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Romney Sutra: The Numerous Tortured Political Positions of Mitt

October 26, 2012 1 comment

All three presidential debates have taken place. We have seen Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. There are less than two weeks left until Election Day. We should have a very clear sense of what policies the candidates are proposing, the direction they want to take the country – we should have a full measure of each man running for the office of President of the United States.

But we don’t have the full measure of one of the candidates, Mitt Romney. Instead, it is the numerous tortured political positions of Mitt – the Romney Sutra. It is confusion, entitlement, hypocrisy, dishonesty, chaos and deception.

It is amazing that we don’t know Willard Mitt Romney. He has been running for president since mid-way through his term as governor of Massachusetts, probably before. He began to run for Election Day 2012 on February 7, 2008, as he was suspending his 2008 Presidential Campaign.

It is amazing that we don’t know Willard Mitt Romney. He has been running for president since mid-way through his term as governor of Massachusetts, probably before. He began to run for Election Day 2012 on February 7, 2008, as he was suspending his 2008 Presidential Campaign. But as he was running, he was also hiding.

We have tried to vet Mitt Romney. There are the political masochists who watched all or most of the GOP Presidential Debates – all 20 of them. If the debates were challenging for the viewer, imagine what they must have been like for Mitt Romney. From May 5, 2011 to February 22, 2012, Mitt Romney pulled, twisted, turned, and stretched himself into so many different political positions that I wonder if he recognized himself.

In the course of those debates, the only constant was his steady march to the right. Romney struggled to make the GOP believe that he is “severely conservative.” I suppose STAUNCHLY conservative wouldn’t have been enough. Even linguistically, Romney comes across as lacking authenticity and sincerity.

There was no amount of pandering that was too callow. Who can forget Romney pandering to the non-voting trees in Michigan as being just the right height? I know the folks in the South felt an instant kinship to Romney when he started referring to them as “y’all,” and telling them about his breakfast of “cheesy grits.”

During the primaries, there were certain groups who should have paid very close attention to what Mitt Romney said, or equally important – didn’t say. Seniors, women, Latinos, LGBT, public service employees, college students: you should have been listening to the various contradictory positions that Romney took on the issues of importance to you. Blacks, veterans, the poor, the sick and disabled, the middle class with a job, cities, alternative energy (e.g., wind and solar), etc. if you were marginalized or excluded from Mitt Romney’s political discussion, you will be totally excluded from a Romney Administration. You probably won’t even get a binder…

But the pandering couldn’t remove the taint of his previous remarks and his record. Or could it? A senior Romney advisor, Eric Fehrnstrom, told us they would just shake and reset after the primaries, like an Etch-A-Sketch. Six months earlier, they telegraphed the desperate dash to the middle they were going to make in the first presidential debate, but all of us, President Obama included, were still unprepared when it came. But I am certain that the people of Massachusetts were not surprised at all.

The people of Massachusetts should know him best, right? He has lived there since he moved there to attend Harvard Law School and Business School. Bain Capital is headquartered there. Mitt Romney was governor of the state. With that much history in the state, you would think he would be way ahead in the polls in his home state. You would be wrong. According to the Real Clear Politics Average of Polls, President Obama is ahead of Mitt Romney by a staggering 16.3%.

Romney’s current poll results in Massachusetts are analogous to your significant other starting a committed, passionate relationship your sworn enemy.

But for folks who aren’t from the Bay State, we must stop and ask why? The citizens of Massachusetts DID have the chance to vet Mitt Romney. They saw him in action. Was he able to create millions jobs? Did he mystically change the political culture of the capital? Did he turn water into wine? The short answer is no, not so much.

Governor Romney’s Bain Capital years… key evidence for his ability to turn-around failing circumstances – well, we have to take his word for it because many of those businesses either went bankrupt or they are privately held, so we can’t see their books. We certainly haven’t been offered the opportunity to review the books of Bain Capital during the time that Mitt Romney was running the place.

We have only seen two years of tax returns. Why shouldn’t we trust what Mitt Romney has told us about his tax returns? He contorted himself into a convenient shape on this issue once before to help himself when he was running for governor. Once he won, we discovered the information he gave the citizens of Massachusetts about his taxes was false. By his own father’s standards, Mitt Romney has fallen short by his failure to produce multiple years of tax returns, which is sad and ironic since George Romney initiated the practice in 1967.

If you don’t know who Barack Obama is, love him or hate him, then you haven’t been paying attention. He told us more than we needed to know in the two books he wrote and published about himself BEFORE he became president. The President and First Lady continue to do an amazing job of raising well-adjusted, intelligent and poised young ladies in the white-hot glare of the fishbowl of the White House.

But President Obama isn’t running to be Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, the office pursued is President of the United States.

Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, also known as Bill Cosby

The track record President Obama has established in his first term is full of hits, but if we are honest, it has not been an unqualified success. I could take an entire blog just listing accomplishments achieved during the Obama Administration. But here is Pundit On Point Cliff Notes version: Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act signed; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created; automobile industry revived; two women, including the first Latina, appointed to the US Supreme Court; after a century of effort, healthcare reform created; end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Iraq War ended; and the man responsible for 9/11, Osama bin Laden, was brought to justice.

There is so much more. Ask the Dream kids, senior citizens, students with federally guaranteed student loans, women who heard Barack Obama state “rape is rape,” and the LGBT community who heard our president say he supported marriage equality.

There is more work to be done on the economy. No one is saying otherwise. But President Obama has been steady. In fact, it has been this type of even-keeled leadership that has provoked endorsements from conservative and careful sources, such as the Salt Lake Tribune and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Governor Romney has tried to strike all of the poses, but he has only succeeded at looking entitled and cheerlessly ambitious, while leaving us questioning his motives and sincerity. Pro-Choice v. Anti-Choice. Varmint Hunter v. Gun Control. Misogynist v. Binder-holder. Neo-Con Hawk v. Peacenik Dove. Severely Conservative v. Moderate. All of this hypocrisy is trapped in one person.

If you are everywhere in your principles, then you will get nowhere. As all of our parents told us, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. We live in a time when the President of the United States must stand for more than their own ambition. Listen to the hint the people of Massachusetts are sending. The Romney Sutra, with its numerous, tortured, political positions of Mitt, will not unite and elevate our nation.

Vote. Engage this republic of ours. It will only get better when we all lift it up towards its highest purpose. Vote.

All Rights Reserved
Kimberly S. Jones 2012

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Tale of Two Douglases: Gabby v. Alyssa

September 8, 2012 1 comment

Gabrielle Douglas, “Golden Gabby” with her historic Individual All-Around Gymnastics Medal at the 2012 London Olympics

During the London Olympics, I was enthralled by the historic achievements of Gabrielle Douglas. Golden Gabby made history as she was winning gold medals. And she was poised in the face of the white-hot media glare. Even when others lost their minds over, of all stupid things, her hair, Golden Gabby stayed elegant, poised and mature beyond her years.

In the time since the Olympics, Golden Gabby’s future is secure due to the promise of many lucrative endorsement deals. But she appears to remain what she was, a sweet, extremely focused, loving teen aged girl.

Last night, we were introduced to another Douglas girl. Alyssa Douglas. I don’t know very much about Alyssa. Like Golden Gabby, she is a teen age girl, 16 years old to be exact. She is from a town near Cincinnati, Ohio. It is my understanding that she aspires to be a hairdresser. I also know that she spews violent, hateful rants about the President on Twitter. I include her name because she removed any privacy concerns when she publishes her violent post on Twitter. I reconsidered posting her photograph, which is easily found. Just because this child is irresponsible with her privacy, I won’t pile on since I already find her judgment flawed. If you want to know what she looks like, you can do the same google search I did. But I will tell you that Alyssa is white.

Yes, last night Alyssa Douglas took to Twitter to post a simple one line tweet that defies logic and common sense: “Someone needs to assassinate Obama…like ASAP. #DieYouPieceOfShit”

Alyssa Douglas’ Twitter account has been removed, but the damage has been done. I understand that for a time before her Twitter account was removed, she was actually GAINING Twitter followers for dumping that kind of random violent ideation onto the Twitterosphere. Wow. Does this CHILD realize what she has done?

I bet Golden Gabby, who experienced the savage effects of Twitter and Facebook, understood what this stupid child did. But even if Alyssa did not understand the consequences of the stupidity at the beginning of the day, by now I am certain she is grasping the severity of the situation.

You see, the Secret Service doesn’t like it when folks threat the President of the United States…even if those threats are issued on Twitter. A man was recently jailed in Charlotte for threatening the President on Twitter. Frankly, I hope they throw the book at this girl. At the age of 16, you are old enough to understand that your actions have consequences.

The Obama Family after President Obama delivers his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

As for the folks who would tell me that I have no sense of humor because Alyssa was only joking. My response is simple. You are right. I have no sense of humor when the life of a man with a wife and two children is concerned. Since someone issued a similar threat against Gov. Romney, I have the same no nonsense attitude. A call to arms to kill a public official is NEVER FUNNY. It’s stupid, reckless, and potentially criminal.

We live in a society where it is easier to buy a gun than it is to vote. In our country, a young man, who would go on to leave a trail of devastation in his wake, was able to purchase SIX THOUSAND ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION on the internet without raising any red flags. Have you bought cold medicine lately? It’s almost as difficult to do as voting, but guns and ammo…no worries. It is in that environment a 16 year old child takes to Twitter calling for the killing of our President.

The Secret Service has already been to her home. I hope she has spent the entire day getting to know them. I hope she has been scared the entire day.

Alyssa’s parents don’t escape my notice in this. Hate like what young Alyssa is spewing is learned. So I say, cart the whole stupid family off to jail, just to be safe.

Gabby and Alyssa… Two girls both 16 years old… Gabby has already accomplished more than many would ever dare to dream, and in the process, she has gained international fame. She represents the very best of aspiration, faith and diligence. We know that Gabby was surrounded by love and support, even when things were challenging.

Alyssa is at the other end of the spectrum. By her small and hateful thinking, which she had the bad judgment to post to Twitter, she will become infamous maybe on an international scale…for wishing a man dead. The irony is that the man she is wishing dead is internationally famous as a champion for hope and change. Alyssa strikes me a symbol of how entrenched racism and hate are…even in someone so young.

Someone ask Gov. Romney what he thinks about the tale of two Douglases. I wonder if there is any honesty left in Romney to recognize how much GOP dog whistle politics probably played a part in the downfall of Alyssa, and that Gabby succeeded in spite of them?

Oh, in case you had any doubt, Gabby wins this gold medal, by a mile!

I hope that you never forgot my open letter to the Secret Service. I hope they didn’t either.

Keep the President and his family safe.

 

Copyright 2012

Kimberly S. Jones

VAGINA CORP: A Rise to Power

Women! We have been going about this all wrong! We have been asking lawmakers to respect our privacy and our right to choose our reproductive fate. We have made it clear that our reproductive health, in the form of annual screenings like mammograms and pelvic exams with pap smears, are extremely important to us. In case there was any doubt about what we meant about “reproductive health,” we told them we were talking about our vaginas. You would think we were talking about Voldermort, because evidently, the vagina is the body part that must not be named.

But the men in state legislatures who were bold enough to create legislation that was obsessed with vaginas were never mature enough or man enough to say the word without devolving to locker room humor and innuendo. But when cloaked in euphemism, like “lady parts,” law makers in Virginia are willing to insert themselves into women’s vaginas by way of an unnecessary medical procedure, which is now required before the legal termination of a pregnancy.

Michigan is even more squeamishly hypocritical. During a recent floor debate on proposed legislation where Michigan legislators where trying to force their way into the vaginas of Michigan women by banning abortion after 20 weeks unless a woman’s life is in danger, State Rep. Lisa Brown bucked the polite, yet stupid, political lexicon

State Rep. Brown’s reward for stating the obvious and speaking the outrage that millions of women have been feeling since these laws began springing up across the country… State Representative Lisa Brown of Michigan, a duly elected public official, was “gaveled down” as out of order for failing to recognize the “decorum” of the House of Representatives of Michigan. Her punishment? The men of the House of Representatives of Michigan silenced her, censored her for the debate of a bill on school employees’ retirement, which is a hot button issue in every state.

In a political climate where a member of the US Congress yells “You Lie” at the President of the United States during the State of the Union address, or 14 members of the GOP allegedly plot the downfall of the 44th president as he dances at his Inaugural Ball, or a minority of the majority party are willing to hold the entire government and economy hostage… I have a hard time with anyone trying to offer lectures about decorum for the use of the anatomically correct term for the body part in question.

Women, here is how we change the game. We incorporate our vaginas! As “lady-parts,” they are powerless. As Vagina Corp., they can rule the world. America is less of a republic or democracy, and more of a corporatocracy. We can thank Mittens Romney for the idea. After all, it was Mittens who told us, “Corporations are people, my friend.” As corporations, Vaginas would be able to enter into contracts, own property, incorporate other corporations and limited liability companies, sue, be sued… Vaginas could be like Mitt Romney but with more compassion and empathy.

Vaginas are already the birthplace of all human power in a purely factual sense. What I am proposing is a way to ensure that vaginas keep a measure of power and control, and not become victims of men who forget where they literally came from.

I am still trying to figure out if Vagina Corp. should be seemingly innocent corporate citizen, or if it would be an activist corporation like those who were members of ALEC or the Financial Services Roundtable. If Vagina Corp. is going to rise to power, it would have to interact with power, just like the Bank of America, WalMart or Halliburton does.

Vagina Corp. would have First Amendment rights. So there wouldn’t be any whispers about vagina anymore, because Vagina Corp. would be a force to be reckoned with. The key First Amendment right to be exercised would be the right to political speech, of course. One of the first items of the Vagina Corp. agenda would be the formation of a Super PAC. All of the politicians who rushed to defile “lady-parts” with legislation requiring intrusive and medically unnecessary procedures would suddenly stop and have much more respect and consideration for Vagina Corp.

Vagina Corp. would be an economic force. Let’s be clear; control over reproduction is an economic issue. Vagina Corp., by harnessing that power, would then become a force in the economy. The Vagina Corp. Super PAC would be able to pressure legislators to create bills that would do simple things like guarantee equal pay for equal work. Vagina Corp. would be able either to provide access to capital, like a venture capitalist, or pressure the financial services industry to remember that they are supposed to circulate money, not just hold it on their “fortress” balance sheets. With more woman-controlled dollars in the economy, woman-owned businesses would flourish more than they already do.  According to the US Census Bureau, women-owned firms accounted for 28.7% of all nonfarm businesses in the United States in 2007.

For anyone who thinks this is a ridiculous idea, I say “not so fast.” After all, America is the country of legal innovation and flexibility when it comes to financial matters. America came up with the junk bond, the sub-prime mortgage-backed security, and collateralized debt obligations… If we can make people believe those legal and economic fictions are profitable, despite their extremely dangerous and risky realities, then incorporating vaginas is child’s play.

The only reason not to incorporate vaginas would be the same reason that women’s reproductive health is in danger in the first place…there is an innate recognition of the power of a woman’s vagina. These legislators must believe that the vagina, like Voldermort, possesses a powerful dark magic that must be contained at all costs. And it begins with saying its name…Vagina!

Let’s go to Delaware and make their worst nightmares come true. Let’s create the first Vagina Corp. and begin our rise to power. First order of business… Destroy the little blue pills.

 

 

 

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Copyright 2012

Kimberly S. Jones

All Rights Reserved

Marriage Equality Hypocrisy: The New Black, Part II – Activism?

 

PART II:  ACTIVISM

The Black church was a mainstay and source of inspiration during the darkest days of oppression for Blacks in America. As important, the Black church was seen as a source of community organizing that was translated into political activism and community advocacy.

Yet, the Black community has developed a certain measure of hubris and complacency about civil rights since the 1960’s, when the legal landscape for Blacks changed because of new laws and Supreme Court decisions. Because activism in the Black community has become fat, lazy and content, it becomes easier to believe that in 2012, the Black Church is being used as a wedge and source of intolerance. The target for this discrimination is against another group that is being marginalized and deprived of equal protection under the law – the LGTBQ community.

It is never appropriate for this country to pursue laws and policies that discriminate. Discrimination runs counter to the vision of America that is expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the policies and procedures of the country set forth in the US Constitution, as it has been amended.

As I did in 2010, I won’t discuss the religious arguments that have been raised against Marriage Equality. Why? Because the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment creates a separation of church and state, this takes religion out of this situation for me and many others. If a church wants to refuse to recognize same sex marriages, I would go to the mat to protect their religious liberty, which is also constitutionally protected. But we aren’t talking about religious ceremonies and beliefs. When it comes to Marriage Equality, the conversation is about equal protection under the law.

I am struck by how many people don’t recognize that marriage is also a civil, legal contract between two parties. In the same way that buying a house is done according to the law and in a way that bars discrimination, the civil contract of marriage should be viewed through the same prism. The law cannot, and must not, be selectively applied.  Equal protection under the law is guaranteed to every American by the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment doesn’t say “equal protection, provided that certain religious factions are okay with it.”

There are some who ask why must same sex couples have marriage equality? Why isn’t a “civil union” sufficient for “them?” When Black folks ask this question, I find it especially painful. It is within the lifetime of many Black folks uttering this despicable question that we were told to be content with “separate but equal” education, public facilities, and limitations on our ability to marry who we loved. Segregation of Blacks was rationalized with Bible verses in the beliefs strongly held by God-fearing, hate mongering Christians. Bible verses were cited as the moral rationalization for depriving American citizens of their liberty, and from their equal measure of citizenship.

No citizen should be required to accept a second-class status flowing from any legal transaction or status. This disgusting approach is not only illegal; it is also immoral in the country that is the leader of the free world. In the way that only equality was, and is, sufficient for the Black community and women, the LGBTQ community has every right to demand and expect nothing less as well. It would be hypocritical for anyone engaged in the fight for social justice to accept anything less. As Black folks and women continue to struggle for the full realization of equality, the LGBT community must realize that the struggle will be long and difficult.

Because the vote is such a uniquely essential tool in the political process, I have a heightened measure of disgust for the members of the Black clergy who have stated that they will tell their congregations to stay at home and not vote for Barack Obama in November. What? We are in a time when states like Florida are purging thousands from their voter rolls, and 34 states have voter ID laws in an effort to disenfranchise the Black and Latino community, the elderly and the young. The American Legislative Executive Council (“ALEC”), didn’t have to lift a finger apparently. Some remarkably ignorant and short-sighted members of the Black clergy have been more than happy to do ALEC’s dirty work. The Black clergy has a legacy of empowering its community and preaching about liberation and justice that is inextricably intertwined with the history of Blacks in America. These members of the clergy advocating for the same type of fear and discrimination that attempted to subjugate and humiliate Blacks for centuries. The most damaging to the psyche and reality of Black folks is the fact that some members of the Black clergy are encouraging voters to stay away from the polls during an election that will prove crucial to the fate of under-represented minorities.  What is the justification for this civic malpractice? A stance on a single social issue, grounded in bigotry. I find this position unbelievably dangerously reckless and irresponsible.

What everyone must bear in mind is the fact that the expansion of justice and liberty in America serves to enhance the entire country, not diminish any of it. The elimination of the last vestiges of unequal protection under the law doesn’t infringe upon other Americans’ liberty, especially the Black community.

In the wake of President Obama’s statement about his evolved position on Marriage Equality, Black celebrities, such as Chris Rock, Jay Z, and most interestingly, the man who is the former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former Secretary of State, Colin Powell have all stepped forward to express their support for same sex marriage. President Obama and these celebrities aren’t the only ones in the Black Community to evolve in their position about Marriage Equality, but the changing attitudes reflect a community in the process of changing its mind. Hopefully the shift in attitude in the Black community, known to be socially conservative, bodes well for the rest of the country. Opposition to same sex marriage in the Black Community has decreased after the President’s interview, but that isn’t necessarily translating into increased support for gay marriage. It is a work in progress.

It isn’t enough to say that you no longer support discrimination. Those no longer in opposition to Marriage Equality must remember the quote attributed to Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  America, home of the American Dream, must no longer give the full measure of liberty to some, while actively seeking to discriminate against others. “Equal Justice Under Law.” It is what is inscribed on the building that houses the US Supreme Court. These words cannot merely be decorative. They have to have practical application…for every American.  Any other approach is legally wrong and morally offensive.

I guess the level of hypocrisy about Marriage Equality is en vogue in the Black community. But I don’t understand it. There must be a NEW Black Community embracing this moral and legal hypocrisy. I guess hypocrisy is the NEW BLACK.

 

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Copyright 2012

Kimberly S. Jones

Marriage Equality Hypocrisy: The New Black, Part I

June 9, 2012 1 comment

PART I: PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HISTORY

President Barack Obama speaks to ABC News’ Robin Roberts about Marriage Equality

On May 9th, 2012, President Barack Obama, the first Black President of the United States, did something extraordinary. The day after North Carolina became one of 30 states to vote bigotry into its state constitution, President Obama spoke out against bigotry and discrimination when he expressed his personal support for same sex marriage. I will be honest and say that it has taken me this long to figure out exactly what I wanted to say about the situation. The President’s remarks were a statement that is, arguably, the most significant statement on civil rights made by a President since the Emancipation Proclamation. All of America, but the Black community in particular, should have heaved a collective sigh of relief that any of our presidents finally had the courage to stand for the concepts of equal protection expressed in the Constitution…not just in theory, but in practice.

The Black community should have been so very proud that Barack Obama had the principles to speak out against discrimination in a way that no other president in recent memory had. I was thrilled because I publicly expressed my support for Marriage Equality and my call for every American to take this stance over two years ago. Many didn’t bother to parse the President’s comments on same-sex marriage for their real impact on current policy regarding Marriage Equality, which is minimal. Instead, there was a visceral reaction based in fear and bigotry. What made this reaction so sad and infuriating was that, for many including some in the Black community, their bigoted discrimination is wrapped in the Bible and tied with a bow of “Christianity” that Christ wouldn’t even recognize.

I am underwhelmed and disappointed by the hypocrisy of those in the Black Community who do not support Marriage Equality. The history of Black folks in America is long, complicated and full of painful injustices. The Constitution had its infamous “Three-fifths Compromise” that was good for everyone, except Black people.  The Dred Scott decision was handed down by the US Supreme Court in 1857 showing cowardice and a political cravenness that would make the current Roberts Court jealous. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation, offered hope that America would finally deliver on the promise of the ideals set out in the Declaration of Independence. But that hope was snatched away with the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896.

If you aren’t aware, Plessy created the doctrine of “Separate, but Equal.” Plessy was also the legal foundation for Jim Crow Segregation, which stood until Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. It wasn’t until 1967, with the Loving v. Virginia decision, which ended race-based impediments to legal marriage, that Blacks could truly marry whoever they wanted. The fight for equality, regardless of race, is by no means over.  The history of civil rights fights and victories in America casts a long and impressive shadow. The Black Community has a long tradition of standing up for what is right and just. Abolitionists, like Sojourner Truth and Fredrick Douglass, who fought slavery in the 19th Century were also active members of the Women’s Suffragist movement. There was a moral consistency in that position.  The Niagara Movement, the precursor of the NAACP, was the manifestation of the old Black community that maintained the fight for justice against all comers, including the Catholic Church, in the very early years of the 20th Century. There was recognition that the expansion of rights enhances the concepts of liberty and justice for every American. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The new Black community must understand the past and present suffering that comes from discrimination. The new Black community, like the old Black community, must stand on the right side of history and fight for equality wherever discrimination exists. It’s not too late to evolve and follow the fine example set by President Obama. The NAACP did this a few weeks after the President’s remarks when they announced the NAACP’s emphatic support for Marriage Equality.  The old Black community fought for justice, and the new Black community must learn from and follow their example.

The New Black must never side with legal or social injustice, nor should the New Black ever stand for moral hypocrisy.

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