Voyage to California – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

These reports are vivid reminders of the bravery and resourcefulness possessed by these early travellers. What a joy it must have been to hear their stories at first hand.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.


The wind blew hard last night and today, while we were on the ocean.  Of course the sea was rough, and, of course, I was again seasick.  We entered the Golden Gate in the afternoon and anchored off San Francisco about 5 o’clock.  The bay and part of the city is crowded with shipping, and the city almost hidden by the forest of masts.  A majority of the passengers succeeded in getting ashore this evening, but owing to the delay, on account of the customhouse officer, several of us remained on board all…

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Unconditional Advocacy

I applaud your bravery and commend your honesty. I have always tried to speak up for those unable to do so for themselves – it is necessary, but not easy and one becomes the target of a lot of mud and arrows. Now in my eighties, I am less vociferous, but I still use my pen to useful effect if and when necessary.


It’s the day before the end of week 5 of this contractand a nearly 12 day stretch. This hospital has revealed more disturbing things to me in this last stretch than I’ve seen in years.

I hate conflict. A lot. I’ve learned many things over the span of my 33 years of nursing. I’ve learned to choose my battles wisely. I’ve learned to discern the difference between being upset because people are rude from being upset because people are just plain unsafe. I don’t run willy nilly to managers with every complaint under the sun because every complaint under the sun isn’t necessarily helpful.

So when I went to the managers this week, I went with a heavy heart, holding my breath at how they might receive what I had to say. But I had to! I am an advocate for the patients I meet. If I don’t stand…

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Greater Manchester Police force [and who else?] reveals its pact with the DWP that treats disabled people as ‘enemies of the state’ 16 Feb. 2019 + archive

These disclosures are horrific and too reminiscent of the extremes embarked upon by the Nazis in their ‘Final Solution’, which included the systematic extermination of all who did not fit into their classification and categorisation of what constituted human perfection.


Police force reveals its pact with the DWP that treats disabled people as ‘enemies of the state’


Tracy Keeling



Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has admitted having a pact with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), according to Disability News Service (DNS). This “sharing agreement” sees the force hand over details on protestors to the government department.

Disabled activists are calling for a public inquiry into the scandal. Because, although GMP isn’t the first force to confirm such collaboration, it is the one which polices the Conservative Party conference.

The pact

In December 2018, Lancashire Police confirmed it “had passed on information” about disabled protestors to the DWP. The disclosure followed the release of a video by the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol). It revealed police were sharing footage of disabled anti-fracking protesters with the department.


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Government To Extend Legal Aid For Parents Challenging Adoption Orders

.The same holds true today as it did a hundred years ago: “He who goes to law,takes a wolf by the tail.”

In any legal action, the only winners are the legal eagles; the barristers and the judiciary.

Honest men and women become canon-fodder; victims of the legal system and just another batch of statistics.

I have become more sceptical with age and realised a long time ago that the battle against the Establishment is an impossibility, but while young and vigorous, it’s a very worthwhile game to play even if one emerges at the end like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

I’ve played my games and enjoyed pitting my wits against some of the jumped-up twats in power, but now life has to be a little more circumspect, although my pen is always ready for action.

Researching Reform

The government has promised to extend legal aid support to anyone with parental responsibility for a child who wants to challenge applications for placement or adoption orders.

The government will also extend eligibility for non‑means tested legal aid for parents or anyone with parental responsibility who would like to oppose applications for placement orders or adoption orders in public family law proceedings. The Ministry of Justice will bring these policies in line with care and other orders classified under “Special Children Act 1989 cases”. Special Children Act cases include care orders, supervision orders, child assessment orders and emergency protection orders.

The Ministry of Justice will also bring forward proposals to provide a less draconian merits test, which will be equivalent to the merits test currently applicable in “Special Children Act 1989 cases”.

At the same time, the government has promised to increase the scope of legal aid to include…

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Voyage to California (31) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

The attention to the minutest detail, makes these entries irresistible.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.


There was a heavy fog during the night and the vessel was stopped for a time, for fear of getting aground on some of the numerous islands or rocky shoals in the vicinity.  The weather to day is cloudy, cold and disagreeable.  We have been sailing near the coast to day.  Some of the mountains, inland, appear to be covered with heavy timber; the hills near the shore with grass or wild oats.  There is a very perceptible improvement in our fare to day.  Distance from San Francisco, noon, 195 mi., Distance sailed…

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The Japanese and German Alliance / What once was….

A great history lesson made very readable by an astute amateur historian who always manages to unearth a worthwhile snippet missed by everyone else. Thank you for sharing.

Pacific Paratrooper

L:Japanese ambassador Kintomo Mushakoji and foreign minister of Nazi Germany Joachim von Ribbentrop sign the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936.R: Matsuoka with Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel (centre) and ambassador Heinrich Georg Stahmer (right) at a reception in the Japanese embassy in Berlin on 29 March 1941

Alliances during a war can change the outcome, but the alliance between Japan and Germany is one that baffles many people. Most people can understand why Japan went to war with America, but why did the Imperial nation join forces with Nazi Germany? To understand the Tripartite Pact which created the Axis Powers, a look further back in history is needed.

Both Germany and Imperial Japan arrived on the international stage in the mid-1800s. Japan was forced out of isolation and started rapid westernization in 1854. Germany had been a number of city-states before Prussia won the Franco-Prussian war and united all of them in 1871.

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Maurice Kirk – the outrageous targeting continues – 08 Feb. 2019 + archive

Morbid Petty Mindedness seems inherent in the Welsh legal psyche. Perhaps Merlin can be persuaded to awaken from his slumbers administer a sharp dose of poetic justice to those who appear to be indulging in more corruption.

I know from the personal experiences of two old and dear friends, that once stigmatised by police and the judiciary in Wales, it is impossible to get one’s life back on track. They too have felt hounded and harried in Wales.


My new probation officer is told by my last summer one in Parc Prison, I visited yesterday, that it is he to explain to me, how is it I am detained in a Welsh MAPPA hostel in Cardiff, of all places, when I was due to be released to live in England privately shortly after 1st Aug 18!

Recently disclosed false secret MAPPA data on me, may well be the reason for a further 8 months in custody, such as I am both a child and fire-arms offender, both a cannibis smoker and cultivator of the illegal plant, I have a 1980 ABH conviction and landed my WWII cub on President Bush’s front lawn! The ridiculous list has over 100 falsehoods.

This may account for why no bail was allowed for 8 months in the 2009 South Wales…

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