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[personal profile] smhwpf
It is fucking scary.

Nazis, Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, gathering in large numbers, armed, chanting "blood and soil" and "Jews will not replace us", violently attacking and even murdering those who protest them.

And a President in the Whitehouse who clearly demonstrates his sympathy with them, praising the defence of monuments to those who fought to preserve slavery, and calling those who protest Fascism as bad as fascists.

While running an Administration with a clear agenda of keeping out immigrants, denying black people the vote, abandoning all efforts for promoting civil rights, and stepping up mass incarceration.

I have white privilege. I do not face the systemic oppression that people of colour face, and which the political establishment maintains and promotes, or at best takes half-hearted measures to moderate.

But I am also Jewish. Or, at least, Jewish. Christian by religion, not actively part of a Jewish community. But I, and members of my family, are very clearly on the target list of the tiki-torch wielders at Charlottesville, if not of the more respectable racists in Congress. So yes, this is not an abstract or distant issue for me.

This by way of prelude.

That Nazis, white supremacists, and their enablers in the halls of power need to be vigorously opposed is not something in question among my friends and progressive people generally. How to do so is a matter of legitimate discussion.

Should you punch the Nazi? Under what circumstances? Should protest against them be kept purely non-violent? Does using violence in return to their violence make things better or worse? I don't think the answers to these questions are as obvious for those with a modicum of human decency and political awareness as the question of whether they should be condemned and opposed.

For a Christian, Jesus's teaching and action are also a central consideration. "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be true children of your Father in Heaven, who makes the sun to shine on the righteous and the unrighteous, and the rain to fall on good and evil alike". Or, in secular terms, there is a human being inside every Fascist, with the possibility for change, for love, for a different path to the one they're on.

That's not simply a matter of sentimental wooliness, it's a fact. Daryl Davis, the black musician who befriends KKK members, and has got 200 of them to leave the hate group, for example. Then, lately, I read a Sojourners article, Confessions of a former white supremacist, anout the group Life After Hate. There's an anecdote about one of the people in it, when he was still a Nazi, being served at McDonalds by an African-American woman, who saw the swastika tattoo on his hand, looked at him, and said "Oh. honey, you're so much better than that". And it didn't make him turn around and repent on the spot, but "That seed germinated for years until the man left white nationalism and dedicated himself to helping others leave".

[Geeking out], it sort of reminds me of when Dream of the Endless says to Hob Gadling at one of their Centennial meetings, when the latter has become a slave trader, "It is a poor thing to enslave another". That's all. And several books later we find these few sparse words likewise gnawed at Hob's soul until he stopped. [/geekery]

So yes, I believe that we should never forget the humanity even of the worst people, those who most hate us.

That does not, however, answer the question of what to do about hundreds of armed, torch-bearing Nazis gatheing in a city to march, spew hatred, intimidate, and commit acts of violence.

The first option I would rule out is "Just ignore them, they're a tiny insignificant bunch of losers who are no real threat. Just don't give them th attention".

Tell that to an African American, a Jew, an LGBT person, or a lot of straight white folks for that matter, in a town like Charlottesville where they come to play. From the articles I've read, they were an intimidating presence well before the actual day of the rally. At the rally, they surrounded a synagogue and an African American church. The synagogue was prevented from holding their Sabbath service, and went to the step of hiding away their Torah scrolls. (The police did nothing).

As for the oldest white supremacist group in the US, the KKK, they were orchestrating lynchings within living memory, with complete impunity. When Fascists gather in large numbers, they are a very serious threat.

I do not think it at all likely that explicit white supremacist groups, of the type that paraded in Charlottesville, will take over the government. I don't think we'll see a President Richard Spencer. But when we already have a government that is pushing hard against every gain people of colour have made over the past 60 years, and one of the two major US parties moving further and further to the right, embracing voter suppression and vicious misogyny and homophobia in the name of Christian Fundamentalism, these most extreme groups could play a significant role as the 'tip of the spear' of an increasingly authoritarian polity - in addition to the violence and terror they can spread at a local level.

And, well, I don't think it at all likely that actual Nazis will take political power, but the original Nazis started pretty small too. Unlikely is not the same as impossible. I'm not keen to take the risk.

So I think that left unopposed, far right groups would become more and more emboldened, dangerous, and probably bigger. They need to be confronted, in the streets, opposed and if possible shut down wherever they go, denied the possibility of becoming a more serious threat.

The police have shown, time and again, that they will not be the people to do this. Most police officers are not affiliated with the far right themselves, but they are a reactionary institution, a highly racist institution, and tend to see the left, not the right, as the ones that need to be kept down. Black Lives Matter, the Standing Rock Water Protectors, striking workers, etc., these all regularly find themselves on the wrong end of batons, tasers, tear gas and worse. Fascists far less often.

It is not primarily about beating Nazis up (satisfying as it may be when that happens), it is not about doing them injury, it is primarily about getting sufficient numbers in the streets to block their path, drown them out, make it clear that they are not welcome and will not be allowed to spread their evil, and basically get them skulking off home with their tails between their legs.

The British experience suggests that shutting Fascist groups down on the streets before they can get too big can be effective. The Battle of Cable Street in 1936, when Oswald Moseley's British Union of Fascists, aided by the police, were prevented from marching through the East End of London with its large Jewish community, by a large crowd of Jews, Communists and Socialists, and local workers, is widely seen as having been one of the factors in stemming the tide of Fascism in Britain. A generation later, when the rapidly-growing National Front tried to march through Lewisham in South London, they were likewise stopped and beaten off by left-wing counter protestors, their own internal literature shows they saw it as a defeat that harmed their momentum.

This is a small sample, and moreover there were a lot of other factors at work, and the exact role of these events in the political outcomes is of course highly debatable. I don't know in the end what is going to be most effective in stopping these groups, and nor does anyone else, for certain. But my best guess is that putting up a large and powerful street opposition to them will probably help, and that letting them rally and march unimpeded is dangerous.

If that can be done without violence, great. But, and here's the but, Nazis and their allies are not non-violent. They showed that very, very clearly in Charlottesville, as often before. They will, they do, they did, use violence, sometimes lethal violence, against those who stand in their way. So if you are going to protest against Nazis in the streets, then either you need to be willing to get beaten to a pulp, or you need to be willing to engage in self-defence, or allow those more prepared and capable to defend themselves and you.

Parts of the Civil Rights movement, led by MLK and others, did take the approach of allowing themselves to be subjected to police violence without fighting back, and it was arguably very effective at changing public opinion in favour of their cause and forcing political action. This was not the only aspect of the movement though, and I think that the Malcolm X wing, the Black Panthers, and so on, were also part of what brought about change. Who knows for sure what the balance was. But this is a rather differnent case. Bad as the police are, even less restraint can be expected from a white supremacist mob. Fighting back against a heavily armed police force in a pitched battle is generally going to be a pretty clearly losing option. Nazis can be outnumbered and beaten. This is not so much about changing public opinion in favour of equal rights, public opinion is already against the Nazis, it's about stopping an incipient movement from growing and spreading.

Besides, I don't think you're going to get too many takers for "Let's go and get our heads kicked in by Nazis".

At Charlottesville, those practicing pure non-violence and those willing to engage in self-defence found themselves in sometimes uneasy alliance; a group of clergy, of several faiths, along with Professor Cornel West and others, were among the former, linking arms, singing, putting their bodies in front of the Nazis, incredibly bravely, and willing ultimately to face the consequences. But at one critical moment when they were about to come under very serious attack, they were protected by a group of AntiFa.

West said, "The anti-fascists, and then, crucial, the anarchists, because they saved our lives, actually. We would have been completely crushed, and I’ll never forget that. Meaning what? Meaning that you had the police holding back, on the one hand, so we couldn’t even get arrested. We were there to get arrested. We couldn’t get arrested, because the police had pulled back"

I would never, never belittle what those clergy did, or say it was worthless. I've been involved in non-violent direct action in the face of state violence. But I would certainly, like West and the others, be very glad of the AntiFa stepping in. Is that hyporcytical, to engage in active non-violence, but be willing to have others use violence to protect you? I don't know. Maybe it is. I don't actually care if it is a bit, if it can bring about positive effects. Different roles, different gifts. Not everyone is physically cut out for serious fisticuffs, whatever their ideological approach, but as I say, sheer numbers are most important (so I'm told by one who knows this stuff, anyway, and I'm inclined to believe it).

If you do have the numbers, the likelihood is that you will never have to worry about when and whether to use violence in self-defence, because when far right groups are heavily outnumbered, the police will generally form a very solid cordon around them. (Like I say, much more willing to protect the Nazis than their opponents). The Fascists will not be able to go anywherem they will be restricted to making their speeches and chanting their slogans in their little cordon, hopefully drowned out with plenty of whistles and vuvuzelas and shouting from the other side. Some of the more militant AntiFa might try to break through police lines to get at them, but those who do not wish to do so can remain with the rest of the crowd, making a joyful noise. (This is pretty much how it went down at one anti-Fascist counter protests I went to in Stockholm, although the cops kept the sides so far apart that we couldn't really drown them out.)

From everything I can gather, overwhelmingly the violence in Charlottesville was from the Nazis, and that used by the counter protesters was mostly a matter of self defence. Is going beyond that, actively seeking to attack far right gatherings, justified? Is it effective? I don't know, and I don't know. I would be unlikely to engage in it myself. Getting a bit old, and not in sufficient physical shape, apart from anything else. I'm not going to condemn those who do.

This is not all a matter of theory for me. There's a far-right 'Free Speech' rally in Boston on Saturday, I'm going on the counter-protest. It looks like there will be good numbers. 10,000 have clicked "Going", so hopefully we will be in the thousands at least, whcih will be way more than the Peach Freezers. I will be with a group of people I know. I will be prepared. I will not do anything stupid. I do not intend to be in the front lines. There's a Q&A on the Facebook page for the counter protest. One of the questions is "Are the organizers committed to non-violence?", to which the answer given is "The organizers of this event are committed to community safety, survival, and protecting marginalized communities." I am on board with this.

Where did we leave things with loving your enemies and so forth? I do believe in this. I think it is pretty crictial to calling oneself a Christian. (Though a whole lot of Christians seem to have missed that memo). it is important not to lose sight of your enemy's humanity. I do believe that hatred, even when most understandable (and sometimes emotionally unavoidable), is corrosive at an individual and a collective level. (Though the hatred of the victim for the abuser and oppressor should never be put on the same moral plane as the abuse and oppression itself).

Love of enemies is not about entertaining warm fuzzy feelings for Nazis, it is about remembering that they are also a child of God, on whom the same sun shines and rain falls, and desiring and seeking their ultimate good - part of which of course involves abandoning Nazism. I don't think it means you do not try to stop your enemies from harming you or others, especially when they are gathering in a large group with evil intent.

Incidentally, Daryl Davis's vocation of meeting and talking to Klansmen while black has not always been the safest of pursuits. He says that he's only got into a couple of physical fights as a result though, and won them both.

Today's Adventures

August 17th, 2017 23:13
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
We went up to Champaign today with family.  Mild weather, nice day for an outing.  :D

World Harvest keeps improving their stock of tea and spices.  \o/  Regrettably the cumin and ginger bottles don't fit in our spice rack. >_<  But I found some other stuff I haven't seen in a while so I'm happy.  Also the food selection on the Strawberry Fields side is improving.  The beef pie is a tasty little thing.



My partner Doug and I tried the gansito split at El Oasis. Gansito is a Mexican junk food similar to a chocolate-covered twinkie. I imagine it would be awful by itself, but is quite good with ice cream, either mixed in or like this, split with several scoops of ice cream in between.  Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla topped with whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry.  <3

Barnes & Noble continues to grow more annoying.  Twice I had someone stop and ask if I needed help finding anything.  Well no, you already broke the bookstore, so you can't fix that.  I need to browse by looking at a batch of similar things arranged by topic.  Now that you have dispersed the new books among the old books, this is impossible, unless you want to go hand-sort the new ones for me.  The cookbooks are splodged together, some by topic, others by author or title.  So instead of having all the special diet books together, organized by name of their theme, which would be easy to browse, they're all scattered over a couple of bookcases.  Someone actually asked me if I knew the titles I wanted.  Well if I knew the titles, I'd be able to find them myself! It was yet another damning example of how the store is catering not to bookworms, but to people who don't usually go into bookstores.  I guess they've been hyping electronics often enough that they're getting a lot of traffic that can't even find a help desk.  0_o  It's gotten to where just being asked is an irritant, another reminder that I'm no longer their target audience.  Jesus, lady, I was helping shelve library books when I was four.  >_<  I did find a couple of books to buy, but it's not fun like it used to be.  Bah.

At Wal-Mart I found a new pair of shorts.  Things that make me ridiculously happy: garments made of that silky, ventilated fabric that's almost never used on girl clothes, only guy clothes.  These shorts are lined and have contrasting trim around the edges.  I first got gray with pink trim to go with some tie-dye shirts I bought.  Then I got the turquoise with white and tonight the black with white.  I wanted the cobalt blue, but so far everyone's been out of that in my size.  I'd be happier if these had pockets, but I like the fabric enough to tolerate the lack.  They're really comfortable and really, really genderfucking awesome.  :D

2 links 17 August 2017

August 17th, 2017 23:15
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Eric Deggans on NPR (All Things Considered):

Netflix, ABC Portrayals Of Autism Still Fall Short, Critics Say

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/11/542668400/netflix-abc-portrayals-of-autism-still-fall-short-critics-say

You can read or listen to this piece, which is about "The Good Doctor" and "Atypical".

Promoting a Better World

August 17th, 2017 22:38
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Everyone's all in a lather about the mess in Charlottesville.  I generally prefer to sidle around the attack and then counterattack directly at the opponent's fundamental goals. In this case, they want to promote racism and violence. So I can undermine their efforts by promoting:

Conversational Skills
http://www.sandbox-learning.com/Default.asp?Page=152
http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Social-Skills

Tolerance
http://www.mmsa.info/sites/default/files/downloads/pages/Tolerance.pdf (teaching)
http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Tolerant-of-Others

Diversity
http://diversity.appstate.edu/celebration/why/
https://www.uww.edu/learn/aboutdiversity/approachdiversity
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241553

Nonviolence
https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/listen-carefully-think-first-respect-everyone/
https://www.k-state.edu/nonviolence/Season/64ways.html

African-American Poetry
My favorites include Maya Angelou, Robert Hayden, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Phillis Wheatley.
http://www.theroot.com/20-black-poets-you-should-know-and-love-1790868612
http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets_african_american.html

If you want to poke a bigot in the eye, you can go shopping for things made by black writers or crafters, or you can buy multicultural-themed material from any author.  I've got a fluffy family dinner with multiple ethnicities in "Dinner at Donnie's" ($171) in Danso and Family.

So much for early

August 17th, 2017 23:36
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
[personal profile] elanya
I got looking at the internet instead of showering or making this post.

Knitting earlier, and before that I went to dinner with two of my friends. It was nice, though the cider I had was not great - bitter.

Work was fine and I finished another project. I'm close to done the third, and can probably wrap it up tomorrow if I buckle down. I want to leave a little early,as I have LARP this weekend, but we'll see, I guess!

Linkspam Confronts Hates At Home

August 17th, 2017 21:16
jjhunter: silhouetted woman by winding black road; blank ink tinted with green-blue background (silhouetted JJ by winding road)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Alex Schiffer @ Washington Post: Teen tackled by bystanders after vandalizing Boston Holocaust memorial
It was the second act of vandalism in less than three months at the site, located in Carmen Park near historic Faneuil Hall.

Steve LeBlanc @ US News: Gov. Baker Signs Resolution Denouncing White Nationalism
BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker joined with Democratic leaders to sign a resolution Thursday denouncing neo-Nazism and white nationalism.


ETA: Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP): Donate to the New England Holocaust Memorial
Read more... )
jesse_the_k: amazed Alanna (hero of Staples/Vaughn SAGA comic) (alanna is amazed)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
... is a Kickstarter-funded project that's almost over. I'm so lucky to be able to fund it.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lynnemthomas/disabled-people-destroy-science-fiction-uncanny-ma/updates

Uncanny Magazine -- whose editors have personal relationships to disability -- picked up the mantle of "create a wonderful anthology themed by marginal creators" from Lightspeed.

Even if you can't contribute money, Uncanny is posting free essays from SF writers about the connection between SF and disability. The essays are wonderful, and I've learned something from every one of them.

I kept meaning to post a highlight entry, and wowza [personal profile] beatrice_otter has done it for me!

So, go read this post and read wonderful essays

http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/354745.html

[food] Beans bourdeto, sort of

August 17th, 2017 20:24
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
I went to Corfu! I was introduced to Corfiot bean stew! I was a fan. I am also struggling to track down a recipe that will let me recreate the But That's Amazing Though that I experienced there, because it's generally made with fish and there are relatively few recipes online, which means my ability to take the average of multiple recipes is limited. Nonetheless!

Read more... )

... which I served up with The Rice Of My People, which I'd apparently somehow not made for A before; he is a Fan. It turns out. Read more... )

Lame-Duck President

August 17th, 2017 11:54
elf: Many Americans have all the virtues of civilized people (American virtues)
[personal profile] elf
The Atlantic has a lovely piece of analysis on the current administration: Donald Trump Is a Lame-Duck President
"Just seven months into his presidency, Trump appears to have achieved a status usually reserved for the final months of a term."

It points out the features of a lame-duck presidency, which is usually reserved for the final handful of months, especially in a second term. (Hey, guess what! POTUS45 has accomplished in 7 months what it took Bush 7 years to do!)

Quotes )

Parting Thought

August 17th, 2017 13:51
jesse_the_k: Flannery Lake is a mirror reflecting reds violets and blues at sunset (Rosy Rhinelander sunset)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I'm headed up north for my customary two-week sojourn by a cool lake (as pictured in the icon).

I'll leave you with this handy keyboard tip.

When I realize I want to delete a lot of text in the middle, I start a new line before and after. That way I can use the triple-click or keyboard commands without fussing with selecting between words.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
This is factually untrue - I just finished a new book yesterday - but it does feel that way.

Recommend something to me! Especially nonfiction - I really don't read much of that, so I can promise that I'll never have read whatever you recommend! (Whereas if you recommend anything kidlit or YA there's better than even odds that I've read it.)

Later I'll post up my own list of random recommendations for everybody, but right now I really must dash.
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Monday is my birthday, and to celebrate Jane is going to show me around Paris for a long weekend. We're off tomorrow morning, and arriving back on my actual Birthday (Monday), which is _also_ the anniversary of the first time she hugged me (after she came to the airport to meet me off the plane back from my trip around the Southlands).

I arrived home to discover that she had made this wonder in the living room:


And I am looking forward to being allowed to open any of the things underneath it!

(Jim is being left with strict instructions that he is not allowed to eat any of the boxes. Or the tree. Or be sick on any of them. Or peek inside.)

Mid-week Anti-procrastination Post

August 17th, 2017 18:58
peaceful_sands: butterfly (Default)
[personal profile] peaceful_sands posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
Well, it's a little belated but we've not got to the weekend here yet, so I figure we're still good to call it a midweek anti procrastination post.

So what have you been tackling? How's that motivation going? What's your priority absolutely must not be procrastinated task?

If you're in need of a challenge or a little encouragement.... Hmmm, now let me think... How about 10 minutes (or whatever time suits) to tackle something clothing related - suggestions include : sorting washing into loads that can be done together, actually tackling a load of laundry, handwashing some items, folding some dry clothes, ironing, re-organising a drawer, shelf or wardrobe space to make it more user friendly. I'm sure there are other related tasks. Ooh, I've thought of another - repairing an item e.g. sewing a button on.

Set the timer for the amount of time you think you can spare or manage energy wise and go for it. Surprise yourself with just how awesome you are! And share with us.

Good luck, team! You're awesome!

Planning for the future.

August 17th, 2017 11:35
hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
I've now purchased a new computer! It'll be here in two weeks or so. While there's nothing wrong with my current one, it's starting to get up there in computer years, and it's about time it retired and took up topiary as a hobby. Or the computer equivalent.

The last time I got a new computer was just about seven and a half years ago. Then, it was because there were genuine hardware difficulties - something had gone wrong with the interface and if I used the mouse, the keyboard went unresponsive for a few minutes, and even the trackpad wasn't working propery. I got used to a lot of keyboard shortcuts before I went in for the one I've got now. Which is still working fine, if slowly, and I don't want to disrupt the balance of anything right now. So, buying one before there's any pressing need.

Also, thank goodness my building has a doorman to sign for the package.

I figure that when the new one comes, and I have everything set up and working and reasonably sorted out, I can take all my stuff off this one and have it as a standby backup. Just put it in the closet with its peripherals unless circumstances arise it's needed.

The part I'm most dreading about all this is having to remember my passwords to everything. Maybe it's time I started writing them down.

ot: Ursula Vernon in Iceland

August 17th, 2017 10:31
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
Ursula Vernon, who just won the Best Novelette Hugo, stopped in Iceland en route to WorldCon. She was with her husband Kevin, his cousin, Amy, & their friend Tina. They storified the trip, here:

https://storify.com/RebelsHeart/ursula-vernon-and-friends-vs-iceland

There're lots of gorgeous photos & great snark.

Hard reading -- Roxane Gay: HUNGER

August 17th, 2017 09:08
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I started reading this via audio, narrated by the author. Technically excellent; both writing and reading. The subject matter, however, has given me thrashing screaming nightmares.

Contains: shame, sexual violence, shame, internalized misogyny, eating disorder, shame.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to finish it.
lovingboth: ([default])
[personal profile] lovingboth
I've been using Firefox as my primary browser from before it was called that, so rapidly approaching fifteen years.

The two things that have kept me using it rather than a Chromium-based browser are:

a) It can cope with having many hundreds of tabs open. Unlike Chromium-based ones, opening a new tab does not lead to creating a whole new instance of the code and so greatly increasing the memory footprint.

b) The add-ons library, some of which - like Tab Mix Plus - are essential for having hundreds of tabs open.

Most other browsers have add-ons, so you can run the essential uBlock Origin* in them, but they're still way way behind in terms of the size of the Firefox library.

And Mozilla are about to piss that advantage away by, from v57 due in November, not loading the large majority of them any more. All add-ons will have to use a relatively new API. This will make it easier to port them between browsers, but while I know that Mozilla don't care about being #1 in browser usage, this is ensuring that more people will move away.

For example, I do not like the layout that Firefox moved to a few years ago. It's less efficient in terms of screen space and speed, and while there are some people who think it looks a bit prettier, I don't want my browser distracting from the content.

I am not the only one who thinks this way and, fortunately, one of them wrote an addon to use the classic layout (or twiddle in about a hundred ways with it). You could probably do the same by playing with about:config, but this makes it easy. And it's not down as having been ported to the new API.

There is at least one browser that is based on the free Firefox source and isn't going to do this, but relying on a browser with a very small developer base is.. risky, both in terms of getting caught by a security issue because of a delay in patching, and in having it still maintained long-term.

Grrr.

* The ad blocker of choice ever since AdBlock Plus sold out.

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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