Category Archives: Social Policy

Health, Safety, and Security

we live in strange and disturbing times

These days, crime is endemic, and getting worse every damn day.  Sadly we are not allowed to shoot people here,

Years and years ago, when I was a boy, Health and Safety was never on anyone’s mind.  But then, in the recent living memory of most English people were the horrors of WWII, and we had the ongoing privations of post-war austerity.  So, things like the paleo diet, or obesity, or walking 10,000 steps a day would have seemed like something from a weird Druidic cult.  As a growing boy my main concern was getting enough to eat.

As for security; doors were only locked at night, we didn’t chain up our bicycles, and banks were for rich people.  The thought that someone would install a CCTV camera would seem like something from George Orwell’s 1984, (which I was reading at grammar school).

And yet, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  Today I will buy a CCTV system to monitor my apartment, especially my front door.  I have a good reason or three.

Yesterday I had a rather unfortunate incident involving a drugged-up piece of shit banging on my door.  Of course I was stupid enough to open the damn door.  From there things went downhill, up to the point of my calling the police.  It seems that the young male concerned is well known to the local police, although he is not a convicted criminal.  The senior police officer made it clear that it was better that I hadn’t hit the disgusting drugged-up piece of shit.

I have to concur.  This isn’t Texas, or Arizona, or New Mexico where blasting holes in the guy would have been the thing to do.  Here in England we have very few rights when it comes to defending ourselves and our homes.

Hence the new CCTV cameras, which will be installed as soon as I can get them delivered.

We live in strange and disturbing times.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

this is not the world I expected to live in

ruined world

now is the long dark midnight of your soul’s despair

~

and after lockdown

~

it was so quiet in the ruins

~

walking through this old town

~

the dogs bark but no children play

~

every child is kept safely locked away

~

no bright shining voices to be heard today

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

and the freedom to walk

has been taken away

 

Lockdown Breakdown

the English do not like being told what to do

The ‘National Lockdown’ already seems to be falling apart here in England, as I strongly suspected it would.

As it’s a reasonably nice day here I took myself out for a long stroll, (which is kind of not allowed).  For a Saturday morning; there were an average number of cars on the road, people were strolling in groups of 3 or more, and there were passengers on the buses.  Of the three supermarkets I passed, there was only a small queue outside one of them.  This is not what lockdown is supposed to look like.  We are all supposed to be isolated in our own home, or standing in line for an hour or so just to shop for ‘essential items’.

Of course it does not help that Mr Plod the Policeman has been seen behaving in his usual crass, overly officious manner when it comes to telling people they can’t sit on the beach, or let their children play in their own front yard, or do solitary yoga in the park.  I think the killer when it comes to police stupidity was when some senior police officers said they would be checking shopping carts to ensure that people were only buying ‘essential items’.  FFS!  The police have no authority to enforce a lockdown.  But people in uniform like telling the public what to do.

Neither does it help when government officials and ministers are seen to be utterly ignoring their own rules.  Nor when the BBC is pumping out a continuous stream of propaganda about staying at home, keeping safe, and protecting the NHS.

It seems that few English people believe this mendacious coronavirus crap any more.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I should be there, and not here

if there were still airlines flying

Go Shopping? Stand In Line

we may ask you to wait outside the store

This morning I decided to break the coronavirus lockdown, and take a stroll via the post office and one of the local supermarkets.

The post office wasn’t much of a problem, but the supermarket was another matter.  The queue outside the store, of people waiting to get in, stretched 450 yards around the parking lot.  I know it was 450 yards because there were helpful markings painted six feet apart on the tarmac, (blacktop).

Conveniently for my sense of rightness it took me exactly 45 minutes to get into the store.  You know what, if I didn’t really, really need some fresh fruit and vegetables I would have just given up and gone home.  But, it’s also Easter Weekend so all the stores are closed tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday, so if I didn’t get some fresh food today I’d be eating out of cans all over the holiday.

Inside the store was empty, so WTF was making everyone stand in line outside all about?  I’m beginning to think that the government, health officials, doctors, police, and big business are making life as difficult as possible for the ordinary man and woman in the street ~ just to prove that they can.

One can’t even go to the pub to complain and drown one’s sorrows, because all the pubs and bars are shut.

Cynicism is beginning in me.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I have a new plan;

Fuck It

Getting Better Now

let your hopes, not your hurts shape your future

one day I will see sights like this again

It’s not the cough that kills you ~ it just feels like it might.

I still have the cough / difficulty breathing , the headache, and the temperature / sweating, but I am so much better than I was a few days ago.  At the beginning of the week I only wanted to be asleep, and my sleep patterns were very disrupted.  It isn’t normal to be awake all night, then sleeping most of the day in front of the TV instead. I had no appetite, forgot to take my cold medication and vitamin pills, and could only drink Lucozade, (an energy drink for the sick), mixed 50-50 with water.

Until yesterday the idea of showering, shaving, washing my hair was just an impossibility.

But yesterday I got myself clean, cooked a hot meal, (tomato soup out of a can), and even ate most of it.  This morning I made coffee, and made some plans for today.

I don’t think I’ve left the garret since I got sick, which I think was on my birthday, March 23rd, so today I’m going out, as far as the store…..

Recovering from this virus needs to be the same as when I was recovering from pneumonia, pleurisy, and the 5 broken ribs that went along with that.;

  • Take it easy
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Do something to exercise my mind
  • Have a little exercise and get some fresh air
  • Eat properly, drink plenty of fluids, take my vitamins

The number of fatalities here in England is still going up, and our Prime Minister is in hospital with COVID-19.  It looks as though the current lockdown in England is going to continue for a while yet, maybe to the end of April.  So, I have plenty of time to recover properly before I’m tempted to do very much, or go anywhere.

Take it easy everyone, take care, don’t worry, try to be happy.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

stay in touch with family and friends

 

The Electric Car Chimera

a thing which is hoped for but is illusory and impossible to achieve

Tesla Model S ~ from £81,200.00

Whenever the political establishment gets involved in anything to do with transport they fuck it up in a big way.  The latest monumental fuck-up by the British Government is to propose to ban sales of all new diesel, petrol, and hybrid cars from 2035.  This is in an attempt to meet a carbon-neutral target, which in itself is pointless as it’s designed to tackle the non-existent problem of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, (man-made global warming).

You heard right, in the UK from 2035 you will only be able to buy a plug-in electric car.  This is going to be the most monumental disaster to hit Great Britain since WWII.

There are 32.5 million cars on the road in Britain today, of which less than 40,000 all electric cars were sold in 2019.  Leaving aside the myriad of other problems to do with electric vehicles and consider instead the issue of charging these damn white elephants.

Currently there are only 15,500 public charging points for electric cars in the UK.  Assuming that lots of people will want to charge their electric car when they are at work, shopping, and doing what we are wont to call living a normal life, then maybe another 20 or 25 million charging points will be needed.  These charging points are damn expensive, to install one means digging up the road, laying cables, and connecting to the local electricity network.  If this is to work at all it means the next 15 years will see British roads dug up like never before ~ how much carbon will all those diesel trucks, backhoes, road rollers, compressors et al produce?  How much disruption is there going to be?  We don’t have enough of all that stuff anyway.

It’s actually much, much worse than that.  Everyone gets home at night, and the first thing they do is plug their electric car into their home charging point, and the local electrical grid collapses because it’s not designed or built to take that kind of load on top of everything else.  So we fix that at vast expense and more digging up of roads.

That just pushes the problem up the chain until it hits the National Grid, which will collapse because it’s not designed or built to take that huge additional load.  So we fix that.  And every power station in the country trips out, and there is no electricity at all, across all of the UK.

To fix that we would have to build another 20 gigawatts of generating capacity, and that’s doubling the amount of all the electricity generated in the UK, and it will have to be instantly available electricity, which rules out wind and solar power.  It will have to be 20 gigawatts of nuclear and fossil fuel power.  It’s back to coal and oil again.

It’s madness.

Some say this is our last chance to save the planet.  And we should all be green, clean, and carbon neutral.  All I know is that the sky isn’t falling.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there is no viable substitute for coal

Homosexuality

mental health has nothing to do with being gay

If anyone in Western Europe or North America has a problem with homosexuality then it most likely comes down to their own fears and prejudices.  The plain fact is that in most civilised societies homosexuality is now a perfectly acceptable practice, as is lesbianism, bisexuality, or being transsexual.  Some draw the line at men being very camp and wearing makeup, but that’s more a question of taste rather than being bigoted against gay men.  But there are some places where it would be very risky to be openly gay.

In the 50s and 60s the life of a gay man was a secret, in fact homosexuality was illegal in England until 1967 ~ you could go to prison for being actively gay.  The situation was much more complicated in the USA with sodomy being illegal throughout the USA until 1962.  After that various states became more liberal at various times up until 2006 when Missouri repealed it’s. law against homosexual conduct.  Virginia had laws against lewd and lascivious cohabitation until 2013.

But, if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual there are still whole swathes of the world where to openly show it will get you thrown into jail for a long time; Saudi Arabia, Russia, most of Africa…..

The plain fact is that if you’re not straight keep it strictly in private unless you positively KNOW that where you are fully accepts homosexuality and all the other LGBT / LGBTIQA practices ~ and even then you’re sometimes going to come across the occasional bigot who just likes gay bashing.

Personally, I fully accept homosexuality and bisexuality, but I would prefer that gay men didn’t kiss while I was around.  That doesn’t mean I’d say anything to them, but I’d probably get up and leave wherever I was.  Most straight men, myself included, are more accepting and understanding of lesbianism, but that’s because we tend to bracket it with soft porn.  Reprehensible I know, but most men are hard-wired a certain way, and there’s not much anyone is going to do about that for the rest of this century.

The plain fact is, in civilised societies homosexuality, lesbianism, and bisexuality, are mostly acceptable ~ just don’t frighten the horses.

I’m not gay, I’m mentally ill ~ and that carries an even greater negative stigma than homosexuality.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.

The Stupidity of Keyless Cars

in America car crime is a depressingly common occurance

cars from the Honda group are the most targeted by thieves

If you own a keyless car, then any computer savvy thief can steal it in an instant.  Wireless key jamming techniques and other hacks allow chummy to be off on his toes with your motor in seconds, and the more high-tech your car, the easier it is to spoof its computers ~ supercars such as the Tesla are particularly vulnerable.

Conversely, older and more primitive cars which use proper door locks and an ignition key are more difficult to nick, needing some physical violence from the tea leaf, and enough electrical knowledge to hot-wire the thing.  And don’t think that locking your car in your garage makes it safe.  These days most garage doors are opened with a remote, and they are so easy to spoof it’s almost laughable.

What can one do to secure one’s car and make it more difficult to steal?  The #1 rule with any security is that it should be visible and physical, not electronic.  Physical security for a car is cheap and easy, if slightly inconvenient.  An old-fashioned crook lock or steering wheel lock can be bought for $30 or so, or if your car is going to be sitting parked for an extended period you could always buy yourself a Denver Boot, (vehicle wheel clamp).  Personally I always had a switch on the low tension lead, and if I was feeling paranoid I would pocket the rotor-arm.  (I always liked older sports cars.)

The top ten tips for protecting your car;

  1. Consider where you park
  2. Don’t leave stuff in sight in your car ~ your purse for example
  3. Fit a vehicle immobiliser
  4. Fit a car alarm
  5. Look after your keys ~ car thieves steal keys
  6. Protect your wheels ~ fit locking wheel nuts
  7. Get your windows etched
  8. Buy a steering wheel lock
  9. Get a car tracker
  10. Always, always physically lock your car

Your car still may get stolen, but if you’ve done all you can to protect it you may not feel quite so bad.  OK, you’ll still be shocked, but you might not feel stupid.

Keyless cars about as secure as contactless credit and debit card payments ~ and they are totally open to fraud.

Some say that they feel safe because they always lock their car.  And that their car will never be stolen because they never park on the street.  All I know is I had cars pinched three times, and I’m paranoid about security.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the Tesla is a prime target for computer-savvy car thieves

The Cashless Conspiracy

Life is like a cash register, in that every account, every thought, every deed, like every sale, is registered and recorded.  ~ Fulton J. Sheen

There is a conspiracy at the highest levels of government and the banking industry that wants to do away with cash ~ that is the notes and coins in your wallet, purse, and pocket.  Here in England our Treasury Department, The Bank of England, (which is really another branch of government), the large high-street banks, and the major retail store chains are doing all they can to bring about the complete end of physical cash.

In the UK the number of free-to-use cash machines, (ATMs), is dwindling at the rate of about 250 every month, and that leaves shoppers and small businesses struggling to get hold of any cash, (source ~ consumer group Which).  Add to that the number of bank branch closures which adds up to about 1,000 a year over the past 3 years, and one can see that the finance industry is just not interested in anything but card payments and electronic banking.

The thing is, cash is utterly reliable, whereas electronic payments systems can and do crash from time to time.  Also some small businesses cannot afford the trouble and expense of installing a card reader and becoming a card merchant, so they are reliant on cash payments.  In addition, for very small payments, a card is just a stupid way to pay.  (And what stripper or hooker will accept anything but cash?)

However, the Government, the Bank of England, and the rest of the finance industry are doing everything possible to either promote cashless payments, or force cashless payments upon us.  Electronic swipe cards are now the norm, which means no signature or PIN is required to make a purchase, just wave your card at the reader.  Trust me, as a guy with 30 years experience in Banking and Finance, electronic swipe cards are not and never will be secure.  And just you try getting your money back from your bank if you have been a victim of card fraud.

One high street bank in the UK is trialing a system which will allow customers to authorise card payments for any amount just using their fingerprint ~ and that is also totally open to a number of easy frauds.

The thing is Governments, Central Banks, the Tax people, High Street Banks, Major Retail Chains hate cash because; it’s expensive for them to handle, they cannot monitor your every payment and spending pattern if you use cash, and they have absolutely no control over your earnings and spending if it’s in cash.

If we are not all very careful, then very soon Big Brother will be watching your money.

These comments apply to the banking and finance industry in England, which I know a bit about, but they also apply in equal measure to the USA.

Some say that Cash is King.  And others, that Cash is Dead, card and electronic payments are the real future.  All I know is I can get cash-back from my favourite store if I just make one tiny card purchase.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

The Bank of England is just another arm of Big Government

we are not all crazy

Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt

Due to a bout of insomnia I found myself listening to President Trump’ State of the Union address.  What an uninspiring speaker that man is.   Having said that, I am in no doubt that Mr. Trump will be re-elected for a second term in office.

One of his controversial standpoints concerns the building of a security wall / fence along the southern border of the USA with Mexico ~ to prevent illegal immigration, people smuggling, drugs and gun smuggling.  The Democrats / Liberal Left are especially incensed by this policy, as are the liberal left in the United Kingdom incredibly angry about our referendum’s requirement that immigration into the UK from Europe and elsewhere be immediately curbed.

There is no doubt that one of the main reasons the British people voted decisively in 2016 to leave the European Union was to drastically cut immigration of all kinds, illegal and otherwise.  This is not xenophobia, it’s common sense.  Other than very skilled individuals, where there is an immediate job waiting, immigrants offer nothing whatsoever to their new country.  In fact they are a net drain on scarce resources.  There is also compelling evidence that immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime.

Things were different before this modern technological era, and now that population pressure is a very serious issue.  In the past immigrants filled valuable roles in society, but today even ditch diggers have to be able to drive a back-hoe.

Theodore Roosevelt’s words are still applicable today.  When I travel to the Southern United States it’s noticeable how many people have Spanish as their first / only language.  In parts of England many Asian female immigrants cannot speak English.  It’s sad, but one cannot be a true member of society if you don’t routinely speak the language.  In this modern technological world, one cannot be a valuable member of society if you don’t speak English.

Some say that we should welcome ethnic diversity.  And that opposing unfettered immigration is racist.  All I know is that you’d have to be crazy to allow all and sundry to live in your home.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

immigrants do fill lots of roles in the hospitality industry.

 

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