perfect sense. Not just from a US perspective, but across the entire ‘free’ world. No country can call itself ‘free’ while these restrictions exist without good cause. No country can call itself ‘free’ when some causes are favoured over others. No country can call itself ‘free’ when some big businesses are favoured over others.

Just because a few politicians are frightened of dying. Well newsflash kiddies; we’re all going to die sometime, but there’s a thing between birth and death called living, which is what too damn many of us are being deprived of by these lockdowns and mask restrictions.

I hope this judgement stands and serves as a beacon of hope for individual liberty across the world. I hope. Because that’s all we’ll ever have. A little hope.

Excuse me getting emotional here, but this is something I really care about and a hill worth dying on. Without the liberty to go about one’s lawful business there is no life, just the hollowness of mere existence. Anyone who tells you otherwise might as well be wearing a swastika armband.

Black lives murderers?

Dear Black Lives Matter,

There are murderers in your midst. Someone who is killing innocent black (and other ethnicity) people in your name. Which in old time legal circles would mean that you, including those who give your organisation moral or financial support, are accessories to murder. And it’s no good saying “It was nothing to do with me!” because you, weak politicians and your media panderers helped create the disorder allowing these murders to be done. 30 so far in your wonderful revolution. Shot, beaten to death or burned alive by you and your Antifa allies. Think about that. Most of them ‘black’.

Thirty lives is your body count so far, and that’s only the people you have killed directly, never mind the suicides over smashed neighbourhoods and lost jobs and businesses. We may never know the full extent of the collateral damage you have caused. So I ask; was George Floyd worth it?

You talk about all the ethnic lives taken by Police as justification for such bloody acts, and of the crime of slavery in the west that was ended over a hundred and fifty years ago, but when taken in sober reality, those lives ended in Police custody were already forfeit. Not, as you claim, for their skin colour, but for the crime of stupidity. That and the crimes of disorder, of threat and endangerment to others. Of being off their faces on controlled substances like Methamphetamine which can make even the slightest figure difficult for law enforcement to control without lethal means. Of already being sick, yet using controlled substances as a prop, then coming over all surprised when the inevitable happens. What happened to George Floyd, seen in the cold light of day, was a tragedy. Albeit one of his own making.

There is nothing remotely admirable in killing over such people as Floyd, of whatever skin colour. Nothing worth raising a single decibel in protest. They let their own side down. They hurt their own communities the worst. Which is why certain neighbourhoods need the Police more than anyone else. Which is why I say that violent BLM protesters and rioters make ‘black lives’ matter less, not more. Because that is who these ‘protests’, riots by any other name, harm the most.

You, BLM, Antifa and associates will cheerfully kill your ‘own’ and anyone else who disagrees. You have made it known that this is the case, so therefore you are guilty of murder, by association and as accessories. And anyone saying that calling out of these killings constitutes a ‘hate crime’ is also complicit in that slaughter, regardless of the colour of the victims skin.

Also complicit, the media voices who cover up for you, weak politicians who direct Police not to intervene in a timely manner, celebrities who pay rioters’ bail. The weak minded ‘taking a knee’. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Murderers and accessories all. Innocent blood is on the hands of your mob and its supporters. This also means you.

J’accuse.

Please note, even ‘milquetoast fence sitter’ US news commentator Tim Pool is outraged.

Reading rioting and arithmetic.

While we’re downsizing and packing up, I’m minded to think about the recent riots. Terrible things. Damage to property, looting, burning buildings, pillage and rape. Certain of my distant Viking ancestors would have been right at home. And riots happen all the time. Every year. Everywhere. I particularly liked the historical snippet about the Royal Navy being brought in in 1919 to quell the Liverpool riots. See video below.

However, has anyone else noticed this? People who riot only do it in the dry. When it rains, very few riots. Too many people cooped up in the dry for too long, result = widespread riots and property values nosedive. Moderate to heavy rainfall = peaceful streets and no broken windows.

So here’s another of my modest little proposals. Whenever there’s a riot, bring out the fire hoses. Not water cannon style, but like artificial rain. Just half a dozen coppers strategically placed in each tall building with fire hoses set at wide dispersal to simulate moderate rainfall. No need to hit the violent idiots with the full blast of a fire hose, just enough of a downpour to cool down the hotheads. Result, no one gets hurt, Police or rioters. No need for snipers, riot gear or baton charges, just make sure the rioters trousers get thoroughly soaked. For it is well known that no civilian can maintain an aggressive mindset with squelching knickers.

So let these violent idiots be saturated. Take Youtube videos of Antifa falling on their arses. They’d never live it down. Humiliating the bastards would work better than all the kettling and battle tactics as currently practiced. No need for arrests either when a thorough soaking will do instead. And it would be fun to watch. Police could take special courses in pointing, suppressing smirks and making remarks like “Toilets are over there sir / madam /whatever.” before breaking out in a laugh just as the sodden wrongdoer passes out of earshot.

Of course, water cannon could be held in reserve for those breachers of the peace wearing waterproofs. On the other, ensuring that only a part of their underwear gets wet is a show stopper for most.

Maybe Police forces should not be armed with guns or tear gas, perhaps super soakers would be better for crowd control. A quick squirt of cold soapy water to the crotch will stop anyone, as it is a well documented phenomenon that soggy nethers will stop even a charging Rhinoceros. I think it is something to do with the embarrassment factor of a wet patch in the crotch, and the additional effect of damp cloth causing much chafing in the joy department.

Multiple benefits. The worst rioters get thoroughly soaked, maybe catch cold and are out of action for the rest of the season. Not to mention getting a thorough (and often much needed) wash. The streets get a sluice down, dust gets laid therefore air quality improves. It’s good for plants. Cleaner air is better for people’s well being and mood. There will be far fewer arrests so the court system isn’t so bunged up with hotheaded morons. All for the sake of a bit of water. Doesn’t even have to be nice smelling water either. Any old source will do. A local canal perhaps?

The arithmetic works well too. Soaking rioters reduces property damage, cuts down Policing costs, washes the streets and everyone gets a work out. What’s not to like?

Damn, I’m a freakin’ genius.

Cancelling cancel culture, a modest proposal….

For quite some time now, a cancer has been eating at the body of civil society. The cancer I refer to is that of ‘cancel culture’, where some anonymous complainants and their associated Twatter hate mob can pressure employers into firing an employee who has personal views the hate mob find objectionable. The problem is that once accused there appears to be no redress. There is no-one to sue for loss of income apart from the employers / source of revenue.

My own take on this is that if someone holds off beat views, or even objects quite reasonably to certain things, anonymous complaints are held to be evidence, which is an injustice of gargantuan proportions. No one should have that sort of power without some form of direct accountability. Either legal or fiscal.

Say if HR pulls you in and says that you’re fired because of a complaint against you pertaining to matters outside of your employment, first demand to know why, then insist upon being given details of the complaint against you, and the complainants details so that you can send your lawyers after them and sue them personally for the loss of income that they have occasioned. If the answer from HR is “It’s confidential.” Your automatic reply should be firstly “Why?” followed by “Who laid the complaint? All the names please. This is my right.” This is only fair. Your dismissal or ‘cancellation’ has now become a legal matter and is subject to the process of contract and civil law. And civil law has avenues for redress.

Only a tyrant exercises Quia sic dicit (Because I say so) as a guiding principle, and since we do not (At least superficially) live in a tyranny, there has to be some Quid pro quo (something for something). Anything less is injustice personified.

The kind of suit I allude to should be a massive business opportunity for all those ambulance chasing personal injury lawyers who should be all over this issue like fleas on a dogs back. Their marketing byline could be something like; “Anonymous complaints cost you your job or livelihood? Give us a call.” followed by a toll-free number. Could be a nice little earner.

I mention the above in a tongue in cheek manner, but this is deadly serious. Platforms who allow ‘cancel culture’ to flourish have, by their very actions, become complicit with the anonymous complainants and should therefore bear at least some of the financial consequences. By choosing to cancel some accounts and not others they cross the line between being merely a platform, a noticeboard which bears little or limited responsibility for the things posted upon it, and become publishers where they are seen to be exercising editorial control. Any platforms who enjoy the status of non-profit or charity should also lose their charitable tax status. Likewise employers who dismiss employees on the basis of anonymous complaints should bear some of the cost of punitive damages.

The anonymous complainants and the twatter hate mobs have been getting away with this shit for far too long. Payback time is long overdue.

Pass the popcorn, this might get interesting.

Addendum: The recently formed ‘Free Speech Union‘ looks useful. I wish them many successes.

Another Addendum: Patreon is in trouble. Watch Vlawgger Viva Frei’s take on the court case.

I’m currently listening to the world’s tiniest violin and chuckling darkly.

Having second thoughts

We are currently booked and paid for to visit London, UK in Autumn 2019. Nothing much, we’re going to spend a little quality time with ‘North’ (Younger stepdaughter) in the great metrollops and go do some sightseeing. Only the current Police crackdown, where they are doing the whole facial recognition fascist thing has me thinking twice. Arresting otherwise law abiding people for getting annoyed at being scanned without permission? That and they’re confiscating spoons for heavens sakes. I’ve just seen a triumphant tweet from London Police of a ‘deadly weapons cache’ that looks like the contents of my cutlery drawer before I had a clear out last year. I swear this picture of a ‘weapons cache’ had a butter knife and a spoon in it, FFS! All right, there was a fencing foil in amongst the edged kitchen tools on display, but that had a fencing button on the tip and might have put someone’s eye out if they were very, very unlucky / clumsy. I bet most of those other bits of metal weren’t all that sharp, rather like the arresting officers.

Jesus H Freaking Christ on a Velocipede! I used to be part of the UK law enforcement ‘community’ as a lowly bylaw enforcement officer, but right at present any trust of the UK Police on my part has been eroded to the point of nothingness. You can even be arrested for telling jokes for heavens sake! Or questioned for holding the ‘wrong’ opinions. After that some bozo in black will probably make an excuse to rummage through your kitchen drawers and try to make a case for terrorism. “All right chummy. Yore nicked! Slice your own bread do you? Right! You’re under arrest for conspiracy to make sandwiches.” Dear God alive. Does anyone understand how retarded that sort of behaviour makes them look? God knows what they’d make of my Sabatier and Sushi knife collection. Probably accuse me of a massive conspiracy to cook a casserole.

Honestly at this juncture I’m actually becoming more afraid of the UK Police than any criminal I might happen across and am inclined to avoid any uniformed presence like the plague, refusing to engage with them and crossing the streets where possible to avoid said uniformed presence.

This is why the current crop of party politicians have to go. They’re the ones behind the moral panics driving this idiocy. All of them. Tory. Labour. Lib Dem. Green. None of them have a clue. This is getting worse than the 60’s and 70’s and this extreme behaviour by the UK Police is liable to make things far, far worse than they already are.

I am seriously thinking about cancellation. Stuff ’em. I’m halfway inclined to spend my tourist dollars elsewhere.

On the plus side, my deck garden is looking well. The largest Lemon plant just crept over the twenty four inch marker. My Capsicum seedlings have been planted out and we should shortly have Sunflowers, Canna Lillies, Lupins and Delphiniums. A Blue rose has also been added to the collection. Once the rain stops I’ll be outside reading Montaigne’s essay on the delights of solitude.

Power

There is no such thing as power without responsibility. Well you can try, but it always ends in tears. Even when you don’t there are winners and losers. Let me enlarge…

Over the last three weeks we have been busily involved in exercising our legal powers as powers of attorney on behalf of an old family friend. Emphasis on the ‘old’. We’re talking upper nineties here.

Recently our very good friend became ill. For twelve long hours she lingered at death’s door, or should I say dithered indecisively before deciding to stay with what she knew. Which annoyed some people, but less about them later.

Upon hearing the news, we thundered up the Island highway. Made sure all was under control at the hospital, obtained reports, discussed issues with medical staff and care home manager. Then we thundered back down home getting back late and very tired. Daily phone calls to hospital and relatives ensued while juggling new work issues. A disinterested and cynical reader might think we were being a bit over the top, but we reckon we owe our elderly friend a debt of gratitude for the help that she and her late husband gave us when we first landed. That is a debt I will not consider paid until she is gone and her estate settled.

What didn’t help was Hospital staff and Doctors often giving conflicting information. On one occasion within an hour of each other. On the third day one refused to give us any details over the phone because we “Weren’t on the list” which we bloody well most certainly were. Top of the list of contacts as legally registered powers of attorney if you please.

In the middle of this muddle our friend was blithely and obviously non compos mentis so we held all the aces. A terse conversation with hospital administration was had. Apologies were received. “Oops, sorry, that was on another screen.” Yeah, right. A full report was forthcoming. Necessary people were notified and informed, arrangements made, through which our old friend glided sedately as a Swan, while we and others were doing a lot of desperate paddling underneath. Which made some people, how shall I put this delicately, a little defensive.

Let me explain. A lot of West Coast Canadians hate confrontation to the point where it’s almost comic. They cannot negotiate like a European or our Southern cousins will. They either duck the issue and pass the buck like nobody’s business or get all whiny and passive-aggressive. For our part Mrs S and I handle confrontations without all the circumlocution and squirming West Coasters so often go in for. To us a spade is a spade, you use them to dig holes. Or hit people who won’t give you a straight answer. As people we are often direct, concise and to the point. Which makes us unpopular but what the hell. Did I say West coasters hate confrontation? The passive-aggression we occasionally meet is easily deflected by a flash of legal powers. The opposition might know their ‘rights’ but unfortunately for them, so do we.

Notwithstanding, another trip up and down the highway with a two night stay was booked so we could be there for our friends release from hospital into her residential home at the weekend. Then a phone call from the Care Home Manager. Why not from the Hospital? We’re the powers of Attorney, not him. She’s being sent home when? Today? Hells bells! Thanks for letting us know, you utter tossers. Change of booking. Thunder up Island highway again. Negotiate care instructions and agree with fortunately co-operative Manager of Residential home where elderly friend is resident. At least he appreciated our no-nonsense approach.

I’ll say this for this particular care home, it’s very nice, more like an upmarket hotel for Seniors than a UK pattern care facility. Elderly friend’s apartment is compact but more of a studio apartment plus bedroom. It’s roomier too with a full en-suite bathroom. The facility also has it’s own care unit for the less able, which is where elderly friend stayed until she retrieved all her marbles and got reassessed so she can go back to living more independently.

Additional problems arose when a couple of ‘relatives’ decided to turn up out of the blue and foist themselves on our elderly friend. Eating her food, using her facilities, which we, as her powers of attorney thought was a bit of a nerve. Especially when other family members far closer than we would not put them up. Which I found a little odd. When we asked why, no-one wanted to deal honestly. Mrs S and I found it quite comic listening to someone literally squirming on the other end of a phone line. Obviously no love lost there. It was a pity they couldn’t just be honest with us. “No, they’re an utter pain we don’t want as a house guest.” Would have been quite acceptable as a response, but no, we had to listen to fifteen minutes of ever more elaborate excuses. They had their own lives and wanted someone else to make the hard calls while the vultures descended.

My attitude to the vultures is simple; visit by all means, but pay your own way please. Elderly friend gets charged for having guests in her apartment, which even we as her legal guardians are refused access to. Another set of terse phone conversations were had with the care home. Veiled statements of legal intent were issued. Instructions were reiterated. If elderly friends recovery is threatened by these people, out they bloody well go. Do not pass go, do not dip your hand into her wallet. Elderly friend is supposed to be resting after a very life threatening illness, not in need of ‘cheering up’ or ‘taking out of herself’ by mindlessly well-intentioned freeloaders with their piggy little eyes on our old friends money. Have the common decency to wait until she’s dead, you greedy bastards.

That’s one thing about our part of the Sticker clan is our fierce loyalty to close friends. We look after our own and we like our friends alive thank you very much. Now sod off.

Once upon a time…

I’ve been looking around of late, in my few off-duty moments, wondering if the online culture war of faux-outrage has any cause and I regret to say I think it’s always been going on. Why I think that is a convoluted path, but the answer can be summarised with a Trudeau-like “Because, Humans”.

This answer derives from the 1941 movie (Okay, I love old black and white Frank Capra movies, so sue me) “Meet John Doe” starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper which is a satire on the state of journalism and politics during the early to mid twentieth century urban USA. What it, and many other similar productions tell us is (Including one Marx Brothers comedy) how mainstream media outlets, like all human institutions, are partisan and how that partisanship plays out with an audience and the powers that be. Particularly when said dead tree press is struggling to survive under severe financial pressure. I particularly liked the portrayal of a prototype SJW as a fat, rich and idle white woman bloviating over the phone to the Mayor’s office, giving him hell for not “Doing something” about an issue invented to save a journalists paycheck, then that invented ‘problem’ going on to create a national cause célèbre.

The parallels with today’s online society are obvious. A vociferous minority with otherwise empty lives, the #MeToo movement as a case in point, get told a lie to further the agenda or line the pockets of some rent seeker, then without looking at whether the information they are given is sound or not, go off on a rant about it. In the process not caring about the harm they do to any innocent party. Rather like the Salem Witch trials or Nazi and Soviet era denunciations. Due process goes out of the window, there is no examination of any evidence. In their eyes the accusation is the evidence. Emotion is all, mere facts or lack thereof are irrelevant. The Twitter or Facebook lynch mob wants blood and no evidence of innocence can be countenanced. Bugger human rights, sod innocent until proven guilty, the unthinking mob just want to see those necks stretch. They love the drama, the endorphin hit of feeling they’ve done the right thing, regardless of any inconvenient facts or even the lack thereof. Or the innocence of the people whose lives they try to destroy by going after their employers or family.

The irony of privileged white people crowing about the “end of white supremacy” is not lost on this blog. If these people had any real self awareness or insight they’d understand that if the societal freedoms and responsibilities they call “White supremacy” do disappear, so will their own privileged indolent lifestyles.

The rest of us end up with our freedom of expression muzzled by poorly thought through “hate speech” laws. And eventually so does theirs, because the law is a two edged sword, which cuts both ways.

Update:  A gentleman named Mark Kern has suggested calling SJW’s and their media allies “Information Terrorists”.  May I suggest an alternative term, “The Enemy”.

A miscarriage of justice?

While Mrs S and I are enjoying the fruits and vines down here in the baking hot Sarf a France, relaxing in temperatures which occasionally top forty Celsius (In the low hundreds Fahrenheit), I see the powers that be in blighty have let a certain ‘far right activist‘ out of the jug. Personally I think the ‘far right’ tag is misleading, even libellous, as the gentleman in question has friends of all skin colours. Just because none of them belong to the religion of being blown to pieces doesn’t make him a Fascist either. If asked, I believe he would support Israels right to exist, so he’s not, to the best of my knowledge, an anti-Semite.

Unlike some mainstream political leaders. Yes Corbyn, we’re looking at you and your mates. Scratch a lefty, find a racist Jew-hater. Funny that, the extreme right and far left share so much. Especially their hatred of Jews. The Nazis hate Jews, Antifa and their far left cohorts hate Jews. You’d think they’d be the best of friends, being two sides of the same grubby political coin. Personally I actually like those of the Judaic faith. Who else could have come up the the gag;
Officious hotel manager: “Did sir take a bath?”
Jewish guest: “Why, is one missing?”
I miss Rabbi Blue and his often hilarious ‘Thought for the day’ on early morning UK radio.

No matter what you think about Tommy Robinson and his antics, two months in what was effectively solitary confinement was pretty rough justice. For contempt of court? Hells bells. Violent criminals often get less for rearranging other people’s faces.

For those who think he had it coming, try sitting alone, in isolation, for even one day. Imagine yourself in a locked room with no contact, little stimulation and constantly being told your family is under direct threat. That sort of thing can break a mind, which is why solitary is double punishment. Two months? Most people, even in University level studies, don’t last seven days without cracking up or exhibiting symptoms of psychological damage. Two months alone can open some very dark gateways in a man’s soul. For so little reason.

Watch Tommy’s behaviour during the interview. He’s twitchy, de-socialised. He cuts the interview short. Yet what did he do to be so mistreated? Vent his anger at what he sees as an oppressive presence? Protest at the mistreatment of others, which went on for so long as it did when the very institutions people rely upon to guarantee their safety turned a blind eye. For decades.

Then there’s the possibility that he may now have a valid claim for sizeable compensation which will end up costing the UK taxpayer a significant sum. Especially when the quashing of his sentence made it quite clear that precedent and Judges Rules has been at the very least, misapplied. Go on, look up the full judgement and read.

Now here’s where I’ll make a prediction. The Tommy Robinson saga is not over, not by a long chalk. There’s iron in that boys soul which is being forged into a dangerous steel which the UK’s Weimar government and perhaps the rest of the world, will regret. I wish it weren’t likely, but his unjust treatment has recently reduced those odds significantly.

But then, you can safely ignore the half witted prognostications of a tinfoil hatter like me, can’t you?

Update|  Sargons analysis of the judgement below.

The law of unforeseen consequences part deux

A few further thoughts about the EU’s heinous Article 13. This time on the possible downside. For the EU and those businesses pushing the proposed new copyright legislation. The law of unforeseen consequences, as I’ve pontificated about before, is waiting eagerly in the wings, ready to steal the scene with a big fat grin.

The gist of article 13 and it’s evil twin, Article 11 is to make it illegal to post any portion of a previously posted copyrighted article, soundtrack, photo or video without payment to the copyright holder. There appears to be no place for fair use or critique in the proposed legislation.

The thought occurs that all this reposting of content, either for parody or criticism acts as free marketing for the big media companies. How many sales of back catalogue items are down to snippets of music or video posted on YouTube for example? Does anyone know? I don’t, but what I do know is having watched stuff on Youtube I’ve subsequently gone to Amazon or the music store or the movie theatre to pay to see a movie or buy a new CD of a half forgotten favourite. The memes, parodies and critiques are free marketing on a massive back catalogue of stuff that actually does make money for the copyright owning companies. That’s right, the criticism and fandom, at least partially, is a source of profit. Kill that, or restrict the ownership and the market shrinks. The copyright holders are then left with the equivalent of a massive archive that generates little or no revenue. Like with the National Film Archive in the UK. A movie, book, or piece of music that is not shown is a missing piece in the jigsaw of existence.

As for the media companies and the link tax, if someone who critiques news coverage or a movie has to pay a fee to do so then they won’t. They will simply paraphrase, allude to and analyse without linking, developing their own credibility en route. Like with ‘professional’ Youtubers. They are the ones who help generate a word of mouth ‘buzz’ that is one of the most effective means of marketing ever. Not some ‘journalist’ working for a publication pushing it’s own agenda. There isn’t enough space in a web browser window for the needed advertising to drive content. And with everything paywalled, well, see that big toe? Ready, aim, fire!

Which prompted me to revisit an old childhood favourite;

The mainstream media sat on a wall,
Article 13 caused a great fall,
All the Zucks Farcebok and all their fake tweets,
Couldn’t get their content back out as repeats.

Why? Because as has been amply demonstrated ‘fake’ is so pervasive throughout the mainstream that anyone associated with it is tainted. According to Mark Twain a lie can run around the world before the truth can get it’s boots on, but the corollary of that is once the truth does get going it can, and often does, give the falsehoods a serious kicking.

Personally I have only one opinion on content sharing; links and commentary are fine, but the words are mine. Non-profit sharing is cool.

A must watch

Tinfoil hat alert. Related to the Tommy Robinson affair. Here’s something that should be watched in full because people get excised about ‘Moslem grooming gangs’, but there is possibly a greater problem as highlighted in the video by ex-Police officer John Wedger. If you believe him, the UK care system has been a tree laden with low hanging fruit for decades. Full of vulnerable children ripe for exploitation. As detailed in this case study article in the Guardian from 2009.

Or previously here;

My own first hand experience of the UK care system does not directly support John Wedger’s allegations, but, and this is a very big but, I do know that UK ‘care homes’ are far from airtight. Kids abscond all the time. It’s been a running joke since the 1970’s and before. That a proportion of these runaways are turned to drug dependency by the unscrupulous should come as no surprise. However the scale of the problem has grown out of all proportion. Add to that the bigger scandal that no one must say anything just in case it ‘offends’ a protected group.

Add to that assertion that care homes have long been known to feed the prison system. To quote the Prison Reform Trusts 2017 report (Bottom of page 12);

Fewer than 1% of all children in England are in care, but they make up nearly two-fifths of children in secure training centres (39%) and young offender institutions (37%).

Not only that but kids in the care system do go missing. They literally ‘fall through the cracks’. In 2016 for example, the figure of children who went missing was quoted as high as 140,000. Per year as recently as 2016. True, most of this number are found, they return home without fanfare or are located and no longer officially listed as missing, but some just vanish. Many of this number from care. Official figures can be found in the official 2015-6 National Crime Office missing persons report. Although the linked report does state that about 68% of people who go missing are never reported (Bottom of page 28).

Now this isn’t a given as some care homes have been better than others and small scale abuse has often been caught and dealt with. However, with the Rotherham and Telford cases now in the public domain, there is a strong growing suspicion of systemic collusion, either through fear of being labelled ‘racist’ or ‘islamaphobe’ or even leaving the now-convicted grooming gang members as a smokescreen for a more long running problem. And perhaps tossing the odd dead or retired celebrity out of the sleigh for the public to get angry about while a small but deeply ensconced network of well-heeled child abusers slips away behind a fog of outrage.

Which gives rise to the suspicion that Tommy Robinson got his punitive additional sentence because by focussing the searchlight of public attention on the grooming gangs, he posed an existential threat to a certain clique and their agents hiding (or with sources) within the very institutions meant to protect the vulnerable. Because perhaps these ‘elite abusers’ use very similar means to the grooming gangs to recruit their victims. If this were not the case, then why have whistleblowers so often come in for such hostility, often (If John is to be believed) from their own superiors?

As a theatrical character called Hamlet is wont to observe “Aye, and there’s the rub.”

Anyway, on the subject of Tommy himself here are his own words in a recent letter from prison.

This ain’t over. Not by a long chalk.

P.S. I now can confirm that twelve of my thirteen Lemon germinated tree seeds have poked their way above the soil and are producing leaves. I’m going to need exceptionally bigger pots.