Rule Britannia

Saturday, August 21, 2010 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  Rule Britannia.  I grew up with a bit of a love-hate relationship with Great Britain and her now vanished Empire. On my father’s side the family had been in America since before the Revolution, except for the Cherokees who had been here I assume for 30,000 years, and the family could have cared less about Great Britain one way or the other.  On my mother’s side however things were different and more complex.  My mother, an immigrant who became a naturalized citizen, was proud Newfoundlander Irish.  Her Great-Grandfather, who regarded pews and kneelers as perfidious Protestant innovations and would kneel on bare stone floors into his eighties in the back of  the church he attended during Mass, had come to Newfoundland from Ireland and kept alive in my Mom a memory of Ireland.  She played in our home as I was growing up all the old Irish rebel songs, and part of the heritage I imbibed did not stint on remembering the grievances of the Irish against the English.  On the other hand, my Mom loved Queen Elizabeth II and from my Mom I developed a life long interest in British history and politics.  My Great-Uncle Bill on my mother’s side served in the infantry in the Royal Army from 1939-1945 joining up, he said, “Because someone has to teach the Limies how to fight!’

Therefore on this blog I happily play both the Irish rebel songs and an occasional salute to the land of the Queen my sainted mother loved.  In regard to the vanished Empire, I am fully cognizant of the wrongs that were committed by it, but I believe perhaps this section from The Life of Brian might be applied to the British, as well as the Roman, Empire, in some ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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Between Allah & Jesus- No To Jihad, No to Crusade

Monday, July 5, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

I would like to recommend a few good reads to help one navigate the situation of how to regard Islam and Muslims as both Christians and Americans.  First of all – the suggestion that America is or should be engaged in a Holy War Crusade against all Muslim majority nations is one that has to be confronted- there is nothing more dangerous than to try to match the extremism of Bin Laden-style Islam with some kind of Bin Laden-style Christianity.

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The Wonders of Government Medicine

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

As ObamaCare goes through its death throes, my reaction is that the nation has dodged a bullet.  The whole purpose of this exercise was to bring closer the day when the country would have a single payer system.  I believe that if such a system had been achieved the results could well have been nightmarish.  The National Health Service in Great Britain I believe would have been a model of what the US health system would have become if completely controlled by the government.

A recent survey of 900 nurses in Great Britain revealed:

“A woman ‘barely coping’ after a miscarriage being sent to a ward with male patients.

Children left at ‘high security risk’ and a threat of infection when adults were put on their ward.

One overflow ward being so crammed a nurse could not reach the emergency buzzer when someone had a heart attack. She had to run into the corridor to yell for help.

One patient being left in a mop cupboard where there was only room for a chair, not a bed. At another hospital, a kitchen was set aside for two beds.

A hospital discharging elderly patients before they were ready.

Another using a ward which had been ‘condemned’ for patient use.

Up to three patients being crammed into a tiny office cluttered with staff belongings.

Eighteen patients being stuck on trolleys in the corridor of a medical assessment unit. “

“Maintaining single-sex areas was often impossible because of the sheer numbers of extra patients.

Nurses have to take blood samples in corridors and beds are sometimes placed in isolated corners, meaning nurses cannot see if a patient needs help.

Elderly patients are ‘parked’ in day rooms while waiting to be transferred to another hospital, and left ‘soiled and neglected’, and ‘needing fluids’.

Sometimes spare beds run out – and people have to sleep on chairs or mattresses on the floor.

Nearly half the nurses said patients in non-clinical areas did not have proper access to water, oxygen, suction and a call bell.

Four in ten said they did not have the screening to protect their dignity and privacy.

‘If a patient suddenly had a cardiac arrest, we would not be able to get the crash trolley to them,’ said one nurse at a hospital which squeezed extra beds into wards.

Others said cramming patients into wards put them at risk of cross-infection.

One added: ‘Urine bottles are not emptied, meals are missed as staff are not aware of the patient.’

Many nurses had complained to managers but the practice had stopped in only a handful of cases.

Last night, nursing leaders said poor standards meant ‘compassion fatigue’ set in, meaning nurses did not treat patients with the dignity and respect they deserved.”

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Philip Hamburgers New Book is a Rare Find

Friday, December 11, 2009 \PM\.\Fri\.

Michael McConnell, a Law Professor at Stanford, offers this in a First Things review of Philip Hamburger’s new book titled Law and Judicial Duty:

Hamburger traces the development of modern conceptions of the law to the realization, in Europe and especially Britain, that human reason rarely provided clear answers to moral questions and therefore that an attempt to ground law in divine will, or a search for abstract reason and justice, would inevitably lead to discord. As a result, “Europeans increasingly located the obligation of law in the authority of the lawmaker rather than the reason or justice of his laws.” The task of judges, then, was not to seek after elusive notions of justice and right reason but to enforce the law of the land. Natural law shifted in emphasis from moral content to legitimacy and authority, and increasingly to an understanding of authority based on the will of the people.

This seems to me a profound explanation of how and why we understand law today the way we do. It simultaneously shows you what is wrong with the modern conception of the law and what is right.

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The White Cliffs of Dover

Saturday, August 29, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  The unforgettable Vera Lynn singing the White Cliffs of Dover.  Ah, Britain during the war years of World War II, a fascinating place.  A hilarious comedy set during those years played on the BBC in the sixties and seventies, Dad’s Army.

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