Helping People Experience the Sharp Edge of the Autistic Experience*

Helping People Experience the Sharp Edge of the Autistic Experience*


By John Shafthauer

The 27 March to 2 April has been Autism Awareness Week, with the 2 April also being Autism Awareness Day. As part of this, The National Autistic Society (NAS) released a video that recreates one of the sharpest edges of the autistic experience – sensory overload.

The NAS said about the video:

Almost everyone in the U.K. (99.5%) has heard of autism but, despite this, only 16% of autistic people and families think the public understands them. One year ago, we launched Too Much Information – our campaign to improve public understanding of autism.

The campaign has been amazingly successful so far – because so many people publicly backed it. But we have a long way to go until everyone understands. This World Autism Awareness Week, we need you to help even more people to get a real understanding of autism and how it affects autistic people.

Sometimes autistic people get too much information. That can mean they need more time to process information. And can mean people think they’re ‘weird’ or rude – or simply ignoring them.

Facing a world which doesn’t understand, our unnerving new film… takes you through how an autistic child experiences an overload of questions. It helps the viewer to understand what autism can feel like. And that’s pretty important to getting the public to better understand autism.


Sensory overload can be debilitating in many circumstances. I have experienced it myself as I am autistic. But my autistic son feels it a lot more intensely than I ever did.

Because of his difficulties processing information, doctors uniformly advised us that he would need one-to-one support in school. But the assessors disagreed when they assessed what level of special educational needs (SEN) he had. And our doctors told us their advice was likely ignored because of the funding cuts implemented by the coalition and Conservative governments.

This left us in a position in which we could either keep fighting for support that may never come, or pull our son out and homeschool him. There’s also been some argument about whether teaching assistants for SEN pupils are actually helpful. The reality of our situation is that in school my son was being taught with pupils a year younger than him and just about keeping up. We opted for homeschooling and he now has a grasp of scientific ideas that I don’t even understand. And he’s only eight years old.

It’s easy for the government to sweep aside people like my son because we appear to be a society that is only tolerant of disabilities when they are outwardly apparent. And this is why videos that help people to understand the complicated experiences some of us face are so important.


Related Topics:

The Superiority of Having Autism

Autistic Artist Flies

A Musical Genius who can barely Count to 10*

The hoax at the bottom of Autism and Alzheimer’s

African-American Autism and Vaccines*

Child’s Autistic Symptoms Miraculously Disappear after His Doctor Does This*

CDC Commits New Vaccine-Autism Crime*

Nine Year-Old Autistic Boy Speaks His First Words Thanks to ‘Controversial’ Cannabis Treatment*

What Do the Police want us to think when they shoot an Unarmed Black Therapist helping his Autistic Patient*


Bringing Adventure, Nature and Imagination Back into Children’s Play Time*

Bringing Adventure, Nature and Imagination Back into Children’s Play Time*

By Caileigh Flannigan


It is a disappointing thing to see new playgrounds developed in city spaces sit there empty each day, or to walk in the park and hear no laughter. What is missing here is not the children per se, but materials and environments that create challenge, imagination, and creativity that make children want to play outdoors. The absence of such play environments is not only influencing the quantity and quality of children’s play, but also affecting children’s health and well-being.

As adults, we need to support children in learning to enjoy what unstructured free play in the outdoors has to offer. We need to inspire imaginations, creative minds, and capable bodies. To do this, we can look toward two simple things: nature and adventure.


What’s Happening to Children’s Play?

Outdoor play is a necessary part of children’s development and is considered essential for children’s learning and wellbeing. Playing outdoors provides unique opportunities for learning that the indoor environment cannot offer. For example, children engage in higher levels of creativity, imagination, inventiveness, physical activity, language, and curiosity. Most importantly, they are given the opportunity to play freely. Despite this knowledge, outdoor play has been steadily decreasing for North American children.

When we look at why this disappearance of free play is happening, we realize that there are many factors that contribute to the lack of play. There are increases in structured play activities, an emergence of technology-based play objects, higher concerns related to safety and risk, adult control over children’s play activities, academically oriented schools, and an overall disregard for the value of play. More often than not, we see children engaged in a summer filled with structured sports activities, or stuck inside with gaming systems and cell phones. We hear adults saying “don’t pick up the sticks!”, “don’t play in the dirt!”, “don’t go too far!” and “be careful!”. We know that schools are decreasing recess time or taking it away all together.

Unfortunately, it is all too common that today’s society has an overall disregard for the value of play and how important it is for children of all ages. It is ultimately these factors that are placing a barrier between children and their right to play freely in the outdoors.

The inability to cross over this barrier is affecting children in many areas of development. For example, there are increases in anxiety and depression at younger ages as well as difficulties with emotional regulation and self-control. Increases in physical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and asthma are becoming more apparent in young children and childhood disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder are more frequently diagnosed. Children who do not have access to outdoor play will miss out on the many benefits that free play in the natural environment has to offer toward their growth.

The Importance of Free Play in the Outdoors

When children are engaged in free play in the outdoors, they are provided opportunities for freedom, choice, and fewer routines. In free play, there is no adult direction or control, so children are able to play how they want to play. When children are given such freedom to play, they are more likely to engage in higher levels of social interaction, cognitive skills such as decision-making and reasoning, empathy, and physical activity. In turn, they are less likely to become inattentive, anxious, or depressed and unhealthy.

The outdoor environment in particular has many benefits. A natural green space allows children to continuously explore ways to use materials, discover the varied environment, and create their own play experiences. The outdoor environment is not a man-made area and, therefore, is diverse and timeless. Children who play outdoors have heightened senses and emotions from the ever-changing topography and the rich stimuli that a natural space affords. This is how children learn – through experience: by seeing, feeling, touching, and hearing. The outdoor environment is a blank canvas on which children are able to place their own thoughts, wonders, and creations.

The Loose Parts Movement for Bringing Back Play

So what can be done now? After this discussion of the importance of free play in the outdoors you may be wondering how you can bring back play for children in your life. There are two things to support you in doing so: nature and adventure. What you are going to need to do is reintroduce adventure back into children’s outdoor play. To accomplish this, you can use loose parts.

Loose parts are play objects and materials that are open-ended, manipulative, moveable, and non-dictated. This means that children can use the materials in a variety of ways and there is no suggested way or “story” behind these materials. Loose parts allow children to act upon their environment the way that they want, rather than their imaginations and creativity being predetermined by the materials.

Examples of loose parts are items such as tires, logs, sticks, fabric, rope, chalk, and rocks. Loose parts can either be synthetic materials or materials that are commonly found in a natural outdoor environment. Loose parts spark children’s curiosity, which then leads to exploration and discovery. For example, if a child is provided with rope, tarp, and wooden pieces, she will become curious about what the materials are and how to use them. She will then begin to explore the materials in different ways through her imagination and creativity. This leads to discovering that the materials can do many things. This process of curiosity, exploration, and discovery is ultimately what leads to play and learning.

Where Can I Find Loose Parts?

You can find loose parts in many places, and they are often free!

  • Parks, forests, and natural spaces
  • Thrift stores
  • Yard sales
  • Hardware stores
  • Fabric stores
  • Local dairy suppliers
  • Grocery stores
  • Your own recycling bin

Here is a loose parts list that will inspire you to get out there and collect your own:

To support children in loving play again, it is important that we create environments and include materials that are fun, engaging, and challenging. If an environment or an object is too easy, children will view it as boring. To reintroduce adventure and free play to your children, consider using loose parts. When loose parts are paired with the outdoors, it will lift children’s spirits, make them love playing again, and ultimately make them happier and healthier.



Related Topics:

Technology-Free Play Still Available by the São Francisco River*

Childhood Play Decreasing as Childhood Mental Disorders Increases*

The Original Playstation

Children Need the Outdoors Like Earth Needs Rain!

Tribal Parenting – How to Heal Our Children*

Where Kids Learn More Outside Their Classrooms Than in Them*

Child Genius Reveals Secret Geometric Pattern Hidden In the 4 Times Table*

Child Genius Reveals Secret Geometric Pattern Hidden In the 4 Times Table*

By Luke Miller

Seven year old math genius Amir shows us what happens to the 4 times table when you apply a Vedic mathematical principle called sutra digit sums. This is when you take the digits from a given sum and add them together- so in the example of 3×4=12 you would add the 1 and 2 which would give you 3. If you are given a number which is equal to double digits you add the double digit number you are left with after the initial sum until left with a 1 digit number. In the example of 12×4=48 you would add 4 and 8, giving you 12, then you would add the 1 and 2, giving you 3.

When you apply this formula to the 4 times table we are left with a beautiful geometric pattern which has significant symbolic meaning.

The 9 pointed star mentioned in the video is called the Enneagram- taken from Symbol Dictionary

An enneagram is a nine pointed star composed of three overlapping triangles.


Related Topics:

U.S. Students Behind in Math*

A Video Game about the Mathematical Beauty of Islamic Art*

Mathematics – God’s Language for Nature*

Common Core Free 10-year-old Math Genius is in College*

First Woman to Win the World’s Top Mathematics Prize ‘Fields Medal’ is Iranian*

Against the Odds: Girl from Gaza Takes 1st International Math Prize*

Climate of Fear in Vatican is very Real*

Climate of Fear in Vatican is very Real*

By Steve Jalsevac

Our Nov. 16-23 visit to Rome was the most dramatic of many such twice-per-year work trips we have taken there during the past 10 years. After meeting with cardinals, bishops and other Vatican agency and dicastery staff, John-Henry Westen, our new Rome reporter, Jan Bentz, and I saw a consistent pattern of widespread anxiety and very real fear among faithful Church servants. We have never encountered this before.

Many were afraid of being removed from their positions, fired from their jobs in Vatican agencies or of encountering severe public or private reprimands and personal accusations from those around the pope or even from Francis himself. They are also fearful and anxious about the great damage being done to the Church and being helpless to stop it.

Near the end of our visit, one very high-level cleric confirmed our observations. He added,

“One can sense the fear. It is tangible.”

Another, who has always been willing to discuss difficult situations, immediately told us that he would not talk, even off the record, in confidence, about any of the current controversies. We were told not to ask him any questions about these things. By the end of that visit we were able to broach one of the controversies and the important information unknown to him was appreciated.

From left to right, LifeSite Editor-in-Chief/co-founder John-Henry Westen, Rome correspondent Jan Bentz and LifeSite president/co-founder Steve Jalsevac during Nov. 16-23 visit to Rome. St. Peter’s is in background.


The release of the dubia letter by the now known to be six brave cardinals, quietly supported by at least 20 to 30 other cardinals, has clearly sparked a heightened atmosphere of intimidation and fear in the Vatican.

On Nov. 23 LSN journalist Pete Baklinski reported that Bishop Athanasius Schneider said he had “great astonishment” for what he called the “unusually violent and intolerant” nature of the backlash, adding that such reaction runs contrary to the Pope’s call for “dialogue and acceptance of a legitimate plurality of opinions.”

The Francis papacy has created a radically different climate in Rome from that of Pope St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, under whom Rome was a vastly more welcoming place for Catholic Culture of Life warriors such as ourselves.

Another Nov. 23 story reported that Cardinals Burke and Pell were officially removed from the Congregation for Divine Worship and that “the office’s membership was recently gutted, with numerous progressives appointed as replacements.” This has effectively left the strongly orthodox Cardinal Sarah, the congregation’s head, a neutralized, silenced figurehead.

Cardinal Ouellet, head of the Congregation of Bishops, has also been left with little real authority, with progressive, Francis-appointed underlings now having the greater say on who becomes a bishop. The bishops being appointed now are generally tending to be of the most radically liberal views, such as now Cardinals Cupich and Farell and San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy. And of course, Cardinal Pell has been prevented from continuing his greatly needed reforms of Vatican financial institutions and procedures still rife with corruption (that information comes from an impeccable source).

The Academy for Life, originally personally founded by Pope St. John Paul II and the also saintly Dr. Jerome Lejeune, has been drastically changed and Kasperite bishop,  Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, has been chosen by Pope Francis to be the new head.

The original requirement by St. John Paul II and Dr Lejeune that members must sign a declaration that they uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings has been removed, the mandate of the Academy has been changed to a seamless-garment type that will now include a focus on the environment. The life-long memberships of the many distinguished original members of the Academy have been revoked. It is likely no coincidence that this was done considering that a significant number of those original members, dear friends of John Paul II and Dr Lejeune, have been among the severest and more capable lay critics of Pope Francis.

Claire Chretien reported on Nov. 23 that Pope Francis has praised the 1960s German moral theologian Bernard Häring, one of the most prominent dissenters from Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, for his new morality, which the pope said helped “moral theology to flourish.”

Can you imagine the impact of that act by Francis on all those in the Vatican curia and agencies, and on pastors around the world, who were all taught to strongly defend Humanae Vitae by St. Pope John Paul II and Benedict? What will happen to them now, in the current climate of severe intimidation, if they continue what was natural to them for decades in union with the Catholic magisterial teaching on the issue of contraception – teaching going back to the very beginning of the Church?

In his editorial in the upcoming December issue of LifeSite’s Faithful Insight magazine, John-Henry Westen relates more of what we discovered.

“… Catholic universities in Rome are watched and professors’ lectures screened to ensure they fall in line with a liberal interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Clerics are reported to superiors if they are overheard expressing concerns about Pope Francis. Many are afraid to speak openly, even though in the past they were always very willing. Vatican reporters told us they were warned numerous times not to report on the dubia.”

It is as though Catholic Rome has turned into a type of Church police state because of what is seen to be a great threat from the dubia letter to certain agendas.

In a December 13 article on OnePeterFive, Vatican commentator Maike Hickson stated,

“I have heard reports that the Vatican is like an occupied state. Certain sources I’ve spoken with have a fear that communications with Vatican officials are being monitored; some have even reported suspicious anomalies in their telephone conversations in which, after a dropped call, the audio of the last moments of their conversation has played over and over again on a loop, as though they are hearing a recording. Some individuals who work within the Vatican are advising their contacts on the outside not to share sensitive information via email or their Vatican-issued cell phones. [emphasis added]”

Hickson goes on to quote respected Vatican correspondent Ed Pentin’s response to a question in an extensive interview in titled, “Is there a reign of terror in the Vatican?” Pentin responded,

“The Pope’s reaction, of going so far as to question the [four] cardinals’ mental state, has been read as a manifestation of his own anger at having his agenda taken off course. And instead of taking the four cardinals at their word (they have said they are acting primarily out of charity towards the Holy Father, justice and deep pastoral concern), they are seen as adversaries. I understand he has also been working behind the scenes to ensure his agenda is not thwarted. From strategically placed articles in L’Osservatore Romano to equivocations from those who publicly criticized the dubia when asked if the Pope had asked them to do so, Francis has been acting, as one observer put it, like a “behind-the-scenes political lobbyist.” In the three weeks after the dubia were published, the Pope gave three interviews to the world’s media, each of them aimed at legitimizing his position while denigrating his critics.

Lastly, it’s important to point out that simply by matching facts with words coming from the Pope and his allies, it’s clear there is significant lying and deceit taking place, as well as calumnies and the besmirching of reputations of those labeled to be “on the right” just because they are publicly critical of Amoris Laetitia, or merely report on such criticism. It genuinely pains me to say all this, because as a Catholic journalist one doesn’t wish in any way to diminish the Petrine Office, but I feel I have an obligation to report the facts on what is happening. [my emphasis].”

These are strong words from this always top-notch Vatican reporter who is normally soft-spoken and very mild-mannered.

Pope Francis was mostly very sombre during the November consistory


In another LifeSite article, we reported Bishop Athanasius’ assessment of the deterioration of the situation in Rome,

“The reaction to the dubia is a proof of the climate in which we actually live in the Church right now,” Bishop Schneider said.

“We live in a climate of threats and of denial of dialogue towards a specific group.”

Schneider went on to say that “dialogue seems to be accepted only if you think like everyone else – that is practically like a regime.”

Schneider brought up his experience in Russia, where he was born in the time of the Soviet Union. His parents were sent by Stalin to work camps, or “Gulags,” after the Second World War.

“If you didn’t follow the line of the party, or you questioned it, you couldn’t even ask. That is for me a very clear parallel to what is happening now in the reactions to the dubia – questions – of the Cardinals.”

At a small press scrum with Cardinal Cupich at the North American College immediately after the consistory, there was an incident related to my question to Cupich on behalf of LifeSite.

After the newly installed cardinal’s unsatisfactory answers to two questions from Ed Pentin, I was given the nod. While briefly prefacing my question, I was suddenly harshly interrupted by a Vatican press official demanding, “Ask the question!” Considering that the preface was brief, the question was about to be asked and there were only a handful of media persons in the room, the interruption was totally uncalled for.

Small press scrum with Cardinal Cupich after recent consistory. Steve Jalsevac is first person in photo on the right. John-Henry Westen was standing next to him – John-Henry Westen/LifeSite


I immediately asked the question regarding the animosity that respectful questioners of Francis have been enduring and to which the cardinal astonishingly responded by denying any knowledge of such a thing occurring. Then, when John-Henry Westen put up his hand to ask a question, a spontaneous rule was announced by the press official. He refused to allow John-Henry’s question saying that only one question was permitted from each agency.

That sudden ruling caused an uncomfortable stir among the several other media representatives. Four in a row were now also not permitted to ask their questions because of the new rule. When the last one was denied, Cardinal Cupich said,

“Why not, since yours is a friendly question?” And so that softball question was permitted.

The growing hostility to faithful media who dare to simply question with respect the actions or statements of those around Pope Francis or of the pope himself was especially highlighted in a December 7 Reuters report.

Reuters stated, “Using precise psychological terms,” Pope Francis “said scandal-mongering media risked falling prey to coprophilia, or arousal from excrement, and consumers of these media risked coprophagia, or eating excrement.”

So now, if the translation is correct, as most of these usually are, if we dare to see and report what are obviously newsworthy developments that do not reflect well on the pope or his close collaborators, we are “scandal-mongering,” “eating excrement” and being sexually aroused by this excrement of reporting uncomfortable truth.

How can a pope, the Vicar of Christ, make such vile accusations? Whatever happened to, “Who am I to judge?”

This article could go on and on, with many more examples, such as our report that retired Roman Catholic Greek bishop Frangiskos Papamanolis ripped the four cardinals for committing the sins of “apostasy” and “scandal,” saying they receive Holy Communion “sacrilegiously” for raising concerns about the pope’s document. Then there was very liberal Cardinal Cupich’s response that the four holy cardinals are “in need of conversion”.

Every day it seems there is more and worse hostility being orchestrated against any who would dare to respectfully support the faithful dubia cardinals, who would dare to respectfully question statements and actions of Pope Francis, and who would dare to mention the crystal clear teachings of Christ’s moral absolutes, wonderfully and thoroughly expounded by Pope St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio and Veritatis Splendor.

We have to wonder where all of this is going. It is deeply, deeply concerning. The common phrase we kept hearing that week in Rome is that there is a “war” going on in the Church – a war of the “The Spirit of Vatican II” progressives against the orthodox Catholics. One person after another shockingly used that word.

I have never experienced anything like this in my lifetime and I am sure most, if not all regular LifeSite readers, can say the same thing.


Related Topics:

The Vatican Has Paid $4-bn to Settle Child Molestation Lawsuits*

Pope Criminalizes Vatican Leaks of Child Prostitution and Sexual Abuse*

Vatican Speaker Push for Massive Depopulation under New ‘Earth Constitution’ and ‘World Government*

African Bishops against the Vatican Move to Destroy the Family*

The Vatican and One World Government*

The Vatican Bank*

Delivery of Cocaine Seized on the Way to its Destination – The Vatican*

Vatican Calls for a New World Economic Order

The Election Of The New Black Pope, General of The Jesuits*

Pope Francis Faces a Backlash from Cardinals*

Pope Francis signed off a binding “Galactic Agreement”*

Many have Asked this Question about Pope Francis*

This Month the U.N. Launches a Blueprint for NWO with the Help of the Pope*

Pope and the One World Religion?*


California Bill of Rights for Children Claim New Powers over Your Kids*


SB-18 Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California…

This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to expand and codify the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth of California to establish a comprehensive framework that governs the rights of all children and youth in California, outlines the research-based essential needs of California’s children, and establishes standards relating to the health, safety, well-being, early childhood and educational opportunities, and familial supports necessary for all children to succeed.

(1) The right to parents, guardians, or caregivers who act in their best interest.

 (2) The right to form healthy attachments with adults responsible for their care and well-being.

(3) The right to live in a safe and healthy environment.

(4) The right to social and emotional well-being.

(5) The right to opportunities to attain optimal cognitive, physical, and social development.

(6) The right to appropriate, quality education and life skills leading to self-sufficiency in adulthood.

(7) The right to appropriate, quality health care.

U.N. Declaration of Rights of a Child (10 principles)…

Principle 9
The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form. The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age; he shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.

Principle 10
The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.

Comment: Sounds good doesn’t it? So what’s the problem?  Read it again with the mind of the State…

Watch the full broadcast here:


Related Topics:

Obama and GOP Unleash “Community Schools” to Replace Parents*

U.N. Event Shows how Its Sex Agenda Tramples Children’s Rights*

The Real Number of Child Victims Will Shock You*

Satanic Temple Slams New Texas Foetus Burial Rule Opposed by Pro-Choice Groups*

Arizona Child Traffick Racketeering via CPS and Doctors on Trial before U.S. Supreme Court*

Homeschooling Family Sues CPS*

CPS Takes Grandchildren as Grandmother Flees for her Life*

Newborn Baby Seized by Department of Human Resources with No Court Order, No Trial, and No Evidence*

Parents Now Being Thrown in Jail in America for Homeschooling Their Children*

New York Redefines Biological Parental Rights*

School Stops Enforcing Obama’s trans Bathroom Policy after Parents Pulled Kids Out*

Michigan Education Board Secretly Keeping Parents Out of Gender Decisions for Children*


The Lies of Brexit*

The Lies of Brexit*

By Martin Edwards

In recent months the most discussed political issue has been Brexit and our future relationship with the remaining members of the European Union. Most mainstream commentators have missed the growing threat to independent sovereign Nations posed by Global Governance. The power to make many of our laws has long since shifted to organisations operating at the global level.

In her speech “Britain after Brexit: A Vision of a Global Britain“, delivered at the Conservative Party Conference, Theresa May made reference to a Great Repeal Bill which would have two effects. Firstly it would “remove from the statute book – once and for all – the European Communities Act”. Secondly, it would “transpose ‘the acquis’ – that is, the body of existing E.U. law – into British law”. According to May this will mean that “Parliament will be free – subject to international agreements and treaties with other countries and the E.U. on matters such as trade – to amend, repeal and improve any law it chooses”.

The “acquis” to which Theresa May made reference relates to the European Doctrine “Acquis Communautaire“. This means that when a power has been surrendered to a supra-national body, such as the E.U., it can never be recovered by the member state. The effect of transposing all existing E.U. law into UK law via the Great Repeal Bill provides ample evidence of this.

In the four decades that have passed since parliament approved the European Communities Act the Britsh people have been deceived and betrayed by governments and politicians of all political parties. Whenever a piece of legislation has been passed that angers the British public’s sense of fair play and justice our politicians have always deflected criticism by laying the blame on the European Union. During this time-frame international law which originates within the institutions of the United Nations has either been transposed into U.K. law directly by our Westminster Parliament or has entered the U.K. via the undemocratic European Union. International law is framed by those who have never been elected into office by the British electorate and neither can they be removed.

In this article we will briefly examine the international law on public procurement to demonstrate just how hollow Theresa May’s statement that we are going to be a “fully-independent, sovereign country” truly is.

The United Nations and Public Procurement

We have noted that the United Nations General Assembly resolution 66/95 of 9th December 2011 was “expected to contribute significantly to the establishment of a harmonized and modern legal framework for public procurement that promotes economy, efficiency and competition in procurement and, at the same time, fosters integrity, confidence, fairness and transparency in the procurement process”. This U.N. resolution is referenced within the United Nations Commission on Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Public Procurement, published in January 2014. UNICITRAL is the “core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law”. UNCITRAL helpfully provides 69 pages of guidance on how the “enacting States will promulgate procurement regulations to fulfil the objectives and to implement the provisions of the Model  Law”.

The World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) requires that open, fair and transparent conditions of competition be ensured in government procurement. One of the key reasons for the 1994 Global Agreement on Public Procurement was to ensure that “the laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement should not be prepared, adopted or applied to foreign or domestic products and services and to foreign or domestic suppliers so as to afford protection to domestic products or services or domestic suppliers”.

The Agreement on Government Procurement has 19 parties comprising 47 WTO members. Another 28 WTO members participate in the GPA Committee as observers. Of these, 9 members are in the process of acceding to the Agreement. A block of European Nations which included the United Kingdom acceded to the ‘GP Agreement 1994’ on the 1st January 1996.

Obligations Contained Within the E.U. Procurement Directives

At the regional level, the E.U. Commission has dictated that “new rules have changed the way E.U. countries and public authorities spend a large part of the €1.9 trillion paid for public procurement”. Amongst other perceived benefits, the E.U. Commission claims that these new rules will “prevent ‘buy national’ policies and promote the free movement of goods and services”.

Their website reveals that from 18 April 2016, E.U/ countries must have put in place national legislation conforming to three directives.

Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement, replacing Directive 2004/18/EC, for Public Sector Contracts;

Directive 2014/25/EU on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors, replacing Directive 2004/17/EC, for Utilities Contracts; and

Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of concession contracts, which does not directly replace any previous directive.

Contracting authorities and entities to whom these directives apply include all central UK Government Departments and Agencies including both Houses of Parliament, HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Justice and all courts, Ministry of Defence, Department of Health and the Department of Communities and Local Government. A more detailed list may be found within the Annexes to Commission Decision 2008/963/EC.

The E.U. Commission also claim that these new rules ensure that the award of contracts of higher value for the provision of public goods and services must be fair, equitable, transparent and non-discriminatory. We now know that this reflects the language used in UN General Assembly resolution 66/95 of 2011.

The Lisbon Treaty, which was signed by member states on 13 December 2007 and came into force on the 1st December 2009, gave the European Union the legal personality to enter into international agreements on behalf of it member states. The European Union, with regard to its 28 member states, including the United Kingdom, acceded to the GP Agreement on 6 Apr 2014. The main provisions of this WTO agreement appear to have been cascaded down to all E.U. member states in the form of the E.U. Directives we have already briefly examined above.

Transposing Procurement Rules into U.K. Law

According to this document, published by the Cabinet Office, there has been “a long running period of continuous U.K. stakeholder engagement on the new E.U. Public Sector Directive, which started in 2011 when the European Commission’s own consultations began”.

A short Consultation on the Draft U.K. Public Procurement Regulation was published by the Government on the 19th September 2014 and closed on 17 October 2014. A link to this final consultation “was issued directly to a number of known stakeholders and was also made available publicly on the GOV.UK website”. Unsurprisingly, it received just 200 responses. We believe that the process of transposing the E.U. Directives into U.K. law resulted in a ‘copy-out approach‘ being employed in the absence of ‘gold-plating‘. We have also noted that many respondents to the final consultation remarked that that there was “helpful alignment between E.U. Directive article number and regulation number” – in other words it was a simple ‘copy and paste’ job.

The E.U. Procurement Directives became transposed into U.K. Law by the Minister for the Cabinet Office making Statutory Instruments (Regulations) under delegated powers found within section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972. The procedure for making Statutory Instruments often means that they become law without either a debate or a vote in Parliament.

The relevant Regulations are the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 which come into force between 26th February 2015 and 18th October 2018. The Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 came into force on 18th April 2016. We understand that certain exemptions might apply to buyers working within the defence and security sector, where requirements may be covered by the earlier Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations (DSPCR) 2011.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office at the time of the making of the Public Contracts Regulations was Francis Maude. The 2016 Regulations were made when Matthew Hancock was Minister.

The policies and regulations governing public sector procurement are many and we have now seen how they have been shaped and influenced at the International and regional levels. An idea of their complexity and the depth and breadth of their reach can be discovered here.

The fact that this raft of U.K. Procurement Regulations came into effect so close to the enactment of the European Union Referendum Act 2015 defies belief.

The Practical Effect of Procurement Rules Within the U.K.

Examples of the impact of these Global Procurement Rules are not difficult to find.

The Conservatives faced heavy criticism in 2011 after German manufacturing giant Siemens secured a £1.6billion contract to provide new train carriages for the Thameslink route. The Munich-based company fought off competition from Bombardier, which operates the U.K.’s last remaining train factory in Derby. In order to deflect criticism of itself the Government website states that “the competition to supply trains and maintenance services for the Thameslink programme was designed and launched under the previous administration in 2008, in accordance with E.U. procurement procedures”.

In 2012 a £452m contract to build four new fuel tankers to supply the Royal Navy was awarded to a firm in South Korea. The MoD’s procurement chief Bernard Gray is reported to have said, “the competition for the contract sought to engage shipbuilders from across the globe …”.

In 2013 it was revealed that the Government had been planning to outsource to the private sector the responsibility for buying £14bn of equipment each year. The plan, heavily criticised in a report by the Royal United Services Institute, had been to establish a government owned contractor operated group (GOCO) and outsource more than 40% of the MOD budget. Of the groups bidding for the right to run the MOD’s defence equipment and support (DE&S) one consisted of the US engineering firm CH2M Hill, WS Atkins, and Serco. The other group comprised the US engineers Bechtel, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and PA Consulting. By December 2013 it was announced that plans to privatise defence procurement were to be ‘scrapped’.

In January 2014 we learned a the farcical story of the MOD buying back HMS Ark Royal parts so that HMS Illustrious, which had been damaged by a fire, could be repaired. Britain had decommissioned and sold the ageing Ark Royal for £2.9 million to Turkey. 14 other Navy vessels, including aircraft carrier Invincible, have been scrapped by Turkish shipyard Leyal Gemi Sokum since 2008.

In 2015, at the time of the NATO summit in Newport South Wales, David Cameron made headlines by announcing a £3.5 bn order for specialist scout vehicles for the army. It was later learned that 40% of the work was to be completed by overseas firms – £1.4 bn of contracts were therefore lost to British owned firms. That same report mentioned that “£75million of army uniform production was outsourced to India, China and Eastern Europe”.

South Wales based firm, Swansea Dry Dock Ltd, was fighting last year to win a contract to re-cycle the unwanted type 42 destroyers HMS Edinburgh, HMS Gloucester and HMS York. When SDC pointed out to the MoD that it could not compete with the lower labour costs and less onerous environmental regulations in non-EU countries the MoD replied that it was bound by the principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and “could not discriminate on grounds of nationality and must treat all competitors equally”.

On 30th June 2016 John Speller MP asked the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he “will take steps to ensure that his Department’s purchasing policies support British (a) industry and (b) agriculture”. The written response was that “the Government is committed to doing all it can to ensure UK suppliers can compete effectively for public sector contracts in line with our current international obligations … We are providing industry with visibility of up to £191bn of potential procurement opportunities across 19 sectors”. Omitted in the Minister’s answer is the requirement that the international obligations prevent “buy national” purchasing policies.

In the past decade we have also seen privatisation of segments of the Prison Service involving global corporations such as SERCO and CAPITA. It would be difficult to dispute the fact that these International Public Procurement rules have led to the situation were the public no longer know who really runs the public sector.

Following the E.U. Referendum vote it is difficult to see how these International Public Procurement rules can be ignored by future British Parliaments wishing to develop “buy national” public procurement policies and promising to provide “British jobs for British workers”. International Public Procurement rules lay bare the lies of Brexit, and it is clear that the greatest threat to the United Kingdom regaining its place as a fully independent, sovereign Nation is the ongoing rise of Global Governance.


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Global Power and the History of Trusts

The United States of Europe!

Financing the New World Order*

The Secretive Bank of England — Controlling the World’s Money Supply*

U.K. Taxpayers Subsidising World’s Largest Oil Companies to Exploit Its Own Natural Resources*

British Gov’t Silent on Secret E.U. Meetings with Lobbyists*

E.U. Passed Tax ID Numbers for Everyone*

War Criminal Blair to Eradicate European Culture to Create a United States of Europe*

U.K. Placing Justice Beyond Reach*

Multiple Paths to One World Government*

European Arrest Warrant Above Sovereignty*


One Man’s Quest to Save the Forests of Tanzania*

One Man’s Quest to Save the Forests of Tanzania*

Tumaini Matinda sacrifices his personal time, money, and energy to patrol the forests in northern Tanzania for illegal loggers and poachers.

By Sophie Tremblay, Willy Lowry

Tumaini Matinda searches for evidence at an illegal logging camp in the Simanjiro district. He discovered the camp during one of his self-funded patrols. (Photo: Willy Lowry)


Tumaini Matinda dropped to one knee and fixed his intense gaze on a watermelon rind in the middle of the narrow path. Deep in the Tanzanian bush, the green rind stood out against the bright red earth.

“This shouldn’t be here,” he said.

The 37 year-old safari guide and self-assigned warden of the forest sprinted into the thick growth to look for the human source of the discarded rind: poachers.

Tall and lanky, Matinda — who is a respected community leader and part of the African Maasai tribe — moved effortlessly through the trees. Three other young Maasai men followed close behind, all armed with machetes and a fierce desire to protect the forest.

This is one of dozens of patrols that Matinda has organized in the forests of Simanjiro District located on the Maasai Steppe in northern Tanzania. It is one of many corners of the world where the grip of illegal logging and exploitation of forest resources has tightened in recent years.

Loggers build makeshift camps from wood, rope, and tarpaulin deep in the bush. Loggers will stay for days and sometimes weeks at a time and clear areas of forest for timber and charcoal production. (Photo: Willy Lowry)


According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s 2015 Global Forests Resources Assessment, Tanzania experienced the fifth-highest rate of deforestation in the world between 2010 and 2015. That’s about 372,000 hectares of net forest loss every year. Though a slight decrease over the previous two decades, it is still rampant.

According to Matinda, during the last three years swarms of men have overrun the bush near his home village of Namalulu and set up camps deep in the wilderness.

They spend weeks at a time clearing the primary acacia forest, keeping the big logs and turning the rest into charcoal. At night, area villagers say they often see large trucks rumble in and out of the woods, carrying out the loads to sell in the city.

The men Matinda is chasing, and others like them, are rarely brought to justice for exploiting the forest and its wood and animal resources. Much of that is due to legal loopholes, lack of enforcement, and still-developing management policies and conservation efforts that have varying degrees of effectiveness.

“The major problem being faced by the authorities in the district is deforestation as people flock from as far as Arusha and other parts of Manyara to fetch wood for charcoal making purposes,” a wildlife officer told local media in 2014. Government forestry officials did not respond to request for comment on the issue.

An Unsustainable Habit

Simanjiro is not the only district grappling with illegal logging. According to a 2015 study led by Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the amount of actual forest land is larger than previous estimates. But the rate at which it is being harvested is not sustainable and made worse by the country’s rapidly growing population.

A pile of recently cut timber discovered by Tumaini Matinda during a patrol. At night, trucks coming from the city will carry out the logs as part of Tanzania’s rampant trade in illegal timber wood. (Photo: Sophie Tremblay)


The study suggests that Tanzania’s consumption of wood exceeds its supply, which creates an annual 19.5 million cubic metres of “wood deficit.” The deficit is created by overharvesting and illegal logging in forests, like the ones Matinda and his crews patrol.

According to the survey, over 90% of Tanzanians rely on wood for home fuel use because of its affordability and availability. Demand for timber in Asia and the Middle East has also contributed to the problem.

Regionally, deforestation problems are so widespread that, in late 2015, five countries — Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, and Mozambique — signed the Zanzibar Declaration to combat illegal logging. At the time, the World Wildlife Fund noted in a statement that, in East Africa, “illegal trade in timber is expanding at an alarming rate.”

Local Impact

Matinda first noticed the area deforestation when he wanted to start a community beehive project around his village.

“I was looking for some places where I could set up some hives, so I went in the forest around my village and I found that the forest was being cut down and there were a lot of camps in the bush,” Matinda explained.

“I found out that those were poaching camps — both for tree and animal poachers.”

Matinda approached the Namalulu village chairman about the issue. He said the chairman, who could not be reached for comment, told him some influential village members were profiting from the illegal timber trade.

Faced with the reality of the situation, Matinda decided to take matters into his own hands.

“I told myself: ‘I can use my safari car and my skills as a guide to do some patrols around our forest.’” He asked some of his Maasai brethren to accompany him.

But while Matinda has permission to conduct patrols, he struggles with the fact that he has no authority to prosecute the people he catches.

“When I catch people, all I can do is confront them and threaten to take them to the police,” Matinda said.

“I try to take their equipment, like machetes and cell phones to the village office. But I need more support.”

If he wants police officers to join him on his patrols, he has to pay for their gas, food, and time.

Matinda also decided to run for a position in the village government, and got elected in 2015 so he could be involved in the village’s decision-making process, including the way their forests are used and protected.

However, according to Matinda, disputes over recent local election results have left Namalulu without a village council since February 2016 — leaving Matinda and the village chairman sympathetic to his work in limbo as a court reviews the results.

Tumaini Matinda and a group of young Maasai warriors from Namalulu follow one of the loggers they caught during a raid on an illegal poaching camp. The logger is showing them the way to a nearby charcoal pit. (Photo: Willy Lowry)


In the meantime, poachers continue to take everything from timber to animals.

“We don’t want the forest to disappear,” Matinda said.

“Our fathers protected it, but now our generation is destroying it. If nothing is done the forest will become a story we tell our children.”

Disappearing Wildlife

When Matinda started patrolling the area around Namalulu he noticed a marked decline in wildlife compared to when he was a child, and ascertained that the animals had gone into hiding deep in the forest.

“They don’t come near because they know a lot of people are around here, cutting trees and disturbing them, so they stay farther away,” he said.

The money to fund the patrols comes from Matinda’s pocket. He dips into the savings he makes as a safari guide to buy fuel and food for him and his patrol group. He estimates he has spent a few thousand dollars so far on the work.

Elephant bones near a watering hole in Simanjiro district. Since the tusks were removed from the skull, Tumaini Matinda believes the elephant was poached for its ivory. Matinda said illegal activities such as poaching and logging is contributing to a decline in wildlife in the area. (Photo: Willy Lowry)


He’s also committed to spend as much time as he can to try and protect the forests around Namalulu. He often spends days at a time on patrols, leaving behind his wife and young son, who live five hours away in Arusha, where he currently lives. “I just sleep in the car sometimes several nights in a row trying to find the poachers,” he said.

Matinda’s father-in-law Gideon Soombe, a retired pastor and conservationist, said that, while his family sometimes worries about Matinda while he’s on patrol, they are proud of what he’s doing.

“[His] work is very important, because we are running out of time to save the forest,” Soombe laments.

“There are some species that have already gone extinct here, like the rhino. When I was young, there were so many rhino here, but this generation has never even seen a rhino. Only in pictures.”

Helping Hands

A lack of investment, development, and opportunity could be at the heart of problems in the Simanjiro District. Matinda certainly believes they are to blame for the increase in illegal activities like logging and poaching.

“When we catch those people, they tell us they don’t have jobs,” he said.

“They see it’s a big forest here, so it’s easy for them to just cut trees and do poaching.”

Matinda believes many people would stop if given an alternative. Over the last two years, Matinda has built a network of informants and reformed a few loggers and poachers who he pays to help him find the clandestine camps.

Elias (last name withheld) used to act as a transporter for bush meat poachers around Namalulu, but changed his ways when he was approached by Matinda for help.

Tumaini Matinda and a reformed poacher, Elias, patrol the forests of Simanjiro and look for illegal logging and poaching camps. Their goal is to catch people doing illegal activities and confiscate their equipment. (Photo: Willy Lowry)


“I know all the people doing poaching and logging,” Elias said.

“We don’t like to go to the forest [to do poaching and logging], but we are jobless. What is really important is an alternative way of life so that we stop doing these wrong things.”

With Elias’ help, Matinda has been able to locate and disband dozens of poaching camps and pushed out at least 50 individuals from the forests.

“When people hear that I’m in town, no one is going to the forest because they are scared,” said Matinda with a big smile.

But their job is far from over and Matinda often worries about being able to continue his patrols.

The odometer on his battered 1995 Land Cruiser is ticking toward one million kilometres — over 620,000 miles — and is in constant need of expensive repairs.

“I need a new car, because the [terrain] we are passing through is really horrible,” Matinda said.

“I think those [poachers] pray that my car breaks down.”

He said his goal is to find funds to make the patrols permanent and he hopes to set up a system that will function even when he is on safari with tourists.

“I grew up with animals and the forest and I want my children to also grow up with the same experience.”


Related Topics:

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Exxon Mobil-Norwegian Tanzanian Gas Deal Stopped in their Tracks!?*

Tanzanian Maasai Villagers Win Fight for Information about Land-Grabs and Forced Eviction*

Tanzanian Conservationists Rejects Uranium Mining Approvals*

E.U. Bullies its Way through an Reciprocal Trade Access in Africa*

All-Female Militia who Hunt African Rhino Poachers*

The Man Who Single-Handedly Planted a Tropical Forest Larger Than Central Park*

Rwanda Wins Award for Forest Reclamation

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Artist Melts 1,527 Guns and Turns Them into Shovels for Planting Trees*

Abortion Survivor to Congress – ‘I was Born Alive after Being Burned in My Mother’s Womb’*

Abortion Survivor to Congress – ‘I was Born Alive after Being Burned in My Mother’s Womb’*

An abortion survivor urged Americans to “wake up” to the reality that some babies born alive after an attempted abortion are left to die, the survivor testified at a hearing on Capitol Hill last week.

“Many Americans have no idea that babies can even live through abortions and are often left to die, but this does happen,” Gianna Jessen, 39, said at the hearing.

“I know this, because I was born alive in an abortion clinic after being burned in my mother’s womb for 18 hours.”

Jessen, who has cerebral palsy due to her attempted abortion, added at a House Judiciary Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee hearing on Sept. 23:

“My medical records clearly state the following: Born during saline abortion … Apart from Jesus himself, the only reason I am alive is the fact that the abortionist had not yet arrived at work that morning. Had he been there, he would have ended my life by strangulation, suffocation, or simply leaving me there to die”.

“Often when I’m in the midst of abortion advocates, they never can answer this one question and it is this: If abortion is merely about women’s rights, then what were mine?” Jessen said.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, making it illegal to kill any babies born alive.

“Unfortunately, incidents involving born-alive children being killed after an attempted abortion have continued after this law [was passed] and into the present,” Arina Grossu, director for the Center of Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, testified at the hearing. Grossu’s written testimony says:

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell operated his dirty and dangerous Philadelphia abortion business and committed horrendous crimes in Philadelphia for over three decades. … His heinous and murderous practices of snipping the spines of born-alive children were only discovered by accident when federal and state authorities raided his facility in 2010, not because he was illegally killing born-alive infants, but because of his illegal prescription drug activity.

Grossu says Gosnell is “not an outlier.”

“Not one person to date has been charged or convicted under the current federal [Born-Alive Infants Protection Act] law,” Grossu testified.

The House passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., in September 2015. An identical bill in the Senate, introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

“The abortion industry has laboured for all of these decades to convince the world that unborn children and born children should be completely separated in our minds, that while born children are persons worthy of protection, unborn children are not persons and are not worthy of protection,” Franks, chairman of the subcommittee, said at the hearing.

Franks’ legislation would protect the rights of infants born alive after an abortion and leave criminal consequences for health care professionals who violate the law. The legislation would also require proper medical care be given by the health care practitioner present when an infant is born alive.

The legislation “explicitly requires health care practitioners to treat born-alive abortion survivors with the same care they would treat any other born-alive baby and admit such babies immediately to a hospital.” The law would also hold abortionists accountable for killing born-alive infants, Grossu testified.

President Barack Obama’s administration “strongly opposes” the passage of this bill, according to a statement from September 2015.

“The White House has promised that it would veto the born-alive legislation, citing it would have a ‘chilling’ effect,” Grossu testified.

“I cannot think of a more chilling effect than continuing to let U.S. abortionists commit infanticide.”

Grossu urged support for the legislation to stop infanticide, or intentionally killing an infant child, in the United States.

The Hyde Amendment, also under examination at the hearing, prohibits the use of certain taxpayer dollars in abortion cases, except in rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life.

“Today we will hear testimony on existing statutory language prohibiting taxpayer funding from paying for the taking of the lives of preborn children through abortion,” Franks said.

“There is concern that the Obama administration or a potential Clinton administration may intend to reinterpret the plain and longstanding meaning of the Hyde Amendment.”

The Hyde Amendment, an appropriations policy rider that has been passed each year since 1976, has its 40th anniversary this week.

“As a black woman, I am outraged that the morally bankrupt Hyde Amendment has been permitted to persist for so long,” Kierra Johnson, executive director of Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, testified.

“It is a source of pain for many women and should be a source of shame for those who support it.”

“The Hyde Amendment prevents women from even being able to make a decision about their health care,” Johnson said.

While Genevieve Plaster, a senior policy analyst at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life non-profit organization, testified that the Hyde Amendment has saved over 2 million lives since 1976, or approximately 60,000 lives per year.

“America was founded on the concept that our rights come from God,” Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said at the hearing.

When our rights come from God, how would it be possible that those rights would confer a right to kill a baby?”


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U.N. – NWO’s Ordered Allow Homosexuality and Abortion or Forget Aid*

WHO Tells Governments they must Provide Abortion and Sex Change*

Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Foetus’*

Top Scientists Tell Russia Foetus is Human. Ban Abortion.*

US Senate to Maintain Funding for Overseas Abortion, Population Reduction*

Aborted Baby’s Heart was Beating as the Brain was Harvested*

Legislation Passes to Protect Babies Who Survive Abortion *

First Abortion in Colombia as a Result of Zika*

U.N. Rules That Abortion is a Human Right*

Poland Debates Banning Abortion After Live Baby Cries Itself to Death*

African Woman Schools U.N. Delegate on Why Pushing Abortion is ‘neo-colonialism’*

‘This baby won’t stop breathing!’: Abortionist Strangled Baby Born Alive While Nurses Stood and Watched*

Mississippi Signs Ban on Abortions that Rip Babies ‘limb from limb’*

Obama Just Protected Planned Parenthood Funding Permanently*