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Liberalism needs protection

Edward Campbell

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FJAG said:
...

Forget that you ever heard the term "corporation sole". Its a very special type of beast that takes a special act of parliament to create and we haven't done so for over a decade.

...

:cheers:


True enough, but don't forget all about it. It's a constitutional device - the office of the sovereign is a corporation sole so the things that the Queen 'owns' as monarch (rather than as Elizabeth Windsor, who 'owns' things in her own right) pass to her "lawful heirs and successors" without interference from her pesky bureaucrats or judges. It makes for endless hours of enjoyable, albeit pointless chatter in common rooms.
 

FJAG

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E.R. Campbell said:
True enough, but don't forget all about it. It's a constitutional device - the office of the sovereign is a corporation sole so the things that the Queen 'owns' as monarch (rather than as Elizabeth Windsor, who 'owns' things in her own right) pass to her "lawful heirs and successors" without interference from her pesky bureaucrats or judges. It makes for endless hours of enjoyable, albeit pointless chatter in common rooms.

Very true. The entity is a legitimate concept with a useful purpose (there have even been recommendations to make it easier to achieve the status)

I just didn't think it has anything to do with what Kirhill is trying to achieve which is why I told him to forget about it. Similarly I don't think he wants to create a Hutterite-like religious congregation.

:salute:

:cheers:

 

Edward Campbell

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FJAG said:
Very true. The entity is a legitimate concept with a useful purpose (there have even been recommendations to make it easier to achieve the status)

I just didn't think it has anything to do with what Kirhill is trying to achieve which is why I told him to forget about it. Similarly I don't think he wants to create a Hutterite-like religious congregation.

:salute:

:cheers:


I agree, but this thread, which I thoroughly enjoy, reminds me of "endless hours of enjoyable, albeit pointless chatter in common rooms" ... which was, as I recall, time very well wasted.

Anyway, how often can one inject "corporation sole" into any conversation, much less one on a military website?  :nod:
 

Kirkhill

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Okay - here is my shot at end state.

A society of corporations with the individual protected, engaged and promoted by his corporation.

Individual becomes a member in a corporation.  The corporation is a combination of John Galt's Irvine as described in The Provost,  a gated community, a condominium, a mutual insurance society.  The corporation supplies libraries, educations, community halls, hospitals, sanitation, public safety patrols and a fair referee.  For this array of services the individual pays a fee to the corporation.  The individual selects his corporation based on his budget and his interests.

Those fees take the place of taxes.

Now somethings demand higher levels of societal cooperation.  But should that assume a higher level of authority - a province - that is endowed with the authority and is required to delegate it or should authority be released from lower to higher.  Should Jean Chretien have been required to go cap in hand to Ralph Klein to fund his initiatives?

Can you build a society of independent corporations, all writing their own rules.  Corporations that come together to form Provinces and the State.  Corporations that need not have a geographical basis but could include Indian tribes and Unions and maybe even army.ca.

I suggest that you can and that up until 1917 Canada was well on its way to looking like that.  But Canada, like every other western nation, fell into the trap created by the aberration of WW1 - the belief that it was possible to plan a way to Jerusalem.  Needless to say I am persuaded by Ferguson, Hayek, Thucydides and my own life experience that a singular plan creates a singular disaster more often than utopia.  Equally, betting the field costs more but is more sure of finding a workable solution and more sure of creating survivors when chaos consigns the best made plans of mice and men to their fates.

The English parliament was built out of shires and burghs (corporations) each appointing/electing two representatives to the national talking shop.  Before the shop got round to raising funds for great national adventures it first of all had to deal with the house keeping issues of arbitrating disputes amongst individuals and corporations.  Then the track record of the nation on controlling last years budget before a new budget would be considered for review.

Should taxes, like authority, come from the bottom up rather than be imposed from the top down?  Can a bottom up society work?  Does Switzerland qualify as a successful bottom up Western society?

Need to make a beer run....

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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Kirkhill said:
Okay - here is my shot at end state.

I can see why you needed to go out for a beer run. I'm quite sure I don't have enough in the house for tackling this

A society of corporations with the individual protected, engaged and promoted by his corporation.

Individual becomes a member in a corporation.  The corporation is a combination of John Galt's Irvine as described in The Provost,  a gated community, a condominium, a mutual insurance society.  The corporation supplies libraries, educations, community halls, hospitals, sanitation, public safety patrols and a fair referee.  For this array of services the individual pays a fee to the corporation.  The individual selects his corporation based on his budget and his interests. We call these things municipalities. The bigger it becomes the less reactive it becomes to individual needs.

Those fees take the place of taxes. fees / taxes : 'you say tomayeto / I say tomahto'

Now somethings demand higher levels of societal cooperation.  But should that assume a higher level of authority - a province - that is endowed with the authority and is required to delegate it or should authority be released from lower to higher.  Should Jean Chretien have been required to go cap in hand to Ralph Klein to fund his initiatives? I think in general the aggregation of small towns has been the result of top down external forces such as the feudal system or conquest. Aggregation of larger entities such as provinces or states or kingdoms into countries has been more a bottom up process. Both processes are hard to undo to get to the utopian state that you seek

Can you build a society of independent corporations, all writing their own rules.  Corporations that come together to form Provinces and the State.  Corporations that need not have a geographical basis but could include Indian tribes and Unions and maybe even army.ca. Probably not. There is a natural tendency to establish common standards across the aggregate such as common education, judicial and health care systems so that the "writing of their own rules" will become eroded as universal standards develop.

I suggest that you can and that up until 1917 Canada was well on its way to looking like that.  But Canada, like every other western nation, fell into the trap created by the aberration of WW1 - the belief that it was possible to plan a way to Jerusalem. Hard to say. Besides the war this was a time when North America changed from an agrarian society that was industrializing to an industrial society with agrarian vestiges. I tend to think that there was less planning for change as reacting to change Needless to say I am persuaded by Ferguson, Hayek, Thucydides and my own life experience that a singular plan creates a singular disaster more often than utopia.  I concur Equally, betting the field costs more but is more sure of finding a workable solution and more sure of creating survivors when chaos consigns the best made plans of mice and men to their fates. ? ? ?

The English parliament was built out of shires and burghs (corporations) each appointing/electing two representatives to the national talking shop.  Before the shop got round to raising funds for great national adventures it first of all had to deal with the house keeping issues of arbitrating disputes amongst individuals and corporations.  Then the track record of the nation on controlling last years budget before a new budget would be considered for review. Are you advocating for a return to the thirteenth century?

Should taxes, like authority, come from the bottom up rather than be imposed from the top down?  Can a bottom up society work?  Does Switzerland qualify as a successful bottom up Western society? Technically the bottom elects the top so that whatever the top does is sanctioned by the bottom (let that be a lesson to you Toronto for once again electing a Liberal government - we will all reap what you have sown). I'm generally not very fond of a system where referenda play a large role (like in Switzerland). Tyranny by the majority is a very real fact and not just a term. Quite frankly there is a very large part of the electorate that is too easily swayed by a glib slick advertising campaigns rather than a rationale analysis of the issues (Toronto, again and numerous referenda in US states provide ample proof although I must admit rarely are the masses offered a simple rationale analysis to examine (Hudak are you listening?)).

Need to make a beer run.... Make mine a Grolsch.

:cheers:

:cheers:
 

a_majoor

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Need to make a beer run.... Make mine a Grolsch.

Good choice!

What Kirkhill is describing has happened many times in history. Ancient Athenian society was divided into ten notional "Tribes", and further subdivided by income and property ownership (although the Athenians had the wisdom to ensure all the various subdivisions were represented in every "Tribe"). The High Middle Ages had society divided into multiple guilds (which are proto corporations), and often guilds were spread across wide regions of Europe. Membership in guilds required certain skills or sponsorships (or both), but also provided certain rights and privileges. I won't push the analogy too far, but you can see one of the roots of the English Parliamentry system growing from here.

The most pernicious thing that "modern" Progressivism, Corporatism and other "isms" have done is to try to eliminate or marginalize the small groupings that are at the heart of classical liberal culture. Think:

"To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country, and to mankind." ~ Edmund Burke

or

"The art of association then becomes, as I have said before, the mother of action, studied and applied by all" ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

VS the modern state crowding out the economic, educational, charitable and social functions of the church, the 4H club, the Rotary club and other such groupings. These small groupings can be taken as being analogous to the corporate entities that Kirkill is advocating (and many of these sorts of associations do have charters, dues, corporate offices etc.), but like a condominium corporation, the State has seen fit to impose its own rules from the top down to regulate how these "little platoons" operate and which direction they go.

Indeed, like may military debates on the subject, it is something like how modern communications technology makes it possible (in theory) for very high ranking commanders to directly control platoons, negating the ideas and ideals of "mission command". Once again there is a danger of taking the analogy too far; a society or an economy resembles an ecosystem far more than it does a battlefield, and ecosystems do not respond to the "commander's intent" (or, as complex, adaptive non linear systems, respond in ways which are unexpected and at variance with the predicted outcome).

Finally, how do we get "there" from "here"? Since the rent seekers, busybodies and others who profit from the current setup are likely to fight to the last taxpayer to maintain their power and privilege, solutions based on changes from within are pretty much non starters. On the other hand, economic, demographic and technological changes are shifting the ground from under their feet, and traditional "gatekeeping" mechanisms are failing for them. The other fact on the ground is the ruinous debts these elites have accumulated. The financial resources to continue are failing, and so is the means to continue to pay for the current system. This can be solved with a controlled drawdown (eliminating programs, institutions and other costs: think the Drummond Report which called for a 17% spending cut on the part of the Ontario Liberal government simply to stabilize the provincial economy), or an economic crash (which brings not Liberalism, but the Man on the White Horse).
 

Edward Campbell

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OK, I'm back at LLPP (absolutely fundamental rights to Life, Liberty, Property and Privacy) and why the latter two made us, mainly the Scandinavians and the Anglo Saxons, into liberals while most of the rest of the world is either conservative or, mostly, illiberal.

I don't generally agree with physiologist turned geographer Jared Diamond but in some respects geography does, indeed, shape culture. I believe it did for the Norther Europeans but not, probably, in the way one might think. The Northern Europeans (the Scandinavians, Frisians, Saxons and post Roman Britons and so on) were, relative to the continent, poor and scattered. This led, I think, to a strong respect for the value of private property and individual privacy. Men were willing to fight for both. Now, that broad attribute (respect for property) was (and is) equally common in Asia but it became, I think, a defining feature of the Northern Europeans and it especially guided their political thought. Not by design, but in practice, the Norther Europeans all shared one common political characteristic: while the states (petty kingdoms and principalities) were rich enough and the notables (elders, earls, magnates, etc) were, relatively, often very rich, the kings were usually (relatively) poor. My readings (and they're not as extensive as I would wish) suggests that this situation - rich statelets, rich earls, and (relatively) poor monarchs - was pretty common throughout the North of Western Europe but uncommon in the rest of Europe and Asia. I think it led to a generally liberal society in which property right and privacy had to be respected by the king/prince and, equally, by earls towards their barons and knights. When the magnates of England imposed Magne Carta on King John they were not being revolutionary. The rights that they demanded, all the way down to the lowest freeman, were already common in large parts of Norther Europe and had been fairly common in England prior to the Norman conquest.

Why didn't that situation obtain in, say, Italy or China?

My guess is that those societies were already too well structured by, say, the beginning of the common era - the year 1 AD. By then China was, certainly, already burdened or blessed with Confucianism (take your pick) and Italy and Spain and parts of France and Germany were more or less Roman ... and they stayed that way: respectively conservative/Confucian and illiberal/Roman.


 

ballz

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HALF OF CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES FAIL AT FREE SPEECH: REPORT

http://www.macleans.ca/education/uniandcollege/half-of-canadian-universities-fail-at-free-speech-report/

Half of Canadian universities fail at free speech: report
Abortion, Israel and men’s issues are hot topics on campus

Josh Dehaas
September 24, 2013

7
A free speech wall by Carleton University's Students for Liberty club

Universities are supposed to be safe places to debate controversial ideas but school administrators and students leaders would sometimes prefer instead to enforce their own points of view, even if it means silencing others.

As a result, the limits of free speech are frequently debated on campus. This week it’s at the University of Manitoba where a pro-life group is showing photos comparing abortion to the Holocaust and Rwandan genocide. Student Ashley James told the Winnipeg Free Press that it’s preventing her from focusing at school.

One can bet where the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms would stand. They want controversial speech protected. According to their 2013 Campus Freedom Index, released Tuesday, 23 of the 45 universities graded this year have failed to stop censorship. Each administration and student union was assigned two A to F letter grades, one based on policies and the other on practices. Their conclusion: “Our country’s institutions of higher education have failed in their promise to uphold the sanctity of free speech in its most cherished and necessary form: the discussion of controversial ideas, frank and spirited debate, and the pursuit of truth.”

Make what you will of that conclusion, the index offers a good summary of the tension on campus.

The most common limits on free speech cited in the report were those placed on anti-abortion groups by student unions. The report quotes the Trent Central Students Association’s strange explanation for rejecting a pro-life club: “Campaigning for pro life or pro choice [sic] is not allowed on campus… since there is [sic] so many opinions to this it can lead to a very exclusive group, while all groups at Trent must be inclusive.” It also quotes the Brandon University Students’ Union which said it wouldn’t certify a pro-life group because, “[it] would be redundant since the Women’s Collective deals with all gender issues.” Student unions also hindered pro-life groups at York, Memorial, Calgary, Guelph and Lakehead, to name a few. On the other hand, the University of British Columbia administration got an “A” after it lifted restrictions on the pro-life club Lifeline.

A newcomer to the free speech debate is “men’s issues” after the University of Toronto Students’ Union and the Ryerson Students’ Union both outlawed men’s issues awareness clubs this year. The UTSU claimed such groups “harass women.” The RSU called one a “hate group.” The University of Toronto’s administration, however, was the only one to receive an “A” for its policies, which helped maintain relative calm when a men’s issues group hosted an anti-feminist lecture.

Another perennial issue is the Arab-Israeli conflict. The University of Manitoba Students’ Union got an “F” this year after removing official status from Students Against Israeli Apartheid, which they said discriminated against “zionists.” Wilfrid Laurier University’s administration also got an “F” after removing what they saw as offensive Israeli Apartheid Week posters. McGill University’s student union was failed for forcing an Israeli student club to change the name of an event.

Among the universities to get an “F” was Queen’s, whose administration made national news after they sanctioned tearing down a paper “free speech wall” because it contained “offensive content.” It turns out that wall was sponsored by JCCF so don’t be surprised if it’s tacked up once more.


Glad we have a group like the JCCF to publish this kind of report...
 

George Wallace

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Let me see if I got this right.  If I am pro-Life, a feminst/anti-man's rights, pro-Palestinian/Islam type of thinker; I am entitled to Free Speech.  If I am in anyway pro-choice, non-sexist and anti-barbarian in my opinions, I am not entitled to Free Speech according to this JCCF?
 

Edward Campbell

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George Wallace said:
Let me see if I got this right.  If I am pro-Life, a feminst/anti-man's rights, pro-Palestinian/Islam type of thinker; I am entitled to Free Speech.  If I am in anyway pro-choice, non-sexist and anti-barbarian in my opinions, I am not entitled to Free Speech according to this JCCF?


Not quite, George, the JCCF collected the data and published the report. They claim to believe all all speech, of all sorts ought to be free ...
 

ballz

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George Wallace said:
Let me see if I got this right. 

You don't.

George Wallace said:
If I am pro-Life, a feminst/anti-man's rights, pro-Palestinian/Islam type of thinker; I am entitled to Free Speech.  If I am in anyway pro-choice, non-sexist and anti-barbarian in my opinions, I am not entitled to Free Speech according to this JCCF?

No.

What the JCCF is saying is that everyone is entitled to free speech, BUT universities are being biased and not allowing pro-life, men's rights, and Pro-Israel advocates the same platforms as they are allowing pro-choice, feminists, and pro-Palestine.

As they say in their statement, “Our country’s institutions of higher education have failed in their promise to uphold the sanctity of free speech in its most cherished and necessary form: the discussion of controversial ideas, frank and spirited debate, and the pursuit of truth.

They welcome opposing views, where as universities are stifling views that are opposite to the status quo / dominant school of thought.
 

McG

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But that also means a platform for the other extreme.  By their scoring criteria, a university would have have to support pedophiles espousing the merits of child-porn, or KKK promoting racial violence.
 

Edward Campbell

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MCG said:
But that also means a platform for the other extreme.  By their scoring criteria, a university would have have to support pedophiles espousing the merits of child-porn, or KKK promoting racial violence.


Yes, exactly ... free speech is a meaningless concept unless every opinion, no matter how odious, can be expressed. That's why real, pure liberalism cannot exist: some speech is worse than "shouting fire in a crowded theatre."


Edit: spelling  :-[
 

a_majoor

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E.R. Campbell said:
Yes, exactly ... free speech is a meaningless concept unless every opinion, no matter how odious, can be expressed. That's why real, pure liberalism cannot exist: some speech is worse than "shouting fire in a crowded theatre."

Exactly so. There are only four categories of speech which are not protected: Liable, Slander, Sedition or Treason.

If you have a sincere belief that there is a fire in the theatre, then you actually have the right and duty to "shout fire in a crowded theatre".

As most of us know, the best response to bad speech is better[/i] speech; which requires a great deal of work. This is the real reason the "Progressives" would prefer to  use Brownshirt tactics to shut down opposing speech; they could not be bothered to do the work of thinking and responding to propositions and arguments; far simpler to simply use the mailed fist and silence your opponents.

I am carefully reviewing the list, my daughter is going off to higher education next year, and my son not long afterwards. Better they find themselves in an actual institute of higher learning which cherishes and protects free speech, and better those institutions receive my financial support rather than those which attack free speech.
 

Kirkhill

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Janet Daley on illiberal liberals....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11092499/This-isnt-what-democracy-is-supposed-to-be.html

This isn’t what democracy is supposed to be
The new elitism says to those who will not fall into line: 'We will bury you’

There is something very wrong with our politics. Whatever the outcome in Scotland, whatever the result of the by-election in Clacton – this is serious. A certain amount of disaffection is inevitable in a democratic country. The people who do not get what they voted for – or what they feel they deserve, whichever way they voted – will believe that the system has denied them what is rightfully theirs, and that they have somehow been cheated.

But this has now gone way, way beyond the kind of anger and disappointment that is inevitable in a system where the will of the majority always dominates. If it is any consolation, this mass alienation from the governing class is not confined to Britain, or even to Europe whose overweening bureaucracy is often blamed for making voters feel marginalised.

In the United States too, there is a record-breaking antipathy to the whole cohort of politicians in Washington. It is not just Barack Obama who has suffered a collapse of public confidence. Congress too – the lower House of which is run by his Republican opponents – is recording its lowest approval (and highest explicit disapproval) poll ratings in living memory. Even in a country which is historically inclined, and constitutionally designed, to distrust central government, this degree of disgust is quite novel.

The hatred transcends party divisions: it is directed at the entire class of professional politicians and their acolytes. In the American discourse of the moment, there is an almost exact replica of our concept of a “Westminster elite”: the idea of a self-referring, incestuous Washington club that is obsessed with political game-playing and utterly out of touch with the urgent concerns of ordinary people.

What is rising up in the void left by this collapse of faith in mainstream party politics takes various forms – Ukip, Scottish nationalism, the Tea Party movement in America, far-Right populism in Europe – but at its heart there is a quite specific anti-Establishment complaint which is remarkably consistent.

The business of government is seen as having become the property of a club whose attitudes and priorities are self-consciously fashionable, urban and “liberal” (in the specialised self-appointed sense of that word), and who openly despise all those parts of the electorate who do not conform to their ideal picture of what a modern society should be. What the various anti-politics protest movements have gathered is that this Westminster-Washington-Brussels consensus is remarkably illiberal (in the true sense of the word).

There is to be no arguing or debating with its assumptions because those who oppose it are simply beneath contempt: fascists, reactionaries, bigots, provincial know-nothings. And this derisive dismissal cuts right across party lines. Compare Gordon Brown’s description of the Labour-voter who dared to express her anxiety about immigration as just a “bigoted woman”, with the sentiment expressed recently by a Tory commentator that the Clacton voters who could not accept the party’s modernising agenda should be ignored until they die off. This is a degree of open, undisguised contempt for the electorate that is unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime.

I thought the basic principle of democracy was that leaders were elected who would embody the will of the people, not that the people had to comply with the will of the leaders or be rejected as unworthy. So maybe this is a key to the hostility that all the main parties are facing. If the electorate has come to loathe politicians, it may be that they just see themselves as returning the compliment. Lesson number one in basic governance: generally speaking, people do not like to feel that their leaders find them repulsive. Even kings and tyrants (unless they were mad) have understood the need to express “love”, or at least concern, for their populations.

Now you may say that this analysis must be wrong because, after all, isn’t this the age when professional politicians have become obsessed with following public opinion? How does this arrogant disregard of unacceptable voters’ views fit with the focus group/opinion poll fixation that is such a feature of electoral strategy? How can these two contradictory tendencies co-exist? Here’s how: it is important to see the modern public relations model of politics as being not so much a tool for obeying the electorate as for manipulating it.

Focus groups and continuous polling are tools of the advertising trade. Modern political parties have become sophisticated marketing organisations engaged in product promotion. They use the techniques of opinion sampling not to find out what you really want but to ascertain what you think you want, so that they can perfect their methods of persuasion and convince you to want what they want.

This was a strategy that began on the Left, when it lost the most fundamental political argument of the 20th century and found it necessary to reinvent its entire electoral pitch. The product re-launch, conducted by market research experts, was so stupendously successful that even the Right – which had actually won the epoch-making argument – decided it was the only game in town. The Tory re-branding merchants who were blindly infatuated with Labour’s new campaign model (which largely involved avoiding certain words) decided that the Conservative Party’s greatest handicap was its supporters.

Thus do we find ourselves with two major parties that are both driven by public opinion but adamant that they will disregard any opinions they don’t like. Is this hell? It certainly doesn’t look like democracy as I was taught to understand it: government of the people, by the people and for the people.

To talk of a “Westminster elite” is precisely accurate. But this is an elitism that has almost nothing to do with the traditional snobberies of class, wealth or education. It is a conceit imbued with an unquestioned sense of superiority and a moral certainty which makes any criticism of its views not just irrelevant and foolish but wicked. It has the relentless, brutal intolerance of the futurist movements of the past century. It says to those who will not fall into line what a Soviet leader once said to the West: we will bury you (meaning “we will outlive you”).

This attitude, once the monopoly of the Left, has now become the implicit message of the entire governing class to a recalcitrant populace. Some politicians – notably Douglas Carswell of Clacton by-election fame – believe that devolving power from central government would be an answer to this malaise.

I’m not convinced: America has layer after layer of local politics. Politicians in their small fiefdoms can be insufferable too. New structures will help only if we can rebuild respect and civility between the mass of the people and those who presume to govern them.

Not much to choose between those elites and Erdogan's train.

“democracy is like a train. You take it where you have to go, and then you get off”.
 
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