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DC v. Heller - Montana prepares to secede
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Posted on 02/19/2008 7:35:11 PM PST by djf

Secy of State Brad Johnson of Montana delivered a letter to the Washington Times about possible outcomes of the Heller decision.

Second Amendment an individual right

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide D.C. v. Heller, the first case in more than 60 years in which the court will confront the meaning of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although Heller is about the constitutionality of the D.C. handgun ban, the court's decision will have an impact far beyond the District ("Promises breached," Op-Ed, Thursday).

The court must decide in Heller whether the Second Amendment secures a right for individuals to keep and bear arms or merely grants states the power to arm their militias, the National Guard. This latter view is called the "collective rights" theory.

A collective rights decision by the court would violate the contract by which Montana entered into statehood, called the Compact With the United States and archived at Article I of the Montana Constitution. When Montana and the United States entered into this bilateral contract in 1889, the U.S. approved the right to bear arms in the Montana Constitution, guaranteeing the right of "any person" to bear arms, clearly an individual right.

There was no assertion in 1889 that the Second Amendment was susceptible to a collective rights interpretation, and the parties to the contract understood the Second Amendment to be consistent with the declared Montana constitutional right of "any person" to bear arms.

As a bedrock principle of law, a contract must be honored so as to give effect to the intent of the contracting parties. A collective rights decision by the court in Heller would invoke an era of unilaterally revisable contracts by violating the statehood contract between the United States and Montana, and many other states.

Numerous Montana lawmakers have concurred in a resolution raising this contract-violation issue. It's posted at progunleaders.org. The United States would do well to keep its contractual promise to the states that the Second Amendment secures an individual right now as it did upon execution of the statehood contract.

BRAD JOHNSON Montana secretary of state Helena, Mont. Montana, the Second Amendment and D.C. v. Heller


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; US: Montana
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; bradjohnson; heller; mt2008; mtsos; parker; rkba; secede; secession; secondamendment; separatism; statesecession; statesrights; union
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To: DBrow
But is it big enough?

Sure it is, there wouldn't exactly be a stampede of nanny staters running away from uncle sam's teat. What's one more stolen previously constitutionally protected right if you're getting cheap lettuce and social security?

Maybe one in 40 would actually leave for freer pastures.
51 posted on 02/19/2008 8:15:13 PM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedanism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: EternalVigilance
If people do relocate, it may be prudent to settle WEST of the missile fields.


52 posted on 02/19/2008 8:16:11 PM PST by Momaw Nadon ("...with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.")
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To: Republicanus_Tyrannus

As a Territory aren’t the Federal laws the trump?


53 posted on 02/19/2008 8:17:10 PM PST by ScratInTheHat (Don't like my immigration stance? I'm dyslexic. PC keeps sounding like BS to me!)
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To: Enterprise

The States of Texas, Alabama, Alaska Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virgina, Washinton, West Virginia, & Wyoming filed pro-gun right Amicae Curie, but didn’t hit on this at the time.


54 posted on 02/19/2008 8:17:25 PM PST by Republicanus_Tyrannus
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To: djf

I’ve got to go with Brab on this one. Don’t mess with Montana.


55 posted on 02/19/2008 8:17:54 PM PST by claudiustg (We're Whiggin' out!)
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To: grey_whiskers
Just curious. Does Montana have any ICBM bases?

Yeah, but they are all east of the Rockies.

56 posted on 02/19/2008 8:18:48 PM PST by roamer_1 (Conservative always, Republican no more.)
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To: djf
Funny, there was no National Guard when the Second Amendment was written. Militias were armed citizens, not organized until needed.
57 posted on 02/19/2008 8:19:38 PM PST by Kickass Conservative (Guns don't kill people, gun free zones kill people)
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To: FR Class of 1998
"I think the feds would use force if necessary to stop a secession. They haven’t cared about law during my lifetime, that’s for sure.

That's for sure. What the country will find interesting if this happens is that the Feds would invade a state to keep if from leaving but do nothing about a the very visible Mexican invasion of the Southwest and the Mexican government's attempt to grab American states through demographics. People are going to notice. They're noticing now!

58 posted on 02/19/2008 8:19:57 PM PST by StormEye
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To: djf
LOL

Alaska has voted (or tried to anyway), twice, to secede from the USofA.

Some points

The Alaskan Independence Party is the state's third largest political party with about 17,798 registered members, elections records show. It was formed in 1970 to advocate that Alaska secede from the union. A lot of folks were pissed off over the FedGov denial of an Trans-Alaska Oil pipeline at the time - sound familiar? In this case, the Teamsters saved the day.

From Canada
Alaska - Some Canadians and Alaskans have discussed the possibility of the state of Alaska seceding from the United States and joining Canada under an autonomy plan allowing for a U.S. sphere of influence. This is comparable to what some Quebec separatists have advocated for in the past (sovereignty-association, Quebec Autonomism).

The issue has been discussed on various fora, such as that for the Alaska Independence Party forum, which claims Alaska as the "lost province". However, no formal movement in favor of this proposal exists, nor does any political party currently advocate it.

The reality of course is not as fun
From http://www.alaskabar.org/ada.CFM?ID=6428&subpage=1

Recently, in Kohlhaas v. State, our supreme court addressed whether Alaskans would ever get the chance to vote on making this dream a reality. The short answer was: "No." The long answer from the court (and I paraphrase) was: "Are you crazy? Do any of you people remember the Civil War and the 630,000 casualties? Much as we, as members of the court, would like sovereignty, we have seen the 'shock and awe' of the Federal military, and we can hear the buzz of a drone over the court right now as it warms up a Hellfire missile, and we'd rather not give the federal government any reason to test the missile resistance of the courthouse roof."

Well, the court did not say that, but that is what the court meant. Here is what it really said. In Kohlhaas, the Alaska Supreme Court affirmed the invalidation of a ballot initiative submitted by Mr. Kohlhaas to the Lieutenant Governor. The initiative itself indisputably met all procedural requirements to be placed on the ballot, including obtaining the necessary signatures. (Getting people to sign a piece of paper is not a problem. Getting those same people to throw a Molotov cocktail at an M-1 Abrams tank; whole different story).

59 posted on 02/19/2008 8:20:16 PM PST by ASOC (Tagline free for months and still going (Oh, wait........))
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To: ScratInTheHat

Generally, unless they have a corpus of law passed by the Territorial Legislature and approved by the Congress (which they still have). So, in particular, no, not really. The statehood process has several stages. They’d just be back one second prior to statehood. But they’d be exempt from Federal Income Tax.


60 posted on 02/19/2008 8:21:06 PM PST by Republicanus_Tyrannus
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To: djf

I moved to Montana for just this reason. Just keep the Rainbow Libs, and RINOs out. Sadly the libs have discovered central Montana. They think Flathead Lake is wonderful. The locals are not so impressed.

Semper Paratus!

Gunner


61 posted on 02/19/2008 8:21:54 PM PST by weps4ret (Things the make you go; Hmmmmmmm?)
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To: djf

I guess I’ll enjoy living in Montana...


62 posted on 02/19/2008 8:22:15 PM PST by Gritty (Piss on golf. Real Americans go to the range. - LTC Dave Grossman, Self-Defense Expert)
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To: grey_whiskers
Malmstrom.
63 posted on 02/19/2008 8:22:42 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: rickomatic

Let’s not forget Nevada...The Sierras make a nice defensible barrier on the West....


64 posted on 02/19/2008 8:23:35 PM PST by Crapgame (There's no place I'd rather be than right here, with my FRedneck, white socks and Blue Ribbon Beer)
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To: guido911

One word! Wonderful! Big Sky, Big Mountain, simply wonderful!

Gunner


65 posted on 02/19/2008 8:23:55 PM PST by weps4ret (Things the make you go; Hmmmmmmm?)
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To: djf

Interesting. Have they filed and amicus brief? It could make a difference. If they haven’t it’s all talk.


66 posted on 02/19/2008 8:27:06 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: EternalVigilance

Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah.

That should be big enough...

Don’t forget Eastern Wa.


67 posted on 02/19/2008 8:27:14 PM PST by gunner03 ("03" Mustang)
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To: Ultra Sonic 007

It’s one way to get rid of McInsane. :p


68 posted on 02/19/2008 8:27:21 PM PST by Politicalmom (Better a leftist Dem with energized GOP opposition, than a leftist "Republican" with no opposition.)
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To: All

Probably will take a state like Montana to secede to get the Federal Govt back to its Constitutional roots

Doubt the Feds would invade to assert Federal law. Not enough troops available w Middle East and other obligations. Also the logistics of launching a Federal incursion into MT would make such action nearly prohibitive


69 posted on 02/19/2008 8:27:48 PM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (McCain is a conservative...uh, yeah...right)
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To: FR Class of 1998
I think the feds would use force if necessary to stop a secession. They haven’t cared about law during my lifetime, that’s for sure.

And right there is the real reason for the 2nd Amendment. It isn't a catch 22, really. More like a catch 21.5.

70 posted on 02/19/2008 8:30:45 PM PST by RobinOfKingston (Man, that's stupid ... even by congressional standards.)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

Plus, merely stating “Guess we’re a Territory now” and handing a bill over for ten thousand head of horses for the deputies as provided by law would shock some people into thinking “Hmm”. Plus, it’d be funnier and more loyal.


71 posted on 02/19/2008 8:32:02 PM PST by Republicanus_Tyrannus
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To: UCFRoadWarrior

I would think that people all over might get a little disturbed if they were watching CNN and saw the federal government launching RPG’s at the Montana State capitol.


72 posted on 02/19/2008 8:32:42 PM PST by djf (I think McCain deserves a chance. After all, he is on R side!)
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To: CapnJack

New double-wide at 100k, 100 acres at 10K per acre, so around $1.1 million, at least where I live.


73 posted on 02/19/2008 8:32:57 PM PST by Rennes Templar ( Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.)
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To: Crapgame

We’ll take Nevada, but not if Clark County and Harry Reid come along. ;)


74 posted on 02/19/2008 8:35:59 PM PST by GOP_Raider (With parting breath we'll sing that song "A Utah Man Am I" RIP GBH)
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To: djf; Kolokotronis

Just get in touch with the EU. They’’ll give you some pointers.


75 posted on 02/19/2008 8:46:21 PM PST by MarMema (kosovo will always be Serbian)
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To: djf

Woo hoo!!

Big City
Merle Haggard

I’m tired of this dirty old city.
Entirely too much work and never enough play.
And I’m tired of these dirty old sidewalks.
Think I’ll walk off my steady job today.

Turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in the middle of Montanna.
And gimme all I got comin’ to me,
And keep your retirement and your so called social security.
Big City turn me loose and set me free.

Been working everyday since I was twenty.
Haven’t got a thing to show for anything I’ve done.
There’s folks who never work and they’ve got plenty.
Think it’s time some guys like me had some fun.

Turn me loose, set me free, somewhere in the middle of Montanna.
And gimme all I got comin’ to me,
And keep your retirement and your so called social security.
Big City turn me loose and set me free.


76 posted on 02/19/2008 8:46:27 PM PST by Jim Robinson (Our God-given unalienable rights are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: djf
I guarantee everyone that the SC is not going to rule against the 2A with regards to individual right.

They don't care if it is an individual right or not so long as they can continue to enacted "reasonable restriction"

The Supremes are gonna toss us a bone and conservatives are gonna get excited, but the real outcome is that reasonable restriction will still be inplace.

The sheep will be placated and that's the end of that.

77 posted on 02/19/2008 8:46:30 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty.)
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To: All

Just so nobody misunderstands, I for one am totally committed to saving the whole Union, and restoring respect for the unalienable rights to life and liberty on every square inch of American territory.

Let the anti-American tyrants move to Siberia or something.


78 posted on 02/19/2008 8:50:34 PM PST by EternalVigilance (If all you've got left is a choice of the lesser of evils, you've awakened in HELL)
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To: djf

Montana has finally figured out a way to become densely populated?


79 posted on 02/19/2008 8:56:28 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: EternalVigilance

And it’s right next door...


80 posted on 02/19/2008 8:56:42 PM PST by Noumenon (The only thing that prevents liberals from loading us all into cattle cars is the power to do it)
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To: Jim Robinson

I guess we can all learn how to herd sheep or somethin!
Really, though, I’m digital now, and if I could get broadband in a cave somewhere, I could still work.
But it is nice to have things like kitchens and showers!

Hope 2008 finds you well and happy!
regards,
djf


81 posted on 02/19/2008 8:57:57 PM PST by djf (I think McCain deserves a chance. After all, he is on R side!)
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To: Republicanus_Tyrannus

IOW, Property values there would soar.


82 posted on 02/19/2008 8:59:21 PM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: claudiustg

“Don’t mess with Montana.”

Good idea. Montanans own, on average, eight guns per household.


83 posted on 02/19/2008 9:03:31 PM PST by Rennes Templar ( Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.)
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To: guido911

Skiing is great at Bridger! I’ve often thought it was cold but that just keeps the snow from getting sloppy...


84 posted on 02/19/2008 9:10:59 PM PST by philled ("If AQ were on steroids, house leadership would be more interested in dealing with them." Kit Bond)
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To: djf

bttt


85 posted on 02/19/2008 9:12:42 PM PST by nicmarlo
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To: djf

I’ll help build “THE FENCE”. Let me know when it warms up a bit.


86 posted on 02/19/2008 9:14:57 PM PST by wizr ("Give me liberty, or give me death." - Patrick Henry)
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To: djf

THANKS.

Fascinating.

I hope they make a LOT more noise about this.


87 posted on 02/19/2008 9:20:08 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: FR Class of 1998
I think the feds would use force if necessary to stop a secession

I'd drive to Montana and line up with them (the people of Montana that is).

88 posted on 02/19/2008 9:21:20 PM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: djf; All
I haven't found one reference to the 14th A. in this thread so far (corrections welcome). The reason that the 14th A. must be mentioned in any meaningful discussion concerning the 2nd A. is as follows.

John Bingham, the main author of Sec. 1 of the 14th A., included the 2nd A. when he referenced the first eight amendments as examples of constitutional statutes containing privileges and immunities that the 14th A. applied to the states. So there is no doubt in my mind that the 2nd and 14th Amendments protect the personal right to keep and bear arms from both the federal and state governments as much as any other constitutional privilege and immunity protects other personal rights.

See the 2nd A. in the middle column of the following page from the Congressional Globe, a precursor to the Congressional Record.

http://tinyurl.com/y3ne4n
Note that the referenced page is dated for more than two years after the 14th A. was ratified. So Bingham was evidently reassuring his colleagues about the scope and purpose of the ratified 14th Amendment.

So bear in mind that what DC v Heller is essentially testing is how corrupt the Supreme Court is.

89 posted on 02/19/2008 9:40:50 PM PST by Amendment10
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To: Republicanus_Tyrannus
And if it is over 2/3rds of the States, a very unsettling option becomes available - a Constitutional Convention could easily then be called.

So the Court can ignore the amended Constitution as they ignore the present version. Seems a lot of bother for very little result. Especially, as you say, when there is a big downside risk to the process.

90 posted on 02/19/2008 9:42:07 PM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: Republicanus_Tyrannus
And if it is over 2/3rds of the States, a very unsettling option becomes available - a Constitutional Convention could easily then be called... And that’s something for the very, very last resort in my book. Mainly because I don’t trust us to do one correctly unless there’s absolutely no other option.

Worry not. There are safeguards. Read the essay I wrote that was vetted by "Congressman Billybob", a constitutional lawwyer.

"A Convention for Proposing Amendments...as Part of This Constitution"

91 posted on 02/19/2008 9:45:06 PM PST by Publius (A = A)
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To: djf

Rather than seceding, if the Court rules the wrong way and says that the 2nd is a “collective” right, then the legislature there should declare each person between the ages of 16 and 80 to be members of the state militia, subject to annual call-up. They should be required to show up bearing their own personal M4, M16, M14 or M249 (all full auto weapons). When the governor signs the bill, you now would have a few hundred thousand people eligible to purchase brand-new full autos.


92 posted on 02/19/2008 9:53:42 PM PST by Ancesthntr (An ex-citizen of the Frederation trying to stop Monica's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife from becoming President)
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To: Rennes Templar
Good idea. Montanans own, on average, eight guns per household.

So what's that make, about 8,000 guns in the whole state?

We Texans have fewer guns per household (reportedly about 2), but that makes for about 45 million guns - and that's probably low.

93 posted on 02/19/2008 10:01:06 PM PST by Ancesthntr (An ex-citizen of the Frederation trying to stop Monica's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife from becoming President)
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To: Redmen4ever
"If Obama is elected, we all should secede. "

AMEN, BTTT!

94 posted on 02/19/2008 10:01:32 PM PST by matthew fuller (Barack Hussein Obama- Just words.)
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To: UCFRoadWarrior
> Doubt the Feds would invade to assert Federal law.

Not only that, but when you throw the Posse Comitatus Act into the fray, it would have the potential to be a very mixed-up ball of wax. For DC, anyway -- sounds like Montana has this situation understood quite well.

It would be great if MT Sec'y Johnson filed an additional amicus curiae, regarding the Compact, to supplement the arguments made in the brief initiated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.

95 posted on 02/19/2008 10:09:45 PM PST by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: Publius

Thanks! That was an excellent and quite inspiring article.


96 posted on 02/19/2008 10:27:38 PM PST by Republicanus_Tyrannus
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To: RTO

Montana (and I have a business there) brings to mind the phrase: “a whole lot of nothing”.


97 posted on 02/19/2008 10:34:48 PM PST by glorgau
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To: djf

It’s definitely an option. Depending on the outcome, I may move there too.


98 posted on 02/19/2008 10:38:40 PM PST by NRA2BFree ("The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves!")
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To: Crapgame

OK! Just let our part of California (The High Sierra) re-join Nevada.


99 posted on 02/19/2008 10:42:03 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (If you don't want people to get your goat, don't tell them where it's tied.)
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To: EternalVigilance
The per capita income is one of the lowest in the Union. In constant competition with Mississippi for lowest, if my memory serves.

If something like this were to happen it would be fascinating to watch how many corporations move their legal incorporation from Delaware to Montana.

100 posted on 02/19/2008 11:00:25 PM PST by atomic_dog
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