For Your Safety

You know, I for one am getting really tired of the government phrases “It’s for your safety” and “it’s for your security”, which are getting bandied around more and more.

This week it’s been used about blocking flights to and from Sharm El-Sheikh because of an alleged – but unproven – bomb in the hold of the plane that crashed in the Sinai desert last week. It’s also been used in discussions about monitoring everyone’s internet traffic and holding those records for at least a year, and in revelations about MI5 monitoring every domestic phone-call in the UK for the last ten years.

Governments like people to be scared – and more and more, we seem to be happy to let the government take these measures ‘because it makes us safer’. It doesn’t, it just gives up more information to the government – and all in the name of ‘safety’.

Basically, it’s shit.

[I know, I need to think more about this and write more. But it’s a phrase that bugs me every time it’s used]


Where There’s A Will

In the news today, there’s a lot going on about the person who’s managed to get her mother’s will overturned, and thus inherit a third of the money from it, despite the mother’s written explanation of why she didn’t want her daughter to get anything.

Personally, I find this kind of thing deeply unpleasant – not least for the greed it shows, and the all-round contempt for final wishes in this case. I think if a will has been made out with certain intent and intentions, that’s what should happen.

As it is, in this case the person is going to use the proceeds (although what’ll be left after legal costs is another question) to purchase their house from the local authority, which appears to have ‘always been what was intended’.

And – again, personally – that’s what drives me crackers, that expectation of (and reliance on) inheriting money, and even making plans for the money that will come when parents die. I’ve known a few people of similar mindsets over the years, and it always leaves me cold, that whole “Well, when they’ve died we’ll be able to [x]” attitude. It’s just unpleasant.

I know parents die – it’s a logical assumption that they will do so.  But counting down the days ’til it happens, effectively looking forward to them dying, that’s just wrong. (Again, and as always, in my opinion)

As and when my folks go, I would hope that their will says “We’ve spent the lot, and anything else can go to the cats home”. I’d be fine with that – and you can be damn sure I wouldn’t be fighting through the courts because it was “unfair”.

 

Grrrr, People. They really do piss me off sometimes.


Lethal Injection

Apparently, a lot of American states are having serious problems with their methods when it comes to the death penalty. Lethal Injection in particular (used by the majority of the states that have a sentence of death) is facing problems, because the manufacturers of the drugs that are used are trying to block their use.

As a result, several of those states are using what are known as “compounding pharmacies” – effectively, places that can make small quantities of required drugs on-demand, a sort of grey-market DIY area instead of buying the necessary drugs/items from the manufacturers. This process is being done in secret, so no-one really knows what’s being used.

It amused me (I’m in that kind of mood) to see this quote though :

“There is no way to verify that what comes from a compounding pharmacy is what it purports to be, and that it is safe and effective.”

Sorry, but these drugs are being used to kill people. While I get that ‘effective’ is important, I’m less certain that ‘safe’ should be a concern.

Mind you, what I don’t understand is why they don’t just use significant quantities of seized illegal drugs. After all, a massive overdose of heroin (for example) or crystal meth is going to be just as effective when it comes to killing people…


Legalised

It’s now two years since my little spat with Ian Corbett (of Toyota Ireland) and his legal advisors was completed.  I said at the time that the way they’d requested things to work out wouldn’t actually get rid of the search engine results that annoyed him so much. But he’s a marketing manager, so one assumes he knows these things, and that I would be wrong.

On a random whim, I searched the other day on Google for said person – and lo, I was right. Even when searching for just name + company (with no mention of D4D™ at all) up comes D4D™ with a nice healthy 4th place in the search results. And now there’s also Google Images, I can also see what the glaikit bawbag looks like, too.

All told, I can’t deny, I do find this very amusing. And there’s nothing at all I can do about it, it’s all in the hands of That There Google.


Legally Dead

The BBC today has a fantastic story about Donald Miller, an American man who had disappeared for 8 years, was declared legally dead in 1994, then reappeared in 2005, having been drifting and moving from place to place since 1986.

Because he’d been declared legally dead, his ‘widow’ was given his Social Security death benefits, so when he reappeared – and I’m reading between the lines a little – it looks like they’ve tried to claim that back.

However, because he’s been ‘dead’ so long, that decision can’t be resolved or overturned.  Apparently it can be within three years (which is pretty mind-boggling in itself) but not after 19 years – unsurprisingly.

What this means is that Donald Miller remains legally dead.

Of course, my mind went off on a tangent at that point, and thought about how cool this actually is. (in some ways) I wonder what would happen if (for example) he robbed a bank. Could a legally-dead person be charged with a crime? Could it go to court? I suspect not. Even fingerprint checks would – as I understand it – come back as being those of a dead person.   And what happens when he does actually die?

It’s all a very odd story, based around odd tenets of law. And I suspect we haven’t heard the last of it.


Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got it infamy

Eighteen months ago, I had to issue a retraction of comments I’d made about the professionalism of a marketing manager and his company, due to some seriously heavy-handed legal threats from over the water.

As a quick “I wonder”, I did a Google search today on the name of the marketing manager and his company.  And yes, D4D still comes up as the first result on Google for that search.

When you think about it, that’s really funny.  (And is also what I warned them would happen when the legal people insisted I use his name as part of the apology on the title)

After all, this is a marketing manager of a major company – a company whose products also use the name D4D on some of them. He’s also always had the right of reply, I’ve never closed the comments on any of those posts. Nary an acknowledgement, not a rebuttal or apology for damaging the privacy policy of his own company, not even a “thanks for the apology”.  Which, I suppose, shows the quality of the man.

And still, there I am, at the top of the search results.

It amused me, anyway.


Captive Audience – Part Two

While at the cinema, there’s one other piece of ‘advertising’ (Well, I suppose it comes termed as adverts, but really “lectures” is a better term) that annoys me excessively.

Those adverts/lectures are the anti-piracy lectures, and the one that really fucking grates is this one…

Now bear in mind, this is being shown at the cinema. Everyone who is watching this advert has paid to see the bastard film – we’re not the ones that need to be preached to about not pirating films.

For these pieces of shit, we – the cinema-going audience – are a captive audience. We can’t fast-forward, we can’t go and get a cup of tea, we pretty much have to watch the fucking thing. And it’s preaching to the people who are (I suspect) the least likely group to be pirating films.

Even worse, the adverts are actually counter-productive. Because let’s face it, pirate copies don’t have these bloody anti-piracy adverts on them. And that, to me, is a point in favour of pirated films.