One interesting part of the horrific footage of events from Virginia has largely been un-commented on. The riot footage revealed paramilitary neo-Nazis in crash helmets, armed with home-made body armour, shields and batons using pre-rehersed Roman phalanx tactics to lay waste to anti-racist protestors.
This raises a number of questions. Given we have seen violent intolerance from US police forces of even peaceful Black Lives Matter activists, in what circumstances in recent years can we imagine police services allowing similarly armed black paramilitaries into enclosed public spaces where protest is going on?
As Republican President Donald Trump’s comments demonstrate – suggesting equivalency between white supremacists and anti-racists – racism is part of the state apparatus and political culture.
Readers thinking there’s something unusual in yesterday’s events should try googling the Lynching postcard and comparing the results with all too similar Abu Graib human trophy imagery.
On Saturday white supremacists gathered to defend their filthy creed in Charlottesville, Virginia, murdered three anti-racist activists and injured many others. By his encouragement and endorsement of racism, especially but not exclusively against Mexicans and Muslims, President Donald Trump has the blood of the Charlottesville dead on his hands.
He should face charges of incitement to murder.
Does North Korea have an ulterior motive?
David Usborne rightly describes North Korea as “tiny, isolated and impoverished”.
Without meaning to trivialise the potential seriousness of the current situation, I couldn’t help but recall an old Peter Sellers film called The Mouse that Roared. The plot revolves around an impoverished tiny principality seeking to enrich itself by declaring was on the USA with the intention of surrendering immediately in the hope that they would then get Marshall aid from America and so cure their financial problems.
Perhaps Kim Jong-Un has seen the film and sees this scenario as a way of solving his country’s financial woes. It would certainly explain the apparent lunacy of carrying out aggressive acts and making threats against the most powerful country on Earth.
We shouldn’t value natural childbirth over caesareans
There was no justification for the Royal College of Midwives to call for less technology in childbirth “without caesarean, induction, instruments or epidural”.
There is no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage caesarean rate (CS) or range of percentages, and the notion that vaginal delivery is superior to CS is not supported by the World Health Organization.
The WHO holds that “every effort should be made to provide caesarean sections to women in need, rather than striving to achieve a specific rate”.
Individual care, not artificial targets, should be the aim in pregnancy.
Dr John Doherty
We need to put human needs before animals’ ones
Surely there is an hierarchy in society’s priorities when considering putting cameras in abattoirs to highlight ill treatment of animals, compared with putting cameras in all care homes to protect the safety and dignity of our elderly citizens.
It seems unlikely that Alex Salmond will focus on his new career as a performer
Alex Salmond has suggested that, if his show at the Edinburgh Festival is a great success, he could take it on a world tour. That sounds like an excellent idea – from the point of view of Scots who would be mightily relieved not to hear from Salmond for a lengthy period. What the world would make of it is scarcely to be imagined.
It is unlikely, however, that Salmond would wish to leave the Scottish scene for any length of time. His championing of former MP Michelle Thomson indicates that he hopes to remain a player in the SNP. Criticising the party for its treatment of Thomson suggests that his leadership ambitions are alive and well. I trust that Thomson is aware that she is but a pawn in these ambitions.
As usual, it is all about Alex.
Where the fake news lies
News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson announces News Corp’s commitment to provide a platform for “news of verified veracity.” Presumably this will be run in conjunction with Fox News?