Signed, Hopeless in California

 

images-4Dear Governor Brown;

You may not remember me, as you speak with thousands. After your first stint as Governor and then Presidential Candidate you were Mayor of Oakland. I happened upon you being interviewed by a local news station at a Jack London Square coffee bar near my hotel. As I sat on a barstool sipping my coffee you completed your interview and came up to order right next to me. I introduced myself, respectfully suggested that while we were on opposite sides of the political debate I wanted to thank you for your service and offered to buy your coffee. You were a gentleman and seemed genuine as you asked what issues I was concerned about. Never someone without an opinion, I shared my views. We talked about national security, the economy, education, etc. and while we nearly agreed on our desired outcomes, we disagreed with the policies that would achieve such ends. 45 minutes later we were surrounded by a crowd and the original camera crew listening and taping us argue points and counterpoints in good faith. 

I told you a story of my childhood which partly formed my political beliefs. That you were my first Governor when in 1977 my family moved from dreary, union controlled, pre-Thatcher Great Britain to sunny Southern California. It was the promised land of my Father’s childhood dreams whilst suffering through his WW2 poverty stricken youth. California was known worldwide for it’s great schools, unlimited business opportunities, and endless fruits and vegetables under constantly great weather. From the mountains to the sea it was a modern Garden of Eden. I was immediately enrolled in our local public school where I learned about baseball and American football, and quickly felt right at home in the significantly less uptight beach culture compared to the regimented school ties of England.

Within 6 months of attending my wonderful new American school, which was a only a short 3/4 mile bike ride from home, my wide-eyed classmates and I were herded onto big yellow, foul black smoke polluting buses and driven an hour to parts unknown where we were told we would attend school the following year. We had no business being in this part of the city, and while on ‘tour’ a local girl donning a tight ‘Good Times’ t-shirt over her seemingly 8′.4 tall lanky body decided she was going to make fun of the kid with the British accent. Not responding to her jibes, she started physically pushing me. I was raised by a gentlemen and to this day have never hit a girl, but that morning I came close. Unfortunately, by me assuming a fighting position with fists clenched while resisting the instinct to defend myself, her friends took notice and came to ‘her aid’. Before I knew it I was surrounded by the worst inner-city stereotypes one can imagine. I took a sucker punch to my ear from someone I never saw and my legs instantly said ‘we’re done’. As I fell the crowd was hastily broken up by frightened teachers. Later that week I found myself enrolled in Tae Kwon Do while my parents started looking at the dozen new private schools that sprung up in response to the outrage over the devastatingly stupid policy known as busing. (Thanks capitalism!)

Just two years after the Golden State had Ronald Reagan as its Governor, the seeds were being sown for it’s demise. Forty years later every constitutional office holder in California is a progressive liberal. This includes your office, your lieutenant governor, your treasurer, attorney general, Assembly and Senate leaders. EVERY. SINGLE. OFFICE. And with the ‘top-two’ primary system, the only choices voters have for national office representation are Democrats who are practically a carbon copy of each other with Leftist policies that please both Alinskyites and the ill-informed across the voter rich Bay Area and Los Angeles County.

The exodus of business owners and conservative voters from California to more friendly climes have only exacerbated the lopsided politics of the state. With barely enough Republican state office holders to keep the barbarians from increasing taxes without voter approval, 2016 may find the forever tax hungry democrats finally end up with a super majority which will allow massive tax increases without so much a vote from it’s citizens. 

Not that the insignificant number of conservatives in state office have had much success stopping your agenda anyways. From your draconian new environmental regulations to private employees being taxed 3 percent to fund their own retirement (this in addition to social security), to the first in the nation statewide $15 minimum wage, the pendulum has continued swinging toward the far left.

Advocates for California’s liberal policies proudly point to the recent years surplus in the state budget, which is of course due to the fiscal responsibility and brilliance of Democrats, the smartest folks in the state. In reality it should be noted the surplus is a result of two things: Soaking the business owners and the rich (mutually exclusive of each other) with ever increasing taxes, and that, oh yes.. ahem, there IS NO SURPLUS. It’s a fraud. 

According to veteran political columnist, Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee, “California has unfunded liabilities of between $500 billion and $1 trillion. These liabilities come from retirement and health-care promises to state workers.” Taking a page from the federal budget fuzzy math, California no longer includes such pesky details. It’s the equivalent of me showing my Assets and Liabilities statement, without the liabilities part. Look, I own a $700,000 home! Wealthy! Don’t worry about that $5 million debt. Nothing to see there. 

California’s destructive progressive policies have lead to over-taxation in every area of the economy. It’s sales taxes: Highest in America. It’s gasoline taxes: Highest in America. Add this to the auto registration “fees” (tax), property taxes (which will increase with a Democrat supermajority able to reverse the Prop 13 measure), business taxes, environmental ‘fees’ (tax), county taxes, city taxes, mental health taxes, inheritance taxes, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. Because members of the State Legislature work so hard voting for tax increases, they in turn have rewarded their efforts by voting themselves the highest paid legislator salaries in the nation.

Is it any wonder that over 9,000 business have recently left California?

The politics of California do not bode well for free markets, smaller government and fiscal responsibility. It’s likely Hillary Clinton will win the state by 15 points or higher. Another liberal Democrat will take Barbara Boxer’s seat and you may have the supermajority Democrats have been dreaming of. Governor, to stop the hemorrhaging of business and tax revenue, good, intelligent people believe that history proves centralized governments only enriches itself and it’s special interests while saddling its citizens with additional costs to both their income and liberty. Allow people to keep more of their hard earned money, in an already too expensive state.

Toward the end of that discussion in Oakland, before we shook hands and each going our own way, I suggested that California maybe the greatest piece of real estate in the world. That everything G-d has touched was the ideal, from its topography to it’s climate. It truly is a wonderful place. You agreed. I then said ‘however, in the last few decades, everything man has touched was going from bad to worse’. You thought about it for a second, smiled and said “that’s probably more true than I would like to admit”.

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There are 33 comments.

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  1. RightAngles Member

    Well said! It’s cool that they taped you talking to him. Is there a video?

    • #1
    • October 7, 2016, at 3:19 PM PDT
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  2. Retail Lawyer Member

    I am a fellow Californian, and of course I have the same thoughts. It is truly a 3rd World society here – many hopeless and poor people, and many fewer very wealthy, and a dwindling middle class leaving in trickles by U-Haul. The even worse part of all it is that Gov. Brown is the best possible head of state in this state. He vetoes the worse that the legislature puts up, and knows that the good times will not last. We may never again see such a responsible Governor, chu chu train and all.

    • #2
    • October 7, 2016, at 3:25 PM PDT
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  3. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    RightAngles:Well said! It’s cool that they taped you talking to him. Is there a video?

    I was told a brief soundbite was on local news that night but I didn’t see it. I’m sure it was presented in a non biased way.

    • #3
    • October 7, 2016, at 3:46 PM PDT
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  4. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Retail Lawyer:I am a fellow Californian, and of course I have the same thoughts. It is truly a 3rd World society here – many hopeless and poor people, and many fewer very wealthy, and a dwindling middle class leaving in trickles by U-Haul. The even worse part of all it is that Gov. Brown is the best possible head of state in this state. He vetoes the worse that the legislature puts up, and knows that the good times will not last. We may never again see such a responsible Governor, chu chu train and all.

    There are some good things. The dominant domain issue which is bi-partisan was signed by Brown. Anyone who finds the ability of law enforcement legally confiscating assets from someone without a conviction applauded this. Also, he passed ‘right to try’ which allows terminally ill patients to bypass FDA restrictions on experimental treatment, which I am all for. But as you probably can tell, my biggest focus is on the business climate. I hear from clients each week they are deeply concerned about the future and looking at all options, including moving elsewhere.

    • #4
    • October 7, 2016, at 3:54 PM PDT
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  5. RightAngles Member

    Great illustration haha

    • #5
    • October 7, 2016, at 3:57 PM PDT
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  6. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Well done, Dave. I do not miss living in CA AT ALL. And every time I turn around, I see another disaster that he’s initiated. Is he trying for the total destruction of the state?? There are so many worthless programs already in place; with the increased power of the unions, I see nothing but disaster for the state. As you said, it is a beautiful state, but victimized by it’s leftists agenda. I’m happy to be in FL. Hurricanes or not.

    • #6
    • October 7, 2016, at 4:22 PM PDT
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  7. TeamAmerica Member

    @Dave Sussman- “Just two years after the Golden State had Ronald Reagan as its Governor, the seeds were being sown for it’s demise. Forty years later every constitutional office holder in California is a progressive liberal.”

    I’m curious, how did the California of Ronald Reagan and Howard Jarvis become the leftist redoubt it is today? What factors do you think led it to take this path?

    • #7
    • October 7, 2016, at 4:41 PM PDT
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  8. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Susan Quinn:Well done, Dave. I do not miss living in CA AT ALL. And every time I turn around, I see another disaster that he’s initiated. Is he trying for the total destruction of the state?? There are so many worthless programs already in place; with the increased power of the unions, I see nothing but disaster for the state. As you said, it is a beautiful state, but victimized by it’s leftists agenda. I’m happy to be in FL. Hurricanes or not.

    The CA experiment is moving East. Cultural liberalism has no borders. Florida is just a couple decades behind Susan.

    • #8
    • October 7, 2016, at 5:04 PM PDT
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  9. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    TeamAmerica:@Dave Sussman- “Just two years after the Golden State had Ronald Reagan as its Governor, the seeds were being sown for it’s demise. Forty years later every constitutional office holder in California is a progressive liberal.”

    I’m curious, how did the California of Ronald Reagan and Howard Jarvis become the leftist redoubt it is today? What factors do you think led it to take this path?

    Demographic changes, low information voters and the statism which started way back in the days of the Frankfurt School finally hit its ascension in media, education and culture. jmo.

    • #9
    • October 7, 2016, at 5:07 PM PDT
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  10. TKC1101 Inactive

    As long as governments can maintain a level of prosperity for their client classes- public workers, wealthy donors, welfare state clients and demonize opposition to half the remaining, they will hold power.

    We are in a race between the wheels falling off the statists ability to keep the money flowing and our ability to slow and halt it. It is a desperate struggle and risky at best.

    • #10
    • October 7, 2016, at 5:17 PM PDT
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  11. RightAngles Member

    I don’t know why people can’t understand the connection between cities going bankrupt and public sector unions.

    • #11
    • October 7, 2016, at 6:16 PM PDT
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  12. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Ask John Walker how long the CA tax authorities pursued him for his pounds of flesh, after he moved to Switzerland. If you have ever earned even a few dollars in the state, you will pay CA taxes forever.

    • #12
    • October 7, 2016, at 6:27 PM PDT
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  13. Craig Inactive

    I just received my CA Voter information guide in the post today – it should be retitled 17 Motivating Propositions To Help You Leave California‘. I also have the option of voting in a US Senate Race that gives me the options of voting for a Democrat or a Democrat, no write-in options.

    • #13
    • October 7, 2016, at 7:57 PM PDT
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  14. Eeyore Member

    RightAngles:I don’t know why people can’t understand the connection between cities going bankrupt and public sector unions.

    C’mon, RA. Cities are going bankrupt because the rich won’t pay their fair share, and they are trying to destroy the unions so hard-working public servants will be paid minimum wage. So the cities need higher taxes, more Federal money and stronger unions.

    At least that’s what I heard.

    • #14
    • October 7, 2016, at 8:47 PM PDT
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  15. Brian McMenomy Inactive

    I remember going to university in Azusa in the mid-to-late ’80s. Even though there was a lot wrong (the movie “Colors” wasn’t far off, at least in some neighborhoods), I remember a sense of unlimited possibilities and freedom. Maybe that was because I was in college, feeling real independence, but I think it was also the sense of Southern California being a gathering place for the entire world. You felt like you could touch parts of the world thousands of miles away just by going 30 miles to Little Tokyo or Olvera Street.

    When I go back now, I have those remembrances, but I also see plenty of reasons why I’m glad I left California in the early ’90s; a deep sense of unease, that everything I see is a house of cards. I’m sad for the place, because it should be the center of the Pacific Rim; great weather, access to 4 continents, people from every ethnicity on the planet, natural beauty and resource in a combination the world doesn’t see. Instead, they have chosen to eat all the seed corn & borrowed from the rest of us. Every January 1st, I watch the Rose Bowl, sigh, and realize it’s a beautiful illusion; a historic stadium in the Arroyo Seco under perfect skies. The Southern California that used to be, but is no more.

    • #15
    • October 7, 2016, at 9:33 PM PDT
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  16. RightAngles Member

    Eeyore:

    RightAngles:I don’t know why people can’t understand the connection between cities going bankrupt and public sector unions.

    C’mon, RA. Cities are going bankrupt because the rich won’t pay their fair share, and they are trying to destroy the unions so hard-working public servants will be paid minimum wage. So the cities need higher taxes, more Federal money and stronger unions.

    At least that’s what I heard.

    Ha. I’m reminded of Hillary’s rendition of what caused the crash of 2008. Was it Barney Frank handing out mortgages to poor people? Nah. It was trickle-down-Republican economics! Yeah, that’s it.

    • #16
    • October 7, 2016, at 9:44 PM PDT
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  17. Crazy Horse Member

    My rule of distrusting all Politicians has its exception with Governor Brown. He shook my hand at my elementary school in LA, praising the electromagentic coil I built from copper wire and a toilet paper tube in 3rd grade. When I demurred to his praise, he told me “Selflessness is not a virtue. Be proud of your good work.” Something I’ve never forgotten. He is a good man.

    • #17
    • October 7, 2016, at 10:07 PM PDT
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  18. DocJay Inactive

    I was in Cali today and my wife mentioned how cool it would be to live in some little town there. My response was,”never, but we can visit all you want”.

    The state is going under despite Brown’s moderate pivot.

    • #18
    • October 7, 2016, at 10:44 PM PDT
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  19. Chris Member

    Eeyore:

    RightAngles:I don’t know why people can’t understand the connection between cities going bankrupt and public sector unions.

    C’mon, RA. Cities are going bankrupt because the rich won’t pay their fair share, and they are trying to destroy the unions so hard-working public servants will be paid minimum wage. So the cities need higher taxes, more Federal money and stronger unions.

    At least that’s what I heard.

    So true.

    There is a natural tension between understanding that “we all want nice things” and the toxic cloud that sometimes forms of “I deserve to have nicer things because our country is so ‘rich’ and I work hard”.

    With public unions, there is this belief that since they have “given up” higher wages they deserve to be “compensated” by having rich benefits.

    The problem is, of course, that the higher wages they reference are those of the economy’s top producers. The status symbol is what’s seen, not the truly hard or creative work or innovative product that produced the extra-ordinary results that result in a premium product being affordable.

    They don’t see that for their own particular brand of paper shuffling they are well compensated both now and in the future. They also don’t see they have thousands of job/salary equivalents in the private sector funding salaries for the state workers while having no golden safety net themselves.

    The belief that 20 or 30 years of working for the state entitles one to a lifetime inflation indexed pension and paid medical care for life for you and your family will bankrupt us all sooner rather than later.

    • #19
    • October 8, 2016, at 12:57 AM PDT
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  20. Al Kennedy Member

    @davesussman Thanks for an interesting, well written but sad post. I too grew up in Southern California, and spent over 30 years working in Silicon Valley. I saw the descent of a wonderful state first hand. My response to @teamamerica’s question “I’m curious, how did the California of Ronald Reagan and Howard Jarvis become the leftist redoubt it is today? “ I would list three major factors: public sector unions (teachers, state government workers, and prison guards), the environmental lobby, and the encouragement and support for illegal immigration which includes sanctuary cities and entitlement spending for non-citizens. For an assessment of the impact of illegal immigration, please see Victor Davis Hansen’s classic Mexifornia. I saw an item in NRO today that reported that California was asking the Department of Health and Human Services to allow them to offer Obamacare to illegal immigrants. Personally, I thought the descent really began with Jerry Brown’s first administration. From his appointment of Rose Bird as California’s Chief Justice to his ignoring the fruit fly epidemic at the environmentalist’s urging that finally resulted in nightly helicopter spraying of malathion, Governor “Moonbeam” supported and encouraged every idiotic left wing scheme.

    • #20
    • October 8, 2016, at 2:07 AM PDT
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  21. Western Chauvinist Member

    Dave Sussman: Toward the end of that discussion in Oakland, before we shook hands and each going our own way, I suggested that California maybe the greatest piece of real estate in the world. That everything G-d has touched was the ideal, from its topography to it’s climate. It truly is a wonderful place. You agreed. I then said ‘however, in the last few decades, everything man has touched was going from bad to worse’. You thought about it for a second, smiled and said “that’s probably more true than I would like to admit”.

    I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but when lefties make such admissions — with a smile(!) — I go from “they’re just wrong” to “they’re wicked” almost instantaneously. They know what they’re doing!!

    • #21
    • October 8, 2016, at 6:55 AM PDT
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  22. Larry3435 Member

    After 54 years living in Los Angeles, I fled to Nevada a couple of years ago. California is a zombie state. Walking dead, being kept alive temporarily by the surge in the stock market. But there is no amount of money that can keep this zombie half-alive for much longer. If you live in California, all I can tell you is GET OUT. You actually have no option. You can’t live in the former Golden State any more. Your only choices are to leave, or stay and live in Tijuana.

    • #22
    • October 8, 2016, at 7:23 AM PDT
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  23. John Hanson Thatcher

    We left in 2001 when my job was transferred to NJ (Not much better politically) be we have no desire to ever return. Do still have a daughter living there, but she is getting tired of living in a liberal utopia as well, but not quite ready to flee yet

    • #23
    • October 8, 2016, at 7:42 AM PDT
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  24. bill.deweese Coolidge

    Sounds like a script for the making the movie “West Detroit”, or the backstory for a new character in Kurt Schlichter’s “People’s Republic.” Truly Sad.

    As a resident of Florida’s “I-4 Corridor”, I’ve wondered what is worse, being a Red Person in an all Blue state (or visa-versa), where your vote doesn’t even count, or being the swing zone of a swing state, where your vote is the only thing that matters. Clearly having a vote that counts is better, but aside from the fact that any media supporting “ad buys” is positively intolerable, you have to sit and watch while reasonable people that are trapped in the opposite situation in other states are tortured by watching their home states crumble into decay.

    • #24
    • October 8, 2016, at 7:51 AM PDT
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  25. Dad Dog Member

    Some of you may be asking, “What about Orange County, that conservative Republican redoubt, that center of John Birchers, where Ronald Reagan famously (and appropriately) began his 1984 re-election campaign — that Hong Kong in the People’s Republic of California?”

    I have lived all of my life in “the OC” (an expression most of us hate, by the way). Unfortunately, I would say that we in Orange County are only about 10 years behind the rest of the state. The Hispanic and Asian demographic has exploded. Along with Laguna’s and Newport’s limousine liberals, this has caused a significant change in party affiliation.

     Like my father did, I am seriously considering moving to Texas upon retirement.

    • #25
    • October 8, 2016, at 8:57 AM PDT
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  26. Arahant Member

    Almost missed this one. Glad I caught it, David. Enjoy reading your work.

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    • October 8, 2016, at 9:12 AM PDT
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  27. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    TKC1101:As long as governments can maintain a level of prosperity for their client classes- public workers, wealthy donors, welfare state clients and demonize opposition to half the remaining, they will hold power.

    We are in a race between the wheels falling off the statists ability to keep the money flowing and our ability to slow and halt it. It is a desperate struggle and risky at best.

    Charles Ponzi would be quite impressed.

    • #27
    • October 8, 2016, at 10:26 AM PDT
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  28. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    RightAngles:

    Eeyore:

    RightAngles:I don’t know why people can’t understand the connection between cities going bankrupt and public sector unions.

    C’mon, RA. Cities are going bankrupt because the rich won’t pay their fair share, and they are trying to destroy the unions so hard-working public servants will be paid minimum wage. So the cities need higher taxes, more Federal money and stronger unions.

    At least that’s what I heard.

    Ha. I’m reminded of Hillary’s rendition of what caused the crash of 2008. Was it Barney Frank handing out mortgages to poor people? Nah. It was trickle-down-Republican economics! Yeah, that’s it.

    @rightangles That line caused my adult beverage to shoot through my nose. History is no longer what happened, it’s what they want you to think happened.

    • #28
    • October 8, 2016, at 10:31 AM PDT
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  29. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    JLocked:My rule of distrusting all Politicians has its exception with Governor Brown. He shook my hand at my elementary school in LA, praising the electromagentic coil I built from copper wire and a toilet paper tube in 3rd grade. When I demurred to his praise, he told me “Selflessness is not a virtue. Be proud of your good work.” Something I’ve never forgotten. He is a good man.

    Agreed. Compared to how his party bosses treat voters with contempt and derision, essentially using them as cannon fodder to win their ideological war, Brown at least respects all sides. He’s a classic liberal fighting to stay relevant within the party of modern liberalism.

    • #29
    • October 8, 2016, at 10:39 AM PDT
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  30. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Al Kennedy: I saw an item in NRO today that reported that California was asking the Department of Health and Human Services to allow them to offer Obamacare to illegal immigrants.

    This was the issue Joe “You LIE!” Wilson interrupted Obama’s SOTU. They promised illegal immigrants would not be covered under Obamacare, and now it appears Joe Wilson was right after all.

    • #30
    • October 8, 2016, at 10:41 AM PDT
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