Sunday, 22 March 2020

About Coronavirus

This government is responsible for decimation our county's infrastructure over the last ten years, cutting back on the NHS , Emergency services , shirking responsibility by "outsourcing" so when coronavirus cam calling we do not have safety measures in place to fight it.

Added to that the panic idiocy of the red tops shepherding the masses into panic buying leaving the vulnerable and poor unable to to buy the basics.

I am lucky enough to have around two weeks supply of every thing I need, and I very seldom do big shops, though there will be people buying for a family of two adults four children and dependent elderly relatives, a full trolley is essential for them.

There is plenty of everything to go round, and the shelves are just being cleared by panic buyers, they are usually restocked fairly rapidly The Red Tops have stoked up panic in our gullible electorate.

Also social isolation doesn't mean having to stay in for most people , it means generally avoiding contact and crowds.

Big companies and corporations have the financial muscle to ride this storm but small traders need support and often they are the ones that have the stuff you need.

So here's my bullet points to survive the:

  • Look after yourself so you can look out for others
  • Act as though you have coronavirus , think you do not want to spread it so avoid unnecessary contact
  • If you are able go out for walks to avoid going stir crazy
  • Use social media and your telephone to keep in contact
  • Wash your hands , soap and hot waters destroys the protective fat cell that protects the virus and kills it
  • Buy enough for yourself, no need to buy anymore , think of others
  • Hand sanitizer is only necessary if you don't have access to soap and water
  • Ask any vulnerable people if they need help
  • Toilet Roll? Seriously ?
  • We can do this, don't panic
I've probably missed loads but luckily this island has enough talent andcaring to get us throughthis, unfortunately none in Westminster.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

How Do We Stop The Idiocracy?

Before you read any further I don't have an answer.

We are supposed to live in a democracy , but when the people who actually vote are effectively controlled by a handful of media companies are we really in a democracy.

I'm continually told by people that Trump is a great businessman, and when I counter this with his bankruptcies , racism, sexual harassment people just switch off.

People tell me that the tories are the Fiscally responsibly party and when I argue that they have destroyed this country's infrastructure by selling it off and pocketing the profits they eith switch off or point to the red top headlines.

When I ask for a positive of Brexit I am told there's too many immigrants in hospitals, it's stop the muslims and pakistanis coming in, you never know it might be really good. On the basis of a pack of advertising lies a 52% vote to takes out of the world's largest free trade bloc (along with all the other benefits that has brought - 80 years of European peace, free movement) and the idiocracy are not bothered or call me a traitor.

I know someone who was on benefits and finding things very hard, yest still voted Tory at the last election because The Sun said so. This is the idiocracy.

The only hope is to educate people to consider what they are doing, wbut when we have people like Michael Gove saying we don't experts and people then quoting him and an example we know why we are where we are.

It's funny, when at work and there is a major IT problem they don't go to the cleaners or the doorman to sort it out, they always come to me, yet for the running of the country put their trust in idiots like Bojo , the poundshop Trump who will have us at war with Iran.

I do wish the idiocracy will one day become a thinking democracy.

I've included the Carole Cadwalladr talk on how Facebook facilitated the Brexit vote.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

I, Daniel Blake

This is a sporadic blog, that I use if I am going to post about something that makes me annoyed or irate. I try not to get annoyed but sometimes things do get a bit out of hand.

I was wondering whether I would be able to watch "I, Daniel Blake", the Ken Loach film as I had heard that it was heavy going. It won awards at Cannes and last night I finally took the plunge. I did watch it all and wasn't traumatised but it was a perfect illustration of the fact that most people are good moral people but there are bullies and cowards who hide behind rules to take advantage of those that are vulnerable.

The film illustrates this and there are a lot of lows and people who you want to punch but a few highs as well.

The thing is the more helpless the person seems the more aggressive the bullies become. Bullies only thrive with easy targets. I've been bullied a few times at work but luckily I was sensible and got out when I realised the bullies were being backed by the companies.

Around the Millenium I got made redundant for the first time ever, and of course decided not to sign on. Then I realised that the JSA may come in handy and went and signed on. I was owed around four hundred pounds in JSA , and when I kept asking when it would be paid they said "just borrow it off someone". Aye the bank will give me an overdraft I'm sure.

Then one day day I went in and the Job Centre person told me I wasn't entitled to anything. When I asked, the reason given was "Because the computer said so". I spoke to a supervisor who took great delight in telling me that I would get nothing because I didn't sign on the day I  got made redundant. I was seething and went home and did a bit of research.

I found a document that said I would be entitled to JSA if I had signed on for 50 out of 51 weeks in the previous two financial years OR I had paid National Insurance on £4.5K of earning in each Financial Year. I printed of the document, took copies of my final payslips for each year and went back to the Job Centre. It turned out HMRC had got it wrong, despite them taking my contributions they didn't have me down on their system. Go figure.

The person I spoke to was completely unaware of the rules and asked if he could have the document, as well as agreeing that I was entitled to JSA.I then spoke to the supervisor who seemed to be fuming but said nothing. No Apology. When I got home ten minutes later the money was in my account.

One time when I went to sign on I was kept waiting forty minutes by the person I was meant to see. If that happens the other way round these days it's a reason the Sanction someone and stop their benefits.

I was lucky because I had the tools to fight my corner, but a lot of people don't and this government prioritises getting people off benefits not getting them into paying work.

Another thing is when I was unemployed it was under a Labour Government, and one of the people I saw tried to make take a job on £8K a year which would have needed me to buy and run a car. I refused, but these days that could lead to being sanctioned. The same person told me that I would probably never work again as I don't have a degree.

Since I was unemployed the situation has definitely got worse, and  "I, Daniel Blake" illustrates that perfectly. I do hope we can fix our country and help those that need help.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Facebook A La Kafka

Today I have been banned from commenting or posting on Facebook for 24 hours.

What did I do? I violated their standards or in their words...

How did I do this? Well that was up to me to find out. I trawled through my posts and found a share from IMDB for Peter Greenaway's film "Drowning By Numbers" .

I love Peter Greenaway's films often soundtracked my Michael Nyman's excellent minimalist classical scores, and often full of nudity , sex , disturbing and sometimes gross images, black humour , often suureal and funny dialogue and great casts, in this case Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson, Bernard Hill, David Morrisey and Ed Tudor Pole. So naturally I wanted to share.

To that you go to IMDB , check in to wherever you want to be and make a comment.

That was what I did.

The image below is what I think (I can cannot be certain) transgressed their rules. If you zoom in to the lady in the pool, there is a suggestion of a female nipple.
Drowning By Censors

There was an opportunity to defend the post and say what had happened. I did this but Facebook just said I couldn't submit my response. See below. It's almost Kafkaesque the fact that there is no option to discuss this, and it's possible that this has happened to lots of people.

I accept that we don't want anything unacceptable but I have subjected to skinned and mutilated animals, guns and knives being used on people, violent hate videos, anti Muslim, anti immigrant and inordinate profanities which all seem to be acceptable even when I complain.

I know mistakes are made but the can't be rectified if there is no mechanism to rectify those mistakes.

I know Facebook is "free" it's paid for by the barrage of advertising, and I accept that, it's like adverts that keeps commercial television and radio free.

I'm not going to kick up a fuss, just writing this to share my exasperation.

Why is the female nipple seen as such a threat, as Dave Allen said, what if they had chosen the nose to be so indignant about.

If you were to answer the door naked the first time I'd be surprised, the tenth time it would be "Coffee, milk no sugar".

Monday, 2 April 2018

WhiTunes? Security? Cookies?

Last night there was another update to iTunes. 271 Mb! Let that sink in. That's a lot of data to update software which I basically want to use to rip CDs and play music. That should require 271 Mb. That's 27 times the space on my first ever computer with a hard drive and when I worked at  Yorkshire water we were running everything on a mainframe with 4 Mb of memory. My phone has 48 Gb but does a hell ove a lot.

But iTunes, basically when you want to peruse your own colleection it's slow and directs you to the store and more often than not can't find artwork when you rip a CD. In is so full of periphery it can't actually do what it's supposed to.

The trouble is you never know what the update is, which is why I included the Eddie Izzard video.

This is like the version of Microsoft Excel that had a hidden built in Flight Simulator. No woner it needed so many discs to install. Total bloatware.

Then we have things like OneDrive and Google that connect to "The Cloud" to continually back up your computer which means that your machine is much slower especially if your internet connection is not that fast.

And another thing , why are cookies used ofr security. Cookies are fine for transient information, I don't mind seeing ads for cake if I've been searching for cake, but when Facebook contially asks me to remember my password in tree places every time I log on , as well as asking me if it can send Facebook notifications to my desktop before blacking out my screen before logging on. Because I do things with web sites I always clear cookies and history to make sure I'm working with the latest version.

Why can't sites store these preferences with other things like your name?

One the one hand we're continually warned about security, next were being told to let browsers remember our passwords and even stay logged in for quicker access (that's PayPal)

Right rant over and time for work.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Students... Grrrr

I have not had a rant for a while, in fact it's over a year,  and that's what I set this particular blog up for as I prefer to be positive, but every so often I want to rant about the bad things in this world. I was originally going to title this FVCK STUDENTS, but thought that may be even more inflammatory.

Don't get be wrong, I am not getting at students, in Newcastle they contribute to the economy, yes they can be annoying , congregate at the front of an otherwise empty bus or in front of a cash machine that you want to use etc etc

Basically its a lot of things, the most in your face being the continually erection of new Student Cell Blocks. Almost everywhere there is somewhere that can be built on these are going up. Now I wouldn't mind if these were being put up by councils for the benefit of students, but they're not , they charge students £500-£600 a month to stay here. This is private "enterprise" with the collusion of the government treating the students as cash cows. This is on top of the student loans which were introduced by Nu--Labour, then hiked by the Tories and LibDems , all people who had their education paid for (by the state or parents) showing their economic incompetence in education.

Now the government are talking about capping Student loans ... because ... the cost of recovering unpaid loans is become a burden. The thing is because wages have stagnated students can't even get a job that would enable then to repay the loan , let alone actually live.

Students should not be viewed as cash cows, but the current model , the government lends the students money (taken from the taxpayer), that is then paid to private "enterprise", then when students can't repay then the taxpayer loses out again.

I know my views are simplistic, but we should be building social housing (council housing with affordable rents not "affordable" housing) , student accommodation should be also similarly costed, and education should be FREE funded by the taxpayer.

Instead we have an economy where money is leaked away into offshore accounts while the country's infrastructure crumble....and I won't mention leaving the EU.....

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The World Just Became A Reality TV Show

Donald Trump is in The Whitehouse. We shouldn't be too surprised . Trump was on the Apprentice. If Simon Cowell stood for Prime Minister in the UK he'd win by a landslide, because let's face , most of the electorate are at a level where they will do what their rag of choice (The Sun,The Mail or Express in the UK, Fox News and The National Enquirer in the USA) tells them.

Many of his supporters laud him as a "businessman" ignoring his continuous failures and being bailed out (see here)

Making inappropriate sexual comments about girls as young as ten (see here)

Misogyny and Sexual Harassment of Women (see here)

Racist Harassment and incidents (See here) the Brexit vote endorsed the same in the UK

Mocking the disabled (See here)

Any one of these incidents would get me sacked but the electorate seem to view these as a benefit.

People say that it doesn't stop him doing the job, and all politicians are the same.

He claims he is going to create jobs when his own companies use non USA labour. (see here)

So being on the Apprentice qualifies you for US President (unless you are non white or a woman)

I've included PJ O'Rourke on Trump vs Clinton, he is Right Wing and voted Democrat.

Today is not a good day.