Monthly Archives: May 2009

It’s Not Supposed To Be About Street Justice

[I started to comment on this over at Simple Justice, but there’s so much going on here that I decided to do my own post. As usual these days, it’s a bit late.]

I may be a libertarian, but I’m not a cop hater. Sometimes, however, cops make it very hard not to hate them. Go read Scott Greenfield’s story about a cop who hit a surrendering suspect and put him in a coma. Here’s a bit of a description from the source article at the Seattle Times:

Seattle lawyer Sim Osborn, who has been retained by Christopher Harris’ family, said both deputies wore black uniforms and yelled to Harris from a half-block away in a darkened alley. He said one witness reported the two deputies didn’t identify themselves as law-enforcement officers until after Harris began running down the alley sometime after 1 a.m. Sunday. Osborn said Harris stopped running a few blocks away, apparently after realizing the two men chasing him were deputies.

“He was blindsided,” Osborn said of Harris. “It was not a tackle but an absolute, bone-crushing hit.” Harris’ head struck a concrete wall. Since then, he’s been in a coma and on life support at Harborview Medical Center.

There’s video of the hit too, but what apparaently sets Scott off is the comments over at Here’s an example he quotes:

Great job Deputy! That suspect FLED on foot and turned toward you. What were his intentions when he turned, fight, weapon, surrender? We may never know but you did right and will be vindicated!

Yes, exactly, what were his intentions? I can just imagine the officer’s debriefing:

I was chasing after him, yelling “Stop! Police!” And then the crazy bastard stopped! Who knows why he did that? Naturally, I had to take him out!

That reminds me of a case a few years ago where a police officer pulled a car over, walked up to the driver’s window and asked him for his license. Then the cop shot the driver. His reason? The driver suddenly reached for something.

I’m no expert, but this seems to be a common pattern with police violence against innocent people: The cops form the incorrect opinion that someone is a bad guy—either through mistaken identity or misfiring intuition—and then fit all subsequent behavior into that pattern. Even when the suspect does something innocent and cooperative, the cops fit it into their bad-guy model of the situation and interpret it as strange and alarming behavior.

(The Amadou Diallo incident developed in this manner. Diallo was just standing on his own front stoop, but police thought he was a bad guy who was up to something. When they eased their car closer, he didn’t slip away like most street people would, which really freaked them out. Then, when they got out of their cars, he tried to re-enter his building, which freaked out the cops even more, until one of them opened fire.)

There are other observations we can make from this incident. For one thing, the whole account starts with a lie. It’s a lie that’s enshrined in the law. It’s a lie so common that nobody even realizes it’s a lie anymore, not even the lawyer for the victim’s family:

Seattle lawyer Sim Osborn, who has been retained by Christopher Harris’ family, said…one witness reported the two deputies didn’t identify themselves as law-enforcement officers until after Harris began running down the alley sometime after 1 a.m. Sunday…

Other witnesses thought the deputies yelled “police” immediately.

Here’s the lie: Yelling “Police!” is not identifying yourself as a police officer. Yelling “Police!” is claiming to be a police officer. It’s something anyone can do, including strangers who want to stop you from running so they can rob you.

Pretending that only real cops are capable of yelling “Police!” is some kind of shared delusion. When a drug raid goes bad, one of the key questions is always whether or not the cops announced before entering, as if—just before the shattering windows and splintering doors—hearing someone yell “Police!” is all it takes to make the occupants feel calm and reassured that all is well.

This incident took place in the street, but I think the same principle applies: When strangers make threatening moves toward you, it’s kind of hard to be reassured by what they’re saying at the time. Cops know this, because this is exactly how plainclothes and off-duty cops get shot by other cops.

A few other notes:

  • The method the cop used to subdue this guy—running straight into him with arms extended—is that a technique he learned at the academy? Does it have a name? Does it appear in any of the training manuals?
  • When asked to justify a decision, cops often say it was based on their experience and training. This cop chased and jumped the wrong guy, and the takedown was totally unnecessary. Does that mean that the next time this officer is on the witness stand testifying that he knew something based on his “experience and training,” the defense lawyer can bring up this incident as an example of how his experience and training have steered him wrong before?
  • The calousness of some of the commenters is disturbing. There is nothing in the video or the news story indicating that the victim had it coming.
  • Was this another case of the old police street-justice rule that if they have to chase you, they’ll beat you?

The short-term thinking by some of the commenters is depressing. To me, it looks like the officer committed a violent crime against the guy he hit. But maybe there’s some excuse for what he did. Maybe, given what he knew at the time, this seemed like the right thing to do. A lot of commenters focus on that.

But just because the officer survived the encounter and won’t be convicted of a felony doesn’t mean it was good policework. That would be setting the bar far too low. An innocent person was gravely injured. The actual offender probably got away. The lawsuit will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Seattle police look like a bunch of thugs.

And for what it’s worth, I still think the cop was trying to deliver some street justice…just maybe not that much.

Mike and Me, Part II

[No, this isn’t a repeat of this episode of “Mike and Me,” from a couple of years ago. More on that at the end. This article, slightly tweaked, is crossposted on TrueNorth, my LiveJournal and on the Forum, as well as here, where comments are welcome.]


“Joel Rosenberg.”

“Will you hold for Commissioner Campion?”

“No.” *click*


“Joel Rosenberg.”

“Will you hold for Commissioner Campion?”

No.* *click*


“Joel Rosenberg.”

“Mike Campion here. Got a minute for me?”

“Sure, Mike. Happy to talk to you. Not happy to get a call to be put on hold by His Most Puissant Excellency Herr Commissioner Campion’s secretary.”

[long pause; deep breath] alt

“Fair enough. I see you’ve been having a bit of fun with that Metro Gang Strike Force story.”

“Yup. I laugh so that I will not cry. Been following the popup cartoon stuff?”


“I haven’t had so much fun since I walked out of your office that time you summoned John, Professor Olson and me to hear your sermon. It’s dreadful, and I guess it’s better to laugh than to — “

You walked out a scant fifty-eight minutes into a one-hour meeting, Joel.

“True. Wish I’d had a camera. Loved your expression. I did thank you for the coffee, though.”


“So, what can I do for you, Mike?”

“I take it you think I really stepped in it.”

“Well, yeah. Piles of cash and thirteen cars disappear — on your watch — and first thing you do is carefully not order the perps’ offices sealed?”

“I didn’t think — “

“Correct. You didn’t think that, after the announcement that there was going to be an investigation, things might disappear there. When you’re going to raid the Rolling 60’s Crips, you usually hold a press conference in advance? Not exactly surealt I agree with your police work, there, Commissioner.”

“I guess that looks bad.”

“Yeah.  Mike, didn’t I read somewhere about people going to prison for tipping off the target of a raid?”

“Well, I —

“Looks like you announced that there was going to be an opportunity to steal the horses before the barn got locked.”

“I know. I didn’t mean to, but — “


“So what do I do now? I mean, these guys do a lot of good work, and — “

“I guess you could issue another statement assuring the public that you don’t think any evidence of criminality will now be found, what with that head start you gave the perps, and all. Wonder where all that cash and those cars got to.”

“It’s probably just bookkeeping errors.”

“Sure. Cars often disappear in bookkeeping errors. Happens all the time. In Narnia.”


“Do you have any constructive suggestions? I mean, we gotta do something to win back the public trust, and — “

“Nah. You’re not going to do the obvious, so — “

“I don’t see what’s so obvious.”

“Yeah. At least thousands of dollars and more than a dozen cars disappear while in the possession of the Gang Strike Force, and you don’t see what’s so obvious. But you’ve got a nice little, slow investigation that won’t show anything as long as it doesn’t go deep, and the perps had time not only to lawyer up, but to flush the evidence, unless you — “

“I’m going to hang up if you don’t give me one constructive suggestion.”

“Hang up if you want, but I’ll give you one way anyway. Not the only possibility, but I’ll make it easy for you: Get on the horn to Susan Gartner. County Attorney, Ramsey, where some of this money appears to have disa — “

“I know who she is.”

“Good. Tell her you think it’s in her interest to bring on a special prosecutor, give him a staff, and altconvene a grand jury. And tell your you’ve already talked to a few people, and you’ve got some suggest — “

“Special prosecutor?”

“Yeah. You don’t want somebody who needs these cops to make cases to be the one investigating — and maybe prosecuting — them. Even if he looks real, real hard, and doesn’t find anything — and, shit, there’s got to be some clean cops on the Gang Strike Force, after all, no? — it won’t clear their names, and it won’t nail the crooks who ‘lost’ all that money and all those cars. And let’s not get to their splendid Hawaiian vacation.

“So instead of getting up in front of the press and announcing that you’re maybe going to eventually hire some unnamed guy who has scored a lot of points in slam-dunk Federal prosecutions and some ex-FBI guy who may or may not be able to find his ass with both hands, and do that before the evidence has been secured, now that you’ve screwed up —

“And screwing up by saying in advance that they probably wouldn’t find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, like I did — “

“Stop interrupting. Just get somebody with real prosecuting experience in Minnesota, who isn’t in the game anymore, and let him hire on some staff who know how to look. I know one guy; you know more, and Gartner knows more than you do. Tell him to hire some clean, retired cops, who still have their current POST licenses, and swear ’em in. Kaplan* is about to retire out of EPD, and, hell, Lex Kent* used to work for you, even though he’s got that new gig. I know some; you know more. A forensic accountant or two — have him follow the money. See where it leads.

“And I’m sure you know who should be leading this, or on the task force, right?”

“Hell, no. I mean, were it me, I’d pick up the phone to Ya’acov Smalls* and see if he’d do the the lawyer part. Smalls is tough and honest, and he’s prosecuted enough guys, after all. Both of the Turk* brothers are retired, but they’ve still got their licenses, and you know they’re straight arrows. Don’t know what they’d say if you asked them, but how much stink do you think they like on the badge? Billy Mitchell* would probably love to run the financial and bookeeping side of it — he likes to keep his hand in — and, hell, you’ve already got Wong* at the BCA to run the computer forensics side of it.

“But what do I know? I don’t have the connections you do; you’re the state’s top cop, and I’m just a balding, middle-aged Jew writer who knows a few people. Finding one honest former prosecutor and six honest guys who used to carry badges and do keep their word and would say yes to this should take you about ten phone calls. If I have to guess — “

“You don’t.”

You called me, Mike. Don’t interrupt so. As I was saying . . . if I had to guess, a real thorough investigation would exonerate a bunch of guys, and might just convict a few. I dunno. But, either way, it would do something to persuade people that you really want to get to the bottom of this, and not apply a slow-rolled coat of youknowwhat.”

“Yeah. I see your point. Get to the bottom of it, even though we screwed up by announcing the investigation before we preserved the evidence.”

“Yup. Admit the screwup, do your best, clear the innocent and arrest the folks you’ve got reason to think are guilty . . . and let the system handle it while you move on. Glad you called?”

“Not really.”

“Didn’t think so.”

“Hey, I’m just trying to help, Mike. Really.”


[Author’s note: the previous episode of “Mike and Me” wasn’t fictional. This one is fictional. Yes, published reports indicate that the real Campion did everything that the fictional Campion admits to in this fictional dialog — he says he’s appointing some former Fed prosecutor and some former FBI guy to look into things; he didn’t arrange to have the Gang Strike Force HQ sealed and guarded — that only happened after Chris Omodt was informed, according to the Star Tribune’s Randy Furst, that “some Strike Force investigators turned up at the agency’s New Brighton headquarters after hours on Wednesday to remove items from the offices.” Maybe those items were just keepsakes of the leis that they’d gotten on their Most Excellent Taxpayer-Funded Hawaiian Vacation. Yes, there really are real people behind those names I gave the fictional Campion; I know them all, and have talked to none about whether or not they’d be willing to look into this, but they’re all honest guys — they’d either pass, or they’d do it.

[And, no, Campion didn’t call me. I told you this was a story, didn’t I?]

* Not the real name.



Home at last.

Last I saw, Dad was discussing his care with one of his nurses. He will always be my Dad, but he’s no longer by day-to-day responsibility.

Time for me to go to bed with the wife and the cats.

in Family

Healthcare Still to Come…

Last August, I boldly announced that I would begin blogging more about healthcare.  Like most such announcements here, it didn’t work out. I had figured the big story for the next administration would be healthcare, but just days later the economy blew up.

The story of the Obama administration is turning back toward healthcare now, and I’d still like to learn about healthcare issues, so I’m finally getting around to starting some research.  (My recent experiences with the healthcare system probably have something to do with it.)

Before I actually learn anything, I thought I’d document some of my thoughts and intuitions about healthcare and ideas for reform, so that I can compare my current biases with my more informed opinions in the future.

So, in no particular order, here’s what I believe or suspect right now:

  • I’m not entirely convinced we have skyrocketing out-of-control healthcare costs.  Our total healthcare expenditures are rising, but that’s because (1) our population is getting older on average so we need more healthcare, and (2) healthcare technology is getting better, so there’s greater value in buying it (kind of like the reason most households have higher computer expenses today than they did 25 years ago). This is normal.
  • The only healthcare externalities are infectious diseases.
  • The reason some people can’t get healthcare is because it’s a scarce commodity: There aren’t enough doctors, hospitals, nurses, drugs, and medical equipment to give everyone the care they want.  That some people can’t afford healthcare is merely a symptom of its scarcity.
  • Any healthcare reform plan that does not increase the supply of healthcare—more doctors, hospitals, nurses, drugs, and medical equipment—cannot possibly provide more care.  It can only change who gets the care.
  • Lots of people say you can make healthcare cheaper with more efficient handling of medical and billing data.  I believe this is true, but that the overall saving will be small compared to the total for healthcare.
  • Some of the cost is due to protective barriers to entry in the medical profession.  Many routine tasks performed by doctors could be performed by less skilled people.  The emergence of low-cost clinics staffed by nurse practitioners is a step in the right direction.  If more efficient data processing is going to have a serious effect on medical costs, it will be by enabling more care to be provided by less-expensive labor.
  • As long as healthcare remains scarce, we will have to ration it somehow, either by price or by insurance claims processing or by government rules.  There will always be people who can’t get what they want.
  • The diseases you get are somewhat random, the accuracy with which you’re diagnosed is somewhat random, and the outcome of your treatment is somewhat random.
  • All that randomness amounts to risk, and the presence of risk means that insurance—private or public—will be an unavoidable part of healthcare for the foreseeable future.
  • The health insurance market is perverse in that the assymetry of knowledge runs opposite to the usual direction of most markets:  The person buying health insurance almost always knows more about their health than the seller of insurance.
  • Under the wrong conditions, that can cause massive adverse selection—where only those most at risk bother to buy insurance.
  • Medical care is very complicated, so healthcare buyers—patients—don’t usually know much about what they’re buying.
  • Much of what we call health insurance—especially coverage for routine medical procedures that people can pay for themselves—is really a legal way to dodge taxes:  Our employers pay for medical insurance with pre-tax dollars, but if we had to pay those fees ourselves, we’d pay with post-tax dollars.  This distorts and obscures the insurance market.
  • If not for the tax advantages, most people wouldn’t buy non-catastrophic health insurance.
  • The problem of pre-existing conditions is a particularly ugly feature.  If you have a chronic $25,000/year disease, nobody will want to insure you for less than $25,000/year.
  • One solution to the problem of pre-existing conditions is to make health insurance companies responsible for the lifetime costs of any condition discovered during the period of coverage.  This is like medical malpractice insurance, where a lawsuit many years later will still be covered by the company that held the policy at the time of the doctor’s mistake.
  • A robust system of post-discovery specialized re-insurance may make the process more efficient.  For example, if a covered person is diagnosed with lung cancer, their insurance company could pay a lump-sum premium to a company that specializes in lung cancer to cover all future treatment.  These companies would have strong incentives to improve patient care in order to cut costs.
  • Private insurance should probably be backed up by the government so that failed insurance companies do not leave people uncovered—perhaps policy blocks could be bid out to other companies.
  • Any government insurance should be at least partially re-insured on the private market to establish realistic pricing.

Some of this must be wrong, much of it could be wrong, but I doubt it’s all wrong. We’ll see.

Five Days

If all goes well, by this time Wednesday night, I’ll be back in my own home, getting ready to sleep in my bed, with my wife, and all the cats.

Well, Yes, Shane Becker is a Douchebag

Give me a moment; I’ll get to it. Trust me. And, since I’m a fiction writer, I’ll even make it all turn out well in the end, with lessons learned, a bond between police and citizens strengthened, and all that cool stuff. Hell, I’ll even tease a friend who will find this sooner or later, maybe embarrass the badgelickers who don’t see the difference between service-oriented policing and Bad Cop Stuff, and all that, although that would be a lot to ask.

It’ll be fun.

Start here, with Shane Becker getting rousted by a couple of Loomis ATM Ninjas (mainly the shaved-headed idiot, below) for the crime of photography, with some help from Officers Fife and Fife II of the much (and deservedly) maligned Seattle PD.  I’ll wait.

You back? Good.

Since then, he says that he’s gotten all sorts of attention — fine — and been called a douchebag by badgelickers all across the globe for, apparently, not respecting the authoritah of various folks with badges and guns.

Yeah, he’s a douchebag, but not for that. Respect, after all, has to be earned, and none of the folks with badges in this earned any.

Let’s back up and start with a few basic principles of life: be polite by default — I’m not saying that you have to put up with a lot of bumptiousness from officious jerks without doing anything about it, honest; just do useful stuff, if you’re going to do anything, and we’ll get to that — and (I can’t believe I have to spell this out, but . . . ) if you’re threatened with bodily violence by a jerk with a gun, call the cops and let them — you can’t make them, but you can give them the opportunity — arrest him and introduce him to the more structured environment suitable to his special needs.

Anybody who doesn’t get both of those is a douchebag. So, yes, Shane Becker demonstrated that he doesn’t get the latter, and maybe — with some provocation — he missed out on the politeness stuff.

Okay. Now, let’s roll back the tape, a bit, and make the assumption that Shane Becker’s got both of those basics down, and — what the heck — let’s cut the Seattle PD just a bit of slack, for fun, and assume that Officers Debra Pelich, GE Abed, and Sergeant William Robertson are merely ignorant and mildly abusive, and not out to buy themselves all sorts of bad press and maybe worse if given an easy, obvious alternative from the very start. I’m not going to palm a card and make them great, mind you, but just decent, ordinary, service-oriented cops who got started off on the wrong path, and led themselves down it, so let’s make it easy for the poor dears to do it right, from the start, and see where it might go.

To review the bidding: Becker’s been minding his own business, standing in line at REI, after taking a few perfectly lawful photographs in a public place of something going on in said public place, and a shaved-head, bullet-headed uniformed ATM Ninja in a Loomis uniform with a big Glock on his hip in a fast-draw Serpa holster walks over and starts making impertinent demands.

ATM Ninja:  When you’re done over here —

Not a bad way to phrase things, and a good start, actually.

— come talk to me.

ATM Ninja guy has forgotten the magic word: “Please.”Nothing wrong with asking a favor, after all.

Becker: No, thanks.

A polite response to an impertinent demand. Cool.

ATM Ninja: Don’t try to leave. I will tackle you.

And here’s where we go back to the basic principle, above, and what a non-douchebag should have done. In this variant, Becker whips out a cell phone and calls 911.

911: Seattle PD. What is your emergency?
Becker:  I’m being held prisoner by a man with a gun at the REI. Please send help.  He said he’s going to tackle me if I try to leave.
911:  Police are on their way, sir.  Please stay on the phone.  Is he pointing a gun at you?
Becker:  No, Ma’am. He’s off near the ATM with the other Loomis guy.
911:  Loomis guy? These are security guards?
Becker:  I think they’re Loomis security guards, servicing the ATM?
911:  Where are you now, sir? 
Becker:  I’m in line over at the counter, and  . . . here comes one of your officers.

Debra Pelich:  You called 911, sir?
Becker:  I sure did, and —
ATM Ninja, running over:  He was taking pictures of me!

Okay, we could go a lot of ways here.  I’d really like to make Debra Pelich a good, knowledgeable, service-oriented cop, but I can’t get the knowledgeable stuff in, as she’s got that “photography is a crime” thing in her no-doubt sweet little head.

(Yes, Deb, I’m being deliberately condescending, here, and I’ve made it real easy for your google egoscan to find this. Tough. Redeem yourself in real life, and I’ll give you some respect, okay?)

But I do have a soft spot in my heart (and some would say my head) for cops, so in a moment I’m going let her take a deep breath, remember what she’s signed up to do, and have her and Abed be the good — albeit not perfect — service-oriented cops that I really wish I thought that they were, and which I know damn well they should aspire to be.

Debbie:  You were taking pictures of him?  That’s been illegal since 911?
Becker takes his own deep breath, and sighs:  No, it isn’t illegal to take pictures of some Loomis guy.  But, hey, I didn’t call you to talk about photography and 911.  I called you because this guy said if I tried to leave he’d tackle me, and I’d really like to be able to go about my business.
Debbie:  But you were taking pictures of him!
Becker takes another deep breath:  Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I don’t want to discuss photography with you.  If you’re going to arrest me for taking pictures, I won’t resist, but . . . okay, we’ll make it simple:  I need to speak to my attorney before I talk to you any more.  Am I free to leave?
Debbie:  I [she takes a deep breath, herself, and lets it out] . . . okay.  I think I got off on the wrong foot with you, sir.  Hang on a moment, please, sir? Just as a favor?

A good, service-oriented cop knows he can start soft, as that gives him some place to go later. She didn’t do that, either in this fictional account or real life. She should have. (Hey, Chief. How’s the new gig? I knew you’d stumble across this, eventually. Yes, I was listening; no, I won’t embarrass you. Gimme a call sometime; let’s do lunch, on me.) Works for women, too.

Here, if he doesn’t want to play nice, she’s got other tools in her toolbox, but she doesn’t have to decide if she’s got the right or need to take them out if “please” or the old “as a favor” routine does everything she wants, and more.

Becker: A moment, sure.
Debbie, turning to the Loomis guy:  You said you were going to tackle this citizen if he tried to leave, did you?
ATM Ninja:  Yeah, but he was taking pictures of me, and you know that’s illegal, and —
Debbie, who has finally gotten it:  Sir. I am a police officer.  I can, under some circumstances, detain a citizen who wishes to go about his business without performing an arrest.  You, sir, are not.  You’re a guy with a badge and a gun, sir.  Maybe it’s illegal for him to take your picture; maybe it isn’t.  We’ll let the prosecutors sort that out.  But are you telling me that you made a citizens arrest of this guy?  If so, well, and I’m sorry, sir, but if he did, then I have to take you into custody — I got no choice.  Then again, if it’s a false arrest —
ATM Ninja:  False arrest?  Who’s talking about an arrest?  I just asked the guy to talk to me, and just wait minute, I —
Debbie:  I’m speaking, sir.  You’ll have your chance in a moment.  [Turns to Becker] I’m sorry, sir; I didn’t introduce myself, before.  I’m Officer Debra Pelich of the Seattle PD?  May I have your name?
Becker:  Shane Becker, Ma’am. 
Debbie:  May I see your ID, please, sir.  One way or another, I’m going to need to see it for my report.
Becker:  Here.
Debbie:  You’re still at this address?
Beckier:  I don’t know if —
Debbie:  Please, Mr. Becker.  You called me; I’m here to help.  Really.
Becker:  Well, sure, I guess it doesn’t hurt anything to tell you that. Yeah.  I am.
Debbie, returning the ID: Thank you, Mr. Becker.  [Turns back to the ATM Ninja]  Now, if it turns out that you and I are right, and that photography’s a crime, we can get him picked up.  Unless, of course, you’re telling me that you performed a citizens arrest?  I’ll haul him in right now, and you and Loomis can try to justify it.  Lotsa luck.
ATM Ninja:  I, err….
Abed:  I dunno, Deb. I don’t like security guards playing cop. You?
Debbie:  Never cared for it, myself.  And I don’t like guys with guns threatening bodily harm to the citizens we serve and protect.
Abed:  I read somewhere that’s illegal.
Debbie:  Yeah, me, too.
Abed:  You want to let this slide, Mr. Becker?  Technically, it’s our call, but . . .
Becker:  I guess I can let that slide.  But this photography stuff . . . ?
Debbie:  Hey.  Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong.  Does sound kinda strange that there’d be some law against taking a picture of a security guard, though.  Let’s say we let the brass and the prosecutors sort it out.  If I have to come out and arrest you, though, I’ll just be doing my job.  Nothing personal, sir.
Abed:  Yeah.  Like that’s going to happen.  Mr. Becker?  You sure you don’t want us to arrest this guy?  I mean, hey, I think he’s just a working guy who made a mistake, and . . .
Debbie:  I think we’ve kept Mr. Becker long enough.  You have a nice day, sir. And next time some jerk with a gun threatens you, you send for the Seattle PD again, please.  Protect and serve, and all . . .

So, yeah.  Shane Becker is a douchebag. But in this mess, he was the least douchie of the lot.

Do better next time, Deb. Really.