The Thunderbolt 150604 Ha, Ha, Ha!

Force of Nature

TB Clndr

The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes

 

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1) FYI Section:

1A) Update from Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

1B) Update on West Central Park Project

2) Move to Amend Monthly Meeting

3) Olympia Comics Festival: Art for Arts Sake

4) Chris Hedges, Jill Stein, and Kshama Sawant in Seattle

5) Media Island Monthly Benefit Brunch: Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation

6) Oly Civil Review Board: 2nd Foundational Meeting

7) Olympia Village Building Convergence Energizer Potluck

8) Bonus Tip of the Day

 

A detailed description of all events is located after the News and Commentary section

To go directly to an event description just type the index entry above into a search box

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Ha, Ha, Ha!

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New Thunderbolts About to Strike Olympia!

Hey Kids!

Yes, after many months of reruns the radio version of the Thunderbolt is back! I have my new teeth and once again I am ready to hurl Thunderbolts of truth and justice over the airwaves of Thurston County! (Well, over the airwaves of downtown Olympia and over the Internet, anyway…)

I plan to have a whole original show recorded for next week’s airing (June 12th — hopefully). (I’ll see how it goes.)

Beware, evildoers! I’ll show them!

One thing this means is that with the need to spend a bunch of hours that I don’t have recording radio shows now then this newsletter is likely to start becoming a little shorter.

I suspect that some would consider this to be an improvement.

Ha, ha, ha.

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Suggested Activities

If you’re sitting around bored and need something to do — maybe you could consider saving the world!

As far as that goes, defeating the Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP] is probably the single most important issue happening right now. It is being negotiated in super-duper level of secrecy but a few chapters have been leaked by Wikileaks and it is obvious even from these few chapters that the TPP represents a massive power grab by Wall Street. If they manage to get this nastiness through Congress then we will be legally locked into this fascist nightmare for decades.

If you’re still not clear on the TPP and want to know more about it, Democracy Now for Tuesday June 2nd airs the most effective journalistic blasting of the TPP I have yet seen. You should watch this clip from Democracy Now even if you’re already up on the issue.

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/27/julian_assange_on_the_trans_pacific

FYI: If you need some quick cash to get you through to the end of the month Wikileaks will pay you $100,000 for the portions of the TPP that have not already been leaked.

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/6/2/wikileaks_launches_campaign_to_offer_100

 

That would sure show them!

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Reader Response

I wrote recently about how China is about to take over in the field of world dominance and that I was concerned because the Chinese government is a complete totalitarian dictatorship.

I got this response from TZ. (In the first paragraph he is quoting me in the Thunderbolt.)

China is, in fact, a complete totalitarian dictatorship that has no accountability to their own citizens and it does whatever the hell it likes to anyone it likes.”

In contrast, of course, to the United States which is (supposedly) a democratic republic that has no accountability to its own citizens and does whatever the hell it likes to anyone it likes.   Please explain the differences to me, professor.

During the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Russian envoy said (to break the tension in the room), “The difference between The Soviet Union and the United States is that in Russia man exploits man. In the United States it is just the other way around.”

I responded that, unlike China, it is still technically legal to protest in the US thus forcing the government to at least jump through a few token legal hoops before they can oppress you.

Overall, though — point made, TZ.

Ha, ha, ha.

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Outrage of the Week!

Over half the population of Iraq live in the city of Baghdad. In Afghanistan, on the other hand, the five biggest cities combined contain less than 10% of their population. In addition, Iraq is mostly flat while Afghanistan is mostly really high and often impassable mountains. Before we destroyed Iraq it was a wealthy vibrant highly educated country. Due to both politics and geography Afghanistan has always been an isolated and academically uneducated country whose citizen’s lives are dominated by superstition rather than by facts. At the time the American troops invaded Afghanistan over half of the population of Afghanistan had never even heard of 9-11 much less bore any responsibility for it — yet even though they had absolutely no idea of what any of this was even all about, in the name of 9-11 their families and their friends started dying in droves.

Ha, ha, ha. We sure showed them.

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Bonus Outrage of the Week!

We spent hundreds of billions of dollars arming and training the Iraqi army. That is a lot of money. That money could have done lots of other things.

Then, when ISIS showed up and provided the Iraqi army with their first opportunity to test their mettle — they almost immediately turned tail and ran without a fight leaving behind large arsenals full of American taxpayer purchased weaponry — including over 1,000 armoured Humvees which ISIS is now using in highly effective suicide bomb attacks.

And what, one may ask, is the American response to this American-created disaster?

Ha, ha, ha: They are spending a whole bunch more of your tax dollars to send a whole bunch more of those armoured Humvees to the Iraqi army.

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Irony of the Week

I just learned that one reason the FIFA prosecutions are happening in the United States is because the whistleblower protection laws in the US represent the gold standard.

We have the best whistleblower protection laws in the world — when they are enforced.

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Police Outrage of the Week!

I am thinking this might become a semi-regular feature!

This week’s Police Outrage comes to us from Habersham County, Georgia, where the police raided a home based upon a faulty tip that an informant had purchased $50 worth of meth there.

It turned out that the informant had purchased the meth from the house’s previous tenants. The current tenants were guilty of nothing. The police raided at 3 am and during the raid one of the sheriffs hurled a flash-bang grenade into the crib of a 19-month old infant. The subsequent blast blew a large part of the infant’s face off and caused other serious injuries. The family had over $1 million in medical bills as a result of the raid — but in the settlement the family not only received less than the cost of their medical expenses but the award was split up amongst several members of the family.

Yes, this is outrageous enough on its own — but during the family’s subsequent lawsuit, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Department made the following statement:

“Merely by being in that room, [the infant] had assumed the risk of coming under attack by a SWAT team. By impeding the trajectory of that grenade, rather than fleeing from his crib [the infant] failed to “avoid the consequences” of that attack.”

What this is saying is that this baby and his family were fully and exclusively to blame for the injuries that nearly killed the child and left the family with more than one million dollars in medical bills.

Really! How dare that baby “impede the trajectory” of a flash-bang grenade! Of course that baby should have seen that was coming! It’s about time these damned infants learn a little responsibility for their own actions! This is nothing more than a little ‘tough-love’ lesson concerning consequences! Of course he frigging deserved what he got!

They sure showed him.

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Domestic Outrage

So the new sheriff in town, Loretta Lynch, would appear to be unafraid of unleashing some serious firepower right out of the gate! Let all sinners and evildoers beware — Loretta Lynch is strutting her stuff down the boardwalk and you’d best stay off her bad side!

Yes, Ms. Lynch has begun her federal imposture as our new attorney general by ‘prosecuting’ several Wall Street banks as well as several high officials in FIFA, the worldwide association that administrates professional soccer and organizes the World Cup.

As always seems to be the case in such cases, though, appearances are the complete opposite of the actual reality.

Ha, ha, ha.

And as far as the banks?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, hey help me because I can’t quit laughing!

The ‘banks’ i.e. perfect representational examples of that new corporate ‘person’ that our Supreme Court has recently created — i.e. that new corporate bank-‘person’ that has no heart and that has no soul and that can theoretically live forever — these non-bleeding non-sexual (even if sexist) — anyway, these new non-person person-creatures were prosecuted as opposed to the actual individual criminal human persons who actually perpetrated the various frauds. This means that the shareholders — who also had nothing to do with the criminal activities — will pay a token fine that represents a small fraction of the money that they stole using by using this scam. (This time they were ‘prosecuted’ for manipulating currencies — which is another massive area of truly scary crap which represents yet another tool that the 1% uses to control our governments our food our energy and our choice of laundry detergents and deserves major attention from the public — but some other time…)

Anyway, all the public sees in the Media Machine is that ‘Wall Street banks were prosecuted’ and so most of them think this is an actual prosecution that is actually punishing evildoers.

And of course — as is always the case in this brave new era of two-tiered justice — no one goes to jail. Not even the artificially created bank-‘person’. Poor people in California are getting life sentences for stealing pizzas while for several decades now the banksters who have literally stolen trillions experience no blowback other than ever increasing profits. The Wall Street banks have been running the biggest criminal conspiracy in all human history and have caused immeasurable and untold death pain misery suffering and anguish all over the planet yet they never go to jail for anything anymore.

As for the FIFA people: Dave Ziron is convinced this is nothing more than payback for FIFA bypassing the USA for the World Cup.

Knowing how these people do their business this is a very plausible explanation.

Another wrinkle to this particular nastiness is that as a result of this scandal it has come to light that both FIFA and Qatar — who did win the World Cup — were both massive donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Ha, ha, ha.

Another plus for the Justice Department is that they get some much-needed positive PR by prosecuting some wealthy white guys as opposed to poor black ones and they can get away with this particular prosecution suffering minimal political blowback since these wealthy white guys are all actual real-life shady characters and foreigners.

They sure showed them.

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Foreign Outrage

During the height of the American witch hunt for Edward Snowden in 2013 — one of the most massive manhunts in history — Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane was forced to land in Austria for fourteen hours after Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy all closed their airspace to him. They did this under serious pressure from the United States — who applied this pressure under the false impression that Mr. Snowden was on board this plane. I remember writing extensively about how that was such an outrageously illegal unethical insulting and totally frigooblyitic thing to do even if Mr. Snowden had been aboard. I remember I invited readers to imagine what would happen if someone had forced down Air Force One and insisted upon searching the American president’s jet? In addition, a presidential jet has all of the very same legal protections that an embassy does — i.e. that jet was sovereign Bolivian territory — and that sovereignty was utterly violated by the American officials whose idiocy is exceeded only by their hubris.

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/28/assange_on_the_untold_story_of

I can absolutely positively assure you that none of those European countries involved had the smallest desire to be involved in such a sordid and illegal business and I’m quite sure they would have never even considered doing such a thing had not the Americans spent some sort of serious political capital on some serious arm-twisting. (I wonder what it was?) (Maybe Wikileaks will soon reveal it!)

Every country in Latin America joined most of the rest of the world in condemning this action, most of them in very strong terms. The blowback was immense.

And after all of that embarrassment and bad press and political blowback and political capital expended — after all of that — Mr. Snowden wasn’t even there. This fact was a source of very great embarrassment and humiliation to the Americans and it was a source of even greater embarrassment and humiliation to the European countries involved because — except for England — they really try to pretend to their own people that they aren’t toadies to the US of A — and such incidents totally blow that cover. Especially when it proves such a humiliating failure.

And as to the story of how that misperception by America’s best and brightest intelligence experts came to be perceived?

Julian Assange pulled a fast one on them.

Ha, ha, ha.

Mr. Assange has just revealed that during the Big Grand Witch Hunt for Edward Snowden Mr. Assange was passing messages to Mr. Snowden by using the latest in high-tech multi-layer ultra extra bonus super power encryption techniques — i.e. they used a code that simply switched the name of one country for that of another. Thus, when they were communicating about the possibility of leaving on the ‘Bolivian’ presidential jet, they were actually talking about another country altogether.

Mr. Assange admits that at the time this was considered to be a slight distraction that would hopefully slow them down for a few seconds. He had no idea this tactic would actually fool them.

I’ll allow Mr. Assange to describe it to you directly:

“So it’s the week of the oil conference. A number of presidential jets are flying back, and we are considering one of these. And so, we then — our code language that we used deliberately swapped the presidential jet that we were considering for the Bolivian jet. And so we just spoke about Bolivia in order to distract from the actual candidate jet. And in some of our communications, we deliberately spoke about that on open lines to lawyers in the United States. And we didn’t think much more of it. We had engaged in a number of these distraction operations in the asylum maneuver from Hong Kong, for example, booking him on flights to India through Beijing and other forms of distraction, like Iceland, for example. We didn’t think this was anything more than just distracting.

 

“But the U.S. picked up a statement, a supportive statement made in Moscow by President Evo Morales, and appears to have picked up our codeword for the actual operation, and put two and two together and made 22, and then pressured France — successfully pressured France, Portugal and Spain to close their airspace to President Evo Morales’s jet in its flight from Moscow to the Canary Islands for refueling and then back to Bolivia. And as a result, it was forced to land in Vienna. And then, once in Vienna, there was pressure to search the plane.”

And he wasn’t there.

Ha, ha, ha. He sure showed them.

And on that upbeat note…

It’s time to get to work!

Ha, ha, ha!

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The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of June 4th thru June 10th, 2015

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1) FYI Section:

 

1A) Update from Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

This message came from WLIHA:

The first legislative special session ended yesterday without a resolution on the operating budget. The Governor held a press conference that same evening and immediately issued an order to lawmakers to come back for another 30-day special session. While lawmakers technically have the next 30 days to finish their business, pressure is mounting for them to finish as quickly as possible.

Good Revenue News

A little earlier this month, the State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council announced that revenues are coming in stronger than projected for the current budget (+$106 M) and for the next budget (+$309 M). This means that revenue and economic trends are moving in the right direction, but there unfortunately still isn’t enough revenue to meet progressive budget goals. We can’t fund current obligations while both meeting the Washington State Supreme Court mandate to increase state funding for basic education and at the same time making progress towards restoring the over $12 billion in cuts made to the state budget since the Great Recession.

Senate Operating Budget Redux

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leadership released a new operating budget. While they provided a briefing of the new budget during a Senate Ways and Means meeting, they retreated from the standard democratic practice of allowing a public hearing. The bill moved from the committee on a party line vote, but it wasn’t voted on the Senate Floor before the session adjourned. You can read a broad overview of the budget and the near-term impacts of not enacting new revenue here.

Senate leadership remains resistant to enacting new and fair taxes that will get our state onto a sustainable budget path and out of the short-term budget-cutting patches that lawmakers have relied on for many budget cycles. While we are thankful our affordable housing and homelessness movement has successfully organized to protect safety net services like the Housing & Essential Needs and Aged, Blind & Disabled programs (respectively rental assistance and basic cash assistance for disabled adults), much more needs to be done to ensure our state has the resources needed to fund basic services that prevent and end homelessness over the next budget cycle. We urge state lawmakers to keep pushing for a final budget resolution that meets the needs of the most vulnerable and to enact fair revenue solutions like a capital gains tax.

Click here to send your lawmakers a message today to remind them they should prioritize affordable housing and homelessness during the ongoing budget negotiations.

Learn more about a capital gains tax from the Washington State Budget & Policy Center.

Capital Budget Update

The status of the capital budget, which is the source of funding for the Housing Trust Fund, remains in limbo as well. The state must pass an operating budget, but they don’t technically have an obligation to pass their other two budgets (the capital budget and the transportation budget). The House capital budget included $80 million in new funding for the Housing Trust Fund, while the Senate’s proposed budget included $65 million. We urge lawmakers to accept the House Capital Budget, which passed during the regular session with overwhelming bipartisan support, 96-2. Take action today to urge lawmakers to pass a capital budget that includes at least $80 million for the Housing Trust Fund.

Next Steps

The Housing Alliance will keep you updated with significant developments during the second special session. Lawmakers have to finalize the budget before July 1, which is the first day of the next budget cycle. We expect that lawmakers will finish in time to avoid a government shutdown. While the final budget outcomes are yet to be determined, it is clear that advocacy created the political pressure and deep education needed to elevate affordable housing and homelessness as central issues this year. We urge you to keep up the advocacy both during the second special session and into the interim. The Housing Alliance has tools and resources to support your advocacy, and we want to partner with you. Let us know if you are interested in hosting meetings with your lawmakers during the coming months–together we will keep moving forward.

 

Thanks,

Michele

P.S. If you need a refresher, here’s the current status of our bill and budget priorities during these past coupld of sessions.

Michele Thomas, Director of Policy & Advocacy

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

206.442.9455 x205  |  wliha.org  |  fb @wliha  |  tw /wliha

Our vision is that all Washington residents have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy, affordable homes in thriving communities. Help us make this vision a reality: click here to donate.

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1B) Update on West Central Park Project

This came from Alicia:

Our Private Neighborhood Park Use application has been formally submitted and the public is welcome to send comments to Catherine McCoy, Associate Planner at the City Community Planning and Development office. before June 5th. This new use will allow us to have markets, movies, crafts fairs, music and more without having to pay for costly temporary use permits. It’s been a long time coming.  WCP is growing up.

As always, the Park wouldn’t be what it is without the many hands and hearts of this community. It’s thanks to all of you that it looks better than ever!

See you soon!

For those who which to provide comments on our use designation to Private Neighborhood Park, please send all communication to:

Catherine McCoy

cmccoy@ci.olympia.wa.us

360-570-3776

Thanks!

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2) Move to Amend Monthly Meeting

Thursday June 4th at 7 pm @ Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr NW, Building #1

This is to get money out of politics.

This message is from Mike:

Thurs June 4:  Get big money out of politics!  Local organizing meeting tonight:  Olympia’s Move to Amend group invites everyone to join them for tonight’s monthly meeting (first Thursday of each month) at 7:00 pm in Room 280 of Bldg 1 at the Thurston County Courthouse.  Info:  Michael Savoca at masavoca@fairpoint.net  or Jennifer Sprague jbsprague@hotmail.com 866-8906

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3) Olympia Comics Festival: Art for Arts Sake

Friday June 5th at 7 pm @ Timberland Library, 313 8th Ave SE

Come see the latest in contemporary comic books.

This message came from Allison:

Since 2001, the Olympia Comics Festival has paid homage to the arts-for-arts sake, alternative comic book scene. This year, fans can begin their annual celebration early, on Friday night, June 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Olympia Timberland Library. Guests of Honor Farel Dalrymple, Jason Little and Eric Shanower will speak, present their work, take audience questions and sign copies of their books.

Farel Dalrymple <http://fareldalrymple.com/> is known for comics titles The Wrenchies, It Will All Hurt, Pop Gun War, the Image Comics series Prophet, and Marvel’s Omega: The Unknown (with writer Jonathan Lethem).

Jason Little <http://www.beecomix.com/> is known for Motel Art Improvement Service, Shutterbug Follies, Jack’s Luck Runs Out, and the upcoming Borb.  He teaches at the School of Visual Arts.

Eric Shanower <http://ericshanower.com/bio.shtml>’s work includes Age Of Bronze, his Oz books, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, and his work in Fantagraphics’ LGBT anthology, No Straight Lines.

All Timberland Regional Library programs are free and open to the public. The Olympia Timberland Library is located at 313 8th Avenue SE. For more information, contact the library at (360) 352-0595.

Allison Mackey

Adult Services Librarian

Olympia Timberland Library

313 8th Ave SE

Olympia, WA 98501

(360) 352-0595

Currently reading: Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman

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4) Chris Hedges, Jill Stein, and Kshama Sawant in Seattle

Saturday June 6th at 6:30 pm @ the Great Hall, 1119 Eighth Avenue (enter on Eighth Avenue), Seattle, WA 98101

An evening of heroes!

This message came from Janet:

Jill Stein will be in Seattle in the evening of June 6 for a discussion of what people in our area can do to thwart the plans of multinational corporations.  She will appear along with luminaries Kshama Sawant and Chris Hedges.

The event is at the Great Hall, 1119 Eighth Avenue (enter on Eighth Avenue), Seattle, WA 98101, at 6:30 PM.  Tickets are $15 (go here to buy them on-line).  Proceeds will go to Kshama Sawant’s re-election campaign.

I’m still collecting the details on this event — it’s possible Jill will be available for a more personal conversation earlier in the day.  I’ll send another notice around if so.

We’ll be getting a carpool together so call me, Janet, at 360-232-6165 if you want to be a part of it.

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5) Media Island Monthly Benefit Brunch: Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation

Sunday June 7th from 11 am to 2 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE

This month’s brunch will benefit the folks who saved the Blue Heron nests on the Westside amongst other things.

This message is from Media Island:

Sun June 7:  Today’s benefit brunch and conversation will help preserve and restore our local ecosystems:  On the first Sunday each month Media Island International (MII) hosts a benefit brunch from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm to raise visibility and funds for a local non-profit organization.  Enjoy a simple, tasty brunch for a worthy cause each month, and donate a voluntary amount rather than a fixed price.  It runs from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at MII, 816 Adams Street SE (just east across Adams Street from Olympia’s downtown library).  If you need a handicap entrance, use the alley behind it, accessible from 9th Ave SE.  The Sunday June 7 brunch will benefit the Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation.  These folks are protecting a heron nesting area on Olympia’s West Side.  Today’s conversation will explore several practical ways to protect various parts of Olympia’s habitats and ecosystems.

http://www.mediaisland.org

https://www.facebook.com/events/900682606640909/

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6) Oly Civil Review Board: 2nd Foundational Meeting

Monday June 8th at 5:30 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE

This is the second meeting for the folks forming a citizen review board to oversee the police.

This message came from Bruce:

An Olympia Civilian Review Board for the Olympia Police Department is necessary and we aren’t going to wait for it. This is a meeting for the people interested in doing the independent research around this latest incident as well as looking into the funding, training, hiring and practices of the OPD. We are also interested in compiling historical context of the OPD. Finally we want to connect nationally and internationally with organizations and movements to associate with. We will strive to use best practices in forming the Review Board. Please come with information to share and ways in which you think you can help.

5:30PM, Monday, June 1st

Media Island, 816 Adams St. SE

360-352-8526

mediaisland@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/1690905987804055/

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7) Olympia Village Building Convergence Energizer Potluck

Tuesday June 9th at 6:30 pm @ Fertile Grounds Guesthouse, 911 9th Ave SE

Come energize with the Oly VBC!

This came from Chris:

This summer we are organizing one of the largest community service festivals in Thurston County. “Great Places Happen” put on by the Olympia Village Building Convergence will be held August 15th through the 23rd, and involve volunteer projects, evening celebrations, placemaking sites and culminate in the Love Our Local Festival August 23rd.

We are partnering with neighborhoods, nonprofits, local business and the faith community but need neighbors like you to make this dream a reality. If you are interested in collaborating with this event join us June 9th at 6:30pm for our outdoor potluck at 9th and Adams in downtown Olympia. Bring a dish and your voice as we help make great places happen.

https://www.facebook.com/events/369023693307093/

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8) Bonus Tip of the Day:

Laugh at something outrageous today.

Peace.

Dana

 

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