Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Welcome!!!

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It's another "Nothing Serious Day." Just photos, funnies, and music. Take a break from the tragic comedy that is ObamaCain'08(tm), and enjoy!

Brewer & Shipley: The Story Behind the Music - and My First Video Production!

A few weeks ago I presented (via Youtube) one of Brewer and Shipley's "cult clasic tunes", and the following song, "Don't Want to Die in Georgia," from the same album is another. It has a message and a story behind it, and the music has what I call a funky-folk feel. Below is a video slideshow I put together with the song as a backdrop. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome for Brewer and Shipley!
Story of Don't Want to Die in Georgia


1971 concert banter

Michael: “We'd like to do a song that sprang from our basic fear of the deep south. Actually our fears were unwarranted."

Tom: "Your fears were unwarranted. I still expect to be buried in a swamp down there."

Michael: (laughing) "No man. We met a lot of really nice people down there."

Tom: (in southern drawl) "Real nice!"

Michael: "We had to go to Atlanta one time, and Tom was really afraid."

Tom: "Horrified."

Michael: "We were flying in, he said ‘Ah man, I don’t want to die in Georgia’..... We wrote a song about it."
video

There are too many groups and individuals who have had great commercial success that I would not walk across the street to hear or see; rap, hip-hop, and other garbage that tries to pass as music these days are prime examples. We live in a "karaoke generation" where far too many people simply want fame and cash and actually fool themselves and their audiences into - not just thinking, but actually believing - that they have "talent." Talentless performers for a tasteless audience I call it. As the late Bill Hicks once quipped, "If you're in marketing or advertising - just kill yourselves now...You are Satan's spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage." That is the only reason 90% of what you hear on radio these days ever gets there in the first place.

Thanks to Radioio.com/70's Rock I have been having a great time rediscovering a lot of great old music and hearing some stuff I have never heard, either from bands with which I was unfamiliar or with songs I never heard from bands I have heard. One of these is Brewer and Shipley. Their songs were emblematic of the political and social unrest of the late 60's-early 70's. While I am certainly no liberal, I have great appreciation for many of the messages found in the music of that era. Brewer and Shipley were a folk-rock duo who sang about what they saw going on around them, and their voices blended together in such a way that it had a certain magic quality that has to be heard, a quality similar to that of Loggins and Messina and others, but unique unto themselves. You have probably heard their fairly big hit "One Toke Over the Line" and maybe thought they were just a "one hit wonder." That my be the case in terms of commercial success, but, as already stated above, commercial success means little to me and often has nothing to do with talent. Here's a little more of the story behind the music:
"Don't Want To Die In Georgia," from Brewer and Shipley's 'Tarkio' album, is another song about freedom and the restrictions placed upon it circa 1970. "Our music has always been somewhat autobiographical, reflecting our own experiences at the time," explains Brewer. "Our first three albums are like mini-time capsules in retrospect. Vietnam was still raging, and a lot of social unrest."

"Tom and I were traveling all over the heartland, and especially in the South, we pretty much were living Easy Rider. 'Cause here we were, a couple of guys wearing Nehru shirts, beads, and you didn't see a whole lot of that in those days. We really did have to pick and choose where we stopped to get something to eat or check into a motel or get gas." One such experience inspired "Don't Want to Die in Georgia": "One time we were doing something in Atlanta. John Lloyd, a black man who was a regional representative for Kama Sutra, was showing us around. There was so much tension, just because of the way we looked. And here we are with a black man too, and everybody knows how they were regarded, in those days especially. 'Don't Want to Die in Georgia' was sort of a metaphor for 'don't want to die anywhere,' really. It just happened to be Georgia.

"A lot of people would say a lot of that stuff was very political. But to us, it wasn't political at all. It was just social commentary, rather than political commentary. And even though we had social commentary, we also had spiritual commentary. That's probably why we're glad the message came across without slapping anybody in the face, or trying to cram anything down anybody's throat. We were just reflecting our own views. We've always pushed love as the only answer we know of that might fix things. I don't know how that's ever gonna happen, but that's what we think."

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A Global Warming Two-fer



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Funnies and Whatever

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Cat Humor

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This is our Burmese, Taz. Cats were once worshipped as gods. Some still think they are...
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Optical Illusion

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It Has a Shelf Life?

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Message to Green Party: Butt-Out of Real Politics

Keith Locke:

Hot on the heels of the Condi Rice bounty charade, Keith Locke of the NZ Communist - excuse me - Green Party issued a press release. Read what this self-aggrandizing troll had to say:
Police must butt out of politics during Rice visit
Friday, 25 July 2008, 3:57 pm
Press Release: Green Party

25 July 2008

Police must butt out of politics during Rice visit

It is a constitutional affront for the Police to threaten students wishing to conduct a citizen's arrest of visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Green Party MP Keith Locke says.
Hey, Keith, one man's "threat" is another man's "warning."
The Auckland District Commander, Superintendent Brett England, has issued a press release vowing to stop any such arrest.

"The Police should stick to security issues, not get involved in politics," Mr Locke, Green Party Police and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, says.
Ummm, Keith, the Green Party should stick to saving whales and snails and not get involved in politics.

I would argue that Mr. England has done his job in "warning" these students of the serious consequences that could result from the stupidity of such futile actions, and I would also argue that it falls under the scope of "security issues." Again, I would say that anybody who tried such a foolhardy action would be a lucky person if they were apprehended by the NZ Police first. If they happened to get past the NZ Police and had to deal with the US Secret Service detachment guarding Dr. Rice they would probably not fare so well.
"The job of the Police is to prevent harm coming to Ms Rice, not stopping a student from initiating legal proceedings through a citizen's arrest.

"It is at least arguable that a legal case against Ms Rice might stand up. The Police should not be taking one side or the other.
It is also arguable that the Police are not "taking sides" in issuing a "warning" that could prevent a tragedy. I don't see how pointing-out the realities of a situation amounts to "taking sides." I see it as pointing out the cold, hard facts of life.
"Under the International Crimes and International Criminal Court Act 2000, proceedings can be taken against people visiting New Zealand who have been responsible for torture, or the launching of attacks which cause civilian casualties 'clearly excessive' to military objectives.
Keith, you and the rest of your lefty cohorts have been smoking "clearly excessive" amounts of cannabis. I can see that you are such a man of your convictions that you were out there leading the charge to arrest Dr. Rice...

And "clearly excessive" military objectives? What the fuck would you know about that, Keith? While I think that the Iraq conflict was and is a complete waste of time, US tax payers' money, and the lives of over 4,000 dead and thousands more injured US troops, let me show you what "clearly excessive" force would have been had it been the objective of the US military:
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"It can certainly be argued that both these things have happened in Iraq, under the Secretary of State's watch. Also, there are reports that previously, when she was the President's national security advisor, Ms Rice chaired official meetings where 'enhanced interrogation' or torture methods were approved. The Bush administration has yet to categorically rule out the use of all forms of torture.
Yes, and it can also be argued AND PROVEN that these things occurred under Saddam's rule of Iraq which would justify, under the same international laws you cited, the invasion, ousting and subsequent capture, trial, conviction, and sentencing of Saddam. So what's your point?
"Our Government, for its part, should point out to Ms Rice the contradiction between her tough stance against dictators in Zimbabwe, the Sudan and Burma, and the serious erosion of human rights in her own jurisdiction, not least at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre."
Let me put this as gently as I can, and please, common sense Kiwis, don't take offense: NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FUCK ABOUT WHAT THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT THINKS!!!! You have no economic, political, military, or other influence over anybody except maybe a handful of small island nations in the South Pacific. In the grand scope of world affairs you amount to the equivalent of a flea on a dog's ass. Accept it. Deal with it, and stop taking yourselves so seriously with your self-righteous, over-inflated sense of self-importance and hubris that sounds like the naive rantings of a petulant adolescent.

Music for Adults

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Global Warming

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Pretty Much Sums It Up for Me

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Zealand Moonbats Issue - Then Withdraw - Then Re-Issue Bounty on Condi Rice


The Auckland University Students' Association yesterday issued a US$5000 bounty for anybody who successfully carried out a "citizen's arrest" of Condoleezza Rice during her visit here to New Zealand.



Thursday, 24 July 2008, 2:48 pm
Press Release: Auckland University Students Association

24 July 2008

AUSA offers $5000 for citizen's arrest of Rice

Auckland students seek the arrest of a high-level United States official visiting Auckland this weekend. New Zealand's largest students' association has offered any Auckland University student a $5000 reward if they are able to make a successful citizen's arrest of United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to Auckland over the weekend, for her role in overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq.

"It is hard enough living as a student in Auckland these days without having a war criminal coming to town, so we thought we'd give our students a chance to make a dent in their student loans and work for global justice at the same time", says AUSA President David Do.
This is so typical of the New Zealand moonbat, especially one of the university student variety. It would be angering if it weren't so laughable.

Let's be clear here. These idiots don't really care about the people of Iraq or "illegal occupation". It's all about hating the US or anybody or anything associated with the Bush administration. If these clowns wanted to be consistent in their "global justice" ideology and agenda, they would be up in arms about New Zealand's role as "peacekeepers" in "occupying" East Timor, or the military junta that took over Fiji two years ago in a "bloodless" coup. In other words, they hate the player, not necessarily the game.
"Rice is the public spokesperson for an illegal and immoral occupation that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the continued oppression of the people of Iraq. We believe Rice should be arrested and detained in accordance with the law and tried fairly at the International Criminal Court for her role in these war crimes," said AUSA International Affairs Officer Omar Hamed, who moved the motion for the reward at Monday’s AUSA Executive meeting.
Did you catch his name? Omar Hamed? Need I say more?

But now the "bounty" has been withdrawn:
Auckland University Students' Association (AUSA) tonight retracted its $5000 reward for any student who makes a citizen's arrest of United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

AUSA president David Do said it was withdrawing the reward in the interests of safety, but the association would still support any student who sought to arrest Dr Rice.

"None of the multiple justifications for her arrest have changed," he said.

"It is unfortunate the police have threatened students for essentially a form of peaceful protest and civil disobedience."
Excuse me? "Peaceful protest" means keeping their little puppy dog asses on the sidewalk, carrying signs, and chanting and all that bullshit. Go after a foreign official and attempt to lay a hand on her in this fashion, and the US Secret Service would be on them before anybody got within twenty feet of her - if they're lucky. At the worst they would be shot. The Secret Service are not the NZ Police - they carry guns, and they will use them if they have to. Those boys take their job VERY seriously. They have escorted her through the Middle East and other "hot spots", so I really don't think they're very worried about a bunch of white, upper middle class little Che Guevara wannabes at Auckland University playing "civil disobedience" games that they learned from some Marxist professor in a sociology class.

Methinks these clowns take themselves way too seriously...

Earlier today Auckland police district commander Superintendent Brett England said anyone trying to carry out the arrest faced "very serious consequences".

"We are obliged to ensure the safety and security of the visiting guest and we will not shirk from that task," Mr England said.

"Operational planning for this visit has been in the making for several months and there are highly effective security measures in place.

"I would strongly advise the association representatives who've put this challenge out, to withdraw it immediately so as to avoid being caught up in something much bigger than they may have anticipated."
No shit.

Message to little college kids wanting to be heroes: Go to class, study what you are at university to study for, and leave the adult games to the adults. You'll live longer.
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UPDATE: A NEW BOUNTY HAS BEEN ISSUED
WELLINGTON, New Zealand: A group of New Zealand students offered a higher reward Saturday for the citizen's arrest of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for war crimes after another group withdrew their own bounty, accusing police of threatening them.

Students at Victoria University in the capital, Wellington, doubled the original reward offer to US$7,400, according to Joel Cosgrove, the student president.

Cosgrove said Rice should be arrested because she is responsible for the deaths of at least 600,000 Iraqis killed since the 2003 invasion by U.S.-led coalition troops.

"Condoleezza Rice needs to be tried before the international war crimes tribunal," Cosgrove told New Zealand's National Radio.

First, those numbers are the highly inflated numbers touted by lefty moonbat sources like Human Rights Watch and AmNasty International, and they would probably include everybody who has died in Iraq since 2003 from natural causes, to collateral casualties, to deaths at the hands of their own insurgents, to the guy who dies from a heart attack who happened to be near where an IED went off - you get the point. Second, Dr. Rice is about as responsible for any of those deaths as I am, which would be five-eighths of fuck-all of nothing.

But for all the bravado that goes along with this nonsense here's the kicker:
About 70 people protested Saturday outside Government House, where Rice was meeting with Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Global Warming

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From the WTF? Files

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Auto Erotica

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This is the new for 2009 Corvette ZR1 limited production supercar. This car is not to be confused in any way with the short-lived production run of the 1990-92 Corvette ZR-1 which utilized the 375 hp normally aspirated LT5 DOHC 5.7L engine built by Lotus and assembled by Mercury Marine for that car only. It was fast by standards of the day (the fastest 'Vette to that date and hailed at the time as "King of the Hill") and helped move Corvette development forward, but it doesn't even hold a candle to this one. GM wanted to pay tribute to the old ZR-1 with the 2009 model, but technological differences aside, they deliberately dropped the hyphen between the "ZR" and the "1" to differentiate the two.

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The Heart of the Beast - An exploded view of the LS9 supercharged and intercooled 6.2L V8 that powers the ZR1:
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Here are some basic specs, courtesy of Jalopink.
All-new LS9 supercharged 6.2L V-8 targeted at producing at least 100 horsepower per liter, or 620 horsepower (462 kW), and approximately 595 lb.-ft. of torque (823 Nm)
* Six-speed, close-ratio, race-hardened manual transmission
* New, high-capacity dual-disc clutch
* Higher-capacity and specific-diameter axle half-shafts; enhanced torque tube
* Specific suspension tuning provides more than 1g cornering grip
* Twenty-spoke 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels
* Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires - P285/30ZR19 in front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear - developed specifically for the ZR1
* Standard carbon-ceramic, drilled disc brake rotors - 15.5-inch-diameter (394-mm) in the front and 15-inch-diameter (380-mm) in the rear
* Larger brake calipers with substantially increased pad area
* Standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control with track-level suspension
* Wider, carbon-fiber front fenders with ZR1-specific dual vents
* Carbon-fiber hood with a raised, polycarbonate window - offering a view of the intercooler below it
* Carbon-fiber roof panel, roof bow, front fascia splitter and rocker moldings with clear-coated, exposed carbon-fiber weave
* ZR1-specific full-width rear spoiler with raised outboard sections
* Specific gauge cluster with boost gauge (also displayed on the head-up display) and 220-mph (370 km/h) speedometer readout
* Only two options: chrome wheels and a "luxury" package
* Curb weight of approximately 3,350 pounds (1,519 kg)
All that translates into a car capable of over 200 mph, 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds, and a standing start 1/4 mile in 11.2 seconds @ 135 mph with the stock Michelin Pilots; those numbers drop to mid-10s with drag radials.
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But this car is so much more than straight line performance. As noted above the ZR1 can achieve over 1.0 g in the corners, and nowhere is that more evident than when it was taken to the The Nurburgring in Germany, a tight, twisty, and very difficult road course, one lap of which has 100 turns when the 20,832 meter (12.9 miles) configuration of the Nordshleife ("north fork") is included.
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On June 27, 2008 the ZR1 was driven by GM design engineer, Jim Mero, to a production car lap record of 7:26.4 which is in a slight dispute. Regardless, as of now it stands. If you go to the Wikipedia link provided above, you will see what kind of company the ZR1 beat - the Porsche 911 GT2/977, the Nissan Skyline GT-R (all wheel drive), and other high-end, esoteric cars like the Pagani Zonda, and Lambo Murcielago, just to name a few. If you scroll down to the list of Official Lap Times in Competitions you will note that lap time is only 1:15 slower than the absolute lap record for the same 20.832km configuration, and that was set by a Porsche 956 prototype racer (with ground effects) that dominated European FIA Group "C" (Le Mans, Spa, etc.) and North American (as the IMSA-spec 962 variant) road racing in the mid 80's. Anyway, here is the official, in-car record run released by GM. Turn up your speakers and try not to drool on yourself!

**Personal observation from me as a mid-pack (with a few top three podium finishes to my credit) amateur motorcycle road racer of ten years (on and off): While I commend Jim Mero for a super drive, you'll notice a few minor screw-ups (especially with a bit of oversteer coming out of a corner at around 6:15 into the run) that, all told, probably cost him a second or two. I just wonder what the time would have been if Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Oliver Gavin, or one of the other professional drivers on the C7R Corvette Racing Team (that has won its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans) was at the wheel.


And this is the ZR1 at the oval test track in Papenburg, Germany hitting its claimed top speed of 205 mph:


**Hat-tip to Vilmar who ran the lap record video a few days ago at his blog, Kickin' and Screamin'. His post inspired me to write this article.**

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Global Warming

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Bad Ronald

Remember the movie, "Bad Santa", where Billy Bob Thornton played a debauched, underworld sort of Santa Claus? Well, here's Ronald McDonald gone completely off the rails.

It started with a bit of this...
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...which led to a bit of this...
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...then he threw into the mix some of this...
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...until the long arm of the law reached out and grabbed him...
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...leaving him a broken soul, a mere shadow of the man he used to be...
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...until he decided to end it all.
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Bad Ronald.

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Government Job

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A guy goes to the county Human Resources Office to apply for a job. The interviewer asks him, "Are you allergic to anything?"
He says "Yes - just caffeine."

"Have you ever been in the service?" asks the interviewer.
"Yes," he says. "I was in Iraq for two years."

The interviewer then tells him, "That will give you 5 extra points toward employment," and then asks, "Are you disabled in any way?"
The guy says, "Yes 100% . . .an IED exploded near me and blew my testicles off."

The interviewer tells the guy, "O.K. In that case, I can hire you right now. Normal hours are from 8 AM to 4 PM. You can start tomorrow at 10:00 AM - and plan on starting at 10 AM every day."
The guy is puzzled and says, "If the hours are from 8 AM to 4 PM, why don't you want me to be here before 10 AM?"


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"This is a government job," the interviewer says. "For the first two hours we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls. No point in you coming in for that."

Hat-tip: Don

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Potpouri

Funny, regardless of which (if any) side of the fence you're on. Hat-tip: Don

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

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Just One State...

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From the Los Angeles Times*:

1. 40% of all workers in L.A. County (L.A. County has 10.2 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.

2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.

4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal , whose births were paid for by taxpayers.

5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.

6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.

7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.

8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD (Housing and Urban Development) properties are illegal.

9. 21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking.

10. In L.A. County 5.1 million people speak English, 3.9 million speak Spanish.

Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare. Over 70% of the United States' annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration. 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.

*This piece was adapted from an email that is circulating the net and could be a bit misleading as none of the stats provided came solely or specifically from the LA Times. The sources and accuracy varies, but the figures are generally correct and true, consistent with reports I have heard or read over the years living in Southern CA. Snopes has complete analysis.

Music - Earth, Wind, and Fire

Believe it or not, the first concert I went to was Earth, Wind, and Fire in 1979, and it is one of the best shows I have ever seen. You may not think that, being a big fan of 60's and 70's rock, I would be into EWF, but I'm here to tell you that I am. These guys had it all - the soul, the groove, the harmonies. I can't say enough about a group like EWF that can put a full sound out there with REAL horns, REAL percussion, guitars, and front men like Maurice White and Phillip Bailey who had real stage presence and could REALLY sing! The crap that tries to pass itself off these days as R&B is pitiful; I can't even call it music. This is EWF at their peak, just as I remember them. Bassist Verdine White (brother of lead singer and founder, the late Maurice White)provides incredible musical as well as vocal harmonies and lays down such solid time and rhythmic energy to complement the solid back beat, and check out Johnny Graham's ultra-soulful guitar solo with that crunchy blues riff toward the very end - WOW!!! So, without further ramblings from me, here is Earth, Wind, and Fire, live at the Oakland Coliseum, 1981, with their huge break-out hit from 1975, "That's the Way of the World." Enjoy and turn up your speakers!

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Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

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Excuse me?

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"Beans, Beans good for your heart..."

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Uhhh...how can I write for help if I'm ILLITERATE?!?!?!?!!!!

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Well, which is it? Make-up your fucking mind already!

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Lessons

Can you imagine making just a tiny little mistake in judgment, let's say at a company party. You get a little carried away, have a little fun, maybe dance a little. And just by chance somebody is there with a camera...

And just maybe the person with the camera didn't even realize what they were seeing...

until the pictures came back...

And let's say that the picture then ends-up flying around the world via the internet...


Let this be a lesson to you.

And what is the lesson here? If you're going to let loose at your office party and do the limbo in a dress or short skirt, don't go commando!

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Can You Guess...

...what this is? A modern office building?...
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...a college dormitory, perhaps?
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...a condominium or apartment complex?
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Give up?
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It's the new Cook County Correctional Facility