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Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’

The tiger is out.  –  Nael, age 6

The Rolling Stones’ drummer, Charlie Watts, died last week, but I wasn’t about to put him in the same column as Don Everly because I only do one video.  This one was suggested by Grace (who also told me about the death) as a good example of his skill (because I’ve already featured “Paint It Black“).  The links above it were provided by Wendy Lyon (x2), David Ley, Rick Horowitz (x2), and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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The only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused…is to never create it.  –  Apple in 2016

See No Evil

Moral panics really spin out of control as they age:

Spencer Elden, the man whose unusual baby portrait was used for…the…cover…of…Nirvana’s Nevermind, filed a lawsuit…[pretend]ing that the nude image constituted child pornography…[despite the fact that] non-sexualized nude photos of infants are…not considered child pornography under law.  [To circumvent this plain fact in order to cash in on “child porn” hysteria], Robert Y. Lewis, Elden’s [shyster, fantasizes]…that the inclusion of currency in the shot makes the baby appear “like a sex worker”…[Lewis demands] at least $150,000 from each of the defendants, who include…the…original Nirvana drummer…even though he had been replaced…before the album was recorded or the cover photography shot.  Elden has repeatedly recreated the pose as a teenager and adult, diving into pools to pose (with swim trunks on) on the occasion of the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries…

“A sex worker”.  Seriously.  I reckon he’s supposed to be one of those hundreds of thousands of infant hookers needed to bring the average debut age down to 13.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#648)

What “legal but heavily regulated” looks like in action:

On August 11, the Nagpur police put [up] a large number of barricades completely sealing the Ganga-Jamuna area….without any prior notice or reason [thu]s drastically affect[ing] the livelihood…of over a thousand sex workers who have been living and working for decades in the area…over 100 [cops] have been [sent to swagger around] the area at all times…Sex workers in India are one of the groups that are consistently at the receiving end of…state-sponsored police brutality…[even though] the profession is not illegal…brothel areas are repeatedly raided and their workers are harassed by the police…A petition by the National Network of Sex Workers, India (NNSW) demanding “Unseal Ganga Jamuna” has been put online and signed by more than 2700 people and organisations…

License to Rape (#720)

“Search” is the most common government euphemism for “molest”:

A Raleigh mother has filed a federal lawsuit against the TSA…a[fter] the[y]…violated her transgender teenager’s rights by [demanding] a strip-search at the airport.  Jamii Erway, 15 at the time, had a valid boarding pass [but] when [t]he [equipment regist]ered a “false positive”…a TSA [goon demanded]…to [leer at] her genitals…[and lied] “that she was not free to leave until she submitted to [the humiliation], in violation of TSA policy, the Fourth Amendment, and…the boundaries of civil and decent society”…the [goon further called the cops on the teenager]…and the[ir threatening] presence…[unsurprisingly] triggered…a…panic…[attack].  Rather than submit to the [molestation]…her mother, Kimberly Erway, rented a car and [they] drove 600 miles.  The Erways seek unspecified damages and an injunction preventing such a scenario from happening again…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops even get their equipment to lie for them:

Michael Williams…was [locked in a cage for almost a year], accused [by cops] of killing a young man from [his] neighborhood who asked him for a ride during a night of unrest over police brutality in May…the [supposed] evidence against Williams didn’t come from an eyewitness or [snitch, but rather]…from a clip of [silent] security video showing a car driving through an intersection, and a loud bang [separately] picked up by a network of surveillance microphones.  Prosecutors [pretende]d…a secret algorithm that analyzed noises detected by the sensors indicated Williams shot and killed the man…ShotSpotter [claims have] increasingly been admitted in court cases…[as evidence despite the fact that] it…can miss live gunfire right under its microphones, or misclassify the sounds of fireworks or cars backfiring as gunshots.  F[antasy stories written]…by ShotSpotter’s employees have been used in court to [lie] that a defendant shot at police, or provide [lies about] the number of shots allegedly fired by defendants…the…system…[i]s a…black box largely inscrutable to the public, jurors and police oversight boards…[but] the company…fully admits that]…employees can and do modify the location or number of shots fired [on their own whims or] at the request of police…in the past, city dispatchers or police themselves could also make some of these changes

Stalkers in Blue (#987)

Once in a while, there are witnesses to the way cops act toward women:

Florida [cop]…Naci Tuzcuoglu…approached a woman singing karaoke at…[a] sports bar…[and] put his hands on her hips.  The woman…t[old] him she was married and not interested [but he kep harassing her, so she]…went outside and spoke to her husband…Tuzcuoglu [followed her]…and punched the man in the face…multiple times…[while] taunt[ing him]…“I’m a cop…What are you gonna do about it?”…

Choke Point (#1150)

“Progressives” are finally deigning to notice financial discrimination vs some sex workers:

OnlyFans…has faced widespread backlash from sex workers after it announced…that it will ban sexually explicit content starting Oct. 1.  Some LGBTQ OnlyFans creators say the changes could jeopardize one of their primary sources of income during the Covid-19 pandemic…

OnlyFans reversed its position the day after this article appeared, but I still featured it because it illustrates a disturbing trend I’ve seen lately: some “progressives” only seem to think sex workers deserve rights if they’re queer (especially trans).  Now, since the majority of sex workers are some flavor of LGBT, fighting for their rights will still help straight, cisgender sex workers as well.  But I think it’s pretty sad that some people don’t think human rights are worth supporting unless they’re the “correct” people’s rights.

I Spy (#1161)

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

Apple’s own employees have been expressing alarm [about its plans to snoop in customers’ phones].  The company [pretend]s reservations about the system are rooted in “misunderstandings.”  We disagree.  We wrote the only peer-reviewed publication on how to build a system like Apple’s — and…we’re not concerned because we misunderstand how Apple’s system works.  The problem is, we understand exactly how it works…Our system could be easily repurposed for surveillance and censorship.  The design wasn’t restricted to a specific category of content; a service could simply swap in any content-matching database, and the person using that service would be none the wiser.  A…government could, for example, compel a service to out people sharing disfavored political speech…WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, already uses content matching to identify dissident material.  India enacted rules this year that could require pre-screening content critical of government policy.  Russia recently fined GoogleFacebook and Twitter for not removing pro-democracy protest materials[, and US politicians are pressuring social media companies to censor anything they declare “misinformation”]…We warned against our own system design…[an]d planned to discuss paths forward at an academic conference this month…[but] the week before our presentation, Apple announced it would deploy its nearly identical system…

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Drop the bike or you’re gonna get arrested.  –  unnamed cop

You may have noticed that I am rather fond of novelty songs; here’s one from my childhood that the writer/singer insists is not meant to be suggestive.  The links above it were provided by Glenn Kessler, Billy Binion, Mike Siegel, The Onion, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, and Phoenix Calida, in that order.

From the Archives

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[Internet censorship] legislation…is not about protecting people.  –  Mariah Grant

Monsters

Violence against trans people is finally starting to get mainstream attention:

Police and LGBTQ+ groups in Charlotte [North Carolina]…say…an unknown person or…person[s] may be targeting transgender women with deadly violence…two…have been killed in recent days…the body of Jaida Peterson…[was found] in a hotel room…on Easter Sunday…the identity of the second person…[was] not immediately available…[but] both victims were shot to death in hotel rooms and…both were [trans] sex workers…

Welcome To Our World (#938)

Female victims of violence are increasingly treated like criminals:

Lawanna Belgard, of [Kansas was abducted by state-employed thugs and locked in a cage for]…a week…[because] prosecutors [knew] she didn’t want to be in court [and decided to force her]…a [so-called] victims advocate [who actually works for] the county attorney’s office…[made excuses for the violent abduction of an innocent person using]…the Sixth Amendment [as an excuse]…the…prosecutor [lied even more outrageously, referring to the violent abduction and caging of a traumatized woman as]…”safety measures to protect the witness”…According to…[actual victim advocates rather than state functionaries pretending to that title], stories like that of Belgard have a chilling effect on the abused — it makes it less likely that someone will report abuse and start a legal proceeding…

To Molest and Rape (#1048)

A murderer is also a rapist.  Gee, what a surprise:

…a [typical and representative cop murdered] three people…in…Austin [Texas last] Sunday…[murderer] Stephen Nicholas Broderick…is “armed and dangerous”…A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to his arrest…Broderick…was initially [rewarded with a paid vacation last June for raping] a child…he…resigned from the sheriff’s office [a few days later and]…it is not known if th[e rape] is connected to [the murders other than being committed by the same psychopath]…

Social Distancing (#1063)

Pro-Swedish criminalization politicians will lose their shit over this:

A sex worker denied access to a government business loan because of her occupation is calling for a change in [anti-discrimination] law…Charlotte Edwards applied via Santander for the Bounce Back loan after being unable to work due to the pandemic…The escort’s request was initially declined due to the “nature” of her job but later approved after intervention from a group of MPs…Ms Edwards…said she had been an escort for more than five years, but Covid had prevented her working due to…travel restrictions…She was granted a mortgage payment holiday by her provider, but…had to “survive on Universal Credit” due to her working situation…she said…”I’m trying to have the [Equality Act of 2010] amended…[to include discrimination on the grounds of] occupation”…

The Course of a Disease (#1074)

Sociopaths claim this is what sex workers want:

…the coordinator of the Sex Workers Alliance of Ireland (SWAI)…Kate McGrew said the pandemic, coupled with the impact of the S[wedish criminalization imposed on them in] 2017, is making life very difficult for sex workers here.  Gardaí regularly [steal] condoms, lube and phones at premises from which they suspect sex work is taking place…This “disruption” model of policing has become “par for the course” in the last four years, she added…Very few buyers of sex have been prosecuted since then, but a number of women have been arrested and deported for [so-called] brothel-keeping offences…

Social Distancing (#1118)

So many “enlightened” countries still pretend that disease is caused by “sin”:

While casinos and other businesses reopened after the…coronavirus shutdown…strip clubs have struggled under [puritanical] state rules that prohibit its core attraction — nude or topless women and lap dances.  Starting May 1, the state ban will be lifted…a Clark County “mitigation plan” would allow for topless dancers, [bu]t would still prohibit lap dances, as entertainers would have to maintain a 6-foot distance from patrons…Some strip clubs are open, operating mainly as bars and restaurants.  Dancers can work onstage but must wear bikinis or pasties [because everyone knows that nipples spray viruses over everything in the area]…

You Were Warned (#1125)

Hey lede writer, the word you’re looking for is “abolish”:

Supporters of the SAFE TECH Act want to further [undermine] Section 230, making companies responsible for policing user speech on online platforms…But sex workers and free speech advocates warn that eliminating these liability protections means greater censorship of online platforms as companies try to reduce the risk of landing in legal trouble as a result of third-party user content…sex worker[s]…could easily be sued for…content on websites, have to attend court, and pay for an attorney…digital rights advocates…[also] warn of broader free speech consequences if the bill were to pass…

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What is it going to take to get all of this to go away?
–  “officer” Josh Barlow’s swineherd, to his victim

It isn’t often that I see a good short film nowadays, much less a good sci-fi short, but this one is a masterclass in what one can do with a small budget and some excellent writing.  It was provided by Mike Siegel, and the links above it by President Dawg, Jesse Walker, Dave Krueger, Franklin Harris, and Cop Crisis (x3), in that order.

From the Archives

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This guy lay in shit and…died in [a] cell that looks like a friggin’ horse stall.  –  unnamed investigator

Imagination Pinned Down

Like seeing pictures in clouds or inkblots:

When the unrecognizable body of Jeannette DePalma…was found atop a…wooded hill…called the Devil’s Teeth in 1972, rumors spread quickly that the [16-year-old] was killed in some sort of satanic rite…Police…[claim]ed…they had found signs they thought might be related to the occult, including crosses made of sticks and branches arranged in a coffin-like outline around her body…But crime scene photographs released for the first time [last month]…debunk those claims, showing that DePalma’s body was simply lying in a dense, brushy area…facedown with an arm draped over a downed tree branch…Jason Coy, a history professor…who researches witchcraft…said he can’t find any sign of the occult or any other symbolism in the jumble of brush and branches.  It suggests that investigators, looking for something sinister, saw patterns that weren’t there…“Everything in th[e police] sketch that was marked out as a cross, in these crime scene photos just looks like a pile of underbrush…it’s a perfect example of how…i[f] someone…[has] the idea that something could be occult, they remember things that way”…

The Naked Anthropologist

Here’s Dr. Laura Agustín with GAATW on the rescue industry:

Torture Chamber 

For a change, this journalist doesn’t refer to torture as “correction”:

…Reginald Wilson spent more than 1,300 days in and out of jail since 1997 for charges often related to his fragile mental health…in December 2018 [Georgia cops abducted and caged him] for a probation violation…[dur]ing a mental health crisis…he was [lock]ed in a padded [cell and given no professional help, even after]…he smeared his own feces on the wall.  “He never slept. He was constantly just up, doing almost like gymnastics when you watched the video,” one [screw admitted to]…investigators…Wilson stopped eating, drinking and refused to take medication…[yet] the jail’s psychiatrist never saw [him].  In[stead,] staff [just repeatedly yelled “stop faking” at]…him…[and cop]s tased him at least tw[ice].  After… eight days…a [screw] found Wilson not breathing…[and] covered in…feces…[he had] died from…dehydration…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because a little boy picked a flower”?

[A] 6-year-old…was accused of picking a tulip from a yard at his bus stop, his attorney Julie Boyer said, and…was on trial…for injury to real property.  The boy’s attention span was too short to follow the proceedings…[so] Boyer…handed him crayons and a coloring book…she…and others [explain that] children that age don’t have the mental capacity to understand the juvenile justice process and…can’t make informed decisions…[yet at present North Carolina]…expect[s them to]…”Should a child that believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy be making life-altering decisions?” asked…Judge Jay Corpening…[local] advocates…recommend…the age be raised to 12…The National Juvenile Justice Network recommends 14…

End Demand (#893)

It’s good to see a story like this quote at least one knowledgeable person:

Columbus [Ohio politicians] are weighing changes to local solicitation laws that would emphasize pu…shing [propaganda about] those who pay for sex [in addition to propaganda about] those who sell it…[politician] Mitchell Brown [vomited out popular nonsense about]…sex trafficking…chief [copagandist and rape apologist] Jennifer Knight…[salivated about forcing people into “re-education”] sessions…[but actual] researchers like Jennifer Suchland argue “end demand” policies often backfire…“Because there’s now substantial evidence to show that they are, one, not actually reducing the amount of exploitation, and two, they are increasing the precarity of those people who are in the sex trade”…Suchland says…the “end demand” model is based on a faulty assumption…

Knight is the sow charged with making excuses for the Columbus rape gang, and claims the way to “build trust” with women is to hunt, rape and cage them.

Safe Position (#1058)

Don’t be deceived by Katz, a duplicitous proponent of Swedish criminalization:

Queens, New York, District Attorney Melinda Katz moved…to dismiss nearly 700 cases against people charged with loitering for the purpose of prostitution…[on] the same day…Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed [Swedish-style]…criminaliz[ation]…The…law was repealed last month out of concern it too often targeted…people…based solely on their appearance…Katz [followed up by bloviating about]…sex trafficking…

Katz is dismissing these cases because she has to, since the law they were charged under was repealed.  This isn’t some kind of personal move on her part toward sex worker rights, despite claims to the contrary.

Predictable Consequences

Lots of sex workers are quoted in this rebuke of prohibitionist yellow journalism:

The New York Times re[acted to]…the recent slayings of eight persons at three “Asian” spas…by a deranged religious nut…with a self-[indulgent article]…adopting the rhetoric…of…sex work…pro[hibitionists], painting the spas as havens for sex trafficking…without one quote from sex workers or sex worker rights advocates, the Times piece [claim]s that “experts say there are more than 9,000 such businesses” in the U.S. which are “fronts for prostitution,” and that “many of the women working there are being exploited.”  That dubious statistic hails from a particularly odious non-profit, the Polaris Project, which has long conflated consensual adult sex work with sex trafficking and has a history of dealing in fake statistics and urban legends…Massage workers…have no agency, nor any voice, in this scheme or this article…

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Get on your knees or I will shoot you in the fucking face. – Michael Thalken

Since the beginning of the year I’ve featured a “video of the day” on Twitter, and recently I featured this cover of “Sweet Child O’Mine”; reader Miss Tickle responded with another unusual cover of the song.  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis (“incident”, “lie”, and “believe”); Radley Balko (“y’all”); President Dawg (“fascism”); and Walter Olson (“dead”).

From the Archives

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Give this man his money.  –  Judge Christine Underwood

Profit from Panic 

A pandemic can’t stop opportunists from wringing every penny they can from this hysteria before it implodes completely:

The B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation…hosted its 6th annual Awareness Gala, themed “Rising from the Ashes.” The event centered on raising…funds for [the organizers by exploiting the moral panic around]…sex trafficking…Because of pandemic health guidelines, guests were invited to host in-home parties with only their close circles, family or solo.  SHERO Founder Kimberly Miles hosted the online event from the Stirling Club, with special appearances from Terry Fator, Clint Holmes, Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers and more…

Disaster (#949)

Australia is joining the US in trying to destroy the internet:

If Australia genuinely wants to minimise online harm, we need to have more nuanced narratives than “won’t somebody please think of the children”.  The federal government’s Online Safety Bill…[will] impede upon our digital rights, harm vulnerable groups, and c[onstrict] the way the majority of Australians experience the internet…part [of the scheme] gives the eSafety Commissioner expanded “take-down powers”…[to] order the removal of…any sexual content…or content that is “unsuitable for a minor to see”…Sex workers, pornography creators…sex-positive educators and activists are just some who will struggle to work online due to the scheme.  As experience of the controversial SESTA/FOSTA laws in the US…has shown, crackdowns such as these incentivise online platforms to remove or censor sexual content altogether to avoid penalty…this forces sex workers offline and often into unsafe working environments…

A Moral Cancer (#1013)

Crypto-moralists won’t hesitate to add nationalism to “health” rhetoric to advance their anti-pleasure agenda:

British stores could be flooded with “dangerous” bacon and ham from the US, marketed under misleading labels, as the result of a transatlantic trade deal, says the author of a new book based on [statistical illiteracy and militant veganism]…The meat has been cured with nitrites extracted from vegetables, a practice not permitted by the European Commission because of evidence that it [marginally] increases the [very small] risk of bowel cancer.  But it is allowed in the US, where the product is often labelled as “all natural”…

Robocops

Court declares that cops are too stupid and evil to understand that intentionally burning an innocent person alive is wrong:

…On July 10, 2017, [Gabriel Eduardo] Olivas’ son called 911 to report that his father was threatening to kill himself…[responding cops] found Olivas “leaning against a wall and holding a red gas can”…[one cop] shouted…”If we tase him, he is going to light on fire!”…Olivas [had] poured gasoline over himself…[but pig Jeremias] Guadarrama “fired his taser at the gasoline-soaked man, causing him to burst into flames…The fire spread from Olivas to the walls of the bedroom, and the house eventually burned to the ground”…Olivas…died…the [family]…sued…and…the…court [ruled]…it…”reasonable”…[to set off high-voltage electrical] sparks that could easily ignite gasoline…after a[nother cop] had [already] emphasized it…the 5th Circuit has forthrightly declared that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit police from firing Tasers at a suicidal, gasoline-drenched man…

The Last Shall Be First (#1078)

Anti-trans hysteria has shifted from toilets to high-school sports:

A proposed bill introduced in…Georgia…called for banning transgender girls from participating in [organized] sports…a similarly-written law in Idaho…is currently blocked by injunction from a federal court.  So another proposal was introduced…that went even further.  House Bill 372 would redefine gender as “a person’s biological sex at birth” in state law, require state-funded schools and associations to ban participants they deem not “biologically” male or female from sports, and calls for a panel to examine information about the genitalia or chromosomes of any [prospective] participant who petitions otherwise…

I must point out that contrary to some online statements about this buffoonery, it does not call for the panel to inspect students’ genitalia, only “information about” them (presumably derived from a medical exam).  But it’s still akin to the creepy pretense that for students to voluntarily allow other people to examine their genitalia for the purpose of pleasure is a “crime”, but for the same students to be forced by law to allow strangers to examine their genitalia for the purpose of bigotry is “protection”.

The Next Target (#1099)

One day, “professional ‘survivor'” will no longer be a lucrative job:

…[Morality in Media] filed a…[law]suit in Birmingham, Alabama against Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek, [exploiting the claims] of two women who alleged illegal videos of themselves were uploaded to the platform by third-party users…The lawsuit alleges that MindGeek “conspired, facilitated and financially benefited, from sex trafficking ventures between [themselves] and others”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

A district court judge in North Carolina is threatening to jail one town’s officials if they don’t return nearly $17,000 in cash they s[tole from] a man’s rental car…Jermaine Sanders was staying at a hotel in…November when he left his room and found police [ransack]ing his car.  Police [claimed] they found half an ounce of marijuana and $16,761 in cash.  They s[tole] both…[and] sent the cash to…CBP [in order to circumvent state restrictions on such robbery].  When Sanders lawyered up…Mooresville [bureaucrats] responded that [they were] no longer in possession of the cash…[Judge Christine] Underwood…found the city in contempt of her order [to refund the money] and…[gave] them seven business days to comply.  She told the city’s attorney…that she was not afraid to jail town commissioners, the police chief, or anybody else responsible for keeping Sanders from getting his money back…

Yet most courts still refuse to admit that this is about nothing other than profit:

Civil asset forfeiture…allows police to s[teal] property they [pretend] is connected to crime without arresting…the owner…the practice demolishes due process and undermines property rights, giving cops a license to steal from innocent people who often lack the resources to resist…[pushers] of [the scheme pretend] it deters and incapacitates drug traffickers…[but] in a new study published by the Institute for Justice, Seattle University economist Brian Kelly…analyzed data from five states that use forfeiture extensively:  Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota.  He reports no statistically significant relationship between increased forfeiture revenue and lower drug use rates or higher crime clearance rates.  To the contrary, Kelly found that clearance rates for violent crimes tend to fall as forfeiture revenue rises…[because] the lure of…money diverts law enforcement resources from predatory crimes to drug offenses…

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He’s mine now.  –  “Officer” Michael Fattaleh

It’s only been two months since animation great Joe Ruby died, and now he’s been followed by his partner Ken Spears.  The duo created many cartoons, but their most famous and enduring creation was Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, and since it hasn’t been long since Halloween I decided to pay tribute with this 1999 parody of The Blair Witch Project which Cartoon Network created as bumpers for a Scooby Doo marathon.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Cop Crisis (x2), Brooke Magnanti, Franklin HarrisWalter Olson, and Kendra Holliday, in that order.

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe! I’m gonna die, help!  –  Stephen Dolceamore

The great Diana Rigg died late last week, and though I could’ve moved things around I preferred to honor her with a video as well.  UK readers may not ever have seen the “chessboard” intro, which came before the main credits in the US for the 1966 season, the first one shown in the US.  The links above the video were provided by Franklin Harris, Zuri Davis, Elizabeth N. Brown, Scott Greenfield, Cop Crisis, and Robby Soave, in that order.

From the Archives

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