Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Well-Meaning Environmentalist Initiative Goes Horribly Bad...

A Portable toilet                         Image via Wikipedia
"Low-flow toilets cause a stink in SF".

Instead of using sufficient water to flush a toilet properly, they're combining low-flow environmentally-friendly technology with... 8 1/2 million pounds of bleach.

Isn't the suffocating stench of rotting human excrement at an outdoors ballgame a tiny price we should be willing to pay to save the planet?

Remember, when it comes to environmental sanitation (see photo on right), united we, er, sit.

h/t Drudge.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ethanol: Another Environmental Initiative Gone Horribly Bad...

Cornfield in South Africa                                 Image via Wikipedia
"WASHINGTON – Former President Bill Clinton is warning farmers not to use so much corn for ethanol fuel that it raises food prices and causes riots in other countries."

Another leftist environmental initiative gone horribly bad...
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New BallBounces Poll: What Should Be Done With Pirates?

Coat of Arms of Somalia                                   Image via Wikipedia
Don't forget to vote early and often in the latest BallBounces poll.

The biggest problem for the international navies is what to do with the captives; the pirates can’t be tried in Somalia for obvious reasons. If they are to be taken to a Western country, say the Netherlands, there are two cumbersome possibilities: the pirates may enjoy a relatively luxury life in a western prison – hardly a deterrent; after the end of a possible short-lived jail term, he may ask for political asylum in the host country by ingeniously exploiting the existing system to do so.  Here.
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Road-Trip!™ Photos - Travelling Along I-40

 Cherokee Trading Center - Oklahoma

 New Mexico

 New Mexico

 Breakfast at the Turquoise Room - Winslow AZ

Safe Arrival -- Phoenix

Friday, February 18, 2011

Jimmy Carter Is George Costanza In Political Drag

Jimmy CarterCover of Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter's political commentary is useful when forming one's own opinions. Here's how it works: find out what he thinks, and think the opposite.

Jimmy Carter says the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing to worry about.

This means we should all be very worried about the Muslim Brotherhood.

Jimmy Carter is a brilliant man, but his liberal instincts do him a disservice.

Like Seinfeld's George Costanza, his instincts are almost always wrong.

Unlike George, he hasn't learned to speak and do the opposite.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

When Screaming "Jew Jew" Doesn't Fit The Narrative

CBS's older logo, with serif font lettering                                    Image via Wikipedia
"Having 200 'good guys' gang assault a female reporter while screaming “Jew! Jew!” doesn’t fit the narrative. Is that why CBS sat on the story?"

If this had been a meeting of Tea Partiers, there would have been wall-to-wall coverage.

Beware of news-coverage-by-wishful-thinking.
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One Intersection; Eight Drive-Throughs

The stop sign design currently used in English...                                      Image via Wikipedia
This is a follow-on to my red-light runners post.

There's a certain Regina guy whose house is at the end of an intersection. He's had eight errant drivers run past the stop onto his property; the latest rammed his girlfriend's car and pushed it into his garage door.  The perp left without leaving his name and number.

Regina city councillor Mike O’Donnell summed up the issue this way:  “If everybody stopped at the stop sign and drove at a reasonable speed through this residential area, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Lawful driving is a civic courtesy and a commendable thing.

And that's the way the Ball bounces to a stop, and then proceeds cautiously through the intersection.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Poll: The BQ Has Demanded (Another) 5 Billion For Quebec. Canada's Response?

Don't forget to vote in the latest Ball Bounces poll.  The Bloq Quebecois wants another 5 billion dollars in order to buy ensure its support of the present government. What should Canadians' answer be?

Road-Trip!™ Day Five: Albuquerque, NM - Phoenix, AZ

Old Theater, Winslow AZ                           Image via Wikipedia
We stayed on Central time rather than Mountain time, and went to bed early. Actually, it was more like Eastern time.

This enabled us to get up bright and early and head west with the first morning light and then the rising sun at our backs. The magnificent buttes of New Mexico gave way to Arizona, but the wonderful I-40 speed of 75 mph was maintained in Arizona -- way to go, Arizona!

Got to The Turquoise Room in Winslow just in time for second breakfast. The breakfast meal was indescribably delicious -- perfection. I had the Arizona Green Chile Eggs and my wife had the Corn Maiden. I wrote on the Comment card, "it was worth the 4-hour drive from Albuquerque for breakfast".  And it was!

From Winslow over to Flagstaff, and from there good-bye to our two days on I-40 and the I-17 drive south into Phoenix.

It was -4 C. when we left Albuquerque and +28 when we arrived in Phoenix.

Phoenix - we have arrived.

We've got two new dogs; they love it here!

I'll do a trip summary in a day or so and try to post some pics.
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Road-Trip!™ Day Four: Oklahoma City - Albuquerque, NM

We hit the road around 8 am.

Oklahoma gave way to Texas, and we hit Amarillo around noon. Decided to skip the Big Texan, although I'm sure I'll live to regret it -- delicious steaks! Pushed on through to the other side of Texas and into New Mexico.  Central timezone gave way to Mountain time, and the 70 mph Texas highway speeds were bumped up to 75 -- way to go, New Mexico!

The weather warmed up. It got as high as 19 C. before tapering off due to elevation and the late-afternoon sun.

We arrived in Albuquerque at 5pm local time and got a $60 coupon deal at a Hampton Inn.

Dinner at Pappadeaux -- great for seafood; we split a $20 seafood mixed grill plate. Delicious!

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we push on to Phoenix via Winslow Arizona and a must-stop meal at the Turquoise Room in the historic La Posada Hotel.

And that's the way travelling the Ball bounces.

Darwin Day: Much Ado About Nothing

Groundhog (Marmota monax), Ottawa, Ontario                                  Image via Wikipedia
It's Darwin Day, woodchuck-chuckers!

Probably a good day to pull out this:

In the Beginning was Nothing: A Creation Story for Young Materialists -- by Joe Carter

Darwin put us on a par with bugs, freed us from God, and undercut the philosophical underpinnings of meaning, purpose, values, destiny, and hope, in other words, everything that makes us authentically human -- yeah, Darwin!!!
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Road-Trip!™ Day Three: St. Louis - Oklahoma City

Santa Rosa, New Mexico Image by Ravencrest Travel via Flickr
Missouri was cold and the freshly-fallen snow blanketed the fields deep and crisp and even. The snow continued on well into northern Oklahoma.

Worst early-morning moment: "If you're going out to the car, could you bring me in one of my shirts?".  "What shirts? I haven't seen any of your shirts in the car".


Oklahoma turned out to be the weather-hinge-state on this trip. When we stopped at the Welcome Center in northern Oklahoma I was still fully bundled for the cold. The next stop, I pumped gas without the coat. The stop after that one I ditched the hat. It was zero degrees C. when we entered the state, and 12 by the time we got to Oklahoma City.

75 mph is a great highway speed -- way to go, Oklahoma!

Worst sight on road: the Missouri driver in the van beside me, who had his lower plate (of teeth) out in his left hand.

We're staying at the Comfort Suites. The ground-floor pipes had frozen and the fire department was onsite figuring what to do about it.

Tomorrow: Oklahoma City - Santa Rosa, New Mexico

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A Pithy Comment On Egypt

Coat of arms of City of Al Baha (مَدِيْنةُ الْ...                           Image via Wikipedia
Amidst all this flowering of democracy, you'll notice that it's only the pro-American dictatorships on the ropes: In Libya and Syria, Gaddafy and Assad sleep soundly in their beds. On the other hand, if you were either of the two King Abdullahs, in Jordan or Saudi Arabia, and you looked at the Obama Administration's very public abandonment of their Cairo strongman, what would you conclude about the value of being an American ally? For the last three weeks, the superpower has sent the consistent message to the world that (as Bernard Lewis feared some years ago) America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend. -- Mark Steyn, here.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Road-Trip!™ Day Two: Dayton - St. Louis

Gateway Arch sunrise 6        Image by afagen via Flickr
An easy day of driving. Two hours west from Dayton to Indianapolis. Indianapolis south to Effingham IL, and then on to St. Louis. Staying at the Fenton MO Drury Inn. Landmark: the St. Louis Arch - gateway to the west!

Restaurant destination event: Steak 'N Shake for 1/2 price shake 2pm - 4pm.  I arrived promptly at 2 pm.  When I didn't get the 1/2 price discount, the guy pointed to the clock on the wall-- it was just past 1pm CST, not 2pm EST.


Most interesting sign:

Works for me.

Tomorrow: St. Louis to Oklahoma City.

And that's the way the ball bounces.
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Chicago Public Schools: Mis-Spending Other People's Money

Source: via Wikipedia
I guess what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas. Where ya goin', honey?  I'm going to Vegas, babe, gonna spend other people's money!

Excerpts from CBS Chicago (h/t Drudge):
The Chicago Public Schools system is suffering from a $700 million budget shortfall. So why did some educators travel to Las Vegas just days after a travel restriction was ordered?
Tax dollars were spent on champagne costing $125 a bottle; thousands more on limousines, steak lunches and a food and liquor bill from a Soldier Field skybox event that alone cost more than $6,000.
In the case of the Las Vegas trip, a CPS spokesman says the conference was required for educational development plans and procedures were followed.
Procedures were followed? Oh, well, good, then.

What kind of slob feels good riding around in a limousine joy-ride paid for by other tax-payers?

America is losing its moral resolve, one compromised, corrupted American at a time. And that's the way a nation is lost -- one corrupted person at a time.

Access to taxpayer funds is, apparently, a key to the corrupting process; this makes even bigger government a very scary proposition. Who could resist a "free" trip? And how easy it is to forget who's funding it, or where the money is coming from; how easy to convince ourselves we've earned it, or we're entitled to it, or we are going to Vegas for the best of possible reasons?

The diligent and ethical in America and Canada are increasingly being taken hostage by indolent and corrupt persons with access to taxpayer funds. As someone put it, you're either feeding at the buffet or you're on the menu.

Never was their a greater need for the churches of America and Canada to remind those who fill their pews -- it used to be "everybody" -- of their moral and ethical duties, and the need to "abstain from fleshly lusts" -- lusts for greed and gratification whose tug we all feel. Never has the restraining and leavening effect of the Christian message been more sorely needed.

And that's the way the conservative Ball bounces.
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Road-Trip!™ Day One: Toronto - Dayton

New Bridge, Old Bridge      Image by joeldinda via Flickr
No big lines crossing at Sarnia/Port Huron.

Today's destination meal™: stopped at Bob Evans in Port Huron for Bob's biscuits and gravy. Reaction: "I'm so glad I'm livin' in the USA!"

Breezed through the burned out husk of Detroit (just kidding  -- see Steyn Online for the latest blow-back on his Detroit rants) and on down past Toledo to Dayton and the fabulous Drury Inn Dayton North.

Drury Inn Kick-Back at 5:30!

Most interesting sign at gas station on way: "Prepay in Advance"

Prepay. O-K. In advance. Yikes!  My head just pre-exploded... in advance!

Don't miss a day in this exciting road-trip adventure. Tune in tomorrow for: Dayton - St. Louis

And that's the way the exploding Ball bounces.

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Don't Forget to Vote In The BallBounces Iggy Poll!!!!

Is Iggy the right man to lead the Liberals?  So far, it's yes! yes!! yes!!!  Will it be unanimous??

The poll gadget is on your left.

How Much Is A Fetus Worth?

Human fetus                          Image via Wikipedia
How much is a fetus worth?

$1.8 million, but you have to collect a lot of 'em.

To the right: "when you knit me in my mother's womb". The more we know about DNA, the more apt the knit-metaphor seems. Sweaters do not knit themselves; and exquisite life -- life -- does not "just happen".

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Obama Says Corporate Profits "Have To Be Shared By American Workers" -- What About Losses?

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 1:  Democratic presidentia...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Obama: Corporate Profits "Have To Be Shared By American Workers".

Don't American workers already automatically benefit by working for profitable, successful American companies? Don't more workers usually get hired -- the greatest of all possible benefits for an out-of-work worker -- and don't the productive workers who are already there have increased job security -- a benefit if ever there was one -- along with the possibility of pay increases and likelihood of increased job opportunities?  I mean, doesn't this already happen without the chiding of a President?

Or is Obama just playing to the Marxist crowd?

But, let's play along with this idea.  If corporate profits must be shared by American workers, what about losses?  In bad years, should corporations get to send their workers a bill to help make up for the losses?

Was this the attitude of the Ontario UAW when the auto industry hit its slump?  Wasn't it more like, "when profits are up, we deserve our fair share", but, "when profits are down, it's not our fault and not our problem".

Wasn't that in effect what the UAW reps said?

The recent episode where Obama denied the moral and legal rights of GM shareholders in favour of bestowing uncalled for if not illegal financial benefits on unionized workers was an appalling, appalling example of politically-motivated opportunistic favouritism.  The shareholders and the small feeder companies got wrecked while the big unionized workers got lucky.

And this Obama favouritism thing -- which seems to be the cynically defining characteristic of his presidency -- seems to have no sign of ending anytime soon.

I hope this man turns things around and has a good final two years; but, so far, I don't see it happening.
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Monday, February 07, 2011

New Poll: Is Iggy The Right Man To Lead The Liberals In the Next Election??!!

Michael Ignatieff speaks with attendee      Image by John Hansen via Flickr
Don't forget to vote in the BallBounces latest poll -- Is Iggy The Right Man To Lead The Liberals In the Next Election??!!

Michael Ignatieff

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Muslim Brotherhood: Just Friends Whose Grievances We Haven't Yet Accommodated

Sadat with US President Ronald Reagan, 1981                                  Image via Wikipedia
Yesterday I criticized the Globe and Mail's accommodationist article by Doug Saunders on the Muslim Brotherhood. In his article, Mr. Saunders wrote,
"When these popular movements are repressed, as Egypt has done brutally for six decades, the frustrated adherents have switched to non-political, violent means: All jihadist movements, including al-Qaeda, were born as responses to this frustration. You can draw a direct line between the crushing of the Brotherhood and the attacks of 9/11.
This sounds like what Mark Steyn meant when he said: "From grade school up we’re taught that there are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven’t yet accommodated."

Fits Saunders' world to a tee.

Saunders also talks about a switch from political to violent means as if these are mutually exclusive categories. He blames the rise in Al-Qaeda violence on the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood. What he fails to acknowledge is that the Muslim Brotherhood itself is a political movement rooted in violence. This from Michael Youssef:
Shortly after the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood, they developed a “secret apparatus” which became involved in assassinations and terrorism. This group was responsible for the assassinations of prominent politicians and Coptic Christians whom they saw as hindrances to achieving their Islamic state. For example, in December of 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood’s secret apparatus assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister, Mahmud Al Noqrashi Pasha, whom they saw as a British puppet. In October 1954, their attempt to assassinate President Nasser proved to be their undoing. He rounded them up, put some to death and others were sent to hard-labor prisons. The imprisoned Brotherhood members remained there until Nasser died in 1971 and his successor, President Anwar Sadat released them.
Friends, the facts of life are conservative. And leftist views are not just naive, they are dangerous. On this, the 100th birthday of the man who stared down the evil empire while facing leftist ridicule and derision, we should remember that our way of life is hanging in the balance.


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Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Muslim Brotherhood? Don't Worry, Be Happy

Logo Muslim Brotherhood           Image via Wikipedia
Who's Afraid Of The Muslim Brotherhood?

Not the Globe and Mail's Doug Saunders, writing to the tune of "Don't Worry, Be Happy".
It was not until the fourth day of Egypt’s mass protests, long after the then-peaceful crowds had swelled into the hundreds of thousands, that the Brothers marched into Cairo’s Tahrir Square. They kept to themselves, taking over an otherwise empty corner. You could distinguish them, those in the square told me, by their propensity toward beards and head scarves, and by their chants of “Allahu Akbar.”
For an opposing view there's Ayaan Hirsi, "Uh-oh, the Muslim Brotherhood is rising -- but Egyptians can stop it".  One article written by "been there, done that" Ayann Hirsi is worth ten written by a western writer like Doug Saunders.

For another opposing view, there's  Michael Youssef's "Who Are The Muslim Brotherhood?"
The Muslim Brotherhood has spent the past 40 years forming chapters all over the world, including many European capitals and the United States. Until 2001, the Muslim Brotherhood’s publication in London Risalat Al-Ikhwan declared on the front page, “Our mission: world domination.” In 2004, the former Brotherhood Supreme Guide, Mohammed Akef, declared his “complete faith that Islam will invade Europe and America.”
Ah, but this is all so 2004 you say. Read on.
The current logo that adorns the Muslim Brotherhood’s paraphernalia is comprised of two swords crossing each other with the words “Get Ready” underneath — an indication that they’re getting ready for Islamic Jihad. I’m writing all this to answer a question a reporter asked me recently, “Why should we in America care about what happens in Egypt?” To the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt and Jordan are small steps toward their ultimate goal: world domination....
For years, journalists — Muslim journalists — have been warning the world of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Jihadi intentions. But people, particularly the Western liberal leftist media [read: Doug Saunders], have chosen to ignore these warnings. 
These are the guys that the Globe and Mail's Doug Saunders thinks are peachy-fine.

Let me put it this way, any group whose lead-off pitch is a cry of “Allahu Akbar” is automatically deserving of western fear if not revulsion.

Let's end with, from NewsRealBlog, the Muslim Brotherhood's Creed: "God is our objective, the Koran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations."

But, don't worry, be happy.
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Egypt's Airport Bribes: Another Multicultural Moment Gone Horribly Bad

If there were an emergency in Canada and foreigners needed to vacate, the authorities, i.e., the individual Canadians who comprise the "authorities", could be expected to be fair, honest, and helpful. Maybe chip in at their own expense, even.

And then there's Egypt.
CAIRO – Airport staff were scarce, food supplies were dwindling, flight information was non-existent — and some policemen even demanded substantial bribes before allowing foreigners to board their planes.
The going rate was a $2,000 exit fee for groups of passengers seeking to board their aircraft.

This happened more than once; so it's not a one-off.

Incidents like this remind us that Canada, living on the fumes of its anglo judeo-christian foundation, is still a great place to live -- and make us wonder what the original proponents of multiculturalism had in mind.

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Friday, February 04, 2011

How Much Is A Tree Worth?

Australian Coat of Arms (adopted 1912)                                      Image via Wikipedia
Let's put it this way. Exactly $19,000 (Australian) more than a human fetus.
Peter Petrou, 43, was digging outside the house he shares with his parents and children in Randwick on July 31 last year, searching for a leaking pipe that was causing water to gush over his front steps and footpath, when he cut into what he described as a ''fat root'' belonging to an old native brush box tree.
Although the cut did not kill the tree, it had to be removed, the council said, for safety reasons. Mr Petrou was ordered to pay $19,000 by Waverley Local Court for breaching a tree preservation order, thought to be the largest penalty of its kind ever issued in the local government area....
''It was just a duty-of-care issue. There's kids that walk along that path, and my elderly parents use the front steps … I didn't think one root could kill a tree.''
Let the kids slip and the elderly break their hips. This tree had a preemptive right-to-life.

What is it about environmentalists? They have no sense of proportion.

It's a good thing, he didn't put the tree root into a baggie...

h/t Mark Steyn, here.
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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

PORTLAND, Ore. –  An official in Portland, Ore., says a house fire that caused $30,000 in damage was apparently started by tenants who were using a hole in the floor as an ashtray.
Can we at least assume they use CO2-friendly light bulbs and shun sandwich baggies?

For a fair and balanced article, go here.
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Quote of the Day: "Canada Used To Free"

"March of Hearts" rally for same-sex...                            Image via Wikipedia
"Canada used to be a free country before it exchanged its freedom for a charter to guarantee it. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms didn’t cause the loss of rights and freedoms it guaranteed, only put a seal of good housekeeping on their loss. The Charter’s very existence enabled the courts to add a judicial stamp of approval to the state’s legislative restrictions on individual freedoms." -- George Jonas

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

One Stop, Three Red-Light Runners

Traffic lights can have several additional lig...                           Image via Wikipedia
I was heading south on Yonge towards the 401 the other day. Light turned yellow. I slowed and stopped. A car whizzed through from behind me as the light turned red.  After that, at an even higher speed, a second car blew through what was now a very red red light. A two-fer.  What surprised me was when a third car couldn't wait and ran the red before it turned green!

I've never seen that before.

Do you run red lights? I don't. It's a matter of respecting others and respecting the law.

It occurred to me as I sat there that a person who flouts a red-light would probably also cheat me if it suited him and he had the chance. Are our driving habits a reflection of our broader character? I suspect so. So did New York City. You know how they cleaned up on crime?  They simply started enforcing their minor laws; they found that a disproportionate number of careless and unlawful drivers were also wanted criminals. Disregard for the law kind of goes with the territory. Got them off the streets.

And that's the way the Ball bounces, waiting for the light to turn green.
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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

File "B" for Bonkers: Canadian Kindergartener Shunned For Bringing Baggie To School

A couple in Laval, Que. has sparked a fierce debate over how far schools should go to teach children about environmental responsibility after their six-year-old son was shut out of a kindergarten draw to win a stuffed animal because he had an environmentally unfriendly sandwich bag in his lunchbox.
So much for those warm fuzzies of inclusion and non-discrimination.

A fierce debate?  There should be no debate. This was wrong.

First, the kid had nothing to do with his parents' choice of sandwich conveyance device. That alone should be a deal-breaker.

Second, excluding the kid from a class event was abusive, and, in my world,  child abuse trumps using a zip-loc bag.  But, environmental zealots have no sense of proportion.

Third, I confess: I use zip bags whenever convenient.

So, tax me, or put me in jail.

I'm filing this under "B" for bonkers.

The West strains at gnats and swallows camels.

And that's the way the zip-locked Ball bounces.
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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"