Our freedom is more important to us than your savagery

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150 thoughts on “Our freedom is more important to us than your savagery

  1. Maybe it’s an omen that Massa was fastest in testing today. I always thought he was overshadowed by Alonso and have been keeping my fingers crossed that he will eventually overcome the effects of his injury before he has to retire. He had a brain contusion as well as surgery and was in hospital for about 10 days but managed to get back to F1 OK and so Alonso shouldn’t have much difficulty getting back after this accident. They even made Massa hold a press conference when he first came out of hospital. Totally absurd that drivers have to keep playing the PR game all the time.

  2. With regard the Alonso incident, one wonders whether the artificiality of the limitations of the formula one testing regime was a contributory factor: we have one engine manufacturer trying to play catch up with the rest of the field.

  3. Over the years I’ve read a few articles about intensive care psychosis, usually from journalists who have had a bad experience of this. Clearly this is nothing to do with TBI but concerns sedation in intensive care of people with medical problems. Journalists in these stories are usually convinced that the drugs made them worse and they had hallucinations etc. Reading about sedation effects of Alonso has reminded me of this and I wondered if as an anaesthetist you could comment. Thanks Jane.

  4. Dear Sir,

    How concerned are you that the McLaren team consider a driver who received a concussion which almost certainly knocked him out after a +15G deceleration impact with a wall is “uninjured”?

    James

    • Uninjured enough to spend a second night in hospital! Without a doubt there is more, perhaps considerably more, to this story than meets the eye. And the only thing that’s been made clear by McLaren’s comms is that as concerns this affair, they are at best . . . disingenuous.

      • Gary, they seem to be blaming sedation as much as the original injury for the reason he is still in hospital. Why sedate him in this case? Seems very strange to me. Surely after normal scans even in America, someone would just be sent home to recover.
        ‘From the scene of the incident he was driven to the circuit’s medical centre, where he was given first aid and, as per normal procedures, was sedated in preparation for an air-lift to hospital.
        ‘In hospital a thorough and complete analysis of his condition was performed, involving CT scans and MRI scans, all of which were completely normal’
        ‘In order to provide the privacy and tranquility required to facilitate a peaceful recuperation, he is being kept in hospital for further observation, and to recover from the effects of the medication that successfully managed his routine sedation yesterday.’

      • By definition a successful sedation yesterday would require absolutely no recovery per se today.

        This story, which I initially felt so banal as to not be worth mentioning (driver hits wall, driver concussed, driver observed), has become curiouser and curiouser. I can’t speculate, but there is not a scintilla of doubt but that at best we’ve been given only the tiniest sliver of truth, and that at worst we are being treated like we were fools.

      • Yeah I just spoke with Andrew a short while ago. It is true that the correlation between impact energy and severity of a concussion is only coarse. Big MTBI can result from surprisingly low energies . . . but if this is the case, why be so secretive about it?

      • Hi Gary, now that Ron Dennis has confirmed the accuracy of a report in Italy’s Gazzetto Dello Sport newspaper today that claimed Alonso had retrograde amnesia following the accident please will you let me know if lingering sedation effects could make amnesia/PTA longer than expected after a few seconds of unconsciousness. I have been trying to find out if people can have a few days PTA after a mild traumatic injury with a normal scan.

  5. Wondered, Gary whether you’d accept a question.
    Alonso in hospital after what was clearly a heavy, but not calamitous crash in Barcelona. They’re talking about a 30G impact.
    He undergoes a CAT scan etc …
    Let’s say they actually SEE something untoward in the brain as a result of the impact …. a slight bleed, or something else not quite right.
    What can they actually do to stop it spiralling down into a Michael Schumacher type coma situation? Drugs? Keyhole surgery?
    Basically can a patient in such a situation be brought back from the brink?
    Many thanks –

    • As usual Peter, an excellent and profound question. Long story short? There are no currently accepted, evidence-based therapies of any sort that PREVENT progression of traumatic neurological injuries in clinical use today. That is not as horrifyingly pessimistic as it sounds, given that by “simply” providing a favorable milieu for the brain allows the brain and body’s intrinsic stabilisation and repair systems to intervene.

      When I say simply, of course, the reality usually requires the intervention of a huge multidisciplinary team (as we saw with Michael and Jules).

      Interventions that can reliably forestall neurologic degradation in head-injured patients are being actively researched. Unfortunately, almost all have proven disappointing. Until we have such tools, the reparative properties of the human organism are extraordinary, and the the complicated and intense work of prehospital teams, ER trauma crews, and the neurosurgeons, anesthetists, radiologists, ICU and nursing personnel are often what make the difference.

      Lastly, let’s remember the essential role of prevention in reduction of the human and societal toll of head injury!

  6. Although I have no intention of getting an advance directive, I do think that it has been an enormous help for me to follow this site for the last year and to learn more about prolonged disorders of consciousness and life or death decisions to do with ventilation. I think that doctors like Gary who provide information like this are arming people to deal with such situations, should they ever affect them personally, and it is really good to know as much as possible in advance in a calm situation.

    I am following with horror and fascination, the appalling story of Bobbi Kristina. Every day a new unsavoury family member seems to emerge from the woodwork. I suspect this family knows nothing whatsoever about medicine or brain injury and have far more money than sense. I was interested to read this very sensible comment from a doctor today, Dr Julian Bragg, a neurologist at Midtown Neurology in Atlanta, who is not one of Bobbi Kristina’s doctors.

    “The options presented to the family at this point are very difficult,” Dr. Julian Bragg told ET. “People aren’t able to predict what’s going to happen. The big decision is often between what kind of life the person’s going to have and how long they’re going to have it. While very heroic measures can be taken to keep a body alive, often it’s difficult to decide if that life is going to be the type that that person would want to live.”

    “After spending more than two weeks in a medically induced coma, or for any cause, the body goes through a number of changes,” Dr. Bragg says. “There is a significant decrease in muscle strength both in terms of moving the limbs and in terms of breathing. Often people require extensive strengthening not only in being able to sit, stand and move around, but even simpler things like swallowing and breathing.”

    • Bobby Brown will keep her alive regardless of her condition. She will have to “die” before he pulls the plug. He believes in miracles and prayer. I say, good for him. Eventually, as has been discussed here the family will be asked to move her to a long term facility. She can’t stay in the hospital’s ICU indefinitely.
      There was a case here not long ago when an 11 or 12 year old child went into cardiac arrest after tonsil surgery. Her family was told that she was brain dead but the parents refused to take her off life support because “her heart was still beating”. To them that meant she was still alive which in theory I guess she was. The family was forced to find a facility that would take a “brain dead” patient. They found one somewhere and the child was moved. It’s been about a year and I think the child is still on life support. This is probably Bobbi Kristina’s fate.
      The question do you keep a loved one on life support hoping for some kind of miracle or do you let them die and spare them and the family of the torture of watching them slowly die. It’s a tough question and I know the answer is different depending on where you are in the scenario..
      BTW, Whitney Houston was supposedly “broke” when she died so when it was disclosed that she left a hefty trust fund to BK it was very surprising. Bobby Brown has nothing.
      .

      • I think you’re right on this Mimi. I know about the brain dead teen. She’s Jahi Mcmath and is still alive although officially still brain dead. The mother released a video of her moving a few months ago to try and prove that she was still alive, She wants to move home to California where she was declared brain dead. It’s a horrible case. They even showed her MRI scan to try to prove her brain hadn’t turned to liquid as the doctors had predicted it would.

        I don’t think that’s life but if the family want to ventilate a corpse I suppose they can. She hasn’t even opened her eyes unlike Bobbi Kristina whose lawyer keeps insisting she isn’t brain dead. Gary will know about this but I think she must be nearly brain dead if that is possible. I know certain parts of the brain are more vulnerable to lack of oxygen than others and the brain stem is one of the most resilient parts so it’s a pretty bad sign if people can’t even breathe by themselves, unless they are paralysed or in locked in state (which directly affects the pons and spares the cortex)

        I don’t think this could happen in the UK with our free NHS as we have health rationing and people have to make way for more deserving cases.

      • I am also watching the Bobbi Kristina case with mounting dismay as one absolutely ghastly member of her family replace another in expressing conflicting and largely incoherent views on what is happening to her. The sort of incoherent psycho babble being expressed by the Brown family in the name of religious belief is, at least to me, absolutely incomprehensible and, again in my view is what gives religion a bad name.
        I remember my father in hospital at the aged of about 89 having contracted septicaemia after a minor operation. The doctors came in to see us, indicating to my mother that things were looking pretty bad and to gain some sort of directive as to what her wishes were.
        Absolutely without hesitation my mother firmly stated “If there is any danger he’s going be incapacitated, please let him go …. it would absolutely be his wish and it is mine too. He could not bear not to be in control of his faculties”
        I will never know what happened in that particular scenario, as 1 1/2 hours later my father emerged from the operating theatre sitting up in his bed with his arms behind his head, smiling broadly. He went on to make a complete and total recovery and lived to 95!
        But the experience made me think and I have also made it clear, as far as I can, that if at any stage I am, for whatever reason, incapacitated in life, my distinct preference would also be to be allowed to go with dignity.
        It is, at least to me, what makes Michael Schumacher and Jules Bianchi’s situation so tragic.

      • In reply to Peter – it’s the kind of thing which makes me appreciate our wonderful NHS here. My parents are both in their late 80s, still mentally alert and enjoying life and seem to be using the free NHS nearly every day now. My Dad, who is 89 is still driving and plays bridge and golf and is an active member of the U3A (University of the Third Age). Just luck I think as several of their friends have dementia already. My Dad was a twin, and has outlived his twin brother now by over 10 years. He had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off his twin brother’s ventilator after a massive stroke, but just like your Mum he never had a moment’s hesitation as he knew that his brother would have hated to survive in an incapacitated state.

      • Yesterday, Thursday, a tracheotomy was performed on BK and the ventilator was removed. As we all know, this is done when the patient is expected to be on life support for a long time. Very sad that no one in that family has the courage to let her go.
        My sister and I kept our mother on life support for three months. Three months of torture for all of us, her included. We thought we were doing the right thing. How wrong we were. After all that suffering, she died at the end of three months. All that suffering for nothing.

      • Hi Mimi, Some of the saddest comments I have read on this site have been from people like you who have had personal experience of having a family member on long-term life support. I do hope that something good will come out of the high profile stories of Michael Schumacher and Jules Bianchi, and it will help people to realise that life is not like a Hollywood drama and that people do not wake up from long comas feeling pretty good and immediately carry on with their lives as before. I would like to think that in a year or so the Bianchis might feel able to talk about their experience and that it might help others to make life or death decisions in future if they know the reality which awaits them.

  7. Canada has just voted to allow assisted dying by an overwhelming majority and this is currently being debated in the UK. I know this is legal in Belgium and various other countries but it is still illegal here.

    This is something I have been thinking about a lot since following this site and I am not sure I agree with it. Stephen Hawking has ALS and would be unable to communicate if he didn’t have state of the art technology to help him and yet he still has a very high quality life. I have read enough about locked-in syndrome to know that many with this condition are just as happy as other people and have no desire to die. However others with the same disease, including Alan Wood have died miserably and his partner is supporting the case for assisted dying.

    What has surprised me since reading Gary’s blog is how different people feel when they are actually in a situation which they thought they would find unbearable when they were fit and well. I don’t think we should ever be too quick to make advance directives etc as we cannot know if anything is actually unbearable until we have experienced it for ourselves.

    • Reasonable thoughts. But I think you have misapprehended something about advance directives – they are not irrevocable and, depending on how they are written and the jurisdiction in which the patient is located, do not have to be immediately implemented. Furthermore, you may cancel, change or delay its implementation at any time (assuming you have the ability to express yourself). With an AD you may decide your condition is bearable or you want to experience more to find out if it is.

      But if you don’t have an AD in place and you don’t have the ability to express yourself, then you wont even have the ability to decide if your condition is or might become bearable. You will be at the mercy of (a) your care providers whose interest is mostly in seeing how far they can push their skills and avoiding liability risks, and (b) family member(s) who probably have had no preparation for such a situation (discussed your wishes with you, taken time to consider their own opinions on such a situation, decided whether they can honor someone’s wishes that are in conflict with their own opinions in such a situation, and then are placed in the crucible of having to decide determine whether or not to pull the plug when that is in conflict with other family members.

      With an AD in place you at least have it on record for all involved to know your wishes AND you still have the chance to change your mind.

      Having an AD in place respects your loved ones as well, as it gives them direction in honoring you without inflicting guilt and/or resentment for the remainder of your and their life.

      Give the gift of love: discuss with your loved one’s your thoughts and wishes, prepare an Advance Directive (and durable power of attorney for health care decisions!), and share the AD with ALL your care providers so its not a secret. You can always change your mind.

    • I just can’t comprehend anyone wanting to die. And assisted dying is so foreign to me. Life is a gift. A precious gift. An example of how precious life is is MS. His family is determined that he live regardless of how he is living and I’m sure if he could speak he would be very grateful to them for the decisions they have made regarding his life. You just don’t toss it aside.

  8. BBC report on effects of concussion in rugby union. One player had to give up the sport after one concussive incident led to a bleed on the brain and a permanent brain scar (picked up on MRI). This was highlighted in the recent Wales – England international game when it was discovered that one player (Oliver North) may have suffered two losses of consciousness in the same game – the second (and more serious one) was only picked up after the match on slow motion play back:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/31351612

  9. Last night Eddie Redmayne won a BAFTA for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’. I’ve seen this film, which is really excellent and it staggers me that Hawking is still alive despite having a tracheostomy in 1985 and being given 2 years to live in the early 1960s. He was on stage last night to present the award. A staggering triumph of will and survival against all the odds and a vital counterbalance to some of today’s more depressing news.

    People who have been following Gary’s site for the last year might be interested in this as he is now apparently in locked-in state and yet still going strong. His mind is as sharp as ever and he is treated as a celebrity and respected wherever he goes.

    • If he is locked in how is it possible for him to communicate? He may be aware but not able to communicate if he truly suffers from locked in syndrome.

      • Yes, of course he’s not locked in. Classical locked in syndrome means some ocular movements are left intact – with similar technology to those used by Prof Hawking, many/most of these patients could communicate.

      • That’s wonderful. It even fits in with the theme here. He has been set free from being locked in by technology. All he needed was the key to open the door. So locked in syndrome needn’t be a prison sentence as long as people can prove they are aware.

      • Hi Mimi, The actual disease he has is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (motor neuron disease). I couldn’t remember the name of this yesterday but it’s the disease the Ice Bucket Challenge was raising money for. Quote from site about ALS ‘Another important cause of complete LIS can be observed in end-stage ALS’

      • Hi Mimi,

        This is a really lovely story about technology helping a man with ALS, just like Stephen Hawking to communicate. I thought technology like this was only available to people who were mega-rich and famous but it just shows that money isn’t always the key. Not Impossible Labs have now created a special computer programme to help people with ALS communicate and it is going to be available for download online by anyone, for free.

        982/Watch-moment-father-three-motor-neuron-disease-tells-wife-loves-time-15-years-thanks-groundbreaking-technology-available-free-download-online.html

  10. Yesterday I heard of the totally horrific death of the Jordanian pilot captured by IS who was burnt alive in a cage. This is so like medieval stories of people being burnt at the stake and it totally horrified me as it seems so much crueler than beheading people. Somehow, the combination of modern technology and deliberate cruelty is the worst of all. I don’t know if anyone here has heard of the dark triad, which is a combination of 3 personality traits narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. This demonstrates that people understand how to cause their victim as much pain as possible, and is an insight into the mind of the torturer. It isn’t that they can’t understand how others feel but that they understand all too well.

    • Jane, I may be wrong but I’m not sure you quite understand locked in syndrome. If you ever get the opportunity, please watch the movie called “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”.

      • Hi Mimi, I haven’t watched it but I do know that it is based on a book written by Jean-Dominique Bauby,
        the editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine, who was unlucky enough to have a massive stroke in 1995 which left him in locked-in syndrome. He wrote the book by blinking and died just after it was published. The point is that technology has moved on a lot since 1995 and technology now could help him to speak just like Stephen Hawking can.

        After he died the French set up an organisation called the French Association for Locked in Syndrome (ALIS; http://www.alis-asso.fr) and thanks to the fact that Gary is working in Liege, where the Coma Science Group is based and where Prof Steven Laureys is clinical director, I was able to read quite a few papers about locked-in syndrome last year. My post is based on paper ‘Life can be worth living in locked-in syndrome’ which is based on interviews with people who actually have locked-in syndrome.

      • Just one more thing Mimi which I think might interest you. When people have massive strokes and end up in locked-in syndrome it is obviously very sudden and a great shock to them. During the first year after this trauma they are often very afraid (amydala blazing away) but once they find a way to communicate the fear goes away. One poor lady was referred to in her care home as ‘the vegetable’ for years before she was able to prove to people that she could hear everything all the time. This I think is the true nightmare and why we must do everything we can to set people free.

        If’s a bit different with a condition like ALS because there is a long, slow decline and there is never a question of people not being aware even if they end up in a condition just like locked-syndrome in the end stages.

  11. Holy Mackerel !
    ‘Me Me’ (sic),where’s your humanity?
    “she chose to go… she had a choice… she gets little sympathy..”
    Has our dear Doc’ taught you nothing?

    • My humanity is with those who deserve it. Life is about choices. I can’t shed tears for those who make the wrong ones. Sorry, if that is hard hearted. All my sympathy yesterday, today and tomorrow goes to the family of the Jordanian pilot who was burned alive. Can you see the difference.
      Bobby Brown has been a drug addict most of his life. He contaminated Whitney Houston and together they contaminated their child who had a choice. She made the wrong one.

      Please don’t drag Doc into this…..he has been nothing but terrific to ALL of us.

      • I wish it was like Mimi writes- that you always have a choice. But I think reality is more complicated. A child that grows up in a world of crime, jail, alcohol and drug abuse maybe even does not know what a life is, without those things.

      • Personally, I cannot see the difference at all, but then maybe my emotions can deal with more than one tragedy at a time…and I am also quite sure in the dark recesses of that hospital in Atlanta, the Brown family cannot see the difference either.
        And you say you cannot deal with people who make bad choices …. well, all I can say is thank God you aren’t related to me!

      • This is a choice that Bobbi Kristina’s family are actually having to make now. Last night there were reports that they had turned her life support off (turns out this was wrong and media are making stories up as usual). The interesting thing was that in the same reports it said that she might go on breathing if they did this. if she was my daughter I would make this choice now. I would turn the machine off and let God, fate or whatever decide her future.

      • We are in different countries. Us, Britain and I am in Sweden. Do our different countries make a difference for our way of writing about this? Sweden is a country that separate many children from their parents, because it is supposed by the authorities that the environment with the parents is a threat to the child. There does not have to be something gone wrong at the time, but just a perceived chance that something might go wrong. Many people think Sweden is a super democracy and some think it is a dictatorship. Maybe I was too much influenced by the Swedish way of thinking in my last comment. Anyway, doesn’t all this has to do with freedom?

      • This is a reply to Gina. Fascinating to hear about the attitude in Sweden which is certainly different to the UK. Here we seem to place more importance on the rights of parents and the sanctity of the home ‘an Englishman’s castle’ etc. There is also the whole nature v nurture debate which is impossible to resolve as really people create their own environments and the clay is the potter.

        My own personal view is that very few have us have as much choice and freedom as we would like to believe. In particular, many people who have had children will have experienced the infuriating experience of characteristics they despised most in their in-laws coming out in their own children despite their very best efforts at nurture! I now think that what will be, will be and we might as well all live each day as if it is our last.

      • In reply to Jane A. Think you are lucky about the importance of parents and the home in Britain. Those who say here Sweden is a dictatorship, say it is a kind if “socio-medical dictatorship”. Teachers and social workers do not need proof or evidence of something being wrong, when they try to separate a child from his or her home. They can get a doctor who may not even have talked to the child write a paper, so it gets more formal weight. And appears to be a “medical question”.
        Anyway, this should be more talked about here.
        Good that everything went well with your daughter.

      • “Sweden is a country that separate many children from their parents, because it is supposed by the authorities that the environment with the parents is a threat to the child. There does not have to be something gone wrong at the time, but just a perceived chance that something might go wrong”

        What the heck are you talking about?

      • In Britain the courts nearly always grant custody to the mother, even when she is a drug addict, murderer etc and every so often we get a scandal when a baby is killed (usually by a step father and seldom the biological mother.) I would be interested to hear how Sweden tackles this issue. I think it is right to give priority to the mother as she has carried the child in her womb and in general women invest more emotionally and practically in children than men do. It’s not very logical though as the father provides half the genes and is just as likely to influence how the child turns out.

        I do know that adopted children often grow more and more like their biological parents as they get older, even if they have never met them. It’s rather depressing for those who believe that environment determines everything!

        Having read a bit about poor Bobbi Kristina’s background now, if ever a child was born into a dysfunctional family it was her. I just so much hope that she doesn’t end up in a vegetative state. I still think death is better than this.

    • He has now spoken about how he tried to commit suicide by throwing himself in front of a lorry.
      His wife said this on twitter;
      ‘We send our love and thoughts to the lorry driver & family.
      ‘It could have been anyone and Clarke is desperately sorry that it was him. Suicide & depression is not selfish. It’s a serious illness where your world & reality are warped.’
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2940531/Former-footballer-Clarke-Carlisle-admits-tried-kill-jumping-lorry-deciding-die.html

      • This is just staggering to me as it shows just how unbelievable media stories are. Despite his lawyer, BBC and all UK media outlets reporting that Clarke Carlisle was in a coma, it has now been confirmed by him that he never was. All it appears to prove is that there is more stigma attached to attempted suicide than brain injury!

        His lawyer used this as an excuse in court recently.
        “He was in a coma as a result of his injuries. He has only recently awoken from that coma in the last few days.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31173148

    • Peter, you always have to be a real pain in the ass when folks don’t agree with you. And you enjoy talking down to them with your uppity Brit attitude. Maybe you should be more worried about Andy and his under age sex partners and less about what I have to say about BK.

  12. And so we read once again about a situation we have all, thanks to this site, become so familiar with.

    That of Bobbi Kristina Brown, a young, lost soul who clearly never got over her mother’s death, despite valiant attempts at appearing happy and upbeat. The pressures on her must have been intolerable.

    What an absolute tragedy. I know there are thousands of similar cases, but when such a story hits the headlines it just brings home how fragile life is and how damaging and permanent such cases can (and I say … can) be. Hope she makes some sort of recovery.

    http://www.people.com/article/bobbi-kristina-brown-recovery

    • Peter, after the death of Whitney, BK had a loving family around her. (Her druggie father excluded). She had her grandmother, her aunt and Dionne. She chose to go in a different direction. She had a choice of which path to take….she gets little sympathy from me.

      • Clinical depression is a disease that makes one unable to understand that there are people who care. Even worse, it can make their caring an unbearable load, and the sense of being a burden for others is often the lethal detonator for suicide. It’s not a lifestyle choice, not being a victim, not stubbornness. Depressed people have less and less choices as the diseases spirals. Pretty much anyone so unhappy as to not want to be here anymore has my sympathy.

      • What an extraordinary, cold blooded attitude. Is it designed to shock, or do you really believe what you write?

        We’re talking about an already fragile mere child here who witnessed her mother, a true American superstar with all the positive and negative that entailed, self destruct over time, and die in bizarre and obscenely publicised circumstances.

        You dismiss her father as a ‘druggie’ who was not present in her life… as if that is a mere irrelevance.
        So now we have a mother no longer present in her life AND her father.

        Depression evidently consumed her, with the likelihood that what has happened to her was the result of utter despair …. a condition which unless you have been there (and, for the record, I have) no one can comprehend.

        The likelihood of a recovery, as we all know, is slim to say the least …. imagine her life from now on.

        She has my total sympathy … and hers is a story that has made an impression on me, even if I had never heard of her before the story broke.

        You just need to look at her Twitter site to realise what a state she was in. And what did her relations and Dionne (is that Dionne Warwick?) do about it. Not much so it seems.

      • Suicide in the family is a terrible curse, which often has repercussions for the next generation. I know this because my husband found his brother hanged. When my daughter reached the same age she was convinced the curse had been passed to her. As soon as she passed that age the curse lifted and she went on to happily live the rest of her life. It is only by talking about such things and being open that we can break the pattern.

      • Total aside and irrelevant to this post (and I am not offended if Gary doesn’t even put it up!) but researching Dionne Warwick a little I clicked on her official website.
        It has clearly been hacked by the group calling itself ‘Anonymous” (they have been in the news a lot)
        Quite interesting to see how they work! What they expect to achieve by sabotaging Dionne’s website I will never understand …. but who understands hackers anyway.
        http://dionnewarwick.net

      • Peter, how do you really know BK was depressed? So, she didn’t approve of the way her mother and father were portrayed in the movie “Whitney”. Big deal…is that enough to kill yourself.
        After Whitney died her family tried to protect her. They tried to get her away from Nick Gordon. Actually, recently her aunt Pat Houston got a restraining order against Gordon. He couldn’t go near BK. After the death of Whitney, the druggie, she had every chance to change the circumstances of her life. She chose not to. Sorry…

      • Is it known that Bobbi Kristina Brown had clinical depression? It’s not clear what happened except she nearly died from a lack of oxygen and that she may have brain damage.

        I understand Mimi’s opinion (a sort of pragmatic, no nonsense opinion) but I don’t know enough about this story to comment except one can imagine it must have been devastating to lose a mother and a mother that had so much talent.

    • Thinking about this tragic case and so many others, it’s always drugs or alcohol that seem to be the final straw pushing people over the edge. I suppose it’s like Russian roulette and by deadening the pain the drugs somehow make the decision for the person. I do know that when my daughter was very depressed all she used to do was stay in bed all day and do nothing at all. I can’t see how this on its own could kill anyone. We have talked about this since (impossible at the time) and she said she would never actually have self-harmed as she didn’t like pain.

      Suicide is something else – it’s active checking out and I can understand why people who are beginning to recover from depression are more likely to kill themselves because they have the energy to do so.

      • To stay in bed all day and not eat properly at the same time is dangerous, I think. Maybe not for a short time, but for a longer time. I think I am right, without being a doctor.

  13. If we are sharing information about what brought us here, I am a great fan of Professor Sid Watkins, who died in Sept 2012 and who worked very closely with Gary for many years. I like these quotes from Gary about Sid.- this is also interesting to me as it shows that BBC were quoting Gary before he was ousted. I suspect both Sid and Gary have quite a number of fans now. I was more interested in head injury than in Schumacher but I feel I know him far better since reading this blog. I’m still hoping that we will eventually hear the end of his story as it seems so sad if he just ends up being forgotten and almost buried alive by misguided PR.

    Watkins’s replacement as F1 medical delegate, Gary Hartstein, told BBC Sport: “Sid was absolutely the most charismatic and extraordinary problem-solver I’ve ever met.
    “What he got done was extraordinary – but it was the way he got it done in the face of extraordinary opposition at the time. He kept pushing and pushing so hard to the extent that it is now accepted as ‘the way’.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/motorsport/19578977

    • Sid Watkins spoke to Richard Hammond for ‘Hammond meets Moss’ BBC2/DVD filmed backstage at inaugural 2010 Motorsport Hall of Fame. Sid helped Hammond’s wife by talking to her about brain injury over the telephone when Hammond had his Top Gear accident in 2006. My entire knowledge and interest in TBI dates from Top Gear crash – if anyone likes Top Gear they may be amazed to know that the whole team were very supportive towards Hammond and actually know quite a lot about brain injury now. They made a point of mentioning Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher when they had their accidents and Schumacher famously appeared as the Stig in one episode.

      When Sid was 8 years old growing up in a very poor part of Liverpool, the teacher went round the class asking all the children what they wanted to be when they grew up. Everyone laughed when Sid said that he wanted to be a brain surgeon and yet he managed it, He first went to grammar school, then Liverpool University and worked in Oxford, America in London as a neurosurgeon. A new building is opening this month at the Liverpool Hospital named after him. A real hero ……

      http://www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk/News/183/hospital-building-named-after-f1%E2%80%99s-prof-sid-watkins.html

  14. As what bought us all here originally was Michael Schumacher, I hope you do not mind if I share this link to a rather good documentary about him from a French TV company.

    It shows Michael and those that surrounded him in those days up close and personal.

    Sorry, but it’s in French!

    • Interesting that they are extending protection to the pit crew – they probably realise how vulnerable they are to speeding cars in pit lane. Also Mercedes (and perhaps Schuberth?) are one of the sponsors sticking with Michael Schumacher. I’m not quite sure how similar a helmet needs to be to protect people from winter sports as in the pit lane, but it’s a positive development I think, Marshals must be at least as vulnerable and I think all teams should provide top level helmets for all marshals.

      Schuberth helmets have been/are used in F1 since 2000 I think. They have been worn by Fernando Alonso, Jules Bianchi, Nico Hülkenberg, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg. I think Lewis Hamilton may also use them. Good record for saving lives in F1 – it’s pretty amazing that Jules Bianchi survived his accident. Schuberth designs all current helmets in their own wind tunnel facilities, to enable maximum aerodynamic efficiency and employs (employed) Michael Schumacher as a consultant for motorcycle helmet design.

  15. The inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko opens today in the UK. I am following this with interest as I think is more than likely that he really was killed by Russian agents. UK police say radioactive polonium-210 was administered in a cup of tea, and identified two suspects in the case – Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun. but the two Russians have disputed their claims.

    There are various security services more ruthless and efficient than others and the KGB and Mossad usually seem to get their targets in the end. People are usually double or treble agents and it is hardly surprising that they have numerous enemies. I still remember the death of Georgi Markov who was a Russian dissident stabbed with a poisoned umbrella in London in 1978.

    • It’s a laugh this inquest isn’t it!
      Lugovoy was treated for radiation sickness after he returned from London … traces of Poloniom 210 was found where he had dinner, on the aircraft he flew to and from London on, and in all the hotels he stayed in whilst in London. he then met Litvinenko the day he was taken ill with Polonium poisoning.
      I can’t wait for Mark H’s post giving us a link to a video of Uncle Bulgaria and Paddington Bear explaining why its a conspiracy theory and that we should be blaming Tony Blair for what happened!

  16. Jane A,

    RE: “January 20, 2015 at 7:45 am. Conspiracy theories always strike me as insane rubbish put about by people who have a hidden agenda. There are loads still circulating about the death of Princess Diana.”

    Please take the time to listen to this;

    How they murdered Princess Diana. The shocking truth. John Morgan

    • Hi Mark
      This is very unconvincing. John Morgan has written 10 books on this subject and this one is a summary of his main theory that Diana was either murdered by UK/France and US because of her anti-landmine work or by the British Royals because of the anti-Muslim grandchild theory. I watched it with an open mind but rejected it at the point where he comes up with the ridiculous idea that the ambulance crew was in on the plot, hence the very slow journey to get Diana to hospital. I know this is wrong because I have a book ‘The Bodyguard’s Story’ by Trevor Rees-Jones, the only survivor. Although he has no memory of the crash or 10 days afterwards it includes very detailed reports from the ambulance team involved. Diana’s heart had been knocked across to the wrong side of her body and she went into cardiac arrest several times so they had to keep stopping. Rees-Jones survived although they actually took longer to extract him as he was trapped in the wreckage.
      My verdict: death due to traffic accident.

      • I am afraid I disagree. My verdict, death due to arrogance. The only person who survived was the one wearing his seatbelt. Had she have been wearing it, it is likely she would have survived. Her own actions (or lack thereof) killed her.
        As an aside having personally survived a major car accident that probably should have killed me (but was saved by my seatbelt!) I don’t believe a professional assassination attempt would try and kill someone using a car accident. I am sure there are more reliable ways of killing someone

      • No seat belts. Now you’re talking Kev … That is very likely, though I believe, but am not sure, that the law in France in those days did not make the wearing of seat belts in the back of a car mandatory.
        Bit of a bugger for Murdering Phil’s dastardly scheme though …. surely even the British Establishment, in the planning meetings at GCHQ or even Buck House, must have thought “Now what if Diana goes and puts on her seatbelt … what then!!?”
        I suppose they relied on Diana being too much of a silly little woman to worry her pretty head about such lower class activities as putting on a seatbelt!

      • Actually Peter you will be amused to know that part of the conspiracy theory was that the seat belt had been deliberately fixed so that Diana (who had a reputation for always nagging people to put on their seat belts) was not able to put hers on! How evil is that……..

    • What possible reason would the Royal Family have to have had Princess Diana killed? A Muslim grandchild? Come off it! The Royal Family are far more broad minded than that! The work she was doing for the Land Mines charity? Think again … her son Prince Harry has taken over her role!

      10 books on a tragic event that took seconds to conclude … after which there was a detailed and accurate record of events kept by those attending the scene in the Alma tunnel and the medical records at the Pitie-Salpetriere, some of which were released as part of the evidence at the inquest(s) that followed.

      I am amused by the notion that the fact the Ambulance stopped en route to the hospital “proves” the ambulance crew were in on ‘it’ …. does that mean that the stop the helicopter made en route to Grenoble with Michael Schumacher aboard might also denote some dreadful conspiracy theory at play in his accident? I don’t think so.

      Ambulances make stops when a critically injured patient needs attention en route. Period.

      Princess Diana died as a result of a drunk driver losing control of his car. Sad, but true.

      • Of course … doh … silly me, if it wasn’t Liz then it was Phil.
        Phil (why don’t we really insult him and call him Phil the Greek) had spent months sitting on his eh ….ass …in a darkened room plotting (with Ed and Andy … or shall we call him Randy) how to have his daughter-in-law “wasted” … by staging a car crash at 1 in the morning in an obscure tunnel in eh …Paris.
        Makes perfect sense.

    • For years she came out in public, via any press that would listen claiming to be mentally abused to the extent she was starving while 40% of the population of the planet does starve … then in an interview she called domestic violence victims “battered this and battered that”, with a why don’t they sort their problems out attitude…

      Here you are rich as maybe 1,000 people in the world know, while 800,000 starve, and you spend years affecting the reputation of the Monarch as she ventures the Commonwealth (ie common wealth) to the 50 or so countries it is today, without regard for destablising the much needed trust in the western legal and economic systems and the standard of living they provide; which if refused because of a lack of trust will result in the deaths of thousands of people a day, and you call yourself a humanitarian.

      And let’s not forget you’re doing this while you rip apart two little kids, you’re own, no more than 10 and 12 years old, who never hear the end of how much of a bastard their father was, while you visit sick kids in hospital.

      So then, after all of that, you leave a life behind that has attracted millions of people via their tears to consume the next 20 years of their lives when that time would’ve otherwise been spent on their own lives, working, studying, building businesses or just simply building family bonds.

      So there, that’s my opinion on the Pwincess. God rest her soul, and may she rest in peace as her selfishness could never allow her while she was alive with all the wealth in the world.

      With respect to the Spencer family.

    • There is (thank goodness!) a difference between Free speech (which is not the same as shooting your mouth off indiscriminately and with no thought of the wider implications … no I am not a fan of the Charlie Hebdo (which by the way means ‘weekly’ Ms ‘stupid’ Mensch!!) magazine) and libel.
      I have been fascinated by this spat between Streiff and the FIA.
      I first sided with Streiff for obvious reasons, but then came the flat denials from both Sabine Kehm and Mr Seillant that Streiff had been anywhere near either Schumacher or Bianchi.
      If you remember Streiff already made his views known some time ago, saying he had visited Schumacher in Grenoble, which was also rubbished by Schumacher’s people.
      It will be interesting to see what does next.
      I suspect Streiff is saying things which are simply untrue. For what reasons (other than self promotion) I fail to see.

      • Streiff is angry and I suspect suffering from some degree of disinhibition following his extremely severe accident (remember he has been fed the story that Saillant saved his life but he has 5-week memory gap which is really quite long and severe and I think could well represent some degree of brain injury). He thinks the F1 community supported him after his accident whereas current FIA are behaving very differently towards Bianchi.

        Clearly I’m not a lawyer and he could well by saying things that are not true but by turning on him like this I think Todt and Saillant have revealed themselves to be lacking in any human compassion as well as drawing more attention to his stories. As usual the lawyers will be the winners…….

      • You will be pleased to see that he has now apologised Peter – although he does mention his health problems which I still think sound like disinhibition.
        “I ask Jean Todt and Gerard Saillant, who are well aware of my health problems, to excuse me,” he added. “I regret having said things about them that are totally out of line with the consideration they both deserve.”
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-2923918/Motor-racing-Streiff-apologises-FIA-legal-threat.html

      • Peter, if I wanted to insult the “royals” I could have done a lot better. And please don’t be so naive when it comes to what they may be capable of.
        Actually, I was a big fan of Dianna’s and I think Kate is simply splendid ole chap.

  17. Every so often some loner sitting in his (very rarely her) bedroom manages to hack into vital computer systems. The most celebrated recent UK example is Gary McKinnon, a man with Aspergers who hacked into the US security computers looking for UFOs. His extradition to the US was eventually blocked by British Home Secretary, Theresa May after years of legal wrangling. These people are so talented – obviously they are the ones the security services need to recruit now to listen in to IS and block their online activity.

    I heard on BBC at the weekend that British recruits fighting in Syria and Iraq are using their IT skills to make slick videos which are very effective recruiting tools for other young men. A recent fighter faked his death but was arrested on his return because of his online videos, including one of him holding up a severed head.

    I heard last week that a hacking group called Anonymous are blocking such sites which I thought was the most positive and useful thing that anyone with such IT skills could do at the moment.

  18. Gee Michael,you’re a clever one aren’t you?
    “so don’t get too carried away thinking 911 was the result” Blah Blah… bank robberies blah blah.
    Thanks for the edification! … and i suppose you regularly use your cellphone at 20,000 -30,000ft to call or text ‘loved ones’ too right? oh sorry.. my mistake. If one was allowed to keep ones phone on ‘inflight’ then of course i’m sure we all would as we’d be so much closer to the network satellites & surely that makes for a healthy signal right??

    • @ E Frost:

      you do know that people have been using cell phones at altitudes well above 30k feet for many years, even pre- 9/11? European airlines are full of them and the subject of the government officially allowing cell phone use on commercial flights (meaning that unofficially it is happening) is of much current debate here in the US. More to the point, in 2001 there were actual companies in business making those calls possible (air-Phone, to name one). In fact, most of the 9/11 calls were from those seatback pay phones, not personal cell phones. However, considering the low flight levels of the hijacked planes it is not unsurprising that a significant number of calls from personal cell phones were completed.

  19. Conspiracy theories always strike me as insane rubbish put about by people who have a hidden agenda. There are loads still circulating about the death of Princess Diana. In these absurd theories she was pregnant with Dodie’s child and was assassinated because the British royals couldn’t face the thought of having non-white grandchild. Mohamed Al Fayed is determined to keep this story going as he can’t face the fact that his son and Diana died in a simple traffic accident in Paris, which is such a mundane death.

    Loads of people also used the crash to blame the French ‘stay and play’ emergency system for letting Diana die. This gives both Britain and the US the chance to rubbish French healthcare.

    There are umpteen conspiracy theories about the assassination of President Kennedy too. I’m pretty sure the truth is usually much duller which is why these theories run and run.

  20. I’m certainly not into these Conspiracy theories, but come on …. the ID card being found after the Paris attack was decidedly odd though wasn’t it?
    And the passport found at the 9/11 site?
    Not clever enough (or stupid enough depending on how you look at it!) to put forward an explanation beyond coincidence and/or incompetence, but it does stretch credulity a bit!

      • I haven’t the time … inclination … boredom threshold … stupidity … or generally any intention whatsoever of so doing!
        Annoying, aren’t I … probably delusional too!

      • When questioned by the Senate, during the Iran Contra Hearings, about why he had fortified his home, Oliver North said that the most dangerous man on the earth was Osama bin Laden and he was simply protecting his family. The next question was, “Who’s he?” Col. North replied, “The most dangerous man in the world.” Time frame: The Regan administration 1987

        In my opinion, anyone who believes that the higher ups in the U.S. did not know that 9/11 was in the pipe is uninformed at the very least. RIP all that have given their lives…

    • @KC “In my opinion, anyone who believes that the higher ups in the U.S. did not know that 9/11 was in the pipe is uninformed at the very least. RIP all that have given their lives…”

      If one read the 9/11 Commission Report, and listened to numerous press conferences and even news reporters discussing what happened – clearly the intelligence agencies knew, and admitted they knew, “something” was afoot, possibly imminent. But that is a far cry from knowing specifics or having anything even close to actionable intel. They had no way to know which airlines, which airplanes, which flights, which date, and which cities were specifically targeted by the operation.

      But what if they did know exactly where and when the terrorists would strike – could we have stopped them? “Of course!” you say. Hmm, don’t be so sure.

      Every year, just in the US, that are approximately 6,500 bank robberies. But, how can that be?!?! We literally know EXACTLY WHEN and EXACTLY WHERE each and every bank robbery will occur in the US. How? because we know the location and the limited operating hours of every bank). And yet, they still get robbed ~6,500 times a year – many of them repeatedly!

      Now, there are many more airplanes and flights and people getting on those planes than there are banks and people going to banks. The airport near me has more than 20 million passengers every year. How are you going to get actionable intelligence and figure out which passenger on which flight on which day is going to be the one to try something?

      Exactly.

      So, dont get too carried away thinking 9/11 was the result of a government conspiracy and dont get too wrapped up in the mythos of the all-seeing, all-knowing intelligence agencies around the world.

  21. sacré bleu!
    Je Suis très déçu in you Doc.
    It seems you are now a fully fledged member of the sheeple & are content to be spoon fed piping hot popular print & television media(yummy).
    The failure of you & your fellow morons to think for yourselves is the reason why you guys(americans)are 13 years into war & live(forget belgium) in a police state.
    Please,if you could just stick to consciousness/death/persistent vegetative states etc… that would be just fine & dandy.
    Global political shenanigans do not behoove you.

    a tout a l’heure old chap,
    i’m off to my gingerbread house.

  22. I have been dabbling with some of these sites promoting Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie to examine what they had to say. Unfortunately I discovered some of this sites were run by morons with an unpleasant agenda. An exercise in misrepresentation without even bothering to read and understand the French captions and context. Anyway I was a little hesitant at first because of some of the claims made by the Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie campaigners but having learnt more about the cartoons and being able to understand I can now declare myself Je Suis Charlie for free speech.

    • It’s part of the lunatic fringe that believed 9 – 11 was an inside job.

      I am all for the internet it brings together a lot of interesting and talented people but it also brings together the lunatic members of society. Now the way I see it, in history each village had a village idiot but in general they were an isolated group and cared for by the village elders. But technology brought to the villages the power of inter-village communication. The technology was simplified in the course of time such that even the village idiot was able to use it whereupon he (& it is usually a he) discovered other sad lonely idiots in other villages. These individuals have now formed interconnected societies of idiots around the world. I believe it is from these groups that the various conspiracy theories and false flag misconceptions have originated from.

  23. On behalf of everyone who lives and works happily in Birmingham, one of the best places to live in the UK with free museums and culture, excellent walks by canals and general happy and well integrated population I would like to post this. I work with in a college with Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, people of any religion and none and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2905876/Fox-News-terror-expert-apologises-claiming-Birmingham-totally-Muslim-non-Muslims-just-simply-don-t-in.html

    • Hi, I’m happy you love living in Birmingham! It means the place has changed for the better. I was there in the 80s and it was miserable. Yes, I love people of all backgrounds. It’s interesting to mingle.

      • What we do in my college is teach people English to help with integration. It also helps ward off dementia to learn a second language. As Gary is an American working in Belgium and we are all posting in English from different countries I just wondered if anyone else has any experience of learning a second language as an adult like this.

      • Jane, I heard on the radio today a teacher of Swedish to immigrants spoke about learning Swedish. She spoke about the difficulties learning it. In Swedish nouns are en or ett, like French un or une. She said that even if a person has lived here for fifty years he or she might make mistakes regarding en or ett. She also said that it is impossible forever to hear the difference between ” skum tomte” ( “light shy Father Christmas”) and “skumtomte” ( candy in the form of Father Christmas”). This is what she said and it seems then there are critical periods in childhood or when you learn your first language. But maybe there are different opinions.

      • It’s very difficult to get the accent right in any language but we do find that teenagers or young people who are working or at school make quite rapid progress. Gary learnt French at this age of course, when training to be a doctor. Often young people are very ambitious and keen to become doctors or similar professionals.

        The ones who really struggle are housewives who have been in the UK for years but not been able to mix with native speakers. They watch TV in their own language at home. They can live in the UK for 20 years or more without knowing more than a few words of English and a few hours a week of English lessons hardly help at all in this situation.

  24. This reminds me of the words that the Norwegian Prime-Minister spoke after the attacks of Breivik:

    “No one can bomb us to silence” … “Our response is more democracy, more opennes and more humanity.”

    Antoine

    > Op 8 jan. 2015 om 06:33 heeft A Former F1 Doc Writes het volgende geschreven: > > >

  25. Dearest Doc,
    in response to your latest tweet “why do we even pay intelligence officers?”
    ‘Jesus Christ on a bike’ Gary!! I guess Academia and Naivety go hand in hand right?
    Please do some thorough research on False Flag disinformation.. you can then apply your new found knowledge to some intriguing details surrounding this recent ‘thuggery’, i.e why would trained assassins conveniently ‘forget’ their i.d in the getaway car… i digress but please, think 911, think hijackers passports being miraculously discovered amidst the pulverized twin tower remains, THINK!!!

  26. Peter, understood, but bear in mind the only difference between what Sailliant did and what happened in Paris is that Sailliant didn’t bring a gun.

    • With respect, if you really believe that you are in very serious need of help. I also don’t propose to dignify this quite extraordinary notion any further.

    • I can see both Jan’s and Peter’s point and it makes neither of them bad people in my opinion. Friendship is when you can hold differing opinions and still remain friends. Jan views a similarity between trying to close down “free speech”, Peter views a dissimilarity in seriousness of the two situations. At least that’s how I see it. Vive le Free Speech!

      • And what I think is really fantastic is that we are all talking when we would never have known each other without Gary’s blog.

      • PS: I would share the Belgium chocolate biscuits which we are all eating here at the moment with everyone here if I could. I brought them in to the office this morning because my husband, who is a music teacher doesn’t eat wheat and they have gone down well with everyone here!

    • It is very, very easy to wear T shirts and hold up banners and very, very difficult to face to stand up and be counted and pay the price. The poor lady who entered the security code to let the killers in to the office did so because they threatened to kill her toddler otherwise. She and the toddler hid under a table and survived. This is the reality of terror.

  27. It’s dreadful, but I wouldn’t put it down to “terrorism”, it is more to do with thuggery and a few people perceiving themselves and their religious beliefs to be irrevocably offended. The response has to be police work – who are these individuals, who are supporting them, how did they get such weapons, can better protection systems be put in place to threatened institutions and individuals.

    On the same day I read a story of 13 people being saved after their aircraft crashed. They just happened to be out on a skydiving expedition and everyone survived. On average day on day, everyday, 10 French people die on the roads in France. What happened with Charlie Hebdo was appalling and every effort should be made in apprehending the thugs and closing down the gun smuggling operations … but it shouldn’t be used as a political excuse to close down our freedoms – such as having our telephone calls and emails tapped (without a court order) etc.

    • Taking guns off the street and cracking down on crime has got to be the only way forward, as well as careful monitoring of individuals. I notice that these 2 brothers had a history of petty crime and people so often seem to recruited in prisons. I work in a college where we have unaccompanied minors who seek asylum often straight from war zones. We are beginning to launch anti-radicalisation programmes. A lot of it is young men just acting like thugs having either witnessed terrible things in person or on the internet.

      To put it all in perspective Piers Morgan pointed out that 7 times as many people (84 people) were killed yesterday (and every day) by guns in the US. I dread to think how many were killed by ISIS yesterday across the world.

      • Jane:
        Taking “guns off the street” does nothing more than disarm the law abiding and create a population easier to victimize. One armed person in the Charlie Hebdo offices could have stopped the carnage before so many lives were lost. Don’t think that can happen? Look at the St James Massacre in South Africa 1993. Also the Appalachian School of Law shooting. The Pearl, Mississippi school shooting too. Plus a number of other occasions where an armed citizen managed to stop a rampage and/or subdue the attacker(s).

        Also, Piers Morgan is so virulently anti-gun that I put no stock at all in anything he says on the subject. Even if, though, we take as writ his number of 84 firearm deaths, how many of those are suicides? The infamous Kellerman study (where the 44:1 stat of being injured by a gun kept in your home vs criminals shot in defense by the gun owner) included suicides which accounted for nearly all of the injuries from guns kept in the victim’s home (side bar – after Australia effectively banned handguns after the Port Arthur Massacre their firearm suicide rate did drop to almost zero. But their suicide rate by other means, mostly asphyixiation, more than made up for that. Overall suicide rate actually went up slightly in the 10 years after the ban compared to the 10 years prior to the ban. Not saying banning guns caused suicide rates to increase, just that banning guns clearly doesn’t deter suicide.). And even if all of those 84 deaths are due to homicide rather than suicide the vast majority is gang/drug related violence. Something that needs to be addressed, to be sure, but hardly a good reason to take away the ability of law abiding people to adequately defend themselves from the criminals.

      • I realise that this is a major difference between the US and the UK. When we have shootings here we ban guns. I was staggered last weekend when a 2-year old child in the US shot his mother with a gun he took out of her handbag. I’m sure I won’t convince you but a list of countries by intentional homicide rate on wiki (2012 figures based on rate per 100,000 population per year) shows that the US rate is 4.7 whereas the UK rate is only 1. Interestingly the rate in France is also 1. None of these figures are as high as in many other countries.

        Comparing international suicide rates we find that based on suicides per 100,000 population per year France has 14.7, the US 12.5 and the UK 11.8 and in all countries the rate is much higher in men. I expect more people use guns to kill themselves in the US but obviously the overall rates are quite similar.

        However, I don’t think any of us should forget that huge numbers of ordinary people are dying every day in Syria and Iraq and that IS is spreading like a plague across huge parts of the world. It is always the innocent civilians esp women and children who suffer most as they are just trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    • Pyotr Pedro II: Whether directly intended as terrorism or not, this act has the same effect regardless – it will cause journalists / ordinary people to think twice before speaking their mind, due to fear of repercussions. That is terrorism. Many people in the media – in Paris, and around the world – are currently feeling a bit more uneasy or even fearful than they normally would due to this act. They have been terrorised.

      The word terror has been blatantly abused by many over recent years – but not in this case.

  28. They clearly love the Stone Age as their behaviour shows. So let’s send them back there with modern technology. It’s the only way this rot can be stopped, clearly accepting them and their beliefs and welcoming their religion into the world of free speech with open arms is not helping and clearly not good enough for them, they appear to want it all.

    If they don’t get what they want they turn to violence as they have done over the centuries. They have no thought it feeling for who they kill and murder. Strange really for such a peace loving and tolerant religion..…

    It is now time to remove the kid gloves and deal with this infection the only way possible.

    • It’s really not accepting their religion that is the problem, every religion has its extreme factions. They take a single sentence out of the context it’s mean and twistvit up to suit their own ends. All religions have the same message, be kind to others, don’t kill, dont steel, value life and only expect back what you put in.

      It’s the evil of man that causes the unnecessary death and destruction carried out by terrorists, not their religion.

  29. I am not in the newspaper business. My safety, that of my employees, and my business are in no danger so it’s easy to be brave. But I do wish everyone with an outlet would pick up the banner and print the offending cartoons. I can see no scenario in which this has a positive ending if people surrender. JE SUIS CHARLIE

  30. Amazing! This is the first rational statement I have seen by a follower of Islam, which makes it clear that the people of Islam MUST distance themselves from the radical thugs who commit atrocities in the name of Islam. The Radical Muslims must recognize and understand that their rights end at the tip of my nose! In other words, do whatever you like with your life, but do not allow yourself to think that it gives you one IOTA of a say about what I do in my life, my beliefs or my rights! Thank you Mr. Mayzek for speaking the truth!

  31. Dear mister Gary Hartstein there is a moment I receive news letters from you and you were talking about Michael Schumacher and Jules Bianchi .You are the one brave enough to raise up to defend our right to know . in this case Je Suis Charlie you demonstrate to all of us that you are very numan and I approve entirely what you told aboiut this .THERE IS NO PLACE left on Earth to authorize the freedom of speech and this tragedy will never defend us to talk our own truth . And thank you so much for this picture JE SUIS CHARLIE …A very Happy new year to you Doctor Hartstein .

  32. Hi Gary.

    Thank you for this picture!
    But I don’t want to discuss here about politic or religion. This is just barbary, and they are just cowards, bastards.

    Like a french journalist said “they wanted to kill Charlie but all the people stand up”.
    And I am happy to see that it is a reality in France like in other countries.

    Have a good day, we are stronger!

  33. Please read my translation :
    This is a comment from a German Muslim and I completely adhere to it.
    I hear from all sides: “The politicians have to act.”
    That also says Mr. Aiman A. Mazyek, the chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany.
    I would like to respond the following:
    “Dear Mr. Aiman Mazyek, I think we as Muslims have too long kept silent and waited too long to distance ourselves from the atrocities of the IS and other Islamic groups.
    Why can certain preachers of hate still drive their mischief in our mosques?
    Why can’t we Muslims living here in Germany not get up and show these preachers of hate that we are not agreeing with them and put them to order?
    Why can’t we launch in the mosques, especially at the Friday prayer, an awareness campaign in German, which is especially tailored for young people?
    Why can’t the Islamic scholars of the Koran not make an interpretation of certain Suras based on the 21st Century?
    Why can’t the Islamic scholars of the Koran cannot explain that certain suras are out of date and can be stopped with a Fatwa?
    After all, we all begin our prayers with the word “Yes Raab al alamin”, “O God of all living beings” and “O God of the universe”.
    Some examples:
    Where does it say in the Koran that wearing a burka is mandatory?
    Where does it say in the Koran that all who are not Muslim, are automatically Kuffar ‘infidel’?
    Who gives us the right to the Jihad? What is the true meaning of it ? Certainly not what the hate preacher who converted to Islam or the so called Islam knowers or the IS tell us.
    Why have the Islamic scholars of the Koran not the courage to tell young people that the story about the 70 virgins is just a metaphor ?
    Why have the Islamic scholars of the Koran not the courage to declare that in our society Sharia law can not stand above the Constitution?
    So friends, first and foremost, we the Muslims must take our turn to understand the fears of the people in our country.
    Their fear is not to be dismissed or out of hand, it is normal that Germans have fears and concerns. We need to tell them that we are not here to Islamize Germany.
    We should clearly set this forth and even fight for it.
    We shall not allow others to try again and again to distroy our religion and the place where we live the name of Islam.

    Let’s never forget that the government has created the conditions that all people living in Germany have the same rights and duties before the law and this regardless of their origin, their faith, their skin color or race.
    We have the honorable task to offer to all refugees a secure home but we cannot allow them to destroy our principles and laws.

    • All great suggestions and I have no idea why the Muslim leadership has not done everything you suggest and formally speak out against those who are using Islam in a false capacity to justify their savagery. Maybe because if they did [speak out] their mosques would be bombed ? Perhaps that is what it would take for the world to see and understand just how crazy these idiots are that they would kill their own people because of a difference of opinion.
      I mean, look at what they just did to a bunch of silly Parisians for having a sense of humor…Imagine the groundswell if they did that to their own…

    • I totally agree with you..Unfortunately muslim leaders always distort the islamic faith..Thats why they never attempt to do right things..Whatever they like they go that way..Everybody sees there are so many poor people in Arabic countries but there is only few rich people WHO leads them..and that rich people take advantage of the Islamic faith for the benefit for themself…There is no getting married with children or wearing burka or killing people because they are not Muslims..it is so stupid..and ı am not surprised why people have certain prejudices about islam…If people would like to learn something about Islam they should stop watching tvs and should make some reserch..Because whatever going on concerning so called Islamic faith around the World ,It is not Islamic faith.

    • Your suggestions will never happen. Organized religions must control people through fear and ignorance and one of the best ways of doing so is by turning them against others.

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