Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's the responsibility stupid!

Yet again we are subjected to reading about a highly preventable tragedy (NZ Herald: Drink-driver who hit teen jailed) if only our society could realise that a persons responsibilities take far more precedence than their "rights".

Now we have a teen who was hospitalised for 7 weeks, is lucky to be alive, must now live with a dental plate and has a torn liver.  All because our society / legal system supports the rights of the driver above their responsibilities.
Ostensibly we have it reported that a 3 year sentence handed to this driver sends a hard message about drink-driving - it does nothing of the sort.  If this was the drivers first offence, maybe.  But this driver was not only drunk, he was banned from driving.  To me that makes the severity as high (if not higher) than attempted murder.  This driver was intentionally using a deadly weapon for which he had no licence, and nearly killed someone.  The intent, and means were there - he should have to face the real consequences of his actions.

But furthermore it should never have got that far anyway.  That it took 4 drink driving offences before this mans licence was revoked is stupid beyond belief. Depending on severity maybe give a warning the first time, if you are very liberally minded maybe 2 warnings.  3rd time for that type of offence it should be gone.
But then the worst was to follow.  He was charged 4 times (yes, another 4) with breaching that ban - at least one of those with another drink driving offence.  Personally driving without a licence (especially if it has been revoked / disqualified) by itself is tantamount to using a deadly weapon without a license.  This is no different to going into a public area pointing over the heads of a crowd and discharging it.  Drink driving without a license is tantamount to attempted murder even if they didn't hit anyone.

And what is most sad is the number of cases exactly like this that we see every week - where someone is seriously injured or killed by a disqualified driver who has previously been caught driving while disqualified.  The use of deadly things like cars is a privilege, not a right, and breaching your responsibilities around that right needs to be taken very seriously;  if people cannot handle their responsibilities we need to start removing rights - and apparently we need to remove more rights than the responsibilities gave.  Then people might start understanding consequences.

Given that a disqualified driver is very likely to be impacting on your own right to live, what do you see as appropriate rights removal from them?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Inane post for the day

Yay - tomorrow is the shortest day of the year.  For some reason I always like the shortest day as it indicates the promise of the gradual improvement in daylight hours from that point forward.  The paradox that it indicates the coolest days of the year are still coming doesn't tend to phase me too much - especially as that cannot be guaranteed whereas the rate of change in the hours of our days is completely definable and measurable.

It is kind of depressing thinking about this though how much of a mathematicians mindset I have - especially in the area of calculus; I am obsessed with the tiny rates of change that make up our lives.  And worst I derive much of my pleasure from watching this infinitesimal changes more than I do the larger changes / events around them.
I can tell you what the current rate of change in our mortgage payments are faster than I could tell you my age.  Scarily I can actually tell you the acceleration (the rate of change in the rate of change) in our mortgage repayments - and I know how much we would have to be repaying per week for this to reach a 1c per repayment acceleration.

So while I am watching the changes in seconds of visible daylight that we start to enjoy again - what are you watching or waiting for?