FATHER’S DAY

By George Smith

This Father’s Day is different for me. Why? I am a year older but was true in that situation a year ago.

The last 24 hours has caused me to question everything I believe or think I know. The present global pandemic and ensuring isolation and cloying anxiety and fingerlings of depression (plus some inner-most personal, tumultuous thoughts) created a need to examine my “here” and take a mental inventory of my “now” and ask hard questions about my very existence and my overall worth to myself, my family, my world.

A personal humanity laundry list emerged from my musings, not just for me, but for others as well. Take it or leave it, it’s now out there and my sunshine today is ultra-bright. 

Happy Father’s Day to everyone.

We know first hand about the dilemma associated with race, this big story about how people go out of their way to be judgmental, mean-spirited even, to those who are different or who chose to be appear or act differently

Shame on those that see color before humanity, gender before value, sexual orientation before good deeds, religious affiliation (or atheism) before   reverence for the emotions of the human heart, or nationalism over the needs of fellow human beings.

We are all of one creation…of that we should all agree. even if we disagree on a distinctive singular path.

That is a start.

Be kind today and every day after. If you do that and I do do that…it is the start of a movement that can change our world for the better.

Be kind. Today. Every day.

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PEACEFUL PROTEST

By George Smith

In my seven-plus decades, I have participated in three protests: In 1967 I  was one of 12 young college students to protest America’s involvement in the Vietnam War; in 1985 in Marshall, Texas, spoke to a “Sweep the Rascals Out” protest concerning bad government in general and in D.C. in general;  last night, June 11, joined a peaceful protest in Prescott, Ark., with the aim of obtaining justice for all citizens, a Black Lives Matter event.

All masked-up and maintaining the suggested social distance, I participated in the event on behalf of my friend-daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Cleon, our three biracial grandkids, Bryan, Brayden and Marley, and our other four grands — Piper, Annie, Jordyn and Colton — plus our two biracial second-cousins, Mattie and Ann Marie.

I also wanted to stand up and be counted in the global movement aimed at ending injustice to black citizens in particular.

More than 35 people from as far away as Mena, Ark., 100 miles, participated in the protest.

Hannah Wiley, the young organizer of the protest, set the tone for the event by holding an eight minute, 23 second moment of silence in memory of
George Floyd, the black citizen who died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

BobJean had planned on attending but deferred until the next protest due to working too long and too hard in the yard and wearing herself out.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 6/20/2020

June 20, 2020

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FROM THE MNM:
1. No new COVID cases for Friday in Marshall
2. Amtrack cuts back service through Marshall to three times weekly.
3. 22 New COVID cases in Tyler. 
 
J. Harris: Several counties are making or considering mandatory face masks for public places. I AGREE. Harrison County’s troubles are not over, but we are certainly lucky or doing something right lately. We need to remember that this is still the First Phase of the disease. Autumn and Influenza will be here soon. Flu shots will be more important to take that ever. Keep wearing your masks when out and about. 
 
 
Researchers at the Italian National Institute of Health discovered the presence of the RNA of the virus in samples taken in the northern cities of Milan and Turin on Dec. 18, more than two months before the country’s  first case was diagnosed on Feb 20. (NYT)
 
 
In this issue of JAMA, Fosbøl et al3 provide convincing evidence that ACEI/ARB therapy is not associated with ncreased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection or increased severity of COVID-1
J. Harris: This is the third big study demonstrating that ACE inhibitors and blockers, very common and effective blood pressure pills, don’t cause or worsen COVID infections. 
 
From Johns Hopkins:
     1. Structure-based Design of Antiviral Drug Candidates Targeting the SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease (Science) With no vaccine or proven effective drug against the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), scientists are racing to find clinical antiviral treatments. A promising drug target is the viral main protease Mpro,…showed good antiviral activity in cell culture…had better pharmacokinetic properties and low toxicity when tested in mice and dogs, suggesting that this compound is a promising drug candidate.
 
     2. Numerous US states continue to report concerning COVID-19 trends. The New York Times analysis indicates that 20 states are reporting significant increases in COVID-19 incidence, based on a 7-day average. Among these states, 12 appear to be reporting record daily incidence over the past several days. Texas reported its highest daily incidence and COVID-19 hospitalizations yesterday as well as its second-highest test positivity since April. Multiple hospitals in Florida are currently reporting that all of their intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied. According to data published by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), 9 hospitals with a capacity of at least 25 ICU beds report no availability. Additionally, numerous smaller hospitals are also reporting zero available ICU beds, including 2 in Palm Beach, one of Florida’s current COVID-19 hotspots. Arkansas and North Carolina continue to report increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations. Notably, Arkansas is reporting nearly 4 times the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients as it was in mid-May and more than 7 times the number of active community cases.
(J. Harris: remember a couple of weeks ago when Arkansas was “bullet proof” and bragging about their lack of antiviral practices statewide).
 
What was Forrest Gump’s email password? 1forrest1
 
Two windmills are standing in a wind farm. One asks, “What’s your favorite kind of music?” The other says, “I’m a big metal fan.” 

 
 
 

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 6/19/2020

June 19, 2020

James Harris

9:01 AM (4 hours ago)

 

   
 

 
 
 
 
 
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There were no new COVID cases in Harrison County. 
If you study the above hospital daily census of COVID patients in various cities, you wonder why wearing a mask is not mandatory in Dallas, Austin, Houston, and other cities. 
 
J. Harris: Personal Holiday Note–when I was a kid working highway construction in East Texas, June 19 was the only sure holiday we’d have between Memoria and Labor Days. We’d occasionally have to work on July 4th if we were at a critical phase of a project, like shooting asphalt. However, we never worked on Juneteenth, no matter what. And how great it was when the 19th was on a Friday like is this year! We might get to go back home for a couple of days off. I hope each of you has a nice, safe holiday weekend. 
 
Collins pun for the day:
There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
 
Really bad effort: Ladies, if he can’t appreciate your fruit jokes, you need to let that mango.
 

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THE PLATFORM

By George Smith

A FBook friend and a well-informed observer and writer questioned my use of a certain verb in a recent post when referring to the fact the GOS “insists” the party is behind a balanced budget.

Just as the Dem platform always “insists” on the Equality of All People, the GOP puts business success  over the rights of workers, even business success over human life.

This is from the 2020 Republican platform (which is the same as the 2016 version):

1. We believe America is exceptional because of our historic role — first as refuge, then as defender, and now as exemplar of liberty for the world to see.

(My reaction: But, but what about aslyum seekers? What about the rights of peaceful protestors? What about gays? What about Muslims?)

2. We affirm, as did the Declaration of Independence: that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

(Yeah, right, whatever. Tell that to those in our country who are the living oppressed and who are favorite targets of conservatives — minorities, all, including women, members of the LBGTQ community, and interracial  couples.)

3.We believe our constitutional system — limited government, separation of powers, federalism, and the rights of the people — must be preserved uncompromised for future generations.

(Limited government? I just threw up in my mouth. Separation of powers? See comment above. Rights of the people? “People” over rich people? “People” over big business? Get real)

4. We believe political freedom and economic freedom are indivisible.
When political freedom and economic freedom are separated — both are in peril; when united, they are invincible.”

(It is a fact that actions by the federal government, positively or adversely, affect the country’s economic pulse. The elected GOPers in Congress, with one stalwart exception, seem to feel they do not have freedom to march along the best path for their constituents; they are attached mouth to buttocks of a lightning rod president who craves three things: Money, power and loyalty.)

5. We believe that people are the ultimate resource — and that the people, not the government, are the best stewards of our country’s God-given natural resources.

(No Republican, no voter, who can read or hear the spoken word cannot know this is three kinds of male bovine offal. The GOP is for big business wants over  despoiling public lands, encouraging drilling for oil and natural gas, timber production and for grazing land for big cattle operations. Trump’s troops just re-approved the use of a cancer-causing insecticide for farmers, opened up logging on public lands, diminishes the benefits of non-fossil fuel sources — wind, solar and wave —  thus protecting the oil and gas interests and approved “cyanide bombs” to kill predators, regardless of the damage is does to other animals, including domestic cats and dogs.)

6. As Americans and as Republicans we wish for peace — so we insist on strength. We will make America safe. We seek friendship with all peoples and all nations, but we recognize and are prepared to deal with evil in the world.

(This administration seeks peace as long as our potential enemies agree to do things “our” way. If some country “bobbles” in abject support of Trump’s ideas or demands, it becomes the nation’s enemy or next economic punching bag.)

To use a little contrived literary dyslexia, the U.S. is in a “melluva hess”.  And the only way out is an affirmation of real American principles — the rights of ordinary people over the political and business gentry —  in November.

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News from the Blue Frog Restaurant – 6/17/2020

Dear Friends of Blue Frog Restaurant and Catering,

 

As we continue to evolve around and with the pandemic we want to provide you with some exciting updates!

 

BEGINNING Wednesday, June 17th we will offer our new LUNCH MENU (to go only) with the addition of DAILY LUNCH SPECIALS (to-go only) from 11am-2pm Monday – Friday.   The new menu with your timeless favorites can be found on our Face Book Page or give us a call to receive an email or text copy.   Daily lunch specials will also be offered as DINNER TO GO for your family of 2 or 4 (Dinner in a Bag).  Order by 2:30 pm and dinner will be packaged family style for pick up between 3:30 – 5:30 each day.

 

Blue Frog Market Frig, take and bake, grab and go items open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5:30 pm.  We are still offering curbside delivery for our guests who are not comfortable walking in.   

 

Blue Frog Catering remains open for your small or large group needs, personal chef events, special order bakery and food items.   Call or email us 903-923-9500 The Frog, 903-926-0836 Shawne (direct), bluefroggrill101@gmail.com.

 

The Alley Downtown (our outdoor dining area) will continue to announce evening dining events and/or live music events on a weekly basis through our face book page The Blue Frog.  Also a great way to keep up with daily specials and changes.

 

Blue Frog Gift Cards are a great way to show your support for our business and are available for purchase.   Give us a call or drop by the store.

 

Thank you so much for sticking with us. We have exciting things in the works and look forward to supporting each other during these challenging times.

 

Cheers,

Shawne Somerford

MARSHALL JUNE SALES TAX REPORT CITY OPENINGS

[Marshall, Texas, June 16, 2020]

On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, the City of Marshall received the June sales tax report. “I am happy to say that our overall report was lower than the previous year but better than we expected. However, we still have additional budgetary concerns moving forward,” expressed City Manager Mark Rohr.

As a result of the recent returns, the City of Marshall will enact the following provisions:

  • The Marshall Public Library will open at 50% of its total occupancy on Monday, June 22, 2020. The modified hours of operation for the library will be Monday-Friday 9:30 am-5:30 pm. To maintain social distance, a limited number of computers will be available with adequate spacing between units. Children’s interactive exhibits and games will be closed at this time to follow best practices. Patrons may still take advantage of curbside service to protect the most vulnerable populations.

  • The following city employees will return from furlough: two library employees and the Main Street Manager on June 22, 2020.

  • Effective immediately, the Human Resources department has posted employment opportunities for one police officer, one firefighter, and two ROW staff.

  • The City of Marshall will continue to hold City Commission meetings utilizing a video and audio conferencing tool and a standard conference call.  Instructions and direct links to view meetings or speak during Citizen Comment are athttp://www.marshalltexas.net.

“The City of Marshall is not in the clear yet, and all other budgetary modifications will remain in effect. Our revenue is still down compared to 2019, as we have trended downward for the last three months.  However, I believe the adjustments we have made have prepared the city well for what the rest of the year might bring as we await the July report. I am thankful for the discipline shown by the citizens and city staff as we face the challenges the pandemic has presented to us,” stated City Manager Rohr.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 6/16/2020

June 16, 2020

AVERAGE CENSUS COUNTS OF HOSPITALIZED  COVID PATIENTS 
TRAUMA AREA TO JUNE1 4/8/20 5/1/20 6/1/20 6/14/20 6/15/20 6/16/20      
MARSHALL/TYLER/LGV 46 26 63 49 54 53 55      
DALLAS 569 579 636 580 729 728 701      
AUSTIN 61 45 69 89 121 123 141      
HOUSTON 480 495 475 482 681 696 730      
STATE OF TEXAS 1670 1491 1778 1756 2242 2287 2326      
 
FROM JOHNS HOPKINS
     1. Fifty-four Scientists have Lost their Jobs as a Result of NIH Probe Into Foreign Ties (Science) Some 54 scientists have resigned or been fired as a result of an ongoing investigation by the National Institutes of Health into the failure of NIH grantees to disclose financial ties to foreign governments. In 93% of those cases, the hidden funding came from a Chinese institution.
 
     2.Sinovac Says Early Data Show its COVID-19 Vaccine Generated Immune Responses (STAT) Sinovac Biotech announced preliminary study results on Saturday showing its experimental Covid-19 vaccine generated immune responses in patients and was safe — early data that suggest it might protect people against infections with the novel coronavirus. The Beijing-based drug maker’s vaccine, called CoronaVac, induced neutralizing antibodies in “above 90%” of people who were tested 14 days after receiving two injections, two weeks apart. There were no severe side effects reported, the company said in a statement.
 
NEW CDC UPDATES OF WHICH TESTS TO USE IN VARIOUS SITUATIONS
 
Harrison County sees 1 new COVID-19 case, two more recoveries
 
Neutralizing antibodies have an important role in the protection or recovery from many viral infections. Several monoclonal antibody products will enter clinical trials over the next few months and be assessed for their ability to limit or modify SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, a drug that reliably prevented progression of COVID-19 would greatly reduce the concerns and uncertainty associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and give physicians a therapeutic tool they must have for their patients. Establishing the therapeutic or prophylactic efficacy of monoclonal antibodies would be a major advance in the control of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Monoclonal antibodies have received less attention even though neutralizing antibodies are a key component of protective immunity for most viral diseases. Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 have the potential for both therapeutic and prophylactic applications, and can help to guide vaccine design and development.
J. Harris: This could be an easier type of therapy to develop.
 
The number of prison inmates known to be infected has doubled during the past month to more than 65,000. Prison deaths tied to the coronavirus have also risen, by 73 percent since mid-May. By now, the five largest known clusters of the virus in the United States are not at nursing homes or meatpacking plants, but inside correction institutions, according to data The New York Times has been collecting about confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached American shores.
…Prisons that have conducted mass testing have found that about one in seven tests of inmates have come back positive, the Times database shows. The vast majority of inmates who have tested positive have been asymptomatic.
 
What is added by this report?

Among a convenience sample of 382 young adult U.S. service members aboard an aircraft carrier experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, 60% had reactive antibodies, and 59% of those also had neutralizing antibodies at the time of specimen collection. One fifth of infected participants reported no symptoms. Preventive measures, such as using face coverings and observing social distancing, reduced risk for infection.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Young, healthy adults with COVID-19 might have mild or no symptoms; therefore, symptom-based surveillance might not detect all infections. Use of face coverings and other preventive measures could mitigate transmission. The presence of neutralizing antibodies among the majority is a promising indicator of at least short-term immunity.

 
What is added by this report?

In this sample of intensely exposed subjects, assessed at a single point in time, results demonstrated that antibodies developed and that, at the time of specimen collection, many of these were neutralizing antibodies. Affinity maturation of antibodies is an important determinant for the outcome of viral infection. High-affinity antibodies can elicit neutralization by recognizing specific proteins on the surface of the virus, and these might be produced early or late in the course of viral infection. Approximately one half of the participants with positive ELISA results also had neutralizing antibodies, which indicate functional antibodies that would be expected to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. This is a promising indicator of immunity, and in several participants, neutralizing antibodies were still detectable >40 days after symptom onset. Ongoing studies assessing the humoral antibody response over time will aid the interpretation of serologic results in an outbreak investigation such as this.

 
The steroid, dexamethasone, reduced deaths by a third in patients receiving ventilation, and by a fifth in patients receiving only oxygen treatment, the scientists said. They found no benefit from the drug in patients who did not need respiratory support.
(J. Harris: Dexamethasone is an old drug and should be plentiful and cheap. Think of it as a really strong form of “cortisone” or prednisone. It long been used in some types of respiratory failure or “shocky” conditions. )
 
 

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Number 45

By George Smith

The 45th president of the United States believes he is a once-in-a-lifetime thinker, a modern-day Socrates who is bigly sophisticated, erudite and who handles the many problems, opportunities, unforeseen faux pas, malignant foibles of members of the human race and examples of his intellectual fraud (real “downright lies”) as part of a conspiracy against him and his administration.

Unfortunately for the American people and the global community, President Donald Trump is none of those things. Instead, he is a poor excuse for a human being, a self-proclaimed born-agin-and-agin Christian who repeatedly demonstrates he has no soul, a whiney, spoiled, slack-brained, excuse-at-the-ready man-child who demands loyalty and fealty even when faced with the facts that he offers neither to any person except, at least for now, selected members of his family and key, get-on-your-knees-and-worship-me aides and cabinet members.

Harsh assessment from a staunch detractor? Harsh? Assuredly. Staunch detractor? Yeppers. Do those two stances negate the facts concerning the failures of the 45th president? Absolutely not.

Trump, the president, the man, is not well. Listen to his words. Watch his actions in trying to do a simple task, like take a drink of water or walk down a ramp. He is a physical disaster-in-waiting.

His thinking process, his exclamations and explanations are not just suspect but downright bizarre. Make excuses for him if you must, but you cannot excuse his reasoning behind why the number of COVID-19 cases are climbing exponentially:

“We are doing more testing that anyone and that causes the cases to rise. If we didn’t do testing, the number would be close to zero.”

Nooooooo. The number of cases would be the same; it’d just be ostrich-head-in-the-sand time in the U.S. of A.

And, to get our mind off the dramatic increase in coronavirus cases in some states, due to opening up the economy (and, of course, that darn testing regimen), jobless numbers and deaths way north of 110,000), Trump this week called for $2 trillion in spending to upgradre U.S. roads, bridges and tunnels, seizing on the coronavirus outbreak and record low interest rates to advance one of his longest-standing priorities.

Speaking at his daily coronavirus briefing on Tuesday evening, Trump said low rates would allow the country to borrow cheaply to finance spending on infrastructure. He said none of the funds should go toward environmental initiatives called for in the Democrats’ Green Deal.

This is a good thing, regardless of who is sitting behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office in the White House in Washington-on-the-Deficit. Infrastructure spending could help blunt the surge in unemployment and businesses failures expected to result from the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown.

Lest we have forgotten, a nati0nal infrastructure program was 0n Trump’s econ0mic battle plan for the U.S. since the early days of his presidential campaign. When this administration’s jobs numbers and overall ec0nomic report card continued the strong, upward trend started in 2010 f0llowing the 2008 recession, infrastructure improvement as a nati0nal policy was shelved. This was a calculated political gambit as center stage projects and scandals – THE wall, trade war with vari0us c0untries, dramatic changes to immigration policy, Iran, China and North Korea posturing and, finally, the global pandemic – sucked all the rarified air and vote-counting capital out of the political landscape.

Simply, what caused the president to resurrect the idea that an infrastructure plan would assist in his re-electi0n campaign, were the so-far-South-it’s-dark-24/7 polling numbers which showed Trump, the man, the policy wonk, rated slightly worse than a “creepy high school janitor who set up hidden cameras in the boys’ bathro0ms”, and only slightly better than “unseen dust bunnies under the c0uch”.

Now, as Trump’s poll numbers are tanking due to his mangling,  miscalculation and mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, he chucks up one of his administration’s patented distractions, a real-life “shiny” moment:

            “Look! Bigly jobs!! New, improved roads!!! Bridges and dams that w0n’t collapse!!!! Complements of President Donald J. Trump!!!!! MAGA!x6.

Where was this program three years ago when this administration was capturing and caging would-be immigrants looking for a safer, better life? Where was this “progress” plan when the president was trumpeting the “impenetrable” that an eight-year-old girl climbed in less than 20 seconds using a special tool – wo0den shoes that she wedged in the spaceds in the wall and scampered up like a money on a palm tree?

While the nation’s roads and bridges were deteriorating, and dams collapsing, inundating towns and taking lives, Trump was holding the promised infrastructure bill for the proper time.

The “proper” time, it now is clear, is when polls reported by Fake News outlets show him trailing challenger Joe Biden by double digits in some key states.

“What! I’m behind in the polls? Unleash the visible ec0nomic infrastructure programs plan!”

By electi0n time, vari0us roadways in key states will be sporting signs showing that “President Donald J. Trump” wants the American driving public to be safe on American roads.

And, once again, Trump is betting he can hornswoggle en0ugh voters to have an0ther f0ur years of power trips, ego-expanding proclamations that aid the rich and corporations and destroy blessed parts 0f this country and a chance to undermine the f0undation of democracy.

Will his bet pay off the first Tuesday in November?

Go vote and see.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 6/15/2020

June 15, 2020

FROM THE LONGVIEW PAPER:
Texas health officials on Sunday reported more than 1,800 new coronavirus cases in the state and 19 additional deaths from COVID-19 — including two new fatalities in Harrison County.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Sunday that Harrison County’s death toll from the virus now stands at 28.

The department also said Harrison County has recorded one new positive diagnosis, bringing its cumulative total to 269.

 
 
 
The nursing home industry says just one-time testing for every resident and staffer would cost $440 million, and facilities struggling financially would not be able to bear the expense of regular staff testing.
 
“The secret weapon behind COVID is that is spreads in the absence of any symptoms,” Grabowski told lawmakers at a recent briefing. “If COVID is in a community where staff lives, it is soon to be in the facility where they work.”
 
Nationwide, more than 45,500 residents and staff have died from coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to a running count by The Associated Press. That’s about 40% of more than 115,000 total deaths. Nursing home residents are less than 1% of the U.S. population.
 
 
  AVERAGE CENSUS COUNTS OF HOSPITALIZED  COVID PATIENTS 
TRAUMA AREA TO JUNE1 4/8/20 5/1/20 6/1/20 6/14/20 6/15/20 6/16/20 6/17/20    
MARSHALL/TYLER/LGV 46 26 63 49 54 53        
DALLAS 569 579 636 580 729 728        
AUSTIN 61 45 69 89 121 123        
HOUSTON 480 495 475 482 681 696        
STATE OF TEXAS 1670 1491 1778 1756 2242 2287        
 
NOTES TO CHART: Look at the Marshall area — Our approximate area average census of hospitalized COVID patients is 46 since the count was started on April eighth.  On April 8 it was 26 for our area. On May first, it was 63 and on the fourteenth, it was 54. Today it is 53. Now look at Austin. Their average area hospital census for COVID patients has doubled.
 
Collins Puns( the last)  Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root -canal?

His goal: transcend dental medication.

 
Just terrible:  To the guy who invented zero, thanks for nothing.
 
 

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