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thejeff's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 17,108 posts (17,907 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

DM Barcas, I get what you're arguing -- that the actual legal effect of the law is determined by its language and that it is difficult to find where in the law it actually gives permission to discriminate.

On the other hand, I think it's become pretty clear from the way people have been championing these laws and laws like them that they are intended to appear as if they are protecting those who would like to discriminate against LGBT people. It may be that the lawmakers who are putting these laws to paper are writing laws that don't actually do that, but are giving their supporters the appearance of protection if they choose to discriminate.

After all, there's a reason why all these laws have been proposed in the last couple years. That reason is marriage equality and the success we've had in bringing it through legislation, judicial decisions, and via popular referenda. That isn't a coincidence. To propose that these laws have nothing to do with a reaction against the LGBT civil rights movement's success requires that one explain why all these laws are being pushed for now.

Those concerned about the laws in the legislatures that passed them tried to add amendments that would prevent the laws from overriding local anti-discrimination ordinances, add specific anti-discrimination wording to the laws, or define protecting children as a compelling government interest. These amendments were defeated. What would be the point in this, if the purpose of the law were not (or at least, was not meant to appear as) to override local anti-discrimination ordinances, to allow discrimination, to prevent protecting children when it would conflict with religious views, and so forth? (Citation)

When asked whether the law would make it legal for a business to refuse to serve gay customers, the governor who signed it refused to answer six times. If it wasn't intended to make this legal, why...

It's not just gay marriage though. There's also the whole birth control and abortion thing. And more generally the line that Christians are being persecuted and need more legal protections in this country has been growing for awhile now. See the "War on Christmas" for a particularly silly angle, but generally the right wing Christians see their ideas losing influence and are fighting back. They perceive not being in charge as being persecuted. If they can't keep using the government to attack, they can at least keep it from protecting their targets.


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Well, it doesn't speak to the Indiana law directly, but Democrats in Georgia appear to have killed (or at least stalled) a similar bill by adding an amendment stating that it doesn't allow "citing religious liberty as a reason to subvert state non-discrimination laws."

This led the bill's sponsors to table the bill saying "that amendment would completely undercut the purpose of the bill."


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Looks like predictions of "Obama winning the round" were premature. I'm just glad Bergdahl didn't sign the letter. The administration might claim that that he didn't serve with honor and distinction.
Do you not see a difference between writing a letter to the president and writing a letter to a foreign head of state undermining the president?
The audience was the same for both letters: the American public, seeking to put pressure on the administration.
I'll take that as a "no," I guess.

He's right though. In the sense that it's all internal politics. It's not even so much putting pressure on the administration to make a better deal with Iran as painting the administration as soft on Iran.

There was a time when this kind of domestic politics stopped at the water's edge.


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pres man wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
littlehewy wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Religion is at least as deserving of protection as skin color is.

This statement is as false as it is repugnant. I don't think there's any point in me continuing to discuss this particular topic with someone that holds this view, no offence intended Aranna.

I don't think that it is repugnant to suggest that we shouldn't have Jew and Gentile water-fountains, or "No Christians Allowed" lunch counters, or parts of the city where Muslims are forbidden from living.

But it is also true that this law was not passed to prevent such injustices, because religious people are not currently being persecuted in Indiana.

Given that these laws in the Feds and other states have been used to protect people like Native Americans wanting to smoke peyote or a Muslim prisoner wanting to grow out their beard. Cases that don't tend to get a lot of big press, I find it a bit ludicrous to claim that there is absolutely 100% certainty that there is no religious people currently being persecuted in Indiana. There may not be, but without knowing 100% about all the states interactions with every single individual, I personally wouldn't feel comfortable making that claim. Christian bakers being asked to make same-sex marriage wedding cakes are not likely to be the people this law would protect.

Maybe. Laws often have unintended consequences. The people pushing for this law aren't looking to protect Muslims and Native Americans. They're looking to protect Christians who they claim are being persecuted by liberals and gays. They're playing to an ignorant, bigoted political base.

That said, the original Religious Freedom Restoration laws did protect minority religions and were twisted to do things like protect companies' rights to not cover birth control. It's quite possible this will also be reversed and used to protect the actual right to practice religion rather than the right to discriminate on religious grounds.


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Cyrad wrote:
This entire controversy rests on false pretenses. The law doesn't protect business owners that discriminate people. It just says a government entity can't burden a person or organization's right to exercise religious freedom. It explicitly says this law operates to protect rights granted by the First Amendment. Discrimination is not protected under the First Amendment because it infringes on the rights of others--that's absolutely clear. Finally, a violation of this law requires an individual to prove the violation caused a significant loss or stress. Even if a private business got fined for refusing service to a gay couple and tried to weaponize that law, they'd have to conclusively prove the government was unjustified in the court of law and they wouldn't be able to sue the gay couple for the fine since the law explicitly says they'd have to sue the government entity.

But when the person being discriminated against sues the business under the existing local non-discrimination law, the business invokes this law to claim the local non-discrimination law isn't valid.

Sure, the gay couple doesn't get sued, but they also get discriminated against with no redress.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Can any one think of even one example of a "religious exemption" to a law or social policy that is actually a good thing?
Conscientious objector to many of our foreign acts of conquest?

Exemptions to the drug laws for the use of peyote as a sacrament in Native American religions.

More generally though, that's something of a trick question. It depends largely on your opinion of the law in question. If you're opposed to birth control, religious exemptions permitting pharmacists to refuse to sell it may seem like a great idea. Banning its sale entirely may also seem like a great idea. If you think birth control is a basic part of healthcare, allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill a valid prescription seems insane.


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Aranna wrote:

This is why I think you are overreacting to the Law. It is just a push back against all the protections being given to everything BUT religion. A LOT of people just want assurances religion isn't going to become the big legal target for anyone with an issue and this helps protect them. Religion is at least as deserving of protection as skin color is. All you out there waving flags saying a new wave of runaway discrimination is sweeping the land are ignoring many many facts to reach that conclusion. Look at the lists of states and communities where this is already law, is there any more discrimination than before? Nope. So since this REALLY isn't about stopping a new surge of discrimination what is this about? Maybe this is really about wanting religion torn down.

Christianity isn't under attack in the US. Other than not being allowed to set the rules as much as they used to.

I know it's fashionable for Christians to think they're persecuted, but it's also nonsense. Christians are still easily the dominant religion in the country. If anything, they're on the advance.

Or, from another angle, So that's why the Disciples of Christ are protesting the law, they want to tear down religion.


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Aranna wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
And once again I ask... Why should this particular rule be allowed to go against the law? There are many examples of acts condoned by the bible that would not only be ilegal, but also considered hedious by any sane person in thos age...
Are you picking and choosing your Laws? This IS now the law in many areas. I suppose if one law is in conflict with another law it is up to the high courts to decide the issue. Although I can't imagine any judge taking racism seriously.

But it's easy to image a judge taking homophobia seriously. Because that's how he interprets the Bible.

And that's the basic problem with this approach to religious freedom laws. Originally the federal version and other state versions were used to keep the government from banning religious practices - keeping people from practicing their religion.

Now they're being abused to permit people to use religion to discriminate.


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Race is protected from discrimination on the federal level. Sexual orientation is not.

I know. Isn't it horrible how the Federal Government oppresses people for their religious beliefs?


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Aranna wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Aranna wrote:
littlehewy wrote:
Why should it be illegal to discriminate against someone of a different skin colour, but legal to do the same on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification?
The religious reasoning is obvious. Nowhere in the Bible does it say being black (or any other race) is being sinful against God. It does actually say that about Gays. I am not saying I agree with refusing gays service. But one of the core principles of the nation is freedom to practice your religion. All this law does is keep that ideal safe. It is a good law. Let public outrage work against the tiny few who would take advantage of the law to actually discriminate. I trust that good will win in the end.
You realize there are other religions than Christianity, right?

There are several denominations of Christianity who believe the Bible does not say LGBT relations are a sin. Even Roman Catholicism doesn't believe being LGBT is a sin (only acting on it).

---

Roman Catholicism believes that only an annulment or the death of your spouse ends a marriage. So, outside of a Roman Catholic religious ceremony, why should Roman Catholics who own businesses be allowed to refuse people services or goods for being divorced?

Oook? Why would anyone who is from a denomination OR religion that doesn't believe LGBT is sinful have any reason to deny a gay service?! As for Roman Catholics denying service to divorced people... ok that is their right. But considering how many marriages end in divorce they may be turning away a lot of customers. If they can stay in business then whatever... it doesn't hurt anyone. If I ever get divorced I will shop elsewhere no big deal (other than the brief annoyance at having to go to a better competitor). Heck my b+#@~ing about it to just my friends would probably cost them 8 more customers (based on a Pepsi Co. study) and possibly many many more if I take it to social media.

Obviously they wouldn't. The point was "It says so in the Bible" is disputed. There are sects that believe blacks are a lesser race and purer races shouldn't marry them. There are sects that believe women should never be in a position of authority over men. All of them think it "says so in the Bible". And that's just looking at Christianity. Other religions have their own texts and dogmas and schisms and theological disputes.

Personally, I think it's all nonsense. What I don't want and what the religious shouldn't want is for the courts to be determining what is valid religious doctrine and what isn't.

As for the Catholics, you may not have a choice but to do business with them. Roman Catholic hospitals are common and in an emergency you might wind up at one unintentionally. They already try to claim exemptions from rules about offering "morning after" pills to rape victims, for example.


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Aranna wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

The purpose of the law is twofold: to override and eliminate the laws passed by individual counties and municipalities in Indiana that have added sexual orientation as a protected class on which basis it is illegal to discriminate; and to make a political statement that gays are bad mmmkay.

All these people arguing that businesses should have the right to discriminate: I'm guessing you've never been discriminated against for your race, sexual orientation, or religion. It's not just a matter of "oh well, whatever". It's really dehumanizing.

That is not the purpose of the law, someone already explained the history of the law, stop trying to be trollish.

And since you asked I face sexism all the time, and occasionally attacks on my religion as well. If you want to factionalize the country into protected groups fine but don't complain when religion gets protected as well.

Religion has long been protected (more or less and sometimes in name only).

This is different. This isn't protecting the right to practice your religion, which we all agree needs protection. That's what the federal law was intended to do and was until recently used for.
This is protecting the right of the majority to discriminate against others in the name of religion. I'm a lot less happy about that.


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pH unbalanced wrote:
Gigigidge wrote:

In response to earlier comments about how this law won't affect critical things like receiving health care, this:

http://www.indystar.com/story/behind-closed-doors/2015/03/09/eskenazi-healt h-opposes-religious-freedom-bill/24502571/

No, this isn't the super-secret-squirrel assessment delineating in detail how the law will force hospitals to leave gay people to die in dark corners of waiting rooms just because they are gay. But maybe, just maybe, the certainty that some people have that this law will have "no effect" on critical services is a just a bit premature...

And when you start talking about religious objections to medical treatments, transfolk immediately know how that's going to affect them. Because those difficulties aren't hypothetical at all -- they're longstanding and ongoing. (Though much better than they were ten years ago.)

Not to mention things like pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control or PlanB. In some cases also refusing to transfer the prescription elsewhere, meaning the woman has to go back to her doctor.

Or hospitals refusing to provide (or even mention) morning after pills to rape victims. In some cases, where the victim isn't able to leave the hospital due to injuries/trauma.

Because religious freedom.


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Kysune wrote:

Hobby Lobby doesn't refuse LGBT's from shopping at their store. Chick-fil-A doesn't either, they actually went out and gave free food and drinks to the LGBT's that were protesting against them right outside their store.

The issue is that for Christians, and I suspect Muslims, that being of a "priest hood" such as Pastor, Minister, Bishop, Reverend, whatever and being FORCED to marry someone that is against their religious code/morals is wrong. You're forcing them to desecrate their religion else you sue to force them to quit serving in the capacity that they were within their religion.

To get really blunt here: It's against Christian morals for a pastor to marry two individuals other than 1 man and 1 woman before God. Marriage is a sacred act between two individuals and within a church setting is done before the Christian/Jewish God. If someone wants married they should find a place that supports their personal beliefs, not force a place that has contradictory beliefs to be forced to "condone" their decision.

It's not against Christian morals to feed or provide people a place to sleep or employ someone that is of another religion or is LGBT. If a company is extending this beyond same sex marriage services then they are just being asshats, like Westboro Baptist and should simply be boycotted and they'll die out over time.

1) No one is forcing clergy to marry gays. That's explicit in every bit of legislation. In much the same way as religious officials before same sex marriage was legal anywhere in the US were not forced to perform marriages for divorcees or for people outside their religion or for anyone other marriage that violated their religion's rules in whatever way.

That's not changing. That's not under debate.
You can bring it up as a slippery slope argument if you want, but not as the issue at hand in the gay marriage debate or this law.

2) With this post I think I see the fundamental problem with your approach: You think there is a set of Christian morals that applies here. There isn't. Many Christian churches have no problem with gay marriage. At least one mainstream Protestant denomination is protesting this law. Others, as I suggested earlier, much larger and more influential than Phelp's scam church, are far more bigoted than you seem to think and justify that bigotry with theology.
There are Christians, and not just a tiny minority, who think it's against Christian morals to feed or provide people a place to sleep or employ someone that is of another religion or is LGBT. This law gives them cover. You can argue that it's not really against real Christian morals, but that's a scary legal argument to make, since it requires allowing the courts and government to decide what Christian morals are.


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Kysune wrote:
EDIT: The only people that would refuse LGBT's a place to sleep or food are the Westboro Baptist and they are a sad display of what an actual Christian is. Some (not saying all) small/private Muslim stores/hotels might also....but why would you be staying at a Muslim store/hotel if you're not Muslim? I personally don't know of any major food chains or hotels in Indiana that are Muslim owned and operated.

Plenty of Christians far more mainstream than the Westboro Baptists kick their own children out of the house when they find out they're gay. Much easier to not let strangers stay at your hotel.


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Yuugasa wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Take it as you will, thejeff... But that study honestly doesn't seem very accurate or unbiased. I don't see how it could not be.

That's a real limitation of studies that rely on what people's impressions. If a scientist said to the participants something like "watch more porn, tell me if you notice any negative effects", how do you know it was an actual increase in negative behaviors rather than an increased in observed/imagined behavior? I doubt the scientists kept tables on the sex life of the participants.

We see this kind of (often unconscious) bias all the time.

It is kinda hard to judge a study without knowing much about it though.

Nah, it's easy. You just judge it by whether it gives the results you want.

If it doesn't, you rely on your gut feelings and anecdotes you've heard.
The study might well be flawed. Everything that doesn't even reach that standard certainly is.


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From that same story, the Disciples of Christ (which seems to be a mainline Protestant group) is also threatening to cancel a convention in Indianapolis. It's good to see religious groups on the right side. Sometimes it's easy to forget amongst all the grarr of the crazy ones.


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Krensky wrote:
But the abstract doesn't give a conclusion. It doesn't even say what the relationship is.

Seriously?

Is there anyway to read that than as "as a result of viewing pornography", "women reported more negative consequences, including lowered body image, partner critical of their body, increased pressure to perform acts seen in pornographic films, and less actual sex, while men reported being more critical of their partners' body and less interested in actual sex."

What more of a conclusion or relationship do you want?


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Freehold DM wrote:

We have to take you at your word on. Not that you are a liar, mind, but still. As it is a study that not even you- whose argument hinges upon it- can not access, taking me to task for a statement based on equal inaccessibility(mine doesn't even exist!) is a bit much. Moreover,to slave it to an accusation of male privilege is where it goes from a bit much to the absurd. I had already pointed out that one does not (and indeed, for safetys sake alone should not) say "yes" each time they are propositioned, and took issue specifically with how the argument itself was made, as to me, it was based on an assumption and (as later revealed) memory, not that refusing to pay for an expensive dinner and refusing sex are the same thing.

That said, in those, and indeed every civilized conversation involving anything, ANY AND ALL refusal should be accepted by all parties, albeit sometimes with a heavy heart and disappointment.

That's about it from me.

"Should" perhaps. In real life, in even the most innocuous of contexts, it isn't. Everyone has been persuaded to do things they at first refused and persuaded others to do things they refused at first. Often, when they finally agreed, it all worked out well.

Hell, I've been persuaded to try sexual things I wasn't interested in at first. Some I never came back to. Others I enjoyed.

It's not that simple and there's a fine but real line between legitimate persuasion and unacceptable pressure. It's a line that's easy to cross in the heat of the moment. That it sometimes does work out makes it even easier.

Complicating all of this is the old cultural tradition that the girl is supposed to resist and not give in too easily even when she wants to.


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Old Zathras wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Or Indy has been good to Paizo despite trying (instead of succeeding) to kill Cosmo.

Yes, Zathras understand:

Babylon 5 wrote:
The Shadows believe that for a race to evolve into their full potential, they must do so through a cycle of chaos; growth through pain and struggle, conflict and war. Weak races die. Strong races are made even stronger. With this they developed their First Principles: chaos through warfare; evolution through bloodshed; perfection through victory.
Zathras recommends conventioneers and Cosmo's co-workers keep eyes trained to see if Mr. Morden or other minions show up to receive Cosmo's orders.

"What do you want?"


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Krensky wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

I posted a peer-reviewed scientific paper that disagrees with you on this very topic in this very thread.

Do you have any thing to backup your claims or is it just a gut feeling?

Tell me... What do you think is more likely? That those people were (consciously or not) speaking what matches their spiritual beliefs and whatxthey thought the scientists wanted to hear... Or that they actually measured how much satisfaction they felt and how judgemental their partners were?
"Bah. My gut feelings and anecdotes refute your peer-reviewed science."
While tangential to the study in question, assuming it's the posted comments i think it is, there have been a number of studies that demonstrate that what people say turns them on is the opposite of what actually does. Men and women, although my admittedly at times flawed memory is telling me that it's more prevalent with women.

But I suspect the peer reviewed study is more likely to take that into account than anecdotes from random teens.


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Lemmy wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

I still find it funny how the "but it influences people!" crowd never seem to inude themselves in their claims... Nope. It's always everyone else who is too stupid to separate fantasy from reality. "Porn influences people negatively... Not me, because I'm Oh-So-Enlightned, but everyone else, because they are obviously not nearly as smart as my brilliant self!".

Can we stop assuming that people are stupid? They aren't. Most of them might be uncultured, but they aren't stupid. 99% of the world can (and does) tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

I'm so f!@@ing tired of this holier-than-thou atittude...Saying porn causes body image issues and sets unrealistic expectations about sex is like saying The Matrix sets unrealistic expectations for learning kung fu and makes young martial artists feel bad about themselves because they don't look like Hollywood stars and can't dodge bullets!

And if are going to mention Japan, let's remember that even though rape is a very common theme in Japanese pornography, it's one of the nations with the lowest number of actual occurences of the crime in the world.

I posted a peer-reviewed scientific paper that disagrees with you on this very topic in this very thread.

Do you have any thing to backup your claims or is it just a gut feeling?

Tell me... What do you think is more likely? That those people were (consciously or not) speaking what matches their spiritual beliefs and whatxthey thought the scientists wanted to hear... Or that they actually measured how much satisfaction they felt and how judgemental their partners were?

"Bah. My gut feelings and anecdotes refute your peer-reviewed science."


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LazarX wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
I don't see anything wrong with rape fantasies. Humans fantasize about all sorts of thing that we would hate to experience IRL. Just see how many people are excited about the idea of a zombie apocalypse. I doubt any significant number of them would actually enjoy losing their families and friends to undead cannibals..
I suspect the main appeal is the total destruction of civil authority. You can pretty much do whatever you want if you're strong enough, despite all the negative connotations of the situation, it's a pretty strong power fantasy. In fact many of the antagonists, and quite a few of the protagonists are people who lose themselves into that fantasy.

They're fairly common for women as well. (See half the Harlequin romance line.) There the theory is not that women actually want to be raped, but that the rape fantasy removes the guilt they've been taught they should feel for wanting sex and lets them indulge with responsibility.

Similarly for men, it may not be so much the power fantasy, but the "She'd really love it if she just gave me the chance" fantasy. At least for those variations where the women in the fantasy does respond.

Of course, the same line of thinking is seen in real rapist defenses "You could tell she wanted it". Whether the connection is causal or not is a thornier question.


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Snuggles: Destroyer of Worlds wrote:
Mayor Ballard of Indianapolis has just come out decrying this bill and arguing against it in a letter to Gov. Pence. So not every politician in my state (or even every republican) is an idiot seeking to enact harmful bills that are designed to fracture society instead of bringing it together. Maybe there is hope yet?

Not surprising, since the main effect of the law is to negate laws Indianapolis (and other cities) have passed to protect people.


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Lemmy wrote:

I still find it funny how the "but it influences people!" crowd never seem to inude themselves in their claims... Nope. It's always everyone else who is too stupid to separate fantasy from reality. "Porn influences people negatively... Not me, because I'm Oh-So-Enlightned, but everyone else, because they are obviously not nearly as smart as my brilliant self!".

Can we stop assuming that people are stupid? They aren't. Most of them might be uncultured, but they aren't stupid. 99% of the world can (and does) tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

I'm so f~&!ing tired of this holier-than-thou atittude...Saying porn causes body image issues and sets unrealistic expectations about sex is like saying The Matrix sets unrealistic expectations for learning kung fu and makes young martial artists feel bad about themselves because they don't look like Hollywood stars and can't dodge bullets!

And if are going to mention Japan, let's remember that even though rape is a very common theme in Japanese pornography, it's one of the nations with the lowest number of actual occurences of the crime in the world.

I still find it funny how the "no influence" crowd pretends everything is binary: either porn causes rape, which is easily disproven, or it has no influence at all. Art and culture influence people. Porn is part of that. As are video games and comic books and everything else. It's nowhere near as simple as "can't tell fantasy from reality" and thinking you're living inside the porn movie. But that doesn't mean there's no influence in how you think about sex or women or what your wants or expectations are.

And I've never said I was immune. Nor do I recall anyone else in this thread or others on similar subjects saying that.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Uh...either I'm totally misunderstanding Divinitus or Axolotl is completely misreading his statements in the most obtuse possible way.

While Divinitus did say that he thought hospitals should be required to take patients he justified that by saying "because those are pretty much essential for homeostasis these days due to a lack of medical knowledge". He then did advocate teaching everyone trauma surgery in place of useless stuff like geometry and said making your own medications was easier than you think.

To me that implies that if medical knowledge was more widely known, if his suggestions were implemented, he'd have no problem with hospitals being allowed to turn people away for being the wrong (color/gender/religion/orientation/etc).

Admittedly we're mostly poking fun at the concept because the idea that we should all just learn medicine and not need hospitals is so insane.


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MeanDM wrote:
The Fox wrote:

Clearly a lot of people here are unfamiliar with the history of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S.

Have you wondered where all of those "Whites Only" signs have gone? It wasn't the so-called free markets. It was the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Actually it was the Civil Rights Act which was found Constitutional by reference to The Commerce Clause.

That said, it is interesting how many of the arguments against equal treatment for LGBT folks are the same as those used in opposition to equal rights for African Anericans in the 1960s. Including but not limited to religious claims....

Churches that proudly support unequal rights for LGBT folks based on religion would be aghast at using it to deny people of other colors. What changed was 50 years of normalization after the Civil Rights Act.

I suspect we will need Federal Legislation to address this as well.

Of course, 50 years ago some of those same churches proudly supported unequal rights for black folks based on religion.


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pres man wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I don't think I understand you. It kinda does need to be "all or none", since that's what this bill is doing. The bill does not give any "exceptions" like the one you list. All that matters is it allows businesses to ban certain groups on "religious grounds".
Understand this bill is an overreaction to an overreaction.

If those uppity gays hadn't demanded to be treated like normal people we wouldn't have needed to pass laws letting us discriminate against them. We could have just continued doing so without any new laws.


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Yuugasa wrote:

Looking at various studies about pornography. There is one that shows men consume more pornography than women.

Really?

In other news men scratch their balls more often than women do.

Sometimes it's actually useful to confirm what common wisdom tells us. Sometimes it isn't actually true.


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Divinitus wrote:

While I disagree with the notion that anyone should be refused a certain service, in most cases at least, I do believe that business owners are entitled to refuse service to whoever they want. Whether or not it is something of a d*** move is beside the point, because if a person builds up a business and has to pay the exorbitant taxes that entails both for their business AND the income they make off of it, I believe they have the right to run it as they wish.

That said, I believe that certain provisions need to be made in the bill where places such as hospitals and grocery stores cannot refuse service, because those are pretty much essential for ve these days due to a lack of medical knowledge and knowing how to grow one's own food supply.

All in all, I think anyone refusing service to anyone else for anything but an actual religious service is somewhat of a d*** move, but I also think that it is their prerogative one way or the other, so long as it does not endanger another person.

It is not a government's place to regulate such a thing, whether on a state or federal level. America IS supposed to be a land of freedom, after all.

And if that freedom means that certain people are free to live in poverty because others won't hire them or only live in the bad part of town because people elsewhere won't sell or rent to them or all the other abuse that we've seen happen when the government doesn't interfere with your precious "freedom" to discriminate, that's just the price they have to pay. And of course they'll pay it, not us.

I refer you again to the Negro Motorist's Green Book, guiding black travelers to the rare places they could actually stay and get service traveling in Jim Crow America. This is the result of your freedom.

Or look into redlining in the housing and rental industry in the years following Jim Crow. Up until at least the recent past in subtler forms.

It's one thing when it's the occasional merchant who won't do business with you. That's not a big deal, just frustrating and demeaning. When it's more systematic, it's devastating.

And really? "due to a lack of medical knowledge and knowing how to grow one's own food supply"? You don't need a hospital due to a lack of medical knowledge. All the medical knowledge in the world doesn't help you do self surgery or whip up your own prescription meds. Even doctors go to the hospital when they need to.
Same with food, it's not that people don't know how to grow food, though that might be true. Farming is full time work and requires land. It's far more efficient to not have everyone doing their own subsistence agriculture.


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Tarondor wrote:

The problem with the law is that it does not accomplish what it set out to do (we gamers could teach them a thing or two about RAI and RAW). Also because it attempts to codify a freedom we already had, thus implying that freedoms not so codified are not permitted.

The law is a bad one because, as written, it legalizes behavior we have as a society already decided is not going to be permissible (e.g., not seating people at a lunch counter (or hotel or movie theater or drinking fountain) because of their race

The law was -intended- to protect this latter sort of behavior. To allow business owners to refuse to engage in certain activities with -anyone- even if they engage in a similar activity (like making cakes with a bride and groom on them).
<snip>
So in part this is down to a very poor choice of broadly-written words and in part this is also down to a split in the society over the value of personal property rights versus the equal protection of the law.

I think that a more carefully written law would fare better. Although I support what I believe was the intention (RAI) of this law, I abhor the law as written and would oppose it if it came up in my state.

I think you're wrong about the intent. I think the intent is pretty clearly to allow open discrimination against gays, not just the kind of examples you approve of.

The effects of the law as written are obvious and there has been the opportunity to do as you suggested and narrow it. As far as I can tell, the legislature and the governor want the broad law.


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Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
Businesses exist to make money. Discrimination cost money (less revenue, higher cost). The law will be self-corrected in time via one force or another.

Unless discrimination is popular and enough people seek out the discriminating businesses to avoid the icky gays. If that makes up for the lost business, then it can be self-perpetuating.

If it more than makes up for the lost business, even business owners who aren't prejudiced may climb on the bandwagon in order to get more customers.

This was how business worked back in the Jim Crow days. Cater to the black customers and lose your white customers.

The libertarian argument that the market automatically corrects for prejudice has been proven wrong.

Now, it may well be that the pendulum has swung far enough that there aren't enough prejudiced people to make up for loss of business in this case. I hope so.

Of course, major businesses like GenCon leaving town is the same principle as you walking past the restaurant, just on a larger scale.


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captain yesterday wrote:


You. Me. After School. On the basketball court.
*no fists* we're handling this old school, marbles and f!%#ing jacks!

Does Jack have any say in this?


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The Fox wrote:
Nicos wrote:
The Fox wrote:


Nope. State-sanctioned discrimination is antithetical to American values.

It is?, I mean, you have a governor trying to make that a law, and I guess some people that voted for him think like him.

Not trying to say that State-sanctioned discrimination is an American value, but that the idea of a set of values that apply to a nation is a myth.

If only we had some collection of documents that codified our values.

If only that collection of documents hadn't specifically allowed discrimination in its original form. If only legal discrimination hadn't continued for the next hundred even after the document was changed to forbid it. Nor, of course, does that document to this day say anything about discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Are American values better revealed by our formal documents? Or by our actions?


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Zhangar wrote:

Here's the actual bill.

Paizo's stance should be pretty easy to figure out, without them saying anything - as thejeff already noted, Paizo has various LGBTQ people in their staff. I can't imagine Paizo would approve of any legislation that makes a state less welcoming to its employees.

That being said, it's a weird law. Whether it's going to amount to anything will depend on how the courts interpret "substantial burden." And what constitutes the "least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest."

I like the bit where they specifically exempt any employee from making use of the law against their employer. The employee's religious freedom is unimportant, of course.


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Irontruth wrote:
DualJay wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

You want to strip out protections for people who are discriminated against.

For example, in the 50's and 60's, you would be siding with the businesses that refused to allow blacks to eat there.

Is that really where you want to stand on this issue?

This is a straw man. You do not know where I would stand on the issue of discrimination against African-Americans in the 50s and 60s, as the issues are not directly equivalent, no matter how much one may treat like they are.

You are trying to evoke an emotional reaction, which is not suitable for a conversation that should be thoroughly rational.

And here's a key point: People can be wrong. I support their right to be wrong. I do not support being wrong. They are free to be wrong, but that does not make wrongness right. Do I make myself sufficiently clear?

No, they are equivalent. You are supporting a legalized form of discrimination, saying that businesses can choose to refuse anyone they want based on religious reasons. If you don't remember, there were lunch counter sit-ins at private businesses that refused to serve African-Americans.

Or look back to the Grren Book, which was a guide to let black travelers know where they would be welcome and where'd they be turned away. Vital to know where you could stay for the night or find a restaurant that would serve you or get your car fixed if necessary.

Of course, libertarians often think that's fine. Just private businesses making private decisions. No business of the government.

There have been similar guides for LGBTQ people, but those have generally been for places that actually cater to open LGBTQ behavior - gay bars and the like, since LGBTQ people can pass if necessary. As long as you hide what you are, you won't have trouble finding food or a place to stay.


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wraithstrike wrote:
If I was Paizo I would not say anything. As a company it is sometimes best to stay out of fights that don't require you to speak up. Since Gencon is very important for RPG companies going against them would be a bad business decision, and in this case it would make Paizo look "fake" since they have openly had homosexual characters in AP's. IIRC they may have had a transexual character also. Not looking genuine is never good. <---- They don't need a PR person to figure that out

They have had a transexual character. They also have various LGBTQ people working there. I can not imagine they wouldn't back GenCon on this.

Whether they feel the need to make a separate statement in support or not is a different question of course.


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Leaving the sexting/child porn argument aside for the nonce, how does the original question change if we consider just written or drawn pornography? So that there isn't the question of exploitation or harm in the creation of the stuff.


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Buri Reborn wrote:
In the US, though, many "children" (read: minors) can consent. Age of consent laws vary from state to state. It is not, in fact, a universal 18 year old thing. Not all states with under 18 consent laws have Romeo laws either. Plainly, in some states a 16 year old can hook up with a 40 year old, and it's perfectly legal. The same is true in Canada, though, I don't know of consent laws are different from province to province. However, as a minor, they still can't enter into contracts so they couldn't form a business.

But, as I understand it, the laws regarding pornography are federal, or at least consistent. You may be able to legally consent to sex under 18 (or 16 or even younger, depending on your partner and the state laws), but you can't legally take pictures of it. Doing so, even for your private use is child pornography and can get you in real serious trouble.


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Should child pornography be allowed if the child consents? I understand not punishing children to the same degree as an adult but no punishment seems like it would open a very big loophole.

Well, I don't think it's a matter of allowing child porn if the child consents. A good part of the point is that children can't consent. A child could not, for example, consent to make a porn video for an adult to sell for profit.

A child would be, and I believe should be, stopped from producing commercial porn, even on their own initiative - an underage minor running a webcam site for example.

OTOH, the laws are there to protect children from exploitation. It seems entirely wrong to bring the whole weight of that law down on the person they're supposed to be protecting.

Even more so, if it isn't actually "pornography" in any commercial sense, but just a naked selfie, not widely (or only unintentionally widely) distributed.


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Tacticslion wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Okay... it seems it's so common that children get sex offender status due to sexting (!!!)
Really? How many times has it happened?

I, too, am horrified and fascinated. What are the statistics about this? I mean, bypassing juvenile delinquency straight to sex offender for sexting?

I'd be very morbidly fascinated to see statistics.

I don't have statistics, but from what I can tell it's common enough that it's hard to find a specific case, but still pretty damn rare. As in dozens or even hundreds of cases, but not a noticeable percentage of the population.

The problem is there's no legal way to handle it short of full sex offender treatment. Either you prosecute for child porn or you don't prosecute. Not prosecuting is what probably happens most of the time.

Might also plea to something else to get the charges reduced. Hard to say, since a lot of that would probably be sealed as juvenile and wouldn't show in any stats we could find.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
When nobody cares, because shiny laws everyone has to respect.

What? I don't think anyone is saying the law was "correct" - I think we're in agreement that she had something terrible done to her.

Instead, what I'm saying, is that what happened clearly violated the intent.

NO ONE could have guessed at the social, technological, and cultural change that would have occurred in the last ten years, much less whenever those things were written (at least here in the 'States).

Yes, she should be cleared of charges. Done, agreed. This is literally what we're saying - in the same way GMs are encouraged to change the rules to fit the situation that they are in, the legal teams are expected (even needed) to figure out whether the law is supposed to apply in this situation or not.

It sounds like a situation where the law in question should come under review, be sent up for revision, and altered. It makes sense. That's what is supposed to happen when a law is written that doesn't take into account change. Most don't - they can't - because the writers simply couldn't predict the future or see outside of the prevailing cultural ideals accurately enough.

As I suggested above, blame the prosecutor. At least in the US cases, he has discretion to not bring charges in any such cases - and I suspect the vast majority never do.

On the larger scale, the question is how to change the laws to avoid these cases - both in how to word the new laws without opening other loopholes, in either direction and how to get lawmakers to pass them without losing their jobs for being "soft child pornographers". The attack ads practically write themselves.


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Sissyl wrote:

Oh, and by the way, don't defend the s*$& laws in the area to me. Do it to the girl who got her life ruined for it. I hear she'll be out of prison in some ten years now. Of course, then there's the sex offender registration to consider... Explain how what was done to her wasn't malicious, but meant to protect, okay?

HRMPH. I am getting too worked up over this. I hate it when people are discarded. When nobody cares, because shiny laws everyone has to respect. When the police shot someone who happened to be psychotic and they couldn't be bothered to try to calm things down and shooting was easier. When... Blah.

Signing off this discussion. Out of respect for these boards and the moderation staff.

Before you go, do you have a reference for the case you're talking about? I just want to see what the reaction was like. If there was any effort to change the law or anything like that.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm not defending the law. It's s##*. I just don't think it was malicious s@~!. Unintended consequences, IMO.


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Sissyl wrote:
Side effect? Considering how easy it would have been to put in an exception, it's nothing of the kind. The only price for that exception would have been giving kids the right to take photos of themselves... but that was exactly what they wanted to discourage. A few ruined lives is a very small price to pay for PROTECTING THE CHILDREN (tm).

A) I suspect the vast majority of legislators, especially a couple decades or more ago, who are overwhelmingly older men, even farther behind the times technologically, never even stopped to consider that young girls would take dirty pictures of themselves. That's something perverts do, not little girls. And even if they did, the laws are about stopping child pornographers. How would some kid taking a couple pictures even come up?

- There was also a thing (back in the 80s?) about parents being busted for naked baby pictures of their kids. Bathtime and the like. I doubt that was something the legislators were trying to discourage, but it violated the letter of the law.

B) It's not that simple. Okay, so we amend the law to say "The preceding penalties do not apply if the minor depicted took the picture."
Excellent, now we can have the girl take the pictures themselves and then sell them. As long as they're running the webcam, it's fine right?

You also probably don't want to criminalize kids taking pictures of themselves with their partners, so you've got to write that in somehow, without leaving any loopholes.


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Sissyl wrote:
It doesn't matter one whit, thejeff. Nothing like this comes out of a law that is anywhere near sane. Prosecutorial discretion??? If that is necessary to justify such a law's existence, the law is utterly and completely corrupt. Once laws get made that start to ruin people's lives WHEN WORKING AS INTENDED, because there is a Higher Purpose (tm) to that law, society borked out a while ago. Those writing such a law are morons or a$*&~!$s, and sadly also those who take it upon themselves to defend such a law. Personally, I would prefer it if laws were not made by complete and utter morons, or despicable, evil crusaders.

The laws are broken and need to be changed, don't get me wrong.

But the laws are generally old enough that the people writing them weren't morons or evil, they just didn't see the future and realize how easy it would be for kids to get screwed by the laws that were supposed to protect them.


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Sissyl wrote:
The UK case had a 17 year old girl be punished and registered as a sex offender for pictures of herself THAT SHE HAD IN HER OWN MOBILE PHONE... Talk about insanity when a law has that kind of result. To my thinking, a society that even comes close to accepting such vomit is completely deranged. Cheers.

Again, it's the result of laws written never even imagining such a situation. I don't know the UK legal system well enough, but in the US, that's where the much maligned prosecutorial discretion is supposed to come in to play. And honestly, probably does in the vast majority of cases - you know, the ones we never hear about.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Yuugasa wrote:
Just a Guess wrote:

But something else: something I think is totally silly and wrong is if minor girls make nude pictures of themselves to sue them for child pornography.
That law is meant to protect kids, not to turn them into criminals.
In the UK that happened. A girl took pictures of herself and 'distributed'them. For that she was sued for distributing child pornography.

A similar case happened in the U.S., a girl was treated like a pedophile for distributing naked photos of herself.

Ok...I guess she was a pedophile, in the same way we have all inappropriately touched a minor by masturbating when we were thirteen...

I would argue that she should know better than to send it to someone who is not a minor, or should. It's a fast track to prison for that individual.

"Know better" is one thing. 10 years and permanent sex offender status is another. And in at least some cases, it wasn't sent to an adult, but to a boyfriend of the same age - then maybe found on his phone or maliciously spread after a fight.

None of this is new in concept. I'll bet kids were giving their lovers nude pics as soon as polaroids came out, but the worst that could happen then was someone posted it on the bulletin board at school. Now it can be copied to everyone.

OTOH, in my rules lawyer mode, send nude pictures of yourself to an enemy and watch them go to prison.

Problem is that the current laws aren't designed to handle the current ease of taking and distributing pictures - they're designed to punish adults who are abusing kids and profiting off it, from back when that had to be a fairly complicated set up.


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thegreenteagamer wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

Let's see, in one case, someone sells sex to someone else. In the other, someone performs for money, which is then copied and sold on.

No, not the same thing. But many of the same stigmata.

Both take money to perform sex. The only literal difference is whether a camera is involved or not. The sex is real in either case.

You're forgetting THE most important difference as far as legality goes.

One can be taxed.

That discrepancy only exists because of the difference in legality, and therefore is not a justification for said difference in legality. Legal prostitution is taxed. Illegal filming of pornography is not taxed.

I'm not even sure that's true.

Income from illegal activities only isn't taxed because it isn't declared. Which is tax evasion and illegal in itself.
Ask Al Capone.


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Death_Keeper wrote:

Okay, I'm sorry to come in on a tangent, but I do think this should be addressed.

Are Undead Evil
Yes... But No.

The Undead hunger eternally in Golarion, and so if they are raised and released, the necromancer would be to blame. Such as the digging the ditch, and letting it wander off scenario mentioned above...

The act of disinterring a corpse, while gruesome and a social stigma, I think is not evil, (No more evil than putting the body there through axe-work or swordplay) and using magic to make a skeletal worker/warrior is (to me) no different than summoning a monster to do the work for you (without a time limit).

I can show that this isn't causing the soul any harm, in some circumstances.

circumstance 1

An adventurer is slaughtered, and the team cannot recover all of the body, so they grab a piece, a rib for example. Rushing back to the temple the cleric meditates and casts Resurrection on the deceased. The adventurer is restored to life.

The rest of the body becomes animated as the big bad necromancer is cleaning his slaughterhouse.

Does the adventurer all of a sudden start screaming in agony as his soul is pulled from his new living body back into his old decaying corpse to serve as the energy that makes it walk? No. The adventurer will feel violated when he finds out that his old body is wandering around being a pack mule, but his soul is not in the equation.

circumstance 2

There is no rule stating /human/ corpses are the only ones that may be animated with the animate dead spell. So if I kill a chicken, and eat it, then I reanimate its skeleton to carry something (a scroll or letter) to one of my teammates. It will go straight there and straight back, and then I will destroy it. Is that evil? The soul of the chicken will not be held in limbo for all of eternity, because it is animated by /NEGATIVE ENERGY/ which is what the spell states, not the soul of the chicken... which was too weak to light a match, its animated by the spell which created it....

Great. And if you want to play by those house rules, no one outside of your group is going to complain.

At the same time, you're not going to prove that Paizo is wrong about the nature of necromancy and the undead in the fictional system and world they made up. They can't be wrong, they made it up. You don't have to like it or agree with it, but that's the way it is.

Personally, I can go either way. I can accept that there's nothing inherently wrong with creating undead or I can accept that such magic is inherently evil. Both are common themes in fiction and legend, with the latter probably more prevalent.


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Tacticslion wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
this is a potentially ugly case of similar things not being the same.
Sissyl wrote:
You don't. You pay TWO (or more) people to have sex before the camera.

Oh, I see. It's totally different in that case.

I'll solicit one or more prostitutes for a friend of mine (and give him fifty bucks), and he'll solicit one or more prostitutes for me (and give me fifty bucks). There will be one or more cameras involved. To be careful, we'll make sure that there's not an accidental "overlap" in which he (or those I've solicited for him) engages with me or those solicited for me by him.

Voila~! Problems avoided. Yes? That would avoid the situation, correct?

Because that falls under me paying two or more people to have sex in front of a camera.

If that doesn't work, exactly, we'll set up a three-ring alliance (me -> my buddy -> and our mutual friend -> me) and just won't agree on how much we'll give the other person, keeping that part private, so it's not like we're just shoving the same $50 bill around at each other.

Maybe distribute the videos for profit or for free (gaining profit by ad revenue or however they're doing it now).

Wouldn't that sidestep the whole issue?

ShadowcatX wrote:

Sure, just make sure you actually research all the laws, like required testing, background checks, contracts for all those involved, follow discrimination lawsm and make sure your distribution method is safe, and make sure you pay all the taxes and fees. And don't forget to declare your "profits" on your taxes, ask Al Capone about that one.

My only real issue with either job though, and it is the same issue with both, is the trafficking angle.

Okay, so what about "amateur" stuff? Stuff done or published for free? At what point does it change? Where are the laws involved in those?

If the "studio" is small enough (i.e. one person plus actors), there are no methods for ensuring anti-discrimination principles, because it's...

Do you even have to distribute it?

Does actual porn become illegal prostitution if, after shooting, you decide not to use a scene? Assume perhaps one of the better companies, with something of a reputation to maintain, decides a particular scene wasn't up to their standards.

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