Dear Diary…Day 1

Diary: Day-This week I was reminded that if something seems or sounds too good to be true it likely is. We, in North America, have had it pretty good for a long time especially when it comes to governments and leaders. For the most part our southern friends have had reasonably good, reasonably stable leadership of some kind to guide them through the tribulations of days that were bothersome or trouble some. In Canada we haven’t always been so lucky. That appears to be what has happened in North America in the last while. Trump, with no class and no style, no sense of decorum or propriety and no understanding of the global importance that goes along with the job is settling in for remainder of the four year term that he was given after an embarrassing and juvenile way of campaigning. I’m not sure he even talked about policy-any policy. He just garbled on about some characteristic he could poke fun at regarding each candidate that dared to challenge him. Again so typical of a school yard bully. Nice going Donnie. North America is real proud of you.

Recently I read that if you we to take a pig into an upscale haberdashery, outfitted him with a well designed and well made suit of clothes, a pair of expensive shoes, silk tie (yes some men still wear them), and a hand cut and hand stitched tailored shirt and then dressed him up that at the end of it all you would have is a very well dressed PIG. No matter how you dress Donald up and teach him how to speak properly he will always be what amounts to nothing but that pig in the haberdashery. Trudeau, on the other hand, seemed able to pull it off. He had quite a few of us convinced he was the real deal–shame on us-shame on me. However, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, his father, was who and what he purported to be. He had smarts and he had balls and he knew when to employ the use of each. Unfortunately his son was/is not as fortunate.  If both Trump and Trudeau were in front of me now I would refer them to the photo of Clint and ask them to read the caption aloud and then comment on its content. I am sure the answers would be enlightening.

From someone as sad and as morally bankrupt as  Donnie (Little Hands) Trump there really is little hope that he will ever ‘get it’. He is destined to float on the eternal cesspool he vowed to drain with all the other ‘swamp dwellers’ he invited in to feed at the public trough until they can gorge themselves no more. Even his own ‘party friends’ are getting fed up with his boring shenanigans. He has become predictable by his ignorant tweets that depict more of a spoiled school boy than a grown man who is supposed to understand the importance and the couth it takes to function effectively in such a social and public setting. He enjoys no values except greed, no compassion or insight, and  certainly no moral compass of any kind. He fancies himself to be a very bright and intelligent person. I guess it’s possible to learn a thing or two if you have been bankrupt as many times as he has.  He shows he has learned the fine art of bullying others and intimidating competitors.

But with Justin Trudeau we hoped we were getting a different type of behavior. He was supposed to know and protect/preserve the sanctity of the office.  Instead we got a more polished brand with a ‘snappier’ exterior but the same duplicity as we have witnessed south of us for the last two years.  We are critical of Donnie’ Little Hands’ because, unfortunately what he does and says reflects on us all. I remember hearing somewhere that “bombs know no boundaries.” We are seen as a global partner with someone we share the territory with and that makes us just like him.

Trudeau is different in that he had witnessed how to navigate politics from one of the best and seems to have learned nothing. What both of these people don’t seem to grasp is the lasting and lingering stink of corruption that surrounds both of them and our respectful countries. They haven’t just tried to cheat the system (we would expect that from Trump) but they have, especially in Trudeaus’ case, traded away any hope that we could have a decent, honest, and productive government that we, as Canadians, could hold up for the world to see and say that we are  proud to be Canadians–THAT’S GONE.

So how do we prevent a repeat of a guy like Trump coming to power. Trump could not operate or survive in a system  where he couldn’t berate and mock his opponents or where he could lie, without accountability, more often than being truthful.

There are three basic things that would need to change and therein lies the problem: Do we or the Americans have the political will to amend the appropriate laws of the land?

  1. Candidates cannot state or claim they possess or are aware of certain facts that, if challenged, cannot be defended or proven. Claim without proof results in that candidate resigning from any future debates, meetings or discussions until they are able to provide the documented truth they claim exists.
  2. Candidates will use proper names and appropriate identifications when referring to other participants. Failure to do so means they are no longer eligible to participate in the immediate ongoing debate or discussion.
  3. Participants will not make any comments, proclamations or interrupt another candidate in any way until that candidate relinquishes the floor. If they do then they will be asked to leave the floor for the remainder of the debate or discussion.

If a candidate continues to offend at future meetings or refuses to acknowledge the 1,2,3, amendments  then their name(s) are withdrawn from the ballot at poling booths come election day. Perhaps a bit Draconian but needed to keep people like Donald Trump respectful like it or not.  Perhaps viewers and others would have a chance to hear and decide for themselves what the candidate is talking about–policies and issues may actually be presented instead of the incessant disrespect that now passes for sarcasm or humor. In any event belittling someone or someones’ message does not add anything to the conversation except a demonstration of horrible manners and a bad case of  diarrhea of the mouth.

That’s how I see things. Agree or disagree–your choice  but let me know by sending me an email at jim.lifechoice@gmail.com or go to my web page at jimcloughley.com

All the best, Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Our Most Important Messages Come From The Least Expected Places . . .

I am grateful to be back and able to pass along some wisdom that I learned contained in an email that a friend sent me. I can’t even say who authored it. But it turned out to be very important to me at a time when I needed to make sense of what was happening around me.

It has been said that we are likely to feel most alive the closer we get to death. I agree. Recently I experienced some news regarding a health issue that lead me to believe it was entirely possible I was living on borrowed time and there was very little that I could do to change that reality.

I recognized how easy it is for  some of us to get so caught up in ‘living’ our lives on a day-to-day basis that we overlook or pay little attention to what are the most important lessons for us to really focus on. We spend so much valuable time trying to make up for past mistakes or we paint ourselves as people who are unworthy of having a good life. What I realized in this time is that each new day is an opportunity that I deserve to begin a new way of living and that I and only I can make that happen for me. I said more than once to myself during this time that if I got another chance to live my life again I would be much more  attentive to what are REALLY the important things in life. Many of us we believe that if we ‘get on with life-if we get down off the meat hook we have been displayed on for much too long’ that that somehow makes us terrible self centered egotistical people who are not decent human beings. It is difficult to live a life of service to humanity or to enjoy simple moments of pleasure with friends if we can’t get passed some punishing idea that somehow we should never forgive ourselves.

I mentioned an email I received earlier. Six short ‘stories’ which remind me of how important each of us is to each other. We have wisdom to share and gifts to grant to each other as well..

“SIX LITTLE STORIES”

{1}

Once all the villagers decided to pray for rain.

On the day of prayer all the people gathered,

but only one boy came with an umbrella.

That’s FAITH.

It is important for me to live my life by what I believe to be true for me and not to get caught up in what others think of me or would wish for me. My faith is a result of recognizing that we have to be ready to accept good things into our world and we never know when that will happen. If we are not ready for it we could miss it when it comes to us.   

{2}

When you throw babies in the air,

they laugh because they know you will catch them.

That’s TRUST.

We have very little if we don’t earn the trust of others. When someone we care about gives us their trust we have earned something very special in deed. Real trust is to be valued and honored. But should we lose that trust that doesn’t make us ‘bad’ people. We are not perfect. We will make mistakes. It does, however, indicate that we have much to learn about who we are before we go hoping for trust again. 

{3}

Every night we go to bed

without any assurance of being alive the next morning,

but still we set the alarms to wake up.

That’s HOPE.

I see many people walking around who have a far away look in their eyes. They look, talk, and walk like they have given up on life or they believe that life has given up on them. I would suggest these are people with little or no hope in their lives. It saddens me to see that because I understand it doesn’t have to be that way. Awful things happen to us I agree. But if we are not able to see the good in others or to witness the good deeds of others we are already dead. Look into the eyes of a newborn and you will see hope.   

{4}

We plan big things for tomorrow

in spite of zero knowledge of the future.

That’s CONFIDENCE.

How can we know what the future holds for us? That’s why it’s called the future. If we look around us we see fascinating things happen to others all the time. We hear stories of miracles all the time. Just being alive is a miracle for some. Miracles can happen to us as well but never will if we don’t believe they can. We have to be ready to receive them. Have you ever done something nice for someone just because . . . ? What did that feel like? Good I’ll bet. Just when you were feeling sad or depressed you were able to feel ‘good’ because you did something other than worry or feel sorry for yourself. Good things can happen if we open the door and let them into our hearts. 

{5}

We see the world suffering,

but still we get married and have children.

That’s LOVE.

The world truly can be a terrible place full of suffering but love is about us and not about them. We don’t need to live by what others  think or do-at least not in our hearts.

{6}

On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence

‘I am not 80 years old

I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.’

That’s ATTITUDE.

A little bit of attitude can go a long way to getting what you want. It is attitude which determines the quality of our lives and that is something that you can control. 

Have a happy day and live your life like the six stories.

All the best, Jim

Comments welcomed-send them to jim.lifechoice@gmail.com. and I’ll get back to you.

This Guy Knew What He Was Talking About . . .Immigration Made Easy

Its good to be back.

I thought I’d return with an article I posted quite a while ago. It’s topic has been in the news for much longer. We seem to be having a tough time trying to figure out who we are, who we want to be and how we want to be seen in the free world.  Our politicians find it more challenging telling the truth rather than keeping their word. Spin has become an ugly term and one that we should never get used to.

I’m not a big fan of the politicians of the day. Politics has changed quite a bit in the last decade or so becoming, in my humble opinion, much more self serving, egotistical, and about how to get re-elected and much less about how to maintain Canada’s reputation as being trustworthy. Too much ‘ political correctness’ is making a mockery of the idea that we are being ‘progressive’ when we have clearly gone over the top and super sensitive. We have failed, miserably, at trying to be all things to all people.

One such example of this failing is the whole topic of immigration and how we have really ‘bastardized’ what was a great and generous idea-one that truly recognized the need to ‘share our wealth’ but maintain our domestic loyalty to those who fought for and wanted to remain true to their heritage and culture. We have ignored a great opportunity to live what we say we stand for by how we have treated our indigenous citizens. We certainly have discriminated against our Indigenous People by showing more compassion for off shore immigrants to our fair land. There are approximately 1.7 million Indigenous People living in Canada. In the last 10 years we have granted status to 2.6 million immigrants.  But that will be an article for another day.

We continue to ‘move the goal posts’ regarding any clear program governing immigration to date. We have created a mess that acts by different rules and philosophies day-by-day. I am a solid supporter of inviting immigrants to share our land, constitution, our riches and the opportunity to be free to be who they are or want to be. 

What saddens me is the price we paid and continue to pay for our generosity. Our governments position on immigration is untenable especially when we consider the complete and continued bungling of the homelessness and youth homelessness issues that plague our fair land.

My suggestion: Let’s get back to a document created by our 7th Prime Minister who ruled from 1896-1911. He knew THEN that we needed to be aware of what runaway immigration could do to us as a nation and outlined a very practical, reasonable, compassionate and simple but effective policy that was both fair and gracious.

Please read this with an open mind.

WORDS FROM 1907

This article was written over a century ago . . . . . so it has stood the test of time. It is short, and to the point. Here’s what Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier thought of the immigrants wanting to become Canadians in 1907.

First of all we must insist that the
> immigrant that comes here is willing to become a Canadian
> and is willing to assimilate our ways, he should be treated
> on equal grounds and it would be shameful to discriminate
> against such a person for reasons of their beliefs or the
> place of birth or origin. But it is the responsibility of
> that person to become a Canadian in all aspects of life,
> nothing else but a Canadian. There can be no divided
> allegiance here. Any man who says that he is a Canadian, but
> tries to impose his customs and habits upon us, is not a
> Canadian. We have room for only one flag, the Canadian flag.
> There is room for only two languages here, English and
> French. And we have room for loyalty, but only one, loyalty
> to the Canadian people. We won’t accept anyone, I’m
> saying anyone, who will try to impose his religion or his
> customs on us.Wilfrid Laurier, 1907

For me it is quite simple but I would add some clarification. If you are looking for a place where you can sleep at night and not worry about being kidnapped or shot, where you can be sure that you will have the opportunity to succeed and excel at just about anything you want to do, if you are interested in finding peace, freedom, friendship good healthcare and open education where your family is safe then Canada is the place where you should choose to live. If you choose us-great. But leave you biases and your ideas about changing us to suit you behind. I don’t want what you are leaving. That’s why we are here and you are not. Join us-please. No one is saying you cannot live your customs and your culture here. Enjoy your own church and wear your own clothing style but be willing to allow us to live what you had dreamed of having when you decided to come here. I do not want to be you. I do not want to live my life according to your ways. We fought to have and be who we are. If you want to live among us then get used to the idea that you are free to join us or not but do not try to make me–you.

Yours truly, and with pride in country, James Cloughley

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Direct comments to jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

This Is Deja-vu All Over Again . . .

An odd thing happened to me the other day. On November 25, 2018 I went to bed as I usually do and woke up the next day only to find it was sometime in the 60’s. I had turned on the TV and saw a noose hanging from a tree in the Jackson City square outside the Capital Building in Mississippi.  I was immediately transported back to those dark and awful days when our humanity showed the world it’s absolute worst–American style. Hangings were pretty normal or as normal as they could be I guess. Segregation was in full bloom and black people were denigrated, beaten, often disappeared in the middle of the night–some never seen again, kidnapped, forced into some kind of servitude, denied access to public buildings and services all because the color of their skin was different–that was it.

A quick fast forward using my remote brought me back to today but not before many memories were released for me to contemplate. I wondered how this could be happening all over again in the new millennia some 55+ years later. And who is leading the band? None other than the latest demoralizing example of child-like leadership–the man himself–Donald John Trump. Here he was out stumping for Cindy Hyde-Smith trying to make sure she has every opportunity to win that important seat. Why is he out there anyway? Shouldn’t he be at the White House trying to sort out the problems of the world?

I believe that he is to be feared not because of his shrewdness or intellect but because of the damage he could do to democracy and the rule of law with very few checks and balances to stand in his way. Puppets like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell appear to be virtually useless. When it comes to doing what is right and protecting the sanctity of the office Trump is virtually running on alone. There is no danger of Ryan or McConnell growing a pair.

So how is it he is allowed to get away with the shenanigans he pulls off? Here he is standing on a stage in from of the crowd of course, his favorite spot, (it really is all about him after all,) talking like he knew what he was saying when we all know he hasn’t a clue about much else than how to be repugnant and to show his ignorance of how to be civil and gracious. He fell over himself trying to be supportive of his candidate and couldn’t say enough good things about her. She was wonderful and all of this with noose in the ‘background’ reminding the Black Americans what could happen if they vote the wrong way. I’m still at a loss how any self respecting Black American could even consider voting for this woman especially after saying she would love to sit in the front row of a public hanging dressed in her little Miss Confederate uniform with a rifle in her hands. Wow! And the American fearless leader had nothing to say about any of this. Tell me he is not a racist and a bigot. His lack of any kind of condemnation about the whole set up speaks volumes about his true view of Black Americans. He will do nothing to help Black Americans get ahead in the U.S.ofA.–nothing. What has he done for them so far? Besides embarrass himself and act fraudulently about his true ‘love’ for all the people of his great land.

But again what can the world expect from a man who is bereft of emotion. He has no basic understanding of compassion, and his timing when offering any condolence or real support to someone who has just experienced a sad event explains why he has to be told by his ‘advisers’ when to emote. If it were not for ANGER and PETULANCE he would not have any emotions at all.

All this said there is a great deal that Trump can teach us if we free ourselves to listen and not be taken by a growing sense of ‘righty-ism’. The world, in general, seems to be moving to the ‘right’ these days by demonstrating their bravado. Demonstrations have become an opportunity to openly threaten and intimidate other groups by the swastikas they draw on buildings, by desecrating burial grounds, houses of worship and schools. It used to be that our civil society wouldn’t tolerate this behavior in the name of freedom but now freedom is used against many to say and do whatever they want.

The question is do you want to step back in to the past when the rich got richer on the backs of good hard working people who just wanted a little bigger  piece of the pie. We are not our neighbors to the south–Yet. But look closely at our own back yard. Andrew Scheer–a ‘Trumpite’ in sheep’s clothing. Always complaining but never the suggestion of a solution and Doug Ford-a recent graduate of the prep school Trump came from. Both giving and stand-up guys. Both capable of  deception and malfeasance without blinking an eye.

We need to pay attention to the little things these guys are doing. Any politician who says he has a magic solution to the problems at hand and all we need to do is trust him/her to get the job done should be the reason to yell–“Run Forest Run!”

Our relatively peaceful life is beginning to look like deja-vu all over again.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, thanks for stopping by–Jim               Send your comments to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(image by gazette.com. The photo is used for criticism, education or research purposes only. I derive no financial benefit from using this image)

Nothing Stays The Same and Neither Should This . . . It’s Time

 

“Education needs to be recognized as an “organic” process-one that grows and expands not a “mechanical” process that too often remains static or slow moving at best.”            Sir Ken Robinson

 

We must view education through a different lens today. In times past and present education was and is still treated as a separate entity responsible to only itself for its governance. It has a job to do and is provided the resources to get that job done. We could say the same for health care services, the legal system, the penal system, transportation systems and defense systems. Although these systems are independent from one another there has always been an unwritten agreement there would be a collective sense of nationalism that directed some loose idea of community.

As technology speeds up our transformation from a fragmented community of independent service structures we are now faced with the reality that such a system cannot continue to function as it has. We don’t have the resources nor the infrastructure to continue to regulate such an entity. Up to now we haven’t shared our resources with each other. In deed we have competed against one another for those very resources ensuring that none of us will have enough of what we need to get the job done properly.

The managers, administrators, and leaders of our service structures want us to continue to follow their beliefs they know how to guide their agencies better than anyone else. However, by all appearances we are slowly and painfully recognizing that our major public services are now becoming more dependent on each for the other services necessary to provide a better more efficient over-all system but without any formal plan to do so. What’s left–Chaos. Services have become more expensive and in some cases less effective. The common expectation and refrain now is ‘do more with less.’ We’re a wealthy country-we shouldn’t have to ‘do more with less.’

A question, then, remains and that is ‘Is this the best we can hope for? We believe that many are doing the best they can with what they have to work with.

Police services are now more dependent upon the mental health services system. The judicial services are now becoming more dependent upon understanding and seeking the support and knowledge of mental health professionals in order to understand more concretely just who and what they are dealing with. The penal system needs some guidance and direction around what is the best course of treatment for those who suffer from mental health problems who are housed in their facilities. Child care services don’t have enough personnel to do their jobs as they would like too.

Like it or not agencies are becoming more dependent on each other and the expertise of others to offer the best possible service to the citizens who find themselves in need of the ‘treatment’ business they each offer. Unfortunately many of these agencies end up ‘dumping’ their clients on other services in order to keep their costs down resulting in waiting lists for services of up to 6 months for what should take 6 weeks. The judicial system finds it difficult to offer trial dates of up to a year for offences that need to be heard much sooner than that.

 Who takes the lead?

Education is at the heart of the ‘Social Survival’ organism which will need to become a unified service provider as opposed to a conglomerate. The current method of trying to provide all the social services demanded of it is too competitive internally to be as effective as it could be or needs to be. Health care competes with mental health and police services competes with fire protection services and they compete with judicial services for funds just to maintain their budgets and yet face greater demand for services. They are told to ‘do more with less.’ The result is a system that struggles to maintain quality services. Wait times at our hospitals are unacceptable. Waiting to hear a case in court can take years. Booking an appointment to see a mental health professional can take months meanwhile the suicide rates and the rates of separation and divorce are more often destroying our family structures which in turn affect our legal system. It is not difficult to link most of these concerns with an Education system that is from another era. It is broken and a new one needs to take its rightful place at the ‘head of the table’.

It is time to share the responsibility of creating a new paradigm, a new pedagogy and a new curriculum regarding how and what will a new educational system look like and what will be its purpose. We will need to define what the purpose of educating our learners will be and we will need to be able to do this working in concert with the other stakeholders.

We need to be very careful that the politicians and those who stand to gain the most don’t hijack education from those who deserve it and need it the most in order to be productive and happy in their lives. We are the only ones who can make a difference in the world we live in. Let’s not give away the opportunity and the right to fashion the world we want to have.

Anyways, that’s how I see it. Comments can be sent to me at: jim.lifechoice @ gmail.com or check out my web site at jimcloughley.com

 

What You Need To Know About Blended Families . . .

A couple of facts to consider: there are now more blended families in existence then there are ‘traditional’ families that have one set of parents.

Often times in blended families there are problems with each member trying to decide where they fit in. Behavior that was OK before may not be acceptable in the new family setting. Territory and roles get redistributed or re-defined. What was ‘mine’ before may not be now. Family value systems and belief systems differ. There are a myriad of problems and issues that need to be navigated if this is to work. One would hope that many of these issues would have been addressed before any effort to blend the family takes place. But there are issues that come up after the effort to blend families takes place. Some of these can’t be addressed because the personalities of the family members aren’t always predictable. What about pets-do they come along for the ride or are they not welcome because the other parent has pets already in the ‘new home’ and they might not get along very well. Who gets rid of what? Doesn’t sound like much but blended families have been defeated for much less.

The following are four of the more obvious and destructive hurdles to get over.  It often matters whether or not Mom is moving into Dads house or Dad is moving into Moms house. Adults can be just as territorial as kids can be. The parent moving ‘in’ is often the one expected to be more conciliatory when it comes to accepting new arrangements, disciplinary decisions or values affecting the functioning of the kids as a whole. Not fair perhaps but often true.

  • The natural response from a step-parent who is moving into to a new living situation, thereby creating a blended family, often favors the other partners kids trying to ‘make friends’ with the kids that are living there.  In doing so they sometimes, unwittingly, alienate their own kids in the process.  By doing so the authority, standards, values and the ‘rules’ that existed are compromised creating some confusion in the house. That means that the two parents have got some serious issues to sort out and quickly. They need to find a way to mend the breach equitably.
  •  Another major problem arises when one parent feels or believes that the standards of behavior in the house are not fairly balanced between the children of each family. “You are harder on my kids than your own kids” or ” it’s seems OK for your kids to do  . .?   but not for mine.”
  • The other part of the same issue occurs when one parent feels he or she is working harder to make things work than the other. Consequently the harder working parent is seen as being too tough by the kids themselves.  The kids end up favoring one parent over the other usually the less demanding one.
  • It is easy to get caught up in the every day workings of a new blended family. The parents work overtime trying to make all things perfect. In the mean time one of the parents loses sight of the amazing bond that can exist between a biological parent and his or her children. That one parent may side with one of his or her kids  to protect them against one of the other kids or one of the partners. In either case it becomes divisive.
  • The fourth problem can be the constant interference by the biological parent who is now out of the family picture. Whether it is due to anger, grief, or sadness the parent who is left out will create havoc and disruption and could use his or her kids to cause constant friction between the blended family members. Kids against kids. Kids against the other biological parent. Kids against the ‘new parent’.

So how to deal with these problems. Communicate often and clearly with each other.

  • Now is the time for everyone to have a chance to speak about what the experience is like for them so far. They need to trust that they are free to speak openly but respectfully about what is going on for them.
  • Have family meetings each week to talk about things that came up or discuss ideas about how to make things better
  • The step parents need to model appropriate behavior and skill when trying to sort out problems or issues that are concerning.
  • The step parents need to speak about the family and the members as being equal to and each as important as the other. The step parents have to be careful at all times and in all actions as not favoring one child over another regardless of whose child is being disciplined.
  • The step parents need to decide on parenting techniques that both will use so that a consistent common front is demonstrated. NEVER challenge one another in from of the kids. If there is a disagreement in style or substance sort it out behind closed doors and in private.
  • Months before the move to join families happens get the kids together to spend time with each other-to get to know a bit about each other–their music likes, their sports likes or what their hobbies are before they actually share the same space.
  • Step parents need to agree ahead of time to establish boundaries for acceptable behavior and they are presented to the kids as one voice–a common front.

There are many more things that can be done but don’t try to do too much too soon and don’t rush the process. Let it grow at it’s own pace.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Thanks for dropping by — Comments can be sent to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com.

All the best, Jim

(The photo image was used as a tool to present criticism, research and educational information. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image)

 

Fatherlessness Can Kill Our Children

“More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.  Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.”–fathers.com 2012

We spend so much time condemning, chastising, and berating fathers who just ‘walk away’ that we don’t stop long enough to consider what exactly is going on with them. We see the headlines or read the story part way through and then don’t finish it thinking we know how the story ends. We get angry at  fathers for being low lifes who don’t deserve kids yet we seldom ask how can we help stop this from happening. We recycle old ideas and programs, pretty them up some, and then throw some money at the problem and declare that we have developed a new program or approach that will help to fix the problem but nothing changes. We don’t reach out to fathers to get their side of the story and we certainly don’t reach out to hear what the kids have to say. We don’t ask how to help but rather seem more interested with who is to blame.

Are there some moms out there who need to be helped–absolutely. Are there some men-fathers- who are guilty of abandoning their families-absolutely. Is that the case for all dad’s–absolutely not.

There are many dads who want to be involved in their sons lives who are legally prevented from doing so. Rather counter-productive in the end and its the child who is punished because the parents can’t get their stuff together..

How do we lessen the burden that many moms experience as a single parent? How do we do this without crushing any opportunity for a father to parent his son?

But what amazes me most is how the health systems and the legal systems can’t figure out why there is such a horrific drug problem among our kids. Why is there so much violence and growing suicide rates? Why are gangs becoming almost unstoppable?

Let’s take a look at some of the side effects for a kid who grows up without a father and then ask ourselves those same questions over again. Imagine being a kid and facing these issues everyday. In the U.S. they describe fatherlessness as having reached epidemic proportions. There are approximately 20 Million kids who are fatherless.

Poverty–Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families. Fathers are important too.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

Physical and Emotional Health–Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

Educational Achievement–Children living with their married biological father tested at a significantly higher level than those living with a non biological father.

71% of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to be truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.

Crime–A study of 109 juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency.

Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy

Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree.

Perhaps if we were to actually pay attention to evidence like this and if we decided to deal with the issues as a responsible society void of prejudice, bias, religion and politics and began to look at the issues attached as social issues that involve human lives worthy of our attention, energy and care we would be better off.

Let’s try to put the true welfare of the child FIRST for a change instead of considering what sound bite or position will get you votes. Let’s help BOTH moms and Dads be responsible for the wee life that they each helped to make. The responsibility of nourishing that life doesn’t stop at the front door or a border somewhere. Moms need to drop the anger and the outrage. They need to stop using their kids as a ‘tool’ to hurt the other parent. Moms need to help support and promote that relationship between fathers and sons not destroy or discourage it. It would be better for Moms in the long run as well. Legal systems need to stop punishing dads and come up with a better approach that encourages a co-operative approach. Parents don’t have to like each other they just need to put the needs of the kid ahead of their own.

Fathers need to step up and take care of business meaning looking after their family. First priority-bar none. If mom is the full time parent then help her do the job. Give her what she needs to do the best she can. If dad wont do the right thing then lets make sure that Mom has ALL the resources she needs to do what’s important.

Lets encourage parents to stop making the kids suffer for what the parents can’t sort out. It really is the parents who need to grow up not the kids.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by–Jim

Comments can be made at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo resources by debuglies.com–used for research, education and criticism purposes. I receive no benefit from the use of this image)

Kids Need Parents Not More Friends. . .

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself — and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”—Jim Morrison

There is little that goes on in our lives today, if your are a parent, that creates more excitement, disagreement, and conversation than the discussion that ensues about whether or not parents should be their kids friend or remain their parent. There are also a number of misconceptions as to what that means. It is not black and white. It is not cut and dried. But it can get complicated if one of the parents or both for that matter can’t see the distinctions.

Is it possible to have a close, meaningful, active and fun loving relationship with your kids and yet retain a parent-child posture with clear boundaries and responsibilities? Absolutely. Whose the adult here and who is the child? The adult needs to establish, reinforce and demonstrate those boundaries often in helpful, nurturing and caring ways. It is up to the adult to present the characteristics of what the relationship with his/her children will look like and the purpose it will  serve. For some children a ‘friendship’ with Mom or Dad can be very confusing. Let’s consider the purpose or functions of parents. Parents are challenged and expected to be mentors, teachers, protectors and role models for their sons regarding how they need to act around others especially females and the importance of respecting others and their rights as human beings.

If your child is female then Mom needs to demonstrate what is appropriate and what is not. Dad needs to help her understand what to expect from a male and how she needs and deserves to be treated. He also needs to model that behavior when interacting with Mom. Our children need us to lead the way as their parents in this regard. Parents need to model appropriate behavior when settling disputes and disagreements with other people when in public or over the side yard fence. They need to model appropriate public respect and behavior for themselves and others in a way that is not punishing or embarrassing.

Parents also have experience to draw on so when junior asks the tough questions about relationships or what is right or wrong and why, he/she will get the correct answers or responses. Friends don’t do this kind of stuff nor are they supposed to. Many are also not equipped emotionally or mentally to provide responses that are clear, concise and understood. Friends seldom say ‘no’ where parents often need or feel the need to do so. If a parent says ‘no’ then they need to be clear about why they are saying ‘no’. These are the opportunities that present themselves as learning opportunities–another ‘something’ that friends are not able to manage.

Instilling a sense of self-confidence along with the ability to self-assess their skills and talents is extremely important to the overall development of a child. My belief is that this is one of the things that is lacking in many of our kids today. Too many feel entitled to success some how. It seems as though they were never helped to understand that they need to earn success.

The school system itself needs to own much of this criticism because of it’s unwillingness to treat and teach our kids as whole learners. ( To know more about this go to jimcloughley.com –click on Programs–Help Our Kids Learn) . Present day school systems are content to deal with education from the neck up believing that more data crammed into their heads is the way to go and that rote learning, which is an outdated and ineffectual way of teaching our kids today, is the way to learn. Having said this it makes the role of the parent all that more important today.

Our kids have friends to play with and to dream with and to experience ‘kids things’ with. They need parents to help them live life on life’s terms. This by no means suggests that parents can’t have a wonderful, close, meaningful, fulfilling, and fun filled relationship with their kids. It just means that there is more to the job than being an entertainment coordinator for your kids. Parents are the most important asset and resource that our kids will ever have. Let’s give them what they need to succeed. Their friends will take care of the less important stuff.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Agree or disagree send me your comments and your thoughts to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com. Thanks for stopping by.

(Image by advantage4parents.com. I derive no financial benefit for the use of this image.)

 

Get Him Outta Here . . .

It wasn’t that long ago in real terms but it seems like a life-time ago that Donald Trump was elected king south of the border. When his journey, and our nightmare started, I remember a rally he was at where he had security toss out a dissenter. He uttered those famous words ‘throw that guy outta here–yeh throw him out.’ Thus began his constant assault on freedoms and rights and it has not slowed since. He has managed to discredit the media in the eyes of many and once that happens we are all screwed.  He has not been kind to the country or the world for that matter. He spreads chaos and discontent wherever he goes. For me, he re-in-forces the belief that money cannot and does not by class.

Beyond that, however, and if that is not enough, a growing number of people suggest that he will go down as one of the all time worst representatives of the US people and what they used to stand for in the world. He has sold out the reputation the US had cultivated and held so dear–that the country was fair, powerful and could be innovative. Now they are just bullies.

Sadly those in a position to sanction him choose not to do that. Perhaps for the fear he will find a way to survive or the promise of mutual greed or both–you choose. Instead they support the idea of  combining politics and economics to create foreign policy at the expense of their own (declining popularity) support base. When interviewed he continues to prove his basic ignorance of several key issues and the environment is one of those issues. He has no clue about what his policies are doing nor, I believe, does he care. His support and pressure to support pipe lines, coal fired energy generators ( he promised 8 key coal producing states that he would put them back to work and 7 states believed him. Wyoming,West Virginia,Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Montana, Texas, Indiana) and the growth of nuclear energy by building new reactors is dangerous not to mention costly and time consuming.

It takes approximately 5-6 years to build a nuclear reactor at an estimated cost of 8-9 billion dollars. Instead of investing in a future for his people that would ensure much more affordable energy with a never ending supply of renewable energy he chooses to cow tail to Saudi Arabia and the other oil producing and pollution producing countries around the globe that will continue to have the power to influence global policy by withholding or reducing oil supplies. Russia and China come to mind. I don’t look forward to those two having a say in how we live our lives according to which Autocracy you wish to listen to.  If we don’t believe that those two countries don’t have any sway with the Middle East producers then we are not paying attention to world politics. The evidence is there for us to see. Consider Trumps’ ‘kiss me quick’ relationship with Putin and the hollow threats of meaningful sanctions against China.

I have included a video link-about 3:30 in length that deserves our attention. Please watch it and then ask yourself why are we, here in Canada, not considering investing in the product outlined in the video rather than considering other more costly and environmentally disruptive and destructive sources of energy. If this process is what it reports to be it seems like a no brainer to me. It makes perfect sense to develop an industry that other countries would seriously consider using–almost zero emissions, cheaper, cleaner, would replace gas for our trucks, cars and airplanes with minimal disruption for auto makers, virtually an endless supply of basic product that currently causes a great deal of concern for our overall health (co2) and the health of the planet, and one that we would not have to spend a great deal of financial resources on trying to figure out how to minimize it’s presence.

How about you?

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Thanks for stopping by, All the best, Jim

Send me your comments–jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Image used by Getty  Images/istockphoto–I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image. It is used for education, research or criticism purposes)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-company-says-it-is-sucking-carbon-from-air-making-fuel-1.4696817

 

 

 

 

What Were They Thinking ? . . . (Re-posted From October 13, 2013)

In light of recent events south of us I went back to a past article I posted on a related topic. I don’t want this opening paragraph to come off like I am defending men or the decisions some make or have made. Not in the least. I offer this as an opinion or partial explanation as to these recent events and how confusing things can get. I also offer this thought for males and females both. Careful the places you find yourself–what are the messages that are being sent, received and acted upon or responded to.

Now that there is a new ass sitting on the Supreme Court bench it is safe to say that the rule of law and it’s meaning are in decline. If nothing else Kavanaugh should have been held in contempt of court for lying under oath about his drinking history. Those lies remain undisputed. Even if Ford’s story had too many claims that could not be proven under the rules and regulations laid out by the White House, he should have been held accountable for the ‘bullshit’ and the ‘B’ performance he put on at that table in that hall. And there is Trump in the background with that smug ugly face staring out at the world saying ‘hey, gotcha again.’ He is the absolute worst role model and the poorest example of strength and legitimacy that the citizens of the United States have ever had the misfortune of placing on the world stage for all to see.

As a parting thought here I thought that the hearings were worse than a cheap ‘B’ porn movie with the starring role played by a character called “Trump Kavanaugh”–just saying . . .

 

“What were they thinking. . . ?

Now that I’ve had a chance to think about this I find myself asking ‘what were they thinking?’

I have to admit that I am really confused, as a male and a human being about what the Y.U.N. chant thing was all about. But the big question for me was what the hell were these future pillars of society thinking about when they advocated the legalization of rape and child molestation? If they were trying to be challenging and controversial the only thing that has been accomplished here is the confirmation that supporters of this idea are not only misguided and bored but border on being misogynistic.

The main concern for me and the part that has me very confused is the number of females who were right in there supporting the whole premise. It didn’t seem to bother them that they were backing the idea that it is perfectly OK to force a young girl to have sex whether she wants to or not. So how young is too young? I mean underage is just that isn’t it? So when is it OK to feed alcohol to a 12 year old to the point where she is not aware or able to cry out for help? What ever happened to the arguments that women have been putting up for years now that say they and they alone are the arbiters of what they decide to do with their bodies? These young women who have supported this lunacy have set that whole discussion back to the stone ages. Truly now, if this was their sister we are talking about would they really feel the same way? Would they be all for it? And where are the women’s groups? I haven’t heard a great deal of criticism or dialogue involving those who have been advocating a ‘different’ deal for women. At the very least a clear statement of some kind speaking about respect and equality. Even just a touch of outrage.

And the men-I can’t call them men.  Are the males who support this so challenged and so unable to attract and develop a sexual relationship with someone who is functioning, emotionally, at about the same level that they need to pick on young girls who really are not equipped with the critical thinking that goes along with giving permission to share themselves with someone else in a meaningful way?  As a man, I’m embarrassed to say that this whole idea is about the same as reducing sex to scratching an itch on their ass. It is a conquest and a power-grab not an emotional act of any kind. This type of behavior is what clearly illustrates the growing lack of respect for self and others that seems to be so prevalent in the youth of today.

I have an adult son and daughter. My son and his wife have blessed us with a beautiful granddaughter. She’s two years old. If what this chant is promoting ever happened to either daughter or granddaughter, at any age, and I were to confront the perpetrators I would not report them. I might, however, bind their testicles with a liberal piece of piano wire secured to the bumper of my car and let them know that for as long as they can run they can keep them attached.

Perhaps a bit radical but then again so is this absurd idea that it’s OK to take what you can regardless of how the other person feels about things.

That’s how I see it anyway, Jim”

Comments?–Send them to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Use of this photo is for education, research and/or offering criticism. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image)

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