Learn Your Civics

The weekend before the general election and I would like to illustrate what the election is and what it accomplishes.

I have tried to get Americans to re-connect with the civics that they need to be productive citizens of the system.

Sadly our media is way too busy trying to influence the election than they are trying to educate the voter…..

This article is from the BBC and could teach the American media a little something about civics.

The US president has a huge influence on people’s lives both at home and abroad, so when the next election is held on 3 November, the outcome will matter to everyone.

The US political system is dominated by just two parties, so the president always belongs to one of them.

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-53785985

Since civics is a disappearing subject this type of article should be in every newspaper web site and printed edition for the last month before the polls open.

Maybe then Americans would learn about their system and stop trying to destroy it with their ignorance.

“Good governance never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of those who govern. The machinery of government is always subordinate to the will of those who administer that machinery. The most important element of government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.” ~ Frank Herbert

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“lego ergo scribo”

The 2020 Black Vote

In this election year of 2020 much has been said, speculated and lied about the direction of the black vote.

The MSM pundits want you to believe that it is a certainty that the vote will go to Biden and Harris….

Why?

First Biden was VP to Obama and since he is black they assume that will drive the vote toward Biden….and then he picked a black woman as his running mate and the pundits make sure that you know that should help drive the black vote into the Biden column.

All that could be true but only if the black vote talked about is 50 years old or older.

Younger black voters are not all that thrilled with the choices they have in the election field this time around…..as was evident with the interviews that NBC has with young undecided black voters…..

msnbc.com/ayman-mohyeldi 

And another roundtable…..

msnbc.com/am-joy/watch/e 

Watch the videos!  Not at all the picture that the MSM is trying hard to rewrite…

Both those videos are very telling…..young blacks do not see a future with these Dems that are pushed down their throats…..

This is one reason the so-called “Squad” is so popular among the younger voters and that includes Black women.

The Squad?  (For Christ sake use your brain and your finger…Google has the answer.)

How about the overall black vote?

But available evidence suggests that Biden, while viewed favorably by Black Americans, does not enjoy the extraordinarily positive sentiments Obama received when he was campaigning. An aggregated Gallup sample from late July through mid-September shows Biden with a 75% favorable and 20% unfavorable rating among Black Americans, compared with Obama’s consistent 90%+ favorable ratings among Black Americans in August, September and October 2008, during his initial presidential campaign. Gallup tracking in August and September 2016 showed Clinton with an average favorable rating of 71% among Black Americans as she campaigned for the presidency. Thus, Biden’s current image among Black Americans is closer to Clinton’s than to Obama’s at comparable points in their campaigning, underscoring the challenge facing Biden as he attempts to replicate Obama’s ability to bring out the Black vote.

(Gallup)

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“lego ergo scribo”

15 Days To Go

In about 2 weeks we will finally know who had the better campaign…….which Old Fart caught the people’s attention the best?

You know all that support that Trump supposedly has among white men?

There is good news/bad news…..

Good news is the Trump is losing support with whites…..bad news is he, Trump, is gaining with blacks and Hispanics.

Yes Dear you read all that correctly…..losing support with whites….gaining with Hispanics and blacks…..

There’s a well-known truth in politics: No one group swings an election.

But that doesn’t mean that the demographic trends bubbling beneath the surface can’t have an outsized effect. Take 2016. President Trump won in large part because he carried white voters without a college degree by a bigger margin than any recent GOP presidential nominee, though there had been signs that this group was shifting rightward for a while.

Likewise in 2018, a strong showing by Democrats in suburban districts and among white voters with a four-year college degree helped the party retake the House, a shift we first saw in 2016 when Trump likely became the first Republican to lose this group in 60 years.1 And this is just scratching the surface. In the past few years, we’ve also seen hints that more women voters are identifying as Democrats and that some nonwhite voters might be getting more Republican-leaning.

Trump Is Losing Ground With White Voters But Gaining Among Black And Hispanic Americans

Look at the stats closely.

With two weeks to go there are a few things you can do to remain sane…..that is if you want to be sane.

fivethrityeight.com has a method…..

1. Keep the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.

2. Don’t assume the race is in the bag for Biden.

3. But also don’t buy the narrative that “polling is broken.”

4. Don’t get too obsessed with comparisons to 2016.

5. Don’t pay much attention to individual polls; wait for polling averages to move.

6. Beware talk of “October surprises.” They’re usually overhyped.

7. Don’t read too much into the campaigns’ behavior.

8. Don’t get carried away with early voting data.

8 Tips To Stay Sane In The Final 15 Days Of The Campaign

Just hang in there the insanity is nearing its conclusion.

We can soon have a new set of issues to bitch about.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2020–Who Gets My Vote?

I have done a lot of bitching about the slate of 2020 candidates….so I guess the question is…..just who will get my vote this time around.

I will be honest…I have not voted for a winner in a presidential election since 1975…….when I voted for Jimmy Carter.

Since that election I have not seen any main stream candidate as a good choice for this country to move forward…..I did not vote for Reagan or Bush or Clinton or Bush or Obama or Trump…..so I can safely said that I did NOT vote for the rogue in the White House.

I wrote on my opinion blog, Gulf South Free Press, about my beliefs and my issues I want to see in a candidate…..https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/who-are-you/

I vote my principles I refuse to settle for the least smelly candidate…..some think that my vote is wasted on a 3rd party candidate….and that is their opinion personally I think if you settle for the least offensive candidate then YOUR VOTE was/is wasted.

In 2016 I looked at the Green Party….I just could not put my faith in Jill Stein…I also checked out the Modern Whig Party, I liked what I read but they did not offer a candidate…..Libertarians I like the antiwar posture but their idea of hyper-capitalism turns me off…..I admit it I did check out a couple of the so-called Left wing parties….not impressed.

The major parties have historically eliminated the third parties by silly rules that make them the only game in town…..rules like…..A third party candidate will sometimes strike a chord with a section of voters in a particular election, bringing an issue to national prominence and amount a significant proportion of the popular vote. Major parties often respond to this by adopting this issue in a subsequent election. After 1968, under President Nixon the Republican Party adopted a “Southern Strategy” to win the support of conservative Democrats opposed to the Civil Rights Movement and resulting legislation and to combat third parties with southern agendas. This can be seen as a response to the popularity of segregationist candidate George Wallace who gained 13.5% of the popular vote in the 1968 election for the American Independent Party.

Then the states have ways of keeping 3rd parties off the tickets…..Nationally, ballot access laws are the major challenge to third party candidacies. While the Democratic and Republican parties usually easily obtain ballot access in all fifty states in every election, third parties often fail to meet criteria for ballot access, such as registration fees. Or, in many states, they do not meet petition requirements in which a certain number of voters must sign a petition for a third party or independent candidate to gain ballot access.

This is how the system chooses your candidate for you.

But that does not answer my question just explains why I have so little choice……but it is 2020…..

If this was the GOP of 1956 I would vote Republican…….

Image result for 1956 GOP platform images

Their 1956 platform is something they should be proud of…..

Sadly those days of principled Republicans are gone….gone….gone….

If I do not like the GOP and I think the Dems are a spineless bunch of centrists then where does that vote….my vote…. go?

Libertarian?  I like there antiwar and non-intervention positions but cannot vote for the hyper-capitalism that is killing our Middle Class…

The Green Party…..this is where I have put my vote in the past but it looks like the GPUSA has been shut down……Howie is just a tool of eco-capitalism.

Where oh where?

Reform Party?  Not interested.  Constitution Party?  Too religious for my liking.  A Socialist Party?  Nope most are too chaotic.  The Modern Whig Party?  I like some of their positions but they shut down in 2018……

Register as an ‘independent’ does nothing to help when most times there are only 2 or 3 choices and none are progressive enough for my vote.

A Progressive Party, Bull Moose Party, would be ideal for me…..https://lobotero.com/2010/11/12/how-about-a-new-bull-moose-party-2/

It is a shame and a bit pathetic that I have no  candidate to vote for in 2020 (for now)……. I will have to hold my nose and pick a lying toad or a spineless slug….not my idea of a constitutional democracy.

Further Reading:

https://www.vox.com/polyarchy/2018/3/26/17163960/america-two-party-system-constitutional-democracy

https://www.vox.com/polyarchy/2018/9/17/17870478/two-party-system-electoral-reform

The Two-Party System Is Not Working—and Not Going Anywhere

https://newrepublic.com/article/146884/america-stuck-two-parties

I think it is moronic to limit the voter’s choices to two parties…..we need a viable third party….a point I wrote about 9 years ago here on IST….https://lobotero.com/2010/11/12/how-about-a-new-bull-moose-party-2/

There is a party that represents the best policies of progressives….

Related image

Check them out……http://www.progressivebullmoose.party/welcome-to-the-bull-moose-revolution/  or maybe here……https://progressivepartyusa.com/

While I like most of their policies in their platform I am disappointed that they have little foreign policy in there……an in depth look at their platform…….http://www.progressivebullmoose.party/platform/

The Mission statement for the Progressive Party….

Our mission is to return political and economic power to the American people. By raising money and running candidates under our own banner—the Progressive Bull Moose Party—we aim to end the era of big money, big corporate-controlled government—rule by the super rich—and return power to the people.

There is also another alternative party that I have been looking at…..the Citizens Party….a check of their platform/mission statement  tells me I have more in common with them than the two major parties…..but check them out for yourself……http://www.votecitizens.org/platform

It should not be this difficult to find a suitable candidate for my vote……but sadly it is.

My thought on the two major candidates that are reaching for my vote…..

Business Man Yawning Cartoon Vector Illustration Royalty Free ...

I have not been this bored with politics in years.

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I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

That Latino Vote

Listening to all the “reporting” on this election and of course we hear about the white vote, the black vote and the Latino vote….but is this a true analysis or is it just words to fill the report when there is a lack of substance?

I heard this morning that the Latino vote would help Biden……but is there truly a Latino vote?

With only 42 days left until the election, Joe Biden has his work cut out for him with Latino voters. That’s according to his senior adviser Symone Sanders, who has had to answer for why Biden appears to be losing ground among Latinos. According to a recent Latino Decisions/National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials poll, 65 percent of Latinos plan to vote for Biden or lean toward him, but this is still 14 percentage points lower than the 79 percent of Latino voters who said they supported Clinton in the pollster’s national election-eve poll in 2016.

It’s true that Latino voters do, as a whole, tend to be more Democratic than Republican, a trend that has only accelerated in recent years. But they don’t vote as a single bloc (in 2016, at least 1 in 5 Latino voters still backed Trump): How Latinos vote in Florida, for instance, can be very different from how Latinos in the Southwest or Northeast vote. These differences especially matter due to the size of the Latino population in a number of key swing states.

There’s No Such Thing As The ‘Latino Vote’

Polls are about as worthless as teets on a boar…..they are seldom correct for respondents seldom tell the true to the questioners.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Mississippi Votes

Mississippi will be voting on many issues from its racist past.

The people will be voting on the replacement of the flag from the reconstruction….and it will also be voting on the “Old Boys” network that has made it all but impossible for a person of color from winning a statewide position like governor or attorney general et al.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/president-trump-confirms-he-first-lady-melania-trump-tested-positive-for-coronavirus

It was 1987 when Mississippi did away with the ban on interracial marriages.

In 1967, 17 Southern states (all the former slave states plus West Virginia plus Oklahoma) still enforced laws prohibiting marriage between whites and non-whites. Maryland repealed its law at the start of Loving v. Virginia in the Supreme Court.

After the Supreme Court ruling declaring such laws to be unconstitutional, the laws in the remaining 16 states ceased to be enforceable. Besides removing such laws from their statute books, a number of state constitutions were also amended to remove language prohibiting miscegenation: Mississippi in 1987, South Carolina in 1998 and Alabama in 2000. In the respective referendums, 52% of voters in Mississippi, 62% of voters in South Carolina and 59% of voters in Alabama voted in favour of the amendments. In Alabama nearly 526,000 people voted against the amendment, including a majority of voters in some rural counties.

(wikipedia)

Think about that….1987 is only 33 years ago that the ban went into effect.

This social issue has a long history…..

Centuries before the same-sex marriage movement, the U.S. government, its constituent states, and their colonial predecessors tackled the controversial issue of “miscegenation,” or mixture of races. It’s widely known that the Deep South banned interracial marriages until 1967, but less widely known is that many other states did the same. California, for example, prohibited these marriages until 1948. In addition, politicians made three brazen attempts to ban interracial marriages nationally by amending the U.S. Constitution.

https://www.thoughtco.com/interracial-marriage-laws-721611

Now we  Mississippians have a chance to do away with even more of the racist history by voting in November.

Mississippi voters have never elected a Black candidate to statewide office, despite having the largest proportional Black population of any U.S. state at nearly 40%.

Advocates hope an amendment on the November ballot may change that.

Mississippi is the only state with a multistep process for electing statewide positions like governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Its electoral college-like voting system was designed by white framers in Southern Reconstruction with the intent to disenfranchise minority voters and uphold white power in politics.

If the amendment to simplify the process passes, advocates say it would spur more minority candidates to run for office in the Magnolia state — and assure minority voters their constitutionally protected right to equal representation is secure. If it doesn’t, they say it will serve as a painful reminder of the state’s deep history of voter suppression.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/mississippi-vote-jim-crow-era-law-designed-secure/story

Maybe now Mississippi can move into the 21st century….something that has been resisted for many years…..

Hopefully all my readers are having a good weekend….be well….be safe…….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trump’s “Platinum Plan”

Donald the Orange has issued a new economic plan aimed at improving relations with the Black community…..it will be called “the Platinum Plan”….

President Trump took aim at Black voters Friday by offering a new multi-billion-dollar plan and taking a jab at his Democratic rival, CNN reports. “No one in politics today has done more to hurt the Black community than Joe Biden,” Trump said at a campaign event in Atlanta. “Joe Biden should not be demanding your support; he should be begging for your forgiveness.” Trump’s campaign said his so-called “platinum plan” would funnel up to $40 billion in government funding—and perhaps hundreds of billions more from the private sector—for Black business loans, per NPR. White House advisor Ja-Ron Smith called it “historic” for a GOP president to focus “on the economic empowerment of the Black community.”

Trump’s plan is packed with other planks, like designating Antifa and the KKK as “terrorist organizations” and making Juneteenth a national holiday, Fox News reports. It would also aim to improve healthcare for Black communities; allow Black churches to vie for federal resources; install “diversity training” in law enforcement; and boost Black educational opportunities by closing “failing schools” in favor of “full school choice and education opportunity.” The rollout comes amid gloomy polling numbers for Trump among Black voters, who prefer Biden by roughly a 75-point margin. Forbes, meanwhile, runs through Trump’s plan and says “it’s not clear” where much of the funding will come from.

Antifa?  Has anyone of these mental midgets ever taken a look that is?  It is NOT…I repeat NOT a single group but a loose organization of people who despise fascists so how will they decide which ones will be the ‘terrorists’?  A lame ass attempt to look strong….instead that appear to be idiots.

He, Trump, looks desperate…..this is an ambitious plan that will probably never see the light of day if he is re-elected……but I am being too pessimistic….here is his “Plan”……

The president on Friday is expected to roll out details of what the campaign is calling the “Platinum Plan,” which details “opportunity,” “security,” “prosperity,” and “fairness” for the Black Community.

The president’s plan, according to the campaign, will increase access to capital in Black communities by almost $500 billion, help to create 500,000 new Black-owned businesses, and help to create 3 million new jobs for the Black community.

(FOX News)

This from the president that has done more for black people than even Lincoln (that is my favorite bullshit line of all time)

But please take some time and look over his new “Plan” and tell me what you think.

Click to access president-trump-platinum-plan-final-version.pdf

Does this truly sound like a Plan that Trump would offer?

To me it does not…..some campaign worker wrote it in a desperate attempt to find some Afro-American voters for November.

Another one if my thoughts is if this is so damn important why was it nor part of the non-existent GOP platform?

This is a con job!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Picking That President

Paper #2 of 2

2020 and we are in the process of picking our next president……all of which does not in the least represent what the people actually want or need.

Is there a better way to pick the leader of the free world?

Of course there is…..the quickest way in my opinion is to eliminate the Electoral College…..

Americans are understandably disillusioned with how the Electoral College picks presidential winners. The system arguably functions contrary to expectations of how a democracy should work, and inconsistently with the purpose the founders intended.

There are some bold reform proposals on the table that deserve consideration in the long run—ideas that would solve the problem that presidents can be elected despite the majority of voters opposing them, an outcome unthinkable in any democracycommitted to majority rule. The problem is that most of these proposals either aren’t going to be feasible by 2020, if ever, or, on close inspection, would actually worsen the problems they’re intended to solve.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/05/04/electoral-college-reform-2020-226792

But are Americans truly wanting to eliminate the stupidity?

The Electoral College, which allowed the past two Republican presidents to win office with fewer votes than their opponents, has officially become a joke.

In a skit last week, Saturday Night Live lampooned how the US is picking its leaders by highlighting the fact that most voters have no say in who will become president. But the Electoral College is no laughing matter. 

As long as the same person won the popular vote and the Electoral College, this wasn’t a problem. But with the last two Republicans owing their election to an antiquated system and not the support of a majority of voters, it has dawned on many Americans that something is amiss — especially because things seem to be getting worse.

If recent history is any indication, this is not just a problem for the loser but also for the winner. The former will miss out on being president despite getting more votes, while the latter has to live with questions about their mandate — or even their legitimacy.

Are Americans Ready to Junk the Electoral College?

There is yet another possibility that needs discussion……on the Electoral College and their voting for president….

Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging state laws that bind Electoral College electors to vote for the presidential candidate they are selected to support. The case was brought in response to four 2016 electors — three from Washington and one from Colorado — who tried to vote against their state’s popular vote winner, and, in the case of the Washington electors, faced fines for having broken their pledges.

These so-called “faithless electors” have long been a feature of American presidential elections, but it’s possible that the Supreme Court could shake up the Electoral College system, striking down state laws that try to guarantee electors’ votes by replacing or punishing those who don’t vote as they promised to. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the overall lack of enforcement of electors’ pledge to vote for the winner of their state troubled her, saying, “I made a promise to do something, but that promise is unenforceable.” But Justice Samuel Alito said that overturning the state laws could “lead to chaos where the popular vote is close.”

If The Supreme Court Lets The Electoral College Vote However It Wants, Will Chaos Ensue?

There are a wealth of ideas to fix the stupidity of the picking of the president/nominee….personally I kinda like the national primary thing…….Let people nationwide cast their primary ballots all at once.

There are others as well…here are 6 ideas….

Every four years, Iowans are deluged with the talking points, the stump speeches, the polls and, of course, the ads.

They also hear that they shouldn’t be first. Iowans are too white, too old and too few to merit first-in-the-nation status, say the critics.

But if Iowa shouldn’t be first, who should be? For more than a century, reformers have been proposing ideas for how to change the primary system. And they’ve been failing. And they’ll probably continue to fail.

No one is going to persuade state and party machinery to change the current primary system anytime soon. However, these ideas can at least help show what works (and what doesn’t) about the way things are now.

Here are just a few of the ideas people have proposed over the years:

https://www.npr.org/2016/01/26/463870736/no-way-to-pick-a-president-here-are-6-other-ways-to-do-it

One last thought on the presidency……a little historic rambling…..

If the prospect of the Trump – Biden presidential election fills you with horror and despair, you might give some thought to not just replacing both candidates but the presidency as well, at least as we now conceive it.

For some time now, but maybe since the Kennedy administration (which ended in a hail of voter-suppressed gunfire), I have been thinking that one of the biggest problems with American democracy is the presidency itself, the idea that the chief magistrate of the country should be one person elected every four years by a few swing voters in Ohio, North Carolina, or Florida.

Get Rid of the Presidency

Any thoughts on this topic?

One closing cartoon…..

Image

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Undermining The Process

There is lots of news these days about Trump and his minions undermining the election process for 2020….almost daily there seems to be a new accusation that the voting process is either being ruined or compromised.

Unless you watch the news every hour then you will most likely miss many of these attempts…..and that is where I come in….

Nate Silver and fivethirtyeight.com have put together a summary of these attempts…..

There has long been conflict in the United States over who gets to vote and how. In the years since Barack Obama’s election as president, those voting debates have become increasingly partisan, with Republican elected officials often pushing measures like requiring photo IDs that make it harder for people to vote, and Democratic officials advancing provisions like same-day registration that make it easier to vote.

That long-running conflict over voting has reached a new, more critical phase for two reasons. First, the outbreak of COVID-19 means that people might be risking their health if they opt to vote in person. Secondly, Donald Trump, unlike previous presidents, regularly breaks with democratic norms and values and is now openly suggesting that he might manipulate the electoral system to help him win a second term.

“Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail,” was the headline of an article in Politico last weekend (that was a news article, not an opinion piece). Politico’s reporting found that the White House was considering using executive actions to insert itself into the election process, which is usually run by states, including finding ways to make it harder for people to vote by mail.

I think it’s totally appropriate for people to, well, freak out about the potential undermining of the electoral process by Trump and his allies. That said, there is now a flurry of lawsuits, judicial rulings, decisions by election officials at the local and state levels, and claims of voter fraud and voter suppression that can be a bit of minefield to wade through. It’s a lot and it can get confusing.

Five Ways Trump And GOP Officials Are Undermining The Election Process

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THEN VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14Aug20

WE as a nation are about to vote for our next president……these days it appears that knowledge og civics is in short supply……

I think that a little knowledge would be best for everyone and especially for the nation.

This can only help for the acquisition of that knowledge….

Civic education is crucial in America. Every American should know why the Declaration of Independence was written, why the colonists fought to break away from Great Britain, and what caused the Civil War. Americans should know their rights, duties, and responsibilities. All of these things—American history, principles, and virtues—are what it takes to be a good American citizen. 

Fortunately, learning about America and what citizenship means can begin at an early age. 

The following portals are designed to be used by parents, teachers, and students in elementary school, middle school, and high school. We’ve curated the best resources from institutions that teach about America, which will be especially valuable to teachers looking to fortify their curricula with quality American civics content. These resources are separated by appropriate grade level in order to help students better understand, or even encounter for the very first time, the American story. 

We hope that these portals will help you learn something about your country that you didn’t know. We hope that they will encourage you to become better students and citizens of the country that you call home. 

The best source for civic education is our veterans…..if anyone knows what it means to serve this country it is they…..

… their long history of providing critical support to civic education initiatives, veterans and veterans organizations have generally been overlooked as a resource in these recent efforts. But few citizens have more at stake in the preservation and inculcation of American values and civic knowledge than the men and women who have put their lives on the line in their defense. The recovery of this role for veterans and veterans organizations is crucial both to the well-being of veterans and to the revival of civic education. Those who seek to help veterans thrive should consider exploring ways to once again engage them in the crucial work of civic education, while those who seek to bolster civic education should look to veterans as assets in their work.

The Joe Foss Institute at Arizona State University’s Center for Political Thought and Leadership — named for World War II Medal of Honor winner Joe Foss and supported by Arizona philanthropists Randy Kendrick and Jim Chamberlain, among others — engages veterans in civic education through their Veterans Inspiring Patriotism program. This program brings trained veteran volunteers into K-12 classrooms to share their personal stories as well as to deliver educational content on American institutions and founding documents, symbols such as the U.S. flag, and the responsibilities of citizenship.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/08/07/enlist_veterans_in_the_war_on_us_civics_ignorance.html

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VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”