Friday, November 24, 2017

Ratko Mladić convicted of war crimes and genocide at UN tribunal

The massacre of innocents can of course never be condoned and it seems clear that Mladic is a thug but I wonder if it could have been taken into consideration during his sentencing that it was Muslims he was fighting and killing?  His Republika Srpska was essentially the frontline of Serbs against the Muslims of Bosnia.

Both in the former Yugoslavia and worldwide Muslims have shown scant regard for the lives of others and retribution is very much a part of Yugoslav culture generally.  As the report below notes, he is seen as a hero by his countrymen.   He is adored, his portrait adorns bars and office walls in Bosnia and Serbia, his name sung at football matches.  Was he just a typical Yugoslav? His men appear to have followed him unhesitatingly.

Had my people been the victim of centuries of Muslim oppression, I imagine that I might feel similarly. Scots still remember Edward Longshanks (King of England from 1272 to 1307) with bitterness.  Serbs have to remember back only to 1812.  And are we allowed to mention the large number of Serbs killed by the Muslim KLA?

Finally: What Mladic did seems to have been no worse than what Muslims do frequently. Yet has anyone in the KLA or the Middle East been prosecuted for their deeds? Were Mladic a Muslim, would he have been prosecuted at all?

The one-time fugitive from international justice faced 11 charges, two of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and four of violations of the laws or customs of war. He was cleared of one count of genocide, but found guilty of all other charges. The separate counts related to “ethnic cleansing” operations in Bosnia, sniping and shelling attacks on besieged civilians in Sarajevo, the massacre of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and taking UN personnel hostage in an attempt to deter Nato airstrikes.

The trial in The Hague, which took 530 days across more than four years, is arguably the most significant war crimes case in Europe since the Nuremberg trials, in part because of the scale of the atrocities involved. Almost 600 people gave evidence for the prosecution and defence, including survivors of the conflict.

Delivering the verdicts, judge Alphons Orie said Mladić’s crimes “rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination”.

In evaluating Mladić’s culpability for genocide, the court pointed to his command and control of the Bosnian Serb army and interior ministry forces, which carried out almost all of the executions, his presence in the area, and his frequent remarks about how the country’s Muslims could “disappear”.

Once Mladic has exhausted any appeals, he could, theoretically, be sent to the UK to serve out the rest of his life behind bars. Britain is one of the countries that has signed up to the tribunal’s agreement on the enforcement of sentences.

The hearing, broadcast live, was followed closely in Bosnia. The Bosnian prime minister, Denis Zvizdić, said the verdict “confirmed that war criminals cannot escape justice regardless of how long they hide”.

In Lazarevo, the Serbian village where Mladić was arrested in 2011, residents dismissed the guilty verdicts as biased. One, Igor Topolic, said: “All this is a farce for me. He [Mladić] is a Serbian national hero.”

Mladić’s home village of Bozinovici retains a street named after the former general, where he is praised as a symbol of defiance and national pride.

Mladić’s defence lawyer, Dragan Ivetic, announced that he would appeal against the convictions.


For God's sake let boys be boys, and girls be girls, and stop this charge to turn them all into 'non-binary, gender fluid creatures of indeterminate sexuality'

By Piers Morgan

I'm a man.

There, I've said it. At the risk of offending the world's increasing army of hypersensitive PC-crazed snowflakes, I am proudly and unapologetically identifying as a male.

I realise that for some people, this admission alone is currently tantamount to having me fired, arrested and possibly publicly executed.

Think I'm being ridiculous? Think again.

Last night, popular US Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin tweeted this to her 22,000 followers: 'Here's an unpopular opinion. I'm not actually at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.'

So yes, for some people like Ms Lindin, just being a man right now is enough to warrant a career and life being wrongly destroyed.

She is the very worst kind of radical feminist, the kind that hates men so much it blinds her even to basic fairness and justice.

Yet Ms Lindin's tweet wasn't even the most outrageous gender-related thing I read today.  No, that accolade goes to a speech by Natasha Devon, former British government mental health tsar, to the UK Girls' School Association annual conference. In it, she advised that teachers should no longer refer to female students as 'girls' or 'ladies', or to male students as 'boys'.

Ms Devon explained: 'I would never walk into a room in an all girls' school and say girls or ladies because it would be patronising.'

She added: 'I don't think it's useful to be constantly reminded of your gender all the time and all the stereotypes that go with it.'

Warming to her theme, Ms Devon stated that 'boys' holds connotations of being macho and not talking about feelings, whereas 'girls' prompts a sense that everything must be done perfectly, which can stress them out.

Today, she doubled down on her comments after they sparked a furious reaction.

'There are several unfortunate, negative and largely unconscious connotations attached to gender,' she tweeted. 'In that context, the words 'boy' and 'girl' can come with a whole heap of invisible expectation which can stifle and cause anxiety in young people.'

Sorry, what? I've never heard such utter garbage in my entire life, and given I judged talent shows for six years that is a very high bar of garbage.

Speaking as a father of four children - three boys and a girl - I'll tell you what I think might just cause young kids more anxiety than being called 'boys' and 'girls' – and that is telling them they CAN'T be called 'boys' and 'girls'. The simple reason is they were born boys and girls.

Yes, they were all handed to the their proud parents at birth with the words 'Congratulations, you have a little boy' or 'Congratulations, you have a little girl.'

Not, 'Congratulations, you have a non-binary, gender fluid creature of indeterminate sexuality.'

These children will have spent years happily being boys and girls, and for the vast majority of them that's exactly how they wish to remain.

To banish these descriptive terms now is to the first step to banishing gender altogether, thus disrupting and destroying one of society's strongest and until now, least contentious norms: i.e. that we're all either male or female.

I suspect the real reason for Natasha Devon's speech can be found buried away as almost an afterthought. She said she was also advising the abandonment of the terms 'boys' and 'girls' to protect the feelings of transgender children. 'You can't presume that because somebody presents as a gender,' she insisted, 'then that's what they are.'

Erm, yes you can actually. A girl 'presenting' as a girl is a girl and a boy 'presenting' as a boy is a boy.

This belief doesn't make me transphobic, as some seem to think.

I fully understand and respect that some people genuinely feel they were born to the wrong biological sex.

I recently spent three hours interviewing Caitlyn Jenner for my Life Stories show and came away massively impressed by her extraordinary courage and determination in transitioning from all-American male Olympic gold medal hero Bruce Jenner to a woman.

This is not something anyone does lightly and those who do it should be treated with full rights, respect and equality.

But what I don't support is the creeping eradication of conventional gender altogether, as if somehow it is a bad thing.

This new gender war is being driven by the radical transgender community, which - like radical feminism to non-radical feminism - is a very different, far more aggressive, loud and extreme group to the non-radical transgender community.

They basically want anyone, including very young children at school, to be free to identify how the hell they like, and their campaign has been undeniably successful.

That's why Facebook currently provides over 70 different gender 'options', from 'two-spirit person' to 'neutrois' and 'transmasculine'. One is simply: 'neither'.

Now, I don't care if adults want to identify themselves as giraffes or parrots if it makes them happy. That is their right, so long as they abide by the laws of the land.

But I do care when massive pressure is applied on the rest of us to stop using words like 'boys' and 'girls' because it may offend the gender fluid brigade.

I also care that kids as young as five are being encouraged to embark on a journey to change their gender and/or sex before they even really know what either of things even mean.

Anyone who's had children knows they go through all kinds of confusing emotional turmoil before, during and after puberty.

Why add to that confusion by making them think that 'boys' and 'girls' are offensive terms?

There are so many obvious unresolved problems with this surging transgender activism.

Some schools have begun eliminating gender distinction in their sports programmes, so any boy who feels he's a girl can play on the girls' team. This obviously puts most female athletes at an immediate physical disadvantage.

Other schools now allow boys who identify as girls (apologies to anyone offended by those words…obviously) to use the female bathrooms.

How can that do anything but create huge unease and discomfort?

Companies are being bullied and harangued into converting to non-gender-specific merchandise lest they get branded 'trans bigots' on social media. We see it in our high street stores and on our TV commercials.

The problem gets even more acute when we consider sexual offenders in prison.

Already, we are getting cases of male rapists identifying as female so they can switch to female prisons. It doesn't take a genius to work out why they may want to do that.

So self gender identity is a very complex and potentially very dangerous thing.

We're told this this is the new civil rights movement, that gender is the newskin colour. But is it? What does the word 'gender' even mean?

Well, check any dictionary and it will provide a simple answer something like this: 'The state of being male or female.'

Therefore we are all either boys or girls, men or women.

If, on reaching adulthood, someone like Caitlyn Jenner reaches an informed, mature and unchanging belief that they were born to the wrong sex, then I will be the first to offer respect and encouragement for them to transition and fight for them to have equal rights.

But until then, for God's sake enough of this madness. Let our boys be boys, and our girls be girls.


Little Sisters of the Poor Are Returning to Court

The Little Sisters of the Poor is returning to court to defend itself against lawsuits from two states that seek to remove the order of nuns’ religious exemption from the Health and Human Services rule.

“Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro and California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra have now filed lawsuits trying to take away the rights that the Little Sisters just won,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket, a nonprofit, public-interest law firm that seeks to protect free expression of all religious traditions, said in a media call Tuesday.

“It is a shame that some folks want to dredge up the last administration’s culture war-fighting, and threaten the Little Sisters [of the Poor] and other religious charities,” Rienzi said.

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services rolled back the Obamacare mandate that employers cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

According to an email from Becket, the firm representing the Little Sisters of the Poor, “shortly after the new mandate was issued, the states of California and Pennsylvania sued to take away the religious exemption the Little Sisters just won.”

Becket is “asking the court to ensure that they can continue their vital ministry of caring for the elderly poor without violating their faith,” according to the firm. 

Rienzi said the lawsuits from Pennsylvania and California “are obvious political grandstanding.”

“These lawsuits actually talk about all of the other ways that these states already have and already are using to distribute contraceptives to women who want them, which of course proves that they don’t need Catholic nuns to do it for them,” he added.

Hearings will commence in mid-December, Rienzi said, and some of the Little Sisters of the Poor will be present.

Melanie Israel, a research associate for the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that the litigation from California and Pennsylvania shows hostility to religious freedom.

“In expanding exemptions to one of Obamacare’s most egregious assaults on rights of conscience and religious liberty, the Trump administration provided meaningful relief to Americans like the Little Sisters of the Poor who do not wish to be complicit in choices that would violate their religious or moral convictions.”

“You don’t have to share the Little Sisters’ beliefs to recognize that the government should not be able to force Americans to set aside their conscience when they step outside the four walls of a church to serve the poor, heal the sick, or educate the next generation,” Israel concluded.

The Obama administration’s rule, finalized in February 2012, mandated that employers cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees, whether or not it  went against the conscience of employers. Places of worship were left out of the mandate, but religious-affiliated groups that objected still had to bring in a third-party administrator to handle the contraception coverage.

The Trump administration’s new rule offered conscience protections for religious reasons and covers religious nonprofits such as churches. The moral exemption included in the rule covers employers who cannot provide contraceptives or abortion-inducing drugs due to their conscience and convictions, as The Daily Signal previously reported.

Rienzi is confident the Little Sisters of the Poor will prevail:

The Little Sisters will tell the judges in these new cases what they have successfully told the Supreme Court time and again, that governments do not need nuns to give out contraceptives, that our big country has room enough and space enough for diversity of ideas, that we can have both people who want contraceptives and nuns who can’t give them out and that the Constitution surely does not require the federal government to punish the little sisters or any other religious person for living out her faith.



Anti-Police Hypocrisy & Ignorance on Full Display in House Oversight Hearing

Lawmakers’ attacks took a brief pause during Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee grilling of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to allow their colleague Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee a few choice moments to showcase her personal bias, anti-police animosity and general ignorance of the federal components she purportedly oversees.

Jackson Lee’s tone was a slight departure from that of several of her committee colleagues which was contemptuous and working hard to paint the attorney general as a liar.  By contrast, Jackson Lee was principally just contemptuous.

The Texas congresswoman dispensed with the hypocritical niceties of thanking Sessions for his service and agreeing to testify at the hearing.  Instead, she waved a pocket-sized Constitution and asked whether the attorney general believed in that book and what it stood for.

Then, without the introductory drumroll, her staff began lifting a poster-sized blowup of an August 2017 FBI intelligence assessment cautioning recipients on the very real threat posed by Black Identity Extremists toward law enforcement.

The congresswoman could barely contain her disdain as she began her questioning on the assessment:

“It is interesting to me that you are opposing individuals who are opposing lethal force, similar to the attack on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in COINTELPRO, but there seems to be no report dealing with the tiki torch parade in Charlottesville chanting, ‘jews will not replace us.’  Why is there an attack on black activists versus any reports dealing with the alt-right and the white nationalists?”
Jackson Lee’s tone was thick with contempt but not so thick that her own anti-police bias and ignorance of internal DOJ processes weren’t fully exposed.

Had the congresswoman or her staff taken just a moment to read any part of the threat assessment, they may have actually recognized it as an FBI intelligence product, not one initiated by, processed by, or released by the DOJ.  Here, even a very basic understanding of the intelligence cycle and the roles of the various intelligence agencies might serve a congressperson; however, actual understanding of a process or of a threat or of an organization was, evidently, not part of this congressperson’s priorities. 

Perhaps Rep. Jackson Lee chose to read no more than the first three words of the assessment’s title, “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers” before she had her issue.  The FBI had the audacity to write about blacks who were targeting law enforcement and were successful in repeated deadly attacks.  How dare the FBI!

In her words, “you are opposing individuals who are opposing lethal force.”  Really?

Perhaps Rep. Jackson Lee should have perused page four that recounted the deadly ambush attack on Dallas police perpetrated by Micah Johnson who “expressed a desire to kill white people, especially white officers” and who “searched and liked social media pages of B[lack] I[dentity] E[xtremists] and black separatist groups and had been ousted from a local BIE group for being too radical … .”

Possibly, on that same page, she might have seen the reference to the brutal October 2014 hatchet attack by Zale Thompson on four New York Police Department officers, and how Thompson was reportedly angered by recent deaths at the hands of police.  Or that Thompson’s own writings advocated for armed struggle against “the oppressors” and “mass revolt” against U.S. systems.

Just maybe, Ms. Jackson Lee could have flipped to page five of the assessment to find intelligence on BIE ideologies and how those ideologies may have pushed on Gavin Long to ambush and shoot six law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge in 2016 or on another man who mowed down a group of police officers with his vehicle in Phoenix later in 2016.

Or maybe not.

Instead of reading the entire FBI assessment and understanding the very real threat posed by people and groups who adhere to hateful, racist ideologies, including Black Identity Extremists, this congresswoman chose an alternate path.  Somehow, hate-driven killers and would-be killers of law enforcement officers must be among Rep. Jackson Lee’s constituency and must be protected, here, from an overreaching FBI that, in their misguided way, chose to warn about hate-driven killers and would-be killers of law enforcement officers.

Politics, hypocrisy and ignorance were on full display in the House oversight hearing on Tuesday.  It was one sorry version of a civics lesson and one that arrogant, party-serving politicians like Ms. Jackson Lee will never apologize for.



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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