Sunday, February 11, 2018

Some more vibrant multiculturalism

The perp smiling

An Ohio man has been sentenced to 62 years behind bars for the brutal murder of a 16-year-old girl whose body he carried in a playpen bag to a landfill after killing her.

Ricki Williams, 22, was jailed on Tuesday for the 2014 murder of Gina Burger.

Burger had been at her birth mother Jackie Bacher's apartment in Austintown, Ohio, when she vanished not long after telling her she was going out to get bags for ice tea.

The teenager was adopted when she was three and taken out of Bacher's care.

She grew up in Texas, with adoptive mother Michelle Bennett, and had traveled to Ohio to spend time with her birth siblings after reconnecting with them on Facebook.

On June 23, she ended up in the apartment of her birth mother's neighbor where Williams, who is homeless and who she did not know beforehand, was staying.

He stabbed her to death and chillingly pulled the knife out of her chest to smell it afterwards.

The neighbor Ronisha Johnson, testified against him and described the killing. She said Williams held her and Gina hostage and the teenager pleaded for her life before being stabbed to death.

After he killed her, Williams used a bag that Johnson used to carry her son's portable playpen to move the teenager's body out of her apartment.  

He brazenly left it in the dumpster outside where it sat for a whole day before being taken by trash collectors to a landfill 20 miles away across state lines near Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, Williams was sentenced to 62 years in jail.

He was remorseless and maintained his innocence, telling the judge: 'I didn't kill that girl. 'I just want to put that out there. 'I didn't do it and I'm sticking with it,' he said, according to WYTV which attended the sentencing hearing.

In earlier proceedings, he tried to plea guilty by way of insanity. He was convicted on a plea deal but claims he only accepted it to avoid being executed.

Bacher, who overdosed on heroin days after Gina's murder and who paraded herself to local media as her mother in the immediate aftermath of her death, was not present for the sentencing.

Bennett was there, having travelled from Texas to see Gina's killer put behind bars.

In a stern victim impact statement, she labeled him a 'piece of s***' and 'waste of oxygen.' 

I am the p***** off mother of a murdered child who you had no right to take away from me, her father and our family.

''You're a piece of s*** who killed a defenseless and innocent 16 year-old, 5ft 3, 100lb child.



Bermuda abolishes same-sex marriage after legalising it a year ago

In an unusual move, Bermuda has abolished same-sex marriage less than a year after it was legalised, replacing same-sex unions with domestic partnerships.

On Wednesday, Bermuda Governor John Rankin signed into law a bill that reverses an earlier Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

The new law gives domestic partners in the British island territory similar rights as married couples - but without the legal title.

The government said the Domestic Partnership Act was "intended to strike a fair balance" between opposing parties on the conservative island.

"While the majority of Bermudians do not agree with same-sex marriage," according to a statement on the government's website, "it is the Government's belief that this Act addresses this position while also complying with the European Courts by ensuring that recognition and protection for same sex couples are put in place.

"The Act is intended to strike a fair balance between two currently irreconcilable groups in Bermuda, by restating that marriage must be between a male and a female while at the same time recognising and protecting the rights of same-sex couples."

The British government said it disapproved of the move but couldn't rightfully intervene, and critics called it a dark day for civil rights.

"This is not equality," Joe Gibbons, a gay Bermudian who is married to his partner, told The Guardian. "And the British government has obviously just said, 'This is not our fight.' "


North Carolina Settles With Magistrate It Forced Out for Not Doing Gay Marriages

The state of North Carolina has restored lost salary and retirement benefits to a former magistrate whom officials forced out because she wouldn’t abandon her religious beliefs to perform civil marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Gayle Myrick won $300,000, including $122,660 in back pay, in a settlement agreement made public Wednesday by her lawyers at Becket, a Washington-based nonprofit that defends religious freedom.

“This case is about protecting the dignity of everyone in our diverse society,” Becket counsel Stephanie Barclay told The Daily Signal in an email. “Faith and sexual orientation are deeply important to the identity of many people, and these two things don’t have to be at odds with each other.”

An administrative law judge ruled nearly a year ago that the state violated civil rights laws when it forced Myrick to resign as a Union County magistrate because of her religious beliefs about marriage.

North Carolina was “obligated to provide an accommodation” to Myrick as provided by federal law, Judge Michael Devine’s March 8 ruling said.

Myrick, now 68 and a resident of the Charlotte area, originally filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the federal Government Employee Rights Act. The final settlement in Myrick v. EEOC ends the case.

“The state of North Carolina should not have discriminated against Gayle Myrick for her sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage. Accommodating her conscience took nothing away from same-sex couples’ ability to obtain marriage licenses,” Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and Emilie Kao, a lawyer who directs Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, said in a joint statement to The Daily Signal.

“Our country has found ways to honor the consciences of those with differing views on the death penalty, the draft, and abortion. And federal employment anti-discrimination law requires we do the same on marriage too. Anything less would be un-American,” Anderson and Kao said.

Here’s what happened to Myrick, according to Becket:

As a magistrate, Myrick issued warrants, set bail, processed fines for traffic violations, and occasionally performed civil marriage ceremonies.

Even before the Supreme Court redefined marriage to include same-sex unions in 2015, Myrick, an evangelical Christian, decided that she didn’t want to stop any couple from getting married but knew it would violate her religious beliefs to officiate at a same-sex wedding.

Her immediate supervisor proposed that Myrick could shift her schedule by a couple of hours so she wouldn’t be at work when other magistrates did marriage ceremonies.

The state government rejected this accommodation, however, and forced Myrick to resign in October 2014, two weeks before her retirement benefits vested.

“I have always wanted to find a way to protect everyone’s dignity,” Myrick said at the time, according to a written statement provided by Becket. “The solution in my case would allow any couple to get lawfully married without facing rejection or delay, and magistrates with religious beliefs like me could step aside and still keep our jobs.”

Later in 2015, state lawmakers passed a bill allowing magistrates to decline to perform same-sex marriages if they cite religious beliefs. In doing so, they must refrain from all marriage ceremonies, the Associated Press reported.

Other magistrates in Union County routinely shifted schedules for various reasons, including vacations or night classes, Myrick’s lawyers argued, and she could have kept her job if she made the change for a reason not motivated by faith.

“If one government employee can change their work schedule to go fishing, another should absolutely be able to change their schedule for their faith,” Barclay told The Daily Signal.

State officials later acknowledged treating Myrick unfairly, she said, and the Nov. 27 settlement agreement “makes her whole” by paying the lost salary and retirement benefits.

W. Ellis Boyle, a lawyer in Raleigh, also represented Myrick.

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Justice Department, the agency that represented the state in the case, declined comment Wednesday, AP reported.


Fixing a Foster Care System That Would Ban Mother Teresa

In one of the most moving parts of the president’s State of the Union address, President Donald Trump honored Ryan Holet—a police officer who decided to adopt the baby of a heroin addict.

Holet encountered the baby’s parents while on duty and asked the mother, “Why do you have to be shooting that? You’re going to ruin your baby. You’re going to kill your baby.”

After some thought and reflection, Holet and his wife decided to adopt the baby, who was born in October. They named her Hope. Little did they know that three months later, they’d be attending the president’s annual address.

Stories like Hope’s are inspiring, but sadly rare among kids born into her situation. Children like her often end up in
foster care and never find a happy ending.

What’s even more tragic, however, is that the ACLU and other groups are doing everything they can to prevent that happy ending. In many states, the ACLU is fighting to have faith-based foster care and adoption agencies shuttered.

Why? Because those agencies operate consistently with the same religious beliefs that lead them to serve these vulnerable children, including some that place children only in homes where they’ll have a married mother and father.

The ACLU wants to give these faith-based agencies an untenable choice: Renounce your faith, or stop helping children.

The most absurd aspect of the ACLU’s activism is that in each of the states where it is threatening faith-based adoption agencies, there are secular adoption agencies more than willing to place children in other family arrangements—no one is prevented from fostering or adopting.

But that’s not good enough for the ACLU. According to it, it’s better for no one to help a child in need than for a Catholic to help a child in need.

This purge of religious adoption agencies has already taken place in Illinois, where activists successfully shut down Catholic Charities, displacing 3,000 children because they dare to share the same religious tradition that motivated Mother Teresa to care for the orphans of Calcutta.

Faith-based agencies like Catholic Charities are an essential element of a foster care system that needs more—not fewer—foster care providers, especially as the opioid crisis worsens.

Children in the foster care system are passed around from home to home, constantly facing an unstable, unpredictable future. For half of the girls and for more than half of boys in the foster care system, that future will include jail.

While some kids are reunited with their parents, more than a quarter never will be, leaving over 100,000 of them waiting to be adopted.

The reality is that more than 60 percent of kids who spend time in foster care spend two to five years there without being adopted, while almost 20 percent spend more than five years in the system.

Many never find a family simply because there are not enough high-quality foster homes, group homes, and other critical services.

The demand for foster care has never been higher. Nationally, the number of kids in foster care rose by 10 percent in the last six years. In Florida, for example, that number rose by 129 percent in just three years.

Drug abuse is the No. 1 reason children enter the system. When I worked in Florida’s child welfare system, I witnessed firsthand families ravaged by drug abuse. More than 60 percent of child removals last year were due to substance abuse, a figure that nearly doubled in the last few years.

Now, the ACLU and others on the left have decided that this public health emergency is the right time to sabotage these children’s hopes of being placed with a loving family.

Congress should protect our children from this misguided effort to score culture war points at the expense of our country’s children.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act to prevent states from discriminating against foster care agencies on the basis of religion.

This bill takes the right approach. Unlike the ACLU’s litigation strategy, which excludes, this bill welcomes everyone who is willing to lend a hand to help an already overwrought foster care system.

This is too urgent to ignore. The opioid health crisis has children pouring into the foster care system. States must be permitted to take federal funds to care for children without driving out some of the best, longest-serving foster care providers from a system that desperately needs their help, all because these providers follow religious beliefs the ACLU dislikes.

Every child deserves hope and a home. Congress should not let the ACLU steal even one more child’s chance at a happy ending.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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