Thoughts & Observations on Life, Society, and the Times by Al E.

Archive for July, 2013|Monthly archive page

Police used the “N”- word.

In Maybe they should just GET OVER IT, Politically Correct or Just TOO Sensitive? on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 at 10:53 AM

The current BIG Issue in the ongoing “discrimination is still alive” campaign revolves around two Hartford, CT civil servants.

Now, before anyone gets their underwear in a bunch, I am not condoning, justifying, excusing or defending racial slurs, discrimination or deliberate attempts to humiliate or disrespect anyone.  I don’t care about, race, religion, sexual preference or any of the countless reasons people get offended.  In fact it offends ME that no matter what or how a statement, comment, or opinion is expressed, someone takes offense.  Really, grow-up, suck it up, and move on.  Life is too short and precious to waste time being offended!  But, I digress.

While I don’t know what was said or under what circumstances the first police officer made his “slurs” other than it was while driving through a Hartford neighborhood.  Okay, offensive, deliberate, unnecessary and wrong.   From the reports, as his punishment, he is no longer out in the community, rather he’s assigned to permanent desk duty.  While I am not a police officer, I have to believe this is a fate worst than death for a patrol officer.

As to the dispatcher that “N’-worded.”  Listening to the recorded dispatch, (for the fourth or fifth night on the news, I’ve lost count), he did use that word!  He admitted it, he was reprimanded, he  apologized, he appreciates he erred.  Again, not justifying his lapse, but, listening to the recording, this was NOT the first call to the police – evident by the word “… again…”.  Maybe he was just at the end of his rope.  Maybe he was dealing with a far more important issue, like gun shots, a medical emergency, a call about domestic abuse.  Something more important that two a-holes arguing over the placement of a trash can!

If anyone wants to take offense, why not be offended that these two neighbors are wasting the valuable time and resources of the police department, repeatedly calling over this ridicules, childish, idiotic dispute!   What the officer should have done, in My opinion was to say: “Neighbor #1 Move your F…ing trash can!!  Neighbor #2 Grow-up, stop wasting our time and move on!”  I’d hate to see what would have happened then – firing squad – maybe?

In the most recent reporting on the nightly news, the President of Hartford’s N.A.A.C.P. is demanding the dispatcher, and the police Sergent should be fired!  Really, a bit extreme – don’t you think?  These two men have families, obligations, and have expressed their remorse over their slip of the tongue.   Do they deserve to lose their job???  Why not fire them and throw them in jail, 8 – 10 years should do the trick.

In today’s sue crazy, politically correct, offended, no bullying, society I can’t help but repeatedly refer to the “… He without guilt, cast the first stone…” test, to determine any offense’s validity and possible punishment.  If that or some other measure of priority were applied, these incredible wastes of time would make us all better people.

And while I’m at it, maybe the Media should start reporting NEWS, and ignore the B/S!!!

Thanks for thinking!

They REALLY don’t know what they missed!!

In A Refreshing Moment of Sanity, Looking Back & Remembering on Sunday, July 28th, 2013 at 7:29 PM

We’ve all heard it before.  “Back when we were kids…,” our parents, teachers, just about any adult at the time, was quick to tell us just how “Wonderful…” or “Tough…”, depending on their point, circumstances and just how envious or guilty they wanted to make us feel, THEY had had it, back in “the day.”  If their recollection was “wonderful,” we were supposed to pine for a better life and what we missed; when it was “tough,” we should be THANKFUL we had it so different, not having to walk to school – miles, uphill, both ways, in two feet of snow, with cardboard in our shoes and only a sweater!

Now, to any of you younger readers, you Generation “X-ers,” or whatever you’re calling yourselves, I’m sure you’re texting, ’cause none of you speak to each other, – “Dah! WTHIHTA = (what the hell is he talking about???).  You’ll never know, and for that I am truly sorry.  While we, maybe, didn’t truly “believe” it ourselves, back then, I really think that, somewhere, deep in our sub-consciousness, we knew, we really did have it made.

Actually I’m speaking mostly to the “Baby Boomers” – yes, things were a lot different when WE were kids, right?  Well they were!  And, now that we’re the “older, (and wiser), generation it’s our turn to try to enlighten the yung’uns of all they missed.

I vowed that I wouldn’t fall into that trap, spouting off about “the good old days,” but, there’s been a change in our lives, and it’s dawned on me that our parents were right.  Yes, they were right about most things, but especially in their remembering of their “good old days” because now our good old days were those “Happy Days!”

“What ‘change’ in his life could he possibly have had, that sent him down this path?” you ask.  Well, I’ll tell you.  It’s too long of a story to tell it all here, but, suffice it to say, it was destiny.  A twist of fate that can’t be explained any other way.

We got a player piano!

That’s it!  That’s the “change” that set the wheels in motion, reminiscing back to those better times of our youth.  Not only the memories, but the fact that we took them, those days, for granted.  We couldn’t wait to “move on” and never really, truly, appreciated them when we had them, in spite of our parents’ regular reminders and warnings that we’d “…miss them when they were gone.”

Okay, I can hear you all tis-tisking and shaking your heads thinking, “Well – ‘Alzheimer s’ – he’s finally lost it, a PIANO???  Really???”

NO! not a piano, a PLAYER PIANO!!  You know, the “special” kind of piano, that has paper, (yes paper), rolls with holes in them and the words to the song, right along the side, for the singing.  Think of it as an early karaoke machine, without a disk, video screen or highlighter to change the color of the words as you sing them.  Those little holes and air, yes, AIR, not micro-circuits, mother boards or electronics, holes and air, all working together to make the keys move and piano play, all by itself, and better than the best pianist could possibly play!  And, OH, what music comes out of that seventy plus years old instrument, and without any upgrade to 4-G!!!  Who would’a thunk?!?!

Since we got it, about two months ago, Mary and I have had, what we fondly call, “Musicale” almost every day.  We look forward to it, we cherish it, and feel cheated if we can’t hear at least a few rolls, any particular day, much to our “back home,” like so many “kids” today, son.  Though he won’t admit it, we know he’s kinda getting into it.  I’ve caught him bee-bopping as he walks by.  It’s infectious, it makes life FUN, really brightens your mood and banishes your worries!!

For that hour or so, the TV is off, we don’t answer the phone, no internet, email, no worries or cares!  All there is is the music.  Old songs, new songs; energetic Marches, graceful Waltzes, lively Fox Trots and Two Steps; silly little ditties, serious love songs, and sad “missing you,” songs.  Anything WE want, when and in whatever order we want, like “scramble” on an mp-3 player – and we can change the play list on a whim.  All the music we want right there at our fingertips.   Just put on a roll, sit back, and enjoy.  No batteries to worry about, no wires, headphones, or ear-buds, just music, lilting and strong – AH there’s nothing like it!

We enjoy it so much, we’ve talked about inviting anyone who’d like to, to join us. and experience a little bit of Heaven and brighten their day.  We’re always looking for an excuse for a Musical, so “…come on along, come on along to hear Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and any thing else you’re in the mood for.  Just pick a roll, relax and don’t worry about your singing, or not knowing the words – we’re printing up Musicale Sing-a-Long Sheets —– and the pianos really loud!

Justice?!? Whaaaat!

In What ARE they thinking??, You CAN'T fix - STUPID on Sunday, July 21st, 2013 at 3:39 AM

OK!!  I get it – Trayvon Martin was a black, unarmed teenager, shot to death by a white self-appointed vigilante.  (By-the-way, is Mr. Zimmerman – White, or could he be Hispanic, Native American, Jewish, Japanese, or like our President a mix?  He doesn’t “look” 100% white to me).

What I DON’T get is why is it more important to focus on the “racial issues,” rather than the fact that a young, unarmed boy is dead???  Why are the outrages, the marches, and demands for justice based solely on the fact that Mr. Zimmerman was found NOT Guilty??

There has not been any effort to address the Gun Control/Background checks issues.  There has not been any recognition of the fact that Mr. Zimmerman was brought to trial, as is his right, and found NOT guilty by a duly appointed jury of his peers.  That’s our Justice System.  Flawed as it is, it’s the best we got!!!

So I ask where’s the injustice??  Just because the masses didn’t get the verdict that THEY wanted there is no Justice??  Or is it because it was a White man who killed a Black boy, and he “got off” that there’s all the outrage?

Where was Al Sharpton – that worthless racist, rabble-rouser – and ALL the now, Justice for Trayvon demonstrators, when O.J. was acquitted??   When a Black man was accused of killing a White woman, and what made that murder even worse, she was the Mother of his children, and he “got off.”  Yes there was, and to this day, still is, controversy over his acquittal.  But, think back on that whole fiasco, the country riveted to their TVs throughout the trial.  The Late-Night Talk Show hosts, and just about everyone else, expressing outrage, anger and frustration – believing O.J. did do it.  The important point is that the outrage was over the TRIAL and the VERDICT, not any racial issues!  The white community didn’t rise up and demand Justice for Nicole simply because she was white and O.J. black.  The outrage was that he “got off” and everyone believed HE WAS Guilty.  Yet, the fact remains O.J. was brought to trial, by a jury of his peers, and found innocent, and the world had to “deal with it.”

I am NOT so naive as to believe that racism doesn’t exist.  I am NOT condoning, ignoring, or in any way implying that racial issues should be ignored, or avoided.  They are real, they do still exist and they must be addressed.  Did race play a part in the Trayvon Martin case, I believe it did to some degree.  What I DON’T blindly believe, is that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin just because he was black!   There are obviously facts, information and circumstances that the Jury knows, and we don’t.  The Jury found him Not Guilty, based on that information, and that IS our Justice System!  Done, over, finished – deal with it!

While I’m at it, why isn’t there the same outrage we’re seeing over Justice and Race for Trayvon, when a Black man kills another Black man, or worse, an innocent child or bystander, black or white??  Where are the Al Sharptons then??  There’s not a day that goes by that there isn’t news of yet another shooting of Black men by Black men, (often drug or gang related).  Yes, the neighborhoods get their two minutes of fame on TV, expressing their outrage, their desire to “clean up the streets, and keep everyone safe,” demanding the violence MUST stop!!!  I couldn’t agree more!  It is a blight on our society and is the forerunner of total chaos and opens the door for the decline in our way of life.   So what’s being done about those injustices?  The real injustices are that the criminals have more rights than the citizens, and are often back on the streets sooner than later.

In order for things to truly change, we must ALL accept our responsibilities to do what’s right and no longer accept this moral and social decay.  Take a stand and stamp out injustice against anyone.

How about that Second Amendment?!?

In Stop & Think before you speak!, What ARE they thinking?? on Sunday, July 21st, 2013 at 2:12 AM

I felt it important to post this now, on the anniversary of the Aurora Massacre.  I can’t believe this tragedy happened a whole year ago, was followed by Sandy Hook in December, numerous other gun violence and senseless killings, (Trayvon Martin, etc.) and we STILL DON’T HAVE ANY REALISTIC, PROSPECTIVE, GUN SAFETY DISCUSSIONS, let alone any Laws!

“During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a “bill of rights” that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.”

These are NOT my words, but a quote from an authorized, official, U.S. Government website:  http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html.  They are part of the introduction to, and an explanation of, the thinking behind the “Bill of Rights” and the resulting Amendments.

Thus the basis of the Second Amendment.  While the potential for the need of citizens to have the ability and right to form a “Militia” may still exist, the true possibility is highly unlikely.  Yes, I’m sure there are some that would argue.  But, really, after 200+ years of successful, democratic government, can it truly be a “realistic” fear??

Now, as to all the noise, ranting and raving about Second Amendment Rights.  What and where are the problems, concerns, fears?  No one is suggesting, pro-porting or supporting violating, taking, or impeding anyone’s “Rights!”  You can keep your rights, keep your guns, and your freedoms.

IF you are truly a responsible, sane, conscientious, accountable gun owner, you will step up and support measures that insure, foster and covet  those ideals and rights for all, through realistic gun control regulations, more extensive background checks, and gun registration.  Give credence to your claims that you hold the belief that “human rights” are truly inalienable by offering realistic, workable alternatives, rather than opposition and bigotry?  Why wouldn’t you??

To be honest, while not a gun owner, myself,  I am not against guns, ownership of them, or the Second Amendment, in fact I support them.  What truly concerns, no, really frightens me are the fanatics, the lunatic fringe.  Those who are screaming the loudest, ranting the most, misrepresenting and opposing ANY realistic conversations, proposals, or potential solutions to the controversy.  And their rights are in jeopardy???  Really!!

These people continue to insist that their “rights” are important and on the verge of being violated or worse, denied.  In reality, these gun-lovers are putting their interests and “rights” paramount, above the rights of everyone else.  They are touting that anything, any modification, enhancement or restriction on guns or ammunition is Unconstitutional.  How can they be sincere in their insistence that they respect and are interested in upholding Constitutional rights, when they will not even remotely consider the rights and safety of all, not just theirs, let alone non-gun owners?

What is wrong with our Representatives, our Civil Servants, both local and national??  How can they, in good conscience, continue to “listen” to the gun zealots, aka the NRA, by blatantly and continually dragging their feet, delaying a vote on any attempts at potential compromises, apparently turning a deaf ear to logic and reason?  Are they truly serving their constituents, or their own, selfish ends, AKA campaign contributions?

Finally, why is one of the most critical aspects of the “problem,” mental illness, continually mentioned almost as an after-thought?  An, “oh, by the way” these mass murderers had untreated, overlooked or ignored mental illness.  Is talking about it going to fix this short coming, this blight on society?  Shouldn’t this go hand in hand with any serious discussion about gun control?

While I’m on that subject, let me ask how the “responsible” gun activists can justify, condone, ignore the facts that have recently come to light in the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Namely that  Adam Lanza’s mother, a supposedly responsible gun owner, not only minimized his “mental illness” but actually bought the guns he had access to.  It may upset some, perhaps many, but personally I believe she got what she deserved, shot in her head in her bed, first, before the rampage at the school.  The real tragedy is Adam didn’t shoot her years ago.  Then he might have gotten the help he needed and innocent lives would have been lived, and who knows what they would have achieved?

Thank you for Thinking!

The Alphabet is Offensive!!!

In Politically Correct or Just TOO Sensitive?, Stop & Think before you speak!, Uncategorized, You CAN'T fix - STUPID on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 at 3:35 AM

Now, one more thing about this offensive and politically correct bull-shit that’s starting to go too far, and has gotten everyone afraid to say anything about anything, and everyone looking to how they can sue because they’ve been offended.  The ONLY winners are the lawyers – remember that, and they love the current atmosphere of Stupid that has permeated our society!

At one time, a very politically incorrect, but very progressive, intelligent and independent thinker, who wasn’t afraid to tell it straight, George Carlin, gave us, among many classic comedy routines, his infamous “7 Words you can’t say on T.V.” list.  These words, while they were not really acceptable to say anywhere, in any polite conversation, and may be offensive, I don’t believe anyone ever got sued, lost their job, or were ostracized by society if they were heard saying them.  If you did use them, and offended a listener, they, the offended listener, simply didn’t listen!  They may have tsked, tsked, and made an effort to not be within the offender’s earshot in the future.  The problem was solved, done, over with, and life went on.  Not any more.  The entire population has become censors, not only deciding what’s appropriate for them, their immediate families, friends and associates, but ALL of us.  Thanks but NO, I’m okay making those decisions for myself.

Thinking about the current, offending trend, I began to realize that that list of “7” has grown to many more words, that are now nick-named, using their first letter of the alphabet.  The best way to make my point is to give my list of offensive words as I believe they are now known.

A-word – (ass-hole);

B-word – come on, stands on its own (she’s such a B…);

C-word, OMG, one of the original 7, and still way up there.  CockS-word, on the other hand was on the list, but now – not so much;

D-words, yes plural, dick, douche, dummy, dyke to name a few, all offensive;

E-words, acceptable letter words;

F-Bomb, another one of the original 7, but I believe it has gained considerable acceptability;

G-words, a second acceptable group;

H-word, Ho, not acceptable, unless said in multiples of 3 or more – Ho, Ho, Ho, Santa ‘s by-line, or preceded by a Yo – Yo, Ho, Ho, a pirate’s call;

I, J, K, and L words are acceptable;

M-words okay, unless combined with the F-bomb, M-F, yes on the original list, but okay if used as just letters, not the words;

Now the biggie, the Daddy of all offensive words – the N-word, and, depending on who’s listening,  more offensive than the C-word(!) since you won’t get sued for saying someone is a C-word, but don’t even think of referring to anyone with the N-word;

O-words, okay;

P-words one of the original 7, (piss) and some new ones, prick (offensive, penis non-offensive – go figure), and pussy, again depending on their use;

Q-words mostly non-offensive, and dependent on use, queer or queen, you figure it out;

R-word, retard, retarded – offensive;

S-word, shit, one of the original 7 but now totally non-offensive and acceptable;

T-words one of the original 7 – tits, and I would now add twat, the nick-name for the C-word, both offensive;

U-words okay,

V-word, vagina, at one time unmentionable (see prick, dick), but seems to have become less offensive actually preferred when referring to lady parts as of late;

W-word, white, while not officially offensive, shameful to be labeled one as a race in and of itself.  Everyone is A-American, Italian-American, Native-American, Latin-American, which while not offensive Hispanic is far more preferable, and all this time I thought they were white;

X-words, are there any?;

Y and Z-words, as of now, non-offensive.

So there it is, the way of the future as I see it.  My advice to survive today’s P/C atmosphere, don’t speak, at all, ever – unless you are in a sound proof room, with trusted, thick-skinned friends.  Or, you can follow my philosophy:  F-bomb all the M-F-ing, C-words, D-words and A-words – right B-words?!!  True, you may not have many friends, but the ones you do have will be worth having!!!!  Carry on!

Tonto was Offensive??

In Maybe we're just too sensitive, What ARE they thinking??, You CAN'T fix - STUPID on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 at 7:04 PM

While I’m on the “offended rant,” I must mention what I believe, is the latest, and to me the most surprising revelation of offense.  Tonto!  Yes, for those of us old enough to have the privilege to have grown up – back in the day, when The Lone Ranger was a Saturday morning staple, I would guess you’d be wondering – What – too???  I really don’t know anyone who didn’t watch, and ride along with him and his trusty, faithful sidekick, Tonto!!!

What a thrill it was, serving “…truth, Justus and the American Way…” with the call “Hi Ho Silver,” to our magnificent, steed and our respected, appreciated, loyal friend, Tonto, by our sides!  How I swelled with pride as I imagined being part of the posse with Ko-mo sah-bee (“trusty scout” or “trusted friend”) and Tonto, as they taught life lessons of faith, trust, true friendship, respect and honor in doing good!  Those really were the days!

I was intrigued and excited in learning that the “new” current Lone Ranger movie was not only presenting one of my childhood heroes to a whole new generation, but that the story was being told from Tonto’s point of view!  Awesome!!  I always respected Tonto’s loyalty, and anticipated this “twist” that I was sure would add another layer of honor and appreciation to the Legend as a whole.

Imagine my shock and disappointment when, later in that promotional interview, (and others since) when Johnny Depp, who plays Tonto explained that not only was Tonto “offended” in his treatment by “K,” but was offensive, himself, to his fans, especially his fellow Indians!!!!  I sat in stunned silence, my mouth agape as the news sank in.  Tonto and The Lone Ranger, my heroes, my childhood idles were not only biased, but Politically INCORRECT!!!  An on a grand scale – 1950’s TV.  As this revelation bore deeper into my sensibilities, I began to wonder if this wasn’t some sinister plot, cooked up by the “white-man,” and designed toward corrupting the youth of the day?!?!  Maybe that’s what’s behind my lack of patience or respect for all this Political Correctness and everyone’s taking “Offense” at just about everything!

I don’t know about you, but I, for one, NEVER thought Tonto was a second class citizen, a servant, disrespected or any more “below” the Lone Ranger than the rest of us.  Tonto was his assistant, his right-hand man, his “Friday,” his “Watson.”  Tonto had his duties, just as any assistant to the Boss has, be they man or woman; black or white; old or young, gay or straight.  He had his job, and he did it well.  He was loyal, faithful, respectful and obedient.  He knew his place and purpose, and was proud and happy to serve!

After all, Ko-mo sah-bee was the Boss, and far above reproach.  White hat, white outfit, white horse – you really couldn’t get any more “white” than that.  Now that I think about it!

Humph, maybe we were being brain-washed; groomed to be gullible and subservient; so we’d become a generation of Stepford Wives, subject-able to the whims of the self-appointed leaders so they could feel superior.  Not by growing and improving themselves, but by fostering stupid, pumping it into the air, so it could become universal.  Gauging by all the things that “offend” somebody at one time or another, and all the fear, concern and shame everyone feels  about not being seen as “politically correct,” I’d say they were successful!  The solution – stop breathing, at least such deep breaths!

Paula Dean Offensive or Ruined???

In Politically Correct or Just TOO Sensitive?, You CAN'T fix - STUPID on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Where do I start?  Paula and the “N” word; Tonto in the “new” Lone Ranger; or wait for whatever “offense” is next?

When did the world, or our expectations of it, become “perfect”?  When did HONESTY become something to be PUNISHED?  When did history become offensive, rather than experiences to be cherished and LEARNED from, not banned?

I DO understand and appreciate the uproar over, and offensiveness of some words, thoughts and phrases.  YES, I get it!  I agree and sympathize with negative feelings, emotions, etc. that when used, these words, and other actions, beliefs and situations invoke hurt and offense in various groups.  I don’t like getting hurt, therefore nor do I want to hurt anyone, intentionally either.  However, let’s take a breath or two, and put things into perspective.

First, the Paula Dean fiasco.  Now again, no one, not I, Paula Dean herself, or any other civilized sensitive, intelligent human-being condones, justifies or accepts the use of the “N” word.  It has become understood and realized that the use of deliberately offensive, derogatory or demeaning words, phrases or actions are no longer, (key-note here) NO LONGER, acceptable in our society, our thinking, or our treatment of each other.  Period.  And while I do not intend to, even remotely, imply that it should be any different, there are circumstances and situations that should – NO – Must be taken into account whenever a perceived slur, or offensive comment or action is observed.

Did Paula use “the” word?  By her own admission, she said YES – she did!  Did she use it at, or to a person of color, I don’t believe so – though I was NOT present at the incident, or when she was describing the incident that prompted her to use it, a black man holding a gun to her head in a robbery, to her brother.  She was supposedly overheard by a worker who was “offended”!!

How dare that worker, who was eavesdropping on a PRIVATE conversation, judge Paula, report her to authorities, and “cast the first stone”, so to speak??  Why was she, the eavesdropper, “offended?”  Is she black, related to the robber, or speaking with any sense of the emotional trauma Paula was reliving and experiencing during the personal telling of her story??  By whose standards or authority can she “measure” Paula, and feel she should stand in judgement?  Me thinks this small-minded, arrogant, poor excuse for a human wasn’t nearly as offended as that she, in her jealous, twisted mind, saw a way to attack and destroy a respected, self-made, successful woman.  A woman who overcame huge odds, and built an empire.  News flash – I respect Paula Dean ten thousand times more than that low-life, scum, poor excuse for a human, tattle-tale!  There are NO words suitable to describe her!  The only consolation is that some day – she, the offended, will stand awaiting judgement, and that “…cast the first stone…” phrase will really be brought home!  Thank you God.

Aside from all that, what offends ME, and truthfully causes me great concern, is that while Paula did admit, openly and immediately, that she is “guilty of the ‘crime'” she is now being brutalized, crucified, and on the verge of financial and emotional ruin, NOT so much for the offense, but for her HONESTY in admitting and accepting the responsibility for her error!  Really?!?!?

Shouldn’t her sponsors, publisher and other attackers put things into prospective?  She didn’t kill anyone, didn’t organize any anti anything movement, didn’t hesitate or even attempt to defend or justify her actions.  None-the-less, her every attempt to explain and or apologize for the incident is met with further criticism, ridicule and questions of sincerity!  It’s amazing how many worthy to “cast the first stone” walk among us today!!!  Move over Jesus!

It’s a shame that some of these righteous, compassionate, morally and politically correct people aren’t in positions of leadership, where they could do some real good – Congress, the media, teachers, lawyers, etc.  I’m only sorry that they are in positions of POWER, (different than positions of leadership), as they’ve obviously made it their goal to destroy Ms. Dean, and are doing a swift, right-fine job of it.  Sad!!!

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