Youth unemployment – where does it lead?

As we settle into the Obama Depression era, one thing that I and others have noticed is that many of the very youth that voted enthusiastically for Obama are the ones already feeling the consequence of his policies: they are unemployed. As one of my college-age kids put it, “our generation is so over Obama, today!”.

High youth unemployment is an inevitable consequence of socialism. In modern Europe, it has always been high. Here is an example of its pervasiveness in the U.K., for example:

http://anglo-americandebate.blogspot.com/2011/01/left-wing-policies-have-destroyed.html

In Europe, the problem has been exacerbated by extensive “social safety nets” that guarantee a pretty good lifestyle for the unemployed. Why work, when you can live comfortably on public assistance combined with the black market economy (dealing drugs, for example)? There are large swaths of the European population that, like people in our inner city projects, have no idea how to work. A young man in France with a finance degree recently reported to me that he was “happily unemployed”. Thanks to his government, he leads a comfortable existence. However, that, too, shall come to an end, for Europe faces the same economic collapse as the U.S.

I really do feel sorry for university students graduating today: for many, if not most, their degrees will be obsolete by the time the economy recovers (which could be a very long time). What employer would hire a student with, say, a business, philosophy, English, or whatever degree that has lain fallow for two, four or more years when they can hire a freshly minted graduate instead? These students’ parents, meanwhile, will often have drained hundreds of thousands of dollars from their retirement funds to fund such now worthless educations. I know of parents that have destroyed their retirement options in order to put their kids through university.

So, what happens when you have armies of unemployed young people with obsolete skills? I know that this has happened before, such as in the Great Depression. However, when economic recovery did come in the mid-to-late ’40s, workers with no education and technical skills could still find plenty of hands-on work opportunities. I don’t know that this holds true anymore in a modern economy. There’s only so many openings for baristas.
Any ideas?

Animal Farm hits Britain in the guise of sexual orientation equality

I’d like to think this is a joke, but modern Britain being modern Britain, I’m actually sure it’s not.  One can only hope that at least some people will give the correct response to such an intrusive, inappropriate question:  “Bugger off!”

Are you straight or gay? Police and nurses to be asked their sexuality in new equality drive

Millions of teachers, nurses and policemen could be asked to disclose their sexuality, religion and race as part of a new Coalition equality drive.

Lib Dem equalities minister Lynne Featherstone says all public sector organisations should consider sending ‘diversity monitoring forms’ to staff to prove they are treating all sections of society fairly.

[snip]

Her plans are suggested in a guide to how public bodies should comply with the Act. Critics fear it will lead to an avalanche of bureaucracy and expense just as jobs are under threat and budgets are slashed.

[snip]

It also says that complying with the equality duty ‘may involve treating some people better than others, as far as this is allowed by discrimination law’. (Emphasis mine.)

Is it just me, or did that last sentence sound purely Orwellian?  “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.”

A demographic shift that keeps shocking me

Thirty years ago, I went to England through my university’s junior year abroad program.  Although I had visions of walking across Cambridge’s or Oxford’s sun-dappled lawns, I actually ended up in the north of England.  My disappointment swiftly turned to pleasure when I discovered that the north of England was much more “English” than the South.  While the South already then had a large international community, augmented by hordes of tourists, the north was still quintessentially British.

That is no longer true.  While I might have expected the north to become “internationalized,” as the South was, something different has happened:  the north has become Pakistan on the Atlantic.  I already learned this a few years ago when I met a woman from Leeds who told me that whole towns have become predominantly Pakistani.  More than that, she said, the incoming Muslims, or “Asians” as the Brits called them, targeted Jewish neighborhoods, aggressively replacing the existing population.

Despite know this, it still surprises me when I read an article highlighting the huge demographic shift in the most English part of England.  The Daily Mail has an article about the fact that, owing to Political Correctness, British law enforcement and the British political system are refusing to acknowledge that Muslim men are systematically grooming white British girls for prostitution.  It’s a shocking article overall but, ironically, the part that shook me most was this one:

Those convicted allegedly represent only a small proportion of what one detective called a ‘tidal wave’ of offending in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and the Midlands.

Are we weirdly privileged to get front-row seats for the spectacle of a culture committing suicide?  I guess so.

No air of verisimilitude to this otherwise unconvincing narrative

It turns out that the young man who hung on the Union Jack flag in order to climb a cenotaph dedicated to the dead of WWI, a cenotaph that has inscribed on it in large letters “the glorious dead,” has apologized, claiming he knew not what he did.

Hogwash.

First of all, any halfway civilized person knows that people will take umbrage if, during a violent protest, you use your nation’s flag as a rappelling rope.  Second, as noted, the Cenotaph doesn’t hide its identity as a war memorial.  It has written all over it encomiums to the “glorious dead.”  Further, it’s not a minor little memorial.  Instead, it’s quite famous Cenotaph, located at England’s political heart:

Probably the best-known cenotaph in the modern world is the one that stands in Whitehall, London at 51°30′09.6″N 0°07′34.1″W / 51.502667°N 0.126139°W / 51.502667; -0.126139 (The Cenotaph, London). It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who conceived the idea from the name of a structure (“Cenotaph of Sigismunda”) in Gertrude Jekyll’s garden,[1] and constructed from Portland stone between 1919 and 1920 by Holland, Hannen & Cubitts.[2] It replaced Lutyens’s identical wood-and-plaster cenotaph erected in 1919 for the Allied Victory Parade commissioned by David Lloyd George, and is a Grade I listed building.[3] It is undecorated save for a carved wreath on each end and the words “The Glorious Dead”, chosen by Rudyard Kipling. It commemorates specifically the victims of the First World War, but is used to commemorate all of the dead in all wars in which British servicemen have fought. The dates of WWI and WWII are inscribed on it in Roman numerals. The design was used in the construction of many other war memorials throughout the British Empire. The British Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is located nearby in Westminster Abbey.

The sides of the Cenotaph are not parallel, but if extended would meet at a point some 300 metres (980 ft) above the ground. Similarly, the “horizontal” surfaces are in fact sections of a sphere whose centre would be 900 feet (270 m) below ground.[4]

It is flanked on each side by various flags of the United Kingdom which Lutyens had wanted to be carved in stone. Although Lutyens was overruled and cloth flags were used, his later Rochdale cenotaph has stone flags. In the years following 1919, the Cenotaph displayed a Union Flag, a White Ensign, and a Red Ensign on one side and a Union Flag, a White Ensign, and a Blue Ensign on the other side. On 1 April 1943, an RAF Ensign was substituted for the White Ensign on the west side of the monument. The flags displayed as of 2007 represent the Royal Navy, the British Army, the Royal Air Force, and the Merchant Navy.

It also turns out that it’s reasonable to assume that the young man at issue is familiar with both London landmarks and the Cenotaph’s fame.  You see, he wasn’t just any old protester.  Instead, the young man, Charlie Gilmour, is the son of Pink Floyd guitarist, Dave Gilmour.  One has to assume a certain amount of sophistication — that is, a familiarity with London — from a young man raised in those august rock circles.  Add to that the fact that Charlie was a history major and, well, the plea of ignorance pretty much falls apart.

But there’s more going on here than an unconvincing apology.  This riot was about increased tuition.  The same article that discusses Charlie’s manifestly insincere apology notes that his father is worth 80 million pounds.  In other words, given both Charlie’s age, which puts him past his university years, and his family wealth, this wasn’t his fight.  He was there, instead, to take part in a protest for protest’s sake.

His presence for the “fun” is no little thing.  In timely and coincidental manner, today’s FrontPage Magazine has a review of a new book, Anna Geifman’s Death Orders: The Vanguard of Modern Terrorism in Revolutionary Russia.  Her book notes the ideological tend line that began with the death cult of Russian anarchy and communism, traveled to Nazi Germany, and right now manifests itself with modern Islamism.  By death cult, Geifman does not mean that these ideologies result in lots of deaths, although they do.  Instead, Geifman writes about, and I’m focusing on, the fact that these ideologies are dedicated to death:

Geifman maintains dogma has nothing to do with terrorist violence in the two principal eras studied. Many Russian revolutionaries knew little about socialist theory, while Islamist terrorists are often ignorant of the Koran’s tenets. The causes the terrorists espouse are simply the means, and a camouflage, to sustain their anti-life religion of violence and to make the blood sacrifices their God of Death demands. Similar to the Russian revolutionary and Islamist movements were India’s Thugs who murdered thousands of unsuspecting travellers as human sacrifices to their death goddess, Kali. But unlike the Thugs, in carrying out the murderous rites of their pagan religion inside of a religion, the Marixst and Islamist terrorists often sacrifice themselves.

I acquit useful idiot Charlie Gilmour of being an informed acolyte of the confluence of two death cults, Islamism and anarchy.  I don’t, however, see it as coincidence that he swung from a memorial raised to those who died defending Western civilization, a culture that has always been dedicated to choosing life.  (And no, it’s not an oxymoron to speak of war dead in the same sentence as choosing life.  It’s not merely the fight that matters, unless you’re a moral relativist.  What matters is the cause for which one fights.  A soldier who dies in the cause of freedom, as opposed to totalitarianism, is choosing life even as he willing accepts the possibility of death.)

Poor Charlie, who has manifestly fallen into Britain’s Leftist, anarchic circles (even if his dad didn’t raise him this way), has been steeped in the culture of death.  For him to swing from his nation’s flag in order to scale a memorial raised to the dead was, consciously or not, a logical outcome of his upbringing and ideology.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

British women escaping Western nihilism

In past posts, I’ve noted that it isn’t surprising that British women are converting in surprisingly high numbers to Islam.  In a secularized, socialized, de-moralized Britain (and, by de-moralized, I mean a place remarkably free of traditional morality), the women are pickled in alcohol, and encouraged to have sex at the drop of a hat with whomever happens to be convenient.

In other words, Britain’s social mores — or lack thereof — have abandoned its to a type of decadence that and debauchery that is soul destroying.  Islam, which frees them from the drink and sex culture, must seem to offer a redemptive purity.  The price they pay — complete submission to men — seems small, since they were already completely submitted to men, only in a debauched, not a “pure” way.

The Muslims understand this.  Although the value they place is women is stifling and dehumanizing, they still value their women more than Britain values its women.  Muslims clearly see Western women in precisely the same terms that those women see themselves:  as unprotected vessels to satisfy men’s sexual desires.

British politician claims Israel is the root cause of world wide terrorism

Yes, you read that post caption correctly.  British Liberal Democrat Jenny Tonge, in a speech in the House of Lords, claims that terrorism around the world is Israel’s fault, because Israel treats the Palestinian’s badly:

On the issue of world conflict prevention, Tonge then said: “It is a disgrace to us all that problems such as Kashmir and Palestine are still alienating Muslims all over the world.

“The treatment of Palestinians by Israel is held up as an example of how the West treats Muslims,” she said, “and is at the root cause of terrorism worldwide.”

You have to check out the JPost article to get the full flavor of her delusional rant.

How does one talk to someone like this, someone who, moreover, has quite the bully pulpit to articulate her particular brand of insane poison?  It doesn’t seem to occur to her that, even if one assumes that her premise is true, and that Israel doesn’t treat Palestinians well, that’s scarcely an explanation for the Muslims’ worldwide terror spree.  If not being treated well explains worldwide terrorism, we should be on the receiving end of terrorism from Israelis, who are treated badly by the surrounding Muslims; from Kurds, who are brutalized by the Turks; from Christians, who are brutalized everywhere in the Muslim world; from expatriate Cubans, whose compadres are prisoners in their own country; from Tibetans, who are on the receiving end of totalitarian, often genocidal treatment from the Chinese; etc.

But that’s logic, and logic doesn’t work in crazy land.  This is a woman who has convinced herself that jihad has nothing to do with Islam itself, and everything to do with victim status.  Well, it’s time for the Jews to start claiming victim status, then.  Maybe that will turn around her lunacy.  Or maybe not, because what we’re really seeing here is hardcore antisemitism, of the type that knows no logic or rationality.

Entitlement protests in England

When I studied in England, I did so using money I’d saved from a decade of work (starting when I was ten).  I took care of neighbor’s houses, mowed their lawns, babysat their kids, cleaned their cars, etc.  I had a goal and I worked to pay for it.

I was taken completely aback by the fact that all of the students I met in England had government subsidies for their education.  The working class students were completely subsidized.  The upper class were partially subsidized.  All had running overdrafts at their banks, meaning none had to live within a budget.  Each told me earnestly that this was to ensure that everyone had equal access to education.  Considering how class stratified England still was 30 years ago, that made a kind of weird sense to me.  Universities weren’t about education or hard work, they were about breaking the class barriers.  I got it.  (Or at least, I thought I got it.)

This week, we learned that certain Brits think that education is about breaking more than class barriers:  it’s about breaking budgets, windows, heads, etc.  As it happens, the outsized violence of the protests against tuition increases is not coincidental.  The leaders of the protests, the ones who took it from a march of spoiled children to a mob of violent anarchists, had far left ideology as their drummer.

Nowadays, wherever there’s bloodshed and violence, you can be virtually assured that one of two forces is behind it:  Islam or Leftism.

Backdoor Communism

The British government has proposed stealth communism:  all paychecks go to the government first, which then doles out to the wage earner whatever amount the government feels is the wage earner’s due.  Think about it.  As Pat Sajak wrote yesterday, withholding is bad enough, because it deprives the worker of a sense of ownership over that portion of the money he never sees.  Nevertheless, under the withholding system, the employee at least gets some money which he owns.  The British government, however, is proposing a system by which ownership of all wages lies with the government.  You can dress that up as efficiency, as the Brits are trying to do, but it sure looks like communism to me.

“It’s not just about his mental state, it’s about justice being done.”

I arrived in England months after Peter Sutcliffe, the terribly brutal “Yorkshire Ripper,” had been arrested.  His last victim had been killed around the corner from the apartment in which I was to live for a year.  Although I was happy and felt safe where I lived, only once did I walk down the road where her body was found.  Once was enough.  I’m not superstitious, truly, but there was a terrible feeling of grief and fear at that spot.

Sutcliffe has been in high security prison since his conviction, but that may be about to change:

The Yorkshire Ripper could be released from Broadmoor to a less secure unit after doctors reported a dramatic improvement in his mental health.

A tribunal judge has ruled that Peter Sutcliffe, 63, should be moved to ‘conditions of lesser security’, where he could even be eligible for day release.

The debate over a downgrade in Sutcliffe’s security status emphasizes the gaping divide between the ideologically driven mental health and pro-prison rights crowd, and those who believe in justice for the dead. On the one hand, you have an old-fashioned judge, apparently untainted by any excessive concern for the murder, as opposed to the victim:

Mr Justice Mitting likened Sutcliffe, who butchered 13 women and tried to kill seven others between 1975 and 1981, to a terrorist, saying the ‘brutality and gravity’ of his crimes meant he should never be released.

On the other hand, however, you have the mental health crowd, which is just thrilled that Sutcliffe isn’t, in their humble estimation, as mentally ill any more as he once was:

But last week a mental health tribunal assessing his condition came to a different conclusion, with doctors saying he was in ‘complete remission of his positive symptoms’ of paranoid schizophrenia after treatment ‘contained’ his mental illness.

Richard McCann, whose mother Wilma was Sutcliffe’s first victim, distills everything down to three simple sentences:

‘This is very unsettling. It would make a mockery of the justice system if this were to happen.

‘It’s not just about his mental state, it’s about justice being done.

Justice, however, is in short supply in the P.C., bleeding heart Leftist world, one that will always side with the living killers against the dead victims.

Welfare versus parasitism

When I lived in England many, many moons ago, I met an English student who had spent the previous summer working, very, very hard, at the local zoo.  The highlight of his work day was driving around the little kiddy train, and even that wasn’t much fun.  He spent the rest of the time mucking out the animals’ enclosures.  He found the elephant enclosure especially distasteful.

His sister, who was about his age, didn’t bother to get a job.  She spent her time watching the soaps on telly, going out drinking with her friends, and collecting the dole.

At summer’s end, the sister had gotten more money on the dole than my friend did, despite his hard, honest work.  The result was that, while he expected to work a real job once he had his engineering degree, he was very clear that he would never work again until that degree catapulted him into a different income bracket.  At the lower bracket, living in a welfare state, it was much smarter not to work at all.

Thirty years on, and that message in England has not changed one iota:

A haulage boss was left stunned after an unemployed driver rejected the offer of a job paying more than £500 a week so he could remain on benefits.

Graham Poole, the managing director of a 23-wagon fleet in Rochdale, offered the job to the man who had been out of work for 18 months only to be told told it was not enough to have him come off government handouts.

The man turned the job down claiming he could get more money on benefits by ‘sitting around at home’.

(You can read the rest here.)

Funnily enough, if a government pays people not to work, they won’t work.  The workers have figured that out, of course.  The ideologues behind Leftist government prefer not to think about it, as they pursue their social re-engineering goals.

The reckoning always has to come, though.  At some point, nobody is left to work, and then the whole Ponzi scheme collapses.

PC toilets coming your way soon

Several years ago, my family and I visited Pompeii, which is one of the most wondrous tourist destinations in the world.  To maximize our experience, we hired a highly recommended guide who walked us over the grounds, explaining everything before us.  This guide’s particular passion was plumbing.  He had no words for the wonders of Roman plumbing, many of which are still visible in Pompeii, and the European tragedy that saw this sophisticated plumbing disappear for around 1800 years.  This was also a British tragedy, since England had once enjoyed the benefits of Roman plumbing, only to forget that benefit for centuries, along with the rest of the European world.

I am certainly a fan of modern plumbing.  Indeed, when I lived in England thirty years ago, one of the things that stamped it as a civilized country in my mind was the fact that, no matter where one went, one could find clean, functioning public toilets.  (We will ignore, for purposes of this post, the execrable toilet paper that accompanied that lovely plumbing.)  For a tourist with a small bladder, this was a very big deal.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised by England’s heightened appreciation for clean toilets.  After all, Thomas Crapper, the father of the modern toilet, was a British subject.  Although he may not have invented the modern flush toilet, it was he who brought it to the masses, allowing people to break free from chamber pots that needed to be emptied by hand (usually into the street) or squalid pit toilets in smelly back yards.

Sadly, however, England seems to be retreating to a pre-modern era when it comes to plumbing.  In order to accommodate the overwhelmingly delicate sensibilities of new immigrants who have not, in their home countries, enjoyed the blessings of modern plumbing, at least one major commercial outlet in Britain has installed pit toilets, over which one squats, rather than our nice, Western-style thrones:

For centuries, the great British loo has been a matter of envy to the rest of the world.

Thanks to the efforts of pioneers like the legendary Thomas Crapper, we have long since led the world in comfort and hygiene.

Now, however, that could be about to change.

For most of us, the squat toilet is nothing more than a staple of horror stories about old-fashioned French service stations or the exploits of adventurous backpackers in far-flung parts of India.

But this basic form of plumbing, also known as a Turkish toilet or Nile pan, could be coming to a shopping centre near you – and all in the name of cultural sensitivity.

From next week, shoppers in Rochdale who push open the cubicle door expecting the reassuring sight of a modern, clean lavatory could instead be faced with little more than a hole in the ground.

Bosses of the Greater Manchester town’s Exchange mall have installed two as part of an upgrade costing several thousand pounds after attending a cultural awareness course run by a local Muslim community activist.

A familiar sight in parts of the Middle East, and still sometimes seen in France and Italy, the toilets require users to squat above them, rather than sitting.

With one in ten of Rochdale’s population of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin, centre managers say they have been told some members of the local Asian community prefer them for cultural reasons.

You can read more on this cultural regression here.

I continue to believe that, when immigrants arrive legally in a new country, they should have made available to them all the opportunities that country affords, that they should not be subject to discrimination because of their immigrant status and that, in the privacy of their own homes and the comforts of their own communities, they should be allowed to surround themselves with the trappings of their home culture, if they so desire.

I have never believed, however, that the destination country should be forced by political correctness to re-make itself into a reasonable simulacrum of the country left behind.  After all, I have to assume immigrants move for a reason, which reason, presumably, is that the destination country offers opportunities denied them in their homeland.  To turn England into a primitive Pakistani village is ludicrous, and offensive both to the British themselves and to those immigrants who genuinely sought a new life in a new culture.

Britain’s NHS to suffer drastic cuts

In a market economy, the marketplace drives the availability of goods and services.  If there’s a big demand, the market will create a big supply; if the demand dries up, so does supply, as the market sends its resources elsewhere.

Supply and demand, however, have no place in government controlled sectors of the economy.  Although Britons are getting sick in the same numbers they have in past years, because the government is broke, so is the National Health Service, and the supply of medical care is swiftly vanishing:

Thousands of doctors and nurses face being made redundant or not replaced if they leave, while many hospitals have cut treatments, the British Medical Association has found.

Despite ministers’ assurances that the health service would not face the same cuts as other departments, many hospitals are feeling the strain, according to the BMA.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has boasted that frontline services would be protected. But it emerged yesterday that in his Cambridge constituency, Addenbrooke’s Hospital is planning to sack 170 nurses and up to 500 staff in total over the next year.

Read the rest here.

Unless ObamaCare can be stopped — and that’s a big “unless” — reading the preceding paragraph means that you’re looking at America’s future, one in which goods and services are made available to the public, not on the basis of the public’s need, but on the basis of the government’s efficiency and solvency.  If you’re not worried, you are very optimistic person or a fool.

Maggie Thatcher got it:  “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess.  They always run out of other people’s money.”

England swings wildly between the extremes

In 1931, Nancy Langhorne Astor’s son Robert Gould Shaw III was arrested for committing a homosexual act (in a park, I believe).  This was a continuation of a long-standing British public policy of prosecuting “sodomists.”  Arguably the most famous prosecution was that against Oscar Wilde, for public indecency.  The trial, scandal and imprisonment destroyed the noted Victorian wit entirely, and he died in self-imposed, poverty-stricken exile soon after his release from prison.

How times have changed.  In 2010, Dale McAlpine, a Baptist preacher in England, was arrested for stating in a public place that homosexuality is a sin.

Have the English no sense of balance or proportion?  Do they think that criminalizing people’s thoughts and opinions is the only way to balance the scales for the humiliations they visited on homosexuals in years past?

Anyway, rather than opining more on the subject, let me refer you to my previous post on thought crimes.  I think it pretty much covers anything I want to say.

If you want to see what modern socialism looks like….

If you want to see what modern socialism looks like, look no further than Britain.  I cannot urge you strongly enough to read this article.  If it is the only thing you read this week, read this article.  Because I read the British papers daily, I can attest to the truth of every fact stated therein — at least insofar as, for the past six or seven years, the various papers have reported facts truthfully.

After you read the article, think long and hard about what the Obami have done and are planning to do.  Then be very afraid.  And remember November.

What happens when medicine sinks in pay and status

As the Soviet Union showed, by the time medicine is fully nationalized, careers in medicine have been reduced to the lowest status level, somewhere around street cleaning.  Learning medicine and practicing medicine (including nursing, pharmacy, technical jobs, etc.), is incredibly time-consuming and, in a society that still has the gloss of being capitalist, costly.  The jobs themselves are incredibly tough, both physically and emotionally.  Aside from the undoubted pleasure many find in helping sick people, the real remuneration for all the time and energy involved in working in medicine is money.  Government, of course, takes that incentive away.  And, absent the incentive, that’s how you end up with this:

An NHS hospital has staff from a staggering 70 countries on its payroll.

The huge number of overseas nurses, cleaners and porters has forced health chiefs to send them on ten-week English courses because many do not understand basic medical phrases.

Among the terms some workers from countries such as Burma, the Philippines and Poland can’t follow are ‘nil by mouth’, ‘doing the rounds’ and ‘bleeping a doctor’.

They highlight the language problems throughout the Health Service, which critics say are putting patients’ lives at risk.

The lessons follow several ‘near-disaster’ cases, including one where a meal was delivered to a patient because a member of staff did not understand that ‘nil by mouth’ meant the man could not eat or drink.

Although all doctors from outside the EU must pass an English language test set by the General Medical Council before they can practise, the same rules do not apply for other hospital workers.

Instead, they are usually assessed on their grasp of the language at interview.

The problem has become so acute at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals that foreign workers are being encouraged to attend ten-week, taxpayer-funded ‘English For Speakers Of Other Languages’ courses, which are run by a nearby college.

Research has found that up to a quarter of nurses  -  more than 60,000  -  working in London are foreign, with the largest number coming from the Philippines.

Read more here.

While the above report makes clear that the language problem in the NHS involves nurses, not doctors (who must be minimally competent in England), reading the British papers makes it clear that foreign educated doctors carry their own problems.  Training isn’t standardized, many of them commute from overseas and are perpetually jet lagged, and practice values are different.  In a country that makes being a physician worthwhile — which is what America has done for so long — you get the best and the brightest.  Once practicing medicine or being a nurse is about as high status (and high paying) as being a clerk in a government office, you’re going to see the best and the brightest gravitate elsewhere.

The Obama administration and England

England is not one of my favorite places anymore, because of the raging antisemitism that characterizes her politics and her street.  Nevertheless, she is our ally and has been our staunch ally for more than a century.  For Obama to abandon her over the Falklands is disgusting.  At Power Line, in a few words, John nails Obama’s policy vis a vis England (emphasis mine):

So, once again, the Obama administration has sold Great Britain, formerly our #1 ally, down the river, along with the inhabitants of the Falklands, whose opinions would seem to count for something. We are past the point where anyone could doubt that the Obama administration’s hostility toward the U.K. is intentional. Obama seems to have substituted personal pathology for national policy.

I’m careful about calling someone evil, which I think is in an entirely separate class from misguided or ignorant or any other negative adjectives.  With this kind of excuse for foreign policy emanating from the White House, though, I’m increasingly inclined to imagine that appellation attached to Obama’s name.

The British attempt their own Tea Party

The British, who represent what America will be in 20 years if Obama-stuff continues unchecked, are being offered a way out.  Daniel Hannan, the brilliant British conservative speaker, is hosting a Tea Party.  Here are details.  So far, fewer than 100 people are scheduled to show but that doesn’t mean more won’t show, nor does it mean that this isn’t a decent start.  The real question is whether Brits have been so propagandized that they are incapable of political self-defense, or whether their still lurks in their hearts the lust for independence that made them the freest nation in the world before America came along to usurp that position.

And to those who do attend, my favorite inspiring video for the impact just a small group can have (starting at 2:30):

Police lambaste British homeowners who try to reclaim property from squatters

A few days ago, I posted about the fact that, in England, it is illegal to defend yourself against an attack within your own home.  I shouldn’t have gotten so upset about the whole thing.  You see, it seems that I was operating from a ridiculous premise, which is that one actually has legal rights to a house in England, entirely separate from the right to defend oneself against predators.  It now turns out that the British have no rights in property, especially when there’s even a suspicion that the home invaders might be a politically protected class of illegal aliens.

I sound as if I’m on hallucinogenic drugs as I write that, don’t I?  Sadly, I’m just reporting the plain facts:

Family shut out of their ‘dream home’ by gang of gipsies who moved in over Christmas

With the building works nearly over, Julian and Samantha Mosedale and their three children were looking forward to moving back into the home of their dreams.

But their hopes have turned into a nightmare because a group of Romanians occupied the property over Christmas.

To add insult to injury, police told them that they were being ‘racist’ for questioning the squatters’ right to live in Britain on benefits.

The unwanted guests have changed the locks at the three-bedroom terrace house and moved in their own furniture.Mr Mosedale, an illustrator, and his wife, a catalogue manager, both 45, had moved out of the house in Tottenham, North London, in July 2007 for extensive structural and renovation work.

They rented another property and regularly visited the £285,000 house to oversee progress.

But, after spending Christmas visiting relatives in Essex, they returned to the house on January 3 to find the squatters installed.

They now fear they could soon be homeless because they can only afford to foot the cost of rent and mortgage payments until March.

Mrs Mosedale, whose three sons are ten, eight, and five, said: ‘We called the police as soon as we found out they were in there. An officer suggested I was racist when I asked if they were Romanians, and did they have a legal right to be in this country.

[snip]

Yesterday, the couple obtained a county court order giving the squatters 24 hours – until 2.15pm today – to leave.

But Mr Mosedale fears they will not give in easily.

He said: ‘When the papers were served on them they tore them up and threw them back at the guy who’d taken them round.’

He and his wife are also worried that a drawn-out battle would exhaust their savings. They had planned to move back into the house in March.

In the old days, the British were a little over the top when it came to respecting property.  You couldn’t vote unless you owned any, and you could be hanged or transported for messing about with someone else’s (with those punishments extending even to small children).  I highly approve of the fact that, in the last 150 years, the British have accepted universal suffrage and done away with hanging ten year olds for stealing bread loaves.  That shows a high degree of sophistication.

However, having said that, England is utterly insane to rely on the doctrine that “possession is nine tenths of the law” when it comes to real property.  This doctrine might make sense in the absence of recorded documents demonstrating ownership.  However, once you have recorded legal papers, as we do in modern society, that doctrine should be relegated to the backwaters of illiterate, warlord societies — and, has far as I know, England hasn’t yet sunk to that level.

Ye Olde English weren’t actually so far off when they insisted that only property owners could have a voice in the body politic.  Putting aside all the feudal, classist implications of that law, it’s true that people who own real property have a vested interest in the society in which they live.  They’ve set down roots and are committed to the country — sometimes suicidally so, as was the case with middle class German Jews who, weighed down by their possessions, didn’t escape in time.  The same is true, of course, for nuclear families, since intact families with children have a great deal invested in their country’s future.  If you remove all stability from people’s lives, if you promise them that they can never count on the promise of a stable home or an intact family, you’ve effectively gutted the great middle that holds a country together.

Family shut out of their ‘dream home’ by gang of gipsies who moved in over Christmas

By David Wilkes and Nick Mcdermott
Last updated at 1:18 AM on 13th January 2010

With the building works nearly over, Julian and Samantha Mosedale and their three children were looking forward to moving back into the home of their dreams.

But their hopes have turned into a nightmare because a group of Romanians occupied the property over Christmas.

To add insult to injury, police told them that they were being ‘racist’ for questioning the squatters’ right to live in Britain on benefits.

Julian and Samantha Mosedale with their children Finn, Jake and Toby (left to right) had hoped to move back into their 'dream home' in March

Locked out: Julian and Samantha Mosedale with their children Finn, Jake and Toby (left to right) had hoped to move back into their ‘dream home’ in March

The unwanted guests have changed the locks at the three-bedroom terrace house and moved in their own furniture.

Mr Mosedale, an illustrator, and his wife, a catalogue manager, both 45, had moved out of the house in Tottenham, North London, in July 2007 for extensive structural and renovation work.

They rented another property and regularly visited the £285,000 house to oversee progress.

But, after spending Christmas visiting relatives in Essex, they returned to the house on January 3 to find the squatters installed.

They now fear they could soon be homeless because they can only afford to foot the cost of rent and mortgage payments until March.

Mrs Mosedale, whose three sons are ten, eight, and five, said: ‘We called the police as soon as we found out they were in there. An officer suggested I was racist when I asked if they were Romanians, and did they have a legal right to be in this country.

One of the alleged Romanian gipsies 'Daniel' leaves the Mosedale's house in Tottenham

Squatter? One of the alleged Romanian gipsies ‘Daniel’ leaves the Mosedale’s house in Tottenham after taking over during Christmas

‘We are hard-working citizens yet get treated like criminals when our home is stolen. This whole thing is making me feel constantly sick. All we want to do is get on with our lives.

‘We feel let down by the law, by government, and by the police, in fact all the authorities that one would expect to protect society.

‘The house had builders in it while the renovations were being done. It was only in the last couple of months that it was left completely empty.

‘Our lawyers don’t know how long it will take us to get them out and the stress is really getting to the whole family.

‘The kids are upset at the idea that other children are playing with their toys in the garden.

‘Our son Jake is old enough to understand what is going on and he is finding it difficult to sleep.

‘All the children are incredibly unsettled.’

The Mosedale's house in Tottenham where squatters have moved in

Target: The £285,000 Mosedale’s house. When the family questioned the squatters’ right to be in Britain, police told them that they were being ‘racist’

Yesterday, the couple obtained a county court order giving the squatters 24 hours – until 2.15pm today – to leave.

But Mr Mosedale fears they will not give in easily.

He said: ‘When the papers were served on them they tore them up and threw them back at the guy who’d taken them round.’

He and his wife are also worried that a drawn-out battle would exhaust their savings. They had planned to move back into the house in March.

Mrs Mosedale said: ‘We were in the process of creating our dream home and it has been ruined.

‘At the moment there are at least four women, four children and one man living in our home, but neighbours said they have seen many more people going in and out.

‘In the meantime we face the prospect of becoming homeless ourselves, since we had only budgeted to pay both rent and our mortgage until mid March.’

Two sisters, Mihaela and Luminitsa Vaduva, are staying in the house with their seven children.

Speaking broken English, Luminitsa said: ‘I don’t understand the problem. We have paid for this home. If they move us out, then my children will not have a home.

‘We are from Romania, we have no money for another home.’

She showed a tenancy agreement but could not provide a contact number for the landlord or say when they had moved in.

Britain outlaws a homeowner’s self-defense against intruders

One of the most basic principles of Anglo-Saxon common law is a homeowner’s right to defend himself against intruders.  Oh, wait!  That’s not quite true anymore.  In England, which practically gave its name to the notion that “a man’s home is his castle,” homeowner self-defense is against the law (emphasis mine):

Myleene Klass, the broadcaster and model, brandished a knife at youths who broke into her garden – but has been warned by police that she may have acted illegally.

Miss Klass, a model for Marks & Spencer and a former singer with the pop group Hear’Say, was in her kitchen in the early hours of Friday when she saw two teenagers behaving suspiciously in her garden.

The youths approached the kitchen window, before attempting to break into her garden shed, prompting Miss Klass to wave a kitchen knife to scare them away.

Miss Klass, 31, who was alone in her house in Potters Bar, Herts, with her two-year-old daughter, Ava, called the police. When they arrived at her house they informed her that she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an “offensive weapon” – even in her own home – was illegal.

Mind you, the above rule is separate from the fact that the UK’s strict anti-gun laws have cut off completely one way in which homeowners can defend themselves against intruders.  The inevitable, is that burglars feel free to break and enter occupied houses, since they needn’t worry about staring down the wrong end of a gun barrel.  (Crime, too, has sky-rocketed.)  What’s different about the rule announced in the above article, is that it isn’t just about removing the homeowner’s most effective instrument of defense; instead, it’s about destroying entirely even the thought of self-defense.

I think Miss Klass is to be highly commended for doing whatever she could to defend herself and her daughter against these intruders.  After all, if she ever cracks open a paper in England, or turns on the news, she knows that Yob violence is out of control.  Britain has successfully turned itself into Anthony Burgess’ Clockwork Orange-vision of a nation equally divided between compliant victims, on the one hand, and brutal psychopaths, on the other.

Thank goodness that, at least in Oklahoma, people are still allowed to defend themselves against home intruders.  Otherwise, one very brave and frightened woman, instead of having successfully and with great physical and moral courage defended herself, could be as dead as the average British homeowner:

(You can hear the whole 33 minute long 911 call here.)

Apres le deluge — Dieu?

There’s been a fair amount of talk lately about Brit Hume’s “come to Jesus” suggestion to Tiger:

I don’t have a whole lot to say about that, other than it goes a long way to explaining why Hume left the MSM.  Not only could he not say that when he worked for ABC, he’d probably be barred from even thinking it.  As is often the case with me, my thoughts headed in a completely opposite direction from the obvious.

I was actually thinking about the end of Rome, Georgian England and pre-WWI America.  All three of them were distinguished by out-of-control behaviors.  One responded by collapsing, as it was unable to defend itself against external forces.  The other two responded by clamping down, hard and fast on societal wrongs.  I wonder if we’re again at that tipping point in time.

I won’t belabor Rome.  It rose; it fell.  Part of its fall was its overextended borders.  Part of its fall was an internal moral collapse that rendered it incapable of defending itself against its external enemies.  That collapse didn’t happen quickly, taking, as it did, hundreds of years, but it still happened.

When we think of Georgian England, we think of elegant architecture, and the calm rationalism of the Enlightenment movement.  The writer I always think of, of course, is Jane Austen, with her cool sarcasm and unwavering morality.  We see it as a formal, intellectual, rational time — which it was, in one sector of society.

Georgian England was also a time of exceptional licentiousness.  It’s no wonder that Hogarth bloomed artistically in that era.  His etchings exposed the evils of drinking, as in Gin Lane:

He also examined prostitution, which was overwhelmingly prevalent in Georgian England.  The plate below, the 6th in a series entitled “A Harlot’s Progress,” shows a clergyman masturbating a woman at the harlot’s funeral, mourners drink from atop the coffin and try to steal from within it, and a prostitute pick-pockets a mourner:


And of course, most of us are familiar with Hogarth’s famous “Rake’s Progress,” showing debauchery in the high life. This is the last plate, with the Rake reduced to insanity, thanks to syphilis:

By the way, modern England faces very similar cultural scourges today.  Here’s a New Year’s picture of a modern-day rake’s progress — a British girl so drunk, she’s passed out in the snow:

new2_958077aThat’s just one of thousands of pictures of debauchery that routinely find their way into the British tabloids, all of which bemoan the alcohol soaked culture that is modern Britain.  Most of these pictures are ignored outside of the tabloids, although there was a suitable furor when a drunken University student urinated on a war memorial.  Apparently, there are still some lines one cannot cross:

article-1220579-06D574A7000005DC-942_468x664America is having her own debauchery festival.  Performers simulate sex on stage (and in the audience); cities turn whole streets over to orgiastic behavior; and middle and high schools host x-rated “instructional” meetings for “victim” groups and promulgate pornographic reading lists — and that’s just the short list of cultural horrors.

The question is, where do we go from here?  And that’s where I think things get interesting.  The Romans fell apart (albeit in slow motion).  The Georgians responded with Evangelicalism.  Victorian propriety didn’t spring out of nowhere.  It was a very direct, and religiously based, response to the debaucheries of the Georgian period.  While Jane Austen demonstrates that the Georgian era always had a core of middle class moralists, it took the Victorians to elevate that morality to a national doctrine.

America’s path was a bit different.  America, as a frontier country that had fought a revolution steeped in Protestant doctrine never had the Georgian cultural experience, although it also embraced Evangelicalism.  (America, too, had giant revival meetings.)  It was, simply, a more moral county in the 1700s, so it didn’t need to have a Victorian cultural backlash in the 1800s.

However, America had her own severe problem in the 1800s, and that was alcoholism.  In the early to mid 19th Century, Johnny Appleseed wasn’t out there planting Golden Delicious and Fuji applies.  Instead, he was planting trees with apples specifically selected to make hard cider, a strong alcoholic drink.  And in the Wild West, the saloons weren’t cute places with sassy showgirls.  They were centers of exceptionally hard drinking and truly pathetic prostitution.

The temperance movement, rather than being a sour-faced movement of small-minded women dedicated to destroying men’s fun was, instead, a direct response to an unprecedented wave of enormously destructive alcoholism.  That women spearheaded the movement was unsurprising, since it was they who were at the mercy of alcoholic men who raped them, beat them and left them alone to raise children in a pre-birth control age.

Prohibition, the culmination of the temperance movement, brought its own crime problems in its wake.  Nevertheless, Prohibition did work insofar as its goal was to break the back of the drinking culture that was destroying America.  We drink today, but not as we drank then.  In that way, is was a successful Constitutional experiment.

Bottom line:  when debauchery takes over, society’s either collapse completely (as did Rome, which was unable to defend itself), or they take remedial steps (witness 19th Century  England and late-19th and early-20th Century America).  The question today is what will happen in Europe (and, specifically, England) and America.  Both countries are struggling with internal cultural collapse and external enemies.

If I was a betting woman, I would say that England will yield, both internally and externally, to Islam.  Externally, Islam will use bombs and guns to take over the country.  Internally, an exhausted population will be grateful for the moral constraints Islam imposes on an out-of-control population.  Religious prohibitions against alcohol will seem like a good thing, and the country, bounded on one side by debauchery and on the other side by guns and bombs, will willingly take on all the other limitations Islam imposes on formerly free populations.

In America, I think we’ll go the other way:  It won’t be Islam that destroys us, but Christianity that saves us.  I make this prediction as a Jewish woman who trusts that her Christian fellow-Americans will continue to believe in religious freedom.  This means that I don’t imagine a theocracy, with militant Christians taking over Washington at gun point.  I simply believe that Americans will look at what’s happening around them, and take refuge in traditional religious morality — and in this country, traditional religious morality is predominantly Christian.

Of course, America’s problems won’t end with a strong public resurgence of Judeo-Christian religious values.  With Europe almost certainly having collapsed before Islam, the external hostility directed at America will be overwhelming.  On the other hand, if America finds its hardcore Protestant roots, it can stand strong against that pressure.

In England, it’s not how well you educate, it’s how politically correct you are

When parents think about what a school should do for their children, they think in terms of the three “Rs,” plus a lovely layering of science, history, and other subjects that maketh a full (and employable) man.  The politically correct Nanny State, however, cares little for education and a great deal for ideology.  It should therefore come as no surprise to you that the British government, rather than ranking schools based upon how well they educate children is ranking them, instead, on how well they indoctrinate children in politically correct shibboleths, and whether their student composition matches race and color grids that the government promulgates:

Top schools risk being branded inadequate by Government inspectors for failing to promote race relations, gender equality and human rights, it has been disclosed.

They could be plunged into “special measures” by Ofsted under new rules that place equality on a par with exam results and child safety for the first time.

In official guidance, inspectors are told to be aware of “gender imbalances” in upper-ability sets and ensure after-school sport is not dominated by pupils belonging to one ethnic group.

Some local councils are also warning schools to make sure staff and volunteers reflect the ethnic make-up of local communities and feature people with disabilities to provide good role models for pupils.

Look at England closely, my friends. The country that led the way, that provided the seeds for the American genius, is dying before our eyes.  Even worse, our politically correct, liberal, Progressive masters are hastening to drag us down that same path.

Let me say again what you’ll hear me say in post after post after post in 2010:  The November 2010 elections are pretty much our last chance to stop the PC car before it drags the whole nation over the edge of the cliff.  We must start supporting candidates with money now, rather than waiting until the last minute; we must go to rallies and make our presence know; and we have to vote with vigor in the 2010 elections.  Otherwise, no slamming on the brakes is going to help.  We’ll already be airborne and ready to fall.

The perilous state of religion in England

Two views of moral behavior, one from the source, and one from an English divine:

God:  Thou shalt not steal.  (Exodus 20:15)

A priest in England:  It is far better for people desperate during the recession to shoplift than turn to ‘prostitution, mugging or burglary’.

It is true that, under Jewish law, Jews in extremis are allowed to violate God’s rules.  The doctrine, known as “pikuach nefesh,” literally translates as “saving of human life.”  During the Holocaust, for example, rabbis explicitly told fellow Jews that they could violate kosher laws rather than starve to death.  Significantly, however, pikuach nefesh is not a free pass for immorality.  Instead, it must apply on a case by case basis, and the person to whom it applies must indeed be facing a mortal threat.

When an Anglican priest throws out wholesale advice to parishioners that it’s okay to go out and shoplift, and then justifies that advice it by saying that “God’s love for the poor outweighs his love for the rich,” he is not practicing pikuach nefesh.  He is practicing redistribution of wealth.

The dismal state of the British citizenship test

If I were devising a citizenship test for Great Britain, I can think of some things I would ask.  Broadly, I would ask about her  history (what makes Britain British?), her form of government (details about Parliamentary Democracy), and the duties of a citizen.

But you see, I’m not writing the test one needs to take to become a British citizen.  Instead, the Labour government has written that test.  Labour’s role in the process means that, while there are a few historical or civics questions thrown in, your average test taker needs to know how many Brits are drug users, when women got the right to divorce, how many black people are in Britain, how many single parent homes Britain has, when people become eligible for government welfare, how many immigrants have come from Southeast Asia (that means Pakistan), etc.  The test has everything to do with reassuring Southeast Asian and African immigrants that they are not alone, instructing them on welfare and child labor laws, and giving them info about British substance abuse.

In other words, the test is an insane measurement of what it means to be a British citizen, and a very good guidebook to how to game the British welfare system.  It’s a very good indicator of the canker that is socialism, isn’t it?

(Thanks to Mr. Smith for correcting my geographic confusion.  I should have known better or, at least, been more careful.)

Britain, with Communist medicine, has Communist health outcomes: lots of death

Britain’s NHS, which is government-run (i.e., Communist) medicine, has, unsurprisingly, Communist outcomes.  Lots of people die unnecessarily in England under the government’s beneficent care:

British health care is little better than that of former Communist countries, which spend a fraction of the billions poured into the NHS.

A survey published yesterday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development sees Britain languishing with the Czech Republic and Poland in international league tables on health.

The OECD – which represents developed Western countries, some former Soviet nations, Mexico, Japan and South Korea – compared healthcare standards among its 30 members and found that we lag even further behind the wealthiest nations, such as France, Sweden and Germany.

The figures showed:

  • British cancer and heart attack victims are more likely to die than almost anywhere in the developed world;
  • Asthma and diabetes patients are more than three times as likely to end up in hospital as their neighbours in Germany;
  • Life expectancy in Britain – 79 years and six months for a man – is far worse than in France, where men expect to live until 81. The deficit is similar for women.

Britain performed only marginally better than former Communist states whose governments spend only half as much on healthcare.

Read the rest here.

Do I need to say, again, that this is the ultimate goal the Democrats have for America?  Repeated evidence to the contrary (the entire Soviet bloc, England, Canada, etc.), the Democrats are convinced that, if you can just do it right, government health care will be better than health care in a market economy that is only subject to limited government constraints.  They can’t get it through their heads that, to the extent medical care in America is too expensive, that expense is driven by government interference in the free market.

As I always say, government should exist to police fraud and protect citizens from overreaching.  Government becomes a problem when it dictates what people must buy (as is the case in practically every health insurance market in America), and controls the available products.  Government becomes a threat when it takes over the market entirely, as it has in England.