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Senator Bill Frist Knows How to Sell

August 2, 2006 | By | No Comments

Messaging and Legislating. Stephen Clouse recently said that it is not enough to have good ideas, an advocate must persuade, must sell the idea. Frist knows how to sell.

Steve Rucinski was hosting Small Business Trends Radio yesterday with Dawn Rivers Baker. She was concerned that Congress was not addressing affordable healthcare for small businesses. And that our elected officials had legislation bottled up.

She was making sense. So Your Business Blogger decided to get some answers. And I always go to the top. Anita Campbell was out of town, so I had to settle for Bill Frist, MD, Senate Majority Leader.

The appointment was for 4pm. I arrive a bit early; punctuality is the courtesy of kings and all.

But I was prepared to be kept waiting. I made a friendly wager with the staff that the Senator would surely be running late. This is DC, you see. I was guessing that he’d arrive at 4:17. I am ready to be miffed — I am a busy man, very busy. The committee Senate staffer looks at me funny, and says, “Senator Frist late? I don’t think so.” She’s from Long Island; she should know late.

At 4:06 Senator Frist, a very busy man, walks in. On time. This is no ordinary event.

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R to L Jack Yoest, Mary Katharine Ham,

Steve O’Connor, Bill Frist, Dave Kralik,

Rob Bluey, Larry Scholer, Ivy Sellers,

John O’Hara, Brendan Steinhauser Your Business Blogger is joined in the Senator’s conference room with Dave Kralik from the National Association of Manufacturers, Steve O’Connor from Human Events, Larry Scholer from Heritage Foundation, Brendan Steinhauser from FreedomWorks, Mary Katharine Ham from TownHall.com, Ron Bluey from Human Events OnLine and John O’Hara from The Spectator and Ivy Sellers.

We get to ask questions. We ask Dr. Frist about health plans for small business. Dawn Rivers Baker said that this should not be partisan politics, but a simple, common sense policy issue.

The Senate Majority leader is an active proponent of Association Health Plans.

Frist said that the GOP will continue to win because they can “show contrast” comparing philosophies with Democrats. Frist outlined the values differences including the sanctity of life (except for embryonic stem cells); where Democrats embrace the culture of Hollywood. Frist has a simple agenda,

Secure the homeland

Secure prosperity

Secure values

The differences between the GOP and the Democrats is “crystal clear,” says Frist. For example, the GOP supports the line item veto and will not support legislation that will hinder the small business.

Frist is also pushing for the Custody Protection Act. The bill makes it illegal for anyone except a parent to transport an underage girl across a state line to get an abortion. It has a strong, bipartisan majority. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) with clever parliamentary maneuvering, stalled the bill.

The Democrats want the status quo. The GOP wants change. Republicans are the new [gasp] progressives.

The GOP wants: To Win the war on terror, Low taxes, Energy independence, Small Business Health Plans.

From Senator’s Frist’s website (yes, he’s got a blog) we learn,

In the days ahead, we will further promote Health Savings Accounts …a common sense way for Americans to save money tax-free to help with their healthcare expenses.

We will also continue to lead the way on promoting Association Health Plans that sweep away burdensome state regulations and make it possible for small employers to purchase health insurance on the same terms as large ones.

And we will commit to developing a 21st Century system for the delivery of health care information that is ACCURATE, INTEROPERABLE and easily ACCESSIBLE.

By doing each of these things and more, we’re working to build a system that’s consumer-driven, patient-centered, and provider friendly — a system driven by knowledge, choice, and control.

So why do we, small business owners, not have Association Health Plans?

Senator Frist reports that the Democrats across the aisle are “obstructing events” to gain political points. Frist does not have 60 votes to bring bills to a vote. It is not certain if our deliberative body will deliver Association Health Plans.

But the good-guys will win. On the GOP energy bill, Frist feels, “fantastic…optimistic.” He wants to build a fence on the Mexican boarder. He wants to repeal the “Death Tax.” He wants all the tax cuts permanent. (The average household of four and $60K would see taxes increase by 58% if the tax cuts lapse as Democrats want.)

I ask Frist if the Democrats are holding up the Defense funding as a political ploy, or have lost the will to win. Frist said that the most important issue for his constituents back home in Tennessee is that they “want to feel secure.” Do the Democrats want to ‘cut and run’ in this war? Frist says that Pelosi certainly wants to “Cut and jog” away from winning the war.

Messaging and legislation. I also ask Frist, “Are we [bloggers] part of the messaging?” Because Frist knows the value of all media. And knows how to persuade and how to sell his message.

At 4:55, Senator Frist must leave for a floor vote at 5.

I dally in his outer offices after he leaves and see him on C-SPAN. Selling.

Physician, Citizen Legislator, and now, Salesman.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Rob Bluey from Human Events OnLine regularly organizes blogger meet-ups.

It is rumored that Frist sleeps but 3 hours a night. And keeps in his office an old filibuster couch that the senators would sleep on during real ‘hold the floor forever’ filibusters. Frist also keeps in the Senate Majority Leader’s office (which is a bit larger than my first apartment) a medical bag. He was the first on the scene at the shooting of Capital Police a few years ago.

New at RedState

August 1, 2006 | By | No Comments

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RedState.org RedState is one of the best sites for red-blooded Americans. They are getting better all the time — the Red States and RedState.org,

As you know, we’re only days away from launching the new Redstate backend – as well as some exciting new features for you, our readers.

Be sure to blog roll RedState and watch what happens on 7 August.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to Update Your Email Address for Redstate 2.0,

RedState is focused on politics, and is dedicated to the construction of a Republican majority in the United States. We hope to unite serious, innovative, and accomplished voices from government, politics, activism, civil society, journalism, and, not least of all, ordinary folks, to participate in this work.

24 Jul

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ShowCase Carnival is up for 24 July 2006

July 24, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

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ShowCase CarnivalAnd hosted this week By Your Business Blogger.

Rich Karlgaard writing in Forbes says that:

…much of the better journalism and commentary has been migrating to blogs. No surprise here…the blogger has a clearer view of how the world really works…

Mind the migration. ShowCase selections this week:

Towards Better Life has a provocative post titled You Should Never Get A Job. There are parallels between his writing and my career. The writer has subject-verb agreement issues; while I had boss-subordinate agreement issues. Never get a job? Goodness, I could never keep a job. Thank heaven for the blogosphere. Or I’d be unemployed. Again.

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Human Tide

And be sure to drift over and see what the HumanTide swept in. Human Tide (certainly not to be confused with Human Events) points us to a new blog carnival on community action. See Community Campaigners’ Carnival. And get involved.

KT Kat has Alien Thought Process on The Scratching Post. Sometimes hard to tell what is the post, what is the blog and who is the blogger. Make a guess and visit.

abyss2hope has an interesting analysis on rape in the military concerning the trial of Owens, who was accused of rape at the Naval Academy. Blogger Marcella Chester’s article was published before Owens was found not guilty of rape.

Ms. Chester missed the story: The woman “victim” as it happens in this case, invited Owens into her room after a fight with her boyfriend. She had nine drinks. But she was not so drunk as to IM Owens to her room, to her bed. She had a roommate sleeping a few feet away. The “victim” never screamed to wake the roomie, and never said “no.”

The timeline suggests the woman wanted revenge on the boyfriend and an alibi for being drunk. She got both and immunity for testimony that no one believed — judge, jury, liberal press. There was no evidence. In this case, the court said she lied.

Remember, Your Business Blogger has three daughters. My concern is for the real monsters. Owens was not the monster under the bed. Or in the bed. There are certainly other monsters. Owens isn’t one of them.

Marcella is quite right, however, to publish her own name because rape is a crime of violence, not sex. I look forward to her future posts on false rape accusations . I somehow doubt she will. But I’m not Marcella either. I’ve never had her pain. (Debate start point: one half of rape accusations are false.) Marcella, welcome to the blogosphere.

Panzer Commander has pictures of his trip to Colorado Springs and tells the story from a few years ago of hostages taken in a radio studio and gun shots. Nobody hurt, but there are john_hat_movie.gif

The Dude on setpictures of the bullet hole in the wall. Show business can be dangerous. (This is one of the host’s prerogatives: Panzer Commander’s author, The Dude, is 11 years old.) The Dude knows bit about show business. Here he is at age 4 in a made for TV movie.

So. The host shouldn’t Show Case his own kids? Vent your anger by taking on host duties. Contact Orge.

Software and web construction is to the new generation as the telephone was to ours. The kids coming-up are amazing. And blogging.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

There were technical difficulties this week — if I missed your post, please send me an email direct and I’ll update and link. Links are good.

The ShowCase Carnival is the work of Ogre. Semper Fidelis.

Your Business Blogger also serves as the Vice President for the Center for Military Readiness.

24 Jul

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Marketing: Web or Newspapers?

July 24, 2006 | By | 3 Comments

Marketing is persuading a customer to come to us. (Sales is directed to reaching out to the customer for the close.) We all want the prospect to call or click. To come to us. Which is the best medium to use?

We live in a sight and sound generation. The smart small business advertiser knows this. And will devote scarce advertising resources for the largest return on investment.

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Reach, Frequency and Awareness drive the marketers’ attention on placing ad dollars. Among the choices today she will consider:

Audio

Visual

print-web-bytes

print-paper-atoms

So where is the future?

Not in newsprint. John S. Carroll, former editor of The Los Angeles Times recently said in a speech published by Harvard that,

With the advent of the Web, our rotary presses, those massive machines that once conferred near monopolies on their owners, are looking more and more like the last steam engine.

Young readers are going online and not coming back. Circulation revenues are dwindling…Circulation itself is falling. Ad revenues are weak — not a good sign in a growing economy — and Web-based competitors are stealing our advertisers.

The dead-tree peddler/complainer is wrong: Web-based competitors are not stealing anything.

Readers have simply made a better decision on getting content. The reader decided. And it’s not a newspaper.

Why? Why are web-based competitors winning the readership, and for small businesses, the ad placements?

Glenn Reynolds writes in An Army of Davids that …power once concentrated in the hands of a professional few has been redistributed into those who (mostly) do it for fun.

And that the reader of the web — blogs, like the outstanding site you are now on — controls her time and timing in choosing content.

The reader/listener will be at one of three places to download content:

1) Not at work. 2) On the way to work. Or 3) At work.

She can do a podcast or radio or web at each of the three locations. Workplace etiquette limits content consumption.

It is still considered bad form to read a newspaper at work. Worse yet to be watching TV at work. Although my wife, Charmaine, has a bank of three sets in her massive corner office, TV viewing would not be recommended if not directly part of your job description.

But everyone should be looking at a computer monitor while at work. And reading and studying intently. (The clever employee has a spread-sheet as a screen saver.)

The consumer not at work has other limitations. Your Business Blogger was advising a client on message mediums. The CEO was considering dropping his radio programming, to devote resources in other venues with possibly higher returns in the future. I advised his team to consider keeping the audio because it is not safe to watch a video monitor while driving a car. People listen to radio or a podcast in drive time.

What’s an advertiser to do? Consider a pod-cast or a blog to sponsor to get a precise targeted, motivated consumer. Because these content providers, as Glenn Reynolds says,

are …the people who are having fun…

And having fun; having passion, sells.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Also see Small Business Trends Web vs Newpapers: The Trend

John S. Carroll’s speech was delivered on April 26, 2006 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Be sure to visit the Carnival of the Vanities.

20 Jul

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World Trade Center, Oliver Stone's New Movie

July 20, 2006 | By | 6 Comments

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World Trade Center “Redemption,” wrote Cal Thomas earlier when he saw Oliver Stone’s movie. Stone may have redeemed himself.

Tonight, Thursday, The Washington Insiders were invited to a private screening of World Trade Center. I got in on a waiver. I would have been easy to pick out of this cool crowd: I was the only one with a bucket of (fattening) buttered popcorn, slurping a giant Coke.

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Your Business Blogger, Charmaine

Melissa and Rob Bluey

Charmaine and I joined Rob Bluey, blog editor at Human Events and his wife Melissa from The Atlantic Monthly and the smart crowd at a Cinema near Charmaine’s office to see Stone’s newest movie.

What it was and what it was not.

It was not a conspiracy movie.

It did not bash Bush.

It was not sappy.

It was not about stupid, church-going nuts.

It did not mock marriage.

It did not blame America.

It did not support radical Islam.

It did not mock Marines.

It did not mock Jesus.

It did not mock cops.

It did not mock family, faith or freedom.

Charmaine says, “It was a Hallmark Hall of Fame special…on steroids.” Jim Pinkerton, from the New America Foundation DID NOT tear up. Me neither.

But the theater was a bit dusty. That stuff can get in your eyes. Or was it dust from the movie?

This is a movie that you will see in a few weeks and you will be glad you did. After the viewing, there was no applause, little talking. At the end, the crowd audibly exhaled, as one.

People moved out as if leaving a wake. Tony Blankley and his significant other were the last, the very last to leave. They were moved.

Laura Ingram moved out quick; she was among the first out. Dr. Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention expected to walk out early and didn’t.

We spoke to Blankley. He was surprised at Stone’s movie, “Good, True, Patriotic, Religious.”

Kate O’Beirne from Nation Review was a bit more skeptical about Oliver Stone, “His other movies don’t sell, nobody goes to them. So he made this to appeal — to sell. He wants to make money.”

And so he will. You must see how Stone can make a movie with Jesus, yes Him, without a smirk. Mel Gibson can do Passion, sure. But Oliver Stone?

Better check the temperature in Hell. The impossible has happened. Oliver is redeemed.

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World Trade Center

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Thank you (foot)notes:

The movie will be theaters August 9, 2006

Special thanks to Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President of Creative Response Concepts, who coordinated the event for Paramount Pictures.

More on the movie at the jump.

The Raw Story has more. Read the Comments, liberals still believe “9/11 was an inside job no doubt.” And my favorite, “Hey cons, Jesus says watch this film or you’ll go to hell.”

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

OpFor has more.

Read More

New Blog? Enter the Showcase Carnival!

July 20, 2006 | By | No Comments

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ShowCase Carnival Spaces are filling fast. Enter you new blog today.

Information overload. The problem of blog reading is not that there is so much — But that so much is actually very good.

So what’s a surfer to do?

The solution: Find a friend — to act as your editor, a trusted filter.

And the new blog ShowCase Carnival is such a filter-friend.

Be sure to visit and comment.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

The ShowCase of New Blogs reviews interesting new articles each week from infant blogs — less than 3 months old.

This carnival is the work of Ogre. Semper Fidelis.

Your Business Blogger will be hosting the Carnival next week. Please submit an article this week and next week using the handy Carnival Submit Form or alert me to a new blogger you like!

ShowCase Carnival: Attention New Bloggers

July 13, 2006 | By | No Comments

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ShowCase CarnivalInformation overload. The problem of blog reading is not that there is so much — But that so much is actually very good.

So what’s a surfer to do?

The solution: Find a friend — to act as your editor, a trusted filter.

The Grill Maestro is hosting this week.

And the new blog ShowCase Carnival is such a filter-friend.

Be sure to visit and comment.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

The ShowCase of New Blogs reviews interesting new articles each week from infant blogs — less than 3 months old.

This carnival is the work of Ogre. Semper Fidelis.

Your Business Blogger will be hosting the Carnival next week. Please submit an article this week and next week using the handy Carnival Submit Form or alert me to a new blogger you like!

My Wife Flew off with Bono and Branson; Bombed in London 7.7.05

July 6, 2006 | By | No Comments

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On the plane with Richard Branson

Following is an edited cross post from Charmaine’s Reasoned Audacity, July 1 – 7, 2005.

A year ago, Charmaine calls early morning from Edinburgh. “I’m having trouble flying into London,” she says.

I’m still waking up. I ask, “When can you come home?”

“I don’t know,” she says, her voice unsteady, “They’re still clearing the bodies.”

A wake up call. London, welcome to the war.

It started, as most things these days do, with Powerline.

Following is original posting from London as Charmaine called it into me, when her site went down. Any inconsistencies may be due to transcription overload.

This is Jack, the husband: Charmaine called. Her site is still down, but she wanted to file a report to Powerline.

“Flew into Heathrow airport and took a $150 cab ride into north London to conduct interviews and document the bombsites. Bobbies cordoned off area around the sites sealing the scene of the explosions. I got to within a block or so of Edgware Tube station entrance with Londoners sitting calmly, relaxing in pubs. Everything is strangely calm, business as usual. I interviewed a woman, an interior designer, expecting some emotional display. There was none. “We don’t do a lot of group hugging in England,” she said, making me think of the stiff-upper lip. “We are not sentimental.”

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And she seemed to reflect the mood of the London population. Not for what they were doing but for what they were not doing: No candles, no out-pouring of grief, no hoards of gawkers milling around police tape, no teddy bears, no bouquets of flowers. No movement. No tears. Everything normal, except, maybe for that bus with the top blown off. Workers cleared and cleaned up the area real well. Spiffy. And got back to their pints.

I visited hospitals and learned that ‘only’ 37 were confirmed dead at that time. More confirmations were expected.

There were no moms with little children in downtown London. I interviewed middle-aged businessmen on cell phones and kids with Mohawks, none who were surprised.

Londoners gently reproached me about my concern over the bloodshed, “You Americans get sentimental over silly things. We’re used to getting bombed.” The IRA Troubles had hardened hearts as well as the London infrastructure.

I expected some grief, at least as much as there was when Lady Di died. And grief I got. I interviewed three very ordinary, normal teenaged English Muslims, one with short spiky hair (dressed not unlike my 10 year-old-dude). All three seems to be parroting Muslim talking points. “The bombings were a conspiracy by Blair to generate support for the war,” they recited in a charming British accent.

The bombers were quite indiscriminate. Edgware is not far from the heart of Little Beirut, a Muslim ethnic neighborhood.

A young British black woman told me, “The bombings are Tony Blair’s fault — they killed a 100 thousand Iraqis — and it’s like a boomerang [coming back at the British].” Most everyone I talked to believed that the British caused the bombing or had it coming.

Of the dozen or so people I interviewed only white males in business attire expressed surprise that anyone would think the British were at fault in anyway.

But these gentlemen were the minority. Most felt that the Brits were complicit. The people at London’s ground zero were sounding like the “wobbly” Spanish after their train bombings.

The day is a cloudy, cold, rainy 7.7.”

Charmaine is still out on the streets — 9pm local London time and will be sending pictures soon.

Read the story at the jump.

CMR Salamander points to HotAir with video.

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GodBlogCon Coming Soon

July 3, 2006 | By | No Comments


GodBlogCon

Charmaine, wife of Your Business Blogger will be speaking at the Political Plenary Panel,

A bi-partisan discussion on political conversation across the blogosphere, featuring answers to questions such as: What makes a political blog insightful and interesting, versus a dime-a-dozen rant? What role will political blogs play in the upcoming elections and future campaigns? Where can a blogger find insightful content from which to draw? How can a blogger facilitate legitimate political conversation on his or her political blog?

Charmaine will be joining:

Hugh Hewitt / Professor of Law, Author, Nationally Syndicated Talk Show Host

Blog: hughhewitt.com

La Shawn Barber / Author and Writer

Blog: La Shawn Barber’s Corner

John Mark Reynolds / Director of the Torrey Honors Institute (Biola)

Blog: Middlebrow

James Kushiner / Publisher of Touchtone Magazine

Blog: Mere Comments

Joe Carter / Comm. Director at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity

Blog: Evangelical Outpost

Rob Asghar / Writer and Political Commentator

Blog: TheAmericaBug

Ryan Bolger / Assistant Professor of Church in Contemporary Culture (Fuller)

Blog: TheBolgBlog

Marvin Hutchens

Hutchens Blog

Rhett Smith

rhettsmith.com

Andrew Jackson

SmartChristian.com

Melinda Penner

STR Blog

Matthew Anderson

Mere Orthodoxy

Fred Sanders

Middlebrow

Paul Spears

Middlebrow

The GodBlogCon 2006 is hosted by the Torrey Honors Institute of Biola University. Register now!

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Get a Blog; Get Hired — And the First Question

July 3, 2006 | By | One Comment

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Blogs are better

than classifed ads Whenever Charmaine or Your Business Blogger have to hire someone, the first question we ask ourselves is,

Who do we know?

So we then tap into our network of contacts and friends and get the background propaganda on candidates.

But to really, really know a candidate, we’d like to check deeper on:

Their Opinions, and

Are their Opinions worthy? and

Does the Candidate want those Opinions known, and

Does the Candidate want to make a difference?

To learn it all fast and easy, we ask, “Does she have a blog?

We now have an (unwritten) rule: We like to hire only those who write and read blogs.

The most recent example is Joe Carter from Evangelical Outpost. Charmaine hired him for some work, and we only knew of his talents through the blogosphere.

For example, Tom McMahon quotes Joe in Important Stuff,

Why do so many people buy into the ridiculous notion that a daily diet of “current events’ is anything other than a mindless (though perhaps harmless) form of amusement? Even ardent news-hounds will admit that the bulk of daily “news” is nothing more than trivia or gossip. How much of what happens every day truly is all that important? How many of us have ever even stopped to ask why we have daily news?…

As Malcolm Muggeridge, himself a journalist, admitted, “I’ve often thougt…that if I’d been a journalist in the Holy Land at the time of our Lord’s ministry, I should have spent my time looking into what was happening in Herod’s court. I’d be wanting to sign Salome for her exclusive memoirs, and finding out what Pilate was up to, and…I would have missed completely the most important event there ever was.”

Indeed, imagine if Dan Rather had been a reporter during that era: “…three revolutionaries were crucified on Golgatha today. Included among the executions was a man called Jesus, who some Jews considered to be the messiah. Those hopes were dashed, however, around three P.M. when Roman soldiers declared Jesus dead. And now…this….”

Oz Guinness also wrote about our fast-paced world; the, “Now this…culture” where every event is superceded by something, anything, to hold our short attention spans.

Joe Carter is a guy who knows signal from noise.

And a guy who thinks like this is someone we needed on the payroll.

I wish we could get Tom McMahon.

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To help in your job search see PASS this test.

Basil’s Blog has a picnic.