Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (b. Michael King Jr. 1929–1968), Events of January 6th, Harry Gordon Frankfurt (b. 1929), Inner Integration, James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987), John Vervaeke, Kingian nonviolence training, Lewis Franklin Powell Jr. (1907-1998)-, Malcolm X, meaning crisis, QAnon
LUMPENPROLETARIAT—[Monday, 25 JAN 2021] America still finds itself deep in the dangerous throes of President Biden’s first 100 days in office, or, from another perspective, the two-party dictatorship‘s continuing descent into madness. Neoliberalism continues unabated, since Lewis F. Powell wrote his infamous memo, which attacked the New Deal, attacked the ideologies of socialism, which gave birth to the New Deal, attacked the ideology of communism, and engaged in a massive PR campaign for corporate America. The nation was leaning left through the New Deal and into the 1960s, until political persecutions, assassination after assassination of moral and political leaders, and until the revolutionary 1971 Powell Memo ignited the right-wing backlash against the excess of democracy his ilk perceived, which initiated a decade of rallying corporate forces, which culminated with Reagan’s grooming and installment for two terms. The right-wing backlash against the Civil Rights movement, the antiwar movements, the peace movements, the environmental movements, the right-wing backlash against the excess of democracy hasn’t stopped since the Powell Memo. We may go back further to the assassination of JFK, or Lincoln.
Nuclear annihilation is an ever-present threat, as the United States repeatedly obstructs nuclear disarmament talks. Climate change also poses an ever-present threat, but all President Biden has to do is simply smile better than Mr. Trump and liberals will be satisfied with his hollow climate change plan. Tens of thousands of expert psychologists, and millions of astute survivors of narcissistic abuse, tried to warn America about the observable toxic behavioral traits displayed by the 45th president, reported Dr. James McIntosh recently on Pacifica Radio. Unfortunately, the Goldwater Rule states “that it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures, whom they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss” their psychological issues. On the surface, that may make sense. But that is also the same argument a pathological liar or a narcissistic abuser would say.
And, so, there must be a way for experts of psychology and the narcissistic personality disorder spectrum, particularly, who can call out toxic behaviors when they observe common red flags, such as grandiosity, inability to empathize with others, and a sense of superiority. But narcissists, experts say, are loath to attend a counseling session of any kind. The 45th U.S. president was widely viewed as desperate and psychologically unhinged towards the end of the presidency; this was a fallible human being with access to the nuclear codes, nuclear codes, which could end life as we know it on planet Earth. We must realize that all of these issues are intertwined with the abuse of power, which is concentrated in the the ruling class, which Dr. Peter Phillips, and others teach us about, and warn us about. The abuse of power, of domination over women, over people of color, over gender diversity, over so many dimensions of our lives, which give us meaning, this abuse of power is deeply ingrained in the capitalist social relation, which we all subscribe to when we engage in capitalist social relations. This is an individualistic ontology.
When a group of people do something, one person can choose to bully the rest somehow to take the lion’s share of the fruits of their collective labor (the capitalist social relation model), or the group can share in the fruits of their labor (the socialist model), just as they shared in the labor to produce the fruit. Each person contributed according to their ability within the group. But there are Americans, who subscribe to the philosophy, which takes advantage of those who may be less educated or less prepared than they are, by then saying that, because they are less educated, therefore, somehow, they are less valuable and are less deserving of human rights than the more educated class. This is called a social hierarchy, which is a central feature of right-wing politics. Right-wing politics dominates a huge share of America’s ideological spectrum.
So, we are aware that the inequality suffered by people of color, relative to white people, is a universal phenomenon of capitalistic societies. Each ethnic and social group is positioned, like pawns, to claw over each other to climb up higher on the social hierarchy. Tragically, we are seeing in China the introduction of social credit programs, where one’s human rights may be incrementally, or totally, stripped away from people, if they are deemed to misbehave by the government. But who gets to determine what is correct behavior? Finger-pointing Americans need to look within. The same social credit policies are also being planned for the U.S. We are not exempt from this dramatic drive toward a dystopian techno-fascism, which appears to be sweeping the globe at this historical moment. The confluence of networks, particularly among the ruling class elites, seems to be funneling toward centralization of technology, information, and power. In the U.S., it seems to be concentrating in Silicon Valley with big tech, surveillance capitalism, social media political manipulations a la 2016 Cambridge Analytica and The Social Dilemma. Google, Facebook, YouTube, et al. have all been compromised by their collusion with the state to censor dissent and free speech.
Since January 6th and the banning of Mr. Trump from Twitter and other social media for fear of what he might say next, the national narrative has been plunging America into a mob mentality out for vengeance against Mr. Trump, but threatening to do permanent damage to our First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of the press. This push for censoring the free speech of Mr. Trump, will only be used as another tool in the CIA’s global war against the left. The police have openly said that Black Lives Matter poses the greatest threat to their ability to wield power with impunity. It is impossible to deny the Kingian Character of the Black Lives Matter Movement, which haunts America like the holy spirits of two of the greatest Americans this nation has ever produced, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for they have truly taught us what it means to be American. As Bay Area organizer Kat Brooks explained on Pacifica Radio recently, organizers would often play Dr. Martin Luther King speeches to activists before they went out to practice their First Amendment rights, to practice nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience in the tradition of Dr. King. And those young BLM activists got to know the real Dr. King, the anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, pro-democracy Dr. King. When we hear Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech our conscience becomes stronger and, eventually, our conscience does not allow us to stand by and witness war for profit without speaking out, without joining with other people of good will to work for peace. Our conscience does not allow us to watch the horrors of police murder and police terrorism with impunity without speaking out, willing to be arrested in the nonviolent rejection and civil disobedience of evil institutions. Our conscience does not allow us to watch the materialism of our society become dysfunctional decadence, where people learn to ignore the suffering of others, without voicing a deep and profound moral outrage. When we hear Dr. King’s “Three Evils of Society” speech, our conscience is empowered and we become clear about these evils, so that we can denounce and reject them, actively and effectively, to the best of our abilities given our limited resources and time constraints. We persevere with hope because we know better, and because we have no choice. The alternative to nonviolent struggle for freedom is death, physical and/or spiritual.
People of conscience have tried to warn us: Dr. Noam Chomsky; that Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, and Chris Hedges, Abby Martin, and a few other people, Cornel West, Sunsara Taylor, are a few names, which come to mind. All of us, Americans, must realize that we cannot adopt a philosophy of idly waiting for elected officials to do the necessary work of solving the crises of racism, militarism, and materialism, which are manifesting themselves in the symptoms of climate change, obscene economic inequality, poverty, widespread health problems, and a pandemic raging out of control. Biden seems completely oblivious; but the military-industrial complex (MIC) is well-fed with Biden’s massive funding give-away to the MIC, which appears to be even larger than Mr. Trump’s giveaways to the MIC. Many great Americans have tried to warn us about the military-industrial complex. We didn’t listen. It’s time we learn more, and spread the message about who really runs the country, and what we can do to build peace, instead of building bombs. Americans will have endless forever wars, if we’re not careful.
The greatest among us have been assassinated or marginalized for seeking peace and justice, for seeking socioeconomic justice. The generation after the 1960s was much more careful not to end up on that government list, which was out to get anybody who demonstrated dissent. Meanwhile, the oppressors revolutionized their backlash in the 1970s with the breakthrough Powell Memo, which weaponized the American Chamber of Commerce on behalf of corporate America against the American people. Recall Ronald Reagan at Bohemian Grove prior to his election and presidency, which ushered in Reaganomics. In the U.K., Margaret Thatcher mirrored Reaganomics to enrich the ruling class at the expense of the working classes. And, so, the western ruling classes continued to concentrate wealth and power, as the working classes contented themselves with lifted trucks, lowriders, right-wing podcasts, the boob tube, YouTube, Priuses, NPR, Starbucks, brand name cars, Home Depot, status symbols, Amazon shopping, identity politics, selfies, and the rat race. To everyday people, who pay little to no attention to the world outside, to politics, objects—or people—approaching Biden’s first one hundred days must look like an object approaching a black hole.
‘An object approaching the event horizon would appear to be slowing down as it approaches the black hole instead of speeding up as we would expect. This is because of time dilation […]’.
An object, or person, approaching Biden’s first one hundred days, like falling into a black hole, would appear to outside, apolitical, observers to be slowing down. Time dilation slows the passing of time for an object moving close to the speed of light with respect to an outside observer, as one does when one approaches a black hole. A political black hole, on the the other hand, remains a mystery to the human creature. A political dilation of awareness appears to open up one’s political lens wider and wider, perceptually slowing down time to the observer, to capture all of the nuances and details of the political disaster known as the Biden Presidency. We can see everything, all of the evidence, as long as we are very careful not to be seduced by his charm or his smile. Nietzsche warned us against falling into the trap of becoming like the monsters we may have to fend off on our, sometimes, rocky journey called life.
Everywhere we look, Biden is failing or avoiding opportunities for healing, for winning over his opponents, for reversing climate change apocalypse, for ending neoliberal predation. So, we must pay close attention. Now, we, Americans, find ourselves in Day X of those first 100 days. The American gaze is falling back into its trance of hedonism, routines, and/or rat race. “The urgency of now,” as Dr. King referred to it, begins to recede to the back of the minds of many Americans. Many are overworked and underpaid or unemployed and not paid at all. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic ravages through the United States, leaving us worse off than we were this time last year, with tens of millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of covid-related deaths. And coronavirus variants continue to propagate, threatening the health and safety of everyone at home and abroad, through our systems of travel. And, of course, exposure to these coronaviruses has also exposed the dysfunctions, flaws, and weaknesses of our capitalist economic system, which allowed neoliberalist ideologies to dominate political discussions and political policies. Neoliberal policies have prioritized profits over people; they have closed hospitals in favor of mega-hospitals, forcing people to drive longer and longer distances to find fewer and fewer beds and hospital rooms available. Neoliberalism has ravaged our economy by outsourcing American jobs to the lowest bidder. Labor is perpetually squeezed and devalued. When social unrest flares up because people’s um-met needs overflow, the state response is usually narcissistic abuse and police state repression.
Civic engagement feels like a luxury, when you’re living from check to check, and from meal to meal. Never mind the dreamers, who pine for democracy, now! We don’t want to alarm anyone. But we also don’t want the sleep of reason to engender monsters. But the red flags abound. For evidence, tune in to free speech media and seek voices of truth and reason. And since the moral admonishment of patriotic Americans, such as James Baldwin, still rings true to this day, carrying the torch of Malcolm and Martin and Zinn and Terkel, as we gasp at the moral apathy across our land. Not everyone is apathetic, some are afraid. But more people are shedding their fear of liberty, as their eyes begin to open up during times of great psychic pain.
I Am Not Your Negro (2016), written by James Baldwin, directed by Raoul Peck, official trailer
As the sleeping giant awakens, it realizes it has unmet needs. Working people across America have had unmet needs for too long, as the insatiable desires of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex have been fed without restraint. As working class people, we open our eyes to realize our demands based in reciprocity.
We demand socioeconomic justice. We demand an MMT-based job guarantee, and an MMT-based pandemic relief package, including a basic income guarantee. We demand Medicare For All. We demand ranked-choice voting in free and fair elections. We demand the abolition of the electoral college. We demand the abolition of white supremacy. We demand the abolition of corporate personhood. We demand abolition of the U.S. Senate. We demand an Amendment to the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery in prisons. We demand freedom for all political prisoners and for all people of color, and poor people everywhere. We demand these things because they are morally correct and morally necessary for the health and wellbeing of our society.
“The Liberty of the People” by Theodore Roosevelt, 22 SEP 1912
“Awakening From the Meaning Crisis” by Prof. John Vervaeke (Univ. of Toronto), 20 JAN 2019
“Despertando de la Matrix Del Abuso” by Meredith Miller (Inner Integration), 22 JAN 2021.
“Awakening From the Matrix” by Meredith Miller (Inner Integration), 22 JAN 2021
The only way to heal it is to feel it.Meredith Miller, “Awakening From the Matrix”
Thank you so much for your authenticity, wisdom, and courage, Meredith. Thank you for thinking outside the box, like a shaman, you help us break free from the usual framing of reality in order to obtain new insights for human adaptation to crisis, solutions, and survival.
Prof. John Vervaeke, in his Awakening From the Meaning Crisis lecture series said that’s how humans survived near-extinction points in history. The shaman disrupted the established framing of reality.
Gary Null is another truthteller, a holistic health practitioner or health integrationist. He has also provided us with honest assessments of the state of western society at this particular historical moment in which we all find ourselves.
As Dr. Martin Luther King urged us so many years ago in his speech called The Three Evils of Society, “We need a revolution of values.”
(c. 23:19) “Evil will tempt you to sell out your direct experience to an authority figure, who defines you and your reality, in exchange for approval, security, and status.”
(c. 35:47) “Understand, I am not telling you to be reckless, or to throw caution to the wind. I’m telling you that you can do your own independent research on things, to think for yourself, instead of just believing what self-designated authority figures are telling you. Then, you can choose which precautions make the most sense for you and your family. I am simply encouraging you to stop participating in the collective psychosis. That starts with thinking for yourself. Don’t just believe what others tell you, including me. Do your own research; and don’t be lazy.”Meredith Miller, Inner Integration, “Awakening From the Matrix”
Some of us are observing a kind of confluence of collective consciousness, which seems to be converging upon a particular character of the times, a spirit of the age, a zeitgeist: A rejection of bullshit. Philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt referred to bullshit as communication intended to persuade without regard for truth. A primary example is the baseless RussiaGate narrative advanced by the Democrat Party to deflect from the embarrassment over the Podesta emails, which were leaked and exposed Hillary Clinton’s apparent covert narcissism and underhanded dealings, which were bent on sabotaging Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign to be the Democratic Party candidate for U.S. president. The Democrat Party was, basically, gaslighting the nation for four years. An even bigger mountain of bullshit than Hillary Clinton’s political machinations and schemes, was the craven and opportunistic manner in which Bernie Sanders betrayed his supporters at the Democratic Primary Caucuses, supporters who sacrificed so much to get him so close to the finish line, only for him to acquiesce to the Clinton Corruption machine by not calling out her evil, evidently, in exchange for opportunistic promotion within the ranks of the Democrat Party. Those of us, who listened to that last 2016 DNC Primary Caucus, could hear the mass of boos of betrayed Berners when Bernie Sanders conceded to Hillary Clinton, despite the widespread understanding of Clinton’s chicanery. Insiders knew Hillary Clinton’s dirty dealings were a losing strategy. Having lost to Donald Trump; the Democrat Party spent four years fabricating fake news about Russian hacking of the DNC and the ‘stealing’ of Clinton’s emails. Yet, there was no evidence. Americans, for the most part, didn’t seem to question the lack of evidence, as long as it served their partisan position against Mr. Trump and the Republican Party. This type of epic bullshitting involving various levels of government, combined with American laziness and aversion to serious research and a penchant for fast food information, all conspired to create a perfect storm of American bullshit, which came to be known as QAnon. Our nation was now officially in the Twilight Zone. Initially, a number of us dismissed QAnon, as a right-wing appropriation of the “decentralized international activist/hacktivist collective/movement” Anonymous, kind of like the rise of the so-called Alt-Right during the early 2000s. But, just as we underestimated Donald Trump. We also underestimated the power of such alternative repackaging of old bullshit in new packaging. On one level, the whole embrace of the bullshit QAnon narrative, which is laced with antisemitism and white nationalism, is simply mirroring back to Democrats the years of RussiaGate gaslighting. Professor John Vervaeke acknowledged, “we seem to be drowning in this old ocean of bullshit.” Some of us call it gaslighting or racism or narcissistic abuse. The abuse takes on various forms, but the common traits of the abuser involve grandiosity, selfishness, and the inability to empathize with others.
We have all been witnessing the same horrors in our world, Prof. John Vervaeke, Meredith Miller, Cornel West, Gary Null, Amy Goodman, Sunsara Taylor, Carl Dix, Glenn Greenwald, Dennis Bernstein, Mickey Huff, Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Dr. Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Max Blumenthal, Abby Martin, Aaron Maté, Jeremy Scahill, et al. Others have observed, too, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Rachel Maddow, et al. But we have not all shared the same public reaction to the horrors. Some of us are moved into sympathetic action in solidarity with the suffering of others. Some of us are not. Some of us are blessed with strength and courage. But too many of us have not yet found within us that spirit of strength and courage. As James Baldwin reminded us: the gap between who we think we are in private and who we really are in public creates a grotesque imitation of life.
Educators everywhere have been raising red flags, but they have been gaslit, denied, disregarded, marginalized, and persecuted for even being suspected of challenging the U.S. status quo. The U.S. status quo is, and has always been, tragically, a white supremacist philosophy, which functions like narcissistic abuse. The narcissistic abuser denies the reality of the abused. Feeling trapped, or accepting a gilded prison, the victim is abused then provided care, in cycles, until the victim internalizes learned helplessness. In this way, a dehumanizing trauma bond is established between the abuser and the abused. This is also known as Stockholm Syndrome.
All across this land, teachers have been trying to teach, but many of them have been discouraged and silenced, if they are suspected of being liberal or, God forbid, leftist. Uncritical America has been deceived into conflating the economic scale with the social scale. In political science, a basic and popular political compass is comprised of two axes. One axis ranges from left to right; this axis is about economic policy. Another axis goes from top to bottom; this is about social policy. Americans, who have not thought carefully about political and social sciences have unfortunately conflated, and mixed up, the social scale with the economic scale. An economic scale on the right means extreme ‘competition’, free market fundamentalism, or neoliberalism. An economic scale all the way on the left means extreme cooperation. So, leftist does not mean authoritarianism, like so many Americans on the political right and center of the political spectrum are misled to believe. The social scale determines whether a government is pro-liberty or pro-authority, in other words, whether a nation is libertarian or authoritarian. Usually, a political compass will have a social scale going up and down, not left and right. But America has been misled about these two scales. Authoritarianism is a system of government, or social control, which can adopt a leftist (cooperation) or rightist (competition) economic philosophy. However, we must realize the fact that the dominant political forces in our society want the American people to be divided. We must face the reality that there has been a growing neo-McCarthyism rising across American schools, which I can attest to personally, after teaching social sciences for two years in California. But you don’t have to take my word for it. There are many teachers out there, who speak out but are seldom heard above the howls in the wilderness of corporatist media.
Consider the “Midwestern Black Professor Teaching MAGA Babies” (Nov. 2019), who attests things are not alright. But nobody wants to admit the gaslighting. There is too much fear and conformity in our modern world. Many of us see things in our day to day lives, which don’t seem quite right. But we silence ourselves for fear of the pain of retribution, or the pain of going against the grain. How can you tell a MAGA parent that they are abusing their child by inculcating toxic behaviors, such as ethnocentrism, nationalism, racism, and narcissism? More often than not, school administrators are unwilling to support their teachers when a right-wing parent decides to pursue a red-baiting witch hunt against a teacher, who merely may have reflected a differing perspective than the one parents prefer at home. We’re not trying to change the world, teachers will tell you. I’m just trying to protect my pension, they might say, if they’re honest. I just wanna keep my head down and make it to retirement.
My job wound up being a lot more than I bargained for,” reported Jonita Davis in November of 2019. Unlike many other teachers, she stepped on a social landmine in the classroom, but was able to defuse it before being herself “the casualty”, as she wrote in her essay.
My job in 2017 was to teach Composition I to new college students, showing them how to express themselves through writing. My role quickly became that of social ambassador to kids who, raised in homes blaring Fox News 24/7 and Confederate flags flying high (yes, even in Indiana), were about to be unleashed onto the world.
It didn’t take long to figure out that aside from bigoted ideas, there was another problem the students had. It came down to simple language. These students still used words to describe Black and Latinx people that hadn’t been acceptable since the 1960s.
I once assigned the fiction story, “Waynes vs. Johnsons of Albemarle County” by Tyrese Coleman. Before the assignment, I had spent the semester teaching the writing process, including how to synthesize a reading into an arguable issue. The students were to find an issue to argue in Coleman’s story and write a short essay argument. The story was heavy with social issues. The one that most of the class — 13 out of 22 students, to be exact — chose to write on was police brutality.
I was momentarily floored by the rampant misinformation and bigoted, anti-Black statements. But, Indiana, outside of the Northwest corner abutting Chicago and a few spots near Indianapolis, was a red state.
Within those 13 essays, students argued that racism should not be tied to police brutality. All 13 used language proclaiming the “race card” was used or the issue at hand was that “the liberals” were trying to “race bait” the right wing voters. Three essays argued that “colored people” or “coloreds” were simply being shot because they were criminals. One essay used the term “fairies” in a homophobic jab at Black Lives Matter.
I was momentarily floored by the rampant misinformation and bigoted, anti-Black statements. But, Indiana, outside of the Northwest corner abutting Chicago and a few spots near Indianapolis, was a red state. I graded those essays with a raging headache that would not subside despite my attempts to treat it. I took walks, cleaned my house, baked pies (lots of pies as it was apple season), and even drank a little wine to loosen my nerves and relax. But, every time I returned to that stack of essays my blood boiled.Jonita Davis, “The Midwestern Black Professor Teaching MAGA Babies Is Not All Right”, 8 NOV 2019
“Rand Paul Schools Blinken on Regime Change” by Richard Medhurst, 25 JAN 2021
Astute political observer Richard Medhurst has been paying closer attention to U.S. questions of war and peace than many other Americans. Medhurst makes the excellent point that our congressional leadership is in serious trouble when Rand Paul is the sanest voice in the room. Rand Paul used to be considered a fringe political outsider, son of politically-outspoken Ron Paul. Ron Paul used to be considered fringe, too. The dominant narrative on cable TV and the corporate media, or so-called respectable establishment media, was that the adults in the room, who are capable of dealing with the excesses of right-wing militarism are the Democrats. We, Americans, have believed this narrative for far too long. The Democrat Party is the party of peace. The Republic Party is the party of war. But it is time for Americans to realize that both of the dominant American political parties are parties of war. As Ralph Nader has said, we have a two-party dictatorship, right down to the staged presidential debates, which block alternative political parties from ever being heard by the American people. Ralph Nader, himself, was the last major third-party candidate to pose a serious electoral challenge to the two-party dictatorship. But he was blocked, too, cheated by the state, even detained by cops, according to Democracy Now!, for even trying to attend a protest rally outside of a presidential debate, where he was one of the top three candidates in the nation for president. Imagine that: One of the top three candidates for president, Ralph Nader, was so threatening to the two-party dictatorship, that they literally had to arrest him to prevent the American people from being exposed to his alternative ideas and alternative narrative for America. Neoliberalism gaslights America over and over again; and will keep doing so, until we have a wake-up call and/or break the trauma bond.
“Q-Anon 101: In Search of Q” by Vice (Disney), 25 JAN 2021.
But we don’t need to wait for a wake-up call to break free from our trauma bond to war and militarism. We can have a revolution of values at any time by realizing that the only way our nation will survive the three evils of society is by realizing that the questions of socioeconomic justice, racial justice, economic justice, gender justice, and environmental justice are all intertwined in the social fabric of our society. Dr. King tried to teach us about the three evils of society. But America wasn’t willing to listen. His allies betrayed him, and left him hanging, isolated. And, now, look at our society, hanging by a thread, as 74 million Americans are up in arms against the new presidential administration. Thousands, or tens of thousands (according to some estimates) of people stormed the capitol on January 6th, seemingly representing those 74 million, who bought into the gaslighting of president #45. This all speaks to the prophetic nature of Dr. King’s speech, “The Three Evils of Society,” where he identifies the three main challenges in America to democracy and socioeconomic justice: “racism” (of course, even NAACP, et al were willing to challenge this), “militarism” (few supported King on challenging this), and “materialism” (nobody seemed to support King’s more sophisticated critique of materialism, which reads like a critique of capitalism).
ZINN EDUCATION PROJECT | TEACHING ACTIVITIES (FREE)
Teaching Activity. By Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 3 pages.
Text of speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Vietnam War, followed by three teaching ideas.
“Gentleman” by Fela Kuti
[25 JAN 2021]
[Last modified on 31 JAN 2021 at 06:15 PST]
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