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Three not so wise men

Firstly, Tony Abbott. As if he had not embarrassed himself enough during this year, the latest but not necessarily the last effort was his astonishing suggestion that removing the carbon tax was his greatest achievement in 2014.

“Well, you know, it is very important to do the right thing by families and households,” Abbott said. “As many of us know, women are particularly focused on the household budget and the repeal of the carbon tax means a $550 a year benefit for the average family.”

What a comment bereft of wisdom. But then, wisdom is not Tony’s strong suite given that it requires a suppository to retrieve it.

Then, when questioned about the number of women in cabinet he said, “The challenge for all of us is to get more women into public life, more women into the parliament, once we have got more women in the parliament we will have more women in the ministry and more women in the cabinet.”

abbottWhy is it a challenge? Does he mean that there is no one of sufficient competence or that the challenge is for him to overcome his own difficulties relating to women? One would think that there are plenty to pick from already; many of whom would clearly outshine some of the male deadwood he has there now. So, do we conclude that he is the problem, not the women? Perhaps we should just let Anthony Albanese have the last word? “There is no issue too big for Tony Abbott to show how small he is as a thinker,” Mr Albanese told Fairfax Media.

Now let’s look at Joe Hockey. If ever we needed proof that his budget measures and his actions since were creating a defence line for his elite, excessively wealthy neo liberal support base, we have it with what we read on page 117 of his MYEFO statement.

In short, his broken promise to impose new tax avoidance rules to stop multinational companies from loading debt on their Australian subsidiaries, says it all.

It was the Gillard government that planned legislation to abolish section 25/90 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 that enabled tax minimisation deductions for global corporations.

hockeyIn November 2013, Joe Hockey announced that the government would not proceed with the package but instead would introduce a targeted anti-avoidance option after consultation with the participants involved.

In this month’s MYEFO statement we find hidden way back on page 117 the following announcement: “The government will not proceed with a targeted anti-avoidance provision to address certain conduit arrangements involving foreign multinational enterprises, first announced in the 2013-14 MYEFO.”

The reason? That it would cause, “unreasonable compliance costs on Australian companies” with subsidiaries offshore. “That means more revenue flowing out the door to multinationals, which means worse services and higher taxes for Australians,” according to Andrew Leigh, Shadow Assistant Treasurer.

What a pathetic cop-out by Hockey. How hard would it be to exempt Australian owned companies from the legislation? Not wise at all, Joe.

On his Facebook page, Wayne Swan says, “This decision leaves open a huge loophole that will bleed our tax revenue for years and is yet another example of how this Government is reneging on essential structural reforms required to make our budget sustainable.”

Swan concludes by saying, “Joe Hockey’s deceptive rhetoric about all Australians needing to pay their fair share is yet again exposed by this decision to give further tax breaks to large multinational corporations.”

Then there is Scott Morrison whose actions as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection betray his self-professed Christian principles of standing up for the truth, standing up for justice, standing on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked.

Contrast this with the circumstances on Manus Island that led to the death of Reza Berati, with the recent transfer of Sri Lankans at sea, with blackmailing the Senate cross benches promising to release children in detention on Christmas Island in return for the reintroduction of Temporary Protection Visas.

morrisonMany politicians cloak themselves with so-called Christian principles when describing themselves publicly, so in that sense Morrison is not alone. And it is easy to recall such obvious contradictions in one’s words with one’s actions as we can with most of them. So we should not be surprised when so-called Christian principles employed to win votes are quickly dispensed with in favour of pragmatism.

Now he has been given the Social Services Ministry as a reward for stopping the boats, as if stopping the boats was an achievement; as if engaging a nation’s Navy to stop a handful of desperate people trying to find a safe haven was considered clever.

However, he may well find treating Australian citizens similarly is a different kettle of fish. We shall see if his belief in standing up for the truth, standing up for justice, standing on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked continues to conflict with pragmatism. If it does, he might well find himself and his government in a different kind of struggle. Not very wise either, Scott.

So, what is left to say about 2014 that hasn’t been said? The ongoing incompetence and absurdity of the Abbott government has provided a rich canvas for political commentators. We can only hope they keep providing us with similar material in 2015. I certainly expect they will.

liarsThis constant harping on about removal of the carbon tax, the mining tax and stopping the boats only serves to highlight the absence of any vision for the future. They represent an ideas vacuum; a government that won by default, that was never prepared for what lay ahead and doesn’t know how to move forward.

Meanwhile the world will face some pretty ominous challenges in 2015 and there’s not a lot of confidence that those who lead us will manage those challenges well.


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  1. Lee

    There’s so much said about Muslims not condemning terrorism. When are Christians (apart from Fr Rod Bower of the Gosford Anglican Church) going to condemn these guys for their behaviour toward the under-privileged?

  2. David

    John I believe he has already shown he has no intention of moderating his evil ways. He would have been very aware his predecessor Andrews had the fund cutting for the Blind and Homeless ready to be announced pre Christmas. Did he care? Did he give a toss for the distress and anguish it would create, the despair, at this supposed joyful time. Not bloody likely. He has shown as much compassion to those groups as he has Asylum Seekers.
    I hope his kids don’t get a kitten for Christmas, they could well find it in a bucket of water.

  3. DanDark


  4. stephentardrew


    Julian Burnside says it all. Totally attacks Morrison’s Christina credentials. Most people treat their pets better than refuges. This guy is truly evil.

    “It is no novelty that politicians lie to us, so Morrison calling boat people “illegal” was false, but not unprecedented. And the flourish of “border protection” was a deft way of finessing the deception. So far, standard Australian politics. But the 2013 federal election took us somewhere new: both major parties tried to attract political support by promising cruelty to boat people. It is easy to imagine that if they had promised cruelty to animals, it would not have worked so well.”

    And it was Morrison who delivered on the promise of cruelty. This sat oddly with his avowed religious views, and his maiden speech in Parliament, delivered on February 14, 2008.

    Scott Morrison’s calculated cruelty is his legacy

    He proved to be a callous Immigration Minister, yet he is given another portfolio that requires compassion.

  5. Richard Lee

    Gotta remember that Tony Abbott & Co. are Vogons. Their vision for Oz is a Vogon one. Then everything makes sense. Morrison will send the Unemployed, the Poor, the Elderly to Manus Island. Saves money as there are already razor wire compounds there.

    I refuse to believe the only other possible scenario, that the Australian public elected Morons to power.

  6. Richard Knowles

    Here’s the thing. In their mind’s – in the minds of Abbott, Hockey and Morrison – they see themselves as wise. Their spin will continue with this illusion. I suppose until their political act on the stage is a memory. Bless them.

  7. Terry2

    The challenge for all of us, Mr Abbott, is to get people like you and your cronies out of public life and into real jobs where you can no longer damage the fabric of Australian life by your witless actions.

  8. mars08

    As one of the great minds of our time once said…

    “Fool me, once shame on you. Fool me …can’t get fooled again”.

  9. Graeme Henchel

    Consumer confidence reaches new low
    Unemployment heading for the sky
    Blame and excuses from Smokin Joe
    Hypocrisy at an all time high

    Complaints that Credlin plays too hard
    Julie and Peta don’t get by
    Abbott plays the gender card
    Hypocrisy at an all time high

    Bishop and Robb go to sabotage Lima
    Hunt stays home, who knows why
    Rebadge foreign aid to make us seem greener
    Hypocrisy at an all time high

    GP tax to be no more
    Senate wouldn’t let it by
    Plan B, GP to charge you more
    Hypocrisy at an all time high

    Education changes have senate block
    Pyne can’t understand why
    Ad campaign to sell this crock
    Hypocrisy at an all time high

  10. David K

    “Then there is Scott Morrison whose actions as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection betray his self-professed Christian principles of standing up for the truth, standing up for justice, standing on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked.”

    The trouble with the christian right is that it is neither.

  11. Lee

    Abbott’s Christmas message to the nation:

    “We thank the charities and their supporters who are reaching out this Christmas and living out the true ideals of the season.”

    F^ck. Me. Dead.

  12. Neil of Sydney

    Actually Scott Morrison is the refugees only hope.

    Under Howard/Costello we took people from UNHCR camps.

    Under Rudd/Gillard and the people who voted for them we took people with $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$10,000.

    Only people with money could get in our humanitarian program under Rudd/Gillard/Greens

    Under Morrison we are now taking the needy rather than people with money

  13. Lee

    Oh well, thank goodness our government is no longer mistreating the wealthy.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Actually Scott Morrison is the refugees only hope.

    You have got to be f*cking joking. You have well and truly lost the plot. Either that, or you have deliberately made that statement in an effort to derail this post. If it is the latter, then I think you need to take a holiday from The AIMN.

    If it’s the former, then you need to seek help.

  15. Neil of Sydney

    “You have got to be f*cking joking. You have well and truly lost the plot”

    Nope- under Rudd/Gillard/Greens you only needed $$$$$$$$10,000 to get in.

    Labor sold our humanitarian program to the highest bidder,

    Under Howard we took the most needy from UNHCR camps.

    Let us hope Morrison can start taking people from UNHCR camps rather than economic immigrants.

  16. Michael Taylor

    It’s official Neil. YOU ARE A TROLL.

    My remark was about your Morrison comment. You knew that, but true to form you twisted it around to something else.

    Same old same old.

    It really is beyond tiresome.

    I suggest you pack your bags and take a long holiday from The AIMN.

    If you don’t do it voluntarily then perhaps I could arrange it for you. Either would be a course of action that will be welcomed by our readers here.

  17. Neil of Sydney

    Sorry Michael

    Because of your vote in 2007 tens of thousands of people we would have taken from UNHCR camps under Howard were replaced by anybody with $$$$$$$10,000 and were willing to take a dangerous trip.

    Scott Morrison is the refugees only hope.

  18. stephentardrew

    Time to lynch the Grinch.

  19. John Fraser


    Put out the rubbish.

  20. Michael Taylor

    My patience is running low.

    That last comment from Neil was almost word for word to hundreds of comments he has made here and across other sites. He repeats them no matter what the topic is. The topic could be about the space race, fishing, or the splitting of the atom – he will derail it to repeat the same old same old crap.

    Would anybody else be pleased to see the back of him?

  21. Terry2


    An odd but essential feature of our democracy is that freedom of speech applies equally to bigots and low-life as it does to reasonable people : the trick is to ignore their posts, that infuriates them.

    Thanks for your work, enjoy Christmas an we’ll do it all again in 2015.

  22. John Fraser


    Put him in the sin bin until next year.

    Let him stew in his own bile till then.

  23. Roswell

    Neil diminishes and devalues the integrity of any site he visits. I too support freedom of speech but Neil is an exception. In my opinion he is just trolling.

  24. Neil of Sydney

    And my comment needs to be repeated.

    There are something like 20,000 people and maybe more stuck in UNHCR camps because you lot voted for Rudd in 2007.

    As soon as Rudd was elected everybody knew you could get in if you had $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$10,000 and were willing to take a dangerous trip.

    Scott Morrison is the refugees only hope.

    Let us hope Morrison gets us back to taking people in need rather than people with money and mobile phones.

  25. David

    Michael the sooner you dump the troll Neil the better, for at least relief from the Tory absurdities. The fool sets out to deliberately be provocative with no intention of a sensible mature debate. Such fools can only be tolerated for so long.
    I agree, he should be awarded the royal order of the boot. You have been more than patient.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Neil said “Under Howard we took the most needy from UNHCR camps.”

    And then there is the truth…..

    Starting with the 1996–97 program, successful onshore applications for refugee status were subtracted from the total number of places available for offshore humanitarian visas and, in 1997, immediate family members of humanitarian immigrants were also counted against the humanitarian intake. The overall numbers in the humanitarian intake appeared to have remained relatively constant under Howard, but these two changes in effect reduced the number of places available to offshore principal applicants.

    The 1996 decision to count onshore refugee numbers against the offshore places meant that changes in the humanitarian program were, from then on, almost automatically induced by changes in the numbers of onshore applicants. This happened most dramatically in 1999 with a jump in the number of boatpeople.

    Many onshore applicants for refugee status and protection visas arrive in Australia on a temporary visa, perhaps as tourists or students. The Department refers to them as authorised arrivals.

    In 2000–01 there were 13,100 onshore applications for protection visas, of which around 4000 were from
    unauthorised arrivals (DIMIA, 2002: 28). Boat arrivals increased sharply in 1999 and the Government responded by subtracting places from the offshore program.

  27. Kaye Lee

    Howard ramped up immigration to record highs but the refugee quota was less than 5% of total immigration.

  28. Bacchus

    I’d vote for moderation Michael – only letting through comments that are relevant to the topic being discussed AND that Neil hasn’t posted 46,273 times before – as long as that doesn’t unreasonably raise the workload for you and the admin team 😉

  29. Möbius Ecko

    Neil said “Under Howard we took the most needy from UNHCR camps.”

    Not always the most needy Kaye.

    I can’t find it again but in the past to counter Neil’s false assertions I posted a link that showed that it was common for the worst elements that get through the camps to take the positions of the most needy. In the camps there are criminals, gangs, extortionists, rapists, all unsavoury sorts and through bribery and stand over, including violence and murder, they get ahead in the processing and make it to places like Australia.

    This is one of the reasons there are boat people as they are unsafe in the camps, or they and their families have been threatened, so they flee the camps. On top of this many of the camps are often attacked by outside gangs and paramilitary groups, thus many refugees risk going on the road and put their fate into the hands of people smugglers.

    So Neil goes on as always has, not a thing different to what he’s stated dozens of time before, that Howard saved these people and was a humanist but he was anything but, on the other hand Labor is evil for its policy. The truth which Neil avoids as he always does is that it is likely wealthier and more undesirable refugees come through the humanitarian process.

  30. David

    Bachus with respect there are trolls and trolls. Neil falls into the latter. Not just here but on sites numerous, he plies his lies and rubbish. As Abbott is a serial liar, the Neil person is a serial troll and has had his chances. Sometimes not even tolerance and generosity can assist such a sicko.

  31. Bacchus


    I’m well aware of Neil – since the days of Tim Dunlop’s Blogocracy before the 2007 election and across all of the resulting sites. Sometimes his “views” make a good foil for someone really good at finding and presenting facts (like Kaye Lee) – an opportunity to acquaint the wider community with facts they may not be aware of.

    You’re right though – most of the time he’s just mindlessly repeating crap he’s posted numerous times before. This IMO should be left in the moderation queue and never see the light of day here.

  32. David

    Wise words Bacchus, cheers

  33. Roswell

    I’m also aware of Neil’s modus operandi.

    He derails topics then races to other sites to boast about it. He also goes all over the Internet seeking sympathy from others if he’s been banned from any particular site.

    He is childish. Strange bloke.

  34. Neil of Sydney

    He also goes all over the Internet seeking

    I post at The Daily Trash and here 99.9999% of the time. Bolts blog is useless since he was taken to court.

    The fact is as soon as Rudd was elected everybody knew our humanitarian program was open for sale.

    You lot can try and make out you have no responsibility for what happened but you are all personally responsible.

    Howards way was not perfect but it was better than what Rudd/Gillard did.

    The fact is there are 20,000-30,000 people stuck in UNHCR camps because you lot voted for Rudd in 2007.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Neil could you show me the source for that number please…the 20,000 to 30,000 I mean.

  36. Neil of Sydney

    The source is me.

    WE used to take 13,750 people from UNHCR camps under Howard. Sometime during the Rudd/Gillard reign that number was reduced to zero.

    So i assume somewhere between 20-30,000 people from UNHCR camps were denied places in Australia.

    But i guess i could be wrong

    SALVATION Army senior soldier Simon Hartley struggles with the consequences of asylum policy every day in Altona, in Melbourne’s southwest, in the heart of Prime Minister Julie Gillard’s electorate.

    He does not deal with asylum-seekers who arrive on boats. He helps the families of refugees suffering overseas who have been crowded out, denied a place in Australia because it has been taken by someone who originally came illegally.

    “The families we are assisting have put their applications through the correct channels, have not sought out people-smugglers and now are being told that they do not have a real chance of obtaining a visa,” Hartley says

  37. stephentardrew

    Sometimes I think free speech is a misnomer. It should not mean free and unmitigated lying. There must be some rational standards.

    The world is in serious trouble because of the likes of Neil.

    Repeating his lies and obfuscations over years just destroys any credibility and without credibility what he says is effectively meaningless.

    Every organized body of communicators is bound by certain rules and obligations that can be decided either by the moderators or within a democratic process of voting.

    In short free speech is the weapon of scoundrels who want to reinforce lies and misinformation.

    If we witness the result of Abbott’s lies upon this country then the means do not justify the ends.

    Ergo blanket free speech is a dangerous myth when it causes undue suffering hardship and inequity.

    Blatant lying is morally and ethically unacceptable and free speech cannot be used as a justification.

    Empirical evidence should not be distorted by some notion that anything goes. Diversity within the probability matrix of possibilities, yes, however we need to do away with random statistical outliers to make sense of facts and their application to society.

    Therefore free speech should only be free from within the bounds of certain prescribed moral obligations derived from empirical evidence, evolutionary principles and the foundations of moral philosophy.

    When anything goes we end up exactly where we are now in this damn insufferable mess.

    We need mature adults not fractious children protected by some mythical call that in a democracy anything goes. It does not and should not.

    That is why we have rule of law.

    Just because some person or group of people wax lyrical about free speech does not demonstrate its validity and reliability when applied to o social circumstances and cultural evolution.

    Freedom of ideas, yes, but not freedom to harm others.

    It is a complex issue that the notion of free speech over simplifies.

  38. David

    hark I hear an echo…of same old same old from N of Sydney…broken damn record boring!!!!!!!

  39. Kaye Lee

    Well yes Neil you are wrong, as I showed you in the above post. I don’t think you can use yourself as a source for something about which you have no proof at all.

    You don’t have to make this stuff up. You can check the facts in Table 4: Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program visa grants by stream, 1977-78 to 2010-11 on page 4 of the following link. It shows how many visas were offshore and how many onshore.

  40. mars08

    Oh, the Salvation Army. Yairssss there’s a fine bunch of upstanding citizens. No conflict of interest there, right? The statement made by Nicole Judge to the Senate inquiry is just the tip of the iceberg.

  41. Bacchus

    Kaye does it again David – Neil tried to baffle with bull$#!t, but Kaye countered with irrefutable evidence.

    Wasn’t the plan (under Labor) to increase our total intake to 20,000 initially and 25,000 or 30,000 eventually Kaye?

  42. Kaye Lee

    In 2012–13, the Humanitarian Programme was increased to 20 000 places from 13 750 places in 2011–12. A total of 20 019 visas were granted under the Humanitarian Programme, of which 12 515 visas were granted under the offshore component and 7504 visas were granted under the onshore component.

    In 2012–13, a total of 50 444 people lodged applications under the offshore programme component compared with 42 928 in 2011–12.

  43. Bacchus

    Thank you Kaye. It was the expert panel that recommended an increase to 27,000 over time. Labor promised to implement the plan fully.

    What happened to the number of places with the current government?

  44. Bacchus

    I found the answer to my own question…

    The Abbott government slashed the humanitarian intake — which Labor increased to 20,000 — down to 13,750.

    So that means there are 6,250 more people per yearstuck in UNHCR camps because dropkicks like Neil voted for Abbott in 2013” 😉

  45. Kaye Lee

    This was the plan…I cannot yet find the outcome

    Components of the Humanitarian Programme
    Each year the government sets the number of visas that may be granted under the programme. The 2013–14 programme has 13 750 places comprising:
    • a minimum of 11 000 places offshore (including up to 1000 places for women at risk), and
    • the balance of places for permanent Protection visas granted onshore, since September 2013, for people who have arrived in Australia legally.

  46. Bacchus

    Since then they’ve muddied the waters with Temporary (Humanitarian Concern) Visas and Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) Visas, aka TPVs. It’s probably a little early to be able to obtain recent figures for the programs, although if they are available, you’d be the one to find them! 🙂

  47. Kaye Lee

    Since 1995–96, Humanitarian Program planning levels have hovered between 12,000 and 13,750 places. However, in line with the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, the former Government increased the Program by more than 30 per cent to 20,000 in 2012–13, allocating a minimum of 12,000 places to offshore refugee resettlement.

    The new Government has returned the Humanitarian Program intake to 13,750 and the 2014–15 Budget maintains the Humanitarian Program intake at 2013–14 levels—that is 13,750 and not 20,000. Of these, about 4,000 will be reserved for SHP entrants, and about 7,000 will be reserved for resettled offshore refugees. Though the onshore component is yet to be determined by the Government, it appears it is likely to be set at around 2,750.

    Though the Government has only slightly increased the number of offshore refugees it will accept this financial year (an additional 1,000 on previous years) it has substantially increased the number of SHP entrants it will accept to enable humanitarian entrants to be re-united with family members. Under the former Government, the number of places available under the SHP fell as low as 503 in 2012–13 as more visa grants went to onshore refugees, including those that had arrived by sea. However, despite a significant backlog in people waiting for family reunion, the Government has decided to remove the additional 4,000 places in the family stream allocated by the previous Government.

    The Government will also provide an additional $27.3 million over two years for the supervision and welfare of children who arrive in Australia without a parent or guardian and who have been granted a humanitarian visa. This may be linked to the Government’s recent decision to give lowest processing priority to children holding protection visas (who arrived irregularly by boat) that are seeking to be reunited with family under the SHP. In addition, family members of such children will need to show that they have humanitarian claims in their own right, which at the Department’s own admission, will make it more difficult for them to be eligible for an SHP visa.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Ok here it is but it won’t let me copy it except as an image.

    The 2013-14 Humanitarian Programme was fully delivered, with 13 768 visas granted, comprising:
    • 11 016 offshore component visas
    – 6501 Refugee stream visas
    – 4515 Special Humanitarian Programme visas
    • 2752 onshore component visas
    – 545 to Illegal Maritime Arrivals
    – 2207 to non-IMAs

  49. David

    Aye, wouldn’t get me arguing stats with Kaye Lee…too far ahead of the bunch and trolls.

  50. Kaye Lee

    Short version for Neil – I’m calling bullshit!

  51. mars08


    May I ask why the hell is everyone being so intense about Neil wrong? What is the point?

    The finer details of who is seeking asylum, who is a refugee and how they get here… is ENTIRELY irrelevant!!!

    Both major parties have consistently shown that they just don’t care about the well-being of the asylum-seekers… or their humane treatment.

    These isolated, demonised, vulnerable, damaged, powerless PEOPLE are nothing more than pawns in a sleazy game of point-scoring between the ALP and the Coalition. The cruelty is not accidental…. it is INTENTIONAL. It’s nothing more than a exercise to grab a handful of votes from the important swing seats of western Sydney.

    And we’re arguing over numbers on a screen? Of course it’s BULLSHIT!

    I am not impressed….

  52. Kaye Lee

    ^^^ And then there is that….

    Neil is your stereotypical Coalition apologist. They all have the same talking points because they never bother informing themselves of anything.

    The human cost of this is a far more important story as you so rightly point out mars08

  53. LOVO

    Kaye, Mars08, Neil has had those facts presented to him many times 🙄 , BUT…. every time he does his “thing” the ‘real’ facts are re-presented to an different audience to see…. and an new audience learns of the treachery of both of the majors on this most serious of issues.
    If this is an issue in Western Sydney, then that’s where the sane voices in the refugee advocacy area’s should be actively informing those rednecks in those electorates.
    In closing I would like to thank Neil for his good work in exposing the hypocrisy of people such as himself. You constant derailing and denial has been turned to ‘good’ WELL DONE NEIL. *slowhandclapsmiley*

  54. mars08

    It doesn’t matter what Neil says about asylum seekers. None of it has to do with compassion or justice. None of it has to do with Australia meeting it’s legal obligations. None of it has to do with preventing the self harm and mental breakdown off innocent, isolated, vulnerable people.

    Neil wants to engage in political point scoring. He wants to justify the persecution of desperate human beings.

    Why would we engage him in a debate about which party is slightly less loathsome in this area?

  55. lizzieconnor

    I’m new to this site so Kaye Lee is new to me. All I can say is ‘Thank you so much Kaye for sharing the results of your indefatigable research on this issue.’

  56. Kaye Lee

    Welcome lizzie. We all learn a lot from each other here and our family is growing. Feel free to jump in though we may need a bigger pool soon Michael (site owner) – we have hit 6,068,846 views with 4,122,707 this year so far.

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