Zombieism is NOT a good way to clear your debts…

So apparently a British couple (actually the husband) came up with a *brilliant* scheme in to help eliminate their debt:

 A man who had been declared dead after a canoeing accident but in fact survived hid in his home for three years before his arrest this week, his wife told British newspapers Saturday. – [Yahoo/Reuters]

So apparently, this guy is an ex-prison official, who decided to fake his death in order to milk his death benefits for all they were worth. He later decides he can’t be without his kids, and tries to pull a “zombie”.  Except he didn’t think this thing through. Apparently somebody found a dated picture of he and his wife, together, during the time when he was supposedly “dead”.

Folks, let this be a lesson to you.  Never date your photographs. Especially while playing possum…

“Dead” man hid in family home for three years – [Yahoo/Reuters]

People! Respect your elders. Or else…

Today you get an interesting lesson in truth about family. “Blood” is not always family. It helps to be of the same blood, but it does not automatically make you family. Or deserving of the benefits thereof:

The family of a wealthy British pensioner who left her entire fortune to the owners of a Chinese restaurant failed Friday in a legl bid to have her will declared invalid.

Nephews and nieces of Golda “Goldie” Bechal claimed that she was of unsound mind when she made the will leaving 10 million pounds (13.9 million euros, 20 million dollars) to her Kim Sing Man and his wife Bee Lian Man.  – [Yahoo/AFP]

Now I’m sure this all came as a shock to this old Brits nephews and nieces to find that they would be getting cut off from access to a healthy 10 Mil. pounds. But you know what? It makes a whole lot of sense. Why not leave your money to people who you feel close to, who feel more like family than your real family?

It’s funny how often I see people treat their elderly relatives like unwanted baggage. Especially here in the US. Perhaps if people started bequeathing their belongings to the people who they thought were better family, people would take much better care of their elderly relatives than they do now. Seriously. What would it take? Laws that make parental neglect a criminal offence, like it now is in India?What is even more striking to me in this case is how her nieces and nephews wasted no time in branding her insane when they found out they had lost out on a large chunk of cash. Insane? They said she was insane!!? Really? In my mind, that action, in and of itself, more than justifies the decision the old Brit took.

Perhaps if they had paid her as much attention as those Chinese restaurant owners, who, by all accounts, appear to be very nice people, they might have received an equal amount of appreciation in return…

Laaaaaaaw, is a many splendored thiiiiiing… Not.

OK, forgive my musical refrain. I ran across an article today that kinda illustrated how important it is that the laws be objective, not morally motivated, and constantly revised to stay current with the changing times:

Dying in parliament is an offence and is also by far the most absurd law in Britain, according to a survey of nearly 4,000 people by a television channel showing a legal drama series.

And though the lords were clad in their red and white ermine cloaks and ambassadors from around the world wore colourful national costumes, at least nobody turned up in a suit of armour. Illegal. – [Yahoo/AFP]

Obviously many of these laws probably had some practical logic to them when they were made, and merely suffered from being too broad or too specific in scope. However the same is true of many of the laws on the books today. They are based on historical or social standards that are either obsolete or irrelevant today.

On the other side of the coin, there are laws placed on the books, that are simply poorly thought out. Most often emotional the result of knee-jerk reactions by over zealous lawmakers. For instance banning baggy pants? No tag in school? No hugs?!? Seriously, how is banning baggy pants supposed to reduce the crime rate of a city? (see <Dumb Laws.com> for a big list of really wacky laws… Fair warning, you may laugh yourself into oblivion :) )

But on a more serious note, the law has become a means for activists to push their own agendas, as opposed to protecting the society at large, and no, the two are not the same thing. An equitable legal system does not discriminate against anyone on the bases of race, color, creed, beliefs, etc, so it is absolutely ludicrous that any one should have to face prosecution simply because of their choice of clothes. What we are seeing is an abuse of the legal system. And it really needs to stop.

Die and you’re under arrest! Britain’s most stupid laws – [Yahoo/AFP]

Kids NEED discipline and guidance people…

I frequent a number of social help sites and message boards. I do it to help me understand people better. I do learn a lot, but I am constantly struck by how often people tend to confuse issues. Especially when it comes to raising kids. Like spanking. And discipline. Or never learn important life lessons for themselves.

I am all about letting kids learn to be their own person, but they need somewhere to start. A good framework to base their character on. If you want them to become positive, productive members of society, they need to be taught values/ethics and morals. They cannot learn these things on their own.

I have been quite vocal on this blog about the problems of society in general being the result of a lack of parental child raising discipline. Or, even worse, the parents teaching kids the wrong lessons. The results of this is all around us. And the evidence is equally salient. Here are a couple of examples:

A 12-year-old British boy appeared in court Wednesday charged with assault for throwing a sausage at a pensioner, police said.

Hmm. Odd… Let’s read on…

The youth, who can’t be named, was arrested after a 74-year-old man reported him to police for throwing a stone in Manchester, northern England.

The object turned out to be a cocktail sausage.

“Charging was the only option because the boy had previously been issued with three reprimands on separate occasions,” a Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said.

OK, this kid obviously has issues. What was even more disturbing to me was the way this kids mother responded to all of this:

The boy’s mother described the decision to charge her son as “an absolute joke,”

The boy’s mother said her son was worried he might be sent to prison. – [Yahoo/Reuters]

Now it may just be me, but it sounds like this kids mother is more worried about the penalties her son may face, rather than the fact that on 4 separate occasions (including this latest instance), her son has acted in an undisciplined and inappropriate manner? Didn’t she feel the need to discipline her child for that behavior? How about making him apologize to the pensioner? How about being a parent?

This kid is in court because he is unruly and inconsiderate. Or more likely, his mom has let him become that way. He is NOT in court because he threw a cocktail wiener at an old guy. Perhaps it is extreme to have to go to court for being a rambunctious kid, but if you’ve had the police called on you 4 times already, then obviously something has to be done.

I realize that there are cases where discipline is difficult, and I can only speculate on what is happening in that household, but from what I’ve read, I think MOM should be in court. Much better motivation to discipline her kid. Or not. But at least that way, when she shows up in court, it will be because she made the conscious decision to let her son do whatever he wants, and is willing to bear the consequences of both of their actions.

If I had done that to my Mom, she would have been mortified! She probably would have handed me over to the police herself! The thing is, the very first time I did something like that, I would have been severely disciplined. Regardless of whether it was a spanking, being disallowed to go hang out with my friends, no pocket money that week, whatever, I would have been taught that what I had done was wrong. It doesn’t matter what specific method was used, I would have learned not to do it again.

Instead, this kids mom probably defends everything he does, and he is now in court. He probably still doesn’t truly realize that what he did was wrong. What’s even worse is that he may still get off because he is a juvenile. Saddest of all, is the possibility that he will never learn anything from the experience because his mom will probably tell him that none of this was justified, and that he has been victimized by the authorities.

His antisocial behavior will continue, now with an added hatred for the police, and any/all authority figures. And when he finally grows up and decides to join some criminal organization, and a pursue a life of crime his mom will spend many a sleepless night asking herself where she went wrong raising him… Or not. She may keep cheering him on regardless. And yet we wonder why our kids are so jacked up…

Here’s another example, a worse scenario, with a rather blatant display of parental ignorance:

A mother and father are facing charges they encouraged their 13-year-old daughter to fight another girl. Debra Sue Grubb, 33, is charged in Kanawha County Magistrate Court with misdemeanor battery after allegedly forcing her daughter Gabrielle to fight 14-year-old Megan Willis near the Grubbs’ home on Aug. 15, Trooper J.M. Comer said Wednesday.

Are you kidding me? I could understand a parent telling their kid to stand up for, or defend themselves against bullying, but this?

At one point, Grubb allegedly grabbed her daughter by the arm and used her daughter’s body as a weapon to knock Megan to the ground.

Thomas Leon Grubb, 35, is charged with misdemeanor assault. Comer said Grubb is accused of threatening to harm two boys who were with Megan if they tried to break up the fight.

“It turned into a mess,” Comer said. “The two parents allowed this to happen when it should have been handled by the parents.”
- [Yahoo/AP]

You know, I almost don’t even know what to say about this. Obviously these parents never learned that violence is not the solution for everything. In fact it sounds like the kids may have been better off without their involvement. Much like the irate cussing YouTube parent I talked about before, the problem here is that even the parents don’t know any better. The only thing that might save the kids is if they end up being more intelligent than their parents, and figure this out on their own.

Then I run across parents on the message boards I was taking about earlier asking how to get their kids to do things like chores, dishes, cleaning, homework, even their own freakin’ laundry… It amazes me… Parents, your kids need discipline. The whole spanking /non-spanking issue is stupid. It’s in your head. Spanking is only abuse if you use it to vent your frustration. When used correctly, it is a tool, just like any other. And there are many of them. Use your head. Use what you know will work. Try a bunch of different things.

Just use them correctly. You can still psychologically abuse a child if you misuse a non-physical punishment. Do not punish out of anger, or out of frustration, or out of weariness or fear. Use these tools for discipline. To teach important life lessons. To teach them to be considerate of others. To be good human beings. Kids need this in order to become healthy adults. Do not deny them that opportunity.

Boy in court for throwing sausage – [Yahoo/Reuters]

Parents accused of encouraging fight – [Yahoo/AP]

Average call time is 8 hours. Please Hold…

Have you ever had to wait on hold for customer service for a really, really long time?:

Hannah King, 51, called a company helpline after a BT engineer failed to turn up to install a telephone line at her new flat in Milford Haven, according to The Times.

For eight hours in a row, she endured the sound of piped music. She gave up and tried again the next day — and waited another eight hours before putting the phone down.

The following day, she spent a further four hours on hold before hanging up, which took the total time wasted to almost one day. – [Yahoo/AFP]

OK, now it may just be that us Americans are a lot more impatient than our counterparts over the pond, but I certainly couldn’t see myself staying on hold for more than 2 hours at a stretch. And even that would be pushing it.

Can you hold? BT phone customer kept waiting 20 hours – [Yahoo/AFP]