Freemasonry – Connecting It All

http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2018/02/freemasonry-connecting-it-all.html

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
RWB Robert H. Johnson

Freemasonry–that age old fraternity that conspiracy theorists claim “control everything”. We say, “We don’t know anything relating to a ‘World Agenda’”. They say, “You’re just not high enough in the order.” But what if for the first time ever, a Freemason, me, told the truth about how it’s possibly all true? I guess, there’s just no great way to begin, so I’ll just illuminate all of you, right here, right now. In abbreviated form, keep reading for the truth.

In the beginning, man was simple, relating more to the side of primates. In fact, we lived alongside primates of every kind. Life on Earth was a paradise. Not in the sense of paradise like we know it to be, but in the sense of a well maintained eco system of flora and fauna. This was the case of course until the arrival of a sizable force of aliens had arrived.

These aliens did in fact, alter the human DNA while here. Perhaps to make docile workers in order to mine gold for their home world. There were many races, dwarves, fairy types, giants or nephilim, elves and more. Even the mixed races like saeters and minotaurs were among the creatures roving the lands. Humanity then revolted after a while, due to a few of the alien overlords giving man certain pieces of knowledge. They learned the truth! The wars that ensued are outlined in Hindu texts. Human kind then evolved and formed high societies. These societies formed huge kingdoms all over the Earth.

Heretofore, I have referred to our planet as Earth, however all of these events I have described, happened before we were Earth. Before we were Earth, we were called Tiamat. It was a monstrous planet and all around it were technologically advanced civilizations, utilizing technologies that would seem foreign to us even now, because they were in fact thousands of years more advanced than our current evolution of humanity.

These cities survive today as the mythical legends of Atlantis, Lemuria, Avalon, Shangri-La, and Camelot. At the apex of these civilizations existence, something truly remarkable and devastating happened. Nibiru, the mythical “Planet-X”, a planet the size of our current Earth, and that has a wide elliptical path through our solar system, was identified as having been on a direct collision path with Tiamat.

Tiamat’s leaders could do nothing to prevent this. All was lost when Nibiru smashed into Tiamat killing almost all life and eradicating most traces of the mythical lands we read about. Nibiru’s trajectory had forever been changed and in fact would never return to it’s prior orbit. However this impact created two new bodies known today as Earth and the moon, the only remnant of the once giant paradise, Tiamat. The rest of Tiamat is observable as our very own asteroid belt. Space debris.

Mankind’s cellular DNA was spread all over the leftover mass of planet. Fast forward millions of years man develops and evolves yet again and civilizations like the Ancient Egyptians eventually discovered some of the high technology of our previous incarnations. These technologies were developed into teachings, which were so powerful, so life changing, they were only given to the priests and kings. These were the beginnings of the mystery schools. These schools eventually were adopted by many other cultures like the Greeks as the Dionysian rituals and to the Romans in their Mythraic cult which worshipped Sol Invictus.

The gods of old, the legends of Enoch, the legends all around the world of gods or watchers or angels, came to Tiamat and gave us civilization. Whether it was Quetzalcoatl, Kukulkan, Wan Hu, King Arthur, Hiram Abif, Thoth, Hermes Trismegistus or the mythical Jack Burton and David Lopan, they were here.

Freemasonry became the home of this hidden history and this is how we control the world. We practice the teachings discovered by the ancients, handed down to us from the unknown superiors and ….I almost had you. Almost.

-RHJ

RWB, Robert Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He also serves as the District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.

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Whence Came You? – 0332 – A Millennial Mason

http://www.wcypodcast.com/2018/02/whence-came-you-0332-millennial-mason.html


Join us this week for special episode featuring guest host, Nick Johnson of the Millennial Freemason Blog! Nick brings his typical amazing insights into the fraternity and fair warning, he’s going to make you feel. Illustrious Bro. Steve Harrison also stops by for an amazing Masonic Minute on the French 007, de Beaumont. App extras include a Masonic wallpaper for your mobile device. Thanks for listening and have a super week!

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Hiram at Bat

http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2018/02/hiram-at-bat.html

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners
Many of my fellow Midnight Freemasons have no idea that I belong to another secret society. Ok – so it’s not really a ‘secret society’, but I play in a draft simulation league using the Diamond Mind Computer Baseball Game along with 20 other so like – minded individuals. Our league has a ‘Reunion’ each year at our annual draft. Normally, we have at least 7 of us owners get together in person, while the others are in a chat room. We draft players that have made their MLB debut in the past year, or that are on the Free Agent List. I had the number 1 overall pick this past year, and selected NL Rookie of the Year, Cody Bellinger. But enough about my league and team, if you’re really interested in this, you can visit my league at: http://www.midleague.com/. My team is the Spartans in the Yount Division. 
Every February when Pitchers and Catchers report for Spring Training, hope springs eternal for every baseball fan. As a long suffering Cubs Fan, every year was ‘This is the Year!’ for me. Thank the Great Architect that in 2016 my prayers were answered and we won the World Series breaking a 108 year drought. Just think about the number of Master Masons that were raised during that time! But would you believe that there are some more Masonic connections?
When it comes to our National Pastime, there have been many players and executives that have been Freemasons. The list includes: Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ethan Allen, Charles Albert “Chief” Bender, William Benswanger ,Tyrus “Ty” Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Branch Rickey, Authur “Dazzy” Vance, Denton T. “Cy” Young, Carl Hubbell, Honus Wagner, Alexander Cartwright, Jr., Rogers Hornsby, Mordecai ‘3 Finger’ Brown, John Franklin ‘Home Run’ Baker, and Edward Trowbridge Collins, Sr., and “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, among others. A performer of one of the most famous poems about Baseball: ‘Casey at the Bat’, William DeWolf Hopper, was also a Freemason. Although Abner Doubleday is credited with inventing the game of Baseball, there’s evidence that this is false. Most Baseball Historians actually credit Alexander Cartwright Jr. , a Freemason, with having a role in developing the “Knickerbocker Rules” upon which the modern game rules are based. However, an article in SABR magazine in 2014 call this into question (http://sabr.org/research/creation-alexander-cartwright-myth). Like Freemasonry, it seems that the actual origin of Baseball is mysterious. 
There is no doubt though, that Freemasonry must have had a hand in the creation of Baseball. The baseball diamond itself is a Square. Furthermore, the Square and Compass can be imagined upon the Baseball Diamond. The Square extending down the first base and third base foul lines from home plate , while the compass overlays it being formed by drawing an imaginary line starting at second base extending towards first and third base. The semi-circle of the outfield walls would be drawn with the compass. The “G” resting on the pitcher’s mound. 
Furthermore, the way in which the baseball diamond is laid out, evokes the Masonic Lodge. You have bases in the four cardinal directions, East, North, West, South. The lodge is laid out in a similar design, but instead of a square, it is in an oblong rectangle from East to West, between North and South. In fact, you could almost think of the pitcher’s mound being in the same place as the Altar. The field is cut in a checker board pattern, evoking the Mosaic Pavement which reminds us of human life checkered with Good and Evil. At Wrigley Field, home of my beloved Chicago Cubs, you have the Ivy which returns year after year, evoking the memory of the Acacia sprig. Furthermore, there are four stations in the Lodge, The Worshipful Master in the East, The Senior Warden in the West, The Junior Warden in the South and The Tyler. If one considers The Tyler’s duty, to guard the lodge from those that are not initiated, you can see the duty of Catcher as being similar. The Catcher has to guard home plate, to try to keep the other team from scoring. 
But there are further allusions. Baseball like Masonry, is a system of ritualistic rules. Like the candidates move from Station to Station during a degree, the runners move from base to base. There are three bases in Baseball around which the player must travel before going home and scoring a run. There are three degrees in Freemasonry that a Candidate must proceed through before becoming a voting member of his home lodge. 
Like in Masonry, numbers play an important role in Baseball. The number 3 and number 9 hold special significance.
According to Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry: 
“Everyone is aware of the singular properties of the number nine, which, multiplied by itself or any other number whatever, gives a result whose final sum is always nine, or always divisible by nine. Nine multiplied by each of the ordinary numbers, produces an arithmetical progression, each member whereof, composed of two figures, and presents a remarkable fact; for example:
1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10
9 . 18 . 27 . 36 . 45 . 54 . 63 . 72 . 81 . 90
The first line of figures gives the regular series, from 1 to 10. The second reproduces this line doubly; first ascending from the first figure of 18, and then returning from the second figure of 81. In Freemasonry, nine derives its value from its being the product of three multiplied into itself, and consequently in Masonic language the number nine is always denoted by the expression three times three. For a similar reason, 27, which is 3 times 9, and 81, which is 9 times 9, are esteemed ax sacred numbers in the advanced Degrees.” Is it any wonder then that baseball rules call for:
· 3 strikes
· 3 outs
· 9 fielding positions
· 9 innings
· 27 outs
· 81 games at home
· 81 games on the road
This might also explain why baseball is so adherent to statistics. In the past 30 years, you have seen a movement towards a study of advanced statistics called SABERMETRICS, which is the application of statistical analysis to baseball records, especially in order to evaluate and compare the performance of individual players. Arithmetic or mathematics, being one of the seven liberal arts and sciences, hold a special place in Freemasonry.
Of course, there’s no direct proof of Freemasonry having influence over America’s past-time. However, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence. Maybe the next time you watch a baseball game, you’ll look at it in a new light. There can be no denying though, that like Freemasonry, Baseball has spread throughout the world. Like Freemasonry, it brings together men of every race, creed and background. Is there anything more Masonic than that?
~DAL

WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. When he’s not busy enjoying Masonic fellowship, Darin spends his time as a DM for his children’s D&D campaign, reading, golfing, watching movies and listening to music. You can reach him by email at [email protected].

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The 50 Year Member – A Menace to Freemasonry

http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2018/02/the-50-year-member-menace-to-freemasonry.html

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Bill Hosler

“I SAY THEY ARE A MENACE!” Herb Johnson said as he banged his fork on the dining room table accentuating each word by pounding the table, “THOSE KIDS ARE RUINING THINGS!” With enough force the vibrations knocked over a salt and pepper shaker sitting near him. “See! This is why we can’t have nice things!” Mike Bailey said breaking the tension caused by Herb’s temper tantrum.

“I swear Herbert your screaming about “those kids” makes you sound like a Scooby Doo villain!” The whole table laughed, and everyone turned to look at Pudge who was choking on his beef and noodles through the laughter. Bailey continued “If you don’t calm yourself you are going to give yourself a heart attack.” Herb began to sit quietly and began to spread butter on a piece of white bread quietly while muttering something under his breath.

“I hate to agree with Herb but honestly they have caused me issues.” The building manager Jerry Kelly said “I have found graffiti in the men’s restroom which I’m pretty sure was caused by one of the boys. Someone painted “Demolay” in spray paint on the back wall of the temple. I tell you that was a pain the clean off.”

Jerry continued, “The biggest problem I have is wax. After every meeting there is candle wax all over the lodge room floor from all those candles they use in their rituals. I’ve actually ruined several vacuum cleaners by accidentally sweeping over all that blasted wax!”

“SEE!” Herbert screeched “They are constantly running through the hallways and wrestling in the museum room. They even take the manual freight elevator and leave it on the top floor. Several of us have had to climb all those stairs to get the elevator and bring it down to the ground floor again! Those girls aren’t much better either!” Herb’s shrill voice continued to raise in volume and in shrillness: “They are constantly asking the lodge for money for this trip and for that trip. They are always having one fundraiser or another and leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. Do they expect us or the Eastern Star to follow them around and clean up after them? We aren’t their parents.”

“You aren’t anymore Herb, but I can remember when your sons and daughters were involved in the youth groups that meet here.” The 50 year member said while he sat down with his food. “Why, I can remember several members complaining about the same petty things then, as you are complaining about now. Seems to me Herb, I remember you standing up in the middle of the lodge defending those boys when your son Herb Junior was Master Counselor about…. Hmmm twenty five years ago?”

Herb began to breathe quickly as his eyes appeared to grow several sizes larger in his head, sweat ran down his forehead while his hands began to shake. The entire table grew nervous about the old Past Master’s medical condition as he began to speak.

“Umm…now John that was a different case entirely back then.” Herb said in a quiet, weak voice. “They were just boys being boys they never meant to cause any harm.”

The Fifty Year member rolled his eyes and shook his head “I’m sure it was completely different Herb.” The old man continued “You knuckleheads really surprise me. You really, really do. Sometimes I think we might as well turn in our charter and turn this building into one of those coffee houses that are popping up around town!”

The men sitting at the table began to squirm in their chairs as the Fifty Year member continued: “Think about it guys. Almost every man in this lodge came to us from Demolay. So many of us in this lodge met our wives when they were young girls serving as members of the Jobs Daughters and Rainbow girls.”

“I can say that the first time I danced with a girl was on the floor of that ballroom next to where we are sitting right now. And it was many years before I was able to attend a high school dance.” Many of the men began to smile as their minds drift back to that same time in their lives. “If you think about it, most of the Demolay boys from that time got married to those cute little Rainbows or Jobies, we became the next generation of Masons in this lodge and they grew up to be Eastern Stars. I will admit we might have lost a couple of generations but, by golly many of these young men are bringing their children to join and I can almost envision the cycle beginning again.”

“Jerry, you mentioned how many problems the kids have caused you in the maintenance of the temple, but let me ask this; How many times have those some young boys and girls helped you by volunteering to work on the building on weekends?” Jerry lowered his head “Quite a few, John. They have helped paint the walls of the lodge rooms and the ball room and helped me strip and reseal all the floors. They have also cleaned out all the junk from the basement and the attic. Actually, they help out a lot. It really saves the building committee a lot of money by not paying out labor.” The old man smiled “How many of our Masons were there on these weekends?” Jerry laughed “Oh, maybe one or two…”. The whole table laughed.

“That’s what I thought,” The old man continued “And I bet I could call the Star’s Worthy Matron and she would tell me the same thing about the number of times the girls have helped them cooking and cleaning and baking cookies for their bake sales. But apparently these children, or as they should be called according to you guys, “Menaces to society” seem like they are a pretty valuable asset to this organization to me.”

“Brethren, you are right. They are a bit unruly at times. But after all they are children they need our guidance to become better men and women. If you stop and think about it guys, that’s why we all are here: To become better men. We just happen to be further down that level of time then they are. They need us for guidance as much as we need them to help perpetuate the membership of this lodge. It’s the perfect circle of Masonry.”

“Jerry, I’m sure if we found some nice brass discs or nice plates we could catch that wax instead of it falling on the floor of the lodge room.” The Fifty Year member said. “I’ll talk to the Chapter’s Dad. I bet we can come up with something.” Jerry replied.

“I don’t know about the rest of you,” Mike Bailey said as he wiped his face with a napkin “But I am going to get me a piece of blackberry pie and a cup of coffee before we open the lodge. Herb, I’m not sure you need any sugar, and you sure don’t need any coffee! You are wound up enough. If we give you any more stimulants you won’t quit talking and we will be in lodge until midnight!” The whole table began to laugh Herb replied with a bit of mischief in his voice, “Mike I can handle pie and coffee better than that belt you are wearing can. It looks like it’s going to give way and explode at any moment!” as the table began to laugh even harder.

Pudge stood up and began to walk to the lodge room with the Fifty Year member “Honestly,” Pudge said “I think these guys and their back and forth insults are the circle in Masonry.” The old man laughed “Oh it’s a circle all right but these stooges are more the Imperfect circle instead of the perfect circle.” The old man laughed and said quietly to Pudge, “Funny thing is the joke is on all of them. I took the last piece of pie before I sat down. They are all out of luck.” Both men laughed themselves silly as they walked into the lodge room.

~BH
WB Bill Hosler was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana’s Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne’s Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.

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The Three Apprentices: An Experiment- Chapter One

http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2018/02/the-three-apprentices-experiment.html

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Adam Thayer

I recently took the first of my three apprentices. That is probably a bit of an obscure statement to most people, so please allow me to explain.

In the Schaw Statutes, which laid out some basic rules for Operative Masons, and set the groundwork for the transition to Speculative Masonry, there is a rule that is often overlooked, and I have only very rarely heard it discussed. It reads, “No master shall take more than three ‘prentices in his lifetime, without the special consent of all the wardens, deacons, and masters of the sheriffdom in which the to-be-received ‘prentice resides.”

Of course, in terms of Operative Masonry, this statute makes great logical sense: to protect the reputation and income stream of the order. If anyone could become a stonemason, the supply would quickly exceed the demand, and income for the working masons would quickly drop. Even worse, if someone less than reputable performed shoddy work at an inflated price, all stonemasons would suffer for it; for anyone needing a modern example, consider the auto mechanic. While most mechanics are good, honest people making a living, there are some who use their specialized knowledge to rob from those who don’t know any better, and so in the eyes of the general public (and especially stand up comics), all mechanics are out to “rip us off.”

The Schaw Statutes go on to further lay out some rules for apprenticeships, such as the term (fourteen years total, which may be abridged by a vote of the lodge), how the Master should care for the apprentice (he can’t, for instance, sell him to another Master), and some fines for breaking these rules (40 pounds, or approximately $11,234 in today’s money, if the University of Wyoming can be trusted to calculate the inflation properly). While this information is definitely interesting from a historical perspective, and is worth your time to read over, it doesn’t directly pertain to the topic of this paper and can safely be ignored for now.

Is there a value to following this same guideline today? If you’ve read any of my other papers, you know I don’t ask a rhetorical question like that unless I plan to address it in a way that supports my intention for writing the paper. But first, as is usually my habit, I’m going to go on a long winded rant that will describe the problem in enough detail that even those unfamiliar with the situation can understand why the solution is important.

In my few years of Masonry, I have seen many men get rushed into Masonry, and then, for various reasons, leave again. Some of them went on to be a part of the higher grades of Masonry, such as the various Rites, some were absorbed directly into the Shrine, but many of them just disappeared, never to be heard from again.

Now, I know we’ve all talked about the “membership issue” from many different thought processes (I personally like “we’re not declining, we’re refining”), but this is one angle that I haven’t seen discussed yet: what a WASTE that system is.

It’s a waste of a man who, if given the proper guidance and training, may have been an amazing asset to the lodge. It also means that if he ever does receive what he came to us for (improvement of self through esoteric knowledge), it won’t be from us, and we are supposed to be the experts on the topic!

Equally bad, it’s a waste of our time, and I can’t speak for you, but my time is severely limited. In addition to the time spent on the degrees themselves, there is the time the lodge spends practicing in preparation, and the time each brother spends individually practicing to give the candidate the best degree possible. (At least, I really HOPE you are, and if you need any motivation as to why you should be giving the best degree possible, go read my paper titled “On The Membership Issue or: Why The Troma Rules of Products Doesn’t Apply to Freemasonry”) That time is time that I could use for a dozen other things, like writing papers, or playing with my daughter. I definitely don’t want to waste it on someone who isn’t going to stick around.

“Someone who isn’t going to stick around”… That sentence sounds so much like I’m blaming the candidate for leaving us, but the truth is, it’s very rarely his fault for leaving, it’s almost always our fault for not keeping him. Shame on us.

So, what is the solution?
I truly believe that most men today come to Masonry to receive deeper learning that will help them improve themselves, even if they can’t put it into words, and all throughout the degree process we work directly with them, teaching them some basics, and promising they will learn everything once they have completed their degrees. Once they have finished their degrees, we tell them “Well, you get out of it what you put into it” and then turn our focus to the next candidate. What message does that send our new brothers? “Hey, we got you in, now you’re not important to us any more.”

Some of the smarter lodges will assign a mentor, who will work one-on-one with the candidate during the whole degree process, to help him memorize the ritual work he will have to recite, and even answering the occasional question, if it isn’t too complicated. This man will continue to work with the new brother until after he has completed his Master’s proficiency, but will most likely move on to the next as soon as that is finished.

To paraphrase Andrew Ryan, I reject those answers; instead I choose something different. I choose the impossible. I choose apprenticeship.
It may seem that taking an apprentice isn’t really that different from being a mentor, however there are some key differences. “Apprentice” implies first that he will be learning everything I know to teach him, not just the memory work for his proficiency. Now, I’ll grant that I know only a small portion of everything there is to know Masonically, but it is my hope that in the process of teaching, I’ll also be learning from him, and so we both become better Masons for it!
“Apprentice” also implies a longer process; the Schaw Statute recommends seven years of teaching followed by seven years of practicing before he can move from an apprentice to a fellow of the craft. Unfortunately, I don’t believe our Grand Lodge would be ok with me holding a man as an EA for seven years, and even if they did, I don’t know that I have enough to teach on a single degree for that long. Instead of seven years, let’s decide on “longer than the one month per degree that most men experience.”

Since (per the Schaw Statute) we are limited to three apprentices in a lifetime, I must be significantly pickier about who I choose for this process, as making a mistake in the selection means a large waste of time and resources, and it also means that someone who would benefit more from it is missing out. Note, I do plan to stick to this very strictly, unless (as Schaw later allows for) there is an extremely extenuating circumstance, in which case I will seek guidance from my three apprentices as to how they believe I should proceed. I will be turning to them instead of to all the masters and wardens, because I have no idea how large my sheriffdom is.

Finally, “apprentice” implies a significantly more intimate connection than a mentorship under the current process achieves. It is my hope that by the end of the apprenticeship, his family and my family have become friends, and that he and I are truly like brothers because of our shared experiences studying. In short, I hope that we have become what our founders envisioned us to be.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, things I’m not quite sure how to tackle, but I’m hoping that once we get started it will become an organic process. I also imagine there will be quite a lot of adjusting course as we go along, so I’m trying to keep my plans flexible. As I said in the title, this is an experiment. Hopefully, the results will inspire some of you to try it as well, and the details of the process will help you avoid some of my pitfalls.

So, as I said at the start, I’ve taken the first of my three apprentices. His name is Neil, and over the next year or so you will get to experience his journey along with him, both through my observations (again, remember this is an experiment), and through his own words. His Entered Apprentice degree is in the very near future, so we will have quite a lot to talk about in the near future!

Until then.

WB Adam Thayer is a grumpy-ish past master of Oliver #38 in Seward, NE and Lancaster #54 in Lincoln, NE. He continues to be reappointed to the Grand Lodge of Nebraska Education Committee, as well as being an occasional host on the Whence Came You Podcast. He may be reached directly at [email protected] or summoned by placing a certain number of lapel pins in a special pattern around a petition for an appendant body.

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