Archive for Government Stalking

Italian Justice is Broken

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Almost Beyond Words, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2010 by awickerman

Slightly delayed, but no less barking due to the passage of time, I bring you this beauty;

Italian prosecutors are going after the scientific members of the ‘Major Risk Committee’ for failing to predict the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. While this is obviously madness, it is still impossible to predict earthquakes, the particularly offensive part is that the politicians who failed to enforce the local building codes are getting off. Or to put it another way the scientists are threatened with prison for not doing the impossible while politicians ignore their own safety laws and so get people killed get away with it.

And the final sweet twist? Thanks to the wonders of the Italian legal system nothing on this case will happen till the Autumn (summer holidays are important!) at which point no decision will be made till next year at the earliest. If justice delayed is justice denied there is no justice in Italy….

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Death and Taxes

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Rantings, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by awickerman

A random post about the US. Not living in the country, or indeed being that bothered about it, on the subject of US healthcare reform my indifference is almost boundless, if only BBC News shared that attitude.

However this story did get a reaction from me, mainly one of ‘thank Buddha on a tricycle I don’t live there’. The idea of the tax man being involved in health care is a terrifying one, almost as bad as the idea of using doctors to run the tax service in fact. As the article (almost) says a fair and compassionate tax man is an entirely mythical beast, which bodes ill for anyone getting ill in America in the next few years.

Still at least when you die in hospital because the tax man has sent you forms instead of medicine you will know you’ve died in a tax efficient manner. There’s the added bonus that the tax man can get right on to applying inheritance tax to your estate instead of waiting to be told your dead. Sure that does mean there’s a double perverse incentive for the tax man to kill people not cure them (saving money and getting to tax your grieving relatives¬† early) but I’m sure they’ll be fair and compassionate…¬† Oh hang on.

Left wing think tank in bad idea non-shocker

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Rantings with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by awickerman

Latest stupid idea that probably failed to set the world alight; voucherising the entire trunk road network. Not privatisation, but instead just giving every citizen in the country an equal share of the nation’s A-road and Motorways and imposing compulsory satellite tracking on every vehicle in the country.

Leaving aside my natural dislike of satellite tracking, you just know it will be abused to ‘help fight terrorism’ or some such bullshit, and my deep seated hatred of road pricing this is a quite ludicrously bad idea. Here is a short list of my problems in question form;

  • How are 61 million individual share holders supposed to agree on anything?
  • On which note, what happens when the South East works out they can out-vote the rest of the nation and vote to spend all the money on the M-25.¬† Or closing down the entire Welsh road network to save a few quid? (Not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s probably not what the authors intended)
  • Isn’t it really very unfair on the babies born the day after the cut off point that they don’t own their own chunk of the road network?
  • How do you define ‘citizen’ anyway?

I could go on but frankly it’s an exceptionally stupid idea and will only end in more surveillance, less liberty and more tax. All in all exactly what you’d expect from a think tank headed up by an ex-Fabian Labour peer with a history of supporting biometric ID cards and the EDS-NHS IT fiasco.

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