This is NOT a choice.

May be a cartoon of text that says 'This IS NOT a choice JOB The art of Jalapeño This IS coercion'

“A hill to die on”..

Arwen~ The line, ” A hill to die on”, has been used during C-19 and concerning gov’t overreach. For some, they say this is not their hill, for some, they believe this is just a hill, there will be more so why fight this one? If we lose our liberty, our freedom, our speech censored, our bodily autonomy belongs to gov’t and our mobility, freedom of movement is gov’t dictated..what makes us think that we will be free to fight or that there will be anything left to fight for that hasn’t already been surrendered by us?

This current battle , this hill, is one that we cannot afford to lose. Fight, stand we must.

COVID-19: Surgeries, tests postponed as 4,000 unvaccinated B.C. health-care workers put on leave

Arwen~ Copied the comment below from a friend’s post, it is one I completely agree with. It is long past time to exercise our grey matter and see what we are being force fed from politicians, chief medical officers, “top doctors” and the main stream media is completely illogical. Question everything, do your own informed.

“If all of this was about not over taxing the healthcare system, this policy makes no sense. One of the quickest ways to overtax a system is to lose 4000 of your workers. Also. If medical professionals don’t feel comfortable with a medical procedure being done to them personally, shouldn’t we be asking them why? Asking for a friend.”

Vivat Elizabeth

The Queen IS the nation. She must live forever

Melanie Phillips 6 hr ago
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

My Moral Maze colleague, the Anglican priest Giles Fraser,  has written on Unherd a wonderfully moving and insightful piece about the Queen.

To widespread unease, if not outright concern, the Queen has been missing some public engagements recently due to unspecified health issues. On her doctors’ advice, she will not be attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Monday; she has been replacing public engagements where possible by Zoom encounters; and she has apparently been speaking to the prime minister by telephone instead of in their usual face-to-face weekly meetings.

She has also been advised to stop riding. The Queen no longer riding! The world is indeed wobbling on its axis.

Maybe these are relatively minor ailments. Maybe — since she was seen recently with a stick — they relate to nothing worse than the mechanical malfunctions attendant upon old age. 

Even so, these restrictions on the Queen’s activities have induced a sense of dread. At age 95, it is on everyone’s mind that she cannot go on for ever. 

Yet the Queen is an irreplaceable constant in the life of the British nation. Her public appearances aren’t just the exercise of her role as the symbol of the nation. As so many feel so viscerally, she is the nation. 

People feel better just for seeing her out and about with her trademark smile, a few gracious words — and trailing a cloud of insoluble mystery. With her unrivalled sense of duty, her stoicism and her emotional restraint, many see in the Queen the embodiment of a Britain whose cultural identity is inexorably fraying. Many feel in their bones that when the Queen eventually passes, Britain will just not be the same. Despite the fact that the monarchy will continue, something of infinite value will have been lost.

Now Giles has framed all this in spiritual terms. He sees in the Queen’s very frailty something especially precious. He acknowledges something that few realise and that is never, ever talked about in post-Christian Britain— that the British monarchy is a sacrament and that the Queen is consecrated to God. Honing in on the most important part of the coronation — and this was one of the few things that the TV series The Crown got absolutely right —Giles writes

She was just 25, little more than a girl, when she acceded to the throne, and 27 when the Archbishop of Canterbury placed the responsibility of the crown upon her head. 277 million people worldwide were gathered round their small black and white television sets.

What they didn’t see was the central moment of the whole ceremony. Then the Queen was disrobed of her crimson cloak and her jewellery removed. Here she sat in a simple white dress on a wooden throne to be anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury with holy oil, a mixture of ambergris, civet, orange flowers, roses, jasmine, cinnamon, musk and benzoin, ladled from a 12th century spoon. 

This is when the choir sings “Zadok the Priest”, its words extracted from the first Book of Kings, sung at every English coronation since 973 AD. These echoes of the Hebrew Bible are deliberate. She, like Solomon, was dedicated to God. Kings and Queens are supposed to be servants too. In Christian terms, like the servant king who emptied himself of power in order to achieve His most important work.

And this is where Giles — with his distinctive (and to me, unsettling) Christian perspective of suffering as somehow ennobling — glimpses in the Queen’s very frailty the purest form of that supreme service she has provided to her nation. He writes:  

And the essence of this religious business, the unseen holiness as it were, is a kind of vulnerability that places one’s life in the service of other people and of God. This is why all these headlines we now see about the Queen being “tired” and “exhausted” reflect something of the heart of her ministry — for that is what her role remains.

…In theological terms, the crucial word is kenosis, which means self-emptying. Christ “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” is how Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi puts it. What is being described here is a process by which the ego is set aside for the fullness of God’s love to enter into a human life. The less of me, the more of You. In this way vulnerability is regarded as the defining feature of precisely the sort of holiness that was there in that moment of the Queen’s anointing…In other words, a “tired” Queen is the perfect sacrificial embodiment of what a monarch should be. 

But to put this in more secular terms, vulnerability is the means of connection between people. Our vulnerability is how we are open to the other and the other is open to us. Which is why — and I don’t think I am just imagining this — the present vulnerability of the Queen is establishing a renewed kind of intimacy between the Queen and her subjects. 

Given the formality within which she is encased, it is entirely inappropriate to say this — but I want to give her a hug. We don’t need the handshakes or the curious peering into a familiar woman’s face to try and work out what is going on behind all that well-rehearsed small talk. The more vulnerable she becomes, the more human, and so also the more fully a Queen in the theological sense. Indeed, the version of the Queen that we are now seeing is the greatest of her roles as our monarch. It is not important if she misses COP26 or other political talking shops. She is doing something much more important now.

She is showing us what human life is all about when we loosen our grip on power and status and function. Her last act may well be her finest.

How touchingly put. But let’s hope this is not her last act. Her mother, after all, lived to 101. As I have said before, the Queen must live forever.

David Amess and the terrorism amnesia industry


Why the elites are so desperate to avoid discussing radical Islam.


9th October 2021

Martel notes “there is much of this article that has me nodding in agreement and indeed O’Neill comes to a strong conclusion but I contend he does not go far enough. In my view the Establishment has come to an agreement with Islam which involves the submission of the West to Islam and the end of her peoples and her cultures.”

We seem to be witnessing the cranking into action of the Islamist terror amnesia industry. This is the means through which, subtly and sometimes imperceptibly, memorialisation of lives lost to suspected Islamist terror is discouraged. Where the politics is drained from such outrages and we are pressured to view them less as violent expressions of a particular ideology and more as sad, unpleasant events. As occasions for grief, not anger; for fleeting reflection, not societal interrogation. This happens after every suspected Islamist attack. The elite’s fear of what would happen if we had an honest, collective confrontation with the problem of radical Islam comes to outweigh everything else, even the act of remembering. Two weeks after Amess was killed, a horror now being investigated under the Terrorism Act and suspected of having an Islamist motivation, it’s happening again.

In stark contrast, we are now expressly instructed not to read politics into the Amess killing. At least not yet. So the Guardian’s sister paper, the Observercounsels against the drawing of conclusions from the Amess atrocity on the basis that we just don’t know enough about it yet. Two days after Amess’s death, on 17 October, the Observer warned against over-politicised interpretations of this violent act. ‘We know little about the circumstances surrounding the fatal attack on Amess’, the paper said, when in fact, by that stage, we knew far more about this killing than we did about the killing of Cox when the Guardian transformed it, hours after it occurred, into proof of our ‘slide from civilisation into barbarism’. Now the Observer reprimands those who ‘seek to deploy’ the ‘scant details’ of the Amess killing ‘in service of their political agendas’, especially the agenda of talking about the problem of radical Islam. ‘[To] politicise this tragedy in such a way is abhorrent’, it says.

This is extraordinary. Here we have the media conscience of the liberal elite – the Guardian Media Group – inciting the politicisation of one fatal assault on an MP and forbidding the politicisation of another fatal assault on an MP. Demanding a focus on far-right extremism following the killing of Cox and denouncing any focus on Islamist extremism following the killing of Amess. Five years ago the liberal media openly said the killing of Cox must not only be viewed as a dreadful act; it must also be politicised. Now the same media elite describes as ‘abhorrent’ any effort to treat the Amess killing as a political event. The Observer’s ‘scant details’ line is especially striking. Imagine if the Telegraph or the Spectator had fumed against the politicisation of the Cox killing on the basis that Mair’s yelling of the phrase ‘Britain first’ was a ‘scant detail’ undeserving of meaningful political attention. There would have been fury. And yet the Observer can say this kind of thing about the Amess killing and it causes no controversy whatsoever.

It isn’t only the Guardian / Observer. Across the board, in both the political class and the media elites, the difference between the treatment of the Cox horror and the Amess horror has been palpable. It demands scrutiny. Of course, the murder of Cox came to be bound up with the elites’ dread over the EU referendum. Cox was killed just one week before the nation voted on whether we should stay in or leave the EU. A political and media class panicked by the prospect that the electorate would opt for Leave, and unnerved by the very holding of a referendum on a matter of such high constitutional importance, came to view the killing of Cox as symbolic of the moral and political turpitude of the Leave campaign and its backers among the oiks. They saw in Mair’s grotesque act a distillation of the unwieldy passions of the broader Leave-backing multitude.

Collective blame for the Cox killing was dealt out almost immediately. This horror was down to politics, and in particular to the Leave campaign, we were told. Polly Toynbee, on the day Cox was killed, claimed the ‘referendum campaign’ had made the air ‘corrosive’. Leavers had created a ‘noxious brew’, she said, ‘with dangerous anti-politics and anti-MP stereotypes’. Deploying an alarming insect-like metaphor, Toynbee said the leaders of the Leave movement had ‘lifted several stones’ and let out a ‘rude, crude, Nazi-style extremism’. Alex Massie argued just one hour after Cox was killed that her killer – of whom we knew virtually nothing at that point – was probably motivated by the Brexit atmosphere. ‘When you encourage rage you cannot then feign surprise when people become enraged’, he said. Across the chattering class, the alleged political source of the Cox horror was sought out immediately, initially as part of the Remainer elites’ desperate effort to tar Leave with the brush of terrorism.

But the hyper-politicisation of the Cox killing was not only an act of extreme opportunism by members of an elite baffled that we were holding a referendum on the EU. It was also motivated by a desire to highlight the problem of right-wing terrorism. Don’t look away from this ideological scourge, we were told. When Mair was convicted in November 2016, there was an explosion of commentary demanding attention be paid to right-wing extremism. ‘The impact of extreme, far-right crime should not be ignored’, said one writer. ‘A far-right terrorist murdered Jo Cox – so when is the Cobra meeting?’, asked the New Statesman, the clear implication being that officialdom focuses too much on Islamist terror and not enough on right-wing terror. The Independent complained that ‘the focus on Muslim-related extremism [has] overlooked the growing threat from the far right’. Far-right extremists, the Independent reported, completely ridiculously, are ‘much more lethal’ than Islamic extremists.

So the politicisation of the Cox killing had two components. First, it was an exploitation of an awful event in the service of Remainer propaganda in the final week of the EU referendum. And secondly, it was about saying this is political. This kind of violence is an ideological menace that we should not shy away from talking about. Rather, the commentariat insisted, we should actively encourage the population to discuss these twisted ideologies and get angry about them. As that Toynbee piece said, ‘It’s wrong to view the killing of Jo Cox in isolation’. Rather, it sprung from, or at least manifested, a far larger ‘chilling culture war’. The Cox killing was super-politicised, marshalled to the service of a narrative about Brexit-related political malaise and about the importance of confronting far-right terror.

David Amess and the terrorism amnesia industry

The Amess killing has been followed by almost precisely the opposite urges. The instinct, everywhere, has been to depoliticise. Or rather to politicise it but in such a way that attention is taken off the problem of radical Islam and zoned into other, entirely unrelated areas of policy. The impulse has been to defuse, to diminish. To drain away strong political and emotional feelings about the suspected motivating ideology of the attack, rather than to intensify such feelings, as happened when Cox was killed. It would be ‘abhorrent’, as the Observer says, to politicise a tragedy like this in order to talk about the problem of Islamism. In short, this horror should be seen in isolation. It is awful and sad and deserving of our tears, of course; but apparently it doesn’t require meaningful ideological or social interrogation.

One of the key arguments made by the media defusers of the Amess horror is that we just don’t know enough yet to have an informed discussion. Everything is ‘scant’. This isn’t true. Of course, no discussion should be had about who is responsible for this killing. The individual who is being held under the Terrorism Act is innocent until proven guilty. Justice must be allowed to take its course. But we do know a lot about the suspicions of officialdom in relation to this violent act. As Private Eye summarises it, ‘Less than an hour and a half after the Conservative MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death just after noon on 15 October, Essex police announced that the investigation was being led by anti-terrorism officers’. By 7.30pm that evening, they were exploring a ‘potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism’. Then, on 21 October, six days after the killing, it was confirmed that the suspect would face charges of murder with ‘a terrorist connection, namely that it had both religious and ideological motivations’ and also ‘the preparation of terrorist acts’. And yet despite all this, as Private Eye puts it, much of the press has ‘decided [that] Amess’s death was about something else entirely’.

The defusing of the suspected Islamist element of the attack on Amess, of the fact that this is now being treated as a possible act of Islamist terrorism, has taken two forms. First, we have witnessed what we might call the phoney politicisation of the Amess killing – the transformation of it into a political event, yes, but one which apparently has little to do with the problem of radical Islam. Across the establishment, the Amess attack has been firmly removed from the sphere of ‘Islamist terrorism’ and placed instead in the sphere of ‘online abuse’. MPs and the media have relentlessly focused on the problem of mean tweets, online anonymity and verbal abuse aimed at MPs, even though it is not at all clear that any of these contemporary problems played a role in the targeting of Amess. This partisan, cynical politicisation of the Amess killing to the end of problematising online culture is best understood as yet another form of de-politicisation – a political means of distracting attention from what is suspected to be the real political problem behind an attack like this: radical Islam.

And secondly, there has been the marshalling of the ‘Islamophobia’ problem. This happens after every act of suspected of Islamist terrorism, without fail. We are told that too much anger or even just frank public discussion about the problem of radical Islam could have destabilising and even violent consequences. It is a form of emotional blackmail.

Curb your passions and political concerns about this ideological menace or else we will witness an unravelling of social bonds and an explosion in hate – that is the message we receive from on high, every single time. After the Manchester Arena bombing (‘Don’t look back in anger’). After the London Bridge attack, when football fans who marched to raise awareness of the Islamist problem were furiously denounced as dangerous and Islamophobic. Even after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, when we were warned by one observer that ‘Islamophobes [will seize] this atrocity to advance their hatred’. Apparently, the aftermath of that massacre represented a ‘dangerous moment’, not because supporters of freedom of speech were under violent attack but because ‘anti-Muslim prejudice is rampant in Europe’. This is the script of the elites after every Islamist atrocity: Be careful how you talk about it or you might help to unleash violent racism. Neuter your political anger or you risk igniting a pogrom against Muslims.

We have seen this deeply cynical, censorious and distrustful narrative being rolled out once again following the killing of Amess. ‘British Muslims prepare for surge in Islamophobia following David Amess murder’, says one headline. ‘Terrorist attacks often spark fresh waves of Islamophobia’, the Huffington Post warns. The Muslim Council of Britain has drawn attention to ‘the real apprehension within British Muslim communities… at the prospect of an increase in hate-crime offences’. This view of the post-terror moment as a uniquely volatile time, one in which violence could blow up at any moment, is intimately linked with the Observer’s insistence that it would be ‘abhorrent’ to politicise Amess’s killing to the end of discussing the Islamist problem. It all acts from a censorious instinct to quell public concern about radical Islam, to dampen the anger people might understandably feel about this violent ideology that has killed scores of our fellow citizens in recent years. The spectre of ‘Islamophobia’ is marshalled as a means of thwarting democratic discussion and even any kind of firm memorialising of acts of suspected Islamist terror.

We now have a perverse situation where, thanks to the phoney politicisation of the Amess killing as a problem of online culture, and as a result of the raising once again of the ‘Islamophobia’ problem, there has been more discussion about right-wing violence than there has been about radical Islam since Amess was killed. The liberal media chastise too keen a focus on the Islamist issue while flagging up the potential for a right-wing backlash against the Muslim community. For two weeks now, we have been instructed, time and again, to think less about the problem of radical Islam and more about the alleged scourge of rude online trolls and about a possibly emerging anti-Muslim mob. It has all been a classic example of the Islamist terrorism amnesia industry getting to work: ‘Don’t focus on the ideology that is suspected to be behind this attack – focus on anything else instead.’

The false equivalence that is made between Islamist terror and far-right extremism needs to be called out. More pointedly, the perverse equivalence that is made, at least in terms of the size of liberal media commentary, between acts of Islamist violence and their potentially Islamophobic aftermath, between the barbarism of something like the Manchester Arena bombing and the allegedly destabilising consequences of talking about such a horror too frankly and passionately, needs to be firmly challenged. The Independent was entirely wrong to report, following the conviction of Mair in 2016, that far-right extremism is ‘much more lethal’ than Islamic extremism. More than 90 people have been killed in the UK by Islamic extremists over the past 16 years; only three people have been killed by far-right extremists. The elites’ pathological obsession with downplaying the Islamist scourge – with continually deflating the problem, distracting from the problem, defusing the problem – is an Orwellian strategy designed to gaslight the public into believing that it is us who are hateful for worrying about the Islamist ideology.

What lies behind the Islamist terror amnesia industry? Why do the new elites take this approach of whataboutery and emotional blackmail in the aftermath of suspected Islamist terror attacks – with so much success that many people will have genuine difficulty recalling something like the Islamist stabbing to death of three gay men in Reading last year or the total number of victims of the Manchester Arena bombing? It is a product of their fundamental fear of the public and of democracy. It is their view of us as a low-information, potentially violent throng that has led them to believe we cannot be trusted to discuss something as contentious as the Islamist ideology. At times it seems they fear us and our response to terrorism more than they fear terrorism itself – that is how staggeringly out of touch with the public they have become. Moral cowardice and disdain for democracy lie behind their cultivation of the Islamist amnesia industry.

At root, they want to protect their ideology of multiculturalism from serious democratic interrogation. And thus they must quell, with distraction and dire warnings, any kind of public scrutiny of how divided and tense Britain has become under this system of cultural and ethnic separatism, to such an extent that religious violence is now a fairly regular occurrence in our society. Shush. Forget about it. Don’t look back in anger.

Martel notes “there is much of this article that has me nodding in agreement and indeed O’Neill comes to a strong conclusion but I contend he does not go far enough. In my view the Establishment has come to an agreement with Islam which involves the submission of the West to Islam and the end of her peoples and her cultures.”

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