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What's wrong with America

 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!



 9:03 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

there's lots of people sitting on the steps of st. pauls at the moment saying the same stuff as you. punishment is also about prevention though, isnt it. if they let a woman get away with nicking a sandwich more people will do it. supermarkets probably have stuff stolen every day. but no one's going to try and suddenly nick 200 million, so why do they also have to deal with it in a day? there is no need.

people dont eat an entire sandwich in the supermarket (which they're not supposed to do anyway) and then "forget" all about it. that is just a dopey excuse. they are trying it on. you are too soft.

and the idea that they wont be punished if they steal 200 million is silly. they are going to prison, simple as that. it just takes a bit longer because its more complicated. all the police have to do for the sandwich is watch the CCTV tape which takes 5 minutes, so they can deal with the case in a flash.

[edited by: londrum at 9:12 pm (utc) on Oct 31, 2011]


 9:09 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

The woman ate a sandwich WHILE SHOPPING and then forgot about it?

The real crime is the gullibility of people in believing that line of nonsense.

Or perhaps the crime is that she didn't understand the difference between a grocery store and a restaurant.

I've got no problem with safeway doing this. It's a bit excessive, but I get their point. They're probalby getting screwed daily and just had enough.


 9:13 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

...a legal system based on baseball (three strikes and you are out) what can you say, americans like to lock up people, why not fine her, or charge her with whatever crime it is to not pay a 5 dollar sandwich and let her get to court, instead of draggin even more people in prison?


 9:19 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

1. Injustice in who gets arrested, injustice in who gets jailed, and injustice in who does not get jailed is something that has existed for as long as there have been jails. Mitt Romney assaulted an airline passenger [huffingtonpost.com] last year but it was the victim who was escorted off the plane by police.

Innocent people have been sentenced to jail for decades in the United States for no reason other than the color of their skin or being unlucky enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Some police are lazy and they coerce confessions and admissions out of innocent people who then go on to spend years in jail and in some cases pay with their lives. These are facts.

2. What one manager at a store does is not representative of all stores in the chain.

3. The recent price hikes of vegetables, according to a local market I shop at, is the result of the weather in areas where the vegetables are grown, particularly in California, causing a shortage. That may be the reason your veggies are costing more. Apparently vegetables are being imported from Mexico and other parts to make up the difference.


 9:28 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

>What's wrong with America

not much!

speaking as a brit who had travelled more in america than most americans, i'd say THE COUNTRY IS AWESOME, the leader of the free world (just as we (uk) was 100 years ago).

it's easy to snipe and critisize! but frankly if i could get citizenship and go there, i'd go like a shot - as would many others.


 9:33 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

it's easy to snipe and critisize! but frankly if i could get citizenship and go there, i'd go like a shot - as would many others.

Me too. I'd at least seriously consider it as there are areas of the country that I would likely find more suitable politically than where I live. But it'd probably be my second choice (because where I live has areas that are pretty awesome too).

And it's actually no choice because whenever I talk about moving, my wife responds with 'have fun, come back and visit once in a while'.

Frankly, people have been complaining about the moral demise of the country and young kids for close to 100 years. It was hippies and mini skirts (they could bring those back anytime), now it's baggy pants and whatever else.


 10:03 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some of us have become too hippy for mini skirts.


 10:21 pm on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

:) the lady has style :)


 6:53 am on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

In the good old days she would have been hanged. But only for minor crimes against property, of course. For major ones, nothing less than Australia would do.

Seem to remember the "pour encourager les autres" didn't work all that well, though. They had to keep doing it year after year.


 8:11 am on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

that is just a dopey excuse

The real crime is the gullibility of people in believing that line of nonsense.

Well, the relevant fact is that the being in question is a pregnant female member of the Homo Sapien species, which does seem to often forget seemingly small things such as where their car keys are or where they placed a piece of paper 2 earth minutes ago, or that their sunglasses are in fact on top of their head, or to stop for a stop sign, or... the list goes on. Homo Sapiens attempting to get away with a crime do not usually save the wrappers in most of our studies of this race.
Even the store admitted they may not have handled things the best. So this is really a non-story, and we are closing our study of this event.


 7:17 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Stealing is stealing, the poor pregnant mother who walked a long way is just an embellishment to recruit outrage for "the man" and comes at a perfect time, when we have people standing in the streets protesting corporate greed.

A more interesting angle would be that she shops with food stamps, lives rent free in project housing, has been on welfare for 7 years, this is the third child we've all paid for, could have driven her caddy but it's in the shop, and the stop at Safeway was on the way home from her dealer's crib, the only reason she "forgot" was she was too blasted and actually thought she was home.*

Now THAT gets filed under "what's wrong with America . . . "

* This supposition has no relation to the story at hand, but is a pretty common theme in "what's wrong with America".


 7:44 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, the relevant fact is that the being in question is a pregnant female member of the Homo Sapien species, which does seem to often forget seemingly small things such as where their car keys are

She didn't forget to take a sandwich off the shelf, unwrap it and eat it. She did that deliberately.

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

Honestly judge, I forgot about the sandwich in my pants. I thought I was just happy to see you!


 7:48 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

when was the last time you felt dizzy and thought "quick, i must eat a sandwich"


 8:52 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is what actually happened... [blogs.babycenter.com...]

One of our members in community, told the January 2012 Birth Club, how she was arrested and her 3 year old daughter was taken by CPS over two $2.50 sandwiches...

According to her she went to a grocery store with her husband where they ate those sandwiches...

...According to mother – who is pregnant by the way – “The police tried to arrange to have one of us arrested at a time, but it was not possible. They had to call Child Protective Services to take our daughter because we have no friends or family here..."

1.) TWO people ate TWO sandwiches. (I guess the hubby was also dizzy from HER pregnancy)

2.) TWO people "forgot" to pay.

3.) Police tried to make arrangements to arrest only one at a time.


 9:22 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not what's wrong with America, it's what's wrong with Americans trying to get away with crap and then pretend they did nothing wrong and cry like wounded babies when they get caught.

Heck, I've opened a cold drink and drank some while shopping, but still had the container in my cart to checkout and paid for it.

If she still had the sandwich wrapper in her cart and was going to present it at checkout, then I'd believe the woman had no intent to steal.

However, if that sandwich wrapper had been discarded elsewhere, she deserved the trip to jail IMO.

Once upon a time, my ex-inlaws shipped my brother-in-law (still in high school at the time) down for a few weeks because he was out of control and they wanted him as far away from his druggie friends as possible.

Everything seemed to be going well, we were actually having a good time with him, until the trip to the grocery store...

When we left the store, from out of his big winter coat he pulled an entire carton of cigarettes, smiling from ear to ear and bragging about how smooth he was when he 'jacked' it from the store.

OMG! I could've been arrested as an accomplice!

His sorry stealing butt was delivered back to my ex-inlaws within hours.

THAT'S what's wrong with America.

P.S. you want cheap veggies? go directly to the chinese market, do not pass Safeway, do no pay $200


 10:22 pm on Nov 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I read some of the comments on that story. It's pretty clear they're trying to distract from the actual theft. She's pregnant. So? She stole the sandwiches. The sandwiches were only $5. So? She still stole them. She had her daughter with her at the time. So? How does that change the fact that she stole?

The only factor that might generate some leniency is if she actually forgot to pay - but I seriously doubt that. I bet she was deliberately ripping off the store, the manager knew it, and said screw you, go cry somewhere else.

The fact that the thief is raising all these extenuating circumstances seems to me to lend credence to the fact that they knew exactly what they were doing.

They're sure not promoting the fact that two people, not one, ate sandwiches in a store which is bizarre to start with. And that two people forgot to mention it at checkout. Neither one thought, oh yeah - I should pay for lunch? And that two people somehow further both missed the wrappers at the bottom of the cart during checkout. Look at the cart, nope, no wrappers from sandwiches here, that's not tweaking any sandwich-eating memories for me. Riiiiiight.


 6:20 am on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

We do remain intrigued by the way humans fail to educate themselves further before rendering judgements, and by the way you deny your own humanity. Which incidentally we feel is one of the bigger problems with your world, let alone one country or continent.
The charges against the woman (who by the way is also a former U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant) have been dropped [boston.com].


 2:53 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

The charges against the woman (who by the way is also a former U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant)
Is it your contention that this makes her more likely to be innocent (or indeed guilty)? If not why mention it?

I see this sort of behaviour in supermarkets all the time usually it involves a child sat in the trolley who is eating sweets, a cake or a bag of crisps as they go round. This is wrong even if they intend to pay for it because it is not their property until paid for. The evidence of empty wrappers left on shelves tells me that most of them don't pay for what their offspring consume. Even worse are the ones who eat grapes as they shop.


 3:12 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

You aren't allowed to eat food at a supermarket before you pay for it. I thought that was just common sense, but I guess all stores will need to put up signs because people are morons.

Don't compare this to some financial fiasco. Apples and oranges.


 3:12 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

We do remain intrigued by the way humans fail to educate themselves further before rendering judgements, and by the way you deny your own humanity. Which incidentally we feel is one of the bigger problems with your world, let alone one country or continent.

Charges were dropped due to the thief's social pressure campaign - not because she wasn't a thief. You're confusing the two.

That's what's wrong with America - people have no shame for their actions. Stealing and getting away with it is acceptable behavior.


 3:27 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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


 3:42 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

When those at the top of the socio-economic pyramid are seen to brazenly flout "the rules" on honesty and integrity, publicly and repeatedly, and prosper, from their obvious shameless disregard of, "practicing what they preach".

Why should those at the bottom of the same socio-economic pyramid feel shame at doing the same ?..and often the actions of those at the bottom are far far less damaging to the society, or it's fabric, than the actions of those at the top..

Stealing and getting away with it, are seen as acceptable behavior just as much on Wall st, as in the poorest neighbourhood or trailer park, and in the former, on Wall st, is rewarded with "bonuses"..until the occasional scapegoat is needed to make the masses feel that it is not all thieves, con-men, knaves and scoundrels running the show, and scratching each others backs, whilst gouging the life blood from those they are standing upon..

A five dollar sandwich gets you "cuffed"..a 5 million dollar tax evasion gets you a deal with the IRS..

If she had said she had recently "found religion" and was busy reciting a prayer to herself or her kid when she reached the checkout and it slipped her mind to pay, she'd probably have had the shop staff and the other customers offering to donate to her church..she missed a trick there..the people at the top and running for office don't miss any..especially not the "found religion" ones..


 3:55 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why should those at the bottom of the same socio-economic pyramid feel shame at doing the same?

er... because it's wrong?

lets all go out and steal and loot some stuff. we'll just blame it all on the fat bankers. everything is their fault. even people stealing 5-dollar sandwiches is somehow their fault.
in the UK everything is margaret thatcher's fault. everywhere else its the fat bankers.


 4:29 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

When those who are making the rules telling you that stealing is wrong ..are those who are stealing and have stolen far more than you ever could..why should you listen to them ?

I left the UK for good, at the end of the thatcher years, even though my businesses had done well since before she came to power ..I left because I did not like the way she was turning the country into a place where money made one "right"..and being rich( however one made that money ) meant that one could flout the "rules", buy ones way though life..and be lauded and even receive honours..

The UK became a land of spivs smarming their way to success, thieves and liars prospered and became cabinet members ..( Archer any one ?.. Parkinson..etc etc )..the ""expenses system was set up by her ..secretly..

Under Blair the corruption merely continued ..

Is it any wonder that those who were brought up by their politicians and "betters" to believe the label in your suit was what defined you, not how you acted.. ..decided to steal the clothes..

Thatcher bred the chavs..some of us saw it coming..and left to avoid it..

In the US..the hypocrisy took over too..being rich and being seen to be going to church, or running a church ,became waaay more important than actually being honest and doing "right"..

Claiming "belief" became far more important than what one actually did..

You lead people by example ..not by making laws and rules that you don't obey yourselves..you bring up kids the same way..


 4:41 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

You lead people by example... not by making laws and rules that you don't obey yourselves... you bring up kids the same way...

and thats exactly why you shouldn't steal stuff. how do you "lead by example" by stealing sandwiches?


 4:52 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

When those who are making the rules telling you that stealing is wrong ..are those who are stealing and have stolen far more than you ever could..why should you listen to them ?

That's stretching. Everyone whines about politicians and people who are wealthy, but it's hardly the case outside someone's imagination that these people are 'stealing'. Being succesful and earning a lot of money isn't stealing no matter how much people are envious. Grabbing a sandwich and not paying for it is stealing even if you're female and pregnant.


 5:10 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

It appears to have escaped your notice entirely that I'm talking about how societies "leaders" in the recent past, both in the USA and the UK have already set the example to those whom they purport to "lead"..that to steal and lie and cheat and behave dishonestly is how to succeed..because that is very very often,how they behaved both prior to,and upon coming to power, and once in power even whilst behaving totally dishonestly and hypocritically and whilst allowing their friends to steal and scam ..they still told the "people" that they, the leaders, were the good guys and girls because "look at us, believe what we tell you to do ,because we believe, look, we show you every sunday, you can trust us"..

And then the people found out that it was all a sham and a scam..

Now if you still don't get it ..I'd regretfully have to conclude it is because you don't want to ..

I'm not saying that eating sandwiches without paying for them is OK..

But the moral rot set into US and UK society waay before the woman went to the supermarket..and it was consciously put there by those who were leading all of us ..supposedly honestly and for our good..whereas it was dishonestly and for their own good..and they have never or only rarely been arrested, cuffed, and brought to court to face trial..

And most never will..because they placed their friends and families in positions of power and judgment..( as many of them were placed in turn themselves ) and so the scam continues..with the only the occasional one sacrificed to the "law" so as to put on a show, to appease the masses..


 5:19 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't whine about people who are successful or wealthy, never have, never will ..I only castigate those who gained their success or wealth dishonestly ( and those who unthinkingly defend success and wealth no matter how it arrives ).. ..and it is strangely "co-incidental" ;-) that politicians always leave office with far more wealth than when they arrived ..often far far more than would be accounted for by their salaries..and when they leave , they invariably go directly to the boards of companies for whom they facilitated legislation whilst in power, and the same companies "lobbied", "donated" ( bribed would be a far more honest way to describe the process ) those same politicians who become their board members or advisors later..

The practice has now extended to civil servants leaving government or government agency, or state employ and becoming advisors or salaried staff of the companies that they were supposedly "overseeing" in their public employment..

That used to be known as being bought off and ( I may be mistaken here ) was seen as an indictable crime? corruption..apparently not any more ..


 5:27 pm on Nov 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not escaped my notice. It just sounds like a general rant against 'the evil rich and powerful'.

Corporate leaders got there by being masters of business. Don't like it, do business with someone else. Nobody's forcing you to give money to a bank or financial institition against your will.

Political leaders got there because you and your neighbors voted for them. So vote for someone else next time.

Try and suggest that I have to get excited about it because of your version of morals? Ain't going to happen. I frankly don't give a s***. I'm concerned about making me and mine happy, not exposing what others are doing that I don't like.

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.

I *like* how things are going.

[edited by: wheel at 5:44 pm (utc) on Nov 2, 2011]

This 68 message thread spans 3 pages: 68 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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