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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our Rulers & Masters: Gangsters in Pinstripes



From anger to madness: A class-warfare crazed government mob is running amok

Michael Goodwin

Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 4:00 AM

Everybody makes mistakes, and I made a beaut the other day. I was wrong to call members of Congress blow-hards and buffoons and declare them worse than useless.

I was too kind.

I should have said our representatives are gangsters in pinstripes and pearls. They are petty tyrants and the more power they grab, the more at risk we are. Homeland Security should flash Code Red any time this Congress is in session.

It is twilight in America now. The House vote to use the tax code to retroactively punish bonus babies was an act of sheer madness. What started as phony outrage at AIG has crossed the line into insane policy. It is stunning that the vote was lopsided and bipartisan.

The Senate is itchy to go along, and President Obama says he's ready to tighten the thumbscrews on the banks. Is there no adult who will bring a straitjacket?

We should all be very afraid. Class warfare is mere predicate for a witch hunt that, once unleashed, will not stop with misbegotten wealth. It will punish success and stifle innovation. Dissent will invite dishonor.

That Congress is a gang of cheap connivers is not news. Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, Charles Grassley, Barney Frank - they have been national embarrassments for years.

But now they are dangerous, emboldened by public fear and anger. They know nothing, but have power and smell opportunity for more.

Missing in action is the Barack Obama who vowed to unite the country around common values. Lately he has been the very opposite of the man he promised. Instead of hope, many have a growing fear of the arrogant government he leads.

Obama is smart, quick and charming, and, as he showed on "The Tonight Show," owner of a thousand-watt smile he can deploy at will. He silkily manages to make the ridiculous sound reasonable. When he insults the Special Olympics, he is forgiven.

Yet even "Tonight" host Jay Leno broke from full flattery to reveal his qualms about the meaning of the bonus tax. "Here's something that kind of scared me," he said. "If the government decides they don't like a guy, all of a sudden, hey, we're going to tax you and then, boom, and it passes."

Obama brushed it off, part of an endless road show claim that he will bring back "common sense" to the financial system and restore "those values that built America."

If only. In truth, there is no history for what he is doing. He is the most radical President of our times, far outside the mainstream of our political philosophy.

He is not a reformer who fixes things. He fancies himself "transformative," a man who reshapes and reorders. It apparently begins with smashing the existing order under the pretext of managing the crisis he inherited.

During the campaign, a fellow journalist confided that "I know Obama is a Manchurian candidate, I just can't figure out what for."

I laughed then, but no more. Obama represents a secular religion that believes, no matter the malady, Washington is the antidote. More government is the chicken soup of his tribe.

It is an illusion of many Republicans and Democrats that Washington can successfully manage the economy and our lives. Our institutions and culture are too big, too diverse and too unruly to be run like a banana republic.

Yet the economic mess has robbed the nation of its confidence, and the vacuum is being filled by politicians bearing promises and borrowed dollars. The true cost of this "help" will come later, with back-breaking debt and a lack of growth and opportunity.


We can't say we haven't been warned. "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" is more than folklore. It predicts our fate if we follow the government mob.

mgoodwin@nydailynews.com



36 comments:

  1. I just read that piece, maybe 5 minutes ago.

    Ain't life grand!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some people are getting it, not the two who showed up on my doorstep with clipboards and a check list, fresh faced, naive, determined and dangerous.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That ammo is sold out says something.

    Weep.

    I'm for voting the bums out.

    Your support is needed in important election in New York--

    Dear Friend:

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    Please read the letter below and consider contributing to the efforts of the GOPTrust.com to win this election.

    Thanks.


    Dick Morris


    You Can Shock President Obama,
    Speaker Pelosi, and Majority
    Leader Reid on March 31!

    A Special Election Will Stun Washington.
    Read More Below


    Dear Reader:

    In just two weeks you can send a powerful message to Congress, the Senate, President Obama — and even the coddling liberal media.

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    You can send a powerful message to Obama and the Democrats who control the House and Senate that you OPPOSE their new, wild federal spending programs — and the trillions of dollars of federal debt that they are placing on you and your families for generations to come.

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    This is why Obama and the Democrats in Washington are pouring everything they have into this race to keep this seat Democratic.

    The Democratic bosses even picked a multimillionaire named Steve Murphy as their candidate.

    Murphy, a big backer of liberal Sen. Chuck Schumer, is already putting big bucks into his own race.

    But many voters in his district are appalled. Murphy is a Wall Street executive who made millions by shipping U.S. jobs to India. Now Murphy wants to buy a seat in Congress.

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    Left-wing organizer Bertha Lewis, who is directing the field effort by the WFP to elect Murphy, sits on the ACORN board. ACORN and the WFP are funded by the exact same left-wing unions, and they intend to deliver for Scott Murphy.

    Republicans are bracing for millions of dollars to be spent on behalf of Murphy as ultra-liberal special interest groups like the Moveon.org PAC, Pelosi’s Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and 1199: the National Health Care Workers’ Union, all pour money into this New York district.

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    With your help we hope to launch a sophisticated get-out-the-vote effort to reach every Republican household and identify those conservative Democrats and independents who agree with us, and make certain they turn out and vote for Jim Tedisco.

    Make no mistake about it, the union bosses, ACORN, the anti-gun lobby, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic national establishment will each be pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars — if not millions — into their efforts to elect liberal Murphy.

    One local newspaper speculated that the liberals and unions would spend as much as $1.5 million to win this contest in order to avoid embarrassing President Obama with a stunning defeat.

    That’s why you and I must act TODAY — Go Here Now.

    With just weeks before this showdown Special Election, we must move immediately to make sure that the Republican majority in this district know how high the stakes are.

    They must know the difference between proven conservative Jim Tedisco, with a 25-year record as a solid conservative leader, and Wall Street fast-talker Steve Murphy who tries to sound conservative but who is beholden to Nancy Pelosi, the AFL-CIO, and the liberal special-interest groups.

    Please consider making a contribution to The National Republican Trust so that we can begin a well-organized effort to get every Republican and Republican-leaning independent out to vote to win this seat.

    Let’s demonstrate to the liberal media that the Republican Party and the ideals of Ronald Reagan — fiscal conservatism, patriotism, and common sense — are not dead!

    Believe me when I tell you that Jim Tedisco’s election is the first step in taking back Republican control of the Congress in 2010 and ousting Obama from the White House in 2012.

    The hour is late. We must move immediately to launch our effort to turn back the tide and take the first small step towards winning back the Congress in 2010 and the White House in 2012 before Obama and his liberal cohorts destroy this country.

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    Please let me hear from you today — Go Here Now.

    Thank you.

    Yours for America,

    Scott Wheeler
    Executive Director

    P.S. At a time when liberal talking heads like Chris Matthews Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann are saying the Republican Party is dead, we have a unique opportunity to prove they are wrong and wipe the smile off their smug liberal faces! I hope to hear from you today. Please donate to us today — Go Here Now.

    Paid for by The National Republican Trust PAC.
    Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
    2100 M St. NW Suite 170-340 Washington, DC 20037-1233

    Contributions to The National Republican Trust PAC are not deductible as charitable
    contributions for federal income tax purposes. No corporate funds are accepted.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Giddy.

    President Barack Obama said he believes the global financial system remains at risk of implosion with the failure of Citigroup or AIG, touching off “an even more destructive recession and potentially depression.”

    His remarks came in a “60 Minutes” interview in which he was pressed by an incredulous Steve Kroft for laughing and chuckling several times while discussing the perilous state of the world’s economy.

    “You're sitting here. And you're— you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, "I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money—” How do you deal with— I mean: explain. . .” Kroft asks at one point.

    “Are you punch drunk?” Kroft says.

    “No, no. There's gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day,” Obama says, with a laugh.


    Are You Punch Drunk?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, I see, west side of Spokane River. Plenty of ospreys in that area as I recall. Sitting around on pilings etc. Nice. That should be to the left and downriver a bit from my picture. The old lumber mill on the east side of the river in that area is gone now, being replaced by condos, other types of housing. Treaty Rock is down there by Post Falls somewheres.

    Post Falls has a huge Cabela's outlet these days. Was there a short time ago. Big store, anything your heart desires in the way of the outdoors.

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  6. Personally, I believe the Wall Street executives have presided over the greatest crime in American history. Maybe if a few of them spent a little time, preferably sitting by large prisoner named Bubba, they would think twice about handing out such ridiculous bonuses.

    Did you see how fast Madoff lost his smirk after he met Bubba?

    As an aside, I think that Congress’ response to the matter was a little over the top. I am not in favor of Congress taxing the smithereens out of people.


    Time to Meet Bubba

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  7. Right! They were directly across the river from the sawmill!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cap-and-trade traded away?

    by Ed Morrissey, March 21, 2009


    George Stephanopolous reported yesterday that Senate Democrats forced Barack Obama to choose between two break-the-bank policies for this year. The White House apparently surrendered on cap-and-trade in order to get started on a massive overhaul of the nation’s health-care delivery system. ...

    Stephanopolous notes that Democrats in the House made this choice, but it’s really all about the Senate. Obama thinks he can get a few moderate Republicans to go along on health care reform, probably more than just the Porkulus 3, if he steers a centrist course. Cap-and-trade has problems even among Democrats, especially in the Rust Belt and in coal-producing areas, and its impact on the economy makes it a non-starter in this session of Congress.
    Even the health-care effort will get curtailed, likely as a result of the massive government spending already undertaken by Democrats this year. Instead of moving forward with a comprehensive plan to socialize the health sector, Obama wants to work around the edges this year. Obama has apparently learned that lesson from Hillary Clinton’s abortive attempt to nationalize the health sector in 1993-4.

    ReplyDelete
  9. deuce, you got a visit from the TOTUS canvassers?
    What did they ask and how did you respond?

    ReplyDelete
  10. MARCH 20, 2009 Case Against Gun-Store Owner Dismissed

    By JOEL MILLMAN
    An Arizona court on Wednesday dismissed the case against a gun-store owner accused of looking the other way while front men purchased weapons to deliver to Mexico's drug cartels.

    The trial, which began earlier this month, had been heralded as an example of U.S. authorities working to stanch the flow of weapons to Mexico, where a recent war among drug gangs is believed to have killed more than 6,000 people.

    At the heart of the case was the X-Caliber gun store, where prosecutors alleged more than 700 high-powered rifles were sold to purchasers whom the owner, 47-year-old George Iknadosian, should have known were acting as so-called straw buyers for Mexican customers. Sales of most weapons to non-U.S. citizens north of the border are severely constrained, as is gun possession by civilians in Mexico.

    To get around those restrictions, Arizona officials alleged, Mr. Iknadosian allowed Arizonans with clean criminal records to buy weapons they would resell in Mexico, first by falsifying forms attesting that the firearms were for the purchasers' personal use. Witnesses in the case included several of these alleged straw buyers, who have pleaded guilty to charges that bring a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.

    Yet in dismissing the 21 counts against Mr. Iknadosian, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottsfield ruled that the evidence prosecutors presented wasn't "material," and therefore didn't support charges against the defendant.

    "The state's case is based upon testimony of individuals who [alleged]...that they were the actual purchaser of the firearms when they were not," Judge Gottsfield wrote. He then indicated that such testimony, by itself, failed to establish that any additional unlawful conduct transpired.

    "There is no proof whatsoever that any prohibited possessor ended up with the firearm," the judge said.


    That store is just about a 1/2 mile away. Sign is still up on the wall, noticed it just yesterday and wondered what had happened in regards George Iknadosian.

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  11. Obama is continuing the same disastrous monetary and trade policies of Bush1 Clinton Bush2. There's only one place this is going, and that's devaluation of the US dollar and hyperinflation. You are all now holding Zimbabwe passports.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Echoes from the past, from the days of The Glorious Revolution of 1688, merry old England--

    Thus, at the end of the century which had teetered on the brink of certain modern formulations of revolutionary utopianism and secular political apocalypse, a number of sober conclusions impressed themselves on a representative English mind. Let me specify these as formulations in the writings of Halifax.

    1. Deep social alterations are thinkable but undesirable.

    "It would be well," Halifax wrote, "if Hopes carried Men only to the top of the Hill, without throwing them afterwards down the Precipice." He was neither cynical nor defeatist, but distrusted the great leap forward of revolutionary action. "Hope is generally a wrong Guide, though it is very good Company by the way. It brusheth through Hedge and Ditch till it cometh to a great Leap, and there is apt to fall and break its Bones." He believed that the salus populi was "the greatest of all fundamentals" but felt that "the angry Buzz of a Multitude is one of the bloodiest Noises in the World."

    2. Governmental change is usually superficial.

    With a sharp eye on the glorious readjustments of his day, Halifax noted: "After a Revolution, You see the same Men in the Drawing-room, and within a Week the same Flatterers."

    3. A messianic ideology of perfection is a poor counselor.

    Halifax recognized the constant struggle over freedom between rulers and radicals and observed: "Power is so apt to be insolent and Liberty to be saucy, that they are very seldom upon good Terms." But he was moderately optimistic about the prospects of liberal effort. "There may be fresh Gales of asserting Liberty, without turning into such storms of Hurricane, as that the State should run any hazard of being Cast away by them; these strugglings which are natural to all mixed Governments, while they are kept from growing into Convulsions, do by a mutual agitation from the several parts, rather support and strengthen, than weaken or maim the Constitution." And yet, "when all is done, those who look for Perfection in the World, may look as the Jews have for their Messias..."

    4. Revolutions are betrayed

    "When the People contend for their Liberty, they seldom get any thing by their Victory but new Masters." Halifax sensed the shadow which fell between the means and the ends; "That which looketh bold is a great Object that the People can discern; But that which is wise is not so easily seen: It is one part of it that is not seen, but at the End of a Design. Those who are disposed to be wise too late, are apt to be valiant too early." He recommended "a wise Mean, between the barbarous Extremes."

    5. Political power corrupts.

    "There is a wantonness in great Power that Men are generally too apt to be corrupted with..." It leads to violence, to "fear and terrour," unless checked by the principles of consent and respect; "for power without love hath a terrifying aspect" and "all force is a kind of foul-Play...."

    6. Words are weapons.

    Halifax, much abused in his day and much distressed by fashionable frenzies, had a notable sensitivity to "a murdering Word, that carrieth Injustice, and no Sense." Men's words, he wrote (mixing metaphors peacably as he went along), "are Bullets that their Enemies take up and make use of against them....and the same word which at first maketh the Company merry, groweth in time to a Military Signal to cut one anothers Throats." Halifax would appear to be one of the founders of modern semantical interest. "The World hath of late years," he observed in The Anatomy of an Equivalent, published in the year of the Glorious Revolution, "never been without some extraordinary Word to furnish the Coffee-Houses and fill the Pamphlets. Sometimes it is a new one invented, and sometimes an old one revived. They are usually fitted to some present purpose, with intentions as differing as the various designs several parties may have, either to delude the People, or to expose their Adversaries: They are not of long continuance, but after they have passed a little while, and that they are grown nauseous by being so often repeated, they give place to something that is newer..." It was an uncanny adumbration of the role that what he called "fashionable words" would play in the modern history of ideology and propaganda. "Tis hard," he concluded, "that Men will not only invent ill Names, but they will wrest and misinterpet good ones; so afraid some are even of a reconciling sound, that they raise another noise to keep it from being heard, lest it should set up and encourage a dangerous sort of Men, who prefer Peace and Agreement, befor Violence and Confusion."

    A century and a half later, if I may leap from Halifax to Wordsworth, these linked sentiments were holding fast as in a chain. In lines characteristically dedicated to "Liberty and Order," similar connections (though with another epoch's accretion of passion and despair) were made by the nineteenth-century poet trying to look back on another post-revolutionary period:

    Ah why deceive ourselves! by no mere fit
    Of sudden passion roused shall men attain
    True freedom wherefor ages they have lain
    Bound in a dark abominable pit...
    What, is there then no space for golden mean
    And gradual progress?...
    Thought that should teach the zealot to forego
    Rash schemes, to abjure all selfish agitation,
    And seek through noiseless pains and moderation
    The unblemished good they only can bestow.


    I belive it would be true to say that by the time of Adam Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), with its sober devotion to "plausible proposals" for "plans of improvement." a famous English victory over the apocalypse had been all but won. It needed only to be properly celebrated, In Dryden's line, "Our tmeperate isle will no extremes sustain..."

    from Utopia and Revolution
    Melvin J. Lasky

    ---

    Vote the bastards out.

    ReplyDelete
  13. deuce, you got a visit from the TOTUS canvassers?
    What did they ask and how did you respond?


    I add, did the canvassers have prompters, themselves?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Vote the bastards out.
    ==

    But you can't.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Not sure I understand the judge's ruling but--

    as is gun possession by civilians in Mexico

    does Mexico need a 2nd Amendment, and could they handle it, would it be good, or bad?

    ReplyDelete
  16. But you can't.

    Sure we can if enough folks get out and vote agin 'em.

    What to put in it's place?

    Plato's Republic?

    Dictatorship of the Proletariate?

    Chaos, secession, anarchy?

    The military?

    Kingship?

    Theocracy?

    The Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

    States Rights? ah, there's a reasonable start.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sure we can if enough folks get out and vote agin 'em.
    ==

    Yey for new Republicans!
    Yey for new Democrats!
    Yey for the new same old.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Which doesn't answer my question, alas:(

    ReplyDelete
  19. Which doesn't answer my question, alas:(
    ==

    When the federals monetize the debt to China and the rest of the world, they will also monetize the debt of the individual states to the federal government. I think that would be a good time as any to renegotiate the terms of the Union.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Joe Buzz,

    I was bringing is some fire wood. I keep a fire going in my kitchen most of the winter and saw two people walking up the driveway, one black, and one white.

    I asked my house keeper if she was expecting anyone and she said no.

    They came to the door, both carrying clip boards and I opened the door as they knocked.

    They asked me how I was doing today. I asked them what did they want. They said they were from "support America" or something close and I cut them off and asked if they knew that there was no soliciting in this township. They said they had a permit because they were political and asked if I would be supporting Barack Obama's initiatives on energy, health care and education. I told them to leave and closed the door and they did.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Here we again with another gusher of pent-up stupidity."

    I think that would be a good time as any to renegotiate the terms of the Union.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Geithner's Last Stand

    The indignation over AIG will serve a useful purpose if it focuses public attention on the much larger issue -- the failure of the entire approach that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House economic czar Larry Summers are using to rescue the banking system.

    It would be hard to find two administrations more different than Bush and Obama. Yet, when it comes to bailing out financial firms, Geithner's approach is a seamless continuation of his predecessor, Hank Paulson's. It makes you wonder who is the permanent government. Perhaps Wall Street?

    Even the players are the same Goldman-Citigroup crowd. The well named Neel Kashkari, the Citigroup executive brought in by Paulson to run the TARP program, is still in place. Geithner's top assistant, Mark Patterson, is from Goldman. And most of the concepts are coming from the same Wall Street crew.

    So far, the policy has been an abject failure. The latest idea is to use some of the remaining Treasury funds from the TARP program approved by Congress last October to anchor several trillion more in loans and loan guarantees by the Federal Reserve and FDIC. For weeks, Geithner has announced only vague principles of his next move

    ReplyDelete
  23. Just heard Spitzer on Radio, thot I'd hate it, but he didn't sound too bad, til he got to the One.

    "Appearing on CNN, the New York Democrat -- who resigned from office roughly a year ago amidst a prostitution scandal -- told host Fareed Zakaria that he was worried about the kind of anger being directed at the bonuses, which includes a law passed by the House of Representatives this past week taxing the benefits at 90 percent.

    "It is being fomented by sort of a faux populism by many on Capitol Hill who saw this coming, who knew this was going on," he said.

    "And so I look at them and I say, come on, guys, you're supposed to be more mature ... Express the anger but then say, 'how do we solve it?' Don't just throw more oil onto the fire. And I am worried about that. And I'm worried that it will be destructive to our capitalist system.

    Earlier he was asked to assess the job that the president was doing, in trying to put out multiple Wall Street fires.
    "Well, I think he is doing stupendously," said Spitzer
    "

    ReplyDelete
  24. This has just got to be the most surreal moment in the history of the Republic.

    If this wild bunch doesn't put us in a depression, for real, we're going to meet back at the bar in a year, or so, and have one hell of a laugh

    If we survive a week without a monster sell-off you'll be hearing from a really, really drunk Rufus Friday evening.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My dart throwing showed a market downer, tomorrow. But it was an odd pattern, with some darts completely off the board.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've found nobody will pay for my advice, so I've begun offering it for free.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's probably about time for your darts to be right, Bob. I got to admit, I'm as discombobulated as I can ever remember being. I've been wrong about as often as I've been right in my life, but, usually I was able to convince my self that I thought I knew what was going on.

    Not this time. I'm totally, freakin' lost in the game. Upside down, and spinning like a top.

    Yowser!

    ReplyDelete
  28. discom - bob - unlated, I can relate to that:)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Shocker: 'Global warming' simply no longer happening
    Temperatures dropping, fewer hurricanes, arctic ice growing, polar bear population up

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Posted: March 22, 2009
    9:56 pm Eastern

    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    WASHINGTON – This may come as bad news for Al Gore.

    The modest global warming trend has stopped – maybe even reversed itself.

    And it's not just the record low temperatures experienced in much of the world this winter.

    For at least the last five years, global temperatures have been falling, according to tracking performed by Roy Spencer, the climatologist formerly of NASA.

    "Global warming" was going to bring more and more horrific hurricanes, climate change scientists and the politicians who subscribed to their theories said. But since 2005, only one major hurricane has struck North America.

    A new study by Florida State University researcher Ryan Maue shows worldwide cyclone activity – typhoons, as well as hurricanes – has reached at least a 30-year low.

    Two more studies – one by the Leibniz Institute of Marine Science and the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology in Germany and another by the University of Wisconsin – predict a slowing, or even a reversal of warming, for at least the next 10 to 20 years.

    The Arctic sea ice has grown more on a percentage basis this winter than it has since 1979.

    The number of polar bears has risen 25 percent in the past decade. There are 15,000 of them in the Arctic now, where 10 years ago there were 12,000.

    "The most recent global warming that began in 1977 is over, and the Earth has entered a new phase of global cooling," says Don Easterbrook, professor of geology at Western Washington University in Bellingham, confidently. He maintains a switch in Pacific Ocean currents "assures about three decades of global cooling. New solar data showing unusual absence of sun spots and changes in the sun’s magnetic field suggest ... the present episode of global cooling may be more severe than the cooling of 1945 to 1977."

    Climatologist Joe D’Aleo of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, says new data "show that in five of the last seven decades since World War II, including this one, global temperatures have cooled while carbon dioxide has continued to rise."

    "The data suggest cooling not warming in Earth's future," he says.

    ReplyDelete
  30. (03-12-09)
    ...I'm not an asshole, just Anal.

    ReplyDelete
  31. ...you should see my new floor sweeper.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Not this time. I'm totally, freakin' lost in the game.

    Upside down, and spinning like a top.
    "
    ---
    The Truth at Last!

    ...I'll hunt up my New Century Post from two years ago to aid your alzheimic memory, Ruf!

    ReplyDelete
  33. 3-8-07, purty close:
    ---
    Hey, Rufus:
    If you were a VP in this company, what do you figure you'd be facing, besides looking for work?
    (odds on things like prison time, and etc)
    Just Curious!
    New Century

    ReplyDelete
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