A British bureaucracy that took 30 years to update its records
And even then it took media exposure before they listened. Don't laugh, but in Britain you have to buy a licence in order to be allowed to watch TV. The proceeds are used to support a Leftist propaganda outfit known as the BBC
The television licence enforcers were nothing if not persistent. For five years they pursued 69-year-old Hannah Patricia Humphris with a succession of intimidating missives demanding she buy a licence. The pursuit culminated with a letter this month threatening her with prosecution and a possible œ1,000 fine. But the TV licensing police had overlooked one crucial fact: Miss Humphris hasn't owned a television since 1978. She got rid of her set that year because it wasn't working properly and, she said, there were no interesting programmes.
Mrs Humphris, from Neath, South Wales, had informed the authorities she did not have a TV when the letters started to mount up. But they wrote back to say she would be interviewed under caution and could be prosecuted if she was caught watching or recording television programmes. Miss Humphris described the letter of January 2, which was headed 'Official Warning' as 'intimidating' and 'threatening'.
Despite her again telling them that she did not have a television they insisted that an officer would have to visit her house to ensure she was telling the truth. The pensioner [retiree], a former shorthand typist who lives on her own, said: 'I told them to search every nook and cranny of my house because they wouldn't find what they were looking for. 'I also told them that they could meet my solicitor at Swansea Crown Court to discuss damages for harassing me.'
As well as threatening prosecution, the letter said she would be liable for a œ1,000 fine if found guilty over the œ139.50 licence fee. Miss Humprhis said: 'I keep telling them that I haven't had a television set in over 30 years but they keep sending me letters claiming I have. 'I think it must be amusing them to keep harassing me like this. Am I a criminal now because I don't own a television set?'
A TV Licensing spokesman said Miss Humphris should not receive any more letters, although she may still receive a visit from an inquiry officer to verify she does not have a set. TV Licensing has previously been accused of heavy-handed methods and bullying. The BBC Trust, the corporation's governing body, has opened an inquiry into the tactics it uses to collect the licence fee.
The theology of hunting
I understand it when the idolatrous PETA people who worship jackrabbits over Jesus get their panties in a wad over hunting. I expect it, I like it and-truth be told-I'd really miss it if they did not pop a blood vein in their forehead when smacked with the facts. However, lately I've been getting hate mail and weird looks from "Christians" who ardently believe that God, Jesus, Moses, John, Paul, George and Ringo (I know, they get them confused) are, supposedly, vehemently opposed to hunting animals (they're right about McCartney). I have even had some sassy Christians say that fishing is evil because it hurts the fish. No kidding? I wouldn't have thought that a hook in the mouth would hurt. They, therefore, conclude that since fish hooks hurt that Jesus would never fish nor be friendly toward those who do.
Really? Hey, St. Dillweed, have you ever actually read the gospels or do you just smoke ganja and make this crap up as you go? FYI: The majority of Jesus' chosen disciples were fishermen, and the fish they gathered didn't die of old age. For God's sake, Jesus himself was part and parcel of killing so many fish-I'm sorry, "catching" so many fish-that at one point Peter's boat nearly sank under the weight of this Christ-spawned catch (Luke 5). And then there's the loaves and FISHES miracle when Jesus threw a Puff Daddy sized party for 5,000 plus people (that's a lot of sushi). But we won't talk about that because you're probably overwhelmed as it is.
Let's go back to hunting. In addition to these saints' specious, irrational and unbiblical hatred of hunting and hunters, another phenomenon has manifested itself in which the atheistic and/or pantheistic couldn't-be-weirder tree-ogling blowhards have started quoting Scripture to me and tossing God's name around in this debate like a coked-up Courtney Love at a Kid Rock concert. How convenient.
Therefore, seeing that a sizable chunk of the Church is getting goofy and are buying into the Disney-fueled misinformation machine and that PETA pariahs are now parsing biblical passages for propagandistic purposes, I figure it is high time to check out the holy Bible and lay out exactly what it does say about hunting and hunters. Being the capitalist pig that I am, I will do it in a new book that I am pitching for 2009 titled: A Theology of Hunting: Why God Loves Hunting & Hunters. For now here's a little hors d'oeuvre about the Holy One and hunting.
First off, much to my chagrin, I must admit that the Bible contains just trace amounts of direct references to hunters and hunting. What it does contain about hunting, though, is overwhelmingly positive with only one condemnation leveled at a hunter who does not "roast his prey" (Proverbs 12:27a). That's one. Not a bazillion. Only one.
Even though there are few direct references regarding hunting and hunters, there's an abundance of analogies and imagery taken from hunting used in Scripture. Just a cursory glance at the Psalms and the Prophets provides hunting similes aplenty. This is interesting. Let's see . . . rare literal references and massive amounts of hunting imagery used to communicate divine truth. Hmmm. What could this mean? Could it be that the ubiquitous use of hunting metaphors equates that God's mind was quite taken with the topic?
In addition, should one conclude that because hunting metaphors are so profuse that the biblical crowd this book was originally penned for would have had to be a hunting community or the references would have flown straight over their heads like Kafka's symbolism eclipses Britney Spears' brain? The answer to those questions would be yes and yes. Now, for those not jacked up on raw emotion and still able to think, check out this pro-hunting stuff in book one of the Bible, Genesis:
1. You don't have to read too far in the Bible, like . . . uh . . . the first chapter, until you're hit with the fact that man is to exert dominion over animals, birds and fish. That's conservation and game management, folks.
2. When our primal parents blew it in the garden by blowing off God's command in Genesis chapter three, God took it upon himself to clothe their naked rebel butts with leather and fur. It wasn't faux fur or pleather. It was the real schizna, mamasita. Deal with that, Pam Anderson. The silicone must have flowed up to her synapses.
3. In Genesis chapter four, Abel killed a lamb to sacrifice and found favor with God. If Yahweh wasn't happy about that He would have zapped him on the spot. It was the vegan Cain who got canned.
4. In Genesis chapter six God drowned not only a lot of wicked men, women and children in the great flood, but also a lot of animals, too. Like in the 99.9 percentile range. That was the largest game depredation ever seen. Only two critters of each species were afforded a space on the ark. Game management to the extreme, God style.
5. In Genesis chapter nine, after the waters of the flood receded and Noah and his tribe had docked their boat, God told them that they could eat the animals they had just sailed with for the last forty days and nights. I wonder which one they chowed down on first? I would have eaten one of the zebras. If you remove their fat they make great steaks, plus Noah could have decorated his house with the zebra rug.
6. In Genesis chapter ten, Nimrod floats to the literary surface as a mighty hunter before the Lord. What does that mean? I don't know, but I'd like to be one.
7. In Genesis chapter twenty-two when Abraham was going to offer up his only son unto God, Jehovah gave him an out by providing for Abraham a ram instead of Isaac. It's not a hunting reference, but it is a nice little sneak peek into God's mind that He prefers people to animals-something that the PETA people do not get.
8. And lastly for now (`til my book gets brokered), in Genesis chapter twenty-seven Isaac, one of Jehovah's main covenant kids, gets to feeling a bit peckish one day, and you know what he asks for to satisfy his hunger? Was it tofu? No. Lentils? Wrong again. A wheat grass smoothie? Strike three, Chicken Little. It was venison, a Ted Nugent back strap fever feast, that's what! Yep, Isaac commanded his son to pick up his bow and collect him a buck for some down home barbeque.
For PETA or some wrapped around an emotional axle Christian to make the Bible anti-hunting they would need an exacto knife. Nowhere in the entirety of holy writ does God, Jesus, Moses, the apostles or the prophets have any problem whatsoever with those who hunt righteously and utilize the meat fully.
Australian water bureaucracy doesn't know how to call a plumber
OK. Maybe their own crews were too busy to fix a leak. But what about calling a private plumbing firm in to do so?
A resident with a water leak in his driveway says he was forced to ring 000 for help after six calls to United Water were ignored and it developed into a "geyser" yesterday. United Water said its crews were kept busy dealing with burst mains at Royal Park and Richmond yesterday and another at Enfield on Saturday. But crews were too busy to attend a leak at Cudmore Ave, Toorak Gardens, where thousands of litres of water were lost.
Resident Nigel Gammon said he reported water leaking from his driveway on Friday, only to see it turn into a "geyser" by Sunday afternoon. "At 9am on Friday my neighbour came in and said there was water coming from my driveway . . . I rang United Water and the guy said someone would be out here soon to take a look at it," Mr Gammon said. "The next day, 24 hours later nothing had happened, so I rang them again . . . "We were into today, nothing had happened, and the next thing the neighbour came in again and said there's a geyser . . . we rang 000 and they were out here in two hours. "I think I've rung up six times, the people across the road have rung up, other people have rung up and no-one gives a damn."
Mr Gammon said he was frustrated at hearing about the plight of the Lower Lakes and drought-ridden rural areas of SA, only to watch water gush down the gutters. "Here in the city, we've got an opportunity to stop the loss of thousands of litres of water and no one's done anything about it - it's ludicrous."
United Water spokeswoman Edwina Chapman confirmed crews had been delayed in attending to the Cudmore Ave leak as they were diverted to other burst water mains. "Unfortunately in this situation it's a leak that's turned into a burst," Ms Chapman said. "We had a number of (other) large bursts over the weekend that we had to prioritise . . . these bursts were damaging property. "We have a limited number of crews and they attend in order of priority."
Hate-filled Australian social workers say foster mother is too dedicated
Their own bureaucratic power obviously comes before the welfare of the children
They were the kind of children who normally end up in an institution: they could not speak or feed themselves; they had to be rolled over in their beds; they would never walk or get out of nappies. For six years, they lived in the sun-filled home of a registered nurse on the NSW central coast - and then, on December 12, with no warning, all three were removed from her care.
The foster mother, who cannot be named because it would identify the children, says she's still stunned by the reason given. According to social workers, she'd become "greedy" for as many disabled children as possible, revelling in the fact that others saw her as a "superwoman" who could take on any burden, and using the children to fend off "feelings of worthlessness". Officially, she'd become a "compulsive caregiver". "I never knew such a syndrome existed," says the woman. She says she is the victim of "revenge" by social workers with whom she'd been in dispute for many years.
The woman's career as a foster mother of severely disabled children began in 2002. She had been working as a nurse when she heard about the plight of two girls, then aged one and four, who had a mysterious syndrome that limited their development to that of eight-week-old babies. The girls' parents could not care for them - indeed, the stress of their birth helped break up their marriage - so the nurse, who was looking for a new start in life as well, agreed to take them on as foster children.
She makes no bones about the fact she saw this as her new job. "Not many people would agree to do it, but I'm a nurse so I'm not frightened of what has to be done," she says. "I feel confident. I can deal with the medication and the doctors. "I care deeply for the children, but it was also what I had decided to do with my life. I would care for them full-time."
In return, she would receive $600 per child - or $1200, tax-free - a week. By comparison, the private corporation that employs her, Life Without Barriers, receives about $6000 a child per week from the NSW Department of Community Services.
To accommodate the children's wheelchairs, the foster mother widened the hallways in her home. She installed a ground-floor spa, and rigged up trolleys and pulleys above the beds. In 2006, she applied for a third child, a boy, who is not related but has a similar syndrome. He, too, must be fed through a tube, and use nappies and a wheelchair. The three children shared a room, and the home with the foster mum and her three teenage daughters.
It was not all smooth sailing. There were disputes with Life Without Barriers, particularly over money. It's clear from documents seen by The Australian that some welfare workers believe the foster mother and her partner, who shares care of the children, are motivated by the $1800 a week, tax-free, they receive. Last October, the foster mother agreed to meet a psychologist, Toni Single, to "work out the issues" she had with Life Without Barriers. Ms Single has an interest in the syndrome known as "compulsive care-giving" and has written papers on it. She believes that some foster parents believe they are good people who want to care for children, and do not know they have a psychological problem.
Upon meeting the foster mother, Ms Single concluded that she displayed some evidence of the syndrome. In her report, she said that people with this syndrome "enjoy being involved in the drama" of having disabled children, and often "need recognition and approval of others". According to documents seen by The Australian, Ms Single's report was the "key document" used by Life Without Barriers when it decided to remove the children from the nurse's home.
She says they have also "dredged up ancient history" - the fact that she suffered from severe depression and needed medication after her 19-year marriage broke down in 2000, for example. "That was before I took in the children," she says. "I don't deny it. I had a really hard time. But to say that I'm a nutcase now ... I mean, if that were true, how did I ever get approved? "And why, in 2006, did they give me another child? "This is all to do with the fact that I was prepared to take them on, and I will not give up."
Ms Single's report says the nurse is an "attractive, intelligent and charming" woman who had provided "good physical care" for children who would otherwise be impossible to place. "The quality of care provided to date has been of a high standard," the report says. The foster mother is "committed and competent" and "committed to their wellbeing" and often places "their needs above her own". A hearing on the matter will take place on January 28.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.