Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Black hate crime -- in America but featured in British media only. Mainstream American media silent
A 20-year-old white soldier was stabbed to death on Saturday in what authorities believe could be a hate crime. After a desperate 911 call, officers discovered Tevin A. Geike, a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier, in a parking lot in Lakewood, Washington suffering multiple stab wounds just after 2:30 a.m. He died at the scene.
The victim's two friends, also soldiers and also white, told police they were walking south on Pacific Highway when a vehicle approached them and someone inside called out a racial slur.
One of the soldiers yelled back something about those in the car treating combat soldiers with disrespect, Lawler said.
The car then turned around, stopped next to the soldiers and five black males piled out of the vehicle. A verbal confrontation started, Lawler said, but the driver called his friends off when he learned some of the soldiers were actually combat veterans.
As the group returned to the car, one of the suspects appeared to bump into Geike, Lawler said. The two soldiers then saw their friend fall to the ground as the car sped away. That's when they discovered Geike had been stabbed and was bleeding profusely.
'At this point, it appears that it could have been a hate crime,' Lawler said, according to the News Tribune. 'We're certainly looking at it now as a potential hate crime. We're not going to say that it is, but according to two guys at the scene, it appears to be racially motivated.'
Police are seeking a midnight blue sedan, perhaps a BMW or a Volkswagen Jetta, with four doors, tinted windows and stock rims with low-profile tires.
The main suspect is about 6 feet 1, medium build and was wearing a blue zip-up sweater, while the driver was described as being 5 feet 7 with short cropped hair and wearing a blue-and-white horizontal-striped shirt.
Another suspect is 5 feet 7 with short hair and was wearing a gray tank top, while another was described as 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 7, wearing camouflage pants. The fifth man is described as 5 feet 6.
According to the Tribune, Lt. Col. Joe Sowers, of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said Geike and his two companions were members of the 7th Infantry Division. Sowers said Geike had been in the Army 35 months and had no combat experience. He could not confirm Geike's rank.
Geike graduated from high school in North Charleston, South Carolina, in 2010.
Investigating officers have recovered some surveillance video, Lawler said, but have not yet found anything to identify the suspects.
Female TV presenters who are 'sidelined because of their age' first got their jobs because of their looks, says Terry Wogan
They kid themselves that they got there by their ability so they think their later sidelining is unjust
TV legend Terry Wogan has said female TV presenters shouldn't complain about not getting work later in their careers because they used their good looks land roles when they were young.
The British broadcasting icon waded into the sexism on television row, saying women use their 'glamour' to make a name for themselves when starting out in the industry.
He said that females who complain when the work dries up later should remember why they were given presenting jobs in the past, describing broadcasting as a 'visual medium'.
Wogan's comments come after the Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman accused TV bosses of being 'very rude' to older female stars. The Shadow Secretary of State for culture was responding to figures which showed that eighty per cent of TV presenters over the age of 50 in the UK are men.
But Wogan, who has worked for the BBC for almost 5 decades, said it was natural for older woman to phased out as they age - even saying that stars of today such as Holly Willoughby and Tess Daly will be 'replaced' by the next generation of attractive presenters.
Speaking in The Times magazine, he responded to Herman's outburst, saying: 'I think a number of the people who have been protesting originally got the jobs because of their glamour. 'I think it’s a little unfair, but it is a visual medium.'
Wogan's comments are the not the first to come from a veteran male broadcaster reacting to claims that their is a shortage of older women on TV.
Alan Titchmarsh has said that women who complained about being sidelined on TV when they got older should stop 'whingeing'. Speaking earlier this year, the TV gardener said: 'Men in television tend to last a bit longer at the end of their careers, but it is women who make hay at the beginning.' “They don’t complain in their early days when they are disporting themselves on sports cars.'
Despite the row over sexism on TV being stoked by Wogan's latest remarks, the former voice of the Eurovision Song Contest said he hopes scandals such as executives pay and the Jimmy Savile affair will strengthen the public broadcaster rather than send it into decline.
He said: ' I just hope that nothing happens to diminish the BBC because without it, for this country, it would be like losing royalty.'
British judges bid to banish the Bible from court over fears witnesses and defendants no longer take the oath seriously
Defendants and witnesses in British courts will no longer swear on the Bible to tell the truth under controversial plans being considered by a powerful body of judges.
The traditional religious oath could be scrapped amid concerns that many giving evidence in criminal cases no longer take it seriously.
Instead, all witnesses and defendants would promise to tell the truth without mentioning God, and would acknowledge they could be jailed if they are caught lying.
It is claimed the new oath would be fairer for everyone and make it easier to understand the importance of what they are saying.
But critics point out non-believers already have the option of promising to tell the truth without any reference to a sacred text, and that the change would further erode Britain’s Christian heritage.
The historic change will be debated this month by the Magistrates’ Association, and if it is voted through the organisation’s influential policy committee will draw up plans to be sent to the Ministry of Justice.
Ian Abrahams, a Bristol magistrate, has proposed ending centuries of tradition by axeing the religious oath. He told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘More and more I see people shrug their shoulders or say “whatever” when asked to take it. ‘Other witnesses think it’s wrong to swear on a holy book, and make an affirmation instead.
‘I’m suggesting we take holy books out of the process. Instead, people will have to show they understand they could be sent to prison if they don’t tell the truth.’
The married 62-year-old was raised in the Jewish faith but now calls himself an atheist. ‘I don’t intend my motion to make any comment on religion,’ he said. ‘It is certainly not anti-religious.’
But it has been seen by senior figures in the Church of England as another attempt to chip away at the country’s Christian foundations.
The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, said: ‘This could be the slippery slope towards the increasing secularisation of society. Where will it end – with the Coronation Oath? The Bible is bound up with the constitution, institutions and history of this country. It is right for people to have a choice of oath, a religious or non-religious one. But we are being urged, in the name of tolerance and secularisation, to restrict that choice.’
The Rev Arun Arora, director of communications for the Church of England, added: ‘Given that the last census showed almost 60 per cent of respondents self-identified as Christians and two thirds as people of faith, this proposal seems to ignore the statistical reality that we remain a faithful nation. This kind of proposal seems driven more by blinkered campaigning agendas than abiding interests in justice and truth.’
John Glen, Tory MP for Salisbury and a magistrate until last year, said: ‘This smacks of political correctness gone mad.’
Legal expert Lord Carlile QC said: ‘It would be unacceptable for the choice to take a religious oath to be removed.’
Existing religious oaths have, for hundreds of years, required Christian witnesses to hold the Bible and state: ‘I swear by almighty God that I shall tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’
Followers of other faiths are given copies of their sacred texts with Muslims swearing on the Koran and Jews on the Old Testament, for instance. Those who choose instead to make an affirmation are required to ‘solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm’ the truth of their evidence.
Under Mr Abrahams’ proposal, the holy books would be removed and the oath would read: ‘I promise very sincerely to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and I understand that if I fail to do so I will be committing an offence for which I will be punished and may be sent to prison.’
The plan will be debated at the agm of the Magistrates’ Association, representing 23,000 lay judges, in Cardiff on October 19.
A MoJ spokesman said: ‘We have no plans to change the arrangements for swearing an oath or making an affirmation in court, which have worked well for many years and still do.’
A cup of civility: The lesson in the Starbucks non-backlash
by Jeff Jacoby
IT HAS been more than two weeks since Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz issued a "respectful request" for customers to stop bringing guns into his company's coffee shops, and the response by and large has been one of courteous compliance.
Considering how polarized and emotional America's gun debates usually get, some people were sure Starbucks was in for weeks of controversy. "The backlash and boycott talk has already begun," reported the Los Angeles Times the day Schultz's open letter appeared. Entrepreneur.com's Ray Hennessey, an experienced business editor, warned that Starbucks risked "alienating a large portion of its customer base."
That didn't happen. And to judge from a new nationwide survey, it isn't going to.
Asked about the Starbucks no-guns request in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, two of every three respondents — 66 percent — call it a good idea. Even among individuals from gun-owning households, 52 percent support Starbucks' position. The overwhelming majority, 72 percent, say it won't make any difference in where they get their coffee. The scale of that placid response is the same across every demographic subgroup: Democrats and Republicans, men and women, Northeasterners and Southerners, city-dwellers and rural residents — and, yes, gun owners — all say by lopsided majorities that Starbucks' shift on guns isn't going to change their economic behavior.
For the record, I've long been a Starbucks customer. I've been a supporter of gun rights for even longer. I often find myself in the minority on political or cultural questions, but on this I share the mainstream view: I have no problem with Schultz's request, and my coffee-buying habits won't change.
Some anti-gun advocates applauded Starbucks' appeal to customers last month as a gain for their side — "the first step to setting boundaries for America's gun-loving culture," as an admiring essay in National Journal was headlined. But the broad approval measured by the Quinnipiac poll is clearly no proxy for public feelings about guns or gun control. Most states allow citizens to carry firearms openly, and opposition to stricter gun restrictions is at its highest level in over a year.
It's just as clear that Americans aren't backing Starbucks so strongly because they can't live without the company's grande lattes and double espressos. Half of the voters surveyed by Quinnipiac never even go to Starbucks.
The lack of an anti-Starbucks backlash isn't about brand loyalty and it doesn't reflect hostility to guns. Rather, it suggests that Americans appreciate the civility of Schultz's request, and instinctively sympathize with the right of a private company not to be turned into an ideological battleground against its wishes. In his letter, the Starbucks CEO acknowledged the "deep passion for and against the 'open carry' laws adopted by many states" and expressed dismay at how "increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening" the debate over gun rights has become. The company preferred not to take sides, and its longstanding rule had been to defer to local law, permitting customers to openly carry guns in states that allow it.
But with pro- and anti-gun activists "ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction" and using Starbucks cafés to force the issue, Schultz pleaded for a truce. People who want to fight about gun laws should use the "legislative and policy-making process." Starbucks is for people who want coffee, tea, and free Wi-Fi. Plenty of people disagree with Schultz's decision. But the majority of Americans — including a majority of gun owners — are OK with it.
If only this were the norm when it comes to the intersection of private companies and public controversies.
If a traditionally Christian florist wishes to politely decline the offer to arrange the flowers for a same-sex wedding, why shouldn't she be free to do so? If a passionately liberal shopkeeper courteously asks a customer not to come in with a T-shirt proclaiming "Impeach Obama," or a conservative landlord says he'd prefer not to rent to an unmarried cohabiting couple, would it be so terrible to shrug and let it go? If a restaurant owner has no objection to letting customers smoke, couldn't diners accept the house rule gracefully and go elsewhere if they want a smoke-free meal?
Under current law, scenarios like these are often grounds for a lawsuit or prosecution. Must that be the case? Most merchants are not in the habit of turning customers away, and in general commerce operates to break down bigotry and irrational discrimination. But life isn't always so tidy. Sometimes there are rifts between a private company's idea of what's good for business and other people's idea of what all right-thinking people should believe. The world won't end if everyone doesn't march in lockstep.
The Starbucks non-uproar is a reminder that we could do with a little more live-and-let-live in this country. The hardliners on divisive issues may always be spoiling for a fight. They needn't be encouraged to wage their battles with other people's livelihood.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.