7 things @ 11 o’clock (7.25)

1. Facebook is not my forte, but I’ve set up a page for this blog and — fingers-crossed — should have it set to update automatically whenever anything is posted here. (This is something I’ve tried every six months or so in the past, but there’s a chance it may actually work this time.)

2. BookRiot offers its survey results showing the Top 20 Books You Pretend to Have Read. I wrote high school book reports on two of those (Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations) without having read them, but I think I’ve been pretty honest about the other seven books on the list that I haven’t read.

3. Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. This is the job of preachers, journalists and jesters.

Note that this combines what seminary-types call both “pastoral” and “prophetic” ministry. Can you do both at the same time? Sure. Just follow this one rule: Always punch up; never punch down.

Note that both parts of that are an ethical obligation. Punching down is immoral. So is failing to punch up.

That’s why the Magnificat is funny. And it’s why Louis C.K. and Chris Rock and Maria Bamford preach such challenging sermons.

And it’s why all the hand-wringing of the Tone Police completely misses the point.

(Dianna E. Anderson has a longer, more detailed response to that post. Since it’s the umpteen-thousandth reiteration of the same old same old, I’ll spare you the umpteen-thousandth reply from me. And, in any case, the definitive response to the Tone Police was written 50 years ago.)

4. “The Internet Strikes Again, Mormon Edition,” vorjack writes, summarizing Laurie Goodstein’s New York Times piece, “Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt.” That article is kind of the flip-side of Peggy Fletcher Stark’s early 2012 report for the Salt Lake Tribune: “Mormons confront ‘epidemic’ of online misinformation.”

Old models of controlling the information available to your followers just won’t work if those followers have access to Google. That’s why, as vorjack writes, “the Internet is the greatest threat to religious dogma in the modern world.” (And why, as I’ve written here before, “The evangelical bubble cannot be sustained.” See also here, and here, and here.)

Of course, while the Internet makes it impossible for dogmatic leaders to control the information their followers can learn, it also facilitates their ability to replace any given false dogma with something else just as dogmatic and false. For every site like Recovery From Mormonism or Homeschoolers Anonymous, there are a dozen sites like the Blaze or Breitbart. …

5. Tony Campolo talks about the collapse of Exodus International and its larger meaning for the idea of “ex-gay ministry.”

“Please understand that Exodus was not just another ministry,” Tony stresses. “It was an umbrella group.” It set the course for the whole network of smaller pray-away-the-gay organizations, producing the printed materials used by many of them. It established “reparative therapy” as the central strategy for most of those other groups.

The end of Exodus, in other words, is a very big deal.

Tony knows this subject well. Exodus invited him to be the keynote speaker at their national conference when it was held at Eastern University back in the late 1980s. I was living on campus during that conference and I went to hear Tony speak. He stood up in front of this group, thanked them for inviting them, and then spent the first half of his address explaining everything that was wrong with reparative therapy and with Exodus’ whole purpose, approach and existence. It doesn’t work, he told them — speaking just as bluntly and frankly as he speaks of it in the (glitchy) audio linked above. He told them they were hurting people and they should stop.

It was not what they wanted to hear and the atmosphere was pretty tense. After a half-hour or so of that, though, Tony segued somehow into his usual storytelling mode, rattling through some of his greatest hits. And by the end of things, everyone was crying and laughing and signing up to tutor poor kids, just like always.

6. Is it possible to break into someone’s house, take $18,000 worth of their stuff, and never have to give it back or worry about legal repercussions? Yes it is — if you’re a bank:

One Ohio woman [says] First National Bank foreclosed on her home, even though it isn’t her bank. She says not only was her home broken into, but some of her belongings were taken, sold, given away or thrown out.

… “They repossessed my house on accident, thinking it was the house across the street,” she said.

… When she called the police to sort out the situation and get her things back, the chief told her the case was already closed.

She then presented the bank president with an estimate of $18,000 worth of property missing, she says he refused to pay up.

“He got very firm with me and said, ‘We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is,’” she says. “I did not tell them to come in my house and make me an offer. They took my stuff and I want it back.”

She says she’s angry now, as the bank isn’t apologizing and is instead, she claims, giving her attitude over breaking into her house and taking her things.

“They’re sarcastic when they talk to me. They make it sound like I’m trying to rip the bank off. All I want is my stuff back.”

It’s a sweet deal, being a corporation. Some judges will say you have a religious free-exercise right to ignore laws you don’t like, and the police don’t even care when you burglarize a private home.

7. The solar system is really big. How big is it? Two very cool short videos put it in perspective.

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"I've called them "militant atheists" or "evangelical atheists" - they also tend to assume that ..."

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LBCF, No. 168: ‘Doin’ the deal’
"Missed the boat a bit though, since those who had already done so before the ..."

LBCF, No. 168: ‘Doin’ the deal’

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  • Cythraul

    “But when he discovered credible evidence that the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, was a polygamist and that the Book of Mormon and other scriptures were rife with historical anomalies, Mr. Mattsson said he felt that the foundation on which he had built his life began to crumble.”

    Wait… the polygamy is news? I though the LDS church was quite open about this. It was one of the first handful of things I ever learned about them. (What tends to be bigger news is that they officially *don’t* practice it anymore.)

  • P J Evans

    They gave it up when it was a choice between that and Utah becoming a state. (Actually, AFAIK, there’s only the one branch that still practices it. And they’re very small, by comparison.)

  • Czanne

    Not one branch… More like dozens of splinters. The FLDS is the largest organized splinter, but there’s the Kingston clan, the Bountiful (Canadian) version, the LeBaron clan (mostly in northern Mexico), a group up in the Pacific Northwest, and lots of small, barely organized groups all over the Mormon Corridor. They are small in comparison to the co-regional orthodox LDS population, and the various splinters have enough issues that they don’t cooperate very well with each other, but they’ve got significant capital and a higher than background level of bloody-mindedness.

    Best estimate for population is around 100,000 amongst all of the groups.

    Some LDS scholars have made assertions that Mormondom has been in the grips of a century-long Reformation, and like the Protestant Reformation, it moves slowly enough that it is only visible from a distance. The polygamous issue is one of the major vectors for schism, but not the only one.

  • Lori

    the LeBaron clan (mostly in northern Mexico)

    Is that the group Mitt Romney’s polygamist grandfather was part of?

  • Czanne

    Yes and no. The Romneys, Hatches & LeBarons who established the colony were polygamous, more religious-socialist-communitarians. So yes, that is the community into which George Romney was born. And yes, the communities have close family ties, but theRomneys ceased to be involved after they recrossed the border during the Mexican Revolution.

    The LeBarons of the 20th century went deeper into fundamentalism, culminating in a series of prophecy and heresy motivated murders in the late 1970s.

    Their sketchiest ones have died out. The current generation appears to be targeted by the Norte drug cartels. They’ve endured a few kidnappings and murders of their most vocal critics of the drug war.

    They’re interesting, and not just for the gossipy or true-crime bits.

  • Lori

    That is interesting.

  • TheBrett

    The polygamy of Joseph Smith is news to most Mormons. You grow up knowing that Brigham Young and most of the leadership of the church were polygamists after the move to Salt Lake City, but you aren’t taught that Smith himself was a polygamist.

    I don’t know why, either. Maybe because the church just doesn’t want to draw attention to polygamy at all.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    I attended the 2002 Winter Olympics in SLC. While there I saw a sign (swear I’m not making this up) that said: “Wife. Wife. Wife. Husband. Affordable four bedroom housing.”

  • mattmcirvin

    Though even that has wrinkles: what they stopped doing was performing marriages that weren’t legal according to the civil authorities. Marriages may be polygamous to them in the afterlife, and, in some corner cases, even in this life.

    For instance: I know someone who is annoyed by the fact that the LDS church won’t religiously dissolve her previous marriage even though her ex-husband married someone else. Apparently the church won’t do this for a woman unless she marries again, because they believe that being married is important for getting into the better variety of afterlife. So to the state she’s divorced, but in the eyes of the LDS church, she’s nonconsensually in a polygamous marriage.

    She once said she’d regard the whole thing as nonsense not worth bothering with, had the church not inserted itself so prominently into the fight over California Prop. 8.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I was the 23rd FB Like. We act fast, apparently.

    Should we maybe introduce ourselves on the page, so people can add friends and such?

  • JustoneK

    I don’t want to upset the lurkers.

  • Baby_Raptor

    That *is* a valid concern.

  • themunck

    Maybe just a short message saying something like “Hi everyone, please don’t kill us with sheep”?

  • Baby_Raptor

    “I am BabyRaptor…Please don’t kill me with the sheep I eat for breakfast!” *giggles*

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I’m on there, but different anonymity for each site, so if you figure out which one is me (probably not THAT hard), please don’t give away the surprise. :p

    (But probably not adverse to adding anyone who’s interested to friends list.)

  • Baby_Raptor

    At the moment, I don’t see a way to see who all has Liked the page. Hence my initial suggestion of people just posting. But I could be missing something totally obvious.

  • aunursa

    A person has to submit a comment.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Just a general comment? I’ll get the ball rolling, then.

  • Jon Maki

    I actually comment here via my Facebook account, so… Here, there, and most everywhere*, I’m Jon Maki.

    *Blogger/Google+ shows my full name of Jon-Paul Maki.

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    Denizens of the internet act surprisingly fast. It still boggles my mind that I can wake up for class at seven or seven-thirty, go to comment on Mark Reads PotS at eight, and the comments will already be halfway down the second page.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Another Mark Reads fan? Awesome! ^_^

  • Lunch Meat

    Ha, I was #8. So there.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I think I’m the 98th FB Like.

  • TheBrett

    2. I thought Pride and Prejudice was a pretty easy read, although I had to read it for high school. Crime and Punishment was harder, and it didn’t help that I was required to turn in a copy with at least two notes per page – it made it hard to actually enjoy the book, although I did end up finding it rather fascinating upon completion.

    4. Speaking as an ex-Mormon, this isn’t a new phenomena – “Jack Mormons” have been around forever (the term used to mean a non-Mormon friendly to the church, but now means someone who still has positive ties to members and the community despite being a non-believer). One of our recent mayors, Rocky Anderson, is a notable Jack Mormon.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Oh, and I’ve only read 8 of those books. I R slacker.

    My teacher gave me an excerpt from Moby Dick when they were testing for reading levels in third grade…Third grade me did not see what the big deal about a whale was.

  • themunck

    I’ve read 2.

  • Cathy W

    Moby Dick was one of the few books I’ve ever just given up on. I freely admit that I couldn’t make myself slog through more than three or four chapters even with extra credit in physics class on the line.
    I’ve actually read six of the books on the list (mostly as assigned reading in school) and chunks of another besides Moby Dick.

  • Jenny Islander

    I tackle Moby-Dick every few years. I’ve come to the conclusion that the sense of “Oh, please stop with the whale facts chapters, my brain is full of whale” that sets in about 1/5 of the way through is the effect Melville was aiming for. Puny but destructive humans can partially disassemble and package that other world that brushes against our own, but never fully comprehend or control it; if they insist on forcing a personal confrontation with it, they will waste their lives and the lives of others. An indictment of established religion, IOW.

    Somewhere on the Web there is a reading schedule that shows you how to skip the Whale Overload Chapters, which leaves you reading gripping historical fiction about tragic misadventure in the whaling subculture of the 19th century. Melville is really, really good at writing.

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    Heh. When I was very small, we had a book called Yankee Whalers of the South Seas, which, among many other tales, traced the legend of “Mocha Dick,” an albino sperm whale, which was the base for Melville’s book. Intrigued, I looked up Moby Dick in the library, attempted to read it, and… gave up very quickly. I think it was the first book in my life I gave up on, too.

  • Kirala

    But is there a hyperlink version? By that I mean this: I keep saying that I want to attempt the unabridged Les Misérables, but that I really want a version which excises the asides like the History of Parisian Sewers from their usual place and makes them into hyperlinked footnotes or appendix pages. I already read ridiculously long asides on blogs when I click through links to long articles, and I always read even the longest academic footnotes immediately, but it feels different than trying to slog through what feels like a pointless digression in the main text.

    And less distractible people might still find it convenient to read what William Goldman might call The Good Parts Version without further abridgement.

    I figure it’s only a matter of time before such a version exists in ebook form. So what about for Moby Dick?

  • Mark Z.

    I keep saying that I want to attempt the unabridged Les Misérables, but that I really want a version which excises the asides like the History of Parisian Sewers from their usual place and makes them into hyperlinked footnotes or appendix pages.

    Maybe we need an abridged version by Neal Stephenson, where the History of Parisian Sewers is still there but presented with a hilariously snarky narrative voice that thinks it’s in a textbook about information theory.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Hugo is at least nice enough to give a warning before he launches into a completely irrelevant aside. Right before a 150 page section on the Battle of Waterloo, he all but says “You know what happens, feel free to skip this.”

  • mattmcirvin

    I haven’t read Moby-Dick, in part because Samantha warned me about the Whale Overload Chapters. But I’ve become curious lately, because of an article I read somewhere describing the Whale Overload Chapters as interesting from a history-of-science perspective: they’re a look into the mind of someone trying to do descriptive biology without the mental framework of evolution. Melville’s categories apparently aren’t the ones that a cetologist would name today, and the differences are telling.

    Maybe the book is best read out of order.

  • christopher_y

    I think I’ve read 6, but it may be one or two more or less, because I get confused about things where I’ve seen movie or stage adaptations. The odd thing is that when I clicked through to the long list behind it I was getting the same sort of proportion for the first 200 as the first 20. I must just read stuff that’s lying around.

  • Jon Maki

    I’ve only got 5* of them, but I don’t claim to have read any of the others.

    *Possibly 6 – I’ve read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but I can’t recall if I ever read the original, non-zombified version, or if it was Sense and Sensibility that I read (though I’ve definitely read the “and Sea Monsters” version of that one), so if I haven’t read the original, I’m not sure if the zombified version counts.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    14 out of 20. I haven’t read The Bible (in full), either Tolstoy novel, Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights or 50 Shades of Grey.

  • Baby_Raptor

    You win the thread.

  • lowtechcyclist

    I’ve read six of them cover to cover; read enough of another three (including the Bible) to have gotten the gist.

    I feel like I should be able to raise my hand and say, “Hey, can I make some substitutions here? I’ve read Sense and Sensibility; can that stand in for Pride and Prejudice? How about The Brothers Karamazov in place of Crime and Punishment? How about Anne Rice’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty or Exit to Eden instead of Fifty Shades of Grey?”

    Then I realize it’s just me in the room anyway, and I can revise the list any way I want to, or ignore it altogether.

    Oh yeah, Catcher in the Rye has to be one of the most overrated books of all time.

  • Sue White

    Well, it is a list of books you *pretend* to have read, after all. So making substitutions ought to count as pretending. :-D

  • general_apathy

    I’m fairly sure that “pretending to have read Fifty Shades of Grey” means “mocking it as though you know what you’re talking about.” Guilty as charged, myself.

    (I felt guilty about doing that and ended up reading it. Terrible mistake—the book is so much worse than one imagines. It reaches Jenkinsonian heights of Bad Writing.)

  • Trixie_Belden

    Oh yeah, Catcher in the Rye has to be one of the most overrated books of all time.

    So glad to hear someone else say it! What is it with that book? Actually, I have to say I think it may be that Salinger is an overrated writer.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Considering the absolute shitfit he threw over his very last book, I suspect part of it was his own ego.

  • christopher_y

    Did he actually write anything else that anybody’s read?

  • barnestormer

    I tried to read the Anne Rice Sleeping Beauties as a very young teenager, shortly after geeking out to Interview With the Vampire. I didn’t finish it. I did read Rice’s Belinda which I remember as super-gross (in that it was about a children’s book author who likes to have sex with teenagers dressed as children) (plus it expressed approval of tanning booths and I was a Goth so ew) but read it anyway.

    I recently tried to read Fifty Shades, but it was so boring I couldn’t even muster the energy to make fun of it. Twilight is much better in that respect.

  • stardreamer42

    That’s kind of surprising, since 50 Shades is Twilight AU fanfic with the serial numbers filed off.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Moby-Dick, 1984, LotR, Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Crime & Punishment, Great Expectations, Harry Potter, and A Tale of Two Cities.
    Why on Earth would anyone pretend to have read 50 Shades?

  • JustoneK

    Internet street cred.

  • themunck

    To rail against the satanism.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    If you look at the full list of responses, there are a lot of recent popular titles on there. The assumption is that people are lying so that they can take part in a conversation about a widely read title.

    That being said, I’d be the one lying about not having read 50 Shades (or Twilight, also commonly listed).

  • Baby_Raptor

    The same reason people pretend to have read Twilight, instead of just deconstructions or cultural osmosis. To mock it with credibility or to fit in with a group that liked it.

  • ReverendRef

    The Bible
    1984 by George Orwell
    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
    Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling

    Those are the ones I’ve read — with a caveat or two:
    The Bible – Never actually read from Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 22:21; but I’m sure I’ve covered the whole thing in my lifetime.
    Fifty Shades of Grey – Mrs. Ref read it and, based on her comments, I decided I didn’t need to bother.
    Harry Potter (series) – Mrs. Ref and Kid Ref read these together, out loud, so I heard most of it. Also saw the movies.

  • reynard61

    Don’t worry about it. I crapped out at I Corinthians and still haven’t been able to motivate myself to slog through the rest. Probably gonna try again next Winter.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Only have five or six on there, depending on how much of the Bible you have to have read. Oddly, I managed to make it through both high school and college without having ever been assigned Moby Dick – the former was bigger on Faulkner/Hemingway type material, the latter was mostly philosophy. Interesting that, based on the list, people are much more likely to lie about literature than philosophy.

    On the other hand, I haven’t lied about reading any of those, including the ones on the full list. The stuff I bluffed about was mostly philosophy (curse that professor who thought that A Theory of Justice was the only political work worth discussing) and non-Western literature (I might have misrepresented how much of Hong Lou Meng I personally read on numerous occasions).

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’ve only read six of those books/parts of those book series*. I R even bigger slacker.
    *I read at least one Harry Potter book over a decade ago; I don’t remember which or exactly when.
    As for the others:
    Bible (never from cover-to-cover, but I’m sure I’ve covered at least 80% of it),
    The Great Gatsby (required for High School)
    Catcher in the Rye (required for High School)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (required for High School)

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    I’ve read eight in their entirety and parts of one (I fell asleep reading Numbers in my attempt to read the Bible cover-to-cover and never quite got back into it). I also had to listen to “Return of the King” in audio to get through it the first time but now can actually read it all the way through.

    I considered picking up a copy of “The Great Gatsby” today, but couldn’t recall if TGG is in the public domain or not and thus I could get a copy for free from Project Gutenberg. It isn’t in the public domain, by the way so I will have to buy a copy if I decide to give it a read.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • Lori

    It’s in the public domain in some other countries, but not in the US.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The Interwebs renders that rather superfluous and I have no compunction about ignoring the more absurd provisions of the Walt Disney Corporate Welfare Act, such as the de facto forever-and-a-day copyright on Mickey Mouse and the like.

    One untoward side effect of that was to effectively “freeze” the public domain roll-out of works after 1923.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I kinda hope that’ll get done away with next time Disney tries to get copyright terms extended. It’s in the Constitution that copyright is for limited times. In fact that’s the exact wording: “for limited times”.

    I don’t really expect, but I hope.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    As soon as 1984 hit public domain status in Oz and Canada I totally downloaded copies and saved them to multiple storage units just in case some copyright pearl-clutcher manages to somehow legally maneuver to get that status revoked.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    The supreme court basically accepted that literally any term so long as it is an actual number and not “exactly forever” counts as “limited times”. (Technically, I believe their argument even included that “forever minus one day” would count as a “limited time”). A century. A millenium. A Bazillion Years, it all counts.

    (THough I believe one of the concurring opinions did say “But if you pull this shit again, we reserve the right to cry foul”)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Infinity minus one = infinity.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    But — and this is the clever bit — it is bounded by infinity, and therefore, sayeth SCOTUS, a kind of limited time.

    On the bright side, extending copyright to aleph-one years would clearly be right out.

  • Mark Z.

    Where’s the Time Cube guy when we need him?

  • David S.

    They moved the line from 75 years from publication to 95 years, so works from 1923 will be free in 2019. They could try to extend it again, but I think we can give them hell.

    (That’s a scary date; I’ve been watching since it was unbelievably far in future, and suddenly it’s right up close, way faster then dates should be able to move.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Why is that date scary? “Steamboat Willie”, under the law it was created under, would have been public domain nearly thirty years ago, and the sooner it’s public domain the better.

  • David S.

    Because it was once far away in the future, and now it’s tomorrow. I can’t rectify how it got 10 years closer and I only got 2 years older in that time. It’s personal, nothing to do with the public domain.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh okay. Never mind.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I feel the same way when I contemplate the fact that it’s possible to be old enough to drink without having been alive in the 1980s (Though I can’t imagine why you’d have to)

  • Lori

    That’s fine. I just think that someone should take that stand knowingly, not via link. Esepcially since Pepperjack Candy specifically asked about the book’s status.

    Personally, I’d get it from the library. I’d wager that every library in America has at least one copy and that they’re rarely checked out during the summer. The book is so short that I doubt many people who are going to finish it will have problems finishing within the loan period, especially with renewals.

  • stardreamer42

    Two here (LOTR & 1984) plus more of the Bible than not, plus a comic-book adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities when I was a kid. I’ve tried Harry Potter several times and keep bouncing hard off the abusive-family sections. Beyond that… haven’t read, don’t intend to, don’t need to lie about it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You can mostly skip the Dursley stuff without losing plot continuity. So if it helps you can start off the Philosopher’s Stone about when Hagrid bashes the door down.

    Chamber of Secrets, skip the imprisonment post-Dobby’s visit, pick it back up when the Weasleys rescue him.

    Prisoner of Azkaban – actually the aunt gets quite the poetic justice.

    Goblet of Fire onwards have the Dursleys suitably cowed because Harry threatens to sic his godfather on them or because Dumbledore finally lays down the law.

  • Alix

    I’ve read nine, most for school. I may be the only person in existence who actually enjoyed Crime and Punishment.

  • Steve Morrison

    No, you’re definitely not.

  • atalex

    As I have said repeatedly since 2007, nothing is going to change in this country until some banker or CEO gets shot and killed by a private citizen his company has ruined. I’m not rooting for that because it will be a very bad thing for the nation. But right now, most of our domestic problems stem from the fact that bankers and CEO’s aren’t just unafraid of any personal consequences to their actions, they can’t even imagine personal consequences for their actions.

  • Michael Pullmann

    The only thing that would change is the number of bankers/CEOs with heavily armed bodyguards.

  • Kirala

    Yeah, I think there need to be social consequences – shunning from their peers, for example – to get finance and politics to stop involving so much in the way of dirty tricks. Possibly legal consequences could induce this (how many people think as well of jailbirds, whether they agree with the conviction or not?), but physical consequences would just break a broken system further.

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    Or legal consequences! Legal consequences would be really, really, really nice. Like… something as simple as jail time. We don’t have a problem jailing people for shoplifting a loaf of bread, for pity’s sake!

  • iiii

    It would help if local cops were willing to arrest the hirelings of the corporations for felony burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and receipt of stolen property, and local DAs were willing to follow through on putting the thieves in jail.

    It’s not personal consequences to the plutocrats, but it would up the costs to the corporation for these little clerical errors.

  • Jenny Islander

    Yes, this! Why in the world didn’t the police prosecute?! Somebody busted into this person’s house, took her stuff, and sold it! It didn’t matter what excuse they gave; they took her stuff and sold it!

    If you steal because you’re too stupid to realize that you’re not stealing, it’s still theft.

  • DavidCheatham

    _Technically_, most crimes require intent, and ignorance of the fact is a defense. Not ignorance of the law, but ignorance of the fact. If you, for example, get in a car you think is yours and drive off, but it’s really someone else’s, you didn’t actually commit auto theft. Likewise, they can’t be charged with breaking into a house they thought was their property.

    But, interestingly, I’m not sure that works here for taking her stuff.

    Because they _also_ removed her property from it, which is, of course, vandalism. (Or theft, depending.) Removing a former tenant’s stuff from your own property is legal _with a court order_, but they did not, in fact, have such a court order.

    So, yes, the bank appears to have actually committed a crime here. Even _if_ that was their property, they would not have been allowed to remove anything from it without the court’s permission, and they did _not_ have the court’s permission.

    The mistake of the bank would cover breaking a window (Since they honestly thought it was their window) and changing the locks (Which they thought were their locks). Those are probably entirely legal criminally, although they certainly are something she can sue over.

    But that could not possibly cover the removal of someone else’s property, which they would need a court order for. They _did_ intent to throw someone’s _else_ stuff out. It was their actual intent. Intending to throw away someone’s stuff without a court order saying you can do that is vandalism and/or theft. They thought they _did_ have such an order, but ‘ignorance of what a court order says’ is _not_ an excuse under the law. (In fact, the courts get _more_ pissed when they have given you an explicit order and you have not paid attention to it than when you just don’t know that the general law says.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Between the fact that it appears actionable criminally and it is a very clear civil tort into the bargain, I’m surprised a lawyer hasn’t already been all over that like sand on a beach.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    _Technically_, most crimes require intent, and ignorance of the fact is a
    defense. Not ignorance of the law, but ignorance of the fact. If you,
    for example, get in a car you think is yours and drive off, but it’s
    really someone else’s, you didn’t actually commit auto theft. Likewise,
    they can’t be charged with breaking into a house they thought was their

    True, but you don’t get to keep the car

  • DavidCheatham

    Indeed. And that is a _very_ obvious lawsuit. In fact, in the _real world_ where people are actually accountable for their actions, if someone accidentally took something of mine and refused to give it back, the police would _search their property_ for the stuff.

    But laws only apply to people, not corporations. Or, rather, law _enforcement_ only applies to people.

    I was just pointing out that not know the _facts_ of the matter might cover their original offense of breaking into a house, but _even if it was their house_, they needed a court order to remove things from it. Period. You cannot just randomly throw the property of your tenants out on the street.

    It’s like, if someone accidentally drives off with your car, but your car is actually a tractor trailer and they don’t have a class C license. The fact they thought it was their (actual) car and thus it might not be _theft_ does not change the fact they were illegally driving a tractor trailer without a commercial license. Likewise, thinking it was their house does not change the fact they illegally removed the belongings of the residents without a court order.

  • reynard61

    Doubtful. My guess is that the costs would be seen as just the “cost of doing business” (Remember: hirelings are as disposable as a Star Trek redshirt these days) and would be treated in the books as nothing more than a rounding error.

  • EdinburghEye

    Nothing will change until CEOs go to jail for crimes committed by their corporation. Jailing low-level subordinates doesn’t do a lot of good: fines, as is well known, do no good. But the situation where a theft of goods worth $18,000 goes unpunished because the bank intended to repossess the house across the street demonstrates that banks are effectively above the law…

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    We;re not even talking punishment yet. We’re still talking giving back the stuff they stole. It’s not punishment to make them give back the stuff they stole. They don’t just want to not be punished, they want to keep the spoils of their crime.

  • Cathy W

    Related to an item from yesterday: the Archbishop of Canterbury intends to “compete Wonga out of business” by starting church-backed credit unions. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23433955

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    Holy shit, that is amazing.

  • mattmcirvin

    I think the only one of those books that I may have pretended to have read is the Bible (I’ve read many parts of it, certainly, including most of the Pentateuch and most or all of the New Testament and some of the prophetic books, but I’d be lying if I said I’d plowed through the whole thing, and I may have implied that at some point in my life).

    I’ve read 10 of them, re-read Pride and Prejudice fairly recently. That and Catch-22 are my favorites on the list.

    It’s interesting that they list Ulysses rather than Finnegans Wake. I guess few people even bother to pretend that they’ve read the latter, as the claim would be too implausible.

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    I swear I had an English teacher who did her dissertation on Joyce, and knew both books inside and out. Admirable, certainly. Imitatable? …yeah, no. To my shame, I didn’t quite finish A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

  • Jamoche

    I know an English professor who’s an expert in Joyce and wrote a bio about his daughter and the effect Finnegans Wake had on her sanity.

    But the professor herself is quite sane!

  • general_apathy

    I’ll cop to pretending to have finished Wuthering Heights. It’s those insufferable phonetic accents.

    Pride and Prejudice is surprising. It’s such a good book: funny, not a slog to read, and it’s aged pretty well.

  • mattmcirvin

    It’s so famous these days that it’s become almost the canonical piece of classic literature. So though many people find it perfectly easy to read, there may be many more who want to have read it and haven’t.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Y’awwlll mean y’awwlll dun’t laaaaahk win an awthurrrr wraaahts laaaaaahk he dun thaaaaahnks a per-sunn dun taaaawk?

  • JustoneK

    Thass how ah tawk tho.

  • general_apathy

    I use the Queen’s English, as is proper for a gentleperson. The working class, on the other hand, speaks like this:

    “Nelly,” hesaid, “we’s hae a crowner’s ‘quest enow,
    at ahr folks’. One on ’em ’s a’most getten his finger cut off wi’ hauding t’ other fro’ stickin’ hisseln loike a cawlf.
    That’s maister, yeah knaw, ’at ’s soa up o’ going tuh t’ grand ’sizes.”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I used to do this with one of my characters, took a break from writing them for a few years, came back and tried to do it again — and promptly realized how bloody annoying that is. I wish more authors did.

    Though the worst written-the-way-they-sound character is still Mary Jane of Anne Rice’s Taltos, who in some editions is written like a 12 year old fanfic. Her verbal tic is to make everything she says sound like a question — and Anne Rice punctuated these psuedo-questions with multiple question marks.

    “So, like, you know??? Kind of like this???? Several lines on every page?? Sometimes even in excess of thirty question marks in a single paragraph???????”

  • general_apathy

    Yikes, that sounds like the most annoying narrative in the world. Plus logistically, what is that meant to indicate? It makes it seem like the perspective character is hearing a difference between one question mark, and multiple question marks???

  • Jamoche

    Given we use a language where questions are indicated by a rising tone, and based on experience, I’d guess each ? is another note higher.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    I’m pretty sure that’d quickly reach frequencies normally reserved for calling dogs.

  • The_L1985

    Phonetic accents can be ok if done sparingly.

    I never touched Wuthering Heights, but the Redwall books are pretty awful unless you mentally translate everything a mole says into proper English. They have a particularly thick country Irish accent, and it’s written in so that you can barely understand it. (How bad is it? In the first book, one of the characters has to translate the mole-speak for another character.)

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Only three people listed Finnegan’s Wake versus 75 for Ulysses, so you’re probably right. I think Ulysses is considered more of a significant novel, whereas Finnegan’s Wake is more like an extremely elaborate joke on the entire world.

    Here’s a question – given how many of these were obviously class assignments, is there anyone out there who had a teacher assign even part of Finnegan’s Wake?

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    *raises hand*

    IIRC, we had a passage of Finnegan’s Wake as part of our AP English course, senior year. I don’t actually remember whether I read it or not – by the end of that year, I was close to the breaking point even in the classes I liked.

  • AnonaMiss

    /me handraises

    To be fair it was only like the first page or so, sometime during the unit on Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, just to show us how crazy Joyce got later (and, implicitly, how we really shouldn’t be complaining about Portrait).

  • Lori

    The only Joyce I ever had assigned in a class were Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist. I had one English teacher openly boggle at the notion of someone trying to read Finnigan’s on their own.

  • Veylon

    Fifty Shades is on the list!? From what I’ve heard, that’s one of the ones you pretend not to have read. I’m also surprised (but not disappointed) to see Harry Potter on the list.

    But let’s see, I’ve read five outright and I’ll claim the Bible, though I haven’t read it cover-to-cover.

    I’m also kind of surprised 1984 is on the list, given it’s length. And maybe Moby Dick, too. And Catcher in the Rye. They aren’t those paid-by-the-word Victorian doorstops that Dickens churned out and can actually be gotten through in a sane amount of time. Nobody should need to pretend to have read them.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    I’ve known a few people who thought that 1984 was boring. While I couldn’t possibly disagree more, I think I get it – it’s very heavy on establishment, and that puts some people off. As for Catcher in the Rye, it ranked #2 on that site’s most hated list, so it was probably more the style than the length.

  • mattmcirvin

    1984 is a deeply unpleasant story with a deliberately total excision of hope and a section describing the goings-on in a literal torture chamber. The unpleasantness is part of the point, but it’s also brutalizing the reader to some degree. I could see many people bouncing hard off of it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Not everybody likes the total downer ending. I know there are days when I don’t want to read the whole thing.

    1984 and Lord of the Flies share certain similarities in that their authorship was in an era of deep cynicism about how deep the veneer of civilized human behavior and human idealism can really be (late 1940s/early 1950s).

    As such their narrative and endings reflect that.

  • mattmcirvin

    I read both of them at a time in my teens when I was inclined to admire pitch-black cynicism and brutality in fiction, I think because I felt it reflected how mean teenagers could be.

    These days, I figure I can get rocket-fuel-grade bleakness and brutality in the comment threads of any political blog, and from art I think maybe I want something else. But the attitude has been a long time coming.

  • mattmcirvin

    …As for Catcher in the Rye, I think that’s another one that gets put on school curricula under the theory that kids will relate to it, and then many of them don’t. Holden Caulfield is kind of like the protagonist of a Morrissey song: a teenager who thinks nobody understands his pain and he can see through all the fakery in the world. If you’re not like that, you may well just regard him as a whiny brat.

  • The_L1985

    I always liked it for that reason. He starts off as a bratty know-it-all…and then starts to realize that maybe the world isn’t so bad after all. I want to say it had something to do with the skate key?

  • Lori

    The paperback edition of Moby Dick is nearly 700 pages. That’s going to put a whole bunch of people off right there. Then there’s all the stuff about whaling that isn’t directly necessary to the plot. Some people find that the most interesting part, other people consider it a better sedative than Ambian. I give myself credit for Moby Dick because I read most of it, but I admit I skimmed a lot of the whaling.

  • LoneWolf343

    I read LoTR, 1984, and the first Harry Potter book. I also checked out the most-hated book list, and I saw that Lord of the Flies, another book I read, is on that list. Why?

  • mattmcirvin

    It’s required reading in many school curricula, and it’s unrelievedly grim. I think that kids who weren’t horribly bullied in junior-high school may have trouble relating to it.

  • The_L1985

    I liked it because I could understand both Ralph’s perspective and that of the other kids. There’s the hope of rescue that Ralph tries to keep alive, and then there’s the savage hopelessness of the other children as they give up on ever being found, coupled with an escapist desire to “have fun” by killing Piggy.

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    Is it bad that my first thought is “Wait, there are kids who weren’t horribly bullied in junior high school?”

  • mattmcirvin

    My wife was one of them; she went to a very small school in a small town, and if that sort of thing happened there it wasn’t to her. My experience in multi-thousand-student suburban hives where creeps could operate under cover of relative anonymity is alien to her.

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    Huh. Well, that’s good, then. Suburbia and its culture – especially young – is an awful thing. It is very cool that some people manage to escape it.

  • David S.

    Since when have bullies needed anonymity? There’s one class of bully/victim relationship where the problem is that everyone knows what’s going on, but everyone, including the adults, knows that the victim is a little git and it’s hard for him to get sympathy. A lot of bullies get away with it because they’re smart or athletic or something else that gets them exemption. In a huge school, there’s always someone to go to, always your own little clique; in a very small school, it’s easy to be isolated and if the teacher doesn’t care about what’s happening, there’s no one else to go to.

  • LoneWolf343

    Well, I was homeschooled, so bullying wasn’t a problem. It was more that it had an edge that contrasted the saccharine atmosphere of conservative evangelicalism.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    William Golding was explicitly skewering the ethnocentric Coral Island (“pip-pip, tally ho, we’re so awesomely British we won’t be like those savages”), as well, when he wrote LotF.

  • general_apathy

    Because the allegory is so thick you could cut it with a knife*.

    (*the knife is World War 2.)

  • Carstonio

    I’m in the “keep meaning to read” instead of the “pretend to have read” category. Part of me believes I should have read those books. From the list, I’ve only read 1984, Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, and To Kill a Mockingbird all the way through. I never finished Moby Dick, and my Bible reading was limited to the first three books of the OT, Job, the Gospels, and Revelation. I tried reading Infinite Jest but found it frustrating.

    I might have to reread Catcher in the Rye, because I’m not sure I understood the story the first time.

  • MarkTemporis

    Re:Catcher in the Rye. Just go to any whiny emo kid’s blog, and you’ll get the jist.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    The jist, yes; the plot, no.

  • Lori

    Of the ones on that list I’ve completed 8, read some of a couple others and never got around to the rest. At this point I’ve basically accepted that I’m never actually going to read the ones I haven’t gotten to yet. I’m open to the possibility that at some point I’ll develop some ambition in this direction and check off at least a couple more, but I’m not counting on it. I never lie and say that I’ve read the ones I haven’t though.

  • We Must Dissent

    I liked Catcher in the Rye, but 1) I read it in my late 30s, and 2) I read it after viewing John Green’s analyses, which I found quite useful. I did not like Holden, but I didn’t think I was supposed to. I found it quite sad.


  • Carstonio

    Was the 1930s considered a golden era for US literature? Most of the novels on my summer reading list in high school came from that period, and that was 50 years later.

  • Kirala

    My guess would be that US novels tended to be shorter during that time period than many others. Also, the language tends to be sparser, more straightforward. This is a ballpark guess, though – I was an English major for the English Renaissance and Romantic literature, and avoided most American lit and anything 20th-century as best I could.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think they reflect the time period they were written in. Authors of books, whether they know it or not, hold up a mirror to the society they live in at the time of writing.

    The Outsiders, for example, is indelibly stamped with the social milieu of Oklahoman teenagerhood of the mid-1960s. While the themes in it remain fairly constant (so that many people still read it today), the expression of those themes is unique to that time and place.

  • banancat

    I think there is generally a lag of several decades. Kids read what the teachers and administrators from a decade prior thought were good books, because it takes time for the current administrators to get the books they think are great put into the curriculum. And adults tend to think that the best books are the ones that they read in their youth and early adulthood, which would have been the popular books at the time and not the “classic” stuff that they would have been pressured to read by their teachers or parents.

    So for example, the group of young adults who were in college learning to be teachers in the mid 00s probably think that the Harry Potter books are fantastic (and I completely agree). So it took some time for them to graduate from college and then find a job. It will take plenty more time before they are in the job long enough to have seniority and influence on curricula. And then when they finally have enough clout to try to get Harry Potter into the curriculum, it will take several more years to go through the system and actually get the change made. So I predict that school children will be reading Harry Potter as part of a standard curriculum around 2040 or so.

  • TheDoctorIsIn

    So, Fred, now you’ve compared yourself to Dr. King. Get some help, dude.

  • JustoneK

    Wait, what? Where?

  • myeck waters

    He didn’t, but he did link to King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail. Apparently some people don’t read for comprehension – either that, or they’re so desperate to trash Fred that they’ll grab at anything.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    TheDoctorIsIn is mistaking “Dr. King said it much better than I ever could” for “I am Dr. King.” I’m not sure how one can do that, as the two things look very different to me, but then blue and green look different to me too, and that’s culturally dependent. It’s all down to what language toolset we have at our disposal, I suppose.

  • Carstonio

    I remember Catcher in the Rye having a bad reputation for a while, since Mark David Chapman was reading it.

  • Lori

    Catcher in the Ryle had a bad reputation long before that because it’s full of swears and Holden is [gasp] disrespectful of adults.

    (Personally I hated that book even when I was the target age, but not because of the swears or the disrespect.)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Another thing: Target is really starting to piss me off. You either support gay marriage or you don’t. Quit saying you do and donating to people who want to make sure it never happens.

  • Lori

    They really need to cut that shit out so I can shop there in peace. I have an unholy love for Target and their Right Winginess seriously harshes my mellow.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    ah, so like Dan Cathy, then, with his talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  • Jake

    Chris Rock punches up at white people pretty well, but he also punches down at women quite hard indeed. I find myself getting whiplash watching him.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    A lot of people are like that. I can happily watch Bill Maher talk about religion, but put him and Jim Carrey in the same room and tell them the subject is vaccinations and I’d rather hang myself with my shoestrings than hear the resulting product.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Another reason to be totally put off Jim Carrey besides his manically ridiculous grinning fucking face that’s on 1000-watt 24/7.

  • http://vmthecoyote.tumblr.com/post/56439695124/names-on-the-internet VMtheCoyote

    Eh, YMMV. People who’ve been manic sometimes find a reflection of that madness oddly comforting. I suspect it’s no less painful for him, either.

    (That, and he’s not always that bad. Have you seen The Number 23?)

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    True dat.

    We have a 24/7 comedy channel on the radio now, and I once flipped over to it in time to catch Chris Rock’s bit about “You know who has it easy? Women. Men have it hard, but women’s lives are sooooo easy.”

    His supporting argument was basically that everyone makes this big deal about violence against women, but no one cares when the victim of violence is a man.

    I muttered something sarcastic into the traffic about “Yeah, remember the good old days when violence against women was just ignored, ’cause it was business as usual, and besides, no jury would convict him, look at how she deserved it? Too bad people started making this big deal about it. To hear them talk, you’d think there was some sort of institutionalized misogyny at play in society…”

    I almost changed the channel. But then I remembered if I didn’t suffer through it, I wouldn’t get to hear the pre-recorded voice (always a “sexy woman’s” voice, either the bubbly or the sultry flavor) say the name of who it was I’d been suffering through, in which case I wouldn’t be able to avoid that comedian by name in the future.

    That was my introduction to Chris Rock.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Hm. Aun Ursa has sent a friend request to me. I do not know whether to confirm it or deny it.
    Edit: accepted it after coin toss.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Fun fact: no one cares.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Except the person who felt so bothered by my comment that he(?) actually replied to it.

  • chgo_liz

    I’m a little nervous to admit this: I have read all of them, really I have, except for 50 Shades of Grey (and I have no intention of reading that poorly written tripe).

    Does that mean I win a prize, or get a swirly?

  • barnestormer

    Hey, me too! (I really tried to read 50 Shades, though — like more than once. I don’t usually feel physically drowsy reading books, but. . . )

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Mein Kampf literally did that to me. I remember falling asleep after the second chapter just after I put the book down to rest my eyes.

    By some heroic force of will I managed to read the entire thing and concluded that whatever HItler’s skill was, it was not in systematizing his views in any accessible way.

    Probably a certain amount of mad genius-ness in there considering WInston Churchill was perceptive enough to realize he had his entire war plan documented in it.

  • banancat

    You win the prize of being allowed to brag at any party you go to. Not sure if that counts as a prize or a swirly though.

  • A Kaleberg

    With regard to #2, The Top 20 Books You Haven’t Read. Hasn’t anyone here read David Lodge’s Changing Places. It’s a
    hilarious farce, and he describes the wonderful game of “Humiliation”:

    “Lodge invented a literary parlour game called ‘Humiliation’ in Changing
    Places, which remains popular at dinner parties. Players name classics
    of literature that they have not read, the winner being the one who
    exhibits the most woeful literary lacuna. In Changing Places, Lodge’s
    obnoxious American academic, Howard Ringbaum, admits that he has never
    read Hamlet – and thus wins the game (but loses his job). Lodge himself
    owns up to War and Peace.”


  • Jen K

    I’ve read that a foreclosure gone wrong isn’t theft because the intent to steal was not present. :( That said, I hope that some jurisdiction doesn’t require intent to steal, because prosecuting a bank for theft would rock.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’ve heard of people charged with grand theft auto for a joyride in which the car ended up, as they meant it to from the start, exactly where they found it. How does that have ‘intent to steal’ when banks meaning to confiscate somebody’s house and belongings (even if they get the wrong somebody or whatever) don’t?

  • Jen K

    The bank has money to hire a defense lawyer. Joyriders often don’t.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Ah. Yes. That’d do it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It should totally be theft. (-_-) There’s a TV movie called the Prairie Giant which dramatizes the career of Tommy Douglas.

    In one scene, he’s condemning the deliberate farm foreclosures used by banks to pressure people into not voting CCF next election.

    His response?

    “I call that theft!”

  • Lori

    If it’s not theft it’s still an improper taking and they have to make the wronged part whole. The banker saying that they’re not going to pay the woman retail and that’s just the way it is, is full of shit. I’m 100% sure that he knows he’s full of shit. What he wants is to wear her down so she’ll accept some pittance and go away. Shine that on.

  • Matri

    I’ve read that a foreclosure gone wrong isn’t theft because the intent to steal was not present.

    Because it cannot be repeated enough times: “Intent! It’s fucking magic!”

    The very simple fact is that they weren’t authorized to take her stuff, they were only authorized to take the stuff of the person living across from her.

  • mattmcirvin

    Judge Orson Scott Card presiding.

  • DavidCheatham

    I don’t know where that legal idea came from, but it’s wrong, as I pointed out somewhere else.

    They honestly thought the house was their, and that, does, indeed, mean anything they did _to the house_ wasn’t vandalism. That is ignorance of a fact. There is no intent under the law, and no crime for actions done to the house.

    But they did _not_ think the stuff in their was their stuff. They thought it was stuff that a former tenant had left in their house. I.e., they had the _intent_ to throw property away. (This might, indeed, not be theft…it might be vandalism. Or theft by destruction instead of theft by taking. It’s a crime regardless.)

    For a landlord to remove the property of a former tenant, they _need_ a court order or it’s illegal.

    They did not have such a court order.

    They did ‘intend’ to remove someone’s property. They just thought that been granted permission to do it lawfully. They did not have such permission. They intended to remove someone’s property, which, unknown to them, was unlawful.

    Ignorance of the law…wait for wait…not an excuse. Ignorance of what you’re _doing_ is the excuse. But they knew full well what they were doing.

    If something is _generally_ unlawful, and _explicitly requires a court order to do it_, and you do it when you just _think_ you have a court order, but you didn’t bother to actually read the order to find out what it actually said, like the address of the location…you really and truly just broke the law.

  • Original Lee

    2. I’ve actually read 11 all the way through and 4 at least halfway. I’ve pretended to have read 3. I’m not sure what that does to my total. Maybe 11-4-3 like a soccer season?