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So, when a rich person wins a libel case and then it turns out that they did do what they were accused of, should they have to repay the damages awarded to them? For many lawyers, the law is a only game and the winner not only gets to take all but also to keep it no matter what comes out afterwards. I've sat through enough court cases not to be fooled into confusing Law with Justice. To appeal is to risk all again on a second throw of the dice. Even if a person is telling the truth they could easily lose a libel case. Civil Law is more a matter of the depth of pocket than truth. Most sensible people do indeed cave when they get a lawyer's letter sent on behalf of a wealthy client. There have been several nasty rich people who have succeeded in silencing the truth, even threatening their own families with libel suits, and in a couple of cases have even won substantial damages because the defendant had a bad day in court. Criminals who have their convictions overturned are freed and often compensated. Unsuccessful libel defendants can have their lives and reputations ruined for life. How about when it turns out that someone who did do what was alleged but won their case that they are charged criminal perjury? With guaranteed jail time if found guilty.

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We recently had some overnight snow. The good thing about the snow is that bounces light off the ground through the windows into my flat and that brightens the place up considerably. The bad thing is a fresh fall of snow shows the creeps out there have been out creeping. The residents’ car park shows trails of footprints coming in from the back lane, going to the doors of all the cars there, and then heading back to the lane. The footprints in the carpark snow are not the only signs of the local scum going to places they shouldn’t go but they are among the most blatant. I can do without such tangible reminders of blatant nastiness going on outside my window.

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In my mid-20s I used to be able to grow a pretty-half-decent beard in a fortnight. So, part of the two weeks off for the summer holidays often involved not bothering to shave. Camping or hitch-hiking seemed easier when I didn't have to scrape my face every morning. By the end of the fortnight I was well beyond the designer stubble stage. The problem usually came around Christmas. That was when the beard was becoming more than somewhat bushy. For some reason, year after year I would attempt to trim the facial fungus with the kitchen scissors. And year after year I would only succeed in cutting a series of door steps in the beard. The only answer was to go back to being clean-shaven until the next summer holidays. Eventually someone got me one of those fancy beard trimmers for Christmas. Hmm, kitchen scissors versus proper trimmer.

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Everyone has an excuse for why their life didn't turn out the way they wanted. Sometimes they blame their gender, social background, skin tone, or even their lack of stature. Even people widely regarded by others as blindingly successful feel that but for... (fill in the blank) ... their true worth would have been recognised and rewarded. Dissatisfaction with life is natural, essential even for the progress of humankind. Otherwise, music would still consist only of banging two rocks together. Where the excuses get toxic is when they lead to division and so-called reverse discrimination. Two wrongs don't make a right. All discrimination is wrong and ultimately harmful.

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If one more motorist who runs me down or almost runs me down announces "I didn't see you", I'm going to drag him or her out and beat them savagely. They didn't see me because they weren't looking. Too many motorists only pay attention to what other motorists are doing to the exclusion of everything else. Yesterday I had eight or nine vehicles ignore the flashing lights on pedestrian crossings that should have stopped them. I'm not sure whether it was five or six vehicles zoomed past, one actually accelerating, at the first crossing. The third guy at second crossing half an hour later only just missed me as he accelerated to follow the first two in turning onto the road despite the crossing lights being activated. Motor vehicles weigh a lot and the physics says that if they hit a pedestrian or cyclist there will be a surprising amount of damage done to bicycles, internal organs and bones at even low speed. Driving involves a degree of care which fewer and fewer people these days seem prepared to exercise. The fact that someone didn't mean to kill or veggie me and is sorry is not really going to be much of a comfort.

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