Skip to comments.Happy Kwanzaa
Posted on 12/24/2002 12:08:11 AM PST by JohnHuang2
On December 24, 1971, the New York Times ran one of the first of many articles on a new holiday designed to foster unity among African Americans. The holiday, called Kwanzaa, was applauded by a certain sixteen-year-old minister who explained that the feast would perform the valuable service of "de-whitizing" Christmas. The minister was a nobody at the time but he would later go on to become perhaps the premier race-baiter of the twentieth century. His name was Al Sharpton and he would later spawn the Tawana Brawley hoax and then incite anti-Jewish tensions in a 1995 incident that ended with the arson deaths of seven people.
Great minds think alike. The inventor of the holiday was one of the few black "leaders" in America even worse than Sharpton. But there was no mention in the Times article of this man or of the fact that at that very moment he was sitting in a California prison. And there was no mention of the curious fact that this purported benefactor of the black people had founded an organization that in its short history tortured and murdered blacks in ways of which the Ku Klux Klan could only fantasize.
It was in newspaper articles like that, repeated in papers all over the country, that the tradition of Kwanzaa began. It is a tradition not out of Africa but out of Orwell. Both history and language have been bent to serve a political goal. When that New York Times article appeared, Ron Karenga's crimes were still recent events. If the reporter had bothered to do any research into the background of the Kwanzaa founder, he might have learned about Karenga's trial earlier that year on charges of torturing two women who were members of US (United Slaves), a black nationalist cult he had founded.
A May 14, 1971, article in the Los Angeles Times described the testimony of one of them: "Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis' mouth and placed against Miss Davis' face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said."
Back then, it was relatively easy to get information on the trial. Now it's almost impossible. It took me two days' work to find articles about it. The Los Angeles Times seems to have been the only major newspaper that reported it and the stories were buried deep in the paper, which now is available only on microfilm. And the microfilm index doesn't start until 1972, so it is almost impossible to find the three small articles that cover Karenga's trial and conviction on charges of torture. That is fortunate for Karenga. The trial showed him to be not just brutal, but deranged. He and three members of his cult had tortured the women in an attempt to find some nonexistent "crystals" of poison. Karenga thought his enemies were out to get him.
And in another lucky break for Karenga, the trial transcript no longer exists. I filed a request for it with the Superior Court of Los Angeles. After a search, the court clerk could find no record of the trial. So the exact words of the black woman who had a hot soldering iron pressed against her face by the man who founded Kwanzaa are now lost to history. The only document the court clerk did find was particularly revealing, however. It was a transcript of Karenga's sentencing hearing on Sept. 17, 1971.
A key issue was whether Karenga was sane. Judge Arthur L. Alarcon read from a psychiatrist's report: "Since his admission here he has been isolated and has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, such as staring at the wall, talking to imaginary persons, claiming that he was attacked by dive-bombers and that his attorney was in the next cell. ? During part of the interview he would look around as if reacting to hallucination and when the examiner walked away for a moment he began a conversation with a blanket located on his bed, stating that there was someone there and implying indirectly that the 'someone' was a woman imprisoned with him for some offense. This man now presents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and elusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment."
The founder of Kwanzaa paranoid? It seems so. But as the old saying goes, just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get you.
ACCORDING TO COURT DOCUMENTS, Karenga's real name is Ron N. Everett. In the '60s, he awarded himself the title "maulana," Swahili for "master teacher." He was born on a poultry farm in Maryland, the fourteenth child of a Baptist minister. He came to California in the late 1950s to attend Los Angeles Community College. He moved on to UCLA, where he got a Master's degree in political science and African Studies. By the mid-1960s, he had established himself as a leading "cultural nationalist." That is a term that had some meaning in the '60s, mainly as a way of distinguishing Karenga's followers from the Black Panthers, who were conventional Marxists.
Another way of distinguishing might be to think of Karenga's gang as the Crips and the Panthers as the bloods. Despite all their rhetoric about white people, they reserved their most vicious violence for each other. In 1969, the two groups squared off over the question of who would control the new Afro-American Studies Center at UCLA. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Karenga and his adherents backed one candidate, the Panthers another. Both groups took to carrying guns on campus, a situation that, remarkably, did not seem to bother the university administration. The Black Student Union, however, set up a coalition to try and bring peace between the Panthers and the group headed by the man whom the Times labeled "Ron Ndabezitha Everett-Karenga."
On Jan. 17, 1969, about 150 students gathered in a lunchroom to discuss the situation. Two Panthers?admitted to UCLA like many of the black students as part of a federal program that put high-school dropouts into the school?apparently spent a good part of the meeting in verbal attacks against Karenga. This did not sit well with Karenga's followers, many of whom had adopted the look of their leader, pseudo-African clothing and a shaved head.
In modern gang parlance, you might say Karenga was "dissed" by John Jerome Huggins, 23, and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, 26. After the meeting, the two Panthers were met in the hallway by two brothers who were members of US, George P. and Larry Joseph Stiner. The Stiners pulled pistols and shot the two Panthers dead. One of the Stiners took a bullet in the shoulder, apparently from a Panther's gun.
There were other beatings and shooting in Los Angeles involving US, but by then the tradition of African nationalism had already taken hold?among whites. That tradition calls for any white person, whether a journalist, a college official, or a politician, to ignore the obvious flaws of the concept that blacks should have a separate culture. "The students here have handled themselves in an absolutely impeccable manner," UCLA chancellor Charles E. Young told the L.A. Times. "They have been concerned. They haven't argued who the director should be; they have been saying what kind of person he should be." Young made those remarks after the shooting. And the university went ahead with its Afro-American Studies Program. Karenga, meanwhile, continued to build and strengthen US, a unique group that seems to have combined the elements of a street gang with those of a California cult. The members performed assaults and robberies but they also strictly followed the rules laid down in The Quotable Karenga, a book that laid out "The Path of Blackness." "The sevenfold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black," the book states.
In retrospect, it may be fortunate that the cult fell apart over the torture charges. Left to his own devices, Karenga might have orchestrated the type of mass suicide later pioneered by the People's Temple and copied by the Heaven's Gate cult. Instead, he apparently fell into deep paranoia shortly after the killings at UCLA. He began fearing that his followers were trying to have him killed. On May 9, 1970 he initiated the torture session that led to his imprisonment. Karenga himself will not comment on that incident and the victims cannot be located, so the sole remaining account is in the brief passage from the L.A. Times describing tortures inflicted by Karenga and his fellow defendants, Louis Smith and Luz Maria Tamayo:
"The victims said they were living at Karenga's home when Karenga accused them of trying to kill him by placing 'crystals' in his food and water and in various areas of his house. When they denied it, allegedly they were beaten with an electrical cord and a hot soldering iron was put in Miss Davis' mouth and against her face. Police were told that one of Miss Jones' toes was placed in a small vise which then allegedly was tightened by one of the defendants. The following day Karenga allegedly told the women that 'Vietnamese torture is nothing compared to what I know.' Miss Tamayo reportedly put detergent in their mouths, Smith turned a water hose full force on their faces, and Karenga, holding a gun, threatened to shoot both of them."
Karenga was convicted of two counts of felonious assault and one count of false imprisonment. He was sentenced on Sept. 17, 1971, to serve one to ten years in prison. A brief account of the sentencing ran in several newspapers the following day. That was apparently the last newspaper article to mention Karenga's unfortunate habit of doing unspeakable things to black people. After that, the only coverage came from the hundreds of news accounts that depict him as the wonderful man who invented Kwanzaa.
LOOK AT ANY MAP OF THE WORLD and you will see that Ghana and Kenya are on opposite sides of the continent. This brings up an obvious question about Kwanzaa: Why did Karenga use Swahili words for his fictional African feast? American blacks are primarily descended from people who came from Ghana and other parts of West Africa. Kenya and Tanzania?where Swahili is spoken?are several thousand miles away, about as far from Ghana as Los Angeles is from New York. Yet in celebrating Kwanzaa, African-Americans are supposed to employ a vocabulary of such Swahili words as "kujichagulia" and "kuumba." This makes about as much sense as having Irish-Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day by speaking Polish. One possible explanation is that Karenga was simply ignorant of African geography and history when he came up with Kwanzaa in 1966. That might explain why he would schedule a harvest festival near the solstice, a season when few fruits or vegetables are harvested anywhere. But a better explanation is that he simply has contempt for black people.
That does not seem a farfetched hypothesis. Despite all his rhetoric about white racism, I could find no record that he or his followers ever raised a hand in anger against a white person. In fact, Karenga had an excellent relationship with Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty in the '60s and also met with then-Governor Ronald Reagan and other white politicians. But he and his gang were hell on blacks. And Karenga certainly seems to have had a low opinion of his fellow African-Americans. "People think it's African, but it's not," he said about his holiday in an interview quoted in the Washington Post. "I came up with Kwanzaa because black people in this country wouldn't celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that's when a lot of bloods would be partying." "Bloods" is a '60s California slang term for black people.
That Post article appeared in 1978. Like other news articles from that era, it makes no mention of Karenga's criminal past, which seems to have been forgotten the minute he got out of prison in 1975. Profiting from the absence of memory, he remade himself as Maulana Ron Karenga, went into academics, and by 1979 he was running the Black Studies Department at California State University in Long Beach.
This raises a question: Karenga had just ten years earlier proven himself capable of employing guns and bullets in his efforts to control hiring in the Black Studies Department at UCLA. So how did this ex-con, fresh out jail, get the job at Long Beach? Did he just send a résumé and wait by the phone? The officials at Long Beach State don't like that type of question. I called the university and got a spokeswoman by the name of Toni Barone. She listened to my questions and put me on hold. Christmas music was playing, a nice touch under the circumstances. She told me to fax her my questions. I sent a list of questions that included the matter of whether Karenga had employed threats to get his job. I also asked just what sort of crimes would preclude a person from serving on the faculty there in Long Beach. And whether the university takes any security measures to ensure that Karenga doesn't shoot any students. Barone faxed me back a reply stating that the university is pleased with Karenga's performance and has no record of the procedures that led to his hiring. She ignored the question about how they protect students.
Actually, there is clear evidence that Karenga has reformed. In 1975, he dropped his cultural nationalist views and converted to Marxism. For anyone else, this would have been seen as an endorsement of radicalism, but for Karenga it was considered a sign that he had moderated his outlook. The ultimate irony is that now that Karenga is a Marxist, the capitalists have taken over his holiday. The seven principles of Kwanzaa include "collective work" and "cooperative economics," but Kwanzaa is turning out to be as commercial as Christmas, generating millions in greeting-card sales alone. The purists are whining. "It's clear that a number of major corporations have started to take notice and try to profit from Kwanzaa," said a San Francisco State black studies professor named "Oba T'Shaka" in one news account. "That's not good, with money comes corruption." No, he's wrong. With money comes kitsch. The L.A. Times reported a group was planning an "African Village Faire," the pseudo-archaic spelling of "faire" nicely combining kitsch Africana with kitsch Americana.
With money also comes forgetfulness. As those warm Kwanzaa feelings are generated in a spirit of holiday cheer, those who celebrate this holiday do so in blissful ignorance of the sordid violence, paranoia, and mayhem that helped generate its birth some three decades ago in a section of America that has vanished down the memory hole.
The seven fruits of Kwanzaa.
I send greetings to those celebrating Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa celebrates the traditional African values of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. From December 26th to January 1st, people of African descent gather to renew their commitment to these seven principles, known as Nguzo Saba, and give thanks for the blessings of family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa is also a time for Africans and African-Americans to honor their common heritage by participating in events based on early harvest gatherings called matunda ya kwanza, or first fruits.
As individuals and families join together during Kwanzaa, their joy enriches communities in the United States and across the globe. By uniting people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs, this holiday promotes mutual understanding and respect. These universal principles inspire us as we work together for a future of freedom, hope, and opportunity for all.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a memorable Kwanzaa, and for peace, happiness, and success in the coming year.
GEORGE W. BUSH
He's President of all the people. Even racist torturer Ron Karenga.
Do Black segregationists exchange cards and gifts with their Dixiecrat cousins?
What we call Christmas is basically a popular holiday used by Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ. We are aware that Christ wasn't born on 25 Dec. This Kwaanza does no injury to our faith and in fact adds to the joyousness of the season. Season's Greetings and Merry Christmas!
Karenga himself says that Kwanzaa is an "oppositional alternative" to Christianity - which he calls "spookism" and "eurocentric". He claims the Bible is myth and rejects Jesus Christ.
"...Kwanzaa is not an imitation, but an alternative, in fact, and oppositional alternative to the spookism, mysticism and non-earth based practices which plague us as a people . . . "
pg 14, Kwanzaa: Origin, Concepts, Practice. 1977
Karenga defines "spookism" as "belief in spooks who threaten us if we don't worship them and demand we turn over our destiny and daily lives..." p 27. Kawaida Theory
. Of Christianity and Judaism and their beliefs, Karenga says this about such "myths":
"...it is a simplistic and often erroneous answer to existential ignorance fear, powerlessness and alienation. An example is the Hebrew myth of the six-day creation and the tower of Babel, or Christian myths of resurrection, heaven and hell;"
Kawaida Theory, p 23.
"...it often denies and diminishes human worth, capacity, potential and achievement. In Christian and Jewish mythology, humans are born in sin, cursed with mythical ancestors who've sinned and brought the wrath of an angry God on every generation's head. ... If a mythical being has done, does and will do everything, what's our relevance and role in the world?"
Kawaida Theory. p 24.
Spookism, on the other hand, is intense emotional commitment to non-human-centered principles and practices which place humans at the mercy of invisible and omnipotent forces and thus, deny the right and capacity of humans to shape reality and their future according to their own needs and desires."
Kwanzaa: Origin, Concepts, Practice,pp 44-45.
Temple of Kawaida/Seba
Ron Everett (aka. Maulana Karenga) signs himself (as late as 1999) as the Seba Maulana Karenga of the Temple of Kawaida in a document prepared by him and submitted to the CLUE organization (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice) of which he is a member of the Advisory Committee. This document can be found here.
CLUE, by the way, is a leftist organization which fights against welfare work requirements and for a "living wage." They are also an "Endorsing Member" of the Coalition for World Peace - an anti-war organization who is against the current war against the terrorists behind the September 11th attack. They have been involved with several of the anti-war protests. Two people calling themselves a "Seba" of the Temple of Kawaida are listed as a signatories to a letter supporting a piece of pro-African legislation. The letter starts "We are a group of religious leaders..." and the signatures include Pastors and other religious leaders of a number of Los Angeles area churches. The document can be found here. Look for Seba Chimbuko Tembo, Temple of Kawaida, Los Angeles, California and Seba Tulibu Jadi, Temple of Kawaida, Los Angeles, California.
In his own publication called Harrambee Notes, the official publication of his still-operating US gang, he is listed as the Seba Dr. Maulana Karenga of the Temple of Kawaida (Maat). The article reports of Karenga's reading of Karenga-published Selecti ons From The Husia which is subtitled "Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt."
Again, in the same publication (different issue) a scheduled ceremony is listed as being officiated by Here's the schedule entry:
Sunday September 1 3:00pm AKIKA: A Kawaida African Rite of Passage.
The cultural rite of bringing into community, Taraja Jasiri (Audacious Hope), a woman-child of the House of Mshinda and Ajabisha Nyofu.
Officiant: Seba Dr. Maulana Karenga, Temple of Kawaida (Maat)
In a Publisher's Note in a catalog listing for a book penned by Karenga called Kawaida Theory and published by Karenga-owned publisher called The University of Sankore Press, Karenga is listed as "Seba (moral teacher) in the ancient Egyptian Maatian (Kawaida) tradition". Seba is supposedly an ancient African word for "Wisdom". The Official Kwanzaa Website which Karenga owns and operates, makes reference to "the ancient Egyptian Seba Ptahhotep in a 1997 Founder's Annual Kwanzaa Message penned by Karenga.
I'm still exploring the religious aspects of this word, but the evidence here shows that Seba is an honorific given to a religious leader who supposedly possesses wisdom.
What is Maat?
According to Karenga, Maat is the foundation for Kawaida which is the basis for Kwanzaa. So Maat -> Kawaida -> Kwanzaa.
Karenga defines Maat as:
"the fundamental principle of the divine, natural and social order established by Ra (God) at the time of creation Karenga,The Book of Coming Forth By Day, Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press l990, p.23" </blockquote
Maat is an integral part of the Eqyptian Religion as seen here. To quote:
Maat Maat was the first idea that was separated from the primeval nonexistence when the world was created. By the idea of Maat the basic laws for creation and structuring of the universe was formed. "Maat is eternal and has not changed since the time when she came into being" (Ptahotep) The concept of Maat is the focal point in the philosophy of the ancient Egyptians. It pervades thinking on all levels of existence: the cosmological level, the ideology of kingship, the social level and the individual level. It is too vast a topic to be more than touched upon briefly here but the concept of Maat is intimately connected to the oldest of the creation myths; Atum at Heliopolis. When Atum had given life to Shu and Tefnut, by his androgynous powers, the Coffin Texts state him saying: "Tefnut is my living daughter and she shall be together with her brother Shu; his name is Life and her name is Maat." Without Life and Maat there is no possibility of creation; movement, dynamics and differentiation must be guided by an ordering, structuring, regulating principle. Thus Maat is an integrated part of the Creator god himself. Pharaoh The foremost of all priests was Pharaoh. As the son of the god he was expected to perform the cult ritual every day. This entailed offering and the foremost of all offerings was Maat: "O Re, Lord of Maat who lives by Maat who rejoices in Maat who is complete because of Maat who persists because of Maat who is praised by Maat who is powerful through Maat who rules through Maat who is crowned by Maat who ascends in Maat who descends in Maat who nourishes on Maat who is joined with Maat O Re, eternal in deed, perfect in plans righteous in heart, who establishes Maat in everything which he creates...! Pharaoh lives by Maat and for Maat. By reciting and offering he is performing his duty; he represents mankind and personifies Egypt. He was the ruler by the grace of the gods and as such he had the task of fighting the disintegrating forces and uphold balance in society. As Pharaoh could not be present in every temple of Egypt, there was instead reliefs depicting him performing these rites, and there was his deputies - the high priests. Their duty was to see to the same needs for Egypt as Pharaoh did - the maintaining of good order in society, thus preserving it for future generations. This task is done on two levels at the same time, the mundane and the cosmic. The ritual transcends the mundane level and reaches the realm of the god. Therefore it might be said that the work of priests and priestesses was at the same time functional and mystical.
Maat is depicted in a scene taken from The Eqyptian Book of the Dead:
A scene from the the Book of the Dead depicts the Judgement of the Dead. Anubis watches the scales; on the right, Thoth records the results; Amemet, next to Anubis, waits to eat sinful hearts. In the scales are shown the deceased's heart on left, and the feather of Maat on the right. Click here for a larger view.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead was called Chapters of Coming Forth By Day" by the ancient Egyptians. Karenga has done his own afrocentric translation of the Book of the Dead and published it under the name Book of Coming Forth by Day which is categorized as a religious book.
Maat is the basis for Kawaida which is the basis for Kwanzaa
From Official Kwanzaa Website we find that Kawaida and Maat are the basis for Kwanzaa :
Values and value orientation are important, as Kawaida philosophy teaches, because values are categories of commitment, priorities and excellence which indicate and enhance human possibilities. Kwanzaa puts forth seven key values, the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles) which offer standards of excellence and models of possibilities and which aid in building and reinforcing family, community and culture: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, Imani.So, Karenga shows the link between Maat, Kawaida, and Kwanzaa right on the Official Kwanzaa Website. It is there, right now.
At the same time Kwanzaa reinforces associated values of truth, justice, propriety, harmony, balance, reciprocity and order embodied in the concept of Maat. In a word, it reminds us to hold to our ancient traditions as a people who are spiritually grounded, who respect our ancestors and elders, cherish and challenge our children, care for the vulnerable, relate rightfully to the environment and always seek and embrace the Good.
Those who believe in Maat believe that the 42 confessions/admonitions of Maat, found in The Egyptian Book of the Dead are the source of the 10 Commandments received by Moses in 'The Moses Story' (see here and here.) They believe that Moses did not receive the Commandments from God, but lifted them from a black Egyptian.
Underlying Kwanzaa Socialism/Marxism/Leftism
Kawaida, another invention of Ron Everett (aka. Maulana Karenga) is the underlying philosphy to Kwanzaa. Karenga describes Kawaida as "a synthesis of nationalism, pan-Africanism, and socialist thought."
The Official Kwanzaa Website - run by Ron Everett (aka. Maulana Karenga) says this about Kawaida and its relationship to Kwanzaa:
THERE IS NO WAY TO UNDERSTAND and appreciate the meaning and message of Kwanzaa without understanding and appreciating its profound and pervasive concern with values. In fact. Kwanzaa's reason for existence, its length of seven days, its core focus and its foundation are all rooted in its concern with values. Kwanzaa inherits this value concern and focus from Kawaida, the African philosophical framework in which it was created. Kawaida philosophy is a communitarian African philosophy which is an ongoing synthesis of the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.Here are a few quotes from Karenga demonstrating Kawaida's underlying socialism/marxism:
Kawaida and its Critics by M. Ron Karenga - Journal of Black Studies, December 1977. Section: Kawaida: Toward A Nationalist-Socialist Synthesis:
Regardless of its critics, Kawaida is, above all, a revolutionary project in process, an audacious and terribly ambitious attempt to synthesize and realize the best of nationalist and socialist thought."
"Kawaida recognizes no pope or Vatican for socialism, accepts no group, state or party's claim to a monopoly on Marxism's or socialism's contribution to human knowledge and practice..."
"Kawaida is critical socialism as opposed to a dogmatic socialism..."
"In an attempt to synthesize the best of nationalist and socialist throught, Kawaida poses and attempts to answer the question of the relationship between national liberation and socialist liberation. Kawaida argues that national liberation and socialist liberation are and are not the same thing at the same time."
Ron McKinley Everett (aka. Maulana Karenga) / US Links
The Black Panthers and the Police: A Pattern of Genocide? - NEW YORKER MAGAZINE - February 13, 1971 (Includes great detail of the murders committed by Karenga's thugs)
US, the organization the Ron Everett founded in 1965, the organization that murdered 5 members of the rival Black Panther Party is back Their website is here.
Graphic used on Official Kwanzaa Website for the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa)
Graphic used on Official US Website (US is Karenga's Gang that Murdered Members and Leaders of Rival Gangs) as their logo
In fact, the Official Kwanzaa Website admits the linkage of Kwanzaa to the violent US gang by posting the US Logo right on their Kwanzaa: Roots and Branches page along with the damning admission:
First, Kwanzaa was created to reaffirm and restore our rootedness in African culture. It is, therefore, an expression of recovery and reconstruction of African culture which was being conducted in the general context of the Black Liberation Movement of the '60's and in the specific context of The Organization Us, the founding organization of Kwanzaa and the authoritative keeper of its tradition.The two members of the US gang who murdered the two Panthers after they dissed Karenga at a Black Studies meeting on the UCLA campus were Larry and George Stiner. Both were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. They escaped in 1974. Larry turned himself in to the FBI in 1994, but George Stiner is still at large. He is on California's 10 Most Wanted list which can be found here. There is also an International Crime Alert on this fugitive who is considered armed and extremely dangerous here.
Yup, you guessed it. "I learned one thing," he concluded, "I'm glad my daddy got on that (slave) boat."
.....and good tidings to any other beings and religions that might inhabit the moon....GWB
LOL! I doubt that he would even have tried it on you! I think this guy sensed he could bully this young woman, and he did.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.