Two people you should get to know.

This is Tom:

Sci Fi reviewer extraordinaire

And this is Lars Walker:

Kick ass author, and quite the sharp mind.


Body, Soul, & Government

I wish I could say it was over, unfortunately we've merely entered a new phase of the Terri Schiavo milieu. Her body has finally come to rest. It is my belief that all the parts that made her "Terri", personality, intelligence, humor, wit and sense have been gone for years. Some would term those the soul, I hope that whatever is the case whether she has been dead fifteen years or merely a few hours is true that now she can rest fully. I suspect the "quantity of life" and "quality of life" camps will both use this case as a touchstone, and bludgeon for years to come. There have even been talks of disallowing living wills by members of the quantity camp on the basis that someone might change their mind at the last minute. I think that while there may be a miniscule percentage of people who do this, that there are enormous amounts more who would be greatly disserviced by this. More importantly this is a personal issue, and should not be subject to public, judicial, executive, or legislative interference. Upholding the desires of a persons right to delineate their medical care is one thing, telling them what their medical care must be is entirely another.



MS Fund Raiser

I'm not going to go into my usual cheerleader routine when a fundraiser comes along for a program that needs it. I'll just say we all know how bad a disease Multiple Sclerosis is. I've got a friend or two that have it, and worked fundraiser door to door in my youth. One of my friends is now doing a walk out in the land of fruit and nuts. He set himself entirely too low a goal. I think we can help him exceed that goal by at least thirty percent. I've made my donation, and now I've put this message up to help. It will stay here at the top for the amount of time I expect it to take to get to his goal an a little beyond. Thanks in advance from me, my friend, and all the people you will be helping. Just tell Corey "The CO sent me."


Black Knight

The Black Knight of Rap, Suge Knight is back in the news. Suge night and his attorneys were dealt a crushing blow today when he was ordered to pay One hundred seven million dollars to a woman he initially claimed he never knew. Lydia Harris was at one time a Vice President of the record label founded as "Death Row Records" and in recent years renamed "The Row", and was pushed out with out her knowledge. It also appears that Knight was influencing local politics as Compton California Mayor Eric Perrodin is being investigated for receiving money while campaigning that he failed to report. During this time he was a prosecutor and working on a case against one of Knights artists. The payments, which Perrodin blames the lack of reporting on a poor staff, were for a total of eleven thousand dollars.


Reservists getting raw deal.

Reservists called between October of two thousand one, and November two thousand three had extreme difficulty getting reimbursed. Despite being housed off of bases, many were denied per diem expenses and forced to hitchhike distances of several miles in order to eat on base. Those who submitted expenses often had to wait as much as a year to receive reimbursement. While efforts are underway to correct this, there are no provisions in the current plan for reimbursement of late fees. Our men and women deserve better.



Take heed, a letter to Putin with love.

Mr Vladimir Putin,

Recently you have come under fire for the rollback of freedoms in your proud nation. Your people have a lot to be proud of. Your army is feared the world around. Your men and women are intelligent, they excel at every academic pursuit they tackle. Your winters are the stuff of which nightmares are made. Your people have spent centuries taming one of the worlds most stunning topographies, it may not be done yet, but they will accomplish it. Your people have many strengths, many virtues, as well as the integrity, and guile to be great. In short, when the bear roars, the world gives pause and wonders who has drawn it ire. The people of Russia have only one impediment, it is however a large one. They have never had a government that would let them take all their potential and use it to shake not just their region, but the entire world. It's not that they haven't tried to be great not just as individuals, or villages and states, they have swept former leaders into the dustbin of history, and most likely will again. In the past this was accomplished with great violence, of late its been accomplished with sharper but less direct violence. The people have endured hundreds of years, and scores of leaders with a few of those leaders, Katherine, and Gorbachev would be called "The Great". Premier Putin, while you are certainly a better leader than several of the Pre-Gorbachev leaders, you have not show yourself to be the man that Russia needs to be called "Russia the Great". You still have time, your place upon the stage of world history is still in the writing, the acting, and the recording. You know the path you must take, and it will cost you some of those you call friend. That is a sad thing, but if you've read any folk tales, you know sometimes in order to achieve victory the protagonist must sometimes choose their principles over their friends. They need to be able to the field of battle with the knowledge that some of their friends will not return with them. Mr. Putin, you are lucky, unlike the men in women in the tales of grandmothers and bards, you have their lessons to learn from, and even lessons closer to home. Take heed.



Is it possible (still nothing to do with Schiavo)

Is someone doing something to clean up the mess that is Darfur? Are they actually going to make a positive difference? Will the trials for the fifteen men arrested in connection with the rape, pillage, plunder and extortion actually face prison and hopefully death? Will it make a difference to anyone but these men, or is this just the Sudan waving their hands and making a token effort at responsible government to keep the world press, the UN and humanitarian organizations off their backs? I'd like to believe this was a genuine effort. Perhaps recent efforts by several American politicians have left me more jaded than usual. On the flip side it appears they are not toadying up to the French or the ICC so maybe there is hope. Even our fair weather friends in Russia and China appear to be leaning in the same direction as the US. While the first sources agree on numbers if differing in content, the always sensational Al-Jazeera is both using divergent numbers and a bit more strident statements.


And the bad taste item of the decade goes too:

Terri Schiavo's Blog

You'll notice this moral, intellectual, and social pygmy didn't leave any way to contact them.

I may want Terri's body to finally rest, but this is vulgar.

Thanks to Barking MoonBat Early Warning System for the heads up.


Yahoo get's G'd up.

Or it soon will. Yahoo has made plans to update their free email service to one gigabyte by the end April. This is undoubtedly a move to help them hold onto their position as the number one email provider in the world. I have a Gmail account (ok, I have several, ditto for Yahoo, and Excite) they should feel threatened. On top of their publicity problems stemming from their security failures, Gmail just does not operate as smoothly, with as many features as Yahoo and other providers. There is also the fact that since they have not officially launched yet, they are not signing up people as fast as they could.



DeLay the hypocrite

Okay, given that he's a politician that's probably a redundant title on at least two levels. By now all of us know that Tom DeLay showed great emotion, in fighting to get the feeding tube reinserted in the Schiavo case. He did a fair impersonation of Jim Baker in his righteous defense of the Shindler cause. What a maroon.


Yet more non Schiavo news

The International Bible Society, in the person of Ronald Youngblood, has decided to edit the Bible to ensure that people understand that "being stoned" means being put to death with rocks. Apparently they have such a high opinion of its readers that they don't feel they will be able to differentiate between a pharmaceutically induced state and a punishment for severe sins. Am I the only one who thinks some people have rocks in their heads?


More non Schiavo news!

It appears that the politicos have gotten things right this time. They are allowing for the use of embryonic stem cells for research. There are even intelligent provisions requiring that no embryo's be created for the purpose of research. There are even uniform laws across all the states. Unfortunately, this is not being done in the country with the best researchers in the world, it is being done in one of our allies nations. Kudos to the land down under for getting it right, keep this up the world will forgive you for letting the crocodile hunter get in front of a TV camera in no time!



In non Shaivo news...

Twitney Spears the blonde eclipsed in music only by Jessica Simpson as the dumbest blonde in entertainment world is apparently pregnant. I wonder if this is a real pregnancy or sorta like her first four hour marriage, an elaborate publicity stunt.



Interesting articles in Scientific American.

The first talks about how elephants are able to make more than just the traditional calls of their species and goes over two separate cases of African elephants adapting new calls from sounds they hear.

The second says their are two species of African elephants. One is a plains/savanna dweller and one is a forest roamer. I wonder if this will effect their position as far as endangered species go?



DeLay the despicable.

I will state now, that i am not prone to making hugely dramatic statements about the nature of people. I don't compare Bush to Hitler. I don't compare Michael Jackson to the Clown Killer. I refuse to compare the NHL team owners to the early twentieth century union busters. But, well every rule needs an exception right? Here's mine.

I will state
now as a black man with a large mouth, an attitude and a half, an agnostic, and someone who wouldn't know how to take shit if it came with video directions:

I would feel safer in a country run by the Ku Klux Klan than with Delay with so much power.

Why? At least if the Klan comes after me i will die and do so quickly. I will not be an emotional burden to my family. I will not be trapped in a husk. My family will not have to subject themselves to watching random twitches of my body and involuntary auditory grunts and come to the willfully blind view that I am still alive. My body may still retain a pulse, but when all the areas where intelligence reside, where memory is centered, and when one is unaware of their environment, of sensation and of even pain or basic human needs such as food and water, are dead and gone, the person is dead even if the body remains animated.

This sort of asinine violation of self determination is exactly what we face if the religious right, as separate from the secular right, is allowed to gain further control of our society.



Stories without comment

I do a lot of reading before I get to stories I feel I can sink my teeth into, some are interesting, some are mind boggling, but not all are worth my rather limited time to put together. So here goes the first of what may become a frequent feature.

Ghaddafi calls Israelis and Palestinians Idiots.

Is Japans real estate market recovering?

See, MA is not the land of fruit and nuts.

parliamentary Politics way down south.


Three Cheers!

For the Florida Senate.

They rejected (narrowly) a bill that would order the feeding tube returned to the body that once housed Terry Shiavo. Congradualations to each and all of the twenty one members of the Florida Senate who voted to defeat this heinous measure.



Why I love...

... The Klan.

Every once in a while I'll run across something like this, and just pause. It used to leave me in paroxysms of rage. Later it would disgust me. Now, I'm just heartily amused. While working on another project, I ran across information on the Mississippi Burning trials, one of the gems on the page is posted below.

Mississippi Burning Trial: Selected Klan Documents
Leaflet Circulated by the KKK in Mississippi in 1964
Letter from Sam Bowers Concerning FBI Investigation ('the logging letter")
1964 Application Form for White Knights of KKK of Mississippi

Leaflet Circulated by the KKK in Mississippi in 1964
Here are Twenty Reasons WHY you should, if qualified,
join, aid and support the White Knights of the
KU KLUX KLAN of Mississippi:

1. Because it is a Christian, fraternal and benevolent organization.

2. Because it is a democratic organization, governed by its members.

3. Because it is a democratic and just organization.

4. Because it is a working organization which not only talks but ACTS.

5. Because it is a very secret organization and no one will know that you are a member.

6. Because it is a legal organization and no one can be prosecuted for being a member.

7. Because it is a politically independent organization, and is not pledged to any political party.

8. Because it is a Pro-American organization that opposes any thing, person or organization that is Un-American.

9. Because it is an organization that is sworn to uphold the lawful Constitution of the United States of America.

10 Because it is composed of native-born, white, gentile and protestant American citizens who are sound of mind and of good moral character.

11. Because the goals of the KKK are the total segregation of the races and the total destruction of communism in all its forms.

12. Because the KKK has twice saved this nation from destruction as history clearly records.

13. Because there comes a time in the life of every man when he has to choose between the right ot wrong side of life.

14. Because there are today many alien forces entering the United States of America bent upon its destruction.

15. Because it informs its members, and an informed citizen is a good citizen.

16. Because a Christian-like brotherhood among men must be revived in America.

17. Because on of the goals of the KKK is States' Rights and complete State Sovereignty.

18. Because neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals will save out nation, for patriots always save a nation.

19. Because it is clear now that if communism is to be defeated in America, it will be done in the South and primarily in Mississippi.

20. Because the KKK needs you today to help fight America's battles.

The White Knights of the KU KLUX KLAN of Mississippi is, of necessity, a SECRET organization. The administration of our National Government is now under the actual control of atheists who are Bolsheviks by nature. As dedicated agents of Satan, they are absolutely determined to destroy Christian Civilization and all Christians. We have nothing dishonorable to hide, but we must remain SECRET, for the protection of our lives and families.

All of our members must meet a strict set of requirements:

We are looking for, and enlisting ONLY: Sober, Intelligent, Courageous, Christian, American, White men who are consciously and fully aware of the basic FACT that the physical life and earthly destiny are absolutely bound up with the Survival of this Nation, under God. Our governmental principles are precisely those of the ORIGINAL U.S. Constitution. Our members are Christians who are anxious to preserve not only their souls for all Eternity, but who are MILITANTLY DETERMINED, God willing, to save their lives, and the Life of this Nation, in order that their descendants shall enjoy the same, full, God-given blessings of True Liberty that we have been permitted to enjoy up to now.

We do not accept Jews, because they reject Christ, and, through the machinations of their International Banking Cartel, are at the root center of what we call "communism" today.

We do not accept Papists, because they bow to a Roman dictator, in direct violation of the First Commandment, and the True American Spirit of Responsible, Individual Liberty.

We do not accept Turks, Mongols, Tarters, Orientals, Negroes, nor any other person whose native background of culture is foreign to the Anglo-Saxon system of Government by responsible, FREE individual citizens.

Our governmental system is a Constitutional Republic, primarily designed to protect the Responsible, Individual Citizens from all tyranny: which selects its representatives by both the direct and the indirect Democratic process; and recognizes the necessity for the existence of an effective Loyal Opposition to any current Administration. This type of Governmental System is unique, and found only where Anglo-Saxons control the Governmental Machinery of a Nation. With rare exceptions, people of other backgrounds simply cannot comprehend the Anglo-Saxon principle of "Equal Justice under Law" and the fact that EVERY "Right" must be balanced by an accompanying Responsibility. The inherent balance and reason of this system has little or no attraction for these persons of alien culture. The generally prefer to shirk Individual Responsibility, grab up as much material wealth as they can, and accept Centralized Authority and Dictatorship, in the hope that they can buy special favors and privileges for themselves.

The conflict between these two attitudes has now become a Life and Death matter in America. The people of the non-American cultures CAN and COULD live under the Anglo-Saxon System, but they prefer to see it destroyed. The true American Anglo-Saxons, on the other hand, CAN NOT live under a Dictatorship!

This issue is clearly one of personal physical SELF-DEFENSE or DEATH for the American Anglo Saxons. The Anglo-Saxons have no choice but to defend our Constitutional Republic by every means at their command, because it is, LITERALLY, their LIFE. They will die without it.

If you are a Christian, American Anglo-Saxon who can understand the simple Truth of this Philosophy, you belong in the White Knights of the KU KLUX KLAN of Mississippi. We need your help right away. Get your Bible out and PRAY! You will hear from us.
Just sorta makes you wonder if we should pour more chlorine into the gene pool or encourage them to keep inbreeding...



When adverting goes bad....

Apparently all the people with sense and spines in the UK are already in the military or at least not watching TV. A Marmite commercial has generated controversy, nightmares, and of course, publicity for the food even the makers describe as something you either love or hate. Apparently, when they makers decided their ad was going to be a spoof of the classic b movie "The Blob" they did to good a job, well that or parents are no longer teaching their children reality from entertainment.



Pretty, Stupid

Most of the time I'd have to describe Kim Jones aka Lil Kim pretty, and pretty smart. The nearly thirty former mistress of the late Chris Wallace has managed to get to the top of the female charts. Partially through her admirable skills, partially through her 'Black Barbie" looks, and owing in large part to her business savvy. Years back when touring with her former roommate Foxy Brown (Inga Marchand), she managed to maintain her close ties to Chris Wallace and Sean Combs. Foxy managed to stay close to Jay-Z (Sean Carter) but was kicked off the tour, at the time their sales were probably about even, or even leaning slightly in Foxy's direction. Kim kept a firm hold on her bushiness and produced a few albums, and continued to grow her market. Unfortunately it appears she became a victim of her own hype. I think she really believed she could tell a grand jury she didn't see the two men she had just exited a building with pull guns and fire them in a dispute with rival musicians. This failed miserably and now Ms Jones faces as much as fifteen years in jail. Talented, pretty, stupid.


Among the reasons

Cases like this are among the reasons I support gay marriage, without anything but the usual bars to incest, consent, and age. This is the story of a little boy who's birth mother and her female partner were together for years. They decided after some time to have a child. The boy was born, and lived with the two ladies for the first four years or so of his life. His birth mother died in a car accident and even though the boy was living quite happily with his other mom, the courts at the urging of his birth mothers parents removed him. Disgusting.




BlogSpectrum is getting ready to relaunch. Some of the old names and faces will be gone, but we'll be adding several new ones. If you know a blogger you'd like to see take part, send me a link to their site.



It's slow, but its still progress.

Israel and Palestine have reached an agreement for exchange of control of five more towns. First among them is the city of Jericho. While some stumbling blocks have been presented problems, and negotiations for other point of conflict have yet to reach fruition, this has to be taken as a positive sign by all sides. Israel will maintain control of the highways but will be pulling out of most of the city, the fate of certain Palestinians captured by Israel is still up in the air, but the other towns are expected to follow Jericho soon.


The incredible shrinking coalition

More countries are dropping out of the US led coalition, or reducing their role in Iraq as we speak. Italy, Bulgaria, and Ukrainian troops will be heading home either enmasse or in part over the next few weeks. The sadly shrunken coalition, down from its heyday of thirty eight countries, is down to twenty four. Of the less than one hundred seventy-five thousand coallition troops still in the theater of operations, over one hundred fifty thousand are US troops. This is yet another sign of the poor leadership provided by the Bush administration and their positive inability to hold people together.



More Chinese Saber Rattling

In a move that shouldn't surprise anyone, China has made further noises about Taiwan. Japan and Australia are waffling over their proper rolls, both our 'allies', but apparently fear that a US lead spanking of China would damage regional stability. They do have a point, but would the current government be left intact after a war with the US? Somehow I doubt it. Russia and Taiwan, each dealing with restive sections are not surprisingly calling this "an internal matter" for China. Bush and company are "viewing with alarm". This on top of their insistence on a One China policy as fact just a few days ago.


AIM Update

AOL is stating that the blogsphere has interpreted their new TOS incorrectly. According to Eweek.com the clause in question only applies to things posted to public message boards, and not to user to user information exchanges. This comes directly from America Online spokesman Andrew Weinstein. To quote from the article:
AOL does not monitor, read or review any user-to-user communication through the AIM network, except in response to a valid legal process.

Snopes has also covered this article.



New to the blogsphere

A friend, and socio-political sparring partner has launched a blog, go check it out. He should be up and running at full speed fairly soon.


East then West

A California judge has ruled that the states ban on Gay Marriage is unconstitutional. It also highlights several other similar civil rights victories. Very interesting.


And in perfect symbiotic form...

The FCC has now also gone the TO route. After raising storm clouds all over the nation by deriding ABC, and lambasting the participants, the FCC has decided that the skit where Terrell is being seduced isn't indecent after all. The shock the horror, and the dismay! A skit with no genitalia exposed, and no sex or simulated sex is deemed fit for the airwaves. We should all be shouting this from the rooftops, oh wait, we already knew this. It's such a good thing we have the FCC and its sister organizations to think for us isn't it?


The Commies are coming? Or at least sending.

Amazing. I thought that given the way Putin had behaved that the iron curtain had never really come down. What with his roll back of various freedoms. Putin who has said he is opposed to splitting up certain of the government monopolies, controls the media, and whose government had its fingers in the cookie jar surrounding the death of a journalist has a less than stellar record as a champion of freedom. Not to mention the restriction of election freedoms, and suppression of opposition. And given how many of the current leadership of Russia are 'former' communist party members its surprising to see articles like this one. Which points is full of a litany of things the communists could do to regain some influence. With a leader like Putin, I didn't think they'd lost any.



Head hunting

It's definitely time for someone to go head hunting in the Sudan. This should however not be an indiscriminate head hunt. It should be a matter of honor that one is selected. I recommend most of the police in or around the Darfur area. I heartily recommend the judges, and all of the "Janjaweed" that can be identified as part of one of the most noisesome acts of racketeering I've ever heard of. I most certainly recommend that the government officials doing nothing to halt this evil. So what's happening? Girls in their mid teens, and young women are being gang raped by Janjaweed, police, and others, and then they are forced to pay fines that total as much as one fifth of the average yearly salary for the area, the crime "fornication". As this clearly, and indisputably runs counter to even Islamic law, this is nothing more than a particularly cruel act of government sponsored extortion.


Another open seat

The senate will have several new faces by default and not by electioneering next time around. It seems senators on both sides of the aisle are cashing in their chips. This time it’s another Democrat. Paul Sarbanes of Maryland is off to enjoy his early retirement, he's currently a spry seventy two who has barely begun his service having only served since nineteen seventy six. In a state that has a two to one edge of registered Democrats to Republicans, it’s probably safe to leave the seat in the Democrats tally, although not a sure thing. Much depends on the Governors race that is also set for next year. Maryland politics promise to be interesting.



Is this is how they did it?

It's mentioned in any business in the country at least once a year that the California economic zone is the worlds fifth largest economy. I'd always wondered how if became that way. Sure they have Hollywood, great beaches, and nearly absurd amounts of real estate. And yes California is a Mecca of consumerism where fads last minutes and fashion flops are remarked upon for years. I just didn't suspect that there were people bilking the insurance industry for more than a billion dollars to help the economy. What happened? People from forty seven states were brought to the land of fruits and nuts for treatments described as "unneeded" and paid to have them.


AOL = Always Overreaching Leeches

America Online in their continuing quest to lose market share, alienate customers, and compete with such worthies as Wal-Mart and Microsoft for the title of Evil Empire have decided you don't really own your work. Ok, so what they mean is that you don't own your work once it passes through their network. If you are collaborating on a story, or designing a car and you like millions of people around the world firm up the details of something via AIM, you lose ownership of the idea. AOL also reserves the right to publish anything that passes across their network. Yahoo, here I come.

Hat tip to Benstanfield for the story.


Israel prefers Pokeman

In a move that heralds the end for traditional D&D players in Israel, they have admitted that they will not be giving as high a clearance positions to D&D players. They will however grant immediate access to the Prime Minister to anyone who can show him how to beat Pokeman Gold.



Bush wins another round

Iran has given a thumbs down to proposals that would give them large incentives to abandon their uranium enrichment program. This on top of North Korea's program aren't living up to his goal of containing proliferation.


Batman and Amoxicillin?

This doesn't sound like someone I'd want to be working on my kids. Its really one thing to have an affection for a fictitious character, but to change your name to theirs? Um, somebody call the boy a doctor. And it seems the Norway has some issues with their renaming agencies as well.



Terry, or not Terry

Yup, that time again. The family of Terry Schiavo has been going, round and round on what is sure to be the touchstone case for right to death believers. A judge has decided that family services on behalf of her parents cannot order a feeding tube reinstalled.


The Eats of March

That's right, they are nearly upon us. This March fifteenth in hallowed tradition that stretches back beyond my memory, I will participate in The Third Annual International Eat an Animal for PETA Day. I will sit down and dedicate that days hunk-o'-dead-animal to those nice boys and girls at PETA. I've decided that I will have a big hunk of Bambi's Momma, medium rare, wrapped in bacon, possibly cooked with little shrimp tacked on. Go see the comments over where I got this idea at Yourish, hilarious.



One China, or Not

We've all seen the new announcements by China about Taiwan. Their "One China" policy is famous, and has been since 1949. And they have for, 56 years claimed they will use force to end the secession of this rebel province. Yet, for all this time they have done little but pen missives and indulge in gratuitous saber rattling. All well and good for putting up a show, but I don't think they've convinced anyone outside their borders, expect maybe Taiwan, that they will use force. Yes, the US has taken great pains to see that should the mainlanders decide to make good on their threats that it is costly at best. Yes Taiwan is probably among the most scrutinized pieces of real estate not currently in an active shooting war with an outside party. But, I suspect the percentage of people who expect a military conflict over Taiwan in the next decade or so are roughly equal to those who believe in the Flat Earth.

So why this most recent entry in the pissing contest that is seemingly between the US (and Japan, and large portions of the west, and oh yeah, Taiwan), and China? The same driving reason it has always been. Domestic consumption. When the Communists took over and fully displaced their rivals in '49 they had to have some way of getting everyone if not on the same page, then at least reading from the same book. Having so familiar a bogeyman just beyond a ribbon of water served them well. Over more recent years they've added the specter of American corruption to the purity of life they've instructed their people that they have. Taiwan, serves as an adroit stalking horse for the leadership of China, and as long as they have wit to do no more than make urgent, and seeming earnest rumbling at and about the evils without their borders, it can almost certainly continue to do so for years to come.



Say what?

I saw this on the news this morning before heading out to abuse myself by locking myself in a room with several teen and preteens. I was shocked and certain I'd misheard. I was certain enough that I asked someone I knew to be watching the news at that time to confirm what I'd heard. They did. I'm afraid, ghastly, deathly, afraid. I'm an animal lover, they are wonderful companions and many are more intelligent than at least two thirds of my intimates. They also taste great when properly prepared. Anywho, there I was rushing around to get washed up after performing what felt like the full labors of Hercules when I passed through the living room and heard this story. Am I only one who thinks that these pet owners should be locked up for their own protection? Cosmetic surgery is all well and good, but on a pet?
Anyway, that's the story I lifted....



Back, sorta

I've been a bad little blogger, but i'll get back to it better soon. Hopefully today or tommorrow.

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