Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Multiculturalist jailed for keeping wife 'in servitude'
A man was handed a two year jail sentence Friday after becoming the first in England to be convicted of keeping his wife "in domestic servitude".
In what the Crown Prosecution Service said was the first case of its kind in England, London's Woolwich Crown Court heard that Safraz Ahmed, 34, imprisoned and beat his wife after an arranged marriage in Pakistan.
The mechanic from Charlton in southeast London forced his wife, Sumara Iram, to cook, clean and look after his mother from 5am to midnight every day after she moved to Britain in 2012.
He also slapped her in the face when she asked him to consummate their marriage, throwing tins of cat food at her head and covering her face with a cushion in other attacks.
Iram, 28, who had a master's degree in Islamic Studies, was forbidden from leaving the house alone and took an overdose before eventually calling the emergency services in 2014, the court heard.
Sentencing Ahmed to two years in prison for holding a person in domestic servitude, Judge Christopher Hehir told him: "She was bullied and controlled by you, given little money and expected to cook, clean and look after your family as if she was a skivvy.
"She described your behaviour as physical and mental torture and in my judgement, she was right."
Damaris Lakin, a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer who worked on the trial, said it was a "ground-breaking case which demonstrates how far we have come in tackling modern-day slavery".
The couple are now divorced.
Must not associate with conservatives
A leading gay and lesbian business group that was set to honor Governor Charlie Baker at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., this month has abruptly pulled its invitation after learning Baker will speak at a GOP conference in Las Vegas this weekend with top conservatives.
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce said Thursday night it has dropped its plan to celebrate Baker at its “Best of the Best Awards Dinner” on April 26 unless he decides to avoid the Las Vegas gathering and also embrace a bill that would protect transgender people in Massachusetts from discrimination in malls, restaurants, and other public accommodations.
The announcement came after US Representative Joe Kennedy III, a Massachusetts Democrat, balked at being an honorary co-host of the gala because of Baker’s refusal to take a stand on the transgender bill, which Kennedy strongly backs.
The episode underscores the difficulty Baker faces in attempting to both build bridges to national Republicans and also maintain his moderate image back home. A popular figure who supports gay marriage and abortion rights, Baker has repeatedly emphasized that his Massachusetts brand of Republicanism is different from the national GOP’s.
The Globe reported Wednesday that Baker is planning to speak at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring leadership meeting in Las Vegas, along with conservatives such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and controversial pastor John Hagee, who vociferously opposes gay marriage.
A spokesman Thursday night said Baker will still attend the Las Vegas confab. Baker issued a statement blaming the decision to disinvite him from the gay and lesbian chamber event on “partisan politics.’’
Baker and his administration have worked closely with the chamber on an initiative to boost gay and lesbian businesses that was trumpeted as groundbreaking by both groups.
In November, Baker announced the expansion of a program that helps businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans gain better access to a portion of an estimated $4 billion a year the state spends buying goods and services. The changes are poised to aid state vendors that contract with businesses certified as being owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people.
And chamber officials say they’ve been quietly pushing the Baker administration to support the transgender bill.
But Thursday, the two top officials at the chamber, president Justin Nelson and chief executive Chance Mitchell, issued a sharp statement.
They said they were not previously aware he planned to attend the Las Vegas conference, and that the gathering has “speakers whose values and positions” on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, community, are “antithetical to everything for which the Best-of-the-Best awards, the NGLCC, and our partners stand.”
The officials said their group informed the governor Thursday that “until he pulls out from this conference and publicly commits to full LGBT inclusion in Massachusetts, he will not receive the previously announced recognition, which would have allowed him to be present alongside our esteemed partners committed to dignity and respect for all Americans.”
Kennedy was originally a co-host for the chamber event, which is also slated to include House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat.
But after the Globe reported that Baker was going to be honored as well, Kennedy balked because the governor has not gotten behind the transgender public accommodations bill.
“Congressman Kennedy is proud to consider himself a friend to the NGLCC,” Kennedy spokeswoman Emily Kaufman said in a statement before the group’s announcement. “However he has respectfully asked the organization to remove his name from the list of honorary co-hosts for this event, given his strong support for transgender rights and Governor Baker’s refusal to support the public accommodations legislation currently before the State House.”
Late Thursday, Kaufman said Kennedy will now, once again, be an honorary co-host of the gala.
Baker portrayed the chamber’s decision as partisan.
“As the only governor in the country to recognize gay- and lesbian-owned businesses and as the only sitting Republican governor in the nation to sign the Supreme Court amicus [friend of the court] brief endorsing marriage equality, I am disappointed that some are putting partisan politics ahead of the sound public policy of treating gay and lesbian business owners with dignity and respect,” Baker said in a lengthy written statement.
The governor, who has a cordial relationship with the heavily Democratic Legislature, said he takes pride in making efforts to “reach across the partisan divide to find common ground with people who may not always agree with me and believe some elected officials’ reluctance to do the same is what ails our political system and does a disservice to the people we work for.”
And, in reference to the pending transgender legislation, Baker said he continues to “believe no one should be discriminated against based on gender identity, which is why I supported the transgender protections enacted in 2011 and look forward to reviewing further proposals should they reach my desk.”
Thursday marked a shift from the November announcement of the new state vendor program, heralded by both the chamber and Baker as a first-in-the-nation accomplishment.
At the time, Nelson, the cofounder and president of the chamber, lavished praise on Baker, thanking him for his “commitment to the LGBT community in Massachusetts.”
PayPal Hypocrite, Does Business in Countries Where Homosexual Behavior Is Illegal
In response to PayPal’s decision to not open a new center in North Carolina because of the state’s law against men using women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, Rev. Franklin Graham said PayPal is a “hypocrite” and noted that PayPal does business in countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, but it decided to fault North Carolina.
“PayPal gets the hypocrite of the year award!” said Rev. Graham in an April 6 post on Facebook. “This company says they’re not coming to North Carolina because the legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory have passed a law to protect women and children against sexual predators by not allowing men to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms.”
Graham continued, “Congressman Robert Pittenger made a great point yesterday: ‘PayPal does business in 25 countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, including 5 countries where the penalty is death, yet they object to the North Carolina legislature overturning a misguided ordinance about letting men in to the women’s bathroom? Perhaps PayPal would like to try and clarify this seemingly very hypocritical position.’”
“PayPal operates in countries including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Yemen for Pete’s sake,” said Rev. Graham, son of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. “Just last month PayPal announced they would be expanding in Cuba, a country in which homosexuals and transgender people have been imprisoned, tortured, and executed.”
“[U]nder the current law [in North Carolina] that they are so strongly protesting, PayPal could have chosen their own corporate bathroom policies,” said Rev. Graham.
In his post, Rev. Graham noted that North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, in response to PayPal, said on April 5: "If our action in keeping men out of women's bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it. North Carolina will never put a price tag on the value of our children. They are precious and priceless. If a corporation wanting to do business in North Carolina does not see the worth of our children in the same light, then I wish them well as they do business somewhere else."
“We need more politicians across the country with this kind of backbone,” said Rev. Graham. “Pray for the NC governor, lieutenant governor, and legislators that they stand strong against the attacks of this wicked agenda.”
Two weeks ago, the North Carolina legislature passed a law that says biological males must use men’s rooms and biological females must use women’s rooms (and locker rooms). The law allows transgenders to use unisex bathrooms, and transsexuals, post-surgery, can use the bathroom that their new anatomy matches.
PayPal, a pro-homosexual company, objected, however, and CEO Dan Schulman issued a statement saying the company would not now open a new operations center in Charlotte, which would employ about 400 people.
“The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture,” said Schulman. “PayPal is known to be a supporter of LGBT rights. The company earned a 100% ranking on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a national report on corporate policies related to LGBT workplace equality.”
Leftist inability to accept reality
Conservative Los Angeles filmmaker, journalist and playwright Phelim McAleer has provided a great deal of insight into the denialism that forms the heart of the progressive mindset.
Last year, McAleer penned “Ferguson,” a play about the deadly confrontation between police officer Darren Wilson and teenager Michael Brown. As stated on the play’s website, “The purpose of FERGUSON is to reveal the truth about what really happened on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, MO and to look at why and how the Grand Jury came to the decision they did.”
Moreover, in an industry currently roiled by a lack of diversity, it was a play “that offered ten roles for black men and women and even three significant roles for black women over 40 — which everyone agrees can be a career death zone for women (of all races),” McAleer explained in a recent editorial for The Daily Wire.
The device McAleer used to construct the play is something called “verbatim theater,” meaning the entire drama was constructed from the exact words spoken by those interviewed about a particular event or topic. McAleer revealed exactly what that meant in this case, stating “this was to be no whitesplaining of the issue. I wrote, or rather curated, the play only using actual Grand Jury testimony of witnesses (most of them black). I didn’t change their testimony at all. Not a paragraph, word or comma was added. It was to be a minute by minute account by multiple eyewitnesses of the last hours of Michael Brown’s life.”
An initially “enthusiastic” cast of 13 signed up for the staged reading over four nights at the Odyssey Theater in Santa Monica, California. But they apparently brought a lot of assumptions with them. Assumptions GQ Magazine described as expecting a play that “would proclaim Darren Wilson, the officer who shot the unarmed 18-year-old dead on August 9, 2014, to be in the wrong.”
Most of the cast’s enthusiasm lasted as long as the first rehearsal. After that, nine of the original 13 actors quit.
Some of the would-be cast members illuminated the reasons for their discontent. “It felt like the purpose of the piece was to show, ‘Of course he was not indicted — here’s why,’” stated Philip Casnoff, who admitted he hadn’t read the full script before arriving for the rehearsal. Following his discovery that McAleer was the playwright, the self-professed “very liberal, left-wing-leaning,” actor decided, “Whoa, this is not the place for me to be.”
Actress Donzaleigh Abernathy, daughter of civil rights movement leader Ralph David Abernathy, also quit when McAleer refused to edit the play to her liking. “We were all concerned because the testimony made Michael Brown look like a villain and a big bully and some drugged-out kid who was a bad guy,” she said before quitting. “Omitted from the script was the autopsy and the medical examiner’s report about how many times Michael was shot.” Abernathy wanted the drama to include the part of the medical examiner’s report indicating Brown was shot in the top of his head — because it apparently suggested to her that Wilson was standing over Brown when he shot him.
Actually, there were three autopsies performed on Brown. One was done by St. Louis County, another was privately commissioned by Brown’s family and a third was undertaken by medical examiners from the U.S. military. Media and advocate “theories” abounded as to what those autopsies actually indicated, but there is no dispute Brown was shot six times. Yet there was also physical evidence that included DNA samples taken from the “interior left front door handle” of Wilson’s police vehicle indicating Brown was the “source of the major male contributor profile,” ballistics evidence proving the gun had been fired into the door of the vehicle, and several eyewitness accounts reporting a “tussle” in Wilson’s car, prior to the shooting.
All of the physical evidence is consistent with Wilson’s grand jury testimony. In addition, that grand jury heard from more 60 witnesses, whose testimony ran to several thousand pages of transcripts. The grand jury declined to indict Wilson, leading to an investigation by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice. They also declined to indict Wilson because there was “no evidence” to disprove Wilson’s testimony that he feared for his safety, or evidence proving Brown had his hands up when he was shot. The report further noted that witnesses who asserted otherwise were “inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence,” or that “some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible or otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time.”
In other words, some of the witnesses lied.
Despite all this, Veralyn Jones, a black cast member who also resigned, offered the ultimate fallback position progressives take when reality conflicts with their carefully crafted narrative. “He claims that he wrote this to try to get to the truth of it, but everybody’s truth is totally subjective,” she said. “When you come to the matter of what really happened, nobody really knows for sure, because everybody has a different take on it. … It just didn’t feel right to me.”
“Subjective truth,” which is nothing more than flat out denial of reality, forms the heart of the progressive movement. From the “hands up, don’t shoot” lie that remains the principal impetus of the Black Lives Matter movement, to the leftist EU leaders who deny importing millions of Middle Eastern “refugees” is tied to increasing numbers of terror attacks and rapes, the “narrative” is all that matters.
With regard to the choices he made for his play, McAleer stood by his selection of the particular accounts he chose from more than 5,000 pages of transcript. “I picked the most dramatic chronological descriptions, the biggest liars and the biggest truth-tellers,” he said at the time. “It should be remarkably simple, but it’s not. It’s very complex.”
In reflecting on that stand last week, McAleer noted the quitting cast members “did not want to hear the genuine voices — even if they were black and under oath,” further observing their walkout “made a mockery of claims that there is a need for more diverse roles in the entertainment industry. This was a predominantly black cast in a play about a topic that was about an issue — police shootings of black men — that was of enormous interest to the black community.”
Enormous interest maybe — but only under certain circumstances. “In reality what activists obviously meant was that they wanted black roles that pushed a left/liberal agenda,” McAleer stated. “They may have wanted the actors faces to be a diverse color but they so did not want diversity of thought or ideas to be presented on the stage. No — those ideas had to be shut down.”
Shutting down the truth has disastrous consequences. Chicago leads the multi-city upsurge in violent crime more than likely attributable to the “Ferguson effect” that makes police officers hesitant to do their jobs. The city is on track to top 500 homicides for only the second time in the last seven years. Unfortunately, most of the murder victims will be black Americans.
That’s the truth. And there’s nothing remotely subjective about it.
Mississippi Is on the Right Side of History
Lawmakers in Mississippi took a stand for the First Amendment this week, and the usual suspects aren’t happy.
Liberal politicians, LGBT activists, and big business are all in a tizzy, claiming discrimination where absolutely none exists and completely misrepresenting this commonsense law in hopes of bullying the state to reverse its decision.
Here’s the scenario: Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling last summer, same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. The new Mississippi law does nothing to change that. As a matter of fact, this new law does not take away any right from anyone.
Instead, it protects something we used to cherish in this country—our rights under the First Amendment.
To be clear, the law does not ban any form of marriage. The law does not stop or delay the granting of wedding licenses to gay couples. The law does not ban gay adoption. Et cetera. Et cetera.
It simply says the government can’t force ministers or religious organizations or private business owners to participate in such activities if doing so violates their religious beliefs.
But apparently the whole “live and let live” mantra we’ve heard from the left for years doesn’t go far enough. They don’t just want their rights, which they now have; they want to strip away the religious freedom rights of fellow citizens and force them to approve and participate.
Some liberal governors are now saying they won’t allow their state employees to travel to Mississippi on official business. Well-known companies are threatening economic sanctions and boycotts because they don’t like the law.
Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi state legislature should be applauded for not caving to such pressure and for not selling out the First Amendment rights of their citizens for a pot of “intolerance” porridge.
Mississippi is on the right side of history. By standing up for our Constitution and the First Amendment, the state is fighting to protect our rights of free speech and religious freedom—the very rights that throughout history have made the difference between a free society and one that isn’t.
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.