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.

There won’t always be an England: Britain’s greatest generation bemoans the nation’s decline

Disillusioned members of the World War II generation state honestly that, had the England that now exists been the England in 1939, they would not have believed it was a country worth saving.  Most feel that their fellow veterans, those who died in the fight, are rolling in their graves as they look at the corrupt, non-Christian, EU centered, increasingly Muslim, angry, immoral, criminal, dirty country that is England today:

They despise what has become of the Britain they once fought to save. It’s not our country any more, they say, in sorrow and anger.

[snip]

‘I sing no song for the once-proud country that spawned me,’ wrote a sailor who fought the Japanese in the Far East, ‘and I wonder why I ever tried.’

‘My patriotism has gone out of the window,’ said another ex-serviceman.

[snip]

New Labour, said one ex-commando who took part in the disastrous Dieppe raid in which 4,000 men were lost, was ‘more of a shambles than some of the actions I was in during the war, and that’s saying something!’

He added: ‘Those comrades of mine who never made it back would be appalled if they could see the world as it is today.

‘They would wonder what happened to the Brave New World they fought so damned hard for.’

Nor can David Cameron take any comfort from the elderly.

His ‘hug a hoodie’ advice was scorned by a generation of brave men and women now too scared, they say, to leave their homes at night.

Immigration tops the list of complaints.

‘This Land of Hope and Glory is just a land of yobs and drunks’

‘People come here, get everything they ask, for free, laughing at our expense,’ was a typical observation.

‘We old people struggle on pensions, not knowing how to make ends meet. If I had my time again, would we fight as before? Need you ask?’

Many writers are bewildered and overwhelmed by a multicultural Britain that, they say bitterly, they were never consulted about nor feel comfortable with.

‘Our country has been given away to foreigners while we, the generation who fought for freedom, are having to sell our homes for care and are being refused medical services because incomers come first.’

Her words may be offensive to many – and rightly so – but Sarah Robinson defiantly states: ‘We are affronted by the appearance of Muslim and Sikh costumes on our streets.’

[snip]

The loss of British sovereignty to the European Union caused almost as much distress. ‘Nearly all veterans want Britain to leave the EU,’ wrote one.

Frank, a merchant navy sailor, thought of those who gave their lives ‘for King and country’, only for Britain to become ‘an offshore island of a Europe where France and Germany hold sway. Ironic, isn’t it?’

[snip]

‘I am very unhappy about the way this country is being transformed. I go nowhere after dark. I don’t even answer my doorbell then.’

A Desert Rat who battled his way through El Alamein, Sicily, Italy and Greece was in despair.

‘This is not the country I fought for. Political correctness, lack of discipline, compensation madness, uncontrolled immigration – the “do-gooders” have a lot to answer for.

‘If you see youngsters doing something they shouldn’t and you say anything, you just get a mouthful of foul language.’

You can read the rest here.

Government health care rationing strikes again in England

Just so you know, Britain, the ne plus ultra of single payer care, is having a little bit of death panel trouble:

Liver cancer sufferers are being condemned to an early death by being denied a new drug on the Health Service, campaigners warn.

They criticised draft guidance that will effectively ban the drug sorafenib – which is routinely used in every other country where it is licensed.

Trials show the drug, which costs £36,000 a year, can increase survival by around six months for patients who have run out of options.

The Government’s rationing body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said the overall cost was ‘simply too high’ to justify the ‘benefit to patients’.

However, relatively few would be eligible for the treatment – around 700, or one in four of those diagnosed each year with primary liver cancer.

[snip]

Kate Spall, founder of the Pamela Northcott Fund, which assists cancer patients denied new therapies, last night said cancer sufferers had been sold down the river.

She said: ‘These policies were specifically designed to help patients with rarer cancer such as liver to access new treatments for a previously untreatable disease.

‘This decision will condemn patients to an earlier death than was necessary.’

Only 20 per cent of patients with primary liver cancer – where the tumour originates in the liver – are alive one year after diagnosis.

Modern England increasingly Darwinian

The other day, the Daily Mail ran an article about the exponential increase in stranger attacks in England, a byproduct of the public drunkenness that is increasing at an even faster rate than the violence.  I still remember when England was a remarkably safe, clean little country, except in the worst neighborhoods of the biggest cities.  Now, there is no time and no place in England that isn’t as randomly violent as a Third World country or a predator-filled jungle.

If you live in this kind of jungle, it pays to be prepared.  So here is a satisfying story about a BBC reporter who, after patiently enduring verbal attacks from two drunken yobs, turned on the physicality when the yobs tried to throw a punch.  (Did I mention that the BBC reporter is a black belt?)

Increasingly, England looks like a Mad Max culture.  How sad.

A fascinating peek into Britain’s past

We’re not talking about the way distant past here, we’re talking about Britain in the 1950s, a place some found stable, safe and charming, and others repressive and stultifying.  I’m a stable, safe and charming gal myself, so I developed a real sense of nostalgia reading about a place and time I never knew.

UPDATE:  Fixed the caption from “peak” to “peek” — although I guess it was sort of accurate, ’cause Britain seems to have gone way downhill since them.  At leaste my typos are spelled correctly….

Political correctness (and the fear that underlies it) run amok

Horrible story of what happens when political correctness and fear of a violent minority group culminate in a school that saw the administration look the other way for fear of offending those violent minority sensibilities.

This, by the way, is how that paralyzing political correctness, a sensiblity that saps courage and morality, begins.

Don’t stop him; he serves a chance to kill again

If there was ever an example of misguided compassion, this story out of Britain must rank at the top of the list:

A psychopathic Satanist, given a ‘life means life’ sentence for strangling his cellmate whilst already serving life for murder, has had that cut to 20 years on appeal in order ‘to give him light at the end of the tunnel’.

The move came despite the admission that double killer Clement McNally described the murder as ‘better than sex’ and revealed he would kill again if the opportunity arose.

Father-of-one Anthony Hesketh, of Eastham Way, Worsley, who was in custody for a driving offence and facing drugs charges, was strangled with a T-shirt in September 2003. He was found dead on the floor of the Strangeways cell he shared with McNally.

McNally, 34 – a devil worshipper who decorated his cell with satanic symbols and suffers from ‘psychopathic, narcissistic, paranoid and obsessive-compulsive disorders, all mixed together’ – was serving a mandatory life term for stabbing to death his friend, Arthur Skelly, outside a party in Ashton-under-Lyne in July 2002.

He was given a life term, with a whole life tariff, for the second killing, after pleading guilty to manslaughter by way of diminished responsibility at Manchester Crown Court on July 12 2004.

But now the minimum term on his life sentence has been slashed to 20 years by Lord Justice Hughes, at London’s Criminal Appeal Court. The judge said it was not right that McNally should be denied a light at the end of the tunnel and never have a chance of release.

[snip]

Lord Justice Hughes, sitting with Mr Justice MacKay and Mr Justice Davis, said of Mr Hesketh’s killing: ‘McNally had no particular grievance against his victim – he simply suffered an urge to kill him.

‘He said it was exciting – better than sex. He said Satan told him to do things and it was his job to do as he was told.

‘He said he was not in the least bit sorry for what he had done, but had derived a great deal of pleasure from subsequently thinking about it.

‘He suffers from compulsive homicidal urges and poses an exceptional risk to other prisoners. He made it perfectly clear that he would kill again if the opportunity arose and the urge to kill was of sufficient intensity.’

However the judge said it was wrong not to give McNally the chance of being freed if, at some point in the future, his mental state stabilises to the extent that the authorities no longer consider him a danger to society.

He told the court: ‘The life sentence was plainly correct as he was likely to represent a danger of the gravest kind, for a period which could not be determined.

‘However the imposition of a whole life tariff was a mistaken application of the process of sentencing.

‘The life sentence itself is designed to cater for a prisoner in whom it cannot be seen when, or if ever, they will cease to be a danger to the public.

It’s amazing how the judge doesn’t seem to realize that, for a man who murdered two people in cold blood, maybe a life without “a light at the end of the tunnel” is just the right prescription.

Maybe this is just the pendulum swinging.  England used to hang children for stealing a loaf of bread.  Now it freely contemplates giving a second start to an unusually cold-blooded killer.  I would suggest, though, that the fact that England was disproportionately punitive 200 years ago doesn’t mean it needs to be disproportionately . . . well, compassion isn’t the right word, because some innocent always gets hurt . . . but disproportionately stupid now.

Britain yet again reveals the danger of allowing regulations to sap initiative

I don’t think I need to offer much comment on this story, which is one more indictment of the danger of over-regulation that always follows in the wake of Big Government:

Ambulance paramedics battling to save a nine-year-old car crash victim were told the nearest back-up crew could not help as they were on their lunchbreak.

Schoolgirl Bethany Dibbs suffered a fractured skull and ended up in a coma when a car smashed into her as she rode her scooter across the street.

An ambulance crew went to the scene and called for extra help, only to be told by their operator the closest back-up crew still had a few minutes left on their meal break.

Due to the strict rest-break regulations, the astonished paramedics were informed it would take 20 minutes for another crew to arrive.

In the end one of them called their colleagues directly and they immediately abandoned their sandwiches to race to help.

They arrived just five minutes after the original crew and rushed the schoolgirl to hospital.

She is now making a good recovery.

Read the rest here.

This is what happens when excessive rules sap all initiative

The only thing I’ll add to the my post title by way of commentary is that this is the America that Obama and the Democrats envision for you, since increased government control inevitably presages the rise of regulations that destroy initiative, innovation and courage:

A jobsworth ambulance boss refused to allow his staff to enter six inches of water to treat a man with a broken back – because it breached heath and safety.

[snip]

But they [onlookers] were stunned when a paramedic arrived and refused his pleading staff to enter the water – because they weren’t trained to deal with water rescues.

They had to slide a spinal board under him themselves and carry him to ambulancemen, who were stood on the bank just 6ft away.

One onlooker said: ‘The paramedic wouldn’t treat him.

‘Two colleagues arrived in an ambulance but he stood in their way and told them, ‘I’m incident commander – you aren’t getting into the water.’

‘The ambulancemen were pleading with him. I reckon a good ten or more minutes were wasted.’

Steve Cox, 47, who runs the Middlemoor Water Park in Woolavington with his wife Julie, said: ‘The first bloke insisted they had to wait for the fire brigade.

‘He kept saying, “Health and safety won’t let me get in”.’

[snip]

A spokesman for the South West Ambulance Service said only fire crews were trained for water rescues.

He said: ‘The incident was managed in accordance with procedures.’

In August, heart attack victim Melissa Proctor-Blain, 32, died after a paramedic feared it was unsafe to enter a pub in Spondon, Derbys.

Last year Karl Malton, 32, of Crowland, Lincs, drowned in 18ins of water while 999 crews waited for a water rescue team 50 miles away.

Let me remind you what initiative and courage look like:

Construction worker rescue

Woe betide us if we follow in England’s footsteps

England is a benefits culture.  The government, although strapped for cash, hands out benefits like candy, and each Briton feels entitled to his or her share.  It’s no wonder, of course.  Not only is there no stigma attached to benefits, there’s no upside to avoiding them.  Already back in the early 1980s, I had a friend who spent the entire summer before college cleaning up after elephants at the local zoo.  During the same summer, his sister lay on the couch, watched the Soaps on the telly, and collected her dole check.  At summer’s end, after he’d been taxed on his elephant poop pittance, she had more money than he did.  For him, it was a valuable lesson learned about British economics.

The inevitable has happened, with British citizens having become dysfunctionally inert:

The stigma that once went with claiming benefits rather than working for a living has been lost, a study has claimed.

The work ethic that inspired successive generations has ebbed away in the face of the welfare state.

Over the past decades each generation has seen more and more people milking the benefit system, which has sapped their will to work, the research from the Centre for Economic Performance said.

[snip]

The report said: ‘It has long been recognised that generous unemployment benefits create moral hazard – workers are partly protected against the consequences of being unemployed, so they are less likely to search for jobs with the same intensity.’

[snip]

The report in the journal CentrePiece said: ‘A decline in the work ethic, induced by the expansion of the welfare state, is key to understanding European unemployment.’

Researchers looked at answers from countries across Europe to the World Values Survey, a regular poll carried out in more than 90 countries since 1980.

They examined numbers of people in different age groups who said they thought it was never justifiable to cheat to get benefits.

They found that people in their 40s – born in the 1960s – are 12 per cent more likely than those in their 70s – who were born in the 1930s, before the days of all-encompassing welfare states – to say benefit cheating is justifiable.

For those born in the 1970s, those who would never falsely claim benefits were 19 per cent fewer than those born in the 1930s.

For people born in the 1980s, the gap rose to 24 per cent. The report said the rise in numbers prepared to cheat the benefits system held good regardless of the political views or educational level of the individual.

‘This decline in the work ethic could be one of the major factors explaining the evolution of unemployment since 1945,’ Mr Michau said.

Read more here.

This study is important, not only because it explains England’s decline into a nation characterized by sloth and debauchery, but because it presages the future Obama and the Democrats plan for us here in America.  Nancy wants to tax the functional middle class out of existence, and Obama is determined to channel those same tax moneys into a permanent pot for everyone who doesn’t want to work.  Their efforts will not create a new paradise in which everyone is loved and cared for.  It will create a hellish society of dependency and demoralization.  People whose lives lack meaning and purpose seem to slide inevitably into violent anarchy.

Hieronymous Bosch and alcoholic Britain have a lot in common

After you’ve read this appalling article about Britain’s well-recognized drinking problem, two thoughts:  First, it’s like a Bosch painting come to life.  And second, if you were in England and appalled by what you saw, wouldn’t Islam, a religion that bans alcohol, start to look attractive?

Remind me not to send my teenage girls to school in England

I gave the post the above title because, in England, even a woman who is a convicted sexual predator gets to keep up her relationship with the victim:

A public school music teacher was today jailed for lesbian sex with a 15-year-old pupil – but was given an astonishing green light to continue the ‘affair’ when out of prison.

The court heard trumpet teacher Helen Goddard, 26, used sex toys and fluffy handcuffs on the ‘vulnerable’ child, helped weave a web of lies so the girl could stay in her flat overnight, and took her on a dirty weekend in Paris, where they joined a gay pride march.

But despite hearing from the girl’s parents the devastating effect the five-month sexual relationship had on the teenager, Judge Anthony Pitts rejected a prosecution request to ban the teacher from contacting her victim for five years, claiming it would be ‘cruel’ to the child.

Instead, she is allowed to write to her now, and will be able to see her in private the moment she is released from jail, likely to be just half-way through her 15-month sentence.

Goddard actually punched the air in victory in the dock when she realised her ‘relationship’ with her still-underage pupil could continue.

Be ever vigilant regarding the current administration’s assaults on free speech

All of us have been worried that the Obama Administration, working in tandem with a wildly Democratic Congress, wants to clamp down on freedom of speech.  Heck, in true Orwellian fashion, the House of Representatives has already taken myriad terms off the table for fear that they might be used against their Fearless (albeit whiny) Leader.  We also know that Obama’s new “Diversity Chief” at the FCC, Mark Lloyd, is bound and determined to shut down conservative radio.  The Democratic administration’s cry of “racist” when it comes to any opposition to Obama’s policies is also meant to shut down speech by shaming the speakers.  Still, we have a First Amendment and, ‘though it’s getting battered and bloody, it’s hanging in there and protecting us for the time being.

Things are not so good in other places, and I’m not talking about North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela.  We all watched last year as Mark Steyn, Ezra Levant and Kathy Shaidle were attacked by the Canadian government for having the temerity to offend Muslim sensibilities.  In Canada, for goodness sakes!  We tend to think that our country is an awful lot like theirs (only less tidy), but it turns out that there are fundamental differences in the two countries when it comes to a citizen’s relationship to the state, and the control the state has over its citizens.  The same holds true for England.  We look to England as the mother country, the one that gave us ideas about constitutions and freedom and equal rights at the law, etc., but we forget how far we’ve outstripped England when it comes to those principles — an outstripping that finds its source in our unique American Bill of Rights.

Well, today’s British news served to remind me, once again, how very different a country is when it has a constitutionally enshrined right to free speech from one that doesn’t.  In England, two Christian hotel owners are being prosecuted by the government (this is not just a civil suit between citizens) for having “offended” a Muslim woman when they stated the historically and factually accurate truths that Muhammad was a war lord (and proud of it) and that Islamic dress does not serve women well (emphasis mine):

A Christian couple have been charged with a criminal offence after taking part in what they regarded as a reasonable discussion about religion with guests at their hotel.

Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were arrested after a Muslim woman complained to police that she had been offended by their comments.

They have been charged under public order laws with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words’ that were ‘religiously aggravated’.

The couple, whose trial has been set for December, face a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record if they are convicted.

Although the facts are disputed, it is thought that during the conversation the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs.

It is understood that they suggested that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was a warlord and that traditional Muslim dress for women was a form of bondage.

They deny, however, that their comments were threatening and argue that they had every right to defend and explain their beliefs.

In other words, in England, even to have a fact-based discussion that offends Muslims can turn you into a criminal.  And I do mean fact-based.  The Koran is one proud boast after another regarding Mohammed’s martial prowess.  To the extent the Koran constitutes both a religious source book and the sole historical record about the man, he was indeed a warlord — and, as it happens, a religious leader too.  Further, I don’t know about you (and it’s very un-PC of me to say so), but Ibelieve reasonable minds could consider the burqa a form of bondage:

Muslim women in burqa

It’s becoming clear that, of all the dangerous things coming out of the Obama White House — the criminal ACORN associations, the cozying up to the worst actors in the world while alienating our friends, the attempt to socialize our economy, etc. — the single most dangerous thing may prove to be the one that’s slipping under the radar, and that’s the assault on the crown jewel of our Bill of Rights:  Freedom of Speech.

Even the Muslims are mad at Britain’s most recent attack of dhimmitude

We’re getting near the tail-end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that requires dawn to dusk fasting.  Now, I’m a gal who enjoys noshing during the day, so I’m not thrilled about abstaining from food and drink for 10 hours.  I’d be especially unhappy if it was a hot day, ’cause any type of drink would look awfully enticing.  Nevertheless, it is not the end of the world to hold off on eating for a few hours, especially with the promise of a nice meal to come at the end of the day.  Also, assuming I’m a devout Muslim, I’m not fasting as a punishment, but as as a religious obligation.  It is my gift to God and my faith.

The British Home Office, however, was terribly, terribly worried about those Muslims amongst it who might have rumbly tummies and dry mouths.  It therefore sent around a 5 page document informing all the bone-headed ordinary Brits in its employ about all the sensitivity steps they’d need to talk to make their hungry colleagues happy until night fell:

Home Office staff were officially warned not to eat in front of their fasting Muslim colleagues during Ramadan – in case it made them feel hungry.

The advice came in a taxpayer-funded internal document listing do’s and don’ts during the Muslim holy month, which ends this weekend.

[snip]

The Home Office Islamic Network produced the five-page information sheet which says: ‘In practical terms, please be sensitive when eating lunch near a Muslim colleague who is fasting.

This can make an individual feel hungrier and make it more challenging to observe the fast.’

[snip]

It says: ‘The most likely need Muslim staff may present to managers during this period is for flexibility around working hours and break times as those fasting will have a slightly different routine from usual. Managers and Muslim staff should discuss what their needs are and be responsive and sensitive.’

Managers were also told: ‘Muslim staff who are fasting and whose environment allows it may wish to set out for work earlier than usual and finish their working day correspondingly early…in line with flexi-time arrangements.’

[snip]

The spokeswoman added that the Islamic Network was one of a number of staff faith and equality groups within the Home Office and was paid for by the taxpayer.

What’s so incredibly funny about all this is that the British, who have completely accepted that there home culture must always be subordinate to another culture, have not protested.  Instead, the protests came from Muslim groups, who felt as if they’d had a big target painted on them:

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which claims to be fighting a ‘political jihad against Islamophobia’, attacked the document.

It said: ‘It is designed to create more hatred in the hearts of non-Muslims.

‘We don’t care how much non-Muslims eat in front of us.

‘It’s never been an issue and never will be and we have never asked for any special treatment or sensitivity from non-Muslims whilst fasting.’

What’s sad is that we no longer live in a society where the bottom line is simply a party of human decency:  If possible, as a good human being and a member of a pluralist society, be nice to people and make reasonable accommodations to their needs — something that should be true irrespective of your or their race, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual preferences, etc.

Rapist praised for converting to Islam, because he’ll now respect women

There is no bliss inherent in the ignorance displayed by one judge in England:

A judge lambasted a rapist for claiming his victim was a liar – then commended him for becoming a muslim.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC sentenced Stuart Wood for seven years for the attack, then told him: ‘You have turned to Islam and this promises well for your future, particularly as you are now an adherent of a religion which respects women and self-discipline.’

Apparently Goldstaub has never heard of honor killings, burkhas, systematic rapes of non-Muslim women, the whole Saudi/Taliban package (unveiled girls being forced to die in burning buildings, chronic house arrest, being beaten on the street for showing any flesh), etc.  To characterize Islam as a religion that respects women, when 90% of Islam’s energy is directed to the subjugation of women is such a travesty that it defies words.  It’s impossible to tell if the judge was motivated by ignorance or malice in making that kind of statement.

I’ll close this short post with a quote from my cousin, the prison chaplain, with his take on prison conversions to Islam:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

It turns out that, in a little corner of Afghanistan, there’ll always be an England

Before their cultural implosion, the English had a reputation for bravery and sangfroid.  Although they are taking a beating in Afghanistan (in large part because the morally bankrupt Labour government refuses to give them necessary support), the troops on the ground are still fighting, dying and showing extraordinary bravery under terrible circumstances:

An heroic army medic treated seven injured comrades after a Taliban attack in Afghanistan despite being wounded with shrapnel herself, it emerged today.

Lance Corporal Sally Clarke, of 2 Rifles, ignored the searing pain caused by the shards embedded in her shoulder and back and set about treating the rest of her patrol.

The worst hit was Corporal Paul Mather who incredibly managed to radio instructions for jets circling above to open fire on Taliban insurgents despite bleeding heavily from wounds the size of his fist.

Read more here.

On the anniversary of the start of WWII, remembering when Hollywood supported Good Wars

Today is the 70th anniversary of Germany’s bombing campaign against Poland, the official start of World War II.  I thought, therefore, that this song from 1941′s Babes on Broadway was just right.  It is an explicit tribute to beleaguered Britain, which was, at the only time, not only the sole nation fighting the Nazis, but also on the receiving end of the Blitz:

Citizens defending themselves in England

In the post-feudal era, England, at its height, was a nation build on property rights.  Up into the 19th Century, theft was a capital crime.  The 21st Century, however, is characterized by a more “collectivist” attitude that is peculiarly feudal in nature.

In the 14th Century, the King was the technical owner of all land.  He granted land rights to the nobles, who granted land rights to the gentry, who granted land use to the serfs.  The latter, of course, were essentially slaves.

Modern England provides an inverted mirror of this same pyramid of ownership rights, with the government holding the land and dictating its use in a way that does not benefit the ordinary citizen.  What this means is that, in modern England, a man’s home is no longer his castle.

The government gives your average Englishman certain rights in his home, but he is no longer allowed to defend it by force and, if he leaves it for even a weekend’s vacation, he may come home to find it taken over by “travelers,” who can then claim rights in the property as well.  Most of the “travelers” aren’t even from the ancient gypsy lineage, but are just lawless people who like to live free.

In one housing estate, however, perhaps inspired by the spirit of the RAF fighters who once lived on the land, the people have refused to take lying down the fact that the government gives them, at best, the most limited rights in the land they thought they owned.  After suffering total (although polite) rebuffs from legally neutered police forces and council governments, the residents mounted a massive defense against encroaching travelers:

The old RAF camp had never seen an army like this, not in all its years of proud service.

There was a nurse, a lorry driver, a shopkeeper and ambulanceman, several young mothers with children at their side – and a Staffordshire bull terrier called Kandie.

[snip]

They bought ten tons of rubble and hardcore to block emergency exits around the perimeter of the former camp, which closed in 1999 but still has walls and barbed wire fences. A rota was drawn up to ensure the main gate was guarded around the clock.

‘Traveller Watch’ volunteers were assigned to look out for suspicious vehicles and call for reinforcements if needed. A website and Facebook page were set up to co-ordinate resources – a facility never available to Locking during its service history, which included training aircrew and radio operators for the Second World War and the Falklands.

[snip]

Properties on the estate are now worth between about £150,000 and £320,000. Many have been turned into suburban havens by proud owners, in tranquil roads where
hanging baskets and cherry trees abound.

Now some of those same people are doing guard duty for up to 20 hours at a stretch.

Louise Bailey, 31, a part-time supermarket worker and mother of two, told me: ‘We feel totally let down. There doesn’t seem to be any way of protecting our community apart from doing it ourselves.’

Two miles away, a vision of what they are fighting against was emerging in the morning mist. About a dozen caravans and vehicles set up camp on some grass verges beside the M5 motorway. Other trucks and caravans joined them later.

How long would they be there, I asked one of the men. ‘Not long,’ he said with a smile. ‘Not long.’

It seems as if we’re living in apocalyptic times. If you ever read Barbara Tuchman’s wonderful and monumental A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, you will get exactly the same sense of decay following on the heels of a broken feudal system.

Swine flu and Britain

Here, at home, it’s barely news.  In England, it’s a true epidemic, with the current spread and death rate hinting at up to 65,000 deaths as the disease runs its course.

Are we in the U.S. hit less hard?  Are we hearing less about how hard we’re hit?

I’m asking, but I’m sure not answering, since I have no answers, not to mention that I’m an epidemiological ignoramus.  What do you, oh, my wise and informed readers, have to say about this?

Because teens hadn’t already figured out that sex can feel good

Those who are pushing for universal health care here in America might want to take just a second to contemplate what Britain’s National Health Service (“NHS”) is doing in the area of teen sex.  Because Britain has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe, which no doubt is quite costly to the NHS, you might assume that the NHS would push a combination of abstinence and contraception.  Thinking along those lines, of course, would just prove how utterly naive you are.

Contrary to your naivete, the NHS is hip, dear, totally hip.  Teens shouldn’t be lectured about such boring things as self-control, love, marriage, and contraception.  They should be groovin’ and going with their feelings.  Sex is beautiful, man, and the NHS is there to make sure the teens know that fact.  Thus, an NHS pamphlet prepared specially for British teens contains this helpful information:

The NHS is telling school pupils they have a ‘right’ to an enjoyable sex life and that it is good for their health.

A Health Service leaflet says experts concentrate too much on the need for safe sex and loving relationships, and not enough on the pleasure it can bring.

***

Under the heading ‘an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away’, the leaflet says: ‘Health promotion experts advocate five portions of fruit and veg a day and 30 minutes physical activity three times a week. What about sex or masturbation twice a week?’

The advice, which also claims regular sex is good for cardiovascular health, has been circulated to parents, teachers and youth workers.

***

The NHS leaflet has been drawn up by Sheffield primary care trust and is entitled Pleasure.

The true beauty of the pamphlet is the rationale its author offers for promulgating this groovy, free-lovin’ information:

Its author, Steve Slack, director of the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health at NHS Sheffield, defended it by saying the advice could encourage young people to delay losing their virginity until they are sure they will enjoy the experience.

He added that as long as teenagers are fully informed about sex and making decisions free of peer pressure as part of a caring relationship, they have as much right as an adult to a good sex life.

Each and every Victorian who ever lived is rolling in his or her grave.

The few sane minds left in England are protesting the NHS’s latest effort to decrease teen pregnancy — which is an effort only Austin Powers could truly appreciate — but I rather wonder if they’re going to have much success.

Considering how whacked out the NHS is becoming over the seemingly intractable problem of teen pregnancy (especially since the word “no” does not seem to be a part of the British sex ed vocabulary), one wonders if the next step is going to be a consultation with Obama’s own science czar, John Holdren.  A little hormone treatment to the national water system, and everyone can have all the fun sex they want.

It’s rather funny to think that Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote Welcome to the Monkey House: Stories at about the same time as Holdren wrote his treatise on mass sterilization, got it all wrong.  The secret wasn’t, as Vonnegut’s overpopulated alternative reality predicted, making sex too awful for anyone to try.  Instead, it was making it so much fun that people would willingly permanently spay or neuter themselves for the pleasure.

Piglet’s revenge

England has generated a lot of pig headlines lately.  The first round involved Britons actually removing, just thinking about removing, pigs from public sight for fear of offending Muslims.  Those stories were scary in an attenuated fashion, because they symbolized England’s loss of will and her willing submission to a dominant minority.

This current round of pig headlines, though, is frightening in a much more imminent fashion.  Swine flu is progressing rapidly through England and the country just suffered its first “healthy” death.  In other words, the person who died wasn’t someone suffering from a pre-existing condition that made him (or her) vulnerable to the virus.  This last reported death means that the average person’s psychological defenses — “Oh, it could never happen to me because I’m healthy” — just vanished.  Yes, it can happen to you.

It’s unclear to me why England is shaping up as Ground Zero in a potential swine flu pandemic.  Certainly, though, we should be watching it closely, and learning whatever lessons we can.