December 2009 Archives

Hello From My Favorite Dunn Bros.

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Yeah, I am back here at Grand and Snelling. The first Dunn Bros, according to the Wege. It is probably the busiest coffee shop I have ever sat in, certainly the noisiest. Not that that is a problem. Mostly I people watch, scour the 'nets for any new controversy, or play a few games of chess.

Well, now the noise is quieting down, the crowd thinning out, and the ambiance getting darker; the sun is set and twilight rules the cold outdoors. I have many hours to tent before returning home to bring in the New Year with The GirlFriend™.

Well, guess I will be moving on soon. They close at six tonight.

After Some Thought

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After my initial thought about Rush, I spent some time analyzing my feelings and I came to the conclusion, that though I do not wish death upon anyone, mostly because they are going to die at some point anyway, I do not find myself poised to feel remorse, grief, or any type of sadness should he pass away.

If there is one sliver of positive about Rush surviving a possible heart attack (Yes, I know! Who'd a thunk one existed in that bloated, drug damaged body) is that I, and many others in Left Blogstonia, can continue to speak ill of the man.

Morning Post

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Goooooooooood Mooooornnnnninnnggg Blogstoniaaaaaaaaaa!

Okay. My attempt at Robin Williams style blogging will now come to an end.

My First Thought Was.....

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'Despite my dislike for him and his perverse propaganda, and that I believe his death would possibly end much of the partisan bickering in this country, I do hope he recovers.'

As an aside; it was a heart attack that seemed to spur my father's move from conservative to moderate. Not that I am suggesting any such thing about Rush. I am just saying.

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

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If this really happens, I suspect we will see a restoration of sanity on Wall Street, with an improving economic situation for Main Street. Not immediately, obviously. This is a long-term move that would keep our economy from experiencing the consequences that results from the rash impulsiveness of the investor class.

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A one-page proposal gaining traction in Congress could turn back the clock on Wall Street 10 years, forcing the breakup of banks, including Citigroup Inc.

Lawmakers in both parties, seeking to prevent future financial crises while soothing public anger over bailouts and bonuses, are turning to an approach that's both simple and transformative: re-imposing sections of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial and investment banking.

Those walls came down with passage of the Gramm-Leach- Bliley Act of 1999. A proposal to reconstruct them, made by U.S. Senators John McCain and Maria Cantwell on Dec. 16, would prevent deposit-taking banks from underwriting securities, engaging in proprietary trading, selling insurance or owning retail brokerages. The bill could also force the unwinding of deals consummated during the financial crisis, including Bank of America Corp.'s acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co.

Hat Tip: Susie Madrak via C&L

Total Oblivion, More Or Less

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There is one book I would like to recommend: "Total Oblivion, More Or Less" by Alan DeNiro. I could give you a review of the book, but truth be told, I hated doing book reports as a student and I am certainly not about to do one now. That would seem too much like work. Suffice it to say, his ability to make characters real, his fearlessness at creating a world without having to establish it's rules and boundries, or for that matter, making no attempt at any rational explanation about the end of civilization as we know it, only makes the book that much more interesting.

And yes, I realize I started a book report. So, I am done reviewing. Go. Buy. It. Order it from his web page. It is, which will switch to When you buy and read the book, you will understand just how appropriate is that switchover.

No Thieving Today

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It is Friday, and I usually steal the code for the Friday Liberal Coalition Blogaround that Mustang Bobby does over at Bark Bark Woof Woof. However, it is also Christmas Morning and I am not going to soil the day with thievery. So, instead I am simply going to supply a link to his Friday Blogaround and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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Merry Christmas

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For any of my regular readers who would like to wish me Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, here's a post so you don't have to feel you are commenting off topic.

Here in the Wisconsin western borderland the snow falls thick and wet, with a slow, gradual accumulation allowing for easy road care. We were suppose to go to The GirlFriend™'s sister's house tonight. However, her brother and his wife did not feel up to the drive across the Twin Cities with the weather being what it is. I can not say I fault them. I would rather be on country roads than city freeways in this weather.

In fact, tomorrow we are going to see about driving up to be with the Parental Units and Sibling Units. That is, if the weather is not too bad. So far, it has been a pretty mellow storm.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!
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Gone The Way Of The Elves

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Hobbit Travel temporarily closes. That just sucks.
I decided I agreed with the General. Look, in most things I am a progressive. But I was in the service. True, my alcohol and drug use caused me to fail in my duty to my country. Yet, I understood that when I signed on, I was the property of Uncle Sam.

So, after my initial thought that this general was nuts, I thought about his stance. It makes sense. Sorry, but if you volunteered, you put country first. If that means holding off on getting pregnant, so be it. And with reports about our troops already stressed due to multiple, extended tours, making an effort to reduce any other causes of stress just makes sense.

Yes, threatening court marshal is a bit much. However, if he is serious about preventing pregnancies, then I hope he is pushing for sex education among the enlisted. Hell, remembering some of the officers I had to work under, I suspect some of today's officers need it even more. Especially those of the holy crusader ilk who's sex education was probably of the abstinence based variety.

Oh, and those thinking this maybe unconstitutional. Wrong. It was one of the things made clear upon enlistment; you have no constitutional rights. All rights afforded service members are covered under the Military Code of Justice.

Edited to clear up a major mistake.
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I Am Not Too Worried

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In science, it is understood that to overcome inertia, you have to supply an excessive amount of energy to get movement. However, once that is done, the required energy to keep things moving drops substantially.

With Firedoglake screaming bloody murder and instituting a petition to kill the bill, I see just such a theory, but put to work politically. Honestly, the chances of killing the bill are pretty slim. But, make enough noise about killing the bill, and why, and maybe the pols begin to see their pretty little butts are not so securely fastened to their congressional and senatorial seats. At that point, change will happen.

And now is the time to make some noise. The Tea Baggers have pretty much screamed themselves hoarse and are out of sync with the parliamentary moves of congress. However, I think Firedoglake is poised at precisely the right moment to strike. Though the stated goal may not be admirable, the eventual effect may be laudable.
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Shallow Thought

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I have decided the Flying Spaghetti Monster must have wanted us to masturbate because he gave us glasses.
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Every so often people do something so small, yet so significant that it gives me hope. This is just that type of event:

Last Saturday, Dec. 5th, something startling and wonderful happened at The Aramingo Diner in Port Richmond.

The 52-year-old landmark restaurant at 3356 Aramingo Ave. is open 24 hours a day, so it's always a-bustle. But the place really hops during weekend breakfast and lunch time. Last Saturday was no different, and both wings of the diner - the booth area and the bigger dining room -  were lively.

The manager on duty, Linda (who asked that I not mention her last name here, for reasons I can't get into but let's just say everything worked out okay...), tells me that a couple in their 30s paid their check at the register, then asked the cashier to let them secretly pay the check of another couple in the dining room - a couple they didn't know.

"They just wanted to do it," she said. "They thought it would be a nice thing to do."

When the unsuspecting patrons went to pay their check, they were floored to find out that strangers had picked up their tab. So they asked the cashier to let them pay another table's check, also anonymously.

When that table's patrons approached the register, they, too, decided to pay the favor forward for yet another table of unsuspecting strangers.

You know where this is going, right?

For two hours, delighted customer after delighted customer continued to pay the favor forward. And a buzz began to grow. Not among patrons, who had no inkling what was going down at the register, but among the dining-room wait staff  - Marvin, Rosie, Jasmine and Lynn - and other Aramingo workers moving in and out of the room.

"We were amazed," says Linda, adding that neither she nor her staffers that day recognized any of the participating patrons as regulars. "Nobody knew each other. But once they found out someone paid their check, they got excited and wanted to do the same thing for another table."

Hat Tip C&L

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Early Morning Chuckle

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For 6:30 AM (Central) this is funny:

The best part about a 1 am vote is that the average age of the Senate is about 132 years old, which means that they are all up about eight hours past when they are used to having a warm cup of milk and dreaming of Lawrence Welk reruns and the good old days before that rock and roll music and the internet tubes ruined everything, so their normally awful speaking style is worse than usual. Joy.
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Rule Of Law,

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Senator Al Franken following the Rule Of Law, once a favorite topic of conservative Republicans.

Granted, they are parliamentary rules. Still, rules are rules.

Also of note; this is making the Legacy Media pages. Senator Franken is making a name for himself.
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Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Friday Blogaround

Yet another wild week. Here's how the LC saw it.

- A Blog Around The Clock: under the sea...
- archy: circling the drain.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: it's not over.
- Bloggg: Moi might go to the (progressive) PA conference.
- Dohiyi Mir: it might work after all.
- Echidne Of The Snakes takes on Richard Cohen's hilarious question.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog reviews the week in Florida politics.
- Left Is Right: bits and pieces.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: playing with food.
- rubber hose and the missus are on their way to Central Asia for two months.
- Scrutiny Hooligans and the vulnerable ones.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: we've been had.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: you have to understand the argument before you make it.
- WTF Is It Now?? -- Simon's cat's first snowfall.
School's out for the next two weeks. What will I do?
As you may have notice, I have not done much blogging the past week. My lack of post has been due to working two jobs this week, and it has left me with very little time. But next week looks to be slower. However, I am on call at my one job, and so could be called in again. Be that as it may, I do desire a good blogging flogging. Shoot away in the comments, if you so desire.
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I Suppose I Should Blog Something

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There. Now I am going to bed.

Still Angry

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Yeah, still pissed about the possible dropping of the public option from the Health Care Reform bill. I am well aware that it is still an ongoing process, and that the public option has been dropped before, only to bounce back. Still, in the end, no public option, regardless of any "non-profit" creation, leaves the middle -- and lower middle -- class screwed for years to come. Meanwhile the godless capitalists rape the land, taking all the money for themselves, without so much as a wham, bam, thank you very much, lamb.

Some days I really do think the human race would be better off getting wiped off the face of the planet by an asteroid. What, exactly, are we accomplishing at the moment that justifies our existence?
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Today Sucks

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A blizzard hits, then it is announce the public option has been torpedoed. Now this:

The Twin Cities leading FM personality has announced he no longer plans to retire in December 2010 and will remain at KQRS "until they fire me."

Tom Barnard, host of the market-leading KQ Morning Show, announced his plans to retire this past September, casually mentioning his last show would be on December 21, 2012 (sic).

Crap. I am going back to bed.
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Once again, congress has shown it's inability to recognize failure. Any compromise -- despite assurances from many intelligent and educated progressive bloggers -- that eliminates a public option will only drag out the suffering and death our current health care system allows.

I understand there are times for the long view. But when peoples lives are at stake, it is time to pull your head out of the future and deal with the immediacy that exists today.
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One Of These Days

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One of these days it is going to happen. I am going to break out of this lethargy I have been having for years. I am simply not motivated most days. I stare at my computer, my writing, my blog, and I do nothing. I find the simple act of choosing action to be overwhelming. Oh, I have my days where I can dive into my story, do the dictation so that I get my hand written rough draft transcribed into text files. But it is rare. I have maybe two, three days tops, where I can get past the overwhelming act of choosing action.

So there. I finally said it. After all this time, I finally admitted to my lack of motivation for writing.

Don't get me wrong, I love to write. I just am having difficulty with the whole re-write part of writing. It is new, and I can not get past that bastard internal critic. Seriously, I need to beat the shit out of that guy, but he always runs away and hides when I find the motivation.

Sigh. Oh well.
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Public Speaker!?!?

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OH. MY. GOD!!!!!!

This guy is running for governor of Minnesota.

It is like listening to fingernails on a chalk board.

Chamber Of Secrets

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I am watching the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I might be mistaken, but I think the Basilisk's death throes out Shatners William Shatner.

More Emails From The Family

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A seagull in Manistee, Mi has developed the habit of stealing Doritos from a neighborhood convenience store.

The seagull waits until the Manager isn't looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos.

Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds. The seagull's shoplifting started early this month when he first swooped into the store in Manistee, MI and helped himself to a bag of Doritos. Since then, he's become a regular, and he always takes the same type of chips.

The Manager thinks it's great because people are coming to watch the feathered thief make the daily grab and run, and that's good for business, and especially since customers have begun paying for the seagull's stolen bags of Doritos because they think it's so funny.

However, the Manager did say, 'This is Michigan, and if that seagull starts to grab a '6-pack O' Bud' to go along with the Doritos, I may have to put a stop to it.'

I should have checked with right from the start:

A seagull in Scotland has developed the habit of stealing chips from a neighborhood shop.

The seagull waits until the shopkeeper isn't looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos.

Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds.

The seagull's shoplifting started early this month when he first swooped into the store in Aberdeen, Scotland, and helped himself to a bag of chips. Since then, he's become a regular. He always takes the same type of chips.

Customers have begun paying for the seagull's stolen bags of chips because they think it's so funny.
I just do not understand the need for people to take the truth and twist it around. It is sad.

Dirty, Rotten Theives

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it this is true, than they have no intentions of working fairly for reform, or they see the writing on the wall and are profit reaping before the bottom of their industry falls.

Health insurance giant Aetna is planning to force up to 650,000 clients to drop their coverage next year as it seeks to raise additional revenue to meet profit expectations.

In a third-quarter earnings conference call in late October, officials at Aetna announced that in an effort to improve on a less-than-anticipated profit margin in 2009, they would be raising prices on their consumers in 2010. The insurance giant predicted that the company would subsequently lose between 300,000 and 350,000 members next year from its national account as well as another 300,000 from smaller group accounts.

"The pricing we put in place for 2009 turned out to not really be what we needed to achieve the results and margins that we had historically been delivering," said chairman and CEO Ron Williams. "We view 2010 as a repositioning year, a year that does not fully reflect the earnings potential of our business. Our pricing actions should have a noticeable effect beginning in the first quarter of 2010, with additional financial impact realized during the remaining three quarters of the year."

Unbeleivable. I missed my calling.

Human Ingenuity

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An example of simple, straightforward reasoning that proves, when not full of magical, muddled thinking, humans can accomplish anything.

If one man can move blocks of over one ton by himself, without the aid of powered machinery, than the United States Congress can pass health reform. That is, if we can shut out the noise of the magical thinkers.

One Bad Step After Another

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First, the Republicans shot themselves in the foot with their pro-rape vote. Then, thinking they were being clever, instead opened the door to forcing a strong, well-written public option for the health care reform bill.

Honestly, do these guys have a complete lack of intelligence? I mean, they gave Senator Franken a wide open door, and of course he stepped through.

List-server Email

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Like any self-respecting member of the 21st Century, I belong to my family's list-serve. Today I received this email:


After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse. Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target.

Dear Mrs. Samuel,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Samuel, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the woman's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' EMTs were called.

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were..

11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

And last, but not least:

15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of the clerks passed out.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Stolen without comment.

Friday Blogaround

Here's the LC blogaround:
- A Blog Around The Clock: who's who at ScienceOnline 2010
- archy: world-class incoherence.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: now what in Afghanistan?
- Bloggg: Moi is not happy with the president.
- Dohiyi Mir: Happy Advent.
- Echidne Of The Snakes on Mr. Warren's profession.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: life's a beach.
- ...I Am A Tree: stats.
- Left Is Right: the speech Mike wishes Obama had made.
- Musing's musings: will they heed the warnings?
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: a belated happy birthday, Elayne!
- Rook's Rant on Frankencensed Republicans.
- rubber hose has neatly summarized our Afghanistan dilemma.
- Scrutiny Hooligans on the courage it takes to be civil.
- Steve Bates agrees that we cannot afford this war.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: justice is weeping.
- WTF Is It Now?? Good luck, Huck
Are you sick of Christmas commercials yet?
Al Franken, Senator from Minnesota

Image via Wikipedia

Seems that the 30 pro-rape Republicans are whining about being called pro-rape Republicans because they voted against Al Franken's amendment which would prevent companies from getting federal contracts if they force their employees to use arbitration to settle sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination cases instead of the courts. You know, denying them their constitutional rights.

Honestly, I am not going to feel sorry for them. These are the same group of Republicans that made no effort to rebuke the statement when one Senator called Al a clown.


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Good on ya, Matthews:

Anyone expect this level of humility from any of the Fox News commentators? If you do, hold your breath. It will clean out the gene pool.

That's A Lot Of Pings

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Seriously, there are some lazy people in Federal Law enforcement. 8 million pings? There are not enough terrorists in this country to justify that many pings in one year.
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I've But A Moment

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I have to rush out the door soon to deposit The Fuskers™ off at school and then run to get a cashier's check for the rent. However, I felt moved to comment on the Afghanistan "surge." Yes, I am using terror marks. The surge is just a fancy way of saying escalation. That we discuss it as short-term does not change the fact it is an escalation. Again, having not seen the speech, or read it, the response from most quarters of Progressive Blogstonia suggests that President Obama is not happy with his choice, and that all things considered, knows Afghanistan is the dead albatross around his neck.
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Pulled It Off

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Somehow we managed it. With the passing of the unemployment insurance extension, The GirlFriend™ received her benefits just in time to help us make December's rent. We will not be paying any other bills for a bit, but at least the roof over our heads is intact for another month.

Things That Make Me Go Humm.....

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I like hearing how the modern conservative movement is divided at the moment. And yet, I am also saddened by this news. I am intelligent enough to understand that today's conservative movement is not really all that conservative, is not interested in what is good for the country, is strictly interested in gaining power, and not actually vested in ruling in the best interest of the country.

All in all, the death of the modern conservative movement can not happen fast enough. My only fear is what ends up taking it's place at the political table. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is not as bad as we have experienced the last 3 decades

Where I occasionally write

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Guy Andrew Hall

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.


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This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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