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Starving for Justice

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When we speak of the imprisoned protesters in Egypt, many of whom are now, and have been, on a hunger strike, many of us think of the physical pain itself; how hungry you get in the first few days, what you feel as your body starts adapting to the lack of food, and if it’s a complete hunger strike, the body’s slow trip towards finality.

The physical pain is indeed, horrific, and, depending on how you strike, can be fatal, but, believe it or not – it is not the main issue – the human body, in the final analysis, adapts, and the end of this particular ‘adaptation’ is often death.

The real issue here is the mental, intellectual, and spiritual anguish one must feel in order to resort to turning his own body into a megaphone by which he or she hopes to reach society…

It is the anguish of a prisoner, who knows that he is unjustly imprisoned (because a guilty man, a murderer, for instance, does not think of trying to earn your sympathy by starving himself) – and has chosen to use his body to deliver a final message to his society – “You have become beasts” – in the hope, and surely it is a very weak hope, that some of us will listen to this message and feel the stirrings of their conscience, or that enough of us will hear the message and decide to do something.

Going on a hunger strike is surely a desperate measure, because (if the society lacks conscience) it is suicidal – that much is clear. One, then, should ask – what leads a man or a woman to this degree of desperation? What are the differences between the hunger strikers and yourself?

He must feel that he has been betrayed by the security apparatus.

Do you feel trust towards the police?

She must feel that the Egyptian Judiciary has betrayed her, or at the very least, has let her down.

What about you? Do you trust the judiciary?

He must feel that the larger circle of ‘revolutionaries’, those millions who show up sometimes, but who are now nowhere to be seen, have abandoned him. Surely when he’s angry, he feels that they have, in fact, betrayed him.

Do you trust those revolutionaries?

She must feel that the government has betrayed her, that the Ministry of Justice has betrayed her, that here, in her country, the law and the constitution have become a joke.

Do you feel that there is justice in your land?

He must feel that he’s been betrayed by the media, who hosted him on their shows when his star shone bright, and who are now ignoring him while he is behind bars.

Do you feel that the media has been fair?

She must feel that she has been betrayed by her country….

How do you feel?

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جعان عدالة

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لما بنتكلم عن المساحين المضربين عن الطعام – في مننا اللي بيفكر في المعاناة الجسدية في حد ذاتها. بتجوع قد ايه اول كام يوم، بتحس بأيه لما جسمك بيبتدي يتأقلم. لو إضراب كامل – يبدأ الجسد مسيرته البطئة الى الزوال. المعاناة الجسدية ممكن تكون هائلة و مميته – إنما مش هي جوهر الموضوع. الجسد أخره جسد. بيتأقلم و في الأخر بيموت. المعاناة الفكرية و الذهنية و الروحية اللي توصل بني أدم لانه يقرر يستخدم جسده كصرخة الى المجتمع – هي المأساة الحقيقية. هي مسجون، يعلم انه مظلوم (لأن القاتل، مثلاً – لن يحاول ان يكسب تعاطف الناس عن طريق التجويع) – و يستخدم جسده لتوصيل رسالة واحدة لمجتمعه – “لقد أصبحتم وحوش”. على أمل – و هو بالتأكيد أمل ضعيف للغاية – ان بعضنا سيستمع لهذه الرسالة و يتعقل، او ان عدد كاف مننا سيستمع ويقرر ان يفعل شئ. الإضراب عن الطعام وسيلة يائسة – لانها (إن غاب الضمير العام) – إنتحارية. و لكن ماقد اوصل احد لهذه الدرجة من اليأس؟ ما هي الإختلافات بينك، و بينه؟

انه أكيد يشعر ان الجهاز الأمني قد خانه، و لا يثق فيه – فهل تثق انت في الجهاز الأمني؟ الشرطة و الداخلية؟

انها أكيد تشعر ان القضاء المصري، شامخ كان، ام لا – قد خانها او على الأقل – خذلها – فهل تثق انت في القضاء؟

انه – بالتأكيد قد يشعر ان الدائرة الأكبر من الثوار قد خذلوه – و تركوه خلف القضبان – وعندما يغضب – انهم قد خانوه – فهل تثق انت في الثوار؟

انها – بالتأكيد تشعر ان الحكومة قد خذلتها – ان وزارة العدل قد خانتها – ان القانون – و الدستور – أصبحوا في أرضها نكتة. فهل تشعل انت انك في دولة العدالة؟

انه بالتاكيد يشعر بخيانة الإعلام – الذي إستضافه عندما سطع والأن لا يبالي به و هو خلف القضبان، و لا يعرض قضيته – فهل تشعر انت ان الإعلام ينصفك؟

انها بالتاكيد تشعر ان الوطن نفسه قد خانها…

….

فكيف تشعر انت…؟

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مصر: المرشح الأول لجائزة داروين الجماعية

Egyptian-food-kofta

لمن قد لا يعلم – جائرة داروين – او جوائز داروين – هي جوائز ساخرة تُعطى رمزيا لهولاء الذين “يساهمون” طوعياً في الإنتقاء الطبيعي – بسبب أفعال بالغة الغباء. فمثلاً – تجد في هذا الفيديو بعض الأمثلة -

المهم في الموضوع – هو ان جوائز الداروين – بإختصار – تُقترح على هولاء الذين يساعدوا الطبيعة في التخلص من ذاتهم….

يبدوا للكثير مننا ان مصر الان تتنافس للحصول على جائرة داروين العظمى – اليكم بعض الأمثلة -

أولاً – تظهر “إعلامية” على برنامج معتز دمرداش وتقول له بكل ثقة ان الفوائد المالية المُستحقة لمالكي شهادات مشروع قناة السويس – ستوفر عن طريق بيع “المواد الخام” التي ستنتج عن أعمال الحفر في القناة – وأن قيمة هذه المواد الخام ستكون حوالي مئتان مليار جنيه. طبعاً من يسمع ذلك (إذا صدق مثل هذه الأكاذيب التافهة) قد يتصور ان مصر لا تحتاج للسياحة ولا تحتاج لبيع البترول وكانت لا تختاج لبيع الغاز الطبيعي بل لا تحتاج عجلة الإنتاج من أصله بل يكفينا ان نسلح كل مصري بجاروف و نلقيه في الصحراء لكي “يحفر لمصر” مليارات الجنيهات. وبالأصح – فلماذا نحتاج قناة السويس (او توسيعها) في الأصل!؟!؟ لان (على ما يبدوا) الحفر هو أكثر الأعمال ربحاً فيكي يا مصر. أعتقد اننا نستطيع بكل سهولة ان نرشح هذه “الإعلامية” و كل من إستضافها وجلس بجوارها ولم يتسأئل عن هرائاتها – لجائزة داروين.

المصيبة ليست في إيمان الصاوي وغباء قولها – بل ان فوزها بهذه الجائزة ليس فوزاً إنفرادي – بل يرشح ايضا كل من يصدق مثل هذه التفاهات….

ثانياً – يظهر المتحدث الرسمي لوزارة التربية و التعليم ليقول لنا ان اول اسبوعين في الدراسة لن يشملوا دراسة اي “مواد او مناهج” – بل سيكرسوا للنشاطات – وسيكونان بمثابة “كرنفال” لخلق علاقة “حب” بين الطلاب ومدارسهم. قد نتفهم ذلك ان كان هناك وقت زائد للطلاب في المدارس – ولكننا في مصر، و قد تأجلت الدراسة عدة مرات على مر السنوات الماضية، ومستوى التعليم في مصر (حتى قبل هذه التأجيلات) هابط. بل دعوني أقول هابط للغاية – بل دعوني أذكركم ان مستوى مصر التعليمي هو الأسفل في ترتيب دول العالم. ليس “من الدول السفلى” – بل مصر تحتل المركز الأسفل حرفياً. فكيف يكون تعليمك هو بالفعل الأسوء في العالم كله – و تقرر، كما قال الأستاذ هاني كمال (الله يزيده علم…) اننا (على حد قوله) “لن نجعل الطالب يتحمل عبء المذاكرة قبل العيد، بل أن أول أسبوعين في الدراسة ستكون أنشطة فقط، لنعطي فرصة للطلاب لحب المدرسة، ولن يكون هناك مواد دراسية، بل كرنفال على مستوى الجمهورية في الأنشطة”.

أعتقد اننا نستطيع بكل بساطة ان نرشحه هو أيضاً لجائزة داروين. بكل سهولة. المصيبة طبعاً انه قد رشح معه كل الطلاب الذين كان المفروض ان يساهم في تعليمهم….

فكل مرشح من هولاء يجر وراءه المئات او الملايين من الضحايا “الفائزين” بجائزة داروين…

ثم هناك طبعاً – وبلا شك – خلفية لكل هولاء المرشحين – فان طفرتنا في الترشح لجائزة داروين لم تبدأ بهولاء – وقد لا نجد بدايتها مهما بحثنا – لكن بالتأكيد نستطيع ان نقول ان المرشح المصري الأكثر شهرة الأن (رغم محاولات النظام لجعله منسياً في الماضي) هو “اللواء” عبد العاطي – الذي وصل الي جائزة داروين عن طريق الكفتة – ومرة اخرى نستطيع ان نقول انه لم يصل وحدة – بل ان كرم غبائه قد ورط معه مرشحين أخرين – مثل القوات المسلحة – المشير عبد الفتاح السيسي، الرئيس السابق عدلي منصور، و كل من قدم هذا النصاب للشعب المصري على انه سيعالج أمراض يعاني منها ملايين المصريين. وطبعاً – ضحايا عبد العاطي – او بمعنى أصح – ضحايا القوات المسلحة في هذا الترشيح بالذات لا تقف عندهم – بل تشمل كل من صدقوا عبد العاطي من مشجعي السيسي وكل من هاجم بعدوان شديد كل من إنتقد جهاز الكفتة. فلابد ان نذكر مثلاً – أمثال “الدكتورة” نائلة عمارة – التي دافعت عن الكفتة بضراوة و قالت اننا يجب ان نمنع “العلاج” عن كل من شكك في الكفتة، و عن عائلاتهم وعن أصدقائهم وعن كل “من تشدد لهم”. اليوم – تقف “الدكتورة” في الصفوف الاولى لمرشحي جائزة داروين….

و تستمر مصر في العطاء – فعندك كل من صدق ان وزير الدفاع سيكون رئيس “مدني”، و كل من ينشغل بالأمل تجاه مشروع قناة السويس “المفاجئ” ولا يتسائل عما حدث في مشروع الدلتا الموازي التي تكلم عنه السيسي أثناء الإنتخابات، وعندك كل من يتوقع انك تستطيع ان تحصل على إستقرار في غياب تام للعدالة وفي حين ان أغلب الشعب المصري قد فقد ثقته في القضاء….

الأمثلة للأسف لا حصر لها – ونحن حتماً – بهذا الشكل – سنفوز بجائزة داروين العظمى….

06
Sep 2014
POSTED BY KarmaMole
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Another Article Removed by Times of Israel

Earlier today. I saw an article on the Times of Israel titled “Does This War Make Me Look Fat?” – I posted it on Facebook, but then it was removed. This is the second time this week that The Times of Israel has published and then deleted articles that clearly reveal just how insane and callous Zionism can be – the first was an article explicitly called “When Genocide is Permissable”. In any case, for those who are interested – I managed to copy the article in full before it was removed :

First – a screenshot -

And now – the actual text – in full -

BEGIN ARTICLE

Try as may, I cannot stop rockets with M&M’s. Hershey’s syrup doesn’t stop the sound of booms, Cocoa Pebbles don’t stop sirens, and chocolate, glory be thy name, doesn’t stop war. I have tried in earnest to employ all of these methods and alas, Operation Tzuk Eitan is still in full swing. My name is Rachel and I am a chocoholic.

I have lost nearly 30 pounds since making aliyah and have a significant amount more to go. Despite a love of exercise and vegetables, I find myself eating not to alleviate hunger, but to satiate the worry, the fear, and the reality that we are in. Though I live in Beit Shemesh, an area not nearly as badly hit as those in the south and Gaza belt, the sound of that dreaded siren means the same thing no matter where you live; there’s a missile aimed at us, shot by people who want us dead. Even one of those is enough to make you freak out. Dare I add, even one those is enough to make the people who love you who don’t live in Israel, freak out, too.

When the war started weeks ago, though I’m having a hard time remembering what it was like pre- war at this rate, I found myself “war shopping.” In the States, when a heavy snow storm was predicted, grocery stores would fill with people shopping like the famine was coming. Shovels, rock salt, milk, water, and bread would fly off the shelves like there was literally no tomorrow. I was one of those people who admittedly blurred the lines between practicality and OH MY GOSH WE’RE NEVER GONNA EAT AGAIN! It had nothing to do with the starving children in another country, but the mere possibility that we’d run low on coffee before the snow had melted. Honestly, I can’t really tell you what I accomplished by war shopping other than to feed my increasing anxiety about living through it. I assure you that our grocery stores have not shut down, no one has starved, and we, thank G-D, still have plenty to eat.

Food has traditionally been a source of comfort for me. I am a child of a Depression baby and as such, grew up with food that I was certain grew from our kitchen table. We always teased my mother, may she rest in peace, about her seeming ability to feed the entire third world with the food in her freezer alone. She shopped for the people in the house, who might come to the house, and people who drove past the house. I grew up with food as a source of goodness and love, so I guess it makes sense that I’d use it now to try and make things better. It doesn’t.

It is comforting to know that I am not fighting this Battle of the Bulge alone. In a recent and very unscientific Facebook survey a friend polled her community by asking, “Eating more or eating less because of the “situation”?”

The answers varied, but most came to the conclusion that war is bad for your waistline. Many respondents admitted that their chocolate and carb consumption had gone up, as had their weight, while others said they were eating less as a result of the tension. Not eating because of stress is something I just can’t relate to; I don’t understand it and it confuses me. To be clear though, I am in awe and unabashedly jealous of people who can pull that one off. The common denominator everyone could agree on though was that war is stressful. It doesn’t matter if you have a child in the army or know of someone else’s on the front lines, whether Hamas is shooting at you non- stop, or every now and then. Knowing people want you dead? Not terribly calming.

It’s hard enough to watch your weight when things are relaxed. It’s that much harder I find, when consumed by social media, news, and the insanity of folks who still think the good guys are the bad guys. I feel The Grip of all of these things on my brain, in my nervous system, and struggle with things like,

How can I work out when 3 more soldiers have been killed? How irreverent does that make me?

The reports say that the soldier may still be alive. I should wait to see what the updates are.

Oh man, my “red alert” app is going off like gangbusters. I want to stand up and do something else, but they just don’t stop!

Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW how ridiculous this sounds. But I also know that I share this obsession with others who like me, logically get that being glued to a computer isn’t going to help us win the war any faster. The longer I sit, the less energy I have. The less energy I have, the less desire to cut open a bag of lettuce instead of plowing through a box of cereal. War really is bad for the waistline but it also wreaks havoc on the mind and soul. And that coupled with a case of “I am now one with my chair,” makes for yet more stress, more anxiety, more poundage, and no clearer end to what’s going on.

The good news? We are in these battles together. The existential ones, the physical ones, and the ones involving foods that call our name. I look forward to the day when this war is over, when missiles are no longer aimed at us, when our enemies no longer force us to protect ourselves in ways we wouldn’t otherwise fathom. May we soon be able to refer to this time the way we lovingly refer to many of our holidays,

They tried to kill us, we won, LET’S EAT!

END ARTICLE

NOTE: Here’s the link to the page the original article was on –  http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/does-this-war-make-me-look-fat/

04
Aug 2014
POSTED BY KarmaMole
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Philip K. Dick on Israel

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This is a letter Philip K. Dick wrote in response to Israel’s bombing of the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981. It’s worth reading these days because, as with his science fiction, PKD remains prophetic….

Philip K. Dick is, arguably, the science fiction author, and the mind behind such movies as Blade Runner, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, and many others.

The letter is fascinating in many regards; for a start PKD’s approach is well thought out, in his first paragraph he outlines the logical problems inherent in Israel’s attack on Osirak. In the second, he discusses the state of mind that leads to such paranoia, and in the third, he warns Israel, and insinuates that they are possessed by the memory of a madman…

Read on –

(From ‘The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick 1980-82′)…

Dear Ron Hendren,

Regarding Israel’s pre-emptive air strike on the Iraqi nuclear power plant I see several objections to the P.M.’s position. Israel’s government should have been prepared to offer substantial proof that weapons were in fact going to be produced at the reactor site. This proof should have been presented at today’s news conference, since Israel would have anticipated long in advance the adverse world opinion. Does this mean that Israel has no substantial proof? The burden of proof is on Israel, not on Iraq; this is, Iraq does not have to prove that it was not going to produce weapons; Israel must prove that it was. Second: Israel’s P.M. has stated that if Iraq rebuils the power plant Israel will destroy it again, but the P.M. did not say “if it appears that the plant will be converted to weapons production”; does this mean that Israel regards any nuclear power plant in an Arab country a threat, even if international regulatory agencies monitor and inspect the plant regularly? Third: why was the air strike conducted one day before the six-month inspection was to take place? On the Monday following the air strike it would have been possible for the international regulatory agency to have ascertained if in fact there had been – or was planned – a diversion toward weapons production. Fourth: Israel’s P.M. pointed out that once the plant was hot were it to be bombed many thousands of Iraqi citizens would have died from the radioactive fall-out; in that case, by possessing a nuclear power plant, Iraq was making itself incredibly vulnerable to destruction from the air – titanic destruction; possession of the plant, then, would be a two-edged sword. It could possibly be diverted to weapons production but it de facto was a time bomb situated near Baghdad. The actual military advantage, it would seem, lay with Iraq’s enemy, Israel. How could Iraq possibly attack Israel under such circumstances?

The fallacy of the argument in favor of pre-emptive war is that it assumes knowledge of the motives and intentions of other countries. It was a primary contention of Nazi Germany that a ring of enemies surrounded it, justifying (at least in the eyes of the Germans) pre-emptive war. By this same argument, the U.S. should have attacked the Soviet Union before the U.S.S.R. developed the A-bomb and certainly before it had the H-bomb. And in fact this argument was advanced in the late Forties. I am a Quaker and I deplore military “solutions.” The premise here seems to be that Arabs are unstable people who cannot be trusted. They should not have nuclear power plants because they will sneakily find a way to divert plutonium to weapons production despite all efforts at oversight and regulation. Now, it is the opinion of U.S. intelligence that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, and would have used them in the last war had the war gone against them. (In fact the U.S. is said to maintain constant tracking of the deployment of Israel’s nuclear strike force by means of observation satellites.) What Sunday’s air strike really boils down to – and I think you pointed to this in your commentary today, but perhaps only by implication – is that the balance of power in the Middle East must be kept in Israel’s favor in terms of nuclear weapons, since Israel is one small country surrounded by many hostile Arab countries. But it is Israel’s tragedy if she alienates world opinion and finds herself standing alone; she will have engineered the very thing she fears and suspects: an implacable, hostile ring around her, much as Germany experienced after World War One. The problem with paranoia in individuals and in nations is that it brings about the exact conditions that it suspects; paranoia is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Israel must not taunt the world with the fact that she is militarily capable of destroying any and all nations who might attack her because there is always the chance that this boast will be tested precisely because it is made.

Israel’s best chance for survival lie in the goodwill of the international community, not on sophisticated American weapons, plus Israel’s own nuclear capability. Military power is not, in the final analysis, the answer to Israel’s problems any more than it is the answer to ours or the Soviet Union’s. International cooperation is the answer in this global village we inhabit. Israel expresses a reactionary stance that would, perhaps, have made sense three thousand years ago. Those days are gone. Unless Israel can accept the existence of the Arab people as her neighbors she will by fighting pull her own self down, as many nations have done before her. There is a wonderful thrill in pre-emptive military strikes utilizing the most advanced weapons the world has to offer, and this thrill drove the Third Reich to horrible ruin, and, with her, much of the world. It was Hitler’s theory that the ultimate victory of fascism was that it would compel its enemies to imitate it, to become what it itself was. The ghost of that madman inhabits the taunts proffered the world by Israel’s P.M., and this is tragic indeed.

Cordially,

Philip K. Dick,

June 9, 1981

23
Jul 2014
POSTED BY KarmaMole
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Call To Journalists Worldwide…

sps

I understand and appreciate your attempt to free your colleagues who get arrested by brutal regimes, and subjected to draconian and ridiculous kangaroo courts, and I applaud your efforts to publicize this issue, however, I think you can do a lot more and I am writing this message explicitly so you can not claim to not have had a better idea.

It’s not enough to tweet photos of yourselves with your mouths taped up, nor is it enough to hold up pieces of paper on which you’ve written hashtags intended to draw attention to your plight or that of your fellow journalists. I believe you have to take a far more radical approach.

Stop.

Just stop. When you’re asked to write your newest column, write only these twenty words – “I refuse to report so long as my colleagues cannot. This column will remain silent until my colleagues are free.” and nothing else. Substitute the word ‘column’ with ‘show’, ‘article’, ‘segment’, etc – depending on your medium, whether it’s a newspaper, a TV show, a website, etc –

Make people outside of Twitter and Facebook get the message, show them the real force of your solidarity, and impose an embargo on both viewers and governments that do not realize the magnitude of oppression that your colleagues suffer. Force everybody to adopt the issue, and make it their own, force the issue into everyday conversation, and force the urgency on people outside of the journalistic profession. This is not a local issue, this is not even a national issue, this is a global issue, and it’s one of integrity, honesty, and truth. Journalists worldwide feel very strongly when one of them suffers injustice just for doing his job, commit yourself to that feeling, and take it the logical conclusion. Force the issue.

Good luck.

08
Jul 2014
POSTED BY KarmaMole
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Imagine…

hands-in-chains

Imagine that your country was run by a corporation. Now imagine this corporation has managed to take over at least a third of the country’s assets. Imagine if this corporation enacted laws that allowed it to enlist most of the young men in the country as slave labor, getting paid peanuts, and having to work all day, sometimes in productive jobs, and sometimes sending men to do nothing more than smoke cigarettes as they stood in a deserted spot of land. Imagine that this corporation was run by a cabal of business men who were above all the laws, and subject to none of them – so that they were not held accountable to the country or to its laws. Imagine further that this corporation could not only ignore the law, but could actually change laws to suit itself. Imagine if this corporation was not only exempt from taxes, but was actually partly funded by taxes, and received further funding from foreign countries, all on top of the profit that it makes from its businesses selling gasoline, water, pasta, cheeses, and various foodstuff. Imagine that these profits are made at almost no cost to the corporation since the labor, as we said before, was basically slave labor. Imagine that this corporation not only controlled the law in a country, but also had the power to tailor the constitution so that all the citizens of the country were subject to the laws of the corporation, whereas those employed by the corporation were subject only to the laws of the corporation, and to its board of directors. Imagine if this corporation could kill anybody that it chose to, imprison anybody that it chose to, direct the media as it saw fit, destroy any media that it didn’t approve of, ban any writers that it didn’t like, and it could do all of this with complete impunity. Now imagine that this corporation was not only immune to the law, but in actual control of the judiciary, and could impose sentences simply by lifting up the phone, and giving directives to judges, telling them exactly what kind of verdicts it wanted to see in any cases that piqued its interest. Imagine further that this corporation had greater powers than the president himself, but that, just to be sure, it chose to install as president one of its own, who continues to serve it’s interests. Imagine that this corporation held an absolute monopoly on the use of heavy weapons in the country, and that, just to be sure, it employed the police force as it’s first line of defense, since, as a matter of public relations, it chose not to get its own hands ‘dirty’ when that could be avoided. Are you starting to realize that you really don’t have to use your imagination at all?

Welcome to Egypt.

06
Jul 2014
POSTED BY KarmaMole
POSTED IN

SeptiC (Politics)

DISCUSSION 2 Comments
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