imperialism

Buy Prints of the Comic Strips of Neoliberalism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 2:57am in

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To celebrate the 45th anniversary of Dollars & Sense, the organization that maintains Triple Crisis blog, former D&S art director Nick Thorkelson has made full-color prints of his amazing “Comic Strip of Neoliberalism” series published in the magazine in the early 2000s.  The series was a collaboration with former D&S co-editor Alejandro Reuss.  (For more info on the series, click here.)

There are three paired sets of 13” x 17” prints: “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “Neoliberalism vs. History,” and “Megadreams of Hyperdevelopment.” (Scroll down to see all three sets. Click to enlarge.)

We are offering signed prints for $45 per set or $100 for all three sets. (Prices include shipping within the United States.)  To place orders, visit this page.

You can also support Dollars & Sense and Triple Crisis with a donation.  Contact us by email (dollars at dollarsandsense.org) about how to contribute to our 45th-Anniversary Sustainability Fund.

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Labour Planning New Anti-Racist Legislation, Aim to Make Equalities Commission Independent of Government

Here’s another piece of news from today’s I, for 26th November 2019, which may have some bearing on Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’ latest smear against Jeremy Corbyn. According to the paper, Labour plan to introduce a raft of legislation to tackle racism, including monitoring the wage gap in ethnic minorities. But what seems to have alarmed the Tories and their supporters, John Woodcock and Ian Austin, is that they have raised questions about the political independence of the Equalities of Human Rights Commission, and plan to make it truly independent of government appointment. The article by Jane Merrick, runs

Labour has provoked controversy by questioning the independence of the equality and race relations organisation which is investigating the party over anti-Semitism.

Jeremy Corbyn will launch Labour’s Race and Faith Manifesto alongside Diane Abbott and Dawn Butler today with policies to tackle discrimination and under-representation of black and ethnic minorities in government, the workplace and schools. But the manifesto contains a move to make the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the body conducting an inquiry into Labour, “truly independent”. This reform would “ensure it can support people to effectively challenge any discrimination they may face”, the party said.

A Labour government would also change the national curriculum so that colonialism, slavery and the role of the British empire were taught in schools.

Pay gap reporting,currently limited to gender, would be extended to black and ethnic minority workers in businesses of 250 employees or more, while a race equality unit would be set up in the Treasury to review spending announcements for their impact on these communities.

But the measure to reform the EHRC proved controversial last night. The body started an investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour earlier this year. The organisation’s commissioners are all experts in equality and the law and are appointed by the government.

The former Labour MP John Woodcock said: “The decent people in Labour need to disown this appalling attempt to smear the EHRC or accept that they are complicit in it.”

The former MP Ian Austin, who left the Labour party over anti-Semitism, said: “No one is going to listen to a lecture about racism from Jeremy Corbyn when Labour is the only part in history to be subjected to a full inquiry by the EHRC.”

Ms Butler, shadow Equalities Secretary, said: “Labour’s Race and Faith Manifesto takes us beyond what we’ve previously committed in hos we’ll radically shift policies to ensure the economic, social or structural barriers faced are addressed. It’s time for real change.”

Labour would also end what it calls “rip-off” charges for passports, visas and other tests from the Home Office.

Both Woodcock and Austin are Blairites, and the real reason for their departure from the party probably has less to do with anti-Semitism and more from their determination to unseat Corbyn and carry on with Blair’s Thatcherite campaign of privatision, including that of the NHS, and the destruction of the welfare state for corporate profit.

As for the independence of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, we’ve seen how the allegations of anti-Semitism against Corbyn and his supporters personally, and the Labour party generally are very much politically motivated. Especially as Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who spewed more smears in the Times today, is a friend of Benjamin Netanyahu and Boris Johnson. Which, like the rest of the  Tory press, has had nothing to say about the islamophobe Tommy Robinson urging everyone to vote Tory. Strange that.

Frankly, I don’t believe the EHRC can be trusted in the hands of a Tory government. They will abuse it to smear their enemies. Considering how serious the issue of racism is, it is quite right that it should be independent.

Scots Tories Remove Candidate for Anti-Semitism

More on the hidden racism and bigotry seething away under the surface of the Tory party. A week or so ago, Mates Jacob got tired of James Cleverly’s decision not to do anything about the rampant islamophobia in the Tory party, and published his extensive dossier on it. Zelo Street put up the details of ten of the Tory politicos caught expressing bigoted views about Muslims. They happened to be local councillors, and had made the usual rants about Muslims being ‘barbarians’ and invaders, who forced their views on others through war and conquest. One also thought that immigration from Africa should be stopped, and famine was just nature’s way of dealing with overpopulation. Another was angry that the Muslim journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was still in Britain. Which shows how perverse their bigotry is. Alibhai-Brown’s a committed anti-racist, but she’s no friend of Islamism and has criticised extremist Islam for its bigotry and repressive attitudes. Just as she’s also criticism anti-White racism, as well as that directed at Blacks, Asians and Muslims.

Mates Jacob stated that his dossier of 25 Tory islamophobes showed that the party was a hostile environment for Muslims. Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain commented

“Islamophobia is truly endemic within the Conservative Party & yet they still do nothing and ignore the problem … The scale of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party continues to be ignored by the mainstream political commentariat, with little scrutiny or accountability despite the Party’s total inaction & despite the depth of Islamophobia across all levels of the Party”.

Faced with its publication, the Tories were forced to act and suspend the 25, pending an investigation. A spokeswoman declared that the swiftness with which they were suspended show the seriousness with which the party took racism and discrimination, which they would not tolerate in any form. As Zelo Street drily commented, ‘Cue hollow laughter all round’.

And the blog concluded

‘Sadly, the reality of the situation is that it is only the Guardian and Mirror showing a willingness to follow up Mates Jacob’s work, and the impending election, that has spurred the Tories into pulling their fingers out. Moreover, there has been no action, and most likely will not be, against Jacob Rees Mogg, Priti Patel, and Michael “Oiky” Gove over their recent veering across the anti-Semitism line. Which leads to just one conclusion.

The Tory Party is institutionally racist from top to bottom. I’ll just leave that one there.’

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2019/11/tory-racism-bursts-into-open.html

Following this, Mates Jacob reported that he had uncovered a Tory Jew-hater. He’d been going through the alphabet, starting at ‘A’, and got as far as Aberdeen North before he found one.

This was Ryan Houghton, who the Scottish National reported had been suspended from the Tories because of comments he had a made several years previously. What were those views? Apparently, they were about gays as well as Jews, as well as Holocaust denial. The paper reported that

“Houghton said the National newspaper had taken a ‘selective look’ at comments he made in discussions about terrorism, LGBT rights and anti-Semitism and vowed to clear his name. He said that in the discussions seven years ago, when he was 20, he referenced the views of discredited historian and Holocaust denier David Irving but had made clear in subsequent posts that he was not defending them”.

Houghton tried to hang on as the prospective candidate by apologising unreservedly to the Jewish community, and saying that he was in contact with them. Put the Scots Tories didn’t accept it, declared his blogs about these issues were unacceptable, and suspended him.

Zelo Street notes that he wasn’t the only Tory to be suspended for anti-Semitism. Amjad Bashir, the Tory candidate for Leeds North East, had described British Jews returning from Israel as ‘brainwashed extremists’, He also accused the chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee of also being an apologist for Israel. Leeds has a large Jewish population, and that constituency was represented for years by Keith Joseph. The Tories really had no choice if they wished to retain the seat. They had to get rid of him.

Zelo Street also reminds its readers in this article that the Tories have made some very anti-Semitic remarks using coded language. Suella Braverman had ranted about ‘cultural Marxism’, a term that goes all the way back to the Nazis, and which has been used to refer to left-wing Jewish intellectuals. The smirking Priti Patel praised Viktor Orban, the anti-Semitic far right president of Hungary. Michael Gove confused Israel and Jews, which is a mark of anti-Semitism according to the definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. But Benjamin Netanyahu has passed a law in Israel stating they’re one and the same, so he got a pass. And then there was Jacob Rees-Mogg calling Oliver Letwin and John Bercow ‘illuminati’, from the far right conspiracy theory about Freemasons, Jews and Satanists trying to take over the world. He also claimed that George Soros was behing the Remain campaign, which follows the Nazi conspiracy theories about Jewish bankers.

https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2019/11/tory-anti-semitism-candidates-busted.html

As Jewish bloggers like David Rosenberg and Tony Greenstein have pointed out, anti-Semitism has always been far more prevalent on the right than on the left. Conservatives value tradition, and Jews have been seen as an invasive threat to traditional social structures, ideologies and values. In the 1930s the membership of the various British pro-Nazi organisations was largely made up of upper and upper middle class Tories. The Daily Heil is notorious for its support of Oswald Mosley and Adolf Hitler in this period. And certain sections of the Tory party had such a reputation for Jew hatred that in 1970 the Monday Club opened its membership books to the Board of Deputies of British Jews in order to show them that it didn’t contain any anti-Semites or Fascists. That didn’t stop the Monday’s Club’s deserved reputation for racism, stemming from its intense hostile to Black and Asian immigration. It’s reputation was so toxic that when David Cameron became leader of the Tory party, he made a great show of cutting the party’s ties with it as part of his campaign to clean out racists from the party. It doesn’t seem to have worked.

The Nazis and racists were still there throughout the 70s and 80s. I can remember the uproar during Thatcher’s tenure of No. 10 when the Union of Conservative Students decided to support racial nationalism as their explicit ideology. That’s the same one as the BNP and former National Front: you’re only British if you’re White. This provoked a crackdown by Norman Fowler, who was forced to merge them with the Young Conservatives to produce Conservative Future, a new youth organisation. The overlap between the Tories’ membership and that of far-right organisations was so great, that Panorama was going to screen a documentary about it, ‘Maggie’s Militant Tendency’. But that was never broadcast due to pressure from the PM in an act of explicit state censorship.

Despite their claims to the contrary, the Tories are still a deeply racist party, but this is overlooked by a Conservative press and media establishment, which shares and promotes their bigotry and hatred. And so it’s silent about the vicious racism within the Tory ranks, while hypocritically doing all it can to present Labour as an institutionally anti-Semitic party.

Mates Jacob Publishes His Dossier of Tory Islamophobia

Last Friday, Zelo Street put up a very informative piece about Mates Jacob’s decision to publish his dossier about the rampant islamophobia in the Tory party. Mates Jacob is the internet personality, who published details of the racism, anti-Semitism and islamophobia he found on Twitter and other internet groups for supporters of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg. And it was a very nasty, seething mass of bigotry and hate he uncovered. They demanded the usual stop to immigration before moving on to deportation and even assault and murder against Blacks and Asians, and particularly against Muslim politicians like Sadiq Khan.

Zelo Street reports that Mates Jacob had refrained from publishing his dossier on islamophobia in the wider Tory party in the hope that chairman James Cleverly would do something about it. Well, Cleverly and they had their chance, and they blew it. This is going to be another inquiry the Tories will hold after the election. So Mates Jacob has published it. And Zelo Street has in its turn blogged about a selection of Tory politicos in the dossier, and their vile views. They are:

Councillor Roger Taylor of Calderdale council,

Councillor Beverley Dunlop of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council,

Councillor Christopher Newbury of Wiltshire council,

Councillor Danny Scott of Blackpool council,

Councillor Vera Walters of Walsall council,

Councillor Duane Farr of Bournemouth Council,

Councillor Alistair Redman of Argyle and Brute council,

Councillor Malcolm Griffiths of Redcar and Cleve Council,

Councillor Paul Marks of Kettering council,

Councillor Nick Colbert of South Somerset council.

They have been caught expressing such delightful opinions, like wondering why the anti-racist journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is still in Britain, demanding an inquiry into Muslim rape gangs targeting White girls; worrying about Marseilles becoming Europe’s first Muslim majority city, describing Muslims as ‘barbarians’ and wondering why anyone has a problem with PEGIDA; stating that Muslims have been terrorising and seeking to dominate everyone who isn’t of their faith for over a thousand years through imperialist, colonialist wars; demanding a halt to immigration from Africa and describing famine as a natural method of depopulation; admiring the way the BNP doesn’t shy away from tackling issues others wouldn’t due to political correctness;  promoting a video from Paul Joseph Watson entitled ‘The Islamic State of Sweden’; describing the Afghan boy who attacked and injured four people on a train in Germany as ‘chopping them up’ and remarking sarcastically that it must have something to do with Brexit; and claiming that voter fraud was massive, when it’s so small it’s insignificant, and that it’s all down to women in hijabs handing over ballot papers to imams.

Now it’s true that Islam has expanded through imperialist wars, as has Christianity. But this is only part of the religion’s history, just as it is only part of Christianity’s.  And it doesn’t reflect the attitudes of all Muslims, many of whom are the victims of horrendous persecution, like the Rohingya in Burma and the Uyghurs in China.

The sage of Crewe concludes his piece by pointing out that these are only ten of many more in the Tory party, who hold similar views, and that Cleverly hasn’t done anything about them. He states

‘There is only one major political party that is institutionally racist. And it is the Conservative Party.’

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2019/11/tory-islamophobia-laid-bare.html

Well, there’s also the Brexit party and the remnants of what used to be UKIP, but it’s a fair point. The Tories have no business smearing Corbyn and Labour as anti-Semites, when there is so much more hatred and bigotry in their ranks. And they aren’t going to do anything about it, because as we’ve seen from the Hostile Environment policy and the Windrush deportations, and indeed from the contents of papers like the Mail and Depress, they use racism to promote themselves.

 

Perspectives for the Coming Period

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 23/11/2019 - 1:36am in

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Statement of the Internationalist Communist Tendency

...it is our task — i.e. those of us who are already politically organised internationally — to find a means of intervening in the social ferment to put forward an internationalist class perspective.

ICT, 2019

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The Real Cause of the Beginning and End of WWI

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/11/2019 - 1:12am in

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Explanations of the cause of WW1 and its ending are always carefully avoided every year as regularly as the commemoration itself.

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[SUSPENDED PENDING RESCHEDULING] Actually Existing Liberalism: History, Crisis, Prospect – Alexander Zevin with Grace Blakeley, 26th November

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/11/2019 - 10:02pm in

*THIS EVENT IS BEING SUSPENDED PENDING RESCHEDULING*
Tuesday 26th November 2019
6.00-7.30pm
Richard Hoggart Building 137

 

Join us for a talk by Alexander Zevin, author of Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist (Verso, 2019). After the talk, PERC will host a discussion between Zevin and Grace Blakeley, author of Stolen: How to Save the World From Financialisation (Repeater, 2019), followed by Q&A.

Since 1843 the Economist newspaper has been the most tireless – and internationally influential – champion of the liberal cause anywhere in the world. But what exactly is liberalism, and how has its message evolved? Shifting focus away from normative definitions offered by political theorists, or ones that start from Locke or Smith or another great thinker, this talk will detail liberalism’s emergence as a coherent worldview in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe – rippling out from Spain and France, and reaching a singular political and economic synthesis in Britain. The Economist allows us to see clearly the way liberalism has grappled with the world historical challenges that came after this moment, and was defined by them: working class demands for democracy, imperial expansion, conflict, cooperation and ongoing dominion, and the ascendency of high finance within the global capitalist order. Examining turning points in the history of each – from the Irish Famine to the Opium Wars, the Reform Acts to Female Suffrage, and from Keynes and the gold standard to Big Bang – the Economist has never simply reported on the world, but directly molded it.

Alexander Zevin is Assistant Professor of History at the City University of New York and an Editor at New Left Review.

Grace Blakeley is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research and the economics commentator for the New Statesman.

Chair: Nick Taylor is Lecturer in Political Economy and CUSP Research Fellow at Goldsmiths University.

 

All are welcome and no registration is required. For details on how to find Goldsmiths, click here.

The post [SUSPENDED PENDING RESCHEDULING] Actually Existing Liberalism: History, Crisis, Prospect – Alexander Zevin with Grace Blakeley, 26th November appeared first on Political Economy Research Centre.

Three New Reads – October

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/10/2019 - 2:00am in

Aptly enough – one hundred and two years to the month since those ‘Ten Days that Shook the World’ – all three (four if you’re on the ball) of my read recommends today are about Russia. I chose them not because it’s October though. I chose them because one way or another Russia – ask Tulsi Gabbard – is very much in the news.

Kurds abandoned by US imperialism—again

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/10/2019 - 4:25pm in

Turkey has
begun a military offensive against Kurdish areas of northern Syria, after US
President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops giving the green
light for the operation.

Once again the Kurds, used as a proxy force by the US
to fight Islamic State—as well as to limit the influence of Russia and Iran,
their rivals in Syria—have been abandoned by US imperialism. Already there are
scores of casualties as Turkey bombs towns and moves troops into Syria.

Turkey has threatened military operations ever since
Kurdish party the PYD took control of northern Syria along the Turkish border,
in the aftermath of the uprising against the Assad government in 2011. The PYD
is linked to the nationalist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a
decades-long guerrilla struggle inside Turkey for autonomy and
self-determination.

The Kurds, numbering between 30 and 35 million and
divided between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, are the world’s largest people without
their own state.

Turkey says it wants to clear a “safe zone” inside
Syria, but it plans to move two million of the Syrian refugees presently inside
Turkey into the area in order to ethnically cleanse it of Kurds.

Since 2012 Syria has been consumed by war, after Assad
turned the popular uprising against his regime into a civil war. Foreign powers
including Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the US have all used the
conflict to try to increase their own influence.

But it has been Russia, which has backed the Assad
regime, that has emerged as the dominant player. The US has been largely
sidelined. It has focused on supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are
held together by Kurdish troops, in order to defeat Islamic State.

There is a long history of US betrayal of the Kurds.
When the US and other Western powers redrew the map of the Middle East after
the First World War they were denied the state they had been promised. In the
1980s the US provided the poison gas that Saddam Hussein, then a US ally, used
against the Kurds in northern Iraq. During the First Gulf War in 1991, the US
called on the Kurds to rise up, only to allow Saddam Hussein to crush them
because US ally Turkey opposed Kurdish independence.

The US’s sole concern in the Middle East is to advance
its own interests.

Tragically, the Kurds are now looking to Russia and
the Assad regime to push Turkey out. But just like the US, Russia is concerned
with its own interests, not Kurdish autonomy. 
Assad’s Syrian army is re-occupying areas controlled by the Kurds. The
Syrian Kurds are back to where they were before the start of the civil
war—oppressed and the pawns of rival imperialisms once again.

By James Supple

The post Kurds abandoned by US imperialism—again appeared first on Solidarity Online.

Exposing state secrets—and the danger of the US alliance

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/10/2019 - 3:59pm in

Journalist Brian
Toohey has spent decades investigating the secrets of Australia “security
state”, embarrassing ASIO, Defence officials and successive governments.

His new book Secret ranges widely, tracing the
history of Australia’s spy agencies and the expansion of their powers under the
“war on terror”, Australia’s relationship with the US, its role in US wars, and
the history of the spy bases at Pine Gap and North West Cape. Much of this is
told through recounting his own reporting on Australia’s state secrets for the
now-defunct National Times and the Financial Review.

He savages Australia’s alliance with the US, showing
how it feeds conflict and makes the world a more dangerous place—including for
ordinary people in Australia.

In contrast to the rosy-eyed view of US power across
most of the mainstream media, Toohey points out that, “the US repeatedly
engages in illegal wars of aggression, breaks trade rules and abandons nuclear
arms control treaties”. It is a rogue superpower that habitually unleashes
armed might around the world, on a scale that far surpasses China, Russia or
any of its rivals.

“A Congressional Research Service study found that the
US used its armed forces overseas on 215 occasions from its foundation in 1798
to 2016”, Toohey writes. And far from creating a more peaceful world since the
end of the Cold War, the US’s use of armed force has actually “stepped up
greatly” since 1991, as it bombed or dispatched forces on 160 occasions.

Since the Second World War Australian governments have
tied themselves to the US with the aim of securing Australia’s own domination
of the south Pacific. Toohey mistakenly views this as a surrender of
sovereignty to the US.

But he outlines how Australia has great strategic
value as the host of US surveillance bases at Pine Gap and North West Cape.
Toohey traces the history of secrecy and lies over US bases in Australia. For
decades both Labor and Liberal governments told the public Pine Gap’s role was
either for “space research” or monitoring Russian compliance with arms control
treaties. Even the Whitlam government maintained this cover story, despite an
election promise to tell the public their true purpose.

Whitlam kept mum after Defence Department Secretary
Arthur Tange told him doing otherwise would jeopardise Australia’s relationship
with the US. But Tange also withheld information from Whitlam, failing to tell
him that the CIA, not the Pentagon, ran the base. This too was a lie designed
to hide the base’s purpose.

Some on the left have long claimed CIA involvement in
the downfall of the Whitlam government in 1975. Toohey thinks there probably
were covert efforts against him, and re-examines the evidence. But he admits
there is no clear proof of US interference, or that this played any decisive
role in Whitlam’s dismissal.

Spy
bases

Pine
Gap began construction in 1967 as a receiving station for signals from US spy
satellites. It receives an enormous range of electronic signals, from mobile
phone to military communications, as part of the NSA’s surveillance program.
Today it plays a key role in targeting drone strikes and missiles for the US
military, and is of vital importance in every US war.

This was confirmed in files leaked by Edward Snowden
stating its role included “support to US military combat operations”.

Despite the fiction of joint control by Australia,
Toohey recounts how US congressional budget committees were told more about
activity at the US bases than the Australian government. His report on plans to
build a new ground station at North West Cape in 1977 appeared in the papers
before Australian officials had received any notification.

The US bases made Australia a nuclear target during
the Cold War, in particular North West Cape, which was used to dispatch orders
to the US’s nuclear-armed submarines.

Australia’s military intelligence agency the Office of
National Assessments told the government as much, and former Labor leader Kim
Beazley admitted it publicly in 2016.

Toohey cites declassified US government papers that argue
the use of Australian territory for US satellite bases, as well as potentially
for hosting troops during wartime, are by far the most important elements of
the Alliance to the US.

This role also implicates Australia in any potential
US conflict with China—whether or not Australian troops are involved.

It means, “Australia has a critical role in the US
efforts to increase economic and military pressure on China, and if that fails,
in winning the ensuing war”.

Toohey rejects the hysteria about Chinese influence in
Australia, noting that despite the claims of Clive Hamilton, there is “no
evidence of an Australian government succumbing to clandestine Chinese
influence”. But the dangers of the US and Australian governments’ efforts to
confront China are real.

Toohey himself does not favour abandoning the US
alliance, but wants a more independent Australian approach. Yet he provides a
wealth of evidence in support of ending it.

Secret is a welcome critical account of
Australia’s military and security state. It covers enormous ground, which means
some topics get only limited treatment, with a slant towards Toohey’s own
exposes over the years.

But in sounding the warning about Australia’s ties to
the US military agenda, he has done us all a service.

By
James Supple

Secret: The
rise of Australia’s security state, By Brian Toohey, Melbourne University
Press, $39.99

The post Exposing state secrets—and the danger of the US alliance appeared first on Solidarity Online.

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