Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Mark Stop Playing And Get Patty Her Own Chopper (Patty, The Chrome LCP Is Not A Crowd Control Weapon)


stltoday | ST. LOUIS — As protesters made their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home on Sunday night, demanding her resignation, they marched and shouted along private Portland Place. They were met by a couple pointing guns and telling protesters to get away. 

Protesters chanted to a drumbeat of “Let’s go!” Hundreds of them filed by. The couple, Mark T. and Patricia N. McCloskey, stood outside with weapons. They are personal-injury lawyers who work together in The McCloskey Law Center and own a million dollar home.'
“Private property!” Mark McCloskey shouted repeatedly at the crowd, as he held a rifle. “Get out! Private property, get out!” Patricia McCloskey pointed a small handgun.
Someone in the crowd replied, “Calm down.” A woman protester yelled, “Then call the (expletive) cops, you idiot!” and “It’s a public street (expletive).”
The Post-Dispatch photographed the exchange. A video on Twitter had been viewed more than 10 million times by Monday morning. President Trump retweeted an ABC News account of the confrontation.

The couple’s renovation of their storied Renaissance palazzo mansion on Portland Place was featured in St. Louis Magazine. City records show the property is appraised at $1.15 million. The couple could not be reached Monday morning to talk about the incident. The windows at the couple's law firm were boarded up; no one responded to a knock on the door of their home.

Karen ELATED To Be Out'Chere Snitching On Mask Defiance And Non-Compliance


kshb |  Mayor Quinton Lucas's face mask mandate went into effect in Kansas City, Missouri, Monday. 

Anyone going inside a public building is now required to wear a face covering. 

The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department will be enforcing the mandate by asking customers and businesses to hold each other accountable. 

As of 5 p.m. there were 21 Health - Communicable Disease 311 complaints according to the city's 311 database.

The Health Department will follow up with businesses in those complaints one by one, beginning with a phone call to determine if the business needs a reminder about the rule or if it is actively ignoring it.

Joe Zwillenberg, owner of the Westport Flea Market Bar and Grill, said he welcomes the oversight by the public and the government.

"You might get that new employee who just moved here that maybe doesn't know about the ordinance going on and fell through the cracks," Zwillenberg said. "The last thing any restaurant wants to do is get somebody sick."

After an initial follow-up call from the health department, next steps, if necessary, include sending a certified letter, visiting the business, sending a mitigation order and pulling the occupancy permit. 

The Health Department wants to stress that customers hold the power. If they see a business not allowing for distancing or not enforcing mask-wearing they should leave.

Quivering, Age-Spotted Old Poodle ALL-IN On The Great Reset


cnbc |  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said that a federal mandate on wearing masks is “long overdue,” as state governors call for a consistent national message on the issue amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the nation.  

Pelosi said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of masks to reduce the spread of the virus but never mandated it as to “not offend” President Donald Trump.

The president has repeatedly flouted public health guidelines by refusing to wear a mask in public since the start of the outbreak. 

“The president should be an example. Real men wear masks, be an example to the country, wear a mask,” Pelosi said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” “It’s not about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting others.” 

Mask wearing has become a point of contention across the U.S., despite research showing that face coverings prevent coronavirus transmission.

U.S. coronavirus cases surged by more than 45,000 in one day on Friday, a record breaking spike that brought the nation’s total to more than 2.5 million cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday deflected a question about a federal mandate requiring Americans to wear masks, and said people should listen to what state and local officials are saying about wearing masks in public. 

The vice president said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “every state has a unique situation” and “we believe people should wear masks wherever social distancing is not possible.”

Sunday, June 28, 2020

"No-Fault" Containment Of Promethean Humanity Is The Reset's Biggest Challenge


strategic-culture |  With the specter of a New Great Depression hovering over most of the planet, realpolitik perspectives for a radical change of the political economy framework we live in are not exactly encouraging.

Western ruling elites will be deploying myriad tactics to perpetuate the passivity of populations barely emerging from de facto house arrest, including a massive disciplinary – in a Foucault sense – drive by states and business/finance circles.

In his latest book, La Desaparicion de los Rituales, Byung-Chul Han shows how total communication, especially in a time of pandemic, now coincides with total vigilance: “Domination impersonates freedom. Big Data generates a domineering knowledge that allows the possibility of intervening in the human psyche, and manipulating it. Considering it this way, the data-ist imperative of transparency is not a continuation of the Enlightenment, but its ending.”

This revamping of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish coincides with reports about the demise of the neoliberal era being vastly overstated. Instead of a simplistic plunge into populist nationalism, what is on the horizon points mostly to a Neoliberalism Restoration – massively spun as a novelty, and incorporating some Keynesian elements: after all, in the post-Lockdown era, to “save” the markets and private initiative the state must not only intervene but also facilitate a possible ecological transition.

The bottom line: we may be facing a mere cosmetic approach, in which the deep structural crisis of zombie capitalism – barely moving under unpopular “reforms” and infinite debt – still is not addressed.

Meanwhile, what is going to happen to assorted fascisms? Eric Hobsbawm showed us in Age of Extremes how the key to the fascist right was always mass mobilization: “Fascists were the revolutionaries of the counter-revolution”.

We may be heading further than mere, crude neofascism. Call it Hybrid Neofascism. Their political stars bow to global market imperatives while switching political competition to the cultural arena.

That’s what true “illiberalism” is all about: the mix between neoliberalism – unrestricted capital mobility, Central Bank diktats – and political authoritarianism. Here’s where we find Trump, Modi and Bolsonaro.

Color Me Cynical - But I Don't See These Human Livestock Managers Ceding Control To You Peasants


WEF  |  Geneva, Switzerland, 3 June 2020 – “The Great Reset” will be the theme of a unique twin summit to be convened by the World Economic Forum in January 2021. The 51st World Economic Forum Annual Meeting will bring together global leaders from government, business and civil society, and stakeholders from around the world in a unique configuration that includes both in-person and virtual dialogues.

“We only have one planet and we know that climate change could be the next global disaster with even more dramatic consequences for humankind. We have to decarbonize the economy in the short window still remaining and bring our thinking and behaviour once more into harmony with nature,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

“In order to secure our future and to prosper, we need to evolve our economic model and put people and planet at the heart of global value creation. If there is one critical lesson to learn from this crisis, it is that we need to put nature at the heart of how we operate. We simply can’t waste more time,” said HRH The Prince of Wales.

“The Great Reset is a welcome recognition that this human tragedy must be a wake-up call. We must build more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and the many other global changes we face,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York.

“A Great Reset is necessary to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being,” added Schwab “The global health crisis has laid bare the unsustainability of our old system in terms of social cohesion, the lack of equal opportunities and inclusiveness. Nor can we turn our backs on the evils of racism and discrimination. We need to build into this new social contract our intergenerational responsibility to ensure that we live up to the expectations of young people.”

“COVID-19 has accelerated our transition into the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We have to make sure that the new technologies in the digital, biological and physical world remain human-centred and serve society as a whole, providing everyone with fair access,” he said.

“This global pandemic has also demonstrated again how interconnected we are. We have to restore a functioning system of smart global cooperation structured to address the challenges of the next 50 years. The Great Reset will require us to integrate all stakeholders of global society into a community of common interest, purpose and action,” said Schwab. “We need a change of mindset, moving from short-term to long-term thinking, moving from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder responsibility. Environmental, social and good governance have to be a measured part of corporate and governmental accountability,” he added.

Trump And BoJo Stepped In The Path/Timeline Of A Specific Elite Agenda


WEF |  The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a hub for global, multistakeholder cooperation to develop policy frameworks and advance collaborations that accelerate the benefits of science and technology.

Emerging technologies inevitably have both merits and risks. The extent to which the benefits are maximized and the risks mitigated depends on the quality of governance protocols – policies, norms, standards and incentives that shape the development and deployment of technologies. Governance must be stable, interoperable, predictable and transparent enough to build confidence among investors, companies, scientists and the general public, but also agile enough to remain relevant in the face of rapid advances in technology.

Policy governing emerging technologies is currently piecemeal: Some areas are regulated heavily, others hardly at all. Often, mechanisms for policy-makers to interact with people at the cutting edge of research simply do not exist.

There is a need for a global and trusted space where leading technology companies, dynamic start-ups, policy-makers, international organizations, regulators, business organizations, academia and civil society can collaborate to develop the agile policy norms and partnerships needed to stimulate the enormous potential of science and technology, deliver rapid growth and generate sustainable, positive impact for all.

Drawing on the World Economic Forum’s global convening power, community creation and insight generation, the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco aims to accelerate cross-sector cooperation for Fourth Industrial Revolution governance. The Centre will develop, pilot and scale agile and human-centred governance tools that can be adopted by policy-makers, legislators and regulators worldwide to address challenges related to emerging technologies.

The Centre is co-designing and piloting policy frameworks and governance protocols across six areas of focus. Learn more. To help companies and governments accelerate the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Forum also has projects dedicated to Precision Medicine, Digital Trade and Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth.

Elites Not Done With Panicdemic Reset - Time To Ratchet Up Coronavirus Horror


LATimes |  The new coronavirus’ reputation for messing with scientists’ assumptions has taken a truly creepy turn.

Researchers exploring the interaction between the coronavirus and its hosts have discovered that when the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects a human cell, it sets off a ghoulish transformation. Obeying instructions from the virus, the newly infected cell sprouts multi-pronged tentacles studded with viral particles.

These disfigured zombie cells appear to be using those streaming filaments, or filopodia, to reach still-healthy neighboring cells. The protuberances appear to bore into the cells’ bodies and inject their viral venom directly into those cells’ genetic command centers — thus creating another zombie.

The authors of the new study, an international team led by researchers at UC San Francisco, say the coronavirus appears to be using these newly sprouted dendrites to boost its efficiency in capturing new cells and establishing infection in its human victims.

Their research was published Friday in the journal Cell.

The scientists also believe they have identified several drugs that could disrupt the viral takeover of cells and slow the process by which COVID-19 takes hold. These compounds, many of which were designed as cancer treatments, seem likely to work because they block the chemical signals that activate filopodia production in the first place.

Among the seven drugs they identified as potentially useful against COVID-19 are Silmitasertib, a still-experimental drug in early clinical trials as a treatment for bile duct cancer and a form of childhood brain cancer; ralimetinib, a cancer drug developed by Eli Lilly; and gilteritinib (marketed as Xospata), a drug in use already to treat acute myeloid leukemia.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Q. Gillum Headfaking On PoPo, But Serious About The World Economic Forum "Reset"


kctv5  |  On Friday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced that people will now be required to wear masks when at any “place of public accommodation.”

The change will officially take place on Monday, June 29.

The verbiage from the city says: “All employees or visitors to any place of public accommodation must wear face coverings in an area or while performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible.”

This order will remain in place until at least Sunday, July 12. Kansas City, Kansas is expected to roll out a similar requirement soon.

The mayor said business owners should refuse service to people who are not wearing masks.

Public Health Director Dr. Rex Archer did point out there should be an adjustment period for the first few days for businesses and citizens to get masks.

“There's a reason we're making a business focus on this,” the mayor said. “We don't want someone stopped on the street.”

Enforcement of the rules will be handled by the health department through complaints. Officers will not be stopping people inside businesses.

“This is the change that will help our economy,” said Dr. Archer. “It will save lives. We're in the second wave in Kansas City.”

Additionally, the percentage capacity limits that were previously required by the mayor’s eighth amended order will be eliminated, except for taverns and bars. This is because the mayor has now issued a ninth amended order as part of his announcement on Friday.

“Our country’s leading health and scientific experts have indicated in no uncertain terms that mask-wearing is the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Lucas. “Case numbers in Kansas City continue to rise, and we are taking all steps we can to ensure public health and safety. I know wearing masks can be uncomfortable, but this is a necessary step to ensure we can save lives and keep our economy open. We wear masks to protect our loved ones, those around us, and their loved ones.”

In Local Democrat Politics - Q. Gillum's Swole-Up Young Protege Riding Hella Dirty


facebook |  Today, the public was made aware of the misconduct of Missouri State Representative District 36, Mark A. Sharp. After an investigation was conducted by the Texas Education Agency, Representative Mark Sharp was terminated from his teaching position by the Caddo Mills Independent School District for searching for firearms using school resources when the district asked him not to and for sharing inappropriate videos with students in 2017 (link below). Not only that, Representative Sharp exhibits homophobic, antisemitic, and sexist ideals in remarks/posts still on his social media (link below). Words cannot describe how embarrassed and insulted I am as a Kansas Citian that this individual represents the great people of District 36.

Out of respect for the office, Missouri State Representative Mark Sharp must resign and suspend his re-election campaign effective immediatley. If he fails to do so, I call on the Missouri Democratic Party, Missouri House Democrats, Missouri Senate Democrats, and the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, Inc. to step in because this inappropriate behavior is simply not acceptable for a state representative to exhibit. I have great respect for leaders of color, but make no mistake, homophobia, sexism, antisemitism, and predatory behavior have no place in the Missouri Democratic Party. 

Not even a tempest in a teapot among grown folks, but for the ruthlessly amoral sock-puppet cancel culture, it's conceivable that this "tea" might actually sting. 

kansascity |  Sharp, who faces one challenger in the Aug. 4 primary, was nominated by local Democrats and won a special election last year to replace state Rep. Daron McGee. McGee resigned while being investigated by a bipartisan House committee for alleged sexual harassment of a former staffer.

Sharp’s past came to light Tuesday through multiple posts by an anonymous Twitter account titled “Time’s Up - Missouri,” which was created this month and has tweeted exclusively about Sharp. 

The anonymous Twitter posts were shared by several, including Rachel Gonzalez, a Kansas City activist and member of state party executive committee. 

The Facebook posts tweeted by the anonymous account still exists on Sharp’s personal page and date back to posts Sharp made in 2011 and 2012.

Two posts objectified women as “meat.”

“Question: women are you a piece of meat that any stray dog has a chance at, or are you a lady that only an established man has a shot at?” Sharp posted.

“Dogs need meat...MEN need a lady in the streets and u kno the rest,” he posted.

In talking about national news about coaches being accused of molesting young men, Sharp posted in 2011, “sports used to be a sure way to get away from that homo shyt.” 

“When I was 24-25, I said things on Facebook that were stupid, dumb, uninformed and politically incorrect,” Sharp said.

Sharp said the posts do not reflect who he is now and didn’t know the posts still existed.

Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article243766872.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article243766872.html#storylink=cpy

Mayor Q. Gillum NOT ABOUT To Upset The Local Criminal Public Safety Union...,


kcur |  Kansas City currently has a highly unusual setup for its police department. The department gets its funding largely from the city of Kansas City, but it is not directly controlled by the mayor or city council as other departments are.

Instead, since the late 1930s, it has been under state control and the governor appoints a five-member board to oversee it. Mayor Quinton Lucas is part of that board. The police chief reports to the board, not to the city council or to the city manager.


Over the years there have been periodic calls to return the department to local control, in line with the way most big-city police departments are governed.

Supporters say local control would be one way to hold the police department accountable and more directly address the city’s serious violent crime and homicide problem.

Emanuel Cleaver III, who was among several local Black leaders who stood behind Lucas as he spoke, said he hadn't seen a movement like this in his lifetime. 

"I'm extremely hopeful and believe that we're going to see significant change," Cleaver said.
Cleaver said local control could open the door to other reforms — particularly the establishment of an independent police review board that would handle police complaints. 

Pastor Ronald Lindsay of Concord Fortress of Hope Church in south Kansas City said it's time for Kansas City residents to have a voice in the debate.

"I think that this is a transformative moment to rethink what community is and what being engaged in a health community and culture really looks like," Lindsay said. "It's hard work, it's ugly, but it's absolutely necessary."

Still, local control remains a controversial proposal. 

Opponents fear that it would make the police department vulnerable to political interference. And local control has often been opposed by the Fraternal Order of Police in Kansas City.

Lucas said while Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith was informed of Thursday's announcement, they had yet to sit down and talk about it. 

On Thursday, several groups applauded the mayor’s announcement. The Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, or MORE2, said it was pleased with Lucas’ support of a ballot measure this year to garner voter support.

Obtain Local Control Of Policing - Don't Fall For Corporatist Melanin Over Substance Politricks


blackagendareport |  Despite the breathtaking size, intensity and multi-racial character of this month’s protests, and the record-breaking popularity of the insurgent movement, the corporate electoral duopoly – not the loathsome persona of Donald Trump, but the Democrat-Republican tag-team-- remains the greatest impediment to social transformation. They are the institutional enemy. That most emphatically includes the Black political class, virtually all Democrats, who have overseen the steady deterioration of the Black economic condition, managed much of the local workings of the Mass Black Incarceration State, and supported a U.S.war machine that has slaughtered millions of non-whites in the two generations since Dr. King called this country “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, today.” 

The bigger the Congressional Black Caucus gets (it now stands at 50 full-voting members in the House), the more servile to party corporate leadership it becomes. By wide margins, the Black Caucus has opposed ending militarization of the police (80 percent “nay,” in 2014); supported elevating the police to a “protected class” and making assault on police a federal “hate” crime (75 percent, in 2018); and voted to further empower the FBI to spy on citizens (two-thirds  of the Black Caucus, in 2020). Nearly half the Black members of Congress supported the bombing of Libya and NATO’s invasion of Africa in 2011, and the vast bulk of them have signed off on every escalating war budget put forward by Presidents Obama and Trump. In short, the Black Caucus is a bulwark of systemic racism and U.S. imperial warfare. Not one serving Black congressperson has raised a peep about the ongoing slaughter in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than six million have died under four U.S. presidents.

“The Black Caucus is a bulwark of systemic racism and U.S. imperial warfare.”
The biggest luminaries of the Black Caucus, including “Auntie” Maxine Waters, of California, South Carolina’s James Clyburn, and New York’s Hakeem Jeffries  and Greg Meeks, are today rallying around  New York Democratic incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel to beat back progressive Black challenger Jamaal Bowman , a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Black Caucus has slavishly followed every directive of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi since she ordered them to refrain from holding hearings on Katrina, in 2005. They are collaborators in the duopoly’s greatest crimes against Black America, and the world.

The “street power” that has been so dramatically manifested over the past month will be dissipated and ultimately wasted if organizers put forward demands that leave the levers of power in the hands of local Democrats, of whatever color. The demand to defund the police is unassailable, in principle. However, if in practice it devolves to endless and debilitating dickering with local legislatures over funding that will inevitably be cut across the board due to collapsing tax rolls, no lasting transformation will be achieved, and the movement will splinter and fade. That’s why we at BAR support community control of the police – the institutionalization of grassroots people’s power to shape and oversee the mechanisms of their own security and end forever the armed occupation of our communities by hostile forces.

Corporations Fund Police Foundations



littlesis |  As calls to defund the police gain traction, bloated police budgets are coming under scrutiny for siphoning public resources away from black and brown communities. While police budgets are typically public documents that must be approved by elected officials, there are other institutions in place with the sole purpose of funneling even more resources toward law enforcement.

Police foundations across the country are partnering with corporations to raise money to supplement police budgets by funding programs and purchasing tech and weaponry for law enforcement with little public oversight. Annual fundraising events and parties like the St. Paul Police Foundation’s “Blue Nite Gala” and the Chicago Police Foundation’s “True Blue” event are huge moneymakers. The NYC Police Foundation reported that it raised $5.5 million from its annual benefit in 2019.

If police departments already have massive budgets – averaging 20% to 45% of a municipal budget – why do these organizations exist? Police foundations offer a few unique benefits to law enforcement.
First, these foundations can purchase equipment and weapons with little public input or oversight.

The Houston Police Foundation has an entire page on its website showcasing the equipment it purchased for the police department, including SWAT equipment, LRAD sound equipment, and dogs for the K-9 unit. The Philadelphia Police Foundation purchased long guns, drones, and ballistic helmets. The Atlanta Police Foundation helped fund a major surveillance network of over 12,000 cameras.

In Los Angeles, the police used foundation funding to purchase controversial surveillance software from Palantir. If the LAPD purchased this technology through its public budget, it would have been required to hold public meetings and gain approval from the city council. By having the foundation purchase it for them, the LAPD was able to bypass that oversight.

Second, these foundations provide a public-private structure wherein the corporate elite can overtly support police departments through direct donations, sponsorships, special programs, and by serving as directors on foundations’ boards. The ongoing protests have emphasized that police exist to enforce a racist social order that protects corporations, capital, and buildings rather than black and brown lives. Police foundations are a key space for orchestrating, normalizing, and celebrating the collaboration between corporate power and the police.

The corporate interests backing police foundations across the country cover a wide range of industries. We profile some of these industries and corporate actors below.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Philadelphia Special Weapons Attack Team Did THE Most


Police Violence Against Peaceful Protesters In 125 Cities In 40 States


focalabs.co.uk  |  Amnesty International used open-source intelligence (OSINT) research techniques to obtain and verify all of the media assets included on the incidents of police violence map.  Videos were sourced from social media platforms, including, but not limited to, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  To document these violations, Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence Lab, working with its Digital Verification Corps hubs at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Cambridge, gathered nearly 500 videos of incidents from social media platforms. This digital content was then verified and geolocated. The verified content was analyzed by investigators with expertise in weapons, police tactics, and international and US law governing the use of force.

Where necessary, videos were edited to protect the identity of the persons involved and a review was conducted to ensure that videos are not listed that could incriminate protesters, that could expose the identity of minors, or that could lead to possible re-traumatisation.

Note on Vicarious Trauma Protection

Monitoring human rights abuses is traumatic at the best of times. Amnesty International took steps to protect the wellbeing of the research teams throughout the project.

Following tips and guidelines from organizations such as the DART Centre, First Draft News, Amnesty International’s Citizen Evidence Lab, and the Human Rights Resilience Project, we worked to ensure that only those who needed to view the worst of the content did so, that all members of the research teams were able to receive any support they needed, and built a team atmosphere which allowed each member of the team to share their experiences.  

Any investigation looking at abuses of international human rights law or international humanitarian law should consider the potentially traumatic impact on the investigation team – regardless of whether they are in the field or researching from afar, and should take steps to ensure appropriate support structures are in place.

How You Gone Demilitarize All These Ex-Military On The Dole As Police?


counterpunch |  Calls for de-militarization of law enforcement have gained new momentum in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality. That process won’t be easy in a nation where nearly one fifth of all cops are military veterans — including Derek Chauvin, George Floyd’s killer in Minneapolis and Robert McCabe, one of two officers charged with felony assault for knocking down a 75-year-old protester in Buffalo.

When loaded down with cast-off Pentagon gear, police officers from any background are more likely to regard peaceful protestors as enemy combatants, particularly when the Pentagon’s own top official refers to their protest scenes as “battle space.” But studies show that employing people with experience in war zones abroad has not been a boon to “community policing” either. Getting police departments to stop acting like an occupying army will require many fundamental changes, including much closer screening of job applicants who are veterans and ending their preferential hiring treatment.

Policing is currently the third most common occupation for men and women who have served in the military. It is an option widely encouraged by career counsellors and veterans’ organizations like the American Legion.  As a result, several hundred thousand veterans are now wearing a badge of some sort. Although veterans comprise just 6 percent of the US population, they represent 19 percent of all law enforcement personnel.

This disproportionate representation is due, in part, to preferential hiring requirements, mandated by state or federal law. In addition, under the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice provided local police departments with tens of millions of dollars to fund veterans-only positions.

As noted [EF1] by the Marshall Project, in its 2017 report, “When Warriors Put On the Badge,” this combination of hiring preferences and special funding has made it harder to “build police forces that resemble and understand diverse communities.” The beneficiaries have been disproportionately white, because 60 percent of all enlisted men and women are not people of color.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Police Have A Racist Far-Right Social Media Ecosystem Of Their Own


HuffPost | American police officers have already been tied to the spread of extremist content on social media. A Reveal News investigation last June found that hundreds of active-duty and retired officers, from every level of U.S. law enforcement, had quietly joined private Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia Facebook groups full of racist memes and conspiracy theories.

The investigation was a rare glimpse at the culture behind the blue wall. As Reveal News noted, disciplinary records and investigations into police misconduct “are kept secret in a majority of states, meaning most American cops enjoy a blanket of protection that can cover up biases.”
But the recent unrest has provoked some law enforcement officials to openly broadcast their tolerance for police misconduct online, outside of these closed or little-known groups. In a Facebook post earlier this month, the Brevard County, Florida, chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police offered to rehire police officers from other areas who are charged with using excessive force against protesters.
“Lower taxes, no spineless leadership, or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences,” promised the now-deleted Facebook post, for which Brevard County FOP President Bert Gamin has claimed responsibility. “Plus.... we got your back!”
Certainly not all police officers believe the wild stories pushed by Law Enforcement Today and circulated on pro-police social media groups. But right-wing media and many police labor leaders are heavily invested in the idea of presenting police as hard-right defenders of law and order. 
Outlets such as Fox News and OAN often provide a safe space for former officers and labor officials to defend law enforcement’s conduct without challenge. One such voice has been police union leader Ed Mullins, head of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association, who in February announced the NYPD was “declaring war” on de Blasio and accused the mayor of fomenting anti-cop sentiment. Mullins has recently appeared on Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity’s shows, as well as far-right outlets Newsmax and OAN, where he called for military support to quell the protests.
Levin, from the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, said police and city officials nationwide need to pay attention to what some cops are reading and writing online, and get a handle on it.
“We can’t have that in policing today,” he said. “We’re now in an era where police are so detached from many segments of the community that they serve that we don’t have the luxury of having this kind of garbage being tolerated within departments.”

Police Reform? It's Not Possible To Reform A Fundamentally Corrupt Institution


fivethirtyeight |  On its surface, large majorities of Americans support “police reform.” But “reform” is vague and gets complicated fast. For one thing, the police aren’t a single entity. There are more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies scattered throughout the U.S., which means that any change has to be piecemeal. And it’s also hard to figure out what departments are actually doing, or how to compare them. Within a single metro area, multiple departments could be operating under different rules or different standards of rule enforcement, and even using different definitions of particular buzzword-heavy reforms like “community policing.”

That lack of uniformity makes it difficult to compare police departments that have implemented similar policies. “To understand if a police reform is actually working the way you want, you need to be able to see what officers do in the field and figure out whether the reform you’re looking at changed that,” said Emily Owens, a criminology professor at the University of California, Irvine. “We don’t really have the data or the studies right now for me to say with confidence, ‘We know that these reforms work and these don’t.’”

What’s more, the data that exists is full of holes — and bias. Even when researchers try to document whether the police are doing a good job or how departments might improve, they’re often conducting those studies using metrics that help tell only part of the story. Policing data is imperfect. Due to a lack of systematic or reliable data on police misconduct, the fact that the data we do have is mostly from police departments themselves, and an emphasis on crime and police presence, it’s liable to miss important variables such as nature of police interactions with the public, or the fact that plenty of illegal or violent behavior happens in places and populations where police aren’t looking for it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Controlavirus Economic Reconfiguration And Genocidal Eliminationism In India


opendemocracy |  The only thing we know for sure is that both lockdown and social distancing cannot be applicable in India, if we think of the tens of millions living in the slums. Take for example Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia in the heart of Mumbai: almost one million people in two square kilometers, one toilet for several hundred people, what does quarantine or social distancing mean in such conditions? 

Instead of testing, monitoring, stopping public gatherings and shutting down, say, restaurants and malls, at a time when there were only a few hundred cases, they brought the hammer down on the whole country. They smashed an economy already in a deep crisis and that is now obviously in a massive recession. Hundreds of millions of jobs have been lost. 

The cases are rocketing up, and now number 280,000. As the graph climbs the lockdown has been lifted. Having broken everything, the government has now absolved itself of all responsibility, and is telling us that we have to learn to live with the virus. People who should have been allowed to go home two months ago, are now reaching their villages, carrying the virus with them.  

It is only Modi’s hubris, his unchallenged power and his complete lack of understanding of the country he rules that could have resulted in such a mighty disaster. He is cunning, but unintelligent. That is a dangerous combination. 

Add to all this, the Modi Government’s overt Islamophobia, amplified by a shameless, irresponsible mainstream media – that overtly blamed Muslims for being spreaders of disease. You have whole TV shows dedicated to “COVID jihad” etc... All this came off the back of the unconstitutional dismantling of Kashmir’s special status (leading to a 10 month on-and-off lockdown and internet seige of 6 million people in the Kashmir valley – a mass human rights violation by any standards), the new anti-Muslim citizenship law, and the pogrom against Muslims in North East Delhi in which the Delhi Police were seen actively participating. 

Young Muslims, students and activists are being arrested every day for being “conspirators” in the massacre. While ruling party politicians who actually came out on the streets calling for “traitors” to be shot, remain in positions of power and high visibility. 

You have been criticized for an interview that you gave to Deutsche Welle, in which you describe this rampant Islamophobia as something that could be a prelude to genocide. Can you help us to understand the escalation of this situation?
Yes. I said that the language being used by the mainstream media against Muslims was designed to dehumanise them. To paint an entire community as “corona jihadis” during this pandemic, when there is a pre-existing atmosphere of violence against Muslims is to create a genocidal climate. 
Over the last couple of years we have had so many instances of mob lynchings and George Floyd-type killings – the difference in India being that Hindu vigilante mobs do the killing and the police, the legal system and the political climate help them to get away with it.

Hidden Deaths Casued By The Controlavirus Quarantine


KHN  |  Sara Wittner had seemingly gotten her life back under control. After a December relapse in her battle with drug addiction, the 32-year-old completed a 30-day detox program and started taking a monthly injection to block her cravings for opioids. She was engaged to be married, working for a local health association and counseling others about drug addiction.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The virus knocked down all the supports she had carefully built around her: no more in-person Narcotics Anonymous meetings, no talks over coffee with a trusted friend or her addiction recovery sponsor. As the virus stressed hospitals and clinics, her appointment to get the next monthly shot of medication was moved back from 30 days to 45 days.

As best her family could reconstruct from the messages on her phone, Wittner started using again on April 12, Easter Sunday, more than a week after her originally scheduled appointment, when she should have gotten her next injection. She couldn’t stave off the cravings any longer as she waited for her appointment that coming Friday. She used again that Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We kind of know her thought process was that ‘I can make it. I’ll go get my shot tomorrow,’” said her father, Leon Wittner. “‘I’ve just got to get through this one more day and then I’ll be OK.’”

But on Thursday morning, the day before her appointment, her sister Grace Sekera found her curled up in bed at her parents’ home in this Denver suburb, blood pooling on the right side of her body, foam on her lips, still clutching a syringe. Her father suspects she died of a fentanyl overdose.

However, he said, what really killed her was the coronavirus.

“Anybody that is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, anybody that has an alcohol issue and anybody with mental health issues, all of a sudden, whatever safety nets they had for the most part are gone,” he said. “And those are people that are living right on the edge of that razor.”

Sara Wittner’s death is just one example of how complicated it is to track the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic — and even what should be counted. Some people who get COVID-19 die of COVID-19. Some people who have COVID die of something else. And then there are people who die because of disruptions created by the pandemic.

America's Biggest Coronavirus Clusters



statista |  Out of America's eight biggest coronavirus outreaks, seven are in jails or correctional facilities. That's according to a list from the New York Times which shows that the biggest national cluster is in the Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio which has 2,439 cases as of June 16, 2020. Another facility in Ohio, the Pickaway Correctional Institution, has 1,791. The third largest cluster was identified in the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville, Tennessee.

Even though prisons account for the largest outbreaks in the U.S. with deaths within their walls increasing 73 percent in the past month alone, the vast majority of outbreaks have occurred in U.S. nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The toll on inmates has still been heavy, however, with 600 estimated to have died during the pandemic so far.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Police Unions Cause An Overwhelming Majority Of Trouble


plsonline |  By the mid-1960s police officers had responded with an aggressive and widespread police unionization campaign. Aided by court rulings more favorable to the organizing of public employees; fueled by resentment of the authoritarian organization of departments; and united in a common resistance to increasing charges of police brutality, corruption and other forms of misconduct, nearly every large-city police department had been unionized by the early 1970s. Police officers struck in New York City in 1971; in Baltimore in 1974 and in San Francisco in 1975. "Job actions" such as "blue flue" and work slowdowns (i.e. not writing tickets, making few arrests) were common in other cities.

Initially, the response to this union activity was to reduce centralization in the police bureaucracy and to include officers in discussions of rules, procedures and departmental practices. What had been the exclusive fiefdom of the police executive was now subject to negotiation with a union. But reduced municipal tax bases, caused primarily by the exodus of white, affluent executives and professionals to the suburbs in the 1970s; a prolonged economic recession in the 1970s and early 1980s; and fiscal mismanagement in many cities, led to layoffs of police and other municipal workers, and rollbacks in benefits. In fact, unions became an attractive scapegoat for municipal problems. Politicians, administrators and the media all blamed demands by public workers for the financial straits in which the cities had been floundering. Despite the fact that the fiscal crisis had been caused by much larger social and economic trends, blaming police and other workers allowed police administrators and politicians to once again reorganize the police. This reorganization has been dubbed the "Taylorization of the police" by historian Sydney Harring (1981).

Under the "Taylorization" reforms, police departments reduced the size of their forces; went from two-person to one-person patrol cars; and increased the division of labor within police departments. Police work was broken down into ever more specific, highly specialized tasks; patrol became more reactive; technology was used to restore the control of police administrators (i.e., 911 emergency lines; computerization); and some traditional police tasks were turned over to civilian employees. All of this served to further isolate the police from the citizenry; to further reduce the effectiveness of police practices; and to continually justify ever more "Taylorization" as a response to increasing inefficiency.

Concurrent with reform efforts aimed at professionalization, was an increased reliance on technology and scientific aspects of police investigation. The idea of police as scientific crime fighters had originated with August Vollmer as early as 1916, with the introduction of the crime laboratory. By 1921 Vollmer was advocating the widespread use of lie detectors and the establishment of a database for collecting national crime data (Crank and Langworthy 1992). Over the years science became synonymous with professionalism for many police executives. The use of fingerprints, serology, toxicology chemistry and scientific means for collecting evidence were emphasized as part of a professional police force. In terms of technological advancements, new ways of maintaining police record systems and enhancing police communications, such as the police radio, became priorities.

The emphasis was on efficiency and crime-fighting, with the social work aspects of policing deemphasized and discouraged. The hope was also that the professional, scientific crime-fighters would be less susceptible to corruption. It is therefore a further irony of policing that in Philadelphia new communications technologies were put to use in establishing what is arguably the first "call girl" system in the United States, calling out for prostitutes using police communications systems.

Simple Hard Men Ought Not Be Making Policy Or Technology Decisions...,


wired |  It's been the better part of a decade since the hacktivist group Anonymous rampaged across the internet, stealing and leaking millions of secret files from dozens of US organizations. Now, amid the global protests following the killing of George Floyd, Anonymous is back—and it's returned with a dump of hundreds of gigabytes of law enforcement files and internal communications. (Blueleaks)

On Friday of last week, the Juneteenth holiday, a leak-focused activist group known as Distributed Denial of Secrets published a 269-gigabyte collection of police data that includes emails, audio, video, and intelligence documents, with more than a million files in total. DDOSecrets founder Emma Best tells WIRED that the hacked files came from Anonymous—or at least a source self-representing as part of that group, given that under Anonymous' loose, leaderless structure anyone can declare themselves a member. Over the weekend, supporters of DDOSecrets, Anonymous, and protesters worldwide began digging through the files to pull out frank internal memos about police efforts to track the activities of protesters. The documents also reveal how law enforcement has described groups like the antifascist movement Antifa.

"It's the largest published hack of American law enforcement agencies," Emma Best, cofounder of DDOSecrets, wrote in a series of text messages. "It provides the closest inside look at the state, local, and federal agencies tasked with protecting the public, including [the] government response to COVID and the BLM protests."

The Hack
The massive internal data trove that DDOSecrets published was originally taken from a web development firm called Netsential, according to a law enforcement memo obtained by Kreb On Security. That memo, issued by the National Fusion Center Association, says that much of the data belonged to law enforcement "fusion centers" across the US that act as information-sharing hubs for federal, state, and local agencies. Netsential did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Best declined to comment on whether the information was taken from Netsential, but noted that "some Twitter users accurately pointed out that a lot of the data corresponded to Netsential systems." As for their source, Best would say only that the person self-represented as "capital A Anonymous," but added cryptically that "people may wind up seeing a familiar name down the line."

DDOSecrets has published the files in a searchable format on its website, and supporters quickly created the #blueleaks hashtag to collect their findings from the hacked files on social media. Some of the initial discoveries among the documents showed, for instance, that the FBI monitored the social accounts of protesters and sent alerts to local law enforcement about anti-police messages. Other documents detail the FBI tracking bitcoin donations to protest groups, and internal memos warning that white supremacist groups have posed as Antifa to incite violence.

Is The FDNY Tryna Get Out Ahead Of The Defunding Curve?



NYPost |  They may be New York’s Bravest, but they sure aren’t New York’s brightest.

In a Brooklyn neighborhood overrun with nightly illegal fireworks, one resident found out that some of the amateur pyrotechnic aficionados are none other than local FDNY firefighters.

The 33-year-old Crown Heights resident said he and his wife were passing by Ladder 123 on St. John’s Place near Schenectady Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when he saw a group of firefighters ignite what appears to be a fountain firework display.

“I thought it was young kids lighting it. And there are. But then I see the firefighters doing it — they should know better,” the man, a father of five children who asked that his name not be used, told The Post.

Video he recorded at the scene shows the firework spray sparks into the night air from a device on the street.

The man said one of the firefighters confronted him about filming the display — causing him to question whether they actually knew what they were doing was “absurd,” he said.

“As public servants, I feel like they should know better than to light fireworks at 11:30 at night. It’s completely brazen wantonness,” the man said.

“It’s like they didn’t understand why what they were doing is so absurd. It’s late at night, there are kids. You have to be responsible and set an example,” he added.

Folks Are Broke, Fireworks Are Expensive, George Floyd Rebellions Are Perfect Mimetic Cover



Slate |  Everyone in my neighborhood in Boston—not just the narcs and NIMBYs on my local NextDoor—is convinced they’re hearing way more fireworks this year. It turns out we’re not imagining it: Boston police recorded 1,445 fireworks complaints in the first week of June, compared with just 22 in the same week last year, the Boston Herald reported last week. This seems to have started when the weather began warming up—complaints in May were also up by more than 2,300 percent compared with May 2019—and it’ll only continue as we near a July 4 in which organized fireworks displays are yet another casualty of this semi-reopened pandemic summer. 

To go by the complaints cities are registering, it appears way more people are spending their free time dabbling with pyrotechnics this year. The mayor of Syracuse, New York, vowed action after a rash of 911 calls about fireworks last Tuesday night, and Syracuse police claim a 335 percent increase in fireworks complaints since the beginning of the year. Looking at New York City’s 311 data, I calculated a 920 percent year-over-year increase in fireworks complaints for the month of May. (The city made it easier to submit these complaints last June, when it began accepting reports online—but that by itself doesn’t appear to explain the May increase. The NYPD did not respond to a request for further comment.) More anecdotally, in Baltimore, “longtime residents” say individual fireworks use is noticeably more prevalent this year. In other parts of the country, Facebook and Twitter are full of complaints that it’s the worst year ever. As my colleague Ben Mathis-Lilley put it: 

We all need hobbies.
Everyone in my neighborhood in Boston—not just the narcs and NIMBYs on my local NextDoor—is convinced they’re hearing way more fireworks this year. It turns out we’re not imagining it: Boston police recorded 1,445 fireworks complaints in the first week of June, compared with just 22 in the same week last year, the Boston Herald reported last week. This seems to have started when the weather began warming up—complaints in May were also up by more than 2,300 percent compared with May 2019—and it’ll only continue as we near a July 4 in which organized fireworks displays are yet another casualty of this semi-reopened pandemic summer. 

To go by the complaints cities are registering, it appears way more people are spending their free time dabbling with pyrotechnics this year. The mayor of Syracuse, New York, vowed action after a rash of 911 calls about fireworks last Tuesday night, and Syracuse police claim a 335 percent increase in fireworks complaints since the beginning of the year. Looking at New York City’s 311 data, I calculated a 920 percent year-over-year increase in fireworks complaints for the month of May. (The city made it easier to submit these complaints last June, when it began accepting reports online—but that by itself doesn’t appear to explain the May increase. The NYPD did not respond to a request for further comment.) More anecdotally, in Baltimore, “longtime residents” say individual fireworks use is noticeably more prevalent this year. In other parts of the country, Facebook and Twitter are full of complaints that it’s the worst year ever. As my colleague Ben Mathis-Lilley put it:
It’s true that Americans always complain more about fireworks in the run-up to July 4. And a pandemic alone can’t explain why Americans are generally setting off more explosives than they used to; we can also thank a liberalization of laws in a slew of states over the past two decades. These factors make it challenging to establish just how extraordinary 2020 is in terms of DIY fireworks displays and whether the apparent boom (sorry) is a local or national phenomenon.

I Believe Mr. Flare Is Back And Hard At Work Near You Too!


BaltimoreSun | Baltimore-area residents may not always agree, but when it comes to the spate of fireworks popping off all night across town, many have suddenly found themselves on the same page.

From Poppleton and Carrollton Ridge to Patterson Park, Hampden and Locust Point, the barrage of crackles, booms and pows has united much of Baltimore around a common set of concerns, ranging from fears about accidental fires to frustrations about interrupted sleep.

“It’s mayhem. It’s a lack of understanding about what it means to live in civil society,” said Janet Miller, who lives near Hollins Market and has seen fireworks go off until the wee hours of the morning since Memorial Day weekend. “It’s hard to continue to live here and feel safe.”

While the run-up to Independence Day usually sparks some amateur fireworks displays in Baltimore, longtime city residents say this year’s showings feel different in presentation, tone and timing.

Residents all over the city — and in other major U.S. cities such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco — have taken to Facebook, Reddit and other online neighborhood bulletins to vent and share opinions, with some posts receiving more than 150 replies and dozens of likes and shares. Parents of young children, military veterans and local politicians have weighed in.
Pigtown resident Cat Wall has counted 17 nights in a row of audible fireworks, starting as early as 7 p.m. and continuing as late as 4 a.m. Her dog, Halas, a 12-year-old chocolate Lab, has taken to hiding in the basement and refusing outdoor walks when it gets dark, she said.

Say It Wasn't So: 1980's Protect and Serve Arson Ring?!?!?!


NYTimes | Federal officials charged today that a group mostly made up of police officers, firefighters and private security guards set the string of fires three years ago that brought Boston the nationally reported title of ''arson capital of the world.''

The fires were set, according to United States Attorney William Weld, to scare the public into supporting more positions for the Police and Fire Departments after property tax reductions had reduced their ranks.

Federal agents arrested six people in three states this morning, and a seventh surrendered in Boston this afternoon. Two of the defendants were armed when arrested. The five arrested in the Boston area pleaded not guilty at a hearing here today. More charges and arrests were expected, Federal and state officials said.

Largest Arson Case
Mr. Weld said the 83-count Federal indictment announced today was believed to be ''the largest single arson case in history, state or Federal, in terms of the number of fires involved.''

The indictment alleges that beginning sometime after July 1981, as the effect of a statewide tax-cutting measure forced layoffs of many police officers and firefighters in Massachusetts, the members of the group set 163 fires in Boston and nine surrounding cities and towns. The outlying fires were set to divert investigators away from Boston, the indictment said.

It also said that defendants who worked for a security company burned a client's building to distract attention from themselves.

The buildings burned included houses, churches, factories, restaurants, a Marine Corps barracks and the Massachusetts Fire Academy. A total of 281 firefighters were injured in the fires.

The fires listed in the indictment grew in frequency and number over the months. They stirred deep public apprehension here, generated local and national news accounts, and two years ago resulted in the Federal investigation that produced the indictments.

The indictments and arrests were announced by an assembly of Federal and state officials that included the District Attorneys of five counties, officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Stephen E. Higgins, director of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.


Monday, June 22, 2020

A "Warrior" Class Subduing Local Populations Is As American As Apple Pie


Been a minute since we had a lecture from the great Alfred McCoy

thediplomat |  The protests in the United States have sparked a debate about the militarization of American police forces. Much attention has been paid to the literal usage of military hardware because it is the most obvious manifestation of this phenomenon. But there is a much deeper history that goes beyond just American police choosing to take on military garb and ride Armored Personnel Carriers: American military adventures abroad have long fueled a broader militarization that shapes norms, processes, mentalities, and the relationship between the local police and the citizenry.

There was a significant amount of concern in early America and up to the late 1800s about the prospect of the U.S. military being used as a means of controlling the public. The founding fathers were suspicious of the idea of a standing army, in part, for this reason. A number of laws including the Militia Acts passed in the decades following American independence and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 tried to limit the ability of the president to use the military in domestic circumstances.

That being said, scholars have been mapping the relationship between wars and the evolution of domestic policing for some time. Christopher J. Coyne and Abigail R. Hall’s work on the matter is particularly informative. They posit that a “boomerang effect” contributes to the incorporation of intrusive and aggressive means used to subdue foreign populations in domestic civilian settings. Other scholars have looked at the impact of specific conflicts or the mindsets that govern police conduct.

The Domestic Legacy of the Philippines War
Despite the formal end of the Philippine War in 1902, American colonial rule faced an aggressive insurgency seeking independence. The insurgency in the Philippines against the U.S. occupation authority provided the opportunity to experiment with new concepts involving the use of military entities to pacify a civilian population. The U.S. military formed a constabulary manned primarily by sympathetic locals that blurred the line between police and military. Rather than having two distinct forces, one protecting the country from foreign threats and the other providing security services to the populace, the Philippine Constabulary (PC) was a hybrid of both, with a comfortable revolving door between it and various other military and policing structures.

Many U.S. veterans who had been at the forefront of establishing these social control systems in the Philippines returned the United States after the war, where they sought work in local law enforcement and changed the structure of police departments, unleashing a torrent of militarization. These veterans, many of whom were involved with the PC, initially used the techniques they had mastered abroad to target out-groups like foreign workers or prostitutes. Over time, the success of these measures would open the door to a more widespread militarization of the police and a shift in organizational and cultural norms within police departments and public opinion shifted to accommodate it. As historian Alfred McCoy notes:
[T]he U.S. military, thrust into these crucibles of counterinsurgency, developed innovative methods of social control that had a decidedly negative impact on civil liberties back home. As the military plunged into a fifteen-year pacification campaign in the Philippines, its colonial security agencies fused domestic data management with foreign police techniques to forge a new weapon—a powerful intelligence apparatus that first contained and then crushed Filipino resistance. In the aftermath of this successful pacification, some of these clandestine innovations migrated homeward, silently and invisibly, to change the face of American internal security. … Empire thus proved mutually transformative in ways that have arguably damaged democracy in both the Philippines and the United States.
The notion that returning servicemen would seek employment in the civilian policing sector is not inherently harmful, but as Coyne and Hall explain, rather than these servicemen being mentored to adapt their skills for civilian service, they became agents of importation for military tactics — especially as they climbed the ranks of their respective departments:

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