Conservative commentary: One dead, one injured

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— I have always had a visceral distaste and horror of abortion. I am also a Christian. But I firmly believe you can have one without the other.

One of the best speakers we ever had at our annual Right to Life dinner was a Baptist minister with a marvelous sense of humor and insightful nature. This was at a time when the vast majority of the pro-life movement was Roman Catholic. He began by sharing that he and his wife had eight children. He followed that by proclaiming that all of them were "unwanted." There was a trickling of laughter in the crowd. He further explained that he wasn't kidding a bit. Every single one of those kids had been unplanned. You could almost see lights going on inside the heads of every parent in the hall.

How many of us have had the same experience? Even in these modern days of birth control and our insatiable desire to control every aspect of our lives, kids seem to get conceived at inopportune times. Does anyone ever have just the right amount of money and time to take on another lifetime responsibility that each child brings? Didn't we just have a new baby only a year ago who requires 24/7 care?

But as he put it, a funny thing happens. After the initial shock and dismay at the realization that you don't have anywhere near the control over events you thought you had, you accept it : not just accept but become excited about it. And as the months pass, you find that by the eighth and ninth months, the expectation and anticipation of welcoming a new member into the family totally has erased the dismay you barely remember a few months ago. And whether you then thank God for this miracle of life becomes solely a personal choice. Most of us do because we're so overwhelmed with the wonder of it all. But that's up to you. If you prefer to see it merely as Mother Nature's gift, that will do.

Conversely, no matter what the post-modern "choice" crowd tells us, I refuse to think that a woman who has an abortion doesn't completely know what she has done: pro-actively taken the life of her own child. For one can't have it both ways. Either the unborn child is human or it isn't. Science has pretty well answered the question with microscopic inter-uterine photography showing a baby of only 6 weeks gestation acting like, well, like a baby. Whether sucking its thumb, kicking sporadically and even showing various moods, there is no doubt in any mother's mind what we're dealing with here. One of the great untold stories of our time is the pain of women who have had abortions and suffer a lifetime of regret for their actions. This is regardless of it being a personal decision or one forced on them by parents or former lovers.

Indeed, one of the many ministries of the pro-life movement these days to offer counseling and empathy to these "victims" of abortion who seem to feel the pain more intensely as they age and so often wish they had had more children. But the deed is done. Nothing can bring that child back. It seems most ironic that it is at this point that even the committed agnostic or atheist may find the Faith that eluded them.

Gary Hofmeister is the owner and operator of Hofmeister Personal Jewelers in downtown Steamboat, a company he founded in 1973. He is a Director of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado and a former Republican nominee for Congress in the 10th District of Indiana. He made 18 trips to the former USSR to teach democratic-capitalism during the 1990s.

Comments

dundalk 5 years, 10 months ago

gary:

an excellent article. hopefully this commentary will bring this topic to the forefront of peoples' minds who are considering taking a life. the effects are forever lasting.

thank you for fighting for those who are innocent.

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OneFly 5 years, 10 months ago

or reinforce to those whose position is in the majority that it is a choice and no one elses damn business

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addlip2U 5 years, 10 months ago

It is your responsibility to take care of your own children. If you can't afford them, don't have them and don't dump them on the society to do your job.

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dogd 5 years, 10 months ago

Good job Gary. That is the way a true conservative will approach this issue. By inspiring your neighbor who can think TO think. To those who will do so, there is no "choice". But we must also remain a free country, something that nobody can always like.

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Murray Tucker 5 years, 10 months ago

First, I have to agree with almost everything Gary says, except that getting involved with personal choice is not a conservative position, but the hallmark of totalitarianism.

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seabirth 5 years, 10 months ago

once again it's easy to see how the religious wing of the republican party has wrapped it's religion around the word "conservative" completely clouding it's true meaning.

the religious "CONservatives" have allowed the republican party to be stolen by big government religious nuts who increase intrusion into citizens private lives with fear tactics about abortion and traditional marriage.

as to the anti-choice minister with a quiver of children... how many "unwanted" children were adopted from people who chose to have babies instead of abortion? my guess, none... because actually doing something to truly give young women in bad circumstances real choices in much harder than the tradition religious CONservatives normal operating procedure... to use an issue as a wedge (all talk, no action).

thank god for: www.bluenile.com>

justice4all 5 years, 10 months ago

seabirth, the woman may be in "BAD CIRCUMSTANCES", but it was because of her poor judgement. The baby is innocent and murdered by the consent of the mother. The difference in murder and abortion is 1/4 of an inch----the thickness of the the skin and flesh seperating the womb and the outside world. If the baby was born and killed we would all be screaming that the innocent was murdered. But, abort the innocent baby and some call it freedom of choice or as OneFly said, "it is no ones business". I think not!!

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seabirth 5 years, 10 months ago

justice for all... those rape and incest victims you would force to carry babies to term are in bad circumstances due to their "poor judgement"?

ahhhh, members of the religican party want to force babies to be born because they are "pro-life" (except in cases of war and death penalty) and then cut funding to programs designed to help mothers in "bad circumstances".

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dundalk 5 years, 10 months ago

seabirth:

why is it that pro abortionists bring up the rape/incest thing as the base of their argument?

the statistics support that most abortions ARE NOT the result of a crime of violence but rather people:

A) making a "mistake" B) a form of birth control C) not wanting a boy or girl D) some sort of deformity

sadly, children of incest or rape do not choose to be conceived in the manner in which they are. Adoption is a viable solution/alternative from making a choice to terminate an innocent life, who by no fault of their own came into this world.

why should we punish the child who is the result of incest or rape?

as far as "cases of war and death penalty"...you are not making a reasonable comparison between innocent life and say...susan atkins who was sentenced to death because she murdered sharon tate and her UNBORN baby.

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justathought 5 years, 10 months ago

seabirth and fly, unless you are incapable of thinking for yourselves, I doubt very much that you agree with EVERY stand the democrats take on EVERY issue. I am 100% pro-choice but I'll never find a candidate on either side that takes the same stand as me on every issue so I choose who I deem to be the best of two evils which in my point of view are the republicans. I read your posts and see that it isn't so much who or what issue you are debating as it is a chance to bash your opposing political party. Without the name calling and political accusations your point of view might have provoked a little more thought and discussion on the subject.

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SilverSpoon 5 years, 10 months ago

Maybe another perspective is required:

In china, you are allowed to have 1 child. If you are rich you can buy the rights to have another. Although it is an extreme approach to control the population growth. Resources are finite, the amount of land available to feed their population, the amount of coal to keep their computers running( and the nike factory), the amount of oil for their new cars.

The opposite strategy is employed by the hispanic population, how many times do you go to walmart and see a 3 yr old, a 2 yr old, a 10 month old in the shopping cart, and a bun in the over. Some quick math, if the chinese have 4 kids to replace 2 parents every 30 years, in 90 years their population would grow from 1 billion to 10 billion.

The dugger family with 18 kids, now that is taking it to the next level, that family must have seen monty python's search for the holy grail and thought the song: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Every_Sp... was a great idea.

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JazzSlave 5 years, 10 months ago

justathought:

Abortion is such an emotional issue (for both sides) that discussion of it almost always degenerates into insults & name calling.

You're right on the money re: the lesser of two evils. I'm voting McCain, but I'll have to hold my nose when I do. My prediction: President Obama - shudder...

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SilverSpoon 5 years, 10 months ago

One less abortion=One more soldier to send to iraq

4,000 dead, 29,978 injured

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424now 5 years, 10 months ago

Jazz,

We will shudder in unison.

I support a womans right to protect her well being.

However,

Abortion when used as a method of birth control is repulsive. It is better to exercise prudence.

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dundalk 5 years, 10 months ago

Duke:

Wow, you are so smart. What an intelligent comment on a serious topic. Thanks for your input.

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JazzSlave 5 years, 10 months ago

Dukebets:

I hit the 'suggest removal' button on your last post. If you want to disagree with dundalk (or anyone here), more power to you. Hopefully, you can manage something more constructive than sophomoric name calling.

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Dukebets 5 years, 10 months ago

dundalk - My comments were not meant for MENSA candidates.

You only have close minded statements in your rants which is why I made obvious comparisons. That was my whole point. Your statements on 'murder' and 'taking a life' are a joke.

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Dukebets 5 years, 10 months ago

Jazzslave - Hopefully you can manage something better than giving us your choice for president.

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seabirth 5 years, 10 months ago

justathought, i understand why you choose to put me in the democratic party column.... and yet in the elections i have had choices in, it's been clinton, dole, bush(i truly am sorry), kerry. i do post a lot on these "CONservative" commentaries because they stray so far from conservative ideals and don't pass the sniff test.

i have made a decision that to support the republican party as it is now composed is a vote to give power to groups who i feel are seriously dangerous to our country. is the democratic party much better? no, but punishing the republican party for pandering to a dangerous, ill-informed, and backwards wing of the party is the only option... and the only way that i believe the party will ever change.

it's truly sad that the party that talks a big game of being fiscally conservative has brought us huge budget deficits and huge increases in government spending. continuing down this path is a known hazard. honestly, i would rather have a democratic president (to restrain the religicans) while having a republican congress (to hopefully restrain spending and taxes).

i do get a chuckle about the comparisons to abortion and the death penalty and the answers you get. honestly, i oppose abortion but do not believe draconians laws are the answer in reducing abortions (kind of like the drug war). to me, murder is murder whether someone is "innocent" or not.

as for the name calling and bringing up politics.... ummmm it's a "conservative" commentary, and i really don't think highlighting CON in conservative and the term religicans is that offensive.

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raver 5 years, 10 months ago

Abortion is a woman's very difficult ,emotional and personal choice.Not anyone else's choice,as is her faith and her personal God.

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justathought 5 years, 10 months ago

I just had an inspiration. Since so many men have jumped on the anti abortion bandwagon, why don't the women get laws passed to sterilize all men after one child? That would solve over population, global warming (as seen by many), welfare families, and a host of other societal woes. Shouldn't the women have as much say over a man's body as he has over a woman's?

seabirth, putting someone like obama in office just to "punish" the republicans is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. There is no way you are going to restrain spending and taxes by electing a democrat that believes in redistribution of wealth through taxes. How do you think this new age robin hood is going to fund all of his "changes"? You said obama's raising taxes isn't as bad as our inflation, cost of oil, food and other goods is now, what do you think raising taxes is going to do to help the situation? From some of your past posts I find it impossible to believe you ever pulled the lever republican.

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David Carrick 5 years, 10 months ago

Seabirth, do I read you correctly, that you really aren't much opposed to the Republican or Conservative political party as much as you are simply opposed to biblically-based morality? Rather interesting, I think, that every single person who stands for elective abortion--murder of the innocents--has the opportunity to make that insane choice because he or she was not aborted. Somehow someone forgets the responsibility that comes with freedom...and with life!

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 10 months ago

DLCarrick- Does murder of the innocents include any civilians killed in wars when we bomb countries...or just when abortions happen? I actually think justathought's idea as a way to help curtail unnecessary abortions. (On a personal note, I don't agree with abortion, but I'm a guy and it's not my place to tell a woman what she can do with her body.)

Wow! And Jazz decided to censor someone. Welcome back to the dregs.

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David Carrick 5 years, 10 months ago

kielbasa, concerning bombing countries--war is war, and some of that will happen. Breaks my heart, but it will happen. As to "but I'm a guy and it's not my place to tell a woman what she can do with her body"--1) The pro-abortion crowd responds basically the same whether the questioner is a man or a woman; and 2) I, also, believe it's not my place to tell a woman what she can do with her body or, for that matter, a man with his. The aborted child, however, is not her body...it is a child, who just happens, it seems, too have the distinct misfortune of residing within the confines of her body, at a time when it is not convenient to...well, you get the picture.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 10 months ago

War is war? To me, that's the same thing as saying what I said about abortion. We can all make excuses that we believe in. It doesn't make it right either way.

You say that it's a misfortune that the baby "resides" in her body. It's not a misfortune; it's nature. When the human race can correct that, then there's more room for discussion. Unless you have a way of taking away a male's choice to have sex (consensual) without procreating by the sames means as banning aborition, why take a woman's right away to choose what happens from that consequence? Fair is fair.

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JazzSlave 5 years, 10 months ago

colowoodsman:

Some of them are. I've been to one such service.

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Carrie Requist 5 years, 10 months ago

The two sides of the abortion debate are well established and have been argued to no end for a long time now. My question is why the paper decided to give Gary this anti-abortion forum without also giving an equal pro-choice forum?

Obviously, I am pro-choice or I wouldn't care as much. First trimester abortion terminates a pregnancy that is non-viable (cannot survive outside the womb). To me, that is a huge distinction and puts the fetus in the same class as sperm or egg - having the potential for life, but not life itself. Late term abortion is such a red herring as it is less than 2% of the abortions (see this chart for the CDC - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/USAbortionbyGestationalAgeChart2002.png ). Viability is usually defined as beginning between 24-27 weeks.

I could go on with the pro-choice arguments, but they are easy to look up and the debate will just fill this forum and end with non-agreement as this debate always does.

But my question remains to the paper - why give a pro-life/anti-abortion column the forum without including a pro-choice / pro-abortion column?

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 10 months ago

CarrieRequist- Email Brent Boyer and ask to write one. I agree- if we get a local Conservative Commentary, it should be balanced out with a Liberal Commentary for equal time. I'm sure he'd have no problem with it. Someone just needs to write it for publication.

In fact, should any commentary come up like this for either side, Brent should have a list of people to contact to write up something to dispute it: a "For and Against" commentary.

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Carrie Requist 5 years, 10 months ago

Matt - I am not a pro-choice expert and would not consider myself qualified to write the column. I sure there are people in Steamboat associated with Planned Parenthood who could do a fine job with a Pro-choice column.

But, it shouldn't be up to me to ask for fair editorial from the paper. I would think it would be standard practice.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 10 months ago

You are right, Carrie. I'm just saying that maybe the Pilot hasn't had an influx of local people asking to write such commentaries. It might be better to see a local...ummm...Pro/Con commentary in the Sunday paper...or in place of Dowd and Coulter.

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JazzSlave 5 years, 10 months ago

As I recall, Brent bemoaned (in this forum) the lack of a liberal commentary, and indicated that there's an open invitation for anyone interested to fill the gap. No takers.

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meethinks 5 years, 10 months ago

first of all, I firmly believe it is a choice made by the individual, it is no one elses business. second, I went to high school with a young lady, and I use the term lady only to be polite, after her second abortion, she choose to be a hero and keep the 3rd unwanted pregnancy. Guess what? That baby was murdered three months later in a fit of anger. He wouldn't stop crying, now....which "murder" was more humane? the first TWO or the third? I personally have always wondered, I believe the first two were. Third, it is called birth control. Taught when parents dont teach it. Look around....the is a need, and yes, I do feel that it is MY job as a mom to tell my kids about the birds and the bees, but obviously many dont.

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424now 5 years, 10 months ago

Thread,

Brent did ask for a liberal writer to come forward to balance out the commentaries. Suprise, suprise, no liberal writers emerged to take up the gauntlet. Go figure.

Matt,

Now there's an IDEA!

A balanced column. Showcasing Views from opposing sides of the political fence! That might actually breath some life into these (far to often) tame little threads. They could call it "From left to Right" or maybe "Point-Counterpoint" no that ones taken. Hmmmm...

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JazzSlave 5 years, 10 months ago

424now - I tried youtubing one of those clips to accompany my last post, and came up empty. Muchas arigatos, holmes!

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424now 5 years, 10 months ago

Esta no problema amigo. Domo Arigato Jazzslavesan. Peace Out!

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

Reminds me of when County comissioner Billy Mack was recalled. Just one question. If fetuses are human beings why aren't miscarriages given funerals?

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Carrie Requist 5 years, 10 months ago

Some states will issue birth certificates for miscarriages, but I believe that most still don't. For women with planned/wanted pregnancies who have miscarriages (miscarriage is prior to 20 weeks gestation; stillborn is used at 20 week +)., the loss is as impactful to them as a stillborn or losing an infant.

Most miscarriages happen at 6 weeks or less so for many of them, the woman didn't even know she was pregnant and they usually happen becuase there is something wrong with the fetus.

Along with your question are the whole legal issues of the status of the growing embryo/fetus as a person. If personhood starts at conception and you do harm to a woman who doesn't even yet know she is preggers, then should there be extra charges against you?

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seeuski 5 years, 10 months ago

Is advertising for an online jewelry company on this forum proper? Is seabirth an investor in the company and is seabirth paying for the ad spot here?

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dundalk 5 years, 10 months ago

Colo: Not sure if you are a man or not...My first child miscarried at 7 months and we did in deed have a requiem funeral mass and she is buried next to her brother who died 4 years later.

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Steamboatmom1 5 years, 10 months ago

First off, I would like to thank Gary for this Article. I know this is a very touchy subject and almost taboo subject to talk about. I know of women who have had abortions and all of them I have seen regrets in them latter on in life that they did this knowing there was a life there. I personally could not have had children of my own. But it was threw the unselfishness of other mothers who had there children that I was able to adopt my 2 children. There are so many people who can not have children that would be willing adopt and even have an open adoption so that the Bio-Mom could still be a part of that Childs life. Yes. These ladies are scared at first who wouldn't be! Yet, where there's a will there's a way to make things work. What ever happened to abstinence before marriage? If you don't want to get pregnant don't have sex. Control yourself don't put yourself in those predicaments. I'm not trying to be cruel here I am just saying we are responsible for our own actions and how we deal with life relationships. By taking a life we are showing that we place no value on the most precious gift that could ever be given to us and that's a precious human life. Are we as a society that cold and heartless that we can just wipe away a life in a spilt of a second and say sorry it was the wrong time of my life. Really is there any perfect time. I don't think so. We as human beings need to start taking responsibilities for our own actions and that includes the life of an innocent child who can speak for himself.

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Chad James 5 years, 10 months ago

Kudos to Gary for writing this column. It's nice to see people make a stand for their beliefs in a mature, understanding and civil fashion. I'd love to see someone as "left" as Gary is "right" write a column with as much grace. Alas, I think that may never happen.

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Steamboatmom1 5 years, 10 months ago

A CRY OF AN UNBORN LOVE


I'M HERE WELL AND ALIVE, I CAN'T BREATH, BUT I'm AWARE. I HAVE NE EYES, BUT CAN SEE. I HAVE NO EARS, BUT CAN HEAR.

I KNOW THE OLACE WHERE I AM. I SEE IT VERY CLEARLY. MA DOESN'T KNOW ME YET AND NEITHER DOES MY FATHER.

I BET THEY'LL BE THRILLED TO HERE OF MY COMING. I BET THEY'LL BE THRILLED TO SEE WHO I AM.

MOM AND DAD FINALLY HEARD THE NEWS. DOC SAID THAT I'LL BE HEALTHY. OH BOY, I JUST CAN'T WAIT TO SEE OUT THERE. I WONDER IF I HAVE ANY BROTHERS OR SISTERS.

I HOPE MOMMY LIKES LITTLE GIRLS. I'LL BE SO BEHAVED FOR MY PARENTS. THEY WON'T EVEN KNOW I'M AROUND. THEY'LL BE SO PROUD OF ME.

I'M 3 MONTHS NOW AND AM HAPPY. BOY, IT'S COMING CLOSER FOR MY TURN. PRETTY SOON MOM AND DAD WILL SEE ME. I BET THEY ARE DECIDING ON A NAME FOR ME.

I JUST FOUND OUT TODAY ABOUT MOMMY AND DADDY. THEY DON'T LOVE ME AT ALL. MOMMY,SHE, SHE'S GOING TO KILL ME TODAY.

MOMMY, DADDY HOW COULD YOU? I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME. I'M PART OF YOUR FLESH AND BLOOD. MOMMY AND DADDY, I HAD LOVED YOU, BOTH VERRY MUCH.

11-20-80

I WROTE THIS POEM AFTER I VISITED A HOSPITAL BACK IN WISCONSIN AND TALKED TO THE DOCTERS AND NURSES THERE ON ABORTION AND WHY THIS IS HAPPENING. AFTER LOOKING AT THE PICTURES OF ABORTED FETUSES I COULD ONLY COME TO ONE CONCLUSION AND THAT WAS ABORTION IS MURDER.

IF YOU ARE THINLING OF ABORTION PLEASE READ THE BOOK "WHO BROKE THE BABY?" BY JEAN STAKER CARTON. SEE WHAT THOSE WHO USE TO PERFORM ABORTIONS HAVE TO SAY NOW ABOUT IT. THEN MAKE YOUR DESICION. I'M JUST ASKING FOR PEOPLE TO MAKE WISE CHOICES NOT ONES MADE ON FEAR OF THE WHAT IF'S. TAKE CARE AND MAY YAWHEH BLESS YOU!

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Steamboatmom1 5 years, 10 months ago

The las part of my first comment should read who cannot speak for themselves. oops.. sorry.

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