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Old 12.12.2022, 02:50 PM   #581
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tw2113
And then there's the Kyrsten Sinema drama going on in Arizona as well.
i think it's just the same character with different labels. i see no big drama in the relabel. but maybe it's just me lol.i never counted her as reliably democrat. which might play out with her constituency? az is red/purple.

but apparently she's negotiating some kind of immigration reform for the lame duck session? for real. i was reading thst the midwest is desperate for agricultural workers and she got a mention there.

oh yeah here it is: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...onal-security/

"Although a bill expanding legal agricultural migrant labor would help farmers in Ohio and other states, a broader bipartisan immigration fix being developed by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) would be more meaningful. The still-evolving bill is reported to include a path to citizenship for the dreamers in exchange for $25 billion in funding for border security."

i didn't know this about her till this morning. the article in "the nation" soup nazi linked was all pharma pharma pharma. and i like the nation, much respect to them, but they're staunchly leftist so i take them with a (fat) grain of salt.
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Old 12.12.2022, 06:42 PM   #582
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Kyrsten Sinema is a perfect example of why bisexuals cannot be trusted. Too addled to decide on their preferred sexual partners, too addled to decide on anything politically.
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Old 12.13.2022, 08:14 AM   #583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choc e-Claire
Kyrsten Sinema is a perfect example of why bisexuals cannot be trusted. Too addled to decide on their preferred sexual partners, too addled to decide on anything politically.

 


actually, her next race could be a 3-way xD xD xD

==

ps here's a lucid analysis of the situation plus horse race potential:

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/1...enate-00073594

-

eta: and here's a bit of history, from another leftist publication i respect: https://www.motherjones.com/politics...o-her-defense/

Quote:
“He’s a shame to Democrats,” she told a reporter from the Hartford Courant at the time. “I don’t even know why he’s running. He seems to want to get Republicans voting for him—what kind of strategy is that?” Lieberman, she added, was “pathetic.”

lolololol
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Old 12.16.2022, 04:29 PM   #584
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McCarthy seems to be struggling to win the Speakership. I'm having a hard time guaging why some GOP are saying no, but I would love to think that his infamous Jan 6th Condemnation Of Trump Followed By The Kissing Of The Ring At Mara-Lago Shortly Thereafter has played at least a minor role in this?
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Old 12.17.2022, 08:41 PM   #585
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goddamn, alexandra petri wrote a great column about the... the times we live in?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...tter-overkill/

she normally just goes for goofy absurdity for the lols, but this time she got a little more serious, and i love it

---

Opinion Not another column about Elon Musk
Image without a caption
By Alexandra Petri
Columnist
|
Follow
December 17, 2022 at 8:35 a.m. EST

In “The Madness of King George,” there are several scenes where very learned doctors dedicate considerable time and effort to squinting at the contents of the king’s chamber pot. Watching the movie, you think, “Well, at least we are at a stage of civilization where we don’t have to do that! We do not live in a world that hinges so completely on the condition of one or two powerful men that it is worth our while to spend hours every day examining their stools in minute detail and trying to draw conclusions from them." But then Elon Musk buys Twitter, and — I can think of no better analogy for what has ensued.

One of the most correct tweets about Twitter is that every day it has a new main character and the goal is not to be it. But now Musk is the main character every day, and in addition to encouraging some of Twitter’s worst voices, he is astoundingly boring. Here is a sample of his tweets: “The woke mind virus is either defeated or nothing else matters.” “Thanksgiving cuisine is such a delightful symphony of flavor!” At one point he tweeted a mildly amusing AI-generated conversation, only to reveal he hadn’t even crafted the prompt himself. Not to mention all the memes about psyops, although I guess that counts as a mention.

Most recently, he suspended journalists who were reporting on him and his efforts to ban an account that tweeted the location of his jet, saying that their reporting amounted to sharing “assassination coordinates.” Columns and columns have been poured into the abyss: Why take this step? What about all his protestations about free speech? Will we ever know what his politics are? (Could it simply be that they are what they appear? That he wants to bring creepy, far-right voices back on Twitter not from an abstract, principled commitment to free speech but because those are voices he enjoys hearing, and ban journalists and critics because they are ones he doesn’t?)

I have complained about this before. But one of the minor, in the scheme of things, yet persistent frustrations of the Trump era was the sheer amount of brainpower that all kinds of people — good, busy, even witty — had to spend staring into the unfathomable abyss of his words and actions and trying to extract meaning from them. What was covfefe? People spent hours on that! The sheer volume of analysis and jokes and grunting, straining effort to make sense of what made Donald Trump tick — and what made his head open up and a screaming bird shoot out of it at regular intervals — was debilitating.

There are so many people to know about on this planet. Some of them are pleasant and others are wise and many of them are kind and a few of them are funny and polite to waiters. Some of them possess remarkable skills and others are tremendous listeners and still others know what to do if you spill certain kinds of things on certain types of surfaces. Lots and lots of them own cats, and when they go online, all they do is post pictures of those cats doing cute and interesting things. There are so many people who are interesting. And instead we have to follow Elon Musk and Donald Trump. We have to watch them host SNL, and read their inane tweets, and know precisely what they are going through at all times, because their whims can cost people jobs and ruin lives.

There is something desperately boring about despots and plutocrats. And one of the frustrating consequences of an unequal society is that the rest of us have to care what is going on with them. Now Trump might be gone, but we still have a main character we don’t want. Not that this is a new phenomenon. The ancient historian Suetonius may not have been the most accurate source, but seeing people like Musk and Trump in action, I feel more sympathetic to his accounts of what boring people, given power answerable to their whims, wind up doing. I thought it was ridiculous when he said Nero, literally the emperor of Rome, decided that, actually, what he wanted to be was an actor — but here is Musk, one of the richest men on the planet, who has decided for no reason whatsoever that what he wants to be is a Twitter troll! And not even a funny one; just as transphobic and anti-vax and awful as the bog standard. I’m sorry I doubted you, Suetonius! Maybe if we are lucky Musk will start doing more of the fun caesar things, such as trying to get a horse into the Senate, and will stop his mission to turn Twitter into a hateful cesspool! But somehow I doubt it.

I hate that we have to pay attention. Our lives will be impacted if Trump is again elected president, say, or the roads are suddenly filled with exploding cars, or if the place where journalists go to water-cooler about breaking news gets seized up and its rules rewritten, seemingly arbitrarily, on the fly. Mark Zuckerberg changes an algorithm, and livelihoods in the content economy shudder in terror. I would like nothing better than to not have to know or care about these people. With the amount of time I pour into them, I could have invented Narnia twice. But instead we are sitting there squinting into the king’s stool.
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Old 12.18.2022, 10:25 AM   #586
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Every time I think I have seen it all with Trump - ie I'm certain that he can never surprise me anymore, or sink even lower than he ever has before - he surprises me. Trading cards!!
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Old 12.20.2022, 08:49 AM   #587
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so the sinema show on immigration died last week, i just found out. could not get 60 votes in the senate.

a tragic outcome.
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Old 12.23.2022, 06:06 PM   #588
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The final report. 10 MB pdf. Over 800 pages. Ideal light reading to enjoy by the fire during the holidaze.
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Old 12.28.2022, 04:09 AM   #589
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Neat-o column by DA KRUG yesterday:

Quote:
Did the Tesla story ever make sense?

Forget Twitterís problems. Can Muskís Tesla last?

By Paul Krugman
Opinion Columnist


If youíre one of those people who bought Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency near its peak last fall, youíve lost a lot of money. Is it any consolation to know that you would have lost a similar amount if you had bought Tesla stock instead?

OK, probably not. Still, Tesla stockís plunge is an opportunity to talk about what makes businesses successful in the information age. And in the end, Tesla and Bitcoin may have more in common than you think.

Itís natural to attribute Teslaís recent decline ó which is, to be sure, part of a general fall in tech stocks, but an exceptionally steep example ó to Elon Muskís purchase of Twitter and the reputational self-immolation that followed. Indeed, given what weíve seen of Muskís behavior, I wouldnít trust him to feed my cat, let alone run a major corporation. Furthermore, Tesla sales have surely depended at least in part on the perception that Musk himself is a cool guy. Who, aside from MAGA types who probably wouldnít have bought Teslas anyway, sees him that way now?

On the other hand, as someone who has spent much of his professional life in academia, Iím familiar with the phenomenon of people who are genuinely brilliant in some areas but utter fools in other domains. For all I know, Musk is or was a highly effective leader at Tesla and SpaceX.

Even if thatís the case, though, itís hard to explain the huge valuation the market put on Tesla before the drop, or even its current value. After all, to be that valuable Tesla would have to generate huge profits, not just for a few years but in a way that could be expected to continue for many years to come.

Now, some technology companies have indeed been long-term moneymaking machines. Apple and Microsoft still top the list of the most profitable U.S. corporations some four decades after the rise of personal computers.

But we more or less understand the durability of the dominance of Apple and Microsoft, and itís hard to see how Tesla could ever achieve something similar, no matter how brilliant its leadership. Both Apple and Microsoft benefit from strong network externalities ó loosely speaking, everyone uses their products because everyone else uses their products.

In the case of Microsoft, the traditional story has been that businesses continued to buy the companyís software, even when it was panned by many people in the tech world, because it was what they were already set up to use: Products like Word and Excel may not have been great, but everyone within a given company and in others it did business with was set up to use them, had I.T. departments that knew how to deal with them, and so on. These days Microsoft has a better reputation than it used to, but as far as I can tell its market strength still reflects comfort and corporate habit rather than a perception of excellence.

Appleís story is different in the details ó more about individual users than institutions, more about physical products than about software alone. And Apple was widely considered cool, which I donít think Microsoft ever was. But at an economic level itís similar. I can attest from personal experience that once youíre in the iPhone/iPad/MacBook ecosystem, you wonít give up on its convenience unless offered something a lot better.

Similar stories can be told about a few other companies, such as Amazon, with its distribution infrastructure.

The question is: Where are the powerful network externalities in the electric vehicle business?

Electric cars may well be the future of personal transportation. In fact, they had better be, since electrification of everything, powered by renewable energy, is the only plausible way to avoid climate catastrophe. But itís hard to see what would give Tesla a long-term lock on the electric vehicle business.

Iím not talking about how great Teslas are or arenít right now; Iím not a car enthusiast (I should have one of those bumper stickers that say, ďMy other car is also junkĒ), so I canít judge. But the lesson from Apple and Microsoft is that to be extremely profitable in the long run a tech company needs to establish a market position that holds up even when the time comes, as it always does, that people arenít all that excited about its products.

So what would make that happen for Tesla? You could imagine a world in which dedicated Tesla hookups were the only widely available charging stations, or in which Teslas were the only electric cars mechanics knew how to fix. But with major auto manufacturers moving into the electric vehicle business, the possibility of such a world has already vanished. In fact, Iíd argue that the Inflation Reduction Act, with its strong incentives for electrification, will actually hurt Tesla. Why? Because it will quickly make electric cars so common that Teslas no longer seem special.

In short, electric vehicle production just doesnít look like a network externality business. Actually, you know what does? Twitter, a platform many of us still use because so many other people use it. But Twitter usage is apparently hard to monetize, not to mention the fact that Musk appears set on finding out just how much degradation of the user experience it will take to break its network externalities and drive away the clientele.

Which brings us back to the question of why Tesla was ever worth so much. The answer, as best as I can tell, is that investors fell in love with a story line about a brilliant, cool innovator, despite the absence of a good argument about how this guy, even if he really was who he appeared to be, could found a long-lived money machine.

And as I said, thereís a parallel here with Bitcoin. Despite years of effort, nobody has yet managed to find any serious use for cryptocurrency other than money laundering. But prices nonetheless soared on the hype, and are still being sustained by a hard-core group of true believers. Something similar surely happened with Tesla, even though the company does actually make useful things.

I guess weíll eventually see what happens. But I definitely wonít trust Elon Musk with my cat.


Quick Hits

Appleís comeback story.

Microsoftís reinvention.

Is the age of social media ending?

The biggest companies over the long run.
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Old 12.28.2022, 04:35 AM   #590
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Does Elon Musk still get money from paypal? Anyway, cheers for the above articles.
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Old 12.28.2022, 05:17 AM   #591
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Anyway, cheers for the above articles.

 
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Old 12.28.2022, 01:46 PM   #592
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Neat-o column by DA KRUG yesterday:
hahahaha, been on vacation so missed that, but YES, tesla has been horribly overvalued for too long, based mostly on the musk myth. but now everybody knows the emperor has no clothes. besides that, he's been alienating his liberal customer base with insufferable profascist behavior.

cathy wood, who is a huge crypto propagandist, is also a massive musk fan. she enjoyed the height of her success during the pandemic/stimmy trade. now her ark fund (yes, it's a biblical name) has come down crashing hard. krugman is not mentioning her by name, but anyone can look up her public statements and see those "parallels" incarnate.

bill gates, btw, has been famously shorting tesla stocks. musk called him a hypocrite on climate for that. hahahahah, the fucker thinks he's the savior: "only i can fix it."

but anyway, speaking of myths, there's the myth (repeated by krugman there) that electric cars will save the world. this is utter and complete bullshit. electric car manufacturing is enormously resource intensive and it promotes/justifies more sprawl. it's greenwashing for car culture.

bicycles, on the other hand, could save the world, if we only started designing the world around them. better yet, good old walking as the first option is even better.

beyond that, the future of transportation is not batteries and home chargers, but hydrogen fuel from renewable hydrolysis.
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Old 12.28.2022, 02:59 PM   #593
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Originally Posted by !@#$%!
beyond that, the future of transportation is not batteries, but hydrogen from renewable hydrolysis.

Hey, I did that experiment in high school!
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Old 12.28.2022, 03:02 PM   #594
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Hey, I did that experiment in high school!
right? the bubbles rejoin inside a fuel cell, and blam, electricity, no waiting for 90 minutes at the charger

https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/hy...-cell-vehicles
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Old 12.28.2022, 03:14 PM   #595
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beyond that, the future of transportation is not batteries and home chargers, but hydrogen fuel from renewable hydrolysis.

Also, in a few decades we'll have fusion:

 
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Old 12.28.2022, 03:30 PM   #596
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Also, in a few decades we'll have fusion:

 
hahahahaaaaaaaaaaa

funnily enough i was listening to jaco earlier. "honest to god," as they say
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Old 12.30.2022, 11:58 AM   #597
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"The returns show that Trump paid little, if anything, in income taxes over six years, including the four in which he served as president. Trump lost thousands in income between 2015 to 2017, largely due to net losses tied to real estate and other businesses. In 2016 and 2017, he only paid $750 in taxes after losing roughly $32,000,000 and $13,000,000 respectively. In 2020, Trump paid no taxes."
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Old 12.30.2022, 11:26 PM   #598
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Round 2:

Quote:
How to destroy a brand, Musk style

Donít bite the Democrats who feed you

By Paul Krugman
Opinion Columnist


True story: When I won the Nobel Prize in 2008, Princeton quickly set up a special event on campus and reserved a parking space for me in front of Robertson Hall. But when I drove up in my 2004 Jetta, the security people frantically tried to wave me away. They clearly didnít find it plausible that a laureate would be driving such a modest car.

Iím still driving that car today.

The point is that Iím not one of those people who cares much about what he drives. (No doubt I act out my egotism in other ways.) But many people do, in fact, use their cars to symbolize their status ó indeed, their identity.

Thereís no point being censorious. Conspicuous consumption is a very human thing, going back as far as civilization itself. Over time, however, the form has changed. These days itís relatively hard to tell how rich people are by the clothes they wear, which gives other status markers like cars a more important role. Also, in modern times people use consumer goods to display their values as well as their wealth. A fancy pickup truck sends one kind of message; a Tesla sends another.

And yes, speaking of Tesla, todayís newsletter is partly about Elon Musk.

As I wrote in my last newsletter, the main reason to believe that Teslaís huge market value doesnít make sense has little to do with Muskís antics at Twitter. The problem instead is that Teslaís dominance of the electric vehicle market is already fading as we speak, so the company is unlikely to generate the kind of extraordinary long-term profits that would justify its stock price.

That said, Musk has indeed been acting very oddly ó and in ways that seem almost perfectly calculated to drive away his best customers.

After all, what does it mean to buy a Tesla? Itís a luxury car, but there are other luxury cars. Whatís special about a Tesla is that itís an electric, zero-emission luxury car ó one that purports to be a glitzy ride to a sustainable future.

Also, until just the other day, Musk himself was widely seen as a cool guy. And cool in a futuristic sense: His company sends rockets into outer space; he was living with a popular musician who released an album inspired by the science-fiction novel ďDuneĒ (a book that, by the way, was recently made into a terrific movie).

So what message was someone sending by driving a Tesla? Basically ó I donít think Iím being unfair ó it was: ďIím rich but Iím woke.Ē Mock that stance all you like, but it really did increase Tesla sales. And it means that many Tesla buyers are probably also Democrats.

Iím not just guessing here. The other day a friend of mine who writes under the nom de internet Invictus used New York State data to compare county-level political leanings with Tesla registrations. Sure enough, in 2020, counties that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump ó they do exist, even in New York ó purchased far fewer Teslas per capita than those that voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden.

Charles Gaba, known, among other things, for his documentation of the correlation between political leanings and vaccination status, has replicated these results for several states. Here, for example, is what it looks like in California:

 


Teslas are a Democratic thing.
Charles Gaba

To delve a bit deeper, hereís a comparison ó using data from Invictus and the American Community Survey ó between Steuben County, a very Trumpy area southeast of Buffalo, and Westchester County, a wealthy and very Democratic New York suburb that includes Scarsdale:

 


Rich, woke Tesla drivers, New York edition.
Invictus, American Community Survey

So, yes, there are a lot of Teslas in Westchester, hardly any in Steuben. To some extent this may reflect the fact that people in Westchester have more income. But despite what you sometimes hear about the parties reversing class roles lately, Americans with incomes over $100,000 still vote Republican by a fairly large margin. What has reversed is the educational divide: College graduates have become a Democratic bloc, which supports the view that what we might call the Tesla divide is also linked to the culture war. And Westchester has far more college graduates than Steuben does.

Tesla, then, is a brand whose customer base largely consists of wealthy cultural liberals who were attracted in part by Elon Muskís perceived with-it persona. Given all that, Muskís public embrace of MAGA conspiracy theories is an almost inconceivably bad marketing move, practically designed to alienate his main buyers. Whatís going on?

To a large extent Musk may simply be revealing who he always was ó basically, a typical technology oligarch. In general, authoritarian instincts and contempt for the little people are a lot more prevalent among the Silicon Valley elite than people realized when information technology still felt cool.

Even among his class, however, Musk stands out for his lack of impulse control. This was obvious, if you paid attention, long before he bought Twitter. More than four years have passed since he called a cave rescuer who rejected Muskís offer of a mini-submarine a ďpedo guy

Furthermore, Muskís behavior is becoming even more bizarre. (A favorite line of mine is that people get worse as they grow older because they become more like themselves.) Since when do captains of industry respond to random critics by mocking their imagined anatomies?

Now, as I wrote in my last newsletter, Tesla was probably headed for a fall eventually, even if Musk had been who his fans imagined him to be; the economics of the electric vehicle business just arenít conducive to long-term market domination. But Musk might have been able to postpone the day of reckoning, at least for a while, if he had managed to hide who he was from his best customers a little longer.
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Old 12.31.2022, 04:02 AM   #599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
"The returns show that Trump paid little, if anything, in income taxes over six years, including the four in which he served as president. Trump lost thousands in income between 2015 to 2017, largely due to net losses tied to real estate and other businesses. In 2016 and 2017, he only paid $750 in taxes after losing roughly $32,000,000 and $13,000,000 respectively. In 2020, Trump paid no taxes."

The piece of shit.

It's good that this is finally out there, but I'm too jaded to think it's gonna move the needle in terms of the motherfucker's popularity. Now, if it leads to criminal prosecution for tax fraud, then we're cooking with gas. In New York City's war on crime, the worst criminal offenders are pursued by the detectives of the Major Case Squad. These are their stories. CLANG CLANG.
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Old 01.03.2023, 05:37 PM   #600
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!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses!@#$%! kicks all y'all's asses
i don't know what will be the outcome of all this, or if it will be a good one, but i can't deny i truly enjoy watching kevin mccarthy suffer failure after failure after failure in his nefarious quest for speaker.

truly, we need to learn to appreciate life's small pleasures
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