Question it!

This reminds me of the trumpeting that greeted the Strategy for Older People in Wales round 2002. It rumbled on until the appointment of Ruth Marks as Commissioner for Older People in Wales in 2007.

It was hailed as the great breakthrough for older people. They would at last have their problems heard and addressed. It never happened. Every individual older person who contacted the office of the commissioner was told the same thing: ‘…the commissioner regrets she’s unable to consider individual cases…’ which was a load of bunkum.

Having served on the advisory group at the Welsh Assembly with about twenty representatives from various bodies concerned with promoting the interests of older people in Wales; these included Age Concern and Help the Aged (which have since amalgamated into Age UK) as well as individuals from different pensioner groups, I knew that we had been specific about the commissioner being able to deal with individual problems.

My conclusion being; there is much talk and hot air indulged in by those who are appointed to top jobs . They make a play with favourable sound-bites at the time of their appointment – but that is all they do – talk. It fails to materialize into action. Better they save their breath to cool their porridge.

Researching Reform

Welcome to another week.

As we begin National Stalking Awareness Week here in the UK, new figures have been published which suggest that stalkers are unlikely to be jailed, even if they are repeat offenders. 

Ministry of Justice data reveal that almost two-thirds of those who breached their orders received a non-custodial sentence. The report also confirmed that even when the offender had committed multiple breaches, a custodial term was unlikely.

Furthermore, almost 60% of offenders who breached a second time avoided a custodial sentence and nearly half of those who breached a third time (49%) avoided jail, as did 38% of those who breached on four occasions.

So, for this week, we aren’t going to ask you a question. Instead, we’re inviting you to share your thoughts on, or experiences of stalking in order to raise awareness.


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Remembering George Jones : The greatest Country Music Singer who ever lived!

A touch of nostalgia.

The Immortal Jukebox

George Jones. The One and Only George Jones.

Four years ago the Silent Boatman, who comes for us all, carried George away.

He was, without any scintilla of doubt, the greatest singer Country Music has ever, or will ever, know.

He was born in Texas in 1931. From his dad he inherited a taste for the bottle and from his mother the hope of salvation.

The world and his own nature offered up the simultaneous allure and spectre of sin, guilt and damnation.

From some higher power he was blessed with a singing voice that could express with enormous authority and impact the whole damn bone and blood gamut of emotions we’re all forever chained and in thrall to throughout our lives.

A voice that was never unrestrained even when plumbing unfathomable depths of pain and loss.

George’s voice had to be controlled even under the most crushing spiritual and…

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NewsNow: Child Support News | Breaking News 24/7

Parents Rights Blog

NewsNow: Child Support News | Breaking News 24/7

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Breaking news headlines about Civil & Human Rights, linking to 1,000s of sources around the world, on NewsNow: the one-stop shop for breaking news.  Continue reading →

The United States of America deposited its instrument of ratification of the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (Convention) . The Convention came into force for the United States on January 1, 2017. Article 4 of the Convention imposes upon States Parties an obligation to designate a “Central Authority” for the purpose of discharging certain specified functions.

Child Support Agency

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Womens’ Rights, a Sisters’ Home

My World, Your World, One World

I have been editing again for the Sisters’ Home – proper name in pashto language is Khwendo Kor, and in between going for walks and watching girls play softball, I am reading of another place where culture is somewhat different. Sometimes I am crying, as well as reading, but that is what gives the energy to do the work and the tears are about being so moved by the resilience and determination of everyone in KK. I remember that just a couple of generations ago, women (and men too) had to bring this kind of resolve in my own parts of the world. Indeed, there is still some work to do, but at least I have earned my own living, I have had education, and I can go out walking.

KKlogoKK works in North West Pakistan. Since 1993 in villages and communities, this group has worked, and been challenged…

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Wildlife Wednesday: First Fox Sparrow of 2017, Chignik Lake, Alaska (With short video & vocalization clip)


Helllllooo Ladies! Singing his heart out, a Sooty Fox Sparrow announces his arrival in Chignik Lake

Two mornings ago upon walking outside, we were greeted with a cheerful song that was both new and yet familiar. I spun around, went back for my binoculars, and found the year’s first Fox Sparrow trilling from a perch near the top of a White Spruce. Here in Southwest Alaska, there is no more certain emissary of Spring.

Our first connection with Fox Sparrows occurred back when we used to spend our summers in Seward, Alaska. There, in late spring, one served as our alarm clock. Perched just outside our camper his lilting song – delivered at a volume startling for a being so small – was generally among the first sounds of the morning.

“Foxy” sings three time during this minute-long clip. Redpolls, which continue to course through the village each day scavenging for spruce cone seeds…

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