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Hong Kong’s Democracy At A Cross Road
Self | July 15, 2003 | FreepForever

Posted on 07/15/2003 6:40:25 AM PDT by FreepForever

The July 13, Sunday rally for democracy development held in Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, punctuates, if not decelerates, the People’s Power movement that unsettles the bureaucracy of the Hong Kong government to its core.

While it is time for both the pro-democracy camp activists and the citizen to take a breather and consolidate strength for future movement, they are split and divided. With the center of the storm, the controversial Article 23 which triggers unprecedented uproar, now shelved, the general public’s focus moves to: To keep or oust Tung?

The difference of opinion stems from whether the movement should continue with it’s prime target of removing Tung CheeHwa, the flagellated and most disliked Chief Executive of Hong Kong. After the historic July 1 half-million protest march, Mr. Tung’s approval rate dropped to a new low: 34% (source: HKU public opinion poll). Only two of his 3 secretaries and 11 ministers barely registered above 50%. This is the worst confidence crisis that the administration has ever faced since 1997.

The “Save Tung (for better use)” faction argues that removing Tung at this stage would be detrimental to the democratic reform process. If Tung resigns today, his post will be temporarily succeeded by the Chief Secretary, Donald Tsang as Acting Chief Executive for a maximum period of six months. And the 800-members election Committee will be reassembled for a reelection because the mechanism for popular election of chief executive is not yet in place. Whoever the new Chief Executive is, his first 5-year term will finish in 2009. That means the first popularly elected Chief Executive would only be materialized in Hong Kong in 2009 the earliest, even with Beijing’s green light all the way. Therefore, removing Tung now is actually a delay to the goal of popularly elected chief executive. If Hong Kong keeps Tung in office, there may still be some hope that Hong Kong can get a popularly elected chief executive as early as 2007 when Tung finishes his second term.

The more bellicose “Oust Tung” faction argues that whoever think Hong Kong will get it’s first popular chief executive election in 2007 are either very naive or day dreaming. Asking Tung’s present administration to build a democratic election system is like an old Chinese saying: “asking a tiger for its fur”, all his ministers will fight tooth and nail to resist it. There is no reason to let Tung stay in office for an extra day. This is considered a cost too high for a democratic dream that will never come true. If Hong Kong wants a new beginning, it would be after Tung’s resignation, not before.

Up to now, both factions’ argument have valid points and both factions have its diehard supporters. It will take some time for the two factions to debate and reach a consensus. However, no matter what consensus is reached, the biggest deciding factor still lies in Beijing. Will the Central Government loosen its grip and allow Hong Kong to have such progressive democratic reform? Beijing’s authority fears that if Hong Kong citizen’s demand for more democracy is unopposed, mainland’s billion strong population will follow suit. For a non-democratic state like Communist China, any pursuit for more democracy traditionally means “counter-revolution” (see note) and must be dealt with by brutal force.

Note: Ironically, the administration of Communist China think that they have monopolized the word “revolution”. Therefore, any force in opposition to the present regime, is officially labeled as “counter-revolution”.


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: beijing; china; chinastuff; democracy; hongkong; reform
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Here is an update of the latest situation in Hong Kong's politics.
1 posted on 07/15/2003 6:40:26 AM PDT by FreepForever
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To: *China stuff; Enemy Of The State; HighRoadToChina; maui_hawaii; Slyfox; Free the USA; rightwing2; ..
PING
2 posted on 07/15/2003 6:42:10 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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3 posted on 07/15/2003 6:45:53 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: FreepForever; American Soldier; onedoug; Leisler; philetus; RLK; Quix; belmont_mark; ...
Great information, my friend! Keep up the pressure. Hong Kong needs to engender "People Power" before it's too late. Hong Kong should have done this before 1997, but that's a different story and the past.

Ping for my Communistic China list!

FRemail me if you want off my list.
4 posted on 07/15/2003 6:49:19 AM PDT by HighRoadToChina (Never Again!)
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To: FreepForever
Excellent essay..thanks for the update...BTW, how do you say "recall petition" in Mandarin?
5 posted on 07/15/2003 6:55:29 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: ken5050
Thanks! Sorry, I'm afraid there's no such phrase in Chinese because they usually answer petitions with guns. HaHa!
6 posted on 07/15/2003 7:14:35 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever
Dear Pres Hu

We would be obliged and grateful if you could kindly consider the people of Hong Kong's appeal for your Govt to live up to your promise of a "ONE COUNTRY - TWO SYSTEMS" concept for the SAR of HK.

Some of your officials might have just overlook this tiny ,little detail >>>>>>SARCASM
7 posted on 07/15/2003 7:14:36 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: *China stuff; Enemy Of The State; HighRoadToChina; maui_hawaii; Slyfox; Free the USA; rightwing2; ..
Here's some more inside story for you:

Before Premier Wen left Hong Kong on July 1 before noon, he asked Tung what would be his estimation of the demonstration’s turnout. Tung answered 30,000, maximum 40,000. When Wen left Hong Kong, he didn’t fly directly back to Beijing. Instead, he made a short stopover in ShenZhen where he can watch Hong Kong’s television broadcast. When he watched with his own eyes the half-million turnout at the demonstration which was broadcasted live over the television, he exclaimed: “What the hell is going on here? How can a top government official misjudge the political situation and the people’s response like this?” Wen understands the difference between 30,000 and half-million. Obviously, Tung screwed up big time in front of his superior. Wen made a telephone to Beijing immediately. The head of the HK & Macau Affairs Office, Liu Hui, was among Wen’s entourage on Wen’s Hong Kong visit. Liu was sitting beside Wen watching the television when Wen made that remarks. Liu Hui was one of the Chinese officials whom Liberal Party's chief James Tien met on his Beijing trip on July 5. This explains Beijing’s reaction and Tien's resignation. The rest is history and all over the news.

Not even President Hu JinTao knows what to do with Tung. Saving Tung (Jiang Zemin's man) would cost him some political points. Dumping Tung would show Beijing's weakness. He's cornered.
8 posted on 07/15/2003 7:30:08 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever; HighRoadToChina

9 posted on 07/15/2003 7:30:19 AM PDT by Enemy Of The State (If we don't take action now, We settle for nothing later!)
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To: FreepForever
Thanks for the ping.

Ironically, the administration of Communist China think that they have monopolized the word “revolution”. Therefore, any force in opposition to the present regime, is officially labeled as “counter-revolution”.

Deja vu. They did the same in Hungary in 1956.

10 posted on 07/15/2003 7:38:55 AM PDT by Smile-n-Win (It is the nature of evil to self-destruct--but the number of good that get killed is up to the good.)
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To: FreepForever

Hu and Wen are cornered, for sure....

One ancient Chinese proverb said, "leave your enemy one road to retreat, that's only human". Is this applicable here? Think long term and on the reasoning that HK needs all the friends she can get.......
11 posted on 07/15/2003 7:41:36 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: FreepForever
Not even President Hu JinTao knows what to do with Tung. Saving Tung (Jiang Zemin's man) would cost him some political points. Dumping Tung would show Beijing's weakness.

Sounds like lose-lose for him--a win-win for freedom!

12 posted on 07/15/2003 7:43:21 AM PDT by Smile-n-Win (It is the nature of evil to self-destruct--but the number of good that get killed is up to the good.)
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To: FreepForever
Can I induce you to climb out on a limb and take a stab at what might happen? The worst case scenario is some type of Tienamin Square reaction. It seems to me that if there are serious difficulties in parts of mainland China, the govt might feel the need to crack down.

What's probably holding them back, IMHO, is the fear that if they do something reqally harsh, you'll see a groundswell of world opinion to move the Olympics...OTOH, if they hold off and don't do anything, then the opposition swells...

13 posted on 07/15/2003 7:50:28 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: The Pheonix
One ancient Chinese proverb said, "leave your enemy one road to retreat, that's only human".

A classical example of how people who mean to be good give evil a chance.

14 posted on 07/15/2003 7:52:05 AM PDT by Smile-n-Win (It is the nature of evil to self-destruct--but the number of good that get killed is up to the good.)
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To: Smile-n-Win

Goodness begets goodness and evil begets evil

or as the bible says " Evil to him that thinks evils"

Don't worry, this is CHINA -2003, and the key-word is PRAGMATISM. The Hardcore-Communist leaders have all gone to meet Marx. So, Tienanmen is very unlikely. The new generation is all pragmatism.

The WW2 slogan said, "Chinese must not kill Chinese"
15 posted on 07/15/2003 7:56:55 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: Smile-n-Win

Can't see how the brave people of Hong Kong (no matter ho courageous) can do a "hungarian uprising". 6 million against the might of the PLA

It's better to have a mature and intelligent dialoque with the new Pres and PM
16 posted on 07/15/2003 8:02:52 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: Smile-n-Win; The Phoenix; ken5050
Yes, we are ready to give Beijing a choice. Give us popular election in 2007 and we will let Tung stay (to save Beijing's face). You know who important face is to the ChiComs.

ken5050: We are not worry about a crackdown. All demonstration are non violent and peaceful. No anti-Beijing or anti-Communist slogans. What we want is our democracy and what we're after is Mr. Tung's butt. Beijing has no excuse to use force when we are only practicing our civil right.
17 posted on 07/15/2003 8:03:20 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever
Thanks for the ping!

Stand fast, Hong Kong!
18 posted on 07/15/2003 8:05:38 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: ken5050
Also, a crackdown on Hong Kong means they have to kiss their last hope of a peaceful reunification with Taiwan good-bye. No China leader can afford to take this risk. He will have to take the blame of the nation forever.
19 posted on 07/15/2003 8:07:21 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever

Re your post #17

Very good thinking , good thinking indeed

Have you been reading Sun Tzu ?

In China today, pragmatism can sometimes provide the solution,
20 posted on 07/15/2003 8:07:41 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: FreepForever
I don't really think they hold up of a reunion with Taiwan, at least not until mainland China becomes a democracy..THEN we'll have a reunification....the little fish swallows the biug one, kind of thing....
21 posted on 07/15/2003 8:09:21 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: FreepForever
don't FEAR a crackdown, my friend, but be WARY of one...there's a difference...a big difference....Godspeed to you and all your compadres....
22 posted on 07/15/2003 8:10:54 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: The Pheonix
Back to your ChiCom propagandist mode I see.
23 posted on 07/15/2003 8:11:15 AM PDT by tallhappy
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To: tallhappy
I am trying (for what's its worth) to advise my Hong Kong friends ( I don't want to see another tradegy)

You are also most welcome to give your opinions

I also wish that the Chicoms Govt would just disappear, or evolve into a Govt that the Whole World (including Taiwan) would be happy with

I also wish you and all my Taiwanese brothers the very best of luck. May the Good Lord grant you your wish for your Nation
24 posted on 07/15/2003 8:16:52 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: FreepForever
Not even President Hu JinTao knows what to do with Tung. Saving Tung (Jiang Zemin's man) would cost him some political points. Dumping Tung would show Beijing's weakness. He's cornered.

No. This, sadly, is a trivial issue.

Hong Kong is not all that important anymore.

Demonstrations will slowly wane, especially as summer ends.

Tung will twist in the wind. Hong Kong marginalized.

25 posted on 07/15/2003 8:17:11 AM PDT by tallhappy
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To: The Pheonix
Re: your #20. Thanks! It is just Chinese reading Chinese minds.

No I haven't read Sun Tze. But what we are doing is simply getting the most with the least cost. A win-win situation for both.
26 posted on 07/15/2003 8:21:08 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: tallhappy
Sigh.........., so what is your suggestion?
27 posted on 07/15/2003 8:24:04 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever
My suggestion? Good question. Keep the focus and belief in liberty is first and foremost.

I have a lot of ideas, but they wouldn't happen, for various reasons.

One key is to understand your side is the overwhelming majority. Most important immediately is not letting 23 pass.

It would immediately make you all criminals for one.

My comment above was to let you know what I think Beijing's strategy will be. They certainly will not send in troops and shoot.

Focus on HK supposed autonomy. Get rid of Beijing puppets in the legislature. Get the open vote asap. Don't rely on Beijing.

28 posted on 07/15/2003 8:30:42 AM PDT by tallhappy
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To: tallhappy

You have just given good, sound advice to the people of HK
29 posted on 07/15/2003 8:34:54 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: tallhappy
Article 23 is already shelved indefinitely. We will keep pressuring the legislators to block the bill if Tung tries to revive it. Pro-Beijing legislators will be thrown out of the Council in next year's election. To achieve the rest? Some believe we have to remove Tung first, so don't.

Is that liberty? Not necessarily, Hong Kong is still under China rule. This we cannot change.
30 posted on 07/15/2003 8:37:49 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever
<< We are not worry about a crackdown. All demonstration are non violent and peaceful >>

Passive resistance is most effective against a government that has to answer to its voters. Since mainland China doesn’t have to be accountable to any voters anything is possible. What you have going for you is a relatively free press that can broadcast footage of any crackdown to the west. I suspect the CHICOM’s are too afraid of losing all the money that has been coming in from the west (which they may lose if there is a big enough outcry from the west) to have a military crackdown. I suspect they will continue to try and take away your rights by trying to pass more laws like Article 23.

Keep up the good work.



31 posted on 07/15/2003 8:39:04 AM PDT by TheKost
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To: FreepForever
Typo: Some believe we have to remove Tung first, some don't.

32 posted on 07/15/2003 8:40:56 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever
Article 23 is already shelved indefinitely

No it is not.

A month or six at most.

33 posted on 07/15/2003 8:43:48 AM PDT by tallhappy
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To: TheKost
Don't worry, we have a lot of room to play with. Say, for example:
1) Calling all Bank of China credit card users to cut their cards and withdraw their accounts.
2) Boycott all Chinese shops (including Beijing backers')
3) Calling all citizen to withold their government payment checks (tax, housing rental, loan repayment, fine, etc.)
4) Go-slow driving of all public vehicles.
5) Transportation strikes, etc.

We can escalate one notch at a time if necessary.

34 posted on 07/15/2003 8:49:42 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: tallhappy
Re your #33. Where did you get that? Then, legislators will block it.
35 posted on 07/15/2003 8:51:55 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever
Then, legislators will block it.

There aren't enough. Tien's group is not against it.

36 posted on 07/15/2003 8:59:23 AM PDT by tallhappy
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To: tallhappy
There aren't enough. Tien's group is not against it.

Where did you get that?

37 posted on 07/15/2003 9:01:19 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever

Seeing how Hu and Wen have been trying to project a new image of the PRC to the world,

there is a SLIM., and I mean, slim chance that they may amend Article 23 and re-present it in a more acceptable form to the people of HK

More wishful thinking, on our part ?
38 posted on 07/15/2003 9:02:47 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: The Pheonix
No, that's not your wishful thinking. Actually Tung had striked out the 3 most controversial clauses in the bill, but the people are not satisfied and want the bill to be reintroduced in White Draft for further public consultation. Meanwhile, Beijing has publicly announced that they have no timetable for the bill and its content.
39 posted on 07/15/2003 9:07:20 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever
RE my post #38

The clue to my logic is what Tung Chee Hua said (to the media), in immediate response to the Peaceful demo by 5000,000 HK people. He said ," this means that we have to start listening more carefully to what the people of HK are saying"

Hope I'm right, in my deduction.....
40 posted on 07/15/2003 9:12:15 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: FreepForever

the whole thing might have gone beyond ART.23 itself. Seems like the people are asking for nothing less than a fully-elected HK Legislature, ie Full-Democrasy
41 posted on 07/15/2003 9:14:55 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: The Pheonix
HaHa! You've noticed too. This is exactly how a stupid man reacts when he is too stupid to make a response. That means: he can hear but cannot listen.

You know what, he kept saying that for 4 straight days without addressing to the people's pleas directly. Up to now, he has not addressed any of the issues except shelving the Article 23. He is avoiding the press too since July 9.
42 posted on 07/15/2003 9:19:04 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever

yes, absolutely, Mr.Tung has failed miserably in his job

He doesn't even know or care what the aspirations of the HK people are

How sad
43 posted on 07/15/2003 9:23:04 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: HighRoadToChina
I asked a local Chinese from Shanghai if he thought China would invade the USA. He instantly said yes. But he thinks it will be many years off, yet. I think his timing is off.

Certainly prayer and God as well as our own responsible freedom supporting actions are at a minimum, crucial.

I do know that many in The Party would also welcome a much more democratic etc. China. I doubt the route there will be quick or easy.

THANKS FOR YOUR EFFORTS.

44 posted on 07/15/2003 9:23:05 AM PDT by Quix (plan 2 try again tonight for LIVE DISCUSSION UFO thread Tues eve & share opinions)
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To: The Pheonix
Re your #41. Hey, it seems you're following the HK news quite closely. Yes, we demand popular elected (1 man 1 vote) Chief Executive by 2007. And, direct election for all 60 seats in the Legislature. You're correct, that's full democracy. Well, that's our opening position. The government can only say: we heard it and will consider it. They cannot reject it right away to provoke more public anger. Anyway, the ball is in the park now.
45 posted on 07/15/2003 9:24:16 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: The Pheonix
More about your #41. In answer to our demand for full democracy, the government will certainly drag on indefinitely. That's their only available move. To corner them, our position is: if you keep dragging political reform, we will keep dragging Article 23. That's our bargaining chip.
46 posted on 07/15/2003 9:29:53 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever

All our prayers and wishes that you and all the people of Hong Kong will succeed and get your wishes fulfilled.

By the Grace of God, you will succeed
47 posted on 07/15/2003 9:32:12 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: Quix
Hi, Quix. Tell me, are you more comfortable with the new administration under Hu and Wen than with Jiang Zemin's? I mean in Sino-US relationship.
48 posted on 07/15/2003 9:32:16 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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To: FreepForever
Sure. I'm more comfortable with Hu.

It's an incremental improvement.

However, There are plenty of power mongers and aged dyed-in-the-wool Communists who are looking over his shoulder and lurking in the wings.

And, as with Shrillery Hellery--there are plenty who naturally love tyranny and want it increased with them on top.

THANKFULLY, MOST OF THE POPULACE AND EVEN A FAIR NUMBER IN THE PARTY are *sick* of tyranny and aching deeply for more democracy, freedom, integrity in government, the rule of law etc.

But when I spoke to a lot of Party leaders, I was impressed by the sincerity on the part of virtually all of them in the room who REALLY WANT AN END to the sorts of craziness that multiplies corruption instead of removing it; that multiplies tyranny and abuse instead of removing it; that prevents personal freedoms instead of encouraging and supporting them.

They want a China truly for the masses that they can all be proud of with their heads held high for reasons of integrity, honorable governance etc.

They are not sure exactly what forms such should take for China and very unsure how to get there.

Hu is an improvement. Jiang is still too powerful, however. I pray he steps in his own pits and doodoo so horribly that his power is rapidly diminished.
49 posted on 07/15/2003 9:42:10 AM PDT by Quix (plan 2 try again tonight for LIVE DISCUSSION UFO thread Tues eve & share opinions)
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To: Quix
From time to time, I lurk in mainland Chinese forums and found, sadly, that a majority of China’s general public still relates conquering and/or defeating the US as an ultimate justification of China’s national strength. They believe China can and should become the king of the world. I blame this on the ChiCom’s so called “nationalism” education. They were misguided into believing that aggression means patriotism. If you don’t hate America, you are not a patriot. See how Communism can deteriorate mankind and change a generation’s thinking. They are turning human into monsters. I think no one except Christianity can save them.
50 posted on 07/15/2003 9:55:49 AM PDT by FreepForever (Communist China is the hub of all evil)
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