Amid an emergency in Attawapiskat—a strategy

WELLS: Short attention spans will get the focus off Attawapiskat. Fixing the actual problem will take longer.

Amid an emergency—a strategy

Oakland Ross/Toronto Star

The Prime Minister’s Office distributes a daily “media barometer” that lists the stories getting the widest coverage and generating the most buzz on blogs and talk radio. Last week the public relations crisis at Attawapiskat First Nation entered its second week. The humanitarian crisis has been going on for longer. For the first time since the Harper government was elected in 2006, a story on Aboriginal affairs made it to the top of the PMO barometer.

Standard PMO procedure is to do what it takes to get a story off the top of the barometer. That’ll be easy enough for news of the appalling living conditions at Attawapiskat. Short attention spans will do the job without any help from the Langevin Block. Fixing the actual problem will take longer.

On Nov. 29, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan met until 10 p.m. with the cabinet subcommittee in charge of the strategic and operating review. He had prepared for his appearance for days. Every minister has to go through this. Their task is to explain how they will cut 10 per cent of their department’s spending, if needed.

If Duncan did not tell his colleagues, “You have got to be kidding,” he should be congratulated for his restraint.

In 1996, as Scott Serson, a former deputy minister of Indian affairs, wrote last week, “Annual growth in federal transfers to First Nation governments for basic services, such as primary and secondary education, social welfare and child and family services, was capped at an arbitrary two per cent per year as a deficit-fighting measure.”

The deficit was gone from 1998 to 2008. The two per cent cap never left. Aboriginal populations grow much faster than two per cent. To pay for education, health and—yes—welfare in communities where there are few stable jobs, governments have had to rob from other budgets, like housing. By one analysis I’ve seen, real per capita transfers from Ottawa to the provinces for health and social programs are up 40 per cent since 1996, while federal payments for reserve infrastructure are down 40 per cent over the same period. Housing was no good to begin with. The need has grown and the budgets have shrunk.

Sheila Fraser’s last report as auditor general, in June, said the problems go much deeper still. No federal government has ever clearly defined the services it should provide in First Nations communities or the desired outcomes. Services aren’t written into law and supported with multi-year budgets; they’re an endless series of one-offs. This allows governments to make announcements all the time, but it doesn’t allow communities to plan. “It is not certain whether funding levels provided to First Nations in one year will be available the following year,” Fraser wrote. Communities often reallocate money for months after they should have known whether core services would get this year’s funding.

Assume what we know to be untrue: that every band council in the country is full of goodwill and free of corruption. Not even angels could make progress when budgets do not keep pace with need and chaos is built into the system.

None of this is new. What’s new is that Stephen Harper seems to be taking steps to do something about it all.

Three recent news items hint at a government strategy on First Nations. Harper’s refusal to call it a strategy makes me even more sure it is one. Harper, who has not met with the premiers in more than three years, will meet with Aboriginal leaders in January in Ottawa. The PMO and the Assembly of First Nations have been working toward the meeting at least since June, and intensive preparatory work began nearly two months ago, before Attawapiskat made headlines.

The Prime Minister will be outnumbered 200 to one at this meeting. Opening and closing sessions will be televised. The whole thing is so out of character for Harper that it must be his idea. Nobody else could force him into it. What does he want out of the meeting? The announcement mentions “increased social and economic participation in Canadian society and improved living conditions in First Nations communities.” Details will have to wait. But the meeting will fall about a month before the next federal budget.

Meanwhile, the Harper government has taken important preliminary steps. This week John Duncan tabled a bill to improve band council elections. In return for accepting the reforms, chiefs could run for four-year terms instead of two.

The bill has the support of Atlantic and Manitoba chiefs’ organizations. It follows a First Nations Financial Transparency Act that Duncan tabled in late November. That one would require chiefs’ and band councillors’ salaries and expenses to be made public.

Electoral reform and financial transparency were key components of the First Nations Governance Act that Jean Chrétien’s Indian affairs minister Robert Nault introduced in 2002. That bill died because Paul Martin didn’t like it. A decade later it is returning in pieces, which make smaller targets.

One more idea is making the rounds in Ottawa. Recall that Harper is meeting with chiefs before he meets premiers. He has already promised to keep giving provinces a six per cent annual increase in health transfers. What if he required that one per cent of that six per cent go toward improving health outcomes for Aboriginal populations? Stable funding. Sheila Fraser, in retirement, would notice, and smile.


Amid an emergency in Attawapiskat—a strategy

  1. …and the long term fix is??? More money or trash the Indian Act?

  2. This is very good. The cynic in me has a bad feeling that a lot of what is about to happen is more about clearing the North in order to free up mineral development than anything else.  I hope that we don’t repeat errors of the past.  A very very complicated issue.  

  3. First Nations are able to decide by vote whether to have four year electoral terms for chief and council and some of them have four year terms. So what’s the difference, ther four year terms will be imposed without the voters’ consent? That sounds like the arrogant Harperites.

  4. Slinging perpetually larger sums of tax dollars isn’t going to fix the problem(s) behind the deplorable housing conditions in Attawapiskat, where a Band that received $90M from the Feds over 5 years couldn’t find a way to surmount what is a relatively minor housing challenge.

    • It is so dishonest to fling around that $90 million figure without any understanding of what that money had to be spent on.

      • Holy Stick,

        Hah, Hah, Hah—apparently considerable amount of the money is appropriated and spent on education.  Where are results?  What a mess.

    • Yes, they could have solved the “relatively minor housing challenge” – perhaps they could have taken the money from their education fund instead.  Attawaspikat is having to spend a disproportionate amount of money sending their kids outside of the community for schooling since their school had to be closed down years ago due to an oil spill.

    • I would like to see houses where the chief and council members live. Not only the other shacks.

  5. Terrific article, Wells. Informative about what our government will be up to in future.

    Unless Harper plans to abolish Indian Act and give private property rights to Natives, nothing is going to change much. It is apartheid system and no amount of bureaucratic tinkering is going to fix the problems. 

    Canada is one of the wealthiest, blessed nations in world and yet we deny these benefits to Natives. I would like January meetings to conclude that we should treat Natives like we treat every other ethnic group in Canada. It is not a coincidence the only ethnic group with its own government Ministry is the most troubled as well. 

    Also, why is there so little discussion about our bureaucracy and how poorly it performs. Housing is a basic right in Canada but bureaucrats seem to treat it like one of many priorities. People aren’t going to learn well or play sports or do much of anything if they don’t have decent structure to live in. 

    Library Of Economics:

    “Gary Becker …. presented evidence that discrimination is more pervasive in more-regulated, and therefore less-competitive, industries. The idea that discrimination is costly to the discriminator is common sense among economists today, and that is due to Becker.” 

    Maple Leaf Web ~ Native Social Issues:

    While Canada routinely ranks in the top ten of the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) – a quality of life indicator based on income, education and life expectancy applying the same criteria to Canada’s aboriginal population reveals some striking figures. Registered Indians living on reserves are ranked approximately 68th, somewhere between Bosnia and Venezuela, while off-reserve Indians are ranked 36th.

    • Honest question ~ How would you square this circle? Attempts to ammend or scrap the indian act have floundered on the rocks of native opposition going back to ’69 – yes your “fascist” bud Trudeau attempted to scrap it, presumably with an eye to a fee simple reform].
      Chiefs are often blamed for this as it threatens their power base – maybe so. But there is also the issue of what happens to native lands, property and eventually culture once the act is gone. What’s your prescription? Join the rest of us and prosper i assume. Are their fears of loss of culture and identity baseless then?
      If it was so easy it would have got done as far back as ’69.

    • Indian Act is appalling and should be abolished and property rights should be granted.

      There is no good solution to this situation because Natives are screwed up after decades of white people and their paternalism. Natives are likely scared to be free at this point but there is no reason to believe Natives are less capable of taking care of themselves than any  other ethnic group. Chiefs also have interest to keep system how it is because a few Natives seem to be doing quite well for themselves while majority of people suffer poverty. 

      If I was in charge – God help you all – I would give Natives whatever homes/property they live in now and they would own it and be responsible for it. I would also give Natives a guaranteed monthly income because it is not remotely fair to expect Natives to go from Indian Act to normal society living. Too sink or swim for my liking – Natives don’t have fair chance to succeed yet. 

      Another problem for Natives is how profoundly connected they feel with their ancestors. Anglos/Europeans don’t have same feelings towards our forefathers and we move freely – not sure what to do about Natives who want to live in Far North and live hunter/gatherer existence. 

      De Soto book was excellent – it showed why capitalism was great for 5% of population in Western world during 1800s and how secure, easy and well defined property rights in early 1900s transformed poor people’s existence. 

      H De Soto ~ Mystery of Capital:
      Every developed nation in the world at one time went through the transformation from predominantly informal, extralegal ownership to a formal, unified legal property system, but in the West we’ve forgotten that creating this system is also what allowed people everywhere to leverage property into wealth.

      Learned Helplessness: If you feel like you aren’t in control of your destiny, you will give up and accept whatever situation you are in ….. When battered women, or hostages, or abused children, or long-time prisoners refuse to escape, they do so because they have accepted the futility of the attempt. What does it matter? If those people do get out of their situation, they often have a hard time committing to anything which may lead to failure.

      • Stupid destructive rightwing ideas. If you divide up the reserves among all the members, none will have enough land to make a living. You would end up with more homeless people. 

        • But how come some native people make it? But they don`t live on reserves. I met them as contractors, lawyers, you name it.

          • Not all of those who live on reserves fail, by our standards or theirs.

          • But why? Where is the problem? Not long ago I read a letter to the editor, where one successful Dene was praisung his parents who moved 50 km away from the reserve they lived on.

          • dan02

            I don’t understand your question. I merely pointed out that not everyone on reserve considers themselves a failure. I don’t think i’m arguing that off reserve success is bad.

          • You’re asking me to explain how life works? You’ll figure it out as you grow up. Every individual has their own story and nobody else has the right to sit in judgment without knowing anything about that story. Some people have more gifts to begin with, some have dumb luck, it varies a lot.

  6. I assume tying the money to health care transfers would mean the provinces would have to  provide the aboriginal reserve funding with the same rigour and discipline they are now required to keep out private delivery of medical services? 

  7. “What if he required that one per cent of that six per cent go toward improving health outcomes for Aboriginal populations? Stable funding. Sheila Fraser, in retirement, would notice, and smile.”
    You might have gone one step further. I wonder how close that putative 1% might approximate the sum involved in the Kelowna accord? Might P.Martin also smile or at least manage a grimace of contempt – i know i might. Still,partisanship aside[ how i wish that might be on this one issue] i hope you’re right. This is our one clear national shame.

  8. It’s always fun to speculate, n’est-ce pas Paul ?

  9. “By one analysis I’ve seen, real per capita transfers from Ottawa to the provinces for health and social programs are up 40 per cent since 1996, while federal payments for reserve infrastructure are down 40 per cent over the same period. Housing was no good to begin with. The need has grown and the budgets have shrunk.”

    Awesome, great! Glad that’s settled. We can now get on with the thing, right? No need to keep on alleging the $90 mil should have cleared everything up if only the band council and hangers on weren’t building a slush fund for their retirement in the Bahamas, right! 

    • I’m kind of scratching my head at that particular extract.  2% increase per year for 15 years compounds to a 34.5% increase from 1996.  That’s not far off the 40% mark.  The more pertinent point would probably be that reserve populations have been growing faster than 2% per year.

  10. It also struck me that Harper and Atleo get along quite well.  I would love Atleo to give some results from his “tough love” measures he took with his own band/reserve with forced rehab for addicted problem members.  Also making sure drug dealers and bootleggers were kicked out of the reserve.

    The First Nations Governance Act was good policy –  Chrétien’s was Indian affairs minister himself for a while so one would think he had a handle on some of the needs.  Martin’s Kelowna Accord was just throwing more money at the problem – he is currently whining about it in the press again. 

    On the bright side, after the Chief’s/Council’s salaries were made public last year, I noticed many comments on FN websites saying they were more than willing to take a stand and start addressing the corruption themselves, without the white man’s help because it was their problem.

    Attawapiskat’s share of the Victor Mine seems to be disproportionate relative to Ontario’s 11%(?) royalties if not enough of that money goes back to the area/community.  I like the idea of the 1% from the 6% being allocated to to FN – bit of an end run, lol.  

    Conservatives should take every opportunity to refer to the January meeting being in the works months prior to the Attawapiskat crisis to neuter the NDP.

    • Why should Harper take any real credit for fixing the problem – assuming Paul is right? He’s bragged about how he has cleared the money out of Ottawa and provided increased, stable predictable funding for the provinces, yet in six years he’s done little or nothing similar for FN’s issues. The meeting might have been long scheduled – isn’t it the first one in six years with the AFNs? – but the apology aside i see no reason to pat him on the back for making good on something that has never been a priority of his govt.

  11. Pitched an idea several years ago with Federal and Provincial Governments for a scheme that would replicate the ‘call center’ model in First Nations.  It was called the ‘Sunrise Project’.  No takers – even when I travelled to Ottawa to speak face-to-face with Senator St Germain.  No reason remote communities need to be ‘remote’ technologically speaking.  Opportunities are available – nobody wants to take the bull by the horns.  Pity!!  Bob Fitches

  12. No more Indian Act.

    No more Indians.

    No more descrimination.

    We are all Canadians.

  13. I would like it if someone would just go to the web site for Guildcrest homes . In March of 2008 12 new 3 bedroom homes sent to Attawapiskat and plans for 5 more , these by the way aren’t mobile homes . Why can’t these people look after and clean up after themselfes . Hope that some great chance comes to these people . And why would an unelected person on the reserve receive for 2 months 12,300plus 68.397 in travel for a total of 80.697 ?????

  14. First off Indians live in India! So lets refer to this group as Native Canadians. 
    In the real world, the world you and I live in a community is supported by commercial and industrial entities. Without them the community would die since no jobs would be available to support it and therefore the taxes generated to provide services would also diminish. So when referring to places where people live without these basic necessities its not a community its a mini welfare state. No amount of money, housing, education, or left wing guilting will change that. Until we as Canadians are willing to make the tough choice of ending this middle of nowhere reserve crap this cycle of living without the ability to support oneself will continue. It is not the role of government to be parents. It is not the role of government to provide services and infrastructure to places that don’t generate taxes to support it. Perpetual welfare does not lift people out of welfare. You would think 40 years of this cycle would start to prove this. The people of Attawapiskat live in the middle of nowhere. Barely any services, no commercial or industrial industries, no nearby towns, no roads to access it or get out and therefore no hope. What’s disgusting is this perpetual belief that this can come how change by allowing these people to continue to live there. If Canada has to supply welfare to these people then get them out of there to a real community where the children actually have the opportunity to grow up and be contributing citizens without the parental guidance of the federal government!

    • Nice of you to allow them to keep their kids this time.

      • Once again the number tool of the left, guilt in action! I don’t feel guilt. I wasn’t alive when native children were taken away to so called ‘schools’. I have been alive long enough to know that perpetual welfare is not a solution, its a band aid at best. I also have a half a brain to realize taking children away from their parents isn’t so bright either. So attribute your virtue to an opinion representing a solution and then we can talk. Otherwise save your guilt trip for your next confession!

        • Who says you should feel guilt? But for a guy who feels no guilt you seem to like the word.
          I was commenting on the tone of your post. It’s all so simple just move em to the cities; however, lots of em don’t want to go. Go ahead and cut off their welfare, try and force them – good luck with that!
          As for solutions. I’ve made my opinion pretty clear on Geddes’blog, something you don’t address. Start honoring the spirit and the letter of the treaties, settle landcliams and let them pull themselves out of poverty through revenue sharing; don’t take my word for it, listen to what they’re saying and have been saying for as long as i’ve been paying attention.

      • euca is right…let’s leave the political rhetoric aside and ask some honest questions.  Many of us were in no way responsible for residential schools or even alive when they occured…..just as we had nothing to do with the Catholic brothers in Newfoundland who molested and mistreated boys from poor families who lived in their residential school.
        Now, you have said you lived many years on a reserve.  I worked in a solvent abuse residential program that was privately paid for by First Nations bands and we treated many young people, especially those from isolated reserves.  Some were as young as 10 years old.  The suicide rates on this isolated reserves were very high among the young – especially adolescents.  Substance abuse, including solvent abuse, which in one young man who was 18 had already caused a form of brain damage is also common.  Was the reserve you lived on isolated like Attawapiskat?  Do you think it is healthy to live in a place with little or no industry? 

        • Aside from the fact he isn’t right at all, ok lets have some honest questions answered.[ By the way i was only on reserve for 3 years. It only seems alot because i mention it too often. And yes it was remote – 12 hrs by ferry from VI in winter time]
          I heard an interesting remark from one of the hosts of APTN the other night. He was the go to guy for the Manitoba native landclaim negotiations at some point ~ can’t be that long ago, he’s still young. ~ He mentioned that the negotiators for the GoC frequently removed  the word “share”from LC’s  documents. That isn’t the first story i’ve heard of bad faith by out federal and provincial negotiators either.
           Honestly how can we expect anything to change if we wont even bargain in good faith?
          So i think that answers your question : no i don’t think it is healthy to live in a place where you have little or no say in who develops resources on your traditional territory or how much they will reimburse you for them.

    • When the employment like mine,pulpmill,smelter, or another industrial object with jobs disappears, goes out of business or is shut down for whatever reason, even in the middle of nowhere , the people move on. There are plenty of ghost towns all over Canada. This should apply to everybody. But for native people, this would be a colonial system.

      • Tell all the farmers they have to leave their homes and see what reaction you get.

        • I know, you are right, but if somebody gets broke, he has to move on somehow. And nobody will bail him out.

        • Farmers know. Many work 2 jobs or sold their farm already.

    • “First off Indians live in India! So lets refer to this group as Native Canadians. “

      Any Canadian who was born in Canada is a “Native Canadian”.  So let’s not refer to this group as “Native Canadians”, as though the rest of us aren’t.

      ” It is not the role of government to be parents.”

      Very true.

      “What’s disgusting is this perpetual belief that this can come how change by allowing these people to continue to live there. “

      Are you suggesting that the government has the right to tell Canadians where to live?  Since when?

      • First Nations is the accepted term.

  15. The appropriate solution is to listen to First Nations on how they think the best way is to permanently improve their living situations. 
    And please take the politics out of your comments.  This is neither a left nor right wing issue. It’s a human issue – thousands of citizens of our country are living in third-world conditions.  This has to change. 

  16. I think it was Aristotle who first pointed out that giving people a living for doing nothing is one of the fastest ways to ruin them.

    History has long since proven him right.  It is a shame that Canada, which has in general had a good record with respect to the First Nations, has ruined their culture and society this way.  It is an even greater shame that the reason for the continuance of this ruin is no longer well-intentioned ignorance, but rather political cowardice and indifference.

    • They used to have a fur industry. This was destroyed because certain people considered it inhuman and were able to sell this idea to  rich Europeans, with help of Hollywood who funded the movement. Like now happens with Inuit and seals after they left fur part for same reasons as the Indians. They could not care less what happens to Canadian native people.

      • It is certainly true that the animal rights industry has done a lot of damage not only to First Nations but to our whole society.  However, this is not sufficient explanation for the ruin to First Nations culture, families, and economy – many industries dry up every decade; most people adapt rather than allowing themselves to be relegated to poverty.

        In this case, handouts are the cause of the ruin, and political cowardice is the cause of the handouts.

        • That`s my point.

  17. TAX. 
    That is the Problem.  They need to be taxed, and that money then put back into the community.  There is no Canadian (other than those who want to live on welfare) that thinks that others should work to pay their bills.

    Secondly, there is a TRADE Deficit.  If a community imports all its goods, and pays out its money, then that paper money is gone out of the community.  The only solution is that the community, city province or Reserve create product and sell it outside the community to bring those dollars back in.

    Simple.  The Feds have not caused this problem.  Harper isn’t at fault.  Its a long long standing problem that NO government has solved.  the Liberals talked and did nothing, so lets not play politics.

  18. Accountability of the moneys spent on Native groups is imperative. There have been far too many articles on the disparities of the salaries, etc of the Band councils and the living conditions of the Band members. I think that the Canadian public is fed up with being blamed for the conditions on some reserves. It is time to scrap the Indian Act and have the Natives have the same rights and responsibilities as other Canadians.Look at Westbank, BC,, Ossoyos, Bc Sechelt, BC as examples of what some Bands can do. There has to be some responsibility from the Natives to take care of themselves, as did our early settlers and our recent immigrants.I think entitlement and special rights have to stop.

  19. How come this article doesn’t mention the money that was given to them? I am 33 and from Southwestern Ontario and the majority of my friends are only third generation Canadians. Maybe it is time to give up the Aboriginal Act and have them come to communities that are more affluent, cheaper (and nicer to house, there was a comment in a different article that an 800 square feet home was costing $250,000 to build) and where jobs are more ample?

  20. I am a Native woman.  Living on or off reserve, every day you face the fact that you are viewed by the majority of the population as a parasitic infestation.  You feel the hatred wherever you go, and the racism is tolerated and perpetuated by the governments policies and traditional approaches to Aboriginal people.  As for Attawapiskat, the number being flung around for publicity to garner public opinion to a certain side is deceptive.  See attached link.  There is the breakdown.  The truth is that since the beginning Aboriginal people have been deprived of the basic human rights that everyone should be entitled to, and the racism I speak of is what allows it to continue.  Until the racism and prejudice are set aside there will be little progress.  Until dealings are fair and dignified, there will be tension.  It is disheartening to watch others prosper and thrive while you and yours struggle day in and day out, with so much in the way of personal issues to contend with that many other people cannot even comprehend or imagine.  Until you have lived it you just don’t know, but I hope for the future of this nation as a whole, and so does every Native person I know despite public perception and opinion.  


  21. I am so disappointed in Hornby’s comments, which seem truly ignorant of the history and issues that the Native community deal with on a daily basis.  The “special rights” as you put it are in place because this land ALL belonged to Native people, until it was taken through violence and coercion.  

    The ways of life that were destroyed were not given up willingly, and if you are aware the term and ideal of democracy which everyone ELSE enjoys are actually Native people’s traditonal methods of governance.  The old ways of life, the worldviews, the culture, our children, EVERYTHING!!! was taken away without consent.  It may be hard for those people without their internal connection to their homeland intact to understand, but we feel tied to this land in ways that are not widely understood.  We love it, as a part of us and as we are a part of it.  You may not know what I mean when I say this, and that is alright but your insensitivity and callousness is the very epitome of what Native people as a group cannot grasp nor tolerate.  Natives did not invite everyone to be here, and that is not to say that Creator/God did not intend it and that we cannot accept that nor move forward, but the psychological and societal issues that have resulted from the history are very fresh in terms of inter-generational evolution and recovery.  Look at other countries where colonized people do not have the same “special rights”.  Mexico.  Many other South American countries.  Many African countries.  These measures are in place to protect the economy, to protect from civil unrest, to protect from sliding into conditions that Natives live in here to this day.  Racism is not a characteristic that one should be proud to flaunt, those days should be over and one day they will be.  It is in all of our best interests.  

    • I feel just as tied to this land as anyone else, having been born here.  I was not given a choice in the matter.  Have you anything relevant to appeal to which is not law as written (ie. made up by people) which prioritizes anyone else’s citizenship over my own?

      And let’s not go down the path of unequal rights.  I agree there has been and is unequal treatment before the law.  That is my point: everyone should have the same rights and obligations.  Then we can move forward.

    • You are not the only ones who were taken over by other people. All of Europe was involved in wars many times. Natives in Canada fought each other and took slaves from each other. The Hurons in Southern Ontario are gone because of native people.

      Playing the victim card will not help you or your children. Education, learning how to survive, how to stay healthy, how to let go of the past and work on a better future will give everyone hope and a chance for a better life.

  22. Hello,

    Can anyone comment on money received from DeBeers.  I understand the community was given $51 million this year alone.

    • 325 million since the Victor Mine opened plus over 100 jobs guaranteed for the community.

      The money goes into a trust fund and it’s up to the band council to decide what happens to that money.

  23. Just looking at the picture of the child sitting on the filthy floor:  I am a single mother, work full time, but do manage to find the time to lay a few tiles, use some soap on the floor and pick things up.  That picture is pretty much what my kitchen floor would look like if I didn’t spend any time at all cleaning or fixing over about a 25 year period.  Is there any way we could stop treating Natives as children who can do nothing to contribute to their own care?  That floor is disgusting, but I have a feeling sending this person money won’t get them to pick up some Lysol and scrub the floor.

  24. What happened to the person who normally cleans this place …they die? They live like pigs and that  has nothing to do with money. I  say give them nothing ……close down the reservation and make them integrate with the rest of Canadian society.

  25. Canadian govt can squander billions of Canadian Taxpayers $$$ in Afghanistan as Canadian Children go hungry and Citizens go homeless. Treacherous foreign govt “zipper-licking whores”! 

  26. A year and change later, how did this work out?

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