Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Smooth Move The early handover of authority (two days) by the Coalition to the new Iraqi government was clearly an intelligent maneuver. It also steals much of the thunder for attacks in the next couple of days. As Tim Dunlop put it: Anything that puts a dint in the plans of car bombers and armed insurgents has to be a good thing. It probably won't stop a single attack, but it does give a slight psychological edge to the provisional government that shouldn't be discounted.

To Dream a Salam Pax Dream of Democratic Iraq: 0.
No more occupation

Iraqis retook control of their country in a furtive Baghdad ceremony yesterday intended to wrong-foot any insurgency plans to disrupt a formal handover that was to take place tomorrow
· A handshake, and Iraqis are in charge
· · Paul McGeough: Now for the wrath of the oppressed
· · · Ambassador Bremer handed over sovereignty to the Iraqi people; Zarqawi stated: Surprise handover decision welcomed
· · · · Bush hails transfer of power
· · · · · See Also The war was over but where was the defeated enemy? History repeats itself, though no two historians agree quite how

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Greece upset defending champion France 1-0 today to produce one of the biggest shocks in soccer and reach the semi-final of Euro 2004, a tournament getting used to saying goodbye to the powerhouse teams

Down Under you feel like you're watching ''The Sopranos'' on a bear pit scale when you watch the Stiff; (t)electorising the lives of the minders of likely suspects such as the former leader of the House, Paul Whelan or the former Speaker, John Murray...

Invisible Hands & Markets: Singleton bets on all-Australian TV stiffis
Concerned about the erosion of Australian culture, ad man John Singleton is prepared to write a very big czech for a fourth commercial TV network which would show only local programs.
· How Magician John Makes Rupert Dissapear from Antipodean Tube [link first seen at Back Pages & MEdia Dragon Prayers Answered] (((More people are rejecting traditional sales messages, presenting the ad industry with big challenges & Ocker John knows that
· · See Also Paul Krugman a wicked economist? [worth czeching The wickedly honest Antipodean]
· · · See Also Many Minorities Prove They're Unfit For Home Ownership
· · · · See Also So the Iranians seized some British warships ....Crazy action turns out to be not so crazy at all (( Economy that never sleeps))
· · · · · See Also Swedenization of Europe ((Willing Slaves: how the overwork culture is ruling our lives ))
· · · · · · See Also CBS News Confirms Amazon.com Partnership, Profiting from Clinton Book Sales

Friday, June 25, 2004

Will we ever know the whys of evil parliamentary behavior?

Tracking Policies & Investigative Stories: Hard Labor 1995-2007: Nothing New Under the Old Girls' Network
The state's health system was plagued by medical mistakes and cover-ups and was run by an old girls' network of administrators protected by their political affiliations.
The report found there were undoubtedly serious cultural and system-related problems concerning complaints handling in south-west Sydney.
Dr Moyes described a political network of senior female administrators running the NSW health system, including the former chief of Macarthur Health, Jennifer Collins, the administrator of the South Western Sydney Area Health Service, Deborah Picone, and chief executive officer of Central Sydney Area Health Service, Diana Horvath

· New South Worries: Midwives of Labor [Do Not Mention the Parliamentary Midwives Health Care Complaints (Joint Statutory Committee) ]
· · See Also Peter Locke remembers the birth of his twin boys as the day he lost all faith in the health system and his confidence in his abilities as a doctor
· · · See Also Sartor denies receiving $100,000 discount for Melbourne unit
· · · · See Also E(l)ection of Tertiary Privacy
· · · · · See Also Judge, Jerrold Cripps, QC, given wide brief to look into ICAC, the Adoring Thorng (sic)
· · · · · · See Also How local contractors are winning no-bid government jobs by funneling millions of dollars to the campaigns of elected officials
· · · · · · · See Also Bouncing Czech: Christopher Hammond continues to get government contracts despite his habit of writing bad checks to Los Angeles politicians

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A review of Cold War Triumphalism: The Misuse of History after the Fall of Communism.

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Powerful Global Social Movement
A growing network of international institutions - economic, social, and political - constitute a nascent global state, whose current task is to realize the interests of an emerging transnational capitalist class in the international system to the disadvantage of subaltern classes in the third and first worlds. The evolving global state formation can therefore be described as having an imperial character. Underpinning the emerging imperial global state is a web of sub-national authorities and spaces that represent, along with non-governmental organizations, its decentralized face.
· International Institutions Today: An Imperial Global State in the Making
· · See Also Why this election isn't all it's cracked up to be (Expert Analysis of the 2004 Presidential Election)
· · · See Also A review of books on Bush, from his spiritual life to his approach to war
· · · · See Also A senior US intelligence official warned Bush he is playing into Bin Laden's hand
· · · · · See Also Report Says U.S. Has 'Secret' Detention Centers
· · · · · · Germaine Greer: We can dream too: The day white Australians can look in the mirror and say 'I am Aboriginal' is the day their tormented country will start to healss

Friday, June 18, 2004

There are uncanny parallels between the Government's handling of the prisoner abuse scandal and the 'children overboard' affair: the same obstinate refusal on the part of the Prime Minister and other Ministers to seek out the truth; the same reluctance on the part of senior officials and advisers to pass on unwelcome or inconvenient advice to their political masters; the same Nixonian culture of plausible deniability

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: iIf people don't say where they're going after choir practice, this country is at risk
What this means in understandable English is that if a parent, in his anxiety to know where his son goes after choir practice, does something that will cause severe pain to his son, it is only "torture" if the causing of that severe pain is his objective. If his objective is something else - such as finding out where his son goes after choir practice - then it is not torture.
· This won't hurt much: Terry Jones is a writer, film director, actor and Python [ via Censorship's Trial Balloons - What happens when wartime news gets censored? By Liam Callanan ]
· · See Also Vote for Me (and I approve this blogging)
· · · See Also Bush's Political Thorn Grows More Stubborn: ...dishonesty about the war rationale [ via Being abused when nobody else knows you even exist ]
· · · · See Also Contractors in Iraq: the view from the lobby, Part I.
· · · · · See Also Bill Clinton's Very Personal Reflections
· · · · · · See Also A case study in Right Wing thought patterns: the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak

Thursday, June 17, 2004

No question: John Ashcroft is the worst attorney general in history ...

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Facing up to conflicts of interest
Lies, postage stamps and stationery brought a sad end to Richard Face's political career, but his demise has a sting in the tail for politicians.
The issue of a cooling-off period for ministers before they take up lucrative positions in the private sector not a million miles from their portfolio has been around for years.
The Greiner Government tried to introduce a two-year cooling-off period, but it was largely ignored by its own departing ministers.
IN ITS report, ICAC has recommended new rules for departing ministers. It says they should include a process for approving or advising ministers about offers of employment before or after they leave office, a specified cooling-off period before they can accept work in their former area of responsibility and, most importantly, some way of "appropriately enforcing the rules".

· Three other states have codes of conduct [ Elsewhere The Independent Commission Against Corruption: Face should be charged ] [ Which is worse:... Tough choice. ICAC report (PDF Format)
· · See Also Wild Factional Fists at Punchbowl: Liberals may sack brawling recruits
· · · See Also The political elites of Australia: France's most profound contribution to the post-Cold War order was made by doctors, not armies [ Malcolm's seen Labor's enemy - and it's Peter Garrett: Raising the spectre of the former rock singer being under the dictat of a shadowy central committee
· · · · See Also An American officer referred to the Abu Ghraib scandal as a moral Chernobyl [Link Elsewhere 50-page PDF version of the memo: We may have to start using blunt words like murder and rape to describe what we see]
· · · · · See Also Morality lost, as Australia refuses to acknowledge its implication in torture
· · · · · · See Also Failing to take into account alternative transport solutions or land-use potential
· · · · · · See Also A new independent watchdog body with royal commission powers will be established to oversee the nation's federal crime agencies

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

John Ruskin, the 19th century essayist, called illth. The tragedy—the Tragedy of the Market, one might say—is that it has to create problems and needs, or the gears will grind to a halt...
But what if the Truth is that Americans don't want to know the Truth?

Tragedy & Market Across Frontiers: George Orwell… meet Franz Kafka: Theirs is the logic of criminal regimes
These are, in fact, documents of shame, symbolic of a kind of bureaucratic lawlessness let loose at the heart of our government. They are intent on creating a pseudo-legal basis for replacing the rule of law with the rule of a commander-in-chief. As Robert Kuttner put it in the Boston Globe, For nearly three years, the Bush administration has resorted to the most preposterous fictions to define either locales or categories of people to whom the law does not apply. If you connect the dots, the torture at Abu Ghraib is part of a larger slide toward tyranny as the Bush administration tries to exempt itself from the rule of law.
As justifications for torture, these are the sorts of documents one can imagine finding in the files of some grim third world dictatorship or maybe the former Apartheid regime of South Africa

· Good law is in a new drug: Lawlessness [ via All knowledge is either physics or stamp collecting]
· · See Also What is the good Luxury Fever? Rising materialism[ via But Money can buy happiness after all]
· · · See Also Land of private affluence and public poverty: When schools and libraries are begging for funds in the richest nation in the world, only a confirmed ideologue could deny that something is out of whack
· · · · See Also I hope Bush steals another election...This is America, not Denmark. In this country, tens of millions of people choose to watch FoxNews not simply because Americans are credulous idiots or at the behest of some right-wing corporate cabal, but because average Americans respect viciousness
· · · · · See Also MAKING A KILLING: New war profiteers
· · · · · · See Also How philosophy makes job of 'selling' Standard Life easier

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

German, French and British voters dealt swift kicks to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair this weekend by electing anti-European Union candidates to the European Parliament.
Even in European countries that are new to democracy, voters find things to do other than voting for a new European Parliament. Apathy and scepticism mark first EU vote in "New Europe"
A breakdown of the 732-seat European Parliament after historic elections that saw some 150 million Europeans cast ballots across 25 member nations of the expanded European DisUnion.
Official Site of European Parliament provides raw data

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Poor Version of Democracy
While the United States wages war to expand democracy around the world, how is our own democracy doing? Not very well, says a group of distinguished scholars.
The voices of American citizens are raised and heard unequally. The privileged participate more than others and are increasingly well organized to press their demands on government. Public officials, in turn, are much more responsive to the privileged than to average citizens and the least affluent.

· Disparities in political participation, the report says, ensure that ordinary Americans speak in a whisper while the most advantaged roar. [“right” liberals versus “false” ones The Importance of Norberto Bobbio ]
· · See Also Which presidential style is best? [ via Imagined Communities: Not so much to kill, as willingly to die for such limited imaginings]
· · · See Also The return of Boilermaker Bill's Macquarie St musings: Pouring Oils onto troubled waters; Ta ta Totaro
· · · · See Also Carr king-maker in Garrett coup
· · · · · See Also Brereton's last revenge
· · · · · · See Also The ABC and fearless political reporting
· · · · · · · See Also Campaigns Drawn to Political Labels: e(l)ectionconnoisairs , pollsters, political scientists and media pundits create catching-phrases to coin swing voters

All that I have produced before the age of seventy is not worth taking into account. At seventy-three, I learned a little about the real structure of nature, of animals, plants, trees, birds, fishes and insects. In consequence, when I am eighty, I shall have made still more progress. At ninety, I shall penetrate the mystery of things; at 100, I shall certainly have reached a marvelous stage; and when I am 110, everything I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive.
Hokusai, A Hundred Views of Fuji (Tatra Mountains)

Invisible Hands & Markets: No More Escapes Across Iron Curtains As The Next Velvet Revolution will be Bogged: Between hither and yon
Most of the youth of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union are not optimistic -- social services have collapsed and life expectancy is down.
The young largely brought about the collapse of communist regimes. They were the ones who went to demonstrations and meetings, and led the strike actions.
Now their children are disappointed and mistrustful of politics. Average youth unemployment is twice the general level. Many feel they have been failed by the adults who promised beautiful living and freedom that for many has turned into poverty, fear and loneliness.

· We expected better [link first seen at Prague Post]
· · See Also America is the land of the sex-discrimination lawsuit: the world's biggest award, of $10.6m, was made by an American jury in 2002 to a former employee of Hoffman LaRoche
· · · See Also William Powers on how it pays to be wrong in the news business
· · · · See Also I find BMW's with number plates like "IMRICH" really a bit rich: How to treat corporate criminals
· · · · · See Also U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell “was trying to steer a no-bid contract to a software company called Thinkstream Inc.
· · · · · · See Also Bio-terror is the name of the dream that post-modern societies dream in their self-appointed state of war, and "anthrax" the fulfilment of that wish [Extract from Cold River State of communist economy]
· · · · · · · See Also Getting pollies & crats to care about any future other than its own: Rail bureaucrats cash in as service crisis mounts [linked with ICAC: Senior ministers believe that a single command would overcome jurisdictional clashes and streamline operational activities ]

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Poland and China and the lesson of two anniversaries ...Out of years of 'failure' can come success (reg. req.)

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Mandela: Humanitarian Hero
Nelson Mandela has been one of the few contemporary heroes whose reputation and idolized status has always remained intact.
In a recent advertising research poll, Nelson Mandela was ranked the most visible and recognizable brand in the world, followed by Coca Cola which once occupied first place. The famous prisoner who later became the first president in a democratic South Africa is a brand associated with humanitarian efforts such as championing children's education, building schools in rural communities and more recently has become involved with the safe-sex HIV/AIDS campaign in South Africa.

· Global symbol of reconciliatory politics and peaceful negotiation [ via Toward a Universal Declaration of Human Wrongs ]
· · See Also The reason candidates migrate to the center is captured in the expression, where else can they go?
· · · See Also Bremer bans cleric from Iraq elections [ First spotted @ John Quiggin ] [ via Juan Cole: Bremer's action in excluding the Sadrists from parliament is one final piece of stupidity to cap all the other moronic things he has done in Iraq ]
· · · · See Also No moral choice was in fact possible? changing the course of history: They have denied the validity of the Nuremberg Tribunal [ via Barista ]
· · · · · See Also Former DCI Robert Gates on racing to ruin the CIA & ASIO
· · · · · · See Also Those who hate 'liberals' really hate a free America

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

No writer ever truly succeeds. The disparity between the work conceived and the work completed is always too great and the writer merely achieves an acceptable level of failure.
Phillip Caputo, A Rumor of War

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Lawyers Decided Bans on Torture Didn't Bind Bush
A team of administration lawyers concluded in a March 2003 legal memorandum that President Bush was not bound by either an international treaty prohibiting torture or by a federal antitorture law because he had the authority as commander in chief to approve any technique needed to protect the nation's security.
The memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, also said that any executive branch officials, including those in the military, could be immune from domestic and international prohibitions against torture for a variety of reasons.

· Legal Memorundum [ via A bizarre set of circumstances: The Government will censor intelligence whistleblower Andrew Wilkie's insider account of the spy services ]
· · See Also Mikhail Gorbachev: A President Who Listened [link first seen at UK Parliament, the finest advocacy web-app in the world www.theyworkforyou.com]
· · · See Also It was Mr. Reagan's good fortune that during his time in office the Soviet Union was undergoing profound change, eventually to collapse [Reagan May Replace Hamilton on $10 Bill]
· · · · See Also Cigarettes Will Kill You -- Twice: Cigarette Smuggling Linked to Terrorism as not only do terrorists kill people, but they cheat on their taxes, too
· · · · · See Also Mosul Car Bomb Explosion Kills Five Troops in Iraq - Polish Army [ via Anatomy of (Another) ‘Un-newsworthy’ Story ]
· · · · · · See Also The rich have been warned to leave Baghdad. But for the poor, there is no escape from crime

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

This is the topic which is the important achievement of Karl Popper who showed that dictatorship from Sparta in Ancient Greece to Communism and Fascism of industrial world, has been in lack of acceptance of open society, and showed that from Plato's Republic, with its rule of Philosopher-Kings, to Hegel's theory of state, and finally Karl Marx, with its rule of the proletariat, the issue of allegiance to a closed society is the reason for creating despotism. In fact, even Ayatollah Khomeini in his book Velayate Faghih has used Plato's thought, and he even mentions Plato by name.
Why the problem is not utopianism, but the lack of an open society...

Repeating History Classes: How the Czech Story Plays Out
Western knowledge of 'contemporary' Czech culture often hackneyed and limited to Kundera, Klima, Havel, et al.
Today, the global prestige of mitteleuropean culture in the last years of communism and the immediate aftermath of the 1989 revolutions is a distant memory. No creative stars have emerged from these countries since the coming of democracy. Where are the books that insist on being read by an international audience? Where are the books from behind what used to be the Iron Curtain, which used to produce a classic a week?

· There [i.e., in communist Eastern Europe] nothing goes and everything matters; here, [i.e., in America and in the democratic West] everything goes and nothing matters [[The Richest writer of all His Story: Cold River]]
· · See Also Literary tango: Franz Kafka bookended by two significant dates: June 3, the anniversary of his death, and July 3, the anniversary of his birth [ via What Has Happened to Historical Literacy?]
· · · See Also There are no more villages to burn: Why Darfur's agony is the world's shame [ via The Task of the Modern Historian ]
· · · · See Also Bloody history: Historians used to ignore violence and horror, but a new generation places it centre stage [Link Poached from Historians and Economists]
· · · · · See Also Let's Get Serious About Getting Serious [Link Poached from By Lenin, from Pravda, April 11, 1913: tag cui prodest? Meaning "who stands to gain?" ]

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Shouldn't we expect that the rich and powerful organise things in their own interests. It's called capitalism Bilderberg: The Ultimate Conspiracy Theory

Invisible Hands & Markets: Who pays the lion’s share of personal income tax?
We have grown accustomed to the idea that so-called 'progressive taxation' is 'fair', but a proportional tax system (in which everybody pays the same proportion of their income in tax) would be much fairer. Sinclair Davidson argues not only that income tax in Australia is high by international standards, but also that higher rate taxpayers are paying much more than their fair share.
· Taxing Debates (PDF) [link first seen at The Centre for Independent Studies ]
· · See Also Curing sick hospitals: ONE THING John Menadue
has learned is that the so-called "health debate" is between insiders - doctors and minister

· · · See Also Despite marked improvement in the lives of American children, a new study finds rising numbers of [disconnected young adults]
· · · · See Also Economic measures can lead to bad decision-making
· · · · · See Also Here's a crusade sure to infuriate the vast majority of penny-pinching traditionalists
· · · · · · See Also Arabia's field of dreams: How Dubai has become one of the world's most successful business ventures

DidTheyReadIt didtheyreadit.com, can clandestinely track when and where their e-mail is read. When you use DidTheyReadIt, e-mails that you send are automatically and invisibly tracked.

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bill Cosby lambastes some lower-income black parents for irresponsibility
The Cosby story — like others before it — has shown that a news story can grow legs thanks more to repackagers in the blogosphere than to "legitimate" print and broadcast outlets
· Bill Cosby & the Blogosphere [ courtesy of Where Librarians Go To Hack ]
· · See Also Bloggers Unregulated: WHAT A CRAZY MARKETPLACE
· · · See Also Boy crazy Washingtonienne, not of NSW Parliament or Nippon Club Phame: Senator sacked me over tales of congress
· · · · See Also Outsourced IT staff fingered porn stash wanker
· · · · · See Also Tax bucks, blues and blogs with Hillary Bray
· · · · · · See Also Media Dragon: weblogging is a more frequent topic in NY and Sydney news
· · · · · · · See Also wURLdBook extends your reach into the Internet!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

CIA Director George Tenet states the obvious and (will wonders never cease?)

Tracking Policies & Investigative Stories: James Kelman: Look back in anger
The Booker winner James Kelman has been rocking the literary establishment for more than 20 years. Lesley Mcdowell talks to him about radicalism and rage
My culture and my language have a right to exist, James Kelman said in his 1994 Booker-night acceptance speech, after winning the prize for How Late it Was, How Late, and no one has the authority to dismiss that right. This foot-soldier of fiction and class warfare, it would seem, has finally won his place among the literary elite. The battle is over.

· You Have to Be Careful in the Land of the Free
· Soros: Abu Ghraib = September 11
· · See Also Fantastic Premier, Bob Carr, to introduce a ban on plastic bags [Man of Plastic Turning plastic shopping bags into steel]
· · · See Also A profound debate is taking place, amongst those connected with the tourist industry, over Australian image as tinseltown
· · · · See Also Some of the most keenly watched polls, especially in the months before an election, are those on party support, leadership and political issues
· · · · · See Also Kim Un-yong: Olympic committee vice-president jailed for embezzlement
· · · · · · See Also Rogueish Failures: President Bush likes to claim that Iraq is the central front in the war terror, but what you won't hear him saying is that it is only that because his actions have turned it into a failed state

Friday, June 04, 2004

The first installment in a five-part series excerpted from William F. Buckley Jr.'s The Fall of the Berlin Wall
part 2, par 3, part 4, and part 5)

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: Keeping the contemporary threat environment in perspective
Rarely a day passes without us being told that terrorism has evolved from a tactical nuisance to a strategic threat. The attacks carried out by Al Qaeda on 11 September 2001 and throughout the previous decade represented a decisive escalation in the scale and intensity of violence used against civilian targets. One of the most striking features of mainstream commentary since the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been the frequent assertion that the present international climate is ‘the most dangerous period in living memory’
· The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts [References via The nuclear sword of Damocles was the pervasive threat of the Cold War ]
· · See Also Legisprudence as a New Theory of Legislation (PDF)
· · · See Also Margo Kingston: Avoiding the Geneva Conventions: how Australia does the job [ via The administration's gravest alleged misconduct is treating the Geneva Convention with contempt ]
· · · · See Also Professor Donald Rothwell: Our 'special responsibility' betrayed at Abu Ghraib ... Geneva IV in relation to protected persons[ via Memos to White House on Geneva Convention by Yoo/Delahunty/Philbin ]
· · · · · See Also Peter Funnell, ex soldier: Misleading Hill asks fellow Abu Ghraib misleaders to inquire into themselves
· · · · · · See Also Sections of Victoria's police force are riddled with corrupt officers who were not dealt with as far back as the 1970s and 1980s

We are turning our bodies into data. Since information can confer both power and wealth, we are at risk of a new slavery , with its attendants of old: loss of self sovereignty, discrimination, corrosion of individual identity, dignity denied.

Invisible Hands & Markets: How Successfully they've gamed the California energy market in 2000
He steals money from California to the tune of about a million.
Will you rephrase that? asks a second employee.
OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million

· What's far more devastating than to read these transcripts is to listen to the tapes in the story viewable in the javascript link at CBSnews.com
· · See Also Craig Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud, on The Great Escape
· · · See Also 10 Principles of Change Management
· · · · See Also Professional norms and the treacherous temptation of moral freedom
· · · · · See Also John Quiggin: Taxing Move to Queensland [ Tax cuts: beyond the routine mendacity ]
· · · · · · See Also Imagine again ...buying groceries in the same way that voters make political choices

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Real World, just like college, is a series of choices to be made with imperfect information

Invisible Hands & Markets: Corporate Amerika
In corporate boardrooms across America, they're warning that the sky is falling — again. Shareholders have heard this before, and it has usually been about money: companies resisted new rules to change how they account for stock options, for example, or how they value certain complex investments in corporate financial reports. And when the Securities and Exchange Commission wanted to restrict the types of consulting work an accounting firm could perform for an audit client, the cry was familiar.
· Let the Little Guy in the Boardroom [link first seen at Lost in America ]
· See Also ALP plan to put brakes on executive payouts
· See Also Why we should get rid of stop signs and red lights and let cars, bikes and people mingle together
· See Also Europe's Market Solidarity With Ukraine
· See Also Experience of living and working in the USA
· See Also Albert Einstein's essay Why Socialism?
· See Also How to lift the working poor
· See Also The longing of so many people for escape
· See Also Poor Economy Is Driving East Germans From Home
· See Also Tipping is incompatible with the notion that all men are created equal

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