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Watching children with their parents in southern France fascinates me.

Even toddlers there are well behaved.

Families walk along the beach together late at night, and it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

The children are also good in restaurants. They eat an amazing variety of seafood and know how to use their utensils properly.

So I was fascinated to read an article in The Telegraph, ‘No kids allowed: is Britain becoming an anti-child society?’

Excerpts follow:

Eileen Potter, owner of Treacle’s Tea Shop in Winchmore Hill, north London, recently found herself in hot water when she banned pre-schoolers, to the fury of many parents. In response, she explained: ‘We can not continually afford to replace crockery. We are not a family establishment’ …

Italy is famed for being especially family-friendly, but Marco Magliozzi of Rome fish restaurant, La Fraschetta del Pesce, imposed the same restriction. ‘Children throw olive oil on the floor, they send the salt cellar flying across the room and, above all, they hate fish,’ he complained.

Well, I have not seen that in the south of France.

Part of the problem perhaps is letting children rule the roost at home. Another is not eating at the kitchen or dining room table every night. I can remember pretty far back and recall eating with my parents at table from the time I was three. I had my dad’s children’s cutlery set so I could eat properly. No special meals. I ate what my parents ate. Mom did have to cut my pork chops up for a while, but other than that I never had a problem.

However, there is another difficulty here with children since the smoking bans came in force across much of Europe. Every adult establishment now seems to be child-friendly. Pubs and continental cafés are no longer for adults.

The Telegraph points this out:

Several of my London friends (in their 40s and 50s, with no kids) complain that their long-held ritual of a quiet, lazy weekend pub lunch is now impossible.

‘Every decent pub in my neighbourhood is full of children running wild, and that’s if you can get through the door, which is invariably barricaded by buggies,’ says one who wants to remain anonymous. She now eats out only in the evening: ‘But even at 8pm or 9pm, there are often loads of children. Is nowhere sacred?’

Another seethed her way through a recent restaurant outing: ‘There was a toddler on his scooter, whizzing around the dining room, weaving between the tables, tripping up the staff. His parents ignored him and carried on drinking their wine.’

Those ladies would be fine in Cannes, where, somehow, even in the most cramped restaurant, no one notices buggies since they are always thoughtfully placed. Children also look forward to the restaurant experience there. It seems to make them feel more grown up.

The solution is for parents to bring up their children from infancy to be as quiet and calm as possible so as not to be a nuisance to others.

Unfortunately, most parents think of their children as entertaining little darlings when many certainly are not.

The Telegraph gave several examples of places in Britain and Italy that are going child-free. It is regrettable that well-behaved children will have to wait several years before they can enjoy such places themselves, but indulgent parents have only themselves to blame for this inevitable outcome.

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After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Britain’s Storm Aileen pales by comparison.

Yes, I feel for people who have no power and had structural damage to their homes, but there was quite a bit of hype — panic stations — at a time when cooler heads should have prevailed.

Aileen blew in overnight between September 12 and 13. It’s a bit early for storms like these in the UK, which normally arrive in October or November. Aileen was finished by the time everyone woke up in the west and mid-morning in the east:

Like many others, I’m not sure why the storm even deserved a name. Surely, it was a strong gale. But, the Met Office knows more than we do and perhaps the forecasted gusts were high enough to warrant one. Even so, it strikes me as overkill:

The photos look remarkably like the ones from Irma with uprooted trees, wrecked outbuildings, some flooding and power outages.

BT.com reported:

The M48 Severn Crossing in south Gloucestershire and the Ouse Bridge on the M62 in East Yorkshire were closed due to high winds but have since been reopened.

Network Rail said some railway lines in the south of England and Midlands may still face disruption due to “fallen trees and large branches” on the tracks.

The Telegraph has several photos and reported that Aileen is unrelated to Irma and Jose.

It would be an idea if people here and in other storm-prone areas took preventive action. Keeping taller trees near power lines and railways trimmed would be a sensible start. The homeowners in our street do that. Why can’t everyone else?

In many ways, Hurricane Irma could have been much worse.

If she had stayed on water, just off the west coast of Florida, her effects would have been more devastating than they were.

It was divine mercy that got her to touch land on Sunday afternoon, September 10, 2017.

For those unaware of hurricane categories, here is a witty interpretation before we get into the serious business of winds, storm surge and flooding:

This is a must-see humorous video:

Now for the serious business.

This is Havana post-Irma:

After Cuba, Irma, still a Category 4 at that point, hit the Florida Keys:

Damage was widespread:

On the northeastern end of the Keys, it was much the same in places:

Meanwhile, on the east coast of Florida, there were hurricane force winds and storm surges.

There was a lot of activity on the east coast, from late Saturday well into Sunday. The Miami Herald has several videos from journalists and readers to illustrate Irma’s ferocity.

This is was what was happening on Sunday afternoon (another image here):

By Sunday evening, this had happened:

On Sunday morning, Irma hit the Florida mainland at Marco Island:

Her eye began breaking up. However, her intensity continued.

Nearby Naples was next (another video here):

Extensive flooding occurred there in places.

Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse is a Floridian who helps with hurricane relief and rescue. He says that certain phenomena, such as water being sucked off of coastlines and out of canals and rivers, haven’t been seen in such a widespread way since Hurricane Donna in 1960:

In 1960 Hurricane Donna drained the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers during her NE turn toward Jacksonville. Ironically That was September 10th, 1960. The tidal flows will play a role in the pending Storm Surge …

The top of the storm is moving water away from the gulf beaches and barrier islands in proportion to the timing of the tide. However, all of that water -along with the water carried by the storm’s energy, will come back in with the backside of the storm. And if that times with an incoming tide…. The results are a fast and widespread storm surge, even up river as all the water piles up.

This occurred in several places along the west coast, including Tampa Bay:

This was Tampa later on (another image, albeit dry, here):

This is what Naples looked like when water was sucked away:

In areas where this occurred, people were told not to go out and take a walk:

Sure enough:

Late on Sunday, Irma reached Orlando:

The state faced tornado warnings as well as winds and flooding:

This is Jacksonville:

Not surprisingly:

Especially around Miami and Fort Lauderdale:

By evening, this was the overall view as Irma continued making her way northward (another image here and extent of winds here and here):

The forecast showed no relief in sight:

First responders were on the ground later on Sunday:

Also:

This is the forecast for neighbouring and distant states. It is amazing that Irma’s reach will extend inland as a tropical depression to Indiana and Illinois:

To the immediate northwest, Alabama is preparing:

Mobile Bay also had water sucked out of it.

Other states, including North Carolina, are also getting ready:

This was her energy on Sunday:

Overall:

Irma’s days as a hurricane may have ended. However, as a tropical storm, she is far from over. More tomorrow.

Most of you are no doubt familiar with the late Michael Crichton, best known for his books — especially, The Andromeda Strain — although he also wrote screenplays and was a film director.

He was a man of amazing intellect, particularly in matters scientific. In the quote below, he refers to another man of immense intelligence, the physicist Murray Gell-Mann, with whom he discussed news coverage.

In 2002, Crichton (pron. ‘cryton’) wrote an essay called ‘Why Speculate?’ It featured this warning about Big Media (emphases mine below):

Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect …

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

The complete essay is here.

Crichton pointed out that if you heard inaccuracies from someone first-hand, you would tend to discredit them.

So, why don’t we discredit Big Media based on the inaccuracies they are telling us?

Even more important are the omissions. On holiday in Cannes, I watched CNBC Europe by default (British channels were not coming in well) to get Prime Minister Theresa May’s post-election statement on Friday, June 9, 2017. Whilst waiting for two hours, I heard only two news stories repeated over and over! More was going on in the world that day. Why not cover it?

These channels — and other media outlets, such as the press — are highly economic with the truth, including the traditional television news and newspapers. We now know that because we have a raft of websites giving us more news items — and better analysis.

Why do we persist in giving Big Media our time and money? It’s time we stopped trusting them!

Hello, readers!

This brief post is to let you know that comments are now on for all posts for the month of June 2017.

I had turned the facility off two weeks ago, for reasons I will explain later this week.

Hint: I was in a locale where women are still women and men are still men.

More to follow soon.

In closing, a hearty welcome — and thank you — to my newest subscribers!

On May 27, 2017 John Betjeman‘s son Paul left a message on one of my posts announcing his son Timothy’s upcoming art exhibition at Marlborough College in Wiltshire.

My English readers who live nearby might be interested in attending.

Paul Betjeman informs us:

the opening is June 9th 6-9pm at the Mount House gallery at Marlborough College.

His son Timothy’s exhibition runs from June 10 through to June 25 (inclusive). You can read more about it on Timothy’s website.

Timothy has been Marlborough’s Artist in Residence over the past year. He enjoys painting in the college chapel and explained in February (emphasis in the original):

I decided early on in my time at Marlborough that I would like to paint regularly in the Chapel.  I knew that my grandfather, Sir John Betjeman (B2 1920-25), had enjoyed spending time there, and had seen it as something of a refuge from the trials of student life. There is a sense, upon entering and shutting the wooden doors behind you, that one has entered a space related to, but many miles away from the outside.

The Chapel does not take in a huge amount of natural light, so that when it is empty, the only indications of time passing, are occasional creaks from the wooden pews and the minutely changing colour of the chancel windows, which start off in the morning as a very pale blue, and by the evening have turned an aqueous green.  I have several paintings in progress, all created from the same spot in the back centre of the chapel, and a half-dozen etchings, which I work on after dark under electric light, or when I am too tired to paint.  Collectively, these represent sections of the day, and different architectural and decorative features coming into relief.  As the sun moves and colour relations change above the altar, I set down one painting and resume work on another.  I don’t like working from photographs because you miss all this.  The rituals and cycles of a place: visual, musical, religious and secular.  Painting is itself a ritual, and one which I have found harmonises well with that of the church.

Timothy Betjeman’s work is now complete. His website has a catalogue of what will appear at the exhibition. His paintings reflect a plein-air style. His etchings are stunning.

The Marlborough article explained that he also taught art classes and that they were delighted to have him as Artist in Residence:

Alongside Tim’s regular teaching of a range of art practices to our Art Scholars and Option classes, he has welcomed pupils visits to his studio space and the Chapel. Most recently, a Remove Art class were greatly impressed by the expressive mark-making, detail and application of colour that Tim achieves within his current oil paintings. Our pupils asked Tim many questions relating to his gestural painting techniques and particular interest in studying the Chapel’s altar.

It is a pleasure to have Tim within the College community this academic year, and we look forward to further creative interactions throughout the remainder of his residency.

I wish him all the best with his exhibition and future endeavours.

I would also like to thank his father for sending in the links.

Please note that I have turned the comments off for the next several posts.

I will be unable to reply to comments for a while but will set the comment facility back on for these entries once I am able.

Likes and Pingbacks remain operational.

Thank you for your understanding.

In closing, a warm welcome to my newest subscribers. There is a lot to read here about Christianity, the Bible, the socio-political scene as well as food and health. Enjoy!

There’s more good news for alternative media.

On April 3, 2017 Rebel Media hired former political operative Jack Posobiec as their Washington Bureau Chief.

In 2016, Posobiec (pron. ‘Posobik’), his Twitter feed and YouTube videos were popular with Trump supporters, especially Millennials.

Posobiec describes his career as follows:

Last year, I served as the Special Projects Director for Citizens for Trump, the largest Trump grassroots organization in the US.

Originally from the Philadelphia area, I’ve worked for four presidential campaigns, as well as numerous candidates for Senate, Congress, and Governor.

I’m also a US Navy veteran with multiple deployments overseas. 

Posobiec’s Rebel Media work can be found here.

He’s a good reporter. He speaks clearly, concisely and logically.

The video below from Monday, April 3, 2017 was his one of his first reports for Rebel Media. He explains the surveillance scandal involving President Donald Trump and others during the 2016 campaign season. He includes video clips from a variety of Big Media sources and lays out the timeline well:

The Rebel Media was founded in Canada in 2015 by a former Sun News Network host, Ezra Levant. Rebel’s hosts and commentators are controversial but highly popular among Millennials. Canadian Gavin McInnes is the best known in the United States.

The Rebel Media — also known as The Rebel — is an organisation that one either loves or loathes. That said, their programmes will make one think.

Contrary to the way it has been portrayed by Big Media in Western countries, The Rebel is not ‘far-right’ but libertarian-to-conservative alternative media.

Jack Posobiec and Rebel Media unintentionally broke out of their US-Canada market during the weekend of the French election. Now they’ve gone international.

In short, contributors to the /pol/ forum board on 4chan obtained a huge volume of data that supposedly relates to France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron. Macron threatened to sue anyone who discussed these data online during the 44-hour media blackout of the election prior to Sunday, May 7 — the second, and final, round of voting.

Disobedient Media, by investigative citizen journalist William Craddick, reported on the data dump between Wednesday, May 3 and Friday, May 5: here, here, here and here.

Posobiec posted the video below at The Rebel on Friday, May 5, referencing Craddick’s work. Posobiec said that he himself had just been labelled by a Belgian researcher as a Russian agent. Posobiec is a Polish name. This person alleges that Posobiec’s Twitter account appeared in a list of what were brand new Twitter accounts, thought to be bots. The researcher was already hard at work establishing notional bots on April 15. (N.B.: Posobiec opened his Twitter account in 2012.)

Posobiec went on to say that he spoke with 4chan members who said that they found the Macron documents on ‘the deep web’ — the dark net. Posobiec also cited a May 4 article on Got News by an independent auditor for the Big Three accounting firms who examined the data dump. ‘Jessica Gomez’ (not her real name) claimed that the documents are not fake and that the French people should be able to examine them prior to Sunday, May 7:

That weekend, someone on social media suggested that there should be a place on Twitter to discuss the data dump. Posobiec was the first to post at  #MacronLeaks.

Macron has since taken legal action against him and/or Rebel Media.

On Monday, May 8, Posobiec gave Alex Jones an interview in which he said that Rebel Media had their lawyers on the case. He was confident and composed.

My post tomorrow will address a) the speculation about Macron’s finances and b) much worse hashtags — #MacronCahuzac and #EmmanuelCahuzac — both of which started in France months ago. I will look at the latter hashtag  tomorrow.

The Cahuzac affair was the worst financial scandal to take place in France in recent years. It involved tax fraud and money laundering. In the end, Dr Jérôme Cahuzac — a surgeon who became a  parliamentarian then Junior Minister for the Budget in François Hollande’s administration — was sentenced to three years in prison on December 8, 2016. He is also ineligible to serve in public office for five years.

The name Cahuzac has been toxic since his scandal first came to light in 2013. 

Therefore, it’s interesting that Macron would take legal action against an American alternative media reporter when so much information — including the Cahuzac tag — was already circulating in investigative French media outlets.

To be clear: linking Cahuzac’s name with Macron is not saying Macron was involved, but rather the possibility that whatever might be uncovered about Macron’s finances could be as huge as the Cahuzac affair.

I wish Jack Posobiec — and his fiancée Tanya Tay — all the best, especially in the Macron dust-up, and hope that he continues to hold the centre ground in his coverage.

UPDATE: Thank you, Jack, for the tweet. Much appreciated!

.

There is much more I have to say about the French election.

I haven’t finished writing it all yet.

For now, even a new French president isn’t enough to deter terror alerts.

The Sun reported that early on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, three ‘terror suspects’ remain at large after the Gare du Nord in Paris was in lockdown in the early hours:

Le Parisien reported the “three dangerous men” had been spotted in Paris, Marseille and Bordeaux – sparking the huge police hunt.

Officers are said to have emptied the train of more than 200 people that was arriving from the northern town of Valenciennes as they searched for the trio, whose profiles were apparently flagged to French security chiefs by a “partner country” on Friday.

Unconfirmed reports suggested two of the three men being hunted were Belgian nationals while the other was from Afghanistan.

Police evacuated passengers from the station late on May 8 and began readmitting them around 1:30 a.m.

Macron and the Left want to be nice and all-inclusive. That just won’t work with dangerous people.

Yesterday’s post on narcotics addicts in the Bakken oil fields region — North Dakota and Montana — where MS-13 has a foothold, shows just how difficult kicking the drug habit is.

On March 21, 2017, Cleveland’s News 5 had an article about the money Big Pharma is making off drugs that admittedly save people from an overdose — a good thing — but also influences Ohio’s politicians.

‘Pharma company linked to Ohio senator benefits from opioid addiction and treatment’ says it all and is accompanied by a video of News 5 of their broadcast. This is one of the worst articles I’ve ever seen with regard to incomplete sentences and punctuation. (I’ve made the corrections that I could below, but stopped. Otherwise I would have to rewrite it.) However, the content is excellent. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

CLEVELAND – We’ve seen the videos of countless Northeast Ohioans revived with Naloxone[, t]he drug fighting an epidemic fueled in part by the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.

But our News 5 investigation found at least one those big pharmaceutical companies is making money off the overdoses too

But where did this nightmare begin? “The way we got here frankly is prescription drugs and people getting addicted to opioids,” said Ohio Senator Rob Portman in a phone interview with News 5. To combat this epidemic, emergency crews have their own drug of choice, Naloxone

See how Big Pharma, big money and the senator are connected. Furthermore, this has helped Big Pharma nationwide. Naloxone, or Narcan is:

A drug so effective, Senator Portman ensured every first responder in the U.S. [c]arried it, expanding access through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) he co-authored. “Because they are saving lives every day,” said Portman.

An antidote to a deadly epidemic experts say was fueled by pharmaceutical companies, the same companies, that have donated heavily to Ohio lawmakers, including Senator Portman.

Interesting, to say the least.

Portman denied being influenced by donations and said that he receives a lot of them from various industry sectors. However:

According to the Associated Press, Portman was a top recipient collecting over $200,000 in six years. One of those companies Pfizer Inc. [a]lso contributed to his most recent campaign.

Portman told News 5 he doesn’t even know what type of drugs Pfizer makes. Really?

News 5 went on to state:

besides the opioid painkillers Pfizer is most notable for, it has also recently begun producing Naloxone by acquiring the leading seller of the reversal drug.

Portman insisted he knew nothing about that and acts in the interest of his constituents.

News 5 named other politicians who have received Big Pharma donations:

From 2006 to 2015 the Pain Care Forum, a coalition of pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists, poured $3.5 million dollars into Ohio political coffers. According to the Associated Press, a huge chunk, $875,000[,] went to then House Speaker John Boehner, below him Representative Pat Tiberi received $300,000, while Congresswoman Marcia Fudge collected $78,000.

Okay, we knew this was going on. However, it’s good to see actual figures.

But don’t think for a moment that anyone in power — whether captains of industry or politicians — is interested in seeing a drop in drug addicts.

Drugs fuel the mighty money machine in more ways than one.

As President Trump says, ‘Follow the money’.

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