February 9, 2010

Student essay contest winners define 'dependability'

Ever wonder if the kids around you spend any time thinking about deep and important values? In Racine County, over 200 middle and high school students did just that recently. They responded to an invitation to write an essay about “Dependability” – what it means, who has it, and how it affects you in real life. The essays showed an interest in exploring such character traits, and dozens of teachers got the chance to hold a discussion on dependability in their classrooms.

Each year, RAMAC and the Racine Community Foundation hold an essay contest on just such a character issue. This year the winners came from across the county and from all types of schools. Awards were scheduled to be presented today at the Racine County Board meeting, but that ceremony was cancelled by the snowstorm. Here are the winners:

High School winners
1st place - $1000 David Sanchez, The Prairie School
2nd place - $ 500 Nirupamaa Sivanushanthan, JI Case High School
3rd place - $ 400 Mary Kate Bernier, JI Case High School
4th place - $ 250 Nicole Hall, Catholic Central High School
Honorable Mention - $150 each
Yijing Xin, The Prairie School
Andrew Meiszberg, Catholic Central High School
Devaughnte Woods, Horlick High School
Jonathan Kuta, Catholic Central High School
Middle School winners
1st place - $ 400 Sandeep Reddy, The Prairie School
2nd place - $250 Derek Heffel, St. Sebastian School
3rd place - $200 Mary McSorley, St. Sebastian School
4th place - $150 Allegra Woolrage, The Prairie School
Honorable Mention - $100 each
Kelly Bush, St. Sebastian School
Kyle Kirkeby, Starbuck Middle School
Haley Rossman, St. Sebastian School
Erin Doherty, St. Sebastian School
Here are some quotes from winning entries:
"Being dependable means that someone can expect you to be there for them when they are in need." -- Sandeep Reddy, 6th grader at the Prairie School

"When you are part of a team, loyalty and steady individual performance are important factors in showing dependability. I believe that as long as I always try my hardest to get the job done, people will consider me reliable even if I am not perfect every time." -- Derek Heffel, 8th grader at St. Sebastian School

"When I was at the Boy Scout Jamboree...I was relied on to set up most of the troop tents and fill up the water jugs. I was depended upon to get all the food out of the trailer and set it up for lunch... I was also depended upon to make sure we all stayed together. We do this so no one would get hurt or kidnapped." -- Kyle Kirkeby, 6th grader at Starbuck Middle School

"Dependability is what holds us together, plain and simple. No matter how independent we may wish to be, no matter how clever or talented we think we are, we all rely on one another for support...America can certainly depend once again on its people and our resilience as a nation, where a man's word can hold value and we can depend on everyone to do what's right for our families, our communities, and our country." -- David Sanchez, 12th grade, Prairie School

"What is dependability all about? Is it just about keeping one's word? Of course, that is an important component of dependability, but dependability is also about knowing one's own limit. It does not make one a better person to accept every request for help. Dependability does not mean that people can ask you to do anything and you will say yes. Dependability is simply what one does after they say 'yes'." -- Nirupamaa Sivanushanthan, 12th grade, JI Case High School

79 comments:

  1. Please notice who won the major prizes. Anyone who thinks that we possess a level playing field in Racine is greatly in error. The results are a not-so-subtle commercial for what I must call the "Precious Airy Advantage." (None of the above is an insult to any of the contestants. The best of luck to all the participants, even the hyper-privileged youngsters who had no business cadging cash prizes in the first place.)

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  2. the definition of dependability

    kelly 4 congress

    'nuff said

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  3. First you insult these kids that put in some extra effort. Then you say you are not insulting them. You are assuming in your letter that the school gave these kids an advantage. This is an insult, ma'am! You are judging their achievement based on the school they attend, not their individual effort. You don't even know who these children are! I thought we were trying to rid this country of prejudice. Then again maybe prejudice is part of your socialist/communist agenda.
    Your antics have insulted the innocent once again. What a piece of work!
    Congrats to all the kids for their fabulous efforts! Many of us appreciate it.
    SDJ

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  4. Dear SDJ, I'm a guy, not a gal. Even so, plenty of folks would agree with me about "Precious Airy Academy" and the advantages which our city's elitists bestow on its students. As long as "Precious Airy Academy" and its students enjoy the grace and favor of our money-archy, they should refrain from participation in contests whose cash prizes could benefit the less-fortunate. In any event, good luck to all the youngsters involved. May they grow up to build and enjoy a socialist America!

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  5. You need to give your computer to someone less fortunate. You don't deserve it. Donate it to HALO or eat your words. You have more than alot of people in this world. Start giving it up and be a man of your word.

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  6. 8:53 - Mr. Angry will find something negative even about nice stories e.g. these students taking the time, effort and talents to participate. Appartently RUSD students had the same opportunity since Case and Horlick are represented. I guess those that did not participate either did not need the money, were too lazy or just didn't care - typical of most RUSD students.

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  7. How do you know what I have? Don't forget that people may borrow computers. Returning to a certain school which functions primarily as a recruiting and training facility for future corporate executives and elitists, "Precious Airy Academy" ought to keep its financially-advantaged students out of competition with less fortunate youngsters. The common people of our community are tired of seeing hyper-privileged kids whose parents can afford to send them to a pricey institution prance away with cash prizes. (A few years ago, a rich boy from "Precious Airy Academy" cadged over two hundred grand in scholarship funds which neither he nor his wealthy parents needed. Ever since then, many of our poor citizens have learned to resent the school, its well-heeled students and the plutocratic clan which founded the elitist institution.)

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  8. Please list the advantages. Be precise.

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  9. For starters, "Precious Airy Academy" is a private secular institution which may select its student body. By contrast,public schools and compassionately-administered religious schools accept all or most applicants, including multi-problem youngsters and challenged children. Then there's the fact that "Precious Airy Academy" recruits largely from upper-middle class families. As any educator will inform you, upper-middle class students tend to be more exposed to books and other sources of intellectual stimulation and verbal virtuosity than poor or working class youngsters are. In addition, because "Precious Airy Academy" and its students have few if any economic worries, they may concentrate on academic achievement instead of worrying about access to food and other necessities. All in all, the solvent, articulate students at "Precious Airy Academy" possess so many advantages over less fortunate youngsters that they should stay out of local contests or compete only against their peers from other secular private institutions.

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  10. Even so, best wishes to all the participants regardless of their socio-economic status.

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  11. Mr. Angry - apparently you missed the RUSD's winners and my comments about the public schools. You always pick and choose in order to try and substantiate your whining. By the way, congratulations to the winners - pay no attention to Mr. Angry's negative ways. He is a sad old soul.

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  12. Yes, anybody that exploits children to further one's socialist/communist agenda is sick.

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  13. Of course Mr. Angry - you would never be in favor of any competition. Everyone should get something for nothing. You are always consistant with your sick thinking - you sad old sole.

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  14. No, I am not Mr. Angry. Furthermore, I believe in fair competition. In boxing, we match contestants using weight and size as criteria. In good fights, a welterweight boxer doesn't compete against a heavy weight contender. The same ought to apply to essay contests for our students. Poor kids from well-nigh bookless homes shouldn't have to vie with well-to-do youngsters from homes with family libraries. Given the advantages enjoyed by "Precious Airy Academy" students, kids from less-fortunate families should be shielded from competition with them.

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  15. Long ago, there used to be something called "noblesse oblige," a French term for the duty of privileged people to remember the handicaps and burdens of less-advantaged people and treat them accordingly. Somehow, in our sad land of cut throat competition, we've forgotten this concept. Until we build a level socio-economic playing field, the advantaged youngsters at "Precious Airy Academy" shouldn't be contending with paupers for cash prizes.

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  16. Dear 9:00 AM, Is the winner of the $1,000.00 high school prize related to the rich scholarship-grabber you mentioned? They both have the same family name. From what I learned, the scholarship-cadger's parents were both upper-middle echelon employees of "The House of Wax."

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  17. Why are there no more intelligent posts on this blog? I used to like reading the Post but now....

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  18. Mr. Angry - I don't think under- privileged students would appreciate how you imply they are less intelligent than those that come from higher income families.

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  19. My under-privileged kids have access to the biggest library in town...for free (other than the occassional private donation, which is not required).
    Next argument please.
    SDJ

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  20. Although economically-challenged kids aren't less intelligent than their upper-middle class competitors, the latter enjoy so many advantages that the former don't stand a chance against them. As for access to libraries, many poor kids have downtrodden, over-worked and underpaid parents for whom reading is a low-priority activity. Until we equalize our children's opportunities, students from hyper-advantaged families and elitist schools should be barred from contests offering cash prizes.

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  21. A pal told me that the solvent "Precious Airy Academy" student who acquired roughly $200.000.00 in scholarships was Tyler Sanchez. With all the populist and anti-elitist sentiment in town, I hope that he isn't related to the winner of the high school essay contest. (None of the above material is an attack on anyone, especially those boys. They didn't create the evil system in which they've been favored while others have been abused.)

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  22. Then Mr. Angry - why even mention their names if it isn't an attack. You should be ashamed of yourself. You are stooping even lower than usual - going after kids.

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  23. Sir, you are purely EVIL. I can not think of any other words to describe what you have done. If this is the way a socialist treats others, I don't want any part of it!

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  24. I agree - Mr. Angry is EVIL.

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  25. I'm not Mr. Angry. Furthermore, I bear no grudges against kids. Even rich youngsters are victims of a vile system. If you want to see evil, look at our corporate culture and the fiends who destroy most of our citizens for the benefit of the oligarchy.

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  26. What are you going to do next? Kick puppies? Steal candy from a baby? I understand you have your views but using children to promote your communist beliefs is absolutely ridiculous!

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  27. I'm not Mr. Angry. As for being a communist, that's a sick joke. What I want is an equitable socio-economic system, not the hellish capitalist ratrace in which we've been trapped by a greedy oligarchy and its admirers.

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  28. Socialism is just a new softer name for communism.

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  29. No. If you'll research the economic systems prevalent in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, you'll see that socialism and communism aren't the same thing. By and large, communism is rigid and totalitarian in both theory and practice. By contrast, socialism is far more flexible and exists in numerous forms, some of which permit entrepreneurial activity under government supervision.

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  30. Mr. Angry - no one agrees with you. As mentioned numerous times - you are a sad, depressing man. Get some therapy.

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  31. Dear 8:18 AM, I'm not your nemesis, Mr. Angry. However, I've read (and agreed with) some comments which you've ascribed to him. Whether or not Mr. Angry exists, plenty of folks share his views.

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  32. Sure you are - there are two Mr. Angry's.

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  33. Two Messers Angry? Based on the rage simmering in this corrupt company town, I'd say that we've got thousands of angry men. One thing's certain--my working class neighbors are irked that the large cash prizes went to kids who didn't need the money. Exactly who judges the essays and how are the prizes awarded? My neighbors want to know. Also, they'd like to learn if there were some legal ways to restrict participation in such contests to low-income students only.

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  34. 10:21 - You've made quite an assumption. How do you know they do not need the money? There are students that go to private schools on scholarships, how do you know the public school students don't need the money? And lastly this is America - where we should not discriminate against anyone, or do you like to pick and choose who to discriminate against.

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  35. The young man that received the grants worked hard for them doing the research and filling the applications. He earned them. Grants are available to ALL students who are worthy regardless of the school they attend.

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  36. 10:50 - precisely.

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  37. Dear 10:36 AM, If the winner of the high school contest is who we think he is, his Dad is a retired executive and his Mom (who has a law degree) is employed at a place we'll call the "Round Hell." As for the other "Precious Airy Academy" students, word on the street is that their parents are loaded.

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  38. The bottom line is that, during a depression, rich kids shouldn't be competing for cash which poor youngsters need to survive.

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  39. Dear 10:50 AM, If you believe that story, I've got bridges, statues and canyons for sale. Please wise up. Thank you very much!

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  40. By and large, privately-funded grants go to rich students who attend posh private schools. Wealthy and upper-middle class grant administrators tend to prefer applicants from their own social strata and feel ill at ease dealing with disadvantaged kids.

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  41. yada, yada, yada - if you really feel that about the rich, then those who are not rich should do something to improve their life styles.

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  42. Yeah--maybe we need a non-violent revolution against the money-monarchy.

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  43. Here's how you start your revolution. Educate yourself and get a better job. It worked for me and I grew up with NOTHING!

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  44. Goody-goody for you, but that's not how it works for most of us. Lots of folks struggle, earn degrees, jump through hoops and still wind up jobless or under-employed. Face it, buddy: this system is a rigged game guaranteed to make the majority lose what little it may possess while the fortunate few grow even richer than they already are.

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  45. I am "most of us", buddy.

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  46. Goody, Goody - excuses, excuse!

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  47. I offer explanations, not excuses. However, in our sick Puritanical culture which programs us to equate gainful employment and success with virtue, explanations for our paupers' plight become confused with self-serving excuses. (Anxious to keep us from challenging their power and changing the system, our Calvinist cash-cadgers taught their indentured servants and wage slaves to blame themselves for their misery instead of inculpating their bosses and questioning the need for capitalism. Alas, this strategy has worked all-too-well in dividing the skilled laboring class from the poor and convincing semi-privileged toilers that workers who complain about abuse are whiners.)

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  48. Mr. Angry - You've finally got it, so you don't have to respond again - you are dismissed loser. We are all done with you.

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  49. Who the heck is Mr. Angry? By the way, calling someone a "loser" doesn't solve social problems and may only add fuel to the flames of conflict. During the coming revolution, the common man will separate the losers from the winners. Furthermore, if you think that you've dismissed the common man and that you're "done" with him, you're greatly in error. If the present depression continues to gut our middle class, the common man will terminate your beloved capitalism. Then, at long last, we'll be "done" with social injustice and the corporate elite.

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  50. We should applaud people who strive for success, regardess of their backgrounds. These are the people that cure polio, develop flat screen tvs, and allow some of us to sit on our dappled rear ends and prosthletize.

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  51. Uhhhh yeah - lets restrict the competition to mediocre achievers - that will make them feel better until they get whipped in competition as adults.

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  52. These are also the people who rob the rest of us. The same monomaniacal mentality and energy responsible for discoveries and inventions can destroy the lives of our rank-and-filers. Had the cyber-revolution been regulated by a strong people's regime, computers would have entered the workplace gradually without throwing myriads of high school-educated clerks and paper shufflers out of work. As it was and is, our evil system allowed a handful of too-clever-by-half computer wonks to acquire obscene wealth while tossing millions of toilers on the economic scrap heap.

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  53. The greatest good of the greatest number, not the caprices of the rich, must prevail.

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  54. Dear 12:14 PM, Who says that we have to indulge in cut throat competition? Canada and some European social democracies don't tolerate it and their working people live better than our downtrodden wage slaves.

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  55. Have you ever wondered why the USA has so much workplace violence, road rage and sheer mayhem? Our sick hyper-competitive culture, with lavish rewards for the fortunate few and zilch for the rest who must make do, is responsible. NEEDED SOON: an end to the cults of the triumphant individual, competition for competition's sake and success at any price. (If the present depression knocks the can-do cockiness out of the American character, it will be worth it.)

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  56. I can't wait to be the same as everyone else. That is exciting.

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  57. Having the same rights as everyone else and possessing the means to exercise them would please me more than all the opportunities purportedly available in the present, far-from-pleasant system.

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  58. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I'd rather have a guaranteed annual income of $15,000.00 than the illusive promise of someday receiving $100,000.00 per year in exchange for enduring misery as some richie-poo's little slavey. In short, I'd gladly trade the American dream for a modest but secure reality any day.

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  59. Instead of having kids scrawl moralistic essays on dependability, the folks in charge ought to tell them what they can depend on experiencing in corporate America: crassitude, cruelty, corruption, crud and cr-p!

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  60. Let's hear from the Richie Poos because we certainly have heard enough by these depressing losers. I've worked for the money I have and you know what - I love every minute of it. So, losers crawl back into your depressing holes. I will enjoy my travels, my toys, my home, my fine dining out. When I see you in the gutter, I'll throw you a few crumbs - if you're lucky.

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  61. Within twenty years,Sir, you or your heirs will be fortunate if the people's government permits private sector predators to retain a tenth of your present stash. As for crumbs, Sir, I pray that I may behold you on your knees begging for a smidgen of mercy from your erstwhile victims. Once we've eradicated capitalism, all this and more shall come to pass. You may DEPEND on it!

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  62. Regarding your "fine dining out," I pray that the slaveys who serve you may spit and do other delightful things in your soup. Were I you, Sir, I should become a VERY good tipper and exercise great caution at gourmet get-togethers.

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  63. Monsieur, s'il vous plait, baisez-moi le c-l.

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  64. When we smash capitalism and free its victims, you may DEPEND on witnessing and experiencing major changes in your lush lifestyle. Your survival as well as that of your heirs may DEPEND on your ABILITY and theirs to adjust to a new, equitable socio-economic system.

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  65. A pauper would be satisfied with $100,000 - someone at $15,000 does not even register in life.

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  66. I'd be content with a modest but secure income. Furthermore, most folks who've been victimized by capitalism share my preference for a guaranteed low-to-moderate income as opposed to the illusive chance to grab a largely-imaginary brass ring.

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  67. Well enjoy your poverty - I'll enjoy my fortunes - I'll drop you a few crumbs along the way.

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  68. Savor your fortunes while you may/ for the peoples' courts shall take away/ your trinkets, toys and ill-gotten gains,/ your pleasures wrought from your workers' pains./ You and your heirs shall wail and weep/ and humbly to your victims creep/ imploring mercy,but in vain./Our pow'r shall wax, Waxpow'r shall wane.

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  69. Never will happen and Wax Pow'r has nothing to do with my fortunes - just for that, I am going to save your crumbs for the pigeons.

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  70. C'est bien. I don't need your crumbs. Even so, the pigeons will enjoy them and you'll be doing a good deed for the first time in your self-absorbed existence.

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  71. Ok - and then hopefully they'll crap on you and your miserable life.

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  72. In case you don't know it, pigeons' dung is a valuable commodity in the leather trade. Over in North Africa, it's used to tan goatskin. Thank you for the great gift. When the people's government gives someone the authority to tan an old goat's hide, the pigeon poop will come in handy.

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  73. Capitalism: from each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

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  74. Dear Mr. Arrogant, I hope you had fun yestereve in the Den of Venn. My colleagues and I had a blast.

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  75. 3:06 - Of course I did, I'm Mr. Arrogant!

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  76. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  77. wow really these kids have won because of the hard work theyve done and all you guys can do is argue about how your guys lives suck quit hating on the kids and eachother and go out and do something about it jeez! you guys are sick.

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