Wednesday, 24 February 2010

(less than) Wacky Wednesday

Hello www,

I trust that you are all well? This is short a post to let you know that I am still alive as I haven't blogged in a week or so. Today is a less than inspiring day for me compared to the one I had on Monday with AW! Fun times...

At the moment I am listening to my new Alicia Keys CD and I'm loving it! One of my faves is called 'This Bed' because of the beat and because it makes me WANT to dance.




Thursday, 11 February 2010

Sterilisation for women addicted to drugs and alcohol?

Good ole Wrighty has alerted to me a very interesting topic of conversation this morning. Put simply, there is an organisation in the US which offers a cash payment for the sterilisation of and provision of long term contraception to women addicted to drugs and alcohol because of the long term negative effects on children born in these circumstances.

It appears that this discussion has arisen out of a recent BBC Radio 4 broadcast which you can listen to here (very compelling listening!)

So what do you think?

Is a $300 payout to an addict a fair offer? It seems that these women will be motivated by the money which Project Prevention offers them and make choices which, in their state of mind are not fully conscious. Listening to Barbara Harris, the founder of the organisation, I get the feeling that her heart is in the right place and that she is genuinely concerned about the welfare of unborn children of addicts as she is an adoptive parent of four children of a Los Angeles addict.

However, it has been argued that she appears to be playing God, deciding which sectors of society are 'good enough' or 'socially undesirable' (as quoted by Fergal Keane) individuals to produce children. The argument (and her critics) has even gone as to far to argue that she is an advocate of and supporter of the theory of Eugenics preaching Nazi ideals.

Too far?

What about the addicts?

The Wright stuff panel argued that perhaps the focus should also be on the addict mothers and their rehabilitation. They pointed out that while it may be honorable of Harris to think of unborn children and the medical and financial implications involved with caring for these babies, that the mothers ought not to be essentially 'baited' by $300 which they would probably use to fund their habit thus not tackling the issue from the origin. Harris said when questioned about the financial incentive,

"...We know the money is the bait... We know the money is what gets them. We know in most cases that they're probably going to spend the money on drugs but that's their choice. The babies don't have a choice."

The babies don't have a choice. She's right. Going with one of the central prinicples of the law involving children, the best interests of the child are of paramount importance when considering decisions which could have an effect on a child's life. Does this apply to unborn children?

Where does the funding come from?

As hinted at in the interview, some of this funding comes from individuals or extremist organisations who have a racist outlook on things and think that black people have a more relaxed view on contraception and child rearing. However, according to Harris, the views of the donors is not what the issue is and she will continue to accept donations from whoever provides it, as the overall purpose overrides the issue of where the money comes from. Is it not surprising then that she is accused, of being racist as accepting donations from racist or extremist organisations may be seen as condoning their views? As one half of a bi-racial couple, it could be said that she is not racist but she fails to recognise how the acceptance of certain donations could be viewed by the public.

An organisation called 'National Advocates for Pregnant Women'(NAPW) which works to protect the rights and dignity of pregnant women and those which are most vulnerable due to ethnic background, low income or drug abuse, contains commentary and testimonials on the Project Prevention ideas and one commentor and former addict said,

"... thank goodness I had not met Project Prevention founder Barbara Harris when I was in active addiction, because I may have taken her up on her offer and missed out on the beauty of having children."

(see further comments and information here )

I think that Project Prevention and its proposals sound like a reasonable idea(in some cases) but feel that more focus should be more on rehabilitation and therapy for these people as simply by not having children, will not work to resolve the drug addiction...

I find this so interesting and would be interested to hear what others have to say so feel free to comment!



Wednesday, 10 February 2010

No man is an island

Hello folks!

It's late and I've been thinking about posting all day so have finally succumbed and here we go! I've been feeling strangely lonely over the past few days and this evening in particular. I don't know if thats because I've been watching episodes of the Vampire Diaries back to back or what it is...I then had the strangest compulsion to speak to one of my brothers and make sure he was okay a few minutes ago. Hmm, I've been a bit funny today.

Today I managed to send a couple of applications for paralegal jobs and one volunteering position off so I feel like my being reclusive today has not been in vain.

What a load of drivel. I apologise. I am in the strangest mood. I'm neither psychic nor able to predict the future but I get the strangest feeling. I'm sure all will become clear in the coming days...

Till next entry,



Sunday, 7 February 2010

'The Catcher and the Fly'...

...I can scarcely keep my mouth closed and my eyes open (my mouth being the catcher and the rest is self Thus forgive the inevitable drivel which may emerge from this post www. I wanted to post to acknowledge the death of JD Salinger over a week ago. His most famous work, 'The Catcher in the Rye' is not something I have read or at least I can't remember reading it but working in a bookshop, it is a book I am asked about so often, it feels wrong not to know the story. I am also very interested in reading and catching up with some of the classics I was NOT forced to read at school so I may just read it when I have dented my 'To Read' pile at home....

That said, referring to an earlier post I made about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, (no stone is left unturned here) I have finally read the book, enjoying it thoroughly! I have laughed out loud on the London Underground at parts of the story (mostly the zombie invasion and sexual innuendo) though I'm not sure what Austen would have made of this adaptation! I bought the deluxe heirloom edition (and feel rather posh for doing so dahlingss) complete with paintings of vital scenes in the story. Nice!

So whilst the catcher is getting through those flies, I had better hit the hay, make hay while the sun shines, to be honest, it's not you it's me (to use as many cliches and overused phrases as I can in my tired state)

Good night!



Friday, 5 February 2010

This is why the entity of 'celebrity' should be dissolved...

A man visibly upset at the prospect of losing access his children is probed for public scrutiny (and sick delight) Makes me feel ill. I feel for the children.




A week at home after losing my full time job (for a weekend one) and already feel like I'm losing my mind. I need a job so badly, if not just to get me out of the house away from a bad situation. I really can't take it anymore. The money of course, would be an added bonus...

Another quiet day...



Thursday, 4 February 2010

Lock up your daughters! Chain up your sons...

Yes, this is my third post of the day but I am really in a posting mood today.

I just came across this story about a Chinese Father who chained his son to a lampost outside a shopping centre to prevent the child from being abducted. Far from being outraged, I actually think that looking past the crude means of restraint, this works for this poor family who is trying to earn a living AND whose four year old daughter had been abducted weeks prior. To Western eyes, this may seem like child cruelty but as child abduction is a big worry for the family, this is a solution. It was also reported that the family could not afford childcare. It is very easy for me in my 'so called' cushy life to point the accusing finger and question why the child was not left with relatives but we do not know the entire situation.

I think that the story was perfectly summed up by a commentor, Adrian Wright who added,

"Who should babysit for the poorest in the world?"

Sad but true.

The story and photograph are taken from:

Hey Diddle Diddle...a Castle and a Fidle(r)

I am intrigued by a story I heard on (surprise surprise) the Wright Stuff. By the number of mentions I have given that show, Matthew, I'm sure you owe me some money in advertising by now! (I accept Paypal :D)

Anyway, I digress...

Robert Fidler, a farmer from Surrey, spent two years building what can only be described as a CASTLE hidden behind some straw bales (for what reason we can't be certain) has now been told that it is to be knocked down as he did not have planning permission of some sort to erect it in the first place. Take a look and read of the story here and you will see that this is no shabby mess we are talking about! So putting the matter of permission aside, would your opinion of the plight of the building change if it was an eyesore? I don't think it should be demolished but maybe Mr Fidler ought to be fined? Why spend precious money knocking it down and rendering a family homeless?




Cakes and Mistakes

Hello Readers!

I trust that you are all well, whatever part of the world you are in...

I'm having a quiet, stay-at-home day today where I don't plan on leaving the house and probably not my bedroom either. I feel a little withdrawn and unsociable today so I will be doing just that. I've just been pottering around my room, watching YouTube make-up tutorials and haven't done much job hunting for the day (yet). When I eventually snap out of it, I'll probably do a little cooking and tidying up and probably a little ironing too. I just don't feel in the mood for much today. Didn't have that great a night's sleep last night either...maybe it's because I couldn't get to sleep thinking about a certain someone/situation for some UKNOWN reason. And I don't mean my mother either...I really don't understand why.


Maybe it's because we exchanged friendly, catch up emails before Christmas about where we are with our lives, careers etc and then when, at the start of the New Year, I replied to the conversation thread (on good old FACEBOOK...grr) he deletes his account and disappears off the radar. Nice (one) I'm not saying that's the reason, but I guess it has been playing on my mind to some extent...

(Edit) And now, as I type this, I've got some random off the street person in the place where I live (I won't call it home), changing my more-than-capable father's DIRTY bed linen (while he sits and watches and plays helpless). Nice. (two)

I apologise if this is too much information www, I just had to get it off my chest.

But hey-ho! Everyone has their quiet days right? Oooo! I completely forgot that I had the new Alexander McCall Smith book to read so I will be visiting Mma Ramotswe in Botswana sometime today also! Very much looking forward to that.

Yesterday I had a second attempt at my marshmallow and choc-chip muffins and they came out great! I think the mistake I made on my last attempt was that I had overbaked the muffins, though still in- keeping with the suggested time in the recipe. What I had not considered was that I have a fan oven and sometimes cooking in this type of oven requires less time...So I halved the time and hey presto! Moist, yummy muffins...The reason I have been cooking a lot of sweet treats lately is because I've never been great at preparing desserts or cakes in the past and always would prepare savoury things. However, on realising how easy and cheap cakes and sweet things are to make, I've become hooked. Also, at the bookshop, to raise some money for charity, we are planning to have a 'Cake Day' where one person bakes cakes or some other sweet treat and we have to give a donation before getting our greedy mitts on the goods! If it happens once a week or month, by the end of 2010, not only will be have raised some good money for charity but I'll also be the size of a small horse...all for charity's sake!

So I'm feeling considerably better now at the end of this post than I did at the beginning and I'm going to go to a few job searches and apps (ignoring the banging around going on in the next room) and then start seasoning and marinating my chicken wings for the roasting they're going to have this afternoon!

Till next entry,

Stay on the RIGHT side of the law (and off Solicitors from Hell !)



Monday, 1 February 2010

13 Year Old Rapists? Whatever next?

I know that this is a relatively new story which I originally heard from the newspaper round-up section on the Wright Stuff. I haven't posted much legal content recently and this story really interested me so I felt the need to comment. If you haven't read or heard the story you can find a report here. In summary, a 13 year old boy was convicted of raping a 20 year old female and was sentenced to only 3 years because of restrictions related to his age and the fact that he apologised.

Sorry?! 13?

I do understand that minors under a certain age are subject to different sentencing guidelines that adult offenders but 3 years seems a little inadequate. According to the article, "By law, anyone under 18 years old faces a lesser sentence for rape than an adult, and for those aged 14 or under the term is reduced further..."

I do not have the guidelines to hand but I would hope that this would be proportionate according to the severity of the act because as one of the commentors on the article suggested, Khan is potentially 'one of the rapists of the future' and if he is capable of such a disgusting act at his tender age then the thought of what he would be capable of as an adult is frightening. It also seems ridiculous merely to reduce a sentence fitting a crime committed simply because the offender comes below a certain age bracket. I fail to see how 3 years will be sufficient to make Khan see '...the error of his ways'.

However, the judge in this case, Judge Glenn has removed a restriction on the publication of Khan's name because of the severity of the offences committed. He said,

" In this case I believe there is a legitimate public interest in naming this offender. It may prove to be a deterrent to others."

Oh right. Am I the only one that thinks that the fact that Khan is only 13 is a sad reflection of the changing nature of the values of the youth of this society for the worst? I don't know how simply 'naiming and shaming' will act as a deterrent for others.

Sorry doesn't seem to be the hardest word...

What do YOU think?



Soundtrack to this post(Song I was listening whilst I was writing...the lyrics coincidentally, are unfortunate in relation to the subject matter): 'Cloud of Stink' by Biffy Clyro

Quoted from