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The Butterfly Effect - Index

El Pip

Lord of Slower-than-real-time
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Dec 13, 2005
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The Butterfly Effect


Best History Book AAR 2007 Q1 and Q2, 2008 Q3 and 2009 Q1
Writer of the Week 18th April 2006
Weekly Showcase 1st April 2007, 28th July 2010 and 9th June 2014



Chapter I: The Treaties and The Leaks
Chapter II: Two Weeks In Politics
Chapter III: Across the Pond
Chapter IV: New Leader, Old Problems
Chapter V: Action This Day

A New Government
Chapter VI: Prejudice or Politics?
Chapter VII: Guns, Butter or Battleships.
Chapter VIII: Treaties and Tantrums.
Chapter IX: A Delayed Doctor.
Chapter X: Flying the Flag.

The Abyssinian Crisis
Chapter XI: Of War and Peace.
Chapter XII: Policy by Other Means.
Chapter XIII: The Ghosts of the Past.
Chapter XIV: First Blood.
Chapter XV: The Importance of Surprise.
Chapter XVI: Fortune Favours the Brave.
Chapter XVII: The World Watches.
Chapter XVIII: The Hammer and The Anvil.
Chapter XIX: A Tale of Two Divisions.
Chapter XX: Decisions and Doctrines.
Chapter XXI: Nili nomen roboris omen.
Chapter XXII: Spectemur agendo - Let us be judged by our acts.
Chapter XXIII: Per Mare Per Terram - By Sea By Land.
Chapter XXIV: Part One - The Leader and The Technocrat.
Chapter XXV: Part Two - Ventis Secundis.
Chapter XXVI: The Shot Ignored Around The World.
Chapter XXVII: The Noise Before Defeat.
Chapter XXVIII: Fate is Not Without a Sense of Irony.
Chapter XXIX: Operation Templar Part I.
Chapter XXX: Operation Templar Part II.
Chapter XXXI: Second Battle of Taranto Part I.
Chapter XXXII: Second Battle of Taranto Part II.

The Month of Crises
Chapter XXXIII: Straws In The Wind.
Chapter XXXIV: Patriots and Plotters.
Chapter XXXV: The Candle That Burns Twice As Bright.
Chapter XXXVI: A Just Reward for a Gentleman.
Chapter XXXVII: The Legacies of Predecessors.
Chapter XXXVIII: Redemption and Opportunism.
Chapter XXXIX: Unintended Consequences.
Chapter XL: A Battle of Nerves.

The Calm Between The Storms
Chapter XLI: Return to the Bear Pit.
Chapter XLII: Peace Is More Than The Absence of War.
Chapter XLIII: If You Seek Peace, Prepare For War.
Chapter XLIV: The Fate of a Party.
Chapter XLV: The Will of the People.

An Iberian Affair
Chapter XLVI: For King or Country - Part I.
Chapter XLVII: For King or Country - Part II.
Chapter XLVIII: The Best Laid Plans.
Chapter XLIX: The Politics of Pragmatism.

Reactions and Counter-Actions
Chapter L: Fallout and Aftershocks Part I - Scandinavia.
Chapter LI: Fallout and Aftershocks Part II - Central Europe.
Chapter LII: Fallout and Aftershocks Part III - The Balkans.
Chapter LIII: Fallout and Aftershocks Part IV - Southern Europe.
Chapter LIV: Fallout and Aftershocks Part V - Western Europe.
Chapter LV: Fallout and Aftershocks Part VI - Africa.
Chapter LVI: Fallout and Aftershocks Part VII - The Middle East.
Chapter LVII: Fallout and Aftershocks Part VIII - India and the Far East.
Chapter LVIII: Fallout and Aftershocks Part IX - The United States of America.
Chapter LIX: Fallout and Aftershocks Part X - Canada and Newfoundland.
Chapter LX: Fallout and Aftershocks Part XI - Latin America.

All Change
Chapter LXI: Hope and Hubris.
Chapter LXII: The Politics of Defence.
Chapter LXIII: The Backbone of the Empire.
Chapter LXIV: Learning From The Past.
Chapter LXV: The New Pride of the Fleet.
Chapter LXVI: An Independent Service.
Chapter LXVII: New Kites All Round.
Chapter LXVIII: Questions of Classification.

Smoke Filled Rooms
Chapter LXIX: From Hope to Confusion.
Chapter LXX: Drawing the Battle Lines.
Chapter LXXI: Revolving Doors Part I - The North
Chapter LXXII: Revolving Doors Part II - The South
Chapter LXXIII: Family Meeting Part I - The Newest Members
Chapter LXXIV: Family Meeting Part II - A Matter of Naval Planning
Chapter LXXV: Family Meeting Part III - Fight on Land, Win at Sea.
Chapter LXXVI: Family Meeting Part IV - A Matter of Family Pride.
Chapter LXXVII: Family Meeting Part V - The Best Laid Plans.
Chapter LXXVIII: A Way with Words Part I - The Rhineland Question.
Chapter LXXIX: A Way with Words Part II - A Surprise to All Involved.


New Year, New Programme
Chapter LXXX: An Indian Affair Part I - A Local Matter.
Chapter LXXXI: An Indian Affair Part II - Ambitions and Loyalty.
Chapter LXXXII: A Third Way.

Chapter LXXXIII: A Questionable Race.
Chapter LXXXIV: Same Question, Three Answers.
Chapter LXXXV: Jacks of Trades.
Chapter LXXXVI: A Shell for the Navy?
Chapter LXXXVII: Brutal Honesty
Chapter LXXXVIII: Coordinating Communications
Chapter LXXXIX: Regiments, Rifles and Truck-all Else
Chapter XC: One Corps, Many Tanks
Chapter XCI: An Inauspicious Beginning
Chapter XCII: A Scottish Restaurant Menu of Tanks

Spring '37
Chapter XCIII: Warfare by Other Means
Chapter XCIV: Small Acorns
Chapter XCV: Affairs of Steak
Chapter XCVI: Time For a Beer?
Chapter XCVII: An Unnamed Deal
Chapter XCVIII: The Best of Intentions
Chapter XCIX: A Step Towards a Smaller World
Chapter C: The Blue Heat of Technology
Chapter CI: The Importance of Succession Planning - Part I
Chapter CII: The Importance of Succession Planning - Part II

Back to the Front
Chapter CIII: Caution vs Ambition
Chapter CIV: All the President's Men
Chapter CV: The Air in Spain Part I - Quantity Has A Quality All It's Own
Chapter CVI: The Air in Spain Part II - An Old Rivalry
Chapter CVII: Spain ’37 Part I – The Anarchy of Command
Chapter CVIII: Spain ’37 Part II – Hammers, Eggshells and Stiletto Knives.
Chapter CIX: Spain ’37 Part III – Thirty Four Good Reasons for Victory.
Chapter CX: Une Entente Commerciale?
Chapter CXI: A Difference of Horizons.
Chapter CXII: Call, Raise or Fold
Chapter CXIII: Semper Ipsum, Numquam Obrutus
Chapter CXIV: The Consequences of Control.
Chapter CXV: Between Hawk and Dove.

Oriental Ripples
Chapter CXVI: In the Land of the Black Dragon.
Chapter CXVII: An Ethical Fleet.
Chapter CXVIII: Unwanted Suitors.
Chapter CXIX: A Two and a Half Horse Race.

Interlude - The Politics of Flight
Chapter CXX: A Political Football.
Chapter CXXI: Inflated Opinions
Chapter CXXII: Per aspera ad mare?
Chapter CXXIII: An Inconvenient Flight.
Chapter CXXIV: The Letters that Bind the Family.
Chapter CXXV: To Think and Act Imperially
Chapter CXXVI: Seabirds, Schools and Streamlining

Blood, Superchargers and Transmissions
Chapter CXXVII: Heroes of the Dialectic.
Chapter CXXVIII: In the Name of the King.
Chapter CXXIX: The Guns of a Spanish Summer Part I.
Chapter CXXX: The Guns of a Spanish Summer Part II.
Chapter CXXXI: The Guns of a Spanish Summer Part III.
Chapter CXXXII: The Value of Improvisation.
Supporting Appendix A: Aero-Engine State of the Art Mid-1930s.
Chapter CXXXIII: From the Ministry with Venom
Chapter CXXXIV: The Tyranny of the Minority
Chapter CXXXV: All That Glitters.
Chapter CXXXVI: Dreams of a Dark Blue Sky - Part I.
Chapter CXXXVII: Dreams of a Dark Blue Sky - Part II.

The Will of Some of the People
Chapter CXXXVIII: When Irish Ayes Weren't Smiling.
Chapter CXXXIX: Gunbatsu or Butter?
Chapter CXL: Merchants of Smooth Tasting Death.
Chapter CXLI: The Curious Incident of the Island in the Eclipse.
Supporting Appendix B: State of the Economic Empire, Summer 1937
Appendix B1: Dundee! City of Empire.
Appendix B2: The Capital of Capital.
Appendix B3: An Imbalance in the Industrial Nation.
Chapter CXLII: The Low, Low Price of an Imperial Conference.
Chapter CXLIII: The Consequence of Conference.

An Industrial Review, Summer '37
Chapter CXLIV: A Tale of Two Carbides.
Chapter CXLV: A Cooled Head in a Crisis Part I.
Chapter CXLVI: A Cooled Head in a Crisis Part II.
Chapter CXLVII: A Cooled Head in a Crisis Part III.
Chapter CXLVIII: The Consequences of a Failed Death Ray Part I.
Chapter CXLIX: The Consequences of a Failed Death Ray Part II.
Chapter CL: The Murky Depths of Black Gold.
Chapter CLI: The Challenges of Floating a Bear.
Chapter CLII: The Pressure of Foreign Designs.
Chapter CLIII: The Teeth of the Cubs.
Chapter CLIV: If You Seek Prosperity, Prepare for Peace.

The Guns and Butter of Autumn
Chapter CLV: The St Leger's Day Massacre.
Supporting Appendix C: The Education of Iron Ore.
Chapter CLVI: The Iron Laws of Supply and Demand.
Chapter CLVII: Moving at the Speed of Empire.
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Chapter I: The Treaties and The Leaks
Chapter I: The Treaties and The Leaks

London, July - December 1935

Stanley Baldwin's third term as Prime Minister was ill fated from the start and in hindsight it is surprising it lasted as long as it did. The first crisis for Baldwin started less than a month after he had moved into No.10, a problem that begat an accusation that would haunt and ultimately end his premiership. The issue was the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and the accusation was that he appeased dictators rather than stand up to them

The British representative, Sir John Simon, had walked out on the talks when the German delegation refused to negotiate and stated they would accept their terms or nothing. Despite this dictation of terms Baldwin had been willing to sign the agreement to improve relations with Hitler and had order Simon to sign the next day. Overnight however the terms of the treaty were leaked to the press just in time for the morning papers first editions.

While the main terms were controversial, allowing the German fleet to reach one third the size of the Royal Navy and Germany resumption of U-boat construction, the outrage was reserved for the 'Sphere's of influence' clauses. These specified that the Royal Navy would completely withdraw from the Baltic Sea, leaving Germany the dominant naval power in the region. The Royal Navy's lead over other nation's navies may have declined since the Great War, but to the average citizen Britannia still ruled the waves. To be 'Thrown out of the Baltic' as the Daily Express put it was an insult to national pride and a betrayal of Scandinavia in general and Norway in particular. Under intense pressure both internally and from his own party Baldwin refrained from signing the agreement and sent the German delegation home empty handed.


Joachim von Ribbentrop, perhaps a better negotiator may have been able to force through a deal. While the German Foreign Minister, Konstantin von Neurath, had actually 'negotiated' the Pact, Ribbentrop was assigned by Hitler to get it signed. While Baldwin would probably have agreed to a very similar, but lower profile, deal that would not attract such public comment, Ribbentrop's insistence on the original form or nothing killed any chance of the deal being resurrected.

With his standing, both in the nation and in his own party, severely damaged it is a credit to Baldwin's determination, but not his political astuteness, that he pressed ahead with the Government of India Act when Parliament returned from the summer recess. The Act, a convoluted and cumbersome piece of legislation even at the committee stage, was further laden down with amendments and modifications as it progressed through the Commons. The key problem was the lack of an aim for the Act beyond a vague aim for a federal, British controlled, India. With Baldwin lacking the personal authority to push the Act through the legislation failed and was sent back to the committee stages.

The death blow to Baldwin's government was the Hoare-Laval pact, the proposal deal to transfer the best parts of Abyssinia to direct Italian control with the rest of the country reduced to an Italian puppet. The leaking of the pact in French newspapers, combined with the simultaneous revelations in the British papers of the Italian use of chemical weapons to attack not only troops but civilians, was enough to bring down both the French and British governments.


Stanley Baldwin, the only British Prime Minister to lose two motions of no confidence. Baldwin's mistake, if it can be called that, was that he too closely followed the national mood, or what he believed the mood to be. Baldwin's view had been shaped by the Fulham East by-election of 1933, where a pro-rearmament Conservative candidate had lost a safe seat due to a massive 30% swing to the pacifist Labour candidate. This stinging defeat had convinced him to shelve his re-armament plans and take a pacifist, even appeasing, foreign policy line, leaving him badly exposed when the public mood swung the other way.

Next: The Christmas election campaign
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lol. looking at swedish. :rofl: so the origin of the effect would be the not signing of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement?
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good update..funny, this was a title of movie that came out a couple years ago. It was kinda confusing for me.. :wacko:
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Very interesting moves, looking very interesting.
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Very good start, El Pip. I'll have to keep up with this one.
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Very nice start Pippy... shall be looking forward to more of this...

Hopefuly the next government makes Britania truley rulle the waves again.

Good luck sir.
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Chapter II: Two Weeks In Politics
Chapter II: Two Weeks In Politics

The Christmas election campaign of 1935, called after Baldwin lost a motion of no confidence, was noticeable for two things; firstly the dominance of foreign affairs, not the economy, as the key issue for the electorate and secondly the emergence of one of British politics 'Big Beasts' from the political wilderness.

Stanley Baldwin, discredited both in the country and in his own party, stood down as party leader after setting the date for the election and then retired to the backbenches. With little time to decide the grandees of the Conservative party hurriedly appointed Neville Chamberlain, generally considered Baldwin's political heir apparent, as the interim leader. Despite the change of leadership the party still expected to pay a heavy electoral price for Baldwin's failings and early polling indicated they were indeed heading for a crushing defeat.


Neville Chamberlain, handed the poisoned chalice of Conservative leader after Baldwin's retirement from politics.

It was only days after the election date had been announced that overseas issues began to dominate ahead of the economy. The trend started with the Daily Telegraph thunderous accusation that the mustard gas used in Abyssinia had been shipped through the Suez Canal with no effort made by the government to check the shipments, even after the horrors of Abyssinia were known. It also described the actions of the National government as 'Craven and cowardly, claiming neutrality and non-interference while actually plotting the betrayal of Abyssinian and British honour.' The trend was soon picked up by other papers, the day after the Daily Express ran as it's headline "Decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute" above a picture of the outgoing national government. The lead editorial was a damning indictment of the policy of 'appeasement' and a demand for strong leadership to face the threats in Europe and abroad. Within days even The Times, which had been a bastion for the policy of appeasement, was drawn into calling for strong leadership and a program of 'limited' rearmament.


Lord Beaverbrook, his papers expressed and shaped the new mood of the nation.

The change in the political landscape of the country was best summed up the young Conservative member for Stockton-on-Tees. During an interview with the Yorkshire Post about the key issues of the campaign his assessment "The wind of change is blowing through this country. Whether we like it or not, the end of appeasement and rearmament are political facts." was leaped on by commentators and the interview syndicated across the country. Indeed the December 1935 election is still referred to by some as "The winds of change election" marking, as it did, a seismic shift in the political landscape of the country. It also launched the originator of the phrase, Harold Macmillan, onto the national stage.

Of the three main parties the National Liberals were best positioned to adapt to the new mood of the nations. Although part of the National Government the action of their leader, Sir John Simon, in withdrawing from the negotiations for the aborted Anglo-German Naval Agreement was used to show their non-appeasement credentials.

The Labour party, while seemingly well placed to capitalise on the failings of the National Government carried a massive liability. It's name was George Lansbury and the problem was his widely known pro-appeasement anti-rearmament views. In particular the line from his speech during the 1933 East Fulham by-election "I would close every recruiting station, disband the Army and disarm the Air Force. I would abolish the whole dreadful equipment of war and say to the world ‘do your worst’." was quoted by every paper and rival party at any opportunity. He had only narrowly survived as leader at the 1935 Labour conference, staying power at the behest of a cabal of Labour MPs fearful of who might be elected by the membership, and the powerful union block votes, in his place. However with an election on the damage of changing leader was judged greater than the liability of Lansbury’s views.


George Landsbury, pacifist, appeaser and electoral liability.
The problems of the other parties however paled to insignificance compared to the problem the Conservative party leadership was facing. All the leading ministerial talents of the party were tainted with the actions of the national government and none of the backbenchers were well known enough, or talented enough, to lead the party to victory. All except one. A man who had been pushing for re-armament for years, who had warned against appeasing dictators and who was currently touring the country gaining support for his views. If the party wished to avoid a virtual wipe-out at the polls this man was their only hope.

Thus on December 12th, barely two weeks before the election, the interim leader Neville Chamberlain, widely regarded as one of the party’s greatest liabilities due to his close personal association with appeasement, was replaced as Conservative leader by the member for Epping. The Right Honourable Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill.


Winston Churchill, the man the Conservative party pinned it's hopes on.

Up next: Tales from across the pond.
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Winstion so early...

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Harold MacMillian for PM!
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OK...big WC to the rescue. Let's see how the old boy does. :D
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Great story so far! Let me guess; Winston becomes PM, the UK shifts more interventionist w/ a smaller peactime IC mod, etc?
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Some feedback, woot! I'd probably better reply.

lifeless - That is indeed the change I made and it all grew from there.

SirCliveWolfe - Rest assured Wolfey, with Churchill around the Navy will never get forgotten. :D

GeneralHannible - Well he hasn't been elected..... Yet. ;)

Sir Humphrey - I do have plans for supermac, not that ambitious though. :p

coz1 - Churchill will make a, shall we say, impact on world affairs.

blysas - The next update is one I've been mulling over for a while, I want to do it, but it's not an area of history where I'm particularly strong. Still I've taken the plunge so the next update should follow soon(ish).

rich-love - Without ruining the surprise (if there still is one) those changes are just the beginning.

And thank you all, readers and lurkers. Hopefully the next update will follow this very night.
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Chapter III: Across the Pond
Chapter III: Across the Pond

The most influential man in the USA in 1932 was not a politician, economist or industrialist. It was the Chicago Democrat party activist Martin H. Kennelly. His greatest, indeed only, contribution to US politics came on June the 25th when he was asked to help prepare the hall for the Democrat national convention. In his eagerness to please he volunteered to lay the stage carpet despite, by his own admission, having absolutely no experience of laying carpet. To be fair to him it could never of occurred to him, as he bodged the job that afternoon, what effect a snag in a carpet could have.

All was fine until the afternoon of June the 27th when New York governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt got up to make his speech. Roosevelt was considered the leading candidate and, with a strong speech at the convention, could get the nomination. As he made his way to the lectern, supported by an aide, he tripped on the snagged carpet and was sent sprawling across the stage. For any other politician this would be embarrassing, but nothing more. For Roosevelt, as lay on the stage unable to get back up, it revealed his carefully concealed secret. He was still paralysed from the waist down after his polio infection and he wasn't getting better as he had publicly claimed. As he admitted afterwards, it was his efforts at deception more than the problem itself which led to his downfall, both literally and politically.


Franklin Roosevelt, a solid governor of New York State many speculate he might have been a better president had he won the nomination. Conversely his willingness to turn a blind eye to the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine and his spendthrift economic policies, turning the state's $15 million budget surplus into a $90 million deficit in less than two years, not to mention his many years of deceit about his actual health condition, suggest this view may just be the optimism of 'What if?'.

With the leading candidate out of the way the Tammany Hall machine leapt into action. Indeed to believe some of the less restrained accounts the New York delegation were making deals before Roosevelt had even finished falling. Their preferred candidate, Alfred Smith, was pushed as the experienced man, the man Roosevelt would have supported. Deals were cut with John Nance Garner to induce him to run as Vice-Presidential candidate. It is even rumoured that Garner was assured that the New York machine would use it's influence to ensure Garner would be the next Democrat candidate after Smith. Whatever the truth the Smith-Garner ticket, with it's combination of the big city boss support and Garner's Southern support, won the nomination.

In 1932 almost anybody could have run on the Democrat ticket against Herbert Hoover and won and indeed Al Smith did win the presidency, but the margin was surprisingly tight given Hoover's unpopularity. With less than 50% of the popular vote and only 277 electoral college votes the new president did not have a strong mandate for change. However radical change had never been on Smith's agenda.

The impact of Al Smiths election were felt almost from the beginning of his term and set the tone for his presidency. The Seabury Commission, which had lost most of it's impetus with Governor Roosevelt's retirement from office and public life, was wound up and New York mayor Jimmy Walker was publicly cleared of all accusations, tightening Tammany Hall's grip on New York politics.


Jimmy Walker, Mayor of New York, after brazening out corruption allegations Walker would go from strength to strength and ensure New York remained under the close control of the Tammany Hall machine of John Currey.

Over the next four years the depression continued to deepen across the US as the Smith presidency limited itself to cutting taxes, and so spending, as deeply as it dared while, in the words of their opponents, hoping the depression just went away. The deepest cuts affected the military, to the deeply isolationist US President Smith argued that only a limited force for defence was needed.

The greatest controversy was undoubtedly the Delaware Valley Authority. Forced into additional government spending, more to be seen to do something than out of conviction, the DVA was originally proposed as a scheme to provide electric power and relieve the chronic unemployment. Despite arguments that the Tennessee Valley was a far more deserving candidate, and far more suitable for dam building, the scheme went ahead in late 1934. By that time however it had been thoroughly hijacked by Tammany Hall and turned into a vast and corrupt money making machine. To this day the full extent of the corruption is still unknown, certainly into the tens of millions of dollars was siphoned off, probably more.

The DVA had a massive political impact particularly in the southern states who felt, quite rightly, that the northern states were receiving the bulk of what little government money there was. In addition President Smith's ardent pro civil rights policies, and his attempts to pack the Supreme Court in an effort to get the Jim Crow laws repealed, were causing considerable anxiety and anger across the South

The problems so were so severe that in the 1934 senate and house elections the fabled Democrat "Solid South", which had turned against Smith before, did so again and joined large areas of the country in supporting the Republicans, returning control of both houses to them.


Al Smith, the man blamed for losing the Democrats the 'Solid South' for a generation. For all his faults he was, in his own way, a trailblazer as the first Catholic President of the United States, though his terrible performance in office would cause many of that faith to despair about ever getting another Catholic elected.

So as the US entered 1936 the country was still in the depth's of depression, was saddled with a corrupt and ineffective president and the Democrat splinter party, the States' Rights Democratic Party was gaining support all across the South.

Up next: The British elections and aftermath.
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Wow, what a twist. Never would have expected that--you picked one heck of an apt title for this AAR!
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Very interesting move indeed. Like the American political machinations alot. :)
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wow...never would have expected that! yet another origin of the effect. DVA...was that really a candidate?
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