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Reposted from JekyllnHyde by JekyllnHyde

Had he lived in our times, he (we'll call him Bill) could have been a prominent blogger on Daily Kos.  In fact, given his way with words and unique ability to coin new phrases, I'm sure he'd have joined this blog early on.  However, he might have had a bit of difficulty making up his mind. (he wasn't good at doing so)  No question in my mind, though, that had he overcome his initial hesitation, he'd have become a prolific contributor and one hell of a community moderator.  (Sorry, MB)

So, how would have Bill fared on these pages?  This is entirely speculative but it is, nevertheless, informed speculation.  He'd have written about everything under the sun,  and then some.  In doing so, he'd have adopted a whole new set of terms and phrases that are commonly used by many amongst us.  If there is one thing he was good at, it was adapting to the times.

He loved pooties and woozles.  In deference to the powerful PWB Peeps group, he would have gone out of his way to appease them.  See, pandering isn't just for elected officials!

His output would have far exceeded anyone else's.  In that department, he had no peer.  The range of topics he could opine on would have been the envy of this site's best writers.  Bar none.  Some might have tried to emulate his style of writing.  None would have succeeded.

To get with the times, Bill would then adopt new technologies to popularize his works.  Even as he had Luddite tendencies, he could foretell the future and his more meaty, substantive pieces would give way to shorter, punchier posts.  Some would decry the "Facebookization" of Daily Kos.  Not Bill.

Popularity, however, is a double-edged sword.  It inevitably results in creating enemies - both real and imagined.  Bill would have been accused by some to be a sockpuppet, or even worse, a zombie.  Such accusations can be hard to defend against.  

Bill was never a GBCW-kinda guy.  Hounded by his critics, he would decide to take a leave of absence.  Yes, he would TTYN.  Many would pine for his return.  In his farewell diary, he would pen these famous words.  His work would live on.

The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interrèd with their bones.

Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2

When shall we three meet again   
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?   
When the hurlyburly’s done,   
When the battle’s lost and won.           
Fair is foul, and foul is fair;   
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act I, Scene I

Stay tuned.  Substantive blogging will return soon. (we hope)


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Of This List of Phrases from Shakespeare, Which One is Your Favorite?

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Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy

I grew up in a David Letterman household and while I'm excited for Stephen Colbert to be taking over, I am sad to see Letterman hang it up. Being a native of the Hoosier state, Letterman had some harsh words for Governor Mike Pence (R. IN) over his signing of the blatantly discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

Going to miss that. So what will Letterman do now that he's retired? Well Senator Al Franken (D. MN) stopped by and gave him a suggestion:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

“What I want to know is, what can I do now to make the governor feel uncomfortable?” Letterman, a critic of state's divisive Religious Freedom Restoration Act, asked during "Late Show with David Letterman.”

"As a matter of fact, there's an open seat there," Franken responded quickly, noting that incumbent Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) won't run for re-election in 2016.

Franken continued: "Look, when young people come to me and say, 'How do you become a United States senator?' I say, 'Well, do about 35, 40 years of comedy and then run for the Senate.' You know, it's worked every time."

"I think you should run," Franken told Letterman to applause. - TPM, 4/2/15

I'm all for a Letterman run. Any way we can get a Draft Letterman For Senate movement going here?
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Reposted from JekyllnHyde by JekyllnHyde

I first posted a version of this diary on Christmas Eve 2011.  Even in the midst of unprecedented carnage in World War I, soldiers on both sides found within themselves a modicum of human decency and desire for peace. In this most brutal of wars which raged on for four long years, there was a cessation of hostilities on the night of December 24, 1914 - even if for only one day.  Any time, anywhere, when the cycle of violence is momentarily interrupted or broken, that, in itself, is worthy of remembrance.

Wars suppress the natural urge of men to behave in a manner that has no bearing to and can even remotely be construed as civilized behavior.  

Combat does terrible things to human beings and transforms the best of them into killing machines. The low-key and gentle man who may have been a country farmer in a previous life turns into a savage, thirsty for blood.  The unassuming and quiet factory worker who was primarily concerned with making machine parts emerges as an efficient killer.  The seemingly peace-loving gardener who lovingly took care of nature's wonders is worried about one and only one thing - kill or be killed.  

Prolonged conflicts severely restrict and narrow one's options on the field of battle.  Through all the brutality, soldiers are preoccupied with the ultimate goal: survival. And at the war's end, a longing to be reunited with their loved ones and to carry on with their mundane, unexciting, and ordinary lives.  

The lie and the harsh reality of total war is simply this: older men send younger men into battle to die while invoking honor, duty, and country.  How should soldiers behave when placed as cannon fodder in an impossible situation?  

As I wrote in this 2007 diary - "Shared National Sacrifice" and 'The War' Tonight on PBS

Grand strategies, geopolitical objectives, and tactical battle plans are for politicians and generals.  In a democratic society, soldiers don't make the decision to engage in war; political leaders, some with perverted personal agendas, do.  

The "Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom" Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote about the futility of war and directed his criticism at the British military high command.  His classic poem,The Charge of the Light Brigade, is about a disastrous suicidal charge made by British soldiers in the Crimean War.


The Crimean War took place between 1853-1856, with Tsarist Russia fighting an Allied force consisting of soldiers from the British, French, and Ottoman Empires.  The Allies were also joined by a force from the Kingdom of Sardinia.  The war resulted as imperial powers jockeyed for territorial influence following the decline of the Ottomans.  

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Mon Dec 22, 2014 at 12:07 PM PST

Rest in Peace Joe Cocker

by cooper888

Reposted from cooper888 by JekyllnHyde

BBC news is reporting singer Joe Cocker has passed away at the age of 70.

Singer Joe Cocker dies aged 70

Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of the Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends, has died aged 70.

The singer song-writer from Sheffield had a career lasting more than 40 years with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong.

His agent Barrie Marshall confirmed that he had died of an undisclosed illness.

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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by JekyllnHyde


As many of you know, TiaRachel has been facing a rather difficult time of late.  A host of health issues have adversely affected her ability to work and put her in a serious financial bind. She needs our help to secure a stable future.  It is within her reach.  Let's collectively ensure that she starts anew in 2015.

Over two weeks ago, Tia reluctantly posted a diary because she had run out of other options. I happened to see it and messaged her that many of us had not only read the diary, but would try to assist her as best as we could. What followed over the next few days surprised me a bit.  It shouldn't have.  

Due to this community's incredible generosity and collective embrace of Tia, we have raised about $5,500.00 so far and are only $1,500.00 away from reaching our fundraising goal.  

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Reposted from Dallasdoc by JekyllnHyde

Holiday season is upon us, and, as seems always to be the case, beloved friends are in trouble.  Our own TiaRachel has fallen on hard times:  her electric service has been cut off, she has no reliable Internet connection, and she is unable to pursue her work of writing.  

Her talent all of us can attest to.  Like so many of us, TiaRachel has health issues which make the current economic conditions we all face particularly difficult for her.  And with our new Congress, any help from our government seems further away than ever.  We need to depend on ourselves, our friends, our community in these benighted days.  And that's why I'm asking this big, generous community for your help.  She has already posted a plea for help, which some of us were able to catch and respond to.  But she needs more help, financial and otherwise.

TiaRachel needs at least $4500 to climb out of her current hole and begin again, at least for the time being.  Please consider dropping her a little help, if you're in a position to do so.  To get the ball rolling, I will match the first $250 in donations, so your contribution counts double!  If anyone else would like to make a matching pledge, please volunteer in the comments and I'll feature you up top here.  She's also mentioned help with possible job referrals in her diary cited above, and I know those would be appreciated as well.  And as always, Recommends to keep this diary visible are great, as are expressions of love and good will for our dear TiaRachel.



Please Help TiaRachel




If you've never used PayPal to send money to anyone, it is really simple.

  • Go to PayPal.com. You do not have to have an account to send money.
  • Click Send Money to Family and Friends.
  • Enter TiaRachel's email address (which is tiarachelgordon@gmail.com) and amount you are sending.  The sender's name is visible to the recipient
  • If you'd rather send a check in the mail, you can Kosmail TiaRachel to get her mailing address.

Here is the plea for help posted yesterday morning by TiaRachel - So. Um. I need some help.  Please help her as much as possible.  Tip/rec this diary.  Republish to your Daily Kos Groups.  Link to your Facebook pages.  Tweet to your friends.  Many thanks.

Please donate via Paypal gift to tiarachelgordon@gmail.com.  And let us know how much you've helped, so we can keep track and match you.  Don't be shy to tell us you've stepped up!
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On September 1, 1939 the armed forces of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland with overwhelming force, lightning speed, and unprecedented ferocity.  World War II had begun and the term "Blitzkreig" would enter our vocabulary along with all the negative connotations it implied.  More than two decades earlier by August 1914, the idea of total war between great industrialized nations had already arrived with a vengeance. After one thousand, five hundred and fifty one days of intense fighting and almost nine million dead, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918, the guns of war would finally fall silent.  World War I had come to an end but not before an entire generation of European men had been lost.  It was a brutal and destructive war - one whose global reverberations are felt even to this day.

This diary is not a comprehensive history of World War I.  It only explores some of the themes from that senseless war and the response of a few poets directly affected by it.  I first posted a version of this diary on Remembrance Day in 2012.  Every year I try to improve upon the diary.




Dulce Et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Death doesn't always have the last word.  What eludes the living - be it fame, fortune, or some other form of notoriety - is often only apparent after they have departed this good earth.

Wilfred Owen eventually came to be revered as one of the great British poets of World War I. In what is probably his most famous poem, he describes the futility of war and appalling conditions he experienced while surviving chemical gas attacks in trenches as a soldier during that most brutal of conflicts.  The poem's title was inspired by a line in one of the Odes of the ancient Roman poet, Horace. The Latin phrase Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori means "how sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country."  Even a cursory reading of the poem makes it obvious that an indignant Owen strongly disagrees with Horace and vigorously challenges that misguided notion of personal and imperial glory that Horace later came to be associated with.  

Owen had defiantly mocked the idea that there was honor in dying for one's own country. Ironically, that is exactly what he ended up doing.  After a stay at Craiglockhart War Hospital in late 1917, Owen returned to France to rejoin his military unit.  One week before the war would end, he was caught in a German machine gun attack and killed in action on November 4, 1918. On the day the war ended on November 11, 1918, the sound of church bells in Shrewsbury, England signaled the coming of the long-awaited peace.  At the home of his parents, the doorbell rang and a telegram informed them that Owen had been killed the week before.

Only 25 years old at the time of his death, Owen had planned to publish a collection of war poems in 1919.  In the book's preface, he had written

This book is not about heroes.  English Poetry is not yet fit to speak of them.  Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except war.  Above all I am not concerned with Poetry.  

My subject is War, and the pity of War.  The Poetry is in the pity. Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next.  All a poet can do today is warn. That is why true Poets must be truthful.


The haunting music in the above video is composer Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings."  It was first performed in 1938 by the NBC Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Arturo Toscanini in front of an invited radio studio audience in New York City.  One of President John F. Kennedy's favorite pieces of music, it was played on television upon the announcement of his death on November 22, 1963.  You can read a draft of the poem that Owen wrote while recuperating from shell shock at Craiglockhart War Hospital, near Edinburgh, Scotland in 1917.

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When Will American Troops Return Home from Iraq?

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Reposted from BruinKid by BruinKid

Last night, Bill Maher delivered a strong defense of the Obama presidency and all its accomplishments, chided cowardly Democrats for running away from it, and urging everyone to GO VOTE!

The midterms are here in four days, and Democrats are in big trouble.  Despite the fact that the only idea the Republicans have this election is, "Don't let anybody get you started on rape".  But it didn't have to be this way, if Democratic candidates would just stop throwing their own people and achievements under the bus, and distancing themselves from their own president!  That is never a winning strategy.  Just ask President Al Gore.  (audience murmurs turn to applause)

....

Well, sorry, but the one I feel bad for is Obama.

  • 63 straight months of economic expansion.
  • A depression averted.
  • A deficit reduced by two thirds.
  • A healthcare law that's working and lowering costs.
  • Two women on the Supreme Court.
  • bin Laden's dead.
  • Stock market at record heights.
  • An unemployment rate that dropped from 10.2 to 5.9%.  If you're a Fox News viewer trying to do the math, that's less.  (audience laughter and applause)
  • Gas prices are down.

Is it really that hard a record to get behind?  And yet, the way these Democrats have been distancing themselves from the President, you would think he'd just flown in from Liberia with his lunch in a barf bag.  (audeince laughter)  There are beheading videos with more likes.  (audeince oohs)

Video and full transcript below the fold.
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Reposted from BruinKid by BruinKid

Last night, Bill Maher delivered a blistering final New Rule about what the matter with Kansas is.

And finally, New Rule: scientists must conduct a study to determine which is easier to distract — a cat with a laser pointer, or the American voter.  (audience applause)

....

This is not just about Kansas.  This is a national disease.  An unholy alliance of easily distracted voters, and a shameful pandering media, which used to have the integrity to filter out shit like this.  But today, what happens is the story ran in the local press, within hours Politico picked it up, and a day later, Meet the Press — yes, Meet the Press — further dignified the story by allowing Grover Norquist to talk about it, to say about Paul Davis that he is "not the kind of person you can ask your sister to vote for".  (audience groans)

....

So let me get this straight, Kansas.  Losing a billion dollars in revenue and having your credit rating downgraded — that, you can afford.  Sam Brownback, who is to governing what Kanye West is to humility (audience laughter), he's tolerable.  But the lap dance guy, that's a bridge too far!

OK, one last question, Kansas.  You do understand — right? — that Paul Davis never touched the stripper, but Sam Brownback fucked your entire state.

Video and full transcript below the fold.
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Reposted from Giles Goat Boy by JekyllnHyde

I haven't offered an update on the Solidarity Sing Along in a while, but it is still going strong. The sing along is a noon-hour singing protest that has occurred at the Wisconsin State Capitol every weekday, including holidays, since March 11, 2011. It began when the larger protests against Governor Scott Walker's union-busting law began to wane.

photo by the unintimidated Lisa Wells
For nearly four years now, between 20 and 100 (and at times, hundreds) of citizens have gathered in the rotunda or on the Capitol lawn on their lunch hours to sing for an hour in support of labor rights, the environment, women's health issues, education, and the first amendment.

In addition to the daily Sing Along, resistance to the Walker brand of neo-fascism has included the displaying of banners in the rotunda, the writing of messages on the Capitol sidewalk with sidewalk chalk, and the occasional yelling of "Walker Sucks!"

The persistent public shaming of Mr. Walker and his Republican co-conspirators in the state legislature by concerned citizens did not sit well with the governor, who ousted the well-regarded Chief of the Capitol Police a couple years ago and replaced him with one of Walker's bodyguards from the State Patrol with a mandate to crack down on the singers. No, I am not making that up.

On the eve of the 2012 anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, the unqualified and uncharismatic new chief, David Erwin, did a stiff interview with a local right-wing propaganda site claiming that the Capitol singers and others were "terrorizing" schoolchildren, grandmothers, and lawmakers with sensitive dispositions. After that ill-timed comparison of folk singers to terrorists was highlighted (and ridiculed) by legitimate media, Erwin ordered his officers (themselves having had their own union busted by Walker) to issue citations to people they could identify, and that's what they did. First, they issued them by mail or in person at people's homes, then occasionally in person right after the noon Sing Along.

Eventually, after it was clear that the gently-delivered tickets were failing to motivate people to stop gathering and singing, Erwin ordered his officers to arrest people in the Capitol and issue them citations for failing to disperse from an unlawful assembly. They arrested hundreds of people in the rotunda over the course of a few months in the summer of 2013.

You can probably guess what happened. The gatherings became larger and larger, attracting more local citizens who saw the arrests of their neighbors as unnecessary bullying. The arrests continued. For the most part the singers simply kept singing as they were being cuffed. A few people were charged with resisting for sitting down when confronted by police, but none of the arrestees ever became violent. (I can say that with confidence since I was there most days and there are literally hundreds of photos and videos from each day of arrests. The only violence that occurred was perpetrated by police when they arrested two young, black activists who were there to observe and sing, like everyone else. The arresting of singers ended after video surfaced showing that the police lied about the circumstances surrounding the arrests of the two men and bogus criminal charges against one of them were dropped.)

Since then, the Sing Along legend has grown as social activists, labor union members, and musical artists from around the world have sent word of their support, or even journeyed to Madison to join the singers, but the legal mess created by Walker and Erwin has gotten even messier. For a number of reasons, including common sense, the local district attorney refused to prosecute the tickets, so the state Attorney General, Republican J.B. Van Hollen, offered to step in and have the state do the dirty work. Surely the singers would tremble at the awesome power of the Van Hollen machine, right?

Wrong. The singers fought back. Most pled not guilty and demanded jury trials. With assistance from the Madison chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and others, the singers who stood their ground (through their attorneys or sometimes representing themselves) have convinced the courts to dismiss the citations before even going to trial. It's been a long, ongoing legal battle, but the courts have held consistently that the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda is a traditional public forum and that the people who have assembled there to sing and protest have done so lawfully.

One thing about petty dictators is that they don't give up, though, and Walker, Erwin, and Van Hollen haven't given up on their silly campaign against sidewalk chalk, satin banners, and folk music sung by peaceful protesters. For the rest of the story, jump over that crumpled orange banner and read the latest press release from the Madison chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

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Reposted from Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse by JekyllnHyde

Wings EONM Resized

This diary is written by Aji and Wings.

One of the great advantages of the Kos Katalogue is that it provides both buyers and sellers a chance to do business with fellow liberals who support progressive values and causes. For artists, this is doubly significant: Like all else in life, art is inherently political. Oh, I know artists who insist that they are not involved in politics in any way, but scratch the surface of their work by more than a millimeter, and you'll find clear political statements, whether they're conscious of them or not.

In Wings's case, his art has always been political, even when he doesn't think of it in partisan terms. For Indians especially, our work — in any medium — is necessarily an expression of identity and culture (even among those who expressly reject slapping a "Native" label on any particular work; its absence tells its own story, whatever the context). But Wings will tell you himself that his own art is, and has always been, a soul-deep manifestation of his own identity as a Native man, both inspired and inspirited by his people's culture and history. In recent years, his work has become more overtly political, particularly on select fronts: his opposition to racism and other forms of bigotry, and to all forms of appropriation and cultural theft (as made clear yet again last Monday in his public statement, posted here as well as on his own site); his rejection of  violence, particularly that directed toward women and children; his support for the health, harmony, and well-being of our peoples; and his support for the protection of Mother Earth. As an established artist in his own right, Wings has been afforded a platform to which many don't have access. Recently, he has renewed his intent to use that platform, to use his voice and reach as a Native artist, to press for positive change and growth on these and other fronts.

Of course, to do so, the lights must remain on and other obligations must be met, and so while it would be gratifying to be able to produce his art purely for its own sake, with no thought to having to sell it, it's impossible in today's economic environment. And so we're fortunate to have this opportunity to make his art available to people who share our personal and political values.

As many of you know, we upgraded Wings's Web site over the summer and relaunched it on a whole new platform. It's much larger, and far more flexible; we're able to provide better descriptions and better navigation for visitors. We've also been able to expand it far beyond its previous constraints. In addition to the wide array of art on offer, the site now includes The NDN Silver Blog, where I post daily. usually, it's an opportunity to feature a particular piece or set of pieces, but some days are built around themes, and it gives me an opportunity to showcase Native art in a breadth and depth not available to us before. We hope you'll visit it occasionally, and that it at least occasionally provides you with valuable information.

For now, as we head into the holidays, we have some new and very exciting pieces to show you, both Wings's own work and that of other Native artists whose work we carry. Over the jump, you'll find some incredible showpieces among his silverwork, examples of his photography (including work from his one-man show at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe this spring), and a host of work from other artists, including fetishes, leatherwork, pottery, sculpture, and other items, many of which are very modestly priced), as well as links to much more. And in the weeks to come, he'll have a variety of new work available, particularly smaller popular items like earrings.

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Reposted from prettymeadow by JekyllnHyde

Ode to the Homeless Veteran

Go Away! I heard him say.
You homeless bum be on your way!
He pushed me and punched me.
He was not at all kind to me.
What ever happened to this land of the free?
Apparently freedom, no longer applies to me.

I have no family who will take me in
They put me off and say I'm living in sin.
They think that I'm disposable,
But I'm a human being just like you.
Such a statement should not be opposable,
But I'm treated like an old worn out shoe.  

People don't usually see me here standing in the rain.  
They never see that I am a human, and that I'm in much pain.
You see I fought for my country when I went to a foreign land,
When I came home there was no fanfare, no band.
I came back only to find no help for me,
My broken body, soul, and mind,
Makes people uncomfortable, they leave me behind.
People see me as a bum, a loafer, and lazy.
They call me an addict, and mentally crazy.

What I am is a human being just like you.
I deserve to be treated with dignity too.
Although I'm broke and broken, don't judge me so severe,
For one day, if circumstances dictate, you also could be here.
Be kind to all  people you come across in life,
No matter who they may be, we all experience strife.

Everyone deserves a home to call their own.
Everyone deserves to be cared for, and kindness shown.
Will you be the one to help make an opportunity for me to feel loved?
Or will you continue on your way, not caring, and giving me a shove.
Humanity needs a reset and to let greed, and ego go.
People need to become humane to each other, and allow humanity to grow.

~ Linda Meyer

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