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What is Free Republic? How does it work? What's in it for ME? [Practical advice for beginners.]
Welcome, and Thanks [Newbies Especially, Please Read] ^ | May 21, 2003 | RonDog (and FRiends)

Posted on 05/21/2003 1:33:29 AM PDT by RonDog

I have been asked by a group of politically active "not-yet-FReepers" (at my local NRA chapter) to explain to them (in forty-five minutes or less) how to use this extraordinary forum.

They would like for me to tell them:
What (exactly) **is** Free Republic?
How does it work?
Why can it do for ME?
I of course have MY OWN ideas about this place, but what do YOU tell people who have never been here before?
How do YOU use this forum?
Why do YOU visit here?
What advice can YOU give to "newbies" here?
Perhaps the BEST way to demonstrate the power of Free Republic is to post a thread, and ask for YOUR advice.
What say YOU, my fellow FReepers?


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Free Republic; Government; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons; Politics/Elections; US: California; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: faq; hughhewitt
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I will start.
1 - Free Republic is a conservative Internet news forum.
This is a place where concerned citizens can:
- FIND news and information,
- COMMENT on that news and information,
- PROMOTE future activism, and
- DOCUMENT past activism, in words and images.
(Some folks also use this place to build relationships, argue about religion and politics, and share their own unique brand of political humor, but those are SECONDARY benefits of this forum, IMHO.)
2 - Free Republic is HUGE.
Finding what you want here is sometimes like trying to get a drink from a fire hydrant.

Every day, over TEN THOUSAND articles and replies are posted here.
(CLICK HERE to see the daily statistics.)

FR's basic structure works like this:
Someone posts an "article" - ideally a news story that they found somewhere on the Internet.
Others then post their "replies" to that article - to form a "thread" of related ideas and images.

3 - Free Republic is a (moderated) PUBLIC "marketplace of ideas."
Within reason, just about ANY idiot can post here, and many do. :o)

There are, however, mysterious beings (known collectively as the Admin Moderator) - who enforce the rules around here:

- NO profanity,
- NO racism, and
- NO personal attacks.
Moderators have the power to delete ANYTHING here - from a single reply to an entire thread, and can punish repeat offenders by restricting their posting privileges, or even BANNING them from ever posting here again.
(CLICK HERE to find out more about the dreaded Admin Moderators.)
Beyond that, YOU get to be your own editor here, rather than having to depend upon the judgment of some left-wing "agenda journalist" at CNN or the New York Times to tell you what is "newsworthy" and what is not.

YOU decide what to read here, and what to ignore.
Similarly, while YOU can exercize your God-given First Amendment rights to free speech here, OTHERS can exercize THEIR God-given right to ignore you.
I have much more that I plan share here - later.
For now, though, I will let some OTHERS post their thoughts and ideas.

1 posted on 05/21/2003 1:33:29 AM PDT by RonDog
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To: doug from upland; ALOHA RONNIE; DLfromthedesert; PatiPie; flamefront; onyx; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Irma; ...
ping
2 posted on 05/21/2003 1:35:24 AM PDT by RonDog
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To: AnnaZ; Mercuria; feinswinesuksass; DoughtyOne; Cinnamon Girl; Tony in Hawaii; Bob J; diotima; ...
ping
3 posted on 05/21/2003 1:36:46 AM PDT by RonDog
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To: RonDog
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b84f77b74f1.htm
R U new? Some Tips....
( things I wish somebody had mentioned to me... )

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/862546/posts
Free Republic Dictionary-Help For Newcomers
Old FR Thread ^ | 3/11/03 | Various FReepers

http://www.gettingstarted.net/howto/practice/

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/586112/posts
Researchers: What are your favorite research sites?
Bump in the night | December 7, 2001 | Bump in the night

4 posted on 05/21/2003 1:59:58 AM PDT by backhoe
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To: RonDog
I'm new to FR and I'm an evolving conservative. I was raised in a Democrat household, lived in the independent landscape for awhile and finally with the last administration admitted to myself that I really am a conservative . (Though I don't think my family knows yet that I'm now a registered Republican.)

This is a place where I can learn from the wisdom of others. (With a solid skepticism of anything I read online.) What is the history of a position, and how did a movement evolve? What are appropriate responses to concerns the 'dark side' may have about a conservative position? There have been several times during a discussion with one of my liberal co-workers when they've been blathering on and on about something. I'll ask a question I've seen raised here and say, "so, if all of what you're saying is true, how do you explain ________?" the usual response is something like "is that true, well I don't know about that then." And the topic gets changed to some other rant.

I live in a very liberal area of the country (Seattle suburbia). Visiting FR helps me keep my sanity. After a day of listening to people talk about the "good old days of the Clinton administration" and mean it, it's reassuring to come here and know that everyone in the world is not completely insane.
5 posted on 05/21/2003 2:03:35 AM PDT by not_apathetic_anymore
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To: RonDog
There are, however, mysterious beings (known collectively as the Admin Moderator) - who enforce the rules around here: - NO profanity, - NO racism, and - NO personal attacks.

Of course, you're free to be as critical of Bubba and Hitlery as you wish, BUT nary a discrediting word about Little Joey Smith, his famous peep hat or the resultant Mormon church.

6 posted on 05/21/2003 2:06:38 AM PDT by winstonchurchill
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To: RonDog
Here is a FReeper Newbie Orientation I give offer to new FReepers . . .

Here is a link. Go to post #116 first (link should take you right to that post), and look under "Pictures". That will give a walk-thru for picture posting. That article gives a lot of very useful and helpful tips on HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), which you need to post on FR. There are other related links and information there as well.

Click Here.

You might want to bookmark that article. Bookmarking puts an article on your FReeper Profile page for quick and easy referencing. See post #53 & 59 for bookmarking instructions.

If you have any questions or problems, feel free to send me a Freep mail or a note and we’ll work through it.


7 posted on 05/21/2003 2:23:10 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: RonDog
Free Republic is a haven of sanity in a world gone mad. It is a place for information, speculation, education, reflection and even an element of sprituality.

It is a forum populated by people from all walks of life who are collectively some of the most intelligent, witty and passionate people you could care to meet. Of course, there a few of these people around, but they spice the place up a bit.

It is THE place to get the latest news, relax and unwind, laugh, make friends and even follow events as they happen BEFORE they make the news.

I could say a lot more, but I have to get ready for work now. I'm sure you will get lots of responses though. If there is one thing that FReepers like to talk about, it is how great FR is. Will check the thread when I get home tonight.

HAPPY FREEPING!

8 posted on 05/21/2003 2:27:59 AM PDT by sweetliberty ("Having the right to do a thing is not at all the same thing as being right in doing it.")
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To: pamward
Check this out !
9 posted on 05/21/2003 2:32:20 AM PDT by Ben Bolt
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To: RonDog
Now, then. The very first and most important lesson of all: proper flaming technique. Oh, yes.

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3ae062430192.htm
10 posted on 05/21/2003 2:32:45 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.)
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To: RonDog
In the Clinton years, I learned to parse everything he said. During the same time period, I learned to parse everything the media writes or broadcasts. Freerepublic was my teacher.
11 posted on 05/21/2003 2:41:20 AM PDT by Free State Four
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To: RonDog
RonDog -

In 45 minutes you could make lifelong devotees of the entire audience by doing it right.

I have done many shows to audiences. They need to see and hear to really appreciate.

1) Look for a venue where you can get to a high-speed internet connection. Even a couple hundred feet of Cat-5 back to someone's network jack may be enough.

2) Use a laptop and projector and push the image to a big screen.

3) Bring a sound system (A boom box will do if it allows for an aux input).

4) Demonstrate how to search. Use keywords that are also buzzwords for the group and see how quick they get into it.

5) Show them anything posted by MiaT or Registered so they might have a true taste of the possibilities. (Turn the sound up high)

6) Use screen capture techniques and show how to register, how to set preferences.

7) Have some hand-outs for those that will forget everything. I used to end some of my shows with the voice of Homer Simpson "I haven't learned a thing!" So give them something to get them started, once they get home.

8) Ask for emails and send them a list of html links, especially those already shared on this thread.

9) Have fun. Expect the unplanned and just run with it.
12 posted on 05/21/2003 3:03:56 AM PDT by Dustoff45
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To: RonDog
FR is a marketplace of ideas. You can read articles from all over the world with comments by those living in many of the countries.

You will have an understanding of the news that you cannot get from any other source.

Even though it is a Conservative website, liberal ideas are posted and rationally discussed.

You will get some flame wars (stay away from posts on drugs and libertarians, a volatile mix), but by-in-large the discourse is fairly civil. Be prepared to defend your position, since not all will agree with you.

If you listen to talk radio, you will see where many get their topics of the day- from FR.
13 posted on 05/21/2003 3:39:39 AM PDT by KeyWest
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To: Dustoff45
html links = hyperlinks
14 posted on 05/21/2003 4:04:47 AM PDT by Dustoff45
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To: RonDog
B(ump) T(o) T(he) T(op)
15 posted on 05/21/2003 5:22:08 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: not_apathetic_anymore
A little piece of history.....

FreeRepublic: How it looked in 1996! 1997! 1998!

16 posted on 05/21/2003 5:27:19 AM PDT by b4its2late (Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.)
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To: backhoe
Free Republic Statistics & Stuff
17 posted on 05/21/2003 5:30:45 AM PDT by b4its2late (Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.)
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To: RonDog
I basically credit FR with my transformation into a conservative.

I started lurking here around the 2000 election, and then after 9/11 I started posting.

Also it has been tremendously educational. I don't think anywhere else I would have been exposed to writers like David Horowitz, Victor Hanson, Charles Krauthammer, and (shudder) Ann Coulter.

Some of the threads on economics have truly blown my mind, as well as some of the constitutional law threads.

To be sure there are plenty of junk "vanity" threads. I personally avoid Dixie Chick, Laci Peterson, "Caption this Photo", and "Freep this poll" threads.

But there are some awesome forum posters who do a great service. I would mention Diogenesis, JohnHuang2, Southack, longjack, and many others.



18 posted on 05/21/2003 5:31:57 AM PDT by mikenola
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To: RonDog
A very succinct and complete synopsis there, RonDog. I'd been puzzling over how to explain Our Thing to some friends of mine other than saying "Just try it, d3wd", and now you've made it easy. Thanks!
19 posted on 05/21/2003 5:33:45 AM PDT by strela (Will SIG for food)
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To: RonDog; Alamo-Girl; All
NEWCOMERS: Welcome Center and Information Desk by Alamo Girl
20 posted on 05/21/2003 5:42:01 AM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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To: RonDog
Advice to newbies:

Always remember and don't ever forget: Free Republic is an acquired taste.

Best regards,

21 posted on 05/21/2003 5:44:22 AM PDT by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: RonDog
Good idean Ron. I just sent an email to several friends with a link to this post. We may welcome a few more into the fold.

SCOUTS OUT!

22 posted on 05/21/2003 5:45:47 AM PDT by ladtx ("...the very obsession of your public service must be Duty, Honor, Country." D. MacArthur)
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To: RonDog
Free Republic is the intellectual crack cocaine of the internet. Read just one more article, scan just a few more posts, find just one more factoid . Drivers of the economy, engineers, entrepreneurs and the like tend to be conservative. And now there's 100,000 of them FReeping half the day away in the office, and coming in to work bleary-eyed after FReeping half the night.

FR's political influence cannot be underestimated. But if FR were to fold, I bet it would add 2% growth to the GDP.

It's addictive. Sign up and poverty will be your lot. I predict that FReepers will soon be begging/protesting in airports, living off half the proceeds and sending the rest to FR, to support our habits.

My name is MalcolmS, and I'm a FReepaholic.
.
.
.
.

Just kidding folks. Come on in, the water's fine.
23 posted on 05/21/2003 5:46:31 AM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
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To: RonDog
What (exactly) **is** Free Republic?

A website thingie.

How does it work?

The server connects to the hip bone....

Why can it do for ME?

Ask not what your FreeRepublic can do for you. Ask what you can do for your FreeRepublic.


24 posted on 05/21/2003 6:13:34 AM PDT by lowbridge (Rob: I have a five letter word: F-R-E-E-P. Freep. Jerry: Freep? What's that? -Dick Van Dyke Show)
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To: RonDog
You done good kid!
Re the zot page..I think I hurt myself laughing.
25 posted on 05/21/2003 6:32:07 AM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: lowbridge
I think of FR as a family....w/a few crazy relatives....of news junkies who also have funny bones that get a kick out of witty remarks.
26 posted on 05/21/2003 6:32:52 AM PDT by Carolinamom
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To: not_apathetic_anymore
'After a day of listening to people talk about the "good old days of the Clinton administration" and mean it, it's reassuring to come here and know that everyone in the world is not completely insane.'

You poor thing---I think I would go postal if I had to listen to that bilge daily! I grew up in Indiana, which was a Republican stronghold, although for some reason, they seem to favor Dems as governors now, now I live in OK, which is fairly conservative, but we also have a Dem governor (Brad Henry). I grew up in a conservative household but I rebelled a bit in my post-adolescent years, straying more to the center, but my husband brought me back into line :)

Welcome to FR!
27 posted on 05/21/2003 6:37:25 AM PDT by Okies love Dubya 2
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To: b4its2late
Thanks!
28 posted on 05/21/2003 6:40:27 AM PDT by backhoe (The 1990's will be forever remembered as "The Decade of Fraud(s)..."( Oslo, dot-bombs, clintons...))
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To: RonDog
******Fifth Edition of the Lexicon of FreeRepublic * * A helpful FR dictionary for newcomers * ************

Very useful in learning about freeper lingo and some freeper lore.

Now you don't have to be in the dark about "bump," "ping," etc.

29 posted on 05/21/2003 6:42:17 AM PDT by Carolina
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To: backhoe
Pretty neat, isn't it? I saved it as a FReeper link.
30 posted on 05/21/2003 6:43:08 AM PDT by b4its2late (Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Thank you so much for the Welcome Center link! Hugs!!!
31 posted on 05/21/2003 6:48:58 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: RonDog
It's like a brain-storming and fact-finding incubator.
32 posted on 05/21/2003 6:49:11 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: RonDog

You forgot to mention it's a great way to meet babes.


33 posted on 05/21/2003 6:51:27 AM PDT by Fintan (I don't like tag lines so I sunbathe nude.)
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To: RonDog
Knowledge is POWER!
34 posted on 05/21/2003 7:02:15 AM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
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To: Fintan; TigersEye; .30Carbine; Lazamataz; technochick99
You forgot to mention it's a great way to meet babes.
LOL!
See also:

TigersEye and .30Carbine meet on FR; engaged to be married
Free Republic ^ | 12-05-01 | TigersEye and .30Carbine/FR/God
Posted on 12/05/2001 1:55 AM PST by .30Carbine

-- snip --

Announcement: TigersEye and .30Carbine met on FR on August 16th, 2001. Bumps and thread chats turned into FReepmails...FReepmails turned into emails...emails became phone calls...phone calls led to pictures by US Mail...

...until TigersEye arrived in VT by plane on November 21st at midnight, the night before Thanksgiving. On his knees he proposed, placing a (large) diamond on .30's finger...

....30Carbine said yes.

CLICK HERE for the rest of that thread

35 posted on 05/21/2003 7:09:26 AM PDT by RonDog
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To: MalcolmS; Nita Nuprez; Dog Gone; Nita Nupress; AnnaZ
Free Republic is the intellectual crack cocaine of the internet...
...It's addictive. Sign up and poverty will be your lot. I predict that FReepers will soon be begging/protesting in airports, living off half the proceeds and sending the rest to FR, to support our habits.

My name is MalcolmS, and I'm a FReepaholic.
See also:
I Can Stop FReeping ANYTIME I WANT (thread 2)
      Posted by Dog Gone
On 03/10/2000 8:28 AM PST with 144 comments


Vanity | 03/09/2000 15:25:28 PST | Nita Nuprez and Dog Gone
     
 
I Can Stop FReeping ANYTIME I WANT
      Posted by Dog Gone
On 03/09/2000 2:23 PM PST with 185 comments


Vanity | March 9, 2000 | Nita Nuprez and Dog Gone
and:
(ULTIMATE VANITY!!!) MY SPOUSE ORDERED ME OFF FR FOR 7 DAYS!!!
      Posted by AnnaZ
On 11/03/2000 9:51 AM PST with 195 comments


36 posted on 05/21/2003 7:20:07 AM PDT by RonDog
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To: RonDog
Just my opinion (worth what you pay for it)
  1. Information - news that the leftist media does not consider "fit to print" because it contradicts their agenda of establishing a totalitarian police/welfare state in the USA
  2. Encourgement - lets you know that you're not alone in thinking that taxes are too high, criminals, not guns are bad, politicians are liars, reporters are even worse liars than politicians etc.
  3. Confrontation - lets you go head to head with idiots who don't agree with you and may the most cogent argument win. (and by definition anyone who doesn't agree with you is an idiot :-)
  4. Dissemination - allows you to publish information on political activism and organize opposition to the aforementioned police/welfare state so beloved of the media
There are lost of others, but those are the main ones.
37 posted on 05/21/2003 7:28:29 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: RonDog
2 - Free Republic is HUGE.

I think you mean HUGH.

38 posted on 05/21/2003 9:15:52 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (That's my theory and I'm sticking to it! At least for the present . . .)
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To: JohnnyZ
I think you mean HUGH. - you series?
39 posted on 05/21/2003 1:48:49 PM PDT by Free_at_last_-2001 (is clinton in jail yet?)
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To: Free_at_last_-2001; JohnnyZ
I think you mean HUGH. - you series?

Vey funny, guys.

40 posted on 05/21/2003 1:54:37 PM PDT by kevao
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To: RonDog
When I first got on here I remember there being some sort of lexicon or glossary page with all the meanings of commonly used terms like clymer and blogger and arkancide. Where is it now? That would certainly be useful for the newbies.

Do it for the children, RonDog!
41 posted on 05/21/2003 2:18:35 PM PDT by Rockitz (After all these years, it's still rocket science.)
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To: kevao
Free Republic is becoming the Ebay of ideas. Its impact is becoming enormous. In terms of conservative media, I'd rank Rush Limbaugh(radio), Fox News (TV) and Free Republic (internet) as the most influencial and powerful today. They are important building blocks of the newly emerged Republican majority.
42 posted on 05/21/2003 2:32:13 PM PDT by winner3000
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To: Rockitz
When I first got on here I remember there being some sort of lexicon or glossary page with all the meanings of commonly used terms like clymer and blogger and arkancide. Where is it now? That would certainly be useful for the newbies.
Check out post #29 in this thread:
To: RonDog

******Fifth Edition of the Lexicon of FreeRepublic
* * A helpful FR dictionary for newcomers * *
***********

Very useful in learning about freeper lingo and some freeper lore.

Now you don't have to be in the dark about "bump," "ping," etc.

29 posted on 05/21/2003 6:42 AM PDT by Carolina


43 posted on 05/21/2003 2:45:51 PM PDT by RonDog
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To: backhoe
nice links bump...
44 posted on 05/21/2003 2:51:13 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: RonDog
They need to be warned. This place will sink its hooks into you and you'll end up a babbling, drooling fool who wears out his "refresh" button and ends up posting one last time from work and then risking life and limb to race home and do a furious "self-search" to pick up the thread. I say this because there still be a chance for neophyte FReepers but anyone who is actually reading this is most likely already doomed.

"That's hugh, IMHO, and a BTT for the Viking Kitties" is too a meaningful sentence in the English language!

45 posted on 05/21/2003 3:02:26 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: RonDog
BTTT


46 posted on 05/21/2003 3:05:54 PM PDT by CyberCowboy777 (In those days... Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.)
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To: RonDog
I would have lost my ever-lovin' mind if it hadn't been for
FreeRepublic.com during the Clinton years. Thank God for Jim Robinson!!!
47 posted on 05/21/2003 3:15:57 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy (Free Miguel)
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To: GOPJ
Thank you!
48 posted on 05/21/2003 3:35:42 PM PDT by backhoe
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To: backhoe
Vey hugh series bump for later, prolly.
49 posted on 05/21/2003 4:13:36 PM PDT by lorrainer (FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION. It comes bundled with the software.)
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To: RonDog
Very nice, Ron!

An open arms welcome to all the newbies.
50 posted on 05/21/2003 4:37:26 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma
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