American Elephants


Big Tech Efforts to Control Political Thought, Attacking Your Freedom. by The Elephant's Child
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Corporate leaders used to rise through the ranks, much like the military, through gradually getting promoted to higher responsibility, if you were worthy. The first mass produced personal computers didn’t appear until 1977, and I imagine it took quite a few years before they were common. Jack Dorsey sent the first message on Twitter on March 21, 2006, and it was 2010 when they unveiled “promoted Tweets,” ads that would appear in search results as a revenue source. So there’s not a long history of learning how to behave in the American corporate world. Heretofore corporations went to great lengths to stay out of politics, partly presumably, because it was assumed that their employees would have differing allegiances and party preferences.

As Josh Hammer wrote at American Greatness this week:

The increasing brazenness with which the various Big Tech behemoths distort their search algorithms to hide conservative viewpoints, undermine conservatives through “shadow banning” and weaponize the sanctimonious and self-serving “fact-checking” cottage industry to suppress conservative voices has long been clear to those of us who, to use the parlance of the day, are “very online.”That kind of common sense is no longer the case.

The American people are becoming aware of the Big Tech efforts to control conservative viewpoints, and they are not happy. The demands for the federal government to step in and break up these companies is growing increasingly common. Facebook and Twitter ganged up againstthe New York Post, founded by Alexander Hamilton, and is today the nation’s oldest continually operating daily broadsheet in galling fashion.” They broke an important story about Hunter Biden’s dealings with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and his efforts to get Burisma people in contact with the “right” people in Washington DC through his connections with his father. The Post is one of the nation’s largest daily newspapers by circulation, and no one actually seems to be denying the Post’s reporting.

The Senate prepared to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but they hastily responded that they would be happy to be there without being subpoenaed. Our Constitution usually deals with what the government may or may not do, and only the 13th amendment deals with the private sector at all. There are quite a few of our representatives in Congress who have already spoken out on this matter, and they are well aware that they have the responsibility of dealing with threats to our liberty. Suppressing the views of one of America’s political parties in the run-up to an election isn’t going to work. If they were paying attention, they might have noticed that as a whole, America’s responsible corporate leaders were not out playing politics. There is a reason for that.

ADDENDUM: They also seem to have a major problem with their “fact=checking”. I don’t know how they have arranged it, but they might start with someone who is highly literate and widely read. The current office holders don’t know the difference between a “trusted source” and someone of the correct (in their minds) political persuasion. In short, the fact-checking is embarrassing.

I apparently misspoke. They still may be subpoenaed. That remains to be seen. It’s clear that there is a lot of anger out there at Big Tech, and they might do well to be very cooperative. Apparently many of their employees really hate Trump, so they’re stuck between the proverbial rock and…Did you ever hear, ever? of employees demanding that management conform to their political preferences? We have a lot of ignorance of history, of the Constitution, and ordinary good manners there.



In a Contentious Time, a Search for Truth and Honesty by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are undoubtedly studying late into the night, to find a way to disrupt President Trump’s naming of a candidate for the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. They are considering a new impeachment trial or two, whether this brings back the Russian horde is not known. One supposes that Russians rate higher on the really terrifying terrorists than those from other countries. After all the Russians are known for suddenly poisoning people right on the street.

They supposedly are considering just walking out, boycotting as it were, to delay the inevitable. Speaker Pelosi apparently has a couple of impeachments up her sleeves, she clearly feels that most everything Trump has done is grounds for impeachment, and considers it an excellent way to get the nomination of anyone over and done with. Almost anything will do because what they want is delay, so that it becomes too late to advance a candidate before the election.

They speak in generalities, and of course what the Supreme Court is all about is insisting that matters of law follow the Constitution. And of course at that point what is it that they really meant when they wrote the Constitution?  I assume that by this time you are as sick of all the nonsense as I am and want them to just get on with the business of the government. The Constitution is quite clear. When there is a vacancy, the President may nominate a successor, who is to be approved by the Senate. Simple and clear.

The difficult part is that Amy Comey Barrett, who seems to be the leading candidate, is a practicing Catholic. The great fear is that she might rule on Roe v. Wade, the abortion bill, passed and in effect, but could be brought before the Court again. This is an immeasurably contentious bill. Many women feel that nobody else has any right to tell them what they may or may not do with their bodies. Others see abortion as the murder of a real baby. When things are in such dramatic opposition, there is no comfortable middle ground. And of course religion has strong opinions.

In this day and age, when preventive measures are readily available, if one does not want to bear a child, it seems incumbent on them to use preventative measures. Responsibility is required. No one should have to bear a child conceived by rape, but just how you sort that out is difficult. There are a lot of couples who are unable to bear children and desperate to adopt.

There are many areas that are equally contentious matters. Look at the current furor about the police. At one end of the scale is Chicago, which seems to have some violent neighborhoods and a significant weekly death toll. Some seem to think that the police are so violent and corrupt that they must be eliminated, and others who know of too much drugs and street crime in their cities want more police protection.

Your best source for sorting things out is Heather MacDonald, a serious scholar who goes to the source and digs out the real statistics, as opposed to what is more sensational and reported on the news. You can find her at the Manhattan Institute, or City Journal, or her many valuable books : The War on Cops, The Burden of Bad Ideas, Are Cops Racist?, and The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s.  All invaluable.  Or just type her name into your search-bar.



Kenosha et al: “Fiery but Peaceful Protests” by The Elephant's Child

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The “Peaceful Protests” continue, rioting, burning, looting, murder, destruction of property, arson. The Portland riots continue and have done so for something like
88 days (if I remember what I read correctly) and Portland’s Mayor Wheeler (D) somehow just can’t manage to get it under control. Now it’s Kenosha, Wisconsin rioting with two dead, vast property damage. What can they possibly think that this accomplishes?

“Mostly Peaceful Protests,” what idiot wrote that headline? Oh, of course it’s CNN. Democrats are discovering, rather belatedly, that the riots are not popular with the vast American audience and may be even affecting the vote. Expect the peaceful protests to begin to die out, or perhaps even get back to actually being “peaceful.”

President Trump is sending in federal help to get Kenosha back under control. He’s not going to stand for terrorized cities out of control, and I think the American people agree with that. Did the Democrats really believe that people would actually favor this rioting and burning? Democrats are panicking a bit now, as they are realizing that the rioting could actually affect the vote.

Did you assume that “Black Lives Matter” was a plaintive shout meant to help the poor black people who were badly treated by nasty policemen? It is actually an organization founded by Marxist revolutionaries in 2013 to depict the United States as a nation awash in racism, sexism and homophobia established in response to the acquittal of the man who killed black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. They formally depict white police as trigger-happy bigots who are intent on killing innocent, unarmed black males. Raised fists may make the fist’s owners feel good, but accomplish nothing at all. Try encouraging your local library to offer homework help, make a donation to historically black colleges, donate or volunteer at a local food bank. Lots of ways to actually help instead of grandstanding.

In Columbus, Ohio, a young black teenager was celebrated very briefly for walking 3 miles every day to the public library which offered help with homework. As a graduating senior in high school, he was accepted at some 22 colleges and universities, including the one he most hoped to attend. There was more clucking over the daily three miles than recognition of the rewards for his extra efforts and what it said about his character and ambition. Shortly after, a young black woman who became the valedictorian of her class, and had an outstanding record of perfect attendance received something like $40,000 worth of scholarship money. Beats raised fists any time.



Are You Questioning Your Sanity a Little? by The Elephant's Child

Some days I just can’t decide whether it is the world around me that has gone crazy, or only me that has slipped a cog or two. The Democrats are having an online convention, and we don’t seem to be living in the same country. At least the one they describe is unfamiliar to me.

Donald Trump is daily committing terrible crimes, and must be stopped. Nancy Pelosi says we have to save the Post Office from the President Now.

“It is, to use the word volcanic. It has been explosive in terms of the response that members, Democratic and Republican, all over the country have received to this assault on this connection that they have, Americans have with each other. This matter of how we have access to health care. 1.2 billion prescriptions were sent through the mail in 2019 even before the coronavirus, that is. And way overwhelmingly, 82% or higher of VA drugs are sent to our veterans through the mail. So that’s just two examples of meeting the health needs of the American people. And when those medicines come a week, six days late— we keep hearing examples of how late that medication is coming. That’s just one connection. It’s about the health of the American people. It’s also about the health of our democracy as they do this to make an assault on the mail in terms of absentee balloting and the rest.”

What? Yesterday, we got some of the mail for our neighbors in the next block. Today we received some mail for the folks across the street. Sloppy postman, but no big deal. What the hell has she been drinking? There is no assault on the Post Office. They have declining revenues for several reasons, one of them is that people are apt to communicate more by email. Another is simply the pandemic. A lot of businesses are shut down, and people are stuck at home.  Joel Pollack wrote about their hysteria with the “Busted Mailbox Conspiracy Theory” yesterday.

What becomes immediately clear is that the Democrats believe the population of the United States is extremely unintelligent and will believe most anything they are told. I found a text version of Michelle Obama’s convention speech, which I will link to here, and you can scroll through to see the statements you find a little odd. She returns to the fact that people must have thought their votes didn’t matter, so they sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. ( yes, there’s that old electoral college they keep trying to get rid of.) She even has Trump putting children in cages. Trump?

They really want to make everything Trump has done criminal. He is the one who killed all the people with his pandemic because he so mismanaged it. You know, the one he kept demonstrating his racial prejudice with by calling it the Chinese virus. They have no shame. They choose the words and accusations carefully to influence those who are most likely to know nothing about what they are voting for anyway. It would be nice to have a tiny bit of honesty, but that is asking too much, I guess. It’s hard to solve problems when nobody will tell the truth about them. It isn’t this bad every four years, is it?



The Coming Battles of the Election Season by The Elephant's Child

This is going to be an unusually interesting election season. Joe Biden, who has been selected as the Democrat nominee, seems to have some problems with early stage dementia. He does seem unable to remember the proper word to use, or how to adequately express himself at times, and people are concerned, although perhaps incorrectly.

Democrats are inclined to dislike Republicans, and vice versa. That’s simply the way it is, and the problems lie in the amount of dislike and the efforts to do something about it. Now that Mr. Biden has chosen Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential partner, the campaign has instantly become about sexism.

The usual Hollywood “celebrities” (someone whose name may be recognizable and thereby attract readers) have immediately called up Hillary as an example of someone who lost an election because of sexism. Which is an error. Hillary lost because she is a compulsive liar, had performed poorly as Secretary of State, and is roundly disliked. Nothing to do with her sex. She did notify the campaign that she was anxious to help out in any way she can.

I don’t think much of Kamala Harris as a candidate, and with Joe Biden’s age and possible dementia we have to assume that Ms. Harris could very likely become president. Articles I’ve seen: “Former Obama speechwriter mocks mainstream media’s “hilarious” push to call Kamala Harris “moderate” and Tensions linger between Biden and Obama Carried throughout 2020 primary campaign:  Not sure what’s going on here, the Obama group doesn’t like the Biden group?

The Biden, Harris team are going for some very radical (and ignorant) ideas about the climate, which is just fine, and cooling slightly. They are all for AOC’s “Green New Deal.” Joe Biden wants to ban fracking and the advances that have given us plentiful and cheap energy to run America’s manufacturers and cities, Kamala wants to ban plastic straws and limit access to red meat, altering the food pyramid. Harris wants to reenter us in the Paris Climate accords so “we would be carbon neutral by 2030.” Sorry. Carbon dioxide is not the control knob for the climate. The climate of the earth is determined by the actions of the sun, which is currently in a slightly cooling phase.

Why can’t people study up a little on subjects they know they don’t understand very well? You don’t have to become an expert, just learn enough to be an informed voter and an intelligent conversationalist. Dr.Roy Spencer, who measures the temperatures of the earth–running the satellites for NASA, has a short helpful explanation of “global warming” at his website, and if you look at his blog, there’s an amazing video of a lightning strike.

Growing up in the mountains of Idaho, we once had a lightning strike about 200 yards from the house. It made a remarkably loud noise, and stripped the bark in a circular pattern down the trunk of a Ponderosa Pine. It’s a Big Deal up close.

I am convinced that the Democrats depend on people’s reluctance to study up and depend on their lack of information to accuse their opposition candidates of absurd things. Democrats have tried hard for four years or more to stick President Trump with some sort of collaboration with Russia or Vladimir Putin. None there, but they just would not give up on it, and are back at it.

The other big drive is to blame President Trump for all the deaths from the Covid virus. Good grief, he not only slammed the gates shut to any flights from China immediately, but has not only dealt well the virus and medical equipment needed in this country, but helped other countries as he could as well.



File Under Useful Hints: by The Elephant's Child

You may or may not have noticed my new favorite word: feckless. I probably saw someone else use it, and though I knew (sorta-kinda) the meaning, looked it up to be accurate.

Feckless: lacking initiative or strength of character, irresponsible. synonyms: useless, worthless, incompetent, ineffective, inept, good for nothing, ne’er do well, lazy, idle, slothful, indolent, shiftless, apathetic, aimless, unambitious, unenterprising, no good, no account, lazy.

With elections coming up, it may be a remarkably useful word, at least to tuck in the back of your brain when deciding whether to support a candidate or a city council or not.



Making Headlines Is Not Always A Good Thing by The Elephant's Child

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How utterly embarrassing, when your city government makes the national news, and becomes an object of ridicule. Portland and Seattle are setting bad examples for the rest of the country.  On Sunday, thousands of Seattleites turned out to “Defend the Police” in the face of the rabidly leftist majority on the city council’s efforts to defund the police. Today, Chief Carmen Best, a 28 year veteran of the Seattle Police Force and the first Black woman chief of police in the nation, resigned in the face of lack of support.

Other communities across the country that have “defunded” the police are seeing mass retirements, and major increases in crime. New York City is another example. Mayor de Blasio cut back on policing, and New York City has had a surge in shootings and other violent crime in the middle of the Covid crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal. Newt Gingrich said “crime skyrockets as Mayor de Blasio sides with criminals against cops.” Shootings are twice the rate of last year, 821 incidents of gunfire, and 1000 victims so far this year. It’s hard when you have to be on the right side of Black Lives Matter so you won’t be criticized, and discover that the police really did matter and that good policing is what kept violent crime down. Fear of being called “racist” has clearly been a powerful motivation.

There are, and certainly will be consequences. People will look for safer places to live and do business. Police will resign if they do not have the support of the community. Police are resigning or taking early retirement all over the country right now. And there will be consequences. An increase in crime means the job of being a policeman becomes more dangerous. So you want a new and inexperienced force? The sheer stupidity boggles the mind.

Elections are coming up this fall. Hopefully voters will take a hard look at 2020 so far and decide what is working, and what is not. Promises to be an interesting year. Americans may have to learn the hard way just why the police are there, and what they do for the people and the community they serve so courageously.

ADDENDUM: I forgot to mention that the Seattle City Council in it’s wisdom has also laid off 100 policemen. We’ll see what the consequences of that turn out to be.



Despite the Best Efforts of the Media, Some Glimmers of Hope! by The Elephant's Child

Small glimmers of progress. The New York Times now admits that Seattle’s CHOP was not the ‘Block party’ they claimed it was. Portland’s Mayor partially defunded the Cops in June and now the bodies are piling up. New York had a mail in Vote, and the results have been Lax deadlines, late ballots, carelessness, missing postmarks.  The Democrats got wiped out in the Louisiana election, and the press is trying to keep it quiet. And a New York City Democrat just called Bill DeBlasio the “Worst Mayor in the History of This Great Country.” Here in Seattle hundreds of ordinary citizens turned out at City Hall to protest and let them know that they liked the police and weren’t happy with City Hall. One has to grasp at those small bits of progress. It all takes time. You mean that if you defund the police crime goes up and people get killed? But,  but…

Another Democrat City Councilman announced that hydroxychloroquine saved his life. I thought that once Trump suggested that it works, it became impossible for anyone to use. .

On the other hand, Bureaucrats at the space agency NASA wanted to show that they were as woke as anyone else, so they are checking out all the names of celestial objects to display their sensitivity. The planetary nebula NGC 3392 which is blowing off outer layers at the end of its life will no longer be called the “Eskimo Nebula”.  and NGC 3568, a pair of spiral galaxies found in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster will no longer be referred to as the “Siamese Twin Galaxy.” Do read that one for a stunning picture of the “Horsehead Galaxy” which doesn’t look much like the head of any horse I’ve known, and I have been pitched off a few.

But what to do about the celestial objects named for women? There’s Portia, one of the moons of Uranus, and Venus, and Pandora. And yes we won’t mention the other obvious problem there. They have already gone way too far with the “sensitivity” bit. and wandered off into absurdity. Don’t get me off on destruction of statues of Columbus again.



Long Beyond Demonstrations, But Why? by The Elephant's Child

Antifa is out rioting again in downtown Seattle. There must be something both enticing and in some way rewarding, or fun in rioting. At least it seems to be popular, and the young people keep doing it. I say young people, because in the videos of rioting I see, I don’t see any real adults, except the policemen.

I can sort of understand looting, the idea that since nobody is paying real attention and guarding stuff, it’s free to grab something and make off with it. That was pretty much disproven here in Bellevue when looters broke into the biggest regional shopping center to loot the expensive stores. A lot of people were standing around outside and filming the excitement, and got pictures of the looters emerging from the Square with wastebaskets and garbage cans full of their loot.

The Bellevue Police Department took advantage of the films, and have tracked down a large percentage of the looters, and charged them–23 was the last number I saw, but I’m sure it’s much greater now.

What mystifies me is that people across the country and in Europe decided that looked like a fun thing to do and started rioting and tearing down statues in their countries. Is there no sense in the back of youthful brains that these are bad things to do, probably against the law, and potentially will get one in trouble? Is there a latent hunger there to do something really bad if one does not expect to get caught?

Or does “the abolition of the United States as we know it” sound appealing to the ignorant and unwashed? What do I know? I’m merely an ordinary law-abiding citizen to whom all of this is something of a mystery. Strange times, and I don’t pretend to understand. That “abolition” part is worrying.



Politics Does Not Belong in the Workplace. by The Elephant's Child

Just saw, online, another of those annoying claims that profess to know every public figure’s IQ. They do not. They claim to know the IQ of Presidents going way back, which they do not. The IQ test was not devised until 1904. They’re making it up.

NBC claims that Google has blacklisted Zero Hedge and the Federalist. Google says not so. My immediate response is that the Big Tech companies are too new to the American Business community to grasp that it is unwise for corporations and smaller businesses to publicly profess political leanings.

The other party may well be in control of the government, and be annoyed. Companies of any size have lots of employees, who, despite resident loudmouths, probably vote quite differently. Yes, I know, it’s tempting, if unwise, to assume that everyone thinks the same way as you do, because it’s so obviously the “right way.” Do read the Constitution again, including the Bill of Rights, and remember that the first thing a Socialist government would do is to remove all those silly protections.

Yes, I know that Socialism promises to make everybody equal. That’s bunk. Those who assume that Socialism is a good thing need to look a little closer at socialist governments, beginning with Venezuela and Cuba. Those pushing for Socialism are not pushing for equality, but simply pushing to be in charge.  They want to run things.

Keep politics out of the Workplace, and protect workers’ personal freedom.



Tear Them Down, Civil War Generals and Columbus Too! by The Elephant's Child

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Now we seem to have reached the stage of tearing down statues and destroying monuments, for what purpose is not entirely clear. History has become a bad thing, to be ignored or changed to suit more contemporary minds. Since our schools have been doing a lousy job with history anyway, our people don’t seem to know much history. The center of the current rioting is, of course, the American Civil War, fought between the North and the South, and at the heart of things was slavery. The South lost. The Slaves were freed, and slavery became against the law. So why do they seem to be fighting it all over again 169 years later? Statues of Civil War Generals must be torn down, defaced, destroyed. Places named for Civil War generals need to have their names changed, and Nancy Pelosi wants large numbers of the statues in Statuary Hall (I’ve never been there) removed, although they were put there by the states themselves.

Place names: Fort Bragg, and Fort Benning. Quick, can anybody tell me who is honored with these names of military posts, and cities? Does the name Braxton Bragg ring any bells? Thought not. How about Henry L. Benning? How can these be names that must be removed because of their terrible associations if nobody knows who they are and Forts Bragg and Benning are just names, like Sally or Bill? that serve only to distinguish the bearers from Susan and Sam?

Of course Christopher Columbus has been torn down in the last few days as well. I can guarantee that he had nothing to do with the Civil War, so why? I think it’s the vague thought that he was mean to the native Indians, ignoring the wonders of the Columbian Exchange, and the childhood rhyme “In 14 hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” That latter verse may be what most kids learned about history in grade school.

Victor Davis Hanson took up the same subject in National Review’s Corner: “On Name Changing and Statue Toppling” . The removal of anything Columbus has been going on longer, but I have no idea what they have in mind. The Nation of Columbia, the Columbia River, Columbia University, and several hundred other things come to mind. Take a moment and look up “The Columbian Exchange” if you are unfamiliar with it.

As I have said, and so many other have said, history is the record of what happened. And for that matter a record of the order in which things happened. If tractors and plows had been developed much earlier, the South would have had no need for slaves to produce their cotton crops for British mills. Remember, it was the British that really started the elimination of slavery when they banned the Atlantic slave trade, and set the Royal Navy to work to stop it..

It’s clear that what must change is a little more attention to the curriculum in our schools. They are doing a lousy job with history, and the historical ignorance out there is having a major effect on politics and our understanding of the world. Hillsdale College offers some free online classes in history, especially American history. If we don’t understand where we have been, and how we have progressed and why, we’re going to make a mess of the future.

I don’t believe that tearing down statues, changing the names of military bases, or re-fighting the Civil War, the War Between the States, will improve the lives of our Black citizens in  the slightest. We have created many programs, opened many doors and clearly, more is needed. Charter schools seem to be doing a good job, but I guess it’s teachers’ unions who fight against them. Perhaps the most important example was the young black kid in Columbus Ohio, who was written up recently for walking 3 miles every day to the public library that offered homework help. He has been offered admission to 12 different colleges, including the one he most wants to attend.



History is What Happened in the Past. Unchangeable. by The Elephant's Child

antifa rioters take over Seattle

The Autonomous state of CHAZ on Seattle’s Capitol Hill continues, The folks who actually live in the area are somewhat terrorized, because if someone tries to break into their houses or attacks one of the occupants, they cannot call the police. And the occupants of the new state don’t seem to be the most congenial group.

The Seattle Police Chief, Carmen Best, who is a black woman, has been ordered to leave the East Precinct Police station to the anarchists. Neither our Governor, Jay Inslee, nor the Seattle Mayor, Jennie Durkin, want to be put in a position where they might actually have to do something that might possibly be criticized. Life is just so complicated these days.

History, one might remind, is what happened in the past. You cannot change it. There may be many things you might wish to change, but you can not. You don’t get to rewrite it either. We seem to have arrived at a point where all traces of the Southern side of the Civil War must be obliterated, statues torn down, anything named for a Southern general renamed. Won’t work.

The Civil War remains a major event in American history. The Confederacy lost, but that does not mean that they didn’t have some good generals. The Confederate Flag should not be flown over  statehouses, just the American flag. But it is not necessary to recoil at the sight of the stars and bars. History is what happened. We can  learn from it. You can tear down statues, but those men once lived and did what they, in real life, actually did.

Nancy Pelosi wants to remove something like 13 statues of Southerners from Statuary Hall, which will accomplish nothing. Her Father, Thomas D’Alessandro was mayor of Baltimore, and put up statues to Generals Robert E. Lee and  Stonewall Jackson. This is simply virtue-signaling.

Trying to assert that because you want to tear statues down, you are more completely one with today’s blacks who are angry about the death of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman who held him down with a knee. The death of George Floyd was clearly excessive force, but we don’t know what actions preceded George Floyd’s being taken down and what made the drastic hold necessary. Awful situation, and it has developed into a world wide situation.  And just what will be improved by defunding the police? That they cannot seem to understand what the results of that would be remains a major puzzle.




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