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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stevie Wonder awarded Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize

oops, forgot to mention that President Barack Obama on Wednesday thanked musician Stevie Wonder for creating “a style that’s uniquely American” as he presented the singer-songwriter the nation’s highest award for pop music at White House.

MSNBC reports: President Obama, who called Wonder the soundtrack of his youth, gave the star the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during an East Room tribute that featured Tony Bennett, Martina McBride and Wonder himself. The president joked that the group was “the most accomplished Stevie Wonder cover band in history.”

Wonder was emotional at times, thanking Obama for the award and reflecting on what his election as the first black president means to the United States. More HERE

AAPP says: I love it! Enough said.

Kansas Gov. Accepts Nomination to HHS

President Obama asks Kathleen Sebelius to replace former senator Thomas A. Daschle, who withdrew from consideration last month. I guess James Clyburn push for Meharry Medical College President Wayne J. Riley to fill the position was ignored. More HERE and HERE

AAPP: Hmm... how many black folks have become Obama Secretaries?

Jackie Ormes made history

Hat Tip and shout out to another one of my favorite afrospear bloggers, Ms. Lady Deborah from the blog, From My Brown Eyed View. You see Ms Lady Deborah always throws down some knowledge. This time she is writing about Ms. Jackie Ormes (1911-1985)

Ms. Lady Deborah writes: I was channel surfing on Saturday morning and I stopped long enough to view an episode of Nick News. The children and Linda Ellerbee were discussing the subject of Black History Month.

During their discussion Ellerbee mentioned the name Jackie Ormes. At that particular time I had no idea who she was. After listening to the information provided on her achievements I knew that Ormes was a sistah that I wanted to share with you.

Jackie Ormes is the first African American female synciated cartoonist.

Ormes's cartoon characters (including Torchy Brown, Candy, Patty-Jo, and Ginger) delighted readers of newspapers such as the Pittsburgh Courier and Chicago Defender and spawned other products, including an elegant black doll with a stylish wardrobe and "Torchy Togs" paper dolls in the funny papers. Ormes was a member of Chicago's black elite, with a social circle that included the leading political figures and entertainers of the day. Her politics, which fell decidedly to the left and were apparent to even a casual reader of her cartoons and comic strips, eventually led to her investigation by the FBI during the McCarthy era. More HERE

Reminder from AAPP: Ms. Lady Deborah's blog is a must read!

Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2010

A New Era of Responsibility

To download a document, put your cursor on the document, click the right mouse button, and choose "Save target as" or "Save link as."
To download "A New Era of Responsibility" as a single PDF click here (140 pages, 1.8 MB)

State of the Black Union, Video of the 2009 State of the Black Union

Carmen Dixon at Black voices, EUR Web, black bloggers, and other news networks are reporting on the State of the Black Union hosted by PBS Talk Show Host Tavis Smiley. A variety of America's black leaders are meeting in Los Angeles, CA, for the 2009 "State of the Black Union." This day-long event is titled, "Making America As Good As Its Promise." This event will re-air on C-SPAN2, Friday, March 6 at 8pm (ET).

Racial Divide Regarding Burris - Blacks and Whites Divided ?

Well it looks like Blacks folks and whites in Chicago and in Illinois are dividing around color and race once again.Burris is now getting support from Chicago's black caucus, while others wonder why is Roland Burris still a U.S.Senator? Now, Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday called “unfortunate” a suggestion by a group of African-American aldermen that black voters may withhold support for politicians critical of embattled U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., saying he feared the return of a racial divide in the Democratic Party. This as Gov. Quinn looks into Roland Burris II's state job and the Burris' attorney warns against special election.

Roland Burris' troublesome son

The Detroit Free Press reports: Quinn’s reaction came a day after several Chicago aldermen defended Burris, saying he has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and issued a warning.

“I would just suggest to those people who seek to run in the wards of the city of Chicago where there are people of color living that they should tone it down, because some of us are taking notes,” said Alderman Freddrenna Lyle. “Those people will run at their peril.”

Burris was appointed to the seat by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich after the former governor’s December arrest on federal corruption charges for, among other things, allegedly trying to sell the appointment. Several lawmakers, including Quinn and U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., have called on Burris to resign after more revelations about Burris’ attempts to raise money for Blagojevich while lobbying his inner circle.

Quinn said he feared the controversy surrounding Burris would echo the “Council Wars” of the 1980s, when race divided the city’s Democrats.

Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., said there’s considerable support among blacks to leave Burris “alone and let him do his job.” He decried the aldermen’s comments as “divisive,” but said those calling for Burris’ resignation are “overreaching.”

The Burris defense, which continues with a rally by ministers today, comes after the senator brought on political consultant Delmarie Cobb in the midst of a controversy that threatens his political future. More HER

AAPP says: As the Racial divide widens in Burris debate, I guess replacing Senator Burris isn't as easy as some want it to be. Although the Illinois Attorney General is trying to get the ball rolling to remove Senator Burris her surprise opinion may be just that, opinion. Let's see how this plays out. But I would suggest that Dick Durbin and others not hold their breath to Senator Burris resigning anytime soon. I don't see the clock is running out for Roland Burris do you?

Is It Time For Marijuana Legalization?

As many would say years ago, Pass the Joint!

Well it looks like advocates and
supporters of programs to provide legal marijuana to patients with painful medical conditions are celebrating Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement this week that the Drug Enforcement Administration would end its raids on state-approved marijuana dispensaries. As reported by Megan Crepeau at the oregon live, Oregon's medical marijuana activists are buzzing over U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's statement this week that the federal government would no longer raid or prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries in states where they are legal."I'm just thrilled," said Paul Stanford, president of the Portland-based Hemp and Cannabis Foundation. "It means that patients can live free from a certain level of fear that they've been living with for years."More HERE

According to MSNBC Holder was asked about those raids Wednesday in Santa Ana, Calif., at a news conference that was called to announce the arrests of 755 people in a nationwide crackdown on the U.S. operations of Mexican drug cartels. He said such operations would no longer be conducted.

“What the president said during the campaign ... will be consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement,” he said. “What (Obama) said during the campaign ... is now American policy.”

The new policy represents a significant turnabout for the federal government. During the Bush administration, DEA agents shut down 30 to 40 marijuana dispensaries, the agency said.

According to MSNBC, The Web site of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy had yet to catch up to the policy shift as of Friday afternoon, and was still prominently featuring a “ Medical Marijuana Reality Check” declaring that “marijuana is not considered modern medicine” and arguing that “no animal or human data support the safety or efficacy of smoked marijuana for general medical use.”

Here is the list of thirteen states that allow the sale, distribution and use of marijuana for limited medical purposes:

• Alaska
• California
• Colorado
• Hawaii
• Maine
• Michigan
• Montana
• Nevada
• New Mexico
• Oregon
• Rhode Island
• Vermont
• Washington

AAPP: There are opposing views, however, I guess there will be many more states, and lots more people in pain, in the upcoming months and years. What do you think, should the Drug Enforcement Administration end it's raids on state-approved marijuana dispensaries ? Is it Time For Marijuana Legalization?

Friday, February 27, 2009

More Fluff From The Congressional Black Caucus?

Black News.com and other black news outlets are
reporting on a “Black Power” Struggle and how President Barack Obama reassured members of the Congressional Black Caucus that he's on their side and will do what he can to support the group's left-leaning agenda, lawmakers said Thursday after an hour-long session at the White House. Nearly all the group's 42 members attended. Noticeably absent was Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, Obama's replacement who is fending off calls to resign.

The lawmakers — all Democrats — said the reception was a welcome change from the tenure of former President George W. Bush, who held several cordial meetings with black lawmakers but rarely agreed with them on substance. More HERE

Black Caucus Presses Obama

Todd J. Gillman at The Dallas Morning News (tgillman@dallasnews.com) reports the caucus chairwoman, Rep. Barbara Lee of California, called the hour long White House meeting a "historic moment." Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a fellow Houstonian, noted the 12 percent unemployment rate among blacks and said the caucus is eager to work with Obama on solutions. "This was a vibrant meeting. This was a meeting where there were a lot of 'amens' because here we were, listening to someone that is on the same page as the American people of all economic levels," she said.

Although some caucus members had grumbled about waiting more than five weeks for the meeting, long after Obama sat down with conservative "blue-dog" Democrats and House and Senate Republicans, the praise flowed Thursday. The caucus met three times in eight years with the last president, Republican George W. Bush. More HERE

AAPP: I find it interesting that Barack Obama has adopted many of the recommendations made by many right wing think tanks inside the beltway, but seems to have ignored recommendations of the National Urban League, The Poor People's Campaign, Inc., National NAACP, and other black think tanks.

I wonder why? I also wonder why the Congressional Black Caucus failed to release a transcript of their meeting with President Obama to keep it constituencies "well informed" of plans and actions to be taken to address the condition of black folks in America? Could it be, because there are really... no plans? I guess that is why they have such a low approval rating.

21st Century Civil War Mongering In The United States?

It's not a subject that many black and white conservatives can't handle. It even seems from some polls, that southern blacks cannot handle it. Yes, it has to deal with race in America. Why is there so much Hatred in America? Why are the right wingers at FOX News and others making every attempt to scare Americans into thinking that this country is on the road to Civil War? Why are so many folks in Georgia and other states stockpiling weapons? Why are Gun Sales Soaring in the United States?

While some in the media would like to say, Eric Holder Missed an Opportunity others understand that we cannot go on with this segregation forever mentality.

The fact of the matter is,
American citizens privately control the world's largest arsenal of assault weapons; some American citizens even privately own tanks and grenade launchers. My question, why is there so much 21st Century Civil War Mongering in the USA? [$$$$$-GUN.jpg]

As reported by the folks at
News Hounds, "In a paranoid fantasy spun out over several segments, Beck and a series of guests set forth a number of dire “worst-case scenarios” for the United States in 2014. During each segment, Beck gave viewers the disclaimer that the apocalyptic visions he and his guests presented were not predictions of what would happen but merely what could happen. And yet Beck and his guests spoke as though the doomsday scenarios, including civil war. More HERE

Worst-Case Scenario 3 was “anger and discontent at home.” What they meant was gangs and civil war.

Retired CIA analyst Michael Scheuer even suggested that he approved of any ensuing Civil War. “I don't think the founders ever considered that there would be a tyranny of incompetence but I think that's what we're facing. And ultimately, that's the right of the American.”

Again, my question, why is there so much 21st Century Civil War Mongering in the USA? Do you know? It's people like the
California Mayor and people like him, that create the on-going atmosphere of hatred in the United States.

Is Post-Racialism Marching On in America?

Here is a great blog post about Los Almitos Mayor Dean Grose, showing the White house lawn prepped for the annual Watermelon hunt. The blog post outlines how Post-Racialism Marches On in America. H/T and Shout Out to Afrospear blogger Abdul Kargbo for the post. Check out his blog T’ings ‘n Times

Totally non-offensive picture showing the White House lawn prepped for the annual Easter watermelon hunt which, according to Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose, will replace the more traditional Easter egg hunt. Mayor Grose claims he was unfamiliar with the racial stereotype that Black people love watermelon.

Image distributed by Los Almitos Mayor Dean Grose, showing the White house lawn prepped for the annual Watermelon hunt. Grose is claiming he was unaware of the racial stereotype that Black people love watermelon.

Lest anyone was having trouble remembering that we are now living in a post-racial America, here are a few reminders.

In Los Alamitos, Mayor Dean Grose has come under fire for sending a doctored photo titled “No Easter egg hunt this year.” Offended recepients, including Keyanus Price, a Black businesswoman, have demanded an apology from the mayor. Speaking in his own defense, the mayor claimed that he had no idea there was a racial stereotype involving Black people and watermelons.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of the New York Post, issued a reluctant apology for the above cartoon, drawn by Sean Delonas.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of the New York Post, issued a reluctant apology for the above cartoon, drawn by Sean Delonas.

Other examples of post-racialism at work have attracted nationwide attention. Take, for example, the New York Post cartoon in which two White officers shoot dead a chimpanzee, and one of the officers says to the other, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.” While the Post and its supporters tried to argue that the cartoon ape and the reference to the stimulus bill were not coded racist references to President Barack Obama, there is no escaping the association. Although admittedly the president is not the bill’s author, a cursory Google search on the term “stimulus bill” turns up tons of articles that reference Obama in their opening paragraphs (see also here). So while the cartoonist may want people to believe that the link was unintentional, the reality is that on one hand, the ape has long been used as a racist caricature of Black people, and on the other hand, there is a long history of White people doing violence to Black people. When the links among the stimulus bill and Barack Obama, the history of police violence towards Black men, and the ape as a racist caricature are considered, it’s hard—if not impossible—not to see the racist overtones in this cartoon.

Sadly, some of the other signs of post-racialism are much more real than a doctored photo or a newspaper cartoon, and the town of Paris, Texas provides a few examples. Paris is where a 14-year-old Black girl was sentenced to seven years in a juvenile prison for pushing a hall monitor. The sentencing judge had earlier sentenced a young White girl to probation for arson! Paris is also home to Turner Industries’ pipe factory, whose Black employees are complaining that nooses, confederate flags, and racist graffitti are prominently displayed all over their workplace.

Ah yes! We are living in heady times! Post-racial fever is sweeping the nation and everybody’s catching the bug! According to CNN, there has been a huge upswing in the number of Americans joining hate groups. Don Black, a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard (what an unfortunate last name for a KKK Grand Wizard!?), told the cable news network that 2,000 people joined his online hate group the day after Obama’s inauguration: prior to the inauguration, he got about 80 new members a day. More HERE

Cross posted at The Post-Racial Blog

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama New Commerce Pick - Another Hillary Supporter

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke (file photo)

As reported by The Washington Post, MSNBC and the Baltimore Sun - President Barack Obama today nominated Gary Locke, former governor of Washington, to serve as secretary of commerce. The former two-term Democratic governor who left office in 2005 holds experience in international trade and was an early supporter of Obama's main rival in the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Hillary Clinton.

He was the nation's first Chinese-American governor when he took office in 1997. The pick marks the president's third attempt at seating a commerce secretary, filling in the membership of his Cabinet.

His first two picks -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, and New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, a Republican -- withdrew. Richardson cited an investigation of state contracting in New Mexico, and Gregg irreconcilable political differences with the president. More HERE

AAPP: Let's see how this one pans out. Barack obama's administration is looking more like a Hillary administration, with a few black included for "coloring."

Mecury News notes, Locke is regarded as a safe choice by officials in the Obama administration given his long history in public life, his strait-laced reputation and his bipartisan governing credentials - More HERE
. The Huffington Post reports, Locke's record is not completely unblemished. He was briefly linked to a scandal over foreign contributions to President Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign. In July 1998, he gave a deposition to the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight about his relationships with questioned Clinton donors. But the committee later said the deposition produced no evidence that Locke knowingly accepted illegal campaign donations. More HERE

Check out the Seattle Weekly, that has documented some interesting tid bits on Locke.
Link Source Michelle Malkin.

Of course, there was that memory loss and all those “I don’t recall . . . I don’t remember” statements to Congressional investigators in 1999, probing his gubernatorial campaign fund-raising efforts; the astonishing $3.2 billion tax break he gave to Boeing while never disclosing he paid $715,000 to - and relied on the advice of - Boeing’s own private consultant and outside auditor for advice; and those favors for his brother-in-law (who lived in the governor’s mansion), including a tax break for his relative’s company, personal intervention in a company dispute, and Locke’s signature on a federal loan application for the company.

Other than that, yes, squeaky clean.

Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend in Washington Post

Pam Spaulding lives in Durham, N.C., and writes a blog with 8,000 readers daily.

Pam Spaulding (photo: Karen Tam - The Washington Post)

I guess you can call this, my favorites day. Another one of my favorite bloggers, Pam Spaulding, is highlighted by one of my favorite Washington Post writers, Jose Antonio Vargas. Now that's what I'm talking about!

Jose writes a fantastic article about Pam Spaulding, and her blog, Pam's House Blend one of the most influential blog voices in the gay political afrosphere and larger blogosphere. It is a must read article.

Check it out HERE

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pravda.ru: Obama embodies grand failure of great hope

Hat Tip and shout out to my brother, The Angry Indian, for the link to an interesting article in the Pravda.ru regarding President Barack Obama. The article notes Barack Obama’s accession to power in the United States. The writer of the article is reminded of the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster about America’s future, where the US president is is often portrayed as a black intellectual, who is greatly concerned about saving America from an imminent catastrophe.

Check out the article, Obama embodies grand failure of great hopes

Barack Obama’s accession to power reminds the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster about America’s future, where the US president is is often portrayed as a black intellectual, who is greatly concerned about saving America from an imminent catastrophe.

We have all of that now: the black intellectual and the catastrophe. Let us just try to understand what it all means even if we are not average Americans.

Barack Obama appeared as the voice of many changes and the embodiment of changes during the elections. Obama has virtually brought a slightly renewed team of Bill Clinton to power. Clinton’s political legacy in Obama’s team is personified by Hillary Clinton, the new Secretary of State. General James Jones was appointed as the National Security Adviser. Retired Admiral Dennis Blair became the National Intelligence Director. Joe Biden, one of the architects of the US foreign political strategy, was picked as the vice president.

All vectors of the current US politics were built under Clinton’s rule. The NATO expansion, the bombing of Yugoslavia, the separation of Kosovo and even the doctrine to topple Saddam Hussein (Biden and Clinton took direct participation in its development) were all built during Clinton’s presidency. The Clinton’s administration used to have a much greater involvement in Russia’s internal affairs using the phenomenal loyalty of the Russian leadership of those times. It is worthy of note that Obama emerged as a politician against the background of anti-war sentiments.

Barack Obama said that the US must end the war in Iraq responsibly. In other words, he means that the United States must pull out from Iraq, but only when a responsible end is reached. No one would mind that, Bush would have nothing against either. The Guantanamo prison must be closed, but not now, because there is no place where the dangerous prisoners could be accommodated.

Obama is not a deceiver. However, his position of the incumbent leader differs from his pre-election rant. Obama said that the US administration should talk to its enemies, not just its friends, including Iran and Syria, to stabilize Iraq. He said that he’d use whatever military force is necessary to protect US citizens, but that the “military option is not the only option in the toolbox.” More HERE

Murdock Apologizes

Hat Tip to the website/blog All About Race.com for the link regarding the most recent New York Post apology today:

Rupert Murdoch

As the Chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me.

Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.

Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you - without a doubt - that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.

We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community. Source

AAPP says: This Pundit is not buying this
apology. It's what some would call, "The Murdoch Non-Apology." The fact is, this newspapers management, owners and this cartoonist have a history of color aroused bigotry. It's too bad the NY Post and other journalist just don't get it.

American Cowards, How We Honor Black Folk

Our new Attorney General Eric Holder says we are are a cowardly nation when it comes to discussing race relations. I agree with blogger, picture is worth a thousand words. She added her thousand words to get the discussion started. Here's the reality of how Florida's oldest Black community is honored an respected. I wonder how other historically black communities are honored? Visit her blog to get the conversation going.

Who is responsible for this? Cowards, inside and outside of the community? Which cowards, the city, the county, the people of the neighborhood? This picture could be replicated thousands of times throughout black communities in America. Who takes responsibility? Who will clean this mess up. It really should be us, right, It's our communities.

Brown vs. Monkey: Where’s the Outrage?

by Jehmu Green
Democratic Strategist/Former Clinton Adviser/Former Rock the Vote President

A political cartoon is misinterpreted and African-American organizations and their talking heads immediately see an opportunity to make noise. Meanwhile, a famous black woman is beaten down by her equally famous black boyfriend and commentary in the black community centers around, “What did she do to cause it?” Why are some African-Americans so cowardly when it comes to addressing black-on-black violence? There is no end to the activists’ displays of outrage when racism is perceived. Yet, the silence is deafening, drowned out only by the hypocrisy and ignorance when the perpetrator is black.

The leading cause of death for African- American women ages 15 to 45 is intimate partner homicide. Yes, black men are killing young black women in such high numbers it beats out accidents and every illness you can imagine. Where is the outrage?

Rupert Murdoch may be public enemy number one for the progressive community, but he and his posse at The New York Post are not sanctioning the abuse and killing of black women. The beating Rihanna experienced at the hands of Chris Brown was tragic, but definitely not uncommon. The leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45 is intimate partner homicide. Yes, black men are killing young black women in such high numbers it beats out accidents and every illness you can imagine. Where is the outrage? Where is the boycott? Where is the speech? I have never received a call to action email on behalf of black women affected by domestic abuse — at a rate 35% higher than our white counterparts.

When the Chris Brown incident became public where was the cry for attention to this issue by the megaphoniacs?

The only commentary posted on CNN.com was written by Leslie Steiner, while one of the most prominent black CNN contributors was ranting about Valentine’s Day. Michael Basden had an “enlightening” exchange on his radio show asking whether or not they should even be discussing the incident. If? Really, Michael? Would he ask that question if a white cop beat up a black boy? Absolutely not.

Some will say it is not fair to compare the monkey cartoon to the “Chrianna” event or police brutality to domestic abuse. It is about priorities, people. It is time to stop hiding our dirty laundry in the closet or making excuses for it. Black-on-black violence is decimating our communities and has been for quite some time. An apology from The New York Post is not going to save the life of any black person. Imagine if the NAACP had publicly pulled support for Chris Brown’s nomination for an Image Award similar to what Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum and the “Got Milk?” campaign did by removing him as a spokesperson? Maybe, just maybe, one young black male would learn an important lesson — never hit a woman. How can gum and milk peddlers have more integrity about their images than the NAACP Image Awards?

It is time for the black community to adopt a zero tolerance policy against domestic abuse. Bottom line: what Chris Brown did to Rihanna was a teachable moment — an opportunity for the black community to coalesce and show the world we are taking action to address a pressing issue affecting us all. Cartoon-gate is a misguided media stunt that will further create a chilling effect on free speech and ultimately have little impact on the lives of black people. To my friends at Colorofchange.org, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, and the NAACP please put the protest signs down and refocus the media spotlight on issues that actually matter. If you have to boycott something, boycott Chris Brown. Source

UPDATE: Even with Brown vs. Monkey: Where’s the Outrage questions... Many parties have urged that the New York Post issue an apology for a publication obviously aimed at President Barack Obama, but the Francis L. Holland Blog goes further, urging that a federal investigation be conducted to determine whether persons at the New York Post have violated 18 USC Title 18, Sec. 1751, 18 USC Title 18, Section 373 and/or other federal statutes whose penalties include potential life imprisonment or the death penalty.

The Francis L. Holland Blog urges Blacks, all Obama supporters, and everyone who oppose the assassination of American presidents, to perceive the New York Post "cartoon" for what it is: an internationally publicized call for the assassination of the President of the United States, wherein the international publication of this particular cartoon should be investigated as a possible "act to effectuate the object of the conspiracy," (18 USC Title 18, Sec. 1751) which "solicits, commands, induces, or otherwise endeavors to persuade such other person to engage in such conduct" 18 USC Title 18, Section 373. More HERE

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