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Rowley: Wealth Reed-istribution- RI Senator Enrolls in Socialism

Saturday, January 04, 2014


In the sixth year of Barack Obama’s presidency – after all that “stimulus” – we’re still talking about the extension of federal unemployment benefits. I suppose that’s the first point.

This week US Senator Jack Reed (D) – along with Republican Senator Dean Heller (who should suffer a primary battle for his cooperation) – co-sponsored a “bill to extend [federal] jobless benefits” for “three months while Congress works out a comprehensive plan.”

Something seems odd, however, because Democrats have been insisting that we have been in the midst of an economic “recovery” for quite some time now. Reed said about his legislation, “This program has been, and continues to be, a crucial benefit to millions of American households all over the country and of nearly every conceivable demographic. That is why it’s such a significant part of keeping this economic recovery going forward.”

But Director of Obama’s National Economic Council Gene Sperling explained this week, “Never before have we abruptly cut off emergency unemployment insurance when we faced this level of long-term unemployment and it would be a blow to these families and our economy.”

The oblivion is becoming all too common within the Democrats’ political rhetoric. After five full years of the Democrats’ wealth redistribution and deficit spending (i.e. redistributing the wealth of our future offspring), we find an Obama advisor actually lamenting the potential halt to policies that he recognizes have been a failure – as he acknowledges a looming and ominous “level of long-term unemployment” in the second year of his boss’ second term.

That’s some “recovery,” Democrats.

Besides the fact that there is credible suspicion that Obama-bureaucrats “manipulated” unemployment data leading up to the 2012 elections in order to push the official unemployment rate below 8%, the fact remains that more than 20 million more Americans are depending on food stamps today than before Obama’s presidency.

Analysis that is consistent with this information was offered by Fox News’ George Will this week: “The recession began in December 2007. Since then we’ve added…13 million more Americans are in the country. And we have 1.3 million fewer jobs. We’ve lowered the unemployment largely, not entirely, but largely because workforce participation rate has gone down as more and more workers have been discouraged, and are no longer counted anymore because they’re not looking for work. If the workforce participation rate today were as high as it was when the recession began, the unemployment rate would be 11.3%. We wouldn’t be calling it a poor recovery because it wouldn’t count as a recovery at all.”

Yup, that’s some “recovery,” Democrats.

Sadly, no dosage of reality can reform the nation’s socialist party. It is a rare liberal who has the ability to stop being liberal. Jack Reed will continue to insist that billions of dollars in transfer payments are causing Americans to experience an economic rebound. And the Projo’s Froma Harrop will continue to draft columns that inform her readers that “ Obama may be the best American president ever for the economy.”

Welfare As An Economy

Welfare – not work – keeps the economy “going forward.” That is the mantra of the modern Democratic Party.

In recent years, we have heard Democrats claim that “for every dollar a person receives in food stamps…$1.79 is put back into the economy;” that unemployment benefits and food stamps “are two things that are the most stimulative that you can do;” that they are “the biggest bang for the buck.” (Democratic Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer).

I guess I’m just old-fashion then. I still believe that there’s nothing more powerful – nothing more “stimulative” – than capitalism; than work; than establishing the principle that people should be allowed to keep what they earn.

Democrats have let it be known that they believe in growing the economy “from the bottom-up” and “from the middle-out” – no doubt, expressions that are intended to flatter those at the “bottom” and in the “middle.” At the end of the day, however, they are merely euphemistic for liberals’ reverence for government provision and their distaste for easing up on job creators.

In July of 2012, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly reminded former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) during an interview that “the economy did revive” after Ronald Reagan drastically cut taxes for America’s highest income earners. Because this was similar to the plan being proposed by Mitt Romney and the Republicans at the time, O’Reilly asked Kucinich, “Do you see that as a failure?”

“If it’s gonna accelerate wealth to the top in this country using a tax structure to do it,” Kucinich responded, “that’s wrong cuz it’s unfair. That’s not American.”

It’s not fair for successful people to be allowed to keep their own earnings. It’s not fair for poor people to have to work – particularly if wealthier individuals are simultaneously increasing their own holdings. To the modern Democrat, this would not be “American.”

Obama had a similar moment in 2008. Obama was informed during a Democratic presidential debate that “when the [capital gains tax] rate dropped [in the 1990s], revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28%, the revenues went down.” The moderator went on to ask, “So why raise it at all?” Obama’s response was that he “would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

Behold, the Democrats’ philosophical impediment from actually desiring an economic recovery! Oh no ya don’t. Don’t you dare. Not if the rich guy’s gonna benefit, too!

Modern Democrats don’t necessarily disagree with John F. Kennedy’s explanation that a “rising tide lifts all boats.” It’s just that they can’t stand such imagery anymore. That’s how much they hate rich people – the glorious icons of capitalism.

Remaining loyal to their party’s philosophy, this week President Obama called Reed’s bill an “urgent economic priority” while Reed referred to it as “a significant part” of an economic recovery – that is, Reed’s ability to take Rhode Island tax dollars down to the Capital, and then bring some back.

Oh, my hero.

Moreover, these are the people who snicker and scoff at the idea that they are “socialists” – even as they openly attempt to foster an economy with other people’s industry.

It is clear, however, that, for Democrats, welfare is no longer about a mere concern for the desperate and downtrodden. Welfare has become a crucial component to their economic design.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is the author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


Related Slideshow: The Best of Travis Rowley

Here are some of Travis Rowley's most well-read articles to date:

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Travis Rowley: Liberty By Law

November 24, 2012

In the event of a victory by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney several weeks ago, I had prepared myself to draft a column intended to quell the anticipated jubilation of the political Right nationwide – my primary point being that, despite such a Republican triumph, America’s enduring crisis would have been that Barack Obama was practically guaranteed 47 percent of the popular vote simply by being the endorsed Democratic candidate (Obama ultimately secured 51 percent).

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Travis Rowley: Republicans Told You So

August 25, 2012

While Anthony Gemma’s highly anticipated press conference was certainly compelling, it remains unclear whether or not it will be enough to sink Congressman David Cicilline’s re-election hopes. At the very least, however, it seems Gemma is in possession of convincing evidence of large-scale voter fraud that would incriminate high-level officers within Cicilline’s inner circle.

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Travis Rowley: Gay Marriage is a Sham

January 5, 2013

The consequences of silence were on parade this week when Channel 10 aired a report titled “Same-Sex Marriage Could Help RI Economy.” The premise for saying so is that many people, while decidedly against the passage of a gay marriage bill, have been entirely bullied out of the controversy – and that this has resulted in a growing confusion over how to even begin defending traditional values.

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Travis Rowley: Lessons From Boston's Post-Bombing Lockdown

April 20, 2013

In the midst of the ongoing debate over the 2nd Amendment, I discovered lessons to be learned from the events in Boston this week.

Let me start with this: Owning a gun is not a natural right. After all, how can a firearm be a natural right if man had to invent and manufacture it?

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Travis Rowley: A Letter To An Undocumented Student

September 28, 2011

Dear Undocumented Student,

Regarding the Board of Governors for Higher Education, I had the chance to attend its meeting on Monday night, and also the chance to observe the body of teenage students – some illegal aliens, and some devoted friends – that you were a part of.

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Travis Rowley: Hendricken, Progressives, and Homosexuality

May 19, 2012

Bishop Hendricken High School president John Jackson set off somewhat of a Facebook firestorm this week when he penned a letter to the Providence Journal that criticized President Obama for “favor[ing] same-sex marriage,” and for essentially recapitulating the Catholic Church’s position concerning homosexuality.

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Travis Rowley: Rhode Islanders, Pay Your Own Damn Taxes

March 10, 2012

Local property taxes in Rhode Island are among the highest in the nation. And it has little to do with what progressive Democrats claim. That is, that recent tax cuts for the state’s high-income earners are the cause of your skyrocketing property tax bill – that “the rich” are not paying their “fair share.”

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Travis Rowley: Outlaw Government Unions

April 7, 2012

Offering collective bargaining privileges to Rhode Island’s public employees was always an imprudent idea. And they should be rescinded immediately.

This is a simple conclusion to reach when one considers the nature and purpose of a union. That is, when a group of workers view themselves as having collective leverage over their employer, and find it in their best interest to threaten him with a work stoppage unless their demands are met – most commonly, a greater share of company profits.

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Travis Rowley: Gay Marriage: The Odds of Error

January 19, 2013

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Travis Rowley: Left Wants Gays To Receive Magic Beans At Mass

August 10, 2013

Reverend Brian Sistare, the pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Woonsocket, is currently denying Holy Communion to Lew Pryeor and Pierre Leveillee, a gay couple who are members of Sacred Heart’s regular congregation.

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Mr. Rowley needs to stop drinking the Fox News Kool Aid and realize he is promoting economic policy that serves to undermine his own self interest. There are so many things wrong with this article that I don't know where to begin. To begin, redistribution of wealth occurs in a myriad of ways that Mr. Rowley fails to address. For instance, when a corporation buys influence from a politician to change the tax code to create off shore tax havens, this promotes a redistribution of wealth. When a for profit school scams students to take out loans for their faux education entities by exploiting government loans that are guaranteed, this creates a redistribution of wealth. When health insurance companies pay for favorable legislation through campaign contributions while exploiting medicare and medicaid to line their pockets, this is also a redistribution of wealth. When corporations like GE buy politicians in order to avoid paying any taxes, this facilitates a redistribution of wealth. When factory farm corporations pay off politicians to gain massive subsidies this engenders a redistribution of wealth. And when Wall Street gets bailouts as a reward for collapsing the economy and then has the audacity to give their CEO's bonuses, this promotes a redistribution of wealth. And finally, when banks like HSBC launder millions in drug cartel money knowing their profits from this crime will cover the fines imposed by a watered down oversight entity that believes "Too big to Fail", this also brings about a redistribution of wealth. So, Mr. Rowley please step away from your computer and let the adults opine as to the reasons our middle class is disappearing. You cannot apply free market analysis to a rigged system. One need only follow the money to see what's happening in our economy. The money is not being redistributed to the bottom through Obama's policies, it's being sucked to the top 1% thanks to fools like you who have no idea how greed functions.

Comment #1 by Jonathan Bainsworth on 2014 01 04

Yes, that's some whacky math that the socialist thieves espouse.

How about instead of receiving a food stamp dollar, that people receive a real dollar from a real job? How about giving them an additional dollar by reducing their tax burden; that is, not taking a dollar from them in the first place. Then you'd have your $1.79 economic multiplier effect without any government intervention at all.

Of course, if the Modern Democrats whacky math was real, then $1 from any source would become $1.79 and the economy would be busting at the seams now... which it is not. If that were the case, then there would be little need for food stamps and extended unemployment benefits and social security disability.... Instead, something like 20 million Americans have been added to the food stamp program alone since Obama took office.

And Jonathan, for once I couldn't agree more -- stop ALL forms of government redistribution of wealth, including crony capitalism.

Comment #2 by Art West on 2014 01 04

Bainsworth, did you see Rowley say that he was in favor of all the forms of redistribution you just listed? No, you didn't. All you did was list a bunch of topics that could be addressed at a later time.

But thanks for wasting everyone's time as you completely ignored what this article was about. All anybody can assume is that you're upset over the truth that Rowley just told, and are actually in favor of the Democrats' welfare socialism.

Comment #3 by Chris O. on 2014 01 04

LOL - Notice Mr. Bainsworth claims that "there are so many things wrong with this article that I don't know where to begin"... but then he doesn't tell us ANYTHING that Rowley got wrong. His whole response was a literary spasm caused by the flat-out truth that Rowley just laid out for everyone.

Liberals are insane.

Comment #4 by Jeremy Soninjer on 2014 01 04

What Mr. Bainsworth describes is the worst kind of cronyism. Some accuse big businesses of "buying influence," others call it paying extortion money (sort of like what we in Rhode Island know as "protection"). The fact that this cronyism is not practiced exclusively by one political party or the other is beside the point. What matters is that it is very destructive of our economic well-being.

What Mr. Rowley advocates, as those of us who read him regularly know, is free enterprise, where the participants act in their own interest by how they "vote" with their dollars, and where the government enforces the law. The complex regulatory schemes designed by bureaucrats, which permit government to determine winners and losers and thus extort their tribute in the form of campaign contributions, are an abomination. Is Mr. Bainsworth defending this status quo?

Because if he's honest he'll concede that the status quo is government at its worst. And although it has been practiced by both political parties it has increased to monstrous proportions under President Obama, to the degree that our nation is beginning to resemble, in terms of "business friendliness," the horror that is Rhode Island.

This status quo has stifled the economic recovery, and the fact that Rhode Island is tied at the bottom of the heap with the highest unemployment rate is no coincidence. What Senator Reed wants to do is a stopgap measure, at best. It will not benefit us in any ultimate sense, and has been shown over the last four decades to actually hurt the poor as much as anyone else. Even Obama's original economic advisory team, Romer and Summers, have both written about the effect of unemployment compensation increasing the rate of unemployment. We need a more rational Congressional delegation, and nothing makes sense except to vote them all out at the earliest opportunity, even Senator Reed (who is the best of a very bad bunch).

Comment #5 by Kenneth Amylon on 2014 01 04

Actually, I did address Mr. Rowley's article directly when I stated that you can't apply free market economic analysis to a rigged system. Since Mr. Rowley's underlying premise implies a free market, which never has existed in this country, everything that logically follows in is faulty analysis is rendered superfluous. I think I amply demonstrated how the system is rigged with several examples. I can't help it if the baggers on this site who have been drinking the Trickle down laced Kool Aid since Ronald the actor president began the myth still believe otherwise. The solution is taxing the wealthy to the hilt since most of the money they accrued was through exploitative manipulation of democracy fueled by greed. And stop worshipping businessman and CEO's. They only see it as a weakness and more opportunity to milk the system. Regulate the system to level the playing field and those in the business community who don't like it can move to another country. We can tax them out of business if they do. It's really quite simple.

Comment #6 by Jonathan Bainsworth on 2014 01 04

Bainsworth: "The solution is taxing the wealthy to the hilt since most of the money they accrued was through exploitative manipulation of democracy fueled by greed. And stop worshipping businessman and CEO's. They only see it as a weakness and more opportunity to milk the system. Regulate the system to level the playing field and those in the business community who don't like it can move to another country. We can tax them out of business if they do."

And that's the "modern Democrat" ---- as Rowley puts it ---- for you.

Where are you, JFK?

Comment #7 by Jeremy Soninjer on 2014 01 04

Hate to say "I told you so" but>> I told you Bainsworth agreed with the Democrats' socialism. And, ultimately, that's why he didn't directly dispute anything Rowley wrote.

Comment #8 by Chris O. on 2014 01 04

Jonathan, whoa. Stopping crony capitalism benefits the country.

But taxing people out of business is truly insane.

How does an economy or country work without productivity (reasonable taxed) from commerce? The alternative is communism, which is what you seem to be saying. Start packing; Cuba is nice this time of year.

Comment #9 by Art West on 2014 01 04

You are funny,Travis

If you knew just a fraction of what you think you know, you'd be the most successful economic adviser on the planet instead of a pretender on an insignificant internet blog.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Comment #10 by Sammy Arizona on 2014 01 04

“The richest 2% own more than half the household wealth in the world. The richest 10% hold 85% of the total global assets and the bottom half of humanity owns less than 1% of the wealth in the world. The three richest men in the world have more money than the poorest 48 countries.” - Maude Barlow

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.” - Frederic Bastiat

Why should we go along with the sickening culture of this system which says money is more important than people, and people are only a means to make money?
Why should we accept the way things are, or just try to make things a little bit better, still living within this system that will keep on destroying the lives of human beings, and denying a decent future to the youth, all over the world?

Comment #11 by Johnny cakes on 2014 01 04

So "Sammy Arizona" denies nothing Rowley wrote. Just makes a sarcastic comment to make himself appear more educated than Rowley.

Johnny cakes, your platitudes I agree with. But they really don't address the topic above. But to your point: I believe that capitalism spreads the wealth/prosperity better than socialism. We should work toward a more free, and more moral society.

Comment #12 by Chris O. on 2014 01 04

Regarding the leftist "rigged system" rhetoric, tell it to Steve Jobs (rest his soul), Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jerry Yang, David Filo, Warren Buffett, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Carolyn Rafaelian and many more who started with little and who became incredibly successful because of talent, drive and big ideas. I doubt if any of them saw anything but opportunity as they built their companies/careers.

Comment #13 by Art West on 2014 01 04

And Obama and his postulates have been cracking down on "Crony Capitalism" left, right, and sideways.... UNLESS they belly up and contribute. Waiter, some more "Green Energy Loans" over here. Oooo, did I hear the tinkle of coin of the realm dropping into the DNC collection box?
Eventually the socialist runs out of money he can steal from those who work for it. Atlaw WILL shrug.

Comment #14 by G Godot on 2014 01 05

Mr. West...the following individuals all benefited and participated in a rigged system that enabled them to become very wealthy at the expense of those who do not have the money to buy politicians and change the rules to their advantage:Steve Jobs (rest his soul), Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jerry Yang, David Filo, Warren Buffett, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Carolyn Rafaelian. Actually, Mr. West, a level playing field would create an infinite number more of entrepreneurs, creative individuals and job creators then the current rigged system since more folks would have the leisure time necessary to indulge their creative side instead of toiling away at MacDonalds.. We don't need Steve Jobs (rest his soul), Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jerry Yang, David Filo, Warren Buffett, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Carolyn Rafaelian to have a healthy happy and
more equitable society. You can actually argue that we would be better off without them.
Once again Mr. West you are applying free market economic analysis to a rigged system which is just a waste of your own time as well as those readers on this site. Applying free market analysis to a rigged system is the equivalent of trying to analyze why your checkbook is not balancing out while a massive identity theft is sucking all the money out of your account.

Comment #15 by Jonathan Bainsworth on 2014 01 05


Sorry, I don't get it. The free market is dynamic, ever-changing. Innovation and creative thinking destroy old ways constantly.

You're going to have to explain how the rigged system held back people who had goals, applied their talents, worked hard and achieved, such as those I mentioned. Did David Ortiz, for example, buy a politician to earn his $multi-millions?

Who is controlling other people's lives? How do they hold back individuals? How do they do so in an ever-changing world where any rigging can so quickly be worked around through innovation and the human desire for prosperity?

Comment #16 by Art West on 2014 01 05


These individuals fall through the cracks through the luck of their circumstances to succeed. It's all luck in the end. The point is to level the playing field so more cracks open up. There is no such thing as a self made success story.
And please stop with the "dynamic market" rhetoric. You know what you get when you let the market determine economic outcomes? China! Go there and try to breathe the air or if you like to have your preteen children working in factories where they sleep in bunk beds on the factory floors. And if you think government should stay out of the way, I would suggest going to Afghanistan and opening up shop there while the Taliban raids your factory and stones your daughters for going to school. You will run back to this country and praise our government ..kissing the ground in D.C.

Comment #17 by Jonathan Bainsworth on 2014 01 05

Bainsworth, "free markets" hardly implies "no government whatsoever" .... Go home with your straw man.

"These individuals fall through the cracks through the luck of their circumstances to succeed. It's all luck in the end." - J. Bainsworth


Comment #18 by Jeremy Soninjer on 2014 01 06

As Jeremy just remarked WOW!!!

Bainsworth, your comments present the classical conflict of visions in its most basic form. You seem to basing your arguments on the point that a free market never existed in this country. It may come as shock to you that there never has been nor will there ever be a pure free market. The free market concept operates on a continuum that only in theory approaches a pure state at either end of the continuum. Luck can be a factor in success, but successful people have the talent and determination to take advantage of their luck. Most successful businessmen as they start out do not rig the system, they prefer to avoid dealing with the government. Most successful businessmen did make their businesses. No doubt that crony capitalism is wrong and reducing that would help level the playing field. Are you really saying that all success is achieved only through a rigged system? Have you ever run a business of worked in a small or medium business? Ever? By the way did your mother ever tell you that life is not fair? Even in your level playing field not everyone get a 1st pace trophy for showing up.

Comment #19 by Michael Byrnes on 2014 01 06

Ignore the man. He obviously has an axe to grind--after all, his lack of success is obviously because the system was rigged and he was unlucky...the mantra of excuses you hear from people that can't blame themselves, only others.

Comment #20 by Jimmy LaRouche on 2014 01 06

It’s glorious to get rich, isn’t it? You can buy an 8 million dollar house in Newport with enough rooms to house five families - rooms you will virtually never use. While people who work 40, 50, 60 hours a week can barely keep body and soul together, or afford a house fit for the shelter of human beings. And then there are those who desperately want to work but can’t find anyone who is willing to exploit their labor.

This is the world of excess that you glorify and try to emulate, a world where other people’s labor allows a few to live a life of luxury while 47 million out of 316 million live on the margins, on food stamps or worse. And because they are not useful to the system, and their labor cannot be exploited profitably - they are called “the takers.”

And when people cannot “compete” in this social darwinist jungle - most for reasons of birth or luck - these families deserve exactly what they get.

Listen to yourselves and look at what you are. Here is a quote from de Tocqueville which sums you up:

"Each person, withdrawn into himself, behaves as though he is a stranger to the destiny of all the others. His children and his good friends constitute for him the whole of the human species. As for his transactions with his fellow citizens, he may mix among them, but he sees them not; he touches them, but does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone. And if on these terms there remains in his mind a sense of family, there no longer remains a sense of society."

Comment #21 by Johnny cakes on 2014 01 06

jonny cakes,
We could go back and forth with de Tocqueville quotes forever. Here is one. “Americans are so enamored of equality they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” I find it curious that your lead line was a paraphrase of Deng Xiaoping’s “to get rich is glorious”. Deng’s policy of unleashing the energy of the Chinese peasant and entrepreneur with modified free enterprise led to some 400 million people being lifted out of poverty. You do point out a serious problem. Do you solve the problem by taking away the property of the individual who purchased an expensive home? How does this help those who live in the margins? Or in your Marxist terminology how can their labor be “exploited” profitably? How do you propose to make the “system” recognize the usefulness of their labor?

Comment #22 by Michael Byrnes on 2014 01 06

Aye Johnny cakes,

You may be falling behind by clinging to the old Marxism.

Even U2's Bono is now saying that entrepreneurial capitalism is the way to alleviate poverty.

Comment #23 by Art West on 2014 01 06

"Other people's labor" allows almost 50% of thoise dwelling in the US to get some form of "public assistance"... read "middle class taxpayer assistance".

Comment #24 by G Godot on 2014 01 09

How 'bout, in the interest of fairness" we substitute "beachfront property in California" (purchased by Mr. The Seas Shall Rise Gore) for 8" million dollar house in Newport" ? That change the left wing dynamic any? OK for dumbocrats to do that, is it. Serving the interest of the "pooah folks" an all.

Comment #25 by G Godot on 2014 01 09

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