Monday, September 19, 2011
Another obnoxious arrest by the British police
A wealthy family man was arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday after allegedly stabbing a burglar to death with his own knife.
Businessman Vincent Cooke, 39, was relaxing when he heard a knock at the front door of his detached home.
When he answered he was confronted by two men, at least one armed with a knife, who threatened him and tried to force their way into the £350,000 house in the Cheshire stockbroker belt.
With his wife and young son due home any minute, Mr Cooke fought desperately to keep the men out. In the struggle burglar Raymond Jacob, 37, was stabbed with his own knife and fell to the ground fatally injured. The second intruder fled.
Minutes later Mr Cooke’s wife, Karen, 35, and 12-year-old son Anthony arrived and watched in horror as the raider lay dying.
The incident happened in Bramhall, which boasts millionaire footballers, soap stars and TV presenters as residents.
It is the third time in six months that intruders have been stabbed to death by homeowners. The killings come after the Government pledged to bring in legislation which clarified the law on self-defence in England.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke promised that householders who used ‘whatever force necessary’ on intruders in their homes would not be committing a criminal offence.
Last night Mr Cooke, who runs a same day courier and logistics business, was being questioned by detectives while his stunned family were being comforted by relatives.
He and his wife drive luxury cars, a gold Maserati and a silver Range Rover both with personalised registration plates, and detectives will be investigating whether they were targeted by the raiders for their wealth.
They will also examine whether the two men were known to Mr Cooke or had done business with him.
But sources close to the case were adamant that Mr Cooke is an ‘upstanding family man who was protecting his property and fearful for his family’s safety’.
A police source said last night: ‘At this moment it looks as if Mr Cooke was confronted at the door of his home by two men, at least one of whom was believed to have been armed with a knife. Officers are examining the possibility that the dead man was stabbed with this knife.’
The gender-free British passport: UK travellers may no longer have to declare their sex, to spare feelings of 'transgender people'
Britain is preparing to rip up centuries-old rules by introducing passports which do not contain details of the holder’s sex.
The move, following pressure from the Lib Dems, is designed to spare transgender people and those who have both male and female sexual organs from having to tick ‘male’ or ‘female’ on their travel papers.
Currently, everybody must identify themselves as a man or woman, even when they are undergoing a sex-change operation or if they are considered ‘intersex’.
But with the Lib Dems promising to be ‘fierce champions of equality’, the Home Office has begun a consultation on changing the rules.
To satisfy international laws, the passport would still list a category titled ‘sex’, but would then contain a simple ‘X’ for everybody. Supporters say it will solve the problem of embarrassing situations at border controls, where people whose sex appears to differ from that in their passport are grilled for long periods by guards.
But some Home Office officials are concerned the change could make life harder for the already stretched UK Border Agency by giving them one fewer piece of information to work from.
Last night, the Home Office said: ‘We are exploring with international partners and relevant stakeholders the security implications of gender not being displayed in the passport.’
Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone is under pressure to act from her fellow Lib Dem MPs.
One backbench MP, Julian Huppert, said: ‘There does not seem to be a need for identity documents of any kind to have gender information. It is not a very good biometric; it is roughly a 50:50 split.
Military ID, such as the MOD90, which obviously can have quite a high security clearance, contains no gender information. That might be what we should look at.’
Mrs Featherstone – who has just announced plans for gay weddings – has made a string of promises committing the Government to do more for transgender people.
While on my travels as a champion for women’s rights, I am and will be a champion for gay rights too. Britain must not get complacent. We are a world leader for gay rights, but… there is still more that we must do.
She said: ‘The UK Government is totally committed to creating a society that is fair for everyone. ‘We are committed to tackling prejudice and discrimination against transgender people at home and around the world. We need concerted government action to tear down barriers and help to build a fairer society for transgender people.’
And she said in a speech on Saturday: ‘While on my travels as a champion for women’s rights, I am and will be a champion for gay rights too. Britain must not get complacent. We are a world leader for gay rights, but… there is still more that we must do.’
Under existing rules, a ‘transgender’ person undergoing a sex-swap is free to change their identity to a new sex, once the procedure is complete and a gender recognition certificate has been issued.
While undergoing a sex change, a person can also nominate their intended new sex, and place that on their passport. They must produce a certificate from a doctor saying that is the gender under which they live their daily lives.
But people who are classed as intersex – a condition which people carry from birth, where they have male and female reproductive organs – are forced to make a choice.
Home Office officials say the review is wide-ranging and they are considering ‘all the gender options’.
The law in Britain could be changed in a matter of days. Passports come under the royal prerogative, so only a simple ministerial order would be required.
Federal government still pushing American Indians around
They are not even allowed to say who is an Indian
A federal order for one of the nation's largest American Indian tribes to restore voting rights and benefits to about 2,800 descendants of members' former slaves threw plans for a special election for a new chief into turmoil Tuesday.
The federal government sent the sternly-worded letter to the Cherokee Nation after it sent letters last week kicking the descendants out of the tribe and stripping them of benefits including medical care, food stipends and assistance for low-income homeowners.
The tribe also barred the descendants from voting in a Sept. 24 special election for principal chief. The Cherokee Supreme Court ordered the special election after it said it could not determine with certainty the outcome of a close and hotly contested June election between incumbent Chad Smith and longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker. The results had flip-flopped between the two during weeks of counts and recounts. Baker had twice been declared winner, but so had Smith.
The federal government said that unless the descendants, known as freedmen, were allowed to vote, the upcoming election wouldn't be valid. "I urge you to consider carefully the nation's next steps in proceeding with an election that does not comply with federal law," Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk wrote in letter Friday to acting Chief S. Joe Crittenden. "The department will not recognize any action taken by the nation that is inconsistent with these principles and does not accord its freedmen members full rights of citizenship."
Crittenden said the special election would take place as scheduled. "The Cherokee Nation will not be governed by the (Bureau of Indian Affairs)," he said. "We will hold our election and continue our long legacy of responsible self-governance."
The election has drawn national interest because while the tribe is based in Tahlequah, many of its 300,000 members live outside Oklahoma.
The freedmen have asked a federal judge to restore their voting rights before the special election, and a hearing is planned next week in federal court in Washington.
The tribe never owned black slaves, but some individual members did. They were freed after the Civil War, in which the tribe allied with the Confederacy. An 1866 treaty between the tribe and the federal government gave the freedmen and their descendants "all the rights of native Cherokees."
More than 76 percent of Cherokee voters approved a 2007 amendment removing the freedmen and other non-Indians from the tribal rolls, but no action was taken until the tribe's Supreme Court upheld the results of that special election last month. Cherokee leaders who backed the amendment, including Smith, said the vote was about the fundamental right of every government to determine its citizens, not about racial exclusion.
But the Department of the Interior said Tuesday that it still believes the expulsion is unconstitutional because it violates the 1866 treaty.
Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, said she hopes the federal order will result in the election being delayed. "The freedmen people still have rights in the tribe such as voting," Vann said Tuesday. "We'll have our day in court."
9/11 Memorial Organizers Appalled After Georgia County Solicitor General Disrespectfully Removes Flags
3,000 American flags that each represented a victim of 9/11 were planted at a city park in Canton, Georgia, but found their way to trash cans and the floor of the Cherokee County Courthouse.
CBS Atlanta reports that the organizers who planted the memorial are outraged after learning the order to disrespectfully remove the flags came from the Cherokee County Solicitor General David Cannon Jr.:
Lori Pesta, president of “Salute to Our Veterans,” the group that planted the memorial, found the flags on the county courthouse floor and stuffed in trashcans. Pesta told WSBTV that she filed a police report Thursday after seeing the flags were missing from the park, and assumed that someone had stole them. Pesta and Vietnam War veteran John Marinko told WSBTV that they were appalled when they discovered the flags, which cost the group $2,500, lying on the floor.
“Each one of these flags represents a soul that was lost on 9/11. They deserve respect,” said Marinko.
The Cherokee Tribune reports that Pesta is considering a lawsuit against the solicitor general for “moral turpitude.” Canon insists that he was not trying to offend anyone. “I was just trying to help out. We could have done a better job stacking them. My goal was to get them out of the weather,” Cannon told WSBTV. “I’m sorry.”
Cannon told CBS Atlanta that he had a group of juveniles remove the flags as a part of community service, and he was only attempting to help with clean up efforts. Pesta said to the Cherokee Tribune that the solicitor not only disrespected the display, but sent a bad message to the young individuals whom he instructed to remove the flags.
Salute to Our Veterans had planned a flag retirement ceremony for Friday, but canceled the event since the flags were removed. The flags will be stored for use in future veterans’ events.
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.
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