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Author Topic: What Would The Nation Look Like If You Had Your Way? Back to Topics
SemiSteve

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Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 11:19:10 AM

This topic was inspired by a post saying it would be a very different world if I had my way. I completely agree with that.

Imagine you could have things -your- way. Everything you want for the USA happens. Say people suddenly 'woke up' and agreed with everything you would want for the nation; and all these things became reality. What would you like to see happen?

I'll kick it off.

My ideal nation would begin with the following:

The drug war would be replaced by a sensible rehab policy for abusers and tax revenues on all drugs (which would be legalized).

Paid lobbying would become illegal.

The too-big-to-fail banks would be broken up.

All financial market transactions would be taxed; which would virtually eliminate dangerous and unproductive day-trading and algorithm-trading. Complex instruments such as derivatives trading would be over.

All imported products would be required to utilize workers which enjoy the same protections as American workers.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free trade” agreement would never become the nightmare it is poised to be.

The minimum wage would be immediately raised to $12/hr and thereafter tied to inflation.

All workers would be guaranteed at least 6 weeks paid vacation every year.

Paid sick leave would be mandatory.

The work week would be shortened as automation becomes more and more utilized. Already it should be 30-35 hours. This would spread the work around and create more jobs and fewer idle hands. Americans would enjoy much more leisure time and be able to engage in the arts to a greater degree. I can see the work week becoming as short as 20 hours in 20 years.

Most forms of government assistance would be ended and replaced with a system of poor houses where the needy would receive 3 hots and a cot. They would also get job training and be required to care for the facilities. Disrupters would be sent to work camps or prison.

There would never be an XL pipeline.

Every kind of alternative energy would be greatly expanded. We would end our thirst for fossil fuels. We would have solar, wind, tideflow, ocean current generation and biomass energy.

Public transportation would be greatly expanded, including trains which could accommodate autos linking most major cities. Public truck/bus combos which would accommodate autos would run to places the trains did not serve. Electric autos would be commonplace.

Corporations and unions would be barred from making political campaign contributions.

There would be term limits.

All voting would be standardized and be of the instant-run-off type.

Debates would include alternative candidates. The two-party duopoly would be over.

TV broadcasts would be required to have a minimum of 25 minutes of actual programming every half hour. Commercials would be required to show a timer in one corner so viewers can tell how long it will be until the show comes back on.

Congress would no longer get any special treatment and be subject to all laws they make.

Health care concerns would be over. All would enjoy a health care system run by the government which would replace paying for insurance. Taxes would be increased to pay for the new system but generally would be less than what we now pay for insurance. Government scientists would engage in developing new medicines with a focus on cures rather than remedies.

Big phrama, big insurance, big banking and big oil would all find their markets suddenly drying up.

The weapons industry would be greatly scaled back and US troops would be recalled home from most of the world.

Executives would be free to earn as much as they like provided they pay their average employees at least 5% of what they themselves earn.

All citizens would be guaranteed a job which would earn them enough income to enjoy a home, a vacation and retirement.

Roosevelt's "Second Bill Of Rights" would become reality:

"As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights [the bill of rights] proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.”[3] People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.

For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world."

--Just a few ideas off the top of my head. There would be more. But don't worry. I have zero plans of running for any office. This is all academic. What's your vision?
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 12, 2013 4:07:01 PM

I see we have some things we agree on PPirate. Very good.

WES03, I did not address that. I am no xenophobe. This nation was founded on immigration and has strength in being the great mixing bowl. We need to admit as many as is managable. Our economy depends on willing labor. We must acknowledge that our current labor force includes undocumented immigrants. We need to address that. Expelling part of our current workforce would negatively impact businesses and our economy. There must be a way to incorporate what exists into our legal hierarchy. But we can not sustain an unlimited ingress.

Q: Why can't we end foreign wars and restation our troops on our borders? Q: Why can't we require immigrants to provide a service to our nation in return for eventual citizenship?
Q: Why can't we charge foreign workers a tax in return for legal guest-worker status?
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PopcornPirate
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 9:42:52 AM

OK Steve... I will bite.

Drug War: Prohibition does not work. Knowledge of the drugs effects is the only way to curb abuse. There is a difference in recreational use & abuse.

To Big To Fail: FDIC insures the Deposits. Not the bank itself. If they are irresponsible with running their business. then Bankruptcy is the course.

Lobbying: Here is a sticky situation. Lobbying has good points & some bad points.

All financial market transactions would be taxed: This will just send US money overseas to other countries & US stocks will tumble.

All imported products would be required to utilize workers which enjoy the same protections as American workers: No way to do this outside of the US. The company purchasing the products from overseas either has to inspect or take the supplier at his word. Inspection costs & would raise the end cost.

Minimum Wage: If all you are worth is Minimum Wage ...then you are dumber then you want to admit to yourself. Leave it alone.

6 weeks paid Vacation: See how that is helping European socialistic countries???

Paid Sick Leave: Again it depends on your worth to the company. Are you a low intelligence drone or a productive worker.

35 hr work week: Most places have 35 to 40 hr work weeks now???

Government Assistance: There needs to be a limit on ALL assistance. Teach new skills or help them find work.

XL Pipeline: It is a construction project that will require maintenance far into the future....US JOBS.

Alt Energy: Needs more Private research. Battery tech is not there yet. Solar has made strides. Wind power has only minor drawbacks but is promising.

Public transit: Promote private investment in bullet trains. In certain areas it would be cheaper than flying.

Corporations and unions would be barred from making political campaign contributions: YES. Corp are not People

Congress would no longer get any special treatment and be subject to all laws they make: It says that now. Do they follow their own rules???? NO

Cant type anymore........
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 10:37:32 AM

SS: "--Productivity has increased just as dramatically as corporate profits and executive incomes. The actual workers, however, have been left out of these gains. Executives are now finding out what a bad idea this greed was. Worker incomes allow them to support the economy that provides customers for the corporation. Fewer customers = less profits."

After a business associate of ours eliminated around 100 workers due to automation, their profits increased due to the labor cost savings, the cost savings passed to customers attracted more customers, plus the increase in productivity allowed them to serve "more" customers.

-----Despite high unemployment and high poverty rates in many regions, our business in these regions is increasing as we have more customers, higher volume per customer and higher profits per customer.


[Edited by: MarkJames at 7/7/2013 10:37:51 AM EST]
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WES03
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 9:09:30 AM

SS - it was a long read. Did I miss a position on illegals?
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 2:07:49 PM

"...many employers deploy more technology and automation and/or have fewer but higher paid, higher performing workers. One multi-skilled, multi-tasking worker with multiple duties often out-performs the work perfomed by 2 or 3 workers only a decade ago."

--Productivity has increased just as dramatically as corporate profits and executive incomes. The actual workers, however, have been left out of these gains. Executives are now finding out what a bad idea this greed was. Worker incomes allow them to support the economy that provides customers for the corporation. Fewer customers = less profits.

They are killing the golden goose!

"Oh, not me!", they say, with white feathers dangling from their lips...
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 8:18:16 AM

I should add that higher minimum and starting wages have done little for many workers as the greater issue is hours worked per week, month and year.

Much of our workforce consists of part-time, temporary, on-call and seasonal workers.

Much of our working population can't find full-time work, or they're voluntarily under-employed.

Many are unable or unwilling to work full time, overtime, various hours, various days, weekends, on call hours, second/third shifts, on the road, out of town etc.

Because of availability issues alone many never move up the ladder.

[Edited by: MarkJames at 6/22/2013 8:19:30 AM EST]
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 7:55:57 AM

Speaking of the myth of cheap laborers due to high unemployment, in our high unemployment regions many of the jobs are performed by workers that already have a job or two, existing workers working overtime, or out of area commuters due to the shortage of educated, skilled, experienced, qualified workers. Despite the high unemployment and poverty rates we actually have very good job markets in these regions.

------

Although unemployment is high and poverty is high, there's a shortage of qualified workers as many are on numerous welfare benefits, on disability, retired, not seriously looking for work, voluntarily unemployed, voluntarily under-employed, working in the underground economy, unmotivated, unreliable, slow, obese, out of shape, weak, unhealthy etc.

Even if they were seriously looking for work, or better jobs, much of the unemployed job seeking population will be culled out by many employers and HR departments as they lack HS diplomas, reliable vehicles, driver's licenses and can't pass background checks, drug tests, aptitude tests, DMV checks, physical fitness assessments, probationary periods.

Even when these job seekers manage to find work, many don't last long. Many are warned, written up, suspended, demoted or terminated during probationary periods, or quit during the first days/weeks

Many employers in these regions have to "start" unskilled/low skilled workers at substantially more than minimum wage to attract and keep workers. Since many workers commute great distances, employers have to pay them more money just due to transportation costs alone

The shortage of educated, skilled, experienced, qualified workers is also why many employers deploy more technology and automation and/or have fewer but higher paid, higher performing workers. One multi-skilled, multi-tasking worker with multiple duties often out-performs the work perfomed by 2 or 3 workers only a decade ago.

Cheap labor is relative to value and performance of employees. Many are a bargain @ $10 per hour and others are worth zero, or they have a negative worth due to risk.

[Edited by: MarkJames at 6/22/2013 7:57:48 AM EST]
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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2013 4:38:33 PM

Tertius and living with Lazarus.
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theTower
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2013 1:38:16 PM

"Star Trek"

Best line ever Star Trek is when zephram cocharane exclaims "don't you people in the 24th century ever have to pee?"
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2013 1:28:34 PM

"Minimum wage: There should be none. If an employer is only willing to pay $5 an hour, really low-quality workers is all they will be able to find, and their products will suffer."

--The best situation for employers would then be a trashed economy with really high unemployment. Then they could get workers for absurdly low wages. Employers have a lot of power and influence over Congress. What would prevent them from enacting things that would trash the economy?
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 4:19:55 PM

Great response, sgm!

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sgm4law
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 3:39:01 PM

Star Trek.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 3:28:23 PM

I see you agree on the poor house idea.

Hey, you said we have term limits. Help me out. I thought I just heard that a new record was set for the longest serving member of the House. Served longer than Byrd?

"Term limits? Right now, President gets four years, max two terms, House gets two years, Senate gets six years, etc. All elective offices have term limits now."

--I can find nothing to support your post. Can you show where you got the idea that there are term limits? As long as a congress critter keeps prevailing in elections he/she can stay. Only the President is term-limited.
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 3:02:55 PM

Steve, I will re-address some of the points. Most involve less government, and the benefits that will flow from that reduced government.

Banks: the depositors are insured (up to $100,000), the bank itself is not.
Drugs: de-criminalize, but don't make them socially acceptable or desirable. There are many jobs today that have drug testing. Some do not allow alcohol use. Employers have the right to be choosy, and people on drugs have no right to complain about not being able to find a well-paying job.
Minimum wage: There should be none. If an employer is only willing to pay $5 an hour, really low-quality workers is all they will be able to find, and their products will suffer.
Health Care System: A total free market, with insurance usually covering only "major medical" like it used to.
Big Pharma: would be a lot smaller if government and insurance companies were not subsidizing people to be on multiple drugs. If people had to pay for their meds themselves, they would make better efforts to get and remain healthy, thus not needing a bunch of expensive medications.
Alternative energy: a solar panel and a windmill on every rooftop. Get what you can from it, reducing the demand for the fossil fuels we still need and will use.
US Troops: bring most of them home! Weapons: have some big sticks in the closet, and in the development pipeline. Test and build a few, keep troops trained on the new stuff.
Poor houses: for people unable to maintain a decent abode, offer dormitory style shelters with strict rules, a safe environment, and two nutritious meals each day.

About those pie-in-the-sky "rights" and your response---> --Let the same ones who have benefited from the LACK of these rights pay for them.
Huh? Who has "benefited" from a Lack of supposed rights by some people? The economy is not a zero-sum game. Just because one person has a nice house and good health care does not mean that person is preventing another person from having a decent house and decent health care. You pay for what you want, you pay for what you get. If you need more money, be thrifty, work two jobs, get more education so yo can get better jobs, etc.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 1:42:42 PM

I gave you my ideas, I75.

What are yours?

Or do you think everything is hunky-dory just the way it is.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 1:41:52 PM

"Poor houses? See "The right of every family to a decent home" claim below. Which is it going to be, Steve?"

--If you are using one of my points to dispute another that indicates you accept the one you are using.

"Term limits? Right now, President gets four years, max two terms, House gets two years, Senate gets six years, etc. All elective offices have term limits now."

--Then make the rule that once an individual serves in government in any capacity that they can not serve again for 20 years. And no lobbying either. And no going directly from the industry you regulate to that industry. 20 year cooling-off period.

"Alternative energy expanded? Who is going to pay for all the boondoggles, and who gets to decide which proposals get funded and which ones don't? Some government bureaucrats?"

--How about we stop building more weapons than the next 25 nations combined and use that money on energy?

*Congress would no longer get any special treatment and be subject to all laws they make.* BINGO !!! You got one right!

"Big phrama, big insurance, big banking and big oil would all find their markets suddenly drying up." Says who?

"The right to a useful and remunerative job...The right to earn enough to provide....The right of every family to a decent home...The right to adequate medical care...The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age,...The right to a good education....
All these proposed "rights" would cost a lot of money to provide. They are in no way like our Constitutional rights, such as free speech, religion, right to bear arms, right to a trial by jury, right to be secure in our persons, places, and things...."

--Let the same ones who have benefited from the LACK of these rights pay for them. The exploiters, the greedy power-weilders, those who do no actual work, provide no service, but instead try to game the system by shuffling numbers.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 1:32:11 PM

"Workers guaranteed 6 weeks paid vacation? Who is going to pay them? Do they get that after one year? What about workers who have been on the job ten or twenty years? Shouldn't they get more vacation then the new hires? One-size fits all in inherently unfair."

--Employers would pay for this, of course. The vacation would not take effect immediately for new hires. They would have to stay on the job for years to work their way up. This would kick in after 7-10 years on the job with intermediate benchmarks along the way. But after they put in their time employers would be required to pay the vacation pay.

"Paid sick leave? Every worker would somehow use every last day, every last year. The need to hire additional workers to cover the ones out sick might reduce the unemployment rate, in real terms. Until the employers just go out of business...."

--The workers are the most important part of any business. Wise employers know this and take care of their people. This just levels the playing field so that greedy employers do not attempt to become more competitive by dissing their workers.

"Thirty-35 hour work week? Americans will just have two jobs, each at 28 hours, like is happening now."

--Some might. Others might not. Each would be free to decide if they want to work their life away or be more meaningful parents.
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 1:23:09 PM

Imported product worker protection: "who will inspect and rate these manufacturers? Unworkable."

--The burden of proof would be on them. The media would be free to expose lying on their behalf, motivated by ratings as the people found out who was cheating them.

Minimum wage $12 and indexed to inflation: "see $6 milk, $4 bread, $6 happy meals, and hyperinflation to follow."

--No doubt prices would shift. A new equilibrium would be struck. It is either do this or continue to support the illegal worker market.

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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 1:11:47 PM

I75: "I shall attempt to address some specific recommendations put forth in the OP rant:"

Too-big-to-fail banks: "no need to break them up. Just let everyone know that they will not be bailed out again."

--They have too much power for that to work. They would get themselves bailed out anyway and we would all pay for it. That's the problem when there are people with so much power and virtually no checks and balances on them similar to powerful government positions.

Financial market transaction tax: "result would be people investing in foreign stock markets outside the USA. Capital flight and the rest."

--Europe is discussing the same thing. If major economies all do this together then capital would have to fly to the moon to escape it. Not much trading there.

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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 12:33:24 PM

I shall attempt to address some specific recommendations put forth in the OP rant:

Too-big-to-fail banks: no need to break them up. Just let everyone know that they will not be bailed out again.

Financial market transaction tax: result would be people investing in foreign stock markets outside the USA. Capital flight and the rest. Duh.

Imported product worker protection: who will inspect and rate these manufacturers? Unworkable.

Minimum wage $12 and indexed to inflation: see $6 milk, $4 bread, $6 happy meals, and hyperinflation to follow.

Workers guaranteed 6 weeks paid vacation? Who is going to pay them? Do they get that after one year? What about workers who have been on the job ten or twenty years? Shouldn't they get more vacation then the new hires? One-size fits all in inherently unfair.

Paid sick leave? Every worker would somehow use every last day, every last year. The need to hire additional workers to cover the ones out sick might reduce the unemployment rate, in real terms. Until the employers just go out of business....

Thirty-35 hour work week? Americans will just have two jobs, each at 28 hours, like is happening now.

Poor houses? See "The right of every family to a decent home" claim below. Which is it going to be, Steve?

Term limits? Right now, President gets four years, max two terms, House gets two years, Senate gets six years, etc. All elective offices have term limits now.

Alternative energy expanded? Who is going to pay for all the boondoggles, and who gets to decide which proposals get funded and which ones don't? Some government bureaucrats?

*Congress would no longer get any special treatment and be subject to all laws they make.* BINGO !!! You got one right!

"Big phrama, big insurance, big banking and big oil would all find their markets suddenly drying up." Says who?

"The right to a useful and remunerative job...The right to earn enough to provide....The right of every family to a decent home...The right to adequate medical care...The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age,...The right to a good education....
All these proposed "rights" would cost a lot of money to provide. They are in no way like our Constitutional rights, such as free speech, religion, right to bear arms, right to a trial by jury, right to be secure in our persons, places, and things....

Pie in the sky ideals that will never happen.

I'll take strawberries on my cheesecake.
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 11:59:41 AM

"What's your vision?"

See the sun rise tomorrow.
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 11:57:01 AM


Cheesecake.
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