Determined Multiculturalist in Britain
A recent conviction has provoked scandal when it emerged the armed robber had been previously twice jailed for life, was let out on parole only to rob a betting shop.
The scandal has caused a judge involved in the case to apologise to the staff of the betting shop after they were robbed by the career criminal, who has previously shot two police officers in previous criminal exploits.
Derek Rossi, 58, was caught after he dropped his gun and took his balaclava off to pick it up during his hold-up at the Ladbrokes in Holborn. Previously Rossi has been jailed for life in 1984, and again in 2001, after going on shooting sprees in both London and Bristol.
Judge Peter Clarke apologised to the two victims of the Ladbrokes robbery, Ann Fairbass and Hanna Bjorkvall-Green, who were working at the time. He said: ‘Mrs Fairbrass and Mrs Bjorkvall-Green will be sitting in the public gallery wondering how it is that Rossi could have entered their betting shop where they worked when he was the subject of not one but two sentences of life imprisonment for attempting to murder police officers and members of the public while committing robberies. ‘They deserve an explanation.
‘I’m not here to defend the decision of the parole board and it is one they, no doubt, find hard to understand given what has happened to them. ‘I wish to apologise to them on behalf of the criminal justice system for placing them in that position.
‘The parole board have to consider very carefully when imprisoning a person for the rest of their life.’
Rossi had attempted the robbery of the bookmakers during the 8am rush-hour in November last year, carrying an antique shotgun hidden in an umbrella.
He held-up the staff, forcing them to open the safe, but when they could not do so he fled. He then fired his gun to scare off any pursuers.
During his escape he dropped the gun in the street, taking his balaclava off to pick it up, then attempting to flee on a bike. When he took his balaclava off, his face was seen by witnesses throughout the street, and was arrested afterwards.
Prosecutor Robert Hutchinson said both the victims had feared for their life during the raid and have continued to be affected by the attack.
He told the court: ‘Rossi has a propensity to shoot his way out of trouble. ‘A police unit armed with machine guns was deployed and he was arrested that day in Blackstock Road. ‘They were worried about a siege or shoot-out and danger to the public.’
Rossi has had a criminal career spanning nearly 40 years, with charges and convictions including burglary, car theft, assault, attempted murder, firearms offences and robberies.
He was first convicted at the age of 13, in 1971.
His first life sentence came from offences starting in 1982, when he committed a series of violent robberies across London and Bristol which ended in his capture. In 1982 he stole £10,000 from a man delivering wages in another armed robbery. In January 1983 in Marylebone High Street, he tried to rob a cash delivery man, as described by Mr Hutchinson.
Hutchinson said: 'Rossi and an accomplice tried to grab a bag of money from a delivery van and were involved in a tug of war with their victim. ‘Rossi shot an officer at point-blank rang with a handgun.
‘The officer managed to turn at the last second and took the blast on his arm rather than his chest where it was aimed. ‘He came very close to having his arm amputated.’
While trying to escape in a Cortina car Rossi shot a member of the public who tried to apprehend the robbers. One of the robbers also shot a biker who tried to follow them on his motorcycle. The bullet passed into his helmet which saved his life.
Later that same year he was part of a highly armed bank robbery.
Hutchinson said: ‘On 6 April 1983 two robbers entered a Lloyds bank in Bristol and produced a mini arsenal of weapons including an automatic pistol, revolver and sawn-off shotgun,’ Mr Hutchinson said. ‘They vaulted over the counter, pistol-whipped the staff, fired a shot behind the counter and stole a considerable haul of £35,000.'
Rossi made his escape in a stolen Ford Escort, a police officer was shot in the mouth by one of the robbers during the raid.
‘Rossi got out the car and shot all guns blazing at the police on the slipway of the motorway. ‘One officer shot him through the windscreen of his vehicle and Rossi continued to point his gun at the police after he had been shot.
‘On his release from prison he then committed the offence of robbery and two offences of possession of firearms.’
Many years later, in May 2000, he held up two men at gunpoint, in a Post Office in Southampton.
Mr Hutchinson said: ‘Rossi came into the Post Office with a large parcel. ‘He placed it on the scales and a price was given.
‘When the staff opened the glass panel Rossi showed the man a sawn-off shotgun and dived head-first through the narrow hatch. ‘He grabbed £1,500 from the counter and ordered the staff to open the safe. ‘When staff opened the safe he put between £15,000 and £19,000 into a holdall bag.’
Rossi was arrested not long after at Paddington railway station on the concourse surrounded by armed police who ordered him to drop to the floor.
He was given his second life sentence in 2001 at Winchester Crown Court. Rossi was released on 11 July 2012 and committed the Ladbrooks robbery just under 16 months later.
It’s Time to End ‘Rape Culture’ Hysteria
The nation's largest and most influential anti-sexual-violence organization is rejecting the idea that culture — as opposed to the actions of individuals — is responsible for rape.
“Rape is as American as apple pie,” says blogger Jessica Valenti. She and her sisters-in-arms describe our society as a “rape culture” where violence against women is so normal, it’s almost invisible. Films, magazines, fashion, books, music, humor, even Barbie — according to the activists — cooperate in conveying the message that women are there to be used, abused, and exploited.
Recently, rape culture theory has migrated from the lonely corners of the feminist blogosphere into the mainstream. In January, the White House asserted that we need to combat campus rape by “[changing] a culture of passivity and tolerance in this country, which too often allows this type of violence to persist.”
Tolerance for rape? Rape is a horrific crime and rapists are despised. We have strict laws that Americans want to see enforced. Though rape is certainly a serious problem, there’s no evidence that it’s considered a cultural norm. Twenty-first century America does not have a rape culture; what we have is an out-of-control lobby leading the public and our educational and political leaders down the wrong path. Rape culture theory is doing little to help victims, but its power to poison the minds of young women and lead to hostile environments for innocent males is immense.
On college campuses, obsession with eliminating “rape culture” has led to censorship and hysteria. At Boston University, student activists launched a petition demanding the cancellation of a Robin Thicke concert, because the lyrics of his hit song “Blurred Lines” allegedly celebrate “systemic patriarchy and sexual oppression.” (The lyrics may not exactly be pleasant to many women, but song lyrics don’t turn men into rapists. Yet, ludicrously, the song has already been banned at more than 20 British universities.)
Activists at Wellesley recently demanded that administrators remove a statue of a sleepwalking man: The image of a nearly naked male could “trigger” memories of sexual assault for victims.
Meanwhile, a growing number of young men find themselves charged with rape, named publicly, and brought before campus judicial panels informed by rape culture theory. In such courts, due process is practically non-existent: Guilty because accused.
Rape culture theorists dismiss critics who bring up examples of hysteria and false accusations as “rape denialists” and “rape apologists.” To even suggest that false accusations occur, according to activists, is to engage in “victim blaming.” But now, rape culturalists are confronting a formidable critic that even they will find hard to dismiss.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is America’s largest and most influential anti-sexual violence organization. It’s the leading voice for sexual assault victim advocacy. Indeed, rape culture activists routinely cite the authority of RAINN to make their case. But in RAINN’s recent recommendations to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, it repudiates the rhetoric of the anti “rape culture” movement:
In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming “rape culture” for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campus. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important not to lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime.
RAINN urges the White House to “remain focused on the true cause of the problem” and suggests a three-pronged approach for combating rape: empowering community members through bystander intervention education, using “risk-reduction messaging” to encourage students to increase their personal safety, and promoting clearer education on “where the ‘consent line’ is.” It also asserts that we should treat rape like the serious crime it is by giving power to trained law enforcement rather than internal campus judicial boards.
RAINN is especially critical of the idea that we need to focus on teaching men not to rape — the hallmark of rape culture activism. Since rape exists because our culture condones and normalizes it, activists say, we can end the epidemic of sexual violence only by teaching boys not to rape.
No one would deny that we should teach boys to respect women. But by and large, this is already happening. By the time men reach college, RAINN explains, “most students have been exposed to 18 years of prevention messages, in one form or another.” The vast majority of men absorbs these messages and views rape as the horrific crime that it is. So efforts to address rape need to focus on the very small portion of the population that “has proven itself immune to years of prevention messages.” They should not vilify the average guy.
By blaming so-called rape culture, we implicate all men in a social atrocity, trivialize the experiences of survivors, and deflect blame from the rapists truly responsible for sexual violence. RAINN explains that the trend of focusing on rape culture “has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions.”
Moral panic over “rape culture” helps no one — least of all, survivors of sexual assault. College leaders, women’s groups, and the White House have a choice. They can side with the thought police of the feminist blogosphere who are declaring war on Robin Thicke, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, male statues, and Barbie. Or, they can listen to the sane counsel of RAINN.
Why the Media Doesn't Cover Jihadist Attacks on Middle East Christians
"To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace"—Hebrews 6:6
The United Nations, Western governments, media, universities, and talking heads everywhere insist that Palestinians are suffering tremendous abuses from the state of Israel. Conversely, the greatest human rights tragedy of our time—radical Muslim persecution of Christians, including in Palestinian controlled areas—is devotedly ignored.
The facts speak for themselves. Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are persecuted every year; one Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85% of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations. In 1900, 20% of the Middle East was Christian. Today, less than 2% is.
In one week in Egypt alone, where my Christian family emigrated, the Muslim Brotherhood launched a kristallnacht—attacking, destroying, and/or torching some 82 Christian churches (some of which were built in the 5th century, when Egypt was still a Christian-majority nation before the Islamic conquests). Al-Qaeda's black flag has been raised atop churches. Christians—including priests, women and children—have been attacked, beheaded, and killed.
Nor is such persecution of Christians limited to Egypt. From Morocco in the west to Indonesia in the east and from Central Asia to the north to sub-Saharan Africa to the south; across thousands of miles of lands inhabited by peoples who do not share the same races, languages, cultures, and/or socio-economic conditions, millions of Christians are being persecuted and in the same exact patterns.
Muslim converts to Christianity and Christian evangelists are attacked, imprisoned, and sometimes beheaded; countless churches across the Islamic world are being banned or bombed; Christian women and children are being abducted, enslaved, raped, and/or forced to renounce their faith.
Far from helping these Christian victims, U.S. policies are actually exacerbating their sufferings. Whether in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, or Syria, and under the guise of the U.S.-supported "Arab Spring," things have gotten dramatically worse for Christians. Indeed, during a recent U.S. congressional hearing, it was revealed that thousands of traumatized Syrian Christians—who, like Iraqi Christians before them are undergoing a mass exodus from their homeland—were asking "Why is America at war with us?"
The answer is that very few Americans have any clue concerning what is happening to their coreligionists.
Few mainstream media speak about the horrific persecution millions of people are experiencing simply because they wish to worship Christ in peace.
There, is of course, a very important reason why the mainstream media ignores radical Muslim persecution of Christians: if the full magnitude of this phenomenon was ever know, many cornerstones of the mainstream media—most prominent among them, that Israel is oppressive to Palestinians—would immediately crumble.
Why? Because radical Muslim persecution of Christians throws a wrench in the media's otherwise well-oiled narrative that "radical-Muslim-violence-is-a-product-of-Muslim-grievance"—chief among them Israel.
Consider it this way: because the Jewish state is stronger than its Muslim neighbors, the media can easily portray Islamic terrorists as frustrated "underdogs" doing whatever they can to achieve "justice." No matter how many rockets are shot into Tel Aviv by Hamas and Hezbollah, and no matter how anti-Israeli bloodlust is articulated in radical Islamic terms, the media will present such hostility as ironclad proof that Palestinians under Israel are so oppressed that they have no choice but to resort to terrorism.
However, if radical Muslims get a free pass when their violence is directed against those stronger than them, how does one rationalize away their violence when it is directed against those weaker than them—in this case, millions of indigenous Christians?
The media simply cannot portray radical Muslim persecution of Christians—which in essence and form amount to unprovoked pogroms—as a "land dispute" or a product of "grievance" (if anything, it is the ostracized and persecuted Christian minorities who should have grievances). And because the media cannot articulate radical Islamic attacks on Christians through the "grievance" paradigm that works so well in explaining the Arab-Israeli conflict, their main recourse is not to report on them at all.
In short, Christian persecution is the clearest reflection of radical Islamic supremacism. Vastly outnumbered and politically marginalized Christians simply wish to worship in peace, and yet still are they hounded and attacked, their churches burned and destroyed, their women and children enslaved and raped. These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens, in race, ethnicity, national identity, culture, and language; there is no political dispute, no land dispute.
The only problem is that they are Christian and so, Islamists believe according to their scriptural exegesis, must be subjugated.
If mainstream media were to report honestly on Christian persecution at the hands of radical Islamists so many bedrocks of the leftist narrative currently dominating political discourse would crumble, first and foremost, the idea that radical Islamic intolerance is a product of "grievances," and that Israel is responsible for all Jihadist terrorism against it.
Obama's DoD v The Constitution
Suppressing 1st Amendment Religious Expression in the Air Force
“God who gave us life gave us Liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.” –Thomas Jefferson (1774)
Yet another case of BO’s D-O-D v G-O-D…
During the rancorous debates that preceded passage of the 2014 Defense budget – the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 – one of the proposed amendments was designed to protect the First Amendment rights of members of the Armed Services.
The NDAA as signed by Barack Hussein Obama in December of 2013 included an amendment based on the protective rights language proposed by Rep. John Calvin Fleming (R-LA). Regarding that amendment, Fleming noted: “The conscience rights of our men and women in uniform and their chaplains must be protected. While existing protections have focused on their beliefs, my amendment will extend that protection to the liberty granted by the U.S. Constitution, namely the freedom to exercise those beliefs in speech and actions.
This amendment is aimed at stopping the unjust threats and reprimands against service members who have been speaking or acting in accord with their deeply held beliefs, while ensuring that military necessity and readiness are not compromised.”
Indeed, Section 532 of the NDAA, the “Enhancement of protection of rights of conscience of members of the Armed Forces and chaplains of such members,” was implemented as a first step toward achieving that goal.
Last week, however, the Air Force Academy, with a little help from perennial atheist agitator Mikey Weinstein, tested the protection of those rights. Recall that Weinstein heads the “Military Religious Freedom Foundation,” or what would be more aptly named the “Military Freedom From Religion Foundation.” (Other Service Academies are not burdened with Weinstein because he has made the AFA his testing ground for atheist challenges.)
One of Weinstein’s resident cadre of campus atheists complained to the Academy’s Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, about a Bible verse posted on a Cadet’s dorm door whiteboard: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…” (Gal. 2:20) Those erasable whiteboards are on all Cadet doors, and they are used for personal messages and statements. There is no AFA restriction on what can be posted on them, and Cadets have a respectful understanding of what might be offensive to others – which most assuredly should not include a Bible verse.
That notwithstanding, it was promptly “suggested” to the Cadet that he remove the Bible verse, even though such posts are common.
Johnson claimed in an official statement, “The scripture [on the Cadet’s door] could cause subordinates to doubt the leader’s religious impartiality.”
On Tuesday of this week, a Cadet with the same leadership rank and position in his squadron as the Cadet who posted the Bible verse on his dorm door, invited the entire Cadet Wing, both in a public announcement to the Wing assembled and by official AFA email, to the “Ask and Atheist Day” event. The event flyer was advertised all week on Academy bulletin screens.
So, are we to believe then that promoting atheism to the entire Cadet Wing through official channels does not raise doubts about “the leader’s religious impartiality”?
The Cadets who contacted me about the atheist event indicated that they were not objecting to the promotion of that event, but to the hypocrisy of that promotion, versus a fellow Cadet being asked to remove a Bible verse from his door. Obviously, only the Christian expression of faith is the target of AFA discrimination, and it is Johnson’s “religious impartiality” which should be in contention.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.