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Mike Johnston
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6049

posted 17 June 2004 05:34 PM      Profile for Mike Johnston        Edit/Delete Post
Just in case there's a Conservative / NDP union
Let's get to know the real issues.


Accountable Government
Accountable government is a pretty simple idea. It means putting Canadians’ interests first. It means taking responsibility for the past. A Conservative government will hold accountable those who waste, misuse or mismanage public funds. And we will do more. A Conservative government will be accountable for the promises we make and the actions we take. Demand Better. Demand accountable government.

Controlling Spending
Government waste affects all of us. The billions wasted on the long-gun registry, the HRDC boondoggle and the Sponsorship program could have gone into priorities such as health care, lower taxes, or our military. A Conservative government will control wasteful and corrupt spending. We will put money into your priorities. Demand Better. Demand an end to wasteful spending.

Access to Health Care
Canadians depend on our public system of health care. That’s why the Conservative Party supported the federal-provincial Health Accord. A Conservative government will cooperate with the provinces to ensure adequate funding, shorter waiting lists, and more doctors and nurses. We will improve access to health care for all Canadians, regardless of ability to pay. Demand Better. Demand improved access to health care.

Tax Relief
The Liberal government is collecting about $1,500 more in taxes per Canadian than it did ten years ago. That is an annual $6,000 increase for a family of four. Ask yourself, are you getting more value for that money? Should taxes stay this high when the government is wasting so much? We believe the answer to these questions is No. That’s why The Conservative Party will reduce your taxes. Demand Better. Demand tax relief.

Supporting our Canadian Forces
They do us proud. Whether serving here at home or on peacekeeping missions abroad, Canada’s military is a great source of pride. But unfortunately, pride is not enough. The Liberals are starving our armed forces. A Conservative government will invest in our military and provide them with the quality equipment they need to achieve the difficult tasks we ask of them. Demand Better. Demand support for our military.

Lower Taxes
The Conservative Party will fight for tax relief. We will work for lower and fairer taxes for hardworking Canadians and their families.

Support for our Canadian Forces
The Conservative Party will fight for our armed forces. We will ensure our armed forces are properly funded and equipped to do the difficult and dangerous work we ask of them.

Safe Communities
The Conservative Party will fight to reduce crime and violence. We will scrap the long-gun registry and redirect the money to law enforcement.

Canadians on Fixed Incomes
The Conservative Party will fight for low-income Canadians. We will increase support for Canadians on fixed incomes, including seniors, who face rising costs of living.

Investing in Infrastructure
The Conservative Party will fight for infrastructure investments. We will redirect federal gas taxes into roads and other critical infrastructure.

Access to Higher Education
The Conservative Party will fight for students. We will modernize the student loan program to help students overcome the financial barriers to education and training.

Definition of Marriage
The Conservative Party will fight to give a greater voice to Parliament. We will ensure that issues like marriage are decided by parliament, not the courts.

Canada’s Place in the World
The Conservative Party will fight for Canada’s national interest. We will stand with our allies and international bodies against terrorism and for the basic values of freedom and democracy.

Auditor General
The Conservative Party will fight for accountable spending. We will give the Auditor General an expanded role to root out waste and mismanagement, and we will act on her recommendations.

Support for Agriculture
The Conservative Party will fight for farmers. We will protect farmers against conditions outside their control and vigorously defend them in international trade negotiations.

Defending our Fisheries
The Conservative Party will fight for our fisheries. We will decentralize fisheries decision-making and ensure that EI provides adequate income protection in case of job loss.

Immigrant Credentials
The Conservative party will fight for immigrants. We will work to ensure speedier recognition of foreign credentials and prior work experience.

Cleaner Environment
The Conservative Party will fight for a clean environment. We will propose workable solutions to make Canada a world leader in clean air, clean water and clean land.

Protecting Children
The Conservative Party will fight for our children. We will replace the Liberal’s “public good” defense for child pornography with a zero tolerance policy.

Canada – US Relations
The Conservative Party will fight for our primary producers in trade disputes. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with the US when we can so that we can sit eyeball to eyeball when we must.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 17 June 2004 05:36 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, you're out of the closet, then, Mike?
From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mike Johnston
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Babbler # 6049

posted 17 June 2004 05:57 PM      Profile for Mike Johnston        Edit/Delete Post
Well I wasn't sure who to vote for either Conservative or NDP but now a Union is very likely.
From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Olly
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posted 17 June 2004 06:01 PM      Profile for Olly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Canadians on Fixed Incomes
The Conservative Party will fight for low-income Canadians. We will increase support for Canadians on fixed incomes, including seniors, who face rising costs of living.

If the Conservatives were really planning to fight for low-income Canadians, they wouldn't be planning on scrapping the Canada Child Tax Benefit, which is probably the most important new social policy innovation of the last three decades.


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 17 June 2004 06:11 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Canada Child Tax Benefit, which is probably the most important new social policy innovation of the last three decades

More than a bit of an overstatement, IMHO. It's too small to be all that helpful, and administered in a poor fashion, rendering it even less helpful.

Worse than that though is this:

quote:
Access to Higher Education
The Conservative Party will fight for students. We will modernize the student loan program to help students overcome the financial barriers to education and training.

Er, perhaps by allowing students more
"flexibility" in repaying skyrocketing levels of debt, and putting in the place the conditions required to make those skyrocketing debt levels even worse?

The Canadian Alliance has long-advocated for income-contingent repayment (ICR) on Canada Student Loans. While the Conservative Party has recently removed all references to income-contingent repayment from their
website, and did not mention it specifically in their platform, income contingent repayment is still a central theme of the Conservative
Party's plans for post-secondary education.

The following Conservative candidates reference ICR on their websites:

1. Jim Gouk - Kootenay-Boundary-Okanagan (BC) -
http://www.jimgoukmp.com/education.htm
2. Tim Dobson - Pickering-Scarborough East (ON) -
http://www.timdobson.ca/education.html
3. Kent Fox - Fredericton (NB) -
http://www.kentfox.ca/issues.html#post_education
4. Mike Murphy - Ottawa Centre (ON) -
http://www.votemurphy.ca/e/issues.htm#Canadians
5. Sean Casey - Ottawa West-Nepean (ON) -
http://www.votecasey.com/news_details.asp?ID=189
6. David Sweet - Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale (ON) -
http://www.davidsweet.ca/PDFs/conservative_platform.pdf

The Young Conservative website for Dufferin-Caledon quotes Conservative leader Stephen Harper stating his affinity for income contingent
repayment. In a recent forum in Vancouver, Conservative candidate James Moore said that ICR would be investigated if his party formed
government.

In case you don't know much about ICR, it an idea from Milton Friedman which aimed to make students cover the entire cost of their post-secondary education. Its a funding model, not a student aid package. And it means that people who earn less get to carry their debt for long, long periods of time. In every country where they've been implemented, tuition fees have gone up (up to 500%), public funding has dropped, student debt levels have risen and low and middle income students get shut out. Many women who take time off to have children still have their loans when they retire. Now that's access worth voting for!!


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mike Johnston
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Babbler # 6049

posted 17 June 2004 06:15 PM      Profile for Mike Johnston        Edit/Delete Post
Protest Against NDP
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Poverty activists were demonstrating Thursday morning against the NDP.

The Gatineau Association for the Defence of Social Rights was in front of the NDP National Office on Laurier.

Spokesperson Bill Clennet told the crowd that the group would like to have NDP Leader Jack Layton explain to the "poorest Canadians, why the NDP is not promoting an increase n their scandalous income levels."

The group wants to see better support in the party's platform for social assistance.

CONSERVATIVE PLATFORM:

More support for education, families, and a clean
environment
Canadians are more and more concerned about the future of their communities and
the kind of society their children and grandchildren will grow up in. Will children
and youth have access to high-quality education? What can be done to support
families in need, and the strength of the family as a social institution? Will we have
enough skilled workers to support an aging population? And will we live in a polluted
environment, or will we pass on the gift of clean air, water, and land to the next
generation?
Canadians must demand better for their communities.
A Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will:
• Work with the provinces to reduce financial barriers to post-secondary education
and training.
• Provide relief to Canadians on low and fixed incomes to help them meet rising
utility, insurance, and gasoline prices.
• Expand tax credits for those taking care of elderly, sick, or disabled relatives.
• Improve recognition of foreign credentials and prior work experience for immigrants.
• Work to improve economic and social conditions for aboriginal Canadians.
• Become an environmental world leader by focusing on clean air, clean water, clean
land, and clean energy.


We will work with the provinces to reduce financial
barriers to post-secondary education and training
Post-secondary education is increasingly a prerequisite for access to high-paying jobs
in all sectors of the economy. Yet post-secondary students and their families continue
to struggle with rising tuition costs and an increased debt burden. We must demand
better and ensure that no student who has the desire and ability to learn is denied a
post-secondary education due to a lack of financial means.


Improving the Canada Student Loans Program
A Conservative government will work with provinces to improve the Canada
Student Loans Program to help overcome the barriers students face in pursuing
post-secondary education and training opportunities.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
simonvallee
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posted 17 June 2004 06:18 PM      Profile for simonvallee   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The Liberal government is collecting about $1,500 more in taxes per Canadian than it did ten years ago.

Isn't that normal because of the inflation? Since wages increase about 2 or 3% per year, 10 years would mean that the increase should have been at least 20%. Don't know the figures you quote from, but if we do a quick estimate, I have the impression there's nothing wrong with that.

What we should complain about is own Martin did 100 billion in tax reduction, and most Canadians felt so little impact from this that they have no idea there's been a massive reduction of taxes.


From: Boucherville, Québec | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Erik Pool
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posted 17 June 2004 06:22 PM      Profile for Erik Pool     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by swirrlygrrl:

The Canadian Alliance has long-advocated for income-contingent repayment (ICR) on Canada Student Loans.


This idea was originally floated by HRD Minister Lloyd Axworthy in 1993/94 in his "green papers" on social policy. It never went anywhere because of the political heat.

As a graduate student myself I think it's an excellent proposal, one that effectively gears repayment to earnings. Fine arts grads whose job market prospects are not as strong as commerce gradutates would be paying back less over their working life.


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mike Johnston
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posted 17 June 2004 06:24 PM      Profile for Mike Johnston        Edit/Delete Post
So a couple who doesn't believe in birth control should be allowed to live in subsidized housing have 10 children,have the school pay for the kids breakfast,be given $4,900 per child and not have to pay any tax under $15,000.I wonder how many will just work under the table and abuse the system.Could get quite costly.

"Increase the Child Tax Benefit to $4,900 per child and allow Canada's poorest families, who don't pay tax, to qualify.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
speechpoet
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posted 17 June 2004 06:30 PM      Profile for speechpoet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mike, it's considered polite to just post an excerpt of long documents and link to the main text.
From: Sunny Vancouver | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Krago
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posted 17 June 2004 06:31 PM      Profile for Krago     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Johnston:
Spokesperson Bill Clennet told the crowd that the group would like to have NDP Leader Jack Layton explain to the "poorest Canadians, why the NDP is not promoting an increase n their scandalous income levels."

Is Jack going to give him a "Shawinigan Handshake"?


From: The Royal City | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 17 June 2004 06:33 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In response to Erik's post:

Ah, yes, because we can accurately predict the lifetime earnings of a person based on their educational area. And, since we know that all lawyers will make six figures a year, with ICR, we then know that we can deregulate their tuition so they're paying $20,000 or so a year. And we really should encourage people to get used to the fact that they should think about their student loans as a lifetime committment. Children are legally adults after 18 years, but student loans are forever with ICR!

And you are correct - this was floated initially by the Liberals, and fought off by the student movement. The only mention of education in the CA platform in 2000 was ICR - now they've got lots of lovely vague phrases like "ensure that no student who has the desire and ability to learn is denied a post-secondary education due to a lack of financial means." Not stating that you also have to have the desire to take on a crushing debt burden that will impede your ability to buy a house, a car, have kids, feel financially secure for the next 50 years. Otherwise, you just don't want it enough. Sticker shock doesn't exist. Neither do income inequalities based on gender, race/ethnicity, etc.

Was it Myron Thompson who said that the Conservatives will do "whatever they need to do" to get elected?

(edited to remove a bitchy comment, and make clear what I was responding to).

[ 17 June 2004: Message edited by: swirrlygrrl ]


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 17 June 2004 06:37 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
What were the students' objections to ICR? The fact that they would still have to pay tuition fees?
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 17 June 2004 06:49 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Oliver Cromwell:
What were the students' objections to ICR? The fact that they would still have to pay tuition fees?

*sigh*

The fact that ICR is a plan designed with the specific aim of making students pay, up front, as individuals, the full cost of their education. The underlying idea being education is solely a personal benefit, and thus should be solely financed.

My political science degree, in this view, has the same value to society as, say, my new haircut. Its all for me - no one else benefits. Therefore, I should pay for it myself.

More than a little problematic, especially in light of countries like Ireland that have based their economic revitalization on eliminating tuition fees, and the Liberal push on their Innovation Strategy, and the idea of a knowledge economy.

Countries where ICR have been implemented have seen dramatically reduced public funding, dramatically increased rates of tuition, and dramatically increased rates of student debt. All the while, access suffers. And THAT'S what students object to.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 17 June 2004 06:52 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
The full cost? Are you sure? No government support whatsoever?
From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
weakling willy
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posted 17 June 2004 06:57 PM      Profile for weakling willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is some years ago that I last looked at this debate (id-1990s). I think the students made two arguments:

1. ICRs almost inevitably arise in periods when governments wish to shift the balance of funding PSE from society as a whole (I suppose on the basis of its contribution to society) to the individual (on the basis of lifetime earning gains a degree confers). In other words, ICRs are used as a tool for softening the immediate impact of this change in balance, because it promises to make paying a higher contribution easier by spreading out the repayment, and ensuring that repayment does not bankrupt students (since repayment rates are tied to income).
Student groups tend to argue that education provides such wide-ranging positive externalities that it should be largely public funded. Given relative labour immobility, those who benefit most from their education in terms of personal income will also end up paying more through their lives via progressive taxation.


2. In the context of this shift, people pursuing degrees with less lucrative pay-offs in terms of employment will suffer the most. If their income remains low, they will not be able to make much of a dent in their accumulated debt, and will end up paying far more (when accumulated interest is taken into account) for their education than people with degrees leading to higher paid jobs.


From: Home of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 17 June 2004 06:59 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post

[ 17 June 2004: Message edited by: Oliver Cromwell ]


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 17 June 2004 07:03 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Oliver Cromwell:
The full cost? Are you sure? No government support whatsoever?

As I said, the scheme was designed by that famed economist Milton Friedman in order to eliminate government funding for post-secondary education (see his paper "The role of government in education", I believe 1955). Most supporters don't frame it that way, or try to sell it that way. They emphasize "flexibility" and "fairness." I seem to remember that flexibility was the key word used in moving from EPF/CAP to the CHST...along with a huge funding cut.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Erik Pool
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posted 17 June 2004 07:51 PM      Profile for Erik Pool     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by swirrlygrrl:
In response to Erik's post:

Ah, yes, because we can accurately predict the lifetime earnings of a person based on their educational area.

And we really should encourage people to get used to the fact that they should think about their student loans as a lifetime committment.


Neither do income inequalities based on gender, race/ethnicity, etc.


(edited to remove a bitchy comment, and make clear what I was responding to).

[ 17 June 2004: Message edited by: swirrlygrrl ]



You cannot predict those lifetime earnings in advance, not with any degree of certainty. But you don't have too, because ICRs would be assessed yearly based on the person's job market performance, that is, it would be integrated into the income tax system. After all, why should skilled workers pay for the education of dentists? Surely you are not naive enough to fall for the cranky speeches by the noveau riche types that struggling orthodontists are barely getting by, but wealthy plumbers are making a killing?

An ICR need not go a full lifetime, or even past age 30 or 35. It depends on what that persons earnings are, like its name says, contingent upon income.

I wouldn't make too much of these family income disparities insofar as university is concerned. Those inequalities are really pretty small these days, except for some of the more recent immigrants. And besides, if a person has the ability what does it matter that their parents are poor. They will have to borrow more, that's true, but they will be able to pay it back because their incomes will be higher. It would be hard to say in advance by how much, but experience shows that education pays.


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mike Johnston
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Babbler # 6049

posted 17 June 2004 09:17 PM      Profile for Mike Johnston        Edit/Delete Post
"So a couple who doesn't believe in birth control should be allowed to live in subsidized housing have 10 children,have the school pay for the kids breakfast,be given $4,900 per child and not have to pay any tax under $15,000.I wonder how many will just work under the table and abuse the system.Could get quite costly."

Well know one replied to the above so I assume this is Ok in the NDP world.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Debra
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posted 17 June 2004 09:34 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
wow is it fall already?
From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 17 June 2004 09:38 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No Debra, a person can ferment *plonk* at any time of year.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 17 June 2004 09:40 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Johnston:
"So a couple who doesn't believe in birth control should be allowed to live in subsidized housing have 10 children,have the school pay for the kids breakfast,be given $4,900 per child and not have to pay any tax under $15,000.I wonder how many will just work under the table and abuse the system.Could get quite costly."

Well know one replied to the above so I assume this is Ok in the NDP world.


Studies have shown that poor women are not having children at a significantly higher rate than any other class of people. The economic incentives of welfare just don't exist. Would anyone woman here want to be saddled with 10 kids and no prospects for a better life?. The evidence says such conservative attitudes are based on myths more than facts.

And so why then is Canada short of doctors, teachers, medical specialists, skilled labour and so on?. Every developed nation in the world is experiencing low to zero growth population and will be relying heavily on immigration in the coming years to fill the gap left by low fertility rates in rich countries. Can we fill the gaps by allowing only skilled labour and medical professional into Canada?. We will be competing with the States and Europe for such high quality immigrants, so why not take the high road right here at home ?.

Eugenics and controlling who breeds are old conservative ideas sprung from the deep southern States and ultra right wing factions in old Europe. They are useless to modern society as well as being immoral.

Swedish, and now North American studies, have shown how even small levels of malnutrition and lack of external stimulus has an adverse effect on the developmental years, especially during infancy and continuing thru childhood. The American's are proving to the world that nurturing the developed world's highest infant mortality and child poverty rates is costing them more in the long run. Economic Darwinism costs more than social democracy when depraved children become tomorrows learning disorders and juvenile delinquents. Too many kids are showing up at the school house doors and not knowing their letters and numbers. Alexa McDonough has shown us that it costs twice as much to incarcerate a person for just one year than it does to provide a poor Canadian with four years of university tuition. The American national debt is expanding at an alarming rate as super gulag economy replaces the cold war one. America builds two new federal pens each week. California has built 21 new super prisons in ten years and only one new university. In fact, the U.S. has now made it domestic policy to warehouse its poor in unprecedented numbers as they now have the largest gulag population in the world as well as some of the highest rates of homicide, rape and suicide among young people. And there are periperhal costs for economic Darwinism in the form of lost productivity with higher unemployment, need for expanded policing, legal aid system, jails to warehouse the poor, expanding educational facilities and manpower to deal with learning disorders born of neglect and malnutrution etc etc.

Next to Uncle Sam and their immediate neighbor to the south, Canada has the next highest levels of child poverty and infant mortality among developed nations. Ed Broadbent and the NDP declared a resolution in 1989, and of which all parties agreed, to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. IN that time, 430 000 more Canadian children are living in poverty.

And we are assuming that this more expensive approach to social and economic Darwinism is ok with conservatives in Canada.

[ 17 June 2004: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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