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Was Oliver Cromwell - founder of the British empire - the greatest ever Englishman?
The Daily Mail UK ^ | 1st January 2011 | Dominic Sandbrook

Posted on 12/31/2010 10:16:57 PM PST by Alex Murphy

In many ways, though, what drove Cromwell was his burning religious passion.

Around 1630, when his financial woes were at their worst, he went through a dramatic religious conversion, becoming convinced that God had marked him out for eternal salvation.

‘Oh, have I lived in and loved darkness and hated the light,’ he wrote a few years later. ‘I was a chief, the chief of sinners . . . I hated godliness; yet God had mercy upon me. O the riches of His mercy!’

But Cromwell was not merely exceptionally religious. He belonged to a particular religious group — the Puritans — who believed that the frivolous Charles I, with his stubborn faith in the Divine Right of Kings and his fondness for elaborate Catholic-style church ceremonies, was betraying the Protestant Reformation.

A century earlier, Henry VIII’s tumultuous break with Roman Catholicism had given rise to a new sense of English identity, rooted in Protestant independence, localism and individualism, and fiercely antagonistic to Continental European influence. But to England’s Protestant middle classes, the return of Papal rule remained a genuine and terrifying threat.

Given his wild mood swings between jubilation and gloom, some biographers have suggested that he suffered from manic depression. That might explain why he laughed ‘as if he had been drunk’ after the Battle of Dunbar. To men like Cromwell, the sinister armies of international Catholicism were always poised to strike across the Channel and extinguish English Protestantism for ever.

And to those who remembered the Spanish Armada and the Gunpowder Plot, and who were horrified by news of the Thirty Years War, the gigantic conflict that tore much of central Europe apart as Spain, France, Sweden and Holland battled for supremacy at the cost of some ten million lives, their fears seemed all too realistic.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Mainline Protestant; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: dominicsandbrook; serialmurderer
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....Cromwell was not merely exceptionally religious. He belonged to a particular religious group — the Puritans — who believed that the frivolous Charles I, with his stubborn faith in the Divine Right of Kings and his fondness for elaborate Catholic-style church ceremonies, was betraying the Protestant Reformation.
1 posted on 12/31/2010 10:16:58 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

He was a frickin’ murdering a**hat.


2 posted on 12/31/2010 10:22:51 PM PST by calex59
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To: Alex Murphy

Alex, yours is the very first FR thread of 2011. Congratulations and Happy New Year!


3 posted on 12/31/2010 10:26:02 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Alex Murphy

I kinda prefer Patrick MacNee (Steed of The Avengers)


4 posted on 12/31/2010 10:30:19 PM PST by isom35
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To: Alex Murphy

Didn’t he kill more of his own people while trying to kill the Irish off?


5 posted on 12/31/2010 10:36:15 PM PST by o-n-money
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To: isom35

6 posted on 12/31/2010 10:36:56 PM PST by iowamark
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To: Windflier
Might as well start things off with a bang, lol, Cromwell is despised by Irish Catholics.

Me, I see him as being not necessarily the ogre that the Irish perceive, but a flawed if occasionally brilliant man who fervently believed what he believed, and who made quite the mark on the world and in particular early attitudes in the North American colonies, planting the seed of our own Revolution over a century later.

If Cromwell indeed was prone to wide swings of emotion, and I do know that the poet Milton moved him not just to tears with his sonnet On The Late Massacre In Piedmont but to attempted retribution, then he had much in common with Jonathan Edwards.

For all the negativity, there are times when being manic-depressive actually is a favorable trait. Times of turmoil, primarily. You see it in a lot of prominent historic figures, particularly English royalty, oddly enough.

7 posted on 12/31/2010 10:38:57 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Alex Murphy
I think Arthur is the most famous Britisher, specifically because his existence is in question.

Oliver Cromwell... No one today knows or cares about him.

8 posted on 12/31/2010 10:43:46 PM PST by mmercier (Kings and Queens and guillotines)
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To: o-n-money; CatholicEagle; 0beron; cobyok; surroundedbyblue; shurwouldluv_a_smallergov; ...

“Didn’t he kill more of his own people while trying to kill the Irish off?”

And that is one of the better things one can say about him.


9 posted on 12/31/2010 10:43:54 PM PST by narses ( 'Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.')
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To: Alex Murphy

There was a war, started by King Charles I, against Scotland, in which he tried to force Catholicism upon the Scottish Puritans. Presumably, since it was a war, many innocent Scottish people were killed for the crime of not being Roman Catholic.

To blame Cromwell for leading the Puritans in fighting back is hardly fair. This does not mean I don’t feel sorry for any innocent Roman Catholics who may have died.

‘In 1630-42, when he governed without calling a parliament, King Charles I multiplied his enemies by imposing irritating financial exactions upon various classes of the community, using prerogative powers exercised by the king in centuries past. He demanded “ship money” from the towns, fined country gentlemen (including Cromwell) for refusing to accept knighthood, raised “forced loans,” and increased customs duties. He did all this because he had no right to levy fresh taxes without the consent of Parliament; indeed, his broad aim was to secure the financial independence of the monarchy, and to fasten uniformity upon the Church. Thus the king antagonized the Puritan reformers as well as many of the country gentry and townspeople. In 1638 he became involved in a war against his Scottish subjects (he was hereditary king of Scotland as well as of England) when he tried to force upon them a prayer book similar to that in use in the English Church. They rebelled, and he was compelled to call a parliament at Westminster to ask for money to pursue the war. The accumulation of grievances against the king over eleven years made the leaders of the House of Commons aggressive and uncooperative. Cromwell at once showed himself to be a staunch Puritan, and as such gave steady support to the critics of church and government.’

It would seem Charles I started it. Whether Cromwell’s response was perfect in every respect is hardly likely. But who’s response to hostilities is always perfect in every respect. War is awful for all involved.


10 posted on 12/31/2010 10:47:40 PM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Alex Murphy

Benny hill


11 posted on 12/31/2010 10:51:17 PM PST by Weird Tolkienish Figure
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To: Weird Tolkienish Figure

Winston Churchill.


12 posted on 12/31/2010 10:53:49 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Alex Murphy; fabian

ping


13 posted on 12/31/2010 10:56:41 PM PST by abigail2 (Rebuilding the family by rebuilding the man)
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To: Persevero

Anyone who set forth to force Catholicism on people, Puritans included, deserved to be killed.

The Catholic church is the esteemed Head of the still socially backwards Latin American culture and its heir countries throughout the Americas.


14 posted on 12/31/2010 10:57:11 PM PST by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
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To: Windflier

Sad isn’t it? The first Free Republic thread of 2011 and it is an anti-Catholic post.


15 posted on 12/31/2010 10:57:38 PM PST by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: Weird Tolkienish Figure; RegulatorCountry

Harry Flashman


16 posted on 12/31/2010 10:57:47 PM PST by flowerplough (Thomas Sowell: Those who look only at Obama's deeds tend to become Obama's critics.)
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To: Alex Murphy
Was Oliver Cromwell - founder of the British empire - the greatest ever Englishman?

Let's ask the Irish
17 posted on 12/31/2010 11:00:36 PM PST by stylin19a
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To: IrishCatholic

An article purporting to view Oliver Cromwell positively is no more “anti-Catholic” than an article purporting to view President Andrew Jackson positively would be anti-Cherokee.


18 posted on 12/31/2010 11:01:14 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Alex Murphy

Cromwell was a bloodthirsty jackass. He destroyed the Church of England.


19 posted on 12/31/2010 11:02:09 PM PST by FlyingEagle
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To: Alex Murphy
Cromwell was Hitler before there was Hitler. He belongs in the same category of individuals as Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Saddam Hussein.

Too bad Ireland wasn't united in his invasion, or he could have been take out much earlier than he was.

20 posted on 12/31/2010 11:08:35 PM PST by Darren McCarty (We should lead ourselves instead of looking for leaders)
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To: Persevero

Fighting back? The bastard should have stayed the hell out of Ireland.


21 posted on 12/31/2010 11:09:47 PM PST by Darren McCarty (We should lead ourselves instead of looking for leaders)
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To: RegulatorCountry
Nice try. But no.

I read the article at the link. It was interesting. But I also noted what Alex chose to highlight:

"....Cromwell was not merely exceptionally religious. He belonged to a particular religious group — the Puritans — who believed that the frivolous Charles I, with his stubborn faith in the Divine Right of Kings and his fondness for elaborate Catholic-style church ceremonies, was betraying the Protestant Reformation."

New year, same old Know Nothings.
22 posted on 12/31/2010 11:13:24 PM PST by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: ConservativeMind
Anyone who set forth to force Catholicism on people, Puritans included, deserved to be killed.

I don't see how a family of Irish Catholics in the middle of Offaly or Clare as a threat to any Protestants in England or Scotland, unless you are a Bin Laden type like Cromwell.

The Catholic church is the esteemed Head of the still socially backwards Latin American culture and its heir countries throughout the Americas.

Liberation Theory isn't endorsed by the Catholic Church.

23 posted on 12/31/2010 11:13:44 PM PST by Darren McCarty (We should lead ourselves instead of looking for leaders)
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To: Darren McCarty

Well, in the spirit of historical comparison, Cromwell is to Irish Catholics what William Tecumseh Sherman is to southerners.


24 posted on 12/31/2010 11:13:47 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: IrishCatholic

And how does this make the entire article “anti-Catholic?”

It’s not.


25 posted on 12/31/2010 11:14:56 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Alex Murphy

I don’t know if you would consider him the greatest, but William’s little excursion in 1066 is most profound event in Anglo history.


26 posted on 12/31/2010 11:17:57 PM PST by catfish1957 (Hey algore...You'll have to pry the steering wheel of my 317 HP V8 truck from my cold dead hands)
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To: Darren McCarty

Nothing in your post legitimizes killing people if they don’t become Catholic.

I don’t see how Catholics could justify killing Protestants in the same way you stated in reverse.


27 posted on 12/31/2010 11:20:04 PM PST by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
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To: Alex Murphy

Didn’t Cromwell try to ban Christmas??

figures.


28 posted on 12/31/2010 11:23:26 PM PST by GeronL (#7 top poster at CC, friend to all, nicest guy ever, +96/-14, ignored by 1 sockpuppet.. oh & BANNED)
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To: calex59

Got my ancestor Maj. Genral Harrison in real trouble.


29 posted on 12/31/2010 11:24:34 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Democrat Party is shovel ready)
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To: catfish1957

... but William was Norman.


30 posted on 12/31/2010 11:24:43 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Alex Murphy

Sure. If greatness is measured by how many people you killed.


31 posted on 12/31/2010 11:28:03 PM PST by Antoninus (Fair warning: If Romney's the GOP nominee in 2012, I'm looking for a new party.)
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To: ConservativeMind
I'm not talking about Catholics or Protestants, but CROMWELL (The subject of this article). Cromwell didn't belong in Ireland. Period. He probably didn't belong in England either, but that's another topic.

Should Catholics kill Protestants if they don't become Catholic? No. Of Course Not. Should Cromwell have been offed much sooner than he was? Absolutely, for being in the same class of mass murderer as Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot.

32 posted on 12/31/2010 11:29:50 PM PST by Darren McCarty (We should lead ourselves instead of looking for leaders)
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To: RegulatorCountry

He burned people alive...pretty much a bastard.


33 posted on 12/31/2010 11:30:28 PM PST by T bench ("God wills it." Urban II)
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To: Persevero
"There was a war, started by King Charles I, against Scotland, in which he tried to force Catholicism upon the Scottish Puritans."

You are entitled to your own faith and own opinion, but not your own history or facts. Charles I never tried to impose Catholicism on anyone including the Scottish Puritans. His crimes against the Puritans was in not more forcefully imposing the Reformation on the Catholic Scots. He was executed because he lost a civil war in which nearly 5% of the English population was killed.

34 posted on 12/31/2010 11:31:55 PM PST by Natural Law
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To: GeronL

Christmas is a pagan-rooted holiday. It was an attempt by the Catholic church to mollify complaining Christians when they didn’t have something to otherwise celebrate.

Mistletoe and the Christmas tree itself are all from pagan beliefs.

Now, simply because a Christian has such in their home, it does not mean they are pagan, but honestly, it’s not anything Christ would have encouraged, including honoring His birth in the ways we do.

We should honor Him all days, not just one, and His birth meant less to our Salvation than His death


35 posted on 12/31/2010 11:38:47 PM PST by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
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To: Alex Murphy

Cromwell was one of the predecessors of our American founding fathers for religious freedom. And (seeing some of the commentary) during the mid-1800s in the USA, maybe American Protestants were right about the immigration problem at that time after all.


36 posted on 12/31/2010 11:43:18 PM PST by familyop (cbt. engr. (cbt), NG, '89-' 96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote.)
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To: T bench
He burned people alive...pretty much a bastard.

He was hardly alone in the practice, T bench, and was far removed from the origins of it.

37 posted on 12/31/2010 11:48:13 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Alex Murphy
I don't know much about Cromwell, but if the following quote is in fact his, I wish he was alive today so that he could deal with our "Congress".

Oliver Cromwell's Speech on the Dissolution of the Long Parliament
Given to the English House of Commons

20 April 1653

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, 
which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue,
and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew,
and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches,
and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage,
and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you?
Is there one vice you do not possess?
Ye have no more religion than my horse;
gold is your God;
which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes?
Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place,
and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves,
by your immoral principles and wicked practices?
Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation;
you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd,
are yourselves gone!
So!
Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
In the name of God, go!


38 posted on 12/31/2010 11:50:21 PM PST by skeptoid (The road to serfdom is being paved by RINOs, and Lisa Murkowski is their mascot.)
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To: calex59
Cromwell was probably pissed off about what happened to his granddad.

Sort of in the same vain with "Bloody Mary", who was pissed off about RCC persecution. "Religious" revenge, not appealing at all.
39 posted on 12/31/2010 11:50:50 PM PST by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
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To: Darren McCarty
Should Cromwell have been offed much sooner than he was?

Cromwell died in his bed in 1658, due to pneumonia according to historic accounts. He was not "offed."

40 posted on 12/31/2010 11:51:26 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: calex59

You beat me to it.

Samuel Johnson, Lord Acton, Graham Hancock, Michael Palin, J. R. R. Tolkien, Robin Hood, William Byrd, Eric Clapton.....one cannot swing a dead cat in Merrie Olde England without hitting someone superior to Cromwell.


41 posted on 12/31/2010 11:54:01 PM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Alex Murphy

What about William Wilberforce.


42 posted on 01/01/2011 12:01:47 AM PST by savagesusie
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To: Alex Murphy
Cromwell was the man who couldn't climb down. A good man, a strong man who became the very monster against which he originally rebelled. A fascinating, tragic study of the Great Man in history. What he did in Ireland puts him, I think, well outside the bounds of common human decency, and after him the British found themselves grateful for the return of the crown he had banished. I'm not sure one could conjure a more ambiguous judgment.

For me, Churchill.

43 posted on 01/01/2011 12:13:42 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: RegulatorCountry

That is kind of harsh. Sherman just destroyed property. He didnt try to erase the southern population, just its production.
Cromwell has been compared to Pol Pot. Which, from what I read, is closer to the truth.


44 posted on 01/01/2011 12:14:48 AM PST by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
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To: RegulatorCountry

You don’t see what you don’t want to.
That’s not my problem, it’s yours.


45 posted on 01/01/2011 12:20:02 AM PST by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: Yorlik803

The Irish entered into a confederacy with English Royalists and the era in question is in fact known as Confederate Ireland, so the comparison of Cromwell to Sherman is very apt for several reasons.

Just how did Oliver Cromwell erase the Irish Catholic population, or attempt to do so? Provide historically documented facts, please, and not wild partisan guesstimates from people with an historic axe to grind.

I do have Irish ancestry, and am not without sympathy. I’ve been there many times and have friends in the Republic of Ireland. I love the country and it’s people. But there is an element of grudge that has built over the centuries that is very much like my beloved south and southerners as far as Sherman.

I also have Anglo-irish ancestry, English who held plantations in Ireland. Scotch-Irish ancestry, too. So, it’s not at all unfamiliar to me, as far as either religon or history. But, my points of view very likely will not match yours, so far as interpretation of historic fact is concerned.

There are two sides to every story, at least, if not more than that.


46 posted on 01/01/2011 12:31:46 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: IrishCatholic

The article is not anti-Catholic, your church is only mentioned in passing. Cromwell was a controversial figure, and there are reasons Irish Catholics dislike him. But, that’s not the sum total of the man, it was barely touched upon, and your distaste for him is not the sum total of his existence.


47 posted on 01/01/2011 12:37:29 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Natural Law

“You are entitled to your own faith and own opinion, but not your own history or facts. Charles I never tried to impose Catholicism on anyone including the Scottish Puritans. His crimes against the Puritans was in not more forcefully imposing the Reformation on the Catholic Scots. He was executed because he lost a civil war in which nearly 5% of the English population was killed. “

The information I posted was obtained from Conservapedia and is not my personal opinion.

Charles I’s persecution, and actual war against, the Scottish puritans is well documented.

If Cromwell overreacted or if his army committed war crimes, I’m not defending that. However, it should not be alleged that he just went about killing Irish Catholics without provocation. It was a war, and just like the war we are in now, innocent people get killed.


48 posted on 01/01/2011 12:38:01 AM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Darren McCarty

“Fighting back? The bastard should have stayed the hell out of Ireland.”

He was commissioned by the Parliament at the time, as a civil war had broken out. He did not start the civil war.

Perhaps you believe that no one should have defended the Scottish Puritans; I disagree with you there.


49 posted on 01/01/2011 12:39:53 AM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: FlyingEagle

Charles I destroyed the Church of England


50 posted on 01/01/2011 1:13:23 AM PST by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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