Jan. 27 — Feb, 2, 2008

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Web articles of likely interest to individualists found during the preceding week.

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Pursuing Liberty

Articles showing the positive influence of action in the pursuit of Liberty.

Drew Carey: The Tavis Smiley Interview

      Drew Carey interviewed by Tavis Smiley from reason.tv

"I don't put hope in the government and I don't put faith in the government. I think that the most important thing, if you want to make a better world, it's not who you vote for it's how you treat people that you meet with every day."


Interview With Theodore Butler

      By James Cook & Theodore Butler from SilverSeek.com

"If supply falls faster than demand, we could be back in a big silver deficit. If investors get spooked when looking at what the alternatives are for their money, we could have an investment rush into silver. One thing we know for certain is that the world has less silver above ground than at any point in hundreds of years. Plus, we have the built-in buying power of the largest concentrated short position in the history of the world."


A Taste of Freedom at Home

      By Adam & Kibby MacKinnon from YES! Magazine

"I have been experimenting with hands-on alternatives—from self-healing to community media to urban organic farming—which reduce dependence on institutions and revalue physical labor as an essential part of intellectual growth, political activism, and spirituality. Much of my own unlearning has resulted from our family decision not to send our daughter to school."


A Far-Fetched Fix for E-Voting Woes: Open Source

      By Jack M. Germain from Linux News

"In theory, open source programming of voting machines would remove their veils of secrecy. In practice, though, using open source may not be a viable option if code is not made available. However, a formal effort to work on open source code for voting machines could come at any time from anyone."


Life in Amerika

Articles depicting the negative impact of politics on the cause of Liberty.

Brace Yourselves

      By Jacob G. Hornberger from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"Ever since 9/11, federal spending has gone through the roof, far exceeding the tax revenues of the government. Year after year, U.S. officials have borrowed the difference, without any heed to the long-term economic consequences. Obviously, one way to address the problem is to raise taxes to the point that tax revenues exceed government spending. The problem with that approach is that it continues to suck billions of dollars of income and savings out of the private, productive sector and transfer it to the government, non-productive sector. "


The Unmasking of the Corporate Media

      By Glen Allport from Strike The Root

"Anyone expecting a systemic collapse to bring freedom or prosperity expects the unlikely – which makes our situation all the more ominous, because a collapse at some level is clearly beginning in America. The depth, length, and character of this collapse are still to be seen; we could have anything from a simple (if severe) recession to an economic calamity dwarfing the Great Depression combined with martial law and cascading cross-defaults in the financial system including widespread bank, bond, and other market failures, along with every attendant evil such a scenario suggests."


The End of American Liberty

      By Paul Craig Roberts from CounterPunch

"Thanks to a government that has turned its back on the US Constitution, Americans now have an unaccountable Department of Homeland Security that is already asserting tyrannical powers over US citizens and state governments. Headed by the neocon fanatic Michael Chertoff, the Orwellian-sounding Department of Homeland Security has mandated a national identity card for Americans, without which Americans may not enter airports or courthouses."


Law and Orders #6: Pigs at the trough

      By Rad Geek from Rad Geek People’s Daily

"Cops in America are heavily armed and trained to be bullies. They routinely shove their way into situations where they aren’t wanted, aren’t invited, and have no business being; they deliberately escalate confrontations in order to 'stay in control' through superior belligerence; they commonly use force to end an argument and then blame it on their victim; and they invariably pass off even the most egregious abuses of power as 'self-defense' or as the necessary means to accomplish a completely unnecessary goal."


Ordered Liberty without the State

Some people say it's Anarchy, some say it's not possible. It is an interesting topic.

Addiopizzo – Addiotasse

      By Anthony I.S. Alexander from Strike The Root

"There is one crucial difference between the Mafia and the Government: The Government controls the education system, and teaches everyone to believe that the laws and the taxes are legitimate, but that the decrees of the Capo Mafioso and paying the pizzo are not legitimate. The Mafia cannot compete with the Government's propaganda machine."


Being the Change: In Gandhi's Footsteps

      By Manish Jain from YES! Magazine

"For me, the most exciting change movements seek to re-legitimize and reconnect to the knowledge, imagination, and wisdom of traditional communities. Giving top priority to regenerating diverse local languages, ways of seeing, and systems of natural learning is urgent if we are to co-create our way out of the massive crises that face us today."


Anarchists for Bigger Government?

      By Francois Tremblay from Check Your Premises

"The solution to the current statist monopoly is not to promote bigger government or smaller government. We should rejoice when government is defeated on any single issue, but we should keep in mind that no government action or inaction is of an Anarchist nature, and no political action is compatible with Anarchism except the disintegration of the State...."


Ceteris Paribus for Dummies

      By Per Bylund from Colliding Softly

"A more likely outcome of abolishing the state would be that people would acquire whatever infrastructure and services they need and find efficient ways to provide for these services on the market. But this requires a dynamic view and the analyst would necessarily have to consider multiple variables simultaneously and have at least a basic understanding for how people act and why they choose to act."


Spreading Decentralism

Articles demonstrating an increase in the dispersal of power.

Better Than Free

      By Kevin Kelly from The Technium

"There are a number of qualities that can't be copied. Consider 'trust.' Trust cannot be copied. You can't purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long). If everything else is equal, you'll always prefer to deal with someone you can trust. So trust is an intangible that has increasing value in a copy saturated world. There are a number of other qualities similar to trust that are difficult to copy, and thus become valuable in this network economy. "


Pirate Bay Says It Can't Be Sunk, Servers Scattered Worldwide

      By David Kravets from Threat Level from Wired.com

"The world's most notorious BitTorrent tracking site, The Pirate Bay, won't be going to Davy Jones' Locker, even if its four operators are convicted of facilitating copyright infringement"


States Consider Calling Back National Guards from Iraq

      By Aaron Glantz from AntiWar.com

"State legislators in Vermont introduced legislation Wednesday demanding the state's National Guard troops return from Iraq. Lawmakers in Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania are poised to push similar legislation. At the heart of the matter is a contention that President George W. Bush's legal authority to deploy the National Guard to Iraq has expired."


23,000 Linux PCs forge education revolution in Philippines

      By Rodney Gedda from Computerworld

"Linux still cheaper than heavily-subsidized Microsoft products. ... Visiting Australia to discuss Linux and open source software in education at this year's linux.conf.au in Melbourne, independent open source consultant Ricardo Gonzalez, said there were a number of factors that led to Linux being chosen over the venerable Microsoft Windows."


The New World Hegemon

Depictions of the coming Imperial power

G.W. Bush Is a Criminal, Like His Dad

      By Robert Parry from Consortiumnews.com

"Watching Attorney General Michael Mukasey evade the obvious fact that waterboarding is torture – and the reluctance of Democrats to press him – I was reminded of how the first President Bush got away with an earlier batch of national security crimes."


‘Reasonable Minds Can Differ’

      By Scott Horton from Harper's Magazine

"What he’s saying is that the White House and he will decide what the law is, and they’ll act according to their secret understandings. But he’s not going to be held accountable on any of this to Congress. He treats Congress as if they were spectators, not legislators. He forgets that they have a charge to keep under the Constitution. They make the law, or so they think. But they also have oversight over the conduct of the Executive Branch. The essence of Mukasey’s response is therefore quite simple—the President determines and enforces the law; the President makes the law. "


Presidential Pantomime

      By Justin Raimondo from AntiWar.com

"The unspoken pact of the two wings of the War Party is unity even in division, unity on the one overriding issue that concerns them all: global hegemony as America's manifest destiny. Whether it's done in the name of exporting democracy or acting out our self-image as righteous humanitarians, unilaterally or through the UN, U.S. military intervention around the world is retained as a prerogative by all the 'major' presidential candidates and all 'serious' policy analysts in Washington. We're all preemptionists now."


The New Crime of Thinking

      By Gary D. Barnett from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"to intimidate or coerce the U.S. government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives, is forbidden and considered criminal. Let me repeat; to intimidate the government to further political or social objectives is forbidden. If this is allowed to stand, what does it do to demonstration, protest, petition, and the right to assemble?"


Politics by Other Means

War, rumors of war, and politicians fomenting war.

The Goal Is Freedom: Where Free-Market Economists Go Wrong

      By Sheldon Richman from Foundation for Economic Education

"The critics may think it's the free market they're attacking. But -- need I say this? -- we have no free market. Similarly, if economic activity is slowing down, it can't be the free market's fault -- because we don't have one! What we have is corporatism, an interventionist system shot through with government-granted privileges mostly for the well-connected (yes, who tend to be rich). This system is maintained in a variety of ways: through taxes, subsidies, cartelizing regulations, 'intellectual property' protections, trade restrictions, government-bank collusion, the military-industrial complex, land close-offs, restrictions on workers, and more. As a result, people can get rich at the expense of the government's victims."


McCain vs. Clinton?

      By Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Clair from CounterPunch

"McCain's victory in Florida on Tuesday is a measure of the terrible shape the Republican Party now finds itself in. They now have a front-runner that no faction in the party really likes. He's old, short, bald, with a history of serious skin cancer and a record of psychological instability. He is favor of a war deeply disliked by about 70 per cent of all Americans and has publicly proclaimed that the U.S. may well be in Iraq for a hundred years. "


Hillary Clinton: The New Nixon?

      By Matt Taibbi from The Smirking Chimp

"In Barack Obama versus Hillary Clinton, we've basically got Kennedy-Nixon redux, and I mean that in the most negative possible sense for both of them -- a pair of superficial, posturing conservatives selling highly similar political packages using different emotional strategies."


The Fight for Bush's Legacy

      By Robert Parry from Consortiumnews.com

"Clinton’s strategy ended up letting Republicans write a false historical narrative for the Reagan-Bush years and opened the White House back door for a restoration of the Bush Dynasty. But Clinton did cement a friendship with George H.W. Bush, which Clinton hopes will extend into his wife’s presidency."


Spontaneous Order

Articles showing decentralized successes.

“We're Huge in Finland!” Firefox Hits New High as IE7 Lags

      By Michael Calore from Compiler from Wired.com

"Mozilla Firefox continued its slow but steady march against the worldwide dominance of Microsoft Internet Explorer in 2007. Though the open-source web browser continues to sit firmly in second place behind IE, where it's been for years, usage of Firefox is still on the rise. The browser is even threatening to tip the scales in some European countries...."


Aggravating the Agony

      By Robert Anderson from LewRockwell.com

"Austrian economic theory explains fully why the manipulation of fiat money and fiduciary credit by government intervention is the sole cause of a general business cycle leading to 'booms and busts.' Further, it explains how an unhampered market is continually self-correcting as entrepreneurs respond to the vacillating signals of the market generated by the behavior of guiding consumers."


Nokia acquires open-source firm Trolltech

      By Stephen Shankland from Underexposed at CNET News.com

"The Nordic merger significantly expands the possibilities of Nokia's Linux-based phone efforts. Trolltech makes open-source software and programming tools that can be used to build software on mobile phones [and more, e.g. KDE uses Qt as a foundation], and Nokia has been working for years on mobile Linux devices."


Galactic Civilizations II: big budget game, no DRM

      By Cory Doctorow from Boing Boing

"Any system out there will get cracked and distributed. But if you provide reasonable after-release support in the form of free updates that add new content and features that are painless for customers to get, you create a real incentive to be a customer." [This game first appeared on OS/2 and challenged the way games were made and marketed then. Now it continues setting precedents. Read history I think Linux and free software will win the next round, but a place might always exist for special items handled this well.]


Nonspontaneous Disorder

Articles showing centrally planned disasters.

Political Stimulus

      By Sheldon Richman from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"[T]he economy is you and I. And our economic activities are at the mercy of government power. Politicians prefer that we not understand that. They want us to believe that their job is to tend the economic machine. The big lie is that they know what they are doing. They don’t. "


America's Teetering Banking System

      By Mike Whitney from CounterPunch

"A careful review of these graphs should convince even the hardened skeptic that the banking system is basically underwater. The sudden and shocking depletion of bank reserves is due to the huge losses inflicted by the meltdown in subprime loans and other similar structured investments."


U.S. Ranks Last in Preventable Deaths Due to a Flawed Medical System

      By Teri Lee Gruss from NaturalNews

"In his book Malignant Medicine, Joel M Kauffman, PhD (Organic Chemistry from MIT) writes that in 2000 the U.S. Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences issued a report authored by Barbara Stanfield, MD, MPH that found "over-medicalization from excessive testing and treatment, not medical error to blame" for poor international rankings and increasingly poor health of Americans."


Candy Vs. Currency: A Debate on Value

      By The Mogambo Guru (Richard Daughty) from The Daily Reckoning

"As a guy who fervently believes in the Austrian Business Cycle Theory as Ludwig von Mises postulated and as Mises.org is dedicated to expounding and teaching, then naturally I am sure, sure as hell, that we are freaking doomed to die of inflation because we let the idiots in charge have a fiat currency and unregulated fractional-reserve ratios in the banking system to develop a hugely expensive, always-expanding system of governments and government spending, until we have now long, long, LONG passed the point where the government is the majority of spending, and therefore government spending IS the economy."


War Is The Health Of The State

War is the ultimate State intervention in society.

Understanding US Foreign Policy

      By Fred Reed from Fred On Everything

"Today of course it’s terrorists. We must tighten security, multiply surveillance, read email, suspect secret messages in photos, search all and sundry. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, say the PTMs (though 'eternal lunacy' might be closer). It doesn’t occur to them that excessive vigilance ends liberty, because they don’t care about liberty. They want war with the hated enemy."


A Colony by Any Other Name: Iraq as Stepchild of the American Empire

      By Robert Fantina from CounterPunch

"It seems difficult to accept the idea that a nation can run roughshod over the citizens of another nation simply because it gives itself the right and authority to do so. The world has been horrified by such actions in the past: when Germany invaded Poland, Austria, France and other nations during World War II, it, like the U.S. today, simply gave itself the authority to do so."


Getting to American Neutrality

      By Michael S. Rozeff from LewRockwell.com

"The case for neutrality is the case for peace. The case for non-neutrality is the case for the exercise of power, aggressive power, and that is the case for conflict in all its many forms including war. U.S. policy in the Mid-East exemplifies its non-neutrality. The U.S. is enmeshed in the politics of just about every country in that region. If there is any single reason for the U.S. attempts to control Mid-East politics and nations, it is oil."


The Broken Window Fallacy Reapplied

      By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. from Ludwig von Mises Institute

"It is surely one of the most deadly myths that the Second World War ended the Depression. As Robert Higgs has shown, it further prolonged it, all phony data aside. And consider the spending on the war on terror: if government spending were capable of stimulating the economy, we would not have recession right now"


Bits of History

The Past seen with a fresh look.

An Anniversary to Ponder

      By Scott Horton from Harper's Magazine

"Today marks an important anniversary. On January 30, 1933—seventy-five years ago today—the power of the [German] state fell into the hands of Hitler and his Nazi party.... While the Nazi hold on power was tenuous at first, within a single month, a terrorist attack affecting the most prominent building in the nation’s largest city would supply them with just the engine they needed to begin the process of demolishing the liberal Weimar Constitution and transforming the nation into a dictatorship, first authoritarian and then totalitarian in nature."


The Crash of the Bank of United States

      By Antal E. Fekete from Safe Haven

"What makes the above reading so frightening is the fact that eighty years ago the credit of the United States was rock-solid. Today it is moth-eaten; the promises of the federal government are hardly worth the paper on which they are printed, in view of its repeated defaults and its embracing of the unconstitutional regime of the irredeemable dollar. Worse still, the credit of other countries is no better, given the fact that it is not backed by anything more solid than the credit of the United States."


When the Moon Turns Blue

      By Bill Bonner from The Daily Reckoning

"The geniuses went to work with computers, proving that those fancy derivative contracts (which they were selling) were completely foolproof. They were supposed to run into problems only once in a blue moon."


Indonesia’s ex-dictator Suharto dies at 86

      By The Associated Press from msnbc.com

"Suharto’s economic policies, based on unsecured borrowing by his cronies, dramatically unraveled shortly before he was toppled in May 1998. Indonesia is still recovering from what economists called the worst economic meltdown anywhere in 50 years."


War and Peace

Articles showing the nature of War.

Deadly Hubris

      By Justin Raimondo from AntiWar.com

"Soldiers are coming home with terrifying tales of the war and the level of violence, which is not declining but visibly rising after a brief lull even as the neocon pundits sing paeans to the surge. The American people are horrified by what Bush and his neocon brain trust have wrought in Iraq, and they aren't going to be anything but repulsed by this kind of moral blindness, which only takes into account our own costs, both human and material."


CBS Falsifies Iraq War History

      By Robert Parry from Consortiumnews.com

"There’s a cynical old saying that the victors write the history. CBS’s '60 Minutes' demonstrated how that process works on Jan. 27 in airing Scott Pelley’s interview with the FBI agent who de-briefed former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein."


Carl Oglesby's War

      By Ron Jacobs from CounterPunch

"Ravens In the Storm is a book about the battles against the evils of war, racism and US imperialism. It is also about the internal battles of an organization that formed to fight those evils. Heartfelt and impassioned, the story Oglesby tells on these pages is instructive and hopeful. "


Golden Opportunity

      By Ted Galen Carpenter from Cato Institute

"Beijing needs to freeze its deployment of missiles aimed at Taiwan. It has already deployed more than 1,000 missiles and continues to add more than a dozen per month. Even Taiwanese who are not independence firebrands regard those deployments as profoundly threatening."


Great Individuals In History

Some people stand out from the crowd.

Inventor -- William Seward Burroughs : Jan. 28, 1857

       from Inventor of the Week Archive

"[Invented] the first workable adding machine.... There had been a number of earlier prototypes, but in inexperienced users' hands, those that existed would sometimes give incorrect, and at times outrageous, answers."


Composer -- Jerome Kern : Jan. 27, 1885

      By David Lewis from The Guide to Musical Theatre

"Kern launched himself into composing for the new 'talkie' films during the early 1930s. It was a task he faced with typical enthusiasm, even moving to Hollywood so he might be close to the action. Of his stage productions, The Cat And The Fiddle and Roberta became the basis for films. Another of his original film musicals, 1936's Swing Time (which featured Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers), won Kern the first of his two Academy Awards. The Oscar was given for his song, 'The Way You Look Tonight'."


Musician – Elmore James : Jan. 27, 1918

       from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

"First cut by James in August 1951, 'Dust My Broom' contains the strongest example of his stylistic signature: a swooping, full-octave opening figure on slide guitar. His influence went beyond that one riff, however, as he’s been virtually credited with inventing blues rock by virtue of energizing primal riffs with a raw, driving intensity."


Actress -- Suzanne Pleshette : Jan. 31, 1937

       From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"[K]nown for her role of Emily Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970s, and for prior roles in several major films, including The Birds and Rome Adventure, as well as in Broadway plays."



Books, Movies, TV, Media, Music, poetry, etc.

Genetic Engineering and Morality: Blade New World

      By Jim Amrhein from Whiskey & Gunpowder

"Blade Runner is a favorite of mine for a bunch of reasons. First, it’s the finest example I’ve ever seen of the seamless integration of script and cinematography. Unlike with so many others of the science fiction genre, the special effects — though incredible for their time and for the budget from which they were created — don’t overpower the story, but complement it in a sublime symphony of storytelling excellence. In fact, Blade Runner’s symbiosis of story and effect is so elaborate and well-conceived that it almost literally transports you to a future America that seems as plausible and palpable as the hustle, bustle and daily grind you left outside the theater."


The Ghost of Rambo

      Reviewed by Jesse Walker from Reason

"When the Cold War ended, Sylvester Stallone's movies lost their hold on the culture and decayed into '80s kitsch. But that distrust of the government didn't disappear; if anything, it intensified and crossed what used to be sharp ideological lines."


UW Attic 47: The Charlie Francis Story

      By Warren Bluhm from Uncle Warren's Attic

"Who is Charlie Francis? He had some surprisingly tasty tunes on a series of budget albums in the early to mid-1960s, and a search for Charlie resulted in a surprise I should've seen coming."


Wizard’s First Rule TV show

      By Angela from Snarkerati

"Terry Goodkind’s epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth is heading to TV thanks to Sam Raimi of Spiderman fame. The fantasy book Wizards First Rule follows the story of a young woodsman named Richard and a woman named Kahlen. It’s set in a world split by magic and non magic and features a massive fantasy plot based around the First Wizard."


The lighter side

Humor, satire, cartoons, parodies, food, popular music and other things to amuse.

Judge Andrew Napolitano

      By Stephen Colbert from Colbert Report

"Judge Andrew Napolitano slips up and calls Stephen the wrong name."


Hillary Sends Bill on Campaign Trip to Antarctica

      By Andy Borowitz from Borowitz Report

"The unexpected change in the former president’s itinerary happened just hours after Mrs. Clinton’s drubbing in the South Carolina primary, causing some party insiders to wonder if Mr. Clinton’s mission to Antarctica represented something of a demotion."


You Suck at Photoshop #5

      By Donnie Hoyle from My Damn Channel

"Donnie's self-discovery vacation heats up. By the megaton."


We Must All Do Our Part To Preserve This Climate Of Fear

      By M. Willard Thornton from The Onion

"We must all do whatever we can to preserve America by refocusing our priorities back on the contemplation of lethal threats—invisible nightmarish forces plotting to destroy us in a number of horrific ways. It is only through the vigilance and determination of every patriot that we can maintain the sense of total dread vital to the prolonged existence of a thriving, quivering America."


Deep Thought

Scientific and scholarly studies, philosophical essays, in-depth and longer articles

Monty Hall Problems

      By James Leroy Wilson from The Partial Observer

"[W]e must remember that not everything we see is real, and not every conclusion we make is valid. In the same way, much of what we've been taught could be wrong, not all of our values are reasonable, and not all of our beliefs are true. What seems to me to be the case is not always the case, and never a complete case."


Yale Lecturer Advises: Flush the Prozac and Hack Your Own Happiness

      By Josh McHugh from Wired

"He proposes that we just say no to multinational drug peddlers and heal ourselves with cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies — 'talk therapy' techniques that minimize pill pushing, dispense with Freudian dream analysis, and engage patients in actively reprogramming their own brains. It's like 'a highly selective carpentry of the soul,' Barber writes — therapy as self-engineering."


Bittorrent and the future of the web…

      By Matt Heaton from mattheaton.com

"Finally, when everyone comes to their senses (ISPs) they will simply charge the customers for the bandwidth that they consume. If a user wants to participate in the bittorrent network they will use a lot of bandwidth and their internet bill goes up. If they don’t want to participate then they don’t have to and their base rate stays the same."


Olla Podrida

      By Bill Poser from Language Log

"It isn't necessary to look for exotic foods to find examples of 'rotten' food. Sour cream is made from cream by the action of bacteria that produce lactic acid. This is also how most cheeses are made. Some cheeses are then allowed to rot after they are formed. This is how blue cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola, are made, as well as such soft cheeses as Camembert, Brie, Limburger, and my beloved Liederkranz, which is no longer made."



Articles not easily classified

What's Cholesterol Got to Do With It?

      By Joseph Mercola from Mercola.com

"The main reason cholesterol is assumed to be bad actually comes from circular logic: saturated fat was assumed to be bad because it raises LDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol was assumed to be bad because it is the thing that saturated fat raises. But researchers have been unable to generate compelling evidence that saturated fat in the diet causes heart disease."



      By Marina from HotForWords at YouTube

"How is it that dope means so many things?"


A Children’s History of the Great American Empire

      By Garry Reed from The River Cities' Reader Online

"This is your History Book. It was paid for by Taxpayers. If you should lose it, scribble in it, rip pages from it, or destroy it in a fit of desperate boredom, simply ask your Politically Connected Lifetime Tenured Unionized Fully Vested Teacher to give you another one. Since Textbooks are paid for by Taxpayers, there is an unlimited supply of them."


Linux has better Windows compatibility than Vista

      By diarrheaBot from WastingTimeWithMikeAndAri

"How could a handful of programmers working in their spare time beat thousands of full-time Microsoft employees at their own game (hey Vista only took 5+ years)? A couple of things: 1. the Wine guys are good at what they do. 2. Vista is a full scale train wreck."


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