From One Spring to Another

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It was a little over a year ago when I spoke about Formspring.me.

 

At that time, the newly reborn spring.me site seemed to work without problems.

 

That was until the last couple of months, when the site started having a lot of glitches.  Among the problems were webpage errors and duplicating questions and answers.  It also had problems connecting to Facebook.

 

However, all those problems seem to be over as the site appears to be dead.  Even though it seems to be an operating site, nobody has posted there since last Friday.  Apparently the site shut down while still looking like it was up and running.

 

When I posted a question, why there were no questions in my inbox in 4 days, one lone follower explained that the site was shut down and many had fled to another site.  Also, the spring.me site links pointed to a dating application.

 

Welcome to retrospring.net.

 

I joined this site on Monday and while it seems somewhat like the old spring.me site, it seemed closer to the now-defunct youreply.net.  While I have found some of the old followers from the old site so far, most are still missing.  I hope to go through my followers list to get some back.  So far there are a little less than 5000 users on the site, but as time goes on I expect this to grow quickly.

 

While the site seems fairly polished, it still lacks some features that spring.me had.  Since I didn’t use any of those features, I don’t have a list of those missing features, but this site seems fairly complete.

 

Being a new user of this site, I don’t have a lot of details of this site, but I encourage anyone to join this site if you want to have some fun asking questions.

 

You can find me at https://retrospring.net/louisbrownusa.  Hope to see you there.  Just a note:  I will follow anyone who follows me at least for now.

 

Hopefully, this site will live longer than the last 2 did.

 

 

 

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Way Over the Edge

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This week’s post discusses one human and one flag, both of which seems to be getting no respect for reasons that are less than reasonable.

 

First let me start off with the human:  Donald Trump.

 

A couple of weeks ago, Donald seemed to turn the world upside down when he announced his run for the Presidency.  His claim of all Mexicans being bad people who are coming across the border left a firestorm behind as companies started abandoning him everywhere.

 

Let’s look at some of these abandoners:

 

  • NBC television network. Sure the company is still stinging over the whole Brian Williams thing, but by dumping the “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” pageants was just totally uncalled for.  It is understandable why “Celebrity Apprentice” was cancelled given that Trump’s run would not be allowed.  However, it should be noted that Al Sharpton, who is employed by sister station MSNBC makes many more inflammatory comments than Donald does, yet Sharpton is still employed.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?
  • Univision television network. They dumped the pageants as well and Trump is suing them for hundreds of millions dollars for backing out of a contract.  While the amount is excessive, my hope is that Trump gets something out of this broken contract besides cancellation.
  • Macy’s. They are going to stop selling Trump clothes and Trump branded beds.  Seriously, as if they really need to get rid of more overpriced merchandise.  Of course, the local Macy’s  has a large number of non-US born employees so I would assume that this is the case nationally, which means they didn’t want to offend all their low wage employees.

 

Overall, nobody likes to hear the truth and Trump is speaking the truth despite how much it really hurts.  It would be nice if the other Presidential candidates would get a backbone and start saying something that they would do if elected to the highest office.

 

Honestly, I like what Trump has to say despite what so many haters don’t like him talking and considering him a “sideshow” or a “clown” – it is the others that are the real clowns.

 

Now onto the non-human:  the confederate flag.

 

Yes, this flag got a lot of attention after pictures surfaced of the church shooter posed with the confederate flag.  As disturbing as it was, the flag quickly sparked outrage by many as to why it is still being displayed anywhere.

 

Yes, this flag does represent a time when the nation was divided and slavery ruled the landscape in the south, but now it seems to be part of the southern culture more as an icon than a remembrance of the past.

 

This is the problem.

 

People have wanted to get rid of flying the flag over the North Carolina capitol building, which the state has been taking a lot heat over.  However, it has gone far beyond that.

 

Now it seems that the flag is not welcome anywhere.  NASCAR wanted people to leave their confederate flags at home or they could trade them in for a US flag at the day of their races, just as an example.

 

But the biggest crossing the line is the removal of the “Dukes of Hazzard” from TV Land as the flag is shown prominently on the show’s General Lee car.  Anybody who ever watched this show would realize that this flag never was part of any storyline that I could remember and was mostly just decoration than used to cause any harm.  Compare this, however, to the extra short shorts that Catherine Bach wore on the show, then we can talk about some possible offensive stuff, otherwise this show was fairly innocent.

 

This brings me to this point:  Where is the line of being offensive and being politically correct drawn?

 

Will every show have to come with a warning of possible offensive material?

 

Will Donald Trump have to be preceded by a notice that he could spew out truths that the world would not like?

 

Will society crumble under political correctness?

 

I may not know the answers to these questions but I do know that I personally will always tell it like it is, both in this blog and my Staples blog.  After all, somebody needs to hear the truth no matter how much it hurts.

The Law of the Land?

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Warning:  The following post contains material that may be offensive to some readers.  Reader caution is STRONGLY recommended.

 

Note:  The following is being posted in both blogs this week as I feel it is important enough to appear in both of them.

 

Yes, everyone the government has officially gone wild and stupid.

 

Back when I was in school many years ago, I learned that we had 3 divisions of government:  executive, judicial, and legislative branches.  Nowadays, these divisions have been crossing paths with each other because each of them wants to make laws that we are supposed to live by.  Of course only the legislative branch has the power to make laws.

 

Tell that to our government today.

 

Recently, the President made an executive order regarding immigrants and last week the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.  The latter is what I am going to talk about in this post.

 

Nos while this may seem fine on the surface, let’s get to the real problem here.  Quite a few states have yet approved gay marriage and some have rejected it more than once.  To have the courts decide what is good for the country in one fell swoop is not only a bad move but creates the type of problems that have been plaguing this country for years.

 

For someone to call this “the law of the land” makes me sick, as this law was forced down the throats of people whether they want it or not.  Let’s add to this the following things that irritate me just as much as just passing the law:

 

  • Lighting up the White House in the rainbow flag colors. What can be worse than having the “People’s House” not representing all the people and being paid for at taxpayer’s expense?  When you don’t represent everyone you should not force the values on everyone else.
  • Having people change their Facebook profile picture to be covered in the rainbow flag colors. Do these people even have a clue that their so-called support is just flaming the fire of those who don’t like having a law slammed down their throat?  Apparently all these rainbow people have not done their research on this “law”.
  • The celebrating in the streets by those who feel like they won the lottery. Truth is, your rights are still limited despite being the law.

 

It is this last point that is the most critical of them all.

 

Even though gay people have the right to marry, the bigger question is who will marry them.  Any religious leader can still deny a gay marriage performance if they don’t want to do it.

 

Add to this that places like bakeries can deny a customer who wants to create a wedding cake for a gay couple as well.  Let’s even add more to this as gays can be fired from their jobs, denied seating in restaurants, and can still be treated like second class citizens.

 

And the gays think they won the marriage battle?

 

Honestly, what has now happened is a Pandora’s box of problems that will sprout and raise its ugly head.

 

Oh sure, those of you wearing blinders waving your rainbow flag and showing your gay pride by changing your Facebook profile pic may feel happy, but the truth is that the gay community has won nothing.

 

NOTHING!!

 

Are you people hearing me?  If anything, the passage of a law that goes against the views of the people will cause nothing but problems.  More discrimination and more hatred will be coming.

 

If the black community think that they have been hated lately, that is nothing compared to the firestorm against the gay community to come.

 

Since the Supreme Court was a 5-4 decision, the court was pretty much evenly divided, however since 2 of the justices on the affirmative side have performed gay marriages, they should have recused themselves from making a decision on this case.  If that happened, then this law never would have passed whatsoever.

 

So here is the problem with our court system.

 

Instead of going by the Constitution, which makes no mention of gays in it, the justices decided to go by their own personal beliefs to put forth their decision.  Let’s forget that there were any evidence to support either side, the fact that the court even made a decision on this at all just proves that the court wants to make its own laws just like the Congress does.

 

It is bad enough that Congress can’t make laws but to have the courts step up and make laws just shows how wrong our government has really become.  It appears that the courts wants to make laws and then execute them in any way they like even if it means screwing the American people.

 

Now let me say that I am not in favor of gay marriage, however I do have several gay friends.  I am not a racist or a bigot but I do believe in what the religious teachings I grew up with are.  Even though I no longer practice religion, I still stand behind the faith that I have known all my life.  I do however support the idea of gay unions just not the idea of redefining marriage.

 

Of course now the courts have opened themselves up to yet another problem.  What about those who are bigamists or those who believe in marrying their pet horse?

 

Shouldn’t these people be given their rights as well?  Shouldn’t they be given the chance to be happy as well?  Should we not discriminate against these people either?

 

If you are going to give rights to one group, it should be fair to give rights to all groups.  Certainly we don’t have a fair and balanced court system if they refuse to have everyone get an equal playfield.

 

Certainly if I had my way, I would be impeaching the Supreme Court and remove them from their lifetime tenure that they so enjoy.  I believe that our entire court system is riddled with problems and that judges should be replaced on a regular basis.  Of course, only Congress can make that decision unless the Supreme Court wants to make a law barring that from ever happening.

 

Finally, let me say that our entire government system is broken.  Those of you who read my blogs probably already knew that.  However, I do believe that we need an honest system where everyone is fairly represented and that we don’t have laws shoved down our throats without the type of representation that this country was built on a couple hundred years ago.

 

It seems that the more we try to go forward in advancing equality for all, the further we seem to go backwards.

 

Unfortunately, our Pledge of Allegiance statement of “and justice for all” seems no longer apply to everyone anymore.

 

Our only hope is that someone will try to repeal the national gay marriage bill and allow states to make their own decisions on if they want it.  It was the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.

 

For those of you, who read this and appreciate this, thank you.

 

For those of you, who hate me for what I have written, maybe you should really dig deeper into what you personally stand for.

 

In the end, I know I will be hated for what I have written, but I did forewarn you.

 

To all, thanks and let’s repeal this ugly law.

 

 

 

 

Going Back to Go Forward — Hilary Duff Style

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She’s back!

 

Yes, Hilary Duff has come back into the world of entertainment.

 

In the 8 years that she has been gone, she has gotten married, had a child, got tattoos (which she said at one time she would NEVER do), and gotten a divorce.

 

While she has never really been off the radar screen, she has not been doing anything in the entertainment field for quite a while.

 

However, this doesn’t mean that her return to the entertainment world has been stellar.

 

In the last few months she has costarred in the TV Land series “Younger”.   Honestly I do not like this show at all because it seems to be just a watered down version of shows like “Sex in the City”.  I could live without all the sex talk that this show has and this show is not the least bit funny to me.  Unfortunately this show will have a second season whether I like it or not.  Maybe I am just not the show’s target audience.  However, I don’t think that Hilary’s fans are the target audience for this show either.  I would have preferred a “Lizzie McGuire” sequel show sort of like what happened to “Boy Meets World”.  Well, maybe someday it might happen.

 

Now we have the release of her new cd that happened in the last week.  While I have not heard more than a couple of tracks from the cd, I must admit that she sounds like the same sort of kid style music that she released years ago.

 

While the lyrics may sound adult, the singing itself sounds like she did 10 years ago.  Whether this is a good thing or a bad one depends on your perspective of her.  Certainly her audience has matured and so should her music and her voice, but it seems someone is manipulating her voice to sound the same as it did back then

 

This leads me to the major issue that I have had with a couple of live performances that she has recently been on in the last week.  Both “Live with Kelly and Michael” and “The View”, it appeared that she was lip-syncing her song “Sparks”, which she performed on both shows.  On both shows, the performance sounded exactly the same with no change in pitch or any other inflections in sound.

 

However, after the “Live” show, the hosts quickly interviewed her after the performance and it was apparent that the microphone that she was holding was not working because it had a hollow sound when she spoke.  Of course, being a live show maybe they thought nobody would ever notice the difference.

 

While this is not the career-ending type of appearance that Ashlee Simpson made on “SNL” a few years ago, it does however bring up the long-standing question as to whether she lip-syncs her songs or performs them live.  I used to be part of yahoo groups that made this a major discussion and the consensus was that she was lip-syncing her live performances.

 

Quite honestly, I would love for her not to have to resort to this type of behavior, but it seems that this is the way she is always going to perform her music.  I will say that I like the song and the bits of other songs that I have heard but I have to give the performances a score of 3.

 

As far as the cd itself is concerned, I have not had a chance to listen to the whole cd yet I refer fans of hers to buy the deluxe version at Target, which has a couple of bonus songs for the same price as other stores have it at.  Just a note, that this edition will probably be available while supplies last only, so if you want it don’t wait until the holidays to buy it as I don’t think it will be around then.   So I will not grade this item at the foreseeable future.

 

Overall, Hilary Duff’s return is a mixed bag.  She is trying to perform like she did as a child, but her grownup role just doesn’t work.  If only shows like TRL on MTV were still around to make her more relevant to today’s kids.  But then again MTV is not relevant anymore either.

 

However, the early 2000’s are not dead for girl group Dream is reuniting to perform together again.  If they sound like they did back then, I think my head is really going to explode not that it hasn’t already done that.  Stay tuned.

My 2015 Commencement Address

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Warning: The following post may be offensive to some readers.  Discretion is advised.

 

Welcome folks to my annual commencement address!

 

This year I am not only addressing those graduating school, but I also have some brief advice to others as well.  I am going to do this in a top down fashion starting with those graduating college.

 

Fellow college graduates, you have that wonderful degree that you just received from your favorite school with a degree in Amish electronics.  The problem is now that you have that paper but for some stupid reason you cannot find a job using that degree.

 

Ha!  You just became the victim of going to college and wasting money on a useless degree.  Of course, if Obama has his way, that money you paid for that degree will be forgiven and you will not owe anything for it.  That’s right, friends, get that useless degree and enjoy those years not having to join the workforce.

 

Naturally, you will have to join the workforce at some point.  While places like McDonald’s could be an option that is not what you were going for.  So your only choice is to get some low wage job that you can get, more than likely retail is certainly a fine choice, just like your humble speaker did.

 

Now onto the high school graduates, you are in the pretty much the same boat as the college grads.

 

You have the choice of spending money you don’t have to go to a college for a degree that will be useless in 4 years or so or you can go out and get a real job in the real world with the high school education you have.

 

Naturally, many students are not prepared for college.  I was one of them.  I found myself in trouble very early but I persisted and kept at it until I got my degree after 8 years of going part-time.  I could never get into a work-study program with my major because apparently I was “too rich”.  Seriously, too rich when I was taking out student loans every year to survive, what are they thinking?

 

This brings me to the point of a disclaimer that I have been hearing that “a degree doesn’t guarantee a job”.  It used to be that colleges would offer job placement assistance, now all they do is send you out the door with a “good luck” attitude.  They should just hand you a Walmart name tag at graduation instead.

 

Now for the kids in middle school and elementary school, you are the rebel group.

 

You spend your time with your little smartphones.  You play games, texting, talking to your friends, and using them to help you cheat on tests.  You may also be using them to send out those inappropriate pictures of yourself to your friends and to everyone else in the world as well.  Believe me, I have seen pictures before and the parents should be ashamed of not teaching proper etiquette.  Instead the parents shame their kids on the internet, sometimes with tragic results.  One child just recently committed suicide after being public shamed by their parents.

 

Which finally brings me to the parents and the little babies in their lives; you are the ones who should be acting like grownups here.

 

You opt out of vaccinations because people like Dr. Jenny McCarthy (not a real doctor, by the way) say that they cause autism.  You do other readings from others who echo these false claims.  Sure, you can send your kid to school unvaccinated, but you run the risk of not only having the kid getting sick but also spreading disease to others as well.  I am not just talking about in school, but any public place as well, such as shopping malls, where large numbers of people gather.

 

As livings in one of the states with the highest opt out rates in the country, I am disgusted that such behavior can go on.  When I was young, I could not even go to school unless I brought in proof that I was immunized and then the school secretary called the doctor to verify the information.  Back then, there were very few exceptions and if you didn’t follow the rules, you weren’t allowed to go to school period.  We should go back to those ways when everyone was protected.

 

Now I place the blame for this on parents.  You know you are a bad parent.  You may even be a single parent.  You may be a single mother.  You may not even know who your child’s father is.  You may have even had several children and don’t know who any of the fathers are.  Just watch any of the afternoon TV programs and you will see this played out in all its glory.  Parents need to become more aware of their children and more responsible people.  You are raising the future generation and you only get one chance – don’t screw it up!

 

In conclusion, let me say that society is going to hell fast.  We are all hating each other.  Authorities are not being respected.  People are becoming liars just so that they can get ahead in this world.

 

So people put down your gadgets and look around you.

 

We are becoming a world where nobody likes each other and just want to create chaos everywhere.  Add to this, a President who is out of touch with reality and wants to do nothing to make the world a better place.  I am ashamed of the USA and you should be as well.

 

Remember after 9/11, how we all came together united as one nation.  What happened to that?  Now we are beating each other in the streets, murdering each other, setting fires to local businesses and creating chaos everywhere.

 

This needs to stop today and we need a leader who can bring forth the kind of change that will bring us back to the greatness we once had.

 

Soon, we will be electing a new President.  I recommend that everyone pay close attention to each of the candidates and see how each of them plan on bringing this country back to greatness.

 

After all, we are ONE NATION.  We are AMERICA!

 

You are now free to go and continue to live your lives.

 

Thank you and good day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBS Not So Super Moves

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This week I am going to discuss superheroes.

 

In particular, I am going to talk about Superman and Supergirl.

 

First off, let’s talk Superman.

 

More specifically, the “I Love Lucy Superstar Special” that aired on CBS a couple of weeks ago.

 

While it was nice to see these 2 classic episodes that ran, I have the same complaint as I do with any colorized show.

 

Why ruin a perfectly good episode adding something that doesn’t belong in the first place.  My thought is that the colors were off especially the color of Lucille Ball’s hair color.  I don’t think that her hair was ever so orange as it was portrayed in these episodes.

 

I was also disturbed by the skin tones as they didn’t look realistic.  Everybody looked the same skin color.  Even more disturbing were the colors of things in general that looked pale and washed out.

 

I would have much more have rather have watched these episodes in a high-definition format over having them colorized.  Since these shows were shot on film, I don’t think it would be hard to have transferred them to a HD format.  Then again, if no HD print exists, they still could have made it look better in HD.

 

Ultimately, I really did not like watching these colorized shows and wish they would stop producing them once and for all.  However, as long as people are curious of them (no matter how inaccurate or bad); they will continue to be produced.

 

My grade for this special is 5.  There was nothing special about this special.  My eyes are still burning by the orange hair.

 

Now about that new Supergirl series.

 

CBS has released a trailer for the new Supergirl series that they plan on airing this fall,

 

Honestly, I thought at first that this was a wonderful idea.

 

After all, it has been over 30 years since Supergirl has made a real live action appearance.  Of course, we did see the Supergirl alter ego character (Kara) appear during a couple of seasons of “Smallville” played quite well by Laura Vandervoort.  Even though, we never saw her dawn the famous suit, she did wear colors at times that resemble what might very well have become the famous suit.

 

This leads me to the first complaint of this show: the miscasting of the lead character.  I believe that the Supergirl character should have enough body to fill out the suit, not be some waif girl who looks like someone who looks like a wimpy girl.

 

While it would have been nice to have had Laura reprise her role, I wonder if she was even considered for the part.  Certainly she would have looked better in the famous suit.

 

Next problem is the suit itself.  While I don’t expect that the series was going to use the more common, V-neck costume, I was bothered that this costume looked exactly like the suit worn in the last Superman movie.  Did they get the same tailor to get the suit to look the same?  However, the V-neck would have been nice to see.  Just as we saw the low-cut costume on Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman costume back in the 1970’s.  Were they bothered by the potential of a wardrobe malfunction?  This probably explains why the original Wonder Woman movie that aired back in the 1970’s starred Cathy Lee Crosby in a jumpsuit.  My eyes still burn thinking about that.

 

Next is the casting of a black Jimmy Olsen.  While some may praise the diversity of a colored character, why not just introduce a new character that is black?  Somewhere the 1950’s Jimmy Olsen Jack Larsen is rolling around in his grave, even though he isn’t dead.  I think that this character should go back to its classic redhead boy and be recast before the show debuts.

 

The network still has time to tweak this show before it hits the network in the fall.  What bothered me the most about the trailer was that it reminded me of the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”.  The scenes looked exactly like they were taken right out of this movie.

 

Overall, will I watch this show?  I will start out watching it.

 

Will this show last?  I believe its fate will be determined quickly as fans will quickly tire of too much girl talk and not enough real action.  Unless, they find some real villains for Supergirl quickly, this show is doomed.

 

How long will this show last?  Since this show doesn’t appear to be an origin show like “Smallville”, I don’t see this show lasting 10 years like that show did.  I see 3 seasons at most, if it can even survive the first season.

 

I will report back later when the real pilot episode premieres in the fall as I don’t want to assume that some changes won’t be made in the meantime.  I will not grade the trailer since it has too many issues as mentioned above.

 

So is CBS heading to making a Super-mistake in the fall as it did with the Lucy special?

 

Hopefully, Supergirl can survive the greatest enemy of them all: cancellation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worst Corporate Buy Ever?

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This week it was announced that Verizon was going to purchase AOL for about $4.4 billion.

 

Now the very idea of anybody buying AOL is reminiscent of times when AOL was actually a relevant company.

 

Nowadays AOL is mostly just a site like Yahoo that has email, news and a search engine.  However, reportedly, about 2 million people still use AOL as their dial-up service provider.

 

Yes I said dial-up.

 

Back in the good old days, millions of people used AOL as their dial-up service provider.  Back then, you hooked up your telephone line to your computer and have it dial a local (hopefully) service number.  If you were lucky, you could get through and enjoy AOL service in the slow lane.  If you were not so lucky, you would either get a busy signal or a “no service” voice message from the phone company.  Don’t even think about the time when another member of the family wanted to make a phone call and picked up another phone in the house and the connection was lost.

 

AOL service however was not the internet, but a portal to the services that the company offered.  Of course, there were the endless 3 ½ discs and later CDs that AOL sent out in virtually every computer magazine and many other magazines under the sun. I still have hundreds of these discs packed away somewhere.  Many of the 3 ½ discs could be reformatted and reused but in later years, they made them read only discs by having the write-protect tab removed.  All these discs promised anywhere from say 10 free hours all the way up to 1000 free hours on AOL service.  This would be great as long as you could get on the system.

 

There were alternatives such as Netscape, NetZero, Juno, and CompuServe.  However, nobody could really beat AOL for amount of services available with the possible exception of CompuServe.  The content from each of these portals were unique and usually not available on any other.

 

Then came the internet, where everything changed.  All of the above named portals soon became obsolete.

 

All the information that anybody needed was available to everyone not just those who had one particular service.  Because of this, faster modems were invented and broadband was born.

 

And so the cable companies wanted to hop on the broadband bandwagon as well.

 

Quickly companies like AOL began losing thousands of its users very quickly.  The company looked desperate.

 

Then along came Time, Inc. to the rescue.

 

They were able to purchase the struggling portal and make it part of the Time Warner Cable division.  I even signed up for one of their new preferred accounts for free that they were offering.  However, to use the service, you had to load a special portal program which altered access to the internet and everything was funneled through that portal.  I found the process difficult and stopped using it after a short time.  I still have an email account with them, but have not used it in years.

 

When Time, Inc. decided to break up its company, Time Warner Cable basically disposed of their AOL division.  They were now out on their own again, a lost soul with little future except for those who still relied on them for internet service.

 

Now we have Verizon, who want to purchase the company.

 

Is this really a good idea?  While all the comments that I have heard is that this merger would create a way to bring video and advertising to mobile devices.  As a Verizon user myself, I will say that more advertising is certainly not what I really want from the company.  In fact, I want less advertising all around including my mobile devices, not more.

 

Certainly, I can see this as an advantage to Verizon, but I believe that AOL should really be killed off once and for all.

 

But how will this play out to regulators?

 

I believe that the regulators may actually approve this merger, but may question the dollar amount as being too high for what they get for their money.  Overall, I see this a bad deal and should not happen.

 

Maybe Verizon will be purchasing AOL with thousands of free hour discs they accumulated over the years.  If they need more, just ask.

 

I got probably over 100 of those free discs I can give them as down payment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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