Singer’s off-note   31/3/2006

Vapours-prone Herald Sun columnist Jill Singer is one of those bourgeois bolsheviks who regards the proletariat as truly lumpen.
Thus, she is sceptical of any real affection in the hoi polloi’s vocal support for Melbourne Lord Mayor John So. In Singer’s world, the yobbos are all dumb and evil. Hurrahs for So are hence decidedly suspect.

But I’m not so sure about this theory of racial harmony.
Consider Matt Price in The Weekend Australian (March 25), who wrote that John So is a contrived cult figure who has raised clumsy self-deprecation to a performance art by laughing along with those who mock his thick Asian accent.
Perhaps this is not racist, but it is certainly patronising and cruel.

The same crowds mobbed and cheered John Howard wherever he went at the Commonwealth Games. The aforementioned Matt Price admitted he had no explanation whatsoever for this phenomenon. After all, the likes of him and Singer have been telling the punters for years that Howard is to be despised.
Here’s a news flash for lefty columnists: the culture war is in full fury and the mainstream know all about it, and most importantly, which side they’re on. They’re backing the forces of individual responsibility, skilled creativity, family values, a fair go and respect for anyone who has a dip.
Their enemy promotes victimhood, statist solutions from cradle to grave, social and cultural divisions, postmodern mumbo jumbo and the establishment and maintenance of an underclass.

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Big shots in big strife   30/3/2006

Because I was running late for a terrific lunch yesterday, I’m a day late linking to this ball-biter of a story.
Can’t wait to learn who is involved.
AUSTRALIA’S largest tax evasion investigation involving prominent Australian celebrities, lawyers and business identities has dramatically widened to include allegations of official corruption, drug-running and people-smuggling.
Investigators in Operation Wickenby have detailed the scope of allegations – including possible bribery of commonwealth officials and money-laundering through casinos – surrounding the scheme, estimated to have cost the Government at least $300 million in lost revenues.

No follow-up today in The Australian, but I can’t see this disappearing down a plughole.
UPDATE:
The Sydney Morning Herald is on to it and is a little more specific on the suspect list:
The Swiss papers, among dozens of boxes of documents seized from Geneva firm Strachans, relate to nine core groups of suspects including film identities, the entrepreneur behind a large Sydney listed company, and a number of prominent lawyers and business identities.

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Your taxes at work   28/3/2006

Today’s email contained a message from a friend that parodies Howard and the Australian Wheat Board kickbacks affair.
It was yet another hackneyed reworking of Paterson’s Clancy of the Overflow, so didn’t win any gold medals for originality.
First verse:
I had written him a letter, which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him at the wheat board, years ago
He was chairman when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him
Just on spec, to make the point that “Howard doesn’t want to know”.

But someone had gone to the time and trouble of composing it and ensuring it did the email rounds.
Someone with plenty of time on their hands.
But also someone with not enough brains to remove a tag that reveals they are publicly disseminating politically partisan comment while on the government payroll.
Footnote on the circulated email:
Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Government of Victoria, Victoria, Australia.

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The worst kind of call   27/3/2006

Beloved and I were driving back from a couple of days in the country yesterday when we received the most dreaded type of phone call: A friend saying there’s no need for alarm but there’s been an accident.
So the alarm meter goes into red line territory!
Our son, Tim, was a guest at this party on Saturday night:
A GROUP of children had cheated death by a matter of minutes when a balcony collapsed during a 21st birthday party.
Police said the children, all relatives under the age of 10 of birthday boy Daniel Reddie, had been playing underneath the timber balcony just before it gave way under about 50 revellers in Geelong on Saturday night.
Six people were yesterday in hospital with multiple fractures and another 17 were nursing injuries following the horror incident.

After several failed attempts to call Tim from poor mobile phone reception country, we eventually hooked up with him, to find he was OK.
He was on the balcony when it collapsed and rode it four metres to the ground. Apart from a slightly sore back, he survived unscathed but was unnerved by the panic and hysteria that arose. And no doubt cheesed the party ended early.
Our reporter was on the scene within minutes. Capping off an already busy day, he was driving home from covering the Commonwealth Games when he spotted the chaos from the Barwon Bridge.
Tim was most impressed that someone from the paper was there before many from the emergency services.

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Bait for the gullible   22/3/2006

All hail the next garage-start techno zillionaires

Dr Gaylon Murphy, a cardiovascular surgeon from Aliso Viejo, and Steve Zingali, an engineer in Mission Viejo, built the fleet of carbon fibre-reinforced foam flying saucers in their garages.
The discs are 3ft in diameter, about 1in thick, weigh less than 17oz and can reach 40mph powered by a tiny electric motor. The flashing lights are fitted around the edge of the disc.
“We fly them in formation. It’s pretty funny,” Dr Murphy told the Los Angeles Times. “People stop, people scream; one cab driver ran his car off the road.”
The men have already sold four flight-ready saucers for $1,000 (£570) each.

Imagine the fun in launching them over an anti-war protest.

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Talk on the bile side   

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been a favourite of the US Left establishment. Not for much longer, perhaps. Respectfully reported by the elite broadsheets and feted by sections of Hollywood, Farrakhan has embarked on a savage hand-biting exercise. Newsmax reports:
It’s been nearly a month since Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakahan blamed “Zionists and neo-cons” for “manipulating” President Bush into invading Iraq – before blasting “wicked Jews” in Hollywood for promoting “lesbianism [and] homosexuality.”
Yet, outside of a few newspapers in Chicago, the same press that showers positive coverage on Farrakhan’s Million Man marches has yet to get around to covering his Feb. 26 Saviours Day speech.

Here’s something fresh; Iraq’s not all about the oil, it’s the Joos in, I kid you not, the synagogue of Satan:

“These neo-cons and Zionists have manipulated Bush and the American government and our boys and girls are dying in Iraq and in Afghanistan for the cause of Israel, not for the cause of America!” the honorable minister claimed. “Israel is the tail waggin’ the dog, which is America. “I’m warning you America,” Farrakhan continued. “You better get rid of them neo-cons. That’s the synagogue of Satan. They have made America weak. You’re a weak nation now, and your country has been taken from you by the synagogue of Satan. They own Congress. That’s why the Congress ain’t right.”

Gotta a feeling old Louis won’t be attending any Tinsel Town bashes for Bareback Mounties:

“These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing you down in moral strength … It’s the wicked Jews the false Jews that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality. It’s wicked Jews, false Jews that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic!”

And another ward in Bedlam goes into isolation.

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Dry argument   21/3/2006

Islamofascists are mindlessly brutal because if they weren’t no one, not even the loony left, would take them seriously. Consider this:
JERUSALEM – The bird-flu virus found in Israel last week was sent by Allah to punish the Jews for being “the worst of humanity” and is the beginning of the outbreak of other diseases meant to destroy the Jewish state within the next twenty years, a Gaza preacher said at mosque services this weekend.
Sheikh Abu Muhammed, an imam at the popular Al-Tadwa mosque in Beit Lahia north of Gaza City, went on to ask Muslims at his Friday night sermon to pray for the sexual organs of Jews to “dry out” so they cannot reproduce, a Palestinian in attendance at the mosque services told WorldNetDaily.

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Blow by blow account   20/3/2006

As always with the big stories, Tim Blair’s site is right on top of Cyclone Larry. Commenters are speculating on when Howard gets the blame.
I blame Imre and Condi Rice. Last week Salusinszky
wrote that Rice brought to mind Neil Young’s “You are like a hurricane There’s calm in your eye.”

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Dumb and dumber   18/3/2006

What do leftie academics want? A whole new generation of underclass dummies? A largely privatised education system from kindergarten to masters that will take more from the pockets of lower earners? A worldwide revolt against leftie academics? Reckon that’s what they’ll get.
ENGLISH school students in Western Australia could pass their final-year exam without reading a book or being able to spell, punctuate or use correct grammar.

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Duck by a goose   16/3/2006

The bloody duck said it all. On the job last night we couldn’t make much sense of the Commonwealth Games opening screening on TV in the background. We weren’t alone.
It was underlit, poorly attended, incomprehensible and the usual self-indulgent wank of some overpaid arty-farty. And there were all these references to a duck.
Then on ABC radio this morning I was told the obscure narrative behind the barrage of imagery was by Melbourne’s unfunniest cartoonist — who has made the duck his motif — Michael Leunig.
Melbourne’s most notorious anti-semite, Leunig was mentioned in despatches last month when one of his doodlings was published by an Iranian paper as a fine example of Jew-hating comic art.
Matt Price in The Australian explains how the signature bird of an occasional cartoonist for a newspaper with a circulation of only 150,000 is somewhat deficient in the recognition department. He politely refrains from commenting on the duck’s relevance to an international sporting carnival:
The decision by Commonwealth Games organisers to bookend the three-act theatrical segment of the opening ceremony with appearances by Michael Leunig’s whimsical figure proved confusing to spectators and TV viewers unfamiliar with the Melbourne cartoonist’s work.
“Did it have something to do with bird flu?” asked a bewildered New Zealander.
“Was it based on a May Gibbs character?” wondered a bloke from Brisbane.
“What’s with the duck?” asked a fellow from South Africa.

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Out of touch   15/3/2006

We in the regional and local media are accustomed to patronisation being patronised by
the big city press. We comfort ourselves with the knowledge we work harder than them, we can’t afford the type of blunders they make — like spelling country towns wrong — and that we can’t bullshit our readers like they do.
We also like to think we’ve got better manners as we watch them plunder our resources without gratitude whenever a major story happens to break in our neck of the woods.
A major US poll has found that our values resonate with readers. And although the pay cheques don’t match, if pleasing your clients is the measuring stick, we’re head and shoulders above the slickers.
Americans continue to be troubled about the state of the press. But journalists themselves are troubled as well, according to “The State of the News Media 2006,” a massive series of surveys and analyses released yesterday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research group affiliated with Columbia University.
Local TV news and local newspapers won the most accolades from the public. Both were rated favorably by three-quarters of the respondents with majorities agreeing that local news organizations concentrated on facts rather than opinions. Such major dailies as the New York Times did not fare so well, garnering a 38 percent favorability rating.

Regional and local journalists, unlike many city counterparts, are no more likely to stand out in their community than bank officers, cops or shopkeepers. That is why the researchers’ “values gap on social issues” between journalists and the mainstream is not as wide outside the capitals. It helps that regional towns and suburbs are usually devoid of “hip” enclaves where lefty, opinionated journalism flourishes. These figures demonstrate the great divide:

In a survey of 547 journalists, 6 percent felt that belief in God is necessary to be moral; the figure was 58 percent among the general public. About 88 percent of the press, compared with 51 percent of the public, think society should accept homosexuality.
An ideological divide between the national press and the public also persists. The survey found that 20 percent of the public described themselves as liberal; the figure was 34 percent among journalists. Although 33 percent of the public deemed themselves conservative; 7 percent of the press members identified themselves as conservative. The majority of journalists — 54 percent — say they are moderates, compared with 41 percent of the public.

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Yet they publish her   13/3/2006

By any stretch, Saddam Hussein is a brutal bastard.
During the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq’s Sunni-dominated regime arrested thousands of Shiite Muslims on charges of supporting the 1979 Iranian Revolution; many have never been accounted for. Nearly 500,000 Shiites fled to Iran. After the Gulf War, Iraqi forces shelled and shot thousands of Shiites who were hiding in the country’s southern marshlands after a failed revolt. Hussein also razed towns and drained marshlands. Thousands of Shiites, including hundreds of clerics and their students, were imprisoned without charge, “disappeared” or were executed. Many Shiite shrines and institutions were demolished. Again, thousands of Shiites fled the area, some to Iran. In 1999, Ayatollah al Sayyid Mohammad Sadiq al Sadr, the most senior Shiite cleric in Iraq, was assassinated.

Slobbo Milosevic was also a nasty piece of work:
In April 1992, the U.S. and European Community chose to recognize the independence of Bosnia, a mostly Muslim country where the Serb minority made up 32 percent of the population. Milosevic responded to Bosnia’s declaration of independence by attacking Sarajevo, its capital city, best known for hosting the 1984 Winter Olympics. Sarajevo soon became known as the city where Serb snipers continually shot down helpless civilians in the streets, including eventually over 3,500 children.
Bosnian Muslims were hopelessly outgunned. As the Serbs gained ground, they began to systematically roundup local Muslims in scenes eerily similar to those that had occurred under the Nazis during World War II, including mass shootings, forced repopulation of entire towns, and confinement in make-shift concentration camps for men and boys. The Serbs also terrorized Muslim families into fleeing their villages by using rape as a weapon against women and girls.

And Chinese and North Korean authorities act atrociously against non-Marxists:
WASHINGTON – The martyrdom of Christians in North Korea, which U.S. taxpayers continue to subsidize, seems to be escalating as the crisis of the Stalinist-run country gets worse, United Press International has learned.
Chinese authorities have rounded up and repatriated North Korean Christians who had sought refuge and been catechized on Chinese territory.
“We have reports that these refugees had wires driven through their wrists and noses. By these wires they were led back into North Korea,” said Thomas White, head of the U.S. section of the organization Voice of the Martyrs.
Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, told UPI that this forced repatriation was due to the worldwide attention North Korean escapees on the Chinese side of the border had received in the last few months.

But the above monsters are lambs compared with you sadistic Australian bastards. So says frequent writer to the Australian blats, the highly-reasoned Marilyn Shepherd of Kensington, South Australia who comments in The Age today:
Stop, enough already. Australia has never, ever been so bloody cruel, but now that we have proved we can be the harshest bastards on earth, (my incredulous emphasis) we can call it a day.

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Joke ungot   10/3/2006

I’ve always thought I had a reasonable appreciation of humour, particularly that produced by British comics. The Goons, Steptoe and Son, Til Death Do Us Part, Monty Python, Black Adder, Benny Hill, The Two Ronnies, the Young Ones, French and Saunders have at times all got me guffawing like a stormwater trench.
Maybe it’s too deep for me, but I doubt it; I’m sorry, I find Little Britain about as funny as toothache. Sorry, but gags about vomiting, rude clerks and old ladies pissing themselves were passe in my neck of the woods around Grade 5.
The gits in it and their attempts at funniness remind me of another mirthless televisual experience — The Goodies.

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Heritage trasher   

Californian senator Sheila Kuehl is one ungrateful legislator.
The lesbian Democrat wants to eliminate all the key elements from high school life that first brought her to public attention.
Critics say that if a bill, SB 1437, Senator Kuehl is pushing were to become law, “it could potentially require gender-neutral bathrooms in our schools and all references to ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ or ‘mom and dad’ removed from school textbooks as the norm.”
The Capitol Research Institute claims the bill also applies to school activities, which include cheerleading, sports and events like the prom.
“Under SB 1437, school districts would likely be prohibited from having a ‘prom king and queen’ because that would show bias based on gender and sexual orientation,” said CRI. The measure also could affect issues like gender-specific sports teams.
Senator Kuehl’s brief caress with fame was back in the 1960s when as Sheila James she played the unattainable Zelda in Charles Murton’s favourite video flashback “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”.
We can just imagine the ghost of Maynard G. Krebs lamenting: “Like, what the #&@%, man!!??”

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Not just the fish stinking   

The manmade fish pictured below (click to enlarge) on the Yarra in Melbourne are for reasons far beyond my ken connected to the Commonwealth Games beginning next week.
I took the pic last Friday. Which was probably just as well because if I’d taken it tonight, when organisers are rehearsing the Games’ opening ceremony, I could have been up for a $240,000 fine.
The Bracks Government, which has shown with its anti-vilification laws it has no respect for free speech, is threatening to fine media outlets which publish images taken during these rehearsals. Never mind that the rehearsals are on public property.
As usual, the spineless, inept Victorian Opposition is mute about this transgression of basic civic rights.
No one is saying it out loud yet, but the Games are threatening to turn into a flop with thousands of overpriced tickets unsold, big sporting names pulling out and huge numbers of Melburnians greatly inconvenienced by detours and road closures.
And proving yet again that no one can turn an economy belly-up as completely as a Victorian Labor Government, Bracks’ crew has managed to run up a bill of more than $2 billion from initial estimates of $160 million.
And still nothing from Popeye Doyle and his duds in the Opposition.
Perhaps they’re keeping their powder dry until all the invoices are in. By waiting to dump until after the Games they avoid appearing as spoil-sports. Maybe, but I think Popeye’s just chicken-shit about upsetting Liberal tzar and Games supremo Ron Walker.

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Mad about Howard   9/3/2006

Ancient leftie scribe Mungo McCallum pleads with Crikey for equal time in the abuse hour, suggesting that if Crikey refers to the likes of him as a Howard-hater, it should call PM supporters Howard-huggers.
Stupid Mungo must be sitting too close to the bongs up in Byron Bay. The hatred displayed by the irrelevant left can’t plausibly be balanced by terms such as “Howard-hugger”, unless PM supporters start likening him to the messiah or calling for his canonisation.
I don’t think much of lefty commentators like McCallum, Ramsey or Adams, but I don’t hate them. Likewise, leaders from the other side of politics like Beazley, Brown or whoever’s in charge of the Democrats this week might be inept and philosophically on the wrong tram, but I don’t hate them.
But revealingly, Mungo and comrades revel in their hatred. Yet, hatred by a supposedly learned commentator in Australian politics for a liberal democrat, albeit a conservative one like Howard, is simply irrational. If Howard acted like Saddam Hussein, Joe Stalin or Mao Tse Tung and had personally harmed them or theirs, one could perhaps understand hatred; although revenge would be more useful. But this is John Howard for Christ’s sake, he holds elections. He’s won four.
Yet his supporters are not as obsessive as those opponents who delight in their hatred. That’s irrationality bordering on madness.

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Holden harridan   

Almost everyone has fantasies. That’s why advertising works. Who hasn’t taken a wander from reality and imagined winning the lottery, opening the batting for Australia, telling John Howard to leave the keys in the top drawer? But except for the truly touched, fantasy has no lasting power and we’re soon back dealing with grim, sordid reality.
Advertising reminds us that nearly all of us have fantasies. And the best fantasies in advertising are funny, clever and, even to tots, clearly unattainable.
Those who don’t have fantasies — or won’t admit to them — are geriatric intellectuals like Germaine Greer.
The whiney old bag has hit the headlines again — and ensured a few more sales for the General — by getting her bloomers in a twist over a Holden ute ad.
Greer, who would like to “shoot” 4WD drivers, began her speech by attacking Holden over ads for the new Rodeo ute, in which a woman asks a man what his ultimate fantasy is, only to have him imagine driving off-road with a younger, slimmer and “entirely servile” woman.
“My question to you women is, why have you allowed this to happen?” Greer said. “Why haven’t plate-glass windows on Holden showrooms been exploding all over Australia? How much humiliation are you up for? I promise you, they wouldn’t dare do it in Europe. They would not dare.”
Greer, who said Holden would have based the ad on market research, said it demonstrated the problem of Australians, regardless of sex, not speaking out.
“Australians are naturally egalitarian, direct, honest, not eaten out by envy, but lazy and too slow to anger,” Greer told a crowd of 300 women at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
“Please get annoyed about this (Holden ad) because it shames us all.”

Fergawdzakes, the ordinary bloke imagining himself with an unattainable goddess has been around since Ugggg discovered his fist was for more than punching. It doesn’t usually transport to reality.
Maybe Greer was practising self-parody. Launching a jihad against the Holden ute from the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre seems a tad ironic. If not unhinged.

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Member hacked   8/3/2006

Returning from a drive down the Great Ocean Road I learn that my Federal Member of Parliament has fallen victim to the shenanigans of Australian Labor Party branch-stacking.
Gavan O’Connor, the Opposition’s shadow minister for agriculture, has lost preselection for the seat of Corio which he has held for 13 years.
O’Connor, a thoroughly decent bloke, was a farmer and teacher before entering Parliament. He’ll talk to you knowledgebly, and with equal enthusiasm, about local footy results and his vision for a multi-transport export hub incorporating Avalon Airport and the Port of Geelong.
His replacement, Richard Marles, is described repeatedly by the media as a rightwing powerbroker in the Victorian ALP.
In contrast to O’Connor’s humble Irish-Catholic onion-growing background, Marles (scroll down) is a son of privilege who attended Australia’s most expensive private school before enjoying a guided career passage through activist legal firm Slater and Gordon and then the ACTU (formerly the peak body for achievers from Australia’s once-proud working class, now the plaything of ex-student politicos not smart enough to make it in the business world).
No one can deny that Geelong and district has been transformed in the period that O’Connor has been its major representative in Canberra.
He has played a pivotal role in seeing billions flow to the area for projects such as the Princes Freeway, the redevelopment of Geelong waterfront, the soon-to-be-constructed Geelong Ring Road, the Melbourne-Geelong rail upgrade and a host of other urban improvements that have made Geelong and the Surf Coast one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions.
He has pledged to fight the preselection result but it would appear an uphill battle. The dogs of Labor are already howling “rat” at reports O’Connor may even stand as an independent Labor candidate at the next Federal poll.
Marles’ candidature indicates how much the political wheel has turned. He’s a Geelong Grammar old boy with no work experience in the real world. These were once essential pre-requisites for a conservative seat in parliament.

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Most unfare   5/3/2006

If annoying huge chunks of your readership is the way to produce badly needed new sales, the Sunday Age is bravely charting new territory. The preferred read of sabbath latte-slurpers today recommends that all should ride Melbourne’s public transport for free.
It suggests the $380 million bill required could be met: by a congestion tax on cars entering the CBD; by a Medicare-style national levy; or by a rate levied on households and businesses, with rebates for concession-card holders and tax deductibility for businesses. Or some combination of these measures.
Thus, free trains and trams for those in the inner and middle suburbs would be subsidised by: those who have no choice but to drive into the city; an increase in income tax for the whole nation; or a hefty hike in council rates for a majority who don’t use public transport.
I’m sure the citizens of outer suburbs with a paucity of public transport as well as residents of regional cities and towns will be thoroughly delighted at the prospect of paying train and tram fares for those poor underprivileged commuters from Carlton, Hawthorn, Toorak and Brighton.
More evidence that The Age-ABC clique think the world ends where the freeways begin.

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Token concern   4/3/2006

Tracee (“ee” – remembered with affectation) Hutchinson recalls her growing awareness of woman matters:

It was here that I started to learn of the circumstances of women not blessed with the same geographical and economic birthrights as my own, women living under Taliban oppression, women forced into sex slavery and human trafficking, the systemic rape of women as a tool of war, women being stoned to death for adultery and the culturally entrenched practices of genital mutilation, to name a few.

But then along came Maggie Thatcher and young sluts.
Some things can be just so distractive.

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