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The B.A.D.TM

Making bad boner jokes since 1972...



  • It looks like ol John McCain is tossing his proverbial hat into the 08 Presidential ring, eh? You know, he's actually one guy I think I could vote for and not hate myself, until a couple days ago when he came to Clevia to pimp Kenneth "Right wing neocon Jesus freak nutjob Diebold-fanboy pissed off GOP fuckwit" Blackwell. Egads, I know it's a party thing and he's trying to show he's a team player, but this Blackwell guy really disgusts me and hence it makes McCain seem a bit slimy. Bah, politics is a game for chumps anyways.
  • We had a big giant pow-wow yesterday in the auditorium in which the HR people broke the news about our new health insurance policy plan. It turns out our insurance company raised the rates about 900 million percent for the old plan so it had to be scrubbed for a new one. The old one was a sweet deal, you paid $10 copay and everything was covered. You never paid a penny more. The new one entails not paying anything until you reach $xxx, then you pay everything up to $xxxx at which point you only pay 80%, or something like that. I'm not complaining, really, but I have to wonder how companies can keep offering health bennies if they keep raising the rates 50% a year. I say we should all just stop paying our medical bills. That'll bring the prices back down poste haste.
  • Lunch today will entail stuffing a BBQ shaved chicken breast stemmitch, sprinkled with McCormick's Spicy cajun chicken spice stuff (how do they cram all the flavour in those little tiny sprinkles???) down my yap-hole, along with the blah blah blah small curd cottage cheese stuff. Sadly, I have no refreshing sugary treats to top it all off with but I may be tempted to venture out to get something as it's still quite nice outside.
  • Oh woe is me... I installed nethack on my new machine which led me to putting it back on my machine here at "work" again. Curses. I must say it runs quite well on my new machine, I think having two processors really makes a big difference and should be a system requirement to play it. Anyways, I've got a killer game going, working my way through the sokobon right now.
  • No work tomorrow, as it's a day of prayer and fasting here in USia, then it's off to Smallville where I'll spend the Easter Holiday (turkey and football all day!!) with my family, or whoever happens to show up. Actually I'm going to be out of towne for the next three weekends in a row, visiting three different states as I suddenly have a life. I'm not entirely thrilled about all the upcoming hustle ~n~ bustle but it's good to get out of the normal routine I suppose.
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Gonna pitch a wang dang doodle all night long | 42 comments (42 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
various re's by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:32:08 AM EST
McCain does have the old 80's S&L banking scandal under his belt.. Hell, I voted for him in the 2000 primary in NH, helped his come-out win there, before Busch tarred and feathered him. But he's also bowed to being a "team player" more times than I'd like, go figure. Sure you aren't reading too much into comments from this ?

Insurance.. I'm a commie. I can't see how the US will not eventually have some kind of universal health coverage like other civilized countries do. Just a matter of time, given rising costs, lack of insurance for so many, etc.

Sweets.. Eat dark chocolate instead, less raw sugar.. Much better for you in several ways.. (phenolic compounds to help fight heart disease, fats to help you feel fuller, not a direct sugar rush etc etc)

Easter is ham or lamb.. None of this blasphemous turkey.

Where ya gonna be at the next few weekends ? We'll be in TX 21-23, Chicago 24-25, IN/MI 26-30. Seeing friends or family or that match.com girl ?

NH -- I don't even start "playing for real" until I have finished sokoban and the mines.

Yeah, I don't think McCain has a chance by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:36:21 AM EST
The nutjobs already hate him for not supporting torture and everyone else has been watching him kiss Bush's ass for (at least) 2 years.

That said, the real reason he'll never be President is baldness. You can't be bald and President in the TV era. (The same should hold for combovers and Senatorships, but he got grandfathered in, so to speak.)

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[ Parent ]
Baldist. Er, Baldrsonist. Wait... by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:52:05 AM EST

Wrong account!


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
Yeah by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:49:31 AM EST
When he backed Bush in a major way in 04 I knew he was practising his fellatio skills with an eye to 08. Personally I don't know if the religious nut-jobs like him enough to sneak him in. It seems the right is tied to them so tightly that unless you have them on board you're not going to make it.

re: I don't know, there's too much big money in drugs and insurance these days and big money is what  matters wrt Congress.

rere: The sugar rush is king. Especially at about 2:30 when my body seems to think it should be taking a nap.

rerere: I can't disclose my location as the dept of Homeland Security would certainly be all over me like trolls on slashdot.

rerererererere: I've already cleared the mines. I usually don't get much farther than the death battle with the Hamburger guy. With any luck I'll get some speed boots in the sokobon, that plus the teleportaion scrolls I have should at least get me that far.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
speed boots ? by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 06:06:47 AM EST
Hmm. Better chance of finding those in the mines than sokoban.. Prizes in sokoban are usually wands (lots. Do you know the "(E)ngrave with wand to identify" trick ?) and either an amulet of reflection or a bag of holding (one or the other, at the top of the level).

Sokoban is easier than the mines, in terms of monsters you'll face, at least mine levels below mine town. Can usually get to mine town safely once you're level 5 or so.

Teleportation is more of a "get (me|monster) the heck outta here" use than anything else..

[ Parent ]
That's right by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #18 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:36:20 AM EST
I did find a couple nice pairs of of boots in the mines but they were both cursed. I need to dip them in holy water to uncurse them, no?

re: Yeah, the deluxe bag of holding is usually what I find in the sokobon.

rere: Right. I like the teleportation scrolls for when I face the more meaner monsters and I'm getting my arse kicked.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
cursed stuff.. by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #38 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:43:29 AM EST
cursed boots are almost always levitation (you can't go down stairs, only up) or fumbling (makes your dexterity drop).

To uncurse you can: read a blessed/uncursed scroll of remove curse (if uncursed, you need to be wearing the boots, blessed uncurses everything in your inventory), #pray, or dip in holy water. I can't remember if putting stuff on an altar and #praying will also remove curses -- usually I have scrolls. There's probably a few other ways to uncurse as well.

But, uncursing crap like levitation or fumbling just ain't worth it.

[ Parent ]
lamb or ham? by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:03:24 AM EST
My preferred easter fleshmeat is rabbit.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
universal health coverage like other civilized by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #20 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:40:03 AM EST
Yes. I hear the UKians just adore the NHS. And the Soviet Canuckistanians love their system almost as much!

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Customer satisfaction by lm (2.00 / 0) #22 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:46:56 AM EST
A higher percentage of UKians and Canuckistanis both like their nationalized systems more than USians like our private system.

Not only that, but UKians and Canuckistanis are less likely to get the wrong treatment.

And we in the US pay higher prices for that privilidge.

See Taking The Pulse Of Health Care Systems: Experiences Of Patients With Health Problems In Six Countries


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Everyone always thinks someone else has it better by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #23 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:48:05 AM EST
The question is, which system really does provide better care and at a lower cost? Since, IIRC, the US payest the highest for something that's not the best, I doubt it's our system.

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[ Parent ]
Not disagreeing with you, by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:54:00 AM EST
and some sort of universal health care would save the USian auto and airline industries, but the downside is there.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
As a health consumer by cam (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:55:19 AM EST
who has experienced both public and private, it was an easier consumer experience for both me and my wife in Australia. My taxes were no higher in Au for it either.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
That's a subjective thing by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #29 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 08:07:17 AM EST
It depends on your socio-economic status as to what type of experience you've had with the US health care system.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
It's good. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #34 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:23:10 AM EST
I use it a lot, and it's as reliable as any big institution.

[ Parent ]
John McCain is running in 2k8? by Rogerborg (4.00 / 4) #6 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 06:08:01 AM EST
Finally a man who knows how to deal with terrorists.  Remember Nakatomi Plaza?  Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers!

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
Health care reform by ad hoc (4.00 / 3) #7 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 06:40:13 AM EST
My plan: This ensures a cost-neutral effect on the employee. They get cash in lieu of, so the net cost difference is 0.

Most people have No Clue how much health insurance costs. None whatsoever. The only people who do have a clue are those dealing with the health care machinery, and then it's a mix of cost and bureaucratic insanity.

But if you make people buy their own, the resulting sticker shock will guarantee some sort of action. In that case, it would be interesting to see who has more influence on congress, The People or the phara and health industries.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

I think they might have a clue by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 06:58:19 AM EST
My share appears on every pay stub. I don't know about everyone else, but I always look longingly at the large numbers in the debits column, insurance being foremost among them.

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[ Parent ]
Yeah but by lb008d (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:09:59 AM EST
how many normal employees realize that amount is only %X of the total cost per month of their insurance? And how many know what percentage their employer actually pays?

[ Parent ]
1) Most by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:12:12 AM EST
2) Not many

I base this on me, since I never keep track of any of financial minutae crap (such as the name of our bank, or if we have credit cards) but even I know it is only X%, though I don't know what X is.

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[ Parent ]
That's very rare by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:13:14 AM EST
I've never seen that before. The only time I ever saw anything like that is when I worked at Wang and they would send out a yearly statement of your benefits and their costs. I've never seen it on a weekly* pay stub.

Is that amount the actual cost? Or just your portion of the cost?

* pedantic note: biweekly, monthly, whatever
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
I've never seen it NOT on a stub by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:17:39 AM EST
Surely it's a law that it has to be there? It lists everything, federal and state taces, health care, SS, etc, etc, etc.

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[ Parent ]
right but he's asking by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:22:12 AM EST
about the portion you pay versus the entire fee paid by the company.

Sure, ~80$/check is taken out of my paycheck, but that's a drop in the bucket to what the company actually pays. It's the $400/check the company pays (and can deduct/write off on taxes) that's the hidden monster everyone is talking about.


[ Parent ]
Possibly by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #16 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:27:37 AM EST
I did say I was talking about my share, but maybe he misread that.

~$80/check. Oh how I wish. I think it's closer to 5x that for me and I further think I'm paying about half the total. With no dental or vision.

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[ Parent ]
I read that by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:15:48 AM EST
as "my share of the total cost", not the part that you pay. I was talking about the true, full cost of health insurance and how few people know what it is. Your share (in your meaning) is a small fraction of that cost.

If you're paying $400/mo (5 x 80) for a family plan, I'd say that's pretty cheap. Very cheap, indeed. The plan I have (BSBCMA "HMO Blue Value Plus") would cost $978.75/mo* for a family plan. Since you're working in MA, I have to assume your policies are similar. I know Tufts and Pilgrim cost more than BC/BS. (FYI, my cost for a single person plan is $373.14/mo*.)

* Policy premium only, does not include co-pays or other out-of-pocket costs. Does not include dental or vision.
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Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
per *check* by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:21:18 AM EST
Which would be more like $800/mo. But I'm really not sure, so don't take that as gospel.

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[ Parent ]
Then that sounds about right. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #36 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:34:15 AM EST
Few companies any more pay for family policies. What is most common is the company pays for you (the employee) and you must pay for any extra coverage. So, you, as a married man with four kids, cost the company the same amount as I, as a single person, would (if I worked there).
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Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
For *your* contribution, yes by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #30 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:07:41 AM EST
but I have never seen the company's contribution listed on a pay stub.
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Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
That /might/ work as a proto-reform by lm (4.00 / 2) #13 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:16:51 AM EST
As an educational device to get the average wage earner to understand the cost of health care it might work. But it's got some pretty big problems.

First, there are significant numbers of people who work who don't have employee sponsored health care. As a class, I'm not convinced that these people are any more activist in getting someone to do something. Most seem to just accept it for what it is.

Second, I think that there are significant numbers of people, perhaps a majority of wage earners, that would take the money and run.

Third, buying your own health care is the single most confusing purchase that I've ever made.

Fourth, without reforms to get things rolling like requiring insurance cos to accept everyone and the prohibition of practices such as refusing coverage for particular conditions and preconditions, quite a few people are going to get screwed on this.

Consequently, I think you've got a better chance at just going for a single-payer plan from the get go. If I were the activist type what I'd do is start a campaign to convince large manufacturers (GM, Ford, Caterpillar, AK Steel, DAP, Quickcrete, etc.) to start lobbying government for a single payer system to level the playing field against import companies whose workers' health care are covered by their governments.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Seems like a better plan by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:32:54 AM EST
Nothing gets done in this country anymore except at the behest of big corporations. The only trouble is, if you get GM et al to be the force behind it, there's no way corporate taxes will be increased to pay for it. Basically, actual human beings would see their health care costs go up because of this.

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[ Parent ]
I'm not convinced by lm (4.00 / 2) #19 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:40:01 AM EST
Imagine you're the CEO of GM. You're contractually obligated to provide health care for all of your union employees and all of your retired union employees. This is costing you X number of dollars per year.

Now if the estimates are correct that the normal profit margin in the health insurance industry is 30%, this means that a government funded single-payer system will cost about 30% less than the present practice.

Which means that if the government raised corporate taxes to cover the entire cost of the program that large corporations such as GM would be paying about seventy-five to eighty percent of X rather than all of X. (The seventy-five to eighty percent is a number pulled out of my butt to acknowledge that GM's would be covering not only the cost of health care for its employees and former employees, but also for persons currently uninsured.)

I think the GMs and Fords of the world could be convinced of the value of that proposition.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Absolutely they would by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #21 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:42:44 AM EST
But after the ball is rolling, do you think they'll really want to pay 75% when they could pay 0% by refusing to back any plan that increased their taxes?

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[ Parent ]
I think you would be correct for some by lm (2.00 / 0) #24 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:49:32 AM EST
But the GMs, Fords and Cats are large enough to realize that they probably are not going to get the reforms passed without them contributing something. Keep in mind that for GM and Ford (and probably others) this may very well be the difference between going bankrupt or staying in business. This means that they have a vested interest in seeing a viable option put on the table that many lobbyists don't have.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Could be by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:54:59 AM EST
OTOH, if they were competent they wouldn't be in the fix they're in...

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[ Parent ]
If by "competent", you mean ... by crux (2.00 / 0) #39 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 10:19:26 AM EST
"hands free to shaft pensioners," then you may be right. It's my vague understanding that they need to pay gazillions of dollars to their retired ex-workforce -- if they weren't, they would probably just shrink rather than disappear entirely.

[ Parent ]
No, I mean 'able to make cars people buy' by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #40 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 10:32:46 AM EST
I'm sure that their pensions and programs like Job Bank are costing them a lot. However, their poor showing in the last 20-30 years hasn't helped much either. Why wasn't GM the first one out with a hybrid? Why has it taken until 2006 for them to realize that selling American cars that run on fuel grown in America might be a good marketing and financial basis?

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[ Parent ]
Government funded != Government run by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #37 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:40:07 AM EST
Government run = VA
Government funded =
Medicare prescription drugs

Raising the corporate taxes, assuming such could be done (which I doubt), would do nothing to bring pressure to bear on lowering the cost of health care. The amount paid is still an obscure theoretical amount to the employee. They read in the paper all the time that costs are out of control, but it has no meaning to them.

The Medicare drug thing proves the phara and heath care industries are just as power any any other industry in making sure they get their pound of flesh from the government. It still boggles my mind that they got the "you must pay whatever price I decide and can't negotate" clause put into that law. Any government-paid health care system would end up with the same result.
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Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Re's by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:31:00 AM EST
Good points. My counter-points:
  1. I'm not trying to address the entire problem. However, if we can start by getting people with power (that is, middle class taxpayers) to bring pressure to bear to bring down the costs, we may find the costs lowered to the point where more lower income people can afford insurance. Not all, of course, but every $N in premium cost reduction means that M more people can afford insurance. I think it's a good place to start.
  2. That's easily addressed by following a medical savings plan or 401k model. In that case, you wouldn't actually get ahold of the money until the premiums for the policy you selected were paid. If you were able to find an "acceptable" (whatever that means) policy where the premiumns were lower than the money in the account, you should get that money at the end or the year (or roll it into a 401k or something).
  3. No argument there. But it can't be any more confusing than the Medicare subscription drug coverage debacle. So, it can be done.
  4. No argument there either. But a lot of that has already been done, at least in some states. E.g. the law that Kennedy got passed that says if you were covered by insurance in one company, you cannot be denied insurance by your new employer provided the coverage never lapsed in between jobs. This can be addressed in a variety of ways.
IMO, Single Payer has very little chance of succeeding for many reasons, not the least of which is the total cock-up the government's made every time they've ventured into anything like this. First (well, not "first") with Clinton and his mess of health care reform, then with Bush and the Medicare drug mess, then the spectre of the VA.

Then, if the government gets invovled in health care, it immediately becomes an ideological issue. Does the single payer system cover birth control? Abortion? How are smokers dealt with? What happens with families of same-sex couples? It quickly becomes a mess.

Those large manufactuers are all union shops. It's their union that should be working on this, not the companies. But the vast majority of people are employed by small businesses most of whom are without union representation. (I know of almost no white collar worker covered by a union.) It's the white collar crowd who would most object to the single-payer system, I think (except for the academic types who don't live in the real world anyway).
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Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
employers paying for it insane by cam (4.00 / 1) #28 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:58:25 AM EST
I know the historical reasons for it, but even so. It should be an individual, or collective issue.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
McCain is <gasp> a Republican by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #31 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 09:14:07 AM EST
He's courting the conservative base because that's the big powerful part of the party.  Word has it that he even hired some of the muckrakers that Bush used in the South to destroy his 2000 candidacy.  As I've said before he's Bush's heir to the empire until the hottentots are ready to take the throne.

I won't vote for McCain because he came out as an outsider in 2000 because he didn't have a chance against Bush in a normal frontal attack.  Now he's the frontrunner, so he's running as an insider.  I seek much in a politician, just some consistency.  At least Bush has always been out to screw poor people.  You know where you stand under him. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."

As far as I'm concerned by theboz (2.00 / 0) #41 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 10:54:12 AM EST
I'd rather we elect some random schmoe from any prison than vote for a Republican again. It would be about the same, except that the prisoner would be less out to fuck us over and would only steal a few million and would probably kill a lot less people than Bush has.
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
That is a false dichotomy by lm (4.00 / 2) #42 Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 11:36:19 AM EST
``I'd rather we elect some random schmoe from any prison than vote for a Republican again.''

I'd say odds are pretty good that some random schmoe from prison over the next few years might be a Tom Delay, Dukester, Abramoff, etc.

Unless you live in DC, in which case it might be a Marion Barry.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Gonna pitch a wang dang doodle all night long | 42 comments (42 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback