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Incentives vs. Anarchic Douchebaggery

ginryu42ginryu42 United StatesRegistered User regular
The news article's headline read, "Razor blades glued to playground at IL park" and I clicked the link. The body of the article related a disturbing tale:
"EAST MOLINE, IL (KWQC/CNN) - A 2-year-old was injured by razor blades glued to playground equipment at a park Monday, according to authorities.

Lt. Brian Foltz said police responded to Millennium Park around 12:45 p.m. CT. The boy had been cut on his hand.

'East Moline parks are safe, but it's just a bad situation, bad instance where somebody or maybe a group of kids, I don't know who did this, but figured this would be a fun prank to do,' Foltz said.

The boy's father treated him at home and went back to the park with police. They found and removed about a dozen razors glued onto the equipment with a white, putty-like substance.

Other park visitors said they were surprised to see that kind of vandalism.

'We just kind of think about them swinging on the swing set or, you know, climbing the monkey bars,' said parent Ty Langley. 'You don't really think about razor blades.'

Police said they are investigating the incident. They went back to Millennium Park around 5 p.m. to double-check the scene. They also looked at the rest of the city's parks.

'We wanted to check out, just to make sure, and so far, we have not found anything else in any of the parks,' Foltz said."

I cannot help but wonder what incentive could society offer--through the offer of reward or the threat of punishment--to the people most likely to engage in socially destructive behavior such as this that would effectively reduce the occurrence of such incidents to nil? Do any such incentives exist, I wonder? Is the implementation of any such incentive economically feasible?

When I read articles like this, I just thank God I have no children, shake my head, and say to myself: Video Games [1], Playing Outside [0].

"He who has relied least on fortune is established the strongest." -Niccolo Machiavelli

Posts

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHAZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    I think first we need to establish a feasible hypothesis for what motivated this act in the first place.

    If it was simple sadism, there isn't a whole lot of "incentive" we can provide other than finding the person who did it and metaphorically bopping them on the nose with a newspaper.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
    QuidMrMisterDasUberEdward
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    I like the way that the automatic assumption is that "kids" did it.

  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2014
    V1m wrote: »
    I like the way that the automatic assumption is that "kids" did it.

    <18, still legally a kid.

    I'm betting on some 15-17 year old with issues.

    But I'm not rulling out a sick adult either.

    Nocren on
    newSig.jpg
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    I think first we need to establish a feasible hypothesis for what motivated this act in the first place.

    If it was simple sadism, there isn't a whole lot of "incentive" we can provide other than finding the person who did it and metaphorically bopping them on the nose with a newspaper.

    Or you know, meat cleaver. /hyperbole




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    TurkeyFeral
  • HenroidHenroid Internet Pariah Going nowhere, but fast.Registered User regular
    Well the first failure here, assuming it was a prank by kids (teenagers are kids; I'm almost 30 so I get to say that), is on the parents. Not that they didn't stop this or didn't know, but that they never stressed to their kids as they were growing up, "Hey, hurting people REALLY SUCKS AND MAKES YOU A DOUCHEBAG."

    The second failure is on the peers not learning this from one another.

    I'm not sure if this is one of those things that can be prevented. As for the punishment. I don't know. That this 'prank' targets children makes me want judicial judgment. Community service, enforced curfew by law.

    Don't accept centrism. Don't let them bully you.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    I think first we need to establish a feasible hypothesis for what motivated this act in the first place.

    If it was simple sadism, there isn't a whole lot of "incentive" we can provide other than finding the person who did it and metaphorically bopping them on the nose with a newspaper.

    Or you know, meat cleaver. /hyperbole



    "It was the weirdest thing your honor. He beat himself with that baseball bat"

    "Not guilty"

    Turkey
  • ginryu42ginryu42 United StatesRegistered User regular
    @PantsB, I think that is a valid suggestion. There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Justice, in which a society called the Edo lived by laws that all had only one punishment, regardless of the infraction--death. While the crew of the Enterprise condemned such a system of justice as unjust, the Edo explained to them, because no one on their world would want to risk execution, no one breaks their laws, which they see as a basis for lasting peace and a largely utopian society. In Edo society, randomly mobile punishment zones kept would-be offenders alert and the Mediators dispensed punishment for any violations in the punishment zones.

    In a libertarian society in which all the members thereof are aware that any violation of the law may result in execution, it seems to me, an Edo-like system of justice might be ideal. If, in our own societies, we had far fewer laws but far harsher punishments for breaking laws prohibiting behavior that deprives others of life (including health), liberty, or property, I think our society would generally be much-improved. The problem with the Edo society--as with our own--is that we have far too many rules, regulations, and laws to make tenable a system of justice in which all violations of the law are punishable by death.

    "He who has relied least on fortune is established the strongest." -Niccolo Machiavelli
    a5ehren
  • HenroidHenroid Internet Pariah Going nowhere, but fast.Registered User regular
    Well that's the question right - do we have laws and a justice system to shape society, or do we trust ourselves and each other to just play nicely? Shit like this tells me the latter isn't very likely.

    Don't accept centrism. Don't let them bully you.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
    Retaba
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    ginryu42 wrote: »
    PantsB, I think that is a valid suggestion. There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Justice, in which a society called the Edo lived by laws that all had only one punishment, regardless of the infraction--death. While the crew of the Enterprise condemned such a system of justice as unjust, the Edo explained to them, because no one on their world would want to risk execution, no one breaks their laws, which they see as a basis for lasting peace and a largely utopian society. In Edo society, randomly mobile punishment zones kept would-be offenders alert and the Mediators dispensed punishment for any violations in the punishment zones.

    In a libertarian society in which all the members thereof are aware that any violation of the law may result in execution, it seems to me, an Edo-like system of justice might be ideal. If, in our own societies, we had far fewer laws but far harsher punishments for breaking laws prohibiting behavior that deprives others of life (including health), liberty, or property, I think our society would generally be much-improved. The problem with the Edo society--as with our own--is that we have far too many rules, regulations, and laws to make tenable a system of justice in which all violations of the law are punishable by death.

    So you watched a Star Trek episode, assumed that it accurately portrayed the outcome of a harsh and simplistic system of justice that was being used pretty clearly as a metaphor for mandatory minimums and three strike laws and came to the conclusion that such a system was advantageous?

    And "the" problem with out society, doesn't exist. Our society has many problems. Well down the list, below things like inequality, injustice, hatred, bad taste, ignorance and misunderstanding mediocre Wesley based ST:TNG episodes well into the "not actually a problem" territory is an excess of laws.

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    Edith UpwardsDivideByZeroArdolTurkeyAngelHedgiedurandal4532QuidThorn413LoveIsUnityKamara5ehrenApothe0sisCalica
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    ginryu42 wrote: »
    @PantsB, I think that is a valid suggestion. There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Justice, in which a society called the Edo lived by laws that all had only one punishment, regardless of the infraction--death. While the crew of the Enterprise condemned such a system of justice as unjust, the Edo explained to them, because no one on their world would want to risk execution, no one breaks their laws, which they see as a basis for lasting peace and a largely utopian society. In Edo society, randomly mobile punishment zones kept would-be offenders alert and the Mediators dispensed punishment for any violations in the punishment zones.

    I don't think you got that the point of that episode was that the Edo system was inherently unjust.

    a5ehrenEdith Upwards
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    ginryu42 wrote: »
    @PantsB, I think that is a valid suggestion. There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Justice, in which a society called the Edo lived by laws that all had only one punishment, regardless of the infraction--death. While the crew of the Enterprise condemned such a system of justice as unjust, the Edo explained to them, because no one on their world would want to risk execution, no one breaks their laws, which they see as a basis for lasting peace and a largely utopian society. In Edo society, randomly mobile punishment zones kept would-be offenders alert and the Mediators dispensed punishment for any violations in the punishment zones.

    In a libertarian society in which all the members thereof are aware that any violation of the law may result in execution, it seems to me, an Edo-like system of justice might be ideal. If, in our own societies, we had far fewer laws but far harsher punishments for breaking laws prohibiting behavior that deprives others of life (including health), liberty, or property, I think our society would generally be much-improved. The problem with the Edo society--as with our own--is that we have far too many rules, regulations, and laws to make tenable a system of justice in which all violations of the law are punishable by death.

    After my girlfriend left me and hooked up with you, I framed you for littering (or whatever other crime it might be easy to fake).

    You were executed.

    Later the truth came out but whatever. You got yours, you homewrecker, and that's all I care about.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    ginryu42 wrote: »
    PantsB, I think that is a valid suggestion. There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Justice, in which a society called the Edo lived by laws that all had only one punishment, regardless of the infraction--death. While the crew of the Enterprise condemned such a system of justice as unjust, the Edo explained to them, because no one on their world would want to risk execution, no one breaks their laws, which they see as a basis for lasting peace and a largely utopian society. In Edo society, randomly mobile punishment zones kept would-be offenders alert and the Mediators dispensed punishment for any violations in the punishment zones.

    In a libertarian society in which all the members thereof are aware that any violation of the law may result in execution, it seems to me, an Edo-like system of justice might be ideal. If, in our own societies, we had far fewer laws but far harsher punishments for breaking laws prohibiting behavior that deprives others of life (including health), liberty, or property, I think our society would generally be much-improved. The problem with the Edo society--as with our own--is that we have far too many rules, regulations, and laws to make tenable a system of justice in which all violations of the law are punishable by death.

    After my girlfriend left me and hooked up with you, I framed you for littering (or whatever other crime it might be easy to fake).

    You were executed.

    Later the truth came out but whatever. You got yours, you homewrecker, and that's all I care about.
    Well I was so upset by your execution that I rear ended someone on the way home from the funeral. And I figured, "nothing to lose" and went on a 12 state killing spree.

    11793-1.png
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    QEDMF xbl: PantsB G+
    V1mDivideByZeroSurfpossumApothe0sisKristmas KthulhuEdith UpwardsCalicaMan in the Mists
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    I we can actually call this reasonably solved as-is.

    I mean you could as reasonably call for a more coherent plan to eliminate lightning strikes.

    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Oh hey even better, let me tell you about that time while I was still on the force, and this guy got accused of a crime. We weren't sure whether he did it or not, but then we found out that he voted for Obama twice. And he was gay. So I guess we didn't try real hard to find exculpating evidence, because he was a damb dirty librul and he got executed.

    Later it came out that old man Withers did it. (Some kids and a dog solved the mystery)

    Edith Upwards
  • SurfpossumSurfpossum A nonentity trying to preserve the anonymity he so richly deserves.Registered User regular
    "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread." - Anatole France

    Mitigating circumstances are kind of a big deal.

    is this how nations are born
    Apothe0sisEdith UpwardsCalica
  • IskraIskra Registered User regular
    Well, I'm just glad I was a police officer so I could rule like a warlord given the omnipresent threat of death via state mandated execution whenever I felt like selectively charging those who didn't pay me tribute.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Iskra wrote: »
    Well, I'm just glad I was a police officer so I could rule like a warlord given the omnipresent threat of death via state mandated execution whenever I felt like selectively charging those who didn't pay me tribute.

    Yeah those were good times, I figured that as long as I had a choices of dudes who had the power of life or death over me I might as well join the one who offered me hookers and blow, so I got some guns and joined a gang.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    ginryu42 wrote: »
    @PantsB, I think that is a valid suggestion. There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Justice, in which a society called the Edo lived by laws that all had only one punishment, regardless of the infraction--death. While the crew of the Enterprise condemned such a system of justice as unjust, the Edo explained to them, because no one on their world would want to risk execution, no one breaks their laws, which they see as a basis for lasting peace and a largely utopian society. In Edo society, randomly mobile punishment zones kept would-be offenders alert and the Mediators dispensed punishment for any violations in the punishment zones.

    In a libertarian society in which all the members thereof are aware that any violation of the law may result in execution, it seems to me, an Edo-like system of justice might be ideal. If, in our own societies, we had far fewer laws but far harsher punishments for breaking laws prohibiting behavior that deprives others of life (including health), liberty, or property, I think our society would generally be much-improved. The problem with the Edo society--as with our own--is that we have far too many rules, regulations, and laws to make tenable a system of justice in which all violations of the law are punishable by death.

    Umm.

    Is this really the direction you're choosing to take the thread in? Whether or not we should make every crime punishable by death?

    I mean, it's your prerogative if that's your intention, but it's probably not going to go to a very productive place. If you want to discuss something different, you may want to clarify.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    ginryu42 wrote: »
    PantsB, I think that is a valid suggestion. There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Justice, in which a society called the Edo lived by laws that all had only one punishment, regardless of the infraction--death. While the crew of the Enterprise condemned such a system of justice as unjust, the Edo explained to them, because no one on their world would want to risk execution, no one breaks their laws, which they see as a basis for lasting peace and a largely utopian society. In Edo society, randomly mobile punishment zones kept would-be offenders alert and the Mediators dispensed punishment for any violations in the punishment zones.

    In a libertarian society in which all the members thereof are aware that any violation of the law may result in execution, it seems to me, an Edo-like system of justice might be ideal. If, in our own societies, we had far fewer laws but far harsher punishments for breaking laws prohibiting behavior that deprives others of life (including health), liberty, or property, I think our society would generally be much-improved. The problem with the Edo society--as with our own--is that we have far too many rules, regulations, and laws to make tenable a system of justice in which all violations of the law are punishable by death.

    This is because death generally isn't the only punishment you want to hand out. Especially if you don't want to hand out punishment at all.

    If someone is smoking crack I don't want them sentenced to death. I do want them in mandatory rehabilitation.

    If a poor person steals a loaf of bread I don't want them murdered by the state either. I want them in a mando work program where they can learn useful skills and find work. I also want a critical eye turned towards the current welfare system that failed this person.

    Hell, even with blatantly one sided crimes like with the Boston marathon bombing I don't want even that guy sentenced to death. I want any and every psychologist in the world to have access to him to better understand how to prevent future events like that one.

    I want my government to actually work towards getting rid of the conditions that lead to crime. Not react to each individual as if they're all identical and exist in a vacuum.

    ArdolDivideByZeroEdith UpwardsCalica
  • ginryu42ginryu42 United StatesRegistered User regular
    edited March 2014
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Umm.

    Is this really the direction you're choosing to take the thread in? Whether or not we should make every crime punishable by death?

    I mean, it's your prerogative if that's your intention, but it's probably not going to go to a very productive place. If you want to discuss something different, you may want to clarify.
    No, this is not the direction in which I wanted the thread to go. The thread has largely gone in the direction it has as the result of following the dubious reasoning that formed the basis of this post:
    PantsB wrote: »
    So you watched a Star Trek episode, assumed that it accurately portrayed the outcome of a harsh and simplistic system of justice that was being used pretty clearly as a metaphor for mandatory minimums and three strike laws and came to the conclusion that such a system was advantageous?

    And "the" problem with out society, doesn't exist. Our society has many problems. Well down the list, below things like inequality, injustice, hatred, bad taste, ignorance and misunderstanding mediocre Wesley based ST:TNG episodes well into the "not actually a problem" territory is an excess of laws.
    The entire premise of the first paragraph, supra, is based on a sweeping generalization fallacy. A sweeping generalisation applies a general statement too broadly. If one takes a general rule, and applies it to a case to which, due to the specific features of the case, the rule does not apply, then one commits the sweeping generalisation fallacy. This fallacy is the reverse of a hasty generalisation, which infers a general rule from a specific case.

    Example
    (1) Children should be seen and not heard.
    (2) Little Wolfgang Amadeus is a child.
    Therefore:
    (3) Little Wolfgang Amadeus shouldn’t be heard.

    No matter what you think of the general principle that children should be seen and not heard, a child prodigy pianist about to perform is worth listening to; the general principle doesn’t apply.

    Just because I believe in our own societies, if we had far fewer laws but far harsher punishments for breaking laws prohibiting behavior that deprives others of life (including health), liberty, or property, I think our society would generally be much-improved, it does not logically follow that I believe an Edo-like system of justice would be advantageous. All decisions are made at the margins. I think if our system were, in some ways, a little more like the Edo system of justice, it would be somewhat improved. This is not an all-or-nothing proposition. I certainly do not think all crimes should be capital crimes.

    @PantsB‌ is also committing the straw man fallacy. A straw man argument is one that misrepresents a position in order to make it appear weaker than it actually is, refutes this misrepresentation of the position, and then concludes that the real position has been refuted. This, of course, is a fallacy, because the position that has been claimed to be refuted is different to that which has actually been refuted; the real target of the argument is untouched by it.

    Example
    (1) Trinitarianism holds that three equals one.
    (2) Three does not equal one.
    Therefore:
    (3) Trinitarianism is false.
    This is an example of a straw man argument because its first premise misrepresents trinitarianism, its second premise attacks this misrepresentation of trinitarianism, and its conclusion states that trinitarianism is false. Trinitarianism, of course, does not hold that three equals one, and so this argument demonstrates nothing concerning its truth.

    In the second paragraph of the above post, @PantsB‌ misrepresented my position. @PantsB‌ implied I was stating only a single problem existed with our society, when he said "'the' problem with out [sic] society, [sic] doesn't exist. Our society has many problems." I never asserted society has only one problem. I said "[t]he problem with the Edo society--as with our own--is that we have far too many rules..." by which I meant that the relevant problem with our society...is we have far too many rules. I believe, in fact, that we do have far too many rules, and if we had fewer rules and regulations governing the minutiae of life, we would have more resources to commit to the enforcement of useful laws that protect the things governments should protect: our lives, our liberties, and our property.

    ginryu42 on
    "He who has relied least on fortune is established the strongest." -Niccolo Machiavelli
    a5ehren
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    Enforcement of rules isn't zero sum, it's a matter of priorities

    We already set priorities for enforcement based on available resources and cost/benefit analysis. I strongly doubt that reducing the raw number of rules will suddenly free up resources to enforce the remaining rules, unless you can readily identify something that consumes a lot of resources and is of trivial importance, which politics generally does a reasonable job of in any case.

    "We should get rid of rules that don't matter" is a pretty trivial point, and one few would dispute. The trick is identifying what is considered to be trivial.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    The reason @ElJeffe is asking you if this is the direction you want to take, is the idea is really really stupid, and frankly is not up to the level of debate one would normally expect in D&D as the basis for a thread. Basing your premise on misunderstanding a ST:TNG episode that was already a pretty blatant societal metaphor on mandatory minimums and three strike laws - both of which are considering increasing unjustly harsh, ineffective and imprecise in their application - and coming to the conclusion that we need to become even less precise and harsher, is a combination of laughable genesis and facepalm worthy logical progression that's not going to fly.

    Trying to recover from that ridiculous start, by copy and pasting some Logic 101 coursework is not going to work. If you want to argue that the US or Western society has too many laws, try that. Trying to get into an ad hom argument with me is not going to work. You're not ready for this.

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    a5ehren
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Society should have fewer laws and harsher punishments is kind of an empty statement.

    It makes no attempt to address which laws or punishments or why it's even true.

    Quid on
    PonyKristmas Kthulhu
  • SurfpossumSurfpossum A nonentity trying to preserve the anonymity he so richly deserves.Registered User regular
    ginryu42 wrote: »
    The entire premise of the first paragraph, supra, is based on a sweeping generalization fallacy.
    Dubious. If anything it is misrepresenting your position (if you read it uncharitably), maybe with a bit of ad hominem.
    I think if our system were, in some ways, a little more like the Edo system of justice, it would be somewhat improved. This is not an all-or-nothing proposition. I certainly do not think all crimes should be capital crimes.
    I think you may need to clarify what you mean by "far harsher punishments," because after a certain point the difference becomes largely academic to the person being punished. Notice that PantsB never said anything about capital punishment. You are arguing against an assertion about your position that was never made.
    I never asserted society has only one problem. I said "[t]he problem with the Edo society--as with our own--is that we have far too many rules..." by which I meant that the relevant problem with our society...is we have far too many rules.
    I think you are missing the (more important) point that having too many rules is not, in fact, a relevant problem. You are again arguing against an assertion that is different from the one being made.

    is this how nations are born
  • CantelopeCantelope Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    Death is permanent, I'm against it as a disincentive for anything simply because if it's employed inappropriately, the state can't do anything to take this particular punishment back. Additionally, we know that lots of people are not motivated by negative consequences, and there is some evidence to suggest that people weigh their chances of getting caught when they do something illegal far higher than the punishment.


    I think we have lots of problems with the law, but the person that commits the kind of crime described in the OP I think is likely to be motivated purely by malice. In that case, no amount of punishment will change anything. Fact of the matter is a person that is thinking rationally and does not have some arbitrary desire to see harm to others, will not see any immediate benefit from attempting to harm other peoples children, and so that is something that simply won't be done by the kind of person that pays attention to the law and punishment for various crimes.


    I think there are real limits to how much crime we can prevent either by enacting laws or changing society. I think we could do a lot better by re-engineering society so that people feel that they have a larger stake in it. I think that would solve a lot of problems related to minor crime, however, I am deeply skeptical that law enforcement or any other government organization could do anything about the crime described in the OP in advance of it happening.

    Cantelope on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Lots of societies on earth have tried harsh punishments. Trans revolutionary France, southeast Asia, China, varying degrees the middle east over the last thousand years.

    There isn't a single one I would choose to live in.

    You remove the last little bit people in shitty situations have to lose, normalize violence, punish people for dumb actions they aren't really thinking logically when they commit, and create a huge rift between those who administer the law and individuals and groups who cares about someone who might run afoul of the law.


    On the other hand, places that focus more on reform than punishment, have better prisons, fewer executions... Plus or minus economic opportunity, tend to be human cultures I actually want to live in.


    Like, the whole more punishment argument is just kinda refuted by every single piece of historical evidence I've ever come across.

    This machine kills threads.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Okay, I am going to mercy-kill this thread now, because it rolled a 1 on its Don't-Be-Stupid skill check and accidentally gut-stabbed itself with its own sword.

    @ginryu42, you are welcome to recreate this thread. I suggest you figure out what you want it to be before you do so. Do you want it to be about how to prevent cruel behavior like in the OP? Fine, state that. Do you want it to be about the viability of the death penalty? Fine, state that. Make sure it's narrow enough to foster actual discussion, and not something like "We need fewer laws. Discuss."

    Also, please don't fill your posts with definitions of logical fallacies, and you also don't need to link every third word to a definition. You are not a Wikipedia article, and we are smart enough to Google the big words if we don't know what you're talking about.

    Also-also, please don't talk to us as if we've never heard of libertarianism and will be shocked to hear about this exciting new philosophy. Please assume good faith on our part, and we'll assume good faith on yours.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
    Hahnsoo1Edith Upwards
This discussion has been closed.