The Front Page Cover
 2016             The truth will set you free 
 
Featuring:
Evangelicals Are Not the Boogeyman
 David Limbaugh
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 We're One Justice Away... 
The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia left far more than a cloth-draped empty seat on the High Court's bench. It also left a docket of undecided cases with far-reaching implications for Liberty.
          Chief among these are Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, challenging Texas abortion restrictions; Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell, fighting nObamaCare's contraception mandate; Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, arguing public employees should not be forced to support a public-sector union; United States v. Texas, challenging Barack nObama's executive order on immigration; and Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, questioning the legality of affirmative action in college admissions.
          In any cases in which the justices already cast their votes but the decisions have not yet been made public, Justice Scalia's votes are now void. This may, for example, be the scenario for Friedrichs and Fisher, both of which were argued before Scalia's passing. How this will affect cases depends on the vote counts. If votes were cast and Scalia's vote does not affect the outcome of a case — for example, if he were a dissenting opinion or in a majority of more than five, then the cases will be decided by an eight-member Court.
          If Scalia's passing means a 4-4 outcome, however, that's where it becomes tricky.
          Some argue that a tie vote would uphold the lower court's ruling, but that's not necessarily the case.
          Tom Goldstein, Supreme Court practitioner and SCOTUSblog.com writer, initially concluded a tie would mean the lower court's decision is "affirmed by an equally divided Court." He later said his conclusion was wrong and wrote, "There is historical precedent for this circumstance that points to the Court ordering the cases reargued once a new Justice is confirmed."
           In other words, the Court may hear oral argument again in both Friedrichs and Fischer once a new Justice is confirmed — which may not be until next term.
          As for cases yet to be argued this term, they will still be heard, but if the vote is tied, the justices may order the cases reargued at a later date.
          In short, given what's at stake as a whole for life and Liberty, the importance of Scalia's untimely absence cannot be overstated. As we noted  earlier this week, "[W]ith a series of 5-4 opinions from the High Court in recent years deciding the scope of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, our First Amendment rights as pertains to political speech, the legal definition of marriage (and in the process putting our freedoms of religion, speech and assembly at risk), it is absolutely imperative that Republicans hold out for a strict constructionist in the mold of Scalia."  -The Patriot Post
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 OPINION IN BRIEF 
Larry Elder: "It’s one thing to disagree with the decision to go to war in Iraq. That, believe it or not, was once a minority view. According to a Gallup poll taken in March 2003, the night after the Iraq war began, 76 percent supported President George W. Bush’s decision. Two months after the invasion, a Gallup poll found 79 percent of Americans thought the war was justified — about half of those said, 'The war will be justified regardless of whether (weapons of mass destruction) are found.' But in the last GOP debate, Republican candidate front-runner Donald slump-Trump took things to a new level. He not only called the decision to go to war 'a big, fat mistake' (and, post-debate, proclaimed it 'a disaster') but also said: 'They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none, and they knew there were none.' ... Accusing a commander in chief, irrespective of his or her party, of knowingly lying to start a war is serious business. In the Iraq War, almost 4,500 U.S. service members died, to say nothing of the war’s cost. To claim that the Bush administration knowingly lied to start the Iraq War is to assert that the CIA was behind 9/11 or that O.J. Simpson was innocent of double homicide. Facts don’t matter. Lack of evidence means presence of proof."  
 -The Patriot Post
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 Hilly’s emails detail Afghan national’s ties to CIA Fox News: “One of the classified email chains discovered on Hilly Clinton’s personal unsecured server discussed an Afghan national’s ties to the CIA and a report that he was on the agency’s payroll, a U.S. government official with knowledge of the document told Fox News. The discussion of a foreign national working with the U.S. government raises security implications – an executive order signed by President nObama said such unauthorized disclosures are ‘presumed to cause damage to the national security.’ The U.S. government official said the Clinton email exchange, which referred to a New York Times report, was among 29 classified emails recently provided to congressional committees with specific clearances to review them. In that batch were 22 ‘top secret’ exchanges deemed too damaging to national security to release.”  -Fox News
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U.S. Cannot Protect Homeland From Iranian,
North Korean Missile Strikes
 Adam Kredo
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Defense Secretary Ash Carter
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{freebeacon.com} ~ The United States remains incapable of fully protecting the homeland from ballistic missile strikes from North Korea and Iran, despite spending billions to develop a missile defense system that remains unproven and unfinished, according to a government oversight report... The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, or MDA, continues to sink billions of taxpayer dollars into technology that is not proven to be capable of handling an onslaught of ballistic missile strikes from Iran or North Korea, according to the report, which was issued Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office. While U.S. military leaders maintain that the current system is likely to defend against “small numbers of simple ballistic missile threats launched from North Korea and Iran,” actual testing of the equipment does not back this claim, according to the report.        http://freebeacon.com/national-security/us-cannot-protect-homeland-...
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Iran’s Revealing Defiance of the U.S. and U.N.
Roger Aronoff
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{aim.org} ~ Having already received its big payday from the “nuclear deal” that was never signed, Iran continues to spit in the face of the U.N. and the nObama administration... the latter of which has so valiantly attempted to defend Iran’s honor and justify this fiasco, even claiming it as a great foreign policy achievement. The latest act of defiance by Iran is an $8 billion dollar shopping spree, courtesy of its recently unfrozen assets, which were released because they supposedly convinced the IAEA that they have no plans to develop nuclear weapons. Several sources are reporting the planned purchase. NBC News is reporting, “Moscow plans to sell Iran state-of-the-art warplanes, tanks and missile systems, Russian state media said Wednesday—a haul that could reportedly total up to $8 billion.” The Washington Free Beacon is also reporting the sale, writing that Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and terrorism analyst, said that “the nObama administration set the stage for these arms deals by providing Iran with sanctions relief too early under the nuclear accord.” He added that “Secretary of State John hanoi-Kerry front loaded Iran’s payday for all the wrong reasons. If the nuclear deal was meant to last 10 or 15 years, it would make sense to release the cash over that time frame.”        http://www.aim.org/aim-column/irans-revealing-defiance-of-the-u-s-a...
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Evidence Shows That the Intel Chief Clapper Knew
ISIS Intel was Skewed
Kerry Lear
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Clapper alleged to have known intelligence reports tampered with
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{punchingbagpost.com} ~ Last September, it was uncovered that 50 or so intelligence analysts were having their ISIS intel reports altered by their superiors... Now some new light has been shed on the possible scandal. It seems that this “practice” has yet to stop and high-level officials may have been privy to it. Another set of allegations, separate from the complaints from last year, indicate that the director of the National Intelligence, James Clapper, was aware of the document tampering. These complaints came directly from a series of surveys conducted at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI,) but the agency did not investigate the claims because of the existing investigation. These survey responses were included in a large report released December for the review of national intelligence officials. These are not claims that should be taken lightly. Yet, Clapper claims to that he had no idea about these complaints or the tampering and deletion of ISIS intel documents by officials. “It is an almost sacred writ … in the intelligence profession never to politicize intelligence. I don’t engage in it. I never have, and I don’t condone it when it’s identified,” said Clapper to the Senate Armed Services Committee.       http://punchingbagpost.com/scandal-exposed-evidence-shows-that-the-...
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Arizona House Panel Approves Measure to
Reject Refugee Resettlement
Sarah Fisher
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{truthrevolt.org} ~ An Arizona House panel has passed a measure that would allow the state to refuse resettled refugees if they have not been properly vetted...  Republicans said they don't trust the federal government to properly vet incoming refugees. Democrats pleaded against passing another bill that would stereotype the state for demonizing foreigners. Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff said his measure would also require the federal government to reimburse the state's costs. "These refugees have trauma, they have war-related problems, that tells me that those people are going to need a huge amount of dollars from taxpayers," he said. Other state legislatures are also considering measures resisting the federal government's refugee resettlement program.        http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/arizona-house-panel-approves-measur...
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Low Blow: nObama White House AttacksSen. Chuck Schumer's 'Credibility'
Tiffany Gabbay
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{truthrevolt.org} ~ Classic. President nObama is all too happy to use a fellow Democrat to further his own agenda, but when that same Democrat deigns question him over a substantive issue, well, the gloves come off... Sen. Chuck Schumer apparently had the audacity to question the administration over its decision to cut counter terrorism funds to a federal program that keeps New Yorkers safe, prompting nObama mouthpiece Josh Earnest to actually call into question the senator's national security credentials. Politico reports: New York officials, including Schumer, have called on the White House to restore counter terrorism funds to a federal program sending grants to state and local authorities. In a statement Wednesday, Schumer called the antiterrorism program “the cornerstone of effective prevention against terrorist threats” and said it helps police do what they can to keep New Yorkers safe.        http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/low-blow-obama-white-house-attacks-...
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Personnel, Budget Cuts Leave Gaps 
in U.S. Cyber Forces
Gidget Fuentes
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{news.usni.org} ~ Saddled with budget cuts and prospects of a smaller force, the military services must find ways to build a specialized cyber force equipped to juggle rising threats from attacks on defense networks... several senior U.S. officers told a defense conference Wednesday. Bad timing is partly to blame. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Marshall B. Lytle III, head of the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command, noted a downswing in the budget, as well as sequestration cuts, happened just as the services were building up their cyber capabilities and cyber forces designed to counter the growing threats and vulnerabilities to networks. “We recognized that cyber is taking more and more of a life of its own,” Lytle, assistant commandant for C4IT, said during a panel discussion on gaps and seams in cyber security on the first day of West 2016 conference, cosponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute and AFCEA International. “We are giving cyber more and more emphasis and more and more focus…, but our resources pool has not grown. In fact, the resources pool in the Coast Guard has shrunk in recent years.”      http://news.usni.org/2016/02/18/west-personnel-budget-cuts-leave-ga...
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It’s Time to Throw Out nObama’s Spending Levels
 Paul Winfree
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{dailysignal.com} ~ House Speaker Paul Ryano, R-Wis., met with the Republican conference last week to make a pitch on the shape of this year’s House budget... Ryano’s proposal would include $30 billion in new spending authority above the Budget Control Act (BCA)’s post-sequester levels for discretionary programs in 2017. Ryano told his colleagues that the new spending authority he wants as part of the House’s budget is only $3 billion higher than the total level of spending in last December’s omnibus spending bill ($1.067 trillion in 2016 compared to $1.070 trillion in 2017). Furthermore, of the $3 billion difference, $2.97 billion of the increase would go to defense. This is an extremely misleading argument. The $3 billion comparison that Ryano is referring to assumes that House conservatives have embraced the backstabber-Boehner-nObama spending deal. But the spending deal, which suspends the debt limit for the remainder of president’s second term, received support from only 79 Republicans—including Ryano and the current House Republican leadership.        http://dailysignal.com/2016/02/18/its-time-to-throw-out-obamas-spen...
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Why Won’t Hilly Clinton Say She’s Not Lying?
Jeff Dunetz
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{lidblog.com} ~ Is Hilly Clinton getting honest?  In an interview with CBS’s Scott Pelley today she wouldn’t say that she isn’t lying to America. How ironic, she refused to lie about lying... Instead of answering the question with a simple yes or no, Ms. Clinton tapped danced around the question. Well, I have to tell you, I have tried in every way I know how, literally from my years as a young lawyer, all the way through my time as Secretary of State to level with the American people. The fact Hilly Clinton felt the need to waffle on a question about whether she is a liar is precisely why two-thirds of the American people think she’s dishonest and untrustworthy.        http://lidblog.com/why-wont-hillary-clinton-say-shes-not-lying/?utm...
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Hamas Dances With the Devil
Paul Alster
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{investigativeproject.org} ~ The Gaza-based Hamas terror organization has more than its fair share of problems at the moment. Quite likely against its better judgment, it is becoming increasingly reliant on a controversial and dangerous relationship with Sinai Province, the vicious ISIS affiliate in Sinai... Most of Hamas' problems are related to cash flow. Funds from sympathetic donor states such as Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are sporadic and insufficient, while relations with another benefactor, Iran, have come under great strain due to Hamas' support for Syrian rebel factions opposing the Assad regime that fights alongside Iranian-backed Hizballah. The wages of public sector workers often go unpaid for months at a time, and according to a 2015 World Bank report, Gaza's unemployment rate is the highest in the world at 43 percent. Add into the mix the failure of Arab nations to deliver on pledges to rebuild parts of Gaza damaged during the 2014 summer war with Israel, and Egypt's refusal – apart from a brief respite earlier this week – to open the crucial Rafah crossing, and things look bleak for Hamas. The only goods legally entering Gaza are the many hundreds of truckloads arriving daily from Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing.        http://www.investigativeproject.org/5163/hamas-dances-with-the-devil#
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Liberals Bewitched By Samantha Bee
  L. Brent Bozell III   Tim Graham
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Samantha Bee
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{cnsnews.com} ~ The left is still in mourning over the retirement of Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show." One poor fellow at The Atlantic just wrote a piece that suggests he needs a grief counselor... "Slowly, though, it began to sink in: the dimension of our loss. Jon Stewart was gone — our sanity, our balance," James Parker wrote. "In nuking the news-givers, petarding the pundit class, he became one of the — became, in fact, the pundit/news-giver for a generation of viewers." Say what you will about his politics, Stewart was a jester giant, a comedy Cronkite, next to his successor, Trevor Noah. Never heard of him? We rest our case.        http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/l-brent-bozell-iii/liberals-bewit...
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Evangelicals Are Not the Boogeyman
 David Limbaugh
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{townhall.com} ~ I realize that as an evangelical Christian I have a dog in this fight, but I want to say a few words about evangelicals and the unfortunate effort afoot to make them the political boogeyman.
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There are so many misconceptions about "evangelicals" -- from the definition of the word to the intentions of the people themselves -- but the most damaging myth is that we evangelicals seek a theocracy for the United States of America, which couldn't be further from the truth. I'll get back to that, but first a little background.
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Recently I've had several people ask me what the deal is with Ted Cruz and "the evangelicals." The people inquiring are Christians, some even evangelicals. They ask, "What exactly is an evangelical, anyway?"
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In our culture, the term is used rather loosely -- and, more often than I'd like, pejoratively. I'm seeing columns, blog posts and tweets galore suggesting in hushed terms that Ted Cruz adheres to some fringe philosophy that Christians must take over the world. It's not enough to accuse them of advocating a theocracy limited merely to the United States. No, world domination is their aim. This fear-mongering propaganda needs to be addressed and discredited.
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One tweet to me reads, "TedCruz is a theocrat. He is unbiblical & most Christians theologians/scholars believe he is a heretic. Cruz thinks he's Christ." Another asks, "Does Cruz want to be President or the 'Christian' Imam for the USA?"
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To laugh or cry?
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So, let's examine the meaning of "evangelical."
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One respected dictionary defines it: "Of, relating to, or being a Christian church believing in the Bible as the sole source of religious authority, in salvation only through conversion and spiritual regeneration, and in the necessity of public witness to faith."
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Many use the term loosely, as a synonym for protestant. More precisely, and in line with the dictionary definition, I'd say evangelicals are a subset of Protestants. They are Bible-believing individuals who believe in salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone. They believe that Christians are spiritually "born again," but only because the Bible says so, and not because they are snake-handling fanatics, as is sometimes assumed.
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Part of the angst over evangelicals, I think, is based on the rise of the Moral Majority in the '80s, a coalition of mostly evangelicals who became political activists, not just on social issues but for all conservative causes.
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It wasn't only the secular left that reacted adversely to what came to be known as the "religious right" but also some socially liberal and even establishment Republicans, who enjoyed the religious right's electoral power but feared they would alienate moderates and independents.
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When you consider that evangelicals take fire from both sides of the political spectrum it's not difficult to understand how they've been so easily demonized and why misconceptions about their beliefs and intentions abound.
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Contrary to popular belief, this nation was largely established by evangelical Christians, united in the unshakable belief that our liberties are God-given, and that the nation's founding documents are dedicated to preserving those liberties through a sophisticated scheme that limits governmental power to that end.
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Indeed, Christians whose ancestors came to America for the very purpose of escaping religious persecution and seeking religious liberty founded the United States. And they enshrined that liberty in the First Amendment to the Constitution, in two separate clauses: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.
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But historians have revised our history, and the conventional wisdom is that our liberties are owing to secular enlightenment influences. Christianity, they say, is intolerant, rigid and incompatible with freedom. To the contrary, Christianity undergirds, rather than undermines, our liberties. Christian precepts formed the intellectual underpinnings of American constitutional government. Even if French Enlightenment thinking had its run for a time, America experienced its "Great Awakening" around 1734, which was a nationwide Christian revival that re-energized America's spiritual flames and gave it a sense of unity. Its unique cultural identity was centered on Christian principles.
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Most of America's Founding Fathers were strong practicing Christians, who believed that man was created in God's image and likeness, which means that man has intrinsic worth and dignity. It is that firm conviction that leads to the notion that man is endowed with inalienable rights -- that he has God-given liberties. The Biblical affirmation of man's inherent worth, then, is indispensable to the unique political liberty Americans have historically enjoyed.
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Don't believe fear-mongers who preach that evangelicals and other Christians seek to suppress liberties. You can be sure that precisely because of their Christian and biblical worldview, they are theocracy's worst enemy and liberty's best friend -- the people most committed to preserving our freedoms by honoring the Constitution, whose integrity must be protected to keep government power in check.
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Don't misunderstand. Christians have a right, and, I would argue, a duty, to be engaged in the culture and in politics. They will advocate for issues in which they believe, like any other group, but they do not seek to suppress the freedoms, religious or otherwise, of anyone else. The same cannot be said, sadly, for some other groups.
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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by AF BrancoPolitical Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

ALERT ALERT

Angry Dem Impeachment ‘Witness’: Pam Karlan Donated Thousands To Hillary And Was On Clinton’s List For Potential SCOTUS Nomination

Image result for Pam Karlan

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, kicked off its first impeachment circus Wednesday morning.

The four ‘witnesses’ testifying have never actually witnessed any of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine firsthand — the four witnesses are law professors offering legal analysis.

One of the witnesses the Dems rolled out is an angry Hillary Clinton donor who was on Crooked’s list for a potential Supreme Court nomination.

No wonder why this unhinged, dowdy woman is so pissed off!

“Professor Pam Karlan donated thousands of dollars to Democrats and was on Hillary Clinton’s list for a potential Supreme Court nomination. So she certainly has no vendetta against President Trump,” GOP Rep. Mark Walker said.

Congressman Walker also pointed out that Noah Feldman, the Dems first partisan witness in Wednesday’s hearing tweeted about impeaching Trump right after he was sworn in.

Rep. Mark Walker   RepMarkWalker

Meet Noah Feldman, House Democrats first partisan witness.

Look at the date of this tweet. He has been trying to get @realDonaldTrump impeached since 46 days into his presidency.

His reason? Trump criticized President Obama.

This is a sham impeachment with sham witnesses. https://twitter.com/NoahRFeldman/status/839185127494254592 

Noah Feldman @NoahRFeldman

Trump's wiretap tweets raise risk of impeachment http://bv.ms/2mY1ueX  via @BV

Rep. Mark Walker   RepMarkWalker
 

The next witness, Karlan, has donated thousands to Democrats and was on Hillary Clinton’s list for a potential Supreme Court nomination.

So she certainly has no vendetta against @realDonaldTrump.

These witnesses are as serious as House Democrats impeachment case: not at all.

The entire sham show trial is stacked with partisan hacks who have wanted to impeach Trump from the moment he won in November of 2016.

Norm Eisen, the Democrats’ counsel who is blasting Trump and questioning witnesses in Wednesday’s show trial, tweeted about impeaching Trump before Donald Trump was even sworn into office!

Infantilization of Popular Culture

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