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Chicago, Houston Consider Cameras in Private Businesses, Homes
HumanEventsOnline.com ^ | Feb 28, 2006 | James Plummer

Posted on 02/28/2006 8:02:23 AM PST by boryeulb

George Orwell's classic dystopian novel 1984 opens with a surveillance helicopter chopping its blades menacingly through London, peeking inside apartment buildings. The protagonist, a conscience-stricken state worker with no way to blow the whistle, goes home to a "telescreen" watching and reporting his every word, move and even mood.

The totalitarian state apparatus of Orwell's bleak vision was patterned after the world's Communist parties. But many of today's 21st-century Democrat and Republican politicians see no problem with the kind of permanent police dragnet envisioned in the novel.

While Orwell's homeland of the United Kingdom is still the most-surveilled on Earth, recent actions by two big-city mayors will help the United States in the race to capture this dubious honor.

Chicago's mayor Richard Daley, heir to decades of ruthless Democrat machine politics, has been on a camera binge for quite some time now. In late 2004, Daley's Chicago announced plans to install an elaborate network of surveillance cameras in the city. Initially 2,000 cameras strong, the network is designed for ever-expanding, infinite capacity. And this camera network is to have a special feature: software that alerts police to allegedly "suspicious" behavior detected on camera. It sounds like something from the film "Minority Report," but many studies of similar behavioral-algorithm systems have shown high rates of false positives -- "hits" on innocent people. So, watch out -- if the software decides you're "wandering aimlessly," a heavily-armed SWAT team may not be far behind.

That software, paid for with a multimillion dollar grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security, was set to go online in March 2006 -- next month. At the time, Daley justified the surveillance net to the New York Times by saying, "We're not inside your home or your business. The city owns the sidewalks. We own the streets and we own the alleys."

But now that the system's software is set to go live, Daley says cameras on street corners and train platforms just aren't enough for him. Yep, just 15 months later, Daley is ready to admit that he does indeed want eyes inside your private business. He endorsed last week a bill pending in the City Council to require police surveillance in private buildings.

Under the plan, private businesses that remain open more than 12 hours a day and bars that remain open until last call would have to install the cameras also. The bill as written now would not require that businesses hook up their mandatory cameras to city networks, but Chicago Tribune reports that eventually, "the city does plan to link cameras in office and apartment buildings and other private properties to its system."

If you thought that was bad, get a load of what's going on in Houston. There, the police chief wants cameras placed in commercial downtown Houston. As opposed to the situation in Chicago, where the camera plan was introduced with a public-relations focus on placing the cameras in high-crime areas of town, downtown Houston is a high-pedestrian, low-crime area.

What exactly are the cameras there for? (Maybe Houston police will follow the lead of the Alabama State Troopers who, finding themselves at a control panel of cameras in a low-crime area, used them to ogle college girls.)

And here's the kicker: Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt is also advocating that the local building code be changed to require that private apartment complexes install surveillance cameras. Hurtt even said he wants cameras installed, telescreen-style, in private single-family homes if he decides there have been "too many" calls for police assistance from the home.

Hurtt invoked the name of Orwell's dictator in defending his radical proposition: "I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?"

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is supposed to guarantee protection from unreasonable searches. Hurtt's desire, like Daley's to constantly watch presumably innocent Americans on private property is both unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Democrat Mayor Bill White, who appointed Hurtt, has been equivocating about Hurtt's outrageous idea as the public reaction is tested. If enough Houstonians stand up for their rights to private property, White presumably won't push through the extreme surveillance program. But if Texans don’t stand for the idea that a man's home is his castle, the plan will almost assuredly move ahead.

And camera fever isn't confined to just those two cities. Voters in Philadelphia, birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, may have a chance to weigh in. A city councilman there wants to put the idea of cameras in high-crime areas to a popular vote. Philadelphians may want to consider the example of Chicago and Houston before embarking what is likely to be a slippery slope.

VOTE NOW: Do you support proposals in Chicago and Houston that would put security cameras in private businesses and homes?

Click here to vote in our poll.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 1984; camera; cameras; chicago; daley; georgeorwell; govwatch; houston; libertarians; nannystate; paranoia; statistwhores; texas; wod; wodlist
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To: Richard Kimball
When I'm taking a cr*p, I'm not doing anything wrong, but I don't want to be camcorded. Got it?

Well personally i think you need to rethink that a little if this passes you need to be willing to take a cr*p on camera every day and i dont mean be in front of the camera and take a cr*p i mean squat above the camera and takea cr*p on it each and every day until its not functional any more

51 posted on 02/28/2006 10:57:44 AM PST by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
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To: the gillman@blacklagoon.com
In the long run, they will use the fear of terrorism or anti-drug hysteria to accomplish everything they desire.
52 posted on 02/28/2006 10:58:05 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: boryeulb

Lots of businesses employ cameras in and on their premises. I'd think that apartment complexes would have been using them long ago to catch vandals, theives, etc on their property. They use controlled access now.

Individual homes becomes another matter when dictated by the police.


53 posted on 02/28/2006 11:00:42 AM PST by deport
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To: deport
Lots of businesses employ cameras in and on their premises.

At THEIR discretion with THEIR cameras.

54 posted on 02/28/2006 11:01:49 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Know your rights

ping for later


55 posted on 02/28/2006 11:07:17 AM PST by vrwc0915 ("Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants,)
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To: freepatriot32
"I will move out of the country and not come back"

I'm afraid you may want to start looking now. BsAs
56 posted on 02/28/2006 11:09:05 AM PST by ndt
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To: Know your rights

At THEIR discretion with THEIR cameras.



Yep, way it is and way it ought to be.


57 posted on 02/28/2006 11:09:25 AM PST by deport
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To: Gabz
Kelo Decision, smoking bans on private property.

Drip,drip, drip.

Cameras are the next logical step.

The word hasn't been invented yet to describe the depth of loathing I have for these tyrants.

58 posted on 02/28/2006 11:09:59 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: BlueMondaySkipper
Doesn't every bar serve until last call? Even if you close at 9:00 PM you would serve until last call, right?

Right.

Nice catch.

59 posted on 02/28/2006 11:11:22 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: mysterio
In WWII, a train full of Jews on the way to one of the camps broke down. A half dozen German guards walked 10,000 people the rest of the way and none tried to escape.
60 posted on 02/28/2006 11:14:15 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: Gabz

I remember when I read 1984 about 40 years ago I said to myself "This stuff will never happen. I was wrong.


61 posted on 02/28/2006 11:24:17 AM PST by Mears (The Killer Queen-caviar and cigarettes.)
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To: capt. norm
And yet look at the big stink they made over the NSA wiretap thing.

They're such hypocrites.

62 posted on 02/28/2006 11:25:15 AM PST by Tired of Taxes (That's taxes, not Texas. I have no beef with TX. NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation.)
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To: Vicomte13
The only way to beat them is to relax the rigorous belief in "Buddy, it's the LAW".

Several generations of Americans have been totally brainwashed as to the meaning of the *law* as it was intended by the Founders.

63 posted on 02/28/2006 11:26:43 AM PST by MamaTexan (I am NOT a ~legal entity~, nor am I a *person* as created by law!)
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To: Vicomte13
But I remain convinced that Americans are so reflexively superstitious about "The Rule Of Law" that they will go right off the end of the slippery slope and accept tyranny, so long as the tyranny is legally and correctly instituted, rather than develop an ethic of selective observance of the law, and intentional breaking of bad law.

Ah yes, that would explain the millions of pot smoking Americans,the failure of Prohibition, the traffic law scofflaws, the worn paths across public parks right next to the "Keep Off the Grass" signs, the billions of dollars owed the IRS, etc, etc.

Where ya from, bub? This country was built on disobeying "authority" and we're better off for it.

64 posted on 02/28/2006 11:28:33 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: LambSlave

About 40% of colonials participated or were loyal to the Colonies. About 20% were Tories. The remaining 40% were fence sitters, waiting to see which way the wind blew.


65 posted on 02/28/2006 11:43:37 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: boryeulb
Hurtt invoked the name of Orwell's dictator in defending his radical proposition: "I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?"

Wonder what his FR screen name is?

66 posted on 02/28/2006 11:48:30 AM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: TonyRo76

"Given the choice, I'd go for a nice lakeside cottage on a few acres and a gravel road, at least 50 miles away from the nearest urban jungle!"

Everyone has that choice.

I would rather be rural and poor, than rich living in a sewer.


67 posted on 02/28/2006 12:03:31 PM PST by Beagle8U (An "Earth First" kinda guy ( when we finish logging here, we'll start on the other planets.)
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To: metesky

I can't recall where I read this, but it referred to the number of colonists acting against the British before the "national" military effort in 1775... many were outraged, but only a handful were involved e.g. the Sons of Liberty, Stamp Act protests, Boston Tea Party, etc. Of course, when it was clear that the Colonial government would unite and support the effort by organizing a government sanctioned Army there was more support... but as you point out still not a majority.


68 posted on 02/28/2006 12:07:59 PM PST by LambSlave (The truth will set you free)
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To: Madame Dufarge
The word hasn't been invented yet to describe the depth of loathing I have for these tyrants.

You and me both my friend, you and me both.

69 posted on 02/28/2006 12:19:28 PM PST by Gabz (Smoke gnatzies: small minds buzzing in you business........SWAT'EM)
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To: Mears
I remember when I read 1984 about 40 years ago I said to myself "This stuff will never happen. I was wrong.

We all were. Orwell was just a bit off on the date.

70 posted on 02/28/2006 12:22:34 PM PST by Gabz (Smoke gnatzies: small minds buzzing in you business........SWAT'EM)
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To: LambSlave
Actually you're quite wrong about the 4% although you are correct that a minority agitated for a break from England as a solid majority at the time did not think of themselves as Americans, but rather saw themselves as British citizens and subjects. The original intent of the Colonials was to regain the rights of British citizens.

The real turning point were the French and Indian Wars (which was the first real World War) during which the Colonials saw just how badly the British used them, then demanded that they (the Colonists) pay for the war. The colonials were of the opinion that through their citizenship and payment of taxes and blood, they had payed for the war.

From The Treaty of Paris (1763) the revolution was a foregone conclusion, becoming only a matter of when.

71 posted on 02/28/2006 12:26:15 PM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: metesky

Thanks for the clarification.


72 posted on 02/28/2006 12:35:25 PM PST by LambSlave (The truth will set you free)
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To: mysterio

Yes, voters are idiots. They let themselves become lulled into a false sense of security of letting government think for them. We see it all over in smoking bans, government mandated health insurance in business, minimum wage and now, security cameras where there is no need.

Socialism is alive and unfortunately, well, in the country.


73 posted on 02/28/2006 12:43:22 PM PST by DakotaRed
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To: ozoneliar

"Cheap,Democrat-knocking points. Draconian scheme that is the equal of anything in 1984, hatched by a democrat?"

The money came from a Republican administration. Homerland Insecurity loves this stuff.


74 posted on 02/28/2006 1:24:30 PM PST by dljordan
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To: Gabz
I remember when I read 1984 about 40 years ago I said to myself "This stuff will never happen. I was wrong.

Perhaps some are using 1984 as a manual.

75 posted on 02/28/2006 1:27:54 PM PST by ozoneliar ("The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -T.J.)
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To: savedbygrace; Mojave; robertpaulsen

Maybe that's Roscoe (Mojave) or robertpaulsen....


76 posted on 02/28/2006 1:58:31 PM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: Gabz

Right there with you, Gabz!!!


77 posted on 02/28/2006 2:01:28 PM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: Eastbound

That's suspicious behavior.


78 posted on 02/28/2006 2:47:15 PM PST by I'm ALL Right!
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To: dcwusmc

This stuff makes my head want to explode. But what is really heartbreaking are the numbers of supposed "conservatives" that see no problem with the idea of Big Brother/Nanny Government.....whether it is cameras, or seatbelt laws, or smoking bans, or food controls.


79 posted on 02/28/2006 3:12:49 PM PST by Gabz (Smoke gnatzies: small minds buzzing in you business........SWAT'EM)
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To: freepatriot32
"If this goes through in the chicago or houston area I will move out of the country and not come back'

Please leave me your guns and stuff. We're gonna have a helluva war to fight here and will need all the powder we can get.

80 posted on 02/28/2006 3:33:24 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: Vicomte13
» I don't think Americans have it in them...America is, after all, a plurality German country.

Perhaps. But I can assure you, the Scots-Irish are pretty numerous too—and we will not sit still for this Big-Gummint-lovin' authoritarian cr@p!

81 posted on 02/28/2006 3:34:32 PM PST by TonyRo76 (American by birth. Patriot by choice. Christian by grace.)
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To: Beagle8U
» I would rather be rural and poor, than rich living in a sewer.

There may come a time I finally reach that tipping point :)

82 posted on 02/28/2006 3:36:02 PM PST by TonyRo76 (American by birth. Patriot by choice. Christian by grace.)
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To: savedbygrace; robertpaulsen
Wonder what his FR screen name is?

robertpaulsen maybe? :-)

83 posted on 02/28/2006 3:46:46 PM PST by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
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To: Eastbound; Travis McGee
Please leave me your guns and stuff. We're gonna have a helluva war to fight here and will need all the powder we can get.

you got it i'll leave some to you and some to travis mcgee.I know he ll give them a fight that they will wish they never picked with him and ill keep some for myself.I'm planning on moving to the philippines (you can see why about halfway down my freeper about page :-) )and they have relaxed some of thier gun laws not enough for my taste but they are still a hell of a lot better then chicago, houston,or new york city

84 posted on 02/28/2006 3:54:00 PM PST by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
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To: ndt
I'm afraid you may want to start looking now.

I'm way ahead of you I already got it figured out.I m going to be moving to the Philippines I have a fiance there (more about her on my freeper about page)that already owns a house and a couple of years after I marry her I can become a full fledged philippino citizen or stay in america and become a full fledged slave or a dead resistor.if I stay in america option two would definitly be the option I take because i have sesitive skin and ball and chains chaffe it really bad.

85 posted on 02/28/2006 4:03:14 PM PST by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
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To: boryeulb

"The city owns the sidewalks. We own the streets and we own the alleys."

Gee. I would have thought they belonged to the public. Daley's statement says it all.


86 posted on 02/28/2006 4:06:45 PM PST by School of Rational Thought (Republican - The thinking people's party)
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To: boryeulb

"The city owns the sidewalks. We own the streets and we own the alleys."

Gee. I would have thought they belonged to the public. Daley's statement says it all.


87 posted on 02/28/2006 4:06:50 PM PST by School of Rational Thought (Republican - The thinking people's party)
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To: sheik yerbouty
Daley and Governor Blagojevic are on a commie rampage. The most powerful mayor also runs the state now because his puppet governor just rubber stamps anything he says.

He is also constantly raising taxes and finding new ways of generating revenue like the "amusement tax" for cable tv service....AND the amazing thing is, it's never enough and they are always in a deficit. Buying a car in Chicago would cost you about $2,500 in fees and taxes. Starting a business will cost thousands in permits, fees and city approvals. Breaking ground for a new building will cost you $10,000 - 12,000 for the city to come and do soil samples.

Chicago has seen one of the largest tax base increases in the last 30 years due to the construction boom, but it's still never enough. Empty buildings on a single block have thousands of tax paying condos there now...still not enough.

Corruption and greed are god in Chicago. They would do anything to generate money for the cronies in the city. Nearby casinos were supposed to pay for school problems and the toll roads were supposed to be paid for years ago. What happened? Nothing. People got rich.

Daley sold the Skyway Expressway for gobs of money to a private firm. Still not enough.

Feds need to pinch comrade Daley and his sidekick Blago. Government was not supposed to be a burden to citizens but rather a tool to help business and ensure progress for the commonwealth. It has become a LEACH!
88 posted on 02/28/2006 4:06:50 PM PST by SQUID
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To: Eastbound

Cameras have lenses. Hone up on your skills with the pellet rifle.


89 posted on 02/28/2006 4:13:39 PM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: TonyRo76
Its best to figure out how to get rich living in the country..lol

If someone offered to give me NYC or LA on the condition that I had to live there, I wouldn't have to ponder it before turning it down.
90 posted on 02/28/2006 4:17:38 PM PST by Beagle8U (An "Earth First" kinda guy ( when we finish logging here, we'll start on the other planets.)
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To: Westlander

Paintball is also good.

And, if they get to the point of cameras in private homes, strategically hung towels work too.


91 posted on 02/28/2006 4:32:31 PM PST by coydog
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To: RJL
Yup! And they can have mine when it dribbles from my bladder.

NOW we're getting somewhere! I'd add, if they attempt to disable it, it blows a hole in them big enough to stick your fist through. Blackbird.

92 posted on 02/28/2006 4:45:36 PM PST by BlackbirdSST (Diapers, like Politicians, need regular changing for the same reason!)
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To: sheik yerbouty
Too many Americans (and most polititians) wouldn't know freedom if it bit 'em in the ass.

Nam Vet

93 posted on 02/28/2006 5:21:36 PM PST by Nam Vet (The Democrat Party of America is perfectly P.C. * .(* P.C. = Patriotically Challenged)
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To: SQUID

Glad not to live there...


94 posted on 02/28/2006 5:25:55 PM PST by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: freepatriot32
"moving to the Philippines"

I love the lumpia, but I would avoid Balut like the plauge.
95 posted on 02/28/2006 5:48:22 PM PST by ndt
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To: davisfh

I fail to comprehend your sentence...


96 posted on 02/28/2006 5:58:29 PM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: sheik yerbouty
Well, I'm showing people that these types of ideas are nothing new to Chicago. We have idiots in City Hall that think businesses can just keep taking it in the shorts. They WILL eventually run business out of Chicago and into the suburbs. Actually they already have.
97 posted on 03/01/2006 6:15:11 AM PST by SQUID
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To: SQUID

I'm surprised that more businesses haven't left Chi town, given Daley's level of idiocy..


98 posted on 03/01/2006 8:11:09 AM PST by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: freepatriot32

ROTFL!!


99 posted on 03/01/2006 8:35:12 AM PST by LambSlave (The truth will set you free)
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To: Beagle8U
» Its best to figure out how to get rich living in the country..lol

Hear, hear! There's a secret I would love to discover. ;)

» If someone offered to give me NYC or LA on the condition that I had to live there, I wouldn't have to ponder it before turning it down.

Just one of many reasons I wouldn't care to run for any elective Federal office: having to live in D.C. if elected. No thanks!

100 posted on 03/01/2006 2:51:46 PM PST by TonyRo76 (American by birth. Patriot by choice. Christian by grace.)
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