It's only words...

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Bill Pfeifer

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Jan 7, 2005, 2:08:45 PM1/7/05
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A guy at work was talking about a news story he'd seen on TV.
It was at a camp somewhere for tsunami survivors.
He said that they showed a little girl, about 4 years old,
who did not play, but just sat there with a somewhat
blank expression. She was not particularly sad,
she was just being a good girl and sat there
patiently waiting for her mommy to return.

Now, I haven't seen the story, I just heard those words
retelling it.
But I've been down in the dumps ever since I heard them.

Now, after reading these "words dancing on a screen,"
do you feel anything inside as a result?
If you do, you're a human being who is affected by
this "fluff."

I do not believe that the aim of Buddhist practice is to
destroy this ability. If I believed that my practice
would destroy my ability to be affected by this "fluff,"
I would stop it immediately.


Michel

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Jan 7, 2005, 2:51:07 PM1/7/05
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That: "words dancing on a screen," would be these hands who wrote it... The
girl doesn't have a problem? Does she? We assume she is in trouble
(predicting in the future) and it makes us said...
There is an 'I / me' but only when there are words... and in this case I
read your words and I internally cry... On another level this 'me crying
internally' is observed by the 'real me' preferably called: awareness
itselve...

Don't mix them up... a great buddhist can suffer a lot... The only
difference is it is seen for what it is (just as the girl only sees what is
at that particularly moment.)

"Bill Pfeifer" <billp...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:34851sF...@individual.net...

Keynes

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Jan 7, 2005, 3:06:11 PM1/7/05
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On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 11:08:45 -0800, "Bill Pfeifer" <billp...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

You're right. Compassion is not to be denied.
In spite of all the otherworldly pronouncements
and negations of the Buddha and bodisattvas,
compassion remains a principle to keep. It is
deeper and more fundamental than opinions.
When all else goes, compassion remains.

Words on a screen are nothing. They only stand
for the intention behind them, and that's certainly
something. There's no excuse for bad behavior
just by saying it has no meaning. "Why are you
bleeding? It was just a bullet."


Chris Myers

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Jan 7, 2005, 3:14:16 PM1/7/05
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Hmm...

We are affected because we have attached to what we think this child might
be going through. We do not know what is affecting her and whatever she was
experiencing when the photo was taken is now in the past and not in the
present moment where true freedom is.

There is a difference between compassion and empathy. When we feel bad
because of something it is more correct to term that empathy. Compassion
can be given with a happy heart and if the self (free from the I or Ego) is
joyous, then no sadness can exist.

When you felt as you did for her did you also feel the pain of animals
having things put into their eyes or having cancer cells injected into their
bodies to see what the results would be like? What about the person who
died painfully from the myriad of diseases or from the worms cut in half
somewhere in the world by a farmer or from the oxen who were shackled and
forced to work in the hot sun or, or, or?

Compassion must be experienced without the intervention or the ego or I but
this compassion must be had for all beings that suffer and not for one in
particular who feel under the lense or a photographer shooting images for
stories.

CM


On 1/7/05 2:08 PM, in article 34851sF...@individual.net, "Bill Pfeifer"

Colin Hankin

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Jan 7, 2005, 3:32:28 PM1/7/05
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In message <34851sF...@individual.net>, Bill Pfeifer
<billp...@hotmail.com> writes
Hello Bill,
The aim of Buddhist practice is to regain (as a race) access to
happiness.
Buddha understood the mechanism of happiness and described how to get
it. Buddhism explains that mental inaction is the route to happiness..
Your reaction to the story demonstrates the valuable attribute of
compassion, which guides our *actions* along those lines that give best
opportunity to practice that inaction.
Living to the best advantage demands that we prevail in two spheres.
Firstly we act morally to maximise the opportunity to be happy.
Secondly we acquire the skill of abstaining from conscious mental
activity in order to get our just and proper reward for successful
activity.
We think (often very hard - guided by compassion) to satisfy our
appetites (which includes solving that little girl's problems).
We abstain from thought to be truly happy.
Life is not "fluff". It often confronts us with serious problems (e.g.
the tsunami) which compassion rightly dictates have to be solved
TTFN

--
Colin Hankin: www.zenprime.demon.co.uk
zendan-at-zenprime-dot-demon-dot-co-dot-uk
None of the personal addresses on my web page work

red_h...@operamail.com

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Jan 7, 2005, 3:40:46 PM1/7/05
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your pain seeing her pain is not necessarily her pain
self less love might be closer to seeing no pain in her pain
rather then own pain as her pain
speaking to her eternal self instead, or buddha nature as people here
might say
since you cannot lift her up and give her a warm smile
and a hug...

t_pa...@my-deja.com

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Jan 7, 2005, 4:13:33 PM1/7/05
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Bill Pfeifer wrote:
> A guy at work was talking about a news story he'd seen on TV.
> It was at a camp somewhere for tsunami survivors.
> He said that they showed a little girl, about 4 years old,
> who did not play, but just sat there with a somewhat
> blank expression. She was not particularly sad,
> she was just being a good girl and sat there
> patiently waiting for her mommy to return.
>
> Now, I haven't seen the story, I just heard those words
> retelling it.
> But I've been down in the dumps ever since I heard them.
>
The true sadness is realising the mommy will not return. Waiting for
mommy to return is not so bad.

You suffer knowing the mommy will not return.

> Now, after reading these "words dancing on a screen,"
> do you feel anything inside as a result?
> If you do, you're a human being who is affected by
> this "fluff."
>
> I do not believe that the aim of Buddhist practice is to
> destroy this ability. If I believed that my practice
> would destroy my ability to be affected by this "fluff,"
> I would stop it immediately.

>
You would not want to "destroy the ability" of empathy and compassion.
Buddhism does seek to destroy suffering. For instance, when you hear
about the little girl, you suffer on her behalf. Does that bring back
her mommy? Does that ease her suffering? What has your suffering
accomplished? An alternative is, do you go out and do something so
that the girl's life can become better?

Do you "sit in the dumps" waiting or do you rise to action, do
something that you are capable of doing and changing things you are
capable of changing?

I see on the news videos of Buddhists, Christians, Soldiers,
Insurgents, Tourists, and Farmers doing work of lifting boxes, carrying
water, treating wounds, flying planes and helicopters, building
shelters. Perhaps if you looked at the people around the little girl,
building camp, carrying food and water, then you would see more than
suffering.

Raan

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Jan 7, 2005, 11:47:40 PM1/7/05
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It reminds me of the Buddhist who lost his son but not enough for me to be
able to tell the story. Anyone? Maybe Eric or Anders can recall it?
--
></>

"Bill Pfeifer" <billp...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:34851sF...@individual.net...

Robert Epstein

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Jan 9, 2005, 3:24:49 AM1/9/05
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Raan wrote:

> It reminds me of the Buddhist who lost his son but not enough for me to be
> able to tell the story. Anyone? Maybe Eric or Anders can recall it?

I'm the one who told that story; it is the story of the Tibetan teacher
Marpa who lost his son. Marpa was the teacher of Milarepa. Are you
interested in hearing the story from me? If so, I will repeat it.

Robert

Julianlzb87

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Jan 9, 2005, 4:08:06 AM1/9/05
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If it's anything like the following excerpt
I suspect that only arbt readers will be keen...

From Yungton Trogyel of Kyorpo Milarepa learned black magic and
also how to send hailstorms. Back in his village of Tsa, the aunt and
uncle's son had come of age, and in their house they were giving a
large party for him to which many relatives had been invited. Through
his black magic, Milarepa was able to make the house collapse and
thirty-five people were killed. Through his other magical powers, he
was able to send hail on the village and that destroyed the harvest.
His mother was filled with happiness.
Julianlzb87

Raan

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Jan 9, 2005, 4:58:13 AM1/9/05
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"Robert Epstein" <r.ep...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:lT5Ed.1496$F97.1323@trnddc06...

"Bill Pfeifer" <billp...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:34851sF...@individual.net...
> A guy at work was talking about a news story he'd seen on TV.
> It was at a camp somewhere for tsunami survivors.
> He said that they showed a little girl, about 4 years old,
> who did not play, but just sat there with a somewhat
> blank expression. She was not particularly sad,
> she was just being a good girl and sat there
> patiently waiting for her mommy to return.
>
> Now, I haven't seen the story, I just heard those words
> retelling it.
> But I've been down in the dumps ever since I heard them.
>
> Now, after reading these "words dancing on a screen,"
> do you feel anything inside as a result?
> If you do, you're a human being who is affected by
> this "fluff."
>
> I do not believe that the aim of Buddhist practice is to
> destroy this ability. If I believed that my practice
> would destroy my ability to be affected by this "fluff,"
> I would stop it immediately.
>

If you see why I was reminded of it then by all means.
--
></>


Bill Pfeifer

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Jan 9, 2005, 2:48:48 PM1/9/05
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t_pa...@my-deja.com wrote in alt.philosophy.zen:

I agree whith you, but I think you misunderstood me.
Maybe "in the dumps" was'nt the best description.
Also, I wouldn't necessarily call it "suffering."
What I was trying to convey was that hearing the words
telling the story affected me.
My post was in response to a perceived theme in discussions
here that it was wrong to be affected at all by "words dancing
on a screen." That words on a screen are mere fluff and should
not affect the reader at all. That one could let loose with
viscious verbal assaults in these newsgroups and then blame
the victims if they were affected in any way by those assaults.
I believe that as long as one can call oneself a human being,
one will be affected by others. To not be affected at all
one would have to kill all emotions in oneself. ANd I would
immediately stop any ppractice that I believed would have
that effect.

The people you mentioned seeing on TV helping out were clearly
affected by the disaster. Otherwise, they would continue
their daily routines unchanged, unaffected by words on a screen,
air vibrations from a speaker, and colored dots on a TV.

Tad Perry

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Jan 9, 2005, 5:37:56 PM1/9/05
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"Bill Pfeifer" <billp...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:34851sF...@individual.net...

Then stop it immediately if your reaction is that of a typical bleeding
heart. Bleeding heart syndrome does no one any good. In fact, it can serve
as powerful prison walls that entrap the people you feel sorry for. Take
proactive action if it moves you. It would be better to do something that
makes the girl smile than sit there with a tear in your eye.

tvp


Julianlzb87

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Jan 9, 2005, 6:31:02 PM1/9/05
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On Sun, 9 Jan 2005 14:37:56 -0800, "Tad Perry" <tadp...@comcast.net>
wrote:

Damn right. Hasn't the kid got enough on her plate
without having to comfort adults?

When, last April, my son died,
I spent weeks consoling well wishers.

Julianlzb87

Sid

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Jan 9, 2005, 7:32:28 PM1/9/05
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Julianlzb87 wrote:

> Julianlzb87

"While I am under illusion,
it is for you to get me across;
but after (enlightenment),
I should cross it by myself."
-- Hui Neng

"I cannot give you back anything -
here, take this."

"That is a cabbage, Master!"

"What's lost, then?"

Raan

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Jan 9, 2005, 11:40:45 PM1/9/05
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"Julianlzb87" <julia...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:qbf3u0dgfq7ke4oph...@4ax.com...

Didn't the act of consoling them help to console you?
--
></>


Robert Epstein

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Jan 10, 2005, 12:53:11 AM1/10/05
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Julianlzb87 wrote:

No, the story in question is of Marpa's son's death and Marpa's reaction
to it. You are recounting a story of Milarepa's early days, unrelated.

Robert

Robert Epstein

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Jan 10, 2005, 1:09:01 AM1/10/05
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Raan wrote:


yes, the aim of Buddhist practice is not to turn us into machines who do
not feel or react to life, though some may think it is.

Marpa, who had taught his students to be unattached to all manifest
things, lost his son I think to an illness, and his students observed
Marpa crying pitifully at the death of his child. The students became
angry and said "haven't you always taught us to be detached to all
things in life and that they are an illusion?" Marpa replied: "It is
true my son was an illusion, but he was such a beautiful illusion I
can't help but weep."

Robert

Julianlzb87

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Jan 10, 2005, 7:27:49 AM1/10/05
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No. It was, perhaps, a temporary suspension of what I had to deal
with, but as such, only a delay, I could have done without.
Having said that, I understand why it happened and don't resent it.


Julianlzb87

Julianlzb87

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Jan 10, 2005, 7:30:06 AM1/10/05
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On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 05:53:11 GMT, Robert Epstein
<r.ep...@verizon.net> wrote:

I'll take that to mean "related."


Julianlzb87

Raan

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Jan 10, 2005, 12:27:11 PM1/10/05
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"Bill Pfeifer" <billp...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:34851sF...@individual.net...

Marpa, who had taught his students to be unattached to all manifest


things, lost his son I think to an illness, and his students observed
Marpa crying pitifully at the death of his child. The students became
angry and said "haven't you always taught us to be detached to all
things in life and that they are an illusion?" Marpa replied: "It is
true my son was an illusion, but he was such a beautiful illusion I
can't help but weep."

(Quote provided by Robert Epstien)
--
></>


Raan

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Jan 10, 2005, 12:25:16 PM1/10/05
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"Robert Epstein" <r.ep...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:1_oEd.5592$hc7.1376@trnddc08...

Very gracious of you, thanks.
--
></>


Raan

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Jan 10, 2005, 12:30:18 PM1/10/05
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"Julianlzb87" <julia...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:mjs4u0d3c4a6qj6e3...@4ax.com...

My thought was that in consoling another your compassion would help to
console you. Maybe consoling isn't the right word for it but instead you
were reassuring them, which requires much less if any compassion.
--
></>


Julianlzb87

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Jan 10, 2005, 1:19:54 PM1/10/05
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You're right about the mutual aide aspect insofaras helping them, from
a buddhist perspective, come to terms with the loss does indeed
develop and strengthen my practice.

Julianlzb87

Colin Hankin

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Jan 10, 2005, 2:52:06 PM1/10/05
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In message <nss1u05svc8r22kja...@4ax.com>, Julianlzb87
<julia...@gmail.com> writes
Hello Julian,
Didn't they invite him?

Raan

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Jan 10, 2005, 3:36:30 PM1/10/05
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"Julianlzb87" <julia...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:lih5u0tv5kf7ndsr0...@4ax.com...

It really isn't worth the price...
But then that's not the point of it really, is it?
--
></>


Julianlzb87

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Jan 10, 2005, 5:51:17 PM1/10/05
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For further details I'll pass you on to the black magic department,
The address is alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, and ask for
Robert Epstein or Evelyn Ruut.

Julianlzb87

Julianlzb87

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Jan 10, 2005, 5:54:15 PM1/10/05
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What isn't worth the price?



>But then that's not the point of it really, is it?

I can't answer without your answer.


Julianlzb87

Robert Epstein

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Jan 10, 2005, 10:42:28 PM1/10/05
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Julianlzb87 wrote:


Great! Then you can take it to mean "fuck off."

Robert

Robert Epstein

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Jan 10, 2005, 11:00:14 PM1/10/05
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Raan wrote:


no problem.

robert

possum

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Jan 10, 2005, 11:08:45 PM1/10/05
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"Julianlzb87" <julia...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1g16u0danhit3qusd...@4ax.com...

don't be silly julian.

psm
>
>
>
> Julianlzb87

Robert Epstein

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Jan 10, 2005, 11:39:02 PM1/10/05
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Julianlzb87 wrote:

And I'll pass you right back to a man called Julian who practices
wish-fulfillment through occult practices by worshipping a magical
scroll which confers granting of wishes like the tooth fairy and finally
enlightenment through faith in a mystically endowed scroll, the opposite
of what the Buddha taught.

Robert

Julianlzb87

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Jan 11, 2005, 2:26:09 AM1/11/05
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On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 04:39:02 GMT, Robert Epstein
<r.ep...@verizon.net> wrote:

To set the record straight...

I believe Nichiren was correct when he said that
simply to hear the phrase "Myoho Renge Kyo"
is sufficient to enable one to reach the stage of non-regression.

There is no worshipping involved in that.
Grateful receiving is all that involves and that
is more a matter of not doing rather than doing.

It is akin to the difference between hearing and listening.

Hearing is something that happens.
Listening is something one does.


to hear the title sufficient

Julianlzb87

Raan

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Jan 11, 2005, 3:29:10 AM1/11/05
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"Julianlzb87" <julia...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:3o16u0htoemu0g712...@4ax.com...

The loss for the gain.


Raan

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Jan 11, 2005, 3:28:16 AM1/11/05
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"Julianlzb87" <julia...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:07v6u0l7crh4jm34p...@4ax.com...

Repeat the following mantra
for enlightenment as to your true nature:
"Whah Taah Naas Siam."
(Best said aloud and in public)
--
></>


Evelyn Ruut

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Jan 11, 2005, 4:35:58 AM1/11/05
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"Robert Epstein" <r.ep...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:GLIEd.4468$u47.2402@trnddc09...
>
>
> Julianlzb87 wrote:

>> For further details I'll pass you on to the black magic department,
>> The address is alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan, and ask for Robert Epstein
>> or Evelyn Ruut.
>>
>>
>>
>> Julianlzb87
>
> And I'll pass you right back to a man called Julian who practices
> wish-fulfillment through occult practices by worshipping a magical scroll
> which confers granting of wishes like the tooth fairy and finally
> enlightenment through faith in a mystically endowed scroll, the opposite
> of what the Buddha taught.
>
> Robert

hey don't malign the tooth fairy!

LOL


--
Regards,
Evelyn

(to reply to me personally, remove 'sox")


Julianlzb87

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Jan 11, 2005, 4:36:45 AM1/11/05
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It wasn't a bargain.

Julianlzb87