Ukraine v Russia: Broken Ceasefires –> Massed Army: Midnight is Coming

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Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since shortly after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. More than 14,000 people have died in the conflict, and efforts to negotiate a political settlement have stalled.

The Kremlin, which has not denied the troop movements, said on Sunday it was not moving towards war with Ukraine – but also that it would “not remain indifferent” to the fate of Russian speakers in the conflict-torn region.

Agencies. “Ukrainian soldier reportedly killed in artillery fire from Russia-backed troops.” The Guardian, April 11, 2021.

Medieval leaders have ways of both boasting and lying their way into war.

While it should have been understand in the shadow of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that it would it would pick up the task of consolidating its “facts on the ground” — and it has certainly done that — it appears from this desktop that it has resolved to take the transformation of Crimea and Donbas further. It has, for example, installed an extraordinary new bridge into Crimea ne “Crimea Bridge” or “Kerch Strait Bridge” — all $3.7bn of it.


Vladimir Putin has opened a bridge between the Russian mainland and Crimea, tightening Russia’s hold over the contested peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The 12-mile (19km), $3.7bn (£2.7bn) bridge is Moscow’s only direct road link to Crimea. Russia expects it will carry millions of cars and rail travellers and millions of tons of cargo each year. Previously, all car traffic passed over the Kerch strait by ferry or by passing through Ukraine.

Roth, Andrew. “Putin opens 12-mile bridge between Crimea and Russian mainland.” The Guardian, Mary 15, 2018.

“Military echelon filmed in Krasnodar Krai towards Crimea,” read the caption from yesterday.
Ukraine has cut off water supply to Russian-occupied Crimea, and now that there’s a bridge, that bridge may have to be defended by Ukrainian (and allied) land, air, and sea force.

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Russia has never kept its promises as regards ceasefires in relation to Ukraine.

It has, in fact, had a history of brutalizing Ukraine. The methods brought to bear — from “Little Green Men” to slanders involving the image of Nazi Ukraine as pervasive — should to all westerners (who might care to check Russian claims against factual data and timely testimony from multiple sources) be especially repulsive as such disinformation expresses contempt for those receiving it.

Do you respect people who lie to you?

Why should Ukrainians — or NATO — or Ukrainian Russian speakers respect Russia today for its massive “Active Measures” campaigns?

No wonder Vladimir has inspired the epithet that is “Putler”.

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Russia says Ukraine is trying to provoke a conflict, while Kyiv has accused the Russian-backed separatists of increasing their attacks against government forces and Moscow of massing troops on its border.

Mathews, Sean. “Ukraine turns to Turkey as Russia threatens full-scale war.” Al Jazeera, April 11, 2021.

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Where oh where in the world has about the same thing?

Russia’s deflection of intent (“Accusation in a Mirror”) appears hackneyed today, but then one should not expect originality from a dictator whose desires would appear invested in a century (19th) far past its prime.


With the Open Source at my disposal, I could go on for a while longer, but what’s really on my mind is the “Moment of Decision”, i.e., that instant in time in which a choice must be made between freezing aggressive ambitions or going with them. As Russia last week left the West with a peaceful Easter Sunday, I expect that moment to arrive in two hours or seven, i.e., midnight in Kiev or earliest dawn. If those moments pass without incident out of the ordinary as regards Russian shelling and whatnot, Ukraine will remain tense but as is, which is not a happy prospect and rather mumbling at best. IF, on the other hand, Putin’s tanks power up, the world may be changed tomorrow, and Ukraine (and NATO) will have to face Russian barbarism and its implacable and unconscionable — well demonstrated in Syria — character and the reality-creating horror that seems always to accompany that character in its striving to create chaos wherever it goes and then be . . . taken seriously despite its moral bankruptcy and ugliness.

Related Online

Agencies. “Ukrainian soldier reportedly killed in artillery fire from Russia-backed troops.” The Guardian, April 11, 2021.

BBC News. “Russia fears Crimea water shortage as supply drops.” April 25, 2014.

Interfax-Ukraine. “Forced Russian passportization affects 2.9 million Ukrainians in Donbas, Crimea.” Kyiv Post, February 20, 2021.

Macias, Amanda. “U.S. top diplomat warns Moscow of consequences amid Russian troop buildup near Ukraine.” CNBC, April 11, 2021.

Mathews, Sean. “Ukraine turns to Turkey as Russia threatens full-scale war.” Al Jazeera, April 11, 2021.

Roth, Andrew. “Putin opens 12-mile bridge between Crimea and Russian mainland.” The Guardian, May 15, 2018.

UAWire. “Kremlin: war in Ukraine can resume any time.” April 11, 2021.

UAWire. “U.S. General Hodges: deployment of Russian troops to Donbas is only a distraction, the Kremlin is preparing a different attack.” April 11, 2021.

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Sky News, April 11, 2021.

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Ukraine, Russia, and NATO’s Prevarication

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“Russian Railways, 04/10/2021”


Given that Vladimir Putin continues to annoy the west with displays of feudal-medieval political methods, starting with disinformation and rumor mongering and putting a point on it with hybrid warfare and passportization, NATO would seem well advised to hasten Ukraine’s accession to its defense community.


Today’s Ukraine is not only a security recipient, but a security donor in its region. Ukraine has been successfully countering Russian aggression for almost seven years now, protecting not only itself but a wider region between the Baltic and Black Seas. Ukraine has gained invaluable experience deterring Russian aggression on the traditional military battlefield and in the realm of hybrid warfare, which extends from cyber to disinformation and beyond. These factors would appear to make Ukraine a strong candidate for NATO membership.

That is the rational side to answering President Zelenskyy’s question. However, there is also an emotional side to consider. Perhaps the best way to understand this dialectic is by adopting a neuroscientific approach and exploring both the rational and the emotional approaches to Ukraine’s future membership in NATO.

Kuleba, Dmytro. “Why is Ukraine still not in NATO?” Atlantic Council, February 16, 2021.

That emotional side accesses the same arguments the KGB has woven into the Palestinian narrative to see Fatah and Hamas elites — and all their cousins — at once loot the refugees of UN funds (and much else) while claiming their defense (see the rest of Dmytro Kuleba’s insightful essay as noted above and listed below). The arguments — essentially forms of “Accusation in a Mirror” — have been the same that have excused numerous vain and ruthless personalities on their way to establishing brutal dictatorships under cover of popular “revolutions” that bypass always those who believed they were going to get some attention at last.

In that Russian autocratic power from the Imperial Period through the Bolshevik Revolution with its imperious, omnipresent, and totalitarian Party, and right through to the rein of “Vertical of Power” Putin has long played this game against Russians, what makes Ukrainian Russians think the establishment of greater Russian military presence would actually defend either their economic or ethnic interests? Most would be dumb and duped to believe the malarkey passed along from Russia’s traumatized and trauma-producing and now perpetuated medieval political tradition.

Drawing from my impression of Euromaidan seven years ago, Ukrainians wish to be democratic, lawful, and modern — not fodder for barbaric medieval throwbacks inclined to threaten geopolitical space with massed forces or through incursion install corrupt elites inclined to be just as ruthless with Russian speakers as with Ukrainian ones.

I’m sure Alexei Navalny would have something to say about that were he in good health and free to speak.

Related Online

Al Jazeera. “Russia warns NATO against deploying troops to Ukraine.” April 2, 2021.

Kramer, Andrew E. “Russian Troop Movements and Talk of Intervention Cause Jitters in Ukraine.” The New York Times, April 9, 2021.

Holodomor 1932-33: Famine Genocide in Ukraine.

Khurshudyan, Isabelle, David L. Stern, Loveday Morris, and John Hudson. “On Ukraine’s doorstep, Russia boosts military and sends message of regional clout to Biden.” The Washington Post, April 10, 2021.

Kuleba, Dmytro. “Why is Ukraine still not in NATO?” Atlantic Council, February 16, 2021.

Macias, Amanda M. “U.S. concerned about Russian troop movements near Ukraine, discussing regional tensions with NATO allies.” CNBC, April 8, 2021.

NATO. “Relations with Ukraine.” November 11, 2020.

Sabbagh, Dan. “Ukraine urges NATO to hasten membership as Russian troops gather.” The Guardian, April 6, 2021.

Simmons, Ann M. “Russia Warns of Full-Scale War in Eastern Ukraine, Blames Kyiv.” The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2021.

YanukovychLeaks National Project.

Wikipedia. “Ukraine-NATO relations”.


Posted by A Whisper to a Roar, “I Am a Ukrainian”, February 10, 2014.

https://liveuamap.com/en/2021/9-april-military-echelon-filmed-in-rostovnadonu

“Military echolon filmed in Rostov-na-Donu”, April 9, 2021, 47°13′N 39°41′E.


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Ukraine: ‘Bidenlain v Putler” — Russia Adds Heat to Its ‘Frozen Conflict’ with Ukraine

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Joint Forces Operation: 14 ceasefire violations yesterday. 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed

https://liveuamap.com/en/2021/7-april-joint-forces-operation-14-ceasefire-violations-yesterday

. . . the enemy fired proscribed 82mm mortars, tripod-mounted man-portable antitank guns, and heavy machine guns near the village of Nevelske.

They also used 82mm and 120mm mortars, tripod-mounted man-portable antitank guns, hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and automatic rifles near the villages of Pisky and Opytne.

https://www.unian.info/war/donbas-war-escalation-14-attacks-on-april-6-two-soldiers-killed-11379409.html

“Bidenlain” meets “Putler”?

Putin appears to be searching for the limits of threat while weaving into his takeover of Ukraine new prepared forces — and large ones, conventional and new — with impunity. Ukraine has fed its children, one to a few at a time, into the fire at the edge of the margin of the Atlantic Alliance and Europe.

NATO appears prepared but supine with an America’s President asking for “clarifications” and a State Department whining about Russia’s attitude toward publications adverse to its aggression.

The American public appears distracted by issues abetted or stirred by Russian trolls — possibly agent provocateur; certainly disinformation — and the encouragement of Far Out Left and Far White Right elements.

And much of the American public appears ill-educated, unprepared, and too parochial (on the Right) or self-centered (on the Left) for understanding how Putin’s aggression in Ukraine threatens the very freedoms, privileges, and traditions they take for granted (while the government takes care of their foreign affairs and related security, so they believe), a posture (if true) that then leaves their Presidents, even the former Trump, alone and weak).

Even America’s Gun Culture (as expressed in enthusiasm for signing up with militia) appears more concerned with its arms and predominantly white cultural traditions than with the greater freedom of all Americans and the support of bedrock American principles and values at home and abroad.

In Russia, Putin has effectively removed from the public sphere his most brave and notorious critic Navalny while ignoring the complaints of ordinary Russians. The man without a face has turned out a man without a purpose or soul apart from his own malign and piratical narcissism.

Related Online

Meyer, Henry, Daryna Krasnolutska, and Kateryna Choursina. “Russia Stages Mass Military Drills as Ukraine Tensions Climb.” Bloomberg, April 6, 2021.

RFE/RL. “U.S. Secretary of State Expresses Concern Over Russian Attempts to Restrict RFE/RL.” April 7, 2021.

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FTAC: A Note on Totalitarianism and America’s Fractious Left v Right Politics

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Inspiration for this post —

Billingsley, Lloyd. “Lessons From a Journalist’s First Encounter with Totalitarianism.” Frontpage, April 6, 2021.

From the Awesome Conversation

As Facebook responses — this one appeared on the Bukovsky Center page — and blog presentations differ, I have opted to let the blogging system work by adding URLs to the original text and allowing importation as commercial interests (Amazon’s) have made possible.


While Lloyd Billingsley has got right the description of Communist Totalitarianism, it just does not follow that the American Left and main portion of the Liberal Community has some Stalinist bent. Even the fashionable “far left” — short of the armed-up separatists who do fit Billingsley’s description from the “Far Out Left” and “Far White Right” (my terms) — places some premium on frank discussion and reporting with integrity. Some, unfortunately, have made alliance with the Soviet / post-Soviet remains of Communist Group Think and will swallow old Kool-Aid like the Boycott Divestitures and Sanctions (BDS) malarkey, but on the whole will report with integrity.

Cullors, Patrisse and Asha Bandele; forward by Angela Davis. St. Martin’s Press, 2018.

I have found enough in Patrice Cullors (“Marxist Trained” is part of her self-promotion) to both validate a number of race-related and systemic American issues.

The truths may be uncomfortable, but raising points in an open society undermines efforts to install a more deeply pernicious totalitarianism in America’s own open society — and by extension the still open (or remaining) democratic societies of EU/NATO. IF we in the West should wish to live in authentic (as opposed to Potemkin) democracies, we bear the burden of listening to earnest complaint and testimony and finding appropriate and best ways of responding to it and associated public and private realpolitik.


“Accusation in a Mirror”, a term derived from Kenneth L. Marcus’s eponymous essay (PDF) befits the hothouse atmospheres of both strident conservatives and edgy liberals as each accuses the other of attempting to established a communist or fascism totalitarian state in their areas of influence and operations.

Aside: I have long ago picked up on the idea that both communism and capitalism over-emphasize material well-being in their otherwise opposite philosophies, and if it’s true that such bipolar conflicts comes down to “owning the pie v sharing the pie”, the nation has other spiritual challenges. Personally, I would endorse the development of carefully constructed public-private compact with basic environmental and human interests and related principles and values foremost.

I would suggest to Lloyd Billingsley that he take in a less divisive and more magnanimous and realistic approach to an adjusted 21st Century politics; to Patrisse Cullors and others, black or white or other: let’s hear stories told with integrity while querying systemic shortcomings. Color — brown eyes or blue? — may be a “discriminator”, but what is one to do with hazel or flecked or green — or with skin cafe au lait, caramel, ochre, bronzed, freckled, eggplant, milky, peachy or with body types and facial features innumerable?

In my experience, nature more appreciates or favors variety than it does mono-cultures too isolated and too rigid to respond to the natural proliferation of antagonists (for the political portal associated with related science, see the Convention on Biological Diversity and its List of Parties).

One more opinion from off this desktop where with information I “collect, select, and opine”: to what extent do we as Americans really need our “hyphenates” and elaborated and ironically suffocating color, culture, and gender oriented taxonomies?

For the time being, we’re having issues with perceived political power and empowerment and related injuries, injustices, jealousies, and resentments. While not everything may be repaired, we might choose to look ahead toward what needs may be diminished (starting with our own rancor) and what may be improved, better integrated, more loved, more appreciated.

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Russia v Ukraine – Fast Note

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6 hours ago – 48°0′N 37°48′E
Head of occupation authorities in parts of Donetsk region threatens there is little chance to stop military conflict at Donbas

https://liveuamap.com/en/2021/5-april-head-of-occupation-authorities-in-parts-of-donetsk – Noticed about 9:30 a.m. EDT.

Russia’s earlier mobilization, the production (fake, false flag, etc.) or reporting of a casus belli (scroll down), and this day’s direct signal may spell other than heightened activity in this frozen conflict zone in which Russia has every day violated ceasefire agreements.

While Ukraine has reluctantly shouldered The Bear through two Administrations in Washington, this following on the heels of the Easter Holiday will challenge the Biden Administration to step up and forward instead of stepping back and sitting down to watch a sapping low-intensity conflict that appears to have transformed.


Related Online

At home, Putin faces parliamentary elections in September with his approval ratings in a slump and support for his United Russia political party collapsing. A military adventure in nearby Ukraine could act as a convenient distraction and serve to revitalize Putin’s personal popularity. In a worrying indication of Moscow’s intentions, the Kremlin-controlled Russian media has recently stepped up its propaganda attacks on Ukraine and begun accusing the Ukrainian authorities of plotting an offensive of their own.

Hopes of achieving a favorable peace agreement with Zelenskyy have also now largely evaporated.

Dickinson, Peter. “Is Putin about to launch a new offensive in Ukraine?” Atlantic Council, April 4, 2021.

Mikovic, Nikola. “The Donbass conflict: Waiting for escalation.” The Interpreter, February 4, 2021.

Roth, Andrew. “EU pledges backing to Ukraine after Russian military buildup.” The Guardian, April 5, 2021.

Stewart, Will. “The Kremlin accuses ‘Ukrainian beasts’ of executing a boy, 5, with a drone as tensions rise between the two countries and Russia moves troops and tanks to the border.” Daily Mail, April 5, 2021.

StopFake. “Fake: A child died in Donbas as a result of a Ukrainian drone attack.” April 5, 2021.

StopFake. “Ukraine is Barbaric: StopFakeNews with Marko Suprun (No. 3018).” April 2, 2021.

UNIAN. “Russian deploying air assault division to occupied Crimea — OSINT group.” April 5, 2021.

Wikipedia. “Russo-Ukrainian War”.

Related to Russia’s Projection of Greater Threat to EU/NATO (Examples)

RFERL. “Putin Warns of Risk of Nuclear War, Talks Up Russian Economy in Annual Press Conference.” December 20, 2018.

RFERL. “Russian Fighter Jets Moved to Annexed Ukrainian Region.” December 22, 2018.


Posted by StopFake English, April 2, 2021.

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FTAC: Medieval v Modern – An Observation

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I don’t want to spend too much time — or too much of your time — reinforcing what has become thematic on this blog: “Medieval v Modern”. However, there’s no evading forces backed by powerful wills intent on producing feudal power with extraordinary modern defense and intelligence technologies that lend themselves to the nightmares of totalitarian control.

Here’s the note.

From the Awesome Conversation


Both China and Russia practice and promote political absolutism in governance. More than convenience has been involved in their relationship — and in China’s stepping in to keep Tehran in the oil money it uses to fund its promotion of aggression by IRGC and proxies and further creation of chaos in the middle east. Regarding China’s threats to western power in this “hybrid warfare” age — so underhanded! — the smorgasbord is wide but not yet too strong.

A Short Note on China’s Contemporary Political Sins (11/27/2020)

In the process of blogging, I’ve found a convenient axis in “Medieval Absolutism v Modern Democratic Distribution of Power” (Medieval v Modern, essentially) and believe the New Nationalism and bents toward autocracy and authoritarianism (and corruption) run together. In that way, Xi, Putin, and Trump had been on similar pages in a rule book that doesn’t exist. The west for several hundred years has repeatedly turned away from Absolutism and the related admiration of singular and unquestionable authority. While I am much less familiar with China’s civilization than with Russia’s (and I may not get beyond tenderfoot with that), I would see the continued binding of Sino-Russo interests as inimical to the western path, its energies, and the greater spirituality that has made much of the bloc wondrously productive before the backsliding of some toward the feudal mode.


Feudal societies are never democratic, just, or humane. In Russia, the absolute power of the sovereign has covered the ownership — what else would you call it? — of persons and property as alike. When Russian air forces have bombed hospitals in Syria (and White Helmets who arrive to rescue the injured and retrieve the dead), it has been without regard to the humanity of the persons, helpless patients, caring visitors, the doctors, caught in that hell. The dismal character of that brand of leadership now paints its own horrifying portrait for viewing around the world daily.

China has sent is final message to the world with its own production of a panopticonic society that can view all of the people all the time through their phones (conversations, locations, purchases) without challenge or question. Great Britain with is public monitoring cameras and Snowden with his revelations regarding how far technology has come may suggest some worrisome potentials — and all gets hashed in freedom in the west through the open press — but China has gone the distance with its inherently paternal and degrading assessment of its human complement — and don’t let the Communist banner fool you: the state has become wealthy with global trade — and the western portion a large part of it — and it has been minting billionaires like no other state on earth while engaged in questionable international development and lending practices (see the above noted “contemporary political sins” post).

The “superpowers”, once defined by their nuclear capability, have on this one life-producing planet no choice but to compete or wrestle with one another over money, political philosophy, and both the character of power and the nature of our humanity. As an American, I promote an earnest freedom of conscience and moral agency and leave to pursue individual interests in what should be a competitive and meritocratic society even though it has its “feudalism” in the private sector in which family and social interests combine. Also as an American, one needs must endorse and support integrity and transparency in governance and protest, question, and resist efforts to install family interests and “great leaders” who may then (as Viktor Orban has done in Hungary, as Donald Trump appears to have attempted in the United States) choose to bend and twist their “democratic” states into private fiefs.

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2021 & 1960s Redux — It’s Always About Hair

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The bill builds off existing state laws, which generally prohibit workplace or school discrimination based on religion, gender, sexual orientation and race. But the CROWN Act expands the definition of “race” to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles,” like braids, locs and twists. These and other styles known as “natural” looks do not involve processing to straighten the hair.

Norwood, Candice. “A yearslong push to ban hair discrimination is gaining momentum.” PBS New Hours, March 31, 2021.

The Crown Act (Home Page)

The greater part of the forces of conformity and order would seem to come from the control freaks of the private sector, who, well, foot the bill for their corporate look — and so they would seem entitled regiment employee appearances — but that regimentation may no longer fit the look of America, which has become naturally . . . natural, color filled, and creative and wild in personal expression and representation.

Thus has it been since at least the tumult of the 1960s and the race in commerce and finance to capitalize on the greater institutionalization of broadest inclusion (e.g., see United Colors of Benetton).

Of course, there’s more to contemporary racial discomfort than fashion.

And there’s more to it than this day’s hideous Far White Right angst-inspired hatred, the impersonal qualities of national course correcting quotas and programs (so that – and so I heard one academic leader proclaim long ago in relation to his institution – “our numbers look right”), Russian Active Measures (designed to disinform and enrage us in every way possible), and, sadly, incarceration rates.

There’s The Money — who has it, who produces more of it, who gets it, and how — and America’s future in its cultural, economic, spiritual development, evolution, and realpolitik.

Do we really believe in our ideals?

Have we the insight, will, and vision to construct what needs must become a Greater American Dream and Reality?

The latest to-do about hair, that most intimate and universal signal about how we roll, as it were, whether young peacocks or tigresses or balding old men, black as well as white, and haloed older ladies, may be more affirming in relation to America’s meta- and political cultures than challenging except near the separatist fringes where the most malign of narcissists insist that their own image and legacy define the world around themselves.


Posted to YouTube by Slave Play, March 1, 2021.

Of the few things a person may control in life, the body — and, as part of it, the haircut — would seem the most primary.

Add cloth.

Make an appearance.

If good, if lawful, if broad in outlook and of generous spirit, well then — welcome aboard America.

Welcome home.

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I Am An American

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I am an American.

I am not a Jewish American but for anti-Semites, tribal wranglers, and the boundaries of my own concessions.

I am not a German American, and not a word of it.

I am not a Polish American although I may appreciate the Polish tradition in tea cup and pot design.

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I am an American who admires and appreciates the world, its myriad cultures, races, and religions but returns always to a pale-to-black nation separated from alliance with any one acknowledged church, life way, or god even though I may acknowledged the presence of an All that becomes the idea of God.

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I am an American free to watch baseball or porn, to catch the world’s news or none at all, to reflect on my nation’s Constitution — or not worry over it, for it’s a strong thing by itself, and I am free and secure to fall asleep beneath clouds or stars, to read or write as spirit moves, to seek company or seclusion as my self sees fit.

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I am an American aware of the effects of American Natives, the currents of European history, and the presence of ruthless and sadistic Puritans on the cultural outlines within the spacious boundaries and potentials of the now modern state.

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I am an American easily, simply, spiritually.

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I am an American.

My People are Americans.