Friday, August 05, 2011
Something that "multiculturalism" has done for Britain
Shaking hands in celebration on a bus, thugs who had just hunted down a schoolboy, 16, like a pack of animals and stabbed him to death
I wonder what they all have in common?
Leaning across the bus seat, these teenage killers shake hands in a sickening moment of self-congratulation. One is heard to say to another: ‘You’re the new young boss.’
Just half an hour earlier they had been among a vicious gang who hunted down a schoolboy ‘like a pack of wild dogs’ before knifing him to death.
The gang are now behind bars. They were jailed for a total of 74 years yesterday over the killing in broad daylight in a busy shopping street of 16-year-old Nicholas Pearton.
The teenager was pursued across a suburban park by his attackers, many of whom were still in their school uniform, before he was stabbed through the heart and collapsed in a shop doorway in front of his mother, Kim.
As the gang fled, they waved their knives in the air and shouted the name of the gang ‘triumphantly’.
Another member Joseph Appiah, then 15, carried out a head count to make sure none of the gang – known as Shanks and Guns (shanks being slang for knives) – had been arrested after the attack in Sydenham, South London, in May last year. Other gang members had abandoned an armoury of weapons including knives and wooden poles in the park.
Lamarr Gordon was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years for his role
Dale Green was identified as the person who did the stabbing
The Old Bailey heard that Nicholas, who was training to be a carpenter, was ‘in the eyes of his attackers’ involved with a rival gang, the Sydenham Boys. It was a rivalry, the court was told, fuelled by a threatening video posted on YouTube.
Yesterday the victim’s father Vince Pearton, 43, and mother Kim Whoolley, told of how their family had been torn apart by the death of their son. Lucy Kennedy, prosecuting, read an emotionally-charged statement from the parents.
In it, Mr Pearton said his son’s murder had ‘broken the chain that bonds our family together and we will be forever incomplete. Our loss and accompanying feeling of emptiness is an all-consuming and inescapable daily torment for us’.
The gang were all from South London and aged between 15 and 17 at the time of the attack. They were unmasked yesterday as judge Anthony Morris lifted a ban on reporting their names.
Passing sentence, the judge said the gang was responsible for the ‘senseless and tragic loss of a young life’. ‘This case involved gratuitous violence in public places, which seriously discourages law-abiding citizens from walking the streets,’ he said. ‘The group was like a pack of wild dogs hunting down its prey. ‘This was a particularly cowardly attack, as all the defendants knew he was alone and unarmed.’
Green, 17, of Catford, Gordon, 17, of Bromley, and Appiah, 16, described as a talented athlete of Lewisham, had denied murder but were convicted. They were all sentenced to life with Green jailed for a minimum 15 years, Gordon 14 years and Appiah 12 years.
Four others, Terell Clement, 18, of Deptford, Claude Gaha, 17, of Bromley, Edward Conteh, of Peckham, and Demar Brown, 16, of Hither Green, were jailed for a total of 33 years after being convicted of manslaughter.
Rule change may allow British GPs to ask for divine help with patients and not risk disciplinary action
Family doctors could be allowed to pray with their patients without facing the threat of being suspended. The General Medical Council is to have another look at its rules which mean doctors can face disciplinary action for discussing their religion during appointments.
Earlier this year a Christian GP, Dr Richard Scott, was handed an official warning by the GMC for suggesting a young man under his care could find comfort in Jesus. The patient told his mother about the appointment, who complained to the GMC claiming the doctor had ‘pushed religion’ onto her son.
Dr Scott, from Margate, Kent, is fighting to have the warning removed from his unblemished record, insisting he acted professionally and within the guidelines.
Two years ago a nurse was suspended after offering to pray for an elderly patient during a home visit.
Several GPs, specialist doctors and nurses have since expressed concern that even simply mentioning the topic of religion with patients could lead to them being suspended.
Now the head of the GMC, Niall Dickson, has said he will look at the rules on praying. He told Pulse magazine that GPs should be able to pray or discuss religion as long as the patient was comfortable or ‘receptive’. But he stressed that patients do not go and see their doctor to be ‘converted’ to Christianity or any other faith and that a doctor’s prime responsibility was treatment.
He said, however, that should a patient want to discuss religion or pray with their doctor they should be able to do so regardless if a family member later took offence. He added: ‘The fact the person drawing it to our attention is a relative, friend, or another professional is not important. What is important is what actually happened, what is the evidence behind the complaint and the doctor’s explanation?
‘How does the patient and their relatives view the situation? What are they each bringing to the GMC in terms of evidence for us to consider? ‘Clearly the patient themselves will have a direct experience to tell and therefore will provide stronger evidence than somebody who wasn’t there.’
In 2009 nurse Caroline Petrie was suspended by North Somerset NHS Trust for offering to pray for an elderly patient during a home visit. She has been allowed back to work on the grounds that she offers to pray for patients only after she has asked them if they have any ‘spiritual needs’.
U.S. Air Force Suspends Christian-Themed Ethics Training Program Over Bible Passages
The Air Force has suspended a course that was taught by chaplains for more than 20 years because the material included Bible passages. The course, called “Christian Just War Theory” was taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and used Scripture from both the Old and New Testaments to show missile launch officers that it can be moral to go to war.
But the watchdog group, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the course violated the constitutional separation of church and state and filed a complaint last Wednesday on behalf of 31 missile launch officers – both instructors and students.
David Smith, the spokesman for the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, said the main purpose of the class was to help missile launch officers understand that “what they are embarking on is very difficult and you have to have a certain amount of ethics about what you are doing to do that job.”
He said the class was suspended the same day the complaint was filed. The class is currently under review by Air Force officials who will determine whether or not to revise the material or end the class.
“In an effort to serve all faiths, we try to introduce none in our briefings and our lectures,” Smith told Fox News Radio. “Once we heard there were concerns, we looked at the course and said we could do better.”
Smith said the inclusion of the Bible verses was an “inappropriate approach” in a “pluralistic society.”
“The use of Bible passage and other elements was just inappropriate,” he said. Mikey Weinstein, the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, hailed the military’s decision to suspend the course. “We’re very pleased that the Air Force did it,” Weinstein told Fox News Radio. “Had they not done that, we would have filed an immediate class-action lawsuit in federal court to force their hand.”
Weinstein said the officers who complained are Protestant and Roman Catholics, noting the class was simply “unconstitutional training.”
“The United States Air Force was promoting a particular brand of right-wing fundamentalist Christianity,” he said. “The main essence was that war is a natural part of the human experience and it’s something that is favored by this particular perspective of the New Testament.
Weinstein said he was particularly concerned about a passage of Scripture that was taught from the New Testament book of Revelations. The passage, chapter 19, verse 11, describes Jesus as a mighty warrior, Weinstein said.
But David French, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, said there is no violation of the Constitution. “Just-War theory has been a vital part of American military history for the last several hundred years,” French said, dismissing the complaints as what he called “another attempt to cleanse American history of its religious realities.”
“It’s about cleansing religion from the public square and building a completely secular society and military, said French. Commander Daniel McKay, a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain, agreed, telling Fox News Radio he was deeply concerned by the military’s decision.
“Why is it inappropriate to give our people guidelines that have withstood the test of time – to give us moral guidance,” McKay asked. “I think there are certain segments within our society who are making concerted efforts to take us away from our Judeo-Christian values, principles and morals,” he said.
“History will prove that if you stay true to God’s wisdom, it will serve us well and it has served us well.” McKay said it’s possible that parts of the military are trying to play “all sides of the fence – trying to take a middle-of-the-road approach.”
That, he said, is a mistake. “If you stay in the middle of the road, you become road kill,” McKay said, urging the military to stay true to what the Founders established.
“You need to take a stand.” The Air Force and Weinstein denied that political correctness had anything to do with the suspension of the class. “Everyone in the military takes an oath to support and defend, protect and preserve this United States Constitution, which absolutely separates church and state,” Weinstein said.
“The military is made up of people from all walks of life, all faiths,” Smith said. “It’s most appropriate to let folks practice their faith on their own and not try to introduce something else to them.”
Muslim World still anti-Western Despite Obama
President Obama entered office promising a new dawn in America’s relations with Muslim nations. He reached out to the Muslim world, offering apologies and a warm embrace. The theory was that, by showing more understanding of Muslim grievances, they would respond in kind.
It didn’t turn out that way. A recent Pew Research Center survey of opinions in the Muslim world shows America’s image there has not improved. In Jordan, Turkey and Pakistan - Muslim nations with which the U.S. maintains close relations - views are more negative today than a year ago. Most Muslims disapprove of how Mr. Obama has responded to the Arab Spring.
If anything, paranoia about the U.S. is worse today than it was a few years ago. Most Muslims surveyed by Pew in March and April do not believe that Arabs were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Indeed, the survey found no Muslim public in which even 30 percent accept the fact that Arabs conducted the attacks. Particularly depressing, Muslims in Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey - again countries with historically good ties to the West - are even less likely to believe it today than in 2006.
A paradox emerges in these findings. The more Westerners try to accept blame for bad relations with the Muslim world, the more the Muslim world blames Westerners. Almost 30 percent of Americans hold themselves responsible for bad relations with the Muslim world. Muslims mainly blame Westerners. Majorities in six of seven Muslim nations believe Westerners are mostly to blame. That figure goes as high as 75 percent in Turkey and 72 percent in Pakistan.
Which raises a question: If Muslim people are anti-Western because they believe, incorrectly, that Westerners are largely anti-Muslim, what can we do about it? Their grievances are so entrenched that very little of what Americans say or do will change their opinions because they are based not on reality, but on imagination.
Most Muslims also blame the West for their economic ills, even though their own economically oppressive governments are the root of the problem. America’s support of Israel is a huge negative in their eyes, but so, too, is our support for the regimes that rule over them. This may be understandable, but I doubt that a wholesale U.S. condemnation of regimes in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Arab states would make Muslim publics any less anti-American. After all, the U.S. actually went to war to remove genocidal regimes in Bosnia and Iraq, and all we got for our trouble was widespread condemnation in the Muslim world, not to mention assertions that we did so mainly to kill Muslims.
Here’s the rub: The U.S. can try to do the right thing like removing genocidal regimes and abandoning oppressive authoritarians such as former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, but it does little or nothing to change Muslim views of America. Muslims claim to want more democracy, of which America is the standard bearer, but their anti-American complexes and grievances are so huge that they are forever trying to find some third Muslim way that ignores hundreds of years of historical experience, born mainly in the West, of what works and what doesn’t.
This is not about who’s right or wrong. We can argue with Muslim nations all day long about our support for Israel, but it won’t make any difference. In fact, Israel could disappear tomorrow, and we would still have a problem. The root of the problem is a great historical divide, going back centuries, which will not be easily manipulated by public diplomacy programs or expressions of good will.
This is a problem to be managed, not solved. No amount of Obama-like engagement will change Muslim public opinion about America and the West. They hold their views for historically complex reasons, which more often than not are reflections of their internal problems rather than objective reactions to what we do.
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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