Archive for February, 2007

Hat tip to Antique Guns Newsletter

February 24, 2007

Marine Corps General Reinwald was interviewed on the
>> > radio the other day and you’ll love his reply to the lady who
>> > interviewed him concerning guns and children.
>> >
>> > Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love
>> > this!!!! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a
>> > portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female
>> > broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to
>> > sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military installation.
>> >
>> > FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things
>> > are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?
>> >
>> > GENERAL REINWALD: We’re going to teach them climbing,
>> > canoeing, archery, and shooting.
>> >
>> > FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That’s a bit
>> > irresponsible, isn’t it?
>> >
>> > GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see why, they’ll be properly
>> > supervised on the rifle range.
>> >
>> > FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don’t you admit that this is a
>> > terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?
>> >
>> > GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see how. We will be teaching
>> > them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.
>> >
>> > FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you’re equipping them to become
>> > violent killers.
>> >
>> > GENERAL REINWALD: Well, Ma’am, you’re equipped to be a
>> > prostitute, but you’re not one, are you?
>> >
>> > The radio went silent and the interview ended.
>> >
>> > Oooh RAH
What were the 1700’s Like

In George Washington‘s days, there were no cameras.
One’s image was
either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George
Washington
showed
him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his
back while others
showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by
painters were not based on how many people were to be
painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted.
Arms and legs are “limbs,” therefore painting them
would cost the buyer more. Hence the _expression,
“Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.”
===================================================
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths
only twice a
year (May and October)! Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and
bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good
wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so
to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread,
put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes.
The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the
term “big wig.” Today we often use the term “here
comes the Big Wig” because someone appears to be or is
powerful and wealthy.
====================================================
In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large
room with only one
chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from
the wall, and was used for dining. The “head of the
household” always sat in the chair while
everyone else ate sitting on the floor Occasionally a
guest, who was
usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair
during a meal. To
sit in the chair meant you were important and in
charge. They called the
one sitting in the chair the “chair man.” Today in
business, we use the
expression or title “Chairman” or “Chairman of the
Board.”
********************************************************************************
****
Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a
result, many women and men had developed acne scars by
adulthood. The women would spread bee’s wax over their
facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they
were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare
at another woman’s face she was told, “mind your own
bee’s wax.” Should the woman smile, the wax would
crack, hence the term “crack a smile” In addition,
when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would
melt . . . therefore, the expression “losing face.”

**************************************************************
Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front.
A proper and
dignified woman, as in “straight laced”. . . wore a
tightly tied lace.
**************************************************************
Common entertainment included playing cards. However,
there was a tax
levied when purchasing playing cards but only
applicable to the “Ace of
Spades.” To avoid paying the tax, people would
purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games
require 52 cards, these people were thought to be
stupid or dumb because they weren’t “playing with a
full deck.”

*************************************************************
Early politicians required feedback from the public
to determine what the
people considered important. Since there were no
telephones, TV’s or
radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local
taverns, pubs, and
bars. They were told to “go sip some ale” and listen
to people’s
conversations and political concerns. Many assistants
were dispatched at
different times. “You go sip here” and “You go sip
there.” The two words
“go sip” were eventually combined when referring to
the local opinion and,
thus we have the term “gossip.”

**************************************************************
At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from
pint and quart-sized
containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the
customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay
close attention and remember who was drinking in
“pints” and who was drinking in “quarts,” hence the
term “minding your “P’s and Q’s.”

**************************************************************
One more: bet you didn’t know this!
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and
many freighters carried
iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon
balls. It was
necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon.
However, how to prevent them from rolling about the
deck? The best storage method devised was a
square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on
four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a
supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small
area right next to the cannon. There was only one
problem…how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding
or rolling from under the others. The solution was a
metal plate called a “Monkey” with 16 round
indentations.
However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron
balls would quickly
rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to
make “Brass
Monkeys.” Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts
much more and much faster than iron when chilled.
Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far,
the brass indentations would shrink so much that the
iron
cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it
was quite
literally, “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a
brass monkey.” (All
this time, you thought that was an improper
expression, didn’t you?)

Listen to the Whole Story

Mommy… I was at the playground and I saw Daddy’s car go into the
woods with Aunt Jane. I went back to look and he was giving Aunt Jane a
big
kiss. Then he helped her take off her shirt. Then Aunt Jane helped
Daddy take his pants off, then Aunt Jane……..”  At this point Mommy
cut
him off and said, “Johnny, this is such an interesting story, suppose
you
save the rest of it for supper time.  I want to see the look on Daddy’s
Face when you tell it tonight.”!  At the dinner table, Mommy asked
little
Johnny to tell his story.  Johnny started his story, “I was at the
playground and I saw Daddy’s car go into the woods with Aunt Jane. I
went back to look and he was giving Aunt Jane a big kiss, then he helped
her take off her shirt. Then Aunt Jane helped Daddy take his pants off,
then Aunt Jane and Daddy started doing the same thing that Mommy and
Uncle Bill used to do when Daddy was in the Army.”  Moral: Sometimes you
need to listen to the whole story before you interrupt.

HOW TO INSTALL A HOME SECURITY SYSTEM

1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men’s

well-used and very oversize 14-16 work boots.

2. Place them on your front porch, along with several

crushed empty beer cans, a copy of Guns & Ammo

magazine, some empty .357Magnum shell casings 

….and several NRA magazines.

3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazine.

4. Leave a note on your door that reads:

Hey Bubba, Big Jim, Duke and Slim,

     I went to the gun shop for more ammunition. Back in an hour.

Don’t mess with the pit bulls — they attacked the mailman this

morning and messed him up REAL bad. I don’t think Killer took

part in it ….but it was hard to tell from all the blood.
PS – I locked all four of ‘em in the house. Better just wait outside.

Al Gore

February 24, 2007

Global Warming: Fact, Fiction and Political Endgame

Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Albert Arnold Gore, will be the toast of Hollywood at this weekend’s self-congratulatory soiree known as the Academy Awards.

Gore, whose failure to carry his “home” state of Tennessee cost him the 2000 presidential election, has recast himself as the populist pope of eco-theology and the titular head of the green movement’s developmentally arrested legions.

The doughy darling of Leftcoast glitterati has received two Oscar nominations for a junk-science production called “An Inconvenient Truth,” a pseudo-documentary born of the wildly improbable pop film “The Day After Tomorrow.” Gore’s “Truth,” however, is even stranger than the Hollywood fiction that inspired it.

The celebration of Gore’s film coincides, not coincidentally, with the much-ballyhooed release of a media summary of a report on global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These two events will serve as a fine backdrop for the coming cavalcade of dire ecological predictions by Gore and his ilk. Their goal will be to saturate the all-too-sympathetic media outlets with apocalyptic hysterics about a man-made global disaster. Perhaps, too, if all goes according to plan, we’ll see another Gore presidential run.

All the “Live Earth” road-show talking points will play up an alarming assertion from Bill Clinton’s former veep: “Never before has all of civilization been threatened. We have everything we need to save it, with the possible exception of political will. But political will is a renewable resource.”

To be sure, there is “no controlling legal authority” for this, the biggest political and economic power grab ever attempted. The Left’s desire to hamstring the U.S. economy and force worldwide Kyoto Treaty compliance will, according to one United Nations estimate, cost the world economy $553 trillion this century.

Al Gore may be a comical dupe when it comes to climatology (in college, he collected a C+ and a D in his two natural-sciences courses), but the global-warming debate and the consequences of that debate are serious. To participate meaningfully, one must distinguish between fact and fiction – in addition to understanding the underlying political agendas.

In the inimitable words of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” To that end, Al Gore’s “facts” are deserving of rigorous scrutiny.

Separating fact from fiction

First, let’s be clear that the current debate about climate focuses on “global warming,” which is not synonymous with the debate about the environmental consequences of the “greenhouse effect.” The latter issue concerns what, if any, relationship exists between man-made CO2 in the atmosphere and global temperatures.

For the record, most reputable scientists agree that we are in a period of gradual global warming (about 0.7 degrees Celsius in the last century), and that the greenhouse effect prevents our climate from becoming a deep freeze. Most also agree that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased in the last century, and there is a growing consensus that global warming is due, in part, to the greenhouse effect.

However, there is no scientifically established correlation between global-warming trends and acceleration of the greenhouse effect due to human production of CO2—only broad speculation. Although many politicians and their media shills insist that the primary cause of global warming is the burning of hydrocarbons here in the United States, that government regulation of man-made CO2 will curb this global warming, that our failure to limit CO2 output will have dire consequences, and that the costs of enacting these limitations far outweigh the potential consequences, there is no evidence supporting any of these assertions.

Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, notes, “When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works.”

In fact, there remains substantial doubt that the production of CO2 by human enterprise, which contributes only about three percent of CO2 to the natural carbon cycle (the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged between the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere of the Earth) has any real impact on global temperature, and if it does, that such impact is, necessarily, negative.

Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased from about 315 parts per million five decades ago, to about 380 ppm today, which is to say, there are major factors influencing the amount of CO2 levels in the atmosphere besides our burning of hydrocarbons.

Case in point: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has maintained the world’s longest continuous worldwide record of atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels—those cited by global-warming alarmists. In 2002 and 2003, NOAA recorded increases in atmospheric CO2 of 2.43 and 2.30 ppm respectively—a 55 percent increase over the annual average of 1.5 ppm for previous years. In 2004, however, this increase fell back to 1.5 ppm per year.

Did human industrial output somehow increase 55 percent during those two years, and then decline by that amount in 2004? Of course not. For the record, NOAA concluded that the fluctuation was caused by the natural processes that contribute and remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Al Gore would be hard-pressed to explain NOAA’s findings within the context of his apocalyptic thesis, and he would be hard-pressed to convince any serious scientists that his Orwellian solutions could correct such fluctuations. This is because his thesis is based largely on convenient half-truths.

For instance, Gore insists that the increased incidence of hurricanes, tornadoes, drought and other weather phenomena is the direct result of global warming.

Renowned meteorologist Dr. William Gray takes exception: “The degree to which you believe global warming is causing major hurricanes,” he says, “is inversely proportional to your knowledge about these storms.”

In a recent issue of Discover Magazine, Gray, described by Discover’s editors as one of “the world’s most famous hurricane experts,” wrote, “This human-induced global-warming thing… is grossly exaggerated… I’m not disputing there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ‘40s, and then there was global cooling in the middle ‘40s to the early ‘70s. Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical… about this global-warming thing. But no one asks us.”

Gore preaches about the two percent of Antarctica that is warming without noting that temperature readings over the rest of Antarctica indicate the continent has cooled over the previous 35 years, or that the UN’s climate panel estimates net snow mass increases in Antarctica this century. Gore notes the increasing temperatures and shrinking ice caps in the Northern Hemisphere but does not note the decreasing temperatures and increased sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Richard S. Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, writes, “A general characteristic of Mr. Gore’s approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Perhaps worse still is Gore’s intellectual cowardice. During his visit to Europe in January, Gore agreed to an interview with Denmark’s largest national newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. Then, when he learned that Bjorn Lomborg, one of the world’s leading critics of eco-theological dogma, was also going to be interviewed, Gore abruptly canceled.

Lomborg, a statistician, has delved deep into the data to expose the environmental movement’s selective and oft-misleading use of evidence. His book, “The Skeptical Environmentalist” was hailed by Washington Post Book World as “a magnificent achievement” and “the most significant work on the environment since the appearance of its polar opposite, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, in 1962.” Perhaps a thoughtful debate is what scares Al Gore most of all.

Dr. Roy Spencer, former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has some additional “Questions for Al Gore” based on what he calls “Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.” We are still awaiting Gore’s reply…

Alternative causes for global warming

Beyond the natural carbon cycle and greenhouse warming, there are some other serious causal explanations for global warming.

Among the suspects are, of all things, the sun and its fellow stars. A venerable scientific journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society, published recent research done at the Danish National Space Center indicating that the impact of cosmic rays on the climate could be much greater than scientists estimated. The researchers put forth evidence that cosmic rays have a lot to do with cloud formation in the atmosphere, which in turn has a lot to do with shielding us from the sun’s warmth. Combining this discovery with evidence that our local star is experiencing historically high levels of solar activity, the researchers suggest that our sun is batting away cosmic rays from elsewhere in the galaxy and thus reducing our planet’s cloud cover. Imagine that: The sun is affecting our planet’s temperature.

Nigel Calder provides another angle on this thesis: “After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago. Climate history and related archeology give solid support to the solar hypothesis.”

Research concerning cosmic radiation as a factor in global warming builds on earlier comprehensive research done a decade ago by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine’s Arthur Robinson, whose research soundly refutes Gore’s thesis that global warming is human-induced, noting the relationship between the solar magnetic cycle and global temperatures over the last 250 years.

In 1997, Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences, invited colleagues to sign a petition based on Robinson’s work, which received more than 20,000 signers, most of whom hold advanced degrees in relevant fields of study. That petition stated, in part: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

Some other global-warming factors being seriously considered scientifically include ocean currents, changing jet-stream patterns and the Earth’s mantle activities affecting ocean temperatures.

The Political Endgame

During the second term of the Clinton/Gore administration, the U.S. faced international pressure to become a signatory to the Kyoto Treaty. The Senate, however, passed a resolution rejecting approval of that treaty in an eye-popping show of bipartisanship. The vote was 95-0, and 56 of those senators are still in Congress.

That 1997 Byrd-Hagel Senate resolution objected to the lack of any “specific scheduled commitments” in regard to the CO2 output of 129 “developing” countries, most notably, China and India, the second and fourth most powerful economies in the world.

China, home to 1.3 billion people, will have the largest economy on earth in little more than a decade. Currently, the country accounts for 33 percent of the world’s steel production and 50 percent of all concrete. China burns 2,500 tons of coal and 210,000 gallons of crude per minute. It consumes 24,000,000 watts of energy each minute, most of it produced by coal-fueled generating plants. Every ten days, China fires up a new coal generator, with plans for 2,200 additional plants by 2030. At current growth rates of consumption, China alone will devour all the earth’s resources in three decades and generate a whole lot of CO2 in the process.

Yet European industrial nations and developing nations on other continents would like to see the U.S. economy restrained by the Kyoto Treaty.

Clearly, some U.S. politicians understand the implications of Gore’s folly. Don’t expect that to stop Democrats from milking every last drop of political capital from this debate. Talk of carbon credits and other nonsense is really all about campaign coffers—holding out the threat of regulation as a means of financing campaigns and perpetuating office tenures.

University of Colorado climate scientist Roger Pielke fantasizes about a Gore victory in ‘08 based on swing states with lower-than-average CO2 output: “[I]n 2004 the per-state carbon-dioxide emissions in states that voted for George Bush were about twice as large on a per-capita basis than those in states that voted for John Kerry. If climate change is a major issue in 2008 then there is a decided advantage in [important swing] states to the Democrats. Colorado and Nevada are below the national average for carbon-dioxide emissions, and Ohio and Iowa stand to benefit immensely from an ethanol bidding war.”

However, Gore’s political and economic agenda runs deeper than environmental concerns. In his recent book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, Christopher Horner, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, aptly describes Gore and his ilk as “green on the outside, red to the core,” noting that they are motivated by an anti-capitalist agenda.

Conclusions

Regarding the prevailing winds of contemporary science, my colleague Thomas Sowell reminds us, “Back in the 1970s, the hysteria was about global cooling and the prospect of a new ice age.” I published a collection of those dire predictions in an essay entitled, “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Al Gore’s current hysterics should be received with much more skepticism than the last round of climate soothsayers. A lethal dose of his eco-elixir is precisely the wrong prescription, as it is full of the Left’s archetypal defeatist, retreatist statism but void of regard for real-world economic consequences.

Gore’s flawed analysis notwithstanding, however, sea level has risen, by best estimates, between four and eight inches in the last 150 years.

The annual rate of rise has remained relatively stable since the “big thaw” ended some 6,000 years ago. However, if current temperature trends continue, an increased rate of rise could pose significant challenges to nations around the world as millions of people now live only a few feet higher than current tides.

Although Gore, et al., would insist otherwise, we mere mortals are no match for the age-old forces that heat and cool our planet. Yet, in the face of enormous odds, we Americans have a history of perseverance and success. We can improvise, adapt and overcome—just as we have for hundreds of years in response to catastrophe. Unbridled innovation and ingenuity have served us well throughout our history, and these tools will take us, and the rest of the world, far into the future—unless shackled by a subterfuge like the Kyoto Protocol.

Publisher’s Note: This is an urgent request—please sign our petition to “Stop Albert Gore and Reject the UN’s Global Warming Treaty.” Gore is re-energizing the movement advocating Kyoto compliance—the biggest UN power-grab in our nation’s history. I urge you to sign this petition now. We already have over 30,000 electronic signatures. We want to deliver 100,000 signatures to the Senate by the time Al Gore reaches the podium at this Sunday’s Academy Awards.

It takes just 20 seconds to sign online. Link to—http://PatriotPetitions.US/StopGore

Thank you! Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander

Quote of the week

“Too often environmental-policy discussions assume that the only way to advance environmental values is to create a government program or adopt new regulations. The potential for private initiative to conserve environmental treasures is overlooked. Yet where private action is viable, it is often superior to government efforts.” —Case Western Law Professor Jonathan Adler

Open query

“Was life better when a sheet of ice a mile thick covered Chicago? Was it worse when Greenland was so warm that Vikings farmed there?” —George Will

Bureau of American Oppression

February 23, 2007

To Rein In The BATFE
— Please ask George Bush to take the agency to the woodshed
Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.orgThursday, February 22, 2007

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has
been on a tear under the administration of Attorney General Alberto
Gonzalez.

Manufacturers of various products have been told in writing that
their products are not a firearm and that they can be marketed
outside the federal paperwork system for selling firearms. Then,
months or years later, BATFE sends another letter reversing the first
determination.

The Congressional Research Service found in 2005 (ATF Firearms
Procedures) that BATFE has no written procedures for determining what
is a firearm. The “process” is arbitrary, and the string of
reversals in recent months shows how capricious a BATFE determination
is.

Historic Arms received a letter of determination in 1995 that its
BM-3000 was not a firearm. Indeed, Historic Arms had designed the
product as an accessory for a machine gun to fire different kinds of
ammunition than the gun had originally been designed to fire. For 11
years, the company manufactured their product without incident. But
in 1996, Historic Arms received a second letter determining that the
product was actually a machine gun!

As in other cases, BATFE wanted all the company’s products sent to
Washington along with all the names of the customers who had
purchased the item.

In 2004, the BATFE determined that the Akins Accelerator was a “non
firearm” accessory that allowed a shooter to bump fire a semi-auto
and considerably increase the rate of fire. This year, BATFE has
determined that the trigger finger which is bumping the trigger is
itself a machine gun! Again, send in all the product and customer
names.

For years, Centerfire Systems had a parts kit that it sold for
machine guns. Now, six years later, BATFE has reversed itself on
this company. And, the Bureau has put Centerfire Systems through the
same drill — send in their products and their customer lists.

In a related matter involving the definition of what makes a gun a
“gun,” KT Ordnance was raided by BATFE last year and its products
were confiscated. What were the dangerous items? A parts kit for
customers to legally make their own (unregistered) firearm. Again,
BATFE wanted the customer list.

The capricious activities by the BATFE wreck economic chaos on these
companies, in addition to violating both theirs and their customers’
rights protected by the Second Amendment.

It is time for the BATFE to put their procedures for determining what
is a firearm, and what is a machine gun, in writing.

This latest bait and switch is but another backdoor effort on the
part of the federal government to attack gun ownership. This time
the attack is on manufacturers.

ACTION: Please contact Pres. Bush. If we do not restrain BATFE now,
they will do immeasurable damage to the firearms industry in the
United States.

You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at
http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send the President the
pre-written message below. You can also contact the President via
telephone:
Comments:    202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX:         202-456-2461

—- Pre-written letter —-

Dear President Bush,

I am outraged that BATFE still has no written procedures for
determining what is a firearm, and what is a machine gun. It has now
been two years since the publication of ATF Firearms Procedures by
the Congressional Research Service when they revealed that Firearms
Technology Branch has no written procedures.

The Bureau has been in existence for over 30 years. How many
prosecutions have put gun owners and manufacturers in jail based on
shifting, arbitrary and capricious “expert” testimony in court which
is not based on written procedures?

When is the BATFE going to publish proposed written procedures for
the public to comment on them? When is the Justice Department going
to review the conviction of every gun owner and manufacturer where a
BATFE “expert” testified against him?

Please have the BATFE take action on these problems right away.

Sincerely,

****************************

… And Then There Was Rosie

What to do about loud, obnoxiously anti-gun “celebrities” like Rosie
O’Donnell? Why, make an example of them… on a t-shirt, of course.

Check out the best-selling “Rosie” t-shirt, featuring a GOA logo and
the message:

If guns kill people, then…
— pencils miss spel words.
— cars make people drive drunk.
— spoons made Rosie O’Donnell fat.

The obverse has a bold gun rights statement, also. Only $15.50 at
http://www.gunowners.org/merchandise.htm (plus shipping and
handling).
****************************

Please do not reply directly to this message, as your reply will
bounce back as undeliverable.

To subscribe to free, low-volume GOA alerts, go to
http://www.gunowners.org/ean.htm on the web. Change of e-mail
address may also be made at that location.
To unsubscribe send a message to
gunowners_list@capwiz.mailmanager.net with the word unsubscribe in
the subject line or use the url below.
Problems, questions or comments? The main GOA e-mail address
goamail@gunowners.org
is at your disposal. Please do not add that
address to distribution lists sending more than ten messages per
week or lists associated with issues other than gun rights.

Face it folks. Clinton’s attempt at making this a legitimate law enforcement agency failed. Adding Explosives to their name and duties did nothing to change the fundamental ways that this agency works, using your tax money. To deny Americans their rights. Be it Guns, Booze, or tobacco, and now explosives… Don’t even try to get a permit to make a few duck ponds…

They have always been a rogue agency, nothing has changed.

Osama Bin Laden Message

February 23, 2007

After numerous rounds of “We don’t know if Osama is still alive,” Osama
himself decided to send Ted Kennedy a note in his own handwriting to let
him know he was still in the game.

Kennedy opened the note, which appeared
to contain a single line of coded message: 370HSSV-0773H.

Kennedy was baffled, so he E-mailed it to John Kerry. Kerry and his aides
had no clue either, so they sent it to the FBI.

 No one could solve it at
the FBI, so it went to the CIA, then to the NSA.

With no clue as to its meaning, the FBI finally asked Marine Corps Intelligence for help.

Within a few seconds, the Marines cabled back with this reply: “Tell
Kennedy he is holding the message upside down.”

Ya just have to love United States Marines!

USFWS Approves States’ Wildlife Action Plans

February 23, 2007

All that I can say is that it about time…

USFWS Approves States’ Wildlife Action Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that it has approved wildlife action plans for all states and U.S. territories. The announcement marks the first time that all state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies have established comprehensive conservation plans that, together, provide a nationwide blueprint of actions to conserve imperiled species and prevent them from becoming threatened or endangered.

The wildlife action plans are a thorough state-by-state look at wildlife and the actions needed to ensure their survival. They also allow state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to continue to receive grants under the State Wildlife Grant program signed by President George W. Bush in 2001.

In order to be eligible for State Wildlife Grant funds, each state fish and wildlife agency was required to complete a wildlife action plan. The plans were developed as a collaborative effort that included biologists, conservationists, landowners and the general public. The plans were reviewed by a national team that included representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several state fish and wildlife agencies.

Each plan must provide information on low and declining populations of wildlife and the habitats they require, identify problems impacting these populations, identify needed research and survey efforts to improve conservation, and determine priorities. Agencies will revise and update their plans at least once every 10 years.

For more information on this story, or to see each state’s individual wildlife action plan, visit www.wildlifeactionplans.org.

The above from the North American Hunting Club Newsletter

Guarding the gates of heaven

February 23, 2007

There is something about our nation that overshadows the normal compliment of being  a human . From small towns and huge metropolis settings, as well as every place in between our children step up, and do the things that need to be done. Many spend a great deal of time complaining about this or that generation, saying that it is lost, or other derogatory things. I say that we Americans have had, and will always have our share of the finest people that have ever lived.

From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.

Our Flag’s unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job, the United States Marines.

Here’s health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we’ve fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

Marine left his imprint on Creede

Athlete, prom king died in Iraq combat Tuesday


Ahlquist enjoyed the cowboy life in adopted town.

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Clint Ahlquist grew up a cowboy who wanted to flee the palm trees and bright lights of Scottsdale, Ariz., for a place that fit him better.He found Creede at 16, moved in with a cousin and graduated in 2003 from high school in the southwest Colorado mountain town of barely 400. He wrote down Creede as his hometown when he joined the Marines.

On Tuesday, Ahlquist, 23, a sergeant who had re-enlisted in Iraq, was killed in combat.

“He called us Sunday,” said Barbara Ahlquist, his mother, from Scottsdale. “It was just a typical call. He told us he loved us and he missed us and he was fighting for our right to be free.”

“We just know he was a dedicated, dedicated Marine. He loved and believed in what he was doing,” she said. “He always wanted to be a soldier.”

Creede claims the strapping young man – 6-foot-2 and 225 lean pounds – as one of its own. He is remembered as a boy who blossomed in his class of 10, started on the basketball team, did his duty as a student and charmed his way to prom king.

“He had great manners, and he took time to talk to people,” said Frances Kolisch, the librarian at Creede High School who became the teenager’s surrogate mother while he dated her daughter, Karly.

Kolisch said Ahlquist left his beloved blue heeler dog, Grinchy, in their care when he left for the Marines.

An only child whose grandparents had introduced him to country life and Colorado, Ahlquist moved to Creede to start his sophomore year at Creede High.

“He was very gregarious, outgoing, quick with a smile,” said Buck Stroh, the district superintendent. “He was someone the kids and teachers all gravitated to, right from the start.

“Clinton just seemed to adapt to Creede, like he’d been waiting for a town like this,” Stroh said. “If you met him, you would have thought he came from Creede all his life, not Scottsdale.”

When Clint Ahlquist’s cousin planned to move, Barbara and Rex Ahlquist, the teenager’s parents, bought a home in Creede where their son could live until they retired.

“Every time we talked to him, he told us how happy he was in Creede, so we finally bought the house there,” Barbara Ahlquist said.

“He was a cowboy, and he fit in in the small town. Scottsdale is not a real cowboy town.”

Barbara Ahlquist said her son will have a military funeral and burial in Arizona, probably within the next two weeks.

Creede also plans to hold its own tribute to Clint Ahlquist, perhaps a memorial service of some kind, but not just yet.

The town is still grieving the death of girls basketball coach Walter Martinez, who died Feb. 4 in an avalanche while snowmobiling.

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Know Thine Enemy

February 20, 2007

“The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man.” —James Madison

Friday Digest

PATRIOT PERSPECTIVE

On Sunnis and Shi’ites

After publishing an op-ed entitled “The Real Islam” last summer, I was bombarded by requests to produce a follow-up piece outlining the differences between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. Well, here it is, with one caveat: The historical complexities and theological nuances of the 1,400-year-old rift in Islam make the 600-year division between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, or the contemporary divisions within Protestantism, seem simple by comparison. There is no way a thousand-word essay can say it all. Thus, though I may outline these differences in a nutshell, I’m certain to leave countless other nuts yet to be cracked.

Muslims today make up about one person in four, some 1.4 billion altogether. Of these, nearly 90 percent are Sunni; the remaining 10 percent are primarily Shi’ite. Of the world’s 52 majority-Muslim states, only five are majority Shi’ite: Iran (90 percent), Azerbaijan (80 percent), Bahrain (70 percent), Iraq (66 percent) and Lebanon (50 percent). With minor exceptions, the rest are majority Sunni. These facts notwithstanding, Shi’ite Muslims exert an influence in the Muslim world and beyond that transcends their comparatively meager numbers.

As both friend and foe, Shi’ite Iraq has been a focal point of U.S. foreign policy for at least three decades. Iran’s enormous oil wealth, hard-line theocracy and pursuit of nuclear weapons continue to pose problems for the Middle East and the West. Azerbaijan’s post-Soviet dictatorship not only enjoys enormous oil and natural-gas wealth, but also functions as an unavoidable corridor for oil transport between Russia, Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Bahrain hosts a key U.S. naval base and enjoys a reputation as a strong and growing world financial hub. Lebanon, once the Westernized gem of the Middle East, is now plagued by Hizballah and Syrian interference but continues to hold a pivotal role regarding Israeli security and regional democratization. For better or for worse, the Shi’ites cannot be ignored.

Two prevailing issues lend urgency to our understanding of these, the two great sects of Islam. First, as Congressional Quarterly’s Jeff Stein demonstrated in a series of biting reports over the past several years, even the most senior and seasoned U.S. legislative, foreign-policy, intelligence and law-enforcement leaders have next to no understanding of the differences between Sunnis and Shi’ites, what countries are dominated by which sect, or why it matters. Second, as is so readily apparent in Iraq today, Sunnis and Shi’ites have little compunction when it comes to slaughtering each other. This is because each considers the other heretical—that is, outside the oma or community of true Islam.

Across the entire Muslim world, it’s dangerously naive to think that the differences between Sunnism and Shi’ism are all that matter; in fact, it’s far more complicated. Yet given that these differences do matter, what are they?

It is no small detail that the rift between Sunnis and Shi’ites dates to the death of Muhammad, Islam’s founder. Shortly before his own death in 632 AD, Muhammad’s last surviving son, Ibrahim, also died. By this time, Islam was already tightly woven into a religious and political community led by a man who was at once both a religious and political leader. In the absence of an heir apparent, the question of succession—who would lead Islam after Muhammad—quickly engulfed this nascent but powerful Islamic oma.

The term Sunni comes from the Arabic word sunna, which roughly translates as “example,” indicating those who follow the example of Muhammad. Sunnis refer to themselves properly as Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaa’h, roughly “the people of the example [of Muhammad] and the community.” The name is meant to connote their own claim as the heirs of “orthodox” Islam and as the majority among competing Muslim sects.

The name was chosen because Sunnis believed themselves to be following the example of Muhammad in several key respects. Muhammad, they say, did not designate a successor or dictate a procedure for selecting one. Also, Muhammad’s claim to prophethood was unique—his successor would be a leader of the community, not another prophet. Finally, what was clear was that Islam should remain united under one individual—a leader of the oma, a military commander and the final arbiter of disputes within the community and interpreter of its law. Implicit in these assertions was the belief that Islam’s leader need not come from a particular family, clan or tribe.

Consequently, Abu Bakr, one of Muhammad’s inner circle and among the first converts to the new religion, became Islam’s first leader, or caliph. Serving as caliph from 632 to his death two years later, Abu Bakr was the first of whom Sunnis recognized as the four “Rightly Guided Caliphs.” Before his death, Abu Bakr named another of Muhammad’s inner circle, Umar, as his successor. Umar ruled as caliph to his death in 644, during which time he created a sort of electoral college to choose future successors. This group chose Uthman as Islam’s third caliph (644-656), followed by Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law and cousin, who held the title until his death in 661. The caliphate continued after Ali but was marked by increasing political disunity and corruption through several dynasties, causing Muslims to look back on the era of its first four caliphs as the “Golden Age” of Islam.

Golden to the Sunnis, that is. The Shi’ite minority, by contrast, considered Ali as the rightful heir of Islam, designated as such by Muhammad himself. The intervening three leaders—Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman—were, therefore, illegitimate. They stole Ali’s position from him, Shi’ites say, despite all three having been present when Muhammad allegedly designated Ali as his successor at the oasis of Ghadir al-Khumm.

For the Shi’ites, Ali was no mere caliph; to them, he enjoyed a similar—but not identical—prophetic status as Muhammad before him. Whereas Muhammad received revelation from Allah (wayh), Ali and his successors received divine inspiration (ilham) allowing them to guide and judge Islam sinlessly, both spiritually and politically. Thus, for Shi’ites—also called Shi’a Ali, the “party of Ali” —Ali is the first imam, the leader of the oma descended from Muhammad. To them, the Imamate, not the Caliphate, is the rightful ruler of Islam.

In 874, Muhammad al-Qa’im became the twelfth imam at the age of six, and the end of Muhammad’s line. Shi’ites claim that for the next 67 years he existed in a state of “lesser occultation,” where he was directly accessible to his followers, followed by an inaccessible “greater occultation” which will continue until the Last Days. When this “Hidden Imam” is again revealed, he will initiate an apocalyptic struggle against the foes of Islam, hailing the end of the world. In the meantime, the rule of Islam resides in the ayatollahs, the “sign of Allah,” who act in the name of the Hidden Imam.

In the lead up to the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Ayatollah Khomeini never directly claimed to be this Hidden Imam, but his followers propagated the idea in order to legitimize Khomeini’s claim against the secular government of the pro-Western Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, and to consolidate power after the Shah’s exile. Today, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad purports to be making preparations for the Imam’s second coming, which he believes to be close at hand. While Ahmadi-Nejad is doubtless a true believer, this claim may be intended to buttress the hard-line theocracy’s often-tenuous rule in Iran, as well as helping mobilize fellow Shi’ites across the border in Iraq.

There, Shi’ite-Sunni relations will be at the heart of conciliation or disintegration—whichever may occur. Indeed, religious, ethnic and tribal divides define four conflicts being simultaneously waged in Iraq today: Shi’ite on Shi’ite violence in the south; Shi’ite-Sunni sectarian violence in Baghdad; Ba’athist-inspired violence against the government; and al-Qa’ida/jihadist violence against anti-Western Shi’ites and the pro-U.S., Shi’ite-dominated government.

While religious violence is not the exclusive cause of the violence in Iraq, without it the conflict would be greatly simplified and far more manageable. As it is, working to quell one of Iraq’s conflicts often has the result of inflaming another.

It may be an oversimplification to say so, but a Vatican II-styled resolution between Sunnis and Shi’ites may be just what the Muslim world—and the rest of the world—needs most.

Credit: Patriot Vol. 07 No. 07 | 16 February 2007 | PatriotPost.US |

Welcome Home!

February 18, 2007

I am not alone in fully supporting our troops. Even if the media refuses to do so.

Libertarians have been around for a very long time it seems.

February 18, 2007

Francis Wayland: Preacher-Economist

By Laurence M. Vance

Posted on 2/8/2007
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[The following is the foreword to a reprint of Francis Wayland's 1837 book, The Elements of Political Economy.The complete book can be viewed online here. A hardcopy is available from the Francis Wayland Institute.]

One of the great but long-forgotten works of political economy from the nineteenth century was not written by a politician or an economist — it was written by the Baptist minister Francis Wayland (1796–1865). He was equally an author, a preacher, a teacher, a pastor, and an administrator.

After a brief period of study for the ministry, and an even briefer stint as a college tutor, Wayland accepted the pastorate of a Baptist church in Boston, and remained there for four years. He distinguished himself throughout his life as both an effective preacher and a prolific author. Near the end of his life he served as the pastor of a Baptist church in Providence, Rhode Island, and devoted himself to humanitarian causes.

Between his two pastorates, Wayland served as president of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During his presidency Wayland authored what became one of the most widely used and influential American textbooks of the nineteenth century, The Elements of Moral Science. First published in 1835, it was reprinted with a lengthy introduction in 1963 by Harvard University Press.

Because he was a Baptist minister, it is no surprise that Wayland held to the absolute authority of the Bible. But he was equally an advocate of liberty, property, and peace. And because of his strong religious convictions, he made no attempt to separate God from these things. In fact, he grounded them in the will of God.

Politically, Wayland was a Jeffersonian, but said: “I do not wish to be connected with politics. Indeed, I dare not commit myself with politicians. No one knows what they will be next year by what they are this year.” When speaking about liberty, he sounds like a contemporary libertarian:

Thus a man has an entire right to use his own body as he will, provided he do not so use it as to interfere with the rights of his neighbor. He may go where he will and stay where he please; he may work or be idle; he may pursue one occupation or another or no occupation at all; and it is the concern of no one else, if he leave inviolate the rights of everyone else; that is, if he leave everyone else in the undisturbed enjoyment of those means of happiness bestowed upon him by the Creator.

Wayland likewise considered the right of property to be “the right to use something as I choose, provided I do not so use it as to interfere with the rights of my neighbor.” Because he believed that “men will not labor continuously nor productively” unless they receive some benefit from their labor, Wayland deplored property “held in common” because under such an arrangement there was “no connexion between labor and the rewards of labor.” He insisted that the “division of property, or the appropriation, to each, of his particular portion of that which God has given to all, lays at the foundation of all accumulation of wealth, and of all progress in civilization.”

Wayland took what would now be considered “politically incorrect” positions on voting, poverty, and “the rich.” Voting privileges should be restricted to “those who are able to read and write.” He was opposed to “poor laws,” and regularly defended “the rich” from the false notions frequently advanced against them. Indeed, one reason why Wayland considered poor laws so “destructive” is because they falsely assume “that the rich are under obligation to support the poor.”

Because Wayland considered all wars to be “contrary to the will of God,” he believed that “the individual has no right to commit to society, nor society to government, the power to declare war.” He further maintained that no one was obligated to support his government in an aggressive war. He depicted the Mexican War as “wicked, infamous, unconstitutional in design, and stupid and shockingly depraved in its management” — sentiments one might hear today about the war in Iraq. Wayland was not a subscriber to the “broken window” fallacy, and faithfully described the negative economic consequences of war:

Of all the modes of national expenditure, the most enormous is that of war. In the first place, the expense of the munitions of war is overwhelming. In the next place, the most athletic and vigorous laborers must be selected for slaughter. Of these the time and labor are wholly unproductive. The operations of industry, in both belligerent nations, are thus greatly paralyzed. The destruction of property, in the district through which an army passes, is generally very great. All this must be taken from the earnings of a people; and is so much capital absolutely destroyed, from which multitudes might have reared, and have lived in prosperity.

Although it was never as popular as his The Elements of Moral Science, Wayland’s textbook on economics, The Elements of Political Economy, is a classic that deserves a hearing even though it was written almost two centuries ago. First published in 1837, it was soon afterward published in abridged and revised editions. It is my contention that a reexamination of The Elements of Political Economy is beneficial because Wayland’s economic principles are not only sound, insightful, and in some cases profound, his emphasis on human action both echoes and predates Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) and the Austrian School of economics. One can hold to the absolute authority of scripture and be a strong advocate of liberty and the free market. Conservative Christianity and laissez-faire economics are not incompatible.

Wayland’s book contains the substance of his lectures on political economy that he delivered to the senior class at Brown University. Wayland says he “labored to express the general principles in the plainest manner possible, and to illustrate them by cases with which every person is familiar.” One reason Wayland presents these maxims in such a plain manner is that there are no graphs or mathematical formulas in his book to obscure them.

The Elements of Political Economy is a treatise under the four divisions of Production, Exchange, Distribution, and Consumption. Production addresses “the laws which govern the application of labor to capital in the creation of value.” Exchange addresses “the principles which govern men, when they wish, by means of their own labor, to avail themselves of the labor of others.” Distribution deals with “the laws by which those who have united in the creation of a product, receive, respectively, their portion of the result.” And Consumption discusses “the laws which should govern us in the destruction of value.”

Each division, or “book,” as Wayland terms them, is further divided into chapters, parts, and sections. The book as a whole is meticulously organized. Wayland’s lengthy Introduction is itself a discourse on the basic principles of value, supply and demand, and the gains from trade.

The emphasis in The Elements of Political Economy is always on industry, frugality, thrift, innovation, entrepreneurship, property, competition, the division of labor, labor-saving devices, and capital. And rather than exalting the laborer and scorning the capitalist, the merchant, the retailer, the exchanger (middleman), and the money-lender — as is usually the case — Wayland earnestly defends them.

With but few exceptions, economists — from the chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers to the teacher fresh out of graduate school — are interventionists to the core. They believe that the government should have a major role in the economy or at least intervene in the event of market “failure.” I am pleased to report that this is not the case with Francis Wayland. Whether he is discussing usury laws, money and banking, internal improvements, or trade restrictions, the detrimental effect of government intervention is a theme that appears throughout The Elements of Political Economy.

To begin with, Wayland disparages legislation and legislators. He specifically mentions five forms of detrimental “legislative interference”: the granting of monopolies, obliging someone to engage in labor or investment against their wishes, restrictions on industry, obliging someone to change his mode of employment, and sumptuary laws. Legislators fail as central planners because:

Not only are legislators, who generally assume the labor of directing the manner in which labor or capital shall be employed, in no manner peculiarly qualified for this task; they are, in many respects, peculiarly disqualified for it. The individual is liable to no peculiar biases, in making up his mind in respect to the profitableness of an investment. If he err, it is because the indications deceive him. The legislator, besides being liable to err by mistaking the indications, is liable to be misled by party zeal, by political intrigue, and by sectional prejudice. What individual would succeed in his business, if he allowed himself to be influenced in the manner of conducting it, by such considerations?

Wayland’s discussion of money and banking takes up 100 pages, or one-fourth of his entire book. His treatment of the history, nature, and purpose of money is straightforward. His conclusion is that “gold and silver possess all the essential qualities which are required in a circulating medium.” He was against government regulation of money, and believed that government has no right “to prevent the exportation or importation of specie,” “to alter the value of money,” or “to fix the relative value between the precious metals.”

Wayland also spoke at length about paper money. He saw the only advantages to using paper money as economy and convenience. Otherwise, it is liable to forgery, fraud, and fluctuation. Wayland did not demonize banking. Banks increase the productiveness of capital and facilitate exchange. They should be treated as any other business; the legislature has no authority to protect them “against the consequences of their own misconduct.” Banks should be obligated to redeem their bills in specie, but otherwise not be subject to legislative interference.

$20

Although it is commonly accepted now, the role of the state in undertaking the task of internal improvements was very much an issue in the period before the Civil War. Wayland, writing in 1837, was opposed to the state undertaking the work of internal improvements. The benefits of exchange and the absurdity of trade restrictions are another focal point of Wayland’s book. His free-trade credentials are impeccable. Not only did he reject the notion that there is a “loser” in an exchange, he maintained that “universal exchange is as necessary to the welfare, and even to the existence of the human race, as universal production.” There should be no restrictions that hinder an individual from purchasing or selling “where he pleases” or controls on “the nature or the quantity of the articles which he exports or imports.”

We cannot call Francis Wayland an Austrian economist in the true sense of the word. Not only did he write The Elements of Political Economy before Carl Menger (1840–1921) was born, there are no specific discussions in his book of the business cycle, marginal utility, or subjective value. It is also probably true that Wayland would have preferred to be remembered as a preacher, an educator, or a philanthropist. But for someone who would not have considered himself an economist, Wayland’s work on economics is both insightful and immensely practical. His emphasis on property, capital, entrepreneurship, and above all, his commitment to human action and not government action, makes his long-forgotten work on economics worthy of a revival.


Laurence M. Vance is a freelance writer and an adjunct instructor in accounting at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL. He is also the director of the Francis Wayland Institute. See his archive. Send him mail. Comment on the blog.

This foreword is an edited version of the article, “Francis Wayland: Preacher-Economist,” and is reprinted with permission of the publisher from The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy (Winter 2006, vol. X, no. 3, pp. 401–410). © Copyright 2006, The Independent Institute, 100 Swan Way, Oakland, California 94621–1428 (email info@independent.org).

Francis Wayland’s 1837 book The Elements of Political Economy can be viewed online here. A hardcopy is available from the Francis Wayland Institute.

Often I am looked at as if I have developed something rather new. It just isn’t so people!

Islamic Ignorance

February 18, 2007

Sent: Friday, February 16, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: Update: The Carnival of Islam in the West

as-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

That got sent to me. Can you believe it? Not only that but this treasure trove of intel was not sent BCC.

edit

Seems that some people have a problem with their exploits being exposed to the light of day, and that WordPress supports that sort of thing.


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