We Are Immigrants (2018Jun19)


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Tuesday, June 19, 2018                                            1:43 AM

We Are Immigrants   (2018Jun19)

This whole country is nothing but immigrants and their descendants. That used to be a given. That used to be seen as the gift it is. People used to flock to where Lady Liberty said, “I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

If America has become too crowded and too popular to remain a golden door to the world’s asylum-seekers—fine. But we can at least show sympathy and kindness towards those who have crossed a desert, hoping to share the comfort and freedom we enjoy, only to be turned away.

The horror of what the border patrol has been ordered to do—tearing children, even infants, away from their parents—with no reassurance of, or information about, any future re-unifications of those families—makes me wonder what kind of people the patrolers are—that they haven’t rebelled at these asinine and inhumane orders.

But we know who is giving them orders—a corrupt and unconstitutional Administration that ignores the stricture against ‘cruel and unusual punishment’—not just for criminals, but for innocents, for asylum-seekers, for babies, for christ-sake. I am sickened—but somewhat more sickened by the realization that Trump wants us to feel sickened. He thinks he’s baiting the snowflakes—by emulating Hitler as near as makes no never-mind—this is Trump, ‘winning’. Can you imagine?

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And he really thinks that by repeating and repeating that the Democrats made this travesty happen—he’ll actually get people to believe it. The Democrats, that have had no influence for a-year-and-a-half before this celebration of cruelty broke out? Right, them—sure they did.

Again, the insane meanness of this traumatizing policy is overwhelming enough—but that it is a purposeful political ploy by our game-show president makes it exponentially more ghoulish. Can someone please wake the president from his feverish waking-nightmare—smack him across the face or something? And if he’s fully conscious—can we all just look around for that last ounce of dignity left in the United States—and impeach this motherfucker already? It’s not just this one policy I’m sick of.

Cowards—all of you. Afraid the immigrants are gonna get something that should go to you?—losers. Have you seen these immigrants? They kinda look like fucking People to me. You want to see a national security threat? Look to the douchebag in the Oval. There’s your enemy of the state.

But if you’re too dense to understand that—then the state I’m worrying about has already, de facto, ceased to exist—so fuck it all. You know, we really are all, ultimately, from somewhere else. The only thing that makes us E Pluribus Unum (from many, One) is our shared fidelity to the Constitution—and all that implies.

Trump doesn’t know a human right from a nightlight—he’s never seen a letter of the law that he didn’t try to use against its spirit—he’s a clear and present danger to the United States of America we all knew and loved. He represents a last, lost hope for all the bigots that got mad when Obama was president—but those crazy morons will tear the whole place down, if we let them.

And I gotta say—Democrats—I gotta see more fight in you folks! The Republicans are disgracing themselves at historic levels, probably hoping the FoxNews wall-of-lies will keep from tumbling down, until they have a chance to cash out. But you Democrats are missing every trick on the table—these goons are supporting the unsupportable; you should be in their faces, every day—a lot of this is unconstitutional; why aren’t you hammering on the anti-American Administration? Are you really gonna sit on your hands until the bad man goes away? Then don’t expect a blue wave. It’s called politics, dammit.

The Republicans better hope it stays ‘just politics’. With the right guidance, someone could have a couple million bleeding-heart protestors making a Woodstock on the West Texas-Mexico border. Those kids shouldn’t be left alone with just Trump, Sessions, and their goons.

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Presidency As Hate Crime (2018Jan11)


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Thursday, January 11, 2018                                              9:53 PM

Presidency As Hate Crime   (2018Jan11)

Bigots are resurging today only because they try so hard to forget that their hatreds were shamed into silence by the courts, the legislators, and the media of a few decades ago. Not so long ago, morons such as Joe Arpaio, Roy Moore, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Bannon, or Trump would have been derided offstage (never mind being ejected from the political arena).

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While the bigots celebrate their big comeback, they carefully avoid discussion of what sent them scurrying away, years ago—an outbreak of awareness and decency that pushed back against ingrained racism, sexism, homophobia, et. al. That enlightened Americanism embraced inclusion and fairness.

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Yes, that ‘fairness’ is the real enemy of the one-percent. The one-percent want us to dogfight over ‘inclusion’ while we overlook the inescapable unfairness of income-inequality and modern capitalism. The inclusion battle was hard-fought, its victories dearly earned—the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Liberation Movement, the LGBT Rights Movement, etc. took decades to bring enlightenment to the citizenry and to the law of the land.

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Now the hate-and-fear-mongers are trying to tell us that none of that happened, that white nationalism has regained a place in America. Not true—a small collection of backwaters have clutched their bitterness to their chests, through thick and thin, beyond sense or reason—they are now attempting to nurse their kindling back into the bonfires of old. They are champions of ignorance and autocracy—enemies of the America most of us believe in.

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How long will the Republicans keep pretending? Is there anyone left who truly doubts Trump’s unfitness, bigotry, criminality, ignorance of his elected position, complete blindness to ethics or compassion, and his inability to speak truthfully—or even coherently?

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His ‘presidency’ is a sham, a hate crime, an act of treason, and a con job.

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The Republicans have lost any semblance of credibility or idealism–becoming a team of poker players, rather than statespersons. I’m beyond sick-and-tired of dead-eyed stonewalling in place of honest admission of the truth. There comes a time when bluffing is over and cards must be shown. It’s alright, Republicans, we know you have a Trump card. Fess up, or destroy yourselves—along with your country.

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No man can serve two masters, Republicans. You either serve the lobbyists or the voters—doing one while pretending to do the other is no longer an option. You’ve all just been too brazen about your corruption—it’s staring us all in the face. I know some of your morons-on-mailing-lists are still being taken in—but the other 85% of people in the USA can see perfectly well what you idiots are trying to do.

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Trump should have been impeached months ago—the longer you put it off, the worse it will be.

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The Lights Ahead (2018Jan01)


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Monday, January 01, 2018                                                9:24 PM

The Lights Ahead   (2018Jan01)

The original pilgrims ventured to this land in search of a place where they could worship differently—they left behind a continent that spent centuries attacking the infidels, and more centuries attacking each other over the Inquisition and the Reformation. All wars and all crimes had a basis in belief—and differences in belief could be crimes in themselves.

Once the pilgrims got here, they soon found themselves well on the road to duplicating the very religion-based strife and violence which had driven them to their new world. Religious intolerance threatened to shatter the colonies just when they most needed to band together to survive.

The Wordy Shipmates” by Sarah Vowell gives an excellent account of how the idea of religious tolerance was adopted by the earliest colonists. ‘Separation of church and state’ remained important to the character of what would become the United States of America. Long before our nation was born, this land had been a sanctuary of tolerance—until modern times, the only nation that separated law from faith.

Thus freedom of religion became the first great light of America. We can distract ourselves with exceptions—such as the witch-burnings of Puritans and the unspoken anti-Semitism that persecuted Jewish-Americans for much of our history—but freedom to worship as we please is a part of America, exceptions notwithstanding.

The second great light of America was replacing Monarchy with Democracy. Again, we may take exception—and with good reason—to the historical record. At first, ‘all men are created equal’ used the word ‘all’ very loosely—and the word ‘men’ very narrowly—Rich, white, male colonists didn’t want to pay their taxes—and they wanted to keep their slaves.

Still, the spirit was in the words—and that spirit brought us to a great and tragic contest, the Civil War, and to the Suffragists movement, and to the Civil Rights Act, to social activism of many kinds. And all have the same aim—to broaden inclusion and to remove exceptions to the ideal. Democracy and equal rights go hand in hand—or one of them is a sham.

The third great light of America was literacy. We were the first to implement a public school system—and thus the first country to have more literate than illiterate citizens. Since this coincided with the industrial revolution, America found itself exploding with entrepreneurship—all the new ideas and new inventions kept coming—and virtually every citizen was reading about it in newspapers and magazines—and thinking to themselves, “How can I make my fortune in this chaos?”

Early on, lots of Americans chose to learn to read for one simple reason—so they could read Mark Twain’s books. Clemens was more than a great writer—he was the impetus for a young nation to go literate-default. He was as responsible for ‘Yankee know-how’ as Bell or Edison. So perhaps I should change the third great light of America from ‘literacy’ to ‘love of knowledge’. It was both ‘common’ and somewhat scandalous, in the Old World, to be interested in learning for its own sake—America demonstrated its value.

The great American Empire was founded primarily on the strength our nation found within its first three Great Lights: Freedom of Religion, Democracy, and Love of Knowledge. America made a gift of these ideas to the world—and much of the world has adopted one or all of these ideas.

Now, if Trump does his worst, and achieves the decline of the American Empire he so obviously seeks—just remember: the Greeks, the Roman Empire, the British Empire—all have faded, but the ideas they gave the world remain—and America’s ideals, being based on a love of humanity, will also outlive the land from which it sprang. Indeed, America is not the land it was—it has become something else—but those ideas still, having been brought to light, will wend their way into the thoughts of future folk, whomever they may be.

Let’s face it. Euclid gave the Greeks the gift of Geometry—a highly useful insight—yet even today not everyone bothers to learn Geometry. The Romans gave us plumbing, but not everyone in Flint, MI thinks the science of plumbing is very important—and many other towns have similar leadership. America gave the world Freedom of Religion, Democracy, and Love of Knowledge—but the number of citizens, today, with a true understanding of those principles and their importance—is, at most, two-thirds of the total.

We know this because one-third of the voters voted for Trump—who made a great show of either disrespecting those principles or showing his ignorance of them. By the time he was done campaigning, only someone with an imperfect understanding of America could possibly have approved of him.

Having said all that, it is important to recognize the other possibility—that Trump’s oafish trampling of what real Americans treasure will result in a backlash that cynics, hypocrites, Putin, and business-leaders will long regret. There are more lights, further ahead—if only we can stop this retreat into the darkness of the past… We are not done making a more perfect union. Reach for the stars, I always say.

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Oh My Word! (2017Dec17)


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Sunday, December 17, 2017                                                       2:34 AM

Oh My Word!   (2017Dec17)

Okay, let’s just say there’s nothing left to add—our situation is obvious, even though the cable-news would have us think much is afoot—Mueller will make it impossible for the Republicans to leave Trump unimpeached, or he will fall short, and leave Trump in the White House the entire four years.

That’s the long and short of it—I’m tired and I don’t want to hear any more about it until it’s settled, one way or the other. Stupidity has become the towering mountain range of our mental landscapes, ever since Trump started questioning Obama’s citizenship. For years, every day just gets stupider and stupider—in keeping with our empty-head-of-state and the pack of skeezballs known as Republican legislators.

They’re supposed to be politicians, right? But what group of politicians gets together and decides, “Yeah, let’s back the child-molester”? They want to tax the poor to pay the rich—and they’re not even hiding it. They just took CHIP away, by letting it lapse—but they’re in a big hurry to throw all the DACAs out of the USA. How the hell is this politics? Aren’t you supposed to make people like and trust you?

To think that one of those assholes shouted “Liar!” from the back of the room, during Obama’s first SOTU Address—and no one has even whispered it, during all the times our blowhard-in-chief started spouting his bullshit! I would think at least one Democrat would do the right thing and give these bullies a taste of their own. Someone should be shouting “Liar!” at the top of his or her lungs—every single time Trump opens his fat trap.

And talk about politically-correct snowflakes—have you seen the thirty-word phrase that Trump wants to substitute for ‘science-based’? It goes like this: “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” And that, roughly translated, is: “If your science goes against our religion, keep it.” Who’s the cuck now, tweet-fucker?

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The Blowing of the Wind (2017Dec13)


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Wednesday, December 13, 2017                                               3:16 PM

The Blowing of the Wind   (2017Dec13)

The cable news shows are about to air a presidential comment regarding the Republican Tax Bill. So I turned off the TV and went to find something useful, or at least enjoyable, to do. I know what he’ll say—he’ll tout the bill as a great Xmas present to the ‘middle class’ (he’ll lie, in other words) and I don’t need to hear it.

Graceless—that’s what Trump is—Trump and his kind. Moore is still insisting, for all I know, on a recount—and Trump (who doesn’t really care who won) said, after Jones won for Alabama Senate, that the deck was stacked against his protégé, Moore. These are the same guys that tell you to ‘sit down and shut up’, when they win—they’re not so cocky when they lose. It rather tarnishes their omnipotence act.

I find the whole situation shockingly distracting—this country argues about racial discrimination, while both blacks and whites—and everyone—are being pressed into the new, 21st-century slavery of unregulated capitalism. You may think me a liberal, but I am only one who has trouble ignoring math. Since the 1970’s American workers’ wages have stagnated. Without changing a thing, we all become a little poorer every decade—because the price of everything else goes up.

I have always been disgusted by the way we give ourselves to an employer—they decide the terms, the hours, the wages—even whether you get the job or not—and, as the owners, they get to keep all the profits from everyone’s work. That’s nothing new—early socialism was all about the rights of the workers—why do you think it became a federal crime to be Red? But, even with pressure, how can everyone bring themselves to just accept too little for their time and effort—while the owners get richer and fatter? Is the lesson of Capitalism that only Owners can afford to pretend to human dignity?

Unions became corrupted from within and without—there are still all kinds of laws limiting the power of workers to unionize. And I think this is how the rot gets in. First, socialist ideas were exciting—they started to catch on. The government reacted harshly and promoted Capitalism as the only Godly form of society. The Cold War enshrined Capitalism as a known Good in the minds of Americans.

We emerge from the nightmare of the Blacklist, but now Socialism is a quaint old notion, meant for Europeans and other odd people. Most Americans couldn’t even explain the difference between Socialism and Communism (except perhaps to say that Great Britain is Socialist and China is Communist). Capitalism is a trusted old friend to America—no one can deny its enormous success under past conditions—this is not an attack on commercial growth, per se.

However, as with the ending of the frontier—and the governmental response to the loss of that ‘escape valve’—we Americans today have to face facts: many nuances of ‘frontier’ have been lost in the advent of Cyber. Add to that the inevitable merging into a complex whole of all existing businesses—and the steadily declining number of people who own them—and what results is an ossified plutocracy, mouthing about freedom and equality.

Cyber has nearly wiped out paper, historically ‘overnight’. And for every surviving paper-use you can name, I can name a hundred extinct ones—I can even remember when an army of messengers carried envelopes from one office to another—Manhattan workdays saw sidewalks filled with them—all making a living wage, too.

Amazon has nearly wiped out malls—and all the many products and services that once enjoyed uniqueness—and all the travel and dining and movie-going that went with our late mall culture. It died so young—it seems only yesterday that my daughter was joining her school-friends in the latest thing—hanging out at the mall—and I felt bad because we didn’t have malls when I was growing up.

The list of professions and activities falling prey to the Cyber age, and disappearing from culture and commerce, grows every day. You can talk about the infinite possibilities of Cyber—but meanwhile, for the average joe, it looks like a lot of dwindling—you know? As the population grows, the delights of rural America become harder to come by—we closed the frontier over a century ago and even without immigration, we’ve had a pretty healthy population growth.

That’s another thing we have to face facts about. Throughout history, healthy population growth was a positive good—more manpower more than made up for more mouths to feed. But the world is full of people—in many ways, too many people (though I wouldn’t put it quite like that)—and civilization is quickly ending the concept of human labor. This changes the value of family size, regardless of your religious thoughts or feelings.

So large families become excessive, rather than practical. By the same token, the whole problem of low wages, of zero oversight on wages, is a sub-problem of the looming disaster—what will the Capitalists do with their labor pool when they don’t need the ‘middle class’ anymore?

It troubles me greatly that this subject seems glaringly untrodden—corporate America has been supplied with healthy, well-educated, capable employees since before the Revolution. Owners employ as many workers as they need and leave the rest to their own devices—if some employees are no longer needed, they, too, are then left their own devices. All over the country, almost every American is a vital part of some corporate business or industry.

Corporate America has always relied on the quality of American workers to compete and win against any other country’s businesses. Yet when an American worker is not employed, he or she is left to take care of themselves as best they can. This is a great convenience to business owners—all the benefits of America’s citizenry, without a single responsibility for their care and feeding, as a whole. Three guesses who decided it should work this way. What I can’t understand is why no one questions it?

Is it any different from the recent debates over whether business owners made their fortunes without anyone else, or if the modern infrastructure and civilized environment of American communities (and the capable labor pool) might not have been involved? See, I think ‘Owners’ get a little overzealous in their self-image—they’re much quicker to assume decision-making is their right, when many decisions are as much a matter of law or decency, as of business concerns.

I’m equally tired of the ‘budget trumps every other consideration’ argument—for things like, say, the enormous expense of ripping out and replacing all the plumbing in the town of Flint, MI with pipes that don’t poison the children. That argument is what created the Climate Crisis—money-grubbing owners pushing back on clear-cut science out of sheer greed—they should all have boils for a year—and now it’s fifty years later, these toads are still croaking while Cali burns and Florida sinks.

So, long story short—I think corporate America has strung along the American people as an on-call labor pool for long enough. Now that we can see the beginnings of automated commerce, it’s time for all us to agree that Americans will have to be subsidized in a laborless future—and that if we wait for that evolution to complete itself before securing peoples’ welfare, it will be a nightmare that any sci-fi writer would be proud of. Just think about.

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Republicans vs. Reality (2017Dec12)


Tuesday, December 12, 2017                                           3:48 PM

Republicans vs. Reality   (2017Dec12)

There is a limit to objectivity—after the sun rises in the east long enough, you assume it will rise there again, every morning. When, after the airing of Trump’s taped confession of sexually inappropriate behavior, twelve, then sixteen, then eighteen women came forward, they all said, “I can attest to that confession—he treated me in an unwelcome, aggressively misogynistic way—and it made me sick.”—or words to that effect.

The White House’s response to this has been that Trump won the election, and he denied ever knowing any of these women. To the first point, I can only say that an election is not a trial. To the second point—what difference does it make if he knew these women? The whole point of his TV confession was that he accosted strange women willy-nilly—where does ‘not knowing them’ enter into his defense?

And you Trump-supporters are all to blame—not just the voters, but the Republicans in the House and Senate. Did it surprise you?—that electing and supporting a confessed serial mauler of women—made the women in America react more strongly than in any previous age. Or maybe you thought that while dozens of chauvinist pigs are dropping like flies, in entertainment, business, and politics—that everyone would just forget about Trump’s accusers. They were just part of the election, right? Nuh-uh, buddy—these women have serious grievances against our elected president—and there are just so damn many of them.

You can’t just have Senators and Congressmen being ejected left and right (no pun intended) without someone saying, “Hey…. What about Trump?” And even if no one would, once he started backing the accused child-molester Roy Moore, he kinda forced them to do it.

Now, the Republicans have known all this in more depth and accuracy than we civilians who have to sift through the media, as if scrying among chicken guts. Their stalwart support of Trump (who has proven incompetent, unstable, ignorant, divisive, and really, really gross) seems to overlook even the possibility that he might be an agent for Russia. In a way, it’s no great leap for the Republicans to support banned-from-the-mall Moore to join their ranks—after Trump, what can truly be disqualifying to the GOP?

Also, I saw many Republicans trying to get the smear-campaign going on Robert Mueller (who is getting guilty pleas—and getting too close to Trump) in spite of these same people being on tape, from just months ago, lauding Mueller as a great choice—fair, professional, incorruptible.

And today we see the President being virtually obsessive about broadcasting his misogyny—tweeting lurid ravings, insulting Senator Gillibrand, that bear little resemblance to the Gettysburg Address. The fact that Trump prides himself on bearing little resemblance to any other president—is as deeply embarrassing as the pride he takes in tweeting out his twisted, sick mental processes.

No one would claim that the Republicans are stupid enough to swallow their own hogwash—we assume that these are cynical misanthropes who put themselves before country—and knowingly push their alternate-facts reality on the unsuspecting mob. I can’t imagine that most Republicans truly believe that Moore is not a child-molester, that Trump is not a treasonously bad president (and a sexual assaulter), or that their Tax Bill is going to help anyone but themselves and their wealthy donors.

But we can’t totally dismiss the possibility of ignorance. Either way, the entire Republican Party has rode this train all the way—they are all complicit—either in their corruption or their idiocy. Then again, my money is on cowardice.

You see, people without character are weak in many ways—and the most common weakness among them is fear—their fear makes them ambitious, but it also makes them cowards. They only want to succeed because they think they’ll feel safer being a big-shot—they haven’t the slightest interest in good government. My god—look at their platform—they want to destroy this country economically, ethically, and judicially—they are the rot that calls to us from darker times. Resist.

Not Very Worried (2017Dec02)


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Saturday, December 02, 2017                                           2:05 PM

Not Very Worried   (2017Dec02)

We need to get back to a practical attitude about truth. Yes, truth can be debated—but it can be debated beyond the point of meaning, as well. We can debate whether a dawn with snow on the ground is proof of an overnight snowfall—but when the debate is over, someone still needs to plow the driveway.

Likewise, we don’t really know much about the nature of electromagnetism—nevertheless, an electrician can tell you, with absolute precision, whether a certain circuit-diagram will power your new home—or burn it to the ground. Doubt-mongers can honestly say that humanity knows very little about the full nature of electricity—while they sit in a house with a generous supply of safe, handy three-prong outlets, charging multiple devices while making toast.

I’d prefer not to get sidetracked just now, talking about the dramatic back-and-forths of politics and media. The most important thing about the truth isn’t ‘fake news’—it is in how we perceive our world, ourselves, and our place in it. After all, it is ‘We, the people’. Neither politicians nor talking heads can brainwash any of us, unless we let them, plopping ourselves down in front of a screen and swallowing every word we hear. If nothing else, we should be given pause—and more than pause, by the fact that some news outlets tell different stories.

That creates an environment where some outlet or outlets indeed must be selling psy-prop fake-news BS—and because of Freedom of Speech, the government can’t decide for us which media outlets are at fault. We have to use our personal judgement now—more than ever before. We must be leery—we must be suspicious—we know now that there are groups out there, working at the new profession of cultural corrosion by misinformation.

And when we look for an enemy, we shouldn’t allow Russia alone to fill our binoculars. In many ways, modern Russia is just a subset of the super-wealthy of Capitalism—Putin and all those oligarchs are just the foreign version of our own fat cats, Trump included. America is the Capitalist’s target because its riches only have one drawback—those pesky peasants, still thinking they have freedom—no matter how much they’re overworked in their cubicles or starved in unemployment.

So Trump helps Putin, just like all fat pigs help each other, all around the world—not very worried that the rest of us might wake up some day. He attacks our rights and freedoms, because those are obstacles to commerce and control. He stands for commerce and control because he is jealous of Putin, Duterte, and Assad. He whines, “Why can’t I shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue? They can!”

I don’t care about the legalities anymore—I am long past caring who said what to whom. All I know, for an absolute fact, is that Trump is an enemy of the United States of America, as much as an enemy of the Truth—yet it is against the law for me to suggest what I’d like to see happen to him.

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