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The Watering Hole: Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Now What?

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Reports are coming in that hundreds of homeless families, many of them armed, have set up encampments on the Federal land near Bunkersville, Nevada, site of the recent standoff between citizen militia and the federal government.

Homeless advocates are claiming that if cows can live on federal land, rent free, people should be allowed to do so, also.

So far, federal agents do not seem inclined to intervene. Meanwhile, the smell of bbq beef wafts down the valley from the general direction of the homeless camps each evening.

OPEN THREAD.

The Watering Hole, 4-16-14: Utopia

Utopia, that perfect world.

But defining that world means different things to different people.

Every religion,
Every political system,
Every economic system,
All are centered on some idea of Utopia.

Fascism,
Communism,
Socialism,
Capitalism,
Democracy,
Republic,
Empire,
Kingdom,
Christianity,
Judaism,
Muslim,
Buddist,

The list is endless.

What is your idea of Utopia?

We are, at this moment, living in a compromise, a Utopia made up of competing visions of how the world should be.

True power lies not in the wanting, but in the not wanting.

Open Thread.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, April 9, 2014: What day is it?

Come on, you can say it....

Come on, you can say it….

This just in: Woman sues fetus for civil rights violation.

A pregnant woman filed a lawsuit today in federal court in Lansing, Michigan, alleging a violation of her civil rights commited by her unborn fetus. The lawsuit claims that the fetus, as a person, is violating her rights under the 13th Amendment, the one that abolishes slavery.

The suit claims that the unborn person residing in her womb is forcing her to tend to its every need, day in and day out, 24/7, causing her great physical and emotional distress.

The suit seeks monetary damages equivalent to the value of a full-time, ’round-the-clock caregiver, as well as compensation for pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

In addition, the suit alleges that the fetus has committed numerous batteries against the woman, repeatedly kicking her womb, causing pain to other internal organs.

In addition to monetary damages, the woman is seeking an immediate restraining order to prohibit the fetus from continuing to feed itself through the umbilical cord, robbing the woman of her nutritional needs, as well as to enjoin the person from further batteries on her person.

A three-judge panel is expected to rule on the injunction by the end of the week.

OP
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TH
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Breaking Gnus: Koch Bros Sue Over “One Man-One Vote”

Hot on the heels of the Supreme Court’s latest ruling that Freedom of Speech means anyone can spend any amount to get their candidate elected, the Koch Brothers seek to expand this notion of Freedom of Speech, arguing that restricting voting rights to one vote per person is an impermissible restriction on their freedom of speech.

Anyone should be allowed to vote as many times as they can afford, the lawsuit alleges, arguing for unrestricted mail-in ballots.

Constitutional Law scholars note that the “one man-one vote” doctrine was never written into the Constitution, effectvely conceding that the Koch Brothers’ lawsuit might prove persuasive before the Roberts’ Court.

“After McCutcheon and Citizens United, it’s only a matter of time before free speech, money, and voting rights will be treated as equals under the Constitution” one scholar, who asked to remain anonymous, commented. A constitutional amendment to overturn those decisions was deemed highly unlikely to ever garner enough support to become part of the supreme law of the land.

HUMP DAY: Wednesday, April 2, 2014: The Watering Hole: Get out of jail free.

Life is a perpetual game of Monopoly where one player starts out owning 90$ of the properties, a ‘get out of jail free’ card, and $2000. The other 9 players start out with no properties, and $20 each. Each time the one player passes Go, he gets $200. The other nine? $2.

The one player wins, and feels he deserved to win. After all, his starting point in the game was bequeathed to him by his father, who got his starting point from his father. He’s ready to play again, to go ’round the board gobbling up what few properties he didn’t get at the start of the game. The other nine begrudginly join in – they have no choice in this – it is their punishment from God for not being born into riches, or so they’re told.

The one will win again and again and again. There’s no way he can lose, and no way any of the nine can ever avoid losing everything they have. And still they play, on and on, each passing their spot on the game board to their chosen heir. And the game continues, generation after generation. The perpetual roll of the dice in hope of a different, better outcome.

*******

In the news recently, one of the 1% was arrested for sexually abusing his three-year old daughter for a period of two years. He played his “Get out of jail free” card and got probation instead of jail time. She’s twelve now. I wonder if daddy cut her out of his will…

“With liberty, and justice, for all.” But the pledge doesn’t say “equal justice” for all.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Breaking Gnus: Supreme Court Allows For-Profit Corporations the Right to Impose Their Religious Beliefs on Workers.

Dateline 9/26/14: The Zoo’s “Way-Foreward Machine” brings us the news from 6 months hence. It all began with a simple question:

“Your reasoning would permit” Congress to force corporations to pay for abortions, Kennedy told Verrilli.

And with that, the door for Corporations to dictate health care was swung wide open. Ironically, the Affordable Health Care Act, or ObamaCare as it was more popularly known, did not force Corporations to pay for abortions – just offer health insurance that would cover such procedures.

But, with the Supreme Court paving the way, every employer soon jumped on the bandwagon. Within months, the health insurance landscape was in ruins as corporation after corporation, small business after small business, began demanding that they dictate their employees health insurance based on the religious beliefs of the board of directors or individual business owner, as the case may be.

Faced with literally millions of demands for differning coverages based on the ideosyncracies of the religions of millions of business owners, the Insurance Industry simply gave up. No company could write policies that covered enough people to be economically viable. Company after company simply stopped writing health insurance.

Now, 6 months later, the only health insurance in the United States is Medicare. Yes, even the companies that underwrote Congress’ health insurance stopped.

So, on the eve of the 2014 mid-term elections, Congress must face the polital piper. Religious Freedom protected individual, for-profit corporations from providing health care. But the Government must act in a manner that neither promotes one religion over another, nor any religion over no religion. Will Congress step up to the task of seeing that every American has a right to health care? Or will we have to elect new representatives that will?

OPEN THREAD
OPEN DISCUSSION

(P.S. The “Way Foreward Machine” is only capable of showing one of may possible futures. The actual future may be different than the one depicted here. Indeed, by publishing the Way Foreward Machine’s prediction, the future may have already been altered.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, March 12, 2014: Blue Sky over Beijing

China has finally gotten serious in its efforts to combat the effects of air pollution so thick it blocks out the sky.

An internal memo distributed through wickieleaks reveals that coal burning plants and even oil refineries will soon be adding blue dye to their fuel. The effect of the dye will be to turn smog a healthy sky-blue color. The air will be just as bad, but no one will notice. A test burn was conducted in a small villiage in Mongolia last December, with no lasting ill effects. The villiager’s skin color returned to normal just three weeks after the end of the test.

OPEN THREAD

SPRING, AND BLUE SKIES, AHEAD

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, March 5, 2014: it’s a Crimean Shame.

The Charge Of The Light Brigade

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d ?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d & thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter’d & sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Someone blundered…

One hundred and sixty years later and war again threatens to break out on the Crimean peninsula.

Someone blundered…

And how many more are going to die?

When will we ever learn?
When will we ever know?
Where have all the flowers gone?

CRYSTAL TIME

When dreams are swept away,
And the jagged edges of crystal time
Have etched their painful memories in the hourglass;

When angry seas crash
Upon the upturned fist of the shore,
Well worn,
Well worn,
And the clay breathed no more;

When blinding Truth and Reality collide
Into time’s crystal,
Blinding,
Binding,
And the sounding of the bell,
The deep sounding of the bell,
Tolling,
Tolling,
Prophesying the virtues of the sand,
(The sounding of the bell,
The sweet sounding of the bell)
Tolling for the dust;

Then tears shall fall,
Falling,
Falling,
For the Counter of the sand.

(© 1985 Briseadh na Faire)

WHO COUNTS THE SAND?

Who counts the sand
Falling gently in the hourglass?
Each grain a memory,
A memory in a crystal of time.

Who counts the tears
That fall in silent rage?
Each tear an outcry,
For vengeance in due time.

As the sand and tear drops fall;
Gath’ring torrents to the sea,
Who can stop the tide?
Who can change the course?
Who can heal the pain of each crystal memory?

Who will stop the sand?
Who will stop the tears
From falling, from falling?
Who will come to stop the children
From killing,
From dying?

Who will look into every grain
Of crystal time,
And hear mothers’ voices calling,
Crying,
Crying,
Dying…

When will the sand stop falling?
When will there be
The Counter of the Sand?

(© 2009 Briseadh na Faire)

OPEN
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The Watering Hole, Wednesday, February 26, 2014: Republicans support a jobs bill at last!

Well, dear readers, it seems that Republicans do support a jobs bill. That’s what Defense Spending is all about: jobs. It’s not about giving the military what it wants and needs. It’s about making things the military doesn’t want, doesn’t need and doesn’t work. Because it keeps people employed. And those people in turn continue to re-elect their representatives, no matter what they do to this country.

Too bad we can’t employ those same people to make solar panels, to make desalinization plants and pipelines to move water from water-soaked regions to drought regions.

But building infrastructure to help America compete well into the future doesn’t make permanent jobs. Building weapons that don’t work, that the military doesn’t want and doesn’t need – those are permanent jobs. Why? because they help keep those in power, in power.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, HUMP DAY, February 19, 2014: The Continuing Relevancy of the Amendments to the United States Constitution…continued.

In an earlier post, this author discussed the relevancy of Amendments 1-4. We now visit a few more:

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Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

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Ok, this one’s pretty much optional. What began under Bush has been dramatically expanded under Obama, without much protest. Two words: DRONE STRIKES.

Now, “due process of law” consists of the Unitary Executive deciding you’re an enemy of the State, you cannot be captured, therefore you must be killed. Judge, jury & executioner, all wrapped up into one neat little package.

Any gun nut who seriously thinks he can take up arms against the United States, as his 2nd Amendment Right, is not playing with a full deck, regardless of the number of rounds in his magazine. Joe Militia isn’t going to stop a drone. And, by taking up arms against the U.S. he fulfills the criteria used to order drone strikes against U.S. citizens abroad.

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Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Speedy trial? Yeah, right. The courts are backlogged, and it’s not getting any better. Oh, and if you have a civil matter, well, you have no right to a speedy trial. Your case will get bumped from the calendar because criminal cases take precedence, thanks to the 6th Amendment.

Oh, and see the comment about Drone Strikes if you still think every accused will be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, etc. before the drone hits.

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Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

For some reason, the Founding Fathers never bothered to add a clause indexing this to inflation. Nonetheless, try getting a jury in Small Claims Court. And the number of jurists varies by State.

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Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

I think it was Justice Scalia who put this to rest. If you’ve not been convicted, water boarding is not ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’

OPEN THREAD TIME

GO AHEAD

POST WHAT YOU WANT

IT’S NOT LIKE THE GOVERNMENT IS WATCHING….

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, February 12, 2014: Now What?

Tweeter, The Zoo's Top Investigative Reporter hard at work.

Tweeter, The Zoo’s Top Investigative Reporter hard at work.

This just in: Congressional Republicans to Introduce Bill to Defund the National Weather Service.

Republicans, let by Rand Paul, intend to introduce a bill to defund the National Weather Service. One aide, who asked to remain anonymous, explained:

The National Weather Service predicts weather, and it’s predictions are 95% accurate. They’ve been predicting “climate change” weather patterns for the past several years, and those predictions have come true. The only way to stop this “climate change” is to stop the predictions. That way, the weather won’t know what it’s “predicted” to do and will revert to normal weather patterns.

Besides, eliminating the National Weather Service will save taxpayer money. It will put an end to “climate change” because no one will know what is happening with the weather apart from sticking their head out of the window to find out if it’s raining or not. And farmers can always rely on their weather vanes.

The bill is expected to gain bipartisan support. It is rumored that at least one Democratic Representative has indicated he will vote for the bill “when Hell freezes over”. With the oncoming ice storm predicted in the deep south, it is also predicted that Hell will freeze over.

OPEN

THREAD

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If you all watched the State of the Union Address last night, that was the second half…Obama’s first half of his speech was sensored by the media (who received advanced notice of his intended remarks. What we didn’t see was the most stunning reversal of Presidential politics in the history of this nation. Here’s the rough transcript of the words that Corporate Media didn’t want you to hear:

“My Fellow Americans, members of Congress, and everybody else: I come to you tonight a changed man in a changed world. I am not the same man I was when you elected me in 2008, and the world is not the same either.

“As I reflected on my time in office, I had to recognize that, in many ways, some things are the same. We’re still at war. In fact, I’ve expanded powers of this office to order drone strikes anywhere I want. All I have to do is say the targeted people have something to do with terrorism and ‘Bam!’ they’re gone!

“On the home front, I’ve enacted the most draconian cuts to social programs ever, thanks to the ongoing sequester.

“Meanwhile the rich are getting richer, and corporations are getting away with everything.

“So, I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion: I’m a Republican. So, tonight, I’m making it official. I’m changing Parties. This will give me a majority in the House, and, with the help of the American electorate, a majority in the Senate with the 2014 elections.”

The floor of the chamber was silent and 43 members of the House s—- themselves.

OPEN THREAD

Breaking Gnus: Republican Party ordered off life-support

A Federal District Court judge for the district of North by Northwest passage, Hoboken, New Jersey, ordered the Republican Party be removed from life support no later than 5:00 p.m. January 28, 2014.

A finding that the Party has been brain-dead since at least January of 2001 prompted the court’s decision. The court found that although the Party has been on life-support for over a decade, “there is no hope of viability. Instead, the Party continues to consume billions of dollars that could be better spent elsewhere.”

An RNC spokesperson, who asked to remain anonymous, stated the Party intends to appeal the District Court’s decision and hopes to have a stay in place in time for the Party to make an official response to Obama’s State of the Union Address. The response is reported to rely heavily on rumors that Obama was born in Kenya, and that Benghazi was an intentional plot to side with the terrorists against U.S. interests in protecting Israel and the Afghanistan pipeline.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, Jan. 22. 2014: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & it’s about Thyme

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Remember me to one who lives there,
She once was a true love of mine.

In a forgotten language, flowers had meanings:

Parsley – Knowledge
Sage – Wisdom
Rosemary – Remembrance
Thyme – Courage

The song date back hundreds of years, and many variations of the lyrics have evolved, but they all center around love requiring the performance of impossible tasks.

She once was a true love of mine…

‘though she still lives, the minstrel has moved on from a true love that demanded the impossible, both he demanding it from her, and her demanding it from him. Now the true love is but a memory, and, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

(open thread)

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, January 15, 2014: Hump Day: A Bridge Too Farce…

faceplant-300x222

Well, folks, the long awaited Traffic Study commissioned by Governor Chris Christie that necessitated the closure of 3 out of 4 toll boths on the busiest bridge in the world has now been released. Among its findings are:

  1. If you shut down the world’s busiest bridge, you create the world’s greatest gridlock.
  2. If you create the world’s greatest greatest gridlock, it will have a negative impact on the economy.
  3. If you cause a negative impact on the economy, people are going to ask why.
  4. If people ask why, you will have to lie.
  5. If you have to lie, an angel loses its wings.
  6. If an angel loses its wings, it falls to earth and becomes Satan.
  7. If an angel becomes Satan, gays will get married.
  8. If you want to keep gays from getting married, don’t shut down the world’s busiest bridge.

OPEN THREAD
IT’S HUMP DAY!
WOO-HOO

The Watering Hole, Hump Day, January 8, 2014: The Continuing Relevancy of the Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Nine One One changed everything, so we’re told. Even noted liberal Bill Maher supports the surveillance state, because of suitcase nukes. Ever hear of a terrorist detonating a suitcase nuke – outside of the movies? Me neither. But they could, so we must give up certain safeguards instituted to limit the powers of government.

What follows are some of the changes we have implemented over the past dozen years – plus those changes a sizable portion of the populace would like to change.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We are a Christian Nation. Sharia Law is not allowed. Mosques are banned. The laws of Leviticus applies, but only as to homosexuality, we’re ok with men shaving their beards and 7-11s being open on Sunday.

Freedom of the press? Ok, so long as you’re not someone who blows the whistle on the evils our government is doing at home and abroad.

Peaceful assembly? yes, for armed Tea Party members. No to unarmed Occupy sit-ins.

Petition the government for redress of grievances? The White House set up a petition website. How many of those petitions actually resulted in the government doing something different?

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Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Guns don’t kill people, but people should be allowed to own military-grade weapons – just in case we need to revolt against our democratically elected government.

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Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

This one’s like the human appendix. Sure, it’s there, but it’s useless unless it gets inflamed.

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Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This one’s in its death throes. I say that only because a judge tossed out New York’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy – but only because it disproportionately targets minoritys. Already we’re being told that without stop and frisk, people will die. The solution is obvious – stop and frisk whites more.

But if you’re plugged into the internet, Big Brother is watching your every keystroke.

OPEN THREAD

The economic impact of ending unemployment benefits

I just read where one community will have 2,000 people lose their long-term unemployment benefits.

Assume, for the sake of argument, that these were minimum wage workers, working between 30 and 35 hours per week. The have been getting about $100 per week in unemployment benefits. Now, nothing.

That means they have, as a group, been spending about $200,000 per week in the local economy. Now, nothing.

Over the course of a year, $10,000,000 won’t be spent in local stores. But business owners won’t see a similar cut in their taxes. They’ll have to cut costs some other way, and the usual way is to reduce their workforce. This, in an area with a nearly 14% unemployment rate as it is.

And remember, unemployment benefits those who lost their job through no fault of their own. While those who just lost their benefits may have to pack up and leave, going whereever they can find work, the small businesses left behind will have to make do with $10,000,000 less this coming year.

Thanks, Congress.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, December 18, 2013: Breaking Gnus:

Republicans in House Vote to Delay Christmas For One Week.

House Republicans held a late-night vote to delay Christmas until January 1, 2014. Citing lagging retail sales, even with stores pushing Black Friday into Thanksgiving, House Republicans banded together to add another week to the Christmas Shopping Season.

Major retailers lauded the move, and the Stock Market looks to open higher on the news. Fox News is lining up segments announcing a major victory in the War on Christmas.

Sarah Palin issued a press release:

This just gets us closer to the traditional twelve days of Christmas, where the Blessed Virgin Mary spent those long days and even longer nights in labor pushing out our Lord and Savior from her virgin womb. So God Bless the Virgin Mary, and God Bless our proud patriots in Congress for standing up to the liberal agenda and giving us back the true meaning of Christmas which is to give gifts to our loved ones just like the Wise Men wanted us to do when they gave presents to our Lord Baby Jesus the night he was born.

Open Thread
Shop Until You Drop
or
Post Until You’re Toast

Whatever.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Please accept without obligation, explicit or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious and/or secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions.

Please also accept, under aforesaid waiver of obligation on your part, my best wishes for a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the calendar year 2014 CE (C.E., being an abbreviation for “Common Era” or “Christian Era”, is equivalent to A.D., but is placed after the year, and is preferred by some in secular writing), but with due respect for the calendars of other cultures or sects, and having regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or dietary preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting you acknowledge that: This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal at the wishor’s discretion.

This greeting is freely transferable provided that no alteration shall be made to the original greeting and that the proprietary rights of the wishor are acknowledged.

This greeting implies no warranty on the part of the wishor to fulfill these wishes, nor any ability of the wishor to do so, merely a beneficent hope on the part of the wishor that they in fact occur.

This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor.

This greeting is warranted to perform as reasonably as may be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first.

The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor.

Any references in this greeting to “the Lord”, “Father Christmas”, “Our Savior”, or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged.

~anon~