cooperation not competition

Kropotkin’s quotation puts me in mind of a purported Q and A with Mahatma Gandhi:

Q: ‘What do you think about Western civilization?’
A: ‘I think it would be a very good idea.

But imagine that you’re in the Twilight Zone, or in a parallel universe, watching as the fading Western Empire goes full-tilt loose cannon and attempts to exert full command-and-control of the planet.  A refusal to cede to the inevitability of a multi-polar world in power and influence, trade, including ridiculous nationalistic levels of imposed tariffs, killing sanctions, wars in 40% of the nations on the globe (Africom and re-purposed cold war 2.0 NATO), cyber-space, and more.

As you bear witness, you  may be aghast at the hubris, and if not the amorality of it, then by the pragmatic blow-back of it all, as the Exceptional Hegemon is forcing the object of its ire (the Great Competitors) to create other trade and military alliances (<Pepe Escobar) in order to survive and thrive.


And as anatomy is said to be destiny, so is geopolitics in terms of Eurasian Heartland/ Rimland theory (MacKinder).

The alliances had been shifting earlier, of course, but under this administration they seem to hastening, from new development banks, to moving to alternative currencies than the petro-dollar, as well as alternatives to the Belgian SWIFT transaction system, in the case of Iran: INSTEX, set up by the EU, although it’s not fully operational yet. But it’s small wonder that Modi might prefer to join the “US-concocted Indo-Pacific alliance – a de facto containment mechanism against “China, China, China” as the Pentagon leadership openly admits it’, rather than the Belt and Road initiative.

Meanwhile, the head of DT’s gunboat diplomacy is in India courting the thug Narendra Modi; that’d be an interesting meet-up to witness.

But no, power and influence are zero-sum to the West: ‘We must have it all, although we may allow you to become our colonies’.

The Imperium must be allowed to decide who is allowed to have nuclear weapons, never mind that many nations have them as deterrents to threats from the West: Russia, North Korea, Iran (even as they have none, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says they will never produce them).  The West must win all of the wars for resources, most especially by the re-colonization of Africa, so that Africom can come to the rescue and install puppet governments allied with the US.

Now you may be imagining what the world might look like if the nations of the world cooperated, rather than…competed, and yes, it’s a difficult thought experiment by now.  Never mind that a new NATO Consolidation bill to further threaten Russia might pass into law; it’s alright, ma; Nato just lies and kills…mainly brown and black people…

Competition v. Cooperation in other spheres

The West loves winners, yes?  And most especially the uber-wealthy like Gates, Soros, the Walton family, and the ways they treble, quadruple net worths by the way of their ‘philanthropic endeavors’.  Hell, Gates even has his own tab at the Guardian his contributions to the ‘global common weal’ are so magnanimous!

And of course Wall Street does as well, most especially the biggest of the swingin’ dicks hedge funders like Jamie Dimon and the rest of ‘em, curse their names.


One might argue that Amerikan public schools have always created authoritarian colonized minds rather than encouraging critical thinking skills, discussing competing historical narratives, group projects, the humanities, and so on, but they’d also featured competition by way of social Darwinism: only the strongest and best succeed in life (i.e. make more moolah)!  And that was the sole measure of success.

Yuppie parents often registered their toddlers for entrance to the bestest, brightest, private kindergartens…that they might succeed early, and let everyone know it!  A degree from Yale, Harvard, and other Ivies opened doors everywhere, no matter how stupid the graduate was, no matter if he or she cheated on exams, never mind.  Success is also being President, on multiple boards of directors, and above all: one’s net worth at age X.  It’s just a toss o’ the coin: Heads I win, tails you still lose! I can still do a hostile takeover of your firm, strip its assets, fire the goobers…and win again!

But when Rahm’s school districts would be given bad scorecards, with the help of Bill Gates, the charter school movement flourished in earnest: hundreds of public schools were closed, then thousands, the staffs were ‘made redundant’, the buildings sold for an Amerikan dollar or so to: charter schools, some even as for-profit charters after a year or two.

…and Teach for America (hey, DeRay McK, hey, Ms Packyetti) teachers swooped in to fill the teacher gaps with their scant months of ‘education’, dreadfully unprepared, let’s say.  Now under Betsy DeVos (Erik Prince’s sister) it’s arguably even worse now in terms of ‘mind colonization’, especially among the Christianist (fundamentalist) schools.

It’s nigh on to impossible that most of Generation Z will ever even think to question reified memes about ‘the Empire’s enemies’, isn’t it?  Putin is a dictator who interfered in our sacred presidential elections, North Koreans are one-third shorter than South Koreans and should be nuked to smithereens, Iranians are evil, ruled by a dictatorship under Sharia Law, hell, nuke them, as well; sort it out later.

But you can bet yer bippy that they’re learnin’ how to game the system for Christ and Profit!  ♫...Prosperity Doctrine tells them so…♫

But imagine if high schools had classes in collaborative, employee owned and operated business ventures with no bosses, funded by public banks at first, with protocols on highest-to-lowest hourly pay specified, profits to go to further the cooperative business…well, it would be a start, wouldn’t it? Or would it be teaching…socialism?

But it’s alright, ma: more and more schools are spyin’ on their kids’ social networking sites to find dissenters to the realm (AKA: domestic terr’ists’).

From Doug Martin, wsws.org, June 25, 2019:

Despite popular concerns over the violation of civil liberties and the right to privacy, 63 school districts in at least 20 US states purchased social media monitoring software in 2018 up from only six districts in 2013, according to a report published in April by NYU School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice.

The actual number of schools using social media surveillance tools or services to spy on their students, while unknown, is much greater than those represented by the study since districts self-report to the database of government purchases examined by the Brennan Center.”

Hell’s bells; our area schools got busted two decades ago for spyin’ on whole families of the students to whom they’d ‘lent’ laptops to (post Columbine, of course).  Can’t be too careful, I always say.

Please feel free to weigh in with other exampled of cooperation v. competition; my brain hurts.  But aha: the reason that this diary had come into creation is that I woke up yesterday morning hearing and seeing this great collaboration in my head.  Hope you enjoy it.  ; )

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

this just in:

words fail.

on edit: i'll use words not my own: Message to NATO and the US imperial project:

“There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome’s allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest—why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted.

The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome’s duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs. They were enemies who only waited to fall on the Roman people.”

~ Joseph Schumpeter in the 1920s.

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snoopydawg's picture

Russia is being naughty even though we pulled out of the deal.

Iran is being naughty even though we pulled out of the deal.

North Korea is being naughty even though we're threatening to wipe them off the earth.

The American Indians....

It's always the others that make the USA the victim.

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

the utter hypocrisy afoot in these darkest of days. dunno where you'd been heading w/ "The American Indians....", but i hope you don't mind my finishing that my own way.

various tribes were totally eradicated, many were victims of genocide, sociocide, and long-walks ('relocated', thousands dead) along the way. some were sterilized, because: nits make lice', shunted into 'reservations' with lying promises of delivered food that never came; shot for hunting for food; made slaves and assassinated on the west coast missions under the catholic priests like junipero sera...sorry to go on. but it's a fucking miracle that some tribes have survived all that, including some of the kids who were sent to religious boarding schools.

on edit: broken treaties galore, which i'd added earlier responding to you, hit the wrong key...and my comment zipped right into the ether. and when precious metals were discovered in treaty lands, first americans were either relocated again, or the dissenters were murdered. leonard peltier will die in jail for being convicted of 2 fbi agent killings even the fbi knows he hadn't committed at pine ridge. it was a against the traditional by the compradors for selling tribal uranium, iirc, and that couldn't stand.

this, then, might be a good closing song. good night all; morning come long before first light for me.

may we not forget.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wendy davis

I think that was the point.

Trouble is, this continent was invaded and overrun by greedy selfish bastards, and they developed a greedy selfish culture. It probably could not have been otherwise.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

you've added quotation marks to "We", amiga. it's hard for me to watch so many fail to do it, especially those dissenters of the realm. but i agree, our victims are 'evil, barbarians, godless, subhumans, and the list goes on.

nope, it could not have been otherwise, as it was considered "Our" manifest destiny, orders from gawd. the first americans fit that list quite well, as do many of the 'others' in the OP.

on a different thread, i'd mentioned the killing sanctions on iran (and VZ) as the playbook by nixon/kissinger/chicago boys economists in chile: "make the economy scream" and the CIA will more easily be able to foment an insurrection to overthrow the government. well, they did. and here this morning is this graphic, may allende be resting in power:

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Jen's picture

@wendy davis Oh, how I despise that term. Sounds like it is describing Americans living in India.

But anyway. Why don't they have their own country complete with nuclear weapons?
Not that I think anyone should have nuclear weapons.

Don't mind me, just thinking out loud.

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Is it great yet?

wendy davis's picture

@Jen

either first americans or native americans; in canada, the indigenous use 'first nations', which is inclusive of all tribes.

i will say that any number of indigenous americans we're friends with...often call themselves 'indians', whether in jest or not, i can't swear to. ; ) sports teams on some reservations are called 'redskins' as well, but that may be down to history of bia schools being run by boss-man white colonizers.

as far as having their own country, i'm sure you must realize how many tribes still exist on turtle island from coast to coast and alaska. as far as i'm concerned, THIS was their contry, and it's a stolen land.

reparations for blacks is being discussed, but never will be for the first inhabitants, nossir.

but isn't term a vestige of the first 'explorer'/colonizer christopher columbus who'd bumped into what's now hispanola or another island believing he'd found india? file under: hoo, boy, my memory leaks more like a sieve every day....

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wendy davis's picture

@Jen

horsin' around, but i did get to remembering that there are boatloads of federally unrecognized tribes in amerika. i've forgotten the reasoning behind it (dollars for federal health clinics, etc.?) but even within tribes, there are bands, clans, and blendeds.

my guess is that so many tribes were nearly totally wiped out, that some survivors intermarried. as well, many tribes hiding in the swamps of florida married blacks in hiding as well. so it all gets pretty complicated, and i have no idea how their offspring self-identify. for that matter, our adopted son's bio mother is aztec, his bio father was black, and i think he'd likely self-identify as black, because his skin is very dark, and bigots call him 'nigger'.

as to nukes, i've been fond of the theory that every nation on the planet be required by international law to have One nuclear weapon of similar yields. MADD? ; )

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Jen's picture

@wendy davis Forgive me for taking so long to do so.

I am just tired of Israel playing like they're the biggest victims in history. At least they still have their identity. Whereas Cherokee, Aztec, Sioux, Pueblo, Shawnee, and so many others have been reduced and lumped together as American Indians, Native Americans, First Americans.

I know exactly what you mean about reparations. They're trying to erase history. America's First Victims deserve no less than the price of a country.

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Is it great yet?

wendy davis's picture

@Jen

that there was a new comment, jen. what a cool feature JtC's created here! i suppose that as there are so many more blacks than first americans in amerika, and so many more in leadership positions, that's why (at least as far as i know) reparations for the latter haven't been mentioned. zero power, save for what they create for themselves locally, as w/ fights for clean water.

yes, israel is victimized by the palestinians, and by BDS (illegal in some cities or states in the US). and now jared kushner has spoken of the 'gifts to palestinians' (the economic supposed enticement) that would essentially amount to erasing palestinians for bucks. er...shekels.

massive protests erupted in bahrain this week at the first confab (even the odious christine lagarde was there) but no palestinian leaders even deigned to show up. trump, kushener and bibi were to have presented 'the deal of century' just after ramamdan ended (may 11?), but it's on hold again now seeking more international support (as if), and cuz bibi's under investigation for corruption. dunno if he ever was able to form a coalition govt. who cares, in any event? jeebus, his permanent smirk is hard to look at.

i appreciate your further explanation, and agree. it's such a cruel world, and it didn't have to be this way, did it?

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seems to have fallen out of the official amerikan dictum. It is up to 'we the people' to re-introduce the notion. Share the idea at every opportunity.

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

wendy davis's picture

@QMS

i was stuck trying what cooperation among the nations of the world could/would look like instead. i remember maybe 20 years ago when i first became aware of global warming, writing for the local free press that at least it was an opportunity for crops that could be grown in cooler climates like russia, as well as the obverse, then shared...

but as to 'listen to your higher mind'...ah, that would take a manifest revolution of higher consciousness, wouldn't it?

Some ones are crazy or
Maybe we take turns
Dreaming about some kind of life
We say it could have been different
But it wasn't because we weren't

~ santee sioux AIM leader john trudell (RIPower)

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Neighbor, talking to my dad: "It's a dog-eat-dog world, XXXX".
My dad: "Yes, YYYY, but I'm not a dog."

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

dad; thanks for bringing it.

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ggersh's picture

not that we ain't fucked already

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/majority-of-us-citizens-would-appr...

The use of a nuclear weapon against North Korea would have even higher support after it happened:

They were also asked whether they would “approve” of such a strike if the president ordered it.

People would “rally around the flag,” the survey found: while 33 percent of the public would prefer a nuclear strike that would kill 15,000 North Korean civilians, 50 percent said they would approve if one took place.

It is not astonishing that many of these people are so called 'conservatives':

Republicans expressed greater support for military strikes than Democrats, and Trump supporters voiced even stronger approval: a majority of them preferred a military strike in five of the six scenarios described in the survey.

Among supporters of the death penalty, support for a nuclear strike actually rose from 38 percent to 49 percent when the number of expected North Korean fatalities increased from 15,000 to 1.1 million; one such respondent explained that “it’s our best chance of eliminating the North Koreans.”

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tRump amerika's last president

voting in ameriKa is an illusion

I'm fairly sure that the R's have finally figured out
that the D's are no longer necessary

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

poll b had mentioned, so i did go looking. it was a bit more nuanced as i dug into it, but still fooking scary biscuits. thanks for reading and commenting, amigo.

commenters at the café have asked and answered for years: 'and who will stop Us? (the us and nato)...those who can and must.'

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@ggersh
usually characterize themselves as "pro-life"?

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

ggersh's picture

@UntimelyRippd duh, like all of them

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tRump amerika's last president

voting in ameriKa is an illusion

I'm fairly sure that the R's have finally figured out
that the D's are no longer necessary

Big Al's picture

was a good deal and Trump should not have pulled out from it, actually contributing to, acceding to, and/or supporting the false narrative that the Empire of thousands of nukes and the history and will to use them, does have the right to force Iran to not have a nuclear weapon?

"It was as early as 2007 that Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article, "The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?" would warn:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda."

America Planned to Break "Iran Nuclear Deal" Years Before Signing It

"In their 2009 paper, "Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran" (PDF), Brookings policymakers would first admit the complications of US-led military aggression against Iran (emphasis added):

...any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it.
The paper then lays out how the US could appear to the world as a peacemaker and depict Iran's betrayal of a "very good deal" as the pretext for an otherwise reluctant US military response (emphasis added):

The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

And from 2009 onward, this is precisely what the United States set out to achieve. First with US President Barack Obama's signing of the 2015 JCPOA, up to and including current US President Donald Trump's attempts to backtrack from it based on fabricated claims Iran failed to honor the agreement."

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/search/label/iran

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

doesn't have that right, but in order to end the sanctions 'because iran was working toward a nuclear bomb', the JCPOA was built. and dayum, thanks for reminding us of tony cartalucci's prescience and wisdom; how could i have forgotten?

nonetheless...here we are, and how fucked up it is, including nato's hypocrisy, given that trump had pulled the US out of the INF treaty, as well as the JCPOA.

'survivable limited nuclear war'; now ain't that an orwellian concept.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
patients with diagnosed dementia told me lately as a response of my question as to how to get a therapy resistant patient to comply with a necessary medical treatment:

"With softly violent persuasion and enforced court approved transfer in an institution", he answered.

Can a violent persuasion and enforcement be soft?

Sigh.

Apologies for reading your essay ... Wink ... just too seductive to not to. (as you know after some blockquoted texts I saw recently softly passing by, I really, really can't resist. Nothing for Ungood. These are just my soft persuasion skills itching my fingers on the keyboard.

Cooperation, peace, and love. Indeed. I am in. Smile

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Please donate to C99p so that the site can survive.

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

the dilemma: 'sanctions' sound so much like 'soft persuasions', but amount to killing, and act as war by other means until...other forms of violence are used when all else fails.

so the US political class votes for iranian sanctions, but now the EU regrets having done so (for pragmatic reasons concerning irania oil, but still dithers.

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Big Al's picture

the "deal" was a manufactured idea, at least from the Brookings neocon think tank, as early as 2009, probably earlier, even before Obama took office. Obama was tasked with doing the deal, now Trump has been tasked (or guided) to the second phase. Continuity of government. Iran was foolish to even agree to a deal, they didn't have to under international law, but they did because they foolishly felt the sanctions would be lifted and they could somehow join the global economy. They were fucking idiots, just like Russia has been as so continuously complained about by Paul Craig Roberts. Now they know a deal doesn't mean shit, maybe they fell for the Obama spell.
Trump knows he can't attack Iran so this is all the game they got right now. It could very well fall flat on it's face like their Venezuela fiasco. My guess is that if Trump wants a second term, he's going to have to do it, i.e., take on Iran. If not, I can't see the powers that be waiting until 2025. As Wes Clark stated way back, Iran has always been the "and finishing with Iran", end piece of the neocon dream. Considering how subservient he's been to Zionist Israel and the pending economic come to Jesus moment, we're probably in for a rough ride. I say boycott the democratic party now.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/06/23/dead-arrival-brief-pos...

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

amplify on this: "They were fucking idiots, just like Russia has been as so continuously complained about by Paul Craig Roberts." can't say i always agree w/ PCR, surprised that give his past CV i ever do, really. ; ) 'radicalized roberts'.

especially about the bolded portion, but what choice did iran have? i dunno how it'll all play out in the near future, nor as an electoral issue, myself. thanks for the VZ failed coup link, but this morning's news is this. (i'll likely put it up as a stand-alone post later to unwind some of the details and players):

Venezuela's @jorgerpsuv reveals that during the most recent coup attempt, there were also plans for a coup within the opposition leadership against Juan Guaido.

"What Guaido doesn't know, is that we had people in all the meetings where they planned hits on members of the government; we have all the recordings, videos and information necessary to face down a coup."

bolton seems to be implicated, fwiw.

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Big Al's picture

what they're doing now, Rouhani is questioning why the US isn't going after Israel with all it's nukes and saying it will not renegotiate at all. Maybe they felt like they didn't have a choice, but as it turns out, they sure didn't gain anything from agreeing to a deal. In fact, as the Brookings document shows, they were set up by agreeing to the deal. It's like the local mafia forcing a store owner to agree to deal so they will quit fucking with them. Maybe they had no choice, but then again.

As for Roberts, didn't say I agreed with him, just that he's been a consistent critic of what he's considered Russia's appeasement to the empire. I've felt that in ways myself, but that's the world of geopolitics among the rich.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

appeasement to the empire', i'm not sure what either you or PCR are seeing. certainly russia don't want no' war, either on russia or her allies. and yes, it's easy for you and other backstreet drivers to say.

but 2 tweets today (well, yesterday) from the iranian FM, the second one you'll appreciate, for certain:

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

in the mix, but i reckon you're aiming at FM zarif's second tweet?

and light bulb: i remember your having brought a pepe escoabar piece calling out putin for 'working with israel in syria' on bombing russian emplacements or something, but as i remember it, the whole aim of putin's with israel was to deconflict air space (from crashes).

'don't let the devil get you down' (out of the wayback machine, but great stuff)

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