Independence Day – Let Freedom Ring

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Independence Day

– Let Freedom Ring

 

The Declaration of Independence is the usual name of a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies,then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. Instead they formed a new nation—the United States of America. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence, which was unanimously approved on July 2. Acommittee of five had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence. The term “Declaration of Independence” is not used in the document itself.

Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress would edit to produce the final version. The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The national birthday, Independence Day, is celebrated on July 4, although Adams wanted July 2.

After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms. It was initially published as the printedDunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public. The source copy used for this printing has been lost, and may have been a copy in Thomas Jefferson’s hand. Jefferson’s original draft, complete with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and Jefferson’s notes of changes made by Congress, are preserved at the Library of Congress. The best known version of the Declaration, a signed copy that is popularly regarded as the official document, is displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This engrossed copy was ordered by Congress on July 19, and signed primarily on August 2.

The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few for the next four score years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his rhetoric (as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863), and his policies. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language”, containing “the most potent and consequential words in American history”. The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy, and argued that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which theUnited States Constitution should be interpreted.

It provided inspiration to numerous national declarations of independence throughout the world. Historian David Armitage, after examining the influence of the American “Declaration” on over 100 other declarations of independence, says:

The American Revolution was the first outbreak of the contagion of sovereignty that has swept the world in the centuries since 1776. Its influence spread first to the Low Countries and then to the Caribbean, Spanish America, the Balkans, West Africa, and Central Europe in the decades up to 1848…. Declarations of independence were among the primary symptoms of this contagion of sovereignty.

Thirteen Colonies
United States
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Established May 10, 1775
Disbanded March 1, 1781
Preceded by First Continental Congress
Succeeded by 1st Confederation Congress
Seats Variable; ~60
Meeting place
1775–1777: Pennsylvania State House,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1775–1781: Variable
Footnotes
Though there were about 50 members of the Congress at a given time, it was the states that had votes, so there were effectively only 13 seats.

 

Independence Day

– Let Freedom Ring

Independence Day – Let Freedom Ring

Leave a comment

Independence Day

– Let Freedom Ring

 

The Declaration of Independence is the usual name of a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies,then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. Instead they formed a new nation—the United States of America. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence, which was unanimously approved on July 2. Acommittee of five had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence. The term “Declaration of Independence” is not used in the document itself.

Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress would edit to produce the final version. The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The national birthday, Independence Day, is celebrated on July 4, although Adams wanted July 2.

After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms. It was initially published as the printedDunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public. The source copy used for this printing has been lost, and may have been a copy in Thomas Jefferson’s hand. Jefferson’s original draft, complete with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and Jefferson’s notes of changes made by Congress, are preserved at the Library of Congress. The best known version of the Declaration, a signed copy that is popularly regarded as the official document, is displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This engrossed copy was ordered by Congress on July 19, and signed primarily on August 2.

The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few for the next four score years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his rhetoric (as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863), and his policies. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language”, containing “the most potent and consequential words in American history”. The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy, and argued that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which theUnited States Constitution should be interpreted.

It provided inspiration to numerous national declarations of independence throughout the world. Historian David Armitage, after examining the influence of the American “Declaration” on over 100 other declarations of independence, says:

The American Revolution was the first outbreak of the contagion of sovereignty that has swept the world in the centuries since 1776. Its influence spread first to the Low Countries and then to the Caribbean, Spanish America, the Balkans, West Africa, and Central Europe in the decades up to 1848…. Declarations of independence were among the primary symptoms of this contagion of sovereignty.

Thirteen Colonies
United States
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Established May 10, 1775
Disbanded March 1, 1781
Preceded by First Continental Congress
Succeeded by 1st Confederation Congress
Seats Variable; ~60
Meeting place
1775–1777: Pennsylvania State House,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1775–1781: Variable
Footnotes
Though there were about 50 members of the Congress at a given time, it was the states that had votes, so there were effectively only 13 seats.

 

Independence Day

– Let Freedom Ring

The Fickle-Finger of SCOTUS – WABAC to the Death Penalty

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"Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Let’s go back to June 29, 1972 and watch the Judicial Branch of the United States government in action on a matter of life and death, Sherman My Boy.”

waybac-machine

U.S. Supreme Court Rules

Death Penalty Unconstitutional

 

A Legal Brief

On June 29, 1972, the Supreme Court of the United States stunned the nation by ruling in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty violated the 8th and 14th Amendments.  This decision basically outlawed capital punishment until each state that wanted to reinstate it reworked their laws and procedures to meet Supreme Court guidelines.

The law of the land…

It seems that over 200 years of previous experience had not perfected the procedure.  The court found judicial practices so arbitrary and inconsistent that a grossly uneven administration of capital punishment was the result.  So much so, that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

In wake of their ruling, those convicts on death row awaiting execution were given a reprieve since they had been sentenced under a system found to be unconstitutional.  Even Sirhan Sirhan, the murderer of Robert F. Kennedy, was spared.

Over the next few years, 37 states rewrote their capital punishment laws and procedures, and by 1976, those stated had re-entered the legal people-killing business.  Currently, 31 states still maintain capital punishment, although vigorous campaigns have been mounted to make all forms of execution illegal in the United States.

Greater impetus for the movement to ban capital punishment is partially the result of botched executions, where the condemned was seen by witnesses to be writhing in pain for extended lengths of time.  Drug companies have also been refusing to sell the drugs used for lethal injection to those states that use that form of capital punishment, which has created a whole new set of problems as new concoctions are being formulated to efficiently kill the condemned.

Medical and scientific advancements in DNA have brought to light that some executed criminals were innocent after all.   This sad fact together with the many non-death penalty cases that have been overturned as a result of DNA analysis have cast a dark shadow on the U.S. legal (we will not call it “justice”) system.

Accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, police misconduct and mistaken or purposely misleading testimony by “experts” have also created serious doubts about the fairness (or lack thereof) in death penalty cases.  Even people who have no moral objection to killing people convicted of heinous crimes are now troubled by the specter of all too frequent mistakes and miscarriages of justice.  In Nebraska, for example, the state legislature overrode the veto of the governor and outlawed capital punishment in that otherwise conservative state.

The Fickle-Finger of SCOTUS

– WABAC to the Death Penalty

Crusades for Mass Salvation – A WIF Look into Billy Graham

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Crusades for Mass Salvation

Billy Graham’s crusades – evangelistic campaigns conducted by Billy Graham between 1947 and 2005. Graham called them crusades, after the medieval Christian forces who conquered Jerusalem. Billy Graham conducted 417 crusades in 185 countries and territories on six continents. The first Billy Graham evangelistic campaign, held September 13–21, 1947, in the Civic Auditorium in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was attended by 6,000 people. He would rent a large venue, such as a stadium, park, or street. As the sessions became larger, he arranged a group of up to 5,000 people to sing in a choir. He would preach the gospel and invite people to come forward (a practice begun by Dwight L. Moody). Such people were called inquirers and were given the chance to speak one-on-one with a counselor, to clarify questions and pray together. The inquirers were often given a copy of the Gospel of John or a Bible study booklet. In Moscow, in 1992, one-quarter of the 155,000 people in Graham’s audience went forward at his call. During his crusades, he has frequently used the altar call song, “Just As I Am“.

Just As I Am


Over 58 years, Billy Graham reached more than 210 million people (face to face and by satellite feeds) in over 185 countries and territories on six continents. The longest Graham’s evangelistic crusade took place in New York City in Madison Square Garden in 1957, which lasted 16 weeks. The largest audience in the history of Graham’s ministry assembled at Yoido Plaza in Seoul in South Korea in 1973 (ca. 1,1 million peoples).

Graham’s revival meetings were most commonly called “crusades,” and were billed as such for decades, but Graham himself began calling them “missions” after the September 11 attacks due to a potentially offensive connotation of the word “crusade” among Muslims. “Following September 11th, there was increased consciousness of other faiths in the U.S. that would find the term ‘crusade’ offensive,” Graham spokeswoman Melany Ethridge told The Associated Pressin 2002.

Evangelistic association

In 1950, Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) with its headquarters in Minneapolis. The association relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1999. BGEA ministries have included:

  • Hour of Decision, a weekly radio program broadcast around the world for more than 50 years
  • Mission television specials broadcast in almost every market in the US and Canada
  • A syndicated newspaper column, My Answer, carried by newspapers across the United States and distributed byTribune Media Services
  • Decision magazine, the official publication of the association
  • Christianity Today was started in 1956 with Carl F. H. Henry as its first editor
  • Passageway.org, the website for a youth discipleship program created by BGEA
  • World Wide Pictures, which has produced and distributed more than 130 films

In April 2013, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started “My Hope With Billy Graham”, the largest outreach in its history, encouraging church members to spread the gospel in small group meetings after showing a video message by Graham. “The idea is for Christians to follow the example of the disciple Matthew in the New Testament and spread the gospel in their own homes.” The video, called “The Cross”, is the main program in the My Hope America series and was also broadcast the week of Graham’s 95th birthday. In an email interview with WND, Graham wrote that “we are close to the end of the age”.

 

Crusades for Mass Salvation

– A WIF Look into Billy Graham

List_of_Billy_Graham’s Crusades (chronological)

Cover Songs – WIF Music Monday

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10 Cover Songs More Famous

than the Original

We’ve told you before about how a cover of a song can end up more famous than the original. But 10 entries wasn’t enough to do the subject justice, as there are lots of great examples we left off the list. So here’s the sequel!

10. Black Magic Woman

The Cover (Santana)

If you ask someone who knows anything about Santana to start naming their songs, “Black Magic Woman” will almost certainly be in the top five. Released in 1970, it reached number four on both the US and Canadian music charts and would become one of Santana’s biggest hits. Their version included extra guitar at the beginning and the end, and also included conga and timbales drums.

The Original (Fleetwood Mac)

The song was originally written in 1968 by Peter Green, the founder of Fleetwood Mac. But if you asked someone to start naming Fleetwood Mac songs, “Black Magic Woman” probably wouldn’t come up, at least not until they got pretty deep into their catalogue. Their version is shorter and lacks the extra instrumentals. It wasn’t exactly unpopular, it was just overshadowed by Santana’s version. In fact, they continued to play it throughout the early ’70s, often reminding the audience that it actually was a Fleetwood Mac song.

9. No No Song

The Cover (Ringo Starr)

Ringo Starr first became famous for playing the drums for some British band you may have heard of, but after that he had a career as a solo artist. One of his more popular songs was the 1974 release “No No Song,” which is surprisingly not aimed at infants. It basically tells the story of people offering the singer all sorts of drugs that they refer to as “the best in all the land” and the singer turning them down.

The Original (Hoyt Axton)

Hoyt Axton was an American folk singer from Oklahoma. The son of the woman that co-wrote the song “Heartbreak Hotel,” it seems that writing good songs ran in his family. Hoyt became fairly well-known in the ’60s and ’70s, both for writing songs and for appearing on TV. In fact, he was such a good songwriter he’s going to appear on this list again. How’s that for foreshadowing?

8. Joy to the World

The Cover (Three Dog Night)

No, not the Christmas carol. If we say the words “Jeremiah was a bullfrog,” you might recognize it as the beginning of Three Dog Night’s hit “Joy to the World.”Released in 1970, it rose to number one on the charts in the US and in Canada. It was quickly certified gold and eventually sold five million copies.

The Original (Hoyt Axton)

See, we told you. Hoyt’s slower and softer version of the song didn’t perform nearly as well. It’s a shame his versions weren’t as successful as the covers, but it seems he had a knack for writing good songs that others could later make great. Also, after Three Dog Night’s version was released, Hoyt and his mother became the first mother and son to have both written a number one rock and roll hit.

7. La Bamba

The Cover (Los Lobos)

La Bamba was a 1987 biographical movie that told the story of Mexican-American musician Ritchie Valens. Many of the songs from the soundtrack were recorded by the band Los Lobos, the most popular of which was the titular “La Bamba.” The song rose to the top of the US and UK charts in the same year, thus becoming one of the most commercially successful songs sung in Spanish.

The Original (Ritchie Valens)

Although it had long been a popular Mexican folk song, the first version of “La Bamba” to gain wider acclaim was released in 1958 by Ritchie Valens. Although his version didn’t perform as well initially, it has since become well regarded. It was the only Spanish song included on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

6. Louie Louie

The Cover (The Kingsmen)

“Louie Louie” is one of the most covered songs in history. Estimates range on just how many artists have recorded versions, but it’s generally agreed to be at least in the hundreds. Whatever the number is, the most popular version was recorded by The Kingsman in 1963. Their version also generated controversy — someone wrote a letter to Robert Kennedy in 1964 complaining that the song contained “obscene” lyrics. The FBI proceeded to investigate… for four months.  In the the end, they admitted they couldn’t hear anything and gave up.

The Original (Richard Berry)

The original version of “Louie Louie” was written in 1955 by Richard Berry. His version was much slower and clearer, and was performed in the style of a Jamaican ballad, which probably didn’t appeal much to America’s mainstream audience. The original is much more easily understood, and the story told takes a more prominent place. Unfortunately, Berry didn’t receive much for writing the song, as he signed away the rights before it became a hit. However, because a company wanted to use the song in the 1980s, he was able to renegotiate the rights and received a very large sum of money.

5. Hallelujah

The Cover (Jeff Buckley)

“Hallelujah” has also been covered many times. One of the more popular versions was released by John Cale in 1991 as a tribute to the original. This inspired Jeff Buckley to record his own version, which was released in 1994 on his only complete studio album, Grace. Although the album wasn’t initially a hit, it went gold in 2002 and “Hallelujah” was ultimately ranked 259th on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Unfortunately, Buckley didn’t get to see this success, as he died in 1997.

The Original (Leonard Cohen)

“Hallelujah” was originally released in 1984 by Canadian Leonard Cohen. Supposedly he spent years fine-tuning the song, writing almost 80 verses before trimming it down to its current state. His version was not initially a hit, but many people have come back to listen to it after hearing one of the covers, perhaps while watching Shrek. We’re sure he’s not too bummed out about it, as he’s been inducted into both the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

4. Without You

The Cover (Harry Nilsson)

“Without You” has been covered many times, notably by Mariah Carey in 1994. Her version reached number three on the US charts, but actually isn’t the most successful version. Harry Nilsson released his take in 1971, just one year after the original came out. His went to the very top of the US charts, and remains the only version to do so.

The Original (Badfinger)

British rock group Badfinger released the original version in 1970 on their albumNo Dice. The sad song offered some awful foreshadowing, as two of the members later committed suicide. The song was in fact inspired by real events in their personal lives. Their version wasn’t nearly as popular as later covers, possibly because it wasn’t released as a single.

3. Mandy

The Cover (Barry Manilow)

In 1974, Barry Manilow released “Mandy.” It was a big hit, becoming his first song to reach number one on the US charts. It would also become his first gold single. It kicked off his huge career, in which he at one point had five albums on the bestseller list at the same time.

The Original (Scott English)

The original version was released in 1971 by the ironically named American Scott English. The song he released was actually called “Brandy.” His version was somewhat popular, but was only really well-known in the UK. Manilow changed the title because another song with the name Brandy in it was popular at the time.

2. Tainted Love

The Cover (Soft Cell)

“Tainted Love,” released in 1981, was Soft Cell’s second single and their biggest hit. Their version was slower than the original and used synthesizers and rhythm machines as background noise instead of traditional instruments. It was their most successful song, rising to number 1 in the UK charts and 8 in the US.

The Original (Gloria Jones)

The original was recorded in 1964 by Gloria Jones. The motown song was a commercial flop, but after awhile it became somewhat popular in clubs in northern England, which prompted Jones to rerelease it. She did so in 1976, but the song again failed to chart. It would remain largely unknown until Soft Cell’s cover.

1. Layla

The Cover (Eric Clapton) 

Clapton released a trimmed down version of “Layla” in 1972 that reached number 10 in the US and number 7 in the UK. 20 years later he released an acoustic version that only reached number 12 in the US, but ended up winning the 1992 Grammy for Best Rock Song, beating out “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

The Original (Derek and The Dominoes)

“Layla” was ranked 27th on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, but the first time it was released it wasn’t very popular. Recorded with Clapton’s band Derek and The Dominoes in 1970, the first version of the song failed to chart. This was perhaps partly due to the fact that Clapton’s name wasn’t on the front of the album, and no one had ever heard of this Derek character. It was also over seven minutes long, and as a result wasn’t played often on the radio.

Cover Songs

– WIF Music Monday

CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Episode 149

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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 149

… Cool your heels, play tiddlywinks, take a plane ride, anything, just stay out of the damned devil’s sight…

“Penty is getting plenty close,” Agent Daniels is warning Constance about their adversary’s new proximity. “I’m hoping that he isn’t able to track me sooner than 24 hours, ‘cause if I don’t stay in one spot, he can only guess.”

“You’re not from around here, are you?” 

“You mean he is back at 33 LaSalle?”

“No, he is 10 blocks north of you at 5046 Greenwood.”

She is not a native Chicagoan so some quick counting of streets leads her to conclude, “Does he know something we aren’t aware of?”

“I think he is using this Midwest location as a centralized contact point for those of us not given to spatial displacement.”

“Huh, say what?” spatial what? “How is it that you know where he’s at?”

“I have my ways.”

“I should have known.”

“You should have known,” Ace’s is playing the waiting game, mostly taking his Beechcraft out for daily spins up and around Lake Michigan, or basically wherever he pleases. He feels his skills are being wasted… until there is something to do.

“If you’re so good at second guessing, what do you think we are going to do next?”

“We’re going to fly down to Florida and see what Fanny is up to?”

“That may not be such a good idea — I believe she is carrying a gun now.”

“Scratch that idea,” he is not high on Fan’s list of favorite people at this moment and she has had time to stew about things.

“You are going to drive us over to that house on Greenwood, stake it out for a bit, kick the tires, rattle his cage, you know boogie with the boogie man.” Constance knows that Agent Daniels must be moving on to some other assignment any day and someone has to keep tabs on the Great Deceiver.

“That may not be the greatest idea Miss Caraway. As soon as you underestimate him, he will take a bite out of you,” warns Daniels. “I realize that you guys are restless, but Libby is working on his coming out party and you do not want to mess that up. Cool your heels: Watch Penty from afar, do property searches on the Greenwood house, play tiddlywinks, take a plane ride, anything, just stay out of his sight. Resist the urge to tinker and leave ‘him’ to me.”


CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I.

restless

Episode 149


page 118

Forever Mastadon

Forever Mastadon

 

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CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I. ~ Episode 148

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Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 148

… “I want you to be a part of my next crusade.” Billy Graham has his sights set on revival…

 

 “I want you to be a part of my next crusade.” Without concern or compunction, Billy Graham has his sights set on revival. It has been 45 years since the last “Great Awakening” and considering the troubling direction of the world, the frequency of wars, the coming age of information, moral decay, etc…, the time has come for the next such amassing of God’s people. “I am gathering the world’s most influential leaders in their fields of expertise, and not just the blatantly religious. You, Willard Libby represent perhaps the fittest example of proving the case for Christ; your Carbon-14 findings will rock secular strongholds down to the quick.”

“I am flattered that you would consider me,” Libby’s modest style is what makes him so attractive to Graham, who is not seeking grandstanders, only defenders of the Word. “You are aware that the fantastic people who are working on my behalf (and Martin) believe they are having encounters with the Devil?”

“As a matter of fact, I have spoken to most of them, the CIA guy foremost of those; and I must tell you that it makes me shudder to think how bold Satan has become. But that is what I’m talking about: the world needs to know exactly what they are up against. When asked, 99% of people on Earth don’t believe that Satan exists, which is just the way he wants it.

“And you won’t hear about this stuff on radio news broadcasts or on television either. The truth needs to be told.”

“You can count me in, though the vehicle with which I tell the world about my half-life discoveries is not what I envisioned.”

“We don’t have the plan for our lives; God is the author of the world he has created with His hands, for His great pleasure.”

“When do we start,” he puts his arm around Martin, anxious to escape his imposed imprisonment.

“Spring is around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere and we are in the process of securing venues for the crusade. We have to expect that the Lord will be sending a million seekers our way, with the hope of attracting a billion more!”

“I am into large-scale thinking, but you best leave the Bible thumping for folks who know what they are talking about.”

“Listen and learn, my friend,” the evangelist exhorts, “your job is to bend the ears of the technological intolerant.”


CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I.

Episode 148


page 117

Forever Mastadon

Forever Mastadon

 

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