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ARE THE BUREAUCRATS STRANGLING AMERICA?

ARE THE BUREAUCRATS STRANGLING AMERICA?

A Republican senator views the future with alarm – have we changed, as he says, “from the liberty-loving democracy to a fear-stricken mass of automatons”?

By Arthur R. Robinson, United States Senator from Indiana

We are going through a revolution. Call it what you may — a “change”; and “evolution”; “gradual substitution”; or simply “the New Deal” – the fact is that we have change from a liberty-loving democracy to a fear-stricken mass of automatons ruled by an army of bureaucrats.

Our bureaus which were formerly our servants have now become our masters. Bureaucracy has gone wild in the last year. Today we see a superstructure of more than forty agencies with upward of 40,000 additional government employees.

This is but the beginning. As the gradual change in our form of government moves forward, new agencies are needed. This means more federal employees, more supervision, more bureaucracy – and it all means more money from the citizens’ pocketbooks. But these bureaucrats, utterly irresponsible, do not care who pays the bill so long as they can go merrily on.

This towering burden of bureaucracy contains many incipient dangers to American democracy. We now see in process a moving away from the democracy toward an autocracy of executive dictatorship with countless bureaus and employees, all independent of control by the electorate.

These bureaucrats represent,in large part, plain political spoils. Once in, it is almost impossible to dislodge them, for they wield an increasingly great amount of political influence.

The Home Owners Loan Corporation is reputed to be the worst offending agency of the emergency set-up in this regard. The Senate adopted an amendment to a bill which would make it possible to employ personnel in the HOLC without regard to political considerations. The Senate adopted the amendment; the President wanted it and the HOLC board wanted it; but when the bill reached the House, that body struck out the amendment. Few more unpatriotic acts have been charged against either house of Congress. Yet ever since the advent of the new deal, if anyone has dared criticize, he has been branded “unpatriotic,” “old dealer,” “Tory,” or “standpatter.”

No one has any thought of quarreling with the good intentions of the administration, but present efforts toward recovery have resulted in a virtual abdication of power by the people’s Congress and in a government by Presidential proclamation and edict. Indeed, the system of government now extant is alarmingly reminiscent of the old Russian government by ukase under the czars.

The first step in the much advertised revolution is the virtual abdication of control by representatives of the electorate under the guise of “emergency legislation.” But too often “emergency” enactment graduates into permanent legislation. A majority vote in Congress enacts legislation, but it requires a two-thirds vote to override a veto. Thus constitutional controls are displaced by extra-constitutional controls. This first revolutionary step is bound up with efforts toward hybrid control, some of which is voluntary and some involuntary. Thus as much of the New Deal’s voluntary crop-control efforts fails, we see the administration swinging into an era of compulsory control -witness the Bankhead cotton bill.

Compulsory control is the second major step in the revolution. In industry, with the NRA (National Recovery Agency), we are living under a bureaucracy. Now we learn that the NRA may be made permanent. Industry is being governed by codes, and agriculture is being regimented by voluntary and involuntary crop- and stock-control efforts.

Almost every act of our daily life is influenced directly or indirectly by some of this army of bureaucrats. Here are some of the bureaus or controls, almost every one set up under the New DealAAA, CAB, CC, CCC, CCC [Commodity Credit Corporation], CFC, CSB, CWA, DLB, DSH, Ex-IB, Ex-IB (2), EC, ECPC, EHFA, ECW, FACA, FSLD, FCA, FERA, FFMC, FSRC, FLB, FICB, FSHC, FHLBB, FCOT, FDIC, HOLC, IAB, IBRT, ITPC, LAB, NCB, NEC, NLB, NPB, NRA, NRRB, NPSAC, PAB, PWA, PWEHC, PLPB, SAB, SPBW, RCA, RACC, RFC, SES, TVA, TVAS, USIS, and others.

A political raid foreshadowed what would happen as soon as the bureaucrats could get into the saddle. Just before the present administration came in to power the Senate adopted a resolution demanding that it be furnished with a list of the available jobs in the public service.

This list made a volume of more than four hundred pages and was soon characterized as the “plunder book.” Ironically enough, it was issued on the anniversary of the signing of the first Civil Service Act. Needless to recount what was done with trained and efficient service employees— a literal clean sweep was made by the New Deal regardless of merit or experience.

But the real iniquities began to appear with the Civil Service itself was figuratively tossed out the window and thousands of new employees hired without regard to training or qualifications. Under the lash of the Executive last March, the Congress passed the cruel and inhumane so-called Economy Act. It reduced the budget a few hundred million dollars, but it impoverished thousands of disabled veterans and their families, and depleted purchasing power at a time when it was most seriously needed.

A few millions were lopped from the budget by cutting veterans’ benefits, and several times that amount expended on tree planting in the CCC. Moreover, $148,000,000 was taken from the public works allocation and from labor in the building trades to get the CCC started. Thus useful projects for which money was allocated had to be delayed. Able-bodied young men between eighteen and twenty-five were given jobs while at the same time thousands of disabled war veterans were thrown on charity and relief.

In its annual report last June — and that was before most of the new bureaucratic units had been set up — the National Civil Service Reform League said:

The new administration has turned it’s back on the only method of safeguarding these new agencies from maladministration. Without a single exception the agencies of government thus created have been thrown open to the political spoilsmen to do with as they see fit. The excuse given one objection is made to exemption from civil service tests has been that these agencies are a part of the emergency program and that they may prove temporary in character. A more specious excuse could not be devised to hoodwink the public.

Mark you, this comes from a distinguished nonpartisan body of citizens.

The role of the spoilsman has been eased considerably by the administration’s novel double-budget system. We have had an “ordinary” and an “extraordinary” budget. The former was used to include the ordinary business of operating the government, the latter as a “catch-all” for the emergency expenditures.

When the New Deal was to make a great show of “balancing the budget,” or “reducing expenditures,” and “redeeming pledges to reduce expenditures,” it referred to the ordinary budget. But when it asked Congress for an appropriation of a few million or a few billion dollars, it used the extraordinary budget.

As a result we are faced with a treasury deficit of upwards of ten billions and our national indebtedness will reach a new high when it hits the thirty-two billion mark.

The people should refuse to be deceived any longer. Either we must retrench and safeguard our financial standing or we shall be plunged headlong into reckless and utterly uncontrolled inflation.

More alarming still are the estimates which show that a year after the New Deal began approximately one out of every six persons in the United States owed part or all of his living to the bounty of the federal treasury. In addition to this number more than 860,000 were mortgagors or borrowers of the federal government.

However, the real danger is that almost enough people now owe their living to Uncle Sam to control elections and make this dangerous bureaucracy self-perpetuating. Such a step has obvious perils. It would lead to violent change. Either an extreme right-wing or some form of Fascist control would develop, or the machinery of government would suffer a complete breakdown, which would be followed by extreme left-wing control, communism, or something worse.

We have seen power become more and more centralized. We have seen state lines practically obliterated by controls from Washington, as the federal government has taken over more and more of the so-called reserved powers of the states. New state-encroachment bills are being passed today. With these emergency controls we see regimentation of agriculture and industry. The next step, and the one in the midst of which we find ourselves, is that of compulsory control. After this will come absolute price fixing, and then we may expect a sharp era of income regulation. What next? The collectivism of the New Deal will lead us, if we are not careful, into an era of thoroughgoing regulation. This regulation, if carried to its logical conclusion, may well bring on an autocratic government.

Let America beware!

Bureaucracy never means efficiency — it always spells inefficiency. Look at what it did to Russia during the Russo-Japanese War. We are in the midst of a world that envies us, to say the least. We have a enormous international problems. Bureaucracy, irresponsible and its nature, can settle none of them. Representative government, imperfect though it may be, is still the most efficient devised by man. Let us not discard it.  Constitutional government is as essential to the American people today as it any time in the past.

Only by demolition of much of the vicious structure of bureaucracy which has so suddenly grown up among us may we preserve our freedom and the Constitution of the United States which guarantees a square deal to all men.

The End

This article was published on September 22, 1934 in Liberty magazine. With a few minor changes, it could have been written today. Eighty years later we have failed to heed Senator Robinson’s warning and have instead allowed the federal bureaucracies to expand and flourish – further increasing the federal powers (and debt) while diminishing the States’ powers. We still make first cuts at the expense of our veterans. Senator Robinson references a mere forty new bureaucracies. How shocked would he be to discover the eleven pages of Cabinets, Agencies, Bureaus, Departments, and others currently listed on the federal government’s registry? How would he view our current debt problem and our treatment of veterans?

The article notes “Senator Robinson has been a hard, consistent fighter in the cause of nationalism, also against foreign debt cancellation – on which subject he has spoken his mind in Liberty. He is known especially as a Senatorial champion of veterans’ claims; he himself served in the A.E.F. and the army of occupation on the Rhine, and rose from shavetail to major.”

Franklin Roosevelt had been in office for just over one year and America was in the depths of the Great Depression. Unemployment FELL to 21.7%.

 

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If you like McAuliffe’s plan, he can’t keep it. Massive expansion plans dependent on Medicaid expansion that will never happen.

ImageTerry McAuliffe has gathered the endorsements and support of countless Virginians based on a multitude of promises including;

  • Higher teacher pay.
  • Increased funds to make college more affordable.
  • Better retirement benefits for teachers.
  • Higher spending on K-12 education.
  • Increased research funds for higher education.
  • Increased spending on tourism.
  • Increased spending on inner-city passenger rail.
  • Expanded rail service throughout Virginia.
  • Increased funding for rural health care.
  • Increased funding for mental health.

 Such an ambitious list comes with an equally ambitious price tag, estimated by some as high as $14 Billion but even half of that would represent an unprecedented massive increase of spending. When asked where the money would come from to fund his promises, the New Yorker has repeatedly cited the federal dollars coming with an expansion of medicaid and mysterious and unnamed improvements in efficiencies. I’ll get to the medicaid expansion later but let’s be clear, the savings to be gained from improved efficiencies is minimal at best and given that Mr. McAuliffe has little knowledge of and even less experience in the workings of Virginia government, non-existent at worst.  

That leaves the supposed windfall from medicaid expansion. Now I am not sure exactly how the former DNC chair thinks he is going to convince the Republican dominated Virginia General Assembly to reverse course and vote to expand medicaid or if he is even aware that he lacks the authority to unilaterally make that happen. The fate of Medicaid expansion in Virginia is, by statute, in the hands of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission. According to the code of Virginia 30-347

An affirmative vote by three of the five members of the Commission from the House of Delegates and three of the five members of the Commission from the Senate shall be required to endorse any reform proposal to amend the State Plan for Medical Assistance under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, and any waivers thereof, to implement coverage for newly eligible individuals pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1396d(y)(1)[2010] of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Terry McAuliffe does not have the experience or knowhow to improve efficiencies and he does not have the votes to expand Medicaid and as he so eloquently stated in the first debate;

If we don’t get the Medicaid expansion, we can’t bring in the efficiencies, then I agree with you. There’s not money to be spent.

In other words, all of you suckers who are voting for Terry McAuliffe because he promised you something, be prepared to be disappointed.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in politics

 

Another Great Piece of Art from iMaksim

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It’s been a while since I’ve been out to iMaksim. Frankly, it’s been a while since I’ve been out to many of my old blog haunts, just because. But this one is a great one.
Don’t wait for me. Go out there on your own, frequently. There are plenty of fantastic things out there and the man has real talent.

But remember waaaay back in May when Obama delivered this message at The Ohio State University commencement, right before the IRS targeting Tea Party Patriot groups and the NSA data mining scandals came up? Obama actually said this before those poor graduates children. OK, I meant the young adults that he had reclassified as ‘children’ for health insurance purposes. 26 year old children.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in politics

 

Memo I Didn’t Receive from Goodwill

The poor are no longer willing to accept your old CRT style televisions. Don’t bother. Take those perfectly functional televisions straight to the dump.

That’s what I was informed of today by Goodwill.

So, it proves that Obama’s lay abouts, aka, the ‘Poor’, have higher standards than those of us who bought those TVs and have used those TVs and felt that to recklessly discard those perfectly functional TVs would be helping out ‘the poor’. but instead…………….no thank you.

How fucked up is this country, exactly?

I can’t measure it.

I guess Obama buys votes with high def flat screens and then we pay for their cable bills and he gets their votes, which officially makes us d’bags who actually buy our own shit. What chumps we are.

Hey Goodwill, I apologize for my meager offering.

But I cannot compete with the Obama Mafia. When the Goodwill turns down a perfectly serviceable television for lack of interest and the poor say no way……………and yet the leftists still say there are starving people in this country…….

look. I’ve been actually poor and actually hungry in my past.

Problem solved, I guess, if my donated TV, one that a working dude has recently used, is beneath the standards of the ‘poor’, don’t come to me for anything else. Obviously the poverty problem has been solved.

BTW, I still have 2 CRT TVs in my workshop that I still use. Maybe I should petition the government to get those replaced.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in politics

 

What Is A Parade, How Much Work About the House is Too Much, and Why Don’t I Care Much For Electioneering This Go Around?

I know this is a wacky title, but I wish to condense many thoughts into one, rambling and incoherent post that may turn out to be a masterpiece.

Yeah. Probably not, but it’s what’s on my fertile mind at the moment. So bail out now if you don’t wish to participate.

When I was growing up in southern California we always went to the Rose Parade. It was a magnificent thing, with terrific engineering, beautiful flowers and other flora, and starlets, and Lassie. From my first cognizant years this was the only parade I’d ever experienced and it was magical. As I grew up, I actually made money selling stadium seats as my school was at the corner of Orange Grove Blvd. and Colorado Blvd., where the parade turns. My friend’s house was on the opposite of the same corner and we made a fortune selling parking and were conscripted into sales at a very young age. We made a killing.

But never mind the profit and swaggering 13 year olds with a fistful of dough……

In my middle school years we moved away and I didn’t see another “parade” for…decades. Fast forward to my first parade encounter in those decades. I won’t disclose the location, but it was a small town affair. Horses. Pretty little misses sporting ‘Miss Somewhere’ sashes and tiaras. Shriners in mini cars buzzing around.

Let’s just say that after the majesty of the Rose Parade I wasn’t impressed.

But on the Fourth of July I agreed to help out with….OK….be in…the Beaverdam, VA Fourth of July Parade.

If I thought watching a hometown parade is disappointing, participating in this parade was downright painful and had the potential to be lethal. Here’s why….

The Beaverdam Fourth of July Parade has a route of over 5 miles, some of which is to be ridden by slowly when there is a crowd, and some of which encompasses corn fields and is to be ridden by at speeds in excess of 30 MPH. If you’re a rookie and don’t have local knowledge this can be problematic. Especially if you’ve jumped off of your ride, which in my case was a 55 Ford pickup…sweet ride….but riding on the running boards, passing out campaign bumperstickers………well……..I nearly got dumped off at the first cornfield straightaway and barely saved myself from a massive head injury. But my cat like reflexes saved me that time.

I regathered myself from that near disaster, then we hit another crowd cluster, the truck slowed down, and I jumped off to pass out more bumperstickers. Next thing I knew the truck was at least a hundred yards ahead of me and gaining steam. So I sprinted.

I don’t really sprint at 58+ years old, not being a member of a gym and being a long standing member of the Friends of Marlboro and Bourbon Society. But I caught up to the beast with an athletic display that was Olympian in its beauty. Then we blasted through the next half mile which was all cornfield.

We slowed up again at the elementary school and, having regained my pitiful metabolism and a semi-normal pulse rate, I once again hopped off the 55 Ford and handed out more bumperstickers…..only to be left permanently in the dust by our driver.

This was not the Rose Parade. Parades have beautiful 80 foot floats going along at 3 MPH.

This wasn’t a parade as much as a NASCAR time trial.

I eventually hitched a ride to finish the parade from a County Supervisor, Bucky Stanley.

But you know how stupid I am? Two days later…..

I rented a log splitter on July 6th in 94 degree temps because there was wood to be split.

I won’t even tell you about how much wood I split. I had several massive trees dropped and stacked that needed to be cut into fireplace length with a chainsaw. Then split. I still think I’m in my twenties, I guess. This is after the bathroom remodel which I mostly did myself, the spreading of river rock on the driveway………..I don’t know why I’m complaining. It’s a problem of my own making.

So when these twenty something hired political operatives call me to ask if I want to meet RNC Chair Reince Priebus and to door knock this weekend I’m thinking that maybe I should tell them that I just can’t because I’m waiting for an overnight delivery of a much needed cleaning cartridge for my 8 Track tape player.

Whew. Electioneering is for the young, my friends, but I’ve rested up and……….I’ll be there fighting to save the country once again, I guess.
What choice do I have? I don’t like it, but it’s necessary.

OK, this post didn’t turn out to be a masterpiece, but dissembled into just a story of ill consequence. I warned you that it might be a waste of time.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in politics

 

All In All You’re Just A . . .

As you may already know, homeschooling is with rare exception illegal in Germany, as well as many other countries.  Over the last few years Sweden and Germany have become more tyrannical over the issue, even raiding homes SWAT-style, removing children and putting parents in jail.

Since learning of the Romeikes’ quest for political asylum here in the United States, all I’ve done so far is look up the basic criteria for granting asylum:

“a well-founded fear of persecution based on at least one of five internationally recognized grounds:  race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”

and briefly attempt to debate a commenter over at Tom’s who, unsurprisingly, didn’t stick around for much of my argumentative stylings:

The criteria to which you refer are race, religion, nationality, political opinion, and social group.  I could reasonably argue that social group and political opinion apply, but the most obvious criterion is religion.

Want to take another stab at your argument that their decision to homeschool is not religiously based?

He did not want to take another stab.

The 6th Circuit ruled several weeks ago that the German homeschooling-and-evangelical-Christian family is not eligible for refugee status and should be deported.  The Romeikes appealed for a rehearing en banc. The DOJ responded on the 26th of June.  At this point, the parties are waiting to see if the 6th Circuit will grant the rehearing.  If they do not, the Romeikes’ next step will be to appeal directly to SCOTUS.

Now I’ve had a peek at the two latest briefs.  They aren’t long or complicated.  Basically, the Petitioners said the 6th Circuit panel did not follow precedent for evaluating asylum claims, and further that the panel’s new rule is flawed and the decision erroneous.

The United States responded first with the obligatory standard of proof argument that every party not bearing heightened scrutiny uses in the hopes of winning without getting to the merits of the case.  Then they basically said nuh-uh, they did too decide correctly.

The arguments are mainly legal, but the DOJ also disagrees on a crucial point of fact: whether the German government uses its compulsory attendance law in order to prevent Christians from homeschooling their children for religious reasons.

Appellate courts give deference to trial-level findings of fact.  Since this was an administrative case, the trial level wasn’t in a federal district court, but rather before an administrative judge, who granted the Romeikes’ request for asylum.  In order to rule in their favor, the judge must have made factual findings in favor of the Romeikes.  Yet, the only reference to findings of fact is in a DOJ reference to the “Board.” How that relates to the administrative judge’s decision, I do not know.

Anyhow, in the latest brief the Petitioners used a quote from a high-level German court to demonstrate intent to prevent religiously motivated homeschooling:

Home-schoolers are prosecuted . . . because “[t]he general public has a justified interest in counteracting the development of religious or philosophically motivated ‘parallel societies’ and in integrating minorities in this area.”

Konrad, Bundesver-fassungsgericht [Federal Constitutional Court] April 29, 2003, 1 BvR 436/03 (F.R.G.). A.R. 760.

Got that?  The public is justified in counteracting minority religious groups.  Hilariously, the DOJ expands the very same quote, arguing that the context disproves the quote’s own plain meaning:

Romeike continues to make much of a single line in a German court’s opinion upholding the law here, indicating that the public has an interest in counteracting the development of religious or philosophically motivated “parallel societies.” . . . But one need look no further than the same paragraph from which the “offending” line is drawn to determine that . . . the law has nothing to do with marginalizing Romeike based on any protected status.

The subtle misuse of quotation marks is a nice touch–using them only for the “parallel society,” which should really be a quote within a quote, then coupling it with “offending,” which isn’t a quote at all but a sly way to say yeah right.  The impression is that the “parallel society” phrase might merely be the Petitioners’ over-dramatization, rather than, you know, the actual words used by the German court to describe homeschoolers.

If you are still reading this getting-longer-by-the-minute post, you must be ready to see how the expanded quote shows that counteracting is by no means marginalizing, let alone persecuting:

“The general public has a justified interest in counteracting the development of religiously or philosophically motivated ‘parallel societies’ and in integrating minorities in this area.  Integration does not only require that the majority of the population does not exclude religious or ideological minorities, but, in fact, that these minorities do not segregate themselves and that they do not close themselves off to a dialogue with dissenters and people of other beliefs.  Dialogue with such minorities is an enrichment for an open pluralistic society.  The learning and practicing of this in the sense of the experienced tolerance is an important lesson right from the elementary school stage.  The presence of a broad spectrum of convictions in a classroom can sustainably develop the ability of all pupils in being tolerant and exercising the dialogue that is a basic requirement of democratic decision-making process.”

For anyone whose eyes keep sliding off this formidable bulwark of progressive platitude (dialog with dissenters! experienced tolerance! sustainably develop!), let me rephrase:  we have to be intolerant of you in order to teach your children tolerance.

I can’t help but admire this reasoning.  It’s a perfect example of Orwellian doublespeak–a work of art, assuming you can buy the idea that lying is an art.

Now, I’m no fancy German judge nor United States attorney, but I’m pretty sure that a “religiously motivated ‘parallel society’” is a social group.  You know, one of those little criterion for being granted asylum in the United States if you have a well-grounded fear of being persecuted for membership in it.

Interestingly, social groups to whom the United States has granted asylum in the past include parents of Burmese student dissidents, Mexican men who identify themselves as women and are sexually attracted to other men, and former members of a Salvadoran street gang.  Yet religiously motivated homeschoolers aren’t a social group within the context of asylum?

And threats of jail and loss of your children defo isn’t persecution.

This post has grown too long, the hour has grown too late, and I just used “defoin a sentence.  I need to wrap things up.

You can read more on this case here, and here.  You can sign up for the latest updates on the Romeike case and sign a petition here.  Or you can bang your head in frustration right here, on this handy-dandy visual representation of what children are to those who believe natural rights do not include the right to educate your own kids:

brick wall

cross-posted at No One Of Any Import

 
 

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Justice Department declares Virginia County is no longer racist, Democrats disappointed.

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch

The U.S. Justice Department announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with Hanover County to let the county and the town of Ashland “bail out” of “preclearance” requirements under the Voting Rights Act.

The consent decree, which must be approved by a federal court in Washington, means that the localities no longer would have to get the permission of the Justice Department or a federal judge before making changes in voting procedures.  This follows a lengthy process in which the locality must show it has been free of any voter discrimination for at least a decade.

Any sane and civil Hanover County resident would applaud the fact that the United States department of Justice Civil Rights Division, after a lengthy review process has determined that their locality has been free of any voter discrimination for at least a decade. Most would agree with Hanover County Voter Registrar Teresa F. Smithson who said the status means, “simply that we have proven that we’re not a racist location anymore and that we will not disenfranchise voters based on color.”

Astonishingly not all Hanoverians are happy with the decree. Gordon Silver, chairman of the Hanover County Democratic Committee, called the announcement disappointing and Robert Barnette, president of the NAACP’s Hanover branch, said Monday night that his group will “continue to oppose” the change.

You see, when your power evolves from propagating the victim mentality, and an authoritarian declaration that there are no longer any victims then you are powerless. So instead of celebrating this achievement, they bemoan it. Sad, very very sad.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in politics

 
 
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