Embassies and Spats

‘It’s a fortress, of course it is’: the new US embassy in Nine Elms, south-west London. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

I see the president has decided not to go to London next month to open the new US Embassy. Since it’s Donald Trump, it’s controversial. Of course, he Tweeted about it.

There is truth in that, it is sort of an out of the way location

The old embassy is just west of Soho on that map close to that big green park (that’s Hyde Park). The new one is across the River just about where it turns north. Westminster (where the UK government is) is in between. It’s not as desirable a location, although like anything in London (and environs) it’s ridiculously expensive. But the old embassy had problems, it’s a listed structure, and thus can’t be remodeled (easily anyway) and if you look at most current US Embassies, they tend to be a blend of King Ludwig and the Maginot line.

But because of that listing, the embassy isn’t really worth that much on the market, either. And so the new one is costing us about $1 billion. It’s a deal that stretches back to the Bush Administration. It doesn’t strike me as all that astute, either.

But, of course, this is 2018, and Donald Trump is president, so it has become political, on both sides of the pond.

It’s no secret that Trump and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are not particularly fond of each other, according to the Guardian, Khan had this to say,

“It appears that President Trump got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city’s values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance,”

“His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests. This just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.”

Well, OK, but I haven’t noticed the President running from many fights lately, although he may have concluded (rightly, in my mind) that this is the wrong fight at the wrong time.

The Guardian also says:

British relations with the president hit a low late last year when May criticised his decision to retweet videos posted by the far-right extremist group Britain First.

Trump responded by tweeting directly to the prime minister that she should focus on tackling domestic terrorism.

The government was so concerned about his decision to share the videos that Britain’s ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, took the rare step of raising the issue directly with the White House.

Trump’s ambassador to London, Woody Johnson, subsequently insisted: “The president and the prime minister have a very, very good relationship. I know the president admires and respects the prime minister greatly.”

May’s government has been keen to strike up a close relationship with the Trump administration despite his erratic behaviour, because of Britain’s desire to strike a swift trade deal with the world’s largest economy when it leaves the European Union.

Trump has sparked alarm among diplomats by repeatedly entering into Twitter spats with key public figures, including the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to whom he recently boasted about the size of the US nuclear arsenal.

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. I doubt Trump is particularly enthused about the British government support for the Iranian regime either, particularly since it appears to be crass commercialism even by American standards, while protestors are dying in the streets. Nor is the increasing constriction of free speech likely to appeal to him. He may well also be wondering why she apparently has no conception of decision making and leading if so, he joins a lot of Americans, and Britons, for that matter, wondering about that.

I expect that it’ll work out, we’ve been through far worse, but it is sort of fun to watch the cousins spat.

The  Guardian also has a rather nice article on the new embassy itself. I rather like it. Rather than Ludwig the Mad and Maginot Line, it strikes me as more a Tower of London for the 21 st Century. Castles have improved a bit in the last 1000 years it seems. Although I suspect the Tower will outlive the Embassy, by quite a lot, Ravens willing.

 

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Slaughtering the Innocent

I suspect many of you remember Charlie Gard, I certainly do. He was a baby with a disease that doctors in Italy and the United States thought maybe they could help, but the British NHS absolutely refused to let him go, essentially killing him. I wrote about it here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. In this post, we referred to a National Review article that mentioned another case was lurking out there. This is that case.

I heard about this from a British friend, who wrote an article about it on her blog, which is here. I’ll let Caroline describe it.

To recap, Alfie doesn’t have a diagnosis of terminal illness, in fact he doesn’t have a diagnosis at all, but that hasn’t stopped Alder-Hey hospital which is treating him, from coming to the conclusion that he would be better off dead.

In their legal submission Alder Hey claims that Alfie is insensate and unaware of any kind of stimulation or sensation. You need only to look at some of the videos on his Facebook page, to see that this is not the case. In one extremely poignant photo, baby Alfie is seen opening his eyes when his mummy picks him up for a cuddle. In another you can see Alfie clearly responding to his father’s voice and even stretching.

The reason why Alfie is in what appears to be a comatose state is because he is drugged up to the eyeballs on 4 different anti-convulsant medications in order to prevent the seizures which he was experiencing, which could cause brain damage. These drugs not only sedate Alfie, but also depress his breathing, making Alfie more reliant on his ventilator. The cumulative effect of all of them together increases their side-effects.

Alfie’s family have a number of questions surrounding his care, one of them being why he has been intubated for so long without ever being offered the option of a tracheostomy? Intubation is never intended as a long term option – it is uncomfortable and the tube which Alfie has fitted has been identified as being too large for a child of his age and size. One of the reasons why Alfie needs sedative drugs is order to suppress the gagging and discomfort which accompanies intubation.

Another effect of intubation is that of long term damage to the trachea, vocal chords and muscles required for breathing. It is considered best practice to perform a tracheostomy after 3 weeks of intubation in order to lessen these risks. A tracheostomy does less damage to the trachea, doesn’t required sedation and makes it much more likely that the patient could be weaned off the ventilator and in many cases, even allows for the patient to go home.

While it cannot be guaranteed that this would have been the outcome for Alfie , it calls into question Alder Hey’s submission that all options have been exhausted, because clearly this one has not been tried and as a result Alfie has potentially missed out on an extra year of babyhood and development.

Despite previously recommending a brain biopsy for Alfie, Alder Hey state that this procedure is too invasive.

Another hospital in Europe has agreed to take Alfie and perform a tracheostomy immediately.

On the subject of tubes Alfie also has a feeding tube fitted through his nose and down his throat, along with the ventilator tube. It’s quite a lot of equipment to be fitted into a baby’s tiny throat for an entire year, especially with the large uncomfortable tapes across his face.

As with the intubation, when internal feeding is required for a long time, normal practice is to fit a PEG feeding tube directly to the stomach, yet Alfie has not received one. The nasal tubes were not designed to be fitted long term and are insanitary. Last time Alfie’s feeding tube was changed it was blocked with deposits from meds and food. Alfie’s current tube has mould on a connecting piece and apparently the hospital hasn’t responded to repeated inquiries about changing it.

There’s quite a lot more and you really need to read it.

Again there is an Italian hospital that is willing to at least make him more comfortable by installing the proper tubes, and then they can perhaps do some real good. Also again it has been fully funded by a go fund me, so the British government is not on the hook for the cost.

Alder-Hey is, of course, the hospital that got itself in all sorts of trouble back around the turn of the century for improper handling, retention, and disposal of human tissue, including children’s organs. That led to the Human Tissue Act 2004, which may, but likely does not, have a connection with this case.

But what does have a connection with Charlie Gard is the hospital’s disdain for the child’s parents, and their insistence on effectively torturing him until he dies, and the sooner the better. Just before Christmas, there was a hearing (as Caroline mentioned) to remove the parents’ control and appoint a guardian. When this was done In Charlie’s case, the guardian appointed was Victoria Butler-Cole, the chairman of Compassion in Dying, a euthanasia charity. In this case, the judge, in a rare human decision, said there would be no decision until after the holidays.

What we have here, once again, is British institutional disdain, at best, of parent’s rights, to have a say in their child’s healthcare, like the baby is the property of the state. Well, that probably is what they believe but we, and many Britons, know better. It’s also curious that most of these cases seem to come up in families with normal heterosexual couples, who live together and love their baby. Wonder why that is.

Caroline again:

I can only speculate why this might be, perhaps it’s because his parents are both very young working-class blue collar types and some kind of snobbery is in play. Or maybe it’s because it’s thought that Alfie will be too much of a drain on the NHS in the long-term and perhaps if his parents could have been persuaded to accept that he ought to be taken off life-support, his organs could have been used for donation?

No matter what the motivation, this case, along with that of Charlie Gard seems to be all about the normalisation of euthanasia. Edmund Adamus came under fire in 2009 when he called the UK, the geo-political centre of the culture of death, but you have to wonder what is going on in a country where if your child is critically ill, regardless of how fantastic a parent you might have been, the state determines that only they, not you, are able to determine whether they should live or die.

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.

And so it time to pray again, that the British government may be prevented from killing another innocent (very innocent) Briton. May not work, but then again it may, and what else can we do.

The title I chose will come into focus Thursday, when we will look at King Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents because frankly, I see very little difference between the current British medical system, backed by the government, and King Herod.

Katie Hopkins

My British friends tell me things, as I do them, most of them pseudonymously, for good and sufficient reason. Some Brits have heroically said these things under their own name in public and a few write them. Katie Hopkins is one. And she has paid the price and no doubt will in the future. That is what happens to truth-tellers in countries that are becoming less free.

But this is what almost all my friends say, it is the truth as a lot of the cousins see it, and like Katie, they see America as the great hope, the keeper of the flame, for she is right, all across Europe the reaction is building,

This is from the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2017 Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 16th-19th at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. This speech cost her her job with The Daily Mail, truth-telling has a high price sometimes. Unusually for here, the transcript follows the video. It’s important guys, this is the central issue of the day.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/243803644″>Katie Hopkins: Get Furious and Fight Back</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user15333690″>DHFC</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Katie Hopkins: Hello. Thank you very much for having me here. It’s such a pleasure to be – I don’t know – amongst people that are prepared to fight for their country, and I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. A couple things I should clear up, really, before I start. First up, I’m not Milo, and neither, slightly more offensively, am I Milo’s mother, and also, for the record, some people on the Democratic side of things say that I’m a crap Ellen DeGeneres. I’m not her either. Actually, I’m not even gay. I just have short hair. Those are two different things. I am a straight, white, conservative female with one husband and three children under 13, and where I come from, back in Blighty, that virtually makes me an endangered species. I’m on the extinctions list, the list of animals that are due for extinction. I’m up there with the black rhino, and he has an advantage because he’s black. Black lives matter, people.

In fact the threat against me has become a little bit more real of late. I’ve been kind of under attack myself, I suppose, as so many of us have. Only last week a lovely lady called Madihah; if I got that wrong, I don’t apologize, and her partner – they’re British, of course; they were in court and they were found guilty of conspiring to commit acts of terror against citizens of the UK, one of which was to decapitate me. Yes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Miss Islamic Extremist 2017 had been romancing a jihadi, and as her wedding gift, she wanted my head on a plate. I was at the top of her list because I am the biggest bitch in Britain. Yes, I am. She bought him a hunting knife. She bought him a plastic dummy to practice his stabbing skills on, and they chatted about the glorious day on WhatsApp, and in a rare example of the British police actually doing the job they’ve been paid for, instead of placating the Muslim mafia or police in my Twitter, she has been found guilty and sent down. All right. She is going down and she better get used to that in the slammer that she’s been sent to.

And I live to fight another day, and so here I am, and my message to you resonates with what the boys were saying. I was thinking they’re a bit like the three wise monkeys, those guys, aren’t they? Except they do hear it, they do see it, and they do say it, so thank God for them; but my message is simple. Do not let this great country become the United Kingdom. Do not allow America to fall as Europe has fallen. Look at us, let us be a warning; be better than us. I’ve watched my country fall apart and I want to warn others before they let their country do the same, and believe me, I love my country. I’m not quick to talk it down. I was sponsored through university by the Intelligence Corps. I passed out of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to serve my country as an army officer. We went in as a troop of 32 girls; we came out as 8 more-or-less men. Oh yeah. It’s still there, but doesn’t work that much. And I wanted to become the first female general, but my epilepsy put paid to that. It’s why I have short hair too, actually, but it brought me to the media, and so my fight goes on, and this fight is real.

The UK today is a place few of us recognize. I get letters and emails – really upsetting ones – from 60- and 70-year-olds struggling to make sense of the country they love. Like my mom and dad; they ask me, “Has the world gone mad? How is this all going to end up? Where does this stop?” Some of them email me to say that they’re glad they’re old because they will be gone soon, and they won’t have to wait for the time they see their country fall. These are hard messages to read, and they’re really hard messages to respond to, and believe me, I am wary of painting too depressing a picture. I have not come here to be part of the fear. I have not come here to talk my country down or to fail to see the good in Britain, but there are some blunt truths I believe it is my duty to tell. You are more likely to be raped in London than in New York. You are more likely to be attacked with acid from a guy on a moped in East London than in Islamabad, and when it comes to terror, the head of the UK MI5 said the risk is now impossible to contain or to control.

Seven police officers in Muslim-controlled areas of the UK email me and alleged that the local imam at the mosque is in charge of selecting the police officers he will allow to police his neighborhood. In a relentless program of appeasement by the establishment, they continually seem to put the lives of jihadi and the Muslim mafia ahead of the lives of our own daughters, and in the latest recruitment round for the police, white British males were excluded from the day’s coaching in how to pass the recruitment day. If you were white and male, you could not go. If you were gay or ethnic or black or any other minority, then you could apply, and I have nothing against those people, but in the UK, discrimination against whites is institutionalized and systemic. I applied for a place for my husband just to see if he could get through. He’s a male, vaguely, and he’s white, and they said no; but without a minority card to play or a race card, you have no grounds for redress anymore in our country.

The UK is now formed of two distinct territories. There is Londonistan and there is the rest of the UK, London and the rest of the UK. If you took Britain and stand it on its side, it is very much a baby America. London is Clinton. London is California, the bad bits, and all the good bits I see are here today. London is Bill de Blasio’s New York, and he’s an utter cockwomble if ever I met one. He may be tall, but he is the smallest man I know. And then there is a better place; there is a place called the rest of the UK. There is a place where hard-working Brits want to do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. They want to look after their families. They want to love their country. They’ll fight for their country. They support Trump. They voted Brexit. Occasionally we want to have a barbeque with our families, but we can’t because it never stops bloody raining. That is a good place and it’s the place where I come from. It’s the place where I put my lovely husband, it’s the place I put my children, and it’s the place that I live in. I live in a place called the rest of the UK, and here people have grown weary about speaking out because it’s just not worth the hassle.

There is mass silencing of the thoughts of Brexiteers, of us deplorables, considered racist or stupid or wrong. We’re browbeaten into shutting up, but they’re still there, and there’s a quiet rumble of discontent at the state of Londonistan, and that quiet rumble is getting louder. Our win for Brexit was just like your win for Trump, which I went on CNN and called a week before it happened, and that went really well; and when we stand together, our voices are a low rumble that becomes an almighty thunder and our voices are heard. The quiet rumblings turn into a roar, and we’re not alone. Across Poland, Italy, Austria, Germany, the voices of the discontented are rising up to reject the globalist agenda of the people that are managing the decline of Europe and letting us fall.

Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party, he is also better-looking than the Canadian Justin Trudeau, so take that, you lame-ass piece of crap. The German AFD, the huge parade of patriots in Poland recently in support of national pride; you can feel the determination of the people that I talk to. I can feel the possibilities. There is hope. We do not have to watch our country fall and there is action we can all take. There’s three things I’d quickly like to run through, if I may.

Firstly, most importantly, the same as the guys were saying, we must reject the narrative, resist the narrative. Just become someone said it and they’re wearing a uniform or a badge does not make it true. When we’re scared, a strong narrative can be reassuring, like when we’re little and bad things happen and you run and you tell your teacher, and so, too, after terror. We look around for someone in a uniform to tell us what to do. These days in the UK, they say run, hide, tell. My grandad fought in the war. These were not orders that he would recognize, and in the quiet calm of our streets, when the threat is neutralized and yet another terrorist is taken down, the media machine goes into action, and it’s terrifying to observe. We stand united; we are not cowed; the terrorists will never win – repeated over and over by the Muslim mayor, by the Prime Minister, by the chief of police – the mantra of multicultural acceptance, the same script, everything the same time every time. We stand united; we are not cowed; we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and the media run around with their cameras showing people drinking cups of tea like that’s going to solve the problem.

The real truth is not this fabrication. We do not stand united. Our daughters were left crumpled on the sidewalk. Some lost limbs, some under a truck, like the images you had of those bikes strewn on the cycle path in New York of the Argentinians. We do not carry on as normal. Mothers and fathers are burying their daughters. A boy I know wrote to me – he’s learning to use his legs again after they were blown apart at the Manchester attack. He does not carry on as normal. Others seem to carry on as normal because what’s the alternative? What – hiding in your home? Is that defeat? It’s not normal to build walls on bridges of rings of steel around Christmas markets. If this is terror losing, I would hate to see terror win. Enough of the candle lights. Enough of your hashtags. Enough of your heart-shaped gestures at the sky. Enough of turning the Eiffel Tower lights on and off. I’m epileptic; flashing lights don’t do me any favor whatsoever. I wrote all this, you know, in a column of mine online. I write for dailymail.com and I went on Tucker Carlson. He did his best confused face, and I’m like Tucker quit that. Tucker, you’re my mate; you do not have to put on a confused face just because we’re on telly; and for the crime of this column, I was reported to the British Metropolitan Police for a hate crime and inciting violence against Muslims. We can reject the narrative.

Two, we can commit to arm ourselves, not just with the help of the NRA. Sadly, in the UK, we don’t have that luxury of the Second Amendment. Our police on our streets are armed with the equivalent of a Clorox spray and a Band-Aid. Some even have a letter from their mum excusing them from games. But we can arm ourselves with information, information that we find closest to the source – not information fed through the liberal filters of Google or the California fruit loops at Facebook. We must look for our own truths. I spent 48 hours in the migrant camp at Calais in France – it’s called the jungle; quite appropriate, seems to me – where African migrants masquerading as children and asylum seekers fought their way through teargas and steel fencing to break into the trucks crossing over from France to Dover, to sneak into the UK. My photographer was lynched. His camera was stolen, his wallet taken. He was beaten up and he went home because he was badly beaten, actually. I had my arm dislocated. They came for us with steel bars. We were put in the back of a van and taken out of the camp to safety.

I went back in the next day. I was told to cover up by the charity workers there, the do-gooders, the Democrats, those types. They told me to cover up my shoulders because it was offensive to the Muslim men. So I stripped off, and they didn’t like my tiny tits much better either. I met a lady with a little boy, and I was trying to find this quieter story, real women, real problems, and so her little boy – it was the first child I’d seen in camp, and she invited me into her little caravan thing, and it turns out her little boy was in fact a little girl, except she dressed him as a boy so that at night the migrant men wouldn’t come and try and steal him from her, and I learned a big lesson as well. I was naive. Migrants don’t come for a new life and leave their old life behind; they bring them with them. All the old conflicts from back home; the Eritreans hate the Somalis, who hate the Afghanis, who don’t speak to the Libyans, and they’re still fighting. They come. They do not start a new life. They bring the conflicts from back home.

I spent 48 hours in the cab of a large haulage truck because I wanted to understand the dangers of this crossing people were making. I always said one day someone will die making this crossing because our truckers are at risk. British truckers’ lives are at risk, and indeed one has since died, and I had my eyes opened once more. These entire truck stops run by the mafia, movements of migrants ticketed, organized, controlled, lucrative. Officers at the port pay to turn a blind eye to the migrants crossing. It is much more systematic than we imagine. I traveled to Libya to the coast of Southern Italy to join the migrants crossing over from the Med. You’ll know that there’s charity boats, Save the Children; just because they call themselves Save the Children, it doesn’t mean that they are. It is virtually a ferry service, and to be completely honest with you for transparency, I would rather it was a ferry service. Hundreds of thousands of migrant men, fully aware of their rights, given places in local hotels to stay, given 35 euros a day, a sum that locals themselves don’t earn, and when I carried on my journey and talked to these men in these hotels, they were blockading the road in the local village in Southern Italy because their Wi-Fi was too slow. The rice that they were served was too soft, and they were protesting their rights. These are the people that come.

I met with a woman on the tarmac at the side of the road in the heat, and she looked ill. She said she was poorly. She was there to service the drivers as they passed. She was trafficked for this life, and these do-gooders, remember, think they are saving lives. They are not saving lives. They are destroying lives while they are pretending to do good, and I walked the suburbs of no-go Sweden because Trump said Sweden has fallen, and the media crucified him for that. They mocked him relentlessly. I can confirm, firsthand, Sweden has fallen. An elderly woman grabbed me. She had only Arabic for language. She grabbed me by both arms; wrong hair, wrong face, wrong face, wrong place; she was worried for me. She’s a kind lady. I was the only white woman, the only woman, the only white in the whole of the area of Sweden that I was in, where people no longer go, and she was worried for my safety. No‑go Sweden has fallen to the migrants, and the Somalis still battle the Eritreans, who still battle the Afghanis, just like they did in the camp at Calais, and once I was there, two hand grenades were found just in a bin outside the police station, and a week later a Muslim took a truck and rammed it into pedestrians in the shopping arcade, as you will recall. One was an 11-year-old girl. It’s a curious thing, you know, how the bodies of our daughters slain by Islamist terror never make the front pages of any of the press.

I interviewed a girl who lived in the forgotten suburbs because it was all she could afford. She can’t go out at night. She dare not leave her home. She was burgled, but the police couldn’t come because their cars were looted and torched. She said she’s no longer allowed to carry pepper spray to defend herself because a girl that was attacked by a gang of Muslim men accidentally pepper sprayed the wrong guy and was prosecuted for GBH. Sat in the darkness of her home; she wouldn’t even allow me to take a picture of her face for the camera for fear of reprisals by Swedish feminists, who support the migrant men at all costs. In the game of Top Trumps, the victim edition, if you are a migrant, you win every time.

Swedish feminists – in fact, feminists as a whole – have never been more disappointing. I fail to see how they support women, and I met the head of the toughest fire station in Sweden, who was exceptionally good-looking – I’m just going to say that – but once I moved over on that point, he was now putting a bigger fence around the station to stop migrants vandalizing the engine, the fire engines, and to stop them coming in and stealing the cutting equipment which they like to steal. I asked him whether walls like this were our future, and he looked at me really strangely. He was surprised. He said no, it’s too late for that. We no longer build walls to keep people out. Going forward, we will build walls to keep the people that we love in, and that – it still gives me the shivers now, actually – and these are my truths. These come straight from the mouths of men and women who live this stuff every day, no filter, no lens, no censorship, no Google ranking, no New York Times, and the next stop for me, I want to go and join the white farmers of South Africa who are being systematically cleansed from the country by blacks there, and this way, we find our own truths.

If we can resist the narrative, if we can, just by speaking to people we know, doctors, nurses, teachers, people in the street, people that have got problems, we can find our own truths. We will have the story of the people who will have the power, and then finally, the third arm of this thing is that we have to have the moral courage to fight. We have to somehow find the strength to withstand the constant attacks that we face, and Trump is the Jedi master at this game. I love him. I know what it’s like to be ostracized by friends who don’t like our opinions. People can be unkind. The media can be merciless, but we all need to find the moral courage to stand strong.

I have battles of my own, of course. I’ve got the pocket-size Muslim mayor of Londonistan, who’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot. There is a ruder version, which involves a penis-favored lollipop, but I thought that wasn’t correct for today. I have a Muslim mayor that I cannot stand. He spent 1.7 million pounds on an online hate police force to police my Twitter feed. I’ve been arrested for my writing. I was interviewed under caution by the major crime and homicide command for a column in a newspaper, and I was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for my commentary on life because a complaint was made by the Society for Black Lawyers. I look forward to meeting the “Society for White Lawyers” one day.

My family are reported to Social Services on a fairly regular basis. People hope that they can take my children from me and that will silence me. The last time Social Services rang and said they’d had a complaint, I said but my children are at home and my husband just made them a prawn salad because prawns are quite posh in my family, and the guy said that doesn’t really help. No, it doesn’t, and vexatious litigation, of course, is never far from my door, but I’m not complaining. There is no self-pity. I’ve put myself out there; I have to suck it up. If I don’t like it, I can get home, sit on my sofa, shut up and become a vegan, and that is not going to happen.

But resistance is key, and when we come under attack, we need to make like an arrowhead and feel the criticism falling from your sides. You know I get a lot of emails from 16, 17-year-olds who feel like they have no voice in school anymore. They can’t say if they’re a Brexit supporter or if they’re one of the members of Gays for Trump. They can’t speak out, and I say to them, make like you’re diving into a swimming pool. Feel the water coming off your sides. Imagine that’s the criticism falling off you, and keep moving forward. We can keep moving forward. The liberals who reject Brexit or try to discredit Trump, they gave birth to our determination to succeed. They are Frankenstein and we are their monster, and we are big and we are bad and we are coming for them. They are right to be afraid.

We can do this. Yes, we can. If only I was black, that would work so much better. We can commit to refuse the narrative. We can commit to arm ourselves with our truths, with no liberal filter, and we can commit to have the moral courage under attack to keep moving forward. This is our time. Do not become like Britain. Get furious and fight back. Thank you very much.

The War Against the Humanities

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Sarah Churchwell, professor of American literature at UEA, who has written in defence of the humanities in Times Higher Education. Photograph: David Hartley/Rex

“There are two types of education… One should teach us how to make a living, and the other how to live.”

– John Adams

It appears that the new  Research Evaluation Framework (REF) in Britain has set off a lot of skirmishing. It’s interesting to read, and has implications for us here in the States as well.

As near as I can make out, the government funds most research in the UK (or at least England, it’s not all that specific) and the government is imposing structures that lead to generating hard numbers for quality, quantity,and ‘impact’ on the world. In other words, they are looking for short-term monetary impact.

Well, my standard answer for that is that “He who pays the piper, calls the tune”. They wanted all that government research money and thought (I suspect) that the government would fund their whims no matter how ludicrous. And don’t kid yourself, The United States Universities do at least their share of worthless research as well. We’ve all seen the lists.

In addition what many humanities people like to do is talk, not act, and teaching, which I at least consider to be the prime mission of a school (whether it’s a kindergarten or Oxford itself) is an action, and needs to be performed efficiently That does not mean authoritatively however. that’s not education, that’s indoctrination, and it stifles creativity like nothing else.

Just ask China, the benchmark for measuring education why they are sending their students to England to learn to be creative.

As an aside, that is the exact reason I oppose ‘Common Core’ as well. I don’t care what the test is, if you base performance and pay on a test, the test will be taught to. If you base (what we call) grant money on short-term applied research, you’ll get short-term applied research.

I was talking with a British pure mathematician yesterday, and he says in his field, he has the same problems as his humanities colleagues. I can’t say I was surprised either. You see of all the so-called STEM subjects pure math, like the humanities, has a long-term effect but little short-term benefit.

And yet, the old Bell Labs, the antediluvian research arm of the old Bell Telephone system was almost a pure math shop. They didn’t accomplish much either, only the world-wide telephone system, inventing the transistor,and inventing Boolean algebra, which is the underpinning of every digital device, not just the computer.

But none of it was short-term, it was pure research intelligently applied, often I suspect by humanities majors, who could see new applications and worked with enough engineers to be able to translate the jargon of engineering.

None of that says that accountant aren’t important. they are. They keep score, but are not players in innovation, nor are they players in transmitting our culture to our descendants. Even more than engineers, they are rule bound, and like lawyers, they will nearly always say no, if they can’t understand something, and their understanding is limited to arithmetic.

One of the people I know slightly in British Academia is Sarah Churchwell, I always hope she’ll pardon me for reading her name often as Sarah Churchill. (she’s a lot younger than the mother of the first Duke of Marlborough, after all!). I also think she’s one of the best things to come out of Chicago since pizza. She was one of the people interviewed for The Guardian piece linked, and this some of what she had to say:

Aren’t humanities academics stuck in the 1950s, desperate for an age of long lunches and even longer holidays? “The stereotypical academic world of the 1950s, of dilettantes lounging around with pipe and slippers sipping sherry, disappeared decades ago,” Churchwell said. “The idea of the easy life of the academic is a straw man, a caricature of academics when they say ‘You can’t just swan around like it’s 1950 any more.’ There’s been no swanning for some time, believe me. What initially happened under Thatcher was the forced professionalisation of academia and actually I don’t disagree with the imperative of professionalisation. But this notion that there are still academics at universities who can say ‘I’m going to spend 50 years at this institution, I’m never going to write a book, I’ll never publish, I’ll just sit around reading and chatting with students’, is absurd. Yes there are still a few people who chronically underperform and whom it is difficult to remove. There’s a bit of dead wood. Now I don’t know much about government-funded organisations outside of HE, but I’d venture to speculate that this may be true in other bureaucratic regimes. And the vast majority of people in UK HE are working extremely hard, all the time.”

Obviously I can’t speak in generalities and be accurate, but I know several who bear the title of Professor, and I’ll tell you a (not) secret: they are almost all in the humanities and they are amongst the hardest-working people I have ever met (some of the nicest too, although that may not be relevant, unless you’re their student, of course.) Without exception, they are also outstanding writers as well. To continue:

“What has changed radically in the last 10 years is that they’re trying to turn everything into a for-profit business,” said Churchwell. “And that’s bullshit. Universities are not for profit. We are charitable institutions. What they’re now doing is saying to academics: ‘You have to be the fundraisers, the managers, the producers, you have to generate the incomes that will keep your institutions afloat.’ Is that really what society wants – for everything to become a marketplace, for everything to become a commodity? Maybe I’m just out of step with the world, but what some of us are fighting for is the principle that not everything that is valuable can or should be monetised. That universities are one of the custodians of centuries of knowledge, curiosity, inspiration. That education is not a commodity, it’s a qualitative transformation. You can’t sell it. You can’t simply transfer it.”

Churchwell went on to talk about what would be lost if we didn’t stand in the way of this systematic destruction of the traditional liberal education. “Virtually every cabinet minister has a humanities degree,” she said. “And I think there’s something quite sinister about it: they get their leadership positions after studying the humanities and then they tell us that what we need is a nation of technocrats. If you look at the vast majority of world leaders, you’ll find that they’ve got humanities degrees. Angela Merkel is the only one who’s a scientist. The ruling elite have humanities degrees because they can do critical thinking, they can test premises, they can think outside the box, they can problem-solve, they can communicate, they don’t have linear, one-solution models with which to approach the world. You won’t solve the problems of religious fundamentalism with a science experiment.”

The war against humanities at Britain’s universities | Education | The Guardian.

There’s a lot more, and it;’s all excellent. Remember this, in any case, I’m an electrician and a lineman, essentially a technician or even a technocrat and a manager. That’s how I’ve made a living for nearly a half century. Without the background in the humanities from my parents and my schooling, it would have been a drab and sterile life. is that really what you want for your children?

What I really think is that our societies need to get over this kick that everything must have an immediate payoff. The most important things never do. In addition, our schools (UK and US which the two I know most about) need to be funded from diverse sources, with diverse goals. How we get there (actually back there) I have some ideas but, not all the answers. But Sarah is right in all she said here, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s time for people with vision get involved in this.

“I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy.”

– John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, May 12, 1780.

Alone and Defenseless

The Equalizer

The Equalizer

Although as we have often said here, protection from criminal acts is not, and never was, the purpose of our second amendment, its purpose is to allow ourselves to defend ourselves against a criminal government, it is a comforting side benefit. It is also one that the cousins, who taught us the lesson, forgot and gave away.

But some are thinking about it again, not so much with regard to its real purpose as spelled out here but, in response to the terror threat, which is certainly valid, both currently and historically.

[…]

Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons assembled at Westminster, lawfully, fully and freely representing all the estates of the people of this realm, did upon the thirteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty-eight [old style date] present unto their Majesties, then called and known by the names and style of William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, being present in their proper persons, a certain declaration in writing made by the said Lords and Commons in the words following, viz.:

Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil counsellors, judges and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom;

By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending of laws and the execution of laws without consent of Parliament;

By committing and prosecuting divers worthy prelates for humbly petitioning to be excused from concurring to the said assumed power;

By issuing and causing to be executed a commission under the great seal for erecting a court called the Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes;

By levying money for and to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative for other time and in other manner than the same was granted by Parliament;

By raising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to law;

By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law;

And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representative of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties declare

[…]

That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;

That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;

That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;

That election of members of Parliament ought to be free;[…]

From the English Bill of Rights, 1689, and if you’ve been paying attention you will hear echoes of Magna Charta here. This is the primary source document for our American Bill of Rights, and why we defend our ancient rights, so fiercely.

But we do so alone, only America still has some most of those rights. But, perhaps some Brits are wakening up finally. This is from American Thinker on 23 January of 2015.

Alone and Defenseless: A UK Citizen’s call for arms

In August 2014 the independent government advisory group in the UK known as JTAC (Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre) raised the threat level for the entire UK (including Northern Ireland) to “Severe,” one step down from the maximum Critical level, where it has remained to this day some 5 months on. In the words of the conservative home secretary two days ago — attacks in the UK are “very likely.

The threat of marauding gunmen in a city, so vividly illustrated at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher supermarket, has been clearly apparent to western nations since the horrific Mumbai attacks in 2008. MI5 have confirmed that the Syrian arm of a resurgent al-Qaeda is planning similar attacks against the UK, possibly by British jihadists who have already returned from fighting in Syria or Iraq. They include plans to blow up a passenger jet, employ Mumbai style shootings in crowded places or even hit-and-run attacks using vehicles (an attack style employed in France in Christmas 2014). Andrew Parker (Director General of the security service MI5) said the number of random “crude and potentially deadly” plots from “lone wolf” extremists was increasing. In a stark warning, he said: “Although we and our partners try our utmost, we know we cannot hope to stop everything.”

This is where we find ourselves now. Every citizen in Europe and the UK faces the risk of an Islamic attack merely while going about normal day-to-day business. UK citizens in particular face this risk whilst being denied weapons of self defense. In the past I have fully and enthusiastically supported the UK’s complete ban on hand guns. But immediately after the killing of Lee Rigby I began to reconsider the wisdom of that ban and I now utterly oppose it. As things stand in the UK, hand guns are illegal. For those shotguns you could own, extremely strict licensing specifically disallows self defense as a motive for ownership and so the old adage “In countries where guns are illegal, only the criminals have guns” is the frankly mad situation we now have in the UK.

Articles: Alone and Defenseless: A UK Citizen’s call for arms.

Good luck to him, he’s right but, I doubt he’ll ever convince many of his fellow subjects, let alone HM Government.

And all of us should remember

When you need the police in seconds, they’re only minutes away

and in Britain the armed police may be hours away.

Of Letters and Bombs

Taken hostage: Hayam has bravely spoken from her captivity to tell of the grim conditions - and her fears of what she may face

Taken hostage: Hayam has bravely spoken from her captivity to tell of the grim conditions – and her fears of what she may face

The Anglican Bishop of Leeds had sent a letter to the Prime Minister, my understanding is with the full knowledge and approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is it.

Dear Prime Minister,

Iraq and IS

I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.

However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.

1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.

2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?

3. As yet, there appears to have been no response to pleas for asylum provision to be made for those Christians (and other minorities) needing sanctuary from Iraq in the UK. I recognise that we do not wish to encourage Christians or other displaced and suffering people to leave their homeland – the consequences for those cultures and nations would be extremely detrimental at every level – but for some of them this will be the only recourse. The French and German governments have already made provision, but there has so far been only silence from the UK Government. Therefore, I ask for a response to the question of whether there is any intention to offer asylum to Iraqi migrants (as part of a holistic strategy to addressing the challenges of Iraq)?

4. Following on from this, I note that the Bishop of Coventry tabled a series of questions to HM Government in the House of Lords on Monday 28 July. All but two were answered on Monday 11 August. The outstanding questions included the following: “The Lord Bishop of Coventry to ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to resettling here in the UK a fair proportion of those displaced from ISIS controlled areas of Northern Iraq.” I would be grateful to know why this question has not so far been answered – something that causes me and colleagues some concern.

5. Underlying these concerns is the need for reassurance that a commitment to religious freedom will remain a priority for the Government, given the departure of ministers who championed this. Will the Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Panel continue under the new Foreign Secretary? Is this not the time to appoint an Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom – which would demonstrate the Government’s serious commitment to developing an overarching strategy (backed by expertise) against Islamist extremism and violence?.

I look forward to your considered response to these pressing questions.

Yours sincerely,

The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines (The Bishop of Leeds)

Personally, I think a cc. to President Obama would have been in order, because it’s all true here as well.

You know it’s getting very bad out there when you start seeing stories like this from the £ Daily Mail

The call came in the early hours, the voice muffled, furtive and shaking with fear. ‘If they see me talking to someone they will kill me for sure, maybe kill all of us.’

This was Nisreen, a 17-year-old seized by the vicious Islamic State forces who have swept through Iraq and Syria spreading fear and panic.

She told how she was one of 96 Yazidi girls kidnapped when their towns and villages fell to the fanatics.

Now these teenagers wait in terror to be sold into slavery or forced into marriage with militant Islamists.

‘I know this exact number because I hear them talking,’ said Nisreen. ‘We are sure they have sold us. We do not fear for our lives but for our dignity as women.’

It was a brave phone call from a desperate woman.

The world has heard the hideous stories of refugees fleeing the jihadists but here, for the first time, was a voice from the other side: from a kidnap victim trapped in IS’s newly-won territory.

The husband of another teenage woman, heavily pregnant, held  captive by the IS told me how she would rather the US bombed her prison – with her inside – than be handed out like a piece of property to an extremist fighter.

She said: ‘Let those jets come to bomb us and save us from this situation by killing all of us.’ She added death would be a better fate than to ‘be forced off with a strange man.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2726894/Please-let-American-jets-bomb-prison-death-better-forced-strange-man-8-months-pregnant-captured-Islamic-thugs-waging-Sexual-Holy-War-one-woman-issues-heartrending-plea.html#ixzz3AfQbgswl

In fact the last time I can recall such stories they came from

Auschwitz, in 1944

Crossposted from The Conservative Citizen

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