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Stars' views shouldn't be so easily written off (Barf Alert)
Pioneer Press | Pioner Press | Laura Billings

Posted on 02/11/2003 9:14:33 AM PST by dts32041

Jessica Lange is against it. So is Susan Sarandon.

Bonnie Raitt's not in favor of bombing Baghdad. Neither are Michael Stipe, Madonna and Martin Sheen, who plays a president on television but thinks the real one is a "moron.''

When it comes to the impending war on Iraq, a phalanx of famous faces is speaking out against it. Which means that everything they say is being blasted by pro-war pundits, who believe celebrities should confine their opinions to the Zone diet and stay out of demilitarized zones.

Take for instance the shellacking that singer Sheryl Crow recently got after appearing at the American Music Awards in a T-shirt sequined with the message "War is not the answer.'' As she told reporters, "I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies."

Though Jesus Christ, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. all expressed similar thoughts, they didn't have the misfortune of living in a world with FOX News. Conservative critics were worse to her than music critics, referring to her as a "noted geopolitical strategist" who "probably thinks Saddam Hussein is a New York City cabdriver.''

It's true, she might not have been especially eloquent on the subject, but neither is our own president. Just a few days after the Crow flap, Bush was quoted saying the United States had to go to war against Iraq because of Saddam Hussein's "willingness to terrorize himself.'' It's a safe bet no one on FOX News made fun of him.

Sean Penn, who seems to have replaced Barbra Streisand as the most hated liberal on talk radio, was in for worse ridicule after the actor placed an anti-war ad in the Washington Post in October. "Bombing answered by bombing, mutilation by mutilation, killing by killing, is a pattern that only a great country like ours can stop,'' Penn wrote in an open letter to the president. He followed up in December with a trip to Baghdad, an attempt to educate himself about the real causes and consequences of a war in that region.

For his troubles — his earnest intention of finding a peaceful solution, rather than a war that will surely lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis — he has been called a "traitor." No doubt his ex-wife, Madonna, can expect the same treatment when she releases a new single this week with a strong anti-war message.

The conservative "Drudge Report" says the video shows her dressed in fatigues and throwing grenades in a landscape of limbless men and women.

The question I have is, why do we so easily dismiss the opinions of famous people, as if they're nothing but "limousine liberals"? (Itself a laughable epithet, as if conservatives are all driving around in Corollas, or being ridiculously rich discounts your opinion on political issues.)

Streisand is continually derided for mixing up Iran and Iraq, and yet no one complains when the president says Iraq was responsible for 9/11. Does anyone remember al-Qaida?

Though there is a strong anti-war movement in this country, it is also strangely muted. And no wonder.

The way the administration has framed the argument, as good against evil, simply asking why (Why us? Why now? Why them? Why not North Korea?) casts the questioner on the wrong side.

Standing up against this march to war takes a big voice, a big ego and maybe even big box office. No wonder Hollywood seems perfect for this casting call.

After getting a lifetime achievement award in London, actor Dustin Hoffman said, "I believe — though I may be wrong because I am no expert — that this war is about what most wars are about: hegemony, money, power and oil.…

"I believe that administration has taken the events of 9/11 and has manipulated the grief of the country and I think that's reprehensible.''

Critics say a guy like him has no right to weigh in on the issues of the day; as he says, he's "no expert.''

But when it comes to understanding the spin doctoring and cynical manipulations that go on in D.C., Hoffman may have more expert standing than he lets on.

Did you ever see him in "Wag the Dog"?


Laura Billings can be reached at lbillings@pioneerpress.com or (651) 228-5584.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: hollyweird; wariraq; warmongers
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Just cause they have more money doesn't make them smart.

Remember the tulip at one time was the national currency of Holland.

1 posted on 02/11/2003 9:14:34 AM PST by dts32041
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To: dts32041
And I thought my local rags were an embarrassment...
2 posted on 02/11/2003 9:16:43 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: dts32041
Good heavens what an atrocious column! Thanks for the post. I need to know which morons to avoid (and to hold accountable when this all shakes out). Something tells me that there will be a nice whitewash once the tortured people of Iraq get to relate their experiences.
3 posted on 02/11/2003 9:18:23 AM PST by Mr. Bird
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To: dts32041
yet no one complains when the president says Iraq was responsible for 9/11. Does anyone remember al-Qaida?

No one complains because any sensible human knows there is a connection.

4 posted on 02/11/2003 9:21:55 AM PST by NC Conservative
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To: dts32041
Sean Penn, who seems to have replaced Barbra Streisand as the most hated liberal on talk radio,

No but maybe a close second.. Barbra is still at the top of the list..

5 posted on 02/11/2003 9:22:23 AM PST by Texas Mom
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To: dts32041
"The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies."

The best way to not have enemies is to get rid of them, by force if necesary!
6 posted on 02/11/2003 9:24:20 AM PST by AlabamaRebel (Sergeant, US Army 1978-1985)
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To: dts32041
Laura Billings can be reached at ...

With the delusions needed to write that creamy nonsense, I doubt Laura Billings can be reached by any method. I can't believe what passes for a publishable article these days.

7 posted on 02/11/2003 9:24:48 AM PST by jz638
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To: dts32041
rather than a war that will surely lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis

Maybe I'm out of line here, but don't the Iraqis bear some responsibility here. I mean, they know what kind of guy Saddam is. Sometimes you have got to get some guts and remove evil dictators from power (you know, the tree of liberty is nourished by the blood of tyrants). If you fail to do so, you open yourself up for the potential of a major war in your backyard.

8 posted on 02/11/2003 9:24:55 AM PST by Marc Poor
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To: Mr. Bird
Avoid is correct. Some of these people, if not most, have problems with drugs, alcohol and vilonce. These are the same atributes they try to sell our kids on TV.
They may have face time on TV but for the most part they represent the bottom crawlers in our society.
9 posted on 02/11/2003 9:25:50 AM PST by paguch
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To: dts32041
They're uneducated. End of story.
10 posted on 02/11/2003 9:26:03 AM PST by mabelkitty
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: dts32041
I remember putting a "Nixon" sticker on my Dad's car bumper during the election of 1960 (Nixon vs Kennedy). Though my Dad was a Republican, he was also a business man and he ordered me to take the sticker off with these words of wisdom:

"Buck", my customers are also Democrats, so are some of the people that work for me. I don't want to loose a sale to a Democrat or make a man angry that works for me. WE keep our politics at home and in the voting booth.

The people in H'Wood have taken their politics public and have exposed themselves to the scorn of some of their customers.

12 posted on 02/11/2003 9:28:03 AM PST by elbucko
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To: dts32041
The author is willfully ignorant, and is himself worth little more than a dismissal.

His comment on "limousine liberals" shows his ignorance, because he obviously does not know how the term is defined.
13 posted on 02/11/2003 9:29:21 AM PST by MrB
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To: dts32041

14 posted on 02/11/2003 9:29:47 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: elbucko
For his troubles — his earnest intention of finding a peaceful solution

Did I miss something? When did he become an "agent" for the government?

15 posted on 02/11/2003 9:30:12 AM PST by Howlin
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To: mewzilla
The question I have is, why do we so easily dismiss the opinions of famous people, as if they're nothing but "limousine liberals"?

Looks like Ms. Billings has some comprehension issues, doesn't it?

16 posted on 02/11/2003 9:32:18 AM PST by Howlin
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To: dts32041
"noted geopolitical strategist who probably thinks Saddam Hussein is a New York City cabdriver."

Sums it up for the lot of them.

17 posted on 02/11/2003 9:32:32 AM PST by Tribune7
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To: paguch
They may have face time on TV but for the most part they represent the bottom crawlers in our society.

Exactly! I wish I'd have said that.

18 posted on 02/11/2003 9:32:48 AM PST by elbucko
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To: coteblanche
You did say Ottawa, right?
19 posted on 02/11/2003 9:35:50 AM PST by mabelkitty
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To: dts32041; 2grit; 7beuties; Abe Froman; Abigail Adams; AdGal; Aeronaut; Gunder; AFCdt; Alpenkatze; ..
A minnesota BUMP. The Pioneer Press is usually a little less blatant in it's "leftist" drivel than its competitor the "Red Star & Sickle"

Shame on the PP for this article.

Laura Billings sounds about as clueless as they come.
20 posted on 02/11/2003 9:35:57 AM PST by Johnny Gage (God Bless our Military, God Bless President George W. Bush and God Bless America!)
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To: coteblanche
I agree completely. Their influence must not be underestimated.
It's too bad the person who wrote that article didn't see they fell for the same sham- that because someone is famous, they are somehow more important.
Those stars need to get off the set and take a step into the real world. Then they'd see how 'karmic' power and 'not making enemies' has got to be some of the most foolish commentary ever.
21 posted on 02/11/2003 9:38:54 AM PST by visualops (Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.)
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To: Howlin
When did he become an "agent" for the government?

Ours or Iraq's?

And what's with this author, anyway? She bucking for free tickets to the Oscars or something? Nice try, sweetie, but they dissed Gere this morning so you ain't even in the running. Nice try, though.

22 posted on 02/11/2003 9:40:30 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: mewzilla
Well, there is that.......LOL.

I'm getting SICK and TIRED of all these pseudo minds!

23 posted on 02/11/2003 9:41:16 AM PST by Howlin
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To: mewzilla
Certainly these libs have the right to express themselves, but their status as entertainers doesn't make their opinions any more valuable. If their credentials were an education in history, political science, etc. I'd probably listen more closely. Instead we're talking about people who make a living pretending to be someone, reading lines off a prepared script, signing, dancing, etc. I can play guitar - does that qualify me as a notable source for commentary on Rocket Science?

The author has no credibility. A case wasn't made here for anyone to value these entertainer's opinion. Gave no reason for it. The author merely cashes-in the same old liberal chips.

Is anyone else amazed/aware of how often we now here of a "conservative media"? I recognize they're probably talking about talk radio- but saying a lie over and over again often is perceived as truth by the weak of mind. Some strategery on the libs? I mean really, the day dominant media sources (ABC, CBS, NBC, & CNN) can be claimed as conservative will probably be a chilly day in Southern Hell.

24 posted on 02/11/2003 9:42:53 AM PST by Made In The USA (Where is the outrage?!)
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To: dts32041
Perhaps their views shouldn't be written off, but hopefully their careers will be.....and as for how smart this bunch really are, consider this:

Before Congress one Ted Danson (expert on ecology) said, "The oceans are dying and unless something is done, they will be dead in 10 years." So went the "expert" testimony of a Hollywood star, as spoken 15 YEARS AGO!!!!!

Let's not forget that the FIRST Earth Day in the early 70's, attended by many of the Hollywood left, warned the world of the coming ecological dissaster....a new ICE AGE.

Let's not forget the genious Kris Kristoffersen and Ed Asner joining with democrats to try to stop all support of the Freedom Fighters of Nicuargra. They both OPENLY supported the socialist Sandanistas ( a small band of murderers and bank robbers). And they both predicted, along with ABC News polls, that the Sandanistas would win the election (an election FORCED on them by Reagan). The Sandanistas were TROUNCED and remain out of power to this day....but if it had been left to Kris and Ed (and the democrats) the socialist murderers and bank robbers would have still ruled Nicuargra.
25 posted on 02/11/2003 9:45:40 AM PST by Moby Grape
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To: dts32041
Laura Billings

Another prime example of the product of public education!!!

26 posted on 02/11/2003 9:46:42 AM PST by bullseye1911
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To: dts32041
Guess what? Movies make 70% of their profits...overseas!!! You ever notice why actors always make their anti-US statements out of the country?? It's always about the money.
27 posted on 02/11/2003 9:47:43 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Made In The USA
Well, the good news is that they're squealing so loudly because their ox is being gored. Let'em rant. They only embarrass themselves, and I enjoy a certain amount of schadenfreud every now and again.
28 posted on 02/11/2003 9:48:00 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: dts32041
Truly great article!! Here, we have a list of commie-pinko, America-hating, ultra-left wingers who mouth negaative and cynical generalities about the president and his policies. Laura apparantly believes this is OK. And, it probably is because, as Americans they have a right to form an opinion about whether the price they paid for that dope was reasonable or anything else, for that matter.

But then, Laura goes on to suggest that others don't also have the right to form and speak opinions about what these same traitors, themselves, do and say! The leftists believe that they have the right to continue to control the media, as they have for many years, and set the limits of all discussion. Thus, the no-talant, do nothing to make millions, I got this gig because I have a relative in the biz, leftie entertainers should be able to say what they want and, because they are, well, lefties, not be criticized for waht they've said.

Oh, BTW, I hear Madonna's movie is in line for a bunch of awards. I am so happy for her!! Her talant certainly justifies all she will win!!

29 posted on 02/11/2003 9:51:43 AM PST by Tacis
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To: dts32041
"War is not the answer.'' As she told reporters, "I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies."

Though Jesus Christ, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. all expressed similar thoughts...

I'm going to have to do a little more Bible study. I don't recall Jesus ever mentioning karmic retributions.

But, He must have said it. I just saw it in the paper.

30 posted on 02/11/2003 9:53:07 AM PST by TontoKowalski
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To: Tacis
You forgot the punch line , their Razzies.

Only sly stallone has won more, than Madonna.

BTW does asnybody know if she won an award for her protrayal of a high powered b!tchy superstar in the BMW's driver series.

She didn't you say, cause it was just her being herself.

31 posted on 02/11/2003 9:57:44 AM PST by dts32041 (Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a "4".)
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To: mewzilla
And I thought my local rags were an embarrassment...

Now you know! Go in peace my friend knowing that is could be worse. :)

I haven't subscribed to those rags in 15yrs. Best dose of heart medication that I have ever taken!

32 posted on 02/11/2003 10:02:43 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: Made In The USA
I agree. The author is doing a little butt-smooching and little else. It's amusing that she doesn't understand the term 'limousine liberal.' Conservatives aren't the ones espousing anti-SUV messages at functions after arriving in limousines. Conservatives aren't the ones calling for gun control while hiring 24/7 armed bodyguards and sending their kids to private schools. This woman is as laughable as the idiots she claims to want to defend.

The funny thing is, this whole column could be slam-dunk satire. I mean, seriously, she's claiming Dustin Hoffman knows his stuff because he starred in "Wag the Dog?" Are we sure this person's a liberal? :)

Come on, democrats. Can't one of you come up with a truthful, honest debate?

33 posted on 02/11/2003 10:50:00 AM PST by lainie
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To: dts32041
It's true, she might not have been especially eloquent on the subject, but neither is our own president. Just a few days after the Crow flap, Bush was quoted saying the United States had to go to war against Iraq because of Saddam Hussein's "willingness to terrorize himself.'' It's a safe bet no one on FOX News made fun of him.

What a moron! She conveniently left out the comma from the statement...."willingness to terrorize, himself".

34 posted on 02/11/2003 2:05:05 PM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: dts32041
Following her logic, the next time I need some advice on acting, I guess I'll go chat up some random foreign policy expert.
35 posted on 02/11/2003 2:07:52 PM PST by zoyd (Actors = Foreign Policy Gurus...?)
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To: dts32041
Take for instance the shellacking that singer Sheryl Crow recently got after appearing at the American Music Awards in a T-shirt sequined with the message "War is not the answer.''

Gee, I seriously doubt she wore that T-Shirt WHEN SHE WENT TO KOSOVO WITH HILLARY CLINTON!!!

36 posted on 02/11/2003 2:10:14 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dts32041
Rush Limbaugh on Laura Billings:

Liberals Almost Figured It Out – Almost (November 14, 2002)

Laura Billings on the Wellstone "memorial":

Partisanship at memorial came as no surprise (October 30, 2002)

Little Laura apparently has a real bone for FOXNews & Rush. I'm so glad they, and we, are ticking her off.

Betcha reading the Free Republic would freeze the little dear's heart. ;-)

37 posted on 02/11/2003 2:12:32 PM PST by an amused spectator
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To: dts32041
Funny, I don't remember exactly where Jesus warned about "karmic retributions".
38 posted on 02/11/2003 2:21:31 PM PST by Lost Highway
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To: dts32041
Barf alert is right!

So... the question is, does Hollyweird take its cues from society, or does society take its cues from Hollyweird?
39 posted on 02/11/2003 2:35:23 PM PST by Terriergal (While people are saying,'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly 1Thess5:3)
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Johnny Gage
A minnesota BUMP. The Pioneer Press is usually a little less blatant in it's "leftist" drivel than its competitor the "Red Star & Sickle"

Shame on the PP for this article.

Laura Billings sounds about as clueless as they come.

She's been cranking out liberal position papers for a long time now. I think the SPPP figures it has to somehow balance Joe Soucheray's column with a polar opposite.

The SPPP, who used to maintain a slightly larger ideological distance from the Strib, recently wimped out by surgically implanting virtually the entire stable of New York Times op ed writers.

41 posted on 02/11/2003 3:44:38 PM PST by rhema
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To: dts32041
Of course Danny Glover hasn't helped matters any either.

Regards, Ivan

42 posted on 02/11/2003 3:46:11 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
Yeah and I realy liked him in Silverado.
43 posted on 02/11/2003 7:06:37 PM PST by dts32041 (Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a "4".)
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To: dts32041
"War is not the answer.''

Well wouldn't that depend on what the question is?
Q. My neighbor lets hid dog do its business on my lawn, what should I do?
A. War is not the answer

Q. A certain mideastern leader is threatening his neighbors and America and its allies, what should we do?
A. War is the answer.
44 posted on 02/11/2003 8:39:43 PM PST by Valin (Age and Deceit, beat youth and skill)
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To: lainie
Come on, democrats. Can't one of you come up with a truthful, honest debate?

This is a trick question right?
45 posted on 02/11/2003 8:42:07 PM PST by Valin (Age and Deceit, beat youth and skill)
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To: dts32041
I LOVE James Wood, he has a major in political science and is one of President Bushes staunchest hollywood supporters.

I can't remember the name of the actor, who, when asked what he thought of the Iraq situation, said "how should I know, I'm an actor, not the president." or something along those lines.

I liked James Wood before, but now I am one of his biggest fans, you should have heard him on Sean Hannity's show, he was magnificent!!!
46 posted on 02/11/2003 8:48:28 PM PST by Aric2000 (Are you on Grampa Dave's team? I am!! $5 a month is all it takes, come join!!!)
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To: All
Billings is your stereotypical "cute" quirky city liberal. She's a complete airhead. Plus, she's Nick Coleman's (another Press columnist) trophy wife which makes me wonder how bad his first wife was that he considers Billings an improvement. The only time I ever read her column is once a year when she prints a selection of the readers' letters she gets. It's all hate mail, and it's all hilarious.

Considering how almost everyone hates her, I agree that the only reason the Press has kept her around is to balance Soucheray. Thing is, people actually want to read him.

47 posted on 02/11/2003 8:56:30 PM PST by Hawkeye's Girl
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To: Valin
Isn't there at least one? Somewhere on the planet?
48 posted on 02/11/2003 9:30:05 PM PST by lainie
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To: All
bttt
49 posted on 02/12/2003 6:54:40 AM PST by new cruelty
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To: Hawkeye's Girl
Plus, she's Nick Coleman's (another Press columnist) trophy wife...

Nick's trophy wife? I didn't know that!

50 posted on 02/12/2003 7:21:33 AM PST by akorahil
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