Archive for the ‘bureaucracy’ Category

Guilty – even with no crime

February 21, 2007

Hi Grit

I thought that we in the UK were the one who had to be concerned about being guilty until we can prove ourselves innocent, but it seems from a report I read today that your lawyers and justice departments are taking this theory to the next level, that being guilty even if no crime has been committed.

The case concerns one of your actors, Daniel Baldwin. It seems that he was given the keys to a friends car by a relative who omitted to tell the friend. Mr Smith, unaware the care had been borrowed, reported it stolen and Baldwin was subsequently arrested and bailed. According to Mr Baldwin’s lawyer, Mr Smith will vouch that it was all a mistake.

However, the reason I was surprised about this case is that when everyone turned up in court, Mr Smith included, they all expected the matter to be dealt with and dismissed. This did not happen. Despite Mr Smith willing to testify the district attorney was not prepared to dismiss the case. Am I a little behind the times here or what? If there is no case to answer, what purpose is being served in the district attorney refusing it to be settled? Thus, at this time, the DA is pressing ahead with the charges against Mr Baldwin for a crime that he could not possibly have committed because their was no crime to answer in the first place! This procedure is even tougher than ours in the UK, and I would not have thought that possible.

Mind you, it could be worse, he could get sent to prison yet for a crime he did not commit because no crime too place to begin with, if you understand my logic.

the Brit 

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Democrats move toward socialized health care!

February 15, 2007

Hi Brit,

I hope the American people are happy, because putting Democrats in charge of Congress is already starting to pay unexpected dividends.  While the subject of socialized medicine was carefully avoided during the recent campaigns, here it comes: Mental health bill moves forward in Congress.  Of course, this sounds innocent enough, just another attempt to force Big Business to be fair to the little guy, in this case forcing health insurance providers to cover mental health treatments.  However, underneath the feel good surface lurks a sneaky plan to drive health care costs high enough that the average person can’t afford it, forcing the kind and good hearted Government to take over and protect the innocent, but not too bright, general public.  Placing Big Brother firmly in charge of another 15% of the US economy, is just a bonus.  What’s that old saying, “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?”  So get that elective surgery now, because, after Big Government takes the reigns, the wait time for that nip and tuck or those fake boobs is going to be measured in years.  Oh, and pick up a good thick book, because the wait time at your doctor’s office is going to make a trip to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) seem like the service at McDonald’s.

the Grit

MP travel expenses

February 14, 2007

Hi Grit

All of the debate about travel costs, its effects on Global Warming and the need to conserve energy is generated by politicians. However, today figures have been published that show just how two-faced these people can be, especially in the UK. You need to bear in mind that there are around 634 MP’s and that the travel expenses are in addition to their salary and other expenses.

The current report reveals that the cost of MP’s travel for 2005-06 was a staggering £4.5 million ($9 Million). Of this £2 million was spent on car travel, £1.5 million on trains and £1 million on Flights. This equates to over £7,000 per MP, or £136 per week, and these figures are rising. However, as can be seen from the report, some MP’s are claiming as much as £44,000 per year, an incredible £850 per week!

There are a number of issues here. Firstly, these same MP’s are telling us to cut down on our road travelling, whilst at the same time failing to take their own advice. On the one hand the government is saying that the congestion on the roads is reaching a gridlock position, yet at the same time over 44% of their own travel is adding to the problem. The difference is that we, as lowly citizens, will not be able to reclaim any “rush hour” mileage cost imposed upon us, whilst the MP will be reimbursed. Every £1 an employee spends on mileage costs them £1.30 of gross income.

Secondly, they keep saying that we need to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce energy consumption, at the same time as they are increasing their own (or perhaps we should all walk so that they can travel in luxury!). Our tax authorities penalise us for the type of vehicle that we drive. For example, the tax levels on a 4×4 (SUV) are far more stingent than a small saloon. For an MP this is not a problem as they reclaim all of their expenses direct from the government.

Thirdly, there are no budget constraints on MP spending. They do not have to answer to anyone regarding the level of their expenditure. Any family is aware that they have to budget their expenditure to match their disposable income, or they will suffer the problems of escalating debt. Similarly, every employee knows that their expenses will not be sanctioned by their employer if it is considered to be unreasonable, and that continual extravagance will be rewarded with unemployment. A corporation is aware that cost control is vital to attracting business growth. An Mp’s attitude is directly opposite to all of these, safe in the knowledge that Joe public will be made to pay for their representative’s extravagance through the tax system, either directly or by stealth.

Standing alone, the MP’s travel expenses are bad enough, but when you add to this their other annual expenses, which on average work out at £110,000 ($220,000) each, and their salary of between £57,000 and £150,000 depending upon their position, it all adds up to an enormous public cost. What is worrying is that this represents just a small fraction of the cost of our government and civil service. In my view the time for “accountability of government” is NOW!

the Brit 

   

This is most UNusual.

February 11, 2007

Hi Brit,

I did not know that this was possible, but the UN just fired a staff member for being UNqualified, U.N. Fired Staff Members With Academic Degrees From Diploma Mill.  This is disturbing on several levels. 

First, how can such a massive bureaucracy not have several people who have nothing else to do but check the backgrounds of job applicants?  What have they instituted the Old World tradition of buying one’s job?

Second, since the position filled by the UNcredentialed individual is chief of the Human Resources Information Technology Section, how could someone without the proper education do the job to begin with?  Perhaps, besides improving their applicant screening process, the UN needs to prune some of the deadwood from their organizational charts.

Third, this does cast some light on the lack of educational credential listings for the “scientists” working for the IPCC.  Could this be the reason for keeping that information secret?

On the bright side, one down, tens of thousands to go.

the Grit