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Old October 3rd, 2011, 04:10 PM
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Default The Wall Street Protests

I have been following the Wall Street Protests--and their current spread far beyond Wall Street--with considerable interest.

Mostly, I find fascinating the degree to which these protests by those on the left resemble the beginnings of the Tea Party on the right. The thing that defines both of them for me is that neither one tends to have any meaningful grasp on what they're protesting about. . .beyond the fact that they're angry at "something." What that something is, well that's very much a moving target on both sides of the spectrum. The other thing that unites these movements is that their lack of specific knowledge ("I know what I think, don't bother me with the facts") tends to make them act contrary to their best interests.

The only difference so far is that the Wall Street crowd doesn't have the corporate funding that the Tea Party does (Dick Armey, the Koch Brothers, etc.). And I don't think they're likely to get it.

Today's NYT had an article about the spread of the Wall Street gang, and concluded with this quote from one of the faithful:

“We’re sending corporations a powerful message that we know what they’re doing,” he said. “For people, we’re sending the message that we have to unite as one front.”

No, sorry pal. You have no idea what the corporations are doing. You just know you don't like them. Why? Because, uh, they export jobs. . .yeah, that's it. And they lay people off. And they pay dividends to their stockholders. . .yeah, that's it. And they pay off Congress to do what they want. And their executives get paid too much.

Even though there may be some truth in each of these ideas--and many more--the real problem is the credit markets that operate out of sight, and move zillions of dollars around in an unregulated dark market with no formal exchange and no accountability. In this respect, ironically, the main issue is not so much what IS on Wall Street as what ISN'T--to wit, open, orderly markets.

But the left is as mad as the right, and will vent just as illogically, and just as destructively as the teabaggers. And our nation is the worse for all of them.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:44 PM
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:48 PM
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I found it interesting that when Susan Sarandon joined the protest many people had no idea who she was .
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 10:09 PM
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Henry,

And what major significance does Susan Sarandon present?

I noticed that most of these activists are relatively young, at least the ones I've seen and they're demanding jobs. While our unemployement rate is around 9%, the unemployment rate for college grads is half that. Is there possibly a message there?

And just what are they protesting? As AR so aptly pointed out, there are what I refer to as "wing nuts" on both sides. Should there be changes? In probably every category but every interview I have personally heard of these protestors is those interviews are basically of people under 25 and while they know something is wrong (which it is), they don't appear to have a clue what the real problems really is?

The problem on both extremes is what is always is.......a lack of education and cognition! And by that I mean basic education!
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 10:43 PM
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I don't know of this "Wall Street Protestors", but I am part of a reformation group directed toward curtailing naked short selling. I have a decent grasp on how hedgefunds use options to "rent" the market maker to hedge the position and create huge numbers of IOUs in the market place. Before Reg SHO hedgefunds didn't even have to bother with market makers. They just sold short without borrowing the securities.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 10:51 PM
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Henry,

And what major significance does Susan Sarandon present?

I noticed that most of these activists are relatively young, at least the ones I've seen and they're demanding jobs. While our unemployement rate is around 9%, the unemployment rate for college grads is half that. Is there possibly a message there?

And just what are they protesting? As AR so aptly pointed out, there are what I refer to as "wing nuts" on both sides. Should there be changes? In probably every category but every interview I have personally heard of these protestors is those interviews are basically of people under 25 and while they know something is wrong (which it is), they don't appear to have a clue what the real problems really is?

The problem on both extremes is what is always is.......a lack of education and cognition! And by that I mean basic education!
Just a thought .I could see perhaps them not knowing who Van Jones is but I was surprised that they were not aware of Susan Sarandon as an activist or actress.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 10:59 PM
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Henry,

Hell, we all get older. In 1997 I did the twist on stage with Chubby Checker on stage at Tusculum College.

If he walked out of that theater in civilian clothes, I doubt that anyone who wasn't at the program would have known him.

Without make up, etc., Susan Sarandon could walk by me on the street and I'd never recognize her.
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 11:38 PM
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I actually saw Susan Sarandon on the street in Paris and recognized her. She also saw me recognize her and ducked away. Her loss.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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I found it interesting that when Susan Sarandon joined the protest many people had no idea who she was .
Doesn't she make some kind of "plastic food storage stuff"? - Sarandon Wrap?
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Old October 4th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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Doesn't she make some kind of "plastic food storage stuff"? - Sarandon Wrap?
I think that given the trajectory of her career lately it's more like, "for Sarandon, it's a wrap."

But in fairness, she has done some good work.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 12:48 PM
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Mostly, I find fascinating the degree to which these protests by those on the left resemble the beginnings of the Tea Party on the right.
Percentage of Americans who self-describe as "Tea Party supporter": 21
Percentage who say "Liberal": 21

Which 21% is the current congress beholden to?

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The thing that defines both of them for me is that neither one tends to have any meaningful grasp on what they're protesting about. . .beyond the fact that they're angry at "something."
I disagree. The Tea Partiers know exactly what they are protesting against, even if only a few will say it out loud. For them, it is black and white, literally.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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I also disagree - the Tea Partiers message has been extremely clear from the day Rick Santelli started the movement with his rant in CNBC (and I was watching). he said "for as long as this government is spending uncontrollably this economy will remain to afraid to invest; in stocks or in jobs." That's the bottom line.

If you don't know that the Tea Party was organized to specifically protest government spending you haven't been paying attention - or else you just buy the liberal propaganda that the Tea Party is nothing but a bunch of organized capitalist thugs who want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

The characterization of the Tea Party (and no, I am not a member) as everything from racist to crazy militants is as ridiculous as the right claiming liberals are actually one big communist plot to bring down the U.S. government.

I don't understand why people have to use name-calling and character assassination in politics - that is not the answer to solving this country's problems.

I'll tell you what - anyone who spends more time claiming they know what other people think, than they can spend rationally explaining what they personally believe, should just be dismissed without any further regard.

I do not want these boards being used by either side to spread propaganda about the side you disagree with.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 03:21 PM
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Also... it's weird but I know guys who think Susan Sarandon is one of the "hottest" actresses out there. I don't understand her appeal to anyone, whether its her looks, her acting or her politics. To me she is highly over-rated in all of these areas and I am glad (and not surprised) they didn't know who she is.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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If you don't know that the Tea Party was organized to specifically protest government spending you haven't been paying attention . . .
Except that the surplus ended in 2001 and deficit spending ballooned throughout the 2000s. Only when President Obama was elected did it allegedly become an issue that sparked outrage.

I guarantee this and mark my words: if President Obama is defeated next year, huge deficits will continue but will no longer to be an issue to the Tea Party.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 05:19 PM
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Aidan--

Yes, the interesting thing is that oddly both factions seem to come together over the notion that the middle class is being hosed, they just diasgree about who's doing the hosing.

Paul, of course everybody knows that "government spending" is the mantra of the teabaggers. And 95% of them don't know the difference between a budget, a balance sheet, a deficit, and a debt. They want the government out of their lives, but don't touch my Social Security, my Medicare, and make sure FEMA is there when I get wiped out in a disaster. And never a peep against fruitless wars.

Just as everybody knows that the Wall Street crowd is "against the excesses of corporate America." And 95% of them don't know the difference between a stock, a bond, a put, and a call. They wouldn't be able to describe to you the various forms of risk if their lives depended on it. They couldn't explain the difference between an executive and a board member, and they couldn't in a million years begin to tell you the fundamental factors that cause markets to move. Oh yeah, and a big part of that 95% don't even participate in the market(s) they're complaining about. Even more interesting, studies show that some of those who are invested don't even know that they are. . .much less what they're invested in. They know they have a 401(k). . .and that's about the extent of their knowledge

You can't claim that a purpose is clear when in practice that purpose is a mile wide and an inch deep, as it is with both extremes today. And I find it interesting that you accuse me of "taking sides" when it is clear that I am an equal opportunity critic.

My goodness, I think I'm even more fair and balanced than Fox.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:07 PM
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(Doesn't she make some kind of "plastic food storage stuff"? - Sarandon Wrap?) That one of the problems with getting older, the young people don't know who you are or were.... We will always have Rocky Horror Picture Show!!!!!!
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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:50 PM
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A friend posted this on a site I follow. It is from the "Occupy Wall Street" group. It is just a repost, but it pertains to the conversation here. I personally support #5, however it is inadequately expressed below IMO.

1. Reinstate Glass-Steagall X

This would re-create a regulatory wall between commercial and investment banking. (The repeal of this act in 1999 is said by some to have contributed towards the financial crisis.)

2. Bring alleged Wall Street criminals to justice X

Ensure appropriate federal agencies fully investigate and prosecute the alleged Wall Street criminals that were responsible for the financial crisis

3. Repeal the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling X

Enact legislation to protect democracy which would restrict corporations from allegedly 'buying elections'. By reversing the effect of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, corporations would be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns - no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media.

4. Fair taxation

Pass the Buffet Rule on fair taxation, so the rich pay their fair share.(Drop the ruse of Reagan's rising tide raises all ships and shining city on a hill.)

5. Revamp the Securities and Exchange Commission X

This would ensure the integrity of the marketplace is protected, meaning citizens and investors are also both protected.

6. Increased political transparency X

Limit the influence of lobbyists at Congress, and increase political transparency so people know what Congress is up to.

7. Congress passing 'revolving door legislation' X

Passing legislation eliminating the ability of former government regulators going to work for corporations that they once regulated.

8. Instate a Tobin Tax X

A Tobin tax would hurt Wall Street bonuses and curb high-frequency and other trading activity.
9. Eliminate 'personhood' legal status for corporations X

'Occupy Wall Street' Reminded Us Of This Amusing Banker Prank - HereIsTheCity.com
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Old October 4th, 2011, 08:41 PM
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AR,

I agree with most of your more salient points. The only one where I think you may have stretched just a wee bit was your last sentence.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Also... it's weird but I know guys who think Susan Sarandon is one of the "hottest" actresses out there. I don't understand her appeal to anyone, whether its her looks, her acting or her politics. To me she is highly over-rated in all of these areas and I am glad (and not surprised) they didn't know who she is.
Among her peers Susan Sarandon is considered to be a great actress in the class of Meryl Streep,Emma Thompson and Glenn Close .
For a woman who is 65 years old I personally think she looks terrific .
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Old October 4th, 2011, 09:21 PM
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7x57

I am far from even beginning to have an education in economics but I do read a lot. One possible correction. I believe Glass Steagle was repealed in 1994 when both houses were controlled by the Republicans and it was signed into law by Clinton.

IMHO it definitely was a major cause for what ultimately occurred. Glass-Steagle was enacted in I believe 1938 to specifically prevent our current economic mess. As I have previously stated, it however had no effect to speak of on the Great Depression for which FDR always was given credit for solving. Trouble is, in 1939 (as I have also often stated) unemployment was still I believe around 16% (if not higher). WWII eliminated the depression to such an extent that statiscally, there was virtually no unemployment by 1944.

There again, over the past three years we still haven't learned our lesson and have spent like drunken sailors. If you were to tax every single person in the US their total income for an entire year, it still wouldn't even begin to solve our current problem which is far far worse and far far more dangerous than over 90% of Americans even have a glimmer of a clue (and that obviously involves many elected officials of both parties). All one has to do is to look at what happened to Great Britain in 1967. For over two hundred years the Pound Sterling was the "benchmark" currency. Yet following the drastic social reforms instituted collapsed that currency when the government nationalized so many major industries, the dollar then became the underpining of world currency and the cost of virtually everything in Great Britain increased in price almost exponentially. If we ever default as, in effect, did Great Britain, folks don't even want to know what will in all probability occur. We, unlike any other major nation have the unique ability to print money when we need to.....even without sufficient assets to back that currency up.

One final thing I've stated on several threads. While defense spending should be cut as well, it nevertheless makes up 30% less of our National Budget today than it did in 1962. Today it's around 20%. Back then it was around 50%!
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Old October 4th, 2011, 09:31 PM
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I agree for the most part Todd. We have kicked the can down the road long enough. I don't always agree with the priorities that come with the sacrifices that MUST follow. I also don't think it's going to happen on spending cuts alone. Really; I'm not so sure it's going to happen at all.

Even more recent among the world's default nations is Argentina. I think their story is remarkable (not in a good way, but enlightening). Middle class, what middle class?
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Old October 4th, 2011, 10:34 PM
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7X57,

Nope, spending cuts alone aren't going to do it. Every American is, whether they believe it, want to, don't want to, whatever are going to have to pay more, one way or another.

The size of the Federal Government has got to be reduced and in a major way. They're only half way through with the study the last I heard but just the elimination of duplicate services and or programs (i.e.: USDA Rural Development and HUD, both of which do exactly the same thing as regards public housing but have completely different paper work and systems) alone would save according to budget analysts, over 500 Billion a year!

Actually I kind of like Cain's idea of 9-9-9 simply because it's....well, simple. I think people don't understand that something like 40% of all Americans pay no income tax whatsoever. Social Security and Medicare can be revamped in such a way that no one over 40 would be effected and those under 40 would understand that they would have to plan for their retirement and make a larger investment in their old age health care. As I once stated, when the Income Tax was introduced by FDR, relatively few lived long enough to collect it! The man wasn't stupid. Now the average life expectancy is I think 77!

I have a great faith in the American people. I honestly believe we will find the answers to our problems simply because the American people now, for the most part, are really seeing the writing on the wall.

Even George Washington stated that he wasn't in favor of a two party system simply because people over time would tend to support a party as opposed to supporting what was best for the country. Well, guess what happened?
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Old October 5th, 2011, 02:24 AM
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I guess I'm lost. I thought Cruisemates was a board to discuss cruising .

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Old October 5th, 2011, 02:42 AM
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I guess I'm lost. I thought Cruisemates was a board to discuss cruising .

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Old October 5th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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Well the general theme of tea party is dont spend money you dont have, dont raise taxes, cut waste and fraud.

This Wall Street protests appear to be a bunch of anarchists, I recommend they go get a job or start their own company and quit blaming others for their problems.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Yeah some regulations need to be changed, NO naked short selling, No short selling on a down tick. Dont know why that cant be done right now
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Old October 5th, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7x57 View Post
A friend posted this on a site I follow. It is from the "Occupy Wall Street" group. It is just a repost, but it pertains to the conversation here. I personally support #5, however it is inadequately expressed below IMO.

1. Reinstate Glass-Steagall X

This would re-create a regulatory wall between commercial and investment banking. (The repeal of this act in 1999 is said by some to have contributed towards the financial crisis.)

2. Bring alleged Wall Street criminals to justice X

Ensure appropriate federal agencies fully investigate and prosecute the alleged Wall Street criminals that were responsible for the financial crisis

3. Repeal the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling X

Enact legislation to protect democracy which would restrict corporations from allegedly 'buying elections'. By reversing the effect of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, corporations would be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns - no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media.

4. Fair taxation

Pass the Buffet Rule on fair taxation, so the rich pay their fair share.(Drop the ruse of Reagan's rising tide raises all ships and shining city on a hill.)

5. Revamp the Securities and Exchange Commission X

This would ensure the integrity of the marketplace is protected, meaning citizens and investors are also both protected.

6. Increased political transparency X

Limit the influence of lobbyists at Congress, and increase political transparency so people know what Congress is up to.

7. Congress passing 'revolving door legislation' X

Passing legislation eliminating the ability of former government regulators going to work for corporations that they once regulated.

8. Instate a Tobin Tax X

A Tobin tax would hurt Wall Street bonuses and curb high-frequency and other trading activity.
9. Eliminate 'personhood' legal status for corporations X

'Occupy Wall Street' Reminded Us Of This Amusing Banker Prank - HereIsTheCity.com
Well instead of dressing up like idiots, they should get the message out there, I agree with point 1, 2, 4 (but not the buffet rule that is not fair taxation, but I believe in fair taxation), 5, 6, and 7

In addition I think the day for politcal contributions has passed, it is just about marketing now, how much can you spend. People who are really interested in learning about candidates, well there could be a system set up nationwide, you go to the library, you go to city hall, you go to the web to learn about candidates.

Literally billions being wasted on false campaign ads, this money would be better spent at food pantries.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 03:08 PM
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Okay, I've stayed out of it as long as I can. I am not a TEA Party member, or even a supporter thereof --- but I am a believer that the Tenth amendment should be honored.

The TEA Party people I've heard are very happy to blame both Republican and Democratic administrations for the current fiscal crisis. They are considered an offshoot of the Republican party only because Republicans have for generations at least CLAIMED to favor less government.

Aidan, your comment that the TEA party issue is really black and white is not only scurrilous, it reflects the same uninformed, lump-'em-all-together attitude that serves mainly to discourage people of principle from even getting involved in the political arena. How do you reconcile that with Herman Cain being a favorite of TEA members?
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Old October 5th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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AR...

What I object to is anybody believing they can read minds. I agree with some Tea Party principles and I agree with some Wall Streeters principles.

BUt I cannot abide conspiracy theorists who claim and group of people exercising their rights for free speech are merely fronts for people with hidden agendas.

To mention the Kochs and their funding of conservative causes and simultaneously fail to mention George Soros and his funding of the opposite is bias - plain and simple. You are not fair & balanced in any way.

Read this article, and be sure to follow the section on individual donations. While the Kochs foundations fund more organizations, Soros as an individual has far outspent either Koch brother in political donations.

And in any case - its all perfectly legal, so what difference does it make? Why even mention it? And did I just see you use the term "teabaggers?" really? That's classy.

Capital Rivals: Koch Brothers vs. George Soros - OpenSecrets Blog | OpenSecrets
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Old October 5th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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What I have never understood is that Soros advocates a "Socialist" system. Yet if such were to exist in this country, he could never have made the fortune he has accrued, at least not according to his precepts.

I still trust the American people to understand what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes it takes "Catch up" but ultimately, the average American is far more intuitive than to which either side gives credit.

Don't ever sell the American electoroate short! They may be fooled for a time from one side or the other, but they quickly learn what works and what doesn't.

Personally, I think all of these big city demonstrations are only illustrating to the average American voter, how screwed up our system is. If, and it's a big "if" the election brings change, then the Republicans are on the same hook.
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