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New edition removes Mark Twain's 'offensive' words (PC Barf Alert)
Fox News ^ | 1/4/2011

Posted on 01/04/2011 7:18:59 PM PST by markomalley

Mark Twain wrote that "the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter." A new edition of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" will try to find out if that holds true by replacing the N-word with "slave" in an effort not to offend readers.

Twain scholar Alan Gribben, who is working with NewSouth Books in Alabama to publish a combined volume of the books, said the N-word appears 219 times in "Huck Finn" and four times in "Tom Sawyer." He said the word puts the books in danger of joining the list of literary classics that Twain once humorously defined as those "which people praise and don't read."

"It's such a shame that one word should be a barrier between a marvelous reading experience and a lot of readers," Gribben said.

Yet Twain was particular about his words. His letter in 1888 about the right word and the almost right one was "the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: alangribben; auburnuniversity; huckfinn; huckleberryfinn; marktwain; mathewson; nigger; nword; pages; samclemens; samuelclemens; tomsawyer; twain
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1 posted on 01/04/2011 7:19:01 PM PST by markomalley
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To: markomalley

This is a tough call. The word in question is a repulsive word and other books have been banned from school libraries for offensive language.


2 posted on 01/04/2011 7:20:44 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (Illegal aliens commit crimes that Americans won't commit)
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To: Clintonfatigued

It’s not a tough call at all. It’s censorship, is what it is.


3 posted on 01/04/2011 7:22:18 PM PST by Xenalyte (Pablo is very wily.)
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To: markomalley

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2651157/posts


4 posted on 01/04/2011 7:23:25 PM PST by DBrow
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To: Xenalyte

I think Bowdlerization is the term.


5 posted on 01/04/2011 7:23:54 PM PST by DBrow
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To: Clintonfatigued

“Censorship” is a pretty ugly word, too.


6 posted on 01/04/2011 7:24:01 PM PST by JayVee (Joseph)
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To: Clintonfatigued

“Censorship” is a pretty ugly word, too.


7 posted on 01/04/2011 7:24:15 PM PST by JayVee (Joseph)
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To: Clintonfatigued

Words aren’t repulsive. People can be though. You know going in the words are there, so don’t read them. Changing the books only screws with the authors original intent of using them in the first place


8 posted on 01/04/2011 7:30:16 PM PST by Figment ("A communist is someone who reads Marx.An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx" R Reagan)
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To: Clintonfatigued
There's no tough call here at all. Slaveowners were disgusting people. They spoke in a disgusting manner. They served a disgusting purpose. They did disgusting things.

All of that has to be brought over in that book. Eliminating it is to make the slaveowners look like nice guys.

9 posted on 01/04/2011 7:30:32 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Clintonfatigued

Hell, no, this is NOT a “tough call.” This is cultural insanity. If Mark Twain were still around, he would have more than enough new material on hand to keep him churning out satires til this country waves the final white flag of surrender.


10 posted on 01/04/2011 7:31:26 PM PST by madprof98 ("moritur et ridet" - salvianus)
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To: Xenalyte
"...its censorship."

Absolutely. The "N" word is offensive today, more so because we have been sensitized to it. Removing it from Twain's books will completely change the main characters. They are creatures of their day, and very lifelike--let them be. If some blacks want to keep their kids from reading Huck and Tom, that is their loss and their small mindedness.

Why not also take out all the unsavory references about Injun Jim--after all he was a "noble savage"--not.

Good grief!

vaudine

11 posted on 01/04/2011 7:36:22 PM PST by vaudine
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To: Clintonfatigued

Hope you have on your asbestos jammies.

“Play those rhythmically suggestive tonal patterns Caucasian male adolescent.”


12 posted on 01/04/2011 7:37:57 PM PST by John 3_19-21 (Why is it when the media says the sky is falling, millions of republicans get whiplash looking up?)
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To: markomalley

And while we’re at it, let’s fix the Old Testament to get rid of that nasty anti-gay rhetoric.


13 posted on 01/04/2011 7:46:22 PM PST by TontoKowalski
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To: markomalley

Mark Twain is spinning in his grave......


14 posted on 01/04/2011 7:50:24 PM PST by ixtl (When people fear government, there is tyranny; when government fears people, there is liberty.)
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To: John 3_19-21

“Play that funky music, white boy.”


15 posted on 01/04/2011 7:50:36 PM PST by Tawiskaro
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To: vaudine

Don’t mean to criticize, but it was Injun’ JOE, not Jim. It was Nigger Jim.... (Oh my God, I did it! I used the “N” word! I am such a bad person, now I will probably go to Hell for my insensitivity.


16 posted on 01/04/2011 7:55:08 PM PST by ixtl (When people fear government, there is tyranny; when government fears people, there is liberty.)
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To: markomalley
...by replacing the N-word with "slave"...

Oh, that's so much better! :-/ I'm sure if I went up to my buddy Nate tomorrow and said "Hey slave, how's it going?" he'd be sooo relieved I didn't use "the N word" ...

Here's a thought - leave the text as it was originally written. It is an artistic, creative work. The author no-doubt intended to evoke certain imagery. Do these fools imagine themselves the equals or even better writers than the author? They think they can evoke the same emotions without the "offensive" words? Hey, how about you libtard fools give the rest of us a little credit - I think we can appreciate a work and take it in context without you having to sugar-coat it and dumb it down for us. Oh, that's right, the elitists are practicing discrimination and prejudice against us "regular folk" - but don't try to tell them that...

17 posted on 01/04/2011 7:57:42 PM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: ixtl
Right! I knew when I typed it Indian Jim didn't look right.

Just slap yourself lightly in the mouth, pass your hand once lightly over your head and forgive yourself.

vaudine

18 posted on 01/04/2011 7:59:41 PM PST by vaudine
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To: muawiyah
There's no tough call here at all. Slaveowners were disgusting people. They spoke in a disgusting manner. They served a disgusting purpose. They did disgusting things.

That's not entirely true. Many of the founders were slave owners through inheritence but were repulsed by slavery and fought it. One of them set his slaves free which resulted in laws being passed that prevented the others from freeing theirs.

Slavery was not a ... pardon the pun... black and white issue.

19 posted on 01/04/2011 8:04:40 PM PST by loboinok (Gun control is hitting what you aim at!)
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To: markomalley

Why stop there? I think it’s time to paint over that demeaning gown that Mona Lisa is wearing and put her in a professional business suit. And none of that idiotic smile crap either. We need a good angry feminist frown.


20 posted on 01/04/2011 8:08:34 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!)
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To: Xenalyte
It’s not a tough call at all. It’s censorship, is what it is.

Agreed.

I like to watch RTV, the Retro TV channel where they play old TV shows. One of my favcorite old shows is, "The Bold Ones" (1969/74) where it features various stories divided into "The Doctors" who are on the cutting edge of medicine, "The Lawyers," "The Police" and "The Senator." One lawyer episode featured the law group where Burl Ives, Joe Campenella and James Farentino play lawyers who take tough cases. One case featured a young Black radical (this was 1970) where he was charged with killing a police detective who was part of a raid on the Black Pantherlike Headquarters. In reality, it was his father how accidently pushed the detective off the fire escape to his death while trying to warn his son about the raid. His father was a successful executive with a company. The son knew this but wanted to cover his father. The lawyers were trying to get him to tell the truth but he still wanted to protect his father. They went to trial and the young radical said to the judge and court several times about keeping the "'n-words' down" and he said the word out loud and all the way. He was eventually held in contempt and gagged. Later on, his father committed suicide be driving off the road but he left a note behind telling the truth and the young man was acquitted.

I'm also reminded of another TV show, "Star Trek," where Kirk & Co. encountered President Lincoln, actually an alien made likeness but he had no malice, for all purposes, he was Lincoln with his thoughts and actions. The beamed President Lincoln aboard the Enterprise and they gave him a tour where he saw Uhura on the bridge and he called her a "lovely nigress" and then apologized. Uhura did not take offense, "in the 23rd Century, we learned not to fear words."

I don't think any slurs should be tossed willy nilly or anything, but if it is part of the story where it sets the scene and is a part of it, I have no problem. Huck Finn was set 150+ years ago. "The Bold Ones" in 1970. I seem to think back that Michael Savage said, "your father in 1970 did not make as much money as you do but he was more free." It seems that it is true, what we can do in 1850/1966/1970, we cannot do in 2010/11.

Come to think of it, I doubt shows like "Chico and the Man" and "All in the Family" would not fly in today's PC crowd.
21 posted on 01/04/2011 8:24:22 PM PST by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: ixtl
Don’t mean to criticize, but it was Injun’ JOE, not Jim. It was Nigger Jim.... (Oh my God, I did it! I used the “N” word! I am such a bad person, now I will probably go to Hell for my insensitivity.

Uh OH. I used "Nigress" in one post, I guess I'll be "darned to Heck, suburb of Hell by the Prince of Insufficient Light." B-)
22 posted on 01/04/2011 8:28:01 PM PST by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: markomalley
...and another thing, the grammar in those books is horrible. They should be edited to correct all of the improper English.

</sarc>

23 posted on 01/04/2011 8:29:19 PM PST by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too...)
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To: Nowhere Man

It’s also a pain in the ass for historians.

Leave the bloody work alone. It helps us to know what the originals said.


24 posted on 01/04/2011 8:31:07 PM PST by BenKenobi (Rush speaks! I hear, I obey)
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To: markomalley
replacing the N-word with "slave"

Slave please!!!

25 posted on 01/04/2011 8:32:49 PM PST by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too...)
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To: markomalley

Why change it to slave, and not Nagin?

Nagin please!


26 posted on 01/04/2011 8:53:00 PM PST by Jazz1968
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To: markomalley; Clintonfatigued; Xenalyte; DBrow; ThunderSleeps; Figment; vaudine

When I read The Life and Times of Fredrick Douglas, one passage about speaking to a group of his supporters has always stayed with me. After speaking to a group of abolitionists, he considered the evening a great success, because at the end of his talk he believed they were convinced he was equally human with them. Those who saw the TV show Roots can remember the president of the black college being asked to sing by his benefactor to convince the woman she was with about how valuable these people were because of their wonderful voices. Even the strongest supporters of blacks questioned whether they were as fully human as themselves.

Now comes Mark Twain in1876, just a few years after the decline of the KKK, saying that even “poor white trash” like Huck Finn can figure out that “Nigger Jim” is just like him. Twain washes away the entire pretense built up from etiquette, education, wealth, etc. that people generally use to form their opinions of themselves and others. Because of his precise choice of words, what remains on that raft is two people who can look directly into each others’ eye.

In his final indictment Twain through Huck Finn tells the reader that the accoutrements of civilization prevent one from being human and recognizing the humanity in others. I guess I find that lesson timeless.


27 posted on 01/04/2011 8:55:09 PM PST by Retain Mike
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To: Xenalyte

Censorship requires a government banning something. This is just a rewrite by a private company. You still have the opportunity to buy or check out the original text.

While I would probably lean toward the original text, there are some books by Twain where he goes overboard with dialectic gibberish. Make it unreadable.


28 posted on 01/04/2011 9:08:07 PM PST by 1L
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To: Xenalyte

I hear these words and much worse among the celebrity of rappers and black comedians. This is called “diversity”
it’s oh so chi-chi.

Speech police applies only to conservatives.


29 posted on 01/04/2011 9:16:22 PM PST by ChiMark
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To: markomalley

“Mark Twain wrote that “the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter.””

That’s not what he said - that would have hardly been memorable. Here’s what he said.

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”


30 posted on 01/04/2011 9:20:54 PM PST by aquila48
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To: Clintonfatigued; Retain Mike
This is a tough call.

I don't think it's a tough call at all. The book should be presented the way Mark Twain wrote it, not in some watered-down politically correct form. Mark Twain was one of the most enlightened people of his era, and as Retain Mike noted:

Now comes Mark Twain in 1876, just a few years after the decline of the KKK, saying that even “poor white trash” like Huck Finn can figure out that “Nigger Jim” is just like him. Twain washes away the entire pretense built up from etiquette, education, wealth, etc. that people generally use to form their opinions of themselves and others. Because of [Twain's] precise choice of words, what remains on that raft is two people who can look directly into each others’ eye.

In his final indictment Twain through Huck Finn tells the reader that the accoutrements of civilization prevent one from being human and recognizing the humanity in others. I guess I find that lesson timeless.

Mark Twain fiercely opposed censorship. In light of the totality of what we know about him as an individual, both the facts and nuance mitigate strongly against censorship of Twain's works.

It borders on the absurd, in my book...

31 posted on 01/04/2011 9:26:45 PM PST by sargon (I don't like the sound of these "boncentration bamps")
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To: muawiyah
There's no tough call here at all. Slaveowners were disgusting people. They spoke in a disgusting manner.

I guess that means virtually the whole country was disgusting, since they all used that word for blacks. That's what it means—black, coming from the Latin niger, by way of various Romance languages. Usage changes with time and fashion, and reading books in their original words, such as Chaucer, Milton, and Shakespeare, is one way schoolkids learn this.

Twain's usage—and note that he was a big liberal—is not a reason to put Wite-Out over literary history. Look at the barbed humor kids would miss, from Tom Sawyer: Here Tom is describing a horrific steam boiler explosion he witnessed. AUNT POLLY: Was anyone hurt? TOM: No ma'am. Killed a n______. What are the kids supposed to do when they read any other books published more than 5 minutes ago, and discover how the polite word for blacks has changed frantically just about every decade for a half-century? Just in my lifetime: colored, Negro, Afro-American, black, African American . . .

32 posted on 01/04/2011 9:31:58 PM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: markomalley
I'm pretty sure there's a big difference between "N" and slave. Instead of slave why don't they use "prisoner" instead.

What I find funny is that the blacks are erasing their own history. They are too blind to see what their ancestors have overcome. Words offend them now. What sissies. They are changing a white man's words. Blacks have more power now than they ever had before. What in the blazes are they whining about now?

33 posted on 01/04/2011 9:53:37 PM PST by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: markomalley

On my recent cruise in the Med, I visited the new library of Alexandria in Egypt. Amazing place. They have a monthly essay contest on classic books. Found it interesting that September’s was Huck Finn! So much commentary, so little time.


34 posted on 01/04/2011 10:28:03 PM PST by Shark24
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To: Shark24

First we get rid of offending words, like the forbidden N-Word, then we get rid of the offending words like Republican and Sarah Palin, and maybe Christ. Its a slippery slope that can only end in Tyranny for all.


35 posted on 01/04/2011 10:40:03 PM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: loboinok

In Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and many other states down there, it was certainly a black and white issue. If that were not the case, then blacks would not have left in droves to go to the safety of the North.


36 posted on 01/04/2011 10:43:26 PM PST by napscoordinator
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To: Clintonfatigued

In Orwell’s novel 1984, Winston Smith had an acquaintance named Syme. He was an employee at the Ministry of Truth, in the Newspeak section. His specialty was destroying words with the objective of completely replacing Oldspeak, or standard English, with Newspeak by 2050. He did this by editing out the Oldspeak words from the texts of literature as well current publications.

Unfortunately, Syme became an unperson. He was replaced by Alan Gribben.


37 posted on 01/04/2011 11:12:33 PM PST by Skepolitic
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To: muawiyah
There's no tough call here at all. Slaveowners were disgusting people. They spoke in a disgusting manner. They served a disgusting purpose. They did disgusting things. All of that has to be brought over in that book. Eliminating it is to make the slaveowners look like nice guys.

If the great evils are demonized, how are Leftists supposed to relive them without resistance?

38 posted on 01/04/2011 11:32:01 PM PST by TheThinker (Communists: taking over the world one kooky doomsday scenario at a time.)
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To: markomalley; Figment

It’s an insult to be expected to read literature where offensive epithets are removed to protect the reader’s sensibilities. If there are people who are lame brained enough to need this kind of protection, they would be watching situation comedies on TV instead of reading books.


39 posted on 01/05/2011 12:22:30 AM PST by haroldeveryman
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To: markomalley

It creates confusion too. Twain sometimes used the word “slave.” Now one can’t tell where that happened. Also in that era, free Negros were sometimes called n*ggers because of the racial biases of the time. I think many a Negro of that time would turn over in his grave at this new lack of candidness about his situation. To forget history is to be doomed to repeat it.


40 posted on 01/05/2011 12:38:21 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: markomalley

Will they “ET” all the guns out of Blazing Saddles next?


41 posted on 01/05/2011 1:22:28 AM PST by rawcatslyentist (It is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; ~Vattel's Law of Nations)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

But that would contradict the assertion that all black people back then were slaves. ;)


42 posted on 01/05/2011 2:00:24 AM PST by BenKenobi (Rush speaks! I hear, I obey)
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To: markomalley

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOnkv76rNL4&feature=fvsr


43 posted on 01/05/2011 2:07:52 AM PST by djf (Touch my junk and I'll break yur mug!!!)
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To: BenKenobi

A false grievance is being used to cover up an account of a real wrong.


44 posted on 01/05/2011 4:30:02 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Clintonfatigued
At the time the book was written, and even into the 1960s, the word in question was used to refer to individuals of a particular race with no visible means of support, no desire to obtain any, and character considered somewhat less than moral, at least by 'respectable' standards.

It was not, in many areas, a blanket perjorative, but reserved for the lowlife. Words like "Cracker" and "White Trash" were the equivalent in caucasian circles.

Descriptive euphamisms from "Colored People" to "Negro" were used to describe more resepctable folks with dark skin, and "Black" came in later, at least where I grew up.

But, take a word out of historical contest, and you start creating problems...

There was a time when piling faggots up and burning them would be a great centerpiece for an outside party ("faggots" were then known as bundles of firewood).

Now, you'd probably get a SWAT team response to any such announced gathering. Not to mention the 'green' police and a host of alphabet organizations with acronyms, which when one attempted to pronounce them, would sound like someone drowning in a toilet bowl.

I think Samuel Clements would have been appalled at the progress the ninnies of the nanny state have made, and the thinness of American skin in this era of alleged "well adjusted-ness". Chances are he'd have preferred his books be banned, at least that way, people would rush to read them--as written.

As for me, I never saw a "right to not be offended" anywhere, and with so many people around so willing to be offended (unless they are in abject denial of another's attempt to be offensive), it is probably a good thing.

45 posted on 01/05/2011 4:55:43 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Retain Mike

Huzzaa!


46 posted on 01/05/2011 5:35:21 AM PST by DBrow
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To: markomalley

We read this in high school and the teachers used it to open a discussion on how society had changed in the last hundred years. It was a good teaching tool.


47 posted on 01/05/2011 6:08:32 AM PST by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: markomalley

I guess they are also removing this word from the works of Lorraine Hansberry, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison... right?


48 posted on 01/05/2011 6:12:44 AM PST by Sloth (If a tax cut constitutes "spending" then every time I don't rob a bank should count as a "desposit.")
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To: markomalley

I don’t think Mark Twain would mind a book burning of these Marxist revisionist books.


49 posted on 01/05/2011 6:42:54 AM PST by sergeantdave
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To: markomalley

To me the expression “the N word” is repulsive, indicating we’ve regressed to kindergarten.


50 posted on 01/05/2011 7:05:29 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
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