Judge jokes, woman faints
May 22, 2003 6:15 AM   Subscribe

"Are you a terrorist?" There's a judge in Tarrytown, NY, who's got an interesting spin on applying the Patriot Act. Or something.
posted by alumshubby (33 comments total)
Crosbie, a Republican, has been a village judge since 1987

Also, it seems, a village idiot.
posted by Doozer at 6:28 AM on May 22, 2003

Argh! I live in Tarrytown--sitting there right now--and this has to be how we make the national scene. (Well, that, and Jay-Jay the Jet Plane...not sure which is worse.)

Thanks, Mr. Butthead Judge.
posted by LairBob at 7:12 AM on May 22, 2003

There's a judge in Tarrytown, NY, who's got an interesting spin on applying the Patriot Act an asshole.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:14 AM on May 22, 2003

"I was probably kidding with her in the beginning," Crosbie said. "Sometimes, you just pose that question to people."

It's a sound strategy, because although many people may overreact, like this woman, every once in a while you ask a parking-ticket offender this and they say "Yes, I am - oh, damn! What a giveaway!" and then you have 'em!
posted by soyjoy at 7:15 AM on May 22, 2003

Give the guy a break, he's 79 years old. We're probably all just lucky he didn't tell the bailiff to "ask that colored girl if she's a terrorist".
posted by yhbc at 7:21 AM on May 22, 2003

borderline senile small town judge overly impressed with his station in life puts foot in mouth. an indisputable sign of a retirement too long delayed. wish i'd been there...

"say judge, have you stopped taking bribes yet?" asked noted internet blogger quonsar. Later, when asked about the remark, quonsar said "Sometimes, you just pose that question to people."
posted by quonsar at 7:22 AM on May 22, 2003

"I was probably kidding with her...."

He doesn't know if he was kidding or not? How is that possible? If he doesn't recognize joking in his own speech, how is anyone else supposed to?
posted by dhoyt at 7:34 AM on May 22, 2003

Give the guy a break, he's 79 years old
borderline senile small town judge

Oh yes, let's bring out the "he's just an old fart" interpretation. My father is 83 and my mother is 80. Neither of them, in that position, would ever ask such an assinine question.

More likely - this guy has always been an idiot. And unfortunately, like so many judges at so many levels of the judicial system, he's just cruised through year after year because so few citizens monitor what judges are doing. (This one's been reelected a few times even after an investigation of misconduct in the late 1980s.)

Hell, where I live, there's a joke that if your name is Brennan you'll get elected because there are already several judges named Brennan. Those people who even bother to vote in those categories just ink in the circle next to familiar-sounding names.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:43 AM on May 22, 2003

Maybe what he meant to ask was "Are you a Cubist?", perhaps he's a bit of an art nut.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:48 AM on May 22, 2003

I saw this story on our local news last night. The judge is a total idiot, but the woman he insulted, I don't even know how to describe her. Much crying, shrieking, rending of garments. She says she fainted when the judge asked her if she were a terrorist. Fainted! The judge was so old he looked like he might crumble into ash if you poked him too hard. It might have been funny, except, you know, it wasn't.
posted by astruc at 7:49 AM on May 22, 2003

applying the Patriot Act

Interesting....... arabs............are...........not............patriotic,
bingo. Now I know how Mr Ashcroft feels, pleased as punch.
posted by johnnyboy at 8:04 AM on May 22, 2003

A racist judge? Who cares? A woman who totally overreacts? Again, who cares?

Why is this a story?
posted by Bonzai at 8:06 AM on May 22, 2003

The Terrorist Parking Alert level has been raised to Orange.
posted by stifford at 8:06 AM on May 22, 2003

Much crying, shrieking, rending of garments. She says she fainted when the judge asked her if she were a terrorist.

Welcome to Lebanon, I'd like to direct your attention to the mobs crying, shrieking and rending their garments. Hmm, let's see, from today's news we have. Shrieking mobs at a funeral, garments rendered over a construction delay, and a discussion on the environment turns into a battle over garbage.

Westerners have such little understanding of the middle east for the most part.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:11 AM on May 22, 2003

Yikes, I hope all her charitable donation papers are in order. If it turns out after this guy acts like an ignorant dick and she faints in court, that she's been giving money to the wrong organizations, then that might be too much to handle.

Like, what if her anxiety attack was fed by guilt and paranoia and wondering if the judge actually knew something? It would be no excuse for his behavior, but wouldn't that be wild?
posted by techgnollogic at 8:11 AM on May 22, 2003

Yeah, Pollomacho, I guess the judge should strike "Arabs are Terrorists" from his Middle Eastern Stereotypes checklist and replace it with "The Lebanese are Melodramatic." Ha.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:14 AM on May 22, 2003

Where's Judicial Watch? Aren't they into non-stories and blowing them all out of proportion in a politically-driven agenda?

For crying outloud, everybody's overreacting. Americans need to get over being offended so easily while simultaneously being civil and considerate of others. I wish the judge would own up and take responsiblity.
posted by infowar at 8:25 AM on May 22, 2003


If you were in for a routine traffic ticket, and the judge started alluding to the absolutely frightening Patriot Act (which would be my interpretation of a governmental official asking me if I was a terrorist), you might consider that a story at that point. That whole part about being detained indefinitely without legal counsel and all tends to make some people nervous.

This is starting to sound like the 50's all over again:

"Sir, are you now, or have you ever been, a terrorist?"
posted by Ynoxas at 8:31 AM on May 22, 2003

Why is this a story?

because the smirking know-it-all attitudes of people like you allow crap like this to perpetuate.
posted by quonsar at 8:39 AM on May 22, 2003

infowar, stop that. You know what I'm talking about. Please. Just stop it right now, before this turns into Fark.
posted by soyjoy at 8:44 AM on May 22, 2003

* rolls eyes, wipes hand across brow, takes deep breath and reflects on how MeFi's traditions are so much more erudite than Fark's *
posted by soyjoy at 8:46 AM on May 22, 2003


If that was me, the first time the judge said it, I'd ignore it. The second time, I'd fake laugh because I'm trying to get the judge to give me a break on a parking ticket. Then as soon I was out of the courtroom, I'd give him the finger and call him an asshole. I would, however, not faint.

The Patriot Act is a horrible thing, but this is just a judge who is a dick. Overreaction is how we got that damn law in the first place.

speaking of overreacting......
posted by Bonzai at 8:48 AM on May 22, 2003

Give the guy a break, he's 79 years old.

On the contrary, do whatever is possible to get him off the bench. If his age is making him lose objectivity and abuse his power he has no place being a judge.
posted by Hildago at 8:50 AM on May 22, 2003

No, really, let's give the guy a break. It was just a moment of bad judgement on his... oh wait.
posted by scarabic at 8:54 AM on May 22, 2003

...in 1989, he was censured by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct for threatening not to arraign prisoners for police in neighboring North Tarrytown after they arrested a friend of his who was running for village office.

Censured? That's all? That should be an arrestable offense in my book.

Ah, I'm not surprised really. When I was on jury duty last week the fucker in the robe kept FALLING ASLEEP. Do everything you can to stay on the right side of the law my friends...
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:04 AM on May 22, 2003

It is stories like this that confirm my sincere belief that we need to pass legislation which allows the common citizen to kick the living shit out of a judge, if the need arises.
posted by majcher at 9:57 AM on May 22, 2003

soyjoy: i have no idea what you're talking about. break it down for me.
posted by infowar at 10:21 AM on May 22, 2003

He's not going to resign. My question, though, is who uses contretemps in conversation? Is this something other old judges do?

Or maybe it's one of those things you think of when you're trying to find words to describe a really stupid thing that you did.
posted by Wood at 11:00 AM on May 22, 2003

who uses contretemps in conversation?

Judge Malaprop?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:24 AM on May 22, 2003

infowar - if I may, I believe soyjoy is referring to the emoticon.
posted by widdershins at 11:27 AM on May 22, 2003

oh. thanks widdershins.

Frankly, I'm tired of trying to express that feeling in words.
posted by infowar at 1:09 PM on May 22, 2003

Did the judge have her searched for WMD's? Maybe she's got them!? God knows none have been found in fucking Iraq.
posted by holycola at 3:43 PM on May 22, 2003

What was so upsetting to me was in the FoxNews article where I saw this (I know, I know, stop with the Fox), she seemed so very upset that her Americanness was called into question that she felt the need to express there was no Arab music in her house, and a six foot christmas tree in her livingroom every holiday season. Instead of criticizing her emotional response, which, frankly, I completely understood, try to think about it in terms such as the ones quoted in said article:
"Khoder was nervous about going to court because "going before a judge is a big thing for a person who's not in this country very long and who is still uncomfortable about her English," her stepson said. "Plus she's not the confrontational type at all."
I know if I were in her shoes, in a courtroom which I didn't fully understand the proceedings of, and in a social climate which might not necessarily appreciate my ethnicity, I would be really, really nervous.
posted by oflinkey at 8:13 PM on May 22, 2003

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