Re: Friendster

1

I like how they found the wine glass intact at the end.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 10:56 AM
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There's a lesson here about why you should drink quality wine.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 10:57 AM
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Fewer guns! More wine!


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 10:59 AM
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Bleeding heart liberals: better at crime prevention than gun-wielding law and order types.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:00 AM
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Crap, pwned by Nakku. I hate you, Nakku.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:00 AM
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This is like some liberal gun-control fantasy:

"Well, I bet if someone broke into your house, you'd want a gun."

"No, you give most people a glass of wine and a hug, and they realize we're all one big family."

But it's true!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:01 AM
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I'm astonished the guy had the presence of mind (or the stones) to respond with an offer of wine. Maybe he took inspiration from this lady.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:04 AM
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Arms are for hugging.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:05 AM
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9

The person who offered the wine was a woman.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:05 AM
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What about where he says "I must have the wrong house"? This guy sounds seriously delusional to me.

Even nobody got hurt this time--although I suspect the 14-year-old might suffer some lingering effects of having a gun at her head in such an apparently-safe setting--we've still got this lunatic wandering around with his gun, looking for the right house.


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:07 AM
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A woman named "Cha Cha."


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:07 AM
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The person who offered the wine was a woman

...thus making the possession of stones even more remarkable


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:07 AM
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I hate you, Nakku.
Somebody needs some wine, and a hug.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:08 AM
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10: lunatic? Or diamond in the rough?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:09 AM
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10: Having a gun shoved in your face at that age doesn't have t be particularly lingering. I agree the comment suggests he still wanted to rip someone off, just not these people. He's got problems --- but we already knew that.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:10 AM
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10: Obviously that whole "I've got the wrong house" thing is merely a polite excuse to excuse himself.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:10 AM
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All we need is love. Love. Love is all we need.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:10 AM
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13: Wine and a hug would be awesome. Could you also get my husband to stop nagging me before I've finished my coffee?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:11 AM
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i still remember one of the first pre-sentence reports I ever received (for a felony client).

Dad was in the penitentary. One brother was dead. Another in jail. Mom just got out. Sister was a multiple felony.

Looking at her family life was liking seeing a big funnel to where she was then.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:13 AM
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Mama's in the graveyard, Papa's in the penn.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:14 AM
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20: well, gosh, with a dad in the Ivy League you'd think the prospects for the kid would be at least okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:16 AM
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15, 16: Seems to me there are two ways to read the "wrong house" bit. One is soub's, that he rationally wanted to rob somebody, but then these people turned out to be nice. My preferred interpretation is that he was actually in the grip of a delusion, and this behavior was so unexpected as to jar him out of it, rendering him totally confused. I picture lots of blinking and occasional shakes of the head accompanying that statement. As for polite excuses, I'm unconvinced.

I'm all in favor of the lady defusing the situation through hospitality--seriously. And it may be best that nobody snuck up behind him while he was distracted by the camembert and held him down until the cops showed up. Maybe. But if we assume the guy isn't actually a committed criminal (in which case, yes arrest him immediately), then he needs help and shouldn't be sent out into the streets again. The wine and the hugs were good for him, sure, but their effects may fade.


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:18 AM
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2- Indeed- if it had been 3 buck chuck they'd all be dead and raped.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:18 AM
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21:

You must have never been to Penn.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:18 AM
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16: "I've got the wrong house" is the new "Gotta go talk to a man about a dog".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:21 AM
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we've still got this lunatic wandering around with his gun, looking for the right house.

Are you saying that he ought to be in the wrong house? Because that's nuts! Nuts! Right houses for everyone!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:25 AM
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My theory is that the house RIGHT NEXT DOOR was owned by a drug lord and made out of goldplatinumdiamonds. There is as much textual support for my theory as for that in 22.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:25 AM
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Let me guess, papa was a good'n but the jealous type?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:26 AM
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Right house typically means "Not a white person's house."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:29 AM
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test


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:32 AM
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27: Textual support, nice. From text, too.

I conclude that he was confused partly because the story says the fingerprints haven't yet led to an arrest. Or is the new theory that this was an accepted way to enter the party at the drug lord's house, so no violence ensued/nobody reported it?

Oh wait, the drug lord's not likely to call the cops, is he? Well played, text, well played.

29: for some reason I also assumed (non-textually! Ahh!) that this was a swanky-white neighborhood. Any DC-ers fill me in on the 1300 block of Constitution Ave NE? The story says it's on Capitol Hill...


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:32 AM
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Arms are for mashing.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:33 AM
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nice, MYB. I guess what I mean is, why pick the least charitable interpretation possible? Isn't it more likely that the guy just had a change of heart?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:36 AM
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34

33 written by con-text.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:40 AM
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Is there a more charitable interpretation? I thought I was being nice by considering the guy criminally sick instead of just plain criminal. B's theory, which I assume was tongue-in-cheek, supposes a robber who is desperate/committed enough that he pulls his gun on a child and then, when offered wine, says "whoops, sorry!" I see that behavior, I think crazy.

So, yeah, I'm open to other suggestions about how this can be read--the part I expected people might disagree with wasn't my figuring the guy's a loon, but my criticizing the bleeding-heart huggy wine people (who did, to be fair, prevent their daughter from getting shot in the head, so good on them for that) for letting him go.


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:45 AM
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Everyone knows that all robbers are heartless bastards who would just as soon shoot you as to drink your wine.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:46 AM
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37

It just show that politeness and hospitality conquer all.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:48 AM
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37: I was once burglarized (and my roommate assaulted) by a very slight acquaintance who felt that I had been rude when I failed to offer him food when he barged in one night uninvited and hungry. Rudeness is never acceptable!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:49 AM
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39

I shot a man in Reno, just to drink his wine.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:51 AM
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Rudeness is never acceptable!

I agree, but I'm torn: should this behavior be considered rude, or just playful?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:55 AM
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41

Disarmed by a Troisième Cru? What a plebe.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:58 AM
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42

Carolina was the place that gave us Beverly Russell and Sharon Smith, right?

(Two Carolinas? Are you serious? Thr idea makes my head hurt.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 11:59 AM
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But civilians "letting the criminal go" is exactly what cops tell you to do - don't fuck with a criminal, even if you don't think he's armed. One night I woke up to see some guy breaking into my MIL's car (she was staying with us). I called the cops, and they kept telling me to stay in my house, even if he started to leave before they got there.

Now, perhaps they should have offered him more wine, but maybe they weren't willing to invest that much - any estimates on the cost of Chateau Whatever?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:00 PM
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44

Apo is correct. This was not the time to offer him Mad Dog 20/20.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:02 PM
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43: Recent vintage, 60 bucks.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:05 PM
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42: That was the other Carolina. We're the ones who sent the folks up to protest the Hindu chaplain delivering the Senate invocation the other day.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:09 PM
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(re 23) It's now three buck chuck?! Man. Too rich for my blood.


Posted by: Moira | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:10 PM
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MYB, I disagreed with both parts of the comment. There are probably a lot of criminals who are just a hair trigger away from not committing crimes, this was one of them, and it worked out in an unexpected way. It's probably unsettling to think that the lines are this blurry, but they are.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:13 PM
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But civilians "letting the criminal go" is exactly what cops tell you to do - don't fuck with a criminal, even if you don't think he's armed.

Sure, and I'm not sure the cops are wrong to give that instruction. Make sure nobody gets unnecessarily hurt is the first priority, and then worry about catching the criminal after everybody's safe.

The position from which I've been arguing, though, calls proponents of that view a bunch of pussies and blames them (you? us? gays? liberals. that's it. liberals) for everything that's wrong with society today. See, if more criminals just had the fear of God in them and knew that if they gatecrashed a swanky party on Capitol Hill they'd find themselves looking at the business end of a .45, well, then maybe crime rates would go down overall. Because if there's one thing this guy can teach us about criminals, it's that they're rational actors who take account of all the risks associated with any course of action before they decide what to do. Or something.

So maybe trying to hold the guy down when he's crazy and he's got a gun isn't the best idea. But couldn't they have tried to talk about his problems with him? He reached out to them, asking for that group hug, and then they just let him walk out the door. Where's the love, people?


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:26 PM
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50

30:
test

well? are you waiting for a hug too?


Posted by: Peter | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:26 PM
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51

I think that we should hear the gunman's side of the story before we leap to any conclusions.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:27 PM
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There are probably a lot of criminals who are just a hair trigger away from not committing crimes [...] It's probably unsettling to think that the lines are this blurry, but they are.

Yeah, I think that recidivism studies and the loss of belief in rehabilitation have poisoned thinking on these lines.

Here, to me, is the clear evidence that we've confused cause and effect, and that (most) criminals are made, not born: we're up to, what, 1% of the entire US population in prison? Statistics make it quite clear that most of these will commit more crimes and spend more time in prison. But we know that a huge portion of these people wouldn't be in prison at all if not for our fucked-up drug laws. And, since the imprisoned percentage used to be so much lower, we also know - or have a pretty good idea - that 1% of the populace is not inherently criminal.

IOW, we as a society are choosing to create more criminals by criminalizing near-harmless behavior and then placing these "criminals" into finishing schools with experienced felons. (any analogy with terrorists and Iraq is actually coincidental, but probably apt)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:29 PM
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53

That's not a very swanky part of Capitol Hill.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:34 PM
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54

That's what she said.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:35 PM
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55

Zing!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:35 PM
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#40. Very rude. Etiquette demands that the legislator first offer the blower/blowee some nominal gratuity.

"I must have the wrong house"

Once, at 6AM, in nothing but my shorts, when I confronted the guy who'd just broken into my house by waving a fireplace poker and screaming like a lunatic, he said the same thing "Sorry. I must have the wrong house."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:42 PM
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This is actually a paradigmatic Washington DC story, where some of the worst, most violent neighborhoods in the country are right up against some of the wealthiest and most gentrified populations.

since the imprisoned percentage used to be so much lower, we also know - or have a pretty good idea - that 1% of the populace is not inherently criminal.

I don't know what you mean by "inherently criminal". The imprisoned percentage used to be a lot lower, but the violent crime rate also used to be a lot higher. The increase in imprisonment is a delayed response to an explosion in violent crime that occurred starting in the early 60s.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 12:49 PM
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The idea of "inherently criminal" is coming out of 48's response to MYB. That maybe (not likely, but this is for the sake of discussion) this guy really wasn't much of a criminal, and might not simply go one block over to perform the robbery he was weirded out of by the Crazy White People.

As for crime & prison rates, you're right, but I was thinking over the past 100 years, not just the past 30-40. We've never felt the need to imprison 1% of the population before, not because people used to like criminals more, but because we defined the criminal class differently. The relationship between Civil Rights and black prison rates (emancipated blacks are scary, throw them in jail) is important but not, I think, critical to my hypothesis.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:02 PM
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52. is right, too many people in jail is a big problem in the US, and rarely discussed reasonably. Which democratic candidate is most courageous in supporting unpopular legislation to change this?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:02 PM
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59: Not sure about the Dems, but on the other side, you gotta give Sam Brownback some credit for taking tentative rhetorical steps in the right direction


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:12 PM
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Imprisonment in the U.S. is more a state than Federal issue. A lot of states are buckling under the burden of prison costs and looking for ways to keep non-violent criminals out of prison. I think the war on drugs is terrible public policy. But generally people like first time non-violent drug offenders are very unlikely to end up in prison, unless they are dealers.

I think most people are a little less concerned with how people become violent criminals than the fact that they are violent criminals. Someone who would pull a gun in a garden party is an extremely dangerous person, however they got that way and whatever the result of this particular incident. This society has higher levels of lethal violence than any other major industrialized country. It's very important to address the "root causes" of this, but it's even more important to protect law-abiding citizens from the fallout.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:12 PM
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Edwards doesn't really address it on the poverty policy section of his website , but he's proposed some anti-war-on-drugs changes as part of his anti-poverty proposals here and here.

I wish he had the courage to be more up-front about it, but at least it's there.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:24 PM
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63

62 to 59.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:24 PM
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The increase in imprisonment is a delayed response to an explosion in violent crime that occurred starting in the early 60s.

It's much more than that. Among other things (see 58), it's the result of a system that profits from incarceration, i.e., the prison-industrial complex.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:34 PM
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Why is my theory insane? Guy breaks into party to rob it, grabs first available person, tries to intimidate everyone into handing over their wallets so he can make a quick getaway. He's tense and hyped up. Party guests freeze, then calmly treat him politely, which surprises him and leads him to relax a bit while still thinking they're being compliant. He sips some wine, they continue to be polite to him, the entire situation calms down a little bit and he starts to feel like a dick, so he says "I must have the wrong house" (i.e., "you seem like nice people, I don't want to rob you any more") and leaves.

It doesn't mean he's crazy. It means that being calm around people who are all pumped up with adrenalin is a good way of defusing a tense situation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:41 PM
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It means that being calm around people who are all pumped up with adrenalin is a good way of defusing a tense situation.

Now that is a good point. The wine and cheese were most likely irrelevant.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:47 PM
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Which democratic candidate is most courageous in supporting unpopular legislation to change this?

I wouldn't call him reasonable, exactly, but Mike Gravel has certainly been outspoken in his opposition to the war on drugs policies.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:50 PM
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23: Ah, but if they'd offered him the Two-buck Chuck 2005 Chardonnay, they could have mentioned that it recently won a gold medal. 'See - we're giving you good cheap wine!'


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:50 PM
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When I was mugged in Atlanta by two guys who were poking knives into my abdomen, I was pretty much in an otherworldly mental space while I was getting out my wallet. They just took my cash and handed me back my wallet, telling me to look at the ground. Ok. But then I had a really odd disassociative moment because I suddenly thought to myself, I don't have fare for the MARTA or even any money to call my friend to come get me. So as they were getting ready to move away, I said, "Hey, could I have a bit of money back to call a friend or catch a cab or something," in the tone of voice I might have used to ask my mom for a bit of money for the movies when I was a teenager. They sort of looked at me uncertainly for a second--they were young, but I can't really see them in my mind beyond that--and one guy said, "Sure, man, no problem" and handed me two singles. "See ya," said the other--not at all nastily or sarcastically, like we were buddies or something. And then they were off, on a slow run.

I think people can flash over from a hard mental place in a second if some other kind of social routine gets superimposed on the interaction. I think even a guy who has killed a bunch of people can suddenly have his mental channel switched over by some unexpected conversation.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:53 PM
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The wine and cheese were most likely irrelevant.

I don't know. Ch. Malescot St-Exupery has a fair bit of Merlot in it. I shudder to think what might have happened if they'd served a more Cabernet-heavy blend.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 1:58 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly with 69. Think about all the fairly fast changes in mood you undergo in a day - happy song on the car stereo, then BAM road rage, then, I dunno, hawk swoops in front of your car with a mouse in its claws. Road Rage forgotten.

We're so much less rational than we're willing to admit, that we actually deny that our out-of-control emotions are irrational, and thus easily changed. We'd rather own road rage than admit that it can be trumped in a second by some other fleeting stimulus.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:00 PM
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72

people can flash over from a hard mental place in a second

This accords with a couple other hold-up stories I've heard. One guy held up at gunpoint near the U of C, who handed everything over, but told the stick up guy that he was keeping a ring, because it had sentimental value (the guy agreed), and a woman held up in NY, who chatted with the guy, walked to an ATM with him, where he introduced himself by name, apologized, and left with her money. The guy who keeps jacking Bubbles probably wouldn't be so reasonable, however.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:11 PM
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To me it would be really embarrassing if I suddenly realized that I was holding a gun to the wrong 14-year-old's head at the wrong address, and I'd be very admiring of a tactful hostess who managed to salvage the occasion like that. Well done, gracious hostess!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:13 PM
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The guy who keeps jacking Bubbles

I am unfamiliar with this euphemism.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:13 PM
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I'd be very admiring of a tactful hostess who managed to salvage the occasion

John would then chase her around the room screaming "Suck it, baby! Suck it!"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:14 PM
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76

Pacifying robbers with wine and cheese is more a communitarian tactic than a liberal one, IMHO.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:17 PM
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77

I am unfamiliar with this euphemism.

Which season of the Wire are you up to?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:18 PM
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72: I had a friend who grew up in a bad neighborhood, and would regularly ward off muggings by engaging the people in conversation, along the lines of:

"gimme your money!"

"why?"

"shut up, gimme your money!"

"really, what's that going to accomplish. I'm sure you need money, but think about..."

etc. etc.

Worked for him, but maybe an expert technique.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:18 PM
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By the way, I think B is right about what happened.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:19 PM
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80

Worked for him, but maybe an expert technique.

Did the muggers have guns?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:21 PM
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By the way, I think B is right about what happened.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:22 PM
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82

I once managed not to get beaten up at lunch by saying, "okay, just let me finish my peanut butter sandwich." I think it made the bully feel stupid.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:23 PM
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80: I'm not sure. Probably not; I think they were mostly 14 year olds.

I defused an attempted mugging once by being grumpy. A bunch of guys surrounded me as I was carrying my bike up some stairs, and I said "please don't fuck with me, it's been a long day," to which the most aggresive guy said, somewhat huffily, "if we were gonna fuck with you we woulda done it already," and walked off. Another friend defeated a mugger by throwing a salad at them. Moral of the story? Many muggers are not highly motivated.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:24 PM
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This is reminding me of that Orwell story from the Spanish Civil War about not shooting someone on the Fascist lines because they were holding their pants up, and you can't shoot a man who's holding his pants up, because that makes him a real person.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:24 PM
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I defused an attempted mugging once by cracking the guy over the head with a 3/4 liter beer bottle, but that's not really relevant to the thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:27 PM
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86

You should have just offered him the beer.

OTOH, your predilection for violence is probably genetically determined.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:29 PM
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86: on the veldt, the men went off to hunt while the women cracked muggers over the head with beer bottles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:30 PM
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88

I think we should make this the all-evo-psych, all the time blog.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:33 PM
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The bottle was empty -- I was going back to the store for the deposit and to buy more. If I'd had beer to offer, everything would have been simple. (As long as I'd also had pretzels, which are I assume the relevant analog to cheese.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:35 PM
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A couple of days ago I was fantasising about hiring LB to frighten the shit out of my delinquent roommate. (The primary tenant has a family member lawyer who's going to serve.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:37 PM
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77: Still midway through Season 1. My viewing was interrupted by the beach vacation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:39 PM
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JM I had some ideas for fucking with him for you in the other thread.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:40 PM
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78 seems like a great way to get shot in the leg.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:42 PM
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94

Yeah, I saw those. Don't know where I'd get a sonogram, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:42 PM
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I can see I'm getting outvoted on whether or not this particular robber was weird in his susceptibility to being talked down, and as I (luckily) have no first- or second-hand experience with the Criminal Mind I'm almost ready to concede. One last plea, though: within seconds, this guy goes from "Give me your money or I start shooting" to "Can I get a hug?" in a matter of seconds, and you're all saying this is not evidence of imbalance?


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:44 PM
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In a matter of seconds, I say! sorry, poor editing.


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:45 PM
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Well, being a violent criminal at all is evidence of being kinda flippy -- someone who's all hyped up and in a strange emotional state is probably a much more typical criminal than your stone-cold killer. So, evidence of imbalance? Sure. Evidence of being crazier than your average criminal? Probably not.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:46 PM
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98

94: sonogram images. Of course, they'd need a little photoshopping, since they usually include dates and names.

I think having him served by a lawyer is the best bet.


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:46 PM
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99

When I lived in NYC, up by Columbia, all of my roommates were mugged at one time or another [one even had his shoes taken]. I escaped this, in part, I believe, because I used to wear Finnish stompin' boots [Doc Martens before Doc Martens] and, in cooler weather, a threadbare [furbare?] sealskin coat I'd bought for $1.50 at a thrift shop in Boston. I also scowled a lot. So I'd come wandering home at all hours of the night, when the bar closed or after a bit of slap and tickle, and no one ever bothered me, much less held me up. I didn't have to provide cheese or even a naive Merlot.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:47 PM
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100

What's wrong with hugs? Hugs are nice.

And, as the NRA would remind you, guns are also nice.

This guy was just all-around nice!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:47 PM
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101

in a matter of seconds

It was about 10 minutes, according to the article.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:48 PM
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102

Still midway through Season 1.

All will become clear.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:48 PM
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103

Gah!

sonograms


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:49 PM
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104

97: I guess that's what I'm underestimating. Or, I would have thought the flip into "violent criminal" mode was serious enough that a person wouldn't flip back out so readily. But maybe that's just because I'm a man of conviction.


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:50 PM
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105

And I have no idea at all what I'm talking about in any concrete sense, honestly. But it sounds pretty likely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:56 PM
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106

Call me a hippie, but I suspect that most people who commit crimes are, in fact, not psychopaths, but instead folks who are kinda desperate for one reason or another. And that carrying a gun and pointing it at someone does require/create a kind of massive adrenalin rush. And that people who are in fight/flight mode are best dealt with calmly, because any kind of aggressive or resistant response is just going to feed into that loop.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 2:58 PM
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107

Have I told this story here? When one of my professors was in college, a drunk Native American tried to mug him at knifepoint while he was waiting for a bus. So he started up a conversation with the mugger, how bad it was that Whitey was always keeping him down, what tribe he was from, and so on. Then the bus pulled up, he got on, and the mugger was left standing there with a baffled look on his face. Advantage: whitey!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:00 PM
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108

I once was mugged and had my shoes taken. But the mugger left me his shoes, so it was alright.

More to the point, in my experience things like what Burke described in 69 and what Ogged described in 72 are quite common. If you act calmly you can often have amicable conversations, even with a guy that just threatened to kill you.


Posted by: NotHere | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:01 PM
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109

And that carrying a gun and pointing it at someone does require/create a kind of massive adrenalin rush.

Well, duh, B. What do you think we live for around here?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:01 PM
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110

99: yeah, I had a roommate in Boston who always used to talk about the worth-it scale of potential mugging victims. Since he was both extremely large (6'7", 300) and extremely poor looking, he figured he could pretty much walk anywhere he wanted without trouble.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:01 PM
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111

Call me a hippie, but

Hippiebutt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:06 PM
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112

97/106: A lot of it has to do with familiarity. Most people who commit violent crimes are feeling pushed into it, and the first time they do it they're likely as scared & wound up as the victim. So B's right, calmness is really a good idea. People can get used to anything though, so if you run into a particularly smooth/relaxed mugger or armed robber, they've probably done it a bunch. Those one are much less likely to hurt you unintentionally.

In one sense, I'd rather run into the latter. I'm probably going to lose my wallet, but I'm much less likely to get shot because the guy thought someone was moving to fast or whatever. On the other hand, these people are pretty much cooked. A nervous kid on his first or second B&E is probably a lot easier to turn around (I mean his live) than a guy whose been living off robbing people for a year or two.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:12 PM
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113

This is reminding me of that Orwell story from the Spanish Civil War about not shooting someone on the Fascist lines because they were holding their pants up, and you can't shoot a man who's holding his pants up, because that makes him a real person.

You sure it was Orwell? Robert Graves relates a similar story in Goodbye to All That; at one point he's doing some sniping, and has a bead on a German soldier taking a bath. He decides he can't shoot him and turns the rifle over to one of the soldiers with him, who has no such compunctions.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:17 PM
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114

Not sure, but I think so: it sounds like the sort of thing that might be a common experience.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:24 PM
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115

113 & 114: From "Looking Back On The Spanish-War"

"At this moment, a man presumably carrying a
message to an officer, jumped out of the trench and ran along the top of
the parapet in full view. He was half-dressed and was holding up his
trousers with both hands as he ran. I refrained from shooting at him. It
is true that I am a poor shot and unlikely to hit a running man at a
hundred yards, and also that I was thinking chiefly about getting back to
our trench while the Fascists had their attention fixed on the
aeroplanes. Still, I did not shoot partly because of that detail about
the trousers. I had come here to shoot at 'Fascists'; but a man who is
holding up his trousers isn't a 'Fascist', he is visibly a
fellow-creature, similar to yourself, and you don't feel like shooting at
him."


Posted by: Roamsedge | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:27 PM
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116

And that's why the Democrats lost the White House.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:34 PM
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117

116: Exactly. If Orwell had been a neocon, he would have understood the necessity to not just shoot the guy, but torture him afterwards. Preferably in some sexualized manner.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:37 PM
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118

107: So what tribe was he?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 3:54 PM
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119

Bitch is right -- I was just embarrassed, so I made up the "wrong house" thing. What would *you* say? Huh?


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:36 PM
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120

The race of the mugger is a relevant. It's a testimony to the political correctness of the press that a relevant fact like that is not mentioned.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:37 PM
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121

117: Orwell would have seen this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:37 PM
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122

It's a totally different story if the mugger is white or not white.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:38 PM
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123

Given the circumstances, I'd say it's a virtual certainty that the mugger was black. I don't think it actually matters, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:38 PM
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124

Does it also change the story if the people at the party were black?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:41 PM
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125

If a friend was telling me this story, that'd be my first question. And it was my first question when I read the story. I guess if he was white it would have been mentioned.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:41 PM
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126

Of course.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:42 PM
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127

Want to spell out why we should care?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:45 PM
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128

He's tense and hyped up. Party guests freeze, then calmly treat him politely, which surprises him and leads him to relax a bit while still thinking they're being compliant.

This agrees with what my friend the bank teller told me about her instructions in case of hold-up. By the time the robber gets to the teller, they are (according to the bank) so pumped up and feeling so entitled to the money that they can be agreeable to waiting a few minutes for the clerk to "get authorization" or some other bank-y sounding, but bogus, delay. She had used this, successfully.

Incredible nose. Full-bodied, with ultra-elegant tannins that go on and on.

This had to have helped.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:50 PM
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129

I'm already bored with this topic. But can you imagine blacks giving a group hug to a white mugger? Kind of hard to believe, right? But for the enlightened I guess race doesn't matter. That's why it wasn't even mentioned in the article, I suppose.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:50 PM
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130

Kind of hard to believe, right?

More so than whites hugging a black mugger? Really?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:52 PM
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131

Actually I could see that as a good sketch on Living Color. Jim Carrey holds up the Wayans and they end in a big group hug. It's comedy because it's hard to believe. Turn it around and it's just white self-congratulation. Not funny.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:58 PM
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132

I honestly don't find either of these scenarios more improbable than the other.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 4:59 PM
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133

That's because you're a self-congratulating liberal.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:01 PM
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134

I didn't know that about you, teo.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:04 PM
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135

I hope it's in your dating profile.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:05 PM
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FWIW, I pictured Wesley Willis as the robber, and Kimberly from Diff'rent Strokes as the hostage.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:05 PM
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137

I'm already bored with this topic.

Perhaps it would be more interesting if we knew if the man had tattoos? Was he in a hooded sweatshirt? A jacket? Could you imagine people offering wine to a man in a hooded clown suit? With the read nose you'd think he'd already had a bit too much to drink. And would we know if he was white, or just painted?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:08 PM
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138

red


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:08 PM
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139

He was in a hooded sweatshirt, wasn't he? Because he pushed back the hood---the first sign of his warming up to the party guests!---upon being offered the wine.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:11 PM
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140

I didn't go back to look, but I liked that bit of narrative detail, so...


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:12 PM
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141

I'll bet the mugger wasn't circumcised.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:15 PM
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142

I'll bet he had a domineering mother who wouldn't LET him get circumcised.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:16 PM
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He was wearing a hooded something, but the article didn't say if it was a sweatshirt or jacket. He was wearing nylon sweatpants, though. This is very important information.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:17 PM
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144

I was imagining something that hid his face.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:18 PM
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Yeah, could you imagine a bunch of self-congratulating white liberals hugging a guy in nylon sweatpants??


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:18 PM
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Who would wear a hooded jacket in July? Implausible! It's got to have been a hooded sweatshirt!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:20 PM
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144: His enormous, uncircumcised mugger penis. Which none of you self-congratulating liberals would hug unless you were totally tanked on expensive wine.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:23 PM
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I had a pet mugger once. I named him Shooter.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:27 PM
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149

Maybe he was descended from the inhabitants of one of these islands.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:29 PM
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150

Implausible!

Why does Chewbacca live on Endor, anyway?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 5:34 PM
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151

A hoodie, you say? I think we have a suspect.


Posted by: MJN | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 6:49 PM
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Yglesias is exactly the sort of guy who would be mollified by wine and a group hug. DeLong, on the other hand, would have painted the walls with that kid's head.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 7:06 PM
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DeLong, on the other hand, would have painted the walls with that kid's head.

Only if she muttered something negative about free trade.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 7:15 PM
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In that situation, you almost can't help but.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 7:17 PM
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-- Protectionism is the only way to keep wines this good on the market.

{WHAMMO}


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 7:22 PM
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All our tellers must in future have a bottle of Chablis and a glass [or glasses in the case of an armed gang] to hand in the event of.....


Posted by: CEO Citibank | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 7:43 PM
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Isn't that sort of erratic behavior commonly associated with meth? Yay for low-key, anyway.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07-13-07 7:53 PM
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I'm already bored with this topic.

<gord>Door's to your left.</gord>


Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 07-14-07 11:18 AM
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The original link has gone stale. Here's a link to the Washington Post article. There's a photo of the girl's father attached to the story.


Posted by: DaveW | Link to this comment | 07-17-07 1:31 AM
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