CA Dem leader: Why do we allow free speech to terrorize politicians?

posted at 10:11 am on June 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

This would be great satire, except that California’s Speaker of the Assembly, Karen Bass, was foolish enough to say it — and believe it.  In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bass responded to a question about conservative talk radio by calling show hosts terrorists, and openly wondering why we allow people to call politicians and give their opinions (via The Corner):

How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?

The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

There’s a lot of stupidity and tyranny locked into those few words.  The First Amendment guarantees the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, even apart from the “free speech” issues Bass casually discards.  Elected politicians are accountable to the people who elect them in a free society.  Politicians do not acquire lordly status when they go to the Assembly, or anywhere else.

Usually, politicians are smart enough to at least pay lip service to getting feedback from their constituents.  Instead, Bass calls them “terrorists” for … what?  Calling their representatives and telling them not to raise taxes even higher, in the state with the sixth-highest per capita tax burden in the nation?  Expressing their opinions?  Telling politicians they won’t get their support if they vote for a tax hike?  That’s democracy, not terrorism, although I’m hardly surprised that Bass can’t tell the difference.

Maybe Bass should embed with our forces in Iraq or Afghanistan to get a sense of what terrorism really means.  On second thought, the men and women on the front lines have it bad enough.

And while we’re looking at that exchange, what happened to Patt Morrison, the LA Times reporter?  Did Morrison not feel that answer worthy of a follow-up — like, “Are you seriously equating dissent with terrorism?”  Or better yet, “Have you lost your mind?”  Morrison appears more interested in promoting Bass than actually conducting an interview.

Beware the politicians who consider dissent terrorism.  They’re either idiotic beyond belief, or tyrants waiting for an opportunity.  Bass might just be both.


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Does she realize she’s OUR employee? (Ok not MINE because I don’t live in California…)

Does she think that a boss demanding work from his employees under threat of firing is terrorism?

Skywise on June 30, 2009 at 10:13 AM

That’s one woman who should stay out of the kitchen!

OldEnglish on June 30, 2009 at 10:15 AM

CLUELESS

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Unreal!!!..This PROVES the Democrats won’t quit until they take away EVERY right granted under the constitution and the ignorant Supreme Court will probably let them.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:15 AM

The followup question should have been what did she think should be done with those type of ‘terrorists’. I’d be willing to bet she wouldn’t have any qualms about gitmo or torture when it came to people who criticize her over the airwaves.
Radical islamic terrorists should be rehibilitated but conservative talk radio hosts should be put to the sword. Lady, I hope they throw you out of office so hard that you bounce off the curb.

austinnelly on June 30, 2009 at 10:15 AM

She should move to Iran then. The government there seems to be much more amenable to her.

WisCon on June 30, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Take a good long look at that picture…..THAT is what is running this country; THAT is one of the “adults” in charge. MOONBAT fever; no cure. Can someone post her phone number so I may “terrorize” her by calling to say howdy?

Ris4victory on June 30, 2009 at 10:16 AM

I swear, lefty liberal indoctrination leaves people without logic and without reason.

How the eff can anyone say such things and balance them against the Constitution? I mean…I am flabbergasted.

Thunderstorm129 on June 30, 2009 at 10:16 AM

I am really starting to like the idea of strict term limits.

search4truth on June 30, 2009 at 10:16 AM

This would be great satire

This last 5 1/2 months would be great satire if it wasn’t real. Groucho would have a field day with this administration.

genso on June 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

For once we see an honest politician.

She says what she thinks and feels.

Cali has a huge terrorist community in the form of its street gangs, who probably support her in her district.

But she ignores the real terrorists and says that it’s her fellow legislators who vote against tax increases and the voters who will end their careers if they do.

She wants a fascist regime – not a democratic republic.

molonlabe28 on June 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Ain’t affirmative action great?

fivefeetoffury on June 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

you guess??
maybe we can give her ‘Civics for Dummies’ for Christmas

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

I think the only thing missing from that photo are the eyes that read “TILT”.

bluelightbrigade on June 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Just so that I am clear…

Our government will not call terrorists “terrorists” anymore, but it is fine to call Americans expressing opinions “terrorists”.

We are not to question the patriotism of Democrats or Marxist Lefties, but we are free to call conservatives “un-American” and “un-patriotic”?

myrenovations on June 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

What is this “unfair” theme? Did Axelrod make this one up to further the victim status of the liberals?

sherry on June 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

If she wants to see how unfair freedom of speech can be, she should pick up a copy of the latest Vanity Fair.

STFU and enjoy your bankruptcy, you FRAUD.

BPD on June 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Can’t help but to notice a certain dynamic taking place in Ca…

Extremely ugly politicians seem to win elections on their good looks alone.

How strange is that!

Keemo on June 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

She would be right at home in the Chicago Thugocracy.

hillbillyjim on June 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

It would be great satire Ed, but the vast majority of our elected officials feel exactly the same. I call and e-mail my reps in the state and federal government and all I get back are form letters thanking me for bringing this issue to their attention. They then vote how they, or the lobbyists want them too. Thats not democracy.

deadbackpacker on June 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I will go with “idiotic beyond belief” and a side order of bat s@#t crazy. Dissent is only patriotic and encouraged when the President has an R in front of his name.

MDWNJ on June 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Didn’t bASS get the message fro ZERO?? We don’t say the T word anymore.
In bASS’s case she is a man-made disaster.

izoneguy on June 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Speechless.

At least I would be, but that’s what she wants.

Meet the new media Czar.

davidk on June 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I would argue that she epitomizes idiocy beyond belief.

This moron probably never even passed her junior high civics class, yet saw an opportunity in public “service” as a way to advance her warped agenda without having to risk anything in the private sector.

She epitomizes what is wrong with our current crop of “representatives”.

Can we start the revolution yet? Please?

Flyboy on June 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

good lord….

what have we wrought…

i hope Texas leaves…..lord almighty…

it’s on..for real

gird thy loins

JJKRN on June 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

That’s another look at the bho base. Their dissent is patriotic but our dissent is terrorism.

Mojave Mark on June 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience”

Albert Camus (French Novelist)

This is getting a very scary.

Miss Molly on June 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Sounds like somebody got their widdle bitty feelings hurt. C’mon folks group hug for the lady legislature.
At least it shows to some extent anyway, the voice of the people is starting to get through to some of these politicians who are living in their gilded cages.

Just A Grunt on June 30, 2009 at 10:20 AM

She should move to Iran then. The government there seems to be much more amenable to her.

WisCon on June 30, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Except that she’s a woman and they would allow her to express an opinion in public….hey wait a minute, I think you’ve hit on something.

Tommy_G on June 30, 2009 at 10:20 AM

I want all politicians, town, city, state, to have to pass a test on the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Amendments. Is that too much to ask?

Geronimo on June 30, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Thank you, Lord, for delivering me from California…

Crips…Speaker of The Assembly…!?!?!?

Ragspierre on June 30, 2009 at 10:20 AM

“You vote for revenue and your career is over.”

Being a politician is not supposed to be a career. It’s supposed to be a regular citizen’s side trip into serving their country for a few years and then going back to being productive. Maybe if we had more of that in our government, this country wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in today.

Kelligan on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

The “Party of No” is starting to look pretty good, no?

marklmail on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Only a BLACK politician could say something THAT stupid and not get attacked by the press.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

I want all politicians, town, city, state, to have to pass a test on the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Amendments. Is that too much to ask?

Geronimo on June 30, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Second that motion.

Keemo on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

What do you expect when you elect complete deadheads to office? I wonder what her constituancy looks like?

We really need to stop promoting and funding flunkies in this country.

saiga on June 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Politicians do not acquire lordly status when they go to the Assembly, or anywhere else.

Try telling them that.

And it’s a sign of our times that I’m not in the least bit surprised that a politician (of either party) said something like this.

crazy_legs on June 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

serving their country

Kelligan on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

What a novel idea.

genso on June 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Unfair. Now all you need to do is define “unfair” you moron.

Canada already has a fascist commission for what they consider “unfair” speech, you can bet your asss such a thing is being considered by our own Nazi leftists.

Bishop on June 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Meanwhile….Pelosi is threatening to remove seniority, committee appointments, threatening not to support them in re-election…that’s okay, but don’t tell a dem that you aren’t supporting them…

right2bright on June 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

A perfect example of the intellectual level of our “betters” in California government. Abysmal.

If you’re wondering how the finances of the most populous, most productive state in the union could have been run into the ground, look no further.

Cicero43 on June 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Only a BLACK politician could say something THAT stupid and not get attacked by the press.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Are you saying there is a double standard? If so, how does political correctness explain that? What is the rational?

saiga on June 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM

California has the government it deserves. For that matter, so does the U.S.

King of the Britons on June 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM

The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

In that paragraph she gives the perfect justification for her constituents to turf her out of office.

Hey lady we don’t work for you, you work for us and don’t you forget it.

Dreadnought223 on June 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Only a BLACK politician could say something THAT stupid and not get attacked by the press.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

A black female politician gets a lot of cover via identity politics.

If someone wants to speculate on her personal life to see if she’s pulling off a trifecta of identity politics, leave me out of it.

teke184 on June 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM

I wouldn’t even call it dissent. “Are you seriously equating constituent feedback with terrorism?”

Dissent would imply that most Republicans would have voted for “revenue.” (Which some would, but still.)

Alana on June 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM

A perfect example of the intellectual level of our “betters” in California government. Abysmal.

Cicero43 on June 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

And the idiot Obama actually held CA up as a model for environmentalism in his daily monologue yesterday. Forgetting the fact that said environmentalism has bankrupted them. Sheeeesh.

genso on June 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

I want all politicians, town, city, state, to have to pass a test on the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Amendments. Is that too much to ask?

Geronimo on June 30, 2009 at 10:20 AM

I love this idea. Make it an oral test and televise it to humiliate the stupid.

I’d also like to see this same test to get a voter registration card.

Monica on June 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Stupidity wrapped up in intellectual dishonesty. What a fine package.

DarkCurrent on June 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

I am sick and tired of these Black politicians who have no fear of ever losing an election because they are black and a democrat, making statements that are never challenged by anyone for fear of they being called a racist. Hopefully yesterdays Supreme Court decision is and will be a small decision towards equal rights for all Americans. Sadly I believe that it is going to be many many years before certain parts of our society will give up the stanglehold they have on race to continue to slop at the public trough. We all now if the shoe was on the other foot how all hell would break loose and they know that they can make hell break loose anytime they want with no consequences whatsoever. I don’t have a very good feeling in my gut for our countries future. Hopefully this 4th of July will start to show a backlash that will start to replenish my faith.
GBA

amex on June 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Only a BLACK liberal politician could say something THAT stupid and not get attacked by the press.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

F

LibTired on June 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM

I am sick and tired of these Black politicians who have no fear of ever losing an election because they are black and a democrat

amex on June 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Just wait until ACORN gets finished with the census.

genso on June 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Only a BLACK politician could say something THAT stupid and not get attacked by the press.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

A black female politician gets a lot of cover via identity politics.

If someone wants to speculate on her personal life to see if she’s pulling off a trifecta of identity politics, leave me out of it.

teke184 on June 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM

No need, we’ve already confirmed her right to be elected, yet ignorant.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Only a BLACK politician could say something THAT stupid and not get attacked by the press.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Are you saying there is a double standard? If so, how does political correctness explain that? What is the rational?

saiga on June 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Read Andrew Breitbart’s column from Monday on the will.i.am vs. Perez Hilton kerfuffle. He explains the politically correct pecking order in liberal Hollywood, which applies equally to liberal California politicians.

jon1979 on June 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

This is the face of California politics. Thank you for bringing her to light. This particular politician (Bass) is the root of our political and economic problems in the State.

Forget our US Senators Boxer and Feinstein, they are never around and are not know to lead. It’s Bass and her L.A. cronies that have put California in the mess we’re in.

Every other word out of her mouth is “tax”. That is all she knows.

FireBlogger on June 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

“Bass might just be both.”

Might be? MIGHT BE!?!? “MIGHT BE”, YOUR A$$, ADMIRAL. This woman is the ideological “love child” of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. She should be voted out of office ASAP and returned to from wherever she emerged.

(Oh, am I now guilty of “hate speech”?)

oldleprechaun on June 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Bass looks like another clueless affirmative action hire to me. Talks like one too.

bradley11 on June 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM

That is a face that would curdle milk.

Ceroth on June 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM

Usually, politicians are smart enough to at least pay lip service to getting feedback from their constituents.

Probably she does care what her constituents want. What is the “current account” or “balance of trade” between her district and the rest of the state? She may be serving a constituency that is benefiting from the net flow of payments. When one part of the state is paying for another part of the state or more broadly paying for services that they don’t use it creates political instability.

dedalus on June 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM

It’s hard to believe that, with intelligent, insightful leadership like that of Karen Bass, the State of California is in the shape it is.

One of life’s mysteries, I suppose.

Kasper Hauser on June 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Now, the wound is opened and Assemblywomen Bass is about to get infected.

For her to make such a statement “openly wondering why we allow people to call politicians and give their opinions” shows she is not in touch with reality.

If Assemblywomen Bass has to wonder why she has to allow people to call her and give their opinion, then she needs to resign and take a class in Constitutional law and start by reading the “Federalist Papers ” by Alexander Hamilton and others.

The basic function of government is to elect representatives to protect our rights, not create them or take them away because “they” think “We the People” cannot think for ourselves.

MSGTAS on June 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Hope Rush doesn’t get ahold of this. He might make fun of her or something.

a capella on June 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

This thread sums up the state of politics in our country. Period.

HoustonRight on June 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

If she thinks the first amendment is pesky, she is in for a nastry surprise when someone finally tells her about the second amendment.

bitsy on June 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM

email: speaker.bass@assembly.ca.gov

Capitol Office
1303 10th Street, Room 219
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 319-2047
(916) 319-2147 fax

District Office
5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 565
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 937-4747
(323) 937-3466 fax

VibrioCocci on June 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM

She’ll say something shockingly stupid with no time for any media follow up. That story about neutering your cat, breast cancer, or new recipes using mushrooms is next and more important.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM

What a bad week for a Dem politican to equate conservative Americans with terrorists. Why is it that every time the tea parties are approaching, one of them does this? Do they really think they’re going to intimidate us into remaining silent?

Doughboy on June 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM

A better question would be: WHY DO WE ALLOW POLITICIANS TO TERRORIZE US?

bloggless on June 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Considering the snide remarks by Mr. Obama aimed at the Tea Parties and Fox News, I am pretty sure that he doesn’t think much of dissent.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

love to see this idiot’s high school and college transcripts

max1 on June 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

If she thinks the first amendment is pesky, she is in for a nastry surprise when someone finally tells her about the second amendment.

bitsy on June 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM

I really believe, given her back ground, she knows all about the 2nd Amendment.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

I’m sure she is referring to John and Ken on AM 640. They are relentless with their political human sacrifices and rallies with politician’s heads impaled on pikes. If I were a Republican politician, I would be afraid for my political future if I crossed that duo on new taxes, but that is a good thing. If you cross them, they will tell a million people every day your name and urge with vicious humor your removal from office. John and Ken’s tactics may no be PC, but they are remarkable effective in our sorry state out here.

tommylotto on June 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM

How dare Americans lay claim to their own country or exercise their inalienable rights.

Speakup on June 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM

What does she think getting taxed for the very act of breathing is…(that’s my definition of terrorism)

texabama on June 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Here’s a woman who clearly doesn’t have the intellectual horsepower to manage a kid’s lemonade stand, and yet she’s making decisions about the multi-billion dollar budget of the largest state in the U.S. It’s terrifying.

Cicero43 on June 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM

I’m glad I left that madhouse.

The democratic legislature is completely out of touch with the majority of Californian voters.

Gunner105 on June 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM

I guess it’s about free speech

Wow. It’s also about the right to vote. Those rights are so annoying.

tneloms on June 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Threatening to vote against a politician is now a terroristic threat?

Man, the Democrats are getting really desperate.

MarkTheGreat on June 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Since Democrats believe that freedom is slavery, of course they believe that democracy is terrorism.

Animal Farm is such a good book.

JohnJ on June 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

hey atleast the be at chhh did’nt call us racisttttttt…

SHARPTOOTH on June 30, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Only a BLACK politician could say something THAT stupid and not get attacked by the press.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

No, but Ms. Bass, a former ‘community organizer’ and physician’s assistant can apparently. That’s from the LAT article cited.

localmalcontent on June 30, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Polticians now feel they do not work for us but “on our behalf”. We need a reset button!

HoustonRight on June 30, 2009 at 10:36 AM

It seems that what is really upsetting to her, is that the people actually don’t want to be taxed more.

MarkTheGreat on June 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Bass looks like another clueless affirmative action hire to me. Talks like one too.

bradley11 on June 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM

She’s part of the token class of politicians. They get a minority AND a woman in one shot. Isn’t diversity great??!

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM

You know, I was a community activist…

Karen Bass

Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

Terry_Dyne on June 30, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Are you saying there is a double standard? If so, how does political correctness explain that? What is the rational?

saiga on June 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Yes it is a double standard! As far as political correctness that only applies to conservatives. In case you haven’t noticed Libs can get away with saying anything they want about anyone using words that are offensive and hurtful. I am so sick and f-ing tired of all of this PC Bullsh!i. Why is it that I have to be tolerant of everyone and what they do and who they do but as soon as I express my opinion which differs from theirs now all of a sudden I am a racist, bigot, homophobe, or whatever else they insist on calling me.
Liberals are the most hateful, vile, beligerant, and crule people you will ever meet and if you don’t believe me just openly disagree with one and find out for yourslef.

milwife88 on June 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Since Democrats believe that freedom is slavery, of course they believe that democracy is terrorism.

Animal Farm is such a good book.

JohnJ on June 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Considering they started out thinking black people were 3/5s of a person, I guess it’s an improvement.

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

1st Amendment?! How quaint.

Akzed on June 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Welcome to California! It is the education system, obviously. Populated by leftists, they’re too busy teaching social justice and other Marxist tenets to bother learning critical thinking, let alone Civics 101.

evergreen on June 30, 2009 at 10:40 AM

i doubt this hiddious cretin evan understands what’s in the bill that she’s attacking conservative talk radio over..

SHARPTOOTH on June 30, 2009 at 10:40 AM

What is with these black women politicians? Is there a physiological difference?

Wade on June 30, 2009 at 10:40 AM

She’s part of the token class of politicians. They get a minority, AND a woman and a mental defective in one shot. Isn’t diversity great??!

Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM

FIFY

Caper29 on June 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

I voted for you, or against you, so I get to b!tch at you.

You asked for public office and it comes with the territory.

rockbend on June 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

milwife88 on June 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

BRAVO!!!

HoustonRight on June 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

That’s democracy, not terrorism, although I’m hardly surprised that Bass can’t tell the difference.

It seems to me that the Democrats have an inordinate number of fools, Kucinich, Boxer, Leahy, and Jefferson come to mind.

Richard Romano on June 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Isn’t Patt Morrison the clown with the Bella Abzug hat collection? I remember seeing her every now and again on TV when I lived in LA and just thought she was a complete joke.

J.J. Sefton on June 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Liberals are the most hateful, vile, beligerant, and crule people you will ever meet and if you don’t believe me just openly disagree with one and find out for yourslef.

milwife88 on June 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

been there, done that….they are blinded by their rage

cmsinaz on June 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Considering they started out thinking black people were 3/5s of a person, I guess it’s an improvement.
Jeff from WI on June 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Um, actually, that was for the purpose of congressional representation only. The sountherners wanted them considered as full constituents, but compromised with the north at 3/5 or a person. Sounds harsh, but the reality is that slaves were considered to have congressional representation, incipiently at least.

So your remark is actually not fair.

Akzed on June 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue.

You simply have to love her language. “Revenue”–really??

Those are TAXES, baby, and those taxes come from us–our money, our hard work. When are we going to wake up?

labwriter on June 30, 2009 at 10:42 AM

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