Monthly Archives: September 2011


Profiling’s Legal! Court Upholds Alabama’s Worst-in-Nation Immigration Law

Alabama has prevailed where four other states which have enacted anti-immigrant state laws, including Arizona, did not. Julianne Hing reports on yesterday’s court ruling.

Homeowners to Banks: Clean Up the Mess You Left in Our Neighborhood

Kai Wright tells us about a group of homeowners in East Oakland that got fed up with “foreclosure trash” and took it back to the bank.

Beyond Troy Davis: How Race Colors Death Row ‘Justice’

Hatty Lee illustrates how race shapes who ends up with life sentences and on death row in the U.S.

USPS’s Largely Black and Female Workforce Rallies to Save Jobs
While the agency has been under intense scrutiny, workers are backing a bill that they say will fix some of its most glaring shortcomings.

Ward Connerly Joins UC Berkeley’s Republican ‘Diversity Bake Sale’
Ward Connerly, a former UC Regent and a driving force behind efforts to end affirmative action, joins UC Berkeley’s College Republicans’ ‘Diversity Bake Sale.’

Irvine 11 Case Against Muslim Students Sets Dangerous Precedent
An Orange County jury found 10 Muslim student protesters guilty of violating Israeli ambassador Michael Oren’s freedom of speech. But will the verdict stifle protests by students of color on college campuses?

It’s President Obama Who Needs to ‘Stop Complaining’ and Get to Work
Obama ruffled feathers with a speech telling black leaders to take off their “bedroom slippers” and join the battle for his jobs bill. Funny thing is, that’s just what they were trying to tell him.

HBO’s ‘Latino List’ Shows Complexities of Being Latino in the U.S.
HBO’s “The Latino List” is an exploration of what it takes and what it means to be a successful Latino in the U.S. today.

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Montana White Supremacist Threatens Human Rights Organization

by Bill Morlin –on September 29, 2011

A former “staff leader” of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations is threatening to indict members of the Montana Human Rights Network by convening a “citizen grand jury.”

The e-mail threat came from Karl Gharst, a white supremacist who was convicted and sent to prison in 2004 for threatening to kill a child protective services worker in Montana. The new threat was disclosed Thursday by Travis McAdam, director of the Montana human rights organization, who said the matter had been reported to law enforcement.

The threat of “convening so-called citizen grand juries is a tactic that radical-right extremists love to employ,” McAdams said. “They think it makes their lies, threats, and intimidation more valid if they throw in some fake legalese.”

In the Sept. 17 E-mail, Gharst said the Montana Human Rights Network is a “Jewish criminal organization working with other Jewish organized crime networks,” including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

Gharst accused the Montana human rights organization of “entrapping lawful citizens into crimes engineered by the above-mentioned criminal organizations.”

“These organizations are well known to commit crimes against lawful citizens through intimidation, destruction of property, violence and assassination,” Gharst wrote. “These people calling themselves ‘Jews’ are not citizens of the State of Montana in accordance to the Constitution of the State of Montana.

“As a lawful citizen I am giving you proper notice that I am now exercising my duty that I will do all in my power and the power of the State of Montana to see that all MHRN members will stand trial by the lawful citizens of the State of Montana for crimes against the State, and justice returned to lawful citizens.”

McAdams said that while Gharst’s allegations are ludicrous, he considers him potentially dangerous.

“He’s spent time in prison for threatening a social worker. Earlier this month, he wrote about always carrying a knife and having a firearm within reach. He’s shown he’s willing to cross the line, so we’re taking this threat seriously and have reported it to law enforcement.”

It’s not the first time members or former members of the Aryan Nations have sent E-mail threats.

In 2004, Aryan Nations Nevada leader Steve Holten was charged with sending E-mail threats of violence to Jews, minority leaders and media representatives in California and Nevada. He pleaded guilty and served four months in prison. In 2006, Holten was sent back to prison for another six months for violating terms of his probation by being arrested for indecent exposure in a Reno, Nev., park where he put up posters soliciting sex with men.

It’s not clear whether charges can be brought against Gharst, who maintained his ties with the Aryan Nations after a civil suit by the Southern Poverty Law Center brought about its financial collapse in 2000.

Gharst ran unsuccessfully for city council in Hayden, Idaho, in November 2003, while his mentor, Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler, failed in his bid to become that city’s mayor. Gharst returned to Montana, where he has continued his white supremacist activism.

In the past two years, he has shown Holocaust-denial films at the public library in Kalispell, in northwestern Montana’s Flathead County, which is a current hotbed of extremist activity. Gharst also has been involved with Kalispell Pioneer Little Europe, an organization that promotes a white separatist agenda and is trying to create an Aryan homeland in Flathead Valley.

Antigovernment “Patriots” and others involved in so-called common law courts frequently attempt to use citizen grand juries and even death threats as a way to intimidate their perceived enemies.

The Montana Freeman – responsible for the longest FBI siege in U.S. history – did just that in 1996.

Last year, a group of Patriots in Montana collected signatures in a failed attempt to put a measure on the state’s general election ballot that would have allowed citizens to summon grand juries.

“It’s important that the community be aware of how [Gharst] operates,” McAdams said. “This threat of phony legal action will not deter us from helping local community members both understand and organize against the racist and anti-Semitic goals of Gharst and his allies.”



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Regarding President Obama’s speech this past weekend to the Congressional Black Congress’s Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner. For much of President Obama’s speech, I was right along with him.Speech starts off in the usual boring platitudes, then near the end goes off on a wild tangent.

The CBC voiced its concerns on the high rate of joblessness in the Black community and the economic ills that affect many Blacks. There is nothing that justifies President Barack Obama’s massive haranguing to the Congressional Black Caucus with the following rant:

 “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.” 

Of course he is all big and bad in jumping down the throats of Blacks, even if they are in the person of the CBC. But, let him say the same thing to the nation of Israel; let’s see him tell the LGBT to shut up when “don’t ask, don’t tell” was running patriotic gays out of the military; let him say the same thing to LULAC or MALDEF when they bring their complaints to him; let’s see  him raise his voice against liberals who do nothing for their Black, White, or other constituents–then it’s “Mum’s the word”.

Oh, it is all well and good to tear into Blacks because that has been the racist mantra of so many in this country from the past up to the present.

And what the fuck was up with that pounding the podium at the end of his so-called speech?

Ya’ know President Obama–you haven’t really done much since you have been in office. You have been too terrified to fire back at the racist ReThuglican Party which has literally destroyed this country, theTea Baggers, the racist ultra-right-conservatives who have torn you a new asshole since you have been in office. All the chimp-monkey-nigger hate that has been thrown at you and your wife, the First Lady, and your two daughters, by all manner of filth yet you just mealy mouth and pussyfoot around with those who seek your destruction. But, it is beyond plain that you know you can attack Blacks and get away with it, because that is the overwhelming national consensus in this country.

Hey, this isn’t the first time you have thrown Blacks under the bus.


You did it in 2008 with you so-called speech on race.

“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’ “.

Did you tell those corporations you bailed out to “shake it off”? I don’t remember you telling them to “stop crying” when they ran their own businesses into the ground. I do not remember you telling them to “stop grumblin’…stop complainin” when they caused the subprime mortgage hells.

Yeah, I’m sitting in front of this computer in my slippers because I have earned the damned right to do so.

I came in from my job after a hard day’s work. I have lived my life pursuing education both in and out of school, I have worked to build up my skills and capabilities, I have been resourceful, responsible, dependable and an asset to this nation.

So, yeah, I have the right to rest when I get home, no matter what you do or do not like.

“We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

Yeah, we have work to do, and that work is to give support for those who do not rabidly jump up and down on us while trying to curry favor with those who seek our destruction.

Man the fuck up, or continue on the path you have chosen.

Pony up, grow some balls and cease being the HNIC and become the Commander-in-Chief that you ought to be.

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For the last five years I have been mulling over whether to buy a Kindle reader. Somehow, the idea of reading books on a Kindle e-reader never quite appealed to me. I love the feel of holding a book in my hand, turning the pages, saving the page with one of my bookmarks, as well as enjoying the quality of the text.

So, whenever Amazon Kindle put out a newer version of Kindle, they just were not going to sell me on the idea of putting money down for a Kindle. Ho-hum was all I felt for Kindle.

But, today, September 28, 2011,  Amazon introduces four new Kindle series, and this time, my interest has perked up. Per their website announcement:

“We’re excited to introduce an all-new Kindle family: three all-new Kindle e-readers that are smaller, lighter, and more affordable than ever before, and Kindle Fire – a new class of Kindle that brings the same ease-of-use and deep integration of content that helped Kindle re-invent reading – to movies, TV shows, music, magazines, apps, books, games, and more.

New Latest Generation Kindle-Fits In Your Pocket-Only $79

The new latest generation Kindle is for readers who want the lightest, most compact Kindle at an incredible price. The latest generation Kindle features a new design that is 30 percent lighter at just 5.98 ounces, 18 percent smaller, and turns pages 10 percent faster. Kindle is now small and light enough to fit easily in your pocket and carry with you everywhere, yet it still features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight.

Kindle is available starting today at

New Addition to the Kindle Family-“Kindle Touch”-Only $99

Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch is also lighter, smaller, eliminates battery anxiety with extra-long battery life and holds thousands of books.

Kindle Touch is available to customers in the U.S. for pre-order starting today at and ships November 21.

New Top of the Line Kindle e-reader-“Kindle Touch 3G” -Only $149

Kindle Touch 3G is a new addition to the Kindle family for readers who want the top of the line e-reader. Kindle Touch 3G offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch – small and light, easy-to-use touch screen, storage for thousands of books, and extra-long battery life – with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle’s free 3G connection means you never have to hunt for or pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot – you simply download and read books anytime, anywhere in over 100 countries around the world. Amazon pays for the 3G connection so there’s no monthly fee or annual contract.

Kindle Touch 3G is available to customers in the U.S. for pre-order starting today at and ships November 21.

All three new Kindle e-readers also come with special offers and sponsored screensavers that appear when you’re not reading. Customers enjoy special money-saving offers delivered wirelessly, including discounts on local services, products, and experiences from AmazonLocal, Amazon’s local deals marketplace. Customers can also choose to purchase a Kindle without special offers and sponsored screensavers.

New Class of Kindle-“Kindle Fire”-Only $199

Kindle Fire is a new addition to the Kindle family that offers instant access to Amazon’s massive selection of digital content, Amazon’s revolutionary cloud-accelerated browser, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, brilliant color touchscreen, and a fast and powerful dual core processor -all for only $199.

Kindle Fire puts Amazon’s incredible selection of digital content at your fingertips – enjoy over 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, and magazines in vibrant color.

Customers in the U.S. can pre-order Kindle Fire starting today at and it ships November 15.”


Now with the introduction of the Kindle Fire, I am all ears (and eyes) ready to buy this one.

Of course, I still have my love for books, but, since I am a NetFlix subscriber and love watching movies without commercial interruption, and I have an interest in apps that might be of use to me, the Kindle Fire is something I would obtain.

With 18 million movies, TV shows, music, songs, games, magazines and books; apps; Amazon Silk; instant streaming of popular TV shows and movies; a price of $200.00–I might pony up the money for it. Now, if only it could have memory slot, camera and microphone interface, plus dowloading content (photos, YouTube, videos, etc.) from anywhere, and integrated wireless keyboard for writing and blogging—then I would become a purchaser.

Just the same, good to see Amazon evolving their technology in the Kindle series.

Way to go, Amazon!

(Psst—Amazon: the typeface blocks go in backwards for printing the words correctly on the page 🙂

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For The Elder Sister (who stays at home when the rest of the family goes foreign)

Artwork by Laura James, January 21, 2011. (Courtesy of Black Art In America).

In her line of sight are photos of family members who have gone off to make their way in the world. Family members older than her, family members younger than her. Near the door entrance sits an elderly man, possibly waiting for his needs to be attended to.

It is a beautiful clear day.

She stands behind a woman, tending to her hair, all the while thinking…dreaming…musing…pondering…when her time will come to sprout wings, fly, and soar to heights she had never thought imaginable. The responsibility to others will become a responsibility to herself, when one day she will board that plane and attain her heart’s most cherished desires.

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When Claudette refused, the officers grabbed her wrists and jerked her from her seat, sending her textbooks flying. Shouting that she had a constitutional right to sit where she chose, Claudette willed herself not to struggle. Recalled Claudette, years later. “History kept me stuck to my seat. I felt the hand of Harriet Tubman pushing down on one shoulder and Sojourner Truth pushing down on the other.”

Before Rosa Parks there was Claudette Colvin.

Born September 5, 1939, Ms. Colvin was on of four Black women ( Aurelia S. Browder, Claudette Colvin, Susie McDonald, Mary Louise Smith, and Jeanatta Reese [outside pressure convinced Ms. Reese to withdraw from the case]) who challenged the racist segregation of city buses in Alabama. On March 2, 1955, at the age of 15, while rising on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama she refused to give up her seat to a White passenger citing  “It’s my constitutional right to sit here”. This put her in direct violation of the city’s law on where Black and White passengers could sit on city buses. She was arrested, jailed, convicted and placed on probation. Ms. Colvin was the first Black woman to challenge bus segregation, nine months before Mrs. Rosa Parks, on December 1, 1955,  made her stand by remaining seated. Ms. Colvin’s court case, decided by the United States District Court, ruled racial segregation on city buses unconstitutional.

Because she was a teenager and was an unmarried mother, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) leaders of the bus boycott refused to use Ms. Colvin for their boycott, even though they knew of her case before the SCOTUS, and instead opted to have Mrs. Parks as their representative to challenge passenger segregation on city buses in Birmingham, Alabama.

A young Claudette Colvin

Retiree Claudette Colvin was 15 the day she refused to give up her seat on the bus. “My head was just too full of black history, you know, the oppression that we went through,” she says.

Here is an excerpt from her book Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice:

One [of the policemen] said to the driver in a very angry tone, “Who is it?” The motorman pointed at me. I heard him say, “That’s nothing new . . . I’ve had trouble with that ‘thing’ before.” He called me a “thing.” They came to me and stood over me and one said, “Aren’t you going to get up?” I said, “No, sir.” He shouted “Get up” again. I started crying, but I felt even more defiant. I kept saying over and over, in my high-pitched voice, “It’s my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right!” I knew I was talking back to a white policeman, but I had had enough.

One cop grabbed one of my hands and his partner grabbed the other and they pulled me straight up out of my seat. My books went flying everywhere. I went limp as a baby—I was too smart to fight back. They started dragging me backwards off the bus. One of them kicked me. I might have scratched one of them because I had long nails, but I sure di’n’t fight back. I kept screaming over and over” “‘It’s my constitutional right!” I wa’n’t shouting anything profane—I never swore, not then, not ever. I was shouting out my rights.

It just killed me to leave the bus. I hated to give that white woman my seat when so many black people were standing. I was crying hard. The cops put me in the back of a police car and shut the door. They stood outside and talked to each other for a minute, and then one came back and told me to stick my hands out the open window. He handcuffed me and then pulled the door open and jumped in the backseat with me. I put my knees together and crossed my hands over my lap and started praying.

All ride long they swore at me and ridiculed me. They took turns trying to guess my bra size. They called me “nigger bitch” and cracked jokes about parts of my body. I recited the Lord’s Prayer and the Twenty-third Psalm over and over in my head, trying to push back the fear. I assumed they were taking me to juvenile court because I was only fifteen. I was thinking, Now I’m gonna be picking cotton, since that’s how they punished juveniles—they put you in a school out in the country where they made you do field work during the day.

But we were going in the wrong direction. They kept telling me I was going to Atmore, the women’s penitentiary. Instead, we pulled up to the police station and they led me inside. More cops looked up when we came in and started calling me “Thing” and “Whore.” They booked me and took my fingerprints.

Then they put me back in the car and drove me to the city jail—the adult jail. Someone led me straight to a cell without giving me any chance to make a phone call. He opened the door and told me to get inside. He shut it hard behind me and turned the key. The lock fell into place with a heavy sound. It was the worst sound I ever heard. It sounded final. It said I was trapped.

When he went away, I looked around me: three bare walls, a toilet, and a cot. Then I feel down on my knees in the middle of the cell and started crying again. I didn’t know if anyone knew where I was or what had happened to me. I had no idea how long I would be there. I cried and I put my hands together and prayed like I had never prayed before.

On May 11, 1956, Ms. Colvin, along with three other women, testified in a Montgomery federal court about her incident on the bus. The case became known as Browder v. Gayle and was argued before the  U.S. Supreme Court. Attorneys decided not to use Colvin in the lawsuit because they wanted to build a case that challenged the legality of bus segregation. Because of her resisting the infringement on her rights to sit anywhere on the bus, Ms. Colvin had been charged with disorderly conduct. Because Browder v. Gayle challenged the constitutionality of a state statute, the case was brought before a three-judge U.S. District Court panel. On June 5, 1956, the panel ruled two-to-one that segregation on Alabama’s intrastate buses was unconstitutional, citing Brown v. Board of Education as precedent for the verdict. On December 17, 1956, the United States Supreme Court rejected city and state appeals to reconsider their decision, and three days later the order for integrated buses arrived in Montgomery, Alabama on December 20, 1956.

On December 21, 1956, the boycott ended and buses were desgregated.

A segregated bus

When the driver of the segregated bus, like the one shown above, ordered Claudette Colvin to get up, she refused, saying she’d paid her fare and it was her constitutional right. Two police officers handcuffed and arrested her.  (Photo courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives and Manuscripts)

After the bus boycott, Ms. Colvin found it difficult to obtain employment because of her arrest, so she moved to New York. She worked for thirty-six years as a CNA at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home, retiring in 2004. Ms. Colvin never married. Her first child at the time of the boycott was a son, Raymond, whom she gave birth to in 1955. He died at the age of 37. A second son, an accountant, lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms. Claudette Colvin is still proud of what she accomplished by standing up for her rights as a citizen and as an activist in the fight for equality and recognition of her humanity and her fellow Black citizens. Her brave actions paved the way for Sister Parks and many others who fought against a repressive and racist regime with their civil disobedience.

I’m not disappointed,” Ms. Colvin said. “Let the people know Rosa Parks was the right person for the boycott. But also let them know that the attorneys took four other women to the Supreme Court to challenge the law that led to the end of segregation”.






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Quick Facts

World Maritime Day is held on the last week of September each year, although the exact date is up to individual governments around the world.

Local names

Name Language
World Maritime Day English
Día Marítimo Mundial Spanish

World Maritime Day 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

World Maritime Day 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012
List of dates for other years

The United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organization (IMO), created World Maritime Day to celebrate the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy, especially in shipping. The event’s date varies by year and country but it is always on the last week of September.
Maritime Day
World Maritime Day celebrates the benefits of the maritime industry. © Hottner

What do people do?

World Maritime Day focuses on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s work. The day also features a special message from the IMO’s secretary-general, which is backed up by a discussion paper on the selected subject in more detail.

World Maritime Day is celebrated in many countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Many maritime organizations and unions hold special events and activities to celebrate this day. These activities and events range from symposiums to luncheons, as well as school lessons that focus on the day. Some classes may organize a trip to a maritime museum so students can understand the significance of the maritime industry in shaping world history and its importance in world trade.

Public life

World Maritime Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.


Throughout history, people have understood that international regulations that are followed by many countries worldwide could improve marine safety so many treaties have been adopted since the 19th century. Various countries proposed for a permanent international body to be established to promote maritime safety more effectively but it was not until the UN was established that these hopes were realized. An international conference in Geneva in 1948 adopted a convention formally establishing the IMO, a specialized UN agency that develops and maintains a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping.

The IMO’s original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) but the name was changed in 1982 to IMO. The IMO focuses on areas such as safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.

World Maritime Day was first held on March 17, 1978 to mark the date of the IMO Convention’s entry into force in 1958. At that time, the organization had 21 member states. It now has about 167 member states and three associate members. This membership includes virtually all the nations of the world with an interest in maritime affairs, including those involved in the shipping industry and coastal states with an interest in protecting their maritime environment.

Note: The dates below are a rough guide on when World Maritime Day is observed, based on the most recent previous dates it was observed by the UN. It is also important to note that the exact date is left to individual governments but is usually celebrated during the last week in September.

External links

IMO: World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Sep 25 1980 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 1981 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 1982 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 1983 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 1984 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 1985 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 1986 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 1987 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 1988 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 28 1989 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 1990 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 1991 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 1992 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 1993 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 1994 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 28 1995 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 1996 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 1997 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 1998 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 1999 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 28 2000 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 2001 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 2002 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 2003 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 2004 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 2005 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 28 2006 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 2007 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 2008 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 2009 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 23 2010 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 22 2011 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 27 2012 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 26 2013 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 25 2014 World Maritime Day United Nation day  
Thu Sep 24 2015 World Maritime Day United Nation day  


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