The Acid Test of Civilization

You may have missed the news, the FSM (British and American) is doing its level best to make sure you do, but there has been a large increase in acid attacks in Britain. I noticed, but didn’t have enough to write about it, Daniel Greenfield, on the other hand, did.

Things are going smashingly well in Londonistan.

The City of London has the highest murder rate in the land. While the authorities launch investigations into pork being left at a mosque or a hijab supposedly being torn off, crime continues to rise.

Gun control has worked so wonderfully well that gun crime in London rose 42%. When gun control advocates insist that we should be more like the UK, London’s 2,544 gun crime offenses probably aren’t what they have in mind.

But gun control does work in London after a fashion. Those gang members who can’t lay their hand on a firearm must make do with a sharp blade. Knife crimes in London rose 24% to 12,074 recorded offences. 60 people were stabbed to death last year.

Why? Here’s a hint from the Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner. “There are complex social reasons why more young people are carrying knives and this cannot be solved by the police alone.”

Those complex social reasons would seem to involve stabbing other people. But like Islamic terrorism, stabbings in London are one of those things that can’t be solved by the police. Unlike people saying mean things about Muslims on Facebook and Twitter which the Met cops are well equipped to solve.

Still the authorities have been doing their best to tackle stabbings with a knife ban. Carry a knife without a “good reason” and you can get four years in prison. Good reasons for carrying knives include using it as a prop in a production of Romeo and Juliet, taking it to a museum or “religious reasons”. The ban, which covers “sword-sticks”, samurai swords and “zombie knives” that are sold to fight zombies, isn’t working.

But it’s working well enough that many of the gangs responsible for the violence are turning to acid.

Acid attacks in London rose from 162 in 2012 to 454 last year. There have already been 199 acid attacks this year. Five acid attacks just happened in London in the space of little more than an hour.

And so the obvious new solution is drain cleaner control.

The push is on to “license” corrosive substances while banning anyone from carrying drain cleaner unless they have a good reason. When the public is banned from buying drain cleaners, then finally everyone in London will be safe. It’s worked for guns and knives. Bound to work for acid. And being stuck with a clogged toilet, like Allah Akbar car rammings, is the price we must all pay for diversity.

It’s easy to blame and ban inanimate objects. And it avoids any discussion of the perpetrators.

And to me, that is the most offensive part of all. If we don’t talk about it, if we bury the story, the story doesn’t exist. Except it does, and it is getting worse, fast. And HMG, instead of doing something useful, seems to be taking a page out of the Saudi manual, and criminalising reporting this stuff instead of prosecuting the perpetrators.

Now mind, the British justice system is rather a joke, anyway. While the prisons are rather nice, the inmates are either seriously incorrigible, or politically unconnected (near as I can tell), and that means they are simply victims there as well. But it’s very hard to get into a British prison (Rather like Tom Dart’s in Cook County, IL, in fact. And with similar results). Not sure if you can be sentenced to more than seven years for anything, probably can, but doesn’t seem to happen, and a probationary sentence for killing someone is entirely possible. Now, be careful, writing against same sex marriage will likely get you hanged, but then that is so very much worse than killing someone.

Daniel also says this:

Murders in London, like murders in most major American cities, are driven by gang violence. Behind the shootings, stabbings and acid attacks are gangs. Many of those gangs are made up of first and second generation migrants and settlers from the Muslim world. The UK’s prisons bulge with Muslim convicts. And these criminal gangs naturally feed recruits into Islamic terrorism as they do in Iraq and Syria.

Banning drain cleaner won’t stop acid attacks. Drain cleaner control is no solution. Migration control is.

Immigration from violent societies prone to terrorism is the acid that is eating away at Europe. Migration advocates have splashed acid on Britain, on America, on Australia and on Canada. The bombings and stabbings, the child rapes and acid attacks, are the burning sensation of the attack.

Yep, true enough, but you can have immigration, but only if you have and rigidly enforce laws against violence, and if you force immigrants to conform with the host country’s rule and laws. Europe, in general, and Britain in particular, are not doing so. They are hiding their head in the sand (actually up another dank and odoriferous canal) and if not checked, it will contribute to the end of Britain qua Britain.

Do read the article. Britannia is being very poorly served by her politicians and civil servants, not sure if it is misfeasance or malfeasance, but they need correction. And they need it fast, and they need it good and hard.

David Brooks actually did have a Point

David Brooks is catching a fair amount of grief for one paragraph of his column. Well, when one writes this, it’s not overly surprising.

Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.

And yep, it reads elitist and snark-worthy as all get out. But maybe there is a bit more to it than that. I hold no brief for David Brooks, but he is a pretty decent writer, who can get his ideas, however wrong or silly, into words, effectively. Erick Erickson has some thoughts.

The rich keep up with David Foster Wallace and raise eyebrows at the rubes reading Proverbs. They look down on Chick-Fil-A while eating at their artisan sandwich shops that get reviewed in the backs of location specific vanity magazines. Then they tax the poor guy’s coke and plastic grocery bag. They shut down the Christian baker who just wants to be left alone and put hedonism on a pedestal they can afford that the poor could not. Abortion on demand is the left’s preferred equalizer, but as the poor descend into the rich’s hedonistic lifestyle, they cannot afford the STD’s, addiction problems, etc. that the rich can paper over with money.

He’s right, and part of the reason I am uneasy with the instant snark that comes, especially from Twitter. It’s fun, and often very funny, but sometimes there is a nuance buried in there that snark hides forever. And that’s not good either, we need to talk together more, and snark at each other less. I don’t know any more than you how this begins, but it needs to.

Way back when I started blogging one of the first people to follow here was Michael O. Church. Over the years, I’ve found him fascinating, sometimes infuriating, sometimes agreeable, and always original. I disagree with him a lot, but always respect how he got there, and I remember that his journey is not my journey, in either time or place. He too wrote about that David Brooks piece. Here’s a bit.

We have a problem in this country. The economic elite is destroying it, and the intellectual elite is largely powerless to stop the wreckage, and while there are many sources of our powerlessness, one of the main ones is that we get the bulk of the hate. The plebeians lump us all together, because the economic elite has told them to do so. They make no distinction between the magazine columnist, who can barely afford her studio in Brooklyn, and the private-jet billionaire who just fired them by changing numbers in a spreadsheet.

Brooks has some good points, and the essay that I linked to is worth reading, not because he’s right on every call, but because he’s not wrong. For example, he writes:

Over the past few decades, upper-middle-class Americans have embraced behavior codes that put cultivating successful children at the center of life. As soon as they get money, they turn it into investments in their kids.

If that isn’t true, well you’ve been vacationing in sunny Antartica. Do not, Do Not Ever in current America, get between a parent (especially a mother) and her dreams for her kid(s). Not even if you are that kid. That’s always been true, of course. But it seems like now, that kid must be successful no matter what, whether he can read or not, whether he bothered to do the coursework, or not, whether or not he ever showed up. Hate to say back in the day, but back in the day the pressure was different, it was on the kids to earn their way, not be given a free ride because…well I guess because (s)he managed to learn to breathe. With that pressure, even going to school could be optional, Lincoln went to school less than a year, but he managed to learn a fair amount.

Brooks also says:

Well-educated people tend to live in places like Portland, New York and San Francisco that have housing and construction rules that keep the poor and less educated away from places with good schools and good job opportunities.

[…]

All true. All valid. Except, the emphasis is completely wrong. He implies that well-educated people are the problem. No. This is like the conservative contention that anti-vaxxers are liberal. Scientifically illiterate anti-intellectuals (on the left and right) are the problem, not leftists. Some of the NIMBYs are well-educated, and some are not.

The zoning/housing issue has little to do with educational pedigree. It’s generational. Boomers got into the housing market when prices were fair; then, they passed a bunch of self-serving legislation to thwart supply growth (as noted) and let a bunch of nonresident scumbags buy coastal real estate in order to spike land prices and apartment rents. Generation X was affected, but Millennials just got screwed. Further, Boomers have perpetuated a work culture based on hierarchy and socio-physical dominance, making it difficult to have a career in a company unless one works on-site in close proximity to the (very wealthy) people at the top. This creates abnormal demand for real estate in major cities, because peoples’ careers depend on them living there, even though the Internet was supposed to make location irrelevant. Consequently, we have a bipolar nation where one stretch of the country has affordable houses, even in beautiful locations, but offers no jobs; and the other offers jobs but offers no path to homeownership other than winning a hedge-fund or startup lottery.

Sounds likely to me, but my experience is different, but I’m a Boomer and live in the interior so it would be.

This is not a balanced country, politically speaking. First, while we have two parties, we’ve become polarized to such a point that most places suffer under a local one-party system.

He’s absolutely right here, as are the conclusions he draws.

When I look around in my circle, I don’t see an exclusive “intellectual elite”. I see people from all sorts of backgrounds: black, Latino, transgender, Midwestern, Southern, European, Asian, sons of restaurant owners and daughters of coal miners. We accept people who are different from us. If you’re smart, no one cares where you’re from; we don’t even really care where you went to college, because it’s correlated with almost nothing after age 30. Most of the best writers and artists don’t have elite degrees at all.

For a contrast, how often do you see Davos Men hang around with anyone but other Davos Men? Never. How much do corporate executives care about people who weren’t born into their milieu. They don’t.

My circles are like that, too, and it’s the way I want them. I skipped quite a bit here that you need to read, a good part of it I disagree with, but I was wrong once or twice as well. So read it and see what you think. But the point he makes about the intellectual elite should always be true, it’s about merit, nothing else. I see much more of that on the right than the left, but I, like everybody have an internal echo chamber, where what is memorable to me is what I agree with. And while the short form is ‘the intellectual elite’ far more often the right is talking about the university itself, which ties back to his point on the plans of parents for their children, maybe.

If you want to hate me for the books I read or words I use or food I eat, go ahead. Let’s not get distracted. We have a shared enemy. The country isn’t being destroyed by people using the word “intersectionality”. No, it’s being wrecked by the weakening of unions, corporate downsizing, accumulated environmental damage, rising anti-intellectualism, and creeping plutocracy. We have a real enemy and it’s time to put our (very mild) differences aside and fight.

There’s a lot of that I disagree with, and yet, I see much the same thing happening, so maybe he has a point. He surely has a point of view and the reasoning process to make it valid. So read the articles, and see where they take you. Hiding in a cave never solved a damned thing, after all.

Charlie Gard: an Update

Charlie Gard, who was born in England with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, is pictured in this undated family photo. The baby’s parent, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have lost their legal battle to keep Charlie on life-support and seek treatment for his rare condition in the United States. (CNS photo/family handout, courtesy Featureworld) See ACADEMY-BABY-LIFE-SUPPORT June 29, 2017.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the interlude, of our traditional 4th of July posts. One of those times that there is little new to say, and I was pretty happy with the way I said it before.

The last few days, we have been celebrating these words, above all others,

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 the pursuit of Happiness.

Apparently, the British, after all these years, still don’t agree.

There is was an update the other day from the Catholic Herald on the status of Charlie Gard. Charlie, you’ll likely remember, is the infant in London with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, for which there is an experimental treatment in the United States (risky, but he has little to lose) and for which his parents have raised $1.3 million dollars with a go fund me. When they asked Great Ormond Street Hospital they were refused permission to take him to America, and so they sued all the way through the British courts and on to the European Court of Human Rights. All of which said no.

Here’s the start of that update.

Terminally ill Charlie Gard cannot be transferred to the Vatican’s children’s hospital for treatment, foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said.

Mr Johnson told his Italian counterpart, Angelino Alfano, legal reasons prevented Charlie being moved out of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The president of the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù hospital had offered to take Charlie into their care after the European Court of Human Rights ruled doctors had the right to turn off his life support.

The BBC reports Mr Johnson said it was “right that decisions continued to be led by expert medical opinion, supported by the courts”.

The Prime Minister added some pabalum to the mix. The British government appears to be bound and determined to make sure this baby dies. I hope they enjoy explaining themselves to the one true Judge. Hell of a note for a Vicar’s daughter to take this stand.

But all is not quite lost yet.

And there is this.

 

What the whole sickening thing says to me is that in Britain like the rest of Europe, you, even if you’re a helpless baby, whose parents have found some possible help for, remain the property of the state, to be judicially murdered if it suits them.

Indeed we are!

One thing I love about the US Pro-Life movement is that it completely understands that the right to life is damned well the right to life, you may lose it through no fault of your own, or disease, or even because of something you did, but no one: no individual, no group, and no government has the right to take it, especially without your permission, or if you’re a child your parents.

We used to have a different word for that situation – it is called slavery.

Royston Allen wrote a poem called Freedom, it applies here

Freedom to give
Freedom to live
Freedom to question why

Freedom to walk
Freedom to talk
Freedom to live or to die […]

Freedom that’s mine
Freedom divine
Freedom no money can buy

#CHARLIEGARD #ISTANDWHITCHARLIEGARD

I note that as I write this, there are rumors circulating of a couple things connected with this, if they prove true, I will update.

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

In Denial about Islam

This is written by William Kirkpatrick, in Crisis Magazine. He’s right, of course, about Europe, but it’s no different here, really. Perhaps Trump understands, but not many others seem to. They seemingly will continue to play the old games in the old way, until we’re all either dead or Muslim. Here are some excerpts.

Rival gangs battle in the streets and set fire to cars. Uncovered women are considered fair game. Molotov cocktails are hurled at police stations.

Syria? No, Sweden. For a long time, Sweden has been importing Middle Eastern immigrants into its small nation, and now it is experiencing many of the problems of the Middle East. The same thing is happening in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, and England.

It’s often said that we in America just have to look at history to understand the fate that may be in store for us. But it’s no longer necessary to consult history books. All you have to do is look at what’s happening right now on the other side of the Atlantic.

In Germany during the first six months of 2016, migrants committed 142,000 crimes. But since the data only includes crimes that have been solved, the actual number of migrant crimes is likely far higher. In many parts of the country, police say they are unable to maintain law and order. More than 20,000 purses are snatched each year in Hamburg, and gangs of migrant youth have taken control of parts of the Jungfernsteig, a prestigious boulevard. The situation is much the same in Bremen, Berlin, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, and Stuttgart. All over Germany, migrant gangs and roving bands of migrant youth operate with near impunity. […]

Unless the French, the Germans, and the Swedes resist at some point soon, they, along with other European states, will someday be Islamic states. Europe is in the midst of a massive historical change, the significance of which rivals the fall of the Roman Empire. What we are witnessing is the gradual but inexorable substitution of one civilization for another.[…]

Of all the factors contributing to Islam’s hostile takeover of Europe, perhaps the most important is denial. If you deny the reality of Islamization, you can’t effectively resist it. The reality is that Europe is in a life and death struggle, but the denialists insist that it’s just business as usual. They assure us that terror has nothing to do with Islam (so don’t worry), that immigration is just cultural enrichment (it’s good for you), and that there are no no-go-zones (but it’s best to avoid them).

In Europe it’s not only the leaders who are in denial. The average citizen is expected to go along with the delusion. If he doesn’t, he can face arrest, prosecution, fines, and even jail time. In the Netherlands, individuals who post Facebook comments critical of Islam or immigration can expect a visit from the police. In Germany, citizens who express “xenophobic” views on social media risk having their children taken away. Meanwhile, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has ordered the British Press not to report when terrorists are Muslims. […]

Once again, the main problem is denial. The reason that the denialists cling to their denial is that they live in the past. European denialists live mentally in the post-war years. They must prove to themselves that Europe has abandoned its anti-Semitic ways. And for some insane reason, they have decided that the way to make up for Europe’s past sins is to welcome the “new Jews” (Muslims) into their midst. In short, they have made a colossal error and since it’s not easy to admit that you rank with history’s greatest blunderers, they must continue to maintain that the disaster unfolding around them is nothing more than a rough patch on the road to the multicultural Promised Land.

via In Denial about Islam – Crisis Magazine Emphasis mine, and read the whole thing.

Yeah, all that.

Lincoln said this, “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present… As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” True then, true now. But so many, especially on the left, have forgotten nothing and learned nothing, not since well before the fall of the Soviet Union. And since we barely teach history anymore (eminent exceptions gratefully noted) they have in addition learned nothing about how our civilization has overcome these problems, in fact, this exact problem, before. When did you learn about the Battle of Viena? How about the Battle of Lepanto? Maybe the Battle of Tours?

Exactly the same thing, the west, against Islam, in Europe. We won those, so now they try a different way. and so far they are winning.

Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan had it right, “The time, they are a’changing.”

But will the change favor the west or Islam? That’s for us to decide.

Johnny Cash in London

Well, it’s Saturday, so let’s lighten up and have some fun.

 

 

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