Caitlin Moran: A Woman with No Conscience – i.e – a feminist

 

 

I get a lot of stuff coming in on the “Reader” thingymabob on my site (not very tech minded) one popped up yesterday from J4MB about an article by the has-been feminist Caitlin Moran, apparently Moran had something to say about the upcoming abortion referendum here in Ireland. To be honest, I don’t read feminist crap anymore, same shoite different decade, but, I read the excerpt from this.  I do tend to read the comments, if there are any, and invariably, they are very negative towards the “feminist perspective”, obviously peoples bullshit detectors have become more finely tuned. Anyhoo, I went and subscribed to the Times so I could read this piece of drivel. Sigh

If you want to read it, or a synopsis of it, either read J4MB https://j4mb.org.uk/2018/05/12/an-open-email-to-caitlin-moran-columnist-the-times/ or subscribe to the Times

Conclusion: Caitlin Moran is a self-serving, egotistical ignorant, ill-informed attention seeking media whore.

She penned this piece of putrid garbage and the Times published it – therefor it would seem that the Times has no problem publishing ill-informed hysterical and self-serving ego boosting diatribes by has-been feminists.

Particularly when said has-been feminist, true to form doesn’t have even a passing or nodding acquaintance with either the truth or facts – it would appear that “feminist” and “facts/truth” remain mutually exclusive terms.

The gist of this piece of garbage is that Irish women (of which I am one) are living in abject fear and terror, every minute of every day. She appears to be claiming/asserting/breathlessly declaring that all “unwanted” pregnancies are the result of a crime – rape/incest. She also appears to be peddling some ridiculous tripe about ‘respecting motherhood’ !

There is also some sideways attempt to castigate the “country”

“It is a cruel and unusual stance for a country to take – to insist that its women must, legally, grit their teeth and cope with whatever a single crime or mistake hands them.”

“This is not a risky change Ireland considers this week. It does not face potential economic or social peril. It is a small consequence, really: to finally, properly, respect motherhood and women.”

To be honest this garbage is so badly written, that having to wade through it and analyse whatever the hell she is blathering on about gave me a headache. It is a mish mash of hysterical bullshit and ignorant and arrogant unfounded assertions. So, lets deal with facts, shall we.

I’m going to start with “the country” on the basis that it will be Irish Citizens exercising their democratic right to vote, who will ultimately decide whether or not to repeal the 8th amendment which states:

“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

This became law in 1983.

On foot of a Supreme Court Judgement in 1992 the goalposts shifted in an extraordinary and unexpected way.

“The Supreme Court rules in Attorney General v X that a 14 year old girl, known as X, pregnant as a result of rape, faces a real and substantial risk to her life due to threat of suicide and this threat can only be averted by the termination of her pregnancy. Therefore, X is entitled to an abortion in Ireland under the provision of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution that requires the State to have “due regard to the equal right to life of the mother”.

The Court does not consider that abortion can be permitted only where the risk is of immediate or inevitable death of the pregnant woman, as this would insufficiently protect her right to life.

The law is now clear that termination of pregnancy should be considered a medical treatment whether the risk to the life of a pregnant woman arises on physical or mental health grounds. Risk to life does not have to be a virtual certainty. But risk to physical or mental health alone is not sufficient.”

https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Abortion-in-Ireland-Timeline

In 2013

“July 2013: President Michael D. Higgins signs the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act into law. The Act is intended to implement the 1992 judgment of the Supreme Court in the X case and the 2010 ECtHR in the case of A, B and C v Ireland and provide for lawful access to abortion where a pregnant woman’s life is risk. 25 public hospitals are listed as appropriate institutions where a termination can be carried out”

See Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013. http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2013/act/35/enacted/en/pdf

Chapter 1 Section 7, 8 and 9 deal with situations when a lawful medical procedure may be carried out on a pregnant woman that results in the loss of life of an unborn child.

  1. Risk of loss of life from physical illness

“Risk of loss of life from physical illness

  1. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in accordance with this section in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended where—”

  2. Risk of loss of life from physical illness in emergency

“Risk of loss of life from physical illness in emergency

  1. (1) Notwithstanding the generality of section 7, or any determination made or pending pursuant to section 13 of an application under section 10(2), it shall be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in accordance with this section in in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended where—”

  2. Risk of loss of life from suicide

“Risk of loss of life from suicide

  1. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in accordance with this section in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended where—”

In each section, there is no mention of abortion, or of terminating a pregnancy, the phrase used is ‘…….in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended…..’

In the spirit of the Constitutional equal protection given to both the life of the woman and the life of the unborn child, and in compliance with the judgement in the X case, the legislation balances the life of both in certain specified situations and where the life of the mother is in jeopardy allows medical treatment to go ahead lawfully to save that life, even if in the course of that intervention the unborn child dies.  It other words, in those situations the life of the unborn is sacrificed to save the life of the woman.

THAT is the legal situation in Ireland at the present time.

But, apart from the nutcases on either “side” of this issue, what do ordinary Irish Citizens think?

https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Public-Opinion

Generally – that abortion should be “allowed” in cases of rape, foetal anomaly, risk to health/life, including suicide. What should be noted is this, that ordinary Irish Citizens, not idealogues, not has-been attention seeking feminists, not political opportunists actually consider this ‘debate’ to be a matter of conscience, they are very conscious of the less than savoury history of this country, the vast majority of Irish Citizens in this country, on this issue want to do what they genuinely believe is the right thing.

So, using scare tactics, misinformation, or penning obnoxious screeds is self-defeating – what this will all come down to is this – is that foetus an unborn human child or not? If so, does that unborn human child deserve the protection of the law?

A tiny miniscule percentage of “unwanted pregnancies” are the result of rape/sexual assault. Of that tiny miniscule percentage an even tinier miniscule percentage of women finding themselves in that situation choose to terminate those pregnancies – the vast majority of these unfortunate women actually choose to give birth and parent these children.

The vast majority of abortions obtained by Irish women in mainly the UK over the period of 2010 – 2015 are obtained for reasons OTHER than that pregnancy being the result of rape/sexual assault.

 

These are the facts 

The RCNI (Rape Crisis Network of Ireland) collects and collates statistics on rape and sexual assault in Ireland, as part of that remit the RCNI also publishes statistics with regard to the number of pregnancies that result from rape/sexual assault.

Those advocating for a repeal of the 8th amendment to Bunreacht na hEireann 1937 (Constitution of Ireland 1937) generally use two highly emotive devices to propel this agenda. Scare stories about thousands of Irish women being made to (forced) to carry pregnancies as a result of rape to term, and even scarier stories about Irish women’s lives being in danger if they are pregnant and are refused an abortion – the tragic case of Savita Halapanavar is trotted out, notwithstanding that the official inquiry into this woman’s death concluded she died from failure to diagnose and treat her promptly for Sepsis.

 

“A post-mortem examination was performed on the 30th of October, 2012. The cause of death established by the Coroner’s Inquest in this case in April, 2013 was:

“1(a) Fulminant septic shock from E. coli bacteremia.

1(b) Ascending genital tract sepsis.

1(c) Miscarriage at 17 weeks gestation associated with chorioamnionitis.

(2) There were no co-morbidities”.

The Report Continues

“Sepsis is a common cause of death in the general population. In the United States, sepsis contributes to more than 200, 000 deaths per year. Sepsis is also the most common cause of maternal mortality identified in the UK Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiry (CMACE)2006-2008 report (2011).

Sepsis is a systemic illness that complicates severe infection which is caused by the invasion and multiplication of microbes in normally sterile sites in the body. Sepsis causes a systemic inflammatory response with evidence or suspicion (pending the results of tests) of an underlying infection. When accompanied by evidence of organ/tissue hypoperfusion or dysfunction, sepsis becomes severe sepsis. When severe sepsis is accompanied by hypotension (low blood pressure) despite adequate fluid resuscitation, a patient is considered to have septic shock. Progression from sepsis to severe sepsis to septic shock can occur within hours and correlates with increasing mortality. Early diagnosis and management is essential to reduce the mortality rate.

Sepsis is difficult to diagnose in pregnancy due to the associated natural physiological changes and this calls for efficient assessment and monitoring of the patient by the clinical team to enable them to promptly recognise and respond to the signs of infection and clinical deterioration”.

“Key Causal Factor 1:

Inadequate assessment and monitoring that would have enabled the clinical team to recognise and respond to the signs that the patient’s condition was deteriorating due to infection associated with a failure to devise and follow a plan of care for this patient that was satisfactorily cognisant of the facts that:

→ the most likely cause of the patient’s inevitable miscarriage was infection and

→ the risk of infection and sepsis increased with time following admission and especially following the spontaneous rupture of the patient’s membranes.

Key Causal Factor 2:

Failure to offer all management options to a patient experiencing inevitable miscarriage of an early second trimester pregnancy where the risk to the mother increased with time from the time that membranes were ruptured.

Key Causal Factor 3:

Non adherence to clinical guidelines related to the prompt and effective management of sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock when it was diagnosed. “

Report is here. http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2013/06/savita-halappanavar-hse-report.pdf

 

These are the actual figures from the RCNI for pregnancies that are the result of rape – as well as the choices that these women made.

 

2010http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/Pregnancyandsvedition2.pdf

In 2010 1,545 survivors of sexual violence attended Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs). Of these, a small number became pregnant as a result of rape (75 girls and women).

Range of outcomes of pregnancy for survivors attending RCCs in 2010 who became pregnant as a result of rape (%) n = 75

Of the 75 females who became pregnant as a result of rape there were a range of outcomes:

Ten survivors of rape had their pregnancies terminated

Ten survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering

Forty three survivors of rape went to term, gave birth and parent their children

Nine survivors of rape miscarried or had stillbirths

Three survivors became pregnant more than once as a result of rape and had different outcomes in each pregnancy

 

2011http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RangeOfOutcomesOfSurvivorsOfRapeWhoArePregnantAsAResultOfRape2011.pdf

In 2011 2,036 female survivors of sexual violence attended Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs). Of these, 90 girls and women became pregnant as a result of rape.

Range of outcomes of pregnancy for survivors attending RCCs in 2011 who became pregnant as a result of rape (%) n = 90

Of the 90 females who became pregnant as a result of rape there were a range of outcomes:

Seventeen survivors of rape had their pregnancy terminated

Twelve survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering

Forty eight survivors of rape went on to give birth and parent their children

Eleven survivors of rape miscarried or had stillbirths

Two survivors became pregnant more than once as a result of rape and had different outcomes in each pregnancy

See also – http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RCNI-AR+National-Statistics-2011.pdf

 

2013 – Graph 21: Pregnancy outcome for survivors (%) n = 75

8% of females attending RCCs in 2013 became pregnant as a result of rape. RCNI and RCCs support survivors’ choices, whatever they may be.

The majority of these survivors went on to give birth and parent their children (46%)

25%of the se survivors had their pregnancy terminated

15% of survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering

13% of these survivors miscarried or had stillbirths

1% of survivors became pregnant more than once as a result of rape and disclosed different outcomes for each pregnancy

See also – http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RCNI-National-Statistics-2013.pdf

 

2014 –  21: Pregnancy outcome for survivors (%) n = 53

Of the female survivors attending RCCs in 2014 who were raped when they were aged eight or over,

8% became pregnant as a result of the rape. RCNI and RCCs create a safe place for survivors to support them in making choices, RCCs support survivors’ choices. Pregnancy outcomes cannot be taken as an indication of survivor choice as the circumstances of those choices, emotionally, legally and financially often constrain rape victims’ freedoms to choose.

The majority of these survivors went on to give birth and parent their children (40%).

26% of these survivors had their pregnancy terminated.

23% of these survivors miscarried or had stillbirths.

11% of survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering.

See also – http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RCNI-National-Stats-2014.pdf

 

2015 – Graph 21: Pregnancy outcome for survivors (%) n = 53

Of the female survivors attending RCCs in 2015 who were raped when they were aged eight or over, 5% became pregnant as a result of the rape. RCNI and RCCs create a safe place for survivors to support them in making choices, RCCs support survivors’ choices. Pregnancy outcomes cannot be taken as an indication of survivor choice as the circumstances of those choices, emotionally, legally and financially often constrain rape victims’ freedoms to choose.

The majority of these survivors went on to give birth and parent their children (37%).

24% of these survivors had their pregnancy terminated.

11% of rape survivors who became pregnant had their child placed for adoption or fostering.

28% of these survivors miscarried or had stillbirths.

See – http://www.rcni.ie/wp-content/uploads/RCNI-RCC-StatsAR-2015-2.pdf

 

See also: Women From the Republic of Ireland Accessing Abortion Services in England and Wales 1980 – 2016

Source: UK Department of Health https://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Statistics

The total number of terminations obtained as a result of rape/sexual recorded by the RCNI FROM 2010 – 2015 (excluding 2012)  is c.61

Over the five years when I could find the figures, the average number of terminations obtained per year is 12.

I would posit that the majority of those terminations was obtained in the UK, bearing in mind the official statistics published the UK /government with regard to abortions in England and Wales.

Comparison of Official Statistics of Irish Women obtaining terminations in both the UK and the Netherlands with Official figures of women terminating pregnancies as a result of rape from the RCNI (Rape Crisis Network Ireland)

 

UK                              Netherlands     Total                     RCNI – (Rape)

                                                                                                Termination

2016 – 3,265                n/a                  3,265                           n/a

2015 – 3,451                n/a                  3,451                           13

2014 – 3,735                16                    3,751                           14

2013 – 3,679                12                    3,691                           19

2012 – 3,982                24                    3,996                           n/a

2011 – 4,149                33                    4,182                           11

2010 – 4,402                31                    4,433                           10

 

NB – Figures for 2016 and 2012 (RCNI) not available.

*3982 persons declared themselves residents of the Republic of Ireland in official UK Gov. figures from 2012

Putting these two figures together and comparing them statistically creates a problem – the number of abortions obtained as a result of rape/sexual assault is so small in relation to the number of abortions obtained by women declaring themselves Irish residents that the percentage is minuscule – leading to only one conclusion – of all the reasons why Irish women go to the UK for an abortion – pregnancy as the result of rape/assault is too small to produce a significant percentage.

In every year, of the small numbers of women whose pregnancy was as a result of rape/sexual assault, the majority of those women chose to give birth and parent those children. A brave and selfless decision by these women that I applaud. A decision that took courage and compassion.

To be absolutely fair to those small number of women who chose to terminate these pregnancies? I am genuinely sorry that you felt you had to do this, and I in no way condemn you for that choice. For these women I have no problem seeing or understanding the reasons for their decisions.

What I have a problem with are rabble rousing has been-feminists hi-jacking the genuine traumas of this very small number of women to propel their “abortion on demand” “abortion is a right” bullshit.

Abortion is and should be a medical solution to a medical (and yes I do include psychological trauma) crisis. End of.

A ‘crisis pregnancy’ is a pregnancy that presents a risk to the life and health of the pregnant woman – getting knocked up after a night on the razz is NOT a crisis pregnancy.

Finding out that the baby you’re carrying will not survive, or has such severe foetal abnormalities that the chance of survival is miniscule is a crisis pregnancy.

Finding out that the baby is the wrong gender is NOT a crisis pregnancy.

Anyone who has a problem with either sets of figures can take it up with either the RCNI or the UK government.

If you want a clear picture of Abortion Statistics in England and Wales, from 2012 – 2016 see below:

2012https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/statistics-on-abortions-carried-out-in-england-and-wales-in-2012

2013https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/319460/Abortion_Statistics__England_and_Wales_2013.pdf

2014https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/433437/2014_Commentary__5_.pdf

2015https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/570040/Updated_Abortion_Statistics_2015.pdf

2016https://static.rasset.ie/documents/news/abortion-stats-2016-commentary-with-tables.pdf

 

Those are the facts – do with them what you will.

The 8th amendment declares in effect that the life of the unborn child and the woman are of equal value, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 provides that in certain circumstances where those equal rights to life must be balanced against one another, that it is the unborn life that may be sacrificed to save the life of the mother

“On Friday 25th May 2018, you will be asked to vote on a proposal to change the Constitution of Ireland. The proposed change to the Constitution concerns the regulation  of termination of pregnancy.

Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, means that it is lawful for a pregnancy to be terminated only where the pregnancy poses a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. This includes a risk of suicide.

The proposal on 25th May is to delete Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution and to insert in its place that

“Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.”

(emphasis added)

https://refcom2018.refcom.ie/refcom-guide-2018-english.pdf

So, thats it – “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.” no safeguards, no caveats, no limits, no guidance – the proposed wording allows whoever is in power (on the advice of whoever exerts the greatest influence) to put into place laws that WILL NOT be amenable to Constitutional Challenge – EVER.

So, while Irish Citizens genuinely want to do the right thing and alieviate genuine suffering in certain specified circumstances, this proposed wording will leave unfettered power in the hands of legislators, lobbyists, special interests, and those who demand “special treatment” for only one half of humanity.

Ultimately it will be up to each individual to put their mark beside either Yes or No on the ballot paper, all I would ask is that you follow your conscience, and I will follow mine.

 

Is Mise Le meas

 

Edit: I added another paragraph to this article (a sleepless night notwithstanding) including the text of the proposed replacement wording to the Constitution, because I realised that without this information to consider I would be remiss.

I know from my own experience of discussions with various people over the last few months, that many people are genuinely at a loss as to how to vote, that there are more people who genuinely want to do the right thing than there are loud-mouthed, (some frothing at the mouth) nutcases screaming incoherently for one side or the other.

Repealing the 8th amendment and replacing it with the proposed wording (see above) in NOT the right thing to do – in MY opinion.

 

Advertisements

Schooldays – Best Days of Your Life: Unless Your Parents are Separated and School is just another Battleground.

 

There are 365 days in a year.

Duh! I hear you say – so what?

Well, for most children in Ireland they are required to spend a minimum of 183 days attending school if in primary school (approx. 5/6 years old to approx. 11/12 years old) and 167 days attending school if in secondary or post-primary. (11/12 years old to 17/18 years old)

“Although children are not obliged to attend school until the age of six, almost all children begin school in the September following their fourth birthday. Nearly 40% of four-year-old’s and almost all five-year-old’s are enrolled in infant classes in primary schools (sometimes called national schools). Primary education consists of an eight year cycle: junior infants, senior infants, and first to sixth classes. Pupils normally transfer to post-primary education at the age of twelve.” [1]

Summer Holidays

Schools are required to be open for a minimum of 167 days at post-primary level and 183 days at primary level. School summer holidays are not standardised and schools may use discretionary days to determine the precise start and end of the school year.”

Standardisation of the School Year in respect of Primary & Post-Primary Schools for the years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20.  [2]

(emphasis added)

“Schools will normally re-open during the week in which 1st September falls. However, the school year may start in the week prior to that in which 1st September falls if this is necessary in order to meet the overall requirement of a minimum of 167 days at post-primary level or 183 days at primary level.

You should check the exact dates with your school.

Easter, Christmas and Mid-term Breaks

The standard breaks at Christmas, Easter and Mid-term in the first and second terms for the 2017/2018, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 school years are available under Standardisation of the School Year in respect of Primary & Post-Primary Schools for the years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20,”

In other words, children from the age of about 5 years old to 12 years old spend about 50 % of the year in school – generally from about 8.45 am – 3.00 pm.

From about 12 years old to about 17 years old they spend a little less time in school – about 48%

What is the point here?

Well one of the issues facing fathers separated from their children is when they seek to obtain information about their children from their children’s schools – when they seek to exercise their rights as parents and as Legal Guardians of their children. In some cases, difficulties finding out which school their children have been enrolled in. As many fathers will know, its an old trick to yank your children out of their schools and enroll them, without your knowledge or CONSENT in another school to frustrate, disrupt, impede and prevent you, as a father, having a meaningful parental relationship with your child or children.

List of schools in Ireland [3]

A two-fold problem contributes to what can only be described as the intransigence and obstructiveness of the schools (teachers and principals) and a discriminatory attitude to these fathers, with this negative attitude being initially initiated by the mother and then endorsed by the school. This whole toxic attitude towards fathers being fed by a societal and cultural attitude that fathers don’t matter, fathers are NOT “real” parents, and fathers are to all extents and purposes “nuisances” Fathers don’t have rights, even when their own National Organisation INTO tells them otherwise. [4]

“Q. In a situation where parents are separated/divorced are both parents entitled to receive school reports and attend parent teacher meetings?

A. Each parent has a right to be informed of and to attend parent teacher meetings and to receive school reports unless there is a Court Order in place preventing them from doing so. Teachers should attempt to facilitate separate meetings if both parents cannot attend together, and should generally act in a fair and even-handed way in respect of both parents.”

The fact that the question is even asked indicates the mind-set – does it not?

The second overlapping problem is simple – too many schools do NOT believe that they are obliged to recognize the LAWFUL status of fathers as parents and Joint Legal Guardians of their children. Well one father decided enough was enough and took a case to the Equality Tribunal – and won. [5] and [6]

“The complainant had referred a complaint to the Equality Tribunal as outlined above in respect of the enrollment of his daughter in the school and this case was subsequently withdrawn following mediation. The complainant submits that he was victimised following the referral. I note that the Principal informed Ms. A of this complaint and showed her the documentation. It is my view that the Principals actions served no useful purpose other than to cause friction between the parents and to portray the complainant in a negative way. I am satisfied that this treatment together with the treatment in relation to the sports day and the subsequent request for the Court Orders constituted victimisation within the meaning of the above cited section. I am satisfied that the complainant has established a prima facie case of victimisation.”

(emphasis added)

I strongly suggest you read the judgement, what emerges is evidence of a toxic school environment created, engineered, sustained and fed by the collusion of teachers (mostly female) with alienating mothers.

Another problem identified with regard to boys and schools is that the vast majority of teachers are female – see [7] and [8]

In Ireland, we have the same skewed demographic in our schools. From:

Press Release Women and Men in Ireland 2013: Irish women are more highly qualified and work fewer hours. [9]

Economic sectors: Over a third of women at work in Ireland in 2012 were working in the health and education sectors. Women accounted for four out of five employees in the health sector and three-quarters of those at work in education. The sectors with the highest proportions of men in 2012 were construction, agriculture and transport. In primary education 85% of teachers are female while 68% are female at second-level. However women are not well represented at senior levels: 44% of primary school managers, 41% of second-level school managers and 37% of medical and dental consultants are women. (Tables 2.7, 4.7, 4.8 and 5.14).”

As you can clearly see, in both primary and secondary school’s female teachers outnumber male teachers to the extent that the percentage of male teachers isn’t even worth calculating.

Naturally enough a sideways swipe at gender equality “issues” is included – almost by default. Sigh.

“…….However women are not well represented at senior levels: 44% of primary school managers, 41% of second-level school managers……”

Ye Gods – don’t know about you but am sick to death of this shoite – boo hoo wimmin don’t get the big jobs – sniffle, whine and sob – “I’m not the boss because………………….men are mean”

First, and using the bloody CSO’s own figures – 44% of women are school managers! Eh hello – while not exactly being a math’s genius, even I can see that 44% is only 6% LESS than 50%. In effect, almost PARITY. Almost HALF.

Second – 41%! Pluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuze – again – if it was a meagerly 12% or even say 23% there might – and I mean MIGHT be some cause for a few questions – but 41% – grow up!

What is almost ironic is that contained in the same press release is the REASON for this miniscule disparity

“Irish women are more likely to have a third-level qualification than men. More than half of women aged between 25 and 35 have a third-level qualification compared with just over four out of ten men, according to the report Women and Men in Ireland 2013, published by the CSO today. Men work longer hours than women in paid employment.

Irish women, along with women from France, have the joint highest fertility rate in the EU. Boys are more likely to leave school early. Men have a higher rate of employment but also a higher rate of unemployment. Men are more likely to be in the labour force and those looking after home/family are overwhelmingly female. Most workers in the Health and Education sectors are women while most workers in Agriculture, Construction and Transport are men. Most murder victims are male and the vast majority of the prison population is male. Ireland is the ninth highest among EU27 countries for gender equality.

Employment: The employment rate for men in Ireland stood at about 76% in recent years but in 2009 it dropped sharply to 66.8% and continued to decrease over the next three years to reach 62.4% by 2012. However in 2013 there was an increase in the male employment rate to 64.6% followed by another rise in 2014 to 65.7%. The female employment rate reached 60.6% in 2007 before dropping to 57.6% in 2009 and it continued to decrease over the next three years to stand at 55.2% by 2012. The last 2 years have seen a small rise in the female employment rate to 55.9% in 2014.

Men worked an average of 39.2 hours a week in paid employment in 2013 compared to 31.2 hours for women and married men worked longer hours than married women, with close to half of married men (44.1%) working for 40 hours a week or more compared to just 16.8% of married women. (Tables 2.1, 2.8 and 2.9).

Unemployment: The unemployment rate for men in Ireland was about 5% in recent years but in 2009 it increased dramatically to 15.3%, followed by further rises over the following three years to reach 18.1% by 2012. There was a drop in the male unemployment rate in 2013 to 15.9% and another decrease in 2014 to 13.8%. The female unemployment rate, which stood at about 4% in recent years, also increased strongly to 8.3% in 2009 and continued to rise over the next four years to reach 11.4% in 2013. However the female rate of unemployment decreased in 2014 to 9.9%. The younger age groups have been most affected by unemployment, with approximately three out of ten men and two out of ten women aged 20-24 unemployed in 2013. (Tables 2.11 and 2.12).”

(emphasis added)

My general default response to whiny females complaining about not being the top dog in whatever area of employment is this – STFU – if you want to be in charge, for example, the Taoiseach, The President, whatever – here’s how you do it:

MORE PEOPLE HAVE TO VOTE FOR YOU THAN THE OTHER CANDIDATES!

If they DON’T vote for you then the reason is simple – THEY DON’T WANT TO! GOT IT? GOOD – now STFU.

Anyhoo – moving on.

So, what to do if the school your child(ren) is enrolled in is run by a gate-keeping dragon?

First, while it is reprehensible that a parent, simply because that parent is male has to prove to these witches that he IS a parent, do it.

Step 1. Get your child(rens) birth certificates. If you are or were legally married to the mother of your child(ren) get your marriage certificate as well. Having these is incontrovertible PROOF that you are, Constitutionally and Statutorily your child(ren) Joint Legal Guardian. [10]

Step 2. If you were not married to the mother of your child(ren) the situation is more complex unless you have an Order of the Court grating you Guardianship. [11]

Step 3. Print off a copy of Schools and family law: In Touch January/ February 2004. [4]

Formally write to the school, enclosing copies of the above (do not send them the original of the certs) and request that you be directly supplied with all reports etc with regard to your children. Give them the standard 14 days to comply.

Step 4. I strongly suggest, that you only include a copy of A Father v. A School (represented by Hugh J. Campbell & Co.) File Reference: ES/2013/092. [5] if the school digs its heels in and starts being obstructive.  There should be absolutely no need for you as a parent to be expected to junp through hoops to “prove” anything – nor should you as a parent be put in a position where you have to grovel  or repeatedly ask for information to which you are lawfully entitled to with regard to your own children.

For those you are now up in arms about fathers “threatening schools with legal action” I suggest you read the judgement, and take on board this:

How do think most fathers get to be excised out their children’s lives? Because the mothers of these children TAKE LEGAL ACTION to ensure that this is what happens.

If the same amount of time, money and energy was expended on reaching a Shared Parenting Agreement as is spent on this toxic exercise then these statistics would not be the norm:

The solution is SHARED PARENTING. [12]

“Shared Parenting

Is there a country with a working and effective model of Shared Parenting? Yes – Shared Parenting works so amazingly well in Sweden:

Here are some details from a presentation by Malin Bergström from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Malin’s powerful presentation showed how Sweden has, in the space of just 20 years, transformed the landscape for shared parenting. She reported that:

approximately 40% of separated parents share care 50:50, higher amongst younger children

the majority have shared care arrangements where each parent has at least 30% of parenting time

shared parenting arrangements continue to grow strongly year-in-year-out

14% of family disputes are resolved  through mediation and above all…

just 2% were resolved through courts!

Her presentation also demonstrated the considerable health benefits to children of Joint Parental Care arrangements.

Her comment on the day was “If one of my friends did not share parenting equally after separation, I would find that weird.”

How quickly can we or rather the more ponderous UK government get there? We live in hope, but the writing may be on the wall.”

Does shared parenting positively affect children? Yes.

There is a wealth of expert literature which repeatedly demonstrates that shared parenting benefits children in a huge variety of ways:

  • ‘…children in joint custody are better adjusted, across multiple types of measures [including emotionally and behaviourally], than children in sole (primarily maternal) custody.’ (Bauserman, 2002)
  • Joint legal custody is not a requirement to achieve better adjustment, but children need to spend a ‘substantial’ amount of time with their non-resident parent. (Bauserman, 2002)
  • Children with non-resident fathers highly involved in their lives have lower levels of delinquent behaviour as adolescents. (Coley & Medieros, 2007)
  • “Children in separated families fare best when they have close contact with each of their parents and all the important adults in their lives, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and family friends. And co-parenting by both mother and father should be the norm, except when issues of safety are involved.” (Layard & Dunn, 2009)
  • “On average, children are less likely to fail at school or suffer depression the more they see their separated father.” (Layard & Dunn, 2009)
  • Children who spend nights at their father’s and mother’s houses have ‘few social problems’ and ‘fewer attention… and thought problems.’ (Pruett et al, 2004)

Bauserman, R. (2002). Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements: A Meta-Analytic Review.  Journal of Family Psychology. 16(1): 91-102.

Coley, R. & Medieros, B. (2007). Reciprocal Longitudinal Relations Between Nonresident Father Involvement and Adolescent Delinquency. Child Development. 78(1): 132-147.

Layard, R. & Dunn, J. (2009). A Good Childhood: Searching for Values in a Competitive Age. London: Penguin Books.

Pruett, K., Ebling, R. & Insabella, G. (2004).  Critical Aspects of Parenting Plans for Young Children. Family Court Review, 42(1): 39–59.

Are fathers just as important as mothers in a child’s life? Yes.

“Fathers are no less important than mothers in a child’s life. The closeness of fathers to their children influences the children’s later psychological well-being, even after allowing for the mother’s influence. If fathers are more closely involved with their children, other things being equal, children develop better friendships, more empathy, high self-esteem, better life satisfaction, and higher educational achievement, and they are less likely to  become involved with crime or substance abuse.”

Layard, R. & Dunn, J. (2009). A Good Childhood: Searching for Values in a Competitive Age. London: Penguin Books.

From the Families Need Fathers website at https://fnf.org.uk/

NB I edited the text slightly without changing the content.

See this by Richard Warshak [13]

“To assess where science stands on the issue of shared parenting and overnights for young children, I spent two years reviewing the relevant scientific literature and vetting my analyses with an international group of experts. This work, published in an American Psychological Association journal, was endorsed by 110 leading researchers and practitioners.

Here are the two main conclusions: First, shared parenting should be the norm not just for children whose parents live together, and not just for older children, but also for children of all ages whose parents live apart from each other. Children need a father, not an uncle-daddy. Second, if we want to give children the best chance for normal relationships with their fathers, limiting fathering time to daytime hours until children enter kindergarten is not the way to do that.

To be sure, shared parenting is not for all families after divorce. But there’s a general consensus that it is good for many of them.

If we value dad soothing his fretful baby at 3 a.m. or reading “Goodnight Moon” to his toddler while the parents are living together, why deprive the child of these expressions of fatherly love just because the parents no longer live together, or just because the sun has set?

Richard A. Warshak, PhD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the author of “Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report” and “Divorce Poison: How To Protect Your Family From Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing.”

(emphasis added)

One of the objections to enforcing Shared Parenting as the default presumption is logistical – the “moving children back and forth” argument.

Actually, ALL of the current, legitimate and properly conducted research absolutely endorses Shared Parenting in situations where the parents don’t live together – in effect – a Shared Parenting arrangement IS – In the best interests of the child, which is the mandatorily required consideration to be applied in custody cases:

See Children and Family Relationships Act, 2015 Part V “Best Interests of the Child [14]

63. The Act of 1964 is amended by the insertion of the following after Part IV:

“Part V: Best interests of the Child: Determination by court of best interests of child.

Section 31 (j)

“(j) the willingness and ability of each of the child’s parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent, and to maintain and foster relationships between the child and his or her relatives;”

(emphasis added)

I have emboldened the most important words – bearing in mind this – these words are not aspirational, not subject to whether or not the obstructive parent is “in the mood” to co-parent. These words form part of a LEGAL requirement to be WILLING – and by your behavior and actions to FACILITATE and ENCOURAGE.

So, manufacturing conflict, creating “access” (I hate that word) difficulties, being intransigent, unco-operative, attempting to sabotage, damage or disrupt the other parents “close and continuing relationship” with his child (ren) is something the Court is OBLIGED under the statute take into consideration.

All this broo ha ha about “moving children back and forth” is a smokescreen, a cynical exercise in parental obstruction.  Any reasonable parent, who recognizes that children need both parents as parents can cut the crap, stop creating unnecessary difficulties and make it work – FOR THE CHILDREN.  It’s the attitude of these gate-keeping toxic mothers that is the problem, nothing else.

Let’s go back to the school calendar at the beginning:

Print out a calendar – make out the weeks when the children are in school, mark out the holiday periods and any other special days and sit down like two grown-ups and work out how to share the time as equally as possible between you.

If she’s being a total bitch – do it yourself and present the Shared Parenting Schedule to the Court.

What tends to work the best is one week with one parent, one week with another – if the parents live in reasonable close proximity to one another.

This shoite about kids missing out on friends etc. – this is the 21st century – kids make friends in school – then make arrangements for “playdates” in one another houses. Usually one parent picks the little rug-rats up, brings them home, they go mental for a few hours then their respective parents come pick them up.  Then the host parent has a small nervous break-down.

Or kids go to various activities – usually after school – where they have another group of friends – after this activity the kid is picked up by the parent and home we go.

What the hell is the big deal? What bloody difference does it make if one or the other parent brings the kids to dancing, to football, to whatever it is the child is involved in.

Because here’s the thing – when two parents are together, what happens is this – they each take turns bringing the kids to their activities i.e. you bring them to the swimming pool on Wednesday and I’ll bring them to the football match on Saturday.

Or, little Michael and Michelle need to go to the dentist on Friday after school, I have to go do something so you pick them up and bring them.

NOT A BIG DEAL – is it?

It only becomes a big deal when one parent is determined to excise another parent from his child’s life – then all these normal everyday parent/child things becomes a HUGE deal.

The ONLY reason for creating a big hoo hah over this (bearing in mind the child gets to go to his/her activity and gets to go on playdates with his/her schoolfriends) is the ridiculous need of one parent to “be in charge” of EVERYTHING including removing any possibility of a father having a normal boring day to day parent child relationship – dentist, swimming, football, homework, pizza in front of the TV (only on Fridays 😉) brush your teeth, do your homework, pick up your toys, stop picking on your younger brother, what do mean you need an octopus costume for school TOMORROW – usually announced at bed-time. Normal. Parent. Stuff.

So, working out the “logistics” is bloody straightforward – if you click on the Standardisation of the School Year in respect of Primary & Post-Primary Schools for the years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 link up above, you’ll note that the school calendar is more or less set till 2020!

You know when the all holidays are for the NEXT THREE YEARS! You know when your kids are in school for the NEXT THREE YEARS.

Summer – 8 weeks – 4 weeks each – options are multiple. 4 straight weeks each. 2 weeks with one parent, 2 weeks with the other parent in any bloody combination that suits both the parents and the children’s summer activities. WORK IT OUT.

Easter – two weeks – simples – one week each.

Mid- term breaks – share them.

Christmas – kids get about 2 weeks holiday – the significant days are, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St. Stephens Day. (Boxing Day in the UK)

Simples –

Year 1 Christmas Eve from 5pm to Christmas day at 3pm.  Parent 1

Christmas Day from 3pm to St Stephens Day at 3pm. Parent 2

Year 2 just bloody swap it around – work out the rest of the holiday REASONABLY.

Shared Parenting is not only workable it is essential – FOR CHILDREN.

MAKE IT WORK.

 

Personal message to women creating conflict and difficulties.

Get over yourselves – stop being a selfish self-centered bitch and put your children FIRST!

To the friends, besties, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers and anyone who knows one of these bitches – shame on you if you are standing by and letting this wretch destroy the lives of these children.

Do something, say something.

 

If any fathers out there would like to share (or publish) their stories, feel free to contact me – I moderate all comments, so just post a comment with a valid email address and we’ll take it from there. If you don’t want your comment published, just say so and I will respect your wishes.

I’m particularly interested in hearing about father’s negative experiences with solicitors practicing in Family Law – one of the things that I would like to highlight is the lack of familiarity certain Family Law Practitioners seem to have with the provisions of the Code of Conduct in Family Law Matters [15]

Or the requirements of Order 59 of the Circuit Court Rules. [16]

 

 

Slainte.

 

 

References

 

[1]  https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Primary/

[2] https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0009_2017.pdf

[3] List of Schools in Ireland

https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/Data-on-Individual-Schools/Data-on-Individual-Schools.html

[4] Schools and family law: In Touch January/ February 2004

http://www.into.ie/ROI/InfoforTeachers/ParentTeacherRelations/ParentalSeparation/FamilyLawArticle.pdf

[5] DEC-S2014-018:Equal Status Acts 2000-2012

A Father v. A School (represented by Hugh J. Campbell & Co.) File Reference: ES/2013/092

https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/Cases/2014/October/DEC-S2014-018.html

[6] http://www.thejournal.ie/equality-tribunal-school-discrimination-separated-father-2396939-Oct2015/

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8DDbE4I8Ig

[8] https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/eliminating-feminist-teacher-bias-erases-boys-falling-grades-study-finds

[9]http://www.cso.ie/en/csolatestnews/pressreleases/2014pressreleases/pressreleasewomenandmeninireland2013/

[10] https://www.birthsdeathsmarriages.ie/certificates/birth-certificate/

[11]http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/birth_family_relationships/married_couples/guardianship_status_of_fathers.html

[12] https://fnf.org.uk/publications/shared-parenting-research

[13] https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/26/divorce-shared-parenting-children-health/

[14] http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2015/act/9/section/63/enacted/en/html

[15] Code of Conduct: Family Law in Ireland.   https://www.lawsociety.ie/globalassets/documents/committees/family/family-law-handbook-2017.pdf

[16]Order 59 Rules of the Circuit Court http://www.courts.ie/rules.nsf/6cc6644045a5c09a80256db700399505/1cca506f57cc910480256d940064796c?OpenDocument

 

 

In The Best Interests of the Child: How The Courts Get it Wrong. Part 2.

 

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.

Charles de Montesquieu January 18, 1689 – February 10, 1755 [1]

 

Ostensibly we have laws that purport to treat “…all persons equally before the law…” these laws are enshrined not just in the domestic legislation of common law jurisdictions [1] (Ireland, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand to name but a few) but in international Human Rights Instruments [2] that are applicable in these individual States and Nations.

But, while it may appear that the protections of the law apply to all persons equally, the reality is different. Part of the underlying problem is, in my opinion, a reliance on assumptions, on myths, on what Dr. Linda Neilsen comprehensively rebutted in her study, (see Part 1). Further, that by default, International Rights Instruments explicitly state, to paraphrase, that children have the right to a meaningful PARENTAL relationship with both their parents, that both parents have “parental equality” by default, and Joint Physical and Legal Custody is the optimum way for parents to exercise those default equal parental rights  – yet,  sole physical custody continues to be granted to mothers, and even in cases where joint physical custody is granted, the parents are still categorized into “the primary carer” and the other or secondary parent with this secondary parents parental status characterised as “access” as “contact” as“visitation”

“My review of 54 studies on shared parenting finds that, independent of parental conflict and family income, children in shared physical custody families—with the exception of situations where children need protection from an abusive or negligent parent—have better outcomes across a variety of measures of well-being than do children in sole physical custody. Knowledge and understanding of these findings allow us to dismantle some of the myths surrounding shared parenting so we can better serve the interests of the millions of children whose parents are no longer living together.”

(emphasis added)

Presumptions, Assumptions and Cultural Language – v – Rights Language.

No doubt, as many fathers have found when participating in “legal proceedings” in particular Family Law proceedings there is a unique language and vernacular used – not only that, there is a distinct method by which decisions are reached – (Ratio Decidendi)[4] but, for many lay litigants (which is usually the case with fathers seeking “access” to their children) this “Ratio” is incomprehensible gobbledygook, legalese and goes completely over their heads.

Part of the reason for this is because (in my opinion) the judicial atmosphere is clouded by the use of presumptions, assumptions and cultural language skewed towards a distinctly female perspective and this dictates the parameters of the judicial decision making process – in other words – the language of Rights, both parental and children’s rights is obscured in favour of taking a cultural framework approach – and – without a doubt, that cultural framework, and its language is informed by a particular ideology that has no place in the decision making process that affects the long term wellbeing, safety, and welfare of children.

The rights of children get subsumed under an ideological toxic cloud of rhetoric and mythologies about “motherhood” that serves only the interests of the person manufacturing that toxic rhetorical cloud and usually her equally ill-informed and ideologically driven counsel. (say no more)

Children’s Rights

The most obvious question is of course – do children have rights?

It might seem and appear to be a ridiculous question, but, when it comes to Family Law proceedings in this jurisdiction in particular (Ireland) and in other common law jurisdictions the default paradigm through which judicial decisions are made is NOT that children have distinct rights as autonomous human beings, but that those rights are and can only be exercised with the consent of and co-operation of a litigious parent, whose very actions in making applications for sole custody and/or limited “access” to the other parent is a stance that quite clearly indicates that the child “in dispute” most certainly does not “have rights’ distinct and separate from that parent.

Giving sole custody to mothers who present as opposed to “access” who seek to limit the amount of real time “access” fathers get to spend with their children, who go to court demanding that the court endorse and sanction them with a “gate-keeping” role in the exercise of a full and meaningful parental relationship for fathers and their children should be immediately presumed as a violation of the fundamental principles of “equal parental rights” enshrined in CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Article 24 – The rights of the child

  1. Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. They may express their views freely. Such views shall be taken into consideration on matters which concern them in accordance with their age and maturity.

  2. In all actions relating to children, whether taken by public authorities or private institutions, the child’s best interests must be a primary consideration.

  3. Every child shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis a personal relationship and direct contact with both his or her parents, unless that is contrary to his or her interests.

 

Article 7 – UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child)

The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or  her parents.

Article 9

1 States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child’s place of residence.

2 In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.

3 States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to   maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.

(all emphasis added)

Mothers who persist in objecting to, obstructing, litigating against “access” should be immediately be viewed as suspect and in particular, being, not only in violation of the above mentioned provisions of law but if either “sole custody” is sought or a “gate-keeping” role in relation to “access” is sought, it should be presumed to be a deliberate intention to breach NOT JUST the parental rights of the other parent (the father) but the children’s rights under the provisions of the above mentioned Instruments.

Unfortunately, the Courts tend to only pay lip service to the concept of children’s rights, and while judges may make a passing reference to “the right of child to ………………., it gets lost under the blanket of toxic ideological fog generally created by the obstructionist, conflict generating, gate-keeping parent – in most cases – the mother.

The Illegitimacy of the Concepts of “Access to”, “Contact with” and “Visitation with” Your Children

Bearing in mind that it is the Right of the Child to “to know and be cared for by his or  her parents….” and the Right of the Child to have and “to  maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis,” I would argue that ANY application by any parent grounded on a curtailment of, reduction of, infringement of the full exercise of those rights BY THE CHILD, is ab initio unlawful, fundamentally flawed and in breach and violation of he provisions of Article 24.3 of CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, and is in breach and violation of Article 9.3 of the UNCRC.

I would also argue that any application to curtail, limit, disrupt and/or impose conditionality, or to award a “gate-keeping” parental authority to one parent over the other parent is also ab initio a fundamental breach and violation of, in this jurisdiction (Ireland) the provisions of:

Article 40

1 all citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law.

Article 42a

1 the state recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.

 4 1° Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings–

i brought by the state, as guardian of the common good, for the purpose of preventing the safety and welfare of any child from being prejudically affected, or

ii concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

The question is, what is the underlying cultural and societal fundamental hindrance to achieving a just outcome FOR CHILDREN, when their parents no longer live together?

Answer.

Myths about women – assumptions and presumptions presented as a de facto credible basis’ for skewing “custody” to women and “access’ to men.

Bit of an aside here. I took a little look see around the internet to see what the feminists were up to, what was pushing their buttons in the here and now.

Was like Deja vue all over again – same shoite different year.

Housework???? Still whining about housework. Wage gap???? Really? Notwithstanding that this particular myth has been comprehensively discredited. I Have no intention of addressing these issues – they have been more than adequately addressed by other writers and bloggers. Though the housework thing is beyond ridiculous.

I read a few studies – and nope, couldn’t be bothered giving a link – in a nutshell, the impression created was that wimmin were, to all intents and purposes working their fingers to the bone slaving over steaming tubs of water using washboards to do the laundry. Sigh.

Guess what. Two hours ago, I threw a wash into the machine, took me all of 30 seconds, 20 minutes ago, at grave physical risk and danger, I pulled the laundry out of the washing machine and fecked it into the dryer – can hear the dryer from where I’m sitting, at my laptop, writing this.  Though, the 30 seconds it also took to feck the laundry into the dryer has me only exhausted! I may need funding for a support group to be set up so I can “share my feelings” about how random men all over world “oppressed” me for a full minute!

Seriously though.

This language of “oppression” and martyred motherhood” needs to be unpicked, rebutted, discredited – in Court – and on a basic fundamental level.

Yep – I know it sounds nit-picky but think about it – “Primary Carer” being a case in point.

Childhood lasts approximately 18 years (legally speaking that is) – the first 4 – 6 years being what I suppose could be called labour intensive – that is before this putative child goes to school., with the first two years being the most labour intensive. By which stage most children are walking, eating grown up food, possibly starting to become toilet trained. By two years old, the vast majority of children are in a routine – i.e. they go to bed by 7ish pm and they sleep till 7ish am.

In other words, by the time they’re two their routines are predictable, manageable and equally able to be carried out by BOTH or either parent(s).

But, because of the promulgation of the myth of martyred motherhood, Courts continue to give credence to this discriminatory concept of “Primary Carer” based on the notion that there are some magical, extraordinary things that women can do that men are not only incapable of doing but are genetically handicapped (by being men) from ever being able to do.

The biological reality is this – there is only one thing, and one thing only that women can do and men can’t – breast-feed. And any reasonable person will tell you, that breast-feeding is unnecessary beyond maybe 8 – 10 months (babies have teeth at this point)

Conclusion

In order for States that are signatories to the ECFRF (European Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms) the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and on individual domestic “equality” legislation to be IN COMPLIANCE with the provisions of these documents there MUST be a presumption of Joint Legal and Physical Custody of children.

There MUST be a presumption that the child is entitled to a full, meaningful and EQUAL relationship with BOTH parents, with NO CONDITIONALITY other than practical and logistical matters to make co-parenting work with the minimum of stress FOR THE CHILD.

Any parent who creates conflict around implementing a co-parenting arrangement, causes difficulties, creates obstacles should be the one sanctioned – including a loss of parenting time, and in extreme cases – loss of Joint custody, until to be blunt SHE cops onto herself, puts the child’s needs before her own selfish need to be “in control” to “set the rules” to “dictate the parameters of the other parents role” and yes I did use the word “she” deliberately – because it is nearly always “she” who causes, creates and manufactures the conflict.

Family Law judges have allowed themselves to be bullied, to be manipulated, to be hood-winked – and to be blunt – when presented with what is referred to as a “high-conflict” custody case to be emotionally blackmailed by the perpetrator – the mother, invariably.

In effect – absent mitigating factors (real credible and evidence based) Sole Custody Orders are, in my opinion – Unconstitutional, (Ireland) and in breach of the provisions of the ECHR and ECFRF.

TPAC (Toxic Parental Alienation Conflict) perpetrated by one parent against the other parent, the visible manifestation of which ARE these applications for sole custody, ARE applications for restricted “access” for the other parent, constitute sufficient mitigating circumstances to reduce parenting time, and in extreme cases loss of Joint Custody for the parent making these applications.

I draw your attention to the provisions of Section 63 of The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, [6] at ;

(i) where applicable, proposals made for the child’s custody, care, development and upbringing and for access to and contact with the child, having regard to the desirability of the parents or guardians of the child agreeing to such proposals and co-operating with each other in relation to them;

(j) the willingness and ability of each of the child’s parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent, and to maintain and foster relationships between the child and his or her relatives;

(k) the capacity of each person in respect of whom an application is made under this Act—

(i) to care for and meet the needs of the child,

(ii) to communicate and co-operate on issues relating to the child, and

(iii) to exercise the relevant powers, responsibilities and entitlements to which the application relates.

(emphasis added)

 

Part 3: In The Best Interests of the Child: Review of the Case Law.

 

References

[1] Charles de Montesquieu https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/Montesquieu/

[2] http://guides.law.sc.edu/c.php?g=315476&p=2108388

[3] European Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf

European Convention on Human Rights https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

UNCRC http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/crc.pdf

Ireland and the UNCRC https://www.ihrec.ie/download/pdf/ireland_and_the_united_nations_convention_on_the_rights_of_the_child.pdf

[4] Ratio Decidendi http://lib.oup.com.au/he/Law/chew2e/chew2e_BLG2_chapter1.pdf

[5] Irish Constitution 1937 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/en.cons.pdf

[6] The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2015/act/9/section/63/enacted/en/html

In The Best Interests of the Child…..Getting it Wrong: A Pyrrhic Victory Creating Conflict to “Win” Custody of Children. Part 1

 

 

How women manipulate the legal system and rely on judicial ignorance, judicial reliance on faulty and unsupported assumptions and “mother myths” to sever, disrupt, poison and damage Father/Child Relationships by creating a toxic conflictual environment, (which for convenience I will refer to as Toxic Parental Alienation Conflict TPAC)I contend that it isn’t the manufactured “conflict” that damages children the most – it is losing their Fathers through Family Law Judges relying on and applying the above mentioned judicial ignorance, faulty research and unsupported assumptions and “mother myths”  in judicial decision making in contested “custody” cases that causes the worst outcomes for children.

In effect – Family Law Judges who make custody decisions “in the best interests of the child” by allowing TPAC to influence erroneous decisions to award “sole custody” to the mothers creating the TPAC and “limited” or “supervised access” to Fathers are entrenching, endorsing and supporting the continuing negative psychological damage being inflicted on children.

How? By giving TPAC mothers permission to continue to cause psychological damage to children BY PREVENTING THESE CHILDREN FROM HAVING A FULL MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR FATHERS.

To reiterate – it isn’t the “conflict” that ultimately causes the most damage to the children – it is losing their fathers.

Which is not to say that that the TPAC isn’t damaging – it is – but there are two negative processes interacting here – children being used as pawns in TPAC, and the RESULT of children being subjected to TPAC – losing their Father – and yes, I acknowledge that mothers have also been the victims of TPAC – but the vast majority of parents being targeted are Fathers.

The Nature of Conflict

It is, for want of a better expression, human nature to disagree with or dispute the opinions, views or positions of other people – we are betimes in conflict with the stated opinions of other people, we express that disagreement and put forward an alternative opinion and/or view. We debate. We argue.

My mother used to say “it would be a boring world if everybody agreed with everybody else all the time” and I concur. No doubt you have all either been involved in, or observed two people in heated exchanges – usually because there is passionate disagreement – if one is unable to convince the other of the validity of your point of view, despite your best efforts, the normal adult thing to do is to “agree to disagree”

On a more mundane everyday level, human life is peppered with small micro disagreements, small incidents of conflict – I want to watch Babylon 5 (Duh!) someone else wants to watch Top Gear (Huh!) ooops – conflict. The solution is glaringly obvious……………for grown ups that is. Get another bloody television.

The point is human life is about conflict, disagreements, disputes, large, small and microscopic – we manage them, we resolve them, usually on the fly and we MOVE ON. This happens in all human relationships – ALL – including parental relationships – obviously some parental relationships are more argumentative, more tetchy, more conflictual than others – but – in the context of those parental relationships, the issue isn’t and shouldn’t be about the level of parental conflict BETWEEN the parents – the issue is – are the children dragged into these conflicts and how do the courts view this “conflict”

There is of course another more insidious underlying process in play – in TPAC the conflict is manufactured, engineered, deliberately instigated, for one purpose and one purpose only – to sever the parental relationship between the child/ren and the targeted parent – usually the father, and the children are manipulated into becoming involved in, part of, and enmeshed in this manufactured “conflict”

The fact that there is “conflict” in particular where one parent is actively engaging in behaviour’s that disrupt, prevent, impede and/or damage the other parents relationship with his child/ren, is actively seeking judicial endorsement of a curtailment of the other parents relationship with his child/ren is, in my opinion an immediate red flag – and should be. Any parent who demands that the Court sanctions and endorses a “gate-keeping” role, authority, position over the other parents relationship with his children is immediately suspect.

I’m going to pause here for a moment for a little aside and quote from Re-examining the Research on Parental Conflict, Coparenting, and Custody Arrangements: Linda Nielsen Wake Forest University: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 2017, Vol. 23, No. 2, 211–231

Empirical Basis for the Conflict Hypothesis

The assumption that, unless parents have a low conflict, cooperative relationship, the children will fare more poorly if they have frequent contact with their father or if they live in a JPC family seems to have originated from five studies in the 1980s. Twenty five to 30 years ago when these studies were conducted, it was generally assumed that children benefitted most from maximum mothering time while their parents lived together, as well as after they separated. From this perspective, restricting the children’s time with their father would have a less negative impact than exposing them to the parental conflict. The assumption was that, unless the parents had a friendly, low conflict relationship, the more time fathers and children spent together, the more conflict would likely arise. These beliefs are reflected in custody laws which have historically restricted children’s time with their fathers to every other weekend and occasional vacation time (DiFonzo, 2014). The earliest of the five studies (Johnston, Kline, & Tschann, 1989) garnered nationwide attention when cited in Wallerstein’s bestselling book on divorce (Wallerstein, Lewis, & Blakeslee, 2000) to support the view that,

Joint custody arrangements that involve the child in going back and forth at frequent intervals are particularly harmful to children in a high conflict family. Children who are ordered to traverse a battleground between warring parents show serious symptoms that affect their physical and mental health. The research findings on how seriously troubled these children are and how quickly their adjustment deteriorates are very powerful. (Wallerstein et al., 2000, p. 215)

Wallerstein’s books received national media attention for well more than a decade (Kirn, 2012). Prioritizing conflict and recommending against JPC or frequent “visitation” unless conflict was low gained further momentum in books written for family court and mental health professionals (Garrity & Baris, 1997; Hodges, 1991; Johnston & Campbell, 1988; Stahl, 1999). Johnston et al. (1989) was a pioneering study that for many years was misinterpreted and cited as evidence that joint physical custody was only suitable for parents with little to no conflict. Given its longstanding influence and the fact that its author (Johnston, 1995) has expressed regret about how the study has been, and continues to be (e.g., Shaffer, 2007) misunderstood and misused, it merits careful attention.”

NB JPC means Joint Physical Custody.

A summary of Dr. Neilsen’s research is available here and the full text of her research paper is here. Dr. Neilsen reviewed 54 studies conducted over an extensive period of time, including the one quoted from above, which has been relied on extensively to support SPC (Sole Physical Custody) decisions and more importantly, the assumptions that Family Law Judges use and are consistently trotted out to support SPC arrangements – Dr. Neilsens research empirically discredits (in my opinion) ALL previous assumptions in relation to SPC decisions, and the erroneous and flawed thinking upon which those decisions have, and continue to be made with regard to the custody of children.

From:

10 Surprising Findings on Shared Parenting After Divorce or Separation: Linda Neilsen

  1. In the 54 studies—absent situations in which children needed protection from an abusive or negligent parent even before their parents separated—children in shared-parenting families had better outcomes than children in sole physical custody families. The measures of well-being included: academic achievement, emotional health (anxiety, depression, self-esteem, life satisfaction), behavioral problems (delinquency, school misbehavior, bullying, drugs, alcohol, smoking), physical health and stress-related illnesses, and relationships with parents, stepparents, and grandparents.
  2. Infants and toddlers in JPC families have no worse outcomes than those in SPC families. Sharing overnight parenting time does not weaken young children’s bonds with either parent.
  3. When the level of parental conflict was factored in, JPC children still had better outcomes across multiple measures of well-being. High conflict did not override the benefits linked to shared parenting, so JPC children’s better outcomes cannot be attributed to lower parental conflict.
  4. Even when family income was factored in, JPC children still had better outcomes. Moreover, JPC parents were not significantly richer than SPC parents.
  5. JPC parents generally did not have better co-parenting relationships or significantly less conflict than SPC parents. The benefits linked to JPC cannot be attributed to better co-parenting or to lower conflict.
  6. Most JPC parents do not mutually or voluntarily agree to the plan at the outset. In the majority of cases, one parent initially opposed the plan and compromised as a result of legal negotiations, mediation, or court orders. Yet in these studies, JPC children still had better outcomes than SPC children.
  7. When children are exposed to high, ongoing conflict between their parents, including physical conflict, they do not have any worse outcomes in JPC than in SPC families. Being involved in high, ongoing conflict is no more damaging to children in JPC than in SPC families.
  8. Maintaining strong relationships with both parents by living in JPC families appears to offset the damage of high parental conflict and poor co-parenting. Although JPC does not eliminate the negative impact of frequently being caught in the middle of high, ongoing conflict between divorced parents, it does appear to reduce children’s stress, anxiety, and depression.
  9. JPC parents are more likely to have detached, distant, and “parallel” parenting relationships than to have “co-parenting” relationships where they work closely together, communicate often, interact regularly, coordinate household rules and routines, or try to parent with the same parenting style.
  10. No study has shown that children whose parents are in high legal conflict or who take their custody dispute to court have worse outcomes than children whose parents have less legal conflict and no custody hearing.

These findings refute a number of popular myths about shared parenting. One among many examples is a 2013 study from the University of Virginia that was reported in dozens of media outlets around the world under frightening headlines such as: “Spending overnights away from mom weakens infants’ bonds.” In the official press release, the researchers stated that their study should guide judges’ decisions about custody for children under the age of four. In fact, however, the study is not in any way applicable to the general population. The participants were impoverished, poorly-educated, non-white parents who had never been married or lived together, had high rates of incarceration, drug abuse, and violence, and had children with multiple partners. Moreover, there were no clear relationships between overnighting and children’s attachments to their mothers.

My review of 54 studies on shared parenting finds that, independent of parental conflict and family income, children in shared physical custody families—with the exception of situations where children need protection from an abusive or negligent parent—have better outcomes across a variety of measures of well-being than do children in sole physical custody. Knowledge and understanding of these findings allow us to dismantle some of the myths surrounding shared parenting so we can better serve the interests of the millions of children whose parents are no longer living together.

Dr. Linda Nielsen is a professor of Adolescent and Educational Psychology at Wake Forest University. She has written numerous articles on shared parenting research and is frequently called upon to share the research with legislative committees and family court professionals. For copies of her research articles contact nielsen@wfu.edu

So, TPAC creates, manufactures, engineers and feeds the conflict, damaging the children subjected to it, and the Courts sees this “conflict” and award SPC to the perpetrator, the instigator, the manipulator, further causing psychological distress and damage to these already burdened children, and the circuit is complete.

The alienator has achieved her object – destroyed the relationship between the children and his/her father, and basking in the glow of victory, sweeps out of Court with a smirk – the children are……..collateral damage. She won!

Family Law Judges believe they have achieved a “reasonable and just outcome”………………..in the best interests of the child.

Feminists, their twisted acolytes and enablers cheer yet another victory over “the patriarchy” and all’s well with the world, alternatively they pen this rubbish. Sigh. I know.

From: “… HE’S JUST SWAPPED HIS FISTS FOR THE SYSTEM” THE GOVERNANCE OF GENDER THROUGH CUSTODY LAW Author(s): VIVIENNE ELIZABETH, NICOLA GAVEY and  JULIA TOLMIE Source: Gender and Society, Vol. 26, No. 2 (April 2012), pp. 239-260 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.

“In Anglo-Western countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, state interventions to “assist” parents who cannot agree on postseparation care arrangements are informed by the welfare principle, better known by the seemingly simple phrase “the best interests of the child.” As others have pointed out, the welfare principle is notoriously indeterminate; what is in the child’s best interests is open to interpretation and contestation (Boyd 2003,2004,2006; Collier 2006; Coltrane and Hickman 1992; Fineman 1988; Kaganas and Day Sclater 2004; Rhoades 2002, 2006; Smart 1997; Smart and Neale 1999a).

Partly as a result of attempts by a global fathers’ rights movement to reassert entitlements to children, the welfare principle is currently defined in terms of an ongoing relationship with both parents. This understanding of a child’s best interests is associated with a shift to joint legal custody, which accords the rights and in theory the responsibilities of parenthood to both parents irrespective of the nature of their relationship, and the rise of joint physical custody—a situation that includes a wide variety of care arrangements for children, all of which generally involve children spending time in the physical care of both parents.

In Australia and an increasing number of U.S. states, emphasis is placed on equal shared parenting, which entails children spending approximately 50:50 time in the physical care of each parent.

In this article, we treat the intervention of custody law, framed by both custody legislation and the actions of various family law professionals, including judges, lawyers, mediators, psychologists, counselors and social workers, in the lives of separated parents as an instance of the governance of gender (Brush 2003).”

Though one of my favourite quotes from this “research” is this:

“Indeed, Rekha Mirchandani (2006) on the basis of her research on a domestic violence court in Salt Lake City, Utah, claims that state institutions can be transformed into feminist regimes that challenge “male dominance in the home” by undermining men’s prerogatives in relation to their partners and children.”

The irony of the authors use of the words “entitlements” and “men’s prerogatives” has not escaped me, nor you I would imagine.

So, “best interests of the child” is to all intents and purposes the new mantra of Family Law Courts, notwithstanding the authors of HE’S JUST SWAPPED HIS FISTS FOR THE SYSTEM” THE GOVERNANCE OF GENDER THROUGH CUSTODY LAW………etc  contention that “……what is in the child’s best interests is open to interpretation and contestation…….”

“In Anglo-Western countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, state interventions to “assist” parents who cannot agree on postseparation care arrangements are informed by the welfare principle, better known by the seemingly simple phrase “the best interests of the child.” As others have pointed out, the welfare principle is notoriously indeterminate; what is in the child’s best interests is open to interpretation and contestation (Boyd 2003,2004,2006; Collier 2006; Coltrane and Hickman 1992; Fineman 1988; Kaganas and Day Sclater 2004; Rhoades 2002, 2006; Smart 1997; Smart and Neale 1999a).”

Actually – it isn’t – in contention – by legitimate unbiased and responsible persons working in the area of child welfare. But, feminists do so love their vague wishy washy, woozly, “what the hell is she talking about” “research” “I’m just going to pull a load of figures out my ass and present them as legitimate research to support whatever twisted and ideologically driven “theory” I have subscribed to”

Nor, I might add, is it a vague and ephemeral concept in law.

In The Best Interests of the Child…..How The Courts Get it Wrong. Part 2.

Part 2 on Monday.

 

 

 

Rory Hearn on Austerity

“Ireland’s austerity ‘success’ is no model for Greece

GREECE is being told to follow Ireland’s crisis solution of harsh austerity and acceptance of bank-and-bailout debt. This narrative conveniently ignores that the Irish ‘recovery’ has been built on major human rights violations and the undermining of long-term social and economic development.

Health spending has been cut by 27% since 2008, resulting in an 81% increase in the number of patients waiting on trolleys and chairs in emergency departments.

There is a dark side to Ireland’s ‘success’ that requires discussion about the most effective responses to financial and fiscal crises.

The eight austerity budgets between 2008 and 2014 involved €18.5bn in public-spending cuts and €12bn in tax-raising (revenue) measures. Key public services, in particular health and housing, have been weakened as a result.

Public service staff have been reduced by 10% (37,500). Health spending has been cut by 27% since 2008, resulting in an 81% increase in the number of patients waiting on trolleys and chairs in emergency departments. One-third of all children admitted to hospital suffering with mental-health difficulties have been put in adult wards and the waiting lists for youth mental-health services have increased to 2,818 people.

Funding for local authority housing was cut from €1.3bn, in 2007, to just €83m, in 2013. This meant a loss of 25,000 social-housing units. This is a major contribution to the homelessness crisis, with 1,000 children and 500 families now living in emergency accommodation in Dublin. Because of the decision to prioritise bank recapitalisation and developer debt write-down, homeowner mortgage arrears have escalated.

There are 37,000 homeowners in mortgage arrears of over 720 days, and legal repossession notices were issued to 50,000 homeowners.

The cuts to welfare have had devastating impacts.Affected areas include lone-parent supports, child benefit, youth payments, fuel, back-to-school clothing and footwear, rent supplement, and disability and carers’ allowance.

But charges were introduced where they did not exist before — putting a further burden on lower-income households. These charges are ‘regressive’, in that they were not tailored to income level. These include water, property, school transport, prescription, A&E and chemotherapy charges. Fees have effectively been reintroduced at third-level (increasing from €1,000 to €3,000). This will have major implications for participation rates from lower-income households.

Funding for local community development, youth organisations, drugs prevention, family support, and to combat rural and urban disadvantage was disproportionally hit. Programme funding was reduced by 50%.

We are likely to see the long-term social impacts of these cuts in the further exclusion from the labour force of youths in disadvantaged areas. Issues of drugs and crime will surely worsen.

An EU report on the impact of austerity showed that the quality of secondary- and primary-level education has also been reduced, with fewer teachers, rationalisation of teacher/student support services, and the abolition of school grants.

The report links early school-leaving to austerity measures, which are highly concentrated in low-income areas. This, along with the cuts in funding to third-level, will seriously damage our education system, the core of the country’s economic development.

Hundreds of thousands of families and children have been pushed into poverty. The child-poverty rate rose from 18%, in 2008, to 29.1%, in 2013.The deprivation rate increased from 26.9%, in 2012, to 30.5%, in 2013, while for lone-parent families it has risen to 63%. Food poverty affects 600,000 (up 13.2%). Austerity has also devastated rural areas and small towns, with unemployment levels remaining much higher in the south-east.

In one of the most disturbing pieces of research into the impact of austerity, UCC and the National Suicide Research Foundation found an increase in self-harm rates of 31% in men, and 22% in women, between 2008 and 2012, while the male suicide rate is 57% higher (that’s 500 additional deaths). They cited a number of factors, including reductions in public expenditure, cuts to welfare, substantial healthcare cuts, falling house prices and personal debt.

Capital expenditure on important public infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, roads, transport, broadband, water and wastewater was drastically reduced, by 60%, between 2008 and 2014.

Such spending on infrastructure is the bedrock of sustainable and competitive economies, and the lost decade of investment in these will leave Ireland’s economy much more vulnerable into the future.

Don’t forget, also, €17bn of our national pension reserve — which was available to fund infrastructure development and future pensions — was put into the bailout.

The commitment by Irish governments to pay all the bank- and crisis-related debt will damage our long-term social and economic development, and result in ongoing crises in health, housing, and mental health, and in rising poverty and inequality. This is because funding that should be going to these much-needed public services will, instead, be going on debt interest payments. Debt interest payments rose from €2bn (3.4% of tax revenue), in 2007, to a staggering €7.5bn, or 18% of all tax revenue, in 2014. These interest payments will enforce a form of permanent austerity in the coming decade.

Then, there is the often-forgotten issue of forced emigration. Almost 10% of Irish young people emigrated during the recession and emigration worsened as austerity intensified. It rose from 20,000, in 2009, to 50,000, in 2013. Without emigration, the unemployment rate would be 20%.

Finally, almost half of Ireland’s dramatic increase in GDP is from multinational activity, which does not take place in Ireland.

Thus, much of Ireland’s growth is based on facilitating some of the most profitable global corporations and financial services in reducing the tax they otherwise would have to pay to countries across the world. This is an unethical, unfair, and ultimately unsustainable form of economic activity.

It is clear, as highlighted by a recent assessment by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, that austerity hit the most vulnerable and marginalised the hardest in Ireland. But there was, and remains, a choice about how countries such as Ireland and Greece, and the Troika, respond to debt and financial crises. Debt relief is an important option, as is taxing the wealthy, financial services or higher incomes, rather than taking it from public services, the poor and middle-income earners. The Troika and Irish governments favoured the latter and we can see the human misery and economic damage caused, as a result.

The Irish austerity-and-recovery model is being misrepresented on the international stage and should not be followed by Greece or other crises countries.

The Irish case actually points to the human and economic necessity of debt relief and alternative approaches to fiscal crises.

Dr Rory Hearne is a lecturer in the department of geography and faculty of social sciences at Maynooth University

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved”

 

 

 

http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/irelands-austerity-success-is-no-model-for-greece-340662.html

 

 

 

 

 

My Note – What he said 🙂

Knowledge – v – Information

 

 

We live in an information age apparently; everything about everything is available literally at the tips of our fingertips. Yet – we know very little about anything worthwhile.

Let me try to explain.

Information is merely the flat shallow recitation of what is or isn’t as the case may be, knowledge is a multilayered, multifaceted deep understanding of why and how something is or isn’t.

Information can be manipulated, manufactured, corrupted and twisted to suit a particular purpose – knowledge requires looking beyond information, dissecting information, peeling back layers of information to reveal the source and motivation of the giver or disseminator of that information.

Information merely requires the passive acceptance of this flat, hollow and carefully constructed edifice of “facts” “theories” and “analysis” knowledge demands a more proactive challenge to this “information” acquiring knowledge means being willing to look beyond the surface and question so called “truths” or “facts”. Acquiring knowledge means being willing to discard information, reject the validity of information, including information upon which one has built one’s external place in the vast sea of humanity and the internal psychological scaffolding we have constructed to allow us to navigate and filter all the information, both sensory and otherwise that bombards us continually.

Setting our internal filters to accept only those pieces of information that maintain this internal psychological scaffolding in place allows us to sail through our lives without ever having to challenge ourselves, make ourselves uncomfortable or question the very basis upon which we anchor ourselves in the here and now.

Knowledge requires an inner journey fraught with peril to our carefully constructed psychological scaffolding – information allows us to coast through life, both external and internal, without questioning the journey, the destination or the means of travel.

I have been pondering on several clichés that seem to have acquired deep purchase into the zeitgeist and are expounded with monotonous regularity. One of which is that “life is complicated” bizarrely pointing to the technological advances and hyper technology within which modern societies conduct the business of human interaction. As if, the more “hi-tech” a society is, it follows that this society is also extremely complex and “advanced”

Actually “modern” society is savage, superficial, tawdry and shallow – the driving impetus behind the vast majority of “modern” societies is greed, selfishness, vanity and egotism – hardly what one would call “advanced” not from a human evolution perspective that is.

Look around you – what do you see?

A world of mass consumerism, a vast sea of humanity almost permanently attached to some piece of “technology” that most have no clue about how it works (including me by the way) waves of “information” pouring out from this “technology” and embedded in all this “information” carefully crafted “messages” designed to mould and steer the consumers of all this “information” in a certain way – passively.

Let’s just take a moment to reflect on something rather bizarre – 100 years ago – not actually that significant an amount of time historically speaking, human beings, despite the more environmentally perilous nature of society were actually healthier. Mentally and physically.

Yes, I know – infant mortality was high, life span was shorter and life was tougher – I am not disputing that in western societies infant mortality has plummeted and life span has grown longer – nor am I disputing that living has become less an exercise in survival and more an exercise in staving off boredom – for some.

Now, compare the technological advances to the actual state of humanity.

100 years ago people were striving to improve not just their physical environment but their intellectual environment – there was a seething desire to know – to understand – to learn.

Today? Hmmmm.

When the doings of an intellectually challenged nitwit “celebrity” invariably female, dominate all sources and avenues of “information” and the hysterics of yet another coven of brain dead females about the shirt a scientist who has just achieved an amazing technological feat is wearing is deemed of more importance than said scientists achievement – then you know – you must know that humanity has been and is not evolving – but de-evolving.

Let’s go back to the original premise of this piece for a moment – the difference between knowledge and information.

All of the great thinkers of humanity have invariably been male – note to feminists – shut up whining and pay attention.

As I said – all the great thinkers of humanity have been male – from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle to Roger Bacon and Thomas Aquinas to Emile Durkheim and Emmanuel Kant – and they addressed that eternal question – to paraphrase – the meaning and purpose of life (yes – I know it’s more complicated than that) in effect the big questions.

But – before they did, they spent many years in study and reflection and contemplation – they spent time thinking, acquiring and testing information to achieve knowledge.

What is significant to note is that, not only the ones I mentioned above but many many more produced what are referred to as seminal works – the distillation of the knowledge they had strived to acquire. Invariably one or two works of such significance that the content is still being discussed today.

Time to mention feminism (did you all think I’d forgotten about the toxic influence of feminism?)

If there is one thing that distinguishes feminism from all if not most “theories” or “belief systems” it is the sheer volume, the unending deluge, the unabated outpourings of unadulterated crap that feminism has produced. A positive avalanche of ……………………verbal diarrhoea, and it never stops, does it?

And all of it on one singular topic – being female. A biological accident of birth over which no-one has any control. One is either born male or female and that is out of the hands of either of the two human beings who contributed the genetic material to create this new human being.

But – before we get off track – the question to be asked is – why the need for such a deluge of “information”? Why the need to keep regurgitating and spewing out the same “information” over and over and over again?

Simples. To hide the paucity of knowledge and insight into the human condition in this deluge of “information” to disguise the shallowness and superficiality of feminist “theories” and of course to deaden and neutralise any desire to question all of this crap by its sheer weight and constant and interminable repetition.

There is of course another agenda in operation – for almost six decades the western world has been inundated with this crap (feminism) in order to deflect attention away from another agenda – the neo-liberal agenda to consolidate and bring under the control of global entities all the worlds resources, including controlling the flow of all this “information”

Feminism is and was the perfect vehicle through which to exert this covert social, political and cultural control – because if there one thing feminism is good at, in fact is excellent at – it is spreading stupidity, passivity, damping down intellectual curiosity, numbing the desire for knowledge, narrowing the psychological filters of a human being to such an extent, that only the carefully constructed “messages” get through.

It sounds like feminism is a bigger player in all this than it really is – yes and no – feminism is merely the mask, the vehicle, the delivery system – but it did harness, corrupt and twist deep seated impulses embedded within human beings in order to find purchase in the cultural and political frameworks of western societies.

Sounds like it’s all over for humanity doesn’t it?

No, it isn’t. Human beings are naturally endowed with curiosity, with a desire to know – why? How? Human beings are also naturally endowed with an inbuilt bullshit meter – you can deaden it, you can trick it, you can even turn it off in some people – where they will in effect literally believe anything – and I mean anything – you tell them.

But – as someone once said:

“You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”

The second thing to note is this – I believe that human beings also have a deep-seated desire to move forward, to improve, to harness and understand the positive and find ways to defeat and diminish the negative – be it poverty, hopelessness, despair – but above and beyond all that, human beings have an almost visceral need and desire to be part of a community of human beings.

Both feminism and neo-liberalism working in concert have elevated the cult of the individual and the cult of selfishness and self-absorption to epic levels.

Neo-liberalism emphasises and lauds the separation and disconnectedness of human beings – the dog eat dog mentality – and feminism emphasises the inward looking, egotistical, shallow and vapid female-centric world view that creates an imbalance, a toxic fracture in human relationships, solidifying and entrenching the neo-liberal agenda – it has become a vicious circle.

Yet – both these agendas emanate from a small elite of persons exercising social, cultural and political control over a larger majority upon whom this control rests.

The thing is – the vast majority of people are actually “not like that” selfish, avaricious, egotistical, shallow and mercenary.

Now – don’t get me wrong – yes indeed huge numbers of people exhibit those kinds of behaviours, and particularly some women, those behaviours have been assiduously encouraged and cultivated, nor am I excusing or justifying those behaviours – but – it goes against the grain for some of them – they are acting out their social conditioning – following their programming – consciously and deliberately to be sure.

What is feeding this behaviour, what is creating the conditions, the societal and cultural conditions that allow this behaviour to prevail is a manifestation of the deliberate and conscious fracturing of the bridge between information and knowledge.

Acres and acres of information filling up every corner of the human psyche in a never-ending stream, layers and layers of data, of “facts” of “slogans” of “theories” of “messages” with no pause.

Ask yourselves – is there any time during the course of your day when you are not being bombarded with “information”? TV, Radio, Internet, iphone, magazines, newspapers, you name it.

I personally don’t watch television or listen to the radio, except in the car – I use the internet to access only a few things, mostly for research but I do have some sites and blogs that I visit regularly – I don’t use facebook or twitter and I certainly don’t feel deprived or starved for “information”

As far as I can see – most of the “information” out there is complete unadulterated crap, and I have zero interest in it.

With regard to feminism – this last year has seen a definite and accelerating souring of attitudes to feminism and feminists, and because of the innate stupidity of the vast majority of feminists they have countered this turning away by becoming even more toxic and insane (if that was even possible)

My personal feeling is that the conversation has moved on – humanity is moving on – or at least is struggling to do so – the tactics of feminism merely indicates a frantic desire to pull everybody backwards – to drag the conversation back down into the cesspit of feminist control.

With regard to the neo-liberal agenda, the other side of the toxic social control coin – this is actually being thrown into stark relief here in the Republic of Ireland – we are literally trapped in the grip of this agenda in an unrelenting and vicious cycle.

But – they have gone too far here – they have awakened a sleeping beast – every day more and more people are waking up and rejecting the programming – all the programming – including feminism – over the last couple of months I have met and spoken to one feminist – every other female I have spoken to has vehemently rejected feminism – in quite trenchant language I might add J

What is very significant is that alongside this awakening is a renewed enthusiasm for knowledge, for understanding, and for putting into context raw information, rather than simply accepting and internalising this “information” undigested, unquestioned and unchallenged.

Because of its intertwined relationship with the neo-liberal global agenda feminism is also coming under more intense scrutiny – a process that began to gather momentum with the advent of the internet and is now unstoppable.

If I had one wish it would be this – disengage from the trivial, unplug yourselves from the never ending conduit of asinine and pointless “information” streams – including endless TV and create space, time and silence for the acquisition of knowledge and understanding.

You don’t have to know every tiny inconsequential detail of every tiny inconsequential event that happens in the world, but if you allow yourself to think, to challenge yourself then you can begin to see that most of frenetic activity around you is pointless and is merely a ploy to engage you in said activities to distract you from the broader picture then from there you will see the patterns of control emerging from the shadows – if you can see it – you can begin to disengage from it.

 

Slainte

 

We Had A Dream…….Once

 

We had a dream once – as a nation – we dreamed of freedom, we dreamed of shaking off the yoke of tyranny and oppression.

We dreamed that we could lift our heads up, reclaim our heritage and step forward into the future as a sovereign nation of equals.

On 24th April 1916 a declaration was made on the steps of the GPO in Dublin – it was addressed: To Irishmen and Irishwomen, and it spoke of our aspirations, of our heartfelt wish to be free.

“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.” [1]

(emphasis added)

Today almost 100 years later that dream lies in ruins, we do not control our own destiny, we are not free, and our people are suffering, our young people are leaving, creating not just an impending demographic crisis, but a State where the pool of “taxpayers” is far too small to sustain even the most basic level of services. We are getting a taste of what that is like right now as we speak – but – it will get worse. Unless we change it.

“Youth organisations in Ireland are warning that the number of young people emigrating could be devastating for the country’s economy.

On Wednesday, they will meet politicians in Dublin to demand that more is done to tackle the problem.

Around 300,000 people have left the Republic of Ireland since 2009 – many of them young and looking for work – and tens of thousands more say they are also likely to leave unless the economy starts to improve.” [2]

Because that’s all we are now, taxpayers – not citizens, not human beings – TAXPAYERS – merely a means to an end – and the end is to keep the coffers of the rich and the privileged filling up.

EMIGRATION is tearing families apart and creating a new generation of lonely older people in Ireland, a charity has claimed.

Irish charity ALONE says it has seen an increase in the number of older people at an all-time low as a direct result of their children and grandchildren emigrating.

The charity’s claims follow news last week that a record number of Irish workers under 35 are set to move to Canada after more than 10,000 Canadian visas were made available this year.

ALONE CEO Sean Moynihan said: “We have even received calls from the emigrants themselves asking us to check on their older relative.

“The children and grandchildren of Ireland’s older people are emigrating in droves, leaving behind a large huge increase in the number of older people requiring our services because their support systems have disappeared.”

EU figures show Ireland now has the highest level of emigration in Europe.

The latest Central Statistics Office figures show almost 250 people leave the country daily – one person every six minutes.” [3]

We will become a grey nation, and how will we treat our elderly citizens, those who cannot just up and leave? Well, we already have a pretty good idea of how this State already treats our elderly citizens. Our elderly people are forced to lie on hospital trollies for hours, awaiting treatment.

“You see my mother has been lying on a trolley since Wednesday morning and as I write this on Thursday afternoon, she is still there.

She’s not alone, there are dozens of others who’ve been waiting even longer.

Lourdes is a hospital from hell but don’t blame the staff. How they cope with what is a never-ending crisis is beyond belief.

But they do and because they do, the scoundrels who have failed to end this misery will allow it to continue.

Maggie Flanagan will be 94 next September and is paralysed on her left side following a stroke last year.

She led an exemplary life and raised five children alone. The youngest was just three when my father died in 1964.

She never drank nor smoked and was forced to go out to work to keep us alive and to get us through school. She was the model citizen who certainly did the State some service.

Now this great Republic can’t provide her with a hospital bed.

Maggie was brought to the Lourdes from St Mary’s nursing home suffering from pneumonia and the antibiotics were having little effect.

She is now lying on a trolley less than one metre away from a woman who is constantly coughing up phlegm.

Yes, we Irish certainly know how to look after our old folk.” [4]

Our water is and has been for many years undrinkable [5] in some parts of the State, never mind that in fact we don’t even own our own water anymore.

“During 2013 There were 57 Boil water notices and 12 Water restriction notices active in 16 Counties affecting 35,831 people. By comparison, in 2012 suppliers issued 42 Boil water notices and water restrictions affecting approximately 50,000 consumers. By The end of 2013, 19 Boil Notices and 8 Water Restriction Notices In 12 Counties remained in place affecting over 17,000 people. Notices can apply to all or part of a supply and last from several days to several years depending on the scale of works necessary to solve the issue.

In some cases notices are precautionary in nature due to inadequate treatment or failure of the disinfection system, whereas in other cases notices are put in place because E. Coli or Cryptosporidium Is detected. Also, several of the water restrictions relate to the presence of lead pipes.

Appendix 5 Provides a list of the notices in place during 2013. As Of 11 December 2014, There were 23 supplies on Boil Water Notices Affecting a population of 23,297 And 15 Supplies on Water Restrictions Affecting a population of 4,071. The Majority of the population affected by these current boil water notices are in County Roscommon and they relate to Cryptosporidium risk.” [5]

We have a housing crisis in the midst of a glut of housing lying mouldering in unfinished estates littering this land, we have children going to school hungry, and young men in crisis, in despair take their own lives rather than face another day. We have bankers awarding themselves massive bonuses while a soup kitchen – a SOUP kitchen in Sligo is forced to close. [6]

We have lurched from one crisis to another, we have watched in horror as tales of abuse and maltreatment of our most vulnerable citizens have been told, we have seen with our own eyes as corruption and malfeasance in the highest levels of government has gone unpunished, in fact we have seen the architects of our destruction awarded, been given yet more opportunities to destroy this country.

On that April day in 1916, a startling declaration (for that time) was made – we pledged allegiance to an as yet unarticulated concept – a concept that would take another 40 or so years to find purchase in the wider world – the concept of Universal Human Rights.

“The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally……..”

It would be 50 years before another martyr on the altar of Human Rights also declared – I Have a Dream. Dr. Martin Luther King said to the American people, and it resonates today for us.

“I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.” [7]

100 years ago WE had that dream – that dream has become a nightmare.

Next year in 2016 we will have an opportunity to remind ourselves of the dream our forefathers and mothers had – a nation, free of tyranny, a nation that cherishes its citizens, ALL its citizens, a nation that can hold its head up and face into the future bowed but not beaten, hopeful not hopeless, willing to put aside petty differences and ancient rivalries and embrace once more that dream.

We have been betrayed, we have been lied to, we have been almost brought to the brink of destruction by those whom we trusted, those whom we should have been able to depend on to steer us through the oft times turbulent waters of our history. Now, we the people are being forced to pay the debts of those who caused that destruction, who brought this calamity upon us – we are paying with our young people, we are paying with our tears, we are paying for the privilege of being crushed, being impoverished, made homeless, driven to despair and hopelessness.

If we could but embrace that dream again – a dream of a nation where all its citizens are valued, where that declaration that acknowledged the fundamental tenets of Universal Human Rights – that all Human beings have intrinsic worth and value – that the only requirement to be vested with Human Rights is to be a Human Being.

We’re not just taxpayers, we’re not just faceless economic units, we are Human Beings, we are Irish citizens. We’re not a faceless multitude of “burdens on the State” – we ARE the State – WE are The Republic of Ireland

Our worth as Human Beings is not dependant on whether or not we are toiling away to pay off debts we did not incur, to fund the lifestyles and cynical ambitions of corporations and greedy developers, to line the already bulging pockets of avaricious businessmen.

Being poor is not a character flaw – being rich on the backs of the poor IS. The late great Nelson Mandela said:

“Over coming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice it is the protection of fundamental human rights. Everyone everywhere has the right to live in dignity. Free from fear and oppression. Free from hunger and thirst and free to express themselves and associate at will” Nelson Mandela [8]

We had a dream once – we had hope, we had a future, our children had a future and we were willing to fight for that future – our future has now been mortgaged – our children’s futures have been sold.

The resources to fund our services were signed away in order to satisfy an agreement made in the dead of a cold September night in 2008 to save the skins of crooks and gombeen men.

But – we have as a nation survived much worse – we have endured – we are still here – our people have gone out in the world and done extraordinary things – we refuse to give up.

We will not give up – we cannot give up – we have a destiny to fulfil, almost 100 years ago we had a dream, the time has come to make that dream a reality, to build a nation that;

“……guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally……..”

In our national anthem [9] the last line of the 1st chorus – in English says

“we’re children of a fighting race, that never yet has known disgrace, and as we march the foe to face, we’ll sing a soldiers song”

The foe we face is among us, the enemy is inside our gates – 100 years after we articulated our dream of being free we will have an opportunity to reclaim that dream, to start again, to fulfil our destiny.

My fellow Irish men and Irish women, and all those who call this land home, in the words of Dr. Rory Hearne from NUI Maynooth;

“A century after rising up and (partly) freeing itself from hundreds of years of colonization and associated enforced famine and oppression, Ireland has once again become a colonised state. Its sovereignty and the dignity of its people, its natural resources and public assets having being handed over to financial and corporate capital (big business) by the Irish political establishment and management classes.

From Irish water, publicly owned land, to the Corrib gas field in Mayo, our fisheries, our wind, motorways, housing, welfare job supports, community services, public transport, health services – they are all already, or are in the process of, being privatised and sold off to the control and ownership of private corporations and their wealthy owners. The most grievous forms of re-colonisation and abandonment of the principles of the Republic took place when the Irish people bailed out domestic banks, developers and the European financial system.

As a result, the people suffered massive austerity and the national debt has reached the point whereby a fifth of all tax revenues are now paying debt repayments rather than much needed public services. People are being evicted from their homes and made homeless or suffering from exorbitant rent and mortgage repayments in order to satisfy the profit seeking of the banks (including state owned AIB), and this is being worsened as NAMA and the government enable international property vulture investment funds to buy up swathes of Irish homes and land, irrespective of the short and long term social impacts. The Euro financial system and associated treaties such as the Fiscal Treaty have removed much of Ireland’s sovereignty.

For example, Ireland is restricted in its ability to borrow or increase investment in vital public services and infrastructure because of EU Treaty and Euro financial rules. Germany and the core European countries are dictating the imposition of austerity across all countries.

How is Ireland still a sovereign, independent, country in this context? How can the will of the Irish people be expressed and translated into practice through their democratically elected government? In a way, Ireland has become a neo-colony of neoliberal capitalism, US multinationals and the EU.” [10]

Dr. Martin Luther King articulated the only answer possible for both us and any nation that finds itself crushed under the heels of faceless bureaucrats, corporate bullies and sycophantic politicians.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.”

We must once more become “a risen people” and throw off this new yoke of oppression and tyranny and throw out those who enabled it.

From Bunreacht na hEireann 1937 (Constitution of Ireland)

Article 6

All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good.”

(emphasis added)

It is time. It is way past time we took back what was taken from us – squandered, given away, sold – “ownership of Ireland, and [to] the unfettered control of Irish destinies

 

 

References

[1]Poblacht Na hEireann

http://www.irishfreedomcommittee.net/HISTORY/1916_Proc.htm

[2] Irish youth groups warn of emigration crisis 29 May 2013

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22698740

[3] Ireland’s new ‘lonely’ generation as emigration increases By Siobhan Breatnach on March 25, 2014

http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/irelands-new-lonely-generation-one-person-leaves-ireland-every-six-minutes

[4] Pat Flanagan: Kenny’s response to our A&E shambles is truly sick

http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/news-opinion/pat-flanagan-kennys-response-ae-5241354

[5] From the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Drinking Water Report 2013

http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/water/drinking/Drinking%20Water%20Report%20Web.pdf

[6] Soup kitchen in Sligo forced to close over toilet red-tape; Tuesday, December 16, 2014

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/soup-kitchen-in-sligo-forced-to-close-over-toilet-red-tape-302677.html

[7] I have A Dream – Dr. Martin Luther King.

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1951-/martin-luther-kings-i-have-a-dream-speech-august-28-1963.php

[8] Nelson Mandela – make poverty history.

http://www.makepovertyhistory.org/extras/mandela.shtml

[9] National Anthem – Abhrán na bhfiann/A Soldiers Song

http://www.irish-folk-songs.com/irish-national-anthem-lyrics-chords-and-sheet-music.html

[10] The Irish water war, austerity and the ‘Risen people’; An analysis of participant opinions, social and political impacts and transformative potential of the Irish anti water-charges movement; Dr Rory Hearne, Department of Geography, Maynooth University, April 2015

https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/sites/default/files/assets/document/TheIrishWaterwar_0.pdf

Previous Older Entries