Lovely post David. I had a similar feeling last week, looking at my wife's ultrasound, seeing a curiously tadpole-like creature. Then it rolled over and you could see hands and feet, and it settled on it's side, much like a cat settling down to sleep. The radiologist (is that the word?) said that he/she was indeed sleeping, and the rolling was a reaction to being prodded with the ultrasound probe. The transition from "it" to "he/she" was as seamless as that.
Gareth, heh, the 4th dimension is surely time? It is kind of hard to get your head around the idea that ultrasound can see in the first 3 dimensions, even if we can't. But how is it presented to us? Surely as a little movie, in which we can get the illusion of seeing the first 3 dimensions, by moving around the foetus over time?
I don't actually know, and am speculating. It could be presented to us using 3D goggles, or as a movie in which you can change camera angles? The data is all there. Could be an awesome thing to have, but what Kyle said is sooo true. Birth is still the most magic moment, when you don't need science to see your baby any more. Just your eyes, and wow, there's some little eyes looking back at you.
Some good ideas. A properly independent review of controversial police actions, whether it be a judge or a jury doing it, would serve to enhance the reputation of the police if they acted lawfully and appropriately. If they did not, it would quite righteously discredit them. The idea of in-house investigations and disciplinary action might actually be working, but the problem is there is no way the public can be confident of that.
I think they should still do the in-house stuff, but come at it more from a "How can we make things work better next time" and "Was it ethical? Was it how police themselves would like to see it work?" angle.
A stockbroking firm I worked with in Australia took that approach. They were charged with insider trading, and acquitted, but in the course of the trial it came out that some pretty shocking attitudes prevailed amongst the brokers towards minorities (in this case Jews), and led the firm to thoroughly overhaul it's internal approach to ethics, which had been basically informal until then. A heck of a lot of good stuff came out of that, making it a much friendlier environment to minorities and women. This is kind of the opposite of what Graeme is saying, but what I'm driving at is that it shouldn't be a binary choice between internal and external reviews. Both can drive useful change, even where one of them (the insider trading prosecution) acquits due to insufficient evidence (which is the whole not-guilty vs innocent thing).
If the purpose of the PCA is simply to recommend conviction or not, then the police have lost a powerful tool for internal improvement. If that purpose is served by an independent body, geared towards litigation, with wide ranging investigative powers, then the internal one can be much more 'constructive' rather than 'adversarial' in it's role.
<quote>And recent events seem to suggest she's right- </quote
We'll have to see. I don't even know for certain if the shooter was AOS. Our police are armed, they just don't carry the gun on their person. It's stashed in their car, usually.
A weapon can be pretty much anything other than your bare hands. I think even those can be considered a weapon if it's evident the person has training, like they are a professional boxer or something.
I'd hate to hear that our cops were capping everyone who came at them with a screwdriver - that might seem to be a time when you should attempt a non-lethal shot first (after one in the air to show the weapon is loaded and operational), but I've never had someone come at me with a screwdriver to know what it feels like, nor have I ever shot someone in the leg or arm to know how practical it is to attempt. Although I hate the idea, tazers do seem to be a better solution, if protecting our police from personal harm is any kind of priority. It certainly is for them. But it does seem to me that NZ police have been up against screwdrivers forever, and drugged nutters (in their most common form, drunks), and they didn't need tazers before.
There are no tunnels in Auckland so car parks might be the only place the guy could have disappeared into.
It was a hot day. He could have hidden under just about any tree and not been visible to infrared. If the police lost sight of him, he could have slipped away with all the cunning that the crazy often have. In hindsight it might have been better if he had, and then they could have picked him up later. But the guy was armed and crazed. It could have been disastrous too. A call was made, by the people who have to make these calls, and unfortunately something bad happened. I'm sure the police will be picking over every detail of what went wrong to an extent that will make all of our amateur musings seem woefully misinformed. It may well be that much better training will be seen as imperative. But I wouldn't blame the individuals who were involved without very good evidence of misconduct. Our police just don't have occasion to deal with crazed gunmen very often, and they are not very good at it, most likely. That is actually a good thing, except in these very rare cases when they have to use their guns and bystanders get killed.
I'm glad your friend would be fearful if she got into an armed confrontation with our police. I would hope that every person, both sane and insane, would be similarly fearful, and that might inspire them NOT to do such an incredibly stupid thing. In some ways the sheer unprofessionalism of our police so far as guns are concerned is one of the best deterrents against confronting them with a weapon. You're likely to get killed. That's why you don't pick a fight with a mad dog.
The whole idea with Criminal vs Police is not that the police are incredibly well trained robocops who can put in a head shot from 100m, firing from the hip. It's that there's heaps of them and they won't stop coming after you. Even if you leave a pile of their corpses, you won't get away. Eventually, like a pack of bloodhounds, they will drag you down. Having robocops is fine for societies that warrant such an extreme, but I believe our police actually have better ways to spend their training time. If they spend more time learning to kill like soldiers then I feel it's pretty likely that they'll start racking up a much larger body count, they way they do in most of the rest of the world.
I seem to remember BFM talkback from the early 90s being OK. Giles someone. Not a format that I liked at all, but I've heard so much worse since then that it seems positively excellent in my fading memory.
I'm sure they've killed a bunch with car crashes and such, but yes it's unprecedented to shoot Innocent Bystander to death while trying to shoot Criminal Nutter.
Pretty much the same principle though.
Goodness women are subtle aren't they? When I was a boy, it was well known that you could find the raunchiest part of anything lewd by following the trail of 'coffee stains'.
I'm hooked. Next episode is when? My fav bit:
His thigh under her hands was hard and unyielding, like a bundle of pipes wrapped in hairy canvas.
Although I think it might be a wee bit explicit for Mills and Boon.
No, I'm pointing out the inevitable consequences of a feeling of unaccountability: systematic abuse of power and apparent criminal behaviour.
Whilst ignoring the consequences of a feeling of over-accountability - total inaction, and letting criminals get away with their behavior. There is naturally a balance to be struck but I haven't seen much to say that NZ police aren't pretty bloody admirable on this score.
Tell me, I/S, what you would have done? Stood nearby shouting helplessly? Run up and grabbed the gun wielder with your bare hands? Shot the gun out of his hands from the top of Mt Albert? Let him escape with a hostage? Hurried home to blog about it?
Gareth, I'm glad there's stats to back my totally subjective feeling that the traffic flows a lot better than it did. It does stand to reason whenever you see what a herd of animals (including human animals) is like when a lot of them are trying to get through a bottleneck. They're actually slower than if they were a bit more ordered, and certainly being ordered is fairer and safer.