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John Simkin

William Penn Jones Jnr.

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Members might have missed Jonathan Wendland’s post here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3382

As well as providing some important information about Florence Pritchett Smith it also raises doubts about the testimony of Penn Jones (it is claimed he was suffering from Alzheimers when he was writing about the JFK assassination). Any thoughts on this?

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Guest Stephen Turner
Members might have missed Jonathan Wendland’s post here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3382

As well as providing some important information about Florence Pritchett Smith it also raises doubts about the testimony of Penn Jones (it is claimed he was suffering from Alzheimers when he was writing about the JFK assassination). Any thoughts on this?

John

This is all very anecdotal, if Mr Wendland would care to tell us why he belives Penn Jones was suffering from Alzheimers, (progressive deterioration of cognative functioning, short term memory loss,confussion.ect ). We may be in a position to comment.

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John,

I think this is an overly broad attack on Penn Jones. He was an eccentric character, and some of his information later turned out to be exaggerated or untrue, but he also published a lot of important, truthful information. If nothing else, Penn Jones deserves our respect for being the first journalist to point out all the mysterious deaths connected to the assassination. "The Continuing Inquiry"-the monthly periodical he published for almost a decade, provided a wealth of material for researchers. I count myself as fortunate to have been a long-time subscriber.

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I would like to share some personal knowledge of Florence Pritchett.  I have met her son, who is an underwriter for John Hancock Life Insurance.  I'm starting a new topic because he says his mother's story is a dead end for Oswald researchers.  I'd like to redirect people's attention to Dorothy Kilgallen.  Nobody in her family has said that she is a dead end, and in fact one relative worked with Lee Israel on her research.

Earl Smith III, who works in the well - known John Hancock skyscraper in downtown Boston, was 12 when his mother died.  He has no siblings, and he spent those 12 years in a Manhattan apartment with his parents.  So while he is the only surviving relative, in his childhood he was in a position to know what was going on.

Florence did not end up in a coma as Ms. Israel related in her post (to be fair she said she had read it online), but Florence was bedridden with leukemia for the last two months.  She died at home.  Nobody had invented the hospice in 1965.

Here are Earl's very words:  "My poor mother died of cancer."  His verbiage didn't become more emotional than that, but can you imagine what it's like to lose a mother when you're a 12 - year - old only child ?

Moreover, Earl insists that Dorothy Kilgallen never entrusted the dying Florence Pritchett with any documents.  In addition, Florence was not a hard news reporter.  Her only contribution to Kilgallen's newspaper (the Journal American) was a kitchen recipe in the Sunday edition.  Titled "The Mood And The Food," her column provided the recipe and some local color about the fancy party or restaurant where she had obtained it.  In her final column the theme was picnic lunches.  She participated in a picnic at Richard Avedon's photography studio.

Mr. Simkin has assumed that Pritchett was Kilgallen's source on column items about Fidel Castro and Cuba, but we'll never know that.  Earl says it's possible Florence fed her things in 1959, but he has no way of knowing.  Florence absolutely did not know any secrets about Castro, Cuba or anything else during the last two months of her life.

Earl Smith II (father of the insurance underwriter) and his wife Florence did know the Kennedys, but all we know is that they socialized formally.  The Smiths visited the White House, and both couples hobnobbed in Palm Beach.

A photograph posted by Mr. Simkin proves that the young senator Jack Kennedy knew Florence either before or during her first marriage (Earl was number # 2), but Fidel Castro was a kid then.

One final note to Lee Israel.  In your recent post you state correctly that Penn Jones originated the entire saga of "Mrs. Earl T. Smith" and her connection to the assassination.  Older Dallas - area residents know that Penn made many errors in his 1960s Midlothian Mirror articles and that he suffered from Alzheimers during the last 15 years of his life.  The 1991 Life magazine pictorial about Oliver Stone's revival of JFK ran a huge color photograph of Penn standing in front his a shack where he lived without a telephone.  He lived there with Elaine Kavanaugh Jones, a researcher he married in the 1970s.  She stood by him until he died.  Neither admitted that the old Midlothian Mirror articles were sloppy and erroneous. 

More than three years after Mr. Jones introduced "Mrs. Earl T. Smith" to researchers, he said in the Mirror that Bobby Baker's secretary Carole Tyler once shared an apartment with Mary Jo Kopechne, therefore both of them were murdered.

If Penn Jones was so cut off from New York City news in 1965, how did he even know who Florence Pritchett Smith was or that she worked for Kilgallen's newspaper ?  He could have gotten it from Time and Newsweek.  Each gave her one paragraph in columns titled respectively "Milestones" and "Transitions."  They said she worked for the New York Journal American.

Penn Jones probably knew who Dorothy Kilgallen was when she was alive, but he could not have been familiar with "Mrs. Earl T. Smith" concurrently.  Earl Smith III really would like it if people stopped fantasizing that his mother held dangerous secrets at the time of her "homicide."  As for Kilgallen's family, they never reply to letters about Dorothy.  Son Kerry made an exception shortly after he opened his "Martial Hearts" business in 1991.  He told a phone inquirer that after the Israel book was published he decided to move on with his life and to stop speculating about his mother's career.  He wants to remember her as a mother.

There are several issues raised by the posting about Earl Smith III views of his mother.

(1) “Her only contribution to Kilgallen's newspaper (the Journal American) was a kitchen recipe in the Sunday edition.”

In fact, on 9th November, 1965, the New York Journal American reported: “Mrs. Earl E.T. Smith, wife of the former U.S. Ambassador to Cuba and columnist of The Journal-American, died today in her apartment at 1120 5th Ave. She was 45.” In fact, Florence had been fashion editor of the newspaper during the Second World War.

(2) “Earl insists that Dorothy Kilgallen never entrusted the dying Florence Pritchett with any documents.”

As Earl was only 12 years old at the time it is difficult to know how he can be so sure about this.

(3) “Mr. Simkin has assumed that Pritchett was Kilgallen's source on column items about Fidel Castro and Cuba, but we'll never know that. Earl says it's possible Florence fed her things in 1959, but he has no way of knowing. Florence absolutely did not know any secrets about Castro, Cuba or anything else during the last two months of her life.”

Earl admits that it was possible that Florence might have given information on Castro to Dorothy. He then adds “Florence absolutely did not know any secrets about Castro, Cuba or anything else during the last two months of her life.” How can he be so unsure about 1959 but so positive about 1965.

(4) "Earl Smith II and his wife Florence did know the Kennedys, but all we know is that they socialized formally. The Smiths visited the White House, and both couples hobnobbed in Palm Beach."

Of course they were much more than friends. JFK met Florence in 1944. The couple spent a lot of time together. Betty Spalding said that for Kennedy, "Over a long period of time, it was probably the closest relationship with a woman I know of." However, because Kennedy was a Roman Catholic, marriage was out of the question."

According to several books, JFK had a sexual relationship with Florence for 19 years that was only brought to an end in 1963. See for example:

Ralph G. Martin, A Hero for Our Time: An Intimate Story of the Kennedy Years (1993)

David C. Heymann, A Woman Named Jackie (1989)

Blair, Joan, and Blair, Clay Jr, The Search for J.F.K. (1977)

Nellie Bly, The Kennedy Men: Three Generations of Sex, Scandal and Secrets (1996)

Nigel, Hamilton, JFK: Reckless Youth (1992)

Stephen Birmingham, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (1969)

(5) “In your recent post you state correctly that Penn Jones originated the entire saga of "Mrs. Earl T. Smith" and her connection to the assassination. Older Dallas - area residents know that Penn made many errors in his 1960s Midlothian Mirror articles and that he suffered from Alzheimers during the last 15 years of his life.”

It is the first I have heard the news that Penn Jones was suffering from Alzheimers during the time he was writing about the JFK assassination. This sounds like a typical CIA disinformation campaign. I would be interested in how you know this.

It is indeed true that Penn Jones was the first person to link the deaths of Dorothy Killgallen. He wrote in Volume II: Forgive My Grief (1967:

“Shortly before her death, Miss Kilgallen told a friend in New York that she was going to New Orleans in 5 days and break the case wide open. Miss Kilgallen 52, died November 8, 1965, under questionable circumstances in her New York home. Eight days after her death, a ruling was made that she died of barbiturates and drink with no quantities of either ingredient being given.

Also strangely, Miss Kilgallen’s close friend, Mrs. Earl E.T. Smith, died two days after Miss Kilgallen. Mrs. Smith’s autopsy read that the cause of death was unknown.

Many skeptical newsmen have asked: “If Miss Kilgallen knew anything, surely as a journalist wouldn’t she have left some notes?” This is a legitimate question. Possibly Mrs. Smith was the trusted friend with the notes. No one will ever know now.”

What is interesting about this is that Penn Jones did not appear to know who Mrs Earl Smith was. If he did, he did not write about it. I am sure he would have been fascinated to know that she was Florence Pritchett, the woman who had been having an affair with JFK for 19 years. Nor did he know that she was married to the ambassador of Cuba (1957-59) who had been involved in the plots to overthrow Fidel Castro.

As far as I am aware, the true identity of Dorothy Kilgallen’s friend "Mrs Earl Smith" was not discovered until an exchange of postings by James Richards, John Johnson and myself on the JFK Research Forum in July 2004.

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Members might have missed Jonathan Wendland’s post here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3382

As well as providing some important information about Florence Pritchett Smith it also raises doubts about the testimony of Penn Jones (it is claimed he was suffering from Alzheimers when he was writing about the JFK assassination).

Nobody said he suffered from it in the 1960s. In the 1960s he was simply resourceless and unfocused. It was in the 1980s that his wife Elaine had to care for him due to Alzheimers. The Dallas Morning News reported this, and the articles are in the Lexis Nexis Universe data base.

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Members might have missed Jonathan Wendland’s post here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3382

As well as providing some important information about Florence Pritchett Smith it also raises doubts about the testimony of Penn Jones (it is claimed he was suffering from Alzheimers when he was writing about the JFK assassination). Any thoughts on this?

I did Penn's TCI newsletter for 3 years and saw him once a month OR MORE.

He had no signs of the disease when I was helping him. However, two or three years before his death, he went into seclusion, protected by Elaine...likely because of his worsening condition. By that time, he had long ago ceased research.

Penn was one of our great thinkers in getting our research started.

Jack :plane

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What is interesting about this is that Penn Jones did not appear to know who Mrs Earl Smith was.

So what ? Most likely nobody in Dallas knew who she was in 1965 / 1966.

If he did, he did not write about it. I am sure he would have been fascinated to know that she was Florence Pritchett, the woman who had been having an affair with JFK for 19 years. Nor did he know that she was married to the ambassador of Cuba (1957-59) who had been involved in the plots to overthrow Fidel Castro.

Nor did he know that the woman's son wants everyone to stop this nonsense at once.

As far as I am aware, the true identity of Dorothy Kilgallen’s friend "Mrs Earl Smith" was not discovered until an exchange of postings by James Richards, John Johnson and myself on the JFK Research Forum in July 2004.

Wrong. Go to the search field for Google groups (not for web sites) and type in "florence pritchett smith." It will take you back to the mid 1990s.

You seem to be confusing several issues here. It is true that some researchers identified Mrs Earl Smith as being Florence Pritchett. This has indeed been discussed on alt.assassination.jfk in some detail in the 1990s. Most of this has included the postings of John McAdams. In fact, all the information you included in your postings appeared in these postings in 2001. I suspect in reality you are one of John McAdams’ students.

However, McAdams was attempting to distance Florence from being connected to the assassination of JFK. They were therefore not posting about the facts that link her to these events. You will have to go to other sources for this information. This includes the following:

(1) Florence Pritchett was married to Earl E. T. Smith, the ambassador of Cuba who was involved in CIA plots against Castro.

(2) Florence Pritchett was having an affair with JFK for 19 years. JFK relationship with Florence was not like the other relationships with other women. In the early 1960s Jackie came close to having a nervous breakdown because of this relationship. The FBI were fully aware of this relationship.

(3) Florence Pritchett worked with Dorothy Kilgallen at the New York Journal American in the 1940s.

(4) Dorothy Kilgallen died while researching the assassination of JFK. This research depended on receiving information from people who appeared to know a great deal about the links between the JFK assassination and Cuba.

(5) Florence Pritchett died two days after Dorothy Kilgallen.

I think it is now clear that Penn Jones first linked these two women together after reading about their deaths in the New York Journal American. He knew that Kilgallen had died while researching the assassination of JFK. He was also aware that Kilgallen’s manuscript had gone missing. When he read that a fellow Journal American worker had died two days after Kilgallen he came to the conclusion that both women had been murdered. The motive being that Dorothy had given a copy of her manuscript to Florence.

I think Penn Jones was wrong about this. I don’t believe Florence was murdered. Nor do I believe she was given Dorothy’s manuscript. However, I suspect Penn Jones had stumbled upon something very important. But because he did not investigate Florence’s life at the time, he did not realise what the true story really was. Florence did not have Dorothy’s manuscript but she had helped her write it. Florence was her source. As the wife of the former ambassador of Cuba, she knew a great deal about CIA plots against Castro. As the long term mistress of JFK she knew about his involvement in the assassination attempts on Castro. She would also have known about her husband’s links with right-wingers based in Florida.

It is long been my belief that the best sources of information on the assassination of JFK would come from the wives, mistresses and secretaries of those involved. It is why I have spent so much time researching the deaths of people like Florence Pritchett Smith, Mary Jo Kopechne, Nancy Carole Tyler and Dorothy Hunt. It is the same reason why I have been very interested in what Evelyn Lincoln has had to say about the assassination.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKjonesP.htm

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Great insightful post John.

Has anyone interviewed Penn Jone's wife on his alleged medical condition? If he had Alzheimers this would have been very evident to anyone who came into contact with him. Many reasons exist why someone would become reclusive in his or her elder years. Especailly someone like Penn who had dedicated his life to solving this case and to alerting his readers to the staggering amount of dead witnesses in this chapter in history.

I am always quite surprised when anyone with evidence does come forward, given what such could cost. So it is not surprising that Mrs. Smith's son wants no part of what could very well have gotten his mother killed.

Dawn

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Great insightful post John.

Has anyone interviewed Penn Jone's wife on his alleged medical condition? If he had Alzheimers this would have been very evident to anyone who came into contact with him.

Several Dallas Morning News reporters kept in touch with Penn and his wife Elaine Kavanaugh Jones until he died.  This newspaper profiled Penn at the time of the 25th, 30th and 35th anniversaries.  You can find the articles in the Lexis Nexis Universe data base at any college library.  They don't turn up on Google, but Lexis Nexis Universe is available to anyone in the U.K. and North America.  At least one Morning News article said Penn's mind was failing in the 1990s.

Many reasons exist why someone would become reclusive in his or her elder years. Especailly someone like Penn who had dedicated his life to solving this case and to alerting his readers to the staggering amount of dead witnesses in this chapter in history.

I am always quite surprised when anyone with evidence does come forward, given what such could cost. So it is not surprising that  Mrs. Smith's son wants no part of what  could very well  have gotten his mother killed.

It didn't get her killed.  She died of leukemia.  Penn Jones never met the woman or her family, and they want this fantasy to end at once.  Here is absolute proof that Penn made up his story about Florence.  The passage on her in "Forgive My Grief" says, "The medical examiner was never able to determine the cause of death."  That is fiction.  Her death certificate was signed by her personal physician.  He treated her for leukemia for months. 

Ms. Meredith, is this going in one ear and out the other ?  How would you like it if someone said your mother had dangerous secrets about Oswald and she was murdered ?

Dawn

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In his attack on Penn Jones on 3rd March, Jonathan Wendland wrote:

“One final note to Lee Israel. In your recent post you state correctly that Penn Jones originated the entire saga of "Mrs. Earl T. Smith" and her connection to the assassination. Older Dallas - area residents know that Penn made many errors in his 1960s Midlothian Mirror articles and that he suffered from Alzheimers during the last 15 years of his life.”

The assumption was that Penn Jones article on Dorothy Kilgallen and Florence Pritchett Smith in 1967 could not be trusted. When asked to clarify this point Wendland claimed on 5th March that “At least one Morning News article said Penn's mind was failing in the 1990s.” Even if it is true that Penn Jones’s mind was failing in the 1990s, what relevance does it have on what he was writing in 1967?

Wendland also attacks Penn for claiming that Florence died suddenly. He points out that she died from leukaemia. Although it is clear that during her last few months Florence was suffering from leukaemia, it is not clear that this was the cause of her death. In fact, the Journal American claimed on 9th November, 1965 that she had died as a result of a “cerebral hemorrhage”. Penn Jones was therefore not wrong to claim that she “died suddenly”.

When Jonathan Wendland joined the forum he informed me that he was “a 21 - year - old history major at Metropolitan State College in St. Paul, Minnesota” who wanted to discuss “Cold War historical issues”. However, he has yet to post on this subject. Instead he immediately began a smear attempt against Penn Jones. It is therefore understandable that people have begun to question his true identity. Especially as his posts are almost direct copies of messages posted on John McAdams’ controlled alt.assassination.jfk.

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Guest Stephen Turner

John,

Idont know if you go to the POLITICAL CONSPIRACIES, threads (I post there frequently). Mr Wendland is currently "getting it on" with Shanet & James Richards over the John Lennon murder. Strange behaviour for a cold war researcher.

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John,

I dont know if you go to the POLITICAL CONSPIRACIES, threads (I  post there  frequently). Mr Wendland is currently "getting it on" with Shanet & James Richards over the John Lennon murder. Strange behaviour for a cold war researcher.

James and I can easily fend with the likes of these, Stephen, but thank you.

You will notice I had to use the Nuclear Option Font in Post Twelve (propaganda equivalent impact SOP).

There is some really good backlog in the Political Conspiracy, Authors' and Seminars "Rooms"....has everyone read Dr. Mantik's Seminar thread (link):

titled- Forged Autopsy Photos and X rays?

I think that and the old TRIPPLE UNDERPASS thread are the two best backlog items, one in Seminars, one about halfway back in this "Debate" thread room......... :)

Thanks man, Shanet

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In his attack on Penn Jones on 3rd March,  Jonathan Wendland wrote: 

“One final note to Lee Israel.  In your recent post you state correctly that Penn Jones originated the entire saga of "Mrs. Earl T. Smith" and her connection to the assassination.  Older Dallas - area residents know that Penn made many errors in his 1960s Midlothian Mirror articles and that he suffered from Alzheimers during the last 15 years of his life.”

The assumption was that Penn Jones article on Dorothy Kilgallen and Florence Pritchett Smith in 1967 could not be trusted. When asked to clarify this point Wendland claimed on 5th March that “At least one Morning News article said Penn's mind was failing in the 1990s.” Even if it is true that Penn Jones’s mind was failing in the 1990s, what relevance does it have on what he was writing in 1967?

Wendland also attacks Penn for claiming that Florence died suddenly. He points out that she died from leukaemia. Although it is clear that during her last few months Florence was suffering from leukaemia, it is not clear that this was the cause of her death. In fact, the Journal American claimed on 9th November, 1965 that she had died as a result of a “cerebral hemorrhage”.  Penn Jones was therefore not wrong to claim that she “died suddenly”.

:)

Yes, he was.  He never contacted Pritchett's family or friends.  The Journal American could have erred or a leukemia victim can suffer a cerebral hemorrhage.  Just because Florence contributed cooking recipes to the Journal American doesn't mean the obituary writer got anything out of her doctor or her husband Earl.  In those days newspaper obit writers didn't pry into the cause of death.  If you read the Journal American on microfilm you will see that Florence got a simple obit, not a medical investigation.

Florence was bedridden for months, which means Penn Jones was absolutely wrong.  He also made the following false statement in "Forgive My Grief" and in the Midlothan Mirror:  "The medical examiner was never able to determine the cause of death." 

Wrong !  A personal physician signed Florence's death certificate.  It was not a medical examiner's case.  Explain that one, Mr. Simkin.  Anyone can find out at the main branch of the New York Public Library (with the statues of lions) that the death of Florence Smith on November 9, 1965 was NOT a medical examiner's case.  Dorothy Kilgallen's death was.

When Jonathan Wendland joined the forum he informed me that he was “a 21 - year - old history major at Metropolitan State College in St. Paul, Minnesota” who wanted to discuss “Cold War historical issues”. However, he has yet to post on this subject.

I haven't yet discussed serious Cold War issues because I dread people casting doubt on the cancer death of Robert McNamara's wife Maggie, mother of their children.  Please don't.  If anyone here has endured the pain of a mother's long struggle with cancer, how would you like it if someone called you a xxxx ?

Instead he immediately began a smear attempt against Penn Jones. It is therefore understandable that people have begun to question his true identity. Especially as his posts are almost direct copies of messages posted on John McAdams’ controlled alt.assassination.jfk.

Wrong.  Florence's son Earl works for John Hancock Life Insurance in its landmark skyscraper in Boston.  A lot of people could have asked him about the strange assertions about his mother on the Internet.  Boston has many sharp Internet - savvy people.  Some even graduated college !    Mr. Simkin makes no sense when he suggests that somebody could elicit Earl Smith's memories and then twist them in Dr. McAdams' group -- asserting that his "poor mother did not die of cancer."  That makes no sense, which explains why web surfers have posted "almost direct copies" of Mr. Smith's stories.

Maybe Mr. Smith associates with people who are smart enough to figure out that a life insurance executive was not mentally retarded at age 12.  He could tell that his own mother was lying sick in bed in their apartment (not a mansion) for a long time.  And he grew up to work for a company that does not like it when people lie about the cause of their relative's death. 

Life insurance companies pop up throughout British and American literature.  One company is part of the plot of the classic play "A Raisin In The Sun" by Lorraince Hansberry.

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John,

Idont know if you go to the POLITICAL CONSPIRACIES, threads (I  post there  frequently). Mr Wendland is currently "getting it on" with Shanet & James Richards over the John Lennon murder. Strange behaviour for a cold war researcher.

The expression "getting it on" from the late 1960s segment of the Cold War era sounds interesting today, but it doesn't do justice to American television viewers who have seen and heard Mark Chapman confess to acting alone.

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Guest Stephen Turner
John,

I dont know if you go to the POLITICAL CONSPIRACIES, threads (I  post there  frequently). Mr Wendland is currently "getting it on" with Shanet & James Richards over the John Lennon murder. Strange behaviour for a cold war researcher.

James and I can easily fend with the likes of these, Stephen, but thank you.

You will notice I had to use the Nuclear Option Font in Post Twelve (propaganda equivalent impact SOP).

There is some really good backlog in the Political Conspiracy, Authors' and Seminars "Rooms"....has everyone read Dr. Mantik's Seminar thread (link):

titled- Forged Autopsy Photos and X rays?

I think that and the old TRIPPLE UNDERPASS thread are the two best backlog items, one in Seminars, one about halfway back in this "Debate" thread room......... :D

Thanks man, Shanet

Shanet. I did not mean to imply that you or James, needed help with this undertaking. I lurked here for several months before becoming a member, & am well aware of your debating skills. I was simply alerting John to the strange phenomina of a cold war student spending all his time, SHOUTING VERY LOUDLY, about the Lennon murder, or Penn Jones.

Now Mr Wendland, please stop shouting (CAPS). It just makes you sound like a bore, & does not add any weight to your points.

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