Author Topic: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?  (Read 3861 times)

LetterRip

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Is there ever a threshold for which justice is so unlikely to be achieved through the judicial system that vigilantism becomes morally acceptable?

NobleHunter

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2021, 03:41:38 PM »
I assume we're not talking comic book vigilantes. I suspect differing ideas about justice will also be a problem.

An absolute answer possibly depends on how essential a systematic process is to achieving justice. I think it could be argued that true justice is unachievable through ad hoc or improvised means. If one accepts that premise than vigilantism is never acceptable.

I don't know if I buy that. Another point of view is to consider two key obstacles to achieving justice through vigilantism: accuracy and proportionality. Punishing the right person for a crime is a non-trivial task--especially with any reliability--and extra-judicial attempts to do so often fail, resulting in the wrong person being punished. The lack of an established process also leads to disproportionate punishment. a mob might kill a criminal when the crime warrants a lesser penalty. An argument could be made that if the judicial system is worse than the vigilantes at appropriately punishing the right people, that vigilantism is acceptable. More justice is better than less justice, even if more doesn't amount to all that much.

A third problem is that vigilantes or vigilante-like people enforce what they believe the law should be rather than what it is. Lynching is an excellent example and suggests that ordinary people should not be allowed to take the "law" into their own hands. It is justice if someone is punished for an act, which while immoral or even evil, is not illegal? I would think it depends on the law. Both vigilantes and the legal system can be confounded by context.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2021, 08:17:22 PM »
I feel like the lack of specificity means that this isn't an abstract philosophical question, but perhaps some kind of setup. The most recent application of vigilante justice in the US press is about the Texas abortion law, but an inaccurate usage.

Full apologies if this is in fact a pure philosophical question in the abstract. If so, we'd have to start with what form of justice we are talking about. Most times vigilante is used is in situations where society at large generally agrees with the fact that someone committed a crime. We have guys like Goetz in real life, who felt that crime was so rampant he was lying in wait to punish someone. There are fictional characters like Bronson in death wish. Even Liam Neeson in taken falls into this very broad category.

LetterRip

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2021, 08:50:55 PM »
I feel like the lack of specificity means that this isn't an abstract philosophical question, but perhaps some kind of setup. The most recent application of vigilante justice in the US press is about the Texas abortion law, but an inaccurate usage.

Nope.  Was triggered by a discussion at Arstechnica of Anonymous hacking and releasing records from the company that hosts Parler, etc. and some commenters saying "I don't support vigilante justice but...". Combined with another Arstechnica discussion some weeks ago of people feeling it was unjust that Sacklers were able to have a settlement that releases them from civil (and criminal?) liability for their opioid sales by essentially paying interest on their earnings from the opiods and some people again talking about this time the wealthy being able to buy themselves out of justice and feeling vigilantism would be justified.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2021, 11:28:08 PM »
When did Indulgences not exist in one form or another?

But what they did pales compared to people writing the scrips, people pushing providers, etc. Why do people want vigilante justice against them rather than the people closer to it, and much more unethical - at least in my view.

What form would vigilante justice take in that case? Murdering sackler? To my point of view, I would ask what ethical transgression sackler is guilty of? Helping people get access to an addictive substance? Convincing providers to expand protocols?

Why shouldn't vigilante justice for opiates lead to firebombing the AMA instead, who didn't work to Purge Dr feelgood from their ranks?

Enabling people to indulge in an addiction hardly seems to rise to vigilante solutions. Even if it is reprehensible.

jc44

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2021, 07:24:29 AM »
I think the charge laid against the Sacklers was not that they merely supplied the opioids that were requested of them but that they actively promoted the use of their opioids in situations where they knew then to be harmful. And I'm going to suggest that there must be at least a kernel of truth to that given that they have settled the case for a very large sum of money (even if the terms of the settlement mean that the impact on them personally is small) rather than fight the case.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2021, 07:49:52 AM »
Well, yeah. They're bad people. They got away with the active promotion of painkillers for uses that were totally inappropriate. But that happened with the Explicit assistance of the doctors writing prescriptions, state agencies that were either asleep or equally bad.

Let's be clear that they never violated any criminal statute, this is all about whether their pay off was big enough. Meanwhile the executive leadership of the company is far more culpable. And, FYI, three of those execs were found criminally guilty.

Let's also note that they are not getting off particularly lightly, paying out 4.5 of an estimated 11 billion net worth.

You might as well say vigilante Justice is warranted for any plea deal where the perpetrator doesn't face penalties deemed sufficient by victims.

Back to vigilante justice as a concept. What if your court system is hopelessly corrupt, and the individual in question was a multiple murderer? Certain drug lords fall into that category in South America. I think you could claim that morally, someone plotting an execution for that individual is on relatively safe ground.

In the case of sackler, maybe vigilante justice might apply to stealing their money and giving it to their victims. Rand explored that concept in atlas shrugged.

fizz

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2021, 08:03:02 AM »
My two cents on when vigilantism would become moral is, if we are talking strictly vigilantism, never.
It can be moral if the government is so corrupt to warrant an active rebellion toward it on the part of the "vigilante", if the vigilante justice is part of this rebellion effort toward said government, and if, as much as it's possible in the circumstances, at least attempt to follow the same guidelines of the proper future justice system (including never be simply a masked act of revenge).
Of course this presuppose that the judgement of corruption of the government is moral in itself: I would never consider a rightwing militia trying to overthrown a government on the basis of reversing social inclusion rules, or a religious fanatics movement wanting to impose religious laws, moral on the first place, and as a consequence any of their "justice" acts.

TheDeamon

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2021, 05:51:35 PM »
Is there ever a threshold for which justice is so unlikely to be achieved through the judicial system that vigilantism becomes morally acceptable?

Depends on what you mean by vigilantism?

The Declaration of Independence would indicate that if a government is proven to be unable to adequately redress "just grievances" then the people have the right, and possibly even the moral duty, to overthrow said government.

But that is a very different ball game than going out vigilante style and administering your own justice in the mean time.

oldbrian

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2021, 08:38:13 AM »
Never.

Understandable, excusable, but never acceptable.

If the system is broken, replace it.  Even if the replacement is an ad hoc jury in the street, it must still be a jury, not a mob.  And you can tell the difference because vigilantes always go straight to the maiming and killing.

LetterRip

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2021, 08:56:10 AM »
Even if the replacement is an ad hoc jury in the street, it must still be a jury, not a mob.  And you can tell the difference because vigilantes always go straight to the maiming and killing.

I'd consider an ad hoc jury that has no lawful authority to be vigilantism.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2021, 09:22:56 AM »
What if the "system" is complete anarchy and collapse of formal institutions? This would have been the case in Somalia, might still be.

A lighter form of vigilante justice appears to be perfectly acceptable to much of American society. A retribution beating if someone assaults a family member, rather than reporting it to police for instance.

oldbrian

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2021, 09:58:41 AM »
Lawful authority comes from the people.  Basically they would have to set up a new system to replace the old, broken one.  But there would have to be a mechanism to hold parties to the judgement, and to hold the jury accountable for their judgement.

Drake, yes, and that is how you get feuds and vendettas.  I know we as humans like to feel we are dealing out punishment ourselves, or it doesn't seem 'real' enough, but we are very bad at proportionality.  The question seemed to me to be a theoretical, perfect-world type of question.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2021, 10:48:27 AM »
Moral questions are always framed in terms of perfect world or behavior.

The question here would be, is revenge morally justified in any way. Because many people would not see it that way. Of course some moral codes justify throwing acid in someone's face also.

oldbrian

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2021, 04:26:28 PM »
I'm sorry.  I somehow thought we were talking about law; but that doesn't make sense because the axiom was that the system was broken.

Morally justified.  In a perfect world, people would seek justice rather than revenge.  So it wouldn't matter who deals out the punishment, because everyone would agree that it was justified.

In a less than perfect world? I am having trouble divorcing my intellect and my emotion, so I can't follow the thought experiment. 

I am very surprised to find that I must recuse myself.

Fenring

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2021, 09:02:43 PM »
The thread topic had me scratching my head a bit, so I actually looked up the word "vigilante" on the presigious Google search engine, and first result was this:

Quote
a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.

This definition does not seem to automatically imply violent attacks against perps, but rather the establishment of a level of law enforcement at a level lower than, let's say, the municipal. The clause I find puzzling is "without legal authority", because it sort of opens up a rabbit hole. Someone once asked me maybe 15 years ago "what is law", and, realizing this was meant to be a deep question, I was obliged to answer with "I don't know." At the time I could not assess how to trace the final kernel at the heart of the word "law". I could do better now, but the fact remains that the chain of contingency in any establishment of law sort of needs to be understood in a discussion of when it can be circumvented. oldbrian just above wrote that "lawful authority comes from the people", but to me this seems like it's making an assumption. If law is an artifact, constructed by people, to achieve some end, then of course it comes from the people; and if it isn't, then it doesn't, and it comes from somewhere else. Law in the form of municipal, or other social authority, still stems from somewhere even if it differs from what we might call natural law, or divine law, or whatever else.

The New Testament, for example, makes a statement about a possible divergence between divine law and Roman law (give unto Caesar etc etc), but even in a context like that we have the interesting example that Roman law had baked into it that local peoples like the Judaeans should self-govern to the maximum extent possible within certain bounds. This type of concession was not to be nice, but among the probably various reasons would have been that it would be inefficient to try to micromanage a people like that against their will. So we see a level of governance, and at a lower level a "self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority". Now, it was sanctioned, so in that respect it was with legal authority, but in the sense that they using their own local laws exclusively in determining guilt or innocence (the Jewish law) and not actually rendering the higher-level Roman law as part of their procedures, they were effectively operating outside of the legal authority (in the sense of the legal system) of the Romans. So was this vigilantism? Were the Jews in this context okey-dokey morally because the Romans said ok, but if the Romans had been against Jews using their own laws, would rabbis secretly applying those laws under the Romans' noses been morally in the wrong? In other words, did their moral right to apply laws according to the code of Moses derive from the Romans, or was it merely the ease of them doing so that came from the laws of the Romans?

I know the term vigilante usually has a Batman or Punisher connotation, of going out and beating people up, but perhaps that's only a subset of what we might call establishing a lower level of legal authority below another one and separate from that other one. How much the 'higher' one fights against that lower level would depend on the situation. The Romans appeared to be savvy enough that it's better to let the local law go with their blessing rather than fight it, so this wisdom (if you want to call it that) may be been strategically to their benefit, but I'm not that from this we can deduce a moral authority (or lack thereof) of the smaller legal group.

Going back for a moment to the broader question of "what is law", a materialist might certainly find themselves stuck in something of a bind defining law as anything other than the application of force against parties that violate the agreed upon rules of those with the greatest force. It's not so much a war of all against all, as an establishment of retribution that is well understood and consistent. If you do X then Y happens to you. From a strictly mechanical standpoint all laws only have one real clause: follow the guideline or you will be imprisoned, hurt, or killed; and since allowing oneself to be imprisoned is in a sense voluntary (since you can resist), the law when boiled down to its most fundamental component is "do this or die." From that standpoint I find it difficult to establish any moral authority intrinsic to this that makes a lower-level legal establishment (like a community tribunal, let's say) somehow wrong, per se. It might violate the "follow our rule or die" mandate, but it's hard to directly establish that refusing to follow a directly coercive directive makes you bad. It might BE bad, in the sense of highly disruptive, or bad FOR YOU, in the sense of dangerous, but it seems tough to establish a moral color to vigilantism if law is only a human artifact that only has value insofar as it is a rule with a penalty attached to it. The moral authority of it has to come from somewhere other than that for it to be intrinsically wrong to establish a different legal authority below or beside it. To say that "you're breaking the establishment rules by establishing your own law" is just a truism, not a moral statement. I suspect that most people who would think of it as an automatic moral statement also believe (at least tacitly) that the mere fact of a law being a law makes it good. This itself would have many premises baked into it that would need unpacking to even discuss it.

Sorry LR, is this kind of answer on-topic as far as your OP is concerned?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 09:06:44 PM by Fenring »

fizz

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2021, 05:26:04 AM »
Well, a law is an established set of non-arbitrary rules, known to everybody to apply in a certain zone, and with a pre-determined set of penalties for breaking said rules.
The reason they were kinda of a big deal when Hammurabi introduced them (yeah, it was not really the first code, and it is not strictly speaking a true code, but for common conversation it should be enough), is that for the first time, the rules where known to everybody, as well as the penalties for breaking them (it counts as being known even if it says "in this case, if you break the rule you may get from x to y years of " etc. etc. ), instead of being enforced arbitrarily depending on the whim of the powerful guy of the moment.
Of course, being laws a human thing, they are never perfect, the application of the laws is still in the hands of humans that may be too lax or too strict, laws themselves may be insufficient to catch all the nuances of a complex human society (the reason modern law codes are whole libraries of volumes).
Still, they give a good enough guide to the behavior that a person can keep remaining safe from retaliation, and keep said retaliation to a stable level determined rationally and not under the emotions of the moment.
And they give these rules in an impersonal way: even when a law (unjustly or not) determine different rules for different class of people, they apply to the whole class, not differently for each individual depending on the whims of the moment.

When you introduces vigilantism, all this goes out of the way: there is suddenly no proper, previously-known-and-accepted rules, and all depends on the whims of the vigilante.
Its like democracy and despotism: very occasionally, in theory, you could have a despot that's a great ruler, better than a random democratic government... but that's an exception, and with very very little if at all historical precedent.
The appeal for the common man is that the vigilante, like the despot, is simple, easy to understand and direct. Usually wrong too.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2021, 03:44:13 AM »
This seems interesting especially if you are the intended victim and the maximum sentence the person who wanted you dead can get is only ten years. So what's to stop them from trying again when they get out or even saying to themselves that it's true about sometimes if you want something done you have to do it yourself? Or they may even be able to get this taken care of from prison from contacts they make.

https://news.yahoo.com/100-americans-still-trying-afghanistan-163523312.html

DeAnna Marie Stinson, 50, created an account June 24 on a dark web website designed for murder-for-hire services. The next day she “added to cart” a killer and provided the name, address and photo of the person married to her former lover, investigators said. Within weeks, she placed four more orders and sent $12,000 in Bitcoin for a “quick hit in southern Florida.”

When her requests went unanswered, she persisted, according to prosecutors.

She could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

------------------------------------------------------

There are some other types of cases like this where the perversion of justice is such that it's not even just a matter of vigilante justice anymore but simple survival.

Restraining orders against abusive spouses or exes or just stalkers may also qualify. There is no way to really defend yourself against someone who is willing and able to lie in wait to ambush and kill you or kill you any one of a number of other ways. Sometimes the only defense is offense.

Another example might be if you are a witness to a mob or gang crime and you don't qualify for witness protection. If you just go about your business hoping you won't be killed that might just be wishful thinking. Taking the offensive will probably get you killed too, or imprisoned, or both with getting sent to prison with the death penalty, but at least you might take some of them down with you.

Spoiler alerts for the movie Catchfire, so don't read the next part, but that was like a woman who saw a mob hit and so she was targeted with an assassin sent after her. She caught her assassin's fancy though, of course since she was a hot young Jodie Foster, so he decided not to kill her. Well of course that put the target on him so as they're running for their lives she makes kind of a good point. She asks, "Why are we running? You're a hitman right? So why don't you hit?"

So if you're in the crosshairs of dangerous people you may not have much of a choice but vigilantism and that qualifies as a serious perversion of justice.

I think another situation about a broken justice system that would justify vigilantism (noting that justification doesn't mean people are likely to be successful), and here also just for the sake of survival, is Afghanistan with the Taliban in charge right now with female judges who put various criminals including Taliban member into prison now in hiding and running for their lives and apparently without the means to leave the country.

https://news.yahoo.com/female-afghan-judges-hunted-murderers-032129604.html

"Female Afghan judges hunted by the murderers they convicted"

A justice system doesn't get much more broken than that.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2021, 03:59:12 PM »
Police are saying now that people should intervene when they see a crime but in many cases when they do intervene they get put on trial as in the Ahmaud Arbery case.

https://news.yahoo.com/police-bystanders-shouldve-intervened-woman-234909724.html

A woman was allegedly raped on a suburban Philadelphia train last week while police said there were "a lot of people" around who "should have done something."

https://people.com/crime/ahmaud-arbery-case-accused-killers-black-jogger-trial/

"One year after Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man, was fatally shot while jogging through a neighborhood in Georgia, his mother still wrestled with the video of the shooting that ultimately led to murder charges against three white men."

-------------------------------------------

And the Arbery stories could go into the media lies file too.

Like this story:

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/10/ahmaud-arbery-shooting-new-video-shows-georgia-jogger-did-nothing-illegal/3105123001/

"Surveillance video recorded minutes before the slaying of a jogger that has sent ripples of shock across the nation proves the Georgia man was not involved in a crime, attorneys for Ahmaud Arbery's family said.

An individual believed to be Arbery was seen at a property under construction for less than three minutes before being ambushed a short while later, lawyers said in a statement Saturday night.

The surveillance video is "consistent with the evidence already known to us" that Arbery made a brief stop at the site while out for a run and "engaged in no illegal activity," they said.

"Ahmaud did not take anything from the construction site. He did not cause any damage to the property," the attorneys said. "He remained for a brief period of time and was not instructed by anyone to leave but rather left on his own accord to continue his jog. Ahmaud’s actions at this empty home under construction were in no way a felony under Georgia law."

Most of the stories are leaving all of that out altogether so they are lying even more but this stories contradicts itself in its lies by saying he did nothing illegal while admitting that he did commit the crime of trespassing which though not a felony is still a crime and the story also omits that there were no trespassing signs posted on the property and there had been problems with things getting stolen from the area and the police doing nothing about it. Now if it's just trespass maybe the vigilantes can't try to make a citizen's arrest.

We also saw what happened with George Zimmerman. You try to get involved and when you get attacked and defend yourself you end up being the one put on trial.

So in the New York rape on a public train case, people obviously look at the news and see the headlines and decide to mind their own business, not be vigilantes, and not get hurt or killed by the criminal or if they end up hurting or killing him in self defense get put on trial both criminally and in the court of public opinion and then put in prison, or get branded racists. It's just interesting that people would wonder why nobody wants to get involved anymore, to become vigilantes, when we see what happens when they do.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2021, 04:25:36 PM »
Quote
Police are saying now that people should intervene when they see a crime but in many cases when they do intervene they get put on trial as in the Ahmaud Arbery case.

So when was it those guys saw him committing a crime, and was he still committing it? Your other example describes people watching someone committing a crime causing physical injury. Do you have anything closer maybe? Have police suggested bystanders should intervene when they witness a burglary? Attempted auto theft? Trying to interrogate a guy that they thought looked like somebody on their neighbors property who never took anything?

In fact this neighborhood watch posse suggests the whole hullabaloo was about somebody suspicious caught on surveillance videos, but that no thefts had ever been reported in the neighborhood.

Fenring

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2021, 04:26:13 PM »
@ cherry,

I think you're conflating vigilante justice (i.e. operating separately from the standard legal system) with citizen action, which can very well exist within the standard legal system. For instance, any place that has the privilege of the citizen's arrest, the idea is that any citizen may operate as a peace officer in the absence of an official peace officer, just until a legitimate officer arrives. So that's not vigilantism, that's active citizen participation in the law as stated. To the extent that the law not only permits but encourages citizens to 'do something' (see: Seinfeld's finale episode) when a crime is being committed, that's not taking the law into your own hands, obviously. What you seem to be describing are cases where the police and the courts may be in a state of disagreement about what the law actually says. That's troublesome, but I'm not sure whether that exactly touches on the issue of whether vigilantism is morally justifiable. That seems to be more a case of defining what is or isn't vigilantism under a given legal system.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2021, 04:30:36 PM »
Oh and while we're at it, what did they recommend the bystanders do? Take the assailant down at gunpoint, or threaten him with a hammer?

"SEPTA issued a statement calling it a "horrendous criminal act" and said "there were other people on the train who witnessed this horrific act, and it may have been stopped sooner if a rider called 911." SEPTA said in a statement that one of its officers called 911."

All they are asking is for people to call a competent authority. Which the vigilante heroes you're lamenting never bothered to do, or in Zimmermans case, did do and then ignored the dispatcher who told him not to follow the guy.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2021, 04:36:49 PM »
I wonder if it's me conflating the two or if it's our society right now confused about which is which. George Zimmerman's case was textbook citizen action in which he did not confront but called the police and observed from a distance and then was attacked but it was called vigilantism and he almost went to prison. If he was tried in the current political climate the outcome of his trial might be very different.

What was previously considered citizen action is now considered by many including politicians and prosecutors to be vigilantism. And this comes at the very same time that our police our pulling back and leaving citizens without any official protection in many cases, a double whammy in which our government won't protect you and you also won't be allowed to protect yourself.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2021, 04:41:02 PM »
"Were they watching? I don't know. Again, we're still going through the video but there was a lot of people, in my opinion, that should've intervened. Somebody should've done something. It speaks to where we are in society. Who would allow something like that to take place? So it's troubling but again, we're working on that and we're trying to identify anyone that we saw coming on and off the El at that time," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Tim Bernhardt said."

Should've intervened is asking for more than just calling the police.

As for Zimmerman, he should be free to walk around his own neighborhood without getting attacked. 

msquared

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2021, 04:44:33 PM »
Cherry

come on, people have been ignoring crimes they see for decades if not longer.  That is not a good thing but to act like it is something new is to ignore history. Or do you think the early 60's is still modern day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese

That was 3 generations ago.  And with what happened to blacks in the south in after the Civil war was not examples of people being scared to help those in need, I do not know what is. 

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2021, 04:52:54 PM »
People have been ignoring crimes forever but what's changed relatively recently is that when they do stand up and take action as citizens they get vilified and prosecuted. Well, at least if it's a protected class of person.

msquared

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2021, 04:56:29 PM »
No that only happens when the suspect dies.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2021, 05:19:49 PM »
So if one of these people calls the police and the suspect attacks them and they defend themselves with lethal force then they are back to being a vigilante and on the wrong side of the law, accused and on trial for murder. That's exactly what happened in the Martin and Arbery cases. And that's assuming you survive.

It's amazing how the suspects attack instead of calling the police themselves. For instance, Martin could have called the police but didn't. I don't know if Arbery had a phone or not and no news stories mention it either way. I don't suppose this rape suspect if he had noticed someone calling the police on him would have called the police himself to help clear things up either.

kidv

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2021, 09:24:30 PM »
That's exactly what happened in the Martin and Arbery cases.

Not exactly what happened in the Arbery case.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2021, 08:56:24 AM »
Citizens tried to get involved and help stop crime and it ended badly.

And let's not forget that you can also lose your job for calling the police on a protected class of person as happened in the bird watcher - dog walker incident. He admitted threatening her by telling her that he would do something that she wouldn't like and trying to feed or dog treats that he carried and yet she was still the criminal for calling the police.

The George Floyd store owner vows to NEVER call cops on counterfeiters again because it ‘does more harm than good’.

https://www.thesun.ie/news/5500595/george-floyd-store-owner-never-call-911/

Their store has been vandalized too.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/10/cup-foods-george-floyd-store-911-history.html

It's like that scene in Freejack where a guy who doesn't know the society says he'll just call the police and everyone around him thinks he's crazy because the police will make everything worse for everyone.

And then people scratch their heads stupefied wondering why nobody calls the police.

That's our society now. Concerned citizens get punished as vigilantes and racists.

yossarian22c

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2021, 09:29:28 AM »
Citizens tried to get involved and help stop crime and it ended badly.

The problem with Martin and Ahmad is that people violently intervened to "help stop" a potential trespass that was not ongoing. The potential trespassing crime was already over in both cases. There is no reason for anyone to try to actively detain someone who they think may have been trespassing. Notice the past tense there. Violently or actively intervening to stop someone from being seriously harmed is a completely different story.

If I see someone jaywalk do I pull out a concealed carry and perform a citizen's arrest until the police can arrive to write a ticket? But lets be serious they are coming to arrest me for being an idiot and pulling a gun on a jaywalker. What about when I'm driving down the interstate can I try to pull over every car going over the speed limit? Citizen's arrest for speeding. Because the walking through a construction site and whatever someone had gone on in the Martin case are similar to jaywalking and speeding. Not rape and murder.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 09:33:56 AM by yossarian22c »

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2021, 10:40:39 AM »
In the Martin case Zimmerman did not violently intervene. He kept his distance and was just watching and reporting. Martin attacked him because he thought George might be a rapist or something. If Martin had called the police about a suspicious person in the neighborhood instead of attacking George maybe they all could have had a laugh about it after the police arrived and the situation got sorted.

The Arbery case is more problematic because the guys had guns on display. They still didn't necessarily break any laws though if they said they just wanted to talk to him. It's not illegal to tell someone you want to talk to them. It's understandable though if Arbery felt threatened and felt his life was in danger and so attacked them, but it doesn't mean they broke the law. It seems more like a tragic misunderstanding.

But the other cases where people were punished for calling the cops, either by their employer or landlord or vandals tell us where our society is heading when if you call the police you end up regretting it. People see those stories and they take note.

When you can't call the police and you can't act as a citizen either where does that leave us? It leaves us in places like Portland where the police let vandals run amok and San Francisco where stores are closing down because of shoplifting rings that no one can do anything to stop or Philadelphia where the police no longer bother with minor traffic violations. If we keep it up we won't have to worry about record numbers of citizenship renunciations because of taxes. People will be fleeing the country to escape the crime wave. No problem though because there are millions more ready to take their place.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2021, 12:12:13 PM »
It's neighborhood watch. Not neighborhood follow, neighborhood confront, or neighborhood harass. Any citizen of this country is innocent until proven guilty. Nobody walking on a public street should be bothered by a fellow citizen.

I see this kind of short all the time on my neighborhood facebook group. "weird guy spotted". Invariable a person of color.

yossarian22c

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2021, 12:49:11 PM »
The Arbery case is more problematic because the guys had guns on display. They still didn't necessarily break any laws though if they said they just wanted to talk to him. It's not illegal to tell someone you want to talk to them. It's understandable though if Arbery felt threatened and felt his life was in danger and so attacked them, but it doesn't mean they broke the law. It seems more like a tragic misunderstanding.
...

A couple rednecks in Georgia with a shotgun chasing a black jogger down in a pick up trunk saying they just want to "talk to him." Yeah he damn well should have been scared *censored*less. If I'm ever out jogging and someone chases me down while clearly armed I'm going to be scared and in fight or flight mode immediately. This isn't a tragic misunderstanding, its an obvious to any sane person their behavior is absolutely threatening. Arbery probably thought if he didn't get the gun away from them he was going to end up dead in some horrific way. Its why citizen's who conceal carry or open carry need to be very careful about how they interact with other people. Their weapon is an immediate threat. Couple that with chasing someone down on the street telling them you are going to "detain" them until the police get there and Arbery has no choice but to run or fight. Otherwise you are just asking to be kidnapped. Arbery wasn't in the act of committing a crime at the time of the confrontation so I'm pretty sure even in jurisdictions that allow citizen's arrest they were outside of the law to attempt to detain him, force a conversation with him, otherwise harass, or impede him in any way.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2021, 02:33:44 PM »
"A black jogger..."

https://amgreatness.com/2020/05/12/lying-media-cant-be-trusted-on-ahmaud-arbery-story/

"Finally, while Arbery is indeed running on the video, was he actually just a jogger out in the neighborhood? He was wearing what appear to be long jean shorts and high-top basketball shoes—not exactly jogging attire."

Vigilante justice often gets it wrong. The same thing applies to the vigilante media we have right now, out to lynch white people and ready, willing, and able to lie to do it.

I like this story that purports to dissect the lies and tells us what one of the lies is but fails to tell the truth.

"Far-right conservatives have claimed that the 25-year-old was wearing Timberland boots and khaki shorts when he was shot and killed by Gregory and Travis McMichael."

Okay, so he wasn't wearing Timberland boots and khaki shorts. Good to know. But the story doesn't tell what he WAS wearing because that wouldn't help their case either. The vigilante media takes justice into their own hands.




yossarian22c

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2021, 02:44:00 PM »
"A black jogger..."

https://amgreatness.com/2020/05/12/lying-media-cant-be-trusted-on-ahmaud-arbery-story/

"Finally, while Arbery is indeed running on the video, was he actually just a jogger out in the neighborhood? He was wearing what appear to be long jean shorts and high-top basketball shoes—not exactly jogging attire."

Vigilante justice often gets it wrong. The same thing applies to the vigilante media we have right now, out to lynch white people and ready, willing, and able to lie to do it.

I like this story that purports to dissect the lies and tells us what one of the lies is but fails to tell the truth.

Well string him up then if he's wearing basketball shoes and jean shorts. Clearly up to no good. Might as well of been in prison jump suit like an escaped convict.

NobleHunter

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2021, 02:47:47 PM »
Dressed like that, he was basically asking for it.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2021, 04:03:08 PM »
It doesn't really matter if he was fleeing the scene of a crime, which I assume he was not or somebody would have had to report a crime that day. Those citizen detectives had no way of knowing that. Vigilante justice always gets it wrong. These guys deserve no sympathy. As for being out to lynch white people in the media, I'll note that you don't see packs of Asians or Hispanics being defended when they confront people for being in the wrong neighborhood.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2021, 05:58:55 PM »
"Vigilante justice always gets it wrong."

The point is if these guys are guilty of a crime then we wouldn't need the media and everyone else lying about what happened. The guys were let go initially. If that was a mistake that's fine, then fix it. That's one thing, but what we're seeing is something else. It's seeing a justice system that people believe failed and then forcing the result they demand regardless of the facts. The constant lying by the press and the knowing support of those lies by the public is nothing short of vigilante justice itself, all while decrying vigilante justice.

Oh the irony.

The left already believes that our justice system is so broken that their vigilantism is moral. The Rodney King riots after the officers were acquitted gave us an early taste of that. And it's been picking up even more steam lately.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2021, 06:45:07 PM »
I wonder if you'd feel different if the guys in the pickup truck were in the country illegally. All the press did here is expose a rotten coverup. Since you're worried about crimes being committed, how about the attempted kidnapping that started that whole incident? Stop apologizing for people who don't know how to mind their own business. And yes, you are allowed to use force to prevent someone from kidnapping you. If only he had been armed, then we could have heard the right wing media calling him a gangster thug,who gunned down neighborhood men in broad daylight. And yes, stuff tends to get broken the more a system is oppressive like ours. That's the grand tradition of the Boston tea party is it not?

Or should we have people running around assaulting people in the street based on unfounded assumptions and then blowing them away when they refuse to be kidnapped?

yossarian22c

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2021, 10:34:58 AM »
"Vigilante justice always gets it wrong."

The point is if these guys are guilty of a crime then we wouldn't need the media and everyone else lying about what happened. The guys were let go initially. If that was a mistake that's fine, then fix it. That's one thing, but what we're seeing is something else. It's seeing a justice system that people believe failed and then forcing the result they demand regardless of the facts. The constant lying by the press and the knowing support of those lies by the public is nothing short of vigilante justice itself, all while decrying vigilante justice.

What is the media lying about? The video shows him jogging. His family said he liked to run. If he played basketball regularly it wouldn't be shocking if he jogged in basketball shoes. Not everyone buys every type of gear for each special activity they engage in.

From the video it just looks like he's wearing baggy athletic shorts.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2021, 11:56:36 AM »
The media lied about him not doing anything illegal. Trespassing is illegal. It's not a felony so apparently doesn't give people the right to make a citizen's arrest but it's still illegal. And the media leaves out the part about the NO TRESPASSING sign. Sure, people walk through houses under construction but those don't have a NO TRESPASSING sign. If they do and you walk through them then you're breaking the law. Also if you do that, walk through a property with a prominently displayed NO TRESPASSING sign and some busybody confronts you about it then you certainly do owe them an explanation. Everyone acting like he wasn't behaving in a very shady way just doesn't seem very honest. And it's funny how trespassing isn't a big deal here but it sure was on January 6th, even though for the vast majority of the people there that was their only crime.

Having said that I do agree with a guy in one story who pointed out that the people didn't have to confront him. They could have just followed him until the police got there. Of course Zimmerman tried that and it didn't work out for him either and people said even that much shouldn't be done.

It seems like one point of contention is between people who think we should have laws and they should be followed and other people who think breaking laws isn't really a big deal and everyone just needs to chill out, as we see like I pointed out in Philly with traffic laws, San Francisco with shoplifting, in Portland with murder, and all over the country with immigration laws that most Democrats see only as suggestions and bad suggestions which should generally be totally ignored at that.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2021, 11:59:03 AM »
Your missing the point. Those guys did not know that he trespassed. They didn't spot him trespassing and ask him what he was doing there. As far as I can tell, nobody knew antibody was trespassing, and it was an accepted part of the neighborhood that kids were regularly playing there. The guy who owned the property didn't care, didn't report anyone trespassing.

People get reported all the time for "acting in a shady way" but do you honestly think him running in the neighborhood would appear shady to those guys if it was a white kid?

What could they have done, you ask? 911 I just saw a shady guy running in my neighborhood. He looks black. Do you want me to follow him? Operator : hell no, leave him the f alone.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2021, 12:01:37 PM »
I'll even stipulate, if you see someone commit a crime, actually witnessing it, I'll take back most of not all of my objections. Report it FIRST. then if you want to follow, ask, confront, maybe even detain, it makes a whole lot of sense.

yossarian22c

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2021, 12:08:13 PM »
The media lied about him not doing anything illegal. Trespassing is illegal.

Speeding and jaywalking are illegal. Yet we don't chase down people guilty of those crimes with firearms and confront them on the street well after the crime was over. The men didn't own the property in question. They didn't confront him while he was trespassing. This isn't some let everything go argument. But justifying confronting Arbury in this way would justify chasing down every car who passes you on the interstate and confronting them with firearms in the walmart parking lot after they have parked. How many times of doing that before you think the situation is going to end very badly for someone? How would you feel if someone did that to you to institute a citizens arrest because of you exceeding the speed limit on the way to get groceries? Would you assume they were just a concerned citizen or would you think they are trying to rob, kidnap, or harm you in some serious way?

yossarian22c

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2021, 12:18:04 PM »
I'll even stipulate, if you see someone commit a crime, actually witnessing it, I'll take back most of not all of my objections. Report it FIRST. then if you want to follow, ask, confront, maybe even detain, it makes a whole lot of sense.

Very much depends on the crime. Walking through an open construction site or taking a short cut through a private lawn are report first. Confront and detain, hell no. Even follow for that level of crime is absurd.

Someone assaults someone on the street. Report, follow, sure. Confront if you are confident you can do it safely. Detain, I would say almost never for citizens.

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #46 on: October 20, 2021, 12:18:16 PM »
"Those guys did not know that he trespassed."

Is that true?

So they were just riding around in their pickup truck and saw a black man out exercising and decided to confront him with a shotgun and then shoot him when he felt his life was in danger and acted against them in self-defense?

I could see how most people might think that because of how the media constantly lies about everything. If that was the way it went down then yeah I'd think they were guilty of murder too.

----------------------------------------

https://www.bakersfield.com/ap/national/florida-police-officer-28-killed-in-overnight-confrontation-with-teenage-suspect/article_91aa467f-454b-5d55-a48e-3f527e4375e7.html

So here's a case. A guy was just riding his bicycle. Sure, he's pulling on car door handles but is that a crime? Nobody saw him go into any of the cars so he did less than Arbery. Nobody saw him take anything.

Now would a neighborhood watch or concerned citizen be within their rights to ask him, "Hey how's it going, wat'cha doin' pulling on those car door handles?"

They don't need to be armed for that do they? They don't need a shotgun out or a pistol, right?

Well, the guy shot and killed a police officer so maybe they would need to be armed after all.

And the suspect is an 18 year old kid just out for a bike ride.


yossarian22c

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2021, 12:33:05 PM »
https://www.bakersfield.com/ap/national/florida-police-officer-28-killed-in-overnight-confrontation-with-teenage-suspect/article_91aa467f-454b-5d55-a48e-3f527e4375e7.html

So here's a case. A guy was just riding his bicycle. Sure, he's pulling on car door handles but is that a crime? Nobody saw him go into any of the cars so he did less than Arbery. Nobody saw him take anything.

Now would a neighborhood watch or concerned citizen be within their rights to ask him, "Hey how's it going, wat'cha doin' pulling on those car door handles?"

They don't need to be armed for that do they? They don't need a shotgun out or a pistol, right?

Well, the guy shot and killed a police officer so maybe they would need to be armed after all.

And the suspect is an 18 year old kid just out for a bike ride.

Pulling on car doors is suspicious behavior and worth reporting to the police.

And if a regular citizen walked up to him unarmed and asked what he was doing I doubt he is going to pull out a pistol and shoot them. Probably just tell them to f-off. The cop shows up with a gun and the media has exaggerated the danger to black men on the street from the police. So the guy pulls out his gun and shoots first.

Maybe these are both excellent cases why you shouldn't confront people for mildly suspicious behavior.

The citizen walking up with a shot gun. Both sides are probably "innocent" under some interpretations of stand your ground laws. So unless you're looking for a shootout at the O.K. Carral, probably avoid doing things like this while armed. And if you think the person is likely to shoot you if you are unarmed then don't confront them at all. But walking up armed immediately escalates the situation.

TheDrake

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2021, 12:40:01 PM »
Neighborhood watch manuals never advise intervening. They always advise reporting.

Read the statement from the men in question. They say they "spotted him running in the neighborhood" the defense attorneys say they suspected him of committing a series of break Ins. Not that they saw him break in.

I have learned one more thing though. One of the defendants is a retired police officer. Is that how he learned to control a scene, or make a lawful arrest? Brandishing weapons at the suspect?

cherrypoptart

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Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2021, 02:33:28 PM »
"Re: How broken does a justice system have to be before vigilantism is moral?"

We see it in Mexico where the police are in cahoots with the drug cartels so if a town or community wants to be safe they have to protect themselves. The police are not going to do it.

That applies to some extent in America too. Are the police really going to protect people from property crimes like petty theft from cars or a house under construction or stolen catalytic converters? No, not really. Just like when Seinfeld had his tv stolen out of his apartment and he asks the cop for a straight answer about whether or not he'll ever get it back and the cop says nope. The police aren't going to stop these crimes and they aren't going to solve them once they happen. That's just a fact. They may get a result in a very small fraction of cases and even then the victim won't get any restitution because the criminal won't have any means to pay it. That's no excuse for vigilantes to take the law into their own hands but it is a reason for communities to take action to protect themselves as much as the law allows and often that will be beyond what liberals contend is appropriate, but then those liberals don't really care if your catalytic converter is stolen and a couple of thousand dollars worth of damage is done to your car for the thieves to make a couple of hundred dollars if that. They'll tell you let the police handle it but guess what? The police don't handle it. The only thing the police are good for is taking your report for the insurance company. You're going to get stuck paying the $500 deductible and nobody is going to care and nobody is going to do anything. If your community did care and had some kind of neighborhood watch and confronted thieves during crimes in progress or right afterwards then you're going to get people hurt and killed as a result just like we saw with Arbery. Let's say the police did catch Arbery. Would they have done anything? Almost certainly no, nothing at all. We're already passed the point anyone really relies on the law to protect them particularly when it comes to property crimes. The vast majority of people just give up and live with it.

Can anyone blame people who get fed up? Yeah, Democrats can. Just stop whining and suffer your fate.