Aug. 4th, 2005

pecunium: (Default)
From today's Washington Post: Police Chiefs Group Bolsters Policy on Suicide Bombers

The short version, "If he looks suspicious, shoot him in the head"

Honest, read it for yourself. The relevant grafs are, The police group's guidelines also say the threat to officers does not have to be "imminent," as police training traditionally teaches. Officers do not have to wait until a suspected bomber makes a move, another traditional requirement for police to use deadly force. An officer just needs to have a "reasonable basis" to believe that the suspect can detonate a bomb, the guidelines say.

Last year, Gainer retrained his officers to shoot to kill when faced with a suspected suicide bomber who is uncooperative and refuses to stop and be searched. Other law enforcement officials say they are debating the issue and might follow his lead if there is a suicide bombing in this country.


There you go. A suspect is presumed guilty, so guilty we have to kill him.

Under those guidelines the NYPD doing subway searches would be allowed to shoot someone who walks away from a search.

Under those guidelines things like, "wearing a heavy coat or jacket in warm weather or carrying a briefcase, duffle bag or backpack with protrusions or visible wires. The person might display nervousness, an unwillingness to make eye contact or excessive sweating. There might be chemical burns on the clothing or stains on the hands. The person might mumble prayers or be "pacing back and forth in front of a venue." are grounds for suspecting someone to be a suicide bomber, and so shooting them in the head.

Not to be too much of a chicken little, but this is a potent tool for repression. Don't like a protest group, unless they are naked you can probably find a couple who look like a bomber, and shoot them. The protest will probably be broken up, and the debate won't be about the thing protested, but rather if the cop had, "reasonable basis" under the guidelines, to think maybe there was a bomb under the the coats.

Am I going overboard? Lord! I hope so.

On the other hand, this policy is overboard. We have enough problems with the shooting policies in effect now. Amadou Diallo was reaching for his wallet. He was shot by four, plainclothes, cops. They said they thought he had a gun. OK, maybe they did think that, but the flip side is, what was he supposed to do? Four guys, in street clothes assault you? Honestly, if he'd had a gun I don't think I'd fault him for deciding his life was in immediate danger and trying to defend himself(well it's poor judgement to try and draw when the other guy has his weapon cleared, much less four weapons, but...). That sort of slack (the "but think about the decision the officer has to make, what if he's wrong?)needs to be cut for the victim of such shootings too. Because in Diallo's case, and de Menezes, the cops were wrong, and wrong in the way I think more heinous... they killed an innocent, as a foreseeable result of reasonable reactions. Hell, in Diallo's case he was doing what the cops say to do, not resisting what looked like a mugging, and giving up his wallet.

But we give the cops some pretty large immunity. "Good Faith." Bah. It was, "Good Faith" which had a squad of LAPD cops tailing known bad guys, and not arresting them. The argument was a parole violation would be small potatoes, they wanted to get them on a new crime. OK. I can see the logic (it's twisted, because they weren't following these guys 24/7, so they had time they could commit crimes and not get stopped). The problem is they didn't arrest them when they saw them committing these crimes, no; to protect the public they shot them. Often in the back, more than once before the new crime was committed.

They knew, you see, that he was going to rob the bank, or do something other terrible deed. It's been alleged that, at least once, they used a drop gun on a guy because he wasn't armed (which would have made the whole needed to shoot him to protect people from him sort of weak in police reports, much less in court).

I'm rambling, ranting even, because this scares me. Who watches the guardians? When we let fear rule our hearts, and say we want no risk, no danger; to be swaddled in cotton wool and protected from any harsh possibilty we lose so much.

We used to say we were willing to take risks to be free. We are (it seems) as a culture electing to give that up.

Not to belittle the horror of That Tuesday, but it was the concentration which made it so horrible. We accept ten times that many deaths on the road,, every year. I, for one, am willing to risk a bomb to avoid a police state, where carte blanche is given to the cops to shoot me; in the head, for my protection.



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pecunium: (Default)
I made some chicken cacciatorre, al a mexican.

Juice of three limes, some cumin, a bit of powedered oregeno and some celery seeds, half an onion (chopped small), and some rosemary.

Take a couple of chicken breasts and let them soak in this for two-three hours.

Simmer a couple of cans of diced tomatoes, and about four fresh (chopped small).

Mix the marinade into the tomatoes (a small clove of garlic can be added) and lay the breasts in the mixture; covering the meat.

Place a lid over the whole and let it simmer until the chicken is soft.

I steamed some squash on the side, and made a salad of tomatoes and lemon cucumbers. I dressed it with truffle oil.

Next time I'll probably use less than the entire marinade, since the tomatoes were a little bright as a side dish.

Last night was the Tuesday night supper club (it seems it was moved to Weds. while I was gone).

I felt lazy, so I made chili.


Juiced about four limes, added cumin, cinnamon, oregano, celery seed (all pulversised in the spice grinder; which is a Braun whirling coffee mill). Cubed about 1 1/2 lbs of pork. Marinated that for about four hours.

Took the remainder the previous night's tomatoes, added a large clove of garlic, about two-lbs of fresh tomatoes, three cans of diced, three cans of black beans and an onion as well as two small orange peppers (I don't know what kind they are, but they grew on a tall plant, and are hot. Short, pointed and lots of seeds, which I tossed most of away) which were also pulverised.

Roasted some paprika in bacon grease and added it, with about a tablespoon of fresh.

About an hour and half before I was expecting to serve it, I removed the meat from the marinade and added it.

Served with rice, chips, salsa guacamole and a bottle of "La Boca" Cabernet Sauvignon, 200s, from Mendoza Vinyards in Argentina. It needs another year or so. Very bright, the fruit overstated and metallic. It has promise, but I'm not likely to lay any in (it was brought by one of the guests).

The chili was almost perfect. The black beans gave it an nicely earthy note, the peppers (and the marinade) gave it bite and the rice kept it from being too much.

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