Stupid is as stupid does

Sent from my iPad. Sent from my iPhone.

These are two of the most stupid lines you encounter at the end of an email or a text message these days. They serve the valuable purpose of informing you that the sender of the message has purchased one of these devices from the Apple Computer Corporation and is using it.

That’s certainly newsworthy enough for you to know about it, isn’t it?

Exactly why anyone, of average intelligence and above, would allow themselves to be used as an advertising hoarding is beyond me.

The iPad is nothing special. The same applies to the iPhone. Both consumer devices have been taken up in large numbers, sure, but are now losing ground to others that are running the Android operating system.

I have not found a single other device that creates a default tag to every message. Neither have I seen a user of any other device who would not delete such a message right away.

But for many businessmen, whose knowledge of computers extended as far as being able to spell the word correctly about 75 per cent of the time, buying an iPad is a way of appearing cool and with it. So they have to let the rest of the world know they are in the loop.

The same applies to many iPhone owners too. My doctor, for example, has more money than he knows what to do with, and has an iPhone 5 with a snazzy case. He can just about manage to phone his wife – that is the only reason he needs a mobile phone.

Apple users have long been known as snobs. They think the fact that they can afford to buy devices that are priced much higher than the corresponding devices for other operating systems makes them in some way superior.

Mitt Romney has plenty of money too. He is not exactly an individual one would describe as smart. Or savvy. Or educated.

Maybe Apple users should bear that in mind.

The fox can never guard the coop

THE solution to eradicating mass shootings is to introduce more guns into the population, only this time in the hands of guards at schools.

That’s if you choose to believe the US National Rifle Association, the biggest and most powerful lobby group for the weapons industry in the US of A.

This brilliant idea comes from the mouth of Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s vice-president, just a week after 20 children were killed in Connecticut, along with eight adults.

It was announced at a press conference where LaPierre blamed violent video games, the media and lax law enforcement for the numerous shootings in schools and other public places that have become as much a feature of life in America as the four-yearly presidential elections.

Only, the shootings come more often and with more violence.

So the NRA sees the solution as good guys with guns to combat bad guys with guns. No restrictions on the sale of firearms at all.

The arrogance of the NRA was evident in that neither LaPierre nor the group’s president, David Keene, would answer any questions from the media present. Of course, the US media have themselves to blame too as they have become lapdogs for this lobby or that and are now viewed as easily buyable.

The NRA, thus, thinks it is fine for a man on the street to own an M-16 or a Kalashnikov. And in support of this, no doubt many crazies would cite the second amendment of the US constitution which refers to a period long ago in the country’s history when turf wars were being fought.

In states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” It was adopted in 1791 and has no relevance to the state as it exists in 2012.

But try telling that to the NRA or any of the four million-odd gun nuts in the US of A.

Where guns matter more than kids’ lives

In the US of A, they value their guns more than their children. That’s why you get situations like that in Connecticut where 20 children were shot dead by a nutjob. Another eight adults also died, among them the shooter.

But nobody will dare question the interpretation of the second amendment of the constitution that Americans claim gives them the right to bear arms.

The gun lobby is the third-most powerful lobby in the country, after the Zionist lobby and Big Pharma. In the end it all translates down to money, pure and simple – there’s too much money in firearms sales for the industry to ever contemplate any restrictions on the sale of guns.

It’s quite a while – 10 years – since the horror of a shooting like this was brought to the big screen so maybe people have forgotten what it is like when innocents are gunned down in cold blood.

In 2002, Michael Moore’s powerful film Bowling for Columbine brought home the wrenching tragedy that took place at the school there in April 1999. It is a powerful indictment of the gun lobby and the general trend towards settling disputes through violence, an attitude that dominates America.

But 10 years later memories have faded and though there are periodic mass killings to remind us that Americans love their guns, nobody in the US ever does something to stop the madness.

It’s ironic that the Republican Party backs the gun lobby to the hilt, while at the same time insisting that no foetus can be destroyed because it is a human being from day one!

When the offenders become the story

IT COULD only happen in Australia. Two DJs stage a prank call to the hospital where a member of the royal family, Kate Middleton, had been admitted as she was suffering from morning sickness; they pose as Queen Elizabeth and her son, Charles. The call is passed on by an unsuspecting nurse who is doubling as a telephone operator, and her colleague in the ward provides an accurate rundown of Middleton’s condition.

The DJs, from 2Day FM, play the recorded conversation without asking the hospital for its permission as they are required to do by the rules of their own station. The recording was played by several other stations and the nurse involved, Jacintha Saldanha, was made to look like a fool.

A conservative woman from India, she then proceeded to take her own life. The two DJs, Michael Christian and Mel Greig, proceeded to try and spin themselves as innocent, appearing on trash TV shows on two channels. Shedding crocodile tears aplenty, they tried to project themselves as the ones needing sympathy.

Until a week had gone by, there was no thought for the family of this poor nurse, two teenage children and a husband who has been left suddenly bereaved. No thought was given to the possibility that a woman from a conservative part of India could possibly have held the royal family in such esteem that to be duped in this manner and laughed at was the ultimate humiliation.

She was obviously unable to bear the thought of having to face people in the UK and, more importantly, back in Mangalore, her place of origin. This did not strike the people in Australia who tried to make the story about the poor DJs who were said to be emotionally distraught. As well they should be, having caused the death of an innocent woman.

2Day FM has form in the regard; one of its broadcasters, Kyle Sandilands, has once interviewed a 14-year-old girl on air and she ended up confessing that she had been raped. On another occasion, he slagged off a journalist who had criticised a TV show he had made.

Now the radio station boss is coming around to the fact that making a donation to the family would help. He should have twigged to this a long time ago. Once the attempt to make the narrative about the two DJs was not working, he started talking about Saldanha’s family. The DJs are now suspended and the radio station has stopped prank calls which were part of its arsenal to make its offerings attractive.

There is talk of an inquiry by the Australian Media and Communications Authority, a toothless tiger if ever there was one. Six months from now, it will all go back to the status quo and some other poor soul will suffer at the hands of stupid operators like Christian and Greig.