"Calm before the Storm" or, We Have to get Rid of these People, Man!

Donald Trump - "It's the calm before the storm"
Reporter - "what's that mean?"
Trump - "You'll find out".

Most people here at C99 are aware of Trump's tax plan and how it benefits the rich and their corporations. Below is a video by Sarah Anderson taking apart the bullshit.

I'm reminded of the Bush years and how I came to detest Bush and his neocon regime so much that I somehow ended up participating at a blog called Daily Kos, a partisan democratic party blog. It was in 2007, I had never been a democrat before, still haven't, but I found myself hoping the democrats and Obama would win to get Bush and the republicans out of there. Anything to get rid of those fuckers. I was far from alone.

I was so much younger then.

Then we had Obama and the democrats and I finally had it sink through my thick skull - "they're the same thing only different!"

Not only that, I learned the democratic party is "in on" the whole criminal enterprise. It is part of the problem and cannot be part of the solution. The duopoly of the two major political parties is the primary dividing line in our culture. More than right or left, black or white, rich or poor, it's republican versus democrat and this political system that controls the debate on everything. That is what divides us and keeps us divided, this duopoly political system.

And if you're a ruler, that's just how you'd want it.

Now, ten years later, I, like millions of others, am at a crossroads. We've seen the light so to speak, what others have warned about for over a century in post industrial America. (Like, why didn't I read that stuff earlier?) This political system isn't going to save us. We can't just hope to get rid of Trump and the republicans because the only option is just as bad. Both parties work for the oligarchy/plutocracy. They're both "in on it".

We can't vote our way out of this one. We'll have to find another way. I realize some people disagree and think that the democratic party can be reformed or a third party can finally become a national factor. I wish them luck.

If this is the calm before the storm, we'd better batten down the hatches and set sail for Revolution Island.

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32 users have voted.

Comments

Big Al's picture

and Trump, about how Sessions was saying he feels marijuana should never be legal. I was struck by how white those dudes are, they might be the whitest three dudes on the planet. They're conditioned to believe they're the ones to make these decisions and in this case, it doesn't matter what millions of people in many states think or what they voted for. They literally don't even consider who they're supposed to be working for. It's different at lower levels of government, usually, but at that level it becomes dictatorial. That's a culture that has to be broken.

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22 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Big Al

Saw an article with a picture of Sessions, Pence and Trump, about how Sessions was saying he feels marijuana should never be legal. I was struck by how white those dudes are, they might be the whitest three dudes on the planet.

I've had actual albinos (medically diagnosed) in my life. Most of these would be horrified to be lumped in with those three!

Diablo

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10 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

at all levels our government is dictatorial. It truly doesn't matter what we want or how many of us want it, they hold all the cards. The dealers of the cards are an unelected group of assholes that tells congress what they need to do and how to do it. The Koch bastards have a lot of power over governments in our local governments, and banks, corporations and the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and groups such as the trilateral commission, the council on foreign relations and many think tanks for both parties.

This video shows not only that corruption is legal in this country, but it wouldn't matter if 100% of people want something passed (universal health care), it's not going to happen.
(6 minutes)

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12 users have voted.

good grief

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg Which leads to represent.us.com, also interesting. Says it has over 600K members. Looks like they're trying to use the referendum processes to pass anti-corruption acts or bills.
Thanks for the link, will have to read more.

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8 users have voted.
WoodsDweller's picture

it was going to be a storm of throwing paper towel rolls to an adoring public.
"You get a roll and you get a roll and you get a roll..."
Paper towels to wipe up the flood waters.
Paper towels to wipe up the blood.
Paper towels to wipe up the tears.
Paper towels to wipe up the oil spills.
Paper towels to wipe up the toxic waste.
They make everything clean and new again.

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17 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

Big Al's picture

@WoodsDweller It's just that when they get in your face and tell you to fuck off while they do it, like Trump is doing, that takes it up a notch.

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15 users have voted.

@Big Al
was Diane Feinstein. And just in case I didn't get the hint, it was in 1984.

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12 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

The Aspie Corner's picture

And I'd do it again.

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13 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Aspie Corner

I actually voted for Nader in 2008.

And I'd do it again.

Anyone who voted for either Clinton or Trump in 2016 voted for Nadir rather than Nader.

(There's no typo in that last line; look "nadir" up if you don't get it!)

Wink

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15 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

The Aspie Corner's picture

@thanatokephaloides

Anyone who voted for either Clinton or Trump in 2016 voted for Nadir rather than Nader.

(There's no typo in that last line; look "nadir" up if you don't get it!)

nadir

1. Astronomy A point on the celestial sphere directly below the observer, diametrically opposite the zenith.
2. The lowest point: the nadir of their fortunes.

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13 users have voted.
SnappleBC's picture

@The Aspie Corner

One of the funny things when I read DKOS is how they all feel that I ought to have learned something from my "error" in casting a vote for a 3rd party. What they don't seem to understand is that I knew from the beginning that Trump was awful. I haven't learned anything. He's performed about as I would've expected. The Democratic party has also performed almost exactly as I expected. What is there to learn?

Of course I would repeat my same voting pattern given similar choices. I fully expect them to offer up a similar choice in 2020. My two state senators are lost causes (WA) -- ditto my representative.

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18 users have voted.

I bet the pearly gates have some eloquent graffiti

The Aspie Corner's picture

@SnappleBC And the old rich people don't give two fucks about this county or the state as a whole. I hate this state with a passion. I also hate the fact that I was born here. Most of all, I hate the fact that I'll never escape.

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12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@SnappleBC

What is there to learn?

Tell this to the many people who keep saying that the DP needs to do this.....if they want to be back in control again.,
People have been writing this since the Bush administration and before. If this many people know what they need to do, they already know what do, they just don't want to do it. This was made abundantly clear in 2006 when we put them back in power and we know what they did and what Pelosi said.

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7 users have voted.

good grief

@snoopydawg
the "freedom" to choose between two (but only two) sets of politicians, both of which are financed and directed by extremely wealthy, often global interests. Both the "R" camp and the "D" camp are largely financed by the same or similar corporate entities, thus assuring these entities a decisive role in the legislative process, no matter which side gets elected. And it's not by accident that both camps are highly militaristic.

There is no alternative direction for voters to take -- there are no third or fourth or fifth Parties to represent the interests of people who might disagree with the reigning Duopoly. This severe limitation of choice has been instituted, and is perpetuated by design -- it is a characteristic feature of American-style "democracy" not a flaw in it. And so it will likely remain, until enough people finally get fed up with it.

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6 users have voted.

native

Citizen Of Earth's picture

@SnappleBC @SnappleBC
So far he has Far Exceeded My Expectations (Terrifyingly Horrific).

I love how the Conman in Chief always punctuates his lies with "Believe me!". And his Dumbass Supporters Marks believe him.

Most Americans are dumb shits -- still towing the two party line. Hey I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box, but even I have finally figured out neither Ds nor Rs are on my side. WTF is it going to take?

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12 users have voted.

The Equal of Two Evils Always Wins the Election.

Raggedy Ann's picture

"We can't vote our way out of this one." Once folks come to this realization, I hope it is not to late; I hope the people will have the courage to take charge of our future as a society. We are giving tptb a big PASS. Change must come.

Thanks again, Al, for your insight and wisdom.

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17 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

lotlizard's picture

@Raggedy Ann  
As soon as voting threatens to change anything really important, they find a way to forbid it.

Same for the referendum in New York to reopen the 9/11 investigation: The Powers That Be ran off to one of their judges whose court promptly ruled that, no, the people weren’t allowed to vote on such a thing.

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4 users have voted.

Easier said than done, there is no revolutionary spirit on the "Left," in the US and 30+% of its people believe the racist, misogynistic, ignorant, lazy bully in the White House is doing just fine.

Tax policy is not the basis for a call for revolution on the "Left," in this country. Every person wants their taxes lowered and almost everyone believes that the government is wasteful of its resources. We have let the anti-government propaganda rise to a crescendo since the "Reagan Revolution," with nary a dissenting voice.

The people that are looking for a revolution in this country have to find a message that solidifies dissent. The so called "Left," in this country can't even agree on a working people's agenda that includes the interests of organized labor, women, young people, environmentalists, immigrants and POC. Social justice issues are intrinsically economic issues and cut across age, sex and color lines; however, the "Left,"in this country won't even say that out loud. Let's try to simply unify first, then try to become organized and then we can talk about a revolutionary agenda.

Until we have a message that unifies us all who are looking for a responsive government that is not captive to wealth and power, we don't have much of a political voice in the US.

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10 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@kjg52
This is new territory. It doesn't happen overnight. Bernie's message resonated to a shocking level. There is movement in some places. Any movement sends the right message. Of course, we know this is bigger than one person, Bernie. He was the messenger - the rest is up to us.

Neither party will tolerate us if we continue to try to take their power away by expecting them to act On our behalf. They are beyond that. They are not there on our behalf.

Revolution will come if the people are squeezed beyond their ability to live what they deem as normal. Normal has a plethora of meanings, as we are well aware. Change cannot come without some upheaval. No one wants to give up their power. If you think otherwise, you're in for a rude awakening.

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16 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Big Al's picture

@kjg52 Messages are for political parties. A revolution isn't about an agenda, it's about changing the power structure. Most of the left have been fixated on agendas with something in it for everyone, higher minimum wage, health care, environment, etc. But few calls to actually take down this political system and those who control it, the oligarchy and plutocracy and institute actual democracy in this country.

Let all the people decide on health care, the environment, human rights, etc., in a democratic matter, not just because the left wants it. But to do that, first we need a system that gives the people the power to democratically decide, not a system that is controlled by the rich and powerful.

Nothing else really matters when we're being ruled as slaves with no say in how we are governed. That's really a proven fact at this point. I agree with the need a common goal which has been a problem on the left, particularly since Occupy. In the sixties, it was Power to the People, now it's more like Alms for the Poor.

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13 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

@Big Al institutions.

Good messaging, framing, can make a Republican support a Lefty.

Drumpf framed his run quite well to run Left economically. Smart people should have known it was a dodge, the bait before the switch, but it was a well framed argument, for sure.

"These corporate assholes are robbing us blind. If they move their shit overseas, I'm gonna slap a tariff on them so fast it will make their heads spin. Believe me..."

Bernie's ruthless attack on the oligarchy and rigged political and economic system that benefits only the wealthy was a strong message that resonated and activated people. It dovetailed with and reinforced Drumpf because the Message from the Democratic Establishment was so un-believable.

Activating values in people is key -- the Message happens in the receiver -- you can say whatever it is you want, but the person receiving the message gets to decide what it means. It makes great strategic and tactical sense to hone a message that activates your values when it is received.

A movement without a message is doomed to neoliberal or Establishment cooption, especially given the reach and technical prowess of corporate propaganda. Too easy to wedge a poorly framed, emotional response.

The lack of a message coming from the Left for decades and the manufactured message that was trotted out as "Liberal" or "of the Left" has tamped down revolution time and time again.

The fact that Bernie and Cornyn struck the same chord at the same time is quite key to this moment in history. The message is there,"government is about people, not profits". Arguments that buttress humanity and secure a livable future run counter to the corporate propaganda and they are ascendant as corporate sponsored political and media mouthpieces are losing their grip on reality and alienating supermajorities of Americans.

They must be crafted and continue to be crafted to activate the receiver of the message and point them at the oligarchs. It's really rather easy, if we stay "on message".

Problem is that smart, creative people want to be unique in their thinking and don't really believe that the message happens in the receiver. They should have paid attention more in literature class. Because everyone knows that rain is a rebirth... and yet, many times, it's just what we read into it because 'we're so smart and creative'.

The very idea that the pedestrian argument of "maybe it was just raining..." is unacceptable, even when the author comes out and says it. That message? The one of rebirth? That happened in the receiver. Once it starts happening in the receiver, it can't be stopped. Everything fits it. So much so that they'll argue with the author about what his or her intent was while writing it.

@Big Al

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14 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

k9disc's picture

There is very little justice, equaility, freedom, and fairness in outrage, and to be honest, I'm too tired of this shit to be outraged anymore. Everything is outrageous.

Outrage is a foil that is used by the Establishment to close minds and prohibit solidarity. It's how they make citizens go all crabs in a bucket.

Enough is enough, Bernie's schtick, wasn't about outrage. It wasn't about anger. It was about basic fairness, equality, and justice in our corporate captured political and economic system.

Outrage from the Left creates a riot. Constant arguments for fairness, justice, equality, and respect for humanity and the planet are affective, they will change what happens in the receiver. That is what will create a movement.

@k9disc

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12 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Big Al's picture

@k9disc I'm all for the message but still think the problem or question is the goal. The messenging is for a goal. Bernie's message was formed around a goal of enacting change within this political system specifically through the democratic party. Trump's message was for his own goal of becoming president with a little republican party on the side.
For now I don't see a common goal among the 99% regardless the message. I see a lot of agreement but that's a different thing.

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9 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

@k9disc was the message of the French Revolutionaries.

There are a number of very wealthy people who are aware of the danger they face. Why else do you think they keep trying to buy up New Zealand for their private hidey holes?

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8 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

WoodsDweller's picture

I don't ascribe any more significance to Trumps "calm before the storm" remark than "tune in next week for the next exciting episode of Mr. Lardass Goes to Washington".
But in case he was blabbing about North Korea, I offer the following.

CNN

On April 13th 2017 a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB)was dropped in Afghanistan, the only time this weapon has been used in battle.

Wikipedia

Since 2003, 15 MOABs have been manufactured ... has a light 2,900 lb aluminum casing surrounding 18,700 lb (8,500 kg) of explosive Composition H-6 material. ... The explosive yield is comparable to that of the smallest tactical nuclear weapons

Trump is reported to have asked, twice, during a briefing prior to being sworn in why he couldn't use nukes. Three months into his Presidency he dropped a MOAB, the largest non-nuclear weapon we have.

also Wikipedia

The GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a U.S. Air Force, precision-guided, 30,000-pound (14,000 kg) "bunker buster" bomb ... The Air Force now has received delivery of 16 MOPs as of November 2011. ... as of March 2012, there is an "operational stockpile" at Whiteman Air Force Base.
In 2012, the Pentagon requested $82 million to develop greater penetration power for the existing weapon. A 2013 report stated that the development had been a success, and B-2 integration testing began that year.

From another site I know nothing about

The GBU-57A/B will penetrate 200 ft (61 m) of 5,000 psi (34 MPa) reinforced concrete, 26 ft of 10,000 psi (69 MPa) reinforced concrete or 130 ft (40 m) of moderately hard rock ... The MOP is deployed from high altitude and allows gravity to add momentum to its 30,000 pound weight so that it hits with enormous kinetic energy.
Put simply, the MOP hits exactly where it is intended to hit with enough energy to bury itself 200+ feet into hardened concrete, then it explodes its 5,300 pound warhead.

If Trump's remark amounts to something, and if I had to guess, I would say that the Air Force has been busy making many more MOABs, MOPs, and the largest conventional bombs we have. These are delivered by bombers, not placed into missiles. They may think they can neutralize the whole country's military fast enough to save South Korea, and that China will let this happen as long as it stays non-nuclear. Either that or they consider South Korea to be expendable. They may be hoping that destroying underground nuclear facilities may contain the fallout, and it probably will to some extent. I can't help but believe that it would amount to multiple Fukushimas.

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12 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

Big Al's picture

@WoodsDweller but still hard to believe "they" would do it, because it would have to be more than Trump of course. I remember when Trump was campaigning, one of his spokespersons went on TV and remarked how what's the use in having nukes if you don't use them. I pointed out that mentality to little avail.

Hard to say, if the MIC has as much influence on things as they say, they might feel they need something big to justify all the weapons and the massive increase in defense spending over the next ten years. We are talking about a lot of sociopaths and psychopaths that think on a different dimension.

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11 users have voted.

@Big Al
Theresa May actually said (to a parliament's question) "What good is having a deterrent if you don't use it?"

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6 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@Big Al

...We are talking about a lot of sociopaths and psychopaths that think on a different dimension.

Wish you weren't so damn right...

1-dimentional born-psychopathic thinking:

What I want, now, I must have/do, now.

No way will clever, exceptional me suffer longer-range consequence from my own actions, as the Disposables will, because my brain seemingly also lacks those abilities to extrapolate unwanted but likely/probable/certain ramifications into longer-range planning outside the achievement of my own goals, apparently linked with that lack of empathy and ethics which define us psychopaths.

We psychopaths think basic survival characteristics of empathy, conscience and compassion are weaknesses in those upon which we can prey more easily because we do not build - we use, destroy and take from others who do. But I don't see a problem with that, because only I and perhaps some of those potentially/immediately useful to me are real.

Demential thinking... We can never understand them, just be aware of their characteristic 'tells' and keep them the hell out of positions where they can exert power over others to harm them.

Only at this point, they've been forming the US Federal government for some time, having been packed with them during the Bush 2 Admin and far more obviously running the Republican Party for even longer than the Dems, as their agenda and actions so clearly indicate.

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@WoodsDweller Is Kim Jong Un the kind of guy who would go for a Dead Hand scenario?

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4 users have voted.

They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway
They say that life's a game and then they take the board away
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
And leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret-- A. Moore

Steven D's picture

@Johnny Q I suspect he has already let the Chinese know about it so they can pass the message along to the US.

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3 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

@Johnny Q @Johnny Q @Johnny Q

The US PTB are threatening a further whole whack of countries, long listed as targeted for military/corporate take-over, with attack/invasion/annihilation and these cannot back down to suffer the same fate as other countries doing so have done. They must band together - as they are doing now - to try to deter the monster and, if attacked, might as well go down fighting back - fighting together when the next one(s) is/are attacked - rather than disarming and being dragged/bombed down helplessly, in chains for which they've then effectively held out their hands, as sacrificial victims, with their countries offered in them.

Not that TPTB have accepted diplomacy or compromise by pulling blatant military threats out of their regions or entered into the negotiations offered them - and notoriously fail to keep their word anyway.

The targeted countries have the same restriction of options as have been left to the American people by the lawless and ruthless PTB.

And unfortunately, the North American public (like the rest of the threatened world) can only wait for the nukes to start flying, because The Psychopaths That Be imagine that they can happily and comfortably survive even nuclear devastation, and that the world they've destroyed in the taking will somehow still support not only oxygen-producing life but tech.

TPTB are a hazard to planetary life and speeding up the process by these and other more independent countries surrendering to them is likely recognized as being no kindness to human or other life on Earth in allowing them to kill it off more slowly by unrestrained military and polluting industry toxins and destruction. As they already have been, at a previously unimaginable and snowballing rate.

Edited because I cleverly missed typing two words I kinda needed... and again because I missed several letters... needz moar coffeeeee!

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

snoopydawg's picture

protest marches since Trump was elected. The first march was the Pussy march which was really a march because Hillary didn't win. Then more protests against other issues that he has decided to do.
This weekend is another protest march against Trump saying that companies don't have to offer birth control pills if they have a religious problem covering them.

Now imagine if people had come out to protest against the TSA when it was first created, or had refused to fly until it went away. Or if they had protested when congress made spying on us legal, or the patriot and military commission acts were passed, the Libyan war on false pretenses, Obama's use of drones, his weekly Tuesday assassination parties or, or, or.

Yes many of these issues that people protested against were important, but there are more dire decisions by our government that people didn't care about because they were done by the charming beautiful family man.

We better find a way to get people involved and realize that our time to protest or start a peaceful protest is rapidly closing on us.

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14 users have voted.

good grief

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg who are fed up with the duopoly. So what's our choice? We either go with the democratic party like we did in 2008 (most of us) to get the republicans and Trump out of office, or we go with a third party, or we do something else.
It would be nice to have solidarity but it doesn't appear that's cooking too well right now.

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8 users have voted.

@Big Al

It would be nice to have solidarity

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4 users have voted.