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Author Topic: Got a question re: OCA controversy  (Read 5906 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orual
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« on: September 10, 2008, 07:39:35 PM »

I hope this isn't too polemical for this board, but I really need a straight answer because this has me confused, and I don't know where or who else I could ask.

I'm just wondering, why isn't Robert Kondratick in jail?

I know they've already tried him on an ecclesiastical level and defrocked him, but I can't help wondering why, with all this money gone, the police aren't involved.  I know the OCA is currently countersuing because Kondratick filed a lawsuit against them (he's got some nerve, sheesh) but I don't know the details of that.  Is there some difference between the burden of proof required (or evidence allowed) in an ecclesiastical court and a criminal court?  Was what he did technically not illegal, or a tort rather than a criminal matter?  Why can't the same people who spoke before the SIC, be subpoenaed to give evidence for an investigation and trial?

If someone could fill me in on this, I'd really appreciate it.  It's been bothering me ever since Kondratick was defrocked, not knowing why he doesn't have a fancy pair of silver bracelets.
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 07:46:51 PM »

To the IRS, what they stole is pocket change. They've been dragging their feet on the investigation.
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 08:11:41 PM »

Diplomatic Immunity?
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2008, 08:14:21 PM »

Diplomatic Immunity?

Huh?
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2008, 08:20:55 PM »

^ Does anyone know who Robert Kondratick really is?

This is a religious board and I cannot make Political references; However, if the IRS is dragging its feet and no one has prosecuted Kondratick, one possible explanation is Diplomatic Immunity.

From the 9/7/08 OCANews.org Article, I saw the name Dr. Alice Woog, former member of the Metropolitan Council, who was removed for not cooperating with the SIC.  A web search showed her starting up all kinds of private schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  I'm no investigator and I know that there's not enough evidence to draw an inference.  Maybe the suitable question is why didn't Dr. Woog cooperate with anybody?

Quote
And whereas Dr. Alice Woog was a member of the Metropolitan Council for the past 13 years and a member of the Administrative committee;

And whereas Dr. Woog declined to be interviewed by the Special Investigative Committee;

Therefore, be it resolved that Dr. Alice Woog is hereby removed from her membership on the Metropolitan Council immediately, pursuant to New York State law.”


The rationale was that anyone refusing to appear and cooperate in a corporate or government agency internal investigation would be fired. In this case Dr. Woog held important historical information about the Council on which she had served 13 years, and the Administrative Committee for many of those. She was, therefore, bound to provide it.
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2008, 08:24:55 PM »

Diplomatic Immunity?
I think diplomatic immunity is a protection of foreign diplomats by which they cannot be prosecuted for petty crimes committed while they are visiting the U.S.  What you're talking about is more in line with the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits forced self-incrimination.  Someone can request immunity to prosecution in exchange for testimony against someone else that may also be self-incriminating.  When such immunity is granted, anything said in this testimony that may incriminate the testifier cannot be used against said testifier in court.
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2008, 08:33:42 PM »

Diplomatic Immunity?
I think diplomatic immunity is a protection of foreign diplomats by which they cannot be prosecuted for petty crimes committed while they are visiting the US.  What you're talking about is more in line with the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits forced self-incrimination.  Someone can request immunity to prosecution in exchange for testimony against someone else that may also be self-incriminating.

Complete tangent, but what the heck, I have a degree in this stuff I never get to use anymore.  laugh

Diplomatic immunity is the complete exemption of an accredited diplomat from the host country's laws.  Since, under international law, every sovereign state is equal to every other sovereign state, no state can be subjected to another's laws.  Being the official representatives of a state to another state, diplomats are also not subject to that other state's laws.  They can however, be declared persona non grata and expelled from the host country.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that absolutely none of that applies to Robert Kondratick.
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2008, 10:50:33 PM »

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that absolutely none of that applies to Robert Kondratick.

I'm pretty sure of that myself.  Smiley  It's just so aggravating to think of him strutting in his cassock and living off of money he stole from widows and orphans.  And I just want to know where the civil authorities stand in all of this.  There's got to be something they can do to get the money back and make Kondratick pay an earthly penalty for his crime.

O Lord, let mercy and justice meet.
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2008, 12:15:24 AM »

To get back to the question of the topic, many, myself included, believe the Church should resolve its problems, if that's the right term, within its own mechanisms; not referring the Church's problems to the secular authorities.  The Church's failure to have done so, at a very minimum, could have jeopardized its non-profit tax status.  Also, many of those involved---who were in control, such as Metropolitan Herman, have devoted themselves to containing the investigation, to keep much, which has still has only been alluded to, under wraps.  The report does note that the FBI has an agent assigned to this matter.  My experience is that the secular authorities are intimidated by church related matters and would just assume have them handle them themselves.  Many faithful disagree with this opinion.  I think the report is the first bit of formal honesty by the OCA's Central Administration.  Many hurdles remain as to whether they can truly take the actions necessary to re-establish the trust of the faithful in the Central Administration.  Much more remains to be accomplished.  It is not yet known, if criminal prosecutions will ensue, in any event, now that the report can serve as a road map to 20 years of administrative abuse.
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2008, 12:30:29 AM »

I'm just wondering, why isn't Robert Kondratick in jail?

Until this point I don't think the OCA has ever entertained pressing charges. This is not uncommon in the business world where someone may be fired for embezzling funds but the employer decides not to press charges because of the negative publicity that it may generate and prosecutors often have more dangerous fish to fry then white collar crimes. I am not suggesting that is the case here, rather it appears from the documents the OCA has produces that there was hope for repentance and reconciliation.

If you read through the report you will notice #7 in the recommendations says...
Quote
The OCA Legal Committee and legal counsel to review this report for possible referral to Nassau County District Attorney and other appropriate authorities no later then September 30, 2008, and report back to HS <Holy Synod> and MC <Metropolitan Council> on that date.

It still make take some time before charges are filed due to the low priority this case. It may be a big deal to all of us but to the rest of the world this is small potatoes.

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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2008, 12:52:05 AM »

I'm pretty sure of that myself.  Smiley  It's just so aggravating to think of him strutting in his cassock and living off of money he stole from widows and orphans.  And I just want to know where the civil authorities stand in all of this.  There's got to be something they can do to get the money back and make Kondratick pay an earthly penalty for his crime.

O Lord, let mercy and justice meet.
If a penalty is really what you want, I would think the ecclesiastical penalties of deposition from the priesthood and [possible] excommunication much worse, since these penalties will have an impact reaching into eternity.  The civil penalty that you seek would only penalize Fr. Kondratick for a short period of time.  Let's pray, though, that Fr. Kondratick repents and finds restoration in Christ, for I think this better than meditating on ways that we can punish the man.  There's a very fine line between man's desire for justice and man's desire for vengeance.
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 01:13:45 AM »

Didn't Robert Kondratick take multiple trips to Russia with thousands of dollars in cash withdrawn from OCA accounts?
And why didn't Archer Daniels Midland ever get upset that their $1,000,000 donation earmarked for remodeling the OCA parish in Moscow wasn't used properly? Its been rumored the CIA found ways to funnel cash to friendly Russian operatives for their own reasons. But we probably will never know the whole story.
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2008, 01:35:49 AM »

Didn't Robert Kondratick take multiple trips to Russia with thousands of dollars in cash withdrawn from OCA accounts?
...along with many others to Russia.  This was probably "official business", although I don't doubt rather dubious business may have been conducted while conveniently there.  I'm half of these "official business" trips could have been eliminated though with no ill effects of church relations.


And why didn't Archer Daniels Midland ever get upset that their $1,000,000 donation earmarked for remodeling the OCA parish in Moscow wasn't used properly? Its been rumored the CIA found ways to funnel cash to friendly Russian operatives for their own reasons. But we probably will never know the whole story.
Maybe they are!  I would be!

I'm sure there is a lot that is just unpublished or yet to be.
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2008, 01:53:01 AM »

^ Diplomatic Immunity remains plausible.
Government agent Immunity would be mind boggling.  There was a Cold War with espionage throughout the 1980's let's not forget.  Double agents and moles were quietly captured all the time in the DC Metro area even into the 1990's.

Robert Hanssen Spy Story from 2001.

I hope a story about espionage is not considered Political except that spying is one of many things that could explain frequent trips to Russia mentioned by other posters.
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2008, 03:37:24 AM »

Quote
There was a Cold War with espionage throughout the 1980's let's not forget.


Umm, the Cold War and the espionage that went with it began at least as far back as 1947, with some even suggesting it started shortly after the Yalta Conference of February, 1945, or at least after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Sorry for derailing this thread. Carry on.
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2008, 02:15:54 PM »

To get back to the question of the topic, many, myself included, believe the Church should resolve its problems, if that's the right term, within its own mechanisms; not referring the Church's problems to the secular authorities.  The Church's failure to have done so, at a very minimum, could have jeopardized its non-profit tax status.

I don't think that could possibly be true.  No offense, but the United States would be completely insane if that were true.  If you were a bishop, and one of your priests and his parish council president were having an argument about something pertaining to the church, and suddenly the priest pulled out a shotgun in the middle of coffee hour and blew away the parish council president, I'm willing to bet that the very first thing you would do would not be confer the synod and depose the priest.  You'd disarm him and call the police.  Would the police come and say, "Oh, we can't do anything, this is a religious matter since it happened at church between a clergyman and a parish officer!"?

White-collar crimes might not be taken as seriously, but it's a misconception that they are somehow less serious than violent crimes, since even crimes like embezzlement cause harm to others and indicate a severely anti-social attitude.

Quote
Also, many of those involved---who were in control, such as Metropolitan Herman, have devoted themselves to containing the investigation, to keep much, which has still has only been alluded to, under wraps.  The report does note that the FBI has an agent assigned to this matter.  My experience is that the secular authorities are intimidated by church related matters and would just assume have them handle them themselves.  Many faithful disagree with this opinion.  I think the report is the first bit of formal honesty by the OCA's Central Administration.  Many hurdles remain as to whether they can truly take the actions necessary to re-establish the trust of the faithful in the Central Administration.  Much more remains to be accomplished.  It is not yet known, if criminal prosecutions will ensue, in any event, now that the report can serve as a road map to 20 years of administrative abuse.

Metropolitan Herman may have his flaws, but it's not like he could have kept a lid on this forever, and I'd imagine out of the 30,000 - 1 million (depending on who you talk to!) people in the OCA, at least some would have connections with law enforcement and could easily have reported this themselves.  I didn't know about the FBI agent or that the SIC had recommended reporting the situation to the Nassau County DA's office, so I posted this thread, wondering if there was some problem pertaining to how the case had to be proved in order to answer the question of why Robert Kondratick isn't behind bars. 

I have to say that I find it patently ridiculous that anyone would say that this is none of the secular authorities' business, though.  I find it ridiculous that some would say it shouldn't be reported, and if the secular authorities are hesitant to interfere in this matter in particular just because the OCA is a religious organization, I think that's ridiculous too.  This is not an ecclesiastical crime like marrying another man or messing around with female parishioners that the civil authorities couldn't care less about.  This is something that falls under the jurisdiction of the civil authorities, too, and I hope I see them heavily involved from here on.

If a penalty is really what you want, I would think the ecclesiastical penalties of deposition from the priesthood and [possible] excommunication much worse, since these penalties will have an impact reaching into eternity.  The civil penalty that you seek would only penalize Fr. Kondratick for a short period of time.  Let's pray, though, that Fr. Kondratick repents and finds restoration in Christ, for I think this better than meditating on ways that we can punish the man.  There's a very fine line between man's desire for justice and man's desire for vengeance.

I'm well aware that defrocking and excommunication are far more severe penalties than anything the civil authorities could do, thank you very much.  I'm not interested in discussing those with respect to Robert Kondratick because, frankly, it's none of my business, and also, I do earnestly desire his salvation no matter what becomes of him, and don't relish the thought of what this has done to his soul.  What I HAVE been worried about, is what appeared to be a lack of concern on the part of the civil authorities regarding a crime he committed, and among the OCA administration regarding the civil authorities' part in the matter.  I see now that this is not the case.

If that still bothers you, think of it this way - it's hard for a rich man to get into heaven - much more so for one who got his wealth by stealing from the mouths of widows and orphans - and perhaps a stern civil punishment would be exactly what Kondratick needs to be saved.  Civil authorities have a place in the lives of Christians, too, and that place is God-given.
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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2008, 06:58:21 PM »

^ Diplomatic Immunity remains plausible.
No it doesn't. It remains the stupidest idea posted on this thread. One cannot have diplomatic immunity in one's own country.
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2008, 07:04:51 PM »

^ Diplomatic Immunity remains plausible.

It's plausible if you can show that he's an accredited diplomat to the United States.  Until then, we're all dumber for having read that idea.
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2008, 08:14:49 PM »

^ Diplomatic Immunity remains plausible.
No it doesn't. It remains the stupidest idea posted on this thread. One cannot have diplomatic immunity in one's own country.
I wouldn't call it stupid. Did you know that the those RC who are declared official representatives of the Vatican have Diplomatic credentials and therefore also have Diplomatic Immunity? While it is improbable that he has diplomatic status, because the OCA is a local ruled church after all, I wouldn't classify it as a stupid idea.
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2008, 08:27:45 PM »

^ Diplomatic Immunity remains plausible.
No it doesn't. It remains the stupidest idea posted on this thread. One cannot have diplomatic immunity in one's own country.
I wouldn't call it stupid. Did you know that the those RC who are declared official representatives of the Vatican have Diplomatic credentials and therefore also have Diplomatic Immunity? While it is improbable that he has diplomatic status, because the OCA is a local ruled church after all, I wouldn't classify it as a stupid idea.

That's because the Holy See is a recognized state, having both territory and a government (Vatican City and the Roman Curia).  No Orthodox local church is recognized as a state in that fashion, and thus can't accredit diplomats.
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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2008, 09:31:29 PM »

That's because the Holy See is a recognized state, having both territory and a government (Vatican City and the Roman Curia).  No Orthodox local church is recognized as a state in that fashion, and thus can't accredit diplomats.
Exactly.
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« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2008, 10:02:35 PM »

^ Diplomatic Immunity remains plausible.
No it doesn't. It remains the stupidest idea posted on this thread. One cannot have diplomatic immunity in one's own country.
I wouldn't call it stupid. Did you know that the those RC who are declared official representatives of the Vatican have Diplomatic credentials and therefore also have Diplomatic Immunity? While it is improbable that he has diplomatic status, because the OCA is a local ruled church after all, I wouldn't classify it as a stupid idea.
That's because the Holy See is a recognized state, having both territory and a government (Vatican City and the Roman Curia).  No Orthodox local church is recognized as a state in that fashion, and thus can't accredit diplomats.

Nor should they.  The Kingdom of Heaven is not of this World.

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« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2008, 12:26:06 AM »

No it doesn't. It remains the stupidest idea posted on this thread. One cannot have diplomatic immunity in one's own country.

If one is a dual-citizen, with citizenship in a country like Russia or any of the former USSR Republics, there's nothing preventing that person from invoking Diplomatic Immunity for that Country even though that person is also a US Citizen.  Spies flew (and continue to fly) under Diplomatic radar all the time.

Tom Clancy wrote a lot about Cloak and Dagger in the 1980's and 1990's.
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« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2008, 12:33:46 AM »

It's plausible if you can show that he's an accredited diplomat to the United States.  Until then, we're all dumber for having read that idea.

Has a spy ever come up to you and casually said he worked for the KGB or the modern version of the KGB or any spy agency?  I worked with people who had connections to the Intelligence World (e.g. CIA) and it was basically don't ask, don't tell.   Wink  I didn't want to know nor did I care.

I felt the OP asked an open-ended question and I provided an open-ended answer which "explains" the frequent trips to Russia by Kondratick.  I never said that Kondratick was a spy or engaged in espionage.  If people think my idea is dumb or stupid, fair enough and no argument from me.   Smiley

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« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2008, 07:03:12 AM »

If one is a dual-citizen, with citizenship in a country like Russia or any of the former USSR Republics, there's nothing preventing that person from invoking Diplomatic Immunity for that Country even though that person is also a US Citizen.  Spies flew (and continue to fly) under Diplomatic radar all the time.

Tom Clancy wrote a lot about Cloak and Dagger in the 1980's and 1990's.
Even if he were to have diplomatic immunity, it only applies to misdemeanours such as parking offenses or littering charges--laws a foreigner would not be expected to know. Embezzlement never falls under diplomatic immunity.
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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2008, 07:35:29 AM »

If one is a dual-citizen, with citizenship in a country like Russia or any of the former USSR Republics, there's nothing preventing that person from invoking Diplomatic Immunity for that Country even though that person is also a US Citizen.  Spies flew (and continue to fly) under Diplomatic radar all the time.

Tom Clancy wrote a lot about Cloak and Dagger in the 1980's and 1990's.
Even if he were to have diplomatic immunity, it only applies to misdemeanours such as parking offenses or littering charges--laws a foreigner would not be expected to know. Embezzlement never falls under diplomatic immunity.

Not true.  Diplomatic immunity is near-total legal immunity.  In the case of something serious, the home country can waive immunity at the host's request, or the diplomat can be tried in his home country, but aside from that, the diplomat is immune.  A diplomat could commit murder and get away with it if his home country refused to waive immunity.  As I pointed out earlier, the principle is rooted in the legal equality of sovereigns, not ignorance of another state's laws.  Under your reasoning, tourists would have immunity.

That being said, it's still the most moronic idea posted on this thread, and that's an insult to moronic ideas everywhere.
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« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2008, 07:37:46 AM »

If one is a dual-citizen, with citizenship in a country like Russia or any of the former USSR Republics, there's nothing preventing that person from invoking Diplomatic Immunity for that Country even though that person is also a US Citizen. 

Uh, yes, there is.  It's the fact that the person is not a diplomat.  You have to be a diplomat to have diplomatic immunity; this isn't exactly rocket science.
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« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2008, 08:56:42 AM »

Not true.  Diplomatic immunity is near-total legal immunity.  In the case of something serious, the home country can waive immunity at the host's request, or the diplomat can be tried in his home country, but aside from that, the diplomat is immune.  A diplomat could commit murder and get away with it if his home country refused to waive immunity.  As I pointed out earlier, the principle is rooted in the legal equality of sovereigns, not ignorance of another state's laws.  Under your reasoning, tourists would have immunity.
I see. Thank you for providing the insight from your legal expertise. I guess I've always seen immunity applied to misdemeanours, whereas for larger incidents diplomats are recalled and new ones replace them to try to smooth things over. I guess you legal folk have to plan for all contingencies.

Quote
That being said, it's still the most moronic idea posted on this thread, and that's an insult to moronic ideas everywhere.
Agreed. laugh
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« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2008, 10:38:58 AM »

Haven't you guys ever watched Lethan Weapon 2?!

"Diplomatic Immunity!"
"It's been revoked."
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« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2008, 05:20:10 PM »

Haven't you guys ever watched Lethan Weapon 2?!
Actually, I've never seen that one.
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« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2008, 10:20:55 PM »

Haven't you guys ever watched Lethal Weapon 2?!

"Diplomatic Immunity!"
"It's been revoked."

Was that the one with the exploding commode?
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« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2008, 10:27:26 PM »

Haven't you guys ever watched Lethan Weapon 2?!

"Diplomatic Immunity!"
"It's been revoked."

 Grin
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« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2008, 01:55:34 AM »

Haven't you guys ever watched Lethan Weapon 2?!

"Diplomatic Immunity!"
"It's been revoked."

I thought it was "Has just been revoked."

Awesome moment.
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« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2008, 08:21:45 PM »

But in all this wouldn't the IRS at least strip the OCA of its tax exempt status, as well as its non-profit organization status?
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« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2008, 09:22:19 PM »

Haven't you guys ever watched Lethan Weapon 2?!

"Diplomatic Immunity!"
"It's been revoked."

I thought it was "Has just been revoked."

Awesome moment.

Well you are probably right. But a great moment yes.
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« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2008, 03:51:14 PM »

That being said, it's still the most moronic idea posted on this thread, and that's an insult to moronic ideas everywhere.

I'll take that as a compliment.   Cheesy
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