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What's wrong with America
Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4381798
 8:18 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

A pregnant mother walks a long distance to a Safeway to purchase some items. Feeling faint she eats a sandwhich while shopping and later forgets to pay for it. A crime? yes, but she offered to pay for it immediately and claimed she had simply forgotten when approached as she left the store.

Safeway, instead of accepting the apology and the money, called police and had the woman arrested and her 3 year old daughter taken into protective custody for a day.

What's wrong with America is that if she had stolen 200 million dollars through some financial scheme as a broker/banker she would not have been arrested, much less had her child taken away. There is punishment vs the poor and punishment vs the rich and right now the severity of those punishments is reversed (meaning the party with the capability to do the most damage faces smaller consequences).

Full story - [consumerist.com...]

I think I'll avoid shopping at Safeway for a good long while, unfortunately big corp only seems to pay attention when you hit them in the pocket book. In fact I dislike the recent price increase on vegetables so much I'll start growing my own and avoid paying big corp for my produce as much as possible. That sounds yummmmy in the tummy and in the pocketbook!

 

Leosghost




msg:4382712
 5:40 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not escaped my notice

Wasn't to you wheel :).. was to londrum ..you type much faster in English on your Canuck keyboard than I do on this French one :).

Corporate leaders got there by being masters of business.

Then why do so many post massive losses and still get bonuses when they do ..easy ..not their money they are playing with ..most get there because of who they know ..not because of what they know..

Political leaders got there because you and your neighbors voted for them.


Hanging chads and "unreliable machines made by party contributors" and collegiate voting systems , super electors, etc is my answer to that one with regards to the USA..

House of lords with regards to the UK

And senators with regards to France..

What do those three things in those three countries have in common ?

Each contains ways that politicians in each of those countries can get to power ..without any of us ,you, me, or our neighbors..ever having voted for them ..

I've got a nice house, lots to eat, a great job, free time and there's no war outside my house. I don't think things are all that bad with the society where I am, and I'm not getting all bent because someone else is making more money than me.


Same here..:) ..But I think I'm ( maybe ;-) just a little more aware of how some people really "get / got on" and it wasn't by being honest ..and they are amongst the loudest at the "top" of the pile..telling the rest of us how we should be honest..

You'll have noticed down the years here ..hypocrisy and scamming others and willful stupidity, cupidity, pushes my "buttons"..and I have the free time to come here and discuss it ....some don't .they are too busy trying to get out from under it's effects..:)

wheel




msg:4382728
 6:00 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hey, don't tell me. I actually do attempt to do something about things that matter to me, unlike many. Last year I spent a whole pile of time and money running in a local election. I had the idea to put some accountability on tax dollars.

Nobody cared. Like, not even a little bit. A number of local shop owners with no platform got elected. People vote for who they know or who they 'like'. So that's what they get - people they like. I was naive in believing that platform matters. I'm not saying that unhappily - this was a great learning experience for me, worth the effort.

The other misconception (one I had until I put my name in the hat) is that politicians should do 'what's right'. Nothing could be further from the truth. Politicians see their job as serving their constituents. Going off on a tangent about morals or 'fixing' stuff ain't what the job is. And frankly, it's not what most constituents want either. What people want, and what they get, are politicians who serve them and do what the community wants. They aren't going to turn down a special interest group because it's wrong. They're going to help the special interest group because the special interest group is actually a group of constituents who are asking the politician to help them - and the politician says heck yeah, that's what I do is help folks out.

That's democracy. People want politicians to serve, not fix. Expecting something else is naive (again, as I was naive until recently). Politicians aren't evil - they're actually doing the good that they are supposed to be doing and that they were elected to do.

If someone wants to fix something, go put their name in the hat next election. Get elected and fix it then. Don't expect someone else to do the fixing for you.

Leosghost




msg:4382736
 6:25 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have that "tee shirt" too ..from many years ago , in another country..:)

Came to similar ..but not identical conclusions..( I believe, nay..know there are there are also some "evil" ones :)..here the average voter votes for who lies the best..or who will buy the drinks, or who will pander to their prejudices, or who goes to the same church, mosque, synagogue etc they do..

The choice is usually between the lesser of various "evils"..rather than for a good ..and on a local level ..once elected our maires ( mayors ) have absolute power locally ..and city hall meetings do not have to be conducted in public ..

Mayors can grant building permits etc and pass local laws, all by themselves..and do..

Our outgoing mayor tried to ban horses from village parades ( we are in a place right on the sea shore but three sides are farm land )..because they are "dangerous"..he and his wife are scared by them and by dogs..his first act on coming to power was to ban dogs from the beaches here for and additional 4 months ..

Only French citizens* can run for mayor..only retired or rich people have the time to run ..he came to be mayor on a platform that he threw out the very next day after winning..terms are 5 years fixed..the previous mayor retired due to ill health, the previous guy, he's 82 , great guy , good friend, speaks fluent English, loves jazz and blues, ex high ranking NATO ), is incensed by what the new( now out going one ) has done ..the guy who took over has put the place into debt ( about $20,000.00 per inhabitant , grandiose schemes )..meanwhile he has had two new cars and he and his wife now dress like millionaires that shop at Lauren etc..on palm beach or worth ave..

But then people knew him ..people vote for who they know..and mostly who they think won't make waves..

*I have dual Irish and UK citizenship, but have a son born here, now past 18, and wife is Breton-French..
I probably won't renew my UK passport next time, and can take Irish-French ..but even then there would be no point standing for election..I don't frequent any Churches etc, except with a camera in hand..and I'm inclined to make waves ;-)

londrum




msg:4382749
 7:42 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

but what has a woman stealing sandwiches got to do with high finance, taxes, banks and political leaders? it's chalk and cheese.

the idea that people steal 5-dollar stuff because they've been reading about bankers dodging taxes is silly. that's just you trying to shoe-horn your politics into an everyday event.

she stole it because she thought she could get away with it. (and in the end, she did!)

Leosghost




msg:4382753
 7:49 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

You have absolutely no idea what my politics are..( You would be surprised what they are , things are not as simplistic as you think, or are more complex than you are equipped to grasp ) and a woman being accused of stealing a sandwich ( theft ) and theft by financiers and politicians is not "chalk and cheese" by any means..but as you cannot grasp that elementary fact... I'll stop trying to teach you to make melodious vocal sounds or appreciate music..

Others get it ..

londrum




msg:4382769
 7:58 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

ho ho, okay. you are right, maybe shoplifting is too complicated for me. from now on i will see shoplifters for what they really are... the downtrodden victims of other people's misdeeds, and i will give them a big hug and a pat on the back and blame it all on people with better jobs.

viggen




msg:4382801
 9:02 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

...whats wrong with giving a fine for that woman 100 bucks or 250 or whatever instead of wasting resources by getting them arrested, that doesnt make sense and I find it total out of proportion, oh yeah i forgot americans like to lock up people
[nytimes.com...]

Demaestro




msg:4382807
 9:21 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

No different than taking the sandwich off the shelf and stuffing it down your shorts. Both are fine until you 'forget to pay'.


It is vastly different, your inability to see the difference doesn't make it any less different.

Concealing product in your undergarments is different than snacking on something as you shop. I have seen it happen several times. A child or parent is snacking on an item as they shop. As they go through the till the realization that the chips the child is snacking isn't paid for and in that moment of realization they grab the chips and have the teller ring it through.

You aren't allowed to eat food at a supermarket before you pay for it.


You are where I live. I see it all the time, I have done it myself and I have never seen or heard of anyone being told it wasn't allowed.

she steals a sandwich, walks away scot-free after getting a load of public sympathy, and its the supermarket who ends up getting a load of bad press and has to apologise after people threaten to boycott it. something is mixed up there


You don't see the difference between stealing something and trying to pay for a forgotten item as you leave the store. usually Thieves make an attempt to conceal their crime.

I don't think this is symbolic of the climate in the USA nor do I think this illustrates what is wrong with the USA. However those of you calling this woman a thief seem to have no ability to see the grey in a situation. It isn't cut and dry, people actually forget things in real life. It happens. Arresting a pregnant mother with a small child over a sandwich she was willing to pay for BEFORE leaving the store is overkill. Zero tolerance policies are just a way of saying..... "we are unable to make any judgments calls or think for ourselves. There is no grey only black and white."

If it was your mother or sister this happened to would you call them a thief and tell them you aren't gullible? Anyone who has lived with a pregnant woman knows this isn't just possible it is likely.

londrum




msg:4382812
 9:31 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

i suppose it all comes down to whether you believe her excuse. maybe she was telling the truth. maybe she wasn't. who knows.

Leosghost




msg:4382814
 9:38 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone who has lived with a pregnant woman knows this isn't just possible it is likely.

Indeed :)..I know one who put 7 lbs of fish, paid for just 15 minutes before, in the trash can and couldn't remember where the fish was when I asked..couldn't remember even touching the bag ( actually asked "was I sure we had bought fish..had no memory of the shopping trip ) ..and then 10 minutes after I found the fish ( one gets to be able to "back track" the "weird" when one is around it long enough ;-) the same person, put the napkins in the microwave and turned the power up to high..thankfully we had already a spare microwave..it was not the first time such things had happened ..one learns to keep a "spare"..

The coffee mug they thought they were reheating.. we found 3 days later on a shelf ..in a cupboard..:)

Demaestro




msg:4382815
 9:39 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you examine the facts and put on your thinking hat is is fairly simple to determine if she intentionally tried to steal a sandwich or if it was an honest mistake.

1) She had money
2) She has never been charged with any other crime
3) She made no attempt to conceal her consumption of the sandwich
4) They still had the wrappers and made no effort to discard evidence
5) They paid for more expensive items

If looking at these facts you aren't able to determine her intent (to steal or not) than I question your critical thinking ability. You don't always have to be there to know what happened.

Demaestro




msg:4382817
 9:44 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Leo, that is awesome.... My wife more than once got up and went to work on a Sunday thinking it was Monday, at the time I was working late nights in a Poker room and I wouldn't get home until 8-10am sometimes and one time I got home and she was gone, I called to see where she was and she replied "Just on my way to work" I was like hunny it is Sunday morning your parents are on their way over.

The next time I came home and she was just pulling up with this shameful look on her face cussing the fact that she could have slept in and didn't.

londrum




msg:4382819
 9:45 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

case closed.
the shop security was wrong. the police were wrong too. and they were all there. next time the police are confronted with a shoplifter who's got crumbs around their mouth i suggest they post their "i was feeling dizzy" excuse on webmasterworld and let us find them innocent

Leosghost




msg:4382825
 9:53 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

My wife more than once got up and went to work on a Sunday thinking it was Monday,


That still happens in our house ..;)

But I always knew where my mom kept the empathy in her basement..:)

Demaestro




msg:4382829
 10:11 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

case closed.
the shop security was wrong. the police were wrong too. and they were all there. next time the police are confronted with a shoplifter who's got crumbs around their mouth i suggest they post their "i was feeling dizzy" excuse on webmasterworld and let us find them innocent


That is what Safeway is saying after taking a day to review before commenting.

Read more: [foxnews.com...]

"Safeway is aware of the incident and is working closely with the appropriate law enforcement authorities. The incident is under review but until the investigation is finalized it would be premature to comment."

A day later, Safeway issued an additional statement, saying that there may have been a mistake.




And yet another day later another confirmation that it wasn't theft.

[khon2.com...]
Safeway released a statement saying it has contacted police and will not be pressing charges against the couple.


Londrum you are looking at one fact of the case that supports your theory and ignoring 5-6 other facts that do not support your theory. You are focusing on the pixel and ignoring the big picture.

lawman




msg:4382835
 10:32 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is considered shoplifting in my state. Many judges pass much lighter sentences if the theft consists of food rather than jewelry.

martinibuster




msg:4382840
 10:58 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Corporate leaders got there by being masters of business.


Some corporate (and political) leaders got there by being masters of family privilege. For them, merit has little to do with it. ;)

smallcompany




msg:4382875
 12:34 am on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The more you bomb, the better you are... Nothing has changed nor ever will until aliens bomb the whole planet (bombers will cry the most at that time). It's only that we have news and Internet these days (and bombers).

The sandwich thing could be looked at from many angles. I understand OP's sympathy.
There are "poor" sandwich eaters, and those that think "screw them."
There are also some in between, as people are pressed by their financial situation, not so much about $5, but more psychologically whenever they see an opportunity to save few bucks. Many put stuff onto the lower rack of their cart and wait for the cashier to warn them about it. If does not, cool, if does, sorry.

londrum




msg:4383058
 3:08 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

if i ever commit a crime i hope i get some of you guys as a judge, because you are all soft touches. to me, it looks like the only reason the shop backed down was because of all the unfair bad press it was getting from the bleeding hearts who'd rather side with the shoplifter.

surely whether the woman had intent or not doesn't really matter... imagine if i was driving down the motorway and went 20 mph over because i was busy singing to the radio. if i went up against demaestro in court presumably you would say, yeah, okay, i can see you didnt mean it so thats okay, i will let you off (especially if I was pregnant, it seems, because pregnant woman apparently lose the ability to think for themselves). and if i walked out of a shop with a bottle of whiskey in my coat, because i was too busy chatting to my mate to notice, he would say yeah, fair enough, that's okay too because i can see you didnt mean that either.

we've got the empty sandwich wrapper in one hand, the CCTV showing her eating it in the other, but as long as she says the magic words "oh yeah, duh, silly me, i didnt mean it", everything is forgotten in a flash.

lawman




msg:4383060
 3:21 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

surely whether the woman had intent or not doesn't really matter


In most circumstances involving criminal matters, mens rea and actus reus (intent and an act) must be present for an accused to be found guilty.

wheel




msg:4383070
 3:41 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some corporate (and political) leaders got there by being masters of family privilege. For them, merit has little to do with it. ;)

You say that like there's something wrong with that.

Being rich isn't wrong. And being able to build a legacy for your children is a boon to society, not a hindrance, despite the #*$! envy of the young and upset.

Most of the people complaining about the ills of society and the horrors of the rich and affluent are doing so from the comforts afforded by that very same structure. Look around, things really aren't that bad. They're actually pretty darn good.

Really, like anyone here really has it all that bad. The most we've got to crank about is lost rankings in Google. And how many of us are flying from around the world to Las Vegas next week to enjoy comeraderie, good food, maybe some gambling?

And in terms of the OP, I have little use for someone munching food in a grocery store. It's uncouth and it's pretty clear that in most cases all it really is is small volume theft. All those candy eaters and grape munchers - they feel their entitled to nibble away at the grocery owner's inventory without paying them. So even if she didn't steal (and I maintain she did) she's guilty of irresponsible social behavior - and she saw the fallout from that.

wheel




msg:4383082
 4:03 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Or in the words of my parents, "you want me to give you something to cry about?" :).

Leosghost




msg:4383087
 4:20 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

You say that like there's something wrong with that.

W

Leosghost




msg:4383090
 4:28 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

and we saw the fallout from that.
..in 2008..and the crash is still here and likely to get a lot worse ..

And being able to build a legacy for your children may well be a hindrance, to society, not a boon,


fixed it for ya...

because, it depends on who the people and who their children are..and how competent they are..or are not..

wheel




msg:4383097
 4:38 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

And that's why we've got unemployed protesters, because people think that they're better equipped to spend the money that I earn, than I am.

Judgement of whether I'm appropriate to pass my earning along to my kids is not something for you or society to judge. It's for me. Mingling in people's personal affairs is often called communism. How's that working out for you? Go check out china for examples of what happens when people lose the impetus to get rich and pass it along to their kids.

As I noted, the people that are complaining are doing so from within the confines of a society that's successful for the very reasons they're railing against.

You think any of those occupy protesters don't have three squares a day and decent dental care? I doubt it. Their disallusioned because they've got everything they could have, not because they don't.

Leosghost




msg:4383111
 5:11 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The crash happened because the guy in charge ..got there because of who his dad was..and how much power he could bring to bear on seeing his not too bright son was "set up OK" ..not how competent he was to do the job..

Lot of the protesters don't get 3 squares a day..many do ..and I'm probably closer to your thinking on them than you'd imagine :)

But many of them are not trying to decide how or whether people who work honestly to get their earnings should pass it on to their kids..its much more about how the dishonest one get their earnings, at the expense of the rest of us..and pass it onto their kids..

Syria is a good example ..of "dynastic power" ..I doubt if you are in favour of "passing on what you earned or made to your kid" there..that is how Assad got to be President though ..His Father passed on the wealth and the power and the position..made the kid "National CEO"..

..North Korea is another example of "dynastic power" ( and it calls itself communist !..and so does the rest of the world ! ) Libya was "dynastic power".."Saif" was supposed to take over from his Father..the protesters there shouldn't be protesting about how the rich and powerful in their countries are passing on or have passed on their wealth and power to their kids ?

A lot of people are protesting in places that they don't always show you on the 6pm news

Should your kids run a country ..just because you did ?..or because you are rich and powerfull enough to put them there ?

Sounds like an argument for despotic nepotistic rule or absolute monarchy..

The PRC is a red herring in this discussion ( or the discussion that has evolved from the OP ;-) ..try going there, taking an actual look for yourself, not just watching what the people who run the TV want you to see, even most of the rural people are much happier than most of the rural inhabitants of some other "democracies" like India, or Pakistan or Indonesia or The Philippines ..

There is also a large element of these protesters who are there to speak out for the poor folks or the ones who lost their good jobs because some CEO decided to get his or her bonus before they moved on that it was better to lay off people and use the cash saved to pay their own bonuses, even from companies that were making a healthy profit ..being poor isn't a crime ..neither is being born poor, nor is being made poor suddenly ..some of the protesters are speaking for those who are poor and who otherwise wouldn't ever get a voice..

And some no doubt are just there to break things..but not all of them are ..

Demaestro




msg:4383137
 6:16 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

if i ever commit a crime i hope i get some of you guys as a judge,


And if you didn't commit the crime but were charged I also hope you get a judge who implores critical and reasoned thinking to determine your guilt. I am not sure if you are aware of this or not but the USA has a high rate of convictions that were incorrect.


it looks like the only reason the shop backed down was because of all the unfair bad press it was getting from the bleeding hearts who'd rather side with the shoplifter.


I disagree for a couple of reasons. First they took time to investigate before making the decision and commenting, which means while investigating they found evidence supporting the claim of the couple.

Second, if there was any evidence that this was theft, any at all, they would have used that to redeem their manager's decision of calling the cops. I think showing they were correct in calling this theft would them look better than admitting they made a mistake. So I don't buy that this was a way of saving face when proving theft would have been a better way to accomplish that goal

surely whether the woman had intent or not doesn't really matter


Actually in law intent is a major factor. It doesn't always work as a defence but it determines the severity of the charges.

A great example of this is involuntary manslaughter VS Murder, another great example is Possession of a controlled substance VS Possession of a controlled substance with the INTENT to sell.

londrum




msg:4383146
 6:43 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

First they took time to investigate before making the decision and commenting, which means while investigating they found evidence supporting the claim of the couple.


What possible evidence can there be?

evidence for the prosecution: they were seen eating the food. they still have the empty wrapper. they walked out without paying

evidence for the defence: they said they forgot

there is no possible evidence which can prove they "forgot". they only have the customers word for that.

but when you weigh up all the bad press they were getting with the 5 dollars they lost on the food, the supermarket decided it wasn't worth the hassle.

Actually in law intent is a major factor... A great example of this is involuntary manslaughter VS Murder, another great example is Possession of a controlled substance VS Possession of a controlled substance with the INTENT to sell.


but you are still guilty of a crime regardless. lack of intent does not get you off a criminal conviction in either case. you can still be charged and locked up.

lack of intent does not make a killer innocent, and it does not make a drug user innocent. they are just guilty of different things, that's all.

lawman




msg:4383226
 8:46 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

lack of intent does not get you off a criminal conviction in either case


Some crimes require specific intent. Some require general intent. Some require transferred intent. Some are in the nature of strict liability.

Theft crimes usually require specific intent.

Demaestro




msg:4383266
 10:17 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Londrum, you are distorting facts to support your position.

evidence for the prosecution: they were seen eating the food. they still have the empty wrapper. they walked out without paying


Nope, they were stopped at the Exit and offered to pay when confronted.

evidence for the defence: they said they forgot


Nope again.
evidence for the defence:
1) they are employed and had money
2) they paid for more expensive items
3) they have never been charged with any other crime ever
4) they made no effort to conceal their consumption
5) they kept the wrapper for the specific reason of paying
6) They brought along a small child risking parental rights if caught

These are circumstantial but when you add them all up it is hard to come to a conclusion that it was part of an elaborate plot to spend $50 just to enable the theft of $5 sandwiches.

lack of intent does not get you off a criminal conviction in either case.


That is what I said, maybe re-read my post. I say it isn't a defence but it is a factor in determining the charges, however in this case intent is the crux. People make mistakes and prosecuting them for it goes against the spirit of the law.

It would be like someone putting drugs in someones' else's pocket at the airport then they get caught at security and they say "Well we see on tape someone puts it in your pocket, from behind, but how do we know you guys weren't planning this just so you could say if you get caught that you had no idea it was there?" At some point you have to use the info you have to make a decision.

Can you connect the 2 people
Does the person you caught have any other convictions
Does the person you caught have large debt
Does the person you caught have any reason to mule drugs
and so on... all circumstantial but all will help you determine intent.

lawman




msg:4383279
 11:04 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>That is what I said, maybe re-read my post. I say it isn't a defence but it is a factor in determining the charges

You guys need to read my last couple of posts.

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