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Schiavo judge's other 'right-to-die' case
World Net Daily ^ | March 24, 2005

Posted on 04/07/2005 8:16:31 AM PDT by amdgmary

Judge George Greer, the Florida county jurist at the center of the Terri Schiavo case, ruled against a woman who was fighting to keep her husband alive in 2000.

While Greer has ruled consistently with husband Michael Schiavo, who seeks to terminate his wife's life by depriving of her of food and water, the parallel case suggests the judge may have a predisposition to removal of any life-support devices rather than an inclination toward the legal guardian.

The 2000 case heard by Greer involved the life of St. Petersburg lawyer Blair Clark, a University of South Florida professor. After suffering a heart attack Sept. 9, 2000, his children, who stood to inherit much of his estate, claimed they wanted to honor his wishes to remove him from a ventilator and feeding tube and allow him to die. His wife, Ping, however, believed his condition could improve with therapy and claimed only one month later treatments had not been given enough time.

Unlike Terri Schiavo, Blair Clark, 58, had a living will, which stated: "If the situation should arise in which there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from severe physical or mental disability, I request that I be allowed to die and that life-prolonging procedures not be provided."

However, his wife believed there was still a reasonable expectation of recovery.

"His living will did not say, 'Don't save me, just let me die,'" his wife pleaded. "They want to kill Blair and I don't know why. I want to ask, 'What's the rush?' I'm the only one who wants to save him. Every time I say yes, they say no. I had to go to court to give him blood."

But on Oct. 24, 2000, Greer ruled in favor of the children and against the wishes of the wife, ordering all mechanical ventilation and intravenous nutrition stopped.

Ping Clark, of Chinese descent, argued that four days of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture treatments had showed promise. She asked only for 30 more days of ventilator support and treatments.

Clark relied heavily on the opinion of neurologists, some of whom claimed Clark's chances of recovery were no greater than one in a thousand.

"If you love somebody, one in 1,000 is a chance worth taking, argued Dennis Rogers, Ping Clark's attorney.

After the ruling, Clark's wife was distraught and couldn't bear to visit the hospital to watch him die.

"I cannot see him die," she cried. "I know how much he wants to live. They'll be guilty their whole lives for killing Blair Clark."

Clark died a week after the ruling, Oct. 31, 2000.

Schiavo's feeding tube was removed Friday by order of Greer at the request of her estranged husband, Michael Schiavo, who contends Terri had expressed a wish to not live under her present condition. Parents Robert and Mary Schindler dispute the court's finding that their daughter is in a "persistent vegetative state," citing numerous physicians who believe she is responsive and could benefit from therapy.


TOPICS: Extended News; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: euthanasia; florida; judgegeorgegreer; judgegreer; schiavo; terrischiavo
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1 posted on 04/07/2005 8:16:31 AM PDT by amdgmary
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To: Scoop 1; phenn; pc93; Ohioan from Florida; floriduh voter

Ping. Judge Greer was involved in another case like Terri's in 2000.


2 posted on 04/07/2005 8:17:21 AM PDT by amdgmary (Please visit www.terrisfight.org and www.theempirejournal.com)
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To: amdgmary

This mutt needs to be called to account. My apologies to mutts everywhere.


3 posted on 04/07/2005 8:24:58 AM PDT by Victor (If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert." -David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister)
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To: amdgmary
This is nothing like the Schiavo case. Blair had a living will and the living will was quite clear. His wife just happened to be delusional.

Ping Clark, of Chinese descent, argued that four days of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture treatments had showed promise.

4 posted on 04/07/2005 8:25:02 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: amdgmary

I wonder how many other cases like this the Judge has ruled over. It looks like he has a slant toward opting for death, as long as he isn't the one doing the dying.


5 posted on 04/07/2005 8:25:16 AM PDT by passionfruit
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To: amdgmary

This guy had a living will. Its nothing like the Schiavo case.


6 posted on 04/07/2005 8:26:49 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator (This space outsourced to India)
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To: amdgmary
"If the situation should arise in which there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from severe physical or mental disability, I request that I be allowed to die and that life-prolonging procedures not be provided."

Clark relied heavily on the opinion of neurologists, some of whom claimed Clark's chances of recovery were no greater than one in a thousand.

"If you love somebody, one in 1,000 is a chance worth taking, argued Dennis Rogers, Ping Clark's attorney.

7 posted on 04/07/2005 8:26:54 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: KC_Conspirator

But it shows that even a Living Will can be subject to opinion. How can one cover all the possibilities for the actual meaning.


8 posted on 04/07/2005 8:31:28 AM PDT by digger48
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To: amdgmary

..."sharper than a serpent's tooth...."


9 posted on 04/07/2005 8:32:54 AM PDT by Awestruck (Here we go again!!)
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To: AntiGuv

Well, exactly where does it say - "Give me only one month for expectation of recovery"?


10 posted on 04/07/2005 8:33:03 AM PDT by ClancyJ (The Death Culture Movement - All of us are hosed no matter what we do)
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To: ClancyJ

Well, typically the whole point of someone putting such a clause into a living will is exactly because they don't want to be forced to hang around for month after month in such a condition with no reasonable expectation of recovery.


11 posted on 04/07/2005 8:36:16 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv; KC_Conspirator

I agree, it's not really much like Terri's case, save a family dispute and a feeding tube. There is something that bothers though, and that's the rush to take him off of it. Although, this guy was on a ventilator as well, and the article doesn't say when the life support was actually removed vs when he died - it only says it was a week after the ruling.

The wife only wanted 30 more days. I know why Greer would disregard that request, but I have a hard time understanding why her kids would fight her on that. I wouldn't want to be in that family at Thanksgiving dinner, that's for sure.


12 posted on 04/07/2005 8:36:49 AM PDT by agrace ([ It is He] that brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth as vanity. Is 40:23)
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To: agrace
Follow the money.

They wanted their inheritance and didn't want to wait 30 days for it.

13 posted on 04/07/2005 8:39:23 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: amdgmary

Living wills should be more specific. That one was too vague.


14 posted on 04/07/2005 8:42:07 AM PDT by Tired of Taxes
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To: AntiGuv
His wife just happened to be delusional.

She was his spouse, his legal guardian, and BY FL LAW, entitled to make the decisions regarding his health care and his likely wishes given his condition and prognosis....

Yet the Judge gave his non-guardian children, who stood to gain financially from this man's death, the standing he refused to give Terri's parents...why?

Sheesh, Greer and the "kids-from-the-first-marriage" gave this guy 6 weeks.
15 posted on 04/07/2005 8:42:45 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: silverleaf

Actually, by Florida law his living will governed the decisions, not his wife.


16 posted on 04/07/2005 8:43:52 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AnAmericanMother

I know, the article certainly seems to suggest it.

It's just so hard to accept that there are people out there who would see the death of one parent and estrangement from the other as a good trade-off for financial gain.


17 posted on 04/07/2005 8:44:38 AM PDT by agrace ([ It is He] that brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth as vanity. Is 40:23)
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To: agrace
The wife only wanted 30 more days. I know why Greer would disregard that request, but I have a hard time understanding why her kids would fight her on that

Yep, she only wanted 30 more days! And SHE WAS THE LEGAL GUARDIAN, it was her call... denied.

They weren't "her kids" they were the heirs, err, loving children, from his previous marriage.
18 posted on 04/07/2005 8:45:45 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: AntiGuv

Don't bother them with facts they have no bearing.


19 posted on 04/07/2005 8:47:22 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (Public Enemy #1, the RATmedia.)
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To: silverleaf
They weren't "her kids" they were the heirs, err, loving children, from his previous marriage.

That wasn't in the article, was it? Guess they don't have to have Thanksgiving dinner with her then, but still.

20 posted on 04/07/2005 8:49:41 AM PDT by agrace ([ It is He] that brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth as vanity. Is 40:23)
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To: AntiGuv

His living will gave his guardian the responsibility to decide what was a "reasonable chance" of recovery- and to decide what extent of recovery he would want to continue to live. She claimed to have seen improvements from alternative medicine (as if ancient Chinese cures are inferior in some way to ours, which were still using leeches 100 years ago)...and she was only asking for THIRTY MORE DAYS before making her decision!

C'mon.

Judge Greer took all options and all decisions away from her at the request of his NONGUARDIANS who stood to benefit financially form his DEATH. Judge Greer could take decisions away from anyone by substituting his own opinion...as we have seen.

But now, please spare us the argument that Judge Greer was simply preserving Terri's legal guardian's standing and legal prerogatives to make decisions for her. Or that the courts "stay out" of family decisions when they trample on the spousal interpretation of the last wishes of the helplessly disabled..


21 posted on 04/07/2005 8:55:43 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: AntiGuv
"If you love somebody, one in 1,000 is a chance worth taking, argued Dennis Rogers, Ping Clark's attorney.

Is that the part you disagree with?

22 posted on 04/07/2005 8:57:37 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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To: silverleaf

If he was smart, his living will was filed with either the hospital or his primary care physician, and didn't give his guardian any discretion with regard to explicitly specified circumstances. Since he was a lawyer, that was more likely the case.

As for Terri, I didn't say anything about Terri. What I said was that this is nothing like the Schiavo case.


23 posted on 04/07/2005 9:00:22 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: TigersEye

No. I posted it because it suggests the wife did not dispute the expectation of recovery, or rather the lack thereof.


25 posted on 04/07/2005 9:01:39 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: silverleaf
She was his spouse, his legal guardian, and BY FL LAW, entitled to make the decisions regarding his health care and his likely wishes given his condition and prognosis....

So much for the "rule of law" mantra. There will be a new one along to replace it soon.

26 posted on 04/07/2005 9:03:40 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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To: AntiGuv
I posted it because it suggests the wife did not dispute the expectation of recovery, or rather the lack thereof.

However, his wife believed there was still a reasonable expectation of recovery.

Ping Clark, of Chinese descent, argued that four days of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture treatments had showed promise. She asked only for 30 more days of ventilator support and treatments.


27 posted on 04/07/2005 9:06:20 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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To: silverleaf

In this case the husband's holographic (written) declaration trumps the spouse's wishes. Greer's decision was the correct on based upon the evidence and Florida law.


28 posted on 04/07/2005 9:09:35 AM PDT by daylate-dollarshort
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To: AntiGuv
"This is nothing like the Schiavo case. Blair had a living will and the living will was quite clear. His wife just happened to be delusional."


The moderate nobles are NOT the compassionate wing of the Republican/Conservative party.
29 posted on 04/07/2005 9:10:07 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: amdgmary

There is little similarity in the cases.


30 posted on 04/07/2005 9:12:59 AM PDT by verity (A mindset is a terrible thing to waste.)
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To: digger48
How can one cover all the possibilities for the actual meaning.

Apparently this will require the services of an attorney to draft a living will that spells out precisely the conditions under which you would want specific modalities of treatment, therapy, life support, and nutrition delivered in the case of varying degrees of disability resulting from various natural and unnatural causes.

A lawyers dream. A patients nightmare.

(I'm not altogether unhappy that the unlucky fellow in the story was a lawyer.)

31 posted on 04/07/2005 9:15:51 AM PDT by johnb838 (Blessed Are The Dead, Who Die In The Lord, For They Rest From Their Labors.)
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To: amdgmary
"If the situation should arise in which there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from severe physical or mental disability, I request that I be allowed to die and that life-prolonging procedures not be provided."

I can understand removal of a respirator, but not nutrition and hydration. Even if the someone wants to be killed under these circumstances, that doesn't mean we have to kill them. Euthanasia is evil.

32 posted on 04/07/2005 9:20:25 AM PDT by TheDon (Euthanasia is an atrocity.)
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: KC_Conspirator

The point that makes it comprable to the Shiavo case is guardianship.

I'm assuming the wife was guardian. The kids disagreed. Greer ruled for the non guardian which does, indeed, give the appearance that his decisions in these cases would be more toward "pulling the plug" than abiding by the guardian's wishes. Is he pre-disposed in these type cases?


34 posted on 04/07/2005 9:22:30 AM PDT by GOP_Proud (...stumbling across Bill Bennett on the radio is like bumping into Socrates at Starbucks.-K.Parker)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: daylate-dollarshort
In this case the husband's holographic (written) declaration trumps the spouse's wishes. Greer's decision was the correct on based upon the evidence and Florida law.

765.205 Responsibility of the surrogate.--

(1) The surrogate, in accordance with the principal's instructions, unless such authority has been expressly limited by the principal, shall:

(a) Have authority to act for the principal and to make all health care decisions for the principal during the principal's incapacity.

(b) Consult expeditiously with appropriate health care providers to provide informed consent, and make only health care decisions for the principal which he or she believes the principal would have made under the circumstances if the principal were capable of making such decisions. If there is no indication of what the principal would have chosen, the surrogate may consider the patient's best interest in deciding that proposed treatments are to be withheld or that treatments currently in effect are to be withdrawn.

(c) Provide written consent using an appropriate form whenever consent is required, including a physician's order not to resuscitate.

(d) Be provided access to the appropriate medical records of the principal.

(e) Apply for public benefits, such as Medicare and Medicaid, for the principal and have access to information regarding the principal's income and assets and banking and financial records to the extent required to make application. A health care provider or facility may not, however, make such application a condition of continued care if the principal, if capable, would have refused to apply.

(2) The surrogate may authorize the release of information and medical records to appropriate persons to ensure the continuity of the principal's health care and may authorize the admission, discharge, or transfer of the principal to or from a health care facility or other facility or program licensed under chapter 400.

(3) If, after the appointment of a surrogate, a court appoints a guardian, the surrogate shall continue to make health care decisions for the principal, unless the court has modified or revoked the authority of the surrogate pursuant to s. 744.3115. The surrogate may be directed by the court to report the principal's health care status to the guardian.

The husband's holographic declaration gave her durable power of attorney for medical decisions. This statute gives her the power to speak for him.

36 posted on 04/07/2005 9:26:44 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: AntiGuv
If he was smart, his living will was filed with either the hospital or his primary care physician, and didn't give his guardian any discretion with regard to explicitly specified circumstances. Since he was a lawyer, that was more likely the case.

If he was smart- if any of us is smart, we better specify what we consider to be "severe" physical or mental disability! Is quadriplegia "severe"? Ask Christopher Reeve. Is paraplegia "severe"? Yes it is, until you end up in your own wheelchair...Is aphasia and having your IQ knocked down to 40 "severe"? You bet...until we find out first hand if our brain is still helping us to find joy and pleasure in the love and care of our family, and how it feels to be unable to tell the world to just let our family keep us comfortable and safe and leave us alone as long as we can feel and give love

Because we can no longer assume than in the gray area of dispute about "quality of life", that our loved ones who know us best, will be able to decide on our behalf, even if all they want is another THIRTY DAYS.

While nonguardians who know not our intimate values and desires (and who coincidentally may stand to inherit) can piously tender to the courts and gain a favorable judgement on, an entirely different case about the "quality of life" that "we" would want....Especially in a world where the helpless and voiceless can be legally aborted for cleft palates and club feet.

A wise man once said "Where you stand on a matter often depends on where you sit...". Until you sit in a wheelchair or a hospital bed, or love a severely person, you don't KNOW how much physical or cognitive function makes life worthwhile for you and for them. "The pursuit of happiness" is always relative, is it not? Again look at Christopher Reeve, who initially requested to be allowed to die.

Even someone with a living will deserves the chance to change their mind when it comes down to life or death. Or to interpret or reinterpret "reasonable chance", "severe" disability, or "quality of life". And their guardian or someone who loves them selflessly, not a judge, should be the final sayer, if they are unable. And I would bet if your wife had a long shot hunch she could help you, and she wanted 30 more days to try to make you better before letting you suffocate and dehydrate, you'd want the judge to say "yes"
38 posted on 04/07/2005 9:31:29 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: TigersEye
Doesn't apply unless there was NO written will, power of attorney or directive.

The holographic is the "Principals" voice. Read the statute. The surrigate, as you consider the spouse, is limited by the wishes and directive of the principal.

Greer made the correct decision.

40 posted on 04/07/2005 9:35:56 AM PDT by daylate-dollarshort
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Tired of Taxes; All
If nothing more, this case shows that living wills may not be the panacea that the MSM would have us believe. Unless they are very specific, they can be interpreted in many different ways.

Since Terri's case came to light, all we've heard about is how this could have all been avoided by having a living will. However, if the living will is not specific as to times frames or many other circumstances, they could be fatal if that was not what the person in question really wanted.

This is why, IMHO, it is necessary to always err on the side of life when a written living will does not exist. If a person did not feel sure enough to sign one of these documents, then wouldn't it be reasonable that they doubted what they wanted for themselves?

42 posted on 04/07/2005 9:39:37 AM PDT by Ohioan from Florida (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.- Edmund Burke)
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To: evilthatmendo

Yup. In one case the guardian's rights supercede all no matter what. (FWIW FL law clearly says that that is not so.) In this case the clearly written power of attorney over medical decisions is brushed aside. In the first case numerous doctor's testimonies were judged inconsequential in this one they have been held as infallible.


43 posted on 04/07/2005 9:39:53 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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To: agrace

***a good trade-off for financial gain***


i think this is the crux of all these disputes. If Daddy needs to be in the ICU for several weeks or months then the inheritance will be greatly reduced; why should we take the chance of loosing all that money?

I think someone should look into Greer's tax and bank records. It may be that some unexpected income was finding it's way into his hands.


44 posted on 04/07/2005 9:41:32 AM PDT by Cowman
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To: Ohioan from Florida
This is why, IMHO, it is necessary to always err on the side of life when a written living will does not exist.

I agree with you 100% on that one.

45 posted on 04/07/2005 9:42:12 AM PDT by Tired of Taxes
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: amdgmary

Bloody judge.


48 posted on 04/07/2005 9:44:15 AM PDT by Saundra Duffy (Rest in Peace, Theresa Marie SCHINDLER - IMPEACH JUDGE GREER!!!!!!!)
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To: evilthatmendo

You make the error, not I. You need to apply the "reasonable man" standard. "One in a thousand" was found not to be reasonble.

Greer again ruled correctly.


49 posted on 04/07/2005 9:45:50 AM PDT by daylate-dollarshort
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To: daylate-dollarshort
Doesn't apply unless there was NO written will, power of attorney or directive.

765.102 Legislative findings and intent.--

3) The Legislature recognizes that for some the administration of life-prolonging medical procedures may result in only a precarious and burdensome existence. In order to ensure that the rights and intentions of a person may be respected even after he or she is no longer able to participate actively in decisions concerning himself or herself, and to encourage communication among such patient, his or her family, and his or her physician, the Legislature declares that the laws of this state recognize the right of a competent adult to make an advance directive instructing his or her physician to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-prolonging procedures, or to designate another to make the treatment decision for him or her in the event that such person should become incapacitated and unable to personally direct his or her medical care.


50 posted on 04/07/2005 9:47:04 AM PDT by TigersEye ("It's a Republic if you can keep it." - B. Franklin)
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