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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Dean Rejects Modernism 

Very insightful post by radical middle over on dKos:

Trippi is a Modernist, and Dean is a Progressive. In art theory (as interpreted by me), a Modernist is someone who sticks to a particular aesthetic to the exclusion of all others. For example, Picasso's Cubism was modernist; Pollack's Expressionism was modernist. These artists devoted themselves to a single idea. Trippi's Modernist aesthetic was the grassroots campaign, People Power rising up to take their country back from the Establishment. He formed the seeds of the idea in the 80s, and tried it for real with Jerry Brown in 1992. But it didn't really work until his 2003 perfect storm - the combination of an incredibly angry and motivated base, the Internet, and an ideal candidate.

Dean, on the other hand, is a Progressive. In my mind, progressives are scientific, engineering types. They're not devoted to ideology, except making life better for people through good government. Progressives try something, and if it doesn't work, they throw it out and try something else. Progressives are totally pragmatic. Look at Dean's history of dealing with health care in the early 90s for an example.

And here's the rub... Modernists want to conform to ideology, Progressives want results. As long as Trippi's Modernist approach was delivering results (i.e. turning Dean from asterisk to frontrunner in six months), Dean loved it. But when it stopped delivering results, Dean rejected it in favor of something more likely to work. Trippi, preferring his Modernist ideology over Dean's Progressive pragmatism, chose to leave rather than admit his ideology no longer worked.


This is purely an outside the HQ perspective since I don't know the players personally, but from their publicly shown approaches and expressed thinking. But this makes perfect sense to me, but then again I am an analytical graphic designer and an artist. Go figure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The nightmare to come 

(taken in part from the insightful mind of Bri over at dKos)

The Kerry Bush Debate Nightmare

Kerry: President Bush lead us down the wrong road towards an unnecessary war based on faulty intelligence and we are now paying the price.

Bush: You voted to authorize the war based on the same intelligence that I relied on. You yourself said that the capture of Saddam Hussein validated your vote for the war, and that we are indeed safer with him gone. No one said this was going to be easy. But freedom comes at a cost. The american people understand that, and now is not the time to lose our nerve.

----------

Kerry: President Bush's tax policies take from the poor and give to the rich, while creating huge deficits for our children.

Bush: You missed the majority of votes held last year but this is one you voted for and agreed with me. These tax cuts are working and creating a more robust economy.

---------

Kerry: President Bush's NCLB has actually decreased the quality of children's education by diverting much needed funds to support this bureaucratic mess. Plus the entire act is underfunded.

Bush: You must have thought it was a good idea because you voted for it. Education has improved in many states including... and education will continue to be a priority for my administration

---------

Kerry: We need to get real prescription drug package passed, work tirelessly to make sure every American has access to affordable healthcare.

Bush: I pushed Congress to pass Medicare reform, I urged Congress, and got passed in bipartisan fashion largest increase in healthcare spending in US history, and you didn't even turn up to vote on it. Even your liberal Massachusetts colleagues Ted Kennedy voted for it.

There it is. Every major issue that matters to voters, utterly decimated in a four quick responses. This is why a record of accomplishment Governing, a proven solid record of accomplishment and success are a baseline minimum. At this point, only Dean has that. This is why, beyond his plain spoken direct language (as opposed to Washingtonian Political jive) I have been Dean's avid supporter and backer.

Kerry would make a better President than Bush, but so would the dirty dish-towel I clean the lawn-mower with in my garage. Dean would make a far better president, and can actually run on his record, which is what can pierce the fog of the GOP funded $200 million dollar Mighty Wurlitzer.

If Kerry get the nomination the above is a quick glimpse at the easy disaster that will occur to destroy the Democratic bid.

We CAN'T LET this happen.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

In the Times 

Was quoted today in the New York Times.

On the Dean blog, Mitchell Gore, 39, a graphic designer in Portland, Ore., advised in a post last week: "Beware the stealth-troll post; the one that starts with something like 'I was supporting Dr. Dean, but ever since. ' These trolls want to start a Dean-bashing session. The best way to deal with them is to ignore them completely.


Interesting how the quote was used to imply balkanization of ideas on the net, given that the intent of the post and the the large amount of it was a blog primer for newbies giving advice on trolls. That is where the quote came from. Here is what I wrote:

BLOG PRIMER (reminder)

For those of you new to the campaign or this blog, welcome. Here are a few tips on the blog and the trolls (message board sociopaths).

This blog is a great place to pick up on breaking news and to provide feedback to our people-powered campaign. Read it, Post on it. Get involved and help take your country back!

You can also dismiss some of the posts here - Don't get too upset with the negative anti-Dean or anti-(fill in the name of the candidate) B.S. you see. Those negative posts usually come from trolls. Trolls post here for one reason only; to disrupt the conversation. You will never know who they are or whom they support, regardless of the content of the post or the name. One person may be posting under different names, with different genders. They may even be paid operatives. It might be easier for you if you just think of every one of them as Karl Rove (Bush's right hand man and top political advisor who built his career in politics for him). Also, beware the stealth-troll post; the one that starts with something like "I was supporting Dr. Dean, but ever since..." These trolls want to start a Dean-bashing session. The best way to deal with them is to ignore them completely. Scroll over their vile garbage. NEVER respond to a troll, and NEVER use the name of a troll in your own posts. I must confess however that I from time to time respond with a (scroll) message to let it be known that their garbage is not being read and make it known that there is nothing worth reading from them.

These "Clark" trolls are not Clark supporters (just like Kerry Trolls are not real Kerry supporters and so on). They are FREEPER/GOP provocateurs. Real Clark, Kerry, Gephardt, etc. supporters are not "anti-Dean", and are busy working to get their respective candidates the nomination. Real supporters of the other candidates are posting on their own blogs, not spending 24/7 here.

These are not Clark (or other candidate) supporters, these are not even Dem supporters. They are FREEPER (Free Republic, aka the loony Clinton killed Vince Foster rabid-right) trolls. Thus some Dean supporters are lured into misguided, fact devoid anti-Clark posts in retaliation. If you find yourself tempted to do this, be aware that such retaliatory posts do NOTHING to help Dean, do NOTHING to help Dems, and do NOTHING but increase acrimony between camps while it DOES help sow dissent within the Dem camps. This of course HELPS Chimpy (aka "President" Bush). In fact some of the apparent Dean supporter anti-(Insert name here) retaliatory attacks are sometimes not even Dem or Dean supporters as well. Just sock puppets (a poster posting as multiple people under different names) in order to flood the blog with their inane garbage and increase the acrimony. Their ideal end goal is to instigating a flame war between blogs and camps and make themselves the focus of conversation and debate. It is a surprisingly common tactic of trolls.

Occasionally a troll here is a single-issue extremist, who seeks to use the high-visibility of this blog to further their own axe-grinding agenda. This is akin to the old rainbow head wig guy (dating myself here) who used to go to sporting events back in the late 70s and early 80s in order to get on camera and hold up a "John 3:16" sign during free-throw shots, etc. So don't be fooled by trolls. Don't respond with intra-party flames and attacks. We will need the REAL Clark supporters, and the REAL Gep supporters, REAL Kerry supporters, etc. come November. Never forget that. Right now those supporters and their chosen candidates are our competition, but they are not, nor should they be our enemy.

Furthermore, the Press regularly monitors this site. They are mostly interested in getting a by-line and some fast press with a blog-bite. You'll see reports citing blog posts, usually from trolls, taken out of context and reported on the press as indicative of the campaign. The best way to deal with bad press is to write to the editor, cancel your subscriptions, donate to Dr. Dean and stop watching the corporate news. We're onto them now. Maybe one day we'll see real journalism replace the corporate sound-bite reporting mentality, but it won't be anytime soon. (My apologies to the few members of the press out here who actually "get" what this is about, and are able to file complete stories without bias - we're learning who you are, and we thank you and your organizations for speaking the truth).

Finally, a safety Tip: You may not wish to use your real email address, as they are picked up and you may get some nasty stuff from the gutter, and when you do post, try to keep your posts short (shorter than this one anyway).

Enjoy!


Interesting that the out of context quotation makes it seem that I was trying to curb debate, and posting of opinions. Which is not what it was saying, but to give background that the anonymity of posters on the BFA made it ripe for provocateur spamming and sock puppet arguments to sow dissent, etc.

I don't think the quote out of context was 100% false in its presentation, but without the larger context of what I was saying, how it was part of a "take everything here with a grain of salt" sort of heads up advice, makes this peice in the Times somewhat misleading.

It was advice on how to deal with trolls, and that context is completely absent from the piece. This smacks of pulling quotes out of context to try and make a point in creating a story about a different topic altogether.

Friday, January 23, 2004

MODEERF (hint, this word is going the opposite of forward) 

From my blog on this:

The Governing Council (GC) of Iraq recently voted to rid Iraq of family law and chosen to impose their own idiotic Shari'a laws back in December though it is only getting out now. We can say what we want about Saddam, but Iraq had some of the more "western" (read progressive) laws and protections for women in the areas of marriage and divorce in the Muslim world. The women in Iraq are pissed and who could blame them?

Isn't it tragic that US intervention so often leads to more repression for women abroad, whether it's inadvertently helping foment the Islamic Revolution (through overthrow of 1954 Mossadegh and installing the Shah), to fully backing, training, equipping and pushing the Mujahdeen radical "freedom-fighters" like Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan... which after the Soviet withdrawal and with the patronage of the then rapidly developing nuclear power (they got 'em now) Pakistani dictatorship re-ordered themselves into the Taliban, to now overthrowing Saddam and then having women take several step backwards.

So is are country learning as Chimpy would say?

And of  course ignorant Americans (helped by an indifferent press) somehow think the Iraqis have all these new "freedoms" because they pulled down a Sadaam version of the Michael Jackson "HIStory" album cover.

Ok

The Shari'a passage is not in effect at the moment because Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. administrator in Iraq, has to sign off on it for it to take effect (and the magic 8 ball currently points to "ask again later") but why is this only barely coming to light now? There seems to have been a black hole for this on the news here (save for a buried Washington Post article) and some crucial blogs like Riverbend and Back to Iraq 3.0.

That article from the WaPo was from the 15th of January about a vote that took place in December!

Did I pull a Rip Van Winkle and miss it getting talked about in the press and punditry?

Of course this throws into a little sharper relief why we are getting the "when is the bathroom free?" fidgety dance routine from Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani. It starts to make a little more sense now, his vacillating between saying if elections aren't held there'll be a fatwa ordering civil disobedience, and saying the decision to hold elections should be made by Kofi Annan of the UN.

Can we say "run out the clock"...?

Here's the money question, Bremer might kill this vote all to hell for the next six months or so and keep the GC sock puppets in line, but what happens after we (in theory) hand over the big ball of wax in or around June and the Shi'a are a majority?

And here's a bonus puzzler...

How the FUCK are we safer with an Iraq under Shari'a with the CIA now saying there is a real possibility of civil war soon, but it's all good because someone in Iraq pointed out where former CIA asset Saddam Hussien was hiding in a dirt hole?

And who has been the "madman" to dare worry and (gasp) say something about this sort of possibility implicated in the previous paragraph?

Thanks to ihlin's post about this earlier on the Daily Kos which I lifted some salient points from.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Rational Anger 

Dean is angry?

Yes.

Should Dean be angry?

Yes.

So should every rational person in the nation.

We are angry that there are ballooning deficits as far as the eye can see. Dean has proven record of balancing budgets every year he was Gov. despite there not being a law that mandated it. Dean can solve this fiscal nightmare by making the hard choices, yet focusing on the real cost and the real needs of the people, of families, of our communities. He is a doctor, and as such tirelessly looks for what works and what can solve problems before they become critical.

Dean is angry?

Yes.

Should Dean be angry?

Yes.

So should every rational person looking at the facts.

Bush is an unmitigated disaster when it comes to feeding placebos to the lie of "compassionate conservatism" while being the shill (whiting or not) to massive tax giveaways to the pharmaceutical industry under the guise of "prescription drug benefits" which do nothing in actually helping seniors, let alone the rest of us. The Bush administration and the GOP wraps there disastrous and self-serving agenda in the props of grandparents and seniors, while doing nothing but giving away the fiscal security of our nation to the crass self-interest of the crony backers that funded his entire political career. Compare that with Howard Dean, who left a promising career on Wall Street, to become a doctor. He moved to rural Vermont and delivered healthcare with his own hands to people directly. He got involved in local politics to rebuild and improve community. He fought to ensure that EVERYONE had affordable access to healthcare. When the same nay-sayers derailed "universal care" proposals in Vermont when they torpedoed the Clinton health plan in Congress, Dean fought on and expanded Medicare coverage and expanded and added to existing programs to get more people covered at the state level. Now every person under 18 in Vermont has access to healthcare. Everyone under 150% of the poverty line has access to healthcare coverage. For ANYONE to begin to think that Dean would not fight on and on until we had everyone covered is a fool. Dean is a medical doctor, who has front line knowledge of the system and how to get to universal coverage. With a plan that is workable, affordable and passable. Dean's plan will work, can easily be afforded by returning to the same tax levels during the unprecedented booming economy during Clinton while not squaring off with every moneyed interest which actively sought to, and succeeded in killing the Clinton plan.

Dean is angry?

Yes.

Should Dean be angry?

Yes.

So should every rational person looking at the facts.

Bush is rapidly driving our nations future off a cliff, with record deficits and massive spending increases, which are not repairing our nations manufacturing, and economic infrastructure. Spending that is not funding our educational system as it should, but giving it away to those who are plundering our economy, moving our jobs overseas and dodging taxes and evading environmental protections that re in fact directly harming us, our family sand our communities. If trends in our declining dollar continue, the Euro will soon become the currency of choice for capital markets. If that happens, we are beyond fucked. Any nonpolitical hack of an economist who knows the situation knows that these deficits are unsustainable. Job growth is non-existent and not even keeping up with the population growth, so we are not even close to "growing our way" of a wet-paper bag let alone unprecedented, record busting deficits. Howard Dean has a PROVEN record or restoring fiscal responsibility to government operating budgets. Restoring and securing credit and bond ratings, paying off debt to get interest payments manageable. More telling, he pushed for and secured revenue reserves for the state so when there is an economic down-turn, services would not be cut, and taxes would not be raised.

Under this administration there is more than $24,000.. yes THOUSAND dollars of debt hanging over every man, woman and child in this nation, and Bush is adding over $2.3 billion a day to that debt. If and when those notes come due, not to mention how much of future revenue will get pissed away on interest payments (ever look are credit card revolving debt) we are all in serious serious trouble. Dean has proven record of solving these types of problems. Solving them in ways which do not include cutting services, and not raising taxes (in fact he was able to cut taxes twice when it is was fiscally reasonable and safe to do so). He has a proven record of putting Vermont on a sound fiscal footing.

Dean is angry?

Yes.

Should Dean be angry?

Yes.

So should every rational person looking at the facts.

We are angry that over half a century of foreign policy, and the cornerstone of the rule of law, multilateral agreements and our countries standing as a world leader, based on high moral purpose have been subverted by those pushing agendas which have nothing to do with furthering our nations security. Over 500 of our best and brightest have been lost to no good purpose in Iraq. This administration used 9/11 as pretext to carry out a fundamentally flawed, colossally stupid and radically dangerous agenda. 9/11 and the threat of terrorism was used to exploit fears of WMD with far from solid evidence that Iraq posed ANY threat to us. Bush's advisors sold that misdirection with false evidence and ever shifting rationales. Yet the GOP and this administration moved to cut solider combat pay, veterans benefits, while using "the troops" as a crass political club to try and silence and destroy those who saw this coming.

Dean called it correctly then, and still calls it correctly. Dean's positions on foreign policy are squarely in the center of our nations mainstream of rule of law, working with allies through the UN and NATO. If Dean were president last year, we would only be in Iraq if it was proven, with real evidence, that Iraq posed a legitimate threat to us. All the false rationales given post invasion, are canards, and if there was legitimate pretext for invasion, rightly could and should have been handled through the UN and NATO. We could stare down the Soviet Union, and Russia during the cold-war, through working with out allies and through the UN and with NATO, but some tin-horn dictator (and previous ally of convenience) with an army that could not even pose a real threat to it neighbors anymore, justified invasion at any cost, and without even a months delay?

How anyone could NOT be angry at the sorry state of our nation under GOP governance and the radical neocon agenda behind it, and fail to see the reality of Dean's proven record is beyond me.

Thoughts Going Forward 

Well, Iowa results of course was not what we wanted, but I say to you all on the BFA blog again, that the negative attacks on the other Dems and their supporters was borne out in Iowa. For months now, I have taken rafts of crap from fellow bloggers on BFA for my often laborious admonitions to not attack other Dems. Likewise I have been flamed for suggesting that the registration and min. control of the blog is important in cutting down crap flooding, denial of service attacks, doppleganging, and trolling. I have never said it would solve the problem, but make it manageable.

Likewise, how many hundreds of thousands of words were wasted on the BFA day in and day out, posting anti-Clark, anti-Kerry, anti-Edwards shit?

How many times have I stressed that this was and is counter-productive?

I am not under the illusion that those Kuccinich supporters we watched on CSPAN during the Iowa caucus were directly affected by the blog comments here, but the negative attacks, the lack of stressing the positive message and most importantly, driving home the fact that Dean has a solid, PROVEN record of delivering health-care, balanced budgets, and expanding civil liberties is what we must focus on.

It cost us dearly in Iowa, and could cost us more if we do not re-focus on what made Dean such an attractive candidate in the first place. An outstanding record of pragmatic liberalism. Balanced budgets, expanding healthcare, and accessible direct language.

While I have been one to rail against the DLC the media and the asinine non-think that frames the electorate, that only goes so far.

Dean DOES have real strengths and a real record to run on, that is positive, that does provide a credible and solid choice to move our country forward.

How we have organized and fund-raised, etc. is taking our country back. Dean needs to focus on what we want to do should we succeed.

That is the message that has to be front and center. 24/7.

Counter-punch when called for, but do not go negative. Call BS when it comes, but the key thing is call BS but point out what is really important, which is the positive solutions that Dean has, and a demonstrated record of accomplishment in Vermont.

I am not jumping ship, and I am in for the haul. However we (that means you Howard and HQ in particular) do need to focus getting out the message on why Dean has been, and IS an outstanding executive for leading government.

OK... where to from here? Well what is the name we are starting out today with (and is the CW)...?

Anger.

That is the theme that will be played out form now till doomsday. The rally speech last night will only add to it. But is that a bad thing?

No, not if it is dealt with properly. Is Dean angry?

Yes.

Should Dean be angry?

Yes.

Should EVERY American be angry?

Yes.

We should be angry at ballooning deficits, over 500 of our bravest and best killed for no good purpose in Iraq, schools closing early because of budget short falls massive giveaways to pharmaceuticals under the guise of prescription drug benefits, the list can go on and on.

YES we are angry, and so is Dean. So should any rational person looking at the facts and the reality of the situation. It is the cliched bumper sticker, but it is also true... "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention".

But there is a critical point about embracing that anger. It has to be refocused on what is making people angry but crucially, what will solve it. It has been a mistake to try and deflect that theme. Dean can and should (in retrospect as well) embrace that "angry" label and say "hell yes I am mad, I am mad that we have run-away deficits, I am made that real homeland security has not been put into place. I am made that property taxes have gone up, schools are closing early, and Americans are dying in a war based on a lies."

But there IS, and MUST be more said than that. That anger is a cross-over moment. It must lead to solutions, to plans to fix it. To what policy and law, and society SHOULD be, which will address these things that rightfully make people angry (those paying attention).

This is where Dean can and should shine. He has a record. A proven record of success, of balancing budgets. Success at reigning in spending of our tax dollars, expanding health-care, providing services, protecting the environment, securing civil liberties, and on and on.

Dean HAS a record. Why are these things not being front and center, 24/7...?

That is where the bridge of our righteous anger at the unmitigated disaster of the the Bush administration should, and MUST make clear, directly, and quickly.

Hell yes we are angry about run-away deficits and out-of-control tax giveaways to corporations by Bush. Because we need to balance the budget like we did in Vermont, to get fiscally sound for the when there is a dip in the economy, the Government is there to help with vital services to carry us through to when the economy picks up.

This is not a new message, Dean has said it. But is has been buried under a blizzard of counterattacking other Dems, and screaming about the media and wanting our country back.

The anger is justified, but there is more than anger in Dean, and it is 100% crucial that if nothing else gets out, it is what is behind the anger, and more importantly what is the solution to what is rightly making us anger that must be clear, loud and what is impossible to miss.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Interesting email today...  

On Friday, January 16, 2004, at 08:13 AM, Timothy Huegerich wrote:

The success of my Dean site, CatholicsforDean.com, clearly indicates the need for Dean to stop alienating people who are pro-life.  His vitriolic opposition to the partial-birth abortion ban, for instance, is hard for us to understand.
 
The pro-choice and pro-life movements can work together to reduce the number of women who want or feel compelled to have abortions.  We can work together to:
- improve the economic fortunes of women,
- make child care universally available,
- build a culture that encourages committed relationships (through discussion, not law),
- ensure quality sex education, and
- promote adoption.
 
Is there any chance that Dean could acknowledge abortion as unfortunate, even while he recognizes the right of women to choose it, and express his support for the five initiatives above?  It would greatly increase his standing with Christians throughout the country and greatly strengthen his campaign.  More importantly, it is the right thing to do for women.
 
Thank you,
Tim Huegerich

From: Mitchell Gore
Date: Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:50:59 AM US/Pacific
To: Timothy Huegerich
Subject: Re: Join the abortion prevention movement

Dear Tim Huegerich,

I appreciate your contacting me, but the need for keeping late term abortions legal is a medically necessity.

You obviously disagree, and think that we should allow women who have severe medical complications die when such late-term abortions can in fact save their lives as being necessary. That you define this in the fiction of "partial birth abortion" is indicative that you are placing an ideological and flawed world view on the realities of the situation. Late-term abortions are never done for elective reasons, but to save the lives of the women who are forced into such a terrible position because of medical complications. This is never done because of elective reasons.

The demagoguery of those pushing the "partial birth abortion" propaganda point betray the credibility of your position.

We both agree that reducing the need for abortion is a common goal that we all agree upon. If we could make it so there are never a need for an abortion except to save the life of the woman, that would be a great achievement, something we could all be happy and proud to work towards. Thus the need to educate people about contraception, so as to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. This is again where we respectfully (and adamantly) disagree about approach (unless you dissent from your Churches position on birth control).

I do not attack you for your chosen beliefs, but there are serious, real world reasons why your positions (while respectfully and sincerely held they may be) are very, very misguided.

We obviously hold very different world views about sexual congress and how birth control is a viable, and moral way to prevent unwanted pregnancies (and thus the need for an abortion) in most cases, and we must agree to disagree on these points (again presuming that you hold the views of your professed religious doctrine of the Catholic church on issues of birth control).

cheers,

Mitch Gore

Feel the love (in other words, smell the desperation) 

Just got this little ditty...


From: Steven8788@aol.com
Date: Thu Jan 15, 2004 7:39:05 PM US/Pacific
To: lestatdelc@mac.com
Subject: you're a maggot like dean and you are a loser as well bush in 04 you troll


That it, that's all there is. Nothing but a hatred and fear insired subject line. Comical no?

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Where The Mind is Without Fear 

Martin Sheen recited an amazing poem at the Iowa Perfect Storm Bus Tour kick-off rally last night. It captured the driving spirit of what Dean and this movement has been about.

Below is the poem, written by Rabindranath Tagore who was the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. He is considered by many one of the greatest writers of modern Indian literature. From time to time he participated in the Indian nationalist movement, though in his own non-sentimental and visionary way; and Gandhi, the political father of modern India, was his devoted friend. This poem transcends his time and place, and speaks clearly to a deeper truth. Like the confluence of spirit and moral purpose for social reform and progress with persons like MLK and Gandhi his poem speaks with a relevance to our times and our country.


Where The Mind is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake


Kudos to you Martin for capturing and conveying that spirit, so true in our hearts and minds as we seek to restore America.

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