Archive for January, 2012

New Campaign Brings Backlash to Duluth Mayor

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Duluth, MN (Northland’s NewsCenter) – Last Thursday a new campaign rolled out in Duluth, hoping to battle racism on all levels.

That campaign has sparked a backlash, including messages sent to the Mayor of Duluth.

“I’ve been getting really threatening and ugly emails from all over the world,” said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

Those messages, says Mayor Ness, have come from White Supremacist groups.

One of the sites we tracked down actually called upon people to contact Mayor Ness, voicing their discontent with his support of the Un-Fair Campaign; even telling them exactly how they can reach the Mayor.

Mayor Ness says he feels the message of the campaign may be misunderstood by some.

“They think this is calling every white person racist and it doesn’t it says racism exists, it’s a problem in our nation and in our community and that white people have a role in being part of the solution,” said Mayor Ness.

In a recent Northland Voices program, organizers of the campaign say they anticipated the edgy campaign could create backlash, but that it was an issue too important not to address head on.

“We have been socialized to not see the privilege in the system for us and until we can see it and understand it…we are not saying most people are conscious of this. In fact it stays the way it is because people are unconscious and we really want to raise this consciousness,” said Sheryl Bowman with the Duluth Human Rights Commission.

As for Mayor Ness, he says he stands strong in his support for the campaign, hoping it opens up more doors for people of all races to take a stand against racism in all forms.

“It can be intimidating but you can’t let yourself be intimidated by it otherwise it just encourages that type of behavior,” said Mayor Ness.

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The 66th Anniversary of Tito’s Yugoslavia

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The nation of Yugoslavia was a creature of the Versailles Treaty, first cobbled together out of the remnants of the old Austro-Hungarian empire and the nations of Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia itself included ethnic minorities such as Slovenes and Croats. These people did not speak the same language or share the same religious confessions. They were simply defined as “South Slavs,” who were put together to create a nation that it was hoped would contain imagined future threats to peace and to reward Serbia, one of the victors in World War I.

This first Yugoslavian nation was a kingdom, and it quickly became a rival of fascist Italy and was for a time a de facto ally of Nazi Germany (which, until Germany absorbed the buffer state of Austria in 1938, was more a rival of Italy than an ally). By 1929, King Alexander had banned all political parties in order to contain the natural centrifugal pressures of this unnatural polity. He was assassinated in 1934, indicating just how strongly the different nationalities within Yugoslavia desired their own states.

The problems of Yugoslavia were replicated throughout Europe, whether the idea was that “bigger is better” or that placing different people within a larger nation was wise statesmanship. Almost from the start, these ideas did not work. For instance, Czechoslovakia — often presented in history as a model nation — was pure invention. The architects of Czechoslovakia took the historically Czech provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, added to them the Slovak people, and then threw in over three million Sudenten Germans. This polyglot, artificial creature had a functioning democracy, significant liberty, and a robust army; however, half its citizens had no desire to remain in Czechoslovakia. Hitler was given an easy chance to add territory to his Reich by demanding that the Sudentenland be allowed to join Germany, which most Sudentenland Germans wanted. Less noticed but just as important was the fact that the five million Slovaks in the eastern third of the nation were just as adamant about ending their forced association with their Czech brethren.

Both Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were invaded and occupied by the Nazis in World War II, with Hitler taking full advantage of the simmering animosities among different peoples forced into one nation. In both Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the indigenous Communist Party members originally trumpeted the virtues of collaboration with the Nazis. That hidden but vital fact of history — the strong political, as well as military and economic, alliance between Bolsheviks and Nazis throughout the world — was profoundly true in central Europe. Tito — later an opponent of Hitler, after the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 — was initially a cheerleader for Nazism.

After Germany invaded Yugoslavia in May 1941, and after that, Russia, the whole attitude of communists around the world spun 180 degrees. Instead of railing against “Western plutocrats” (e.g., Britain), communist propaganda attacked the “German Fascists” or “Hiterlites” (although never, ever, the “National Socialists” — an outlawed term which if even spoken or written in public could earn one a trip to the Gulag).

When the war ended, the Red Army was sitting astride half of Europe. Stalin kept the three Baltic states, Bessarabia (part of Romania seized during the alliance with the Nazis), much of Poland, and the slice of Finland taken during the Winter War. Docile governments in Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria were established. Additionally, the “Russian Zone” of Germany — which would later become the Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) — was placed under Walter Ulbrich, the man who a few years earlier had attacked the British for fighting the Nazis.

Czechoslovakia would survive in a shadowy independence until 1948, when full Stalinist rule was imposed. Albania, which had borders with only Greece and Yugoslavia and which had been an Italian Fascist possession, remained Marxist but notionally free of the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia, which never joined the Warsaw Pact and was not occupied by the Red Army, formed on January 31, 1946 under strongman Josip Broz Tito (pictured above) as the Yugoslavian Federal Socialist Republic, a one-party communist dictatorship, but notionally freer from the mandates of Moscow.

It was out of Yugoslavia that Milovan Djilas, a principal lieutenant of Tito, soon became one of the most vociferous critics of communism in power and in 1957 wrote the seminal work, The New Class, which exposed from the inside how the statists who ran Marxist Yugoslavia were no better than a superimposition of earlier aristocratic classes, and that the communists who ran the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations were no different in the stark division between the ordinary subjects and the communist elites. Djilas condemned the Soviet crushing of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. He survived Tito by 15 years and witnessed the disintegration of Yugoslavia before his death.

When the Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1989, nine years after Tito died, the six nations that formed Yugoslavia stayed together for a short while in a shaky alliance. Then, just as Lithuanians and Ukrainians sought to separate themselves from the Great Russians of the Soviet Union, so the Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Montenegrins, and Macedonians each sought independence from the hegemony of the Serbians. What has followed has been a period of bloodshed in which Muslim Bosnians have killed, raped, and plundered Serbian Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Serbians have done the same to Bosnians.

In some instances the disintegration of Yugoslavia was relatively bloodless, as with Slovenia (just as the “Velvet Divorce” which ended the wholly artificial union of Czechs and Slovaks was essentially bloodless) and the conflict that ended with a new Republic of Slovenia was called the “Ten Days War.” In other cases, such as the battles between Serbs and Bosnians, the conflicts are hundreds of years old, and outside intervention on one side or the other — as with the American participation in NATO’s undeclared war on Serbia — simply increases the violence.

Yugoslavia — a grand failure of a government to preside over a variety of peoples who never wanted to be joined together — ought to be a warning to the world of the risks of hyper-centralism. Nations with different peoples living together peacefully are almost invariably found in places with a great deal of personal liberty and decentralization of power down to the level of a confederacy, such as in Switzerland. No Slovaks today pine about not being Czechoslovakians, and no Slovenians regret not being joined to Serbians. There is a reason why: Liberty is a natural impulse and that yearning is met most easily when government is strongly limited.

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Jan-Peter & Russkij Styag (Русский Стяг) – “Brotherhood In Arms”

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Jan-Peter & Russkij Styag (Русский Стяг) - "Brotherhood In Arms"Russkij Styag (Русский Стяг):

01. Европа пробудись (Europa...) (4:59)
02. Гибель богов (Der Tod der Götter unserer Feinde) (5:21)
03. Верные Друзья (Treue Freunde) (2:59)
04. Не для меня (Nicht für mich) (4:22)

Jan-Peter:

05. Das Wesen der Wahrheit (1:47)
06. Der freie Geist (3:19)
07. Fort von hier... (4:33)
08. Freiheit verwehrt (4:49)
09. Герои P.O.A. (Heroes of R.O.A.) (5:24)

Jan-Peter & Russkij Styag (Русский Стяг):

10. F.S.N. / ф.C.H. (3:26)



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Illinois facing “financial disaster”: watchdog

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois could see its pile of overdue bills climb to an unprecedented $35 billion in five years if the state fails to rein in pension and other costs, a watchdog group said in a report released on Monday.

“Failure to address unsustainable trends in the state’s pension andMedicaid systems will only result in financial disaster for the state of Illinois,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, the financial government watchdog group that produced the report. Msall said the governor and General Assembly need to act now.

The Civic Federation’s five-year budget projection showed the backlog of bills owed vendors and others rising to $9.2 billion when fiscal 2012 ends in July.

Those numbers could balloon to $34.8 billion at the end of fiscal 2017, the report said. The rise was pegged largely to an unsustainable increase in the state’s costs for Medicaid, the health care program for the poor that is jointly funded by states and the federal government.

At the end of fiscal 2011, Illinois had about $8.5 billion in bills, tax refunds and other obligations outstanding despite a big income tax rate hike enacted in January 2011, according to the state comptroller.

Illinois’ fiscal woes and reliance on one-time revenue measures, such as borrowing, have made the state a riskier investment in the U.S. municipal bond market, where it has issued billions of dollars of bonds to make pension payments. Earlier this month, Moody’s Investors Service cut Illinois’ credit rating to A2, the lowest rating among the states it rates.

Medicaid-related bills alone could account for $21 billion of the projected fiscal 2017 bill backlog as Illinois budget appropriations lag rising costs for the program, the watchdog’s report said.

As for pensions, chronic underfunding, exacerbated by investment losses in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, have left Illinois with a $83.1 billion unfunded liability and a funded ratio of only 43.3 percent, according to the Civic Federation. The group called for curbing pension benefit increases for all retirees and current employees.

Illinois has consistently been ranked by the Pew Center on the States as having the lowest pension funding level among states.

Meanwhile, Illinois’ operating deficit, which is projected at $508 million in the current general funds budget, could jump to $3.2 billion in fiscal 2017 if the state continues to spend more than what it collects in revenue, the report said.

A statement from Governor Pat Quinn‘s Office of Management and Budget called the report constructive and said that Quinn, a Democrat, has proposed reforms such as a reduction in the Medicaid reimbursement rate.

It added that Quinn’s fiscal 2013 budget plan will “continue to market the tough decisions necessary to address the state’s financial challenges.”

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Suspect in N.J. Synagogue Arsons Apparently Planned Another Attack

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

A Jewish community center in Paramus, N.J., apparently was a potential target of a 19-year-old New Jersey man arrested for two synagogue firebombings, authorities say.  In one of those bombings, a rabbi and eight members of his family narrowly awoke in time to escape their burning living quarters.

Anthony M. Graziano, who apparently acted as a “lone wolf,” was arrested last Monday, just three days after Bergen County authorities and the FBI released surveillance video and photos and posted a $7,500 reward.

Graziano’s arrest led authorities to search 70 other synagogues and Jewish community centers within 10 miles of the suspect’s home. As part of that expanded search, investigators found multiple Molotov cocktails and a bicycle in a wooded area near the Jewish Community Center of Paramus, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said at a Friday press conference.

Anthony GrazianoThe firebombs and a bicycle subsequently were tied to the suspect, who was positively identified, then arrested following public release of surveillance photos.

The photos, taken Jan. 9 at a Walmart in Saddle Brook, N.J., show a young man buying Crush Soda pop, low-grade motor oil, duct tape and hairspray – ingredients authorities determined where used in at least one of the firebombings.

On Jan. 1, a Molotov cocktail was hurled through a window at Congregation Beth El in Rutherford, N.J., igniting the second-floor bedroom of Rabbi Nosson Schuman. The rabbi, his wife, their five children and his parents were asleep at the time, and narrowly escaped.

That arson followed a similar attack on Jan. 3 at Congregation K’Hal Adath Jeshuran in Paramus. There, when members smelled gasoline, authorities discovered a small fire in the rear of the building that had been started with an accelerant but burned itself out before causing significant damage.

“The Jewish community in New Jersey was tremendously on edge, not only because the firebombs could have taken lives and destroyed synagogues, but also because around the same time there was also a rash of synagogue daubings with swastikas, white supremacist symbols, and claims that ‘Jews did 9/11.’” Ken Stern, the American Jewish Committee’s director of  anti-Semitism and extremism, told Hatewatch.

Graziano hasn’t been officially linked to anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed last month on a Hackensack synagogue  that read “Jews Did 9/11” and “14/88.” The latter is a white supremacist slogan for the “14 Words” legacy of the late racist David Lane, and “88” is the neo-Nazi numerical abbreviation for “Heil Hitler.”

“Fortunately, police, public officials and interreligious partners joined with Jewish communal groups to ensure that these cases had the highest priority,” Stern said.  “Additionally, there was an important community forum demonstrating that an attack on anyone’s house of worship was considered an attack on all houses of worship.”

Graziano was arraigned Wednesday on multiple felonies, including nine counts of attempted murder, bias intimidation, arson and aggravated arson. He was ordered held in jail under a $5 million bond. Graziano also is now charged with aggravated arson and bias intimidation for the planned attack on the community center.

“We have no doubt that the arson and attempted murder in Rutherford were a direct result of Mr. Graziano’s hatred of people of the Jewish faith,” Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

The news website nj.com reported that “multiple tipsters were integral to identifying Graziano, an unemployed 2010 graduate of Hasbrouck Heights High School, as the alleged perpetrator.” It’s not known if anyone is in line for the $7,500 reward.

After Graziano was arrested, investigators searched a home in Lodi, N.J., where he lives with his mother and siblings. Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said evidence taken from Graziano’s room “wasn’t the only indication” of the suspect’s anti-Semitic views, but he wouldn’t elaborate, The Associated Press reported.

Authorities have not disclosed what was taken in the search of the suspect’s home or whether he has been linked to any white supremacist organizations.

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Art plagiarism creates unintended associates for artists

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

he other day I was brought into a discussion regarding a band’s use of an artist‘s image for the purpose of its music. I’m not going to get into details, but basically, a band used an image I recognized as a certain artist’s painting, I called it out as theft and a discussion regarding the differences between appropriation, plagiarism and parody began.

Effectively, there’s a lot of misconception out there regarding what is and is not OK to do regarding art and music. The punk community is especially known for not caring about anything, because of anarchy and all that jazz. Legendary hardcore band Black Flag has had their iconic logo parodied so many times it’s hard to remember the source. Hell, I had a friend in high school who owned a Black Flag shirt because he thought it was a cool logo. Honestly, I couldn’t blame him.

That is a prime example of parody. It’s meant to bring the viewer into the light that is Black Flag. Their logo is so iconic, it’s practically public domain. When bands work off that logo form it is not an attempt to redefine the meaning of those four black boxes. It’s a means of homage. If anything, parodying the Black Flag logo is an attempt to sling shot your band into more notoriety by aligning yourself with the Black Flag identity.

Appropriation is a wonderful word for “creative gray area.” Basically, appropriation is using something to create something new. Andy Warhol is best known for his appropriated works, in that he used the images of celebrities to create new works of art. Most sampling in the hip hop industry comes under this label of appropriation, because they take an existing creative work and make something out of it.

I’m sure I could come up with a sample of Adele so hot I’d get hood producers blowing up my cell. Take something popular completely out of context and make something new. Effectively, appropriation is a really fancy word for collage. It contains elements of the original property while remaining a brand new product. Like a parody, it is recognizable but different.

Then there is plagiarism. Sometimes, it’s hard to define. Other times, it’s extremely obvious. Plagiarism is stealing, and there are no exceptions to that. It is defining and identifying someone else’s work as your own. And when I use the term “identity,” I don’t mean logo. While logos are part of identities, artwork and visual imagery lend themselves just as much to the identity of a band.

Musical artists are more than just bands. They are, in fact, brands. If a musician makes a decent amount of money, they are required to register as an LLC. For a band to be able to make purchases they need a bank account and a recognized, legal standing as a corporation. It sounds dehumanized, but it’s how things are. As a result, a band cannot just use something.

It doesn’t matter if the band does not claim the work as their own: The act of using imagery, music or other creative material within their identity is an inherent claim of identity in and of itself. And to the attempts of justifying that action by claiming you’re not selling it or using it to gain money, I call bullshit.

There is no such thing as a purist artist. Everything in the industry is done to gain capital. Argue all you want that it’s about the music, but a musician needs to make money to continue to make music. Can a musician tour on pure art alone? Hell no. Can an artist paint without funding for canvas and paints? Hell no, that’s expensive.

In the discussion I mentioned earlier, a point to the effect of, “if I were an artist, I would be flattered that my work was used by a band” was brought up. That’s fine, but what if a white power punk band uses your painting as their album art work and suddenly your style and subject matter is forever associated with the neo-Nazi movement? What if, as a direct result of this plagiarism, you are associated with those ideals? Georgia O’Keefe’s work was read as nothing but a bunch of flowery-looking vaginas, an idea she fought until her death. As a result, art history will forever see a vaginal, feminine message in her paintings. She was unable to escape that reading in the same way you would be unable to escape an association with bigotry.

At the end of the day, stealing is stealing. Attempts to justify these actions by saying you aren’t making money or aren’t artistic enough to make your own artwork are just insults to artists everywhere, especially those whose work is stolen. Create something new. It’s not that hard, but I understand that not everyone can major in art.

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Hitler’s Speech at Essen, Party Convention SPEECH OF NOVEMBER 23, 1926

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

I WAS always particularly anxious to secure that Parteitag should on principle never be used for the settlement of personal disputes. Such disputes must certainly be settled in one way or another, but just as certainly the Parteitag which once in the year should unite the whole Movement, is not the fitting day for such a settlement. Neither is it the place at which to seek to clarify unripe and uncertain ideas. Neither the length of time available at such a gathering nor its nature admits of giving to it the character of a Council. And it must never be forgotten that in all such cases or those similar to them great decisions have not been made at such Councils: on the contrary, for the most part, world-history pursues its course without paying any attention to them. World-history, like all events of historical significance, is the result of the activity of single individuals – it is not the fruit of majority decisions….

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Toronto ‘rabbi’ Avraham David, led double life as NY immigration lawyer wanted in the U.S. for scam.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

To members of Toronto’s Jewish community he was Rabbi Avraham David, a Torah scholar and author.

But to U.S. investigators he was Earl Seth David, a New York lawyer they allege is behind one of the biggest immigration scams in American history.

David was extradited to the U.S. on Wednesday and appeared in a New York court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges that include conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, making false statements to immigration authorities and money laundering.

But David, 47, was no rabbi. He’d fled the U.S. in 2006 as authorities closed in on his massive immigration scam.

They allege David made millions of dollars processing up to 25,000 falsified immigration applications.

David operated a law firm where he and his cohorts allegedly forged documents to bolster people’s applications to stay in the United States, including employment offers from phoney sponsors.

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VALKYRIES

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Choosers of the Slain. They are a team of Viking ladies on horseback. Well not exactly ladies. Warrior maidens led by feisty FREYA.

If you are a handsome warrior strutting your stuff on the battlefield, watch out for 40 raving beauties on flying horses descending upon the pitch. We do mean raving. The VALKYRIES shriek, howl and cause total confusion. Why? Because they can grab any warrior they fancy, and take him away. There is only one rule; the bewildered chump or champion must be dead first.

So you must fight for your life, because if you fail you could be scooped up by one of the delighted long-legged VALKYRIES with flowing blonde hair and borne off toVALHALLA the Hero’s Heaven.

There you will be forced to feast, force down gallons of mead, and fornicate all night. Then fight fun battles all day. If you get sliced up you’ll be miraculously restored in time for the forced fun and frolics. Could you could cope with this? Oh dear — too late. You have just run onto a sword after a push byVALKYRIES shrieking “He’s mine!”

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Hitler’s speech in Munich: SPEECH OF APRIL 24, 1923

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

I REJECT the word ‘Proletariat.’ The Jew who coined the word meant by ‘Proletariat,’ not the oppressed, but those who work with their hands. And those who work with their intellects are stigmatized bluntly as ‘Bourgeois.’ It is not the character of a man’s life which forms the basis of this classification, it is simply the occupation – whether a man works with his brain or with his body. And in this turbulent mass of the hand-workers the Jew recognized a new power which might perhaps be his instrument for the gaining of that which is his ultimate goal: World supremacy, the destruction of the national States.

And while the Jew ‘organizes’ these masses, he organizes business, too, at the same time. Business was depersonalized, i.e., Judaized. Business lost the Aryan character of work: it became an object of speculation. Master and man were torn asunder . . . and he who created this class division was the same person who led the masses in their opposition to this class division, led them not against his Jewish brethren, but against the last remnants of independent national economic life.

And these remnants, the bourgeoisie which also was already Judaized, resisted the great masses who were knocking at the door and demanding better conditions of life. And so the Jewish leaders succeeded in hammering into the minds of the masses the Marxist propaganda: ‘Your deadly foe is the bourgeoisie; if he were not there, you would be free.’ If it had not been for the boundless blindness and stupidity of our bourgeoisie the Jew would never have become the leader of the German working-classes. And the ally of this stupidity was the pride of the ‘better stratum’ of society which thought it would degrade itself if it condescended to stoop to the level of the ‘Plebe.’ The millions of our German fellow countrymen would never have been alienated from their people if the leading strata of society had shown any care for their welfare.

You must say farewell to the hope that you can expect any action from the parties of the Right on behalf of the freedom of the German people. The most elementary factor is lacking: the will, the courage, the energy. Where then can any strength still be found within the German people? It is to be found, as always, in the great masses: THERE ENERGY IS SLUMBERING AND IT ONLY AWAITS THE MAN WHO WILL SUMMON IT FROM ITS PRESENT SLUMBER AND WILL HURL IT INTO THE GREAT BATTLE FOR THE DESTINY OF THE GERMAN RACE.

The battle which alone can liberate Germany will be fought out with the forces which well up from the great masses. Without the help of the German workingman you will never regain a German Reich. Not in our political salons lies the strength of the nation, but in the hand, in the brain, and in the will of the great masses. Now as ever: Liberation does not come down from above, it will spring up from below…. If we today make the highest demands upon everyone, that is only in order that we may give back to him and to his child the highest gift: Freedom and the respect of the rest of the world….

The parties of the Right have lost all energy: they see the flood coming, but their one longing is just for once in their lives to form a Government. Unspeakably incapable, utterly lacking in energy, cowards all – such are all these bourgeois parties and that at the moment when the nation needs heroes -not chatterers.

In the Left there is somewhat more energy, but it is used for the ruin of Germany. The Communists on principle reject the discipline imposed by the State: in its stead they preach party discipline: they reject the administration of the State as a bureaucracy, while they fall on their knees before the bureaucracy of their own Movement. There is arising a State within the State which stands in deadly enmity against the State which we know, the State of the community of the people. This new State ultimately produces men who reject with fanaticism their own people so that in the end Foreign Powers find in them their allies. Such is the result of Marxist teaching….

What we want is not a State of drones but a State which gives to everyone that to which on the basis of his own activity he has a right. He who refuses to do honest work shall not be a citizen of the State. The State is not a plantation where the interests of foreign capital are supreme. Capital is not the master of the State, but its servant. Therefore the State must not be brought into dependence on international loan capital. And if anyone believes that that cannot be avoided, then do not let him be surprised that no one is ready to give his life for this State. Further, that greatest injustice must be corrected which today still weighs heavily upon our people and upon almost all peoples. If in a State only he who does honest work is a citizen, then everyone has the right to demand that in his old age he shall be kept free from care and want. That would mean the realization of the greatest social achievement.

 

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