Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Poem for Luke Chadwick by Brian Bajari

Now breathe deeply - or perhaps it's better

to laugh loudly

and cheer clearly

beside still waters

to maybe skip easy on

those green pastures near

that big leafy tree dear

wide-wondered Luke,

the universe's courageous

high holy, love only

deep hugging, song-laughing

open-handed friend.

-Brian Bajari
(after reading Luke Yen-hui's obituary)

He's a beautiful man. I'm crying with you - even though I know he's "flying with the angels."

Thank you Luke for your world-embracing love. Your smile that captured hearts wherever you went.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Flying With the Angels: Luke Yen-hui Chadwick

Update: A Photo Essay on "A Celebration of Luke Chadwick's Life: Lean On Me" at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, Bainbridge Island on September 6, 2009


Luke at Disneyland with Cassiel Chadwick and Kent Chadwick
July 2007


Update: If you have pictures of Luke that you would like to post, I will upload them here on Speed of Life as a celebration of an amazing life. Please leave a comment below and send any photos to greggchadwick@earthlink.net.




Luke Yen-hui Chadwick, died August 22, 2009 from acute respiratory failure after 3-months’ hospitalization at the University of Washington Medical Center. He was 22 years-old and a 2007 graduate of Bainbridge High School.

Luke was born Yu Yen-hui September 20, 1986 in Taipei, Taiwan. He came to Washington state to his adoptive parents, Cathy and Kent Chadwick, in 1988. By then he had already contracted the progressive lung disease secondary pulmonary hypertension.

Growing up, Luke focused on what he could do, as opposed to what he could not. He perfected the arts of friendship and of living for today. His greatest joy was to make someone smile, which he would effect with any means at hand. His spontaneity, courage, and unselfconsciousness inspired the whole town of Bainbridge Island, where he and his family have lived since 1996. While at Bainbridge High, Luke memorably served as the boy’s basketball team’s manager and unofficial mascot when the team went to the state championship. Graduating from BHS was one of Luke’s proudest moments.

In March 2008 Luke received the gift of a double-lung transplant and had 12 months of good health. He became an enthusiastic volunteer organizer for the local Barack Obama campaign. He even travelled independently in the spring of 2009. But a severe case of pneumonia irreversibly damaged his transplanted lungs and led to his final hospitalization in May.


Luke's 22nd Birthday
photo from Luke's dad - Kent Chadwick

Luke’s mom and dad, sister, Ali, grandparents, Bob and Peg, aunts, uncles, and cousins all rejoice for the time they had with their miracle Luke.

Luke told his friends on Facebook: “I try to stay upbeat and keep my head up but it is hard sometimes. I have God and he knows when I will be with him and flying with the angels. Love always.”



A celebration of Luke’s life will take place Sunday, September 6th at 3 p.m. at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, 11042 Sunrise Drive NE , Bainbridge Island, WA, with a reception to follow for all to tell Luke stories.

Donations in Luke’s name may be made to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, which did so much for him as he fought his illness. The PHA is at 801 Roeder Road, Ste. 400, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or online at www.phassociation.org. To honor Luke’s year of transplanted strength, please consider registering as an organ donor.


Luke at Gregg and MarySue's wedding
7, 7, 2007


(If you have pictures of Luke that you would like to post, I will upload them here on Speed of Life as a celebration of an amazing life. Please leave a comment below. )

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22, 2009

for Luke Chadwick - Buon Viaggio

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why We Need Health Care Reform By Barack Obama (full text)

American Dreams (Obama Study)

Why We Need Health Care Reform
By Barack Obama

OUR nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.

These are people like Lori Hitchcock, whom I met in New Hampshire last week. Lori is currently self-employed and trying to start a business, but because she has hepatitis C, she cannot find an insurance company that will cover her. Another woman testified that an insurance company would not cover illnesses related to her internal organs because of an accident she had when she was 5 years old. A man lost his health coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because the insurance company discovered that he had gallstones, which he hadn’t known about when he applied for his policy. Because his treatment was delayed, he died.

National Memory

I hear more and more stories like these every single day, and it is why we are acting so urgently to pass health-insurance reform this year. I don’t have to explain to the nearly 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance how important this is. But it’s just as important for Americans who do have health insurance.

There are four main ways the reform we’re proposing will provide more stability and security to every American.

First, if you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of high-quality, affordable coverage for yourself and your family — coverage that will stay with you whether you move, change your job or lose your job.

Second, reform will finally bring skyrocketing health care costs under control, which will mean real savings for families, businesses and our government. We’ll cut hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and inefficiency in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid and in unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies that do nothing to improve care and everything to improve their profits.

Third, by making Medicare more efficient, we’ll be able to ensure that more tax dollars go directly to caring for seniors instead of enriching insurance companies. This will not only help provide today’s seniors with the benefits they’ve been promised; it will also ensure the long-term health of Medicare for tomorrow’s seniors. And our reforms will also reduce the amount our seniors pay for their prescription drugs.

Lastly, reform will provide every American with some basic consumer protections that will finally hold insurance companies accountable. A 2007 national survey actually shows that insurance companies discriminated against more than 12 million Americans in the previous three years because they had a pre-existing illness or condition. The companies either refused to cover the person, refused to cover a specific illness or condition or charged a higher premium.

Belle Ville

We will put an end to these practices. Our reform will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of your medical history. Nor will they be allowed to drop your coverage if you get sick. They will not be able to water down your coverage when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime. And we will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because they get sick.

Most important, we will require insurance companies to cover routine checkups, preventive care and screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies. There’s no reason that we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and prostate cancer on the front end. It makes sense, it saves lives and it can also save money.

This is what reform is about. If you don’t have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options once we pass reform. If you have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. You will not be waiting in any lines. This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don’t believe anyone should be in charge of your health care decisions but you and your doctor — not government bureaucrats, not insurance companies.

The long and vigorous debate about health care that’s been taking place over the past few months is a good thing. It’s what America’s all about.

But let’s make sure that we talk with one another, and not over one another. We are bound to disagree, but let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed. This is a complicated and critical issue, and it deserves a serious debate.

Despite what we’ve seen on television, I believe that serious debate is taking place at kitchen tables all across America. In the past few years, I’ve received countless letters and questions about health care. Some people are in favor of reform, and others have concerns. But almost everyone understands that something must be done. Almost everyone knows that we must start holding insurance companies accountable and give Americans a greater sense of stability and security when it comes to their health care.

I am confident that when all is said and done, we can forge the consensus we need to achieve this goal. We are already closer to achieving health-insurance reform than we have ever been. We have the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association on board, because our nation’s nurses and doctors know firsthand how badly we need reform. We have broad agreement in Congress on about 80 percent of what we’re trying to do. And we have an agreement from the drug companies to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. The AARP supports this policy, and agrees with us that reform must happen this year.

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (Ralph - Madison)

In the coming weeks, the cynics and the naysayers will continue to exploit fear and concerns for political gain. But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing. If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day. Premiums will continue to skyrocket. Our deficit will continue to grow. And insurance companies will continue to profit by discriminating against sick people.

That is not a future I want for my children, or for yours. And that is not a future I want for the United States of America.


American Rain (Thunderhead)

In the end, this isn’t about politics. This is about people’s lives and livelihoods. This is about people’s businesses. This is about America’s future, and whether we will be able to look back years from now and say that this was the moment when we made the changes we needed, and gave our children a better life. I believe we can, and I believe we will.

Barack Obama is the president of the United States.
from the New York Times
August 16, 2009

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

David Axelrod Counters the Lies and Rumors Attempting to Occlude Obama's Needed Healthcare Reform

Dear Friend,

This is probably one of the longest emails I've ever sent, but it could be the most important.

Across the country we are seeing vigorous debate about health insurance reform. Unfortunately, some of the old tactics we know so well are back -- even the viral emails that fly unchecked and under the radar, spreading all sorts of lies and distortions.

As President Obama said at the town hall in New Hampshire, "where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's actually been proposed."

So let's start a chain email of our own. At the end of my email, you'll find a lot of information about health insurance reform, distilled into 8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage, 8 common myths about reform and 8 reasons we need health insurance reform now.

Right now, someone you know probably has a question about reform that could be answered by what's below. So what are you waiting for? Forward this email.

Thanks,
David

David Axelrod
Senior Adviser to the President


P.S. We launched whitehouse.gov/realitycheck this week to knock down the rumors and lies that are floating around the internet. You can find the information below, and much more, there. For example, we've just added a video of Nancy-Ann DeParle from our Health Reform Office tackling a viral email head on. Check it out:




8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage

1.Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

2.Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

3.Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

4.Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

5.Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

6.Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

7.Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.

Learn more and get details: whitehouse.gov/health-insurance-consumer-protections

8 common myths about health insurance reform

1.Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It's a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

2.We can't afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It's a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.

3.Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It's a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.

4.Vets' health care is safe and sound: It's a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.

5.Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It's a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.

6.Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It's myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

7.You can keep your own insurance: It's myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

8.No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you - and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.

Learn more and get details:
whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/faq
whitehouse.gov/realitycheck

8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now

1.Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that 12.6 million non-elderly adults - 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market - were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more:
http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/denied_coverage/index.html


2.Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job. Americans pay more than ever for health insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hiddencosts/index.html

3.Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women's reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/women/index.html


4.Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care. The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural communities. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hardtimes

5.Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third of the uninsured - 13 million people - are employees of firms with less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse. Learn more:
http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/helpbottomline

6.The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/inaction

7.Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people - one in every three Americans under the age of 65 - were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/inaction/diminishing/index.html

8.The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance - projections suggest that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence of reform.

Learn more: www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pdf

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trailer for "Inherent Vice", narrated by author Thomas Pynchon


Trailer for his new novel "Inherent Vice", narrated by author Thomas Pynchon

As if Thomas Pynchon is channeling the "Dude". Wonderful, atmospheric clip hearkening back to 1970's LA.

And if you want to hang with the inspiration for the real Dude join veteran documentary filmmaker Phil Cousineau, a protégé of mythologist Joseph Campbell, and movie producer Jeff Dowd, the legendary inspiration for "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski, for an exhilarating weekend at Esalen from December 11-13, 2009: Myth, Magic and Movies with Cousineau and Dowd

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Against the Light - سهراب - Sohrab

Against the Light - سهراب - Sohrab
Gregg Chadwick
29"x69" oil on screen (detail)

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Mayor of Hiroshima Declares,"We have the power. We have the responsibility. And we are the Obamajority. Together, we can abolish nuclear weapons."



Paper lanterns are released each year on the Motoyasu River in Hiroshima in remembrance of the atomic bomb attack. This year's ceremony on August 6, 2009 marked the 64th anniversary of the 1945 event. President Obama said earlier this year in Prague that “…as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.” And “…take concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons.” I agree with President Obama. I learned not long ago that one of my Japanese friend's father is a survivor of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. In Japanese these courageous people are called hibakusha. My friend and his wife will in the near future take us on a tour of the city of Hiroshima. Even though I have been to Hiroshima many times and I count the city as one of my favorite places in the world, I know that this tour given by the children of a hibakusha will change me in unforeseen ways.

The mayor of Hiroshima,Tadatoshi Akiba, is also courageous. Today in his speech marking the 64th anniversary of the events of August 6, 1945, Akiba called for a world free of nuclear weapons. Many would call him naive. Instead, I draw great faith in his hope for the future.

Tadatoshi Akiba's full speech is posted below:



The devastated Japanese city of Hiroshima months after the atomic bomb was dropped.
US Archives


PEACE DECLARATION

That weapon of human extinction, the atomic bomb, was dropped on the people of Hiroshima sixty-four years ago. Yet the hibakusha’s suffering, a hell no words can convey, continues. Radiation absorbed 64 years earlier continues to eat at their bodies, and memories of 64 years ago flash back as if they had happened yesterday.
 
Fortunately, the grave implications of the hibakusha experience are granted legal support. A good example of this support is the courageous court decision humbly accepting the fact that the effects of radiation on the human body have yet to be fully elucidated. The Japanese national government should make its assistance measures fully appropriate to the situations of the aging hibakusha, including those exposed in “black rain areas” and those living overseas. Then, tearing down the walls between its ministries and agencies, it should lead the world as standard-bearer for the movement to abolish nuclear weapons by 2020 to actualize the fervent desire of hibakusha that “No one else should ever suffer as we did.”
 
In April this year, US President Obama speaking in Prague said, “…as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.” And “…take concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons.” Nuclear weapons abolition is the will not only of the hibakusha but also of the vast majority of people and nations on this planet. The fact that President Obama is listening to those voices has solidified our conviction that “the only role for nuclear weapons is to be abolished.”
 
In response, we support President Obama and have a moral responsibility to act to abolish nuclear weapons. To emphasize this point, we refer to ourselves, the great global majority, as the “Obamajority,” and we call on the rest of the world to join forces with us to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2020. The essence of this idea is embodied in the Japanese Constitution, which is ever more highly esteemed around the world.
 
Now, with more than 3,000 member cities worldwide, Mayors for Peace has given concrete substance to our “2020 Vision” through the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, and we are doing everything in our power to promote its adoption at the NPT Review Conference next year. Once the Protocol is adopted, our scenario calls for an immediate halt to all efforts to acquire or deploy nuclear weapons by all countries, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which has so recently conducted defiant nuclear tests; visits by leaders of nuclear-weapon states and suspect states to the A-bombed cities; early convening of a UN Special Session devoted to Disarmament; an immediate start to negotiations with the goal of concluding a nuclear weapons convention by 2015; and finally, to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2020. We will adopt a more detailed plan at the Mayors for Peace General Conference that begins tomorrow in Nagasaki.
 
The year 2020 is important because we wish to enter a world without nuclear weapons with as many hibakusha as possible. Furthermore, if our generation fails to eliminate nuclear weapons, we will have failed to fulfill our minimum responsibility to those that follow.
 
Global Zero, the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and others of influence throughout the world have initiated positive programs that seek the abolition of nuclear weapons. We sincerely hope that they will all join the circle of those pressing for 2020.
 
As seen in the anti-personnel landmine ban, liberation from poverty through the Grameen Bank, the prevention of global warming and other such movements, global democracy that respects the majority will of the world and solves problems through the power of the people has truly begun to grow. To nurture this growth and go on to solve other major problems, we must create a mechanism by which the voices of the people can be delivered directly into the UN. One idea would be to create a “Lower House” of the United Nations made up of 100 cities that have suffered major tragedies due to war and other disasters, plus another 100 cities with large populations, totaling 200 cities. The current UN General Assembly would then become the “Upper House.”
 
On the occasion of the Peace Memorial Ceremony commemorating the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing, we offer our solemn, heartfelt condolence to the souls of the A-bomb victims, and, together with the city of Nagasaki and the majority of Earth’s people and nations, we pledge to strive with all our strength for a world free from nuclear weapons.
 
We have the power. We have the responsibility. And we are the Obamajority. Together, we can abolish nuclear weapons. Yes, we can.


August 6, 2009

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima



The United States bomber Enola Gay which dropped the atomic weapon on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. May we never forget. And may we abolish nuclear weapons in our lifetime.
photo by GreggChadwick



More at:
A Call for Peace from Hiroshima

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Reza Aslan discusses Neda's legacy on NPR Morning Edition


Reza Aslan discusses Neda's legacy on NPR Morning Edition. #iranelection @ASLANmedia Neda's legacy on NPR

reza

Freedom for Iran Rally - UCLA July 25, 2009


The Call - ندا -Neda
The Call - ندا -Neda

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Happy Birthday President Obama!

American Dreams (Obama Study)
Gregg Chadwick
American Dreams: Barack Obama
oil on linen 2009

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Neda's Mother Mourning at Her Grave


July 31, 2009
Behest Zahra, Tehran 7pm
Iran - Neda's mother mourning on her beloved daughter's grave مادر ندا در سوگ دختر بی گناهش

The Call - ندا -Neda
The Call - ندا -Neda

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