Less farmland, more wilderness.

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Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:03 pm

Reference : New Scientist, 12 August 2017, page 26
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... -farmland/
Since the year 2000, the total amount of farmland globally has been shrinking, and the total amount of land in wilderness has been growing. It varies from country to country (for North America, this trend is slight, with less than 4% reversion to wilderness.) There are various reasons for this.

1. Land devoted to grazing sheep has diminished due to the plunge in demand for wool, with the rise of synthetic fibers.
2. Farmland is what was the Soviet Union has been abandoned due to the need for efficiency. Under the old Soviet regime, a lot of farmland was subsidised and very, very inefficiently farmed. Today, it is left to return to wilderness.
3. Increases in the efficiency of food production have led to marginal land being abandoned, since it is no longer profitable.
4. Conservation groups and government buying up such barely profitable farmland and returning it to conservation land or national parks.

This trend is not universal, and in the tropics, forest is still being destroyed to grow tropical crops. But globally, more land is returning to wilderness than the reverse.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:49 am

So.......marginal land is being abandoned while Cradles of Diversity are being destroyed to make Palm Oil.

More good news from the Extinctions of Local Species is Good crowd?

Get off the Koolaid Lance.............and hope its reversible.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:30 am

Bobbo

Optimism and pessimism are not absolutes. You can be optimistic by recognising one good thing, while also recognising that something else is not good. Overall, wilderness is increasing. We can hope that nations which cut down tropical rainforest will recognise the value of preservation in the future.

My country is one of only two in the world (The other is Chile) with true rain forest in a temperate climate. We have realised its value and there are government regulations preventing it being destroyed. Given time, we hope the same realisation will spread to Indonesia, Brazil, and other nations that destroy such a treasure.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:35 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:You can be optimistic by recognising one good thing, while also recognising that something else is not good.
Correct. Then if you think at all, you compare the "value" of one to the other. What I'm saying is: you aren't doing that. As usual...you stop half way thru any useful exercise.


Lance Kennedy wrote: Overall, wilderness is increasing.
No....at best, only the acreage left to the wilderness is increasing. The QUALITY of the wilderness continues to decline.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:21 pm

Bobbo

Not true.
When farmland is abandoned, and wilderness regrows, it's quality gradually increases. Wild life increases, and becomes more abundant.
The big problem is those areas still being destroyed. Not the areas reverting to the wild.

There are numerous case histories available in the literature, of how well managed wilderness become something very special. Everything from Yellowstone to Chernobyl. Read some.

The problem in your case, Bobbo, though I do not think you have yet admitted it to yourself, is emotional. You have an emotional bent towards pessimism, and that twists your thinking, even when there is good data to suggest a more optimistic outcome.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:17 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Bobbo

Optimism and pessimism are not absolutes. You can be optimistic by recognising one good thing, while also recognising that something else is not good. Overall, wilderness is increasing. We can hope that nations which cut down tropical rainforest will recognise the value of preservation in the future.

My country is one of only two in the world (The other is Chile) with true rain forest in a temperate climate. We have realised its value and there are government regulations preventing it being destroyed. Given time, we hope the same realisation will spread to Indonesia, Brazil, and other nations that destroy such a treasure.


Coastal British Columbia is also temperate rainforest.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:28 pm

Oleg

My old botany professor is the source of my statement that NZ and Chile have the only temperate rain forest. I am most definitely not an expert, but it appears that there is a botanical definition of 'rain forest ' which British Columbia does not meet. I know it is about the mixture of plant varieties rather than simply being a forest where it rains. For example, both NZ and Chile have lianas. Though it is more than just lianas. I know it requires a certain level of plant biodiversity, rather than a forest dominated by just a few species.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:19 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Oleg

My old botany professor is the source of my statement that NZ and Chile have the only temperate rain forest. I am most definitely not an expert, but it appears that there is a botanical definition of 'rain forest ' which British Columbia does not meet. I know it is about the mixture of plant varieties rather than simply being a forest where it rains. For example, both NZ and Chile have lianas. Though it is more than just lianas. I know it requires a certain level of plant biodiversity, rather than a forest dominated by just a few species.

As you say, you know nothing about it.

So, why do you then go on to try to prove that you do? :scratch:
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:22 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote: As you say, you know nothing about it. So, why do you then go on to try to prove that you do? :scratch:


Ha, ha. A particularly cutting remark. My guess: Lance was just trying to be helpful. but still...... not recognizing the context he had prefaced.

Yes.............the Google.

All praise to the Google........until last week when they became political tools. Its been reported that "Democracy Now" a show that everyone should report has seen a 50% drop in visits to its websites. Hmmmmm....too bad a "valid" algorithm couldn't push people to their site?

Let the internet be Free. Would a "straight" algorithm just count the number of links? No filtering of any sort? Who does that?
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:31 am

As I said, Oleg, I was referring to what my old botany professor said. We all know that academics disagree, so he may not have been correct. Or else there is another way in which the term ' rain forest ' is used. I looked up definitions on line and they varied. Some specified strong biodiversity as a characteristic. Some others did not.

So why not just say that tropical style rain forest in a temperate climate is found in NZ and Chile, and leave it at that ?

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:29 am

So why not just say that tropical style rain forest in a temperate climate is found in NZ and Chile, and leave it at that ? /// Because when you visit the Olympic National Forrest in Washington State there is a big sign outside that says the reason to visit is because its the only Temperate Rain Forest in North America. Do you expect me to think that entire vacation was a lie?
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:52 am

Bobbo

We are arguing semantics here. What is the definition of rain forest ? As I pointed out before, when I checked definitions, I saw some that required high biodiversity and some definitions that did not. A tropical type rainforest has high biodiversity. If I go for a walk through one of the rainforests near my home, I can, within half an hour, identify a good 50 different species of tree. Our rainforest has high biodiversity.

Oleg mentioned the British Columbia coastal forest. I have actually been there. I walked through the forest on Vancouver Island about 30 years ago in November, and marvelled at the autumn colors. But there were only about 3 tree species.

I have never done that for the Olympic Forest, but Mr. Google showed me that it is dominated by hemlock, Douglas fir, and Sitka spruce. So the same applies. Certainly heaps of rain. So if your definition is a temperate forest that gets plenty of rain, then those forests are rain forests. However, I know that my old botany professor had a different idea. It required tropical type wide biodiversity. Using that definition, you get rain forest in a temperate climate only in NZ and Chile.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:00 am

It's hard to create"true" wildernesses again, for one because they would need to contain dangerous predators.
Eastern Europe is re-establishing packs of wolves, but most bears have long gone.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:18 am

That is quite correct, EM, but it is worth remembering that "true wilderness ", meaning uninfluenced by humans, has not existed for a long, long time. A recent ScienceDaily article said that even the Amazon region has been so influenced for at least 10,000 years. All we can do is try to conserve a semblance of 'true wilderness '.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:06 am

Only one of us is arguing semantics.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Flash » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:29 pm

I found it on (where else) Google so it must be true. I dunno...
Temperate rain forests are found on the western edge of North and South America, where moist air from the Pacific Ocean drops between 60 and 200 inches of rain a year. Unlike the tropical rain forest, the temporate rain forest has seasonal varition, with summer temperatures rising to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit and winter temperatures dropping to near freezing. In the northernmost regions, winter may be cold enough for some ice and snow.


Electric Monk wrote:
Eastern Europe is re-establishing packs of wolves, but most bears have long gone.

In 2008 I was in Eastern Europe and one widely publicized news item got my attention. A group of middle class city people from Krakow in Poland decided to embrace nature for a while and went on a camping trip to a forested south east part of the country. On a nature hugging hiking trip they found an abandoned bear cub. They promptly killed it with stones and took lots of memorable selfies with the cadaver.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:54 am

As I said, Flash, it is a matter of semantics - definitions.

If you define rain forest as a forest where it rains, then sure.

But there is a specific kind of ecosystem called a rainforest, which is characterised by high biodiversity. The forests of Washington state and British Columbia are not of this kind.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:53 am

LANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Besides your lack of humor....... you would increase rather than limit your intellect to UNDERSTAND what an issue being "definitional" is. When you understand as here that a rainforest can be defined in various different ways its NOT a semantical argument. You actually have a semantical argument BEFORE you recognize there are two or more valid defintions causing the disagreement.

Once you know the subject is definitional.........you agree to one or the other or both or a new definition and then continue. You DON'T call it semantical and then continue to argue that your definition is right and the other definitions are wrong.

THATS JUST PLAIN STUPID. ................................. Stop it.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:02 am

http://www.srl.caltech.edu/personnel/kr ... /what.html

It appears that Caltech agrees with my definition .

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:11 am

Stop it.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:06 am

Bobbo

You appear to lack an appreciation for ecology. The rainforest system is described as a rainforest biome. It is characterised by warmer temperatures (NZ and Chile only just qualify on this one), poor soils, lots of rainfall, and very high biodiversity.

Using the term rainforest for any old forest that just happens to get a lot of rain is OK for laypeople, but has no meaning in ecology. By that standard, all the forests in Scotland are rainforests, along, in fact, with most of the forests of the entire world. But you will not see ecologists referring to British forests as rainforests. Tourism promoters on the north west coastal areas of North America might, but they are not ecologists.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:56 am

Lance.... are you really so inflexible?

Words.................. are symbolic constructs. They mean only what people agree and accept them to mean.

If you want to call a temperate rainforest as requiring a greater bio diversity than the ersatz rainforests with less diversity...that is fine. But words are still words.

you don't understand what a word is, what semantic means, or what a definitional construct is. Kinda species deficient yourself. (Now.... that was a joke. You can figure out the humor of what species means in that joke if you define it correctly.)
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:06 am

No, Bobbo. It is you who lacks understanding. You fail to understand basic ecology. When an ecologist talks of rainforest ecology, he or she is talking of a specific biome. Now a layperson might think of a rainforest as being a forest where it rains. Kinda naive !

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:21 am

Have it your way lance.

psycholinguistics
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Flash » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:50 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Using the term rainforest for any old forest that just happens to get a lot of rain is OK for laypeople, but has no meaning in ecology. By that standard, all the forests in Scotland are rainforests, along, in fact, with most of the forests of the entire world. But you will not see ecologists referring to British forests as rainforests. Tourism promoters on the north west coastal areas of North America might, but they are not ecologists.


I think most of the British Columbia's forest is called the boreal forest. It extends all the way through the northern Canada to Labrador.
In Siberia it is called taiga.

There might be a strict scientific definition of the rain forest and a much looser environmental one just like with the word "theory". :mrgreen:
In which case both Lance and Bobbo are correct.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby scrmbldggs » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:01 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:So why not just say that tropical style rain forest in a temperate climate is found in NZ and Chile, and leave it at that ? /// Because when you visit the Olympic National Forrest in Washington State there is a big sign outside that says the reason to visit is because its the only Temperate Rain Forest in North America. Do you expect me to think that entire vacation was a lie?

It was if you didn't get to take a picture of this cutie. Might have as well gone to the eastern WA desert. :-P
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:09 am

It has a lot in common with the Australian drop bear. Both are seriously endangered as skepticism and rational thinking become more common.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_be ... opbear.jpg

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:23 am

Thanks Flash......that is a bit closer than Lance who thinks in over concrete terms from the vantage that only his concrete way of defining things applies. ........... to the finer point that there is no right or wrong. ..........Ha, ha....unless you want to think there is only one way to define any word on earth, in any language, at all points in time. Although I do agree the BS gets thick when you pick one definition and then want to yammer on about how only real scientist use your definition.

Its a specific kind of egotism that I'm against: think broader. Use both definitions. Specify which one is in use if you think it helps anything......usually, it doesn't. Heh, heh.....it is a standard academic dispute: full of heat and emotions because it is over nothing.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:14 am

Bobbo

Careful with all those straw men.
I carefully stated earlier that several possible definitions were possible.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:15 am

Lance??????????????????

The last thing you said was in denial there was any definition but your own:

"No, Bobbo. It is you who lacks understanding. You fail to understand basic ecology. When an ecologist talks of rainforest ecology, he or she is talking of a specific biome. Now a layperson might think of a rainforest as being a forest where it rains. Kinda naive !"

Do you think this acknowledges there are several if not many definitions of rainforest/temperate rainforest/boreal rainforest ...or just however you want to stare at the forest and not see the trees?
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:23 am

The point, Bobbo, is that an ecologist has one definition, and other people have different definitions. If you want to define a rainforest as a forest where it rains, then that is your affair. But the rain forest biome is an ecological unit in which certain characteristics prevail, as I have explained.

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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:24 am

Lance................................

You only half recognize the words that come out of your mouth.

What do you bet that ecologists have different definitions? Tell me: is that possible????
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:10 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:So why not just say that tropical style rain forest in a temperate climate is found in NZ and Chile, and leave it at that ? /// Because when you visit the Olympic National Forrest in Washington State there is a big sign outside that says the reason to visit is because its the only Temperate Rain Forest in North America. Do you expect me to think that entire vacation was a lie?
Not according to Oleg's Wikipedia article, it isn't. Not even close.
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:28 am

The disjunction is so clear.....I really don't have a feel for why/how Lance can't see it:

"There are many definitions of rainforest, even among professional ecologists, so here is one my college professor used, and its the only right one."

Lance...................do you "see" the issue yet????
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:53 am

Why is it that we habitually jump on wooists to provide evidence for their claims, but argue back and forth amongst ourselves without offering a shred of it? It's rather hypocritical, don't you think, to hold others to a higher standard than we hold ourselves? Others must provide links to factual evidence from reputable sources...but we can quote our grandmother/former boss/teacher from 30 years ago, and that's acceptable? How is that any less anecdotal? :this:

It took me five minutes to find factual evidence from a reputable source on WTactualF a temperate rainforest is, and where they are in the world. You're all grounded until you learn how to behave like real skeptics. Go stand in opposite corners of the forum. :katana:

According to Dr. Paul B. Alaback*, the characteristics of a temperate rainforest are as follows:
  • Cool, frequently overcast summers (with northern hemisphere July or southern hemisphere January isotherm <16ºC);
  • Greater than 1,400mm annual precipitation, 10% or more occurring during the summer months;
  • Fire infrequent, and not an important evolutionary factor; and,
  • Dormant season caused by low temperatures, may be accompanied by transient snow.

And the characteristics that distinguish a temperate rainforest from a tropical rainforest are as follows:
  • Fewer species of flora in the upper canopy;
  • Smaller, more coriaceous leaves;
  • More conifers;
  • Fewer lianas; and,
  • Dense mats of mosses and liverworts on the forest floor, and sometimes the upper canopy.

World distribution of temperate rainforests is as follows:
Image
...which means that you get a rainforest, Lance. And you get a rainforest, Bobbo. And you get a rainforest, Oleg. Everyone gets a bloody rainforest! :roll: Except for me. Frankly, I didn't want one anyway. :beee:
——————————
* Credentials of Dr. Alaback:
  • Lead Scientist—Project Budburst
  • Board of Directors—Northwest Connections
  • Consultant—Nature Conservancy, Alaska
  • Science Advisor—Audubon Society, Alaska
  • Professor Emeritus, Forest Ecology—W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation at the University of Montana
  • Member—Ecological Society of America, 1995-present
  • Member—American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1983-present
  • PhD, Forest Science—Oregon State University
  • BS, Forest Science—University of Washington, Seattle
  • BS, Botany—University of Washington, Seattle
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Lance Kennedy
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:08 am

Which means exactly what I said. It is all about your individual definition.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:12 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Which means exactly what I said. It is all about your individual definition.


1. " If you want to define a rainforest as a forest where it rains, then that is your affair. But the rain forest biome is an ecological unit in which certain characteristics prevail, as I have explained." /// That wasn't the definition given. Ha, ha...you have to lie to even start to make your case. Yes...."as you have explained"....ie: YOUR definition.

2. "But you will not see ecologists referring to British forests as rainforests. Tourism promoters on the north west coastal areas of North America might, but they are not ecologists." //// totally ignoring Olegs Link to wiki showing a common more generous definition of temperate rainforest. Once again: only YOUR definition is valid.

This is a lot like James Steele agreeing that co2 is a green house gas......but arguing constantly that increasing temperatures are caused by natural cycles. There is NO CONNECTION between what is stated as a rule, and what gets applied.
Real Name: bobbo the existential pragmatic evangelical anti-theist and Class Warrior.
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Sample Issue: Should the Feds provide all babies with free diapers?

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Lance Kennedy
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9854
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Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:27 am

Settle down, Bobbo.

Use whatever definition your little mind enjoys.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
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Re: Less farmland, more wilderness.

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:04 am

The rubber/glue defense? Ha, ha. OK...........
Real Name: bobbo the existential pragmatic evangelical anti-theist and Class Warrior.
Asking: What is the most good for the most people?
Sample Issue: Should the Feds provide all babies with free diapers?


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