Re: You heard it here first.

1

I predict that some budget-conscious police force somewhere will, in lieu of actual speedtraps, begin sending out unmarked cars (driven by someone paid significatnly less than a cop) to flash false warnings with a goal of slowing down speeders.

I'd think this would reduce department income, by way of fewer tickets and fines. Speed traps are cash cows, aren't they?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 1:51 PM
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I'm shocked at your cynicism, apo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 1:52 PM
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A "budget-conscious police force" would stop trying to collect actual speeding tickets, and instead try to...collect tickets for the crime of responding to headlight-flashing?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 1:55 PM
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Just shut up and write me the ticket already, Officer Nosflow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 1:56 PM
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apo gets it right, I think. Police departments are not likely to be interested in ways to reduce the number of tickets they write.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 1:56 PM
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I may not have thought this one fully through.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 1:56 PM
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I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I'm expressing total confusion at the point of the post.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 1:57 PM
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7: The post is based on the assumption that police departments are concerned with reducing the amount of speeding rather than maximizing the number of tickets they write.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 1:59 PM
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The "budget-conscious" part seems to have to do with the cost of paying officers to man speed traps. Apparently these departments don't get the revenue from the tickets they write, or something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:00 PM
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Yeah, what teo said more or less.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:01 PM
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It's good for police not to get ticket revenue. Less conflict of interest.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:01 PM
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11 is right.

http://www.newromesucks.com/main.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:09 PM
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Everyone knows flashing your lights is dangerous. Zaid is lucky he didn't get capped by young hooligans.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:13 PM
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13: Hell yeahs!


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:19 PM
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It's good unusual for police not to get ticket revenue. LessLots of conflict of interest.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:34 PM
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15 is right too, probably.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:38 PM
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That peep is such a dittohead!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:38 PM
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Isn't that the point of those signs that hit you with a radar gun and say "Your speed is 48 mph" or whatever it is? The implicit threat that the next time, it'll be a cop giving you a ticket?

So, good idea, but the traffic people are on it already.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:42 PM
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17 is not true.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:43 PM
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Oops, in 17 "such" s/b "not".

19: Correct!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:45 PM
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Decoy police vehicles have been used for this purpose for years. I recall a discussion of the optimal mix of real and decoy speed traps in some game theory book (Schelling, perhaps?).


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:47 PM
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18: Good point. Perhaps I could tweak the idea and make it more of a "put people back to work!" type of stimulus thing. Better than digging and re-filling holes, and it's good for public safety.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:50 PM
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18: I'm not sure I even read those as containing an implied threat.

The CHP does seem quite convincingly more interested in keeping traffic flowing -- which is to say, keeping people from speeding dangerously and causing accidents -- than in writing tickets. They have a technique where they'll pick a cluster of cars and weave in front of them, slowing everybody down. They also seem (much of the time) perfectly content to cruise along and let everybody slow down at the sight of them, as opposed to picking people off.

Small town cops, on the other hand, are totally in it for the money.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:53 PM
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Small town cops, on the other hand, are totally in it for the money.

But speeding fines are for pikers! If you want to abuse police authority to squeeze the public for additional funds, the most efficient method is to bust people on prohibited substance charges and then seize all their valuables in a civil asset forfeiture procedure.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:57 PM
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Oh, this sucks. My immediate response to Stanley's post was: excellent idea [elation]! Response to apo's comment 1: shit, good point [deflation].

It's as bad as determining what the point of health insurance reform is supposed to be. I don't want to talk about it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 2:57 PM
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I don't want to talk about it.

25: Luckily, you're not compelled to.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:00 PM
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Further to 24, it's a slander on small-town cops to say they're only in it for the money. They also like the gratification that comes from having people at your mercy, and also the feigned gratitude that comes when you treat hot women leniently.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:00 PM
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If you want to abuse police authority to squeeze the public for additional funds, the most efficient method is to bust people on prohibited substance charges and then seize all their valuables in a civil asset forfeiture procedure.

Perhaps, but that sounds like a lot more work than pulling over speeders.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:00 PM
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Perhaps, but that sounds like a lot more work than pulling over speeders.

Really, it's not! You just call the towtruck to haul their vehicle to the impound lot and never give it back. It's really that easy! Is Gswift around? Tell me I'm wrong about this.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:02 PM
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28: more work, but worth it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:02 PM
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26: Unless Obama sets up those Comments Panels, like they had in Nazi Germany.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:05 PM
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Komment Macht Frei


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:09 PM
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31: grandma's gonna have to weigh in on McMegan, I'm afraid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:09 PM
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We've already begun rationing posts.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:10 PM
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We've all seen how the single poster system suppressed blogging innovation.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:14 PM
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28, 30:
Here's the way we do it in Minnesota.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:15 PM
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36: You're just jealous that you didn't get a TV.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:18 PM
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Keep the government out of internet standards!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:21 PM
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IT'S TIME TO PULL THE PLUG ON THIS THREAD!


Posted by: THE GOVERNMENT | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:25 PM
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We've got the best internet in the world right here in the U.S. Old people come from Canada by the busload to post their comments on our blogs.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:29 PM
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You're just jealous that you didn't get a TV.

Minnie doesn't even OWN a civil asset forfeiture proceeding.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:30 PM
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(1) Fixed traffic fines are immoral. They should be indexed to income, and if they are paid by a corporation (the way UPS does, f'rex) they should be indexed to corporate income.

(2) Money from traffic fines should not go to the police department, as that bolloxes up incentives something fierce. Even putting it in city, county, or state general funds is bad. Perhaps it should go into a national party fund that buys everyone beer and paper hats every so often.

Actually, I'm opposed to all fines in principle. Fines should be replaced by indentured servitude or lashes.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:30 PM
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Money from traffic fines should not go to the police department, as that bolloxes up incentives something fierce.

I'm startled that it does. I had assumed that police department budgets worked like other state and local budgets: you say at the beginning of the fiscal year that you need X dollars for the year for the anti-blah-blah program, which you project will result in Y many tickets/arrests/stoppages of crimes and/or Z dollars in fines.

If by the end of the fiscal year, you haven't produced roughly Y and Z, your budget of X in order to do what you said you'd do will be cut in the upcoming year.

This is not how it works for police department budgets? (Minne's link from 36 is still loading.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:37 PM
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43: But if you see that you are way short on Y and Z and know that's going to result in you losing X, won't you have incentive to increase Y and Z? (I don't know how it actually works though...)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:46 PM
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43: actually, speeding fines typically go into the general fund of the municipality or whatever (court costs are a slightly different matter). That's why asset seizures are a smarter choice for the police, because the proceeds (or at least a defined portion thereof) go straight into the coffers of the law enforcement agency.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:46 PM
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Further to 45: what's really fucked up is when the municipal government starts giving the police quotas of traffic citations to fulfill. And when the police department assigns quotas to individual officers. Yes, that's legal.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:48 PM
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I believe 45 is correct, though it simply interposes an additional layer of bureaucrats between bad incentive and bad action.

Fines are just plain bad. They hurt the poor more than the rich and they create bad incentives. The lash is equal opportunity and doesn't require much time off work the way picking up garbage along the side of the highway does.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:49 PM
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I heard about some California police officer who was commended for making some 300 DUI arrests in a year. I wonder how many of those were convicted.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:50 PM
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In Saint Paul a couple years back they announced that they were establishing quotas for their meter maids parking enforcement officers. When asked if this wouldn't violate the state law against estblishing quotas for tickets, they explained that no, no, that was just for peace officers. The folks hired expressly to enforce parking restrictions could be required to hand out a certain number of tickets, no problem.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:50 PM
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Imagine that my html worked and "meter maids" is struck out.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:52 PM
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45: Right, that's what I thought.

44: Yeah. It sort of comes to the same thing, but not exactly: you have an incentive to increase, or at least reach, Y and Z because those targets are what you and the overlords state or county agreed were desirable goals, such that you were given X to begin with.

What that structure sets up is a disincentive to innovation. Set up something like Stanley's post's suggestion, and whoa! You're changing the whole formula: there will, hypothetically anyway, be less speeding, fewer tickets, fewer fines, less money needed for the program, etc. etc.

The problem isn't that speeding tickets line the pockets of the police department per se, but that they feed county/municipal coffers. Which money is actually probably needed by the county government, WEIRDLY.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 3:58 PM
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They (CHP) have a technique where they'll pick a cluster of cars and weave in front of them, slowing everybody down.

That's actually how they slow traffic down for road debris pickup, too. Mattresses, couches, you name it.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 4:03 PM
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While I'm squarely on the side of not ticketing motorists for communicating (after all, a flash of lights can mean any number of things), everyone knows you don't flash your lights back to the speedtrap warning, you dolt! You might be seen by the fuzz!

Apparently, then, they're still ticketing people for that in MA:

In the United States, the legality of headlight flashing varies from state to state. In Maryland, police officers ticket drivers for flashing car headlights under a law which prohibits driving in a vehicle with flashing lights and laws prohibiting "obstructing a police investigation". The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland challenges the current interpretation of the law, contending the law refers to an adjective and not a verb; automatic flashing lights on non-emergency vehicles are illegal, but the act by a driver of flashing a vehicle's headlamps is not. Though ticketing was common in the 1990s, Maryland and Washington, D.C. police say that flashing one's headlights was not against the law in either place.
I looked for that because they were talking about making that illegal in Texas (and I know that people have been pulled over for it). It is illegal in Florida:
(7) Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except as a means of indicating a right or left turn, to change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway or except that the lamps authorized in subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (9) and s. 316.235(5) are permitted to flash.
In practice, I am sure they can pull you over for anything they want if they don't like you. Getting caught flashing lights will get their attention.

But it's clear that the police are missing the broader opportunity here. How do speeding drivers react to being flashed a warning from oncoming traffic? They slow down. And what is the point of speed enforcement? Among other things, to get speeding drivers to slow down.

From a cop (ostensibly), on the snopes board (curiously), back in 2003:

So there are two spots in my town where I usually sit and clock people.
One is on the way into town, and coming into town the speed limit does drop. However the particular place that I sit the speed limit is 30 mph. It has been 30 mph for 1.8 miles. There have been four clear signs announcing this as the speed at the point I clock people. People constantly complain that it is unfair since I'm getting them on the way into town as the speed limit drops. Its almost TWO miles and FOUR signs later, I think thats adequate time to drop your speed from the previous 45 MPH limit.
The second place is on a main road that runs between two parts of the town. Its about 5 miles long and 35 MPH the entire distance. where i sit is about the 3 mile mark so its been 35 for 3 miles one way and 2 miles the other, but people think its unfair for me to clock them in this area.
So some may define these spots as speed traps, but I think its quite fair to stop people speeding at this locations, they have had ample time to adjust their speeds to the limit.
THis is also one of my favorites. I stop someone for doing 42 in a 25. Where I clocked them is in fact about a block away from where it changed from 30 to 25, and they quickly point that out when I tell them I stopped them for speeding. Is 42 in a 30 okay then? If they had been going say 35 I wouldn't have stopped them I stopped them becuase their speed was still 12 over in the previous higher limit.
For the most part I don't care who flashes their lights at who. There are plenty of people who speed anyways, don't know the "signal" so they don't flash people, or people who don't know what the flashing means, or people who drive by and never know I'm there. I don't have to make up traffic stops because there are plenty out there to choose from, at least in my town. If people slow down as a result of flashing thats fine by me. However I don't think anyone is going to argue that they flash people because they want the roads to be safer. IF you flash someone your just trying to help them not get a ticket plain and simple. Thats fine. A lot of people who are speeding but not enough over the limit for me to care to pull them over slow down when they see me just the same, and I think the accompanying adernaline jolt sometimes is a better reminder to watch your speed then the flash of someones headlights. But heck, I don't write many tickets as it is so even if I do pull you over there is a good chance your going to get a warning anways.
Aside from that tho, pain is right; the municipalities are totally after the money and will often direct their police units to behave accordingly. It was enough of a problem that Texas modified state law and required traffic fines to be turned over to the state's general fund.

max
['I rather think events turn on individual cop's assholeness quotient.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 4:08 PM
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Yeah, as fun as it is to hate on the cops, speed traps and the like are mostly the result of cash-strapped local governments looking for an easy source of revenue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 4:16 PM
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54: Call it a sin tax.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 4:33 PM
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That's one way to think of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 5:08 PM
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I enjoy, to some limited extent, thinking of it that way. The analo similarity is right there for the asking.

With respect to the cigarette tax, for example, it's been argued that the tax is so high that it will discourage people from smoking! And that will simply reduce revenues from the tax! The tax works against itself, writes itself out of being, as it were! You had better not count on those revenues, that's all I can say [exclaims the anti-sin-tax person, throwing down gauntlet in disgust at alleged stupid policy].

Hrm, we say, stroking our moustaches, yes, it is interesting: for we do wish to reduce smoking, or speeding, as the case may be. Is our "tax" -- okay, call it a fine -- then predatory or punitive?! Hard to say!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 5:19 PM
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I like that way of thinking about it too, actually.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 5:24 PM
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Tobacco tax increases fund the recent SCHIP expansion. How can anyone quit smoking and let down the children?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 6:21 PM
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59: Seriously. Think of the children. God only knows how many grandmas are getting walkers because of your speeding tickets. Whiners.

(I didn't know that, eb, actually. Thanks.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 6:30 PM
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The title of this post complements that of the previous one in an interesting way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 6:38 PM
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62

Speaking of warnings...


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 6:40 PM
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Oh noes! Interiority echo-chamber messing with my head! You might as well throw in the title of the post prior to that as well. And the one prior to that.

I don't understand why nobody is interested in talking about this municipal funding business, with the sin taxes and the SCHIP and whatnot. LB must be busy. Where are the policy funding wonks -- or mere discussants -- to help wade through how we get out of this?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 6:45 PM
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59: Great. Yet another way of rationalizing my ongoing failure to (stay) quit.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 6:56 PM
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59: How can anyone quit smoking and let down the children?

Well, damn, I haven't! I'd probably smoke more if I could; I always have.

63: I don't understand why nobody is interested in talking about this municipal funding business, with the sin taxes and the SCHIP and whatnot. LB must be busy. Where are the policy funding wonks -- or mere discussants -- to help wade through how we get out of this?

Get out of what?

max
['Sin taxes?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:00 PM
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Yglesias talks about sin taxes a lot. He's all for them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:02 PM
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for we do wish to reduce smoking, or speeding

I don't want to reduce speeding. I want all the slow people in front of me to get moving already.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:05 PM
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apo for sheriff!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:06 PM
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it's been argued that the tax is so high that it will discourage people from smoking, or increase smuggling and black-market sales.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to talk about municipal funding because my municipality is in massive fiscal crisis, the mayor gave out a doomsday budget today that still doesn't start shedding patronage jobs, the legislature and the governor are locked in a game of political chicken that the media seems barely inclined to cover, the only independent voice pushing back against the half-million-dollar school superintendent's grandiose and sometimes bullying plans just resigned, my organization has laid off staff and cut hours and may have to do more soon, the two major newspapers in town are in active bankruptcy proceedings, and virtually every person-on-the-street comment about the budget deadlock is straight-up racist.

Oh, and the police commissioner has just annihilated eight years of wrenching effort in building community trust by signing on to the Orwellian "Secure Communities" DHS initiative.

Please, somebody post a good song or something.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:07 PM
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69.1: I know, sweetheart. I don't really want to talk about it either. (I thought maybe other people would talk about it. Not you, because I figured it upset you in the same way it upsets me. Disclosure, y'all: I used to work in something like the same line that Witt does.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:15 PM
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We could talk about feline promiscuity instead.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:17 PM
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Cigarettes will bring you comfort in such times, Witt.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:17 PM
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Anyway.

66: Yglesias talks about sin taxes a lot. He's all for them.

Okay! I'll go get exercised at him, uh, sometime.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:17 PM
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I also recommend the link in 62.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:17 PM
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69: Ouch. It seems like small potatoes by comparison, but I just went to my son's school's open house, and every single teacher remarked that there wouldn't be handouts or worksheets because all the school's money for paper had been deleted from the budget.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:19 PM
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62 made me laugh. It's potentially even effective.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:21 PM
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I suspect it's pretty effective. I didn't see any unattended children around.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:23 PM
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If it distracts you, you can discuss the way my inability to say no means I will probably attend a Labor Day party at which the intention will be to set me up with some dude who may or may not be Sean Hannity's biggest fan. Bonus question: can I count it as progress that I at least am not going out to dinner with the guy? Bonus bonus question; am I excused if the Labor Day gathering is about the only opportunity I have to see my friend with the controlling jackass husband who doesn't let her do stuff?

(It's amazing - Becks style, at barely half a drink.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:24 PM
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the intention will be to set me up with some dude

Interesting use of the passive voice there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:26 PM
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Oddly enough, posting 69 made me feel more chipper.

Although I didn't realize that NC was having problems too...I think Arizona and Connecticut are the only other states left without budgets, but I'm not really paying attention to the national picture. I've even stopped thinking about California (sorry, B and Megan, it's nothing personal).

Right, so on a lighter note: I got to see the Phillies win the other night. Go old guys!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:28 PM
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Interesting use of the passive voice there.

Uh, where?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:31 PM
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81: Dammit. Okay, not the passive voice per se, but its moral equivalent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:32 PM
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can I count it as progress that I at least am not going out to dinner with the guy?

Only if you can report back that you say at least one absolutely true* political thing in an airy voice with a friendly tone, e.g.: "Well, I'm pretty convinced that the only reason white people are opposed to healthcare reform is hatred of black people."

*To you; doesn't have be something the rest of us believe.

I have a longstanding hypothesis that when you say true stuff in a straightforward way, people think you're joking.

(Also: Labor Day is weeks away! Weeks, I tell you! Why are you making plans now?)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:33 PM
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I'm going to call Cornell about rescinding your degree.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:34 PM
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Go for it. It's not like it's likely to do me much good anymore.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:35 PM
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79: At which my friend intends to set me up with the guy to whom her husband apparently made promises of setting me up.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:35 PM
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I also recommend the link in 62.

I had to be told twice to look at it, but it's true, my inner parent tells my inner child that the warning should be heeded. Teo's the best.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:36 PM
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When I read 79, I knew something like 81 was coming.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:37 PM
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(Also: Labor Day is weeks away! Weeks, I tell you! Why are you making plans now?)

Because it was a convenient means of evading the attempt to wrangle me into more imminent plans?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:40 PM
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I am in thrall to credentialism. I too wondered about the supposed passive. Then I recalled Teo's major. Then I said, "he's still wrong." Then (too much?) I read neB's post.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:46 PM
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Then I recalled Teo's major.

Because linguistics is all about the things you do in 8th grade English class, only more so.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:49 PM
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To 62: Rory asks, "Can you unattend me there?"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:50 PM
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79 is really more of an English-major sort of comment.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:53 PM
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I don't know what came over me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:54 PM
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92: Heh. How did you respond?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:54 PM
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I didn't realize that NC was having problems too

They passed a budget two weeks ago. Big cuts, big tax increases. Grades 4-12 had $225 million cut from their budgets statewide.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:55 PM
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95: With a shrug and a "sure.". I'm permissive...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:58 PM
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69 was about Philly? The other end of the state is just troubled except that our school's head doesn't get quite that much and is the grandson of a president. Won't you think of Sen. Fumo's troubles going to prison and is butler is probably unemployed? Think of the real victims.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:58 PM
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97: It's this place, if you want to go there. It may be kind of far for you, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 7:59 PM
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98: I've been told, and I more or less believe, that if Fumo were still in office, he'd have knocked heads and gotten a budget deal.

At this point I'm heartily wishing a pox on both their houses. Boy am I glad I fixed my voter registration back to nonpartisan.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:01 PM
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I haven't had a contested election for state legislature since I moved here. They colluded to gerrymander their asses to their seats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:03 PM
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69: I don't want to talk about municipal funding because my municipality is in massive fiscal crisis

Ben Bernanke. He saved the economy.

96: Big cuts, big tax increases.

Saved the economy. Ben Bernanke. You've heard of him?

max
['Yep. Economy: it is saved.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:05 PM
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My sister has met Ben Bernanke. She says he's a jerk.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:07 PM
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Ben did his part. I'm the guy who screwed-up the economy. Last year I started re-soling my shoes and then I didn't get new glasses even though I was supposed to.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:08 PM
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Boy am I glad I fixed my voter registration back to nonpartisan.

"Nonpartisan"? They have that? Is that like Independent? It's like "Atheist," isn't it?

Heathen.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:09 PM
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99: It's cute! I probably should find someplace closer...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:11 PM
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Max is so mad at Ben Bernanke, you wouldn't believe it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:12 PM
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Max, I'm sorry, I'm dense. I don't get 102.

(If it's humor that's sailing over my head, OK, but could you point me towards the right part of Standpipe's blog so I can understand it?)

And Moby, state senator Daylin Leach actually has a decent redistricting plan that he is proposing a few years ago. It hasn't gotten much traction as far as I can tell, although it went over very big at the constituent meeting I was at several years ago when he was a state rep.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:13 PM
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78: "...some dude who may or may not be Sean Hannity's biggest fan."

Just statistically speaking, given the differences in party ID and ideology by gender, some liberal women will have to 'date to the right'.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:14 PM
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Di, you probably shouldn't let yourself be attempted-to-be-set-up with this guy. I suppose if you're feeling really sprightly and chipper, you might take it on, but otherwise, it seems a little silly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:21 PM
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Pretend I got my tenses right in 108.

Boggle of the day:

The I.R.S. has not yet released its data for 2008 or 2009. But Mr. Saez, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said he believed that the rich had become poorer. Asked to speculate where the cutoff for the top one ten-thousandth of households was now, he said from $6 million to $8 million.

Gotta watch out for that top one ten-thousandth.

If you don't count the headline, the article itself is reasonably innocuous, and even rather informative.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:24 PM
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some liberal women will have to 'date to the right'

Can't I just abstain?

[I did the Libertarian. My bipartisan outreach is done!]


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:27 PM
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112: Why do women always ask me that?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:29 PM
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I admire Witt's seriousness and civic-mindedness.

Also, this stuff is good.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:30 PM
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112: You "did" him? Eew.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:33 PM
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110: I know these things, of course. But they kept pushing when I tried to say no. And at least I will get to hang out with my friend without her husband throwing a fit. Besides, I'll rehearse my liberal talking points beforehand to ward off evil... (I wasn't totally listening when she started talking Labor Day, so I mostly said Yay! before I heard "and we'll invite this guy, too!". Oy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:38 PM
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parsimon, I take it you're against doing libertarians?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:38 PM
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108: If it's humor that's sailing over my head, OK, but could you point me towards the right part of Standpipe's blog so I can understand it?

Oh, roughly, sigh. About the last month or so, everyone and their dog has been running around declaring the economy saved, and Larry Summers has been preening and the like, all because of Bernanke's campaign to be reselected as Fed chair. The theory is, is that's Ben is a brave, smart man who saved the economy.

Well, if you ignore the fact that he's a Greenspanite, and one of the ones that has helped get us into this situation that... still isn't true. As your reportage from the ground (along with everyone else's reportage) indicates. He saved the banks, and the asses and jobs of 50,000 rich assholes who (through an accident of history) tend to be concentrated in NYC. Everyone else: basically fucked (and unneccessarily). Part of the reason that they're (we're) fucked is that a bunch of that money that Bernanke pumped into the economy wasn't actually pumped into the economy, just the banks, via a technical trick. We got no inflatey, which would help immensely to bump up state revenues so that they could, for instance, BUY FUCKING PAPER FOR SCHOOL TEACHERS. (I'm not yelling at you, Witt.) Even Krugman bought into this nonsense in a small way. (To be fair to Krugman, no one is following his advice; if they did, we'd be in a hell of a lot better shape.)

In the middle of this, the O administration has gotten itself bogged down in a health care fight; it looks to me like they have primarily chosen to do this because their plan is mainly aimed at reducing the future budget deficit. If thye could get the future deficit reduced, Pete Peterson would cream his jeans, everyone (rich) would praise the Obama administration as not Leftists and (so the theory goes) the economy will boom. Heh. Not this time. So, anyways, the Universal part of the health insurance scheme is the selling point for convincing the suckers to buy into this deal, not that that'll actually work. And they're not even succeeding at that.

So: Ben Bernanke. He saved the economy. You heard?

max
['Sorry for not Standpiping this in the right place.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:38 PM
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118: Wait, your changing your mind?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:40 PM
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Crap. Typos and bone-headed needling of others do not mix.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:41 PM
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118: Okay, so you don't love Bernanke,right? Because I sort of remember UNG loving Bernanke, and I don't know shit about economics, but there is much dissonance in thinking you and UNG agree.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:44 PM
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Moby meant to say "Your changing your mind was the best thing that happened to me today."


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:44 PM
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Di deserves, at the very least, Sean Hannity's littlest fan.

I know that I'll regret asking this, but what's the racist explanation for Philly's budget crisis?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:44 PM
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117: I'm against the term "do" (or "did" in this case). It's just a thing. I get all feminist sexual-equality* sometimes. If I hear a man say "I'd do her," I get annoyed. It's the term. I do not, at this point in time, know why.

* This still doesn't quite cut it. Equal opportunity 'doing' still doesn't satisfy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:45 PM
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Sean Hannity's littlest fan.

Please tell me that's not a euphemism.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:47 PM
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This still doesn't quite cut it. Equal opportunity 'doing' still doesn't satisfy

Tell me about it!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:48 PM
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What if you didn't hear the rest of his sentence, "a favor or other good turn if she were ever in need of same"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:48 PM
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127: or, more concisely, "a solid"?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:52 PM
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Never heard that before.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:54 PM
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Please tell me that's not a euphemism

I recently espoused to my friend and he sort-of-boyfriend the theory that littler fans develop superior skill becaus the bigger fans think they can rest on their laurels. The sort-of-boyfriend disagreed vociferously. Which is interesting as my pal later confided that her beau is not the biggest of fans.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:54 PM
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The article in 111 is interesting. I started reading it to figure out where that house in the picture at the top is. Turns out it's in a very isolated part of southwestern New Mexico, right near the Arizona border. And a very isolated part of southwestern New Mexico is a very isolated place indeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 8:56 PM
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130: Any man that can rest on his laurels must have a very high pain tolerance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:00 PM
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Rich people are so annoying, even when not outright contemptible. I wish I were rich.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:00 PM
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So, is it fair to describe the smell of cigar smoke as elephant exhibit + smoke?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:07 PM
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Whatever 111's link turns out to be, it must be less disturbing than the Greenwald that I've had sitting in that tab for an hour. We'll see.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:07 PM
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|| Playing chess while Becks-style is not recommended. |>


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:07 PM
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136: Don't worry. I don't even own a chess set.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:09 PM
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So, is it fair to describe the smell of cigar smoke as elephant exhibit + smoke?

No.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:09 PM
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Swisher Sweets smell like tobacco and candy. But they may not technically be cigars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:11 PM
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So, I got bored with that article. I thought (tangentially) it might say something about the smell of cigar smoke, but then I began to doubt it.

I don't know what Di is on about with the cigar smoke thing. Elephant exhibit? What does that smell like? To put this another way: do people with any regularity find themselves in situations involving cigar smoke?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:19 PM
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Presumably some people do. People who smoke cigars, for example.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:20 PM
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Thanks sincerely, max. I'm sorry for making you type all of that out, especially if your day job already makes you dwell on it.

what's the racist explanation for Philly's budget crisis?

(Long answer omitted in deference to the long-suffering fellow denizens of this blog.)

Shortish answer: The city's budget is dependent on state approval of two requests: a rise in the sales tax and some changes in the pension system. The state legislature has thus far refused to approve the requests, although they do not require state revenue.

This stalemate is tangentially connected to the state budget crisis, of which we are in Day 51, which is a clash between the Democratic governor's highly imperfect $29 billion budget (which originally included a rise in the income tax) and the Republican legislative leadership's meaner (and not much leaner) $27B budget.

In both cases, Republican legislative leadership is doing extremely well in public opinion for "holding the line" on taxes, the raising of which is near-universally interpreted as "taking money from hardworking white suburbanites and giving it to Those People in the city." The state senator whose district covers parts of Delaware and Chester counties is particularly high-profile and particularly praised for this stance.

There's more than sufficient blame for both Ds and Rs for how we got into this mess and how they're proposing to get us (kind of) out of it. But the Republican side is the one that has routinely bashed the city in general and poor (aka black) people in particular.

For the wonkish: Slightly out-of-date but useful summary here.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:23 PM
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There was a cigar on the teevee. I expressed disgust. Rory wanted to know what a cigar smells like.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:24 PM
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Also, it's (not ironic, but something) that I truly had no idea that people were running around saying the economy was saved and Bernake had done it. Usually I have a general sense of the dominant media narrative about the economy, but I guess my head's been elsewhere.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:28 PM
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Cigars, like pipes, smell good, mostly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:32 PM
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My sympathies, Witt.

"taking money from hardworking white suburbanites and giving it to Those People in the city."

This, of course, occurs in some states (Maryland, certainly, with battles over the status, importance, and relevance of Baltimore) regardless of financial downturn. In states like these, it's always about race, pretty much.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:34 PM
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I truly had no idea that people were running around saying the economy was saved and Bernake had done it.

I only knew about it because Yglesias has mentioned it (skeptically) a couple of times lately.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:35 PM
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143: Di, if she's really curious, you could take her to a cigar bar, or whatever they call those. Humidor? (joke, dammit!)

Do they still have them? Cigar bars?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:37 PM
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"the Democratic governor's highly imperfect $29 billion budget"

The feds had to force him to give education stimulus funds to the 'state related' institutions. Asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 9:42 PM
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146: That describes the dynamic between Philly and its suburbs.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:01 PM
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145: I love the smell of pipes.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:09 PM
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I believe that is the dynamic between every city and its suburbs. And between every city and the rest of its state. Except maybe Indianapolis.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:14 PM
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148: I don't know if her dad still smokes them or I'd tell her to give him a sniff post night on the town. When we were married, I had a three day airing out rule before he was allowed to kiss me if he'd smoked a cigar. It was worst when he had the beard. The stench never went away.

My godfather smoked a pipe and I can think of few more comforting smells.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:15 PM
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I've got a pipe you can smoke, Di.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:18 PM
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You can borrow my lighter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:24 PM
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154: Don't be an boor, nosflow. She only expressed interest in smelling a pipe.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:28 PM
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I've decided that if liason is good enough for French articles, it's good enough for English ones too.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:29 PM
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157: I've decided that if liason is good enough for French articles, it's good enough for English ones too.

And thus the great balance of letters is maintained.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:43 PM
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145: I love the smell of pipes.

I agree with this emphatically. I too find them comforting, mostly because they remind me of my dad. (Of course, pot smoke does too, but I've learned to disassociate those smells.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:44 PM
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I will cease to be an boor precisely when I receive an fellatio.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:53 PM
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160: So a lifetime of boorishness then? Well, thanks for warning us.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:55 PM
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At least he's upfront about it, M/tch. So few are.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:58 PM
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Up front about boorishness or wanting an fellatio?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 10:59 PM
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118

So you don't like Bernanke. What's your evaluation of Geithner and Summers? How would you rank them?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:00 PM
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The causal connection.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:00 PM
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161: it seemed the only decent thing to do.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:02 PM
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That connection is self-evident.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:02 PM
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One would suspect that not being an boor could help in the obtaining of an fellatio.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:04 PM
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168: But nice guys just can't win.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:06 PM
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Don't you think it's pretty crass to think of it in terms of "winning", ()?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:07 PM
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Nice guys finish last, IYKWIMAITYD. Not entirely relevant int this scenario.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:12 PM
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170: I wish I could find the appropriate Sex and the City clip. Alas.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:13 PM
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I wish I could find the appropriate Sprockets clip.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:13 PM
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121: 118: Okay, so you don't love Bernanke,right? Because I sort of remember UNG loving Bernanke, and I don't know shit about economics, but there is much dissonance in thinking you and UNG agree.

Me no likey Bernanke. Me no likey UNG. Me REALLY no likey Larry Summers.

I'm sure Bernanke is a very nice man and his students all love him. However, I can summarize his being out and about as the "Reselect the Fuckup '09" campaign.

Also also! I saw this a coupla days ago on Kedrowski's blog and meant to show it to you:

Time To Dump UNG? (IndexUniverse)
OK, it mildly amused ME.

Witt: Thanks sincerely, max. I'm sorry for making you type all of that out, especially if your day job already makes you dwell on it.

It's fine, sweetheart; after I write one of those I gotta go stew for an hour or so, otherwise it would be followed up by many many more words.

There's more than sufficient blame for both Ds and Rs for how we got into this mess and how they're proposing to get us (kind of) out of it. But the Republican side is the one that has routinely bashed the city in general and poor (aka black) people in particular.

That's usually about the way it runs. Relatively minor D profligacy is invariably an excuse for finding a way to give more money to R constituencies.

Usually I have a general sense of the dominant media narrative about the economy, but I guess my head's been elsewhere.

It's been the second- or third-tier story running behind the whole health care shebang. August is when all the economist and finance types head for Maine and the like so they can tell each other how wonderful they are.

Di: My godfather smoked a pipe and I can think of few more comforting smells.

I smoked a pipe for awhile in HS, and then again in my 20's. Cherry Vanilla was my bag of tabacco. Only problem was, is that I tended to smoke too much and that would get kinda rough. Then cigarettes were a break for my lungs.

max
['As I said: I'd probably smoke more if I could.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:19 PM
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after I write one of those I gotta go stew for an hour or so, otherwise it would be followed up by many many more words.

An hour or so ago I was stewing (over something unrelated) and considering writing many angry (ok, not angry so much as exasperated and annoyed) words.

Then I had a glass of wine instead. No more stewing! Much more happiness!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:21 PM
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175 has a different tone if I paraphrase it as "the appropriate response to the government's response to the financial crisis is to get drunk". But still probably true!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:24 PM
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I've discovered that two beers at happy hour after sushi for lunch makes me feel quite drunk, and that feeling quite drunk while also visiting someone in the hospital feels, well, crass.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:26 PM
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I guess bringing drinks to share with the hospitalized person isn't an option. Silly hospitals.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:32 PM
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178: Especially when they're 2.

And I believe that a glass of wine would do many a hospitalized person a great deal of good.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:35 PM
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I'm sure Bernanke is a very nice man and his students all love him.

See 103.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:35 PM
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Not even a correction of the spelling error in the OP? It's like you people don't even care anymore.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:35 PM
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I noticed it and considered commenting on it, but decided against it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:36 PM
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Because I'm a feminist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:36 PM
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Hobos s/b Hoboes? Like tomato/tomatoes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:36 PM
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teo still cares. That's a comfort.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:38 PM
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I'm here for you, Stan.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:40 PM
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The typo has been corrected, btw.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:40 PM
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I was thinking I should go to bed, but then I thought, wait, why should I go to bed?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:41 PM
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I mean, I don't even have a bed. That makes it difficult.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:42 PM
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I was thinking I should go to bed, but then I thought, wait, why should I go to bed?

This happens more often for me with waking up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:42 PM
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You could go to floor? Or couch? Do you own a couch? I should go to bed. eekbeat's here!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:43 PM
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190: Yeah, I do that all the time too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:45 PM
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I don't have a couch. I do have a sleeping bag, which is where I sleep. It's not very comfortable, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:45 PM
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So you'll have to go to someone else's bed. There are worse fates.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:45 PM
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Stanley should definitely go to bed, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:46 PM
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194 is impeccable in its logic, but somehow it seems off as a practical matter.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:46 PM
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I prefer a sleeping bag on the floor to many beds. Especially the soft ones. Ugh.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:47 PM
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195: exactly. Goodnight, pretend people.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:48 PM
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At this point I would prefer just about any kind of bed to the sleeping bag.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:48 PM
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Goodnight, pretend Stanley.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:49 PM
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199: Yeah, sleeping on the floor gets tiresome. When I first left for grad school I lacked a bed and slept on the floor for too long.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:50 PM
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I haven't decided which is better, sleeping bag or air mattress. But neither one is very good.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:51 PM
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So you see where I'm coming from here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-09 11:51 PM
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I feel not-entirely-logically guilty about having bought my couch and bed from some sketchy racist guy advertising on Craigslist.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:00 AM
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You bankrolled his hatred, essear.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:00 AM
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True. But I did have a couch - the only piece of furniture in the apartment beside the bookcases - so at least there was some comfort in the place.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:01 AM
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206 to 203. Apparently I'm on time delay.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:02 AM
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208

It was also somewhat odd that this guy had a huge garage entirely full of beds and couches at deep discounts, but his story about having been in the business of furnishing rental homes and clearing out his inventory to retire was kind of plausible, and presumably large stolen shipments of furniture being sold on Craigslist would not go unnoticed.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:04 AM
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206: Well, bookcases are the only really essential furniture, after all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:06 AM
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You don't really need the cases at all, technically. It's books that furnish a room.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:08 AM
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I'm actually trying to figure out if I can just start making furniture out of books and dispense with the bookcases. The books are starting to pile up again in odd places despite my efforts to corral them.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:08 AM
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I did buy a bookcase at a garage sale a couple of days ago. Carrying it home was kind of a pain, though.

I also bought a camp chair at the drugstore. That was much easier to carry home.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:11 AM
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Problem solved, (), or at least it once was.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:11 AM
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The books are starting to pile up again in odd places

Vegetable crisper?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:12 AM
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213: That link is a tease.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:12 AM
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Vegetable crisper?

I did leave a book in the freezer for a few days once, but it hadn't occurred to me to try there. The humidity controls might help with the archival storage.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:13 AM
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Anyway, this furniture situation has been the main drawback so far of the car-free life. It turns out that cars are good for one thing: transporting furniture.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:14 AM
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I need to start moving books into my office in order to clear bookshelf space at home.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:15 AM
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It's a good thing film keeps so well in the crisper. Otherwise I might have to develop it.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:15 AM
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So rent a van, teo, or hire someone who owns one.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:17 AM
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I need to start moving books into my office

I dream of this moment. I think it appeals even more than a steady income.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:17 AM
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If you find yourself developing film, SB, why not take a shower?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:17 AM
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I would do exactly that if this were a sufficiently pressing concern. As it is, my roommate will be arriving with a car in a few days, so I'm just going to wait.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:18 AM
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It turns out that cars are good for one thing: transporting furniture.

Would that this were all. Some of us have to drive to work. (Well, I could have lived within walking distance, at somewhat exorbitant expense. I still wonder if I should have done so.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:19 AM
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224: I think this is a grass is always greener thing - I did the reverse and I wonder about it too.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:22 AM
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Teo didn't say "exactly one thing", essear. Aren't you in one of the supposedly rigorous disciplines?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:23 AM
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Rescind his degree too!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:25 AM
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You could live at a middling distance and bicycle.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:25 AM
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224: I think this is a grass is always greener thing - I did the reverse and I wonder about it too.

Well, I managed to get by without a car in the previous three places I lived. On the other hand, those all had decent bus service, unlike the place I work now, which I suppose thinks its residents are too wealthy to lower themselves to such things.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:26 AM
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228: I do.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:26 AM
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(But it isn't far enough away to be cheap, sadly.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:26 AM
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Bicycling would be a great option were it not for the crazy highway in the way.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:27 AM
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I'm hoping the exorbitant rent I'm paying to live within walking distance is going to end up being worth it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:27 AM
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The real question is - are you within walking distance of the bars?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:28 AM
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Funniest thing in the history of the world, ever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:29 AM
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I am.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:29 AM
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233: But you also have pretty frequent bus service, don't you? At least I've managed to get from the New Brunswick train station to the relevant part of Piscataway to give a talk.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:29 AM
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Yeah, I haven't used the bus system yet myself, but my understanding is that it's quite good.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:30 AM
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And it's free, even to people not associated with Rutgers.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:31 AM
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New Brunswick is basically super-accessible by any mode of transportation. The accessibility decreases as you move outward, to varying degrees in different directions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:31 AM
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239: Yeah, basically Rutgers is spread out all over the place, so they just run buses all the time to connect the various campuses. It seems to work pretty well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:32 AM
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And now I really am going to head for the sleeping bag. Good night, all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:36 AM
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The real question is - are you within walking distance of the bars?

This is a real downside to where I live. There is nowhere I can drink with other people that doesn't require driving home. (Unless it's, like, New York, and I'm probably sober by the time I get back to the train station and get in my car.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:37 AM
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Yeah, that blows. I was too naive to realize it would be a consideration in my first apartment, but fortunately picked well and now consider it to be somewhat important. I suppose when I'm "grown up" it'll matter less.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:41 AM
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I wasn't totally listening when she started talking Labor Day, so I mostly said Yay!

I don't think that's how the children's chorus goes.


Posted by: Econolicious without bagpipes | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:43 AM
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I don't want to reduce speeding. I want all the slow people in front of me to get moving already.

Word I mean, uh, slow down or something. I confess that I would love an 80 m.p.h. highway speed limit. My department doesn't have quotas. I prefer the "educational contact" kind of traffic stops.

IIRC our seizures go into the state school fund. Definitely doesn't go into department coffers.

I know 300 valid DUI arrests a year sounds like a crazy number. But watching the motors guys who specialize in DUI's is an eye opener. Loads of people still get behind the wheel drunk, and those motors units really know when and where to troll for the DUI's.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:57 AM
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Can anyone explain nosflow and Bridgeplate in the other thread? I'm feeling stupid and impressed.


Posted by: Unpronounceable Awl | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 4:39 AM
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Are they changing the rules as they go along?


Posted by: Unpronounceable Awl | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 4:41 AM
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I assume the rules are similar to Mornington Crescent. Go over there and say "Turnham Green" and see what happens.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 5:10 AM
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Feeling quite drunk while also visiting someone in the hospital feels, well, crass

Many years ago, my uncle was in a freak occupational accident* that left him with, among other injuries, a shattered jaw. He was hospitalized in a distant town for quite some time, his jaw wired shut, his nourishment supplied through a nasal tube.

This being a small town, lots of people made the trip to visit him. One day, the local bluegrass band went to visit him in the hospital. Now one thing about my uncle is that he really liked to chew tobacco and drink beer. So one of the band members brought him a bag of Levi Garrett and a can of Strohs in his banjo case. How, you might ask, can a guy with his jaw wired shut chew tobacco and drink beer? Allow me to explain. My uncle was able to stuff a chaw of tobacco between his front teeth and his lips. Meanwhile, one of the band members took out his pocket knife and cut open the drip bag feeding the nasal tube and poured in the can of beer.

A nurse, curious about the sound of bluegrass music coming from the room, opens the door to see my uncle horselipping a chaw of tobacco and the drip bag full of foamy, amber liquid.

This story was told to me by the band member in question, so it's possible that the details are embellished, but my uncle didn't deny the essence of the story when I asked him about it.

*which I will not further detail here because it was freakish enough to be quasi personally identifying


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 5:25 AM
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Somehow I deleted the punchline from the previous post. The nurse gaped at the scene for a second, then did a full Sergeant Schultz, then turned around and left the room.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 5:28 AM
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Speaking of law and order, the Scottish Labour Party is pissing me off no end at the moment. I do wish they'd stop trying to spin a decision that should be non-political for their own advantage; it's bloody unseemly & so effing what if al-megrahi gets a hero's welcome; that's not the point.

(And Obama & Clinton can just fuck right off & not interfere in another country's domestic affairs.)

But the daily show is ridic. funny atm.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 6:09 AM
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Obama & Clinton can just fuck right off & not interfere in another country's domestic affairs

I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about the Al-Megrahi release, but it's just bollocks to characterize the case as Scotland's domestic affair. Al-Megrahi was tried there as part of a diplomatic compromise to which the U.S. was a major party. The crime for which he was imprisoned was committed elsewhere, and the victims were mostly Americans. OF COURSE it's a legitimate interest of the U.S. to be concerned about his punishment.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 6:24 AM
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re: 252

Quite. But they've been weaselly little shites since at least the death of Dewar.

re: 253

On the whole the US doesn't really have a leg to stand on when it comes to lecturing other countries when they act unilaterally (and where other parties think they ought to act multilaterally).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 6:46 AM
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But the daily show is ridic. funny atm.

Betsy McCaughey was infuriatingly dishonest. God, I hate our politics.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 6:51 AM
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OF COURSE it's a legitimate interest of the U.S. to be concerned about his punishment.

They really should have thought about that before turning him over to Scottish justice then, shouldn't they? The idea of the US exerting influence over a Scottish court is quite icky, and that principle continues up the line, especially given I trust the Scottish justice system a sight more than any US Administration.

Betsy McCaughey was infuriatingly dishonest.

Oh yes, though Stewart made her look a complete tool without even trying.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 6:54 AM
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252: I've only followed the case vaguely, but isn't there some non-zero chance this guy isn't actually guilty at all, and just an agreed-upon scapegoat who got unlucky when the US needed Libya to supply *someone* to be convicted so that diplomatic relations (of a sort) could resume?

Either way, I can imagine that the surviving family members of the victims might have a pretty wide range of emotions. But my own feelings on compassionate release would be somewhat different if I thought there was a significant chance the guy wasn't guilty.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 6:56 AM
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If you go to the website and see the entire interview, it gets even worse.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 6:56 AM
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re: 257

Yeah, there are a lot of people who think Libya wasn't actually behind that particular bombing. However, there was some evidence that al-Megrahi's status as a suspect was based on. he wasn't just picked out of the blue by Libya. An extradition request was made specifically for him.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:04 AM
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The idea of the US exerting influence over a Scottish court is quite icky

Out of curiousity, how do you feel about diplomatic protests from other countries whose citizens are slated to be executed by, say, the State of Texas?


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:07 AM
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253: the US is welcome to be as concerned as it likes. It can put on the special Concerned Face and tell everyone how concerned it is. But it shouldn't be fooled by the fact that most Scots merely quietly despise the US rather than actually rallying in the streets to call for its destruction into thinking that it has any sort of right to try to influence Scottish courts' decisions. The only way that the US should try to influence Scottish courts is by running its own legal system in such a flawlessly just and principled way that it becomes a beacon and a guiding light to lawyers and judges worldwide. (pause for hysterical, mocking laughter)

257: if so, his co-defendant Ali Kalifa Fima (IIRC) would presumably have been convicted as well...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:09 AM
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Just to reiterate, I don't have a strong opinion on whether compassionate release was warranted, or whether the guy was guilty, or whether he was guilty but also a fall-guy for the Libyan regime. I just take issue with the position that it's out of bounds for U.S. to apply diplomatic pressure with respect to a clemency decision. (Applying pressure with respect to a determination of guilt is, of course, a different kettle of fish; courts of justice should be insulated from political pressures from all sources.)


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:11 AM
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260: key difference is that protests against executions are not disputing the court's verdict, but its sentence, and are de facto directed not at the court, which doesn't have the power to declare a mulligan and rethink its sentence (even in Texas) but at the governor, who has the power of clemency.
Also, Scottish courts are more reliable than Texan ones.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:12 AM
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re: 260

Those are quite different situations. In one case, a country is using diplomatic means to try and prevent the execution of one of its subjects/citizens.

In the other, country A is trying to exert pressure on country B with respect to its punishment of a citizen of country C. They aren't really analogous.

FWIW, I think the US has a perfect right to express its view, and the Scottish minister has a perfect right not to take them into account. As, I believe, would be in accordance with the laws in question.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:12 AM
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253: Agree in principle, but I might find a bit more time for outrage by USians if we hadn't been spent so much of the last 6 years toadying up to Gaddafi and making him the poster child for "madmen" gone straight. (McCain was just over there sucking his dick last week.) Goofus Dictator doesn't kowtow enough to oil interests and he is killed and his country bombed and invaded. Gallant Dictator does and he gets a new BFF.

(Pwned a bit on preview.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:15 AM
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264.last: no disagreement here.

To take another example, I wouldn't think it inappropriate for, say, Israel to apply diplomatic pressure on the U.S. not to stay the deportation proceedings against John Demjanjuk on grounds of failing health, nor would I have found it inappropriate for Chile to do the same to Spain with respect to Pinochet.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:20 AM
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FWIW, I think the US has a perfect right to express its view, and the Scottish minister has a perfect right not to take them into account. As, I believe, would be in accordance with the laws in question.

This. Westphalian sovereignty and all that stuff.

When I was a kid I was taught that it was custom and practice in Britain (north and south) not to let people die in prison - that is, if someone became clearly terminally ill before the expiry of their sentence, they were let out to die at the expense of their families. I don't know if this was ever actually true, and it certainly isn't any more, but it's a principle I would applaud.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:23 AM
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Out of curiousity, how do you feel about diplomatic protests from other countries whose citizens are slated to be executed by, say, the State of Texas?

Hang on, hang on, to start with, defending citizens slated to be executed by a standing crime against human rights is different from pressing for exceptional harsh punitive measures against a non-citizen guilty of murdering citizens in a foreign system. You just can't pretend the two are equivalent.

As far as I'm concerned, once a case has entered the justice system, barring miscarriages of justice, politicians should maintain a dignified silence on the specifics & failing to do so is a bit undignified. And especially when it might look suspiciously like bullying. Certainly Obama has every right to mouth off, but the Scottish executive can and should ignore him.

I should add that I don't think clemency should be a political prerogative (as it appears to be in the States) & in fact, I don't think it is here; I think McAskill is acting following published criteria & is advised by career officials.

nor would I have found it inappropriate for Chile to do the same to Spain with respect to Pinochet.

Not inappropriate, but if the Spanish court had paid any real attention, I would think the Spanish court was failing in its duty to do justice.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:27 AM
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||

OT Bleg: I have two Facebook accounts. One is for friends and teh other is for non-profit and other respectable activities. An old roommate of mine tracked me down on the professional one. I sent her a message saying that I have this other account, and she couldn't find that one at all. Meanwhile, I tried to find her with my regular account and can't.

Suggestions?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:27 AM
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I apologize to the dead horse for the continued violence I'm doing to him, but there is a difference between a trial proceeding, which is a question of justice alone, and a clemency proceeding, which is both a question of justice and of public policy. The public policy aspect is a legitimate object of political influence, both from domestic constituencies (e.g. victim statements at parole hearings) and foreign ones (e.g. the British ambassador calling the Texas governor). The fact that Scotland vests the power of clemency in a court rather than an elected official or an appointed parole board does remove the public policy element of the court's remit.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:28 AM
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mentally insert the word "not" into the appropriate spot in the last sentence of 270.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:30 AM
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105
"Nonpartisan"? They have that?

Varies by state. I'm pretty sure some don't keep track of voters' parties at all.

Re: drinking and carlessness, it's actually pretty inconvenient for me. There are some nice restaurants within walking distance of my place, but no bars that I know of. In theory there's a bus stop on the corner of my street; in practice, I have to walk seven blocks if I want to take a bus that comes more frequently than once an hour. (Although, now that I think of it, I should get to know better the area that less-frequent bus goes through. Hmmm.) I wish a tiny bit that I had looked harder for a place to live in DC itself when I moved down here instead of in Arlington.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 7:34 AM
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lacking in cock jokes is http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/torture-and-academic-freedom/

Shorter National Health Service ?: if someone became clearly terminally ill before the expiry of their sentence, they were let out to die at the expense of their families.


Posted by: E, Yoo memos vs tenure | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:11 AM
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re: 273

I presume OFE is referring to the pre-NHS period, since, today, there is no expense to their families for healthcare. I believe, in England, elderly people don't get free residential care -- in a nursing home, for example -- but they do in Scotland.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:17 AM
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270: a victim statement at a parole hearing is not "political pressure" in any sense of the word. "Political pressure" would be the parole board being overruled by the governor because it's coming up to an election and he doesn't want to be campaigning as the man who let a murderer out on the streets. Which, we're all agreed, would be bad.

Having any part of the justice system open to political pressure is bad. Politicians should get to decide on a) what the laws should be and b) the budget and operations of the justice services (should we build a new prison here, should we modernise this court, how much should we pay our judges and do we need any more, etc). They should not be involved in deciding questions of guilt, nor in deciding on sentences for specific cases. The institution of the presidential or gubernatorial pardon or stay or commutation of execution is a bizarre relic of mediaeval times that has no place in a modern country. But while it exists, of course governors will get lobbied.

Contrary to 270, Scotland does in fact have an appointed parole board. But Megrahi wasn't paroled - he was released on compassionate grounds.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:17 AM
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Shorter National Health Service ?

No. If they required medical treatment they got it from the NHS, even if they were the Dorking Kitten Strangler. (cf. contemporary example, Ronnie Biggs. Biggs is still dying in the same hospital bed he was dying in a couple of weeks ago. The NHS is still paying for his treatment. But he now nominally a free man, and the warder who had the job of cadging tea in the nurses' office has been re-assigned). But if they required tender loving care, bunches of grapes and so forth, they got that at home.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:17 AM
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273.2 was actually what I was referring to, but I can never resist the urge to be sarcastic.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:19 AM
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I believe that is the dynamic between every city and its suburbs. And between every city and the rest of its state. Except maybe Indianapolis.

I wonder whether this is true of New York. The suburbs are rich, but upstate is heavily subsidized by the city.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:22 AM
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Suggestions?

BG, presumably you have these two FB accounts under two different e-mail addresses. Can't the friend search for you using the for-friends e-mail address?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:24 AM
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We've been out of touch for about 5 years. I tried to search using the e-mail address she gave me. Maybe I should just send her an e-mail from the other account.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:32 AM
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I endorse 261.1.last_sentence-1

267.last, however, I disagree with. Life sentences should be life sentences, and that means hospice wings in prisons. If there are crimes for which execution is justified (I believe there are), surely there are crimes for which an actual life sentence is justified. Letting people out, regardless of circumstances, just creates political pressure to execute them (more properly - people who have committed similar crimes but who have not been sentenced yet) instead of giving them a pseudo-life sentence. It's a political rather than a moral calculation, in that I think the death penalty should be restricted to only the most heinous crimes, and releasing prisoners who are supposedly on life sentences creates political pressure for harsher punishments across the board. In a world of just and decent people it would be a non-issue, but...


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:35 AM
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If there are crimes for which execution is justified (I believe there are)

Stop right there. We shall not have a meeting of minds on this issue. Respect 'n' all, but.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:40 AM
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Also, Scottish courts are more reliable than Texan ones.

This really isn't a high bar.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:45 AM
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282: I'm interested in seeing the number of executions minimized, and living in a country that has a culture which is frankly brutal towards convicts, I think the best route to that end is a little less compassion for people on life sentences in order to extend a little more to those who might otherwise be killed by the state, which isn't as bad as it might seem, since they are often the same people. I'd like zero executions, but that's unlikely to happen. Second best is as few as politically possible.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:47 AM
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This is kind of a nonsensical discussion. We don't live in a just society. Not even close. If you're a black man, and you kill a white woman, you're probably going to die in prison. If you're a white guy and you kill a black man, you've got a good chance of getting out in 8 or 10 years. If you're a white cop and you kill a black man, you get a medal and a raise and a lot of sympathy from racists and the police union. If you're a white executive and your company kills thousands of people, at worst you have to go live in luxury in another country, frequently nothing happens. And God help you if you're a black woman whose boyfriend Fed-Exes her a package of dope or something. Your going upstate for a long, long time.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:48 AM
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tog, I'm having a hard time squaring this:

If there are crimes for which execution is justified (I believe there are)

with this:

I'd like zero executions

Can you clarify?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:49 AM
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||

I just coined a phrase that I would like to get into wider circulation. I called my Congresscritter's office to urge a stiff spine on the public option, and as I was speaking, with no particular script in mind, I said "Most of the people I know in the district are going to be very disappointed if all we get is Romneycare on a national scale."

I think that phrase has promise. Let's say it again: "Romneycare on a national scale". It simultaneously needles the progressive conscience and implicitly calls attention to GOP obstructionism ("Why are they standing in the way of a program that their once-and-future presidential contender supported?")

Say it with me: "We won't be satisfied with Romneycare on a national scale."

|>


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:52 AM
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Seems pretty clear to me, Stan.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:54 AM
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288: What? Have no one commit those crimes for which executions are justified?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:56 AM
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Seems pretty clear to me, Stan.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 8:57 AM
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if someone became clearly terminally ill before the expiry of their sentence, they were let out to die at the expense of their families.

Es war in der Anstalt üblich, die Aussichtslosen unter Verschleierung dieses Tatbestandes in ihre Familien zu entlassen wegen der Schreibereien und des Schmutzes, den der Tod mit sich bringt. Auf einen solchen trat Rönne zu, besah ihn sich: die künstliche Öffnung auf der Vorderseite, den durchgelegenen Rücken, dazwischen etwas mürbes Fleisch; beglückwünschte ihn zu der gelungenen Kur und sah ihm nach, wie er von dannen trottete. Er wird nun nach Hause gehen, dachte Rönne, die Schmerzen als eine lästige Begleiterscheinung der Genesung empfinden, unter den Begriff der Erneuerung treten, den Sohn anweisen, die Tochter heranbilden, den Bürger hochhalten, die Allgemeinvorstellung des Nachbars auf sich nehmen, bis die Nacht kommt mit dem Blut im Hals.


Posted by: Benncare | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:00 AM
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Has no one, Stan.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:00 AM
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Steams pretty clear to me-san.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:01 AM
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281
Letting people out, regardless of circumstances, just creates political pressure to execute them (more properly - people who have committed similar crimes but who have not been sentenced yet) instead of giving them a pseudo-life sentence.

I disagree. I mean, sure, there's "well, it just seems logical" logic to this, but that's actually worth very little. Assuming of course that end-of-life clemency policies are genuinely reserved for the end of life, people don't consider a murderer up for sentencing and say "I'd support a life sentence for this murderer, but what if he gets out three months before he dies and spend those last months bed-ridden with cancer? That's just not punitive enough."

At the very least, your assertion should be supportable from evidence. Which states or countries have the death penalty but also have an end-of-life clemency custom or policy? In those places with no death penalty but a clemency custom or policy, does support for a hypothetical death penalty poll higher than in places without a clemency custom?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:07 AM
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Life sentences should be life sentences, and that means hospice wings in prisons.

A life sentence is a life sentence. It's just that not all of that sentence is spent in prison. When a lifer's let out on parole, he isn't free - he can be recalled at any time if he reoffends and will go back into prison until he's paroled again, even if that means spending longer than the second offence would normally merit. That's not true of someone who serves a shorter sentence - once the term of that sentence is past, they're truly free.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:09 AM
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295 Makes an important point. People Lackies of Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre whine a lot about murderers "getting out in 12 years" in Britain, but they're only "out" on pretty strict terms. They remain in the system till they die. If they're already dying anyway, there seems little point not paroling them.

Also, Australia are 131 for 8, but nobody else cares.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:24 AM
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Pretend the close strike tag on that ended after the first word.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:25 AM
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No one else even knows what 296.2 even means.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:26 AM
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re:295

Yeah.

Also, judges can set minimum recommended terms for a lifer to serve, and as we both know, there are people in the UK prison system who will never be freed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:30 AM
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re: 298

I beg to differ. Know, yes. Care much, no.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:31 AM
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Say it with me: "We won't be satisfied with Romneycare on a national scale."

We will BURN SHIT DOWN!

(The "left of the left" needs pressure from their left.)


Posted by: Overton Window of Defenestration | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:31 AM
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300: I actually both know and care slightly. I've been down here too long.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:34 AM
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re: 302

Actually, to be honest, I find the Aussies pretty insufferable when it comes to team sports, so I probably do care, but only a bit.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:35 AM
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Is this a cricket thing? Crikey.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:45 AM
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Ooh. Maybe it's the Ashes?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:46 AM
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286: Eichmann deserved the gallows, but a just society ought to err on the side of caution, in which case sparing Eichmann in order to eliminate the possibility of executing some other person who might be innocent is preferable. IOW, eliminating the death penalty is good even though some people deserve it because we cannot craft a system sufficiently good to ensure that only the guilty are hanged.

294: I'm talking about situations specific to the US. Very few other countries have our absurd combination of extreme squeamishness and outright brutality. Within the US the release of lifers before they serve out their sentences is a regular source of campaign fodder for Law and Order politicians.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:46 AM
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Does the term "Romneycare" have any national resonance? I kind of have a feeling it wouldn't mean much or anything to a lot of non-PA or non-Northeast voters.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 9:59 AM
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I have a feeling it wouldn't mean much or anything to a lot of PA voters either.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:03 AM
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Quite. If only PA were starting from a position of already having Romneycare!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:05 AM
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No time to comment, but life-sentence discussion should reflect that in the US the "reality" of life sentences (that is, whether you're really likely to be imprisoned until you die) varies dramatically by state. Anti-death-penalty campaigners also argue internally about whether LWOP (life without possibility of parole) should be held up as such an ideal alternative to the d.p., especially considering that if you convict a 14-year-old as an adult, you're basically sentencing him to more than a half-century behind bars.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:18 AM
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||

The band on the quad just went "deedelie deedelie deedelie deedelie SQUEEE!" again. The first time wasn't enough.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:21 AM
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Massylvania?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:21 AM
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DEEEEEooooo DEEEEEoooo DEEEEEEoooo skronk [whammy bar]


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:23 AM
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"we'd like to close out this set with a song by Grand Funk Railroad"

AAAAAGH


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:24 AM
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314: Is that a prison quad you're talking about?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:30 AM
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Hey, I noticed upthread that folks were talking about DUIs, so perhaps this is the perfect place to recount my recent copwatch/drunk guy experience.

It is the habit of DFHs in my circles to make nuisances of ourselves by "copwatching" arrests and police interactions when we see them. There's also a local Copwatch program which hooks people up with lawyers and helps file complaints. Do I enjoy doing this? No, I do not. Do I usually believe it helps? Eh. Do I try to judge whether the person being arrested/talking to the cop is embarrassed and doesn't want the attention? Yes. Do I usually "copwatch" from down the block? Yes.

So last Friday I was biking back from something at about 10pm. I saw a cop car pulled over and thought to myself "hey, people at the meeting would be all awesome and see what was going on, but I'm just going to go home" when I heard the cops shouting at someone. As I went by, I saw that they had a middle-aged black guy bent over the hood of the car and were yelling in an unpleasant manner, so I stopped my bike and started rummaging for my trusty camera. (I almost never start photographing, but I like to have the option just in case)

Literally the instant they saw me, they changed their tone and started talking to the guy, telling him that they were "just concerned because he was intoxicated" and then they sent him on his drunken way. He was sorta-kinda drunk. I saw him walk off a ways and he seemed to be drunk enough to have lost a few boundaries without being drunk enough to need detox or to be hassling people.

The rapid and total change in tone surprised me, honestly. Either the guy was enough of a problem to get him on the car and yell at him or he wasn't; if the cops figured he just needed a little talking to, why were they yelling? And if he was dangerous, why didn't they take him to detox or jail?

I think I was more shocked by this than I would have been by a genuinely violent interaction.

Anyway, the power of copwatching is that I, er, kept one drunk guy from maybe being arrested.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:38 AM
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Yea Frowner!

I seem to remember an infrequent Unfogged commenter getting roughed up and arrested for copwatching several years ago. Female and Canadian, and I think it happened in Toronto, but I can't remember who it was.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:47 AM
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Aussies 160 all out. Since I work for an Aussie my approach to Aussie sports (they can be quite annoying about it, I think of Australia as the Texas of The Commonwealth) is nuanced and considered. (I just called the bugger to rub it in a bit, but of course he was already following it live on The Age website.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:48 AM
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320: Heh. I have often made the Texas/Australlia comparison. So much loud pride over such a short and not very prideworthy history and culture.

Of course, non-Texans/Australlians better smile when they say that.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:56 AM
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One "l", M/ls.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:58 AM
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319: Actually, one of the Copwatch guys (who is black) got beat up pretty badly by cops not long ago for copwatching. It's very shocking even to someone as cynical as me, since it's not even as if the person were at a protest or drunk or waving a rock or something. It's just beating someone up pure and simple.

I do worry about some of my friends from time to time. I've probably mentioned my one friend who gets greeted by name by cops at demonstrations, and definitely in a creepy "we mean to scare you" way. It's strange to have that go from all abstract and "oh, how exciting my activist life is" to "no, really, someone I actually like could easily get hurt".


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 10:59 AM
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I tried copwatching once. It was fine, but they objected to the little bands around their legs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:02 AM
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One "l", M/ls.

Surely he can trade in the underground L economy and pick up a few extra to insert willy-nilly without sacrificing his own "L."


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:02 AM
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I do worry about some of my friends from time to time. I've probably mentioned my one friend who gets greeted by name by cops at demonstrations, and definitely in a creepy "we mean to scare you" way. It's strange to have that go from all abstract and "oh, how exciting my activist life is" to "no, really, someone I actually like could easily get hurt".

I've had that happen as an "escort" at Planned Parenthood, but it's quite another thing when the violent arm of the state does it to you, I can only imagine.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:04 AM
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Mith Mils wouldn't do something so unethical, ().


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:05 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:06 AM
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I tried copwatching once. It was fine, but they objected to the little bands around their legs.

I've found that ear tags work better and are easier to read when you go back for follow-up.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:08 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:09 AM
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325: One "c", nebl.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:09 AM
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327: Or, just switch to Cops watching.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:11 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:12 AM
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AT LEAST MY COMMENTS ARE RELEVANT AND NON-TEDIOUS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED LAMPSHADE | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:12 AM
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I wrote "Mith" purposefully, M/tch, because I felt that if I were going to replace your slash with a vowel, I should remove or alter a different letter to preserve your much-valued pseudonymity.

What do I get for my consideration? Scorn.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:12 AM
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Get a room, Murray.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:13 AM
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331: Hey now, we all agreed: No spoilers for the G.I. Joe movie.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:13 AM
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334: GAR! GAR! Why does no one adopt my acronyms?

Actually, on second thought, that really is quite terrible and just brings to mind the Grand Army of the Republic.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:15 AM
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I can't wait for G.I. Joe Begins, wherein it will be revealed how Joe got that scar on his cheek and achieved his famous Kung Fu grip.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:15 AM
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336: Actually, I quite like GAR, I just forgot.

And to me it brings to mind how nice it might be to GAR with Teri Garr.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:18 AM
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just brings to mind the Grand Army of the Republic.

Historians. Can't take them anywhere.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:18 AM
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It just makes me think of GWAR.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:18 AM
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336: That's one school of thought, anyway.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:18 AM
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I appreciate your consideration, neb. Not enough to GAR with you, mind, but I do appreciate it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:19 AM
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341: You perv.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:20 AM
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340: You don't want to GAR with GWAR?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:21 AM
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Also: agar agar and guar gum.

If you're into that sort of thing.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:22 AM
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GWAR went to the same high school that Will and I attended. Fact.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:22 AM
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I refused to admit or deny whether Phallus in Wonderland was modeled after Stanley or me.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:27 AM
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346: Man, I'm not a fan of dress codes, but surely you have to draw the line somewhere.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:28 AM
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I"M NOT EVEN GOING TO SAY IT!


Posted by: OPINIONATED BLACKBEARD | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:38 AM
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349: Say what?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:51 AM
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"IT"! GARRRRRRR.


Posted by: OPINIONATED BLACKBEARD | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:54 AM
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Silly pirate, GARRRRRRRs are for bears.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:58 AM
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352: Sigh.


Posted by: OPINIONATED BEAR | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 11:59 AM
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Silly bear, sighs are for bridges.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:04 PM
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||
What is the proper name for the interbuttockular cleft?
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:10 PM
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355: It's French. Le craque.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:12 PM
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Gluteal cleft.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:14 PM
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Alternately, Pospalte.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:15 PM
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||
And more supporting evidence for Rory Kotimy's Newt Brief.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:16 PM
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interestingly, google reports exactly one prior use of the term "interbuttockular" on the internet.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:18 PM
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That's crazy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:19 PM
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361 to 359.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:19 PM
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Newt as Wolverine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:32 PM
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On topic - my sister (a whole whopping 20 years old) was pulled over last night for suspected drunk driving because she forgot to dim her brights as she passed the cop (country road) and according to the cop, she "swerved." Strange.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:34 PM
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Strange, but I do hate it when people forget to dim. It's blinding, especially if you are in a low car and the approaching car is an SUV. (Not that I haven't forgotten from time to time.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:36 PM
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Oh, I hate it too, and my sister isn't the most responsible of drivers. (She's gotten 4-5 tickets in her 3 years of driving.) But still, one thing she'd never do is drink and drive, so it was frustrating for her to be pulled over for it.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:40 PM
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Did she get a ticket? That's the reason cops would give for pulling teenagers over in my hometown (also mostly on country roads) when they wanted to check if the kids were drunk. Didn't matter if you had actually dimmed or not. If you weren't drunk but the cop still thought you were up to no good, you'd get a ticket for not dimming your lights.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:41 PM
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Nope, no ticket...and she freely admits she didn't dim. If it's the road I think it is, you don't have a lot of time to make the decision because it's quite twisty so it's pretty easy to be on top of someone before you have a chance to dim your lights. She looks cute and innocent, though, so I'm guessing the cop decided she wasn't up to no good.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:46 PM
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We all have a weakness for cute and innocent twenty-year old women.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 12:49 PM
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359: You think the prospect of being stabbed and poisoned by the exposed ribs of your pet is going to help Rory's case?

"Anyway, if this newt can avoid being eaten in some cases, this surely has a positive influence."

Yes. Indeed. That sure does seem positive!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:20 PM
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370: But, but, you could get one and name it Spike. How stabby adorable would that be?!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:22 PM
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You could put Spike in a box, present it to UNG, and tell him that Spike loves to be cuddled and petted, squeezed even.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:31 PM
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"The toxic pricks reminded me of you!"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:32 PM
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370: Awesomeness trumps lethality.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:35 PM
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Australlia

Actually, that spelling lends itself nicely to the native pronunciation.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:43 PM
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373 deserves recognition. Excellent work, M/tch.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:46 PM
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316: It would be more impressive if you had pwatched solo, rather than merely co-pwatching. But, kudos nonetheless!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 08-21-09 1:49 PM
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rpdigrmzc http://www.free-mass-traffic.net/free-mass-traffic/free-mass-traffic-review Free Mass Traffic


Posted by: insuplirl | Link to this comment | 01-17-11 3:37 AM
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