The vast majority of bike nabbers are opportunists stealing cheap bikes, while a small minority are bona-fide, kitted-out pros targeting bikes that cost more than your first car. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a clear divide between the two.
Luckily, living a block from the projects in New York City, I was able to interview both types.
My fixer Ace set me up with small-time bike thief Bug Out; my other fixer Peanut introduced me to Jimmy. (Those are their nicknames.) Fascinating insights emerged from spending an evening with the thieves, but overall the experience of getting inside their criminal minds merely served to put a sharp point on what research already suggests: You can easily stop Bug Out from stealing your bike but you can only dissuade Jimmy.
You know how when a football player gets big, he buys his mom a house and hires all his buddies to be his managers and security guards? From what everyone here tells me, the Zambian equivalent of the NFL is national politics.
It goes as high up as you want to follow it. Michael Sata, the president of Zambia, appointed his uncle the finance minister, his nephew the deputy finance minister, his niece the local government minister, and cousins as ambassador to Japan and chief justice.
In a rather bald statement of the status quo, Daniel Munkombwe, a member of parliament who has been in office since independence in 1964, told a journalist earlier this year: “There is nobody who goes into Parliament naked, we go to Parliament because of allowances. … I know people will say Munkombwe has gone into government because he wants to eat, but who does not want to eat?”
There are probably three major alternative explanations to Obama’s actions with respect to the NSA. I list them in ascending order of plausibility:
3. Consistent with unitary executive theory as well as the formal chain of command, Obama really is in charge and knows exactly what he is doing. Accordingly, his not having been briefed on potentially embarrassing details of ongoing operations is consistent with the need for “plausible deniability,” a policy which has been more-or-less observed by presidents since the Eisenhower administration. His statements on civil liberties are conscious political signals to keep his base on board, and are common with sitting presidents.
At some point it is wise to ascribe adult levels of understanding to the principal actors in this drama, no matter how impenetrable their deeper motives.
We were trying to run a good restaurant. If a guest pointed out a mistake we made, the guest was doing us a favor. Our first reaction wasn’t going to be to punish the workers who made the mistake; it was going to be to make sure the server had the tools they needed to do the job right.
These people who were fighting to keep their punishment rights were keeping us from getting better.
We came to the conclusion that the fixed service charge … would drive these negative customers away. They would go to other restaurants where they could resume their role as arbiter of consequences.
I think this is pretty much happened, within a few months of that review. People who come to restaurants to punish other people came to our place, discovered we didn’t offer that service, and moved on.
Porkslap Pale Ale is brewed by Butternuts in Garrattsville, NY. I first had this beer back in 2007 at a NYC beer festival. I hadn’t heard of the brewery back then and I loved it so much that the man at the table let me sneak a couple unopened cans home with me. I’d say it still holds up to this day as an easy drinking session beer (4.3% ABV) with a tiny hint of spice to it.