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The New Yuork Times. China Rebukes the U.S. After Saying It Will Expel American Journalists. HONG KONG — China took a combative stance on Wednesday, accusing the United States of starting a diplomatic war that led it to expel almost all American journalists from three newspapers. In articles and commentaries from China’s propaganda organs as well as remarks by a top spokeswoman, Beijing indicated it would not back down, accusing the United States of starting the dispute. The state media commentary also focused sharply on reporting by the three outlets, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, which the government has often accused of being unfair . . . .

edit BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms to close dine-in while Maryland tries to slow the spread of coronavirus in the state. end quote

Texas Governor Abbott is talking now and I don’t think he is closing restaurants

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Are we really marching toward Universal Basic Income (UBI)? 

I mean, I'll take the money if it comes, but isn't this a major step toward Big Brother with a very nasty outome in the end unless one is an insider?

And would I feel guilty about taking the money? No. That's because I know it won't last. Not for me.

I know for sure I wouldn't be an insider for long. 

Michael

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14 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Are we really marching toward Universal Basic Income (UBI)? 

I mean, I'll take the money if it comes, but isn't this a major step toward Big Brother with a very nasty outome in the end unless one is an insider?

And would I feel guilty about taking the money? No. That's because I know it won't last. Not for me.

I know for sure I wouldn't be an insider for long. 

Michael

What's your take on Trump talkin about sending out checks to everyone?

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19 minutes ago, ThatGuy said:

What's your take on Trump talkin about sending out checks to everyone?

T,

I have mixed feelings on that.

So before talking about my good/bad evaluation, here are a few ideas that I believe need to be in the equation.

The first is the instant attraction humans have (and I am a human, I assure you :) ) of getting something for nothing. I feel the tug just as much as the next guy. And, frankly, unless someone is wealthy enough where this doesn't make a difference, or there is some mental imbalance or something, I don't believe anyone who says they don't feel it. I know plenty of people who are not good with with it because of their moral values, but that's not what I'm talking about. In the beginning, everyone is good with it--that's what I believe. It's a primal reflex. People only stop being good with it after they filter it some.

Next is that we are in an emergency. Massive structures that are part of our everyday lives have been disrupted. What's worse, money is not only a means of exchange, it's also a commodity in its own right. When survival-level scarcity gets imposed by a catastrophe, humans tend to join together and help each other out until the crisis passes or becomes clear that it is permanent. 

The third is not generally covered in O-Land, but it's true--the banquet beside the starving mob. This situation has caused the downfall of many a privileged class. If you have a whole lot more than others, but these others have a way of fulfilling their basic survival needs, you don't need a whole lot of effort to keep that structure in place. However, if there is a starving mass of people and you set up a banquet (for your friends only) right next door to them, they will overrun you and take your food irrespective of any philosophy, law or moral principle. There's no way to stop a stampede on a dime, and there's definitely no way to play gotcha and win with a hungry mob. :)  Until people can eat enough to survive, they will be the world's worst audience for the visions and nuances of a rich person. Frankly, I don't even see NIOF having much truck in that situation.

Finally (although there are plenty of other considerations, but these for will do for now), there is a constant human tendency to grab power in emergencies under the banner that dealing with the emergency warrants it. But then, nobody ever gives back the rights they took once the crisis goes away. Or if they do, they try to keep a hook in those they took rights from.

That's the table.

Now what I think about it.

I think if President Trump adopts some form of UBI, it will be an enormously popular policy--even among people who should know better. I wish I could make things turn out differently, but I don't know how to stop UBI from happening (even as a part of me is going, "Yay!" because it will happen.:) ). This is going to be a big mess later to clean up. But for now, it will help with a lot of short term problems. Like it or not, a person in a desert needs a glass of water to keep living, not an ideology. The ideology comes after the person survives. Basically, in the current situation, there are so many people needing a drink of water, the guy giving out glasses of water is going to be very popular. Short term, I think this is a good thing. At least we keep outbreaks of violence down. Long-term, we will have to see. My prediction is that this will eventually become a huge problem with unimagined toxic side-effects and a very difficult solution.

As an emergency measure, I'm not against some form of UBI. Like I said, individuals have to survive before they can build or operate within social systems--or even agree to. At least there is a governmental and financial structure in place to pull off a temporary UBI plan. There's nothing in place, however, on how to shut it down once it starts. A major part of this emergency is that people are thinking of collective solutions that restrict others while they are individually terrified of getting sick and dying. That's probably the worst frame possible to reason within. Anything that destroys this frame is good in my view. That includes temporary UBI. People in terrified mobs do crazy shit. They can destroy value like nothing else on earth.

Then we have what I think of as the starving crowd beside the banquet situation. It just makes sense to me to redirect people filled with overwhelming hungry desire from looking at the banquet and aim them looking at a more rice-and-beans target.

Think of the following situation: 

You get up licking your fingers from your banquet because some of the rabble are making too much noise and trying to get through the barrier. You come face to face with one of them. "Tell me, Mr. Starving to Death," you say. "And stop looking at the juicy fried chicken in my hand goddammit. Which form of economic principles do you internalize and resonate the most with, the moral minarchism mixed with laissez faire capitalism of Rand, the anarchist capitalism of Rothbard, the subtly mixed free market ideas of Hayek or the trickle-down thinking of Friedman? "You feel the razor slicing your throat as Mr. Starving to Death snatches the fried chicken and scurries off. Your throat doesn't even hurt, but there is so much blood gushing. In your fading consciousness, your last thought is: what got into him?

:) 

Better to avoid that when it is cheap, no? 

And finally, for as much as I support President Trump, I am aware that power corrupts. I am not at all certain Trump could walk back UBI, or would even want to, after the pandemic passes. That makes me think fondly on how to bolster the checks and balances the Founding Fathers used as the lynchpin of the American Government.

In short, due to an emergency that has threatened major structures and institutions, I am in favor of UBI, but only as an emergency measure, a temporary measure. Emergency charity, so to speak. Letting it run after the pandemic, I think, is a rotten idea. Practically speaking, I believe UBI is going to happen in one form or another and not go away. So the problem will not be whether to support or oppose it. The problem will be how to clean up the mess, then figure out how to get rid of it. Look at how long and sticky the Obamacare thing is taking to get rid of.

In my thinking, in normal peacetime with no major disasters happening, churches, ideological organizations, and companies and wealthy people who so wish, are the proper ones to provide charity, not the government. Never the government. 

Michael

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Did we need a UBI before the virus-shut-down-the-economy crisis? UBI only addresses symptoms. Cut some checks if it helps, and it will in this deflationary environment, then cut it out.

--Brant

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As for the morality, if you are at war with the government and the government hands you money . . .

Are you at war?

Trump is fighting on several fronts, but he's not fighting government as such. For now he's on our side. A Rockefeller Republican and a lot smarter.

If I go any further I'll rationalize myself into knots.

--Brant

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I get the sense from graphs and bar charts I looked at that "flattening the curve" may not be far off. As few as three months? THEN the world can get on top of this thing.

Maybe I'm off , but my take is simply that once all (approx) present cases (x) are accounted for in a country, the rate of growth in numbers of cases (y) could be only from fresh infections from that pool, x. Improved hygiene, social spacing and quarantines should reduce that.

A problem, "x" is still unknown - and complicated by the incubation period of 5 days -  but we're getting closer to knowing it. Much of people's panic could follow from anyone fudging the numbers (like the notorious hockey stick graph) or an innocent error in logic: Mistaking "new" - or apparently exponentially increasing cases - for those that were pre-existing and have just been discovered. "Y" is the critical number, obviously, to bring to zero. Anyone should correct me if I missed some facts or miscalculated.

We had a phone call from a friend this morning, all in a dither. "South Africans with Corona have JUST DOUBLED IN ONE DAY!" [No big deal, 61 to 116]. She's wrong, the tested, official, numbers of present patients are still coming in. But she anticipates like many have, the contagion doubling EVERY day, and apocalypse soon.

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5 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

As an emergency measure, I'm not against some form of UBI.

This is off the subject but you are expected to do your taxes by April 15th as usual but there will be no interest or penalties applied if you are up to 90 days late in paying what you owe. Peter

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4 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Are you at war?

I liked Trump's phrase describing the corona virus as, "The Invisible Enemy."  

Fox News. China could have curbed the spread of the coronavirus by 95 percent.

On the home front someone told my wife that Food Lion had gotten a shipment of eggs this morning so if we go tomorrow,  I hope they are not gone . . . again. The only way I like eggs is in fried rice and hard boiled but they are a good survival food.

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Some of the following survival tips might be helpful during the corona virus pandemic. Condensed and edited for brevity. Peter

From Wiki How. How to survive a nuclear attack. The Cold War ended over two decades ago, and many people have never lived under the shadow of nuclear and radiological threats. Still, a nuclear attack is a very real threat. Global politics are far from stable, and human nature has changed none in the last two decades. "The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums".[1] As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is always the danger they will be used.

Is nuclear war survivable? Only predictions exist, as some say yes, others say no. Keep in mind that modern thermonuclear weapons are many hundreds, and in the case of the largest weapons, several thousand times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. We really do not fully understand what will happen when thousands of these weapons are detonated at the same time. For some, especially those in large population centers, it may seem like an entirely futile endeavor.[2] If it is survived at all, it will be by those who are mentally and logistically prepared for such an event and that live in very remote areas with no strategic significance.

Stock up on non-perishable food. Non-perishables can last several years, whether it's in storage or in sustaining you after an attack. Choose items that contain a lot of carbohydrates, so you get more caloric bang for your buck, and store them in a cool, dry place. White rice Wheat Beans Sugar Honey Oats Pasta Powdered milk Dried fruits and vegetables. Build your supply slowly. Every time you go to the grocery store, pick up one or two more items for your food storage. Eventually, you should be able to build up a multi-month supply. Make sure you have a can opener for canned items.

Store water. Consider keeping a water supply in food-grade plastic containers. Clean the containers with a bleach solution, then fill them with filtered and distilled water. Aim to have one gallon per person per day. For purifying water in the event of an attack, keep basic household bleach and potassium iodide (Lugol's solution) on-hand.

Get communication supplies. Being able to stay informed, as well as alerting others to your position, can be vitally valuable. Here's what you might need: A radio: Try to find one that's crank- or solar-powered. If you have to go with a battery-operated model, be sure to keep spare batteries on-hand. Consider getting an NOAA weather radio as well — this will broadcast emergency information 24 hours a day.[3] A whistle: You can use this to signal for help. Your cell phone: Cell service may or may not be maintained, but you'll want to be ready if it is. If you can, find a solar charger for your model.

Stock up on medical supplies. Having a few medical items available could be the difference between life and death if you're injured in the attack. You'll need: A basic first aid kit: You can purchase these pre-packaged, or make one yourself. You'll need sterile gauze and bandages, antibiotic ointment, latex gloves, scissors, tweezers, a thermometer and a blanket.[4] A first aid instruction booklet: Purchase one from an organization like the Red Cross, or assemble your own with materials you print off from the internet. You should know how to bandage wounds, administer CPR, treat shock, and treat burns. Prescription medications or supplies: If you take a specific medication every day, try to make sure you have a small emergency supply built-up.

6 Get other miscellaneous items. Round out your emergency preparedness kit with the following: A flashlight and batteries Dust masks Plastic sheeting and duct tape Garbage bags, plastic ties and wet wipes for personal sanitation A wrench and pliers, to shut off utilities such as gas and water

7 Keep an eye on the news. A nuclear attack will unlikely come out of the blue from an enemy nation. Such an attack would likely be preceded by a deteriorating political situation. A war with conventional weapons between nations that both have nuclear weapons, if not ended swiftly, may escalate towards nuclear war; and even limited nuclear strikes in one region carry the likelihood to escalate towards an all-out nuclear war elsewhere.[5]Many countries have a rating system to denote the imminence of attack. In the USA and Canada, for example, it may be useful to know the DEFCON (DEFense CONdition) level.

Assess your risk and consider evacuation if a nuclear exchange is looking likely. If evacuation is not an option, then it should at least affect the kind of shelter you will construct for yourself. Learn your proximity to the following targets[6] and plan appropriately: Airfields and naval bases, especially those known to house nuclear bombers, ballistic missile submarines, or ICBM silos. These are certain to be attacked even in a limited nuclear exchange. Commercial ports and runways over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) long. These are likely to be attacked even in a limited nuclear exchange, and certain to be attacked in an all-out nuclear war. Centres of government. These are likely to be attacked even in a limited nuclear exchange and certain to be attacked in an all-out nuclear war. Large industrial cities and major population centres. These are likely to be attacked in the event of an all-out nuclear war.

Learn about the different types of nuclear weapons.: Fission (A-Bombs) are the most basic nuclear weapon and are incorporated into the other weapon classes. This bomb's power comes from splitting heavy nuclei (plutonium and uranium) with neutrons; as the uranium or plutonium split each atom releases great amounts of energy - and more neutrons. The daughter neutrons cause an extremely fast nuclear chain reaction. Fission bombs are the only type of nuclear bomb used in war so far. This is the most likely type of bomb to be used by terrorists.

Fusion (H-Bombs), using the incredible heat of a fission bomb 'spark plug', compress and heat deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen) which fuse, releasing immense amounts of energy. Fusion weapons are also known as thermonuclear weapons since high temperatures are required to fuse deuterium and tritium; such weapons are usually many hundreds of times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The bulk of the US and Russian strategic arsenal are these types of bombs.

6 Ration your supplies. You will need to ration to survive, obviously; therefore you will eventually expose yourself to the radiation (unless you are in a specific shelter with food and water). Processed foods are okay to eat, so long as the container has no punctures and is relatively intact. Animals may be eaten but, they must be skinned carefully with the heart, liver and kidneys discarded. Try not to eat meat that is close to the bone, for bone marrow retains radiation.  Plants in a "hot zone" are edible; those with edible roots or undergrowth (such as carrots and potatoes) are highly recommended. Use an edibility test on the plants. See How to Test if a Plant Is Edible.

Open water may have received fallout particles and is harmful. Water from an underground source, such as a spring or covered well, is your best bet. (Consider making a basic pit-style solar still, as described in How to Make Water in the Desert.) Use water from streams and lakes only as a last resort. Create a filter by digging a hole about 1 foot from the bank and drawing the water which seeps in. It may be cloudy or muddy so allow the sediments to sit, then boil the water to ensure safety from bacteria. If in a building, the water is usually safe. If there is no water (there most likely won't be), use the water already in the pipes by opening the faucet at the highest point of the house to let in air, then open a faucet at the lowest point of the house to drain the water. See also How to Get Emergency Drinking Water from a Water Heater. Know How to Purify Water.

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NY Mayor De Blasio is going to release minor offenders from prison with preexisting conditions.

And prison guards all over, are worried about staffing, food supplies, treating corona cases in prison, and like doctors and nurses everywhere, the guards worry about getting the virus themselves. 

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On 3/17/2020 at 12:30 PM, merjet said:

Commercial paper is not backed by collateral. Basically, the borrower creates an IOU in order to meet its short-term cash needs.

Addenda: The primary lenders for commercial paper are money market funds.

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19 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Are we really marching toward Universal Basic Income (UBI)? 

Hmmm.  Would it replace the welfare bureaucracy?

J

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3 hours ago, anthony said:

And then there's media re-direction from the blame of political inaction:

Interesting. With everybody paying so much attention, I doubt that rational people will pay heed to “conspiracy sites” or the lame brained press pushing an anti Trump agenda. As Roy Orbison sang, “Only the Lonely Chuckleheads.” Be sure to read the last paragraph for a chuckle. Peter

March 16, 2020 The Plague Year What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Pandemic, Part 1 by Robert Tracinski. Don't Be Italy

The thing about Italy is that I'm not sure they did anything particularly wrong. In fact, they've done pretty much exactly what we have done: first imposing a ban on flights from China, then locking down a few local areas, then finally and reluctantly locking down the whole country. The only difference is that COVID-19 arrived there earlier, so Italy is just a few weeks ahead of us, giving us a preview of our own future.

No, seriously, look at this graph. The US and many other European countries are on exactly the same upward, geometric curve as Italy, just on a delay of about ten days. You will encounter a lot of arguments saying that this is all overblown, that we're getting carried away, that the national lockdown we're in right now is causing much worse damage than the virus ever could. Following President Trump's early dismissals of the pandemic as an attempt by the media to exaggerate the problem and tank the stock market (a self-fulfilling prophecy), many right-leaning commenters are still portraying the outbreak as some kind of media hoax.

. . . . Get used to the "no-contact greeting," replacing the handshake with some other gesture. You all know the one I have in mind, and it is even accompanied by an appropriate salutation: "Live long and prosper"--which is what we're all trying to do.

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Scott Adams has an interesting perspective about the coronavirus that is quite Rand-friendly.

He said that homo sapiens is one of the most successful species on the planet and has used human ingenuity to conquer one threat after another. Right now, the best and brightest and smartest and most productive people the world over are on the attack against the coronavirus. He almost feels sorry for for the thing because it doesn't stand a chance. Soon it won't know what hit it.

I kinda like that.

:)

Michael

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Michael wrote about the entity called the coronavirus: Soon it won't know what hit it.

President Trump is speaking and he made an interesting comment. People who are getting the coronavirus right now are receiving different types of antiviral drugs. To me, that means they are the testing ground for the rest of us who don’t have the virus. Stay healthy for as long as possible and let the young, the foolish, and the unlucky, be the Guinee-pigs. That’s mean but oh so true.

I need to go to the dump today. Luckily you can’t get the virus from “vapors.” I hope.  

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31 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

Hmmm.  Would it replace the welfare bureaucracy?

J

Jonathan,

Under Trump it might. That's been part of the proposal way back a few years when Charles Murray suggested it and some people in our neck of the woods started embracing it.

Still, I'm uneasy.

Look what the nonviolent faction of the hard left thinks.

Talk about going straight into the unknown

Michael

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According to El Presidente the most promising drug for people who have the coronavirus is a drug to treat malaria. Interesting. Years ago, when I was overseas in Asia I had a shot to NOT get malaria. Thank you Uncle Sam! I wonder . . . .  

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Here is a video about meaning when the whole world is losing its meaning.

It doesn't offer strict black-and-white prescriptions of do-this-and-don't-do-that, but it does give a big-picture view based on recurring symbols about epidemics in mankind's history.

And based on that big-picture view, I believe people who are terrified right now might get some kind of orientation on what to do other than freak out. We all have to decide on what to adopt for our own meaning, but knowing mankind has dealt with epidemics before and what they meant in guiding the intentions and behavior of individuals at the time makes it easy to see these same patterns today. 

It helps to know the hidden recurring stories that move people so we know what roles we want to play in those stories to ensure the best chance of our own survival. After all, most human thinking and interacting follow narratives. If you are really afraid right now, this is a good thing to think about. Step out of the story your are in for a few minutes and look at the other stories that are available. It's hard to discern this and choose among stories with you are living in one. Some stories lead you over the cliff. Others lead you to a nice warm safe place. 

Right in the middle of the video, Jonathan Pageau said what I fear the most. He said we need to be vigilant against people who are interested in gaining and consolidating power from using this crisis to install permanent authoritarian systems of control over others.

Yup.

Michael

 

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There is no danger of pandemic, if there is any bug at all.

This is the inevitable mass takedown many of us have anticipated. When you strike at a King, and all that. They tried to destroy our Republic, did you really think DJT would not create or exploit the perfect cover for all takedown activities, complete with huge quarantine centers in his enemies’ strongholds? Many of us will see things in the coming weeks that we would unmistakably and immediately recognize as a mass takedown event, under normal circumstances. But most people, enough people, have been rendered incapable of the correct identification of what they are about to see, and will instead call it “fighting coronavirus.” It is genius beyond comprehension. How do you keep a population calm while you round up the people they have been voting for all their life? You will see how in the coming few weeks.

This is also the financial reset. Again, the collapse of the dollar Fraud Reserve is inevitable, has been since 1913. When did you think it would collapse? How much longer did you really think it could go? There will be no UBI, no socialism, no expansion of social support systems, but they will flood everyone with money to spend so that activity remains healthy through The Storm, I mean the coronavirus, and so that the people are safe and comfortable. People’s incomes will cease as they are forced to stay inside week after week. There would be desperation and unrest and violence and death. So everyone will be flooded with comforts. There is no other way.

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UBI is a life destroyer. It would do to a huge swath of middle class what welfare has done to inner city blacks. No hope. UBI. But no hope. It would start with; why finish high school when I have UBI? Then; why finish middle school when I can get pregnant and that UBI*2? The elites wanted UBI for its inevitable rendering of whole swaths of people into zombies ready to spend all their UBI booty with their corporations. They don’t give a flying fuck about devastation to human populations.

Trump will never go in that direction.

Trump also will never concern himself with ideological purity in an emergency. The People will be kept comfortable and safe during challenging and dangerous times, no matter what, as a national priority. That is what the talk about passing out money is about.

A beautiful world of freedom, fairness, healing and rebuilding is coming, after the cleansing Storm.

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Here's the Hollywood left trying to rally people about the coronavirus without their technological trappings to replace talent and cover talent deficits. I think the idea was to show they were quarantined or something just like you, so if you are quarantined, don't feel sad.

They are trying to play sing-a-long tag with John Lennon's "Imagine."

It's not good.

Here's the list of celebrities in the video--quote from here: Gal Gadot shares montage of 25 celebrities singing "Imagine" by John Lennon from isolation.

Quote

Those participating in the video serenade include two "Bridesmaids" stars. Kristen Wiig and, separately, Chris O'Dowd, who was with his wife, writer Dawn O'Porter, each sang a few bars from their respective quarantines. Annie Mumolo, who co-wrote "Bridesmaids" with Wiig, also took a turn.

Two more former "Saturday Night Live" cast members, Maya Rudolph and Will Ferrell, are also featured. Comedians Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Fallon sang a few bars, as did actors Zoe Kravitz, Natalie Portman, Mark Ruffalo, James Marsden, Lynda Carter, Pedro Pascal, Jamie Dornan and Amy Adams. 

Celebrated singers including Sia, Leslie Odom Jr., Eddie Benjamin, Norah Jones, and Labrinth lent their voices, too. And three pals, Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, and Kai Gerber, danced to the iconic song for the montage. 

They need to go back to their autotune, voice enhancers, special effects thingies and so on. Doing it raw like what they did makes them look pathetic. They couldn't even sing in the same key. People use celebrity pop culture like movies, pop songs and so on to look up at the possible, not look at their next-door neighbor butchering Karaoke.

Michael

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