Friday, July 28, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Robert Dehlinger's Alpha Rhythm Kings

Established in 2017, the Alpha Rhythm Kings have created quite a stir with music fans, having crafted an exciting, King Size California sound, with what Roots Music Magazine No Depression calls "the badge of authenticity".

The band's top quality musicians, with Robert Dehlinger's “exhilarating” trumpet and "magnetic" singing (Jazz Corner) leading the way, are a favorite with swing dancers, as well as with audiences in nightclubs, festivals and concert halls.

Alpha Rhythm Kings: California Boogie

Alpha Rhythm Kings: Choo Choo Ch’Boogie (feat. Miss Tammi Savoy)

Alpha Rhythm Kings: Oh Marie

Vaccinate Me, Baby - by the Alpha Rhythm Kings

Alpha Rhythm Kings: Fools Are Getting Scarcer

Alpha Rhythm Kings! King Sized Sounds!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Julian Assange: a letter to the Home Secretary

Peter Hitchens has urged a write-in to the Home Secretary. Here is my letter; I hope you can send one also - and urge others to do so.

Dear Home Secretary

Request to Halt the Extradition of Julian Assange

I appeal to you to decline the extradition to the USA of Mr Julian Assange, for several reasons.

Firstly, it is widely suspected that the espionage charges levelled against him are an inappropriate or even improper use of US law and arise from political purposes. There are also question marks over the motivation and conduct of the authorities in Sweden in pursuing longstanding investigations that were discontinued in 2019 following his removal from the Ecuadorian Embassy and being placed under arrest here. Further, doubts have been expressed about some aspects of the proceedings in Westminster Magistrates Court and the extent to which they may have been influenced by external considerations and agencies. In a globally high-profile case such as this it is especially important that Britain should be seen to uphold its traditional commitment to justice and the liberty of the individual.

Secondly, some worry that Mr Assange may not face a fair trial if extradited, given that his case is cast in terms of a threat to US national security at a time when public feelings are febrile. Moreover, bearing in mind his fragile and apparently declining physical and mental health there is unease over the treatment he may receive in jail before, during and after trial. Notwithstanding assurances given by US authorities, there may still be, as there has previously been, a failure by them to safeguard a potentially suicidal prisoner.

Finally, the Assange affair has far wider implications for the principles of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the protection of whistleblowers worldwide. It is essential to recognize the potential chilling effect that his extradition could have on investigative journalism and the critical role it plays in a democratic society. By declining the extradition request, you can reaffirm Britain’s commitment to these fundamental values.

I humbly request that you call a halt to these proceedings and release Mr Assange.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

WEEKENDER: DNR - A Suitable Case For Treatment (NHS)

Those letters in the heading above which I alluded to in a previous post hospital piece, needed fleshing out as I have become more aware and informed of what happened to me, and it can happen to anyone.

Firstly I will relay the events that affected me personally.

This bit may bore you but lays the foundations to what was imposed on me and why this form of legalised murder or attempted in my case, should be exposed, it is a far more common event than the vast majority of population would realise.

In my case, and I will try and keep this part brief, I felt unwell at home went for a lay down and woke roughly five weeks later in the Norfolk and Norwich hospital unaware of what had happened to me.

It transpired that my collapse was the result of fluid on the brain and I was sent to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for treatment as it has a specialist brain unit. I was operated on but shortly afterwards it was discovered that a bleed had been shown up and I underwent a second brain operation.

I was sedated all this time and a week later was complaining of severe stomach pains. The diagnosis revealed I had a perforated bowel, this I was told much later was a result of the brain problem, as I could not relate personally to how I could be so unlucky to get the bowel problem at the same time as the brain, but apparently this does happen, it is the brain that caused it, or so I was told.

The bowel operation was a big one which necessitated leaving the bowel outside the wound for some days as they needed to flush it out on a regular basis to try and get rid of the infection it had, thank God I was asleep during this period.

Oh and it was found I had covid during this period, so quite a load in one hit. 

Fortunately I was still sedated and started to come round once I had been transferred back to the Norfolk and Norwich after five weeks to be nearer home.

I remember absolutely nothing about my time in Addenbrooke’s.

This is where it starts to get interesting as obviously I had a different team ‘ looking after me.’

Shortly after the transfer my wife visited and met the consultant/doctor in charge of my case. He told her that he doubted I would make it with the infection I had in the bowel and I would be put on a DNR, I'm not sure if this was the original infection but presume it was a new one. The wife after what she had endured through me at Addenbrooke's was naturally concerned. No discussion of any alternative treatment or my current state which turned out to be somewhat different. The indifference shown by this doctor was appalling.

The following day my wife arrived back to visit with a good friend who drove her there to discover my bed was empty and no one to say what had happened. They found me in an unfurnished side ward on my own with all the tubes drains drips etc removed. She immediately called the nurse responsible to be told I had had a Do Nor Resuscitate order put on me by the doctor.

My wife rightly demanded to speak to the doctor and a call went out for him to attend. After numerous failed attempts he could not be found but after waiting all day my wife was eventually told he would see her the following morning at around 10.00.

She dutifully turned up at the requested time but no doctor; once again calls were put out but he could not be found. As the end of the day came my wife’s patience and demeanour changed to one of anger, she demanded that he come and explain what had been put in place and started (rightly) to make a scene.

One of the two nurses who were dedicated to me me suggested another doctor who was available come to her and have a word. A short time later he turned up and spoke to the wife and read my notes; he told her he would go in and see me and speak to her afterwards which he did.

His reaction was not one of doom. He explained he had spoken with me and I was very aware of what had happened as I was not taking it well, I had also it transpired tried to leave the bed to go home, not exactly taking it lying down so to speak even though I could not walk.

He went on to say that he did not agree with the previous instruction (he must have been in a superior position to have overridden that) and ordered that I was to be put back on a normal ward, my drips etc to be re inserted and I was immediately fed and watered and he said from then on he would oversee my case, which he did.

My recovery started from there. Despite the usual items getting in the way the infection cleared my memory started to come back and the demonic visions, which are quite normal in these cases, went away.

The front line staff on that ward were first class and I thank them all for their professional and personal help.

Not so much on the last week in the departure ward, which was largely a shambles and very unprofessional, resulting in a couple of big rows which I could have done without in my condition; that though is a tale about management and their desire at all costs to empty beds even when patients are not ready to leave.

I then had a week or so at a rehab unit, very good it was too as were the staff but again even though I was not allowed to walk anywhere without a chaperone it was considered all right to send me home after about ten days so a bed could be released; this was happening to others all the time.

The day after I returned home I had a fall and banged my head on some furniture. Fortunately a scheduled x-ray two days later showed no damage, but I should not have been home that early, my walking was still very rudimentary and faltering.

Subsequently after finding my feet and settling down at home, the truth of my time was gradually put together and as I became more aware of the whole period, what had happened and been done to me I started to question the DNR aspect of it.

The legal side is interesting, and I doubt many will have bothered to check out who holds sway in this matter, this is the bit that is used by the doctors.

“Doctors may decide to impose a DNR order on a patient even without their consent. Crucially however, there are processes which a doctor must follow when making this kind of DNR decision. Also, such a decision can only be made on one of the following grounds:

    Where the prospects of successfully carrying out CPR are so low it would make any attempt futile.

    Where the treating doctor considers that CPR would not be in the best interests of the patient. This could cover situations where any possible negative effects from the CPR would outweigh the benefits, or where successful CPR would just serve to prolong a patient’s suffering. However, making this assessment should be done in consultation with the patient and their loved ones."

Clinical guidance for doctors sets out a process to be followed when faced with a DNR decision. Patients should also be aware of this process to ensure their doctors are handling their situation correctly.

The process starts when doctors anticipate that there is a clear risk of the patient’s breathing or heart stopping. At this point, they should assess how likely it is for CPR to be successful in the patient’s case.

Whenever doctors are faced with a DNR decision, they should discuss and explain the situation to patients and loved ones in a timely and appropriate way. This is to avoid any misunderstandings or extra distress which may be caused.”

None of that was done in my case, and a CPR was not necessary at any time, as my heart and breathing were not affected.

This passage contains the weasel get-out clause re senior doctor, but even here the basics were ignored.

“The loved ones of a patient are often entitled to be involved in DNR decisions, even if they are not the patient’s appointed legal representatives. They cannot make legally binding decisions on the patient’s behalf, however, so the final decision will be made by the senior treating doctors.

Those close to the patient can include family members, friends, and carers who have been involved in the patient’s care.

There are some limited situations where those close to the patient cannot be involved in a DNR decision:

    When the patient has requested that loved ones should not be consulted or involved. Patient confidentiality means that doctors would be unable to discuss the patient’s case with their loved ones in this situation.

    When the patient has lost mental capacity but has made a legally binding Advance Decision.”

The one system that is without doubt the bulwark for the patient and family against doctors' wishes to impose a DNR is a health Power of Attorney. The appointed attorney must be consulted and can override the doctors' decision, though in some cases this could involve a complicated court hearing.

By chance a visit by our heating engineer recently resulted in a conversation that revealed he had been put under pressure for a DNR to be served on his father who was in hospital for some time after a brain operation. He had the health Power of Attorney for his father and stopped the consultant from putting a DNR on his father; his father is home and well now!

What is obvious despite this...

... it is still going on under a different name.

And here…..

It beggars belief that through all this no one has been sacked never mind prosecuted. The 'covering their backs' campaign has been in full on mode since day one. The sordid conditions in many care homes along with inadequate human care should have lines of people responsible queueing up to be charged with gross negligence and more, but no, after various inquiries all settles down as before as if nothing untoward had ever gone on; along with much else in this country today nothing works and few care that it doesn’t work. What an indictment of the UK in this century.

One reads this and at the end asks ‘Well what did you do about it apart from taking on the Mayor of Manchester job’ and the answer was bugger all, but it always is:

I have no proof but it is alleged that some hospital trusts have little compunction in issuing these DNRs, some have more compassion. I certainly had no help and only my wife who persisted and stood her ground and the doctor who took over my case saved me from the clutches of the four horsemen.

After the Mid Staffs Hospital affair and the Liverpool Pathway scandal one would think a major overhaul of procedures would have taken place but it is obvious that this attempt to cull elderly patients to release beds, for that is what I believe is behind it more than anything else, is still going on apace. Dr Mengele would be proud. I am not finished with this, though getting further information is difficult: even the name of the doctor who issued the DNR has mysteriously been expunged or is not being

Suitable for a caption competition…

If I had been kept in Addenbrooke's I doubt this DNR would have occurred as they had invested a lot of time and expertise in getting me through. I could of course be wrong, but I believe this was a Norfolk and Norwich hospital problem; trust managements make their own rules in many of these matters and that again is wrong. Murder on the whim of a doctor who in this case was not even responsible for the original treatment is not something to be brushed under the carpet, yet time and again it is, it has to stop and those responsible for crass decisions such as mine should be held to account.

I was in hospital long enough to see the NHS in all its guises, the good the bad and the ugly. The good I am grateful for and all those involved, the bad and the ugly need sorting big time along with all the other top down decisions from government and trusts that have reduced the service to its current level. No longer is it owing to lack of money, we are comparable with many other countries with better health services on that score; nor to lack of staff - no, we have the largest workforce in Europe so it has to be something else and choice - we have no choice, at the moment of course choice is a dream, getting to see a doctor whether at a local surgery or the hospital is now just a desire.

It comes to something when arriving by dinghy gets you a twice a week visit from a doctor but the local paying population can go whistle.

I am in no rush to return to that particular room with no window and no furniture, no food or water, no anything... appalling, yet dozens are put in this situation every week never to return.

The NHS in the meantime puts out endless press statement about the latest cancer miracle drug that could be coming and various other life saving procedures that could be used. All is just a diversion from the actuality of the real NHS. I will gladly shake the hand and thank all those who helped me survive, but I will not be clapping the sorry hulk that is the NHS today.

Will it change as it should and needs desperately to do? Doubtful; too many ingrained beliefs and dogmas among those chosen to run things, plus a Labour party who can’t see beyond their ‘baby’s’ conception, too many who believe the whole organisation is theirs and only they have valid reasons as to how it should be run and funded. It actually of course belongs to the population who fund it through taxes; that concept is of course sidelined at every opportunity by the idiots who believe it is still worth saving in its present form.

It is beyond the pale that a couple of days ago I was told that a small operation to correct the original bowel procedure I had requires an eighteen month waiting list and an awaited replacement hip op that has taken 3 years from diagnosis to fruition has now had to be cancelled because my recent problems make it far too risky. Of course in a decent world I would have had that replacement two years before I fell ill and it would all now be history.


Wiggia also notes: 

If you cannot make decisions for yourself, for example because you are unconscious or unable to communicate, the doctor should talk to your family or carers about your likely wishes. However, your family and/or next of kin don't have an automatic right to decide which treatments you should or should not receive, unless you have given them the legal power to do so through a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.

Friday, July 21, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Sephardic Music, by JD

"The name Sephardi means "Spanish" or "Hispanic", derived from Sepharad (Hebrew: סְפָרַד‎, Modern: Sfarád, Tiberian: Səp̄āráḏ), a Biblical location.[11] The location of the biblical Sepharad points to the Iberian peninsula, then the westernmost outpost of Phoenician maritime trade.[12] Jewish presence in Iberia is believed to have started during the reign of King Solomon, whose excise imposed taxes on Iberian exiles. Although the first date of arrival of Jews in Iberia is the subject of ongoing archaeological research, there is evidence of established Jewish communities as early as the 1st century CE.

"The Jewish communities of the Iberian Peninsula prospered for centuries under the Muslim reign of Al-Andalus following the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, but their fortunes began to decline with the Christian Reconquista campaign to retake Spain.

"By the late 15th century, Sephardic Jews had been largely expelled from Spain and scattered across North Africa, Western Asia, Southern and Southeastern Europe, either settling near existing Jewish communities or as the first in new frontiers, such as along the Silk Road."

The Reconquista of 1492 saw both communities driven out of Spain but they both left a long lasting legacy. When I first visited Toledo many years ago I was surprised to see direction signs in both Hebrew and Spanish; I've never found out the reason for that curious bi-lingual signage. The strongest evidence of the Sephardic influnce lies in their music and so herewith a small selection of that music!

A la una yo nací. Música Sefardí. Emilio Villalba & Sephardica

ANA ALCAIDE: PASACALLES SEFARDÍ- Sinagoga del Tránsito de Toledo

Hija Mía mi querida. Música Sefardí. Emilio Villalba & Sephardica

Ana Alcaide - Khun Caravan (VideoClip)

Morena me llaman. Música Sefardí. Emilio Villalba & Sephardica

Ana Alcaide: LUNA SEFARDITA en Samarkanda

Friday, July 14, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Prague Rhythm Kings, by JD

Prague Rhythm Kings is a professional orchestra providing the original interpretation of jazz and popular music from years 1923 to 1932. The repertoire of the orchestra draws from sound recordings of the most significant American and Czech musical ensembles. Thanks to the use of the original historical interpretations and musical instruments, Prague Rhythm Kings tries to get closer to the authentic sound of jazz orchestras of the 1920s.

Noble, elegance, but also the freedom of these "hot" years will get you into the unique concert show! Not only with Blues, Charleston, Foxtrot, and sweet musical melodies but also with our hairstyles and costumes, we will bring this unique atmosphere to you.

Prague Rhythm Kings - Doin' The New Low Down

Prague Rhythm Kings - Navigátor (Why Can't You)

Prague Rhythm Kings - You Tell Her, I Stutter

Prague Rhythm Kings - Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

Prague Rhythm Kings - You're Driving Me Crazy

..... the lady singing, Radka Říhová (I think that is her name), is slightly off-key at times but that shouldn't spoil your enjoyment!

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Money To Burn, by Wiggia

No one can say that running a country is easy, though running it into the ground seems to be an easier option; a couple of examples to open up:

The first is from the DfT. A report supports spending £3 billion on the scheme below; having failed miserably in keeping the road standard high enough to actually drive on they take the easy option under the guise of healthier living.

In itself there is little to complain about. Sensible cycle ways if used are indeed safer than that offered now, but in most cases the current road structure cannot handle the extra lanes so the traffic becomes squeezed out.

That is also ok according to the same source as air quality is improved etc etc. There is never any question mark over the fact that business is hit by lower footfall as customers go online, firms close and jobs are lost, but if you can dress it all up with the catch-all climate change banner then you have a valid (in their eyes) excuse not to update the infrastructure so money is saved to be squandered on other schemes.

See (2)...
1. The report was critical of some areas of the Government’s approach to active travel and said it was not on track to achieve its key policy aim of increasing cycling and walking.
A DfT spokesperson said: “We are investing £3 billion up to 2025 to delivering safe and inclusive active travel infrastructure across all parts of the country which enables everyone to build healthier journeys into their lives.
2. "Britain’s green energy disaster should be an awful warning to Americans.
"The UK’s electricity prices are the highest since records began in 1920 and are now amongst the highest in all Europe. One reason for this is obvious: slightly less than half our electricity comes from gas-burning Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGTs) and gas now costs £90 per megawatt-hour (MWh), nearly five times higher than normal. CCGTs are cheap to build (around £650m per GW) and operate. In normal times they would generate electricity at a total cost of £40 per MWh. That’s now risen to nearly £150/MWh.

"As an example, the offshore wind farms Hornsea Two and Moray East were completed in 2022 with capital costs of £2.77 billion per GW and £2.75bn/GW, more than four times the cost of CCGT capacity. They’re expensive to maintain, which is not surprising since offshore windfarms have all their many generators mounted at the top of 200-metre tall masts far away from land. Estimates of maintenance costs are as high as £200m per GW installed, per annum. The nominal cost of offshore wind generation is £170/MWh – noticeably higher than that for CCGTs, even in these dire times of high gas prices.

"In 2021 the UK annual grid balancing costs reached £4.19 billion, £150 per household. For context, back in 1995 when we didn’t have much wind power the balancing cost for the grid was a mere £250 million per annum. A large, and growing, contribution to these costs is constraint management, as when a wind farm producing electricity which isn’t wanted – perhaps when it is windy in the middle of the night – is paid NOT to put that electricity into the grid. “
Remember that these systems need constantly running back up for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, so we are in actual fact paying for two systems. It would be with no storage for the renewables anywhere in sight and even then limited, simpler to run the fossil fuel and nuclear plants and save ourselves a fortune as well as be self sufficient; it is a question that is never asked.

There must be an awful lot of money being diverted into net zero schemes for all the basic wrongs to be ignored.

Out of curiosity I wonder why Lord Deben (formerly John Gummer), he of the mad cow baguette, lives in a listed manor house which cannot be upgraded with insulation to the standards he insists everyone else should attain. Surely he should sell and purchase an eco dwelling... just asking? He is of the ‘GB can lead the world in green technology’ so why not lead by example?

“The most absurd and insane thing about the whole green movement is that they believe humans can control the Earth's climate by micro-adjusting a 0.04% trace gas.”
And why is it that anyone who has a contrary position on CC even if qualified is either ignored ridiculed? …
Geologist, Professor Ian Plimer, utterly demolishes the human-induced "climate emergency" fairy tale in three and a half minutes: 

"[Six of the six] great ice ages started when we had more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than now. We have 0.04% of that gas in the atmosphere... Well that means nothing to me, because the atmosphere has changed in its carbon dioxide content from over 20% to now, which is really low in geological time. If we halved it, all plant life would die, and animals would die."

It is interesting seeing how many of the Just Stop Oil protesters are of the non-working or privileged class. Many have been outed, the latest being the young man carried off the pitch at Lord's: he is the son of a millionaire who in turn owns an investment company that backs green ‘opportunities’.

We suffered ‘nudge’ units, an idea we can thank David ‘I’m not a quitter’ Cameron for during Covid and still they exist despite being sold off to a charity. Quite how a government propaganda unit can become charitable is another subject!

David Halpern, author of the highly praised Hidden Wealth of Nations, has argued that a society of trustworthy citizens is a platform for economic growth and individual wellbeing.

And so the elites now think they have a way of controlling the masses, how very Orwellian of them. Hard to believe this nation leads the world in population thought control; China must be very envious.

In truth nothing surprises anymore. Daily we get NHS missives on new drugs and treatments that will save lives; the fact the majority are not able to see a doctor makes all this pointless, and should they actually make it to the treatment phase there are no beds for them in hospitals, well not until they have figured a means to get rid of the elderly bed blockers - having been subject to recent efforts to expunge myself so as to not be a burden on the State I can speak with some authority in that area.

Perhaps it is owing to lack of housing, which is only created by the huge numbers of immigrants coming into the country; after all we would not need these housing estates for the indigenous population as it is static in growth.

And ditto with all our other clapped-out infrastructure: energy production, roads, they will solve that by making it too expensive and too inconvenient for the masses to drive, all other transport apart from flying which naturally they also view as ‘unnecessary’ and harmful to the environment will also become too expensive as recent flight fares to holiday destinations are proving.

Water companies, which I wrote about some while back are living up to the facts I wrote about: suddenly everyone is noticing that water shortages in the country can only be averted by spending ever more of taxpayers' money despite the fact they were all privatised.

All this is small beer compared with the elephant in the room: climate change. Endless experts, remember them during Covid?, are telling us the tipping point is nearly upon us and after that we all fry, though even if true we will still be expected to shell out what we have left in a futile Canute moment.

Only thirty years ago we were told, no it was insisted, we were entering a mini ice age; experts?

The only thing for sure is that if Mother Earth is going through one of its cycles of extreme weather as it has done since since conception, there is bugger all we can do about it. You may all remember when the world sky turned dark pink when Mount St Helen's blew up: there was nothing they could do to stop that and we are due more of the same.

It is only 11,700 years since the end of the ice age, we are still coming out of it. This is just a blink of the eye in the evolution of Earth, yet somehow EVs are going to make a difference; the only difference is that there will not be enough electricity to power them all and all the other electric ‘improvements’.

Friday, July 07, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Albert Lee, by JD

I doubt if many people have heard of him but he is/was first choice of backing guitarist for the likes of Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and the Everly Brothers among others.

Albert William Lee (born 21 December 1943) is an English guitarist known for his fingerstyle and hybrid picking technique. Lee has worked, both in the studio and on tour, with many famous musicians from a wide range of genres. He has also maintained a solo career and is a noted composer and musical director.

Albert Lee is one of the most respected and renowned guitarists in music history, having worked with The Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and The Crickets over his long and illustrious career. The British-born country-rock artist started his career during the emerging rock 'n' roll scene of sixties London, when he swapped bands with the likes of Jimmy Page and Chris Farlowe.

“The ultimate virtuoso. His skill is extraordinary, his ear is extraordinary and he’s gifted on just about every level.”- Eric Clapton

Luxury Liner - Albert Lee

Albert Lee - Highwayman

Albert Lee & Peter Asher's fantastic version of Handyman


Albert Lee - Evangelina Wembley UK 1988

Albert Lee: "A Better Place" - NEW ALBUM "HIGHWAYMAN"