Tag Archives: Religious freedom

I hate Muslims, but I don’t know any

Wrapping themselves in the American flag and in the Shroud of Turin, day by day the members of the radical right, most of them members of the Repugnican Tea Party, drag us closer and closer to “Christo”fascism.

Americans — thanks mostly to the tireless propaganda of “Christo”fascists and members of the Israel-first lobby (a.k.a. Zionists) — don’t like Muslims.

Forty-six percent of Americans believe that Muslims are more likely to encourage violence against non-believers than members of other religions are.

Forty-six percent of Americans believe that American Muslims aren’t patriotic or they’re not sure whether or not they’re patriotic.

Fuck freedom of religion — more than 60 percent of Americans believe that American Muslims should not be allowed to establish a Muslim center near the former site of the World Trade Center.

And more than 60 percent of Americans say that they don’t even know any Muslims. But that sure the fuck doesn’t stop them from having a negative opinion of Muslims.

It has been a long-standing American principle that there should be no religious test to hold public office, yet the White House apparently felt enough political pressure to announce today that President Barack Obama is a Christian who prays every day.

It’s a sad, sad day when the president of the United States of America has to assure the lynch mob for Jesus that he’s one of them.

But hey, how do we know that Obama is a Christian?

Maybe we should put him in a big vat of water. Only if he sinks will we know that he’s a Christian and not, say, a Muslim witch!

It’s true that the balls-less Obama administration is always caving in to the radical right, but it’s also a sign of how far the United States of America has fallen that Obama’s handlers should have felt the political pressure to announce that he indeed is a Christian. Who prays every day.

As I just wrote, it doesn’t matter whether he’s a Christian or not.

Speaking of public pronouncements of one’s Christianity, Jesus Christ Himself said (Matthew 6:56:6):

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward already.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

To me, there is no other way to interpret this instruction other than that Jesus Christ Himself asserted that spirituality is a private, individual thing — not something to be paraded publicly so that others will think that one is such an upright, pious person.

But Jesus’ actual teachings never stop those who claim to be His followers.

You know, I would love a Christian. I just don’t know any Christians, if we define a Christian as one who actually follows Jesus’ teachings.

Here we have the members of the Repugnican Tea Party and other assorted wingnuts claiming to be Christian when they in fact are anti-Christian, and they are beating up on Muslims for political gain (even though most of them don’t even know a single Muslim). Yeah, that’s exactly what Jesus stood for.

Even Disneyland is in on the Muslim-bashing, not allowing a Muslim employee to wear her hijab (head scarf) while in view of customers.

DisneyCorp told the woman she could wear only a hijab designed by Disney, but has yet to produce this special hijab. (Presumably, it’s not just a hijab with mouse ears attached to it…) 

Horrors should good little lily-white American “Christian” spawn learn tolerance of appreciation for other cultures! We can’t have that!

(I, for one, won’t set foot in the “magic kingdom” until and unless it embraces diversity. Fuck DisneyCorp.)

As it sank into fascism, Germany persecuted Jews.

As the United States of America sinks into fascism, it persecutes Muslims. And “anchor babies.” And non-heterosexuals. And…

God bless America.

It sure fucking needs it.

P.S. Interestingly, respondents to the nationwide poll taken this week by TIME magazine that I referenced above also were asked, “What if the following religious groups proposed building a community center and place of worship two blocks from your home — would you favor or oppose it?”

Seventy-eight percent said they’d be OK with a Catholic establishment, 73 percent said they’d be OK with a Jewish establishment, 65 percent said they’d be OK with a Mormon establishment, and only 55 percent said they’d be OK with a Muslim establishment.

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‘8: The Mormon Proposition’

DVD review

Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones, both raised in Mormon families, were married in San Francisco’s city hall during the window period in 2008 in which same-sex marriage was legal in California. Their marriage remains legally valid, but Proposition 8 put an end to further same-sex marriages. Barrick and Jones are featured in the documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition.”

I’m glad that they made a documentary — a pretty good one, too — about the Mormon cult’s behind-the-scenes push for Proposition 8, the ballot initiative in California that in November 2008 wrote discrimination into the state’s constitution, invalidating the state’s Supreme Court’s May 2008 ruling that to prohibit same-sex marriage violates the rights guaranteed to Californians by their state’s constitutution.

Let me state right off that I fucking hate the fucking Mormon cult.

I could, but I won’t, go into detail about the Mormons’ fucktarded, backasswards beliefs, such as that non-whites aren’t white because they were punished by God (yes, the Mormons are huge old fucking white supremacists); that their “prophet” (a stupid old evil white guy named Thomas Monson, who even has his own website) literally receives communiques from God (Monson “is the only person alive who can receive revelation for the entire [Mormon cult],” his website proclaims); that their polygamous founder, Joseph Smith Sr., in the late 1820s transcribed golden plates given to him by an angel fucktardedly but appropriately named Moroni (these golden plates, which contained the Book of Mormon, reportedly were taken back by the angel, conveniently); and that when good Mormons die they get to be gods of their own planets (which is even better, I’m guessing, than the bevy of virgins that good Muslim men are promised in the afterlife).

Frankly, the Mormon cult is lucky to be able to get away with what it gets away with, most notably and probably most destructively, its routine brainwashing of its youth, who have no fucking choice. Those born into Mormon families, if they reject the toxic, bullshit belief system that is crammed down their throats from birth, risk being ejected from their own families.

When belief is tied to life’s necessities, such as food and shelter, that’s not spirituality; that’s the pyschological enslavement of other human beings (a.k.a., too often, as “religion”). And that is evil, and that is nothing that Jesus Christ taught, and there is nothing to fucking debate about it.

And this evil perpetrated by the Mormon cult on a daily business is perfectly legal. In fact, even non-Mormons support the Mormons’ right to brainwash and thoroughly pyschospiritually destroy their offspring for life. This is called “religious freedom.”

Speaking of which, I remember when a co-worker of mine and I happened to be walking around the state Capitol here in Sacramento on our lunch break in late October 2008 and we quite unexpectedly happened upon a large group of wingnuts demonstrating in support of Prop H8 in front of the Capitol.

On their blue-and-yellow “Yes on 8″ signs were the Orwellian slogans “Restore Marriage,” “Protect Marriage,” “Prop 8 = Free Speech,” ”Prop 8 = Religious Freedom” and “Prop 8 = Less Government.”

As I noted of these slogans/“arguments” just after Prop H8 narrowly passed in November 2008:

“Restore[/protect] marriage”: How do same-sex couples harm heterosexual couples’ marriages? If heterosexual marriages are in trouble, don’t the heterosexual couples need to do something about it? The divorce rate was sky high long before gay men and lesbians ever got the legal right to marry in any state.

“Less government”: Wait a fucking minute. “Less government”? The government telling two consenting adults that they may not get married is less government? How?

“Free speech”: Yes, you have free speech. You may hold the most hateful beliefs that you want and you are pretty free to say whatever hateful things you want. But what right do you have to infringe on someone else’s rights?

[“Religious freedom”:] These motherfucking haters, if it is their religious belief that same-sex marriage is wrong, are perfectly free not to marry someone of the same sex. Their religious freedom is in no way infringed upon by two other consenting adults marrying each other.

If we actually are to buy this argument that to offend someone’s religious beliefs is to infringe upon his or her religious freedom, then we must make interracial marriage illegal too if it should — gasp! — offend someone’s religious beliefs. (What about the eating of certain foods? Should pork be banned by constitutional amendment because its consumption offends some people’s religious beliefs? Where would it end?)

The bottom line is that the homo-haters have no actual legal, moral or ethical arguments against same-sex marriage. They have only blind hatred, and they fabricate “arguments” to try to legitimize and sanitize their hatred.

The overarching “argument” by the homo-haters that their civil rights — religious freedom, freedom of speech, parental rights, etc. – are actually being violated by gay men and lesbians being granted equal civil rights is beyond insane.

“8: The Mormon Proposition” — narrated by Dustin Lance Black, the gay (ex-?)Mormon who, ironically, won an Oscar for his screenplay for the film “Milk” — makes it clear that the stupid evil white men who run the Mormon cult are not satisfied with having control only over the hearts, minds and genitalia of their Mormon mindslaves. They want control over the entire nation, if not also the entire planet.

And it is at that point, when the Mormon cult no longer is content to mind its own fucking business, but wants to convert all of us to Mormonism, that the Mormon cult deserves to be brought down. (And no, I don’t rule out violence if necessary. An unprovoked, direct strike at our equal human and civil rights deserves a strong response, and if violence ever is called for, then so be it.)

“8: The Mormon Proposition” masterfully exposes how the Mormon cult has tried to hide behind its anti-non-heterosexual crusade by creating front organizations (most notably, the National Organization for Marriage* [which, ironically, actually is for fewer marriages]) made to look as though it’s a grassroots effort rather than what it actually is: a crusade of the Mormon cult. “The Mormon Proposition” also details the history of the Mormon cult’s involvement in denying equal human and civil rights to non-heterosexuals, starting with the battle over same-sex marriage in Hawaii in the 1990s.

“The Mormon Proposition” showcases two young gay (ex-?)Mormon men who wed when same-sex marriage was legal in California and follows their story, which includes ostracization from their family members (although the mother of one of the two young men is very supportive of him and the cause of equal human and civil rights for all Americans; she rocks).

I’m not decided whether the two young men are given too much attention in the documentary or whether it’s a strength of the documentary that their case is a thread that runs throughout it. In either case, though, they are an adorable couple, and if you are sane you can’t help but feel happy for them and you can’t imagine that anyone could be so miserable and hateful as to try to take their happiness away from them.

Also featured in “The Mormon Proposition” is Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate (now known as a national group called Rights Equal Rights), whose advocacy for equal human and civil rights and whose counter-crusade against and exposition of the “Christo”fascist Mormon cult I admire greatly (but I’m not big on his bid to run for president in 2012 on the Repunignican ticket; there’s no way in hell I’d vote for a Repugnican, but especially not for a gay Repugnican).

Karger’s Californians Against Hate website sums up the Mormon cult’s support of Prop H8 rather succinctly in a post on July 8:

During the summer of 2008, we discovered the active involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) in Prop 8. The Mormon Church had taken over virtually every aspect of the Yes on 8 campaign.

Mormon families contributed approximately $30 million of the $40 million raised, the Church produced 27 slick commercials, put up an expensive website, bused in thousands of volunteers from Utah [and] had massive phone banks, yet only reported a mere $2,078 in non-monetary contributions three days before the election.

Two weeks later I filed a sworn complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) against the Mormon Church for not reporting its vast financial involvement in the campaign.

The commission prosecuted the case, and conducted an unprecedented 19-month investigation of the Salt Lake City-based church’s finances. Three weeks ago the FPPC found the Mormon Church guilty of 13 counts of late reporting and they were fined $5,539. That was the first time a religion was found guilty of election irregularities in the 36-year history of the FPPC.

How the Mormon cult retains its tax-exempt status regardless of its well-documented illegal involvement in politics eludes me. The Mormon cult should have been fined millions of dollars and lost its tax-exempt status. That it did not shows how scared the powers that be are of the “Christo”fascists of the Mormon cult.

One thing in “The Mormon Proposition” that I’m not thrilled about is to watch people cry over the passage of Prop H8 when the Mormon cult had to lie and cheat in order to “win.” When you have to lie and cheat to “win,” your “cause” is fucking weak. It’s actually good news that the Mormon “Christo”fascists had to resort to their anti-Christian deception and lies to “win.” It proves that unless they wear sheep’s clothing, the majority of the voters will recognize them as the wolves that they are. The Mormon “Christo”facists don’t have the power of the truth behind them.

And despite the tens of millions of dollars and the manpower that the Mormon cult pumped into Prop H8, it didn’t win by a huge margin. It won by only 4 fucking percent. That’s not what I’d call a fucking landslide.

The latest Field Poll on the issue, taken in late June and early July, indicates that if same-sex marriage were put on the Californian ballot today, Prop 8 would be reversed, with 51 percent supporting same-sex marriage, 42 percent opposed and 7 percent undecided. (It seems to me that most of the undecideds would end up in the pro-same-sex marriage camp, since the hardcore homo-haters already know who they are.)

My fellow non-heterosexuals need to stop crying and start fighting, which includes educating themselves and others on how and why Prop H8 passed in the first place. While I’m happy to see that the 52 percent support for Prop H8 in November 2008 appears to have dropped 10 points to 42 percent today, 51 percent of Californians in favor of same-sex marriage is still too close for comfort.

“8: The Mormon Proposition” is a great teaching tool, and I recommend it for everyone who gives a shit about equal human and civil rights for all Americans.

While I can’t support him for president, I wholeheartedly agree with Fred Karger’s proclamation that:

Younger people who begin to realize that they might be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer will soon be afforded all the same rights as their brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors.

That is what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “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.”

We will settle for nothing less.

Amen.

*Speaking of NOM, headed by the grotesque wingnut Maggie Gallagher, who really needs a dildo, a wingnut recently showed up at a NOM event holding this sign:

gay-hate-sign.jpg

Yes, many if not most of the “Christo”fascists believe that non-heterosexuals should be executed — just like it is the case in theofascist nation of Iran. (Thus, I think of the “Christo”fascists as the “American Taliban.”) 

This is why I never rule out violence against the “Christo”fascists.

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Most home-schooling is child abuse

Blogger’s note (March 8, 2010): I have added the word “most” to the title of this blog post. I felt that my intent was clear in the body of this post, but apparently the title lacking the word “most” set some people off…

I touched on the topic of child abuse recently in discussing a very apparently brainwashed Mormon teen. Religiously brainwashing children, who are helpless because they depend entirely upon their parents, I asserted, is a form of child abuse.

Home-schooling, too, in most cases is done for the purpose of brainwashing, and therefore in most cases is child abuse.

The Associated Press ran this story on home-schooling (I’m presenting it in full so that I can’t be accused of picking and choosing only portions of it):

Louisville, Ky. – Home-school mom Susan Mule wishes she hadn’t taken a friend’s advice and tried a textbook from a popular Christian publisher for her 10-year-old’s biology lessons.

Mule’s precocious daughter Elizabeth excels at science and has been studying tarantulas since she was 5. But she watched Elizabeth’s excitement turn to confusion when they reached the evolution section of the book from Apologia Educational Ministries, which disputed Charles Darwin’s theory.

“I thought she was going to have a coronary,” Mule said of her daughter, who is now 16 and taking college courses in Houston. “She’s like, ‘This is not true!'”

Christian-based materials dominate a growing home-school education market that encompasses more than 1.5 million students in the U.S. And for most home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth’s creation is exactly what they want. Federal statistics from 2007 show 83 percent of home-schooling parents want to give their children “religious or moral instruction.”

“The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians,” said Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association. “Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to their home-school program.”

Those who don’t, however, often feel isolated and frustrated from trying to find a textbook that fits their beliefs.

Two of the best-selling biology textbooks stack the deck against evolution, said some science educators who reviewed sections of the books at the request of The Associated Press.

“I feel fairly strongly about this. These books are promulgating lies to kids,” said Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago.

The textbook publishers defend their books as well-rounded lessons on evolution and its shortcomings. One of the books doesn’t attempt to mask disdain for Darwin and evolutionary science.

“Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling,” says the introduction to Biology: Third Edition from Bob Jones University Press. “This book was not written for them.”

The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its “History of Life” chapter that a “Christian worldview … is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is.”

When the AP asked about that passage, university spokesman Brian Scoles said the sentence made it into the book because of an editing error and will be removed from future editions. [An “editing error”? WTF???]

The size of the business of home-school texts isn’t clear because the textbook industry is fragmented and privately held publishers don’t give out sales numbers. Slatter said home-school material sales reach about $1 billion annually in the U.S.

Publishers are well aware of the market, said Jay Wile, a former chemistry professor in Indianapolis who helped launch the Apologia curriculum in the early 1990s.

“If I’m planning to write a curriculum, and I want to write it in a way that will appeal to home-schoolers, I’m going to at least find out what my demographic is,” Wile said.

In Kentucky, Lexington home-schooler Mia Perry remembers feeling disheartened while flipping through a home-school curriculum catalog and finding so many religious-themed textbooks.

“We’re not religious home-schoolers, and there’s somewhat of a feeling of being outnumbered,” said Perry, who has home-schooled three of her four children after removing her oldest child from a public school because of a health condition.

Perry said she cobbled together her own curriculum after some mainstream publishers told her they would not sell directly to home-schooling parents.

Wendy Womack, another Lexington home-school mother, said the only scientifically credible curriculum she’s found is from the Maryland-based Calvert School, which has been selling study-at-home materials for more than 100 years.

Apologia and Bob Jones University Press say their science books sell well. Apologia’s Exploring Creation biology textbook retails for $65, while Bob Jones’ Biology: Third Edition lists at $52.

Coyne and Virginia Tech biology professor Duncan Porter reviewed excerpts from the Apologia and Bob Jones biology textbooks, which are equivalent to ninth- and 10th-grade biology lessons. Porter said he would give the books an F.

“If this is the way kids are home-schooled then they’re being shortchanged, both rationally and in terms of biology,” Coyne said. He argued that the books may steer students away from careers in biology or the study of the history of the earth.

Wile countered that Coyne “feels compelled to lie in order to prop up a failing hypothesis (evolution). We definitely do not lie to the students. We tell them the facts that people like Dr. Coyne would prefer to cover up.”

Adam Brown’s parents say their 16-year-old son’s belief in the Bible’s creation story isn’t deterring him from pursuing a career in marine biology. His parents, Ken and Polly Brown, taught him at their Cedar Grove, Ind., home using the Apologia curriculum and other science texts.

Polly Brown said her son would gladly take college courses that include evolution, and he’ll be able to provide the expected answers even though he disagrees.

“He probably knows it better than the kids who have been taught evolution all through public school,” Polly Brown said. “But that is in order for him to understand both sides of that argument because he will face it throughout his higher education.”

Where to begin?

It generally is accepted that parents have the responsibility to raise their children in ways that will enable their children to become well-adjusted adults.

How does protecting children from the real world, and teaching them a worldview that only a small portion of the population has adopted (radically fundamentalist “Christianity,” in the case of most home-schooled American children), enable children to become well-adjusted adults?

Does it really serve these children to teach them, explicitly or implicitly, that they are righteous and are God’s chosen and that their non-home-schooled peers, whom they can’t even play with, are going to hell?

Only if these home-schooled children never are exposed to the rest of the world — only if they remain surrounded by the like-minded — can they find something like contentment as adults.

I surmise that there are rather large geographical areas in the nation, such as Utah, where children brainwashed by “Christo”fascist adults actually can live their lives from cradle to grave surrounded by the like-minded, but what if these brainwashed children, as adults, want to live elsewhere in the nation or the world, elsewhere where the worldview is quite different from the one that they were taught?

The best parent raises a child who can be as well-adjusted as possible anywhere.

It’s not just about whether or not a child believes in evolution (although I imagine that an evolution-denier would have a rather hard time succeeding the world of marine biology…).

It’s about reality-based parenting. It’s about teaching children to think and to analyze and to use their intelligence and their reason, not to believe mythology that was written centuries ago, based upon “faith” (which, as I understand it, is the believing of something for which one has absolutely no rational, intelligent basis to believe). It’s about giving children the tools to succeed in the world of today, not the world as it was centuries ago.

Children home-schooled by “Christo”fascist parents are put at a huge disadvantage. Even children who are home-schooled for reasons other than religious indoctrination — children whose home-school curricula aren’t religious-based — are put at a disadvantage because they don’t get the same opportunities to socialize with children who come from different backgrounds as do their non-home-schooled peers.

Freedom of religion and the freedom of parents to raise their children as they see fit (with the exception of obvious, blatant child abuse) are sacrosanct in the United States of America, and to suggest that faith-based home-schooling be banned would be to stoke the paranoia of those who already see a “socialist” (or worse) takeover of the nation.

But I feel for every child who is being home-schooled because his or her parents believe that the world is such a frightening, dangerous, even satanic place that there is no alternative.

It’s one thing for the parents to have a self-imposed tiny universe of ignorance and fear whose borders must never be traversed.

But their children deserve much, much better.

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Big-ass battle is just beginning

“There’s something deeply wrong with putting the rights of a minority up to a majority vote. If this were being done to almost any other minority, people would see how un-American this is.”

 — Evan Wolfson, gay-rights lawyer and head of Freedom to Marry

While racial minorities here in California and throughout the nation — hell, even throughout the world — are giddy over Barack Obama’s win over Repugnican John McCainosaurus, we gay men and lesbians here in California are bleeding over the passage of Proposition 8.

It’s just so great to know that we are surrounded by such haters.

Here is photographic evidence of the “arguments” that the homophobes have used in support of Proposition 8:

Megan Bernard is accompanied by her son Harrison, eight months, ...

(I just love it when infants are used in political debates, don’t you? Yeah, only hets make good parents! We cannot entrust something as important as the raising of children to gay men and lesbians!)

Richie Beanan from Los Angeles, puts a sign on a bus that will ...

More than 300 supporters of Proposition 8, the ballot measure ...

State Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, a candidate for ...

Associated Press photos

Let’s dissect these “arguments” in favor of Prop 8:

“Parental rights”: How are any parents hindered from fulfilling their parental roles and responsibilities by two adults of the same sex getting married? What is the “argument” here? What am I missing?

“Restore marriage”: How do same-sex couples harm heterosexual couples’ marriages? If heterosexual marriages are in trouble, don’t the heterosexual couples need to do something about it? The divorce rate was sky high long before gay men and lesbians ever got the legal right to marry in any state.

“Less government”: Wait a fucking minute. “Less government”? The government telling two consenting adults that they may not get married is less government? How?

“Free speech”: Yes, you have free speech. You may hold the most hateful beliefs that you want and you are pretty free to say whatever hateful things you want. But what right do you have to infringe on someone else’s rights?

I saw the homo-haters’ rally at the state Capitol here in Sacramento last week, the rally photographed in most of the news photos above. There was another sign I saw at the rally not shown in the news photos above: a sign that stated that Proposition 8 was about “religious freedom.”

No, these motherfucking haters, if it is their religious belief that same-sex marriage is wrong, are perfectly free not to marry someone of the same sex. Their religious freedom is in no way infringed upon by two other consenting adults marrying each other.

If we actually are to buy this argument that to offend someone’s religious beliefs is to infringe upon his or her religious freedom, then we must make interracial marriage illegal too if it should — gasp! — offend someone’s religious beliefs. (What about the eating of certain foods? Should pork be banned by constitutional amendment because its consumption offends some people’s religious beliefs? Where would it end?)

The bottom line is that the homo-haters have no actual legal, moral or ethical arguments against same-sex marriage. They have only blind hatred, and they fabricate “arguments” to try to legitimize and sanitize their hatred.

The overarching “argument” by the homo-haters that their civil rights — religious freedom, freedom of speech, parental rights, etc. — are actually being violated by gay men and lesbians being granted equal civil rights is beyond insane.

I don’t know how much longer we gay men and lesbians are going to just take it anymore.

It’s time for revolution.

P.S. Here’s a news photo I found with one of the “religious freedom” signs in it. In this news photo, the Amerifascists are just giddy that Prop 8 is passing. I can’t imagine being happy that someone else’s rights are being taken away, thinking that someone else’s oppression is my gain. But then, I’m not a fucking Nazi, either.

Organizers, from left, Tiffany Delepine, Meg Waters, Lowell ...

Associated Press photo

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