Archive for Social Changes

Confused About American Politics

Posted in Parenting, Personal Thoughts, Politics, The World with tags , , , , on May 18, 2017 by Neal

I’m not looking to start a flame war or fight but I’m confused by American politics at the moment. Now I know a lot of people weren’t expecting Donald Trump to win the presidential election, so it was a bit of a surprise to many I’m sure. He had some very controversial policies and views during the campaign which caused serious concerns amonst not only Americans but the world at large. A lot of hype comes from the media and assorted action groups on social media so you need to be cautious of what you read. After all “fake news” or “alternative facts” seem rampant these days. 

What has me stumped is the complete lack of respect for President Trump. Sure a President or Prime Minister cops a certain amount of flak and disrespect from various people and groups during their time in office. Comes with the job. Yet things started before Trump’s inauguration. Sure some will say that President Trump has not earned the respect of the people because of his actions but are they basing that on the man or the position? From what I’ve seen the position of President of the United States carries a certain amount of automatic respect with it. You may not agree with governement policies or actions but you pushed that aside for a moment when it came to the president. The best example I’ve seen of a backlash for presidential-disrespect, was when the Dixie Chicks made this comment during a concert in 2003

“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas” 

The backlash they got for that was extreme. They had boycotts, sponsorship losses and a long list of threats against them as well. Bit excessive for expressing an opinion. Perhaps views on freedom of expression and speech have changed over the last 15 years?  I know social media makes it easier to get your word out into the world. 

As I said I’m a little confused by all this but perhaps it’s just my views that make it confusing for me. President Trump has a style and approach that none have ever seen in a president so perhaps that is changing the political and social landscape of the world. Just some ponderings for consideration. 

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What A Messed Up World – part 1

Posted in Parenting, Personal Thoughts, Politics, Religion, The World with tags , , , , , on April 17, 2017 by Neal

Who hasn’t heard of sponsoring a child? You’ve probably walked past sprukers in shopping centres or seen donation tins at the counters of stores. There are a wide range of NGO’s that help children in less developed countries with food, clothing and schooling. All stuff we take for granted. These organisations help improve the lives of children, their families and their communities with stuff we take for granted. After all everyone in the world should be able to buy fast food and throw away most of it because it isn’t what you really wanted to eat, able to leave the tap running into the drain while arguing over which celebrity wore a particular dress better, complain that there isn’t a single thing to wear despite having several wardrobes full to the brim and not to forget that school is so dull and why do I need a job when I can get a government hand out? 

The sad part is some people actually behave and think like this. We are supposed to be the more developed countries yet we act like children most of the time because we have access to everything and more than we need. The real catalyst for my ramblings is a radio add I heard this morning for child sponsoring. It wasn’t for Somalia, India, Rhowanda or any of the normal countries in dire need of assistance. No it was for a country that I had never figured would need child sponsorship, Australia. 

This got me thinking which is always a bad idea. In particular I was stunned that poverty levels in my own backyard were so bad. I’m not deaf or dumb to the way things really are. The media goes on about statistics and figures which seem to just smoke screen a lot of the real issues. Governments can spend millions on a royal enquiry for this or that but can’t support community shelters. Hundred of thousands can be spent on exclusive state dinners but funding the school breakfast programs is too much of a burden for tax payers. There are thousands of children that are being miss treated by their peers simply because money is now the biggest factor in their lives. Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke was derided for his pledge that “no child will live in poverty by 1990”. Yet after 30 years, assorted governments and global situations there is an increasing number of children every day being affected by poverty, something they have no control over and should never have to worry about in the first place.

I know that there are a wide range of problems, causes and solutions but when did the lucky country become so desensitised to the common person (would use common man but that starts a whole arguement of sexism) and their plight? When did the have nots outnumber the have lots by a billion to one? The sad part is that there is no easy solution to this problem. To tackle things on such a large scale would require a lot of time, planning, money and compassion for others. 

That being said I am guilty of allowing our finances influence my children. The stress of juggling bills and income tends to bleed out from my control and affects my kids. I remember telling myself when I was younger that I wouldn’t allow money matters to trouble me or my family like it troubled my parents. Don’t get me wrong we never lacked anything but the stress of running a small business and family at the same time took more of a toll on my parents than I ever could know. 

What I want to stress is that children should not be troubled by the burdens of poverty in a country with as many opportunities as Australia. They should be allowed to be children and not grow up to think like an adult before they’re old enough. The same for developing countries, children should be happy and not wondering if they will eat at all today. If you can help someone please do so. It doesn’t have to be financial, sometimes a random act of kindness can help remove the cloud of doubt that hovers over us for a while. If you have loose change then give to charities or if possible sponsor a child. 

Remember: you can’t move a mountain intact, but you can chip away at it one rock at a time. Change the lives of others with one deed at a time.