Week in Pictures, Single Payer Edition

A sad start to the week for pictures this week, Charlie Gard died yesterday, a week short of his first birthday.

Farewell Charlie, and Rest in Peace.

He will be long remembered, and both he and his valiant parents remembered in many prayers.

On the other hand, the feckless GOP in the Senate seems to want an American equivalent. Or perhaps they are simply greedy enough to forget who they work for

Apparently, Hillary wrote a book, not that anyone really cares.

In other news…

Look closely, I swear she has a gun! 🙂

As usual, mostly from PowerLine

Have a better week!

Good bye and Farewell, Charlie

Well, I said this a while ago, too much time was wasted for Charlie Gard to survive his illness. The NHS has run out the clock, to the point where his parents have made the decision that they must let go. His dad, Chris Gard made a heartbreaking statement:

“Firstly, I would like to thank our legal team who have worked tirelessly on our behalf for free. And to the nurses and staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital who have cared for Charlie and kept him comfortable and stable for so long.

We would also like to thank everybody who supported us, including all the people here for us today.

This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to say and we are about to do the hardest thing that we’ll ever have to do, which is to let our beautiful little Charlie go.

Put simply, this is about a sweet, gorgeous innocent little boy who was born with a rare disease who had a real genuine chance at life and a family who loved him so very dearly. And that’s why we fought so hard for him.

We are truly devastated to say that following the most recent MRI scan of Charlie’s muscles as requested in a recent MDT meeting by Dr Hirano.

As Charlie’s devoted and loving parents, we’ve decided that it is no longer in Charlie’s best interest to pursue treatment and we will let our son go and be with the angels.

The American and Italian team were still willing to treat Charlie after seeing his recent MRI and EEG perform last week, but there is one simple reason why treatment cannot now go ahead and that is time. A whole lot of time has been wasted.

We are now in July and our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.

Tragically having had Charlie’s medical notes reviewed by independent experts, we now know had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal healthy little boy.

Despite his condition in January, Charlie’s muscles were in pretty good shape and far from showing irreversible catastrophic structural brain damage.

Dr Hirano and other experts say his brain scans and EEGs were those of a relatively normal child of his age.

We knew that ourselves because as his parents, we knew our son, which is why we continued fighting.

Charlie’s been left for his illness to deteriorate devastatingly to the point of no return.

This has also never been about ‘parents know best’.

All we wanted to do was take Charlie from one world-renowned hospital to another world-renowned hospital in the attempt to save his life and to be treated by the world leader in mitochondrial disease.

We’ll have to live with the what-ifs which will haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Despite the way that our beautiful son has been spoken about sometimes, as if he is not worthy of a chance at life, our son is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly.

His body, heart and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity and he will make a difference to people’s lives for years to come. We will make sure of that.

We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie who unfortunately won’t make his first birthday in just under two weeks’ time.

And we will ask that our privacy is respected during this very difficult time.

To Charlie we say mummy and daddy, we love you so much. We always have and we always will and we are so sorry we couldn’t save you.

Sweet dreams baby, sleep tight our beautiful little boy. We love you.”

Courtesy of The Independent

Given what we know, while this has to be a heartbreaking decision for Charlie’s parents, I’m quite sure that it is also the correct one. God give them strength.

Well, we all did our best, and we have lost a battle, there will be more, and we need to move faster. We too were late to his aid, and the dilatory nature of the NHS, along with its near-religious status in the UK, and it’s stubborn clinging to power made this an uphill battle. And that is the real lesson here, and it’s important to remember even as we mourn that little warrior in London. If we don’t fight it all the time, every time, the culture of death that the NHS represents will win. But we, British and Americans, with an assist from the Pope, came close. If we had been even three months earlier, we might have prevailed.

And that is what I simply cannot understand, the religious fervor of the Brits for this Stalinist health (non)care system. No matter what you say about it, your answer will be, “But it’s free.” Which it decidedly is not. Nor is this anything new. Back in 2013 Jessica and I both wrote about the Stafford scandal in which something up to 1200 patients were allowed to live in filth and die unattended. Those articles are here, and here. They were based on an article in The Telegraph, which is here. So what happened? Nothing, of course, the latest story in Google is from February of 2013, three days after our articles were published.

Nothing will change because of Charlie Gard either. Why? Because while Americans were outraged over the whole thing of stealing this baby from his parents and allowing him to die, the British for the most part shrugged and said, “It’s free.” Maybe they haven’t heard it ain’t free they pay at least $1500 each per year for this shoddy simulacrum of health care.

As I said then, “That’s the thing about government bureaucracies though, no one is responsible.” That’s often the point of a bureaucracy, as we have surely seen in the last few years. Jeff Weimer commenting on this story yesterday at Ace‘s said this:

Once again, socialized medicine gets the preferred health outcome it was looking for.

You are not – I repeat – you are *not* the customer in a socialized single payer system. You are a *cost*. the government is the customer and it gets what it pays for.

Always.

And that is the simple truth. So is this from the same comment stream:

For me, nothing has been so infuriating in all this as reading feedback from the British public. Usually, the comments section at sites like Daily Mail is fairly right-leaning, but even there, when it came to poor Charlie, the parents were being absolutely excoriated for fighting the hospital, which apparently, in the eyes of their fellow Brits, is run by the most intelligent, compassionate people on Earth. Charlie’s parents, it was said over and over again, ought to “do the right thing” and let their son die already.

I shouldn’t blame them too much. It is only too clear that this attitude is the result of decades under a welfare state and the mind-warping that induces. But it is hard to come away with any conclusion except that the UK is now home to millions of soulless automatons who would rather the innocent perish than lose their own entitlements. Damn them all.

Goodbye, Charlie, we tried our best, and we failed. May God help your parents find some peace.

All three of you will be in many prayers.

 

Maiden (Speeches) and Gods in Action

Kemi Badenoch. Remember that name. If the Brit Tories have any sense at all this girl has a pretty much unlimited future. There’s a tradition in Parliament that your first speech (your maiden speech) tells everybody much about who you are and what you believe. Most are rather insipid. Not this one. Another thing I have noticed is that in Britain, which is still much more class conscious than we are, when somebody comes up from the lower orders, or is an immigrant, or a woman, or something, in politics, in the universities, and even in business, they are almost invariably Conservatives. Must be something about the “Content of their character”.

Of course, I’m a bit prejudiced, I quite like people who quote Burke, and consider Churchill and Thatcher as heroes. And being a Brexiteer surely doesn’t hurt.

“Kemi Badenoch. May the tribe increase!”


“Tranquillity Base here, the Eagle has landed.”

And so it had, on 20 July 1969, the lunar module from Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first two men in history to walk on a celestial object other than the earth. Some half a billion people watched the (very poor) television broadcast live from the spacecraft, as the whole world stopped, and gazed in awe. How quickly we become jaundiced, taking things for granted, but here was something to equate with Drake’s circumnavigation of the world.

But here with the words, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”, we thrust confidently into the future.

One of the things I’ll remember on my deathbed. When I was in college, four of us rented an aircraft and flew down over spring break to watch (from the beach) the mission that launched at night. It was simply indescribable, as if several suns had risen while a whole chorus of Thors played the anvil chorus. Simply the most awesome thing I have ever seen.

Time to do something similar, I think.

A Committee of the Whole

Oil on canvas painting of Richard Henry Lee. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Something different this week. I’m a bit tired of the Stürm und Drang of politics, especially in Washington and London. I also suspect that they’ll still be going at it when we return, soap operas are like that. And besides it’s the Fourth of July weekend, and nothing they’re going to do in the next few days is anywhere near as important as what the Second Continental Congress did this week 241 years ago. Most of these posts are from 2012 when this blog was less than a year old, and I’m making minimal changes to them, and most of you are new here, and they are just as valid as they were then. Hope you enjoy them.

Let us take note that today there is a document in the committee of the whole of Congress, for editing. It was written by Mr. Jefferson of Virginia, pursuant to a resolution offered by Virginia Delegate Richard Henry Lee and seconded by John Adams of Massachusetts.

“Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

We would be wise to note that this resolution was passed with heavy hearts, not from fear, but from long affection for our cousins in the United Kingdom.

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.

—Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775

So it would be. It is the same conflict that led to Magna Charta, and to the Glorious Revolution. This time carried out in a war that would change the world. In fact, many of us refer to it as the Second English Civil War, for such it was.

We probably won’t take the time later this week so let’s note now that the ensuing unpleasantness would lead to one of the largest mass emigrations the United States would ever see, that of many Loyalists to Canada. They imparted to the Canucks some measure of understanding us without taking our world famous rowdiness with them. God Bless them.

They like the United Kingdom itself would in time become the friends that prove Bismarck’s dictum true, “Great Nations do not have friends, they have interests”. This nation does.

A film clip perhaps, showing Hollywood’s version of the difference between Americans and Canadians.

And so as we begin the celebration of independence this week, we would be wise to remember that while we have the oldest government in the world, we are amongst the youngest of countries. But we had a head start, for we built this country on the shoulders of giants.

Canada Day and Judicial Murder (Not connected)

Today is the traditional Canada Day when our neighbors celebrate their nation, and we’re damned glad they’re there. Even if their loopy PM wears Ramadan socks to a Gay Pride Parade. Not sure what you Canucks were thinking when you elected him, but it’s your country, eh.

But they are good neighbors and good friends, and General Eisenhower said they were the best troops under his command, and I’m certainly not going to argue with him. And, a few weeks ago they got a world record, which may stand for a long time. From The Daily Mail:

Canadian sniper has beat the record for the longest confirmed kill in military history by picking off an ISIS fighter from a staggering 11,319 feet.

The bullet was fired from a McMillan TAC-50 rifle set on a high-rise tower and took 10 seconds to travel the 2.14 miles towards the fighter, who was attacking Iraqi soldiers.

This smashed the last record set by a Briton Craig Harrison, who killed a Taliban soldier with a 338 Lapua Magnum rifle at a range of 8,120 feet(1.54 miles) in 2009.

A military source told The Globe and Mail the kill was verified by video, adding: ‘This is an incredible feat. It is a world record that might never be equalled.’

The third longest kill was by Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong, who shot down an Afghan insurgent from 7,972 feet(1.51 miles) in 2002 during Operation Anaconda.

And prior to that, Master Corporal Arron Perry hit a terrorist from 7579 feet. He was also Canadian and serving in the same operation.

The longest kill from a US sniper was done by sergeant Bryan Kremer, who hit an Iraqi insurgent at 7,546 feet(1.42 miles) with his Barrett M82A1 rifle in 2004.

McMillan no longer produces the Tac-50, now making the Tac-50 A1: 

If you are an American and have lots of money, you can buy that rifle, but you can’t buy the skill of that Canadian soldier, such men only fight for people like us. We, all of us in the west, have some problems in our leadership, but our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are the envy of the world. And they should be!

Like great societies before us, we may destroy ourselves, but it is moments like that achieved on the battlefield that define us, that tell our enemies just who they’re fighting, and keep them awake at night.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor, but he wrote about this at WOW Magazine.

Simply the best friends and neighbours, ever.


Then there is this, and it is one of the most disturbing stories I’ve read lately from The Right Scoop:

Europe sentences sick child TO DEATH rather than get treatment in the U.S.!

Here’s another face of socialized medicine that liberals don’t want you to see. A couple wanted to bring their sick child to the United States for a longshot treatment, but European authorities said, ‘NOPE, we’re just gonna pull the plug on the kid!’

From the Daily Mail:

The parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard are ‘utterly distraught’ and facing fresh heartbreak after losing their final appeal in the European Court of Human Rights.

Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, wanted to take their 10-month-old son – who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage – to the US to undergo a therapy trial.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, where Charlie is being cared for, said they wanted him to be able to ‘die with dignity’.

But the couple, from Bedfont, west London, raised almost £1.4million so they could take their son to America but a series of courts ruled in favour of the British doctors.

How horrific is that? How is that “dignity” when the parents want to try to save him and they have the money?!

And yet the Europeans just love to brag about how great their health care is. 

It comes after specialists at Great Ormond Street said therapy in the US is experimental and will not help and added that life support should stop.

And after losing legal battles in the UK, Charlie’s parents were hoping judges in Strasbourg, France, would come to their aid.

But on Tuesday afternoon, the ECHR rejected a last-ditch plea and their ‘final’ decision means the baby’s life support machine will be switched off.

The ECHR announced the application to the court by the parents was ‘inadmissible’ and added that their decision was ‘final’.

Think about that for a while. This kid is brain damaged but we here in the US have a treatment that might allow him to live. It might fail, of course, but that is a risk the parents are willing to take, and they raised the money to make it happen. But a bunch of NHS doctors backed up by the British and European courts said “NO”. And so he will die. There’s more at the link, but as far as I’m concerned it’s simply one more person that the NHS is willfully murdering, and a fair indication of why Americans are so opposed to socialized medicine. Eugenics is never far behind.

May Charlie rest in peace and give his parents what comfort He can.

Excuse me while I go vomit through my tears.

[And an Update:] Daniel Payne wrote in The Federalist on the Roman Catholic Church’s statement on this matter. He was not impressed, nor was I. It was a waffle, contrived to let the secular authorities do as they want, disregarding the rights of Charlie and his family, something the Church professes to care about. And it always has. Part of the original attraction of Christianity back when it was known as The Way was that it didn’t kill unwanted infants. It is an outstanding article, do read it, for me, the money quote is this:

John Paul II was well aware of the ways in which governments can steal the legitimate authority of parents and families: in “Familiaris Consortio” he affirmed that “the church openly and strongly defends the rights of the family against the intolerable usurpations of society and the state.” One would imagine that one such “intolerable usurpation” would be a government denying two parents the right to try to save their baby boy’s life. And one would imagine that an institution entitled “the Pontifical Academy for Life” would recognize that.

Grenfell Tower

So let’s try to unpack this horror a bit, shall we? I happened to watch it almost in real time (on Sky) and I was appalled as it went up. As I said yesterday, it reminded me of the WTC more than anything – essentially all the heroism in the world from the emergency services (and they were, as always) of very little utility, the effects were more like the actions of a particularly malevolent god than anything else.

The best general write up I’ve read as to underlying causes was, not surprisingly on The Conservative Woman. In the immense comment stream, it degenerates a bit into partisan backbiting. Well, what doesn’t these days?

But here’s what I think I know.

  • It’s a high rise (24 stories) with one staircase and two elevators. Not uncommon, there or here, but one must always remember that once you get past roughly 10 floors the fire department is restricted to internal access. 150 feet is about all mobile equipment can reach.
  • Supposedly it was constructed to contain fire, reinforced concrete construction, fire doors and such. Normal stuff, not all that expensive, usually effective. Failed here.
  • A cladding was applied to the building, for appearance and insulation. Some reports say it was not fire resistant. It’s possible it wasn’t, but apply enough heat and almost anything will burn. What appeared to happen here is that fire got behind the cladding and into the insulation. I’ve heard that insulation described as Celotex (may or may not be true), but almost all insulation will either burn or melt, and if it does behind the cladding, it will form a flue (much like a chimney) and heat will rise very quickly feeding the flames. That is what the fire looked like on TV.
  • No sprinklers. May or may not have mattered in the public spaces. Which is all that is usually required. If they had been installed in the apartments may well have contained it, and most also have an automatic alarm, both local and fire department, which would help. Apparently, this building grandfathered the requirement, but best practice would have seen them installed.
  • No (or inaudible) local fire alarm. Inexcusable, in my mind at least.
  • Open windows. England has little air conditioning, and none here, so windows were open, increasing draft for the fire. Well, not really a lot you can do about that.
  • Lots of immigrants in the building. Not a big deal, maybe, but cultural practices do matter. May have been lots of flammable artifacts about, prayer rugs, this, that, and the other. I have also seen immigrants here cooking over open flames (improvised firepits and such) very dangerous in a multi-story building. Don’t know, but might be worth looking at. Also were firedoors kept shut? Canada, for instance, requires that the door to a connected garage have an self-closing mechanism.
  • One that will surprise Americans. There are reports of an exploding refrigerator. That’s something that just doesn’t happen here. Why? Because we use CFCs for refrigerants. If they leak and burn, they can cause phosgene poisoning, but the systems are sealed and pretty much bulletproof. Never, not once, in the last 50 years have I heard of a problem. Europe is different. They use Isobutane, essentially what we call LP gas. Yeah, the same stuff that we use in our barbecue grills, and sometimes stoves and furnaces where natural gas is not available. I won’t have it in my house for any reason, not least because, unlike natural gas, it is heavier than air and will accumulate, and a very small spark (static electricity from a woolen rug, say) can set it off. The other thing is, it’s a small molecule (unlike CFCs) and much harder to seal permanently. LP is every bit as flammable as acetylene that is used for welding, in fact, Oxy-propane is very often used for cutting torches because it burns hotter. Now get a leak in your refrigerator, and a spark in the thermostat, and you have an explosion, and not a small one. Why do they do this? Because the EU has banned CFCs for environmental reasons (we’ve changed our formulations too. The new ones aren’t as effective, but less damaging to the ozone layer).¹

Overall, this was a systemic failure, old Murphy was working overtime. The problems just piled one on the other, and as a result, likely more than a hundred people are dead and died horribly. If I understand the building was council owned (rather like an overpowered city council combined with the zoning board) and managed by a (no doubt connected) non-profit. Strikes me as plenty of room for corruption to sneak in as well, although I have no proof of anything like that. But the one thing we know about bureaucrats is that they can almost never be forced to take responsibility for anything. I doubt anything different than that here.

And yes, the pseudo pious virtue signaling, blame passing, and all those games have already started. Not to mention the wingeing about how we don’t have enough money.

¹ ISOBUTANE

%d bloggers like this: