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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1444 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

Graham Dawson
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Re: Shame!

French cockney rhyming slang must be an interesting thing to hear...

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Graham Dawson
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Re: From the Dead Sheep Dept

And the difference with Labour is...?

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Napoleon and his metric system conquered Europe,

Don't give up on fingers! I can count to 32 on one hand.

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Graham Dawson
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Actually they do have a "mystical rightness", depending on how you define these things. The foot has maintained a consistent length for thousands of years, all the way back to the ancient Greece and Egypt and it seems that it can actually be derived with two sticks and the night sky to a surprising degree of accuracy.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Shame!

You realise that the rule about the split infinitive is a continental import, yes? It was invented when French-educated scholarly types (Actually this isn't strictly fair as the French they spoke was actually London French and very different from Paris French) attempted to forcibly apply Latin rules of grammar to English. This raises a conflict with one particular point of Latin; that being it is entirely inflected. The infinitive is a single grammatical unit, whilst English, like many other non-inflected languages, forms the infinitive with an additional particle or auxiliary word, such as "to".

It is "impossible" (for a given value of imbloodypossible) to split the infinitive in inflected languages as that would require splitting a word. Applying this rule to a non-inflected language with weak word-order-meaning and flexible sentence structure makes little sense and can create very awkward sentences if the writer chooses to pointlessly apply it without considering whether there is a reason to do so.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Point 57 of a litre please.

Aye, but with metric, a half of shandy would last the whole night...

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Google compressed-filth legal battle with smut site ended in US

Graham Dawson
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Re: Typical Daily Mail reader reaction to this story below...

Won't someone PLEASE think of the children!

No, no not like that! Stop it!

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Stuck in a dull conference? You need Verity's survival guide

Graham Dawson
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I'd suggest the solution to "room for little me" is to take a women's coat and bag, place it on the seat so it's hanging against the ground and conceal a glass of wine on the floor next to it. When the whale arrives he's almost guaranteed to kick over the glass all over the coat, or knock it over when shifting the thing, and you can scream bloody murder at how he's ruined your friend or significant other's brand new accessories.

Theoretically anyway. If anyone could test this for me I'd be most appreciative.

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UK milk wastage = 20,000 cars = actually completely unimportant

Graham Dawson
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Re: So...

If you want to eat more cows you're going to the wrong place there, matey.

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Cameron's F-35 U-turn: BAE Systems still calls the shots at No 10

Graham Dawson
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Re: It's all so depressing...

It does if that 1960s technology has proven capable of the role asked of it.

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Intelligence a genetic mistake

Graham Dawson
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Re: Mutation

Certainly is, especially in humans for some reason. We have so many duplicates of genes it's not even funny.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Didn't take long did it?

El reg commentards seem to be losing their edge recently. I remember the days when anti-christian or anti-religion comments were actually witty and entertaining. Back then you could joust and debate and everyone went away feeling just dandy, maybe having even learned something in the process. Now all we get is plain old dehumanising hate which, as any fule kno, does nothing to advance a point of view.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Mutation

It's not the miscopying, it's the duplication. The genes in question were duplicated to other, unused parts of the genome where error correction doesn't prevent mutations from happening. Then later they were moved to a spot where they started to express again. Without that mechanism, mutations on genes get corrected out.

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Java jury finds Google guilty of infringement: Now what?

Graham Dawson
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Re: Pandora's box??

Okay john 112 - who owns English?

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MP blasts 'ineffective' games regulation

Graham Dawson
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Re: Hmm

See, generally speaking, when... say, an islamist goes off in a crowded town centre he's made a video telling everyone how what he's doing is for God and Islam and all that. Hell even those abortion doctor killers over in the states are usually clear about their justification for it. They say "God told me to do it" though, on the face of it, they're ignoring a few commandments to get to that point. It's hard to deny what they themselves claim to be, though I don't think they'd use terrorist as a self-descriptor.

Breivik did not do that. He explicitly pointed out that he is not religious, that he values science above religion and that he is "culturally" christian. He isn't proclaiming that he is doing God's will, he's talking about how he wants to do his will and reach his goals. He went to great lengths to make it clear that any religious belief is not his motivator and even points out in his manifesto that he believes religious belief, specifically protestant christianity, has been a detriment to his idealised Europe in recent times.

If anyone wants him to be anything it's the media looking for an equivalent to islamist walking bomb in Europe. He isn't a christian terrorist. It would make as much sense to say he's a darwinian terrorist, or a moderate centrist terrorist, or... well the list goes on really.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Hmm

"As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. ... Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I'm not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe."

"As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus."

"Being a Christian can mean many things; That you believe in and want to protect Europe's Christian cultural heritage. ... It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. ... It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)). The PCCTS, Knights Templar is therefore not a religious organisation [sic] but rather a Christian 'culturalist' military order."

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Graham Dawson
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Actually he only considered himself a "cultural christian" and professed no belief in God, even going to great lengths to explain that he didn't believe in God in his manifesto. Calling him a christian terrorist doesn't make sense.

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ARM creators Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber

Graham Dawson
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I'm not alone!

I do that all the time, it's so very annoying.

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Chip alchemists 'turn cheap silicon into longer-lasting flash'

Graham Dawson
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Re: Christians are up in arms.

ಠ_ಠ

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Google took a bath on Android in 2010, judge reveals

Graham Dawson
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Re: Accounting can be very creative

Depends if you actually stole the DVD, doesn't it? This case is more akin to "they made a DVD that looks a lot like ours and they should pay as if they bought ours".

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Graham Dawson
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Re: What comes to mind...

But enough about windows 8, what about android?

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Why embossed credit cards are here to stay

Graham Dawson
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Re: Never use credit cards.

"why are private companies being allowed to issue currency?"

Guess you don't use stamps, then. Or collect coupons, or use cheques. They're all currency by any reasonable definition of the term - people still use stamps as a reserve currency and for payment. Coupons are self-explanatory.

Cheques are particularly interesting. They're essentially the same as a promissory note and have the same origin as paper money, in credit notes issued by a bank, being a promise to pay the bearer on demand, except issued by a private individual rather than a private corporation.

And of course you must not use any currency valued greater than £1 at any time, as all the paper money in the UK is issued by private companies. The Bank of England is not a government institution and never has been. The banks that issue notes in Scotland and Northern Ireland are also not government institutions and never have been. The government may create fiat money out of thin air these days but all it's actually doing is legislatively requiring the private company of the Bank of England to issue to issue currency that didn't previously exist.

And all contemporary currency, even the shrapnel tinkling away in your pocket, ultimately began as currency issued by a private company.

So. Why are you spending currency issued by a private company if you're so against it?

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Star Trek's Wesley Crusher blasts Google+ landgrab

Graham Dawson
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Re: Wil who?

Wouldn't that make Jar Jar the Wesley Crusher of Star Wars?

I don't care if he was an annoying pr... character in Star Trek, he's a bloody great guy in real life.

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Dinosaurs were DRAINED of blood by GIGANTIC HORROR FLEAS

Graham Dawson
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Re: They still exist today

It's shocking what goes on in the bedrooms of this once great nation...

*flicks open his copy of the daily mail and tuts at the house prices*

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Graham Dawson
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Re: I for one welcome our prehistoric blood-sucking overlords, etc...

15 to 30mm is... 1.5 to 3cm, or approximately 1 inch. A flea one inch long? No thanks!

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Biennial boner blights Beemer biker

Graham Dawson
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Re: Hang on a mo..

Priapism is a very painful condition.

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Nympho hauled to loon-cooler after serial bonkathon brutality

Graham Dawson
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Re: Actually, it is very possible to get too much

Vanilla.

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Half of UK smart TV owners don't know what the 'smart' bit is for

Graham Dawson
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On the other hand my parents, who are presumably of a similar age (60s or so) took the the whole "pause live TV" like a fish to water and absolutely love everything about these digital doohickeys, though they use computers for the internet. A TV is just no good for that.

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CISPA passes House of Representatives vote

Graham Dawson
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Re: Lame excuse

Of course the bill does nothing to actually address the issues they claim it will address.

A thing to bear in mind for each side of this:

1) A victim of a crime is not suddenly at fault because they left their door unlocked. It was the criminal that chose to enter.

2) As with just about everything, laws exist to cover the claimed issue already. This new bill is using "cyberterrorism" as an excuse to grant the state sweeping new powers that benefit nobody but the state itself and stretch far beyond the borders of the US.

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Samsung overtakes Nokia, Apple in mobile handset race

Graham Dawson
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Re: The only sane metric is profitability.

I can't believe people are still wheeling out this tired "android copied IOS" meme. Ooh, it's a touch-screen OS on a phone, it's exactly the same! If anything it's more like Maemo.

Grow up.

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Space-cadet Schwartz blows chunks out of Oracle's Java suit

Graham Dawson
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What is it with people who have hair arguing over whether it's long or short?

Bastards, the lot of you.

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Mobile phones still safe... probably

Graham Dawson
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AND it'll cause house prices to fall.

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DARPA overjoyed that its hypersonic glider came apart, blew up

Graham Dawson
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Re: How?

The goal is a self-propelled aircraft that can get from point A to point B in a very short period without leaving the atmosphere. A sub-orbital rocket can get from A to B pretty fast but once you know where it's from and what it's trajectory is, you can make a fairly accurate guess of where it will go and take countermeasures. An aircraft that can move at a significant chunk of the speed of a ballistic missile yet which is capable of changing direction would negate that completely. Its target would be unpredictable.

Like I said, they're testing the aerodynamics of the vehicle, not the actual vehicle itself. The eventual goal is a hypersonic jet aircraft, manned or unmanned, that can get to anywhere on the planet in just a couple of hours.

A hypersonic plane could also theoretically get most of the way out of the atmosphere without using much fuel. Scramjets could take it to the edge of space, then a rocket could take over from there. It would save the entire first stage of a launch system in theory. That's a huge saving.

Can't do any of that unless you know it's going to actually fly, hence the rocket-launched drones.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: How?

The test plane has to be launched from a rocket but, so what? The first supersonic plane the Americans flew was just a rocket with wings.

They're learning the aerodynamics first. There's no point in developing the engines for a hypersonic craft if it's going to fall apart when you turn them on.

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Web hosting

Graham Dawson
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Re: Memset

Seconded! Their miniservers are an absolute blast and I believe they've just set up their own cloudy storage and such system, though I've yet to look into it in detail. It seems pretty good.

Highly responsive support team who help out at all sorts of times and with all sorts of self-inflicted problems, extremely reliable service, pretty good cost and they don't skimp on things like bandwidth or storage either.

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Nokia's fontastic Pure wins 'design Oscar'

Graham Dawson
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Re: As pure as an innocent virgin

Possibly too much.

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Battlefield Earth ruled worst film EVER

Graham Dawson
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They're eating her!

And then they're going to eat me!

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Cosmic ray source riddle mystery now even more mysterious

Graham Dawson
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Re: @AC - No, more importantly.

Boris Johnson?

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Swiss, German physicists split the electron

Graham Dawson
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Re: Hmm, I wonder what the fundamental particle of rabid control-freakery is called?

I thought they renamed that the Berlin Transverse Aerial Navigation Aid.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Am I biting the hand that feeds it? Oh yes!

AC, with those sorts of charges you're going to be lepton.

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RIP Ceefax: Digital switchover kills off last teletext service

Graham Dawson
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Re: Today London lost Ceefax!

Is Lewis Page an Oracle? It would explain a lot.

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Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism

Graham Dawson
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Re: Maybe?

Knowing the difference between acid and alkali is not comparable to knowing how to fiddle with a stylesheet.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: A little bit of knowledge does no harm - it's essential

"The square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides .. yup, use that regularly."

I do. It's very handy when you're building a house, just as a random example that has nothing at all to do with what I do (which is building, don'tcha know). Or even if you're a software developer who wants to, I don't know, program something to display a triangle on a screen.

Of course, I learned such things back when the GCSE mathematics papers required long written answers.

Which is to say nothing about the point of the article anyway. Which point, I should add, makes a great deal of sense to me. Some things should be compulsory, but teaching computer skilzzzzzz isn't one of them as it tends to be either a skive-off class or actively puts people off getting involved in software development. GCSE IT is a complete faff.

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Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Graham Dawson
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Re: Computer languages and software interfaces may fall under copyright protection

Look at it this way: who has the copyright on English?

Nobody. And nobody will get it either, or any other spoken or written language, because it's a stupid idea to copyright language. Yet change the language to java and suddenly you seem to think it makes sense. Why? Both are frameworks for the expression of ideas. We could, if we wanted, hold conversations in Java or any other programming language, and we'd be able to express ideas and understand one another just as any other spoken language (with a little more difficulty and syntactical sugar, I suppose, but still).

APIs and interfaces are like idiomatic, culturally shared shorthand for particular concepts that might be expressed in other, longer ways. They're the equivalent of a raised eyebrow at the sight of Orlowski arguing against copyrighting something or the exhalation of air that says so much about your mood, what you want, what you don't want, and just how stupid some people can be to believe idiocies that make no sense.

Do you understand the problem with copyrighting language now?

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Hold on, Booker prize judges - Stob's penned a steampunk hit

Graham Dawson
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Re: Enjoyed that

@Jimmy

More of a tradition.

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Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Graham Dawson
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Re: Don't look too much at the past

I have been begging the world for multiplayer Elite for years to no avail. I would almost literally kill for it to happen. Or possibly dump garbage on the edge of the solar system...

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RIP wind power: Minister blows away plans for more turbines

Graham Dawson
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Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.

PWRs are also more than 30 years old and have been superceded by several generations of much safre passively cooled reactors that require action to maintain the reaction rather than actiion to prevent it.

fukushima is an old reactor that should have been shut down years ago but wasn't because of people like you screaming about the idea of new replacement reactors being built.

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If Google's only taking a COPY of your personality, why worry?

Graham Dawson
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Internet fame! Huzzah! Time to announce a new web 3.0 collaboration site for famous commenters and get bought out by Brin or someone for a brajillion dollars!

What? My fame is gone already? Dang...

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It's all in the wrist: E-ink smartwatch Pebble bags $2m

Graham Dawson
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Since we're on the subject of watches and phones, you know what I've always wanted? A phone built into a pocket watch. IT would be marvellous. I have no idea why, it just would be.

Anyway I shall be looking out for these. I wonder though, do they keep time when you haven't got your phone with you? If it can be used as "just a watch" as well, it'll be great.

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Facebook defends support for CISPA monitoring bill

Graham Dawson
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Re: Uh, yeah. Right....

Or for those who are of the more lefty persuasion, imagine this power in the hands of a future Rumsfeld or Cheney.

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