February 28, 2012

Open Blog
— Ace

My typical Tuesday commitment. Apologies.

Posted by: Ace at 01:17 PM | Comments (190)
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Shock: Olympia Snowe To Retire
— Ace

Breaking.

UPDATE [Slublog] - Well, I didn't see this coming. Apparently, neither did her staff:

Snowe’s reason for taking a pass on re-election, especially when she was so enthusiastically running up to this point, and especially as close to the filing deadline as this is, are mysterious. As I said before, this kind of thing does not happen in politics.

I am told her own staff was unaware of this decision until just hours before the statement went out – just long enough to actually work on the release and send it out.

Political earthquake, indeed.

Check the link to see some potential GOP candidates who can replace Snowe on the ticket. The GOP currently controls the legislature and the governor's mansion, but that doesn't guarantee future electoral success. Frankly, those victories were an anomaly in a state that normally votes solid blue so the GOP's chances of keeping that seat are extremely slim, especially in a presidential election year. I've seen a lot of people express glee that the Senate is losing a RINO. Unfortunately, the voters of this state are more than likely going to replace her with a hardcore leftist.

The Maine GOP was also surprised by the announcement, so the upcoming scramble to find a viable candidate is going to be about as much fun to watch as the GOP presidential primary.

My gut feeling on this is similar to Gagnon's - there's something we're not being told yet. Snowe has been in campaign mode for months now, and to drop out so suddenly is very strange.

Posted by: Ace at 12:36 PM | Comments (233)
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Mitt Romney: I Really, Really Want The Base To Vote For Someone Else
— Ace

Absurd statement, as usual.

"It's very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments. I'm not going to light my hair on fire to get elected."

I'm not sure which "incendiary comments" he might mean. But I think he might be thinking of Rick Santorum's oddly base-pleasing claim that Obama is a "snob" for agreeing with 94% of the public that it's a good thing that their kids should aspire to college.

I get Santorum's point -- I've made it myself a lot. This idea that everyone should go to college is just dumb.

And yet... calling an aspiration so widely shared simple "snobbery" makes a good point in the most dopey, vote-losing way possible.

Santorum's problem, again and again, is that he doesn't want to make a positive uplifting case for things. He might have given a speech encouraging a newfound, recovered respect for the trades. He might have given a speech about the positive virtue of sweat. And it's importance in America.

Instead he just brands those who wish their kids to go to college "snobs." Yes, he said Obama was a snob; but a snob for expressing this desire (which he actually didn't; as Newt notes, Obama also called for training in the trades). Thus calling anyone who agrees with the sentiment a snob in turn.

He continues believing, as Jesus said, "I have as a sword" to divide people.

That's not the goal in politics. The goal in politics is not to champion a minority above all else. That's a sure ticket to losing. The goal is to state propositions in terms that 51% -- a majority -- can agree to.

Posted by: Ace at 11:33 AM | Comments (382)
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The Dehumanizing of "The Other" Continues Apace. [krakatoa]
— Open Blogger

Canadian Psychologist Robert Hare says 1 percenters are more likely to be psychopaths.

He claims that while psychopaths are represented by 1% of society in general, people in the financial service industry are 10% more likely to be one.

NOTE: I prefer the term "sociopath" to "psychopath", but in the interest of brevity and keeping things simple, I'll use Hare's term herein.

ALSO: I am making some assumptions about what is actually in the source paper. [sarc] Like all good science, this paper is only available to those who pay to see it. [/sarc]

"Taken to the extreme, some traders become compulsive gamblers. The behavior is often latent--neither they nor anyone else knows they have this propensity. They hide small losses and keep doubling their position to try to eliminate them. When those trades turn sour, they dig themselves into a deeper hole and deny ay wrongdoing or failure. They rationalize by telling themselves that poor investment decisions are an occupational hazard. They lie to family members or others to conceal the extent of their involvement with gambling and commit forgery, fraud, theft, and embezzlement to support their habit.

These "financial psychopaths" generally lack empathy and interest in what other people feel or think. At the same time, they display an abundance of charm, charisma, intelligence, credentials, an unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, adn manipulation, and a drive for thrill seeking."

My comments on this aren't from the perspective of a shrink - I certainly am not one. Didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn last night.

However, I do have the advantage of not being a practitioner of a quasi-science, nor an academic whose grant money relies on delivering results that can help briefly mute the cacophonous cognitive dissonance tolling incessantly in the brain-pans of the elite. And neither am I the coiner of the term "psychopath" with a vested interest in getting it recognized as a valid psychological diagnosis like, say Robert Hare is.

And perhaps most critically: I'm not a Canadian.

There is a world of difference between someone exhibiting situational psychopathic behavior, and someone who is truly a psychopath.

The former can be found in virtually any competitive environment. For example: Athletes, politicians, even academic grant applicants are trained either by experience or directly via mentors that empathizing with your rivals reduces one's competitive edge. Those who are best at their particular profession tend to be able to exclude emotion as a critical component of their decision-making processes.

The author of the study claims his subjects' psychopathy is "latent". I can't help but suspect that the author wanted to find psychopaths in the 1% (contra the mythological 99% coined by the Occupy hordes), and ignored data suggesting the situational-specific behavior was learned and in some cases and not at all unexpectedly, part of that behavior leeched into the non-professional aspects of their lives. Short of brain trauma however, it is vanishingly rare for someone to lose all sense of empathy for others, which is the hallmark of a psychopath.

Evidence against these assertions is that these "financial psychopaths" are coming to a shrink in the first place. A true psychopath needs absolution from neither priest nor psychologist.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 10:44 AM | Comments (142)
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Obama, Michael Moore Stump For Santorum In Michigan
— Ace

It's almost as if they think Santorum represents Obama's best hope or something.

Obama takes yet another dig, this time about the auto industry, as Romney tries to win in that auto industry heavy state.

President Obama took two swipes at Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in front of auto workers in Washington, on the same day that Romney is fighting for a crucial win in his home state of Michigan…

Obama made references in separate parts of the speech, to Romney’s 2008 New York Times op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” The president used that exact title, and also repeated a line from the piece, “you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.”

In full context, Romney wrote on November 18, 2008 in his position to oppose the auto bailout, “IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”

Why, it's almost as if he's offering covert endorsement of "Operation Hilarity."

Michael Moore says all his Democratic friends are pulling for Santorum.

"I have to tell you a lot of my Democratic friends will vote for Santorum in something they are calling Operation Hilarity." Moore delightedly reported, referring to the left-wing plot to disrupt the Republican primary.

Old rule: "They'll tell you who they fear"

New rule: "They'll tell you who they fear," and then we should vote against the candidate they fear more, to teach "The Establishment" we know a thing or two about losing elections ourselves

Posted by: Ace at 09:55 AM | Comments (360)
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Georgetown Law Student: We Totally Need ObamaCare's Birth Control Coverage; We're Going Broke Paying $160/Year for the Pill
— Ace

Average cost of the pill: $160-$600 per year.

Doesn't Planned Parenthood offer discounts on this? Isn't this the point of Planned Parenthood, apart from abortions?

So to people who have little money: I suggest you shop around and get it at the $160/year price.

But this woman, whose entree into her profession consists of lying, I guess, claims the cost for birth control is $1000 per year.

No offense, but birth control is not a "health" issue. Pregnancy is not a disease. It's a lifestyle choice, and one I support. But not with taxpayer dollars and not with forced mandates squashing people's choices.

The parade of horrors trotted out include the usual "and she needed this for medical reasons, not for sexual reasons!" Yes, and as this dummy confesses, there are exceptions for medical need.

The list of things people believe themselves entitled to continues to grow.

Nine Dollars Per Month at Wallmart. Yup, for that we need to crush people's consciences.

The Only Way... She could possibly get to this figure is including the cost of a separate gynecological exam as part of the cost for prescription.

That is, she is claiming she'd need a full gynecological exam to secure the prescription in the first place.

I don't know what PP charges for that kind of a quickie visit and routine prescription but I don't think it's very much.

That also presupposes that the gynecologists her insurance does pay for refuse to write birth control scripts, something else I doubt.

Posted by: Ace at 09:30 AM | Comments (211)
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Stephen Hawking Once Went to A California Swingers Sex Club
— Ace

"Not a regular visitor."

Cambridge university today admitted the 70-year-old has visited a swingers’ sex club in California.

However, they denied claims that he was a regular.

The story emerged last week when a U.S. website reported that Professor Hawking dropped in at the Freedom Acres club in Devore, where he is said to have arrived with an entourage of nurses and assistants before paying for young, naked dancers to perform privately for him.

Radaronline claimed that Professor Hawking had visited the club in the past five years.

A source told the website: ‘I have seen Steven Hawking at the club more than a handful of times.’

But today a Cambridge University spokesman said: ‘It is not true that Professor Hawking is a “regular” visitor to the club in question.

He also visits a strip club in London called Stringfellows.

Eh. Not sure why people are mystified that the handicapped have a sex drive.

I don't know if this is funny enough to post, but it's so congruent with the story I feel I have to. Skip to 1:10 to hear David Cross' (content warning for sexual language and general awfulness) impression of Stephen Hawking with a prostitute.

The earlier impression, before that, is of a sickly crack baby. The impression is not done for laughs but for shock. An even bigger content warning for that first one. It doesn't contain language; it's just meant to be a sick joke, and will be offensive to nearly everyone.

So skip that.

Posted by: Ace at 08:59 AM | Comments (98)
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Jidal Blasts Administration on Energy
— Ace

First impressions matter a lot, but they're often just plain wrong.

A lot of people wrote off Jindal based on his unconvincing SOTU rebuttal several years back. (Three?)

I don't see that Jindal here. I see a damned confident and forceful speaker.

Posted by: Ace at 08:15 AM | Comments (182)
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Interview with Sharia Judge's Victim
— Ace

Pamela Gellar interviews him.

PG: What is your reaction to the judge's telling you that what you did was offensive to Muslims?

Perce: When I first heard Attorney Thomas, the defendant's attorney, telling me to read the Koran and the judge stayed silent, I was stunned. Then when the judge said, " I have a Koran; I challenge you to show me where it says Mohammed [rose] from the dead," I was stunned. I remember thinking "In America, what does it matter what interpretation a person has about a ruthless book?" I thought, "I'm not going to challenge you to a debate, and who in the hell are you to require me to read a Koran?"

The question seeks to change the paradigm from "free speech is the rule" to "some persons must prove their speech is true in order to have free speech rights."

This is a concept found in libel law. It applies specifically to living persons.

The judge introduced the concept of "libeling Islam" into an area of the law in which it was wholly alien.

The very question is disgusting. The judge is saying that the man's free speech rights only exist to the extent they are congruent with the teachings of the Koran. Otherwise, his statement is false, libelous against Mohammad and Allah, and he forfeits the protections of the law.

The judge kept bragging about how many years he'd spent in Islamic countries.

He should take residence in such a country if he wishes to enforce the blasphemy laws existing in such countries.

They should not exist here.

I would say "They do not exist here," but they do exist in at least one jurisdiction in Pennsylvania.

Impeach him.

CNN Interview with the Judge: Friendly audience.

From Volokh, who disputes the judge's claim that anti-Islamic statements are a clear and present danger to free speech.

No. Islamist judges are.

Interviewer to Judge Martin: … There are some who believe you were failing to protect that right.

Judge Martin: No, I don’t think so. Here’s the thing: It’s a right, it’s not a privilege, it’s a right. With rights come responsibilities. The more that people abuse our rights, the more likely that we’re going to lose them.

What "responsibility"? The responsibility to honor Islam?

Posted by: Ace at 07:46 AM | Comments (129)
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We Are Being Looted
— LauraW

Pillaged. Turned upside down and shook out.
State and federal treasuries are nothing but corncribs full of rats, divvying up the proceeds of your work to their friends, and they despise you for it.

The State of Connecticut has this thing called an Underground Storage Tank fund**
, which is meant to insure for environmental remediation claims for Connecticut gas stations, in the case of spills.

EPA no longer will recognize the fund’s ability to guarantee cleanups, and Connecticut’s gas stations must find other means to insure against spills, a costly proposition.

“Private insurance is available,” said Chris Herb, vice president for the Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association. “But it is expensive, and not every gas station can get it.”

Meaning, about a third of our gas stations- mostly the Mom n' Pops- will be unable to pay and will close.

Currently, there are $17 million in approved claims against the fund, and another $81 million in pending claims. That adds up to a responsibility to provide $98 million in environmental remediation work.

The Underground Storage Tank Fund currently possesses $250,000.

Because, you see, it has been looted.

Legislators, other people in government; they see all this money effortlessly being raised for another purpose, and they can't help themselves. They see it, they want it, and they have no self-control. They are like little children left alone with a big bag of Halloween candy. They are like...stereotypical tax and spend Democrats.

Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars have been collected in taxes for this fund over the last 20+ years that it has been in existence.

Over the past decade, the state legislature gradually decreased the portion of the gross receipts tax slated for the fund, diverting the money to the general fund. Even though the tax generates nearly $350 million annually, the underground storage tank fund receives less than 1 percent of that money.

Still, they should have some more money than 250K, right?
Wrong.

The tank fund is run by an independent 11-person board of government appointees and administered by DEEP staff. Because the program received a surplus of funding in the early years, this administration developed inefficiently, Brown said.

In the state budget, the tank fund will receive $1.25 million, but $1 million is devoured [LOOTED -Ed.] by staffing and administrative costs.

My emphasis. I am literally shaking with rage. If I were a gas station owner tasked with collecting this tax for the State of Connecticut for twenty damn years, I'd be, I don't know what.
Having a stroke, I guess.

Appointees.

Appointed. By other government folks.
The people of Connecticut have been overtaxed God-Knows-How-Many Billions of dollars to pay for environmental remediation, but instead of cleanup, they're getting...appointees.

For a bunch of environmentally-conscious liberals, they sure leave a lot to be desired when it's time for the rubber to hit the road, eh? Even protecting Gaia pales in importance beside getting a nice no-show paying gig for your idiot nephew, I guess.

Why, it's almost as if all their pious environmental posturing and punishing of businesses and taxpayers are all just really handy excuses to transfer money from your family to their friends.

LOOTED.

**I got this from the Hartford Business Journal because The Hartford Courant, our local leftist newspaper of record, no longer reports information that is embarrassing to the Dem-controlled legislature or Democrat Governor's office. I drove by the Courant building recently and was not surprised that very little is moving within.

Posted by: LauraW at 07:23 AM | Comments (116)
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Something You Don't See Everyday
— DrewM

If you're anything like me, and I'm sure you are, you've often wondered, "What would happen if a race car crashed into a jet engine?" Well, wonder no more.

I can't help but think there are several metaphors in there for this year's GOP nomination race.

Posted by: DrewM at 04:33 AM | Comments (217)
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Top Headline Comments 2-28-12
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Tuesday.

I don't have news links this morning, but here's a long-ish piece at The Street on why big companies continue to make stupid and obvious blunders. Bank of America, Netflix, Coke, and Verizon make appearances. Social media takes some of the blame, but the short version is that business people aren't very bright.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:51 AM | Comments (302)
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February 27, 2012

Overnight Open Thread (2-27-2012)
— Maetenloch

How Popular Is Your State?

So Public Policy Polling had a survey asking Americans whether they have a favorable or unfavorable view of various states as a whole.

tv-shows-state

It turns out that people like Hawaii best and the top 10 are viewed positively by a large margin:

54% see Hawaii positively and only 10% negatively, followed in the top ten by Colorado (44-9), Tennessee (48-14), South Dakota (42-8 ), Virginia (45-13), Montana (39-7), Alaska (46-17), Oregon (43-14), and North Carolina and Pennsylvania (each 40-11).

Here are the bottom 5 with California disliked by a near majority:

Only five are in negative territory, led by California (27% favorable and 44% unfavorable), Illinois (19-29), New Jersey (25-32), Mississippi (22-28 ), and Utah (24-27).

But one of the bottom five doesn't really fit and John Hinderaker has a theory:

There are a lot of interesting comparisons to be drawn, but one concerns me a little. The mountain states are almost universally popular. Colorado is the second most favorably viewed state, but most of the other mountain states are not far behind, e.g., Montana (39/7) and Idaho (30/11). The anomaly is Utah. At 24/27, it is the fifth-least favorably perceived state.

How can that be? If you like Colorado, Idaho and Montana, why would you dislike Utah? I can't think of any reason other than anti-Mormon bias.

Anyone have an alternative hypothesis?

more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:15 PM | Comments (608)
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We're Just Kinda Making Up Shit Now: The MFM Narrative in Full Swing
— Dave in Texas

Yahoo News is in full on campaign mode.

None of us is surprised by this. This is pointing out hypocrisy for the sake of pointing it out. And making me tired for the three-hundredth time of doing so.

The narrative: A wealthy banker leaves a 1% tip for a hard-working waitress with a snide handwritten note on the receipt admonishing her to "get a real job".

Get it? 1%.

Seriously. See, he's Wealthy. And a Banker. You can spot them because of the WB lapel pin. This story was posted on a "blog", which has since been taken down because of "all the attention". He told her, he wrote it with a pen (fountain pen I'll bet), "get a real job".

This is what passes for news now.

The trailer story is not made up shit, it's just made up drama, actress Lucy Lawless is fighting the good fight against Shell Oil to save the Arctic. All she wanted was a mission. And for her sins they gave her one. Brought it up to her, like room service. She was going to the worst place in the world, and she didn’t even know it yet. Weeks away and hundreds of miles up a glacier that snaked through the ice like a main circuit cable and plugged straight into Shell Oil Company.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 04:30 PM | Comments (149)
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Daytona 500 Open Thread
— rdbrewer

Big wreck on lap two.

Added: In case you're wondering, a race car hit a jet attached to a truck.

As of right now, 11:20 Eastern, they're cleaning the track. They plan on re-starting soon. 40 laps to go. Also...

"Monday Night Racing" has a nice ring to it.

And Hank Williams Jr. is available. more...

Posted by: rdbrewer at 02:32 PM | Comments (359)
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Santorum Running Robocalls in Michigan Telling Democrats Not to Let Romney Get Away With Opposing the Auto Bailout
— Gabriel Malor

Wow. When I first heard the story, I thought for sure it was some shenanigans. But the Santorum campaign has confirmed it to multiple outlets. It's like waking up in Bizarro World.

Rick Santorum is running robocalls targeting Democrats and encouraging them to vote in the Republican primary:

“Michigan Democrats can vote in the Republican primary on Tuesday,” the narrator says in a copy of the call initially obtained by Talking Points Memo. “Why is it so important? Romney supported the bailout for his Wall Street billionaire buddies, but opposed the auto bailout. That was a slap in the face to every Michigan worker. And we’re not going to let Romney get away with it.”

Then the ad closes with: “This call is supported by hard-working Democratic men and women and paid for by Rick Santorum for President.”

Ahh, I'm so old I remember the days when Republicans didn't want Democrats or independents voting in our primaries. Also, this is a deeply disingenuous robocall. Yes, Mitt Romney opposed the auto bailout. And so did Rick Santorum.

There's more robocall mischief in the Wolverine State. Someone, it's unclear who, is running a pro-Santorum robocall using the NRA's name and calling gun owners to tell them to vote against Romney. The NRA rep says the gun rights organization hasn't endorsed, isn't responsible for these calls, and believes either candidate is a vast improvement over President Obama.

And, finally, if you click the first link up there, there's a Democratic strategist who is also encouraging Democrats to vote for Santorum with robocalls. His theory is that the longer the primary drags out, the weaker the eventual Republican candidate will be.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:51 PM | Comments (380)
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Strangely Apt Visual Metaphor of the Day
— Ace

This is @benk84 's new Twitter profile picture. (You know, BenK the coblogger.)

Posted by: Ace at 01:37 PM | Comments (63)
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Democratic California Secretary of the Treasury Bill Lockyer's Wife Allegedly In Sex-Tape With Another Dude
— Ace

Turns out Bill Lockyer has as much control over his wife as over California spending.

He's 70, she's 40.

Hard to believe, but she sought out the company of younger men.

Or at least, this guy. Who she met at a rehab clinic.


I am here to do blow and shtup your wife
but I'm under court orders not to use blow.

So, Mrs. Lockyer was assaulted in a hotel room, presumably by her lover.

Mr Chikhani claimed that he acted in self-defense after Mrs Lockyer invited him to the hotel. He also revealed that he had been having a year-long affair with the politician's wife after they met in rehab while she was battling an alcohol addiction.

...

The fight was reportedly down to the fact Mrs Lockyer, an Alameda County Supervisor, was jealous that Chikani may have been seeing other women.

Okay.

High on the list of things a guy never wants to hear: "Honey, you may wind up blackmailed with a sex-tape I made with a dude I met in a rehab center."

A sex tape of Mrs Lockyer and an unidentified man was reportedly given to her 70-year-old husband six weeks ago.

Mr Lockyer contacted the DA's office to obtain a restraining order against the man, suggesting that the alleged meth user might make the tape public.The DA's office refused to confirm this to MailOnline.

Although several officers were assigned to the case, it is believed that the relationship was consensual after text messages and explicit photographs of Mrs Lockyer and her lover were discovered.

The DA's office told the Chronicle that the office 'had nothing at all about a tape and blackmail'.

Then why send it?

More at Instapundit.

Because this post is worthless without pictures...


Honey, does this sex-tape make my ass look fat?


Making love to the camera.
And also, dudes she met at rehab.

I got that picture from New Santa Ana.

Posted by: Ace at 12:51 PM | Comments (262)
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Chris Christie: Yes, I Am Attempting To Murder Ann Coulter By Means of Orgasm-Induced Anuerysm
— Ace

The Big Guy says he might serve as Vice President to Romney.

I don't really believe him. I think he's just trying to stump for his guy.

His loyalty to the voters of NJ, and to his family, kept him from running as President, but will permit him to run as Vice President? I don't buy it.

But he did note among his reasons he "wasn't ready." Maybe he feels ready for the second banana seat.

Posted by: Ace at 11:50 AM | Comments (251)
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How to Get Away With Crossing Chuck Norris
— rdbrewer

First, go to Slovakia.

Slovaks have been voting overwhelmingly in favour of naming a new pedestrian and cycling bridge near their capital after 1980s US action film and TV star Chuck Norris.

. . .

The actor's work has become a popular source of kitschy fun among Slovaks and a mainstay for local jokes about macho strength and invincibility.

The final decision will be up to a regional assembly. But regional governor Pavol Freso has said it would follow the wishes of the people in the internet ballot where Norris leads as the top choice for the bridge's name.

If money was no object, I'd have to put "crossing Chuck Norris" on my bucket list. Thanks to @Gabby_Hoffman and @EvanPokroy. more...

Posted by: rdbrewer at 10:35 AM | Comments (132)
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