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SIGNS OF THE TIME
Censorship

"It used to be that libraries banned books. Now they ban people who attempt to restrict a person's right to restrict: even of the restrictor and restricted are parent and child." Tumbleweed

There was a day, not long ago in fact, when censorship reigned supreme. Everything was censored. Sex and violence was edited out of movies, magazines, comics, and even the daily news. The mere hint of a swear word was eliminated without hesitation.

It was a day when authors and movie makers were held in check, and they did not like this one bit. If they wanted to express extreme rage or lust, they had to find an appropriate way to do so, rather than just let their emotions fly. Tsk, tsk, what a pity. Imagine families who had to bear their fathers's wrath without being sworn at or buffeted about.

In the minds of the media, this was not realism, and realism, as they saw it, was all important. In the minds of the censors, and those trying to raise decent children, this should be reality, and a direction in which to go.


A snail moves slowly, but it moves steadily. Persistence and determination wins in the end. But winning for the sake of a win is not necessarily a good thing. A snail, although he may reach his intended destination, leaves a slimy trail, and makes mess of your garden when he gets there.


Those who sought to extinguish the censors were few in number, but they were powerful in money and they were above all persistent.

This nation was, as were all "civilized" nations, built on the principal of the good of the many, and as an adjunct, that the majority rules.

This, of course, is an illusion provided by those few who have surreptitiously acquired the power they hold. Consider: almost all nations were formed, not on the principal of majority rule or for the good of the many; but rather from the conquest of the powerful and the self-serving.

Those who are in power have no more need to struggle, therefore they become lax. Because of this lax attitude, conflicts over inconsequential ideas can and do cause a riff in whatever unity might survive, while the majority of those content with their situation become apathetic or disinterested. This lack of enthusiasm and drive allows the determined few who oppose the powers that be to wedge their way into control of that into that which they have no business. David and Goliath is a good example of this practice. The Nine foot tall giant was so sure of himself he didn't even bother to lift his shield to guard his head, and because of his self-confidence, he was brought low by what he saw is as insignificant.

The greatest football hero would be useless without the protection and support of good linemen.


Like the snail, progress was slow in the war between the censors and the senseless - sorry, I mean the censorless. But the snail over many years has reached his garden, and is well on his way to doing to the garden what snails do to gardens.

Goals we set, or purport to have set, are never settled upon when reached. The victor of a battle is not content with the spoils of winning, but demand they take over the leadership of the people they have overcome as well. And even when this is not the case, such as with the Vikings and the Celts, their influence remains, pervades and homogenizes with the culture it has penetrated. And consider how many great and beautiful buildings and cities have been utterly destroyed by those with no other intention than to bring down the ones who had control over their people.


The snail has made its way into the garden. Things have changed. The many who are repulsed by what now is, has taken on the responsibility of complaining about their circumstances, while they remain glued to their TV watching that which they claim to detest.

Instead of the highest of ideals and quality in programming, the media strives toward crudeness and mediocrity at best. "And my people love it to be so" (Jer 5:31).


This country was founded on the highest of expectations and ideals. Our forefathers clearly and carefully laid out their intentions and their purposes. And for two hundred years these ideals stood firm and were respected.

Then entered the snail into the garden.

I wonder what our forefathers would say if they could see what has happened to the land they envisioned and fought for.

The inventors of Atomic energy had high ideals and great expectations for their invention, seeing it as a boon for mankind. Then the Politicians laid hands on this marvelous creation, and used it to destroy mankind. And who was the first to use this destructive power? Why, us peace-loving Americans, of course.


The computer was designed in effort to assist mankind, and the Internet to provide instant information between governments, and institutions. This has been accomplished. But snails do not remain in one place for long. They move ever forward. Now we not only have important information being exchanged over the Internet by institutions, but pornography, malicious gossip, viruses and instructions on how to destroy the world brought right into our children's bedroom.

Everything is controlled by this instrument. One "bug" or intentional virus can (and has) darken and immobilize many states for weeks at a time. We have witnessed this on both the Eastern and the Western seaboards. One snag could cause the beginning of World War Three, and very possibly Armageddon. Add to this the many groups and nations who have this very purpose in mind, and the prospect becomes frightening.


TV as well had the most innocent of beginnings. Here are the hopes of the inventor of the television in his own words:


"Philo began laying out his vision for what television could become. Above all else... television would become the world's greatest teaching tool. Illiteracy would be wiped out. The immediacy of television was the key. As news happened viewers would watch it unfold live; no longer would we have to rely on people interpreting and distorting the news for us. We would be watching sporting events and symphony orchestras. Instead of going to the movies, the movies would come to us. Television would also bring about world peace. If we were able to see people in other countries and learn about our differences, why would there be any misunderstandings? War would be a thing of the past." ~Evan I. Schwartz, The Last Lone Inventor, about Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television


I wonder what P.T. would say if he saw what has happened to his dream machine.


In early Television, as it was with radio, only a very short period of time was spent with the instrument turned on. In fact, programing was only on the air for 4 hours a day, unless you enjoyed watching a drawing of an Indian head, or a transmitting tower shoot out lightening bolts. At that time the cost of both broadcasting and viewing was very expensive, therefore limiting. Today viewing is extremely cheap, because of this at least one TV in every home is running on a 24 hour schedule. Now that there is nothing worth watching on TV (as so many tell me, while the TV blares in the background), it is watched perpetually by those who despise it.

As for programming, Instead of Ozzie Nelson to point the way to raising a family, we have Ozzie Ozborn, Al Bundy, and a host of unmarried and gay families as our guiding light.

Instead of news for a half an hour in the evening we have hour upon hour of repeats of the same distorted and slanted stories with innocuous fillers designed to put viewers to sleep.

Instead of movies with a few minutes of artificial violence where a man grasps his clean, white chest and falls off a horse; we have movies with extreme and very graphic violence and sex with but a few moments of story whereby the viewer has opportunity to grab a beer from the frig.


I find it interesting that those people who righteously believe that TV has gone to the dogs, yet continue to watch it, turn to the old, censored programs of the innocent past, or to the food channel, or the home improvement station, or some other source for which they have to pay extra for the privilege of avoiding the schlock provided by the media today.


In the early stages of Video games, children were very content to watch a ball run through a maze gobbling up bugs of some sort. Now they have games that portray and teach theft, rape, killing - all with very graphic and realistic action. And when they tire of this joyful exercise (the only exercise most children get nowadays), they can turn on their computer, located in their locked and secluded room, and watch explicit sexual movies and learn to make Molotov coattails and other forms of explosives, subjects we know every well-informed "civilized" youth should be aware of.


It is said that children of today have lost their moral and social perspective. They have become hardened to anything but their own pleasures and pursuits. I wonder where they get such ideas?


Of course this is not true of every youth today. I find many who are amazingly healthy in their outlook and their behavior. I believe that we should all give extra credit to both the child who is successful in this day and age; and not to the child only, but to the parents as well. It was hard enough to raise a child, and to be raised properly, in the "Good Old Days." Those who must struggle through this age of uncensored corruption, in my mind, are nothing short of heroes, and should be acknowledged as such.

Some people are able to accomplish what the censor-less are not. They are able to censor themselves. Some do this by watching only healthy and informative programs. Others by restricting the use of TV (something we did long ago, including restricting the number of hours a week the TV would be on, even when there was nothing harmful to watch), or throwing their TV in the trash.

Many years ago I witnessed just such a self-censorship by a child of ten. He was a neighbor for whom I rented a movie about aliens, a subject he especially enjoyed. Once I entered the room where he was viewing the movie, and the sound was turned off. I asked him if he liked the movie, and he said he did. Later I watched the movie, and discovered it had some profanity in it. I then knew why he had chosen to remove the sound.


I fear, however, that the time is near at hand when the uncensored people who have taken over the censorship of this world will have so much power, and have deflated our morality to such a level that to find a moral or unselfish person will be next to impossible.


Those who wished to censor the censors have won, and those of us who are (supposedly) to be the beneficiaries have lost.


The other side of the coin.

Nothing stands still. When something reaches a point that it is no longer moving forward, it either falls backwards, redirects itself, or dies. This is true of everything in existence that we are aware of. Even a rock and a mountain is steadily changing, although in our short lifespan we do not see that change.

Censors do not fall outside this realm. Censors will either censor more, or they will censor less. This fact of life is one of the fears, and justifiably so, opponents of censorship had when censorship was in its heyday. There was a point when censorship was reasonable and acceptable to all but the most hardened critics of censorship. Of course, no one ever accepted censorship, especially if they were the ones being censored. But to us, the viewers, everything seemed to be on a reasonable and logical course. For most of us, considering the accepted mores of the day, what was available to us was appropriate and enjoyable. One reason for this being so is the fact that everything was new. This was especially true of TV where nobody knew what they were doing, and everyone was trying to just find something interesting to present. There was even a period of time the TV was expected to fail because it was less interesting, and more expensive, then radio (which was firmly established at that time).

But time changed, and TV moved from infancy to adolescence (and hasn't moved out of it since). Trying to find something interesting became instead trying to outdo what the others were presenting. For a while this could be accomplished within the acceptable guidelines of the censors. But a point was reached when all the "air" being pushed to the viewers would not fit into the restrictive balloon the censors had allowed. To accommodate this expansion, efforts were made to enlarge the balloon of censorship: just a bit.

As said, nothing sits still. Like a "temporary tax" that becomes permanent and grows: the expansion of the balloon has continued until it is now a Hindenberg Blimp, ready to explode in a flame of self-destruction.


Power seeks more power. A mayor looks to be Governor. A governor eyes the Congress. An actor dreams of being President.

The McCarthy hearings began as an simple investigation. Before long it was a dreaded inquisition of the media arena. The "Red Scare" penetrated into every field of the media, and devastated the lives of many innocent people. This was censorship in its highest form, and at its lowest level.

Other abuses of power in the form of censorship raised its ugly head as well. The slime "exposé" magazines hit the stands, wielding power to bring down the goliaths of the big screen and others dignitaries. These were the self-proclaimed censors who did not censor themselves, but were out to undo anyone who had risen above the lowly position of existence they had attained themselves.


Censors wield power. And the more power a person has, the more they want. In order to squelch the ever-growing power of the censors, anti-censor groups were formed.

Of course those in the media were delighted to have the support of such groups, thus allowing them more and more freedom to do and say all those thing society as a whole did not want to see or hear, but who no longer held the reigns of control.

Some actors and others in the media arena were not pleased with the direction their chosen field was taking. More and more inappropriate behavior was required of them if they wished to continue working, and thus compete with those willing to compromise their integrity. Those with scruples tucked their deflated pocket book under their pillow and left the field to those without honor or regard for themselves or their viewing audience. This, of course, helped perpetuate the decline of the genre.


Power seeks power. And the more power one has, the more is sought, and the easier the acquisition of more becomes. Like a mega-industry that has reached a point of ultimate control, it does not rest in its nest of accomplishment, but rather buys up any and all competition, thereby needing, (and desiring) less reason to improve itself or the quality of product it provides. More money can be charged for less quality. Consider the oil conglomerates and the ever increasing price of gas. The only way to bring the price of gas down is to stop buying it until the suppliers feel the pang instead of the purchaser.


The organizations who, justifiably, wished to quell the power of the critics, now held the gavel of authority, and had themselves become the censors. Seeing that they had a bent toward the negative, in opposition to the positive direction the censors they had overcome was taking, that is, to provide the public with the clean and the healthy: this new, "Modern" installation of censors continued (continues) their momentum driven spiral into oblivion.

What had been begun (at least in the minds of some, I am sure) as an honorable and worthy cause, had now become a demon in saint's clothing.


As you can see by the quotes following, censorship is not popular with writers and the media. And, to be sure, I would not like to be censored. After all, I am part of the media in that I publish my works here on the web. Not only do I publish stories of an innocuous sort, but I am also critical of the government, the churches, and just about every body in every field of endeavor. This being the case, I am in the pool up to my neck, the which a mere hand-splash of a wave could well drown me.

I am not against censorship: nor am I for censorship.


Some of history's most horrific crimes were done in the name of "Censorship." Consider the Inquisition where innumerable people were tortured and killed for not holding the same view as those in power. The Jews openly killed anyone who did not follow their rules. The Romans killed the Christians for not recognizing the Caesar as God. Germany, under Hitler, slaughters people by the millions for merely being of a nationality they considered inferior. We of this country are not free of such corrupted censorship: in fact we have a history bespeckled with censoring anyone not of our liking, or of another race, even to the grave. If a person was Indian, or Chinese, or Irish, or Mexican, or black, or female, or a child, or not a land owner, and many other distinctions they were not allowed to vote, to speak, or in many cases, not allowed to own land or even claim themselves and their family for their own possession (slaves). Then, if the government, or some other "respectable" person wanted what a "valueless" person owned, they either took it, or killed the person and then claimed what the one now dead had for their own.


Unlike what is supposed by people in general, censorship is not an issue when it comes to freedom. Censorship is a fact of life. The ultimate form of censorship, and that which was expected in time past, but rarely expected any more, is that of self censorship: or what we call self-discipline. Censorship is with us in every aspect of our life. What needs to be considered is, not if there is censorship, but rather who is doing the censoring, and what the censor's motives are.

Censorship and freedom of speech are considered one and the same. They are looked upon as a fundamental right of every individual. This is especially true of Americans, where our nation was built, as we suppose, on the premise of freedom of speech.

But freedom of speech is both an illusion, and right held by all people since Adam. Mankind has always had freedom of speech. Even during the inquisition, people could say and do whatever they pleased. Speaking one's mind was never an issue, as long as those who did so were willing to pay the consequences for their socially errant words or deeds. Our history books are littered with the bodies of those who spoke their mind in condemnation of what they saw as wrong with the society in which they lived. These are called Martyrs, and regarded as heroes by much of the world. But in their day, they were considered heretics, fools and criminals, and suffered official judgment as such.

Even today, anyone can say anything they wish to their spouse, their parents, their boss, their teacher, or the cop who pulls them over for an infraction of the traffic laws. This is the same with your spouse, children, employees, students and whatever. And after they have spoken their piece, you get to utilize your freedom of speech, very likely offering the same sort of response you received when you took your liberties.


The issue of freedom of speech is not an issue. The issue is: who has control over what is acceptable speech without consequences; and what are the consequences when that freedom is overstepped. This is the point of my article: who do you want to be in charge of what you, and others, are able to say? And along with this, are you content with the direction those in charge are taking, and are you indulging in and supporting those directions taken that are against your better judgement?


Censorship is with us from the day we are born. Our parents censor our every word and our every movement. This we call "discipline." Discipline (censorship) is part of the training needed to keep a child from growing into nothing more than another wild beast. Our pets censor their young, as does every form of life from a bug to an eagle.

Once we have left the nest, so to speak, we are turned over to many other forms of censorship. Imagine an Army without censorship. Or, and as is occurring more and more, a school without censorship of behavior. On the job we are censored from the moment we walk through the door of our place of business to the time we leave.

Government and society places upon us every sort of censorship imaginable. An illustration of this can be observed by the fact that one culture differs from another, and each of the cultures considered has a history of change as society changes its direction. Part of this change is due to the sheep nature of we humans. We follow the dictates and examples of others around us. But somewhere at the head of each of these changes is a person or group who has initiated the change that has been followed.

We are censored. To believe we are not censored is to believe we can be, say, or do anything we wish at any time we wish. If this were in fact the case there would be no need for prisons, the police, or any other form of rule or rule enforcer.

We are subject to the censorship of whatever group or organization we choose to join, or are placed under. And that is part of the problem, as I see it. The censorship we experience in the media, the library, and society in general is not of our choosing. It has been forced upon us in the name of: "Freedom from censorship."

When we had censorship, plain and simple, it was obvious that censorship existed. Censorship was not the question, nor is it the question today. The question to be considered is this: is what we now have, in the name of freedom, healthy? Is it good for the people and the nation? Was the obvious censorship of fifty years ago healthy for the people and the nation? Are we better off because of freedom of censorship? Or are we merely turning a blind eye to the decline of morality and this nation at large, and calling it freedom of speech?


The media is becoming more violent, immoral and vulgar by the hour.

Our schools have become cesspools of learning all that parents try to keep their children from learning, competing with prison and the city park for places to obtain information on illegal activities, drugs and gang activities. School is a place to fear for your life, becoming amazingly like a battlefield in some areas.

Our library is not allowed to restrict what children view, in spite of what control the parent wishes to place on their child; and this willingly and insistently by the librarians.

Discipline of the child by the parent is condemned, and in some cases illegal today; this being the sole prerogative of the state, who, although they have taken over the authority of raising the child, they do not take any of the expense, nor the responsibility for the failure of the child.

More and more children are taught to accept, practice and indulge in sexual conduct of all types: and this without the consent or even knowledge of the parent. Instead of abstinence, children are taught "safe sex" and even given birth control devices, and abortions, again without the consent of the parent. Add to this that the parent is not only disallowed to protest such activity, but not allowed to interfere nor even be informed of such proceedings.

Our schools are not allowed to teach or talk about God, nor the children to speak of Him even out of class: Our justice system has been forced to eject God from its sanctuary; the churches are minimizing the need to do what is right; and little by little the Pastorate is being restricted by law from preaching against sin.


It's not that censorship has been eliminated, or that freedom of speech reigns as is supposed. It's that those who wish to force their brand of Godless, immoral and illicit censorship on society has taken over the role of censor. And to their credit, they have done their surreptitious work so thoroughly that they have even their foes agreeing with and supporting their right to push their view on society


What we see is the result of 40 years of dedicated, under the table labor. We have moved from a nation under God: to a Godless nation. We have fallen from a nation to be admired and envied by the world: to a nation hated, despised, and although imitated, regarded as the lowest form of life that should be exterminated from this earth.

This we have accomplished in 40 years. Considering the direction we are heading, the accelerated pace at which we are advancing: what do you see in the future in another 40 years? Do you see a world in which you will be happy and proud to be living?


I am glad I grew up in a censored and Godly time when doing right was expected, and almost demanded. I would dread having to try and swim against the tidal wave of debauchery that exists today. In the days of censorship I could talk about God, and Jesus, and read the Bible when and where I wanted. Now that we have "freedom of Speech," and censorship has been destroyed, I can no longer take a Bible to school pray, or mention God or Jesus in class. I can read about sex and violence and witchcraft if I choose. I can do all the things I do not wish to do, nor believe anyone should do: but in this enlightened age of freedom I am not allowed to do what I feel I must do, or wish to do.

Is it just me? Or is there something drastically wrong with this picture?


If we as a nation have achieved freedom, then I opt for the slavery of restrictions I grew up under.


Freedom of speech. I predict that should our freedom to speak continue its present direction, in the near future websites such as mine, where the accepted abnormal "norm" is criticized, will be taken off the air in effort to insure freedom as we know it today.

Tumbleweed



Quotes


34O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Mat 12:36-37).



"We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still." ~John Stuart Mill

"The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion." ~Henry Steele Commager

"The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen." ~Tommy Smothers

"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~Potter Stewart

"We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard." ~Voltaire

"The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book." ~Walt Whitman

"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too." ~Voltaire

"I am thankful for all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech." ~Nancie J. Carmody

"The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." ~John Stuart Mill

"Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas." ~Alfred Whitney Griswold

"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." ~Abbott Joseph Liebling

"A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad." ~Albert Camus

"To reject the word is to reject the human search." ~Max Lerner

"Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them." ~Mark Twain

"What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books." ~Sigmund Freud

"Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings." ~Heinrich Heine

"Every burned book enlightens the world." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The paper burns, but the words fly away." ~Akiba ben Joseph

"Did you ever hear anyone say, "That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me?"" ~Joseph Henry Jackson

"If you don't have this freedom of the press, then all these little fellows are weaseling around and doing their monkey business and they never get caught." ~Harold R. Medina

"Obscenity is not a quality inherent in a book or picture, but is solely and exclusively a contribution of the reading mind, and hence cannot be defined in terms of the qualities of a book or picture. ~Theodore Schroeder

"Assassination is the extreme form of censorship." ~George Bernard Shaw

"I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it." ~Mae West

"Censorship feeds the dirty mind more than the four-letter word itself." ~Dick Cavett

"The test of democracy is freedom of criticism." ~David Ben-Gurion

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind." ~John Stuart Mill

"To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor's prohibited list." ~John Aikin

"To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves." ~Claude-Adrien Helvéétius

"Censorship offends me." ~Author Unknown

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." ~John F. Kennedy

"God forbid that any book should be banned. The practice is as indefensible as infanticide." ~Rebecca West

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." ~Noam Chomsky

"Every human being has a right to hear what other wise human beings have spoken to him. It is one of the Rights of Men; a very cruel injustice if you deny it to a man!" ~Thomas Carlyle

"Books won't stay banned - Ideas won't go to jail." ~Alfred Whitney Griswold

"You can cage the singer but not the song." ~Harry Belafonte

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." ~Voltaire

"The populist authoritarianism that is the downside of political correctness means that anyone, sometimes it seems like everyone, can proclaim their grief and have it acknowledged. The victim culture, every sufferer grasping for their own Holocaust, ensures that anyone who feels offended can call for moderation, for dilution, and in the end, as is all too often the case, for censorship. And censorship, that by-product of fear - stemming as it does not from some positive agenda, but from the desire to escape our own terrors and superstitions by imposing them on others - must surely be resisted." ~Jonathon Green


"Philo began laying out his vision for what television could become. Above all else... television would become the world's greatest teaching tool. Illiteracy would be wiped out. The immediacy of television was the key. As news happened viewers would watch it unfold live; no longer would we have to rely on people interpreting and distorting the news for us. We would be watching sporting events and symphony orchestras. Instead of going to the movies, the movies would come to us. Television would also bring about world peace. If we were able to see people in other countries and learn about our differences, why would there be any misunderstandings? War would be a thing of the past." ~Evan I. Schwartz, The Last Lone Inventor, about Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television


"When television came roaring in after the war (World War II) they did a little school survey asking children which they preferred and why - television or radio. And there was this 7-year-old boy who said he preferred radio "because the pictures were better."" ~Alistair Cooke


"There ain't any news in being good. You might write the doings of all the convents of the world on the back of a postage stamp, and have room to spare." ~Finley Peter Dunne


"You can crush a man with journalism." ~William Randolph Hearst


"I fear three newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets." ~Napoleon


"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed." ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Mark Twain or Thomas Jefferson


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