State of the Onion, Rabble Version: This House is on Fire!

…literally as well as figuratively, and as the Disposable Underclass and ‘the Woke’ might more clearly see it:

Wildfires consumed 9.7 million acres in the United States in 2017, almost a record, according to wildfiretoday.com, although not al data is in yet.  Sure, a heating planet and drought conditions were the key reasons, but wildfire today also mentioned decades of fire suppression (a political decision), fires too large to fight safely, slow attacks on new fires due to lack of personnel, and a (my words) broken fleet of contracted air tankers that has been slowly being repaired as of 2014.

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation on the Columbia River in Washington State is still leaking radioactive contaminants into the watershed, then into the ocean, radioactive airborne plumes galore, (cost for clean-up at $114 billon in 2014).  But hey, after the many recent disasters, failures to prevent worker safety, WA state just passed a bill to ‘help more ill Hanford nuclear reservation workers qualify for state worker compensation may soon be headed to the governor’s desk to be signed into law’ (Note: not a federal bill, including respiratory, neurological and chronic beryllium disease, beryllium sensitization and multiple cancers.

A citizen effort is afoot in Cancer Alley, specifically St. John the Baptist Parish, to force petrochemical companies to clean up their air after reading that a 2011 EPA report showed that residents of six parishes were 800 times more likely to get cancer.

Global air temps in 2017 were the highest ever recorded, even with no El Niño effects, and carbon ppm have already exceeded 408, resulting in increased weather disasters and fires.  Methane gas releases are packing a huge punch as well, indicating as I understand the experts: at the accelerating rate, in eleven years carbon will hit 450 ppm, game over.  Then the ‘unless…’ pies in the skies come in….say from the Kings of Davos private/public partnership ‘fixers’.

And yet the climate destruction was pretty much locked in before Donald F.U. Trump came to power and denied climate science, although his policies on drilling, fracking, military build up will surely hasten the planet’s demise.  The COP agreements were strictly aspirational and unenforceable, just as the Ruling Class would prefer it, of course.

In the US, wealth inequality is worse now than in the former Gilded Age, and ranks 4th highest on the GINI coefficient (income disparity) charts, below Chile, Mexico, and Turkey.  The Bidness Buddhas at Davos were keenly concerned, a mean to train the Rabble to serve the Masters of Capital post-robot takeovers of menial jobs, like…nursing, virtual docs, and other servo-bots..

Tens of millions of Amerikans are living at or below the poverty level, although numbers are hard to come by, given the many ‘experts’ disagreeing on the definition.  Who would lie about their finances on a Census Report? But even among those who are employed, a high percentage live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings for emergencies, and many are without access to health care, and are dying of it.  More and more are hungry, or ‘food insecure’ in technocrat-speak.  Homeless numbers are also hard to come by, but at least many hundreds of thousands, and they are increasingly stigmatized, preyed upon, and criminalized.

But speaking of Bidness Buddhas and health care, how does this CNBC headline grab you?  ‘UnitedHealth, CVS plunge on Bezos, Buffett and Dimon plan to improve US health care’; The three companies, led by Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett plan to develop ways to improve the health of their employees.

But not to worry, Sergeant Dow Jones opened today at 26,121; it’s all right, ma: we’re only dyin’! 

Congress has a current approval rating of 16% (Gallup), but duopoly heroes will emerge, and the money will likely flow into the midterm candidates.  Speaking of which, it’s hard not to eat this reasoning with a spoon (triple grin):

Russia is aiming to interfere in US midterm elections, warns CIA chief’, Mike Pompeo says ‘I have every expectation that they will continue to try’ to meddle in House and Senate races in November.

“In the BBC interview at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Pompeo said he believes that, despite cooperation in counter-terrorism, Russia is primarily an adversary and there has been no significant reduction in Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the US.

However, Pompeo also said Chinese efforts to exert covert influence over the west were as much of a concern as Russian subversion. He told the BBC the Chinese “have a much bigger footprint” to do this.

“Think about the scale of the two economies,” he said. “The Chinese have a much bigger footprint upon which to execute that mission than the Russians do.”

Indubitably, my dear Watson; the game’s afoot!

Steven Rosenfeld at Alteret reminds us to “pay close attention to his [Herr Trump’s] next big priority—an infrastructure plan—which, over time, could eclipse the trillion-dollar giveaway to the rich in the GOP’s just-passed tax plan.

And track the response from Democrats, who will have to decide if they will back a plan drafted by privatization proponents, or if Democrats will represent the public and say no to years of paying off infrastructure bonds sold by Wall Street—tax free to investors—but eating up future tax revenues while imposing new user fees like highway tolls.” 

He also notes that the Rand Corp. is very bullish on the plan; garsh, small wonder…

Billionaires-for-charter-schools seem to be having their way with a different sort of partnership: our tax dollars fund their charters, while billionaire-class puppets sit on the boards and make decisions.  I’m certain that Calvnist Ed. Secty. Betsy Davos, (pardon, I mean ‘DeVos’ and her hubbie are thrilled!  As a major proponent of school vouchers, she’s on record as saying she want to use schools to ‘Build God’s Kingdom!’

As far as the current manager of the Imperium, Herr F.U.Trump is following in Barack F.U. Oboma’s footsteps as far as the criminal level of the unitary executive goes, and is doubling down on O’s wars and visibly fomenting for moar wars.  Threats of war and military might seem to be this administration’s form of diplomacy, as in: ‘Do this or that, we’re gonna fuck you up!’…and he seems to see more troops as a jobs program.  But then, an all-volunteer military with such enormous signing bonuses…actually has been such.

Meanwhile, what the D team has to offer in the way of pushback to His Nibs is the McArthyite #MeToo movement, and the D-team voting signups at the J20 Women’ Marches, not his actual policies, especially in the Power of the Purse to wage war, I  mean: ‘Protect the Homeland!™.  As far as Schumer trading funding for T’s ‘wall on the border’ for maintaining Obomba’s DACA, I dunno where all that is now, given I’d seen a headline to the effect that “Schumer’s changed his mind.”  From my place in the cheap and cynical seats in the bleachers, ‘saving DACA’ wasn’t really simple virtue-signaling by the’Party of the People’, but had elements of the burgeoning demographics of Latinos, said to surpass Boss Man Whitey in 2045.  But that’s just me, see?

And of course: the totality of Russia-gate, with so many moving parts my head spins, an all the key player’s (or alleged players) names just don’t stick in my mind.

Meanwhile, with alley-oops from the D Team, FISA 702 is still the rule of the land, as other acronym agencies (DHS, FBI, DEA, FUK, etc.) swap what their spies find out and about concerning dissidents, Putin lovers, peace lovers, Muslim rights activists, and tra la la.  This of course includes the execs of Twitter, Facebook, Google and Youtube hiring armies to root out and delete anything that doesn’t fit within the hegemon’s ‘faith promoting’ war, Empire, and US nationalism and jingoism.

Ach, I’d forgotten that PropOrNot was a WaPo/Bezos program:

‘Oliver Stone leads tributes to Robert Parry as shady US lobbyists PropOrNot dance on his grave’, via RT.  Now I have no idea how or why ‘Oliver Stone leads’ comes in, but there was no way I could possibly click in, either.  Fuck them, if they did, though; prolly on Twitter.

Side Note: the List seems to have short forms and long forms, but clicking into the Wiki, I was musing as to why the fearless investigative journalism of The Intercept hadn’t made the list.  The sole reference in the Wiki I found was that Glen Greenwald had griped about Naked Capitalism having been on the list, lol.  (Yves Smith threatened a lawsuit, the site was…removed, as was Counterpunch.)

Now some Ds did offer some resistance by letter to this penis-measuring button news: ‘US ground invasion of North Korea needed to secure nuclear sites, says Pentagon’ Pyongyang could use chemical weapons in event of conflict, warns defence department, UK Independent.

As is often said, Empires in their death throes are at their most dangerous and erratic, sensing they’re about to be toppled with new alliances, both financial and geo-strategic.

Meanwhile, according to Nick Pemberton at Counterpunch, the 2020 campaigns for Prez have already begun, at least he reckons so: in his  ‘Sanders and the Empire’  After wandering around old Dobbin’s barn for a bit, noting he’d worked for him, etc., he gets down to it; this is the pithiest graph, and I agree wholeheartedly:

“Freedom is not an existential question. Anyone who calls out Bernie for what he really is—an apologist for American Empire is framed as a purist. But that’s far from the truth. Bernie, on a global scale, is an extremist on foreign policy. Compare him to other leaders around the world and he is right wing, plain and simple. He would continue to violate international law. When he does question the American military his tears are for the American middle class and our tax dollars. What really separates Bernie from his political competition is that he has a realistic plan to save this Empire. Mainstream Democrats will continue to split the gap between rich and poor, and Republicans will do this without blinking. What Bernie offers us is a chance to save our Empire. He will restore the American middle class. And when he saves the American middle class, revolution is an impossibility.”

But what slayed me is that at the top of his essay he’d touted St. Tulsi Gabbard for 2020, with no analysis of how or why she’d be different.  Oh well, so it goes…

And of course there are those who maintain that it really doesn’t matter who occupies the White House, as the shadow government/deep state really runs it all anyway. Me, I still wonder how many shadow governments exist and compete at certain points in time.

Andre Vltchek ask some good questions, offers some great observations in his U.S.: War Dog Wants to Bite, but What and How?  a few outtakes:

“It snaps left and right, and periodically it is even trying to bite a piece of Moon off. But the Moon is far, too far, even for the best armed and the most aggressive country on Earth.

Iran is much closer, and so are North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Russia, China, Pakistan and other nations that have managed to land themselves on that proverbial shit list of the neo-colonialist World Order, manufactured by the West.”

“He is also offending and intimidating millions of Latin Americans; people of the Western Hemisphere who have been, for ages, falling under the infamous ‘Monroe Doctrine’ of U.S. foreign policy. The summary of that Doctrine has been basically this: do as we say and what is in the interests of the West, or we’ll overthrow your governments, murder your leaders or even directly invade your shores. Now ‘illegal immigrants’ from these countries are most likely going to have to leave the United States. Because they are poor (logically they are, after centuries of oppression and terror from the North), because they are not white, and because they are ‘uneducated’, or in summary, because they are not ‘Norwegians’ (the Manager would prefer Norwegian migrants).

Insulting people and nations is one thing, but bringing the world near a nuclear war is something quite different.”

“The dog of war is searching for some weak point, where its fangs can begin tearing flesh apart. But suddenly, it seems that there is none. All points are hardened, tough.

Russia and China are standing firm and tall, their diplomats literally humiliating their counterparts from Western Empire by composed, powerfully sophisticated and refined behavior. But the militaries of both peaceful but mighty nations have recently been on constant alert: ready to defend their own people, and humanity.

Iran and North Korea are not yielding either. Syria is beginning to rebuild, despite the fact that the subversion, armed and supported from abroad, has not yet been fully defeated. Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia are still there, standing upright, definitely not on their knees.

Suddenly, no one is ready to surrender. This is the first time in history that the Empire has faced such scorn from the rest of the world.”

“In the West, he is not the first Manager of this sort, and he is not the worst. He is part of that long tradition of tyrants. And this tradition has to stop, very soon, in order for our Planet to survive.

These are brutal, dangerous and testing times. The ill, aggressive monster should not be allowed to totally destroy the world. Those who are already standing, should never surrender. Others should join. The survival of our civilization is at stake!”

Amen, brother Andre, although I admit I’m agnostic on ‘the survival of our civilization’ thing…(h/t Mahatma Gandhi)  Also, I reckon he’d forgive me for (ahem) borrowing so much of his essay.

Meanwhile, the militarization of police departments is increasing, killedbypolice.net reports that 113 US citizens have already been killed by the po-po this year, Herr T now owns close to ‘Don’t be too kind loading prisoners in cars’ (a reference to Freddie Gray’s grisly death by a ‘rough ride; in a po-po van, I assume?), the Rabble Classes still labor for the Man for pennies a day in the mass incarceration cradle-to-grave complex, and T’s ceded his foreign policy to his generals and special ops/mercenary teams around the planet.

Yeah, this House is on Fire; but not all are aware of it yet.  What might be the spark that lights a revolutionary movement globally?  A modern day slave rebellion as occurred in Haiti in 1791?  It’s hard to se it beginning in Amerika; the worst trend I see is that all of this hideous war/no peace/capitalist class ugliness has become normalized, reified to an extent, like the slowly increasing the flame to boiling pot that never flips out the frogs.

Soon come, soon come the day
This tinderbox is gonna blow in your face
I don’t have the gift of the prophecy
Telling everybody how it’s gonna be

 I don’t have the gift of the prophecy
Telling everybody how it’s gonna be
There’s a wild fire catching in the whip of the wind
That could start a conflagration
Like there has never been

This house is on fire

cross-posted from cafe-babylon.net)

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k9disc's picture

political discussions both online and in meat space.

Harping on it, actually. There are a few hundred people, at least, that have knowledge of that privatization scheme.

Too bad the Democrats spent the last year harping on Russia, and skipping out on tackling the very real, kitchen table issues of conservative sabotage of Public Policy and a rigged economic game.

Drumpf is going to both kill the public part of public policy and slant the table more to the investor and corporate class, and Democrats have been doing nothing but flinging shit at Russia and fainting over tweets.

The worst thing about the infrastructure program, is that it's going to work. In spades. Shitty pay, but it's pay. Huge slush funds will abound. Orgies of roiling deals; economic activity will have banks wallowing in cash. Construction companies will buy shit tons of equipment and run full tilt.

But Americans will have to pay to access and maintain this infrastructure. Because private shit ain't free, man. Welcome to your subscription to government. Subscription based freedom.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

wendy davis's picture

@k9disc

and from j.p. sottile's ‘Missing the Trump Team’s Misconduct', consortiumnews, jan 8.; just ONE paragraph:

“On the other hand, they are not talking about the Oil Industry’s influence and the opening up of offshore drilling. They are not talking about the significant expansion of the war on terror … and Trump’s direct hand in a spike in civilian casualties around the Muslim world. They are not talking about the trainwrecks inside the Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They are not talking about Trump pushing DIPLOMATS to get even more involved in selling weapons around the world. They are not talking about Trump’s role in opening up the media for more consolidation. And they are not talking about a dozen other damning stories that, if they’d just dispatch some effing reporters and producers and photographers, they could use those video-driven packages like a goddamn barrage to pepper Trump’s presidency and, in turn, to corner his supporters on Capitol Hill.”

but some of it reminds me of O's "shovel ready" jobs stimulus. most of it went to major highway construction firms; locals were hired as flaggers. rough job, i'll wager. standing all day, ugh.

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ggersh's picture

@wendy davis we have shitholes running everything
and crapifying amerika to the hilt.

Hawfard, Yale, Ivy league and the Pentagon
didn't exactly excel at educating our current
leaders, or maybe they just took the wrong
classes?

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Irony at it's finest, buying stocks breaks WS!

NO MORE WAR

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

they aced their classes in pollution, war, and greed. 'we're dying of their gravy spills' (h/t buffy saint marie).

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

They are acting like what is happening is just normal and there isn't any threat to us or people in other countries. This is what the republicans do every time they are in power, but once you guys give us back the keys we'll fix everything back the way it was. Sad thing is that things were never that great. Not like what people in Europe have had for so long.

But look over there! Russia!

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

TOP link

she joined the National Guard so she could claim veteran status. It worked!
...
She even hired a Russian to clamp down on the press—shades of the Trump administration!

Right. "For veteran status". No mention of her serving in Iraq.
And OMG! A Russian!
And here's the first comment:

Your discussion of her family history just indicates to me that early on she was trained as a Republican shill and could possibly be a Russian sleeper agent. She certainly got their memos.

It looks like the GOS has someone to run against Tulsi.
I listened to her interview and while she sounds nice, she sounds like just another centrist liberal that specializes in identity politics.
IOW, the kind of person TOP loves.

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wendy davis's picture

@gjohnsit

she's too right wing for GOS, and an agent of roosia to boot. gotta love it, as she's been touted by plenty of libruls, some self-identified 'progressives' for prez because: brave, doughty, speaks truth to power, and tra la la. i keep chasing after big al w/ this he seemed not to remember writing earlier on outing tulsi (and by the by: jacobin, largely of the #fakeLeft), but it's great.

my other chich w/ her is her close alliance with the hindu nationalist thug narenda modi. he was persona non grata in the US for a long time, then must have hired a good ad agency, and tulsi took him on two charm offensives across amerika for meet and greets and investment opportunities. it worked well, and now india is 'under nato's umbrella', the fasted growing economy in the world (1.5 billion pop.) and home to many things nato needs, bases and ports, i assume. well, i could honk on about modi, his failure to hold a statutory plebiscite for self determination of kashmir, an more, but i'll leave it there. pfffft.

but as i understand it, she'd converted to hinduism, but i doubt the krishnas, myownself.

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wendy davis's picture

Amazon Patents Wristband to Track Hand Movements of Warehouse Employees’, gizmodo.com

“Companies love using the latest and greatest technology to keep track of employees, even when they’re at home. But Amazon’s new idea goes to extremes to treat employees like fleshy robots. The Seattle-based company was just granted two patents for employee wristbands that look like something from dystopian science fiction.
The two new patents, first spotted by Geekwire, are for wristbands that track where a given warehouse workers’ hands are at all times. You read that correctly. I have seen the future, and it’s just rows and rows of low-paid workers in endless warehouses being told to stop picking their noses. Or to get back from their bathroom break, as it were.” and so on.

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k9disc's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis

Zuboff's Laws

Everything that can be automated will be automated.
Everything that can be informated will be informated.
Every digital application that can be used for surveillance and control will be used for surveillance and control.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshana_Zuboff

Up Next permanent hospital wristbands with Amazon Healthcare financed by JP Morgan and pitched by Warren Buffet.

Can't make this shit up.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

wendy davis's picture

@k9disc

such vision you have, and thanks for the zuboff wiki. 'the Next Episode of Capitalism' indeed. jayzus, it's all morphing faster and faster, isn't it? the bezos bracelets prolly ping thought crimes, as well. orwell chortles from the afterlife at our failures to heed.

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k9disc's picture

@wendy davis

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

wendy davis's picture

@k9disc

not to sell her short, but sometimes that's what a deeper analysis takes. loads of titles, and I wish I thought I'd read more than just her wiki or synopses.

sleep well, peace and solidarity.

wd

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k9disc's picture

vetted or made a decision on who she was or what her angles were...

This piece here is where I was linked and found her ideas on Surveillance Capitalism:

https://publicpurpose.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Surveillance-cap...

Seemed like some serious thought to me. Other than that, no idea.

@wendy davis

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

wendy davis's picture

@k9disc

but I'd meant to add to your list: what surveillance can be monetized will be monetized. she's said as much at that link.

and right on cue: ‘Google Weighs Unusual Bid With Giant Oil Firm Aramco to Rev Up the Saudi Tech Sector’; Saudi firm has sought to wean itself off oil; a deal with the California tech behemoth would help; feb.1, WSJ

microsoft and amazon are makin’ deals w/ KSA as well, but day-um, it’s behind a paywall for me already. yanno, our partners in war on yemen and elsewhere. such exemplary bidness buddhas.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

An anthem of our times in America.

There's so much progress waiting to be made.

The radio told me tonight that everything will change tomorrow, "after the Memo."

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"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

...that she'd recorded it. 2001, it turns out. but the middle eastern flavor and her plaintive voice create images of body movements of both supplication and withheld rage.

and I keep reading some accounts of this touchstone 'memo'. is it the nunes one? whole hashtags have been created on twitter about some 'memo'. but swear to the goddess, I just haven't kept track of all this it all seems so...irrelevant.

but I'm so glad to hear that the static on your radio said we're about to take a giant step toward awakening (if I can transpose bit, smile).

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snoopydawg's picture

The fact that so many people just go through their days without knowing any of these issues is just mind boggling to me. No matter what happens in this country they still think it's the greatest country on earth. Next

People die from our drones? Meh, that's just war. What's the problem? Cops killing untold numbers of people? They should have just done what they were told. Next

Our country is again threatening another one or two countries? We have to let them know who's boss. Next

Thousands of people who are homeless? They should have planned better and gotten better jobs. Next

Fires and hurricanes are getting more extreme because of climate change? No they aren't. Next

We are quickly moving towards fascism? Get out of here. We live in the land of the free and brave. Next

Well done, Wendy. One of your best.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

'failure to obey'...the police kill you, even as you're trying to 'obey', but not quickly enough, or if you're deaf, disabled, or mentally ill & under a pile of po-po, as with Kelly Thomas in fullerton, CA. a deaf man was surrounded by eight po-po in a store parking lot, died from six bullets of the 42 discharged, iirc. but the metaphor extends to Imperial foreign misadventures, doesn't it, from mossaddegh in 1953 and onward, and likely before that.

it may be somewhat of a blessing that I don't have many conversations out and about in RL, and for certain that I don't see any teevee news, or I might have committed hara kiri long ago. j/k, really.

gadaffi? challenge the petro dollar, get a bayonette up the bum and cackles from the 'we came, he saw, he died' ovian queen. and now it's more challenges to the petro dollar by crypto currencies, yuan, rubles (?). we can't have that, can we?

glad you liked it, snoopy dog, and thanks.

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

‘Tillerson raises prospect of Venezuela military ouster of Maduro’, reuters, feb. 1

because of course having had the military behind him is what saved chavez, and the US has sanctioned VZ and cuba to death (trump calling both leaders 'tyrants committing human rights abuses', as did obomba.

and this followed a couple days after maduro had announced 'oil-backed' cryptocurrencies to get around sanctions as had iran, iirc. but rexxxon, of course, wants all the 'disputed' oil off the coast of VZ. plus, socialism can't stand!

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wendy davis's picture

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