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Open mike 08/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 8th, 2012 - 84 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

84 comments on “Open mike 08/02/2012”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Anyone told Steven Joyce can’t is an anagram of NACT?

  2. This is bound to cause comment.  The Daily Mail recently ran an article confirming what many already know, that right wingers are less intelligent than left wingers.  After the article there is 1,001 comments offering further evidence that this proposition is, without doubt, correct.

    The original report states:

    “In psychological terms, the relation between intelligence and prejudice may stem from the propensity of individuals with lower cognitive ability to endorse more right wing conservative ideologies because such ideologies offer a psychological sense of stability and order.”

    In simple terms a right winger responds to a new situation with fear while a lefty responds with curiosity.

    • rosy 2.1

      The Daily Mail dissing its own audience by running that report almost proves the point.

    • Blue 2.2

      This is a bit of an oversimplification. There are two basic types of right winger, and this article only deals with one of them.

      I’ve always thought that the problem with righties isn’t that they are dumb, it’s that they are selfish. The right wing philosophy is built on the idea of taking care of yourself and your own, and refusing to accept any responsibility for anyone else. A whole bunch of people all trying to make themselves into islands, in other words.

      There’s the (usually) rich intelligent right wingers, who know exactly what they are doing – i.e. trying to set everything up in their favour so they get all the rewards, and then making sure they don’t have to share them with anyone else. They are not dumb, they’re just selfish and proud of it.

      Then there’s the (usually) poor and dumb righties who can’t ever aspire to have the wealth of their counterparts, but like the disregard for others that characterises the right wing when this is directed at groups of people they dislike (anyone who’s not like them).

      Lefties are the types who recognise that we are all interconnected, and what affects your neighbours affects you. It’s a complex system of feedback and you can’t cut yourself off from everyone else no matter how hard you try.

      The dumb righties are too stupid to recognise that, and the smart ones are in denial about anything could ruin their pure vision of themselves as the centre of their own universe.

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        Thanks Blue.

        George Monbiot says something similar.  To quote:

        This is not to suggest that all conservatives are stupid. There are some very clever people in government, advising politicians, running thinktanks, writing for newspapers, who have acquired power and influence by promoting rightwing ideologies.
        But what we now see among their parties – however intelligent their guiding spirits may be – is the abandonment of any pretence of high-minded conservatism. On both sides of the Atlantic, conservative strategists have discovered that there is no pool so shallow that several million people won’t drown in it. Whether they are promoting the idea that Barack Obama was not born in the US, that manmade climate change is an eco-fascist-communist-anarchist conspiracy or that the deficit results from the greed of the poor, they now appeal to the basest, stupidest impulses, and find that it does them no harm in the polls.

        So there are various sectors amongst right supporters but the message is being dumbed down to appeal to one sector only.  The rest just nod and wink and enjoy the benefits.
        Just to show I am an equal opportunity stirrer Monbiot also questions why in the face of such stupidity the left do not do better.  In particular:

        But when I survey this wreckage I wonder who the real idiots are. Confronted with mass discontent, the once-progressive major parties, as Thomas Frank laments in his latest book Pity the Billionaire, triangulate and accommodate, hesitate and prevaricate, muzzled by what he calls “terminal niceness”(9). They fail to produce a coherent analysis of what has gone wrong and why, or to make an uncluttered case for social justice, redistribution and regulation. The conceptual stupidities of conservatism are matched by the strategic stupidities of liberalism.

        Yes, conservatism thrives on low intelligence and poor information. But the liberals in politics on both sides of the Atlantic continue to back off, yielding to the supremacy of the stupid. It’s turkeys all the way down.

        • Colonial Viper

          Thought provoking. And to a larger extent, accurate I’d say.

          • aerobubble

            Cheap oil Easy credit selects for selfish intelligent rightwing.
            Expensive energy hard credit selects for selfish intelligent rightwing.
            Changing times selects for selfish intelligent left wings.

            the left creating order and certainty means they lay foundations for convervatists.

        • Passwordprotect

          My observation is that it isnt so much a left / right wing split in intelligence but relates to your view on religion

          Those that are heavily religious are generally (but not always) of low intelligence…

          Conservatives – particularly in the USA are generally religious and are classified in the ‘right’ bucket in the study hence causing the relationship

          Also the following quotes in another article on the same study (link below) are interesting:

          “So a smart person (all else being equal) will probably be in favour of capitalism generally, and free-trade in particular. He or she will distrust state intervention in the markets, probably be suspicious of welfarism and deeply dislike protectionism, union closed-shops and tariffs. The smart person will believe that the have-nots should be encouraged to become haves by dint of their own labours and by the levelling of economic playing fields, NOT by taking money off the haves and giving it to them.” – In simple terms – for capitalism = smart, against it = dumb(er)

          “This matches other findings that show that IQ correlates not with left-wing thinking as such, but with classic Enlightenment liberalism.”


          [lprent: Why change emails and handles (including capitalization) all of the time? This is the 4th or 5th change since November. It just means that a moderator has to go to the effort of releasing you from first time moderation each time it happens. It is a lot of effort for us to go to checking that you aren’t banned and aren’t someone trying to hijack your identity because you can’t remember a e-mail and how to spell a name. Please settle on one and stick to it before we stop releasing them. ]

          • Passwordprotect

            Understood – my details dont seem to save therefore have to re-enter them hence change handle as the mood dictates….didnt appreciate it caused a hassle on yourside – apologies

            • lprent

              The details are stored in cookies on your systems. They get sent to the server when you pick up a page so the details can be auto filled in. If you have set it to not take cookies at your browser then that would be the cause. It could also be oneof the more irritating Internet security systems.

              If that isn’t intentional, then my usual advise is to simply use a different browser. Some of them (Internet explorer) are just a pain in the arse. Currently google chrome or Firefox are pretty good and available on most platforms.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I’m running an IQ of around 140. I used to be right-wing but then I looked at the facts, considered the theory and it’s assumptions, realised that the free-market was complete BS and became a radical lefty.

            What makes someone right-wing is a complete denial of reality either because it doesn’t suit their selfishness or because they’re stupid.

            • KJT

              Probably being a bit harsh there DTB. Many people are simply ill informed.
              The deliberate propaganda program by the right and there wholly owned media means that people have to dig deep to get unbiased information.

          • Vicky32


            Those that are heavily religious are generally (but not always) of low intelligence…

            That’s complete and utter nonsense. It may make you feel superior, but any proof you provide (and I see that you don’t actually provide any) will probably amount to a link to Sir Lord Herr Professor Dawkins and his ‘Brights”. Meaningless.

            Conservatives – particularly in the USA are generally religious and are classified in the ‘right’ bucket in the study hence causing the relationship

            As is that. There’s no proof that conservatives are generally religious – even in the USA, although many of them certainly claim that they are..

            “So a smart person (all else being equal) will probably be in favour of capitalism generally, and free-trade in particular. He or she will distrust state intervention in the markets, probably be suspicious of welfarism and deeply dislike protectionism, union closed-shops and tariffs. The smart person will believe that the have-nots should be encouraged to become haves by dint of their own labours and by the levelling of economic playing fields, NOT by taking money off the haves and giving it to them.” – In simple terms – for capitalism = smart, against it = dumb(er)

            Please note that educated people don’t use smart and dumb as synonyms for clever and stupid. Using dumb = stupid, is a juvenile insult against those with communication disabilities. 

            • passwordprotect

              Proof for my statement re a link between IQ and religion (or at least supporting evidence) was in my link. I have re pasted below. I should have included in my post…apologies

              “Other studies have found correlations between strong religiosity (a traditional marker of conservatism) and low intelligence”

              And my statement that a large component of the right wing conservative / tea party / republican movement in the US is highly religious isn’t one I thought would need me to provide supporting evidence for.

              Given the aggressive nature of your response I take you believe in a higher power!



              • Vicky32

                Given the aggressive nature of your response I take you believe in a higher power!

                That doesn’t compute… I would love to know why you associate aggression with religion! Have you had bad experiences with religious people, maybe? 

                And my statement that a large component of the right wing conservative / tea party / republican movement in the US is highly religious isn’t one I thought would need me to provide supporting evidence for.

                Right… having sorted out your grammar, no, I still don’t agree – because you seem to have ignored the bit where I said that they claim to be highly religious. Someone will leap in and scream “No true Scotsman fallacy’ at me, but whether you/they like it or not, true Christians/Muslims would never have a bar of tea party prejudice and war-mongering.

                • Vicky32

                  Oh, and where’s your link? I can’t see it…

                • Populuxe1

                  Bwahahahahahahaha snort hahahahahahahaha guffaw snort hahahahahahahahahaha snort snort hahaha… Troubles in Northern Ireland hahahahahahah The Crusades hahahahaha The Inquisition hahahahahaha snort the Moorish and Ottoman invasions hahahahahahahahahaha the Albigensian Crusade hahaha…. The Massacre of the Huguenots hahahaha… Shall I go on? What are your meds? I want some….

                  • Vicky32

                    Shall I go on? What are your meds? I want some….

                    Clopidogrel and Lipitor (Atorvastatin)… sure you want some?
                    Yours is a pretty silly answer really. For every (allegedly) religious war you can name, I can name 3 that have no (allegedly) religious motivation. It seems to me that many atheists are black and white thinkers, subtleties escape them – but even Sir Lord Herr Professor Dawkins and his fanbois have  been known to admit that they know perfectly well that The Troubles (for instance) are political, with a gloss of religion to provide ‘respectability’…

                    • Populuxe1

                      but even Sir Lord Herr Professor Dawkins and his fanbois have  been known to admit that they know perfectly well that The Troubles (for instance) are political, with a gloss of religion to provide ‘respectability’…

                      And that political division is based on…… What?

                    • NickS

                      Wtf exactly do failures in drug testing do to drug companies being myopically focused on profit have to do with braindead ideological excuses for conflict?

                      And every time this subject (and reproductive rights) comes up your brain goes to custard and you make downright stupid arguments in amongst the occasionally smart ones.

                      As for the “black n white” quip, repeat after me, “the plural of anecdotes is not data”. Also, how the fuck is empiricism black and white thinking, when the supporting arguments involves multiple lines of philosophical inquiring, including teh always perturbing natures of inference?

                      Stat’s indicate that overall IQ scores show no statistically significant difference between atheists/religious, it’s only when looking at various sects that statistically significant differences appear. Predominantly with charismatic and/or conservative evangelical sects.

                      Which you’d already know if you read the fucking research.

                    • lprent

                      Snap.. I get off the Clopidogrel in a few weeks. Also have heart shaped aspirins and Betaloc

                      Doesn’t sound mind bending to me.

                    • NickS


                      Apologies for my first sentence, I’m still getting over some mild food poisoning and after work was rather brainless for a while on top of feeling crap-ish.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Stat’s indicate that overall IQ scores show no statistically significant difference between atheists/religious, it’s only when looking at various sects that statistically significant differences appear. Predominantly with charismatic and/or conservative evangelical sects.
                    Which you’d already know if you read the fucking research.

                    Better face palm again NickS – at no time did I make such an assertion. I was commenting on Vicky’s rather rose-tinted view of Christian history
                    Which you would know if you read the fucking post

                    • NickS

                      Proof for my statement re a link between IQ and religion (or at least supporting evidence) was in my link. I have re pasted below. I should have included in my post…apologies

                      “Other studies have found correlations between strong religiosity (a traditional marker of conservatism) and low intelligence”

                      I misread the above from you 😛

                      Anyhow, I’m sick so 😛

          • felix

            Hmm, don’t know about that. I’m pretty much a 6th level atheist but I’ve met some profoundly smart people who are profoundly religious.

            Perhaps I hang out in the wrong circles, but I don’t think we in NZ have large numbers of the sort of fundies that the U.S. does – with a few notable exceptions obviously.

            Listening to the U.S tea-party types it can be very hard to tell where nationalism ends and religion begins. I get the impression they’d consider it unpatriotic to not identify as religious. Religious kiwis by and large don’t fall for that sort of conflation of church and country.

            Sure we have God’s name in the anthem and we throw around platitudes like “godzone” a lot more than I’d like, but religious kiwis don’t tend suffer from the delusion that god has somehow charged our nation with a special mission on earth.

            Saying you’re religious in NZ may mean something quite different to saying it in parts of the U.S. where it often seems to be used as a sort of shorthand for being fond of democracy, freedom, and the American way of life.

            I also have to agree with Vicky about people in power claiming to be religious for political reasons. This is another road we haven’t gone down in NZ where even our highest level politicians can say they’re religious or a bit religious or not religious at all (varying from day-to-day in John Key’s case) and no-one really cares too much one way or the other.

            I think what these cultural differences mean is that studies of religious belief in the U.S. aren’t going to translate very well to this part of the world. Of course we have plenty of stupid people here, but our munters are just munters. They don’t generally wrap themselves in religion to be accepted by the herd – probably quite the reverse if anything.

            Personally I don’t think there’s anything particularly smart about ignoring the spiritual side of life either. In fact I think only a fool would, atheist and all.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.2

        I think there’s a 3rd group: those who are simply so out of touch with society and how other people live that they don’t realise they’re being selfish. They simply have no conception of what it is like to be disadvantaged and therefore instead of having compassion for someone on a benefit, they see them as a bludger with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.3

        Not quite. Old fashioned wet conservatives are very community (and often conservation) minded. They look after friends, family and local communities very well. But they have no time for bludgers, slackers and lay abouts. These old fashioned Tories are quite different from neolib NATs.

    • felix 2.3

      In other news, studies show that people who run around in the rain get wet 😉

      It’s so self-evident it’s hilarious to think that it needs to be studied. I mean that’s essentially the definition of conservatism – reluctance to change, dislike of the other, antipathy to progression, fear of the unknown.

      It seems to me that many who self-identify as “conservative” – especially at an early age, the sort of panty-sniffers and thumb-suckers you find in the young nats for example – seem to have never examined exactly what it is they’re identifying as. It’s more like a club they join that offers the security of never having to examine themselves (or anything else) too closely for comfort.

      And understandable if so. Imagine the cognitive dissonance that would arise from actually admitting to yourself that you think things are as good as they’ll ever be and we’d best just stop now, um actually let’s go back a bit just to be sure.

      In fact it’s to their advantage to be a bit thick if they want to hold fast to their thick beliefs, because a smarter person simply couldn’t do it. The best a smart conservative can hope for is a double life where inwardly s/he understands the absurdity of it all but publicly puts on a thick face to avoid confrontation, both internal and within the peer group.

      Awful really. Some of your Nat friends really are this twisted, grinning smugly to the world while cowering behind the eyes.

      And some of them are just thick.

      Morning everyone!

    • Here’s the link to the journal and abstract of the article (for those interested).

      • AAMC 2.4.1

        Catch is, as Monbiot alludes, what does it say about the eft, in retreat around the globe?

        Haven’t had a chance to read, but Monbiot claimed the comments that ensued further proved the point… 

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    Ever wondered why Putin is so popular? It turns out he pays big time for the support, channelling thousands to pet bloggers and trained trolls who churn out pro-Putin comments by the Lada load. Of course, that could never happen in NZ.

    • muzza 3.1

      I would have thought he was popular because Russians dont want to have Medvedev sell their country out to the Anglo Americans…..further!

      Note the calls over the vote “irregularities” by Hillary and co, does nothing but indicate the effort to destabilize Russia.

      Couldn’t imagine why!

      • Ianupnorth 3.1.1

        So what does the cuddling up to Syria mean then?

        • rosy

          So what does the cuddling up to Syria mean then?

          UK news is saying it’s because Syria host Russia’s only all-weather, warm water, port.

          Seems a bit simplistic, but there you go.

      • Populuxe1 3.1.2

        That’s like saying people liked Kermit the Frog because they were suspicious of Jim Henson. A surprising majority of ordinary Russians actually do like his dark majesty Putin for all his faults because they crave security and stability – something they haven’t really known since the Tsars. It might look dodgy from the outside, but it’s a very Russian worldview.

        • Draco T Bastard

          …something they haven’t really known since the Tsars.

          They didn’t have it then either hence the revolutions.

          • Populuxe1

            Perhaps, but the misery, starvation and neglect of serfdom was at least something predictable they understood. I don’t think they had much choice in the matter of the revolutions – most of them didn’t understand the difference between Menshiviks, Bolsheviks and what have you – all they knew is that you agreed with whatever whoever was pointing the guns at you was telling you. The Russian people have always been stuck between someone’s rock and someone else’s hard place.

            • grumpy

              Interesting but I am in Berlin at a conference which includes about 10 Russian engineers and Russian politics is always a good topic.

              Turns out Putin is liked because he stands up to the Mafia which otherwise would run the country. Already, it is cheaper to borrow money rom the mafia than the banks.

              Putin is actually the hero of the workers and he plays to that…..

            • Draco T Bastard

              Considering that most of the people pointing guns at them were the Tsars’ men your statement makes no sense.

  4. So I’m concurring. I reckon he saw it coming at the very least:


    • felix 4.1

      Concurring with what?

      Don’t expect us to follow your spammy links.

      • Carol 4.1.1

        +1. I don’t follow links unless I get an explanation of what it includes, and an explanation that shows why I should be interested.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      She’s trying to suck up to authors/audience at TheStandard to drag some more hits her way, is all.

      She basically just agrees with Eddie’s theory that National is deliberately getting the MP angry over S9 and the SOE assets as a ploy for the 2014 election.

      I mentioned this theory to my bf, he thought it sounded reasonable on the face of it, but pointed out that National most likely already has all of the redneck votes anyway. Getting maori offside is more likely to erode their soft center-left vote and send them back leftwards.

      • felix 4.2.1

        That other United Future troll Pete George does the same thing with his link, but at least he gives a headline summary. Could it be an official UF policy to post in this way?

        Also your boyfriend may well be right about Nat having most of the redneck votes now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need shoring up. It might just indicate that the Nats anticipate pissing large amounts of them off over other issues this term.

      • lprent 4.2.2

        There are that 2.5% that went to the conservatives, plus probably a few percent or so that went to NZF. Act is a sock puppet

  5. In a rush this morning – I was referring back to Eddies post on John Key and either stirring up or having foreknowledge of the s9 treaty clause issue.I’m interested in the truth. I tend to post on anything where I can smell bullshit as an independent blogger.

  6. I thought you guys were interested in the free flow of information? Turning on people who post here isn’t exactly going to promote that is it?

    [lprent: You probably need to read the policy.

    We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

    That is followed by a whole pile of do nots. But “robust debate” means that participants can expect others to attack ideas, sources of information, attitudes, and philosophies without the moderators considering that is worth their effort to intervene. We assume most commentators can defend themselves otherwise they wouldn’t be here.

    Moderators will tend to intervene if it descends into pointless abuse, flame wars, or just looks too much like a deliberate bully session. It does get pretty tough getting agreement. The standing joke is that most of the time you only get to a agree to disagree basis – but at least others will know of the other viewpoints. Sometimes you will observe attitude changes in other later…

    You can usually raise a moderator by framing something that looks like a request of clarification or an interpretation of the bounds (like you just did) or doing a don’t. Of course moderators only run roughly the same policies, so it pays not to stray too close to the edges (not that you have so far) in case you get IrishBill with a hangover. ]

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Do whatever you like that is within the rules.

      Similarly we will tell you what we think of what you’re doing. In this case, we don’t think much of it at all. That’s never stopped Pete George though.

      • Ianupnorth 6.1.1

        Big smile on my face! Where is PG? tell me he has been struck off the list, or is he scrubbing the hair’s curling tongs?

        [lprent: He caught a 4 week vacation for attacking a author rather the contents of their post. Philu has been speaking up in his defense and against the evil moderation system. 😈

        I have been trying to figure out how he triggers the spam trap sometimes and not on others. It is pretty weird. ]

        • Anne

          Last time I looked he was over on Red Alert instead driving them up the wall with his infantile thought processes. CV followed him over for a while and did him over. My advice is stay away from RA for another couple of weeks at least.

  7. Thanks for the policy link.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Monique, there are reply buttons below each comment, not just in the box at the bottom of the page. Can you please use them rather than comment anew each time? It helps to keep alive that vital free flow of communication! Thanks.

  8. NickS 9

    And once more Family First (aka Bob McCroskrie’s Boner) has vomited forth a study, with an author known for cherry picking and “traditional” values:


    Bonus points for patriarchal bullshit too with the “full-time mother” claim, because males so can’t be a full-time parent/bring home teh bacon…

  9. Fisiani 10

    QT 8/2/12

    Another 12 -0 drubbing.
    Surely the opposition parties can do better than this.

    • felix 10.1

      lol, you don’t get a point just for forming an answer. The points are for what’s revealed or concealed.

      I can just see you sitting by the radio with that idiot grin on your face yelling “YUSSS, HE KNEW THE ANSWER!”

      You so funny.

  10. Vicky32 12

    And that political division is based on…… What?

    To the best of my knowledge, it’s about allegiance to and a desire to be associated with Britain, as against those who wanted nothing to do with Britain. I may well have got that wrong, I am going by what my son who studied all this at school (he’s an atheist BTW) told me he learned. We’re Scots, and I don’t care about Ireland.

  11. Populuxe1 13

    A timely quote from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (today was his 200th birthday):

    ‘Are there no prisons?’
    ‘Plenty of prisons,’ said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.’And the Union workhouses,’ demanded Scrooge. ‘Are they still in operation?’
    ‘Both very busy, sir.’
    ‘Oh. I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,’ said Scrooge. ‘I’m very glad to hear it.”
    … “I help to support the establishments I have mentioned — they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.’
    ‘Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.’
    ‘If they would rather die,’ said Scrooge, ‘they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

  12. nooneinparticular 14

    Are polling companies allowed to use the electoral roll for recruiting subjects?

    The reason I ask is that I was called by ‘Curia’ for one of their political polls and after I put the phone down I realised the poller had asked for me by Christian and Surname, and I’m only listed in the phone book by initials.

    It seems an awful lot of trouble to got to – electoral roll and then the phone book. And it seemed to violate the anonymity, knowing exactly who you are and where you live. In previous non-curia polls the caller asked for a demographic, not a particular person.

    It was an interesting poll.

    • the sprout 14.1

      interesting – if curia was using the electronic electoral roll for commercial purposes, that would be illegal.
      i’m sure farrar would have an electronic roll for his national party work, but commercial use of the roll must be confined to the publicly available hardcopies.

      • nooneinparticular 14.1.1

        Yeah, I thought there were restrictions on using the electoral roll. And I can’t imagine how else they could know my christian name. Where would I get more info on the correct use of the electoral roll?

      • felix 14.1.2

        Why the distinction between the electronic and hardcopy versions, sprout?

        Surely they contain the same info and pose exactly the same privacy concerns.

        And how would you ever prove which was used anyway?

        • the sprout

          much harder to use the hardcopy for mass spamming and other commercial enterprises

          yes same info (almost, the e ver is richer) and same concerns, but when limited to hardcopy it’s much much harder to exploit those millions of records. there are bound to be lots of sound reasons why the roll needs to be made public, but limiting access to the e version helps to slow down its misuse.

          not easy to prove, that’s why the electoral commission are very picky about who they allow access to the electronic version. if they were to discover provable commercial use of the e version, they’d prosecute with considerable prejudice. if they had sufficient reason they might be able to get a search warrant executed.

          • nooneinparticular

            Complaint emailed to the electoral commission.
            Btw it was obviously the National Party that commissioned the poll.

            It may be hard to prove, but can you think of another way that pollsters based in Auckland or Wellington would know the christian name of a random participant in the provinces?

            edit just checked caller display – Wgton number.
            I’m in the mainland.

  13. Shaky in the south tonight 🙁

  14. Vicky32 16

    Snap.. I get off the Clopidogrel in a few weeks. Also have heart shaped aspirins and Betaloc

    Three months for me… I am on it while they attempt to diagnose without the aid of a Tardis, what happened in the ‘incident’… 😀

    Nick S, apology accepted. 🙂  I hope you’re better now, food poisoning is awful!

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