What’s the matter with you Americans?

posted at 4:05 pm on January 31, 2010 by King Banaian

More years ago than I’ll admit, I was a student in a class of the man who became my mentor, Tom Willett. The course was in economics and public policy, and the early part of the syllabus had us read on the nature of arguing about economics. One line that stuck out to me like nothing else was this: Saying “if you knew what I know you’d agree with me” is poor argumentation. I may know what you know, my professor argued, and yet find a flaw in your logic or add another piece of evidence that leads me to a different conclusion.

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest is evidence of this fallacy, and I have found over the succeeding decades there are many academics that fall into it. Applied in the political sphere, it takes the form of “why does the public not understand what we are trying to do?” We heard it in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week in his claim that his failure on health care was “not explaining it more clearly to the American people.” It characterizes the thoughts of Thomas Frank in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?, a book that I found alternately patronizing and pathetic, arguing that it must be false consciousness or hypnotizing demagoguery that leads the working class of Kansas, once home of agricultural Wobblies, to now vote consistently conservative.

That meme is now everywhere. David Brooks calls tea partiers anti-intellectual and Frank Rich calls them comatose. Responding to the election of Scott Brown, the BBC carries a column by David Runciman, a British academic political scientist of high birth (how else to describe someone whose Wikipedia entry notes his viscountcy?) that cannot understand why town halls are filled with people repulsed by Democrats health care reform. It’s to help them, dears!

But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform – the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.

In Texas, where barely two-thirds of the population have full health insurance and over a fifth of all children have no cover at all, opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%.

Instead, to many of those who lose out under the existing system, reform still seems like the ultimate betrayal.

Why are so many American voters enraged by attempts to change a horribly inefficient system that leaves them with premiums they often cannot afford?

My friend Marty Andrade tweeted this link with the comment “But I stole this for you,” says the plunderer. “Why do you not take it? Why do you not vote for me?” But it is not so much the politician but the wonk, the analyst who makes such pretty plans, that finds himself exasperated by the failure of the public to appreciate them. No place does this happen more than in academia, particularly in America, where as I’ve argued before the academic does not often travel in either the working class circles or in those the successful businesspeople.

The answer to Prof. Runciman’s question is inside America’s DNA. The founders, writes Prof. Carl Richard, were a deeply suspicious bunch.

The founders’ immersion in ancient history had a profound effect upon their style of though. They developed from the classics a suspicious cast of mind. They learned from the Greeks and Romans to fear conspiracies against liberty. Steeped in a literature whose perpetual theme was the steady encroachment of tyranny on liberty, the founders because virtually obsessed with spotting its approach, so that they might avoid the fate of their classical heroes. It has been said of the American Revolution that never was there a revolution with so little cause. Whatever his faults, George III was hardly Caligula or Nero; however illegitimate, the moderate British taxes were hardly equivalent to the mass executions of the emperors. But since the founders believed that the central lesson of the classics was that every illegitimate power, however small, ended in slavery, they were determined to resist every such power. Even legitimate authority should be exercised sparingly, lest it grow into illegitimate powers. (pp. 118-19)

Doesn’t it seem the same today? When one points out the connection between parts of the Obama agenda and those of European socialists we are told “he’s certainly not one of those!” Of course not. But we called tyranny a level of taxation that many other places just accepted as their lot in life. Our common people believe they deserve explanations, and they are mistrustful most of those who say, “trust us.”

And this is a vital point — a country that has the character to not use government power to plunder a minority for the sake of a majority (or vice versa, as in Saddam’s Iraq) better resists the eventual trials of war, depression, famine, etc. Many Western countries took a sharp left turn after WW2. The US did only a little less so. In both the US and UK a swerve back came from Reagan and Thatcher. I still find the latter more remarkable than the former, but the common culture that ties them owes much to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Prof. Runciman cites facts and wonders why they fail before the stories that critics of Obamacare have told. Some no doubt do not understand the facts as presented. But presenting them better will not work well in the face of America’s preternatural wariness towards power. It may worry over unemployment but that is something that is ultimately under their control. Government debt, however, appears out of their control and is used towards things we are told to trust. Trust in government is exactly NOT what this country was founded on.


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Health Insurance reform in four bullet points. Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Well said and easily understood. Bravo, Key Wester! Too bad BHO still doesn’t get it, or maybe it just doesn’t suit his objectives.

indypat on January 31, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Oh true. Sadly far too many Americans today think that the point of government is to do whatever 51% of the population wants, regardless of how the 49% feels about it or is affected by it.

David Shane on January 31, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Saddly even many so called conservatives fall for this trap.

Just this past Friday, I had quite a few tell me that if the majority of the voters want it, govt has the power to tell a private citizen how to run his business, what kind of business he can have, or even what color to paint his house.

MarkTheGreat on January 31, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 6:43 PM

No, I saw that. I wanted a follow up, to see how he is doing today.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 6:57 PM

when i begin a career, ill be putting away as if no SocSec will be there evah

and i dont even want it.

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:19 PM
Good thing, because, regardless of the lies told you by the statists, you ain’t gonna get it.

JohnGalt23 on January 31, 2010 at 6:50 PM

I love this post for two reasons.

1. BlatantBlue says he/she doesn’t believe that SS is there and will save on his/her own to ensure his/her future.

2. John Galt assures BlatantBlue that he won’t be contributing to BlatantBlue’s SS account, quite possibly by starving the Beast.

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 7:00 PM

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest is evidence of this fallacy, and I have found over the succeeding decades there are many academics that fall into it

this appeal to authority fallacy is verbal virtuousity and dangerous. Not only do these anointed deem themselves virtuous, anointed and, hence, worthy of making better decisions for others, it’s dangersou insofar as it usurps the freedom to choose from individuals who should retain the liberty to choose what is in their own best interests.

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm– but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.

– T. S. ELiot3

ted c on January 31, 2010 at 7:01 PM

No, I saw that. I wanted a follow up, to see how he is doing today.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Well if he has any Irish in him, he’s probably shooting a game of darts at a pub somewhere in Denmark. Or, hugging a toilet. With the Irish ya just never know.

:o)

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 7:02 PM

All childred have access to health care through schip even in texas. You have no credibility.

NOBOZONS on January 31, 2010 at 7:02 PM

Just this past Friday, I had quite a few tell me that if the majority of the voters want it, govt has the power to tell a private citizen how to run his business, what kind of business he can have, or even what color to paint his house.

MarkTheGreat on January 31, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Over my dead body. I got ‘downsized’ as a Director of Claims in 2008. I was giddy with excitement to hang out my own shingle and to start my own business doing what I love and doing what I do best, for the good of my clients and for the good of their claimants.

I am pleased to report that my income rose by over 39% by becoming independent.

We’re Americans. We do what we need to, when we have to, and despite all odds, we always succeed. I am proud to be an American. Where at least I know I’m free.

/you know the rest of that song.

:o)

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 7:10 PM

Just this past Friday, I had quite a few tell me that if the majority of the voters want it, govt has the power to tell a private citizen how to run his business, what kind of business he can have, or even what color to paint his house.

MarkTheGreat on January 31, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Precisely. This is known as ‘the tyranny of the majority.’ The Constitution was expressly designed to thwart this tendency. By fixing various rights that cannot be abridged, the power of the majority to do as it pleases was stymied. As the Constitution gets ignored more often, the ‘majority rule’ encroachment is becoming more and more prevalent.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 7:10 PM

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Yeah. It’s good. My wife told me she read about a reform proposal(maybe in the WSJ) for SS and Medicare whereby those over 55 will receive it once they are of age, and those under won’t. Sorry, don’t know any of the details. But the point is, it’s generational warfare. I told her if my own kids are forced to pay for my SS or Medicare with no hope of getting their own that I’d give them the money back it cost them in taxes, but that if some other young person, a neighbor perhaps, decides to slit our throats while we’re out with our walkers, it should come as no surprise. In fact, with our dying gasp, we should tell the person not to feel badly or guilty.

Our faithless leaders may wish to pass our burdens onto future generations, but do we really have to go along with it?

JiangxiDad on January 31, 2010 at 7:11 PM

All childred have access to health care through schip even in texas. You have no credibility.

NOBOZONS on January 31, 2010 at 7:02 PM

Barack? Please, get some rest. You will need it this week. If I could pat your head and powder your diaper, I’d outsource it. But know that I am thinking fond thoughts of you in your dirty diaper and my most biggest wish ever is to wipe the tears from your eyes with a cloth of fondness, adoration and adulation. I made a fresh batch of Fool-Aid that I am sure you will love! It’s red in color, bitter in taste and stains carpets.

/wild sarcasm.

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Our faithless leaders may wish to pass our burdens onto future generations, but do we really have to go along with it?

JiangxiDad on January 31, 2010 at 7:11 PM

NO
WE
DON’T

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 7:16 PM

No place does this happen more than in academia, particularly in America, where as I’ve argued before the academic does not often travel in either the working class circles or in those the successful businesspeople.

You might want to have a talk with Michelle Malkin on this point, as she has forcefully stated that all the new billionaires (Yahoo, Microsoft, Google) are a bunch of intellectual liberals who spent their money on liberal media causes.

bayam on January 31, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Yeah! Just leave me alone. I’ll manage without you and your ‘favors’ Mr. Obama. Thanks anyway.

jeanie on January 31, 2010 at 7:21 PM

When one points out the connection between parts of the Obama agenda and those of European socialists we are told “he’s certainly not one of those!” Of course not. But we called tyranny a level of taxation that many other places just accepted as their lot in life. Our common people believe they deserve explanations, and they are mistrustful most of those who say, “trust us.”

Exactly, That’s why I don’t understand why Obama and the democrats decided take such a partisan and over the top approach to health care reform. I mean if Obama had gone about crafting Health care reform legislation in an open and bipartisan fashion like he promised he would during the election I dare say it would have been passed into law months ago. I suppose if anything the way they went about it shows that the Democrats desire for health care reform is motivated less by the needs of average Americans and more by the desire to expand their influence and control over a greater portion of the US economy and an industry that plays such an essential role in peoples lives.

Hellrider on January 31, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Oh Boy,Obamas is losing public support!

Check out this little hanging the bankers video of Obama!!
=========================================================
Barack Obama’s financial reform proposals may not have gone down well with bankers – but it could win him some voter support
———————————-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/video/2010/jan/22/barack-obama-banks

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Our faithless leaders may wish to pass our burdens onto future generations, but do we really have to go along with it?

JiangxiDad on January 31, 2010 at 7:11 PM

I think that 2010 will be the year of personal responsibility.

We will finally be able to throw off the cloak of political correctness that was thrown upon us in 1990.

America will Speak Her Mind. Through The People Who Make Her What She Is.

One thing to watch is the Mama Bears. You push us, shove us, touch our families or our children and you will be lucky to draw back a bloody stump; most likely you will be completely destroyed and our Mama Bears will not only dance on your entrails, but we will feed them to you.

Keep going, progressives. I dare you.

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Personally, I am for a national health coverage, just like a national defense system and a national postal system and a national highway system.
I just don’t trust the Democrats to design one.

Observation on January 31, 2010 at 7:38 PM

The founders’ immersion in ancient history had a profound effect upon their style of though. They developed from the classics a suspicious cast of mind. They learned from the Greeks and Romans to fear conspiracies against liberty.

True–but only partially. The founders were also a mix of deeply religious men–Puritans, Episcopalians, etc. They know the fundamental nature of man is sinful. Men, in positions of power, have the tendency towards corruption, sin, dishonesty, tyranny and the founders set about a form of government based upon the spreading of the powers amongst branches–a separation–that mitigated the risk of placing too much power in the hands of a few.

I agree that Blackstone, Locke, Montesquieu and classic Greek authors helped the founders be wary of threats to liberty. However, the overwhelming explanation as to why the Declaration attributed rights as inalienable and derived from the “laws of Nature and Nature’s God” has got to be from the deeply spiritual nature of these men and their extraordinary scriptural upbringing.

If it were true that these men were wary against liberty conspiracies, then those conspiracies would have been more specifically enumerated in either the Declaration or the Constitution.

The founding of our country and the providential authorship of the founding documents has, at their origins, a deeply spiritual influence that correctly characerized the nature of man (sinful/tyrannical), God (origin of rights) and the proper role of government in the checking and balancing man’s nature and preserving God-given rights and freedoms to worship Him in our own way.

ted c on January 31, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Why are so many American voters enraged by attempts to change a horribly inefficient system that leaves them with premiums they often cannot afford?

Or rather, why do so many American voters decline to voluntarily pay for something they don’t want?

This doofus is under the assumption that ‘they cannot afford’ something which is in fact a voluntary purchase that many simply chose not to buy.

James on January 31, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Post above asks a good question. Why wouldn’t obama insist that the Dems work with the GOP to build a bill that might have been acceptable(if not wildly popular)to most taxpayers. He could have. I suppose, with hind sight, that it was the public option that was seen as the stumbling block to co-operation. Once the Dems saw that this was an anathema, they still could have bartered much of what they wanted and had a somewhat reasonable bill by now. Maybe the super majority gave them false confidence. Or…it could just be plain old pig headedness such as that demonstrated by Pelosi.

jeanie on January 31, 2010 at 7:48 PM

The last week or two of GB shows can be seen here:

http://glennbeckclips.com/

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 5:51 PM

GnuBreed: Thank-You for your time,and the link!!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 7:50 PM

Or…it could just be plain old pig headedness such as that demonstrated by Pelosi.

jeanie on January 31, 2010 at 7:48 PM

umm, yep, this one.

ted c on January 31, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Has anyone seen this yet

http://www.ma.rr.com/news/topicdl/photogallery/dlt/09gbbwTcc160l

macncheez on January 31, 2010 at 6:14 PM

macncheez: No I haven’t,if only Hopey would BOW to the
American people,that would be a start,ahem!!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Has anyone seen this yet

http://www.ma.rr.com/news/topicdl/photogallery/dlt/09gbbwTcc160l

macncheez on January 31, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Is that Charlie Crist standing there? Dumb move, Gov.

Lanceman on January 31, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Barack “Spread The Weatlh Around” Obama and his obots all assume that this “wealth” is just something that happens, like wild berries or oil reserves in a national park, and thus, by right, belongs to the entire nation.

Forgetting that the wealth Barry is talking about is generally created by personal initiative, risk, hardship, sacrifice and ingenuity.

And for the leader of the Omasses to blithely claim “their fair share“, by mob proclamation, is simply tyranny.

With the best of intentions.

Like all despotisms.

None (except that in “1984“) ever claimed to be redistributing robbing you… except for the nicest of reasons.

Obamacare is Statist redistribution by governmental force.

And shameless lies.

Americans naturally resist both.

profitsbeard on January 31, 2010 at 8:03 PM

Is that Charlie Crist standing there? Dumb move, Gov.

Lanceman on January 31, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Lanceman:Yup,with Obama’s Kiss Of Political Death,that
Crist will eventually learn!!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Thank you King Banian.Between you and the so able posters, I am on a week long high.

Caststeel on January 31, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Yup,with Obama’s Kiss Of Political Death,that
Crist will eventually learn!!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 8:07 PM

I had such high hopes for him when he ran against Senator Pumpkinhead in ’98.

Lanceman on January 31, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Why do people often vote against their own interests?

This is a textbook example of a loaded question. It assumes that (1) people are in fact voting against their own interests when they reject programs that would give them what they don’t have and that (2) they ought to vote for such programs.

Using health care as an example, (1) is dubious because a voter might be concerned about deficit spending, taxes, increasing federal control over the economy, bureaucratic mismanagement, and so on. A voter might not think that health care falls within the purview of the federal government.

(2) is dubious, because a voter may care more about the overall health of the country than his or particular circumstances (shocking, I know). A voter may not wish to saddle future generations with more debt or may worry that a particular policy is not good for the economy, and so on.

The upshot is that voting is not as simple as voting for or against one’s interests, especially in a constitutional republic. I’d go further and say that it’s not ethical for a voter to vote a certain way just because it gives him some kind of tangible benefit. That kind of voting ignores the issues and possible long-term consequences.

Bill Ramey on January 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Just this past Friday, I had quite a few tell me that if the majority of the voters want it, govt has the power to tell a private citizen how to run his business, what kind of business he can have, or even what color to paint his house.

MarkTheGreat on January 31, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Precisely. This is known as ‘the tyranny of the majority.’ The Constitution was expressly designed to thwart this tendency. By fixing various rights that cannot be abridged, the power of the majority to do as it pleases was stymied. As the Constitution gets ignored more often, the ‘majority rule’ encroachment is becoming more and more prevalent.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 7:10 PM

Excellent points…imagine a senate that is directly accountable to their respective state legislators and not elected by the population centers of said states…
ummm, joy…repeal the 17th…

jerrytbg on January 31, 2010 at 8:39 PM

I agree. It is the prevailing notion that people are comotose and do not know what is in their own best interest. There’s a lot of examples any of us can point to that prove the point.

You hear it daily from conservatives, too.

The issue I keep coming back to is, “So?” I’ve learned from every mistake in life. Haven’t we all?

When did we lose the ability to both empathize with others who have made mistakes and learned the hard way and become such busybodies that we imagine our roles are to prevent all problems/challenges?

The best explanation I have found was in a very obscure book about how we’re a codependent nation.

Now, that made sense.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:44 PM

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:44 PM

Hey slug, thought you were leaving HA?

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Bill Ramey on January 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Good points…

I would also add that Americans think of themselves as a fair people (at least outside of Washington). They don’t really want an unfair advantage, just a level playing feild.. Politicians are still trying to buy our votes with “special” treatment, but most see this for what it is… bribery.

Romeo13 on January 31, 2010 at 8:47 PM

And, I find it curious that, for the most part, those that gave us the 17th also gave us the 16th…
It took almost 100 years to bring us to this point but imagine not having those two amendments…

jerrytbg on January 31, 2010 at 8:50 PM

The best explanation I have found was in a very obscure book about how we’re a codependent nation.

Now, that made sense.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:44 PM

Ony to a Liberal. Most of us pride ourselves on our INDEPNDENCE.

But then, one of the reasons I left the Left Coast was because it had become very Metrosexual…

Romeo13 on January 31, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Codependency weaves itself throughout the political dialogue. The idea that we can change others is enticing, although irrational. We surely know that’s untrue.

Yet, day after day, posters insult others, as though that will change their minds. No insult is too egregious, either, in this day and age of internet. It’s not like anyone will pull out a 6-shooter and end the argument.

The good part about this is that it’s reached a tipping point. Conservatives no longer are surprised to learn others view them as racist or ignorant fools. And anyone who challenges either status quo can count on personal ad hominem attacks. The extreme language only serves to harm the speaker, not the listener at this point. Why react?

Consider the source is truly all it’s about.

Daily the blogs report this or that “smackdown,” as though it’s relevant.

It isn’t. It’s the same kind of codependent thinking.

No, Fox News isn’t going to stop what’s working. And no, AH won’t stop what’s working for her, either. I’m referring to the exchange today over the news styles.

And that applies to Obama. No, he’s not going to change to please conservatives. No, Dems in power will stick to what they view as their strengths. No, Conservatives will split the tickets. No, discussion really isn’t going to change this alot.

What does change us are events. Usually, cataclysmic events.

Those do seem to shift attitudes.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:52 PM

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Concern Troll/Garden Slug is a blithe liar.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 8:57 PM

The best explanation I have found was in a very obscure book about how we’re a codependent nation.

Now, that made sense.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:44 PM

The problem is that America has struggled mightily with maintaining balance. Very early on with the Articles of Confederation, the central government was a joke. Now? We’re trying to get Washington off our backs before the nation is spent into bankruptcy.

Dark-Star on January 31, 2010 at 8:57 PM

I don;t think the analogy between the current Administration and King George fits. The Founding Fathers rejected colonial rule because they were not represented in Parliament and rejected Parliament’s authority to levy taxes on them. The real concern was taxation without representation not fiscal discipline. It was Tory fiscal discipline which brought about the taxes which the tea party protesters were so vexed about.

lexhamfox on January 31, 2010 at 8:57 PM

What does change us are events. Usually, cataclysmic events.

Those do seem to shift attitudes.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Maybe for someone like you but it brings out the best in the rest of us that believe in liberty…

jerrytbg on January 31, 2010 at 8:58 PM

It’s not like anyone will pull out a 6-shooter and end the argument.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:52 PM

An apt and amusing analogy, as the right is vastly pro-gun.

Dark-Star on January 31, 2010 at 8:59 PM

Obama thinks he’s God, In God We Trust is in the country’s DNA, therefore why aren’t we trusting Obama? That’s all he’s asking.

chickasaw42 on January 31, 2010 at 9:00 PM

The problem is that America has struggled mightily with maintaining balance. Very early on with the Articles of Confederation, the central government was a joke. Now? We’re trying to get Washington off our backs before the nation is spent into bankruptcy.

Dark-Star on January 31, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Oh, we’ve been here since the beginning. Our very roots started, like so many nations, in debt.

I suppose we’d be just fine, too, if we ended up NOT paying back China. It’s not like we’ve been paid back, either, by many countries that are doing just fine today.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:03 PM

chickasaw42 on January 31, 2010 at 9:00 PM

What’s sad about that is this narcissist probably believes in that very argument…lol !

jerrytbg on January 31, 2010 at 9:03 PM

That’s pure folly Ann…you’ve been lookung at too many crop circles…

jerrytbg on January 31, 2010 at 9:06 PM

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 8:44 PM

There goes the thread. Hijacked by the concern troll.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Concern Troll/Garden Slug is a blithe liar.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Tonight’s dinner was produced by Classico. Red Pepper sauce, with a diced Italian sausage link. Salad, with two kinds of olives, artichokes, bell pepper, and romaine lettuce…topped with homemade blue cheese dressing with a base of yogurt. Lemon and garlic and pepper…low-cal and totally yummy. Garlic bread with cheese topping rounded out the meal.

It really was quite perfect.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:07 PM

There goes the thread. Hijacked by the concern troll.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Seriously, you’re the hijacker. I’m not interested in your snark remarks, and nobody else is, either.

Grow up and move on.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:08 PM

sorry OmahaC…I, for one, just got tired of her bs… gone…

jerrytbg on January 31, 2010 at 9:09 PM

That’s pure folly Ann…you’ve been lookung at too many crop circles…

jerrytbg on January 31, 2010 at 9:06 PM

We’ll be fine. The US still has tremendous resources, a thriving population, and we’re not about to just disappear into some kind of jobless entity. We’re way too hyper about being productive for that.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:10 PM

sorry OmahaC…I, for one, just got tired of her bs… gone…

jerrytbg on January 31, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Nite!

Codependency is marked by being reactive to others, btw.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Roger Ailes defends Glenn Beck
====================================

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS0yo8V_LX4

Oh gawd this is good,Roger Ailes corrects HuffPuff
Arianna,and the word paranoid gets mentioned and
Paul Krugman,does the *eye roll*!!!

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 9:13 PM

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:07 PM

mmm
sounds awesome

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Ailes called AH out. I was watching, and it was one of the best ever for that Sunday pundit show.

Even Krugman was on his toes. AH was really upset. LOL*

It was great, great fun to watch.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:20 PM

It really was quite perfect.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:07 PM

What?!? No Arugula?

How can you eat like that, when Haitians are starving?

dmh0667 on January 31, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Slug Soup Recipe

2 lbs. AnninCA chopped or ground
1 cup of annoying talking points
1/2 cup of diversionary bullshit
1 cup of concern
1/4 cup of pretend conservatism
1 TP of other bullsh!t
On and on and on and on and on…
Cook relentlessly

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:24 PM

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:24 PM

You forgot the cucumbers.

Knucklehead on January 31, 2010 at 9:25 PM

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:07 PM
What?!? No Arugula?

How can you eat like that, when Haitians are starving?

dmh0667 on January 31, 2010 at 9:21 PM

I haven’t quite figured out how to eat arugula or raddicio, for that matter.

I have brownies that need to be eaten, but I don’t think I can handle it.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:26 PM

You forgot the cucumbers.

Knucklehead on January 31, 2010 at 9:25 PM

It was in there. I forgot to list. An English cucumber, which allows you to keep the skin on.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:27 PM

I have brownies that need to be eaten, but I don’t think I can handle it.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Just pretend it’s Barry’s turds.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Libertarianism really is the only intellectually consistent political philosophy one can hold.

At some point somewhere, Liberals, Conservatives, Whigs, WHATEVER rely on the ultimate threat, if he ultimately does not break down and concede the point himself, of compelling a person to do something that he does not actually want to do.

johnmackeygreene on January 31, 2010 at 9:29 PM

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:27 PM

I wasn’t talking to you, liar.

Knucklehead on January 31, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Anyway, this is only the 2nd time I know of where AH has been called out for running a complete rag.

The last time was Bill O’Reilly. And she actually changed the moderation policy. She also ran major hit stories on him for a year. *haha

Today’s MAJOR headline was how she bested Ailes. I am curious to see what the change this time will be.

He totally nailed her in a very, very polite Sunday morning way. He simply pointed out that she ran the most unflattering pics of him and demonized him. He quoted her blog. He didn’t even refer to the number of posts that she generated which focused on him as evil.

It was truly a moment in TV/Media news. She was flustered as heck!

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Slug Soup Recipe

2 lbs. AnninCA chopped or ground
1 cup of annoying talking points
1/2 cup of diversionary bullshit
1 cup of concern
1/4 cup of pretend conservatism
1 TP of other bullsh!t
On and on and on and on and on…
Cook relentlessly

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:24 PM

OmahaConservative: And a pinch,about 1 oz. of a 12ga.
slug,for an added kick,ahem!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 9:32 PM

I wasn’t talking to you, liar.

Knucklehead on January 31, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Ah, at that angry stage again. Nite after nite.

Must be grueling.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Concern Troll/Garden Slug is a blithe liar.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Well, she is from the land of William Jefferson Blithe Clinton.

Lanceman on January 31, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Just pretend it’s Barry’s turds.

As I said, the speaker reveals himself in posts. It’s not about the other person in the least.

That’s the essence of codependency. All about what’s revealed by the speaker about himself.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:34 PM

I take it you guys missed the show, eh?

Ah well, that’s OK.

But it was a true moment.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:35 PM

And a pinch,about 1 oz. of a 12ga.
slug,for an added kick,ahem!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 9:32 PM

I LIKE SPICE
Heh.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:37 PM

I take it you guys missed the show, eh?

Ah well, that’s OK.

But it was a true moment.

AnninCA on January 31, 2010 at 9:35 PM

It was already posted here, you idiot.

Knucklehead on January 31, 2010 at 9:41 PM

I LIKE SPICE
Heh.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:37 PM

OmahaConservative:Tee-Hee,smok’n hot:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Love me my true conservative chicks. The HA ladies got my back. Thanks, patriots!

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 9:44 PM

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest is evidence of this fallacy, and I have found over the succeeding decades there are many academics that fall into it.

In fact, what you’ve described here is the entire progressive enterprise. Progressivism, at its core, is the belief that nobody knows how to save the world but me, so I have to take over the world in order to save it.

In every serious discussion I’ve ever held with progressives (including those during the days when I was one) the progressive gets to the core of his or her motivating beliefs by saying “The average person in the street does not have the slightest idea how to life his life.” Never stated, but always hanging in the air, is the completion of the thought: “But I do.” Their entire plan is to force people against their will to do what’s truly good for them, as they (the progressives) see what’s truly good.

God deliver us from such saviors.

philwynk on January 31, 2010 at 10:02 PM

philwynk on January 31, 2010 at 10:02 PM

hmmmm….. so…

Pinky and the Brain…

The Brain must be a Progresive? And Pinky must be a Tea Partyier!

Narf…

(but you notice, that the brains plots are almost always foiled… by… Pinky?)

Romeo13 on January 31, 2010 at 10:28 PM

The SOTU in a nutshell:

Washington is corrupt, hypocritical, untrustworthy and full of lobbyists and special interests only out to line their own pockets.

The American people must trust the corrupt, hypocritical, untrustworthy Washington which is full of lobbyists and special interests for their own good – for no reason other than I said so.

Yet, the Left still wishes to belittle and berate the American people for not wanting to hand over their Liberty based on such logic.

Just…Wow…

catmman on January 31, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Typical Brit. Still doesn’t get it after 300 years.

elclynn on January 31, 2010 at 10:56 PM

IF YOU VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO STEALS FOR YOU, YOU ARE A THIEF AS WELL

mooseburger on January 31, 2010 at 11:04 PM

I’m glad the Brits realize we are different.

I, at least am proudly wary of power! And I pray it is in my DNA and that I passed it to my children!

What don’t these people understand about “Give me liberty, or give me death!” That seems perfectly clear to me! We do not wish to be ruled, however benignly! A king is still a tumor and tumor do damage even if they aren’t cancer!

Self-government has real meaning in the US. I want to govern my own life, my own health choices.

I relish rugged individualism.

Americans are not socialists!

This may have begun with education but it was lived for generations! Log cabins in the middle of nowhere were the goal of so many Americans!

petunia on January 31, 2010 at 11:31 PM

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest is evidence of this fallacy, and I have found over the succeeding decades there are many academics that fall into it.
In fact, what you’ve described here is the entire progressive enterprise. Progressivism, at its core, is the belief that nobody knows how to save the world but me, so I have to take over the world in order to save it.

In every serious discussion I’ve ever held with progressives (including those during the days when I was one) the progressive gets to the core of his or her motivating beliefs by saying “The average person in the street does not have the slightest idea how to life his life.” Never stated, but always hanging in the air, is the completion of the thought: “But I do.” Their entire plan is to force people against their will to do what’s truly good for them, as they (the progressives) see what’s truly good.

God deliver us from such saviors.

philwynk on January 31, 2010 at 10:02 PM

And that brings up this very odd situation: this generation of progressives base their absolute moral authority on nothing whatsoever. They do not even appeal to God! They make themselves God by saying that know what is best just because they know what is best and nobody else possibly could. Especially if they drive a pick-up.

It is such stupid circular thought. But they are so sure they know what is moral! And of course, any dependence on God is totally immoral! Which is so upside down it makes my head hurt.

petunia on January 31, 2010 at 11:39 PM

Applied in the political sphere, it takes the form of “why does the public not understand what we are trying to do?” We heard it in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week in his claim that his failure on health care was “not explaining it more clearly to the American people.”

This is simple deception from the Marxist-in-Chief. Frankly, the American populace either knows, or strongly suspects, what the Health Care initiative is all about: the destruction of the United States of America as a free Republic.

Obama and his minions know full well what must be done: deconstruct the US and then reconstruct the US in their own Marxist vision.

The first step is to bankrupt the US as the Health Care initiative was designed to accomplish. The bankruptcy was to follow the repudiation of the massive increase in US debt on sale worldwide that would be too large and too risky for purchasers. The value of the dollar crumbles, massive inflation results, and you know, “never let a crisis go to waste”.

The worldwide repudiation of US debt is the precipitating event for the Marxist-in-Chief to suspend the Constitution and institute martial law to prevent the populace from descending into anarchy. Yet, anarchy is what the Marxist-in-Chief and his Marxist Czars require to further the transition of the US into a Marxist autocracy. The Marxist-in-Chief takes advantage of the anarchy to institute his planned destruction of the productive elements and people in order to leave no one with any education, any productivity, and any ability to counter his takeover of the US.

The precipitating event is the Marxist-in-Chief’s overloading world financial markets with far more US debt than the world at large can, or wishes to, purchase. With the US internally in disarray with a devalued dollar, food and fuel shortages preventing any meaningful resistance, the Marxist-in-Chief can simply follow Lenin/Stalin in their purges of potential opponents: the productive middle class, the productive farmers and ranchers, etc., much like Stalin did with the Russian Kulaks and the entire nation of Ukraine.

You know the old saying, “one cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs…” The Marxist-in-Chief and his Marxist Czars are positioned to to exactly that: remake the US into a Marxist oligarchy with very little effort saving the destruction and death of a large part of the US populace.

Frankly, I think that the Marxist-in-Chief has acted hastily. The Marxist-in-Chief should have waited until he had his internal, “civilian” police force, aka “blackshirts”, “SS”, in place to counter the US military in restoring the Republic and imprisoning the Marxist-in-Chief.

Quaoar on February 1, 2010 at 12:44 AM

Thank you for this post.

I am descended from 2 DAR proven Revolutionary ancestors and quite a few others my Mom worked on for years and I might take up some day.

The descendancy from “soldiers” doesn’t turn me on so much as the fact that I still feel the independence flow through my veins 10+ generations later.

My ancestors came to this country to start a new life. This is a story that resonates with almost every immigrant since our beginnings.

Some of my ancestors were killed by Indians — not out in the Wild Wild West but in North Carolina. The families kept on going and kept on moving slowiy through NC, TN, KY, and then on over the Appalachian Mountains west to a new frontier.

That new frontier — well, my great-great grandfather went out from TN to scope out Arkansas. He was killed by bushwhackers. He left his wife and several children waiting in Missouri.

This is all my Mom’s family. My Dad’s never ventured far from the eastern Pennsylvania County in which they settled. Some in Maryland within 15 miles of the Mason = Dixon line. Others in PA the same distance north of that boundary.

Both families were successful and made money at times. At other times, another generation lost the money. That’s life. No matter what happened, everyone persevered based on their own skills, drive, and stick-to-itiveness.

My ancestors came to this country so that they could commune with other people who shared the belief that the American Colonies and later the United States of America was a land of opportunity in which hard work and perseverence counted more than money or privilege.

That blood still flows in me.

Greyledge Gal on February 1, 2010 at 1:06 AM

Poor Barry! He thinks that the American people are too stupid to realize that the Narcissist in Chief is the Christ.

No, Barry, you are merely the dingbat Messiah. For leftists like Chris Mattthews, David Brooks, etc., you are the empty suit Black man they have been waiting for their entire lives. You fill the void in their lives; you bring them to their knees.

But to the rest of us, you ain’t that special.

Really Right on February 1, 2010 at 1:36 AM

Sick and tired of having to feel sorry for every loser out there that can’t/won’t get their act together and having to pay their way on top of it. A huge percent of our population is barely functional to downright helpless. A lot of it I suspect has to do with drugs and alcohol. A lot of it has to do with them learning young that they can buck the system and pretty much do whatever they want.

Like these hellraisers who work hard, to be sure, when they’re younger. They got the construction jobs, truck driving jobs, roofing jobs, welding jobs, etc. They work hard and make good money. They make more than I do and I have a college degree. So be it. But every damn night most of them are in a bar somewhere drinking up their pay, whoring around, shooting up, smoking dope.

If you say, “Hey, slow down, save your money, Bro,” They’ll respond with, “Mind your f—ing business before I kick your a@@,” or “I work hard and it’s my money…I’ll spend it any damn way I please.” And of course, they are absolutely right.

Then when they’re entering physical/mental old age at about, oh I don’t know, say 50, their bodies and minds are shot. They have nothing. They can’t work. They’re worn out. Now they’re “deprived” and the “system isn’t fair” and “we’re such a rich country, why can’t we…?”. Now I have to pay for them? Now I have to pay for the kids they spawned and don’t want or cannot support? All of a sudden it’s my responsibility to take care of them? Ain’t that a bit#h!

Then there’s the yuppies who spend and go into debt like crazy. So my credit card company gets stingy with me. My credit union all of a sudden isn’t so amiable when asking for a loan. My interest rates go up. I have to bail them out so they can keep their four-bedroom homes and SUV’s?

All of a sudden boy, “We’re all in this together.” It’s not about ‘me’…it’s about us.” “Hey, we’re all Americans after all-we should help each other!”

I’m all for helping a man up when he stumbles, but I’m tired of being forced to carry him when he can walk or if he shot himself in the damn foot.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 1, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Am I the only one to notice that “It’s for your own good.” means “You are really going to hate this.”

Slowburn on February 1, 2010 at 4:40 AM

the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.

Who asked for their #*@(ing help?

HondaV65 on February 1, 2010 at 7:13 AM

Prof. Richard is quite right that the use of conspiracies as seen in past history prior to the Revolution left it in the mind that government should be spare, lean and kept in check so as not to encroach on the liberty of individuals. The Federalists didn’t much like it when this was applied to them and while they may not have thought of themselves in a conspiracy, a few of the Anti-Federalists thought just that. They were in the minority, however, as Anti-Federalists took a very harsh critique to the Constitution and applied their breadth of knowledge to it. Thus a number of points on republics were skirted by the long turnarouond of arguments as compared to the swiftness of ratification. By the time there was response by the Federalists to a few of the Anti-Federalists, the ratification process was well under way. With that said George Mason, who signed the Declaration, came forward early with the problems of the Constitution then drafted the Bill of Rights and then would not sign onto that as it was insufficient a safeguard for liberty. If you adore the Bill of Rights it comes from the Anti-Federalists problems with the original document… unfortunately their points about the powers the Constitution does grant government and the overall analysis across many writers of the nature of humans in government has proven to be correct.

Even more surprising than the application of past history to the Constitution is the misrepresentation of the Anti-Federalists as against a Federal Republic. Some were, yes, and in conservative mode of thought the idea was ‘better to reform the system we know doesn’t work than start afresh’, and they brought forward problems with large scale government that is not confined just to the Confederal United States but to the later Federal as well. Federal Farmer (in Federal Farmer III), a backer of a Federal Republic but deemed an Anti-Federalist, points out this basic problem with representative democracy as it has worked elsewhere:

We may amuse ourselves with names; but the fact is, men will be governed by the motives and temptations that surround their situation. Political evils to be guarded against are in the human character, and not in the name of patrician or plebian. Had the people of Italy, in the early period of the republic, selected yearly, or biennially, four or five hundred of their best informed men, emphatically from among themselves, these representatives would have formed an honest respectable assembly, capable of combining in them the views and exertions of the people, and their respectability would have procured them honest and able leaders, and we should have seen equal liberty established. True liberty stands in need of a fostering hand; from the days of Adam she has found but one temple to dwell in securely; she has laid the foundation of one, perhaps her last, in America; whether this is to be compleated and have duration, is yet a question. Equal liberty never yet found many advocates among the great: it is a disagreeable truth, that power perverts mens views in a greater degree, than public employments inform their understandings – they become hardened in certain maxims, and more lost to fellow feelings. Men may always be too cautious to commit alarming and glaring iniquities: but they, as well as systems, are liable to be corrupted by slow degrees. Junius well observes, we are not only to guard against what men will do, but even against what they may do. Men in high public offices are in stations where they gradually lose sight of the people, and do not often think of attending to them, except when necessary to answer private purposes.

This uses the older logic system of examining past authority, but then applies the lesson learned beyond that original author’s time to see if it holds water – which is an applied form of analysis. It is not the system that bothers Federal Farmer but the nature of man that creates systems of governments, and how those creations fall along patterns of behavior over time. The Anti-Federalists were not out to make a ‘perfect’ government. Quite the contrary, they all acknowledged (Federalist and Anti-Federalist alike) that any system created can and will be corrupted due to the nature of man. The point of the Anti-Federalists was to put a number of high stumbling blocks that could not be easily taken down, even incrementally, without the edifice of government collapsing and demonstrating its corruption.

Americans have been seduced by the easy, gradual and incrmental form of corruption, and that was not unforeseen at the Founding. Hamilton, himself, offers a remedy (here against the direct use of military power on the part of the government against the people) and it is pointed… but the man was a Revolutionary (Federalist No.26):

Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community require time to mature them for execution. An army, so large as seriously to menace those liberties, could only be formed by progressive augmentations; which would suppose not merely a temporary combination between the legislature and executive, but a continued conspiracy for a series of time. Is it probable that such a combination would exist at all? Is it probable that it would be persevered in, and transmitted along through all the successive variations in a representative body, which biennial elections would naturally produce in both houses? Is it presumable that every man the instant he took his seat in the national Senate or House of Representatives would commence a traitor to his constituents and to his country? Can it be supposed that there would not be found one man discerning enough to detect so atrocious a conspiracy, or bold or honest enough to apprise his constituents of their danger? If such presumptions can fairly be made, there ought at once to be an end of all delegated authority. The people should resolve to recall all the powers they have heretofore parted with out of their own hands, and to divide themselves into as many States as there are counties in order that they may be able to manage their own concerns in person.

It is that time requirement that becomes shortened as the system becomes corrupt so that early corruption, under the very best of intentions, then serves as the wedge point for later corruption under the same guise but without the same intention or casting itself in the reflected light of good intention unable to stand its direct application. When seen to happen, when government becomes so powerful then the course of Hamilton is clear – and a shock to Hamiltonians far and wide. From the man who believed much good could come of government taking part in the economy, to participate and regulate it, comes the exact same man who points out that this can go too far and government needs to revert to its smallest components: local government.

As a side thought, the Constitution mentions a major extra-Constitutional body of work – The Law of Nations. This was developed from Bracton’s examination of the English Common Law in the 13th century, then applied by later authors such as Grotius, Blackstone and De Vattel. That latter wrote a book before the Revolution called Law of Nations that was known to the Founders and legal scholars in the Colonies. It would sit next to Blackstone’s Commentaries on the English Common Law as Blackstone and de Vattel worked together on the Law of Nations project. It incorporates much prior understanding of how governments form and what their function is, and as Bracton points out it is the first law that man makes when we cleave to our fellow man and woman, and it is from there that Nations arise. This has wide ramifications as the same types of things we expect of government show up no matter where government is made, be it in the early Bronze Age or in Mayan or Incan culture or in Europe or Africa or Asia… it is an invariant structure of certain form arising from our associations with each other. Types of government from dictatorial or authoritarian to representative democracitic republics, all fall into the same sovereign power structure regardless of time period. If there is any work we no longer teach it is the Law of Nations… written right there in the text of the US Constitution, by name, for all to see.

The structure of English/Irish/Scots lawmaking was heavily influenced not just by the Greek and Roman but by the Norse. The concept that the King is directly accountable to the Law of the Nation and cannot govern without the assent of the representatives of the smallest parts of that nation (towns and provinces) comes from that tradition of spoken common law. Any attempt to trace the power structures following the Nordic conquests must take them into consideration for they have had a profound effect on our views of liberty and freedom that step quite some distance from the Greek and Roman. The blending of old Roman Law and the verbal common law creates a different nature of how we see law and government… yet that government, itself, is dictated in its powers and accountability by the Law of Nations.

ajacksonian on February 1, 2010 at 7:14 AM

ted c on January 31, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Shhh!

It’s much more “academic” to refer to their Enlightenment/Roman influences (which are real, BTW) than to their religious ones!

/sarc

cs89 on February 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM

the Democrats desire for health care reform is motivated less by the needs of average Americans and more by the desire to expand their influence and control over a greater portion of the US economy and an industry that plays such an essential role in peoples lives.

FIFY ;-)

Yes the progressives “know” that their “solutions” to the current status quo are “right”; back in the ’90s I remember being chilled by Clinton’s Machiavellianism, and that was before I realized that the ends the progressives are seeking are in themselves deeply flawed.

The Keynesian experiment is playing out its climactic scene just as the long-game Soviet destabilization experiments reach maturity.

Heavens help us all.

zenscreamer on February 1, 2010 at 10:15 AM

But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform – the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.

In Texas, where barely two-thirds of the population have full health insurance and over a fifth of all children have no cover at all, opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%.

That’s an easy one – we see that whenever the government(federal mostly – but sometimes the state also) steps in to help, the ones “helped” are hurt in the long run by their assistance. Just look at the welfare state and the cycle of dependency it creates by becoming the father for the family instead of forcing the fathers to be just that. Just look at all the people helped by the government forcing the banks to give loans to people that would not qualify. They lost a lot of money trying to keep up with their house payments(instead of saving until they could afford to qualify) and still lost their home – making them far worse than when they were helped. Look at New Orleans where the federal government sent a ton of “help” after Katrina and compare to the lack of response in Texas after Ike. The Texas recovery was much better because the people and the state led the response.
So if the government offers to help you, expect to be worse off in several years.

Corsair on February 1, 2010 at 11:56 AM

What’s the matter with you Americans?

TEAed-off!

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on February 1, 2010 at 12:26 PM

The ideological descendants of Karl Marx have continually sought ‘popular support’ from various disadvantaged, victim-groups in order to build momentum towards a revolution against the rich/empowered class. Starting with the working poor and moving on to labor, racial minorities, women, children, animals, and the environment, the Marxist Left has appealed to successive groups because in each case the group they embraced eventually decided to reject the advanced stages of revolution once the initial issues were resolved. Of course animals and the planet can not object to the advances of revolution but they are limited in actually being able to sustain a revolution in and of themselves. The most recent cause is Health Care. Many people support some generic ‘improvement’ in health care, but shy away when the true goals become apparent. much to the surprise of the true believers. They feel betrayed, yet again, by the ignorant masses.

jerseyman on February 1, 2010 at 1:37 PM

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