Hate crimes 3

A person’s emotions and unrevealed thoughts, though they might be suspected, can seldom be proved.

And however aggressive thoughts and emotions may be, they are not in themselves criminal. They may be “sinful” to a Christian, but a crime and a sin are not the same thing. A crime is a deed done; a sin of thought is at worst only a potential crime. Sin is defined by faith, not reason, and faith does not – cannot – subject its dogma to the rigorous examination practiced in secular courts of law.

When a crime is committed, its perpetrator should be punished regardless of what emotions or thoughts motivated him. (Self-defense is an exception as the desire to live and not be harmed is assumed to be universal.)

Some crimes, it’s true, having no obvious or discoverable motive (such as gain), can plausibly be attributed to hate, jealousy, fear, or revenge. And a perpetrator might say that he was driven by the force of an emotion. But still, traditionally it is what he actually did that brings him before the judgment of society and its law.

Yet codes of law do exist that allow strong emotion to be taken into account – as a mitigating not an aggravating circumstance. In France, for instance, the crime passionel – a crime committed out of strong feeling such as, and usually, jealous love – is allowed special consideration for lighter punishment or none. It may be charming to find a place for sentiment in law, for love, or compassion, or “empathy”; but to esteem passion more highly than personal responsibility is to undermine the dependability of the law. The law must be dependably impersonal, objective, impartial, neutral, even-handed or it is not just.

Must be? Increasingly, the political Left – the side of the emotions – favors the idea of treating a defendant leniently if he is “underprivileged”, harshly if he is “privileged”. Obama and his Supreme Court pick Sonia Sotomayor have expressed a preference for “empathetic” judgment – finding according to the personal feelings of the judge. If judges always or often did that, it would be the end of the rule of law. If people permit them to do it, they’re demolishing the house that shelters them.

Some seem to think a judge is right to find for someone with whose opinions he agrees, and against someone whose opinions he dislikes, regardless of the merits of their cases. A British judge, for example, let off vandals who had been proved guilty, because they said they were doing it against the state of Israel which they deemed oppressive, and in sympathy with Palestinians whom they deemed victims of Israeli oppression. Because the judge shared their opinions of Israel and the Palestinians, he acquitted them. If all judges made their judgments on such grounds of personal preference, it would clearly be the end of justice and the rule of law.

Most if not all “hate crime” is attributed to “racism”. As “racism” is an attitude of mind that taints the individual, it is a sin rather than a crime. If it prompts a crime, it is the crime that is wrong, not the attitude of mind or depth of feeling behind it.

But almost everywhere in the Western world, the attitude and feeling are now regarded as more important, more to be condemned, than the actual crime. Since the rise to power of the New Left  in politics, education, and the mass media, “racism” tops almost every other offense.

And yet … It appears that in practice the gravity of the “racist’ offense depends on which “race” is carrying out the attack on which other “race”. Some – like the vandals in Britain – are given a pass on the grounds that they are the more unfortunate. (An extension of the crime passionel idea.)

What is “racism”?

“Racism” has come to mean dislike of a race, a nation, or a religious group. It is not applied – though it applies logically – to a group defined by occupation; say lawyers, or bankers, or the executives of corporations, all of whom are subjected to hate as an entire class.

The FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” But that motivation remains guesswork, dependant on opinion and prejudice, which makes its even application impossible.

If a rule against racism were to be applied evenly, the defendants in the British case would not have been acquitted – and the judge would have been seen as committing a hate crime himself.

But to apply such a rule evenly would be to return to dependably impersonal, objective, impartial, neutral, even-handed justice.

That such real justice looks outdated, signifies that the Left has won. 

*

We have said that judgment needs to be of the crime itself, regardless of its motive.

But are there some crimes for which the only discoverable or imaginable motive is “hate”?

Certainly there are.

And is the hatred motivating the perpetrators of such crimes sometimes a hatred of the race, or nation, or religion of their victims?

Certainly it is.

The worst hate crime in this century – worst in numbers, method, and effect – was what has come to be called simply “9/11” – the bombing of the World trade Center twin towers in New York on September 9, 2001. It was obviously motivated by religious hatred.

We argue that the motive does not excuse the crime. The motive does not make a crime less or more criminal.

But the Left holds that the motive of hate, however it is detected, does make a crime worse.

Any crime done out of hate is worse because of the hatred?

Well, no – comes the reply – not any crime. To conclude that would be logical, reasonable, Rightist.

In the case of 9/11, the argument goes, the hate was justified, because the crime and the hatred were in retaliation for prior crimes of hate committed by “the United States”, and/or “capitalists” involved with trade whose headquarters actual and/or symbolic were the World Trade Center, and/or President George W. Bush, and/or the Right in general.

In fact, many Leftists – or “social justice warriors”, SJWs – go so far as to argue that nothing done by the Left against any of those villains, even if done in a spirit of hate, can be classed as a hate crime, because it is always justified revenge. So the Left and its allies cannot commit a hate crime. For instance, a blow against a Muslim because he’s a Muslim is a hate crime, yes; but a blow by a Muslim against a non-Muslim because he’s a non-Muslim, is not a hate crime. Because Muslims are oppressed, strikes by Muslims are never morally wrong. The same argument applies if the striker is Black, or identified with any group they define as “oppressed”. The chief oppressors are always the United States, capitalists, white men, Israel, conservatives and Republicans.

All “oppressed” perpetrators of avenging attacks are justified by their victimhood. They cannot be accused of hate crimes. They are the eternal victims of hate crime.

And who are the “oppressed”? They are who the SJW’s say they are.

Posted under Commentary, Crime, education, Ethics, Islam, Israel, jihad, Law, Leftism, media, Muslims, Palestinians, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

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Who are the racists? 2

I have been asked: If elite colleges do not create lower admission standards, how are they going to have enough black students? My response is: That’s their problem. Black people cannot afford to have our youngsters turned into failures in order to support the agendas of diversity race hustlers and to lessen the guilt of white liberals.

So writes Professor Walter Williams in an article against “affirmative action” – ie. discrimination on grounds of race – here.

wew2010

Walter Williams

Derryck Green of Prager University makes it plain on which side of the political divide the racists are – and it isn’t the conservative side.

 

(Hat-tip for the video to our Facebook commenter Robert Nabors)

Posted under Race, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

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In praise of a secular society 3

Pat Condell speaks for us again.

 

Posted under Commentary, Islam, Muslims, Race, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 31, 2014

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Fairness, racism, compassion, and the hungry 8

Cruelty and sentimentality are two sides of the same coin. Collectivist ideologies, however oppressive, justify themselves in sweet words of sharing-and-caring. Disagree with a leftie, and she will lecture you in pained tones on how a quarter of the children of America “go to bed hungry”. Or say that you are against government intervention in industry, and she’ll describe horrific industrial accidents, as if bureaucrats could prevent them from ever happening. Collectivists believe that only government can cure poverty by redistributing “the wealth”, not noticing that, if they were right, poverty would have been eliminated long ago in all the socialist states of the world – the very ones we see collapsing now, under the weight of debt.

However rich the crocodile weepers of the Left may be (and many of them are very rich and passionately devoted to redistributing other people’s wealth, such as John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros), they are likely to tell you that they “don’t care about money”. They despise it. (“Yucks, filthy stuff! Republicans with their materialist values can think of nothing else!”)  Or if they are union members, and demand ever higher wages and fatter pensions, they express the utmost contempt for the producers of wealth. To all of these, we at TAC issue a permanent invitation. If you feel burdened by the possession of wealth, we’re willing to relieve you of it. We have a soft spot for money. The harsh words said about it rouse our sincere compassion. We promise to welcome it no matter where it comes from, and give it a loving home.

In regard to the hard Left and its sweet vocabulary, here are some quotations from a column by the great political philosopher Thomas Sowell. He writes:

One of the most versatile terms in the political vocabulary is “fairness.” It has been used over a vast range of issues, from “fair trade” laws to the Fair Labor Standards Act. And recently we have heard that the rich don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. …  Life in general has never been even close to fair, so the pretense that the government can make it fair is a valuable and inexhaustible asset to politicians who want to expand government.

“Racism” is another term we can expect to hear a lot this election year, especially if the public opinion polls are going against President Barack Obama. Former big-time TV journalist Sam Donaldson and current fledgling CNN host Don Lemon have already proclaimed racism to be the reason for criticisms of Obama, and we can expect more and more talking heads to say the same thing as the election campaign goes on. The word “racism” is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything — and demanding evidence makes you a “racist.”

A more positive term that is likely to be heard a lot, during election years especially, is “compassion.” But what does it mean concretely? More often than not, in practice it means a willingness to spend the taxpayers’ money in ways that will increase the spender’s chances of getting reelected. If you are skeptical — or, worse yet, critical — of this practice, then you qualify for a different political label: “mean-spirited.” A related political label is “greedy.”

In the political language of today, people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be “greedy,” while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give them to others (who will vote for them in return) show “compassion.” 

A political term that had me baffled for a long time was “the hungry.” Since we all get hungry, it was not obvious to me how you single out some particular segment of the population to refer to as “the hungry.” Eventually, over the years, it finally dawned on me what the distinction was. People who make no provision to feed themselves, but expect others to provide food for them, are those whom politicians and the media refer to as “the hungry.” Those who meet this definition may have money for alcohol, drugs or even various electronic devices. And many of them are overweight. But, if they look to voluntary donations, or money taken from the taxpayers, to provide them with something to eat, then they are “the hungry.”

Beware the Compassioneers: even as they pick your pocket they try to pluck your heartstrings.

Posted under Commentary, Economics, government, liberalism, Progressivism, Race, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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Rise of the BNP 2

Felix Bungay writes:

It’s been a strange few days in Britain. There has been open conflict in the Labour party over Mr Brown’s ability to lead the country. Many of his senior ministers have been resigning like flies and all of this happened before the disastrous Labour results in the local and European elections. In spite of all this he lives on, much like the terminator as our own Dan Hannan put it.
In addition to all of this and in my opinion far more worrying, is that for the first time Britain will be sending two members of the national socialist BNP (British National Party) to the European Parliament following the European elections. It is a sad day in any country to see democratically elected representatives openly espouse racism, but attention must now be drawn to culture which has allowed the BNP to succeed.

My answer to this is that the BNP have prospered because of Labours culture of ‘identity politics’. That is the pigeonholing of everyone into specific groups based on their gender, race, sexuality or any other distinction. Such actions are typical of the left, seeking to ‘collectivise’ people rather than treating them as individuals. The Labour government has encouraged special interest groups to lobby government on behalf of ‘gays’, ‘blacks’, ‘Muslims’ or whoever else. This standpoint discards the viewpoints of individuals in these various minorities and transforms them into a ‘group’ based on these distinctions.

I would argue that such action is in-itself inherently racist, sexist or otherwise, as by putting these people into political groupings based on their minority, this presupposes that people of the same sexuality or race automatically think the same or have the same views. Thus this obsession with ‘identity’ is not only fundamentally flawed but it has also led to an increasing resentment amongst Labours ‘core vote’ of the white working class.

Indeed when we combine this culture with Labours failure to address immigration or the European Union, we can see the ideal breeding ground for a political party which combines extreme left economic policies (nationalisation of industry, high taxation, protectionism etc) with a promise to end and un-do immigration. Labours laws on hate crimes, positive discrimination, multiculturalism and the breeding of a political culture were anyone who speaks out against Burka’s or Sharia law is labelled a racist has led to an alienation between itself and what used to be the people it stood for. Instead of encouraging immigrants to become British we have encouraged them to remain in their own communities and to essentially segregate themselves from British life. Increasing immigration and a failure to integrate these immigrants into British life has meant that these people remain culturally alien to the British Isles. It is not then surprising that people who have lived in an area for many generations may begin to feel strangers in their own towns when immigrant communities become more prevalent.

It is in Labours failure to address any of these issues which are of such concern to ordinary British people that it has created the conditions for the BNP to be actively welcomed in some areas as the antidote to all this. It is Labour and Labour alone who are to blame for the BNP’s success and we need a radical change in culture to deliver us from this spiralling madness of identity politics. What we need is a political culture where we can have a real debate about immigration. What we need is a society where we can move away from treating people of the same sex, colour or sexuality as a political group rather than as individuals. What we need is a society built around the concept of a civic British identity, rather than a fractured society strewn around many. This is the only way we can move forward as a nation and the only way to truly counter the BNP.

Felix Bungay is a 1st year History and Politics student. He is a member of the British Conservative party and The Freedom Association. You can read more of what he has to say on his blog: Think This – http://youthinkthis.blogspot.com/

Posted under Britain, Commentary, United Kingdom by on Thursday, June 11, 2009

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Racism as a factor in Obama’s success 0

 Diana West comments on race as a motive for voting for Obama and quotes the fine (African-American) scholar Shelby Steele:   

In a particularly trenchant post-election column, author Shelby Steele explained how it was that a candidate he describes as "quite unremarkable" regarding public policy (an amalgam of "old-fashioned Keynesianism" and "recycled Great Society") was able, first, "to project an idealized vision of post-racial America," and then "have that vision define political decency." Once these visions were set, Steele writes, "a failure to support Obama politically became a failure of decency."

In this way, the white voters who became Obama’s political base were vested in the success of Obama’s vision – or, rather, in the vision of Obama’s success. Longing to "escape the stigma of racism," as Steele calls it, white voters became "enchanted" with Obama because their support for him provided evidence and certification of their own now self-evident state of "post-racial" enlightenment.

But, as Steele further explains, there’s an inherent contradiction to this unusual, if not historically unique, relationship. "When whites – especially today’s younger generation – proudly support Obama for his post-racialism, they unwittingly embrace race as their primary motivation. They think and act racially, not post-racially. The point is that a post-racial society … seduces whites with a vision of the racial innocence precisely to coerce them into acting out of a racial motivation. A real post-racialist … would not care about displaying or documenting his racial innocence. Such a person would evaluate Obama politically rather than culturally."

Bingo. Here Steele demystifies the great and perplexing divide between those who care supremely about documenting and displaying their own "racial innocence" – and I would put the mainstream media, Obama voters and most politicians including John McCain into that category – and those who don’t. These latter "real post-racialists" see Obama as a man, not an icon, as a politician who emerged from a hotbed of anti-American radicalism, not a sacred totem of enlightenment better suited to a glass case at the Smithsonian than the boisterous tussle of the political arena.

For almost two years, Obama has been, in Steele’s words, evaluated culturally. This has resulted in reverential media non-coverage and now post-election judgments and metaphors that are already beginning to defy satire. Of course, Barack Obama didn’t end the Civil War, isn’t the reincarnation of RFK, and benefits from, but didn’t bring about, the long-entrenched social changes that facilitated his political rise. As he now heads to the White House, it’s crucial that he finally be regarded as a politician, not a messiah, and as a man, not a moral judgment. Otherwise, the cultural juggernaut he seems likely to unleash will be unstoppable.

Read the whole thing here

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 7, 2008

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Viewpoint from Britain: the impotent media in the US elections 0

As I write this on the ultimate day of campaigning, the mainstream media has already decided the outcome of the US elections. Obama is everywhere – he is deemed a harbinger of hope and change to not just many Americans, but to a large proportion of the global populace as well. One young Palestinian in the Gaza strip was cold calling American households last week, persuading them to vote for this deity.
It is an old story, especially in the United States, that the media fails to correctly predict the election performance of conservative politicians. It is fair to say that the majority of the American media is fairly liberal; the noticeable exception is Fox News. These left wing media outlets spout ideas and opinions that are often adopted as ideals by society, An important and misleading consequence of the political position of the mainstream news services is the fallacious polls that the same media and the public love to exhibit and evaluate respectively. There is one theory proposed by the political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, called the ‘Spiral of Silence’, which is the idea that one is less likely to publicly support an idea that is carried by the minority for fear of isolation and requital from society. As a result, a particular motion is likely to receive less and less public support, thus exposing said idea to fewer and fewer people.
In England, one phenomenon of unexpected success is called the ‘Shy Tory Factor’. This term was coined in the 1990s by British opinion polling companies in response to the 1992 General Election. Despite the Conservative Party trailing 1% behind Labour, the former won the election with a lead of about 7.6%.
This discrepancy can be explained by a number of theories. The first is the fact I just previously mentioned – that the greater representation of the political left by the media gives rise to false hope and perhaps even can provide a dangerous sense of complacency to left wing politicians. The second theory is what I believe to be the narcissistic individual’s public need for society’s deference, an egotistical façade that hides the individual’s private whim – thus exists a covert growth of idiosyncratic sentiments. If a government at the end of its second or third term is unpopular with the mainstream left, then while publicly the virtuous middle class may denounce the ‘failing government’, those same ‘principled’ men and women will rush to vote for them when the polls open – perhaps because of a private admiration or quiet understanding of the abhorrent government’s policies, or perhaps just because of a lack of alternative acceptable politicians standing.
The third possibility for the inconsistency between predictions and realities is a word that has governed the concept of equality in the last hundred years: race. It seems apparent to me that race is a defining factor in the human consciousness, and however much equality is sought, there is a part of each single soul that craves identity. For example, in a completely different context, most Muslims will support a Palestinian state whereas more Jews will support the Jewish Israeli state. The concept of identity is prevalent in the quest for independent opinion, and for this reason Obama has bastions of support among some communities but not others. A recent YouGov poll found that Obama has an 82% lead among black voters, whereas Obama is trailing by 5% among white voters. In some states Obama appears to have almost 97% of the black vote.
Obama has a huge amount of support from the black vote, but this is not enough to win the election alone. Obama’s election team knows this and that is why they have campaigned so heavily amongst the white middle class America. These efforts appear to have worked and the polls are in Obama’s favour. Many newspaper columnists are speaking of Obama’s victory as if there need be no contest at all.
This could be a huge mistake. There is a phenomenon in elections, similar to the ‘Shy Tory Factor’, called the ‘Bradley Factor’. This is named after Tom Bradley, the candidate for the governor of California election. Despite enjoying a position far ahead in the polls, Bradley lost to his Republican rival. It was attributed to white voters privately voting differently from their public declaration to pollsters. This theory is similar to my previously mentioned suggestions for the ‘Shy Tory Factor’. There are many other examples of black politicians experiencing the effect of the Bradley factor: Harold Washington, Jesse Jackson, David Dinkins and Wilson Goode. In fact David Duke, the Nazi sympathizer and KKK member, experienced an inverted Bradley factor when he received a much larger proportion of the votes than polls had shown. The same happens in Britain: the BNP regularly does much better than expected, and no one is ever more surprised than the liberal media.
Juxtaposed against the Bradley factor is a suggested reverse Bradley factor and a concept known as the ‘Fishtown effect’. Douglas Wilder, the first black state governor has suggested that many Republicans will secretly vote for Obama while publicly declaring otherwise. The ‘Fishtown Effect’ however is the suggestion that usually bigoted white voters will vote for a black candidate because of economic concerns; in the present financial climate this theory could have a significant influence on the election.
But is the Bradley factor truly an example of cold, calculated racism? I would suggest that it is not the wish of one race to dismiss another, but rather a quest for identity and fraternalism. The uncertainties and confusion results from the furious denunciations from the media, who vilify individual figures, cultures and ideas. And regardless of the results of Tuesday’s election, sections of the World’s media, from Bangkok to San Francisco, will condemn the discriminatory minds of the American public. From the hoi polloi to the richest mansion dwellers, the inhabitants will be branded racists. If Obama loses the election, the voters will be accused of anachronistic racism; if Obama wins, some will be accused of lacking integrity and letting fear of inequality dictate their vote. Stanford University has worked hard to be ahead of the game. Christian Science Monitor: “Stanford University suggests that racial prejudice is eroding as much as 6 percentage points from Senator Obama’s support. One commentator has even suggested that white racism would be the only explanation for an Obama loss this November.”
And the true villain is actually the media – their shameless selective reporting, their composition of supercilious ideals and their lack of objectivity have irrevocably destroyed the continuation of a nonpartisan candid and free press. Although keen to malign other Democrats and the Republicans, the media has been hesitant to report news and rumours about Obama: from the incongruous gap between the discovery and the media report of the villainy of Reverend Wright’s speeches, to the bizarre association with Bill Ayers, and now the LA Times is overrun with requests that they persistently ignore, to release videotape they possess of Obama with a suspected PLO terrorist named Rashid Khalidi. Why would a very large newspaper not release a sensational news story so pivotal as this?
So do I believe the associations with Obama uncovered by the right and McCain’s camp are as serious as some would paint them? – Not really. I do believe though, that the burnt soul of the unscrupulously bias media is poisoning the democracy of the Western countries. I believe the same media is to blame for the misinformation and intolerance in politics that breeds bountifully during times of wanton ideals. However, I do know there is always independent thought, which leaves the opinionated editors and columnists shouting at deaf ears. And certainly the hurly burly media world can no longer explain a truth or encourage an honest purpose; it is an impotent force, multiplying in presence but with a fading influence; useless in a world of disobedient readers.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 3, 2008

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It is right to judge 0

 The wisdom of an atheist we much admire, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, shines in all she says.

For example:

Hirsi Ali has used her platform to challenge Westerners about their own inconsistencies. Having come late to the political culture of individual rights and the rule of law, she was astonished by the willingness of many in the West to cast a blind eye to gross violations of rights so long as they occurred among foreigners. The multiculturalism that guided Dutch policy in the 1990s sprang from a desire to respect difference, but in practice it meant tolerance for what, if undertaken by native Dutchmen, would be crimes.

"People in the West swallow this sort of thing because they have learned not to examine the religions or cultures of minorities too critically, for fear of being called racist," she wrote. "It fascinates them that I am not afraid to do so."

"Human beings are equal, cultures are not," she told a New York audience last year:

A culture that celebrates femininity is not equal to a culture that trims the genitals of her girls. A culture that holds the door open to her women is not equal to one that confines them behind walls and veils. … A culture that encourages dating between young men and young women is not equal to a culture that flogs or stones a girl for falling in love. A culture where monogamy is an aspiration is not equal to a culture where a man can lawfully have four wives all at once.

Read the whole article from Front Page Magazine here

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 19, 2008

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Why Obama? 5

Has there ever been a candidate for the presidency as unqualified to be elected as Barack Obama? 

Since he is so completely unqualified, one is compelled to ask: ‘Why do so many people want him to be President?’ 

Is it because he is black? 

I have a suspicion that for many people this is true.  

In which case, they are plainly racist.

Do many Americans feel (one cannot say ‘think’) that if they vote for a black man to be President it will somehow prove to themselves that they are good people? Is their need to feel that they are good people a strong motivation in their political choices?

I have a suspicion that this too is true.

In which case, they are full of moral vanity and not good people at all.  

If their votes  do give Obama power, all the chickens of the Left will come home to roost: blame-America-first, affirmative action, political correctness, Leftism trumps any other political consideration …

They will pay a terrible price for their foolishness, but so will the rest of us in America and everywhere else on earth.      

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 8, 2008

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Obama’s Racism 0

Here’s a short piece (second item down) on Obama’s self-exonerating speech about Jeremiah Wright’s hate-preaching and how he – Obama – cannot repudiate the preacher. It’s precisely to the point.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 8, 2008

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