Friday, March 23, 2018

THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT

What's been going on in this country, from it's very inception to the current day, is a disgusting example of a gross hypocrisy that's not only unconscionable, but morally repugnant, especially for a people who claim to believe in “Liberty and Justice For All.”  So it's time to expose this lie by coming together - as a PEOPLE, and not  just factions - to challenge it, and ALL of its forms of  hypocrisy.  It is absolutely incumbent upon us to respond to unlimited wealth and influence with people-power, and the coming together of ALL poor and middle class people - Black, White, gay, straight, Jew and Gentile. We must set all of our pettiness aside and be guided by only one criteria - whether an action against ANY group is just, or unjust. Because if we continue to sit on our hands and allow ourselves to be divided into factions, we’re doomed.
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We must never forget the admonishment of Martin Niemoller.  He said: 
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 "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

THE CONSERVATIVE PROPENSITY FOR UN-AMERICANISM IS COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET AT THE VERY WORST TIME IN OUR HISTORY, BUT MANY AMERICANS SUFFER FROM A SEVERE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE REGARDING THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY.  DON'T LET YOURSELF - OR YOUR FRIENDS - BE AMONG THEM. HERE ARE THE FACTS: 
Conservative Republicans have revised American history to reflect that it was their faux patriotism that saved America during WWII. But the fact is, our grandparents - who we refer to as "The Greatest Generation," and who lived through the Great Depression and actually fought WWII - despised conservatives, and they wouldn't let them anywhere near the Oval Office - and for good reason.
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THE CONSTITUENTS OF REPUBLICAN
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL  
In spite of the fact that conservative Americans have a long tradition of wrapping themselves in the American flag throughout our history, that very same history has clearly shown a strain of anti-American sentiment from their very beginning. And now during this fascistic Trump era when America needs its democratic ideals most, conservative Republicans have found this the perfect time to come out of the closet and raise their ugly heads.  So now it’s up to the American people to determine whether between now and the 2020 election America experiences the best of times, by standing up for the democratic principles laid out by our founding fathers to ensure this Republic remains a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, or the worst of times, by allowing it to descend into just another authoritarian Kleptocracy where the people and the nation’s resources are exploited by a small minority of plutocrats for their own selfish interests - like in Russia, a nation that Donald Trump seems to have embraced with an unprecedented passion.
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This has been the conservative game plan from the very beginning, unbeknownst to many who have bought into their manipulative kool-aid, and now their time has come.  Alexander Hamilton, one of this nation’s conservative founding fathers believed that the rich and "wellborn" should be given a permanent share in government. He said:
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“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people…. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government.” 
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Hamilton supported a lifetime appointment of the President after being selected by congress, instead of the people - Can you just imagine that, Donald Trump FOR LIFE!!!?  But America dodged that bullet during the Federalist Convention that took place between May 14 and September 17, 1787.
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Since most of the founding fathers came to America to escape the aristocratic class system in Europe, Hamilton’s desire to preserve the class system was resoundingly defeated in favor of an unfettered democracy, but that didn’t mean that people of Hamilton’s point of view would quietly go away. Instead, they lowered their profile and continued to pursue their agenda by using their wealth, power, and various strategies to divide the people to achieve their goal, and that’s what we see today.  That accounts for why conservatives tend to be specialists in obstructionism and division, and why the American people ALWAYS suffer under conservative governance.
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Notice that I've been careful to say conservative and not Democrat or Republican.  The reason for that is the two parties have changed their political orientation over the years.  During the time of Abraham Lincoln it was the Democratic Party that was filled with conservatives who fought to maintain slavery, but during the Great Depression and through the Civil Rights era after Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the Democratic Party to taking up the cause of the common man, conservatives moved to the Republican Party and progressive Americans moved to the Democratic Party in droves.  So now, for the Republican Party to claim that they're the party of Lincoln is a farce.  Conservatives have ALWAYS been this nation's bigots - with respect to both race and class - regardless to what party they were in. They simply use issues such race, ethnicity, religion, and faux patriotism to keep the people divided.  The dictionary defines the very word "conservative" as "A person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics." - and their bottom line is, and always has been, the "wellborn" against the poor and middle class.  Clear evidence of that is their recent tax cut, and the tax cuts under Reagan and George W. Bush, which were all at the expense of the average American.
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The American middle class has been in freefall every since the election of Ronald Reagan.  When I was in college in the 70s my tuition was $6.50 per term, my rent for a  two bedroom apartment with two baths and a swimming pool was $165 per month,  and I received veterans assistance of over $600 per month. Then with my late wife's salary from Rockwell International of over $2000 per month, that allowed me to get an education while raising two children in complete middle-class comfort.  But after the conservative seizure of our economy during the Reagan administration, today young people have to live with their parents and mortgage their future to obtain draconian loans just to get a college degree.
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SO WHERE IS ALL THAT MONEY GOING?
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During the 70s Howard Hughes, founder of Hughes Aircraft, was world renown as one of the richest men in the world.  When he died in 1976 his net worth was $1.5 billion, the equivalent of $6.45 billion in today’s dollars.  But today, Jeff Bezo, the 53 year-old CEO of Amazon, is reported to have a net worth of $109.9 billion.
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According to the Economic Policy Institute, “CEO compensation increased from $1.5 million in 1978 to $16.3 million in 2014, or 997 percent, a rise almost double stock market growth. Over the same time period, a typical worker’s wages grew very little: the annual compensation, adjusted for inflation, of the average private-sector production and nonsupervisory worker (comprising 82 percent of total payroll employment) rose from $48,000 in 1978 to just $53,200 in 2014, an increase of only 10.9 percent. Due to this unequal growth, average top CEOs now make over 300 times what typical workers earn.”  So, so much for Ronald Reagan and the GOP’s “Trickle Down” theory.  Since Ronald Reagan entered office the rich have become exponentially richer, while the poor and middle class have essentially been marching in place, or in other words, losing ground.

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And this didn't happen by accident. First, it serves to maintain the conservative class system, secondly, its a gift to the banks and serves to feed the conservative penchant for greed, and finally, it prevents poor and middle-class Americans from getting an education, which is in direct service to the Republican Party. Conservatives found out during the 60s that an educated electorate tend not to vote Republican or embrace their public manipulation. As a result of their education they're too well informed about the party's atrocious history and ruthless agenda. An educated public would be aware of the fact that our grandparent's generation - the generation that experienced the Great Depression, fought WWII, and who we refer to as "The Greatest Generation" - wouldn't let a Republican anywhere near the White House.  
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During their era, Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to office four times, and finally died in office on April 12, 1945. The Republicans had to promote the Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution limiting the president to two terms in office just to have even a remote chance of getting into office. But finally in 1953 they managed to elect the hero of WWII, Republican, Ike Eisenhower to office, but even he was a Republican in name only - in 1957 he sent troops into Little Rock, Arkansas to integrate a segregated school after Gov. Orval Faubus tried to prevent Black students from entering, and as his final act in office he warned America about the Military-Industrial Complex, the very people that Donald Trump and the Republican Party represent today.
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The Great Depression
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In 1921 -- eight years before the great depression -- Republicans took over the helm of this nation for 12 years. During that time there were three Republican administrations, the first of which was the administration of Warren G. Harding. History remembers Harding's administration for one thing more than any other -- scandal. It was during Harding's presidency that the Teapot Dome Scandal erupted. His administration was considered the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States -- until Nixon's (Watergate), then Reagan's (Iran\Contra), and finally Bush's (Iraqi War).
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Next, in 1923, came Calvin Coolidge, the president that Ronald Reagan is said to have most admired. Coolidge's policies of large tax cuts, allowing business a free-rein, and his encouragement of stock speculation contributed greatly to the impending stock market crash and the great depression that was to follow.

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In 1929 during Republican, Herbert Hoover’s administration, the stock market crashed - much like under the Bush Administration - starting the Great Depression, but back then there was no Barack Obama to come to the rescue or mitigate the damage early on. So in spite of the fact that by 1933 the unemployment rate was at 33.3% with 16 million people out of work, the Republican, Herbert Hoover, just sat, thinking that the economy would eventually rejuvenate itself. Much like Republicans of today, Hoover and his Republican Party had absolutely no compassion for either the plight of the American people, or America’s veterans who had put their lives on the line for this country.
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During Hoover's administration, 15,000 WWI veterans marched on Washington demanding that they be paid what they were owed by the government. Hoover responded by calling in federal troops to throw these ex-servicemen off government property.

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The conditions were horrific. During the Great Depression there was no such thing as Social Security, so when a person became too old or weak to work they had no income, so they had to depend on their children for support. That meant instead of a husband and wife only having to support themselves and their children, which was tough enough during those times, they also had to support their parents. So three generations of a family could be living in one household - and in many cases, the parents of both the husband, and the wife lived with the family.
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In addition, there was no such thing as Medicare or Medicaid, so when one of grandparents became ill the medical costs would devastate the entire family. These conditions kept lower and middle-class families in such dire need of funds that they had to accept whatever crumbs the business community chose to throw at them - and remember, at that time there was no Fair Labor Standards Act or unions to protect a worker’s rights, or a minimum wage, so businesses could treat the worker anyway they wanted, and pay them whatever they wanted.
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They could work you 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no overtime, and no paid vacation. In addition, since there was no child labor laws, if your boss didn’t think you were being productive enough, he could insist that you bring your children in (as young as 9 years old) to assist you if you wanted to keep your job. Then if you protested, he could fire you on the spot, in which case, your entire family - sick grandparents and all - would be thrown out on the street, because there was no such thing as unemployment insurance.
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As a result, in many cases the entire family, including the children, had to work long, hard hours under sweatshop-like conditions in coal minds and the like, which in many cases led to the death and/or maiming of young children. So in a very real sense, Great Depression era workers lived under a form of slavery - the one difference was, they had to go out and find their own housing.
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Think back to the "Little Rascals" we use to watch as kids, and how ragged they were, or the cartoons we use to watch, where a landlord would come to the door (always portrayed in a black suit) and tell a begging and crying mother that she had one more day to come up with the rent or she and her family would be thrown out in the snow. That was an accurate portrayal of the way people lived in those days, and those are the conditions that the conservative Republican agenda would restore in America today.
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THE NEW DEAL
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But finally in 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a liberal democrat, was elected overwhelmingly. He immediately surrounded himself with a group of the finest minds in the country, including Columbia professors Adolph A. Berle, Jr., Rexford G. Tugwell, and Raymond Moley, known at the time as the "Brain Trust." After assembling these men and others he went about the business of developing a" New Deal" for the working class people of this country.
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The New Deal had two components -- one, to help the economy to recover from the affects of the great depression, and a second component to give relief to the American people, and to insure that they would never be placed in a position of total destitution again. To help heal the economy Roosevelt created programs that regulated business, controlled inflation, and brought about price stabilization; to bring relief to the people he signed The National Labor Relations Act which guaranteed workers the right to collective bargaining, and he created the Social Security Administration to guarantee workers some sort of income once they became too old to work. He also signed the Fair Labor Standards Act which protected workers rights and set a minimum wage for workers, and all of these programs are under brutal attack by the Republican Party today.
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With his New Deal in place, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this "bleeding heart liberal", not only led this country out of the worst, Republican generated crisis that this country has ever faced, but went on to lead the free world in victory over Hitler in WWII. He then ushered in the most sustained era of prosperity that the world has ever known.
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One would think that conservatives would have seen the light, but their passion to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of the lower and middle classes seems to supersede all logic. Thus, from the moment the New Deal went into place, conservatives have been determined to dismantle it. The closest they've come to succeeding started during the Reagan administration with Supply-Side Economics, or, "Reaganomics" -- and the battle is currently raging in Washington D.C. as we speak. 

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REAGANOMICS
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Reaganomics, or Supply- Side Economics was a scheme hatch by U.S.C. economist Arthur Laffer and the Reagan crowd which was supposed to cut the deficit and balance the budget. The theory behind Reaganomics was ostensibly, if you cut taxes for business and people in the upper tax brackets, and then deregulated business of such nuisances as safety regulations and environmental safeguards, the beneficiaries would invest their savings into creating new jobs. In that way the money would eventually "trickle down" to the rest of the population. The resulting broadened tax base would not only help to bring down the deficit, but also subsidize the tremendously high defense budget. When the plan was first floated, even George H. W. Bush, Reagan's vice president to be, called it "voodoo economics."

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Reaganomics, for the most part, sought to undo many of the safeguards put into place during the Roosevelt era and create a business environment similar to that which was in place during the Coolidge Administration. What actually took place, however, was even more like the Coolidge era than planed.
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Instead of taking the money and investing it into creating new jobs, the money was used in wild schemes and stock market speculation. One of these schemes, the leveraged buy-out, involved buying up large companies with borrowed funds secured by the company's assets, then paying off the loan by selling off the assets of the purchased company. This practice cost the citizens of this country its industrial base. In addition, the bottom fell out of the stock market. On Monday, October 19, 1987 the Dow-Jones Average fell 508.32 points. It was the greatest one-day decline since 1914 - 15 years before the Great Depression.
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And what about Ronald Reagan's promise to balance the budget and lower the deficit? By the time he left office he was not only the most prolific spender of any president, but he also added more to the deficit than all of the other presidents from George Washington to his own administration combined. And what does the Republican Party propose to do about that? One of the Republican proposals was their "contract with America," a capitol gains tax cut -- for the rich.
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Due to the continued freewheeling fiscal policies of conservative Republicans, between 1986 and 1989, spanning the presidencies of Reagan and Bush Sr., the FSLIC had to pay off all the depositors of 296 institutions with assets of over $125 billion.
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Then in 1988 Silverado Savings and Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $1.3 billion. It was headed by Neil Bush, brother of George W. The investigation alleged that he was guilty of "breaches of his fiduciary duties involving multiple conflicts of interest." The issue was eventually settled out of court with Bush paying a mere $50,000 settlement. Many believe that President George H. W. Bush invaded Iraq in the first gulf war to take the scandal out of the news.
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Then there was the Lincoln Savings and loan scandal in 1987, involving John McCain. The scandal was very similar to the one that is currently playing out on Wall Street. He was one of a group of senators dubbed "The Keating Five" involved in a scandal by the same name.
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In 1976 Charles Keating moved to Arizona to run the American Continental Corporation. In 1984, shortly after the Reagan era push to deregulate the savings and loan community, Keating bought Lincoln Savings and Loan and began to engage in highly risky investments with the depositors' savings. In 1989 the parent company, which Keating headed, went bankrupt, and it resulted in over 21,000 investors losing their life savings. Most of the investors were elderly, and the loss amounted to about 285 million dollars.
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But after having received over a million dollars from Keating in illegal campaign contributions, gifts, free trips, and other gratuities, the Keating Five--Senators John Glenn, Don Riegle, Dennis DeConini, Alan Cranston, and Sen. John McCain--attempted to intervene in the investigation into Keating's activities by the regulators. Later, they were admonished to varying degrees by the senate for attempting to influence regulators on Keating's behalf. Charles Keating ended up being convicted for fraud, racketeering and conspiracy, for which he received 10 years by the state court, and a 12 year sentence in federal court. After spending four and a half years in prison, his convictions were overturned. But prior to being retried, he pled guilty to a number of felonies in return for a sentence of time served.
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Then came the George W. Bush administration that caused close to a million people to die uselessly in an illegal war in Iraq, robbed the American people blind, whose fumbling further fueled the longest war in American history in Afghanistan, and whose greed came very close to sending the nation into yet another depression.
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Now, after all of their repeated efforts to deplete the national treasury, they're unanimously voting against every piece of legislation that the Democrats propose to repair the damage they created and to bring relief to the American people. Then they have the audacity to claim that they're doing it because they're concerned about deficit spending.
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They're against affordable health care for American families; they're against any kind of spending to put Americans back to work, and they're against extending unemployment insurance to relieve the burden of America's unemployed. What's particularly telling, however, is they're also against any kind of strong legislation to prevent the financial community (them) from being able to rob the American people in the future.  Yet . . .
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DONALD RUMSFELD REPORTS $2.3 TRILLION MISSING FROM PENTAGON THE DAY BEFORE 9-11
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 THEN AFTER THE INVASION OF IRAQ ANOTHER $6.6 BILLION
IN CASH CAME UP MISSING IN IRAQ 
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Could this be why the GOP is so big on military spending and determined to keep us in perpetual war around the world?  Because based these facts, the Pentagon seems to constitute nothing more than a huge black hole where it's impossible to account for our national treasure. And no wonder the Republican Party doesn't want an educated electorate - educated citizens ask questions like, "WHERE'S THE MONEY!!!?"  This may also account for why the GOP is so atrocious at governance, because they're not interested in governing, they only want to maintain the status quo and make damn sure that the American people remained miserable, ignorant, angry (with one another), and divided.
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During President Obama's first term Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was recklessly frustrated enough to say it out loud - he said, "Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president." So they weren't interested in saving America from a second Great Depression, or to bring relief to the American people, but only in making Barack Obama a one-term president.  Thus, flag pens in lapels and patriotic rhetoric notwithstanding, that says it all about the GOP's lack of concern for either America, or the American people.  It also speaks volumes regarding why the Republican Party leaves no stone unturned to insure that young Americans can't afford to educate themselves, because they know that informed Americans aren't dumb enough to vote Republican. 
Retired attorney, and former conservative, John Roberts, finally got that point. He said the following:
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"Why am I so liberal? I can thank the Republicans for that. I was raised Republican, voted Republican, and was president of the Young Republicans at college. The liberals did not attract me, but the Republicans pushed me away. It took me a while to realize that all of their talk about states’ rights, personal freedom, trickle-down economics, limited government, and secure borders was just a cover for the fact that they are really just very mean, selfish, stingy, hateful, and intolerant people.

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"They were too cowardly to admit that they hated anyone that was not exactly as they were. They would not admit that they didn't like women who were demanding equality. They did not want to spend any of their money helping others. They did not like blacks, Mexicans, Jews, Muslims, Asians, Native Americans, and anyone with dark skin. They did not want anyone passing any type of regulations interfering with their “right” to make outrageous profits.
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"Most of the Republicans I knew were just downright mean people. Unless you were a pure white male, they had no use for you. When I first left the Republican Party, I had no place to go. I started to listen to all sides. The liberals talked about peace, justice, equality, fairness, inclusion, love, and helping others."

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AND NOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS GIVEN US DONALD TRUMP, THE MOST CORRUPT, INCOMPETENT, AND DANGEROUS THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

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Think about it.

Eric L. Wattree
http://wattree.blogspot.com/
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.






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