Monday, May 28, 2007

The BBC blames Israel for 'unstable borders.'

Post lifted from American Thinker. See the original for links

In a shameless effort to rewrite history:

"The BBC News website is publishing a series of articles about the attempts to achieve peace in the Middle East and the main obstacles. Yesterday, Martin Asser looked at the question of Israel's borders and settlements."

Surprise! It turns out that Israel is to blame for its "unstable borders." By Gum, it's just as if Israel wasn't attacked by invading Arab armies from its first day of life in 1948, and again in 1967 and 1974, when it pushed back the invaders to achieve some measure of border stability. Reading Martin Asser's wildly anti-Israel BBC "history" of the past sixty years, those events never happened. So Israel's defensive push-back is twisted into offensive imperialism, and the Beeb manages to "confuse the fire with the fire brigade," in the apt words of Winston Churchill.

The BBC's dishonesty is beyond belief. But constant, relentless propaganda works. Most people can't resist the Big Lie when it is repeated over and over again. Naturally the Beeb's British and international audience hates Israel for making all the trouble in the world. Appeasers always look for scapegoats, and Israel is the natural choice. The BBC is run by the far Left in Britain, and once again, the extremes of fascism and the Left are allied, just as they were in the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1938.

As the Beeb's favorite philosopher said, "history repeats, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." [Marx]

The BBC's malevolence has unintended consequences, however --- such as the radicalization of thousands of domestic terrorists in Britain's own alienated cities. The men who suicide-bombed the London Underground on "7/7" were radicalized by Islamist imams peddling Wahhabi world conquest. British police and intelligence agencies have warned that thousands of homegrown Islamist extremists may be ready to place more bombs. But the ideological ground was laid for them by ... the BBC, which continues to pump out industrial-strength hatred for America and Israel.

The leftists who run BBC have naturally persuaded themselves that Islamist terrorism is not a real threat. Terrorism is all the fault of Bush and Blair. So today, an upside-down "history" of the Israel-Palestinian conflict is being peddled to push the incoming Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, into an anti-Israel stance. This is the message from the Labour Left, which controls the biggest tax-funded propaganda empire in the world --- more than six billion dollars per year.

Yet Islamist terrorism is a very real threat in Londonistan and Britanostan. Islamists hate Britain and the West, as well as Israel, for being Christian, Jewish or atheist, for being pro-Gay and pro-women, for being richer and more productive than the Muslim world, and for a hundred other reasons. So the BBC itself is radicalizing Britain's Muslim population, even while seeming to displace all blame on Israel. While the aim is to discredit and ultimately destroy Israel, the Islamist backlash will inevitably harm the people of Britain, just as the Underground Bombing did. The Beeb ends up cutting its own throat. So the biter was bitten on 7/7, and has learned nothing in consequence.

It may take more terror attacks to finally convince ordinary people that they have been systematically misled for decades. Unfortunately, Islamist terror bombs are far more likely to hurt innocent people than the sources of pernicious propaganda. George Orwell worked for the BBC, and satirized it in his dystopian novel 1984 as the "Ministry of Truth" --- which is of course the Ministry of Lies. The BBC continues to reveal a shameful black mark against a once-great country. Orwell lives.

Don't get mesothelioma in England

Excerpts from a doctor who was recently diagnosed as having it. It is cancer of the lungs, most usually caused by high levels of asbestos fibre inhalation

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer and, until recently, there was little to offer in the way of treatment. Treatments are available now, but as ever in parts of the UK the drug that is used as a frontline treatment is not available on the NHS.

This is because for each year of (quality-adjusted) life it brings it costs too much, more than 30,000 pounds. Diagnosed with a mesothelioma in Scotland, Australia and many European countries, you will receive the drug - but not in England. Nice (which should perhaps stand for the National Institute for Curtailing Expenditure rather than the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) has made a ruling on cost-effectiveness grounds that the only drug that has been shown to have effectiveness, albeit of a limited nature, will not be available.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with limiting treatment on cost grounds, but we need to be honest and open that that is what we are doing. It might seem reasonable to limit how much might be spent but I am not at death's door yet, nor are many mesothelioma sufferers. Politicians will often come out with the old chestnut, "you cannot put a price on life", well, they do put a price on it. In my case, a year is not worth spending more than 30,000.

Patricia Hewitt, my boss, has said: "A modern health and social care system has to be completely focused on the needs of its users," and "We are trying to find out what patients need, rather than what it suits us to provide." There are many sufferers from mesothelioma out there, Mrs Hewitt, who have justifiable healthcare needs and who will not be provided with drugs which may prolong their lives because it suits you not to provide it on cost grounds. I do not think they feel completely focused on. Mind you, 30,000 is a lot of money to waste on a very sick person. You could, for example, employ for nearly a year a "senior parenting practitioner" in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

I have gone from highly strung (for no good reason, now I think of it) consultant, father and husband into highly strung (now with a good reason) patient, father and husband. I can string a few words together when the fatigue, nausea and sleep deprivation are not so bad. I have not suffered badly from the chemo-therapy, but for some it must be like seasickness. There is a period when you think you are going to die followed by a period when you wish you were.

It is good for medics to be on the other side, you appreciate the good and spot the bad. I have liked the internet as a source of medical information for many years. It empowers patients to ask questions that encourage doctors to explain more fully. However, it cannot answer all the questions. You may not discover all that you do not know and sadly, some of the stuff you find may not be helpful.

Being a pain specialist, I looked at the pain management section of a leading university unit dealing with mesothelioma. Big mistake - I know pain is a major problem in mesothelioma and I know that resources allocated to it are inadequate. What I was not prepared for was facing the issue from the other side. By the end of my reading, I felt like looking for the weblink that would allow me for $39.99 - a special offer - to have a loaded 9mm Browning delivered to my door.

Reading one paper I felt angry that an expert had been blunt to the point of callousness. We need to care for patients, as well as treat them. Caring involves giving information in a sensitive fashion, not "click on here" to find out just how bad it can get. My esteemed colleague who, at the beginning of a presentation on mesothelioma had a slide which showed a photograph of the "shit creek paddle shop", should realise that it is accessible from the internet.


British private schools popular in China

It should help them give more "scholarships" to poor but bright British students -- something the government is urging them to do -- but they will have to be super-careful to avoid attack as "racist"

PRIVATE schools are imposing unofficial limits on the numbers of Chinese pupils they admit because of fears that British parents will be deterred from sending their children there. Schools including Wellington College in Berkshire, the Leys school in Cambridge and Brighton college, East Sussex, have decided to restrict their numbers of foreign pupils under pressure from growing Chinese demand. Some schools are adopting the policy to preserve their character, while others are reacting to concerns among parents. According to the most recent figures from the Independent Schools Council, the numbers from mainland China have risen from a few hundred in 2000 to 2,345 this year. When added to pupils from Hong Kong, the total rises to 8,652, 40% of all foreign pupils. There are just 1,888 German pupils, the next biggest foreign contingent.

Ralph Lucas, editor of the Good Schools Guide, said many schools did not want to take more than 10% of their pupils from China although, given the demand, they could easily surpass this number. "To keep the traditional feel of an English public school, they are setting limits," he said. "Chinese pupils sometimes tend to keep themselves to themselves."

The growing numbers have sparked a backlash among some British parents. Margie Burnet Ward, headmistress of Wycliffe college in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, has cut the number of pupils from China in recent years. "The fact that dare not speak its name is that parents are saying, `We don't want to come to you because you have too many Chinese pupils'," she said. "Five years ago we had 90 pupils from China and now we have 45 . . . Chinese children want to study maths and physics and parents are concerned that their child could be the only UK student in those classes."

Mark Slater, headmaster of the Leys, which has about 8% of its pupils from the Far East, said he believed in limiting the intake, although he added: "Up to a certain percentage it is a very healthy aspect of the school." Anthony Seldon, headmaster of Wellington, said: "They're desperate in China to come to England." He plans to set an informal limit of 15%-20% of foreign students. At Brighton, the ceiling is 8%.

For some independent schools Chinese pupils are, however, a lifeline. Some single-sex schools, particularly girls' boarding institutions, are struggling as more British parents opt for coeducational day schools. Chinese parents, by contrast, almost always pay full boarding fees and are willing to send their children to single-sex schools.

Nick Leiper, director of admissions for Ampleforth college, North Yorkshire, said some schools were now moving so aggressively into China that they were employing brokers to supply pupils in return for 10% of the first term's fees. Before British rule ended in 1997, many Hong Kong Chinese opted for a British private education because of its social cachet. Now, with mainland China's economy booming, the motives have changed. Parents from China see an English-language education as the gateway to an international career.

While most applicants are the children of the country's new rich, others come from less well-off backgrounds, with members of extended families clubbing together to pay fees. Many leading schools argue they are so popular that they could fill their places with children from Hong Kong and mainland China. Some, including Harrow and Dulwich college in London, have even opened branch schools in China.

Others have no plans to curb the numbers of Chinese. At Roedean, the girls' school near Brighton, one-third of the sixth form are from China and one-third from other foreign countries. "Some schools may have quotas, but we do not," said a spokeswoman.

Heathfield St Mary's school in Ascot, Berkshire, has resisted the financial benefits of recruitment from China. Frances King, the headmistress, said: "We are a very small boarding school and the interest in our school has increased. The Chinese are looking for entry into UK or American universities. If there are a lot pupils coming from one place I have to look at it every year. "We are an English boarding school and the Chinese pupils want to feel that they are coming to an English school. We like to have cultural diversity."


Pockets of Christianity left in the Church of England

"Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" -- Matthew 7:14

Ninety-five per cent of Britons are heading for hell, according to the principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, who has been under fire from some staff for taking one of the leading Anglican theological training colleges in a conservative direction.

Richard Turnbull, appointed two years ago, made the claim in a speech to the annual conference of Reform, a conservative evangelical pressure group within the Church of England. If he truly believes it, the figure would encompass at least all non-evangelical Christians, including many members of the Church of England, and those of all other religions and none.

A recording of the speech, made in October last year and seen by the Guardian, was posted last night on the Thinking Anglicans liberal website. In it, Dr Turnbull also warns against the danger of liberalism in the church, talks of "the strategic nature" of evangelical control of training colleges and calls on conservatives to syphon off 10% of their financial contributions to the Church of England to help pay the costs of like-minded colleges. The message excludes even evangelicals who are regarded as more liberal in their beliefs.

Dr Turnbull told them: "We are committed to bringing the gospel message of Jesus Christ to those who don't know [him] and in this land that's 95% of the people: 95% of people facing hell unless the message of the gospel is brought to them."

Traditionally Wycliffe, a permanent private hall of Oxford University founded in 1877, has trained evangelical Anglicans for the clergy, but its reputation has been as an open evangelical college, welcoming would-be ordinands from a wide range of theological and liturgical beliefs.

Critics within the college have accused the principal of taking it in a much more restrictive and exclusionary direction. At least a third of the academic staff have resigned and its best-known member, the Thought for the Day contributor Elaine Storkey, has been threatened with disciplinary action, allegedly for raising concerns at an internal staff meeting.

In his speech, the principal criticised the Church of England for "restrictive trade practices" in limiting funding for its students and added: "I view [my] post as strategic because it would allow influence to be brought to bear upon generations of the ministry...capture the theological colleges and you have captured the influence that is brought to bear." He warns that unless like-minded parishes fund colleges such as his own, they face closure within 10 years. At the same conference in Derbyshire, Reform members agreed to remain within the Church of England for the time being but to set up an advisory panel to support conservative clergy and encourage ordinands of their viewpoint. They were told by one senior member, the Rev David Holloway, vicar of Jesmond, that the church was a dysfunctional body with incompetent leadership.

In an article to be published in tomorrow's Church of England Newspaper - a more broadly-based evangelical publication - Dr Turnbull's message appears rather more tolerant. He writes: "For me and for Wycliffe, inclusive means exactly that, rather than the exclusion of particular views. So issues which divide ... have to be debated in the open, albeit with care and sensitivity ..."


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