Oh fuck off, shoplifter is not “fine” and it’s insulting to real poor people to suggest they steal or need to steal. Was the asshole in your little story going to eat that TV?


It's too bad Gov. Inslee’s wavering on the new long-term care fund. We absolutely need to fund long term care, and a dedicated funding stream is a sensible way to do it. Two factors drive the opposition: general anti-government, anti-tax sentiment, along with a sad misunderstanding of who needs long-term care and who already pays for it. The truth is most of us will need long-term care, and we’re already paying for it through federal and state taxes that fund the Medicaid program. Specifically, 7 in 10 people who make it to 65 will need long-term care (Wall Street Journal, 6/6/2019), while 3 in 5 Washington nursing home residents are already on Medicaid (Kaiser Family Fund, 10/18/2019). For many senior Medicaid enrollees, eligibility becomes an eventual reality once their assets have been liquidated to pay for care that is MUCH more expensive than anyone expects. To be eligible, Grandma must be sufficiently destitute, and by not planning for her needs, she probably will be. As a policy matter, this is an opportunity to address a major free-rider problem: people with means are not planning for their needs and are instead placing that burden on the rest of us. Given the tsunami of aging seniors to come, we can’t wait for this trend to change. We must do something to head off a worse-case scenario, and the WA Cares Fund is a fine vehicle to do it.


Wordle's great. Fellow wordlers: Click the little gear icon thingy up at the top of the page to access your settings and activate both the dark and colorblind modes. Shit rules.


Here are a few insights which I think might frame the author's perception of reality.

1) To start, may I suggest that 911 block the author's phone number. No need for police.

2) Let's post her address here and remove all the locks from the door of her residence, then invite all the poor to take what they need. No harm done, no body injured. They need to eat too!

3) With $15 Now (Seattle style solution to's that work'n for you?) and low unemployment why do we need a guaranteed income?

If only it could be so. Yes, let us invite our enlightened author to lead the way with action, not hyperbole.


"Most of us
sweat taking
lip gloss, but it
is so hard to resist
the feminine urge to gather."


looks like you've Earned
your Paycheck for the YEAR.


I know someone who works at Target downtown, and their work day has become a living hell.
There's nothing cute about homeless or other people with criminal records stealing items at will, since they know neither the store employees, nor the police, nor the justice system will stop them.


keep on
it in


Slave children worked hard to get you those TVs. Stealing them is such an insult.


I'm with Hannah. Of course, stealing is wrong, but the chutzpah of that individual! Just casually walking out a humongous box like that! I wonder if he got the clerk to help load it in the cart.


I've heard from an employee shoplifting happens every 10 minutes on average. I would expect that store to close. But that's ok, it's fine, he's suffering from poverty and he did something silly that hurts no human person.

That's why we can't have average things.



Agreed! I feel sorry for anyone that can't appreciate the absurdist humor of the situation. Reminiscent of this timeless classic.


Hannah, do you still think people who commit murder shouldn't be jailed, as you did the other day?




("did" refer to the thinking, not the committing)


@7: Oh paper, but theft at the retail level removes tines from their rakes.


Getting high, stealing, beating people up ... is so cute. Jesus, you assholes at this shitrag of a "newspaper" are what make people turn republican.


If someone walked into Hanna's bedroom in her parent's basement and stole her apple laptop (which I'm almost positive she owns because even though Apple is an evil corporation that treats it's Chinese subcontractor employees like slaves, Hanna still has to have Apple products, well because), would she excuse the incident because the person who stole her laptop only did it because they were poor?


I'd be a lot more circumspect in your writing Hannah. You're young. Snarking and trolling your readers is fun for giggles, a proclivity you share with Matt, but, your words are cyber-rot forever and could haunt your professional prospects down the line.

Just sayin', as they say.


«crime is often a symptom of poverty»
Poverty is created and maintained by the rich.


19 - I am sure the writer is not quaking in her boots over your hot air.


let's say you convict and put the shoplooter in prison for the max, 16 months. that will stop that one person from criming during the time he's incarcerated.

is that worth the cost to house them, plus the trial cost? do they learn a lesson and give up a life of crime? does it deter others from shoplooting?

probably not. hence the dilemma the judge faces.


19 Pssssst: the ladies call that stuff "mansplaining".


@2 "As a policy matter, this is an opportunity to address a major free-rider problem: people with means are not planning for their needs and are instead placing that burden on the rest of us."

"People with means" aren't the ones utilizing Medicaid to fund long term care. They are not even eligible for Medicaid. People with means are the ones opting out of the state LTC plan, and obtaining private LTC care.

The "burden placed on the rest of us" comes from people without means, who fund their LTC through Medicaid. That's the whole point of the LTC tax: taking money from "people with means" to fund LTC for people without means. It's nothing more than a mechanism to cover a budget shortfall.

Moreover, due to the fact that large numbers of "people with means" obtained private LTC coverage, the WA CARES fund was going to be underfunded right out of the gate.

This legislation was a mess, and the sponsors were discussing future legislative fixes even before the LTC tax was signed into law. Yes, we need to come up with a way to address rising costs of LTC for people on Medicaid. But the LTC tax was never, ever going to accomplish that goal, and scrapping it was the right thing to do. Back to the drawing board, with the hopes that this time around, the legislature will learn from their mistakes and come up with a viable plan.


I'm sure it was terrifying for everyone in the store watching a guy try to walk out with a tv he didn't purchase, but no one losing their shit over this harrowing episode seems willing to grapple with the futility of fines and jail for people who have nothing to lose and might actually enjoy an extended stay indoors. As the costs mount, the returns diminish, and it's not clear there were any returns to begin with, because the problems that drove this person to steal in the first place remain unsolved.


What drove this person to steal in the first place was knowing he would go unpunished.



What drove this person to steal in the first place was knowing he would go unpunished.


Oops my double bad.


@17 I used to be a liberal but ever since SLOG AM 1/28/22 I've been furious about Chappaquiddick.


@25: You typically hit them out of the park (like with covid), but not surprising that you would chime in on everyday common reality with elitist condescending commentary. Sigh.


@28: No worries, it was worth repeating.

@29: In retrospect, it was infuriating on multiple levels.


Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?


26 with whatever respect is due, if you think there exists any form of punishment, short of gross human rights violations, that would deter someone who has so little to lose he would risk it all by trying to steal a comically oversized television from a big box store, i'm not sure you've given this issue much thought, certainly not any more so than a judge doing his job


Should there be consequences for stealing blip? Y/N


34 I also invite you to give more nuanced thought to this issue than a binary choice of what "should" happen. Crimes go un- and under-punished all the time, for any number of reasons. People also get over-punished. What "should" happen in response to crimes is a thought exercise that often times doesn't reflect what happens irl.

I understand why this isn't a satisfying answer. We all want justice, however we choose to define it. What I am asking – what, I think, the judge in this case is considering – is how you bring justice to someone whose day to day existence is as bad or worse than any prison cell you could place them in?

Keep in mind, the punishment must also be proportional to the crime itself. Unless you want to live in a society where people get sentenced to death for stealing a household appliance, there isn't much you can do to this guy that is going to make his life any worse, which is how punishment works as a deterrent.

But I'm sure the judge would love to hear your ideas, since it sounds like you have at least one or 2. How would you punish this person and what do you expect would come of it?


@36: Philosophically, a binary answer to my question is the most appropriate. You're getting sidetracked by tangential nuances dealing with practicality and sociology, not that they're unimportant or that they don't deservedly impact judicial decisions.

The answer is unequivocally yes. He must be incarcerated or at least arrested and fined. If he isn't, he'll be eventually if he doesn't change his ways.


@12 That’s fucking uncalled for and reported.


I think $5000 bonds that cops put down of their own money sounds like a plan, and they can keep it if they don't harass BIPOC or have any arrests that require they be reprimanded after 5 years.

But bonus payments?


Let them live in Tiny Houses.


And have you ever noticed how cops and cop-adjacents like to harass women online - politicians, reporters, anyone who doesn't praise them for their wrong actions?

I see it all the time.

Men should call it out and insist it stops.



@37. Philosophically speaking, binary thinking eliminates critical thought.


Mission Statement for the non sports fan: Murder and stealing are bad. $15 an hour, where the bills get paid and savings accounts start are good. Turning GOP because of any bleeding heart blog writer would be the dumbest thing since walking out of a Target store(not a Target TV factory) with a very large TV. And if retail wanted to give their shit away, they would have done it by now and saved a lot of time and space.


@41: Critical thought enables binary decisions.



What would make him do this idiotic thing? He thought he could get away with it and he's not worried about any punishment.
No, I don't think much on what punishment should go with a crime. I'm quite happy with what is already on the books. I'm just sorry they are ignored.


A poor person steals from a business and people throw a conniption fit. Wealthy capitalists steal wages from the working class for 50 years and people vote them into presidency. This is how they want you to think.


rubish they are



There is more at steak here than pitching a fit. That store may close and a lot of people would be out of work. And other medium and big box stores will say I'm not opening in downtown Seattle.


@45: Nobody's stopping you from throwing a conniption fit over either.

I think want I want to think, not what others want me to think. Seems natural to me.



He was arrested and arraigned. Presumably the arraignment would've taken place after a period of incarceration, perhaps days long. That might not be sufficient in your view, but I'm sure the time behind bars and in front of the judge sucked.


Clearly a whole lot of people really got the wrong message from Les Misérables (and Dickens). Just a quick primer: Inspector Javert is not the hero. And expensive and lengthy prison sentences for poor people driven to acts of desperation only drives the world to cruelty and endless poverty.


@47 so outrageous retail space rents, low worker pay, a pandemic driven supply chain disruption, inflation and worker illness, and years of massive competition from monopolistic online retailers... those are fine. But this one TV get's stolen?

WHAM! Out of business.

If things are that dire I guess you're building a case that we should return to deportation and death penalty for petty theft.


The incentives built into the criminal justice system apply to everything from petty theft up to felonies. For instance, in the society you envisioned yesterday where no minors were imprisoned when convicted of felonies, there would be a strong incentive for organized crime to recruit minors.

It's not so much the individual stealing something, it's the buyer for that stolen property. The people sawing off catalytic converters aren't just selling them on the street -- "Psst! You wanna buy a catalytic converter?" -- they are selling them to an organization that has developed a system for purchase and resale of stolen goods. If your business is buying and re-selling stolen goods, then removing penalties for theft decreases your risk and the cost of doing business. Businesses that are profitable tend to expand.


44 you are correct that a person with nothing to lose does not worry about punishment, but you’re missing the takeaway: you’re never going to get the deterrent effect you want by punishing someone whose life is in this state, no matter how hard you adhere to what’s on the books


This is the moment when The Stranger becomes a clickbait parody of itself.

“Seattle newspaper says murderers should not be punished, you’ll never believe what they say next.”

Unfortunately The Stranger has undue influence in this sleepy burg.

Though hopefully the election of Harrell, Nelson, and Davison show the voters are waking up before New York Alki has a the Bronx are burning moment.


@53: Perhaps not, but it's still a catalyst for change, an epiphany, a turnaround, sobriety, detox, God, etc.



OK, but the current system ain't so hot either, in fact its worse.


@52. Kids and adults in prison get recruited into gangs there, largely to survive, and once they return to society, many find security and purpose with their local chapter, if you will, in organized crime. Blood in, blood out, the entire system operates to profit off the imprisoned. Guards are manipulated and abusive and shankings, rape, and mortal violence are rampant, the older of which simply pull up a chair to watch the fight before intervening. The prison system is no place to isolate criminals from society, but only serves to perpetuate the most fucked up ways of life their models instill in the imprisoned in a vicious cycle that will never end without massive reform and restructuring of modern day plantation slavery in chains.



Where was a homeless (I assume) guy going to go with something so large and unwieldy? Probably just a water carrier for some fencing ring.



@57: Yes, it turns out that the problem of how to balance enforcement of laws that are necessary in order to have a functioning society with the tendency of enforcement agencies to become draconian when left to their own devices is a thorny conundrum that every society struggles with. I agree that our criminal justice system is discriminatory, rife with abuse, and in desperate need of reform.

But "just legalize crime!" isn't a real solution. Those who offer up "solutions" like that haven't thought through the implications, usually because they have been lucky enough to live in circumstances where the constant threat of violent crime wasn't a daily concern.


I think the idea crime is always about money/poverty is misguided. A successful haul raises the status of the thief among his peers. They get to be their own boss, set their own hours, hell they might even be the leader of a crew and get to interview and choose their own 'employees'.

Even if you offered a habitual thief an unskilled job at $20/hr., full health benefits, and a paid vacation - would they just fall in and suddenly learn to love a M-F, 40 hour a week gig that offered them zero status? Half might but I'm guessing half would calculate they could probably make the same ripping off other entities, earn more respect among their peers, and pass on it. Not enough glamour, excitement or respect.


@62 wait. So your own scenario reduces crime by 50% and you call it a failure?!

Good lord. You might want to research the success percentages of arresting petty criminals on long term crime. Hint: it’s not 50%.


"Most of us sweat taking lip gloss, but it is so hard to resist the feminine urge to gather."
Excuse you, Hannah. I'm cis female, over 50, semi-retired, live on a budget, and don't shoplift. If you can't do any better than thinly veiling this "crime happens" tripe as journalism, I advise you to seek employment elsewhere.

@5, @7 & @46 kristofarian, @6 pat L, @8 Brent, @13 stinkbug, @20 & @23 Yeshua, @40 Will in Seattle, and @45 tmplkngt for the group WIN!!! YESSSSSSSsssssss!!!

@17 District13'slilMAGAbro: No, ignorance and gullibility toward the wealthy and corrupt are what turn people with everything to lose who really should know better RepubliKKKan.
There. I fixed it for you. You're welcome.


Graphic novels with queer content and by queer creators are being targeted nationwide in organized attacks by right wing extremists. It's not making the news like Maus and TKAM (which is being removed from the reading list because it centers white characters/"white savior" stuff, hardly like the other examples), but as mentioned above, it's extremely distressing to deny middle school readers queer voices/experiences.


mad13 dear, people don't turn Republican because of writers in Alt Weekly publicans.

They turn Republican because they were always horrible people, and finally accepted that about themselves.


Target corporation will survive but that
Downtown store won’t. And that prolific shoplifter is not a victim of poverty he’s a lowlife theif. His thefts raise prices and cause businesses to close leaving real victims who can’t afford the higher prices or loose their job when stores close. That judge should be removed from the bench for not doing his job.


@22 - There's something to be said for making an example out of that guy.

Please wait...

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