Shaper hypocrisy vs. Shaper tragedy (SPOILERS)

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AuthorTopic: Shaper hypocrisy vs. Shaper tragedy (SPOILERS)
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #150
It has always seemed clear to me that Drayks, Drakons, Gazers, and Serviles are the only really intelligent creations. Oh yeah, also Servant Minds. Battle Alphas and their kin also seem to be sentient, albeit with intelligences well below normal human. But I have always had the impression from the games that Vlish, Clawbugs, Glaahks, Fyoras, and so on are no smarter than, say, dogs.

I also have the idea that how a creation is produced must affect its mentality somehow. I find it hard to believe that a creation that I just made, crackle-POOF! out of thin air and personal essence, is really capable of independent thought. Whereas a Drayk that grew over months in a vat and then lived outside it for a while, or a Servile born to and raised by Servile parents, can evidently be quite comparable in mentality to a human.

So I have never had any moral qualms, apart from sentimentality, about absorbing my own creations or sending them into minefields, etc. To paraphrase Savage Ed: easy come, easy go.

But a 'real' Drayk or Servile, that to me seems a very different matter. You can have conversations with them. If my own creations started talking back to me, I would suddenly have to consider them more as teammates than as living tools.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Apprentice
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Profile #151
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I doubt you will find any other species with the ability to ponder and analyze the universe around them which is huge in being self-aware.
This is impossible to know because we can't read the mind of another human being, let alone a dolphin. Their entire mind may run along the lines "Get more fish!!" or they may have complex and abstract thoughts like "I wonder if that fish will taste better than the last one I had. Hmm." We can train them to do tricks or respond how we want for a piece of fish, but we can't test them for their innermost thoughts since there's a huge communication barrier between dolphins and humans, or even chimpanzees and humans. For example, say you learn rudimentary Japanese for a trip over the summer. You know all the basic conversational questions and answers, but you couldn't fully express your thoughts to a native Japanese speaker. If you got stuck on a thought or idea and had to think of how to express it, you might by force of habit say it in English or try to cobble something out of broken Japanese, but to a native speaker you'd only be saying nonsensical incoherent gibberish. Likewise, if they tried to communicate beyond the basic dialog you learned, you'd have no idea what they were saying. Until we find a way to scientifically prove humans and only humans can think abstractly about the world around them, it isn't safe to assume other species can or can't.

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Drakons can match humans in terms of intellect, right? So assuming that humans sympathize because of their intelligence, Drakons should have the capability as well.
They probably should, but most encounters with them in the game show that it's more likely that they don't.

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You say (at least, I hope you say; my reputation can't take another accusation that I'm misrepresenting things, much less gleefully) that Drakons, because they show no evidence of feeling empathy, must not be able to. But then, if you take capitalism to an extreme level with any hypothetical society, you get pretty much the same result; even if that society were hypothetically human. And if you oppress a group of humans (say, a race) and make them aware of their oppression, they will lose empathy for those who oppressed them. So in short, I blame Drakon greed (which becomes extreme capitalism) and oppression for their lack of symapthy.
The reason for drakon apathy for life isn't as important as determining whether or not it's an inherent quality of their species. Also, if they are as intelligent as you say, they should be able to distinguish betwee outsiders and shapers, and humans who have the power to be a threat to them and powerless, innocent beings that simply want to live their lives in peace. The G3 ending seems to imply they either killed humans indiscriminately when taking over Terrestria, or completely upheaved outsiders' way of life just to take out the Shapers. That includes women and children. I have a hard time seeing how either could be a threat to a 2 ton reptile, but apparently the Drakons did.

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I dispute the belief that, because they kill one of their own, they must be short on empathy. Watch this.
Even Shapers show enough regard for human life not to sacrifice it (at least intentionally) for the sake of an experiment or use outsiders as guinea pigs.

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Style 1) Well, that was its purpose. Drakons made it, they should have a right to decide how it lives and dies and even if it has to work for them in dangerous conditions. It may seem a little extreme, but they acted within their rights as creators.
This is the same justification a Shaper would use.

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Style 2) The only thing that suffered for its creation was the creation itself. Since the creation died, there is in effect nothing which is in pain for related reasons or remembers pain for related reasons.
So is this. If anything, this supports my argument that Drakons don't have any moral high ground against the Shapers, and are probably even more depraved since they will even experiment and sacrifice their own kind for their own ends. Whether or not they used willing volunteers is debatable. They enslave and abuse creations just as bad as the Shapers, and are willing to play those gullible and short sighted enough to ally themselves with them to their advantage. I doubt the drakons care about anything other than the drakons (and from their perspective, drayks are probably obsolete and expendable as well). It's highly unlikely that if or when they unlock godhood from their research with the Geneforge, they'd share the benefits with other creations and human outsiders. Their only goal is to make bigger, better, more powerful drakons. And since greed is an inherent part of their nature, I doubt they'd be into sharing the results.
Posts: 49 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 5814
Profile #152
I probably didn't make clear two or three things which I was doing. Style 1 was my attempt to mirror your beliefs and then use them to justify the death of a creation. Also, I was trying to show that the vast majority of Drakons if not all, though probably capable of feeling empathy, don't. Which would mean that if the situation didn't require it, you would have to avoid hunting them down and killing each on sight.

Style 2 was my explanation for how an individual capable of Shaping could manipulate and torture a life without being, in my opinion, morally bankrupt. Whether the argument is used by Shapers or Drakons doesn't matter as far as I can tell.

The reason I broke up my last arguments into Styles was to try to show that whether you look at it from a Loyalist point of view or my own personal view, creations which die soon afterward don't have to be treated well, which would mean that empathy is unnecessary. It's a bit more difficult to justify it from the majority's (in this thread) point of view, that any suffering is bad and should be avoided unless it prevents even more.

[ Thursday, August 10, 2006 09:08: Message edited by: This text ]

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon
Well, I'm at least pretty

Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #153
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For example, say you learn rudimentary Japanese for a trip over the summer. You know all the basic conversational questions and answers, but you couldn't fully express your thoughts to a native Japanese speaker.
Well, that means I have to learn my Japanese better, does it not? There is no inherent barrier, would I be willing to put in the effort to learn. To the best of my knowledge, no dolphin or ape society has developed writing as means to communicate and store history, if they can even comprehend history beyond their lifetime.

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Until we find a way to scientifically prove humans and only humans can think abstractly about the world around them, it isn't safe to assume other species can or can't.
You are aware we can't scientifically "prove" anything, right? It is impossible, at least in the forseeable future to read minds of animals. However, we can do experiments with animals to test certain things.

We know dolphins are very intelligent, giving themselves their own name and having a complex society as far as animals go. The experiments go on and are probably the closest to humans intellectually. However, we have yet to observe dolphin societies that have developed means to significantly alter their environments to improve their means of survival.

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Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Apprentice
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Well, that means I have to learn my Japanese better, does it not? There is no inherent barrier, would I be willing to put in the effort to learn. To the best of my knowledge, no dolphin or ape society has developed writing as means to communicate and store history, if they can even comprehend history beyond their lifetime.
The point was more you can't base ability to feel or the ability to express those feelings. The emotions of a human are pobably much more complicated than the emotions of a dog, or it could simply be that with our greater cognitive abilities, we can simply think about the emotions themselves and as a result we think our emotions are more complicated.

If something as simple as a cat, dog, or bird can come to understand love and kinship, and if shaped creations have the same rights as natural ones, then a fyora or roamer is deserving of the same affection and treatment we would give any other pet. Sure, dogs are used for law enforcement and combat purposes, and have been since ancient times. But we still have ethical regulations saying how they can and can't be employed in dangerous situations. A Vlish can't communicate directly with a human, but that doesn't mean we should treat it any less ethically than we would treat a natural animal, as long as they are obedient and non-threatening to the average human being.

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Originally written by This text:

I probably didn't make clear two or three things which I was doing. Style 1 was my attempt to mirror your beliefs and then use them to justify the death of a creation.
Okay, fair enough.

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Also, I was trying to show that the vast majority of Drakons if not all, though probably capable of feeling empathy, don't.
Okay, granted.

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Which would mean that if the situation didn't require it, you would have to avoid hunting them down and killing each on sight.
You lost me here. The 5 or 6% of "good" drakons don't outweigh the danger of the morally apathetic drakons, and due to their pride, it's unlikely the "good" drakons would sit idlely by and watch their brethren be killed off, nor would they agree to any proposed terms of peace with humans. They might agree to live in seclusion, but they wouldn't agree to stop making or researching geneforges and shaping dangerous creations like gazers.

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Style 2 was my explanation for how an individual capable of Shaping could manipulate and torture a life without being, in my opinion, morally bankrupt. Whether the argument is used by Shapers or Drakons doesn't matter as far as I can tell.
You really lost me here, since I can't see much difference between the way this argument is structured and the first one. Unless I'm reading something profoundly wrong, they're saying basically the same thing, more or less.

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The reason I broke up my last arguments into Styles was to try to show that whether you look at it from a Loyalist point of view or my own personal view, creations which die soon afterward don't have to be treated well, which would mean that empathy is unnecessary.
Now you've really lost me. If you were planning on killing the creation anyway, it's okay to kill it, because it was made to die anyway?

I could be understanding something terribly wrong, but that sounds a little circular to me. I can't see how longevity is an iportant factor in deciding whether to treat something humanely or not.
Posts: 49 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 7067
Profile #155
Savage, this is what I got from your (more recent) posts. Is that we should treat every living thing the same. But, because Drakons are murdering people they should be treated like murderers. And killing them is the only practical way of doing that.
Correct?
Or not?

[ Thursday, August 10, 2006 12:12: Message edited by: Major ]

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"I knocked him out, but I managed to hit the reply button before he fell down."-The person behind him.
Posts: 153 | Registered: Monday, April 24 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 5814
Profile #156
quote:
Originally written by Savage Ed Walcott:
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Which would mean that if the situation didn't require it, you would have to avoid hunting them down and killing each on sight.
You lost me here. The 5 or 6% of "good" drakons don't outweigh the danger of the morally apathetic drakons, and due to their pride, it's unlikely the "good" drakons would sit idlely by and watch their brethren be killed off, nor would they agree to any proposed terms of peace with humans. They might agree to live in seclusion, but they wouldn't agree to stop making or researching geneforges and shaping dangerous creations like gazers.

First of all, I accidentally left out an "all". I meant to say that the nasty Drakons should be exterminated and the good ones can roam free. However, by "good" I mean the ones who don't intend to harm humans.

There's no problem with Geneforges or dangerous creations; Drakons are more capable than humans in controlling them. It's just when they intend to destroy humanity using those tools that it becomes a problem. If a Drakon doesn't intend to harm humanity, I don't see why it has to be killed.
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Style 2 was my explanation for how an individual capable of Shaping could manipulate and torture a life without being, in my opinion, morally bankrupt. Whether the argument is used by Shapers or Drakons doesn't matter as far as I can tell.
You really lost me here, since I can't see much difference between the way this argument is structured and the first one. Unless I'm reading something profoundly wrong, they're saying basically the same thing, more or less.

They're leading the reader to the same conclusion, but from different points of view.
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The reason I broke up my last arguments into Styles was to try to show that whether you look at it from a Loyalist point of view or my own personal view, creations which die soon afterward don't have to be treated well, which would mean that empathy is unnecessary.
Now you've really lost me. If you were planning on killing the creation anyway, it's okay to kill it, because it was made to die anyway?

I could be understanding something terribly wrong, but that sounds a little circular to me. I can't see how longevity is an iportant factor in deciding whether to treat something humanely or not.
Once something dies, it no longer feels anything. So once it's dead the suffering it underwent no longer matters. It's only while that something is suffering or remembers suffering that there's a problem. As the amount of time that something suffers or remembers suffering before death increases, it becomes worse.

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Originally written by Kelandon
Well, I'm at least pretty

Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by ****:

Once something dies, it no longer feels anything. So once it's dead the suffering it underwent no longer matters. It's only while that something is suffering or remembers suffering that there's a problem. As the amount of time that something suffers or remembers suffering before death increases, it becomes worse.
Isn't that, if carried to its logical conclusion, an argument for exterminating all life on Earth?

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 5814
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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by ****:

Once something dies, it no longer feels anything. So once it's dead the suffering it underwent no longer matters. It's only while that something is suffering or remembers suffering that there's a problem. As the amount of time that something suffers or remembers suffering before death increases, it becomes worse.
Isn't that, if carried to its logical conclusion, an argument for exterminating all life on Earth?

Well, that depends on whether you think that the happiness you will experience should factor into the equation somehow.

If you believe what I posted, and also believe that happiness and pleasure can make up for suffering, then no, as long as you can have more fun than sadness, you're fine. And if you're in so much pain that the suffering outweighs your hapiness and you have no way to improve your lot in life, you don't have time to think about why life exists anyway.

If you believe that neither happiness nor suffering will matter once you're dead, like me, you start to live for the here and now. And as long as you don't plan on dying sometime soon, you can justify trying to avoid stife in your life and even in seeking fun. And if you feel like committing suicide, there's always your instinctual cowardliness and the knowledge that life isn't worth the effort of avoiding it because nothing is worth anything post mortem.

I know you were joking, by the way.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon
Well, I'm at least pretty

Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #159
quote:
Originally written by ****:

I know you were joking, by the way.
Not joking. Trolling. There's a subtle but significant difference.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Major:

Savage, this is what I got from your (more recent) posts. Is that we should treat every living thing the same. But, because Drakons are murdering people they should be treated like murderers. And killing them is the only practical way of doing that.
Correct?
Or not?

More the fact that drakons are human made creations and pose a threat to human life, so as an obligation to other humans, it is the responsibility of those who can correct the mistake to do so.

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There's no problem with Geneforges or dangerous creations; Drakons are more capable than humans in controlling them. It's just when they intend to destroy humanity using those tools that it becomes a problem. If a Drakon doesn't intend to harm humanity, I don't see why it has to be killed.

The problem with Geneforges is that they're banned for good reason by society and are more often than not made by those with megalomaniacal goals. I doubt anybody ever builds one for genuinely altruistic purposes, or intends on sharing the power it gives them with anyone else. Plus there's teh fact that the power the Geneforge gives has a demoralizing and power hungering effect.

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Once something dies, it no longer feels anything. So once it's dead the suffering it underwent no longer matters. It's only while that something is suffering or remembers suffering that there's a problem. As the amount of time that something suffers or remembers suffering before death increases, it becomes worse.

If dead is dead, than it really doesn't matter either way. It seems more immoral to make something just to die rather than give it a purpose in life and let it live that purpose. Serviles aren't suffering because they enjoy the tasks they were made to do. It isn't until someone thinks they're doing them a favor by trying to convince them they should be free and why they should hate their lives that they become confused and thus miserable.
Posts: 49 | Registered: Thursday, July 27 2006 07:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #161
The problem with the Geneforges and canisters is that they make people crazy. Learning through the Shapers' methods does not (or they weed out the ones it would do that to). Reshaping your genes is far different from releasing your inner Shaper. You get canister-rage and that's just not healthy.

Part of my problem with the rebels is that they think that one of the Shapers' main problems is that they hoard the power. The power should not be shared. It should not be used. But the rebels want to open it up to as many people as possible, which is a terrible, terrible thing. Plus, they're being manipulated and used by the Drakons, who just want Terrestia for themselves.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
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Well they share power for the most part. For real power you have to be a drakon. Most of th reasrch is going to improve drakons only drakons are allowed to used the geneforge. Thier power hungry and they must be stoped for such power and the hunger for more power will be most destructive.

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Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Warrior
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Ok, so we can all agree that big power in the hands of naughty people is not a good thing. Sweet. No more naughty people with lots of power...

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Posts: 60 | Registered: Wednesday, May 3 2006 07:00
The Establishment
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Yeah, that would be a great idea. I propose you develop a method of implementing it in practice. :P

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #165
I think I read about a solution in a Ray Bradbury short story. You attach a device to everyone's head with any intelligence so when they think they get assaulted with so much noise that they lose their concentration. It lowers everyone down to the level of the idiots.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Agent
Member # 5814
Profile #166
The Shapers could try a system where all decisions are handled democratically. :ambiguous:

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon
Well, I'm at least pretty

Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #167
quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

I think I read about a solution in a Ray Bradbury short story. You attach a device to everyone's head with any intelligence so when they think they get assaulted with so much noise that they lose their concentration. It lowers everyone down to the level of the idiots.
Web boards are the beta version.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Apprentice
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quote:
by Randomizer:
I think I read about a solution in a Ray Bradbury short story. ...
harrison bergeron --- vonnegut, 1961
Posts: 3 | Registered: Tuesday, July 18 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #169
Thanks, I hadn't read it since 1979. My professor (really a teaching assistant) didn't get the joke at the end of the story about the Handicapper General using the great equalizer. for an English major he wasn't that well read.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 7143
Profile #170
I read Harrison Bergeron last year and it was one of my favorite storries. The only thing that annoyed me is that the Handicap Gerneral shouldn't have had any better aim than anyone else, so how could she shoot them both dead in two shots?
-"I am the emperor!"

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"After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one."
- Cato the Elder (234-149 BC)

"The mind, if it exists, is nothing but an unfortunate after effect of the brain process."
-Kripke

"One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly."
-Friedich Nietzche
Posts: 333 | Registered: Saturday, May 20 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by Retlaw May:

I read Harrison Bergeron last year and it was one of my favorite storries. The only thing that annoyed me is that the Handicap Gerneral shouldn't have had any better aim than anyone else, so how could she shoot them both dead in two shots?
Because the story was written by Kurt Vonnegut, not Ayn Rand. A happy ending would send the wrong message. Also, it's a freaking shotgun; stand close enough and it's hard to miss. :P

[ Wednesday, August 16, 2006 01:07: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 7143
Profile #172
But the studio was big enough for them to prance around so much and I got the feelling that she shot the shotgun right after bursting through the door which means there could be a decent distance between her and the emperor and emperess. Also, she would not be an average shooter, she would be the same as the worst possible shooter in the USA (which should mean something).

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"After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one."
- Cato the Elder (234-149 BC)

"The mind, if it exists, is nothing but an unfortunate after effect of the brain process."
-Kripke

"One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly."
-Friedich Nietzche
Posts: 333 | Registered: Saturday, May 20 2006 07:00
Electric Sheep One
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Profile #173
High officials in the executive branch of the US government are always good at hitting people with shotguns.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Warrior
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Profile #174
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

High officials in the executive branch of the US government are always good at hitting people with shotguns.
Oh Snap... That t'was hilarious to numerous degrees thine friend... Yay more jokes... PLease?

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