July 24, 2005

How dangerous is that shoot-to-kill policy of the London police?

WARNING ADDED: If you've come here from another website and think you already know what this post says, I would recommend that you calm down and read what I've actually written. Some really foolish, hotheaded remarks have been made about this post. Don't let yourself be manipulated.

ORIGINAL POST: It's terrible that the poor man was shot to death yesterday by the London police who had reason to think he was a terrorist. But should we worry that the shoot-to-kill policy will result in more deaths?

Really, it should be quite unlikely for the same sort of thing to happen again, just as it's very unlikely that anyone will ever again hijack an airplane with a small knife. That method of hijacking an airplane ended on the morning of September 11, 2001, when everyone who might in the future ride on an airplane received an unforgettable lesson that they must respond actively and rush the hijackers and restrain them at any cost to themselves. Similarly, everyone -- at least in London -- now knows not to run from the police, especially not onto a train and while wearing bulky clothing.

Is it not true that yesterday's sad mistake has already solved the problem it represents? In fact, a further good has been created: as ordinary persons change their behavior and drop the bulky clothing and unnecessary running, the real terrorists will stand out more. Indeed, if anyone ever behaves like Jean Charles de Menezes again, the presumption that he is a terrorist will be so overwhelmingly strong that the police really must kill him.

UPDATE (8/18/05): Leaked information from independent investigation indicates that Menezes himself didn't "behave like Jean Charles de Menezes," so the shoot-to-kill policy was not what it seemed and is in fact something that we should worry about. Who knows what policy the police were following the day they killed Menezes? Fortunately, there hasn't been another incident like it, at least not yet. I would think the incident itself has forced them to change whatever that policy was.

ANOTHER UPDATE: After ranting near incoherence all day, one of the commenters finally expressed himself in a way that gave me a clue what was pissing him off so bad. He read the phrase "a further good has been created" to mean that I thought that it's worth it that the man died, because a higher good had been created, offsetting the death, as a sort of crude utilitarian observation. The phrase "a further good" just means there is a second good thing that has resulted, not that the good made it worth killing an innocent man, as if I would have, if I knew in advance what was happening, authorized shooting the man in order to produce the good! That's quite a bizarre misreading, but I'm spelling it out in case you happen to be reading it that way. Why would I say such a thing? Before posting and ranting based on such a misreading, you ought to stop and consider whether I would say something so absurd. Or do you think making a hasty judgment and acting with hostility is good way to act? Because that would be a tad hypocritical.

IN THE COMMENTS: As I wrote in comments to the post about this post on 8/18, what I'm seeing in the comments to this post is a deep-seated hostility to the police. People are taking advantage of one bad incident to push a big generalized position they have, and have probably had for a long time. There's a sad lack of rationality here, and it's become pointless to try to reason with the ranters. I'm a law professor and I always assume that some of commenters are my students, so I try to talk to everyone in the comments as if you were my students. But office hours are over for me on this post.


Meade said...

"...as ordinary persons change their behavior and drop the bulky clothing and unnecessary running, the real terrorists will stand out more."

But why would this feedback loop be lost on the terrorists? Won't they also adjust their own profiles and behaviors - no bulky clothing, running from police, etc.?

hat said...

Because the point is they can't avoid bulky clothing. It's neccesary to hide bombs strapped underneath. that's the whole reason you suspsect someone in bulky clothing when it's otherwise unnecessary.

Similarly, someone planning on suicide bombing would most likely always run from the police, because it would take the most cursory of friskings to feel a vest made of tnt underneath his clothing.

Meade said...

But in six months, won't nearly everyone in London be wearing bulky clothing?

Troy said...

The Bottom Line:

When the nice -- or not so nice -- policeman says "Stop." or "Put Your Hands Up." then you stop and/or put your hands up.

If you're in a country and don't know the language -- then learn the damn language.

There is at minimum a reasonable suspicion for a Terry stop with exceedingly bulky clothing, hot weather, etc. When the guy runs it is up to probable cause and throw in the terror and a nice utilitarian (and common sense one too) argument then bye bye to running idiot.

It's sad it has to come to this, but when I go to Germany I'm going to learn cop words, danger words, and "where is the bathroom". I'll just point and grunt at the beer.

Gordon Freece said...

One problem with the "just stop politely" suggestion is that a suicide bomber who wanted to kill a couple of cops would merrily do just that, and then blow himself up.

Another problem is that some suspects, innocent ones, may very well think that if they stop they'll certainly be shot, but if they run they'll at least have some chance.

There's really no "guaranteed safe" way to deal with an armed man who believes that you may be willing to die in order to kill him.

This is a deeply ugly and intractable problem for everybody involved. Avoiding bulky clothing is the best anybody can do, but as somebody notes above, sooner or later the weather turns cold. Then what?

Anonymous said...

I think it will have a deterrent effect. I once read a study that said the death penalty over time has been shown to have a deterrent effect only in relation to the amount of time between the crime and the execution.

This quick and unequivocal reaction, unfortunate as it was--and we still don't know why the decedent was in that particular house and why he ran--knocked the wind out of part of the jihadi fantasy. Instead of transcendent and political, the act itself became nasty, common, brutal.

Ann Althouse said...

A good business idea: design a slim but warm winter jacket.

vbspurs said...

I speak Portuguese, my parents having lived in Brazil for a while in the late 80's/early 90's when I was a teen.

Let me say, I have great sympathy and even tenderness for Brazilians, but I am also not blinded -- they have a lack of being law-abiding citizens even in their own country. And this is the trouble that happens when you are dodgily in a country to begin with.

I wouldn't actually go up to a Brazilian today, and tell them what I did in my blogpiece today, out of common decency for the dead, but I would if someone started ranting about the "fascists in Britain".

Apologise for making a mistake and shooting an innocent man, by all means, but don't endanger countless of other innocents by being too ginger in your reactions.

Thank goodness Scotland Yard said today their "shoot-to-kill" policy would continue.


Troy said...

Eddie P...


Prof. Froward... there's no problem with the stop politely line -- it's designed to protect the nimrod with the jacket from getting himself "kilt". The guy (R.I.P.) deserves a Darwin Award.

vbspurs said...

Justin, I clicked on your Donklephant link in the profile, and got the 404 Error.

Maybe it's down, or...?


Meade said...

"A good business idea: design a slim but warm winter jacket."

Underwear too.

The Modesto Kid said...

We now learn that Menezes was not wearing bulky clothing or running from police. How does this affect your thesis that this police shooting will teach people to behave properly?

Ann Althouse said...

Anacreon: Try rereading the post, including the update, and think about the words you're actually reading. Presumably, you don't like emotional leaps in reasoning, but do you notice when you make them yourself? Apparently not.

Ann Althouse said...

The two goods are: 1. People got a very strong message about what behavior looked suspicious and would know to make an effort to avoid that, and 2. To the extent that innocent people do that, the guilty stand out more. Obviously, these aren't absolute things! Obviously, not everyone gets the message, not everyone can always avoid the things identified as suspicious, and some guilty people can change their behavior. Obviously! What makes you think I was saying everything would change perfectly? Try reading and thinking and giving people you disagree with credit for some intelligence before deciding what is, as you put it, "rediculous."

Ann Althouse said...

Shan: Thanks for describing how you feel. I hope those of us who don't have to feel that can still empathize with you.

Ann Althouse said...

Jr: Yes, I do know that Anacreon posted after my update. And I stand by my position that he read my post poorly. His questions purports to state my "theory" and does it poorly. Why am I motivated to react to him the way I did? Because I don't appreciate having what I wrote mischaracterized in a way that makes me look bad and I know people are reading this post today because they've been sent here by a couple of websites that are badly mischaracterizing me.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Indeed, if anyone ever behaves like Jean Charles de Menezes again, the presumption that he is a terrorist will be so overwhelmingly strong that the police really must kill him.

My god, even without the updated information that the poor man hadn't done these activities, you're post is absurdly offensive? What exactly is so terrorist-like about running and wearing bulky clothes? And do you actually believe that people will stop doing these things now? Are you really that crazy? Are is it that you were just desperate to put a good spin on a horrible event? I suspect the latter.

And your analogy with hijacked airplanes is just plain stupid. Hijacking airplanes is obviously an action of a terrorist, and the lessons-learned there are obvious. Running is not an obvious terrorist activity. But with apologists like you out there, police might feel better about killing innocent people for engaging in innocent activities. And when that happens, the terrorists win.

Terrorism isn't about killing people. It's about scaring people, including scaring the government into over-reacting and destroying our rights. And when we justify these activities, and make innocent activities into "terrorist activities", we play right into their hands.

Matt said...

I only hope that no one here advocating these 'fashion profiling' policies find themselves running from a mugger or a rapist in a subway station during the winter, or running after their children, or running because they are late for a meeting.

It would be tragic for anyone to die because they advocated such a flawed policy.

J said...

Um, your update tag says it was posted on 8/19/2005.

Instead of blogging, how's about you let us in on this little time travel secret you've discovered...

Ann Althouse said...

J: Thanks. I've corrected that.

The Exalted said...

Your attempts to divine positive utility from the murder of an unarmed man are unavailing. You, without reason or purpose, compare this innoncent man's indisputably unwarranted murder to the obviously vile and and criminal action of hijacking a plane.

Your assertions that "running" and wearing "bulky clothing" are symptomatic of terrorist activity are similarly unfounded, inane, and flat out ludicrous.

Why have you not retracted this entire ridiculous post?

dave said...

I'm glad I read the whole post. It confirmed, without a doubt, what a stupid fucking brownshirted asshole you are.

TexProdigy said...


Can you clarify something for me, please? How can Jean Charles de Menezes not act like "Jean Charles de Menezes?"

From other reports I've read, he was walking at a normal pace, picked up a newspaper, boarded the train and took a seat. Unfortunately, the police misidentified him. One report I read said that the officer in charge of surveillance took a restroom break. When he came back, de Menezes was off to the station. The officer thought de Menezes was the suspect they were watching, so they followed him. Finally, another report from the Daily Telegraph in Australia said that the police were instructed to take the suspect (de Menezes) alive. Apparently, he was already detained by security. Due to an unfortunate series of events, the police shot him eight times (seven in the head, once in the shoulder). The first shot was, according to an eyewitness, at least 12 inches away from de Menezes' head.

This entire situation was a tragedy of errors. The police may have been a bit too overzealous in their pursuit of someone they suspected as being a terrorist. Given the situation, I can understand why the police were overly aggressive. However, if they would have just been more calm and rational, de Menezes may be alive today.

Ann Althouse said...

Tex: As to your first question -- that was a rhetorical device.

TexProdigy said...


Thank you for your response. You might want to check out the Guardian Unlimited's story about the de Menezes situation: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1551317,00.html.

TexProdigy said...


You may not agree with Ann's original blog post, her comments, or her responses, but that's not a reason to call her a "stupid fucking brownshirt asshole." That's crude and uncalled for.

Ann Althouse said...

Jr: I never wrote about people learning to "behave properly." There is a set of dangers from both terrorism and the reaction to it and the question I addressed was: what should be done? My main point was that the incident affects how we need to think about the solution. What the 9/11 terrorists did was terrible, but the response shouldn't be made without taking into account how 9/11 changed everyone's behavior. Thus, it doesn't make sense to worry about small knives, because everyone learned on 9/11 how to prevent furture terrorists from ever hijacking a plane with small knives. The passengers will overtake them. So the solution to the problem must be done with this understanding. Everyone will behave differently next time. My post is basically about trying to apply that sort of reasoning to the subway shooting situation. It's not blaming the victim. It's trying to be rational about dealing with problems. I really think the freaking out about this post is just bizarre. I believe it's because you read some hotheaded trash on another website. I don't like people having to change their behavior, but considering the dangers they should. Most of us have changed our behavior as a result of hearing about some bad incident. (Women are very aware of this!) We don't like it, but we try to figure out how to be safer. Since rational people change their behavior to be safer, it changes the probative value of the behavior of people who continue to do what others have stopped doing. It is a shame people can't be freer and do all the nonharmful things they want. Unfortunately, terrorism really is a threat and we also expect the police to protect us. When they don't, people get hurt that way too.

Milo Johnson said...

You're right. I won't let myself be manipulated. You are a pinhead.

Ann Althouse said...

Chuck: I'm defending the original post as written at the time. I'm not refusing to acknowledge that the facts seem to have turned out to be entirely different. As to whether anything good can come from a regrettable death, of course it can. In fact, people constantly look for good consequences after something bad happens. It's not bad to do that. We often learn from an accident, for example, how to avoid it in the future. A product might be redesigned after it hurts someone, and so forth. A traffic light might be put up at an intersection where a child was killed by a car. You think it's wrong to say that's good? It doesn't mean you're saying it's good that the child died!

The Exalted said...

And the behavior to be changed is what, exactly?

Running? Wearing "bulky" clothing?

And what "good" comes out of this behavior change? You think a terrorist, already committed to killing himself, is going to be running through the transit station? For what purpose? Why would it matter where he died?

What is this supposed cessation of non terrorist running going to accomplish?

Why not just outlaw all running in public? Given that suicide bombings in England are exceeding rare (4 occurrences?) and that you support eliminating running to stop this, to maintain logical consistency, you would have to support a general running ban to avert general crime. Cleary, there is much more to gain from this?

Or, maybe it is just that your post makes absolutely no sense.

You have identified no utility arising out of this man's murder.

The Exalted said...

Not that Ann has addressed any of my points, but here is another

Simple cost/benefit analysis.

Benefit: Helping to prevent exceedingly rare and unlikely suicide bombing. Slim.

Cost: Changed behavior of entire populace. General lowered morale and fear induced anxiety. Vast.

Hmm. Looks like it fails to me.

Ann Althouse said...

Jim (and others): I'm not sure what policy the police were following. There are some situations in which police do shoot to kill. The question is which ones? Obviously, they made a big mistake this time, and that's what they need to deal with. If you're saying the policy should be never shoot to kill. I disagree.

Ann Althouse said...

The Exalted: See if you can discern my policy re selecting which posts to respond to.

The Exalted said...

I not only excoriated your post for its general offensiveness, but I also debunked your specious claims of utilitarian gain.

Your policy is very evident: ignore posts that cannot be refuted.

Fair enough, so long as we are clear on that.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't know why anyone would be so worked up over this post. The original post basically says two things: (1) The man's death was horrible and sad. (2) Maybe something good can come of it in that people will avoid terrorist-like behavior,(Same as people in the US knowing not to reach quickly for things or leave the interior lights off in a car with tinted windows when being pulled over by the police because such actions are criminal-like.) thus making terrorists stand out more. Terrorists being easier to spot = saved lives.

Then the update notes that the facts on which the initial post was based have turned out to be false and so perhaps nothing good can come of the man's death.

What's wrong with any of that? Why so much outrage? Lack of reading comprehension maybe? Too much coffee?

Roger Yamada said...

vbspurs said this:

"Let me say, I have great sympathy and even tenderness for Brazilians, but I am also not blinded -- they have a lack of being law-abiding citizens even in their own country. And this is the trouble that happens when you are dodgily in a country to begin with."

I sincerely hope that she was either raised by (racist) wolves in the uncivilized jungle, or that her post was a random assortment of letters that were mistakenly typed when her cat walked over her keyboard.

The Modesto Kid said...

[NOTE: sorry, but I’m going with the pronoun he because I’m too damned lazy to worry about his gender]

Anacreon the poet was a man, as is Anacreon the blog poster.

Ann Althouse said...

Agrajag writes: "What about those of us who think we know what this post says because the site we came from posted a straightforward, long-form direct quotation of your own words?"

To you I would say that what you read is only part of the quote, taken out of of context to make it seem inflammatory which you read badly because you were set up by a blogger who slapped on an introductory sentence telling you how bad what you were about to read. I am only asking people to read competently and think clearly and not be manipulated by that sort of thing.

Unknown said...

Hey Jeff---I remember when I had my first beer, too. Don't worry, it'll pass.

The Modesto Kid said...

Hmm, what about those of us who come here from another (libertarian) site, read the full post plus update, scratch our heads for a while, come back later, reread the full post plus update plus extra warning, fret about trying to find some way to make it make sense, and end up still feeling angry at your suggestion that people changing their behavior to match some indefinite normalcy because they fear being gunned down by the police if they don't, is a Good Thing? Do you have any advice for us?

Let's consider your update. It contains no retraction of the thesis of the original post, nor any apology. No "Sorry, I was a little hot-headed there, I'm as scared as anybody else right now and I can jump to some strange conclusions." Just, "Fortunately, there hasn't been another incident like it, at least not yet." -- Not yet?? It's been a couple of weeks only, let's hope the London police can keep their extrajudicial killings down to one every few months at most. The "Shoot to kill policy... is in fact something that we should worry about"? Gracious of you to go that far.

Dan said...

I find it amazing that folks embraced that whole de Menezes business with a shocking and infuriating lack of skepticism. The Met Police fed the papers a story, everybody in the world seemed to swallow it without a moment's hesitation and proceded to pontificate on the foolishness of this stupid man. The story was a tissue of lies and it was rotten from the start.

Bloggers comment on stuff half-cocked, all the time; that's what they do. Still, you can learn a lot about someone by watching where they come down on an issue or event. It's kind of like a word association test: Cops = Honest, Brazillian = Stupid, Heavy Coat = Terrorist, etc.

By the way, 85% - 85%

Dan said...

I find it amazing that folks embraced that whole de Menezes business with a shocking and infuriating lack of skepticism. The Met Police fed the papers a story, everybody in the world seemed to swallow it without a moment's hesitation and proceded to pontificate on the foolishness of this stupid man. The story was a tissue of lies and it was rotten from the start.

Bloggers comment on stuff half-cocked, all the time; that's what they do. Still, you can learn a lot about someone by watching where they come down on an issue or event. It's kind of like a word association test: Cops = Honest, Brazillian = Stupid, Heavy Coat = Terrorist, etc.

By the way, 85% - 85%

melior said...

Don't let yourself be manipulated.

That's pretty rich, coming from a shill for the police state like you. If there is such a thing as karma, you apologists for the recision of our civil rights will be the first to be taken away for questioning, held indefinitely without trial or counsel, and tortured in secrecy.

I'm sure you'll feel "safe" then.

KCFleming said...

Re; "Terrorism isn't about killing people. It's about scaring people, including scaring the government into over-reacting and destroying our rights."

No one, certainly, will defend the killing of an innocent man. Except.

Except that this occurred within days of an act of war on British soil, perpetrated by one of its own citizens. Except that we do not know all of the facts here. Except that Islamists, mostly of middle-Eastern descent, are intent on putting the entire world under a caliphate and sharia law.

Most of the "I told ya so" postings here are in the usual anti-West invective, keen to point out how horrible America and Britain are, how unsalvageable, how racist, etc. etc. etc. They long for the destruction of the West, even though they would chafe living within the constrictions of the Islamist system (if they were allowed to live at all).

Islamic terrorism, as defined by OBL and his ilk, is not done to fool the West into destroying our rights, it is meant to kill people, and destroy the West.

In war, sometimes the wrong people get killed, errors are made. It is always a terrible thing. But such mistakes do not suggest the need to surrender. Ann was right. People need to behave differently because of terrorism. Terrorists will change their tactics, but the loss of some behavioral freedom during war is necessary. To think otherwise is not merely foolish, but suicidal.

tbogg said...


I slowly read everything that you wrote and came to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, this wasn't your finest hour.

d-day said...

This may not make a lot of sense, but I feel compelled to weigh in in support of the original post against nasty, vehement, and (similarly) incoherent commenters.

Although I sympathize with the poster who feels as though he's about to be killed all the time because of his skin color, there's a difference between racial profiling and behavioral profiling. Unlike racial profiling, which casts too wide a net, behavioral profiling is more indicative of a link to the avoidable behavior and imposes less of a social cost on the innocent, as the means to change the result of the profiling is within a person's control. What I took from Ann's original post was that the London shooting will make it easier for non-terrorists to identify which behaviors are indicative of terrorist activity and intent, so that those may be avoided.

The problem comes when someone is acting like a terrorist and appears to have the means to carry out a bombing before the police can undertake a full investigation, there may not be enough time to prevent the attack. Some preventative action is warranted, including a shoot to kill policy if it appears from the situation that only a shoot to kill that may prevent the attack. So yeah, I don't think that it's unreasonable to require the public to act in such a manner as to avoid putting the police into the position where shooting to kill appears necessary. And now, from the shooting, the public knows which activities to avoid -- running toward vulnerable crowds with bulky items away from identified police. The fact that the facts ended up being wrong doesn't negate the social utility of the original message. And now that it appears the police were wrong to act as they did, even more social utility will come in the form of social pressure for reforms that don't eliminate shoot-to-kill policies, but give the police appropriate guidelines for when to use them. Recognizing the utility doesn't mean that we're glad the man was killed, far from it.

Recognizing the mistake, realizing whatever good possible, and learning from it are the only way to at least have this man's death mean something. I get the sense that those hurling "brownshirt" accusations aren't doing it out of respect for the dead or the suffering of his family. It seems they prefer that his death be truly meaningless so they can exploit him as a political martyr. And I don't see how that does anyone any good at all.

Ann was right before, and she still is.

KCFleming said...

Re: "maybe, just maybe, this wasn't your finest hour"

I dunno, tbogg. I think it still reads rather intelligently. It raises a thorny point about mistakes in wartime.

To suggest that limiting any liberties or killing any innocents negates our moral purpose in defending ourselves from those who would kill us (while placing no such restrictions on the terrorists) demonstrates confused and ignoble thinking. It is, moreover, tantamount to surrender.

KCFleming said...

Re: "Perhaps it seems more deplorable to some because of the context, an innocent person was killed."

It's unclear how one would have ever come to speculate about this absent an actual occurrence. How absurd.

As for "What's 'unnecessary running?' ", that was already explained by a previous commenter, who no longer runs to catch the train. He hears it will draw attention to himself. as it will.

What is being forgotten here is that terrorists killed dozens and wounded hundred of British in an act of war. Ignored as well is that the act was committed by Islamists.

If not for these terrorists, the innocent dozens, and the innocent Brazilian man, would not be dead. They are the proximate cause of his death. Just like bank robbers causing a shoot out that kills an innocent bystander is the fault of the thieves, the police would never have been in this position except for an act of war.

It is right and proper to ask what we can learn from mistakes. It is wrong and destructive to attack such errors as evidence of a national failure.

echo-1 said...

Ann: the death of an innocent man can accomplish good, even if it's just to highlight the need for a re-evaluation of the lethal force (what you're calling "shoot to kill") policy. It may be (is!) a very high (too high) price to pay, but it can obviously have some utility.

Most of the ranting about this tragedy is directed towards a mistaken view of the policy. No police officer wants to shoot somebody, and they certainly don't want to shoot somebody just for wearing baggy clothes (or not), or just for running, or just for wearing dark socks with flip flops, or whatever. Cops shoot when the totality of the circumstances seem to warrant it for the safety of the officer, and for the safety of the public. There is a legitimate discussion to be had as to whether the circumstances warranted it it here, but to focus in on one single element (i.e. clothing) to the exlusion of others (i.e. the confirmed, though wrong, identification of the deceased as a terrorist, the unexplained running, the bombing in London just the day before, the bombing in London just two weeks before, etc.) is disingenous.

Will people change their behavior because of the shooting? Maybe, at least for a while. Probably not much, though. Will people live in fear of being gunned down by the police? Probably not. Will the police second-guess themselves the next time they're faced with a "shoot-don't shoot" scenario? Probably.

Will that, at some point, cost a cop his life? Probably.

gcallah said...

Ann has complained that people are mischaracterizing her, so let's clarify things: Ann is a defender of the murderous thugs who work for the State, and is warning us that they will properly shoot us if we don't walk or board a train just the way they'd like us to.

So will you people stop mis-characterizing her otherwise?!

The Exalted said...


You clearly did not do well in law school.

The proximate cause of this unarmed man's death were the police officers who fired shots into his head at point blank range.

And, for the first time, in the context of the police murder of an unarmed man, I've noticed the title of this Comment:

"How Dangerous is that shoot-to-kill policy of the London police"


KCFleming said...

To Exalted re; "You clearly did not do well in law school."

No, I didn't. Never went to a single class. Actually, I never went to law school. From that dimestore dictionary, Wikipedia: "In the law, a proximate cause is an event sufficiently related to a legally recognizable injury to be held the cause of that injury.

"For example, in the two famous Kinsman Transit cases from the 2nd Circuit (exercising admiralty jurisdiction over a New York incident), it was clear that mooring a boat improperly could lead to the risk of a boat drifting away and crashing into another boat, and that both boats could crash into a bridge, which collapsed and blocked the river, and in turn, the wreckage could flood the land adjacent to the river, as well as prevent any traffic from traversing the river until it had been cleared. But under proximate cause, the property owners adjacent to the river could sue (Kinsman I), but not the owners of the boats or the cargoes which could not move until the river was reopened (Kinsman II)."

Chain of events, butterfly effect, et al.

The Exalted said...


It is good you used a dimestore encyclopedia, because you truly have a dimestore intellect.

You think that all police mishaps involving possible terrorists can now be blamed on the metro bombers? How long does this butterfly effect last? Why do we use these bombers, and not bombers past? I am sure, as the erudite and learned fellow that you appear to be, that you are aware that England, and London in particular, has suffered many terrorist acts in the past.

In fact, people (and cops) are killed by ordinary criminals every day. Any mistake the police make is not their fault, it was (proximately) caused by past crime!

Sorry to say, this fantasy is yours and not that of the law. Here, the only event sufficiently related to this man's death is, I don't know, the pulling of the triggers of the guns that fired the bullets into his head.

And perhaps why so many take issue with Ann's suggested actions are not because the nefarious Left is so averse to personal responsibility that it throws temper tantrums at the mere mention, perhaps it is because her suggestions were so truly and utterly inane.