Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Biden/Reade: Our Words Matter

(Thanks to my friend and colleague Darrell Lucus, who was kind enough to share some of his research with me for this article.) Tara Reade is an unrepetant, shameless liar. That is not a fact. It’s a conclusion I am quite comfortable drawing from the evidence we’ve seen. But that’s not why I’m writing this. We need to discuss how we talk about Joe Biden in light of these specious allegations. I’ll get to that in a little while. Short version: if we choose to disbelieve the Reade allegations, then we need to not call Biden an “alleged sexual abuser” or any other such garbage appellations. Don’t do it. If you do, then much of the damage Reade apparently intended to do is done. I was sexually molested at age 14 by a man who I thought was a friend. My next-door neighbor, another 14-year old boy, was also molested by the same man. My wife survived a large number of horrific sexual attacks from multiple people, including family members. We are not the only two in our families to experience sexual abuse. So when I declare my willingness to call Reade a liar (as well as another Biden accuser, former GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who was debunked within hours), I don’t go there hastily. Anyone who says they were sexually harassed or abused should be listened to, and their allegations thoroughly examined. But, since people can and do lie about, well, anything, they should not instantly be believed and the ones they accuse should not instantly be convicted in the court of public opinion. I don’t like talking about that personal shit. But, you have a right to know where I am coming from. Warning: This is a long-ass article. You may not want to read it all at once. Take a break. Bike around the neighborhood. Pet the cat. Do a jello shot. Whatever. It took me a while to sort through everything and put it together, and it will take you some time to get through it – especially since I really want you to read the end. (If you skip to the last section, you won’t hurt my feelings too much.) March 2020 Allegations On March 25, Reade, a former member of Biden’s Senate staff, went on Katie Halper’s podcast and accused Biden of publicly groping her in the Senate Office Building in 1993. She said that she brought Biden a duffel bag as per his request. Biden pushed her against a wall, kissed her neck, put his hand under her skirt, penetrated her with his fingers and asked, “Do you want to go somewhere else?” For an April 19 NPR article, she told a reporter, His hands went underneath my clothing and he was touching me in my private areas and without my consent. Reade says she must have refused him – her memories are unclear – and then he said, “You’re nothing to me, nothing.” Moments later he took her by the shoulders and said, “You’re okay. You’re fine. You’re OK,” picked up the bag, and walked away. Biden staunchly denied the allegations, telling MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, “I am saying unequivocally: It never, never happened,” and advising that all such allegations should be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. His deputy campaign manager, Kate […]

Will Trump Attack the US In Revenge for Not Re-Electing Him? A Psychologist Says...

The 2020 presidential election will decide either the life or death of America. — John Gartner I have a list of things I fear — death by fire, a decline into dementia, Pop-Tarts — but I have never feared Donald Trump or his goose-stepping minions. I loathe and despise them, and I fear for the people whom their policies actively hurt (most all of us, really), but I don’t fear them. Neither should you. However, I do feel a deep apprehension for what Trump might do if and when he loses re-election in November. We all think, hope, pray and anticipate him getting his ass dragged around the block by Biden in November, but there’s a question: what will Trump do in the event he loses? Psychologist and psychotherapist John Gartner, a specialist in borderline personality disorders, has those same worries. And he feels Trump will go out swinging. Trump’s bagman Michael Cohen said in Congressional testimony in February 2019: Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power. I’m not worried about him not leaving the White House, as some do. It doesn’t matter if he acknowledges the loss or not. If he loses in November, his presidency ends at noon on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, no matter what he and his idiot brownshirts say or do. I like to think that, given Trump’s penchant for belligerent, bullying behavior towards his “inferiors,” there will be plenty of Secret Service agents who are waiting for 12:01 pm on January 20 to put him on the ground and arrest him for trespassing. (Or just beat his flabby ass and throw him out of the front door. I’m good either way.) Former US Attorney Barbara McQuade agrees, writing for The Atlantic: “[T]he newly minted president would possess … presidential powers. If necessary, [Biden] could direct federal agents to forcibly remove Trump from the White House. Now a private citizen, Trump would no longer be immune from criminal prosecution, and could be arrested and charged with trespassing in the White House. While even former presidents enjoy Secret Service protection, agents presumably would not follow an illegal order to protect one from removal from office.” She doesn’t say anything about the Secret Service beating the brakes off him in the East Room, but I think privately she might get a chuckle out of the idea. Nor can he just cancel the election. If he does something insane to disrupt the election to the point where it cannot be held, then on 12:01 pm of January 20, 2021, Nancy Pelosi becomes president. Boy, would he hate that… What Gartner fears is the motivation for vengeance an infuriated Trump would feel in the days and weeks after the November election, should he lose it. You can forget about W’s being pried off keyboards. Trump is psychologically capable of far worse than that. Since Trump has taken office, he has performed not one action that was taken on behalf of the American people. Not one. He started by lying about the size of the crowd during his inauguration and attacking the media over its inauguration coverage, and in the last several days has recommended that Americans inject themselves with disinfectants to battle […]
Nick Step / Flickr Harvey Weinstein...

Weinstein Is Guilty. Did A New Day Just Dawn?

As I type this, Hollywood mega producer Harvey Weinstein should be just about done with his intake processing at the county lockup where he’ll await his sentencing next month, modeling his adorable new orange jumpsuit, and with his blankie and pillow in the basket of his walker as he heads off to his new digs. I haven’t felt this good since the perp walk video of Bill Cosby being led out of court upon his conviction. But I think that the conviction of Weinstein today has even bigger implications than Cosby’s did. Weinstein was found guilty on two of the five counts he faced. The jury was unable to convict him of the predatory charges that would have locked him up for good. But even so, his 67 year old ass is facing 25 years in prison, you do the math. The reason I say that this verdict has such wide ranging implications is this. Weinstein was no college junior who got wasted at a party, took a step over the line, and was defended in court by the family attorney. Weinstein had basically unlimited funds for his defense, and presumably the best criminal defense attorneys that money ban buy. And what did Weinstein get in return for all of that money? The age old rape defense nursery rhyme, Slut shaming, and victim blaming.  They claimed that every act was consensual, and that these sore losers were trying to take down a rich, powerful man. They used the fact that these women maintained civil relationships with Weinstein after the alleged rapes to claim that they were liars. They pooh-poohed away the claim that these terrorized and victimized women may have been forced to remain at least civil to their attacker if they wished to be able to continue to earn a living. And they tried a novel approach. They tried putting the “me too” movement on trial as well. They tried to claim that the movement created such a poisonous lynch mob mentality in the public sphere, that it was impossible for a powerful man such as Weinsten to get a fair jury to hear the case. Once again, they tried to turn the victims into the villains. And they lost. This case was basically different from the Cosby case. In the Cosby case, the victims alleged that Cosby used illegally administered drugs to take away their freedom of choice. There was no such accusation here. This was good old fashioned, blunt force rape, by a man with the power, and the willingness to use it. Right now, if I’m a criminal defense attorney who takes on rape and sexual assault cases, I’m seriously considering having a Come to Jesus moment. Weinstein’s defense was a classic rape defense, used for decades. Shame the victim, turn them into the deceitful predator that used their wiles on an unsuspecting man, and then claim rape when the man moves on to somebody else. And even with all of his fame, all of his power, and all of his wealth, it didn’t work.  Watch Harvey Weinstein.  Because this isn’t over. Weinstein faces additional criminal sexual assault charges in Los Angeles, and that trial us upcoming. It will be interesting to see whether Weinstein chooses to keep his current representation for the L.A. trial, or gets new attorneys. But regardless […]

Surveillance Video From Night Of Jeffrey Epstein’s First Suicide Attempt Has Mysteriously Vanished

The Metropolitan Correctional Center where Jeffrey Epstein allegedly took his own life admitted Thursday that they had lost the surveillance video from outside Epstein’s cell the night of July 23, when he allegedly made his first suicide attempt. New York Magazine Intelligencer: Prison authorities state that they “inadvertently” deleted the footage from outside the cell of Epstein and former cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione, saving over it with tapes from another tier of the facility. “As a result, video from outside the defendant’s cell … no longer exists,” prosecutors wrote, adding that there is no backup system on which it is saved. […] After concerns late last year that the video had been lost, prosecutors claimed in December that the footage had been found. But on Thursday, they alleged that MCC staff “inadvertently preserved video from the wrong tier” after being informed by the FBI that the footage they’d handed over was from a different floor. Prosecutors cite “technical errors” as the reason there is no backup. “It is stunning that a video which we asked to be preserved and which the jail should have saved without a request was destroyed,” Tartaglione’s lawyer, Bruce Barket, said in a statement. […] The obliviated footage from Epstein’s first apparent suicide attempt will certainly encourage the widespread speculation that the alleged sex trafficker did not kill himself. It’s a theory that is not without fuel already, as a pathologist with a mixed record determined that his death “points to homicide;” his own lawyers assert that their client didn’t kill himself; and the FBI is currently investigating if “criminal enterprise” played a role in the financier’s death. While I have nothing but the greatest desire to stay factual and never indulge in conspiracy theory, I think this entire case has stunk on ice from the get go. I think Epstein was murdered and that was my opinion from square one. First Epstein was found semi-conscious and said that his cell mate, Nick Tartaglione, charged with murdering four men and burying them in the backyard, “roughed him up.” Then Tartaglione’s attorney’s requested that the video of the outside of the cell be obtained, in order to prove their client’s innocence. Even with their request for the tape as evidence, the tape vanished. Then Epstein was moved to high security, where there were staffing problems and guards that fell asleep, giving Epstein the chance to kill himself — or to be killed by somebody else. There is a confluence of unlikely factors here, leading to Epstein’s demise. If there was only one anomaly, you could dismiss it, but a series of them? All of which can be reasonably interpreted as a means to allow someone to do away with Epstein? And God knows there was no lack of motive, given the kind of information Epstein possessed. Murder is analyzed in terms of motive, opportunity and weapon. Motive is not a question here, and it would appear that opportunity was arranged, and we already know the weapon. I don’t think any of this is coincidence. You know the old parable. First time is happenstance, second time is coincidence, third time it’s enemy action. It will be interesting to see what the FBI concludes on this case.

Prison Guards Who Fell Asleep the Night Jeffrey Epstein Was Murdered Arrested Tuesday

It looks like the nebulous circumstances surrounding the sudden demise of Jeffrey Epstein are about to come under some much needed scrutiny. It’s about time. New York Times: Two federal workers who were on duty the night Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail are expected to be charged Tuesday in connection to their alleged failure to check on him, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The two federal Bureau of Prisons employees are expected to appear in United States District Court in Manhattan. The charges would be the first to arise from a criminal inquiry into the death of Mr. Epstein, who hanged himself at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. A person briefed on the case had earlier said that the two federal workers had already been arrested, but others involved in the case said later in the morning that the arrests had not yet been carried out and the two workers would be charged later in the day. These are the same two people who fell asleep the night of Epstein’s death, and subsequently falsified records, saying that they had checked in on him every half hour. Again, without wanting to foment a conspiracy theory, it is unusual that these guards fell asleep, unusual that Epstein’s cell mate had been removed, and most unusual that the video tape of the hallways that night has never been released. Those facts, coupled with forensic evidence that is not conclusively in the death-by-suicide column, but may reasonably be interpreted as death-by-homocide, do beg for a bit more scrutiny, I think it fair to say.

Two Independent Pathologists Weigh In On Jeffrey Epstein’s Death and On the Fox News...

A few days ago medical examiner Michael Baden went on Fox News to challenge the findings of New York City’s chief medical examiner, with respect to the death of Jeffrey Epstein. Baden had been hired by Epstein’s brother, and he also has a reputation for his interest in high profile cases and seeking the limelight. That said, he may not be entirely wrong in his views that the evidence indicates Epstein may have been murdered rather than having committed suicide. Other independent experts have weighed in and they indicate some points of interest that ought to be taken into consideration, with respect to the Epstein autopsy. Rolling Stone: “The reason we do full autopsies is to make sure that the outsides and the insides correlate and that everything makes sense. I always do an autopsy with a skeptical lens,” Priya Banerjee, M.D., an independent board-certified forensic pathologist at Anchor Forensic Pathology tells Rolling Stone, noting that since she was not directly involved with the investigation, she could not comment on specifics of the case. “In addition, any death in-custody is scrutinized in fine detail to evaluate what led to the person’s death.” In cases like this with a detailed workup, Banerjee says that she would usually X-ray all the bones involved individually, and take microscopic sections to characterize them, as well as possibly get additional evaluation by a forensic anthropologist in order to get a better idea of what caused the fractures. “When I see injury of the neck, it’s always worrisome. The neck is generally a very protected area,” says Banerjee, who has worked on hundreds of cases involving injuries to the neck including hangings as well as homicidal strangulation. “The hyoid bone is a very delicate U-shaped bone. It is easily broken when pressed, similar to how a wishbone in a turkey can break with pressure. It is as the base of the tongue, high up in the neck in a very protected area, so that’s why it’s not easily reached.” The larynx contains the Adam’s apple, Bannerjee explains. Towards the back of the neck, the side portions of the larynx become thinner and more easily injured. “I say with skepticism that traditionally I do not see this described extent of injury with suicides,” she says. “These are definitely highly atypical and highly concerning.” A second expert rendered an opinion. According to Judy Melinek, M.D., a board-certified forensic pathologist and CEO of PathologyExpert Inc., it’s not the location or number of fractures that matter, but the location of the ligature relative to the fracture in the context of the death scene and other autopsy findings of injury. “If the fractures are nowhere near the ligature furrow and [if] there are defensive injuries on the arms, then the case is more consistent with a homicide being covered up as a suicidal hanging,” Melinek, who also was not involved with the investigation, therefore cannot comment on specifics, tells Rolling Stone. “If there are no other injuries to the body and the hyoid and thyroid fractures correspond to the location of the furrow, then it could realistically be a hanging suicide.” So far, no evidence of defensive wounds has made public. The ME did not respond to a request for comment to clarify. […] However, as Melinek points out, there’s not really enough information available to know what happened. […]

“There Is No Room For Emotion In Espionage.” Was Jeffrey Epstein Killed by Intelligence...

Very powerful people have been squirming since Epstein was charged a second time for sex trafficking under-age girls–at least until he conveniently died. Enough has leaked to cause  havoc in Buckingham Palace, complete with abject denials and outrage. Two American Presidents are under suspicion. Multiple elements of the rich and powerful are yet unnamed but hideously vulnerable. The Epstein scandal is the most widely exposed and most likely pervasive sex trafficking case in memory, yet just how far-reaching it is may never come to light. Many questions may never be answered. The Sting First, were Epstein’s decades-long sex parties and orgies with under-age girls just his own perversion or was it a well-orchestrated blackmail scheme designed to create leverage on political leaders and the fabulously wealthy power elite? No matter how much of a sex-craving pervert Epstein may have been, how many young girls would one man need to satisfy his erotic, kinky desires? A pedophile keeps his disgusting deeds to himself. He doesn’t brag about them with anyone else unless he is  enticing others with his openness to enjoy their perverted fantasies with him, feeling safe in an environment where they were all secret participants together. It is not possible that these well-planned sexual adventures, at the expense of manipulated young girls, did not have devious purposes. The cameras and microphones in his residences are, alone, ample evidence of that. Epstein hired multiple recruiters to find dozens of under-age girls, often desperate and homeless victims. Epstein would have many girls for his guests to choose from, plenty of “young pussy” as they would likely comment, as disgusting as that is to say. A number of victims have said that these events were well choreographed and others were certainly involved in the planning and preparation of these parties. No, Epstein had devious motives for these extravagant gatherings. It has been reported that some of Epstein’s wealthy “friends” contributed to his “foundation” offshore. Blackmail to gain money is the kind of blackmail that most of us understand, but money is not the only possible motivation. Influence among powerful people is a major motivation for such an operation. Based on what we know today, this was a well-financed and elaborate blackmail scheme. The remaining question is–for whose benefit? Alex Acosta, disgraced as he already is, was a stone liar, at least to the American public. Exposed for lying to the public, he had previously told a Trump vetting team that Epstein was with “intelligence.” During Acosta’s appearance before Congressional committees before his appointment as Secretary of Labor, he did not state that he was told that intelligence was involved with Epstein. Hard to trust anything from a characterless liar, but his intelligence explanation has a ring of truth to it. Along with Les Wexner, Epstein has been reported to have long-term connections to the CIA, going back to the 1980’s with Southern Air Transport, a CIA business involved in transporting arms to the Contras during the Iran-Contra controversy. The airline moved from Little Rock, Arkansas to Columbus, Ohio, the location of Les Wexner’s residence and corporate headquarters. Reports have alleged that Wexner and Epstein also had connections to Mossad. It is entirely possible that the CIA and Mossad were involved in the scam. Epstein “Suicide” I addressed the death of Epstein in the Politizoom […]

Alan Dershowitz Didn’t Get To The Dark Side By Himself, Jeffrey Epstein Was The...

Legacy in Ashes: Part I Alan Dershowitz “I kept my underwear on.” – Alan Derschowitz: A  precipitous fall from grace for a respected law professor, legal scholar and prolific author to a diminished publicity hound who is shunned on Martha’s Vineyard, disparaged by relatives, severely criticized by Harvard colleagues, trashed on social media under the hashtag #creepyDershowitz and recently defensively protested his innocence in sex with underage girls at the mansions of sex slave trafficker, Jeffery Epstein, with the public statement “I kept my underwear on”– a repulsive word-picture, indeed. Who would have expected a formerly revered scholar to be reduced to that plaintive defense? Alan Dershowitz did not grow up in a wealthy family nor in an affluent community.  He grew up in Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn College. His academic discipline and high intellect enabled him to excel. He graduated first in his class from Yale Law School and held the prestigious position of Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal.  At 28 years old he was the youngest full Professor at Harvard Law School. Professor Dershowitz has  authored many books and legal articles over his career. Known for his scholarly mind and accolades received for his work by those who are familiar with him, he has been held in high esteem. He has long championed civil liberties and proudly professes that he is often controversial, challenging the thinking of others. More recently, however, he has been asked, what happened to you?  Why have you changed? His self-absorbed answer is that he hasn’t changed, the people who are so critical of him have changed. He disparages Americans who are too left leaning, politically. In his view, he is the same old Alan, a beacon of light to civil liberties, frequently comparing himself to a doctor or priest. Really?  When he looks in the mirror, he sees the ultimate knight in shining armor, a characterization he would likely embrace. Somewhere along the line, Dershowitz became more enamored with being a celebrity than a professor.  Although he states without data that 50% of his representation of clients has been pro bono, without payment for people who cannot afford counsel, other clients are more informative. He leveraged his Harvard credentials, in 1982, gaining a highly visible, fabulously wealthy and newsworthy client, Claus von Bulow, a Danish-British aristocrat who had been convicted of killing his heiress wife, Martha von Bulow. Dershowitz got Bulow’s conviction overturned and he was acquitted upon retrial. News on the von Bulow case was everywhere in the media. Dershowitz, personally, received great publicity and followed up with a book about his success, “Reversal of Fortune.” Dershowitz had become a celebrity. Although Professor Dershowitz was financially comfortable, by most people’s standards, visiting von Bulow at his expensive and well-adorned New York residence, gave Dershowitz a glimpse at serious wealth.  Some colleagues on the Harvard Law School faculty  who knew Dershowitz well saw how drawn he was to the very wealthy and very famous. Dershowitz went on to become involved in many high publicity cases involving wealthy defendants: Reverend Jim Baker, who was convicted of defrauding parishioners. Leona  Helmsley, heiress to the Helmsley fortune, who was convicted of tax fraud. O.J. Simpson, perhaps the most publicized murder trial in our lifetime, where he was an appellate adviser (should the case have to be appealed). Although he said on The View that he won […]

Powerful “John Doe” Begs Judge to Not Unseal Epstein Matter

Someone does not want the latest trove of Epstein documentation unsealed, and is scared enough to have hired a cadre of attorneys to appear in court on this Mr. John Doe’s behalf. According to the NY Post: An anonymous man terrified he’s about to be named in court papers related to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s alleged child sex trafficking ring is begging a judge not to release his name and identities of others accused — because it could tarnish their reputations, according to a surprise motion filed Tuesday. … …“As a non-party to these proceedings, Doe lacks specific knowledge about the contents of the Sealed Materials,” his lawyers wrote to Manhattan federal court judge Loretta Preska. “But it is clear that these materials implicate the privacy and reputational interests of many persons other than the two primary parties to this action, Giuffre and Maxwell.” Sometimes the law proves to be the source of delicious irony. This “non-party” lacks knowledge as to the nature of the documents themselves, but certainly does have the knowledge that he is extremely vulnerable due to past associations with Epstein, and, presumably, a type of relationship that would at least “appear” to be wrong, if not criminal. Does the terrified Mr. John Doe have any other basis to fear the impending release? Something a little more concrete? Why yes: The letter goes on to say a prior judge overseeing the case summarized the still-secret documents as containing a “range of allegations of sexual acts involving Plaintiff and non-parties to this litigation, some famous, some not; the identities of non-parties who either allegedly engaged in sexual acts with Plaintiff or who allegedly facilitated such acts.” Allegations of sexual acts with the Plaintiff (young woman) and non-parties (like possibly “John Doe”), including some engaged in sex acts? Yes, that would certainly tarnish someone’s reputation, though that is how we deal with people who predate on minor girls. If Mr. Doe has been wrongly accused, he cannot hide behind simply stating “I didn’t do it.” The lawsuit is filed, he may not be named, but he will have to deal with the consequences. He is perfectly free to join the lawsuit and fight to clear himself, indeed he can sue the Plaintiff for damages (she is about to become quite wealthy anyway) should he be falsely accused. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The trove of documents set to be released, possibly as early as today, contain 5-10 times more volume than those previously released according to David Boies, the plaintiff’s attorney in this matter. Giuffre claims she was also ordered to sleep with a rotating door of high-powered men, including the late MIT professor Marvin Minsky, former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, ex-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, money manager Glenn Dubin and lawyer Alan Dershowitz. No one can claim that Epstein was partisan in his dealings, since that list – not in any way proven – includes two prominent Democrats. But, the larger point is that the above names are men already listed within the public domain. None of the men above are “John Doe” (or it is highly unlikely) because it would be unnecessary to file anonymously. The third party “John Doe” is someone yet to be named within documents. It could be near anyone, except for men who were […]

“She Is Not For You”: Epstein Held Trump Back from Young Woman According to...

I cannot believe that an American president can have the type of allegations swirling around this one, and yet be such a craven person that the allegations surprise no one, such that the report barely makes news. This thought occurred to me when thinking about whether to write on this at all. I had a head-shaking moment, having no trouble believing that the NYT reports are unquestionably worthy of investigation, but again, never seem to come back to bite him. This one actually involves a woman, someone over the age of 18, indeed 24 at the time, but the comment sure hits right upon the relationship between Epstein and Trump: While recounting her story, Maria Farmer recalls once seeing Donald Trump in Epstein’s office. She tells the Times that Epstein at one point during the meeting caught Trump “eyeing” her and then abruptly told him, “She’s not for you.” Farmer’s mother, Janice Swain, tells the Times that she recalls Maria telling her about this interaction shortly after it happened. Now, obviously the same comments are made in near every frat, every day, or in one of the clubs in many big cities. So, in isolation, the comment is not problematic, at least not criminally. Of course, I don’t think that any woman “belongs” to any man. This is especially true as the father of a 12 year old girl, four years away from being sixteen. Regardless. The obvious questions springing from the allegation create the problems, both politically and criminally. Since Epstein seems to lay claim to this woman, which women or girls are available “for Trump“? The inference becomes that Trump “gets” women from Epstein, and we know that Epstein often “got” girls under 18. Let us not forget that Epstein was not imprisoned or charged due to trafficking of women that were “of age.” Indeed, even this story involved a 24 year old woman who was “recruited” along with her sixteen year old sister. This small fact increases her credibility, since she could claim a far more incendiary charge by alleging her sister was in the room, too, and the comment applied to both. She did not make such a claim. Speaking of credibility, the woman’s mother states that the woman told her about the interaction at the time, and not as Trump rose up politically. Never get used to this. It is not normal. It is not acceptable in any man. That this involves the president indicts the entire nation as complicit at this point. **** Peace, y’all. Jason    

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