40 years of faulty wiring

Canadians’ Well-Being and Permanent Poverty – Living the Canadian Dream

Welfare: the right to well-being, security and safety, including fulfilling basic needs to ensure survival. This is the general idea behind the term but welfare carries with it a negative connotation:  those lucky enough not to need it imagine lazy folk who simply won’t work for a living, or who aren’t trying hard enough to find jobs.  Poppycock.  This may be true for a small percentage of Canadians and landed immigrants, but guaranteed this is not the norm: most people want to work; are skilled and educated enough to work; and do not want to live with the stigma of receiving welfare.

Racism being what it is in Canada, many Caucasians believe it is landed immigrants and minorities who are bleeding the welfare system dry through a lack of initiative and illegal manouevers.  Not so.  There are more Caucasian multi-generational Canadians receiving welfare (including those who are not in need of it) than there are minorities and LI’s. As subjective as my own experience is, the only people I know who rip the system are Caucasian Canadians whose family have lived in Canada for generations. In fact, many Canadians receiving welfare once belonged to the “middle class”, evicted from their homes after job loss during the start of the recession. Others do not receive welfare for more than one or two months to keep them afloat until (presumably) they find another job. watch judy graves on why welfare matters to everyone

Many people who receive welfare are known as the “working poor“.  They  have jobs but through no fault of their own, are employed part-time, or they work for the paltry minimum wage of $10.25 an hour: hardly a financial means for raising a family. In fact since Harper’s House of Horrors came to be, social assistance is nearly non-existent.  Why, you ask?  Duh.  You voted for him and then you wonder why so many hard-working Canadians ...  oh never mind.  I’ll just get all in a tizzy.  What was I saying? Oh yes. Harper’s agenda is not for individual citizens, such as you (who voted for him) and me (who did not).  It is for large, multi-national corporations, the recipients of his glorious tax breaks and other financial incentives to keep them afloat during the recent recession. Well there’s always May 2012 for you to get it right (although you probably won’t).  Enough blasting my faithful blog followers of precisely one (hi Damien).  Watch income inequality and child poverty in Canada

To receive welfare in Ontario you must earn or live on $800.00 a month or less.  The website doesn’t tell you that of course but if you want to test my theory give your local welfare office a call and inform the clerk that you currently receive $850.00 or $900.00 per month to live on. She will interrupt you to tell you that if you live on more than $800.00 a month you are ineligible to receive financial assistance. If you live on $810.00 or more you are out of luck.  In the event you do live on $800.00 a month or less you are entitled to …  not much.  You might get $200.00 or slightly more a month but you won’t be laughing all the way to the bank. Poor no more – there is a way out

Along with receiving absolute minimal financial assistance for the working poor, anything these people have in the way of financial assets has to be depleted before qualifying for welfare:  RRSPs, homes, cars.  It may seem as though this is reasonable: if you can afford a house, you can afford to live without assistance.  But is it reasonable to tell people to spend their RRSPs in order to receive social assistance?  What happens when it is time to retire?  They must continue to ask for more assistance and never get off the treadmill.  How about a car?  If a person needs a car to get to work where they make that $10.25 an hour, how will they be able to hold a job after selling their cars? Ditto houses.  Rentals are not cheaper than ownership depending on where a person lives. Like it or not, everyone needs shelter. watch homeless middle class

The Canadian welfare system is not designed with dignity in mind. Nor is it designed to truly assist anyone.  If assistance comes with the price tag of losing one’s retirement security, transportation and shelter in a safe, secure part of town, I’m betting many people would hedge their bets on going hungry and losing sleep at night over their bills, if they’re lucky to avoid eviction.  In Canada, it’s a better guarantee for one’s well-being.

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March 13, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Finance, money, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Didn’t Deliver the Goods Against American Poverty

In 2009 Obama declared that it was corporate excess that accounted for the economic crash in the U.S. of A.  People backed him, believed his claims that America’s problems “would be met.” In fact he was elected on that promise. But in 2011 Obama lost control of Congress and has been reduced to compromising with the Republicans – America’s corporate regime. Newt Gingridge, a Republican Presidential candidate, actually forwarded the idea of reinstating child labour in America, declaring that children in really poor areas “have no work habits…what if they mopped the floors and cleaned the bathroom.  And you paid them?”  Perhaps the Republicans could model Gingridge’s proposal after child labour laws of the Industrial Revolution, where children worked a minimum of 12 hours a day, worked dangerous jobs, held the same responsibilities as adults yet were paid far less?  That ought to bring down the American deficit and keep the poor happy in the process, in spite of a surge in youth health problems and a decline in secondary school enrollment. Watch A Hidden America:  Children of the Mountains

Equally impress is Robert Rector’s claim that where the poor are concerned “half of poor people have computers. about 40% of them have widescreen HD TV’s, they have totally adequate food to eat.”  Where are these poor located?  In the documented homeless people’s hotels? The water-logged tunnels beneath Las Vegas?  The tents that are springing up across North America? The lines at food banks and soup kitchens?  Rector would have us believe that the concept of poverty in America is a huge conspiracy: perhaps there needs to be a distinction made between the poor and the abject and homeless poor in America, but both classes of poor certainly exist.

There is indeed the working poor: people who work their 40-hour + work week but cannot afford both food and rent.  They must rely upon the scant assistance of welfare programs to increase their income to a figure where both shelter and food is possible.  However, new clothes, Christmas gifts, regular meals are unheard of in these homes.  These people live at the poverty level (in Canada this is approximately $26,000.00 a year total household income).  Try raising a family on that number.  If there are computers in these homes, they must have been donated to organizations such as the Goodwill.  If there are 40-inch HD TVs I’ve never heard of them.

I work in a high needs community: average income is probably in the minimum wage or slightly higher range.  The community is filled with subsidized housing and even these homes prove challenging for families to afford.  New clothes for children are a rarity. Participation in school trips can and does become a financial issue and these trips cost as little as $15.00: the cost of a bus ride and admission to the Metro Toronto Zoo, for instance, at a school discounted rate. This is the situation for people who have jobs. The abject poor are those who live in tents and hostels. For them, even a full meal a day is a blessing. We offer a free breakfast program to needy children in our school for a reason. Read Speakers Announced for Childhood Poverty Forums 

Perhaps the increased poverty rate is a direct result not only of continued job loss in America but also the type of attitudes displayed by Gingridge and Rector.  Power and Republican should never appear in the same sentence:  it’s a death knell for poverty-stricken Americans.

March 2, 2012 Posted by | Finance, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cult Phenomenon Series 1 The Breatharians and Diet Coke (again)

CULT MEMBER

a very suggestible, gullible person (sucker)

  1. an outcast and loner (loser in life)
  2. weak or no family ties (daddy had boundary issues)
  3. transient person (homeless)
  4. desire for power
  5. Internet followers find easy, virtual access

 

 

CULT LEADER

  1. desire to exert power and control (bully)
  2. narcissistic/sociopathic
  3. validated by the admiration and dependency of others (Blanche DuBois comes to mind)
  4. mentally ill or have a  personality disorder (who would have guessed)
  5. unrealistic life plan – no job, frequently states “the Lord will provide” (unmotivated)
  6. secretly afraid of being “found out”
  7. goal is the total enslavement of victims  Read Profile of Cult Leaders

The Breatharians are a group of utterly delusional people who believe they do not need food or drink to survive.   They are a cult but not one that is grouped together into one creepy, old church or in a corner of northern Guyana. They have shares in Dentyne gum…just kidding. Watch Mr Breatharian. Some of their beliefs include:

  1. Eating has little to do with hunger or nourishment .
  2. Many people are drawn to food that causes physical suffering thus mirroring emotional suffering.
  3. Bodies don’t have to age and there doesnt have to be a time-limit on a person’s life. So all those midwestern Americans are right about Elvis.
  4. People only need the sustenance that comes from light nourishment. So turn on the lights and suck in those calories.

JASMUHEEN

The “goddess” of the Breatharians is an aging, grey-haired woman named Jasmuheen (Ellen Greve), one of the biggest con women the world has ever known.  One of her claims is that in relation to aging she has “discovered an ability that lets me “psychicly see” things on cellular, chemical, and vibrational levels.” Another claim is” I crave for some specific food item perhaps once every two weeks, and will eat the specific amount that I need, or half a mouthful if it is liquid.”And my personal favourite, “I can go for months without having anything other than a cup of tea.”Watch universal laws with jasmuheen

 

She was revealed as a fraud on Australian 60 Minutes in a hotel experiment. 60 Minutes holed Jasmuheen up in a comfortable hotel 24/7 without food or water. day 2: symptoms of acute dehydration, stress and high blood pressure. Jasmuheen claimed it was polluted air.  day 3:  she lost over 14 lbs in weight. day 4 the producers stopped the experiment since Jasmuheen was facing kidney failure. Jasmuheen’s teachings led to the deaths of 3 followers. Jasmuheen’s sensitive response was that a victim was “not coming from a place of integrity and did not have the right motivation.”  watch breatharian fail jasmuheen 60 minutes

WILEY BROOKS

Wiley Brooks is founder of the Breatharian Institute of America. In 1983 he was reportedly observed leaving a Santa Cruz 7-Eleven with a slurpee, hot dog and twinkies. He told Colors magazine in 2003 that he periodically breaks his fasting with a cheeseburger and a cola, explaining he’s surrounded by junk culture and junk food, and that consuming them adds balance. He claims polluted people cause him to have difficulty in adjusting fully to the Breatharian diet. Hey, excuse us for farting now and then. He insists that Diet Coke is “liquid light”(He ought to read my blog  . watch breatharianism – Wiley Brooks on the tomorrow show with tom snyder  That said, I’m going to pick up a copy of Jasmuheen’s more ridiculous of her Breatharian books (coin toss), make a bologna sandwich and a slurpee, and settle in for a good read.  watch prezi jasmuheen and the breatharians

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, BullCrap, Health and Wellness, Human Biology, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

21 Proactive Ideas for Government to Prevent Child Abuse (and 14 Ways You Can Too)

Children’s Services and the Children’s Aid Society are the reactive, temporary “solution” to the abuse of children in North America. What good is it to finally remove an indelibly emotionally scarred child from a chaotic environment, only to shuffle that child off into the foster care system or worse, return the child to the same abusive environment? That happens more often than you might think. Why?

Child abusers have rights and a long history of them too. No kidding. They have legal rights that are quite powerful. When the abuser appears in court after completing a rehabilitation program, presents evidence from therapists that s/he is no longer a danger to children then that person returns home and the child is often returned not long after. The return of victims to dysfunctional households is also due to a shortage of foster homes. It’s a sad irony that many foster homes are  no answer to the original home: which is the worst of two evils? Read The History of Child Abuse

In the article The History of Child Abuse by Lloyd deMause he describes the abuse and neglect of children from a psychological viewpoint:

...using children as what I have termed poison containers–receptacles into which adults project disowned parts of their psyches, so they can control these feelings in another body without danger to themselves.
In good parenting, the child uses the caretaker as a poison container, much as it earlier used the mother’s placenta as a poison container for cleansing its polluted blood. A good mother reacts with calming actions to the cries of a baby and helps it “detoxify² its dangerous emotions. But when an immature mother’s baby cries, she cannot stand the screaming, and strikes out at the child. As one battering mother put it, “I have never felt loved all my life. When the baby was born, I thought he would love me. When he cried, it meant he didn’t love me. So I hit him.”

There is another perhaps more powerful expanation for this ongoing societal problem: politics are not about the protection of children or families. They are about money-making, commercial enterprise, international relations and wars, and on and on. But politicians easily turn a blind eye towards this intimate social issue. To be sure socio-political change is incredibly slow. It takes time, years usually and sometimes decades to draft and re-write bills, eventally enacting them as laws.  Even then certain laws are not adhered to for at least a generation since law enforcers aren’t trained to make them a priority.

As a result the laws that are currently in place deal with abuse in a reactive rather than a proactive manner. In other words first the abuse is established and proven, then Child Services steps in to try to undo that damage and offer tenuous protection at best. The manner in which society should work is to enact stricter laws thereby propogating social norms that discourage and generally prevent child abuse from happening in the first place. It’s not a perfect solution of course. The concept is far from 100% reliable but certainly it is worthy of consideration.

A lack of physical and emotional support from family and others in the community accounts for a significant number of child abuse cases. Consider a new, young, single mother left alone with her crying infant all day. If she is estranged from family or her family is not interested or unable in offering her physical relief from her child her frustration and distress is bound to increase. With that squalling child always present who is she likely to lash out at? Many of these young mothers do not want to harm their babies. They are as horrified as those of us reading about their crimes after the fact. But a lack of assistance and emotional support can directly result in child abuse. Watch video Never Shake a Baby Educational Video.

Proactive prevention sounds like a monumental task and it is. I don’t profess to have all the answers and the suggestions I have listed are simply that: suggestions. I realize a number of them may not be realistic and I don’t have the complete answer as to how to put these ideas into place but hey, it’s an effort to start people thinking at least. Incidentally when we consider government reform don’t even think about voting Progressive Conservative in Canada or Republican in America. They’re all about big business and nothing else. You’ll never win their support in proactive prevention of child abuse and law reformation.

  1. Mandatory parenting classes – every expectant mother and father ages 25 years and under should have to attend government sponsored parenting classes before or immediately after the arrival of their baby with an in-depth look at the incredible challenge a new baby brings into a family. A baby brings a considerable adjustment to a family. Discovering how mentally and physically exhausting nurturing a crying child can be is a genuine shock. Young parents do not fully understand what caring for another human being 24 hours a day and perhaps a better grasp of imminent change may prove helpful. Professional guest speakers such as The Red Cross and other agencies that educate the public about preventing child abuse should offer free services.
  2. Mandatory weekly visits from a public health nurse or social worker for the first 3 months of an infant’s life with written reports by these professionals forwarded to the family’s physician and kept on file within the public health offices.
  3. Community aftercare – associations and non-profit organizations where new parents may bring their infants, attend on their own, or simply telephone for advice especially during critical parenting moments.
  4. Government sponsored babysitting services – In Sweden daycare costs $1 a day for every family. No kidding. Our social services programs should include agencies where parents may leave their child at least twice a week at no expense or at least on a reasonable pay scale based on salary, for a number of hours or a complete day, in order to have a physical and mental break from their child.
  5. Crisis Lines and Volunteer Visitors – for emergencies when a parent is losing control and needs immediate help before tragedy strikes.
  6. Political Reform – we need a lot more funding for the agencies that have to intervene after the fact. The Children’s Aid Society of Simcoe County District of Central Western Ontario nearly closed in 2009 due to lack of funding and donations. That shouldn’t happen. There is simple not enough money going to the protection of children and assisting dysfunctional families. Raising taxes isn’t necessary. Appropriating existing taxes to the kinds of services I’ve listed above and any other proactive action is the answer.  
  7. Legal Reformation – its more than time to trash outgrown child abuse laws and put in place a much tougher system to prevent child abuse from happening rather than simply enacting consequences on parents after the abuse has begun.
  8. Mandatory School programs for children from K – Grade 12 informing children of their rights to a loving, safe home, and how to get help if they are being abused.
  9. Ongoing mandatory drug testing – for known users registered with the police.
  10. Temporary boarding schools for children in potentially dangerous or dangerous homes. Foster care is not the answer. A school that is regulated by certified therapists and educators is much safer.
  11. Province-sponsored paternity leave – so women aren’t always the only parent permitted to remain home with a new baby. Watch video Paternity Leave in Sweden.
  12. Visible reminders about new laws and regulations protecting children – signs in bus depots, on billboards and other public areas. The more the better since it unconsciously reinforces the law and the message in people’s memory.
  13. Continual advertisements on television regarding child abuse reformed protection laws and information on agencies to assist parents who are in need of assistance in raising a child.
  14. Legal reformation concerning poverty-stricken communities. Typically people who live in poverty-stricken areas rely on subsidized housing and food banks. There is nothing wrong with this in terms of helping unfortunate people. The problem is poverty-stricken regions are rampant with drugs and prostitution, negative influences on young parents and their children. Certainly prostitutes and users have children. Their parenting skills are generally non-existent. Poverty is an extremely large and complex issue to address but it has to become a priority with governmental reform in order to reduce child abuse in significant numbers. (Picture above is Toronto’s inner city).
  15. Mandatory removal of infants from the homes of mothers under the age of 18 for adoption. There may be exceptions in this situation, for instance, if the young mother lives in a supportive, loving environment with caregivers who will help her to parent the child. Otherwise the child of the immature mother should be put up for adoption by government services. Since human rights will become an issue the adoption in some cases could be an open adoption.
  16. Free daycare facilities for young mothers attending college or university.
  17. Significantly subsidized postsecondary education for single mothers.
  18. Free birth control.
  19. Free abortion services.
  20. Free post-abortion group therapy for women needing emotional support.
  21. Free medical services post-abortion to prevent or treat medical complications.

Do some of these measures seem harsh? They are meant to: if you want to prevent rather than merely react to child abuse then you need to be tough. You’ve heard of the organization Tough Love Parenting . I don’t agree with some of their philosophies but it reflects the attitude we need to take when preventing abuse. Where abuse is concerned the gloves have to come off.

Now it’s our turn as concerned citizens to prevent child abuse:

  1. Volunteer your time and money for programs in your community that support children and families, like parent support groups or day care centers.
  2. Become an active fundraiser for Children’s Services, parenting agencies, educational organizations etc.
  3. Offer to help new mothers you know by baby-sitting at no cost.
  4. Be as non-judgemental as you can. It’s tough to witness an abused child but we don’t know the entire situation. Many parents were raised in the same manner and truly don’t see their actions as abusive.
  5. Befriend a young parent. If you can keep an open mind without accusing a new parent who admits to abusing her or his baby you will be able to intervene a lot more than if you react with revulsion. Clearly you have to report the situation but you can also become a supportive partner and accompany that person to parenting classes and other educational support groups.
  6. Report abuse when you suspect it to Children’s Services or the police, even if you aren’t certain about it. You can do this anonymously.
  7. Befriend neighbourhood children. Call them by name, have brief conversations with them and treat them as people, not “little kids” you have no interest in.
  8. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister. Watch video Big Brothers Big Sisters Information video.
  9. Foster or adopt a child.
  10. Teach your own children about recognizing the signs of child abuse.
  11. Teach your children how to deal with being bullied and how not to become a bully.
  12. Assist schools in organizing anti-bullying campaigns.
  13. Establish a Child Abuse Prevention Month within your organization or community.   
  14. Watch video 100 Ways to Prevent Child Abuse PCA-NJ 2010 Ad Journal

There are many terrible long term effects of abuse on children. Although this child’s reaction is extreme it is the direct result of child abuse during the first 19 months of her life. Watch video Child of Rage – The Documentary (Part I). Such personality disorders do tend to develop in many children as a result of child abuse and neglect. RAD (Reactive Attchment Disorder) is typical. The child cannot trust or love anyone because s/he has been betrayed and hurt all of their lives. Borderline Personality Disorder and Antisocial (Sociopathic) Personality Disorder are typical personality disorders that result from child abuse. They are lifelong disorders and by the time the child is into her/his mid-teens it is virtually impossible to undo this damage. Sadly, for many of these children when they become adults and have their own children the cycle begins again. Watch Powerpoint Presentation An Examination of a Controversial Mental Health Phenomenon: Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder) **triggering**

Read Blog Children of Rage – Beth Thomas and Mary Bell
Watch video Dr Phil – Who’s Watching Your Kids May 13 2008 Part I
Watch video Shaken Baby Syndrome  **explicit**
Read Child Abuse Prevention
Watch video Child abuse. What is child abuse. ideas to stop child abuse.
Watch video Today’s Family presents Prevent Child Abuse America
Watch video 6 Minutes that can Change your Child’s Life (And Yours!)
Watch Video Petarded

  

 

November 4, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment