Sunday, April 25, 2010
In hiding, the British mother accused of abuse for cuddling her child
A mother alleged to have 'emotionally abused' her daughter by telling her she was born by caesarean has fled to Ireland with the child. Fearing that social workers would take her daughter away, Shahnaz Malik smuggled five-year-old Amaani out of the country.
After allegations that included Mrs Malik cuddling Amaani for too long while dropping her off at nursery, social services placed the little girl on a 'child protection plan' and scheduled a child mental health assessment. But using tickets booked under assumed names, Mrs Malik and her daughter caught a ferry to Ireland from a Welsh port.
Police arrested her husband for obstructing their investigation, and raided their Birmingham home in the hunt for Amaani. Detectives even removed toothbrushes from their home to obtain DNA, in case the pair had been murdered.
Mrs Malik, who has a masters degree in social policy and has lived in Britain all her life, plans to stay in Ireland with her daughter until the family can raise enough money to start a new life in Dubai, out of the reach of the UK social services. They own four properties in Birmingham which they plan to rent out.
At her Irish hotel, Mrs Malik said she fled the UK because she feared losing her daughter. She added: 'Once social services are on to you it's a complete nightmare and no matter what you do you are deemed a bad parent. If your child is full of beans or just sitting there quietly, it is your fault.
'Amaani was born premature so we've always been protective of her and would do anything to keep her with us. 'Ideally we'd like to get the matter resolved and return home, but we know that isn't going to happen.'
Social services became involved after a dispute between the family and a private nursery. Nursery staff told social workers that Amaani had used a swear word, bit her nails, told them she was delivered by caesarean and that they had seen Mrs Malik cuddle her for up to ten minutes.
In January, Birmingham city council notified the family that Amaani was subject to a child protection plan for 'emotional abuse'. Further meetings were arranged, including a mental health assessment for Amaani a month later.
But fearing that her daughter would be taken away, Mrs Malik went into hiding at a friend's house, and social workers contacted police.
After her husband Vijay Bansal, 42, was arrested at their home, Mrs Malik came out of hiding, but before social workers could meet the family they drove to Wales and boarded a ferry as foot passengers to Ireland.
Mr Bansal, an IT consultant, has returned to Birmingham to deal with their properties, but makes regular trips to Ireland.
Mrs Malik said: 'It's been really tough on Amaani as she has left all her family and friends. We hope to leave for Dubai soon. 'We have been there on holiday and really enjoyed it. There's plenty of work out there for my husband and we have friends there too. 'The only problem is having to remortgage our properties so we can have a large deposit to satisfy the Dubai authorities we are able to settle there.'
She added: 'I told Amaani that she was cut from mummy's tummy as I wanted her to be informed, but not in a graphic way. 'As for the hugging - no mother would not comfort their child if they were screaming.'
The family are being supported by Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who campaigns against abuses in the family courts. He said: 'This whole case is madness. There is no reason for the state to be involved in this little girl's life in this way.'
A spokesman for West Midlands Police confirmed that Mrs Malik and her daughter were investigated in a suspected missing persons case.
Colin Tucker, Birmingham city council's director for children's social care, said: 'It can be a case of you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. 'People want to portray things as black and white but the reality in social care is that we are dealing with very complex situations.'
Lawmakers aim to keep prayer day
Ask Obama to appeal 'misguided' decision
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers Wednesday denounced a federal judge's recent ruling that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional and said they were calling on President Obama to aggressively appeal the decision.
"What brings us together today is a misguided court decision which threatens the long-standing tradition of this country," said Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican. "I urge the Obama administration to appeal this decision and to dedicate the best and brightest minds of the Justice Department to this case."
Mr. Wolf, a co-sponsor of the legislation President Reagan signed in 1988 that designated the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer, was joined by about 20 Republican and Democratic lawmakers from the Congressional Prayer Caucus in issuing a House resolution calling for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to appeal the April 15 decision by a federal judge in Wisconsin.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in favor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in a lawsuit the group filed in 2008 that contended the day violated the separation of church and state.
"The National Day of Prayer goes beyond mere 'acknowledgment' of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context," Judge Crabb wrote in her ruling. "In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience."
Rep. Mike McIntyre, North Carolina Democrat, disagreed, saying the original law stated that people "may" turn to God on that day.
"The last time I knew 'may' didn't mean 'you shall,' " he said. "I think that three-letter word clears that up."
The lawmakers expressed confidence that the case would be overturned on appeal.
Still, the bipartisanship included a mix of encouragement and criticism for Mr. Obama.
"Despite what President Obama or those in his administration may say, America is and always has been a nation of Christian values," said Rep. Todd Tiahrt, Kansas Republican. "I am calling on my colleagues to join us in fighting this nefarious ruling. Given the lengthy precedent set by the Supreme Court on this and related issues, we have no doubt this ill-advised ruling will be overturned."
The hate-mongering SPLC
By Tom Tancredo
The mainstream media and liberal commentators are awash with news stories like “Hate: Antigovernment extremists are on the rise—and on the march” in Newsweek.
In an excellent piece “What's behind the anti-Tea Party hate narrative?” the Washington Examiner’s Chief Washington Correspondent Byron York notes that “Many of the claims that extremism is on the rise in America originate in research done by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based group that for nearly 40 years has tracked what it says is the growing threat of intolerance in the United States.”
The SPLC is not only taken seriously by the liberal media, but also by the Department of Homeland Security. When they issued their now infamous report on “Right Wing Extremists” that warned “disgruntled” military veterans will become potential terrorists, they quoted a SPLC report entitled "A Few Bad Men" that claims racists are infiltrating the military.
Coincidentally, "A Few Bad Men" appeared as the SPLC attacked the American Legion for its support of immigration enforcement, which they called "Legionnaires' Disease."
This is indicative of what the SPLC is really about. Instead of monitoring “hate” and “extremism,” they are concerned with tarring patriotic Americans who oppose their left wing agenda as haters and extremists.
As a vocal opponent of uncontrolled immigration, I am a frequent target of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Their website contains over 60 articles that attack me.
Last year, I spoke at a college in New York State. After my speech, a student handed me one of his text books entitled Understanding Human Differences: Multicultural Education in a Diverse America. Given the title, I didn’t expect sympathetic treatment.
However, I was still shocked to see myself quoted as saying, "illegal immigrants were 'coming to kill you and kill me and our families.'"
While illegal aliens disproportionately commit violent crimes, I would never make such a blanket assertion. I contacted the publisher who gave the source as the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hysterical smear piece against the immigration control movement creatively titled "The Nativists."
The SPLC purported that I said this at a 2004 speech in Illinois. What I actually said was that our open borders policies allow terrorists to sneak into our country. And yes, terrorists want to "kill you and kill me and our families." But the SPLC’s intentional misrepresentation is now repeated across the internet and even in college textbooks.
In an excellent report put out by the Center for Immigration Studies, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jerry Kammer detailed the smear tactics used by the Southern Poverty Law Center to silence those in the immigration debate.
Kammer shows that the SPLC’s attacks on immigration control organizations were carefully coordinated with the National Council of La Raza. La Raza means “The Race” in Spanish. The SPLC recklessly listed the Federation for American Immigration Reform as a hate group, just as La Raza began its “We Can Stop the Hate” campaign aimed at pushing FAIR from being quoted by the media or testifying at Congress. FAIR’s board of advisors includes such right-wing racists as former Democratic Governor of Colorado Richard Lamm and the former head of the Congressional Black Caucus foundation Frank Morris.
Kammer shows that the SPLC even sees racism in the Lord of the Rings, which one of their columnists called “little more than a glorified vision of white patriarchy” in which the heroes “are manly men who are whiter than white” and “are frequently framed in halos of blinding bright light and exude a heavenly aura of all that is Eurocentric and good.”
The SPLC not only sees no problems with left wing racists, they also have no problem with left wing terrorists. Their “Teaching Tolerance” magazine fawningly interviewed Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, who they described merely as a "civil rights organizer, radical anti-Vietnam War activist, teacher and author" who "has developed a rich vision of teaching that interweaves passion, responsibility and self-reflection." They did not mention that Ayers set off bombs in the US Capitol, the Pentagon, and the New York City Police Department. Unrepentant, he told the New York Times in 2000 "I don't regret setting bombs…I feel we didn't do enough."
Gabrielle Lyon, a fellow with the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project co-edited a book with William Ayers and was director of his School Change Institute at the Small Schools Workshop.
That’s the SPLC in a nutshell. The Lord of the Rings is racist, but a group called “The Race” is not. Patriotic Tea Partiers are potential terrorists, but actual terrorists like Bill Ayers are civil rights organizers.
The age of bureaucracy
Comment from Australia by Miranda Devine
I make this point in trying to fathom the catastrophic failures of leadership we keep seeing lately - from the billions wasted on pink batts and school hall rorts, to the 173 deaths in the Victorian bushfires last year. Even more unfathomable is that no one seems accountable. Failed leaders can't explain what went wrong and are showered with sympathy. We seem destined never to learn from our mistakes.
When the former Victorian police commissioner, Christine Nixon, 56, admitted in the bushfire royal commission this month that she was getting her hair cut, meeting with her biographer and having dinner at a restaurant with friends on Black Saturday last year, she was enveloped in a warm group hug.
A few troglodytes, such as the former premier Jeff Kennett and the Liberal MP Fran Bailey, said she should be punished for dereliction of duty, and sacked from her $8000-a-week position as chairwoman of the Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.
But they were quickly drowned out by Nixon supporters, such as Heather Ridout and Joan Kirner, who claimed the criticism was a sexist plot. The sisterhood enveloped her. After being forensically eviscerated by counsel assisting the commission, Rachel Doyle, SC, Nixon appeared unperturbed, saying she had been buoyed by the support from Black Saturday families.
We seem to be impressed by leaders skilled at looking confident and brazen through catastrophe, as incredible amounts of money are wasted, their core business disintegrates and, sometimes, people die. What was most telling about Nixon's testimony to the royal commission were the mundane details of her performance that day and how she perceived her role.
She was the No.1 person in the state with operational responsibility, yet she didn't know what to do. When she dropped into the State Emergency Response Co-ordination Centre about 3pm on Black Saturday, February 7, after meeting in her office with her biographer, she seemed to just float around, lost, not asking for a briefing, observing that people seemed "very busy".
"I thought the people in those areas were carrying out their responsibilities effectively, the best I could tell, and that they were very busy trying to respond to a range of issues." But, asked Doyle, "What were they busy doing?"
Good question. As for her role, "I would look at computer screens over people's shoulders. "And what," asked Doyle, "what did you glean by looking at … screens over people's shoulders?"
"I just saw that they were very busy, that people were working on a range of issues … and that people were going about their work."
"It sounds rather passive, Ms Nixon."
So it does. What the people in that control room weren't doing, for example, was warning towns in the path of the fires that they were next in line. Asked if she had "considered" whether the towns might have been warned, Nixon said she "assumed" they had.
The paralysis in the co-ordination centre on Black Saturday, as revealed in the commission testimony, is a textbook demonstration of what managerialism or bureaumania does to organisations. It causes everyone to lose sight of their core aim, which is to run an emergency response system that warns people a fire is on its way, or a police force that protects good people from bad people, or a land management system that doesn't allow fuel to build up to lethal levels in the bush.
As police commissioner Nixon became the posterchild for bloated bureaucracies everywhere.
And the media adored her. She was progressive! She took part in the gay and lesbian pride march! She was a woman! She was consultative! She relaxed uniform standards! She recruited women and minorities! She answered emails, had lots of meetings and set up myriad committees. She was the nana feminist, who humbled the most masculine, testosterone charged militaristic symbol of the patriarchy itself. She was perfectly chosen and trained to spend her days being busy doing her job, whatever that was. Busy, busy, busy. The truth is her defenders are right, she can hardly be blamed.
Christine Nixon is the perfect leader for our age.
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.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.