United Nations' threat: No more parental rights
Expert: Pact would ban spankings, homeschooling if children object
A United Nations human rights treaty that could prohibit children from being spanked or homeschooled, ban youngsters from facing the death penalty and forbid parents from deciding their families' religion is on America's doorstep, a legal expert warns. Michael Farris of Purcellville, Va., is president of ParentalRights.org, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association and chancellor of Patrick Henry College. He told WND that under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, every decision a parent makes can be reviewed by the government to determine whether it is in the child's best interest. "It's definitely on our doorstep," he said. "The left wants to make the Obama-Clinton era permanent. Treaties are a way to make it as permanent as stuff gets. It is very difficult to extract yourself from a treaty once you begin it. If they can put all of their left-wing socialist policies into treaty form, we're stuck with it even if they lose the next election."
The 1990s-era document was ratified quickly by 193 nations worldwide, but not the United States or Somalia. In Somalia, there was then no recognized government to do the formal recognition, and in the United States there's been opposition to its power. Countries that ratify the treaty are bound to it by international law. Although signed by Madeleine Albright, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., on Feb. 16, 1995, the U.S. Senate never ratified the treaty, largely because of conservatives' efforts to point out it would create that list of rights which primarily would be enforced against parents.
The international treaty creates specific civil, economic, social, cultural and even economic rights for every child and states that "the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration." While the treaty states that parents or legal guardians "have primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child," Farris said government will ultimately determine whether parents' decisions are in their children's best interest. The treaty is monitored by the CRC, which conceivably has enforcement powers. According to the Parental Rights website, the substance of the CRC dictates the following:
* Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.
* A murderer aged 17 years, 11 months and 29 days at the time of his crime could no longer be sentenced to life in prison.
* Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.
* The best interest of the child principle would give the government the ability to override every decision made by every parent if a government worker disagreed with the parent's decision.
* A child's "right to be heard" would allow him (or her) to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.
* According to existing interpretation, it would be illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children's welfare.
* Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.
* Teaching children about Christianity in schools has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
* Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
* Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent.
"Where the child has a right fulfilled by the government, the responsibilities shift from parents to the government," Farris said. "The implications of all this shifting of responsibilities is that parents no longer have the traditional roles of either being responsible for their children or having the right to direct their children."
The government would decide what is in the best interest of a children in every case, and the CRC would be considered superior to state laws, Farris said. Parents could be treated like criminals for making every-day decisions about their children's lives. "If you think your child shouldn't go to the prom because their grades were low, the U.N. Convention gives that power to the government to review your decision and decide if it thinks that's what's best for your child," he said. "If you think that your children are too young to have a Facebook account, which interferes with the right of communication, the U.N. gets to determine whether or not your decision is in the best interest of the child."
He continued, "If you think your child should go to church three times a week, but the child wants to go to church once a week, the government gets to decide what it thinks is in the best interest of the children on the frequency of church attendance." He said American social workers would be the ones responsible for implementation of the policies.
Farris said it could be easier for President Obama to push for ratification of the treaty than it was for the Clinton administration because "the political world has changed." At a Walden University presidential debate last October, Obama indicated he may take action. "It's embarrassing to find ourselves in the company of Somalia, a lawless land," Obama said. "I will review this and other treaties to ensure the United States resumes its global leadership in human rights."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a strong supporter of the CRC, and she now has direct control over the treaty's submission to the Senate for ratification. The process requires a two-thirds vote. Farris said Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., claimed in a private meeting just before Christmas that the treaty would be ratified within two years.
In November, a group of three dozen senior foreign policy figures urged Obama to strengthen U.S. relations with the U.N. Among other things, they asked the president to push for Senate approval of treaties that have been signed by the U.S. but not ratified. Partnership for a Secure America Director Matthew Rojansky helped draft the statement. He said the treaty commands strong support and is likely to be acted on quickly, according to an Inter Press Service report.
While he said ratification is certain to come up, Farris said advocates of the treaty will face fierce opposition. "I think it is going to be the battle of their lifetime," he said. "There's not enough political capital in Washington, D.C., to pass this treaty. We will defeat it."
Root of nation's economic crisis is moral crisis
A travesty of justice has occurred in Oakland, California. But realities surrounding this local issue point to how the economic crisis in our nation is symptomatic of and flows from a deeper fundamental moral crisis.
A black pastor awaits sentencing, which could amount to two years in prison and $4,000 in fines, for standing outside an inner city abortion clinic holding a sign saying "Jesus Loves You & Your Baby, Let Us Help You," and offering pro-life literature. Walter Hoye, founder and chairman of the Issues4Life Foundation, was found guilty of "unlawful approach" under the "Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities Ordinance" enacted in Oakland in 2008. Under the ordinance, it is prohibited, within 100 feet of the entrance to a "reproductive health facility," to approach within eight feet of a client "for the purpose of counseling, harassing, or interfering" with that person. "Harassing" means holding up a sign, passing out literature or offering counseling.
The "reproductive health care facility" in question is Family Planning Specialists in Oakland. Looking over their Web site, it's clear that there is only one kind of reproductive health care they provide. Abortions. According to testimony of the facility's executive director, they perform about one hundred abortions per week. Assuming an average of $600 per abortion (from the fee schedule on the website), that's about $3 million a year in revenue. Not bad for an inner city neighborhood business.
Pastor Hoye's conviction is strange in that no "victim" testified against him -- there was only testimony from those with an interest in the clinic -- employees and volunteers, no specific incident was cited, videotape showed Hoye standing peacefully holding his sign and materials, and the convicting jury was given no instructions regarding the definition of "approach." Nevertheless, Hoye has been convicted and may wind up in jail and liable for thousands of dollars in fines.
But beyond the troubling details of this trial and conviction, circumstances surrounding the case convey the realities of our deeply confused and lost nation. Abortion clinics such as Family Planning Specialists strategically locate to optimize their deadly business. This means in poor black neighborhoods.
Perverted British justice again
Father-of-three jailed after confronting drug dealer who sold heroin to his family
Father-of-three Peter Drummond was so angry when he discovered someone had sold heroin to his family that he took matters into his own hands. He confronted John Nellies in his home and flushed five of the drug dealer's bags of heroin down the toilet. But yesterday it was Drummond - not Nellies - who found himself being jailed in court. The 26-year-old shook his head in disbelief as he was ordered to serve two months for breaching the peace by barging into Nellies's home and threatening him.
The court heard that Drummond had reached the end of his tether after watching his family 'torn apart' by heroin. When he learned on Sunday that his brother-in-law had visited Nellies to buy heroin, he went there later that day to take action.
Perth Sheriff Court heard that while he was in Nellies's flat a drug addict arrived to buy heroin and reported Drummond to the police who arrested him shortly after. Drummond admitted a breach of peace, telling police: 'It was a spur-of-the-moment thing.' He added: 'I shouldn't have done it but these people are ruining my family by supplying heroin. 'It is causing a family crisis and everyone is going through hell. Things have been so bad that I lost it and decided to try to stop the drug dealing going on. 'I know I have done wrong. I'm sorry. I know I went about things the wrong way, but things just got on top of me.'
Last night Drummond's younger brother Mark, 22, said he was astonished by the sentence. 'I can't believe that he has been jailed for this,' he said. 'He's not the criminal here. Peter is a real family man. He loves his wife and kids and would do anything to help out his sister and brother-in-law.'
Steve Lafferty, defending, asked for his client's punishment to be limited to a fine due to the case's 'quite unusual' circumstances. He said Drummond had no other criminal charges against him and had acted out of desperation.
But Sheriff McCreadie told the defendant: 'If you were concerned about matters you should contact the police, not enter a house and threaten to kill someone. 'You can't take matters into your own hands the way you did.'
His wife Elizabeth, 27, speaking at their flat in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, said Drummond had previously tried to reason with the dealers. She said: 'He asked the boys, pleaded and begged them to stop dealing to his sister and brother-in-law. But they just carried on doing it. Peter was sure the police would not do anything about it if he told them about the dealers. He doesn't like to see his family being hurt so it was the last straw for him and he took matters into his own hands. 'I can't believe it. Peter has had a really tough time of it lately. We lost a baby in December.'
Outside court, family friend Thomas Brown said: 'Jailing him for what he did is ridiculous. It is a ludicrous decision and even the lawyer was shaking his head. 'Heroin is killing the community and I know for a fact that it has been tearing Peter's family apart.' It remained unclear last night whether police were taking any action against Nellies.
But people who really do harm in Britain are let off lightly
Family's fury as Portuguese heavy vehicle driver who wiped out couple and four children is jailed... but he will be free in 14 months
The justice system has been condemned as a circus after relatives of a family killed in a road crash by a foreign lorry driver were told he will be free in a year. David Statham, 38, his wife Michelle, 33, their three sons, Reece, 13, Jay, nine, Mason, 20 months and ten-week-old baby daughter Ellouise died when the HGV smashed into the back of their car on the M6.
Portuguese-born Paulo da Silva, 46, was arrested at the scene and charged with six counts of causing death by dangerous driving. The judge called the crash 'one of the most serious offences of its kind'. But da Silva was convicted of the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving and sentenced to just three years - although the maximum term is five years. As he has spent time on remand and must serve only half his sentence under parole laws, da Silva will walk free in a year.
Relatives of the victims and road safety campaigners condemned the sentence. Mrs Statham's father Peter Hagans, 56, said: 'From the night of the accident when Mr da Silva butchered our family it was not possible for us to get justice in a British court. In our opinion what we sat through this week was no more than a circus.'
Road safety charity Brake said: 'For the judge to say that this was one of the most serious offences of its kind begs the question of why the sentence given was not nearer the maximum, especially when multiple deaths have occurred, which must, at the very least, act as an aggravating factor when taking sentences into account.' Michelle Owen, of Speed Kills, said: 'This is a total disgrace. The family have every right to be angry. 'What is the point of changing the law if you fail to use it as a deterrent. Six people were killed in this horror show so how many people need to be killed in a crash for the maximum sentence to be given?'
The collision happened in Cheshire, last October, as Mr Statham, a chef, his wife and their children, returned home to North Wales after spending the weekend with family in the Midlands. Their Toyota Previa was hit by the lorry as it slowed to a stop in a traffic jam. The impact forced their car into the back of another lorry and the family died before emergency services could reach them.
Chester Crown Court heard that da Silva may have taken his eye off the road to study a satellite navigation system on his laptop computer. Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, said: 'Officers who searched the interior of his cab found a laptop computer fitted with a GPS (Global Positioning System) on the console alongside his seat, with the screen turned to face the driver. 'Only the defendant knows the truth about why he did not see a queue of traffic which would have been visible to him for a about a mile or so before point of collision. The use of the laptop to work out a new route would explain it.'
Oliver Jarvis, defending, had claimed Mrs Statham, a financial adviser, had already crashed into the rear of a lorry before da Silva hit their car. But the possibility that the family had been killed by an earlier collision was ruled out by a pathologist, who said the fatal injuries were consistent with an impact from the rear.
Mr Justice Irwin told da Silva: 'No one can put what has happened right. The overwhelming aggravating feature in this case is the number of those killed. 'You were an experienced professional lorry driver with a 40-ton lorry. This is a combination always to be regarded as a potentially lethal weapon. You ignored and failed to take account of a whole series of signs. You simply did not watch for them over a long stretch of road with good visibility. 'Of course you intended harm to no one, but clearly this was a bad failing on your part, sustained and obviously risky. 'In my view the facts of the driving in this case, the level of warning, size and weight of your lorry and your sustained and gross failure to look out carry this case to the boundary of causing death by dangerous driving. 'I bear in mind the maximum sentence is five years. Although six deaths, this was one episode and the prison sentences must be concurrent. This was one of the most serious offences of its kind.'
Da Silva made no reaction as the verdicts were delivered but his son, sitting in the public gallery, burst into tears. The case was the first big test of new charges aimed at handing down tougher sentences to drivers whose careless driving kills other road users. Under old laws, judges were restricted to handing down fines of up to 2,500 pounds for careless driving. The new charge of causing death by careless driving gives them the power to jail offenders for up to five years.
The court case was a 'circus', Mr Hagans said: 'The only difference being, the man in charge of a circus wears a top hat, not a wig.
Australia: Conservative Senator says nation can't afford maternity leave
In Sweden, which has very "generous" maternity leave laws, the great majority of young females work for the government. Few others can risk hiring them
QUEENSLAND Senator Barnaby Joyce says the nation can no longer afford paid maternity leave and business would stop hiring females if forced into it. Senator Joyce said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's $42billion economic stimulus package had drained the coffers and paid maternity leave was now a casualty of the nation's newly acquired debt.
The Productivity Commission last year proposed a $450million-a-year paid parental leave scheme that would pay mothers 18 weeks' leave at the minimum wage. The commission's final report is due within weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the Government would respond to the final report but paid maternity leave had not been ruled out of this year's Budget. "Paid maternity leave will be considered in the Budget context," Ms Gillard told Channel 9 yesterday. "Obviously things that amount to expenditure, particularly ongoing expenditure for the nation, will be dealt with in the Budget context."
Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner was preaching the same message yesterday on Channel 10's Meet the Press. "That along with a range of issues (including) our commitment to increase the living standards of the pensioners of Australia, other important issues that are on the table, they will be in the mix for the Budget," Mr Tanner said. "There's a lot of issues within the paid maternity leave question that have to be dealt with as well. "It's not a simple matter by any means."
Meanwhile, Senator Joyce said increasing the base rate of the aged pension was more important than having paid maternity leave. He said businesses would stop hiring female employees if they were forced to fund their own maternity schemes. "They will just start employing blokes," Senator Joyce said. He said Mr Rudd's stimulus package was to blame. "The money is no longer there. In its place is a silo of debt," he said.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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