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Archive for August, 2017

 

 “Every great moral and spiritual tradition points to the truth that in the giving of self, lies the discovery of a deeper self. . .

. . . When the happiness, security and well-being of others become real to us, we come into our own. Creativity, meaning, resilience, health and even longevity can be enhanced as a surprising byproduct of contributing to the lives of others. This is perennial wisdom, and science now says it is so.

Dr. Stephen Post

(Author of Why Good Things Happen To Good People)

The following article was written by Hakim Bellamy for the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers.

To Give is to Live

For generations
we’ve been trying to fill
the holes inside of us and our society
with money.

To tender the chasm
between the haves
and the have nots.

To balance the injustice
teetering on the backs of our history.

To reach that ever so elusive number
that will one day make everyone
one.

If equity had a price tag
we would have paid it already, plus tip.

If humanity was currency
there is more than enough capital
in this room to cover the spread.

We give for a living
to people, places and things
for whom opportunity
might as well be a foreign language.

Philanthropy has been referred to
by theologians and academicians alike
as the moral likeness of God.

And I’m the wrong person to ask about all that,
but I do know
there is a higher something
that doesn’t speak in burning bushes,
but instead, uses people to do its bidding
and its blessing.

To make miracles of each other.

Cashed in our fortune for feathers
so we can be someone’s angel investor
when they’re at their most desperate.

And even though we give and give and give
in a world that seems to only measure our “commitment”
in dollars and cents
the size of our hearts
gift wrapped in year-end reports and 990s

When our theory of change is evidence-based upon the number of smiles on the faces
of the most vulnerable members
of our most vulnerable families…

We measure success
by the diameter of hugs, handshakes and high fives
by the volume of laughter per capita
by the distance to our dreams
and by our honest assessment of
each and every human in our care’s ability
to reach them.

Because intergenerational prosperity
is a “thing” too.

The measure of a society
is how we care … and who we care for.

And who we don’t care for tells us
a lot about ourselves.

But remember that one time…?

We made a promise to stop caring so much about currency
and made care our currency
made service our gold standard
because the ups and downs of our community
deserve our attention
more so than how much the market can bear the bull.

Where our accountability to each other
matches or exceeds our accountability to shareholders
so much so, that even the accountants count them.

Where friend-raising is just as strategic
as fundraising for the fight.

Where “Phil”
Is short for Phillip,
philanthropy and “fill our cups.”

Where “wealth” and “health”
are nothing more than an initial
or letter of inquiry apart.

Where the highway to heaven,
is more of a staircase
to prosperity,
hewn by wingless angels
just trying to make a halo
out of fifteen cents.

Where we are no longer just looking at the need,
but looking for the cause.

Where we may give a fraction
of our possessions, but we unequivocally give
all of ourselves.

Where the first thing that comes to mind
when we hear the word “compensation”
is Ralph Waldo Emerson.

When we wake up every morning
to make a living,
for someone else,
someone who doesn’t share our home,
language, religion, gender, skin color, sexual orientation,
age, ability, nationality, opposable thumb, or last name …

Where we actually make a life
for one another … because the only life worth living
is one worth sharing.

Or as George Eliot said best…
“What do we live for
if it is not to make life less difficult
for each other?”

Thank you to my good friend Betsy Carlucci
for sharing this with us.

 

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“We created him and now we are rationalizing him. When will it stop?”  

Jeff Flake, Republican Senator from Arizona


Who’s Accountable?

(This will be my last post on Trump for a while . . . I hope! The number and nature of vile and insidious transgressions Trump has perpetrated throughout his candidacy and during his first six months in the Presidency are too many to mention.)

Please read to the end to see what you can do – and do something!

Every day, every week, we think it can’t get any worse and it does. He mocks the disabled, enables police brutality, incites violence with statements such as: “Beat the crap out of him. I want to punch him in the face!”, he tells the Boy Scouts the federal government is a sewer and encourages the teens to boo our former President, he bans transgender people from military service, he fires people left and right, he refuses to hold Russia accountable for interfering in the election, and meets with KGB agents alone in the White House. He grabs for p***y, supported vulgarities from Scaramucci, his new communications guy (now gone, thanks to General Kelly)…

It goes on and on. It never stops. It’s beyond outrageous. It’s crazy. The White House has become a nut house run by its most unstable patient!

As NYT Op-Ed Charles Blow says:

“There is something insidious and corrosive about trying to evaluate the severity of every offense, trying to give each an individual grade on the scale of absurdity. Trump himself is the offense. Everything that springs from him, every person who supports him, every staffer who shields him, every legislator who defends him, is an offense. Every partisan who uses him – against all he or she has ever claimed to champion – to advance a political agenda and, in so doing, places party over country, is an offense.”

People keep hoping he will change. “Give him time” they say. But therein lies the problem. Trump is Trump and he is a psychologically sick man (see my last WoW: Is Trump Mentally Ill?

He is unstable, unpredictable, irrational and out-of-control and that’s not going to change no matter how much time he has. He is simply doing what people

do who are mentally ill. Chaos, incompetency and erratic behavior should be expected. Yet, incredulously, many still support him.

Why and who are they?

  1. The Victims Seeking to Feel Powerful – his “base” – mostly unsophisticated, uneducated/untrained people who feel unsupported and unheard, who feel like they are about to be left behind in a rapidly changing world they don’t understand and to which they don’t know how to adapt. They are afraid and know no other way of reacting than to fight, hate, blame.These are people with a limited scope of understanding or interest in global affairs who are worried about their job losses. Rather than think out of the box and look for other ways to make a living (i.e. coal miners), they stay stuck with what they know. They are in survival.

They have been ignored and they are angry and rightfully so! The Democrats did a lousy job of reaching them. They want a voice and Trump, who could care less about their plight, has given it to them to get himself into power.

Often, because of their limited scope of exposure, they are prejudiced against anyone unlike themselves. Trump reinforces their fears with his hateful rhetoric towards Mexicans and Moslems and they cheer! They readily respond to an “us against them” rhetoric.

They mock the educated because they themselves are not educated and thus feel empowered by Trump’s crass ignorance, bullying and lack of knowledge about history, the Constitution, global affairs, even the Affordable Care Act with his name on it and other bills that require in-depth study and knowledge.

Their lives are run by scarcity, they live in fear and react with anger and hate. They are the people who believe what they read in The Enquirer and are among the 5.9 million people who tune into Alex Jones, the hate monger who claims the Sandy Hook massacre was a government conspiracy under Obama. They respond with mob mentality: “Lock her up!”

These are not bad people. They are uninformed, limited people who are afraid of their futures and are worried about how they will be able to care for their families. They want their old ways back. They want the old America back, the one they understood. They need training, understanding and support.

Unfortunately, their admirable patriotism and “down home” simple values have been severely manipulated and used by Trump and the GOP. They feel powerless and are unlikely to change. They tend to follow authoritarian, “kick-ass” leaders, and are enamored with people with money who live a lifestyle they will never have. In order to feel powerful, they vent their fears and frustrations through negativity.

 

  1. The Misguided Right-Wing Evangelicals who Mindlessly Turn Their Power Over to their religious leaders who claim to stand for a higher Christian calling, but in reality, are just power interest groups in Washington pushing their own agenda while they personally rake in the money.On the one hand, these people try to be Christian and they strongly believe they are when they stand for their values of anti-abortion and anti-LGBT rights and yet, on the other hand, they sell their souls and ignore their other moral values when they support Trump.

    Would Jesus have looked the other way when Trump ridiculed the disabled, cast hatred towards the Moslems, refused refuge to the refugees, viciously demeaned women, bullied the weak, ignored the poor, and lied, lied, lied, lied, lied . . . ?

    Would Jesus have supported the end justifying the means . . . winning at any cost even if you have to violate your own values? Trump does and so does the GOP . . . and these misguided Christians follow.

 

  1. The Powerful who Seek to Overpower – Corporate entities, money brokers, and Republicans who have consciously sold their own souls, violated human decency, eroded dignity and willingly overlooked Trump’s grave, insidious lies and deceptions.They have willingly and knowingly excused Trump’s gross ignorance and lack of critical understanding of how to effectively deal with everything from how the government works, to health care to our rapidly declining relationships with world powers, all to simply advance their own agenda(s).

    In their attempt to pass the Health Care Act, any old Health Care Act, they recklessly put their desire to win at any cost ahead of the health and well-being of the American people. They didn’t care if it was good or not, they just wanted to get it through. They just wanted to win. Get it done so we can move on to the next agenda – lowering taxes on the rich.

They have jeopardized the safety and security of our country, put their personal interests in front of responsible legislation and have been willing to ignore the core tenants of democracy. They have used and manipulated the less fortunate. They have manipulated working class and middle class people to support policies that hurt themselves, by supporting Trump who falsely proclaims his “Christian values” Ha! Trump and the GOP win, they all lose. This group is the most dangerous because they are the leaders.

“If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it. If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?”

Republican Senator Jeff Flake

“When will it stop?” Senator Flake asks. It will stop when other Republicans of influence (the party in power), like the Senator, take accountability for the role they have played in this insanity. It will stop when they all stand up to Trump and refuse to play his dangerous game (thank you, Senators Collins and Murkowski). It will stop when they all stop mindlessly supporting his abhorrent and hateful behavior towards others, his twisted lies and manipulative deceit, his bigotry, prejudice and cruel, crass bullying.

It will stop when they ALL stop being the obstructionist party and start working with people and not against them. For seven years all the GOP did was to obstruct and undermine Obamacare. But when it came time to put their money where their mouth is, they failed. They had  nothing.

It will stop when enough people in positions of influence stop selling their souls to pass their own agendas and start putting human values before hate, decency before deceit and the truth before lies. It will stop when they go high every time Trump goes low. It will stop when they ALL take 100% accountability for their personal actions, reactions and inactions that produced this insidious result called “Trump”.

Please read Republican Senator Flake’s article in Politico: Click here to read full article.

Who is accountable?

We must remember the change that must happen will not come just from Trump leaving. It will only occur when the context changes that supported him into power in the first place, and keeps him there. That will only happen when a critical mass of people of power and influence stop playing an “end justifies the means” kind of game of Win/Lose (winning at someone else’s expense) where they will do anything to advance their own agendas, even violate their own moral standards.

Integrity, mutual respect and honesty are the foundational tenants of civilization that allow people in productive societies throughout the world to peacefully live, work, and play side by side without fear or apprehension. We all have an innate sense of justice and fairness and we all know when we are living and operating in alignment with these principles.

For far too long, the general American populous has been sick of the way Congress has ignored these principles and refused to work together. It has been a disgrace the way intelligent grown men and women have acted like children.

Are they accountable for creating the mind-set in which a wildly dysfunctional figure such as Trump will appear? You bet. And the Democrats are as accountable as the Republicans. They smugly thought they “had it in the bag” and completely ignored the frustrations of the countless millions that needed to be heard. They didn’t hear the cries and furor of those who have felt neglected.

As Fareed Zakaria points out, the Democrats have been so focused on sub groups, women, Hispanics, Black Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, they have lost sight of the need to focus on national unity and that makes a lot of people angry.

Although each of these groups needs advocates, the Democrats have lost touch with the need to hear the wants and needs of those in West Virginia as much as those of the sub groups they support. They didn’t pay attention to attention to the “little guy” and the “little guy” rose up and gave them the wake-up call they deserved.

The Democrats have taken a road that has excluded many. They have refracted a single beam of light into its constituent colors and produced a rainbow, forgetting the motto of our country is: Out of many . . . ONE. They are accountable because they have self-righteously lost a focus on oneness, on a national unity that must respect and listen to everyone.

But never, ever forget . . . we the people are completely accountable, too! Every action, reaction and inaction each one of us took produced the Trump result. We have, and have had choice every step of the way – to vote, not vote, or vote for someone who couldn’t possibly get elected… to speak up or stay silent, to complain, but do nothing… to blame others or seek solutions… to spew hateful rhetoric or build bridges.

Each one of us has chosen every single act of communication we have initiated (intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual) and each and every choice each of us has made has either created connection or separation.

Results don’t lie. Like Senator Jeff Fluke, each one of us needs look no further than the mirror to understand who is accountable and with that realization goes the responsibility to take action.

We need to all stop and reassess our own thinking and the role we have individually played that has divided this country and put a megalomaniac in the White House.

But regardless, Trump has to go because here’s the kicker and mark my words… when people with his level of mental instability feel cornered, or realize they are losing control, they are very likely to do something extreme and horrific to keep from losing. They are often willing to take everyone down with them to prove their virility, their absolute power and control.

The Senate overwhelmingly voted for strict sanctions against Russia (97-2) and made it so the President cannot intervene, thus casting a bi-partisan vote that indicates their significant lack of trust in Trump’s ability to make constructive decisions on behalf of the safety of the country.

This is nothing to fool around with. A narcissistic, psychopathic pathological liar doesn’t think or respond like normal people. Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles Manson come to mind as a big warning as an ever increasing troubled and anxious Trump begins to realize the reality that he does not have the control he feels he must have to keep winning.

How far will he go to prove he is the most powerful man in the world? As Melania herself says, “When he is attacked, he hits back 10x harder.” (She should know.) He threatens North Korea, embraces Russia, alienates our Allies, and the nuclear code is in his hands. (Those who think my warning is an exaggeration know not the behaviors of a narcissist who feels ridiculed and threatened).

A thin thread of hope exists with the Republican Party to stand up to him and so far, aside from a glimmer of hope from a few here and there, the others have shown no back-bone whatsoever. But the momentum is starting to build against him.

At six months into his Presidency, he has an approval rating of 34-36%…the lowest of any President since WWII. People are beginning to wake up. Trumpcare is dead because of brave constituents (many who even voted for Trump) spoke up against it. They are beginning to see the Emperor has no clothes. They are beginning to realize too much unchecked power is in the hands of a crazy man.

But we must do more than this. We must get him out before it is too late. Mind you, I would personally hate to see Pence as President, but that’s just politics.

My concern with Trump is not based in politics.

My concern is to do whatever we can to preserve the dignity of the office of President and the reputation of our country before he destroys them, along with everything that is good in this world.

If supported by enough people, I think a threat of impeachment will get Trump to resign. I don’t believe he will ever go through an impeachment process. He will quit first, shift into his alternate reality world, blame everyone else, claim people kept him from making America Great Again and will declare himself a winner. Like cult followers, his base will follow him no matter what, and all the rest of us will be declared losers.

So be it. Right now, we just need to get him out of there.

What can you do?

  • Write/email/text/call your Senators and Representatives and share your views – Email addresses are available at:  www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
  •  Write/email/call:

Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – Senate Majority Leader:
(202) 224-2541
Chuck Schumer (D-NY) – Senate Minority Leader:

(202) 224-6542
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House (R-WI)
:
(202) 225-3031
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) – House Majority Leader:

(202) 225-2915
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – House Minority Leader:
(202) 225-4965

The following are the most centrist republican congress members and will be good people to contact:

Senator Bob Corker – TN: (202) 224-3344

Senator Lisa Murkowski – AK: (202) 224-6665 – thank her for her HCA vote

Senator Rob Portman – OH: (202) 224-3353

Senator Susan Collins – ME: (202) 224-2523 – thank her for her HCA vote

Senator Bill Cassidy – LA: (202) 224-5824

Senator Jeff Flake – AZ: (202) 224-4521 – thank him for taking accountability

Senator John McCain – AZ: (202) 224- 2235 – thank him for his HCA vote

Senator Lindsey Graham – SC: (202) 224-5972


“With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I am more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.”  

Trump told a crowd at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio
(They cheered.)

 Enough said.

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“Every now and then we are going to have to do this: Step back from the daily onslaughts of insanity emanating from Donald Trump’s parasitic presidency and remind ourselves of the obscenity of it all, registering its magnitude in its full, devastating truth. W
e must remind ourselves that Trump’s very presence in the White House defiles it and the institution of the presidency.”

Charles Blow

Is Donald Trump Mentally Ill?

I don’t like discussing him any more than you do, but the person I have declared myself to be in this world will not remain complacent and is compelled to be sure that others don’t either. Trump is not normal. His residency is not normal and we must not slip into a numb acceptance or be worn down into acceptance by his atrocities.

Our American presidency has been hijacked by a mentally ill man. He has a severe mental disorder and I don’t say that sarcastically. I am merely stating a reality, which I have been saying since he first ran for the Presidency.

Unless he undergoes intensive psychotherapy, he will never, ever change – never! We must stop expecting or hoping he will. We must stop being shocked by his outrageous behaviors. He is mentally unstable and is simply doing what mentally ill people do.

Anyone with any awareness of human behavior will tell you he is a classic narcissist, probably a psychopath and definitely a pathological liar. Our prisons are full of deviants just like him.

“It’s still surreal – horribly surreal – and we aren’t about to wake up.”
Deepak Chopra, M.D.

From the very beginning, countless numbers of highly respected world-renowned experts in the fields of medicine, psychiatry and human behavioral sciences (far more qualified than I) declared him to be completely unfit to be President of the Free World. It had/has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with the fact he does not possess the healthy personality traits, the patterns of stable thinking, perceiving, reacting, and relating – critical for someone with that much power.

You absolutely must read this and listen to this video (click on the link to open video in a new tab): In 2016, Harvard Medical School professor and two other professors of psychiatry addressed the question, “Is Trump Mentally Ill?”

He has no sense of human decency, is irrationally unpredictable, erratic, won’t listen, cannot be taught nor will he learn. He self-destructively brings negativity on himself, likely a result of his deep self-loathing, and he is rapidly losing control.

He has alienated our country from our Allies, Saudi Arabia mocked him with over 1,000 ft. high pictures of his face placed on the side of buildings, he denigrates NATO, pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, and jumped in knee-deep with Putin and Russian KGB agents who played him like a puppet. Fortunately, our Senate was not as gullible and reinforced the sanctions 97-2.

He knows he’s in way over his head (and so does the rest of the world), yet he impulsively acts out, attacks others, and tweets without considering the consequences, a classic avoidance pattern when one doesn’t want to confront the truth . . . their own inadequacy.

He has 3 major antisocial personality disorders. His behaviors exhibit every aspect of a narcissist, psychopath and pathological liar and when these traits become so pronounced, rigid, and maladaptive that they impair work and/or interpersonal functioning, it is known as a psychological disorder. These social maladaptive behaviors are mental illnesses.

Mentally, Trump is not within a normal range of the balanced behavioral patterns critical for the leader of a democracy. A narcissist doesn’t have the moral character, personality traits or temperament necessary to work cooperatively with others, make well thought out decisions or accept the authority of other branches of government like the Judiciary and Congress. Nor can he tolerate the independence of the Free Press and Intelligence agencies.

Narcissists become dictators, megalomaniacs and murderers and they have little to no feeling of respect for others. They need to wield authority over everyone. Hence the frequent comparisons to Hitler who suffered the same disorders as Trump. Let me explain. . .

Trump is a Narcissist. A Narcissist exhibits the same characteristics as a Cult Leader. Joe Navarro, M.D., author of Dangerous Personalities (2014), identified some traits…(Get your pen out and start checking them off for Trump.)

Personality Traits of a Narcissist/Cult Leader:

  • He has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve.
  • He is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success or power
  • He demands blind, unquestioned obedience which he calls “loyalty”
  • Has a sense of entitlement – expects to be treated special at all times
  • Is arrogant and haughty in his behavior or attitude.
  • Has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) which allows him to bend rules and break laws.
  • Takes sexual advantage of members of his sect or cult
  • Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived
  • Publicly devalues as being inferior, incapable or not worthy
  • Is frequently boastful of accomplishments
  • Needs to be the center of attention
  • Insists on having the best of everything
  • Doesn’t seem to listen well or care about the needs of others
  • Communication is usually one way in the form of him dictating
  • Anyone who criticizes or questions him is call an “enemy”
  • Has “magical” answers to solutions or problems
  • Is superficially charming
  • Habitually puts down others as inferior – only he is superior
  • Hates to be embarrassed or fail publicly – when he is, he acts out in rage
  • Doesn’t seem to feel guilty for anything he has done wrong, nor does he apologize for his actions
  • Will do anything to win especially at the cost of others losing
  • Believes he possesses the answers and solutions to world problems
  • Tries to control others in what they do, read, view and think

As a narcissist, he’s a win/lose player and will do anything to keep from losing – ridicule, attack, lie, demean, diminish, humiliate – a real “end justifies the means” kind of guy. Interacting with someone like him never ends well. If you don’t let him win, everyone will lose.

People in my line of work meet people like him frequently. They are destructive in business. They create chaos, rule by intimidation and manage by fear. Their people are cowed into obeying, in fear of losing their jobs.

They are dangerous in private. If their spouses won’t obey them, they abuse them mentally, emotionally and physically. The beatings become more frequent and in extreme cases, they may even kill them. They will not tolerate anyone, ANYONE who resists them. Classic Trump.

Trump is a psychopath. According to the Society for the Study of Psychopathy, psychopath traits include: (Get your pen out again) . . .

  • Lack of guilt/remorse
  • Grandiose sense of self
  • Callousness and a lack of empathy
  • Unwilling to accept responsibility for actions
  • Lack of deep emotional attachments
  • Narcissism
  • Superficial charm
  • Dishonesty
  • Cunning and manipulative
  • Pathological liar
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Reckless risk-taking without concern for others

Moreover, psychopaths frequently end up in the criminal justice system as they have no respect for any rule or regulation that doesn’t support their end game: to have everything their way. Both the narcissist and the psychopath are interested in one thing and one thing only: themselves.

They will win at any cost. If someone is hurt in the process, it doesn’t matter. They simply want their own way. They refuse to lose, be wrong, fail or admit to ever making a mistake. It is always someone else’s fault. Classic Trump.

Trump is a Pathological Liar. A plethora of examples show he is a pathological liar.

People with this psychological disease: (Keep that pen out) . . .

  • Tell stories that are usually dazzling or fantastical, but never breach the limits of plausibility, which is key to the pathological liar’s tactic. (i.e. building a wall between US and Mexico and claiming the Mexicans will pay for it.)
  • Tend to get very uncomfortable and angry, even at innocent questions about their stories. It is generally uncomfortable for them to tell the truth and more comfortable to lie. (Hence his extremely adversarial relationship with the Press)
  • Often contradict themselves and cannot keep their lies straight. They tend not to be concerned with concealing the inconsistencies. (Too many examples to mention and if you don’t know what they are, it’s too late for you)
  • Generally have no remorse about their lies or lying. They are not worried about getting caught lying. In fact, they may not even believe that they are lying. If they are aware of the lie, they are more concerned with the internal gratification of telling the lie than the threat of being found out.
  • Are wrapped up in a fantasy world they create for themselves.
  • Tell lies that present themselves favorably. The liar “decorates their own person “by telling stories that present them as the hero or the victim. For example, the person might present themselves as being fantastically brave, as knowing or being related to many famous people, or as having great power, position, or wealth. (Hence his claim to be the victim of the worst witch hunt in history and his claim to be more presidential than any other president since Lincoln! Sound familiar?)

Energy attracts like energy . . . Everyone around him, his family, his advisors and supporters are also twisted liars. They simply seem incapable of telling the truth.


Who IS responsible??

People keep hoping he will change. “Give him time” they say. But therein lies the problem. Trump is Trump and he a psychologically sick man. He is unstable, unpredictable, irrational and out-of-control and that’s not going to change no matter how much time he has or how many people he fires, hires and fires.

Yes, Trump is a huge problem in our country. Referencing my constant assertion that “Context creates Content”, he’s the contents we find inside the “box” where we all live, and like a cancer, we must rid him from our government. But just getting rid of him is not enough.

We must look at the context that generated, created and caused this monstrous energy to even enter our space in the first place. Remember:

No matter how hard you work on the wrong thing, it makes no difference.

Trump is simply a byproduct of a much bigger and more insidious problem, which I will discuss in my next WoW – Trump – Who’s Accountable? – Part II, but first, we must get him out before he destroys everything America stands for.

 

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