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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#18701 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-September-01, 23:00

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-01, 19:04, said:

The reason we no longer have to fight in Afghanistan is because the Taliban moved to Texas.


And all the other red states. It's way past time for letting Red America secede from the USA, again.
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#18702 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 00:28

I was interested in reading about the legal shenanigans allowing the new confederacy to bypass the Union.
The Texas Mullahs have succeeded where others have failed because their Ayatollah decided that:
it is nobler in the mind to not suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
but instead to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. (almost Hamlet).


It's very peculiar times we live in when the nation that claimed to be the apogee of governance - and everything else they happen to think of - is descending into feudal warlordism.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18703 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 04:15

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-September-02, 00:28, said:

It's very peculiar times we live in when the nation that claimed to be the apogee of governance - and everything else they happen to think of - is descending into feudal warlordism.


It's clear to me that the US made a mistake by allowing the Confederate States to rejoin the Union as full participants.
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#18704 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 06:28

Jonathan Bernstein said:

Supreme Court abets lawlessness in Texas abortion ruling

Those of us who believe that Roe v. Wade was correct when it gave women a constitutional right to abortion in 1973 are obviously unhappy with the Supreme Court’s “shadow docket” decision to de facto overturn it — or, as Dahlia Lithwick put it in Slate Wednesday evening, Roe was “overruled this week, or nullified, or merely paused for a few million people.”

But well beyond that: Procedure matters, and the ad hoc, unjustified procedure in this case — procedure that produced a sharp and compelling dissent from Chief Justice John Roberts, who may eventually join a majority to destroy or overturn Roe — may have done as much to undermine the rule of law as anything we’ve seen in these last years of threats to constitutional government.

It simply can’t be the case that state governments can eliminate established constitutional rights by structuring laws so that they must go into effect, thus robbing people of those rights, without the courts having any option of stopping them. That’s what Texas and a handful of judges have done in this case, and it’s wrong and it’s lawless even if Roe was incorrectly decided and the Texas law — which effectively puts abortions off limits after six weeks of pregnancy by giving citizens the power to sue anyone who “aids or abets” them — would eventually be upheld (for more detail, see Rick Hasen’s reaction).

The courts are a political branch. They always have been. They’re supposed to be. That’s not a problem.

But there are implicit but important rules about how they are political. Precedents can be overturned. They can be evaded so many times and so many ways that they no longer exist. They cannot simply be ignored. Justices can be partisan — there’s nothing new in that — but they need to cloak it in proper form, and proper procedure. They can’t simply say that they are ruling such-and-such a way because they are Republicans, or because that’s the outcome they want. Nor can they veil it so thinly that they might as well say so explicitly.

Or, that is, they can — but in doing so, they behave improperly, and threaten not only the legitimacy of the judiciary but of the entire system. A five-Justice majority that essentially says they’ll do whatever they want because they have five votes and tough luck to anyone else — and yes, that’s basically what the Court did in this case and has done or come close to doing in others — is acting lawlessly, full stop. In doing so, these five Justices are inviting everyone else in the political system to simply do whatever they have the power to do, whether it’s overturning elections, packing or stripping jurisdiction from the courts, or whatever else they can get away with.

The rule of whoever has the votes can do whatever they want is not constitutional government.

And that’s before we even get to the specifics of this Texas law, which undermines democracy and the rule of law in ways both very old (by in effect threatening the full citizenship of women) and novel, at least in this form (by promoting vigilantism).

I fear for what comes next.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#18705 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 07:12

View Postjohnu, on 2021-September-02, 04:15, said:

It's clear to me that the US made a mistake by allowing the Confederate States to rejoin the Union as full participants.


The mistake was not hanging the traitors.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18706 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 17:22

When did it all start?
It will soon be the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that destroyed the twin towers, part of the pentagon and possibly - but for the efforts of a few brave souls - congress as well.
The Australian prime minister was in Washington on September 11 and witnessed the attacks.
Here is a collection of footage from the time curated by the Internet Archive.

Is it possible that the weariness associated with the events that followed led to the election of Trump?

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18707 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 18:26

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-September-02, 17:22, said:

Is it possible that the weariness associated with the events that followed led to the election of Trump?[/size]


Some of the reasons the Manchurian President was elected in 2016 in no particular order:

Russian hacking of the DNC and subsequent leaking by WikiLeaks

Jim Comey interfering in the election by sending a letter to Congress about an investigation of Clinton's emails and server. There was a longstanding rule in the DOJ not to do anything in the 60/90 day period before elections that could impact election results. Comey violated that rule.

4 years of GOP and right fringe media investigations of the Benghazi attack trying to implicate Clinton for some kind of criminal behavior. They never found what they were looking for because it didn't exist.

Although Clinton is white, she is also a woman. There is a small percentage of people who won't vote for a woman as president (or some other offices as well). She lost some swing states by a fraction of a percent. The Manchurian President's attacks against Biden didn't work nearly as well because he is a friendly looking older white male.

Hillary Clinton wasn't a warm and fuzzy candidate like Bill was.

Hard right movement by former swing states Florida and Ohio.
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#18708 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 18:42

All of the things that you mention are (more or less) true.
Having personally witnessed the ability of the Murdoch family to control who gets elected and when I would add that as a key proximate factor.
Vested interests are another obvious player.
I'm still wondering how someone who is so clearly a mob boss, completely lacking in the usual character traits (negative in most of them) of a President (empathy, intelligence, integrity etc.), can even be placed in a position where they get nominated.


After all, one only has to listen to him speak for a few seconds to realise there's nothing there.
Every interview with Trump and his followers leaves you with the sense that you are trying to explain why sugar is bad to a two-year-old.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18709 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 18:51

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-September-02, 17:22, said:

When did it all start?

Barry Goldwater.
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#18710 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 19:27

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-September-02, 18:42, said:

I'm still wondering how someone who is so clearly a mob boss, completely lacking in the usual character traits (negative in most of them) of a President (empathy, intelligence, integrity etc.), can even be placed in a position where they get nominated.



As much as I despise him, I have to acknowledge that the Manchurian President is the world's greatest grifter today, and maybe the greatest grifter in history. Frank(ly), Mark's (and Karen's) have almost no chance to resist being scammed. As the world saw on January 6, 2021, the Seditionist in Chief can rally his acolytes to do the unthinkable.
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#18711 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-02, 20:01

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-September-02, 18:42, said:

All of the things that you mention are (more or less) true.
Having personally witnessed the ability of the Murdoch family to control who gets elected and when I would add that as a key proximate factor.
Vested interests are another obvious player.
I'm still wondering how someone who is so clearly a mob boss, completely lacking in the usual character traits (negative in most of them) of a President (empathy, intelligence, integrity etc.), can even be placed in a position where they get nominated.

After all, one only has to listen to him speak for a few seconds to realise there's nothing there.
Every interview with Trump and his followers leaves you with the sense that you are trying to explain why sugar is bad to a two-year-old.


The nomination process changed over time to eliminate the party gatekeepers who would not allow the first version of Trump (Henry Ford) to be nominated so now direct democracy determines the party nominee and demagogues like Trump can not be sidelined by the men in the smoke filled room.

https://www.reuters....e-idUSKCN0WW001
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18712 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 05:36

Is anyone else getting tired of people "amplifying baseless claims"? Something I noticed over the past few years is the inability of newstalkingheads to just say someone is lying.
In Australia, disagreement is generally a little more robust.
Johnathon Swan's interview with Trump is normal.

The recent reenactment of the Battle of Antietam staring Australia's Sarah Ferguson as US Grant and Sidney Powell as RE Lee where she claims that a giant octopus controls the pentagon - or something like that.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18713 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 06:21

Heather Cox Richardson said:

In the light of day today, the political fallout from Texas’s anti-abortion S.B. 8 law and the Supreme Court’s acceptance of that law continues to become clear.

By 1:00 this afternoon, the Fox News Channel had mentioned the decision only in a 20-second news brief in the 5 am hour. In political terms, it seems the dog has caught the car.

https://heathercoxri...6UVO3Fu2PIK_G-A

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#18714 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 08:25

If the Republican goal was to motivate angry women voters they can check that box now.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18715 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 19:01

I don't understand the media brouhaha about our troop withdrawal forsaking Afghanistan women when we can't even protect the rights of the women of Texas.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18716 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 19:15

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-03, 19:01, said:

I don't understand the media brouhaha about our troop withdrawal forsaking Afghanistan women when we can't even protect the rights of the women of Texas.

America First!
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#18717 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-September-04, 18:31

Here's another reason to dislike authoritarianism: the smell

Quote


The GOP candidates running for the Senate don’t want to govern. They want to rule.
John Gallagher • LGBTQ Nation
The GOP candidates running for the Senate don’t want to govern. They want to rule.

Photo: U.S. Senate

If you think the current crop of Republicans in the Senate is bad, wait until you see what’s waiting in the wings.

As Republicans set their sights on Senate seats in next year’s mid-term elections, a clear pattern is emerging among the GOP candidates: They want to mimic Donald Trump as much as possible (at least politically), right down to his pungent for authoritarianism. That’s an ominous sign for democracy.

Related: A GOP Congressman went rogue during bizarre Afghanistan “rescue” mission. Then he went “dark.”

Republican Senators in five states are retiring next year: Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Alabama. Their would-be replacements are tripping all over themselves to prove their cult-like loyalty to Trump.

The retiring Senators were hardly squishes on Trump’s agenda. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), a seven-term Senator, sided with Trump’s position on Senate votes more than 90 percent of the time, as did Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). For Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the figure is 89 percent. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) took the Trump position 85 percent of the time.

Perhaps the most moderate of the bunch is Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), an early supporter of marriage equality and the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA). Portman voted to acquit Trump in both impeachments. Yet, he also undercut his support for LGBTQ rights by consistently backing Trump’s far-right judicial nominees and supporting Trump 88 percent of the time. No wonder the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) gave him a zero rating in the previous session of Congress.

But in the eyes of the right, all five of the Senators committed the now unpardonable sin of voting to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the Presidential election in the Electoral College, rejecting Trump’s endless lies about a stolen election.

Blunt’s statement about the election results is a huge contrast with that of Trump’s biggest supporters in the Senate, such as Blunt’s colleague Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). Blunt said the president hadn’t proved his case and “as such, Congress has a constitutional obligation to accept the election results.” Hawley led the challenge to the certification of Biden’s victory.

Even after the insurrection at the Capitol — prior to which Hawley was photographed giving Trump supporters a raised fist in solidarity — Hawley insisted on plowing ahead with the challenge on the grounds that “it’s very vital.”

The candidates seeking to hold the seats for Republicans are much more aligned with people like Hawley. In fact, they explicitly reject the increasingly rare kind of deal making that gets things done in the Senate.

“Roy [Blunt] is a super-super insider and that’s not what the base wants,” former Missouri state Sen. John Lamping ® told Politico. “No one is running to be a Roy Blunt senator. They’re running to be a Donald Trump senator. If somebody becomes a serious threat, they’ll be accused by their opponents of being more like Roy Blunt.”

Indeed, the candidates are as much focused on the GOP’s leadership as they are on Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ® is a particular target, with encouragement from Trump.

Trump recently complained that Sen. Shelby is a “Republican in name only,” or RINO, because he’s not backing Trump’s choice for his replacement, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-MO), who spoke at the rally preceding the Capitol insurrection. In going after Shelby, Trump also declared war on McConnell.

“I see that the RINO Senator from Alabama, close friend of Old Crow Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby, is pushing hard to have his ‘assistant’ fight the great Mo Brooks for his Senate seat,” Trump said in a recent written statement.

The implications of a Trump-ier Senate are hard to minimize. For one thing, Trumpists will have no interest in the compromises necessary to get many bills passed. For them, the Senate is going to be a giant Fox News set, where they all play Tucker Carlson. All they will care about is playing to the base and fanning the culture wars.

That will be bad news for LGBTQ rights, especially if Republicans take control of the Senate. You can expect all kinds of hateful legislation aimed at the community, particularly the trans community.

But the picture is much bleaker than just that. All of these candidates give every indication that they will gladly overturn elections results that they don’t like — just as Trump would want them to. That’s especially true if Trump runs again in 2024 and loses again. No matter how wide the Democratic margin of victory is, Trumpists will declare it all a lie and demand that their candidate be installed.

Sounds far fetched? Eight Republicans Senators voted to overturn election results last January, and that was after the violent attack on the Capitol. Another half dozen who said they were going to only didn’t after they changed their minds.

There’s every reason to think that next time, the same group will be back, but with larger numbers, thanks to the new candidates. It’s another sign of just how authoritarian the GOP is becoming.

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#18718 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-September-06, 17:00

Margaret Renkl at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....ate-change.html

NASHVILLE — For those of you keeping score at home, here is where things stand in the 2021 National Calamities Sweeps, Southern Division:

In the ever-expanding Climate-Augmented Natural Disasters event, results cannot yet be tallied. Tennessee and North Carolina are both digging out from catastrophic flooding, while parts of Louisiana were flattened by Hurricane Ida, and most of New Orleans remains without electricity. Ida’s remnants also brought even more rain to areas of the South and beyond that were already dangerously waterlogged.

In the Utter Failure to Understand What “Pro-Life” Really Means tournament, normally a very close battle in the red states, Texas is currently uncontested: Its leaders just made it easier to carry a gun and harder to end an unwanted pregnancy in the same week.

Finally, in the Colossally Botched Medical Emergency competition, it’s neck and neck across the region as Republican governors double down on efforts to block mask and vaccine mandates, along with every other pandemic-mitigation attempt made by people who are not allergic to science.

Every single one of these disasters is, at its heart, a public health emergency. And in every case our leaders have responded with disinterest and disinformation at best. In many cases they have worsened the emergency in every way imaginable.

Instead of taking concrete measures to limit climate change, they send up prayers for rescue workers. Instead of making it possible for poor women to get quality medical care, they limit reproductive options for everyone — though the poorest, of course, will suffer most. Instead of espousing common-sense gun laws that keep citizens safe, they ally themselves with the gun lobby. (Tennessee’s governor, Bill Lee, actually signed this state’s new permitless-carry bill in a ceremonial event at a gun factory.) Instead of trying to keep people safe during this pandemic, our leaders offer ludicrous platitudes on the subject of freedom.

Freedom from what? is the real question. Freedom from death is surely at the top of anybody’s priority list. (Please disregard Tate Reeves, governor of Mississippi, who believes Southern Christians aren’t all that worried about death.)

Nevertheless, Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky, is more interested in investigating the Covid-treatment benefits of a horse dewormer — despite warnings about its dangers from the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association — than in getting his constituents vaccinated.

For a few days last week, Tennessee had the highest Covid case rate — including the highest case rate for children — in the country. By Friday, South Carolina had taken the lead in overall cases, and Tennessee had dropped to second place, giving them the highest case rates per capita in the world, according to Eric Topol, the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute.

Hospitalizations for both adults and children in Tennessee have surpassed their previous pandemic record. School systems across the state keep shutting down because of outbreaks, using the few inclement-weather days already built into the school calendar because Mr. Lee has not authorized days off for Covid outbreaks. Nor has he allowed school systems to pivot to online learning.

And yet, despite these indisputable indicators of failed public policy, Mr. Lee has no intention of reversing course. Most Southern Republicans don’t, either, and that’s why Southerners will continue to die unnecessary deaths — if not from Covid, then from natural disasters, or self-administered abortions, or gun violence, or any number of other preventable tragedies.

Whether you believe in climate change or not, living without access to electricity and safe drinking water is a public health emergency. Whether you need an abortion or not, living where it is difficult or impossible to obtain one is a public health emergency because clinics that provide abortions also provide crucial preventive care like mammograms and cervical cancer screening — services that will no longer be offered when those clinics close. Having more people carrying more guns into more public places is clearly a hair-on-fire public health emergency.

There are people down here working harder than you would believe to make life better for everyone, including the folks who keep voting charlatans into office. These heroes are working to get their communities vaccinated, to defend mask mandates in schools, to protect the environment, to increase access to health care, and to reform a hopelessly broken criminal justice system, just for starters. Every day I hear a new story about someone, or some organization, whose work gives me renewed hope, just when I am in danger of succumbing to despair.

But every step of the way they are fighting against their own elected officials to accomplish anything. And it is long past time to recognize that some matters are too important to be entrusted to state governments anymore.

If there is anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s that public health is not a local matter. When hospitals in the red-state countryside close, their patients arrive in blue-city hospitals, taking up beds and lifesaving equipment and putting health care workers at risk. When people in the red states aren’t vaccinated, the virus continues to evolve, creating variants that pose a health risk to people everywhere else.

We don’t trust red-state governments to set baseline environmental-protection standards. That’s a responsibility of the federal government because air and water do not observe state borders. In the same way and for the same reasons, we can no longer trust Republican governors and legislatures to protect public health.

It’s great that the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education is investigating Mr. Lee’s executive order allowing parents to opt out of school mask mandates. It will be even better if federal legislation shoring up the social safety net is signed into law, expanding Medicaid in Tennessee and the other 11 states that so far have refused to accept this desperately needed health care funding. But we still need federal gun-safety legislation. We still need a federal law that protects a woman’s right to choose.

We need to take health and public safety out of the hands of Republicans because this is not a game, no matter how often the people running things down here may behave as though it is. There are no winners in the National Calamities tournament of 2021. Here in the South, especially, there are only losers.

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#18719 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-07, 08:28

A new Pew research poll shows that Trump’s constant attack of “fake news” has resulted in a 50% decease in trust of mainstream news among Republicans.

That some 25 million American gun owners get their news from OAN and Facebook should fill us with dread (and hopefully not lead).
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18720 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-September-07, 08:46

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-September-07, 08:28, said:

A new Pew research poll shows that Trump's constant attack of "fake news" has resulted in a 50% decease in trust of mainstream news among Republicans.

That some 25 million American gun owners get their news from OAN and Facebook should fill us with dread (and hopefully not lead).


There was a time when Walter Cronkite was "the most trusted man in America". This was before we thought about trusting women as a source of news. This common thread is gone, and it will not be coming back. I have yet to hear any effective ideas for what to do about it.
Ken
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