Amnesty International Advert against the Death Penalty

A short but excellent advert by Amnesty International about the death penalty.

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The tax in Cyprus

The tax in Cyprus

Following news of the proposed tax in Cyprus where bank accounts will be taxed.

“The levy was initially set at 6.75% on accounts under €100,000 and 9.9% on any deposit above that sum but this could be altered to 3% on the smaller deposits and up to 15% on deposits above €500,000. In return, savers will be given shares in the banks and, potentially, returns from the country’s gas reserves. ”

So basically it’s daylight robbery because they are desperate for money to balance the books.

Shark wrestler was on sick leave

The man who hit the headlines for wrestling with a shark away from children in Australia has been fired because he was on sick leave due to stress.
Paul Marshallsea was on holiday in Queensland when the shark strayed dangerously close prompting Marshallsea to take matters into his own hands.

“But when they arrived back in Britain, Mr Marshallsea and his wife – who worked for the same charity and was also off ill at the time – found letters informing them that they had been sacked.

Mr Marshallsea says he is “disgusted” by the way he has been treated and that instead he should have been congratulated for his feat of bravery. “If I hadn’t gone in to save the kids on that beach that day, my wife and I would still have a job,” he told the WalesOnline website. “Where do I now get a job? There’s not much call for shark wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil.” Mr Marshallsea worked at Dowlais Engine House, where the charity has a base, and his wife was a senior youth worker.

The letter he received read: “Whilst unfit to work, you were well enough to travel to Australia and, according to recent news footage of yourself in Queensland, you allegedly grabbed a shark by the tail and narrowly missed being bitten by quickly jumping out of the way; the photographs and footage appearing in newspapers and television broadcasts.”

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Whilst I personally commend what he did on that beach in order to protect those children and ensure the safety of everyone in the water, that does not mean that he should not be fired. What he did on that beach on that day has no bearing to his employment and to the conditions of his employment and whether or not he could be fired.
I am of course not a lawyer, nor am I an employment lawyer but I would say that it’s probably frowned upon if you take leave from work due to stress and then jet off to Australia for a holiday in the sun. That is a rather cheeky way to avoid using your allotted paid leave allowance.
Whether or not his employers were actually right to fire him or not I will not speculate on as much as I couldn’t comment on the specifics, however I believe that it is really not surprising that his employer reacted that way considering it could be seen as a slap in the face somewhat. I really do not see any way in which Marshallsea could play the victim, nor could I see how he could use his actions on that beach as some sort of defence. Frankly I have little sympathy for him.
The comments and reactions on the Huffington Post article on this story is very interesting. Firstly there is a poll which asks whether or not you agree with the decision to fire him. At the time of writing it 41.74% say yes and 58.26% say no.
Furthermore there are a variety of comments at the bottom by members of the site.

adamjhr1 said:

“I understand his work being angry over the incident but even if he wasn’t there to combat his stress issues (which he could have been, and stress doesn’t have a lot to do with being physically incapable) the fact he put himself in danger to rescue toddlers, in my eyes, he redeemed himself.”

 

And kfn said:

“He was on sick leave but was holidaying in Australia. I take it he was claiming sickness benefit so he was committing fraud both to his company and the Benefit Agency. This was fraud plain and simple. Great that he should have saved a life but he was still doing what many other claiments are doing. going on holiday at our expense.”

Either way it will be interesting to see if this develops any further but I think it’s safe to say I really don’t have a great deal of sympathy for him. Granted a holiday is a good way to deal with stress however he’s playing the victim card by claiming that what he did on the beach is somehow relevant, when it clearly isn’t.
As quoted above he said “there’s not much call for shark wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil” so if he’s worried about his next job perhaps he could move elsewhere. Either to somewhere with a large public aquarium or maybe he could start a TV show about wrestling sharks.

Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/12/shark-attack-man-stress-sacked_n_2858940.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/stressed-you-bet-i-was-shark-wrestler-paul-marshallsea-hailed-as-a-hero-is-sacked-because-he-was-on-sick-leave-8531441.html

Worse, Worser, Worst.

Here are three stories that for whatever reason be it greed, stupidity, or incompetence and I’ll let you decide which falls under the category of worse, worser, and worst.
The first story is of the mother who gave her thirteen year old daughter an ecstasy tablet for her birthday.
   This story came from Middlesborough Mayor Ray Mallon who mentioned the story when discussing “problem families” in the area.

“More than 360 children are currently in care in Middlesbrough, with Mr Mallon claiming many kids were being let down by parents who abused alcohol and drugs.

‘Many of these children are in care due to neglect because of poor parenting,’ he said.

‘There was one where a mother gave a 13-year-old child ecstasy tablets – you know, hard drugs – for her birthday. I just despair.”

If this is indeed true then then child needs to be taken away from her mother and the mother needs to face serious investigations for neglect if this has not yet happened.

The second is Cardinal Wilfred Fox Napier. Napier who is the Archbishop of Durban. Napier claimed recently that some pedophiles were not criminally responsible for their actions because it is a “psychological illness.” 

“The Catholic Archbishop of Durban, Wilfrid Fox Napier, told BBC Radio 5 live that people who were abused as children and became paedophiles were not criminally responsible for their actions in the same way as somebody “who chooses to do something like that”.”

Cardinal Napier was one of the Cardinals who voted in the process to elect the new Pope. He also said:

“He said: “What do you do with disorders? You have got to try and put them right. If I as a normal being choose to break the law knowing that I am breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished…

“From my experience paedophilia is actually an illness, it is not a criminal condition, it is an illness.”

The cardinal spoke of two priests he knew who were abused as children and went on to become paedophiles.

He told the BBC: “Don’t tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that.”

So basically he believes it is a psychological issue that should be treated as such and that they should receive no criminal charges. Which would probably suit him and his friends in the Catholic church since they would then be less concerned with having to deal with all those pesky complaints of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.
    A psychological disorder it may be but it also a crime and that is exactly what it should be.

The third and final story is of a man who continued to claim benefits despite having won the lottery.

“Michael Duthie won £250,000 in March 2010, but continued to claim almost £14,000 in Jobseeker’s Allowance, housing and council tax benefits to which he was no longer entitled.”

Duthie claimed (via his lawyer) that he failed to notify the government because he used £50,000 of the money to buy his council house and £50,000 on his family whilst also investing tens of thousands of pounds. According to him this left him sort of cash.
  Mr Duthie was given 180 hours of community service.

So there are your three contenders. Who gets the title of “worse”, who gets the title or “worser”, and who gets the title of “worst” out of those three?

Sources:

Mother gives her daughter ecstasy – http://metro.co.uk/2013/03/13/mother-gave-13-year-old-daughter-three-ecstasy-tablets-as-birthday-present-3539506/

Cardinal Napier – “Some pedophiles are not criminals.” – http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/16/paedophiles-not-criminally-responsible-wilfrid-fox-napier_n_2889619.html?ref=topbar
Lottery winner continues to claim benefits – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9934289/Lottery-winner-continued-to-claim-thousands-of-pounds-in-benefits.html

Boxer tracks down troll and threatens him

A football player turned boxer turned suddenly on an internet troll who mocked and goaded him after he lost a boxing match.

“The English boxer lost his country’s light welterweight title to Shayne Singleton on Friday. Two days later, a troll using the handle @jimmyob88 began taunting Woodhouse, calling him a “complete disgrace,” “laughable joke” and “waste of spunk.” Woodhouse initially replied with some trash talk of his own, then took matters into his own hands in a way not yet done by anyone in the sports world’s growing list of trolled pros.”

Instead of ignoring this person or blocking this person he instead took the fight to the troll.

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Woodhouse then found out the street where the troll lived/lives:

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This really got the troll’s attention who then responded with:

“Chill out pal i was only doing it so you would bite back it was only abit of harmless fun.”

 

Woodhouse posted more tweets that read:

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And:

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There were more but I can’t be bothered to post them all and there really isn’t any need. I’ll post the link to the news article at the bottom where you’ll be able to see the screenshot of every tweet.

Needless to say this caught the attention of a lot of people, many of whom praised Woodhouse for calling out the person trolling him and in such a public fashion. Publicly embarrassing him in that way was a real turn around in time when a lot of people enjoy anonymously trolling people, especially celebrities, on twitter. Granted Woodhouse isn’t really a celebrity as such but the trolls target all sorts of people.
      My take on all of this is that whilst I understand the methods he took to hit back I believe it was a step too far. I understand the reason and the motivation behind wanting to publicly expose a troll however it was a step too far to not only name the person but name their road as well. Although Woodhouse may have gone to the road but not the person’s house it still meant he was extremely close to the person shortly after claiming he was going to pay him a visit. I think we all know what he meant by that.
      That sort of response encourages the mentality that it’s OK to track those people down and to physically threaten them or assault them. Although he didn’t actually do it others will have seen him go as far as tracking down the persons road and they too will believe it OK to track down a person who trolls them on the internet. Who knows how far that could go.
    Had I been the troll in question I would not have apologised. It was pretty cowardly for that troll to then backtrack massively and to start apologising and grovelling. I have baited people on the internet before -note I say baited not trolled- and although I have never had someone track me down or try to track me down If anyone did start saying that they would do just that I would tell them to do it and I will be waiting with my baseball bat and with the police too. Because when you actually track someone down and go to their house then that crosses the line.
      I’m not saying that it’s OK to troll people in a vicious or malicious way, however I believe that a bit of harmless trolling never hurt anyone. If any person does not like trolls then there are ways to ignore it. Block people, report them, or just ignore them. Publicly naming and shaming trolls is one thing and I’m certainly not against that, however what he did could lead others to copy him who might carry out assaults or perhaps seriously injure others.

No doubt Woodhouse will be heaped with more praise by many, however caution is definitely required, as is patience.

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2013/03/11/boxer-hunts-down-twitter-troll/#lead-image

http://metro.co.uk/2013/03/12/boxer-curtis-woodhouse-drives-70-miles-to-confront-twitter-troll-3537079/