Monday, March 2, 2015

jimjustselling . . .

(Actually, I'm not, but the good folks at HenschelHAUS are. And they're now offering FREE SHIPPING IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.


What they're saying about Jim's provocative blog:
--"Jim is obviously making a name for himself--Mr. Irrelevant!"--Don Rickles
--"Almost too entertaining!  (Well, sort of.)"--David Letterman
--"Blogaschizzle!"--Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. (aka Snoop Dogg)
--"The one thing I DO read!"--Sarah Palin
--"About what you'd expect from a dopey, sniveling piece of execrable skunk vomit from Wisconsin!"--Don Imus
--"The most fun you can have with your clothes on (but DO take a shower afterwards)."--Dick Cavett


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • I had a dream that I was playing golf behind a foursome of Brian Williams, Bill Cosby, Lance Armstrong  and A-Rod.
  • I think I'd vote for a politician who'd say:  "I'm gonna lie--all politicians do it.  But I promise, if elected, that I'm gonna hold it to a minimum.  I'm not going to lie as much as that other guy!"
  • Whatever happened to "Beavis and Butt-head"?
  • Sometimes I feel like a Polaroid in the Instagram of life!
  • As if the Wisconsin winter isn't bad enough just enduring the elements, one most also endure a dozen or so people (store clerks, passersby, et al.) admonishing you to "Stay warm!" about 15 times a day.  
  • Really?  What, exactly, are my options?  ("Gee, I've never tried LSD, so, what the hell, I think I'll give hypothermia a whirl.")  
  • Then there are the numbskulls on TV reminding us to "Bundle up!"  As if we're mere infants who just parachuted into the cold climes, not adults who have weathered this weather for decades.
  • Speaking of winter weather: Why this universal one-upmanship tendency with snowstorm (or rainfall) totals:  "We got 22 inches!" "Oh, yeah, WE got 23!"   People act as if they were personally responsible for the numbers . . . that they're taking credit for them, in a way.  Or that they are supposedly made of sterner stuff for having "survived" that extra inch (assuming the totals are accurate, which they may not be). Weird.
  • Overheard: "People who live in trailers are like actors who never get called to the set."
  • Wish I had better news, but there is absolutely nothing that can prevent the periodic outbreaks of jihad-related violence.   Trying to stop it is like asking the Pentagon to cure the common cold or asking the wind not to blow up to hurricane force.   
  • Wise words:  "It’s undeniable that we treat our presidents as larger than life, simplifying the stories we tell. They’re not always mighty frigates parting the waters. They’re just as much buoys on the tides of history, rising and falling with the swells."--Frank Bruni, New York Times
  • Product Choice Explosion Tip:  After you find a toothbrush (or similar item) you really like, buy a few more soon because if you wait, the packaging will have changed and you'll never be able to find it again.  Or if you can, the "new and improved" version will be new but not improved.  In fact, it may not be half as good.
  • "When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it's all nonsense. There are no race relations.  White people were crazy.  Now they're not as crazy.  To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserved what happened to them before."--Comedian/actor/filmmaker Chris Rock in New York magazine.
  • Another in jimjustsaying's List of Foreign Words With No English Equivalent:   fremdschämen (German); myötähäpeä (Finnish)--the kinder, gentler cousins of schadenfreude, both these words mean something akin to "vicarious embarrassment." Or, in other words, that feeling you get when you watch "Meet the Parents."
  • Next time you sit down to a square meal, tell your friends that the term comes from 18th Century England, where food was served on square wooden plates.
  • Bumper Sticker of the Week:  "Experience  is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."
  • "No two persons have read the same book."--Edmund Wilson
  • Parsleyvania:  The place where of all the fancy restaurant garnish that is never eaten comes from.--"Unexplained Sniglets of the Universe," Rich Hall & Friends
  • jimjustsaying's Jargon Word of the Week:  Loopome, a map of the roughly 10,000 three-dimensional loops in human DNA.  Because looping controls gene activation, Wired magazine reports, identifying abnormalities in the loopome may help diagnose cancer and other diseases.  (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it.)
  • Memo to NFL:  Roman numerals don't make the Super Bowl any more important or make the league look more intelligent. Pretentious?  Yes.  Intelligent, no?  I notice we're never told in Roman numerals how many NFL players are under indictment for various felonies.
  • Consumer Confession: I was going to get one of those nifty George Foreman Grills you see being pitched all the time  on TV, but when I got to the store and saw the price tag, I got cold feet.  So I got the Leon Spinks Grill instead!
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  Skid.  As in, Robert "Skid" Marks, Kenosha (Wis.) News obituary,Feb. 18, 2015.
  • It was such a slow news day that Donald Trump called a press conference to announce that he's lactose intolerant!
  • What do Russia, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Laos, Tajikistan and Afghanistan have in common?  (All 14 of those countries border China.)
  • Memo to all corporate executives:  If you want to give us a "free gift" (classic redundancy!),make it a real gift instead of one that turns us into walking billboards. Otherwise, don't bother!  I don't need another T-shirt or ballcap, much less ones with your brand name on it.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Quisnam permissum cattus ex pera?  ("Who let the cat out of the bag?")


The Clinton Rules
Hillary Clinton hasn’t even begun her expected presidential candidacy, but already Americans are being reminded of the political entertainment they can expect. To wit, the normal rules of government ethics and transparency apply to everyone except Bill and Hillary.

Last week we learned that the Clinton Foundation had accepted donations from foreign governments despite having made a public display of not doing so. The Family Clinton had agreed not to accept such donations while Mrs. Clinton was serving as Secretary of State, with rare exceptions approved by State’s ethics shop.

But, lo, the foundation quietly began accepting such gifts from the likes of Qatar and Algeria after she left the State Department—though everyone in the world knew she was likely to run for President in 2016. The foundation didn’t announce the donations, which our Journal colleagues discovered in a search of the foundation’s online data base.

Then Monday the New York Times reported that Mrs. Clinton used a personal email account for official business as Secretary of State, despite a federal transparency law that requires officials to maintain emails on government servers. A former long-time litigation director at the National Archives & Records Administration told the paper he could “recall no instance” when a high-ranking official had solely used a personal email address for government business.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill says this is no big deal because Team Clinton is following “the letter and the spirit of rules” and has turned over to State some 55,000 emails in response to a formal request. Put another way, Mrs. Clinton is controlling which emails are divulged, and everyone should trust her judgment. We doubt Congress’s Benghazi investigators will be reassured. You also have to wonder about the judgment of America’s top diplomat exposing her official business on personal email to cyber hacking from China or Iran.

The real story here is that none of this is a surprise. This is how the Clintons roll. They’re a political version of the old Peanuts cartoon character who was always surrounded by a cloud of dirt. Ethical shortcuts and controversies are standard operating procedure. A brief 1990s roll call: The Riadys, Johnny Chung, Travelgate, the vanishing Rose billing records, a killing in cattle futures, the Marc Rich pardon.

The Clintons and Democrats want Americans to forget all of that. But as the email and foundation discoveries show, the Clintons haven’t changed. They still think they can do what they please and get away with it.

--Wall St. Journal editorial

Why Walker might surprise
It’s conventional wisdom that Republicans can win the 2016 presidential election only by moving to the center, said Peter Beinart. But Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is quickly becoming a rising star by conceding nothing to the notion that the GOP must adapt to "a more culturally tolerant, ethnically diverse, and economically insecure America." Unlike Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and other rivals, Walker is unapologetically following Ronald Reagan’s 1980s playbook. He’s making no concessions on immigration and no outreach to blacks, Hispanics, women, and Millennials; he boasts about Wisconsin’s strong voter ID law, and his new video depicts his enthusiastic followers as "relentlessly white." Nor is Walker conceding any need to address income inequality, which even Mitt Romney briefly embraced. Walker’s solution to everything that ails America is pure Reagan: Take control and money away from Big Government, "and give it back to hardworking taxpayers." Walker is betting that GOP primary voters "aren’t interested in adapting to Barack Obama’s America." His rapid rise in the polls shows he may be right.
--Peter Beinart,

Understanding Islam
 . . . Islam has no Vatican to decree whose Islam is authentic, so it emerges differently in different contexts. There is a moderate Islam that emerged in decent political, social and economic contexts --see Indian Islam, Indonesian Islam and Malaysian Islam--and never stood in the way of their progress. 

And there are puritanical, anti­pluralistic, anti­modern education, anti­women Islams that emerged from the more tribalized corners of the Arab world, Nigeria and Pakistan, helping hold these places back. That’s why ISIS is not just an Islam problem and not just a "root causes" problem. ISIS is a product of decades of failed governance in the Arab world and Pakistan and centuries of a calcification of Arab Islam. They feed off each other. Those who claim it’s just one or the other are dead wrong.

So, to defeat ISIS and not see another emerge, you need to: wipe out its   leadership; enlist Muslims to discredit the very real, popular, extremist versions of Islam coming out of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan; stem the injustice, corruption, sectarianism and state failure now rampant in the Arab world and Pakistan; and carve out for Iraqi Sunnis their own autonomous region of Iraq and a share of its oil wealth, just like the Kurds have. I know: sounds impossible. But this problem is very deep. This is the only route to a more moderate Arab Islam--as well as to fewer young men and women looking for dignity in all the wrong places.
--Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times

U.S. to create genetic database
President Obama announced this week that the government would fund a project to collect and store the genetic profiles of 1 million willing Americans. Doctors and scientists will be able to mine the data and develop specialized drugs and treatments tailored to individual patients. The Precision Medicine Initiative, which the White House plans to fund with an initial $215 million request to Congress, will "lay the foundation for a new generation of lifesaving discoveries,"  said Obama. The National Institutes of Health will oversee the development of the database, which could contain patients’ medical records, lab test results, DNA profiles, and information about their diet, tobacco use and lifestyle.
--The Week

A bipartisan solution to climate change
The U.S. is headed for a prolonged, bitterly partisan battle over climate change--but there’s a way out.  It’s a revenue--neutral carbon tax that would return 100 percent of the billions it raises to taxpayers. Most conservatives reject taking any action to halt climate change, and even deny that human activity is causing it, because they see the issue as just another liberal assault on personal liberty--an excuse to regulate and tax businesses and individuals for using fossil fuels. That’s why mandated emissions standards, regulated by the federal government, will never pass Congress while Republicans hold a majority in either chamber. 

One solution to controlling emissions, however, would be far more palatable: Tax carbon so that emissions decline, but rather than use the revenue to fund government programs, give it back to Americans. That could be achieved by reducing personal and corporate tax rates, or by giving all citizens a "carbon-tax dividend" every year. By putting more money in Americans’ hands, this plan would actually stimulate spending and job growth. Republicans aren’t yet ready to embrace a revenue-neutral carbon tax, but as the world keeps getting warmer, it could be a face-saving way out.
--Chris Mooney,

Robots worry Gates
Add Bill Gates to the growing list of people worried about a robot uprising.  In an "ask me anything"  session on Reddit last week, the Microsoft founder said he worries about the threat posed by artificial intelligence.  "I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," Gates wrote. "First, the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that, though, the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern."  Gates’s remarks place him among several other high-profile tech figures who have warned about AI evolving "beyond human control," including billionaire Elon Musk and physicist Stephen Hawking, who once remarked that artificial intelligence could "spell the end of the human race."
--Kevin Rawlinson,

The professional corpse
Chuck Lamb makes his living playing a dead person.  Over the past decade, the former Ohio truck driver has appeared as a corpse in dozens of TV shows and movies, including numerous low-budget slasher flicks like ThanksKilling and Horrorween. Lamb, 56, says that his bland, cadaverous appearance has made him a favorite with filmmakers looking to cast a murder victim. "It’s funny that God made me look like this," he says. "I’ve got bags under my eyes, I’m pale, I’m bald, so you can fit any kind of wig on me, I don’t have tattoos, and my back isn’t full of hair--because who wants to see that, even on a dead body? No one’s ever going to call me and ask me to be the leading-man heartthrob, so I thought I’d put what God gave me to good use.’’ Lamb started playing dead at 47, but says he spent decades training for the unique demands of the job. "I got so good at it mainly just sitting around watching TV, being lazy. You need to get very relaxed [to act dead], and it’s even better if you can nod off with your eyes half open or go to a happy place." Lamb’s family gets a big kick out of his morbid work. "My mom says she gets no more pride than when another woman says, ‘Oh, by the way, Betty, how is your dead son?' "
--Joel Lewin,  Financial Times

Designing a feminist foreign policy
What would a feminist foreign policy look like? asked Anders Lindberg. Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom says she intends to shift Sweden’s foreign policy to prioritize "women, peace, and security." Some heard that to mean appeasement of Russia, which isn’t much of a change for Sweden, which has historically "paid deference" to nearby great powers. Others said Wallstrom would place more emphasis on human rights, which we’ve done in the past by standing with South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement and pushing for an independent Palestinian state. Swedish policy has always combined "realism at home and idealism abroad." What Wallstrom says she will add to that mix is a focus on empowering women, whose voices are rarely heard in international relations. Yet after four months in office, the only policy change she has proposed is to train Kurdish militias to "protect the suffering civilians, largely women and children," in Iraq. Is that it? "A feminist foreign policy sounds great, but how will it work in practice?" How will it handle a thug like Russian President Vladimir Putin when he sends submarines into our waters? Unless Wallstrom can quickly answer those questions, "her new policy will rapidly lose credibility."
--Anders Lindberg, Aftonbladet

'Business' is lousy
Government is only a business. Past the roads, defense, and sewers, it sells excitement and self-satisfaction to the masses, and charges them an entertainment tax, exacted in wealth and misery. It cannot make cars, or develop medicines. How can it "abolish poverty" (at home or abroad), or Bring About an End to Greed or Exploitation? It can only sell the illusion, and put itself in a position where it is free from judgment of its efforts. It does this, first of all, by stating inchoate goals, "change, hope, fairness, peace," and then indicting those who question them as traitors or ogres; finally, it explains its lack of success by reference to persistent if magical forces put in play by its predecessors and yet uneradicated because of insufficient funding.
--David Mamet, "The Secret Knowledge"  

Infant mortality and labor
The private sector unions know [Wisconsin's right-to-work bill] is going to pass, and there's nothing they can do to stop it.

Even the bill's legislative opponents haven't been able to muster up any plausible opposition. In a hearing on [Feb. 24], Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha) tried to rename right-to-work legislation the "wage theft bill," evidently unaware that forced union dues are the very definition of "wage theft."

 (However, the most ridiculous argument belongs to the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, which has argued that infant mortality rates are higher in right-to-work states. Not paying union dues now kills babies, evidently.)
--Christian Schneider, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


The credibility gap
The president's past assurances have fallen short

Sorry, Jeb, the race is wide open
Democrats may be ready for Hillary, but nothing is inevitable for  GOP

Pessimism's antidote
The world is disorderly, but not as dangerous as we imagine 

'Please don't thank me for my service'
Many vets bristle at civilians' empty words

More time, fewer friends
As people get older, they deliberately narrow their social circles. Ties with close friends tighten; less meaningful relationships are discarded

Light bulbs vs. the Internet
New technologies aren't paying off as advertised 

Benefits of infrastructure spending  not so clear cut
Long-term dividends  often muddled due to real-world factors such as bloat, corruption and politics

A (little less) baseball would be nice
Nothing should be off the table, whether a quicker pace or a shorter season

Every effort is made to ensure that all links are still available.


A Dozen Doozies:
The 2014 Baseball Season's Most Improbable Oddities

April 24:  Brett Gardner of the Yankees goes 0-for-3 against the Red Sox but scores four runs.

May 4:  The Giants sweep a series against the Braves without managing one hit with runners in scoring position.

May 18:  The Rockies turn a "retroactive" triple play when a runner is called out for interference.

June 6:  Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays hits a home run, throws out a runner at the plate, gets a putout on a fan interference call and lines into a triple play.

June 16:  On the day Tony Gwynn Sr. dies, Dee Gordon becomes the first Dodgers leadoff hitter to reach base five times since it was done three years earlier by Tony Gwynn Jr.

July 24:  The Padres score nine runs in the sixth inning against the Cubs without  an extra-base hit.

Aug. 10:  The Angels fail to record an assist, something that has happened just four other times in a nine-inning game in the modern era.

Aug. 15:  The Tigers give away Miguel Cabrera bobbleheads that read "Most Valuable Player, National League."

Aug. 27:  Scott Van Slyke of the Dodgers hits his 10th home run of the year--and the fifth off Wade Miley of the Diamondbacks.

Sept. 1:  Adam Dunn homers in his first game with a new team for the third time in his career (Nationals, White Sox, A's).

Sept. 7:  Adrian Beltre of the Rangers drives in the only run of the game in the first managerial victory for Tim Bogar--his teammate of 13 years ago.

Sept. 28:  Henderson Alvarez of the Marlins, who in 2013 threw the first no-hitter in a season finale in 29 years, is the victim of the Nationals' Jordan Zimmerman's season-finale no-hitter.  Both were 1-0 games.

 MVP (Most Valuable Publication: AthlonSports for supplying these fun facts.)

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Betcha when A-Rod and Madonna dine out, neither looks at the prices on the menu . . . Mark my words, if anyone can break The Rocket's record of seven Cy Youngs, it's Ricky Nolasco . . . Wore my football helmet to cut the lawn to see what training camp is like . . . If Yao and Yi were on the same team, would they have to share a translator? . . . Worst thing about global warming?  The Winter X Games will seem like the Fall X Games . . . Betcha dollars to dougnuts that when Roger Federer was a kid, he had a friend with a tennis court in his backyard . . . Goose Gossage is now my favorite Hall of Famer named Goose other than Goose Goslin . . . Anyone who blocks a field goal should get a free pizza . . . If Floyd Mayweather is mad at you, it's gotta cost you some sleep . . . How come when NCAA hockey teams win tourney games they don't cut off a piece of the net? . . . If I took the Bucks GM job, it would have come with a reserved parking spot and a decent health package . . . Question:  If you're in the Olympic torch relay and you need to use the john, what do you do with the torch? . . . Write it down: Jeff Suppan is going to make the good people of Milwaukee forget about Warren Spahn . . . Sometimes when I see Nicky Saban screaming at someone on TV, I think he's yelling at me!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Mitt, we hardly knew ye!  (Actually, we knew ye all too well.  Before you did.)
  • Why is the Mute button always in a different place on every kind of remote control?
  • (There should  be a Edit View button to remove the relentless "crawls" at the bottom of the TV screen.  For one thing, I'm not interested in  Soccer Updates when I'm watching the World Series.   Nor do I care about tropical storms in the Maldive Islands. Or soccer games on the Maldive Islands.)  
  • Funerals:  Where you go to say and hear nice things said about the deceased that should have been said to him or her before they had to leave for the funeral.
  • (When was the last time you saw a new funeral home going up?   With the population explosion over the last decades, you'd think you would see a new one being built occasionally.  Are the existing ones just busier or . . . . What am I missing here?
  • More cremations, you say?  They still have to go through the funeral home process. People living longer?  They still die eventually . . . and then there is the off-setting phenomenon of the growing number of young people dying of gang violence, drive-by shootings, AIDs, drug overdoses . . . .)
  • Made your President’s Day plans yet?  There’s still time.  Maybe we should have a Vice President’s Day too.  You’d still have to show up at work, but you wouldn’t have to do anything.
  • President’s Day is nice, but who really looks forward to it---aside from government workers?  I propose a holiday that would hold more satisfaction for the rest of us: Turnabout Day, based on “turnabout's fair play.” A way to correct a power imbalance we all endure.
  • On Turnabout Day—and you’d get to pick your own date each year—your doctor would have to get naked in front of you, and your accountant or financial adviser would have to show you his or her tax return!
  • Through a cruel quirk of nature, men were born without the vital clothes-folding chromosome.
  • How cold has it been in northeast Wisconsin?  So cold that the ice fishermen have been dipping their worms in hot chocolate!
  • Now that I'm finally getting comfortable in my own skin, it's all wrinkled.
  • jimjustsaying's Coinage of the Month:  Mediarrhea.  The unending onslaught of news stories (and instant updates of same), op-ed columns, interesting news and feature stories, magazine articles, talk-show jokes, movies, "webisodes,"  albums, books, web comics, podcasts, video games, and whatever else spews forth from Twitter feeds, Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit AMA, You Tube and myriad other stuff that no one can possibly keep up with.
  • I used to ridicule people who were resistant to (or afraid of) computers.  But maybe I've been too harsh.   Who in their right mind would submit to a world dominated by words like Google and Yahoo!    And then traffic with people in Amazon! 
  • Three bad ideas for a business:  Just Cuff Links,  Just Cummerbunds,  Just Shoelaces.
  • "Breeds" of Dogs I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw Them Listed in a Newspaper Ad:  the Affenpoo (half poodle and half Affenpinscher), the Pomachon (a  mix of the Pomeranian and the Bichon Frise) and the Whoodle (a  cross between the soft-coated Wheaten terrier and the poodle).  
  • "They’re all home-grown coyotes, all born and bred in Chicago.”--A wildlife biologist on the growing numbers of of that particular animal downtown.
  • I love the Red-Eye Reduction feature you find on  photo-editing software, but why did they stop there?  Where's the Double Chin Reduction button?  The Wrinkle Eraser? The Crow's Feet Eliminator?  The Bald Spot Coverup feature?  The Fountain of Youth dial?  There's room for improvement here!
  • More of jimjustsaying's series of Words You See in Print or Hear on the Air But Never Hear Anyone Use in Normal Life:  Emollient, mucilage and dentifrice.
  • "I like rice.  Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something."--Mitch Hedberg
  • Headline:  "The legendary Ernie Banks, 'Mr. Cub,' dies at 83."  Memo to headline writers and misguided journalists:  If someone is truly legendary, you don't have to tell us that.  If you feel as if you DO have to inform us of that nebulous status, then he or she isn't legendary.
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week:  "Big-Time Charlie."  As in Charles  "Big-Time Charlie" Stone, Kenosha (Wis.) News, Jan. 23, 2015.
  • Another in jimjustsaying's series of Occupations No Child Has ever Fantasized About or Aspired To:  Nail salon technician.  
  • Snack fact:  Are there insect bars in your future?  Wired reports that edible bugs "get snackified" in protein bars and that several companies are selling bars made with cricket flour, a gluten-free substance high in protein and healthy fats.  (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it!)
  • Umbilinkus:  The tiny appendage at the end of a link sausage.--"More Sniglets," Rich Hall & Friends
  • Fifty-ninth Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary: Suring. (R.I.P., Ronald Lee Bubolz, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Oct. 8, 2014).  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton, Goodman, Readstown, Dousman, Butternut, Montpelier, Cecil, Red River, Gillet, King, Laona, Kelly Lake, Glenmore, Tonet, Stiles, Morrison, Dunbar, Askeaton, Wild Rose. Neopit, Ellisville, Pickett, Flintville,  Forest Junction, Thiry Daems, Black Creek,  Mountain, Ledgeview and Lunds.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  EGO sudo , EGO won't dico a animus!  ("I swear, I won't tell a soul!)