United States religious fundamentalists kill teenager

This video from the USA says about itself:

Couple Accused of Beating Son to Death in Church

14 October 2015

Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard. Four other members of the Word of Life Church are also charged in connection with the man’s death.

Like the far-right fundamentalist Christian ‘Passion for Truth’ church in the USA turned out to be really a ‘Passion for Fraud’ church … now a similar ‘Word of Life Christian Church’ turns out to be a ‘Word of Death church’.

From Syracuse.com in New York State in the USA:

Parents of killed New Hartford teen banned Halloween, Mickey Mouse, friends say

By Patrick Lohmann

October 14, 2015 at 7:09 AM

NEW HARTFORD — The couple accused of manslaughter in their son’s beating death — injuries suffered at a church — was always eccentric, neighbors say.

But that eccentricity took a dark turn after Tuesday’s police announcement that Deborah and Bruce Leonard were facing manslaughter charges, and that four other members of the Word of Life Christian Church were also arrested, they said.

Nearby neighbor Roberta Humble said that, at least until Monday night, she adored Deborah and that the two had been friends since the Leonard family moved in more than 25 years ago. She described watching their children grow up, including Lucas, 19, who was pronounced dead Monday after sustaining blunt-force injuries.

“I remember them when they were this high,” Humble said of the Leonard’s four kids. “They were my friends. The kids were always polite and well-mannered.”

Another 17-year-old boy was found with severe injuries at the church, according to police. And police said they removed “several” children and placed them into protective custody.

Police have not yet described the nature of the injuries to both alleged victims or identified the 17-year-old. Four other church members were arrested and charged with assault in connection with either the death or the alleged assault, police said, and more arrests are expected.

Those living near the church, which is a few miles away from the Leonard home, said they regularly heard 3 a.m. chants emanating from the home and rarely saw members outside of the building. Its gates were almost always shut. A police Special Weapons and Tactics team had to “secure the church grounds” and “make a tactical entry” into it Monday.

Humble said Tuesday evening that Bruce Leonard [pastor of the church and father of the killed teenager] was “extremely antisocial” and religious. Neighbors said Deborah and her children were deferential to Bruce Leonard, but those neighbors never saw him raise his voice. …

A neighbor of the teenage brothers says they were not allowed to do “normal” kid things.

Nicole Howard says Christopher and Lucas Leonard weren’t allowed to have sleepovers. The 31-year-old, who says grew up six houses away from the Leonards, says the family was very religious and the children were forced to read the Bible two hours each day. …

Humble said she often gave the kids videotapes of children’s programming, hand-me-downs from her grandkids. They often couldn’t watch them, she said.

“I gave them I don’t know how many boxes of kids’ tapes,” she said. “They would not let them watch Mickey Mouse. They said Mickey Mouse was queer, because he never married Minnie Mouse.”

I knew there were religious transphobes attacking Winnie the Pooh, and religious homophobes hating the Teletubbies for being supposedly pro-gay, but I did not know about homophobes hating Mickey Mouse yet.

From CBS News in the USA:

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. — Brutal beatings that left one teenager dead and his brother seriously injured Monday at a New York church were part of what members considered a “counseling session,” according to police.

New Hartford Police Chief Michael Inserra said Wednesday that both Lucas and Christopher Leonard were subjected to hours of physical punishment at the Word of Life Church “in hopes that each would confess to prior sins and ask for forgiveness.”

Inserra says investigators are still looking into what the supposed sins were. …

The six church members were arraigned Tuesday and sent to Oneida County Jail. At the arraignment, it was revealed that both teens suffered injuries to their abdomens, genitals, backs and thighs.

More on the ‘Reverend’ Bruce Leonard and his church:

Exclusive: Inside the New Hartford church where brothers were savaged: here.

Police: Son killed at New Hartford church by parents beating genitals, torso: here.

Parents fatally whipped teen who wanted to quit church, New York court hears. Deacon testifies at hearing for parents of Lucas and Christopher Leonard. Boys attacked at ‘spiritual counseling session’ at New Hartford church: here.

Pileated woodpeckers, other birds, at Cornell, USA feeder

This video from the USA says about itself:

Pileated Woodpeckers on FeederWatch Cam, August 10, 2015

Pileated Woodpeckers, a female parent and fledgling visit the feeder at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Others birds in the video include a northern cardinal and an American goldfinch.

The smallest thrasher in North America, the sage thrasher is easy to overlook because of its relatively drab plumage and skulking behavior. These birds are well worth studying, however, and their beautiful voices are always worth a listen: here.

Fraudulent US Islamophobe William Bradford resigns at West Point military academy

This video says about itself:

27 May 2015

In his book, The Islamophobia Industry, Nathan Lean explores the rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment in North America and Europe and what he refers to as the “minds of the manufacturers of Islamophobia.”

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

West Point law professor who called for attacks on ‘Islamic holy sites’ resigns

William C Bradford departs institution that hired him in August following report on his call for scholars to be treated as ‘enemy combatants’

Spencer Ackerman in New York

Monday 31 August 2015 19.51 BST

A law professor who published an inflammatory article urging attacks on law professors and “Islamic holy sites” and who has been dogged by accusations of misrepresenting his academic and military credentials has resigned from the US Military Academy at West Point, the Guardian has confirmed.

Although West Point hired William C Bradford on 1 August, a spokesman said the prestigious undergraduate institution where the US army educates its future officers parted ways with the controversial academic on Sunday, the day after the Guardian published an article highlighting Bradford’s proposals to treat US scholars as “enemy combatants”.

“Dr William Bradford resigned on Sunday,” army lieutenant colonel Christopher Kasker, a West Point spokesman, told the Guardian on Monday. Bradford had taught five lessons for cadets in a common-core law course, from 17 to 27 August.

The West Point resignation marks the most recent academic departure for the controversial Bradford, following a decade’s worth of apparent exaggeration of his service record and academic career.

It remains unclear how thoroughly West Point vetted Bradford before hiring him.

Bradford recently published an academic article titled, in translation, “The Treason of the Professors”. The lengthy paper, which has been repudiated by its journal editor as a “mistake”, accused a “clique of about 40” law professors of active collaboration with “Islamist” organizations and recommended targeting them as enemy combatants.

Supplementing military action, Bradford recommended that Congress investigate links between the professors and “Islamism” under “a renewed version of the House Un-American Activities Committee”, which was one of the vehicles for the discredited “Red Scare” hunts for Communists in the 1950s.

Treason prosecutions shore up national unity, deter disloyalty, and reflect the seriousness with which the nation regards betrayal in war,” Bradford wrote.

Bradford went on to argue that “total war” against terrorism ought to include military targeting of “Islamic holy sites”, in order to restore an American deterrent. He acknowledged “great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties and civilian collateral damage” were entailed in his proposal, and suggested that dissent ought to be curbed.

“[D]oubts and disputes about this war [should] be muted lest around them coalesce a new set of self-imposed restraints that prevent Western forces from waging war with sufficient ferocity and resolve so that either Islamism is discredited and the political will of Islamist peoples to prosecute a jihad collapses, or, if necessary, all who countenance or condone Islamism are dead,” Bradford wrote.

Bradford had represented himself in academic papers as an “assistant professor” at the Defense Department-run National Defense University. But he was not a professor there, nor even a staff employee, according to NDU representatives. He is said to have worked for a Waynesboro, Virginia-based translations and business consultant, Translang, which had a contract with the university.

Before referring further comment to an attorney, Beatrice Boutros, Translang’s president, told the Guardian Bradford was not an employee of NDU.

Bradford has had a checkered academic career. In 2004, he quit a job teaching at the Indiana University School of Law after allegations emerged that he had exaggerated his military service, portraying himself inaccurately as a Gulf War veteran, an infantryman and a recipient of the prestigious Silver Star, an award for gallantry in action.

The army provided Bradford’s releasable service history to the Guardian on Monday. Bradford was commissioned into the army as a second lieutenant – the same rank West Point cadets hold upon commissioning – in 1995 and served the majority of his six-year service in military intelligence in the army reserve. He neither deployed nor earned any awards.

In 2005, the Guardian has learned, Bradford took a visiting professorship at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, teaching property law. A former student who wished to remain anonymous said Bradford’s behavior included “doing push-ups in class [and] making students stand and give answers in a military-like manner”.

Bradford, the former student said, ended up leaving his class – and ultimately the college – without grading the final exam.

A William and Mary spokesperson, Suzanne Seurattan, confirmed Bradford’s visiting professorship lasted a single semester, which she described as not unusual. She would not address whether Bradford had left under a cloud or did not submit his final exam grades ahead of departing the school.

West Point is known for its honor code, by which every cadet is expected to abide: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.” Its graduates are judged by it during their entire careers in uniform.

Bradford did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment. A man answered his desk phone on Friday and confirmed the accuracy of the number, but denied being Bradford.

Ban Islam, French Sarkozy party politician says

This video says about itself:

French Muslims Fear Backlash, Increased Islamophobia After Charlie Hebdo Attack

9 January 2015

Muslims across France are fearing a backlash after Wednesday’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Several mosques have been attacked. A bomb exploded at a kebab shop in Paris. We speak to Muhammad El Khaoua, a graduate student in international relations at the Paris Institute for Political Science. He grew up in the outskirts of Paris where he was involved with different grassroots associations, including Salaam, a student association dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of Islam. Also joining us is Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

French mayor suspended after calling for Islam to be banned

Robert Chardon tweeted the extreme view as part of a discussion with former president Nicolas Sarkozy

Ben Tufft

Sunday 17 May 2015

A French mayor has been suspended from his party after calling for the country to ban Islam.

Robert Chardon, the UMP

Nicolas Sarkozy‘s party

mayor of Venelles in southern France, tweeted: “The Muslim religion must be banned in France” and added that anyone practising the religion must be “immediately escorted to the border”.

He also claimed Islam will be banned in France by 2027.

The tweet was part of a discussion former president Nicolas Sarkozy began with the public, using the hashtag #NSDirect. …

UMP Vice-president Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet announced the party was suspending Mr Chardon pending a procedure to remove him from the UMP. …

Initially, it was thought the tweet had been sent after Mr Chardon’s account had been hacked, but the mayor confirmed he sent the extreme message.

Recently the mayor has been treated for cancer of the mouth and came to his radical proposals during this period.

“During my treatment, I’ve been thinking and I came to this conclusion. Islam should be banned in France, but also a Marshall Plan should be established to allow those who want to practice the Muslim religion to do so in their home country,” he told Le Monde.

Mr Chardon became mayor of the small town of Venelles in 2012 after the death of his predecessor.

USA: Former 3rd District Congressional Candidate Admits Plotting Armed Militia Attack, Firebombing Of Muslim Community In New York. Robert Doggart’s Plans Included Burning Down A School, A Mosque And A Cafeteria, According To Federal Court Documents: here.

Cornell red-tailed hawks nest update

This video from the USA says about itself:

Red-Tailed Hawk vs. Rattler

In the scorching desert sky, a hawk spies prey — a venomous rattler! Who wins out in this battle of the predators?

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

May 6, 2015

Two hatched out, one to go…

As thousands of viewers watched, the second egg hatched in the nest of Red-tailed Hawks Big Red and Ezra during the afternoon of May 5. Viewers were captivated as Ezra stood over the hatchling, tenderly removing excess material from the egg as the hatchling emerged (watch highlight).

Our first nestling, F1, has already received several meals over the last 48 hours (watch highlight). Now downy and fresh, F1 appears twice as large as the egg that contained it just a few days ago. The third egg should hatch in the next couple days—don’t miss the chance to see it happen live! Watch now.

Young red-tailed hawk hatched in Cornell, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

18 April 2012

See what it took to bring live streaming video of a pair of Red-tailed Hawks on Cornell’s campus. The technical crew worked day and night to install the cams early in the nesting season, before the hawks laid their eggs on a light tower 70 feet above an athletic field. To see the live feed during the nesting season, go to www.allaboutbirds.org/cornellhawks.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

May 4, 2015

Hatch Alert!

Under the cover of the predawn darkness, viewers of the Cornell Hawks‘ cam were the first welcome a new nestling hawk to the world. Big Red was incubating at the time, and while sightings of the nestling were difficult, she could be seen pulling pieces of broken eggshell from beneath her. As morning’s light arrived, we got our first glimpse of the hatchling, looking downy and bobbling energetically beneath its parents (watch highlight.)