Inciting a felony? December 29, 2005 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Ask.MetaFelony? Posts like this one seem to be Ask.Metafilter assisting someone to commit a felony. I know we have recently seen other criminally-related Ask.Me posts deleted, so why is this one allowed to stand?
posted by crazyray to Etiquette/Policy at 11:42 AM (77 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

the original question:

What is the current street value of US Citizenship? How much is a Green Card worth? Just wondering...

If an American friend marries a foreign friend for citizenship, and they agree that it is a business transaction, what is a fair amount of compensation?

posted by crazyray at 11:44 AM on December 29, 2005


I didn't see it until now, I just removed it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:51 AM on December 29, 2005


Good call. IMHO.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 11:54 AM on December 29, 2005


matt, would it be possible to add a line on the "post a Question" form that says something like this:

Note: AskMe questions should have a purpose, goal, or problem to be solved. Open-ended chatty questions that don't offer a problem to be solved are detrimental to the long term usefulness of the site. Also, try to keep the questions from being too specific or too stupid. Please do not ask questions which are designed to help you break the law.

I only suggest this because these type of questions have been coming up a LOT lately.
posted by crazyray at 12:03 PM on December 29, 2005


It was fun, but did deserve deletion.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:04 PM on December 29, 2005


Didn't we just do the "Crime Is Bad" thing?

Flag Day is any day now...
posted by Plutor at 12:04 PM on December 29, 2005


If a line is added to the posting directives, it should be imperative or at least unequivocal: "Do not ask questions which are designed to help you or others break the law" or "You may not ask questions which are designed to help you break the law."

You shouldn't leave room for rationalization in something like that. If it's a rule, say it like a rule.
posted by lodurr at 12:08 PM on December 29, 2005


Plutor, you will find true love on Flag Day....
posted by lodurr at 12:08 PM on December 29, 2005


Flag Day is not till Jun 14th, silly.
posted by phearlez at 12:17 PM on December 29, 2005


wait, crime is bad?

*cancels bloody rampage, plans puppet show instead*
posted by jonmc at 12:18 PM on December 29, 2005


On a serious tip, I do not understand why this isn't okay but the question about getting busted for marajuana posession is. Are we only concerned with not being accessories to planned crimes but in-progress or past ones are okay? Did this question need to be just "My friend married an immigrant for $10,000 - did she get ripped off?"

Personally I think they're both bullshit law so perhaps that colors my perspective but I really don't get the difference.
posted by phearlez at 12:21 PM on December 29, 2005


Your puppet shows are criminal. Sock puppets go on your hands, you weirdo freak.
posted by loquacious at 12:22 PM on December 29, 2005


Please do not ask questions which are designed to help you break the law.

So does that mean people shouldn't post questions about moving WMA files onto iPods, or iTunes music store files onto non-iPod mp3 players? What about advice on getting medical marijuana?

Don't get me wrong, I agree that removing this green card question was the right thing. I actually flagged it as soon as I saw it, mostly because it seemed like a stupid thing for the poster to be discussing in public. But I don't think a blanket prohibition as described above would be good. It would discourage too many interesting, useful, and ethical questions.
posted by alms at 12:24 PM on December 29, 2005


But I don't think a blanket prohibition as described above would be good. It would discourage too many interesting, useful, and ethical questions.

I agree. This is one of those things that should be left to Matt's discretion.
posted by languagehat at 12:27 PM on December 29, 2005


Looks like I better shelve my question about how to best sharpen a stick.
posted by fire&wings at 12:29 PM on December 29, 2005


lodurr- good call on the phrasing.

aims- I think you raise a good point, and I don't mean to split hairs, but isn't it possible to legally move WMA files onto an iPod, or to move ITMS files onto non-iPod mp3 players? I would thin those questions would be okay, but questions about using a bittorrent warez copy wouldnt be okay.
posted by crazyray at 12:32 PM on December 29, 2005


I don't think that there's a black or white here, as much as the law would like to suggest otherwise. I agree with lh that it should be at Matt's discretion.
posted by OmieWise at 12:38 PM on December 29, 2005


Looks like I better shelve my question about how to best sharpen a stick.

Obtain sharp, sturdy knife.

Tie and lash knife securely to stick.
posted by loquacious at 12:44 PM on December 29, 2005


I'm deeply suspicious of your motives regarding that sharpened stick, fire&wings. How come you don't say what you're going to use it for? I find that very fishy. Seems like a strange detail to leave out. It's obvious your intention is to harm someone. You really shouldn't be asking stuff like this on the Internet where anyone can read it. You're making us all parties to your crime.

Ahem.
posted by Gator at 12:48 PM on December 29, 2005


Not to mention that sharpening the stick violates its right to be dull. You must be some kind of bad person, or you'd tell us in minute detail exactly where you got the stick. I bet you broke into some bush and ripped it off. You miscreant, you should be ashamed.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:02 PM on December 29, 2005


Strange - Considering how pointed they are, the sticks around here aren't too sharp, are they?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:08 PM on December 29, 2005


Did Kirth just mention Bush?
posted by lodurr at 1:14 PM on December 29, 2005


lodurr, if you turn this into yet another Bush-bashing thread, I will report you for rogering tenants without proper notice.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:18 PM on December 29, 2005


That's the thing, IRFH -- we don't know how sharp the stick is, because fire&wings is clearly hiding something. He didn't say he was going to use the stick for purely legal purposes, did he? fire&wings, please call a lawyer and don't ask strangers on the Internet to help you work out your criminal and tortfeasorous dilemmas.

Smock, smock, smock.
posted by Gator at 1:18 PM on December 29, 2005


Gator and Kirth Gerson, you're both missing the point--fire&wings had no legal right to break that stick off the tree in the first place. I ran this by the district attorney, the sherriff, several attorneys I know, all of whom said breaking branches off trees is against the law. Fire&wings' sptry was hinky from the get-go since he specifically omitted where and how he found the stick--when's the last time you "found" a stick that you could just simply sharpen? Clearly, he has a long history of breaking branches off trees--what right does he have to ask total strangers on the Internet to help him sharpen them?
posted by fandango_matt at 1:19 PM on December 29, 2005


Word to your mother, fandango_matt. fire&wings could have avoided the whole sordid mess and avoided getting us involved in his seedy little drama by simply leaving an anonymous note on the tree. Problem solved, with clean, law-abiding hands.
posted by Gator at 1:23 PM on December 29, 2005


Trees have branches? When's the last time you saw a tree with branches? This is sounding more questionable by the minute. Next he'll be telling us that the stick has buds on it, and it was part of some commercial growing operation. I base this opinion on my having knocked on wood for good luck my whole life.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:26 PM on December 29, 2005


Not to derail, but it might be useful if you contact these people. They seem to have a number of answers regarding your specific question - nothing that a cursory google search couldn't have uncovered, fire&wings.

FWIW, I think that your legal status as supervisor of the bush gives you a pretty clear-cut right to obtain said stick in the first place.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:28 PM on December 29, 2005


Exactly. If he had been smart about it, he could have handled the situation without involving himself personally. Not to mention avoiding the part about asking a bunch of complete strangers on an internet forum what he should do next.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:30 PM on December 29, 2005


Baby-Balrog, you are totally retarded. fire&wings approached that bush without authorization and burgled it, and now he wants to know what he should do next. I am sickened. Sickened. I mean, what's next? The Gestapo goose-stepping into our gardens and stripping our bushes of sticks for the purposes of sharpening them and harming people with them?
posted by Gator at 1:32 PM on December 29, 2005


You're all missing the point - does this very discussion create a legal liability for mathowie? And if so, is there anyway we can make this about [insert favorite Mefi target/meme here]?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:37 PM on December 29, 2005


Uh, did you see that bush? Aaaaaasking for it.
posted by cortex at 1:42 PM on December 29, 2005


For matthowie? What about the rest of us? I expect us all to be rounded up and charged with being accessories at any moment!

I'm going for cufflinks, myself.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:42 PM on December 29, 2005


*burns down entire hedge, rendering the whole debate moot*
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on December 29, 2005


Thanks guys, I'll check these out. FWIW, it's not my stick, and I'm sharpening it for a relative.
posted by fire&wings at 1:45 PM on December 29, 2005


Fuck yes. I have trimmed more than one tree, and fire&wing's back story was hinky from the git go. You have to obtain the proper permits--you can't just go around breaking branches off trees and sharpening them.

Look, I can think of any number of perfectly legal ways to obtain sticks, like picking up driftwood at the beach or buying branches from a professional arborist. Fire&wings chose instead to go off half cocked, break the law and muddy up the whole situation. He expressly broke branches off trees for the purpose of sharpening them illegally, and my reading of his account is that fire&wings wanted to break branches off old-growth redwoods and sharpen them into deadly weapons without obtaining permission from the US Forestry Service.He then gave us all what his rationalization was for doing so if the matter came up later. He needs advice from a real life lawyer. As I have said, my experience is you have to have the proper permits if you want to break branches off trees. That is why I find his story less than honest.

Without prompting, nearly everyone by whom I've run fire&wing's story about his criminal vandalism of federal property and an endangered specis made the same comment: revealing his story in such detail to a bunch of complete strangers online and asking for their advice was as questionable as his breaking branches off federally-protected old-growth redwoods in the first place. I concur with that. Neither act was well considered. But, you know, intelligent people can differ on anything. We all look at the world through the wrong end of our own assholes, some of us more so than others.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:46 PM on December 29, 2005


jonmc, don't be an idiot. It would only be moot if there were a prior lien on the hedge. Since you're apparently stupid, I'll repeat the same stuff I have been saying again: fire&wings had no right to the stick, and he should immediately turn himself in to The Authorities. Sheesh.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:47 PM on December 29, 2005


Get back, everybody! Rendered moot is Known to the State of California to cause cancer.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:48 PM on December 29, 2005


[please answer the question or take your pointy stick bantering and cavilling to.... um .... fuck it... and FUCK YOU SWEAR JAR]
posted by jessamyn at 1:50 PM on December 29, 2005


IAMAA

*I am not an arborist*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:51 PM on December 29, 2005


Oh, now you're just being silly.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:51 PM on December 29, 2005


jonmc, you don't live in the same area as fire&wings, so your opinion is irrelevant here.

I'm with fandango_matt on this one. Where I live, NO one can break a stick off a bush or tree withour prior authorization, and I can't imagine that it's any different where fire&wings lives. fire&wings had no legal right tou TOUCH that stick and he knows it.

You might want to ask Matt to delete this thread, fire&wings. Despite your protestations, you have admitted to some very serious offenses here.

On a seriously serious note, did your kitty make it okay? I hope?
posted by Gator at 1:54 PM on December 29, 2005


*crap - IAmNotAGoodTypistWhenI'mSick, either*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:55 PM on December 29, 2005


Penis smock tortfeasor.
posted by loquacious at 1:58 PM on December 29, 2005


Who you calling a smock, featherduster?!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:59 PM on December 29, 2005


Man, it seems like askme has become a hotbed of criminal activity lately, with each thread generating a MeTa discussion.

I find that funny.

Anyway, there's a big difference about giving free legal advice after a crime, and giving advice on how to commit a crime.

I think it would be fun to start an AskMe like site anonymously on a foreign server, and allow unrestricted questions.

Right now a "bulletproof" spam server is like $3k, and I definitely don't have that kind of money just sitting around :P
posted by delmoi at 2:02 PM on December 29, 2005


So does that mean people shouldn't post questions about moving WMA files onto iPods, or iTunes music store files onto non-iPod mp3 players? What about advice on getting medical marijuana?

Other then the medical MJ thing, those are all torts (if that, since time shifting isn't even a tort) not crimes. The only thing you'll really get sued for is letting other people download music that you've collected (even if you've paid for it)
posted by delmoi at 2:04 PM on December 29, 2005


fire&wings will never be prosecuted for his stick sharpening adventures, because there is no way a pizza delivery guy is going to narc on him. Hell most pizza delivery guys just sit around sharpening sticks while waiting for an order anyway!

Stop being so paranoid!
posted by delmoi at 2:07 PM on December 29, 2005


All this talk about sticks. What I wanna know is, if I'm assaulting someone with bananas, cherries, pomegranates, or other fresh fruit, what means might others use to try to defend themselves against me?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:12 PM on December 29, 2005


Please, delmoi. When you try to cut corners on issues like this, they can sue, sue, sue. The courts do not look lightly at these things. That's how it works here and I suspect that's how it works where fire&wings lives, even though I don't know exactly where he lives. Unless you believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, fire&wings fucked up here. That's the Truth, with a Capital T.
posted by Gator at 2:12 PM on December 29, 2005


Gator: Who sues? Who's the agrived party here? The tree? Trees don't have rights!
posted by delmoi at 2:16 PM on December 29, 2005


The truth is these trees are getting all uppity. They have too many protections as it is!

God gave us the earth to dominate, and that includes the trees. Tree protection is a liberal plot to emasculate our great and true lumberjacks and empower treehugging hippies!

So I say go out, grow a beard and sharpen a fucking stick! You've earned it!
posted by delmoi at 2:18 PM on December 29, 2005


trees are all tortfeasors anyway.
posted by delmoi at 2:20 PM on December 29, 2005


This is why we can't have nice things. By his own admission, fire&wings did not approach that bush to admire the flowers.

I think a reasonable argument can be made that, by admitting to his burglerous intentions online and why he intended to do it, he made everyone here a party to an illegal act. It was dumb to do it the way he did and dumb to involve his FELLOW MEFITES. He could have been smarter that that. That is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
posted by Gator at 2:25 PM on December 29, 2005


I object to this thread and all the comments in it. These sticks are clearly being stolen from Amazon.com. How dare you give advice on stealing when you guys wont help me pirate my favorite operating system?

It all makes me wonder if these sticks aren't being used to fight bears (assuming no element of surprise).

Paging Scarabic for body cleanup, isle seven!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:27 PM on December 29, 2005


So I was right, this thread is all about bush-bashing. Or at least bush-thrashing.
posted by lodurr at 2:37 PM on December 29, 2005


I warned you lodurr! Now I will have to commission a tortfeasability study, which may involve even more sharpened sticks. I certainly hope you're satisfied.

Richard.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:44 PM on December 29, 2005


*Brandishes pointy stick. Begins randomly jabbing it into milling, rubbernecking crowd of tortfeasors.*
posted by loquacious at 4:11 PM on December 29, 2005


Since none of us has seen the stick, we cannot make any judgement as to whether fire&wings stated intention about sharpening the stick was justified. Making judgemental pronouncements about the propriety of that stick is engaging in fantasy. Well, obviously such an argument can be made, because you've done it. We part company on the reasonableness of it, though. He didn't sharpen the stick because he was suspicious, he sharpened it because he was supposed to. If he has some obligation to give his tenants two weeks' notice before he sharpens the stick that obligation is not binding on the association or its representatives. I think it's so fantastic as to be laughable. I did, in fact, laugh. Please keep it up.
posted by y2karl at 4:45 PM on December 29, 2005


I can't imagine there'd be such an uproar about this post if the stick-sharpener had been liberal. It's only because the poster is sharpening sticks for conservative purposes that's gotten everyone's panties in a bunch.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:49 PM on December 29, 2005


I flag your post. Ha!

I flag your post again.

How your post feeling is now? Not so demographic, so?

Perhap you are blinded by my Genuine Rolex Wristwatch, with Cialis inlay, at discount prices.

Lod Tokin
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:04 PM on December 29, 2005


Yes, at the NYC meetups half the members sit around sharpening sticks right out in public. Nobody ever brings that up. It's laughable the way the double standard gets ignored around here.

Also, I live in an area where there are a lot of sticks. Please be respectful.
posted by languagehat at 5:08 PM on December 29, 2005


That strains my credulity, lh. I find it hard to believe that people who are not officers of the Arboreal Society have any legal authority to sharpen a stick. I would like to see a link to some sample flickr photos of such meetups or anything else that suggests otherwise. Who would give lamers such carte blanche permission to sharpen sticks?
posted by Gator at 5:17 PM on December 29, 2005


I'm sure you're very well-informed on a lot of topics. This isn't one of them. As it is, you don't know what you're talking about. I'm like the monk in the koan who carried the woman across the stream. I could go on for pages. After reading the documents, you will at least know what the rules are in one condo association.
posted by y2karl at 5:25 PM on December 29, 2005


y2karl, it's probably illegal in your locality to molest monks, and it's certainly a good thing to carry them across streams. Why not assume good faith on the part of your condo association and let me install webcams in your koan so I can help protect women from harm? Huh? ANSWER ME THAT!
posted by Gator at 5:33 PM on December 29, 2005


You people disgust me. You're going off on poor fire&wings over some stupid stick, while everyone is completely ignoring the fact that we have admitted associates of cow orkers in our midst. Goddammit, people, where's you're sense of proportion? Have you ever seen what's left of a cow after it's been orked?

I see it. Every day. In my nightmares.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:45 PM on December 29, 2005


Koans can carry women now?

Damn AI, messing up my zen.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:48 PM on December 29, 2005


enough of the stick shtick, already.
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on December 29, 2005


Oh, jeebus, it's the same old knee-jerk condo-bashing. Just once I wish we could have a discussion without all the apartment micturations and attendant flagellotomics. MeFi has really gone downhill since they opened the condo to those orchid growers.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:49 PM on December 29, 2005


Hey, Ishmael - ork you, OK? And your whale, too.
Phearlez gave that cow plenty of notice.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:52 PM on December 29, 2005


Best. Thread. Evar.

.

posted by lodurr at 6:04 PM on December 29, 2005


Sometimes God lets bad things happen to good people. But no sense beating myself up about it, just file it away as a lesson learned. In any case, I have engaged in no rampant assholery, in my opinion. That to me seems like personality conflict, and it sure seems like it should be deleted because it should not be fostered here. There's nothing sociopathic about that, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any sociologist who would disagree with me.
posted by y2karl at 7:27 PM on December 29, 2005


Well, last night, I ran that by the noted trial lawyer Escro D'Benture, and he said: "There is a large body of precedence establishing that assholery is not an actionable tortfeasance impeller. In Kent vs. Fliedermaus, the court ruled that if you do step on Superman's cape, coprolite ergo est. This was reaffirmed in Ali vs, Forman, where roping dopes was found to be wholly reasonable and proper, even without prior notice of caveat plutor. These decisions have stood the testes of time, like a well-worn condom, and are firmly implanted in the cheeks of jurisprudence." Surely, nothing could be clearer than that.

This morning, I ran into my old buddy Don Rumsfeld at the bus stop, and ran it by him. His take on it was, "Dude, harshing on the retards is so postmodern. Only a total noob would do that."

Of course, all that is superceded by the controlling condoleeza docs.

So that settles it, no?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:31 AM on December 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


This morning, I ran into my old buddy Don Rumsfeld at the bus stop, and ran it by him. His take on it was, "Dude, harshing on the retards is so postmodern. Only a total noob would do that."

You bastard! That's the first line of my Misunderstood And Unpublished First Novel!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:12 AM on December 30, 2005


Flush the stick right now.
Flush the stick right now.
Flush the stick right now.
Flush the stick right now.

posted by Devils Slide at 5:35 AM on December 30, 2005


Did I mention Flush the stick right now?
posted by Devils Slide at 6:07 AM on December 30, 2005


Stavros, we have your frequencies dialed in.

BTW, your Chapter Two needs work. Seriously. Zaphod's motivation for the Goatse banner is just not there.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:14 AM on December 30, 2005


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