Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Gosnell to get life in prison without parole

quinn.anya (CC)

quinn.anya (CC)

AP reports, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, in exchange for waiving appeals, will be sentenced to two life sentences without parole. The agreement was reached with prosecutors, in part due to Gosnell’s age – at 72, it is unlikely that he would survive to complete the appeals process, and would likely die of natural causes in prison, not lethal injection.

Gosnell’s trial was largely ignored by the mainstream media, until near the end, after constant pressure from conservative media sources. In spite of this, the doctor’s attorney, Jack McMahon, contends that his client only meant to help desperate women seeking late-term abortions, and that the intense media attention may not have helped the situation. His client was found guilty on three counts of first degree murder – the victims were live-born babies that survived Gosnell’s attempts to abort them, and were subsequently killed by “snipping” their spinal cords. He was also found guilty of manslaughter, involving the 2009 death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, Va., due to drug overdose.

Testimonies of individuals that had been clients of Gosnell have been featured in the documentary 3801 Lancaster, which was promoted heavily by conservatives in social media, when they were attempting to draw mainstream media attention to the case.

Islam and When Religious Tolerance Becomes Dangerous

In Philadelphia, a 5-year-old little girl was removed from school by a woman claiming to be her mother. The school didn’t quite follow proper procedures, and the end result was that the girl was missing for under 24 hours. The local press and news shows duly got the word out, and an Amber Alert was issued statewide before the end of the night.

tinou bao (CC)

tinou bao (CC)

Thankfully, the girl was found early in the morning, and the Amber Alert was cancelled. While the very basic facts of the case are clear, there are quite a few different versions of the final result – details that generally do not matter though, since the girl is apparently safe now. However, one very important part of this story, while not overlooked, has been glossed over by the press so far.

The girl’s family is Muslim, and her grandfather, Asim Abdur Rashid, is a leader in the Greater Philadelphia Muslim community. This fact probably wouldn’t have been mentioned at all, if it wasn’t for the fact that the individual that abducted this girl was wearing traditional Muslim dress – a woman that had her face entirely covered, except an opening for her eyes. It might even be argued later that part of the reason why the school did not insist on positive identification of this woman was the desire to respect her religious beliefs, and not require the removal of her veil before allowing her to take the child.

Another point that may be argued later, especially if the kidnapper is apprehended, is whether or not the child’s grandfather had anything to do with the crime. Given that Asim Abdur Rashid had apparently been vocally objecting to men wearing women’s traditional Muslim garb to hide their identities while committing crimes, it’s not unreasonable to think that the abduction of his granddaughter could have been related to his public statements. Of course, he doesn’t see it that way.

“Right now my concern is for my granddaughter and her safe return. I have no idea why somebody would come and pretend to be her mother,” said Asim Abdur Rashid.

Given the political climate in Philadelphia, it is highly unlikely that any of these issues will be addressed, regardless of what is found out about this crime in the coming days and weeks. The fact that the press has already carefully avoided words like “kidnap” and “burqa” is telling. And the likelihood that city leaders will do anything to address what can now become a serious safety concern in city schools – since someone has done the crime – is very slim. One local member of the political world there agreed that these are issues that will likely be swept under the rug – off-the-record, of course. And that is what makes this desire to be politically correct, and afford a great deal of deference toward Muslims and their traditions a potentially dangerous situation. Many will undoubtedly miss the irony that the Imam involved in this story was complaining about criminals using burqas, but at the same time, he would probably insist that authorities continue to respect women from his Mosque. He probably would not insist that they prove their identities with burqas removed, before claiming children in schools, in spite of what happened to his own granddaughter. Maybe it will take an unhappy ending to get to that point.

Obama Mural at polling place not covered, GOP poll watchers evicted

Developing story – will be updated as new information is available:

In a stunning rebuke of election law, a Philadelphia polling center has refused to cover a pro-Obama mural despite a court order to do so. Adding insult to injury, GOP poll-watchers at several locationa have been kicked-out at least one female inspector was “physically removed.”

The mural (image right) is on the wall of a polling center in the 35th Ward, 18th Division and was ordered covered by Judge John Younge today in response to an oral petition by lawyer Linda Kerns on behalf of the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee.

The order states that the mural must be covered “it its entirety with blank paper or other similar material so that the content of the mural is invisible in its entirety for the duration of the election.”

GOP, court-appointed election inspectors have been removed from at least 15 locations and reports state that some have been replaced by Democratic poll watchers and perhaps even New Black Panther members. A new court order has been issued to force poll officials to allow those inspectors back into any and all polling places in the state.

Update: The Mural has been partially covered, but not fully

Some time between 2:15 and 2:30 the mural was partially covered by polling center staff, but not in a manner fully complying with the court order (image below).

PA 1st Congressional District Goes to the Dogs

John Featherman is at it again, with his over the top advertising. First it was the naked truth about his opponent, Democrat incumbent Bob Brady, offered by a nude woman. Now, the Featherman campaign has gone to the dogs, literally!

As for the proposition that the poor dog is going to be named after such a low-life politician, maybe we can call PETA and turn them in for animal cruelty. Ok, maybe not!

Crime, Guns, and the Second Poorest Congressional District in the Nation

When Michelle Ray posted a story about the Top 100 most dangerous places to live in the USA, I saw that the 1st Congressional District of Pennsylvania was well-represented. The GOP candidate for that District, John Featherman, was previously featured here for a campaign ad starring a naked woman.

Crime Scene

Alan Cleaver (CC)

Campaign stunts and shocking videos aside, Featherman is facing an uphill battle not only to get into office, but also to bring attention to a much-neglected area in Eastern Pennsylvania. The 1st District encompasses Chester, the city that took second place on that list of dangerous places. The Philadelphia region in general is no picnic, and has a long history of political shenanigans and graft. In spite of stricter gun laws in the area, obviously based on that list, crime levels are high. But, as conservatives, we already know that gun laws do nothing to prevent gun crimes.

Philadelphia policemen are so used to the concept of criminals carrying around weapons, that they simply don’t know how to deal with law-abiding citizens carrying sidearms in the open. What is particularly disturbing, beyond police not knowing gun laws, is that at least some of them think it’s a bad idea for non-criminals to walk the streets armed.

At least Featherman has a clue about what the problem is on the streets in his District. “As a former columnist for the NRA, I encourage all women concerned about their personal safety to explore, educate and train themselves in firearm safety,” he stated. Now, to be fair, he was addressing the issue with me in mind. I have no doubt that if I pressed him about what law-abiding men should do, his answer would be roughly the same.

“Chester is one of the most financially distressed municipalities in the nation. It contributes to the 1st Congressional District being the 2nd poorest in the nation,” Featherman explained. “If I were the Congressman there for 14 years — 8 terms — and I made no improvement, I would hang my head in shame. Bob Brady has failed the district and is responsible for much of the continued crime and poverty.” Brady has enjoyed the support of Democrat dominated constituency that obviously hasn’t learned the definition of insanity – they apparently keep expecting a different outcome each time they re-elect him. Featherman is a long-shot at best in this District, so it’s likely that Chester will remain on lists of the most crime-ridden cities in the nation. But who knows? Maybe the people will figure out that things won’t change as long as they keep voting the same people back into office.

Markets in Free-fall After Catastrophic Economic News

The DOW opened today at 11,406.50 and at it’s lowest point as of noon, it had dropped more than 500 points to 10,881.6.

Shocking the markets, the Philadelphia regional manufacturing index came in much worse than analysts had expected. A MarketWatch.com survey of economists had shown an expectation of .5, showing moderate growth. Instead, the index showed a steep decline in manufacturing output: -30.7 – the worst showing in more than two years.

As President Obama’s mid-west jobs tour came to a close, unemployment figures released this morning also indicated a weakening in the job market. First time claims rose above 400,000 yet again.

To finish off the triad of dismal economic news, AP reported today that home sales are at the worst level in 14 years:

The number of people who bought previously occupied homes fell in July for the third time in four months. This year is on pace to be the worst in 14 years for home sales, as more Americans worry that the economy could slip back into another recession.

Home sales fell 3.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.67 million homes, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That’s far below the 6 million that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market

Economists had pushed the probability of a double-dip recession up to 30% based on debt fears in Europe and concerns of U.S. stagflation similar to the economy under President Carter. With manufacturing output numbers showing a catastrophic decrease in U.S. activity and unemployment increasing again, that chance is increasing while the country awaits a plan her now-vacationing President.