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Doug's Workshop's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. 846 posts. 2 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist.


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Officially, Hamas was not behind the kidnapping and murder of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach.

Officially, such an admission of involvment would derail the reconciliation of Hamas and the PA.

That didn't stop the PA from publishing cartoons celebrating the murders, though.

In other ME news . . .

The US has abandoned its embassy in Libya.

1000 people were killed in Syria last week, with ISIS carrying out beheadings, crucifixions, and other wonderful tortures as described by sharia.

Kurds fighting ISIS got bumpkis from the US in terms of support, so their victories will likely be for naught.

But yeah, let's focus on the boogieman that is Israel.

Hamas has misfired rockets on numerous occasions, killing their own people. Hamas then gets the cameras and claims Israel has bombed a home/school/hospital. The civilian population gets to suffer for the wrongs of Hamas, and Hamas gets to use those deaths to fuel their propaganda.

Oh, and as of 2011, at least 160 children died while digging tunnels for Hamas. ing-tunnels-for-Hamas-369138

How many have died digging the latest tunnels? You know, the ones that were built with the express intention of attacking and kidnapping civilians? I'm sure all appropriate child labor laws were followed, because Hamas cares so much for the Palestinians.

As for the UN being friendly with Hamas . . . do you really think the rockets that were discovered earlier this month were the first time rockets were stored in a UN school? Really? {"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" "Your winnings, Sir." "Oh, thank you very much."}

But BNW is right . . . there won't be peace with Hamas. As an organization, Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. It's in their charter. They will not accept a truce, except for either the destruction of Israel, or as a 'hudna' which is not a real truce, but rather an opportunity for the Faithful to recover and rearm.

It's up to the Palestinians and the PA to drive Hamas out of their ranks. Given the PA's recent "reconciliation" announcement, I'd not hold your breath.

Lord Snow wrote:

Believe you me, they know this. They are acutely aware of the fact that nobody has the magical combination of both wanting to help them and being able to. Most of them are sick of Israel, of Hamas, of Egypt, of everyone.

Sadly, it only takes some of them to continue the violence and condemn them all to a pretty miserable existence.

Out of curiousity, is there a Palestinian organzation that recognizes that working with Israel is a better option?

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Its a lose lose for the other states. Taking in the refugees would cost money, deprive them of a weapon, and invite retaliation any time Israel decided to snag some more land.

Also, they all look the same to us, but they were already a not so popular ethnic group BEFORE this whole mess started.

It would certainly deprive them of a weapon, because once the Palestinian issue is resolved, people might realize that the only liberally-minded nation in the region was Israel. Way easier to get the world distracted by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than let the world focus on the moral, economic, educational, and cultural failings of the rest of the Middle East (quick: which nation in the region is rated highest by the Human Development Index? Here's a hint: it's the only functional democracy in the region).

The sooner the Palestinians figure that out other interests need them as martyrs, the sooner a real and lasting peace will be forged.

thejeff wrote:

So that would just add incentives to continue to make the conditions worse and drive more Palestinians away while avoiding a peaceful solution until Israel can simply take the land. At this point allowing/helping refugees is enabling ethnic cleansing.

I'm not speaking so much of the refugees from 1948/67, but Doug's Workshop's question as to why neighboring countries don't open their borders to refugees.

Yeah, so much better to continue to let those people be used by Hamas as human shields. Makes perfect sense. Can't believe I didn't think of that before.

thejeff wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Has there ever been another war/occupation/whatever you want to call it, where that was the suggested solution for allies of the oppressed? Don't try to help them fight, just evacuate the country?
It seems to me that lots of Iraqis went to neighboring countries as refugees.

Different situation. And those refugees have been allowed back in, though they haven't all wanted to go yet. Which isn't the case with Palestinian refugees from decades ago. Israel won't let them return, not just to Israel, but even to the Territories.

Any refugees Egypt or Jordan or anyone else took would be permanent.

Ethnic cleansing.

You wanted a situation, I gave you a situation.

Mark Sweetman wrote:

Note: Jordan (population of 8 million) already has over 600 thousand refugees of the Syrian war, 2 million refugees from Palestine (descendants of the 1948 refugees), a whole lot of iraqi refugees (numbers aren't clear online).

How many are they meant to take? - is over a quarter of their population not enough already?

As many as their big hearts can provide for.

Freehold DM wrote:
So then, where are they supposed to go, doug?

I don't know, freehold. Maybe out of a war zone. I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure not being used as a human shield is preferable option to studying next to a missile.

There'd be no point in Israel denying civilians the chance to leave.

But there's a better chance that the sun would start rising in the west than Muslim countries provide refugee charity to the Palestinians.

Mark Sweetman wrote:

Note in this case that 'neighbouring countries' = Egypt... that's it. They are the only other country with a shared border with any Palestinian controlled territory. You'd think that Jordan would border Palestine... but Israel have claimed a strip of land that prevents that.

And Jordan could still announce a policy of accepting refugees . . . but doesn't.

thejeff wrote:

Has there ever been another war/occupation/whatever you want to call it, where that was the suggested solution for allies of the oppressed? Don't try to help them fight, just evacuate the country?

It seems to me that lots of Iraqis went to neighboring countries as refugees.

No doubt it was for a vocational training program for electrial engineers.

I'm sure this was for studying orbital and escape velocities.

If neighboring countries really cared about the Palestinians, they would open their borders to refugees. But it's much better anti-Israeli propoganda to refuse to help refugees and instead blame Israel for the violence.

Furthermore, those calling for "peace" need to define what they mean. Because to Hamas, "peace" means the destruction of Israel. I'm no expert, but I would suspect that the average Israeli has a considerably different definition.

Of course price fixing happens. A longsword has cost 15 gp anywhere you are in Golarion. If that isn't collusion between merchants, I don't know what is!

But seriously, if the minimum wage in Pathfinder is 1sp/day, that means a healing potion runs about $4000 - $5000 US. There are some pro sports players who would buy that, because it's crucial for them to be out on the field scoring baskets, making touchdowns, and defending Sandpoint from raiding giants. But the normal person just doesn't have the desire or need to spend $4000 on a one-use item.

So the "market" has priced potions at the appropriate level.

The beauty of pen-and-paper RPGs is that they aren't scripted the way computer RPGs are. The GM plays the opponents, so start thinking like someone who is defending his house.

Can a burglar break into your house, take a tv, and leave? Sure. Can he do it every day for a week? The homeowner is going to take actions to stop him. Maybe by setting up an alarm system, or hiring a security firm to post guards.

Nothing stops your player from going back to town after every encounter, but the bad guys will take advantage of his absence to bolster their defenses.

As for sleeping eight hours to regain HP, a character cannot get that benefit more than once a day. So resting five days and doing nothing else gets 10 HP healed, but the world moves on. Maybe another group of adventurers takes care of the monsters while the group was resting. Maybe the monsters decided there were easier pickings elsewhere, and moved on, taking their treasure with them.

As for the situation with the skeletons, I would rule that the skeletons are going to follow him, attacking all during his descent.

Enemies aren't static, like in computer games. That's a feature, not a bug. Make sure your player(s) know this, because it can be a rude awakening if you're used to computer games.

Gary Gygax wrote:
The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.

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I find this article to be a really good resource.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I, too, much prefer a physical rather than electronic copy.

I managed to fix the issue when I started getting into cardstock models, and bought an inkjet printer with a continuous ink supply. Decent paper isn't crazy expensive, and the ink is cheap. Throw in a couple 3-ring binders, and I'm swimming in printed product!

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A bear probably can't be trained to respond to its handlers signals to detect drugs that aren't actually there.

Of course, now I have the image of a bear riding a tricycle with little red and blue lights, wearing mirrored sunglasses and a mountie hat . . . .

thejeff wrote:

The final bill passed 60 to 39 in the Senate (58 Democrats and 2 Independents voting yes and 39 Republicans voting no, with one not voting.

Just to point out a little fact: That "one not voting" wasn't seated. Scott Brown had won the special election for the Senate, but wasn't sworn in yet.

A flash of movement on the ground to the side attracts a PCs gaze. He catches the hindquarters of a terrain appropriate predator disappearing into the underbrush (mountain lion, bear, wolf, crocodile, etc).

At a crossroads, an empty rusted gibbet hangs from a weathered post.

Coming around a bend/rock/tree, the party sees a murder of crows on the ground pecking at a recently deceased medium-sized animal.

The birds are not at all happy at being chased away from their meal, squawking angrily and loudly if the PCs approach. Investigating, PCs can see it is the remains of a wolf, apparently slain by a gray-fletched arrow.

As night falls and the PCs seek shelter, they discover a small rocky outcrop that will protect one side of their campsite. However, they also discover that something marked up the local trees with large claws. A ranger/druid or similarly skilled character will recognize the claw marks as those of a large bear-like creature, and ususally mean it has claimed this as its territory. But the marks seem fairly old, so that probably means the creature is no longer around . . . .

While travelling on the road, the PCs hear the noise of several horses galloping from either behind or ahead of them.

It is a patrol of 6 guardsmen, all mounted, bearing the livery of a more distant city/lord.

The patrol will stop and question the characters about any encounters with bandits they may have had, or other suspicious travellers on the road. The patrol will appear friendly, and not accuse the PCs of nefarious deeds, unless the PCs respond in suspicious manners.

After asking names, destination, and if they have seen or encountered anything suspicious, the patrol will carry on its original direction.

It is up to the GM to determine if the patrol ever reaches their destination, or what news the patrol may have brought to the next village the PCs wander in to.

Tabletop Adventures has a series of stuff like this called "Bits of the Wilderness." Paizo doesn't have the preview, but here's how a couple look:

A jagged shard of unpainted wood has
been driven into a low mound of earth just off
the forest path. A badly misspelled message
gouged into the impromptu grave marker with
a dull knife announces “Justen, a pedlur dyd
heer. Gods rest hm.”

As you hike through the woods you notice a number
of deer tracks that go off to the west. You can smell
the pine trees that stand all around you and a thick
bed of needles blankets the forest floor. You note that
the land in front of you seems to be quite flat and you
can see a good distance through this spa rsely wooded

The series is on sale for the "I'm not going to PaizoCon" sale.

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I used Crucible of Freya as the first adventure for my current group, using Castles & Crusades.

I like it: It's kinda sandboxy, so there are options for players to go in different directions. There's also the chance they'll get in over their heads. Learning to run away is a good lesson to teach, in my opinion.

The Tomb is a "megadungeon" but there are lots of things going on, and my players will likely encounter that in short order.

Frog God Games' physical books are very well constructed. They're so big, they have to be. Text-book quality binding.

Auxmaulous wrote:

I had one of my players run a 2nd ed adventure a few years back - he was a rusty DM, we had a blast. I wanted to quit running PFRPG immediately but was stuck in campaign that had run for many years and I had to finish it up. So it isn't nostalgia, for all its warts 2nd ed is superior to 3rd in any incarnation. Easier to run, faster play, faster combat and focus on actually adventuring. To me, all that says it’s a better (yet unsupported) game.

Auxmaulous, you may want to look in to Adventures Dark and Deep (by BRW games). Not a true clone (or retro-clone), but it may scratch the itch.

And in response to the OP, 2nd Edition was fine. As time wore on, additional splatbooks were created (Fighter's Handbook, Thief's Handbook, etc), and these created the sort of power-creep you saw in 3.x, and in today's Pathfinder.

But, YMMV. I'm using Castles & Crusades, with Swords & Wizardry waiting in the wings for my next campaign.

One option I use is that the past was a time of great magics, few of which can be cast today. So, there can be as many magic items stuck away in dungeons and lost cities as you need (usually the more powerful ones). For example, no one can create the Sword of MacGuffin, but it still exists where the ancient hero Tyriopoles fell, deep in the heart of the Lavastone Mountains.

I would allow the wizard to use his own Con, or others use their Con at something like a 1:5 ratio. So you can still have evil wizards and cults doing their thing.

FYI, the Adventurer Conqueror King system uses a "low" magic world by default. The costs of creating are extremely high, so you don't get wizards "making" +1 swords - that's why ya gotta go adventuring!

Well, in 1983 I got the Moldvay Red Box . . . which was promptly stolen by one of my classmates. Luckily, D&D wasn't such a generic game that everyone had a copy, and the culprit was caught rather quickly.

My parents were a little worried about some of the stories they had heard about D&D, but when they looked through the 1st ed. DM's Guide, they saw a list of insanities and were flabbergasted. They were both mental health professionals, and having (at that time) fairly accurate descriptions of that stuff made them more confident that the game wasn't as bad as some news stories had made it sound.

I've seen games turn away from player skill, relying more on dice rolling for results rather than players' descriptions of their actions. This has benefits for some, disadvantages for others. Luckily for me, there has been a resurgance of old-school games and game-styles. Everything old becomes new again.

I've seen the explosion of gaming culture on the internet, where some stuff that people put out for free are better than the polished works of the biggest game companies.

And now I have two boys who will hopefully learn all about the Keep on the Borderlands.

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thejeff wrote:

The rich do have different rights to political speech than the poor. The poor can't give thousands of dollars to politicians, because they're poor!

Arguing that limiting the rich to only giving far more than the poor will ever be able to give instead of overwhelmingly more is giving the poor more power than the rich is utter nonsense.

Well, I'm white, male and straight. I'm not likely to oppressed for any of that in this country, despite the complaints of some, so I'm not too concerned. I do work for a living and don't have piles of money laying around to give to politicians, so I'd say I'm already being oppressed by the rich's easy access to influence. Like 99% of us.

So a basic, fundamental right, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, should apply differently to different people, depending on which group they belong to?

Guess that whole "equal in the eyes of the law thing" really does have an Animal Farm quality to it.

"All animals are equal
But some animals are more equal than others."

thejeff wrote:

Any limit imposed is going to be arbitrary in that sense. One dollar more is never going to be so much worse it's clearly horrible, while one dollar less was fine.

Following that chain of logic leads inexorably to either banning all campaign donations or having no limits whatsoever.
This also applies to all other laws involving points on a continuum. Whether it's speed limits, age limits, blood alchohol limits for driving, whatever.

And of course, we're talking about a decision that does allow hundreds of thousands of dollars to be given, just not all directly to one candidate.
And the poor man isn't going to be able to give $2600 either.

Because the rich should have different rights to political speech than the poor? You're the one advocating for interests groups to have more power in the law than another. Maybe someday you'll have your own interest group oppressed and you'll get to see the fruits of your labors up close. I hope not.

thejeff wrote:

And keep telling yourself you're standing up for everyone. To bastadize Anatole France, "The poor as well as the rich, must be legally free to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to political campaigns."

$2600 vs $2601

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:
Further laws exist to define libel and slander, as well as laws against speech that directly encourage others to commit specific or imminent illegal actions.
Yes, and so our positions overlap a lot more than it may seem. The only difference between us germane to the current thread is that I disagree that the Supreme Court's rulings on money-as-speech actually support the meaning of the 1st Amendment, and you do. You might be interested in this thread as well.

I'd thought about joining the thread, but a man's only got so much time to waste on the internet.

thejeff wrote:

Divide and conquer. It's the only way sucha a small minority can ever keep control.

And yet I'm the one who wants to treat everyone with the same First Amendment rights.

Divide and conquer, certainly. It's what the left does with every interest group they court. Poor vs rich. Black vs white. Men vs women. Straight vs gay.

The "haves" vs the "have nots."

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Yeah, I can quote it (and a large volume of the rest of his writings and correspondence). The barriers are not arbitrary if they serve to remind people that, "hey, you're overstepping your bounds and beginning to step on mine."

What can be considered arbitrary is the decision of where those bounds lie, exactly. I tend to think that, if someone in the store hits me with a shopping cart, I should be allowed to kick their ass. Mrs Gersen tirelessly reminds me that the law sees it differently.

And that's what it comes down to: at some point you need a written code of laws so that everyone, even if they don't necessarily agree, sees where the limits have been drawn.

I agree.

And we have that written code. The First Amendment of the Constitution. Further laws exist to define libel and slander, as well as laws against speech that directly encourage others to commit specific or imminent illegal actions.

Using my example above, giving $284 vs $283 is not libel or slander (depending on written or spoken words), nor does the act of my giving those funds advocate for illegal activity, much less the necessary "specific/imminent activity" that the law requires.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
The thing is, Jefferson wrote a lot about "rightful liberty," as opposed to "total liberty." It's sort of a very important distinction, because the latter is internally self-contradictory when applied to more than one individual or group.

I understand.

But is it rightful to disregard the rights of others, or to set up arbitrary barriers to the exercise of those rights?

I donate $2600 to a candidate for office, and I'm within the letter of the law. I donate $2601 and I'm breaking the law.

If I give $283 to 435 candidates, I'm legal. If I give $284 to each I've broken the law. This latter example is what this entire thread is about.

Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

thejeff wrote:

So when were we a free society, by that standard?

The threat of the majority trampling over the rights of the minority has been recognized since before the Constitution was ratified.

If you want to say "our society was never perfect, and therefore it is perfectly reasonable to inflict further wrongs against those we disagree with" you are no better than those who came before you.

Expect strong resistance from those who would not be serfs.

Ilja wrote:
Whenthe things doug/the rich likes are clnsidered fundamental rights that stand above all other rights, and we live in the perfect Hunger Games arena. Except the unarmed eleven-year olds arent allowed todisarm the paramilitary thugs, because thats stealing.

The freedom to speak applies to everyone.

The fact that you dislike what others say does not give you a moral right to limit their freedoms.

Or, Ilja doesn't want you to be able to exercise your liberties because SHUT UP.

bugleyman wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:

What does "multiple" mean in your world?

Also, what does "establish" mean? Because if you just ignore what I wrote, it's no wonder that you're wrong.

I frankly have no idea what you're trying to's completely incoherent.

In any event, you have failed to construct and support a rational argument, and I no longer have the patience to hand-hold you through remedial logic in the face of your breath-taking arrogance.

Enjoy your serfdom in the "plutocracy is freedom" theme park. I understand there are balloons.

I've said repeatedly that multiple Supreme Court decisions have established my point. You apparently have a different definition of "multiple" than I do, because I can (and do) disagree with single decisions. But several decisions, over the course of decades, do carry a different weight.

Plus, you demand that I "establish" what the Supreme Court has said many times. Establish the historic record? Because it's totally not written down? You seem to use "establish" as "convince me." Hard to do when the one needing the convincing doesn't go do the work to read the decisions.

Good luck to you.

thejeff wrote:

1) Not all federal revenue is income tax, so that's a major distortion, right there.

2) You still haven't said what percentage of the population you think the "poor and middle class" is.

3) Are you suggesting that government spending on each income class should be directly proportional to the tax revenue they contribute? If that spending includes actually hiring people to do work, it's not going to work very well.

4) You're also ignore that a lot of "welfare" to the rich is done as tax expenditures, which don't show up as spending.

4) If the rich didn't have such a high percentage of the income and even more so the wealth, they wouldn't be paying such a high percentage of the total taxes. Over the last several decades the percentage of income taxed from the wealthiest has dropped significantly. The percentage or revenue from the wealthiest has risen, because they've gotten even wealthier over that time.

While I don't disagree, the point remains the same: If we can pass laws that take away the rights of people we don't agree with, we've reached a point when we are no longer a free society.

Kryzbyn wrote:

You missed my point.

You're right. I did. Sorry about that.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:
You don't know any rich people, do you? The majority work extremely hard, and they are rewarded for their ability.
On the contrary, I lived for a number of years in New Canaan, CT. Google it sometime. I knew a number of notables at the country club there.

Knew? Or caddied for?

There's a difference.

Hitdice wrote:

Doug, do you think that a first generation millionaire (who could very well be someone who inherited $990,000 after taxes and owned $11,000 of their own beforehand) is even in the top 10%?

That's an honest question, but I've got to say that at this point someone with a million dollars in assets is not riding around in their lear jet and eating lobster every night for dinner. I wouldn't be surprised if they're within the middle class tax bracket, tbh.

According to Leonard Beeghley (from 2004), the top 5% of households had a net worth of $1,000,000 or more. Usually in the form of a house.

So, yes, I'm confident that someone with $990k is in the top 10%.

Kryzbyn wrote:

One of those jobs can be taken right out of high school (or with a GED). The other usualy involves an entire career invested towards becomming an CEO/CFO to even be possible.

To try to equate them in any way is ridiculous.

Richard Branson seems to be doing okay, and he dropped out of school at 16.

Larry Ellison founded Oracle.
Kenneth Hendricks founded ABC supply.
Andrew Carnegie.

Do you want more? Or do just want to admit you were wrong?

Davick wrote:

If it wasn't radioactive, why did you bring it up?

I didn't say it wasn't radioactive. What is it with not reading what I write? Is it some sort of competition?

Davick wrote:

The difference is no one is saying blackness = speech. Just because it's a bad idea to allow mob rule doesn't mean a plutocracy is a good idea.

If rights can be eliminated by simple majority vote or a law passed by Congress, then this is indeed what we are talking about.

Just because you don't like "the rich" doesn't mean you get to infringe on their rights through government action.

Maybe our representatives are outraged at homosexual groups using the "Eich Treatment" and therefore passes a law saying gay groups cannot advertise on television? Or that black musicians have too much influence thanks to the popularity of the hip-hop world and limit the number of albums that are sold to allow the acoustic-folk crowd to gain market share? Or that I can''t contribute $2601 to a candidate, but $2600 is fine?

I know it won't matter to you.

Kirth Gersen wrote:

"The rich" don't really work for the lion's share of their money. Their position and assets generate wealth, which is then taxed at a much lower rate than actual earnings from labor.

Take a the CEO of [radacted], a modest Fortune 500 company. His salary is $1M, which is reasonable. But somehow his "total compensation" is actually $11M with stock options, and his total earnings including capital gains are off the charts.

You don't know any rich people, do you? The majority work extremely hard, and they are rewarded for their ability.

85% of millionaires are first-generation millionaires. Which means they started at the bottom and worked.

bugleyman wrote:
Doug's Workshop wrote:

I don't have to establish it. The Supreme Court has ruled, repeatedly, to my point.

As some wise and handsome fellow said upthread:

bugleyman wrote:
Your argument is predicated on the premise that the SCOTUS is infallible. One needs look no further than Plessy v. Ferguson or Dred Scott to see that this is untrue. Unless, of course, you agree that blacks people are “an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race..."
To which you replied...well, nothing. Nothing at all. :P

What does "multiple" mean in your world?

Also, what does "establish" mean? Because if you just ignore what I wrote, it's no wonder that you're wrong.

Ilja wrote:
There is the working class that has to sell its labor, and there is the owning class that lives on the worker's labor. Yes, there is a small group that is in the borderline between them, but it's ridiculous to view them as a separate class.

Everyone who works in the US trades their labor for money. Even "the rich." Turns out their labor is just worth a lot more than yours.

meatrace wrote:

It's disingenuous to talk about social security and medicare/medicaid because they are part of segregated and managed funds. The US is not allowed to spend money from those funds on anything but SS/Medicare.

News flash: For decades, the government spent SS funds on things other than SS. The "lockbox" never existed.

meatrace wrote:

I'd like to reiterate, why is 70% of the federal budget going to 80% of the population seen as a giveaway to those 70%. It's as if you, DW, are suggesting MORE should just be given away to the rich.

The top 10% pay about 70% of federal income taxes. Which means the government takes from "the rich" and gives to "the poor and middle class." This risks the very real situation where the bottom majority simply vote to eliminate the rights of others and simply award others' property to themselves.

DeTocqueville noted, over a century ago, that is is what led to the downfall of previous democracies.

And you want to ban DeTocqueville from speaking for the simple reason he has more money than you.

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