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post #91 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by edfreeman View Post
What you think I "seemed to be saying" was what you wanted to hear me say so that you could reply the way you wanted to. And what I was saying was different. Obama is in a presidential campaign, and if you think his cause was furthered by this event, I think you are quite wrong. My post had to do with that opinion, not that racism is good or bad.

The elimination of racism is a worthy endeavor, but politicizing it is a loser for whomsoever does it.
Let me try to recount the sequence of events, and then address my problems with your response from the perspective of the sequence of what has happened.

For twenty or more years Obama attended a church run by the now famous Reverend. Upon occasion, his sermons were taped.

Obama decides to become a candidate for President. Initially he perceived as a long shot, kind of a joke really. No one really pays him much attention.

Obama goes from nowhere in a large field of candidates to one of the top three, then top two and then, likely the top one seeking the Democratic Party's nomination.

Someone puts together a tape of the Reverend's most outrageous sermon segments/phrases/clauses and puts it up on U-Tube. The networks start playing it.

Obama makes a speech about race and racism in America. He gives a very personal and intimate look into his relationship with the Reverend, his family make up, and without any qualifications says he does not support the outlook on life that is represented by the extreme views on the video clips of the Reverend's sermons. He makes it clear he has voiced these objections to the Reverend personally. Finally he has removed the Reverend from his mostly ceremonial role on his campaign.

The speech goes on to describe Obama's very positive view of how, together, Americans can make America a better country.

You express an opinion that Obama, in this chronology, has played the race card, and essentially deserves to "suffer for the ramblings of his reverend" because he held "a prominent place in the campaign (or used to, at least)."

You went on to say "You get to choose the people around you, and this was a bad choice, as this individual has chosen to polarize a very polarizing issue. The polarization cannot help this campaign, the candidate will lose no matter how much of an attempt is made to "shame" America for taking the likely side in it. Obama's attempts to deny knowledge come across as pure BS. He made a bad choice to have this man in his campaign.

I abhor racism in this country, it is sad that we are having this kind of discussion in the 21st century. It exists, though, and if Obama wanted to win, neither he nor his surrogates should have played the card first."


I object to your logic. My objection to your logic is based on the observation that Obama did not arrange to have the Reverend's sermons recorded, then distilled to the vile sequence that was posted on U-Tube then all over the various TV channels. He can not be held responsible for that sequence of events. So he didn't play that race card.

The Reverend had a mostly ceremonious role or position within the Obama campaign. Not really a prominent one, as until the tapes were played no one even knew who the guy was or if he even had a role on the campaign.

The Reverend, as should now be obvious, did not write, practice and give those sermons in front of a camera for the purpose of contributing to Obama's campaign. Your word choice above, "this individual has chosen to polarize a very polarizing issue" suggests you think the Reverend made those sermons for the benefit of Obama's campaign, and "chose" to make them part of the campaign as an Obama "surrogate." I don't think the Reverend really played this race card in the campaign either.

I think the Reverend was making many of those sermons before Obama ever thought about running for President, and surely before he began to campaign. The media played this race card because it is good for business. Which is hardly something to pile onto Obama's cross to bear.

The whole Reverend sermon reaction is like having everyone who ever heard you say "fuck" in your life give a detailed account of it on tape, and then played the tape back without really disclosing it represented a lifetime of saying "fuck." It would very likely sound like you spent a good deal of your time, maybe even most of it, saying "fuck." Which is probably not accurate, but will sell a lot better than a story that says you rarely say "fuck."

Anyway, to suggest the Reverend's methods for connecting with his congregation, which he apparently does quite well, is a cross Obama deserves to bear is pretty unrealistic in my opinion. But, hey, lets say rather than argue that point, we will let him bear that cross. What does that mean? Does it mean he cannot continue as a candidate? Does it mean if he gives an honest statement outlining his beliefs, contrasting them with the scary snippets of the Reverend's sermons, that isn't good enough, ever? He has to leave the congregation? Put out a contract on the Reverend? Call him names on national tv?

As for the company he chooses to keep, well, while you are right, that is a choice, I think you have to do more than judge people using some scale of purity that is so unrealistically "white" as to be exclude a real person who has grown up in inner city America from ever running for President.

As I see this issue, the squeal about the Reverend is coming from people who have never really paid much attention to what goes on in Black, inner city communities, including their churches. What the Reverend in each of these congregations says is somewhat tailored by the location and make up of the congregation. How it should be evaluated is on how effectively it works to keep the families in these communities together and their kids out of gangs and the like.

If the Reverend's words don't work for you, but they do help people with a lot less than most of us could imagine remain hopeful, I think there is a strong net benefit to America. Not your cup of tea, or mine, but I am not volunteering to spend my life helping these people with an alternate message.

To get fixated on Obama's Reverend's taped and distilled to the near pH 0, acidic rhetoric sermons, to the point where you cannot hear Obama's actual message, is:
  • a sign of being too ready to accept a reason to jump on the anti-Black guy for President wagon, or
  • a sign that trying to see if there is any kind of reasonable real world explanation is just asking too much of you
I know this was a waste of my time. But, hey, I feel better doing this than just ignoring you without trying. Jim
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post #92 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JimSmith View Post
Let me try to recount the sequence of events, and then address my problems with your response from the perspective of the sequence of what has happened.

For twenty or more years Obama attended a church run by the now famous Reverend. Upon occasion, his sermons were taped.

Obama decides to become a candidate for President. Initially he perceived as a long shot, kind of a joke really. No one really pays him much attention.

Obama goes from nowhere in a large field of candidates to one of the top three, then top two and then, likely the top one seeking the Democratic Party's nomination.

Someone puts together a tape of the Reverend's most outrageous sermon segments/phrases/clauses and puts it up on U-Tube. The networks start playing it.

Obama makes a speech about race and racism in America. He gives a very personal and intimate look into his relationship with the Reverend, his family make up, and without any qualifications says he does not support the outlook on life that is represented by the extreme views on the video clips of the Reverend's sermons. He makes it clear he has voiced these objections to the Reverend personally. Finally he has removed the Reverend from his mostly ceremonial role on his campaign.

The speech goes on to describe Obama's very positive view of how, together, Americans can make America a better country.

You express an opinion that Obama, in this chronology, has played the race card, and essentially deserves to "suffer for the ramblings of his reverend" because he held "a prominent place in the campaign (or used to, at least)."

You went on to say "You get to choose the people around you, and this was a bad choice, as this individual has chosen to polarize a very polarizing issue. The polarization cannot help this campaign, the candidate will lose no matter how much of an attempt is made to "shame" America for taking the likely side in it. Obama's attempts to deny knowledge come across as pure BS. He made a bad choice to have this man in his campaign.

I abhor racism in this country, it is sad that we are having this kind of discussion in the 21st century. It exists, though, and if Obama wanted to win, neither he nor his surrogates should have played the card first."


I object to your logic. My objection to your logic is based on the observation that Obama did not arrange to have the Reverend's sermons recorded, then distilled to the vile sequence that was posted on U-Tube then all over the various TV channels. He can not be held responsible for that sequence of events. So he didn't play that race card.

The Reverend had a mostly ceremonious role or position within the Obama campaign. Not really a prominent one, as until the tapes were played no one even knew who the guy was or if he even had a role on the campaign.

The Reverend, as should now be obvious, did not write, practice and give those sermons in front of a camera for the purpose of contributing to Obama's campaign. Your word choice above, "this individual has chosen to polarize a very polarizing issue" suggests you think the Reverend made those sermons for the benefit of Obama's campaign, and "chose" to make them part of the campaign as an Obama "surrogate." I don't think the Reverend really played this race card in the campaign either.

I think the Reverend was making many of those sermons before Obama ever thought about running for President, and surely before he began to campaign. The media played this race card because it is good for business. Which is hardly something to pile onto Obama's cross to bear.

The whole Reverend sermon reaction is like having everyone who ever heard you say "fuck" in your life give a detailed account of it on tape, and then played the tape back without really disclosing it represented a lifetime of saying "fuck." It would very likely sound like you spent a good deal of your time, maybe even most of it, saying "fuck." Which is probably not accurate, but will sell a lot better than a story that says you rarely say "fuck."

Anyway, to suggest the Reverend's methods for connecting with his congregation, which he apparently does quite well, is a cross Obama deserves to bear is pretty unrealistic in my opinion. But, hey, lets say rather than argue that point, we will let him bear that cross. What does that mean? Does it mean he cannot continue as a candidate? Does it mean if he gives an honest statement outlining his beliefs, contrasting them with the scary snippets of the Reverend's sermons, that isn't good enough, ever? He has to leave the congregation? Put out a contract on the Reverend? Call him names on national tv?

As for the company he chooses to keep, well, while you are right, that is a choice, I think you have to do more than judge people using some scale of purity that is so unrealistically "white" as to be exclude a real person who has grown up in inner city America from ever running for President.

As I see this issue, the squeal about the Reverend is coming from people who have never really paid much attention to what goes on in Black, inner city communities, including their churches. What the Reverend in each of these congregations says is somewhat tailored by the location and make up of the congregation. How it should be evaluated is on how effectively it works to keep the families in these communities together and their kids out of gangs and the like.

If the Reverend's words don't work for you, but they do help people with a lot less than most of us could imagine remain hopeful, I think there is a strong net benefit to America. Not your cup of tea, or mine, but I am not volunteering to spend my life helping these people with an alternate message.

To get fixated on Obama's Reverend's taped and distilled to the near pH 0, acidic rhetoric sermons, to the point where you cannot hear Obama's actual message, is:
  • a sign of being too ready to accept a reason to jump on the anti-Black guy for President wagon, or
  • a sign that trying to see if there is any kind of reasonable real world explanation is just asking too much of you
I know this was a waste of my time. But, hey, I feel better doing this than just ignoring you without trying. Jim
definitely not a waste of time Jim, i read this whole post and man your on point! i had to quote it so it can be read again. i especially like how you pointed out that NOR Obama or his pastor played the race card in this campaign but it was the media. these were old speeches that had nothing to do with Obama's campaign.

i like how you pointed out if some one didn't want to vote for him for being too liberal or his policies than thats fine but lets stop all the other bs.
what i find interesting is in this country if a white man has a known racist friend or someone who makes racist comments they don't disown him, rebuke him or even argue with him. they usually ignore him or laugh off his comments. thats common practice here. but now all this hoopla about Obama's pastor from some white people is really transparent and 2 faced.

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post #93 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 11:55 PM
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Looks like some of the racist/radical shit that was thrown against the wall is sticking.
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post #94 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JimSmith View Post
Let me try to recount the sequence of events, and then address my problems with your response from the perspective of the sequence of what has happened.

For twenty or more years Obama attended a church run by the now famous Reverend. Upon occasion, his sermons were taped.

Obama decides to become a candidate for President. Initially he perceived as a long shot, kind of a joke really. No one really pays him much attention.

Obama goes from nowhere in a large field of candidates to one of the top three, then top two and then, likely the top one seeking the Democratic Party's nomination.

Someone puts together a tape of the Reverend's most outrageous sermon segments/phrases/clauses and puts it up on U-Tube. The networks start playing it.

Obama makes a speech about race and racism in America. He gives a very personal and intimate look into his relationship with the Reverend, his family make up, and without any qualifications says he does not support the outlook on life that is represented by the extreme views on the video clips of the Reverend's sermons. He makes it clear he has voiced these objections to the Reverend personally. Finally he has removed the Reverend from his mostly ceremonial role on his campaign.

The speech goes on to describe Obama's very positive view of how, together, Americans can make America a better country.

You express an opinion that Obama, in this chronology, has played the race card, and essentially deserves to "suffer for the ramblings of his reverend" because he held "a prominent place in the campaign (or used to, at least)."

You went on to say "You get to choose the people around you, and this was a bad choice, as this individual has chosen to polarize a very polarizing issue. The polarization cannot help this campaign, the candidate will lose no matter how much of an attempt is made to "shame" America for taking the likely side in it. Obama's attempts to deny knowledge come across as pure BS. He made a bad choice to have this man in his campaign.

I abhor racism in this country, it is sad that we are having this kind of discussion in the 21st century. It exists, though, and if Obama wanted to win, neither he nor his surrogates should have played the card first."

I object to your logic. My objection to your logic is based on the observation that Obama did not arrange to have the Reverend's sermons recorded, then distilled to the vile sequence that was posted on U-Tube then all over the various TV channels. He can not be held responsible for that sequence of events. So he didn't play that race card.

The Reverend had a mostly ceremonious role or position within the Obama campaign. Not really a prominent one, as until the tapes were played no one even knew who the guy was or if he even had a role on the campaign.

The Reverend, as should now be obvious, did not write, practice and give those sermons in front of a camera for the purpose of contributing to Obama's campaign. Your word choice above, "this individual has chosen to polarize a very polarizing issue" suggests you think the Reverend made those sermons for the benefit of Obama's campaign, and "chose" to make them part of the campaign as an Obama "surrogate." I don't think the Reverend really played this race card in the campaign either.

I think the Reverend was making many of those sermons before Obama ever thought about running for President, and surely before he began to campaign. The media played this race card because it is good for business. Which is hardly something to pile onto Obama's cross to bear.

The whole Reverend sermon reaction is like having everyone who ever heard you say "fuck" in your life give a detailed account of it on tape, and then played the tape back without really disclosing it represented a lifetime of saying "fuck." It would very likely sound like you spent a good deal of your time, maybe even most of it, saying "fuck." Which is probably not accurate, but will sell a lot better than a story that says you rarely say "fuck."

Anyway, to suggest the Reverend's methods for connecting with his congregation, which he apparently does quite well, is a cross Obama deserves to bear is pretty unrealistic in my opinion. But, hey, lets say rather than argue that point, we will let him bear that cross. What does that mean? Does it mean he cannot continue as a candidate? Does it mean if he gives an honest statement outlining his beliefs, contrasting them with the scary snippets of the Reverend's sermons, that isn't good enough, ever? He has to leave the congregation? Put out a contract on the Reverend? Call him names on national tv?

As for the company he chooses to keep, well, while you are right, that is a choice, I think you have to do more than judge people using some scale of purity that is so unrealistically "white" as to be exclude a real person who has grown up in inner city America from ever running for President.

As I see this issue, the squeal about the Reverend is coming from people who have never really paid much attention to what goes on in Black, inner city communities, including their churches. What the Reverend in each of these congregations says is somewhat tailored by the location and make up of the congregation. How it should be evaluated is on how effectively it works to keep the families in these communities together and their kids out of gangs and the like.

If the Reverend's words don't work for you, but they do help people with a lot less than most of us could imagine remain hopeful, I think there is a strong net benefit to America. Not your cup of tea, or mine, but I am not volunteering to spend my life helping these people with an alternate message.

To get fixated on Obama's Reverend's taped and distilled to the near pH 0, acidic rhetoric sermons, to the point where you cannot hear Obama's actual message, is:
  • a sign of being too ready to accept a reason to jump on the anti-Black guy for President wagon, or
  • a sign that trying to see if there is any kind of reasonable real world explanation is just asking too much of you
I know this was a waste of my time. But, hey, I feel better doing this than just ignoring you without trying. Jim
That was a waste of everyone's time. I tried to read it, but as usual you mistake quantity of words for quality of ideas. You really need to acquaint yourself w/ the word parsimony. You might even begin to make sense in shorter--much shorter--posts!

Don't believe everything you think
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post #95 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 04:48 PM
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That was a waste of everyone's time. I tried to read it, but as usual you mistake quantity of words for quality of ideas. You really need to acquaint yourself w/ the word parsimony. You might even begin to make sense in shorter--much shorter--posts!

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post #96 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 06:20 PM
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Actually, Jim, you didn't waste your time at all, as I can now see more clearly how someone I consider to be one of the better "studied" posters got to where you are with my post. I'll assure you, once again, that my intent was to comment on the impact to the campaign, not whether it should, but if it will. I have no doubt the Obama has not played the race card, nor that it was not a strategy of his campaign. However, a surrogate of his has his face displayed all over our media rambling (sorry, I think that is the correct word for it) extreme rhetoric about a sensitive issue. Will this affect his campaign or his chances to win? I think it will, though I have tempered that in the last couple days, but I think it was also avoidable, or at least it was possible to make it easier to manage. In that regard, let me take a different tack:

Obama wants to be president, in order to do so, he must win the most votes (hypothetically, with deference to 2000). Now, there are some who will not vote for him, will actually vote against him, because he is black. Sad, but true. There are also some who will vote for him because he is black, which I find equally sad. Nonetheless, in my humble, misguided opinion, there aren't enough of either of those to elect or defeat him. Other dedicated factions would include those who vote for their parties no matter what, and the ones above are, to a degree, a subset of these, though part of me wonders if there may be more Dem's who won't vote for him.
OK, but we want to win. The biggest number is in the middle, and within that are a large portion who don't like the extremes. They are not racists, wouldn't go out of their way to discriminate, nor favor, any particular race. However, they do not feel responsible for the current state of affairs of any race nor obligated to make restitution. Again, in my humble, misguided opinion, that population is large enough to affect the outcome of the election, and we want to win, so it is best not to piss them off by suggesting they are responsible and/or owe restitution.
In order to win, we need to blow off those who are voting against us no matter what, keep those who will vote for us no matter what (much as the GOP gives lip service to the rantings of the religious alleged right), and not piss off the middle, at least not to the degree they decide to take a stand. What should we do? Well, we must have a distance between ourselves and people who might piss them off. Those people can be supporters, people who will vote for us, and we can't really piss them off either, but that is less likely to happen. We can't control our supporters, for sure, but an arms length must be maintained, especially with more public figures whose views might piss off the middle.
So, what do we do? I don't know this reverend, so I can't make up an effective pre-campaign conversation to have with him. However, let's say instead it was reverend Al or reverend Jesse, whom I don't know either, but through the media, are more familiar, at least I think they'd suppress themselves if it would help him win. I could envision Obama having a conversation like: "Y'know, Al, I appreciate your support, I really do, and I'm going to need it to win. But, I do want to win, and the majority of the country find a great deal of your views and positions quite unpopular, and it may hurt my chances if they associate your views with me. So, I have to ask you to keep it together, tell people what you like about me and why you're voting for me, but tone down those things you do that incite people on both sides of the aisle." Not sure if it would work, but were I him, I'da done it. Now, Obama does know his reverend, and surely could have come up with a speech to let him know that he must have distance, and he can't play in the campaign. If those views, the ramblings if you will, get out, the middle might get pissed off, and they may get stuck to the candidate. I'm not saying they should, mind you, but they may, and that it why distance is appropriate. Being in the campaign makes it harder, though it would have been hard anyway from what I can see. A ceremonial position or not, it is harder, in my humble, misguided opinion.
So here we are today. The ramblings are out there, and it is an issue. The middle might be pissed off. The speech might placate them, and provide the distance between the candidate and the issue. It also might have stuck. Which do you think it is? Not asking whether it should, whether racism or racists are good or bad, whether Obama agrees or disagrees, but whether it will stick. I think some of it may.
If it stuck, it may still be recoverable, as all you have to do is piss them off more on a different issue. It may be the war. It may be the economy. In this election in particular, I think there will be more voters voting against something than for it. I can't see McCain coming up with a resonating message, so, in my humble, misguided opinion, the election will come down to whether more people vote for or against the democratic candidate. End of purely hypothetical, non-racism charged pontification.
And, FWIW, what's up with this reverend anyway? I haven't been to a church service in over 10 years, haven't attended regularly since college, but when I did, the reverends used to read scriptures, use it as a foundation to tell you to do good stuff and/or not do bad stuff, read other scriptures which support the need to do good stuff or not do bad stuff. What part of the Bible would lead him to the sermons the excerpts were taken from? (yes, I know there are plenty of holy hypocrites denouncing other political positions, and I don't understand them, either). You say he is connecting with his congregation, but, to me, I'm not sure that type of sermon will find favor when he meets his maker.

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post #97 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 09:08 PM
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Ed,

Of course the media frenzy over their opportunity to play the race card will have an effect. And until Britney Spears shoots herself in the head and the media has another "news" story to sustain itself on, they will milk this one endlessly and breathlessly. I really don't think anyone but the media, and those interested in seeing Obama taken down, has a geniune interest in this story or believes there is a really ominous, shadowy threat embedded in the relationship between Obama and the Reverend.

If this was late October, it might be more of a threat to Obama's chances. Hopefully Obama has enough time to convince enough people to listen to him and decide that he is sincere. It would be a shame if America's best chance to have a leader interested in unifying the American people and motivating them to do something significant in their lifetimes is assassinated by the greed of the media and the small mindedness that has crippled us for the last decades.

The issues and interests at play here are powerful and corrupting and they depend on ignorance and laziness to be most effective. I very seriously doubt a single "news" person reporting, or actually introducing, the U-Tube clips has bothered to listen to the entire sermon any of those sensational and polarizing excerpts is from - that would require some effort and involve an investment of self and time.

But, I do not believe those excerpts have been presented in the context of the author's sermon. I do not believe the extended sermons the man gives can be accurately summed up by those excerpts and feel it is a sign of the times when all that is reported, all the service we get for how much asswipes like Wolf Blitzer get paid, is an introduction to a taped clip he plays several times an hour and that is all he feels, or any of his fellow bobbing hard ons on other channels feel they need to do. The news media, when they behave like this, do us all a disservice.

No one has asked to have the Reverend explain what he was saying, no one has played preceding and following ten minutes of any of those sermons. It is like the packaged excerpts, because they exist, are the whole story. No checking, no investigating necessary. I view this as a corrupt process, and its success depends on our collective laziness and willingness to accept this level of reporting as the whole story. The fact that it can and is manipulated is a powerful tool. You have to wonder who is benefiting from this Obama episode. It surely has not been Obama, although in the end, he may increase his popularity by showing what he is made of in response. Time will tell.

I am not much of churchgoer these days either, and I have only been in a Black Community Church once in my life. It was nothing like any other church experience I have ever had. I was not moved to participate as I am more of an introvert - and the people participating, including the Reverend running the show, were seriously involved. Not my thing, but it sure was theirs, and the sermon was not given by someone worried that his words were being taped to be played back on the news that night. Not only was that such an unlikely event that it was not worth considering, but holding back was just not anyone in the church's style. They were there to let "it" out, not keep "it" in. At times it seemed more like music festival and less like a church event, except that everyone was on stage performing. Watching was not encouraged.

So, I would recommend those inclined to conclude Reverend Wright is no more than racist bigot to dig up the entire sermons and listen to the man's body of work as a whole, or at least in a greater and more representative sampling, before reacting and deciding the man is an anti-American racist.

I mean, Ron Paul said the same thing about the US not being without any responsibility for the 9-11 attack, which is only an anti-American viewpoint if one is unable to look at the facts of a situation if they are not complimentary towards America. Which means, one has to be a retard to believe that statement is anti-American. That is like saying having enough smarts to sort facts is anti-American. I think the same conclusion will be reached with the rest of the quotes - the Reverend is not advocating hating whitey. He is discussing nasty facts of life in the inner city Black community. We may not understand much of it, so "it" may not click. But I do not believe he ever tries to induce his congregation to hate, anyone.

So I agree the events may have a fatal effect on Obama's chances. If they do, it says nothing good about America. Jim
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post #98 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 10:20 PM
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Is there some kind of competition for who can post the most words in one day? Guess I missed the memo...

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post #99 of 193 (permalink) Old 03-20-2008, 10:42 PM
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Is there some kind of competition for who can post the most words in one day? Guess I missed the memo...
Face it, life has passed you by. Jim
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Originally Posted by JimSmith View Post
Face it, life has passed you by. Jim
Such is life...

Don't believe everything you think
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