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idannyb

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About idannyb

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  1. This video explains/shows some slow-motion and stills to illustrate what was likely a critical failure by parasailing operators ... allowing straps to slip under John Hussey's arms
  2. After watching the video a few times, it's clear that there was a 'lower safety belt' that was never buckled into place by the Thai man adjusting the harness/equipment. In fact, at 47 seconds into the Youtube video, you can see the Thai man folding the lower harness strap away in the back (NOT how it should be done) ... This lower strap should go snugly around the lower waist area to prevent someone from 'slipping out' by force of gravity (i.e. exactly the type of terrible tragedy that was about to happen).
  3. Have to agree with this: "Don't escalate a verbal argument with violence or threat of violence unless you're prepared to back it up" ... Mistakes and tempers by *both* men created this situation. But I don't by default side w man who took the worse of the exchange as he initiated and then "escalated" when it may not have been called for ... Exception would be if he was protecting some 'innocent' from harm (e.g. if tall man had almost ran over his kid), but that's not likely the case here. Just tempers + testosterone. Man who took the beating could (IMO should) have de-escalted by walking away after making his point ... but he chose instead to slap the door in a 'one upsmanship' act ... May seem like a trivial act ... but it was definitely an escalation and a mistake. If you're not fully prepared and justified (which is rare) to do battle, always best to keep your cool and de-escalate.
  4. You must be watching a different video as the son had to stretch his arm to make contact with the Thai guy & he fell because he tripped over his own leg probably because he was drunk. The Thai guy touched him with no more force than he touched the Thai guy to begin with. Watch the video again. We were watching the same video... I agree with you and so stated ... "the Thai man was touched or mildly pushed and evidently intentionally by the Owen son" And also noted "it was not a forceful push" (Thai man push of Owen son) ... but enough to cause him to trip & fall ... it happens ... My point was/is the Owens did not deserve what they got ... but they made mistakes and Owen son's intentional tweak of Thai man's chest was the first one. Rule#2 Don't 'argue with' or provoke strangers
  5. I am going to offer a perspective that may be un-popular as the brutal beatings suffered by the Owen family make it hard to find them at fault for anything. Before I do so… let me state emphatically that what happened to the Owen family was completely unjustified, horrific and done by cowards who deserve severe punishment and/or imprisonment, and not just a few thousand Baht fine. While this beating was horrible and unjustified, I think it was avoidable. And after watching the unedited video a few times, you can see how/when the situation escalated. Re ‘how could this have been avoided?’, I think there are a few common sense rules to consider, particularly when out at night and in bar zones or amidst crowds: 1. Don’t drink to excess (even a light buzz can markedly diminish your capacity to defend yourself). 2. Don’t ‘argue with’ or provoke strangers. 3. Walk away before verbal sparring escalates into something much worse. 4. Never start or continue to exacerbate something you are not fully prepared (or capable) to finish. In other words, know when its best to de-escalate and walk-away, even when you might be ‘in the right’ and fully capable of crushing a wrongdoer. Rules number #1 and #4 likely do NOT apply to the Owen family. Rule #1: The Owens’ stated that they had not been drinking and no evidence to the contrary. Rule #4: Rosemary Owen (age 65) may have continued her spat with the Thai man a tad ‘too long’, but she was absolutely zero threat to them, and I hold the Thai men fully responsible for the hostility escalation. I do think Rules #2 and #3 apply to the Owen family’s encounter. Rule #2: The Owen’s 43-year-old son initially (albeit very mildly) initiated the altercation. He did so by ever so slightly tweaking or pushing the drunken Thai man’s chest area. Perhaps the Owen son felt the Thai man was about to bump into him? Perhaps he was aggravated by the barker at the just passed bar who tired to pull him into the establishment? Impossible to know. But, what you can see on video, is the Thai man was touched or mildly pushed and evidently intentionally by the Owen son. Most people would (and should) just brush this off and let it go. But the Thai man was drunk (so admitted to police) and in a belligerent mood (he’d just been arguing and pushing another Thai man) and he chose to push the Owen son in the back, causing him to fall hard and hit is head. It was not a forceful push, but enough to cause a loss of balance and a hard stumble/fall/injury. Rule #3: Rosemary Owen (age 65) saw her son go down, and the Thai man who perpetrated this act, and she understandably took exception. Like a mother protecting her cub (that instinct never goes away) she immediately chastised the Thai man, and so began the verbal sparring. You cannot blame Rosemary for lambasting the Thai man. But in such a circumstance, there is a time to back down and deescalate. Yet she was further provoked, perhaps even handled/touched (hard to see on video) and she reacted by slapping the Thai man (her slap was edited out of the video clip in the Mirror UK article). Let me say clearly, notwithstanding Rosemary slapping the Thai man, THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR A MAN TO HIT A WOMAN, MUCH LESS AN ELDERLY WOMAN! But that moment seemed to further rile the Thai man and cadre of young thugs in his orbit. This quickly turned into Thai men coming from several different directions to coldcock and brutally punch/stomp all members of the Owen family… leaving them all unconscious and clearly defenseless. Very cowardly acts by the assailants!
  6. Thx for posting. For English subtitles, click on CC box in lower right hand corner
  7. Witheridge family seem understandably cautious about any endorsement of the trial outcome. Last half paragraph is noteworthy; "We found listening to proceedings very challenging and we have had to endure a lot of painful and confusing information. We now need time, as a family, to digest the outcome of the trial and figure out the most appropriate way to tell our story.”
  8. Sean McAnna's (friend of David Miller) anecdote highlights Koh Tao's dark elements and the islanders' desire to pin the murders on a convenient outsider ... McAnna theorized the three who threatened his life may know who committed the murders. According to McAnna; ""Three of them sat me down and started asking me questions, and I was a bit drunk so I was answering them," the island thugs then accused him of murdering Miller and Hannah Witheridge, telling McAnna, "you're going to hang yourself tonight - we're going to watch you hang." Two Thai men were later questioned by police about the incident but they were not arrested. The police chief said he would guarantee the McAnna's security while he remained on Koh Tao. But McAnna was not the least bit reassured; "I need to get off this island... I thought that was the day I was going to die. I genuinely thought that this was me dead. That I was gone."
  9. Indeed ... original suspects were both sons of 'village headman' ... "He (Pol Lt-Gen Panya Mamen) said both suspects were captured by CCTV cameras and the police have gathered enough evidence to implicate them in the murders". ... and later these favored sons were exonerated and police found the two migrant workers who were ultimately prosecuted and convicted.
  10. If the DNA chain of custody is flawed, the DNA is unreliable. The criminal court brushed this aside, saying each department handling the evidence had its own chain of custody procedure. As the conviction was based primarily on the DNA (the other basis being David's mobile phone was with one of the defendants), doubt as to the guilt of the defendants was established, rendering the verdict reversible. Hopefully the appellate and/or Supreme Court will see through the trial court's failure to properly rule on this issue. Have to wonder why defence never called their DNA expert (Jane Taupin) to testify? Appears they had ability to shred prosecution's DNA case http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35170419 "Jane Taupin, a renowned Australian forensic scientist brought in by the defence team, questioned the plausibility of working this quickly, saying extracting DNA from mixed samples was difficult and time-consuming. Ms Taupin was not allowed to testify, one of several inexplicable decisions by the defence, but she highlighted several important aspects of DNA testing which neither the defence team, the police, nor the judges appeared to understand."
  11. Why journalists shouldn't double as activists

    Everyone, and perhaps especially journalists, has their biases. The challenge is reining in biased ‘reporting’ and preserving a sense of balance. A delicate trick very few have mastered. I think the late Tim Russert (Meet the Press) was very good at playing Devil’s advocate, and no matter the interviewee or subject matter, you had a hard time gauging his politics or bias. Wish there were more journalists of Russert’s ilk. We are all better served when those in power are called to account. The Nation editorial goes on to suggest that bias has no place in journalism unless such reports are posted in some clearly segmented opinion-editorial (“commentary”) section. One problem with this noble ideal, however, is the current deep chilling of the Fourth Estate in Thailand. The Nation piece states that commentary posts “can serve as a balance weight to the power of government when it becomes arbitrary or unjust.” < Let’s hope the Nation does not truncate this important journalistic responsibility.
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