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2012-10-26 -Election 2012
Texas Vows To Arrest UN Election Observers
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Posted by Elmomort Creregum2827 2012-10-26 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [556 views ]  Top

#1 Don't fuck with Texas.
Posted by texhooey 2012-10-26 00:25||   2012-10-26 00:25|| Front Page Top

#2 Tonight's Fun Fact: Janez is actually a guy...
Posted by tu3031 2012-10-26 00:29||   2012-10-26 00:29|| Front Page Top

#3 How long until we discover these worthless phuechs were invited to observe by our Champ and his team. Nice insurance package in the event of a election overturn. I'm sure they could find or allege something was wrong, somewhere.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-26 03:04||   2012-10-26 03:04|| Front Page Top

#4 A glimmer of sanity in a World gone mad.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2012-10-26 03:25||   2012-10-26 03:25|| Front Page Top

#5 I'm less happy about this.

The U.S. is an OSCE member and therefore has the obligation to invite those observers. American will find this unnecessary but the U.S. has signed the respective treaty.

Of course those observers need to comply with the laws of the countries they are visiting and they of course do that. So if they cannot enter a poll station in Texas by law they will not attempt it. No need for such a bravado warning. This can be done in diplomatic ways, too.

Publicly threatening them with criminal prosecution is uncalled for because 1) these observers enjoy diplomatic immunity and 2) it serves as a bad example for countries that are far less accommodating to these observers (e.g. Russia or Belarus).
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 04:27||   2012-10-26 04:27|| Front Page Top

#6 European Conservative is right. We do have an obligation to let them observe.
Posted by Deacon Blues 2012-10-26 07:31||   2012-10-26 07:31|| Front Page Top

#7 we have the most open and honest elections in the world. In fact, every instance of intimidation and poll-stuffing is investigated and dismissed by Eric Holder. Perhaps they can confine themselves to Philly and first-hand document and stop NBPP intimidation?
Posted by Frank G 2012-10-26 07:43||   2012-10-26 07:43|| Front Page Top

#8 The problem is: Everything that happens to those observers in the U.S. will encourage dictators in countries where the OSCE observers - as powerless as they are - could really shed a bit of light when it comes to fraud. I know a bit about what happened in Belarus and I don't want to give those authorities there the argument: Well look, even in Texas...

OSCE observers always observe the laws of the country they are visiting. And they are not all "lefties". I personally know a few, and they are conservative members of the German Bundestag, for example.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 08:00||   2012-10-26 08:00|| Front Page Top

#9 With all due, and sincere respect to you and your Bundes colleagues EC, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and the other "Red States" are NOT eastern Europe of the Former Soviet Union (FSU). This scheme is as insulting to most of us as it would be residents of your lovely, and quite civilized regions of Ostallgua, Schwangua, Rieden, or Hopferau.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-26 08:16||   2012-10-26 08:16|| Front Page Top

#10 Not at all. I'd be happy to accommodate OSCE observers in any Bavarian poll station. They'd learn something.

"As a rule, the status of the election observers is set forth in an agreement between the host country and the institution organizing the mission. Moreover, the election observers undertake to comply with the rules of the seconding organization (Code of Conduct for OSCE/ODIHR Observers, Code of Conduct for EU Election Observers). These stipulate that the observers must adhere to strict neutrality and refrain from expressing any opinions on the electoral process or results to the media or general public. The findings of their observations are included in the statements and reports submitted by the election observation mission."

Voting in Germany is an extremely painless affair. It has never taken me more than 5 minutes to vote.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 08:30||   2012-10-26 08:30|| Front Page Top

#11 Well EC, you have Angela, we have the mystery man. You're a bit ahead of us this go'round in the trust category. Everything that happens here is seen under the lens of... what will this bugger pull next. And unfortunately, it's a foggy Chinese lens, not a Karl Zeiss by the way.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-26 08:37||   2012-10-26 08:37|| Front Page Top

#12 The problem for the OSCE and way too many foreigners is that its the UNITED STATES of America. They fail to grasp the extensive powers and authorities of the state governments in this union.

The outsiders confuse the centralization of their own government organizations with the arrangements of power in the US. A lot of centralized power in Washington is based upon the coercive effects of funding which tie the states to follow federal guidelines. Elections are locally funded so Washington has very limited authority beyond the specifics of the Voting Rights Act which implements the 15th Amendment.

The whole issue of voter photo ID is a state prerogative and is only challenged through arguments that various methods fail within the parameters of the Voting Rights Act. By granting other means of access to photo IDs the states undercut the usual excuses why people in any category couldn't comply. Thus the federal government has no say in the process.

Something similar happens with the death penalty. Texas has one. Foreigners are treated just like the locals if they commit a capital offense. The federal government has very limited means to intervene, usually confined to procedural issues rather than the issue of the death penalty itself.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 08:59||   2012-10-26 08:59|| Front Page Top

#13 Only way to protect them...
Posted by Skidmark 2012-10-26 09:16||   2012-10-26 09:16|| Front Page Top

#14 If the UN observers want to left alone they just have to enter from the South wearing a sombreo.
Posted by airandee 2012-10-26 09:19||   2012-10-26 09:19|| Front Page Top

#15 OSCE has remedied how many crooked elections around the workd?

None

What segment of the US Electorate has the OSCE been meeting with recently?

Leftists

What organization is the OSCE affiliated with?

UN. The same organization that is demanding businesses boycot Israel ("da jeeeewwws"). Members of the "UN Human Rights" commission include Lybia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Cuba.

Clean up your own house, stay out of ours, UN hypocrites.
Posted by Lampedusa Snath9571 2012-10-26 09:45||   2012-10-26 09:45|| Front Page Top

#16 It is about time for the US to get a divorce from the UN--completely.

You've got to love Texas.
Posted by JohnQC 2012-10-26 10:49||   2012-10-26 10:49|| Front Page Top

#17 The OSCE is not a UN organization
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 11:13||   2012-10-26 11:13|| Front Page Top

#18 United Nations

The OSCE considers itself a regional organization in the sense of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter and is an observer in the United Nations General Assembly. The Chairman-in-Office gives routine briefings to the United Nations Security Council.
Posted by Chomose Huputle9600 2012-10-26 11:32||   2012-10-26 11:32|| Front Page Top

#19 UN CHAPTER VIII: REGIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

Article 52
1.Nothing in the present Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action provided that such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.
2.The Members of the United Nations entering into such arrangements or constituting such agencies shall make every effort to achieve pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies before referring them to the Security Council.
3.The Security Council shall encourage the development of pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies either on the initiative of the states concerned or by reference from the Security Council.
4.This Article in no way impairs the application of Articles 34 and 35.

Article 53
1. The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council, with the exception of measures against any enemy state, as defined in paragraph 2 of this Article, provided for pursuant to Article 107 or in regional arrangements directed against renewal of aggressive policy on the part of any such state, until such time as the Organization may, on request of the Governments concerned, be charged with the responsibility for preventing further aggression by such a state.
2. The term enemy state as used in paragraph 1 of this Article applies to any state which during the Second World War has been an enemy of any signatory of the present Charter.

Article 54

The Security Council shall at all times be kept fully informed of activities undertaken or in contemplation under regional arrangements or by regional agencies for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Posted by Chomose Huputle9600 2012-10-26 11:35||   2012-10-26 11:35|| Front Page Top

#20 The Security Council shall at all times be kept fully informed of activities undertaken or in contemplation under regional arrangements or by regional agencies for the maintenance of international peace and security.

UN Permanent and Non-Permanent Security Council Members include Pakistan, Russia, China.
Posted by Chomose Huputle9600 2012-10-26 11:40||   2012-10-26 11:40|| Front Page Top

#21 The bottom line is that OCSE is not needed, nor wanted. And in most states, they are breaking the law if they enter a polling place without being either a poll worker, or an election judge.
Posted by OldSpook 2012-10-26 13:08||   2012-10-26 13:08|| Front Page Top

#22 Old Spook

As a matter of fact in most states the observers of the OSCE are "not wanted"... for good reason. That's why they exist.

The U.S. has nothing to hide. All those observers do is write a report. They are NOT allowed to interfere in the voting process in any way and/or break any law that may exist in those countries.

I understand that the U.S. may find OSCE observers totally unnecessary. But the US has agreed to mutual treaties and no Texas attorney may circumvent or break those treaties.

He has absolutely no power to arrest or prosecute those observers as they enjoy diplomatic immunity (they need to because you don't want to run into trouble in Belarus or some of the -stans.

The bravado of the Texas Attorney only serves to arouse suspicion, which is totally unnecessary. It is a lot easier to smile and hand out leaflets with the law and regulations in force in Texas and everything will be fine.

Russia, Ukraine and Belarus usually slam the reports of the OSCE... they know why.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 14:13||   2012-10-26 14:13|| Front Page Top

#23 It's a sovereignty issue EC. Nothing personal my friend, but folks around these parts just don't cotton to UN and Euro overseers. They don't even like our own US Federal agencies snooping around. Call us paranoid if you will, unless you count William Tecumseh Sherman's scorched-earth trek to the sea, we've not been overrun yet.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-26 14:23||   2012-10-26 14:23|| Front Page Top

#24 But the US has agreed to mutual treaties and no Texas attorney may circumvent or break those treaties.

Actually they can. SCOTUS has repeated pointed out on the death penalty issue brought before it by foreign governments on behalf of their citizens, that while a treaty has been signed, it still requires Congress to implement the treaty by law. The treaty stipulates that foreigners arrested have immediate access to their representatives before things like interrogations. However, Congress has never gotten around with implementing law to enforce it. So the execution process goes forward.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 14:28||   2012-10-26 14:28|| Front Page Top

#25 Besoeker, the US is not an isolated island. It's a country that signs treaties (and usually only those it finds beneficial). And if it does it needs to observe them. Even Texas has to respect international treaties the federal government signs.

Sometimes this may be annoying. But there is a good reason why the US is a OSCE member. (The OSCE btw does a lot more than observe election, it fights against corruption, money laundering, terror financing etc.)

Bullying OSCE member in Texas only encourages dictators in other places to feel free to do the same.

Why does diplomatic immunity exist? Not so much to protect foreign diplomats in the U.S. but U.S. (and other) diplomats in totalitarian states. This comes with a little price to pay.

Pacta sunt servanda. Even if this comes with a minor annoyance. And these observers really won't hurt your pride. Show them how elections are done in Texas. Easy enough.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 14:39||   2012-10-26 14:39|| Front Page Top

#26 Well, if they're not allowed to break the law, and they don't come within 100' of a polling place, they should be fine.

Personally, I'm to the point where we nail the doors shut at the UN and burn it down.
Posted by Silentbrick - Schlumberger Squishy Mud Division 2012-10-26 14:40||   2012-10-26 14:40|| Front Page Top

#27 @Procopius2k

That may be so in the case you cited (which is quite problematic because it undermines international treaties).

But when it comes to diplomatic immunity Congress has certainly implemented those treaties.

So the Texas Attorney is way out of line with his threat of criminal sanctions.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 14:44||   2012-10-26 14:44|| Front Page Top

#28 @Silentbrick

OSCE observers get very thorough briefings before they set out. And not breaking any law of the host country is part of that briefing. That includes Texas laws.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 14:47||   2012-10-26 14:47|| Front Page Top

#29 UN types, OSCE, technically reporting to the Security Council a part of the UN, the UN who are the Chinese, Russians, Cubans, who do not respect Democracy, should go to jail.

The OSCE. Time to start shutting that bunch of hypocrits down.
Posted by Spike Guelph1068 2012-10-26 15:13||   2012-10-26 15:13|| Front Page Top

#30 And these observers really won't hurt your pride. Show them how elections are done in Texas. Easy enough.
Posted by European Conservative


After 4 years of Obama, we're fresh out of "pride".
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-26 15:16||   2012-10-26 15:16|| Front Page Top

#31 It is a lot easier to smile and hand out leaflets with the law and regulations in force in Texas and everything will be fine.

And when they go to jail? You see, what you and these people are doing is trying to implement the UN as a higher authority than the people of this nation. When they go before the court, our Constitution will be the deciding factor. The UN's so called treaty will be treated as illegal based on our Constitution. The OSCE is absolutely worthless in other nations, they will be absolutely worthless and a waste of UN resources here as well. We are the HOST country of the UN. For now. They better understand the people who do not like them live on the same block. Got it, Chump?
Posted by Spike Guelph1068 2012-10-26 15:23||   2012-10-26 15:23|| Front Page Top

#32 The UN is INEFFECTIVE and the people of the United States of America DO NOT TRUST the UN or their "Regional Agencies". Get lost.
Posted by Dino Tholuck8759 2012-10-26 15:31||   2012-10-26 15:31|| Front Page Top

#33 EC, diplomatic immunity does not grant authority to ignore local laws. It grants the ability to avoid prosecution. I'm sure State will issue the appropriate apologies as it works for the release of anyone claiming diplomatic immunity sitting in a local jail, but the usual advise is to quick the country as quick as possible to avoid further discomfort.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 15:33||   2012-10-26 15:33|| Front Page Top

#34 ..is to quit the country...
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 15:34||   2012-10-26 15:34|| Front Page Top

#35 If Texas puts a cookie pusher from the OSCE in the jug for a few hours, lots of Americans will be smiling, EC. We may not have Golden Dawn, but plenty of Americans are fed up with hearing from our European betters.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2012-10-26 15:47||   2012-10-26 15:47|| Front Page Top

#36 EC makes excellent points...but...the timing of this whole OSCE charade is reelee bad. After chafing for the past four years under institutional liberal fascism, most(?) of Americans have run out of cheeks to be slapped.

Posted by Thusort Ebbomoting1144 2012-10-26 16:11||   2012-10-26 16:11|| Front Page Top

#37 It looks like you are not getting my point here.
If you sigh a treaty you keep the treaty even if it comes with some gentle nuisances.
These observers do nothing which hurts "sovereignty". They respect the law, they don't interfere, they don't even comment on the elections while being in your country.
If you can't handle that then leave the OSCE. But you won't because the benefits of a membership are well understood.

Janez Lenarčič is not a guy who "sputters". I happen to know him personally. He's a Slovenian diplomat who absolutely embraces non-partisanship when it comes to the fundamental duties of the OSCE which stipulate:

“that the presence of observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process for States in which elections are taking place. They therefore invite observers from any other CSCE participating States and any appropriate private institutions and organizations who may wish to do so to observe the course of their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law.”

Last year the Ambassador chaired a conference in Rome to raise awareness of hate-motivated crimes and incidents
targeting Christians.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 16:18||   2012-10-26 16:18|| Front Page Top

#38 T.E. it's definitely not part of the job of those observers to "slap cheeks".
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 16:23||   2012-10-26 16:23|| Front Page Top

#39 I might want to add that the origin of the OSCE are the Helsinki Accords, which at the time were seen as a diplomatic victory of the Soviet Union but in fact provided the basis for the work of dissidents in Eastern Europe. This led to Solidarnosc and in the end to freedom of Eastern Europe.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 16:28||   2012-10-26 16:28|| Front Page Top

#40 EC, I'm sure your friend is an honorable man, but perhaps you can understand why we're suspicious of an organizations who says they're going to "observe" our elections to make sure conservatives don't commit voter fraud. Sounds like they've got an agenda - and we don't like that one bit.

It ain't conservatives who have been voting the dead in Chicago for decades....
Posted by Barbara 2012-10-26 16:31||   2012-10-26 16:31|| Front Page Top

#41 "to make sure conservatives don't commit voter fraud".

Who said that? Actually a comment like this made in public would be against the OSCE rules of non-partisanship and the person who said so would be withdrawn from the process.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 16:37||   2012-10-26 16:37|| Front Page Top

#42 Forgive me EC, but I smell a Holiday shopping trip to the US. Are there not questionable elections taking place in the Horn of Africa, Haiti, or elsewhere which might present more opportunity for fraud or wrongdoing? As you might imagine, the appetite here for treaties and foreign entanglements is indeed at a low point.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-26 16:43||   2012-10-26 16:43|| Front Page Top

#43 Besoeker you seem to misunderstand the idea. A lot of those observers are dedicated advocates of democracy coming from countries which are only transitioning to democracy. They also come to learn about how things are done in countries which have had free elections for a much longer time.

Yes, some US leftist groups may want to use OSCE observers for their own purposes. But observers are instructed to remain strictly non-partisan.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 16:54||   2012-10-26 16:54|| Front Page Top

#44 If you sigh a treaty you keep the treaty even if it comes with some gentle nuisances.
These observers do nothing which hurts "sovereignty".


You didn't get the point way back up on the commentary. It's the UNITED STATES of America. The states are sovereign themselves less those power granted the national government. SCOTUS has dealt with this a number of times. The guys in Washington can sign all the treaties they want, but the treaties have no enforcement if they abridge the federal arrangements of the Constitution. Stuff that happens at polling places is largely sovereign to those states less those parts as articulated in the Voting Rights Act implementing the 15th Amendment. See Reid vs Covert.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 17:03||   2012-10-26 17:03|| Front Page Top

#45 @No Procopius you didn't understand my point.
I'm not questioning the right of Texas to regulate who can enter or hang around their polling places. OSCE observers certainly do not insist in entering polling places where prohibited by law.

I'm questioning the threat of criminal prosecution which clearly violates diplomatic immunity. This is something Texas has to respect like any other country in the world. The attorney's letter amounts to intimidation, which is totally unnecessary.

The U.S. would certainly protest if another country tried to intimidate US observers of the OSCE.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 17:10||   2012-10-26 17:10|| Front Page Top

#46 However well intended and innocent EC, events like this have a way of getting twisted for us rather quickly. Any entity acting as an unappointed or unelected election staff supernumerary could spell disaster for a rather delicate upcoming event. The obvious extreme would be the New Black Panther activities of the last election, which have yet to be answered for and have left a bad taste all around.
Posted by Besoeker 2012-10-26 17:12||   2012-10-26 17:12|| Front Page Top

#47 Besoeker, George W. Bush personally invited OSCE observers to watch the Presidential elections of 2004 and 2008. No incident was reported.

OSCE observers take great care not to be used/abused by any partisan group in the U.S.

Since you know German, my advice to the Texas attorney would be: "Der Ton macht die Musik"
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 17:25||   2012-10-26 17:25|| Front Page Top

#48 Then we're coming to an understanding.
The Texas 'threat' is that someone who violates the law will undoubted be detained.
They will unlikely be prosecuted but released, probably quickly, to competent authorities or upon their own recognizance if they make declaration not to continue to act in defiance of the law.
However, the state can still go into the process motions of prosecution, appropriate filings, and recordings to establish the grounds to seek persona non grata status for what it might consider gross violations or attempts to violate its laws. Whether DoS acts on that or not is more theater and show and something for the big boys to play games with.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 17:30||   2012-10-26 17:30|| Front Page Top

#49 Of course the real work around would have had the OSCE members certified by DoJ to be deputized federal poll watchers for enforcement of the VRA. Wonder why they decided not to do that? /rhet question
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 17:36||   2012-10-26 17:36|| Front Page Top

#50 “Since the initial issue with Texas we've received a letter, both for Secretary Clinton and one for Texas authorities, from the OSCE assuring us and Texas authorities that the OSCE observers are committed to following all U.S. laws and regulations as they do in any country where they observe elections and they will do so as well in Texas,” Nuland said. "To my knowledge [Texas] is the only state that came forward and said 'please reassure us that you're going to follow our state electoral law.' And they have now been reassured."

Actually the way I read the article is that the Texas authorities were clarifying that STATE law prohibits them from polling place. Neither the treaty or state department were clear that any observers also had to follow STATE law - not just federal.
Posted by CrazyFool 2012-10-26 17:39||   2012-10-26 17:39|| Front Page Top

#51 Procopius, but are those threats necessary when it's understood that OSCE observers are already strictly told by their organization to respect all local laws? Why not just hand them a leaflet which in a friendly way states what the local law is (it differs a lot from state to state).

The public threat was meant for public consumption: an unnecessary one which doesn't do Texas justice (it's actually a very friendly country to those who are friendly).
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 17:39||   2012-10-26 17:39|| Front Page Top

#52 CrazyFool

The OSCE regulation clearly include local laws that may exist. The U.S. is a special place because it has 50 states which may have different rules and actually even counties could have their own.

A friendly briefing of the observers - who may be diplomats and even (former) ambassadors) - sounds much better to me than public threats.
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 17:43||   2012-10-26 17:43|| Front Page Top

#53 Ok folks, you know how I mean it, don't take it the wrong way!
Good night!
Posted by European Conservative 2012-10-26 18:08||   2012-10-26 18:08|| Front Page Top

#54 Yeah, well, you get what you deserve when you think you can 1) simply walk imto another nation totally ignorant of the laws and 2) suggest they do your homework for you.
Posted by wr 2012-10-26 18:17||   2012-10-26 18:17|| Front Page Top

#55 EC, I'm sure you've been to Texas. If not, you should go. It's not really like any other state. They're different. That's why they have Don't Mess With Texas bumper stickers they drive all through the other 29 states. And they mean it.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2012-10-26 18:52||   2012-10-26 18:52|| Front Page Top

#56 ^^^^^^ :)
Posted by Shipman 2012-10-26 19:10||   2012-10-26 19:10|| Front Page Top

#57 I'd always understood observers to be invited in by a host eager to prove they are having fair and honest elections, not to go in unwanted.
Posted by rjschwarz 2012-10-26 19:24||   2012-10-26 19:24|| Front Page Top

#58 I have sort of a fundamental question: How does an election judge in Texas have an 'observer' removed, if not by arrest? Surely a diplomat can't go anywhere he or she wants with immunity from arrest. Would an officer tell the election judge "I'm sorry I can't remove this person who's breaking the law"? What's done when someone with diplomatic immunity trespasses and refuses to cease and desist?
Posted by JonC 2012-10-26 20:19||   2012-10-26 20:19|| Front Page Top

#59 ..as I posted above, the can be detained by authorities, escorted out and held for a bit of time while their 'papers' are authenticated. They just can't be prosecuted.

You think a person with diplomatic 'immunity' is just going to walk into Area 51? You better believe he'll be escorted not just off the facility but quickly listed as persona non grata.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 21:29||   2012-10-26 21:29|| Front Page Top

#60 Part of the problem here is raise by simply googling 'OSCE voter suppression'.

Seems the same organizations that have dragged Texas and the Texas AG through the federal system on voter ID have appealed to the OSCE. Lower courts have continue to ignore the SCOTUS ruling in April on voter ID.

I'd say the Texas AG has, for reasonable reasons, has a lot of frustration when the usual suspects keep obstructing the process and seeking other venues to keep the ballot boxes open for stuffing. The OSCE has simply walked into that cow dung.
Posted by Procopius2k 2012-10-26 21:39||   2012-10-26 21:39|| Front Page Top

23:55 Sherry
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