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  1. #76
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    funny? oh, yes.

    Well, let's see if everyone else thinks it's "funny".
    From yahoo news:

    Handbags insulting "president" in French sell like hot cakes in US
    Guess you got your answer!

    I only wish Tom would stop the weird dodging and the fake cover story. We get it, we get it -- you're not going to confirm the obvious. Pretending it's actually a complicated inside conspiracy against Bihn or could even refer to Clinton is just taking away from the joke, frankly.

    But you're bashing Bush while stating the facts, so all is forgiven!
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  2. #77
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    Well Done. DougBuchanan.com, CourtCorruption.com
    DougBuchanan.com
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  3. #78
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    Splendid...

    Regardless of which president it refers to, I have just purchased the label on a t-shirt. I would have bought a bag as well, but I have a US-made bag from Timbuk2 that I bought a few years ago. It's a great bag too, just like the Bihn bags are (I know a few people who have them), but nowadays Timbuk2 has several of their models imported.

    Political views aside, Tom Bihn is making bags and products here in the US, employing Americans and even buying his t-shirts from US manufacturers. Not a lot of people can say that about their companies nowadays.

    And I'd say that's a heck of a lot more patriotic than anything you can put on a laundry label or a t-shirt.
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  4. #79
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    Patriots, huh? All you wankers are givin' me a headache. Don't any of you have even the remnants of a sense of humor left in your feeble minds? I don't even care to hint at where I stand politically although you might figure it out for yourself as you read this. For those of you so aggressively defending that pathetic specimen of a human being that most call the president of the USA, do you actually think for a moment that he actually cares about YOU. Do you think that for even one millisecond he would give his life for another human being, even an American? I can't imagine he has EVER pondered the thought. I beg of you please, please don't fool yourself.

    For those of you who are taking the explanation of the story behind the label so seriously, lighten the f*** up! It's just this mindset that has made this thread such a joke to read. I like to think of the label as referring to every president that has ever lived and will live in the future; political or otherwise. Is that okay with you, honey? Is it even remotely possible that you'll live to see another day if we don't have everything rationalized, marginalized, lined out and anally-arranged just the way you like it? Grow up, live a little, and most importantly, wipe your own ass.

    By the way, I love the bags and they function perfectly despite the tag inside that tells you how to wash it. No parlez-vous Francois. It seems there's an extra two lines at the end. What does it say, anyways?
    "The older I become, so much more
    clearly do I perceive how important
    it is first to learn, and then to form
    opinions - not the latter before the
    former; and also not both at once."
    - Mendelssohn
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  5. #80
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    Gees, everybody knows that chicken hawks can't afford the goods here.

    I bought the Buzz bag, the tote and a couple of Tshirts.

    And got them today.

    Wow! Excellent quality. Superb design. And of course, an outfit which does well by doing good.

    Proud to be a new customer....and very happily support companies which stand for those American values of respecting their employees, treating their customers well, and believing in the real American Dream.

    Tom, you are aces with me!

    PS. In educated circles, it is assumed that everyone can read a little French. Or at least can work Babelfish.
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  6. #81
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    Patriots, huh? All you wankers are givin' me a headache. Don't any of you have even the remnants of a sense of humor left in your feeble minds?
    Don't tell me you're smart, let me figure it out. I'm having a little trouble there.
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  7. #82
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    Courageux Tom

    ----Removed my post----
    Last edited by sherby_pal; 05-11-2004 at 01:54 PM.
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  8. #83
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    As I said before, it is clear that the usual suspects, probably from a BBS with the initials "F.R." read a posting from one of their minions regarding the label, and came over here to threaten and intimidate Bihn with a boycott.

    Of course, if you look at catalogue, you will see most of the items with the offending label are on double back order.

    :D

    Lest that deter someone from ordering anything, let me say without a moment's hesitation, that while I was attracted at first by the label, and the story surrounding it, when my bags and Tshirt showed up, I was knocked out by the quality and the simple brilliance of the design.

    In other words, whatever you order, no matter what your expectations, you are going to experience a considerable "wow" factor.....plus feel good for doing business with good people!
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  9. #84
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    Unhappy An honest story from a lost customer.

    I've been an admirer of Tom Bihn's products from afar for several years now, probably as long as I've had PowerBooks. Hmm, maybe a little after that, say around '98 or so? I've always wanted to buy one of his bags, but never actually went for it. Nevertheless, I checked back with this site every six months or so to see how the product line looks. To prove I'm no Republican/neocon/chickenhawk/weblogger (or whatever else is considered an insult here) plant, I remember when Tom sold berets and had his business in Santa Cruz. I would recognize Tom on the street if I saw him.

    I picked up some more work here in SF, and got myself a new PowerBook. It's on the road with me for about three days a week. I've got a bag for it, but I've recently read the aluminum used in the display case is actually kind of soft and am looking for something new. I was thinking an Empire Builder.

    A few weeks ago, I read an article online about the whole label controversy. I checked up on this site, read the explanation, and was satisfied by it. Tom says it's a joke about him. Hmm, OK. I feel like I know his business, and maybe him a tiny bit, so I believe him.

    This morning I went shopping on the site again for an Empire Builder. I went through checkout. I thought, "Hmm, $200 is a lot for a laptop bag. But hey, I think I trust Tom when he says, 'No cheap stuff.' $200 for a $2,000 computer is not such a bad thing.'" I paused and browsed through the rest of the site, looking for more assurances.

    I got to reading a lot about the site, the section about Tom and the staff, and although I am loathe to admit it...I no longer think the label thing was about him. I think it was about Bush. Now, I am not George Bush's greatest fan--I voted for Gore. I lean a little bit more to the center, or right, depending on your perspective than most people here, but I'm also from San Francisco, so I like to think I'm not only good about being tolerant, but about being the minority opinion.

    The problem I have with the label thing is not that it was a joke. The problem I have is that it wasn't fessed up to. Tom, I like your stuff. I like your web site. But really, the joke is about George Bush. I mean, come on.

    1. It's in French, which is great for Canadians, but what about putting it in English? Don't they speak English too?
    2. French is the language of people who think themselves worldly--ask John Kerry. Also, see below.
    3. Small businessmen are clever and can be sassy, creative, and insurrectionary (I work for one.)
    4. The politics fit. The dislike of George Bush fits--from what I can tell of the profiles--the entire staff.

    If it was about George Bush and Tom had fessed up to it, I could have bought the bag, ripped the tag out, and happily used it. But now it's not about a joke, it's about integrity. And that affects my potential customer-retailer relationship.


    Another thing. I applaud Tom's use of a forum here. It's gutsy, particularly after the whole label thing. But I found it really irritating to, time and time again, read the same old sarcastic, snide, snobbish ("In educated circles, it is assumed that everyone can read a little French."--groan!), mean, intellectually arrogant, and inflammatory comments from hangers-on on this board about anyone with an different political view. And with the label controversy apparently finding it's way across the Atlantic, there's a considerable amount of Left Bank vitriol, in addition to the usual left wing vitriol. It's insufferable and alienating to people who don't feel the same. It just makes me sad. Reading the forums, I began to wonder: "Did I come here to buy a bag, or did I come here to get badgered?"

    Can't do it, Tom. Sorry. Good luck. I'm honestly sorry I didn't buy anything sooner.
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  10. #85
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    Bigfoot,

    First of all, it isn't snobbish to expect people to manage to escape from high school with at least a couple of years exposure to a foreign language, especially French, which still is a helpful language to know. I guess Americans figger since they run the world and all, that it is up to everyone else to learn English. This is the kind of arrogance which also exposes the inherient laziness of American culture.

    Your post tends to make a meandering point, which I have attempted to distill down to the suggestion that you can't buy a bag you said you wanted to buy because of the "label"

    Don't you think Tom Biln took into account when he made the decision to exploit the publicity behind the label, weighed it on a cost-benefit standard, and decided that the people MOST LIKELY TO BUY HIS PRODUCT, tend to share his values.

    He also probably knew that people would come here, claim to be discouraged customers, claim to be politically moderate, and then object to the label. (that is standard operating procedure around the web. You see it on every troll infested blog. And people like that are really easy to spot. )

    These threats of boycotts from people unlikely to be customers, when balanced against THE REAL RESULT of having label merchandise on double back order (!!!!)points to the folly of your argument.

    Maybe here is an argument to yours you might be able to relate to:

    There is a certain woman's exercise franchise called "Curves" it is really successful and really popular. The owner gives 10% of his money to anti-abortion causes. Now I was thinking about joining that club until I picked up this news. I would never think of confronting the owner of that company, threatening a boycott on the basis of his political spending habits.
    That is his business. He can do whatever he wants with his money. I can join the Y, and save a few bucks, or go to gym which doesn't publicize their political beliefs.

    I can also help spread the word this guy would be giving money to organizations I don't approve off. And I have. And women I know who were thinking of joining decided not to, on the basis of that information.

    He doesn't care what I think. My 35 bucks a week is no great loss.

    That is how people who don't want to be ridiculed and badgered handle mixing political activism and buying decisions.

    Clearly, if you actually browse the Biln site, you will see Biln makes no secret about his political sympathies.

    Smart consumers do that. Especially when they are putting out money for a premium product.
    Last edited by nanorich; 05-19-2004 at 11:47 AM.
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  11. #86
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    New customer

    Tom Bihn's company has just gained a number of new customers because of the label. I have several friends who are placing orders with the company who have never even heard of the company before.

    I suspect the marketplace will determine the popularity of the sentiment expressed in the label.
    Ann
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  12. #87
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    "First of all, it isn't snobbish to expect people to manage to escape from high school with at least a couple of years exposure to a foreign language, especially French, which still is a helpful language to know. I guess Americans figger since they run the world and all, that it is up to everyone else to learn English. This is the kind of arrogance which also exposes the inherient laziness of American culture."
    Nice job of backpedalling. First you say, "In educated circles, it is assumed that everyone can read a little French." Now you go back and say, "Well, uh, actually, any language will do."

    Kind of galling to see American culture branded "lazy" by someone who uses "figger" instead of "figure".

    Your post tends to make a meandering point, which I have attempted to distill down to the suggestion that you can't buy a bag you said you wanted to buy because of the "label"
    Did you even READ my post? I said I could buy the bag and rip the tag out if he had admitted the tag was about Bush. Could you be a little less impressed with yourself and a little more careful in your reading?

    Also, your post was nearly as long as mine, so nice job there on the distillation. Ann did a much better job, actually, without telling anyone she was going to do it (and then failing.)

    "He also probably knew that people would come here, claim to be discouraged customers, claim to be politically moderate, and then object to the label."
    Would you be talking about me? I am politically moderate. I am a discouraged customer. You don't know otherwise, but to insinuate I am not is just a bit paranoid, isn't it? I read this forum before I actually posted, and I don't recall anyone else doing that.

    "There is a certain woman's exercise franchise called "Curves" it is really successful and really popular. The owner gives 10% of his money to anti-abortion causes. Now I was thinking about joining that club until I picked up this news. I would never think of confronting the owner of that company, threatening a boycott on the basis of his political spending habits.
    That is his business. He can do whatever he wants with his money. I can join the Y, and save a few bucks, or go to gym which doesn't publicize their political beliefs."
    Did I ever say that I supported a boycott of Tom, or that I was part of one? Actually, I intentionally deleted "I do not support a boycott" from my first post because I never mentioned the boycott to begin with. Again, did you read my post, or did you just lump me in with the people who had never heard of Tom's business until the label hit the news?

    "Clearly, if you actually browse the Biln site, you will see Biln makes no secret about his political sympathies."
    Clearly, since I actually did browse the BIHN site, I realized that BIHN makes no sercret about his political sympathies. I don't care about his political sympathies.

    "Smart consumers do that. Especially when they are putting out money for a premium product."
    The patronizing attitude, smugness, and condescension I'm getting from you is amazing (particularly in light of the fact that you missed my main point and can't spell "Bihn" properly.) I feel like I'm back in college. Well, thanks for at least making me feel young.

    I'm done with this. Tom, good luck with your business, I sincerely mean it.
    Last edited by Bigfoot; 05-20-2004 at 11:46 AM.
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  13. #88
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    Okay, this is getting a bit nasty. I'm going to close this thread. If any of you would like to continue the discussion of the label, please post here:
    Tags on your bags: Part Duex

    Personal attacks and snarkyness are not necessary and not welcome on these forums. Let's keep it civil. It's much more interesting that way anyway.
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