Just sayin’

Many Australians are outraged today.

The news of the shooting of an Australian woman in the US, outside the Minneapolis home she shared with her fiancé and future stepson is causing puzzlement, wrath, incomprehension, sadness, and yes, outrage is not too strong a word.

She’d called the police to report a potential sexual assault taking place near the house. When the police arrived, she approached the car, dressed in her night clothes and clutching her phone. She spoke through the driver’s window. And then the driver’s partner shot her. Twice. Past his partner’s face and through the open window, killing her.

Oh please. From all accounts she was not an aggressive, mouthy woman who would refuse to obey the police’s usual charming barked orders. She was 40, blonde, slight, and dressed in pyjamas. Not an obvious suspect in a potential sexual assault. She was holding a mobile phone. Not a gun. Not even vaguely like a gun, and certainly not like a gun if you’re sitting only a few feet away. And she approached the police, the so-called guardians of the community, for help, instead of running away, as a criminal would.

Attention, Minneapolis Police. This is NOT a gun…

Conveniently enough, the officers involved had not obeyed policy and switched on their body cameras. The dash cam wasn’t working/failed to record the incident. Funny, that.

Nobody is saying anything. The police force have not expressed regret at this incident, the officer in question has offered his condolences but not apologies, and asks us to respect his privacy. WTF? How hard is it to make an announcement that a terrible mistake has been made, that investigations will be carried out with all due haste and the results announced promptly?

Officer Noor, who has presumably received thorough training in telling the difference between helpful members of the public and criminals, appears to have committed criminally negligent homicide. He took out his gun and shot – twice – a woman who was not threatening him, who was trying to be a good citizen, and who had not attacked him. He made the decision to kill her rather than disable her by some other means. He had a professional duty to be sure of his facts and differentiate between the public and the perpetrator. Protect and serve, yes? This is what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

Criminally negligent manslaughter occurs where there is an omission to act when there is a duty to do so, or a failure to perform a duty owed, which leads to a death. The existence of the duty is essential because the law does not impose criminal liability for a failure to act unless a specific duty is owed to the victim. It is most common in the case of professionals who are grossly negligent in the course of their employment. 

That sounds about right, doesn’t it?

Just sayin’…..

 

More reading on the subject of police culture in the US:

https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21636044-americas-police-kill-too-many-people-some-forces-are-showing-how-smarter-less

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/17/15985442/minneapolis-police-shooting-justine-damond-video

A pink letter day

Or more accurately, a pink number day.

Yesterday, after a couple of medical appointments earlier this week, I was fully discharged as an oncology patient. I’m officially cancer-free after 5 years. I loved how the discharge form was printed on pink paper – I got my pink slip!* 🙂

We went out for a meal to celebrate, and today I will ceremonially return the last of my oral chemotherapy drugs to the pharmacy. There will still be annual checkups, but that’s the last of the treatment.

You might say, I’m feeling ‘in the pink’…

 

*For non-Aussies, a pink slip can be either a vehicle inspection paper to confirm your car is OK, or a termination notice at work. Either one works in this context…

Lest we forget…

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To all the Diggers who have hung up their hats,
we say thank you.

To the men and women of our Armed Forces: thank you for the sacrifice you made, thank you for the freedom we take for granted, thank you for enduring the horror of war on our behalf. Thank you for showing us that mankind has its redeeming moments amidst ugliness and conflict.

Today is ANZAC Day.  All over Australia and New Zealand, in Gallipoli and northern France, at dawn today people stood in silence to remember and give thanks.

Gone but never forgotten.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.

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Happy Easter!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter/Spring Festival/Autumn Festival (depending on whether you’re northern or southern hemisphere), a restful break, and as much or as little creativity as suits you best 🙂

This is about as close to Easter eggs as I’ll get this year, it’s getting too hard to find chocolate eggs that are safe for me to eat, but may there be lovely lashings of chocoliciousness for you all.

The Husband of Chiconia is working this entire Easter holiday weekend, so, being on my own, I shall seize the opportunity to try and get a bit closer to finishing TWX. Hopefully my next post will be to show the assembled, although still unbound quilt.

Joy and peace to you all.

 

 

“We wanted to get our customers to their destinations…”

I cannot be alone in feeling incredulity at the above statement. Not ALL passengers, apparently.

It was issued by a spokesman for United Airlines to justify the violent extraction and ejection of a passenger from one of their flights. This passenger had paid for his flight, had been boarded and seated, and was being bumped so that an airline employee could fly in his place. Setting aside any issue of whether he was selected for ejection on the basis of his race (not impossible), and further setting aside the subsequent lurid revelations about his past (irrelevant to the case in point), let us compare the spokesman’s statement with what actually happened. Saying they wanted to get ‘the passengers’ home was ludicrous. Clearly this passenger wasn’t going to make it home for quite a while. He was removed with totally unnecessary violence by police, injured and made a public spectacle, denied the flight he had paid for, and as far as I can tell from the newsfeed I’ve seen, so far has been denied the grovelling public apology from the airline he so richly deserves, quite aside from the fact that no compensation for his flight appears to be on the table any longer. The airline feels this action was justified in order to get its employees (oh, and the passengers) to their destination. No destination for Dr Dao…

He had committed no offence, he had not violated any rules of behaviour, he refused to get out of a seat he’d paid for because he needed to get home and see his patients the next morning. If correct airline procedure mandates the violent extraction and beating of an elderly man in this situation, I would not care to fly with this airline now or at any future time. And the police involved in his extraction from the aircraft are equally culpable for their quite excessive use of violence and their willingness to be used to serve the airline’s defective policy. Uploaded video footage shows quite clearly that the man was neither drunk, nor abusive, nor screaming (not until he was forcibly dragged from his seat), he offered no violence or threats of his own.

Other passengers were horrified and protested. Some went to the extent of staging a walk-out. In a vain attempt to manage the situation, United then evacuated the rest of the passengers so they could ‘tidy up’ the plane. Oh dear me, we can’t have it too obvious that the pax are unhappy with us, can we? Eventually, the plane left 3 hours late, and without Dr Dao, now in hospital and not in very good shape.

If United was able to offer large incentives to encourage passengers to get off to make room for the 4 last-minute United employee-travellers, why couldn’t it simply book its own people onto another flight or carrier? So they were a flight crew needed for another aircraft. Someone failed in the scheduling department, I think. And how is it that employees get priority over paying passengers? This has the stink of a company run for the benefit of employees rather than the paying customer. It seems the public is not entitled to what it has paid for, after all, and can look forward to being bullied if it dares protest… Another nail in the coffin of United’s already abysmal reputation.

United Airlines: Beating our competitors on price, and our passengers on non-compliance

This opinion is based on newsfeed currently available. Subsequent events may provide further information which renders the opinions I have expressed inappropriate. I reserve the right to my opinion based on the information to hand, but will retract any opinion subsequently shown by the facts to be at fault. 

Big Girl 3: the Husband’s new ‘office’

It’s always a red letter day when the boys get a new truck.

Meet Big Girl 3, the third of her lineage, all 26 metres/85 feet of her. Brand spanking new, still reeking of fresh plastic and leather, and all her chrome sparkly as anything.

The Husband of Chiconia and his two other team drivers work a 4 day, 4 night, 4 off shift. During the day shifts, they drive 1,000km/620 miles a day and 500km/310 miles at night, clocking up a total of 6,000km/ 3,728 miles a week. The truck is in motion for nearly the full 24 hours, only being off the road for fuelling and checks and handover for about 1 hour each day. That means the truck clocks up 547,500kms/340,200 miles a year. Their team has one of the longest working days and highest odometer readings in the company, which is why they get a new truck pretty regularly.

Back in the early days of Big Girl 2, I made the boys a quilt for the truck, assembled from their recycled work shirts. Yesterday, we transferred that, his two matching pillows and a box of tools and cleaning equipment into Big Girl 3.  She’s all clean and lovely and pristine, but with the days they put in and the hazards they face on the road, that probably won’t last too long.

The company names each truck as well as having personalised registration plates.  Big Girl 1 was ‘Safely Home’. Big Girl 2 was ‘Always Safe II’, and Big Girl 3 is ‘Walala Wasala’, which apparently means ‘you snooze, you lose’ in Zulu. Don’t ask me why, the only clue I have is that the GM of the company is South African. If they had to have Zulu, I’d have thought something like ‘Phambili Ngesibonelo’ would work better, seeing that they pride themselves on their good drivers. Whatever the name, I hope safety is still high on the priority list.

It’s a potentially dangerous and occasionally demanding job, and I rather like getting the Husband home at the end of the day…

Let sleeping cats lie…

Yes, I know that should be ‘dogs’, but really, who’d disturb this?

The Dowager’s cat, imaginatively named Cat, has been staying with us for a month now. Only 2 more weeks to go, but I digress… She’s not hard to care for, but she is quite demanding, and exceptionally vocal.  So it’s a rare pleasure to find her asleep, and not demanding food (“no, not that food, other food!”), endless strokies, a good brushing, to be let in or out, or the leftovers from our plates.

Fast asleep, bent backwards and all 4 paws in the air…

I just had to share this photo. If you or I went to sleep in that position, we’d be calling for an ambulance when we woke up.  And you have to bear in mind that this cat is quite elderly as they go, and occasionally has trouble getting up the back door steps.

Now, I just have to tiptoe away to the sewing room to press on with sewing blocks together. Keep it down out there, will you, or you’ll wake her up and it’ll be constant yowling again.