Sunday, January 19, 2014
It's always somebody else's fault
The woman who plunged seven stories off the side of a cruise ship into the Caribbean Sea has spoken out about her terrifying experience.
Sarah Kirby, 31, fell 100 feet into the water in October 2012 and was floating for nearly two hours in fear of her life before she was plucked out of the waves.
Kirby is suing Carnival Cruises, alleging a barman 'pushed' alcohol on her, that the ship's staff delayed her rescue and they didn't treat treat her significant injuries properly. Carnival Cruises have refuted the allegations.
'I remember leaning over the balcony to look at the side of the ship and next thing I knew I was in the water. Pure terror,' Kirby told ABC.
Infrared video from the deck of the boat shows her terrible tumble from her balcony on the Carnival Destiny ship after a few drinks on a five-night Caribbean cruise with her fiance and a friend.
In the legal complaint she filed last year, Kirby claims that she became 'extremely intoxicated' after drinking Long Island Teas that a barman 'kept pushing onto the plaintiff.'
Courthouse News Service reported that the complaint stated that the bartender encouraged the group to get drunk by giving them free $5 tokens for the ship's casino the more they drank.
Kirby claims that she then returned to her cabin. The filing goes on: 'At approximately 12:10 am, the plaintiff stepped out to the cabin balcony to get some air.
'As she was holding on to the balcony's wooden banister, the plaintiff lost her grip and balance, slipped off the ground and fell overboard into the ocean.' Kirby struck a life raft on they way down.
Once in the water Kirby told ABC: 'I just prayed to God over and over please don't let me die out here.'
But she alleges that staff on the boat they refused to turn the vessel round to rescue her until they had conducted a 90-minute search of the ship, despite her party and other passengers reporting seeing her go overboard.
When they eventually turned round to pick her up, Kirby had been in the water for nearly two hours without a life jacket and had believed that 'death was imminent' from drowning or shark attack.
According to Courthouse News Service the complaint states that 'rather than treating her severe injuries, the Carnival doctors' treatment of the plaintiff was primarily limited to giving her pain medication.'
Kirby reportedly had: 'fractured orbital bones, lung contusions, hypothermia, fractured ribs, dissection of the carotid artery, heart arrhythmia, broken optical shelves, blood clots in her eyes, arms, and legs, as well as extreme hematomas all over her body.'
Sharia in Britain
Last week Liberty GB radio host, Tim Burton, was charged by West Midlands Police with racially aggravated harassment, after his post on Twitter described a prominent individual as “a mendacious grievance-mongering taqiyya-artist”.’ (for more details see the Liberty GB website)
Mr Burton was clearly expressing a personal opinion and should therefore be protected under the right to freedom of expression that Britons supposedly still enjoy. Also the issue of truth was not mentioned and to the best of our knowledge no legal proceedings have been initiated on grounds of defamation. Of course we are not making a judgement here about whether the remarks were true or false — that would be a matter for the civil courts.
The apparent heavy handed and overzealous approach of the UK police is especially worrying in that it may discourage people in the public eye, who make decisions effecting society, from being held to account — something that is essential in any functioning democracy. If this sort of official action is allowed by current hate crime legislation then it is clear that such legislation is in desperate need of review if the UK is to meet its international human rights obligations.
The fact that the Mr Burton has been charged suggests that sharia norms are increasingly becoming embedded into British society at the expense of traditional conceptions of law and justice. However, sharia is not been implemented openly and honestly, but by stealth, often via ill-defined and broadly applied ‘hate crime’ regulations.
It would appear that Mr Burton has become a victim of sharia, just like victims of bulling and persecution in many Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states where sharia provision are applied more directly. The specific sharia concepts that appear to be being implemented in this case in the UK are the concepts of slander (ghiba) and talebearing (namima).
The Islamic concept of slander is very different to what Western law recognises (see here). Western legal systems tend to require a statement in question to be untrue. However, under sharia truth is irrelevant. The well respected manual of sharia law, Reliance of the Traveller refers to slander and talebearing in the following terms:
“Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, son father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements, smiling, dissoluteness, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything else concerning him.” (page 730, r2.2)
“As for talebearing (namima), it consists of quoting someone’s words to another in a way that worsens relations between them.” (page 731, r2.3)
It therefore appears that in the United Kingdom, the Islamic concepts of slander and talebearing are being subsumed under the broad and ill-defined heading of ‘hate’. It appears that public authorities are treating non-Muslims as second class citizens, something else that sharia demands. This means that in a very stealthy and underhand manner the United Kingdom is sidestepping its obligations under international law with regard to the most basic of human rights.
In places like Pakistan such legal provisions are regularly used to persecute religious minorities. It is unfortunate that UK policy makers are either not doing due diligence when legislating or are legislating to deliberately undermine basic freedoms.
ICLA’s Recommendations to UK Authorities
ICLA believes that freedom of expression is the cornerstone of a free and democratic society. It also believes that religious and other minorities, or indeed anyone, should not be subject to discrimination and persecution and that sensible legislation that respects basic human rights is required to ensure this. We recognise the necessity for and the considerable advantages that are derived from different cultures to working together in an increasingly globalised world. However, in the interests of basic human rights and equality before the law, it does not believe that incorporating sharia principles into the legal system is the answer.
Sharia results in religious persecution and is therefore not something that should ever be used as a solution in any just and democratic society. The division of the world into Muslim and Non-Muslim that is stipulated by sharia does not serve the interests of a just and cohesive society and risks creating greater division and bad feeling. Our goal is to create a just society where people are both free to express themselves while at the same time being free from persecution and intimidation. We therefore seek to work with people and organisations from across the religious and cultural spectrum who also want to improve community cohesion and ensure a just and happy society.
We therefore make the following recommendations:
1) That in the interests of justice and to ensure that the UK meetings its international human rights obligations the petty and politically motivated charges against Mr Burton be dropped.
2) That the British Government reviews all its hate crime legislation to ensure that fundamental principles of justice are not undermined. Vague regulations need to be replaced by ones that are well defined and that can be easily understood by the general public and by law enforcement professionals.
3) That all stakeholders come together to help create a just and cohesive society.
Girls being forced to choose between God and the Brownies, Church leaders warned
Young girls are being forced to choose between God and the Brownies, the Church of England’s ruling body has been told.
The decision to drop references to God from the movement’s traditional pledge of allegiance and expel anyone who refuses to adopt the new version, amounts to “rank discrimination” against Christians, Muslims and followers of other faiths – often taking place inside church halls, according to opponents.
The attack on the new oath, which came into force in September, is contained in papers being sent to almost 500 members of the Church’s decision-making General Synod which meets in London next month.
Instead of promising to “do my best, to love my God” members of the Guides and Brownies now pledge to “be true to myself and develop my beliefs”.
The Scouts also recently introduced a new secular pledge to enable atheists to become full members but retain the traditional wording for those who wish to use it.
By contrast Girlguiding UK has been made clear that only the secular promise is valid.
One Guide group which meets in a parish church in Jesmond, Newcastle, is already in the process of being expelled from the movement for insisting on retaining the old promise.
Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, the Church of Ireland has given its blessing to local groups resisting the change imposed by the UK headquarters.
Now members of the Church of England’s Synod are being asked to add their voices to a protest against the change.
The Synod is to devote time to debate a private member’s motion tabled by Alison Ruoff, a senior member, which brands the decision to have a single secular oath as discrimination against believers.
In a briefing paper distributed by Church House, Mrs Ruoff said: “Most Guide units meet in church premises and for all these units to now be banned from being able to say in the promise that I ‘love my God’ cannot be right.
“Of course many secular organisations use church premises but in this case there has been imposed from Girlguiding HQ an outright ban after over a century of use of ‘loving God’.”
While many members accept the change, many others are “extremely upset, disappointed and worried”, Mrs Ruoff wrote. “Muslim girls are quite content to say ‘love my God’,” she added.
“From a wholly Christian perspective, how can a Christian girl or leader revert to the new promise? “They are being forced to choose between faith and Girlguiding.”
She continued: “The Scout movement have retained their ‘old’ promise, to love God, as well as having a secular promise. “Why therefore should the Guiding movement not be allowed to have choice? “It is rank discrimination against the girls of this wonderful youth movement.”
A spokeswoman for Girlguiding UK said: "Girlguiding’s new promise warmly welcomes girls of all faiths, and none.
"The updated wording grew out of an extensive consultation with nearly 44,000 people.
"During this consultation, our members made it clear they wanted to retain one promise as this is what unifies all girls of all backgrounds and circumstances behind a shared set of values - to be honest, helpful, kind and considerate; to respect other people and the world around you; to develop your beliefs and have the courage of your convictions; to face challenges; to be a good friend; and to take action for a better world.
“We feel it would be inappropriate to comment on this debate until it has taken place.”
Tamera Mowry Is Not Alone
This made my heart ache and my blood pressure spike: Actress Tamera Mowry, who is black, wept in an interview with Oprah Winfrey over the vile bigotry she has encountered because of her marriage to Fox News reporter Adam Housley, who is white. Misogynist haters called Mowry a sellout and a "white man's whore." International news outlets labeled the Internet epithets she endured "horrific" and "shocking."
Horrific? Yes. Shocking? Not at all. What Mowry experienced is just a small taste of what the intolerance mob dishes out against people "of color" who love, think and live the "wrong" way. I've grown so used to it that I often forget how hurtful it can be. Mowry's candor was moving and admirable. It's also a valuable teachable moment about how dehumanizing it can be to work in the public eye. Have we really sunk to this?
Young actresses in the 21st century forced to defend their love lives because their marital choices are politically incorrect? We're leaning backward in the regressive Age of Hope and Change.
Let's face it: Mowry's sin, in the view of her feckless detractors, is not merely that she married outside her race. It's also that she is so open about her love for a white man who -- gasp! -- works for reviled Fox News. Neither of them is political, but the mere association with Bad Things (Fox, conservatives, capitalism, the tea party, Christian activism, traditional values) is an invitation for unabashed hate.
The dirty open secret is that a certain category of public figures has been routinely mocked, savaged and reviled for being partners in interracial marriages or part of loving interracial families (for a refresher, see the video clip of MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and friends cackling at the holiday photo of Mitt Romney holding his black adopted grandson in his lap).
And the dirty double standard is that selectively compassionate journalists and pundits have routinely looked the other way -- or participate directly in heaping on the hate.
Have you forgotten? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was excoriated by black liberals for being married to wife Virginia, who happens to be white. The critics weren't anonymous trolls on the Internet. They worked for major media outlets and institutions of higher learning. USA Today columnist Barbara Reynolds slammed Thomas and his wife for their colorblind union: "It may sound bigoted; well, this is a bigoted world and why can't black people be allowed a little Archie Bunker mentality? ... Here's a man who's going to decide crucial issues for the country and he has already said no to blacks; he has already said if he can't paint himself white he'll think white and marry a white woman."
Howard University's Afro-American Studies Chair Russell Adams accused Thomas of racism against all blacks for falling in love with someone outside his race. "His marrying a white woman is a sign of his rejection of the black community," Adams told The Washington Post. "Great justices have had community roots that served as a basis for understanding the Constitution. Clarence's lack of a sense of community makes his nomination troubling."
California state Senate Democrat Diane Watson taunted former University of California regent Ward Connerly after a public hearing, spitting: "He's married a white woman. He wants to be white. He wants a colorless society. He has no ethnic pride. He doesn't want to be black."
Mowry is not alone. The Thomases and the Connerlys are not alone. Poisonous attempts to shame are an old, endless schoolyard game played by bullies who never grow up and can't stand other people's happiness or success.
Time doesn't lessen the vitriol or hostility. Take it from someone who knows. "Oriental Auntie-Tom," "yellow woman doing the white man's job," "white man's puppet," "Manila whore" and "Subic Bay bar girl" are just a few of the printable slurs I've amassed over the past quarter-century. You wouldn't believe how many Neanderthals still think they can break you by sneering "me love you long time" or "holla for a dolla." My IQ, free will, skin color, eye shape, productivity, sincerity, maiden name and integrity have all been ridiculed or questioned because I happen to be a minority conservative woman happily married to a white man and the mother of two interracial children who see Mom and Dad -- not Brown Mom and White Dad.
Mowry's got the right attitude. She wiped away her tears and told Oprah that haters wouldn't drag her down. Brava. Live, laugh, think and love without regrets. It's the best revenge and the most effective antidote to crab-in-the-bucket syndrome.
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 and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.