Archive for June, 2010

Something Every Teenager Should Know

Posted in Child Discipline, Children, England, English Schools, Modern World, Parenting, Teens with tags , , , , , , , , on 28/06/2010 by floroy1942

Today I Have It All - But Tomorrow?

Today most children, and in particular teenagers, live in an insular world where they expect everything handed to them on a plate. Life for them is a free ride, with little or no responsibilities, and no requirement for commitment. Despite this, many still find it necessary to complain, but the reason is they have no idea what real life is all about. As youngsters they have little concept of the meaning of life, what is expected of them, and more importantly, what it can cost.

Sadly, the blame for this attitude must be born by both parents and the education system which have failed miserably in preparing today’s youth for the trials and tribulations of becoming an adult.

The Very Young Bill Gates

It was for this reason that I decided to make a blog of an interesting speech made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to a group of high-school children in the USA. It came to me through the e-mail from a good friend, and I found it so enlightening that I decided it needed to be shared as widely as possible.

During his talk he emphasised the way ‘political correctness’ and the ‘feel good’ factor has obliterated the previous ideology of preparing school-leavers for the big bad world they are about to enter.

It is no longer acknowledged within the education system that some children are brighter or more talented than others, because to recognise this denigrates the less gifted. To fail an exam today you need to be a monkey swinging through the treetops, because the school has to hit its targets set by the government.

All this, added to the parents giving their children everything they want when they want it, has led to a generation of free-loaders who will soon enter the real world and expect it to hand them a job and huge salary because they feel they are owed it by society.

Bill Gates: A Success Story

Whether you like, admire, or hate Bill Gates, he has never been afraid to speak his mind, and in the talk he had with the young people at the high-school he pulled no punches. He told them all what they needed to hear.

These are the main points he hammered home to them:

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

Teen Charter?

These truths, for that is what they are, must have come as a great shock to many of those listening to him, but hopefully, it will have opened a few eyes to what life is like in the real world after school. It is hard, it can be painful, but we must each handle it in our own way. Those that learn quickly will succeed, those that do not will ultimately fail.

You would be doing your child a great favour by teaching them Bill Gates’ philosophy of life.

Roy.

My thanks to my friend for passing this on, and to the anonymous originator of the mail.


Are You Doing Your Best For Your Child?

Posted in Child Abuse, Child Discipline, Children, Human Rights, Modern World, Parenting, Relationships, Teen Violence, Teens, UK with tags , , , , , , , , on 24/06/2010 by floroy1942

So you think you know how to bring up your children and what is best for them. Right? Sorry, but the state of the world today dictates otherwise for many. All is not lost however, a group of researchers in Utah have dramatically discovered what is wrong today.

Is This Your Child?

Even a superficial look at the figures for teenage crime, violence and drunkenness in many western countries will prove the current ‘softly, softly’ approach to bringing up a child is way off the mark. So how have we developed as a species to the extent where a lot of parents are afraid of their own offspring?

Many parents today will readily admit they have no control over their children so you have to ask, what has changed? What cataclysmic event allowed our children to change from being obedient, considerate and respectful into monsters to be feared?

A Child of Today

The answer in my opinion is two-fold. On the one hand we have a distinct lack of discipline in the home and schools brought about by the interfering ‘nanny’ state, and secondly, the steady erosion of family life within the home over the last forty years.

The 'Hoodies'

Ever since the first Anti-Smacking Law was presented to the New Zealand Parliament in 1961 to combat escalating abuse against children, and in particular the last 20 years when various other nations have also applied such laws, teenage violence, drunkenness, and crime have escalated to such proportions that in many countries people will take an alternate route rather than pass a pair of youths hanging around on a street corner.

The researchers, from Brigham Young University in Utah USA, found that children with “a strict and loving upbringing” were more likely to grow into honest, responsible and respectful youth than those with (a) little or no discipline, and (b) excessive or little love. Their findings indicate that too much love or discipline, or too much of one and not the other, can be detrimental to the way children view life and behave as teenagers. Obviously, the trick is to find the right balance.

What I find so amazing is they have ‘re-discovered’ a formula that has been working for centuries prior to the mad last half of the twentieth century!

Children of the 1950's

I was born in 1942 and know all there is about discipline as a child and I continued with bringing up my two children in the same strict way. Neither one has ever been in trouble, never taken to drink as a substitute for enjoyment and are now respectable grown-ups.

Any comparison between the old and new ways of bringing up children reveals quite simply the new ways don’t work, and are the reason we are in this mess today with our youth. I have for years advocated that all this crap about anti-smacking is just that; Crap!

As I said to friends of ours who had a baby boy about eighteen months ago, they must ensure the child knows who is boss right from the cradle. Not doing so can lead to a life of misery for both parents. For the first ten months or so, both parents got very little sleep each night because the baby would wake at all hours crying and wanting attention, so they stayed, sometimes for several hours, until it fell into an exhausted sleep.

In this way the baby became dominant in the household and for a long time he would squawk for attention any time he felt like it and mummy or daddy would come running. Since then, if the child wants something and doesn’t get it there follows a fit of pure temper until the parents gave in.

Violent Children

Once a child has asserted its supremacy there can follow years of misery for the parents, who may try and gain control, but it’s an uphill battle and almost impossible to achieve.

As in days gone by, and as the research team have recently ‘discovered’ (tongue in cheek), a strict disciplined upbringing and shows of love and caring are essential for the future well-being of any child. It is imperative children are taught from the beginning that the parents are the boss, and they should do as they are told. Without this approach, any child will get the feeling that they can do as they please, and life owes them everything for free! Much as many children and teenagers think today.

In supermarkets everywhere we hear cries of; “I want… – I want…” and so often the reply is “Oh alright” just for the sake of keeping the peace for one more precious minute.

Temper

Currently, most children have no idea what ‘No!’ means, for they are fully aware that if they pester their parents for long enough, or throw a tantrum, they will eventually get what they want. A sad indictment of parental control today.

The days when you could properly discipline your child for wrong-doing are sadly long gone, as is evident from occasional news stories that highlight cases where a mother has had her children taken away from her by Social Services, for nothing more than giving a recalcitrant child a smack on the leg or hand for being naughty in public. These stupid laws should be repealed immediately, for the simple reason you cannot expect any child to follow the right path if no-one is allowed to tell them what it is.

The Horror of Child Abuse

Don’t for minute think that I condone child cruelty, for I do not, and anyone found committing such an act should be severely punished to the full extent of the law, but there is a wide chasm between such things and the smacking of an undisciplined child.

Yes, I hear some say, but where do we draw the line? For these simple-minded people who need to be told; the line not to be crossed is that of leaving a bruise, breaking a bone, or breaking the skin and thereby causing bleeding. All of these are a long way from giving your child an open-handed smack on the legs, hands or buttocks.

Earlier I also said the loss of the ‘family unit’ has been a contributing factor in the failings of youth these days, and I meant it.

Who's Looking After Your Child?

Since WW2, and the advent of women going out to work for a living, family life has all but ceased to exist. The children are rushed off to school or left in the care of child-minders or crèche centres and never get to see their parents again until they come home tired from a long day’s work. Perhaps, if they are lucky, a couple of hours television and then off to bed to start the whole process over again the next day.

This is not family life for a child!

A Family Day Out

A child needs to know it is loved, needs to have someone there to tell it when it’s doing something wrong. As a parent, you can love your child to bits, but it all means nothing if one of you is not there to welcome them home from school and listen while they tell you about their day. If they hurt themselves while out playing, they need to know someone is at home and will kiss it better, not have to wait until five o’clock when mummy or daddy comes home from work.

It all comes down to one basic fact that is more often than not overlooked in today’s society, Having a child is a responsibility for life! Any couple who decide to have a child must make the conscious decision that someone needs to be at home all the time if you are to be responsible parents and raise responsible children. You can’t have it both ways!

Roy.

The Mavi Marmara – Comments on New Video Released

Posted in Arab, Demonstration, Gaza and Hamas, Insanity, Israel, Modern World, Muslim, Palestine, Religion, Terrorism, Terrorists with tags , , , , , , on 12/06/2010 by floroy1942

New footage of the Israeli attack on the aid convoy bound for Gaza has been released, smuggled out by Lara Lee of Cultures for Resistance. It is quite graphic, and shows much more of events aboard the ship than any previously seen. The video posted in an article by The Guardian will unfortunately not embed so a link to it is below for those interested.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/11/gaza-flotilla-attack-new-video

Interestingly, it shows passengers firing something at the helicopters with catapults as it hovered over the ship, and one of the first injured people carried below for treatment was an Israeli soldier. So much for the lie there was no resistance from the activists!

Personally, I also have to question the actions of the ships Captain who, from the taped evidence, made no effort to stop the ship once boarded.

It all depends on what side you are on as to whether you believe the Israeli’s or the activists in this saga. Many people are so opposed to Israel they would not admit the truth if it slapped them in the face. On the other hand, if deadly mistakes were made during the storming of the ship by Israeli forces, they would not readily admit it. So who do you believe? You have to make up your own mind on that. Below is more of the footage made by the Israeli’s.

A quick look at the collection of videos finding their way onto YouTube must now be sufficient for even the most sceptic to take another look at their stance on the incident. Many show the soldiers being attacked with iron bars, a stun grenade and even petrol bombs, so you have to ask, who are the innocents here? Its up to you whether you believe all the blame should be given to the Israeli’s, or if they were extremely provoked and had no choice but to defend themselves.

For myself, I am sure errors were made by both sides and the fact these mistakes led to the death of so many ‘civilians’ is certainly sad. There is little doubt from the films that resistance was offered to the boarding soldiers, and many were seriously injured, but for the life of me, I cannot understand the attitude of the activists, who were in my opinion, out to provoke an international incident and thereby some propaganda for the Palestinian cause.

In the event of being boarded by an overwhelming, armed military force, the obvious thing to do is to line up on the deck with your hands raised and surrender immediately. In that way no casualties would have been suffered. This did not happen! It is ludicrous to imagine that ‘unarmed’ civilians can fight off soldiers as tough as the Israeli’s, so why try? Unless it would add more spice to the propaganda by having a few wounded activists? In this they made a deadly miscalculation.

Cries from Muslims of “Allahu Akbar” can be heard clearly on the tape, which quickly brings to mind the shouts of suicide bombers just before they blow themselves up, and as a soldier what would you think of the opposition you were facing? No-one wants to die, even soldiers in the Israeli army!

Either way you look at it, resistance to the boarding has been amply demonstrated on many of the tapes of the incident and that is something that should not have happened. Opposition to an armed boarding force on this scale is useless, and in my opinion, it’s not surprising people died. But the activists got what they wanted, at a heavy price, for the international community is now incensed with the Gaza blockade.

Many people have been blinded by the deaths of ‘innocent activists’ and the dead piling up in Israel are not even taken into consideration. This is a war that has been going on for decades with no end in sight, and it will continue so long as Hamas keeps attacking Israel at the expense of the people they represent, and the Israeli’s keep building settlements on Palestinian land.

Actions like this however are just a waste of human life, and in the long term serve no purpose.

Roy.


Humanitarian Aid – My A&$%

Posted in Gaza and Hamas, Palestine, Religion, Terrorism with tags , , , on 11/06/2010 by floroy1942

For all those fools who find it necessary to demonstrate against the Gaza Blockade by Israel. Oh Yes, it was filmed by Israel, so that immediately makes it fake doesn’t it!!! But one question: Why should it be fake just because it happened at an Israeli port?

I cannot prove it is real any more than you can prove it is fake, but lets face it, this kind of thing has been happening for years, and along with the tunnels has been the main way in which ‘innocent’ Hamas has smuggled in arms and rockets that they fire on Israel, who of course is not allowed to retaliate!!! Isn’t there an international law somewhere or other that forbids Israel to retaliate when she has been attacked by the Palestinians?????? (That was a joke people)

So to all those innocents abroad (in particular the idiots who recently tried to break the blockade), who think Hamas and the Palestinian people are all ‘innocent’ victims I say: Get real people and watch the video. Its about time you took off your rose coloured glasses and had a look at the real world!

There is nothing as sad as misplaced good intentions.

Roy

The Mavi Marmara – Does Israel Really Deserve All the Criticism?

Posted in Arab, Gaza and Hamas, Insurgents, Israel, Muslim, Palestine, Six Day War, Terrorism, Terrorists with tags , , , , , , , on 06/06/2010 by floroy1942

I realise that what I write here may be extremely contentious and many people will not agree, but I feel it has to be said by someone, and before anyone thinks it, I am not Jewish, nor am I an Israeli sympathiser. I just take my time, sit back, and look at events from all angles.

Mavi Marmara

Since the ‘attack’ on the aid ships last week in which 9 people died, Israel has come under a storm of criticism from all over the world. Country after country has condemned the action, bemoaning the fate of the Palestinian people in Gaza and praising Hamas.

We have all heard the stories from activists of people being shot without provocation, but you would not really expect them to say anything else would you. They would never admit to being wrong. I am sure each of them will tell you about Israeli atrocities aboard the ship. But I have to ask, why fight in the first place, because they must have known what the outcome would be.

From Turkish doctors we heard of the dead being ‘riddled‘ with bullets and shot in the head from close range ‘many times‘, but there again, you cannot expect a country with a Muslim majority to say anything that would back Israel’s claim of their soldiers being attacked, and the evidence has been conveniently buried.

The Israeli Military insist their men were attacked with knives and clubs, and shots were fired at them. Insofar as the knives and clubs are concerned, there is video evidence enough. In their words they were defending themselves. So who do you believe?

Firstly, I have to say the entire ‘aid’ operation was in my opinion, designed as a deliberate provocation intended to force the Israeli government into taking some form of action and thereby generate negative press for Israel while providing much needed propaganda for the Palestinians. In this it succeeded, far beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. The actual aid was I believe, of secondary importance.

Soldiers on Board

The activists must have known before they set out that the Israeli government would never allow their ships to reach a port in Gaza, and they expected to be boarded and diverted to an Israeli port. It would seem they did not take into account some hot-heads among their ranks who thought they could battle it out with the military.

From the casualty list it would seem many Turkish Muslims got into the fight, but from the video it is obvious almost everyone had a go, and who can categorically deny that among the activists were a couple of insurgents, there for the sole purpose of initiating the shooting by firing at the soldiers as they landed? It’s not rocket science to work out that possibility.

Secondly, no-one in Israel would be stupid enough to deliberately board those ships with guns blazing, knowing they would face a storm of condemnation from the rest of the world. That would be political suicide for any government from whatever country. The Israeli’s are tough and nobody’s fool, and lets face it, Israel gets blamed for just about everything that goes wrong in the Middle East. It just doesn’t add up.

Something did prompt the shooting, but I doubt very much it was a purely Israeli action. As in any military operation, the soldiers would have been briefed, and probably told to expect little resistance. I am positive they were told in no uncertain terms to avoid civilian casualties for fear of just such condemnation as they are now receiving, but it is a soldiers natural instinct to open fire when threatened. It’s what all soldiers are trained to do, world-wide. If someone came at me with a knife I would certainly open fire, and so would you! You do not try and negotiate under those circumstances.

Terrorist Disguised as a Politician

My last point is the Israeli justification for the blockade. There is no doubt Hamas has been a source of torment to the people of Israel, especially since winning the elections in 2006, for they have ensured a steady rain of explosive rockets onto towns and villages near the border with Gaza, killing indiscriminately men, women, and children on the Israeli side. But when that happens it may get a by-line on the back page in the press, whereas anything to do with the ‘poor’ Palestinians means banner headlines.

There can be no doubt arms were being smuggled into Gaza by Hamas on a regular basis, and for that reason Israel closed the border. It is noticeable that since the blockade has been rigourously enforced the rockets on Israel have practically ceased. That I think proves a valuable point.

Hamas Rocket Destined For Israel

Much is said about the Israeli embargo on building materials for Gaza, but yet again I believe this is justified. I agree that the Palestinians do not have cement and bricks to re-build houses, but neither does Hamas have the materials to build tunnels with which to smuggle in arms. Even insurgents cannot fight without weapons and explosives, as is evident by the recent lack of action against Israel by Hamas.

So is the blockade justified? If you look at all the facts, and are not swayed by the biased rhetoric coming from the anti-Israel brigade or the “We love Hamas” army, you cannot escape the truth; It is!

Yes, I agree, the Palestinian people are suffering, but to a great extent they have no-one to blame but themselves. I am convinced the pain of these people, while shocking, is to a great extent self-inflicted, for the longer they allow themselves to be represented by a hard-line Hamas, so much longer will be their misery. It was after all the people of Gaza who voted in Hamas, who are let’s face it, nothing more than terrorists in suits. It was a bold experiment, but as events have shown, achieved nothing.

Hamas still refuses to recognise Israel’s right to exist, despite the fact the more moderate Fatah faction on the West Bank have agreed. You only have to compare the living standards of the West Bank with Gaza to see who is right.

The time for armed resistance to Israel is long over and a waste of effort that only causes suffering among the people Hamas are supposed to represent. Proper negotiation is long overdue. If Hamas were willing to come to the table for constructive peace talks without an AK47 in their hands they may well achieve far more than in all the years of struggle.

On the Receiving End of Hamas Rockets

At this point I would also like to say that not all the fault is with the Palestinians for Israel has made many mistakes, chief among them the contentious settlements they insist on building on Palestinian land. For a fair and just settlement of the conflict they must all be torn down or handed over to the Palestinians.

It is certain that no country will intervene militarily on their behalf against the Israeli’s. The surrounding Arab nations tried it twice and were heavily defeated and I doubt they feel like trying it again. This is evident by the years of silence on the part of Syria, Jordan and Egypt on the matter of the Palestinian question.

No! The solution must come from within Gaza if the suffering is to end and ultimately it is up to the Palestinian people to decide their future, not a terrorist group calling itself a government.

Roy.


The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Lust for Power

Posted in Ahmadinajad, Arab, Insanity, Iran, Islamic Revolution, Israel, Modern World, North Korea, Nuclear, Nuclear Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, UN, United Nations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/06/2010 by floroy1942

Our Nuclear World

In 1970 The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT) came into force signed by the then three nuclear powers, and ratified by 40 other nations. Since that date many other states have accepted the treaty by accession, and now a total of 189 countries have agreed to abide by its rules.

India and Pakistan

Only three nations, India, Pakistan and Israel refused to be a part of the treaty agreements. India began testing nuclear weapons in 1974 which forced Pakistan to go down the same road. Now both nations have a considerable number of nuclear weapons designed principally to keep the other at bay in their age-old conflict.

Under Scrutiny

Israel is another non-signatory that has developed a sophisticated nuclear arsenal, which is believed to include submarine launched nuclear tipped cruise missiles. In the case of Israel however, surrounded as she is by ‘unfriendly’ nations, one can perhaps understand the country’s predicament.

North Korea, while originally accepting the treaty, withdrew in January 2003, the reason for which quickly became obvious. Iran ratified the treaty on the 5th of March 1970 and although it has not withdrawn, is suspected of developing nuclear weapons.

Now a new player is on the block!

News came in this week that Burma is the latest country with nuclear ambitions despite acceding to the treaty in December 1992, and you know what they say; ‘There is no smoke without fire’. Based on information from a former Burmese Army Major, Sei Theen Win, the accusation has not been corroborated but shall we say, suspicions run deep.

One Way To Make Money!

One of the disturbing factors here appears to be the high level of co-operation between North Korea and the Burmese Military Junta, which is not surprising. North Korea is a desperately poor country, and one of the sure-fire ways of making money and friends is to export its limited nuclear technology to those countries and governments that aspire to being nuclear states. North Korea is known to have collaborated with Iran on its nuclear ambitions.

Nations like North Korea and Iran think they can ‘Stand Tall’ among the international community, and in particular their neighbouring states, by possessing ‘The Bomb’, although many will say for these two nations it is more about military superiority in their sphere of influence. Whichever way you look at it, its all about power!

Burma has been under military rule since the ‘coup d’etat’ by General Ne Win in 1962 which effectively ended democracy in the country. Pursuing a policy of isolationism, the military rulers of Burma managed to keep a lid on things until May 2008, when Cyclone Nargis destroyed large areas of the Irriwaddy Delta which supplied most of the nations rice. The initial refusal of the military junta to allow United Nations assistance to enter the country with much needed supplies caused a backlash for the junta that is still felt today.

After the devastation, civil unrest grew to huge proportions with mass protests in the streets of all the major cities, and the power of the junta was threatened. Opposition to military rule began to ferment, and in order to silence opposition the junta promised to hold elections, but their main protagonist Suu Kyi, leader of the anti-government movement was arrested and sentenced to house arrest by the junta.

This Way Kim! This Way!

Having successfully dealt the opposition a fatal blow they are now, it would seem, turning to the nuclear option. Which ever way you look at it, and whatever spin you put on it, Burma has no logical reason for wanting nuclear weapons unless it is a means for the military junta to retain power. Burma has not been threatened by any nation since WW2, so why would they want such weapons? You are left with the inevitable; Power!

Pull The Other Leg Ahmed!

Iran wants to be ‘Top Dog’ in the Middle East, apart that is from blowing Israel off the map. Fanatics like Ahmadinejad seem the think that with nuclear weapons, Iran will be able to throw its weight around and no-one will dare say anything against them. Because the middle east is the world’s most important supplier of oil, this could have serious ramifications. Again its all about ‘Power!’

Kim Jong-il's View of the World

So far as North Korea is concerned, the regime of Kim Jong-il has felt threatened from outside its borders ever since the end of the Korean war, principally by South Korea  and the USA, and therefore has taken steps to ensure the ‘wolves’ remain at bay. With the regimes finger on the trigger it is for sure that no-one will start a war with the North. By the acquisition of nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-il and his cohorts have successfully stalemated the Far East and ensured their continued survival.

For many governments, regimes and even individuals, power is a drug far more intoxicating than cocaine and must be retained at any cost. Such is our modern way of life.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” words first uttered in 1887 by  Sir John Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902) an English historian.

Roy.

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