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Author Topic: Anti-politics  (Read 14053 times)

Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #90 on: December 17, 2007, 10:42 PM NHFT »

I'm still not sure how reducing the size of government is evil.

Ron Paul doesn't keep the paycheck that he gets from congress, so he's not using any tax payer money. He doesn't accept any other government benefits as a regular person.

He consistently votes to reduce the size of government.

Please provide an example of where he is being immoral or inconsistent? Or how his work is going to bring about a worse life for us, because when all is said and done that's what it's all about.

Philosophy is a tool, it isn't the sum of our existance. So when you hold philosophy over your self-interest of being physically free, I think you're only hurting yourself.

If your beliefs cause you harm while seeming to be rational are they really rational in the big scheme of things?

See, the premise of pure anarchism is that it is the epitome of rational thinking. That it's truth, etc. But then it has this huge flaw where you have to give up certain other methods which are PROVEN to work in gaining us more freedom.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think anarchism is a really cool philosophy and it's definitely one I follow (although I guess not as strictly). The exception that I have is that I still hold self-interest at least at the same level as I hold the anarchist philosophy. This way I can relate to working outside the system and also to the political efforts, which I think have to be used together.

I guess another way to look at it is that the anarchist philosophy could be adhered to much more closely AFTER the government is destroyed. But it's just not practical to have given the external constraints. I guess what I'm saying is that a pure philosophy works better when it's in a pure environment so if the environment isn't pure you have to make compromises in your philosophy to match your environment. As we reduce more and more government by working inside the system we can proportionally feel stronger ties to anarchism. In essence the closer we are to anarchism the more strictly you can adhere to those principles.

Just one perspective I guess. But it's important to not hold the philosophy above yourself because at the end of the day we're all here to have fun and if you're sitting in a prison cell while trying to adhere to your philosophy as strictly as possible I'm not sure what you have gained... UNLESS that sort of thing is okay with you and you will still be happy living that kind of life.
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #91 on: December 17, 2007, 10:48 PM NHFT »

I want freedom now too (damn it  :)), but to my mind, that's like wanting a million dollars now...just ain't gonna happen.

But that is what you are arguing for. A purely intellectual revolution without getting your hands dirty. Convincing people that government is bad isn't going to get you anywhere unless you also engage in politic because that is the only place where it's possible to affect change in our life times. Otherwise you're just wishing for good things.

The only way we will succeed is if we have pro-freedom people inside the system who will do the dirty work of making our outside the system efforts recognized and reflected in the legislation.
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dysurian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #92 on: December 17, 2007, 10:50 PM NHFT »

I'm not looking for any kind of weird "purity," just logical consistency. It's not the philosophy of ethics if it's not logically consistent, it's just personal preference. I'm not striving for moral high ground, just moral consistency. Inconsistent moral systems have led to all sorts of atrocities in the past. People do the most nasty things using logically invalid moral systems (all the while calling them "moral"), and I just want to make sure my friends and I don't make the same mistake. Communism makes perfect sense if you ignore a few key illogical premises and conclusions. Same deal with the divine right of kings. I honestly believe that as long as government exists, people will be unnecessarily aggressed upon. I honestly believe the only way to eliminate government is through a cultural paradigm shift. I really hope I'm not seen as saying, "I'm better, you're worse," and sticking my nose up in the air and riding off on my high horse. I just want to be logically consistent in following through with my principles. After all, one can never be too morally consistent ;)

Saying, "the government is wrong and illegitimate" and then saying, "the government claims that marks on these pieces of paper give them magical powers, so it's true" are not logically consistent statements.

You're right, there was a portion of my life where the non-aggression principal was unknown to me. I must have done some damage in that time (though I'm not sure to whom...I'm only old enough to have voted in 3 pres. elections, and none of them won, but there's got to be something...my student loans, perhaps). To the extent that I work to help get people free of the unchosen obligations in their lives, I consider my restitution paid to society. To the extent that I grab the gun of state power and point it around the way I want it pointed around, I consider my further damage to society. We can always recover from the damage evil does to us, but we can never recover once we've done the evil.

You cannot pay restitution to "society."

Joe

Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency with "society," but I'm sure you'll excuse me for thinking you'd know what I meant. If you say I need to pay restitution for my past aggression against anonymous others (which we haven't necessarily established yet), then claim that it's impossible to pay that restitution to them, I'm not sure how I can comply with what you were originally looking for. I'd gladly work toward real restitution if I can identify to whom and how much. It seems like you have some insight on this. Perhaps you could help explain how I can find the path to restitution, and/or what I might owe restitution for?

Also, I want to be clear that I didn't ever say voting was legitimate because the government says so. I'm not sure who said this. Government power works because they have guns, not because anybody believes in the voting process.
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dysurian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #93 on: December 17, 2007, 11:00 PM NHFT »

I also take personal happiness as more important than anything else. In my case, the philosophy makes me more happy. I'm not trying to stop anybody from doing what's going to make them happy (as long as it doesn't harm me), I'm just in here to defend/explain why my point of view makes me happy. I agree, Lex...gotta look out for number one!  :icon_pirat:
I want freedom now too (damn it  :)), but to my mind, that's like wanting a million dollars now...just ain't gonna happen.

But that is what you are arguing for. A purely intellectual revolution without getting your hands dirty. Convincing people that government is bad isn't going to get you anywhere unless you also engage in politic because that is the only place where it's possible to affect change in our life times. Otherwise you're just wishing for good things.

The only way we will succeed is if we have pro-freedom people inside the system who will do the dirty work of making our outside the system efforts recognized and reflected in the legislation.

I don't think it's possible to hit "libertopia" in my lifetime. I'm pretty young, but I've basically given up on that as a real possibility. From what I understand as of right now, I just can't see how it will pan out for freedom anytime relatively soon. This way, I won't be devastated if freedom doesn't happen before I die, and I'll be overjoyed if it does. Maximum happiness, again! All this arguing got me grumpy, thanks for reminding me that happy life is what it's all about  ;D
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #94 on: December 17, 2007, 11:14 PM NHFT »

I don't think it's possible to hit "libertopia" in my lifetime. I'm pretty young, but I've basically given up on that as a real possibility. From what I understand as of right now, I just can't see how it will pan out for freedom anytime relatively soon. This way, I won't be devastated if freedom doesn't happen before I die, and I'll be overjoyed if it does. Maximum happiness, again! All this arguing got me grumpy, thanks for reminding me that happy life is what it's all about  ;D

Would you agree that things would probably get much worse if Hilary were elected than say Ron Paul?
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dysurian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #95 on: December 17, 2007, 11:29 PM NHFT »

I don't think it's possible to hit "libertopia" in my lifetime. I'm pretty young, but I've basically given up on that as a real possibility. From what I understand as of right now, I just can't see how it will pan out for freedom anytime relatively soon. This way, I won't be devastated if freedom doesn't happen before I die, and I'll be overjoyed if it does. Maximum happiness, again! All this arguing got me grumpy, thanks for reminding me that happy life is what it's all about  ;D

Would you agree that things would probably get much worse if Hilary were elected than say Ron Paul?

I honestly think the whole thing is going to collapse in on itself before I'm 45, Ron Paul or no Ron Paul. In fact, Bush being a complete idiot after 9/11 is what awoke "political me" in the first place. I'm sure it did the same for millions of other people. Maybe President Hill will awake millions more. It's pretty clear from RP's success that there's a stronger liberty movement around in the US than there has ever been..that is unless all his supporters are just afeared of Mexicans like many (way too many) of the folks in my local RP meetup. Actually that inconsistency (everybody should be free, 'cept fer them dang immergrents) was a catalyst to drive me toward a more logically consistent position.

p.s. I guess Bush was also a complete idiot before 9/11 too, but you know what I mean...
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dalebert

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #96 on: December 18, 2007, 03:06 AM NHFT »

You know this actually started really simply. Lex asked me what seems like a rather silly question. Something to the effect of "Why are you speaking out against the Ron Paul campaign?" Now, my answer was basically that I was speaking my mind truthfully about how I feel about the futility of political activity and the Ron Paul campaign is no exception to me. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that to be taken on face value instead of conjuring up all these farcical notions that I'm trying to undermine the liberty movement or that I'm being a purist and creating schisms and whoozits and jehosifats.

There's also something about my opinions do not mean I can call people hypocrites. Well actually, sure I could, but that wasn't my point. It may seem like a subtle difference but it's a big difference. When I talk about the futility of political activity, I'm not referring to morality or hypocrisy or being a purist. If I think political activity is harmful and my reasoning is that it takes us in the opposite direction of our goal, that's an issue of tactics. If I call it a paradox, that's to demonstrate how it's counter-productive. Maineshark, when you asked me if I care whether you write your opinion on a particular piece of paper, I said that yes I do care, but I'd already answered that. If I'm making my case that political activity is counter productive, how silly a question is it to ask if I care whether you engage in political activity? The whole thread started with me explaining why I think it's harmful.

Calling me a purist implies that I'm asking people to avoid the effective approach because it's immoral, when what I'm arguing, at least at the moment, is that it's not even effective. OBVIOUSLY we disagree. I'm actually content to continue to disagree, particularly once I've repeated the same point a few times. That's why I said WAY back, go ahead and do all your Ron Paul stuff but file these thoughts away and perhaps they will be more meaningful later. Maybe later they will make more sense; maybe not.

Meanwhile, as people continue campaigning for Ron Paul, I'm going to continue campaigning against political activity. I hope you won't hate me for it. I certainly don't hate people for doing political things and working on the Ron Paul campaign. For crimony's sake, I may as well leave NH if I felt that strongly about it. I know you guys are doing what you believe to be good things. However, if you feel I'm not supporting you in your endeavors, guess what? You're right! On the things we agree on, we can work together. On the other things, we can't. When we disagree, we ought to be able to have civil debate about it. Let's just be clear on exactly what it is we're discussing.

And Lex, I'll talk more about what can and IS being done to weaken the state that doesn't require any work within the system. Just not right now. It's freaking late and I have a plane to catch tomorrow.

There we go. Now there's no need for schisms and wedge-driving and all that silliness that people like to get all dramatic about. I really wish people would lighten up. This is all kind of funny to me.
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MaineShark

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #97 on: December 18, 2007, 08:34 AM NHFT »

You cannot use the government to eliminate the government.  That's patently absurd.  But you can use the government to hurt the government.  As demonstrated by the successes in NH.

No matter how successful the minarchists are, they will never be able to eliminate the government.

But they can weaken it to the point that it can be eliminated more readily by apolitical means.
I sincerely hope it works this simply (and within the next 40 or 50 years).

I'm far more worried that it will happen too quickly, than that it will happen too slowly.  Creating a fundamental paradigm shift in thought is not a quick process.  We could have anarchy tomorrow.  Just execute every government official.  We outnumber them, and we could pull it off.  But it would be futile.  Society in general would just establish a new government, just as bad as (or worse than) this one.  That's why you don't hear rational people advocating that sort of activity.  It certainly wouldn't be immoral to kill all the aggressors, but it would most definitely harm us more than it would help us, and harming ourselves would not exactly be a rational behavior.

I know you "want it now," but some of us actually want it to last.  As much as I want anarchy right now that I can enjoy, I'm much more invested in building an anarchic society for my great-grandchildren.  If any of my descendants before that get to enjoy it, wonderful.  If there are a couple more "greats" tacked on there, it won't be the end of the world.

I'm not interested in building a facade that will crumble.  I'm building for the long-term.

Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency with "society," but I'm sure you'll excuse me for thinking you'd know what I meant. If you say I need to pay restitution for my past aggression against anonymous others (which we haven't necessarily established yet), then claim that it's impossible to pay that restitution to them, I'm not sure how I can comply with what you were originally looking for. I'd gladly work toward real restitution if I can identify to whom and how much. It seems like you have some insight on this. Perhaps you could help explain how I can find the path to restitution, and/or what I might owe restitution for?

I don't track your past behavior.  Nor am I responsible for finding your victims for you.  Hire a private investigator, or do it yourself.  It's certainly possible, even if it is difficult.

Also, I want to be clear that I didn't ever say voting was legitimate because the government says so. I'm not sure who said this. Government power works because they have guns, not because anybody believes in the voting process.

So there's nothing immoral about voting, if that's the case, right?

There's also something about my opinions do not mean I can call people hypocrites. Well actually, sure I could, but that wasn't my point. It may seem like a subtle difference but it's a big difference. When I talk about the futility of political activity, I'm not referring to morality or hypocrisy or being a purist. If I think political activity is harmful and my reasoning is that it takes us in the opposite direction of our goal, that's an issue of tactics. If I call it a paradox, that's to demonstrate how it's counter-productive.

Funny, but the rational anarchists - and even the minarchists - all seem to be able to discuss the efficacy of various tactics without resorting to calling others "hypocrites" or "immoral."

Maineshark, when you asked me if I care whether you write your opinion on a particular piece of paper, I said that yes I do care, but I'd already answered that. If I'm making my case that political activity is counter productive, how silly a question is it to ask if I care whether you engage in political activity? The whole thread started with me explaining why I think it's harmful.

I asked it you should care, not if you do.  It was pretty blatantly obvious that you do.

But should you?

John Doe might care that the clerk at a convenience store has facial piercings.  I'm not debating whether he does or doesn't, since he just told me he does.  But should he?  Does he have any reason other than simple prejudice for caring?

I've explained why I think it's vitally important to engage this thing in political and apolitical ways.  Neither approach, alone, will achieve a victory.  I've never seen any refutation of that, so forgive me for not thinking that you opinion that voting won't work is all that well-informed.

Joe
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #98 on: December 18, 2007, 08:41 AM NHFT »

I also take personal happiness as more important than anything else. In my case, the philosophy makes me more happy. I'm not trying to stop anybody from doing what's going to make them happy (as long as it doesn't harm me), I'm just in here to defend/explain why my point of view makes me happy. I agree, Lex...gotta look out for number one!  :icon_pirat:

Then I'm assuming you have burned your SS card, gotten rid of your drivers license and stopped paying any and all taxes?
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #99 on: December 18, 2007, 08:45 AM NHFT »

Meanwhile, as people continue campaigning for Ron Paul, I'm going to continue campaigning against political activity. I hope you won't hate me for it. I certainly don't hate people for doing political things and working on the Ron Paul campaign. For crimony's sake, I may as well leave NH if I felt that strongly about it. I know you guys are doing what you believe to be good things. However, if you feel I'm not supporting you in your endeavors, guess what? You're right! On the things we agree on, we can work together. On the other things, we can't. When we disagree, we ought to be able to have civil debate about it. Let's just be clear on exactly what it is we're discussing.

There is a rather big difference between not being supportive or ignoring the political efforts and actively attacking those working in the political process.

And Lex, I'll talk more about what can and IS being done to weaken the state that doesn't require any work within the system. Just not right now. It's freaking late and I have a plane to catch tomorrow.

I'm very much looking forward to your list of positive things working completely outside the system has produced.
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dysurian

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #100 on: December 18, 2007, 09:19 AM NHFT »

I also take personal happiness as more important than anything else. In my case, the philosophy makes me more happy. I'm not trying to stop anybody from doing what's going to make them happy (as long as it doesn't harm me), I'm just in here to defend/explain why my point of view makes me happy. I agree, Lex...gotta look out for number one!  :icon_pirat:

Then I'm assuming you have burned your SS card, gotten rid of your drivers license and stopped paying any and all taxes?

None of that would make me happy. It would get me arrested (with the exception of the SS card). There's nothing I can think of that would make me more unhappy than imprisonment (except many imprisonment with a side of torture). Where they are directly using force on me, I defend myself to the extent that I can, and put up with the rest. The difference with politics is that I would have to personally intervene and do the forcing. Do you see how someone not wanting to vote is different from someone who won't pay a fine? I work on ways to get freedom from unchosen obligations in my life, but I'll have to explain them in another thread and at another time (I need to get my butt to work!)
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #101 on: December 18, 2007, 09:35 AM NHFT »

None of that would make me happy. It would get me arrested (with the exception of the SS card). There's nothing I can think of that would make me more unhappy than imprisonment (except many imprisonment with a side of torture). Where they are directly using force on me, I defend myself to the extent that I can, and put up with the rest. The difference with politics is that I would have to personally intervene and do the forcing. Do you see how someone not wanting to vote is different from someone who won't pay a fine? I work on ways to get freedom from unchosen obligations in my life, but I'll have to explain them in another thread and at another time (I need to get my butt to work!)

You don't have to explain it, I understand the philosophical reasoning behind this. My problem is that it is absurd when it comes to reality. To say that you would do absolutely nothing in trying to prevent new laws from being created or old laws from being repealed but you will follow them in fear of being imprisoned. You are enslaving yourself.

It is very hypocritical that you will not participate in the state when it comes to reducing the size of government but you will participate when it comes to giving legitimacy to the laws it passes.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 09:39 AM NHFT by Lex Berezhny »
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #102 on: December 18, 2007, 09:37 AM NHFT »

It's freaking late and I have a plane to catch tomorrow.

Will you be using your government issued ID to get on the plane?
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Eli

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #103 on: December 18, 2007, 09:50 AM NHFT »

Lex: As to a non political reason for non political FSP members to move.  Reaching critical mass for getting a countereconomic system running could be a valid reason.

Dysurian: I want to turn your mafia example back on you for a moment.  You argued that one couldn't really change the mafia by infiltrating it.  That is exactly how police have diassembled most of organized crime.  Further if you are the don you can run a very different mafia, within certain systemic restrictions, than another don.  Your hands wouldn't be clean, certainly, but you could have a system that was different, even better, though not 'good' in the absolutist sense that you seem to demand.  So I can see that there could be marginal improvements or successes through infiltration. 

Now try your method on the same example.  Talk at the mafia.  Tell them they're wrong.  Tell the shopkeepers paying protection that it is wrong.  Ignore the don.  Don't pay your 'rent.'  You won't convince the mafia.  You will get your friends and family who are convinced by your argument shot.  You will get yourself a nice pair of cement shoes.

Dalebert:  Also looking forward to the list.  I appreciate your attitude and your comic.  The ring is evil.  It always ends in evil.  I can accept that the exercise of power is wrong and still prefer to be beaten just once a day instead of being beaten for three quarters of the day.  If given the choice it is perfectly rational to choose a single beating.  If given the choice I'll opt for a single beating and marshal my strength to fight for my freedom.  If given the choice I won't opt for totalitarianism.  I won't sit quietly by while we slide towards deathcamps and a prison planet.  Not when I can take action, any action, to move us off the road to serfdom.  If you stand by and talk while you should be steering then the deadly crash seems like your fault to me.  I won't, as some anarchists seem wont to do, wait for true facism to form ranks here and then grin at the awakened masses who are now outnumbered, and say "See, this is what I've been saying, government is evil.  Now lets shoot the bastards.  Whattaya mean there's no ammo?"
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Lex

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Re: Anti-politics
« Reply #104 on: December 18, 2007, 10:17 AM NHFT »

I thought this was kindof funny but Stefan Molyneux says it's okay to take out federal school loans:

Quote
Twenty years ago, I considered taking student loans and grants to go to university. The way I framed the problem was thus: if a man steals my bicycle, then leaves it standing somewhere, I am perfectly entitled to “take” it back. If my employer unjustly withholds my salary, I am perfectly entitled to take a quantity of goods from him equivalent to the salary he owes me.

Imagine that a local Mafia Don extorts money from you for years. One day, he falls asleep on a bench, with a large bag of cash by his side. If you happen along and find him in this position, is it theft if you grab “his” money? What if, over the years, you really have no idea exactly how much money has been extorted from you? What if you know that the amount of money in the bag is far less than what has been stolen from you? Certainly you would be perfectly justified in grabbing everything – especially since you know you will be paying extortion money for the rest of your life.

This is analogous to the situation that we find ourselves in with governments. I have paid an extraordinary amount of taxation over the course of my life – particularly since I have been an entrepreneur, and co-founded a company which paid millions of dollars to the state. The amount of money I received for university tuition through government subsidies was equivalent to the amount I later paid in personal taxes over a few months. (Being kept in the mental gulags of state schools for 14 years was an even more egregious form of robbery!)

Knowing in advance that I would be stolen from for the rest of my life, was it wrong of me to take some portion of that money for myself in advance? It hardly seems so. In a statist society, taxed money exists in a state of nature, like fish in the sea. It can never be returned to its rightful owners, since those can never be reasonably determined – and of course the national debt blurs it beyond any capacity for unraveling. Morally, what happens to money after it is stolen is far less important than the fact that it should never be stolen in the first place.
http://www.strike-the-root.com/72/molyneux/molyneux2.html

So, while Stefans peons make personal sacrifices to try and live up to the philosophy of anarchism and liberty, Stefan can use his debating skills to make exceptions to any philosophy he preaches.

You know why? Because deep down inside Stefan also knows that when push comes to shove we're all still people and we can't only live in our minds, we want to be happy externally as well and the only way to do that is to make some philosophical compromises. The impression I get from the story above is that Stefan didn't NEED to take out the loan (it sounded like he was making tons of money) so why fill out government paper work, provide page and pages of personal information to beg the government to give you some money so that you can go to school?

The philosophical compromise above is made in regards to money. I think the same thing can be said about our freedom. The government makes us follow many laws (analogous to Stefan paing taxes) so why not use the same system to reduce that burden as much as possible (analogous to Stefan getting money back for taxes he paid).

I use Stefan in this example because I know many of you have been greatly influenced by him.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 10:21 AM NHFT by Lex Berezhny »
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