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Did You Know…?

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1) Did you know that Newtie would never have committed adultery if he wasn’t such a damned passionate patriot?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is in the early stages of a presidential campaign, spoke in an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network about his history of adultery and divorces. And as Gingrich told it, he sought God’s forgiveness – and as for the events themselves, they were driven by how hard he was working and his great passion for America.

“There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” said Gingrich.

Oh.

2) Did you know that an NPR exec was just fired for calling racist Tea Partiers racist?

So James O’Keefe has another scalp.

Apparently, Glenn Beck can call the president of the United States a racist on national television and keep his job, but if you’re an NPR executive who says the same thing privately about a bunch of nameless Teabaggers — you’ve gotta go.

And the real kicker is, what Ron Schiller said is 100% true.

Such is the state of our “news media”. Beck can get away with calling Obama a racist precisely because it isn’t true. Schiller had to be fired precisely because his accusations were accurate – the Tea Party is indeed racist and has proved it on a number of occasions.

Is there any room left in New Zealand?

3) Did you know that even Glenn Beck’s audience is tired of him?

 Since last August, when he summoned more than 100,000 followers to the Washington mall for the “Restoring Honor” rally, Mr. Beck has lost over a third of his audience on Fox — a greater percentage drop than other hosts at Fox. True, he fell from the great heights of the health care debate in January 2010, but there has been worrisome erosion — more than one million viewers — especially in the younger demographic.

(emphasis added)

Hate and paranoia sell, I guess, but only temporarily. Car wrecks are fascinating, too, but eventually one moves on. You know?

Written by Mick

March 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm

The Complicated & Sophisticated Paul

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At C&L, Heather takes Bill Kristol to task for his ham-handed defense of Rand Paul’s dopey Civil Rights speech.  First, Kristol:

He has a sort of sophisticated, complicated libertarian view of the Civil Rights Act. One of the ten provisions of the act applies to private businesses….but…there is something attractive about him. I mean, he’s plainspoken and seems like an honest and good-natured guy.

Heather is unimpressed.

Sorry Bill, but quite the opposite is true. His simplistic, purist views which have no basis in facts when it comes to their real world application are anything but “sophisticated and complicated”. He probably just reminds him a little too much of his girlfriend Palin, so of course he loves him.

But Heather, he’s right, you know. For a libertarian – or an alluvial deposit or the ficus in your foyer – Rand is complicated and sophisticated. For Kristol, too. Libertarians don’t get much more sophisticated than Rand Paul. Neither does that ficus.

As house plants go, Rand is a genius.

Written by Mick

May 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Civil Rights, Racism, Republicans

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Separated At Birth?

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You wouldn’t think Iranian President Ahmadinejad and batshit-crazy wingnut blogger Pam “Atlas Juggs” Geller would have anything in common, would you? She hates his guts and he thinks she’s a lunatic. She wants him assassinated and he wants her eviscerated. But you’d be wrong. They’re both Holocaust Deniers. Which is weird because Geller is, like, Jewish.

You know, there is a sort of resemblabce here. They both look like they’ve been injecting way too much botox, Pammy in her forehead and Prez A in his nose. Co-incidence?

And oh yeah, as long as we’re discussing La Juggs, she thinks passing the healthcare “reform” bill on Xmas Eve is blasphemy!!!! (You have to imagine a deep bass voice through an echo chamber on that last word.) I might agree. I tend to suspect that Christ would NEVER want his name associated with a bill that shamelessly molests innocent people. (Via Norwegianity)

Written by Mick

December 22, 2009 at 4:03 pm

There Oughta Be a Law

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OK so we can’t agree on which Democrat healthcare reform bill will best preserve insurance company profits, at least we can all agree that there oughta be a law that David Brooks not be allowed to masquerade as a psychologist, historian, economist, or – Dawg forbid – a philosopher. Can’t we? Please?

And no matter which h r b will best p i c p, any bill that passes ought to require that “crazy fatigue” is fully covered, even if 2/3 of the country needs treatment.

***

Seems to me that of all the contests to cheat on, the Miss America contest ought to be the one most cheat-free. I mean, if the contest organizers are going to pay for contestants’ boob jobs, where will it end? Is nothing real any more? This has to be a violation of the truth-in-advertising law, doesn’t it?

***

The black community ought to consider passing a law against Star Parker. She’s giving them all a black eye. So to speak.

Sharpton blocked Limbaugh like Governor Orval Faubus tried to block black children from entering Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.

Can’t say it any better than TBogg.

Yes. Keeping Rush Limbaugh from joining a bunch of rich white men attempting to buy their way into a fairly exclusive club made up of other rich white men is just like calling out the National Guard to keep black children from going to school with white children.

Awesome analogy.

Troy Davis May Get New Trial

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Written by Mick

August 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm

“They’s Jist Niggahs And Who’s Gonna Lissen to a Niggah?”

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I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been looking in the right places or because there’s so much more of it around or because Barack Obama’s election made people – especially reporters and editors – braver about reporting this shit but there has been a mini-explosion of stories this week about racist cops, all of them ugly and all but one in the state of the union which I really wish we had let secede – Texas. Here are but three of them.

1. Take That, Granpaw

From The Field Negro comes a brutal and bewildering story out of Louisiana. You remember Louisiana, right? Jena? The nooses? The right-wing dismissing them as a “joke” or claiming racism doesn’t exist and it was all getting blown out of proportion? Well, this story from Homer may help put things in perspective.

An unarmed 73-yr-old man was murdered by a police officer in the man’s own backyard and the perp’s fellow officers covered up the crime in full view of the neighbors.

monroeHOMER, La.—On the last afternoon of his life, Bernard Monroe was hosting a cookout for family and friends in front of his dilapidated home on Adams Street in this small northern Louisiana town.

Throat cancer had robbed the 73-year-old retired electric utility worker of his voice years ago, but family members said Monroe was clearly enjoying the commotion of a dozen of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren cavorting around him in the dusty, grassless yard.

Then the Homer police showed up, two white officers whose arrival caused the participants at the black family gathering to quickly fall silent.

Within moments, Monroe lay dead, shot by one of the officers as his family looked on.

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Written by Mick

March 21, 2009 at 11:33 am

Troy Davis Execution Date Set: BOYCOTT COCA COLA

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As I noted elsewhere, the Bush/Reagan Supreme Court turned down Troy Davis’ appeal for a new trial and did so without comment, as if they didn’t need to explain why they’re allowing an execution to go forward in a case where the evidence was so insubstantial as to be non-existant and 4/5 of the witnesses recanted, claiming they’d been pressured by police and coached by prosecutors eager for a conviction.

Yesterday afternoon, Judge Penny Haas Freesemann rescheduled Davis’ execution date, setting it for the 27th of this month.

The State of Georgia is owed very little respect for the way this has been handled. Along with its other shameful acts – trying to bar the teaching of evolution in public school science classes, or allowing the GOP to steal both Senate seats as well as the governorship with doctored e-voting machines, slime campaigns, and vote caging, for examples – it is prepared to execute an almost certainly innocent man on skimpier evidence than would be required to make you pay a traffic fine.

The GOP has gone way too far, and killing a man to keep from embarrassing the cops who were played for suckers by Red Coles and the prosecutor who may have intimidated witnesses to get a conviction is a good place to get them to stop. We’ve had enough of this revenge crap, we’ve had enough of innocent people dying so the Pubs can claim they’re fighting crime – a bad, sick joke considering how many of them have been caught breaking the law, right up to the president.

I’ve been saying for a while that it’s time to fight back but it was TMiss who came up with a way to do it. Let Sonny Perdue and Coke know we’ll start a boycott of Coca Cola if Davis dies.

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Written by Mick

October 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Troy Davis Appeal Rejected by SCOTUS

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It was never much of a chance, not with the robotic law-and-order types conservatives have been able to get assigned to the US Supreme Court filling up the seats, but it was a chance. If there was enough pressure, enough noise, enough people asking uncomfortable questions, maybe even Fat Tony Scalia might have reconsidered for the sake of his almost certainly unpleasant legacy the way he did over some labor law – which he hates – when a woman got screwed. Again.

But it wasn’t much of a chance and now it’s over. The Supreme Court has refused to hear Troy Davis’ appeal for a new trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for Troy Anthony Davis’ execution, declining to enter a contentious debate as to whether the condemned inmate was the real killer of a Savannah police officer in 1989.

The court, without explanation, refused to hear his appeal even though seven of nine key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony since the 1991 trial. Just three weeks ago, the high court had halted Davis’ execution with less than two hours to spare.

The family of the dead officer, Mark MacPhail, is thrilled. They want Davis dead whether he’s the right guy or not, mainly because they want their part of this ordeal to be over.

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Davis Execution Delayed

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Five hours before Troy Davis was scheduled to die in the electric chair for a crime he almost certainly didn’t commit, the Supreme Court decided to consider whether or not to hear his plea for a new trial. A scant two hours before his execution time, the Justices ordered a stay until such time as they make that decision.

In its order, the U.S. Supreme Court said if the justices decline to accept Davis’ appeal, “this stay shall terminate immediately.” If the appeal is granted, the stay will remain in force until the high court issues its ultimate ruling on Davis’ appeal, the order said.

The decision is scheduled for Monday. As Thomas Nephew pointed out in his blog, newsrack, in turning down Davis’ appeals, the Georgia Board of Pardons and the State Supreme Court ignored some fairly heavy legal advice.

But the Georgia State Board of Appeals has already rejected a bid for clemency, unmoved by appeals from the pope, Jimmy Carter, and former FBI director William Sessions’s opinion that a closer look at the case is warranted.

The Georgia board can still change its mind; please urge them to do so here (Amnesty International USA).  Meanwhile, if you’re the praying sort, now’s the time to start.  Troy Davis’s execution is set for 7pm today.

The post was put up before the SCOTUS’ order, but the urgency isn the same. Troy Davis has one more week of life if the SCOTUS turns down his appeal. Click Thomas’ lionk and add your voice. We need everybody.

Written by Mick

September 23, 2008 at 6:22 pm

“We let em use our water fountains. What do they want?”

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A “dust-up” on one of Kevin Hayden’s posts at a blog called The American Street in which the cluelessness and ferocity of right-wing intolerance was vividly in evidence, brought together a number of things I’ve been thinking about since I came South. Savannah is, in some ways, the epitome of the contradiction that still exists between what people say about racism and what they feel. There is a genuine sort of truce here where, at least on the surface, people accept each other at face value and try to deal with each other that way. But the truce doesn’t affect any emotions that may be roiling beneath that surface. They remain as strong as they ever were, often for good reason.

The title above wasn’t actually said by anyone but it encapsulates the feelings of an awful lot of white people I run into down here (not all, I hasten to say, and certainly not just in Savannah). There’s an impatience to “get over it” on the part of whites, who either don’t know or don’t accept that the realities of black life haven’t really changed since the 60′s in many significant respects. We feel the “injury” of forced integration and the social changes it has wrought in the last 40 years but have no real understanding of how superficial those changes have at the same time proved to be.

For example, yes, blacks don’t sit at the back of the bus any more and they drink at the same fountains and sit in the same section of the movie theaters with whites and own homes and hold down jobs and are elected mayor and so on. To whites, this is a Big Deal. Many of u8s experience such things as great sacrifices on our part and are justifiably proud of making them. We honestly don’t know what else we can do and tend to fall back on the usual Right-wing folderol, “personal responsibility”. The society has made blacks equal to whites so if blacks aren’t scaling the social ladders, acting with grace and wit, and educated to within an inch of their lives, it’s not our fault. They need to take responsibility for their own failures now.

The corollary, of course, is that if blacks aren’t easing into white society with grace and wit, it just goes to prove what we’ve been saying about them for years: that they’re inherently inferior. “What do you expect?” people whispered to me when I got here. “It’s a black town.”

But under the cover of the superficial changes, even a cursory acquaintance with the black community in Savannah turns up lots of anger, residual and current, because to a large degree despite the overwhelming changes of the past 40 years, not much has actually changed: they’re still the last hired and the first fired, they’re still constantly badgered by police even though the police force has lots of black faces in it, some of them in positions of authority, and they are still given very little room to move compared to whites. A white teen who gets caught selling drugs will be sent to rehab; a black teen likewise caught will go to prison.

Even in tolerant Savannah, it is hard to find a black family in which no member has been to jail. It is still a constant part of their lives. You hear the DWB stories (police stop them for the crime of Driving While Black), the endless stories of being hassled just because you’re walking in a white neighborhood, of being arrested for “trespassing” in the parking lot of the motel in which you’re staying, and so on. Whenever the brothers get together, a basic staple of their conversation is who went to jail, who got out, who was accused of what, whose lawyer was good, whose wasn’t, which cops treat you like a human and which treat you like an animal.

These are fundamental differences between the cultures, and the expectations of whites that letting blacks drink at the same water fountain is going to solve the whole problem is just a form of denial about how deep the problem really goes, and how hard it will be to fix it for real. Major portions of the society we accept will have to be reorganized, and though we’re doing that – slowly – we resent doing it at all and drag our feet, bitching and moaning about how we wouldn’t have to do it at all if those damn blacks would just accept “personal responsibility” for the way they live.

But that’s like saying that if those people from New Orleans had just accepted personal responsibility for Katrina the hiurricane never would have happened and they never would have lost their homes.

It isn’t a surprise that white people feel that way, but it came as a surprise to me to find out that many blacks feel that way, too. Especially the women for some reason. They can be as hard as nails with their own, as unwilling to forgive as the most bigoted white you can conjure up. Only three times in all the miles I was hitching was I picked up by a black man even though most of the cars that passed me were driven by blacks. Of all the people who’ve offered me money, only two were black. They were both women and they each gave me a dollar.

With the first (in Richmond), I had the feeling that she was making a sacrifice, that even a dollar was going to cause a problem to her week but she was going to do it anyway. I was grateful and even humbled by that sacrifice. The other (in Fayetteville) was slumming. She had just put over $40 worth of gas in her SUV and she wanted to feel, perhaps, that she wasn’t as selfish as she sometimes thought she was.

The point here is not that black people are stingier or meaner with money, gifts, or aid. The point is that they, too, have bought a certain amount of the “personal responsibility” swill that conservatives have been peddling for the past 30 years. Not as much as whites but quite a bit all the same. Bill Cosby started a furor several times in the last few years when he publicly took the standard conservative attitude – “I did it so if you can’t it’s because you’re lazy and undisciplined” – and beat his own people over the head with it. Of course they were angry. They’re used to hearing that crap from whites. It was an insult to hear it from one of their heroes.

But it does make plain the split in the black community between those angry because the discrimination never seems to end despite all the white promises (and now the incredibly frustrating white insistence that it has ended when it so clearly has not) and those who are angry because their friends and loved ones often seem to be taking the easy way out, proving to the whites that “they’re all like that” and similar cliches.

There’s nothing really new about this split. It has been there for generations but conservative propaganda has given it new life and force so that even blacks are asking themselves, “What’s wrong with us? Why haven’t we come further in the last 40 years since the civil rights movement than we have? Are they right? Are we just lazy, undisciplined, and dependant on government handouts?”

The poison is everywhere – both in the unrealistic expectations of whites that blacks ought to have become docile and obedient once segregation was technically over even though in many ways how they’re treated hasn’t changed much, and in blacks’ expectations for themselves that it must be their fault if they haven’t made more progress. It’s a game of Victim/Victim that has to be played out, I suppose, but it isn’t helping anybody.

Written by Mick

July 24, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Georgia Supreme Court Frees Genarlow Wilson

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I’ve written extensively about the Genarlow Wilson case, more than once calling it a “travesty”. I’m not going to repeat all that here (click the link for the series if you want to know the background) but will simply note that after the Georgia AG refused to release Wilson when a superior court judge ordered him to, he insisted on taking the case all the way to the State Supreme Court rather than admit the local prosecutor, Eddie Barker, had fucked up royally. Barker threw a hissy fit when Wilson refused to plead guilty to a felony sex offense and threw the book at him. Genarlow’s been in jail ever since.

Today, the Georgia Supreme Court agreed with Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson (no relation) and ordered Generlow released, calling his 10-yr sentence “cruel and unusual”. Georgia AG Thurlow Baker (no relation to Eddie) has only one more option if he insists on pursuing the case – taking it to the SCOTUS. No word yet on whether AG Baker is prepared, finally, to let this absurd charge die the death it deserves and allow Wilson to go back to his life.

Written by Mick

October 26, 2007 at 10:45 am

Posted in Justice Denied, Law, Racism

Parole Board Postpones Davis Case

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The Georgia state parole board announced today that they’re putting off consideration of a clemency hearing for Troy Davis, convicted of killing a cop on eyewitness testimony that was questionable at best and coerced by angry police at worst. The postponement comes because on Friday, the Georgia Supreme Court agreed to hear Davis’ appeal for a new trial based on the recent recantation of witness’ testimony.

The hearing is now postponed until the board takes up the issue again. The 90-day stay of execution was also rescinded. In an order signed Monday, the board said its rules allow it to consider a clemency petition only when it appears all appeals through the courts have been exhausted.

On Friday, the state Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, agreed to consider Davis’ case. He is appealing a ruling in July by a Chatham County judge who denied his extraordinary motion for a new trial. The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on the appeal sometime this fall.

Frankly, what the Supreme Court should be considering is censure of the prosecutor who presented evidence from witnesses they had intimidated and then instructed in what to say. The story of this case is the story of a reversion by police to the bad old days when they used to routinely decide who was guilty and then manufacture the evidence to fit their conclusions. We thought we had moved past all that sort of “vigilante justice” and that police depts throughout the country had worked hard to bring more professionalism to their investigations.

In most places, that would seem to be the case, and perhaps it’s the case in Atlanta as well in a majority of instances. But in this case. they were investigating the death of one of their own. They were angry and determined to find a culprit, which is understandable, but in their eagerness they grabbed the wrong guy and fabricated a case against him.

It’s the prosecutor’s job to examine the evidence and its probable worth before trial. He clearly didn’t do that. He took the “evidence” at face value and may even have helped further intimidate the witnesses in order to get a quick verdict. That’s what created the travesty of justice that is the Troy Davis case, and at the very least he should be reprimanded.

Somehow I doubt he will be. Not in conservative Georgia. Not with a black defendant in a state whose legal motto seems to be “guilty until proven innocent”.

Written by Mick

August 7, 2007 at 12:32 pm

Georgia Will Kill Innocent Man Tomorrow

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It seems that Georgia’s whole justice system is a travesty equal to if not surpassing the abortion of what’s laughingly called “justice” in Texas. Not content with throwing a 17-yr-old in jail for 10 years for having consensual sex with a 16-yr-old girl that she initiated, convicting him under a statute that was meant for career sex offenders, tomorrow it plans to execute a man for a crime it’s patently obvious to everyone he didn’t commit. And there’s one thing Genarlow Wilson and Troy Davis have in common that won’t surprise you: they’re both black.

Troy Davis was convicted of killing a police officer in 1989 on the basis of testimony from the man who was probably the actual killer and from eyewitnesses who now say they were browbeat by police when they tried to tell the truth.

Key witnesses have [said] that police prodded them to implicate Davis. The affidavit from Darrell Collins, the friend who was with Davis that night, was typical.

“I told them it was Red and not Troy who was messing with that man, but they didn’t want to hear that,” Collins, who was 16 at the time, said in his 2002 statement. “The detectives told me, ‘Fine, have it your way. Kiss your life goodbye because you’re going to jail.’ After a couple of hours of the detectives yelling at me and threatening me, I finally broke down and told them what they wanted to hear.”

Seven of the nine witnesses at Davis’ trial tell similar stories and have recanted their original statements, now admitting that it was Sylvester “Red” Coles who fought with and then killed Officer Mark MacPhail. State AG Thurlow Baker’s office investigated the shooting (because a cop was the victim) and came to the same conclusion.

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Written by Mick

July 16, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Genarlow Wilson 6: DA McDade Releases Sex Tape

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mcdade This story just gets weirder and weirder. On Tuesday, Douglas County DA David McDade, the birdbrain who’s responsible for letting County Prosecutor Eddie Barker try Genarlow as a sex offender because he didn’t like Genarlow’s attitude and has been trying to cover his ass ever since, making things infinitely worse in the process, released the videotape someone made at the party of the girl in question going down on Wilson.

Now, before we go all boggly at the notion that a Georgia District Attorney would make public the tape of a sex act by two teenagers, let’s first note that the tape is evidence in an on-going case. The legality of doing such a thing a week before a scheduled hearing in front of the Georgia State Supreme Court on whether or not Judge Thomas Wilson’s order to free Genarlow is legally valid (State AG Thurlow Baker is trying to protect McDade and Barker by arguing that the judge had no right to make such a decision), is highly questionable if not downright illegal. The only possible motivation for it is as an attempt to prejudice public opinion and possibly the court’s judgment. Apparently McDade knows that in Georgia, judges on the Supreme Court can be swayed by porno.

In any reasonable state – any state driven by law rather than racism, puritanical sex-hysteria, and prosecutorial hissy fits, that is – McDade would right now be walking the streets without a job at the very least, or possibly in jail.

Not in Georgia.

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Written by Mick

July 14, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Genarlow Wilson 4: Bond Hearing Canceled

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Apparently Georgia wants to be Texas when it grows up. The sequence of events in the Genarlow Wilson travesty gets more nonsensical by the day.

  1. A Douglas County Superior Court judge throws out Wilson’s sentence and orders him released.
  2. The State AG, falsely claiming that he has no choice, holds up the release and files an appeal.
  3. In a transparent bid to lower the level of anger that is aimed at him for this action, he asks for the hearing process to be expedited so it can be held at the earliest possible date. That request is denied.
  4. A different Douglas County Superior Court judge then cancels the bond hearing altogether because, he says, Georgia law doesn’t allow child molesters out on bail.

Dr. Francys Johnson, the NAACP’s Southeast Regional Director, put it in a nutshell: “The NAACP is convinced that justice has taken a summer vacation in Georgia.”

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Written by Mick

June 30, 2007 at 12:07 pm

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