What does a double-timing Providence principal tell us about that job in Rhode Island?

News about former Providence principal Michael Redmond, and the fact that for a period of time he was working full time (during the same hours) for both the school district of Providence and the Washington, D.C., school district (remotely), has been broadly reported in Rhode Island.  Unfortunately, the public debate falls quickly into the lines that divide…

Perseverance sign at E-Cubed Academy
Dr. Skoly appears to be receiving a lesson “to encourage the others” as the saying goes.

When I worked with the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, we would periodically get tips from people about problems or corruption in our state, but the tipsters would very rarely volunteer to step forward.  They feared, with good reason, audits, safety reviews, property inspections, and other forms of government harassment.  Silence and toleration has…

Dr. Stephen Skoly's office building
More than half of Rhode Island’s roads are unacceptable.

Writing for Uplift Legal Funding, Leesa Davis took data produced by the Biden administration as part of its infrastructure presentation and compared it with total miles of roadway in each state, creating a rank by the percentage of roads in “acceptable condition.  Take a bow, government of Rhode Island:  once again, you’re number 1 for…

Some keywords are strangely missing from news about increased shootings in Providence.

According to a chart published as part of WPRI’s report on the increase in victims of shootings in Providence, the city has regressed nearly to its 2015 level after steadily falling until 2020.  The number hit a low of 35 in 2019 and then more than doubled in 2020 and has increased from that point…

A man with a bullet mask
Magaziner’s propensity to pander is too dangerous for him ever to be trusted to be governor.

Difficult as it may be to believe, the general treasurer of Rhode Island, Democrat Seth Magaziner, proposes to address the inflation wrought by the policies of Democrat White House occupant, Joe Biden, by — get this — flooding the market with easy cash and imposing price controls. Each of Magaziner’s suggestions can be debated on…

Great Depression bread line
Let’s Hear ALL Information about Omicron, Even the Positive

A new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, (don’t ask what happened to Xi!) has been identified in South Africa. It took only a ten second search to find this important and comparatively positive information about Omicron. Omicron is reported to be seven times more contagious than the Delta variant and yet in the last two months,…

The New York Times question goes shallow on why Democrats don’t actually implement progressive policies.

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s wonderful that the New York Times is raising any questions at all about why Democrat strongholds aren’t the utopias that voters were promised and to challenge the obviously facile talking point that evil Republicans are to blame, even where the GOP has almost no power. That said, Johnny Harris and Binyamin…

A man picks a path in the woods
Bell chimes in on education to distract from plain reality.

Progressive Democrat state senator Sam Bell is fascinating to watch. Some years ago, he was a participant in a debate I helped organize, and he made a perplexing statement about the number of tax cuts Rhode Island government had enacted.  Even watching such things closely, I had to go home and research what he might…

A toy school bus
School administrators and teachers should be aware that society is self-healing.

Of course, anybody who has known someone who refused to see a doctor about a broken bone knows that self-healing doesn’t always mean a desirable condition.  Sometimes bodily and social healing mechanisms render appendages less useful, or even liabilities. Anyway, the lesson comes to mind after reading Erika Sanzi’s concerns that school administrators and teachers…

A pencil with eraser
Yes, “equity audits” and “anti-racism” are critical race theory (CRT) in action.

Perhaps it feels redundant or like beating a dead horse for me to direct readers to Mike Gonzalez’s list of “The Five Lies of CRT,” but I have a feeling it’s a topic to which we have to return with reinforcements constantly.  The attempted gaslighting from radicals is simply too dogged.  Complacency is an enemy….

Abuse during the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Biden’s unpopularity can be a guide in Rhode Island.

Via Stacey Lennox, who looks at Biden’s approval/disapproval ratings across all states for PJ Media, comes a fascinating tool that may prove useful in the toolboxes of anybody who writes about or engages in politics. It’s an interactive poll tool from Civiqs that allows the user to cut up the data by various demographics in one…

Chart of Biden approval among young, non-college Rhode Islanders
Walsh gives away the game for the local media and his union.

Referring to an appearance by National Education Association of Rhode Island director Bob Walsh on A Lively Experiment, Erika Sanzi plainly describes a reality of local media. Walsh’s offending claim was that Nicole Solas shouldn’t call herself a “stay-at-home mom” when she’s “in a different community at a different school committee meeting screaming at the top…

Bob Walsh talks on A Lively Experiment 11/12/21
We’re not reactionaries, so let’s stop being exclusively reactive.

As I’ve thought about it, this morning’s post on New England governors’ poll results ended a bit short.  I closed with a suggestion for Democrats, but what about Republicans? Considering the huge jump of New England’s three Democrats from the bottom of the national list in 2019 to the top now, two possibilities come to…

American flag behind a barred window
Don’t trust politicians who don’t ask “why” about housing before they proclaim a solution.

Right from the beginning, an op-ed in the Boston Globe by RI Political Co-Op progressive candidate Lenny Cioe gives off warning signals: In many neighborhoods near colleges like Providence College, Johnson and Wales, and Brown University, predatory real estate companies are jacking up rents and forcing out families in favor of high-paying students. And that’s…

A Providence neighborhood through a Statehouse window
A strange competition between Remdesivir and Ivermectin.

Yes, of course an anecdote is not data, but this story rings the strange tone that’s been heard throughout public debates about COVID-19 and related treatments.

An elderly man on a family visit to the United States from Hong Kong was hospitalized with COVID-19.  The hospital treated him with Remdesivir, and it didn’t work.  The hospital refused to allow the patient to try Ivermectin, so the family went to court and won the right to bring in a doctor willing to administer it.  Then the hospital refused to allow that doctor in because he wasn’t vaccinated, so the family went to court and won again.

He immediately began to recover and was out of the hospital within weeks.

Here are some details about what it’s like to be a 15-week-old unborn child.

HillFaith has compiled a baker’s dozen of facts pertaining to unborn children at 15 weeks of gestation (via Mark Tapscott on Instapundit), such as these:

  • The baby’s body responds to both touch and pain.
    • The baby responds to light touches over most of the body.
    • If something touches the palm of the baby’s hand, the baby will bend his or her fingers as if to grasp the object.
    • Neurotransmitters specific to pain processing appear between 10 and 14 weeks’ gestation. The spinal nerves needed to transmit pain to the thalamus have formed by 15 weeks’ gestation.

In a pluralistic society recognizing a variety of rights and respecting differing religious beliefs, we can debate where different lines can be drawn, how much opinions can differ from one state to the next, and what the best approach to safeguarding life should be, but the truly extreme and totalizing approach of Roe v. Wade is a monstrous travesty.

A biologically male swimmer is dominating the Ivy League female division.

We can probably expect outcomes like that described by Hank Berrien in the Daily Wire to become more and more common:

In November, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer who swam for the men’s team for the previous three years swam for the women’s team, dominating the competition.

Lia Thomas formerly used the name Will Thomas. Swim Swam reported on November 20 that Thomas “blasted the number one 200 free time and the second-fastest 500 free time in the nation on Saturday, breaking Penn program records in both events.” Thomas “swept the 100-200-500 free individual events and contributed to the first-place 400 free relay in a tri-meet against Princeton and Cornell,” the outlet reported.

Pushing the envelope of fantasy over reality, Thomas (pictured here) gushes that “being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport.”  Yeah, no kidding.

This reminds me of the time, in 2003, a pair of young, intelligent, fit, wealthy, white, and well-traveled men won the reality show Amazing Race around the world and tried to make it into a story about how anybody can overcome challenges because they were gay.  How much obviousness are we going to be expected to pretend is not obvious?

Hiring police saves black lives.

That’s the finding of a study by criminologists at several universities:

“Although the total reduction in homicide is roughly equal across Black and white victims, the decline in homicide is twice as large for Black victims in per capita terms,” the team said. Researchers on the project include Professor Benjamin Hansen of the University of Oregon, Emily Weisburst of UCLA and Aaron Chalfin at the University of Pennsylvania.

On average, across the 242 cities studied, one black resident’s life is saved for every 10 to 17 newly hired police officers.

This means, one, defunding the police is a reckless and counterproductive for activists concerned about minorities.  It also means, two, that the total number of police killings of black Americans, whether excusable or inexcusable, is dramatically overbalanced on the positive side of the ledger.

I may have to open another account with Chase.

ecoRI news celebrates activist Brian Wilder for spending his time harassing Chase Bank.  Apparently, by treating energy companies as, you know, real businesses, the bank  is “funding mass extinction and the climate crisis.”  Who knew?

The fossil fuel industry may not give climate advocates a second thought, but it is harder for banks to shake off bad publicity. That is why Wilder, a Cranston resident, and fellow activists, such as Elizabeth O’Connell of Warren and Diane Hill of North Kingstown, often appear outside pro-petroleum banks or visit their branch lobbies — to let these institutions know their investment choices are helping to endanger the environment and public health.

The wasted human energy, here, is staggering, but it pales in comparison with the harm that would be done if these protests were more successful, from the civic principle that seeks to deprive people of the ability to conduct business to the terrible cost for American families of skyrocketing energy bills.

Fining the contractor for Providence’s Small Business Saturday street closure seems like a cover-up.

This is just a little too neat and tidy a resolution to the story of government incompetence in Providence mentioned in this space yesterday:

The construction company responsible for the closure of a Providence street lined with small businesses during one of the busiest shopping days of the year has been fined for working without a permit.

It’d be interesting to trace the history.  I could see the city generally letting permits slip, except where it becomes a political liability.

Did somebody take over Cicilline’s Twitter, or is polling data scaring Democrats?

John DePetro caught a curious tweet from Rhode Island’s radical Congressman, Democrat David Cicilline:

These smash and grab retail crimes are outrageous! Retailers & small biz have suffered enough from pandemic. Shoppers shouldn’t be terrorized by these criminals. Thx. to police for all they’re doing!

John notes the contrast with Cicilline’s usual rhetoric and speculates:

Perhaps this could be a sign just how nervous democrats are about 2022 and how the Progressive tone of the party is causing panic. There is rumor a Progressive female candidate may challenge Cicilline in a Democrat primary.

I’m not sure Cicilline would react to a progressive primary challenger by moving to the political right, but his party has gone so far left that any moderation at all feels almost like a party switch.

Is Omicron an escape hatch for Biden’s disastrous policies?

I’m not ready to endorse Sundance’s theory on The Conservative Treehouse, but it provides an interesting perspective by which to judge events going forward:

The near horizon looks pretty clear. Gasoline will keep rising fast and will cost $6 to $7/gal before next spring. There is no way under current Joe Biden policy to avoid this, unless he was to completely abandon his energy policy; that’s not likely. The climate change ideologues, academics and far-left communists behind the Biden policy are not likely to see the catastrophic economic damage as a bad thing, instead they will likely say it’s the new normal.

With that level of supply side economic chaos seemingly unavoidable, the only way for Biden to try and mitigate political damage is an attempt to halt the demand side. That’s why the administration needs Omicron.

Under this theory, fear-mongering over new variants of COVID acts almost like raising interest rates to cool the economy, only powerful special interests would be the first hurt by that means (ah, trickle-down), whereas keeping people home and not spending hurts the powerless masses, first.

Here’s the detail that shows how badly Providence government is managed.

Businesses on Hope Street in Providence were all prepared for one of their biggest days for sales: small business Saturday.  Oops:

Providence Water crews closed a portion of the street early Saturday morning and part of the afternoon for utility work. The construction has been happening for some time, but business owners, like Asher Schofield of Frog & Toad, thought the work would be paused on such an important day.

In fact, earlier in the week, Democrat Mayor Jorge Elorza was promoting free on-street parking for the area on that day.

How does the city not have a central location or process to ensure that these conflicts don’t happen?

And of course, it’s (unionized) government, so the clients (i.e., people who live and work in the city) can’t just note the problem and send the workers packing.  Whoever makes a mistake, the consequence is never borne by the organization that collects our money to “serve” the rest of us.

A two-tiered double-standard this obvious is a dangerous thing for democracy.

The so-called QAnon Shaman was particularly unfortunate to have the best outfit among those who pressed into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and has been sentenced to jail for about three-and-a-half years.  Contrast his case, as Jonathan Turley does, with the story of a smirking Antifa thug who attacked a congressman’s office with an ax:

The self-avowed Antifa member took an axe to the office of Sen. John Hoeven’s in Fargo on Dec. 21, 2020. Federal sentencing guidelines suggested 10–16 months in prison but he was only sentenced to probation and fined $2,784 for restitution . . . he then reportedly mocked the FBI for returning his axe. Others declared him a hero and Democratic politicians pitched in for his legal defense.

The situation that our government is setting up is one in which the political right will be less inclined to protest while the political left feels increasingly bold in its destruction and violence.  It’s pretty hard to come to any conclusion other than that this is what Democrats want.

OK, I’m convinced; I’ll avoid Heaven Hill’s brands.

Upon discovering that it’s permissible to sip hard liquor, I’ve been getting into whiskey in the past year.  From that perspective, I find this approach from Heaven Hill distillery simply bizarre:

To celebrate what they view as a just outcome, some whiskey lovers began purchasing bottles of “Rittenhouse Rye.” The brand name is derived not from the recent court case but from Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, an open-space park designed by William Penn and named for an early 19th-century papermaker. …

Heaven Hill evidently wasn’t happy about the free advertising, tweeting, “We have been disheartened to learn that some individuals and businesses have been using our Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey brand to celebrate the Kyle Rittenhouse case verdict, despite the profound loss of life from those events.”

Presumably, the company has a better sense of who buys its products than I do, but these declarations about who should buy their products and for what personal purposes used to be limited to self-righteous musicians.  We should return to that state of affairs.

What’s up with foreign-born billionaires reshaping U.S. politics?

Daniel Greenfield’s look into three billionaires funding the Democrat dark money machine is worth a read:

Politico recently reported that the Sixteen Thirty Fund, the leading dark money machine of the Left, had pumped $410 million into Dem 2020 efforts to defeat Trump and Republicans.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund had raised a record $390 million that year and half the money came from just 4 donors. While the names of the donors are secret, the article did note the names of three major known STF backers: Pierre Omidyar, Hansjörg Wyss, and George Soros.

Funny how the involvement of billionaires is only lamented by RI’s elected officials when they help the other side.

The coverage trend of the Waukesha Christmas Parade Massacre was predictable.

As I predicted, the murderous attack on a Christmas Parade in Wisconsin isn’t getting as much air time as it objectively merits:

Prominent media outlets have already lost interest in the vehicular massacre that took place on Sunday at the Waukesha Christmas parade, a Washington Free Beacon analysis has determined.

Since I last wrote about it, the narrative that the assailant was running from a crime scene hasn’t panned out, so the attack appears even more malicious.  This moves the story from the “ambiguous politics” path toward the “undermines progressives” path, which dictates less coverage.

When they think they’re among friends, they’ll admit that CRT, equity, and anti-racism are all one thing.

I’ve found it very strange.  Simply, plainly things like “equity audits” in our public schools are exercises of critical race theory (CRT).  It’s just a straightforward observation, as far as I can see.

Nonetheless, people will object, even people I thought were relatively conservative and relatively clear of thought.  They’ll insist they are not the same, although they won’t explain where one ends and the other begins.

As far as I can tell, their attitude is essentially the same as claiming that a school that’s teaching children to differentiate shapes is not teaching geometry and, further, that teaching geometry is not teaching math.  Mike LaChance points to a Christopher Rufo tweet of a video in which a CRT expert gives the game away.  CRT is the “container” for all the anti-racist stuff:

“White supremacy” has become a concept to fill gaps in the woke worldview.

Five days is a long time in the social media world, but this comment on the Rittenhouse verdict from progressive Democrat state senator for Providence Tiara Mack is worth memorializing:

THERE IS NO REST. We must all learn how white supremacy impacts everyone, including white people. We know our systems are broken and we must hold everyone accountable to change.

The vilification of “whiteness” is simply a negative god to the woke.  It’s an article of pure faith, and every circumstance must be made to conform with it.

Biden chooses union support over protecting children.

Stephen Green refers to this policy change as “the Pedophile Protection Act”:

Joe Biden’s Department of Education is seeking to roll back a Trump-era effort to collect data on teacher-on-student sex crimes.

“The department’s Office for Civil Rights will not ask school districts questions regarding teacher-on-student sexual assault allegations as part of its 2021-2022 Civil Rights Data Collection, proposed Thursday,” reports the Washington Free Beacon. According to an Education Department spokesman, the change is designed to “reduce burden and duplication of data,” but not everyone is buying that explanation.

For a variety of reasons, this morning, I’ve been thinking about how support for Democrats has mainly to do with (1) purchased votes and (2) a false, long-cultivated image of the party.  This policy is a good illustration of both.

It is in the teacher unions’ interest to focus on the members who are most in need of protection (i.e., most deserving of lower salaries and losing their jobs), and it is in the interest of the Democrats to maintain that cash cow, activist base, and voting bloc.  Meanwhile, children don’t vote, and parents aren’t single-issue voters, even to the extent the media tells them what’s going on.

Vaccines and illnesses are all about the stories we’re told.

During the flu season of 2018, newspapers published a number of heartbreaking articles profiling people who’d died from it.  That was a pretty bad flu season, but still, almost everybody recovered from the flu.  As those articles rolled out, though, it changed how the illness felt.  The stories provided a context of unease.

We’ve seen that many times escalated during the COVID pandemic, but this Epoch Times article about airline workers who’ve had terrible reactions to the vaccine is a reminder of what we aren’t seeing from the mainstream:  the sorts of stories they’d publish if they weren’t promoting the government’s preferred solution:

“I sat down in the chair at the minute clinic, rolled up my sleeve, prayed, asked God to forgive me, and cried,” Williams told The Epoch Times. “The minute they stuck that needle in my arm, pain went up through my neck and I have not been the same since.” …

The day that she received the vaccine, Williams began having severe headaches and muscle spasms that would wake her from sleep. She said she went to bed and stayed there for four days in an “almost coma-like state.”

At what point of domination do headlines stop pretending women are just catching up?

So, ho hum, 32 American students were chosen to study at the University of Oxford via Rhodes Scholarships, and surprise, surprise, the AP report amplifies the progressive stories within the story.  But at what point do the headlines stop promoting the disproportionate distribution of prestigious awards to females?

The class of U.S. Rhodes scholars for 2022 includes the largest number of women ever selected for the scholarship in one year, the Rhodes Trust announced Sunday.

Of the 32 students chosen to study at the University of Oxford in England, 22 are women, the office of the American secretary of the trust said in a statement.

Nationally, females are already disproportionately enrolled in college (about 54%), and this result shows they’re even more disproportionately recognized by the Rhodes Scholarship organization (69%).

If that’s how a merit-driven process shook out, whatever, but at some point shouldn’t the narrative change from proclaiming girl power to wondering what’s going on with boys?

Bezos’s $100 million to Obama is OK, but a local candidate’s reporting error is an offense?

That billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is giving Barack Obama $100 million for his foundation points to the reality that we really have to rethink our concept of money in politics:

“I’m told the $100 million was midwifed by Jay Carney, Bezos’ political sherpa and the former Obama press secretary. Carney ran point for Bezos, and Obama eventually spoke directly with the Amazon C.E.O. earlier this year. The two are not close, but ‘have seen each other socially from time to time,’ Valerie Jarrett, the Obama family’s longtime aide-de-camp told me,” Theodore Schleifer of Puck News reported, adding, “The gift, the largest single donation ever made to the Foundation, has no restrictions on its use. … The Obama Foundation, for instance, has already raised over $720 million from donors toward its $1.6 billion goal, including about $170 million in 2020 and $140 million in 2019, according to recent tax filings.”

Gifts of this size doubtless have politicians salivating across the country, and the rising tide of their spittle shows what a long view corrupt people can take of a quid pro quo.

Sometimes it’s unlucky to have been there to make a difference.

This morning, I wondered out  loud what the public narrative would have looked like had somebody taken action to stop the driver from plowing into a Christmas parade in Wisconsin yesterday.

Writing about Kyle Rittenhouse, David Burkhead may provide a hint of the answer:

“He shouldn’t have been there” is a stupid argument. As a free citizen in a free country on publicly accessible property he had every right to be there. As a free citizen in a free country he had every right to be armed for his own protection. As a free citizen in a free country he had every right to move to stop an incipient disaster (a burning dumpster on its way–never mind how for the moment–to a gas station where it might well set off a conflagration that could kill hundreds).

Burkhead goes on to detail that a burning dumpster when combined with a gas station could have resulted in many more deaths, and certainly much more destruction that night.  It appears that Rittenhouse stopped that.  Unfortunately, in this life we’re not always able to take credit for the bad things that would have happened had we not intervened.

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A sonogram.

Social Media Brings Forth the Most Disturbing Pro-Abortion Argument

Categorically denying a mother’s responsibility to her children means the utter destruction of human society at its very core.

Casual office planning meeting

Politics This Week with John DePetro: PR Bumbling All Around

John and Justin discuss local, state, and national stories with which the messaging is going all wrong.

Paul Kane painting of a native American encampment

The URI President’s Questionable Claims About Farming and “Unceded Territory”

URI’s newly imported president is casually asserting priorities and history that may undermine his own institution and disrupt Rhode Islanders’ ability to determine their own destiny.

The Aristocats on State of the State

State of the State: Aristocats, Reconfigured

After two years of not performing music due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the death of band member Nat Piccirilli, the Aristocats have regrouped and reconfigured.

Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want

An Object for Our Thanksgiving Gratitude

When we remove the sacred from our traditions and sacralize our ordinary traditions, our gratitude can become a target, with nobody authorized to offer forgiveness.

Casual office planning meeting

Politics This Week with John DePetro: PR Bumbling All Around

John and Justin discuss local, state, and national stories with which the messaging is going all wrong.

Paul Kane painting of a native American encampment

The URI President’s Questionable Claims About Farming and “Unceded Territory”

URI’s newly imported president is casually asserting priorities and history that may undermine his own institution and disrupt Rhode Islanders’ ability to determine their own destiny.

The Aristocats on State of the State

State of the State: Aristocats, Reconfigured

After two years of not performing music due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the death of band member Nat Piccirilli, the Aristocats have regrouped and reconfigured.

Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want

An Object for Our Thanksgiving Gratitude

When we remove the sacred from our traditions and sacralize our ordinary traditions, our gratitude can become a target, with nobody authorized to offer forgiveness.

A man with a mirror mask

Politics This Week with John DePetro: A Revealing Week

John and Justin cover lots of ground in this content-rich discussion of political news in the Ocean State.

Darlene D'Arezzo and Clement Cicilline on State of the State

State of the State: Mental Health Issues and Concerns

J. Clement “Bud” Cicilline, former CEO of Newport County Mental Health Center, joins host Darlene D’Arezzo to discuss major issues and concerns facing mental health practice today.

In fairness, it isn’t difficult to make a devastating ad about the still-new Biden administration.

There needs to be a movie about the “Pineapple Express”

No, not a sequel, but a movie about the inspiring story coming out of Afghanistan about “an all-volunteer group of American veterans of the Afghan war launched a final daring mission on Wednesday night dubbed the “Pineapple Express” to shepherd hundreds of at-risk Afghan elite forces and their families to safety…”  Hollywood used to be able to turn inspired-by-real-life-events into a movie quickly (Casablanca was written & in theaters in less than a year), so it won’t come any time soon. But it is a reminder that not all Americans have given up on their allies and friends. They are true heroes.

We need this America back in charge sooner than later.

Do cash-based businesses evade taxes?

Most likely, and good for them.  Naturally, RI’s revenue analysis chief, Paul Dion, objects:

Paul Dion tweets re: cash-based business

Confiscatory taxation on productivity will have that effect.  During the government-enforced economic shutdown, we’ve seen how politicians and bureaucrats prefer to operate:  Rather than allow people to figure things out, they’d rather collect taxes and decide how and to whom to distribute relief.  Who serves whom has been reversed.

Responding to contrasts of treatment of Ashli Babbitt’s killer and cops who’ve killed Black men…

… noting that the “country would be on fire” if the skin colors (and ideologies) were reversed, Glenn Reynolds asks, “So why isn’t it?”

Well, apart from the fact that conservatives are more law-abiding and not trying to undermine the country, the establishment has displayed the rules since January 6.  Left-wing rioting is just free speech.  Right-wing trespassing will get you locked up for months without bail, along with national shaming.

The scary thing is that this encourages the left and bottles up the right, which may make for a bigger explosion when it comes.

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