Ed Bilodeau

<< Back to Home

This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

FWIW, here's my theory on the brutal murder of an innocent man by UK police:

You have a group of police officers, approaching a suspect's residence, hepped up and ready to go. They are in particular frame of mind, vigilant, on the lookout for particular clues or patterns that fit their ideas about the situation.

They see someone, they yell for them to stop. (According to this article, UK police are not required to identify themselves before shooting.) This other person sees a group of men coming towards him, brandishing guns. What does he do? (What would you do?) He runs. (According to a CBC TV news report I saw last night, a friend of the victim claims he had been in an bar fight recently, and may have thought these men where part of that group.)

Once the man ran, he automatically fit into the pattern the police officers were predisposed to see. Once the suspect ran into a train, the police officers must have been fairly certain, and their training kicked in:


Seven shots to the head.

Sadly, the man was completely innocent. The behaviour that made him appear guilty was cause by the police. They are responsible for creating the situation, and for ending it.

(See also: Malcom Gladwell's Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking: book, audio presentation)

UK PM Tony Blair:
Blair suggested police faced a difficult choice.

"Had the circumstances been different and had this turned out to be a terrorist, and they had failed to take that action, they would have been criticized the other way."
This comment ignores the fact that (a) the man was entirely innocent, and (b) the only indications of possible guilt were in fact caused by the police themselves. This same reasoning could be used to justify almost any atrocity.

It is also a frightening bit of logic, one that mirrors the justifications given by the US government for their preemptive invasion of Iraq. You have to ask yourself: What else are the US and UK governments prepared to do preemptively, "just in case" someone might do something bad in the future?