Feb 092013

An engineer’s observation: All humans make errors; all human processes sometimes result in errors. Guns amplify human errors. This was triggered [sic] by this news article: Details emerge in LAPD’s mistaken shooting of newspaper carriers There were (at least) two very different sorts of error: The decision to shoot was wrong The shooting itself was poor quality When someone says “guns don’t kill people, people kill people“, is that supposed to make me feel better? No! If people can amplify their errors with guns this scares the shit out of me!

Jan 032013
In praise of "NIMBY"!

I haven’t previously thought much about the attitude of NIMBY (“not in my back yard“), except to recognise the term as pejorative. I’m not currently threatened by developments close to my house. (Even the nearby  A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road proposals which I’ve studied and responded to). Then I saw this on Twitter: What a nasty attitude! There is nothing hypocritical about defending your own property from deterioration and devaluation. (And I’m sure James O’Shaughnessy would defend his own lifestyle against deterioration; his job once didn’t exist, so is that a reason why young people can take over some . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 202012

Consider: Everyone in the generation that started 150 years ago is dead. Most people in the generation that started 50 years ago are still alive. Is this “intergenerationally unfair”? Is it even “unfair”? This is a pretty devastating difference between these generations. Yet no serious person would claim that it is “intergenerationally unfair”. We need to be able to discuss generational differences without automatically treating disadvantages to one of them as examples of intergenerational unfairness. This article was prompted by “Commentary on “Intergenerational Fairness Index” by the Intergenerational Foundation“. That article was prompted by (and analysed)  “Intergenerational Fairness Index – . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 142012

It wasn’t until I read the following editorial in the Independent that I thought much about the PCC election tomorrow: Editorial: Police commissioners are worth voting for Here are my options for the Greater Manchester police force area. Should the candidate be independent of any political party? If so, why? One candidate thinks so: Roy Warren, Independent But the argument for a PCC who is independent of a political party is not made by this candidate. He clearly believes it, but didn’t explain what’s in it for me. Perhaps he is right, but if so the only way to find . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 102012
Welcome proposals for householder defence against intruders

There were welcome new proposals at the Conservative Party Conference: Tory conference: Burglary ‘over-reaction’ to be allowed Conservative Party conference 2012: new right to attack burglars Tories go back to basics on burglars Homeowners Get New Rights To Attack Burglars I’m 5ft 4in tall. If the intruder in my home is 6ft, then ‘disproportionate’ is my only hope There have been many responses to these proposals saying that the law is OK as it stands. But that is nonsense, and lawyers are the wrong people to make the judgment! The current law is confusing and is of no use when . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 022012

From yesterday it is a criminal offense to squat in a residential property, hence my house. Good, and about time! This is a complicated matter, and there are claims from lawyers and people representing squatters that the change to the law is unnecessary because there were already remedies. I said why this was false in my post of nearly a year ago The law on squatting in my house in England. That post also linked to the response I sent to the Government’s 2011 “Squatting Consultation”. Here are comments from 3 points of view: real home owners; empty house owners; . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 242012

There is a persistent cynical claim that changing the law to permit assisted dying would diminish disabled people. (Variations include “it would make disable people more  vulnerable” and “it would suggest that disabled peoples’ lives are less valuable“). Wrong! It would empower disabled people, and enable them determine for themselves the value of their lives! The argument from “Ability” Able-bodied people can die if they want to. (Suicide is legal). They have autonomy. Tony Nicklinson’s fate demonstrated his dependence on others and the unwillingness of the law to help him overcome this particular aspect of his disability. His own opinions . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 222012

So after 2 years of a legal struggle for a relatively painless and dignified death, Tony Nicklinson had to starve himself to death. What a cruel system we have! And what cruel people there were opposing his death! I hope that they will reflect on what their opposition achieved, or rather failed to achieve. If they have sufficient empathy even to appreciate what they did. Some quotes from (BBC) Tony Nicklinson’s legal fight for right to die: “The condition left him unable to speak or move and relying on a computer to communicate….  Mr Nicklinson said he did not want . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 202012

Let’s remind ourselves: Suicide (and assisted suicide) is legal! You don’t need to justify it. You don’t need to ask permission. If you are able-bodied, you just do it! The question “whose life is it anyway?” was answered decades ago: if you are able-bodied, it is your life. What is special for Tony Nicklinson and others is that their disabilities stops them doing it for themselves. In any enlightened country, we would help disabled people achieve what able-bodied people can legally achieve. Mostly the UK aims for that. In this case the UK falls short. What sort of person could . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 262012

I’m just making a point of logic here, using the following case. (The details don’t matter). Muslim leader loses Sharia law fight over divorce settlement You can’t use sharia law in divorce deal: Muslim hospital consultant told to pay ex-wife maintenance despite claims he owes her nothing under Islamic rules Dr Al-Saffar said after the case: …. ‘Family law in this country is biased against Muslim people.’ No! In this case, UK Family Law was in favour of equality for Muslim women. It is often a case that equality laws are biased against specific religious positions, and so can be . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]