Myra

This is for your own works!!!
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Casey Butler
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:58 pm

"Apathist", not "Apatheist". Sorry. And since Stephen Hawking's newly theorized Black Hole isn't totally empty, you may be right.

Jesus taught that motivation comes from man, not God.

I don't know if Jefferson saw the ornaments of organized religion as a motivation towards the betterment of humanity, but organized religion is how the Jefferson Bible verses he patched together from the Gospels came down to him in his time. And what a motivator he turned out to be. We appear to be the victims of chosen savants.

Jefferson's motivation and his opinion of atheism, seem to be outlined well in a letter he wrote to John Adams I found on the Web:

====

To John Adams Monticello, April 11, 1823

DEAR SIR,

-- The wishes expressed, in your last favor, that I may continue in life and health until I become a Calvinist, at least in his exclamation of `_mon Dieu!_ jusque a quand'! would make me immortal. I can never join Calvin in addressing _his god._ He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his 5. points is not the God whom you and I acknolege and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a daemon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. Indeed I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to Atheism by their general dogma that, without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a god. Now one sixth of mankind only are supposed to be Christians: the other five sixths then, who do not believe in the Jewish and Christian revelation, are without a knolege of the existence of a god! This gives compleatly a gain de cause to the disciples of Ocellus, Timaeus, Spinosa, Diderot and D'Holbach. The argument which they rest on as triumphant and unanswerable is that, in every hypothesis of Cosmogony you must admit an eternal pre-existence of something; and according to the rule of sound philosophy, you are never to employ two principles to solve a difficulty when one will suffice. They say then that it is more simple to believe at once in the eternal pre-existence of the world, as it is now going on, and may for ever go on by the principle of reproduction which we see and witness, than to believe in the eternal pre-existence of an ulterior cause, or Creator of the world, a being whom we see not, and know not, of whose form substance and mode or place of existence, or of action no sense informs us, no power of the mind enables us to delineate or comprehend. On the contrary I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in it's parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to percieve and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of it's composition. The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal forces, the structure of our earth itself, with it's distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere, animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles, insects mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organised as man or mammoth, the mineral substances, their generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms, and their regenerator into new and other forms. We see, too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power to maintain the Universe in it's course and order. Stars, well known, have disappeared, new ones have come into view, comets, in their incalculable courses, may run foul of suns and planets and require renovation under other laws; certain races of animals are become extinct; and, were there no restoring power, all existences might extinguish successively, one by one, until all should be reduced to a shapeless chaos. So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have existed thro' all time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to Unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe. Surely this unanimous sentiment renders this more probable than that of the few in the other hypothesis. Some early Christians indeed have believed in the coeternal pre-existance of both the Creator and the world, without changing their relation of cause and effect. That this was the opinion of St. Thomas, we are informed by Cardinal Toleto, in these words `Deus ab aeterno fuit jam omnipotens, sicut cum produxit mundum. Ab aeterno potuit producere mundum. -- Si sol ab aeterno esset, lumen ab aeterno esset; et si pes, similiter vestigium. At lumen et vestigium effectus sunt efficientis solis et pedis; potuit ergo cum causa aeterna effectus coaeterna esse. Cujus sententiae est S. Thomas Theologorum primus' Cardinal Toleta.

Of the nature of this being we know nothing. Jesus tells us that `God is a spirit.' 4. John 24. but without defining what a spirit is {pneyma o Theos}. Down to the 3d. century we know that it was still deemed material; but of a lighter subtler matter than our gross bodies. So says Origen. `Deus igitur, cui anima similis est, juxta Originem, reapte corporalis est; sed graviorum tantum ratione corporum incorporeus.' These are the words of Huet in his commentary on Origen. Origen himself says `appelatio {asomaton} apud nostros scriptores est inusitata et incognita.' So also Tertullian `quis autem negabit Deum esse corpus, etsi deus spiritus? Spiritus etiam corporis sui generis, in sua effigie.' Tertullian. These two fathers were of the 3d. century. Calvin's character of this supreme being seems chiefly copied from that of the Jews. But the reformation of these blasphemous attributes, and substitution of those more worthy, pure and sublime, seems to have been the chief object of Jesus in his discources to the Jews: and his doctrine of the Cosmogony of the world is very clearly laid down in the 3 first verses of the 1st. chapter of John, in these words, `{en arche en o logos, kai o logos en pros ton Theon kai Theos en o logos. `otos en en arche pros ton Theon. Panta de ayto egeneto, kai choris ayto egeneto ode en, o gegonen}. Which truly translated means `in the beginning God existed, and reason (or mind) was with God, and that mind was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were created by it, and without it was made not one thing which was made'. Yet this text, so plainly declaring the doctrine of Jesus that the world was created by the supreme, intelligent being, has been perverted by modern Christians to build up a second person of their tritheism by a mistranslation of the word {logos}. One of it's legitimate meanings indeed is `a word.' But, in that sense, it makes an unmeaning jargon: while the other meaning `reason', equally legitimate, explains rationally the eternal preexistence of God, and his creation of the world. Knowing how incomprehensible it was that `a word,' the mere action or articulation of the voice and organs of speech could create a world, they undertake to make of this articulation a second preexisting being, and ascribe to him, and not to God, the creation of the universe. The Atheist here plumes himself on the uselessness of such a God, and the simpler hypothesis of a self-existent universe. The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.

So much for your quotation of Calvin's `mon dieu! jusqu'a quand' in which, when addressed to the God of Jesus, and our God, I join you cordially, and await his time and will with more readiness than reluctance.

May we meet there again, in Congress, with our antient Colleagues, and recieve with them the seal of approbation `Well done, good and faithful servants.'

====
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Casey Butler
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:58 am

Anyway, Cate... Jefferson's statement...

"But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors."

...I find interesting in lieu of where we are now.

I think Atheists should be better called Apathists because reason seems to elude them where that artificial scaffolding is concerned. After all, should that scaffolding fall, they would be beholden to walk the walk of the reasonable and objective deducers they already claim to be.

Instead they jerry-rig and patch it up (themselves!) wherever weak spots appear. God forbid anything reasonable should be built behind it, no matter how beneficial the builders' design might prove to be.

I'm thankful for Leonard Cohen and geniuses like him who struggle to motivate Apathists rather than reason with them.

But if Apathists (generally) want to make my children and grandchildren warmongering racists like Non-Apathists (generally) do, maybe the motivation has been directionally challenged?
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Casey Butler
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:15 am

Hello from the corner, Cate!

The Jewish God Jefferson spoke of in that letter to John Adams, I think, is like the hub (the center) of a bicycle wheel...

Image

...The wheel would be earth, God at the hub, with the spokes laced to the hub representing every individual/organizational religious belief in the existence of a higher power than ourselves.

The hypothesis being that all believing people worship the same God, identifying God using various names for God, seeking a relationship with God along different paths, customs, cultures, and traditions.

I think, then, that if there is a God as Jefferson describes God - the God of Israel, one of God's attributes ought to be that God hears all who seek God, regardless of the individual character of their worship or what name God is known under by each individual. There is scriptural evidence that this might be the case.

People that believe in God appear to sincerely need God, they themselves being a powerful evidence of the existence of God that Atheists must disregard before settling on Atheism.

We are all different. It's difficult to imagine the supporters of ISIS becoming Atheists in order to adopt democratic principles that require Atheistic governance for the administration of "freedom of religion".

I think Jefferson's ideas about Jesus and his purpose might be revisited by Atheists
.
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Re: Myra

Postby Cate » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:31 am

I always liked your photography Casey, I like this one as well (I'm assuming that it's your photo as it's not a standard shot of a wheel). It's a good visual to represent what you were saying about the varies paths connecting them with 'God.'
...The wheel would be earth, God at the hub, with the spokes laced to the hub representing every individual/organizational religious belief in the existence of a higher power than ourselves.
You mention a "higher power" or power that is greater then yourself, perhaps there's some room for some grey here. Gestalt theory says that the sum of the whole is greater then the some of it's parts. It's possible Cassey for somebody to believe that we, the collective, are greater then the some of our parts, yet still not believe in a literal god (at least from the perspective of this non believer anyways). I'm not sure if that's spiritual, but I think that it can boarder on it. It is possible to believe in love, it is possible to believe in kindness and compassion, it is possible to put the needs of others before the needs of oneself and it is most certainly possible to have values, beliefs and causes (like many believers) that we hold close to our core of our being.

~~
next day add on after doing some nominal research on Jefferson's view of Jesus - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... erson.html
Jefferson discovered a Jesus who was a great Teacher of Common Sense. His message was the morality of absolute love and service. Its authenticity was not dependent upon the dogma of the Trinity or even the claim that Jesus was uniquely inspired by God. Jefferson saw Jesus as

a man, of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, (and an) enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions of divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition by being gibbeted according to the Roman law.
I think Jefferson's ideas about Jesus and his purpose might be revisited by Atheists
So perhaps you are saying that whether or not you believe in a god there might still be something to learn from the practical teachings of Jesus, some common ground or perhaps Jefferson's ideas might be a door for Atheists that might lead to them becoming a Theist. Either way, I think that for people who have extra time and who are interested in philosophy and religion, Jefferson's work would surely be an intriguing study.
Thanks for switching back to 'Atheist' by the way, I thought you were joking around a bit with the Apathist thing but then you seemed pretty persistent about it. :?

be well Casey and if your Christmas celebrations have already begun I hope they go well and that you have a good time.

Cate
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Casey Butler
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:58 am

By "revisiting" I meant once again suspending belief and conclusion in order to re-examine evidence suggesting the existence of a higher power.

Perhaps beginning with one's idea of "some of the whole" being a higher power... but also perhaps beginning with, or including, Jefferson's description above of a separate beneficent governor of the universe capable of simultaneously tolerating, sustaining, loving, etc... such divergent ideas of itself as are held by its adherants around our planet.

If astronomers didn't keep re-examining their conclusions in light of newly gleaned evidence, we would still be taught that the universe revolves around earth.

I wouldn't suggest that Atheists become Theists, rather Agnostics. I'm suggesting that closing the mind to evidence that might be now appearing on our very doorsteps might be an irresponsible way to divest ourselves of shared duties to family and society at large.

If Jefferson could identify the "artificial scaffolding" of Christianity of his time and be so convinced of the underlying "truths" meant to reform human error, perhaps those unencumbered by such scaffolding might benefit from a similar exercise today.

Jesus himself said, "...For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light".

Maybe Atheists are not Apathists. Still, how many nations has Marilyn Mellowes converted to democracy by characterizing people as their own messiah?
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Re: Myra

Postby Cate » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:36 pm

I wouldn't suggest that Atheists become Theists, rather Agnostics. I'm suggesting that closing the mind to evidence that might be now appearing on our very doorsteps might be an irresponsible way to divest ourselves of shared duties to family and society at large.
oh, yes I agree and at the same time I think it would be most helpful (and practical) if Theists would also become Agnostics. Considering the abundance of evidence that would suggest that an actual god may not have been necessary for the creation of the universe, why close the door to the possibility of an another explanation. It surprises me that people insist on choosing a belief system that excludes so many possibilities. I think that this would also be a responsible move on the part of churches/temples/mosques as well to teach through a more Agnostic lens. It would be more inclusive of a variety of beliefs and help lessen some of the divisions that can occur when people are insistent that their interpretation of a document is the correct interpretation (you'd think they were trying to make sense of Leonard Cohen Lyric for goodness sake).
Simple adjustments in services could make room for a more agnostic take on things, for example if a preacher was doing a doing a bible reader he or she could modify their language from, "then, the Lord God said" to 'if there is a Lord God, they may have said ..."

I will have to look up "Marilyn Mellowes"
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:55 pm

Marilyn Mellowes is the author of that quote about Jefferson's Jesus that you posted to me. I was referring to her insightful last paragraph.

As far as believers initiating Agnostic tendencies to facilitate some sort of reconciliation for the purpose of examining evidence without resort to artificial scaffolding, I don't think that will be nearly as easy. They are the victims of artificial scaffolding, after all. It is their heartfelt duty to uphold artificial scaffolding in the face of introduced doubt without evidence.

Earlier you said about unbelief: "It is possible to believe in love, it is possible to believe in kindness and compassion, it is possible to put the needs of others before the needs of oneself and it is most certainly possible to have values, beliefs and causes (like many believers) that we hold close to our core of our being."

Perhaps this time you were joking?

If not, and I hope not, all I'm saying is that Atheists, free of the bondage of the artificial scaffolding on which life depends as believers see it, are in a more favorable position for examining evidence anew without resort to such scaffolding.

Perhaps, as Jefferson felt, "hell" and a 'God of vengeance" are artificial scaffolding. You mentioned the Trinity, maybe that too is artificial scaffolding, and much more - a little like Marilyn Mellowes' summary of the Jefferson Bible might be artificial scaffolding in the opposite sense.

Perhaps a panel of respected Atheists could be selected to review past evidence in light of new evidence, re-examining scriptures with the goal of resolving the seemingly contradictory messages therein into one unifying theory, if possible.

An ultimatum of sorts was recently issued to Islamic Scholars on the order of what you have suggested. In the face of overwhelming military and economic power they are being urged to "re-interpret" scripture that appears to play a part in "radicalizing" some people to extreme behaviors - make it more benign, I guess. Maybe that will work better than forbidding Sitting Bull his dreams, but I doubt it.

That's part of why I believe in the existence of something similar to Jefferson's God, whom Jesus' teachings and life exemplified. The esoteric "some of our parts" does not seem to be engaged presently... Which makes me more of a child of light with perhaps some artificial scaffolding of my own remaining.

I wouldn't know.
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Re: Myra

Postby Cate » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:20 pm

Casey Butler wrote:
Earlier you said about unbelief: "It is possible to believe in love, it is possible to believe in kindness and compassion, it is possible to put the needs of others before the needs of oneself and it is most certainly possible to have values, beliefs and causes (like many believers) that we hold close to our core of our being."

Perhaps this time you were joking?
no, not about that, though my behaviour doesn't always match. I was being a bit tongue in cheek about believers in God becoming agnostics, but to me it seemed to be the same proposal.

~~
Are you ready for Christmas Casey? Do you have any special traditions that you enjoy at this time of year?

I get a nice chunk of time off so mostly I like just having time with my family. We/they are looking forward to the new Star Wars movie. I like Christmas as well of course, but the events leading up to it are often more fun.
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:25 am

I won't say you have to have long white hair and a beard to truly know the joys of Christmas, but it helps. 'Are you Christmas?", "No, Christmas wears red". Our family traditions include going for drives to check out the lights and last minute shopping, then spending Christmas with at least one set of grandkids, usually the closest ones. I love the music and will sit in the car listening to it. For some reason when I grew up in Denver The Wizard of Oz was shown every Christmas Eve. I didn't see It's A Wonderful Life until my 20's. So Wizard of Oz is mandatory.

What do you tell your grandchildren about religious kids, Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc... Cate? A unified theory might be useful for Christmas - if there isn't one already.

I am crazy in love with all kids, so Christmas is a good time of year IMO.
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Re: Myra

Postby Cate » Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:12 pm

I won't say you have to have long white hair and a beard to truly know the joys of Christmas, but it helps. 'Are you Christmas?", "No, Christmas wears red".
:D that's great - do you occasionally give a wink to small ones looking over at you with that, 'ohhh, I wonder' look?

Wizard of Oz does seem Christmassy - maybe it's the colours or the whimsy. Chitty Chitty bang bang would be my Wizard of Oz, it played every year on Christmas day just around the time the adults would fall back to sleep or head off to the kitchen. I like to drive too, I love road trips and given the oppertunity to fly or drive someplace I'll always chose drive as long as I have the time.
What do you tell your grandchildren about religious kids, Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc... Cate? A unified theory might be useful for Christmas - if there isn't one already.
I don't have Grandchildren yet, I guess I'll take the lead from my son's and their partners when the time comes. For my own kids, I've told (and hopefully shown)them to be respectful we're very lucky as we live in a very multi cultural area so they've had an opportunity to participate in a wide variety of celebrations including a best friends Bar mitzvah, a welcome event at a friends mosque. They've attended United Church services with their beaver/scout program and when they were younger I took them the Unitarian Universal 'church'.
I tried to get the kids to come with me once to watch Sufi dancers and hear Rumi poems - but they weren't into that.

They'll figure out their path.

Their father is an Atheist and I'm an Agnostic (to the left) so ... hopefully, we've provided something well rounded. That's always a parents fear I think, 'did I give what they needed so that they are able to make the best possible choices and actions.'

What do you tell your Grandchildren Casey?
I am crazy in love with all kids, so Christmas is a good time of year IMO.
Even though I've never met you that doesn't surprise me at all. You strike me as somebody who has, as goofy as it sounds, love at his core - in his gut.

(not promoting anything but if you're interested in a unified theory perhaps you'd be interested in the Unitarian Universalism. Everybody believes their own thing there and you take classes in a variety of different beliefs, but there are certain tenets which seem universal and that's what the core services focus on)
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:16 am

I put my finger over my lips and smile when the parental figure is turned away. And I'm talking about strategic love, not tactical. I have some difficulty understanding how tactical love of the ownership variety can function. Currently, it appears to me, try to love everyone and only people who feel the same way return that love, because you''re not ownable, not "trustworthy" enough for the green monster if you love everyone. :-) But that's all speculation. I just don't want you to think I have any more love in my gut than anyone is capable of.

I tell my grandchildren about the bicycle wheel when the subject comes up. Otherwise I also defer to their parents' guidance. But....
Their father is an Atheist and I'm an Agnostic (to the left) so ... hopefully, we've provided something well rounded.
When you build an average bicycle wheel you need a hub, enough spokes to match the number of holes in the hub, same number of spoke nipples, and a rim. The hooked end of the spokes go through holes in the hub and are then attached to the rim via the spoke nipples that screw onto the end of the spoke where it goes into the rim. That part is called "lacing" the spokes.

To begin with, you put it together loose. Then you tighten the spoke nipples so that the spokes are approximately the same tension. Maybe all sounding close to an F# tonally when you pluck them.

Next you need to "true" the wheel, adjust it by tightening/loosening spoke nipples until the rim is directly aligned with the hub at its center (properly dished) all the way around. You do this while checking the rim constantly for well roundedness.

The spokes alternate, coming from the left then the right side of the hub. Slowly you go around the wheel, tightening (or loosening) nipples in threes. This causes the spokes to pull the rim to the right or left, straightening it. A quarter turn for the spoke where the lateral trueness is out, and an eighth of a turn in the opposite direction for each of its neighbors.

After a while of doing this, you check again for roundness. If you've developed a bulge or a flat spot, you turn the nipple at the peak or the valley of that spot one full turn and its neighbors half a turn the same direction.

The first time I did this I didn't think it was possible that eventually the spokes would arrive at the correct tension all by themselves, but that's exactly what's happened ever since.

Likely more than you wanted to know about bicycle wheels.

---------------------------------------

I sent this unedited and basically unfinished because my youngest daughter had a Christmas benefit concert tonight (last night now). The phone recording came out with terrible sound, but this is a partial song I recorded a while ago that she did. Sorry for the shakiness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CRkaFqXWZw
That's always a parents fear I think, 'did I give what they needed so that they are able to make the best possible choices and actions.'
Grandparenting is when we may find out if they've concluded whether we did give what they needed or not. I've come up wanting in a few eyes, I must say, for my demeanor while raising them.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that maybe more choices for them all to choose from would be beneficial. Choices that could keep the green monster at bay.

It seems to me that many Atheists want to cut the spokes rather than true the wheel. I contend that truing the wheel would be a better option for maintaining the wheel and be better for all of our children and grandchildren. What an Atheist provides his/her children to make the best choices in life might no longer tend to conflict with what the believer provides his/her children, and vice versa.

There is a lot to gain by looking at things anew in a Jeffersonian/contemporary sort of way, and not a thing to lose.
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Re: Myra

Postby Cate » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:21 am

ahhh, I've seen many a wheel trued on our living room floor. I've never heard it explained in such detail but I've watched as my husband maneuver though the fine work with his less then fine fingers. He has extra spokes on his tires to add strength (less breakage).

I hope that your daughters benefit concert went well - she has a lovely voice.
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:49 am

..
Image
..
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Re: Myra

Postby Casey Butler » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:33 pm

Cate, Cate! Actually the sound was picked up pretty well! It just couldn't play through the teeny phone speakers without distortion. So here is a link from Friday's show...

http://youtu.be/187ILBuK7E4
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Re: Myra

Postby Cate » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:46 pm

I can't see it yet Casey - the setting are set for private.

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