Fired For Saving A Life

Yep, you read that right. Where does the stupidity end?

A lifeguard in Florida was fired for trying to save a drowning man’s life. The reason is the man was outside of his patrol zone, in an unprotected area, and the lifeguard’s employer is not paid to patrol that zone. Money over morals. Lovely.

By the time the lifeguard arrived, the man had already been pull ashore by other beachgoers.

I’m guessing there is a strict rule about vacating your patrol zone and I can understand that. But it’s not like the guard left to go have drink! He was doing what he was trained to do! Another person on the beach pointed the man drowning out to the lifeguard and he, without a second thought, went to help him. Sometimes, rules need to have exceptions.

As many of the comments point out, what if the lifeguard had refused to leave his post to try to help?  Or what if the guy had drowned? No doubt the company would be sued and the lifeguard would’ve been fired anyway! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

I sincerely hope this man finds another job and an employer with more than half a brain! As one of the commentators on the article so eloquently put it:

Real heroes are people who can see what need doing and do it without getting permission first.

I couldn’t agree more.

Not Driving Is A Disgrace?

According to this Yahoo article, most of Generation Y doesn’t want to drive. Interesting.

Many of the comments are slamming them down, calling them lazy, unmotivated, immature and so on and so forth. Apparently, these people have never heard of car accidents and drunk driving.

Many of them are also saying things like “I guess Gen Y will have to walk” as if that’s a bad thing. Umm, as much as people complain that “kids today” don’t get enough exercise, I’d think being willing to walk is a good thing. Or does that only apply until you are eligible to attain a driver’s license?

I know there are areas where walking or biking is unsafe or inconvenient and there is little to no public transportation. If you have a job that requires you to go long distances, driving is a life-saver. But that’s not the case for everyone.

Personally, I hate cars. Too small (slight claustrophobia), too hot and I get motion sickness if I spend too long in a car. Plus, when it’s nice out, I’d rather go for a walk than a drive. It’s easier to enjoy the sun and breeze.

I posted a comment on the article and some idiot replied with this:

Step outside your little box sometime…there a great big world happening out there and it is passing you by! Not learning how to drive is IGNORANT!

Here’s a clear example of the pot calling the kettle black. Maybe this person should step out their little box sometime and see that the world has more than one lifestyle. There are people who don’t eat meat (vegetarians), people who rely on solar energy to power their houses and people who don’t drive. I fit into the third category. Even if I had my license, I wouldn’t drive because I don’t want to, just as I won’t be having children because I don’t want to.

The feeling I got from most of the comments that slammed those without licenses is that their car is their entire life…which I find sad. If you need a car to live, fine, but if your life is so dependent on your car that you think anyone who refuses to drive is an immature basement dweller in their parents’ home, you have issues. Really, build a bridge and get over it.

If I ever decide to own a car, it’ll likely just be used for long state trips, if I ever take one. Other than that, it’ll probably just sit in the driveway and collect dust.

Anonymous No More

It looks like New York doesn’t have much respect for the privacy of its citizens. Or at least, Senator Thomas F. O’Mara doesn’t.

Sen. O’Mara wants to pass a bill that would forbid internet users in New York from being anonymous when posting online. To sum it all up, the bill would require that any anonymous post online is subject to (read: must be) removal if the poster refuses to post and verify their legal name, IP addresses and current home address. Stalkers, you may come out of hiding now.

There are so many things obviously wrong with this proposal that I don’t even feel it’s necessary to say them. But I must point out one thing that irked me from the article:

Anonymity is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the United States was founded, in part, thanks to Thomas Paine’s anonymously written, pro-revolution pamphlet Common Sense. On the other hand, 12-year-olds who post anonymously on the internet can be rather unpleasant and cause real problems by cyberbullying. Whether you think the good outweighs the bad, this news is troubling indeed: A far-reaching bill introduced in the New York State Senate could end the practice of posting online once and for all.

The part that annoys me is highlighted in bold. This has nothing to do with bullying, whatsoever. Yes, it’s true that immature teens and preteens do abuse (what should be) their internet privileges, but that’s the fault of the parents who allow them online without monitoring with they do, not the government for not passing such a law sooner. In my opinion, if a kid can’t be trusted to use the internet responsibly, they shouldn’t be allowed to use it until they’re 18 or older anyway (I’ve been using the internet alone since I was 10, but I knew better). However, that’s a topic for another time.

The point is this bill is not only intrusive, but also poses a threat to all internet users. When I read the article at first, it sounded like the choice was up to website administrators, but that is not the case. They must remove the comment upon requested and since there are jerks and trolls online, it will happen. I consider the danger of a 12-year-old being stalked and kidnapped a much greater risk than an immature 12-year-old creating nasty comments and emails.

This is why we don’t give idiots too much power. Or power at all.

Sources:

Yahoo: New York Senate bill seeks to end anonymous internet posting
Geekosystem: Ludicrous Bill In New York State Senate Endeavors To End All Anonymous Posting On The Internet
Tecca, original source: New York Senate bill seeks to end anonymous internet posting

Being Good Sucks

No, really, it does.

Today, MSN has a story on its homepage about a high school freshman who was suspended for five days. Her crime? Creating an anti-bullying video.

More specifically, the girl, named Jessica Barba, created an anti-bullying video and a facebook page that tells the fictional story of a fictional 12-year-old girl named Hailey Bennett, who lost her mother at 3, was abused by her father, was left alone after her only friend moved away and was bullied everyday. It ends with her committing suicide. The project was a school assignment.

Apparently, the reason for her suspension is that the video and FB page caused a disruption at her school. I guess school officials don’t like acknowledging serious issues that relate to school. The school found out from a concerned parent who reported the page, but didn’t scroll down far enough to see where Jessica stated that it was fake. Jessica’s mother tried to show printouts with the disclaimer to school officials, but, in her words, “they didn’t really care too much about that.”

I’ve been going to school for 13 years now. I am not surprised by a story like this. To me, this is typical. The last words of the article, stated by a director of the NYCLU in that particular county, really sum it up:

As students prepare to participate as full citizens in society, schools should encourage independent thought and dialogue about political and current events, even controversial ones. No school should ever punish a student because they disagree with what she’s saying, which appears to be exactly what happened here.

If only schools did that. It’s a fact: schools do not like confronting issues and prefer to ignore them or cover them up. They don’t want their students to have free minds. They don’t even want them to be different! I’ve got more than enough experience to know that.

Assault Is Okay Now?

My homepage on Internet Explorer is MSN and I happened to spot an interesting story: Man slaps loud kid at movies

Since it peeked my interest, I clicked and read it. Apparently, the 21-year-old man believed the person he was slapping was another adult, not a child. But he was wrong and not only did he harshly swipe his hand across the boy’s face, he caused him a bloody nose and knocked out one of his teeth. Ouch!

But what gets me is the comments. The best voted comments are the ones that condone this man’s actions and the worst voted comments are the ones that don’t. The question that arises in my head is where the title of this post comes from: Is it now okay to assault someone?

Yes, I realize the child was being annoying and his mother, most likely, was not making him behave. But I do not feel that justifies assaulting (and yes, it is assault, no matter how you spin it) the kid. Even if the child had been an adult, that still would not justify this man’s actions. In my opinion, the only reason to assault someone is if you are being threatened. A noisy child is a huge annoyance, but in no way threatening.

I have my own experiences of putting up with noisy, rude and generally misbehaved children in public places. Almost every time I go out, whether it’s to a store or a cinema, I hear at least one screaming child. Yes, I wish the kid would shut up. Yes, I sometimes wish I could just smack the heck out of them or their parents for ignoring them. No, I never would do such a thing.

If the child had been perfectly quiet and the man randomly came over and did this same action, I have no doubt everyone would agree it was assault and that the man deserves jail time. Yet because there was misbehavior preceding it, his actions are perfectly okay and all fault lies with the child and his mother.

No. Just. Plain. No.