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Letters to the Editor

by Mike Ross Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Some Letters to the Editor

Letter



Letter: Mesa council acting above the law



Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012 8:14 am



Letter to the Editor



I just read that the city of Mesa is going to doling out millions of dollars in corporate welfare to bring three Christian universities to the city of Mesa.



Just what part of Article 2 Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution don’t they understand? It says: No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction, or to the of any religious establishment.



I guess the members of the Mesa City Council consider themselves royal rulers who are above the law!



Mike Ross



Tempe








Article



Police watchdog group looking for new members



Posted: Monday, September 27, 2004 10:39 am



Bryon Wells | 0 comments

Phoenix CopWatch is looking for a few good men and women.



Hotheads and cop-haters need not apply.



The citizens’ watchdog group that monitors police is holding training sessions Oct. 9 and 10 at Gentle Strength Co-Op, 234 W. University Drive in Tempe, to recruit new members.



Members of the group follow police with video cameras and document instances of police harassment and brutality, said Mike Ross, a selfdescribed Libertarian and CopWatch member.



What CopWatch does not want are people who just want to get back at the police.



"We’re not a bunch of crazies that go out and videotape cops," Ross said. "We don’t want people to hate the police."

Ross has an ongoing federal lawsuit filed against the Tempe Police Department based on what he said was undue police harassment.



Citizen oversight of the police is important in a democratic society, he said.



Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters, now a department spokesman, said he remembers encountering CopWatch members while working patrol on Mill Avenue. Masters said that as long as members don’t interfere with law enforcement, he has no problem with CopWatch.



"If we’re doing our jobs the way we are trained, then there should be nothing on those videotapes that should concern us," Masters said.



The phenomenon of Cop-Watch and similar groups has spread across the country after the infamous beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police was caught on videotape.



Those who should join Cop-Watch are those interested in holding police — and themselves — accountable for their own actions, Ross said.



"We’re just there to observe and record; we don’t get involved, we don’t yell obscenities," he said.

But, Masters said Cop-Watch members have been reported as trying to instigate incidents of police misconduct, and officers have seen and heard CopWatch members wear or say antipolice slogans.



Ross said he believes the idea of CopWatch works because he’s seen officers act differently if they see a video camera approaching — sometimes, the cuffs even come off.



"Every time you go on a stop and they release someone, you feel you make a little bit of a difference," Ross said.








Letter



Letter: Mesa council acting above the law



Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012 8:14 am | Updated: 9:25 am, Tue May 29, 2012.



Letter to the Editor



I just read that the city of Mesa is going to doling out millions of dollars in corporate welfare to bring three Christian universities to the city of Mesa.



Just what part of Article 2 Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution don’t they understand? It says: No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction, or to the of any religious establishment.



I guess the members of the Mesa City Council consider themselves royal rulers who are above the law!



Mike Ross



Tempe








Letter



I don’t see what the problem is with balancing the budget.



Currently the federal government collects income and other taxes that cover about 60 percent of the money it spends. Depending on who you believe, Congress either rolls the printing presses or borrows money to pay for the other 40 percent of the money it spends.



All Congress has to do to balance the budget is to raise taxes by 66 percent and it will collect enough taxes so Uncle Sam can pay his pork without borrowing or printing any money.



Pretty simple! Every year just tax Americans for the full amount of money Congress spends. It ain’t rocket science, just simple math any 8th grader should be able to do.



On the other hand, that might not be so wise for our Congressmen and Senators. I suspect if they suddenly jacked up taxes by 66 percent, Washington would be full of angry American citizens armed with pitchforks and torches who want to string these elected officials up from the nearest street light.



On the other hand maybe it would be a GREAT idea.



Mike Ross



Tempe








Letter

Letter: Cuts in waste are all hype, no substance



Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 12:12 pm



Letter to the Editor



Obama's cuts in government waste are all hype with absolutely no substance.



Obama announced that he is going to cut government fat and waste by eliminating 1,000 jobs and billion in spending over the next decade.



Big stinking deal. That is a lousy 100 jobs per year which is absolutely nothing in a 2.1 million-employee federal bureaucracy.



The billion in cuts again is a lousy 0 million per year. That is a cut of less than .01 of a percent of the .7 trillion budget for 2012.



And at the same time Obama is preaching cutting government waste he asked Congress to raise the national debt ceiling by .2 trillion. That is 4,000 times his yearly 0 million cut in government spending

Obama is also bragging about cutting military spending. His plan is to cut 8 percent over 10 years. Again big stinking deal.



That is a lousy .8 percent cut per year.



Mike Ross



Tempe








Letter



Letter: Cops love going after marijuana users



Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 2:14 pm



Letter to the Editor



The “drug war” is just a jobs program for overpaid and under-worked cops.

It’s takes lots of work to hunt down and arrest real criminals like burglars, robbers, rapists and murders. That’s why cops love the “drug war!”



It’s much easier and safer to arrest harmless people for victimless drug war crimes then it is to hunt down real criminals.

All the cops have to do is illegally stop and search 100 people and they can usually arrest one or two of them for victimless “drug war” crimes.



And at the end of the day the cops will brag they are making the streets safer by arresting these harmless people who’s only crime is laughing too loud or eating too much after smoking a doobie.

Of course the police say that drugs cause crime. That is a lie. It’s the laws against drugs that cause crimes.



Because marijuana is illegal an ounce of weed is going to cost anywhere from to 0. And of course sometimes people do steal because they can’t afford the high black-market prices of drugs.



If marijuana was legalized you could buy a kilo of weed for no more then a head of lettuce costs. And of course that would pretty much put an end to people stealing because of the high cost of black-market drugs.

It’s time to legalize drugs and make the cops hunt down real criminals.



Mike Ross



Tempe








Letter



Letter: Cops love going after Marijuana users



Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 7:12 am



Letter to the Editor



Here’s a challenge for America’s drug crusaders: Show us a crime of any kind committed under the influence of cannabis from 1750 to 1920. I have searched the archives in vain seeking a homicide, assault, rape or any other violent act connected to marijuana while it was legal.

Obviously Mike Ross is correct that “It’s the laws against drugs that cause crimes.” because when drugs were legal there was no such thing as “drug crime.”



It’s time to end the farce of an unwinnable drug war that causes a thousand times the troubles the drugs by themselves could ever do.



Ralph Givens



Daly City, Calif.








Letter



Letters: We don't need permission for our rights



Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 3:15 am



Letter to the editor



I am a big supporter of the 1st and 2nd amendments, but there has to be limits or terrorists and criminals will take over the country.



For starters, there should be a three-day waiting period for the purchase of any pencil or pen. If you can’t wait three days to buy a pencil or pen, you’re probably a terrorist or criminal.



There should be a limit of three pencils or pens purchased max. Only a criminal or a terrorist needs more then three writing instruments. Pens and pencils with high capacity ink or lead magazines must be banned for the safety of our children. Far too many lives have been destroyed because of pencils and pens with high capacity magazines.



We can’t let criminals and insane nut jobs use the excuse of “free speech” to write their anti-American rubbish. Anyone who wants to exercise their 1st Amendment right must pass both a criminal and mental health background check from the FBI before receiving their “free speech” permit. Of course, there will be a 0 tax for this permit and it must be renewed every year.



There should be a three-week waiting period to allow the FBI to review any articles written by a person with a “free speech” permit before the article is published in any newspaper, journal or even on the internet. We can’t just let people use their “free speech” with out their thoughts and ideas being approved by a government nanny.



Last, anybody that buys ink by the gallon must be a criminal or terrorist who is up to no good. Ink purchases must be limited to a maximum of one fluid ounce with no more then three purchases a month.



Yes I know some nut jobs will say I want to turn America into a police state by taking away our free speech rights, but this isn’t anything new. We already have had laws that require the same thing for the purchase and use of guns.



I am just joking. If you have to get permission from the government to use your free speech right, America will become a police state just like America will become a police state if you are required to get permission from the government to exercise your Second Amendment rights.



Mike Ross, Tempe








Letter



MEXICO: U.S. should look in mirror



In a letter to the editor, Shirley Grimes badmouths Mexico for not allowing foreigners to own property in Mexico.



If you read the history books, you will find out that law was passed as a direct result of when the American government invaded Mexico during the Mexican American War and stole most of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado from Mexico.



Sadly most Americas are unaware of the long history of the America government as an aggressor in the world. I like most American kids was taught the fiction that instead of invading Mexico and stealing the land the American government “bought” the land.



Yeah, it was a fair and square deal. The American military occupying Mexico City put a gun to the Mexican president’s head and forced him to sign the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, giving us gringos the Southwestern states at a bargain price that would have been impossible to negotiate on the free market.



Mike Ross, Tempe








Letter



New airport tax outrageous



History books tell us that 200 years ago Americans were very angry about a lousy 1.75 percent tax that the English placed on tea.



That lousy 1.75 percent tax caused the Americans to overthrow the British government.



I am amazed at how docile the Americans have become over the last 200 years.



Phoenix just raised the tax rate on rental cars at Sky Harbor International Airport to more than 22 percent. If George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were alive today, they may have stormed city hall to tar and feather the tyrants that placed these taxes on us.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Lesser of two evils is none of the above



The presidential election is a lot like having an election where slaves are allowed to vote for their next master. Sure, one candidate will promise to beat the slaves less and the other candidate will promise to let the slaves work fewer hours, but slaves don’t want a new master, they want to be free.



In the presidential election, both candidates promise to give us a better deal then the other guy, but in the end either candidate will end up taxing us more and passing more silly laws to micromanage our lives. I don’t want either guy as my master — like the slaves, I want to be free.



In every election, there should be an option to vote for “none of the above,” and if “none of the above” wins, the office should go unfilled for the entire term. I don’t need a government nanny to steal my money and micromanage my life. I want to be free.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



More hidden tax increases



What’s a synonym for tax and spend? Pawn and spend! Which is what the members of the Arizona House and Senate are doing now. Like junkies who need a fix of money to give to their special interest groups, they are hawking the state Capitol buildings to a pawn shop.



Why are they pawning our jewels for money instead of getting the money the old-fashioned way by raising taxes?



The cowards are afraid that if they raise taxes, we will boot them out of office. If they sell the state Capitol buildings to a pawn shop, the voters won’t see the tax increase till the current members leave their offices due to term limitations.

When it comes time to buy back the crown jewels, the next members of the House and Senate will say, “Don’t blame us for the tax increases — the former members of the House and Senate forced the taxes on you.” But by that time, the pawn and spend rulers will have moved on to another government office.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Ruling reduces Americans to serfs



Those of us educated in the government public schools have always been taught that the people are the master and the government is just a powerful servant.



The Supreme Court ruling on Kelo et al v. City of New London which says the govenment can seize homes and property if the government has a better use for it then the citizen who owns it.



This court ruling clearly says the government is the master and that the people are just serfs of the government. the ruling destroys 200 years of logic that said the people are the masters of the government.



If George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were around they would be getting out the guns.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Not the government’s business



Every year I pay big bucks in federal taxes. The feds passed the immigration laws so let them spend the federal income tax they took from me to pay for enforcing their federal laws. If the state of Arizona is going to tax me, it should spend those tax dollars enforcing Arizona laws, not federal laws.



That’s not to say I agree with these immigration laws. I don’t think the government has any business deciding who should be allowed to work for whom. If person A wants to work for person B, that should be totally between person A and person B. The government has no business sticking its nose into the transaction and saying if person B is a Mexican they can’t work for person A. The same goes for immigration. If your Aunt Tilda who lives in Russia, Mexico, India or wherever wants to come visit you in Phoenix, that should be between you and Aunt Tilda. The government doesn’t have any business sticking its nose into the deal and telling you that Aunt Tilda can’t visit you because she is from some country a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C., doesn’t like.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Racial profiling — Take the Fifth



Only you can prevent the police from profiling by race and nationality.



While it is legal for the police to ask you any questions they want, you have ever right to refuse to answer any questions they ask. It’s called the Fifth Amendment right against being forced to testify against yourself.



So whites, blacks, Indians, Latinos, Americans, Mexicans, Europeans and all other people, remember, you can stop racial and nationality profiling by taking the Fifth and refusing to answer any and all police questions about your race or nationality.



Mike Ross



Tempe








Letter



An easy way in and out



Let’s face it, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas hate the New Times. If they had any “probable cause” that the New Times committed a crime by posting Arpaio’s address on the Internet they would have arrested them years ago.



But an old saying goes that any good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. And that’s probably the direction Thomas was taking. Get a grand jury to hang some felony charges on the folks at the New Times, even though no credible evidence exists that they committed a crime.



That way they can string up the New Times with some felony charges, and if they whole thing blows up in their faces they can say “don’t blame us, a grand jury indicted the New Times, not Sheriff Joe or Andy.”



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Separation isn’t a myth here



Jack Salley should check the Arizona Constitution before he says that separation of church and state is a myth (per his Nov. 20 letter).



The Arizona Constitution clearly states: “No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction, or to the support of any religious establishment.”

In Arizona, separation of church and state is the law.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Arpaio's looney tune



I know Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he is not a racist.



Does this mean we will soon have sweeps through downtown Scottsdale and on Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley, where people with white skin will be stopped and made to prove they are not Canadians sneaking into to the U.S.A?



I am sure Sheriff Joe will agree with me, that these illegals from Canada must be deported. We can’t let them drive up prices in Arizona with their overvalued dollars they call “loonies.”



You let one of them Canadians stay and next thing you know they are calling their neighbors back in the frozen wasteland they call home and encoring them to sneak into Arizona to enjoy the warm weather with them.



Sheriff Joe, if you’re not a racist, I’m sure you will be soon making all the people with white skin prove they are not illegals.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



PROFILING



Latinos can take the 5th, too



Just why is it wrong for Latinos to take the Fifth?



I am a white guy and I take the Fifth Amendment all the time.

Every time I am stopped by the police I tell them I am taking the Fifth and refusing to answer any questions unless I have my lawyer present.



Just why is it wrong when a person of Latino descent does the same thing? Any defense lawyer will give you a long list of reasons why you should refuse to talk to the police unless you have your attorney present.



Ray Krone, who was framed by the Phoenix police and spent 10 years on death row until he was proven innocent with DNA testing, told me he naively believed it was best to answer police questions when he was arrested. He told me they twisted and bent the words he gave them and used them to falsely convict him. And with perfect 20/20 hindsight he will never again answer police questions!



Even if you are innocent, it is always best to refuse to answer any police questions without your lawyer present.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Mounting piles of debt



In Jon A. Long’s Dec. 25 letter titled “That’s a lot of zeros,” I think he was trying to point out the huge amount of money spent by the federal government. Perhaps an easier way to do that is to point out how much of your money the federal government has spent. With the current national debt sitting at trillion and the population of the U.S. at about 300 million, your share, and the share of every other man, woman, and child in the U.S., is ,700.



If you are one of those mythical families of four, you owe a combined total of 7,000 towards the national debt. Think you can pay that off along with your mortgage payments?



And it gets worse. The total amount of money the federal government is obligated to pay out for programs such as Social Security and Medicare is about four times that of the national debt, or about trillion for the 300 million people in the U.S.



Every man, woman and child owes about 7,000 towards this ongoing debt, and the mythical family of four owes 6,700. Still think you can pay off your share of the debt along with your mortgage payment?



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



End drug war, cut costs



We like to proudly say “land of the free, home of the brave,” but America has turned into a police state that would make Hitler, Stalin or Mao proud.



America jails more people per capita than any other country in the world, including Third World police states like Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Red China and the former Soviet republics.



Sadly, two-thirds of the people in American prisons are not there for real crimes that hurt someone like robbery, rape or murder. Two-thirds of the people in American prisons are there for political victimless drug war crimes, which didn’t hurt anyone. They smoked a joint or maybe sold a few grams of weed or other drug, but they didn’t hurt or rob anyone.



Keep in mind, currently two-thirds of the highly paid police officers are used to arrest people for these victimless drug war crimes. Two-thirds of the highly paid lawyers and judges in the criminal justice system are used to move these harmless Cheech and Chong bozos through the criminal justice system. And two-thirds of the prison guards and probation officers are used to baby-sit these harmless Cheech and Chong bozos after they have been convicted of a victimless drug war crime.



If the Arizona Legislature really wants to cut government waste, the drug war is the place to start. End the insane drug war and you will also end Arizona’s budget crisis.



The drug war is also a jobs program for police unions, and they will put up a big fight to keep their high-paying jobs.



Mike Ross



Tempe








Letter



Many people hurt by abuse



I’m still scratching my head over a letter from Mike Ross of Tempe that appeared in the letters column on Dec. 27. I would like to see some statistical data to support his claim that two-thirds of people in American jails are there because they “smoked a joint or maybe sold a few grams of weed or other drug, but they didn’t hurt or rob anyone.”



Drug abuse has plenty of victims. Most of them are children who are in the foster care system because their parents can’t function enough to provide food, shelter and clothing, much less get them to school.



Far from being something to laugh at, as we used to do with Cheech and Chong, drug abuse is anything but funny.

The drug abuse poster child moved beyond the lovable-but-unmotivated pothead a couple of decades ago when home-cooked speed (methamphetamine) became so popular.



These tweekers, as they are commonly known, can be extremely violent and unpredictable. I think if the truth were known, we would find drug abuse behind a great deal of violent crime and mental illness.

To stop prosecuting drug crimes would be great for the smugglers, but the innocent victims of drug abuse will still be there.



KELLEY J. KIMBLE



APACHE JUNCTION








Letter



Open up to all cabs



We were taught in the government school system that the government is a powerful servant that does things for its master — the people — which we can’t do on our own.



With that in mind you would think this request for proposals for taxi-cab service at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport would require the winner to provide the best cabs at the lowest prices to the citizens who use the airport.



Wrong! Government doesn’t work the benevolent way we were taught in the government schools. The request for proposals will be awarded to the cab companies that gouge airport travelers with the highest possible rates to provide the Phoenix rulers with the most possible revenue. Think of it as an auction to rent out the 180 cab slots at the airport. Visum, Apache and AAA won the auction by agreeing to pay the highest bids of ,777, ,176 and ,061 a year per cab.



Those are rental rates of , and a day for each cab. And of course the cab companies will have to pass those rental costs on to their customers in addition to the normal cost of buying and operating a cab.

If Phoenix wanted cab service at the airport to operate in the best interest of the travelers, the city would let any and every hack in town line up to take passengers. That would lower the cost of cab service because each cab driver would no longer have to pay Phoenix ,000 or more a year to get a cut of the action.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Open up to all cabs



We were taught in the government school system that the government is a powerful servant that does things for its master — the people — which we can’t do on our own.



With that in mind you would think this request for proposals for taxi-cab service at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport would require the winner to provide the best cabs at the lowest prices to the citizens who use the airport.

Wrong! Government doesn’t work the benevolent way we were taught in the government schools. The request for proposals will be awarded to the cab companies that gouge airport travelers with the highest possible rates to provide the Phoenix rulers with the most possible revenue. Think of it as an auction to rent out the 180 cab slots at the airport. Visum, Apache and AAA won the auction by agreeing to pay the highest bids of ,777, ,176 and ,061 a year per cab.



Those are rental rates of , and a day for each cab. And of course the cab companies will have to pass those rental costs on to their customers in addition to the normal cost of buying and operating a cab.

If Phoenix wanted cab service at the airport to operate in the best interest of the travelers, the city would let any and every hack in town line up to take passengers. That would lower the cost of cab service because each cab driver would no longer have to pay Phoenix ,000 or more a year to get a cut of the action.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Open up to all cabs



We were taught in the government school system that the government is a powerful servant that does things for its master — the people — which we can’t do on our own.



With that in mind you would think this request for proposals for taxi-cab service at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport would require the winner to provide the best cabs at the lowest prices to the citizens who use the airport.



Wrong! Government doesn’t work the benevolent way we were taught in the government schools. The request for proposals will be awarded to the cab companies that gouge airport travelers with the highest possible rates to provide the Phoenix rulers with the most possible revenue. Think of it as an auction to rent out the 180 cab slots at the airport. Visum, Apache and AAA won the auction by agreeing to pay the highest bids of ,777, ,176 and ,061 a year per cab.



Those are rental rates of , and a day for each cab. And of course the cab companies will have to pass those rental costs on to their customers in addition to the normal cost of buying and operating a cab.

If Phoenix wanted cab service at the airport to operate in the best interest of the travelers, the city would let any and every hack in town line up to take passengers. That would lower the cost of cab service because each cab driver would no longer have to pay Phoenix ,000 or more a year to get a cut of the action.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Letter



Arpaio’s looney tune



I know Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he is not a racist.



Does this mean we will soon have sweeps through downtown Scottsdale and on Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley, where people with white skin will be stopped and made to prove they are not Canadians sneaking into the U.S.?



I am sure Sheriff Joe will agree with me, that these illegals from Canada must be deported. We can’t let them drive up prices in Arizona with their overvalued dollars they call “loonies.”



You let one of them Canadians stay and next thing you know they are calling their neighbors back in the frozen wasteland they call home and encouraging them to sneak into Arizona to enjoy the warm weather with them.



Sheriff Joe, I’m sure you will be soon making all the people with white skin prove they are not illegals.



Mike Ross



Tempe








Letter



Forget about banking



I think the U.S. post office should stick to doing what it does best, losing money delivering the mail. We certainly don’t need a new and improved post office losing money operating as a bank.



MIKE ROSS



TEMPE








Article



English, Spanish light-rail rules don't match



Posted: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 5:37 pm | Updated: 1:20 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.



Sonu Munshi



Mike Ross is a self-proclaimed light-rail protester and rider. But beyond the Tempe resident's usual objection to government being in the business of mass transit, it's a giant signboard at light-rail stations that's been irking him.

The number and content of the safety and conduct rules for light-rail riders are different in English and Spanish, a difference that Ross isn't sure is a matter of a careless mistake or something deliberate.



"I don't know if there's any racism," he said. "I think someone screwed up, but that first instruction in Spanish, that kind of sounds a little bit racist."



The first sign, he explained, says in English to stand behind the textured strip, while in Spanish it says to stay behind the line and hold the hands of your children.



Ross said, "Why not tell English-speaking people to hold their kids' hands, too?"



The second rule of conduct in English is: "Alcohol, tobacco and eating prohibited."



But, noted Ross, the Spanish version of the rules does not include that rule, nor does it mention another rule that's highlighted in the English signage regarding a valid transit pass or spending more than an hour at a station.



Ross pointed out he's a white guy who just happened to notice the difference in signs and couldn't help but question the change.



"My Spanish is cruddy, but even I could tell the rules were different," Ross said.

His objection appears to have made a difference.



Light-rail spokeswoman Hillary Foose told the Tribune that generally for all its signage Metro used a professional translator.



"We have a professional translator that we used to make sure the Spanish one is as accurate or professionally done as can be," she said.



Later, after looking into this particular signage, Foose followed up with a written statement that noted the signs will be changed.



"The content difference was not intentional but was an inadvertent mistake made during the busy months leading up to and following the opening of the system," the statement said. "We will immediately replace these posters and update them with content that is clear and consistent."



That sounds akin to what Ross thought may have happened.

"I suspect they just screwed up," he said.

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