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Author Topic: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration  (Read 103849 times)
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bachelorofbullets
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« Reply #500 on: February 09, 2017, 07:43:39 AM »

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The more I think of the above statement, the weirder it is: none of the Muslim countries are "traditionally enemies of the US".

Emily, do you consider ISIS to be an enemy of the United States?
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the captain
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« Reply #501 on: February 09, 2017, 09:09:49 AM »

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Do people get terribly upset about the Orthodox Jews in NY who have lived in a tight enclave with their own schools, shops, community centers, rites, and very closed communities for 5-6 generations now? They used to. But they got over it because it doesn't hurt anyone else.

I'm glad you brought this up, because Orthodox Jews do still live apart to a certain degree.  They live in Jewish neighborhoods and only attend Jewish schools.  BUT...they only represent 10% of the Jewish population.  What may be more important is that the U.S. has maintained an unshakable alliance with Israel for 50+ years.  You can't say that about countries that impose sharia law on it's population.  They are traditionally enemies of the U.S. for good reason.

The US has been in an "unshakable alliance" with Saudi Arabia for more than 80 years.

Do you really think Saudis are U.S. allies?  15/19 9-11 hijackers were Saudis.  There is a difference between being an ally (like Israel) and maintaining a marriage of convenience based on regional conflict and oil. 

Absolutely, I think the governments have been steadfast allies since before the modern Israeli state came into existence (which is what makes is so sad-funny that we've ignored their role in fomenting islamism).

I also think all international alliances are marriages of convenience: nation-states don't cooperate because of warm feelings, but shared interests. The shared values talk is crap, in my opinion.
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« Reply #502 on: February 09, 2017, 04:36:26 PM »

The 9th Circuit's decision (to deny) the administration's request for a stay on the temporary restraining order previously placed on the EO "travel ban." It's interesting reading, if you're into this kind of thing.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/09/us/document-Ninth-Circuit-s-Decision-on-Trump-s-Travel-Ban.html
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« Reply #503 on: February 09, 2017, 07:23:52 PM »

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The more I think of the above statement, the weirder it is: none of the Muslim countries are "traditionally enemies of the US".

Emily, do you consider ISIS to be an enemy of the United States?
Of course, by definition. But it isn't a country and hasn't been around long enough to be "traditionally enemies" of anyone.
What Muslim country is traditionally an enemy of the United States?
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bachelorofbullets
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« Reply #504 on: February 10, 2017, 08:01:25 AM »

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The more I think of the above statement, the weirder it is: none of the Muslim countries are "traditionally enemies of the US".

Emily, do you consider ISIS to be an enemy of the United States?
Of course, by definition. But it isn't a country and hasn't been around long enough to be "traditionally enemies" of anyone.
What Muslim country is traditionally an enemy of the United States?

You said "by definition" that ISIS is an enemy.  Since they are not a country then they are something else...violent Islamic fundamentalists seeking there own Sharia-based Islamic state.  This is the entire point of my argument.  Islamic fundamentalism is the enemy, and this is why they don't belong here.

Traditional Islamic enemies of the U.S.? Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen you could probably throw Pakistan in there too, since it has so many ties to terrorists.  Keep the time frame relative ok?  I know who the Shah is.
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bachelorofbullets
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« Reply #505 on: February 10, 2017, 08:05:44 AM »

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I also think all international alliances are marriages of convenience: nation-states don't cooperate because of warm feelings, but shared interests. The shared values talk is crap, in my opinion.

Do you think the Korean War and Vietnam wars were based on convenience or ideology?
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the captain
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« Reply #506 on: February 10, 2017, 08:26:08 AM »

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I also think all international alliances are marriages of convenience: nation-states don't cooperate because of warm feelings, but shared interests. The shared values talk is crap, in my opinion.

Do you think the Korean War and Vietnam wars were based on convenience or ideology?

First I have to be honest and say I don't really know. I'm 40, and so anything I know about them is not first-hand. And school wasn't of any help because, well, school didn't really talk much about either of those conflicts. Propagandized American history was more glorious founding, glorious Civil War, a little confused WWI, glorious WWII, and the semesters end.

From what I know, I'd say both were certainly touted as ideological but were more exercises in realpolitik. I think they were attempts to minimize Soviet and Chinese influence not because of communism, necessarily, but because the Soviets and Chinese were (over time--certainly not at the beginning of Korea) nuclear powers that weren't allied with the west. If they had been other, non-communist systems of government, I think we'd have acted the same way and there still would have been Korean and Vietnam wars. But it's hard to sell that to the public. It's easier to sell the evils of that atheistic system that wants to rob you of your private property, just like it's easier to sell those evil Muslims who hate our freedom.

But again, I have to be clear that I am not only no expert on Korea or Vietnam, but barely even an amateur. I'll keep learning and hopefully have better understanding someday. But what I do feel pretty confident about generally is that writing good versus evil narratives is usually propaganda and always an oversimplification of reality. Nobody ever claims the role of the evil in those stories...
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« Reply #507 on: February 10, 2017, 08:53:59 AM »

Islamic fundamentalism is the enemy, and this is why they don't belong here.

This is true neither in principle or practice. The United States is currently massively supporting Saudi Arabia which is probably the heart of Islamic fundamentalism in the world and has been for decades because, like Israel whom you mention above, they are a valuable strategic ally in the region. This is the same reason why both the Carter and Reagan Administration vigorously supported the radical Islamization program carried out by Zia-ul-Haq in Pakistan from the late 70s right through the 1980s. Quite recently, in 2012, the US largely supported militant fundamentalist groups in Syria as a strategy to counter Assad, with the knowledge that it would most like turn into the horrific organization it actually became.

In fact, if you look at the history of US foreign policy up until today the real enemy are countries where the population want to have some kind of control over their lives beyond US influence. The US will support any country or organization, including Islamic fundamentalist ones, who are on board with quelling those interests.
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the captain
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« Reply #508 on: February 10, 2017, 09:05:42 AM »


In fact, if you look at the history of US foreign policy up until today the real enemy are countries where the population want to have some kind of control over their lives beyond US influence. The US will support any country or organization, including Islamic fundamentalist ones, who are on board with quelling those interests.

This is an embarrassing point that a former director of Mossad said quite directly in a panel discussion also featuring a former US intelligence official. I posted the link on another board and will find and link it here, too. The US official did not dispute the fact. It's a plain reality.
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« Reply #509 on: February 10, 2017, 09:13:04 AM »

Here it is:

https://youtu.be/RQtQgj_A7cQ?t=17m16s

This is former director of Mossad, Tamir Pardo, and former director of CIA, Michael Morrell. And it's cued up to the relevant moments (though I thought the whole discussion was really interesting).

"I think that one major problem is that for decades, we and everyone made a distinction between good terrorists and bad terrorists. In the '80s, the Taliban were very good terrorists. They were supported by the United States," says Pardo. He goes on to talk about terrorists Israel supported, and then says that this wasn't unique to us, but that Russia and other powers acted the same. It's just the ugly reality of the world. There aren't white and black hats on the heads of state.
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Emily
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« Reply #510 on: February 10, 2017, 02:05:42 PM »

Quote
The more I think of the above statement, the weirder it is: none of the Muslim countries are "traditionally enemies of the US".

Emily, do you consider ISIS to be an enemy of the United States?
Of course, by definition. But it isn't a country and hasn't been around long enough to be "traditionally enemies" of anyone.
What Muslim country is traditionally an enemy of the United States?

 
You said "by definition" that ISIS is an enemy.  Since they are not a country then they are something else...violent Islamic fundamentalists seeking there own Sharia-based Islamic state.  This is the entire point of my argument.  Islamic fundamentalism is the enemy, and this is why they don't belong here.

Traditional Islamic enemies of the U.S.? Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen you could probably throw Pakistan in there too, since it has so many ties to terrorists.  Keep the time frame relative ok?  I know who the Shah is.
"... and this is why they don't belong here." I don't think anyone is arguing that ISIS 'belongs here.' - except in a chickens coming home to roost sort of way. And even then, it's sardonic- not meant to mean we should allow members of ISIS to immigrate.

They are a US enemy 'by definition' because they have declared hostility toward the US and the US has declared hostility toward them. The actual definition of 'enemy' has no ideological component. Nor does the US's definition of enemy, though I believe ISIS's does.

'Traditional' implies a significant time frame. None of those places are traditional enemies of the US. Many of them have been allies of the US and the only thing that changed that was geopolitics. A few of those places were traditionally US allies while they supported terrorism (Pakistan is a prime example). We traditionally support terrorists as long as the terrorism benefits US corporate  interests.
The US's founding issue with ANY of its 'enemies' is economics, not ideology.
If you think it's ideology, explain why we are allies, traditionally, with so many regimes with practices against our supposed ideology and why we support the overthrow of regimes that align with our supposed ideology?
One caveat to all I've said in this post: it applies unless you are saying that the US's ideology is 'US corporate interests come before any other consideration'. If so, I apologize. You're quite right.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 02:17:13 PM by Emily » Logged
Lee Marshall
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« Reply #511 on: February 11, 2017, 05:17:41 AM »

To paraphrase President Frank Underwood..."We don't fight TERROR...We create it."  That's it in a nutshell.  More Americans are killed by lightning than by terrorists.  So to spew the 'company line' is to buy into fiction and fantasy.  YES...some folks have died...at the hands of terrorism...both homegrown and flown in...but not near any degree that would prompt the inflamed bullshit presented by Russia's best buddy...Hotel boy.  Watch the terror THEY'LL collectively create before 'his hairiness' is impeached.  AND that's gonna happen.
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« Reply #512 on: February 11, 2017, 06:37:23 AM »

As seemed likely at the time--remember Russia shockingly choosing not to retaliate when we kicked a handful of their "diplomats" out of the country?--it now seems Nat'l Security Advisor Michael Flynn did discuss Russian sanctions (or the rolling back of same) with Russian officials prior to the Trump administration being in office. This is illegal. He also lied about it when previously questioned.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/flynn-holds-call-with-pence-amid-calls-for-probes-of-contacts-with-russian-ambassador/2017/02/10/f8fb83a0-efe1-11e6-9973-c5efb7ccfb0d_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_flynn-820pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.4406879f3c42

Though to be fair, Flynn isn't admitting his pretty obvious lie. He's instead saying he doesn't remember. Naturally. So what's going to happen? A different Post story says:

Quote
In any other administration with any other president, Flynn would be on very thin ice. At the least, he misremembered repeatedly the fact that he had talked about U.S. sanctions against Russia in conversations with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition. At the most, well, I'll leave that to your imagination but suffice to say it's not good.

But this isn't a traditional president or a traditional administration. Trump prides himself on not doing the allegedly politically savvy thing and not bowing to pressure from the political establishment. Plus, Flynn is one of Trump's earliest and most ardent supporters often introducing the candidate on the campaign trail in the waning months of the race. Trump prizes loyalty especially loyalty expressed early on when he didn't look like a winner and Flynn has shown that in spades.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/10/just-how-much-trouble-is-michael-flynn-in/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_fix-flynn-325pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.d60a6397be21
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 06:40:29 AM by the captain » Logged

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« Reply #513 on: February 13, 2017, 05:03:59 AM »

An article on Stephen Miller (https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/politics/stephen-miller-a-key-engineer-for-trumps-america-first-agenda/2017/02/11/a70cb3f0-e809-11e6-bf6f-301b6b443624_story.html) brought me sudden clarity on a thought that's been bumping around the shadows for a bit that aligns, I think, with CSM's generally expressed opinion: the Democratic and Republican Parties are not really left/right at all anymore, though they have modest leanings those ways. They are cosmopolitan/white parochial.
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« Reply #514 on: February 13, 2017, 07:45:24 AM »

An article on Stephen Miller (https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/politics/stephen-miller-a-key-engineer-for-trumps-america-first-agenda/2017/02/11/a70cb3f0-e809-11e6-bf6f-301b6b443624_story.html) brought me sudden clarity on a thought that's been bumping around the shadows for a bit that aligns, I think, with CSM's generally expressed opinion: the Democratic and Republican Parties are not really left/right at all anymore, though they have modest leanings those ways. They are cosmopolitan/white parochial.
To add to this, upon further reflection:
There are cosmopolitan people who are economically 'right' and those who are economically 'left.'  The same with white parochial people. In a multi-party system, this wouldn't be a particular challenge. There would be 4+ parties resolving the matrix and issues revolving around social justice would have one set of coalitions and issues revolving around economics would have another. In a two party system, there are competing interests. Right now, the parties are aligned based on social justice issues, not economics. I expect that the powers-that-be are happy with that, and they encourage it in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, as they benefit from it.
It causes rifts that are surprising sometimes, but make sense. The Sanders supporters were unified in their economics positions but not on social justice. There were plenty of 'right' social people supporting Sanders, alienating some Democrats (including me). So while many left people were anti-Clinton because she's too right on economics, the other style of left people had problems with Sanders because his tent left room for followers who dismissed what is of tantamount importance to them. There are similar struggles on the right.
It's unclear to me how this can be resolved with two parties.
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the captain
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« Reply #515 on: February 14, 2017, 05:18:10 AM »

And Flynn is out.

"Unfortunately ... I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador."

That sounds much better than "I illegally discussed sanctions without being an authorized rep of the USA and lied when I got caught."

Dumped by consecutive administrations. Impressive. Speaking of criminals, NPR reported Petraeus is on the short list of possible replacements.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 05:41:44 AM by the captain » Logged

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« Reply #516 on: February 14, 2017, 07:44:14 AM »

He's been pushed for lying to Pence rather than the lies he told to the public, so in a way, he's not a yet a precedent for people having to go when they lie (otherwise Trump would obviously be toast many times over, as would Pence).

I still love America - I emigrated to here after all - but Trump is a new low in my lifetime, worse than Nixon and GWB, although we await to see how many people die on his watch compared to their very high bodycounts.
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« Reply #517 on: February 14, 2017, 06:30:00 PM »

And Flynn is out.

"Unfortunately ... I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador."

That sounds much better than "I illegally discussed sanctions without being an authorized rep of the USA and lied when I got caught."

Dumped by consecutive administrations. Impressive. Speaking of criminals, NPR reported Petraeus is on the short list of possible replacements.
The gaping absence from his letter is any hint that the Pres. and/or Vice Pres would have any problem with what he did had they been fully briefed. It's an "oops, I forgot to tell them" not an "oops, I said something I shouldn't have said to the ambassador." Also, he specifically mentions he forgot to  tell Pence, not Trump, an interesting omission.
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« Reply #518 on: February 15, 2017, 02:44:33 AM »

What's most depressing is that to 99% of Republicans this probably is water off a duck's back. Trump is surpassing Nixon in sleaze and corruption and nobody blinks on that side of the aisle, probably because they think Trump could carry out the equivalent of the Manson murders and still get re-elected.
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« Reply #519 on: February 15, 2017, 05:35:06 AM »

I think plenty ofRepublicans, and far more conservatives, are very troubled by the administration, or at least Trump and Breitbart. But many held their noses and voted over that SCOTUS pick. The irony is that HRC was probably closer to most mainstream GOP positions (not counting abortion) than Trump, at least before she was pulled left by Bernie's popularity.

I'd say impeachment is inevitable if the GOP didn't control congress. But since they do, it's just fascinating watching the intraparty dynamics (while fingers are crossed that nothing TOO terrible happens).
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« Reply #520 on: February 15, 2017, 07:20:09 AM »

An article on Stephen Miller (https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/politics/stephen-miller-a-key-engineer-for-trumps-america-first-agenda/2017/02/11/a70cb3f0-e809-11e6-bf6f-301b6b443624_story.html) brought me sudden clarity on a thought that's been bumping around the shadows for a bit that aligns, I think, with CSM's generally expressed opinion: the Democratic and Republican Parties are not really left/right at all anymore, though they have modest leanings those ways. They are cosmopolitan/white parochial.
To add to this, upon further reflection:
There are cosmopolitan people who are economically 'right' and those who are economically 'left.'  The same with white parochial people. In a multi-party system, this wouldn't be a particular challenge. There would be 4+ parties resolving the matrix and issues revolving around social justice would have one set of coalitions and issues revolving around economics would have another. In a two party system, there are competing interests. Right now, the parties are aligned based on social justice issues, not economics. I expect that the powers-that-be are happy with that, and they encourage it in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, as they benefit from it.
It causes rifts that are surprising sometimes, but make sense. The Sanders supporters were unified in their economics positions but not on social justice. There were plenty of 'right' social people supporting Sanders, alienating some Democrats (including me). So while many left people were anti-Clinton because she's too right on economics, the other style of left people had problems with Sanders because his tent left room for followers who dismissed what is of tantamount importance to them. There are similar struggles on the right.
It's unclear to me how this can be resolved with two parties.
I don't know ANY political parties any more, and anywhere, which I'd consider "left", even according to my minimalistic definition of "left": caring about the working class (including much of what was once the "middle class") enough to not simply let them lie down (after they have been exploited to the marrow) and die.
"Right" is of course the opposite: not giving a damn about people, and working exclusively for the profits of corporations, both economical (e.g. big banks) and political (e.g. the European Union).
In this sense, I agree 100% that there is no traditional "left" or "right" any more, but not because they'd have somehow found a middle ground. On the contrary, everybody now is "right" (in the wrong way): US republicans, US democrats, all parties anywhere else, and all the media.
The rest is smoke and mirrors.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 07:28:57 AM by thorgil » Logged

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« Reply #521 on: February 15, 2017, 07:44:29 AM »

Donald is on his way... ... ...out.  He has no real friends.  Even his own party would [secretly] be pleased as the sh*t-heals they truly are to see him go.  The American system of democracy is a failure.  As it sits...and as it's being used/abused currently...it no longer works for the people.  It's a veritable latrine.
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"Add Some...Music...To Your Day.  I do.  It's the only way to fly.  Well...what was I gonna put here?  An apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Hum me a few bars."   Lee Marshall [2014]

Donald  TRUMP!  ...  Is TOAST.  "What a disaster."  "Overrated?"... ... ..."BIG LEAGUE."  "Lots of people are saying it"  "I will tell you that."   Collusion, Money Laundering, Treason.   B'Bye Dirty Donnie!!!  Adios!!!  Bon Voyage!!!  Toodles!!!  Move yourself...SPANKY!!!  Jail awaits.  It's NO "Witch Hunt". There IS Collusion...and worse.  The Russian Mafia!!  Conspiracies!!  Fraud!!  This racist is goin' down...and soon.  Good Riddance.  And take the kids.
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« Reply #522 on: February 15, 2017, 03:27:55 PM »

Yhe irony is that HRC was probably closer to most mainstream GOP positions (not counting abortion) than Trump, at least before she was pulled left by Bernie's popularity.



Economically. Socially, no.
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« Reply #523 on: February 15, 2017, 03:36:14 PM »

That's fair, though the funny thing is that Trump's own social policy positions might be more in line with her and Democrats anyway, not that he's above pandering to the religious right or other social conservatives for their votes.

Her foreign policy is another area where she may well be more in line with mainstream GOP than Trump, too, however. Her Syria recommendations weren't any different than McCain's or Grahams, really, were they? No-fly zones, arming "moderate" rebels, etc.

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« Reply #524 on: February 15, 2017, 06:21:13 PM »

Yhe irony is that HRC was probably closer to most mainstream GOP positions (not counting abortion) than Trump, at least before she was pulled left by Bernie's popularity.



Economically. Socially, no.

Clinton was against gay marriage until around 2013. To her credit, she has evolved on this issue but until the last three years or so, her position was quite firmly in line with the GOP, as were many other Democrats (Sanders, meanwhile, was on record as saying that laws regarding homosexuality should be abolished as far back as the 1970s). Furthermore, her social stance is very much tied to her economic stance. Indeed, the welfare reform laws which she was an ardent supporter of overwhelmingly targeted African Americans. Personally, I think that her greatest strength is on the environment and she has done some important things socially but I would say her overall position on social issues is pretty right-wing. But again, not uniquely so, just mostly the standard Democratic position on these issues.
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