One of the most untouched spots on Curacao for diving is Pos Spano or Spanish Well, which is only accesible by boat or through a locked gate if you know where to get the key. Eric Wederfoort, probably the most decorated diver and instructor on Curacao can occasionally get groups in to this restriced area!
Pristine white sand beaches, azure blue water and corals that drop your jaw await, along with a plethora of fish and invertebrates like shrimp and crabs.
We went down next to the Elkhorn Corals which jut out of the 8 ft deep water at low tide, and swam out slowly savoring each new type of coral and the fish that accomany it.
Juvenile Slippery Dicks over white sand, smooth Starlet Coral, Colonies of Yellow Pencil Corals with tube shaped Branching Vase Sponges and branching Sea Rods projecting upwards from crevices. Then deeper are more humps of Star Coral with bright yellow Juvenile Blue Head Wrasse swimming around while forktailed Chromis fill the background. Finally, before we hit the reek proper, we pass over upright plates of Leafy Stinging Corals protecting more juvenile Wrasse, including Juvenile Rainbow Wrasse, beneath which, near the sand you see a Bicolored Damsel. WOW!
Now we drop down further to the waving fronds of Sea Rods surrounded by Brown Chromis Fish. The direction of the waving fronds tells us which way to go as we want to swim against the current until we reach half – tank and still have enough air to come up a bit and get back (Usually about 30 minutes each way for Jill and me. Eric has gills after 50 years of teaching and guiding.). Then Netted Barrel Sponges appear followed by big Orange Elephant Ear Sponges and then from between the leaves of a clump of sparkling Lettuce Coral we see the head of a Golden Tail Moray! Cute? Finally, more Branching Tube Sponges with swarms of Blue and Brown Chromis.
On the way back we scare up one of the BAD GUYS on the reef: A LION FISH imported from SE Asia, released in Florida and now infesting the entire Caribbean! The only reason Curacao isn’t overrun with them like Bermuda, is because the peopel here took an active role in capturing these spiny poisonous creatures and cutting off their spines and eating them in restaurants! 5 years ago we saw 20 – 50 of these fish on a dive and Eric could spear 200 kilos of fish per week to sell for eating. Now we see only 5 fish in a total of 15 dives and Eric says he’s lucky to get 15 kilos a week to sell. That’s just fine with him and also with us. See the hand in the picture? Don’t do this unless you are an expert! A single sting from the barbs on these fish can put you in the hospital!
By For now! Hope you had a great dive! Enjoy! Rick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Here’s a really excellent book for those of you who like a bit more of the morbidity/mortality side of the picture as explained and described by someone who has actually worked in the Forensic Anthropology field. Lest you think that this means you only work with the long dead bones, get a grip! This is right down the line of the body, long concealed in the crypt by some murderous psychopath, or stashed a month in the trunk of your car. The details can be a bit off-putting if you have too good an imagination. For me, with a biology background it was very interesting and links to several articles I read in the past about the actual places where researchers study this sort of thing. Someplace like the inside of a fenced off, research facility. Learning things like how long it takes for bodies to actually decay in the open, or when buried in a shallow grave, etc. A bit gruesome, but the story line is excellent! It’s got a truely evil psychopath who obviously has learned how to connect with other psychopaths through the internet. A semi-senile lady in a care center who has the ability to use the internet to a high degree for her own investigative purpses… A good on-going love story with make-up and resolution, and of course, the suspense of who is going to get it next, or what will be revealed when the next back-yard is dug up. One slight error by the author which you might pick up on when it comes to the police trying to resuscitate a dead man, you can’t then be taking photoes of the corpse insitue, because they certainly woudn’t prop it back in the original position just for the photographer. I can live with that, a detail which most readers will never pick up on. Read it, enjoy it, knowing that there really are people like that out there who do these things, both on the crime side as well as on the investigative side. I hope the good gals and guys always win!
Just finished another dive this AM at Snake Bay, St. Michael’s, Curacao. Last three days have been a whirlwind. 2 Dives on Thursday, King’s Day Celebrations all over he island on Friday and one dive today with another to be done in about an hour.
After 14 years of diving here you’d think we’d seen all the fish, but no…, there always seems to be another one that pops up as you are cruising through the blue.
Here’s the latest, a Queen Trigger Fish! What a beauty!
Look Closely! Those eyelashes can’t be beat!
This fish is related to a lot of other trigger fishes, notably the two Hawian reef and lagoon triggerfish which both share the common name Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Another beauty – Click here for link
Not to be put off, the rest of the reef came out today with these pics of the day: Corky Fingers, Ocean Surgeon, Four-eyed Butterfly Fish, Blue Translucent Sponge, a lined phase of a Princess Parrot Fish, a herd of Goat Fish with a sneaky Trumpet Fish sticking his head into the photo, and a very nice Porkfish.
Then of course just as we are getting out to the dive buoy tied around the old car axel, Here comes a nice red phase of a Stoplight Parrot Fish to say goodby!
Enjoy your Day! Time to make up my gear for the next dive!
Diving the tugboat is a fun hour’s dive with lots of friendly fish to enjoy. Not deep, but great lighting!
When you are 74 and can still lug you weights, tanks and gear into the water for walk in dives, swim for an hour under water at 75 – 80 degrees F and not get cramps, or use up your air, then you begin to understand how scuba diving is not just a sport, but a calorie burner!
Heres a picture yesterday near the Tug Boat site in Curacao, our Guide Patrick (Divecenter Wederfoort) with my wife Jill in background. Don’t know about the “cat’ in the background.
Today I looked up Calorie calculations for Scuba Diving. There are a couple of calculators for the average energy used per hour of diving. “FitDay” , “DiveBuddy” , and “ScubaDiverLife” . All qualify their answers because of the many variables: water temp., currents, walk-in versus boat diving, age, suit thickness, etc. Here’s their take on it!
Basically an hour of jogging will use up about 400 kCalories of energy. An average diver in temperate waters (65F) will use up to 600 kCalories per hour of diving. In tropical waters (75-80F) the diver uses about 350 kCalorise per hour. On a three dive day, a diver would use over 900kCal. extra in that day, which is 40% more than the average male human sitting around and doing moderate tasks.
WOW! Weight Loss Here We Come! More pictures below!
Ooops! The Caveats! Most divers increase their caloric intake because of the energy use,and some divers actually gain weight because they indulge in massive sugar or carbohydrate binges.
OK, so it’s like a lot of get trim quick stuff moderation in all will probably do most of us better than thinking we have a one style fits all.
Now to the best pics for Yesterday!
Down to wreck with a yellow tail snapper
Sponge with School Master resting inside
Goatfish near rudder
Off into the Deep! Beats Curling!
Enjoy your day!
The Island of Curacao, one of the former Dutch Antilles, is a gem often overlooked by Americans looking for a week or two in a foreign country but afraid to travel beyond the English speaking world. You’re in luck! Most Dutch people and all of the schools in Curacao teach English along with Dutch and the local lingua franca, Papiamento, from about age 12 through high school. With tourism as the main industry, it’s not uncommon for locals to speak up to 5 languages fluently.
What to do? Great Food and resaurants, Great shopping in duty free areas, Old Plantation Houses to visit, Natural Caves, Fishing expeditions and more :
Not your bag? Try Diving in some of the best places on earth and with some of the friendliest instructors and guides!
Float in sublime warm water! Learn about the fish!
Flounders, Porcupine Fish, Balloon Fish, you’ll see them all here.
A wonderful paradise Island
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Seymour is in his groove with this one and once again he’s got it right with his characterization, situation and the plot. War isn’t really about our morals and higher values, Queen and Country, Mom and apple pie and making the world always a better place. War is like that highschool rugby, hockey or football game, only with weapons that are just a bit more nasty and deadly. I like the way Harry puts it several times during the book when he explains the “Why?” of his situation and the hunt to kill the IRA assassin of British Social Services Minister, Mr. Henry Danby. “They put the glove down—-to make us react and see how effectively we could counterattack. —- We have to get the man and the team that did it—-or they’ve won.” The words ring so true as we look at the selection of our military officers, the men and women who didn’t know when to quit on the field even when they were in that soccer game and down two goals. The Americans see it in the strategy of the Vietnam and Iraq wars. The Brits see it in Malaysia, Dunkirk and the Kyber Pass. The collateral damage doesn’t really matter to those who are in the driver’s seat. You lose a man or 50? “He’s already had the MC—we could make it a bar to that—- personally I would favor the OBE—-the George Cross is a bit more than we usually give in those circumstances—” This is a book we need to ponder. One that should be discussed in our war colleges on the why, or is it still a part of JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you—-” Read it enjoy it, but internalize the message. That’s what makes Gerald Seymour a great author.
Here’s a great little touchscreen app. that I developed for my book: Beachcomber Seashells of the Caribbean. I call it: Shells Caribbean Book snapshots . It will show you some of the contents, pictures, diagrams and keys for the book which is generally sold as an e-book, but can also be purchased in paper form See my author site. This app. is touchscreen in operation so whenever you find a “blue” icon or line, you can touch it and go to the menue or key. With the Keys, you can touch the pictures and go to that section of the book that shows the actual individual shell pictures and the descriptions. Lots of see here, Hope you enjoys it! The e-book is not touchscreen, but works the same way. I have the whole book in this app. form, but haven’t found anyone to publish it yet.
Visit the ethereal world of our Pacific Ocean with a trip to the fabulous Monterrey CA aquarium! I was blown away by what you can see, touch, read, view and even taste or smell in a couple of full days of visiting this marine biological wonderland. Plan to spend at least one full day at this attraction. Fortunately you can leave and come back with a single day’s entry to get out and enjoy the great food in the district around the building.
Visiting the central 50 ft. tall centerpiece container will take you an hour at least. Check out the massive central column of water 50 ft. tall with ocean going fish, massive kelp beds and even divers swimming freely. A occasionalshark will glide by as you are mesmerized by the swarming fish balls with 1000 synchronized individuals.
Then go upstairs to the touching and tidepool areas and look at the plethora of five armed predators that crawl over the bottom, feeding abalone, corals and nudibranchs all within easy eye and photo range. Wow!
Even stingrays are there to pet!
Then around the corner is a shore birdbeach with the live birds nesting and feeding as if in the wild!
Take a break bywalking outside to see the penguines, giant sea otters and sea lions and after some fresh air head back in to see the Jellyfish aquaria. Gravity defying shapes and sizes of all colors.
At the end of the day head on down to Fisherman’s wark not far away and have a fabulous meal with a dessert that is fit for a king or queen.
About once a year I look at my old Blogspot and realize that I can do it a bit better once more based on having learned a few new tricks which is still possible for this 74 year old- “Old Dog.” Hope you like the format a bit better and I will now be going through to update all of my old blogs to git neatly into each heading on the front page so that you can access them more easily.
Of course this also means reviewing what I’ve done on “Rough Enough,” “Beachcomber Seashells of the Caribbean,” “The Ghosts of Ukuthula,” and both my Amazon and Weebly Web Sites.
Civil War History Caribbean Seashell Key African Adventure Novel
All still available at my Amazon Site – Simply Click Right Here!
Enjoy! Happy Easter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For years I have followed the Cosmic Quest to unite the physical laws of the universe. In many ways, the story is as strange as Science Fiction for those scientists exploring the realms of electromagnetic, gravitational, the strong nuclear and the weak nuclear forces.
The difficulty for mathematicians and physics in trying to explain and unite these four forces to us lay-folk arises because there seem to be two separate universes. One governed by Newton and Einstein’s familiar laws, and another universe which is weirdly strange and unpredictable and which is explained by quantum mechanics. Because we humans like predictability, we are often baffled when our cozy world has something that doesn’t fit our experiential knowledge base. That’s what this book is all about.
Newtonian Physics and Einstein’s work explain are a predictable universe. We have mathematics describing how bodies in our predictable world are affected by gravitation and electromagnetic forces. They move, fall and exist in a macroscopic universe which we mostly see and deal with on a daily basis.
On the other hand, the more we studied the muinute particles making up the nucleus of atoms, the more evidence we found that some non-predictable forces and particles govern our universe at that sub-atomic level which we cannot see and thus must infer by rather exotic experiments. Then we have to give a pictorial explanation of what we saw to think we saw to our general public. Thus it needs to be explained how a particle can appear out of seemingly nowhere travelling at the speed of light, disappear into an invisible hole and reappear in a totally new location or two different locations at the same time. It’s not neat and tidy and disturbed Einstein for the last years of his life.
We could write all of this off as ‘poppycock’ except that is is the science that allows us to solve real-world problems and develop new technology which was previously undreamed of. We know quantum mechanics works and explains something going on in the universe because it allows us to develop atomic level machines, computers, memory chips, touch screens …. and a technology that will hopefully take us to other stars or even other universes.
Kaku and Thompson’s explanation of the flavors of string theory and dimensions beyond the four with which we daily associate allows us to begin dreaming the dreams of multi-universes that reach beyond our own with sizes that can be both immense or microscopic at the same time and may be unified through 12 dimensions in the same manner that a Mobius Strip is unified in two dimensions and a Klein Bottle is unified in three dimensions. It truly boggles the mind!
The book ends on a positive note that Super-string Theory will ultimately lead us to the Theory of Everything. Of course, when we get there, will we be prepared and able to make that jump from being upright apes to being a Class I civilization controlling the earth, and then make the jump to a Class II civilization controlling our solar system and finally make that jump pre-saged by Isaac Asimov of becoming the Class III civilization that can harness the galaxy and beyond. Will we do it in biological form or will our dreams have to enter the thinking realms of the computers we are now developing? Who will be lifted up and who will be left behind?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Like a good glass of wine, the flavors of this book need to be enjoyed smoothly and slowly. It’s an intriguing set of tales which illustrate the foibles of humanity as Danny and his compatriots seek out the basics of food, shelter and that jug of wine in the shanty town of Tortilla Flats. As they seek these necessities of life, the band of men, who might be likened to a cohort of Lemurs or Mongoose, are always on the move in an opportunistic manner. Their daily spoils of the hunt can always be rationalized according to their higher needs than those from whom they ‘lift’ their products. As the quest proceeds, an occasional opportunity for love or religious fulfillment of a dream will interject itself onto their paths and be taken as a logical gift from heaven. When the daily scurrying about for the necessities of life come to a close, there is always time for social interaction and the storytelling which has always been a part of humanity as they bask in the evening sun on the porch or around some furtively built campfire. The Hippies and Beatniks of my youth would have understood this lifestyle completely. Needs satisfied, human community interaction and an occasional chance to open the mind with a mind-altering bottle of wine that can take communication to new and sometimes stupid depths. A great book to read slowly. A chapter a night will certainly alter your dream patterns.
During my years of professional work as a teacher and a principal with students I have broken up numerous altercations, some involving weapons, some between students who were just showing off their hormones, and some caused by students who were seriously deranged by some internal or external stimulus. In all of these school situations, plus the numerous school evacuations for bomb threats in Chile, Peru and Venezuela, the injury of teachers by bombs and shootings in Peru and Chile and the massive street demonstrations by armed terrorists and campesinos in Peru and Ecuador respectively, I never once considered that the carrying of a weapon have helped in the solution to the problems at hand. The same situations occurred in schools in the United States where I confronted students who were threatening others with knives or physical violence. The addition of a gun would have only exacerbated the problems. Therefor I am at a complete loss as to why POTUS would be calling for a plan to arm and train teachers to shoot people.
Considering my professional life even further, my family and I lived for years in unguarded houses in developing countries. With my family, my wife and I traveling daily on public transport in Lima, Peru during the time when Sendero Luminoso was almost daily bombing and shooting up the streets. In my 19 years of professional work in Latin America our family dealt with being accosted on the streets, being shaken down by corrupt police officials talking our way out of mobs on remote back roads, and never once felt that brandishing a weapon or shooting someone would have solve the problem. In fact a weapon might very well have led to the injury or death of a member of my family or myself. Again, as I think on these situations, I see no justification for a President to recommend a solution which in most cases would only raise tensions rather than lowering them.
Given all of these experiences, plus the fact that I was trained during the Vietnam War in advanced Infantry skills, I wonder about the expertise, experience and knowledge of many of our leaders when it comes to making rather brash recommendations about how easy it is to just pull out a gun and shoot someone. Certainly the training that would be given to teachers would be nothing like the military brainwashing used to train soldiers in the art of demonizing the enemy in order to justify killing them. Teaching teachers to shoot is one thing. Teaching them to shoot a former student whom they may have worked hours with is a whole different ball of wax. We need to leave the carrying of weapons and the armed confrontation of a shooter to the professionals.
I have seen no evidence whatsoever that POTUS has studied the research on guns, or the training of humans to shoot other people with weapons, or even the massive number of responsibilities already laid upon teachers by our society. The training of teachers in the classroom, and of principals in the management of schools on a daily basis is a whole profession in itself. What we do in schools doesn’t square away very well with picking up a gun and shooting to kill another human. What does the President really know about any of this?
Our nation needs to quit blaming its schools and its teachers for the problems our society has developed. How can we expect teachers to teach and train students to not be liars and bullies when the very highest office of our land is occupied by a person who has a life long history of doing just this sort of thing? If our national leaders can’t act as good models for children, then who are they to look up to? Their teachers of course, even though we ridicule them and blame them for all of the ills within our families and communities. The problem rests not with the schools, but with our culture and society which are going to have to change before any of this really get better.
The solutions to our school shooting problems rest with our law makers, our constitutional interpreters, our big money influence on government, or individualistic society of instant gratification and in our love affair with violence and guns. I see no movement in our government towards giving greater support to the mental health facilities and personnel in all our schools. I see no meaningful set of laws being developed on a nation wide basis to get the interpretation of our constitutional right to bear arms because militias are supposed to be important for our nation’s security. I see no laws regulating militias so that they might be helpful to a real national emergency that required further assistance for the National Guard or law enforcement. I see no reason why any of this needs to impinge on the great work which we have already assigned to our teachers in their many roles related to schools.
What is it that would give POTUS even the faintest idea that arming teachers would in any way help solve a country’s sick infatuation with rifles, guns and pistols? What CDC research on public health and other scientific information has he read and discussed with mental health experts to show that giving one more weapon to one more person will do anything about an active shooter,. All the evidence and research on weapons points to the fact that having a weapon only endangers the life of the person who owns it and the people they love who are around them. Does POTUS understand the mental state of mass shooters? Does he understand that America’s love for guns has itself become an cancer within our society and that automatic or automatic-like rifles and pistols should really be labelled WMD “weapons of mass destruction”?
The speech by POTUS that led to a response from Samuel L. Jackson is worth watching. Here is a link, followed by further commentary and another link.
After watching the link above, I can only say”Hurray for Samuel L. Jackson!” His noting the lack of the emperor’s new clothing is evident. He states it like it is, the President’s solution is nothing but a bunch of Hogwash.
I think there are quite a number of us in the teaching field overseas who have looked into the barrels of guns or been knocked down by exploding bombs and heard the bullets and shooting going on at night with our families. We know that teachers in their training become experts in talking down tense situations. We know they don’t need to pull a gun to tamp things down. We know that by the time they did pull a gun on an active shooter they would very likely already have become a target themselves. this is contrary to what they should really be doing, which is to do everything in their power to get their students to safety. We don’t need to put more pressure on the very people who we already know will generally give up their lives to make sure their students are out of harms way. We already ask them to be prepared daily in the classroom to manage, feed, teach, educate, discipline and sometimes parent our children. We don’t want them to trade this love of career and students for the mental mind set needed to pull a weapon of their own and try to engage someone who is probably better armed and already in a killing mood. That needs to be left to the professionals, our police, our SWAT teams and our military.
Historically if we look at teachers and students in our society, the teachers managed the students until it became impossible and then turned the students over to the parents who managed their children until it was impossible and then those persons went out on their own. If they were mentally ill they were put away so they wouldn’t harm others. The lack of adequate mental health, and nursing professionals in our schools is an abomination for such a rich nation. We can pay for and should pay for and provide these professionals to all our schools. They are a portion of our true internal National Defense System and need to be funded.
While we are addressing mental health of students in schools, we must also address the cancer of gun infatuation that is continuing to grow throughout our country. Our founding fathers and ancestors spent over 100 years figuring out how dangerous guns were in crowds, in bars, in towns and in the hands of drunks, crazies, and angry or suicidal people. They made a lot of rules about guns being carried or not in various places to ensure public safety. Our “me-me-me” culture has now spent the past 50 years persuading our legislators and courts to undo all of the common sense rules about weapons that our gun-toting ancestors learned the hard way. We are now learning the hard way once more, but with weapons that are immensely more powerful and accurate for killing than any ever dreamed of by our ancestors. Weapons that can kill other people are not for the local bar, they are not for the school, they are not for any place where you might want sane and considered argumentation. The list of where not to have weapons is enormous but we have let our politicians be persuaded by moneyed bribes to take away common sense restrictions because of a 200 year old phrase in a Constitution that no longer means what our ancestors were really thinking. Our forefathers would stand aghast at our simple mindedness in looking after the common good of our people when it comes to weapons, their ownership, their use as toys, and our infatuation with them.
We veteran teachers of students in war torn, terrorist ridden, mob controlled, and dictator run countries have run some of the best international institutions called schools all over this world. We didn’t need and we still don’t need guns in the classrooms to ensure that good education happens. Neither do the teachers in our continental US schools.
We veterans of the military have also learned how much in depth training is needed for humans to maintain, handle and effectively shoot automatic weapons in a responsible manner. It is unfortunate that the majority of the loud mouth “arm the teacher movement” including our own POTUS are persons who have never served in a police or military organization. They know nothing of the realities of which they talk and are simply shooting off at the mouths at the expense of the lives of our children.
There are solutions. Here are some suggestions:
1. We must learn to control the lawless members of our society by properly funding our police forces even if that means having rotating officers on duty at schools. Not that these officers will prevent a sick person from starting a shooting spree, but they may be able to better curtail that person’s endeavors.
2. We must also learn to recognize and help those persons who are mentally ill in our schools and society again by fully funding our mental health agencies and having professionals in all schools who work constantly with the students to maintain a culture of sanity. We must take the easily purchased automatic weapons and the tools to convert semi-automatic weapons into automatics off the market for the ordinary public which has no need for them. We must correct the ability of big money to game our constitution and we must clearly define a militia, how militias are controlled, and how members of a militia will be armed.
3. We must demand that our legislators do numbers 1 and 2 and that these be national priorities. We must as a nation draw away from the gun culture that regards weapons as toys. We must demand training and accountability for all sellers, buyers and users of these weapons and prescribe the uses for which these weapons are appropriate or the right to use them becomes forfeit. We must learn to treat these dangerous weapons with the respect they deserve and recognize them officially for what they really are: deadly weapons of mass destruction.
Now let’s look at what the majority of Americans think about this. Read and watch:
Amen! I say! Common sense is there, why don’t our legislators and president follow the populaces? Big Money Talks! Quite obviously if you look at government donations.
As a veteran, a hunter, and gun owner of a pump .22 and a lever action .32 special, I can just look at the picture above and tell you three things those toys designed for man-killing could do without for the general non-trained shooter, non-federally controlled militia or wannabe next headline maker.
I can also tell something from the pictured weapons that each should be required to have, and I’ll bet none of them do. That is, a trigger lock or an individualized security mechanism to prevent any thief, child or goof-ball from using the gun without the key or code. Why haven’t we legislated this basic safety mechanism?
Finally, I want you to think about the name “weapon”. Why do you think we call these things “weapons” rather than just “rifles”? Well, I would guess that is because weapons are generally used to kill humans rather than animals. My rifles and guns, not just the ones listed above, but the Winchester .458 and the 8mm. Mauser and the 20 gauge shotgun and the Eddystone 30-06 to name a few of my former rifles, all did a considerable amount of animal killing with magazines holding 3- 5 shots. When I was in the military we trained with M-16 and M-14 weapons and large magazines daily. We handled, cleaned and slept with them and treated them with care because they had a specific job to do which was not hunting animals, or plinking at squirrels. It was serious business requiring serious training and target practice in order to be able to kill humans.
There is something that the 99% of the US American population who are no longer being trained militarily to kill other humans should think about. What in the “hell” are we really planning to do with all the millions of weapons that we are selling and passing out to everyone in our country? Those weapons of mass destruction are much more likely to kill you or your child or your friends because you own them. You or members of your family are much more likely to commit suicide with that weapon than you are to ever confront or kill that fabled intruder, rapist, or other beastie of the night which you fear? You have been sold a bill of goods by the NRA, a Brooklyn Bridge by your congressmen, and a big bottle of snake oil by the pundits to salve your fears. Guns won’t solve America’s problems, Discussion, research and voting can.
Speak out about thet need for change to your congressmen and the nation. If you don’t, then the next time we have another mass shooting look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I and the rest of Americans really and truly so God-damned stupid?”
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