Re: Armed Teachers

1

Risk management (at least, competent professional risk management) brooks no fancies, delusions or passing fevers of enthusiastic denial. Hence gets ignored in bull markets, like that of America's dipshits for the "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful" theory of issuing dangerous weapons to everybody as a hedge against the risk of dangerous weapons in the hands of somebody.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:06 AM
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To the extent that global warming is becoming an insurance issue, there isn't any denialism there, either.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:10 AM
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I wonder how long it will be before some twerp in a cheap suit and a combover tries to pass state legislation forbidding insurers to incorporate gun violence or climate change risk into risk pricing. Good luck swinging that one against the big reinsurers, Jethro.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:15 AM
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To make for lower insurance rates, somebody in some legislature is going to introduce an extension of the Good Samaritan laws that grants qualified immunity to anybody who shoots an innocent kid in a school but was really, honestly trying their very hardest to protect the kids.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:18 AM
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Should have hit preview, but 4 isn't exactly the same as 3.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:19 AM
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This gets me thinking about Zimmerman. Even if he isn't convicted, a wrongful death suit wouldn't be nearly as hard to win. Could they go after the homeowners association because of Zimmerman's neighborhood watch affiliation? If so, I'd think insurance companies would watch those policies also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:24 AM
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Was Z really part of an official, authorized watch, or just aimlessly driving around and bothering the 911 operators until his big chance came up? I'd hope that any homeowners' association would discourage an official neighborhood watch from carrying weapons, following suspects, engaging, etc., but ...

Florida. Right. Forget I asked.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:26 AM
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Electroconvulsive therapy isn't free. I'll just pretend I forgot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:30 AM
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Neither is freedom. [Strums red-white-and-blue-striped Gibson acoustic guitar.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:31 AM
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7: IIRC, he had some past association with a neighborhood watch, but I don't think he was currently expected to be on patrol, and I'm pretty sure they weren't expecting him to be armed. I think pinning responsibility on the neighborhood watch would be tough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:35 AM
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7: Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch captain, IIRC. I think he may have also been the organizer of the watch.

6: I suspect everyone is going to get sued to high heaven. I kind of doubt that they'll win. Florida.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:40 AM
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I wasn't just thinking of who would win this case, I was wondering if insurers would start to put "are yunz armed?" clauses in their policies for homeowners associations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:47 AM
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I've never met an underwriter from Western Pennsylvania, Moby.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:52 AM
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I never met an underwriter.
I never met an adjuster.
And yet I know how Heather looks,
and she's an actuary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:55 AM
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10,11: Wikipedia says he was 'coordinator' of the watch, whatever that means. I kind of doubt that the watch exists as a sue-able entity, really, but I'm not up to speed on what makes a group of people sue-able as a group rather than as individuals.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:59 AM
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Zimmerman was apparently not part of any registered neighborhood watch group.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:01 AM
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Mmm. Yeah, I think the apparent contradiction can be resolved by the assumption that Z. went to some police meeting on setting up a neighborhood watch, and as a result of that meeting considered himself the neighborhood watch. I don't know that that makes him different from most 'neighborhood watch' members, but I doubt there was a significant organization outside his own mind that he was a member of.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:05 AM
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Does the neighborhood have those stupid "you are being watched by the neighborhood watch" signs on every street?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:10 AM
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Maybe schools could put up signs ("Your PE teacher is undergoing a nasty divorce and armed"?) and the insurance companies would lower the rates?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:12 AM
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Does homeowners insurance go up when people have guns in the house?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:19 AM
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Ugh, the Zimmerman trial. I was somewhere on Monday where there was a TV tuned to CNN and the commentators were discussing very earnestly whether Martin's marijuana use could have made him act in a manner that caused Zimmerman to feel threatened. Then yesterday for some reason I started reading a Gawker thread where people were vehemently defending Zimmerman. WTF is it that makes people become so violently invested in the idea that a teenage kid who was shot must have been the aggressor? (I mean, clearly: racism. Anything else?)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:21 AM
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20: I can't recall being asked about it for homeowners insurance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:21 AM
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I don't see any evidence that actuaries were involved in the insurance company's decision making process... it's not like there's a lot of data about liability when teachers are armed. This is more likely a simple judgment call.

Which is not too surprising, you don't need data to see that arming teachers could raise a bunch of liability issues, and that the downside could be quite considerable, and that there's a lot of uncertainty around this, and that you'd want to charge for that.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:25 AM
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21: I'm equally interested in understanding why it seems to some people that Martin has to have been a completely innocent victim and cannot possibly have been aggressive towards Zimmerman. This incident neatly fits into a lot of people's biases and prejudices if you ignore the details. The facts seem to me to be much messier than the tidy narratives of good guy/bad guy that people are trying to shoehorn them into.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:35 AM
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Does the neighborhood have those stupid "you are being watched by the neighborhood watch" signs on every street?

I was in high school when a bunch of those went up in my area and a buddy of mine and I made a point of stealing every last one. Then he went to the community meeting where our neighbors complained about how they were all stolen by hoodlums. Good times.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:40 AM
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The facts seem to me to be much messier than the tidy narratives of good guy/bad guy that people are trying to shoehorn them into.

I find myself pretty comfortable with thinking (1) that Zimmerman is the bad guy, and that if he hadn't been an aggressive nutcase, nothing bad would have happened to anyone that night and also that (2) there's a good chance that Martin was provoked into being physically aggressive toward Zimmerman, which is going to make it very hard to convict Zimmerman, and possibly also incorrect under Fl law to convict him. The questions of whether Zimmerman acted wrongly and bears the whole moral responsibility for Martin's death and whether Zimmerman broke Fl law are pretty distinct.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:40 AM
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Obviously, we need to look at both sides of the story when a grown man shoots an unarmed teenager whom he had been following.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:41 AM
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24: Because you give these shitmunchers an inch, and they'll take a mile.

My guess is that Martin started the confrontation physically, but that Zimmerman harassed him into it, and is at least morally at fault for Martin's death. Whether the law also allows him to be at fault in these circumstances, I don't know.

People are goddamn idiots about crime, though, especially when black men are involved, so many aren't capable of this level of subtlety. Trayvon has to either be a sweet lad or a super-thug.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:42 AM
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Utterly pwned by 26.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:43 AM
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I'm probably closer to 28 than 26 on this, but the general sentiment is the same.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:43 AM
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I wish more people were paying attention to the Jordan Davis case. That one is equally heartbreaking and egregious.

Jet magazine did an in-depth piece that some have compared to their famous Emmott Till coverage, but it's paywalled.

A better choice is probably the Rolling Stone investigation, which is just stunning. Skip the first 3 paragraphs if you don't like atmospheric set-up.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:50 AM
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26: I am in broad agreement with your analysis of what happened, and with 28's. Zimmerman is the one who introduced deadly force into the equation, and should be held accountable for that.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:50 AM
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Whoops, should be Emmett Till.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:50 AM
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24 I'm equally interested in understanding why it seems to some people that Martin has to have been a completely innocent victim and cannot possibly have been aggressive towards Zimmerman.

He could have been aggressive, but he was being followed by a man with a gun who had hostile intentions toward him. That makes him obviously the victim, whether he was the first to actually hit Zimmerman or not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:55 AM
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Moby said it better in 27.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:56 AM
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Stalking someone in a car when they're on foot is pretty threatening behavior. It's very difficult for them to get away.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:57 AM
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31: That is awful, but as near as I can tell, nobody is trying to make the case the man who shot Davis is anything but a murderer. Nobody except his own attorney, who pretty much has to.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:03 AM
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21: Because approaching and shooting an unarmed person without provocation is behavior that is difficult to understand.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:06 AM
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Further to 38: Because if there was a reason, then people don't have to worry that something similar might happen to them. It's the same with every rape case.

(Frankly I think it is 95% racism and 5% the above reason. But that's just me.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:08 AM
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The CNN discussion was just kind of bewildering, because it seemed like they were appealing to some kind of stereotype of marijuana-fueled rage that... doesn't ring a bell?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:10 AM
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40: Hardly anyone has ever smoked marijuana, so it's easy to believe anything CNN says about it.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:13 AM
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42

I've seen a documentary about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:14 AM
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40: Also the amount in Martin's system was apparently quite small. Marijuana traces persist in the body for up to a month.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:15 AM
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It could have been a sugar rage from all the Skittles he'd been eating.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:16 AM
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40: Racism. You can look back at a lot of the hysterical anti-marijuana rhetoric from the 1920s and '30s and it's about fear of violent Mexican immigrants, and/or fear of "race-mixing" (black and white Americans dating and socializing together).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:23 AM
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42: Predictably, I've only seen the remake with Kristen Bell.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:27 AM
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And also logging interests not wanting to compete with hemp for the production of paper.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:28 AM
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In addition to racism, there's been a baffling (to me at least) switch about views on gun owning. It was always seen as a right, but one of the rights that came with a great responsibility. The idea that you could shot an unarmed person in the street and have gun owners defend you as would have been hard to believe thirty years ago.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:29 AM
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- as.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:29 AM
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There's a "Dead Sea effect" going on with gun ownership. The more reasonable people who owned guns 30 years ago have evaporated away, leaving the remaining pool of gun owners with a higher level of salinity nuttiness.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:40 AM
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I'm sane, as far as I know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:42 AM
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Be careful, you might evaporate any day now. Probably something to do with global warming.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:43 AM
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26 & 28 are where I think it will end up, but my God Zimmerman was still referring to Martin as "the suspect" in his police interview after the shooting

The Rude Pundit got it right in this tweet: "What I'm learning from the Zimmerman trial: Tell the police someone is suspicious before you hunt and kill him."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:49 AM
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48: My sister tells of a co-worker who was all proud of himself for thwarting an attack on himself by black teenagers at Ross Park Mall. You see, he was in the mall, and also in the mall were these teenagers. They were behind him looking at the storefronts, but he whirled about and showed them he was carrying, at which point they backed off. Co-worker sees himself as a hero. Sister (to my mind correctly) sees a man so scared of black people that he threatened some teenagers in the mall, who ran away because, uh, how to put this, there's a creepyass cracker with a gun randomly threatening them in the mall.

.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:58 AM
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After driving on McKnight Road, I always feel like shooting people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:01 AM
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54:Wow, that's...I can't even define it. Awful.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:01 AM
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It struck me that there's no way this guy doesn't honestly believe that his gun is keeping him safe against rampaging hordes. I mean, do you see any hordes? It's working!

I know a decent amount of sensible gun owners but I have to say between the guy with his AR-15 at the JC Penney and this clown I'm really not sure how big the class of 'responsible gun owners' is.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:04 AM
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57: I think you've got to break it down. There are probably plenty of responsible rifle/shotgun owners who just hunt or do target shooting (or are of a demographic where they think of it as the sort of thing they might do. My FIL is a gun owner, and if having an unloaded .22 rifle ignored in a closet somewhere for decades is responsible, he's responsible about it.) Then there's a class of people with respectable reasons to be armed -- e.g., I believe that the NYPD, at least, wants or used to want cops to carry even off duty, under the assumption that they'd intervene if something bad was happening, security guards, diamond couriers, whatever.

But once you get into people who are thinking of gun ownership as something that's going to benefit them in case of interpersonal violence, and they don't have a sane professional reason for expecting that to be an issue, yeah, I'd bet you're right, that 'responsible' gun owners are not the large majority you'd hope they'd be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:12 AM
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54 is just amazing.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:12 AM
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56, 59: What does it say that I didn't find it surprising or notable?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:14 AM
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Anyway, based on one news story from several years ago, there are apparently no small number of older, white people in the suburbs who think that significant numbers of black teens are continually playing the "knockout game," a game whose object is to knock out a white guy for sport.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:19 AM
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The OP points how (infuriatingly) in the current political climate it is seemingly only "responsible" businesses* that can serve as a real check to the Republican thug agenda. Gah.

*And their responsible behavior is always contingent. I'm boggling at S&P's attempt at a "You fucked up, you trusted us" defense**.

**Also a bit of, "No fair, Mom, Moody's did it too!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:20 AM
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56 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:20 AM
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57.last: Anecdatally, my cousin recently accidentally shot himself in the leg with his personal defense handgun. Neither he nor anyone on that side of the family has used a gun in self defence, AFAIK. They would consider themselves responsible gun owners.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:22 AM
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60: That you live in a scary, scary place?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:23 AM
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There were two boys roughly my age back home who shot themselves in the foot while fucking with a pistol. This was two separate occasions. And one guy I went to school with shot his parents refrigerator. That was a classic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:24 AM
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64: well, was the leg attacking him?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:24 AM
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fucking with a pistol.

There are moments when even the most assiduously concerned with personal safety should probably let their guard down a little.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:27 AM
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They would consider themselves responsible gun owners.

Well, that's it. There may be a distinction between people who consider themselves to be Gun Owners and people who consider themselves to be merely people who own a gun, in the same way that they own, say, a hat.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:27 AM
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If your leg offend you, cut it off shoot it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:28 AM
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68: personal safety or really grody fetishism depending on the specific meaning of "with".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:28 AM
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68: Some fruit is too low to pluck and retain any sense of dignity or honor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:29 AM
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72: Shorter 72: LB posts to fast.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:29 AM
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Oh, ew. I suppose I started it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:29 AM
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I wonder what percentage of gun owners consider themselves notably irresponsible gun owners?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:29 AM
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73: +o


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:29 AM
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58: No, I get that. My joke is it's the "no true Scotsman" fallacy for gun owners. If something bad happens, then the guy wasn't responsible, for if he was responsible, nothing bad could have happened. (Instead of thinking, e.g., even responsible gun owners are fallible, etc.) I'm relatively chill about gun ownership/carrying (here you can concealed carry on campus, so this is mostly an adaptive preference), but if a guy needs an AR-15 to walk by Sephora, I'm thinking he's not the one with the finely honed sense of risk.

61: They probably all go to my parents' church.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:30 AM
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but if a guy needs an AR-15 to walk by Sephora

Tell me you haven't wanted to empty a clip into some of those perfumes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:31 AM
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Co-worker sees himself as a hero.

Such a fine line between heroism and psychosis.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:34 AM
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If something bad happens, then the guy wasn't responsible, for if he was responsible, nothing bad could have happened.

By that logic, Zimmerman should have been thrown under a metaphorical bus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:34 AM
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He'd have been entirely within his rights to shoot that bus.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:37 AM
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60, 65: I was trying to guess what % of my co-workers would regard the behavior in 54 as "justified" and add it to their store of anecdata on why one should flee ever further north into the former farmland of Butler County* (bonus: lower taxes!). And it's a bigger number than I'd like to admit (but declining I think as the older dickheads move on into their fearful retirements.).

*Mitt Romney 66.8%


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:37 AM
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If Romney couldn't break 70% in Butler, not wonder he lost.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:40 AM
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*Mitt Romney 66.8%

Romney, heck. Daryl Metcalfe.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:41 AM
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Through circumstances I needn't mention I once overheard a bunch of cops in a bucolic, mostly whitebread, very low crime coastal California city discuss how they were all planning to move to Montana after retirement to get away from the feral violence of the urban hellscape. I'm sure cops see some shit but... yeah it was pretty clearly 100% race driven.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:41 AM
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-t.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:44 AM
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85: The Harry Bosch books talk about how retired LA cops all move to Idaho.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:45 AM
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61 That's the first I've heard of the Knockout game which even has its own wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knockout_%28violent_game%29

"Knockout, also known as the knockout game and knockout king, is a violent activity indulged in, 'played', by black teenagers in which they attack an innocent, often white pedestrian in an attempt to knock him or her unconscious with one punch"

I have a hard time believing this is for real and not the paranoid racist version of the rainbow parties urban legend.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:45 AM
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At some point in the distance past I've heard stories resembling 54 from people I'm related to. Good thing I only see that branch of the family these days at the occasional funeral, where they're usually less comfortable talking about their guns.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:45 AM
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-ce+t


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:46 AM
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88

I have a hard time believing this is for real and not the paranoid racist version of the rainbow parties urban legend.

There's a whole genre of racist paranoia based urban legends along these lines, for example:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/crime/a/headlights.htm


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:52 AM
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78: I did just get an e-mail advertising a sale on Urban Decay.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:56 AM
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85: Were they cops in that same community? I imagine so, but I feel like bringing up that there are OPD officers residing as far south as San Luis Obispo.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 9:56 AM
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The questions of whether Zimmerman acted wrongly and bears the whole moral responsibility for Martin's death and whether Zimmerman broke Fl law are pretty distinct.

Not really.

776.041 Use of force by aggressor.--The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:10 AM
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regarding 20: If two parents are divorced, and one (a homeowner) is negligent enough with his or her gun in his or her house as to allow their child or children to injure themselves, would the other parent be allowed to make a claim against the negligent parent's homeowner's or renter's insurance?


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:11 AM
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94: The thing is, I can believe both that the interaction was all Zimmerman's fault and that there was a point at which he "reasonably believe[d] that he or she is in imminent danger of... great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant." And much more easily, I can think that the evidence could be such that a jury couldn't rule out the quoted language beyond a reasonable doubt, despite it being all his fault, morally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:16 AM
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Elvis used to shoot out the TV from time to time, if he didn't like what was on. I guess I wouldn't so much call that irresponsible gun ownership as irresponsible TV ownership.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:16 AM
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96 -- you keep saying that, but it's (a) pretty clearly not the case (there was no ability for Zimmerman to walk away or surrender?) and (b) not, i believe, the defense theory at trial. The defense theory, as I understand it (and i haven't been following it that closely) is that Zimmerman plain and simple did not provoke the attack, so that the provocation of violence exception to the self defense justification simply doesn't come into play at all. They argue that Martin simply assaulted him without any reasonable provocation.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:25 AM
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I can believe both that the interaction was all Zimmerman's fault

This is simply getting fucking ridiculous from this crowd.

Martin was "provoked" into physically attacking Z, was not at all responsible for initiating the physical confrontation? Are you lawyers being fucking serious? Listen to yourselves.

This is something I encounter, when walking dogs in strange and upscale neighborhoods, I am watched followed, confronted asked to move on. Am I justified in attacking or siccing my dogs on these people? This is Dallas.

I act obsequious, I am polite, I do everything I can to look non-threatening, I can't imagine physically attacking someone. Would I be justified?

Of course not.

The last defense witness was definitive, according to what I just read. Martin was on top of Z, the gunshot was 2-4 inches away, Z had a broken nose and wounds on the back of his head. Should never have been charged.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:28 AM
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provocation of violence exception to the self defense justification

There is such a thing?

If I am walking down the street and someone says "You and your dogs are ugly and stay at home" I have a legal right to start pounding on them?

I'll be damned.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:33 AM
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There is such a thing?

Hell yes there is. Martin was tried avoiding the guy, even resorting to running away (we know this from Z's words to the dispatcher on tape). Zimmerman wouldn't stop, it's very reasonable that he felt a physical confrontation was his only option at that point.

Assault "victims" who call the police very often are the guys who initiated the fight and are now calling the cops because they lost.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:41 AM
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Or so I simply have a moral right to start pounding on someone in cases of verbal abuse?

I cannot believe what I'm reading here.

No, sorry folks, initiating physical violence or contact can never be justified*, morally or legally. And you know it.

Martin was responsible, and the whole thing is tragic. If you want to talk about the causes of violence, and excuse Martin with some deeper social analysis, feel free. I might, remember I like Huey Newton in the rattan chair. But Zimmerman still should never have been charged.

*Political cause exception, of course. Which includes soldiers in war and combat.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:42 AM
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Assault "victims" who call the police very often are the guys who initiated the fight and are now calling the cops because they lost.

And in these cases, you charge only the guy who did not initiate the fight?

So you arrest the wives in cases of spousal abuse?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:46 AM
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No, sorry folks, initiating physical violence or contact can never be justified*, morally or legally.

Even for excessive trolling?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:48 AM
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the [armed] guy [chasing him] who [claims he] did not initiate the fight?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:52 AM
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That's a big asterisk.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:54 AM
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Tight pants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:55 AM
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I do not believe we have evidence that Zimmerman even behaved in a threatening manner.

Watching and following someone you don't know in your own neighborhood is not considered a crime, or grounds for the stranger to attack you. There may have been words or gestures, but we don't know.

Part of the assumption here is that if white guy approaches black guy, at night, in the South, black guy should be scared.

Ridiculous and offensive. And Zimmerman had nothing in his history to support it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:58 AM
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105: Yep. This goes back to 53.2.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 10:58 AM
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108.3: The white guy had a gun and was an adult. The black guy was in high school and armed with Skittles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:05 AM
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There may have been words or gestures, but we don't know.

If only the instigator had been on the phone with the police being recorded as to how he was continuing to chase a kid through the neighborhood with absolutely no legal basis.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:06 AM
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I do not believe we have evidence that Zimmerman even behaved in a threatening manner.

And the only evidence in the other direction is the defendant's own testimony to police. Which won't be cross-examined because he's exercised his 5th Amendment right not to incriminate himself.

But really, my cows 104.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:07 AM
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I feel like I'm missing some important mcmanus in this thread. Is he right? Can somebody tell me if he's right? Because bob mcmanus is right, yeah?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:08 AM
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This is something I encounter, when walking dogs in strange and upscale neighborhoods, I am watched followed, confronted asked to move on.

lol, bob trolls in real life, too.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:11 AM
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Bob is hardly the only one. My Facebook keeps getting the same thing, usually illustrated by what is known to be a false picture of Martin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:18 AM
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chase a kid through the neighborhood with absolutely no legal basis.

1) Wait, I can't follow or watch someone in my neighborhood? This is a crime? You're the police, tell me.

2) "No legal basis"

This is what I was thinking earlier, would you approach this differently if Zimmerman were a cop, if gswift were telling the story? It would still be tragic, but not a crime.

There are better cases to work up the outrage, cases happening every day.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:29 AM
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If Zimmerman's account (e.g. linked in 53) is true, it seems to me that the shooting is some form of self-defense. If you see someone following you you're not justified in walking up to them and punching them in the face. That seems obvious to me. The 'creepy-ass cracker' remark makes me wonder if Martin thought Zimmerman was gay and following him in order to pick him up; the usual implication of 'creepy' is sexual. Zimmerman's fantasy of himself as police officer (pretty clearly recorded, as gswift says), does lead you to wonder if he might have harassed Martin more actively than following him, but how will we ever know beyond a reasonable doubt?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:33 AM
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This is not the case to play your racist/anti-racist cards.

Or maybe it is, maybe the hard cases are where the blind loyalties can bet be tested and confirmed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:35 AM
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117: Okay, you've got Althouse stuck in your head. The idea that Martin had some kind of gay panic thing going seems insanely far fetched. Someone following you for no reason is clealy the sort of thing that it'd be natural to describe as creepy with or without a sexual implication.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:38 AM
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I got it from Rachel Jeantel, who specifically said that to her 'creepy ass cracker' means 'pervert'. There aren't many reasons someone would be following you late at night -- to molest you or hit on you would certainly come before 'he's a civilian with a fantasy of being a police officer' in the list (although after a potential mugging).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:41 AM
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I'm pretty sure that was annal thouse parody.
On preview, you're serious? You just fell down my unfogged leaderboard.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:44 AM
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So here's a question for the lawyers and/or gswift:

Suppose the scenario plays out like this. Zimmerman, playing tough guy, decides to confront Martin by drawing his gun. Martin responds by tackling Zimmerman, who has been following him for the past few blocks. Zimmerman shoots Martin.

Variations:
1) Zimmerman shows the gun, but doesn't brandish it.

I guess I'm asking whether brandishing a gun can be thought of as starting a fight.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:44 AM
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The "gay panic" thing is ridiculous and beneath contempt as a theory. If Zimmerman's story (in 53) is true, of course it's self defense -- because Z didn't provoke the fight, but was unjustifiably assaulted. The question is whether or not that story alone is sufficient, when combined with the other evidence, to raise a reasonable doubt.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:46 AM
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M should have stuck a flower in the barrel of the gun.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:47 AM
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would you approach this differently if Zimmerman were a cop, if gswift were telling the story? It would still be tragic, but not a crime.

Zimmerman told the dispatch the guy "just walking around, looking about." That's doesn't meet the reasonable suspicion standard I would need to to initiate a non consensual stop. If I was on a call with that description and the subject tells me to pound sand and leaves I by law have to let him go. If I chased him and ending up shooting him I would be legally and professionally fucked.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:47 AM
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The thing about all this that makes no sense is that George Zimmerman is not a cracker.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:50 AM
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I don't understand 48. Shooting unarmed black people has always been a major purpose of gun ownership in the US, especially the south. It's why black people weren't allowed to own guns. Fortunately that's been on the decline over the past 50+ years. But I'm not sure how you see an increase in recent times.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:55 AM
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122 -- I'd certainly think that brandishing a gun could be seen as a threat sufficient to start a fight. But that's not Z's story -- he claimed to police (but won't testify) that Martin approached him, said "you got a problem," Z said "no" and then M said "you do now," and then M physically attacked Z and M reached for his gun first. I don't find that story reasonably plausible, but that's his story.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 11:55 AM
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127: Certainly none of the people who taught me shooting or gun safety (nearly all NRA members) ever wandered the streets deciding who was suspicious or ever spoke in a celebratory fashion about a shooting, even if they felt it justified.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:01 PM
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122 is close to about the only thing I think as provocation, brandishing a weapon.

Following someone down the sidewalk does not strike as ground to go whoopass on the old lady, but gswift says I'm justifed in attacking her.

But unarmed, rushing someone who is showing or brandishing a gun is nothing but stark raving batshit insane. You will die.

If I am gonna die, I want the gunshot in my back, and I would hit the dirt and grovel like a worm.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:03 PM
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You may as well take the bullet in the front if you have a choice. Your dogs will think more highly of you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:04 PM
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I watched a factory "fight" once.

The little guy had a big knife, was shaking, thrusting into the air, yelling insults.

The big ex-con was laughing, standing still, and would reach in and slap the knife-wielder every once in a while.

Could be Martin didn't think Z would or could use the gun. Machismo goes there sometimes.

I'm groveling.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:10 PM
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I guess I'm asking whether brandishing a gun can be thought of as starting a fight.

Definitely, especially if you're unjustifiably chasing someone who's trying to get away.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:11 PM
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Which is more likely to indicate machismo: self-induced armed patrolling or walking to the store for a snack?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:12 PM
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gswift says I'm justifed in attacking her

Haha, no.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:14 PM
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128: Right, that's not what he's claiming, but I'm not assuming he's telling the truth.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:14 PM
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I think one can believe `pervert' without leaping to `gay'. Domination can be the perversion, whether expressed sexually or not.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:22 PM
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My own uninformed guess is that Z, being under some half-baked impression that he was performing a citizens arrest and should therefore "detain the suspect", tried to prevent M from leaving, and that's what led to things getting physical.

The question then would be what counts as a provocation.

So "Pardon me young man, but I must request that you remain here until the proper authorities arrive." doesn't count.

How about grabbing M and holding on to him to keep him from leaving?

How about just physically blocking M's path when he tries to walk away?

You're walking down the street alone and some stranger first follows you in a car, then on foot, and then gets in front of you no matter which direction you try to walk in. Does that merit throwing a punch? How about just trying to push the guy out of the way? It seems like some one just trying to walk down the street isn't obliged to submit to unlimited bullshit from a complete stranger who could be serial killer for all they know, although Bob is counseling Zen like calm.

All this is complete speculation, but then Z's story sounds pretty sketchy.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:24 PM
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||

Culture that is Japan trolling

Dog of Flanders Revisited

But a more important factor is the cultural difference in the acceptance of sad endings," adds Didier. "Unlike the Japanese, we do not have the tradition of telling sad tales to our children."

One may see an extreme but interesting example in how Americans have adapted the story. According to Didier and An's research, there have been six different film versions of "A Dog of Flanders" in the U.S. since 1914, but none of them has a sad ending. American filmmakers always revise the tale into a "Happily-ever-after" story. Nello and Patrasche survive the cold winter night, Nello becomes a famous painter, marries his girlfriend Aloise...

It is a completely opposite approach from the Japanese animators who believed that the ending of the story was its most essential part and left it untouched.

"Americans think the original Patrasche story is just too harsh to confront children with," Didier speculates.

Huh. Japan aside, Why was the sad ending acceptable in 1872 Britain but not 20th Century America?

Do You Know Dog of Flanders ...but Part One was better

In 1982, Jan Corteel was working in his second year as a tourist officer in Antwerp. He can clearly remember the day when a young, tall Japanese boy came into his office at the Central Station. The boy asked him a question which would eventually change the rest of his life.

"A Dog of Flanders, do you know?" the boy inquired in odd English.

Jan was born and bred in Antwerp but had never heard of it. "

After 24 years of devotion to the story, Jan is now widely respected as an expert on Nello and Patrasche. Nobody thinks Jan is crazy anymore. Jan now has a Japanese wife, Yoshimi, whom he married five years ago. Having visited Japan 15 times, he can even explain the story to Japanese tourists in their own language.

.........

The Belgian daily Het Belang van Limburg reports that Jan Corteel has been arrested on Wednesday (23 January 2008) for the murder of his Japanese wife Yoshimi in their flat in Antwerp.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:27 PM
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134: what if the snack includes that super-manly new diet Dr. Pepper?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:30 PM
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138.1: I wouldn't call that uninformed. It may not be provable beyond a reasonable doubt, but I think that's the obvious reading of what happened. He's on tape saying, "Fucking punks. Those assholes, they always get away."

(Somebody should tell Althouse about the original meaning of the word "punk" so she add that to her theory.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:39 PM
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Maybe the problem is that Martin gave Zimmerman a clenched fist salute rather than a peace sign.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:47 PM
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but I think that's the obvious reading of what happened

Even down to the exact words Z spoke.

You people are so smart. I don't know what happened in the courtyard.

Dog of Flanders trollin may be tangential to topic, in that Americans demand good guys and bad guys, either happy endings or we-want-justice-goddamnit, somebody died, got to be a crime here somewhere.

Way too much cop and crime television.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:48 PM
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139: That is fascinating! I'd never heard of the Dog of Flanders story.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:48 PM
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126: The thing about all this that makes no sense is that George Zimmerman is not a cracker.

Anybody else I'd assume they were joking. But the over-reading of the cracker reference is one of the many infuriating things about people's response to this thing. Who the fuck knows to what extent Martin could even see anything about Zimmerman other than that he was following him at that point. And shortly afterwards he refers to him as a "nigga". Teenager on his motherfucking cellphone narrating a weird situation to his friend. Who the fuck even knows or cares? If you're joking I rescind my annoyance.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:52 PM
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143: Se registran las llamadas al 911. ¿Y por qué supongo que soy americano?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 12:53 PM
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Wasn't there some debate over whether the provocation exception to the stand-your-ground defense needed reasonable doubt to be applied? Or was that just the stand-your-ground defense?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:01 PM
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The defense has steered completely away from stand-your-ground and is going on regular self-defense.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:03 PM
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Ah, thanks.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:05 PM
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De nada.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:10 PM
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You're walking down the street alone and some stranger first follows you in a car, then on foot, and then gets in front of you no matter which direction you try to walk in. Does that merit throwing a punch? How about just trying to push the guy out of the way?

Probably, and yes, respectively. I'd certainly assume the person was trying to start a fight, or was about to physically assault me in some way, and while I might (qua older, slower, more-feartie) not actually start throwing punches, I can see how the situation could justifiably provoke someone into it. If i was 17, almost certainly I'd be throwing punches or something, and then running away.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:15 PM
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This looks like the Knockout game to me:

http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/05/14/200983/an-evening-on-the-beltway-yuengling-and-minor-assault-circuit/


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:15 PM
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Starting to catch up on the thread: PGD is Ann Althouse? My god, I had no idea!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:17 PM
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152: There are, of course, real, rare examples. Some guy in St. Louis was killed a few years ago when he hit his head on the sidewalk.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:27 PM
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Super bad for you.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:28 PM
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152: I think you're supposed to be able to knock them down in one hit and they were kicking ygles. Either they sucked or he has a very hard head.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:32 PM
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156: Who among us has not wanted to kick Yggles on occasion?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:41 PM
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Maybe they really wanted a Van Heusen oxford?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:42 PM
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"Unlike the Japanese, we do not have the tradition of telling sad tales to our children."

OMG so true. I can't think of any sad tales told to children in the U.S., except "Jesus consoles Hannah over the loss of her iPad," which is only sad because Jesus dies.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:44 PM
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158: I prefer to think that they were exacting (harsh but fair) punitive measures for his crappy book titles and article headlines.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 1:50 PM
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||

Am I nuts to be bothered by people who send e-mails with a subject line consisting of simply their own names? It seems bizarre to me, but it happens regularly enough that it's definitely common practice among some (English-speaking American) people.

E.g.: Subject: John Smith

John, I can see that it's from you! Your name is *in* your e-mail address! Your subject line tells me nothing about why you are contacting me or how this message is different from any other message you've sent me.

Argh. I don't get it.

||>


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 2:21 PM
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They probably actually licked him but you know Yggles and his typos.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 2:24 PM
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Huh, I've only ever seen 161 in non-native English speaker emails.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 2:25 PM
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Witt, that is very odd and obnoxious. I don't think I've seen it from a native English speaker. Then again, I often get e-mail where the subject line is the entire message.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 2:29 PM
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I get students putting only their name in the subject line all the time. I once complained about it to a colleague and she said "Oh, I definitely ask my students to do that, and penalize them if they don't"

Me: You *make* them put their name in the subject line?

Colleague: Yes, I hate not knowing who email is from, and I know most people feel the same way. It is about teaching the norms of professional communication.

Me: But you can already see their name! Its in the email address field!

Colleague: Yes, but their name needs to be a place I can see it.

Me: But you can see it!

Colleague: Our students need to know this is not like texting your friends.

Me: [gives up]


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 2:52 PM
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I actually rank that as one of the top three frustrating exchanges I've ever had with a colleague.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 2:54 PM
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Holy cats.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 2:59 PM
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Wow. OK, at least I know where some of them are getting it from. (The others are in their 50s/60s and I don't think they are in college now.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:01 PM
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Well if it's not in the subject line you probably can't search or sort by sender either!
Wait, what is sorting? It just comes in when they send it and you can't go back once it scrolls off the screen, right?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:02 PM
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165 explains a lot about popular GUIs. Argh.

I'm kind of agin' salutations on the first line of the text-- I figure I know what key it's in by the address it's sent to. Lost that norm a long time ago, along with sending one-liners in the subject terminated with '[eom]'.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:13 PM
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165: that is fucking nutso.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:14 PM
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I am really seriously ashamed that my immediate reaction to 152 was 157. In reality I don't want to physically assault Yglesias and am sorry that happened to him. [devil voice] Still, it happened literally on the way from McMegan's home [/devil voice]. OK, but I still don't want him to get assaulted. [devil voice]But maybe one harmless kick if done in the right way wouldn't be so bad I mean come on it's Yglesias that preposterous too many stuffed eggs into a Van Heusen shirt motherfucker[/devil voice]? No, that is bad, like seriously affirmatively evil, what the hell is wrong with you and what happened, violence is not OK. Goddamn it I need to get off the internet and start praying.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:18 PM
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165 is just beyond everything. Wow.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:18 PM
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172: This comment fails to express the singleminded strength of purpose we associate with Halfordismo.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:22 PM
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Good point, but one of the tenets of Halfordismo is that comments like that are unacceptable. Crocodiles!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:36 PM
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Metaphoric crocodiles? Balancing delusional life and real life is fucking difficult, especially when you're a god-emperor in your delusional life.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:39 PM
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Happy slapping was definitely a non-urban-mythic 'thing' here.

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

I've been on the receiving end of a minor (not for the purposes of phone video) version of it myself, where a couple of kids* slammed me into a wall for a laugh.

* literal kids, as in 'Matt would go to jail for a long time if he battered fuck out of them'. Maybe 12 years old.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:50 PM
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Balancing delusional life and real life is fucking difficult, especially when you're a god-emperor in your delusional life.

Note to self: Investigate career path out of middle-management priest-king role.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:54 PM
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165, I hope the body is hidden somewhere it will never be found.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 3:57 PM
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re: 179

Surely impaled on a spike as a warning to others?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:01 PM
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I'm kind of agin' salutations on the first line of the text-- I figure I know what key it's in by the address it's sent to.

I'm happy to skip salutations with people that I e-mail regularly, but I definitely use them if I'm e-mailing somebody I don't know well -- it feels like erring on the side of formality.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:02 PM
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I always begin emails by randomly punching people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:03 PM
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re: 181

Yeah. I tend to be fairly formal, not least because I deal with snooty academics.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:04 PM
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180, only if rob h-c was discreet about his grudge.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:09 PM
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I used to caption random e-mails "Hail Satan," but I tend to use that in valediction these days.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:15 PM
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* literal kids, as in 'Matt would go to jail for a long time if he battered fuck out of them'. Maybe 12 years old.

Not if the right cop shows up. "Don't start none won't be none" is a life lesson all need to learn. Often teenagers and their idiot parents don't like hearing it when their little precious goes looking for a fight and finds one, but too fucking bad.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:19 PM
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Then again, I often get e-mail where the subject line is the entire message.

I may have mentioned my favorite in this genre before: "best I found--lost the link but you can find".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:30 PM
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183

According to a colleague, that formality can backfire. After sending a long and polite email asking a professor for something, he got back an email berating him for not getting to the point more quickly and wasting his precious time.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:31 PM
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re: 186

I absolutely wouldn't want to rely on that. It was a few years ago [8 or 9 maybe] and I was in pretty good shape. It'd have looked like an absurd instance of bullying/assault on my part. I'd bet the little fuckers would have had a story, and stuck to it.

At school, however, a couple of times I did mete out fairly heavy retribution to want-to-be bullies who thought I was a soft touch. The reactions from teachers were all variations on "Don't start none won't be none" to the wannabes when they were required to intervene.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:31 PM
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165: I think you just don't understand how e-mail works.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:33 PM
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re: 188

I just open with, 'Dear Dr/Professor/High-muckety-muck So-and-So', get to the point and then close with a polite thanks. I don't go in for lengthy obfuscatory politeness. But I do make sure I use a proper salutation, and close with a thank you.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:34 PM
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You grand exalted high worshipfulness, loving master and wise sage to all that s/he may survey on this, God's creation,

You could put it in Dropbox, maybe?

Salutations,
ttaM


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:38 PM
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re: 192

That is freakishly close.
---
Dear He-about-whom-all-things-rotate,

I'd prefer you not change the metadata structure, and all the field names, each time you send us the data.

Thanks be upon thee,

Yours,

Matt


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:43 PM
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145 is uncharitable.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 4:51 PM
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152/177: We get a fair amount of that sort of thing in the student shopping district and on the main bike path here. Seems to be more older fellows - 18 to 25 cohort - than little kids though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 5:07 PM
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188, that seems self-defeating. Writing back to tell someone they are wasting your time? Why not just read the first paragraph and assume the rest is useless blather like everyone else?

Dear Prof Surname Fancytitle,

It appears you have sent me a dataset where you sorted one column independently of the rest of the data. Do you have a previous version?

Your brilliance continues to astound.
Thanks in advance,
me


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 5:09 PM
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68: Actually, I should think that if one and one's pistol are engaged in that activity, one ought have one's guard up more than usual. At least the safety should be on!


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 5:38 PM
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57: The vast majority of gun owners could be responsible and there could still be a lot of stupid uses of guns.

Probably about 50 million Americans are lawful gun owners. Let's be conservative and say 10 million. If 1 in 500 of them are wackos who go looking for trouble, that makes 20,000 wackos who go looking for trouble. If a lawfully gun-owning wacko who goes looking for trouble finds it approximately 1 year out of every 50 that makes for 400 incidents per year in the US involving a wacko lawful gun owner looking for trouble.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 5:44 PM
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Probably about 9 million Americans are millionaires. About 43 million Americans are dog owners. And there are about 200,000 beekeepers in the US. If 1% of millionaires who are dog owners and also beekeepers loose their dogs with bees in their mouths and when the dogs bark the bees fly out and sting you 1 out of ever 10 years, that would be far too many such incidents for me to feel comfortable around millionaires.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 5:56 PM
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Does anyone else think it's a bit odd to get work email that starts out with the recipient's name, without "Dear" or "Hi" or anything else preceding it? Like this:

Torrey,

I read your notes and blah blah blah...

To me it always sounds slightly off, because I read it as being intimate, like you're about to unburden your heart or something. But maybe this is just how the Modern Workplace communicates?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:24 PM
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I'm always a little weirded out by "Dear" in professional communications. So I use "Hi" or "Hello."

What's really irritating is doing business with men named "Guy," because you invariably wind up saying "Hi Guy" and sounding like Satan in the South Park movie.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:28 PM
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200, my boss uses either W or Wen, not even my whole first name.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:39 PM
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Some of my professors would sign their emails like that: -d.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:50 PM
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199: I don't think P(millionaire) and P(beekeeper) are independent.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 6:55 PM
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But the important thing is that the majority of millionaires could be non-beekeepers, and the majority of millionaire beekeepers could not own dogs, and still everyone could have a story about someone they know being attacked by bee-barking dogs.

Basically it doesn't take a whole lot of wacko gun owners to cause a lot of problems.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:01 PM
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194: 145 is uncharitable.

Yes, it is.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:03 PM
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urple doesn't need our charity. He can eat anything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:09 PM
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All these comments about beekeepers really mean to be about beelickers, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:13 PM
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I think the only time I've ever sent anyone an email beginning "Dear Professor [X]", it was a snarky message to a friend who just got a faculty job.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:25 PM
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Subject: GUY


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:27 PM
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I think the only time I've ever sent anyone an email beginning "Dear Professor [X]", it was a snarky message to a friend who just got a faculty job at a school for mutants he started.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:32 PM
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Yeah, usually it would be "Yo Chuck," although one rarely sends emails to someone who can read your thoughts.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 7:33 PM
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203: Sigs and addresses are like heraldry: very short simple ones are often the oldest. Which is in itself no more a sign of virtue in email than in arms.

Still, all the lots-of-duplicated-info new norms, although perfectly reasonably polite, as in 188, feel sort of like 165 to me. Duplicating information! Message could be internally contradictory! ....How can you resist sending email to the 165 person with *their* name as the subject line?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-10-13 8:58 PM
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very short simple ones are often the oldest.

My dad could remember having to sign all external letters at work, "I have the honour to remain, sir/madam, your humble and obedient servant, [Name]". This suggests that at least the oldest are not very short simple ones.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 2:01 AM
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I really like all the French formal letter expressions, as part of what I generally like about French, which is that it feels like a totally artificial language the use of which is an utterly ridiculous game to be played as straight-facedly as possible (no offense, French people, I know this is just about my attitude and not something in the language itself).
"Veuillez agréer, Madame, l'assurance de mes sentiments distingués". Hilarious!


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 3:36 AM
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Sigs and addresses are like heraldry: very short simple ones are often the oldest.

And they both follow an arcane code of rules and taboos which are fully comprehensible only to a small elite of scornful geeky men, most of whom have beards.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 3:39 AM
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a small elite of scornful geeky men, most of whom have beards.

Up to a point. Lyon King of Arms currently has a beard, and Norroy a mustache, but Garter and Clarenceaux are both clean shaven.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 3:45 AM
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There must be a Lyon King of Arms/"Simba, you have forgotten me" joke but it is eluding me.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 3:54 AM
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I was thinking more along the lines of the mediaeval re-enactment lot. The current Lord Lyon King of Arms, though admittedly bearded (and a bit geeky, truth be told), is a perfectly nice chap and not scornful in the least - I've met him.

Be warned that he still has the power to imprison you for not paying your £100 fine for unlicenced armigery:
" vnder the pane of ane hundreth pundis to the vse of the said lyoun and his brether herauldis And failyeing of payment thairof That thay be incarcerat in the narrest prissone Thairin to remane vpoun thair awin chargis during the plesur of the said Lyoun" - Lyon King of Arms Act 1592, still in force as far as I can tell.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 4:30 AM
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219.2. How did the Scottish Law Commission miss that last time they trawled for obsolete statutes to repeal?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 5:20 AM
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I think happy-slapping was a thing purely because cameraphones became common in the UK before tasers.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 5:28 AM
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I had not appreciated the scope of heraldry in the RCC. Every bishop has his own personal coat of arms?

Also, known coats of arms of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (John Hancock's seems to be a pun).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 5:37 AM
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re: 220

Looking at wiki, it's far from obsolete. The Lyon Court apparently meets regularly and is active. It even has its own dedicated Procurator Fiscal.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 5:37 AM
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222: It cracked me up when I first found out that the US flag is derived from Washington's coat of arms. It makes it look so cheesily patriotic, or like Captain America or something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 5:42 AM
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What a winning career in heraldry looks like: In 1978 he was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant. In 1982 he was promoted to Somerset Herald. He held this office until his appointment as Norroy and Ulster in 1997. ...Woodcock was appointed the Garter Principal King of Arms on 1 April 2010.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 5:47 AM
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224: The Washington Heralds.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 5:49 AM
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Rouge Croix Pursuivant.
And this looks like a elaborate way of calling a lawyer an ambulance-chaser.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:09 AM
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Nice one 227.

The obsolete bit was presumably the fact that it was a capital offence to touch the Lord Lyon King of Arms (though the last person to be put to death for this was some time in the 1500s).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:24 AM
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||
The headline goes quite well with the graphic.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:32 AM
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the fact that it was a capital offence to touch the Lord Lyon King of Arms

Must have made life a bit tricky for his wife.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:52 AM
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224: Is that true? Washington DC's flag is certainly derived from Washington's coat of arms (and possibly from symbols associated with Washington in Northeast England) but I thought the stripes of the flag were probably due to the flag of the East India Company. The use of the Grand Union Flag predates the hero-worship of Washington.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:14 AM
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222: John Hancock's seems to be a pun

Unfogged follows a distinguished tradition of cock jokes.

(Given your description, though, the actual coat-of-arms was disappointing.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:17 AM
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Tangentially: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_of_Chivalry

"The court was last convened in 1954 for the case of Manchester Corporation v Manchester Palace of Varieties Ltd [1955] P 133; [1955] 1 All ER 387; prior to this, the Court had not sat for some centuries and before hearing the case, the Court first had to rule whether it still existed"


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:31 AM
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"Veuillez agréer, Madame, l'assurance de mes sentiments distingués"

This silliness remains in diplomatic correspondence. Frickin' every bilateral communication closes with something like "The Ministry of ___________ avails itself of this opportunity to renew
to the Permanent Mission of ___________ the assurances of its highest consideration." WTF does that even mean?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:39 AM
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224: On googling, I doubt that it is true. I 'learned' this ages ago (high school, maybe?) and the coat of arms whatever my source was had for Washington was much closer to the flag than Washington's coat of arms as according to Wikipedia actually is. The version I remember was white stars on blue in the top half, and vertical red and white stripes in the bottom -- too close to the flag to be a coincidence -- while the real one is three red stars over two horizontal red stripes, which could perfectly well be coincidental.

There goes one entertaining myth I had stuck in my head.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:55 AM
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234: It means "we still like you."


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:56 AM
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"The court was last convened in 1954 for the case of Manchester Corporation v Manchester Palace of Varieties Ltd [1955] P 133; [1955] 1 All ER 387; prior to this, the Court had not sat for some centuries and before hearing the case, the Court first had to rule whether it still existed"

"My lord, on behalf of the Manchester Palace of Varieties, I claim my ancient right in the Court of Chivalry and challenge Alderman Fisher to trial by combat!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:57 AM
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The graphic in 229 is truly outstanding.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 8:01 AM
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In an attempt circle back to the OP (title), Teacher's arms. Or these.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 8:06 AM
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235: I think it's pretty amusing that our flag apparently took its inspiration from one of the 18th century's strongest examples of both colonialism and capitalism (never mind that it was a symbol of our former overlords). That's America for you.

If you need an entertaining myth, maybe we can start one: the Washington family motto is "taxation without representation."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 8:15 AM
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while the real one is three red stars over two horizontal red stripes, which could perfectly well be coincidental.

Was the reference not to this flag?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 8:30 AM
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234: no, means "yes, what? no, no, we are still listening, what did you say?"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 8:30 AM
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No, I'd been informed, or saw somewhere, or something, an incorrect coat of arms for Washington that was pretty close to the US flag. I'd never seen the DC flag, and you're right that that seems obviously to be derived from Washington's actual coat of arms.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 8:32 AM
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214: In email? Though I see I didn't specify `email sigs and addresses' and should have.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 10:58 AM
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There weren't many emails when he retired in 1972.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 11:01 AM
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That's OK, I'm sure people expressed their appreciation for his career in other ways.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 11:04 AM
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I recently learned that the coat of arms of one branch of my family actually dates back to when they were an armigerous scottish border clan. Distant ancestors presumably bore that standard as they... well, it sounds like they mostly stole other, less well-armed people's sheep, unfortunately.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 11:23 AM
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less well-armed people's sheep

That's what happens when you don't put a ribbon the ones that bite and kick.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 11:30 AM
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233 is so so great.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 11:34 AM
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Though really the Court of Chivalry should be seeing a boomlet these days. In a trademark-oriented world, those coats of arms have a lot of potential value, and the Court of Chivalry could be a nicely powerful enforcement forum.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 11:35 AM
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If you want to read 250 as my invitation to practice before, or possibly be appointed as chief judge of, the Court of Chivalry, that's fine by me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 11:37 AM
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229: Every graphic designer ever has tried to sneak a cock joke into their designs. Not that this one was particularly sneaky.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 11:58 AM
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My finest moment in graphic design was when I set myself the goal of designing a logo that was 1. a representation of an asshole that 2. would get printed in wired, and succeeded. I do not, admittedly, have that many other moments in graphic design so maybe it just wins by default.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:04 PM
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253: An event later immortalized as an episode of Community.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:20 PM
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253: You'll have to link that. Googling only gets me this.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:22 PM
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Oh yeah, I'd forgotten that. Mine was better, if more nineties.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:23 PM
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255: Here's the logo on a t-shirt, and here's the picture in wired of a bunch of us wearing that shirt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:24 PM
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That's not even subtle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:26 PM
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Although, given the name, I suppose you didn't really have the option to try subtle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:30 PM
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Just subtle enough to not be censored was really the goal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:31 PM
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Also it's made out of the capital O in the font I used for the logo so, you know, Design.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:32 PM
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I happened to click the second link first, and the Mighty Mouse t-shirt is far more visible than the others, so I thought, "Hmmm, yes, that's kind of suggestive now that you mention it, but I'm not at all surprised you got away with it."


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:39 PM
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Also, one woman? And she's literally draped across men?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:42 PM
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263: Are you asking Sifu for a public apology?

Something like, "When I was young and foolish...."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:44 PM
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No. Just saying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:46 PM
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Every graphic designer ever has tried to sneak a cock joke into their designs.

Sometimes it's not even intentional.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:50 PM
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266: I wasn't that shameless.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 12:51 PM
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here's the picture in wired of a bunch of us wearing that shirt.

At first glance I was thinking "but wait, Sifu isn't in that photo", but then "ah, right, add some facial hair... yeah, that makes sense".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 1:52 PM
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What was it like hanging out with The Plague, Cereal Killer, and Joey?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 2:20 PM
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Is there, or has there been, an *international* court of chivalry? All the authorities cited in the Wikipedia article seem to be one or a few nations. (Short answer: Direct combat!)

Also, why abolish the tax on personal arms? Seems like as good a source of vanity-based state revenue as vanity licence plates. And we could might maybe come up with a formal unique description of arms suitable for mechanically determining uniqueness. Hah, someone's started!

Also also, the history of heraldry in Italy looks like one delicious mulligatawny.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 2:37 PM
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253: I set myself the goal of designing a logo that was 1. a representation of an asshole

Ah, so is that why you recognized that it was an asshole (Vonnegut's version from BoC) that I drew when we were on the meetup hangout.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 2:57 PM
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Atomic heraldry.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 4:11 PM
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271: that was definitely my inspiration.

269: at an earlier hacker con (the first HOPE) they took pictures of the dude wearing the shirt with flames on it as part of their wardrobe research for that movie. He wasn't wearing a flaming shirt at the time. He was wearing a jumpsuit with flames on it, and had a mohawk and a chip glued to his forehead. So it's his fault, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:21 PM
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Also another dude I know was alleged to have hooked up with Angelina Jolie at the premiere (they invited a bunch of the NYC hackers who they had consulted on the movie) but the prior on that being a lie is extremely strong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:38 PM
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I could swear I posted this comment earlier, but:

271 Ah, so is that why you recognized that it was an asshole

Everyone always recognizes an asshole, except some people at times when looking in a mirror.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:41 PM
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In the course of googling instructions for drawing an asshole, who should appear but Meekins!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:46 PM
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Image search for "how to draw an asshole" turns up surprisingly few (that is, none that I saw) actual drawings of assholes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:49 PM
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275: Everyone always recognizes an asshole, except some people at times when looking in a mirror.

Like when the person you went home with is standing behind you in the bathroom.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 6:57 PM
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Ratzinger had an... interesting coat of arms as Cardinal -- a pretty good indicator that he was *not* going to be His Holiness Sensitive Progressive Outreach, if anybody cared.


Posted by: millicent friendly | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:18 PM
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277: Well, I mean, it's not very difficult.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-11-13 7:40 PM
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Also, why abolish the tax on personal arms? Seems like as good a source of vanity-based state revenue as vanity licence plates.

I don't think they have. My father had to pay a one-off charge for his, and they're basically just my grandfather's with a label of cadency. Must have taken the Lord Lyon about 5 minutes to do.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-12-13 1:25 AM
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Wikipedia implied that there used to be an annual fee, and roving inspectors checking up on it. (The inspectors, not for some centuries.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-12-13 10:32 AM
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