DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for April, 2010

Voter Intimidation, New Black Panther Style

27th April 2010

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On Friday, April 23, the commission finally held its long-delayed hearing on the Justice Department’s now-infamous dismissal of almost all the cases it had already won by default against three members of the NBPP and the party itself for voter intimidation in Philadelphia in the November 2008 election.

In fact, there was good reason for the security. A number of Panthers, including two of the defendants in the lawsuit the DOJ dropped (Jerry Jackson and King Samir Shabazz), marched into the hearing room in their black, fascist-style paramilitary uniforms. The very fact that the NBPP showed up in force refutes the claim made by the DOJ’s leadership that the case was dismissed because there was no evidence of coordination between the national organization and the Philadelphia chapter. Furthermore, the Panthers were handing out a press release from Malik Zulu Shabazz, the national chairman of the NBPP.

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Something about Arizona

27th April 2010

Jay Nordlinger examines the latest Crustian bugaboo.

The most prominent protester was a Christopher Broughton, who sported both a rifle and a pistol: the former slung over his shoulder, the latter holstered at his side. Otherwise, he looked like a typical businessman, in a white dress shirt and dark tie. MSNBC showed the middle of his body, only: zeroing in on those weapons. Anchorwoman Contessa Brewer said, “There are questions about whether this” — meaning the anti-Obama, pro-gun protest — “has racial overtones. I mean, here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns.” Embarrassingly for MSNBC — one would think — Mr. Broughton is black. The Arizona Republic asked him why he had shown up armed. He answered, “Because I can do it. In Arizona, I still have some freedoms left.”

Indeed, some Arizonans joke that a security fence should not be built along the state’s southern border, with Mexico, but along the western border with California. You have perhaps heard of “Vermontization.” Vermont was once one of the most Republican states in the land — a New England Arizona. It was one of the two states won by Alf Landon in 1936. The other was Maine. (The saying had been, “As goes Maine, so goes the nation.” That year, the quip was, “As goes Maine, so goes Vermont.”) But people from New York City, Massachusetts, and other liberal realms decided that they liked Vermont, a lot: So Coolidge’s state became Howard Dean’s, and Patrick Leahy’s, and Bernard Sanders’s. (Sanders is the first avowedly socialist senator in American history.) Arizona is experiencing some Vermontization. And Byron Schlomach, an analyst with the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, makes a key point — a point that is also a complaint: What drew the Californians to Arizona was a healthy economy; but they have little idea of what makes an economy healthy; and they want to make the state more like California, meaning that Arizona will become less a state that people want to come to than one they want to exit.

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Computer tycoon Sir Clive Sinclair, 69, weds 33-year-old former lapdancer fiancée

27th April 2010

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That’s what you can do when you’re old and rich.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | 1 Comment »

Declining newspaper sales threaten toilet roll

27th April 2010

Oh, no!

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Australian girl’s jellyfish sting survival ‘rewrites medical history’

27th April 2010

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A 10-year-old girl has stunned doctors in Australia after she survived being stung by the world’s most venomous creature.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 2 Comments »

Palin Inc.

27th April 2010

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New York Magazine has a long profile of Sarah Palin up right now. Its focus is more publicity, personality and celebrity, than politics. The profile reduces my probability that Palin will make a serious run (as opposed to a pro forma one) for the highest office in 2012. It also leaves me impressed by how quickly and efficiently she’s leveraged her celebrity and gone from moderately upper middle class** in income (and in serious debt due to legal bills after the 2008 campaign) to wealthy. Some Republicans are apparently worried about her becoming the “face of the party,” something that crops up now and then in the media, but it doesn’t seem like they really have to worry that much unless the party has no real substance and is rooted only in style and the need to get elected. As for Sarah Palin, whatever you think of her politics or personality, she’s offering a concrete product distributed through the private sector. The article mentions that her book was a major reason that Random House generated a profit last year! Whatever criticisms one might lodge, she’s not getting rich by being a rent-seeker, as so many of our public and private sector elites have become. In fact the article points to a whole industry of liberal critique which has emerged around her, so she’s not even capturing all the wealth that she’s responsible for (spillover effects).

Doing well by doing good.

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From “Porous” to “Ruthless” Conscription, 1776–1917

27th April 2010

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Yes, you have to download a PDF, but it’s still worth reading. Conscription would appear to be on its face contrary to the 13th Amendment, and yet the half-dozen times it’s been challenged in the courts such challenges have been dismissed with judicial handwaving that involved no serious consideration of the issues. You can have all the laws in place that you want, but if those who are charged with enforcing the law don’t feel like it, you’re screwed.

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Swastikas Against Racism

27th April 2010

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Reflect on the fact that there has been more documented violence by opponents of Arizona’s new law than in all the ‘tea party’ gatherings held to day. Compare the amount of handwringing about the latter in contrast to the crickets chirping in the Lame Stream Media about the former.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Breathing While Undocumented

27th April 2010

A member of the Crust loses it.

And in an very educational way. Note first the use of the favored euphemism “undocumented” rather than the accurate description “illegal” – as if the people who snuck into the country in defiance of the law just happened to leave their green cards in their other pants.

Because I’m not going back to Arizona as long as it remains a police state, which is what the appalling anti-immigrant bill that Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law last week has turned it into.

And that about sums up the attitude of Crustians toward laws they don’t like. The brown shirts are just around the corner! (Funny how they never apply this logic to governments – such as her home state of Nu Yawk – that are forbidding you from using salt in your food.)

  1. Arizona is not a ‘police state’. A ‘police state’ is a state where the police are free to disregard the law, and the whole point of the Arizone legislation is to make sure that existing law is enforced. If Congress were to change immigration law to say to Mexicans ‘ally ally oxen free’, the police in Arizona would have no power to say otherwise. (Reflect on the fact that somebody was paid by the country’s leading newspaper to be such an idiot in public. Where can I get a job like that?)
  2. It’s not an ‘anti-immigrant bill’ (another favorite moronic crustian trope) but an ‘anti-illegal immigrant bill’. They can’t afford to make that distinction, of course, because that totally blows their strategy. There may be ‘anti-immigrants’ somewhere in this country, but they don’t control the legislative process; if they did, I wouldn’t be spending my day  with Chinese, Korean, Indian, and Pakistani co-workers.
  3. I can’t think of anybody in Arizona who might be disappointed that some left-wing scribbler will be staying out of their state. Sounds like a win for everybody concerned.

UPDATE: Rich Lowry goes into it at greater length here.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | Comments Off

Prosecution of Navy SEALs Unraveling

26th April 2010

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Sometimes justice wins one.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

A Plague of ‘A’ Students

26th April 2010

P. J. O’Rourke has the key.

Barack Obama is more irritating than the other nuisances on the left. Nancy Pelosi needs a session on the ducking stool, of course. But everyone with an ugly divorce has had a Nancy. She’s vexatious and expensive to get rid of, but it’s not like we give a damn about her. Harry Reid is going house-to-house selling nothing anybody wants. Slam the door on him and the neighbor’s Rottweiler will do the rest. And Barney Frank is self-punishing. Imagine being trapped inside Barney Frank.

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Earth Day predictions of 1970

26th April 2010

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Now that’s comedy.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 1 Comment »

That Old College Lie

26th April 2010

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The numbers are stark: When Pell grants were named for the senator in 1980, a typical public four-year university cost $2,551 annually. Pell Grants provided $1,750, almost 70 percent of the total. Even private colleges cost only about $5,600 back then. Low-income students could matriculate with little fear of financial hardship, as Pell intended. Over the next three decades, Congress poured vast sums into the program, increasing annual funding from $2 billion to nearly $20 billion. Yet today, Pell Grants cover only 33 percent of the cost of attending a public university. Why? Because prices have increased nearly 500 percent since 1980. Average private college costs, meanwhile, rose to over $34,000 per year.

And why is that? Because a third party – the taxpayer – is paying for it. So demand goes up. What happens when demand goes up faster than supply? Prices go up. This is something that anyone with an elementary grasp of economics can tell you. Unfortunately, that number doesn’t include anybody who has any authority over these stupid practices.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off

Cash Only Physician Practice

26th April 2010

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Sometimes the old ways are best.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

Spinathon!

26th April 2010

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Stephen Brust, despite being a Benighted Socialist, is one of the best writers of the English language alive today. (Read any of his Vlad Taltos books and you’ll agree. Better yet, read the brilliant fanfic Firefly episode he wrote.)

His Significant Other just had a radical mastectomy and they’re fund-raising to pay for it. Follow the link to participate.

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Interactive Intelligence Games for Dogs

26th April 2010

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For the person who has everything … except a sense of proportion. This won’t repair that lack, but it will make money off of it, and what could be more American?

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Environmentalism As a Tribal Religion

26th April 2010

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Lots of commentators, including yours truly, have pointed out the ways in which modern environmentalism is like a religion. For last week’s Earth Day festivities, economist Paul Rubin had a provocative piece in the Wall Street Journal detailing the ways in which environmentalism confers group identity on it adherents. In this way, it functions more like ancient tribal religions than like universal religions such as Christianity that transcend the tribe.

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Sony to discontinue floppy disk sales

26th April 2010

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And who can blame them? I haven’t used a floppy disk in, oh, must be ten years now.

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

Couple asked to use water

26th April 2010

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Greenfield Township is attempting to force an elderly Claysburg-area couple, Donald R. and Janet Burket, to use township water even though Donald Burket contends the chlorine makes his wife sick.

Senior Judge James R. Kelley stated that even though Janet Burket is apparently sensitive to chemicals, the facts of the case “did not establish a case or rare and extreme medical needs.”

The Burkets are mandated not only to hook into the system but also to use public water “for all human consumption in the residence,” the authority contends in court documents.

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That Texas Schoolbook Massacre: Have Critics Actually Looked At Current High School History Texts?

26th April 2010

Steve Sailer turns over a rock.

History is commonly said to be written by victors. But there is surprisingly little evidence for that in America over the last 150 years. In that period,  American history has tended to be controlled by those who care the most about controlling history.

For more than forty years, the teaching business has been completely dominated by the prejudices of the Sixties People, whose Gramscian “long march through the institutions” has left them in control of the schools.

Why have the Sixties People proven so enduring in molding young people’s minds? My theory: The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of  adolescents.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

It’s a Free Country! Or Is It?

26th April 2010

David Henderson is not so sure.

In the January 23, 2010, Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle, one of the clues was “Sassy reply to criticism.” The answer: “It’s a free country.” Why do I find this so striking? For two reasons. First, when I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, not many people around me considered that a sassy reply. When I used the line, it was shorthand for, “I have rights; maybe this isn’t the best decision, but I have the right to make my own mistakes.” Second, almost no one uses that line any more. Why? I think it’s because, if only subconsciously, most people recognize that in some important ways, freedom in the United States has declined.

If you want to travel by air, the government insists that you get permission from a TSA employee, and to get that permission you must submit to a body search and, maybe soon, an X-ray so that a government employee can see your naked body. And don’t dare make fun of that government employee or you might go to jail.

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More American Expatriates Give Up Citizenship

26th April 2010

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Amid mounting frustration over taxation and banking problems, small but growing numbers of overseas Americans are taking the weighty step of renouncing their citizenship.

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Lord of The Rings fan makes miniature Frodo Baggins’ home

25th April 2010

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Slow news day.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Capitalism vs. Capitalists

25th April 2010

Jonah Goldberg explains it all to you.

The problem with socialism is socialism, because there are no socialists. Socialism is a system based upon an assumption about human nature that simply isn’t true. I can design a perfect canine community in which dogs never chase squirrels or groom their nether regions in an indelicate manner. But the moment I take that idea from the drawing board to the real world, I will discover that I cannot get dogs to behave against their nature — at least not without inflicting a terrible amount of punishment. Likewise, it’s easy to design a society that rewards each according to his need instead of his ability. The hard part is getting the crooked timber of humanity to yield to your vision.

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A spurned husband who stabbed his ex-wife to death on the day of her divorce party is facing life in jail.

25th April 2010

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And rightly so, I should think.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

How to Start Your Own Herb Garden

25th April 2010

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Don’t say that we never have useful stuff here.

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How Jelly Beans Are Made

25th April 2010

Read it. And watch the video.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Thief ‘stoned to death’ by South African school children

25th April 2010

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Police said the man and two accomplices had been armed with a knife and a firearm when they approached pupils outside the secondary school in Umbumbulu, near Durban in the country’s KwaZulu-Natal province.

It is claimed the trio tried to rob the youngsters of their mobile phones and money but fled when the students began pelting them with stones.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

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The Coffee Party: It’s About Hate

25th April 2010

The Other McCain overturns a rock.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | Comments Off

To Understand Congress, Just Watch the Sandpile

25th April 2010

Read it.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

Outfoxing the Counterfeiters

25th April 2010

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The new $100 bill is the most sophisticated attempt yet to combat forgery. Since colonial times, the U.S. has engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with criminals and foreign governments eager to pass off brilliant fakes.

You know, it’s almost impossible to ‘counterfeit’ a gold coin….

Posted in News You Can Use. | 1 Comment »

John McCain fighting for his political life in the Arizona desert

25th April 2010

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Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

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Exorcising “Bull” Hitler

25th April 2010

Gates of Vienna takes a fairly deep look into the way the Crust thinks.

It is not a pretty sight.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

What if I had bought Apple stock instead?

25th April 2010

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A fascinating look at where you would be if you had bought a piece of the action rather than a mere product.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

What Police State Legislation Looks Like

25th April 2010

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There is a sugment of the population that views any attempt to deal with clear and present dangers as incipient fascism and will cry ‘Wolf!’ at the slightest opportunity. I suspect that this is one such. On the other hand, what is the position of an American citizen caught on the battlefield in arms against United States forces? That’s less clear.

Technically he could be arrested and charged with treason, but you know and I know that it isn’t going to happen, because the Crust regards treason as the highest form of patriotism. So that avenue is closed by one of those walls that mimes habitually encounter.

Also technically (considering the likely scenarios) he would qualify as an ‘unlawful combatant’ and could be held indefinitely without trial or even executed after a drumhead court martial. Leftist bloviations to the contrary notwithstanding, this is perfectly consistent with the Geneva Conventions to which most grownup nations are signatory these days. (You can look it up.)

I don’t have any problem with that except when a U.S. citizen is involved, because U.S. citizens have rights against the U.S. government that foreigners don’t. I suspect that any legislation that treats U.S. citizens in the way that international law allows ‘unlawful combatants’ to be treated would be unconstitutional.

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Jobsian drones shackle gamer with ‘lifetime’ iPad ban

25th April 2010

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I guess I won’t be buying an iPad after all. Wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of the secret police.

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Dinosaurs died from sudden temperature drop ‘not comet strike’, scientists claim

24th April 2010

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Who knew AlGore could time-travel?

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British model with astrophysics degree wins £1 million at poker tournament

24th April 2010

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This is the girl Prince William ought to marry.

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Capitalism vs. Capitalists

24th April 2010

Jonah Goldberg draws a necessary distinction that is often overlooked.

Posted in Think about it. | Comments Off

2011 Death and Taxes Poster Now Available

24th April 2010

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Be the first on your block … to panic.

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | Comments Off

Top 10 Mistakes in Bathroom Design

24th April 2010

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Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

Posted in News You Can Use. | Comments Off

100-Year-Old Trick Squeezes Fiber-Optic Speeds from Copper Wires

24th April 2010

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Netizens without access to cable broadband speeds might someday get fiber optic speeds over their old copper lines. Alcatel-Lucent combined several old networking tricks to boost DSL speeds over copper telephone lines to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) at distances spanning almost two-thirds of a mile, Technology Review reports.

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Immigration Advocates Vow to Fight Arizona Law

24th April 2010

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This is news?

By ‘fight’, of course, they don’t mean in a democratic way, by attempting to get the law changed, but in an  undemocratic way, by gaming the courts and Federal agencies.

As far as ‘cross-border relations’ go, what is Mexico going to do? Seal the border?

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China Could Wipe Out Recycled Toilet Paper

23rd April 2010

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Printer and copier paper retain the nice, long fibers that make the best recycled toilet paper. But a resurgent Chinese economy and domestic waste reduction efforts are cutting the available supply of the good stuff, said Jeff Phillips, executive vice president of operations at Seventh Generation, a major recycled toilet paper manufacturer.

Oh, no!

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Origin of Life Chicken-and-Egg Problem Solved

23rd April 2010

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Scientists have wondered how the first simple, self-replicating chemicals could have formed complex, information-rich genetic structures, when replication was originally such an error-prone process. Every advance would soon be lost to copying errors.

According to a new study, the answer may lie in the fundamental nature of those chemicals. The errors may have triggered an automatic shutdown of replication. Such stalling would allow only error-free sequences to be completed, giving them a chance at evolving.

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Judge Clears Second Navy SEAL in Iraqi Abuse Case

23rd April 2010

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Two down, one to go.

Posted in Is this a great country, or what? | Comments Off

Cosmic Stool Sample

23rd April 2010

Check it out.

Well, that’s what it looks like.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

White robber wears African-American ‘Hollywood’ mask to hold up bank

23rd April 2010

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According to police reports, Conrad Zdzierak, 30, is alleged to have used the £450 silicon mask in an audacious string of six bank robberies in Ohio.

Guess it didn’t work.

But after a tip-off, officers found Zdzierak staying at a nearby hotel.

Ah, it would have worked, but he was betrayed.

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Grand Canyon tribe accepts ‘genetic piracy’ settlement

23rd April 2010

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A Native American tribe from the Grand Canyon has accepted a substantial settlement from an Arizona university after accusing its scientists of “genetic piracy”.

How magnanimous of them. (What is ‘genetic piracy’? Your guess is as good as mine. Making your Y-chromosome walk the plank?)

One subsequent research article suggested the Havasupai had originated in Asia, before crossing the Bering Sea and settling in the Grand Canyon.

That was a conclusion the Havasupai did not like as they believe they originated in the canyon and are closely spiritually connected to it.

Science gives way to myth, and the world is lessened thereby.

Posted in You can't make this stuff up. | 3 Comments »

OK Corral inquest transcript found in Arizona jailhouse store room

23rd April 2010

Read it.

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