SadButMadLad's Blog

Just another blog complaining about anything and everything

Archive for the ‘Annoyances’ Category

Police dumbwit of the day

In Oxford, Police are calling for taxis to display ID numbers on their roofs. They claim that criminals occasionally use taxis and it would make it easier to track such taxis by helicopters and maybe the new UAVs.

There is so much wrong with it. Firstly, it’s worth mentioning the name of the Police sergeant responsible, Det Sgt John Linsdell, because normally such stupidity gets hidden behind anonymous committees. If he is to have his name linked with an idea he must also be taught that you have to think about the idea thoroughly otherwise you get pointed out as being a bit of a nitwit. He’s personally come across two occasions where a criminal got into a taxi and because the taxi didn’t have a number on its roof it took time to track down the car.

If taxis are used occasionally by criminals then because criminals will occasionally use buses and cars and motorbikes then all of these will need to carry an ID on their roof (don’t know how that’s going to work with bikes, but a civil servants think of more stupid things so I’m sure they can work some method out). Why not just remove the registration plate from the front and back of cars and put it on the roof. ANPR cameras are already high up and so can easily be re-configured to scan the roofs of cars.

Why not just go a step further and put a number on everyone’s head so that UAVs continually flying overhead can easily track everyone so that if someone is occasionally a criminal they can easily be tracked down.

And a nice quote from the article “He also said CCTV in the city did not always pick up number plate details.” So not much use for having CCTV then. Why not just put more policemen on the street instead of filling out forms in triplicate on triplicate on every interaction with a member of the public (the enemy to the average policeman).

Written by sbml

February 7, 2011 at 15:22

Posted in Annoyances

Tagged with , ,

One size doesn’t fit

From a comment by agimarc:

“The one size fits all EPA clean water rules lead to some real bizzaro local solutions to the new costs. There is an EPA rule that waste treatment plants must remove 30% of organic waste from incoming sewage. This is a problem if your incoming water is very clean, as it is here in Anchorage. Around 20 years ago, the requirement was going to lead to a $135 million new treatment plant, which we couldn’t afford. So the local solution was to dump fish waste from commercial fishermen into the inbound stream so the existing treatment plant would meet the 30% requirement. EPA was just fine with that solution.”

This is why state enforced national rules and guidelines don’t generally work.

Written by sbml

February 4, 2011 at 08:59

Posted in Annoyances

Disable the tube

Inspired by this post by Underdog  and Jody’s calls to have the whole tube network modified for him and others like him.

He doesn’t take into account any cost benefit analysis. Only that everything must be modified for the disabled no matter what the cost to the public purse even in this strained times. Not public not private, they don’t expect to pay a dicky bird towards the modifications they demand.

It would be cheaper if people like Jody had free taxis everywhere they go than modify the tube network.

All this modification for disabled is fine, but sometimes it doesn’t make much difference anyway.

For instance building regulations means that you have to have a downstairs loo in a new house with a wide door to allow a wheelchair access amongst many other rules. How many households have wheelchair visitors? Very very few. How many households have wheelchair occupants? Even less. How many new houses are being built compared to the overall housing stock? A tiny proportion. So the likeyhood of a disabled person being able make use of the downstairs look is extremely small.

It would be cheaper to remove all the legislation about disabled access from building control and fund the odd conversion where necessary totally from public funds. All disabled people will have very individual needs so it would be better to make their house totally suited to their particular needs than make all new houses just about ok for the disabled and not suitable for the minority disabled who have exceptional needs and then have even more changes made to the house for them.

Written by sbml

December 18, 2010 at 20:51

Quote of the Day

This in relation to a CEO (Civil Enforcement Officer) putting a parking fine on a car and then finding a dead person in the back.

He said: ‘I heard the call come in on the radio. He is really shaken up by it. The thing is, we are not allowed to wake people up in their cars if they are asleep in case we give them a heart attack.

Someone’s been thinking too much without actually using their inteligence (they probably have none) or has probably seen a film where this happens. In real life someone sleeping in their car will never get a heart attack from a minor surprise to someone knocking on the car window. It’s not surprise that tends to cause heart attacks, it’s stress and over exertion.

Written by sbml

December 9, 2010 at 20:24

Posted in Annoyances

Tagged with ,

Strictly the journey

So Ann Widdecombe think that Strictly Come Dancing is an entertainment show and not a dance show.  She says if it was a dance show it would be on BBC Sports. It’s entertainment because of the people like her in it.

But I say it is a dance show which provides entertainment as the audience watches the celebrities learn how to dance. The reason the likes of Ann Widdecombe and Paul Daniels are in the show is to allow them to be kicked out early whilst giving the other celebrities a chance to actually pick up some useful skills.

However, I will agree with her on one point. The audience is liking her antics and are voting to keep her in so it is democracy in action. Though the reason she is being kept in is so that the audience can laugh at her. But since she knows that and is happy with that then all you can say about her is that she just wants publicity, any publicity, now that she is no longer a politician able to command publicity whenever she wants.

As is mentioned many times on Strictly Takes 2, it’s the journey that is the important thing with all participants.

Written by sbml

November 28, 2010 at 20:51

Outside broadcasts

Outside broadcasts by reporters. What’s the point?

A waste of money in many cases. Basically they duplicate what is in the studio already used by the newsreader and put it in a location in the middle of nowhere.

Sometime the OB is useful. There could be a situation and the reporter on the ground can speak directly with police or other authorities to get immediate information. But this is very rare as in most case the information is sent up the chain in the police (or other organsiation) and then deciminated by the PR department. This is then received by the news organisation and then then sent back to the man on the ground who then tells the audience.

Many times the pointlessness of the OB is obvious, especially when the reporter is standing outside an empty office block in the dark, cold and wet spouting out about the news that was news at the start of the day but not at 10 at night.

Written by sbml

November 17, 2010 at 22:13

Posted in Annoyances

Tagged with ,

Citizen speed traps

BBC Breakfast had this story about volunteers manning speed traps and how it’s a Big Society topic. They use handheld speed cameras and note the details of any speeding motorists and pass on the details to the police. Mention was made that a number of drivers had been fined or arrested for various driving offences.

But if they aren’t police, then the evidence they collect is invalid in court. So what’s the point in having them as cheap PCSOs if they don’t do anything, except maybe act as a bit of a deterrent.

And it’s not a Big Society issue either. Upholding the law should always be done by the police.

See BigBrotherWatch for their take on it.

Written by sbml

November 16, 2010 at 12:00

Posted in Annoyances

Tagged with ,

The right to hate

Where I go all Predator like

Nothing I said on the Nicky Campbell show was so outrageous that it should provoke such a response from a man who should know better. If I, as a citizen of this country, cannot even express an opinion about human rights and the moral authority of our politicians, what does that say about how equal we are?

Everything Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (YAB) says is outrageous. She winds me up no end. I find it very exasperating to read her articles that I hardly get past the first paragraph before giving up and trying to calm down before I personally feel that I have to shove a big huge clue stick down her throat to shut her up.

I feel that as a citizen of this country I should be able to respond to a person in the public eye in the same manner in which she comments. I think that makes us equal.

Gareth Compton is not an idiot, he knew what he was saying. If I had said, “It would be a blessing if this man was stoned to death,” what would happen to me as a Muslim woman in this country?

YAB is an idiot. She obviously knows that as a muslim woman if she said such things that she wouldn’t even get a quiet talking to because everyone is afraid of offending in the slightest manner any Muslim anywhere in the world at any time in the future.

We are in a post-Jeremy Clarkson universe where men think they can only be men if they insult people; there is a masculinity associated with this rough and anti-politically correct talk. What is so manly about going on Twitter and putting this out about a journalist who is trying to do her job and giving an honest opinion?

Sexist bitch. Can’t women insult people? Ahhh, I get it, YAB is a woman so she can’t possibly insult anyone.

This is not just an insult, this is incitement in my eyes. He knows I’m a Muslim – he didn’t say “shot,” he said “stoned to death”. My daughter was distressed but she would not tell me why. “Why do you have to be a journalist?” she asked. “Every time you go to the door, mum, I think someone is going to shoot you.”

He said “stoned to death” because that was what you were talking about. If you were talking about interfering in Chinese politics and their execution by firing squad I’m sure he would have said “shot”.

Your daughter is distressed because you haven’t taught her “That sticks and stones [pun intended] might break my bones by words will never hurt me”. If anyone has a public presence of any sort then they should know that they will get some odd and possibly extreme responses. It’s part of life.

Of course I do not think I’m going to be stoned when I go outside, but he validates those people who threaten columnists like me, and I cannot accept that. There are a lot of very violent people out there and they think they have the right to threaten me. This guy has made it OK.

Ah-ha, you’ve just admitted that you don’t think it a credible threat. Isn’t that admitting that it’s a joke? So you think that because someone has voiced their opinion that because some mad random nutter then uses it as the excuse to do something that the opinion voicer should be dragged over the coals? If that was the case anyone reading Guido’s blog who decided that it was right to abuse MPs and actually did it that you would get Guido locked up.

I am glad we live in a society where I am freer to speak than in any Muslim country I would be living in. I am grateful.

Except if someone disagrees with you.

I question the hypocrites though; there are people who say they believe in freedom of speech, but not for black people or Asian people or Muslim people, who turn into the Taliban when someone upsets their own views.

I question the hypocrites though; those that believe it they can make any outrageous comment to others, but who feel that if they receive the same kind of comment in return that the comment maker has gone beyond the pale.

In which universe does a Tory councillor think it is a joke that the Taliban go around stoning people for expressing themselves? I don’t think that is acceptable, and I’m very pleased the Tories have suspended him.

In which universe does a newspaper columnist think that they can make their opinions known and not expect to get some robust, negative, comments in return. Especially when their opinions are outrageous and narrow-minded. I found YAB’s opinions offensive and would be very pleased if the Independent got rid of her.

Update: All the comments on the Independent article have now been removed – possibly because they were overwhelmingly negative.

Update #2: Important point about Gareth Compton’s tweet. It had the hashtag #R5L which immediately puts it into the context of a discussion about a Radio 5 Live programme.

Written by sbml

November 12, 2010 at 12:37

Abu Hamza’s council house

The TPA have come out and stated that

“Taxpayers will be ­incensed to hear that thousands are ­being spent on this hate preacher’s home while ordinary families struggle for cash.”
“It’s bad enough that the British ­public may be stuck with this venomous ­character for good”
“But it’s a real slap in the face to have to fund ­large-scale house renovations for someone whose racist ravings were inciting murder”
“It’s a shame that having ­already landed the taxpayer with a hefty legal and benefits bill, this man can siphon yet more money from the public purse.”

Just one point – it’s a council house, not his. So he does not siphon off any money. He does not benefit (other than the house not falling down). Plus it’s not a renovation, it’s a repair to the foundations to stop it, and his neighbours homes, from falling down.

Yeh, I know its not right that he’s in a council home, but that point aside, the council are spending money to keep their investment from falling down.

The TPA have probably been asked for the quote from the Daily Star with little or no background information and with a tight deadline so it can be excused that they might trot out some standard phrase. However they should learn from this and ensure that they don’t just trot out such phrases on the basis of little or no information. It makes the TPA look stupid.

H/t to Tim Worstal

Written by sbml

November 7, 2010 at 17:17

Parking should be free

An open question to anyone about having to pay for parking on the road. Why do we have to a pay?

We already pay road tax for the upkeep of roads, even though only a small proportion of it is actually spent on the roads and other transport infrastructure. So why are drivers having to pay another “tax” on top for the privilege of parking on the road.

Paying for parking on private land (eg. NCP) or in public car parks is different. There the charges help to pay for the upkeep of the site and the wages of the parking attendants.

But paying to park on the road? It just does not make sense. The only reason it exists is so that a council can collect money. A tax in effect.

It can’t be to dissuade people from parking otherwise it would be a fine. It can’t be to ensure that drivers only park for as long as they need to and no longer. That would happen only if the person didn’t need to use their car anymore. The whole point about parking on the road is that the person has come to carry out a time limited task of some sort – shopping, visiting the dentist, going to the bank, etc.

Does paying provide any benefit? Does it mean more people can park? Nope, there are only so many parking places. Does it allow the council to use the money to improve the local environment (better roads, better lighting, better signs, etc.)? Nope, it only goes to pay for parking attendants to go around slapping parking fines on drivers.

So why do we have to pay? Because the state tell us we have to pay and invents laws to fine us when we don’t – that why. Can we get the state to change their mind? Nope, because democracy doesn’t work. We don’t vote for our elected officials on the basis of small issues such as this. We vote on tribal lines. So we are effectively stuck with this stupid situation until the revolution comes. Or until an elected official gets off their arse and realises that they should be doing stuff for their community, not for their own political ends.

Removing parking charges would be a huge benefit to local communities. It would increase the footfall in local markets/shops because people would not have to pay £1 minimum (for example) just to spend 5 mins popping into a shop. An increase in business’ profits would mean that more businesses would be attracted to the area, meaning more employment, meaning more stuff to buy and generally making the area more attractive. So parking on the road should be free and parking in public car parks should be free for an initial short period (15 mins) of time.

Going off at a tangent, but that’s one reason why supermarkets are so attractive – they have free parking. How many of you go to a supermarket to buy a few items rather than go to their local market to do the same? Think about why you do it. Do you do it because you can drive and park for free or because the prices are cheaper in the supermarket? Do you still do it when the market is closer?

In my local town, there are currently two supermarkets and a good local market. There are plans to open up two new supermarkets and obviously the traders in the local market are up in arms about it with petitions being filled in. The supermarkets counter by saying that customers can use their car parks for free and do some shopping in the supermarket and some shopping in the local market. A tacit acknowledgement that free parking is one of the main reasons why people use supermarkets. But how many customers will do some of their shopping in a supermarket and then pop to the butcher in the local market. None, because unless the butcher’s prices were very low compared to the supermarket there would be no reason to do so. So the supermarket wins and the local shopkeepers have to go out of business. Some would say this is just standard market driven competition. But is the competition fair? I don’t think so, and not just because of the supermarket’s immense buying power. The supermarkets can control what parking charges are for their shoppers and they make it free to encourage more shoppers to visit. Local shop keepers and markets don’t have the same control about the parking charges in their area so are at a disadvantage straight away.

So to reiterate, parking on the road should be free and parking in public car parks should be free for an initial short period (15 mins) of time.

Written by sbml

October 29, 2010 at 13:50