Regnat Populus

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Posts Tagged ‘republican’

When in The Course of Federal Elections: Arguing the Case Against Social Conservatism

Posted by Max Barron on April 30, 2009

***In the interest of full disclosure: I am a rock-ribbed Conservative, both fiscally and socially.  I am also a fervent Constitutionalist and Federalist.  With that in mind – please read on.***

When in The Course of Federal Elections: Arguing the Case Against Social Conservatism… At the federal level.

Over the last several days the debate, or argument rather, about where so-called “moderate Republicans” stand in within the GOP tent has resurfaced anew.  In all of the back and forth in-fighting there has been but one clear, logical and applicable statement from which we can derive an answer.

ronaldreagan“We should emphasize the things that unite us and make these the only ‘litmus test’ of what constitutes a Republican: our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.”

“As to the other issues that draw on the deep springs of morality and emotion, let us decide that we can disagree among ourselves as Republicans and tolerate the disagreement.”





Wonder of wonders, it was none other than Olympia Snowe that pointed out this quote.  Ironically she fails her own litmus test – as do Collins and Specter, I digress.  What she did get right – and what should be highlighted – is the last sentence in particular.  What Snowe got wrong is the application of that particular pearl of wisdom. 

Before the discussion on the place of “moderate” Republicans, we must first know what a Republican is.  “Our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.”  Please note that there are no “or”s in this statement.  That is because there is no room for discussion regarding these principles.  In order to be a Republican, one must believe in “D) All of the above.”

What does this mean for “moderates?  It means that they are either Republican or not.  If they do not pass the Reagan litmus test then they are not, in fact, Republicans – and are irrelevant to this discussion.  If they do pass, then they are Republican.  It is important to note that there is a difference between “Moderate” and “RINO.”  A “Moderate” is a Republican, but may not necessarily be a social conservative.  A RINO is a Democrat with an “R”. 

Beyond our core beliefs – which make it easy for us to determine who is a Republican –  is where we get into the weeds.  Social issues.  Social issues are the bane of the current GOP.  There is a simple reason for that: A progressive social agenda directly interferes with the aforementioned core principles.  However, that doesn’t mean that socially conservative values should be a litmus test for our Congressional and Presidential candidates.  Please make note: this is NOT in defense of Specter, Snowe, Collins and their ilk.  As previously stated – they are not Republicans at all, and are therefor inconsequential to the purpose of this discussion.

However, this is in direct conflict with many of the social conservatives that have been foaming at the lips, rabid with blood-lust, and seeking the heads of any Republican that disagrees with their dogma with regard to social issues – all in the name of cleaning out the RINOs and rebuilding the party.  To those that seek to behead our candidates (and in some cases those currently serving in Congress) for these social views… Slow down and take a deep breath because you are wrong.  The fierce riptide of emotion associated with social issues has pulled asunder the better sense of reason.

As a party we have gone astray and forgotten the words of the “Gipper.”  “As to the other issues that draw on the deep springs of morality and emotion, let us decide that we can disagree among ourselves as Republicans and tolerate the disagreement.”  These are important words.  Many will take this pearl of wisdom to mean that we should allow the socially liberal openly into our ranks.  Others, myself included, see a greater meaning. 

First it means that we shouldn’t be wielding pitchforks and torches and chasing down our own candidates.  More importantly it means that the social issues should be non-issues to begin with… at the federal level.  Because these issues should not be decided in the halls of Congress nor the offices of the Executive.  Instead they should be decided by the people.  More specifically by the people in their given states.  The founding fathers and framers designed our Constitution in a manner that enforced the rights of the states. 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Asking our candidates to define their stances on any of the myriad of social issues is antithetical to the Conservative principle of governance.  Instead the question should be “are you a Federalist?”  The proper Republican will respond to any social issue question by stating “my personal stance is immaterial, as that is a matter that is Constitutionally left to the states and has no place at the federal level.”  Or something along those lines.  Obviously, the only exception to this is the matter of abortion.  This is ONLY because an activist SCOTUS made it a federal issue.

Essentially by involving ourselves in social issues, no matter how strongly we feel on them, we are undermining our own principle of liberty.  The entire essence of liberty is the right of the people to self-governance.  Simply put, the people should be deciding.  Not courts and certainly not the federal government.  This also acts as a stiff bulwark against statism.

As for the debate of the so-called moderates themselves.  If they pass the Republican litmus test as outlined by Reagan, then they should be kept.  Because if they pass the litmus test, it is impossible for them to be socially liberal… as fiscal conservatism and liberty are the antithesis of social liberalism.  One will always override the other.  Reagan knew this.  He also understood that if Republicans campaigned and legislated on social issues that we would lose.  Not because the people disagree, but because the people want to choose – they will inherently reject restrictivism in any form – thus siding with the pandering Democrats.  Reagan ran on Federalism, as designed by our founding fathers, and so did the majority of successful Republicans during the Reagan Revolution.  It works, because it is right.

So in the future, fellow Conservatives, we should look for candidates that embody the Republican core beliefs and have a federalist stance on governance.  Leaving the social issues to the states.  These candidates may not necessarily agree with all of the dogma of social conservatism… but they will also resist allowing the opposite to be legislated as well.  And they will insist that the issue be left to the states, where it rightfully belongs – and in most cases the states will swing to the right.


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Obligatory Specter’s Flipped Post

Posted by Max Barron on April 28, 2009

arlen-specter_subThe big news in the Beltway today is that Arlen Specter has decided to join the Democrat caucus. This isn’t really news at all.  Specter has, for all intents and purposes, always been a Democrat. Anyone that has paid any sort of attention to his voting record knows that. Specter’s reasoning couldn’t be more obvious either. Specter knows that Toomey is likely to win the GOP nomination for his PA seat in 2010. Specter’s best chance of hanging onto his seat is as a Democrat.

Many seem to be concerned about a filibuster proof Senate once Al Franken is seated. These people are assuming that it wasn’t already. Specter would never hold the line in a filibuster. He refused to even tow the party line on the Porkulus bill. Even though every poll showed that a majority of Americans were anti-Porkulus.  What makes anyone think for one second that he would uphold a filibuster?

It takes a bit of backbone and conviction to uphold a filibuster, especially when political pressure is involved. Specter has neither.  Republicans could more readily trust the Blue Dogs to help hold a filibuster than Specter, Collins or Snowe.

In the end with blood in the water in the PA GOP primary, an angry base and an angry national committee, Arlen did what anyone would expect of the mental midget – He has taken his ball and gone home.  And like the playgrounds of yesteryear, Specter’s little tantrum was but a brief disturbance as Arlen stalked away like a five year old after a severe public spanking… Tears and flubbering lips all the way back to mommy.  A spectacle reconciled almost immediately by the sight and sound of ropes skipping, balls bouncing and raucous games of “Tag.”

Essentially nothing has changed… except perhaps to correct the letter following Specter’s name.  Which will now more accurately reflect his politics.  The only thing shocking about it is how long it took.

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Schmidt gives GOP some… advice?

Posted by Max Barron on April 17, 2009

Steve Schmidt: Former top advisor to Presidential Candidate John McCain.

Steve Schmidt: Former top advisor to Presidential Candidate John McCain.

Steve Schmidt gave Republicans a dose of McCain-ian type advice while speaking at a convention for Log Cabin Republicans.  Just in case we haven’t had our fill of “moderation” over the last decade… Schmidt offers up two tablespoons full of the inky, foul smelling, Castor Oil – like “moderate soup”.  In essence, we should abandon principles and shift with the political winds.  We should all be more like the Democrats.  Well, Schmidty, my boy, I hate to rain on your parade but I’ll have none of that!

John McCain’s top adviser from the presidential campaign urged fellow Republicans on Friday to warm up to gay rights and warned that the GOP risks becoming the “religious party” with its opposition to same-sex marriage.

First let me start by saying that I loathe the term “gay rights.”  That is playing into the “victim” game.  Americans have the same rights across the board, as guaranteed by the Constitution. Nothing more, nothing less.  There are no special sets of rights for different groups.  Secondly, the notion that people who oppose the diluting of a traditional and religious institution (ie. marriage) are somehow members of a sectarian party is preposterous.  People of all walks, religions, sexes, races and creeds oppose “gay marriage”.  We do so, not on the grounds of party identification, but on the grounds of tradition, morals and principle.  Sorry, Steve, I simply won’t stand for same sex marriages.

He urged Republicans, in the near-term, to endorse civil unions and stop using the Bible as rationale for gay-marriage opposition

Stevie, I’m sure that you know better.  Civil unions and marriage are two completely separate and disassociated things.  Civil unions are contracts recognized by the State, wherein two people are given legal privileges.  Marriages are a religious institution that the State treats, in the eyes of the law, as a civil union.  Many conservatives, Republicans and Democrats support the notion of civil unions.  Most of us, however, do NOT support “gay marriage.”  You should also know better than to tell a Christian to stop using the Holy Bible as a life reference.  For Christians, the Bible is the basis of morality and right and wrong.  You are in essence telling Christians that they need to be embrace atheism.  Lest you forget, sir.  The Bible is quite clear on what happens to those who turn their backs on God’s word… Though I am certain that the Big Guy will accept the “we needed to win elections” excuse.

“If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party,” he said. “And in a free country a political party cannot be viable in the long-term if it is seen as a sectarian party.”  …..understands the Republican Party probably won’t reverse its resistance to same-sex marriage anytime soon.

But he suggested that the party will be increasingly marginalized if it sustains that opposition long-term.

Here, you once again miss the mark entirely, Stevie-boy.  In a free country, kind of like the one our forefathers built — who were Christians, by the way, everyone is free to express religion and politics however they so choose.  May I also remind you that God isn’t just in the national anthem… but also on our buildings, currency, and official documents written at and long after our founding.  To say that a political party cannot be viable when it bases itself on moral certitudes is… well, foolish.  We’ve only been doing it for a couple of centuries.  Conversely, the one thing that HAS severely damaged the Republican party is following advice similar to what you are giving: “Give up your principles, we need the votes!!”  Did you learn nothing from the past eight years?

“If the party is seen as anti-gay, then that is injurious to its candidates” in Democrat-leaning and competitive states, he said.

At least this time you came right out and said it.  I’ll give you that.  Cut and dry.  “Pander, I tell you. Pander to the masses! Go ye, and act as politicians – not men.  Lean to and heave principle aside… Get those votes!”  Where are we, as a society, when we lay to rest that which guides reasonable people in favor of titillating a voting group?  What does that say for us as a party?  It leaves us lacking the moral fiber and principles that have seen our country rise to its greatness over the last two centuries.  It makes us Democrats.

“I believe Republicans should re-examine the extent that we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core values,” he said, while still calling social conservatives an “indispensable part of the conservative coalition.”

The chief strategist for one of the most moderate candidates to run for president in history is telling Conservatives what our core values are.  How did your strategy work out for you, Stevie?  Conservatives know conservative values.  You, sir, by your own demonstration, are no Conservative.  Here we see a classic case of double talk. “Socially conservative values are killing us… but you social cons are indispensable.”  Our core values on federalism and the power of “We The People..” to change the laws define our position.  Much like Californians recently did, the people of every state have the right to change laws through referendum.  That is the official Conservative stance.  The courts, politicians and Fedzilla have no say.  “We The People..” do.  And I’m afraid that we’ve out voted you…

Schmidt also said Friday that Republicans need to reach out, not only to gay voters, but young voters and Hispanics.

“The rapid growth of the Hispanic-American population for instance could soon cost Republicans the entire southwest if we don’t recover our previous share of the vote,” he said.

There is no doubt that this is true, Schmidty.  You’re just dead wrong on the approach.  It may be hard for you to understand but we aren’t Democrats.  We have far more to offer than social pandering.  Instead of reducing ourselves to haggling for votes, why don’t we try something of a more novel approach.  Like, getting out OUR message, principals and policies.. and CONVINCE them that we are right.  I know that this may seem antithetical to you, Stevie, but you’re going to have to trust me here – it works.  Unlike your strategy… remember how that turned out?

In summary Steve wants us to act like Democrats and abandon our guiding principles in order to score points with a voting group, a rather small one at that (by comparison).  He, like the Democrats, seems to think that wants of the few out weigh the wants of the majority.  To summarize my response, Steve is an idiot.

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In response to Mickey Edwards.

Posted by Max Barron on January 26, 2009

I have a few things to say in response to Mickey Edwards’ LA Times hit piece entitled “Reagan wouldn’t recognize this GOP.”  I will not rehash the entirety of the tripe, but I will highlight a few areas with which I take exception.  First, I will agree to the title of his Op-Ed.  He is right in saying that Reagan would not recognize this GOP, but for the wrong reasons.  Reagan would not recognize it because once again, the Republican party has left him.  The GOP is but a homogenized version of what he eventually brought the party back to being.  There are very few other statements in which Mr. Edwards and I are in agreement.  The vast majority of Mr. Edwards’ dribble is just that, dribble.

On the premise that simple is best, many Republicans have reduced their operating philosophy to two essentials: First, government is bad (it’s “the problem”); second, big government is the worst and small government is better (although because government itself is bad, it may be assumed that small government is only marginally preferable)

This statement is a misrepresentation of conservative ideology at best, and pure fallacy at worst.  The fact of the matter is conservatives do NOT believe that all government is bad.  We do believe that bureaucracy is inherently flawed, and we do believe that over-reaching government is bad.  Over-reaching government (intrusive) is the polar opposite of liberty and independence.  As conservatism is based on the premise that liberty and independence are the driving forces of our society, it is fair to say that intrusive government (not all government) is “the problem.”  There is a tendency to use the terms “big” and “small” when describing government, the terms are not used literally, as Mr. Edwards ascribes here.  The literal quantity or size of government does not accurately encapsulate the conservative stance on “big government.”  The size of government, as described by conservatives, is relative to the scope and power of government.  Big government is one of extended and over-reaching scope and excessive weight and power over the people (i.e. intrusive).  Conversely, small government would be one of a more limited scope, as described by the Constitution.  We are not anarchists.

Limited government is not no government. And limited government is not “small” government. Simply building roads, maintaining a military, operating courts, delivering the mail and doing other things specifically mandated by the Constitution for America’s 300 million people make it impossible to keep government “small.” It is boundaries that protect freedom. Small governments can be oppressive, and large ones can diminish freedoms. It is the boundaries, not the numbers, that matter.

This statement is largely correct, and describes precisely what we mean by the term “small government.”  Again, it is not a literal use of the term “small.”  All forms of government can be oppressive.  This is precisely why conservatives fight the initiatives and policies of the Democrats.  Their policies expand the scope of government beyond the limits set forth by the Constitution.  I will, however, say that typically the number of bureacracies is directly proportional to the scope of government power.

“In the present crisis,” referring specifically to the high taxes and high levels of federal spending that had marked the Carter administration, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” He then went on to say: “Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work.” Government, he said, “must provide opportunity.” He was not rejecting government, he was calling — as Barack Obama did Tuesday — for better management of government, for wiser decisions.

First and foremost comparing the late great Ronald Reagan with Barack Obama is like comparing Thomas Jefferson with Karl Marx.  Obama could not possibly be more different from Reagan.  They stand for completely different ideas.  I would bet dollars to donuts that when Mr. Edwards arrives at the pearly gates, Reagan will be waiting with a few choice words for him.

Secondly, Reagan was also the man who said “As government expands, liberty contracts.”  Which, as Mr. Edwards has seemingly forgotten, is one of the primary ideological stances of conservatism.  There are myriads of choice Reagan quotes on the matter of expansive government and its inherent infringement of personal liberty, but quoting them here is unnecessary.  I’m sure that Mr. Edwards, a man who spent a great deal of time with Reagan, could take his Alzheimer’s medication (there could be no other explanation for such egregious and apparent utter lack of memory), delve deep into his clearly vacuous mind, and remember Reagan’s words.

It is also interesting to note that Mr. Edwards, a self-described “true” conservative and Reaganite, was and is an Obama supporter.  (If I recall correctly Mr. Edwards stated in a radio interview that he voted for Obama —If this is incorrect, please let me know).

With the nation in financial collapse, nothing is more imprudent — more antithetical to true conservatism — than to do nothing.

I agree that to do nothing would be imprudent and antithetical.  However, nationalizing industry and turning over to the Secretary of the Treasury, hundreds of billions of tax dollars, with no afforded protections, no reasonable or responsible oversight, and to do so without discretion or direction is far more antithetical.  Perhaps Mr. Edwards was napping when conservatives proposed their own answer for the economic fallout.  One that was indeed founded on conservative principles and would undoubtedly stimulate the economy.  One that was much akin to Reagan’s plan that DID work.  Perhaps Mr. Edwards was still napping when the Democrat controlled Congress refused the plan outright, and further refused to incorporate many of its elements into the bailout.

The Republican Party that is in such disrepute today is not the party of Reagan. It is the party of Rush Limbaugh, of Ann Coulter, of Newt Gingrich, of George W. Bush, of Karl Rove. It is not a conservative party, it is a party built on the blind and narrow pursuit of power.

Mr. Edwards, is again correct with his first sentence, but all wet with the rest of it.  The party is not the party of Reagan – as previously mentioned.  However, it is also not the party of the “Conservatives in Good Standing” mentioned by name here.  The reason for this is because the party does NOT listen to Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, or Newt Gingrich.  They instead listened to the McCains and W. Bush’s of the party.  The fact that Mr. Edwards lumps George Bush in with Rush alone reeks of uninformed RINO-ism.  While, I will defend George Bush as a good man and better President than portrayed, he is NOT a leader in the conservative movement.  George Bush is a social conservative with a fiscal policy that is antithetical to actual conservatism.  He is a Republican, and thus he is OF the party in disrepute.

I would suggest to Mr. Edwards that he stop conflating conservatives and Republicans.  They are NOT one and the same.

Last year’s presidential campaign, on the other hand, saw the emergence of a Republican Party that was anti-intellectual, nativist, populist (in populism’s worst sense).

What?  Anti-intellectual? Nativist? Populist?  Apparently, Mr. Edwards spent entirely too much time viewing MSNBC.  Conservatives are NOT anti-intellectual.  Simply because we do not subscribe ourselves to the doctrine of beltway elitists and ivy-league intelligentsia, does not me that we are anti-intellectual.  We just disagree with Mr. Edwards’ definition of the word.  We do not consider the likes of William Ayers to be an intellectual.  I assume that nativist is in reference to our penchant for obeying the law, as in not supporting ILLEGAL immigration.  The key word is illegal, our reason for being unsupportive is self-explanatory.  I fail to see how populism falls on the heads of conservatives.  The only recollection of populism that I have, is the rhetoric of the Democrat that was running for office.

Over the last several years, conservatives have turned themselves inside out: They have come to worship small government and have turned their backs on limited government. They have turned to a politics of exclusion, division and nastiness.

Once again, Mr. Edwards has made the mistake of confusing Republicans and conservatives.  Republicans have, by and large, turned inside out and about faced on limited government.  Conservatives have done no such thing.  If Mr. Edwards bothered to listen to true conservatives like Bobby Jindal, Rush Limbaugh, Eric Cantor, Jim DeMint, Sarah Palin, Mark Sanford, John Boehner, etc, then he would know this.  Instead he has apparently contented himself with the common media narrative that all Republicans are conservatives.  As for exclusion, division and nastiness… I wonder if Mr. Edwards has been comatose for the last eight years and even completely forgotten the Reagan years.  The left has been spewing vitriol, hate, lies, and divisive bile towards any and all Republicans and conservatives for decades.  The very notion that the politics of class warfare and nastiness are the sole onus of conservatives is an egregiously erroneous statement.  Some Republicans may ascribe to those politics, but by far or near the primary offenders are on the Left.  Conservatives, simply do not do that.

And, watching, I suspect Ronald Reagan is smacking himself on the forehead, rolling his eyes and wondering who in the world these clowns are who want so desperately to wrap themselves in his cloak.

I suspect that while President Reagan is undoubtedly directing such wonder at a healthy portion of Republicans, he is directing it at Mr. Edwards as well.

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The conservative path out of exile is paved with technology.

Posted by Max Barron on December 26, 2008

  As most of you that have been paying attention know, the talking heads in the media (and even some in the blogosphere) have been trying to advise the Republican party on how to return from exile.  One of the most prevalent themes seems to be that of “updating” our “message”.  Not so much the Republican message, but the Conservative message.  They’re saying that our ideals are out-dated and out of touch with reality.  They say that small government is but a thing of the past.  It is simply no longer feasible.  They have been all too quick to suggest a major overhaul of the movement.  Essentially, they have suggested that we cut off the “religious right”, start thinking “big government”, and forget about abortion.  Seems to me that that would make us Democrats.

  There are those within our own party suggesting much of the same.  To them I say this – we just ran your candidate… and lost horribly.  There are also those among us that think that the solution is “RINO” hunting.  While I do not entirely disagree with weeding out the Dem. Lites in the Congress… it isn’t the path out of the woods.

  When it comes to messaging the primary difference between liberals and conservatives is this: Liberals’ message always changes with the times as it relies on crises to carry weight, whereas; the conservative message never changes and never ages.  The only thing that changes with the conservative message is the mode of delivery.  This, my friends, is where we failed.  We have not carried our message to the people.  We fell behind the times with technology and the school systems.  This is what has to change.  If we change our methods of delivery we will again succeed.  We need to embrace the newer technologies and forms of communication.  We need to utilize the social networking sites.  We need to get our message out in the only medium where we can reach the younger generations unfettered and unfiltered – the Internet.  If we succeed at this, we will again be given the opportunity to prove ourselves by the voters.  Prove ourselves we will.  Because the conservative way has been proven effective time and time again.  It works.  You see, the message of small government, personal responsibility, independence, opportunity, strong national security, and the free market is ALWAYS relevant.  It is always going to remain relevant.  The ideals behind the conservative movement are as solid as the bedrock that this nation rests on.  In fact those ideals ARE the bedrock that this nation was built upon.

  I, do not, for one moment believe that more government will ever be the best solution.  Over-regulation of a free market is fool-hardy and self-defeating.  It also brings us the economic troubles that we face today.  Individualism will always progress a society further than group-think.  Group-think mentality leads to politically correctness, death of entrepreneurialism, and creates sheep.  Sheep are direction-less w/o their shepherd… and who really wants Capitol Hill leading us out of the mountains?  Personal responsibility means that your life is yours to make of it what you will.  Success is there for the making, but so is failure. YOUR choices will decide which happens.  It means that you are responsible for yourself and too yourself.  Independence means that you don’t need a nanny micro-managing your life.  You make your own choices and carve your own path to your success or detriment.  Opportunity is the ONLY thing that we are guaranteed in this country.  Equal opportunity.  This doesn’t mean you get a hand out.  It means that you have the chance to succeed or fail.  You can turn failure into success and vice versa.  All that you have to do is take the opportunity.  Our national security is key to survival.  Without that security our economy and freedoms mean nothing… because we won’t have them for long.  Anyone who thinks that kind words will keep our enemies at bay needs to have their head examined.  It is naive to think that those that hate us will love us if we just use the right words.  Typically if you have all of these things: independence, free market, national security, personal responsibility, then you have a smaller government.  Why is that?  Because inevitably as you let the government grow… you loose those things!  The smaller the government – the less intrusive the government is.  This breeds more opportunity, a stronger economy, better standard of living, and greater freedoms with more independence.

  I think that most people in this country feel the same way.. We just haven’t had a messenger connect to them yet.  We haven’t had any great examples.  We have instead had what the media keeps telling us we need more of: Dem Lites.  Here’s the rub – those talking heads in the media ARE dems.  Of course they want us to go Dem Lite.  If you were a rabbit you wouldn’t seek the advice of the fox when it comes to prime hiding spots, would you?  Then why should conservatives heed the advice of the liberal punditry?

  Instead I suggest that the movement and leadership heed the advice of a young conservative.  Invest in technology like the .com bubble never burst.  Gather up the Beta-Males / Females and organise them… let them run wild on the Internet for you, spreading a consolidated and harmonious message.  This is the age of the geek.  Embrace it or fail to do so at your own peril.

  Hey, that’s just my opinion.  I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

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