First it was Charlie Gard, now it’s Alfie Evans. Anyone could be next.

It is difficult to explain just how much I am appalled and disgusted by the statements of Dr. Dominic Wilkinson of Oxford University regarding Alfie Evans as reported in the US by CNN.  Assuming that he was quoted fully and accurately—which with CNN is certainly questionable—then I think he ought to give serious thought to a career change.  I hear that there is a serious shortage of undertakers, so maybe that might be an appropriate option.  Certainly he should stay far away from anything to do with keeping people alive.  It is certain that I would never allow him to treat my daughter, knowing how he thinks about these issues

He was quoted as saying that “Sometimes, the sad fact is that parents do not know what is best for their child.  They are led by their grief and their sadness, their understandable desire to hold on to their child, to request treatment that will not and cannot help.”  While it is true that parents have an understandable bias for their children, the simple fact is that morally and legally (at least in the US; I don’t know much about UK law in this area), the doctor is not the child’s guardian and has no right to insert himself (or herself) into the decision.  A doctor should be a medical advisor and nothing more.  He (or she) gives advice to a patient or the legally responsible decision-maker as to the medical alternatives and his recommended course of action.  If the patient (or parent) decides to follow a different course of action, that is the patient’s decision and the doctor is obliged to honour that decision, whether or not he agrees with it or even thinks it rational.  I might concede that there’s a cause for some action on the doctor’s part if a patient or an external decision maker was showing signs of mental or physical illness, but even there it would have to be a pretty extreme case.  In any case, I’m not aware of any reporting suggesting that Mr. or Mrs. Evans were not fully competent.

Reportedly, the hospital staff  “refused to help with either ventilation or hydration” for hours when the patient continued to breathe on his own.  That is well beyond barbaric and cannot be countenanced from any medical professional.  If true, all involved should be struck off and never allowed to practice again.  In fact, I would argue that they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law—for torture and child abuse, if nothing else.

Having lived in six countries, including both England and the United States, I am well aware that both England and the U.S. have outstanding medical care.  But it is this kind of case that undermines confidence in the state of medical care generally.  For myself, I will never allow a physician to take decisions for me so long as I am compos mentis and I have made legal arrangements for a trusted person to make decisions for me if I am not.

The sad fact is that doctors do not and can not know what is best for me—or my child—they are led by their often questionable knowledge of treatment and not the needs or desires of the individual patient, and they often feel that their medical knowledge makes them god-like regardless of their actual limitations.   I would far rather trust the judgement of a patient or guardian than a doctor.  In fact, I would sooner trust the judgement of the first fifty people in the New York City phone directory than some of the doctors with whom I have worked.

When combined with the travesty that was the Charlie Gard case, this incident has rightly indicted the NHS and British medicine generally.  It is difficult to escape the conclusion that one should avoid treatment in the UK at all costs—at least if one wishes to survive, or even have any right to decide about treatment.

Had I the authority, there would be a careful review of all involved with this and similar cases, and I have no doubt whatever that resignations, professional sanctions, and criminal prosecutions would be likely and appropriate outcomes.

I would encourage Dr Wilkinson to give this serious thought, as I don’t believe that there is any ethical ground for the statements he made.  In fact, I think he ought to be intensely ashamed of them.


The State vs. Charlie Gard

The Charlie Gard case in England is tragic.  Tragic, certainly, because of the emotional turmoil forced upon an otherwise-normal family in the U.K., but even more tragic because it shows the tragic error that leftists are trying to force on the American people when it comes to government run health insurance—which they love to pretend is the same as “healthcare”, which it’s not.

According to Wikipedia, “Charlie Gard (born August 2016) is a British boy with a rare genetic condition known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. While receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital, decisions about his care were taken to various law courts, where a ruling was made that the hospital could lawfully withdraw all treatment save for palliative care. This went against the wishes of his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates from Bedfont, London. They campaigned to keep him alive on life support and travel to the United States for experimental treatment despite doctors and judges saying it would not help and would cause him “significant harm”.   On 24 July 2017, the parents ended their legal challenge.”

The first part of the case, from an admittedly partisan U.S. perspective was that a series of what I like to call “death panels” decided that Charlie would be denied treatment, over the objections of his parents.  His parents even went to the length of raising a great deal of money to have the youth treated overseas—and they were then denied permission to take him overseas.

The root question here is who has the power to make—and enforce—decisions about a person’s medical treatment.  Is it the person themselves?  (Or, in the case of a youth, their legal guardian?)  Or is it the state and its surrogates?  I would submit that any system that insists that the government has that authority is simply nothing less than totalitarian.  And yes, I do realize that I’m talking about my close friends in the U.K..  But this is Kafkaesque.

The second part of the case is, if anything, even worse.  After conceding that the legal steps that the state forced upon them had caused delays in treatment that made further treatment ineffective—in other words, the state had condemned this innocent young boy to death—they were denied permission to take him home to die.

This dwarfed the previous totalitarian behavior.  Now, in addition to condemning an innocent person to death, they have falsely imprisoned him.

I find it hard to believe that the apparatchiks in the British government who perpetrated this outrage were acting in any other way that to overtly assert the power of the state.  This was particularly necessary in the wake of the Brexit referendum, where the British people rose against the wishes of their overlords—and I believe that, at some level, whether consciously or unconsciously, the Charlie Gard case was the state reasserting its authority.

This is a great example to cite when leftists assert that they want “single-payer” healthcare:  Do you really want your son or daughter to be the U.S. version of Charlie Gard?  I sure don’t.

Edited:  Less than one hour after I posted the article above, it was anounced in the press that Charlie Gard has died.  RIP.  And shame on his tormentors.

After the Trump Victory

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am profoundly skeptical of President-elect Trump.  While I certainly think he’ll make a far better President than Hillary would have, he’s still no conservative, and particularly not the kind of constitutional conservative that I would have preferred.  Having said that, he did run a masterful campaign, showing the leftists in the media that they don’t influence the message as much as they think they do, and that leftists have completely misread the will of Americans across the country.  To steal Obama’s favorite phrase, “that’s not who we are.”

But now we must look to the future.  I see some “moderate” Republicans (aka RINOs) who think that we now need to “unify” with the democrats.  To “come together” to “get things done”.  I reject that notion in its entirety.  This was the same mistake that we made in 1992 and before that in the Reagan era.  We mustn’t do it again.

In the dulcet tones of King Barack I after his immaculation, “we won.”  It’s time to show the leftists exactly what havoc they have wrought, salt the fields and plow them under, and drink deeply of their tears and blood.

By which I mean we must politically show them no mercy whatsoever.  We must be uncompromising in our use of the so-called “nuclear option” wielded so fiercely by “Dingy” Harry Reid.  We must use the full force of the IRS to openly target leftist groups, just as they targeted conservative groups.  We must openly use the Department of Justice to selectively prosecute leftists who have broken the law many times over–especially including Hillary herself.  And most of all, we should use every legal power at our disposal to ensure that leftists in the judiciary are removed and replaced.

Not only would we be just in doing so, but we would be sending the message that nobody is above the law–and most especially not the leadership of the left.

Figuratively speaking, I call for a blood-letting of the highest order.  From George Soros, Tom Steyer, John Koskinin, Eric Holder, and Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, to President Obama himself, they should spend the rest of their political lives looking over their shoulders–for the next lawsuit, the next prosecution, whatever.

Now I am not suggesting that we break any laws in doing this.  Even if I thought that were appropriate–and I do not–it’s unnecessary.  There are plenty of laws on the books, and these leftist dolts have broken many of them.  They should be punished to the fullest extent of the law for those crimes.   And as for those things, like the “nuclear option,” that are not explicitly in the law, we can–as they did–do anything we like.

On a policy level, we need to precede construction with some demolition: We must undo every ideological act of the last 8 or 10 years, from Obamacare, to bathroom laws, to infringements on practically the entire Bill of Rights.  Then we need to rebuild solid legal foundations for our federalist system, capitalist economic model, and republican system of justice.

The simple fact is that the leftists realize better than we do that we are in an ideological war of domination.  They took their best shot and lost.  Now it’s our turn.  Let’s fight, and let’s fight to win.  We should accept nothing less than their unconditional surrender.


Parenthetically, can anyone explain to me why BLM didn’t go after Loretta Lynch, given her racist surname?

Every time I make something idiot-proof, someone goes and makes a better idiot

Occasionally, I am overcome by hubris and momentarily believe that nothing the left do can shock me anymore.  Then some leftist does something so egregious, so insane, so outlandish that my hubris recedes to a slight throbbing headache and stunned amazement.

This time, the pajama-boy in question is a self-styled “serious journalist”, a “Writer, Journalist, and Professor” who reports for “NPR, Time, Slate, Others”.  His name is Adam Ragusea.

Pajama-boy recently tweeted that journalists should stop using the word “terrorism”.  The “serious journalist” didn’t really enlighten us as to his reasoning (though my use of that term is rather loose).  One option would be that we are being too mean, cruel, and unkind to the nice Islamic people who behead each-other and their perceived enemies, kill babies, and otherwise demonstrate the epitome of leftist kindness and goodwill.  Another option might be that he wishes to appease those self-same nice Islamic people so they won’t kill him.  This kind of appeasement has never before worked in human history, but I rather doubt that the “serious journalist” has bothered to study much history.

He does articulate a rather inchoate argument that the term “terrorist” has become rather “uselessly arbitrary and loaded” and goes on to blather about how ISIS “uses terrorism as a tactic” but not every member of ISIS is a “terrorist.”  Hence my first paragraph.

And yet, it is not really pajama-boy’s silly and outlandish argument that raised my ire and overcame the aforementioned hubris.  It was how he acted when challenged.  Here’s a reconstruction of the twitter exchange, with my comments in green:

VP:  So maybe leftists should stop using “arbitrary and loaded” terms for their opponents: racists, bigots, etc.
PB: How about if I labeled you “55 followers”   Sure, because the validity of my argument has everything to do with my number of followers.
VP: I call leftists the “modern inquisition” because the wnat [sic] to burn anyone who dissents from their orthodoxy”
PB:  how nice for you.  Unfortunately that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about, so bye.       I’m responsible only for what I say, not for what you understand.
VP:  guess you don’t understand that arbitrary terms go both ways.  Not surprising.
PB:  Guess you don’t understand that straight reporters already generally don’t label individual people racists/bigots.   Really?  Read the HuffPo lately?  Or for that matter the WaPo or the Fishwrap of Record?
VP:  Guess you don’t understand that there hasn’t been a “straight reporter” in U.S. major media for decades.
PB:  feel free to keep moving the goalposts until you think you’ve won, but do it away from our mentions.  Your bias is clear.  Pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away.  Same with terrorism, by the way.
VP:  let me introduce you to Twitter.  It doesn’t work that way.  But thanks for the typical leftist “shut up” argument”
PB:  oh, hey.  it does work that way!   As usual, leftists can’t stand having their position challenged, presumably because they’re so clearly superior that they don’t need to.  No matter how idiotic their position.
VP: completely predictable that you’re unable to defend your position.
[PB blocks VP]

So this leftist imbecile came up with an idiotic argument based on the fact that he knows nothing about terrorism (nor counterterrorism) and then is unprepared to even have a rational discussion about it–still less to admit that he and his fellow travelers use similarly “arbitrary and loaded” terms about their opponents whenever they like.

The key fact here is that Pajama-boy is really denying that terrorists are his opponents–which may be true, since it appears that he generally supports the idea that the United States and its free-market Republic should disappear.

Calling the Socialists’ Bluff

President Obama and his accomplices on the left have a long habit of denigrating and demonizing anyone who dares disagree with them.  His most recent slander—with a hat-tip to his pathetic idea of humor—was saying that Republicans are like “grumpy cat”.  His attempt at humor fell flat, except among his sycophants, but it does show his oh-so-sophisticated way of dealing with dissent.  No other president in history—Republican or Democrat—has exceeded his partisanship.

Similarly, his fellow-travelers have lately showed that they are as bigoted and intolerant as their fearless leaders.  In fact, because they are unfettered by trying to maintain even the faintest patina of civility, they have gone to levels that have not been exceeded in U.S. history.  In one case, Senator Kerry, currently the most hapless and inept Secretary of State since the abysmal Hillary Clinton and the hopeless Warren Christopher suggested that anyone who has the temerity to disagree with their orthodoxy regarding the Holy Church of Climate Change should be banned from public office.  This is a level of Stalinism that has never been seen at such a high level in the United States.

And then we have the charming ideologue and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who suggested—in a move redolent of the Salem Witch Trials—that anyone who dares disagree with him about Climate Change should be prosecuted.

In the pièce de résistance, the delightful bigots at Salon magazine, in what I suppose was designed to be a daring provocation, suggested that anyone who owns a gun should be shot.  This notion, in my opinion, takes the level of bigotry and intolerance of anyone who dares disagree with leftist orthodoxy to an entirely new level–and that level justifies a strong response.

It is obvious to anyone who is not a Stalinist—meaning roughly 99% of today’s Democrat party—that their bigotry and intolerance grows ever more blatant and extreme by the day.  I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised, since this is the party of the KKK, Bull Connor, and segregationists like William Fullbright (and his protégé William Jefferson Clinton and his wife) and Albert Gore Sr. (and his son).  But we are surprised and disappointed.

I know full well that there are good, honorable Democrats.  There must be at least one or two.  I even suppose that there might be a few of them left that aren’t Socialists who advocate that the U.S. follow the path of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Che Guevara, Castro, and Hitler, but I don’t see very many of them.  It seems that today’s Leftists are in a headlong rush to see who can most closely approximate those sociopaths.

Therefore, I would suggest that the American left has forsaken America and its fondest ideals and aspirations.  (It may be true that we’ve never achieved those aspirations, but it is nevertheless noble and good to continue to strive for them.)  And by their violent rejection of those ideals, I submit that they have declared themselves ineligible to participate in our American Republic.  If they so desperately wish to live a life of those ideals, let them create their socialist utopia elsewhere.

So I’ll call their bluff:  It’s time to strip anyone in the United States who is registered as a member of the Democrat Party or who has donated to them in the last eight years of their right to vote.  They have proven that they are not sufficiently responsible to participate in our Republic.  If they are going to be that intolerant of those of us who believe in liberty, let us respond in kind.  We have fought and won one revolution to secure ourselves from their folly, we can do so again.

I am NOT a Neocon

I find it amusing when those on the left misuse the term “Neocon”.  I am far less amused when they attempt to refer to me that way.

Let’s review, class.  Both Merriam-Webster and the font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, agree that “Neoconservatives” are liberals who came around to conservatism.  Wikipedia, on this occasion, puts it quite well:  “The term “neoconservative” refers to those who made the ideological journey from the anti-Stalinist left to the camp of American conservatism.”

I have nothing against Neoconservatives, but I deeply resent the notion that I was ever duped (or foolish) enough to believe any leftist ideology.  I am not, nor have I ever been ANY kind of leftist, since at a very young age, I lived in countries where the effects of leftist ideology were plain even to a very young person.

So, lefties, if you really must label me, I would prefer to be known as a “Conservative”.  Though I won’t object if you want to distinguish me from the others by calling me a “Paleocon.”

Do lives really matter to the left?

The kerfuffle about “Black Lives Matter” is a perfect illustration for many of the things that are wrong with the modern left.

They assert that “Black Lives Matter”, with dire overtones of racism and victimhood.  They attempt to shout down any suggestion that “Police Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” as if that would detract from the notion that black lives matter as well.

So–by their choosing–we end up in a situation where ONLY black lives matter.  Nothing else is allowed to.

So what we end up with is the zero-sum game: the exaltation of one preferred group over the others.  A veritable leftist triumph of divisiveness.

Parenthetically, let’s remember that according to National Review, there are more black children aborted in New York City than there are live births.  By a large margin:  31,328 abortions to 24,758 live births.  That totaled out to more than 40% of all abortions in New York City.  Talk about racial disparity.   About 25% of New York City residents identify themselves as black, with another 4% identifying themselves as “more than one race.”

Despite the yowls and gripes of the left, Conservatives are fairly consistent in wanting to treat all people similarly.  “Let’s not favor black college applicants over white, but rather design a program where as many students as possible can succeed–regardless of the color of their skin.”  But the leftist then claims that we’re helping the “majority” student more than the “minority” student.

So what do we have:

  1. To the left, black criminals like Michael Brown or Freddie Grey, are exemplary human beings who are so important to a twisted idea of justice that it’s worth burning and looting entire cities.  And their willing accomplices in the media play along, even when it’s discovered that there are significant facts pointing to their guilt–or at least that they were less than angelic human beings.
  2. At the same time to the left it’s just fine to slaughter 31, 328 black babies–in one large city alone–and call it “social justice” or a “civil right”.  (For whom?  Certainly not the baby.)
  3. Above all, treating people equally with dignity and respect is not sufficient.  Why this is so is never explained.

For my own part, I’m willing to be the contrarian–and to risk the cries of “raaaacism” that are practically certain to come from the left: Black lives do matter–but not more than any other lives.  White lives matter too.  As do all lives.

There are also times when the right thing to do is to end those lives–as police, military, and others sometimes have to do.

Yeah, life is tough, children.  Deal with it.