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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#9621 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2018-March-11, 12:13

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-March-11, 11:12, said:

It may feel good at the start but it doesn't end well.


Along those lines I just watched the Academy award winning documentary Icarus.

The likes of Trump Inc. playing footsy with these birds behind closed doors is a terrifying thought.
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#9622 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-11, 12:33

View Postggwhiz, on 2018-March-11, 12:13, said:

Along those lines I just watched the Academy award winning documentary Icarus.

The likes of Trump Inc. playing footsy with these birds behind closed doors is a terrifying thought.

Whenever we find out what goes on "behind closed doors", especially in the halls of power, we should not just be terrified, we should demand change. Seasoned politicians are just more skilled at hiding it from the hoi polloi...
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#9623 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-11, 12:44

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-March-11, 11:42, said:

I have to disagree with you, Al, and for this reason: have you ever changed your own personal views? If you are like everybody else, it requires a lot of energy to constantly fight or try to ignore cognitive dissonance. Sometimes, it is the voice of reason from outside the bubble that finally tips the scales and encourages true examination of beliefs.

More times than I would have thought possible, since I consider myself to be intelligent and perceptive. The ease with which one can accept palatable perspectives and reject otherwise shows much about our education and indoctrination within societal norms. The lack of reason and logic, generally, is only exceeded by the desire to be accepted within our own circles (us vs. them is a classic paradigm). My training in the hard sciences tended to discount an appreciation for feel and insight but I have been working hard to integrate them into my approach as much as I have fought against those aspects of faith and belief that tend to permeate our upbringing and maturing. Retirement has allowed me the time and means to investigate and develop a lot of "new" (to me) areas of concern that now reveal just how foggy my previous notions had been. Live and learn is quite the motto. :)
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#9624 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-March-11, 14:34

https://www.usatoday...rump/414535002/

Quote

Death penalty for drug dealers? Count Trump in

Drug dealers kill people, destroy families and might deserve the death penalty or life in prison for their crimes, President Trump says.

Trump, speaking at a rally Saturday in Pennsylvania for congressional candidate Rick Saccone, said he got the idea from the leaders of China and Singapore. The U.S. criminal justice system, Trump said, is too soft on drugs.

“You kill 5,000 people with drugs because you’re smuggling them in and you are making a lot of money and people are dying. And they don’t even put you in jail,” Trump said. “That’s why we have a problem, folks. I don’t think we should play games.”

Trump said he recently asked the president of Singapore if that country has a drug problem.

"He said 'We have a zero tolerance policy. That means if we catch a drug dealer, death penalty,'" Trump said.

"We can't just keep setting up blue ribbon committees" that do nothing but "talk, talk, talk," Trump said.

Trump has floated the idea before. Less than two weeks ago, Trump suggested "very strong" penalties to help address the nation's growing problem with opioid addiction.

"Some countries have a very, very tough penalty — the ultimate penalty," Trump said. "And, by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do."

Last May, Trump congratulated Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte for a "great job" in his crackdown on drugs. Duterte has boasted about personally shooting and killing at least three crime suspects. Human rights groups and the United Nations have condemned Duterte's vigilante-style campaign that has left thousands of suspected drug dealers and users dead.

"Probably you'll have some people who say 'Oh, that's not nice," Trump said. "But we have to do something."

Trump acknowledged Saturday that his idea might have dissenters.

Ummm, the United States has to clean up its legal system first as it relates to prosecutions for drug offenses. Lady Justice peeks through her blindfold to administer "justice". Perhaps President Trump should conduct some research before he paints very broad brushes of the U.S. War on Drugs and the Death Penalty.

Source: https://www.hrw.org/...t-united-states ===> See bold & ital.

Quote

Conclusion

The significantly higher rates at which blacks are arrested and incarcerated on drug charges relative to the rates of whites raise a strong inference of prohibited discrimination that could be countered only if the disproportion were justified. It is hard to conceive of a plausible justification. The rates bear no relationship to rates of offending; to the contrary, the evidence is clear that whites engage in drug offenses with relative impunity compared to blacks. (bold & ital. mine) The underlying motivation of the war on drugs was infused with racial views and concerns adverse to blacks.[136] But even if the goal of combating drug abuse were untainted by racialized concerns, the means chosen to achieve that goal-heavy law enforcement in minority neighborhoods-is hardly a proportionate or necessary response, much less one consistent with the values of ICERD.

Michael Tonry has pointed out that the policies adopted by the architects of the drug war "were foreordained disproportionately to affect disadvantaged black Americans."[137] Some observers argue that the net effect of the war on drugs has been to perpetuate white supremacy and the concomitant subordination of blacks to whites. The war on drugs "has become a replacement system for segregation [by] . . . separating out, subjugating, imprisoning and destroying substantial portions of a population based on skin color."[138] Tonry has also noted that "at a time when civil rights and welfare policies aimed at improving opportunities and living standards for black Americans, drug and crime policies worsened them. . . [M]odern wars on drugs and crime have operated in the same ways as slavery and ‘Jim Crow' legalized discrimination did in earlier periods to de-stabilize black communities and disadvantage black Americans, especially black American men.[139]

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights concluded in a study of civil rights and the criminal justice system, "Our criminal laws, while facially neutral, are enforced in a manner that is massively and pervasively biased. The injustices of the criminal justice system threaten to render irrelevant fifty years of hard-fought civil rights progress."[140] (bold and ital mine)

Compliance with ICERD demands an acknowledgement of and genuine effort to address the way the United States criminal justice system operates to the consistent detriment of black drug offenders compared to white drug offenders. If the United States were to take its treaty obligations seriously, it would have to look long and hard at the way race has influenced the choice of drugs to target and the response to their use. It would have to question why the country has been willing to impose the burden of incarceration for drug offenses primarily on those who by virtue of race and poverty are already among the most marginalized in society. It would have to undertake an unblinking assessment of the costs and benefits of the war on drugs as currently waged, an assessment that political leaders have been avoiding for decades.

It makes little sense to reduce racial disparities in drug control efforts by increasing the number of arrests and rate of incarceration of white drug dealers. Many independent experts believe that because U.S. drug control efforts aim to curtail supply rather than demand, they cannot help but be futile as well as unfair.[141] They have proposed alternative measures, e.g. increased substance abuse treatment, drug education, and positive social investments in low income neighborhoods, to respond to public concerns about drug dealing and drug abuse.[142] (bold & ital. mine)

Complying with the letter and spirit of ICERD requires the United States to untangle the twisted dynamics of race, poverty, drugs and law enforcement that have determined the course of the war on drugs to date. This may be an extraordinarily difficult undertaking, but it is imperative.[143] Racial discrimination in the war on drugs is intolerable because of the direct and irremediable harm to individual offenders, their families, and their communities. But the racial discrimination is not just devastating to black Americans. It contradicts the principles of justice and equal protection of the law that should be the nation's bedrock. It undermines faith among all races and ethnic groups in the fairness and efficacy of the U.S. criminal justice system.[144] In drug control policy as in many other aspects of American life, it is time for the United States to fulfill the promise it made to Americans and the world when it ratified ICERD.

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#9625 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-11, 15:30

It is amazing how purposefully ignorant are people like Jeff Sessions and the guy in the White House to the knowledge that the "drug dealers" they want to imprison or kill are mostly either A) users themselves dealing to pay for their own addiction or B) physicians caught in the impossible situation of having to guess whose pain is real whose is fake. Of course, if you don't want to know you can rationalize cracking down on all the dark-skinned lower class "drug dealers".
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9626 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-11, 16:17

The US criminal system fair and unbiased? Or designed and presented as f&u but basically used to generate a diversion (war on crime, war on drugs, law and order etc) while generating fear (increased militarization of Police because the armed forces don't buy enough arms) and providing profits to the prison industry. Targeting certain sectors is part of selective enforcement which has been around since forever.
Just more of the same, here, I suppose.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#9627 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-11, 17:26

There had been progress - especially in understanding that treatment works much better in drug cases than prison. However, with the push to raid the treasury by the American oligarchs, pushing the lie of criminal drug dealing being a huge problem is par for the course.

PS: I used to play a ton of golf in Las Vegas but eventually injured my lower back and had to stop playing. Got down to a legitimate 4 at one point as we played the ball down at all times and holed out all putts.
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#9628 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 00:52

Just wait until they reinstate debtor's prison .... a logical next step but since the economy is now based on debt, perhaps a bit too uniquitous as well as onerous.

I, too, injured my lower back in my mid-30's (curling! sweeping is actually very difficult to do well) and then threw my back out completely during a golf game at the age of 40. I gave up golf until I retired but couldn't resist its allure so I deal with the pain as best I can. Ice on the back and icy beer down the throat work as well as pills and I can deal with the side-effects, unlike those from the pills.
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#9629 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 07:37

This is from a WaPo op-ed, and I think it is a great explanation for this president's actions:

Quote

Trump has interests. He doesn’t have a philosophy.

But above all, he has needs, and the erratic nature of the Trump presidency can be explained by the interaction of his two compulsions: looking strong and being liked. They sometimes seem to collide, but they are actually of a piece. Both speak of a man for whom the personal is the only kind of political. It is impossible to know what his true policy commitments are because they are secondary. On any given day and at any given moment, his actions are dictated by what, in his eyes, will make him look forceful and bring him accolades.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9630 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 09:29

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-March-12, 07:37, said:

This is from a WaPo op-ed, and I think it is a great explanation for this president's actions:

I thought therapists were not supposed to diagnose people that were not their patients? I too have an opinion on the favor currying, megalomaniacal egotists that run for political office... ;) worth about the same, too. W wanted to please Poppy (family tradition...) Bill wanted to exercise power and control (yeesh) and the list goes on. These guys know who is really running the show and they are just the front men that stay as long as they are allowed, or are "replaced" by the next acceptable candidate....just more of the same.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#9631 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 09:56

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-March-12, 09:29, said:

I too have an opinion on the favor currying, megalomaniacal egotists that run for political office... ;)


A huge ego is just about a pre-requisite for certain occupations like a surgeon or a fighter pilot.

A year long study (err waste of money) by a University (Cornell, the Dunning-Kreuger effect) concluded that stupid people truly believe that they are smart. Many run for office and too many get elected and WAY too many get appointed to responsible positions in this administration.

Either already departed/booted/unconfirmed or supremely unqualified for the positions they hold, this bunch is historic and in a dangerous way. The startling number of key positions that are unfilled is a good thing as the acting whatevers rate to do less harm.
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#9632 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 10:26

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-March-12, 09:29, said:

I thought therapists were not supposed to diagnose people that were not their patients? I too have an opinion on the favor currying, megalomaniacal egotists that run for political office... ;) worth about the same, too. W wanted to please Poppy (family tradition...) Bill wanted to exercise power and control (yeesh) and the list goes on. These guys know who is really running the show and they are just the front men that stay as long as they are allowed, or are "replaced" by the next acceptable candidate....just more of the same.


What evidence do you use to verify to yourself that there is a coordinated power structure behind the scenes - the ones who are "really running the show"?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9633 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 11:20

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-March-12, 10:26, said:

What evidence do you use to verify to yourself that there is a coordinated power structure behind the scenes - the ones who are "really running the show"?

Who took Wallace off of FDR's ticket?
Who was behind Truman's candidacy?
How did LBJ get to be JFK's running mate and how did he avoid the Bobby Baker scandal? Gerold Ford....GEROLD FORD!!! From Warren Commission to Veep to Prez, walking while gum chewing were his greatest feats..
Who put Poppy Bush on Reagan's ticket?
et al. It is nothing but rigged, from Elliot Spitzer (set 'em up to knock 'em down, as required) and on and on. Who was behind the putsch against FDR? (Thanks to Gen.Smedley Butler for rescuing democracy.)
Trump has a lot going against him but the history of US society and political history is a lot bigger than his petty foibles. No need to bother with the minutiae when you understand the bigger picture.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#9634 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 11:59

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-March-11, 16:17, said:

The US criminal system fair and unbiased? Or designed and presented as f&u but basically used to generate a diversion (war on crime, war on drugs, law and order etc) while generating fear (increased militarization of Police because the armed forces don't buy enough arms) and providing profits to the prison industry. Targeting certain sectors is part of selective enforcement which has been around since forever.
Just more of the same, here, I suppose.

Agreed, it is a veritable cottage industry.

Source: https://www.huffingt..._b_2813051.html

Quote

Prison as a Cottage Industry

By David Macaray

Something to consider: If we are NOT the “most evil” country in the world—i.e., the country with the greatest number of evil people residing in it—then we’re doing something terribly wrong when it comes to jurisprudence, because we have the greatest number (1.6 million) of incarcerated people.

Now if these 1.6 million people truly deserve to be incarcerated, then so be it. If they deserve to be locked up, then we’re forced to accept the unhappy fact that we are, indeed, home to the world’s greatest number of criminal-minded people. Not much we can do about that. But if these men and women DON’T deserve to be imprisoned, then it’s a whole other deal. If they DON’T deserve it, shame on us, because all we’re doing is messing with them.

A question: Are we truly “afraid” of these people? Are we afraid of them or just mad at them? Is it retribution? Is it punishment? Or does it have more to do with economics than “justice”? Are we running these people through the system in order to provide jobs for judges, police, bailiffs, counselors, court recorders, lawyers, probation officers, prison guards and bail bondsmen (not to mention exploiting cheap prison labor)?

Another ominous sign is the rise of private (“for-profit”) prisons, one of the more hideous manifestations of that now ubiquitous phenomenon known as “outsourcing.” Under this arrangement, when local, state or federal authorities can’t or won’t handle the influx of prisoners, they turn over all or part of the operation to private firms.

Even if we give these for-profit prisons the benefit of the doubt and say that they do a better job than government-run prisons (an assertion that is regularly challenged), there’s a profoundly disturbing aspect of self-interest involved here. It’s not only disturbing, it’s downright frightening.

To survive, these private facilities require a supply of prisoners. They need prisoners the same way sausage-makers need pigs. And just as a cataclysmic pig epidemic would ravage the sausage industry, a precipitous and sustained drop in the crime rate would ravage the for-profit prison industry.

Bizarre as it sounds, we now have a commercial enterprise that goes home at night and prays for more crime. (“Please, God, let there more felony arrests.”) It’s true. Unlike the average citizen who clings to the hope that society is gradually improving itself, these for-profit prisons (and the shareholders who invest in them) hope that society produces more criminals. They see it as job security.

Oddly, violent crime (which the FBI classifies as murder, rape, and aggravated assault) has declined significantly over the last 15-20 years. For whatever reason (and there are numerous theories), we have become a drastically less violent society. Annual homicides number approximately 16,000. By contrast, there are roughly 32,000 suicides annually.

With violent crime dropping, and Americans (not counting Wall Street) generally becoming more law-abiding, our for-profit prisons have been forced to look elsewhere. Accordingly, what they now focus on is illegal immigrants and drug users, which is why the private prison lobby opposes any meaningful attempt to reform our immigration and drug laws.

Putting people in jail for drug use is strange. Yes, drugs are illegal, and yes, the issue can’t be ignored. But why do we insist that some poor schmuck, whose only crime is wanting to get high, be locked up inside a cage? And referring to these hapless stoners as “criminals” is unfair. We should call them what they are: “Sausage.”
David Macaray, a Los Angeles playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor,” 2nd Edition), was a former labor union rep.


When our government treats prisoners (American citizens) as commodities, it is no longer a democratic government for the people. It is a shareholder of and unwitting accomplice to a criminal enterprise.

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#9635 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 12:30

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-March-12, 11:20, said:

Who took Wallace off of FDR's ticket?
Who was behind Truman's candidacy?
How did LBJ get to be JFK's running mate and how did he avoid the Bobby Baker scandal? Gerold Ford....GEROLD FORD!!! From Warren Commission to Veep to Prez, walking while gum chewing were his greatest feats..
Who put Poppy Bush on Reagan's ticket?
et al. It is nothing but rigged, from Elliot Spitzer (set 'em up to knock 'em down, as required) and on and on. Who was behind the putsch against FDR? (Thanks to Gen.Smedley Butler for rescuing democracy.)
Trump has a lot going against him but the history of US society and political history is a lot bigger than his petty foibles. No need to bother with the minutiae when you understand the bigger picture.


Sorry, but that doesn't appear to me as evidence. It looks like speculation. Let me ask you this: can you think of any legitimate reasons for the actions you ask about, including incompetence?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9636 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 12:34

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-March-12, 11:20, said:

Who took Wallace off of FDR's ticket?
Who was behind Truman's candidacy?
How did LBJ get to be JFK's running mate and how did he avoid the Bobby Baker scandal? Gerold Ford....GEROLD FORD!!! From Warren Commission to Veep to Prez, walking while gum chewing were his greatest feats..
Who put Poppy Bush on Reagan's ticket?
et al. It is nothing but rigged, from Elliot Spitzer (set 'em up to knock 'em down, as required) and on and on. Who was behind the putsch against FDR? (Thanks to Gen.Smedley Butler for rescuing democracy.)
Trump has a lot going against him but the history of US society and political history is a lot bigger than his petty foibles. No need to bother with the minutiae when you understand the bigger picture.


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#9637 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 12:39

View PostRedSpawn, on 2018-March-12, 11:59, said:

Agreed, it is a veritable cottage industry.

Source: https://www.huffingt..._b_2813051.html


I have more sympathy for the position that the judicial system is being exploited - but that is a long ways from a vast conspiracy. Most of the time, criminality is localized to a specific group or groups of people. The American version of oligarchy is quite different from the Russian one in that vast government industries are not being sold off at pennies on the dollar prices. More likely, some in the West are jealous and would like a piece of that action.

This is not globalists acting in concert behind the scenes - this is greedy criminal bastards trying to hide their shady deals and lives from "the suckers who work for a living".
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9638 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 14:32

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-March-12, 12:39, said:

I have more sympathy for the position that the judicial system is being exploited - but that is a long ways from a vast conspiracy. Most of the time, criminality is localized to a specific group or groups of people. The American version is oligarchy is quite different from the Russian one in that vast government industries are not being sold off at pennies on the dollar prices. More likely, some in the West are jealous and would like a piece of that action.

This is not globalists acting in concert behind the scenes - this is greedy criminal bastards trying to hide their shady deals and lives from "the suckers who work for a living".

Not being sold off at c to the $? Great depression? Fiscal policy? Bretton Woods? Just more of the same, since civilisation has had "classes" of people with $ being the arbiter and no amount of willful blindness can alter that reality.
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#9639 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 17:01

NBC News:

Quote

WASHINGTON — Qatari officials gathered evidence of what they claim is illicit influence by the United Arab Emirates on Jared Kushner and other Trump associates, including details of secret meetings, but decided not to give the information to special counsel Robert Mueller for fear of harming relations with the Trump administration, say three sources familiar with the Qatari discussions.


I have to remind myself that it took 2 years to take down Nixon, and that investigation was quite straightforward compared to this one.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9640 User is offline   jjbrr 

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Posted 2018-March-12, 17:15

So Felix Sater is actually the most interesting man in the world. Who knew?
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