Saturday, April 23, 2016

How To Identify A Dodgy Twat ?

Google their name.

Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe.
If google have been forced to remove results - they are dodgy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hollywood Undead - I Don't Wanna Die [Lyrics]

Tory Councillor Charges OAP's For Help.

During my time at Essex county fire and rescue service, barely a shift went by without receiving a call from an elderly person who had fallen in their home, or from their concerned neighbour or carer.
The calls were always the same: a frightened voice, racked with humility and embarrassment, apologising profusely for “wasting” our time. “I telephoned because I know you can get in my house. I can’t get up, you see. I’m so sorry to trouble you.”
I would mobilise a crew and inform the ambulance service, which wouldn’t be far behind. We’re the “fire and rescue” service, you see, and that’s what we do. It was all part of the service, along with rescuing donkeys from swimming pools, righting overturned horse boxes and getting dogs out of lakes. These days the service is so much more than pointing wet stuff at burning stuff.
So news that Tendring district council in Essex is planning to introduce a “falling fee” for elderly residents struck a blow to all that I knew about decency, humanity and my years in the service.
I only did four years and thought perhaps attitudes were changing, so I contacted a former colleague to ask his opinion. He responded with expletives, with anecdotes of broken hips and shattered wrists and ribs smashed on the sides of bathtubs, and how dealing with them needed the professional care that comes of regular first-aid training and having a paramedic on hand.
Paul Honeywood, a Conservative councillor for Tendring, defended the measure saying the council needs the £26 annual charge in order to continue offering a “lifting service”. “Having consulted users, we have discovered there is a demand – and the idea is now going through the budget process with a final decision to be made in February,” he said.
Ironically, Mr Honeywood is also an officer with the Citizens Advice Bureau , which offers assistance to people who feel that they are being unfairly discriminated against on the grounds of age under theEquality Act 2010. If I were an elderly resident of the area, I might feel that being charged £26 for the inconvenience of growing old would count as discrimination, and might complain to Mr Honeywood at both of his offices. Politics, local and national, feel so desperate and deluded as to be beyond satire.
The falling charge will apply from April, if approval goes through. But this has wider implications. If passed, it will almost certainly prompt other cash-strapped local councils to follow suit. Yet old people will have contributed to healthcare services all their lives, through income tax, council tax (part of which is diverted to their local fire service) and taxes on goods and services. And many of them will have served their countries in the second world war, fighting for Mr Honeywood and others to have the freedom to decide to fine them for growing old.
In Essex, older residents already pay £21 a month if they want a Careline “big red button” alarm system in their homes – the falling fee is extra. The sinister undertone in this discussion is one of fear, and the same old nasty politics. Instil fear in people who are not as young as they were, not quite as sprightly, who may be living alone, and may already be fearful not just of taking a tumble on the stairs but of what the future holds.
For public officials to capitalise on this fear of infirmity is both sinister and cruel. My grandmother, who is in her early 80s, has had the odd fall. But if Southend council thought to offer a £26-a-year service to pop her back on her feet, I’m sure she would politely tell them where to stick it.
Elderly people, save your pennies and buy a £10 mobile phone. Stick it in your pocket, and if you should find yourself needing to be picked up and nobody else can get into your home, 999 is – and will always be – free to call.
In the meantime, this Essex council wants a “consultation”. Let’s give it to them. As Martin Luther King once said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter … What are you doing for others?”

Piers Morgan Acting Disgracefully On GMB.

Update To Questions Asked Of Councils In Wales.

I asked several Councils in Wales…
Via Twitter on the 13th April.
What is an appropriate time scale for a manager to respond to matters raised by an AM on behalf of their constituent, please?
As I have already posted – Powys and Gwynedd answered the question.
Cardiff – after a flutter of evasive tweets – did not answer the question.
There was no response from these councils.
The Isle of Anglesey Council.
Wrexham Council.
Swansea Council.
What is the point of Councils having a social media account if they don’t use it ?
Use the accounts or close them down.
Anyone else find Councils ignoring the ratepayers ?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dennis Hastert and Do-it-yourself Justice.

Dennis Hastert and Do-it-yourself Justice
By Melanie Blow

Dennis Hastert’s name is back in the news again, as the Los Angeles Times has gotten documentation that at least four people have credibly accused him of sexually abusing them as children. His story is so typical, and now that more victims have come forward, his story becomes even more typical. As such, it’s worth repeating.
In a month where stories of family and sexual violence by celebrities won’t fade from the headlines, we’re now learning about former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, someone third in line from the president of the United States, spent huge sums of money to silence someone he sexually abused as a child.

When I lobby for Statute of Limitation (SOL) reform, the unspoken question hanging in the air is always “why do you want to sue your abuser?” That’s a question worth talking about.

If your TV gets stolen, you’ll realize it shortly after it happens. Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) does not operate that way. A study released in 2013 showed it takes survivors an average of 21 years before they talk about their abuse. That’s a testament to how damaging it is, and how good abusers are at manipulating their victims to silence. So very long Statutes of Limitation (SOL’s) for the crime, or no SOL’s, are essential if we want to stop child sexual abuse. But what good does conviction in civil court do?

The most obvious answer is that successful civil suits make the plaintiffs richer.The ACE study proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that experiencing sexual abuse has lifetime consequences for victims. The CDC has actually calculated the direct costs associated with surviving child abuse to be about $200,000. One standard way to calculate payouts for pain and suffering is to take the actual damages and multiply it by a number between 1-5. Using this formula, a sum of $400,000-$1,200,000 per plaintiff makes sense. Punitive damages are generally capped at 100X the actual damages. So when you look at actual damages, plus pain and suffering, plus punitive damages, the really large settlements we occasionally hear about in cases like Penn State make sense.

The newest wrinkle in the Dennis Hastert case is that his alleged victim, Steve Reinboldt, has been named. Unfortunately, Steven passed away in 1995 from AIDS, taking details of his story with him. It’s interesting to note that HIV itself, as well as two things that cause it (over 50 sexual partners and IV drug use) are linked to ACE scores. So it seems likely that Steven wanted money for medical care, and demanded it from someone who set his life on a painful path full of destruction. And he since he couldn’t do it through the courts, he did it his own way.

There are very tangible, non-financial benefits to sueing a sexual abuser. Successful plaintiffs get legal documents saying “X sexually abused me”. This can be very validating. Suits against institutions reveal exactly how badly the institution behaved- this is very relevant to parents whose children are involved with those institutions. These documents can prevent a sexually abusive adult from gaining custody of a child through the foster care system. States can collect the names of sex offenders convicted through civil suits and assemble them into a database, similar to Megan’s law. This gives employers, CPS and anyone else interested in protecting children from harm another tool to do so.

In defending the usefulness of civil suits for survivors, I used to stop right there. This year, I talked with a CSA survivor who was sexually abused in different states, one of which doesn’t have a Statute of Limitations on child sexual abuse. The DA who would need to do the leg-work to bring her case to trial reluctant to do it. If he refuses to, she will have the chance to sue her abuse. As she put it “I want him to go to the police station once a week and write me a check for fifty cents. I don’t care about his fifty cents, but I want him to have to think about what he did to me once a week, because I think about it every day.”

This feeling of consequence, of justice, is what most people fighting for SOL reform want. One can only imagine this is what Steve Reinboldt wanted, too. While he got the financial portion. He may have gotten a sense of control by taking something from someone who took so much from him, and he may have used this power to protect other kids (“if I hear you’ve done this to someone else, I will tell the papers). This is still not an appropriate action. But it’s tragic that the laws, in Indiana and in so many other states, are so bad that blackmail is the closest approximation to justice for victims.

Protect Kids, Not Their Rapists

Tell NY's Officials to Pass the Child Victims Act

Sell-Off - The Full Movie

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Stealing a Nation - How the UK/US Stole the Diego Garcia Island

Councils Deleting Criticism Of Themselves ?

Are Councils using public money to remove comments and results from search engines ?
I am noticing that negative comments about Council Services and their employees are no longer to be found on Google.

Someone needs to remind managers that their job is to deliver services to the people.
Not to use Council resources to filter and delete criticism of themselves.
More bad practices ?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I Asked A Question To Several Welsh Councils-Gwynedd.

Via Twitter on the 13th April.
What is an appropriate time scale for a manager to respond to matters raised by an AM on behalf of their constituent, please?
1/2 Our policy is to acknowledge any enquires raised within 5 days and to normally provide a full response within 15 working days.
2/2 If the enquiry requires more than 15 working days to be fully investigated, the AM is informed that investigations are ongoing.
I am unsure about the accuracy of this response.
The last time I asked Gwynedd council a question regarding the amount of reserves they hold they were wrong by over £50 MILLION pounds !

I Asked A Question To Several Welsh Councils-Powys.

Via Twitter on the 13th April.
What is an appropriate time scale for a manager to respond to matters raised by an AM on behalf of their constituent, please?
Powys County Council came back immediately.
“we seek to do so as quickly as possible, but certainly to acknowledge within 5 working days and respond within 20 working days”
All inquires are to be dealt with this way -but well done to the Powys Council twitter team.

Blacklisted Victims Taunted By Mary Kerr.

If her tweets about sunny foreign holidays are anything to go by, Mary Kerr isn’t short of a penny.
Unlike victims of the business she ran with her late husband Ian Kerr.
They were behind The Consulting Association, which broke Data Protection laws by compiling lists of union reps and selling the information, which was often incorrect, to construction firms.
This resulted in people being branded troublemakers and refused work, sometimes for having done nothing more than raise safety concerns on a building site.
The Consulting Association was prosecuted by the Information Commission and shut down in 2009, and Ian Kerr died three years later.

Ian Vogler/Daily MirrorBlacklisted construction workers denied jobs. Private investigator Ian Kerr worked for building firms such as Robert McAlpine, and held files on members of trade unions and political groups
Ian Kerr sold illegal blacklists to construction firms

Justice for victims has been slow in coming but finally around 180 blacklisted workers settled their claims earlier this year when construction firms paid out an estimated £20million.
For others, the fight goes on and next month dozens of claims are due to be heard in the High Court in a case set to run for 11 weeks. So the timing of tweets from Mary Kerr seems particularly insensitive.
“Lying in the sun on the whitest sand, beautiful music playing through headphones, cocktail in hand... smug look on face!” was a recent one.
I asked if she was taunting the victims and she claimed that blacklisted workers had taunted her, and put the tweet down to “my sense of humour”.
One person who isn’t laughing is Joanne Fowler from Liverpool, who set up the support network Families Against Blacklisting after her electrician husband Ian was repeatedly refused work.
“Mrs Kerr wouldn’t understand the struggle to provide for four children when their father couldn’t find employment due to the blacklisting conspiracy in which she and her husband played such a central role,” Joanne said.
“Mrs Kerr should take a hard look at herself and realise the pain she inflicted on families.
“Her taunting displays a complete lack of remorse.”