Belmont Club

Just so

An overwhelming desire to live “just so” seems to have infected Western civilization. A woman who immigrated to Britain from Afghanistan has been given £170,000 a year to live in £1.2m house,” according to the  UK Telegraph, because the government regulations require that  a family with seven children must live in a five bedroom house. And only house available in the neighborhood with five bedrooms was a mansion.

Toorpakai Saindi, who has seven children, has been granted an estimated £400 a week in child and local tax benefits, while her landlord receives £12,458 a month because there is no other suitable property available. …Landlord Ajit Panesar, who is acting within his rights, fixed a value for his Acton property so that the Rent Service – an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions – could advise the council what it should pay. It came up with a figure of £12,458 a month. …

Her son Jawad Saindi, 20, said although it felt like they had won the lottery, his mother complains that the house is too big to clean. “If someone gave you a lottery ticket would you leave it? No. You take what you get given,” he said. …

The Saindis were first housed in a three bedroom property in Enfield. Four years later they moved to a five-bedroom house in Ealing and three months ago were placed at their current address which they are entitled to have by law given the size of their family.

But although the Saindis didn’t feel a sense of entitlement, another British family did. They believed their holiday experience should be “just so”. Graham and Christina Spall filed a suit for compensation because they didn’t enjoy their Amazon adventure holiday as much as they had hoped to.

Graham and Christina Spall claimed their P&O Amazon adventure holiday was ruined when Mrs Small fell off a plastic chair, leaving her with concussion and broken glasses. … The couple also moaned that bars of soap were not replaced in their cabin, said self-service plates were too hot and alleged they were struck down with food poisoning twice.

But District Judge John Merrick said: “When you are on a boat like this you have to be careful. You need to look after your own safety. If you have an adventure it can’t be sanitised.”

Although the judge denied their demand for a £3,000 compensation the couple did not leave completely empty handed. They were awarded £150, presumably because they had to get something.

There was a time when immigrants would be glad to have any sort of public housing in their new country and an era people would have been happy to afford any sort of vacation.  But that was before people learned that they had an inalienable right to a completely safe, guiltless, environmentally friendly and perfect life. The Associated Press reports that the courts are deciding whether the USN can protect its warships from enemy submarines if that means inconveniencing marine life.

The Supreme Court appeared divided Wednesday over judges’ authority to limit the Navy’s use of sonar to protect whales. … Sonar can interfere with whales’ ability to navigate and communicate. There is also evidence that the technology has caused whales to strand themselves on shore.

The exercises have continued since the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in February that the Navy must limit sonar use when ships get close to marine mammals. …

Western civilization is dying a death by a thousand cuts. The quest for perfection has become such an obsession that it is sought even at the cost of basic functionality. A friend who works at big name consulting firm said that so much attention is focused on ensuring compliance — checking off boxes, making sure that everything is gender-friendly, green, non-racist and whatever else — that sound business is almost an afterthought. In this modern world it’s alright to have something that doesn’t work, so long as it’s perfect.

The paralysis brought on by the need to experience moral perfection has reached ludicrous heights. The Economist notes, with some horror, the desperate need to apologize to someone — anyone — when something bad happens. “Who should apologise to whom, for what and how?” has become the most pressing of political decisions.

Does Wall Street owe the people of America an apology? That was Senator Sherrod Brown’s suggestion to Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson during a Senate hearing last week. If so, the humbled titans of finance will be in good company; institutional apologies have mushroomed in past years (see table). British Christians, for example, have expressed public contrition for slavery (pictured above) and have even considered apologising for scepticism about evolution. Nicolaus Mills, an American commentator, calls the fashion for saying sorry a “global culture of apology”.

There is something almost insane about these attitudes. It is almost a form of lunacy, and the worse for being completely unnoticed by the lunatics themselves. But if they knew they were crazy, they wouldn’t be, would they?

Update: The Daily Mail reports that a gardener is being ordered to take down the barbed wire fence he put around his gardener in case thieves scratch themselves while stealing from it.

A gardener who fenced off his allotment with barbed wire after being targeted by thieves has been ordered to take it down – in case intruders scratch themselves. Bill Malcolm erected the 3ft fence after thieves struck three times in just four months, stealing tools worth around £300 from his shed and ransacking his vegetable patch. But Bromsgrove district council has ordered the 61-year-old to remove the waist-high fence on health and safety grounds.

But the council’s reason for ordering the fence removed is even more interesting. The local government unit was afraid to be sued by thieves who hurt themselves while plying their trade.

‘They shouldn’t be trespassing in the first place but the council apologised and said they didn’t want to be sued by a wounded thief. ‘I told them to let the thief sue me so at least that way I would know who was breaking into my allotment but everything I said fell on deaf ears. It seems as though they are so wrapped up in red tape, they are unable to help me.’

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