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The brutal force of government

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If you followed my Facebook link here because you are outraged that "The Governor of Oklahoma is forcing banks and insurance agencies to not do business with Planned Parenthood," Good. Let's see if your outrage is selective or not. Please replace "Oklahoma" with "New York", "Planned Parenthood" with "NRA" and read it again. If your outrage dissipated, or worse, turned into smug satisfaction, congratulations, you're a hypocrite! Why? Because the business shouldn't matter.

To set the record straight, New York Governor Cuomo is persecuting the National Rifle Association by pressuring banks and insurance agencies to not do business with the them. The clear intent of this is to force the NRA out of New York State or out of business entirely. Here's what's going on. Worse than taking away guns, New York threatens to take away NRA's insurance.

Just to be clear, here is the definition of persecuted:

  1. to pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment, especially because of religious or political beliefs, ethnic or racial origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
  2. to annoy or trouble persistently.

This happened to many businesses and individuals deemed "marginal" by Obama's government under Operation Choke Point. I wrote about it here.

Because I'm ideologically consistent, I don't care what the business or organization does. I would be speaking out if this was the ACLU, Planned Parenthood or even the Southern Policy Law Center. As long as the good or service produced by a company or organization is legal, I will stand up for them.

This started with an insurance product offered by the National Rifle Association called Carry Guard, an insurance policy for those citizens who lawfully carry a firearm in public. If that armed citizen should ever have to (God forbid) use their weapon to protect themselves, the policy will pay the legal fees for their defense. Because the truth of the matter is, even if a self-defense shooting is ruled justifiable by the police and there is no criminal prosecution, the family of the criminal often sues. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has since decided to declare the selling of this legal product as illegal. Not the actual insurance, mind you, but Cuomo is using the pretext of "The NRA is selling it and they are not licensed to sell insurance." Which is absurd on it's face and anyone with a minimum level of intelligence (and no agenda) can easily see what's going on.

Now it has gone beyond that. It has been made clear to the Insurance and Banking industries (both heavily regulated by the State) in New York in no uncertain terms that "Things will be difficult for you if you offer services to the NRA." No large organization can operate today without liability insurance or the ability to process electronic payments or bank accounts, so this is hurting the NRA.

This is a clear case of persecution. This act defines the "weaponization of government," meaning the full regulatory force of the government (federal, state or local) is being brought to bear on an organization that is engaged in legal business that is compliant with the law, with the intent to cause it to fail. If you are neutral or even in favor of this persecution, then all I can say is KEEP YOUR PIEHOLE SHUT IF THIS HAPPENS TO AN ORGANIZATION YOU LIKE. You started this dance, you like it when this happens to the NRA, expect it to happen to a Leftist organization. If you don't want it to happen to Planned Parenthood, et.al., then don't let it happen to the NRA.

This is why I argue for a smaller and less-intrusive government so it can't do things like this. Government is a brute-force weapon, if it goes after something, expect collateral damage.

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Patriot's Day 2018

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It has been seventeen years since a group of radical Islamists hijacked four commercial passenger aircraft. Two found their way to the World Trade Center, one to the Pentagon in Washington. The fourth, supposedly bound for the White House, crashed in a Pennsylvania field when the passengers tried to retake the aircraft.

In the days after, the world separated into two groups, civilized and uncivilized. The civilized people of this world reacted with horror, anger, empathy, concern and sympathy. The French newspaper LeMonde's headline for September 12th, 2001 read simply, “Nous sommes tous Américains.” We are all Americans.

911WTC

The uncivilized people of the world danced and celebrated in the streets, giving candy to children. Now, just so you know I’m not talking just about the Middle East, we had (and still have) plenty of uncivilized people here. This person is a prime example. Please notice how brave this person is, hiding behind their sign.

ihateny

Since then, we invaded two countries, overthrew their governments and tried to give them freedom, with less-than-ideal results. Thousands of our best and brightest served and died in these two countries. A lot of American blood and sweat was expended in this fight. Thousands of our veterans who made it through but never really came home are still suffering. All I can say is we made the best decision we could at the time.

A Hero Who Never Came Home

Looking back, I understand the purpose of invading Iraq. We wanted to change Islamic society at the root level by installing a freedom-based government in Iraq, hoping the countries around them would see Iraq prosper and think to themselves, "I want some of that" and the idea of Freedom would spread and fundamentally change the Muslim world. What we ended up with is millions of Stockholm Syndrome sufferers who not only didn't want freedom of choice and action to the degree Americans enjoy it, but actively fought against it. We also did find those chemical weapons stockpiles, however the chemicals were "expired," meaning they were still fatally toxic but not in their designed way. While the MSM touched on the subject, it never received a hundredth of the coverage of "Bush lied, people died."

To all who died on this say, to all who took up arms to defend this country, from on old, grizzled, ex-sailor I salute you.

Todays Color Alert

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NYT's Anonymous Op-Ed

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This came out last week, and I had to sit on it for a few days so I could temper my words.

The "Senior Administration Official" who wrote this unmitigated piece of horseshit is a moral and physical coward. He has no testicles, no guts, no spine, no moral conviction and most of all, no loyalty. And to all of my Leftist friends, if this had happened during Obama's (or Hillary's) presidency, I would have said the same thing.

Every person who works for another has a societal obligation to do their best for whomever they are working for. To not do your best or even interfere with that your boss/customer has told you to do is a betrayal of trust that goes beyond all forgiveness. It is the highest violation of trust you can visit upon another, and it does nothing but destroy your own word and integrity. The consequences of this one action should result in your being unemployable, let alone having any position of authority for the rest of your life. No one will ever trust you again. If you pass on to your reward homeless and broke, you got off lightly.

I fully understand that there is private "in-fighting" with any group of people. Behind closed doors there will be loud words, hurt feelings and sometimes even blood spilled (metaphorical, not actual). That being said, if you cannot present a public face totally supportive of your boss, then don't be there. .

I can say this because this is what I did.

You can read my prior posts under Masonry to get the full story. When the Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee suspended two brothers for the heinous crime of loving each other, I stood to be counted to abolish this rule. When working within the system failed, I spoke out publicly. I did not hide, everyone who needed to know who wrote the words I posted here and on Facebook knew without a doubt who I was. Those words earned me a private meeting with the next Grand Master, who gave me the options of shutting up, quitting the fraternity or being expelled, I chose to be expelled.

I have completed my thoughts on the insipid, milquetoast, craven, turncoat coward who wrote this. Now it's the New York Times' turn.

To the editor-in-chief and the editorial staff of the New York Times: Jane you ignorant slut.

I seriously have to ask, how many journalistic ethics boundaries did you ignore, break or bypass? To publish something of such a salacious, unverified, undignified and disturbing matter speaks volumes about your lack of integrity. The Press is supposed to have standards and integrity, that what they report is true, correct and complete. That the reporting of events are clearly separated from opinion. That we can discuss points of opinion with the author. The trust and integrity you build while doing this is why the customer decides to part with some of their money to purchase your product. If your customers can't trust what you say to be true, why should they purchase your product?

I'm sure your aim in publishing this bullshit was to hurt Trump. A man who was elected on the premise that Washington is hurting the rest of the country. A man who has made great strides in returning freedom and money to the American People. While you have increased the volume in your Leftist echo chamber, you have done nothing more than further alienate half of the country. In my eyes, the Weekly World News has more credibility than you do.

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South Africa is going Full Zimbabwe

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This is what happens when the laws are easy to change and there is racial animus. 

Starting in 1980, as soon as Zimbabwe became independent from the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Robert Mugabe who came into power at the end of White minority rule, started a program that seized commercial farms from White farmers. At the start of this unnecessary catastrophe, Zimbabwe was known as the "breadbasket of Africa." Today, at least 75% of the country ranks "High to Very High" in food insecurity. While Zimbabwe used to export food, they are one of the biggest importers of food and a large part of their population would die from starvation if those shipments stopped.

Then this story comes out last week, South Africa farm seizure: Terrified white farmers plot escape as crackdown looms.

From the article:

And ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe sparked panic last week when he said: “You shouldn’t own more than 25,000 acres of land.
“Therefore if you own more it should be taken without compensation.
“People who are privileged never give away privilege as a matter of a gift.
“And that is why we say, to give you the tools, revisit the constitution so that you have a legal tool to do it.”

This is the kind of governmental abuses that are visited upon the people of a country when the government can either rewrite their constitution any time they want, or those vested with the responsibility of following it, don't.

Those who study history without an agenda can clearly see what happened (and is still in progress) in Zimbabwe repeating in South Africa. And just like Socialists who believe, "Despite the historical, documented proof that Socialism has a 99% failure rate (the last 1% hasn't failed yet, but they're close). It will get done right this time because we'll be the ones' in charge," those committing this land grab will think everything will turn out wonderfully. Which, of course it won't and millions of people will starve to death like with the various Five-Year Plans of the USSR, China and other Socialist countries.

The operative lesson for everyone, Capitalists, Socialists, Communists alike is this: "If you take the means of production away from those who produce and give it to those who can't produce, don't be surprised if nothing will get produced."

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How stupid can you be?

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Masterpiece Cake Shop recently beat the proverbial snot out of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission with a 7-2 SCOTUS victory, affirming the right of the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop to refuse to apply his talents to a custom-made cake celebrating things he finds morally and spiritually objectionable, in this case a wedding cake for a same-sex couple (He also won't do Halloween cakes, either, just so you know). He would sell them any standard cake in the shop, however he would not make them a custom cake. I wrote in detail on it here. This comes from the Huffington Post, Masterpiece Cakeshop Owner Sues Colorado After Refusing To Bake Trans Woman’s Cake.

So, what does radical Leftists do when they lose like this? Get furious, double down and work harder to destroy those who disagree with them.

A trans-woman went to Masterpiece Cake Shop, just a few days after the SCOTUS decision and wanted him to make a custom cake for her to celebrate her anniversary for coming out as a woman. This woman is either stupider than a bag of hammers (for not knowing about the SCOTUS decision), or she went there intentionally to pick a fight. I'm leaning toward the latter. When the owner, Jack Phillips, refused on the same moral grounds to make this custom cake, she sued and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission has forced Phillips into mediation with this woman.

When the highest court in the country says, "The owner has the right to not be forced by the State to apply his work and talents to things he finds morally objectionable" those of us who live in the rational world would call that "A CLUE" and would advise against poking that particular sleeping bear.

This is what escapes me:

A spokesperson for the Anti-Violence Project said the denial of services to LGBTQ community members fuels disrespect and violence.

“This is a concerted effort by Phillips, in concert with designated hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, to push anti-LGBTQ discrimination under the guise of so-called religious freedom,” the spokesperson, Eliel Cruz, told HuffPost. “These continued infringements on LGBTQ people’s access to public goods and services cultivates a culture of violence against us by promoting a narrative that LGBTQ people are less than. Sexual orientation or gender identity should not prohibit anyone from being treated with dignity and respect at any establishment.”

Okay. She can buy a cake from this business, she just can't get a custom cake celebrating her transition, that she could easily get from any of at least another dozen bakers in the city. This woman is supposedly offended that Phillips refused her service. Does her demand to force Phillips not to offend her by refusing to accept her money trump Phillips being offended for being forced to do something morally reprehensible to him?

Being offended is how you choose to respond to a situation. There is no law, legal or social, that says you have the right to get your way if you're offended. If you don't like how you're treated at business A, walk out their door with your money and give that money to business B. That's the best message I can think of. It's part of this funny concept we in the United States have, it's called freedom. You may or may not have heard about it, and it goes both ways.

Because this woman picked a fight and the CCRC decided to poke this bear (again), this time the bear is showing his teeth. Phillips is fighting back against this persecution. He's suing the Colorado Governor, the Colorado Attorney General and every member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, individually and by name. I hope he sues for damages equal to 10 times each individuals net worth, to send a clear message to let some sleeping bears lie.

Oh, I almost forgot. In a previous post of mine, Governor John Hickenlooper, just to show what kind of classy guy he is, made a quite overt promise (threats are usually idle) that he would pardon a mass murderer if he wasn't re-elected in 2014. I hope Hickenlooper pays dearly enough for this lawsuit that he will have to rent the spare bedrooms in the Governor's mansion to help him pay for what he owes Mr. Phillips.

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People can change

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Everyone (should be) familiar with MLK's Mountaintop speech he gave the night before he was assassinated. The phrase where he said "he hopes one day we judge a person by the content of their character and not the color of their skin."

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his 1963 book Strength to Love:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

With this in mind, I am happy to bring this article to you: White Nationalist, KKK Member Who Marched in Charlottesville Baptized by Those He Once Hated.

Ken Parker, who was part of the White Nationalists at the Charlottesville rally, was interviewed by Deeyah Kahn, a Black woman and a documentary filmmaker at the rally. Kahn listened intently and treated Parker and his views respectfully, and treated him kindly when he developed heat exhaustion. This simple act started Parker on the road to question his hate.

Some months later, Parker approached a group of Blacks having a cookout near Parker's home. He and his girlfriend walked over and started talking with them. A couple months after that, after more such conversations, Parker was giving testimony and asking for forgiveness from the members of the All Saints Holiness Church. During his testimony, he said this:

"I said I was a grand dragon [recruiter] of the KKK, and then the Klan wasn’t hateful enough for me, so I decided to become a Nazi..."

Parker then went on to join this church and become baptized in it. He then went through the painful process to have his Klan and Nazi tattoos removed.

This proves that if you want to win people to your cause, you do it by being the kind of person and leading the kind of life that others want to emulate. You don't draw people to your cause by calling them vile things or threatening violence. You meet them where they are, reach out to them and maybe when they are ready they will follow you.

My personal philosophy is to leave every person I encounter better than how I left them. I always try to show kindness, politeness and consideration, especially when I am furious at someone or something. I always have a Markism on my tongue to make the other person smile as well. I believe that if we all did this in every personal interaction, the world would be a better place. I ask that you do the same.

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Is Spygate unraveling?

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Something is happening with this whole "Trump/Russia collusion" thing. It's starting to unravel and George Papadopoulos might be that thread that pulls everything apart.

Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to federal investigators in October 2017. Lying to federal investigators is a minor process crime. You can get charged with this if you give your story twice (or more) and reword any statements, or add/forget even minor details in the statement. The plea deal to this lower charge is to avoid "more serious charges." We don't know what those "more serious charges" are because in the federal system, dropping charges after a defendant is indicted is difficult at best. The "more serious charges" are not brought to a grand jury if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to lesser charges. So, we have no idea what charges Papadopoulos were threatened with.

Anyway, his sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 7th. From what I understand, right about the time that Peter Strzok was fired from the FBI, Papadopoulos' lawyers filed a motion of discovery to see the evidence the FBI has against their client. According to Rachael Maddow, the Mueller team asked for and was granted a protective order preventing the release of this evidence to Papadopoulos and his legal team. The statement reads in part:

"Entry of a protective order restricting the use, dissemination, and disposition of discovery materials is essential to permit the United States to provide certain discovery to the defendant, which the defendant has requested in advance of his sentencing proceeding..."

This is interesting because things have come out in the past several days. While this whole thing is very complex and with multiple players, I am going to concentrate only on the events that started this ball rolling.

In May of 2016, George Papadopoulos was in a London bar and just so happened to strike up a conversation with Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat. During this conversation, Papadopoulos stated (upon prompting by Downer) that he "heard the Russians have dirt on Hillary." In June 2016, Downer reported this contact to US authorities in late June, about 6 weeks after the meeting. This event has been declared as what started the whole investigation.

It came out a couple of months ago that in April of 2016 (a month before the meeting with Downer), George Papadopoulos had a conversation with Cambridge Professor Joseph Mifsud. Here is a quote from the charging document filed by the Mueller team against Papadopoulos:

On or about April 26, 2016, the defendant Papadopoulos met the Professor [Mifsud] for breakfast at a London hotel. During this meeting, the Professor told defendant Papadopoulos that he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian government officials. The Professor told defendant Papadopoulos that on that trip he (the Professor) learned that the Russians had obtained “dirt” on then-candidate Clinton. The Professor told defendant Papadopoulos, as defendant Papadopoulos later described to the FBI, that “They [the Russians] have dirt on her”; “the Russians had emails of Clinton”; “they have thousands of emails.” [Emphasis added]

Now, based on that information, you might reasonably conclude that Mifsud could be a Russian agent of some kind. You would be wrong. Don't feel bad, that's what most people who knew about this thought as well. Evidence has surfaced in the past week that indicates Mifsud is an agent of a Western, not Russian intelligence agency. Which one is still not clear, however things are leaning toward a British intelligence agency.

Let me put it to you this way. Let's say someone you have never met before strikes up a conversation with you one day, and tells you, "Hey, I heard about some guys who want to rob a bank. Would you like to help?" Of course, most people would say "no." Then, a couple weeks later, another person asks you, "Hey, have you heard anything about a bank robbery?" When you say offhandedly, "some guy I've never met before told me about one..." At this point you're arrested and charged with "Conspiracy to Commit Robbery." It turns out both people you had conversations with were undercover police or a confidential informant of the police. In legal terms this is called ENTRAPMENT. This is where the police (or their agent) entices a person who is not intending to commit a crime to commit one.

Mifsud, an alleged Western intelligence agent, planted this bug into Papadopoulos' ear. Downer, another agent (who has direct ties with the Clintons, but I digress) pulled that information out of Papadopoulos and that was used to start the whole Trump witch hunt. With this revelation, it seems to indicate that Papadopoulos is going to withdraw his guilty plea on September 7th. If this goes to trial, some rather embarrassing facts could come to light. Facts that do not work in favor with the Mueller team, the FBI, the Justice Department or the Obama administration.

I am just speculating here. If Mifsud "pushed" this information into Papadopoulos on the orders of Mifsud's handlers (whomever he works for), that would seriously damage the relationship between the US and that country, because a friendly country caused all of this pain and heartache to happen. Let's speculate even further. Let's say a US government official asked this foreign intelligence agency to push this information to someone in the Trump campaign, namely Papadopoulos. What do you think that could mean? A senior-level Obama administration official, asking a friendly foreign intelligence agency to run an entrapment operation on Papadopoulos and by extension the Trump campaign. I would consider that a very serious allegation, wouldn't you?

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Why we aren't a Democracy

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This is what happens when you keep calling the United States a Democracy: Think the Constitution Will Save Us? Think Again.

Okay folks, words matter. Words have distinct meanings and must mean the same thing to everybody. Except for Leftists and people fooled by Leftists. In their case, words mean what they want them to mean and the same word at the beginning of a sentence can have a different meaning by the end of it.

Let's go over this. One. More. Time.

THE UNITED STATES IS A FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC.

This country is called the United States and not the United People is because the Constitution was not written by or for the People, it was written by delegates from the thirteen State governments. The Constitution was not ratified by a popular vote, it was done so by the State governments.

Here's what those words mean:

1) FEDERAL - Pertaining to or of the nature of a union of states under a central government distinct from the individual governments of the separate states.

2) CONSTITUTIONAL - A system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, corporation, or the like, is governed.

3) REPRESENTATIVE - Each declared district elects one person from their group to represent all of the citizens in that district in the body they are elected to.

4) REPUBLIC - A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

When I look up Democracy, I get this: 

Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

I know I live in a Republic and not a Democracy because of this simple fact: In Memphis, TN, 63% of the population identify as "Black or African-American" and a majority of City Council members, 7 of the 13 are Black. If this were a democracy (direct or indirect), a motion could be introduced to the people as a whole or to the City Council that would read, "Starting September 5th, 2018, any person who is a legal resident of Memphis, TN can bring the head of a White person to the courthouse steps, shall receive a bounty of $50 per head."

In a Democracy, if a majority of the people voted for this (either the citizens as a whole, or their elected representatives), that bounty would be law. There would be no court to overturn it because a Democracy is "the will of the people." And until the "will of the people" changes, it is the law. In a Republic, where the rule of law applies to all and is intentionally hard to change, this would probably never happen.

So when I read the article I posted at the top of this article, my head almost exploded, which is why this is filed under Duct Tape Alert. This is the first paragraph:

Consider a few facts: Donald Trump is in the White House, despite winning almost three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. The Senate, the country’s most powerful legislative chamber, grants the same representation to Wyoming’s 579,315 residents as it does to 39,536,653 Californians. Key voting rights are denied to citizens in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other United States territories. The American government is structured by an 18th-century text that is almost impossible to change.

The Congress is a bicameral legislative body balancing the interests of the People (House) and the States (Senate). In order for a law to pass, it must advance the well-being (supposedly) of both the States and the Citizens. The House I believe is the most powerful chamber, as it controls the money of government. To balance that great power, the Senate was given many lesser things that have to do with the government itself, internally and externally. These are in the interests of the States, not the People, which is why those powers are invested in the Senate. The Constitution gave equal power in the Senate to each State (two Senators) for the declared purpose of that the larger States could not force their agendas down the throats of the smaller States.

The irony is thick in the second paragraph. First of all, they quote from Federalist #10, The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection:

For James Madison, writing in Federalist No. 10, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention” incompatible with the rights of property owners.

I guess it's a normal and expected thing for the New York Times to misquote and take out of context people they don't agree with, especially Dead Rich White Males. Here's the whole sentence that Madison wrote and they misquoted and took out of context:

A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. [emphasis mine]

Democracies are the tyranny of the majority. Because the "rule of the people" is the only measure, there can be no stability. What is the law one day can be changed the next. Republics, through the rule of law and hard processes to change those laws, actually protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Even some liberals like Vox’s Matthew Yglesias rightly worry that the current system of governance is headed toward collapse.

I agree that the current system is headed towards collapse. However, it's through the ballooning federal government, the overspending and a whole lot more rather than the structure provided by the Constitution.

Yet whether or not the president knows it, the Constitution has long been venerated by conservative business elites like himself on the grounds that it hands them the power to fend off attempts to redistribute wealth and create new social guarantees in the interest of working people. There’s a reason we’re the only developed country without guarantees such as universal health care and paid maternity leave.

Yes, there is a reason why we don't have universal health care and paid maternity leave. It's called the #1 economy in the world at $20 Trillion GDP. This derives from  the freedom to choose to do what you want to do with your money, not the government. If we redistribute all of the money from "the rich" to the "not rich," (with the government taking "its' fare share", of course) then we will not have an economy. Because the people who own the businesses lose their money, they can't run companies. No companies, no jobs.

While preserving and expanding the Bill of Rights's incomplete safeguards of individual freedoms, we need to start working toward the establishment of a new political system that truly represents Americans.

There they go again. The Bill of Rights do not "give" Rights from the government to the People, they recognize that Man has these Rights by the nature of his Birth. Thus, the Bill of Rights clearly restrict the government from infringing on those Rights. You might want to read the Preamble for the Bill of Rights, because it says it in there.

So here's the payoff for the article, but only the intermediary objective:

Our ideal should be a strong federal government powered by a proportionally elected unicameral legislature. But intermediary steps toward that vision can be taken by abolishing the filibuster, establishing federal control over elections and developing a simpler way to amend the Constitution through national referendum.

So let's break this down:

  • Strong federal government - More power for Washington, less power for States and Citizens.
  • Proportionally elected unicameral legislature - One House, no Senate. A great way for the big bully States to force their agenda on smaller States.
  • Abolishing the filibuster - A senate procedural rule. Filibusters are stopped by a Cloture vote. The number of votes to invoke Cloture started at 2/3's (67 votes), it's now down to 60 votes and several subjects are exempt from it, namely Supreme Court nominees. This rule protects the minority party, which the Democrats are right now.
  • Federal control over elections - Elections are currently run and certified at the county level, all 3,133 of them. Yes, there are corrupt and mismanaged counties. Which would you prefer, several counties that might have "incorrect" vote tallies, or a federally run system where one person could switch a million votes to the candidate they support? Stalin is credited with saying, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."
  • Amend the Constitution through National Referendum - Something like California's Proposition process? Too bad the courts have overturned at least 9 of them in recent years. And remember, the Constitution was set up for the States, not the People.

This is what you need to consider. Our system is meant for long periods of deliberation, then a vote to set the direction for the next several years. when you allow for a shorter cycle subject to the transitory will of the People, nothing but chaos will result. Look at how quickly high-heeled Crocs came and went. Do you want a Constitutional Amendment that is the legal equivalent of that?

Of course, I said "intermediary objective" for a reason. I am sure that Leftists want to either abolish elections altogether, or render them moot. As a real world history lesson, if you belonged to the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, you were required to vote. If you didn't belong to the Party, you didn't vote. Each elected office had one person on the ballot you could vote for and no write-ins allowed. If that's the kind of electoral system you want, please go somewhere else.

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Why we can't have a civil discussion

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The other day it came out that Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys had a "toe-the-line" policy that no Cowboy will kneel during the National Anthem. I fully support that. It's his team, he signs the paychecks and If a player doesn't like it, he can play somewhere else. It's a free country. Or is it?

When Dak Prescott, the Quarterback for the Cowboys released this statement, Liberals went berserk:

I’d never protest during anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so. The game of football has always brought me such a peace, and I think it does the same for a lot of people – a lot of people playing the game, a lot of people watching the game, a lot of people that have any impact of the game. So when you bring such a controversy to the stadium, to the field, to the game, it takes away ... from that. It takes away from the joy and the love that football brings a lot of people. For me, I’m all about making a change and making a difference. I think this whole kneeling, and all of that, was all about just raising awareness, and the fact that we’re still talking about social injustice years later, I think we’ve gotten to that point. I think we’ve proved it. We know about social injustice. I’m up for taking a next step, whatever that step may be for action and not just kneeling.

I’ve always believed in standing up for what I believe in, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.

I find this statement to be thoughtful, full of personal emotion, a respectful recognition of other viewpoints and a call to action.

How was this regarded by Carron J. Phillips (Facebook, Twitter)? I took a screen cap of his tweet:

carron phillips 1

I have no idea why Mr. Phillips pulled that particular punch. After all, Mr Phillips and Mr. Prescott are both African-Americans, so Mr. Phillips' would have been within his prerogative to use the term "house nigger," because Blacks can use that word with Blacks. If you are not familiar with this particular pejorative, the slaves who worked in the fields did not like the slaves that worked in the house and served the Masters, because the "house niggers" received better food, slept in better conditions and didn't have to work under the hot sun in the fields all day long.

After such a Tweet, was Mr. Phillips apologetic, perhaps slightly amenable to moderating his position? Umm, no. Recalcitrant as ever, this was the follow up Tweet:

carron phillips 2

Like we have "Moore's Law" and "Godwin's Law," I thought about naming this as "Carron's law," then I realized, every radical leftist does this. If you disagree with a radical leftist, even if the difference is by 0.0001%, you will be name-called everything in the book and they will seek to destroy you. Personally, professionally and ideologically.

Then we have this incident, Candace Owens and Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA were having a quiet breakfast in public when they were without provocation attacked by about 50 Antifas. Kirk had water thrown on him. Let me make something perfectly clear, if I see someone approaching me with a glass containing a liquid and they seem intending on throwing it on me, I will ENGAGE WITH DEADLY FORCE BEFORE THEY CAN THROW IT. Why? Can you tell from 10 feet away the difference between a glass filled with water and a glass filled with hydrochloric acid? Here's a couple of pictures of the results when acid gets thrown on people. It's not pretty:

acid attackacid attack 2

With this being a possible outcome having an unknown liquid splashed on you, would you want to wait until it's on you to find out what it was? I didn't think so. If you think that anybody deserves this for any reason, you are lower than an animal.

When a response to a differing opinion is extreme epithets, personal attacks, threats of violence or actual violence, then there can be no reasoned exchange of ideas. This threat of violence and "mock violence" will escalate and inevitably lead to someone getting seriously injured or dead. And let me tell you Leftists, those of us on the Right have more guns than the police and the military. If it comes down to shooting, which I hope to God it never does, we will run out of targets (i.e. Leftists/Antifa) before we run out of ammunition.

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Government doesn't owe you shit

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It's been case law since 1856 when SCOTUS ruled in South v. Maryland that Law Enforcement has no duty to protect individual citizens. You cannot sue the police for damages if you call them for help and they do not respond in time (or at all).

One of the more brutal examples of this is Warren V. District of Columbia.

The story of the plight of disarmed D.C. residents really begins on the night of March 16, 1975, when three women, sharing a townhouse, were awakened by the sound of their door being kicked in. This was no ordinary burglary or home invasion; this was a horrific, unspeakable crime.

Two of the three roommates had rooms upstairs. They were awakened by the screaming of their friend downstairs who was being beaten, raped and sodomized by two men.

Carolyn Warren called the police and was told help was on the way. She and her other upstairs roommate watched in horror as a police car passed their home, merely slowing down. They called the police a second time. This time, there was no response at all. After an hour, hearing no sounds from the floor below, they called down to their friend, but merely alerted the rapists to their presence.

After that, all three women were forced to endure 14 unspeakable hours of sexual torture.

In essence, the government, short of a "special duty" has zero obligation to come to your aid if you are in distress. This is why the importance of having the Right to use the tools you determine necessary to defend yourself (i.e., firearms) is absolutely critical. I also spoke on this in my article The 'Why' of the Second Amendment, Part 1.

Teachers (as government workers in the public school system) are under the same non-obligation. In June 2018, a Michigan judge ruled the state has no duty to provide literacy services to children. Judge says there's no fundamental right to learn to read and write. In the "'Why' of the 2nd Amendment" article, I stated that the deputy who waited outside of the school during the Parkland school shooting had no legal requirement to enter the building and engage the shooter. His obligation was to arrest the shooter and bring him to the prosecutors. The human thing to do would have been to charge in and engage the shooter, even at the risk of his own life.

The government has no obligation to educate you. I can't say that enough. George Carlin in a rare moment said (paraphrasing), "...[those in charge] want workers who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but lack the critical thinking skills to see how bad things suck." The bad news is, the government pretty much is in charge of the People.

The decision to be literate is made by the person. No other person can force them to learn to read and write. Quite frankly, children can be taught by the parents that they don't need to learn these things, which is why if you read the article, you would find that only 44% of Detroit third-graders can read and write at their grade level. This just boggles my mind. I don't know if the parents don't care, if the children have learned helplessness from the parents and don't try, or the teachers are incompetent. Probably all three to varying degrees.

The advancement and enhancement of society in general depends on each citizen knowing as much as possible about a few things and being somewhat knowledgeable on many things. In my daily job, over 80% of my service calls are due to end-users not understanding the basics. They try to use equipment that clearly says "NOT IN SERVICE," or the screen is dark. They put documents into the wrong ports, the access cards they have to insert look like a Pringles chip and so on. One time a piece of equipment was getting removed from a site to allow for the installation of a newer unit. It was on the truck and ready to be hauled away and an end-user climbs up on the truck to use the old model. It had to be explained to the end-user that the unit on the truck would not work because it was not hooked to electrical power.

Common sense, the ability to acquire knowledge, to logically reason based on that knowledge and the ability to defend yourself are have to come from within yourself, through your own active efforts. If you let government give them to you, don't be surprised to find them not there to help you, or to be there to hurt you.

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Making sure they don't show up this time

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I have spoken before about the Muller Probe making a show when in February 2018 they indicted 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies, including Concord Management and Consulting, for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Oh, this is delicious and I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

These indictments clearly shows that a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. It turns out their case was so screwed up that one of the indicted entities was not even an incorporated entity (i.e., it did not exist) at the time of the alleged offenses. The fact of the matter is, these indictments were a media show to "prove" that Muller was "doing something," since the only things his team has uncovered to date were Flynn's and Papadopolous's lying to federal prosecutors, and Manafort's money laundering, which took place long before Trump was running for president. Of course, we don't have an extradition treaty with Russia, so Muller figured there is no chance that any Russians he charged would show up and his team would actually have to prosecute the case they supposedly had against them.

Then Concord Management actually showed up, demanded a speedy trial and demanded to immediately proceed to the discovery phase of the trial. In response to this, two things happened in a press conference by Rob Rosenstein on July 13th. The first was, the Mueller team has announced more indictments, this time of twelve Russian GRU (military intelligence) officers who will never show up in the US for any reason. Not only (again) do we not have an extradition treaty with Russia, the knowledge these men possess would be a security breach of the highest degree for the Russians. I am sure Putin would execute these men rather than have them set foot on US soil.

The second announcement at that press conference was that for the prosecution of Concord Management the Justice Department will now “transition responsibility for this case to our Department’s National Security Division while we await the apprehension of the defendants.” This means that this case will be buried in the Justice Department unit that deals with counterintelligence matters that do not result in public trials. So even if something does happen (which it won't), the results of that case will never see the light of day.

So now I have to ask an awkward question. If Muller and his team are there because the Justice Department can't or won't investigate, indict and prosecute crimes related to the Russian interference into the 2016 federal election, I have to ask why is he referring all of his indictments back to the Justice Department? If Mueller spent all of this time and resources to investigate and indict these people suspects, then referred the prosecution phase to the same people who wouldn't do the first two, why does he think they will execute the prosecution with enough vigor to earn a conviction?

Things that make you go "Hmmmmm....."

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Trump's Tariff War

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I believe tariffs are a bad thing. If you read Economics in One Lesson, you will learn that tariffs are a tax on incoming goods. While that was the way the government raised revenue in the 18th and 19th centuries (no income tax), from the late 19th century to today tariffs have been used to boost the cost (and thus the price to you) of foreign goods above the same goods produced domestically as a protectionist measure. This is a Bad Thing in today's global economy because we import from and export to just about every other country. There is almost no product you can purchase today where all of the components are manufactured in one country. Also, if we impose tariffs on incoming goods, there is nothing stopping the country we imported from to impose tariffs on things we ship them. In the end, no one wins because the company loses business and the consumer purchases less because the price is higher.

It's been all over the news since Trump took office about the tariffs he has imposed on the EU, China and other places. "TRADE WAR!!!!" is what all of our news outlets headlines have been.

Did you hear about this news? From CBS: Trump says U.S., EU working toward "zero" tariffs and NPR: Trump And EU Agree To Work Toward Zero Tariffs. It turns out that the EU had a tariffs on a variety of US goods.

If you had listened to Trump himself, rather than what the MSM talking heads are saying what Trump says, you would have heard Trump say he "wanted to negotiate better trade deals with other countries."

So in a trade relationship with the EU, they slapped tariffs on our goods, while we had few, if any tariffs on EU goods. So Trump equals and exceeds the tariffs on EU goods, the EU threatens to escalate their tariffs and back-and-forth several times. Then Trump meets with the EU and says, "These tariffs hurt both of us. Let's eliminate all of them. What do you think?" In a not-very-amazing move, the EU agreed. I say "not-very-amazing" because when you look at it from a global business point of view, tariffs are unquestionably A Bad Thing.

So, Trump has done a Very Good Thing. With EU tariffs on US goods gone, we should get more orders from Europe for our stuff. More orders == more demand == more jobs. Now all he has to do is rinse, wash, repeat for China.

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The integrity of law enforcement

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The most terrible power of a Law Enforcement Officer, Federal, State or Local, is the power of arrest. When an LEO arrests you, this means to their belief and knowledge, you have violated a law and you need to be held to account for that crime. This simple act and the accompanying words, "You are under arrest for..." changes people's lives. Like the Dark Side of the Force, once you start down that path, it will dominate your future life. Guilty or innocent, your finances will be ruined, your family will be disgraced and your young children will not understand why this Bad Man is taking you away from them. That's all on top of any prison time you may have to serve. If you manage to get a "not guilty" decision from the jury, you are still out thousands, if not millions of dollars spent on your defense and there will always be whispers about you. In the words of former Department of Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan after his acquittal, “What office do I go to to get my reputation back?”

The following applies to ANY warrant, be it an arrest warrant, a surveillance warrant, whatever:

The integrity of an LEO has to be beyond question. His word when he appears before a judge to ask for a warrant has to be nothing less than impeccable. The LEO swears, "The information I am about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Every piece of information use to obtain a warrant must be true. Either the LEO can produce the physical evidence, or testify that they witnessed/heard the information, or can produce the witness who made the statement. One hundred percent, nothing less. The truthful information in a warrant can't be 51%, or 67%, or 95%, not even if 99 44/100% of the evidence is true, the warrant must not be signed. To have any amount of false information in a warrant and presented as the truth to the judge, the judge will make the incorrect decision.

The reason why the word of an LEO must be impeccable is this: If the LEO is caught lying/falsifying information in a case, for whatever reason, every other case he has been involved with, not matter how tangentially, is now cast doubt on. Every case this LEO has been involved with, every person who has been convicted because of information he gathered and his testimony can now be retried. If that LEO has put 1,000 people in jail in a 30 year career, every one of those convicts can now sue the LEO and the jurisdiction that tried them. For every case he testifies in going forward, the first question any good defense lawyer will ask will be, "You lied in [this case], how can we trust and believe you now?"

Now let's get to the meat of the matter. Here is the application for a surveillance warrant presented to the FISA court to monitor Carter Page, and it's three subsequent renewals.

The "TOP SECRET/NOFORN" at the top and bottom of every page declares that there is information in this document containing information that has been classified as Top Secret. The NOFORN means that this information is not to be shown to any non-US citizen, even if they possess a TS clearance. The (U), (S), (S/NF) and so on at the beginning of every paragraph declares if that bit of information is Unclassified, Confidential, Secret, Top Secret or NOFORN.

Let's start at page 15 of the original application, with the first piece of evidence supporting why this warrant should be signed:

First, according to information provided by an FBI confidential human source (Source #1), [REDACTED] reported that Page had a [REDACTED].

Source #1, who now owns a foreign business/financial intelligence firm, was approached by an identified U.S. person, who indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1's ties to Russia (the identified U.S. person and source #1 have a long-standing business relationship). The identified U.S. person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1's ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1's campaign.

Source #1 tasked his sub-source(s) to collect the requisite information. After Source #1 received information from the sub-source(s), described herein, Source #1 provided the information to the identified U.S. person who had hired Source #1 and to the FBI. [REDACTED]

Notwithstanding Source #1's reason for conducting the research into Candidate #1's ties to Russia, based on Source #1's previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source #1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source #1's reporting herein to be credible. [REDACTED].

Just to make things clear, Candidate #1 is Trump, Source #1 is Christopher Steele, and the "identified U.S. person" is Daniel Jones. Who is he? A former staff person for Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). Jones raised $50 Million to hire Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to generate this dossier. This same dossier which in January 2017 FBI Director James Comey briefed President-Elect Trump about, which was in Comey's words, "salacious and unverified."

Now, if this was an intelligence or counter-intelligence operation, indirect information given by a reliable source is considered acceptable and "actionable," meaning we can use this information to conduct the operation. Except this is a criminal investigation. For a court of law, a "dependable source" who vouches for the information they got from someone else won't cut it. Vicarious credibility (I trust Bob, who says this fact he got from someone else is true, so I believe the fact is true) does not exist in a court of law. Well, it does, but it's called hearsay and it's not admissible.

No criminal charges can be brought against anybody using any information that is discovered from Page's texts, emails or phone calls from this warrant. Because the basis of the warrant to gather that information was false, this corrupts everything derived from it. This is known as the "fruit from a poisoned tree."

Bottom line: On page 54 of the document, it reads, "I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing information regarding Carter W. Page is true and correct." Signed October [REDACTED} 2016, [REDACTED], Supervisory Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation. When we the people find out that the agent who signed this application, his name will be MUD.

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Conversations

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Some years ago, when the blogging thing was first taking off, here in Memphis we had blogger meets. We would get together at a restaurant and bloggers, left, right and center would discuss our politics, our struggles on the back end and all that stuff. I am kind of sad that those meets petered out.

Some of the books I am currently reading include Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and the Communist Manifesto (Keynes, among others, are also in my queue). When Air America was broadcasting in Memphis, I would listen to it. I do these things to understand "that side" of things. I do not listen to and read things that confirm what I think, I include viewpoints that are different than mine because I want them to challenge me. I am not afraid to change my position on something when I learn something I did not know before.

And because I like quoting our Founding Fathers, let me quote Jefferson here:

jefferson opinionMany of my friends and acquaintances "lean Left," shall we say. There are several I love to have the deep, philosophical discussions on the issues of the day. There are several I want to take a mallet to in those kind of discussions and the rest we quietly agree to disagree and don't discuss politics at all. But as Tom says, I will never end a friendship over a difference of opinion. They might, I won't.

I bring this up because on one of the podcasts I listen to while driving from job to job, Dylan Marron and his podcast, Conversations With People Who Hate Me came up. His TED talk on the subject is here:

I want to sit down and have 4+ hour discussions with those who deeply disagree with me, to dig into their thoughts and beliefs, to challenge them to stand up to those beliefs. I also want them to return the favor. This is how we communicate with each other. I talk about communication in my earlier post At, To and With.

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The truth on Clinton's email server

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Okay folks, read it and weep.

Back when I had a website for my side hustle of IT services, I had an article on it where I stated that there was no way that the server for clintonmail.com was not hacked within hours of it coming on-line, considering there was no security (firewall, virus scan, etc.) running on it.

While Secretary of State, Clinton used this compromised personal server instead of the government's secure system to send and receive highly classified information. Think of it this way. You are in a high-stakes poker game, with millions of dollars on the table. If you have ever played poker or watched the World Poker Tour, you know most of what a player does is read the other players more than he does his own cards. If you're a good bluffer, you can convince a player with a stronger hand to fold, or a weaker player to go "all-in" and thus lose everything.

But what if another player knows what your cards are? Then the bluff won't work. It's one thing with a couple million dollars on the table, what if the stakes were thousands or millions dead? A nuclear exchange? Then those cards are a lot more important to keep secret. Someone had access to the objectives and capabilities of the United States in a crisis. The compromise of that information could have been devastating. The US Navy in 1942 met and defeated the Japanese fleet at Midway with a strategic advantage because we were able to read 1 word in 3 of their coded messages. Imagine if we were pushed to the edge of a nuclear exchange and the other side could read every word of our emails in real time. It would not have ended well for us.

My fears were confirmed last week during the Congressional grilling of Peter Strzok. Here is the video and partial transcript below:

[Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)]: You said earlier in this hearing you were concerned about a hostile foreign power affecting the election. Do you recall the former Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough having an investigation into an anomaly found on Hillary Clinton’s emails?

Let me refresh your memory. The Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Rucker along with an IGIC attorney Janette McMillan to brief you and Dean Chapelle and two other FBI personnel who I won’t name at this time, about an anomaly they had found on Hillary Clinton’s emails that were going to the private unauthorized server that you were supposed to be investigating?

Strzok: I remember meeting Mr. Rucker on either one or two occasions. I do not recall the specific content or discussions.

Gohmert: Mr. Rucker reported to those of you, the four of you there, in the presence of the ICIG attorney, that they had found this anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list. It was a compartmentalized bit of information that was sending it to an unauthorized source. Do you recall that?

Strzok: Sir, I don’t.

Gohmert: He went on the explain it. And you didn’t say anything, you thanked him, you shook his hand. The problem is it was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia and from what you’ve said here, you did nothing more than nod and shake the man’s hand when you didn’t seem to be all that concerned about our national integrity of our election when it was involving Hillary Clinton. So the forensic examination was done by the ICIG — and they can document that — but you were given that information and you did nothing with it. And one of the things I found most egregious with Mr. Horowitz’s testimony, and — by the way Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call. [emphasis mine]

So it has been proven that 1) Hillary had an unsecured email server, 2) she was using to conduct high-level government business, 3) it was secretly sending 99.999% of her emails to a foreign entity unrelated to Russia (which could have been forwarding them on to Russia, no one knows at this point).

The first two bits of information were common public knowledge well before the election. The third point was speculated and assumed, but not proven until now. This email server issue is nothing short of an unmitigated disaster and Biblical-scale blunder. If you wanted this woman to be President, I am not mad at you. I am saddened that you chose to ignore glaring compromises of Clinton's character, where she felt she didn't have to follow the rules and didn't care about keeping the secrets of the United States secret. This could have led to a showdown where we would have been on the losing side.

Think about that, very carefully.

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