Bike sex case sparks legal debate

From the BBC NEWS:

“The case of a man convicted of simulating sex with his bicycle has sparked a debate about human rights and the privacy of an individual.

Internet message boards have been buzzing with comment about the case of Robert Stewart, 51, from Ayr.

He was reported by cleaners at a hostel who unlocked his door and found him engaged in a sex act with his bike.

Stewart was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register, which some posters said was an over-reaction by the sheriff.”

Whilst this looks like a massive overreaction and invasion of privacy, the authorities were forced to put him on the register after he admitted a breach of the peace and there was a sexual nature to the “crime”.

How he ended up in the courts I do not know. Since when was engaging in a sex act with an inanimate object behind closed doors a crime?

As the article notes, women with dildos and men with dolls ought to be worried.

The nasty trend to wards invasion of privacy in the UK seems to be worsening.

Last thing Serbia needs

 From Channel 4 website:

A video obtained by a charity shows the life for many inside Serb mental hospitals amounts to a version of hell. Unending cruelty if not by design, then by neglect. And yet tonight Serbia’s Prime Minister said it’s all “fabricated” and “malicious”. Source: Channel 4 – News – Serbia’s secret shame

This is the last thing Serbia needs, A Romanian Orphans style public disaster debacle where inhumane treatment of the vulnerable is uncovered and publicized around the world.

I was not surprised at all by this report. In the summer of 2006, babies at Belgrade’s main maternity hospital were dying from hyperthermia because of overheated wards. A charity drive by an expatriate magazine Cord arranged for air-conditioners to be installed (I suspect those air conditioners saved many little lives in the 2007 heat wave where daily temperatures exceeded 40 degrees for three weeks).

Around that time I also learned from impeccable sources of serious abuses against expectant mothers if they did not bribe hospital staff. It seemed to be understood that one had to bribe the staff to get normal treatment – there was even some sympathy for the practice, with people pointing out to me that they are paid very little.

If the government has no money to put in Air conditioners in maternity hospitals in the capital, and there are routine abuses of patients in the same hospital, it comes as no surprise that there are dire circumstances and abuses at regional facilities.

Like anyone, I am outraged at the mistreatment of these helpless people, but before we sit too comfortably on out high horse, perhaps it should be noted that Westerners have to bear at least some responsibility for this.

The illegal and unfair bombing of Serbia is 1999 caused massive damage to the government and he economy. The entire country is still reeling from it. At least some of the horror Channel 4 viewers witnessed is directly attributable to the bombing.

Under-staffed, under-paid, under-resourced, under-supervised, under-funded…all of this is party NATO’s fault.

So whilst we condemn this dreadfulness and make sure it is stopped, contain your moral outrage. If you are reading this in Europe or America, its party your fault. 

Last thing Serbia needs

From Channel 4 website:

A video obtained by a charity shows the life for many inside Serb mental hospitals amounts to a version of hell. Unending cruelty if not by design, then by neglect. And yet tonight Serbia’s Prime Minister said it’s all “fabricated” and “malicious”. Source: Channel 4 – News – Serbia’s secret shame

This is the last thing Serbia needs, A Romanian Orphans style public disaster debacle where inhumane treatment of the vulnerable is uncovered and publicized around the world.

I was not surprised at all by this report. In the summer of 2006, babies at Belgrade’s main maternity hospital were dying from hyperthermia because of overheated wards. A charity drive by an expatriate magazine Cord arranged for air-conditioners to be installed (I suspect those air conditioners saved many little lives in the 2007 heat wave where daily temperatures exceeded 40 degrees for three weeks).

Around that time I also learned from impeccable sources of serious abuses against expectant mothers if they did not bribe hospital staff. It seemed to be understood that one had to bribe the staff to get normal treatment – there was even some sympathy for the practice, with people pointing out to me that they are paid very little.

If the government has no money to put in Air conditioners in maternity hospitals in the capital, and there are routine abuses of patients in the same hospital, it comes as no surprise that there are dire circumstances and abuses at regional facilities.

Like anyone, I am outraged at the mistreatment of these helpless people, but before we sit too comfortably on out high horse, perhaps it should be noted that Westerners have to bear at least some responsibility for this.

The illegal and unfair bombing of Serbia is 1999 caused massive damage to the government and he economy. The entire country is still reeling from it. At least some of the horror Channel 4 viewers witnessed is directly attributable to the bombing.

Under-staffed, under-paid, under-resourced, under-supervised, under-funded…all of this is party NATO’s fault.

So whilst we condemn this dreadfulness and make sure it is stopped, contain your moral outrage. If you are reading this in Europe or America, its party your fault.

[Update: Blic newspaper weighs in. A telling quote from a Serbian minister agrees with me:

‘The problem is also in small pay, insufficient staff and poor housing conditions’, Ljajic says. ]

“Wild nationalism” replacing communism in Serbia

From B92 News:

“Director Želimir Žilnik says that Serbia is experiencing ‘wild nationalism,’ which is replacing communism.

Žilnik said at a book promotion that ‘on every corner today we see greater Catholics than the Pope and greater Orthodox believers than the Patriarch.’

Is this supposed to be new? Ethnic nationalism in the form of Milosevic’s “Greater Serbia” project was his ticket for surviving the fall of Communism. Nationalism is the last refuge of every sort of failed political enterprise.

What we are seeing today is a resurgent church fully allied with nationalists. A truly dangerous partnership.

(Via B92 News in English.)

Managers with out-dated stances

From Blic:

“The years of sanctions and other problems resulted in the managing staff in Serbia that is below the European level. Large number of executives still behaves as at the time of socialism, experts claim.

‘The management in public enterprises is horrible. The executives are disoriented and appointed as per political party’s membership and not professional qualification. When private sector is concerned, there are foreign nationals who immediately applied world experience. There are also more or less successful private companies. Some managers still have not forgotten what they learned at the time of socialism’, economist Miroslav Kovacevic says for ‘Blic’.”

(Via Blic OnLine.)

As I have written elsewhere, the problem is the Tenured Incompetents one finds at every level of Serbian management.

One cannot fire them for “political” reasons, so you are left having to deal with hostile nest-featherers actively resisting all change whilst draining resources and time.

Managers with out-dated stances

From Blic:

“The years of sanctions and other problems resulted in the managing staff in Serbia that is below the European level. Large number of executives still behaves as at the time of socialism, experts claim.

‘The management in public enterprises is horrible. The executives are disoriented and appointed as per political party’s membership and not professional qualification. When private sector is concerned, there are foreign nationals who immediately applied world experience. There are also more or less successful private companies. Some managers still have not forgotten what they learned at the time of socialism’, economist Miroslav Kovacevic says for ‘Blic’.”

(Via Blic OnLine.)

As I have written elsewhere, the problem is the Tenured Incompetents one finds at every level of Serbian management.

One cannot fire them for “political” reasons, so you are left having to deal with hostile nest-featherers actively resisting all change whilst draining resources and time.

High death rate on Serbian roads

“Serbia is one of the least safe countries in Europe for motorists, according to statistics.

The death rate in traffic accidents is five times higher than the European average, with an average of 60,000 traffic accidents altogether, and 1,000 deaths a year.”

This is due, in my opinion to three factors: Highly aggressive driving, old cars (average age of Serbian cars in 2007 is 17 years) and large scale drink driving.

(Via B92 News in English.)