Bad Bears News

Yes, it appears this is shaping up as a week full of animal stories.

Bart – The Bear Who Found a Smart Phone

Yo, Bart here.

So, when I look for news about the things “my kind” are doing in human society, I get way too much stuff about shootings and mailings and tranquilizer guns. It’s depressing. Can’t we just all get along?

Then there’s this story from the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles, which I guess is a long ways away from here. A family of bears taking a dip in some guy’s pool. If you’re like me, when you read the story you’ll think “so what”? He lives on four acres on the edge of a National Forest. It was the middle of the afternoon. Why shouldn’t the local bears go for a swim? Things get hot, and if you had to entertain two cubs you’d be desperate for any kind of diversion, especially if it involves splashing and thrashing and maybe, if you’re lucky, salmon.

Or at least some fun pool toys to chew on.

I’m glad the bears were gone by the time the police showed up. Nothing ruins a fun afternoon like another one of those miserable tranquilizer darts. A sharp stinging pain and suddenly you’re waking up in some part of the forest you’ve never seen and you have to learn all over again where it is that people dump their trash. Bummer. Life is too short.

But this is the sentence that really got me.

Black bears were introduced into the San Gabriel Mountains in 1933, the descendants of 11 “troublemakers” transported from Yosemite National Park.

So there’s a whole tribe of bears out there with “troublemaker” in their DNA. Profiled early by the police and destined to be on the wrong side of the law forever! Oh, the romance of being in a group of outcasts – to know that you have a role to play in the world and it’s all about making havoc!

I’m a pretty well behaved bear, but when it comes time to hibernate this year, I’m going to spend those months dreaming about being a San Gabriel Rowdy, skinny dipping in isolated swimming pools and making the suburbanites mad!

Your Buddy,
Bart

If you had to be a criminal, what sort of criminal would you be?

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93 thoughts on “Bad Bears News”

    1. Maybe you could steal Karl Rove’s equanimity and throw a certain crowd into a tailspin? Linda’s still looking for some equanimity (so she says) and I can always use a bit more. A simple theft, no fingerprints and the thief was spotted making his getaway on a nondescript bike :-) Of course if you’re caught she and I could be charged with aiding and abetting or receiving stolen goods, but all things considered it might be worth the risk.

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  1. so, the San Gabriel Mountains are the Botany Bay of the US? How cool is that? I’ll bet those bears have single-payer healthcare too, perish the thought.

    I find the assumption implicit in this question that the respondents are in fact NOT criminals to be suspect. I smell a sting.

    Just got caught up on yesterday-good to see you are on the mend, Dale. Now I know how Our Fair Twixie came by her facial injuries. I’d apologize, but if you think I am in any way “in charge” of the feline I am indentured to, you are sadly mistaken.

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        1. very sure. the vet told me so (plus it was obvious). he’s just getting lazy and he yowls for his food.and eats every crumb. he learned that from the dog, who lives to eat – of course, the dog doesn’t yowl for her food, but she barks for it.

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I’ve never been of a criminal bent. The only archetypal criminal I like is Robinhood–rob the rich to give to the poor. Isn’t that what a Republican would say a social worker does? (My chosen profession). But come to think of it, perhaps I should pursue a criminal career of disenfranchising Fox News Republicans–what would that be, voter fraud? I suppose if I am going to be a criminal I should get clear on the definition of what I want to do.

    Yesterday was a fun divergent diversion on the trail, but I onlyhad time to lurk.

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    1. Today’s blog postings should suppy a lot of opportunities for Inspector Goatlock!

      I also thought of another criminal choice–mosquito murderer. I have also applied for the position of “Farmer MacGregor” pursuing Peter Cottontail. Peter and Bambi have been robbing me of my garden lately. Hmph.

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      1. Jacque, I think in Minnesota you would find very few people who would consider the slaying of mosquitoes criminal. I, for one, would be more apt to give you some sort of bounty if you were really prodigious about it.

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        1. I used to turn in gopher feet for bounty. One pair of feet = 25 cents, if I remember right. Then my dad matched whatever I got from the township (as long as I trapped on our land) so it was really 50 cents. Mosquitoes might not be worth quite that much, but I would add something towards a bounty.

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        2. Couldn’t you just give them the whole gopher? I don’t think I’d want any part of hacking of their little feet.

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        3. Gopher bounty around here now is $2 for pocket gopher. (And really, we just want the front feet – the ‘digging pair’ for proof. (The front pair have really large claws). At our township we joke they must have our township brand on them to be eligible. We make the new guy on the townboard count the feet. Or else the clerk does it.)
          Each township can set their own bounty for gopher feet. $2 is pretty typical for pocket gophers. We pay a bit less for streaky’s… but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone bring them in…
          TMI??

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  3. Husband says that with my love of fireworks I would make a great arsonist. I would be worried about hurting people and animals, so I think i would rather be a criminal in a conservative society where I could illegally teach girls and women to read, and and help t others leave abusive homes.

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  4. For a number of reasons, I’d not intentionally make a very good criminal. Like Clyde, I wouldn’t want violence of any kind involved, and I’m just too much of a wuss to think of shoplifting as a thrill. I’m so bad at sales that I wouldn’t have a chance of pulling off a Ponzi scheme, besides I’d have to have the imagination to conjure up the ploy in the first place.

    But I’ve had some close brushes with criminals over the years. Our next door neighbor’s son is a small time drug dealer, and I’m pretty sure that most of my friends have at some time or another smoked pot. Or do you have to be convicted of the crime for it to count? I would think that the more successful criminals would never be caught. A few years ago, the bookkeeper at husband’s place of employment swindled the company out of $750,000 over a four year period. She was such a likable woman who would regularly treat all 35 employees to bagels and cream cheese; of course, no one at the time had a clue that she was paying for it with company funds. Don’t ask me how she slept at night knowing that her on-going theft had the company tottering on the brink of bankruptcy, and fellow employees were being laid off because of her greed.

    Of course, as we all know, there’s ample opportunity to unintentionally become a criminal, so perhaps I should concentrate my efforts on not unwittingly ending up in that category.

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    1. see, this is my problem, the “sleep at night” thing. I was just brought up way too Prussian-breaking the rules? just not in the playbook. That, and I KNOW if I tried anything, I would surely get caught and punished to the full extent of the law.

      Funnily enough, my first order of business this morning is to deal with the State revenue department, who sent me a rather terse letter about some income they have record of that I did not file a sales tax report for. I can’t wait to see what they think I sold. I’d happily pay them the sales tax I should have collected, if only I had had the over $1.9K in sales they seem to think I had.

      Uff and da.

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      1. How did it go, mig? Did you convince them that it is their mistake or do we have to send in an application to come visit you in jail?

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  5. It’s early in the AM in my world, Bart, and I’m viewing the world through eyes still stuck together. But i wanted to dash off a quick caution to you. If you or your buddies find a “salmon” in a chlorinated pool, do not eat it! It, uh, might turn out to be something a child has left behind and would not be tasty, even by ursine standards.

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  6. Morning all. Another interesting question that I’ve never given a moment’s thought to! So on the fly I would say “give me white collar crime” every time. I don’t want to get involved in any crime in which I might be in danger of getting shot or run the risk of falling through a skylight or having to run!

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    1. My adoptive grandfather tried to be a moonshiner during Prohibition–more accurately, he tried to brew beer. Unfortunately, Grandpa Strand was unlucky and accident-prone, and all the bottles, which were stored in the root cellar, exploded. The lesson might be to let other people (who theoretically know what they’re doing) make the stuff while you provide security and transport with a shotgun and a Model T. The most important question is, do you own a pinstriped suit?

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        1. The violin case is bright purple. It is kind of noticeable. On the other hand, who would suspect anything malevolent about a purple violin case?

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      1. Kevin Kline has a terribly funny story about when his folks were making illegal hooch. The stuff was stored in Mason jars in the basement, jars that began to explode like bombs one afternoon when the minister was visiting. When Kevin’s dad heard one of these things blow up he’d say, “Oh, dear, there goes another of your jars of peaches.”

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    2. My friend Mary recently published her first novel, “Dorie LaValle”, based on her great aunt’s bootlegging days in Anoka in the 20′s. Don’t know about fun, but a gal’s got to pay the bills.

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      1. I’ve been amused, Robin, to note that local historians will eagerly discuss any topic except two. If you want to cause the docent in a midwestern history center to shut up and look uncomfortable, ask about bootlegging or the brothels so common in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Local history experts will cheerfully chat about murders, logging scams, 1920s gangsters, crooked cops and so forth. But they have nothing to say about bootlegging (particularly what you might call “domestic” booze production) or all the brothels that flourished in earlier times. I guess there isn’t enough romantic distance to those sensitive topics yet.

        And Robin, your work gloves are in my entryway. Call me sometime: 651-690-1141.

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  7. Evil genius. I’m not a genius but I’d try to be as geniusy as I could and still list ‘Evil Genius’ on my business cards anyway. And lying about being a genius would give me a leg up on the evil part.

    There’s an old comic book ‘super’ villain called The Mad Thinker. That wouldn’t be a bad title if it didn’t sound so ridiculous. I certainly have plenty of ‘mad’ and ‘thinker.’ And I think we could all agree that The Mad Thinker has more punch than say…The Impatient Contemplator, The Mean Muser, or The Aberrant Excogitator. That last one would probabaly just confuse everyone. Of course, confusion can sometimes be a shot of gasoline in the carburetor of the engine of your evil plans. Hm…

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    1. The trouble with turning evil is that you then have to fend off all those solicitations and invitations from right wing organizations…

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      1. Oh no…you take those guys out first. Eliminate the competition…literally! Bwah-Hah-Haaaaaa!!!

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  8. Here’s my plan – I find the right people to fashion a huge electro-magnet mounted on a big “wagon”, the magnet so strong that it would suck up all the firearms (just the firearms somehow) within 50 feet, and go door to door to every dwelling in the land, ridding the city, then county, state… of all its firearms. No more little kids getting shot while sitting in living rooms. No more guns for the gangs… don’t get me started. We could dispose of them in a fiery pit of some kind. (Man, where is this coming from??)

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    1. I’m not sure that would be illegal – doesn’t the Constitution give us the right to snare arms?

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  9. If I told you what sort of criminal am…er…might be then I might have to um…do something I’d rather not do. But it involves deep deep cover as a mild mannered web site worker bee. It’s like working for the CIA but in reverse. And it would have nothing to do with siphoning money from Wall Street fat cats. Nope. Nothing. Because if it did, that would be telling. And never mind about those recent non-profit donations, those are just piffle. Because I am a quiet, understated Minnesotan. Sweet and pure. Yep yep yep. Not a criminal bone in my body…(except that one in my pointer finger…and that other one…)

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  10. I’m already a criminal of the most pedestrian sort. That is, I’m very creative in fashioning deductions every April, knowing that I’ll accept full responsibility and pay my dues if I’m ever audited. One of my most imaginative business expenses is my cats, to whom I refer to as “therapy aides”. Years ago, I did phone an IRS agent (anonymously of course) to inquire whether deducting my cats was allowed. There was a very long silence, then he said, “Well, I suppose that it’d depend upon whether or not an agent auditing your return likes cats!” That was good enough for me – I’ve been deducting their vet & food bills ever since. It’s a little bit legit in that my lead therapy cat always entitles himself to any client’s lap who’ll tolerate him. Believe it or not, many a client have used a cat for a crying towel over the years. I also deduct the copious amounts of Nicorette Gum I’ve been chewing for 28 years because initially it was prescription-only and it still costs a bundle (although I order it half-price from New Zealand). I have to say, however, that this stuff really works – I haven’t smoked a cigarette since the day I discovered the gum!

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  11. Yo, Bart,

    When I worked in Burnett County, Wisconsin 30 years ago, I was told that no one had seen a bear there for nearly 40 years. Now, in Polk County (just south of Burnett), we have a bear nosing around our lake cabins. More migration of ursine types?

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  12. Criminal? Me? I can hardly imagine what I’d be doing, although I really like BiR’s plot and would gladly help with that.

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  13. I’m sure you all are wondering what my answer will be, since we all “know” I already am/have been a criminal and have been caught, too. But, unh-unh, I’m not telling what I did. That’s a secret.

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    1. Trade secrets, Edith? That innocent face masks a devious mind, but eventually you’ll tell us everything you know. We have our little ways. . .

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  14. If I had the skills I’d love to be a hacker. I’d search out companies that are poor corporate citizens, or political organizations that are overly powerful, disable their firewalls and tip off the press as to where the bodies are buried. How does one go about becoming a hacker, anyway?

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    1. Start by learning computer programming, especially the bits about networking, firewalls, and cyber-security – focus your attention on weaknesses…then hook up with a group like Anonymous…

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      1. My god, Anna, your pointer finger is acting up already, leading Linda into a life of crime! Kinda like that old horror movie where “the Hand” crawled around wreaking havoc, creeping over the car seat to strangle and maim from behind. Not that there isn’t some karmic justice in targeting corporate/political sleazeballs — I’m already feeling my defenses crumble. Maybe I’m a closet criminal in denial after all.

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        1. Although I do not espouse hacking as a lifestyle or career choice, if I were in cyber-crime I’d sooner become an anarchist hacker bringing to light things like corporate malfeasance or security holes that could harm consumers than get into spamming, fraud, etc. The ethics are all a bit sketchy though – and since I can’t even bring myself to kick a friend’s ex-husband in the shins for treating my pal so poorly while they were married, I doubt I would actually survive in the underworld for long.

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    2. Once again, I have received proof that I really need the cataract surgery scheduled for next week. My first reading said that Linda would love to be a hooker. My brain begged to disagree with my eyes and i re-read for the real story.

      I’ve been a programmer for 34 years and I wouldn’t begin to know how to hack (or hook for that matter). Perhaps the fact that I’m working on 16+ year old software has something to do with it.

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      1. Oh lord, I bet that first read gave you pause. Good luck on your cataract surgery, Lisa. Do you need a ride to and from the procedure? Let me know.

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      2. I’ve had both eyes done. Went from 2200/20 vision to 40/20.
        My son learned to write viruses and worms to understand how to deal with them. He said it was a blast. They would write harmless viruses and put them on each other’s machines.

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  15. I would be a terrible criminal, partly because I feel so generally guilty about everything and anything that I’d confess to anything the cops accused me of. I could never kill anyone, or even knee-cap anyone, but I’d be great at planning a murder. I’ve read so many murder mysteries that I have a bag full of tricks that would confuse the detectives.

    As for actually committing crimes, I’d probably want to be the Hollyhock Lady, or something like. We used to have a woman in the neighborhood who would slip into peoples’ yards at night to plant hollyhocks (if she thought they didn’t have enough, which she always thought). Since I have a black thumb, my version of that would be like Amelie Poulain, sneaking into people’s houses to do good tricks, like polishing their silver or arranging their CDs alphabetically by musical genre.

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        1. The malefactors seem to be from an anti-lawn group. I don’t know the variety of tomatoes that are being planted.

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      1. Go with it, Clyde. That’s the time-honored path to a good reputation. You are what you are, and there’s no denying it, so direct your energies into the most appealing way that identity can be spun. That’s the basic skill of a politician.

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  16. Like Mig and Steve I’d have a hard time sleeping at night with crime on my conscience. Looking over your shoulder is no way to live. When I was young and we found coins on the street, we’d turn them in to the local police. Years later when we were audited by the IRS I almost got an ulcer worrying about what I MIGHT have done inadvertently. It’s a curse. Conversely, too many criminals might flood the job market and we’d have to oursource and Edith would be out of a job. I’m glad the bears felt no guilt and weren’t aware of DNA, just jumped in and made a quick getaway. No harm done. Steve’s idea is great — stealth do gooders. Like :-)

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  17. After 17 years in business, not working that directly with the money side of the business, I could tell you long tales about white collar crime, both legal and illegal. For instances:
    You have to negotiate a labyrinth of legalities to sell to governments agencies in NJ because so many officials have set up fake companies in other states from which they have purchased non-existent materials? What other ways have the figured out, I wonder.
    As a successful non-profit we had to do a major audit each year. At the end of the long process, our auditor, one very sharp woman, would tell us 12 ways she could steal from us if she worked for us. My, was she creative. She said most of it she learned by catching people at it. The company for which she worked was sold to Larson Allen who knew how to dismiss the highly-paid people and keep them from working for anyone she had done work as a part of the company. She went in to work one day and was not allowed in the front door and was handed her pink slip. She got no severance because she did not ever work for Larson Allen. Now that was a crime, but not in the legal sense. She did set up her own company and most of her previous clients found her. She could not contact them, but they could contact her, but they tried to stop it. They sent us a legal notice we could not hire her and we were under contract to them, which we just ignored because it was not true In the end she was better off but she had to fight LA for part of her retirement fund.
    A man here in a government agency would get large grants from the federal government and hire my partner to consult and then our company would hire him to consult with us. Money laundering at its finest.
    Then there is the subject of copyright violation and intellectual property theft. Long tales there.

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    1. Such legal, but in my book highly immoral, actions really get my blood boiling. As director of administration for a very large international CPA firm, I was responsible, among other things, for administering the firm’s employee policies. This was back in the mid-80s, and some large firms were routinely skirting the legalities of how, when and if they paid for sick leave and maternity leave for their staff. I was the David to the corporate Goliath, constantly challenging their, to me, very unjust and discriminatory policies. It won me some admirers and supporters among the peons in the Twin-Cities, but I’m sure my name was Mud at the corporate headquarters in New York. When they transferred the managing partner from my office, who had supported my efforts, and replaced him with someone from the home office, I saw the writing on the wall. Call it karma or serendipity, but I was lucky enough at that time to be recruited to the law office where I spent the next six years.

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  18. Good afternoon. I’m late today on commenting and I wouldn’t tell what I was doing because, like Edith, I don’t want to incriminate myself. In fact, I have already said too much. My answer is that you shouldn’t ask me that question because I don’t anything crime, do I?

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    1. Someone stole the words know and about from my last sentence which should end with “I don’t know anything about crime, do I?”

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    2. Hey, why does everyone keep mentioning MY name? Have I really inspired so many of you to a life of crime?

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  19. This is such a universally (well, almost unversally) honest, moral and haunted-by-potential-guilt bunch. It’s difficult for us to even contemplate crime. I think that’s one reason that we all get along so well.

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  20. As Lisa points out I fit in well here and would have a difficult time actually engaging in criminal behavior. Occasionally I do admire the chutzpah of an offender. Earlier this week in Philadelphia there was an incident of road rage. It ended when one driver pulled a crossbow on the other. Although the would-be archer never fired he was arrested for making threats with a weapon.

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