“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Politicians Hate Referendums. That is Why We Need Them.


What Would They Know Anyway?

The US would be a different country with the use of referendums (should that be referendi?). For a start, there would be no New York Driver's licenses handed out to illegals. The entire US system is rigged against majority rule. Everything from the media through the courts to local school boards is about the minority tyranny of the elites over the wishes and good sense of the real people. Here is how it has evolved in Holland:

No Dutch referendum on EU
But the decision did not come easily


BY RNW POLITICAL EDITOR JOHN TYLER Radio Netherlands
21-09-2007
The Dutch government has decided not to hold a referendum on the latest European Union treaty. The so-called Reform Treaty was agreed upon in June by representatives of the 27 member states. It is meant to replace the EU constitution which failed after Dutch and French voters rejected it in referendums in 2005.
The decision means the Reform Treaty will be sent to the Dutch parliament, where it is expected to be approved by a wide majority.

The cabinet's decision to scrap the referendum did not come easily. For the second week in a row, Friday's cabinet meeting dragged on later than usual as ministers debated the issue of holding a referendum.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and his Christian Democrat Party are emphatically opposed to holding a referendum. They say the Reform Treaty does not change enough about the EU to warrant a popular vote.

Labour's tricky position

The second largest party in the coalition, the Labour Party, finds itself in a tricky position. In last year's election campaign, the party called for another referendum if or when the EU came forward with a treaty similar to the last one. But Labour was forced to compromise in its negotiations on a coalition accord with the Christian Democrats. The issue of a referendum was left out of the accord altogether, postponing the inevitable clash between the two main governing parties.

Until now. The intervening months have only served to harden Prime Minister Balkenende's stance against a referendum. He was caught by surprise two years ago when the Dutch public rejected the EU constitution. The Netherlands had been involved in the European project from the beginning, and Balkenende had wanted to solidify the country's place in the core of the European Union. When the Dutch public said, "no, thanks" , it was a particularly hard blow for the prime minister.

The new Reform Treaty

So Mr Balkenende entered negotiations for the new EU treaty determined to eliminate all elements of a constitution. And indeed, the new Reform Treaty no longer includes a president of the EU or an anthem, and national governments retain full sovereignty in areas such as defence and foreign policy. The changes were enough to convince the Council of State, the government's highest advisory body, that the treaty was no longer constitutional in nature, and therefore a referendum was not necessary. The council published its conclusions last week, whereupon the Prime Minister felt sufficiently confident to bring the question to the cabinet.

Opposition unconvinced

But the opposition parties, and many Labour Party members, are not convinced. They say most aspects of the Reform Treaty were taken word for word from the constitution. To them, it looks like the cabinet wants to approve a treaty that has already been rejected by the voters.

Similar to two years ago, there appears to be a large gulf between the Dutch political establishment and the population. The government has allegedly conducted a secret poll showing that only 47 percent of the public would approve the Reform Treaty.

Still a role for parliament

Parliament can still vote to overturn the government's decision. Such a bill has already been introduced in the lower house, and it may indeed get majority support. But when the bill moves over to the upper chamber, it is almost sure to fail. Forty-one of the seventy-five members are solidly against holding a referendum.

If parliament does not manage to force the government's hand, Prime Minister Balkenende will once again be able to enter the halls of the EU with his head held high. But it comes at a cost. His coalition partner, the Labour Party, emerges from this debate ever more divided. And the Dutch public is reinforced in the feeling that their representatives do not take them seriously.



57 comments:

  1. By NEWT GINGRICH
    September 23, 2007 -- The decision of the leading Republican candidates for president to skip the debate being organized by African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley this week is shortsighted, not just for the party but for the country.

    Contrary to what candidates in either party may think, the political dividing line in America doesn’t run between the GOP and minorities. For most Americans, it’s not even found between Republicans and Democrats, or the red-versus-blue-state invention of the media.

    The real division is between hardworking, tax-paying Americans - of both parties and all races - and an entrenched, permanent governing system in Washington and state capitals designed to serve its own needs and not the needs of the American people.

    Over the 42 years since the beginning of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the increasing power of public employee unions, the growth of the bureaucracies, the rise of lawyers, the development of complex regulatory legalism, and the entrenchment of an elite establishment that imposes political correctness have combined to create this permanent governing class system.

    And the values of this permanent government are not those of the Americans who pay the taxes and the union dues that support it. Its bureaucracies value process more than achievement; its lawyers value rules over results; and its politically correct elite value avoiding embarrassment more than telling the truth about failure.

    Party Craxher

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  2. In a true multiparty democracy, the prospect of political secession is always real. A political party can always bolt from a majority coalition and vote in a non confidence vote. There is no minority rule.

    In an imperial system like the EU, the US, the USSR, China, the threat and real prospect of secession is the only thing that will restore accountability.

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  3. What has developed here in the US is not applicable to secession. There are not "regional" tensions, though there are regional majorities. But those differences not so great as to require dissolving the Republic. Just the movement of "power" away from the Federals, back to States and individuals.

    An application of the Tenth Amendment.

    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts, absolutely.

    Centralizing power in DC began gaining influence under FDR and becoming entrenched, since.

    Exactly what Ike warned US of.

    A military industrial complex, pushing the US into the foreign entanglements that Mr Washington warned would be the US's undoing.

    Until, today, Globalism describes the core of US Policies.

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  4. DESERT RAT: Just the movement of "power" away from the Federals, back to States and individuals.

    The Federal Government exercises control over the states by threatening to withhold, for example, highway funds. Even Reagan did this to get them to knuckle under. And the states are whores to the almighty dollar.

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  5. But those differences not so great as to require dissolving the Republic.


    Right. Welcome to the Republic of Mexico.

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  6. Repeal of the 17th Amendmendment. The "Reformists" of 1913 changed the "balance of power".
    Thinking they were empowering "the people" they just centralized power in DC. Diminishing the State Legislatures in the Federal scheme.
    Meanwhile, the power of incubency puts the Senators outside any serious input from the State governments.

    If the Senators were beholding to the Legislatures, the Federals could not threaten to withhold funding, like that.

    The 17th Amendmend was, in retrospect, seriously flawed both conceptually for a Republic and in application.

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  7. No, mat, The United States of America, all 88 or 92 States, depending upon how you count some of them.

    The inalienable rights, those do not stop stop at rivers or lines on a map. Certainly the American Revolution continues until all of America is free of tyrany over the mind of man.

    They believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly;

    for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.


    But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.

    -Thomas Jefferson Sept. 23, 1800


    From the artic to the isthmas, The United States of America.
    Not a reason in the world why they won't try. They are trying, and succeeding as we speak.

    With little or no opposition. Some Union rumblings, of little import.
    Some Texican moonbats raving on about Mexican trucks not being safe.
    But opern borders remain so, even if illegal migration is slowed, legal shipments of material have increased. With less inspection and more documentation required.

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  8. I doubt it is possible to get any amendment passed that will curtail federal power as so much authority has been usurped by the federal government and the courts. It is too late for that.

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  9. The American public, citizens by existing law, cannot even defend their franchise to be citizens. They have lost most property rights to taxing authorities. They have lost the ability to keep their property from seizure by the government for commercial purposes. They have lost much of their control of government representation. That control is declining daily as illegal immigrants will become voters and decide on how taxes will be collected and who they are distributed to, forcing legal citizens to revert to illegal activities to protect their property rights.

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  10. Prior to 1965 and the Kennedy's there was very little immigration at any level. Immigration quotas were designed to maintain the status quo. Today there is the demand that slowly and inexorably the English speaking, European descendent majority be diminished and quieted from expressing their preference to remain in the majority. Any other group has a dispensation and is free to express tribal chauvinism. The Japanese expect to stay in the majority in Japan, The Chinese in China, but in Europe and the US no such natural right exists according to the elite politburo of contemporary social theorists. They will dictate and are protected by a system that has the votes, the lobbyists, the lawyers, the media and the bought politicians.

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  11. Ms T--What is
    Eye Man up to this fall? Can't spell the name but you know who I mean.

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  12. BOBAL: Ms T--What is
    Eye Man up to this fall? Can't spell the name but you know who I mean.


    Initiative 960
    Filed: 01/08/2007

    Sponsor
    Mr. Tim Eyman et al.

    Ballot Measure Summary

    This measure would require either a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature or voter approval for all tax increases. New or increased fees would require prior legislative approval. An advisory vote would be required on any new or increased taxes enacted by the legislature without voter approval. The office of financial management would be required to publish cost information and information regarding legislators’ voting records on bills imposing or increasing taxes or fees.

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  13. Eyman is a fellow that turned himself into a full time referenda initiator I quess you would call him. Got the licensing fee dramatically reduced in Washington state for autos for example. Got into some trouble for skimming some funds from his supporters. He is always working on something.

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  14. "Game over, man."

    That said, I think adopting majority rule is a bandaid solution to a few problems in particular that would just make others worse.

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  15. According to This section of our Idaho Constitution, Mat, we can't get out. I have wondered how my grand dad felt about all this stuff, as he was here before we were a state. I don't think he thought about it much, he finally became a republican when he needed the commissioners to do something for him, about 1910, and they said, well we will Claus, but you have to come in and register as a republican and vote for us. And he did too.

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  16. Ripley, you can believe it, or not.

    Depends upon what you want to conserve, it seems. To be a conservative in the post-modern age.

    See how the center shifts, given an inch, not only is the mile demanded, the inch is unacknowledged.

    George W. Bush, representing "conservatives" in the US.
    What and where is the status que that we wish to conserve?

    To be further to the "right" than Mr Bush, well that's so far from the mainstream, the idea or proposal, just couldn't be serious.

    The "Game" is rigged, always has been.

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  17. In my small town if you didn't register, and, Vote Democrat in "local" elections (yes, they Could Check!, You were a Fool. It was okay to vote for a Republican for Senator, or Pres. They didn't care about that. But, to vote for a Republican for County Judge, or Sheriff? You had to be out of your cotton-picking mind.

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  18. Mark Steyn:"Our theme for today comes from George W Bush: “Freedom is the desire of every human heart.”

    When the president uses the phrase, he’s invariably applying it to various benighted parts of the Muslim world. There would seem to be quite a bit of evidence to suggest that freedom is not the principal desire of every human heart in, say, Gaza or Waziristan. But why start there? If you look in, say, Brussels or London or New Orleans, do you come away with the overwhelming impression that “freedom is the desire of every human heart”? A year ago, I wrote that “the story of the western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government ‘security,' large numbers of people vote to dump freedom — the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, seat belts and a ton of other stuff.”

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  19. Bob,

    You know I’m a great believer in change. That’s really my main argument against our eternal God and the laws he prescribed.

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  20. "Prior to 1965 and the Kennedy's there was very little immigration at any level."

    Proving that you only need native WASPs to engineer the slow-motion heist of a constitutional republic?



    Where was Mark Steyn when the administration was insisting that the only way we could maintain our freedom at home is by freeing those abroad?

    Oh. He was writing it.

    Now look. Freedom's on the march and all we have to say about that is, "Oh, shit."

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  21. Where was Mark Steyn when the administration was insisting that the only way we could maintain our freedom at home is by freeing those abroad?


    He was dictating Mexican immigration policy to the Bush cabal. Apparently, Trish, it was found that it would be much more cost effective for everyone if these Mexicans were to enter the US by way of Baghdad International Airport.

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  22. "Proving that you only need native WASPs to engineer the slow-motion heist of a constitutional republic?"

    No, proving that it greatly eases the process when you can stack the electorate with massive amounts of people who have no idea of what that actually is.

    "Where was Mark Steyn when the administration was insisting that the only way we could maintain our freedom at home is by freeing those abroad?

    Oh. He was writing it."


    There goes another person eliminated.

    Allah bless the day we're down to James Wolcott, who's never been wrong about anything.

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  23. Metuselah: You know I’m a great believer in change. That’s really my main argument against our eternal God and the laws he prescribed.

    I take Friday off from work in case our eternal God and the laws he prescribed is Allah. I also take off Saturday in case our eternal God and the laws he prescribed is Yahweh. I also take off Sunday in case our eternal God and the laws he prescribed is Jesus.

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  24. "No, proving that it greatly eases the process when you can stack the electorate with massive amounts of people who have no idea of what that actually is."

    *Said the non-Wasp.

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  25. Tes,

    Every day is a holy day. If you could read Hebrew, you’d be able to read that every time you are aboard an Israeli bus or Taxi.

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  26. To get back at the topic at hand, I think referenda do more good than harm, and I am for them, keeps the representatives in contact with the folk.

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  27. And we are all the folk, I know I am.

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  28. "No, proving that it greatly eases the process when you can stack the electorate with massive amounts of people who have no idea of what that actually is."

    That's the job of the public school system. And a fine job they're doing.

    Cutler, native Americans don't need any help voting themselves into various systems of soft tyranny at the local, state, and federal levels. We've become rather Germanic in that sense.

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  29. Don't knock James Wolcott. He's at least entertaining.

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  30. I agree, Bob; that's our Only way of reining them in, sometimes.

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  31. I just went over to the Romney website and watched his ads, including the latest one. I can see now why he's doing so well in the early primary states where he's running them.

    They are Really, really Strong. Super, Duper Strong.

    He would blow the Hildebeest completely out of the water in the General.

    btw, I'm going to go over to realclearpolitics and try and confirm this, but I think he's leading the shewolf in NH.

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  32. "That's the job of the public school system. And a fine job they're doing.

    Cutler, native Americans don't need any help voting themselves into various systems of soft tyranny at the local, state, and federal levels. We've become rather Germanic in that sense."


    I never said everything was fine as it was, but mass immigration combined with a total lack of inculcation exacerbates existing problems and speeds up the devolution.

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  33. And Steyn's entertaining as well.

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  34. I think referenda do more good than harm, and I am for them, keeps the representatives in contact with the folk.


    The real problem is money. Neither term limits nor referenda solve this problem. Bob, good luck to you if you decide on go thru with that political adventure you're contemplating. I'd wish you good fortune, but I know that'd be a contradiction in terms.

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  35. Dayyum! I might have to move to Ideeho

    Yahooo!

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  36. U.S. says Iran sending missiles to Iraq

    By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer 57 minutes ago

    The U.S. military accused Iran on Sunday of smuggling surface-to-air missiles and other advanced weapons into Iraq for use against American troops. The new allegations came as Iraqi leaders condemned the latest U.S. detention of an Iranian in northern Iraq, saying the man was in their country on official business.

    Military spokesman Rear Adm. Mark Fox said U.S. troops were continuing to find Iranian-supplied weaponry including the Misagh 1, a portable surface-to-air missile that uses an infrared guidance system.

    Other advanced Iranian weaponry found in Iraq includes the RPG-29 rocket-propelled grenade, 240 mm rockets and armor-piercing roadside bombs known as explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, Fox said.

    An American soldier was killed Saturday and another wounded when an EFP hit their patrol in eastern Baghdad, the military said.

    Iran has denied U.S. allegations that it is smuggling weapons to Shiite militias in Iraq, a denial that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" aired Sunday.

    "We don't need to do that. We are very much opposed to war and insecurity," said Ahmadinejad, who arrived in New York Sunday to attend the U.N. General Assembly. "The insecurity in Iraq is detrimental to our interests."

    Tensions between Iran and the United States have worried Iraqi officials — many of whom are members of political parties with close ties to Tehran.

    A 240 mm rocket was fired this month at the main U.S. headquarters base in Iraq, killing one person and wounding 11.

    U.S. officials said the rocket was fired from a west Baghdad neighborhood controlled by Shiite militiamen.

    On Thursday, U.S. troops arrested an Iranian in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah. U.S. officials said he was a member of the elite Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that smuggles weapons into Iraq.

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the Iranian's arrest, saying he understood the man, who has been identified as Mahmudi Farhadi, had been invited to Iraq.

    "The government of Iraq is an elected one and sovereign. When it gives a visa, it is responsible for the visa," he told The Associated Press in an interview in New York. "We consider the arrest ... of this individual who holds an Iraqi visa and a (valid) passport to be unacceptable."

    Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, also demanded the Iranian's release.

    The U.S. military said the suspect was being questioned about "his knowledge of, and involvement in," the transportation of EFPs and other roadside bombs from Iran into Iraq and "his facilitation of travel and training in Iran for Iraqi insurgents." The military said no decision had been made about whether to file charges.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Farhadi was in charge of border transactions in western Iran and went to Iraq on an official invitation.

    He said Iran expects the Iraqi government to provide security for Iranian nationals there and warned the arrest could affect relations between the two neighbors as well.

    [...]

    ***********************************

    The Iraqi government feels our pain.

    George Kennan would have called this "the stubborn pursuit of extravagant and unpromising objectives."

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  37. Oh hell Mat, I was 'just joking'--I'd be embarrassed to be a politician. I'll stick with my claim to noble farmerhood til I die.

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  38. Dang, Ms T, that's a great looking spud!

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  39. Jon B. Alterman at CSIS.org:

    The Next Iraq Problem

    Synopsis

    Iraq’s refugees tell heartbreaking accounts of suffering, displacement, and shattered
    dreams, but these refugees represent more than mere human interest stories. Collectively,
    the outpouring of millions of Iraqi refugees into a very small number of neighboring countries
    poses a dramatic security threat to the Middle East, and there is no sign that threat is
    going away.

    **********************************

    Every day, in every way, it just keeps getting better and better.

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  40. Bob,

    Youz gotta stop feeding us alfalfa. :D

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  41. Sun Sep 23, 09:05:00 PM EDT

    There was stuff about that in the Byman/Pollack article I posted a long time ago.

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  42. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) will endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Monday, Democratic sources tell Politico.com. Bayh is a moderate Democrat whose blessing could help Clinton pick up votes in Republican states.

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  43. "I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part."

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  44. Well, it seems only reasonable to me that if the government deems referendums appropriate, citizens should be expected to pay the government for added costs and added risks entailed in ignoring government expertise. The funds paid could help pay for programs that would be necessary when citizens chose incorrect policies.

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  45. If citizens want the government to do less, I think it makes sense that taxes should be raised, so the government can better fund programs it will refuse to allow public input upon.

    The government should be able to veto referendums, as well. They could veto a referendum by a line-item, executive order or perhaps just making a particular referendum illegal.

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  46. Politicians' time is very valuable - probably some of the most valuable man-hours on the planet. If citizens think they can just take away those productive man-hours, they should be prepared to compensat the government.

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  47. Aldermanhabuwilliams, when you get in one of your 'moods' it is hard to agree or disagree wtih you:)

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  48. Who could possibly disagree with anything Alderman hasn't said? Answer me that!

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  49. Bob, I went to his website and watched the commercials he's been running in Iowa, and NH. Including that one. They are very, very Strong.

    He needs to figure out some way to convince the base that they can trust him with the Muzzies, and National Defense, though. I know I've got to support him over the rest, but I sure would feel better with a little reassurance about his toughness.

    I don't know how he can do that, though, unless he flies out to Hawaii and beats up Doug, or something. I guess if he whupped Doug and gave Sonia a good "Pleasurin" that would be good for "double points." :) Whatta ya think?

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  50. I am going to support Mitt because I like the guy, I have known a lot of Mormons(they ain't going to blow you up) and I think he stands for the basic kind of stuff our country needs at this time.

    I would like anyone who might be reading this to know, however odd they seem, and some of it is, these Mormom folk are good folk. I am a Swede, I know these folk, they are A-OK. I have interacted with them many a time. The Mormons are good folk, taking all in all.

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