Archive for April, 2012
The shooting of two criminals in Sydney’s Kings Cross over the weekend has given the media the feeding frenzy they need to sell ads and maintain ratings. A stolen car full of teenagers attempted to escape from the police and the driver drove the car onto a crowded footpath and allegedly struck a female pedestrian. The police shot at the driver to stop him, hitting him and the front seat passenger. Then they removed them from the vehicle and attempted to handcuff them, however at least one criminal was passively resisting or at least refusing to allow the officer to handcuff him and so he was punched to gain compliance. All of this was filmed, as is usual nowadays, on a mobile phone camera. The police acted decisively in a very tense and rapidly changing situation… now the arm chair experts chip in, safe from their upscale suburban homes and tax payer funded parliamentary offices.
First of all the criminals were minors. The father of the 17 year old front passenger moans how his son was treated as an adult, not a minor. I’m sorry, but a 17 year old doesn’t have a sign on him saying he is not 18 yet. He looked pretty adult and full grown to me and never forget, he was in a stolen car that was being driven on a crowded footpath. The driver was 14 and those in the back included a 13 year old. So? Old enough to do the crime, old enough to be dealt with the same as anyone else. They refused police directions to stop like adults, they stole a car like adults, they drove it on the footpath like adults and they weren’t behaving like my 13 year old does. If age is so relevant in this situation, how old was the car? Old enough to be stolen and driven into innocent pedestrians on a footpath.
The next issue is those teenage criminals were indigenous. so now the Police have to liaise with the indigenous community to keep things calm. Why? Criminals are criminals regardless, surely? Why do they get special treatment? It is the same with any ethnic community other than Anglo-Europeans. How racist is that? And we keep pandering to them so it is no wonder they feel special.
Worst of all is the Greens MP who says the Police should have shot at the tyres. Mr David Shoebridge… get real. Get real. This is not the movies. Apart from having seen bullets bounce off tyres (used as a backstop at a pistol range) tyres don’t matter when the driver still has the intent to drive the car on its rims and run over more people. Shoebridge, these officers have to make split second life or death decisions and then stand by them months later in calm, quiet courtrooms while people like you who know nothing, have never done anything and probably don’t have the guts to ever do anything have to clean up the mess made all too often by do-gooding people like you and your political party. Stay in parliament, Shoebridge because I can’t think of a single serving officer who would want you one of your ilk beside them in such a situation. Back-up? I think the only compound word with back in it politicians understand is back-stab, but I digress.
To all of you living in that perfect world in your heads, the criminals stole a car and refused to stop, drove onto a footpath and risked the lives of law abiding citizens. When stopped in the only sensible and immediately effective manner available to the officers on the scene the criminals continued to refuse police direction. As for comments of being ‘forced to lie face first in a pool of his own blood’, the footage shows him lying there and his neck is bleeding. Punched? Yes because it is obvious the criminal is refusing to be handcuffed. Dragged? Yes, away from the car where officers have three other criminals to manage and to be searched for weapons. As for the fact these criminals are Aboriginal…so what? If they were all left handed would it rate a mention? Let’s not give the media and the midget minded fuel. The sooner we treat everyone equally the better.
If that were my 17 year old son I would be grateful the Police bullets didn’t kill him. It would hurt to watch the footage but as the father admits, his son is ‘known to police’. I would hazard he has been ‘known’ as a little criminal mongrel since he was in primary school. Don’t blame the police for dealing effectively with a lethal situation. Ask that father why his 17 year old boy was running loose in a stolen car trying to run down pedestrians and police. Where was he when the boy was growing up and needed a solid role model?
I am the first to hammer the police when I think they have over stepped the mark but I am not going to stand back and allow these officers to be hung out to dry for doing a very tough job in very dangerous circumstances simply because the world is getting soft and swallowing the line that so long as we keep spending and especially with credit cards all will be well. But that’s another blog for another time.
This couple in Aceh, Sumatra Indonesia have been caned for being caught having pre-marital sex in public. They are described as ‘punks’ and were part of a crackdown on punk groups in this populous Islamic Asian state. So on the surface this looks pretty damning of Sharia Law and what it means as far as we Westerners are concerned. First of all the punishment, caning and then of course the ‘crime’. It is an offence to have sex in public in my country, albeit the punishment is usually a fine, community service or a slap on the wrist. If they were ugly or inept they might get jail time to improve their partner prospects…. I’m joking. It is a joke in bad taste, not an offensive utterance but let’s leave society’s softening for another blog.
So should we get all upset about this? After all, the punished pair live in a place where they know what they do is illegal. We can argue over the legality of caning, sex in public and whether the government has the right to harass people for looking a certain way like punks do, but that isn’t the issue. How do we know if they were in public view? If someone trespassed on their land to sight them it should not be ‘in public’. Yet in my city there are cases where people have been seen naked or engaging in sex in the privacy of their own homes but because of a curtain malfunction someone outside on the street or in a neighbouring house saw them. Consequently it was indecent exposure or what have you. Surely this is not the same as someone purposely engaging in a public demonstration of nakedness or sex with the aim of shocking and offending?
Caning is barbaric to some but I was caned at school in the 1970s. What is the difference? Because we no longer engage in a certain behaviour everyone who still does is wrong? Yet were we wrong when we did it? At the time no, now yes you say? But you can’t apply current standards to long past practices and attitudes. We never want another Hiroshima or Nagasaki but at the time it was a very different zeitgeist, especially among those in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Nanking and wherever else the Japanese Emperor had sent his minions. Hirohito was happy to let hundreds of thousands burn in the Tokyo fire raids of April 1945 with no intention to give up his privileged position.
Let’s think about the report and the photo for a moment and ask yourself if you are being manipulated by the media. Note the angle of the photo, taken from below to emphasise the power and authority of the taller figure and the submission of the lower one. Note it is a male figure caning a female, yet her partner was also caned so why not show him copping it? Note the ‘theater’ of the costume worn by the caner. Is this report aimed at passing on news of an event or is it designed to create a reaction among the readers?
I don’t want Sharia Law in Australia and I would never willingly live in a country that had it. I accept these people probably have little choice but to remain in Aceh although I am sure they are free to move around within Indonesia and most of the country is not extreme when it comes to Islam. We also have to accept that our way isn’t the only way. There are plenty of problems in our own culture and community without worrying about people in other cultures and how they are suffering; at least in the context of it being our job to save them. The world is, always has been and always will be a pretty cruel place. You can soften it in your own mind with your own beliefs but that doesn’t change someone else’s reality. Sometimes you have to simply accept life isn’t as fair as you might want it to be and move on. Charity begins at home so above all else, ensure you are if not a part of the solution, at least you are not a part of the problem. And get a room.