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My Presidential pardon application is finally on its way. (Thanks, all y'all)

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:08 AM
Original message
My Presidential pardon application is finally on its way. (Thanks, all y'all)
Edited on Tue Mar-22-11 10:14 AM by Fly by night
This morning, I went to Kinko's and found a big enough box to hold my pardon application and assorted supplemental material, including my published paper, "Mobilizing communities to reduce substance abuse in Indian Country" and a copy of the documentary, "UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections". It took a second box to hold the 170 original, signed, notarized character references I have received from professional colleagues, government officials (including 14 TN legislators -- House and Senate, Republican and Democratic; as well as officials from Delaware, Illinois and Wyoming), neighbors, friends, election integrity and medical marijuana activists and a dozen homegrown DUers.

Last week, I sent ten of the strongest support letters on ahead to be hand-delivered to the Oval Office, the V-P and a former DNC Chair. The Office of the Pardon Attorney has responded to my technical questions about the application very promptly, for which I am grateful. I was also thankful to be allowed to submit extra pages to explain my crime, my life-long relationship with "illegal smiles" and my reasons for requesting a pardon. If any of y'all want to read those essays, let me know and I'll PM them to you.

Now it is time to get back to editing my book on all this -- "My Hollow Tale: Reflections On A(n Interrupted) Life". I have one publisher wanting to sign a contract but I want to speak with a few more before doing that.

And there is always the Garden. Found an incredible pile of aged mule/horse/goat manure a few miles from home that is there for the taking (and the loading and the hauling and the unloading.) My Garden rows and ridge-top of blueberries will benefit from a day's work by me -- and I will too.

Thanks, guys, for your support over the past month and the past seven+ years. Now keep your fingers (and toes) crossed. It is long past time for a medical marijuana convict to be pardoned. If 170 people have anything to say about it, it might just be me.

Y'all come. Peace out.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. I am so glad to hear this!
Hang in there...

My thoughts are with you, and your success!

Recommended.

:toast:
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
2. All the support letters were much appreciated. This one will remain in the small of my heart forever
Edited on Tue Mar-22-11 10:28 AM by Fly by night
This letter is from a Navajo friend, who called at the last minute to ask if she could still submit a letter. I told her I would stop anything to wait for her. Because I did, I got letters from two high-ranking Illinois officials (who are the reason letters are being hand-delivered to the Oval Office), from someone I worked with closely during my days locked in the federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house AND from the TN House Democratic Caucus chair. Good things come in bunches.
-----
March 7, 2011

Dear President Obama,

I write this letter for my good friend and relative, Bernard H. Ellis who I would like to see pardon from you, Mr. President. I have taken the time to write this letter on behalf of Mr. Ellis because I cannot conjure up a reason why he should not be pardon.

As I sit here and write this letter all that comes to mind instantly are the endless humane qualities of my friend, Bernie. I first became acquainted with my friend when I was hired as a college intern in the summer of 1991 for the New Mexico DOH State Epidemiology research project. Mr. Ellis was the Principal Investigator for Treatment Outcomes Study with the New Mexico State Substance Abuse Treatment facilities.

What I remember distinctly to this day is the fact that I had the most empowering mentor to oversee my internship with the study at hand with two counties set in vast Indian Country serving majority of Navajo clients for substance abuse treatment.

He empowered my knowledge of the people, the Indian country and cultural ways of the people for my success with the project. Bernie appreciates people for who they are. He has a way of using their distinct cultural diversity and their unique strengths that result in positive personal change and for societal changes.

There are many more accounts of goodness I can personally account for Bernard H. Ellis where he has contributed to community initiatives and positive societal changes.

In the State of Wyoming, Bernies collaborative efforts brought the people and agencies of the County of Fremont and the Wind River Reservation Tribes together.

For years, substance abuse and violence run rampant where cultural misunderstandings and differences maintained unhealthy community norms around the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Bernie had a huge hand in collaborative efforts where a community was able to get beyond their differences and become a community of healing.

I am proud to say I was among the delegates who trekked to the Wind River to attest to positive changes that can bring healing to a nation where difference and ignorance had prevailed from our own community organizing in NW New Mexico.

Furthermore, I recall his ability to improve upon situations did not cease with his incarceration and transitional living experiences in the State of Tennessee. Bernies knack for organic gardening was put to raising crops for the inmates, those in need and for anyone who wanted to learn the trade of productive organic gardening.

Need I say more to make a strong stand for my friend Bernie for his pardon as there is more good about his character with plenty more potential from whence came only goodness.

The good Lord willing, I hope you will pardon my friend Bernard H. Ellis so he can continue to provide for himself adequately through self-employment and to mentor many more interns who can make a positive difference in their community and nation.

Sincerely,



(Dooyash -- means "little bluebird" in Dine')
Navajo Woman Devoted to Community Healing



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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. Very nice letter

I hope you kept copies of everything.

Best of luck!
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Yes, dooyash, I have kept them all. They all mean a great deal, from the ...
... seven page letter written by Sunil Aggarwal, the MD/PhD who led the effort to reverse the AMA's policy on medical marijuana; to the seven word affidavit of an old neighbor who wrote: "Bernie is a good neighbor and friend."
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
24. Oh my, what a wonderful letter.
I just hope she didn't make the case that you're too beneficial while incarcerated!

God speed friend, I wish more people had the integrity and conviction to make the world a better place that you do. I have vast ambitions to do so, but I'm feeling powerless and wanting these days. Just your example, only that, and I'm actually fighting tears now, is enough to make me want to dig in harder and push.

All Blessings of the Divine... where one day we all meet.

-TD
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tpsbmam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
30. What a beautiful letter! So many are so touching -- your neighbors' letters definitely
warmed the cockles of my heart.

Congratulations! I've had everything crossed for a long time -- I still look kind of funny and it's getting kind of crampy but definitely worth it!

I'd love to see the finished product -- PM or email, either is fine.


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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #30
41. Really appreciate your help in editing those essays. Much appreciated.
I'll email you the final version when I return home from another black gold-hauling expedition.

Spring has sprung!!
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
37. Here's another support letter that means a lot.
It helps me remember when I was a productive member of society. (Imagine that.)
----

Dear President Obama,

I am writing in support of Bernard Ellis, for whom I have great respect, esteem and admiration, in hopes that you will grant him a Presidential pardon for his medical marijuana conviction. I worked with Bernie for six years from 1996-2002, evaluating federal grant projects in the substance abuse field, both in New Mexico and Wyoming. I have known Bernie in a professional capacity, first as the developer of the New Mexico Department of Health Department of Behavioral Epidemiology, where Bernie was a renowned and very well respected epidemiologist. After that, I worked with him when he was running a social detoxification program in Riverton, Wyoming, helping with the evaluation of the project.

Bernie Ellis contributions to the field of substance abuse epidemiology have been enormous. During the time that I have known him, Bernie and I have gotten to know each other and have become friends. I have learned much from him, and through this letter would like to offer support in whatever way I can, to testify to his integrity and spirit.

Professionally, Bernie Ellis is the best epidemiologist Ive ever met, as he has a brilliant ability to use resources that have been publicly available but have gone untapped. He has the ability to help mobilize communities through his presence, knowledge and generosity to them. Bernie uses untraditional and innovative ways to solve problems. Clearly, his unconventional thinking has extended to issues of sickness and how people deal with terminal illnesses, including AIDS and cancer.

I fully believe that Bernie made the decision to help sick neighbors negotiate their pain and illness mindfully and responsibly. Bernie fully understands the impact of substance use and addiction; he is clear on the legal parameters of medical and recreational marijuana use. I vehemently support that Bernie Ellis is taking a public and political stance for alternatives to the cycle of penalization that we perpetuate here in the U.S. around medical marijuana use.

Bernie Ellis is an incredible asset to the many communities that he has invested time and energy in and that have come to love him. I urge perspective and leniency for him, and I strongly support his petition for a Presidential pardon. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Sincerely,

XXXXX, PhD
Director, Global Viral Forecasting Initiative
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
42. Beautiful. Now the wait. :) I will hop for good things, my friend.
RV
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. Don't hop too long....
Edited on Wed Mar-23-11 01:38 PM by Fly by night
Those little legs will get shorter.

Seriesly, thanks kindly for your letter too. It is amazing to feel -- and to be -- connected to so many places at once, through this forum. And to people who are all so bright and articulate. And who care about and share the same world(view) as I do too.

I wish more DUers could read what y'all had to say.

Until then, thanks again kindly. May your rogue valley home and my Tennessee deep hollow home share more than the ether someday.

Soon.

FBN
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. heh-heh-heh. hop. :-D I send you back the same sentiments.
Now just try and relax. Rest. Refresh. Its spring now and the world around us is waking up. Take care.
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. k&r! Best of luck! nt
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NYC_SKP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
4. K and R!
:thumbsup:
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. Good luck. Is there something we can do to help
at this stage in the process?
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Send good thoughts out into the universe (for science, common sense and compassion).
Edited on Tue Mar-22-11 10:34 AM by Fly by night
Every time the Northern Arapaho prayed for me in their sweat lodges before I went into the "house", I could smell their sage and cedar on the Western wind.

I am thankful that I will be able to visit with them in late April on their rez' for the first time since my troubles began. I am really looking forward to it. One of their medicine men offered to hide me on their rez' if I wanted to go underground. I told him "thanks, but no thanks."

The only place I want to be underground is here.

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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. I wish you luck with this my friend. You deserve it. nt
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
8. k & r
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
9. K & R
:thumbsup:
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babydollhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
10. kick
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
11. YAY!
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
12. K&R. Best of luck!
:fistbump:
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. May fortune be with you with a strong wind at your back.
We're pulling for you, my brother!
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. good luck!!!
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voteearlyvoteoften Donating Member (548 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
16. Rooting for you
Fellow victims of the war on weed....
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
18. I wish you the best of luck; you certainly deserve a pardon.
I also want to read your book!

Fingers & toes crossed!

:hug:
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
19. I'm proud to be one of those 170 people, too..
Best of luck to you, my brother..

Peace,

Ghost

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I'm proud of that too, Ghost. We'll always have each other's back, neighbor.
Thanks kindly. Your letter meant a great deal, and I appreciate the effort. If I can ever return the favor, just ask.
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Always, my friend... Always.... The only thing I would *ever* ask in return
..is that you just keep on doing what you're doing, my brother. Keep helping others, keep educating others, and never, ever, stop being YOU. Your friendship is my reward, I need nothing else.

Peace within, peace between, peace among...

Ghost

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AlecBGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
20. Happy to K&R
I will be praying for you FBN :) I know it will be hard, but try to let it go now that it is out of your hands. Enjoy the spring weather! :bounce:
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
22. You deserve a pardon.
We all hope for a positive outcome :hug:

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orbitalman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
25. K and R
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
26. fingers crossed here!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
27. Happy to hear -- best wishes to you --
Edited on Wed Mar-23-11 12:29 AM by defendandprotect
and my apologies for not being one of those who succeeded in giving

you some help with this project.

Fingers crossed for you!!

:)
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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #27
36. Thanks for your help. Good thoughts (and crossed fingers) go a long way.
Much appreciated.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
28. OH, I so hope so, Fly! I'm sending best wishes your way.
Congrats on the book, btw! That is awesome!
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
29. but DU hates Obama now and he can do no good
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. Well, for the sake of someone like Bernie, some of us
Edited on Wed Mar-23-11 01:54 AM by truedelphi
Held back the gag reflexes for the man holding the top position in this nation knowing how much he has sold us out again and again, and instead we did our best to attest to Bernie's strength of character, as he has shown true courage and righteousness all through this debacle.

Ironically, if he had to present his letters to California's Former Gov Schwarzenegger (R), Bernie would not have a single thing to worry about, as Ahnold hates the drug laws. One of Ahnold's last deeds while in office, late Dec 2010, was to sign legislation making it impossible for the police in California to charge people holding small amounts of marijuana.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 04:15 AM
Response to Original message
32. Glad to read this...
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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 05:09 AM
Response to Original message
33. K & R
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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 05:46 AM
Response to Original message
34. What wonderful news!
Good luck to you.... ~PEACE~

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 05:51 AM
Response to Original message
35. I wish you luck.
I hope this will bring an end to the harassment. You should be free to do your thing, to bring a bit of relief to yourself and your sick neighbors.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
38. Excellent
:grouphug:
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
39. ...
:-)

Place yourself in the middle of the stream
of power and wisdom which animates
all whom it floats,
and you are without effort impelled to truth,
to right and a perfect contentment. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. Ah yes, the river ....

There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel like they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off toward the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
See who is there with you and celebrate.

Hopi Elders Prayer
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-24-11 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #40
49. Hope Obama does the right thing - good luck! nt
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
43. Peace and a Pardon to you, too, Bernie. REC. nt
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felix_numinous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
44. I am so happy to hear your news
-you are helping countless people who need this medicine. I heard from my state representative, Chris Van Hollen (who rocks) about Bernie Frank introducing the Medical Marijuana Protection Act (HR 2835) that will allow patients in authorized states with doctor's recommendation to be exempt from federal prosecution. Authorized patients and medical marijuana providers would be protected, it is a good start.

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h2835/show

I will keep you in my positive thoughts, and look forward to seeing your book.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night. -Irish Blessing
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Little Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
47. My fingers are crossed!!!! k&r
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Unrepentant Fenian Donating Member (707 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
48. Great news ! Good luck to ya... nt
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