Archive | October 14, 2016

U.K.’s PM Threatens Scotland if it Leaves the U.K.*

U.K.’s PM Threatens Scotland  if it Leaves the U.K.*

f01b8-may_dayBy John Shafthauer

Following the announcement of plans for another Scottish independence referendum, the world is once more seeing a Prime Minister of Great Britain making threats to try and keep the union together. The fact that her threats are the exact opposite of David Cameron’s shows just how much things have changed since then.

In 2014, the Cameron government weaponised three key fears:

  • No more pound.
  • No more EU.
  • No more Marmite

The problem is that these threats definitely will apply if Scotland stays in the U.K., so why wouldn’t it want to see what happens if it doesn’t?

The other problem for the U.K. government is that since the last independence referendum – the one in which it lied, bullied, and cheated to get its own way – the trust that Scots place in Team GB has understandably been severely diminished.

So the ‘remainers’ could wheel Gordon Brown out again. But many Scots now trust the treacherous sack of potatoes about as much as they would a hissing Hannibal Lecter in a straight-jacket and bite-mask. They could request that the BBC spreads more misinformation. But Scots now know that, in times of trouble, the Beeb’s presenters are hollowed out and worked like giant finger puppets by the talons of the Tory beast. They could even rope J.K. Rowling back in. But there are only so many Harry Potter analogies a person can hear before the novelty wears off and they realise that a billionaire New Labour fan probably doesn’t share the same priorities as they do.

The Empire strikes back

In an attempt to quell this latest Scottish rebellion, Theresa May made the following threats via her Tumblr account:

If the Scots dare to call another independence referendum, we will change the law to say that the pound actually belongs to them! We will move all of our conniving bankers from London to Dundee! We will tarmac over the Highlands and turn it into a multi-story car park for a Central Bureau of Traffic Wardens and Estate Agents we’ll build in Inverness!

The SNP has obviously thrown doubt on the government’s ability to do any of those things as, so far, Theresa May seems unable to do pretty much anything.

David Cameron also took time out of his now busy schedule to comment, saying:

Well personally, I think another independence referendum would be a terrible idea.

And everyone laughed, and laughed, and laughed, because as we all know, David Cameron and good ideas go together like Mentos and dynamite.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.K.’s PM Bans Ministers Talking to the Media*

After ‘Brexit’ Scotland, Ireland Referendum to Leave U.K.*

Speeding-up Big Brother in Scotland after the Independence Vote*

More Reason to Hold onto Scotland: Cameron Follows Black Gold to the Shetlands*

‘Scotland Shedding the English Shackles*

For the People, to the Scots*

 

Spain Has No Government – And Life Has Never Been Better*

Spain Has No Government – And Life Has Never Been Better*

By Baxter Dmitry

For more than nine months, Spain has existed without a traditional national government. In the face of this lack of central authority and planning, Spaniards have done the impossible: they have thrived without a federal government.

The New York Times recently reported on this phenomenon:

 “After two grueling national elections in six months, and with a third vote possible in December, no party has won enough seats or forged the coalition needed to form a government. For the first time in Spain’s four decades as a modern democracy, this country of 47 million people has a caretaker government.

Spanish politicians warned the people that allowing the national government to fade away could have disastrous effects. However, as the New York Times notes,

the crisis seems to have offered a glimpse of life if politicians simply stepped out of the way. For many here, it has not been all that bad.”

No government, no thieves,” Félix Pastor, a language teacher, told the Times.

Pastor said the people of Spain were better without a government because the politicians were unable to cause any more harm. Rafael Navarro, a 71-year old pharmacy owner in Madrid, told the Times that

Spain would be just fine if we got rid of most of the politicians and three-fourths of government employees.

AntiMedia reports:

Despite the lack of government at the moment, life goes on without interruption. Welfare recipients in Spain are still receiving their benefits, and basic government employees are still paid. The streets are not littered with trash, and public trains and buses continue to operate.

However, there are some major differences from life with a national government. Spain has been unable to pass national legislation, handle foreign affairs, or fund new government projects. This means no new invasive, authoritarian laws can be passed by corrupt government officials.

Of course, local governments are still capable of creating projects that will benefit their local communities. Santiago Lago Peñas, an economics professor in the Galicia region of northwest Spain, told the Times that

“[f]or a Spanish citizen, the most relevant government is the regional one.” While it is always possible for corruption to exist, even within a local “government” or council, communities are more able to combat dangerous behavior from smaller, local institutions.

No government? No problem

The beauty of the situation in Spain is that most of the public seems perfectly content to continue on without a national government.

Only 2.3 percent of respondents in a July poll by Spain’s Center for Sociological Investigations considered the lack of government the country’s major problem,” Vox recently reported.

Vox continued:

 “Even more surprising, that number has been getting smaller as people get more accustomed to life in political limbo, the survey found. We’ve done very well without a government, or better put, with an interim, decaffeinated government,economist Gabriel Calzada wrote in a column in the business daily Expansion not long after the second inconclusive election. Indeed, noted Calzada, 2016 started with ‘perhaps the best half year of Spanish politics in at least the last decade.‘

What does the situation in Spain mean for the rest of the world?

Perhaps all the stories we have heard about humans tearing each other apart in the absence of government institutions have been propaganda designed to instill doubt in the minds of the masses.

Although Spain can hardly be called a stateless society as it is now, it is certainly providing an example of what people will do when the State cannot — or will not — help the people. The government is not only often ill-equipped to help the people, but it is also literally a gang of thieves who have come together and declared themselves the legitimate owners of various geographical land masses known as the United States, Spain, Israel, Colombia, Australia, Britain, and so on. They literally cannot survive without selling the people the idea that government is necessary. Not only is it necessary, they say, but its operators must also steal from the people (aka taxation) in order to create and maintain the government and keep us safe.

Obviously, these are lies.

One need look no further than Spain for an example of how people can come together and thrive in the absence — and failure — of government. It is up to each of us to stand together and focus on solutions that can move us forward as a species. If we are to truly take on this task, we must ask hard questions about the nature of government and what role, if any, the institution will play in our future.

Source*

Related Topics:

Podemos Ends Spain’s Two-party System*

CIA not Amused at the Rising Left in Spain*

Against Spain’s Gag Law: The First Hologram Protest in History*

Spain Marches for Dignity*

Popular Resistance against Privatization Delivers Results in Spain*

We Societies

U.S. Suffers Massive Defeat as Terrorists Crushed in Northern Aleppo*

U.S. Suffers Massive Defeat as Terrorists Crushed in Northern Aleppo*

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) re-launched attempts to seize the Al-Sha’er Gas Fields from ISIS in Homs province. The government forces stormed ISIS positions southwest of the gas fields and reached its gates. Clashes are ongoing in the area.

The pro-government forces have achieved another notable success in northern Aleppo. The army and Liwa al-Quds took control of Talat Bureij, Majbal Al-Zatin, Tal Owayjah, and Tal Al-Asfar. Controlling of these hilltops allows, the government forces are able to easily defend the previous gains in northern Aleppo, overlook areas in the northern part of Haydariyah Neighborhood and prepare a push to set control of the Ba’edin Roundabout. In southern Aleppo, the army and Hezbollah captured the strategic Sheikh Sa’eed hill in the Sheikh Sa’eed Neighborhood.

In Western Ghouta, the army and the NDF seized the Air Battalion Base, located southeast of Der Khabiyah. Now, the government troops are deployed at the western and southern flanks of Deir Khabiyeh controlled by Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) and Ahrar Al-Sham.

Yesterday, the army’s Tiger Forces and the NDF took control and defended from terrorist counter-attacks the town of Ma’an in northern Hama. Today, the Tiger Forces and the NDF are advancing west of the nearby village of Kubbariyah in an attempt to reach Suran, located at the highway between Hama and Aleppo. If Suran is re-taken, the militant controlled town of Ma’rades will become next target of the advance.

Next Saturday in Switzerland, Rusisa, the United States and local powers are set to discuss the military and political situation in Syria in order to find the so-called “peaceful solution” of the conflict. Most likely, the Russian-Syrian-Iranian alliance will not be ready to make some concessions to the “American partners”.

Source*

Related Topics:

French Draft Resolution on Syria Reflects its Longing for its Colonial History in Africa*

Syrian Swimmer Dies In Rebel Attack, But UK’s Independent Blames Assad Anyway*

Confirmed that U.S. Backed Down over Syria after Russian Threatened to Shoot Down U.S. Aircraft*

In 6 Months, 35,000 Terrorists Have Been Killed in Syria*

Civilians help Syrian Army Drive out Terrorists from Damascus*

Maya Angelou’s 3 Word Secret to Living Your Best Life*

Maya Angelou’s 3 Word Secret to Living Your Best Life*

 

How You Can Never Go Wrong

Dr. Maya Angelou says that in order to be the best human being you can be, you must follow one simple directive: “Just do right.” She reveals how you can never go wrong by doing what you truly believe in. “Right may not be expedient, or profitable, but it will satisfy your soul.”

And she says that it brings you a special kind of protection and abundance.  Also find out why Dr. Angelou believes the world is getting better, and hear her exceptional advice on how we can keep the world moving in a positive direction.

Beautiful words of wisdom from the late Maya Angelou.

Source*

Related Topics:

Maya Angelou on Facing Evil*

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings*

How to Hold Space for Yourself*

How to Hold Space for Yourself*

The Intelligence of Self Observation and Self-Awareness*

Which Mask Did You Wear Today?

The Anguish, Bloodshed and Forgotten Heroes in the Ignored War on Yemen*

 The Anguish, Bloodshed and Forgotten Heroes in the Ignored War on Yemen*

TAP – When reading this post remember that Britain is supplying and directing the bombing campaign, providing the Saudis with targeting information and operational control.

By Vanessa Beeley

It should be personal to all of us. Yemen, regularly portrayed as the poorest nation in the Arab world, is proving itself to be the richest in courage, resourcefulness and resilience.

Ever since March 2015, some of you may have noticed how oil-rich Saudi Arabia, with the United States at its side, have been waging genocidal war against the Yemeni people.

Yemen are a people under attack by an undeclared superpower coalition comprised of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, U.S., U.K., E.U., U.A.E and Israel. Like in Syria, while the Yemeni people are under attacks by power powers, they are simultaneously being collectively punished by the illegal sanctions imposed by a corrupt United Nations body, on the pretext of legitimizing anillegitimate fugitive ex-president, Saudi Arabia and Washington’s hand-picked puppet leader,Mansour Hadi, who demanded that neighbouring Saudi Arabia to bomb his own people –even after Hadi had resigned twice from an already over-extended presidential term, before fleeing to his alma mater in Riyadh.

This fact has been consistently omitted and waxed over by western political appeasers and ethically challenged mainstream media apologists – and their ignorant and conceded omission is one of the primary reasons why this conflict has been allowed to go from bad to worse.

To compare Saudi Arabia’s belligerent actions in Yemen to Nazi Germany’s undeclared wars of aggression prior to WWII is no exaggeration. In fact, one could make the argument that this Saudi-U.S. joint venture is much worse, and a far more dangerous precedent. Likewise, the failure of a corrupt U.N. (who effectively sold Saudi Arabia its seat on at the head of the U.N. Human Rights Council, believe it or not), led by an impotent Secretary General in Ban-ki Moon to censure Saudi Arabia for its flagrant violation of international law, the Nuremberg Principles and the entire Geneva Convention content and implied framework – leaves the U.N. in the exact same position as the League of Nations in 1938.

This is most certainly the case on paper, and with each passing moment we are nudging ever closer to geopolitical déjà vu.

The Anguish

This is one of the most egregious war crimes we’ve seen so far in Yemen, and considering what Saudi Arabia has already done to date, that’s saying a lot. On the 9th October 2016, the Saudi ‘coalition’ targeted one of the biggest public halls in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

Officials said two air strikes hit the grand hall of ceremonies, where a post funeral gathering was held to receive condolences for the late Ali bin Ali al-Ruwaishan, the father of Interior Minister, Jalal al-Ruwaishan.

A total of 4 missiles were launched into crowds of civilians. The first strike, two missiles tore into the hall and surrounding areas  leaving dozens dead and dying. Then, as funeral-goers clambered over the smouldering rubble to rescue the injured, Saudi coalition planes returned for the double tap air-strike, targeting the civilian rescuers.

Yesterday, the under secretary of the Public Health Ministry in Yemen told journalist and Middle East commentator, Marwa Osman, the death toll had risen to 458 and hundreds more injured.  In an interview with RT, Osman went on to describe, 213 bodies were reported as charred, burned beyond recognition, 67 bodies were completely dismembered and 187 bodies torn apart by shrapnel.  The brutality of this attack is evident from the horrific photos that appeared on social media very quickly after the event, as Yemenis were reeling from the scale of the massacre.

For further background on Saudi ‘s war of aggression please read 21WIRE article: U.N; Whitewashing Saudi Coalition War Crimes and International Human Rights Violations

Yemen civil defence and army recovering bodies from the Saudi coalition bombed ceremony hall in Sanaa (Photo: Yemen the Forgotten War)

Yemen civil defence and army recovering bodies from the Saudi coalition bombed ceremony hall in Sanaa (Photo: Yemen the Forgotten War)

The hundreds more injured have been described as “bleeding to death in the streets“.  The following report came in from Sanaa hours after the attack:

“Saudi-American airstrikes targeted the biggest hall in Sanaa. The hall was hit by 4 missiles, 2 air-strikes. When rescuers went to the aid of the dying and injured Saudi jets attacked for the second time in their double tap operation. It’s impossible to count the deaths. Officially they are saying less than 500 but many more are dying because they cant be treated due to the absence of medical supplies and hospital facilities. This is entirely due to the U.N. sanctions and effective land, air and sea blockades. The hall is 2km from our home and 150m from my university but luckily, today I was not there.

Yesterday we killed several mercenary leaders in Mareb and Saudi commanders so today they are taking their revenge on the innocent people” ~ information supplied to Vanessa Beeley of 21st Century Wire.

According to Hassan Al Haifi, writer, academic and political commentator, living in Sanaa, the Saudi attack was deliberate:

“The mourners were paying tribute to General Jalal Al-Rouishan, Min of Int, who hails from a leading family of Khowlan Al-Tayyal Tribe, a leading and powerful Yemeni tribe.”

Al Haifi commented that this was a cynical and brutal attack by the Saudi coalition, intending to kill as many Ansarullah and Ali Abdullah Saleh officials and supporters as possible. A number of Saleh’s closest friends and allies were killed by the strikes along with a smaller number of Ansarullah members. Al Haifi, himself should have been at the ceremony but had been delayed and fortunately was not there when the Saudi jets launched their missiles into the throngs of mourners.

The Bloodshed

Saudi air-strike on Sanaa (Photo supplied to 21st Century Wire from Yemen)

The U.S. State Department immediately swung into damage limitation mode and cranked up their hypocrisy to protect their Saudi coalition military industrial complex clients. John Kirby even deployed the “self-defence” terminology usually reserved for their other regional, arms guzzling ally with close links to Al Qaeda, Israel.

The bloodshed and suffering of the Yemeni people was reduced to an obscene game of semantics by a cold and calculating U.S. State Department, as their multi billion dollar arms industry registered obscene trading levels with the Saudi coalition in 2015. In the first 21 months of Saudi-U.S. illegal war on Yemen, U.S. arms sales worth $33 Billion were closed Saudi and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) entities according to Defense News. In total, America’s Nobel Peace Chief Barack Hussein Obama has offered to sell $115 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia since taking office in 2009 – more than any previous U.S. administration, according to a recent report.

Not to be left out of the party, Britain has also sold more than £3.7 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia since Saudi’s illegal war of aggression began.

In truth, many of these estimates are conservative and do not include many more hundreds of millions in ancillary costs, staffing, support contracting and engineering.

Forgotten Heroes

Even though they’ve been completely redacted by the western media, and also by the myriad of Gulf monarchy media outlets, the real heroes of this conflict are the Yemeni people.

In their reductionist way of thinking and categorizing the world outside of their shores, Americans refer to Middle East populations in sectarian terms – because this is they way they would like to see the world, but it couldn’t be any further from reality. To Americans, the Yemeni war is all because of “Iranian-backed Shia Houthi Rebels.” The first U.S. Congressman ever to say that in public probably read it directly off an AIPAC policy briefing sheet. That’s the sad reality still in Washington – information-poor (and lobby cash-rich) elected representatives are only able to see the world through the Israeli lens.

The reality is much more complex than just “the Houthis.” A genuine Arab Spring has taken place in Yemen and the U.S. and Saudi response was simply to try and crush the people. But the people have resisted fiercely, and together. Unlike other neo-colonial ventures like Iraq and Afghanistan – the people of Yemen have united to a large degree and are determined to realize their own vision of self government. This is something that has been written off by everyone in the U.S. establishment – from the President all the way down the political food chain.

Damning Indictment

The U.K.-U.S. built, House of Saud, is waging a genocidal war of aggression that has already destroyed entire swathes of Yemeni cultural heritage and decimated entire communities, particularly in the northern, traditionally Ansarullah (Houthi) held areas such as Saada and Hajjah. This was by design. By now, we can see clearly how this was yet another ethnic cleansingprogramme being endorsed, fuelled and defended by the United States and her allies in the UK, EU, Israel, and of course the neighbouring Gulf States, some of whom participated in this dirty war.

Another war being fought over resources, based upon illegitimate pretexts and murderous hegemony, whose primary victims are the innocent people of Yemen, and above all the children of Yemen whose sunken eyes, distended, starving bellies and bird-like limbs are a stark reminder of the cruelty of the corporatist-imperialist elite branding their road map on the lives of peoples who, in their twisted optic, are nothing more than insignificant obstacles, collateral damage in the ascent to uni-polar supremacy.

The height of U.S. hypocrisy was on full display during a U.S. State Department press briefing where the already discredited U.S. spokesman John Kirby shameless danced around a mass-murder by Saudi Arabia – whose airstrikes are supported logistically by the United States. This is the definition of criminality unchecked. Watch:

Source*

Related Topics:

How Israel Was Busted Nuking Yemen*

U.S. Cluster Bombs Kill Children for Decades in Laos, and Now Yemen*

Israel Stole Babies from Yemen*

U.S. Earns $33 Billion Arms Sales in Eleven Months from the Destruction of Yemen*

U.S. Helicopter Failed to Rescue ISIL Leader in Yemen*

DynCorp Mercenaries Replace Blackwater Mercenaries in Yemen*

U.K. Illegally at War in Yemen*

U.S.-Backed Coalition has Attacked 100 Hospitals in Yemen Since March*

U.S. Occupies a Yemeni Island*

The Oldest Qur’ans are Actually in Yemen, in Danger of Being Bombed*

Saudi Commander and Soldiers Join Yemeni Forces*

Saudi Pilot Kills himself for Massacring Yemeni Children*

Britain is arming Saudi Arabia in Yemen Conflict*

Eastern Yemen Frantically Trying to get Food into Aden*

Israeli Officers Captured, Killed in Yemen*

US/Saudi puts Blockade on Vital Humanitarian Aid Reaching Yemen*

 

In Alaska, Indigenous Voices Raised in the Struggle Between Life and Oil*

In Alaska, Indigenous Voices Raised in the Struggle Between Life and Oil*

Princess Lucaj, a member of the Gwich’in tribe of northern Alaska

By Stephen Miller

As a child, Princess Lucaj was mystified by the oil wells she saw while visiting Los Angeles and the La Brea Tar Pits. She imagined they were dinosaurs and wondered what they could be up to.

Her mother explained: A long time ago, Mother Earth buried toxins deep in the ground to keep them from harming people. But now people are digging them up.

Since then, Lucaj, a member of the Gwich’in tribe of northern Alaska, said she has been plagued by the realization that “we are not living in harmony with the Earth.”

The oil and gas industry accounts for more than three-quarters of the Alaskan government’s discretionary revenue, and the state has seen a near constant tug of war over land rights for extraction. An area of particular interest is the coastal plain of the federally designated Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) on the continent’s northern coast. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates this area may hold as much as 16 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil and natural gas.

It also holds enormous significance for the Gwich’in people. The coastal plain is essential birthing ground for the Porcupine caribou herd, on which the Gwich’in have traditionally depended for subsistence.

An American Golden-Plover and its chick bed down in the Arctic Refuge. Photo by Florian Schulz

An American Golden-Plover and its chick bed down in the Arctic Refuge. Photo by Florian Schulz

“We have a spiritual relationship with the herd that dates back thousands of years,” Lucaj said.

“We take care of the herd, and the herd takes care of us.”

Taking care of the herd means protecting critical ecosystems like the coastal plain, which provides the caribou with a safe haven to rear their young at the end of their 1,500-mile land migration—the longest of any land mammal.

Recognizing the ecological and cultural importance of this area, the federal government established the ANWR—19 million acres in total—in 1960 and expanded it in 1980, designating 8 million acres as protected wilderness, but deferring permanent protection of 1.5 million crucial acres of the coastal plain to future congressional approval. Since then, native groups, government, industry, and environmentalists have argued for their interests.

Writer, filmmaker, and former executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, Lucaj is one of many who has worked to ensure the long-term health of the Porcupine herd—and ultimately the people who depend on it.

A cursory look at ANWR’s history shows how the refuge has been used as a political game piece: championed as an asset for economic and national security by Republican members of Congress and presidents who wished to see it open for drilling (“Drill baby, drill!”), and shakily protected by Democrats and moderate Republicans pressured by some tribes and environmentalists.

In January 2015, President Obama formally recommended that Congress permanently ban drilling across about 12 million acres of ANWR, including the coastal plain. His request was met with harsh criticism from conservative legislators, the most vocal of which has been Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is up for re-election this November.

With the economic hard times Alaska is experiencing today, there is increased pressure to open the refuge for drilling. “We are in such a fiscal crisis, and legislators are grasping at straws because oil has always been the answer for everything,” Lucaj said. “It’s all we know how to do up here—or so they tell us.”

Many Alaskans have reputations for pride and stewardship of their land, and more recently those people with the longest connection to that land are being heard.

“Threats have always been lingering but we have a lot more momentum and public support across the nation, but also in Alaska,” Lucaj explained.

She said the Sioux-led resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline has been a catalyst for movements across the country, elevating Indigenous voices that are calling for the protection and recognition of the importance of land.


Lucaj wrote the following essay for “We are the Arctic,” an anthology of voices connected to the ANWR region, published this year by Mountaineers Books.

The caribou calf slips out of the womb and onto the soft padding of the tundra. Steam rises off its body, new to the world, to air, to life on Earth. In these first few hours he will bond with his mother, learning how to suckle, how to identify her scent and voice. These hours are critical to the survival of mother and calf in a herd of thousands. It is the only time they will have alone together. We humans are not so different in the way we give birth. The basics needed for life to begin. A mother’s warm body full of milk and reassurance. A safe place. A warm cabin. A manger. A refuge.

Caribou forage in the Arctic Refuge. Photo by Florian Schulz.

Caribou forage in the Arctic Refuge. Photo by Florian Schulz.

All of us who over-consume must pay a price in the grand scheme of life. The coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is sacred ground, deemed so by the births of millions of animals over thousands of years. And my people, Gwich’in, are there today only because of the spiritual bond we have with the Porcupine caribou herd. In our culture the caribou give themselves to us so that we may survive. We are humbled. Each of us humans should walk with that humbleness, knowing that it is ultimately this massive cycle of life that provides us with what we need to survive: clean air and water, soil to grow our gardens, and the fish and wildlife on which many of us depend.

All life is sacred. We all want to live, to experience the gift of creation—this great mystery we are all a part of. Truly we are related. You and I are brother and sister. We are related to the caribou, and whales, and polar bears; we are even related to the birch trees, and the forget-me-nots, and the tundra grass. Shalak naii, my relatives—let us carry this knowledge in our hearts and minds as we continue on our respective journeys. And hai’choo to you who are working so tirelessly for our future generations!

Source*

Related Topics:

Native Tribes in U.S. and Canada Sign Treaty Again Opposing Oil Pipelines*

Obama’s Prophecies of Climate Doom in Alaska Fall Flat*

’.‘We will not buy what is ours Challenging terra nullius in the Courts of Guatemala*

New Dutch Law Would Allow Citizens to Choose When They ‘Complete Life’

New Dutch Law Would Allow Citizens to Choose When They ‘Complete Life’*

 

Dutch residents who feel that they have “completed life” may be granted the opportunity to choose the time of their own death as the government prepares to draft a law legalizing assisted suicide.

Euthanasia has been legal in the country since 2002, but was strictly for medical patients who were in a state of extreme pain, with no reasonable expectation for a cure. On Wednesday, officials from the Dutch Justice and Health departments sent parliament a letter saying that citizens who

“have a well-considered opinion that their life is complete, must, under strict and careful criteria, be allowed to finish that life in a manner dignified for them,” according to the Guardian.
For over a decade requests for euthanasia in the Netherlands have increased by double digits, accounting for 5,516 deaths in 2015. The practice is generally accepted by the Dutch public.

The letter stated that the new legislation, hoped to be completed by the end of 2017, would need “careful guidance and vetting ahead of time with a ‘death assistance provider’ with a medical background, who has also been given additional training.”
The proposal has drawn criticism from faith-based and conservative groups, including the ChristenUnie party, whose leader, Gert-Jan Segers, said the suggestion was “horrifying” and that it “imperils the care for and security of the elderly.”
Manon Vanderkaa called the proposal “unnecessary and undesirable.” Vanderkaa is the head of two Christian senior citizen groups and said that “to help dying, however well regulated, is the wrong answer for a much more profound problem,” that faces vulnerable elderly people.
An independent commission recently concluded that expanding the definition of a “completed life” was unnecessary, but the ministers are “of the opinion that a request for help [in dying] from people who suffer unbearably and have no hope without an underlying medical reason can be a legitimate request.”
Related Topics:
When Euthanasia Crosses the Line into Murder*