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Maynard On The Warpath - Again

BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard.

BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union president Paul Maynard yesterday threatened “dark days are ahead” as he waged war against Bahamas Power & Light and Wärtsilä, the newly contracted firm slated to build a $95m electricity plant this year.

“It will be a cold day in hell, before I, Paul Maynard, allow Wärtsilä to come on a plant that the Bahamian people is paying $95m for and send my staff home,” the union chief told The Tribune yesterday in a harsh rebuke of BPL and the Finnish technology group.

This comes after BPL CEO Whitney Heastie announced a contract had been signed between the electricity provider and Wärtsilä. The firm will build a 132-megawatt plant, powered by seven high efficiency engines at Clifton Pier. They plan to finish installation by the end of this summer.

Wärtsilä Business Development Manager Edmund Phillips stressed on Monday that the company would search locally for the skills needed to construct the plant.

However, both he and Mr Heastie agreed that there was no one at BPL presently skilled in electro-mechanical engineering. They argue that the Wärtsilä engines are different from anything presently at BPL.

The assertion angered Mr Maynard and triggered a chilling threat to consumers who dread entering the hot summer months, as load shedding and blackouts are common.

“My main concern is Phillips saying Wärtsilä gonna run this plant,” Mr Maynard said yesterday.

“In which country they gonna run a plant? Not in this country and not as long as I’m union president, you gotta be crazy. That ain’t happening

“Let me tell you something, it will be a cold day in hell before Paul Maynard allows Wärtsilä to come in here on a plant we pay $95m for and run it, sending the staff that I represent home.

“When you take people good paying jobs that they have mortgages attached to, school fees and other things attached to that they have their good life going and give it to foreigners in a plant that we pay for, it will be war.

“Capital W, capital A, capital R - war. You will see a lot of dark days in this country because there ain’t no way.”

When his attention was drawn to officials contending there was no electro-mechanical engineer at BPL, Mr Maynard continued: “Don’t get mix up. I don’t want to hear no bull. How long did it take them to learn it? So what’s with these new engines?”

He was then told that officials said the new engines are four stroke; more complicated than the existing two stroke equipment.

Mr Maynard responded: “I don’t give a if they nine strokes, our people can’t learn? We got dummies in this country?

“Bahamians are people who can go to all kinds of university and be the top of their classes.”

He said Bahamians learned to operate other specialized equipment at BPL and are running the plants “all over this country.”

He added: “Does this have gold and platinum and in it that Bahamians can’t run?”

Mr Maynard further insisted that any workers brought in by Wärtsilä will never survive in this country, adding there needed to be clarity on whether the government will be receiving a $95m refund from Shell North America for the additional power generation. The government has signed a deal with Shell for the company to create a liquefied natural gas plant in the Bahamas.

The BEWU president was not the only one to express concern over the deal yesterday.

During his monthly press conference, Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said the announcement raised many questions.

He said: “We still don’t understand their plans for BPL and there is also a question of the funding for the construction of this plant. That’s another question that will have to be answered. Where will the funds derive from for the construction of these plants?

“We had a plan for the redevelopment of the plant, the generation aspect of BEC’s overall strategy, that was to introduce the raising of the funds through what we call a rate reduction bond. That mechanism is still in place.

“We don’t know whether they are engaging that mechanism for the raising of funds, but I doubt it having regard to what I have seen happening.

“The real question is where will they be getting the funding to construct this plant and so they have to be more accountable and transparent in that relationship. That would be our concern,” Mr Davis said yesterday.

When Wärtsilä completes installation of the plant, BPL would have ended the expensive practice of rental generators and “drastically” decreased the fuel surcharge on consumer’s monthly bills Mr Heastie has said.

Power generation reliability in New Providence will also be a feature of this new plant.

BPL CEO Whitney Heastie told The Tribune last night in the short-term it would not be possible for Mr Maynard’s men to run the new equipment being brought in.

“They are not going to be trained in six months, that is not possible,” he said.

“Quite frankly anyone who looks at Clifton Pier today would say we have not done a very good job in training our staff in running two stroke engines, let alone the new four stroke engines we’re buying. It’s like comparing a simple scooter with a high performance car.”

Over a longer period, however, and after extensive training Bahamians will be operating the plant managed by whichever qualified company we chosen.

Mr Heastie said it was vital for the Bahamas’ long-term energy needs that the new engines are operated to the highest standard.

“These assets are going to be part of the Shell project. As our chairman has been at pains to point out BPL is getting out of the power-generating business.

“The new engines will come in and be ready by the end of the summer. When the Shell deal is finalised, at that point Shell will acquire the assets - they won’t be owned by BPL and we won’t be running the generating facility, Shell will. We’ll take equity in the new venture with Shell but they will manage it. This should not be anything new to Mr Maynard.

Should the Shell deal fail to be completed the new Wartsila engines will at least be up and running taking some of the pressure off BPL’s existing capabilities but still leaving it needing another long-term solution, said Mr Heastie.

Comments

rawbahamian 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Threatening to shut down the country's power supply is tatamount to treason, I hope the authorities and the legal teams are listening. I any other country a threat like that would bring swift consequences ! Pay attention people !!!

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geostorm 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Its such a shame and its unacceptable. This is why I dislike unions. They think that they can hold the country hostage. Well I hope he and his membership that supports his nonsense be met with what they deserve for such stupidity!

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BMW 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with you rawbahamian this idiot is publicly threatening (to by some means whether it be sabotage. arson or whatever) dark days ahead. He should be in jail. What a P.O.S.

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rawbahamian 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Well I certainly hope that the judicial system realizes this and acts on it. He is basically telling the public 'dat he runs tings' !

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Unions .............. smh

But Paul Maynard has a point ............. the BPL boss did not fully reveal WHO will run the new plant.

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rawbahamian 5 months, 2 weeks ago

BPL does not have to reveal who will run the new because the existing staff can't run the existing plant with a level of profeciency needed to keep the power on at least 85% of the time because the "engineers" feel entitled to a salary with minimal effort on their part. Their own history and union is writing their story !!!

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licks2 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What company who installs those engines do bring their own staff and take over the running of the plants? They install, remain for shake down and when the project is finished they hand over and leave. . .if you don't have ya crew already trained to assume operations ya on ya own!! Mr. Maynard is one big dumb PLP as usual. . .projects are within time frames. This shows just how dumb our leaders are. . . they cannot be hired as public servants. . .they can only be engaged on contract. . .the life of the project!!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 2 weeks ago

“It will be a cold day in hell, before I, Paul Maynard, allow Wärtsilä to come on a plant that the Bahamian people is paying $95m for and send my staff home,” the union chief told The Tribune yesterday in a harsh rebuke of BPL and the Finnish technology group.

It's all too obvious that the horse the corrupt greedy Maynard had been backing did not win the race. So now he has a hissy tizzy fit that only serves to demonstrate his wicked spitefulness and willingness to see BPL burnt to the ground. Has Marvin Dames put a special security force in place to protect BPL's generators, key transformer stations and primary power lines from a series of 'unexpected' fires that any insurance claim adjuster would find defies probability?

Maynard has been allowed by our politicians to call the shots at BEC and now BPL for many years and just look where that has gotten us today. This grotesque beast is now planning to make sure Bahamians experience a multitude of power outages during the hottest periods of this coming summer. Frankly, he should be banned from having any relationship whatsoever with BPL or its employees, and he certainly should not be recognized as a union leader by any cabinet minister. Obviously, most of us would prefer to see him hog tied and flogged in public.

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Rawbahamian ............... I understand your point ......... But what will happen to the 100 or so Clifton Plant power generation staff - if BPL decides to use foreigners to run the 2-stroke Finnish generators???? ............... That will surely be a finished case.

Can you imagine?????????

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concernedcitizen 5 months, 2 weeks ago

We have not been able to provide reliable power while charging one of the highest rates in the region for 40 years ,,for the love of our country this is fantastic news ,plus letting Shell N A manage it in the future ,,The proof is in the pudding ..In the long run its cheaper and better for the country if we have to pay a hundred entitled non productive union members who got there jobs through political connections to stay home

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licks2 5 months, 2 weeks ago

You keep saying plant. . .when the company of question is only to install the power plant. . .the engine. . .not the whole power plant. . .that cannot happen. The instillation will be done in phases. . .I worked with international companies and projects. . .training is all ways a part of these kind of projects. . .these people don't stay in your country to run anything. Governments of the Bahamas had those kind of projects done many times. . .the technical folks are all gone home!!! Another example of such projects is the new IMAX theater. . .technicians came and installed, stick around for the shake down and left!! AFTER HAND-OVER the company is no longer responsible for you "things"! The Doplar system at the airport is another. . .the installed, stayed around for the shake down and are gone!! I was talking to a irrigation specialist who told me that he worked with a US company to put in Atlantis irrigation system. . .all these years later he. . .a Bahamian is still on call if their is any problem. . .the main company is long gone!! Atlantis has their own irrigation team. . .they can't keep them US peoples dem!!

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rawbahamian 5 months, 2 weeks ago

We the general public couldn't be that lucky, so stop teasing with that thought !

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rawbahamian 5 months, 2 weeks ago

We couldn't be that effing lucky, so stop teasing with that thought !

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Sickened 5 months, 2 weeks ago

BPL staff may not be sent home while the installation takes place. They may however be asked to sit on the side and watch... like they do at all roadwork sites.

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Dawes 5 months, 2 weeks ago

So i take it Maynard wants BPL to train the staff first and then install the generators. If what we are told that 6 months of training is not enough, then the power plant will need to be put off by a year or two whilst we train up people. In addition to this, nearly every single installation contract will state that the warranty will be invalid if not installed by the installers people. Why not let the Finnish company install it, during which time the Union can make sure their people are trained to maintain it once it is open. if there happens to be a lag of a couple of months from opening to when people are trained then use the foreigners to maintain until then. Also please don't use the people who are currently maintaining the 2 stroke plants, as they obviously can't do that so 4 strokes will definitively be beyond them.

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realfreethinker 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This maynard guy is nothing but a douche' bag. I am so tired of this moron. The only good news about him is that he was sentenced to 2 yrs hard labor in prison

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Clamshell 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, as TalRussell might put it:

“Yes, no, das fizzlementation in dis here Confederations of Out Islands of Republics gon fripple wit masslementation red shirt conch chowder wit Bay Street grubblelanders free dem landcrabs with dissentation, in dem Parliamentarianations, yes, no?”

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Clamshell 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I actually have been to Helsinki, Finland. It is a cold, dark place where they have only about 8 hours of daylight a day ... yet the power was always on, the lights never went out. Maybe we can learn something from that? Eh?

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bogart 5 months, 2 weeks ago

FER DECADES.......ALL DESE CRITICAL ENTITIES..ELECTRICITY...WATER...AIR CONTROLLERS.....BAHAMAS AIR....DOCTORS.....SHOULDDA ....BE NON NON NON NON UNIONIZED......FER NATIONAL COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS NATIONAL SECIRITY.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!........aint noone should be threatenkng....jeadorpising.....coercing....yukking up da PEOPLE vexation ....of da people in dis lil 7 mile X 21 mile island......affecting sick people in beds...at home....chillrens cant do homework....pore depending to go to food store to buy GOOD limited only calories for survival... an butane airsol can for stove....financial institutions generators delays rebooting computers....surges affecting medical equipment......Embassies lights on an off....traffic lights...road lights.off........TIME NUFF......DAT OVER DECADES......UNION...COSYING WID POLITICIANS...POLIYICAL APPOINTED BOARDSS......SEEMS....CONSISTENTLY....REGULARLY.....KISSING UP EACH ODDER....FAMILY FRIENDS LOVERS....ELITES....SPECIAL POLITICIANS LIST REVEALED RECENT...ON POLITICIANS CRONIES NOT GETTING CUT OFF....5,400 PORE BAHAMIANS CUT OFF.........CUT DA CRUEL....INTENTING... SUFFERING ON DA BACKS OF MAJORITY OF DA NATION.......BY DA FEW ..........

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DDK 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Who does this cretin think he is? He should be removed from BEC/BPL post haste. He and his union have held the Country hostage for too long. Are more generators going to catch fire? His threats to the people of The Bahamas are unbelievable, an indictable criminal offense. The greedy lunatic is out of control.

BTW: "Should the Shell deal fail to be completed the new Wartsila engines will at least be up and running taking some of the pressure off BPL’s existing capabilities but still leaving it needing another long-term solution, said Mr Heastie." Is this not quite a peculiar, and worrying, statement to end a spiel about a $95m plant plan?

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yeahyasee 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah that line stand out the most. It's almost as if this Wartsila deal was done because they have some info that the Shell deal will fail?

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bobneville 5 months, 2 weeks ago

At long last i can see the begin of the end to a bad corrupt system,dream up by a little man and his friend that made them very rich and powerful,one of the men has gone ,the other,dont feel well,the era gone,new day ahead,ill tell you like the hurricane told the coconut tree,"Hold on to your nuts,this aint your basic blow job"hard working people will not feel it as they have always work for what they have,however, the bullshitters,at there old age will have to loose what they have ,and start all over again.no matter how it looks for a while, there are no free meals,and you get nothing for nothing.as for the union guy well he"s afraidof losing that big money and power,he wield for years.you take that away and he is nothing,he is no fool he can read ,he can see THE WRITING ON THE WALL.Bahamians,Welcome to a new bright BAHAMAS.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I want whatever it is you're drinking that has you blissfully delusional. LMAO

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licks2 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It is called common sense. . .only problem is that ya can't buy it. . .as strange as this sounds. . .you have some too. . .just drop ya political lenses and see how "good" it feels to "use ya head" . . . an d not be a political buffoon all ya days!!

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proudloudandfnm 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Why do these unions elect these ignorant people to lead them??? It's like the dumber you are the better...

Wow...

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rawbahamian 5 months, 2 weeks ago

If the leaders are dumb then the ones that elect them are ...

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Clamshell 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Prediction:

The new generators will be installed and they will be BEAUTIFUL — they will be bright and shiny and clean and will run perfectly for the first few months, giving everybody reliable light and power and AC.

Then the unions and their political cronies will chase the Finns off the island and take over. The proud local union staff will show up now and again, sitting around for a couple of hours, playing with their cell phones and ordering lunch. The maintenance budget will be steadily reduced, shifted over to fat salaries and bonuses, and whatever maintenance funds made available will ... disappear.

Things will break ... nobody will know how to fix them, let alone do preventive maintenance ... and inside two years we’ll all be back in the dark and hot, sweaty summer nights, with no lights or AC, and we’ll just be $95 million poorer for the effort.

I HATE to write this ... but I’d bet on it.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Now more than ever, I truly need a drink of the kind 'bobneville' above prefers! LMAO

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geostorm 5 months, 2 weeks ago

@Clamshell, if I used to bet, I would bet on everything you just said because it is the TRUTH! These unions give me headaches!

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DDK 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Can we at least HOPE you would lose this bet?

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Clamshell 5 months, 2 weeks ago

... well, sure ... you can hope.

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DWW 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Lol! Paul Burn Plunder Lightitup Maynard. Yeah for him.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh please! We all know what Maynard truly needs. He needs for a monstrous cigar size lit fire cracker to be placed in his _ _ _ _ _ or, better still, up his _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ! LMAO

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sucteeth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What kind of moron would come out publicly and state something like this to implicate his agenda as well himself.. Welcome to the Bananas we sure are a 4th world country.

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RaineSean 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Why doesn't the Union pay to have their members trained on the new equipment being installed? After all, that is why the members pay dues to the Union, not just so this idiot can collect a cushy salary. And to threaten the entire island of New Providence with summer blackouts is tantamount to extortion. Jimmy Hoffa could have learned a thing or two from this criminal. He should be jailed immediately.

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bogart 5 months, 2 weeks ago

AMAZING....ONE GUBBERMINT RUN ... ON ELECTRICAL PRODUCTION WORKING likely many times off........AN GUBBERMINT LARGEST EMPLOYER HAS TO HAVE OWN GUBBERMINT MINISTRIES DERE OWN ELECTRICAL GENERATORS....,???!!!..... Phenemonal loss of man hours caused by no electricity on dis small island.....how much....???????....some 200,000 workers....some businesses dont have generators...some on but still depemds on others with no electricity.....overall loss ?????....1 hour....6 hours off....money loss.... ?????

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Greentea 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I am still stuck on "both he and Mr Heastie agreed that there was NO ONE at BPL presently skilled in electro-mechanical engineering." By damn! Not a single engineer of this type working at BPL? Not one? That is a disgrace. I am not saying the people who work at BPL aren't smart and can't be trained, but the fact that out of all those workers not one went on for further training tells you the amount of money these fellas were pulling down. No incentive to update and improve training and qualifications. And these are the same people willing to sabotage and mortgage the country's future to protect their goldmine.

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 2 weeks ago

How many BPL workers ever went to a 4 year college???? ........ not City & Guilds ........... How do they justify the hefty salaries for their basic skills?

No forward planning or succession planning ......... sad, sad situation.

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pro_test 5 months, 2 weeks ago

you have from now until the plant is install, all that money the union collect send some of your members of to training.

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Bonefishpete 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Don't Mash My Generators Oh wait wrong department

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TheMadHatter 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I can't believe the majority of comments on here are against Mr. Maynard. I am generally against unions but in this case he is right.

Why wasn't this plan discussed with the technical workers before being agreed? Why don't they want to train the workers? Where is the 93 million coming from NOW - i heard they said Shell will pay eventually but who is paying now? Who decided we have 93 million to spare?

The comments on here show how STUPID we are as a nation and how rife BLACK CRAB SYNDROME is !!!

Any foreigners can come in here and do any kind of fool and yall not only don't oppose it - but on fact applaud it and attack the man (Maynard) who is trying to stand up for YOU.

No wonder Haitians and Jamaicans are coming here and taking over by the thousands. They see how fool we are (by majority) and won't stand up for our own brothers and sisters.

By a damn generator like they use in Miami and send our people there for training ahead of time. What the Hell do we have to do with Finland? What reason could there be for this except that it's much harder to follow the money across the ocean?

Bahamians get swing and love getting swing. We deserve to be taken over just for being stupid.

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Dawes 5 months, 2 weeks ago

They never said they don't want to train the workers. What they said was the foreigners will build it and make it operational. Then BPL staff take over. The Finnish company is smart, they will make plenty money this way as every couple of months they will have to come over to fix the generators, so they will be able to charge emergency fees on this.

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TheMadHatter 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Exactly. Just like the nassau cruise port. Supposed to clean up and develop the front street and bay st. - but they want to build the new berth first.

Bahamians always come last. Black rule has done nothing for blacks. We still have house niggers and yard niggers. Very sad.

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licks2 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Yinna blacks ever got together do do any dang thing. . .ALWAYS ROWING LIKE A PACK OF FOOLS ABOUT YINNA POLITICAL PARTY. . .THE WORLD EEN IN TO YINNA YARD CHICKEN WAYS. . .KEEP ACTING LIKE CHICKEN JUST PICKING ON THE GROUND. . .PEOPLE WITH MONEY AND ARE WILLING TO WORK TOGETHER WILL FOREVER OWN YINNA THINGS!! STAY RIGHT THERE WITH YA NONSENSE THINKING. . .THAT SIDEWAYS MOVEMENT YA FEEL UNDER YA FOOT IS YA THINGS GETTING PULLED FROM UNDER YA TAIL!!

Stay right there talking crap all the time. . .een nobody on yall myopic run. . .GET OFF YALL AZZ AND DO SOMETHING WITH THE THINGS YALL HAVE. . .STOP SITTING AROUND ALL DAY COMPLAINING AND WOULD NOT DO A DANG THING!!

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TheMadHatter 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Licks - thats exactly what Mr Maynard is planning to do. Call a general strike nation wide, i hope. That's something. Shut it down. Don't let the dog eat ya lunch.

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