Friday, May 03, 2019

Justice for Justine at last

The Minneapolis cops are good at coverups but this crime was so heinous that they had to let it go to trial

Why did the Somali cop fire?  His explanations are nonsense but I think I know why.  She was greatly admirable in her blonde beauty -- something he could never be.  So he fired in a jealous rage.  The constant Leftist shrieking about white privilege has now had a fatal outcome

The fiancé of Justine Ruszczyk Damond has spoken out against former police officer Mohamed Noor after the cop was found guilty of third-degree murder.

Don Damond told reporters on Tuesday that Justine's death exemplified a 'complete disregard for the sanctity of life.'

The Australian-American woman, 40, was gunned down outside her Minneapolis home after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her house in 2017. 

'Nearly two years ago my fiance, Justine Damond Ruszczyk, was shot dead in her pyjamas outside our home without warning as she walked up to a police car which she had summoned,' Mr Damond said.

'Ironically, the Minneapolis Police Department emblem on the squad door reads: "To protect with courage and to serve with compassion".

'Where were these values that night? That night there was a tragic lapse of care and complete disregard for the sanctity of life. The evidence in this case clearly showed an egregious failure of the Minneapolis Police Department.'    

Noor was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the 2017 death of Damond, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia.

A jury of ten men and two women reached a verdict on Tuesday after three weeks of testimony. The jurors were sequestered and deliberated for 11 hours.

Noor, 33, was found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and was acquitted on the highest charge, second-degree murder.    

Third-degree murder is also known as 'depraved-heart murder,' meaning the act was committed without intent to effect death, but caused by acting dangerously and without regard for human life.

Second-degree murder means the murder was intentional but was not premeditated.

Noor was acquitted on the second-degree murder charge. Second-degree manslaughter occurs when a person causes death through negligence.

He was immediately led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 7 and could face up to 25 years in prison. The former cop showed no reaction, but his wife cried as the jury's verdict was read at his trial.

During a press conference, Damond's father, John Ruszczyk, described the process as a 'painful journey' but said he was 'satisfied with the outcome'. 

Noor's attorney asked that he be released on bond pending sentencing, but prosecutors opposed that on the grounds of the seriousness of the case.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said it had concerns about Noor's safety if he was free.

The verdict is believed to mark the first time a Minnesota police officer is convicted on a murder charge for shooting someone while on-duty.

Damond, 40, was shot on July 15, 2017, shortly after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.

Noor fired at Damond from the passenger seat of the police cruiser he was in with his partner, Matthew Harrity, when she emerged from her home.

The victim, a yoga instructor, had approached the cruiser after calling 911 twice to report a possible rape in the dark alley behind her home. No such assault was ever found to have occurred.

In court, prosecutor Amy Sweasy said Noor violated Minneapolis police training policies - and endangered the life of his partner and a teenage cyclist also present.

She dismissed speculation that Damond contributed to her own death.

'He pulled (the gun). He pointed, he aimed, and he killed her,' Ms. Sweasy said. 'This is no accident. This is intentional murder,' she said.   

Noor had testified that he believed there was an imminent threat after he saw a cyclist stop near the police cruiser, heard a loud bang and saw Harrity's 'reaction to the person on the driver's side raising her right arm.'

Noor added that when he reached from the cruiser's passenger seat and shot Damond through the driver's side window, it was because he thought his partner 'would have been killed.'

He said that after Damond approached the cruiser, his partner screamed, 'Oh, Jesus!' and began fumbling to unholster his gun.

Then, Noor said he saw a blonde woman wearing a pink T-shirt raising her right arm at the driver's window, identified her as a threat and fired.

The prosecutor, however, suggested that the officers should not have been surprised by a woman walking to their car, given that the 911 caller reporting the possible sexual assault was a woman. 

Ms Damond, a dual US-Australian citizen was to due be married to her fiancée a month after her life was cut short.

Her death sparked anger and disbelief in the U.S. and Australia, cost the city's police chief her job and contributed to the mayor's electoral defeat a few months later.

Neither officer had their body cameras running when Ms Damond was shot, something Officer Harrity blamed on what he called a vague policy that didn't require it.


'I'm not going to invent a number': Bill Shorten refuses to say how much his renewable energy policy will cost – as experts estimate it would wipe $264BILLION off Australia's economy

Labor leader Bill Shorten, who is favourite to become Prime Minister later this month, has again refused to say how much Labor's climate change policy will cost the economy.

The Opposition Leader was asked several times on the ABC's 7.30 program about his plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 - which is much more ambitious than the government's 28 per cent goal.

To reach that goal, the required switch of power source from fossil fuels to renewables will come at a high price but Mr Shorten has repeatedly declined to say how much.

'I'm not going to get caught up in this government game of gotcha when you've got to invent a number which you can't possibly,' he told the ABC on Wednesday.

Leigh Sales, the host of 7.30, suggested there must be a short-term hit to Australia's gross domestic product and called on Mr Shorten to be frank about the cost.

'I accept your position that there's a long-term benefit,' she said. 'What I'm asking you to do is to square with the voters about exactly what the short-term cost is of getting to that position.'

Hours after that interview, BAEconomics released modelling showing Labor's climate change plan would cost the economy $264billion.

Dr Brian Fisher, the managing director of the Canberra-based consultancy, told Daily Mail Australia the 'economic consequences' would depend on a future government's willingness to accept international emissions trading permits. 'The impacts could be very severe,' he said.

BAEconomics released another report in March estimating Labor's climate plan would cost 336,000 jobs and cause an eight per cent plunge in lost wages by 2030.

In the 7.30 interview on Wednesday night, Mr Shorten argued no action on tackling climate change would cost more in the long-run. 

'You assume there is no cost to doing nothing and there is,' he said. 'If you don't change, then the cost will be far greater than any initial investments.

'If you're asking me to specify what a particular company and a particular factory will have to do, I can't do that, nor could you, nor can the government.'

On Thursday, Labor unveiled a $75million plan to create 70,000 renewable energy jobs.

The Opposition is also vowing to have 50 per cent of Australia's energy come from renewal sources by 2030.

In mid-April, Mr Shorten engaged in a tense stand-off with Channel 10 reporter Jonathan Lea, who repeatedly asked him to provide detail the economic effects of Labor's plan to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent within 11 years.


Christian schools warn over Labor’s anti-discrimination bill

A Christian school lobby group has warned that Labor’s plan to overhaul anti-discrimination legislation by removing the religious exemption for schools could hamper their ability to teach according to their values.

Christian Schools Australia, which represents about 140 faith-based schools across the country, has called on Labor to clarify its plans regarding the Sex Discrimination Act, in the wake of revelations that it would scrap exemptions that enable faith-based schools to employ teachers that represent their ethos and teach its traditional values.

Although Labor’s education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek this week signalled a strong willingness to support religious schools to continue to employ staff that “faithfully represent their values”, she declined to provide details of exactly how the rights of schools would be protected under Labor’s pledge to amend the Sex Discrimination Act if it is elected.

CSA national policy director Mark Spencer said the group had previously held constructive conversations with Labor over the issue, which sparked fierce public debate late last year when recommendations from the Ruddock review into religious freedom were released, but it was now unclear what Labor’s intentions were.

Mr Spencer has sought clarification from Labor.

“It sounds as though they expect us to rely on the employment process to deal with staff matters but you can’t put something in the employment contract if it is protected in discrimination legislation,” he said.

“We would be concerned with any plan to simply remove the exemption without replacing it with some other protection for religious schools.”

Charity lawyer Mark Fowler, an adjunct associate professor at the Notre Dame School of Law, agreed that removing the religious exemption without introducing accompanying legislative protection for schools posed a risk to faith-based schools.

“Private parties cannot contract out of federal anti-discrimination law,” Mr Fowler said.

“Where a school requires a form of fidelity from its employees that conflicts with a statutory prohibition on discrimination, the statute will override the contract, unless an exemption applies to balance the law with the requirements of religious freedom.

“Moreover, to authentically model their beliefs to students and the community, many schools seek to prefer teachers and staff who actually share their beliefs.

“On the face of it, Labor’s proposal appears to be to remove this ability.”

Currently, the Sex Discrimination Act prevents discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status however there are exemptions that permit religious schools to discriminate in their employment decisions, as well as in relation to education and training, if it is in the interests of upholding religious values.

The Australian Law Reform Commission is currently looking into religious exemptions in anti-discrimination legislation, including the Ruddock review and some of its more contentious recommendations.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has previously expressed its desire to retain the existing exemption. In its submission to the amended bill inquiry on behalf of the nation’s 1740 Catholic schools, it strenuously denied that Catholic schools used the exemptions “to expel or otherwise discriminate against students simply on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status”.

“The exemptions allow schools to focus on educating students according to their mission and identity,” the ACBC wrote.

“We are concerned that without adequate recognition of our religious freedom, we will not be able to maintain a school community that operates in accordance with the tenets of its faith and in a spirit of harmony and cohesion.”

In advice to the National Catholic Education Commission, which has been circulated to school communities today, the ALP said it respected the right of people to practise their religion freely and that Ms Plibersek had “made our position on the rights of religious schools very clear in parliament when she stated, ‘schools are also entitled to have rules that ensure staff … don’t deliberately and wilfully behave contrary to the values of the school’.”

It stressed that Labor was “not proposing to amend the indirect discrimination provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act that allow educational institutions to impose reasonable conditions, requirements or practices in accordance with the doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings of a particular religion or creed”.

It is understood that some within Labor believe that those indirect discrimination provisions could be key to religious schools being able to ensure that its teachers outwardly adhere to the institutions values.

In a dissenting report following an inquiry into Senator Penny Wong’s proposed Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018, which sought to prevent schools from discriminating against students, Labor Senators noted evidence as to whether schools needed to rely on exemptions to uphold the fidelity of an employee at their school or whether it was a contractual matter.

Their report referred to a hypothetical example of a teacher “who was not supportive of the teachings of the church in relation to a range of matters and who voiced that belief with students or with other staff in a fairly public manner”.

“It was noted in the course of this exchange within the committee that the exemptions can’t be used to uphold this kind of fidelity as a failure to uphold a specific teaching, but rather needs to be pursued through the contract with the employee,” said the Labor Senators’ report.

At a forum in Sydney on Tuesday, Ms Plibersek told an audience of about 250 Catholic school administrators, teachers, parents and students that she did not believe that there was “tension at all” between the rights of schools to require employees uphold their values and protecting people from discrimination.

“The way it was put to me was what we want is employees who can live by or demonstrate the values of our school,” she said.

“And I think that it is possible to find that balance where we don’t discriminate against people because of who they love or how they identify but that those people who are employees of an organisation have to faithfully represent the values of that organisation.

“I really don’t think that’s beyond us.”

Labor has previously advised Equality Australia, an advocacy group borne out of the marriage equality campaign, that LGBTI students and staff at religious schools were “at risk of discrimination “and it would “continue to work to remove all discriminator measures against LGBTI people from Commonwealth law”.

“Labor will not give up,” the response said.

“We do not believe that freedom from discrimination and religious freedom are mutually exclusive. We do not believe that the removal of these exemption will hamper a religious schools’ capacity to continue to teach its religion and operate according to its traditions and beliefs.”


Criticism of Leftist ideas about sexuality banned

A campaign billboard urging voters to put Labor last has been banned after it challenged Bill Shorten to explain whether he supports “drag queen story time” — a program which introduces young children to the concept of gender fluidity.

The advertisement — proposed by advocacy group Binary — superimposed an image of Mr Shorten over a depiction of a drag queen reading to curious children along with a quote from opposition equality spokesman Louise Pratt saying: “Drag queen story time is a wonderful idea.”

Senator Pratt made the comment in defence of a Perth business last November after the owners experienced pushback for inviting two drag performers to read children’s stories at a special event for rainbow families.

The event was inspired by the “Drag Queen Story Hour” — a program in the US which aims to capture the “imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood” and give kids “glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models”.

According to its website, Drag Queen Story Hour is “just what it sounds like — drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores.”

Labor refused to clarify yesterday whether it would use taxpayer funds to encourage the rollout of programs like “drag queen story time” or whether it believed such schemes should be voluntary, with the attendance of children depending on the attitude of parents.

It also refused to answer a question about whether groups opposed to gender fluidity should be allowed to participate in public debate and campaign in favour of gender being defined as either male and female.

The now banned billboard carried the slogan — “THIS TIME, PUT LABOR LAST” — but the Outdoor Media Association rejected the advertisement for breaching its code of ethics.

Binary was told that advertisements could not “portray people or depict material in a way which discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual preference, religion, disability, mental illness or political belief.”

Binary — a group which contests notions of gender fluidity — was informed the problem was a combination of the “picture and the words”. It was also told that an ordinary person would think that a sexual preference was being portrayed in a negative light, possibly fuelling vilification and ridicule.

Binary Director Kirralie Smith — who pulled out of standing for the Australian Conservatives NSW Senate ticket — argued the decision was an infringement of free speech. She said the Australian people should be able to have a discussion about the issue of gender fluidity ahead of the election without the debate being subject to censorship.

“I don’t think it’s acceptable that we are not allowed to discuss this key issue before an election. That’s not free speech, that’s not fair,” Ms Smith said.

“There are two critical issues here. First, Labor has made their position very clear — they believe that a Drag Queen should teach your kids that their gender is fluid, that they can choose if they are a boy or girl,” she said.

“Second, we are not able to even have the debate about whether or not this is a good idea during a federal election. And this a slap in the face to the parents of Australia.”


Israel Folau: censorship is a measure of intolerance, one step from book burning

Two university cases, that of professors Peter Ridd of James Cook University and Regina Ganter of Griffith University, and the situation of rugby player Israel Folau are of great interest to those who wish to uphold progress.

I think of Ridd. He is not the only one with his views but would appear to have very few scientists as supporters. Let him have his say — it does no harm if it is wrong and, unlikely that it be, only good if he is right.

Folau is in a different class. He expresses views found in his holy book. He has many like-minded folk, but they are not famous rugby players.

If we believe in religious freedom, he certainly has the right to repeat what his holy book argues. His Old Testament words are also found in the Jewish religion and do not differ much from the Muslim religion. Do we ban all religious folk from playing sport?

I am not of the same mind as either of these two. In the case of Ridd, I am concerned with climate change and chair a specialist climate change section of the professional body for environmental practitioners, the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand.

And, with regard to Folau, I do not share his religious beliefs any more than I share those of others who do not treat all humans as equal.

While I was composing this short essay, I was also reading a recent book by Raewyn Connell, The Good University, published by Monash University Publishing. Raewyn is what is commonly called a leftie. She promotes herself as “a long-term participant in the labour and peace movements”.

I was taken by her opinion on what university students need to experience.

She writes that “real learning in university should be disturbing, because it challenges existing ideas — and that will often be unpleasant”. I guess this means no trigger warnings and no shouting down of speakers with opinions one disapproves of.

This brings me to Ganter’s case. Contrary to what some have suggested, she was not removed from her class by her university. She was more than willing to allow one of her juniors to teach the remainder of the subject.

My concern with her case is that a student believed he had the right to censor a lecturer; that is, to remove her from her class.

Equally troubling is that this student, in demanding that indigenous culture should not be taught by a non-indigenous person, is denying empathy. Without empathy, we are no longer human.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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