Wednesday, August 19, 2015
An envious multiculturalist in Britain
This is the shocking moment a man with a baby in a pushchair appeared to run a key along the side of a £100,000 Aston Martin.
The incident was caught on camera by the owner of the luxury V8 Vantage sports car, who had left his dashcam recording while he popped to the shops.
In the short clip, a man can be seen pacing in front of the car before walking past the passenger's side with a set of keys.
The luxury vehicle sustained £9,000 worth of damage as a result of the incident, which occurred at 10.30am on 19 June in a supermarket car park, in Hackney, east London.
Police, who released the footage, are now appealing for information about the man.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: 'Police have released CCTV footage and a still of a man they want to trace in connection with the criminal damage of an Aston Martin car.
'Police were called on Friday, 19 June to reports of criminal damage to a car parked in a supermarket car park. 'It appears a tall black man approached the car pushing a baby in a pram. 'He took out a bunch of keys from his pocket and scraped them down the passenger's side of the vehicle, causing £9,000 worth of damage.'
Fund Aims to Help Christian Baker Offset Wedding Cake Losses
Family and friends of a Christian cake designer hope to help him with a fundraising campaign after a Colorado court ruled Thursday that he must create cakes for same-sex weddings despite his religious beliefs.
“Cake artist” Jack Phillips has said his bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, has lost more than a third of its receipts since he stopped making all wedding cakes while the case makes its way through the legal system.
“We hope it will relieve some of the financial pressure on Jack,” his brother-in-law, Jim Sander, said of the new fundraising effort in a phone interview Friday with The Daily Signal. “A business that has a 10 percent loss is a big deal in the Wall Street Journal. So a 40 percent loss is a big hit.”
Sander said the “crowdfunding” campaign, through the website Continue to Give, a Christian-oriented service, went online Thursday afternoon—hours after the Colorado Court of Appeals decided Phillips and his business must provide cakes for gay marriages.
The mission: Financially support Phillips, 59, and “protect his freedom of speech and freedom of religion.” The goal: Raise $200,000.
Those who go to the “Support Jack Phillips” site may contribute any amount, making their names and size of donation public or keeping either private. Givers also may leave encouraging messages for Phillips.
The first contributions began to trickle in Thursday night. As of 4 p.m. Sunday, the site had logged 17 donations.
One of the first, for $100, came with the message: “We appreciate you fighting this battle for the free speech of everyone.”
Another contributor wrote: “You are fighting the good fight and I hope you take it all the way to the Supremes. Free exercise of religion must be protected. You cannot take a right from one to give to another and call that justice.”
Jennifer and Keith Lorensen left this message: “We have been following your case for some time and want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers.”
They also quoted Joshua 1:9, an Old Testament passage: Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Phillips has maintained that his Christian beliefs would be violated if he were compelled to use his artistic talents to express the message that marriage is something other than the union of a man and a woman.
Sander, 63, emailed The Daily Signal after reading its report on the appeals court decision, saying a “Support Jack Phillips” page was up and running.
Sander, a professor of accounting in Indianapolis, said he has known his brother-in-law for more than 40 years. He said he and other family members set up and composed the text for the campaign. Most involved were his wife Linda, an adult son, and Phillips’s other sister, Trish.
A summary describes ongoing threats and harassment that Phillips and his small staff endured beginning 20 minutes after the “less than 30 seconds” in July 2012 during which he declined to create a wedding cake for the two gay men who later sued him. He also offered to sell them brownies, cookies or other confections.
Soon his shop was inundated by phone calls and emails saying “vile, hateful things about Jack—and about Jesus.” The summary adds:
These attacks are intended to drive Jack out of business. To avoid further harassment and lawsuits and because of the ruling, he has chosen to follow a law that takes away his freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and he has stopped making wedding cakes while his case goes through the courts.
The summary notes statements, some by public officials such as state Human Rights Commissioner Diann Rice, comparing Phillips to a slave owner or to German Nazis who carried out the Holocaust:
During WWII, Jack’s dad, Wayne Phillips, actually fought the Nazis all the way through France and Germany including the D-Day landing and the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded by the Nazis and received a Purple Heart. He assisted in the liberation of Buchenwald, a concentration camp.
Sander, who says he and his wife also are Christians, describes his brother-in-law as open and giving. “He’s always straightforward,” Sander said. “There’s never any games with him. He’s easygoing. He’d give you the shirt off his back to be helpful. I’d say he’s pretty generous.”
Sander added: "Unfortunately, from the government’s point of view, he tries to live out his Christian life outside the one or two hours he’s within the chapel walls. … [His faith] guides everything he does."
After losing the first legal round with Colorado’s civil rights agency in 2013, Phillips decided to stop making all wedding cakes rather than be compelled to create them for same-sex weddings.
“He said OK, if that’s the rule, then I won’t make any wedding cakes at all,” Sander recalled.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court Thursday upheld previous rulings that Phillips broke state law against discrimination based on sexual orientation. That essentially was the argument made by the gay couple’s lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Phillips argued that compelling him to create a cake celebrating same-sex marriage violated not only his First Amendment right to freedom of religion but also to free speech or expression. The court rejected that argument.
Phillips is represented by lawyers with the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom. They said Phillips likely will appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court and—if necessary—the U.S. Supreme Court.
By continuing to fight, Phillips hopes to avoid orders to “re-educate” employees—including his grown daughter—and report regularly to the state.
Sander was among family members who helped Phillips and his wife, Debi, open Masterpiece Cakeshop after cleaning and installing used furnishings, equipment and appliances in space at a suburban Denver strip mall in September 1993.
Sander said his brother-in-law consistently has declined customers’ requests for certain custom cakes, whether depicting witches and ghosts or sexually suggestive images.
“If a straight couple came in and wanted a cake for a same-sex marriage, he would not sell it,” Sander said, adding: "He would not sell that cake to anybody. Who orders the cake is immaterial. … I don’t think it’s an issue of who he’s denying service to, it’s a matter of his not wanting to use his artistic ability in a way that violates his conscience."
The family heard about Continue to Give when, as The Daily Signal has reported, the crowdfunding site helped a Christian couple in Oregon stay afloat financially. Aaron and Melissa Klein face a state fine of $135,000 after their bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
Continue to Give describes itself as a “faith-based online tithing and giving platform founded on biblical principles and designed for churches, missionaries, nonprofits, individuals and adopting parents.”
POW Flag: The New Symbol of Racism?
By Michael Swartz
Like most leftists, author Rick Perlstein is not a fan of our nation's efforts in Vietnam, despite the fact he was born in 1969 and, thus, too young to remember much of it himself. Thanks to an op-ed in the progressive Washington Spectator that was picked up by the now online-only Newsweek magazine, we've learned that a venerable symbol of that war was just another example of American racism.
Perlstein opens the article by saying, "You know that racist flag? The one that supposedly honors history but actually spreads a pernicious myth? And is useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage? It’s past time to pull it down.”
“Oh, wait. You thought I was referring to the Confederate flag. Actually, I’m talking about the POW-MIA flag.”
Realizing the gravity of his words in the heated aftermath, both Perlstein and Washington Spectator editor Lou Dubose apologized for calling the POW-MIA flag racist. Perlstein admitted, “The word was over the top and not called for.” But his enlightenment didn't happen before a firestorm of criticism rained down on him from conservative outlets like National Review and RedState.
On the other hand, those on the Left are still defending Perlstein, which isn't completely surprising in this age of “everyone who disagrees with me is racist.”
As the article goes, it's just more wailing and gnashing of teeth over events that played out while Perlstein was still in diapers. For example, he asserted, “Richard Nixon invented the cult of the 'POW/MIA' in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam in a way that rendered the United States as its sole victim.” He continued, “[Nixon] declared their treatment, and the enemy’s refusal to provide a list of their names, violations of the Geneva Conventions — the better to paint the North Vietnamese as uniquely cruel and inhumane. He also demanded the release of American prisoners as a precondition to ending the war.”
In other words, it was like almost every other war Americans have fought.
Yet Perlstein droned on, “Whenever Nixon or one of his minions talked about the problem, they tended to use the number 1,400. The number of actual prisoners, was about 550. The number of downed, missing pilots were spoken of, prima facia, as if they were missing, too, although almost all of them were certainly dead.”
“And in 1971 that damned flag went up.”
Yes, it's that familiar black flag — not of war or nationalism, but remembrance. It makes one wonder if Perlstein has something against yellow ribbons, since that's also been associated with remembrance in wartime thanks to a once-popular song.
The obvious question, though, is why now? It's been four decades since we abandoned South Vietnam in disgrace, leaving it to the wolves of the Viet Cong. The legacy of protesting that war has been a lesson learned in how to turn public opinion against a just cause — a template the Left has followed all too well with the Long War against Jihadistan. The current regime doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to wage that war. Aside from a fading recollection of 9/11, many Americans seem far more concerned about the latest dustup involving Donald Trump than our ongoing air war against the Islamic State that is the latest chapter in this epic struggle. One could answer that Perlstein is doing a pre-emptive strike against escalating in Iraq by alluding to Vietnam once again.
The answer may be much simpler than that, though. Perlstein has a book that's just been re-released in paperback, and what better way to create buzz than to spin a new angle on old news. His article uses the leftist dog whistle of equating racism with the Confederate flag and applies it to a war we fought against others who don't look like us — for others who don't look like us, we might add.
When it comes to war, it might be the only flag that satisfies Perlstein is a white one. Or is that racist, too?
John Rhys-Davies Lashes Out at Political Correctness, Islamic Terror
"We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization," warned the 'Lord of the Rings' actor on Adam Carolla's podcast.
Perhaps John Rhys-Davies was channeling Gimli, his character from The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, because the Welsh actor delivered a soliloquy late Monday about good and evil and even warned of the end of days courtesy of radical Islamic terrorism and political correctness.
“There is an extraordinary silence in the West,” said Rhys-Davies on Adam Carolla’s podcast posted Monday night. “Basically, Christianity in the Middle East and in Africa is being wiped out — I mean not just ideologically but physically, and people are being enslaved and killed because they are Christians. And your country and my country are doing nothing about it.”
Carolla elicited laughter from Rhys-Davies when he asked him when it became fashionable to refrain from judging outsiders.
“This notion that we’ve evolved into a species that’s incapable of judging other groups and what they are doing, especially when it is beheading people or setting people on fire or throwing acid in the face of schoolgirls — I like that kind of judging. It’s evolved!” said Carolla.
Carolla joked that if Bill Maher had a show during World War II, Americans would not have fought the Nazis because the comedian's guests would have been "screaming" about tolerance.
“This is a unique age. We don’t want to be judgmental,” said Rhys-Davies, who's also known for his role in the Indiana Jones franchise. “Every other age that has come before us has believed exactly the opposite. I mean, T.S. Eliot referred to 'the common pursuit of true judgment.' Yes. That’s what it’s about. Getting our judgments right.”
Rhys-Davies was on Carolla’s podcast — which has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s most popular podcast — to promote the DVD release of Return to the Hiding Place, a film about Jews in Holland during World War II that was directed and written by Peter C. Spencer, also a guest on Monday night's podcast.
"It’s an age where politicians don’t actually say what they believe,” said Rhys-Davies. “They are afraid of being judged as being partisan. Heaven forbid that we should criticize people who, after all, share a different value system. 'But it’s all relevant. It’s all equally relative. We’re all the same. And God and the devil, they’re the same, aren’t they, really? Right and wrong? It’s really just two faces of the same coin,' " he said, mocking what he sees as politically correct doctrine.
"We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization. I think we’re going to lose Western European Christian civilization, anyway," said Rhys-Davies.
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.