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A Lifelong Republican: on the GOPs Collapse of Credibility

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posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 02:15 PM
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A lot of people around here assume that I am a liberal Democrat. You have no idea how humorous that is to me, having been a Reagan Republican to the core for most of my teen/adult life.

Through the 80s and and halfway into the 90s, at least, it was so not cool to be a Republican. All "the cool" people were Democrats and loved Jimmy Carter and Bill and Hillary Clinton. I didn't care whatsoever what was cool. Character and morality - and a strong national defense - meant more to me than impressing others.

I saw Reagan as a great president because he seemed to embody all of the qualities and values that our nation so badly needed in a leader in the wake of the turbulent, moral cesspool of the 70s.

I also saw Reagan as strong: in knowing himself, in knowing what he believed in, in total belief of our nation's greatness, and strong, but wise as our commander-in-chief.

With an endearingly contagious hope and good humour and vision, he brought this nation out of a long, dark downward spiral and brought us up, gave us hope and the will to become what he called that bright, shining city on on the hill (that the world could look to as a becon of dreams).

It felt good to be an American again. And by the time I joined the U.S. Army in 1989, the military Reagan had rebuilt had become the most mighty fighting force the world had ever seen. Hoo Wah!

But somewhere along the lines, things began to change. And Reagan, the once-great communicator, faded off into his illness, leaving us for his journey into that long night (what a bitter irony that such a man would die not knowing even who he was and what he accomplished).:shk:

New men and women took the reigns of power within the Republican party. Newt Gingrich emerged to lead the 1994 Republican Revolution. It was the near completion of the GOP wet dream. To wrest control of the congress away from the Democrats for the first time in 4 decades. Like Moses leading the Jews out of the wilderness to claim the holy land.

Then came George W. Bush. And 9-11. And the paradigms were smashed before our very eyes.

The Patriot Act was passed with lightning speed and little oversight. The Republicans took congress back in 2002 and for the first time that I could ever remember, the GOP controlled all branches.

It's important to remember that throughout the 90s, most conservatives viewed the Clinton administration as Big Brother all the way - as craving totalitarian powers. And as being almost communist and ruthless in subverting the constitution (myself included). So, it became quite strange to me to see my own party becoming exactly what I and we had so long railed against.

As I watched in disgust Tom DeLay and his wrecking crew muscle his redistricting down in Texas and as I listened with bemusement to the case laid out for invading Iraq the fall of 2002, I began to look at the Republican party in a much different light. More and more it was becoming unrecognizable to me.

What I saw as the most egregious betrayal of the GOP was the absolute insistance within the administration and throughout their sycophant followers, their pushing the notion of a confluence between Saddam, Iraq and al-Qaeda terrorists. It was blatently false and the way in which they so boldly lied to us (and continue to lie!) straight-faced as if they were smart and charming enough to convince me/us that what we see is actually wrong - as opposed to their version of so-called reality. Just today Sen. Joseph Bidon speaking on a morning news show declared that Cheney doesn't know what he is talking about, period. He pointed out that not one single word Cheney has uttered re: Iraq has been correct. Bravo, Senator! Wish you would have said that a long time ago.

For years now, these Republicans have been doing their best to scare the hell out of the American people. To hold onto power. That my friends, is the height of perversity. We are expected to fear the boogie man lurking in a cave on the other side of the planet and other assorted figments of sick NeoCon imaginations (while forgetting that we command the world's formiddable military and intelligence apparatus). We are told that to question that premise is to not believe in and support our troops. And we are also told that we must go shopping to send a message to those dirty AyeRab turrists that they can't stop us from going even further into the red, I mean, from living our glorious way of life.

Fear. It has become the driving force behind a morally bankrupt, visionless and increasingly terrified GOP. Where have all the brave, decent, visionary Republicans gone? How did this happen?

George W. Bush, that frightened, soulless little man did something no one else ever could: he caused me to vote for Democrats (and as many Libertarians as I could). He made me see things I didn't wanna see before.

In the years following the 2004 election, I watched with complete dismay, the Republican party completely melt down, mired in corruption, scandal, staggering hypocrisy and outright perversities. And all the while having the brazeness (with Bush) to continue pushing policies ( torture, wire-tapping, extraordinary rendition, assassinations) that no human with a conscience and basic intelligence could support.

And the beautiful repudiation of the 2006 mideterm elections.

Finally, hope - and help - was on the way (we can only hope).

Half of this madness could have been avoided were it not for the near complete complicity of the mainstream media (through the art of stenography) and by the yammering yahoos on cable tv and wingnut radio (they have brainwashed far too many decent people with their often fraudulent and inflammatory (by design) rhetoric). Finally! Enter Keith Olbermann giving voice on MSNBC to the long silent masses who no longer buy the boogie man's gonna ya spiel, and by re-claiming the valiant mantle of Edward R. Murrow in journalism/commentary. He is a bold force to be reckoned with, for truth is his ammo; unlike the frauds who daily attack him on Fox "news" and CNN. The battle has been joined.

And the bow-tie dandies and bootlicking Bush sycophants of cable/radio chatland have their panties in a big bunch over it. I suppose defending their indefensible positions from their comfy ivory towers is just too much work, and its scary. Maybe that's why they criticize intellect and nuance so much? Because they really don't possess any of that. Just hot buzzwords that instinctively piss people off.

It's truly pathetic. Until I see the Republican party get its moral bearings straight and truly find and reclaim their integrity and courage they can kiss my vote goodbye.

Today at Huffington Post Taylor Marsh discusses some of this: the fairness doctrine in the crosshairs, Hannity and his useless little sidekick Colmes (sorry excuse) and Rush Limbaugh; and how they are fighting tooth and nail against allowing more voices into the arena of debate. Check it out, it's excellent:



FAIRNESS: Alan Colmes is a Punk
by Taylor Marsh

But if Rush and Hannity are so sure about their ratings and their listeners, why don't they allow more progressives to compete?

Because if progressives get equal time something else will break out into the open. An American epiphany will dawn that Rush and Sean et al. have been selling a load of crap to radio audiences for years. Then free expression will become reality, as right-wing and liberal hosts hear a rising up of the people because the muzzle has been taken off of the airwaves. Independent voices will begin to proliferate, giving rise to competition to us all. That's healthy for free speech, not a way to squelch it.

Again, what's so scary about fairness, especially if you're sure you can win? It's only scary to people who now have all the control.

www.huffingtonpost.com...


Mod Edit: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.



[edit on 21/1/2007 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 02:59 PM
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I think ECK that power always corrupt, but for some reason the corruption is now unrestricted and so blatantly in from of our eyes that many can not even conceive that the party that they love and grew up with can be so up to their knees into that corruption.

Look at the people that runs the two elite parties in our nation, look how they chose their people from people that has been in politics and most often than not with shady or controversial past.

But is something that they all have in common . . . they all belong to the same group and the same elite and they all profit from politics.

Politics are run now by the power of private entities that in their sole purpose is to cash out as much as they can on the politicians that they help put in the white house.

We the people of the US and citizens of this nation need to step away from party loyalties and analyzed what is going on with our political leaders and who they are serving.

Because by now every American has to be conscious that is not the citizens interest and our nation what they are serving at all.



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 03:06 PM
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You're right, Marg. The time for rabid/loyal partisanship amongst the citizenry is long past. Its time to see things clearly, that we must put the good of the nation ahead of whatever is good for our particular party.

When I took my oath to serve in the Army, I swore to uphold the constitution against enemies foreign AND domestic; not to uphold the Republican party against enemies foreign and Democratic.

I am not a Democrat today. I am a Republican barely, clinging to my paleo-conservative roots. But my loyalty is with whomever chooses to champion the cause of all Americans, not some wingnut minority on any end of this spectrum.



posted on Jan, 21 2007 @ 11:02 PM
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I just wanted to remind folks to listen to Va. Sen. Jim Webb's Democratic response to Bush's State of the Union address tomorrow evening.

As a follower of Sen. Webb, a former Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, I am excited to see him recieve such an honor. Tomorrow night the new Democrat who was once a Reagan Republican will deliver what I am sure will be an astute assessment of Bush's offering. It'll definitely be worth turning American Idol off for (for a little while).

I'm still exhilerated over Webb's win over Allen. That was classic.


Paper tiger vs. the real deal.



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 12:05 AM
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Nice to see I'm not alone in my view of today's GOP. Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel from Nebraska recently voiced the same concern that today's GOP is not the party he once voted for.



Hagel Says Republican Party Must Change
Sen. Hagel May Run For President With The Hope Of Shifting Republican Philosophy


(CBS) In recent weeks, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., has seemed to go against the Republican party and has even suggested that he might consider running for president as an independent. Appearing on Face the Nation he said if he runs, he will do so as a Republican but hopes his party can shift back to the center.

Hagel has been one of the most outspoken Republican critics of President George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq war, and he continues to try to force his party to adopt a new strategy — not just with the war but in it's overall philosophy.

On Face the Nation he criticized the way his party has changed over the years.

"For example, the Republican Party, interestingly enough as the new chairman of the Republican Party said in his acceptance speech two days ago, needs to get back to what it once stood for," Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, continued. "The party that I first voted for on top of a tank in Mekong Delta 1968 is not the party I see today."
www.cbsnews.com...



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 01:24 AM
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Eastcoastkid don't take this the wrong way because I'm a Reagan fan but you have to be careful when you talk about morality. Dont forgot that Reagan was at best a late comer when it came to tackling AIDS.



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 01:34 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11
Eastcoastkid don't take this the wrong way because I'm a Reagan fan but you have to be careful when you talk about morality. Dont forgot that Reagan was at best a late comer when it came to tackling AIDS.


True enough; however, when Reagan came into office, AIDS was not even on the radar. It exploded into consciousness and being when he was in his first term. Can one honestly say, being that it was but one issue (albeit gravely important) on the agenda (vying with the cold war, no less) among many others, that anyone occupying that office could've understood the entire gravity of that situation? I think not.



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 01:57 AM
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Originally posted by EastCoastKid
True enough; however, when Reagan came into office, AIDS was not even on the radar. It exploded into consciousness and being when he was in his first term. Can one honestly say, being that it was but one issue (albeit gravely important) on the agenda (vying with the cold war, no less) among many others, that anyone occupying that office could've understood the entire gravity of that situation? I think not.


I have to give agree with you given that there has never been president who wasn't a Christian of some form. My point is that when you start to talk about morality you are open to any interpretation and anything is open to question. I don't want to give Reagan to much flak because of the reasons outlined above after all Reagan is an inspiration figure to me.



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 07:25 PM
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I am pretty much in the same boat.

Bush has pushed me past the middle into the Democrat camp on most issues.

I sent Hillary some cash. I am voting for her because her and her husband are the most qualified people on the planet to do the job.

I am not voting for the democratic issues, I am voting for a complete reversal of the path America has been on for the last 6 years. Only a democrat can turn it around and only Hillary and Bill can do it as quick as it needs to be done.

After things are balance we can all take a look at what candidates and direction we should go on the issues but for now we just need our course change dramatically and quickly to keep us from crashing.

Bush is the most arrogant, uneducated waste of a President in the history of the world IMO.

And yes of course Bill will use his knowledge to help Hillary as president, of that you can be sure.



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 01:17 PM
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I too have been a life long conservative and supported Bush twice.
To me, what has happened is that Bush moved himself and the government left towrds the dems/liberals. My core values and beliefs have not changed. And that is the reason I can no longer support Bush and his current policies.

IMO, where has Bush failed Reagan Republicans, such as myself?

1- iraq war strategy - no plan beyond step one
2 - immigration and control of the borders - done nothing
3 - energy policy - done nothing, and it makes it appear that he is fdoing this for his friends in the energy business.
4 - this new health care taxation plan - sounds like a plan only hilary could love.

Now, these are all key issues that affect all of us in our everyday lives. They are issues that are the reason the president is there to deal with them.

Sort of an aside/analogy (from watching all the bowl games):

In football, the team with the ball is on offense and trying to get things done. In American politics, the team with the ball (dems, now) always plays defense, and nothing gets done.

Sad but true ...


[edit on 1/23/2007 by centurion1211]


ape

posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by Xeven
I am pretty much in the same boat.

Bush has pushed me past the middle into the Democrat camp on most issues.

I sent Hillary some cash. I am voting for her because her and her husband are the most qualified people on the planet to do the job.

I am not voting for the democratic issues, I am voting for a complete reversal of the path America has been on for the last 6 years. Only a democrat can turn it around and only Hillary and Bill can do it as quick as it needs to be done.

After things are balance we can all take a look at what candidates and direction we should go on the issues but for now we just need our course change dramatically and quickly to keep us from crashing.

Bush is the most arrogant, uneducated waste of a President in the history of the world IMO.

And yes of course Bill will use his knowledge to help Hillary as president, of that you can be sure.


uhm why go to a socialist camp? if you want whats best for this country you would go independent or libertarian or the real conservative way. IMO you wasted your money sending it to hillary, take a good look at her record and the scandals she is a dishonest cold blooded politician and a socialist who will run this country into the ground, the is all about bigger government and believes the government is what makes america great and puts on fake fronts just to swing voters, she is also a proven liar.


she is also against the fairtax plan for america which is americas future,I suggest looking into americas federal tax policy and clintons policies towards business and taxation, she is a communist and nothing more than a politician who is for big government control over everything. I agree with centurion bush has failed this country and has yet to adress key domestic issues that this country faces but keep in mind that hillary and these socialist democrats will do nothing and have provided no solutions to fix our countrys problems.

i will go for whatever party pushes for the fairtax which right now is conservative and libertarian and independant, the liberals despise this plan because it takes away the power of direct taxation especially hidden taxation from the politicans who use this. not to mention eliminating the loop holes the rich use to avoid taxes, take a good look the the liberals alot of them especially the kennedys have offhsore accounts to avoid the very taxation they enforce and cherish, all of them have love affiars with the irs AND imo need to be thrown in jail for treason.





[edit on 23-1-2007 by ape]

[edit on 23-1-2007 by ape]



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 05:44 PM
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Inadverent Doublt Post.

See next post following.

I hope this short message does not get me into trouble.

Sorry about that.



[edit on 1/23/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:14 PM
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posted by EastCoastKid

“ . . people assume I am a liberal Democrat. You have no idea how humorous that is to me, having been a Reagan Republican to the core for most of my adult life.

I saw Reagan as a great president because he seemed to embody all of the qualities and values our nation so badly needed in a leader in the wake of the turbulent, moral cesspool of the 70s. I also saw Reagan as strong: but wise as our commander-in-chief. [Edited by Don W]



Gee. I too was alive and well in the1970s but I never thought I was living in a “ . . turbulent, moral cesspool.” What did I miss? Nixon ran again in ‘72, promising to extricate America from Vietnam, as he had done in ‘68, and won by a landslide! I voted for George McGovern. A good and decent man who had flown B24s in War 2. I think he carried 2 states, his home state of South Dakota - 4 electoral votes - and Massachusetts. And of course, the District of Columbia. 3 electoral votes. Watergate became our next focus of interest. Never really explained why Nixon felt the need to do that. Monitor Larry O’Brien’s telephone. Then Gerald Ford. A good man. And Jerry Carter. Another good man. Which takes us to 1980.

I always thought Reagan was more show and less go. The only time he was active as commander in chief was when the US attacked Granada. We lost 28 KIA by friendly fire or accident. We found out later. The initial Invasion Forces reported the Cubans had killed our guys. Like Wake Island, jumping off their bulldozers and taking up arms. Wrong. OK, so we botched it. Why then did the United State of America stealthfully attack Granada? Officially, we said the Granada-ites had hired Cubans to build a 10,000 foot runway, and that posed a threat to the US of A. Hmm? Granada said the longer runway was needed to handle the airline’s 747s landing with tourists.

Oh, we also “rescued” 400 children of the rich and famous who did not qualify for American medical schools, but which Granada happily operated just for such Americans discriminated against. Academically. I don’t know about you, but I would not want a Granada U. doctor treating me. Would you?

Students rescued? From what was never established. By the next semester, all 400 students were back in medical school in Granada.

So that I can get on the same wavelength, how about this. “Reagan . a great president . he . embody . all the . . qualities and values . . “
I wonder if you would help me here. How about you listing
3 Qualities: 1) _____ 2) _____ and 3) _____.
Also, how about listing 3 values: 1) _____ 2) _____ and 3) _____ .


[edit on 1/23/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:47 PM
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I was there (then), too. If you think (or thought) that carter was a good man, then no wonder you don't like or appreciate Reagan. Regarding carter, I remember the new economic term "stagflation" (from stagnant and inflation) that was coined to describe what was going on during his term. I also remember interest rates at almost 20%. Of course there was the iran hostage crisis and the desert one rescue debacle that showed to what a sad state he had allowed the military to degenerate into.

Now Reagan's economic polices put an end to the carter woes. And he also helped put strength back into America's backbone. You can talk about grenada and the contras, but the biggest thing he did was rebuild the military to the point where the soviet union realized it could not stay in the game anymore. Then the revamped U.S. military in the first gulf war destroyed the myth that soviet arms and doctrine could defeat the west. And that, as they say, was history for the soviet union when the soviet republics and warsaw pact nations realized they were under the thumb of a "paper tiger" and bolted.

Bottom line, IMO the current iraq war would have all turned out different and better were a Reagan type president in office.



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 11:17 PM
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I agree with donwhite wholeheartedly. Like Kennedy, Reagan was vastly overrated. Gerald Ford further echoed my sentiments when he said that Reagan was all big talk but could not run the government. Reaganites excused him by saying that a president's job is to lead, not manage. How wishful. The POTUS is the head of state as well as head of government, so yes, management and government expertise is necessary in being POTUS.



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 11:42 PM
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I sometimes wonder if the most virulent anti-Reagan people don't feel that way because he helped destroy that last, best hope for a "socialist" world which was the soviet union. Plus he made that monumental failure carter look all the worse. Of course it would take huge cojones to admit that in today's world.


df1

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
Reagan ... helped destroy that last, best hope for a "socialist" world which was the soviet union.

I wonder if he knew that the soviets were communists rather than socialist.



Plus he made that monumental failure carter look all the worse.

If not for bush41, Reagan's VP, pulling off iran/contra it is highly unlikely that reagan would have been elected. I bet the monumental success of the iran/contra treason makes you proud to be an American.



Of course it would take huge cojones to admit that in today's world.

A huge brain trumps huge cojones every time. And I've no doubt that Reagan's cojones exceeded the size of his brain. Maybe stem cells would have helped.

[edit on 24-1-2007 by df1]



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 01:42 PM
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posted by EastCoastKid

I saw Reagan as a great president . . a leader in the wake of the moral cesspool of the 70s. I saw Reagan as strong: knowing himself, knowing what he believed in but wise as our commander-in-chief. With contagious good humor, he brought this nation out of a long, dark downward spiral and gave us hope and the will to become what he called that bright, shining city on the hill . . It felt good to be an American again. Reagan rebuilt the mightiest fighting force the world had ever seen! [Edited by Don W]



You must live someplace I’ve never been, Mr ECK. Or own rose colored glasses. To me, Republicans sound like spoiled 6 year old brats more than mature adults. Feel good types. Gimme gimme gimme types. Spend, spend and spend. On war. Not people. Tax cut, tax cut and more tax cuts. Charlatans who claim less is more. Debt debt and more debt. Hey, debt? That’s our grand-children’s problem. We are letting the goood times roll!

I say Republicans hate the poor. Evidence? No minimum wage increase since 1997 and Bill Clinton tricked them into that. Cut Medicaid. Let the PMA write the Part D plan. Hamstring Section 8 housing, kill off the WIC program, etc. Reagan gained the governorship of California on his endless retelling of the welfare Cadillac story that plays so well to racial prejudice and rich audiences! The tax dodging R&Fs love it. He admitted later he had made up the story, but when a lie works so well, why tell the truth? RR was no friend of tax supported public education either, he wrecked the University of California system.

Reagan became president through the October Surprise. An unholy - and strictly illegal - deal with the Ayatollah of Iran. RR chose to address real social problems by caricaturing the victims. As Nixon gave the union movement pneumonia when he “laid down” with Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters, so Ronnie Reagan gave the unions the coup d’gras when he unceremoniously - immorally if not illegally - fired the PATCO workers. And of which this act of neutering the unions helped make globalization probable, possible and unstoppable.

In his tenure in office, he committed crimes when he violated the Law of the Land - Congress had 3 times prohibited aid to the Contras. He had to look (act?) pitifully pathetic when he took the witness stand, claiming not to remember the answers to the hard questions. (OTOH, B43 would have just “signed off” on those laws. A Gonzales theory.) We know RR slept a lot, and that it was the old CIA hand, B41, who did the dirty work of Iran Contra, along with the eager but none too bright Ollie North. A Rambo-like USMC type. B41 was lucky to be exactly placed to save his own butt by pardoning Casper Weinberg and his 5 aides who were going to implicate him, but B41 gave out the pardons. What a crew!

Ronnie Reagan ran up more debt in his 8 years than all prior presidents including Jimmy Carter. B41 ran up 2X that much debt in just 4 years in office.

Sweet Jesus! Once upon a time Republicans stood for fiscal integrity.


[edit on 1/24/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 12:55 AM
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You cant underestimate the value of a leader who raises moral and inspires the general population. Once people are inspired they will do the other 20% of work that is required to succeed . Reagan economic plan wasn't perfect but his admin did speed up the demise of the Soviet Union.

Heres a couple of point of interests.


He publicly spoke in favor of a line-item veto, a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, and repealing the 22nd Amendment, which prohibits a President from serving more than two terms

As president, Reagan spoke to numerous Christian groups and naturally attracted voters with traditional values. However, his son Ron Reagan said at his father's memorial service that he did not blatantly "wear his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage".


Link

Congress must play some part in the way that tax payers money gets spent .
While I'm no fan of Christianity at Reagan stood for what he preached for unlike those who campaign on a society based on the ten commandants and yet they are only able to name to of them from memory alone.

[edit on 25-1-2007 by xpert11]



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