It takes a multiculturalist ...
An Egyptian Muslim in this case
A seven-year-old schoolgirl was shot in the head by her estranged father as she clutched her new violin on the doorstep of her home, an inquest heard.
Mary Ann Shipstone, who was also known as Maryam Alromisse, was gunned down as she stood next to her mother on the doorstep of her home in Northiam, near Rye, East Sussex, after she returned from school.
Her father Yasser Alromisse, 46, was hiding in the rear of a silver Toyota on the drive at the £300,000 house when he fired the shots on September 11 last year, a court heard.
The schoolgirl, who was just days away from celebrating her eighth birthday, was taken to King's College Hospital in London but later died of her injuries.
Hastings Coroner's Court was told her father had concealed himself in the car by creating a blind from bin bags and was later found in a pool of blood in the rear of the vehicle, where he had shot himself in the head.
Her mother Lyndsey Shipstone today described the day of the shooting, telling an inquest it had been 'ordinary', but that Mary was 'very happy' and 'excited' about her birthday in seven days' time.
Mrs Shipstone had been driven by a neighbour to collect Mary from school where the youngster had enjoyed her first violin lesson. They parked up at their neighbour's and walked back towards their house before the incident occurred.
She told the court: 'I was putting my key in the door, and I spoke to Mary, saying she'd like what I had done to her room, and that's the last thing I said to her.'
She said Mary was stood slightly behind her when she heard a loud noise.
She added: 'There was a terrific sound behind me like someone had burst a balloon.
'I turned around and the first thing I saw was Mary on the ground - her legs were crumpled behind her.'
She said she quickly realised that her ex-partner had shot the youngster, saying she could 'see his face' in the back seat of the Toyota parked on the nearby drive. She told the inquest: 'He did not show any emotion.'
Mrs Shipstone carried Mary to a neighbour's home where they tried to revive her while waiting for emergency services to arrive.
Asked why Alromisse would have wanted to kill Mary, Mrs Shipstone replied: 'I don't think I will ever really know that.
'It was such an extreme thing to do. I can only guess that he wanted to kill himself and for some reason he thought that she should not live without him.'
She added: 'He had the opportunity to shoot me as well, but he chose not to do it, and I was the one he supposedly hated the most.
'It's an act of revenge really. It's got to be. If he really loved her he would never have inflicted that on her.'
Mrs Shipstone added to the court: 'He's left me bereft of a daughter'.
The inquest heard how the shooting took place at Spring Hill, a safe house where Mary had lived with her mother for the year prior.
Mrs Shipstone did not want be traced by Alromisse after the collapse of their marriage, which she said had been abusive.
The couple, who met in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, had married in Liverpool in 2005 after Mrs Shipstone converted to Islam, friends said. She had been a practising Catholic but converted to Islam and quickly became devout.
The couple had a daughter named Yasmin Miriam in September 2001, but she died eight months later.
Mary was later born in 2006 but according to former neighbours, social services had to intervene, with orders barring Alromisse from being alone with his child.
Mrs Shipstone later rejected Islam and left her husband, prompting a bitter custody dispute over young Mary.
The court heard how Alromisse, who was born in Egypt, then hired private detective Paul Parton in May last year to try and establish the location of Mrs Shipstone, who he was still legally married to.
Mr Parton was unable to locate Mrs Shipstone and later withdrew his services concerned Alromisse's motive was to take away the child.
East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said it was not clear how Alromisse eventually found the address but described the murder as a 'thoroughly despicable act of violence'.
He added: 'It was not in any way spontaneous. It was pre-meditated over a long period of time.'
He described it as a 'very sad and tragic case' and concluded that Mary had been unlawfully killed before ruling her father's death as suicide.
Speaking to Mrs Shipstone after reaching his conclusion, he said: 'You will, I hope, be relieved that the whole process of the coroner's inquest is over with.
'You have got through it and I hope that the process will be deemed useful to you. 'But the main thing is you can put a full stop at the end of this chapter and get on with your life.'
For an Example of Lawlessness, See the Supreme Court, Not Kim Davis
Exercizing her First Amendment freedom of religion
I always enjoy reading Charlie Cooke, even when he’s disagreeing with me. However, I must dissent from my friend and colleague’s disapproval of Kim Davis’s refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. If the community — including public officials — meekly acquiesces to the Supreme Court’s lawlessness, then the result will be far more harmful to the rule of law and our constitutional republic than is Davis’s lonely stand.
On a number of occasions, the Supreme Court has used the sword of its unaccountable power to rewrite the Constitution and fundamentally disrupt constitutional processes. Notable examples include, as I’ve pointed out before, Dred Scott and Roe. And then, with the damage done, it has used the shield of the “rule of law” to ensure that its lawless acts are respected and enforced, without exception.
The legitimacy of Davis’s protest is inseparable from the illegitimacy of the court opinion that made it necessary. And it is this very illegitimacy that means she should neither resign nor comply. Instead, she has chosen the proper response: resist.
Resignation in response to the Court’s ruling would have represented an unacceptable surrender. Indeed, from the perspective of the ideologues, it would have provided them with a complete victory — with the twin benefit of changing the law and cleansing public service of the devout. Resignations hand over the lever of power to the truly lawless, to those who will engineer social change by any means necessary.
Moreover, compliance in this case would have meant not merely participating in an immoral act but also bowing before an unlawful judicial oligarchy. There are Christians who disagree in good faith, who would say that Biblical commands to obey authority apply. Others, also in good faith, would note that obedience to authority does not mean and cannot mean participation in evil.
My own opinion is that the relevant “authority” a public official is to obey is the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The judicial branches’ power to interpret the law does not include the power to rewrite those constitutions.
Let’s be clear. The defiance Davis chose was mild indeed. She did not take up arms. She did not try to escape punishment. She did not even truly deny any single person a marriage license. Any citizen of Rowan County could get in the car and drive a few extra minutes to a neighboring county.
I grew up not far from Rowan County, and I’m not sure there’s a single point in the county that’s further than 30 minutes from a neighboring jurisdiction.
Indeed, her defiance was far less consequential than the Left’s flouting of the rule of law throughout the same-sex-marriage fight. NR’s own Nicholas Frankovich outlined multiple examples of mayors or county officials issuing marriage licenses in the face of controlling, democratically enacted state law. Leftist lawlessness included the government of California essentially attempting to fix the outcome to legal challenges to Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, by refusing to defend the law in court.
When the Obama administration declined to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, it stated that “much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA.” The Constitution, however, had not changed. Only the ideology of the president was different.
The Left’s ongoing defiance of the rule of law and established constitutional order goes well beyond the marriage battle to include sanctuary cities, lawless expansions of the scope of Title IX and Title VII, executive amnesties that are purported to change the legal rights of millions of immigrants, and nuclear agreements drafted in intentional defiance of the constitutional treaty-approval process. The list could go on.
Each of these acts is far more consequential to the rights of American citizens than Davis’s refusal to issue marriage licenses. Some of these lawless acts have cost Americans their liberty, others have cost Americans their lives, and the lawlessness of the Iran deal may cost the world another genocide.
Yet while lawless leftists live in the White House and run for president, Davis goes to jail. Davis’s draconian sentence is instructive. A judiciary secure in its reasoning and constitutional authority would see no need to deprive a peaceful woman of her liberty — especially when her resistance doesn’t deprive a single American of his constitutional rights, real or judicially fabricated.
Other legal mechanisms exist to hold her accountable, including fines, impeachment, and — of course — the next election. But Davis goes to jail — shortcutting Kentucky’s own enforcement mechanisms — partly to save gay couples a few minutes’ driving time but mainly to defend the dignity of a court system that long ago forfeited any integrity.
Charlie ends his piece by noting, in essence, that resistance is futile, declaring, “You can’t win a revolution by fighting on a single block.” No, but you can start a revolution with a single act. And with her single act of defiance, Davis has given America’s Christian citizens cause to search their own souls. How much more can we abide?
"God" ousted from the U.S. Airforce Academy
The first time I spoke with my son after leaving USAFA was about four weeks after he began basic. Among other things, I asked about his oath and he said, “They cut ‘So Help Me God.’” I asked if he meant simply that it was optional and he said, “No, they cut it.”
Needless to say, that got my attention. In fact, there was a group decision at USAFA to deliberately cut those words, first spoken by George Washington after his presidential oath. Not only that, the words were deliberately omitted from the officer and enlisted oaths in “Contrails,” the official USAFA Cadet Handbook.
I immediately began an inquiry with the Academy’s pubic affairs office, but my request was stonewalled. They suggested that if I wanted an answer I’d have to file a Freedom of Information Act request.
I did more than that. I enlisted the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, whose attorneys filed the FOIA.
That, in turn, led to an official letter of inquiry to the USAFA superintendent signed by 28 members of Congress asking for “a detailed explanation as to why the [AFA handbook] omits ‘so help me God’ from these oaths, despite the fact that the phrase is used in the very statutory language of the United States Code, and was part of the military oath drafted by the Founders themselves.”
Having met Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh at national security forums prior to his becoming chief in 2012, I wrote him, as did others who had read a column I subsequently published about this issue. Gen. Welsh is an outstanding leader and, though consumed with warfronts and Obama’s budget sequestration antics, he took the time to seek answers and respond to my inquiry.
I invite you to read my original column about this deliberate, illegal and disreputable omission: Obama’s End Run on ‘So Help Me God’ in Military Oaths.
It turns out that the deletion of these key words was largely motivated by a silent acquiescence to the demands of a serial faith stalker, Michael Weinstein, and his so-called “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” (MRFF). Weinstein has been targeting USAFA for years and, having already challenged numerous faith-based activities at the Academy with threats of lawsuits, he figured it was a soft target.
Suffice it to say that, with a little help from some friends, the words “So Help Me God” have now been rightfully restored to the USAFA Cadet Handbook oaths.
This was a small victory for our young people at USAFA, but in retrospect it has become clear that had we not intervened this deliberate omission would likely have been extended the following year within the official handbooks at the Naval Academy and at West Point. Based on that precedent, our legal team concluded that military oaths service wide could have been altered had this charade not been short-circuited.
So perhaps this was more than just a small victory, but the larger war against the Leftist cadres who now infiltrate every corner of our government is far from won.
As my colleague Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin says of Barack Obama’s efforts to oppress religious expression, “The very troops who defend our religious freedom are at risk of having their own taken away. The worst thing we can do is stop Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, especially the chaplains, from the free exercise of their faith.”
An exhibition of photographs of Muslims, Jews and Christians playing football peacefully seems like an unlikely target of a boycott.
But that is just what happened when Cardiff Council hosted the show at the local library - because the pictures had been taken in Israel.
In advance of the football match between Wales and Israel on Sunday, Cardiff Library agreed to host 'Jewish-Arab football: diversity and coexistence through lower-league football'.
But a spokesperson for Cardiff Council said that 'following a complaint', the exhibition had been taken down less than 24 hours after it opened.
'The Council is aware there are protests planned around the Wales Israel game at the weekend and this was taken into consideration,' the spokesperson said.
'Our libraries are buildings which promote free speech, but it was felt that running this exhibition could lead visitors to suppose that the Council was displaying bias.'
Judith Woodman, leader of the opposition at Cardiff Council, said that she was 'appalled' by the Council's 'shameful' censorship and demanded an inquiry into how the decision was made.
'Sport is non-political. We live in a democracy and have freedom of speech. By this action Cardiff Council have totally disregarded this,' she said.
'I intend to take matters further, not least with the Wales Audit Office. As a senior member of this shambolic administration I am aghast at what I have learnt this evening. 'It is a disgraceful reflection on our city.'
She added that 'there were protests in Cardiff for the Nato summit, but that wasn’t cancelled or censored'.
The project, created by photographers Gad Salner and Vadim Tarasov, records how football can bring rival communities together. It has previously been displayed at the Guardian offices.
The photography project focuses on lower-league football throughout Israel, emphasising how Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities come together through the beautiful game.
One example is the Betar Nordia Football Club in Jerusalem, a small, fan-owned club that promotes diversity and sportsmanship, while opposing violence and racism in football. The club’s Jewish participants play alongside their Arab Muslim and Christian colleagues.
'From forgotten Arab villages in the north to dusty Jewish neighborhoods in the south, we visit places where the seemingly ever-present tension between cultures evaporates, and where diversity is embraced, encouraged and celebrated,' said the photographers in a statement.
Yiftah Curiel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy, said: 'This is a boycott against peace and coexistence, in line with the destructive and belligerent aims of the movement to delegitimise Israel.'
The European Championship Qualifiers match between Wales and Israel will take place at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday.
Israeli clubs began taking part in European club competitions in 1991 and its football association became full UEFA members in 1994 - having famously beaten France in a 1993 World Cup qualifier.
Israel's team includes defender Tal Ben Haim, who plays alongside Welsh international Simon Church at Charlton Athletic FC.
Anti-Israel demonstrations are planned to coincide with the match.
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.