I Wonder What He Would Say? . . .

Due to the erratic behaviour of President Elect Trump no one can possibly know what he will do next. One of the greatest concerns many have is whether or not he will move to curb some of our personal rights in the name of dealing with and securing national security. The big question for each of us is “would you give up some personal freedoms for public safety?” This is a fundamental question but one that is certainly going to be discussed behind many a closed door. Before you answer or make a comment one way or the other let’s consider this from a few sides.

Ben Franklin back on November 11, 1755, said this, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserves neither liberty nor safety”.

I recognize that I will pose many more questions than I can answer but they have to be asked before it’s too late:

1. How much freedom would you give up in exchange for a greater sense of public safety?

2. How certain would you feel knowing that your privacy, security and human rights are now in the hands of the President Elect? I understand that this is Canada not the U.S. but realistically the drummer may be different but the band members are the same.

3. Is it possible that once liberty is given up even though it may be ‘temporary’ the likelihood of it being restored to it’s rightful owners is not great? There cannot be a time frame in the fight for liberty and freedom. Something or someone will always stand in the way of returning civil rights to the citizens.

4. If by listening in on private conversations and monitoring certain web sites we were able to thwart more global as well as domestic threats and in the process save hundreds perhaps thousands of lives would that change your thinking about the exchange of liberty for safety?

5. The President Elect has stated that he would return to violent interventions like water boarding and torture of terrorists to gain information if that would protect American and/or other free world citizens. How far would you want that to go or would you turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to that happening if you thought it would help to prevent a bomb going off in Los Angeles or Dallas or Toronto?

6.  Would it be OK to follow those same principles (see #5) in the event of a kidnapping of a young child?

7. Would the use of chemical torture be a more civilized approach since the suspect wouldn’t suffer as much physical pain? Remember he/she may not be guilty of anything but rather just a suspect. Perhaps the use of lie detectors would be better even though we understand they can be beat and are not completely trust worthy.

8. In some countries-the U.K for one-the courts have begun to add further sentences to a repeat offender’s penalty once the original sentence has been served. This is called ‘preventative retention’. Isn’t that a bit like double jeopardy? Human rights advocates would argue that once the sentence has been served and the offender has paid his/her debt to society he/she has the right to live his/her life in a legal, peaceful and lawful manner.

Canada takes a similar stance of adding extra time by naming a select few as ‘dangerous offenders’. This option has been in play since 1947–who knew? Once designated as a dangerous offender the Canadian system can hold someone for an indefinite period of time with little chance of release. It is virtually a ‘life time sentence’. Personally I’m good with this one.

9. Should governments or their agents have full access to individual medical and mental health records without a court order in the event of a public outbreak of a potentially deadly disease? Should they have the right to monitor individuals either electronically or physically because of their medical records? Should they have the right to inoculate people against their will in order to prevent a possible epidemic or the spread of an illness of some kind?

10. How about unlawful search and seizure but being able to use any evidence found if it proved to substantiate some crime being investigated at the time? Or perhaps evidence or information is found that is not directly connected to the initial complaint but is suspected or can be proven to be connected to other crimes or criminals who are planning, are currently or have conducted other criminal or illegal activity–drug dealing or human trafficking for instance.

When I hear people in positions of power talking about how they are going to go after certain groups of people and are going to investigate them for how honest they are and how dangerous they are and then get rid of them red flags go up all over the place for me. I’m a law and order kind of guy and I like the idea of having entrenched and guaranteed personal and human rights that I can depend on to guide us all as a community of human beings.

All I’m saying here is that we need to pay very close attention to those who would ask to have the ‘cuffs’ taken off so they can do what needs to be done to make this a safer place in which to live.

Benjamin Franklin also said in a letter to Jane Mecom, 1773: “If you make yourself a sheep the wolves will eat you”. Words to live by.

Anyways, that’s the way I see things today. All the best, Jim

Any comments please send them to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

Feel free to send this along to family and friends, with thanks

Thanks for stopping by–

A Final Thought On Paris . . .

Just a final thought on Paris. Now that things have settled a bit my thoughts go to those parents and kids who now face life with a huge void in it because of some who are so desperately dissatisfied with their own lives that they feel compelled to make sure others aren’t enjoying theirs either.

Let’s not lose sight of an opportunity that exists in the rubble of Paris. As a human family of the world we can use the tragedy in Paris as a call to all of our government leaders-‘Enough is enough”. Let’s not act out of anger and resentment. Let’s not act hastily but rather with discernment–but LETS ACT in a pro-active manner that says “We will not let you abuse us anymore”. Really–whose country is it and the decisions that are made don’t have to follow some generic formula that everyone else has to agree to. DO what is right for your own place and do it with respect and that others are treated with dignity. Let’s take back what is rightfully ours and invite those who want to support that way of life to join us and not condemn our choices for how we choose to live our lives on our own soil.

It’s OK to be different–it’s OK to lead. Political correctness needs to be buried with those who gave their lives in Paris.

Anyways, that’s how I see it–Jim

 

 

How Can Anyone Feel Good About This Happening ?

Owl In FLight-

Photo Credited To ‘Hurricane-thoughts.blogspot.com’

A little while ago I wrote a piece and titled it ‘What were they thinking’? It was about what was happening on some of the university campus’ and some of the truly dumb decisions and behaviours that were being demonstrated-they were head scratchers and it was difficult not to ask yourself or anybody for that matter–‘What were they thinking?’Over the past three days two instances presented themselves and I couldn’t decide which one I would choose to comment on so I wrote about them both. I promised to keep them short (shorter) so perhaps you might comment back to me what you think about the dumb things that are going on out there.

The first is about, no surprise here, government short sightedness and lack of imagination. Now if something is happening with this situation that I am not aware of I would gladly stand corrected. This program is called “Ontario Christian Gleaners” and the people involved with this program have dedicated their time to help feed at risk people in parts of the world where decent food is hard to find. Click the link here and a three minute video will help explain it much better than I. Note that all the produce used here is donated by growers and is considered to be ‘surplus’ food that would otherwise go to waste.

So I’m thinking that instead of just throwing money at countries who struggle to feed their own, we call it ‘foreign aid’, and knowing that substantial portions of this money never gets past the greasy hands of the government officials that run these countries, we could build plants in this country creating jobs for our unemployed construction workers, we could hire people to work in these plants and have their wages paid for out of the very program that we already have in place. That would be the one called ‘foreign aid’. By doing so we would be reducing our own unemployed numbers yet still using the same money that we would otherwise throw away by giving it to folks who don’t share it with those it is truly meant for. The bonus would be saving the dollars that we would otherwise be paying out for unemployment benefits. We could also help build fresh water wells which are required in the process and we would know that thousands upon thousands of men, women and children are being fed healthy balanced meals everyday. It’s a win-win.

So the obvious question is: “What are they thinking about’? “Why wouldn’t someone-anyone who collects a political salary be looking at this program and say-“Hey–we could do that”.

The other example, and perhaps more concerning in differing ways, involves stepping back 5 decades to a time of discrimination that was pretty sick stuff. The adults involved in this situation, if there are any, have no thought or consideration of what this lunacy says and indicates to their children. What lessons are to learned from this. If the salient points are in deed accurate the following information seems to be the crux of the discussion. And I thought that discrimination was finished in this country. I thought that we welcomed ‘newcomers’ to our fair land and everyone was treated equally based on who they were and what they were. I guess I had that wrong. In New Brunswick English speaking students and French speaking students are not allowed to ride on the same school bus together. Sounds a bit like the Southern States a few decades ago. The name Rosa Parks comes to mind. New Brunswick faces a 68 million dollar bill for transporting 90,000 students and much of that high cost is due to duplicating services for English and French students. They are in the midst of trying to figure out how to deal with a 500 million dollar problem funding the Education ministry and they won’t consider saving over 33 million dollars by treating their own citizens with some semblance of respect. This is all in the face of the people whose children are involved saying that using the same buses is OK by them. It’s the politicians who are the pain in the ass here. It appears that it is more important for kids to ride on different buses than it is to preserve the jobs of the teachers some of which could lose their jobs due to budgetary cut backs. HELLO! Is anybody home over there? If this doesn’t demonstrate blatant discrimination I’m not sure what does. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck–you know the rest I’m sure. They, the politicos, are trying to hide behind the 2000 Supreme Court Ruling regarding Summerside, PEI that, among other things, stated school buses and transporting kids to school is not part of the legal decision. In other words it doesn’t affect transporting students from different cultural backgrounds to school using the same bus.

Mr.Rouselle, the current Education Minister, needs to grow a pair and show some leadership instead of trying to protect his generous pension. It’s always interesting to see the spin boys at work but it is hard to see how this whole idea of multi-culturalism is being dismantled right here within our boundaries and no one will call it for what it is–a disgrace, shameful, petty and embarrassing.

That’s how I see it anyways–Jim

Comments are always welcome when respectful. I can be contacted on my web page: jamescloughley.com OR jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

Please pass this along to others who may benefit in some way.

Can You Guess What Is The ‘New’ Opiate For The Masses?

Poppy Fields

(Photographer Unknown To Me)

Karl Marx said that “Religion is the opiate of the people”. I certainly don’t consider myself an expert on any of this. But, to me, I don’t think he was condemning religion at all but rather was just stating that, to him, he saw religion and all of its peculiarities, branches and differing philosophies as an opiate–a psychological and spiritual drug which became the perfect diversion or panacea from having to live life day after day trying to sort out and deal with life’s disappointments, distractions, conundrums, coincidences, violence and it’s fears. It’s easier to place that burden, some possible solutions and the responsibility on the shoulders of a higher and more capable deity–the supreme commander of an unexplained and impossible to ‘prove’ existence in a different realm. There are many ‘challengers’vying for the chance to become the new ‘opiate’, such as Prozac and cannabis and alcohol has always been in the background yelling ‘what about me–take me.’ But the one that has shown to be the more resilient and a more powerful ‘opiate’ for the people is MONEY. People today will do most anything to acquire it, get more of it and to keep what they have of it at present. It has become the single most important driving force we have known and partly because of the power that often comes with it. We will cheat to get it, lie to those we care for to get it and we become secretive around how much of it we have. We have been known to sell our soul for it as well. Sounds like a religion of sorts.

This is only my perspective (something that we all have and exercise) of course but I believe money is the most dangerous ‘opiate’ for the people–ever. I use the word perspective here in this context. Let’s consider the word ‘hot’ for instance. Heat can be used as a good thing like using it to purify or it can be used to harm someone or something–to destroy. If we consider ‘assistance’ it can be seen as ‘charity’ and ‘enabling’ or it can be seen as ‘helping and caring’. No right or wrong. With money it can be seen as a tool for good or an instrument to gain power in order to get more money. So ones’ perspective is important when we consider ‘opiates’ for anything.

Where I am going with this is back to Parliament Hill where 40 ‘new’ Senators are being investigated for, allegedly, fudging their expense accounts. In some cases involving hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money. And this just isn’t Conservative Senators but Senators from all parties. Again, for me, this is just about greed and entitlement but the real concern is that they believe that what they are doing is justified–that is is OK. There is no remorse or contrition here. Even with their hands implanted firmly in the ‘cookie jar’ they stand defiant. They have no reasonable perspective–there doesn’t seem to be another view to explain their behaviour. That’s what makes it dangerous to me. Move over Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy. This has become the new ‘opiate’. People will now corrupt themselves, work two jobs, all but abandon their families and their responsibilities to their children for the chase and the capture of money. Many have given up their ‘religious’ affiliations to pursue yet more money because they have more time and offer out less in terms of the collection plate at church. The good service work that many churches do both domestically and on foreign soil is stopping because there is a dwindling sense of purpose. Just as Marx saw ‘religion’ as the perfect diversion for many the pursuit of money has now supplanted it as the next or new ‘opiate’. No matter however much you have it is never enough and more effort is put into gaining and controlling more of it. Mr. Harper is throwing our money around like it is his. He is buying personal favour in the world following his defeat in the next election. He may be many things but stupid is not one of them. His latest bit of federal business will cost the Canadian taxpayer $528,000,000.00 in exchange for one years military service to the ‘alliance’ to bomb the hell out of people they can’t or don’t know. This ‘generosity’ comes at a time when seniors are told that their complaints about the rates of CPP and OAS are greedy and ill founded and not going to happen. Can you imagine the politicians telling US that we are greedy. The arrogance is near criminal. But this is how the ‘opiate’ works. It kills pain and it kills perspective–both casualties attributed to this group in Ottawa.

My recommendation would be this: for all and any of those who are found to be guilty of padding their expense accounts–in effect wilfully cheating the taxpayers–would be enough cause for them to lose their pensions-completely and immediately, then they should be removed from the senate, immediately’ and for there to be a referendum called and placed on the next federal ticket at election time so that the whole country gets to decide how much longer we would like to be fleeced by those who seem to have difficulty keeping their hands in their own pockets and have lost or misplaced their perspective. If fraud is committed should they not be charged just like an ordinary citizen? Actually I think they should be held to a much higher standard because they are in breech of the public trust. Perhaps a jail term of some kind would be appropriate as well.

I end this with a simple thought. What do our children learn from the adults around them and how could we expect anything different than what we are seeing from many of our kids right now. We need to be ashamed of ourselves, as adults, for letting our kids be a part of what is allowed to happen today.

That’s how I see it anyways, Jim

To make any comments please contact me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com OR jamescloughley.com
Your comments are always welcomed whether you agree or disagree. If you know of any others out there who may benefit from this article please forward it to them–with my thanks.

As Canadians Are We Really As Free As We Think We Are?

Soon But Not Yet . . .

Photographer Unknown To Me

Just recently I was involved in a conversation with 7-8 others about a topic that many of us seldom speak about: the extent to which we feel “free”. I must confess that I am or was one of those people who was born into freedom. As many of us did, I had family relations go to war in it’s name and am reminded of the value of those freedoms fought for and won every November 11th.

So my thoughts/questions to you are: How free do you feel considering how you live your life each day? Fine isn’t an answer. You need to be able to share, at least with someone close to you, what it means specifically.

I love this country. There is no greater country to live in than Canada. And yes we are free to do most things. We can travel anywhere we want at any time we want and with anyone we want. We can vote for the candidate(s) of our choice in free elections. We are free to practice the religion of our choice. We are allowed to speak our minds in public and protest, in a peaceful manner, our government without penalty–I think? I am free to write about things that displease me or that I find contentious and I can be critical of others if I want to be. I can buy what I want from whomever I want and I can sell whatever I want to whomever I please. I am free to smoke, drink and be merry anytime I want. I am free to love anyone I choose and to marry the love of my life regardless of their gender, race or religion. We are free to assemble and we have a free press and language rights. On the surface I agree that this sounds like a really good deal and for the most part it is. However, I’m very concerned that many have begun to forget how important it is not to take our freedoms for granted. And yet, those precious gifts of freedom are being eroded by folks who have other agendas and those agendas are not all that honourable.

Basically what I outlined above is true but not accurate. The Charter Of Rights And Freedoms provide for the entrenchment of our rights but there are now laws either passed or soon to be passed that would compromise those very rights. There are exceptions, consequences and penalties attached to some of these ‘freedoms’now. The untouchables have been touched. Just because we believe these freedoms can’t be taken away from us does not make them forever.

We maintain that we are free to do whatever we want. But freedom of speech does not allow one person to defame or lie about another in order to slander them or implicate them unjustly in a crime. There are penalties for that and so there should be. So there are limits as to what freedom of speech allows and means. When considering voting it’s true we can vote for anyone on the ballot without coercion or threat. Any of us can seek office if we meet the criteria to run. We are free to smoke, to drink and be disruptive and obnoxious in public but only in certain places. Again I agree that this is for the greater good. Free press and media is ruled more by political correctness now than at any other time so they aren’t quite ‘free’ to write or do what they want if staying in business is a priority. This is where it starts to get a bit contentious for me however. We are said to be free to practice the religion of our choice, for instance, and yet that is not true. While others are free to openly pray in public, Christians are not. If we do then we are sanctioned. That is not freedom. While major pieces of legislation are being run through parliament we don’t have much of a say, really, in whether that legislation passes or not. When was the last time your federal member stopped by your house to ask you what you thought about capital punishment, going to war or raising taxes-again. Mine either. How then is this true democracy and yet democracy is outlined as a must in the charter. The proposed anti-terrorist legislation will give the government many many opportunities to spy on us and to monitor phone calls, emails, web site surfing all in the name of our national security. I don’t trust them with that sort of power. They have proven themselves untrustworthy. I’m all for stopping terrorism and terrorists from gaining a foot hold in this country but at what cost to us as citizens? How much liberty do we sacrifice? What’s the old saying: “Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best”–Edward Abbey. Legislation, once passed, is nigh on impossible to undo.

And then there is freedom of speech. How free is it–really? If the following is true Mr. Harper needs to answer for his statement in a public forum. He seems to have forgotten that he works for us and not the other way around. If this statement is true then he is nothing but a bully. Bullies don’t lead they threaten. If the quote is accurate then perhaps Mr. Harper doesn’t concern himself with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms after all. So much for free speech. The following contains a quote from a memo that, apparently, was attributed to Mr. Harper: “You’ll never believe what a leaked RCMP memo from last week says about you (as a citizen). If you oppose the furious rush to build pipelines and expand the tar sands like I do(says the writer of the article), then you’re considered to be a “violent anti-petroleum extremist.”

**The memo literally says that those of us who oppose pipelines should be seen and treated as potential criminal and security threats. I honestly could not believe what I was reading.’

So with a Prime Minister who feels that way about freedom to speak your mind the question is: Are we really as FREE as we think we are?

Anyways, that’s how I see it–all the best–Jim

Comments are always welcomed: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com OR jamescloughley.com

When Did The Feminists Start Running The NFL?

Lightning In The Desert

Picture Credit: Metro.co.uk (Picture Editor: Pejman Faratin)

Well it seems that lightning has struck again. I am referring to the Ray Rice scandal that started out as a domestic assault case and has developed into the next inquisition. When I look at ALL the things that went on here it seems to me what Ray Rice did was but a part of a larger fiasco that all parties need to be ashamed of. Please don’t read me wrong here. I DO NOT CONDONE WHAT RAY RICE DID IN ANY WAY-UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES-EXCEPT SELF PRESERVATION. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HAS BEEN, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE UNACCEPTABLE. But if we are going to be fair about this and learn something from it we need to consider all the things that went on here:

1. Roger Goodell is as complicit in this train wreck as anyone else. Perhaps more so because the ‘buck’ is supposed to stop at his desk and it did not. It just blew right through the station and honked on the way by. He didn’t even get a chance to wave at it. He reacted in every terrible way possible. If anyone should lose his job here it is he. He misrepresented himself, his office and the situation to appease owners and to protect the already tarnished reputation of the NFL. He turned a lapse of judgement and self control by a player into a center stage circus.

2. Ray Rice and his wife are really the only two who know exactly what happened. However, he not only displayed a lack of class and integrity but he punched is girl friend hard enough to render her unconscious. He didn’t have any concerns for her safety or health and could have seriously harmed her permanently. You just can’t go around punching people when ever you feel justified. That goes whether they are male or female. It is not right and the sanctions need to be adequate enough to send the message that it will not be tolerated. What is not clear is if they had been drinking-how much-for how long-and would they have done and said the things they did if they were stone cold sober. This is not to excuse his behaviour or hers. No-I am not trying to put the victim on trial here. The facts remain as they are and they need to be seen and treated as such if we are to move toward any kind of equality among us. If both jump in a pool of water is one more wet than the other when they come out?

3. Has anyone thought about charging Janay Palmer for assault? Apparently she spit in his face–twice. That, supposedly, does constitute assault. Am I to accept that her behaviour was OK but his was not? Again his treatment of her was most disturbing and the sanction for his behaviour needs to reflect that. But if we are to move together toward equality then the same rules need apply to all of us and need to be equally applied. Perhaps Janay Palmer needs to pay more attention to her own behaviour and act with a bit more class and integrity.

4. If there are those who need to be hit hard it’s the owners who tried to have this buried. They placed the well being of their business above the laws of the land. They were playing CYA above all else. What sanctions are appropriate for them? Will there be any at all? At the very least they need to be suspended from all team activities for the reminder of the season. It is only because they were caught that they are all clamoring to ‘do the right thing now’. This is/was no act of conscience.

The last two points are more about what stands in the way of resolving this issue fairly and without bias.

5. Last but certainly not least: The feminists need to disappear. They add nothing to the process except acrimony. They need to acknowledge that their efforts were, at one time, noteworthy but now it’s time to stand aside and let the culture grow its egalitarian roots. My hope is that they would take political correctness with them. PC is killing us. It has outgrown its usefulness. It thwarts free speech and open discussion of ideas and counter ideas. Healthy debate is becoming more difficult. It penalizes those pioneers who risk standing up and being heard. If we look around at what is happening in our homes, schools, play grounds, arenas, stadiums and legal institutions we become aware of the rights and freedoms lost as a result of not feeling safe enough to say “I don’t like that and I won’t support it”. When we can’t risk being different or not agreeing without being called a terrorist, a malcontent or anti-something then we have become victims of political correctness.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said:”Not to speak is to speak; not to act is to act”. Quite true.

In the spirit of risk-taking I don’t think that Ray Rice should have been stripped of the opportunity to earn his living because he was not able to control himself. He lives in a culture of violence where each week he is expected to physically dominate other people, to do it well and if he doesn’t he’ll be replaced until he can. I think Ray Rice should miss the remainder of the season–no pay. While sitting out he completes a residential program that is actually designed to teach clients to control their anger and moderate their behaviour to the satisfaction of professionals who are qualified to say he’s ready to return to society.

I concern myself more with what our children are learning by listening and watching how the ‘adults’ handle this mess. The message being sent is:”It’s OK to lie and cheat as long as you have enough money and power to pull it off. Just don’t get caught”.

Anyways that’s how I see it, Jim

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