Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Another Mohammed at work
Two 'lovely' children who died after their father allegedly torched their family home in a murder-suicide attempt have been pictured for the first time.
The six-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother were pulled from the house in Hamstead, Birmingham, yesterday.
Their father, aged in his 30s, was found in the wreckage of a Vauxhall in Newcastle-under-Lyme at 7.15am on Friday, four hours after the building was set alight.
The children have been named locally as Leanor and Saros. Their father is understood to be Endris Mohammed.
Neighbour, Ian Jameson, 54, said: 'Their deaths have shocked my kids as well as everyone else.
'He was such a lovely lad, it will be such a shock to not see them anymore.
'I saw the dad now and again getting in and out of the car, I think he said hello once or twice in the year they've lived here.
'I never met the mother, I've been here for 20 years and everyone seems to know everyone more or less but they kept themselves very much to themselves.'
Brian Ball, 66, a pensioner who has lived on Holland Road for 40 years, said: 'The kids were golden. 'My grandchildren would play with them in the street as they do.'
The children's mother, Penil Teklehaimanot, 36 who works at Ashmill Residential Care Home did not suffer serious injuries and is now helping police as a witness.
The post-mortem of the siblings was scheduled for this morning
Neighbours had already started performing CPR on the children by the time firefighters arrived on Holland Road at 3.40am.
Police said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Slevin told a press conference yesterday that the car fire and fatal blaze at the Hamstead home - some 40 miles away - are connected.
'I can confirm that at 7.15am today in Whitmore Road in Newcastle-under-Lyme a black Vauxhall Insignia was found with significant fire damage,' he told reporters.
'A male that was found with that vehicle is currently in hospital with critical injuries. 'We believe these two incidents are connected. We are not looking for anybody else in connection with the fire here.
'I will confirm that the person who suffered injuries in Staffordshire is known to be the father of the children who are deceased.'
Neighbours have told how the young girl and boy were pulled out of the blazing home by other residents - including one heroic woman.
He said: 'She told me that the neighbour over the road from her rushed into the house and picked up one of the children and brought it onto the lawn.'
'Treatment continued en-route to hospital with the boy being taken to Sandwell Hospital and the girl to Birmingham Children's Hospital.
'Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival at the hospitals, it became clear that nothing could be done to save either child and they were confirmed deceased.
Obama Threatens to Veto Military Bill Because It Protects Religious Groups
On D-Day, Franklin Roosevelt famously asked a country of many faiths to pray that God protect our troops as they “struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization” against tyranny.
Given our military’s tradition of defending religious liberty from attack, it is disappointing to see President Barack Obama threaten to veto the military’s main authorization bill if it contains protections for religious freedom.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an annual bill that sets policies and budgets for our nation’s fighting forces and is currently being negotiated by both houses of Congress in conference before a final vote.
Included in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act is an amendment offered by Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., that applies decades-old religious exemptions from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) to federal grants and contracts.
The Russell Amendment is sound policy that will prevent the administration from stripping contracts and grants from faith-based social service providers whose internal staffing policies reflect their faith.
Jewish day schools and Catholic adoption centers, for example, are not liable under Title VII for being authentically Jewish or Catholic, and their staffing policies shouldn’t disqualify them from federal grants and contracts either.
But Obama’s veto threat is actually the strongest proof of why the Russell Amendment is needed. It shows that the president wants absolute freedom to discriminate against religious social service providers that interact with the government—all because many religious organizations won’t endorse the LGBT cause. Congress should say no to the president’s blatant attack on religious diversity.
Undermining Religious Liberty
For decades, the left has attempted to raise sexual orientation and gender identity to special protected status through Congress. Seeing little success using the democratic process, the Obama administration has instead turned to issuing various edicts that misinterpret existing civil rights protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
On July 21, 2014, Obama issued an executive order that unilaterally elevated sexual orientation and gender identity to special status for purposes of federal contracts.
As our colleague Ryan T. Anderson pointed out at the time, the order “disregards the consciences and liberties of people of goodwill who happen not to share the government’s opinions about issues of sexuality. All Americans should be free to contract with the government without penalty because of their reasonable beliefs about morally contentious issues.”
Obama wants absolute freedom to discriminate against religious social service providers that interact with the government—all because many religious organizations won’t endorse the LGBT cause.
The executive order left in place the Title VII religious staffing exemption, and the Russell Amendment merely reaffirms this protection while clarifying that religious organizations have a right to employ people committed to authentically living in accordance with their faith tenets. In short, religious organizations are free to be religious organizations.
But Obama would interpret existing religious protections narrowly in order to make religious groups bend to the LGBT agenda. As seen in the administration’s education and health care mandates on gender identity, in practice, this means requiring employee bathrooms and showers meant for women be opened to biological men who self-identify as female regardless of people’s religious beliefs on the matter. The administration’s proven lack of respect for religious freedom when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity policies is more than enough reason to keep the Russell Amendment.
Reaffirming Long-Standing Policy Is Apparently Unacceptable
Despite the Russell Amendment’s straightforwardness and precedent, 42 Senate Democrats have written to the Senate Armed Services Committee asking that the Russell Amendment be stripped from final National Defense Authorization Act language during conference negotiations.
The letter states that prospective employees should not be “disqualified from a taxpayer-funded job based on an individual’s religions.” Except that’s not how federal contracts typically work. Existing organizations bid for contracts to produce services or products based on their ability to deliver them, not to provide somebody “a taxpayer-funded job.”
The programs at issue are designed to help the needy in the most effective and efficient way possible, and faith-based organizations have proven that they are often the very best at providing these social services precisely because of their faith-based character.
But moreover, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act already specifically protects religious organizations’ ability to hire based on religion, so the burden is on the objectors to the Russell Amendment to prove why a system that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court and has served religious pluralism well for decades should now be stripped away when it comes to federal contracts.
Will Congress Hold the Line?
The Russell Amendment was included in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act and passed by a comfortable margin (277 to 147) because it reflects the best of our traditions without taking away anything from anyone.
Congress should not let the president’s veto threat get in the way of passing sound policy, and the Russell Amendment is just that—a commonsense continuation of policy that has served our diverse society well since 1964.
Georgia's Anti-Christian Crusade
Give us your sermons. The state of Georgia is requiring that Dr. Eric Walsh, a pastor who is suing the state for wrongful termination, turn over all his past sermons. This chilling story has been developing since 2014, when Dr. Walsh was suddenly terminated from his job as district director with Georgia’s Department of Public Health mere days after being hired. Walsh contends he was fired due to his religious beliefs, and he has a good argument to support this claim.
Approximately a week after Walsh was hired, the health agency requested copies of his sermons — a request with which he complied. After reviewing these sermons, the agency fired him, so it’s no wonder he objects to submitting them to the state. The state of Georgia contends that Walsh was fired for failure to disclose “outside employment.” This is a questionable argument, given that Walsh, during his interview for the job, did indeed disclose the fact that he preached for a local congregation. If the dispute over his firing had nothing to do with his religious beliefs, then why would the state request he turn over all his sermons, sermon notes and anything he has written on his religious beliefs, including any content written on social media sites?
This anti-religion (specifically anti-Christian) crusade perpetrated by many on the Left is fundamentally a misapplication of the separation of church and state. The state’s concern should not be protecting the public from religion, but protecting the right of the public to freely and openly engage in religion. The idea that one’s religious beliefs should be kept private and not be allowed to have an impact on one’s work and opinions is simply absurd. Everyone has a worldview that informs and motivates their decisions and actions. To act like this is not the case is to deny reality.
Australian feminists block Cassie Jaye’s Red Pill
“The Red Pill: The movie about men that feminists didn’t want you to see.” This was the provocative headline that ran in Britain’s The Telegraph last November, a teaser for a documentary made by a feminist filmmaker who planned to take on men’s rights activists but was won over and crossed to the dark side to take up their cause.
Despite a ferocious campaign to stop the movie being made, it’s finally been released and the Australian screening was due next week in Melbourne. However the gender warriors have struck again, using a change.com petition to persuade Palace Cinemas to cancel the booking. Palace took the decision after being told the movie would offend many in its core audience but by yesterday 8000 had signed petitions protesting the ban. Organisers are now scrambling to find another venue.
Clearly this documentary has the feminists very worried — with good reason. Cassie Jaye is an articulate, 29-year-old blonde whose previous movies on gay marriage and abstinence education won multiple awards. But then she decided to interview leaders of the Men’s Rights Movement for a documentary she was planning about rape culture on American campuses. As a committed feminist, Jaye expected to be unimpressed by these renowned hate-filled misogynists, but to her surprise she was exposed to a whole range of issues she came to see as unfairly stacked against men and boys.
As news of this very public conversion started to leak out, Jaye came under attack. She was smeared, told she was committing “career suicide” and saw her funding dry up to the point where it looked as if the movie would never be made. Prominent feminists she had planned to interview refused to participate; none of the “human rights” funding she hoped to attract proved available for a documentary on men’s rights.
Then a Kickstarter fund raised $211,260, ensuring the movie’s cinematic release. Over the past month there have been screenings in the US, and hopefully Australian audiences will eventually get to see what the fuss is all about.
The title The Red Pill refers to a scene in The Matrix when Keanu Reeves’s character takes the red pill to expose “the truth” that challenges his closely held beliefs. Jaye’s The Red Pill reveals a world where the cultural dialogue is dominated by feminists still complaining that men have all the power, yet the “truth” in most Western countries is that many laws, attitudes and social conventions make life tough for men. Her fly-on-the-wall technique includes interviews with Men’s Rights Movement leaders such as Paul Elam and feminists who oppose the movement, graphics and animations revealing facts about family law and child custody, male suicide rates and the not-so-privileged side of traditional manhood, such as the 90 per cent of workplace fatalities that are male.
There’s a powerful interview with Erin Pizzey, who is no longer allowed near the British women’s refuge she started back in the 1970s, the first in the world. Pizzey ran afoul of the sisterhood by campaigning to expose the truth about women’s role in domestic violence.
Jaye shows feminist protesters shutting down a talk at a Toronto campus by men’s activist Warren Farrell, screeching at a young man who tried to attend and berating him as “f..king scum”, and on another occasion setting off a fire alarm in a building where a men’s rights lecture was to be held.
There’s discussion of men’s lack of reproductive rights, which includes a clip from a chat show where the audience cheers when a woman whose husband is resisting a second child says she’s considering going off birth control without telling him.
Reaction to the movie has been mixed, with the flamboyant anti-feminist Milo Yiannopoulos describing it as “a powerful film on a complicated, important, yet woefully unaddressed issue”. He applauds Jaye for “having the intestinal fortitude to not only tackle this subject, but to do so fairly”. Predictably, the movie has been panned by the left-wing The Village Voice, which calls Jaye an “MRM-bankrolled propagandist”, and the Los Angeles Times, whose reviewer claims she failed to understand “patriarchal systems”.
Stephen Marche in The Guardian admits that “men do sometimes suffer mistreatment from the courts or from the women in their lives”, but suggests the film fails to demonstrate any systemic cause. “Instead, the author of men’s troubles here is always that vague bugaboo feminism, which we’re told is designed to silence its opponents,” sniffs Marche.
That’s pretty ironic, given this “vague bugaboo” persists in trying to silence Jaye’s attempts to tell this story. As she points out in her movie, the issues she examines came as a revelation not only to her but to many others exposed to the material she put together. That bugaboo carries a lot of clout.
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.