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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 91814 times)
philliman
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1740 on: Nov 2nd, 2010, 3:23pm »

on Nov 1st, 2010, 3:39pm, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Bruce is sitting up in our neighbor's tree! The guy below lives further down the Sound.

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Crystal


What a beautiful eagle. smiley

on Nov 2nd, 2010, 08:56am, Swamprat wrote:
Good morning, everyone!



VOTE!!

And don't forget that there are more than just two parties around. You won't change anything if you always vote in the same corrupted morons. wink
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1741 on: Nov 2nd, 2010, 3:40pm »

Hey Phil!

We voted anti-incumbent all the way down the line.
I voted republican!

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1742 on: Nov 2nd, 2010, 6:31pm »

laugh

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545 PEOPLE
-- By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.... . The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace
545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red ...

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ . If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power..

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

« Last Edit: Nov 2nd, 2010, 6:32pm by Swamprat » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1743 on: Nov 2nd, 2010, 9:40pm »

Swamprat I love that article! grin
Thanks.
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« Reply #1744 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 08:10am »

New York Times

November 3, 2010
G.O.P. Captures House, but Not Senate
By JEFF ZELENY and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

Republicans captured control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday and expanded their voice in the Senate, as discontented voters, frustrated about the nation’s continuing economic woes, turned sharply against President Obama just two years after catapulting him into the White House.

For Mr. Obama’s fellow Democrats, who won majorities in the House and Senate in 2006, it was a punishing defeat. Republicans picked up at least 60 seats, surpassing their gains in the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994, and making it the largest sweep of House races since 1948. In the Senate, Republicans nabbed at least six seats, a more modest gain. The Republican resurgence, propelled by deep economic worries and a forceful opposition to the Democratic agenda of health care and stimulus spending, delivered defeats to House Democrats from the Northeast to the South and across the Midwest.

The tide swept aside dozens of lawmakers, regardless of their seniority or their voting records, upending the balance of power for the second half of Mr. Obama’s term. A number of ousted incumbents were centrists, including fiscal hawks in the Blue Dog Coalition, leaving the Democratic caucuses not only diminished but more liberal.

Still, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, narrowly prevailed and his party hung on to control by winning hard-fought contests in California, Connecticut, Delaware and West Virginia. Republicans picked up at least six Democratic seats, including the one formerly held by Mr. Obama, and the party will welcome Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky to their ranks, two candidates who were initially shunned by the establishment but beloved by the Tea Party movement. ”The American people’s voice was heard at the ballot box,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, who is positioned to become the next speaker of the House. “We have real work to do, and this is not the time for celebration.”

In an early morning appearance on NBC’s “Today” show, Mr. Reid said it was time for the parties to cooperate. “The message to America today is that we’ve got to start working together,” he said. “The only way we can have progress is by working together. If that means legislative compromise, we’ve got to do that.”

The president, who watched the election returns with a small set of advisers at the White House, called Mr. Boehner shortly after midnight to offer his congratulations and to talk about the way forward as Washington prepares for divided government. Republicans won at least 60 seats, surpassing the 52 seats the party won in the sweep of 1994.

The most expensive midterm election campaign in the nation’s history, fueled by a raft of contributions from outside interest groups and millions in donations to candidates in both parties, played out across a wide battleground that stretched from Alaska to Maine.

The Republican tide swept into statehouse races, too, with Democrats poised to lose the majority of governorships, particularly those in majorpresidential swing states, like Ohio, where Gov. Ted Strickland was defeated.

Republicans picked up governorships in at least eight states, and Democrats lost at least nine, as Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator, was elected governor of Rhode Island as an independent.

One after another, once-unassailable Democrats like Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Representatives Ike Skelton of Missouri, John Spratt of South Carolina, Rick Boucher of Virginia and Chet Edwards of Texas fell to little-known Republican challengers.

“Voters sent a message that change has not happened fast enough,” said Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

The future plans of the House Democratic leadership, beyond a lame-duck session of the current Congress that is set to begin on Nov. 15, were not immediately clear.

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, did not immediately say whether she would remain in the Congress after losing the speakership.

But in a statement about the election results, she was resolute in defending the policies of her caucus — despite the evident voter backlash — and she said Democrats had saved the nation from economic disaster.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/us/politics/04elect.html?ref=us

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« Reply #1745 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 08:13am »

New York Times

November 2, 2010
NATO Sees Threats, but Is Reluctant to Say Just Who the Enemy Might Be
By STEVEN ERLANGER

BRUSSELS — NATO’s secretary general expects two headlines out of this month’s annual summit meeting in Lisbon: an agreement to build an alliance-wide missile defense system, and NATO’s own “reset” with Russia, whose president has accepted an invitation to the meeting and says Moscow will explore cooperation on missile defense.

NATO is still negotiating key points in a new strategic doctrine, its first since 1999, to be published in Lisbon.

These issues include nuclear disarmament, which divides France and Germany, and the alliance’s relationship with the European Union, which gets tangled up, as always, in the complications of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

And there is the equally problematic issue of missile defense, starting with the basic rationale for having such a thing. The alliance’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister, was reluctant in an interview in his newly remodeled office here (Danish modern, with an Oval Office-like carpet with the NATO seal) to specify where such a missile threat might come from.

“More than 30 countries in the world have missile technology, and some of them can hit targets in allied territory,” he said.

The main threat is perceived to be from Iran, which is building sophisticated missiles to go with its nuclear program. But President Obama and the Europeans are offering yet another round of talks to the Iranians, to get them to stop enriching uranium, and Turkey does not want the missile system to be seen as aimed at Tehran, so it is diplomatically impolite to mention Iran.

Russia is also not mentioned as a threat, given the desire for a better relationship with Moscow and the willingness of Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, to come to Lisbon and discuss Russian participation in the new missile shield, which his predecessor and possible successor, Vladimir V. Putin, has regularly condemned.

It all marks a change from 2008 in Bucharest, Romania, when Mr. Putin crashed the summit dinner and lectured President George W. Bush about encirclement and the dangers of inviting Ukraine and Georgia into NATO.

In Lisbon, Mr. Rasmussen said, “I would expect NATO allies to decide that we will develop a NATO-based missile defense system. But at the same time we will invite Russia to cooperate, and then, of course, we have to work out how to cooperate.” Missile defense, he argues, presents “the greatest potential for enhancing our cooperation.”

Mr. Rasmussen will have a delicate task to perform when he visits Moscow on Wednesday to prepare for the summit meeting two weeks later, as relations between NATO and Russia have been strained.

Mr. Putin regards NATO expansion to parts of the former Soviet Union as offensive, while the West was affronted by Russia’s occupation of two key provinces of Georgia after the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, which it generally saw as Moscow’s riposte to NATO’s vague promise of membership to Georgia. Moscow still refuses to remove its troops.

Asked what he would tell anxious Georgians about the “reset” with Russia, Mr. Rasmussen said that the alliance would not recognize the independence, autonomy or annexation of the two provinces, Abkhazia and South Ossetia; that it continues to respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; and that NATO would keep its promise to some day admit both Georgia and Ukraine.

He argued that a closer alliance relationship with Russia would help Georgia regain its territory, saying, “I do believe that an improved relationship between NATO and Russia is the best chance to ensure peaceful solutions to such disputes.”

Many Georgians and East Europeans, however, do not believe Russia will ever cede the two provinces or come to see NATO as a partner.

Asked about planning to defend all NATO members, including the Baltic nations and Poland, which had previously been left unclear, Mr. Rasmussen said carefully: “We never go into details about our military plan. But I can assure you, and that goes for all allies, that we have the necessary plans in place to defend them against any threats.”

Mr. Rasmussen and NATO are emphasizing the new strategic doctrine, nearly finished. One question has been how to balance a Russian reset with NATO’s principles.

But Mr. Rasmussen argues that NATO and Russia are best served finding areas of mutual security interest and then acting together on those — issues like Afghanistan, terrorism, narcotics, piracy, cyberwar and even missile defense — while leaving aside areas of contention, like Georgia and Ukraine.

When it was suggested that it was generally accepted that Russia launched a cyberattack against a NATO member, Estonia, in 2007, he stopped for a moment, then said that Moscow’s involvement was never fully proved.

“The problem is that attacks from cyberspace can be very difficult to trace,” he said. “So we have to develop a capacity to protect our societies across the board.”

NATO is trying to find a similar balance in its new doctrine between France, a nuclear-armed nation that insists on the primacy of nuclear deterrence, and Germany, which wants to enshrine the aspiration of a nonnuclear world.

While NATO officials and ambassadors say the language is not finished, it will probably follow President Obama’s own formulation — to work toward a nonnuclear world while maintaining a nuclear deterrent. “We are pretty close to a consensus,” Mr. Rasmussen said. Missile defense, he said, enhances deterrence, but does not replace it. While nuclear weapons still exist, he said, “The alliance will remain a nuclear alliance.”

In general, Mr. Rasmussen gets high marks for managing the new strategic doctrine, naming an expert group led by Madeleine K. Albright, the former secretary of state. Her report was unwieldy, but found key compromises, while identifying areas of disagreement.

Mr. Rasmussen then wrote his own version, a terser statement of what NATO is and wants to be in this century, a time when the cold war is over; European tank battles are unimaginable; and new threats come from terrorism, missiles, failed states, piracy, poverty and cyberwarfare.

The point of the new doctrine is educational, trying to answer the question, “Why is NATO still here?” The summit meeting, one ambassador said, “is designed to turn an organization founded on territorial defense against an identified threat to a more dynamic, flexible organization that is about building security and enhancing the safety of its citizens through cooperating with others.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/world/03nato.html?ref=world

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1746 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 08:17am »

Telegraph

UFO tape released after 30-year mystery but fails to explain phenomena
Tape recordings of US military personnel investigating a suspected UFO landing have been released 30 years later.

By Andy Bloxham
Published: 11:22AM GMT 03 Nov 2010

In the dead of the night just after Christmas 1980, the airmen from USAF Bentwaters air base went to investigate an event in Rendlesham Forest near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

The tapes are a vivid account of what they found.

The servicemen were led by Col Charles Halt, second in command at the base.

It is clear that they thought they were witnessing some type of phenomena, with descriptions of "strange" lights in sky and odd damage to pine trees 15ft to 18ft off the ground.

One of the Americans is heard to say: "I hear very strange sounds of farmers - barnyard animals. They're very, very active, making a lot of noise.

"Straight ahead. There it is again. Straight ahead. What is it? A strange small red light.

"It looks maybe half a mile further ahead. Go back to the edge of the clearing, see if we can get a look at it... the animals have gone quiet now... It is deathly calm."

He adds in hushed tones: "There is no doubt about it - it is a strange flashing red light ahead.

"I saw a yellow tinge in it too. Weird. It's coming this way. It's definitely coming this way.

"There is no doubt about it. This is weird."

Despite endless speculation, there has never been a definitive answer to what actually happened that bizarre night.

There are a number of different theories; everything from aliens landing and lights from a lighthouse at nearby Orford to a mishap which was covered up.

audio after the jump
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/8106671/UFO-tape-released-after-30-year-mystery-but-fails-to-explain-phenomena.html

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« Reply #1747 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 08:23am »

Wired


Group Demands Immediate Halt of Full-Body Airport Scanners
By David Kravets November 2, 2010 | 6:21 pm | Categories: Surveillance, privacy


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A leading privacy group is urging a federal appeals court to suspend the government’s program of introducing full-body imagining machines at airports across the country.

The Transportation Security Administration began deploying 450 of them in March to dozens of airports nationwide.

“The suspicionless search of all airport travelers in this most invasive way violates the reasonableness standard contained in the Fourth Amendment,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said Tuesday. He said the devices, costing $1 billion, were designed “to store and record and transmit the unfiltered image of the naked human body. ”

The government is expected to respond next month to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

A test image shown to reporters at Logan International this spring “showed the blurry outline of a female volunteer,” The Associated Press reported at the time. “None of her clothing was visible, nor were her genitals, but the broad contours of her chest and buttocks were. Her face also was blurred.”

The constitutional challenge aside, EPIC also charges that the Department of Homeland Security, in rolling out the devices, violated a host of bureaucratic policies requiring public review, including the Administrative Procedures Act.

What’s more, the group claims the machines, among other things, violate the federal Video Voyeurism Prevent Act, which protects against capturing improper images that violate one’s privacy.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a recent statement that the deployment is “enhancing our capability to detect and disrupt threats of terrorism across the nation.”

The so-called “backscatter machines,” however, cannot detect so-called “booty bombs” in which an explosive is inserted into the body.

Travelers can opt out of going through the imaging machines and instead undergo a pat-down, including the crotch area.


http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11/epic-airport/#ixzz14E2DljOL

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« Reply #1748 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 08:29am »

Wired

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Geometric Death Frequency-141


Geometric Death Frequency-141 looks like an alien force from God knows where, which seems entirely appropriate given the massive sense of menace radiated by the black-ball monolith that recently took up residence in the courtyard of MASS MoCA in Judson, Massachusetts.

Assembled from 420,000 robotically milled black spheres, Federico Díaz's sculpture draws inspiration from a digital photograph of the museum's clock tower entryway. The artist, who lives in the Czech capital Prague, transformed the two-dimensional image into pure data, then used analytical and fluid-dynamic modeling techniques to reshape the building's contours into wavelike forms.

"Federico is the ultimate shape-shifter, in a way," said MASS MoCA director Joseph C. Thompson in a statement. "The bricks and mullions and windows of our buildings become files of digital data; the pixels become black spheres meticulously cut, stacked and assembled; the courtyard becomes and contains sculpture. There's something alchemical or magical about it, and all the while Federico remains behind the curtain, as if to say, 'Look ma, no hands.'"

Check out Wired.com's gallery for detailed views of Geometric Death Frequency-141, along with a making-of video and other examples of Díaz's machine-made installations.

photo gallery after the jump
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/11/geometric-death-frequency-141/

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« Reply #1749 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 08:32am »

LA Times

Youth vote falters; Prop. 19 falls short
California would have become the first state to allow marijuana to be sold for recreational use. Moderate voters opposed it.

John Hoeffel, Reporting from Los Angeles
12:39 AM PDT, November 3, 2010

After taking a serious look at legalizing marijuana, Californians voted Tuesday to reject Proposition 19, which would have made the state the first to allow the drug to be sold for recreational use.

The measure drew strong support from voters younger than 25, as the campaign had hoped, but those voters did not turn out in unusually high numbers, according to a state exit poll. The initiative also failed to win over the moderate voters who make up the state's decisive swing vote.

The San Francisco Bay Area was the only region to tilt toward the measure, but it did so just slightly. In Los Angeles County, where a quarter of the state's voters live, the initiative lost.

Despite a potential double-digit loss, marijuana-legalization advocates said the proposition had transformed talk about legal pot from a late-night punch line into a serious policy matter.

"This has been a watershed moment," said Stephen Gutwillig, the California director for the Drug Policy Alliance, which waged an extensive ad campaign for the measure. "Even in defeat, Proposition 19 has moved marijuana legalization into the mainstream of American politics."

Tuesday's vote was just the first round, say legalization advocates, who are aiming measures at the 2012 ballot in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and very likely California. But it's also the second time in two years that California voters have rejected an initiative to soften penalties for drug crimes.

"The cover of the book looked nice, but it didn't read very well," said Roger Salazar, the spokesman for the opposition campaign. "This specific initiative was massively flawed."

Richard Lee, the medical marijuana entrepreneur who spearheaded the initiative and spent $1.5million on the historic campaign, pledged to work with the initiative's critics to draft a new one.

"We won tonight. We won for the last six months, the last year, all the years we've been fighting. We're going to keep fighting," Lee told supporters who gathered inside and outside Oaksterdam University, the Oakland medical marijuana trade school he founded.

California's 1996 medical marijuana initiative, the first in the nation, has led to more liberal attitudes toward pot nationwide as similar programs spread to 13 other states and the nation's capital. On Tuesday, voters in Arizona and South Dakota were deciding whether to approve programs; voters in Oregon were weighing whether to allow storefront dispensaries.

Proposition 19's backers had hoped voters worried about the economy would embrace the measure as a way to raise new taxes. In 10 cities, including San Jose, Sacramento and Long Beach, voters appeared to be overwhelmingly approving taxes on medical and recreational marijuana.

Passage of Proposition 19 would have vaulted the state into unmapped territory, invigorated the movement to legalize marijuana and set up a dramatic confrontation with the federal government.

The initiative would have eliminated all criminal penalties for adults 21 and older who planted marijuana in a plot of up to 25 square feet or possessed up to an ounce for personal use. It also would have allowed city councils and county supervisors to authorize commercial cultivation and retail sales.

But the opposition was broad, according to the poll conducted by Edison Research for the National Voter Pool, a consortium of the major television news networks and the Associated Press. Men and women opposed it. Voters of every race opposed it. The campaign had hoped black and Latino voters would see the measure as a way to end disproportionate arrests of minorities caught with marijuana.

The measure drew intense interest. Foreign leaders weighed in. All the top statewide candidates opposed it. The federal drug czar denounced it. And the U.S. attorney general pledged to "vigorously enforce" federal narcotics laws whatever California did.

Americans tuned in to the Proposition 19 debate. More than four decades after the war on drugs was declared, the country is almost evenly divided on whether to legalize marijuana.

In California, half of the voters consistently tell pollsters they favor legal marijuana and a tenth are unsure. In September, support for the initiative crept above the halfway mark, triggering euphoria among advocates. But voters became skeptical about the details.

Opponents exploited their doubts by mocking it in radio ads and suggesting that it would create an epidemic of dope-addled teenagers, motorists and nurses. Proponents said it would control marijuana as alcohol is controlled, allow police to focus on serious crimes, curtail the black market and raise billions in taxes, but they opened themselves to criticism by overstating those claims.

Lee once hoped to raise $20 million for the campaign, but big-money donors stayed out until the end. Proponents raised about $4.2 million, almost a third in the last two weeks.


http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pot-20101103-1,0,5135592.story

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« Reply #1750 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 3:49pm »

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/11/03/denver-voters-reject-plan-track-space-aliens/

Denver Voters Reject Plan to Track Space Aliens

Published November 03, 2010

| Associated Press

DENVER – Denver residents have jettisoned a plan to officially track space aliens.

The proposal defeated soundly Tuesday night would have established a commission to track extraterrestrials. It also would have allowed residents to post their observations on Denver's city Web page and report sightings.

Early results show Denver residents voted 106,776--20,162 against the proposal.

The Denver man who proposed the measure, Jeff Peckman, says the government is tracking alien sightings but refuses to make the reports public. Peckman is a meditation instructor and promoter of new technology, including something he says reduces the "chaos of electromagnetic fields."

Peckman contends opponents greatly inflated the commission's projected cost.

He previously proposed an unsuccessful ordinance requiring the city to offer stress-reduction measures.

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« Reply #1751 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 5:25pm »

Hey Swampy! cheesy

What's wrong with Denver? grin I think it should have passed.

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« Reply #1752 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 5:31pm »

Look what I found!!!!! cheesy

Smithsonian Catalogue:

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"Longing for a mind-meld with your favorite Vulcan? Activate Leonard Nimoy’s voice and revisit Spock’s irrefutable logic with three of his quintessential quotes: “Fascinating!” “You are, after all, essentially irrational.” “Live long and prosper.” Bobble-head takes three AG13 batteries (incl.). 6.5"h."

(Spock) http://www.smithsonianstore.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=155062&wtl=s&wtl1=68035#

(Ray guns) http://www.smithsonianstore.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=17539&wtl=cs&wtl1=p#

(Robots) http://www.smithsonianstore.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=17537&wtl=cs&wtl1=p

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« Reply #1753 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 5:58pm »

$40 for a robot ornament?! shocked cry
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« Reply #1754 on: Nov 3rd, 2010, 6:01pm »

on Nov 3rd, 2010, 5:58pm, Swamprat wrote:
$40 for a robot ornament?! shocked cry


$40.00 for all four. I know.................I didn't say I was able to BUY them undecided .............they are a hoot!
Crystal
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