Re: Assassinations

1

Are there less assassinations now? If it seems like there is, is that just because political violence is not as likely to be reported as political violence?

Before you go looking for explanations, it is always a good idea to make sure the phenomenon you are trying to explain is real.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 12:51 PM
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Are there less assassinations now? If it seems like there is, is that just because political violence is not as likely to be reported as political violence?

Before you go looking for explanations, it is always a good idea to make sure the phenomenon you are trying to explain is real.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 12:52 PM
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Presumably H-G is thinking of assassinations of prominent Americans, of which there were 3 clear examples in 5 years, plus several lesser examples in an overlapping 10-12 year period.

If you go for a 20 year period, from JFK to Reagan (and limit to USians, so il Papa doesn't count), I'd imagine you could get to a pretty long list (does Squeaky's attempt on Ford count?). Longer, I think, than you'd get over the subsequent 30 years. Actually, other than Giffords, I'm drawing a blank on any assassination attempts since Reagan (although I must me missing some).

It's all a pretty small n, but still....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 12:57 PM
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Looking through Wikipedia's list of assassinated American politicians, and going decade by decade, I wonder if it's just the JFK/RFK/MLK triple-whammy that gives us the impression of that decade as particularly assassinatey.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 12:57 PM
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Shots were fired at the White House during both the Clinton and GWB administrations. Not Obama, interestingly.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:00 PM
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PS - I'm not sure what you do with murdered civil rights workers. MLK is clearly an assassination, whereas Chaney/Goodman/Schwerner seem closer to once-common lynchings. Political, but not individually targeted. Evers was probably prominent enough to be considered an assassination, but I don't know who else.

And yes, I feel gross "scoring" this. But, you know, define your terms and all that.

Related, of course, is Dr. Tiller and other abortion clinic violence.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:00 PM
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4: Throw in George Wallace in 1972? He didn't die, but it's still a political shooting, and it's in the part of the '70s that's still the '60s.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:01 PM
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Shots were fired at the White House during both the Clinton and GWB administrations. Not Obama, interestingly.

Not true.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:03 PM
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5: Not to mention that plane crash.

That said, I'm not sure whether sticking a gun through the WH fence and pulling a trigger really counts. I mean, the Secret Service takes it seriously, of course, but it's awfully long odds, more of a cri de coeur than an actual plan.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:03 PM
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There's also Medgar Evers and Malcom X.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:05 PM
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The occasional wild night in Columbia excepted, the Secret Service has definitely gotten more cautious over the years.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:05 PM
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7: He was absolutely one of the ones I was thinking of.

Top of head:

Evers
JFK
MLK
RFK
MX
Wallace
Congressman Ryan
Ford
Reagan

Am I missing anyone? IT's certainly a long list for 20 years.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:06 PM
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8: I thought so.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:06 PM
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does Squeaky's attempt on Ford count?.

There were 2 serious attempts on Ford's life during his short time in office.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:07 PM
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Not to mention that plane crash.

The day the music died?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:08 PM
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Does John Lennon count?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:08 PM
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One theory would be that the 1960s and early '70s were a period of major social changes in the U.S., and that there were prominent, iconic figures spearheading those changes, and for a would-be assassin hoping to hold back the tide, those figures made attractive targets. Contrast with today--with the possible exception of Obama, I can't think of any comparably iconic figures on the social or political landscape, and today's issues, while hotly debated, are not as fundamentally transformative as those of that era.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:12 PM
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I'm want to exclude local pols (because then you get into personal vendettas/any moron who can carry a gun into a town hall), but I'm inclined to include Milk/Moscone. So I'm torn.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:13 PM
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14: That's crazy. Also weird that I don't ever recall hearing about the second.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:14 PM
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today's issues, while hotly debated, are not as fundamentally transformative as those of that era.

They're talking about eliminating Saturday mail delivery. Tell me who to shoot, and I'll do it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:15 PM
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17: I was going to write a version of this. It's a sign of our political malaise that our leaders don't seem worth killing.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:16 PM
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If we're talking about high-profile political assassination, the Secret Service is much more aggressive now, not to mention the huge increase in size of the national security/surveillance state. There are many, many, many, MANY more early interventions than there used to be.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:17 PM
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20: Netflix streaming and then you won't need to worry about mail.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:17 PM
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22: It turns out the first step in many assassin's plans is to talk about it on the internet.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:18 PM
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17 is a nice theory, but I don't think it withstands close scrutiny. Unfortunately, I can't elaborate now, as I have to give a talk that, even by my high standards for assfulness, is unusually buttastic.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:20 PM
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19: Both within a month, and both in Northern California.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:22 PM
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The brief version of the argument against 17 is 14.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:22 PM
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I'm not sure if there are consistent standards for getting on the list of attempts in Wikipedia, but I offer this without comment. The first came in North Carolina in 2008 during the presidential campaign, when Jerry Blanchard made threats at a Waffle House in Charlotte. Blanchard said Obama was the antichrist and planned to shoot him.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:24 PM
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I had a vague memory that the guy who saved Ford from the 2nd assassination attempt was gay. It turns out to be a sad and interesting story--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Sipple


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:24 PM
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I'd go with a combination of much better security for the public employees, and fewer obvious targets in the private sector. There's no MLK (or MX) for gay marriage, for example.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:29 PM
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GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE. GUNS KILL UPPITY PEOPLE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ARYAN NATION | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:30 PM
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You need a heterosexual Secret Service agent to save a president who was actually elected.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:30 PM
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There's no MLK (or MX) for gay marriage, for example.

It's kind of interesting that the movement has had such amazingly accelerated rate of acceptance, and that there isn't a charismatic face to put alongside it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:35 PM
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I've been talking to my kids about that -- how fast, and how smoothly, the gay-rights movement generally has been moving for the past twenty years or so. It's not that there haven't been lots of activists working really hard, and there hasn't been lots of resistance, but still, marriage equality went from a fringy, weird thing to something with better than half the country in favor of it really fast and without a lot of big newsy events driving the change.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:39 PM
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Maybe security for politicians went up a level in the 70's, so there have been just as many attempts, of similar seriousness mix, but almost no successes. (Not that I can really tell that from the numbers.)

8: Thanks.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:40 PM
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would-be assassin hoping to hold back the tide

Oswald and Sirhan were arguably on the left

1) And considering the long history of lone nuts, and my difficulty connecting say Oswald to Sirhan, I have a lot of trouble finding a mechanism that can connect these individual nuts to social changes. A lot easier for all the craziness around 1880-1920.

2) I try to look at this globally and historically. Countries with assassination waves:India, Pakistan, Russia, US, Japan. ? Middle ages had very few. I would need to get a fuckton of data points before thinking about 1) above. I would also look at several levels below the top. Yeah, Mosconi.

3) I don't think assassinations have had much effect on history, but then I'm a historical materialist, and suck at counterfactuals.

3a) I am thinking about ideology and hegemony, and maybe how much impotence and cynicism and indifference etc of a political age can get embedded into every even insane individual. In other words, nobody believes individual action can make a difference. It's a fairly radical thought, but evidence does kind of point that way. Apparatchiks weren't getting stabbed in East Germany in the 70s.

See Charlie Stross, linked at CT on "Post-Democracy" which is about those isolated elites again. I disagree, PD means grass-root alienation.

I prefer Wolin's "Managed Democracy" so that we, me too, start to look at how our minds and desires are controlled unless we radically alienate ourselves.

Is it that Oswald and Sirhan and the others could get that alienated, in a specific way, that nobody can right now?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:41 PM
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(Odd conversations with Sally: "Can someone be bullied for being homophobic?" One of her best friends came out last year. He's very charismatic and popular, everyone loves him, he's generally not being given a hard time in school at all. One kid, who's generally disliked as kind of an asshole generally, is also being a jerk about the gay kid, and is getting a lot of aggressive pushback from his classmates who are hassling him for being a homophobe. Sally is worrying about whether people are being too hard on the homophobic kid. I told her that yes, it's possible for someone both to be doing something wrong and to be being treated unjustly badly for it, but what to do about it is going to really, really depend very specifically on the details -- obviously, keeping up the pushback at the homophobia is right, but so is not making the jerk's life a misery to him.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:45 PM
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to something with better than half the country in favor of it really fast

They wisely started a campaign of pointing out that everyone knows someone who is gay. "My sister is gay." That always single uncle is gay. etc.

Humanized it.

I think we had a discussion here about how people in suburbia often think they dont know anyone who is gay.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:48 PM
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but what to do about it is going to really, really depend very specifically on the details

I trust you explained to her that assassination would be an inappropriate response.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:50 PM
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She hasn't considered assassination, but she's started heading for rugby tackling unfortunately early in the decision tree for many problems.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:52 PM
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They wisely started a campaign of pointing out that everyone knows someone who is gay. "My sister is gay." That always single uncle is gay. etc.

Which only worked because a critical mass of gay people were willing to come out, of course. So maybe it was just a sheer tipping point thing? (Without downplaying the courage it takes to come out, pre-tipping point or in a hostile environment.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:53 PM
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40 - Sounds like Sally has reached that magical time in a young woman's life when her mother gives her her first airhorn, and has the talk with her about when and with whom to use it.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:55 PM
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One way to look at it would be to try to track ages of assassinations with ages of radically charismatic hyper-competent individuals. Both or either would be socially disruptive. So you have a wave in Japan prior to Meiji, and another in early Taisho/Showa. A pattern might show an upsurge in perceived personal agency.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:56 PM
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If you extend it to the early 80s you get Harvey Milk and Moscone. Maybe Regan (and now Giffords) made people think that they wouldn't succeed--even if you made a hit, they have immediate access to the best medical care in the world, and gun shots are not as fatal as they used to be. There's also the idea of 'not turning ___ into a Martyr,' . . .i remember actively hoping no idiot would try to assassinate GWB b/c I could not bear the thought of him being canonized a generation from now the way JFK was in my youth. And maybe more of a realization among those who are actually politically motivated (as opposed to crazy) that it's more effective to tarnish them then take them out.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 1:58 PM
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45

Of course, the US national security apparat believes in assassination as policy more than ever.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:08 PM
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It seems like there are fads in this like other things. Why did Tim McVeigh dedide to blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City rather than attempt to assassinate Bill Clinton or Janet Reno? Because it seemed easier to do? Maybe.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:09 PM
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There's Judge Robert Smith Vance, who was assassinated via letter bomb in 1989 by a disgruntled nut. Also, I guess, Meir Kahane in 1990, although I think of him more as an Israeli political figure than an American one.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:16 PM
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So maybe it was just a sheer tipping point thing?

No, not just a tipping point. AIDS and AIDS activism were incredibly important both in building power (speaking of which, I finally had to consign my ACT UP t-shirt to the rag bin this weekend) and in making gay men's relationships more visible.

I hadn't thought about it in quite this way before, but RICO having broken the back of Operation Rescue had a role. The sudden plummeting of clinic attacks freed up a lot of activist energy by women, including lots of lesbians. (A lot of that energy had also been focused on HIV/AIDS.)

Very little of women's activist energy went into marriage initially, employment and housing discrimination, economic issues, violence and sexism in general being much bigger issues for women and the left-er organizations (read: NGLTF). Marriage is turning out to be a lot more useful as a leading issue than I thought, but it was pushed hardest by well-off gay men (read: HRCF, aka the Human Rights Champagne Fund).


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:18 PM
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34, 48 -- really, really worth watching the film How to Survive a Plague (up for an Oscar, must be screening somewhere in New York) before the memory of that period gets entirely forgotten


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:30 PM
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Reading through the wikipedia entry on attempted assassination attempts on Obama, I'm struck by how uniformly the police comment that the "President was never in any danger," or that the attack was implausible, or a bunch of small-time nutcases, etc. All together in a list of events like that, it starts to sound like policy: always emphasize that only unrealistic losers make assassination attempts.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:31 PM
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50 - yeah, sort of the exact opposite of killing the no. 2 guy in AQ with each shot.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:33 PM
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there isn't a charismatic face to put alongside it

They're all charismatic, heebs.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:34 PM
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This made me go look to see what some of those queer women I used to activate with are up to, including the fabulous former NGLTF E.D. U/rv V/aid, who, it turns out, has a new book: Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 2:53 PM
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Thinking globally, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated a few years back. Also Yassir Arafat, probably. And various people the Russians had poisoned.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 3:07 PM
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In the 80s Korean president Park Chun-hee was assassinated. In the 2000s Korean ex-president Roo Moo-hyun assassinated himself. Progress? Or regression?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 3:24 PM
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49: It's on Netflix streaming. I second the recommendation.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 3:36 PM
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The Congo's Laurent Kabila got himself assassinated in 2001.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 3:41 PM
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Yassir Arafat, probably

How persuasive is this?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 3:45 PM
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Theory #1: The right-wing lunatics of the Fifties and Sixties were a lot more dangerous in many ways than similar lunatics today.

They were cannier, for one thing: their leadership knew the difference between lying to the marks and lying to themselves, and except for a foundational layer of anti-communist mythic bullpucky going back to the 19th century, they tended to avoid the latter or to turn on those who eventually lost the plot (like Nixon). The modern conservative movement has allowed itself to grow publicly closer to white supremacism and "Patriot militias" and their language and habits of thinking, mostly for the purpose of more effectively bilking them of money and votes, but they're largely parasites on their supremacist base, not symbiotes.

For another thing, they had far more support, and more open support, in the law enforcement and intelligence and military establishments of the day, particularly at the local and state levels. It's telling that the terroristic ultra-right has so little to show for almost a decade of efforts to sow havoc under Obama; such people now have fewer friends "on the inside" than they did in the Sixties. (Or at any rate that's my theory.)

Theory #2: All of the above is wrong, and the far right is even more dangerous today than they were in the Sixties, but they no longer believe political assassination is useful in garnering support for their goals.

I'd lean toward Theory #1.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 3:50 PM
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How persuasive is this?

His underpants(and other personal effects) were tested and found to have abnormal levels of polonium-210, which seems to be the assassin's poison of choice these days. They exhumed his body for testing in December, although I haven't heard anything about it since.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 3:59 PM
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60: So I guess that SOMEONE perfected the "poison wetsuit" gambit.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 4:01 PM
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59.3 is an interesting idea, but Joe Arpaio. Maybe law enforcement has better recordkeeping than it used to, so that a wink and a nod were more powerful in the past than today.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 4:05 PM
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That feels right to me. Joe Arpaio is famous, but don't you have the impression that if you go back to the 50s/60s/into the 70s that interacting with law enforcement in a rural area, it was a crapshoot where you had maybe a one out of three chance of running into someone that crazy, and not being white worsened your odds a lot more than it does now?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 4:18 PM
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Of the assassinations of the 1960s listed so far, only Medgar Evers and MLK's were ones that even conceivably would have been supported/condoned by the hypothetical sheriff in 63. Not Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, etc etc. And Evers and MLK were killed precisely because they were in an open conflict with the white supremacist regime protected by the hypothetical sheriff. So . . . what are we talking about here? I guess the civil rights movement when it was in full conflict led to deaths for civil rights leaders.

Surely 22 and 25 explain essentially all of why there's less high profile political assassination out there these days.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 4:26 PM
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What exactly does 59.3 have to do with Oswald, Sirhan, Bremer or Fromme? Or the assassins of Malcolm or Rockwall?

Although it is very very careful to use "they" instead of "famous political assassins" so maybe it isn't about assassins at all. Then what is it about?

The right-wing lunatics of the Fifties and Sixties were a lot more dangerous

To someone driving through a sundown town after midnight? To the stability of the US government?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 4:36 PM
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Surely 22 and 25 explain essentially all of why there's less high profile political assassination out there these days.

22 see 50. Good propaganda, approved government line, like the stuff I heard that intransigence in negotiation eliminated the airplane hijackings by the 80s and 90s. Hijack came back with a vengeance on 9/11 in a different form for a different purpose.

And the 70s wave of hijackings (and a metric fuckton of political shit) again brings me back to thinking, although I don't claim to have a final analysis, that there was something socially different in the 60s and 70s, not just weaker security measures. We are not the same.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 4:50 PM
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The UK isn't historically very assassination prone, I don't think. But the 70s and 80s had:

Mountbatten
Ian Gow
Airey Neave
Serious close attempts on Thatcher and her entire cabinet (5 dead - Brighton)
Ditto Major - mortar attack on Downing Street, minor injuries, no dead

Probably others I'm forgetting.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 4:52 PM
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Those are targeted at politicians. Obviously there were vastly more attacks in general.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 4:53 PM
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Speaking of hijackings, the mother of a family friend hijacked a plane to get out of Hungaria back in the 60s. I guess it went fairly well, as she moved to the US and settled down with an ex-military guy to raise a family without any reprocussions. Nice lady. Became a beautician. The point being that this was something that people did back then without being utter and forever pariahs.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 5:38 PM
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There's that black panther guy who hijacked a (US) plane who is now living basically happily in Spain.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 5:41 PM
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Not so different from hitchiking, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 5:41 PM
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The Yitzhak Rabin assassination was a pretty big deal. That was '95.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 5:45 PM
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Here's my analysis:
1. Massively, massively better security/threat assessment for national US politicians.
2. COINTELPRO actually works nowadays, instead of just being the randomly tossed monkey-wrench that it was in the '60s.
3. The Drug War has siphoned off a lot of the angry young men, including the very politicized ones on the far right, into the prison-industrial complex, where they mostly kill each other.
4. Propaganda by the deed/leaderless resistance became too much of a liability for the far left and far right, respectively. For the left, post-SLA, nobody wants to be associated with that level of crazy. For the right, post-Oklahoma City, there's a realization that it doesn't even fire up the base that much, to say nothing of the negative effect on recruiting.

I think the racist right is dangerous, not because they're really interested in killing a lot of people out of hand, but because they're learning how to triangulate on issues like immigration again.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 6:12 PM
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55

In the 80s Korean president Park Chun-hee was assassinated. ...

Park Chung-hee was killed in 1979.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 6:16 PM
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That's right. In your FACE "Cryptic Ned."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 6:33 PM
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Yitzhak Rabin's assassination seems to have singularly failed to make him martyr or his actions more popular. In my naive and uninformed view, that was one of the most successful assassinations ever.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:16 PM
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Aha, JBS. You have fallen for my gambit of one-upmanship.

You see, the demerits I receive for being one year off on the date of the assassination, and for writing "Chun-hee" rather than "Chung-hee", are outweighed by the appearance that these very inaccuracies tell the reader that my knowledge of the basic outline of the incident came from my own memory rather than having to look it up. What a renaissance man I am! Truly a broad base of knowledge on all subjects.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:26 PM
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76: Pretty much.

That said, I think the question only holds up in a US context. It's a big planet, and shit is going on more or less continually. But for a cohesive political entity like the US to go from ~12 major assassinations/attempts in 20 years to ~1 in 30 suggests something within that polity has changed.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:34 PM
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Of the assassinations of the 1960s listed so far, only Medgar Evers and MLK's were ones that even conceivably would have been supported/condoned by the hypothetical sheriff in 63. Not Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, etc etc. [...] So . . . what are we talking about here?

I think that a way to square this circle is to say that, if the reason we have fewer assassinations/attempts now is that people are being caught sooner, then a less sympathetic police force is a critical cog. IOW, 40 years ago a plausible assassin was not nec. viewed as a threat by the Arpaios of the world because they looked like Arpaios, not like Commie inFILtrators. And so they weren't flagged early.

Not saying I buy into the theory - lots of countervailing evidence - but I think there's a framework to it. My main objection is that I'm just not convinced that American police forces, as a whole, are more professional/humane/civic minded than they were 40 years ago. ISTM that pretty much every compliance-driven taser incident suggests otherwise.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:39 PM
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It's a big planet

I suppose if you're limiting yourself to rocky planets, it isn't small. But still, not very big.


Posted by: Opinionated Jupiter | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:43 PM
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77: I, who have no qualms about using Wikipedia/Google for everything, am quite intrigued by the following from the Big W: The chief investigator Yi Hak-bong famously concluded that it was too careless for a deliberate act and yet too elaborate for an impulsive act. [[C]itation needed] but an apt turn of phrase of great potential utility.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:45 PM
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78.last: I was wondering what would be the proper test to see if the change in frequency is statistically significant. I can think of several ways to try it, but they all seem fraught and hopelessly post-hoc.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:49 PM
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Always the underdog.


Posted by: Rocky | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:49 PM
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73: For the right, post-Oklahoma City, there's a realization that it doesn't even fire up the base that much, to say nothing of the negative effect on recruiting.

This seems to be news to them.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:49 PM
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76 is very much not true IME, especially for Rabin himself. He definitely is revered as a martyr; the square where he was killed was subsequently named after him, and the exact site of the shooting is maintained as a shrine. When they took us there on Birthright our guide told the story of the assassination solemnly and in considerable detail, in a way that was very pro-Rabin. I had the impression that his own actions are generally remembered positively by most of the mainstream Israeli political spectrum, despite the massive lurch to the right of Israeli politics since his time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:50 PM
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79

... My main objection is that I'm just not convinced that American police forces, as a whole, are more professional/humane/civic minded than they were 40 years ago. ...

Really? Consider this 2011 NYT article on NYPD shootings:

The 33 instances in which an officer intentionally shot at a suspect last year represented a 30 percent decrease from the year before. But it reflected a far greater drop since the department began keeping these records in 1971, a year in which the police in New York City fatally shot 93 people and injured 221 others.

Last year, the police shot and killed 8 people and injured 16.

I think the NYPD is fairly typical.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:54 PM
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But for a cohesive political entity like the US to go from ~12 major assassinations/attempts in 20 years to ~1 in 30 suggests something within that polity has changed.

Maybe. Or maybe its the vagaries of random distribution.

Were there any major assassination attempts in the US between Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 and JFK in 1963? That's a 41 year span.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:57 PM
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I think that FDR survived an attempt (one that killed the mayor of Chicago). And wasn't Huey P. Long assassinated?


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 7:59 PM
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87: The attack on FDR that killed the mayor of Chicago?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:00 PM
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87.2:Huey Long, a weak attempt on FDR


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:01 PM
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Spike lives in a base 12.5 world.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:02 PM
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Huey Long, yeah. I didn't even know about that FDR one.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:03 PM
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Perhaps the first pwn I've ever inflicted. Something to tell my grandchildren about, seeing as how there are no assassinations anymore.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:07 PM
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There was an attempt on Truman.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:09 PM
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Wikipedia mentions Andy Warhol, but I am not convinced he counts as a political leader.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:10 PM
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I think I'd prefer assassinations to the mass shootings you get now-a-days.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:10 PM
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87

Were there any major assassination attempts in the US between Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 and JFK in 1963? That's a 41 year span.

Truman Assassination Attempt


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:10 PM
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There was also that time that Puerto Rican nationalists started picking off congressmen from the House galley. 1954.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:13 PM
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95: He was a museum. Lots of political leaders have museums.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:15 PM
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Only to be later pardoned by Jimmy Carter.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:15 PM
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Let me be the first to say FDR and Huey Long.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:16 PM
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Strangest slash fiction ever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:18 PM
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102: Andy Warhol, sentient museum, in the galley with Puerto Rican FDR and Huey Long?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:20 PM
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Jimmy Carter walks in on the scene, "pardon!!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:21 PM
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One time, in Argentina, somebody tried to blow up Herbert Hoover's rail car.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:22 PM
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Or this.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:23 PM
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Orlando Letelier, Chilean economist, former diplomat, and refugee from the Pinochet dictatorship, was killed by a car bomb in Northwest DC. 1976.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 8:30 PM
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I'm surprised no one's thought of the obvious answer. Assassinations have tapered off in recent decades so that Sondheim doesn't have to add anything for revivals.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-11-13 11:29 PM
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Jesus Saves From Hello Dolly Revivals.

K-sky gets the reference.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 12:04 AM
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I think there are a lot fewer political assassinations in Western countries generally after about 1980, and especially after 1990. So not particularly a US phenomenon.

I suspect it's a story about more inclusive institutions so that it's harder to sustain violent political organizations (the hardcore nuts are still out there, but all the infrastructure that allows them to hide goes away). Think about how much the Weathermen or the IRA or the various Euroleft terrorists relied on being just respectable enough to live comfortably underground.


Posted by: Dan Ryan | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:23 AM
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In addition to Rabin (regarding whom both 76 and 85 are right, but 76 more so), Rehavam Ze'evi was assassinated in 2001 by a Palestinian group. Of course, the last few Israeli governments got into the habit of assassinating Hamas figures whenever there was nothing good on TV, it's just that these aren't called assassinations by the Israeli mainstream media. The chosen laundered term is sikul memukad, which translates (literally, 'cause I'm lazy) as 'focused thwarting'.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 4:05 AM
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Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh, stabbed in department store. There was an attempt on Jacques Chirac.

The last (vaguely) prominent UK one was our defence attache to Greece, years ago.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 4:13 AM
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re: 112.last

Oh, yeah. That was 2000. 17N seem to have gone completely dormant since 2003 according to wiki.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 4:19 AM
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Thank you so much. "Focused thwarting" will form part of my vocabulary henceforth. It's superb.

And let's not forget the LTTE. (To save you clicking on past that link, all 31 of those people were leading public figures in Sri Lanka, Senior politicians and army officers, academics and poets, except for the Prime Minister of India and Mahendraraja, who was one of their own leaders and a double agent.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 4:22 AM
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Also, I believe the LTTE can take credit for inventing suicide bombing as we know it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 4:24 AM
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Weird, of all the places you'd expect to find an extreme-left terrorist group...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 6:33 AM
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I just heard a talk on the LTTE last night. It was really interesting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 6:38 AM
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The most violent location of ethnic terrorism in the past 30 years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 6:39 AM
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Sri Lankan politics is weird. At one time it had the only mass Trotskyist party anywhere ever. It even joined the government, though of course the Fourth International threw it out at that point.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 6:54 AM
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The Fifth International is in my basement, dodging spiders and waiting for the right moment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 6:56 AM
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Bertrand Delanoë, gay mayor of Paris, stabbed in the ass in 2002. Being a journalist in Mexico is more dangerous than juggling chainsaws.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:05 AM
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You could probably argue that the allied forces in Iraq almost certainly introduced some journalists to focused thwarting.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:11 AM
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110.2 is kinda my response to 84. I guess that sounds somewhat like a "no true Scotsman" argument, but I think there is a valuable distinction to be made between the kind of apparatus that was supportive of James Earl Ray or other Southern, far-right murderers and the neo-Nazi demimonde as it exists today.

Also, I think it is useful to remind ourselves about how much of the political violence of the '60s and '70s was directly state-sponsored, or indirectly effected by proxies for agents of the state: Anna Mae Aquash, Fred Hampton, Malcolm X, etc.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:27 AM
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Did folx see this:

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/02/11/iowa-anti-choicers-admit-they-want-to-imprison-women-for-abortion/


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:28 AM
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123 - Fred Hampton, definitely, but wasn't Malcolm X, like Hakim Jamaal, assassinated by people associated with security apparatus of the NOI?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:40 AM
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The chosen laundered term is sikul memukad, which translates (literally, 'cause I'm lazy) as 'focused thwarting'.

This delights me. (The phrase, the phrase. You are all safe with me!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:43 AM
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125: Hmm, I haven't researched it extensively, but I thought it was the conventional wisdom that the Fibbies were in cahoots with the Nation elements behind the assassination.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:45 AM
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||
What. The. Fuck.

Wrestling was voted out from a final group that also included modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey, officials familiar with the vote told The Associated Press.

|>


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:46 AM
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128: yeah I saw that. Completely ridiculous.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:55 AM
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That's crazy. Never mind the modern pentathlon, dropping wrestling but retaining TKD? Mad.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:56 AM
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128: Adding golf and dropping wrestling is absurd. Golf is barely even a sport. What's next, dropping hurdling and adding poker?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:57 AM
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Also that is going to really completely fuck over wrestling as a sport in a way that it wouldn't mess up any of the others.

Good for MMA in the short term, I bet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 7:58 AM
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The ancient Greeks wouldn't have understood the concept of Olympic games without wrestling.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:00 AM
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Also 131 is right. Golf is a good walk spoiled.


Posted by: Probably not actually Mark Twain | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:03 AM
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Whether or not you particularly enjoy wrestling as a spectator sport (I don't watch it myself), there's something deeply wrong about omitting one of the few really ancient sports that still survive in the games.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:03 AM
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Especially given that TKD remains and karate is a candidate for a 2020 entry.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:04 AM
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I guess there's a push to focus on sports only played in a tiny minority of countries, against those played in every country. Next basketball goes out in favor of cricket.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:04 AM
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Cricket is pretty fucking popular in some rather populous countries. Maybe you were thinking of Hurling?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:08 AM
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138 - Rounders.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:08 AM
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Cricket is pretty fucking popular in some rather populous countries.

The populousness of the countries is totally irrelevant to my point.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:11 AM
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Unbelievably ridiculous (though I'm glad they kept modern pentathlon, truly the weirdest of sports). Also I'm not clear at all on why they absolutely positively must have a 26 sport cap. Also fuck golf.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:11 AM
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Next you'll be telling me Pankration is out.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:15 AM
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Kabaddi!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:16 AM
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I koshoed for England.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:16 AM
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Next you'll be telling me Pankration is out.

Now there's something I'd watch.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:16 AM
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I suppose there are only ten countries with full Test status in cricket.* However, between them, that's a fucking lot of people. As, as per Tweety, some of these are pretty big countries.

* although another 100 or so countries have cricket teams/federations, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:17 AM
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Kabaddi is awesome and there is in fact a movement to include it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:18 AM
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There should be an alternate olympics of only sports that are ridiculous. Pankration is in, you bet. Also Sepak Takraw, Buzkashi and Slamball. That kind of thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:18 AM
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I love Kabaddi! kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi kabaddi.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:19 AM
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And now that I have read about it, yeah, Kabaddi is in for sure. I would say Finnish Competitive Saunaing but I think they don't do that anymore because it's actually just Competitive Dying.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:19 AM
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Isn't Pankration in fact pretty much exactly MMA?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:20 AM
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French cricket.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:21 AM
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Sifu, you definitely need roque, which was an Olympic sport in 1904.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:22 AM
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151: these days it's practiced as a sort of alternative to MMA where you can't punch people, you can only slap them. It's a riot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:22 AM
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S /avate has been an Olympic demonstration sport, and there are attempts to get it into position to be considered as a sport again. But, realistically, it's massive in France, and fairly big in Belgium, a couple of North African countries, and a few eastern European countries, and while lots of other countries have teams, the number of people actively doing the sport is tiny in most of them. So I don't think it has much chance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:22 AM
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153: I feel like it would be hard to include sports that literally nobody plays.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:25 AM
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My ridiculympics would include Ultimate, which you might say is not that ridiculous but, one, it sort of is, and two, it's not like it's ever getting in the regular olympics.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:26 AM
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Oh oh, how about Kottabos/Cottabus?

The object of the player was to cast a portion of wine left in his drinking cup, in such a way that it doesn't break bulk in its passage through the air, towards a bronze "lamp stand" with a tiny statuette on top with outstretched arms delicately holding a small disc called a plastinx. Halfway down the stand was a larger disc called the manes. To be successful the player had to knock off the plastinx in such a way that it would fall to the manes and make a bell like sound.[2] Both the wine thrown and the noise made were called latax (λάταξ). The thrower, in the ordinary form of the game, was expected to retain the recumbent position that was usual at table, and, in flinging the cottabus, to make use of his right hand only.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:27 AM
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To think that a game that elegant evolved through the millennia into beer pong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:29 AM
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That there was Olympic baseball/softball but not Olympic cricket is weird.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:30 AM
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There was Olympic cricket before WWI. I don't remember why they dropped it; probably nobody entered.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:31 AM
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Bring back competitive poetry.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:31 AM
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159: beer pong would be way more hilarious if your opponent had nine balls arranged in a triangle and you threw your beer at them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:32 AM
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156: You could preserve it as a memento mori. A group of roque players bearing mallets and wearing death's heads could come out and engage in a whirling allegorical roque dance, chanting "Vanitas! Vanitas!", and the one that whirled best could take the gold medal.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:32 AM
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Whatever that fast form of cricket is would be a great olympic sport.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:32 AM
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161 cont.

At that date there were only three accredited test playing countries, so it was even dafter than it would be now.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:33 AM
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157: My university won the national championship in that last year. I couldn't be prouder if they'd won in a real sport.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:33 AM
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Obviously, cheese rolling, which would be fantastic. And tug of war, which really was an Olympic sport.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:34 AM
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165. Twenty/20. Yes, that would in fact be a good idea.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:34 AM
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re: 165

Twenty20? Yeah, it would. It's a good sport.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty20


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:34 AM
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Near-verbatim-pwned.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:34 AM
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I went to one of the practices for the ultimate team at my undergrad university of most recent attendance. I threw a frisbee better than almost any of them, but it turns out (recent) former high school track stars have much better endurance than thirtyish Sifu did, even after they smoked all that weed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:36 AM
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Cottabus sounds good. And there's even a professional team.

I would want to bring back the "plunge for distance" myself.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:36 AM
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Competitive eating, also. With bears.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:40 AM
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Oh man, definitely competitive eating. Not only is it totally ridiculous, it makes utterly compelling viewing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:41 AM
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Competitive eating seems more like an Olympic sport to me than golf does.

I vote for chessboxing.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:42 AM
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"With bears" would improve nearly anything in the Olympics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:43 AM
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It is crazy that jousting never made it into the Olympics.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:44 AM
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I vote for chessboxing.

There was a form of chess invented by Alan Turing where, after every move the player had to go out and run round the building, and their opponent had to have moved by the time they got back or forfeit their turn. I think that would be even better.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:47 AM
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My favorite competitive eater is Sonya Thomas, who first of all holds the Turducken record, but who also ate 46 dozen oysters in 10 minutes. More than five hundred oysters!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:53 AM
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Will no one speak up for 43-man squamish?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 8:55 AM
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I feel like obsessive watching of the Laff-A-Lympics should have left me with more to say on this subject, but all I can remember is Snagglepuss something dune buggy something something Really Rottens something Muggsley.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:18 AM
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179: The best thing about that story is that Turing generally won by being an adequate chessplayer and very good runner, rather than the (more plausible) other way around.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:18 AM
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There was a form of chess invented by Alan Turing where, after every move the player had to go out and run round the building, and their opponent had to have moved by the time they got back or forfeit their turn.

This would especially benefit by the addition of bears roaming around outside the building.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:18 AM
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Following Tuting, everyone has an ideal competitive sport.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:21 AM
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TO be pedantic (although chris y seems to have gotten it), the reason that cricket's popularity should be measured in countries, not population, is that the Olympics pits nation against nation. It's not as if India would get to enter more than one team.

Baseball (and especially softball) probably aren't played widely enough either, but there are 15-20 countries that could put together (highly) competitive teams, and another dozen or two where there's enough interest to at least try to qualify.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:29 AM
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Baseball has the World Baseball Classic, this year featuring Brazil. We don't need no stinkin' Olympics.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:33 AM
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It's not as if India would get to enter more than one team.

Assuming you've come to accept the partition, sure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:35 AM
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I would like to see cricket in the Olympics if each Indian state can have a team. Since they are so horrible at all other sports they can get a special dispensation and/or fatwa making it so.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:39 AM
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Turing, that is. I think I'd be world class at pool-tetris.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:43 AM
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Cricket has all those small Caribbean countries.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:46 AM
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Since they are so horrible at all other sports they can get a special dispensation and/or fatwa making it so.

They're awesome at Kabaddi.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 9:52 AM
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How have I never heard of kabaddi before?

US Kabbadi team

Gill, Ferozpuria, Marniya, Kandola, Singh, Singh, Delhiwala, Dabh, Singh, Gakhal, Singh, Chaves, Chaves, Singh, Singh, Badesha, Ferozpuria, Seattlewala.

Good on the Chaves brothers for integrating our ethnically homogeneous kabbadi establishment. Also, "Seattlewala"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 10:20 AM
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Obviously, cheese rolling, which would be fantastic.

My brother-in-law is the world champion cheese roller. No lie.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 11:53 AM
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Actually, he's just the New World champion. Maybe the Old World has its own champion.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 11:54 AM
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You have my vote for cheese rolling. I will admit to enjoying these videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GdVnzDFyLg


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 12:24 PM
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It is strange that wrestling would get kicked out of the Olympics, while synchronized swimming and horse dancing remain.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:02 PM
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197:Class. Rich fucks don't wrestle.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:05 PM
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Bob gets it right. Singlets are a lot cheaper than horses. How exactly did this group get intellectual property rights to the Olympics?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:09 PM
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Rich fucks don't wrestle.

Not my experience.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:11 PM
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They horse dance more than they don't wrestle.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:17 PM
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||
The girl with whom I lost my virginity at summer camp in the early '80s now lives in some Mexican beach town and is a "private nurse", though she's never told me exactly what that job entails. Anyhow, she's currently at the top of my Facebook feed with the following status update: "hola playa..anyone know who sells pole dancing equipment here or in cancun ? gracias."
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:32 PM
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Is there much equipment beyond the pole?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:36 PM
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202: Oooh, which town? We'll be in Tulum in a couple weeks and I could check on (read: covertly videotape) her for you.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:36 PM
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Maybe she wants to train for the Olympics?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:37 PM
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I don't know. She appears to already have the breast implants.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:37 PM
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204: Playa del Carmen.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:39 PM
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Hah. We honeymooned right near Tulum, and I thought the archeological site was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. Every single stone object, of whatever shape, was identified as probably for the removal/display/storage of human entrails for religious purposes. Whoever was making the signs was convinced that the residents of Tulum did nothing whatsoever but eviscerate each other.

This may have been true, but it seemed overblown.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:39 PM
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the residents of Tulum did nothing whatsoever but eviscerate each other.

They called it pwning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:41 PM
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207. It's a nice place-- touristy core surrounded by a Mexican town, pretty wide border zone that's friendly to foreigners but not Senor Frogs.

The buildings with faces looking away from the corners are pretty cool. Uxmal is a pretty long drive, but IMO worth it, much less brutal than Chichen Itza.

There was real fighting in Tulum during the Caste war, I do not think many Catholics have a warm view of Maya culture.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 1:52 PM
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I heard a piece on the radio about Chinlone, which is sort of Burmese hacky sack and which Myanmar is proposing for the Southeast Asian Games, despite that fact that apparently nobody but Burmese people play it.


Posted by: Jasper Fnorde | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:12 PM
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We've been before -- a friend of the family owns a house on the beach there. It's totally amusing to me how the beach town Tulum seems to be owned and operated by Dutch/German/Italian/American folks for Dutch/German/Italian/American folks.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:17 PM
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I've forgotten the name of the place we honeymooned, but it was nearby and disturbingly like that. There was literally a wall blocking off the beach town from the area inland: we were in a hotel right by the gate, and then there was a mile or two of road with big expensive houses (including one owned by the parents of a childhood friend of Buck's, which is why we ended up there specifically), but hardly anyone Mexican inside the wall other than as an employee. Creepy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:23 PM
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I went to a wedding in Cabo at a resort like that. Set up so that one need not ever feel like locals exist, except to run the resort.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:29 PM
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It's too bad, too, because that's particularly unnecessary in the Yucatan. That is, there may be some tourist spots where, for tourist safety, you need to wall tourists off from locals, but not the Yucatan. I've had good luck and great times on a couple trips to the Yucatan, driving blindly down roads into the jungle with the wife and two small kids, just fetching up in whatever isolated small town we end up in, and always finding pleasant people and great street food. And that's without speaking hardly any Spanish. Never felt threatened at all at all.


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:32 PM
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Tulum isn't walled or anything (haha -- I think it means "walled" or something in Mayan, actually) -- and there are no big hotels. It's a dinky beach road lined with hipster "eco" boutique inns and bistros of various sorts. Lots of yoga tourism and upscale Burning Man types. But nothing is more than 2 stories tall, and it's all run off solar power, and you can't flush your toilet paper, etc.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:35 PM
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202 sounds like the female Kenny Powers. Has she called Mexico "a savage land where outlaws go to die"?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:35 PM
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Actually it reminds me of a posh hippie version of San Blas, actually. (San Blas is probably scary these days. I haven't been since the late 80s.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:37 PM
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202 sounds like the female Kenny Powers

When she first popped up on FB, her photos included several pictures of her at parties at the Playboy Mansion and doing jiujitsu training (not at the same time).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 2:54 PM
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So help me, Hef, if you twerk one more time...


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 3:19 PM
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Akumal is where we were. I just looked at Google maps to remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 3:21 PM
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My first honeymoon ended up someplace like that. It wasn't walled off for safety so much as for luxury -- I mean, we were simply not visiting Mexico, we were lolling in a palapa hut with a plunge pool. (There were a number of other Latin American guests. Also Ted Leo's drummer.) I didn't mind the vibe, also because we'd spent a few days in Tulum prior to that and had driven into the jungle to the colonial city.

I stayed on the beach in Tulum en route to Guatemala right after college. We did a tour of the ruins and someone asked the guide if it was true about human sacrifice. "Every culture has human sacrifice," he said. It's a good line.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 3:31 PM
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Yeah, we started off in Akumal resortworld on one trip, but ended up taking off and walking over the highway to the town of Akumal, which is where the locals live. The problem is, you can't get good food in a resort. You're way better off eating from a cart on the side of a road than from a resort kitchen. The only times we've ever gotten sick in Mexico has been from fancy restaurants or hotels - at a hole-in-the-wall that's its proprietor's entire living, that proprietor's going to be a lot more invested in keeping up the quality. And a lot of times, you're eating the same thing they're feeding their family.


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 3:36 PM
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Yeah, we had breakfast every morning in a shabby little place right outside the gate. Nothing exciting -- eggs and tortillas -- but much better than the resort breakfasts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 3:40 PM
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The problem is, you can't get good food in a resort.

I beg to differ, but this was our blowout final two nights. My first intro to huitlacoche.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-12-13 3:41 PM
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I love Kabaddi! :D :)


Posted by: Jaydee | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 11:58 AM
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You could probably argue that the allied forces in Iraq almost certainly introduced some journalists to focused thwarting.


Posted by: Gagan | Link to this comment | 10-14-13 12:25 PM
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