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I was not at the press conference this morning (July 15), at which Donna Frye, Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez claimed to bring out more details on why Mayor Filner should resign because of sexual harassment. But it was described to me by people who were there -- one a virulent Filner opponent -- and I read the account in the U-T, although of course I was suspicious that it was slanted against Filner.

The bottom line is no so-called victims came forward. No names of victims were revealed. No cases have been filed. No one can be deposed under oath about the truth of these charges. Gonzalez says he may file a suit against the City for Filner's alleged activities. But consider: Gonzalez stirred the pot, publicly claiming at two press conferences that the mayor has sexually harassed persons, and brought in an ex-councilmember (Frye) to agree with him. Then he said he will file suit on behalf of the so-called victims. He has already prejudiced the case. It seems to me that it is improper. It also seems to me that Donna Frye, someone whom I respect greatly, should have known better. And when protesters carried signs saying that Filner deserves due process, she stated that he has already received due process. She certainly knew better than to say that. There is no due process until the so-called victims can be questioned under oath. Were they harassed, and then warned Filner not to do it again, and he continued to do it? That is key to many of these cases.

Meanwhile, there is a reliable rumor that Filner is reaching out to the downtown corporate welfare boosters in an attempt to get their support. He is, according to this rumor -- and it is strictly a rumor -- going to Democrats who play ball with the downtown establishment. If Filner changes his stripes, that would be a disaster for San Diego.

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Comments

KayL July 15, 2013 @ 2:06 p.m.

So apparently Donna Frye says Bob Filner is "tragically unsafe to women." Sexual harassment is horrible, but do you want to know what IS unsafe to women, Donna? States that pass laws that make it virtually impossible for women in states like Texas and North Carolina to have safe abortions. States that let rapists sue for the custody of the children they've created. Corporations like Walmart that buy cheap clothing that is made by factory workers who die in horrible conditions. Being groped by a creepy old man is not something any woman should experience, but guess what Donna? It isn't a matter of life or death. Good Lord, she has NO perspective.

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Don Bauder July 15, 2013 @ 2:19 p.m.

KayL: Despite the fact that Donna is a good friend of mine, and I have always been one of her greatest admirers, I have to agree with you. Sexual harassment IS horrible. But women's rights are being denied throughout the country. That's worse. Corporations that buy goods from countries in which conditions are deplorable -- leading to worker death -- are far more culpable than a dirty old man patting an employee on the fanny, if that is what happened. (We have only heard that; the lady must come forward.) That is bad, but unless the employee warned Filner to stop, and he didn't stop, I don't know that the charge will stick. (And again, there has been no first-person charge.) Best, Don Bauder

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FatCatSegat July 15, 2013 @ 2:16 p.m.

Mayor Filner made a visit to Pride yesterday at Balboa park. This is also second hand as I was in a different area at pride when he appeared. The person who relayed this to me went on to say that she had the opportunity to shake his hand. She also stated that he looked exhausted and gaunt. He shook hands and disappeared into the crowd. He was there with a photographer taking snapshots of the obvious photo-op. I see dark days ahead. Man this is depressing. In eight months our Mayor has done alot of good here and he's also pissed of lots of people with deep pockets who are swarming like hornets with the appetite of a pack of hyenas and he is dinner. So, now that his fiancee jumped ship, have the homeless lost an advocate? Should the mayor step down? Will the real Fat Cats pour their money on a sell out candidate if he does? Duh! Talk about an adverserial sytem of government!

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Don Bauder July 15, 2013 @ 3:44 p.m.

FatCatSegat: My worry is that Filner will court the fat cats to get them on his side. Then, whether or not he stays in office, they may well be back in the catbird seat. This is just a possibility at this point. Best, Don Bauder

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monaghan July 15, 2013 @ 4:06 p.m.

FatCat -- You have made a comment that an English teacher could love, full of colorful images such as deep pockets swarming with hornets and having the appetites of hyenas.

But about your vision of dark days ahead. Actually, I think we touched bottom this morning with Donna Frye's second fact-free diatribe. It's all uphill from here. It would be bad if Don's scuttlebutt about Filner reaching out to downtown oligarchs materializes, but I don't think Filner is THAT desperate or civil. It sounds to me like many other empty rumors that have circulated since the day long ago when Bob Filner first announced he would run for Mayor of San Diego.

Filner's not resigning: he's reforming, and I am glad to hear it. We can move on now.

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Don Bauder July 15, 2013 @ 6:58 p.m.

monaghan: I'm glad you mentioned that my worrying about Filner reaching out to the downtown oligarchs is scuttlebutt. I labeled it as such. However, "scuttlebutt" is not quite the right word. It's not really a rumor floating around. It's conjecture based on a conversation I had with somebody who knows the inside very well, but hadn't heard the suggestion from the inside. Best, Don Bauder

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patflannery July 16, 2013 @ 2:10 a.m.

Don: I don't think you should worry about Bob going to the dark side and cozying up to downtown oligarchs like Manchester or Fred Mass for example. Whoever put that scare into your head may "know the inside very well" but they do not know Bob (not that I know him any better). But in my opinion, it just won't happen. Bob is a new kind of San Diego Mayor. An honest one.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 6:55 a.m.

Pat: I sure hope you are right. Best, Don Bauder

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joebua July 15, 2013 @ 4:33 p.m.

You should have watched, Don. I'm sure someone has it recorded. Six days after initial accusations and still no one has made a complaint to City Hall HR. Everything in the shadows. And three Democrats who don't even work in city government deciding for themselves that the Mayor needs to go. That's the strangest part.

Say all these charges are absolutely true, just for argument's sake ... why didn't these women go as a group (as it is said by Frye, et. al. that everyone talks about the Filner headlock and the Filner dance) to the city. Who took them outside the HR process and to the Gonzalezes and Briggs and Frye? And why?

If the process for reporting such things is broken to the point women are afraid to file claims, someone should be wanting to fix that. I didn't hear one thing from either lawyer or Frye speaking today about that.

I did hear today from three people who seem to be relishing this opportunity to "protect the women of this city." BTW, if you wanna protect the women of this city pass a living wage ordinance why don't ya.

Marco Gonzalez made reference to the fact that Filner's behavior is kinda consistent with his reputation. If so, why did he and his sister and Frye and Briggs support him in the election in the first place? Are they banging the drum now just to defend their reputations?

And what of Bronwyn Ingram. On a trip to France with her intended she stole his phone from him and read his texts. And then she got angry that he yelled at her in public. Do you think maybe he yelled at her in public because she breached his privacy? I know I'd yell some for that.

Feels like she was the start of all this, unless I have my chronology wrong. I'm sure someone will correct me if so.

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aardvark July 15, 2013 @ 5 p.m.

If I were Bob, I'd be upset too, since after all, apparently he did have something to hide, and Bronwyn called him on it.

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Don Bauder July 15, 2013 @ 7:24 p.m.

aardvark: But if he did have something to hide, let's hear about it. Why doesn't Bronwyn open up? (I have no idea if she is credible.) Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark July 15, 2013 @ 8:37 p.m.

True--she could be considered a "jilted lover" at this point., but many have the same or similar stories right now. I think either Filner is guilty as sin, or this is one of the more elaborate schemes ever done in San Diego.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 8:55 a.m.

aardvark: Suppose Filner is "guilty as sin" of sexual harassment -- verbal abuse, groping, stealing kisses. The question is whether this disqualifies him for office. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 7:03 a.m.

aardvark: Now that we know about Jack Kennedy's out-of-wedlock sexual proclivities, should we go back and reassess his entire presidency? How far do we take this thing? Men with great power -- Kennedy, Clinton, Johnson et al -- think they can do anything, including sleeping with anyone they want. Let's go deeper into this pathology. And again: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lying to the public to get us into a multi-billion dollar war that cost more than 100,000 lives is 1000 times more serious than these megalomaniacs' sexual transgressions. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 15, 2013 @ 7:12 p.m.

joebua: I had not heard the Bronwyn Ingram story. She apparently mentioned the word "infidelities." He wasn't married to her. If he was seeing other ladies -- or flashing them love messages -- that was not infidelity, at least in my judgment. Your questions are apt. I understand Filner had had no sexual harassment charges against his nearly 20 years in Congress. The people now denouncing him supported him when he ran for office. If he had this reputation -- which people are now talking about -- why didn't the subject come up when he was running? Until Filner can face and depose accusers, this is a Salem Witch Trial, an Oxbow Incident. Right now, San Diego has this precedent: three people can stand up and say that a person is a serial murderer, but produce not a sliver of evidence, and the public will swallow it. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi July 15, 2013 @ 11:47 p.m.

She was apparently dating him for 3 years. Perhaps he was in Washington while she was in L.A.? Who knows. But she broke off the engagement and she ended their relationship after 3 years. That says something. And I am disappointed that you feel that an engagement is not a significant enough commitment to demand fidelity.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 7:07 a.m.

Ponzi: We have a definitional difference, to be sure, particularly since the term "fiance" today often means nothing more than someone you are living with. It's a more polite term than "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" or "squeeze". Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 15, 2013 @ 6:22 p.m.

I was against Filner as a Mayor candidate, but I must say I was warming up to his boat rocking, and now this, which looks like it may have legs, it is depressing. I want him to stay, but the allegations, his fiancée, the close supporters turning on him, it looks like it may be valid, and IF, a big if, it is then he has to go.

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Don Bauder July 15, 2013 @ 7:19 p.m.

SurfPup: If it turns out the allegations are true, then he has trouble. But I am not sure he has to go. His two predecessors, Murphy and Sanders, permitted mega-millionaires and billionaires to raid the public purse. Isn't that worse than sexual harassment? What is a suitable punishment, if the charges are true? Although I was a Republican at the time, I did not think the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky charges, and even Clinton's public lies about the topic, merited his being removed from office. Reprehensible, yes. Worse than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney concocting enormous lies to pull the country into the Iraq war that cost thousands of lives on both sides? Lord, no. Bush and Cheney should both have been impeached and convicted. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:10 a.m.

aardvark: I fear you are right that Filner supporters are dropping off. There are several reasons, including general hysteria, slanted news coverage, and lack of public perspective. Repeat: until accusers come forward publicly, this is the Salem Witch Trials. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:12 a.m.

SurfPup: Yours is a statement I know nothing about. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark July 16, 2013 @ 11:30 a.m.

Don: I believe Surf Pup's post was directed at another poster who's post has since been removed (quite rightly, I might ad). Some of that post is highlighted in SP's response.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 1:38 p.m.

aardvark: Maybe that explains it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 7:17 a.m.

laplayaheritage: That's a perceptive article from the Free Press. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 15, 2013 @ 7:37 p.m.

The alleged victims are adults, therefore everything described so far is perfectly legal, if there is consent. Let's listen to the victims when they make their statements, not opportunist politicians prancing in front of the cameras.

Prominent LG people should stay out of this, naturally they find heterosexual escapades disgusting, that's why they are LG. If they turn their disgust into crusade they are no better than homophobics.

Filner only needs help from one quarter in this fight, that's the women involved, if they show mercy, he's fine. As long as there is no violence involved, or misuse of position.

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Don Bauder July 15, 2013 @ 7:54 p.m.

Psycholizard: Yes, misuse of position is a key matter. Did he try to get women to sleep with him in order to keep their jobs? Also key: did the women warn him, and he ignored the warnings? I have heard tales of him telling women they were good-looking, asking if they were married, trying to sneak a kiss. If so, the women should come forward. And the people of San Diego should decide if these things merit his removal from office. Is this more serious than the convention center deliberately falsifying its performance statistics? We know that the convention center boosters paid a bundle to have consultants recommend exactly what they were told to recommend (go ahead, expand). Isn't this worse than sexual harassment, especially, if it will cost the City more than $500 million? We know that the Golding administration instructed bureaucrats to falsify numbers to make it look like ballpark-related hotel receipts would service the debt of the ballpark. (Not even remotely close.) Is sexual harassment worse than that? Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 15, 2013 @ 8:02 p.m.

DF provided details today (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jul/15/mayor-filner-harrassement-statements-accusers/)

• A campaign volunteer who said Filner kissed her — “jamming his tongue down her throat” — on a public sidewalk and later groped her under her bra when she drove him back to his office.

• A constituent who attended one of Filner’s monthly meet-and-greet events at City Hall. She said the mayor took her to an enclosed area, dismissed a staff member, asked her out on a date and then grabbed and kissed her. She left immediately.

• A mayoral staffer, who spent six months working for Filner, complained that “he grabbed her ass and touched her chest.”

Filner needs to leave office now.

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SurfPuppy619 July 15, 2013 @ 9:43 p.m.

If true, I hate to say it b/c he is taking the Order on- but he needs to go.....

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:14 a.m.

SurfPup: Suppose it is true. Does that mean he should be removed from office? Come now. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 16, 2013 @ 12:03 p.m.

SurfPup: Suppose it is true. Does that mean he should be removed from office?...if the allegations are indeed true, Filner has to go, no matter how much I am thrilled about him taking on the Downtown Cabal......makes me mad, but if true he only has himself to blame, for a major F-U.....

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:27 p.m.

SurfPup: Even if he is found guilty of sexual harassment, I am not sure this merits him being forced out of office. That would have to be decided by voters. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 16, 2013 @ 5:56 p.m.

Don I find it surprising that you don't think grabbing a female employee's breast is cause for immediate termination.

I don't agree with you.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:34 p.m.

ImJustABill: I have only heard a rumor of the mayor's grabbing a female's breast. I have not heard of a woman coming forward and signing a declaration that it happened. As I said on another blog, on Tuesday we night we had a reception for Joyce Yang, the greatest classical pianist of her generation. I hugged her. It was mutual. I am 50 years older than she is. I suppose I am guilty of pedophilia and child abuse in the minds of some people contributing to this blog. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 7:21 a.m.

ImJustABill: We can't condemn him until his accusers come forward. And then we have to decide whether his sexual harassment proclivities, if what is said is true, are so important that he should resign. His predecessors gave away billions of dollars to benefit a handful of rich people. What is worse? Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 15, 2013 @ 8:53 p.m.

I read the same hit piece as IMJ, and nothing described would be unusual on San Diego streets. The issue here is consent, we need the politicians to shut up and listen to the concerned parties. The "Jamming his tongue down her throat" is just flat hilarious. I wish I could do that, and I'm a giant reptile. The woman in question must have had her mouth closed tightly, since she wasn't willing. This sounds more like bragging than complaining. The plaintiffs here should fire their attorney, he's not helping them by playing this as a power grab, and making them a laughing stock by sheer ineptitude.

I know a woman who can touch the tip of her nose with her tongue, she keeps attacking me while I try to play music, I have photos. Are we doing something wrong?

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 7:22 a.m.

Psycholizard: Attorney Gonzalez may be self-destructing. It's too bad, because on balance he has been a plus for San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 1:43 p.m.

Psycholizard. Trying to ram a tongue down someone's throat? That's a Guiness Book of World Records size tongue. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi July 15, 2013 @ 11:23 p.m.

“I am a Congressman and I can do what ever I want, I want to see my constituent and I am not moving from here until I do so.”

Sound familiar? "I'm the mayor, I don't have to leave your office!"

This megalomaniac has been there before. Abusing a flight attendant. Charged with a felony and reduced, perhaps only because of his power. Like OJ getting off of a murder charge, Filner thinks he is infallible.

Filner is not being denied due process, he will get that. What the 6 council members and dozens of others are saying is that under these circumstances, Filner cannot lead. The people, his staff, the city, have lost trust and respect. He cannot move forward. He is worse than a lame duck. He is embarrassing San Diego --- in July, the height of the tourist season, Comic Con --- the eyes of the nation are upon us.

He admitted his problems, yet covets power more than letting the city heal. He is never going to be able to restore trust.

His fiancé left him. Should she give him "due process" or did she know enough to break off a marriage and a relationship and then also call for him to resign.

Do you people not understand sexual harassment?

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:18 a.m.

Ponzi: Do the people not understand sexual harassment? Don't you think those people should bone up on the law before deciding what he is supposed to have done was actually sexual harassment? If it is decided that it was, the next step is to decide if that's enough to remove him from office. What's embarrassing San Diego is this rush to judgment. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 1:46 p.m.

Murphyjunk: The people who think the City will heal if he resigns office have it wrong. If he resigns before he gets due process, the controversy will rage on for years. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan July 16, 2013 @ 11:20 a.m.

Problem is we all have tolerated and dismissed the effect of sick behavior of good old boys for too long. Didn't Bill Clinton send him a note saying no biggy. Hardly wait till Filner is charged and women are not afraid of retaliation. And apparently he needed to return 100,000$ contribution from some buddy. Character flaws or illegal acts? We'll soon see.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 1:48 p.m.

shirleyberan: I believe the Clinton reference was a joke in the Reader. It was satirical and not to be taken seriously. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 16, 2013 @ 11:27 a.m.

We should judge our Mayor when specifics are revealed, but his accusers actions are already ridiculous at best. We should consider that If any alleged acts are between the Mayor and his personal staff, his resignation would result in his staff losing their jobs. Nobody in this circus cares about the elephants, those ladies who were offended.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 1:51 p.m.

Psycholizard: San Diego has been run by out and out crooks for years. Now it is run by somebody who admits he treats women badly, and promises to change. I will take the latter any time. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill July 16, 2013 @ 7:16 p.m.

A 20 year old might change their behavior. A 70 year old won't.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:38 p.m.

ImJustABill: I think 70 year-olds can change. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat July 23, 2013 @ 3:12 a.m.

Isn't it terrible that these are our two choices in San Diego: GOP crooks or autocratic Democratic pervs. Neither one is acceptable.

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Sjtorres July 16, 2013 @ 4:20 p.m.

Filner's behavior and untrustworthiness have made it impossible for him to govern effectively.

San Diego deserves better. I agree with Toni Atkins and Lorena Gonzalez: Filner must resign now.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:41 p.m.

Sjtorres: Lorena's brother says the same thing. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 16, 2013 @ 6:55 p.m.

What's the rush about? Filner offended his own team, one with plenty of women in key posts, if he resigns that team disappears and everyone will have to look for work. That will teach women to keep their mouths shut. Gay men will likely replace them. That will teach men to keep their mouths open.

These attacks are so easy to make, salacious rumors abound in politics. So far nothing described is a crime. If someone is wronged let's consider whether resignation will help them, it might end their career.

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Don Bauder July 16, 2013 @ 9:43 p.m.

Psycholizard: I have not yet heard of something that smacks of criminality, although I haven't been looking at the news on the topic since this afternoon. Best, Don Bauder

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