Monday, March 02, 2015
Former soldier who lost friends in Iraq and Afghanistan wars is refused service in a Scottish pub because of 'offensive' Union Flag shirt
A former soldier who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan claims he was turned away from a pub in Scotland because workers said the union flag on his top was offensive.
Richard Monteith was told he would not be served again in the Black Bull pub in Polmont, Falkirk, unless he turned down the collar of his Hackett Boat Race polo shirt, which exposed a Union Jack , because it was seen as offensive.
The 36-year-old served 17 years with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and lost several friends and colleagues during tours of the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo.
He said he was upset with the reaction because he had been in the army and had to deal with seeing a lot of friends draped in the flag after dying in service.
The incident took place last Friday. Mr Monteith said: 'I had a couple of sips of my pint and was told unless I turned my collar down I wouldn't be served again.
'I asked why and they said the Union Jack and red, white and blue colours were offensive. 'When I asked why the woman just laughed and said 'because it is'.
'I just don't see how the flag or even the colours could be so offensive to anybody. 'To say red, white and blue are offensive is laughable. It was really silly comments, to be honest.'
Mr Monteith, now a security consultant, added: 'Being in the army I have carried quite a few friends that are draped in these colours so I find it very offensive.
'I wear it with pride for them, nothing else. It was me who was shocked and deeply offended.'
Mr Monteith refused to react to the statement or turn down his collar and left the pub. They walked into one across the road and no issues were raised.
The father-of-two said he had been unable to get a full explanation from the Black Bull since the incident, despite leaving messages for the manager.
A spokesman for the pub said: 'We are carrying out an investigation into the allegation, but cannot comment further until we speak to all of the members of staff who were working on Friday evening.'
Race Is Just a Social Construct, Except …When DNA Solves Crimes
There were no known eyewitnesses to the murder of a young woman and her 3-year-old daughter four years ago. No security cameras caught a figure coming or going.
Nonetheless, the police in Columbia, S.C., last month released a sketch of a possible suspect. Rather than an artist’s rendering based on witness descriptions, the face was generated by a computer relying solely on DNA found at the scene of the crime.
It may be the first time a suspect’s face has been put before the public in this way, but it will not be the last. Investigators are increasingly able to determine the physical characteristics of crime suspects from the DNA they leave behind, providing what could become a powerful new tool for law enforcement.
Already genetic sleuths can determine a suspect’s eye and hair color fairly accurately. It is also possible, or might soon be, to predict skin color, freckling, baldness, hair curliness, tooth shape and age.
Computers may eventually be able to match faces generated from DNA to those in a database of mug shots. Even if it does not immediately find the culprit, the genetic witness, so to speak, can be useful, researchers say.
“That at least narrows down the suspects,” said Susan Walsh, an assistant professor of biology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis who recently won a $1.1 million grant from the Department of Justice to develop such tools.
But forensic DNA phenotyping, as it is called, is also raising concerns. Some scientists question the accuracy of the technology, especially its ability to recreate facial images. Others say use of these techniques could exacerbate racial profiling among law enforcement agencies and infringe on privacy.
“This is another of these areas where the technology is ahead of the popular debate and discussion,” said Erin Murphy, a professor of law at New York University.
DNA, of course, has been used for more than two decades to hunt for suspects or to convict or exonerate people. But until now, that meant matching a suspect’s DNA to that found at the crime scene, or trying to find a match in a government database.
DNA phenotyping is different: an attempt to determine physical traits from genetic material left at the scene when no match is found in the conventional way. …
Gender has long been ascertained from crime scene DNA. About 15 years ago, some police departments began trying to determine the geographic ancestry of suspects, as well, by using tests like the ones consumers order to learn about their genetic heritage.
In 2003, such information helped redirect the search for a serial killer in Louisiana. Police had been looking for a white man based on a witness account and on psychological profiles.
But DNA found at the site of one of the murders indicated the person’s ancestry was 85 percent sub-Saharan African. Eventually, a black man was convicted of the crimes.
Now researchers are closing in on specific physical traits, like eye and hair color.
But I’ve been hearing for 15 years that two individuals of different races are more genetically similar than two individuals of the same race. I’ve read that in comments sections hundreds of times. Could we have been misled?
500 new cases of female genital mutilation in one month are 'just the tip of the iceberg', campaigners warn
Five hundred women and girls living in England have been identified as victims of female genital mutilation in just one month, new figures show.
And campaigners have warned the numbers represent 'just the tip of the iceberg', estimating more than 130,000 women and girls in the country are affected by the issue.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), is a harmful traditional practice that involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia.
Campaigners told MailOnline today these figures will 'increase significantly' as more women access health care.
The statistics, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, include data from 126 eligible acute NHS trusts in England.
They reveal 2,242 active cases, where women and girls are currently being treated for FGM, while 499 new cases were identified in January.
Mary Wandia, FGM programme manager at campaign group Equality Now, told MailOnline that FGM is 'child abuse and an extreme human rights violation'.
'Today's figures are just the tip of the iceberg,' she warned. 'We will see these figures increasing significantly as more women access healthcare.
'The figures also show that training of those who come in contact with girls at risk of FGM - and those affected by it - is urgently needed.
'Health, social and education professionals don't have clear pathways and don't always know what to do.
'FGM is child abuse, a human rights violation and an extreme human rights violation.
'We have made huge progress on ensuring a joined-up approach to preventing it in the UK. It is no longer in the shadows and has is clearly on the national agenda.
'We just need to keep working to ensure that the law is properly implemented and that every single girl is protected.'
Ms Wandia said training for medical professionals is 'essential' in helping them recognise those women and girls affected - as well as those at risk.
She said: 'Survivors of FGM urgently need physical, emotional and psychological support.'
Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May said that in the UK, 137,000 women are living with the consequences of FGM and a 60,000 are at risk.
The figures she cited, from a report from City University London in collaboration with Equality Now, estimated that 10,000 girls aged under 15 who migrated to England and Wales are likely to have undergone FGM.
In July, the Government launched a £1.4 million programme to tackle FGM, with the aim of ending the practice within a generation.
This included bringing in laws to prosecute parents if they fail to prevent their daughters being cut.
It also requires collecting data about FGM in hospitals in England and training both health professionals and police officers to respond appropriately to cases of FGM.
Ms Wandia said: 'This is not an issue that can be ignored any longer.
'We also found that 60,000 girls born to mothers affected by FGM, lived in England and Wales in 2011.
'African countries like Kenya and Burkina Faso have led the way on ending FGM globally.
'We can end it within this generation but we need to continue to keep up the pressure to ensure governments are held accountable to their obligations.'
Meanwhile the children's charity, the NSPCC, said since setting up FGM dedicated helpline in June 2013, they have received 521 calls from the public and professionals.
Of those, 214 of the cases have been referred to the police and children's services.
John Cameron, head of child protection operations at the NSPCC, said: 'FGM is a live public health issue and it is vital all health professionals are trained to spot the signs of FGM, and that girls who are subjected to this brutal practice get the post-traumatic support they deserve.
'We need to ensure doctors, midwives and other healthcare professionals are working effectively together with children’s services to support and protect FGM victims and their family members.'
The World Health Organisation recognise FGM as a 'violation of the human rights of girls and women'. 'It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women,' the agency said.
'The practice violates a person's rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.'
Today's figures are just the tip of the iceberg. We will see these figures increasing significantly as more women access health care
Mary Wandia, Equality Now
It is estimated that between 100 and 140 million girls and women around the world have undergone genital mutilation.
FGM has been a crime in the UK for 30 years, but there have been no convictions for the practice.
Police Chief Cops Out on Freedom
At the Salt Lake Police Department, the only thing officers are handcuffing is freedom. Like most Americans, Eric Moutsos never dreamed that his faith would cost him his job. But that’s exactly what happened last summer after the long-time policeman asked for a different post at the city’s gay pride event.
He was asked, along with other members of the team, to lead the motorcycle brigade at the very front of the parade. Moutsos said he “felt uncomfortable doing what he considered celebratory circles with other motorcycles leading the parade because of his religious views” and asked to be placed somewhere else at the event. “It is unquestionably my duty as a police officer to protect everyone’s right to hold a parade or other event, but is it also my duty to celebrate everyone’s parade?” For that particular assignment, he explained, “It looks like we and I are in support of this parade. I said I would feel the same way if this was an abortion parade. I would feel the same way if it was a marijuana parade.”
Not once did he refuse to work the parade – yet in the middle of working out a compromise with his boss, he was suspended. The move absolutely blind-sided him. Shocked, the dad of four went home and told his family what happened. Almost immediately, the story broke that an unidentified member of the Salt Lake Police Department had been put on a leave of absence for “discrimination.”
In typical P.C. fashion, Chief Chris Burbank spun the controversy as a story of prejudice and bias. “It has nothing to do with religious freedom – that has to do with the hatred of those individuals and what the parade stands for, which is about unity and coming together,” he told local reporters. Obviously, the chief is too busy policing people’s views to protect them. After six months of absolute turmoil, Moutsos decided to come forward and reveal his identity. As a Mormon – whose church recently threw its support behind the very ordinances that make this kind of persecution possible – Eric wants to turn his oppression into an opportunity.
In an interview with Deseret News, Moutsos said his story should be a warning to every American who thinks same-sex “marriage” and homosexuality won’t affect them. “We can 100 percent disagree and still 100 percent love. I hate that we’re labeled in this way that is so divisive.” Although Moutsos found a job with another police agency, he thinks his most important work is protecting religious liberty. He hasn’t been asked to testify to lawmakers, but he’d like to.
Like Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Eric was told to either check his beliefs at the door or get out of public service. If the Mormon Church thinks that throwing its weight behind sexual orientation-gender identity measures like Houston’s will shield people like him, they’re sorely mistaken. How do you protect anyone’s freedom of belief if you give the government another weapon to punish it? All this does is force Christians underground – or worse, into a religious ghetto cut off from the rest of society.
First of all, that’s not what we’re called to do in the church. And secondly, it’s not what our freedoms allow. It’s tough to get the American people to agree on anything – but they agree on that. In FRC’s survey released this week by WPA Opinion, 81% of the country (which as unanimous as it gets in the polling community) agreed that the government should leave people alone to live and work according to their beliefs. If anyone’s ready to lead that parade, we are!
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.