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The Minnesota Orchestra...is veering toward catastrophe.
The Rest is Noise ^ | 5/5/2013 | Alex Ross

Posted on 05/05/2013 12:07:12 PM PDT by Borges

The Minnesota Orchestra, whose musicians have been locked out since the beginning of the season, is veering toward catastrophe. A number of players have departed for other ensembles; the orchestra's use of state funds has raised serious questions and is under review; powerful board members have created a fearful atmosphere; and, as Graydon Royce reports, Osmo Vänskä, Minnesota's brilliant music director, is threatening to resign if the situation is not resolved soon. In his latest piece, Royce alludes to a column I wrote in 2010, in which I said, "For the duration of the evening of March 1st, the Minnesota Orchestra sounded, to my ears, like the greatest orchestra in the world." The idea was not to issue a hard-and-fast superlative but to undercut the entire business of ranking orchestras. Still, I stand by the statement, at least as far as the musicians themselves are concerned. As for the board and the management, I am tempted to apply a superlative of a quite different kind. I'll simply say this: do the board and management actually wish to destroy the Minnesota Orchestra? So far, their actions seem to be moving steadily toward that end.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: orchestra
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1 posted on 05/05/2013 12:07:12 PM PDT by Borges
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To: .30Carbine; 1cewolf; 1rudeboy; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; afraidfortherepublic; alarm rider; ...

Classical Ping


2 posted on 05/05/2013 12:09:20 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

That is sad.

I think we had a similar problem in Ft. Lauderdale.


3 posted on 05/05/2013 12:10:14 PM PDT by left that other site ((Ban the ubiquitous and deadly solvent, Di-hydrogen monoxide!!!))
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To: Borges

Where’s Antol Dorati when you need him???......


4 posted on 05/05/2013 12:21:25 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Borges

Maybe if one of them would come out and say he was gay...


5 posted on 05/05/2013 12:26:04 PM PDT by Rocky (Obama is pure evil.)
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To: Borges
Osmo Vänskä, Minnesota's brilliant music director, is threatening to resign if the situation is not resolved soon.

Sure, after he squandered the whole budget on umlauts for his own personal use ...

6 posted on 05/05/2013 12:28:35 PM PDT by x
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To: x

LOL!


7 posted on 05/05/2013 12:33:24 PM PDT by rabidralph (http://www.cafepress.com/westernwis)
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To: Rocky

“Maybe if one of them would come out and say he was gay..”

Yup. Add that he/she loves obama and you’ll see the money pour in.


8 posted on 05/05/2013 12:41:09 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: Borges
Whenever I saw The Minnesota Orchestra on a recording, I knew it was going to be good.

I never joined the musicians union, and I knew that would be both good and bad.

9 posted on 05/05/2013 12:42:22 PM PDT by real saxophonist (If something is TRULY 'common sense', then a law about it is unneccesary.)
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To: Borges

This is a tale of many things -

(1) how elite and intellectually arrogant “entertainment” institutions cannot manage their own finances well, or develop business models that are not dependent on the taxpayers,

(2) how musicians are among the economic illiterate,

(3) how politicians mistake their own bubble of people, friends, associates, like-minded allies as “the people” when it comes to “classical” entertainment, though it is never more than a minority of “the people” ANYWHERE that frequent “classical” entertainment venues, which are often among the most expensive around

and, it is also

(4) an example of how Federal Reserve fueled economic bubbles help lead people into misallocation of financial resources; a process that has the aid of the political class and the media who all fail to help the public understand the economic & financial bubble they are in, a bubble that will provide unrealistic expectations of both value and future income

The musicians have only their own ignorance to blame, no matter how shoddily the orchestra management handled the PR about their finances. In 2007 when the real estate bubble was already being recognized for what it was, the musicians gained a 25%-over-five-year increase - as if the good times would continue to roll. One year later it was evident that 2007 was not a good year on which to be projecting the orchestra’s financial situation for the next five years. In fact revenue for 2006 & 2007 was probably inflated values over what might otherwise be expected.

Now, as the financial chickens have come home to roost and ONLY looked a little better in 2010 & 2011 because management started eating their seed corn - instead of immediately cutting way back before now, the dumb musicians don’t understand why management wants a 3X% pay cut from them.

Listen up musicians, management wants to keep the institution and your jobs going. It ain’t all gonna come from some new unheard of revenue source.

And if those of us who care more about the public treasury than we do your jobs, have anything to do with it, any solution will not get any additional public funds.


10 posted on 05/05/2013 1:09:16 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Borges

Same thing happened in Atlanta. The musicians were sure they were worth a whole lot more than they actually were.


11 posted on 05/05/2013 1:48:08 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Wuli

1. classical music is beautiful and sadly has been losing popular appeal, to the likes of Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

2. I agree that tax payers shouldn’t bear the burden of city orchestras

3. disagree that classical entertainment is expensive when comparing entertainment venues... ever try getting a ticket to see beyonce or gaga? what about NFL tickets, those cost more than a trip to the symphony.

4. musicians get paid squat...and often are very good at economics ( they teach private lessons to snotty nosed kids to supplement other symphony/teaching jobs...ie they run small businesses and must deal with all the headaches that that comes with

classical music makes life a little more beautiful to enjoy, yes I’m sure funds are mismanaged by “executive boards’ run by people who can’t find middle C on a piano...but lets not call them all a bunch of elitist over priced snobs who have nothing meaningful to contribute, unless of course your prefer the musical prowess of say eminem.


12 posted on 05/05/2013 1:51:52 PM PDT by longfellowsmuse (last of the living nomads)
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To: Wuli

Western Classical music is the most popular style of music worldwide.


13 posted on 05/05/2013 1:56:33 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges; mickie; flaglady47; Bob Ireland; oswegodeee; ExTexasRedhead; Dan Nunn; surfer; ...
Everything sucks in Minneehaha....the cold weather, and, of course, loser Sen. Al Frankenstein.....plus all the low-information voters (morons) in the state's ages-old Democrat Farmer Labor (socialist, marxist) Party.

Find me a small violin in that orchestra and I'll play a dirge or two on it and dedicate the songs to another of Minnesota's iconic senators, socialist loser Hubert Horatio Humperdinky Humphrey.

Leni (basking in the Florida sunshine)

14 posted on 05/05/2013 2:07:19 PM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: left that other site
I think we had a similar problem in Ft. Lauderdale.

Las Vegas Philharmonic, too.

I think the clash of egos between socialites and musicians never ends well.

15 posted on 05/05/2013 2:09:04 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Mr. Jeeves

You can say that again!









ML/LTOS
(El Kabong)


16 posted on 05/05/2013 2:12:16 PM PDT by left that other site ((Ban the ubiquitous and deadly solvent, Di-hydrogen monoxide!!!))
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To: Borges

As much as I love classical music, no taxpayer should be funding these orgs. Period. The same ole’ crap as the teachers and public unions.


17 posted on 05/05/2013 2:12:45 PM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: SgtHooper

>>no taxpayer should be funding these orgs. Period.

Nor the elephant in the entertainment room: sports arenas.


18 posted on 05/05/2013 2:15:42 PM PDT by Betis70
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To: Mr. Jeeves
I think we had a similar problem in Ft. Lauderdale. Las Vegas Philharmonic, too. Detroit as well. When I pointed out that vast number of classically trained musicians would be willing to work for the proposed wages, I was told how evil and uneducated I was. Harvard is proof that if liberal people want to fund something, they can fund an endowment fund quite well.
19 posted on 05/05/2013 2:28:19 PM PDT by TWohlford
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To: Borges

“Western Classical music is the most popular style of music worldwide.”

and your definition of “popular” is what??


20 posted on 05/05/2013 2:32:40 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: MinuteGal
***...loser Sen. Al Frankenstein...***

Now, now... you are talking about our token national pornographer!

21 posted on 05/05/2013 2:40:58 PM PDT by Bob Ireland (The Democrat Party is a criminal enterprise)
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To: longfellowsmuse

“I agree that tax payers shouldn’t bear the burden of city orchestras”

Good. We agree on something. Well maybe, let’s see.

“disagree that classical entertainment is expensive when comparing entertainment venues... ever try getting a ticket to see beyonce or gaga? what about NFL tickets, those cost more than a trip to the symphony.”

My point about the high cost of going to a live classical music venue is not the cost alone but the fact that not one I know of runs without public taxpayers’ assistance. I can’t stand lady Gaga, but she’s not asking for a taxpayer handout.

“musicians get paid squat”

Not true.

[From related article] “Musician costs account for 48 percent of the Orchestra’s total costs. In 2011, Minnesota Orchestra musicians received an average annual salary of $135,000, plus $35,000 worth of benefits including a defined benefit pension plan and comprehensive medical plan. They receive a minimum of 10 weeks paid vacation each year and up to 26 weeks of paid sick leave per year.”

That’s not “squat”.

When they get paid the median wage of the taxpayers who are subsidizing their jobs, then you might get to say they earn “squat”.

“but lets not call them all a bunch of elitist over priced snobs who have nothing meaningful to contribute, unless of course your prefer the musical prowess of say eminem.”

Let’s be clear: I, personally love classical music, including opera. And, let’s be additionally clear, I too think classical music forms continue to make meaningful contribution to music and western culture. HOWEVER other forms of music are also making meaningful contributions to western music and culture; BUT, unlike the elite snobs involved in producing live classical music, and the elite snobs who think we should be subsidizing it, most other forms of western music ARE NOT asking that their businesses and jobs be subsidized by the taxpayers. And yes it does take a “superior than thou” attitude to be among those who think THEY DESERVE to be subsidized by our taxes. They don’t. My charge as to their elite and snobbish attitude is confirmed by their expectations of the taxpayers.


22 posted on 05/05/2013 2:55:33 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: MinuteGal

Rush said that Hubert Humphrey was basically a conservative based on listening to what he said from today’s vantage point.


23 posted on 05/05/2013 3:18:08 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Wuli

More popular than any other form of music. It’s a comparison.


24 posted on 05/05/2013 3:18:55 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

to be quite honest with ya, I’m not going to lose a moments sleep worrying whether or not the Minnesota Symphony folds or not.
I do not think it should get public funds.
Stand on your own or die.


25 posted on 05/05/2013 3:22:30 PM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO))
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To: Borges
do the board and management actually wish to destroy the Minnesota Orchestra?

Let's ask the rest of the question: Do these "musicians" want to play music, or do they want to get rich off their patrons' increasingly limited discretionary funds? The principal flautist at the MnO makes more than 90,000 a year. That's a nice wad of cash for someone who plays a flute. Now add to that the 100+ personnel associated with the orchestra and tell me how much you've got to charge per ticket to pay them.

Why is this being laid at management's door? These players have shown that to them, it's not about the music or the audiences, it's about the money.

The SPCO just went back to work with a pay cut of 15,000 per player. How'd THAT strike work out for 'em? Now the MnO is going to do the same thing? To hell with them. Let them starve.

26 posted on 05/05/2013 3:29:06 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Borges

“More popular than any other form of music. It’s a comparison.”

A comparison of what, what data?

In country (1), how many (a) ___________ music records sold , (b) radio stations playing _________ music, (c) TV shows featuring __________ music, (d) live venues of ______ music, (e) numbers of people ivolved in the production of ________ music; (f) (a) thru (e) repeated in countries (2), (3), etc. etc..

Cross the globe in tracking the answers and I have no doubt whatsoever that the data will show you are wrong.


27 posted on 05/05/2013 3:36:22 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Borges
It's hard to maintain a modern symphony orchestra in rust-belt cities.

Buffalo, for example, has had an arts scene all out of proportion to its current [shrinking] population. Those arts [of which liberal Buffalonians are very proud] have been supported for over a century by the money made by very wealthy industrialists at the turn of the last century when Buffalo was an economic powerhouse.

But the money's drying up and current subscriptions don't cover the costs anymore. You wouldn't be stupid for thinking that Buffalo's artists would be lobbying and voting for a better economy that might support them.

You wouldn't be stupid, but you'd be wrong.

28 posted on 05/05/2013 3:37:44 PM PDT by BfloGuy (Don't try to explain yourself to liberals; you're not the jackass-whisperer.)
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To: Borges; mickie; flaglady47
"Rush said that Hubert Humphrey was basically a conservative based on listening to what he said from today's vantage point."

Rush says that about JFK, also.

Makes no difference to me....a rose by any other name still has injurious thorns.

Conservative Democrat leaders further the socialist cause just by being Democrats and working for their party. I judge all Democrats by what they do, not what they say for public consumption.

Humphrey served five terms in the Senate. He was an ardent New Dealer. As Veep he was a fervent enabler of LBJ's Great Leap Forward, er....Great Society. During his career he was known as the leading "Progressive" (translated: liberal socialist Democrat hack) in American life.

Rush cherry-picks excerpts from old JFK and HHH speech tapes that make them both sound like conservatives.

No way, Jose.

Leni

29 posted on 05/05/2013 3:41:15 PM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: Borges

“More popular than any other form of music. It’s a comparison.”

A comparison of what, what data?

In country (1), how many (a) ___________ music records sold , (b) radio stations playing _________ music, (c) TV shows featuring __________ music, (d) live venues of ______ music, (e) numbers of people ivolved in the production of ________ music; (f) (a) thru (e) repeated in countries (2), (3), etc. etc..

Cross the globe in tracking the answers and I have no doubt whatsoever that the data will show you are wrong.


30 posted on 05/05/2013 3:41:16 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: MinuteGal
AWESOME RANT AWARD!!!
31 posted on 05/05/2013 3:45:59 PM PDT by ken5050 (Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but just about every terrorist is a Muslim..)
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To: neverdem; Nachum; narses; SunkenCiv; Wuli

You could run a nice space program for what the nation pays its city-funded, state-funded musicians.......

Maybe not the whole program, but a good portion of it.


32 posted on 05/05/2013 3:51:04 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Borges

As a taxpayer, I’d rather support symphony orchestras than the palaces of the TBN TV preacher hucksters, which is what we do now.


33 posted on 05/05/2013 4:11:53 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Borges

At that time, HHH also drove the commies out of the DFL. Now they’re baaaaaaaack. Also Pro-2A as to its original purpose.


34 posted on 05/05/2013 4:32:19 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is now the operational arm of the CPUSA)
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To: Betis70

Absolutely correct on that point as well!!


35 posted on 05/05/2013 6:56:25 PM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: Wuli

Mozart and Beethoven get performed worldwide more than any other single pop figure.


36 posted on 05/06/2013 6:12:29 AM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges; Wuli

Jeremy Bentham is alive and well on FR!

Yes, Western classical music (including liturgical music) is studied and performed more than any other music, and for good reason. It is also the foundation of most pop music.


37 posted on 05/06/2013 6:24:39 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: longfellowsmuse

As someone indirectly involved in classical music (wife is an orchestral musician) I complete agree with you that it is nonsense that most of the musicians and management/boards are “elitists” snobs.

Most work way too hard for far too little because they are passionate about what they do, however rarely if ever would I call any that I have met snobs.

As to taxpayers and city orchestras, I think personally that’s up to the City to decide. If the city decides supporting it is a priority, they can do so as they like much like they do any other civic operation.

I think most people who espouse the snobbishness watch far too much TV and like characature rather than getting to know reality.

Those that call it overpriced, I think honestly don’t have an idea of the price. Yes you can spend 3 figures per ticket or more to see a world class symphony, but most have tickets available that are no more expensive that most other forms of entertainment available... let alone one that is live with over 60 musicians working together. My city which does have a permanent orchestra has tickets starting at $20 a ticket.. hardly breaking the bank.

As to pay, most classical musicians I know work WAY too hard for their money, those that are fortunate enough to be permanently salaried with a full time orchestra are very few and very far between. Most make Union minimals (if that, not all work is Union and thats a whole other can of worms) if they can even manage to get on staff for a part time orchestra at all. Most I now cobble together their income together from working pay for play with multiple smaller and secondary orchestras combined and may or may not teach.. usually charging no more than $20-25 an hour if that and driving all over gods creation to do so and most gross nominal amounts before they deduct all their expenses for doing so. Most have some other full time job to pay their bills and play on the side because they cannot scrape enough together to pay their living expenses as a classical musician.

Yes, there is no doubt that the best of the best can make a living being a classical musician with an orchestra, but the vast majority work way harder than I would for the pay they get.

As to the Union argument, I’ve seen non union work for musicians and seen them screwed over regularly, so I don’t bash the musicians union.

I will bash many non trade unions, but this isn’t one I will bash as the problem.


38 posted on 05/06/2013 6:55:22 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: BfloGuy

Thanks to leftist ideological and devicive politics the basic fundamental understanding that things like ART can only be supported when the basics are not only covered but also are throwing off enough excess wealth to support them is fundamentally forgotten by both sides of the political isle.

It is only through economic success that you can even have serious arts. IT is also important for those who argue the market uber alis mantra that it is important that when the excess is there, arts are important and should be supported.

Both sides promote fools errands on this topic more often than not thes days.


39 posted on 05/06/2013 10:24:32 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: jjotto

“Yes, Western classical music (including liturgical music) is studied and performed more than any other music, and for good reason.”

Your answer applies to academia - an elitist institution to start with and ignores that the majority of “popular” musicians were neither trained in or studied classical music.

Your answer does not apply to what are most popular forms of music that are “performed”, which is all forms of “popular” music, not “classical” music, which is a fact demonstrated by “most often performed, as in has the most live, telecast and recorded performances” associated with it. And classical music, as much as I too enjoy it, simply does not have more performances where it is performed compared to performances of “popular” music in its many forms.


40 posted on 05/06/2013 12:06:22 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli

Like I said: Jeremy Bentham.


41 posted on 05/06/2013 12:08:33 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Wuli

More people have heard of Beethoven than any single pop music figure.


42 posted on 05/06/2013 12:09:57 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

“Mozart and Beethoven get performed worldwide more than any other single pop figure.”

We are not talking about single artists. We are talking about entire genre of music.

Go anywhere in the world. How many live classical music performances are there compared to live performances of popular music - fewer classical performances. The same is true for radio and TV and sales of recorded music.

As a genre, classsical music is simply not as “popular” as popular music in all its forms.


43 posted on 05/06/2013 12:12:59 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli

Live performances of classical music are harder to put together. If you don’t want to go by figures let’s go by the music itself. Famous Classical ‘tunes’ are better known than any single pop tune.


44 posted on 05/06/2013 12:19:11 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

“More people have heard of Beethoven than any single pop music figure.”

Actaully I think you’re wrong. You might be sadly wrong but wrong none the less.

In today’s culture, worldwide, I think we’d actually find more people who have at least heard the name Lady Gaga than even know or have heard of Beethoven.


45 posted on 05/06/2013 12:19:31 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: jjotto

“Like I said: Jeremy Bentham.”

Is he “well preserved” or is he disintegrating?


46 posted on 05/06/2013 12:23:28 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Borges

“Famous Classical ‘tunes’ are better known than any single pop tune.”

Name one. Then I’ll look and see how many people in China and India and Indonesia and the Philippines, just to name a few places, actually know that tune verses how many there today know some iconic Whitney Houston tune. I think you’d be amazed at how popular western popular music is in “non-western” countries today.

For me the issue of our conversation is NOT what I like or don’t like in music. It’s only about whether a genre of music is the “most popular” or not. Classical is simply not “most popular”. It may be unfortunate, but it’s true.


47 posted on 05/06/2013 12:29:47 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli

Not really his head though.

48 posted on 05/06/2013 12:30:30 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Borges

“If you don’t want to go by figures.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. You have no “figures.”


49 posted on 05/06/2013 12:31:36 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: jjotto

“Not really his head though.”

But are you sayin that is his body??? Just not his head.


50 posted on 05/06/2013 12:33:30 PM PDT by Wuli
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