Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - A Year In Review

The year 2008 started as any year does – Dick Clark pitifully stumbling through the Rockin’ New Year’s broadcast, but humbly being supported by Ryan Seacrest. While I spent the next morning rising early and feeding breakfast to my kids, most people my age went to bed already hung-over and wishing they were someone else.

The year was full of fun and exciting events, some good, some bad, most depending on your perspective. Without any further waste of your time, here is the year as I saw it:


Professional con-artists Martin O'Malley gleefully announces that tuition at the University of Maryland system will not increase, making higher education more affordable to the hard working people of the state. This was one of his election priorities, along with raising taxes and increasing spending. While tuition does not increase at the University of Maryland system, mandatory lab fees are raised from $150 per semester to $25,000 per semester.

Actor Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment. The toxicology report indicated that his body contained 6 different drugs and was ruled an "accidental overdose". How taking 6 drugs and dying can be considered accidental is beyond my comprehension. Ledger will best be known as the gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain and the crazy Joker in The Dark Knight.


The New England Patriots and the New York Giants meet in the Super Bowl. The Patriots enter the game with the longest winning streak in NFL history and a perfect season. The Giants of suburban New Jersey promptly embarrass the boys from the suburbs of Boston. At the conclusion of the Super Bowl, Brett Favre retires from football, but before more overpriced bad commercials can air he changes his mind and decides to play until he’s 57.

Mid-February saw the end of the Hollywood writers’ strike, ending nearly 2 months of reprieve for the viewing public. Unfortunately, some of the terms of the deal included more reality television shows and 6 new versions of CSI.

The billionaire Dictator of impoverished Cuba, Fidel Castro, announces he will resign from office effective February 24th. Officially his resignation is due to declining health, but rumors have been circulating for several years that he has been dead. Miraculously his brother Raúl is unanimously elected to be his replacement by the Cuban National Assembly whose members voted under gun point by Fidel's troops.


New York Governor Elliot Spitzer resigns after it is revealed that he's been having a relationship with a prostitute. Comedians across the nation have a field day. How obvious do the jokes have to be when your last name is 'Spitzer'? I mean, that's a hard joke to swallow.

Brett Favre continues to make his annual retirement announcements. The Green Bay Packers finally declare that Aaron Rogers is their new quarterback, prompting Favre to unretire. Unfortunately, the Packers are tired of his ritual and do not offer him an invitation to training camp.

Arizona Senator John McCain seals the deal to become the Republican nominee for President. At 106 years old, he’s the oldest nominated candidate in the history of the United States. And by the way, he’s a maverick.


Kansas defeats Memphis in overtime in the NCAA basketball tournament. Unfortunately, Big South conference power-house Winthrop University didn't make it past the first round.

A polygamist camp in Texas is raided on a tip that men are marrying more than one woman and having sex with underage girls. Federal authorities safely remove 416 children from the government-funded compound. The brain-washed zombie mothers are interviewed on television and deny that the men are polygamists. The thought of being with multiple ladies briefly excites the majority of the male population of the country. However, their attitudes quickly change when they realize that one nagging wife is difficult enough. Imagine if all 25 of your wives were nagging you while you were trying to watch the football game. It just wouldn't be worth it.


Nothing significant happens in the entire month of May. So to fill space, have you seen the new Baltimore Sun lately? Due to cut backs and continuing decline in revenue, management makes some more cuts to the staff and the printed paper. The paper now consists of 2 sections – the front page and the back page. My – how times have changed.


With just a couple of weeks until summer, the Detroit Red Wings defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Championship. The most popular souvenirs are the Red Wings tank top/Bermuda shorts combo and the Pittsburgh Penguin bathing suits. Less important, Detroit wins the series 4-2, but Sydney Crosby scores 2 goals in the series and ESPN declares him the best hockey player of all-time during their annual 15 seconds worth of hockey coverage.

A couple of weeks later, the Boston Celtics defeat the Los Angeles Lakes in the 75th NBA finals featuring these 2 teams. Interestingly, the NBA first had to overcome a logistical nightmare when they realized that the playoffs actually overlap the ‘08-‘09 pre-season schedule by 3 weeks. The problem is initially blamed on George W. Bush’s failed economic policies, but later attributed it to 2008 being a Leap Year.

Hollywood celebrated the birth of Jamie Lynn Spears’ baby. Jamie Lynn Spears, the former star of Nickelodeon show Zoey 101, was 16 when she got pregnant. Additionally, she is the hot-mess sister Britney Spears, the former hot-mess pop-singer turned hot-mess basket-case socialite. Nickelodeon promptly drops the show in favor of new teenage sitcoms starring actresses that they hope can stay sexually responsible for at least a few seasons.

Anti-religion comedian George Carlin died at age 71. The often-cured drug and alcohol addict is best known for his 7 deadly words routine, in addition to many other profanity-laden skits. He once said that we should think about how stupid the average American is, then realize that half of the country is stupider than that person. Surprisingly he did not die from drugs, alcohol, or abusive language. But after arriving at the Pearly Gates, God looked at him and said, "Are you F-in kidding me? You want to come in here?


Oil prices hit $147 per barrel, causing gas prices to spike to $4 per gallon in most places across the country except in California, where they are even higher. Environmentalists predict $1000 per barrel oil by year-end, hurried global warming, and the total annihilation of the polar bears. Meanwhile, July goes down as the coldest July in recorded history.

Perennial presidential candidate John Edwards admits that he's been having an affair with Elliot Spitzer. He says that he asked his wife for forgiveness. Then he asked God for forgiveness. No word on whether he asked for forgiveness from the thousands of obstetric doctors that quit their practice in North Carolina after he sued them for millions of dollars for malpractice while he was a trial lawyer.

Maryland House of Delegates member Kumar Barve gets probation before judgment for his drunk-driving arrest after he repeatedly points out to the judge, one of his fellow drinking buddies, that he has taken a tough stance on drunk-driving laws.


The summer Olympics are held in Communist China's capital of Beijing. To help with the inhuman health conditions of the city, China bans automobiles for several weeks, limits the amount of time that its citizens are allowed to breathe, and paints the grass green. Furthermore, the military jails tens of thousands of civilians that they suspect will cause problems. China is unable to imprison Michael Phelps and his giraffe-like arms and he swims away with 8 gold medals. Unfortunately, the medals are tainted with led paint and have to be recalled.

Democratic Presidential candidate Obama selects Joe Biden, a U.S. Senator from Delaware, to be his running mate. Obama must have been impressed when Biden said, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." (February 9, 2007)

Brett Favre signs with the Jets, then announces his retirement. When he unretires 5 minutes later the Jets get rid of their quarterback, Chad Pennington.

Republican Presidential candidate McCain announces that in addition to being a maverick, he has selected Alaska Governor Tina Fey to be his running mate. Her twin sister Sarah Palin returns to Saturday Night Live to spoof her. Do I have that backwards? I'm not sure. But I am sure that McCain would have done better if had selected Tina Fey as his running mate.


Hurricane Ike slams into Galveston, Texas doing millions of dollars worth of improvements. Hundreds of residents whine, cry, and complain that their million dollar beach front homes are ruined and demand a bailout.

Joe Biden, while speaking at a political event, shows some more grace under fire and says to wheelchair-bound Missouri state senator Charles Graham, "Stand up, Chuck, let ‘em see you."

The world's largest insurer, A.I.G. comes to the Federal Reserve, hat in hand, and asks for a bailout for bad investments. When asked how much, A.I.G. responds with $85 Billion. Asked how they came up with that number they say it came out of this hat in their hand. Over the next several months, A.I.G. gets billions more with threats that the financial world will collapse if they don't get it. A.I.G. then throws a huge multi-million dollar party and gives its executives millions of dollars in "retainer" fees. IOU’s are then converted to FU’s.

Still one of the handsomest men in showbiz, 83 year old actor Paul Newman succumbs to lung cancer. Upon arriving in heaven, God quickly pushes Carlin aside and allows Newman fast-track entrance because Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Sting are among God’s favorite movies.

In one dramatic day Lehman Brothers declares bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch is sold to Bank of America. These 2 former mighty organizations blame their collapse on big bets on subprime mortgages that were made to people who didn't qualify for mortgages. To save face, both organizations articulately explain their shock when calculations reveal that most people that make $25K per year cannot afford $4000/month mortgages. Congress immediately starts making pledges to stop this housing crisis and help keep people that aren't qualified to own homes to remain in their homes.


The World Series features 2 of the most unlikely of opponents - the Tampa Rays (or whatever they call themselves this year) and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies win it 4 games to 1 giving the city of Brotherly Crime its first championship in 25 years. The Flyers and the 76ers are relieved as they can now go a few more decades with abysmal records before someone notices. In a related story, the Orioles are mathematically eliminated from the 2009 playoffs.

Vice Presidential Candidate and former plagiarist Joe Biden criticizes John McCain by saying, "Look, John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number one problem facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word; jobs. J-O-B-S." However, Biden is later criticized for not recognizing that McCain is a maverick.

With the economic crisis in full swing, Circuit City, Kay-Bee Toys, Linens ‘n Things, and the Maryland Republican Party file for bankruptcy, all claiming they have no resources to continue operating successfully.


After 6 years of election campaigning, it is finally over. Americans decide that they are tired of Republicans and boot most of them out of office. Barrack Obama wins on a pledge of change, a change which he never specifies, but does mention that he's cool and wishes there was a college football playoff, a national policy that most Americans can relate to. The 2012 Presidential campaign can now officially get underway.

On the other side, Americans and world leaders announce that they now look forward to a world without Bush. Playboy responds that there hasn't been any Bush in 15 years.

In Maryland, condescending hard left-wing liberal Governor Martin O'Malley and his fire breathing socialist cronies in the General Assembly decide to allow Maryland voters to decide if slots should be allowed in the state. O'Malley, who had previously been against slots when he was busy attacking former Republican Governor Ehrlich who backed the idea, suddenly favors the plan as a way to generate much needed revenue for the state. However, in a move of pure genius, the Constitutional referendum absolves him and other Democrats of having their name tied to the vote and makes it nearly impossible to remove slots from Maryland. It will take Marylanders decades to figure out how to get out of this one.

General Motors and Ford fly their executives on luxurious private jets to request billions of dollars of bailout money from Congress. They claim they need the money to continue paying their union employees more than $30 per hour and to refuel their luxury jets on the flight back to Detroit. This move receives mass criticism from the press, so on their next journey to Washington to ask for billions of dollars, both hitch rides in '72 Pintos.


In another act of brilliance, Obama selects former carpet-bagging Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State. Not only does this remove her from a highly respected and powerful New York Senatorial role where she can openly criticize him, he now also has the power to fire her.

Unconvicted murderer O.J. Simpson is convicted of armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel. Leaks indicated that the jurors wanted to put him up for the death penalty, but were talked down to 9 years to life in prison. When asked if the harsh sentence was retribution for the failure of the jury to convict him of murder back in the 1990’s, one insightful juror pointed to Karma, but didn’t rule out the bloody glove.

Illinois Governor Rod Blogojevich is arrested by the FBI for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery when he attempts to sell outgoing U.S. Senator Obama’s seat to the highest bidder. Most experts admit that the FBI does not have enough evidence to convict him, but perhaps they can still hold him indefinitely at Gitmo for having the worst haircut in the United States.

Martin O'Malley receives feedback from the panel members that he appointed to review the death penalty. The members, all of whom he selected for their vocal hatred of the death penalty, shockingly recommend that the death penalty be abolished. Gun-toting thugs in Baltimore City rejoice at this recommendation by murdering over 234 more people this year.

The New York Yankees sign C.C. Sabathia for $161 million, A.J. Burnett for $82.5 million, and Mark Teixeira, who has no cool first initials, to $180 million. Add that to the existing contracts of Alex Rodriguez' $275 million and Derek Jeter's $189 million and the Yankees have a payroll higher than the GDP of France. Rumors spread that A.I.G. and General Motors ask the Yankees for a bailout loan.

In other O'Malley news, he announces furloughs of state employees. This will save the state $34 million dollars. In his humble sad way he claims that this is a tough decision, but fails to cite raising the budget by several billion dollars last year as one of the causes.

Oil sinks to under $40 per barrel, a 71% decrease from the July peak. Polar bears are thrilled.

The NFL regular season ends and Brett Favre announces that he needs surgery, which may mean that he has to retire again. The Jets then decide to promote their backup quarterback to starter, but then realize that he now plays for the Miami Dolphins.

After weeks of taunting Israel with rocket attacks, Hezbollah-controlled areas of Gaza are flattened by Israeli F-16's. The world reacts in horror wondering how Israel could be so callous.

And there you have – all that you need to know about 2008. Let’s hope for a good 2009, but keep expectations realistic. Most likely it will suck.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Package

This was going to be a substory to my previous post, but decided it was worthy of it's own post.

My wife and I decided not to exchange gifts this year to save money, because, despite the governments' declaration that inflation is in check, stuff costs a hell of a lot more than it did last year and money is running short. If only I could find a way to get rich by blogging! So here's the story of what my "kids" got me.

A couple of weeks before Christmas I was looking at the credit card statement online and I noticed a charge to HP for a hundred and some dollars. Curious and always suspicious I immediately emailed my wife. Do you know what this is? Yes! Okay, I'll take a hint.

That got me to thinking. What could it be? A ZZ Top key chain? Nah, HP doesn't make this. Reece Witherspoon? Nah, can't buy her. Ah - an external hard drive. I did mention that I wanted one. All those pictures I take with my Nikon D40x are starting to eat up the space on my computer's hard drive.

A few days later I was talking to my friend at work (the ENFP), and he said that he got a new printer/scanner. I mentioned that I would love to get a scanner and he said that maybe he'd give me his old one. Maybe. He's very generous. I told my wife this. I said that I could scan all my old pictures and post them on Facebook. She was thrilled. Aren't there enough pictures of you and your mullet in the world?

A couple of days later my wife is on the phone and I ask her who she's talking to. No one! Go away! What? Go Away! Why? What's going on? She smiles and repeats - GO. AWAY! Okay, okay. She's either on the phone with her boyfriend or she's talking about me. I suspect the latter.

Christmas day my kids give me this GIANT box. I open it and within 1 second 3 major thoughts go through my head at lightning speed (or so it seemed). The gift is an HP Printer, Copier, Scanner. It's really nice. However, my thoughts overtake my emotions:

1) This isn't an external hard drive. Damn, now I have to go out and buy that on my own. I wonder if Best Buy is having any post-Christmas sales on external hard drives. I wonder if Mrs. Eludius would be mad if I went out and bought one. I wonder what time Best Buy opens. Do I really want to get up early tomorrow? I'm going to be really tired after running around all day.
2) We already have a printer. Why would she get me another printer?
3) This is huge. Where am I going to put this? The space where the current printer is located is too shallow and not tall enough. If I place this next to the computer than the baby will mess with it. Can I run a line upstairs to the bedroom? I wish I had an office. I could use a computer desk with a lot of desktop space. Kevin has a nice office. If I had his office I would have no trouble finding a place to put this.

A little while later my wife mentions that I didn't seem too thrilled to receive the printer. I then realize that my thought process must have been visible externally. I didn't mean it that way. I do like it, but the logical side of me took over. I much prefer this printer to the one I have. And to have one peripheral as opposed to 2 (the scanner), this is much better. I just need to figure out the logistics of it.

So to my wife - I'm sorry I didn't act as happy as I really am. Be mad at my logical side, not my emotional side.

Monday, December 22, 2008

You Can't Unzip in North Korea

I was working from home over the weekend trying to get a project wrapped up by the end of the year. I had a developer send me some files, which he zipped (compressed). My UnZip program wouldn't open it, so I downloaded another unzipping program to see if that would work. It didn't, but that's not relevant to this story.

What caught my attention was the EULA (End User License Agreement). It looks like the software companies are doing their part to stop terrorism, because this was a harsh warning. I know that most terrorists would be stopped dead in their tracks after reading this.

I hereby agree, certify, and warrant that:
I am not located in or a citizen/national of, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Sudan or Syria or any country that is subject to an embargo by the United States (the "Prohibited Destination"). I am not obtaining this software for any person who is located in or is a citizen/national of a Prohibited Destination. I am not obtaining this software for any entity located in a Prohibited Destination.
The United States Government has not suspended, revoked, or denied my Export Privileges. I am not obtaining this software for any person or entity whose Export privileges have been suspended, revoked, or denied by the United States.
I am not listed on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List. I am not obtaining this software for any person or entity on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.
The software will not be used for any nuclear activities or for the design, development, production, stockpiling, or use of missiles, chemical or biological weapons. Nor will the software be used at any facilities involved in such activities.
This software product(s) is (are) subject to U.S. export control laws and regulations. I will not export, reexport, or divert this software contrary to any such laws and regulations.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


You may think that helicopters are either those flying machines or the spinning seeds that fall from the maple tree in the spring. You would be correct, except that there is another acceptable definition. A helicopter is also a nagging parent in the eyes of the school.

The term can probably be applied to many arenas. Do you have that annoying coworker that won't go away and just hovers over your desk all the time? Helicopter. That pestering neighbor that always seems to show up every time you go outside? Helicopter.

But for the sake of this discussion, a helicopter is the parent that nags the crap out of the teachers. Their objective is for their kids to be the best in their class. First these parents hold their children back so that they can be the oldest, the smartest, and most athletic in their class. When half of the class does this there really is no advantage. Your kid will just be graduating from high school when they are 19, from college when they're 23 (probably later), and thus earning less money over their career. But this is not important. It's up to you to vicariously make yourself a better person.

So here's your survival guide to being a helicopter parent. This is based on events that have transpired at Carrolltowne Elementary School in Eldersburg, Maryland.

1) If you want your child to get good grades, then do their homework for them. Most 1st grade teachers will not realize that your child's journal has no spelling mistakes and contains grammatically correct sentences.

2) If you want your child to get good grades on projects, do those, too. Teachers in elementary school totally expect the children to create carousels of spinning animals, newspapers with professional layouts, and shadow boxes with ornate decorations and scenery.

3) If the teacher moves the students to new seats and your child no longer sits next to his/her friends, call the teacher immediately and demand that your child sit next to their friends because it's just not fair. Adamantly state that despite your child's annoying behavior and inability to quit disturbing the class, your child's fragile emotional well-being, overwhelming insecurity and acceptance in the social network is much more important.

4) If your child is not placed in the advanced or gifted and talented level, immediately demand a conference with the principal. At this meeting express your outrage and inject doubt about the inability of the school administrators to properly test your child. If you still don't get your way talk louder and act more dramatically. This method always works.

5) Once your child is in the advanced or GT classes, be sure that your child is given good grades. If your child's grades falter, insist on another meeting with school administrators demanding that the advanced courses be made easier because your child's needs are not being properly addressed.

6) Contact your child's teacher as often as possible. Use email and phone calls to constantly harass (pronounced ha-rass', not hair'-ess) your child's teacher to ensure that your child is getting the most attention. This will help your child smoothly move to the next grade.

These are proven methods. They will work. Other than all of the teachers hating you and your child there are no downfalls to using these methods. Good luck to you and your above average child!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Heard at Work

I was heating my lunch in the cafeteria over by the Diet Chocolate Water bottling plant, which is just south of my administrative building here at American Corrugated Conglomerated Associates of America and I heard the funniest conversation.

This super dork was standing next to this short portly woman who would have made Rosie O'Donnell look like a beautiful tall slender woman. The Super Dork starts the conversation and it goes like this:

SD - So, I hear you're getting married.
SPW - Yeah!
SD - So, who's the lucky guy? (that's certainly a matter of delusional opinion)
SWP - my fiancé.

It was all I could do to restrain myself from saying, "No shit! You're marrying your fiancé?!!!"

Missing Christmas Lawn Crap

I am on the Board of Directors for the Lake Greenwood McMansion Home Owner's Association. We receive emails from homeowners whenever they need something or wish to complain. Over the weekend we received an email from someone on my street that read:

"Someone stole me lighted reindeer from my yard. Who should I contact to file a report?"

We informed him that all property damage and theft claims can be made directly with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office. They are very responsive.

Then - yesterday we got this letter in the mail. How funny is this?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

That Cold?

On Sunday you may recall that it was really windy and really cold. We have a pond just beyond our property and my 6 year-old son asked if we could go over and see if the pond was frozen. So we did.

The pond was about half-frozen. We tossed some sticks onto the ice and watched them slide across to the other side. That' was pretty cool.

We also have a beaver in the pond. And lately he's become a menace. He took down a 30 foot tree this week and there's evidence that he's working on 5 other trees. I think he may "accidentally" disappear before the winter is over.

Anyway, on our way back into the house we got caught in one of those really powerful wind gusts. It was probably a 40 mph gust of brisk, skin-stinging cold air. The prompted my son to say, "It's like a cold tornado out here!"

A Cold Tornado. Awesome. That's now my favorite weather term.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Whoa, Is Winthrop

I enjoyed my time at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. I was a transfer student and finished my degree in 2 1/2 years. 1 semester shy of graduating on time. I wasn't a bad student, but I certainly didn't push myself as hard as I could have.

In the last 12 years the basketball program really took off. When I attended college there, if the school was .500, then it was a good year. We did, however, give everyone a run for their money in the Big South tournament in the early 1990's.

Then there was the Gregg Marshall era. He pushed his Division-1 leftovers to compete and compete hard. The school made the NCAA tournament 9 times under his reign, even defeating Notre Dame in the first round one year.

Then coach Randy Peele inherited Coach Gregg Marshall's recruited class after Marshall skipped town for Wichita State. Peele had a good first year making the NCAA tournament for the 10th time in school history. This year is a different story. The men's basketball team has started the year 1-7, with their only win coming over D-II opponent North Greenville. It's like Mr. Peabody and I jumped back into our Wayback Machine and sped through the time continuum back to 1991. Hopefully the basketball program can get back on track.

Aesthetically, Winthrop is an interesting college. Most of the buildings were constructed during an era when form was just as important as function, unlike the squared structures wrapped in glass and cement of the current era. All the buildings were brick and stately in manner, very similar to the Georgian style of building.

The school was a girls school up until the late 1970's. It's primary purpose was a state teachers' college, much like Towson State University was until they started pretending that they were something else.

By the time I arrived in 1992, the school had become Winthrop University, but was still 5-1 girls, not that I had a problem with that! The school was also very diverse. I don't have a problem with that either. South Carolina, if I am not mistaken, has the largest concentration of blacks in the United States, about 30%. And Winthrop reflected this demographic - as it should.

The other day I got an email from the alumni association informing me of all of the upcoming events. There's homecoming, Thanksgiving, fall graduation, and finally the Black Alumni Council Reunion. White man say what? That's right. A black alumni reunion.

Now, I understand that South Carolina is still a bit peeved by the outcome of the Civil War, a war they choose to call the War of Northern Aggression. And I'd be a fool to say that there were no tensions between the whites and the blacks while I was there. It was not uncommon to see a bumper sticker that read, "If I knew it would turn out like this I would have picked my own cotton." That mentality has just become part of the culture in the South.

However, I do recall a court case led by future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (a Maryland man) called Brown v. Board of Education that struck down a former ruling named Plessy v. Fergeson, which allowed for separate by equal. Marshall argued that despite the law, accommodations for blacks were not equal. The Supreme Court agreed and determined that separate by equal was therefore illegal.

Furthermore, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, thus ending most legal restrictions based on race, except for some anti-misogyny laws that were finally struck down in 1967 with Loving v. Virginia.

So back to Winthrop - what in the world makes them think it's okay to have a black reunion? Am I invited? If not, I think they would have some serious problems. Is there a white reunion? I think not. But if there was one, would it be equal to the black reunion? Did Winthrop not get the memos about those aforementioned laws? How can they even endorse such an idea?

I had so much hope for my alma mater. But I'm afraid it appears that the gravity of political correctness has forced the college back to the dark days of the early 1950's. They should be ashamed of themselves.
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