VE Day and Appeasement

Yesterday was the 73d anniversary of VE Day – the day when Nazi Germany surrendered to the most powerful alliance ever assembled, Great Britain and its Empire, the Soviet Union, and the United States, and a fair number of smaller powers, and governments in exile. It is a great day in the history of freedom, and it’s a shame that we don’t celebrate it more.

But maybe the reason we don’t is that it was a rather unnecessary war, if we had kept the watch in the 20s and 30s, it need never have happened. Imagine a world without any of the horrors of that period, it could easily have been, if, for example, the west had shut Hitler down when he reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936. But we didn’t, and it happened.

In 1938 the British Prime Minister journeyed to Munich and returned with a piece of paper, that sold out Czechoslovakia, which has come to be called appeasement. Somewhat unfairly, in my opinion. Mr. Chamberlain was as patriotic as any Briton could want, but his military cupboard was pretty bare, if he had gone to war over the Sudetenland, it is very likely that he would have lost, and left Britain occupied as well. That would have precluded the Allies winning the war, no matter what the New World, in all its power and might, might do.

The next year was different, a new Prime Minister, one of the greatest war leaders of the English speaking peoples was in charge, and the guarantee was given to Poland. And so, once again, as so often, Tommy Atkins paid in blood for his leaders lack of preparation.

But that war ended on May 8th, 1945, and the lesson was learned, and the Soviet Empire was in time destroyed, without destroying the world. But history did not end, as some claimed. It is well to remember what Churchill wrote about Nazi rule for Collier’s magazine in 1937…

To relax their grip may be at the same time to release avenging forces. Dictators and those who immediately sustain them cannot quit their offices with the easy disdain—or more often relief—with which an American President of a British Prime Minister submits himself to an adverse popular verdict. For a dictator the choice may well be between the throne or the grave. The character of these men who have raised themselves from obscurity to these positions of fierce, dazzling authority does not permit us to believe that they would bow their heads meekly to the stroke of fate. One has the feeling they would go down or conquer fighting, and play the fearful stakes which are in their hands. . .

Thus we are confronted with a situation in Europe abhorrent to its peoples, including the great mass of German and Italian peoples, in which bands of competent, determined men under ruthless leadership find themselves unable to go or to stop. It may well be that the choice before Germany is a choice between an internal and an external explosion. But it is not Germany that will really choose. It is only that band of politicians who have obtained this enormous power, whose movements are guided by two or three men, who will decide the supreme issue of peace or war. To this horrible decision they cannot come unbiased. Economic and political ruin may stare them in the face, and the only means they have to escape may be victory in the field. They have the power to make war. They have the incentive to make war; nay, it may well be almost compulsion.

Very wise words indeed, and have application beyond Nazi Germany.

Yesterday, the President ended the so-called agreement with Iran. It was an agreement that never should have been made, as President Obama was told by a huge proportion of Congress, which is why it was an agreement and not a treaty, the Senate would have decisively defeated it. In addition, there is a summit coming up with North Korea. Both of these countries are in the exact situation that Sir Winston describes above.

There are reports of additional air force units of British, French, and American origin moving into position around Syria. They may well be needed.

For Iran, like North Korea is a failed state, who has denied its people butter to buy guns, and is attempting to expand militarily. It is fairly obvious that such is a very bad idea, for us all, and especially for our ally Israel. Then there is the risk of nuclear weapons in the hands of a rogue state. This was, of course, the original impetus of the Manhatten Project, to beat Hitler’s henchmen to the bomb. And so once again, the valley is darkened by the shadow of death, and there are rumors of war, and there could well be war.

But once again, the west has made their bed, and will have to pay the price, or lose. It is ancient wisdom amongst our people, and few put it better than Rudyard Kipling did,

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
  To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
  Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
  And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
  And then  you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
  To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
  We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
  But we've  proved it again and  again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
  You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
  For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
  You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
  No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
  And the nation that pays it is lost!"
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Other stuff, mostly in Britain

Well, I’ve nothing much prepared for today, so let’s get a bit more bashing of Britain out of our blood, shall we. Then perhaps we can move on. I’m quite pleased, by the way, that yesterday’s article drawing on Solzhenitsyn was our most read post in over a month, and I think the most read ever, in the UK. Still lot’s of good and decent folks there, just not in authority. Let’s start with why the mayor of Londonistan thinks Trump should not visit

There some good stuff in that, as for visiting London, well I tend at this point (admittedly still in pretty hot blood) think instead of visiting England, Trump should appoint a commission to look into the lack of civil rights in the country.

Peter Hitchens is not right yet about emigrating, but the trend is not favorable, and I would seriously consider it if I planned on having kids. Who wants to watch the government starve your sick kid to death.

The Council of Ealing (it’s in west London, BTW) has passed an ordinance prohibiting prayer vigils within a hundred meters (328 ft, for normal people) of a human abattoir abortion provider. There is no record at all of the people, mostly Catholics, interfering at all with those going to and from the so-called clinic. From the Catholic Herald.

They accused Ealing Council of violating basic rights to free speech, prayer, and free assembly

A group of mothers has lodged a High Court challenge against a so-called “buffer zone” outside an abortion clinic today.

Alina Dulgheriu, a mother who was helped by a pro-life vigil, filed the challenge to Ealing Council’s decision to enforce a Public Space Protection Order mandating a 100m (328 ft) exclusion zone around an abortion clinic.

Ms Dulgheriu was joined at the press conference by other mothers who had been supported by vigils. “Without sufficient justification, Ealing council has decided to criminalise otherwise lawful behaviour…to criminalise charitable activity that is needed by some of the most vulnerable women in our society,” she said.

Situation normal for the UK these days.

And a bit more on Alfie, more even-tempered than I can manage, but just as accurate, from Sohrab Ahmari writing in Commentary.

[…]The cases are silly, but the chilling effect on free speech in Britain is all too serious—and real.

That brings us back to Alfie. As the case has progressed, the political, religious, and class fault lines running through it have become ever more visible. Alfie’s parents are working class and Catholic. Judging by the social-media outpouring, many of their supporters hail from a similar class firmament: the type who voted for Brexit, who read the Sun and the Daily Mail, who are puzzled by all this talk about gender and newfangled pronouns, and who quietly cheer Donald Trump across the pond.

On the other side stands an administrative elite that has had it with “these people”—with their voting habits, their sentimentality and patriotism, their common sense on Islam and integration, and, well, their failure to understand that it is up to experts, not parents, to discern the “best interests” of a toddler like Alfie. The members of this elite worry a lot these days about the health of liberal-democratic order. An entire cottage industry has sprung up, churning out books and policy briefs on how to preserve democracy against populists and uncouth, excitable majorities. But fair-minded observers of the Alfie Evans debacle can decide for themselves which camp poses the greater threat to freedom in Britain.

Never in all my life did I think I would see such words published about Britain, let alone agree with them completely. Sad days, my friends.

In other news, I understand that the White House correspondents hosted a very ugly bash the White House Press Secretary dinner Saturday night. Inventive group, these cretins, always finding more ways to alienate themselves from the people of America. Rather like the London elites, in fact.

 

Rest in Peace

BBC – Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old toddler at the centre of a High Court legal battle, has died, nearly a week after his life support was withdrawn.

The boy from Merseyside, who had a degenerative brain condition, died at 02:30 BST, his father Tom Evans said.

On Facebook he wrote: “My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings… absolutely heartbroken.”

Here’s the father’s message from instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiGlA1lDS4Y/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=8&wp=658&rd=therightscoop.com#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A2464.6000000066124%7D

Here’s more:

Alfie Evans’ parents have paid heartbreaking tributes to their little boy after he passed away this morning – five days after his life support was switched off against their wishes following a legal battle.

The 23-month-old, who was being treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool died at 2.30am, Kate James and Thomas Evans said on Facebook.

The youngster was at the centre of a legal battle over his treatment that touched hearts around the world.

Mum Kate James posted on Facebook: “Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am. We are heart broken. Thankyou everyone for all your support.”

Dad Tom wrote: “My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30. Absolutely heartbroken. I LOVE YOU MY GUY.”

He posted crying emojis and a broken heart next to the message.

From: BREAKING: Little Alfie Evans is now in Heaven…

Pretty much pre-ordained, and yet the world will mourn this little warrior, and while we will seldom speak of him, he will inform our battle for life going forward, and some day, we will once again win that battle.

Meantime, I saw a Tweet this morning that summarized my thought on this.

God give him rest, and comfort his parents, as they too remain in our thoughts

The Culture of Death

I’m sure you all remember Alfie Evans. I’ve blogged about him here, here, and here. Many others have as well, including Ace, Where he led yesterday’s Morning Report, The Federalist, and Commentary, all yesterday. That’s pretty broad spectrum of American conservatism and a huge readership. It is very much like the story of Charlie Gard, which we also covered.

Monday night the Alder Hay hospital disconnected Alfie’s feeding tube and respirator, fully expecting him to die at their hand, against the wishes of his parents, the Pope, and a hospital in Italy that was willing to continue his treatment, after Italy granted him citizenship, and has a military medical aircraft standing by. All to no avail, so far. The cultists of death in the NHS and the British courts conspired, so far unavailingly to kill him. I note that capital punishment and euthanasia are both illegal in the UK, except of course for the Stalinist NHS.

Yesterday afternoon, my dear friend, and the blogs, Kathleen, blogged on it at Catholicism Pure and Simple. I commented with this:

As you know, we are majority pro-life, and Charlie Gard raised a stink here, amongst us. If the NHS continues its plan to execute this baby, I think there is likely to be a fair amount of blowback. Abortion is bad enough, this is a travesty, and never have I heard such disparagement of Britain as I have in the last day or so. Not a good look for a country that is our friend, not just an ally. Looks really bad when your sick kids end up as Italian citizens or with American green cards, simply to try to save their lives, and futilely, because of your government’s inability to treat people fairly.

Personally, I go from incoherent rage to profound sorrow, and back again. But I’m old, I guess. I expect better from Britain. What a cretinous action.

Kathleen replied:

What is happening to the U.K. (rather its leaders and laws more than its general population that is coming out in greater force now) that they can refuse the parents of little Alfie the right to take their beloved son to Italy to prolong his life? It is sickening, shameful, and I would even add, EVIL! It is another sign of the growing ideology of the Culture of Death in our country.

I know the prognosis of Alfie’s condition is practically without hope, and even the Italian medics admitted that…. but even if it is only the smallest and faintest of glimmers of hope that he could ever possibly recover, should he not be given it? Don’t the parents have the right to cling to this hope?

I completely agree with her. She added in a postscript that another commenter, themselves in the Liverpool area, where this macabre dance of death is taking place had been following the story as well, and that they had provided two very good links. They are, and here they are:

http://www.torchofthefaith.com/news.php

https://www.facebook.com/groups/alfiesarmy/?ref=direct

The Torch of the Faith, linked above has the best coverage of this situation that I have seen.

The last I read on Tuesday evening, Alfie was managing to breathe on his own and had gotten at least some water, over a period of 24 hours, which astounded the dark gods of the NHS. Of course, they never considered that perhaps they were simply wrong. The parents have provisional permission to at least take Alfie home, to die, the murderous court thinks. I think God may have other plans. Time will tell. God doesn’t tell us ahead of time.

I think only once before have I asked you to pray with me, as I’m going to today. That was after my dearest friend Jessica had received last rites from her church, in her suffering with brain cancer. Three days later she was free of cancer. It can happen and sometimes does. So once again, let us pray.

O FATHER of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need; We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy sick servant, Alfie, for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer.

Life, Liberty, and Property; Part I

I’m bringing back some of my earlier posts since I’m partially taking some time off. Besides, these posts make some points that need reinforcement. They form sort of a basic, underpinning to American conservatism, which is different from that anywhere else in the world.

“Life, Liberty, and Property.” 

I know, you are thinking I misquoted Jefferson. Actually, I didn’t. I seem to remember that the first draft read, after markup:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Property the pursuit of Happiness.

Most of the theory here goes back to John Locke originally. Much of it, through Locke’s employment by the Earl of Shaftesbury, underpinned the Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights, and the founding of the Whig Party in England. It also underpins the libertarian cast of the American founding.

Shaftesbury also developed the Carolina Plantations. It is believed that Locke wrote, virtually unaided the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, which included a parliament of property owners, separation of church and state, and military conscription, which seems rather surprising.

We can easily show this with a few quotes:

“The Magistrate,” he declared, “ought not to forbid the Preaching or Professing of any Speculative Opinions in any Church, because they have no manner of relation to the Civil Rights of the Subjects. If a Roman Catholick believe that to be really the Body of Christ, which another man calls Bread, he does no injury therby to his Neighbour. If a Jew do not believe the New Testament to be the Word of God, he does not thereby alter any thing in mens Civil Rights. If a Heathen doubt of both Testaments, he is not therefore to be punished as a pernicious Citizen.”

Be it noted that here he shows a toleration of Catholics that was not particularly evident in his writing on England and Holland. The reason for that is the French King Louis XIV, by far the most powerful Catholic king and opponent of England and Holland, not to mention the tyrannical tendencies of the Stuart (and Catholic) kings of England.

and

“Reason, which is that Law,” Locke declared, “teaches all Mankind, who would but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.” Locke envisoned a rule of law: “have a standing Rule to live by, common to every one of that Society, and made by the Legislative Power erected in it; A Liberty to follow my own Will in all things, where the Rule prescribes not; and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, Arbitrary Will of another Man.”

Locke established that private property is absolutely essential for liberty: “every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his.” He continues: “The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property.”

That implies that it is quite an old concept, as indeed it is. It goes on back to the concept that ” A (free) man’s home is his castle”. Thus we see that it is very deeply ingrained in Anglo-Saxon (and associated) cultures, indeed. The wording changed because it caused a ruckus in committee (some sources say because of slavery).

You’re probably thinking it a small change. In some ways, it is but in some ways it’s not so small. Let’s look at the next big revolution, the French and their slogan “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity”. Specifically, think about the difference between “Created equal” and “equality”. Would I like to be equal to Sam Walton? Yeah, but I don’t want to work that hard.

Judith Miller (and others) assert that revolutions are plays in three acts, and they are correct.

Act 1: The people get fed up with the ruling class and revolt.

Act 2: The people erect a new form of government.

Act 3: A (or a group of) despot takes control of the revolution and takes tyrannical power. (see Robespierre and Napoleon, or Lenin if you prefer)

Always happens that way, except once: The American Revolution. Our Revolution stopped after Act 2. That’s what we mean when we talk about America as still the original revolutionaries.

Why? the French and Russian revolutions were revolts of peasants. I mean no disrespect, they are as worthy of respect as anybody, but they were uneducated peasants. The American patriots were educated freeman. Boy, were they educated. They had read Plato, and Plutarch, and Cicero, and Burke, and Voltaire and who knows who else. Two (Jefferson and Franklin) were members of the Royal Society many had been military officers (although mostly not regulars) and most were men of property and substance.

What’s my point? They knew history, they knew what happens to men of property when the mob takes over and they took care that it didn’t happen here.

Most of the information on John Locke and all the quotes are drawn from: John Locke: Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. There is quite a lot more there and it all very good. I expanded the section on Locke considerably, (originally I misattributed the concept to Burke, and chose to correct it here). And so we will continue tomorrow.

 

 

Alfie’s Saga Continues

This is one of those stories that won’t let go of my imagination. We have spoken about it before, as far back as August 1st of last year, and again on last December 26th. On that occasion my friend Caroline Farrow was forced by a British court to edit her post saying this:

Edited Wednesday 20th December 2017: The first version of this blog was published on Monday 18th December 2017, the day before the Directions Hearing in the High Court. At this hearing, an anonymity order was put in place which prohibited publication in the UK media of the names of the medical professionals involved in the case. Out of courtesy for this order, passed on Tuesday 19th December, I have therefore removed the names of the individuals, even though this blog is published on an international platform, for an international readership.

I was able to verify the involvement of one of the named individuals in another well-known case via a number of independent sources, which I already knew at the time of the case.

While I respect Caroline’s decision and will comply, frankly it is bullshit. If you are not man enough to take responsibility for what you do, you have no business making decisions for yourself, let alone anyone else, especially a helpless baby. It makes a damning story even worse, I think.

That is still true, and here it is, 4 and a half months later, and there is no movement. A few days ago Caroline Tweeted this:

And yes, she is taking some heat from some very callous people, not to mention those who actually believe in the Stalinist NHS, which again, in this case, seeks to kill a baby, even though they don’t even have a clue what is wrong with him.

Steven Woolfe wrote in The Catholic Herald about this some days ago, as well, saying:

Alfie’s dad, Tom, and I recently met with hospital officials. At the meeting, we offered video evidence of Alfie’s improved condition, pledges from other specialist European hospitals to treat Alfie and details of a second air ambulance that adhered to the hospital’s requirements.

We left the meeting with the view that Alder Hey had agreed to a further internal meeting where they would consider the points we raised and our new evidence to support Alfie receiving a second opinion in Italy. Tom was overcome at what we all believed was a small chance of hope for Alfie.

However, within a few short hours, and without analysing Alfie’s parents’ video evidence, Alder Hey had again applied to the High Court to set a date to turn-off Alfie’s life support.

But, irrespective of that ruling, the ultimate decision to switch-off life support remains in Alder Hey’s hands. The opportunity for Alfie to receive a second medical opinion and to undergo pioneering treatment in Italy is still available.

The behaviour of Alder Hey and its Trust is incomprehensible. Senior management continue to bury their head in the sand, ignoring compelling evidence that Alfie has a fighting chance. Alfie’s parents find themselves fighting a bureaucratic behemoth with its enormous resources and vast legal budget.

Instead, Alder Hey seem more concerned about saving face than saving a young child’s life. As we have seen from Charlie Gard and Ashya King, Alfie’s situation is not without precedent.

Totally despicable, there is simply no excuse for torturing this baby for all these months, simply because the so-called medical professionals don’t want to look as evil as they are.

Last Sunday, Pope Francis…

Pope Francis used his Sunday Regina Coeli address to pray for Alfie Evans, saying his situation is “very painful and complex”.

The Pope called for Alfie’s human dignity to be respected, and said those who are terminally ill should be cared for “with the unanimous” support of family members and medical professionals.

The pontiff also prayed for Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old Frenchman who has been quadriplegic for 10 years. His hospital recently ordered the removal of his food and water, against the wishes of his parents and the advice of other doctors.

“I entrust to your prayers persons like Vincent Lambert in France, and little Alfie Evans in England, and [persons] in various countries who live, sometimes for a long time, in a state of serious infirmity, and are medically assisted for their basic needs,” the Pope prayed.

“They are delicate, very painful and complex situations. Let us pray that every sick person is always respected in his dignity and cared for in a way that is suitable to his condition, with the unanimous support of family members, doctors and other medical professionals, with great respect for life.”

This happened after Tom, Alfie’s father met with the Pope, and Tom was reassured that Alfie could be treated at a hospital affiliated with the Vatican at no cost to the NHS, as well as reassuring him that he would receive diplomatic level support from the Vatican.

Sadly, The Catholic Herald reported today that:

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have defended Alder Hey hospital’s handling of dispute over seriously ill child Alfie Evans.

Hours after Alfie’s father, Tom Evans, met Pope Francis, the Bishops Conference of England and Wales said the “professionalism and care for severely ill children shown at Alder Hey Hospital is to be recognised and affirmed”.

During the meeting, Tom Evans begged Pope Francis to grant his son “asylum”, saying that British hospitals “do not want to give disabled children the chance of life and instead assisting in the death of children.”

“If your holiness helps our child you will be potentially saving the future for our children in the UK, especially the disabled,” he added.

Following the meeting, Pope Francis mentioned Alfie Evans at his general audience on Wednesday, saying: “I would like to reiterate and strongly confirm that the only master over life, from beginning to natural end, is God! And our duty, our duty is to do everything to preserve life.”

Such is Catholicism in Britain these days, at least as bad as the Church of England, although there are honorable exceptions in both churches, there are very few bishops included. A most unChristian stand, from the ‘leaders’ of a church that grew originally because of its respect for life from conception to the grave. We have a right to expect better.

Perhaps we shouldn’t expect better things from the atheist, bureaucratic NHS, who apparently has found it congenial to bury both its mistakes and its ignorance. But we have a right to expect basic Christianity from the Church. Well, we aren’t seeing that in Britain these days.

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