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Capitalists and Other Psychopaths
NYTIMES Sunday Review ^ | May 12-13, 2012 | WILLIAM DERESIEWICZ

Posted on 05/14/2012 10:04:12 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay

THERE is an ongoing debate in this country about the rich: who they are, what their social role may be, whether they are good or bad. Well, consider the following. A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths,” exhibiting a lack of interest in and empathy for others and an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.” (The proportion at large is 1 percent.) Another study concluded that the rich are more likely to lie, cheat and break the law.

The only thing that puzzles me about these claims is that anyone would find them surprising. Wall Street is capitalism in its purest form, and capitalism is predicated on bad behavior. This should hardly be news. The English writer Bernard Mandeville asserted as much nearly three centuries ago in a satirical-poem-cum-philosophical-treatise called “The Fable of the Bees.”

“Private Vices, Publick Benefits” read the book’s subtitle. A Machiavelli of the economic realm

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: capitalism
Which came first:

Entrepreneurs aka the job creators or the workers aka the wealth creators?

1 posted on 05/14/2012 10:04:17 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay
A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths,” exhibiting a lack of interest in and empathy for others and an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.”

I dare them to conduct the same study at the New York Slimes.

2 posted on 05/14/2012 10:06:19 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Do I really need a sarcasm tag? Seriously? You're that dense?)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Capitalism my big hairy butt. Wall street has been in league with the government as of late. That is not capitalism at all.


3 posted on 05/14/2012 10:08:49 AM PDT by jimpick
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To: jimpick

It’s capitalism, just now the government has control of more of the capital.


4 posted on 05/14/2012 10:10:39 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Columbia, Yale, The Nation.....quite a resume this flaming pinko has.


5 posted on 05/14/2012 10:13:11 AM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: fight_truth_decay
capitalism is predicated on bad behavior. This should hardly be news. The English writer Bernard Mandeville asserted as much nearly three centuries ago in a satirical-poem-cum-philosophical-treatise called “The Fable of the Bees.”

The author either has not read The Fable of the Bees or is perhaps being dishonest here.

Mandeville was an influence on Keynes. He promoted the idea that prosperity comes from spending money, not saving/investing money.

Mandeville's book was scandalous in the early 1700s because he argued that drinkers, lechers, gamblers, etc. all helped the economy by freely spending money and basically redistributing wealth. Vice, he said, is good for society -- it gets money moving.

In today's world, Mandeville would surely be an Obama voter. It is a huge stretch to say that Mandeville was a capitalist.

6 posted on 05/14/2012 10:14:22 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin has become simply a stick with which to beat Whites.)
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To: fight_truth_decay
What is capitalism?

Republicans need to distinguish between multi-nationals, foreign owned, anti-American corporations; and Main Street USA.

Corporations are killing our culture.

7 posted on 05/14/2012 10:16:31 AM PDT by donna (The fruits of Feminism: Angry fathers, bitter mothers, fat kids and political correctness.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths,” exhibiting a lack of interest in and empathy for others and an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.”
...........................................................

My ex daughter in law does not work on Wall Street, but the rest of the description matches her perfectly.


8 posted on 05/14/2012 10:16:55 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: jimpick

“Wall street has been in league with the government as of late. That is not capitalism at all.”

Exactly right. Until people recognize that fact and quit tying it to capitalism, there will be no long term free enterprise in this country.


9 posted on 05/14/2012 10:20:29 AM PDT by WILLIALAL
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To: fight_truth_decay

This sums it up really, really well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dwz_Z62e0s

The money quote as it applies here:

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. - Adam Smith

That is the secret of the free markets. Build a better mousetrap and live in a nicer house.


10 posted on 05/14/2012 10:20:54 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: fight_truth_decay
In other words, . . . . Accounting fraud, tax evasion, toxic dumping, product safety violations, bid rigging, overbilling, perjury. . . . Shafting your workers, hurting your customers, destroying the land. Leaving the public to pick up the tab. These aren’t anomalies; this is how the system works: . . .

And yet, this evil, psychopathic system has generated more wealth and pulled more humans out of poverty and misery in the countries that tried it than any other system in the history of humanity. "Shafting your workers" -- and yet workers today in Capitalist countries have better living standards than workers in any other country and vastly better standards than workers had before Capitalism took hold. "Product safety violations" and yet, there are more products on the market that have materially benefited humanity than at any other time in human history.

This writer has absolutely no historical perspective. No understanding that, before Capitalism, people were literally dirt poor. They lived miserable subsistence existences. Now most people don't and its as a result of Capitalism.

11 posted on 05/14/2012 10:21:50 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: fight_truth_decay

politicians “are more likely to lie, cheat and break the law”


12 posted on 05/14/2012 10:27:32 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: fight_truth_decay
It may or may not be true. The question to ask is why would a psychopath end up in Wall Street?

Read “Snakes in Suits”. For some areas of finance, it would be reasonable to expect this. The high risk, high reward nature of the work would attract them, along with the rather unstructured environment at many firms.

13 posted on 05/14/2012 10:28:48 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: fight_truth_decay
Hummm. Let's see.
The Choice, as the NY Times puts it is...
I can choose between Liars Cheaters and Thieves.
Or.
Fascist/Socialist, Tyrants and Dictators, who Murder People by the MILLIONS.
I don't know. It's a tough choice, but I'll have to go with the Liars Cheaters and Thieves.
14 posted on 05/14/2012 10:28:56 AM PDT by Falcon4.0
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
... exhibiting a lack of interest in and empathy for others and an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.”

Gee, this sounds like the current resident of the WH.

15 posted on 05/14/2012 10:29:27 AM PDT by kosciusko51 (Enough of "Who is John Galt?" Who is Patrick Henry?)
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To: fight_truth_decay
A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths,” exhibiting a lack of interest in and empathy for others and an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.”

. . . And, as compared to those who work in government? Do we have those figures too?

16 posted on 05/14/2012 10:29:52 AM PDT by SamuraiScot
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To: fight_truth_decay

“Well, consider the following. A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths,” exhibiting a lack of interest in and empathy for others and an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.” (The proportion at large is 1 percent.) Another study concluded that the rich are more likely to lie, cheat and break the law.”

AKA - Obama Donors


17 posted on 05/14/2012 10:30:38 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Would you rather eat dog food or cat food? Guess it's Romney 2012.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I dare them to the same study on Congress, the Obama cabinet and the Obama “Czars.”


18 posted on 05/14/2012 10:31:09 AM PDT by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths”

Only 10 percent?

19 posted on 05/14/2012 10:32:23 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I would hazard a guess that 10% of any given population would fit the definition of “clinical psychopaths”.


20 posted on 05/14/2012 10:33:07 AM PDT by Josephat (`)
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To: fight_truth_decay

You never see Liberals giving their Resumes to Homeless People in order to get a job. It always seems to be the other way around. those that don’t realize this are psychos.


21 posted on 05/14/2012 10:35:40 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: dfwgator
"...capitalism is predicated on bad behavior."

Did "Capitalism" cause this?:

Or this?:

Or this?:

No. Socialism did. Not a "perversion" of socialism or a "misapplication" of socialism.

Socialism kills. First it kills the human spirit, and then it kills people.

Capitalism is predicated on freedom, human rights, sound money, voluntary exchange of value and a limited government which derives its authority from the people.

The economic system that exists today in most Western nations is a type of state socialism or corporatism in which people are made to claim their rights from the government, including the right to own and exchange capital.

22 posted on 05/14/2012 10:46:32 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

The article is BS:

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/03/psychopaths_on_wall_street.html


23 posted on 05/14/2012 10:46:55 AM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: fight_truth_decay
Capitalist values are antithetical to Christian ones.

Capitalism is the economic system that is compatible with God-given natural rights, God-given human nature, and Biblical justice.

Capitalist values are also antithetical to democratic ones.

Capitalism is the economic system that is compatible with freedom and the idea that human relations should be voluntary and not coerced. Studies have also shown that capitalism and accumulation of wealth in a country tends to lead to more democracy in the long run. The order of the series of tendencies is the presence of property rights, cultural rationality, accumulation of capital and capital markets, and technological progress lead to prosperity, which leads to citizen empowerment, which leads to democracy.

The rich deserve our gratitude as well as everything they have, in other words, and all the rest is envy.

The process of capital accumulation by the rich, capitalists, and businessmen is a series of steps that as a natural part of the process naturally produces higher real wages for the average worker and thus a higher standard of living that is able to expand beyond subsistence, a larger share of total consumption by workers compared to the rich, greater economic progress and greater prosperity, and higher employment that is able to expand to meet population growth.

24 posted on 05/14/2012 10:50:50 AM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: massgopguy
Liberals giving their Resumes to Homeless People

Hell, they steal the Daily Bread allotted for the Homeless People when "occupying".

Note: A Panera store I frequent has a "gift card" set up by caring citizens for a known older Homeless person, "clean" as Biden would say-a white woman "always walking" who will come in quietly pulling her cart-and present her card..unaware others have added to it. The first was presented to the store for her by an unknown gentleman with value $200 @Christmas.

25 posted on 05/14/2012 10:54:22 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

Every day Panera donates remaining bread to charity. I’ve got a trunkload to deliver this evening.


26 posted on 05/14/2012 11:00:28 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (Cloud storage? Dropbox rocks! Sign up at http://db.tt/nQqWGd3 for 2GB free (and I get more too).)
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To: MtBaldy
So, here's an interesting question for the so-called authors of this tripe:

What should we call the perpetrators of the hoax on the ECU of Greece's entry into the ECU? Apparently according to the synopsis at this link:

http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Europe/Greece/Price-History

Greece, the country, that is the well-known socialist country, the far left country, the one that is the current poster-child for the road ahead for all socialist economies is also a lying and cheating, perhaps clinically psychopathic nation. To wit:

“In November 2004, however, Greece admitted that it had fudged its figures to gain entry into the Eurozone. Its budget deficit had not been never within [sic] the EU limit of 3% of GDP since 1999. It was also revealed in early 2010 that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks to hide the true amount of its debt and borrowing.”

So, we have the paiens of capitalism in cahoots with the archetypical socialists. What in heaven's name does that mean? Frankly, I think there are many more than 10% in gov’t and political ranks who are clinical psychopaths than in any business community. Just look at all the nuts on the cable shows, their guests, and then think about all of the politicians over the years.

This is too easy to swat away.

27 posted on 05/14/2012 11:02:39 AM PDT by sleepy_hollow
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To: fight_truth_decay
Capitalism

Capitalism is a pejorative word to describe
freedom and liberty created by Marxists.

28 posted on 05/14/2012 11:19:38 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: ctdonath2

Am a fan of Panera. A local baker, small business “cottage industry” also donates bread, pies etc after marketday—Am a Big Fan of Panera as well as the above small business.
Realized have not eaten today-——————————>later.


29 posted on 05/14/2012 11:56:38 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

I wonder what the percent of psychopaths is for people in congress. Easily higher than 10%. If socialist the percent is near 99% as that is all that system will filter through. When the rule becomes the rule of arbitrary force the murderer trumps the pickpocket.


30 posted on 05/14/2012 11:58:19 AM PDT by Nateman (If liberals are not screaming you are doing it wrong!)
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To: fight_truth_decay
The Walmart bribery scandal, the News Corp. hacking scandal — just open up the business section on an average day. Shafting your workers, hurting your customers, destroying the land. Leaving the public to pick up the tab.

If the public (as forced by the scoundrels in DC) weren't there to pick up the tab, many of those flaws would have been fixed years ago. The trapeze artist will do more spectacular flips when he knows the net is there to catch him .

As for the Walmart bribery scandal: Is that a Walmart problem or a problem with yet another generation of Mexican government officials who won't do their job unless la mordita is paid?

31 posted on 05/14/2012 12:09:44 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Grace’s Law: The larger the government the more Psychopaths it attracts to the highest positions of power.


32 posted on 05/14/2012 12:13:02 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: fight_truth_decay
The New York Times calling someone a "clinical psychopath"?

I don't care who you are, that's funny!

33 posted on 05/14/2012 12:14:49 PM PDT by Talisker (He who commands, must obey.)
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To: fight_truth_decay
re: “Another study concluded that the rich are more likely to lie, cheat and break the law.”

Yes, studies conceived and carried out by ardent capitalists I'm sure - isn't that what all sociologists are? This would be like cats doing studies to find out if everyone else truly is annoying to them.

34 posted on 05/14/2012 12:37:46 PM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: sleepy_hollow

“Frankly, I think there are many more than 10% in gov’t and political ranks who are clinical psychopaths than in any business community. Just look at all the nuts on the cable shows, their guests, and then think about all of the politicians over the years.”

I agree, or at least sociopaths. Nancy Pelosi looks and sounds completely bonkers. So do Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Bahney Fwank for that matter.


35 posted on 05/14/2012 12:38:45 PM PDT by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Having worked as a vendor (computer & Software in the 80’s) I have no problem believing this. It is an area with the ruthless can flourish, trying to tie it to capitalism in general is a rela leap.

If yo REALLY want to see a concentration of psychopoaths look at politicians. Perhaps the NYT should do and article on that ;) .Obama and B Clinton are just 2 recent examples. Congress is rife with them, IMO.


36 posted on 05/14/2012 12:42:13 PM PDT by Leto (Damn shame Sarah didn't run the Presidency was there for the taking)
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To: fight_truth_decay

“Capitalists and Other Psychopaths”

Sounds like a perfect case of projection by a really, really brilliant, smart, intelligent, Progressive genius. /s/

IMHO


37 posted on 05/14/2012 1:45:57 PM PDT by ripley
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To: fight_truth_decay

A communist writing about capitalism? In the New York Times? Where will it all end?


38 posted on 05/14/2012 1:49:06 PM PDT by Misterioso (I voted Republican all my life and all I got was a communist for president.)
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To: fight_truth_decay
Wall Street is capitalism in its purest form, and capitalism is predicated on bad behavior.

Correct, but not quite accurate.
It is ultimate perversion of capitalism, and will continue to destroy the best successful historical example of capitalism in history : the U.S.A.
Unless the perps of the Wall Street fiasco are run down and imprisoned (active or retired), the ones who made trillion$ disappear overnight and who fled with their loot, capitalism will never heal, and history will repeat. Obviously switching to communism is a cure worse than the disease.

Not going to waste my time contrasting it to socialism or communism. If you already know, no explanation is necessary. If you don't, no explanation is possible.
You either have a firm grasp of history and human nature, or you don't.

Learning how the perversion came about is fascinating. It did not start in the mid-twentieth century; oddly enough, it started around mid-nineteenth century, just prior to our civil war, long before airliners, trains, ships and cars. Before people worlwide had decent lighting, to conquer the night. And curiously, it started with lighting the night; and oil, and the original unrestrained capitalists. It has been 150 years!

Not surprisingly, most of the current conflict revolves around oil and primitive cultures.

If anyone truly wants to grasp the evolution of economic dysfuction, one books will explain it all in painful detail :

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
My only other comment is that I don't buy the 10% figure in Wall Street workers. My guess is closer to 25%. Otherwise it would never have been tolerated as long as it has. There is something very seductive, powerful and irresistible about the "no ethics or morals" culture. "Smart and educated" play a tiny role in the process.

39 posted on 05/14/2012 1:55:01 PM PDT by Publius6961 ("It's easy to make promises you can't keep" - B.H.Obama Feb 23, 2012)
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To: dfwgator
It’s capitalism, just now the government has control of more of the capital.

Some significant sectors of the financial industry make money by figuring out how to attract government "bail-outs". The looser politicians are with bail-out funds, the more such finds will be "needed".

To understand why, consider the following "game": Player wagers $100 at 1:1 odds that the first card in a newly-shuffled deck will be a 10 or higher. It should not take a math genius to realize that the house vig in this game is pretty huge: out of 13 plays, the player will win 5 and lose 8; the vig is thus 22%, and the game is clearly unattractive to anyone seeking to make money.

Suppose, however, that the government offered to reimburse people who played the game 50% of anything they lost on each hand. Every 13 plays, the player would stand to win 5 and lose 4 (net +1), while the house would stand to win 8 and lose 5 (net +3). The game would thus be win-win for both the house and the player. The only loser would be the taxpayers (who would be the real source of all the money won by both the players and the house).

While there are many people on Wall Street who generate wealth by causing resources to be distributed more efficiently than they otherwise would, there are many who produce wealth for themselves by placing bets that in real terms should have a negative net expectation, but which include an unstated "side bet" that the bettor will be able to fleece someone else (likely the taxpayers) if they lose on the primary bet. Such behavior is antithetical to real capitalism, since it deliberately mis-allocates resources so as to maximize the bettor's ability to harvest bail-out cash.

40 posted on 05/14/2012 3:28:17 PM PDT by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

>>>Capitalism is a pejorative word to describe
freedom and liberty created by Marxists.<<<

I agree with your sentiments but not the misplaced modifier. Freedom and liberty are not created by Marxists. I don’t mean to be the grammar cop, but the phrase should be, “Capitalism is a pejorative word created by Marxists to describe freedom and liberty.” Yeah, I’ll get flamed for this. *sigh*


41 posted on 05/14/2012 4:44:57 PM PDT by redpoll
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To: redpoll
Thank you

I missed it.


42 posted on 05/14/2012 4:48:15 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: redpoll
“Capitalism is a pejorative word created by Marxists to describe freedom and liberty.” Yeah, I’ll get flamed for this.

Not by me; I was confused the first time I read the original post.

43 posted on 05/14/2012 5:08:54 PM PDT by jonathonandjennifer
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To: Publius6961
thanks for the post
44 posted on 05/14/2012 10:51:37 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

You know, the decency and courtesy by most of us here make this a delightful place to visit. Be well and God bless you.


45 posted on 05/15/2012 9:08:45 AM PDT by redpoll
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