Stealing property with weasel words

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2006-02-26 02:06

Let me try a phrase on you: "Local loop unbundling." There. I'll wager most of you have switched off already, haven't you? But you shouldn't. While geek phrases aplenty are being flung about, plans are afoot to dismember New Zealand's largest company and to nationalise the bits left over.

What "local loop unbundling" really means is this: nationalising Telecom's telephone lines because other telecommunications companies can't be arsed building their own, and the RMA makes it all but impossible to do so if the will were there in any case -- which it isn't. In a word, it is theft.

Why invest in your own lines when the RMA makes it too damn difficult to lay them or string them, and when you can get them anyway by stealth - by theft, and with the vigorous support of all sides of the traditional one-dimensional left-right spectrum it seems, from Green to Tory and all points in between. (Observe that the very terminology of left and right was derived from the post-Revolutionary French parliament when both left and right sides of parliament were arguing over to whom to dole out all the proceeds of loot and pillage.) The honorific seems no less appropriate to today's apologists for theft and interventionist dimememberment of private property, who think their desire for broadband internet trumps Telecom's right to keep what is rightfully their's.

Recent Comments:
RMA = Resource Management — by Frizzy on Sun, 2006-02-26 08:54
TLAs — by Rick Pasotto on Sun, 2006-02-26 02:35

Would Orwell or Marx have blogged?

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2006-02-26 02:04

Would Karl Marx or George Orwell have made good bloggers? Some opinions on that question here from a host of bloggers and commentators in a meditation on blogging from FT.Com's Trevor Butterworth. There is, says Trev, "a spectre haunting the blogosphere - tedium."

If the pornography of opinion doesn’t leave you longing for an eroticism of fact, the vast wasteland of verbiage produced by the relentless nature of blogging is the single greatest impediment to its seriousness as a medium.

"The point is," he says "any writer of talent needs the time and peace to produce work that has a chance of enduring. " The daily blogging treadmill, what some bloggers call "feeding the beast," stultifies output says Trev. And what happens to the blogger's material in the end? It's not even the stuff of tomorrow's fish and chip wrappers, is it?

Recent Comments:
It's Whatever You Make Of It — by Bikemessenger on Mon, 2006-02-27 07:53

More Trouble in the Linux Forum

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2006-02-25 21:01

Look at the bad behavior that is going on in the Linux and Open Source Software forum. Civility has gone right out the window!

(Yes, I know this joke has already been done)

 - Jason

Recent Comments:
Hahahaha! — by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2006-02-25 21:06

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rinkuhero's picture
Submitted by rinkuhero on Sat, 2006-02-25 12:00

Hello, I just joined, although I'm a long-term reader.

This question might have been asked before, but why does virtually everyone on this forum use their actual photo as their image?

Personally I think that screams naturalism, and doesn't really tell you much about a person. It's more romantic (i.e. essentialist) to post an image of something more representative of you; there's one of you here that I saw using the mad Doctor Brown from the Back to the Future movies, and that one image probably tells me more about him than any other here.

Recent Comments:
Nice to Meet You — by Ashley on Tue, 2006-03-14 14:02
This isn't really me... — by Summer Serravillo on Mon, 2006-03-13 13:07
Yes, Landon. I was — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-03-13 07:25

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Test - Staff Only

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Sat, 2006-02-25 09:53

This should be visible to SOLO Staff only. If this works, then any staff member can post with a check in the Only viewable by Staff box, to create a staff-only post.

If you're not a Staff member, but can see this post, please let me know ASAP. Otherwise, we'll continue testing this functionality for a few days, and then we'll pronounce it safe for use. In the meantime, please assume that it does not work, so as to avoid any potentially embarassing incidents Smiling

Recent Comments:
Present. — by Joe Idoni on Thu, 2006-03-02 13:51
Reporting in — by Andrew Bissell on Thu, 2006-03-02 09:23
Receiving — by David Bertelsen on Wed, 2006-03-01 06:46

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The Chemistry of Love

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sat, 2006-02-25 09:28

"Love and obsessive-compulsive disorder could have a similar chemical profile," says professor of psychiaty Donatella Marazatti, who studies "the biochemistry of lovesickness." Now there's a topic to ignite the passions, one explored in this month's National Geographic magazine.

The key apparently is two chemicals: serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin -- "perhaps our star neuro-transmitter" -- the one that is altered by drugs like Prozac -- is what quite literally gives our passions real feeling. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder apparently have an imbalance of serotonin; so too do people in the grip of love.

Recent Comments:
Capitalist and Joe M, — by Charles Henrikson on Mon, 2006-02-27 20:19
Taken — by JoeM on Mon, 2006-02-27 16:49
A Conumdrum — by Capitalist on Sun, 2006-02-26 05:37

The Passion of the Critics of Ayn Rand's Critics (reprised to mark the death of Rand arch-critic Nathaniel Branden)

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2006-02-25 07:18

The Affair … The Break … The Affair Revealed (The Passion of Ayn Rand) … Peikoff in denial … Judgment Day … Anti-Peikovian backlash … IOS-TOC … The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics … Ancient History … Yawn … Better Things to Do …

Recent Comments:
Well — by Brant Gaede on Tue, 2015-01-20 17:14
Nathaniel Interviwed in 1989 (Judgment Day Tour) — by Neil Parille on Sun, 2015-01-11 13:13
it's more complicated — by Brant Gaede on Sat, 2015-01-03 18:05

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Change is coming, part two ...

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Sat, 2006-02-25 05:26

Hi all! There will be some changes to the site soon, as well as (hopefully) a new group and some aesthetic improvements. Read on for details ...


Julian is upgrading Drupal, the software upon which SOLO runs, tonight. There might be the odd delay accessing content, or slight changes in appearance. Please bear with us during this process, it's vital in terms of security and continued improvement - especially a staff-only forum which we've been having difficulty with on our current version.


We're creating a SOLO Geek group. Stay geek-tuned.

Category Icons

As of now, SOLO supports category icons (like the old SOLOHQ icons) - but as I'm entirely bereft of artistic talent, I need someone who isn't to volunteer to create some - if you're keen, please email

Recent Comments:
Chat Box — by Ashley on Wed, 2006-03-01 22:27
Rick — by Jason Quintana on Tue, 2006-02-28 15:43
long threads — by Rick Pasotto on Tue, 2006-02-28 15:08

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Jihad Watch Eviscerates Weasel-Worded Garbage

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-02-24 07:29

Fitzgerald: The limits of free speech

Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerld explores further the limits of free speech, exploding some common misconceptions in the process of replying to a commenter here:

A poster here at Jihad Watch has made the following absurd assertions, which are, unfortunately, widely held:

1. Did publisher Rose [Flemming Rose of Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper in which that handful of anodyne cartoons appeared] have the right to publish those cartoons, as a matter of free speech? Absolutely.

2. Did he act responsibly in doing so, knowing that homicidal maniacs would probably go absolutely nuts if he did, destroying property and probably killing people? In no possible way.

Recent Comments:
Congrat's Lindsay — by Sandi on Tue, 2006-04-11 22:50
War and Peace — by Rowlf on Tue, 2006-04-11 18:29
Note for the Trekkies amongst us ... — by Duncan Bayne on Sun, 2006-04-09 06:24

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Repeal "Blasphemous Libel" section in Crimes Act

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-02-23 23:30

It's not often I agree with a raving statist, but in this case I'm 100% in agreement.

Section 123 of the Crimes Act, which provides for the crime of "blasphemous libel" needs to be repealed as a matter of urgency, as Catholics in New Zealand are attempting to use it to stifle free speech (tasteless free speech, but that's another issue).

Idiot/Savant has drafted a bill to repeal the offending section from the Crimes Act; you can see it, and his call for action, here on his blog.

Recent Comments:
Mistake ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-02-24 01:08

TimeZones Please

Frizzy's picture
Submitted by Frizzy on Thu, 2006-02-23 23:08

I noticed that the timestamp on a recent post of mine is not entirely correct... It probably is just the time on the computer that received the post information, located in America?

I understand this site is not just for people in one timezone?

When Site admins next look at improving the site, please consider getting timestamps on articles correctly.
Maybe each profile has a nominated timezone information and is relative to the servers time rather than my computers time which is probably set incorrectly?

Recent Comments:
Frizzy moment — by Frizzy on Tue, 2006-02-28 11:38
No, it was there all along, — by JulianP on Fri, 2006-02-24 21:30
Cool — by Frizzy on Fri, 2006-02-24 09:01

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Linux and Open Source Software

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-02-23 19:57

During the last week I've been fiddling around with Linux. I installed a small Linux partition on my laptop and I am actually impressed with how good it is. The interface is clean, it multitasks very well and everything is free. Included or downloadable is all of the software --
An office suite, a web browser, media player etc etc. While for several reasons I don't think Linux is ready to compete with Microsoft as a legitimate alternative for the average user it is certainly moving in that direction.

So this begs the question. Can this free, open source software model compete with heavily capitalized software companies like Microsoft? I couldn't imagine something like this working in any other industry. This is the only case I have ever witnessed of a communal property production model having the potential to someday compete with privately owned capitalist businesses and privately owned intellectual property.

Recent Comments:
Linux and Open Source Software — by tfar on Sat, 2006-02-25 11:15
PMT — by sjw on Fri, 2006-02-24 18:01
SharpDevelop — by sjw on Fri, 2006-02-24 17:54

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Dialling 911 to get your ethics? Stop right there.

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-02-23 19:17

University ethics classes and late-night bull sessions are replete with discussions of hypothetical and unikely moral dilemmas. Whose responsibility is an abandoned baby in the woods? Should I dive into a turbulent river to save a dying woman? What should I do if I my boat sinks and I wash up on a desert island only to stumble across a locked but well-stocked hut -- can I break in and use the food and shelter? What if there are two if us in a lifeboat but only food for one? What if (for a dose of humour) we're a brain in a vat driving a runaway trolley down a rail line with with only two forks with five people standing on one and nine on the other but... Etc. Etc. Ad nauseum.

Recent Comments:
Utility's...Arithmetic-Utilitarianism — by Rowlf on Sat, 2006-02-25 00:27
>>Indeed, I'd say that the — by Utility Belt on Fri, 2006-02-24 23:22
'Utility' logic — by Rowlf on Fri, 2006-02-24 20:46

'Crystal Chapel' Project - Bruce Goff

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-02-23 08:31

Sketch and model of Bruce Goff's 1950 Crystal Chapel project, and Bruce Goff in his studio in 1962. I have to say that his office looks way, way tidier than mine!


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The Roots of Anti-Capitalism

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-02-23 07:02

Excerpt from this article:

This month, as Wal-Mart finally began clearing ground on the site, Gillespie introduced a new group, this time including Jesuits, Catholics, Baptists, Buddhists, Daoists, Lutherans and Anglicans, among others, to front the argument that Wal-Mart will blight the practice of religion in Guelph. This time the target is the constitutionality of the local bylaw that permits the Wal-Mart on the site.

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The Environmentalist Conservative: Behold the Purity of Obscurantist Evil

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-02-23 05:29

No Randian could fail to notice the incoherence of contemporary Conservatives, who combine nominal support for economic aspects of Capitalism with God-thumping social repression, and of contemporary Socialists (in America, "Liberals,") who combine nominal adherence to social liberalism with advocacy of Environmentalist prohibitions against economic progress. So here is an exhibit of pure evil: one Rod Dreher, a consistent advocate of obscurantist repression on all fronts - the Environmentalist Conservative.

Recent Comments:
What Adam said... Victor: — by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-08 03:04
Environment and Capitalism — by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-06-08 02:14
Bob? What have ye to say? — by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-08 01:46

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Ten Worst New Zealanders

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-02-23 03:16

A few local bloggers have listed their ten worst New Zealanders, predictably including the likes of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson (or proxies for them) even though the economic golden weather we are presently enjoying is in many ways due to the reforms they both instituted (and which have been left largely untouched by the Clark-Cullen Government) -- and unpredictably including the likes of Sarah Ulmer. Sarah Ulmer for goodness sake!?

Recent Comments:
what about the fat slag that — by michael fasher on Tue, 2007-07-31 10:11
Sarah Ulmlmer WTF!!! — by michael fasher on Tue, 2007-07-31 10:08
How about — by Hayden Wood on Tue, 2007-07-31 05:17

My wife's custom knife arrived today ...

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-02-22 19:47

I am incredibly pleased with the Hideaway Knife. It's custom-fitted to the first two fingers of her hand, manufactured from high quality stainless steel, two-toned black and bare-metal (unlike the single-toned sample image below - I'll be posting photos of my wife's knife shortly), and incredibly sharp - literally sharp enough to shave with. I've already used the complimentary band-aid supplied with the knife after I nicked myself putting it in the sheath.

Hideaway Knife

Recent Comments:
One caveat re. WarriorTalk - — by Duncan Bayne on Sat, 2006-06-03 00:12
> I am sure you have — by Duncan Bayne on Fri, 2006-06-02 08:31
"...I am good with my fists — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-06-02 05:42

The target of Michael Moore's next film

Pete L's picture
Submitted by Pete L on Wed, 2006-02-22 03:32

Michael Moore's next movie will take on the American health care system. No doubt the underlying message will be that America needs a government financed system. On his website currently, he is appealing to Americans who have horror stories to share about their experiences with HMO's and insurance companies. Here's the link, if you think you can handle it without vomiting:

Recent Comments:
Michael Moore naked? — by Andrew Bates on Sat, 2006-03-04 20:46
Moron — by Andrew Bissell on Fri, 2006-02-24 01:13
National Healthcare — by jtgagnon on Thu, 2006-02-23 17:01

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The Austrian "school"

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Wed, 2006-02-22 02:46

I have a basic question. I'm embarking on a study of economics(just purchased "Human Action" and "The Capitalist Manifesto"), but what are the basic tenets that distinguish the Austrian school from others? Also, what other "schools" are there?

Recent Comments:
Schools table — by Rick Giles on Mon, 2006-04-10 14:38
Capital Markets Vs Labour Markets focus — by Andrew Bates on Mon, 2006-03-06 06:10
Pay 80%! — by Andrew Bates on Mon, 2006-03-06 05:43

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Wiesenthal Center supports jail sentence for holocaust denial ...

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-02-21 23:17

It turns out that the Wiesenthal Center supports the jail sentence handed down to David Irving, a well-known & despicable historian & denier of the holocaust.

If there's one group of people you'd think would know better than to support fascism, it's the Wiesenthal Center! Anyway, I've submitted the item to under the 'Ironic' section - here's hoping they'll run it ...


Recent Comments:
Free speech advocates, be alarmed! — by Pete L on Wed, 2006-02-22 02:56

Some Propositions on Free Speech

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-02-21 21:54

The right to free speech means the right to express one's ideas without danger of coercion, of physical suppression or of interference by the state.

Censorship is interference by the state in the expression of ideas. Laws against murder, rape, assault and child sex are sufficient to cover any violation of rights in the censor's current domain.

A private network refusing to publish your views is not censorship - it is their choice.

A private network choosing to offend is their business. Choosing not to watch or to withdraw advertising is yours.

Bad ideas are still ideas. You should be just as free to air them as I should be to ignore them, or to pillory them.

Recent Comments:
250,000 watched C4 instead — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-02-24 07:41
Clark can't help herself. A — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-02-24 07:35
Another Important Aspect... — by Bikemessenger on Thu, 2006-02-23 07:06

Brokeback Mountain - again!

Derek McGovern's picture
Submitted by Derek McGovern on Tue, 2006-02-21 19:30

A couple of weeks back, I stopped reading the SOLO Homo thread on Brokeback Mountain because of the rash of plot spoilers that had appeared there.

Recent Comments:
Agreed on that — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2008-04-20 22:30
Why I love Brokeback Mountain — by Matty Orchard on Sun, 2008-04-20 07:03
I was just having a discussion about this yesterday — by Landon Erp on Thu, 2008-01-24 00:41

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The Nature of Poison

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Tue, 2006-02-21 01:37

When my friend, James Valliant, had his book sent to the publishers, the galleys completed and the jacket copy and cover decided upon, I expected to have only limited involvement thereafter. A review posted at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, a response to some flagrantly erroneous articles that recycled lies about Ayn Rand that the Brandens told—that was about the extent of the contribution I anticipated after the book was out there for all the world to see and read.

However, I was surprised by the nature of the posts that were slamming the book before it was published at the old SOLOHQ site, where Barbara Branden herself held court, considering this was a site comprising individuals who claimed to admire Rand, or at least her novels and ideas.

Recent Comments:
Perspective — by Holly Valliant on Mon, 2006-03-06 05:08
Suspicious? — by sjw on Sun, 2006-03-05 19:20
Ok Shayne — by Michael Moeller on Fri, 2006-03-03 20:05

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Ciro D Agostino's picture
Submitted by Ciro D Agostino on Mon, 2006-02-20 22:26

FINALLY, SOMEONE GETS IT! CANBERRA AUSTRALIA:   Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.  A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown.
Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament.  "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you," he said on national television.  "I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that is false.  If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option," Costello said.  Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country.

Recent Comments:
Get Out of Britain! — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-02-27 23:12

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Casual Sex

Adam Buker's picture
Submitted by Adam Buker on Mon, 2006-02-20 21:35

I'm racking my brain looking for Objectivist writtings of any kind dealing with this subject. Besides Francisco's talk with Hank in Atlas Shrugged and the Playboy interview, I've not found much of anything that gives any in depth analyisis to this issue. I'm rethinking a great deal of what I previously thought on the subject and I am searching for more information and a discussion. My definition of casual sex is consen sexual activity occuring between two adults for the sole purpose of physical pleasure detached from the context of a relationship. I used to believe that casual sex was immoral in the sense that in order to take such an action implies that one has no self-esteem or is betraying it.

Recent Comments:
Adam, — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-04-12 02:06
Casual sex and...'CASUAL' sex — by Rowlf on Wed, 2006-04-12 01:20
Claudia's got it in one. Sex — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-03-27 03:09

My WordCloud

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-02-20 19:11

Word Cloud

You can create one of your own here. [Hat tip Not PC]

Recent Comments:
Awww... — by Wes on Tue, 2006-02-21 18:13

The Future is Now: Heroes and Property Rights in the Final Frontier

jtgagnon's picture
Submitted by jtgagnon on Mon, 2006-02-20 18:29

On a crisp evening not long ago, I took a brisk walk through the park near my home. The sun’s radiance had long since faded giving way to far-reaching darkness, and the moon—understatedly luminous—had risen. As I strolled through the park, I observed a man in the distance standing rigidly, but with his head bent back at an awkward angle. He appeared to be transfixed by something overhead. Curiosity got the better of me and I approached him. When I asked what he saw, he replied simply: “The future.”

I didn’t understand what he meant at first. But then, I gazed up and witnessed the moon, the stars and the vast expanse of space. And, feeling a strange sense of exhilaration, I started to grasp the meaning of his statement.

Recent Comments:
This is very good. Thank — by John M Newnham on Wed, 2006-02-22 16:50
Very nice! — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-02-21 01:34

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Thoughts on Heroism from the Gods...

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Mon, 2006-02-20 01:43

From the closing scene of the movie CLASH OF THE TITANS:

On Mount Olympus, the Gods reflect on the victory of Perseus over the Kraken:

"What a dangerous precedent...what if one day there were other heroes like him? What if courage and imagination were to become everyday mortal qualities...what would become of us?"

"Then we would no longer be needed! Until then, there is sufficient cowardice, sloth...mendacity...down there on earth to last forever..."

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Heads-up to Multiculturalists: Time to Change your Mind.

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-02-20 01:19

There is a widespread view that it is wrong to criticise another's culture, that all cultures are equally valid, and that to do crticise cultural practices or mores is insensitive, if not outright racist. This viewpoint, known as cultural relativism, is as widespread as it is wrong. As a view that purports to accurately describe the way the world is (rather than how we might wish it might be), recent events have made clear it is a viewpoint that is increasingly untenable. It is an idea in crisis.

Recent Comments:
Al-Jazeera WordCloud ... — by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-02-20 21:48
Excellent article — by sanjay on Mon, 2006-02-20 19:33
I've said it before... — by jtgagnon on Mon, 2006-02-20 04:11

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