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Is Starbucks A Cult?
The Daily Caller ^ | Mickey Kaus

Posted on 12/27/2012 8:26:28 AM PST by US Navy Vet

“Room for smarm in your latte?” Isn’t there something creepy about Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz having [in Politico's words] “asked his Washington-area employees to write ‘Come Together’ on each customer cup today, tomorrow and Friday, as a gesture to urge leaders to resolve the fiscal cliff”? Did Schultz take a poll of his employees–sorry, “partners,” he calls them–before ordering pressuring asking them to join in this lobbying effort? What if he were, say, the CEO of Chick-fil-A and he “asked” his “partners” to write “Preserve the Family” on the outside of cups and containers.

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


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: batteryacid; ceo; coffee; cult; lefties; starbucks
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Starbucks "swill" tastes like BATTERY ACID(not that I am a connousiour(sp?) of FINE BATTERY ACID)!
1 posted on 12/27/2012 8:26:31 AM PST by US Navy Vet
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To: US Navy Vet

Never been in one and never will.


2 posted on 12/27/2012 8:31:07 AM PST by boomop1 (term limits will only save this country.)
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To: US Navy Vet

Harold shouldn’t mind being patriotic and coughing up more tax dollars for the new socialist motherland. This is their dream come true isn’t it? Pay up Harold you 1%er.


3 posted on 12/27/2012 8:31:57 AM PST by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: tflabo

Correction—not Harold but Howard, sorry for the brain clot.


4 posted on 12/27/2012 8:33:59 AM PST by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: US Navy Vet
I agree. Their basic cup of coffee does taste like battery acid. Bitter, too strong and tastes burnt.

I think many SB aficionados subconsciously gussy up their acid with sprinkles, Cinnamon, latte (weak milk), steam, whateverthehell else will dilute the acid, and end up with something they think is great. They get the privilege of paying 5-7 bucks for it, to boot.

5 posted on 12/27/2012 8:34:03 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: US Navy Vet

In Seattle, the city of a million Starbucks (one or two for every city block) it certainly seems like a cult.

Never cared much for their coffee, kinda crappy and most is only a step above day-old truckstop coffee.

Then again, I guess my Keurig and my choice of certain strong coffees like Black Diamond and Jet Fuel has spoiled me. NOT!


6 posted on 12/27/2012 8:34:37 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: Gaffer

It’s an incredible business model, similar to Red Bull, where you use clever advertising and media buzz to sell a product for several times what your competitors do.


7 posted on 12/27/2012 8:36:39 AM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: US Navy Vet

This is so dumb. Does anyone really think about, much less give a crap what the CEO of a coffee company thinks or does? Why would this have anything to do with buying a cup of coffee?


8 posted on 12/27/2012 8:36:55 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: nascarnation
It's the packaging of the product, the appurtenances, and the imagined personna of the typical customer's satisfaction.

Brilliant marketing, horrible over-valued product.

9 posted on 12/27/2012 8:38:27 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Gaffer

Totally agree.
I’m a Starbucks “virgin” - never been to one.
My adult children think I’m beyond help, LOL.


10 posted on 12/27/2012 8:40:23 AM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: US Navy Vet
Starbucks is too precious by half. However who goes to Starbucks to get just coffee. One goes there to get mocha or iced blended coffee. (frapicino(sp))
11 posted on 12/27/2012 8:41:24 AM PST by NathanR
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To: Gaffer

I’m having an excellent SB bold, black...$1.56


12 posted on 12/27/2012 8:42:36 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: Gaffer
I agree. Starbuck's isn't a "cult" - it's more of a "clique."
13 posted on 12/27/2012 8:42:47 AM PST by GreenHornet
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To: US Navy Vet

To the headline: I think so.

Here in conservative central Virginia, it looks like the entire liberal/Northeastern transplant population in this area congregates at Starbucks. They all look like pseudo-intellectual leftwingers, right down to the skinny wirerim-bespectacled men with scarves looped jauntily (and might I say, queerly) around their necks. They prominently carry their Starbucks cups, thinking it’s fashionable to be seen toting the logo.

Personally, I think Starbucks coffee is awful. It’s not so much strong as it is burned and bitter. I love strong coffee——my husband brews up some powerful Dunkin Donuts that’s delicious, without a hint of bitterness. But Starbucks seems to be all about the image, not the coffee.


14 posted on 12/27/2012 8:43:21 AM PST by CatherineofAragon (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization)
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To: stuartcr

Some people just like to drink used motor oil spiked with a little battery acid for good measure. I won’t fault you for it....just won’t drink it.


15 posted on 12/27/2012 8:45:15 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: US Navy Vet

Starbucks = Charbucks.

Opened my first bag of La Colombe on Christmas morning.
Ethiopian Gera, to be precise.

burr grinder, french press... to say it is smooth is an understatement. An amazing bean, perfectly roasted... what an incredible cup it brews. I cannot recommend it highly enough!


16 posted on 12/27/2012 8:46:31 AM PST by SparkyBass
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To: boomop1

The free market is a wonderful thing.


17 posted on 12/27/2012 8:48:54 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: RJS1950

Ooh, I want to wake up in your home someday!!!


18 posted on 12/27/2012 8:53:46 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Gaffer

ok


19 posted on 12/27/2012 8:53:59 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: US Navy Vet

Man, I could really go for a Starbucks, y'know?
I don't really think we have time for a handjob, Joe.

20 posted on 12/27/2012 8:54:15 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: US Navy Vet
Low information voters will worship anything...


21 posted on 12/27/2012 8:57:04 AM PST by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
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To: CatherineofAragon
They all look like pseudo-intellectual leftwingers, right down to the skinny wirerim-bespectacled men with scarves looped jauntily (and might I say, queerly) around their necks.

Well said ... a very accurate portrayal of your typical (winter male edition) Starbucks coffee drinker.
I've been around awhile, long before Starbucks, and in spite of their proliferation I can count the number of times I've visited a Starbucks on one hand.

22 posted on 12/27/2012 8:57:40 AM PST by BluH2o
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To: Gaffer

Humans are strange psychologically. Hand them something that tastes like crap, for free, and they spit it out. Charge them an exorbitant price for something that tastes like crap, and they will love it, because they assume that it must be great if others will pay that price for it.


23 posted on 12/27/2012 8:58:14 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: US Navy Vet

It’s like the debate about Apple. To me Apple is a cult. To those that adhere to it they are simply delivering a better product and overall consumer experience.

I happen to like Starbucks. I think they charge more but when it comes to just regular coffee not THAT much more. They get about $1.50 or the smallest size cup whereas a gas station or quickie mart might get $.99. For me the extra $0.50 is not going to keep me from buying a cup of Joe that to me taste tastes better and predictably so.

If you really want to get down to it one man’s branding is another man’s cult. The whole point of having a brand is for the company to be able to charge more for said brand and to ensure customer loyalty. For the consumer it’s about paying a bit more for a product or service that is perceived to be superior and also having a company willing to stand behind their products or service (because they want to protect their brand). There are cult like aspects to all of this. But it depends on your point of view - if you’re a cult adherent or if you are not.

You can see the same phenomena at work with all sorts of products and services - take the Chevy vs. Ford feud as one example. Or adherents of a particular beer. Or handguns. Or what have you.


24 posted on 12/27/2012 8:58:31 AM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: stuartcr

I have no idea if this is the case with Starbucks not having done the research myself however, it is not unheard of for Ceos to use their companies’ profits and popularity to promote personal political agendas. This is why some people are interested in the politics of the people in charge of stores that they patronize.


25 posted on 12/27/2012 8:58:47 AM PST by longfellowsmuse (last of the living nomads)
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To: NathanR

And oggling the beautiful black barrista behind the counter.


26 posted on 12/27/2012 8:59:42 AM PST by onedoug
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To: US Navy Vet

I love coffee, but not Starbucks. They consistently over-roast the beans or something - can’t stand the stuff.


27 posted on 12/27/2012 9:01:03 AM PST by MissMagnolia
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To: longfellowsmuse

I personally don’t care. I spend my money on the product. What is done with the profits is irrelevant to me.


28 posted on 12/27/2012 9:01:49 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: CatherineofAragon

You must not live where there are a lot of military.


29 posted on 12/27/2012 9:04:10 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: stuartcr

your point of view is as valid as those who do care...it is your right as a consumer to spend your money however you please


30 posted on 12/27/2012 9:05:20 AM PST by longfellowsmuse (last of the living nomads)
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To: RJS1950
"In Seattle, the city of a million Starbucks (one or two for every city block) it certainly seems like a cult."

I can't stand the atmosphere in Starbucks, the waiting in line and the arrogant attitude of the cultists ordering their special drinks with details longer than the preamble to the constitution. It's like they're pledging allegiance to some sort of coffee bean deity. Subsequently, I haven't been in one since the late 90's.

However, there are two markets I shop at that have Starbucks franchises in them. When ever I pass that area of the store my dislike for the cultists is reaffirmed. The people with silly clothes and dreadlock hair that come to sit there with their laptops in some sort of pompous show of superiority creeps me out.

31 posted on 12/27/2012 9:09:16 AM PST by Baynative
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To: longfellowsmuse

I agree


32 posted on 12/27/2012 9:09:52 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: Baynative

The only SB we stop at occasionally is the one in our Base Exchange. Of course, the clientelle there is somewhat more select.


33 posted on 12/27/2012 9:16:03 AM PST by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: onedoug

Haven’t run into many of those. We tend to get the other races here in Orange County.


34 posted on 12/27/2012 9:17:19 AM PST by NathanR
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To: BluH2o

I think I’ve darkened the threshold of a Starbuck’s a half dozen times; my last visit was in 2000.

After waiting in line twelve minutes, I had the pleasure of arguing with a fetus behind the counter exactly how an “espresso americano” was made, did not get what I ordered, and was overcharged.

I’d rather pay a hobo to make me coffee in a soup can over a buffalo chip bonfire.


35 posted on 12/27/2012 9:18:26 AM PST by fattigermaster
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To: US Navy Vet
All the cults I've been a member of had coffee made out of unburned coffee beans and was it reasonably fresh. Even AA coffee is better, not that I'm calling them a cult...much...and not that I was a member of AA. Nor am I saying that I should be a member of AA and am not a member. Nor am I currently a member of a cult though some might disagree.

Starbucks charges like a Mooney cult though. Outrageous prices for what you get.

36 posted on 12/27/2012 9:22:49 AM PST by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: US Navy Vet
People of Walmart meet People of Starbucks
37 posted on 12/27/2012 9:25:35 AM PST by TexasCajun
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To: US Navy Vet

Got a Starbucks gift certificate for $10. I wonder what the expiration date is. Will gift it forward.


38 posted on 12/27/2012 9:26:16 AM PST by SkyDancer (Live your life in such a way that the Westboro church will want to picket your funeral.)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Hubby and I went to a restaurant that was full where they give you a pager that beeps when it is your turn. Next door was a Starbucks so we got a cup of overpriced coffee and sat outside and laughed at all the pretentious idiots going in and out until our pager beeped.
Only time I have ever been to a Starbucks.


39 posted on 12/27/2012 9:27:26 AM PST by sheana
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To: US Navy Vet

I confess to getting a latte there now and then. To Go. Those 20k machines can make some mean espresso and I haven’t found a better elsewhere, yet.


40 posted on 12/27/2012 9:31:10 AM PST by Gasshog (Welcome to the United States of Stupidos!)
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To: US Navy Vet

Cult/Clique/addiction/the in thing like the Apple/IPhone/IPad/IMac cult/clique/addiction and/or addiction to Starbuck products.

We have a young relative couple with the above. He has the Starbuck problem and she has the Apple/IPhone/IPad/IMac cult/clique/ problem. Both are in their forties, with good degrees, good workers and good parents. They have two great kids, a great credit rating and have no debt besides their mortgage.

I posted about her Apple/IPhone/IPad/IMac cult/clique/addiction problem recently. She has the latest Iphone, IPad and IMac, and she can’t leave them alone. I offered her a hundred $’s if she would not use her Apple/IPhone/IPad/IMac for 24 hours. She got red faced and refused the easy $100. Her husband offered a $100 if she didn’t use her Apple/IPhone/IPad/IMac for the next 6 hours. She refused that and refused a 4 hour offer.

The husband is addicted to Starbucks. He stops each morning before work at a Starbuck Drive thru. He buys the SB large coffee to go. Then, he has a bottle of Frapicino at 10:30, 12:30 and 3:30. He avoids going into a Starbucks as he doesn’t care for the crowd inside. So he uses the Drive Thru lane to feed his addiction and buys the SB Frapicino by the case at grocery stores.

This past week he was still kidding her about her Apple problem. I offered him $200 if during the work week, he didn’t feed his Starbucks addiction. He shook his head no. His wife made the same offer if he didn’t feed the Starbuck addiction for a single work day. He refused.

The truly afflicted are those with the Apple/IPhone/IPad/IMac cult/clique/addiction problem er products coupled with a Starbucks problem. They are like zombies/the living dead going to their local Starbucks to buy SB’s products to drink while using SB’s WiFi with their Apple/IPhone/IPad/IMac cult/clique/addiction problem er products.


41 posted on 12/27/2012 9:32:06 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Tagline space for rent to pay for some of my extra taxes the next 4 years!)
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To: US Navy Vet

Never been to a Barsucks for their coffee. We did have it at a conference several years ago. I drank part of one cup and poured the rest down the bathroom sink.


42 posted on 12/27/2012 9:35:19 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (0 bummer inherited a worse economy in 2012 than he did in 2008.)
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To: US Navy Vet
I have a relative that just recently left Starbucks after a number of years. Starbucks treats their employees well. There is a career path there and they expect to retain employees.

Starbucks sells more than coffee. Starbucks sells pseudo-relationshps. People who work at Starbucks are chosen for their people skills and interesting qualities. Customers get to know the associates and over time form bonds that encourage the customer's to come back again and again. Most baristas have a fan base.

In this relationship-hungry society, this works and works well. I saw this in action when having a few meals with my barista relative in the city she works in. No matter where she went, Starbuck customers stop at her table to “catch up” to say hello, to check in and introduce the wife or husband to her, to ask her when she will be on next and so on. Not just one time each meal. It was a constant.

Starbucks baristas get asked home for Christmas dinner with families, and occasionally to the beach with a needy mother. They do not go, and some are puzzled at the fervor of their customers.

Most of the baristas would not phrase it this way, but they are actors. They offer a illusion of friendship in a friendship-hungry world.

43 posted on 12/27/2012 9:35:35 AM PST by Chickensoup (Leftist Totalitarian Fascism coming to a country like yours.)
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To: Chickensoup

“Starbucks sells pseudo-relationshps” sure sounds like a CULT to me.


44 posted on 12/27/2012 9:41:41 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: sheana

There’s certainly nothing pretentious about sitting there laughing at pretentious people...


45 posted on 12/27/2012 9:42:09 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: stuartcr
I’m having an excellent SB bold, black...$1.56

That's exactly what I have every morning. My husband doesn't drink coffee, and I don't want to make a pot just for my one cup a day so I drive up the street to our one and only SB, go through their drive through and order a "tall, black, bold". My only problem is it now costs $1.65 instead of the former $1.56 in our area.

Must confess, sometimes as a special treat I'll also get their sausage egg breakfast sandwich .

46 posted on 12/27/2012 9:42:35 AM PST by mupcat
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
I happen to like Starbucks.

Me too. But then I like very strong coffee, I make my coffee at home pretty strong. I haven’t had the bad experiences, the rude or snotty baristas at Starbucks that others have had. Every time I’ve gone to a Starbucks, the people waiting on me have been very friendly and very proficient and I haven’t run into swarms of crazed liberals either, just regular folks like me who want a latte and or a pastry. And I’ve never ordered a drink at Starbucks that wasn’t exactly as I ordered it. I don’t go to Starbucks often or anywhere else for that matter for coffee on the go, not in my budget now days (and even don’t get me started on how horrible McDonald’s coffee is), I usually brew at home and take some in my travel mug. But I got a $15 Starbucks gift card for Christmas and I’m really looking forward to a few Caramel Macchiatos.

47 posted on 12/27/2012 9:43:18 AM PST by MD Expat in PA
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To: US Navy Vet

“Starbucks sells pseudo-relationshps” sure sounds like a CULT to me.

______________

You could call it that. Most service providing organizations sell some version of pseudo-relationship. That special hairdresser, stockbroker....on and on.

Starbucks has combined this service aspect with a product.


48 posted on 12/27/2012 9:44:19 AM PST by Chickensoup (Leftist Totalitarian Fascism coming to a country like yours.)
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To: mupcat

The wifi, newspapers and comfortable chairs make most SBs a pleasant place to get a cup and relax. I don’t live in a big city, so I don’t know what people here are talking about.


49 posted on 12/27/2012 9:49:03 AM PST by stuartcr ("Everything happens as God wants it to, otherwise, things would be different.")
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To: CatherineofAragon

“Here in conservative central Virginia, it looks like the entire liberal/Northeastern transplant population in this area congregates at Starbucks. They all look like pseudo-intellectual leftwingers, right down to the skinny wirerim-bespectacled men with scarves looped jauntily (and might I say, queerly) around their necks. They prominently carry their Starbucks cups, thinking it’s fashionable to be seen toting the logo.”

BOL! We have had the privilege of meeting a great woman in her 40’s. She has both feet on the ground and has more job offers floating aroound than most people ever dream about.

She has been divorced for over a decade, She told us about shortly after she and her husband were married, they lived in a great apartment building in San Francisco with a group of other newly marrieds. In about a year, her new husband had gone through 3 jobs and was unemployed.

Re the lack of employment status for husbands, he turned out to a “norm” for their group. The looking for a more suitable job guys with the wives would meet for morning coffee at a local SBs. Then, the women would go to work. Their looking for the perfect job husbands stayed at the SB’s for more coffee to bemoan their status or maybe enjoying it more after their working wives left.

This group of successful career women started discussing this and a couple of the gals would have a cab drive by the SB’s in good weather. Often their husbands would be outside the SB’s having lunch.

The non pregnant women started filling for divorce. Many were hit with alimony suits and ended up paying including this lady. Recently, judges have been ending the alimony suits after the SB’s losers/guys still were unemployed after a decade.


50 posted on 12/27/2012 9:58:45 AM PST by Grampa Dave (Tagline space for rent to pay for some of my extra taxes the next 4 years!)
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