Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Habana vs Almendares: A little “beisbol” in Cuba

We remember an important anniversary in Cuban baseball
"On December 29, 1878, the first game is played between two teams of the first professional baseball league in Cuba, later known as the Cuban League. Representing the city of Havana, the Habana club faced off against their greatest rivals, a club from the neighboring suburb of Almendares. Habana, coached by Esteban Bell├ín, the first Cuban to play professional baseball in the United States, won that inaugural game 21-20." 
The first game eventually turned into the very successful Almendares-Habana rivalry, the Cuban version of the Yankees-Red Sox story. Eventually, there was a winter league with teams like Marianao and Cienfuegos.  

It all started today in 1878!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 

1878: Pro baseball started in Cuba


On this day in 1878,  professional baseball started in Cuba.    


The first game was between Habana and Almendares, the two teams that would be great rivals until Castro dissolved the league after the 1960-61 season.    


The league had four teams in the 1950s:   Habana, Almendares, Marianao, and Cienfuegos.   


It was great and very passionate baseball.


Along the way, many major leaguers played winter ball in Cuba, from Willie Mays to Brooks Robinson.   


During the summer, Havana was also a AAA franchise, the Havana Sugar Kings in the Cincinnati organization.    Havana played in The International League with other teams in Montreal and Toronto.


For more on Cuban baseball history, check out "The pride of Havana".

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.




Monday, December 27, 2010

1947: "Dark passage" is a rather good movie with Bogart & Bacall


Image result for dark passage lauren bacall imagesWhat can you say about "Dark passage" featuring Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall?   or a movie from 1947 with Anges Morehead?   Remember Agnes as Samantha's mother in "Bewitched"?

The movie starts with Bogart escaping out of prison.   Then Bacall walks into his life and takes him to her apartment.    

The rest is on you.    You will enjoy it, specially hearing Bogart's voice for much of the movie without seeing his face.     

Watch it!   It's a little slow but you will enjoy it!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.




We remember Scotty Moore (1931-2009)


In 1954, fate put Elvis and Scotty Moore in the same studio.    And the rest is musical history and some of rock's most famous recordings.   

He was born Winfield Scott Moore III on this day in 1931 in Tennessee.    


He is # 29 in Rolling Stone's Top 100 guitarists.  
You can hear him in those great Elvis' songs.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 




2007: The assassination of Benazir Bhutto



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On this day in 2007, a suicide bomber in Pakistan reminded us that the world is a very nasty place when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.  It happened 12 days before the Iowa Caucus of 2008.  It was a reminder of the terrorism threat that we continue to face.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.



Sunday, December 26, 2010

1975: Top 10 WABC radio New York this week

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  1. That's the Way (I Like It) -                                 
                    KC & the Sunshine Band (T.K.)  
  2. I Love Music, Part 1 - The O'Jays (Philadelphia Int'l)      
  3. Saturday Night - The Bay City Rollers (Arista)              
  4. Feelings - Morris Albert (RCA)                              
  5. Sky High - Jigsaw (Chelsea)                                 
  6. Let's Do It Again - The Staple Singers (Curtom)             
  7. Love Rollercoaster - The Ohio Players (Mercury)             
  8. Fly Robin Fly - Silver Convention (Midland International)   
  9. Nights on Broadway - The Bee Gees (RSO)                     
 10. Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) -  Diana Ross (Motown) 

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 





1941: PM Churchill addressed Congress


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UK Prime Minster Winston Churchill addressed the US Congress on this day in 1941.   It was 3 weeks after Pearl Harbor.  
In a few months, US troops headed to Europe and the Pacific.   They would fight a terrible war for the next 4 years.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.



Saturday, December 25, 2010

1914 Christmas and World War I

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In 1983, Paul McCartney released the LP “Pipes of Peace.”  The title song was about a special moment on Christmas Day 1914 when German and U.K. troops shared some wine and even played a little soccer in the battlefield.
The Dallas Morning News‘ Christmas Day editorial recalled that moment from years ago:
One hundred years ago today, something of a battlefield miracle occurred amid one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts. Soldiers on both sides of the Great War’s front lines let down their guard and allowed faith in the goodness of their fellow man to prevail over hatred and distrust. Warring soldiers put down their weapons, emerged from their trenches and sang “Silent Night” together.
It began with a simple call by Pope Benedict XV on Dec. 7, 1914, “that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang.”
The pope’s words were deemed by many to have resonated throughout the cold trenches of Flanders, where Germans and Britons were locked in mortal struggle.
It was as if both sides grasped the hypocrisy of Christians killing fellow Christians on a day devoted to the peaceful message of Christ’s birth. No account from the witnesses recalls anyone articulating such thoughts. Yet all seemed to grasp the opportunity presented by this special day. 
Those who were present in Flanders described an unusual silence that morning as the smoke cleared from incessant artillery and machine-gun fire. British troops heard the faint sound of a German band playing familiar Christmas tunes. One side broke out in a carol, answered by one from the other side. Back and forth, growing louder and more boisterous with each exchange.
Then came a German’s voice: “We good. We no shoot,” recounted British soldiers Frank and Maurice Wray, of the London Rifle Brigade. Soldiers from both sides cautiously approached one another across a no-man’s land, unsure whether this might be a setup for a surprise attack.  
What each encountered was nothing more than a few lonely soldiers, anxious to set aside the fighting and celebrate Christmas with their fellow man. Some chatted. Others exchanged small gifts of food, cigarettes, beer or mementos. They sang more songs. A few tried to improvise a soccer match.  
Up and down the front lines, word spread of the unofficial Christmas truce. An estimated 100,000 troops joined in.
Of course, the world knows about the awful fighting and millions of deaths that followed. But, for today at least, let’s focus on the message of hope that emerged from a battlefield far away and long ago.
“So Christmas, the celebration of love, made sure that the hated enemies turned into friends for a short time,” German Lt. Kurt Zehmisch wrote in his diary that day. “This Christmas will remain unforgettable.”
As any war veteran can tell, war is always hell.  However, World War I was especially hellish.

First, most leaders thought that the war would be quick.  It’s not the first time that we’ve seen that.  Everyone should check the books The Guns of August and All Quiet on the Western Front.  
Second, the machine gun and airplane brought unseen damage to the battlefield.  This was not your dad’s war if I can use that expression.  The old infantry rules did not apply.  (My friend Barry Jacobsen wrote a great post on World War I entitled “If World War I was a bar fight.”)
Third, chemicals were used against troops.
The war eventually ended in 1918, but part II started twenty years later.  It was even more deadly the second time around.
Merry Christmas to all of the AT staff and readers.
P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.     

Keep Christ in Christmas..........


We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 

Friday, December 24, 2010

The midnight mass, one of the great traditions

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Over the years, our family went to the 5:30 pm mass and went to bed early to wait for Santa Claus. However, we have been attending the midnight mass now that our boys are older.

It is one of the most beautiful Catholic traditions. My favorite part of the mass is the Gospel Reading from Luke 2:1-14:
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustusthat all the world should be registered.
This was the first registrationand was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
All went to their own towns to be registered.
Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galileeto Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem,because he was descended from the house and family of David.
He went to be registered with Mary,to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
While they were there,the time came for her to deliver her child.
And she gave birth to her firstborn sonand wrapped him in bands of cloth,and laid him in a manger,because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields,keeping watch over their flock by night.
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them,and the glory of the Lord shone around them,and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them,Do not be afraid; for seeI am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,who is the Messiah, the Lord.
This will be a sign for you:you will find a child wrapped in bands of clothand lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angela multitude of the heavenly host,praising God and saying,
Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace among those whom he favours!
Merry Christmas to all. Let's remember to keep Christ in Christmas.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 







Merry Christmas and enjoy the midnight mass


As we've done for years, we will have a "Noche Buena" meal and attend the midnight mass.  It will be a lot of fun to sing Christmas carols. 

We take a minute to wish you and family a very happy Christmas holiday.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 

A special Christmas salute to all of the ladies with husbands & sons away in military service!



Once again, thousands of ladies will spend Christmas away from their husbands & and sons.

We appreciate these ladies!

We appreciate the men serving the country, from Iraq to Afghanistan to the Korean peninsula to the fleet protecting the oil flow in The Straits of Hormuz.

It goes without saying that the world is safer because our armed forces are defending freedom.

Karen & Richard Carpenter recorded this one many years ago.  It has a beautiful message for this wonderful season.

Again, we dedicate this one to the ladies back home who support the guys overseas.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, click send drop a dime here.


Happy # 71 to AG Jeff Sessions


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We say happy birthday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was born on this in Selma, Alabama.    

Still love "Little Saint Nick" this time of the year!


How many times have I heard this one?  I don't know but I never get tired of it.

I love Brian Wilson's songs and this one is great. 

The Beach Boys recorded this tune in the 1960's and it became a huge holiday favorite.

Click for the song here.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

No ‘Feliz Navidad’ for Jorge Ramos, or so we hear

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Our friend Jorge Ramos just made an incredible statement, as I saw in this report:  
Nearly a year into the Trump presidency, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos says he’s experiencing “the worst moment I’ve had in the 34 years I’ve been living in the United States.”
“With Donald Trump there, I have never been treated so badly. I have never been insulted so much. We’ve never been attacked so much. They have never tried to run us out as much as now,” Ramos vented in an interview with the Spanish radio network Cadena SER.
Ramos, who proclaimed himself “if not an enemy, an opponent” of Trump in the interview, complained about the massive blowback he has received since deciding to use his media platforms to openly oppose the choice of over 62 million American voters in last year’s U.S. presidential election.  
It’s a free country and Jorge Ramos can choose to spend his “Navidad” any way he wants. However, Jorge should consider a couple of things:
First, if the Democrats had won, then he’d be angry writing articles about Democrats never keeping their promises. Let’s remember this one from a previous “Obama Navidad”:    
“When he had a hold on Congress, when he had 60 votes in the Senate, he could have done it,” Ramos says. “And he didn’t. He chose other issues. And that’s why Latinos are so frustrated.”
“Muy correcto Jorge.” The Democrats didn’t because they know that you, and most of your colleagues, will support the Democrats no matter how many promises they make and break. As I have said on Univision & Telemundo, Hispanics will never be powerful until they hold parties accountable for promises.
Second, you could be back in Mexico calling Trump names but earning “pesos.” That would be  really misery!
Cheer up. Trump’s presidency will mean more book sales, more appearances on “Hannity” and living the good life in the U.S.  Plus, Univision will pay lower taxes next year!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



1975: The era of baseball free agency begins!


On this day in 1975, a landmark decision made Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith a couple of free agent players.    


McNally retired after the decision and Messersmith signed with the Dodgers.     McNally was traded by Baltimore after the 1974 season.   Messersmith had pitched for the Braves.  

Neither man benefited much from free agency but they did challenge the rule and won in the courts.

The real free agent class came after the 1976 season, when Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Don Baylor and others negotiated their own contracts.

It was a big day for the players and vindication for Curt Flood who sat out an entire season in protest of the reserve clause.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 




1975: A big Christmas for major league baseball players



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It was Christmas 1975, and Santa Claus dressed up as Peter Seitz, an arbitrator called into action to settle an argument between the players and the owners. Seitz came down the chimney and left baseball a decision that would change the game forever.
The decision involved a couple of veterans fighting to survive in the majors: Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith. McNally was one of the game’s premiere pitchers with the Orioles but was traded after the 1974 season. He retired after the decision. Messersmith had pitched for the Braves and felt underpaid, and he was probably right.   
Neither man benefited much from free agency, but they did challenge the rule and won in the courts.   
For almost a hundred years, baseball had operated under what they called “the reserve clause:”    
Until Peter Seitz came along, Major League Baseball interpreted the reserve clause to renew itself “for the period of one year” indefinitely, since even the renewed contract contained the clause.  
This effectively bound a player to a team until the front office decided otherwise. Once a player signed his first professional contract, he could not negotiate with another team until his original team let him go. This system gave teams little incentive to pay competitive wages, and so they didn’t. 
In 1930, Babe Ruth signed a two-year contract with the New York Yankees for $80,000 per season (adjusted for inflation, the contract would be worth $1.1 million today). 
Ruth’s salary was a record at the time and, in today’s dollars, would remain so for more than forty years. 
Yes, in today’s dollars, players like Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays were all paid less than Ruth in 1930.
The owners said that the “clause” provided payroll stability. The players said that it limited their ability to earn money and look out for their interests. 
Both sides were right. However, there is no question that major leaguers had zero negotiating options, other than sit out spring training like Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax used to do.   
The rules were so arbitrary. Tony Oliva had to win three batting titles to earn $100,000, what they used to call “superstar status.” Three batting titles to earn superstar money?
The real free agent class came after the 1976 season, when Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Don Baylor and others negotiated their own contracts. Over time, Nolan Ryan became the first $1 million player, Rickey Henderson the first $3 million, Albert Belle the first $10 million and so on.
Where are we now on the another anniversary of that fateful decision? The game is doing well and the players can’t complain. At the same time, big payrolls have not necessarily bought pennants, as the Astros proved in 2017 and the Cubs and Indians showed with player development in 2016.
On the other hand, big payrolls have made the game too dependent on TV revenues. Baseball is not a good TV game and there is too much time between pitches, dragging out games over three hours!
Merry Christmas, baseball. I hope that every player remembers Curt Flood (the man who sat out a season to protest free agency) and the veterans like McNally and Messersmith who fought for what they enjoy now.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Remembering Maurice Gibb (1949-2003)







Maurice Gibb was born on this day in 1949.   His sudden death in 2003 was quite a shock, as we read in news reports:
"The 53-year old Gibb was rushed to Mount Sinai Medical Center on Wednesday after experiencing intense abdominal pain. Doctors discovered the pain was due to a twisted section in his small intestine. Before the operation Gibb reportedly went into cardiac arrest, which weakened his condition. After surgery to remove the damaged section of intestine, Gibb was listed in critical but stable condition. He passed away at 1AM Sunday morning."
His twin brother Robin died in 2012 but he battled cancer for over a year.  Robin's death was anticipated.  Maurice was sudden.

Maurice was the 3rd voice in all of the group's great harmonies. He also co-wrote most of the group's big hits, along with Barry & Robin.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

We remember Robin Gibb (1949-2012)




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Robin Gibb was born on this day in 1949.   He died in 2012.

Barry, Robin & the late Maurice Gibb were the legendary Bee Gees, the wonderful trio of brothers who recorded and composed some of the greatest tunes of our generation.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

"Merry Christmas" to the troops overseas and their families back home!


It's another Christmas season and there are troops over in Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula, Kuwait and others.

We are grateful for their service and commitment to defending the homeland.    

And we remember Ernie Pyle, who wrote about the soldiers of World War II.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 







We remember Matty Alou (1938-2011)


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We remember  Matty Alou, who was born on this day in 1938 in Dominican Republic.     He died in 2011.

Matty broke with the Giants in 1960 but enjoyed his best years with the Pirates:  .327 batting average over 5 seasons and a batting title in 1966.

Overall, Matty retired with a .307 career average over 1,667 games.     His brothers, Felipe and Jesus, were also accomplished major leaguers.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas to the military families

Once again, thousands of families will spend Christmas away from their husbands, wives, daughters, and sons.   In our case, our third son was in the U.S. Army and spent four holiday seasons away from home.
We appreciate these families.  I remember how emotional it was to salute the young people in our church who made it home for the holidays.  It was quite an impressive scene with all of those elegant uniforms as well.   
We appreciate the ones  serving the country, from Iraq to Afghanistan to the Korean peninsula to the fleet protecting the oil flow in the Straits of Hormuz.  They are doing very important work.   
Remember that more than 52,000 U.S. service members have been wounded in action since 9/11!   Many more have suffered from combat-related stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Often, the military family is impacted directly by this.
It goes without saying that the world is safer because our armed forces are defending freedom.
If you can, salute a military family in your neighborhood.  They will appreciate it a lot.  They may not show it but there is an empty chair at the Christmas table this year.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

We remember Josh Gibson (1911-47)

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We remember Josh Gibson who was born in Georgia on this day in 1911.  Gibson died suddenly in 1947.     

He was one of the greatest Negro League players ever.  Some estimate that he hit as many 800 home runs.    

Gibson was inducted to The Hall of Fame in 1972.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.
 

We remember Ellie Hendricks (1940-2005)

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The wonderful Elrod Hendricks did not put up big numbers but was the kind of player that everyone wanted on his team.   

We remember that Hendricks was born in the US Virgin Islands on this day in 1940.  He died in 2005.

Hendricks joined the Orioles in the late 1960's and shared catching duties with Andy Etchebarren

Over time, Ellie enjoyed a long major league career because he was a first class professional with a very positive attitude.

On the field, he was remembered as Mike Cuellar's catcher. Off the field, he was one of the most popular players in Oriole history. Everybody loved Ellie Hendricks!

Between 1968-76, Hendricks caught 20-game winners Cuellar, McNally and Palmer.   He hit .273 in 9 post season series.   


In 1977, Ellie became a player/coach and a valuable piece in the development of young arms like Dennis Martinez, Scott McGregor and Mike Flannagan.   Later, he was the wise veteran in a clubhouse that included youngsters like Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken.

Ellie was a great PR ambassador for the team and active in various community organizations.    Super guy!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.







We remember Paul Casanova (1941-2017)

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We learned in August 2017 about the death of Paul Casanova, who played for the Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers) and the Atlanta Braves.
Paulino Casanova Ortiz was born on this day in 1941, in Perico, Matanzas, Cuba.  He also played for Almendares in the Cuban winter league.
Casanova broke with Washington in 1965 and ended with Atlanta in 1974.
In 1967, Casanova made the American League All Star team as a member of the aforementioned Senators.   It was his best year in the majors, as reported on SABR:
Casanova set career highs in games played (141), plate appearances (551), and RBIs (53) in 1967. One particularly memorable game started on the evening of June 12. In Washington, the Senators and the Chicago White Sox played a 22-inning marathon. Casanova caught the whole thing, receiving 268 pitches.
As he recalled in 2012, “The reason the game went so long was because of my defense” – he wiped out a number of runners. He went 1-for-9, missing a chance to end it in the 20th inning when he hit into a third-to-home-to-first double play with the bases loaded – but his one hit was the game-winner at 2:44 A.M.”
22 innings behind the plate plus the winning hit in the 22nd frame?   That’s really something!
I met him in the 1970's and he was a very nice friendly person.   We chatted politics, baseball, and music, his other great passion.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

1957: Elvis and the draft

During the GOP debate a few days ago, some candidates avoided the draft question.  In other words, they want to send troops to the Middle East but continue to do so with a volunteer army.
For the record, my son served as a volunteer in the U.S. Army.  I am very proud of him.  Also, our volunteer army performed admirably in recent wars, from the Gulf War of 1991 to Iraq to Afghanistan.
A lot of people have forgotten that we used to have a draft, or required service in the U.S. armed forces.  The draft ended in 1973.
On this day in 1957, Elvis Presley got his draft notice:
After six months of basic training–including an emergency leave to see his beloved mother, Gladys, before she died in August 1958–Presley sailed to Europe on the USS General Randall. For the next 18 months, he served in Company D, 32nd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armor Corps in Friedberg, Germany, where he attained the rank of sergeant. 
For the rest of his service, he shared an off-base residence with his father, grandmother and some Memphis friends. After working during the day, Presley returned home at night to host frequent parties and impromptu jam sessions. At one of these, an army buddy of Presley’s introduced him to 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, whom Elvis would marry some years later. 
Meanwhile, Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, continued to release singles recorded before his departure, keeping the money rolling in and his most famous client fresh in the public’s mind. Widely praised for not seeking to avoid the draft or serve domestically, Presley was seen as a model for all young Americans. 
After he got his polio shot from an army doctor on national TV, vaccine rates among the American population shot from 2 percent to 85 percent by the time of his discharge on March 2, 1960.
I remember telling my sons a few years ago about Elvis getting drafted.  They said, What?
The draft should be brought back.  It makes your armed forces more representative of the population.  It will also force some young people to understand that there are unique responsibilities to being a superpower, such as defending our way of life.
P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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