Thursday, October 07, 2010
Racist black judge
He judged a man by the colour of his skin rather than by the content of his character
A black judge from western Pennsylvania rejected a plea agreement for a man accused of fighting with police during a traffic stop, saying it was "a ridiculous plea that only goes to white boys."
The plea agreement was for a sentence of three months probation. Allegheny County Judge Joseph Williams said on Tuesday that a black defendant in that situation would not have been treated as leniently.
In court, Williams told Assistant District Attorney Brian Catanzarite that he "for some reason comes up with I think ridiculous pleas whenever it's a young white guy," according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I'm just telling you what my observation is. If this had been a black kid who did the same thing, we wouldn't be talking about three months' probation."
Catanzarite responded that he was standing in for another prosecutor and didn't broker the plea deal. "Now that the court has essentially called me a racist, I think that's unfair. I don't make offers based on race. I make offers based on facts," Catanzarite said, according to the Tribune-Review.
Williams later recused himself from the case, and a white judge accepted the plea agreement for 24-year-old Jeffery McGowan.
The defendant, who had no criminal record, agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct. He had faced charges including aggravated assault.
Williams' secretary on Wednesday told The Associated Press the judge does not give interviews. The Allegheny County district attorney's office did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Mike Manko, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, told the Tribune-Review the plea deal was appropriate and agreed to by the officer, who was not injured. "Negotiated pleas are never based on the race of a particular defendant but rather on the behavior of the defendant and the facts associated with that behavior," Manko told the newspaper.
"The assistant district attorneys who handled this plea on behalf of the commonwealth have outstanding reputations, and we firmly stand behind their integrity and the integrity of all of our prosecutors."
Unemployed British man forced to attend 'Back To Work' seminar instead of real job interview to avoid losing benefits
After losing his job, David Sharp was delighted to have a second interview for a sales post and was confident about winning the role. But he claims he had to pull out of the interview thanks to bizarre rules that meant he could not miss a 'Back To Work' class on the same day. Job centre staff warned Mr Sharp, 33, from Huyton, Merseyside, that if he missed the seminar he would lose his benefit money.
Faced with the possibility of having neither a new job nor his dole money, the former bingo caller was forced to cancel his interview. Mr Sharp said: 'I had only been signing on for a few weeks when I got in the running for a business and marketing role in town. 'I did well, but the second interview was at the same time as a course at the Huyton job centre.
'I rang the national 0845 telephone number and was given an ultimatum. Either I attended the course or my benefits would be cancelled. 'I tried to change the interview and they said 'no'. I then offered to show documented proof of my interview to the job centre, but that was no good.'
He added: 'I went on the course and it was pretty mundane, about how to get in touch with employers all stuff I had already done to get the interview. 'I am disappointed with Job Centre Plus. They should have been doing a lot more to help me. 'They stopped me getting a job to put me on a 'Back To Work' course. It was very counterproductive and now I am still unemployed.'
A spokesman for the Department for work and pensions said Mr Sharp had not spoken directly to the Job Centre Plus in Huyton. But they could not rule out the 33-year-old was given incorrect advice over the phone.
West is being 'outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised' by Islamic extremism, warns Blair
The West is being 'outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised' by violent Islamic extremism, Tony Blair has warned.
The former prime minister said that there had been a failure to challenge the 'narrative' that Islam was oppressed by the West which was fuelling extremism around the world.
He said too many people accepted the extremists' analysis that the military actions taken by the West following the 9/11 attacks were directed at countries because they were Muslim and that it supported Israel because Israelis were Jews while Palestinians were Muslims.
'We should wake up to the absurdity of our surprise at the prevalence of this extremism', he said
'Look at the funds it receives. Examine the education systems that succour it. And then measure, over the years, the paucity of our counter-attack in the name of peaceful co-existence. We have been outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised'.
Speaking last night in New York to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Mr Blair warned that it was impossible to defeat extremism 'without defeating the narrative that nurtures it'.
Moderate Muslims who believed in co-existence and tolerance were, he said, being undermined by the unwillingness of the West to take on the extremists' arguments.
'We think if we sympathise with the narrative - that essentially this extremism has arisen as a result, partly, of our actions - we meet it halfway, we help the modernisers to be more persuasive', he said. 'We don't. We indulge it and we weaken them. Worse, a reaction springs up amongst our people that we are pandering to this narrative and they start to resent Muslims as a whole'.
Mr Blair's warning comes as the French issued their most extreme warning in recent years about the dangers of visiting Britain, saying a terrorist attack is ‘very likely’. A dramatic statement on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs adds that visitors need to exercise ‘extreme vigilance’. This is especially so in world famous sites like London’s Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, and on the capital’s public transport system.
While Britain and the USA have already warned people to be careful when travelling in Europe, the French advice is by far the most extreme to date. It invokes the 1990s and early 2000s when Gallic secret agents regularly monitored suspected Islamic radicals in a city referred to by the French as ‘Londonistan’.
The statement was issued after terrorist suspect killed in a drone attack in Pakistan last month was identified as a British man tasked with leading an Al Qaeda group in the UK.
Last week, security agents in France, Britain and Germany warned Al Qaeda terrorists were planning a Mumbai-style atrocity in Europe. The alert was sparked after Ahmad Sidiqi, an Afghan informant said to have known Mohammed Atta, mastermind of the 9/11 2001 attacks, told US interrogators of the chilling plot.
Sidiqi said Ilyas Kashmiri, an Al Qaeda commander linked to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai in India that left 174 people dead, had told him that teams had already been sent to Europe to launch similar assaults.
The United States and Britain warned their citizens on Sunday of an increased risk of terrorist attacks in Europe, with Washington saying al Qaeda might target transport infrastructure.
Britain raised the terrorism alert level in its advice for travellers to Germany and France to ‘high from ‘general,’ while leaving the threat level at home unchanged at ‘severe’.
Why rip off the rich?
This fracas about letting the Bush tax cut expire for those making more than the arbitrary amount of $250K per year is bizarre. Never mind for now that the entire system of taxation in a bona fide free country is criminal–not different, in principle, from a system of serfdom or involuntary servitude. (Taxation had its place in the same systems that were home to these other types of bondage!) But this unrestrained hatred for those who earn more than $250K is rank bigotry, not different from racial, gender and ethnic prejudice at heart.
Well, yes there is a difference, since when men and women become wealthy, this isn’t unavoidable as when they are black or women or from a given background into which they were born. But neither is becoming wealthy something for which anyone ought to be blamed and punished.
It is, after all, no longer the case that behind every great fortune there must be a great crime. That used to be generally true enough when wealth was obtained primarily via conquest, looting, and robbery perpetrated by armies and navies. One of the great discoveries of Adam Smith, the father of modern economic science, is that wealth is much more efficiently created without such methods, by protecting the equal liberty of everyone to produce and trade. Because we are often so radically different from one another, we can easily find opportunities to gain from others while they are also gaining from us. This is one of the benefits of specialization. Understanding this much should be sufficient to reject the notion that anyone needs to be put in servitude to other people so that these others can find what they need and want. A genuine, unbriddled free market place makes that possible, one in which the government with its monopoly on physical force does not try to cherry pick who gets what and how much and when.
Apart, however, of the irrationality of interfering in people’s freedom of production and exchange, there is in this debate about extending the Bush tax cuts to those who make more than $250K a viciousness that should be entirely unwelcome among civilized men and women. This enviousness that many people harbor and which is then taken advantage of by so many politicians–and fueled by their academic instigators such as The New York Times columnist and Princeton University economist Paul Krugman–is neanderthal, barbaric, totally unbecoming of people who live in a complex society and who have only the faintest idea of how others earn their resources. To have cultivated this envy toward those who are economically better off is really no different from cultivating it toward those who have superior talents or other assets in their lives, such as good health and good looks. To pick on such people is totally unjust and pointless.
Some, of course, try to peddle the notion that the very rich really owe it all to society–which is to say, to politicians and law enforcement–as if it were the referees at a game who scored points! But that is a fabrication and rationalization aimed to sooth one’s guilty conscience for harboring the envy of those who happen to be better off. Nothing good can come from it and a lot of ill will and needless acrimony is fostered by it all.
We have a very fine model for understanding economic differences among people in the field of competitive athletics. Sportsmanship is part of it, whereby competitors at all the different levels of achievement and skill live in harmony instead of hating one another and insisting on placing extra burdens on the successful. (Where there is a policy of handicapping it usually serves the purpose of making the sport more appealing to spectators and has nothing to do with equalization!)
I suggest we get rid of this attitude of rich bashing once and for all and shame those who refuse to do so instead of exploiting their attitude for political purposes.
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, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.