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Newtown

Evil fell upon Newtown, Connecticut this morning. No term other than evil will fit. Over two dozen were murdered, most of them mere babies, between the ages of 5 and 10. In light of this abomination, I was reminded of these lines I wrote just a few short months ago.

The uncomfortable fact is that this twisting of the language is not coincidental, nor is it merely academic. It circumscribes our very culture, altering the relationship between the individual and their governmental bodies, on various levels.

Worse still, and by design, it places an artificial and profane barrier between citizen and citizen, forever distorting their view of each other, the economy, and society at large.

This method is at the very core of an ideological
movement which wraps itself in the language of
“progress,” while fanning out the smokescreen in an ever-widening arc, all in a vain attempt to mask the stench and stigma of its true garment: a shroud.

Yes. I said “shroud.”

Make no mistake, the language of the “Progressive” movement is the language of death, decay, and degeneracy. It worships at their altar.

Why else would we hear uttered, incessantly, phrases such as “food deserts” or “environmental justice” or “social justice” or “living wage” or “less fortunate” or “middle class”? All of these concepts place an emphasis on the struggle to achieve, as a society, what?

The almost.

Mediocrity. Egalitarianism. Equality for its own sake, at whatever expense necessary, the costs of which are to be paid by a select set of individuals.

All of this is antithetical to liberty. And, by extension, antithetical to life itself.

This latter should not be a controversial statement, but an accepted, logical, objective fact. Yet, it’s not.

In our modern society, such a declaration is scoffed at, mocked, derided, and deemed pessimistic or even conspiratorial.

I pray to God it were. Any of the above.

But it is, indeed, objective fact. The core of “progressive” ideology is anti-life. The long, dark
corridor that is the history of humanity bears this
out. Today’s culture, likewise, throws this fact into
stark relief, for those bold enough to dare look.

Mass shootings, on school and university
campuses, in theaters, and in the streets of our
major cities, carried out by individuals steeped in
the pervasive secular humanist dogma taught in
those schools, viewed in those theaters, and carried forward into reality on those city streets, in the ultimate display of disregard for human life.

Cultural rot. The legacy of Progressivism. The underlying culprit behind unconscionable acts like those carried out in Newtown, Connecticut today.

When a society’s moral compass is set askew, what else can we expect?

God help us.

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As I write this, it is 11 years, to the minute, since hijacked United Airlines flight 175 slammed into the World Trade Center’s South Tower.

I watched it happen, live on ABC, eyes still blurred from sleep, half-thinking it was some bizarre  nightmare still playing out in the last few minutes of my slumber.

But knowing, from the swelling lump in my throat and the first churnings of nausea in my gut, that it was all too real.

I was just beginning my first full week of unemployment, and had resolved the previous evening to begin my job search in earnest, first thing that Tuesday morning. My tv was set to turn itself on, at high volume, at 9am.

But, instead of looking for work, I never left the house that day. I sat on the couch, flipping between the 4 channels I had at the time, watching the day’s horror unfold, in living color, on the television before me.

The completed job applications sat on the glass coffee table, utterly forgotten, as a million questions, hundreds of fears, and a growing wave of confusion and uncertainty about all of them quickly replaced the now-trivial financial concerns that had been weighing me down for the four days prior.

I thought of my son, then six months old, and spent a good portion of the day attempting to get in touch with his mother. I would not succeed in that for two more days.

I had just learned, three weeks before, that he was my son, through a letter in the mailbox informing me of the paternity test results. I was not prepared to be a father (and who ever really is?), and had only seen him 4 times since his birth.

But that day, all I wanted to do was hold him, cradle him, and show him he had a dad, and not just a donor. I knew, even in those early hours of 9-11, that the world, which he was not even close to being fully aware of yet, would be forever changed, in ways both terrifying and uplifting. In either instance, life would never be the same.

When I couldn’t reach his mom, I did something I hadn’t done for a long time, at that point in my life. I did what I thought would be the next best thing: I prayed.

I prayed for him, and for his mother, and for their safety. I prayed for the families of those on the planes and in the buildings, and for those still struggling to make it outside.

And I prayed for those who cast aside their fears and self-concern, and rushed inside to help them get out.

I prayed for our nation, and its leaders, and not only for their safety, but that God would lend them wisdom to discern the threat, the culprits, and the response.

I knew, as most of us did at the time (though some have forgotten), that there must be a response. I watched the smoke from the fires mingle with the dust from crumbling concrete and drywall, and knew that both would soon be overshadowed by the fog of war.

Indeed, they already were. War was brought to us, just as surely as it had been on a December morning 60 years before.

But no liberty-loving individual ever seeks war. Liberty depends upon a vibrant civil society, wherein mutual respect for the rights of others is the cornerstone of all other interactions.

War and force are generally antithetical to that premise, except when force is necessary for the purpose of reasserting that premise. This is the reason for laws, and the enforcement mechanism they entail.

The terrorists who carried out those horrific attacks violated the laws of nature, by resorting to force and stripping 3,000 fellow human beings of their God-given rights to their lives, their liberties, and their pursuit of their own happiness.

And I can imagine that terrorists like those of 9-11, and influencial people in governments across the globe who fund their terrorist activities, were applauding and chuckling last week, when “God-given” was removed from the Democrat party platform.

I’m sure they saw, too, the irony of forcing those words back into the platform, the following day, in a decidedly undemocratic fashion.

But whether those terrorists or those delegates like it or not (for different reasons, I’m sure), this nation was founded on a covenant with God, first stated by George Washington on a lonely battlefield in Pennsylvania, and witnessed by Isaac Potts.

That is just as much a part of our nation’s history as 9-11, and just as transformational, regardless of the existence of television footage.

Is it any wonder that, as government grows and insinuates itself into man’s relationship with his maker (and, at certain points, even seeks to replace it), our society further erodes?

Our culture, our respect for our fellow men and their rights, and even our fiscal security: all of these have coursened, crumbled, and virtually collapsed, much like those towers, since the beginnings of the “Progressive Era.”

This is not coincidence. This is the inevitable result of the progressive ideology, and its tacit hostility to individual, and, yes, God-given, free will. The fact that we allowed this ideology to take root, in America, denotes our conscious betrayal of that covenant.

We came to terms, after 9-11, with the dire threat of terrorism, and the danger of not confronting and destroying it wherever it lurks. And we renewed our resolve to do just that, if for a short time.

So, too, must we now resolve to confront the evils of progressivism, and the cultural rot they foment, every single time they are allowed to take hold of a society. We must resolve to root out every last vestige of them. No quarter can be given.

This is the most lasting tribute we can give, to those who lost their lives on 9-11, and to those who pledged, before God, their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to defend and preserve those rights He bestowed.

In every civilization, in every age, and in every generation, there are pivotal moments. Triumphs and crises alike that bring a people together to work toward a goal.

And, in times of crisis, human nature compels us to look for leaders who will rise above the confusion and confidently point us in a direction, right or wrong.

We want to trust them, and believe that direction is the right one. But, when the leader we turn to is a flawed mortal, like ourselves, we are eventually, inevitably, let down.

Look, instead, not to government, but to a higher authority. One that ordered the footsteps of this nation from its humblest beginnings, and nurtured it into the greatest bastion of liberty and good will the world has ever known. But only as long as we honored the covenant.

Pray. Seek firm answers in times of crisis.

And steel your resolve to remember that covenant, to restore it and, moreover, to renew it.

The very future of your children, grandchildren, and, yes, my son who is now 11 1/2, depend on it.

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“A political battle is merely a skirmish fought with muskets. A philosophical battle is a nuclear war.” These words were written by Ayn Rand way back in 1964. This sentiment was, at one time, shared by the Tea Party groups that inhabit central Virginia. They understood that the time for fixing those metaphorical rusty bayonets to unreliable antique muskets was past, and that a new war was raging.

This new struggle represents a fundamental disagreement over the very philosophical basis of our great Republic, and whether our future course will reflect or even remotely resemble it.

There are still a few who recognize this central fact upon which the national Tea Party movement was built, but there are many more who fall into the ranks of what the central Virginia Tea Party has now become: yet another partisan group, concerned merely with short-term political victory. Preferably Republican.

There are far too many examples of this paradigm shift to include in the limited space allotted here, so the most egregious will have to suffice. During the 5th District GOP primary, 6 truly conservative candidates garnered over fifty-two percent of the vote, giving a clear indication of their lack of enthusiasm for and/or trust of State Senator Robert Hurt.

Tea Party leaders throughout the Fighting Fifth also voiced their displeasure with his voting record, some even going so far as to formally endorse other candidates.

But all that changed rapidly, once the primary was over. The GOP, which already had their hooks deep into the local Tea Party groups, began flexing their muscles even more.

The whispers of “Come with us. We’ve been around longer and we understand how to get things done in politics” gained volume and force, and the Tea Party groups (and some former primary candidates) believed that they were becoming the bestest buddies of the GOP. They were convinced they would be granted a prime place at the GOP table, if only they would capitulate, grovel, and compromise “just this once.”

And the Tea Parties, throwing caution to the wind and consciously ignoring those old warnings from Mom and Dad, accepted the sucker and climbed into the panel van with the nice man who was surely sent by Mom to pick them up, just as he told them he was.

Some have said that the Tea Party movement has been hijacked. I disagree and submit that it is much more in keeping with the preceding scenario; a consensual kidnapping. What one friend of mine refers to as “the political equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome.”

The next indication that local Tea Party groups have confused this battle with a political one is their shameful treatment of Independent conservative Jeff Clark. The fear campaign from the right has convinced Tea Party “leaders” that the future of the entire Republic hinges on Virginia’s Fifth District.

In a classic case of missing the forest and running face-first into an individual tree, they have conflated Tom Perriello with Nancy Pelosi, his values and record be damned.

I am by no means a Perriello supporter, as evidenced by the fact that I launched a campaign to run against him, before the ’08 recount was even finalized. My concern here is that principles be paramount.

I know Tom’s principles, and I know Jeff’s. Because they both draw their principles from a deeply-held personal philosophy. Robert Hurt’s principles, according to me and every single candidate that challenged him in the primary, are skin deep and subject to change without a moment’s notice.

The local Tea Parties staunchly opposed Hurt in the primary. This race is being watched closely on a national (and even international) level. Adding those two factors together, a victory by Robert Hurt next Tuesday will be trumpeted by the vast majority of the national media as an embarrassing defeat for the Tea Party movement.

To return to the beginning: “A philosophical battle is a nuclear war.” And a vote for Robert Hurt is the equivalent of signing a unilateral disarmament treaty in 1977.

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After reflection, soul searching, and prayer, I have decided to bring forward information on Senator Hurt’s past that, so far, the press has either been ignorant of or has decided to ignore. In either scenario, lackluster reporters like Catherine Amos and Janelle Rucker have let down the public by failing to reveal important facts about Senator Hurt, the man, and his character.

Hurtards like to think that Senator Hurt is just a local Southside boy. They ignore that he was born into wealth and spent most of his early childhood either in New York City or at one of the nation’s most elite and privileged boarding schools. After attending a series of safety private schools to satisfy the claim that he has a degree, he began to practice law in Pittsylvania County. But with his background of power and privilege, how much work does Senator Hurt actually do at his law firm? And who does he work for?

In at least two cases, Senator Hurt served as the attorney for criminals involved in crack cocaine dealing. This supposed man of character and integrity decided that defense of drug dealers in Southside Virginia was the best use of his talent and resources.

The first is related to a large drug bust of a crack cocaine ring in the New River Valley. Senator Hurt represented one of the men involved in this ring, Gregory Smith, who was eventually sentence to 13 years in prison for his role. And what was part of Smith’s role?

Ashley Nicole “Red” Franklin’s boyfriend, Gregory Douglas “Binky” Smith, introduced her to cocaine when she was 16. Franklin, 19, later became an addict and a distributor.

Interestingly, the original article from the Roanoke Times outlining Senator Hurt’s role in defending Smith is no longer available through their website, while the original outlining about the cocaine ring from an earlier date is still up. Here is the transcript of the article linking Senator Hurt to a drug dealer who addicted a young teenage girl to crack cocaine.

MAN GETS 13 YEARS FOR ROLE IN DRUG RING

A federal judge sentenced a Radford man to more than 13 years in prison in connection with his participation in a large crack cocaine ring in the New River Valley.

Judge Samuel Wilson said that he took Gregory Smith’s extensive criminal history into account as part of the sentence. Smith, 31, is the first of 11 defendants to be sentenced in connection with the ring. Federal authorities have argued that at its height, the ring trafficked 1 to 5 kilograms of crack and powder cocaine per month into the New River Valley.

All of the defendants in the case have pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges, except the alleged ringleader, Richard Lamont Lighty.

Wilson also said he took into consideration the argument by Smith’s attorney, Robert Hurt of Chatham, that Smith was a minor player in the drug conspiracy.

Smith, already in custody on state charges, will have to serve his federal sentence consecutively, Wilson said. He also fined Smith $1,000.

Does Senator Hurt still believe that addicting young girls to crack cocaine is a “minor” part of the drug trade? The only thing “minor” here was the age of the girl when her life was ruined by illegal drugs.

In a second case, decided earlier this year, Robert Hurt represented a convicted criminal, Alpheus Spencer Adams, involved in the cocaine trade. Here Senator Hurt was representing a criminal attempting to use the appeals system to get his conviction overturned on a technicality, and the courts rightly ruled against these shenanigans.

I am disgusting that the media in the 5th District has been unable to perform its minimal task of looking into the background of candidates for public office. Jeff Clark’s name has been dragged through the mud, but no one has even touched Robert Hurt’s record. This is just the first step in revealing the true Robert Hurt.

(h/t to NotAndySere)

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Balance Beam/Cheer: (This is TOO cute) –

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The following is the text of the statement delivered by Bradley S. Rees at a press conference Thursday evening. For more specifics on the problems and solutions Bradley speaks of in this statement, please read the October TEA Party speech Bradley has posted.

Thursday night’s statement, in full, is below:

Thanks for coming out here to Bedford County tonight. I grew up not far down 460, over in Appomattox County, and my wife and I moved our little family out here just over 2 years ago.

The reason I called this press conference this evening is simple, but the details are not. I’ll keep this as brief as possible, then open it up for questions.

I have been running for the Republican nomination for the 5th District since December of ’08, but officially only since this past June. During this time I have consistently referred to myself as a “reluctant Republican” and proudly taken on the mantle of the anti-establishment, grassroots candidate. I have been honored to speak at 5 tea parties, and have been invited to speak at several more that I simply could not attend.

It has been a distinct privilege to meet and converse with thousands of 5th District residents, and to have gained their trust, support, and, most of all, their friendship. I sincerely hope that, by the end of this statement, I will retain all of these sentiments from these great people.

But, during this campaign, I have also heard and seen many things within the Republican party establishment, both nationally and locally, that have been a cause for great concern and even, at times, indignation. I have witnessed things that are meant to be kept in the shadows, away from the ears and critical thinking abilities of the populace.

These things, especially how some of the best people I’ve met in this process are viewed by the higher-ups in the party, must be brought into the light of day, sooner rather than later, so that the battle for the soul of the Republican party can be waged, AND WON, before the next election cycle.

As a candidate, within the Republican party, it would be unbecoming for me to bring these hidden sentiments, this intentionally suppressed rift, to the surface. Suffice to say, there are people in this party whose sole concern is political power, all at the expense of core principles.

There are many, both at the national, state, and local levels, whose power-lust and win-at-all-costs mentalities have infected the Republican party like a grotesque and malignant cancer.
They must be rooted out, not to destroy the party, but to reclaim and rebuild it, on the foundation of the core principles it has historically stood on, and that so many of the party elites have so long ignored, and now completely walked away from.

We have seen some of what I’m referring to come into a national spotlight lately. In Florida, moderate Governor Charlie Crist is running for the Senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez, and currently held by one of his own former chief advisors that he appointed. Former Speaker of the Florida House, and a true conservative, Marco Rubio is running for the Republican nomination for the same seat.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has stepped into the primary process (which is not their place, by the way) on behalf of Crist, who fully supports the failed Economic Stimulus from this past February. This is nothing short of arrogance on the part of Republicans at the national level, attempting to dictate to local party members who their nominee should be. And many on the local level are more than happy to go along with these dictates from above.

In New Jersey, there was a primary for the Republican nomination for governor. Chris Christie, an establishment Republican and career politician, beat out the much more conservative Steve Lonegan for the nomination, again with the help of national party members and the Republican National Committee.

Now, a few days away from the election, it appears that Christie will lose, and one of the most corrupt politicians since Richard J. Daley, John Corzine, will retain his residency in the governor’s mansion. The Independent candidate, Chris Daggett, who is more conservative than Christie on many issues, has been surging in the latest polls, and actually has broken out of the ranks of “spoiler” and into the realm of legitimate contender. You can bet that the party establishment is not happy about this turn of events.

And, most recently, the special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District has gained a national spotlight. Career politician and blatant liberal Dede Scozzafava was handed the GOP nod, while Doug Hoffman, a businessman and political outsider, was completely overlooked. Hoffman is now running on the platform of the Conservative Party of New York, and has an excellent chance of winning, over both the Republican and Democrat candidates. In fact, the most recent polls I have seen show him opening up a lead over both the liberal and liberal-lite candidates.

Even with the support of money and influence from the RNC, Newt Gingrich, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, Scozzafava’s ties to the AFL-CIO, ACORN, SEIU, and her support for Card Check and the failed stimulus plan have all exposed her as the liberal-lite politician she truly is. The American people, in these 3 races, are proving that they are tired of the same old party insiders and their political games which routinely foist upon us the “lesser of two evils.”

In the cases of Rubio, Daggett, and Hoffman, the people are being given a true choice, not just what the major parties have attempted to shove down their throats.

And that leads me back to this race, right here in Virginia’s 5th District. Out of 7 declared candidates so far for the Republican nomination, only one has even drawn a comment from the National Republican Congressional Committee, and they sounded very pleased that this person had entered the race. With the track record they have in other races around the country, my question is this: why should we trust THEIR judgment here, in OUR nominating process?

The answer is, quite clearly, We shouldn’t. And so, as in these other races I’ve highlighted, the people deserve a clear choice. I am here tonight to also deliver a message to the 5th District Republican leadership: If you let the powerful D.C. and local party elite dictate the outcome of our nominating process here in the Fighting Fifth, and that nominee is not a principled conservative that we can trust to maintain spinal integrity in Washington, you can count on next year’s general election being identical to this year’s New York 23 and New Jersey Gubernatorial races.

I had hoped the GOP establishment would have learned a lesson in November of 2006. They didn’t. But they had another chance to learn a valuable lesson from a horrible mistake last November, both on the national level AND here in the 5th. The American people are growing weary with career politicians. Here in the 5th, they voted for a fresh face, a political outsider that everyone in the GOP refused to take seriously. Gee, that sounds familiar. I think I resemble that remark!

The point is: They STILL don’t get it. And I fear they won’t wake up before next Spring when they choose their nominees for 2010.

As such, it is my duty to announce that, as of today, I am withdrawing from consideration for the Republican nomination, so that I can devote my time, via my blog and my upcoming radio show, to exposing some of the charlatans and even outright liars who have corrupted the party I would have been proud to represent.

Starting in January, I intend to begin laying the groundwork and getting my support structure in place to run on the Virginia Conservative Party platform. It may amount to only drawing enough votes from the Republican candidate to ensure Tom Perriello a second term. If so, so be it. Maybe then, the party will understand that we are trying to save the GOP from its worst enemy: not the Democrats, but themselves.

I do not plan to do this on a whim, only to be a spoiler, but to give the people a chance to make their voices heard. Those voices will, I fear, be denied at next Spring’s convention, due to deals made in smoky back rooms in the 5th district.

The current acronym for people like Crist, Christie, and Scozzafava, is RINO. Republican In Name Only. That’s why I chose this spot for my press conference tonight. Because, whether the RINO is big or small, it’s still a RINO.

Safari Rees

Going on Safari: Rees Hunting RINOs

Now, as far as I’m concerned, Tom Perriello is a man of principle. He says what he means, and votes that way. I completely disagree with his principles, but I respect him for standing on them. A RINO, on the other hand, cannot be trusted. They will say one thing, when they are at home in the district, then vote the completely opposite way while in the Capitol, dancing with the devil. As Joaquin Phoenix said in the movie 8MM, “When you dance with the devil, the devil don’t change; the devil changes you.”

When you boil everything down, Ronald Reagan was absolutely right when he said that we need to shun the muted pastels and instead embrace bold colors, to clearly delineate the differences in principle between ourselves and the opposing party. This, he said, would revitalize the Republican party, and so it did. I think it would behoove us to once again heed the Gipper’s advice.

My campaign’s main slogan has been, Stand on Principle, or Stand Aside! I think Reagan would agree. And, until recently, when he endorsed Scozzafava, I thought Newt Gingrich would agree, as well. But perhaps Newt danced with the devil a bit too long, as well.

In closing, I started out this campaign with one goal in mind: to prove to the people of the 5th District what they should have learned last November: that it doesn’t take a career politician, a lawyer, or someone with a big-name pedigree to engage the principles and capture the imaginations of the voters. Instead, it takes a firm commitment to principles, against all odds. I never anticipated the level of support I have received over the past 10 months, and I am truly grateful for that.

But my original goal has been achieved. Because of my candidacy, 3 others have joined the race, and they are not politicians, or lawyers, or well-known. But what they ARE means more than all those combined: they are principled conservatives whose love for this country outweighs any party affiliation or loyalty to the elites in the power structure. They are all hard-working family men, and political outsiders. I will be watching their campaigns closely, talking with each of them frequently, and I fully intend to endorse one of them in the coming months, hoping the party will take heed and finally begin to stand on principles.

Thanks for your time, and I’ll open this up to any questions you may have.

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Rush Limbaugh correctly pointed out on his show (on 10-22-09) that the statement released by the White House claims “Special Master on Executive Compensation” Kenneth Feinberg made the decision on cutting executive pay on his own, without having to run it past Obama first. This begs the question “just how much autonomous authority do these czars (never subjected to Senate scrutiny) have?”

As distressing as that question and its implications are, it is even more frightening that there is no answer forthcoming (and I wouldn’t suggest holding your breath waiting for one).

One point that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity ALL failed to make, however, was one that popped in my mind Wednesday evening while watching ABC’s Nightly News reporting on the Pay Czar/Special Master’s announcement. Namely, that this 90-95% pay cut is for the top 25 execs from 7 TARP companies. But, as far as I’ve been able to determine, it states that these cuts are to be applied to base salaries.

Quite a few of these execs are making a base salary of $1 per year. So now they’ll be getting a nickel or a dime per year in compensation? That’s less than Michael Vick was earning per hour IN PRISON! Well, of course that’s not the entire compensation package for these executives. Their main perks come in the form of stock options, retirement plans, and bonuses. Oops! Not BONUSES?! We proved back in March with AIG that we can drum up a hell of a lot of violent faux “populist” outrage with the notion of bonuses!

Here’s my prediction: wait a few months (if that long) and the Congress will start holding hearings where these execs will be grilled (or, more aptly, raked over the coals) by grandstanding Senators raising the banner of righteous indignation over these “greedy profit-mongers” and their “undeserved bonuses.

This entire deal boils down to one larger point: with executive pay limits, and the inevitable future recycled furor over bonuses, the Obama administration gets a two-fer distraction to keep your minds focused on what they want you to focus on. They are magicians of the first order and this is grade-A sleight of hand.

How many balls are in the air right now, and being juggled by this inexperienced clown of a President? Afghanistan, Health Care Reform, Cap&Trade, Card Check, Stimulus 2, Net Neutrality, Executive Pay, Financial Sector Regulatory Reform… The list goes on and on.

We cannot allow them to make us focus on just one of these. We must all be vigilant, tiring though it may be (and by design, I might add. It’s the Chicago way.), and we must all focus on all of it at once.

To reiterate, watch your balls, America. Or, as Uncle Joe Biden would say, “Gird your loins!” ;D

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