Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:50 pm UTC

I am back in my hometown, between housing contracts, too little time for me to get a paying job so I am volunteering at a local charity shop, anyhow I never really went in charity shops before hand, but after working there I've found it fun to see what people donate/throw away.

Sometimes its a whole bag full of bedsheets with suspicious stains, or the 1994 Wine Encyclopedia, other times its tasteful decorations or generally interesting knick-knacks.

So today I saw a Chinese style abacus (I think) and bought it for 80p. Apologies for poor image quality.
Image
I'm going to use it to furnish my next uni room, and pretend to use it for my course (sociology heh), but it has awaened in me a need to scavenge now to find interesting or nice things for myself, or of course somethinmg antique and valuable and then go on Antiques Roadshow! :lol:

So have any other fora goers found anything nice or slightly unexpected in their experience with secondhand goods?

Ps.
Anyone know chinese? As there is a tag, whch I'm guessing says the equivalent of "Made in China" but I'm not sure and it annoys me not knowing.

Spoiler:
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:57 pm UTC

I recently discovered a rather amazing antique store on holiday.
There's a few interesting finds in the window, brass scales, old signs etc. but the rest of the shop is full of old books on all sorts of subjects.

It's fantastic.
I bought a 1890 edition "Textbook of Elementary Physiography" entitled "Earth Knowledge part 1" for £2.50
It's fascinating to see the different writing styles, binding techniques and old theories on how the world works.
If you can ignore the strange stains and fragile paper you're set!

I hate to think what I would have come back with if I had more money on me at the time.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby singlefin » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:36 pm UTC

Ian Ex Machina wrote:Ps.
Anyone know chinese? As there is a tag, whch I'm guessing says the equivalent of "Made in China" but I'm not sure and it annoys me not knowing.

Spoiler:
Image


It says "Use 2x AA Batteries. Observe correct polarity. Do not use dissimilar batteries."

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:39 pm UTC

singlefin wrote:
Ian Ex Machina wrote:Ps.
Anyone know chinese? As there is a tag, whch I'm guessing says the equivalent of "Made in China" but I'm not sure and it annoys me not knowing.

Spoiler:
Image


It says "Use 2x AA Batteries. Observe correct polarity. Do not use dissimilar batteries."


I want to believe you.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby arcticfox.sq » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:55 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Image


From left to right "Red Lion Company" "China" "Wu Han" (It's a city, or province, I'm rusty on Chinese geography)
Bottom: "East Wind Abacus Factory" (factory is the closest translation I can think of at the moment, the last word actually reads "tang" which is like... room, but that translation doesn't make much sense in this context.

Not very exciting.


I feel guilty going to charity shops... I'm not sure how that works. But I do love garage sales. You can get some pretty interesting stuff.

Do you know how to use an abacus? It's interesting to learn, and not very difficult. I think it's a cool nerd ability to have. And they still use them in a lot of shops in China. It's so cool watching the sales clerk's fingers fly around and making the clicky sounds with the beads for like, 5 seconds, to total up your 14 item purchase. Good thing we don't have sales taxes though, that might slow them down a fair bit.

Edit: 0.o apparently, they can be used for calculating cube roots. That's insane. Someone tell me if you find how they do it.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:11 pm UTC

Sometimes you can find new, or semi-new stuff in second-hand or charity/thrift shops. I once bought an electric ice cream maker for $10, pretty much never been used. It looked like whoever donated it brought it in, box and all. I looked inside and the warranty card and instruction book were still there. When I picked it up to look at it, I got the impression that it was a wedding gift the couple decided they didn't need. Why make your own ice cream when you can go to the store and buy it? Of course most of us here would probably say that because homemade ice cream is often better, especially since you can add just about whatever the hell you want to it. You want chocolate-cherry ice cream? Go ahead. Fish ice cream? Fine. Otter/Duck ice cream? More power to you.

Here in the U.S. they're usually referred to as thrift stores. There's an abundance of them in the Southeast region. Don't know about other places.

One of the biggest charities that has second-hand stores across the U.S. is Goodwill. They have a lot of donation bins set up in shopping center parking lots, at city/county recycling centers, and sometimes they'll have a truck parked in the parking lot of some store.

The only thing I advise against buying at second-hand shops is electronics. A lot of them are outdated, and therefore you can't get them repaired anywhere anymore. Second, some might be on the verge of breaking down due to being old. Third, they may not be compatible when it comes to meeting today's requirements or needs (especially computers). The same goes for computer software. Some might work on your current system, but not many will. Video games for consoles would be the exception - as long as you have the console, buy as many games as you want.

I've bought clothes at these shops before, and none of them have lasted very long. I think part of it is that they end up being moth-eaten, and the other part is they're worn down a bit already.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

arcticfox.sq wrote:
Spoiler:
Image


From left to right "Red Lion Company" "China" "Wu Han" (It's a city, or province, I'm rusty on Chinese geography)
Bottom: "East Wind Abacus Factory" (factory is the closest translation I can think of at the moment, the last word actually reads "tang" which is like... room, but that translation doesn't make much sense in this context.

Not very exciting.


I feel guilty going to charity shops... I'm not sure how that works. But I do love garage sales. You can get some pretty interesting stuff.


Woo thanks for that :)
(I find it interesting anyhow.)
Guilt:s?

@Patrick
The shop I'm helping hasstrict rules on what gets sold, like to electronics or used underwear etc to prevent people catching fire or such.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Sasha » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

Wonderful things, them. The thrift stores.
Got a manual typewriter, got mild carpal tunnel and then I got an electric typewriter.
Also found half a tuba. Didn't get that..
Books and books and books and books and books and books and books.
A "new" clock, it's 10 years old or so I think, it's got a green display.. And it's heavy and about 10 inches by 3 inches by six inches, 3x10 facing.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:58 pm UTC

Ian Ex Machina wrote:@Patrick
The shop I'm helping hasstrict rules on what gets sold, like to electronics or used underwear etc to prevent people catching fire or such.


Most of the thrift stores around me have one rule about electronics: When plugged in, if it works, and doesn't catch fire, it's sellable. If I was running my own second-hand shop, I'd only accept something that either would be more useful (who the hell would want to buy a doughnut maker?), or is easily upgradeable, i.e. built after 2000.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby hipp5 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:37 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:
Ian Ex Machina wrote:@Patrick
The shop I'm helping hasstrict rules on what gets sold, like to electronics or used underwear etc to prevent people catching fire or such.


Most of the thrift stores around me have one rule about electronics: When plugged in, if it works, and doesn't catch fire, it's sellable. If I was running my own second-hand shop, I'd only accept something that either would be more useful (who the hell would want to buy a doughnut maker?), or is easily upgradeable, i.e. built after 2000.


I disagree with this. I love finding old computers like Commodore 64s at thrift stores.

Also, the Salvation Army near where I'm working has a used underwear, a used bra and a used lingerie section. Gross.

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Sasha » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:24 pm UTC

Used lingerie? Perv bait!!
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby 3fj » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:57 pm UTC

I check every week in my local ones (2 within 5minute walking distance!) for cool stuff.

I'm permanently on the lookout for old rotary phones. If you find one, buy it and i will genuinely pay up to £20 + p+p to Scotland. Paypal bitchiz!
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

@3fj - If I see one will do.

@Wombat + hipp5 - Used lingerie is banned from sale at my shop (Scope), but bras and swimwear isn't, so hey ho.

I also bought some salt and pepper shakers today that looked like marble, kind of.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Dibley » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:33 am UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:I once bought an electric ice cream maker for $10, pretty much never been used.

Does it contain its own refrigeration unit, or do you have to put it in the freezer? If it has one, and works, it's worth a minimum of $150 used.
3fj wrote:I'm permanently on the lookout for old rotary phones. If you find one, buy it and i will genuinely pay up to £20 + p+p to Scotland. Paypal bitchiz!

I have three. A black one and two aqua ones. They're easier to find at garage sales than thrift stores.

I love thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets. Most of my clothes and shoes were bought at a good one in Vallejo. It collects in Marin so there's often really good stuff, and the pricers don't always recognize certain brand names, like, say, Armani (well, they didn't used to, at any rate, they've gotten better at that).

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Alpha Omicron » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:06 am UTC

The thing about rotary phones is that the PSTN doesn't really support pulse-dialing phones.
I do know of one number that goes to a church somewhere in the States that only dials through if you pulse it.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Dibley » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:40 am UTC

Mine works fine...

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Alpha Omicron » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:25 pm UTC

Dibley wrote:Mine works fine...

Really? Hunh. You're not in that weird switch up in Alaska are you? (I know you're not, but still.)
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:49 pm UTC

Dibley wrote:
PatrickRsGhost wrote:I once bought an electric ice cream maker for $10, pretty much never been used.

Does it contain its own refrigeration unit, or do you have to put it in the freezer? If it has one, and works, it's worth a minimum of $150 used.


No. This is the kind where you pour the ingredients into a gallon-size metal container, place a plastic paddle in the middle of the mixture, attach to the motor, seat the motor on a larger bucket, place ice cubes and rock salt around the metal container, plug in the motor, and continuously add ice and salt. It looks like one of the old hand-crank ones, but minus the hand crank.

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Dibley » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:21 pm UTC

Alpha Omicron wrote:
Dibley wrote:Mine works fine...

Really? Hunh. You're not in that weird switch up in Alaska are you? (I know you're not, but still.)

California, just north of San Francisco. Maybe I'd have trouble calling to certain areas? I don't think that's how the system works, but I don't know. I guess eventually the switches will stop offering backwards compatibility (though I don't know why, it seems as though it'd be pretty trivial to implement). I already have a bit of trouble because I don't have a # or a *, and am at a hidden number, so when I call people that require you to reveal your number via *82 (obnoxious habit), I have to use a different phone.

Regardless of which type, ice cream makers are awesome, and well worth the effort. Home made ice cream is much better. This is quite possibly the coolest ice cream maker, though. Instead of cranking it, you kick it around like a ball.

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby 3fj » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

I live in the UK, and from what i hear everything works A-OK. i have two phone lines (one is technically VoIP. BT and their crazy schemes :roll: ) and would like a rotary phone to go with the retro/modern thing i have going. (i also have LCD and CRT monitors in a duel screen set-up. I salvaged the CRT from a friend who was away to dump it)
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Random832 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:12 pm UTC

3fj wrote:I check every week in my local ones (2 within 5minute walking distance!) for cool stuff.

I'm permanently on the lookout for old rotary phones. If you find one, buy it and i will genuinely pay up to £20 + p+p to Scotland. Paypal bitchiz!


Are you sure an american one will work on the british phone system?

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby 3fj » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:02 pm UTC

Just checked, apparently not.

OK, so if anyone UK wise sees a rotary phone kicking around? :P

I saw a few on the interwebs. I might buy one in a bit. I'd like to point out i don't have the cash this month :D.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

[necro]

I visited a small flea market near home the other day, and bought a McGregor brand jacket for only $1 (US). It had a couple of tears in it, mainly in the pockets. It also has a few stains. I already washed it once in the washing machine after soaking it in some stain remover. It helped some. I may get some of that Tide To Go and blot out the stains with that, and then wash it again. My mom sewed up the rips in the pockets. The one or two tears on the sleeves I may see about having her patch up with some leather patches.

I also visited a nearby thrift store, and bought four polo-style shirts for about $3 apiece, instead of paying about $9 to $12 apiece for them at Wal-Mart.

[/necro]
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Cheese » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:12 pm UTC

...my first copy of FFVII was from a charity shop in Edinburgh. Sadly, I didn't have a computer that wouldn't crash at the Cosmo Canyon movie (eurgh, what a nasty bug) until several years later, so I only played about a fifth of the story, and a lot less of the game. I first finished the game when I borrowed the PlayStation version from a friend for a few months.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Klapaucius » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:15 pm UTC

The best thing I ever got from a thrift store is a VHS tape I came across when I was around 9. It was N64 Rumble Pak: The Movie.
Apparently it was a promotional tool for the Rumble Pak when it first came out, and though I lost it many years ago, it was a beautiful piece of cinema. There were these terrorists who were out to find the secret of the Rumble Pak's extreme rumbling ability, and kept torturing this guy to get him to spill Nintendo's secret.

"Where are they available!?"
"I DON'T KNOW!"
(punches in jaw)
"Alright, I give up! You can find them at your nearest electronics shop!"
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Random832 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:06 am UTC

Klapaucius wrote:The best thing I ever got from a thrift store is a VHS tape I came across when I was around 9. It was N64 Rumble Pak: The Movie.
Apparently it was a promotional tool for the Rumble Pak when it first came out, and though I lost it many years ago, it was a beautiful piece of cinema. There were these terrorists who were out to find the secret of the Rumble Pak's extreme rumbling ability, and kept torturing this guy to get him to spill Nintendo's secret.

"Where are they available!?"
"I DON'T KNOW!"
(punches in jaw)
"Alright, I give up! You can find them at your nearest electronics shop!"



You sure it isn't this Star Fox ad?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3oGylkA2S4

There's a bit about the rumble pak at about halfway through - "you didn't tell him about the rumble pak, did you?" "No... Bob... You just did."

Also found this bit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGFRi_ue ... re=related where a Nintendo guy specifically denies their names being "Mario Mario" and "Luigi Mario"

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Dibley » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:54 am UTC

I actually have that video. I'm pretty sure it came with my rumble pack, and yes, it was about Star Fox.

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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby ishikiri » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:00 am UTC

3fj wrote:Just checked, apparently not.

OK, so if anyone UK wise sees a rotary phone kicking around? :P

I saw a few on the interwebs. I might buy one in a bit. I'd like to point out i don't have the cash this month :D.

Have you tried Ebay?

I got my 50's/60's Cameras from there. My Ilford Sportsman Pronto (circa '62) was at steal at £6. I keep forgetting to go back and find a 70's one with an intergrated flash, for when I'm with my friends in poor lighting. I hate digital Photos - they're so soulless.
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Charity Shopping!

Postby Felstaff » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:03 pm UTC

YES.

Image


Go to any charity shop (in the UK) and you will find a Mrs. Mills record. The lady was a cockney maestro.

There will also most likely be records from the following artists:
  • Enya
  • George Michael
  • The Eagles
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Pirate.Bondage » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:25 pm UTC

I like browsing secondhand stores, always something interesting to find. Once I found a beautiful white dress [that was normally pretty expensive] and got it for like 10 bucks. That was an amazing day.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby DaMullet » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

I got my (now)trademark Trenchcoat at a thrift store for 5 dollars in August.
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Re: Charity Shopping!

Postby Raiku » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:12 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:YES.

Image


Go to any charity shop (in the UK) and you will find a Mrs. Mills record. The lady was a cockney maestro.

There will also most likely be records from the following artists:
  • Enya
  • George Michael
  • The Eagles


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Re: Charity Shopping!

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:25 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:There will also most likely be records from the following artists:
  • Enya
  • George Michael
  • The Eagles


You forgot ABBA, Elvis, Longines Symphonette, and The Chart-Toppers, singing your favorite Beatles songs, horribly.
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Re: Charity Shopping!

Postby Klapaucius » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:38 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:
Felstaff wrote:There will also most likely be records from the following artists:
  • Enya
  • George Michael
  • The Eagles


You forgot ABBA, Elvis, Longines Symphonette, and The Chart-Toppers, singing your favorite Beatles songs, horribly.


I've always wanted to listen to the Longines Symphonette, ever since I learned that, like a bluebird of happiness, it doesn't rest.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby DaMullet » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:23 am UTC

I listened to them once, and I had a bee in my bonnet all day about something. They put too fine a point on it, I think.
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Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Alias » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:31 am UTC

i got an amazing long black wool coat from oxfam for 5£

and a blanket which litereally saved my life
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Klapaucius
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Klapaucius » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:33 am UTC

DaMullet wrote:I listened to them once, and I had a bee in my bonnet all day about something. They put too fine a point on it, I think.


At least you didn't end up like Jason and a thousand screaming Argonauts.
500%!

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steewi
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:38 am UTC
Location: Tropical Nowhere

Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby steewi » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:57 am UTC

The waistcoat I'm wearing in the Post yo Feh's thread was a thrift store tablecloth.

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AtomicCow
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:57 am UTC

Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby AtomicCow » Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:32 am UTC

A friend and I picked up a DynaTAC 8000X with working charger. We tried to find somewhere to activate it, like a pay-per-minute thing, but you can't activate it. :(

But you could call a service depending on who's in charge of your area. Verizon was the owner of the tower by our school so I could talk to them. They gave me the sad news about activating, and then we spent the next few days calling and bugging whomever was working. One of the people we got to transfer us to a pizza place in town, that was cool, but couldn't be replicated on others. :(

The battery was terrible, and took forever to charge, so we decided to test how tough it was. No, it can't survive a 3 story fall.

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Cryopyre
Posts: 701
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:00 am UTC
Location: A desert

Re: Charity Shops / Secondhand Items

Postby Cryopyre » Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:00 am UTC

Have you ever seen "A Christmas Story?" because I know someone who found a Little Orphan Annie secret society decoder ring with a special compartment.
Felstaff wrote:I actually see what religion is to social, economical and perhaps political progress in a similar way to what war is to technological progress.

Gunfingers wrote:Voting is the power to speak your mind. You, apparently, had nothing to say.


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