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Old 05-03-2019, 03:09 PM
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What's the worst thing a person can do and NOT break the law?


This seems like an easy question but the best I can come up with is infidelity or possibly corporal punishment.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:22 PM
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Well, it pretty much depends on the context and the individual perspectives, doesn't it? Infidelity would be an absolutely devastating cruelty to some people but not such a big deal to others, for example. Same for, e.g., blasphemy, public defecation, or making fun of somebody's piano performance. I really don't think you can make a one-size-fits-all rule about the "worst" legal thing to do.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:26 PM
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@OP: Not sure corporal punishment would fit your criteria; there are plenty of ways it could land you in legal jeopardy.

But - you are allowed to photograph someone else in public as much as you like; it's in public. So you can creep-stalk. You can also bully and insult someone (within certain limits.)

Kimstu, I would guess that public defecation violates some public indecent-exposure law?
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:26 PM
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Well, it pretty much depends on the context and the individual perspectives, doesn't it? Infidelity would be an absolutely devastating cruelty to some people but not such a big deal to others, for example. Same for, e.g., blasphemy, public defecation, or making fun of somebody's piano performance. I really don't think you can make a one-size-fits-all rule about the "worst" legal thing to do.
public defecation is not against the law?
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:39 PM
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That's kind of a broad question.

So under the current scope of 'everything', I've read some pretty horrendous stories on this board and elsewhere about the psychological trauma inflicted on their children by people who had no business being parents. While some of it was definitely illegal, too much of it was simply amoral.

Last edited by Projammer; 05-03-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:41 PM
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This seems like an easy question but the best I can come up with is infidelity or possibly corporal punishment.
How about deliberately killing people? Self-defence is an absolute defence, as is necessity.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:44 PM
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Public humiliation generally isn't illegal as long as it doesn't rise to harassment.

Find someone with low self esteem, pretend to love them and them humiliate them in public. Evil but not illegal.

Or if you own a business, have massive layoffs of employees who have mortgages and families to support.

Bribe a politician to change the law to suit you also. Then everything is legal.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:45 PM
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Upon further quick research, it seems that suicide is not actually illegal in the US under federal statutes. Though some states have their own legislation on the matter.

Cite
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:46 PM
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Say very mean things to very nice people.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:51 PM
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Not showing your receipt when you leave Walmart. They want you to think it's a law or store policy is the law. They are lying.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:53 PM
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Infidelity would be an absolutely devastating cruelty to some people but not such a big deal to others, for example.
Infidelity is usually about selfishness; hurting the one you're supposed to be faithful to is just a side effect. Presumably the deliberate infliction of distress on someone you are presumed to care about might be more awful than mere carelessness.

The plot of In the Company of Men featured a guy who targeted an insecure woman, pursued a disingenuous romantic relationship with her, and then deliberately dumped her after she had become emotional invested.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:53 PM
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I think marrying someone under 18 where it's legal, especially if you're much older than them, is super bad.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:59 PM
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Does it count if the laws won't be enforced? If so, there's all sorts of things you can get away with in Seattle.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:02 PM
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public defecation is not against the law?
Good point, there may be some places where it isn't but its typical illegality probably disqualifies it from consideration.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:07 PM
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What leaps to my mind is gaslighting somebody with intent to make them literally go insane. Which is not something I've done, I promise.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:08 PM
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What about the stuff that Enron was doing? It was apparently within the law, at least mostly, but it harmed a whole lot of people, to varying degrees.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:08 PM
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Not showing your receipt when you leave Walmart. They want you to think it's a law or store policy is the law. They are lying.
True, but trespassing someone is beyond trivial, then you can't go there anymore. If you want to shop there (or Sam's), you have to play their game.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:21 PM
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Public humiliation generally isn't illegal as long as it doesn't rise to harassment.

Find someone with low self esteem, pretend to love them and them humiliate them in public. Evil but not illegal.

Or if you own a business, have massive layoffs of employees who have mortgages and families to support.
I think you (and begbert2 are on the right track. There are things that anyone who has the right kind of devious mind can do to cause serious psychological harm to other people, without ever breaking the law.

And if you happen to be in a position where you have power over people (e.g. a business owner or CEO), you can wield that power in a way that causes a great deal of harm to people.

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Old 05-03-2019, 04:22 PM
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I'm also assuming the OP only means U.S. law. In some other nations, there are all kinds of violent or murderous things that can be done without running afoul of the law.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:23 PM
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I think marrying someone under 18 where it's legal, especially if you're much older than them, is super bad.
There was a news story in my state of a police officer in his 40s who was sleeping with his 16 year old step daughter. Prosecutors tried to arrest him but what he did wasn't illegal. But they wanted to make an example of him, so they gave him a huge sentence for child pornography since he had some photos and videos of her that he took.

So something like that. A person of respectability in the community (priest, police officer, community activist, etc) in their 50s+ having sex with someone who barely hits the age of consent (16-18) is legal but pretty bad.
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  #21  
Old 05-03-2019, 04:26 PM
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What leaps to my mind is gaslighting somebody with intent to make them literally go insane. Which is not something I've done, I promise.
Narcissists and sociopaths leave a trail of suffering in their wake and a lot of what they do isn't illegal. Emotional and verbal abuse generally isn't a crime.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:26 PM
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Buy the patent on a useful drug and raise the price by 50 times
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:33 PM
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Crafting laws and regulations that are *designed* to be gamed/exploited exclusively by thw very most elite, at the expense of the lower income segment of the community or society?
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:43 PM
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Yeah, the persons who create the law have a way bigger license to be assholes than the rest of us. Revoking regulations that prevent predatory lending behavior is way worse than gaslighting a person to insanity, murdering them, and then eating their corpse. (Which I promise I haven't done.)
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:54 PM
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Murder is still illegal. But only if you get caught.
Jan had told him many times
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In Jersey, anything's legal
Long as you don't get caught
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:02 PM
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I think that the guys who took pictures, laughed and mocked him while a man was drowning some years ago were pretty bad.


Although this behavior would have been a crime where I live.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:03 PM
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This may seem like a political answer, but on the other side this is the President of the US stating his stance on this very issue:

“Yes, I do have an absolute right to pardon myself, but I'll never have to do it because I didn't do anything wrong and everybody knows it,”

So it seems like anything goes, there is no limit.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:24 PM
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I think it's definitely true that "change the laws so you can do something really bad that's currently against the law" is going to win this, because it encompasses every possible bad thing.

So it might be more useful to consider the law as it is right now.

I'd say: there are a number of ways to kill someone legally. Lots of those are good candidates for being the worst thing you can do.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:38 PM
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Arguably, bringing your children up to fear eternal punishment in hell.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:04 PM
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Arguably, bringing your children up to fear eternal punishment in hell.
I'll take that and raise it to teaching entire communities to bring their children up to fear eternal punishment in hell.

However bad of a thing you can legally do to one person, there's probably a way to 'mass produce' your wickedness by encouraging others to follow in your footsteps. for example it's not legal to commit murder, but it is legal to create and promote stuff like inceldom, which has a completely unsurprising tendency to spawn murderers. It's legal to become a major politician and announce that second amendment solutions would be really neat.

I suspect that for whichever specific act we decide is the winner here, the worst person will be the one who can get hordes of others to carry the act out at his behest.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:35 PM
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A person of respectability in the community (priest, police officer, community activist, etc) in their 50s+ having sex with someone who barely hits the age of consent (16-18) is legal but pretty bad.
First, it's not something that I would do but what if they love each other & get married. In 15 years, she's early 30's & he's late 60s. While not common that's not unheard of. What was the age difference between Hef & his girlfriends? I think it was even bigger than that.


There's a helluva lot of money & influence buying in politics. Of course the politicians write the laws so that a lot of it is legal.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:59 PM
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While I was in high school, I was on the mailing list of Cecil Todd, founder of Revival Fires Ministry. He once sent out a flyer to his teenaged minions, informing us that the worst sin was sex outside of marriage.

My faith was already getting a little shaky, and that helped finish it off.

A few years later, I was told that Revival Fires had left Joplin, with Cecil abandoning his wife for his secretary, and that they took quite a bit of Revival Fires money with them.

Revival Fires is an ongoing money raiser today, with Cecil’s son Tim at the helm.

According to my minister father, the unforgiveable sin is hardening your heart against the Lord. But it's legal.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:31 PM
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True, but trespassing someone is beyond trivial, then you can't go there anymore. If you want to shop there (or Sam's), you have to play their game.
[Bit o' Hijack]

I'm still kind of freaked by that usage of the verb "trespass". I suppose we've covered that here (we cover everything else! ) but I don't know the Board's general opinion.

I looked it up on about six dictionaries and didn't find that definition. I do understand that general usage, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, becomes the definition (and I will literally die if anyone disputes this. ) but I can't escape feeling a bit icky when I read it.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:44 PM
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I looked it up on about six dictionaries and didn't find that definition.
try here, under Verb, #6.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:43 PM
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First, it's not something that I would do but what if they love each other & get married. In 15 years, she's early 30's & he's late 60s. While not common that's not unheard of. What was the age difference between Hef & his girlfriends? I think it was even bigger than that.


There's a helluva lot of money & influence buying in politics. Of course the politicians write the laws so that a lot of it is legal.
But she isn't in her 30s, she is 16. Legally a 45 year old police officer can sleep with his 16 year old step daughter in many places. But it's still pretty bad. Maybe not downright evil, but pretty immoral.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:07 PM
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Did you ever read Steinbeck's The Winter of Our Discontent? I knew an actual human being who tried to replicate one of Ethan Hawley's machinations. Unlike Hawley, this person was not driven to attempt suicide, nor did he show a glimmer of redemption when it was all over.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:22 PM
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Buy the patent on a useful drug and raise the price by 50 times
You win.

I wouldn't put them in the number one slot, but people refusing to vaccinate their children for any reason other than a valid medical condition belongs somewhere on the list.

Last edited by Esprise Me; 05-03-2019 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:03 AM
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Declare war?

Yeah, maybe not the worst in all circumstances, but...
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:20 AM
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What about the stuff that Enron was doing? It was apparently within the law, at least mostly, but it harmed a whole lot of people, to varying degrees.
I think some kind of economic shenanigans should be the winner. Killing someone is bad but destroying the livelihood of thousands or millions is much worse. If you were in a position to redo 2008 you could cause thousands of deaths and cause psychological damage to a generation. Enron is certainly in that class and much more doable by a single person then a 2008 redo would be. Even if you only destroyed a town that would be terrible.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:21 AM
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[Bit o' Hijack]

I'm still kind of freaked by that usage of the verb "trespass". I suppose we've covered that here (we cover everything else! ) but I don't know the Board's general opinion.

I looked it up on about six dictionaries and didn't find that definition. I do understand that general usage, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, becomes the definition (and I will literally die if anyone disputes this. ) but I can't escape feeling a bit icky when I read it.
Look it up in a legal dictionary.

Actually, I'm not sure what the issue is. I just pulled up it's entry in dictionary . com and it's right there. Part 1b states that it's to wrongfully enter someone else's land. Very similar to the Cornell law definition that defines it as "knowingly entering another person’s property without permission".

Yes, when it comes to dealing with the police 'to trespass someone' generally means you're revoking their permission to be on your property. I don't know if there's an actual definition that makes that syntax correct or if it's just cop speak that's become common.

Actually, I see now that someone posted a wiki link that supports phrasing it like that.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:48 AM
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Buy the patent on a useful drug and raise the price by 50 times
Better yet, find a generic drug with a very small market place, and then raise the price 50 times.

Make sure the government has made it illegal to buy the drug from overseas (because of safety ) and make sure there are lots of regulations making it harder for other domestic drug manufacturers to enter the marketplace.

Then you have a captive market who isn't allowed to buy from other vendors overseas, and other vendors domestically aren't willing to set up shop to create the drug due to all the regulation involved in drug manufacturing.

You have one drug manufacturer, other domestic manufacturers aren't willing to enter the marketplace and its illegal for your customers to buy the drug from overseas.

Thats why Daraprim costs $750 a pill in the US but costs $0.25 a pill in Australia.
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  #42  
Old 05-04-2019, 11:21 AM
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There is a movement afoot in this country to control the populace and create/sustain a few billionaires by making drinking water unobtainable except through purchase. It's not just Flint MI guys. The EPA has given permission to industry to do basically whatever they wish to the waterways and groundwater. Eventually it will be impossible to make well water healthy throughout large swaths of the country, and people who had lived independently from the large utilities will be forced to hook up to sewer and water. Even then, the taps will produce a "clean" greywater not suitable for drinking. Drinking water will have to be purchased retail.

A big contributor to this are the fracking companies, whose activities also *cause earthquakes.* It should be illegal to cause an earthquake. Just sayin'. The profits these companies are earning are skyrocketing, and the problems they cause will be suffered by our great-grand-children.

So legislators failing to protect basic livability of the environment is the greatest crime that will ever be nonpunishable.


There are states in the US where it is legal to marry off your 13 year old daughter. In fact, in 25 states there is no legal minimum age for marriage. Not too many boys getting married off that young though.

What the Enron guys did was pretty awful. They gamed the electric utilities in three states, causing huge brownouts in California simply to force higher profits. Then when they saw the jig was up, they sold off their stock, thus tanking the value of the employees retirement funds. So, millions of families struggling and living without basic utilities, thousands of elderly couples destitute, and enforcement officers had to search for a crime with which to charge them. In the end, they finally sent them to jail for lying about their losses to Wall Street investors. Those who couldn't be connected to those actions went free.

Last edited by TruCelt; 05-04-2019 at 11:24 AM.
  #43  
Old 05-04-2019, 12:28 PM
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Hire yourself out as a gestational mother for a couple, agreeing to carry their genetic child in exchange for their supporting you all through the pregnancy and paying all the medical bills. After the baby is born, insist on keeping it and having the couple pay child support.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:49 PM
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Inciting other people to break the law. It's generally not considered to be a crime itself as it's protected by free speech. But when you get on a public forum and encourage your audience to target somebody, you're causing violent crimes to happen.
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:42 PM
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My first reaction is running for political office. After that I would say some of the things done under freedom of speech and/or expression. Some of the visual arts really push the line into various forms of porn that could be considered illegal had someone not famous produced them. And even then ------- some can get into some real debates. Sally Mann and others spring to mind.
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:05 PM
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A competitor on Survivor a few seasons back outed one of his fellow cast members as a trans man in front of the entire cast & crew, assuming that everybody except a few of the players knew. The transman was effectively closeted--he had moved to a new state and cut off all ties with his previous life when he began his transition, and he had only come out to a very few people in his new life. The producers talked with him about it before they aired the episode; there was no way they could have kept people from talking about it for the rest of the season, and if they didn't show why, it would have seemed very weird.
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:20 PM
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My first reaction is running for political office.
How do you propose we should get senators, representatives, governors and presidents?
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:34 PM
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Not showing your receipt when you leave Walmart. They want you to think it's a law or store policy is the law. They are lying.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
True, but trespassing someone is beyond trivial, then you can't go there anymore. If you want to shop there (or Sam's), you have to play their game.
My understanding is membership clubs(Sam's Club, Costco) have it in the membership agreement that showing a receipt is required. Regular stores are not really allowed to enforce any policy like that. I think.
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:57 PM
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Inciting other people to break the law. It's generally not considered to be a crime itself as it's protected by free speech. But when you get on a public forum and encourage your audience to target somebody, you're causing violent crimes to happen.
There is a word term for that: "Stochastic Terrorism". When you (person of note) say, “Somebody ought to kill that guy,” and then some crazy person kills that guy, you need to take responsibility for requesting that guy's death, rather that cowering away to, “I didn't think someone would actually do it.”
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:19 AM
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Initiating a nuclear exchange that kills much of the human race.
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