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Nobles & Knaves

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

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Nobles: The Quakertown, Pa., man who spared bystanders from injury by wrestling a disoriented deer to the ground inside a suburban Philadelphia hair salon.

Randy Goepfert was no doubt surprised when a white-tailed buck smashed through the glass door of the local Holiday Hair, flailing violently. Strange or bemusing as the incident may sound, a confused buck can be quite dangerous. The beast's 4-to-6-inch antlers can take an eye out; its body weight can be lethal. As Mr. Goepfert told the Associated Press, he didn't have much time to think. The deer "was charging right at my son, so I decked him." He wrestled the confused beast to the ground and pinned it by the neck long enough for the three hairdressers and several parents and children to move away. "I weigh 225 pounds and he threw me right off," he said. When the deer broke loose, Mr. Goepfert chased it into an unoccupied room and blocked the doors. Agents with the state game commission later tranquilized the deer but were forced to euthanize it due to injuries.

For a potentially life-saving tackle, Randy Goepfert is the Noble of the Week.

Knaves: E-mail scammers plying their fraudulent trade in the wake of a devastating earthquake in China.

Some e-mail scams are easy to spot: "Dear Friend, I am Mariam Abacha, widow of the late Gen. Sani Abacha of Nigeria, writing you on the urgent matter of $49 million." But what about a plea ripped straight from the headlines, one that seems to originate from a legitimate nonprofit, to help earthquake victims in Chengdu, China? The FBI cautioned computer users last week to beware of e-mails claiming to be raising money to help Chinese earthquake victims. "Some of the Chinese earthquake scam messages claim to be offering free vacation trips to the largest donors and even use fake logos of legitimate online pay services to fool people," the FBI warned.

Most Internet users know not to respond to unsolicited messages. But some humanitarians are also computer neophytes, and they will be tricked. The same thing happened following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other disasters natural and manmade.

For preying on people of goodwill, the earthquake e-mail scammers are the Knaves of the Week.

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