List of Previous Titles

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Parents in Disgrace

I have to shine some light on a story that broke during the past ten days which reflects very badly on parents at a school in Mallorca attending their children's little league football game. As too often happens the fathers disagree with a call by the referee and that starts a melee.

This particular group of parents were not the first to do this, and sadly they will not be the last. I understand how tempers become frayed very quickly when your child is involved. These are not bad people doing bad things; they are mothers and fathers losing their usual cool where they think their children are getting a raw deal. I get that and I am not putting my oar in to cry them down. That would be too easy and assumes I'm more holy than everyone else.

I have never made a spectacle of myself at one of my son's games, I am glad to say, so I don't have empathy from that angle, but I do understand that little league games come with a high degree of emotions from all parents and I think it should be recognized when attending said games and resolving to control one's self. It's bad enough when supporting your adult home team.

A group of parents fighting in front of their children makes for really horrible television, let alone setting a really bad example for the children. This group of parents were hauled before a judge and were given the "opportunity" to apologise for their behaviour. Most did so with arms firmly crossed across their bodies indicating to me that their voices did not correspond with their body language.

After that nasty event they must now go back to working in cooperation with the teachers in the making of policy for the wellbeing of the school. How's that going to work? I think it will take some cool heads to prevail but parents you must remember to bring out your best effort in being a mature adult and to put this sad episode behind you.  

When your children are engaged in competitive events we need to remember that they are the children and you are their parents with sophistication and maturity. Try, try, and  try very hard to let that come shining through.

Do it for your children!

Copyright (c) 2017
Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Mexico Drug Struggle - Why?

Mexico is a state like Columbia which seems to be controlled by the drug lords. Mexico does have a healthy export industry manufacturing cheap goods and exporting them to The United States for sale to consumers. The goods go North and the cash comes back. However, along with the legitimate trade Mexico  also unintentionally does a roaring trade in sending tons of drugs North to feed the addiction of an ever growing market. Americans seem to think that the taking of recreational drugs is their right and it would appear that The United States is right back to the era of prohibition of alcohol, and we all know how that turned out.

There are two drugs that are perfectly legal. They are alcohol and tobacco. In spite of the best efforts of stalwart people who thought they had the very best interests of the country at heart, the prohibition against alcohol was overcome. Now, people destroy their livers or die in automobile related crashes because they have impaired their judgements, or worse those who died were innocent victims of someone who was driving while drunk. Still, we seem to be willing to accept such happenings as a price of driving.

In taking illegal drugs, and some legal ones as well people die from bad batches or overdose themselves and die, but the rest of us, except old stogies like myself who stay away from all that crap, don't get bent out of shape. People will smoke cigarettes, they will drink alcohol and they will take dangerous drugs and kill themselves if they wish, so it seems apparent the so-called war on drugs will never be won by the government unless it decides to make the substances legal and subject to a strict code in their manufacture and distribution.

Meanwhile, Mexico fights a literal war in the streets and the jungles against the illegal drug industry, and it fights hard to stop the flow of drugs across its border into The United States of America. Now, as a reward for all their hard work and loss of life of their sentinels the new American administration is picking on Mexico to demand that they build a wall and pay for it when so much contraband simply passes through the official border crossing anyway.

I always blame the consumer for buying the drug products in the first place. If we were talking about smoking cigarettes the easy way to counter this is by not getting started. I did get started because it was the done thing at the time. There were no warnings against it and it was the social thing so I wanted to be seen as Cool, and so I started. Fortunately I came to my senses and quit cold turkey. This year I am celebration my 52nd anniversary since I stopped smoking, however, I can only say that I am a recovering smoker. All it would take  is for me to get stinking drunk and be offered a cigarette and I would be off again.

No matter how good a drug makes you feel you have got to know that this is going to end very badly. Drugs generally are addictive, or they lead to addictive substances. Alcohol is also not a good thing. It may or may not be addictive to each individual but it changes your behaviour by bringing on a loss of control. Under such conditions people often do things they come to deeply regret later.

So, I was wondering why does Mexico try so hard to protect the American consumer when that person does not appreciate it? Why doesn't Mexico simply do nothing to fight dealers on its own streets? Since the drug lords are interested in the export of their products into other countries, which creates employment in Mexico, and a Tsunami of money comes pouring back over the border into the Mexican economy, why bother?

That seems to me to be a very good question?

Copyright (c) 2017
Eugene Carmichael

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Life seems to be all about time. The fact is that time is an artificial construct of man for our modern society which is run by the clock. We need to know when it is time to go to sleep and to wake up. When is it time to leave our homes to go to school or to work and when is it time to return home. In the meantime if we are at school there will be a time specific to learn about this, and about that, and a time for a break, and to eat, and to be collected at the end of the school day so that we return to our homes and to continue our studies in the completion of our homework.

Our parents most probably spend their days at their place of work. They too are governed by time in executing certain work for clients which is charged to the client, which is where the saying comes from that time is money. We need time to organise our day as we allot a certain amount of time for meetings or client lunches.

Time is king in determining our deadlines to get things finished on a timely basis. Time is a hard taskmaster. It is relentless in driving us forward and ensuring that our employer gets their money's worth. Time is how we keep track of the length of time we have been alive, and when we finally die our time among the living will be summed up.

Time is used as a form of punishment so that should we offend seriously enough against society's norm we will be removed from society for s specific period of time to be made to waste a valuable period of time in our lives. The one thing no mere mortal can do is to give more time to a fellow human being than the 24 hours in a day that has been allotted each person. However, the way in which we use that time is up to each individual.

We quickly come to realise just how artificial time is when we retire from our careers. Suddenly time has less importance. Should we choose to live out our retirement lives by fishing or gardening time will have very little value at all. The more relaxed we become in our retirement the more we realise the days slip away and we go from one day to the next without being aware of exactly what day of the week it is, nor have we a clue what the date is or even the month, and we have to check as to the year from time to time.

If you are a person living on the plains or in the jungles or mountains time is something vague that you look to the moon and the stars and the sun for guidance as to when to plant and reap your crops. The last thing a prisoner needs to be reminded of is the time but so many prisons are located near chiming clocks, perhaps as a tease to their prisoners

Perhaps it is some kind of natural defence in nature that those of us who are elderly lose the need to know the time because when time is running out for us we would really not be reminded every minute of the day.

And now it's time that I close this because it's my siesta time.

Copyright (c) 2017
Eugene Carmichael.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Big Difference

This past week a man was seen by police driving erratically and was made to pull over. He stepped out of his car and started talking gibberish and acting strangely. Then he suddenly produced and air rifle and fired a shot at the policemen. No one was hurt as the man simply drove off but the policemen, demonstrating great bravery followed him as he led them to his house and barricaded himself inside.

The police discovered that he was a man who was suffering with severe mental problems that he kept under control by taking his meds, but obviously he was off his medication which was making him act with diminished responsibility. The house was surrounded by armed sharpshooters and a negotiator took over trying to get him to lay down his weapon(s) and to surrender. Negotiations  went on for hours until the man finally was worn down and practically fell asleep when police charged the house and brought him out where he promptly did fall asleep in the back of the police car.

The force of men were then stood down and neighbours allowed to return to their homes without anyone having been killed or even hurt. All congratulated one another on the successful outcome and the man has now been returned into care as he is clearly a danger to members of the public and to himself.


Same man, same scenario but if it took place Anywhere, Unites States of America the man would have most probably been gunned down where he stood when he fired at police, or if he did make it to his home it probably would have been razed to the ground by heavy machinery and he would have died from so many bullets he would have been full of lead. The Spanish are not best known for their patience but my impression of the security forces is that they are highly disciplined and the use of deadly force is exceptional, rather than the rule.

Police forces in The United States suffer from rather bad press principally because of the shootings of black men in the street, many of whom have not been armed. When demonstrators have to wave signs that say "I am a Man", and "Black Lives Matter" something is very, very wrong.

Of course the fact that Americans believe they have the right to bear arms and based on that they actually do own guns is at the heart of so many problems. I am not going to enter that debate but it does have many unhappy ramifications for gun owners and those who prefer not to arm themselves alike.

It is for that reason, among others that I am happy and content to live in Spain where cooler heads prevail.

Copyright (c) 2017
Eugene Carmichael