Re: Ask The Mineshaft: I Judge My Friends Edition

1

I suggest you steal the bike from him and sell it on Craigslist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:23 PM
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2

Wow. Thread completed on the first comment. A winner is teofilo!


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:31 PM
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3

Get a new friend?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:31 PM
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You could take on the role of public avenger and whack him on the back of the head with a U-lock. Then steal the bike and sell it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:31 PM
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1: You could sell it for like ten dollars this time. Then he'll feel like he's really getting a deal. Win-win.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:39 PM
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you would check with the police, right?

I would, or would not have bought it in the first place. Several months ago, I tried to return a $20 I found in an ATM. I figured I could give the money to the bank and they could deposit it in the account of whomever had been there right before me. They wouldn't take it though -- said they'd try to contact the account owner but I should keep the money unless I heard back from them, which I never did. It was odd.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:42 PM
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7

Surreptitiously make a pipe bomb out of it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:42 PM
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8

Make an anonymous tip-off to the cops, fingering your friend as a bike thief.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:46 PM
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7: Awesome.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:49 PM
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Tell your friend that if the bike is stolen, the person who is its rightful owner paid hundreds of dollars for it and may or may not be able to afford a new one. What if that person had saved up for months to buy it? What if it's a person who principally relies on his or her bicycle to get around?

Tell him that it's not fair for him to profit by having an expensive bike at the expense of someone who actually paid the money that it is worth.

If he knows it's stolen and doesn't try to return it to its rightful owner but instead keeps it for himself, he's basically just saying he's ok with taking a couple hundred dollars from someone he doesn't know.

Also, it's illegal.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:50 PM
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Also, if the cops find the bike in the possession of your friend, they could charge your friend with the theft. I have known people this has happened to w/r/t cars.

Believe me, you do not want to be trying to defend that shit in court.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:52 PM
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And it happened with a car that was purchased for less than the actual value of this bike.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:53 PM
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13

Tell him that there is a Nazi sacrament of dying involving singing songs of home.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:54 PM
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||

Won't Iowa ruin marriage for The Gays? I mean, suddenly it's grouped with hogs, Lawrence Welk, and non-ironic bib overalls.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:55 PM
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The actual experience of marriage will ruin marriage for The Gays.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:56 PM
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Disguise your voice and call him, claiming that you're a police officer and have received a tipoff that he may be in possession of a stolen bike, and would he mind coming into the station to have a discussion about it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:57 PM
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"Should we go to Cedar Rapids to get married, or should we watch the paint dry?"

Actually, the two Wobegon gays might be cool with that. One of them is a ND wheat farmer, for God's sake.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:58 PM
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13: Hitler was a vegetarian, neb, as you well know. You're veggie-baiting again, aren't you?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:58 PM
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From the Virginia Code:
§ 18.2-108. Receiving, etc., stolen goods.

If any person buy or receive from another person, or aid in concealing, any stolen goods or other thing, knowing the same to have been stolen, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof, and may be proceeded against, although the principal offender be not convicted.

(Code 1950, § 18.1-107; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.)


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 1:59 PM
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Seriously, what a shit. Post pictures of your friend in local bike shops and on local cyclist blogs identifying him as a bike thief, and then send him on an errand into the path of the next Critical Mass ride in your area. When you see him in the hospital, tell him you did it because you cared.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:00 PM
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I mean, suddenly it's grouped with hogs, Lawrence Welk, and non-ironic bib overalls.

It always has been.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:00 PM
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22

It sounds like the friend's in the "Life's a Joke" phase of hipster irony.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:01 PM
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19: What do you think the legal standard is for "knowing"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:02 PM
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24

I'm worried about this rough crowd you've been hanging out with lately, Stanley.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:02 PM
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25

Tell him that it's not cool to take a bike out of crime.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:03 PM
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26

Also, under the virginia code $200 is the cutoff for petit vs. grand larceny, so based on the statute above he could be guilty of grand larceny.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:04 PM
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24: Yeah that's Unfogged: keyboard vigilantes.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:04 PM
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Lawrence Welk

He was born in ND you know. My mother's home town actually.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:05 PM
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19: What do you think the legal standard is for "knowing"?

I don't know, but it would be pretty hard to convincingly that you didn't "know" something was stolen when you purchased it under shady conditions for less than 10% of its value.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:05 PM
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30

Make him smoke the whole pack of cigarettes and ask him how cool he feels now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:05 PM
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31

Oh, and did I mention grand larceny is a felony?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:06 PM
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30: also, tell him Jesus knows when he masturbates.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:08 PM
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I'm curious about how Stanley knows that his friend is "pretty sure" that it was stolen. His friend obviously told him that he has acquired a new bike, but he wasn't under any obligation to tell Stanley how much he paid or where he got it, so I wonder why he did.

IME, if someone volunteers something like that, it's because they're implicitly looking to be absolved of moral responsibility or given a smack upside the head and told how to go be a good citizen.

Smack away, Stanley. Figuratively.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:10 PM
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25: I enjoy cheap puns and I'm not too proud to admit it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:14 PM
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I'm curious about how Stanley knows that his friend is "pretty sure" that it was stolen.

Another friend spilled the beans to me in the bike recipient friend's presence. "Did you see his new bike?! He got for way cheap. No way that's not stolen." Followed by a bunch of shrugging-off and hand-waving by the bike's new owner.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:16 PM
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Jesus, people, some lefties you are. The real question is: "Is your friend richer or poorer than the median bike owner?" If the former, attempt to contact the owner. If the latter, then it's just the contradictions of capitalism resolving themselves.

34 s/b I like cheap puns and I cannot lie


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:17 PM
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It's impossible to answer this question without knowing what kind of bike.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:18 PM
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38

$200 is the cutoff for petit vs. grand larceny

How much is a speeding ticket these days?

Re: the original question, you have learned not to take your friend's word on the size of the tab, but rather to inspect it for yourself from here on out. Also not to leave him alone indoors in your place of residence if there are valuables visible.

He's greedy-- if he's also naive, he may be an easy target for a get rich quick scheme. You could try to sell his contact information.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:19 PM
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39

It's impossible to answer this question without knowing what kind of bike.

Like, is it a recumbent bike with an orange flag? If so, NERD.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:20 PM
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39: It's like they were specifically designed with the sole goal of making the rider look awkward.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:23 PM
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41

It's impossible to answer this question without knowing what kind of bike.

If it's little and pink, with tassels and Hello Kitty stickers and a basket decorated with plastic flowers, I will gladly beat the shit out of him myself.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:24 PM
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42

Heebie, the heebling is TOO CUTE.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:25 PM
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43

25 is objectively awesome.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:28 PM
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41: I think it's pretty implausible that your bike ended up all the way on the east coast, Jesus. But if you want, I can take a trip down to San Antonio and check in the basement of the Alamo for you.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:30 PM
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37
It's impossible to answer this question without knowing what kind of bike.

The kind for which a reasonable resale price would have been over $200. So I assume it's newish, but that still room for quite a bit of variety.

38
Re: the original question, you have learned not to take your friend's word on the size of the tab, but rather to inspect it for yourself from here on out. Also not to leave him alone indoors in your place of residence if there are valuables visible.

This seems more like being judgmental for its own sake than out of any practical concern. Lots of people will do the most horrible things to strangers that they wouldn't dream of doing to friends and family. I don't know anything about the bike-buyer other than this anecdote and I wouldn't be surprised if you're correct about his character, but just this anecdote alone doesn't give us anything to worry about.

I'm picturing Stanley trying to follow your advice, and getting noticed and called on it in six months, and coming off as all holier-than-thou when he explains, only to find out that the bike-buyer has either forgotten about the issue completely or noticed a "lost bike" sign around town just days from now and returns it with little fanfare.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:32 PM
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46

Heebie, the heebling is TOO CUTE.

I agree. Ugly that baby up some before you post any more pictures.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:32 PM
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47

The kind for which a reasonable resale price would have been over $200. So I assume it's newish, but that still room for quite a bit of variety.

I must have drank too much of the cycling kool-aid because I was thinking if the real resale price was only around $200 it had to be pretty old or kind of a crappy bike.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:35 PM
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48

23, 29: I'm going to await the Shearer/Lizardbreath debate on this question.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:44 PM
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49

Heh. I defended a guy pro bono for buying a stolen car (oh, I didn't do much for him. I think he would have been acquitted, but given that they were willing to let him plead to time served, and he just wanted to go home to Ghana, standing on principle seemed insane. So we advised him to plead guilty.) where that was sort of an issue -- he'd bought the car cheap, but for maybe 60% of what you'd expect, rather than 10%. And that was pretty much all they had to prove he knew the car was stolen, other than that he was from the same country the ring of car thieves was from.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:48 PM
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50

I'd better watch it. I just bought some clothes from Lands End for about 60% of the regular price. And I'm from the same country as the Lands End.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:52 PM
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51

This is the part where I gallop in on my moral high horse.

I can get you a moral high unicorn for 10% of retail.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:56 PM
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52

If you are asking if you were out of line to remonstrate with your friend not to keep the bike, no you were not out of line.

If you are asking if, now that your friend has ignored your remonstrances, whether you ought to drop your friend, no you oughtn't drop him. Feel free to joke about what a low-life he is, though, if it will break the ice formed by the disagreement between you.

Am I right that this issue is more emotional (to y'all) because the thing is a bicycle? Or would there be just as much collective indignation if the guy had bought a probably-hot Ipod for $25?


Posted by: kth | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:58 PM
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53

Somebody stole my gold clubs once. I forgot them in the car for a few days. If you figure the value of the time I've saved by not golfing, they did me a favor, especially since they did very little damage when breaking in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:58 PM
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54

I can get a moral unicorn high for $10.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:58 PM
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55

An Ipod is a luxury item. Some people genuinely rely on bicycles to get around.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:59 PM
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47: Maybe you're right, I have no idea, I haven't bought any bike in years, let alone a used one. But I assume bikes have basically the same precipitious depreciation soon after purchase as cars do, right? That is, something like 50 percent of their value when you drive them off the lot or out of the bike shop in this case?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 2:59 PM
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YES. I HATE BIKE THIEVES. This is the right amount of emotional, if not a little too subdued and rational.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:00 PM
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Am I right that this issue is more emotional (to y'all) because the thing is a bicycle? Or would there be just as much collective indignation if the guy had bought a probably-hot Ipod for $25?

Only insofar as a bicycle can help a person stay safe, employed, etc. and an iPod is an entertainment device, so the loss to the victim in the first case is arguably more serious.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:00 PM
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59

Pwned by the lawyer.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:01 PM
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60

An Ipod is a luxury item.

Like a baby.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:03 PM
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61

Well, a white baby, anyway.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:03 PM
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62

Heebie, the heebling is TOO CUTE.

I agree. Ugly that baby up some before you post any more pictures.

Does anybody remember my photo project that I never did? I'm sorely tempted to do the same, except with heeblet pictures instead of my own. But I won't, even though it would be twelve kinds of awesome.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:04 PM
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63

||
Bad tattoos.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:05 PM
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64

30 awesomely bad unicorn tattoos.

10 great tattoo typos.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:10 PM
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65

||

Unfogged has destroyed my social filter.

I was in a training today for a human services organization, and the trainer mixed up the names of a Sri Lankan woman and a Southern Indian woman who don't look at all alike several times. Someone else did the same thing. The trainer works in the same organization and should have known their names.

I said kind of quietly, "All furriners look the same." The person sitting next to me chuckled. The trainer said, "I mix up their name." The woman from South India hadn't understood my pronunciation of furriners, so I said, "foreigners." The trainer just said, "It's just that I mix up their names."

It would, of course, have been much worse if I'd said "All them darkies look the same", but this was pretty bad.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:16 PM
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66

It would, of course, have been much worse more awesome if I'd said "All them darkies Mexicans look the same", but this was pretty bad.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:21 PM
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Gold clubs must have been quite valuable though ...

Personally, I wouldn't give a shit. When C was recently buying a new bike (because his old one was stolen), we were wondering where all the bike thieves in Oxford actually sold the bikes they nicked, so he could buy one from them. But then there is a lot of bike crime in Oxford, and 20 years of that has probably made me think it's normal.

Although when my friends bought a £5 windbreak which they knew was faulty, then immediately took it back into the shop and swapped it, managing to swap it for a larger, £10 windbreak, and told us about it triumphantly, I thought they were the scum of the earth. So, redistributing bikes - fine. Ripping off little seaside shops - my god, what sort of monster are you?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:22 PM
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66: After the trainer woman left, I joked that all foreigners are Mexican.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:28 PM
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foolishmortal, that photo project was a deeply disturbing concept. It would be even more awful if you used pictures of H-Punch to do it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:29 PM
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48

I'm going to await the Shearer/Lizardbreath debate on this question.

Not having learned my lesson from the last debate I will again cite a random page on the internet.

Besides possession, another factor for the trier of fact to consider is the explanation, or lack thereof, given by the accused. In other words, since possession of stolen goods establishes a prima facie case that the defendant knew they were stolen, the defendant then bears the burden of producing evidence explaining how he innocently acquired possession of the property. It is sufficient for conviction if the trier of fact rejects the defendant's "hypothesis of innocence" as being unreasonable or not worthy of belief. T he factfinder is allowed to infer from the defendant's lack of credibility that he made a false explanation to conceal his guilt.

Btw Stanley best not borrow this bike or allow it to be stored on his property or he too could be guilty.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:45 PM
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35: Be sure. Do you trust friend #2?

Remember the times. Foreclosures, layoffs, bankruptcies abound. Somebody just needs busfare home, whatever.

I myself sold a nearly new $200 bike for $20 ago, a $1000 stereo system for $250, Deutsch Grammy records in plastic sleeves for 50 cents.

I could peak here of the advantages of having money in deflationary times, if I had any money.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 3:52 PM
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I mean, if I saw on Ebay (never used Craigslist) a newish $500 bike listed for $50, among all the other bikes, with a note that the offer lasts til midnight tonight payment + delivery, I would feel sad and a little bad, but I would not presume it was stolen.

People get desperate and urgent all the time, and these times are worse than most.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:01 PM
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73

Funny you should ask. I was checking CL recently for a laptop, b/c mine died, and found a shocking deal. I asked Mr. B. if he thought we could spring $250 for a newer-model G4 laptop and he was like, dude, it's probably stolen. Duh.

So I didn't contact the person.

IOW, not only would I call the cops, but I wouldn't buy the thing in the first place if I thought it was stolen (which, contra Bob, anything that's a totally unrealistic deal probably is). But in your roommate's place, not that the Ron Paul-loving selfish motherfucker cares, hell yes I'd call the cops.

And if he doesn't, then he deserves karmic retribution, is all I can say. IOW, you should call them yourself.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:05 PM
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74

Or would there be just as much collective indignation if the guy had bought a probably-hot Ipod for $25?

I buy pretty much all of my bras NWT on eBay, usually for a quarter to a third of their price in stores. I'm guessing at least some of the ones I've bought have been stolen by store employees. Is it different to buy something for cheap that was probably stolen from a department store? It's not like the bras were stolen from some poor large-chested woman who is now going braless so that I may be supported.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:07 PM
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73: To clarify -- It's not one of the Ron Paul roommates. It's a friend of the non-Ron Paul roommate.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:09 PM
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71: Don't forget this part:

Secondly, something about the transaction...further cemented his belief that it's likely not on-the-up-and-up.
If scoring a bargain on Craigslist is a crime, then send me to jail, baby. I was recently pleased to see a stove identical to the one I bought for $150 off Craigslist selling new at an appliance store for ten times that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:12 PM
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Gah, I just wrote a paragraph about Ron Paul. And it's not very good. So what happens? I come over here to escape my crappy writing, and who do I find? Ron Paul.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:12 PM
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74 upsets me. It simply never occurred to me that NWT means "stolen by employees."

That said, stolen from a store is not the same as stolen from an individual. And *that* said, as my earlier comment indicates, yeah, I'd be indignant if it was an ipod or whatever. Stealing shit from people and fencing it is an asshole thing to do.

(This has nothing to do with the fact that I own an iphone which I could not afford to replace if it was stolen. Just like I can't afford to replace my fucking laptop. So there.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:14 PM
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73:How many here have used pawnshops or payday loans?

I wouldn't buy a computer under such circumstances, or anything else that could have a fatal hidden flaw.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:14 PM
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75: Yeah, sorry, I assumed. You know a lot of assholes, Stanley. What's with that?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:15 PM
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$250 for a newer-model G4 laptop

Honestly, a G4 is probably not worth any more than $250. Maybe a youngest possible powerbook, but even then, not much more. They're old (and won't be supported on next OS upgrade).


Posted by: i'm a mac | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:17 PM
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69: Oh, I know. I won't ever do it; per your 65, I shall content myself that some of my crazy is rubbing off on you.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:17 PM
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80: I'm on a personal mission to change the world, one asshole at a time.

It's not going very well.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:18 PM
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76: Well, hey, I have a backyard swing/playset for PK that I got free on CL. CL bargains are fine, and some things (like used swingsets or stoves) are pretty much limited to the classified ad sales strategy.

But a bike? That you could get quite a bit more for even *in* a classified ad, let alone selling to a second-hand bikeshop? In a bike-crazy town? Come on.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:18 PM
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80,83: Nietzsche said something about staring too long into gaping assholes, but I can't remember what it was.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:19 PM
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81: Sez you. Compared to the prices I see elsewhere (and yeah, actually, it was a newer-model powerbook), $250 is way fucking cheap. Dunno where you shop, but used macs in good working condition still cost more like $600 ime.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:19 PM
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I recently bought a used (refurbished) iPod on eBay. Wow, lots of unsophisticated eBayers looking for those things. People bidding up the price with five or six days to go in an auction, people paying more than retail for the newest model.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:23 PM
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84: Right, bikes are different, and Stanley's friend is a bad person, just like the motherfucker who stole my beloved bike long ago.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:23 PM
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On the other side, long ago, I picked a nice living room set for the money in my wallet.

The furniture was on the street in front of an apartment, and nobody had a truck, and I had cash and a pickup.

I think a death from AIDS was mentioned. I don't think it was an eviction.

Whatever, I don't know from bikes. All I know is desperation.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:24 PM
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81/86: I've sold old Macs on Craigslist many times and the resale value stays pretty darn high. Hell, 2 years ago I sold an old blueberry clamshell G3 laptop for $500.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:27 PM
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|| Having finally checked the Unfogged photo pool (it's been a while), when the hell did everyone acquire such cute babies? And is anyone willing to hock one of them for, say, $20? No questions asked.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:27 PM
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i would have guessed $500 absolutely max for a top of the line late model powerbook g4 with all goodies, laptops just don't age that well. But yeah, if that's what it was, $250 seems a little cheap. Pretty much any other model that would be par for the course. Assuming used, not old stock or factory refurb, of course. After all, a $1000 macbook is a much faster machine, so unless you absolutely need the ports or something the shorter lifespan (of the used one) etc. is a pretty hurdle if you get too close to that price.

I don't know that I'd assume it was stolen though. Just as likely the battery is pretty cooked or something else wonky with it that will cost a couple hundred to fix.


Posted by: i'm a mac | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:29 PM
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93

Hell, 2 years ago I sold an old blueberry clamshell G3 laptop for $500.

That's insane. Who buys these things? I gave away a g4 ibook a couple years ago because it was obscelete. I guess they thought the clamshells were cute or something.

In any case, the used market shifted with the move to intel, as the powerpc machines are about to be left behind.


Posted by: i'm a mac | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:32 PM
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I just checked Ebay. 250$ would be an average price for a G4 laptop with 12" screen and a 40 GB HD. Lower, especially with defects is certainly possible. Note that those prices are still above the price for an equivalent/better Thinkpad.

i'm a mac is right, B, you shoulda taken the deal.

max
['This is a Depression.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:34 PM
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Oh and a year ago I sold a oldster G4 TiBook for 900, I think. You don't even want to know what I got for the Cube.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:37 PM
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It's not like the bras were stolen from some poor large-chested woman

Braggart.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:38 PM
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95, Holy crap, oudemia. When I unloaded my blueberry clamshell G3 I couldn't unload it until I lowered it to $110, and even then the dude insulted me by "only having" $105.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:39 PM
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since possession of stolen goods establishes a prima facie case that the defendant knew they were stolen

Hrm. If knowledge is an element of the offense, a mandatory presumption of knowledge (even if rebuttable) presents a constitutional problem -- improperly shifts the burden of proof to the defendant where the constitution requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Not to say you should rely on random blog comments rather than random internet pages for legal advice, of course. But burden shifting = bad.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:40 PM
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95: My G4 TiBook is so badly beaten up that nobodt would ever want it.

I'm sad that my current Powerbook won't be supported in the next update.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:40 PM
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97: Huh! Is this all just Manhattan lunacy? (PS -- I am about to sell my mom's Kindle1 for her. $200 -- anybody want it?)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:42 PM
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Huh, maybe I should try to sell my old macs on craigslist in New York. I was going to recycle them through one of those places that will send me a postage-paid box.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:44 PM
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Ah, whoops. Not clamshell, desktop. Ne'er mind.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:47 PM
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Blume, do you have an automatic search for bras. I did "Wacoal 32DDD", and it gave me a whole bunch of different D sizes.

Also re 101: Which ones do you know of? I was looking at gazelle.com, and they'll send you the box if at least one item in your box is worth more than $1 by their lights, but my old iBook is pretty much useless. (The Apple Geniuses can't even find the hard drive when they try to operate it in target mode.)

I've been trying to figure out how to dispose of it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 4:49 PM
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Call me nuts, but I'd feel a lot better buying something like a laptop off someone I coudl meet in person (and presumably try the machine out?) than off ebay.

But no, ime it's not just NY lunacy. Wev. (And I'm supposed to be buying one off a friend who has a jillion extra macs, if he ever gets back to me.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:05 PM
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95 is impressive, but part of the appeal of the old tibooks is that . . . they're the old tibooks. No?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:06 PM
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we were wondering where all the bike thieves in Oxford actually sold the bikes they nicked

Birmingham, IIRC.

in related news, you people are insane.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:10 PM
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Why? Because we buy second-hand D-size bras? I don't think so. We can buy any size bra we want, anytime, anywhere, anyhow, without asking for permission from some supposed Welshman.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:16 PM
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Or would there be just as much collective indignation if the guy had bought a probably-hot Ipod for $25?

Yes, because it could have been being used to store files by a student who had scrimped to put together cash to buy a storage device that is also an entertainment device. Any object can have a story that rationalizes personal importance to its owner. The point isn't whether a device is a luxury item or a need but whether it mattered to the person harmed by its theft.

Oh, shit, someone spiked my drink with anti-humor.

I'm on a personal mission to change the world, one asshole at a time.

Define "change".


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:17 PM
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on the other hand, what if the person selling the bike really needed some heroin for his children?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:19 PM
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@BG in 103:
I have several automatic searches set up with the brand name, size, and the style numbers of the ones I like. It emails me once a week with new listings.

I think gazelle was the one I was going to use, but I checked a few others listed in that NYT article about recycling your electronics. The video on my iBook is spotty, but the hard drive is fine, so I guess they're happy to pay for the shipping.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:19 PM
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OT: Next meet-up, instead of hollering "Who wants to sex Mutombo," everybody should just wear these shirts.

(work safe? probably not)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:19 PM
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111: Do they come in black? (Not the fabric.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:21 PM
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I have a friend who bought a handheld gadget that staples new tags back on to clothes. I think that is both ethically wrong and kind of sleazy, and I'm pretty sure my reaction connoted disapproval when she told the story (to a group of people). However, we are still friends.

Lesson 1: Some things NWT on eBay are Used With Tags.

Lesson 2: Some of my friends are insufficiently intimidated by withering disapproval.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:22 PM
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seriously, why not tell a story about a poor unemployed kid on the bones of his arse, hadn't eaten properly in a week, then he sees a flashy yuppie bike standing outside a designer sandwich shop, unlocked? you can make up whatever rich fantasy life you like for inanimate objects, as they are incapable of speaking up to contradict you. bicycle theft is annoying, but it is basically part of the ToCO of owning a bike, and buying the stolen goods is very low down on the scale of iniquity. Whole working class communities more or less survive on the proceeds of fencing in tough economic conditions.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:23 PM
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114: ... and so Stanley's friend actually deprived some poor person of being able to buy a cheap, fenced bike!

Generally your concision is admirable, dude, but I think you're missing the argument here.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:25 PM
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D2, don't be daft. Knowingly buying stolen goods is assholish, especially if you're a twenty-something m-c hipster like Stanley's friend presumably is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:26 PM
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Witt, your friend actually keeps the tags on stuff she buys just so she can resell it later? Because I'm thinking that the ethical sleaziness of your friend is really the least of her problems, here.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:27 PM
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109:Finally, some empathy and compassion in a heartless blogthread. Comity!

I have been trying to remember If I ever stole from the poor, or poorer than myself, in my wasted youth. Stole much, I mean, anything big.

Drugs a couple times. Tried to steal a pack of cigarettes from the cab of an idling delivery truck once. The driver caught me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:28 PM
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114: You could call the kid "Jean Valjean". I see him played by Placido Domingo.

Dsquared you do know that we are all flashy yuppies here, don't you? Not entirely different than yourself.

I mean, I play a poor radical dirt farmer in Olde Wobegon, but after work I crack the Becks and scarf down the brie.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:28 PM
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What? Withering sarcasm from d^2? I find this abrupt change in approach to be more compelling than expected and change my position.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:30 PM
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Knowingly buying stolen goods is assholish

counterpoint: nope, t'ain't. You're basically writing off the entire city of Liverpool here, for example. (outraged Scousers, spare me - I love the city deeply, but it is a fact that everyone buys dodgy kit). It's the least mortal sin that there is.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:32 PM
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your friend actually keeps the tags on stuff she buys just so she can resell it later?

When she told the story, the item was something she had bought on doubt -- that is, she wasn't sure she liked it, but brought it home from the store anyway. Decided she didn't, put the tag back on, and ta-da.

The old-fashioned sleazy thing to do would have been to take it home, wear it to wherever, and then return it to the store. I don't know why she didn't opt for that.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:32 PM
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Dsquared is trolling. Everyone knows that bicycle thieves are cunts, pure and simple. See the movie, ffs.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:33 PM
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Although I will admit that I hate, hate, hate that StubHub and its ilk have completely co-opted the old practice of scalping. I do not think this is a fairer way to handle the un-used tickets problem, people.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:34 PM
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Somewhere in New Jersey a guy stayed in business for quite some time secretly selling cheap stuff out of his garage. It turned out that none of it was stolen, it was just cheap stuff. You can be sure that he was prosecuted.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:34 PM
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Dsquared is trolling.

And doing a bang-up job of it, too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:37 PM
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least mortal s/b most venial.
Don't they have Strunk and White over there?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:38 PM
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It's the least mortal sin that there is.

This is completely backasswards.

When I was in college, this asshole I hated would buy stolen goods from Chinatown all the time. He even paid some poor Chinatown kid to steal a stereo system for him. This is even worse than stealing, people! No one is ever going to come after this smug UMC fratboy for owning a stolen stereo -- all of the risk is on the poor Chinatown kid, who got just a couple of twenties for his trouble and probably ended up in juvie or worse. I mean, if you want stolen goods, at least have the guts to fucking steal them yourself.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:43 PM
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On the other hand, I used to drink in a couple of pubs where some really lovely, funny, interesting, warm people who were the backbone of the local socialist party, would offer round all sorts of stolen gear for decent prices. Goes to show, it takes all sorts.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:45 PM
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Top officials of the APA deeply involved in justifying torture

I know that people here variously think that my anti-professionalism is an unfunny contrarian joke, obnoxious, or just wrong, but there are serious reasons for it. Many professional groups are hideously corrupt. Rather than prevent ethical violations, they justify them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:49 PM
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if you want stolen goods, at least have the guts to fucking steal them yourself

jms opposes job creation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:49 PM
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Off-topic, by the way, in case someone is trying to figure out the relevance.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:50 PM
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it takes all sorts, including those who offer unlikely scenarios as justification for why a general don't-be-a-jerk rule is a bad thing.

N.b. In the social world of Unfogged commenters, I firmly believe that 129 is an unlikely scenario. I offer no opinion on its relative likeliness among the 6+ billion inhabitants of the planet at large.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:51 PM
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A friend of my son's stole a garageful of stuff before he was 16. From the hints that came my way it seems that he did it for artistic reasons, like skateboarding.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:52 PM
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He stole stuff to make skateboarding ramps or to sell for a skateboard?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 5:57 PM
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133:I keep reading 129 to see which parts are alien to the world of unfogged commenters so as to be an unlikely scenario.

Was it "lovely, funny, interesting, warm people?"

"used to drink" fits very few.

Incidentally, sideways from the Robert Stone autobio, I spent a lot of time last weekend studying the Beats on the web. Would you buy a stolen bike from Allen Ginzburg or Hubert Huncke? God, they were all such shits.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:02 PM
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I just assumed that Stanley only knows other musicians. Most musicians are assholes, in my experience.

It's people like dsquared who drove the British into the waiting arms of Margaret Thatcher.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:02 PM
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98

Hrm. If knowledge is an element of the offense, a mandatory presumption of knowledge (even if rebuttable) presents a constitutional problem -- improperly shifts the burden of proof to the defendant where the constitution requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

It seems random web page somewhat misstated the law. Given possession of recently stolen goods without a reasonable explanation factfinder is permitted but not required to infer knowledge they were stolen. See Dobson and Barnes .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:03 PM
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Motherfucker. I made a Margaret Thatcher joke when there's a big fat "stockbroker = higher-class thief" joke waiting to be made. I apologize for letting the team down.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:04 PM
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just reading the first 50 comments or so, but why are you people so anxious to defend something you don't know? Let's make a list a what's known:

1. The bike is a cheap (as these things go) bike
2. It was probably stolen
3. Stanley's friend now owns it

It's a reasonable inference that this guy, being a friend of Stanley, is a fairly good person, all things considered.

It's not known if the bike was stolen from a person or a store. Possible scenarios:

a) Stolen from wal-mart. They probably wouldnt even take it back
b) Stolen from a total, rotten douchetwat, just by chance
c) Stolen from a total, rotten douchetwat B/C he was a total, rotten douchetwat
d)Stolen from the original thief. Yeah, this IS kinda like (b).
e) Stolen from Timmy, the sweet little angel dying of leukemia who just wanted his very own ten-speed!

I propose that the chances of (e) are vanishingly small, and anyway, to hell with him, someone will buy him a new bike. He's dying for Christ's sake. If you give these kids everything in the world, they'll become spoiled.

All things considered, it seems quite clear that one should keep the bike and quit worrying about everything so much.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:07 PM
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135: No, he stole electronics. But his purpose was to be the gnarliest thief in his social circle, admired by all the other thieves.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:11 PM
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Bizarre thread. I mean, dsquared is right: there's an entire underground economy out there that trades on stolen goods. Sometimes they're stolen from those who can afford the loss, and of course sometimes they're not.

Obviously entering into that economy, either by doing the stealing yourself, or by purchasing the goods, is best avoided if you yourself can afford to buy stuff legitimately.

I dunno, there really isn't a straightfoward answer here. I've certainly had a few friends whose bikes were stolen, and it was unfunny, but in all honesty, it wasn't life-shattering. In Stanley's friend's case, I'd be asking whether he actually could have afforded to buy a bike legitimately. If so, he's a schmuck.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:11 PM
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My 4-year old has already shoplifted. Stickers. Walked right out of the store with them with no one noticing. Next time I'm sending her to the jewelry section.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:13 PM
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Fuck thieves. Arresting thieves is highly satisfying, up there with domestic violence arrests.

Doubtless in theory there's people in this country who steal to survive, but the reality is that it's always either a shiftless shithead or an "enterprising" shithead looking for quick cash to get high.


Posted by: Teddy Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:20 PM
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But his purpose was to be the gnarliest thief in his social circle, admired by all the other thieves

And then the armed robbers from Grant High came along and stole everyone's thunder. Few high schoolers are ambitious enough to top that. (You were around for that, I assume.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:20 PM
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141: I assume the kid is at Merrill Lynch by now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:20 PM
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From the link in 63:

"It was really challenging to get the best stuff," says Aviva from New York. "We spoke to everyone we knew about looking for outrageous tattoos. I went into every tattoo parlour in Manhattan, San Francisco, LA, and New Jersey."

That's right, bitches, New Jersey.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:21 PM
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Ive been around a fair number of criminals and I can say that bike thieves are bigger assholes that most drug dealers.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:30 PM
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148: I'd say that depends on the drug.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:33 PM
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147: Oh Kraab, at Donavan's, in Sea Bright, I saw a woman with a full back tat of the Garden State Parkway exit 109 sign.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:33 PM
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The only bike thief I've actually witnessed doing the deed was a 13-year-old kid who took off with the bike, was chased on foot by the bike's owner (actually one of my students) to, eventually, believe it or not, the thief's friend's house across the street from my house, where he was ferreted out. Lots of action! The thief's friend's mother was trying to hide him, as well as the bike, I guess, in the house, pretending she was the only one home.

Strange all 'round.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:45 PM
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150: Good old 109! Weren't you somewhere more like 105, or am I misremembering?

30 awesomely bad unicorn tattoos.

Don't forget the centaurs.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:46 PM
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152: Yep. 105. Represent!

And please, please, do not forget the mermen!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:53 PM
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Back in college, my dope supplier was stashing stolen bikes for brief periods of time in my dorm room. He'd be on his way to bring me a quarter-pound of Mexican brickweed, and on the way in, he'd look for bikes to steal. Then he'd be all "hey, mind if I stash my bike in your dorm room for a little while?" And I'm all, "yeah, whatever dude."

This happened two or three times. I was cool with it at first, mostly because I was too stoned to catch on that the bikes were stolen. Eventually I got pissed off, because selling dope is one thing, but stealing bikes is a crime.


Posted by: Franklin Pierce | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 6:56 PM
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I'm with the people who think think that this is a silly moral line to draw. I also agree that it's not necessarily stolen: I have sold my own things at a ridiculously under-valued price out of a desperate need for quick cash many times in recent years (hurray, grad school).


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:01 PM
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145: My son's friend gets cred for never having been busted. As far as I know he's respectable now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:06 PM
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154: Eventually I got pissed off, because selling dope is one thing, but stealing bikes is a crime.

Dammit, Frank, here I've been studiously observing the analogy ban, declining to mention drug dealers and buyers, because that's just different.

Theft is just wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:08 PM
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Stealing sucks, though I don't think anyone should be hanged for it. But what I was trying to get at was this "you bastard!" reaction that the theft of some other object would not have elicited. And I have to say, I found the greater utility of the bike fairly underwhelming as an objective correlative of the expressed outrage.

The difference with a bike, of course, is that (in America, unlike places where most people get around on them), it is this cultural signifier that the owner is a good liberal earnestly trying to leave a smaller carbon footprint, to be self-reliant, to be kind to animals, etc. And not only is it shittier to steal from that person than from some bourgeois asshole: by riding the bike, arraying oneself with that cultural signifier, one perpetrates this terrible fraud, that one is part of the community that one has, in actuality, betrayed. A kind of treason really.

Obviously I find the excessive earnestness about bikes in general and bike theft in particular a little amusing. But thinking it over I think I agree on the point itself. Part of the satisfaction one gets from going about on a bike is that one is part of this community. But if you joined this community by stealing from a member of it, then you've got yourself a little contradiction there.


Posted by: kth | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:08 PM
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I also think there may be an association of bikes with childhood / youth / innocence (?) that makes the stereotypical victim of bike theft seem particuarly vulnerable and therefore the theft seem particularly wrong.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:16 PM
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158.2: No, you're going out on a limb there. In some quarters, yes, your bike carries all that cultural significance. In an awful lot of other quarters, it doesn't at all. It's just your bike, which you may have worked and labored over, and the theft of which is the deed of an asshole; nothing to do with someone illegitimately adopting a mantle he or she has no cultural right to.

I get the idea, of course, but it sounds as though you've read too much SWPL.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:21 PM
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158: I'd say you're not quite right. Bike theft is like horse theft in the old West. A bike is valuable (usually), hard to lock-up, hard to insure, hard to trace after theft, and it's theft imposes a lot of negative externalities compared to other non-violent crimes (expensive locks, having to drag your bike inside and screw-up the elevators for regular people, disproportionate harm to the poor, etc.).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:21 PM
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What's interesting is that the cultural differences between the US and the UK seem so random. I wouldn't knowingly buy goods from a fence in a million years. I think the stigma from doing it is pretty high. Judging from dsquared and asilon, this seems peculiarly American.

When I was ten, I would shoplift daily. I always figure that this isn't a very embarrassing revelation -- I was ten after all -- but people always seem shocked by it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:39 PM
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On the question of value and price and the likelihood of being stolen:

1. The price can change depending on which market. From an eBay seller with a zillion positive feedbacks, it's worth more. From a random person on craigslist, less.

2. There are lots of ways for people to be in legitimate possession of things, and yet sell them for 10% or less of their value in some other market. Here are some I've met:

A. There are people who buy delinquent storage lockers and sell the contents. Sometimes they know what the stuff they bought is worth, sometimes not.

B. Estates. Often stuff from estates is sold either by heirs or by estate agents, many of whom don't have a good knowledge of the market, can't offer guarantees, and want to be rid of it quickly. I've done it myself, with some of my relatives' stuff.

C. People who just want to be rid of a whole lot of crap before they move out of town. I just bought a like-new radio controlled digital clock from such a seller. They may have gotten it as a gift, or bought it and decided they'd never use it. Someone probably paid $15 or $20 for it. They were at the flea market and wanted a buck.

D. Then there's the angry ex: "My ex-husband left me with his damned kids and all these tools, he owes me child support, what'll you give me for it? Fifty Cents? It retails for $79.95? I'll tell him I got fifty cents for it"


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:40 PM
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A $200 bike for $20? That says "needs cash and has a bike they never use that is just taking up space in the garage" much more than "stolen". If it was a $2,000 bike for $200, I would think it far more likely to be stolen. I don't know what other towns are like, but around here, $200 bikes that get stolen are stolen to ride, not to sell, precisely because no one is too upset by their loss, and there's a low likelihood of being picked up for it, because it's more hassle to deal with the cops (especially if you live in my neighborhood) than it is to just buy another cheap bike. If such bikes are sold, rather than just being abandoned, it's not going to be on Craigslist.

I really don't understand the "thieves are scum" mentality. How much did you pay for your last tank of gasoline? How much of that money got distributed to poor people in Nigeria? We're all constantly stealing from the most immiserated people on the planet.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:44 PM
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Further to 163: How many of you have spent a couple of nights dumpster diving? People in this country regularly throw away hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of useful stuff in a single night, for just the reasons Schneider suggests. If Craigslist is allowing some of those folx to realize a little bit of return on something they would have thrown away anyway, we should hardly be shocked.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:48 PM
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How much did you pay for your last tank of gasoline? How much of that money got distributed to poor people in Nigeria? We're all constantly stealing from the most immiserated people on the planet.

Um, no. The consumer in the U.S. does not actually take part in running the country of Nigeria.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:50 PM
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How many of you have spent a couple of nights dumpster diving? People in this country regularly throw away hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of useful stuff in a single night, for just the reasons Schneider suggests. If Craigslist is allowing some of those folx to realize a little bit of return on something they would have thrown away anyway, we should hardly be shocked.

Sure. But none of this seems to have anything to do with the fact that stealing someone's bike is a shitty thing to do.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:54 PM
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On the question of value and price and the likelihood of being stolen

Yeah. Speaking as someone whose trade is in second-hand goods, the notion that there's a fair market value for things such that paying significantly below that value signals dirty dealing ... is to laugh.

People don't really think that confidently buying a used book on Amazon for $3.89 means that $3.89 is the fair market value for that book when its in-print price is $25.00. I hope. And yet it is. You can buy it for that much.

Mikey's completely right in 163, in any case: estate sales, people liquidating, people employed to clear out houses -- all these things result in stuff going cheaply. Many other things contribute as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:55 PM
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158: Ah, I'm with parsimon on this. In my area, there is a subset of people for whom bikes mean more or less what you describe. But there are also the Latino restaurant workers who use bikes as a safe, quick way to get home at night (no public transit here at 3 a.m.) and avoid being robbed, the Asian teenagers trying to get home from school in time to look after their younger siblings, car-less urban elders who live frugally but rely on their bicycles to get them back and forth to grocery shopping....it ain't all swipple environmentalists.

Also, can't speak for others, but I'm earnest about everything, not just about bikes.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:55 PM
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166: Um, yes. We buy cheap gas. The companies we buy the gas from make sure that Nigeria runs in such a way that the gas stays cheap and the people stay poor. Also, we elect politicians who support those companies in whatever schemes they need to concoct to maintain the status quo. Our taxes also pay for a whole panopoly of spies, international finance trusts, propagandizers and diplomats who make sure that the gas stays cheap and the people stay poor. That's the way the world works.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:56 PM
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I'm kind of amused that I'm 100% on the side of the cop here.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:56 PM
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Minne's going to start the first fair-trade oil company!

(I'm kidding affectionately, in case it's not clear. I really do value your fierceness in holding our feet to the fire on these issues.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:57 PM
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166: Are you for some reason unfamiliar with the Standard Lefty Tirade, or are you overfond of it?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:57 PM
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pwnd


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:58 PM
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Oh, and the 100% on gswift's side refers to the bike comment in 167, not the Nigeria stuff.

/end serial commenting.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 7:58 PM
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Occasionally I lose my mind for a moment and feel compelled to point out that filling your car at the gas station is not the same thing as going to your neighbor's house and stealing his primary mode of transportation.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:02 PM
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You know what's a pretty good indicator that the damn bike is stolen? That the buyer himself thinks it is. He just doesn't give a shit. Which is kind of the point of the post.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:04 PM
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"going to your neighbor's house and stealing his primary mode of transportation."

Does that mean I can swipe my neighbor's convertible since he primarily uses the Corolla.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:05 PM
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178: Yes, yes it does.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:11 PM
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You people can be so weird sometimes. Stanley didn't say that his friend's bike must have been stolen because it was cheap, he said that his friend bought a bike that he believed was stolen. And the cyclist-hating is one of the more peculiar features of this blog.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:12 PM
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Let's get something straight: A large proportion of what is commonly described as "crime" (i.e. theft, murder, assault etc.) is directly linked to the Drug War. An even larger proportion is indirectly linked to it. I live in a neighborhood that's been designated by the rest of society as a place where illegal drugs are bought and sold more-or-less openly, with the caveat that the cops can come in and bust heads any time they want, because most of the people who live here, while not directly involved in the illicit drug trade, are poor, black, brown and or immigrants. But the Drug War isn't just some perversity of our society (though it is perverse), it's designed to have precisely these effects: to keep poor people constantly afraid, to keep people who aren't poor absolutely terrified that they might become poor, and to keep a significant proportion of the labor force unemployed, underemployed or employed at slave wages in prison. This is all the result of specific political decisions made by people who wanted to preserve their own ability to go to the next town over, steal a factory, move it to the Third World and reap the profits.
Yes, if somebody came to my house and stole my housemate's bike, I'd be unhappy. But I'd know the ultimate reason for my unhappiness, rather than blaming it on the nebulous "evil" that the people in power continually like to warn us against.
I realize, gswift, that I'm never going to convince you of any of this. You're completely compromised by the system I'm decrying here. If I was some kind of bodhisattva, I suppose I could just about pity you, but as it is, I know you are a class traitor and an enemy. You wouldn't extend any quarter to me, I'll extend none to you.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:12 PM
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Shorter 160, 161, and 169: kth is being a jackass.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:12 PM
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Oh, well, if I'd known that having my only mode of transportation stolen was striking a blow for the oppressed, I wouldn't have been so miffed about it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:16 PM
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182: Dn't abbv. me


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:16 PM
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180: Stanley didn't say that his friend's bike must have been stolen because it was cheap, he said that his friend bought a bike that he believed was stolen.

Right. Further point of clarification, at least on my end: the carrying on about how it was cheap and must therefore be under suspicion of being stolen was a follow-up on comments upthread suggesting as much. All the discussion about fair values and so on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:19 PM
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As for the new bicycle owner's knowing the bike was stolen, we have this from Stanley:

Another friend spilled the beans to me in the bike recipient friend's presence. "Did you see his new bike?! He got for way cheap. No way that's not stolen." Followed by a bunch of shrugging-off and hand-waving by the bike's new owner.
This indicates to me that the new bike owner has become embarrassed by the insinuation that he's just bought a stolen bike, not that he "knows" that the bicycle was stolen.

Yes, stealing bicycles is a rotten, lousy thing to do. I've had two bikes stolen from me---in Germany, from the bike-storage cellar of my apartment building, the dirty rats---and it sucked, a lot.

However, I'm not at all convinced that we can assume that this was a stolen bike, however, for all the reasons in 163 and 164. Also, have any of you people ever desperately needed money and tried to sell things on Craigslist? People are not willing to pay anywhere near fair market value.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:27 PM
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Sir K! Did I miss a thread where your impeccable Nora Charles impersonation was duly honored?

(Go register for the Flickr pool, curious people.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:35 PM
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You didn't miss it because you just created it.

Thanks!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:38 PM
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Oh, sorry, 186 was me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:42 PM
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Where did you get the dress? And did everyone at the party dress up as Nick & Nora, or did anyone come as, say, Asta?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:44 PM
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I was at the Ashby flea market in high school with a friend who lived near there and who wanted to look at the bikes. One of the them was really nice and my friend, looking at the price, blurted out, "Wow! That's really a steal." I don't know if he meant to say that out loud, but we refrained from laughing until we had walked a way. I don't remember seeing how the bike dealer responded.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 8:47 PM
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I know you are a class traitor and an enemy. You wouldn't extend any quarter to me, I'll extend none to you.

You and I, locked in a struggle to the death!

Geez, have a drink or something.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:17 PM
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If you're a class traitor, does that mean you can skip the reunion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:24 PM
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It feels disproportionately awful when bikes are stolen, way worse than the time I got my car stolen. Come to think of it, it was worse than the times there have been shootings right by my house (I'm up to three now). Bikes are personal.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 9:38 PM
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Note to self: don't throw bike off of Megan's roof, no matter how fun it may seem.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:25 PM
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Throwing a bike off a roof does not sound like fun at all.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:29 PM
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You can throw your own bike off Megan's roof all you want. Just stay away from hers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:30 PM
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Yes, if somebody came to my house and stole my housemate's bike, I'd be unhappy. But I'd know the ultimate reason for my unhappiness, rather than blaming it on the nebulous "evil" that the people in power continually like to warn us against.

Has anyone hear blamed nebulous "evil" for bike theft? I often get the feeling you're lecturing people who aren't actually commenters here.

And does the fact that those living in your neighborhood, are much more likely to be robbed and stolen from than people elsewhere in your city enter into your calculations at all?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:31 PM
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196: Stick in the mud.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:31 PM
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Kobe steals the show and that's okay by me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:32 PM
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198: "hear" s/b "here"

And that comma in part 2 should be excised.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:32 PM
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Now throwing roof off of a bike. That's fun.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:37 PM
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Throwing DiMaggio off is even funner.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:41 PM
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Throwing a bike off a bunch of stuff seems pretty lame.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:48 PM
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I've owned two stolen bikes, I believe. The first one was traded to me by a guy at my high school. I was oblivious enough not to figure out why he wanted to trade his much nicer bike for my not really very nice bike. It was later stolen from me, and in an unexpected side benefit to being an unwitting fence, I wasn't really upset; easy come, easy go.

I also owned a really spectacular old Raleigh beach cruiser that was found (along with 75 or so other crappy bikes) in the attic of a building an acquantaince had just purchased. There was no way it was ever going to get returned to its rightful owner, and was probably actually worth maybe 20 bucks, so what the hell. That got stolen from me, after a fashion -- I left it sitting around somewhere or other at burning man while I was wandering around in a dust storm, and never found it again.

Again, easy come, easy go.

If my current bike got stolen I would probably be pretty bummed, as I'm quite fond of it and couldn't afford to replace it (that style and vintage of bicycle has gotten a lot more expensive since I first bought it) but what the hell, it's just a bicycle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:48 PM
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Throwing muses is only moderately fun, though.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 10:49 PM
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||

Confidential to Sifu Tweety: I saw the Evolution Control Committee, reportedly the "inventors of mash-ups", at the Grilled Cheese Invitational after-party, and thought "I bet Tweety's hip to this cat." Indeed you are -- you'd already given me one of their songs on "Wha?".

Dude rocks an amazing set-up -- touch-screen canvas and finger-dongle controls. I was impressed.

|>


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:16 PM
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an amazing setup


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:19 PM
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207: yeah, I saw him live once. He's great. Such a goofball, too.

I have a 45 of this, which rules.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:27 PM
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Don't blame me, blame capitalism.


Posted by: nebulous evil | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:30 PM
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||

I'm watching Slumdog Millionaire, and I'm finding it the biggest anti-tourism ad for India ever.

|>


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:30 PM
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But all that stuff was back in the 80s and 90s. Nowadays it's all quiz shows, plutocrat gangsters and police torture like any advanced democracy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-09 11:32 PM
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But all that stuff was back in the 80s and 90s.

Oh, sure.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 12:30 AM
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FACT: My bike has a sticker that says "We still hang bike thieves in Wyoming." FACT: My guitar case has a sticker that says "Property Is Theft (Pierre Proudhon, 1840)". I am comfortable with contradictions and ambiguities in my worldview. Or at least in my stickers.


Posted by: adamhenne | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 12:34 AM
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Wait, how's gswift a class traitor? He's a middle class guy who happens to be a cop. Class enemy, perhaps.

Minneapolitan is the proclaimed leftist/anarchist who works in the financial services industry, and has the class loyalty issues.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 12:37 AM
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Ffs, people.

1. The fact that children are starving in China does not mean that refusing to feed a pet you've adopts is a morally neutral act. Ditto Nigerian oil and bike theft. As individuals we have a measure of control over our immediate circumstances that we rather lack on a global scale.

2. Rationizing that maybe the bike wasn't stolen is irrelevant: the buyer believes it was, and it would be easy to check with the cops, as Stanley pointed out.

3. That it's a bike is also mostly irrelevant on the general question (hence "bikes are a hipster affectation" vs "maybe it was some poor persons only transport" is also irrelevant. The point is it's an item of some value (not a used bra), that if stolen was almost certainly stolen from an individual as opposed to falling off a truck. Iow, it's a parallel point to (1): if you can easily avoid doing something directly damaging to another person, it's shitty not to.

4. For the same reason, the "all of Liverpool's entire economy is based on stolen goods" is an apples/ oranges scenario: if so, then not participating is above and beyond operating social mores. In Stanley's friends case, buying a stolen bike violated local social mores. ( and again, easy avoided)

5. In any case, Liverpudlians *are* baaically assholes, so.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 12:38 AM
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Oh, and 6: bikes are not hard to lock up. Puhleeze.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 12:40 AM
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adamhenne is large; he contains multitudes.

to, eventually, believe it or not, the thief's friend's house across the street from my house, where he was ferreted out.

Yer actual median petty criminal is not usually the best and the brightest. I knew a couple of kids once who burgled a timber yard office and one of them left his sweater there. Not content with that, the next day they went to ask for it back.

Sounds to me like Stanley's friend didn't think he was buying a stolen bike at the time - probably didn't think period. And was embarrassed when somebody a little more savvy pointed out what was going on. Too late now. OTOH bicycle thieves should, in principle, be hung by their thumbs.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:22 AM
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Stanley's friend didn't think he was buying a stolen bike at the time - probably didn't think period. And was embarrassed when somebody a little more savvy pointed out what was going on

Yeah, I think that's exactly what happened.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:25 AM
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217 - not hard to lock up, no. But hard to lock up to make it impossible for someone with boltcutters or a hacksaw or whatever to get through the lock? Or is my understanding rather out of date and there are more thief-resistant locks around these days?

My favourite bike was stolen. By my then boyfriend before I met him. Which probably means it wasn't locked or wasn't locked to anything secure because he would probably have stolen it whilst walking home drunk. He had a few.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:33 AM
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re: 218

Yeah, one of my 'friends' from school [primary and secondary] was involved with the armed robbery of a post office* and the stupidity was awesome.

First, they bought the getaway car from a scrap dealer who knew one of them by name, and second, within a week or so of the robbery one of them was swanking around our small village in expensive suits. They got, iirc, seven years.

IIRC, the same idiot had his family held hostage by some other criminals because he owed them money. He was an idiot, all round.

Similarly, another 'friend' told a bunch of drug dealers --- from a terrifyingly hard former mining village where the 'boys' were universally known to be mental -- that he'd lost the 800 quid's worth of speed he was selling for them. I think he thought he could brass it out. When they sent a known pyscho called 'Junkie' after him with a machete he reneged and paid up.

I can think of dozens of these stories. Petty criminals are usually idiots. Especially the ones who think they are a bit wide.

* in Polmont, Scottish epicentre of swine flu, no less ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:40 AM
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I've had two bikes stolen, I think. Both in Oxford. The first really pissed me off as I had very little money at the time.

These days I use a lock that cost me about 25% of the cost of the bike.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:41 AM
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I live in Italy, which is like an entire nation organized along the lines of Liverpool. It fucking *sucks*, people. If everyone does it, it just means everyone sucks. Especially when only the immigrants or the ones who don't have an "in" are the ones who have to jump through the disused, barely functional hoops.


Posted by: mealworm | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 2:24 AM
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222. There used to be a band in Oxford called Bicycle Thieves. A friend of mine had his bike nicked while he was at one of their gigs.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 2:27 AM
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There used to be a band in Oxford called Bicycle Thieves. A friend of mine had his bike nicked while he was at one of their gigs.

And the scheme would have worked too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:57 AM
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bicycle theft is annoying, but it is basically part of the ToCO of owning a bike, and buying the stolen goods is very low down on the scale of iniquity. Whole working class communities more or less survive on the proceeds of fencing in tough economic conditions.

If I were Dikembe Mutumbo, I would probably think of most of the people I met as 'pretty short'.
Dsquared is willing to describe a lot of crimes involving appropriating other people's stuff as 'not very serious'.

What's interesting is that the cultural differences between the US and the UK seem so random. I wouldn't knowingly buy goods from a fence in a million years. I think the stigma from doing it is pretty high. Judging from dsquared and asilon, this seems peculiarly American.

Not so - as noted above, judging UK ethics from what dsquared says is probably a Mutumbo Error.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 5:00 AM
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226: You're saying dsquared is just a shill for Big Larceny?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 5:05 AM
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no, I'm just a general anti-Prohibitionist. Face it, people, the War On Theft isn't working, etc.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 5:19 AM
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227: remind me what industry he works in again?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 5:37 AM
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229: The blogging industry, as far as I can tell.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 5:50 AM
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Come on. I generalized from dsquared and asilon. That's N=2, bitches! If that's not a large random sample, I don't know what is. It's even a gender-balanced panel.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 5:55 AM
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The point is it's an item of some value (not a used bra)

Even a used bra is of value to its owner. For reasons of the time and place where this theft occurred I'm fairly certain that the person who stole this stiff was mentally ill.

I had a gym bag left in a cubby, and somebody stole the spandex shorts, the Enell sports bra and my ratty old running shoes. Oddly enough, they left the bag. The running shoes needed to be replaced anyway, but the Enell wasn't cheap to replace, and I still haven't bought a new pair of spandex shorts.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:02 AM
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Locking up bikes can be hard if you have those easily detachable wheels. You really need to get to the middle of the bike, and not all racks are equipped for that. Bike thieves regularly take a whole bunch of bikes at a time in Davis, leaving front wheels behind.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:04 AM
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220: Asilon needs help. Probably her children will grow up to be bike thieves. Someone inform the Parasitical Nanny State so that they can be put somewhere where there are no bicycles.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:06 AM
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232: Once when I was travelling and working on a political campaign, I briefly left my backpack ina hotel lobby. When I came back the backpack was gone and my dirty laundry was piled on the floor for everyone to see.

I was burglarized once for a tapeplayer and a bunch of tapes, including two tapes I made of my son when he was three. I knew approximately who did it, too -- some homeless people I'd helped out a few times, but had pissed off the last time they came by.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:13 AM
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He had a few.

Drinks or stolen bikes? Also, did he give it you back after you copped off, because if not, that should have been a deal breaker?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:17 AM
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The circumstances under which is might be justifiable for someone to steal some personal item of mine are just another ticking time bomb scenario: the person doing the stealing is likely not in dire enough need that my possession is going to make any difference. He or she has no way of knowing the value, to me, of my possessions, or the ease with which they might be replaced, and is thus in no position at all to make a judgment about whether they need it more than me. (Emerson's tapes are the perfect example: what're they worth to someone who doesn't care about his son? Less than a dollar).

People can contort themselves in support of all kinds of assholery.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:34 AM
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Just think about this: without Liverpool we wouldn't have "Band on the Run" and other great Paul McCartney albums.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:47 AM
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Where did you get the dress? And did everyone at the party dress up as Nick & Nora, or did anyone come as, say, Asta?

The dress is actually one I already had (from a wedding where the bride's only request of the the bridesmaids -- all 2 of us! --was to wear some kind of black dress) and I bought it at a dept. store. Does it look especially '30's-'40's-ish?

Sadly, no one came as Asta, though I had been keeping my eye out at Goodwill for a stuffed terrier.

Dressing up was optional, and we went to the greatest lengths, but others were there in smoking jackets, '40s-ish dresses, etc. The hardest and funnest* part was my hair.

*I know it's not a word, but it should be.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:52 AM
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238. Trade you for quite a lot of John Lennon and Elvis Costello.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 6:54 AM
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Did McCartney do more harm than Lennon and COstello did good? Would we be better off without the three of them?

This is by no means an easy question, and certainly an important a topic for future research. It would be a mistake to think that there's a simple answer.

a.) Suppose that a trolley car was running toward a switch, and on the main line the mothers-to be of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Elvis Costello had been tied to the railroad track by Snidely whiplash. Should you switch the train onto the other line or not.

b.) Mr. Whiplash is apprehended by the police. Should he be brought to trial and conmvicted of murder most foul, or should he be awarded the O.B.E.? Or should he just be let off with a warning on account of choice of evils?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 7:07 AM
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Aphoristic JE: Suppose Paul McCartney's mother-to-be were to be tied to a railroad track--it would be a tragedy. Now, imagine someone were to untie her--that would be a calamity


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 7:14 AM
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Randian: A hipster whose fixie has been stolen.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 7:22 AM
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Apropos the trans bathroom discussion of the other week, did we link to this story from last year?

Short version: Bouncer storms into restroom and throws "masculine-looking" woman out, even after she produces ID showing she is legally female.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 7:26 AM
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I can't get that worked up about McCartney. Everything he's done in the last 40 years has been pretty banal (you could say as much about Bob Dylan), but there are very many very much worse. I simply pay no attention to him.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 7:27 AM
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Relativist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 7:30 AM
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Shorter Q: Burn shit down ?
Ride shit around ?


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 7:55 AM
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216 is correct.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 8:09 AM
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233: my bike has a quick-detach front wheel. I don't find locking it difficult at all.

228: your contrarianism is sounding a wee bit libertarian there. Be careful.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 8:30 AM
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I had a gym bag left in a cubby, and somebody stole the spandex shorts, the Enell sports bra and my ratty old running shoes. Oddly enough, they left the bag.

Not so odd if you consider the items were stolen to be sniffed for, uh, home entertainment.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 8:32 AM
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236 - hmm, I was rather ambiguous. He stole the bike somewhere in Oxford before we met. When we got together, he had a few stolen bikes in his mum's shed. He gave me one. It became my favourite bike.

Interestingly (perhaps), I have just had my fuckwit tutee here. He had his bike stolen (third bike theft in the 18 months I've known him. This is not Oxford, but he lives in an even rougher bit of Reading than I do, and the second time was his own fault anyway for having left it outside unlocked), but it was found by the police a couple of days later when they did a drug raid on some house. He's got one of those Kryptonite New York U locks on it, and apparently it has various dents and scratches on it, but it's still in one piece and still on the bike. Which is currently still being held as evidence by the police.

So I'm sure he's on Stanley's side, but he really is a fucking arse.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 8:33 AM
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233, 249 If you have a quick-detach front wheel and fixing it to something is awkward, don't you just take the wheel off to make things easier?

My 8 year old's bike has a quick-release saddle. Wonder how long it'll be before he loses that.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 8:35 AM
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251
I have just had my fuckwit tutee here.

I assume that means "person who is tutored," right? On this side of the pond, we just say "student."

the second time was his own fault anyway for having left it outside unlocked

Oh sure, blame the victim.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 8:50 AM
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re: 253

I'd assume [rightly? Asilon?] that the use of 'tutee' signals that Asilon is working as a private tutor (e.g. for A-levels) rather than as an en-salaried teacher or lecturer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:00 AM
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Randian: A hipster whose fixie has been stolen.

Ex-Randian: A Randian who reports the theft to the police.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:03 AM
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P.S. Please pretend that 255 is pithy and witty. Thank you.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:04 AM
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256: My original didn't really work either.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:09 AM
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On this side of the pond, we just say "student."

I think you meant to say "in my narrow experience." When I've tutored, I've used both "student" and "tutee," but often "tutee" for exactly the reason in 254.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:10 AM
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I didn't mean for 258 to be snarky. I'm not doing so well with tone this morning. Clearly a sign that it's time to get back to my real work.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:13 AM
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I find intriguing the idea that buying things from a fence is more acceptable in Britain. Who are these fences? Here in the US it's either people who wander the streets and annoy people in a manner similar to panhandlers, or people at flea markets that are otherwise populated by people cleaning out their attics. Now clearly if people were selling stolen multi-hundred-dollar stereo systems and bikes at these flea markets they would be busted, so they stick to CDs and DVDs and cleaning products and sunglasses.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:14 AM
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251. I'm trying to think of any bit of Reading where it would be wise to leave an unlocked bike on street, let alone the rough bits. Apart from that, why is he a fuckwit? Or is that sufficient?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:18 AM
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244: During the Pride parade. In the Village. Granted a cheezrageous bar (Caliente Cab Co., I think, where the waitresses [used to, at least] wear holsters with bottles of booze in them and make some kind of signature shooter that involves them banging shot glasses on the table and yelling aiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiiaiaiayyyy!).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:21 AM
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260. People sell stuff in pubs. Not the pubs I would advise a cultured tourist to drink in, the kind of pub where you can be offered a £10 quickie in the car park and find your phone being sold in the bar by the time you get back. (I do not speak from experience, but I've met those who did.)

Slightly up market, there are often wide boys who know where to get stuff for their mates in local pubs. If you're not a regular, you don't get offered anything.

I don't believe there aren't similar establishments in America.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:25 AM
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re: 260

If you live in certain places you'll just know people. Or there'll be a guy in the pub you know who can 'get stuff cheap'. That might be grey-market or knocked-off designer gear, or cheap DVD players, or whatever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:26 AM
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Okay, I guess that isn't really as "socially acceptable" as I had thought was being implied.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:27 AM
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re: 265

I don't think anyone was really implying it was all that socially acceptable.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:34 AM
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I find intriguing the idea that buying things from a fence is more acceptable in Britain. Who are these fences?

In the US, fences are for Mexicans.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:37 AM
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267: Because they make good neighbours, right?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 9:42 AM
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268: The British make good neighbors? Doubtful.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 10:06 AM
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On this side of the pond, we just say "student."

Oh, thanks.

I say tutee as student's too fucking good for him. (And because I can't help thinking of my tutoring sessions as tutorials.) He's a fuckwit because he talks about any old random shit instead of shutting the fuck up and listening to what he (he's 25, so this isn't even his parents' money) is paying me to attempt to teach him. Still, one more month and then we're done.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 10:19 AM
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251: Sorry, but fuckwittery can't be taught. You have to be born with the gift.

[cue Dsquared to call me a Luddite and explain that fuckwittery can be Taylorized]


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 10:29 AM
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No, the Republican Party hasn't done it. They cruise the highways and byways looking for natural fuckwits. And they hire the progeny of fuckwits who are already-established and well-tested.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 10:35 AM
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No, the College Republicans don't train fuckwits. They train malefactors. But born malefactors gravitate to them automatically, so the institutional factor can't be measured. The group is like a big malefactor tournament, and if they haven't got anything else going on, they cheat and doublecross one another.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 10:38 AM
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band in Oxford called Bicycle Thieves.

Almost certainly referencing the film, not the practice of larceny itself. Which said film, incredibly, has not come up on this thread, unless I missed it.


Posted by: kth | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 11:15 AM
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274: see 123.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 11:21 AM
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He meant "except for Jesus' comment of course". Jesus. That's pretty well understood around here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 11:23 AM
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O, missed that one, guess I blinked. But the protagonist himself (spoiler alert, for anyone who wants to see The Bicycle Thief, but has not yet) steals a bike at the end of the movie, doesn't he? Of course that's supposed to show how low he's sunk, and in front of his kid no less. But doesn't the fact that his circumstances made him desperate enough to take the bike reflect on the original theft he was the victim of?

I saw it about 20 years ago, so I can't remember if the film consistently condemns the practice. But even if it does, that would only buttress my point, as Jonah Goldberg would say.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 11:28 AM
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Well, I did call it a movie and not a film. And yes, he tries to steal a bicycle, and is caught and shamed in front of his son. But the crushing consequences of the theft are the gist of the film, so I think De Sica would likely disapprove of Stanley's friend.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 12:09 PM
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De Sica was a good socialist, and of course the larger point of the film is that capitalist dislocation and inequality plus the bourgeios moral hegemony creates untold misery for all.

And that goes to d2's point, and the differences with the other Un-Americans, that the hegemony can & should be attacked at every weakness.

There will be free & equal bikes for all after the Revolution, and no one will need or want to steal.

Crikey, Bicycle Thief is not a bourgeois message movie.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:45 PM
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Death Wish, the Prequel:Bicycle Thieves!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:47 PM
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There will be free & equal bikes for all after the Revolution

Oh, they always *say* that will happen, but the reality is that party apparatchiks get bicycles while honest-to-god workers end up making do with unicycles.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:48 PM
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That other classic of Italian capitalist propaganda, Umberto D has been in frequent rotation on a art cable channel. All about why not diversifying your portfolio can lead to a uncomfortable retirement.

Jees, that is the absolute peak, Bicycle Thief as a paen to lawful respect for property. ROTFL, dude.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:55 PM
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it would be easy to check with the cops, as Stanley pointed out.

A couple of summers ago, a Sunday afternoon IIRC, I found a kid's bike in my front yard. It was tucked up against a fence behind a car, not terribly hidden but not very visible.

I asked kids - and parents - at my end of the street. Nobody knew or recognized the bike. It looked to me like a fairly good bike, it was a Raliegh, newer but beaten up. So I thought "stolen" and called the police.

After waiting a few hour a police car rolls up. The officer was pleasant, polite, armed to the teeth. He told me, in essence, that he could take the bike but then he'd have to fill out a lot of paperwork and it really wasn't worth his time and he didn't want to. He didn't look for a serial number or even write down a description of the bike. Or, he said, I could keep the bike for whatever time I thought reasonable, in case the owner showed up, and then dispose of it as I pleased. I kept it a week, and gave it to a charity.

I'm not trying to defend theivery. I buy a lot of things used and I try fairly hard to avoid getting stolen stuff. But it gets really murky really quickly. Near my property in the mountains I watched a nice young couple steal an engine block from the arroyo on my neighbor's property, where it had apparently been for many decades. They thought it didn't belong to anyone. I chased away another nice young couple stealing landscaping rocks from me. They claimed to have the permission of a landowner, but weren't really careful to make sure they were on the right land. To me those instances were clearly on the wrong side of the line, but nothing I could really do anything about.

On the other side, of the perhaps 100,000* items I have, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a few thousand of them were stolen. But which ones? And how could I ever get them back to a rightful owner?

*yeah, I have a lot of shit.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 1:58 PM
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218: OTOH bicycle thieves should, in principle, be hung by their thumbs neck until dead, while I watch and lead the crowd in happy cheers.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 2:10 PM
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yeah, I have a lot of shit

Have you considered protecting your possessions with a moat?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 2:13 PM
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Good Marxists, though, do not applaud lumpen criminality.

As I frequently explain, "lumpen" does not mean "lumpy" but "ragged". At the same time, Marx did say "the great mass of the French nation is formed by the simple addition of homologous magnitudes, much as potatoes in a sack form a sack of potatoes" (Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, 1852), and nothing is lumpier than potatoes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 2:19 PM
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||

Sausagely just linked to a piece by an economist about how the field needs to be more empirically-grounded. I clicked through to comments to see if Emerson had dropped by, and four of five comments were by Steve Sailer.

|>


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 2:25 PM
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PS: I will never forgive Blair for what he did to the stolen goods industry


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 3:37 PM
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Sorry, I mean Major, don't I?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 3:37 PM
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288: "Who will live in this iron cage?" Irresistably, enlightenment rationality sweeps all before it. Nothing is sacred any more. Etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 3:41 PM
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180: I'm sorry, which cyclist do we bike-haters hate in this scenario: the one who purchased a bike legally and then had it stolen, or the one who purchased a stolen bike?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:17 PM
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History of management consulting. For Dsquared, if he's still here. He'll hate it, for all I know.

Hat-tip The Best Blog Ever.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:19 PM
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Gifford Pinchot is now a New Age management consultant. It's been a rough century.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:20 PM
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Jees, that is the absolute peak, Bicycle Thief as a paen to lawful respect for property. ROTFL, dude.

Paean. And if you're going to troll, you'll have to do better than that, since dsquared has already set a higher standard in this thread.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:26 PM
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291: You don't have to choose between them, Hamilton. I'm sure there's hate enough in your heart for both.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:26 PM
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The Best Blog Ever.

I blame Bill Gates.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:27 PM
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That was a fun read, Emerson.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:37 PM
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Damn. Dsquared doesn't park here nay more. I'd love to hear his response, pro or con.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:40 PM
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It's about the level of analysis you'd expect from the Atlantic magazine. I'm sure the kind of people who read the Mc/Ardle blog and think "gosh how clever" loved it.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 4:53 PM
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That wasn't vivid enough, Dsquared.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 5:10 PM
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Cunt, cunt, twatty cunt cunt.

Happy now, John?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 5:20 PM
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There will be free & equal bikes for all after the Revolution

This is kind of sweet, but my bike is radder than yours, and I don't want to trade.

Still, they should be cheap enough that even less people care.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 7:11 PM
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299: And yet it's pretty much true. 99% of organizational behavior and management theory is utter twaddlle and Taylorism is dehumanizing garbage.

I tried to find the thread where I talked about my b-school experience with fads in organizational behavior, but was foiled by the capriciousness of searches ATM.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-29-09 10:53 PM
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"Management consultant" has very little overlap with "management". Managers manage, but management consultants generate reports and cash big fat checks.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 12:08 AM
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It certainly is odd that all the reports of management consultants are so uniformly negative. One would have thought that professional managers would be just as eager to give the credit for good strategic decisions and successful reorganisations to their consultants as they are to find someone else to blame when things go wrong (or when the original situation had been so badly screwed up it was unsalvageable).

I am not getting drawn into this one. I have said time and again that I have joined the winning side - the organisation of producitve businesses is, indeed, the only area of human society in which it is impossible for a scientific approach to have any benefits, huge sums of money are repeatedly spent every year on services of no value at all, and the very best companies in the world are run entirely as self-organising units of "engineers", with minimal interference from "admin people", many of whom are not even technically human beings, but robotic and interchangeable "marketroids". In particular, computer programmers are well aware of the advantages of reinventing everything from scratch rather than re-using successful generic solutions, and so should always start from a blank sheet of paper when considering any practical questions of organisation.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 2:39 AM
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283: Near my property in the mountains I watched a nice young couple steal an engine block from the arroyo on my neighbor's property, where it had apparently been for many decades. They thought it didn't belong to anyone.

I find it difficult to condemn the theft of something which is presumably by this point a worthless lump of rusted scrap metal. I'm just puzzled why the nice young couple wanted it. Maybe they had a body they wanted to dispose of in a nearby watercourse.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 3:50 AM
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Dsquared is a party pooper.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 6:02 AM
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MANAGEMENT IS MURDER


Posted by: LIBERATED DILBERT | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 6:39 AM
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308:


Posted by: +A +E | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 6:40 AM
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always start from a blank sheet of paper when considering any practical questions of organisation

That's thinking outside the box!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 6:49 AM
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310 was me, starting from a blank name field.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-30-09 6:53 AM
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