Oh, it’s on.

This is why I shut down my damn browser when I have work to do:

Because the news is always trying to distract me. Ahem:

A member of the City of Detroit’s pension board filed a police report Thursday against City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers, claiming she threatened him with a gun at a board meeting earlier in the week.

That’s the wife of U.S. Rep John Conyers, btw. And, in fairness, she said it was only a metaphorical gun:

“What she said was: ‘I’ve got a bigger gun than your gun, my husband,’ ” Riddle said. “She was talking about a political gun.”

And people wonder why I like it here. It’s Miami with snow!

Posted at 12:51 pm in Metro mayhem |

25 responses to “Oh, it’s on.”

  1. Marie said on February 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    To be fair, Miami does have its share of snow, just of a different sort. (Surely you saw “Scarface”…)

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  2. Dexter said on February 15, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Gee…what an unusual theme for a threat…in Detroit!…a gun! How novel!
    alex: My Dad’s predecessors rolled into DeKalb County after establishing themselves in Tom’s River, NJ. A branch of us fought General Washington himself during the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania.
    How they picked DeKalb, no one seems to know. Straight north of Garrett on 327 about two miles is the area inhabited by generations of my people. Many properties there were at one time owned by “us”. The cemeteries are full of “us”.
    I still have uncles and cousins living there, but they are dying off quickly. The ruins of West Richland School lie near my boyhood homes . That was the 2-room school I mentioned in the blog here. My grandfather’s ONE-room school stood for many years just a half mile away. It housed tractors in the 1950’s…today , not a trace remains.
    We ended up in Waterloo where I was in the last class of that high school , 1967.
    I have been in Ohio for 31 years…I DARE ya to call me a Buckeye!!!

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  3. alex said on February 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Dexter, I know just where you’re talking about. Once took an emergency crap behind the Lutheran church where 327 jogs north of Garrett (or is that up closer to Corunna?). Anyway, I’m guessing you were right around the first jog north of Garrett.

    DeKalb County history is fascinating. It was one of only four counties to send abolitionist delegates to the state constitutional convention of 1851, at which time the constitution was re-drafted to prohibit persons of color from entering the state and to subject those already here to harassment in order to make them leave. The delegate from DeKalb was the most courageous of the four liberals; he made a motion for the full citizenship and equality of black people and was the lone “aye” when it came to a vote.

    I’m fascinated with Underground Railroad history and have been searching out likely operatives in northern Indiana by their politics, religions, places of origin and associations. Anyway, DeKalb’s been a gold mine.

    My maternal ancestors plopped down along 327 south of Garrett in Allen County and up into DeKalb around the Cedar Chapel/New Era area. Mostly Yankees and some Church of the Brethren (which I guess is Mennonite) from the mid-Atlantic.

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  4. Dexter said on February 15, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    alex: My grandpa’s brother’s dad had a farm near the Allen County line. He died at age 88 in 1935 and is buried at White City Cemetery near Spencerville. He had the same EXACT name as me…and it was unnerving to see my name on a tombstone!
    In Waterloo there is a house that was used in The Underground RR.
    Get John Martin Smith’s book on the history of DeKalb County for more info…and of course you have already discovered the wealth of information available in the ‘net.
    Thanks for the URR info…that is news to me!
    And you dumped out (John From Cincinnati lingo!) at Sixteen Church. My family has a lot of bones interred in that cemetery, as well as in Corunna and Waterloo boneyards.
    I guess I can assume you live in Leo. My has THAT area changed in the past 40 years! I’m amazed at all the new housing when I drive through there.
    I remember all the German names when we played them in basketball…Neuenschwander, Minnich, Klopfenstein…well, no need in going on!

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  5. alex said on February 15, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    John Martin Smith’s house is another one that’s landmarked as an Underground Railroad house. We discovered that the Fisher West house near Huntertown was designed/built by the same people and it turns out that the Wests were close associates and neighbors of the Cornells, who originally owned JMS’s place on CR 68. The Cornells were intermarried with my DeLong ancestors, one of whose pioneer biography in the 1880 DeKalb history described him as “a Republican of the most radical variety.”

    I’ve always wished I could have free reign to spend in JMS’s basement library, which I only once got a brief tour of.

    I’m a ways from Leo, but that’s the current post office. Used to be Route 1 Grabill. Yeah, the names around here are all guttural. Makes you feel like you’re hawkin’ a loogie just trying to pronounce them.

    One thing I’ve found interesting in DeKalb. There’s kind of a pattern of where Churches of the Brethren pop up. Along CR 39 there’s one about every five miles.

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  6. Dexter said on February 16, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Just a few feet from my house in a church . Its cornerstone reads “First English Evangelical Lutheran Church”.
    Most have forgotten now, but a hundred years ago a famous person attended there.
    She was a young girl who went to school here a while and then left town.
    On April 10, 1912 she boarded R.M.S. Titanic and on April 15 she was saved after the sinking.
    The local paper wrote about it , maybe 15 years ago. I have forgotten her name, but she may have been Ruth Elizabeth Becker…that name and age match up…but I can’t be sure. Her bio mentions nothing about a stay here in town. Maybe it was someone else.
    I can’t walk past there without thinking about the Titanic, at least around the anniversary of the disaster
    I wish there were more complete bios on Titanic survivors.
    I am sure no one just made up a story like that.

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  7. Dexter said on February 16, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    alex…ever been to Battle Creek’s famous monument to the URR?


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  8. Dexter said on February 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I visited the Underground RR statue project in 1996, and it was worth a drive to Cereal City just to see it.

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  9. alex said on February 16, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Bunch of the Kellogg clan in Steuben. Powers Cemetery on Old 1. One of the many roads to Wellville.

    Tonight had wiener schnitzel at the St. James in Avilla. Remember that place? You can still smoke there and they’ll pour you a Jack or Maker’s that’ll knock yer ass into next week. Backroads all the way home. Sweet.

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  10. Jolene said on February 16, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Did all you Hoosiers hear Prairie Home Companion this evening? They were broadcasting from the IU Music School in Bloomington. Had several performances by IU students, as well as lots of interesting detail about the history of the school. On my NPR station, the show is rebroadcast on Sundays, so, if you missed it tonight, you might be able to catch it tomorrow.

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  11. Dexter said on February 17, 2008 at 12:00 am

    …missed PHC though I usually listen….haven’t been to St. James for years, but always enjoyed it.
    I saw a show about bourbon on some cable station yesterday. One seg showed Maker’s Mark being bottled. That is damn good bourbon, but I enjoyed most bourbons in my day. My faves were Wild Turkey 101 and towards the end I liked Old Forrester.
    Paul Newman preferred J.T.S. Brown in “The Hustler”. A bit harsh, but cheap. And for a quick shot out of an airline size bottle, a Rebel Yell Bourbon did the job. I liked booze so much I traded it all in on an AA chip. 15 years ago.
    “I went down to St. James Infirmary, I saw my baby there, she was stretched out on a long white table, with a D.O.A. sticker in her hair”

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  12. michaelj said on February 17, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I suppose the jackass has nothing really threatening to worry about until next Devil’s Night, when the bullets simply fall from the sky, like Billy Graham’s perfectly fitteth $5grand bespoke suits.

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that Ms. Nall is assiduous and more than deliberate in avoiding Roger ‘Poster Child for ‘Roid Rage’ Clemens. I hesitate momentarily to bring this up, but something’s always struck me as supremely odd about baseball and performance enhancing drugs. On the off chance that there’s a fan of this journal that’s actually an endocrinologist (or whatever may be the appropriate medical specialty), I’ve got a question about steroid use.

    People seem to believe that injecting steroids builds muscles. This is obviously erroneous. As I understand it, steroids allow a brutal training regime by cutting out the recovery time. I’m pretty sure that’s true, and if there’s any sporting endeavor for which this would be more useful than pitching in the majors, I’m Marion Jones.

    All of this is fraught with other bizarre complications. Alert readers might wonder why Dan ‘Scumbag’ Burton and his fellow Republicans were so knee-jerkedly solicitous and protective of Roger. (And think of the absolute wonder of being called ‘disgusting’ by somebody that disgusting.) Well, jeez, Roger’s not glib like Curt Schilling but these turds stick together no matter what sort of floculator is applied. That one’s easy. But what in the world are sportswriters thinking, who should know better, when they imply that hitting homeruns has much to do with bulk? I’d say Ichiro goes about 140, but he can pretty much jack one whenever he feels like it. It’s the pure beauty of the homerun–hand-eye coordination.

    So we’re left with the Bubba vs. Barry scenario. Anti-Barry Jeremiahs point out swiftboatedly that, well, he’s personally prickly. Sorry, Roger Clemens is an even bigger asshole than Michael Jordan, and MJ only cheated (repeatedly and egregiously) on the court. Has Barry Bonds committed obvious blackmail, and tampered with witnesses. Nope. So there must be some sort of difference in the two cases. One’s slightly more chocolate?

    Of course, in politics, the mirror image is in play. If race was injected in the Democratic Party nomination fracas, Barrack’s side manufactured it out of whole cloth, and they’ve goosed it to great effect. This does me great psychic harm. I was on this guy’s bandwagon from the jump. But, really, trying to make Bill Clinton out to be a closet racist is pretty much like trying to say that that foul sonofabitch Nixon never sent any Swift Boats into Cambodia.

    Why are Americans willing to hear some moronic talking point and proceed as if manufactured garbage is the Rosetta Stone for figuring out what to do next. Saddam blew up the WTC. W’s still getting away with this shit. I think it’s because Americans are still convinced they have some sort of control. The Constitution’s been hijacked, and there is a self-righteous multitude of progressives telling me I’m less liberal-than-thou because I don’t find Obama’s claims to having opposed Shock and Awe very convincing. He wasn’t voting and he wasn’t presented with the fraudulent evidence. Aside from that, Congress never authorized the bombing and invasion. Try reading it.

    The Scalia Appointees believe they can do anything they please, having been appointed unitary executives. Walter Scott’s got his annual dictator issue in today’s paper. Putin’s not there. Neither is his soul mate.

    Hillary? Barrack? He’s not JFK, mostly. He’s not Bobby, by any stretch of the imagination, but nobody is. Bobby might have been the last chance at something permanently good. They should both be on the ticket, in whatever order, and it would go a long way toward setting things straight. Actually, probably better if Hillary is the VP ramrod. The fact that the USA had it’s most recent elections with less credibility than Ratznestistan and included unconscionable slander against an actual war hero vs. a piece of shit frat boy asshole that no-joke dodged the draft, if people vote for a Republican, I’m giving up any hope for the human race.

    And on the subject of bourbon, it’s alright but it’s not sour mash. Invariably tastes like silage. But the Saint James is good. I always thought that Sister Morphine was a superb rewrite or reimagining of St. James Infimary, whoever may have written it, and my sentimental favorite is Ms. Faithful.

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  13. MarkH said on February 17, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Double-dosed YOUR roids today there, didja, Michael?

    As for bourbon/sour mash varieties, I heartily recommend the prescribed to me by one Evangeline Borth, one of the greatest ladies the state of Michigan will ever see. Long before she died at age 97 some 12 years ago in the Parshalville home she shared with her writer/genuine character husband Christy, she put a bottle of Meadwood in front of me. “None better”, Vange winked. She was (mostly) right, though Maker’s Mark is my current broad market choice. I haven’t seen Meadwood outside if Michigan since then, don’t even know if it’s made anymore, but as bourbons go, it was quite nice. If anyone knows where to get some, save me a bottle or two, post here and I’ll come by.

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  14. Jeff said on February 17, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Re: Newspaper names, Underground Railroad tales, and the Hoosier State — Not to repeat invidiously, but as i’m drifting back in from four days with 82 Cub Scouts and families on a trip to the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC — the best newspaper name, ever:

    “The Broad-Axe of Freedom and Grubbing Hoe of Truth,”

    an 1854 abolitionist newspaper that had a good run until the Civil War resolved (mostly) the dispute over chattel slavery.

    And it was published in what state? Mwahahahahaha . . . if you want to know what the deal is with Hoosiers, especially when they aren’t in Indiana anymore, read Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle.” He ‘splains it all.

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  15. michaelj said on February 17, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    But Mark, it’s only bourbon. As I said, bourbon isn’t sour mash. If the difference escapes you, I’ll buy the drinks. Furthermore, good as I was at football (and track), I’m a swimmer to the core, and anything that would bulk up is non grata.

    I was entirely open to response in my questions about steroids. I wouldn’t be doggone, I’d be long gone if somebody could actually explain to me how roids could cause somebody to hit home runs. I was not attempting to be cute.

    I read this log because nobody gets away with being cute. It seems to me that there are a surprising number of people both erudite and recondite that contribute to Ms. Nall’s amusement, and I’d really like to know from a professional. Wouldn’t steroids be perfect for a pitcher and no help whatever to a hitter?

    I guess, in general, my question has to do with normally intelligent people’s perfect willingness to buy into whatever. I don’t know, I see Barry with his kids and I see the Bush misAdministration vs. Barry Bonds, with echoes of that Nancy Reagan harpy and just say yo, er no, and I see Dan Frigging Burton joining in, and I see the conspiracy raising it’s ugly head. And, boy oh boy, it’s racist to the core.

    Now it’s my opinion that if you took back every hoop on which he traveled, Michael might not even be Isiah, and I know for a fact that if you called the proper offensive foul whenever he won a championship by cheating, he’d just be another good black player, but you know, Isiah is never going to get closer to dealing with throwing the ball to Larry than he is to spelling his name right.

    To this day, people act like MJ made some amazing dunk. J did that you idiots. J took off from the top of the key.

    So there’s the NBA and politics. Michael Jordan said that Republicans watch basketball too. Guess so Mike. How many of them live in the Ninth Ward? Charles Barkeley seemed to be a Republican back in the day. These days, he seems pretty sure the Pretzeldent is shit on a stick. Take your hoops legends as you will, I go with Round Mound, not the ultimate shill. Would you go into battle with Charles or Mike? That’s easy for me.

    How often can you flat out lie? How often can you subborn the Constitution? How often can you get appointed in dodgy circumstances and claim a right to just say Congress is full of shit because your signing statement is law? How can you sustain the stink of Swift Boat bullshit when the astounding lie is compounded by your own cowardice in the face of service?

    Do you people, who I think of as fairly enlightened and well-informed, actually think shock and awe was authorized in some fashion by Congress? Bullshit. Read the Act. Asshole was supposed to come back with some sort of evidence, after listening to the UN and al Baradei. Fat chance. Not something either Shrubs or Obama wants you to think about. What the hell, it’s only a fact.

    Could there ever be a more embarrassing episode in American history than letting the shrub underground get away with SwiftBoating? They practiced on McCain in 2000 in Soudth Carolina. McCain stood up to torture, though he now supports it’s use wholeheartedly. C’est la vie, or le guerre. The Bush campaign called my home to tell us that McCain had a bastard black child. Should you be allowed to be Pretzeldent if you did that? Could you be a more despicable asshole? You wouldn’t think so. But SwiftBoat broke new ground. That guy that said Kerry pulled him onto the boat from the Mekong, well he just made that up because he didn’t like Republicans listening with impunity to anything he ever said about anything whatever. So, you know, he must be a liar.

    And MarkH, there’s no bourbon/sour mash mashup. If you like bourbon, you don’t actually appreciate uisqebaugh. Some things can’t be sorted out. If you don’t reinvigorate with the sour mash, you get an inferior and somewhat insipid product. That’s why they called bourbon something French. Some uneducated fools think it has to do with scotch.

    And is there an America? Is there a functioning brain? How have things gotten so bad?

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  16. Dexter said on February 18, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Jeezus, I can’t wait until Mikej educates us on single malts!
    Glenfiddich or Glenlivet? The drink that one partakes of by the standard dose of a “wee dram”.
    Right! Enjoy, comrades…it’s all in my past.

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  17. michaelj said on February 18, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Anybody that describes himself as invidious and is talking about something as important as old newspaper names is a champion. My particular school of J was named after Henry W. Grady, and his heir was Ralph McGill. Serious names they couldn’t conjure in Missouri. This was a formidable journalist. Took no shit from anyone. About anything. The finest old newspaper names, brilliant names and even better papers, are the Courant (Hartford? I think), a truly great paper, the Plain Dealer, the Sacramento Bee.

    If you want to get right down to it, the most audacious paper was Colonel Lebbeus Zevely’s The Unterrified Democrat published in Linn, Missouri, in 1866, and the newspaper is still published under that peculiar name. Ironically, it now supports the Republicans. Kiss my ass.

    Then there’s the absolute best, the Tombstone Epitaph. Are you kidding? That’s gold. Nancy might have some idea about the Birmingham Eccentric. That’s where we lived if we were part of the city’s lifeblood, were upwardly mobile, but couldn’t afford the various Grosses. I think they still publish, and it used to be a pretty good weekly.

    Whatever they’re thinkin’ in N’awlins these days, I vote for any newspaper name that includes Picayune. I mean, it’s just a totally sublime word, and doesn’t this shout out that there’s nothing too silly for us to cover it. Like Dubya showing up several days late and billions already in Halliburtons’ hands for those trailers no human hand will ever make bacon and scrambled in. Maybe that’s the problem, Picayune as opposed to humongous.

    What’s the origin of Plain Dealer? In JSchool, we had a (world-class, I’d guess) reading room, with every important paper. Now I thought at the time the Plain Dealer and the Bee and the Courant were the important papers because I’d heard of them and my classmates hadn’t, and gottdom, I knew they were liberal. I thought they provided editorial insight, because they weren’t the NYT. Jesus, we’re dumb in school when we really need to be smart.

    So now I’m old and I know they all waver. But now I know what I know. When these papers trash this simian usurper of the constitution, I know they’re right. When they seem to give him a pass, they’re sniveling. If there’s a citizen that would stand up and be counted in favor of ‘signing statements’ let’s see him or her, and we’ll send you to either Guantanamo or Mariel, your choice, asshole. I doubt you could find such an abject groveler in the entire populace of the USA.

    I still love everything about the idea of newspapers. I used to think they made some real sort of difference. I don’t think it’s a failing on the part of the papers. I’m afraid it’s people that have failed. We’ve got a wonderful local here called The Island Packet. How cool is that for a newspaper name? I’m not jumping the rails, but humanity’s in a pretty sad state.

    How are newsmongers supposed to deal with mindless death and destruction like what’s gone on in the last week, when the commander in chimp tells us we’ve all got to be terrified, all the time, or our patriotic resolve is questionable?

    Nobody can get away with the big lie as long as we’ve got the Bee and the Plain Dealer. Well, yeah they can. To this day, Americans are so stupid that 40% of us actually believe Saddam and not our Saudi friends were responsible for the WTC towers being knocked down. And W will trot this shit out and get away with it.

    What the hell is the matter with people?

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  18. Dexter said on February 18, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Polk Progress. Polk, Nebraska. Norris Alfred, editor and publisher.
    I suppose it’s history now, but twenty years ago, reading Norris’ weekly story of bird watching along the Platte made the Polk Progress special.

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  19. Dexter said on February 18, 2008 at 1:30 am

    yep, mikej, it’s Hartford. I read it on Sundays because a good friend lives in the coverage area.

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  20. Dexter said on February 18, 2008 at 1:33 am

    What TIMING! As the world is horrified at the cow torture that’s in the news, a burger bar opens! Another GROSS(e) for the list.

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  21. michaelj said on February 18, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Scotch is basically scotch. And of course, it’s spelt without the e. It all tastes the same.There’s always that ineffable taint of …Scotland. There’s Jack, brought to America by Irishmen, and there’s the rest of the world of paudeen whiskey. And the typical wee dram is a fairly large dose, because it simply doesn’t taste very good, so you have to make the most if it.

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  22. MarkH said on February 18, 2008 at 1:53 am


    uh, yeah, MJ, as a (former) bartender of some standing, I DO know the difference between bourbon and sour mash, and my appreciation of such things is sound enough, thank you. I only mentioned them in the same sentence because Alex spoke of same in his post.

    And, yes, you’ll have to buy the drinks, LOTS of them, if that meeting ever takes place, if only to endure getting my arms around your thousand degrees of seperation on steroids/Burton/Bonds/Nancy Reagan/newspaper names/chimp presidents/whatthefuckever.

    Did you actually write like that as an actual working reportalist??

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  23. michaelj said on February 18, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Alas, my only professional writing, if you don’t count two books nobody knows about but me, has all been technical and legal, and had to do with owners suing Architects and vice versa, and how to build gabelled roofs. They do this at every juncture, the owners and architects, and it’s always the English language that saves the day, and my paltry bank account, because judges and arbiters (who insist on being called arbitrators, as if they need to orientate themselves) couldn’t read blueprints with Remingtons to their frizzy heads.

    I think I write pretty well, at times, , and it’s the dark art of weblogs that makes me get flippant and somewhat untidy. Otherwise, I’d say I was a model of editorial decorum. Tell you what. Take a read in Rolling Stone of this guy trying to be Hunter Thompson and Ralph Nader at the same time. That would be Matt Taibbi.He won’t like it. He hates everything.

    I can tell those spirits one from another blindfolded, and I’ve tended bar too. And if I moved too fast and loose, which I doubt I did, glad to see you’re keeping me up to standards. I seriously doubt there’s a cultural or political connection I made that’s very difficult to follow. If you’ve made even the slightest effort, I appreciate that, and you’re decidedly welcome to point out at any time how insufferable an asshole I am.

    And, Dexter, birding on the Platte, tremendous. Only thing better would be crashing around like an idiot in gaiters with a fly-cast hookup, and soaking up the birds’ disdain, to reinforce my indelible human-ness.

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  24. michaelj said on February 18, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Wolf Blitzer vs. the Round Mound? In Valhalla, baby. With Dickie V. The most singularly English-challenged neocon not named Bush against somebody that always says exactly what he thinks, and generally humorously. Well it’s the Lethal Weapon against the unarmed man.

    Wasn’t it Wolf that cowered and wet his pants when Arthur Kent stood up on the Baghdad rooftop? What a sorry excuse for a human being. And now he’s going to take on Charles Barkley? Could we get the Ann Coulter installment? The perfect anti-Clemens, and Chuck used to be a Republican.

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  25. Jeffrey Berry said on May 20, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    searching for “History of Dekalb County” and this blog came up, so you must mention it somewher in here. Would you happen to know where I can find this work, especially Vol. III I’d appriciate any info you have on this, thanks!!

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