Monday, June 20, 2016
Multicultural Hallowe'en prankster is convicted after filming himself terrifying trick or treaters with illegal stun gun and a balaclava
A Hallowe'en prankster has been prosecuted after filming himself opening his door in a balaclava and lighting up a stun gun while trick or treaters waited on the step.
Faisal Hussain, 26, opened his door with the banned weapon then filmed their horrified reaction and posted it on Facebook.
Judge Peter Hunt told Hussain he had 'frightened the living daylights out of them' as he ordered him to complete 180 hours of unpaid work at Bradford Crown Court.
Kirsten Mercer, prosecuting , told the court that police looked at Hussain's Facebook page after receiving an anonymous tip-off.
The video shows Hussain pulling the balaclava over his head and then say the trick or treaters had 'come to the wrong house'.
He is then seen running to the door with the stun gun and activating it.
The gun, which doubles as a torch, made a noise and an electric current lights up, sending the children running away from the door.
The petrified children were screaming but none were hurt and a court heard Hussain hadn't intended to injure any of them.
Police found the stun gun when they went to Hussain's house and a firearms expert confirmed it was a banned weapon.
Hussain told police a friend had brought it back from a holiday in Turkey and they had 'tasered' each other with it. He said he had used it as part of a prank and didn't realise how serious the situation was.
He told officers that when the children knocked on the door he told them to wait before putting on the balaclava and running out with the taser. He said it made a scary buzzing noise and filming it was part of the prank.
Bradford Crown Court heard the stun gun could give a small electric shock and was capable of causing pain, but not serious injury.
Jeremy Hill-Baker, for Hussain, said his client hadn't intended to hurt the children and had no contact with them. Mr Hill-Baker said: 'It was foolhardy and frightening behaviour by a man who ought to have known better, in the peculiar circumstance of Hallowe'en.'
His barrister said it was likely the incident wouldn't have come to light if it hadn't been posted on Facebook.
Sentencing Hussain to a 12-month community order and ordering him to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, Judge Hunt said it was an 'act of supreme folly'.
The judge said he was not entirely satisfied Hussain's motive was merely a prank, but he did not point the stun gun at the youngsters and hadn't intended to hurt them.
Hussain, from Bradford, admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possessing a prohibited weapon.
Judge Hunt ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the weapon.
Orlando has exposed the poison of identity politics
Our obsession with identity has robbed the victims of their humanity
There has been something deeply disturbing in the Western response to the Orlando massacre. There has been an instinct, actually a concerted effort, to estrange the 49 victims from the broader human family, to prevent their being talked about as part of humanity. Across the media, and in gay-rights circles, observers have insisted we refer to them as ‘queers’ first and avoid turning them into ‘disembodied, undifferentiated and abstract “human” lives’, as one academic put it. To talk about these people in the same breath as ‘Western values’, to allow their murder to be ‘generalised’, to refer to their slaughter as ‘an attack on humanity’, is wrong, commentators insist, because doing this erases their specific identities and the specific reason they were killed: their gayness. This is all meant to sound PC, and gay-friendly, an attempt to uphold the truth about what happened in Orlando; but in fact it exposes the profound anti-humanism of identity politics.
Within hours of the atrocity, the response had descended into a squabble over whether it was a homophobic crime or an attack on humanity. It surely speaks volumes about the moral disarray of the West that we cannot even agree on how the act and its victims should be referred to, far less what kind of robust, collective response to take to such Islamist-justified barbarism. A writer for the London Review of Books flagged up the ‘faultline’ between the way ‘many straight people are interpreting the Orlando attack’ and the way ‘many LGBT people understand it’. The straights are wrong, he says, to view this attack as ‘anti-Western’; it was anti-gay. An American journalist went further, saying: ‘If you are a cisgender, heterosexual, white person, please do not write about [Orlando].’ Guardian columnist Owen Jones told a news presenter: ‘You don’t understand this because you’re not gay.’ So, from the get-go, efforts were made to suppress solidarity, in essence; to prevent anyone who doesn’t share the specific identity of the victims from expressing an opinion or grief over their slaughter; to distinguish the victims, ‘queers’, from everyone else: ‘humanity’.
And as the days go on, this perverse removal of the Orlando victims from any broader narrative of humanity or the West or just ‘us’ – a writer for the Independent sniffily mocks the idea that it was an ‘attack on us all’ – has intensified. The commentators insisting that the massacre be given its rightful name of a ‘homophobic hate crime’ claim they are only trying to prevent the murdered revellers’ identities from being erased. We must stop this ‘erasure of the sexual and gender identities of the victims’, says one. Yet no one – literally no one – is denying that the Orlando massacre was an anti-gay attack. How could they? What gay-rights activists, identitarians and observers are really bristling at is the line that follows the acknowledgement that it was a homophobic attack, the line that says: ‘But it was something else, too. It was an attack on humanity.’ It’s this they find unacceptable, because the inexorable instinct of identity politics is separatism, an urge to emphasise the differences between various sections of humanity and most importantly the differences in victim status.
Many find the idea that Orlando was an attack on humanity threatening because it promises to undermine what they view as the unique victim status of gay people. As a gay columnist for the Irish Times said: ‘The world needs to acknowledge how some people are more hated than others.’ In short: acknowledge my victim status. ‘If you have never experienced homophobia, you’re less likely to recognise it or to know how it feels than someone who has’, she says. So this is her massacre, she feels it more than you; and thus you can claim no real moral relationship to it.
This urge among some to stake a moral claim to Orlando, and to prevent other, non-gay people from doing so, was made clear in a Sydney Morning Herald piece. It chastises those who ‘generalise’ the massacre – that is, who talk about it as an assault on humanity – and who in the process ‘deny LGBTI people… ownership’ of this act of mass murder. Ownership. That’s it. The thing motoring the efforts to remove the Orlando victims from ‘generalised’ narratives about humanity and Islamism and so on is a narrow, jealous desire to make this attack gay property; to ensure it becomes fuel, not for discussions about the West or humanity or collective stands against Islamist intolerance, but for the maintenance of the victim culture of gay politics. Victimhood is the most important asset for all identity groups; it’s the thing that grants them moral authority in this era when having suffered is prized more highly than being morally autonomous. The fury with which some are shooting down the ‘straight-washing’ of Orlando or its ‘co-option’ into narratives of humanity is driven by a pretty low effort to ensure that this barbarism remains grist to their mill and nobody else’s.
This discomfort with the idea that the massacre was both homophobic and an attack on humanity is captured again and again in the strange and bitter post-Orlando commentary. A British journalist slams those ‘portraying the massacre as an attack on humanity’. A writer for the academic magazine the Conversation spells it out even more clearly. He says the 49 dead should be remembered as ‘queer lives’ rather than ‘“human” lives’ (those are his quote marks around human). We must ‘reiterate the queerness of our dead brothers and sisters’, he says, and refuse to allow them to be talked about as ‘disembodied, undifferentiated and abstract “human” lives’. Read that again. He is saying we must actively, consciously, avoid referring to the victims as humans – or ‘humans’, to use his preferred punctuation – and just refer to them as ‘queers’. This is ugly. A few decades back, if gay people were killed you might expect homophobes to say, ‘They were only queer, not real humans’; now, alarmingly, and in a sign of how depraved identity politics has become, it is supposedly pro-gay people who say this, who effectively say: ‘Remember them not as people but as queers.’
The end result – the end result of all identity politics – is that people are dehumanised. They are reduced from complex beings to symbols; from messy, brilliant members of the human family that other humans can relate to and empathise with, despite being different, to mere identities, mere characteristics, mere sexual preferences, mere genders, mere skin colours. I would say that the victims of Orlando have suffered a double dehumanisation. First they were dehumanised by Omar Mateen, who clearly viewed them as less than human, as ‘faggots’, deserving of nothing more than violent death. And now they are dehumanised by the identity-politics narrative, which explicitly demands that we siphon them off from ‘generalised’ discussions of humanity and discuss them as ‘queer lives’ rather than as ‘human lives’. In a more PC, less apocalyptic, violence-free way, the mainstream purveyors of the politics of identity are repeating Mateen’s dehumanisation of these 49 people; they echo his foul belief that these people were queer first and human second.
The post-Orlando discussion should be of concern to anyone who considers himself a humanist. For it has confirmed the entrenchment of the politics of identity, and exposed how thoroughly it has usurped, or perhaps replaced, the older, more progressive politics of human solidarity. It shows that there is no escape from the identities we’re branded with. You are ‘born this way’, and you die this way, and you will be remembered this way: as an identity rather than a human. We must challenge this. We must insist that the Orlando massacre, this slaughter of gay people, was an outrage against humanity. And we must make the case that what we have in common with the people who were murdered in that nightclub – a desire for freedom; a shared humanity; a capacity for autonomy and empathy – outweighs every single difference between us that is currently being cynically talked up by a media and political set in thrall to the corrosive politics of identity. Those 49 people were humans first, and every human should rage against their destruction.
Dobson on 'Bathroom' Bills: 'Where Is Manhood That We Don't Stand Up and Defend Our Families?'
During a discussion about the transgender “bathroom” bills now affecting several states and all public school districts, author and psychologist Dr. James Dobson said it was wicked to expose children to transgender men (or women) in a bathroom or shower, and that this political correctness must be resisted and asked, “where is manhood that we don’t stand up and defend our own families?”
In a June 9 interview with Faith2Action founder Janet Porter on Family Talk radio, Dr. Dobson said, “Let me share a Scripture with you all that I came across that speaks to this issue. It’s addressed directly to parents, I think. It’s Leviticus 19:29. Listen to this: ‘Do not degrade your daughters by making them a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.’”
“That comes right to the heart of this,” he said. “It sort of feels like that’s where we are. We’re taking our little, vulnerable kids and we’re saying in the name of political correctness, ‘Here are our children. Do with them what you want.’ And I’m here to say that I’m going to fight that as long as I have breath in my body.”
Dr. Dobson further said, “I want to tell you something else. As a man, I not only care about my daughter, and I care about little girls across the country, [and] I care about [my wife] Shirley. I don’t want Shirley being in a bathroom where some grungy guy comes in there and zips down his zipper and does things that she will remember the rest of her life.”
“I mean, where is manhood that we don’t stand up and defend our own families?” said Dr. Dobson. “And I think that we’re going to be responsible before the Lord, if we don’t do it.”
Janet Porter said, “I completely agree. And what is the reason why some are still sitting on the sidelines? Because they’re afraid of being called a mean name. They don’t want to be called a bigot or a trans-phobe or homo-phobe. So, yeah, let the women and children suffer. That’s what’s happening.”
“We need men of courage, especially at this hour, to stand and fight,” she said.
A little later in the interview, Porter said, “You know, the Bible says it’s better to have a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. And I think, Doc, that this applies not just to those in the schools that are doing this, those in the White House and the Target Corporation. But I think it applies to parents.”
“Because if you don’t vigilantly watch what they’re teaching your children, if you don’t stand now, school administrators, if you don’t stand now and fight this, then this [Bible] verse, I believe, applies to you,” she said.
“Because these children are being led astray, they’re being harmed, they’re being violated and the only thing that can protect them is for those adults in authority to stand now and fight,” said Janet Porter. “This is our moment. This is our hour to stand.”
To counter part of the LGBT agenda, several states have introduced bills stating that men and women must use the public-access bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers that match the sex of which they were born: male or female.
The Obama administration opposes such laws and has directed all public schools that receive federal funding to provide bathroom and locker accommodations for people based upon “gender identity” – what a person feels is their sex regardless of anatomy and genetics.
Mass. Legislature Rejects Amendment to Bar Sex Offenders From Opposite-Sex Bathrooms
The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill last week requiring that all public accommodations be open to transgender individuals after rejecting an amendment that would have required Level 2 and 3 sex offenders to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificates.
According to the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety, a Level 2 sex offender is an individual who is at a “moderate” risk of reoffense. Level 3 sex offenders have a “high” risk of reoffense and pose a “substantial” degree of “dangerousness” to the public.
According to the bill, which passed on a 116-36 vote, “Any public accommodation, including, without limitation, any entity that offers the provision of goods, services, or access to the public, that lawfully segregates or separates access to such public accommodation or other entity based on a person’s sex shall grant all persons admission to and the full enjoyment of such public accommodation or other entity consistent with the person’s gender identity.”
The proposed amendment, which was rejected 58-94, stated that “any public accommodation that lawfully segregates or separates access to such public accommodation or other entity based on a person’s sex may prohibit a finally classified level 2 or level 3 sex offender from using any lawfully sex segregated facility, bathroom, or locker room that is not consistent with the individual’s assigned sex at birth.”
“I have nothing against the transgender community, but there are no protections in the bill to protect vulnerable individuals from those who would use this law for criminal purposes,” state Rep. Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleborough), one of the co-sponsors of the amendment, told CNSNews.com.
This bill will invite predators who will pose as transgender in order to put women in harm's way"This bill will invite predators who will pose as transgender in order to put women in harm's way."
The Massachusetts House also rejected another amendment imposing legal penalties for claiming a false gender identity to access a bathroom or locker room for an “improper purpose.”
The state Senate passed a similar version of the bill last month by a 33-4 margin, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told the Boston Globe that he intends to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.
Both versions replace "sex" with "gender identity" throughout Massachusetts' anti-discrimination laws, but the House version leaves the details about when and how gender identity must be proven up to the state's Commission Against Discrimination.
"The bill allows people on a routine basis to decide if they are male or female. Your anatomy is no longer relevant. This has absolutely nothing to do with discrimination, it has everything to do with changing our society and social engineering by those on the left," State Rep. James Lyons (R-Andover) told the Boston Herald.
Lyons introduced an amendment to the bill, which was rejected, that would have changed the state’s definition of “gender identity” to require evidence of medical history or treatment to establish a different gender identity.
Several other attempts to clarify the definition of “gender identity” in the bill were also rejected by the House, including an amendment requiring an amended birth certificate or government ID card to establish gender identity.
Massachusetts’current legal definition of gender identity is “a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth.”
It goes on to say that “gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person's core identity; provided, however, that gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.”
State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston), who sponsored the Senate’s version of the transgender bathroom bill, says it is the right thing to do to protect transgender people.
“In light of discriminatory legislation like HB2 in North Carolina, it is crucial that Massachusetts stand on the right side of history in providing public accommodations protections for our transgender residents,” she said.
However, critics of transgender bathroom laws - including Maya Dillard Smith, the former head of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - point out that allowing men who claim to be women to use female-only facilities poses a danger to women and girls.
Dillard Smith stepped down as director of the Georgia ACLU chapter after her young daughters were frightened at encountering three six-foot-tall transgenders with deep voices in a public bathroom.
“As there is an effort to advance transgender rights, what are the implications for women and girls?” she asked on Fox News, adding that the ACLU did not provide her with "the opportunity for robust discourse on the competing civil rights."
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.