Archive for the ‘Members’ Corner’ Category

What is fascism?


What is fascism?

A Donald Trump supporter wears a gas mask and holds a bust of him after he and hundreds of others stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of John Broich, Case Western Reserve University

Since before Donald Trump took office, historians have debated whether he is a fascist.

As a teacher of World War II history who has written about fascism, I’ve found that historians have a consensus definition of the term, broadly speaking.

Given the term’s current – and sometimes erroneous – use, I think it’s important to distinguish what fascism is and is not.

Race-first thinking

Fascism, now a century old, got its start with Benito Mussolini and his Italian allies. They named their movement after an ancient Roman emblem, the fasces, an ax whose handle has been tightly reinforced with many rods, symbolizing the power of unity around one leader.

Fascism means more than dictatorship, however.

It’s distinct from simple authoritarianism – an anti-democratic government by a strongman or small elite – and “Stalinism” – authoritarianism with a dominant bureaucracy and economic control, named after the former Soviet leader. The same goes for “anarchism,” the belief in a society organized without an overarching state.

Above all, fascists view nearly everything through the lens of race. They’re committed not just to race supremacy, but maintaining what they called “racial hygiene,” meaning the purity of their race and the separation of what they view as lower ones.

That means they must define who is a member of their nation’s legitimate race. They must invent a “true” race.

Many are familiar with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime’s so-called Aryan race, which had no biological or historical reality. The Nazis had to forge a mythic past and legendary people. Including some in the “true race” means excluding others.

Capitalism is good

For fascists, capitalism is good. It appeals to their admiration of “the survival of the fittest,” a phrase coined by social Darwinist Herbert Spencer, so long as…
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Why the British abandoned impeachment – and what the US Congress might do next


Why the British abandoned impeachment – and what the US Congress might do next

The impeachment trial of Warren Hastings in 1788. Library of Congress

Courtesy of Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire

Impeachment was developed in medieval England as a way to discipline the king’s ministers and other high officials. The framers of the U.S. Constitution took that idea and applied it to presidents, judges and other federal leaders.

Now that tool is in use, and in question, during the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Republicans have raised questions about both the constitutionality and the overall purpose of impeachment proceedings against a person who no longer holds office.

Democrats have responded that the framers expected impeachment to be available as a way to deliver consequences to a former official, and that refusing to convict Trump could open the door to future presidential abuses of power.

An impeachment case that was active in Britain while the framers were writing the Constitution in Philadelphia helped inform the new American government structure. But the outcome of that case – and that of another impeachment trial a decade later – signaled the end of impeachment’s usefulness in Britain, though the British system of government offered another way to hold officials accountable.

Impeachment in Britain

During the 17th century, the English Parliament used impeachment repeatedly against the royal favorites of King Charles I. One, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, went to the gallows in 1641 after being convicted by the House of Lords for subverting the laws and attempting to raise an Irish army to subdue the king’s opponents in England. Although kings couldn’t be impeached, Parliament eventually tried King Charles I for treason too, sentencing him to death by public beheading on Jan. 30, 1649.

A century later, impeachment no longer carried a risk of execution, but in 1786 the House of Commons launched what would become the most famous – and longest – impeachment trial in British history.

The lower house of Parliament, the House of Commons, impeached Warren Hastings, who had retired as governor-general of British India and was back in…
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Courtesy of Teri Kanefield



Interesting question:

Time to get philosophical. The place to start, I think is how political psychologists define conservatism.

True conservatives, according to NYU Professor Jonathan Haidtconservatives form a kind of yin-yang balance with liberals:

Liberals embrace forward-looking change. Conservatives value order. The conservative insight is that order is precious, hard to achieve, and easy to lose. (From prof. Haidt)

Reactionaries, on the other hand seek rapid change—backwards to a bygone era.

Political psychologists Capelos and Katsanidou define reactionism as “a forceful desire to return to the past.” Underlying reactionism is “anger, fear, nostalgic hope, betrayal, and perceived injustice.” The word “again” in “Make America Great Again” signals reactionist politics.

If reactionaries want to go back to the past, and conservatives want to maintain the status quo, it seems to me that the nation’s history and politics change the nature of conservatism and reactionism.

Reactionary politics as embraced in the United States is extremely destructive because to get back to a bygone era when white men could do as they pleased, you have to dismantle almost the entire federal government, which will cause widespread suffering.

Look what happened with Covid under the leadership of a party that doesn’t want a functioning federal government. When people say “conservatives” they often mean reactionaries because the current GOP is not conservative. It’s reactionary.

So it’s certainly destructive. Whether it is self-destructive remains to be seen. The most interesting thing happening in politics right now is that the GOP appears to be on a collision course with time.

By collision course with time, I mean that in a two party system, it will become impossible for a white-nationalist reactionary party to win national elections. The demographics willing to embrace such a party are…
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Trump Cower Moscow


Trump Cower Moscow

Courtesy of Greg Olear, Prevail, author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia 

The KGB began recruiting Trump in the early 80s. The prevailing evidence and his behavior shows he is owned by Russia. Why are we STILL not talking about this?

IN THE EARLY 90s, a New York executive who worked for a prominent financial services company flew to London to attend a conference. While there, he hobnobbed with another executive, an American who worked in the firm’s Moscow office. Accompanying the Moscow executive were some Russian nationals—KGB officers moonlighting as security and logistics detail for the company.

And that is how the New York executive came to have dinner with a small group of KGB officers. When the topic turned to the Big Apple, the executive was surprised to hear that the KGB officers were very familiar with Donald Trump. Trump was a fixture in the New York tabloids, and had been for years, but at the time, he was hardly world famous. The reason the KGB officers knew about Trump, the executive concluded, is because Trump was being cultivated by that organization. This was such an open secret in Soviet intelligence circles that the spies were boasting about it 30 years ago at a restaurant with a stranger.

This colorful anecdote was related to me recently by the New York executive, who is now retired. By itself, it’s just that—a colorful anecdote. “Hey, remember the time we went to dinner with the KGB guys?” Taken together with many similar data points, however, it establishes a narrative—that Donald John Trump really was cultivated by the Russian intelligence services. That he really was—really is—a Russian asset.

There is plenty of reporting to support this:

Trump first got on the KGB’s radar in 1977, when he married his first wife, Ivana Zelní?ková, a Czechoslovakian national who, against all odds, managed to emigrate from that Eastern Bloc country to Canada. The investigative journalist Luke Harding writes about this in his book Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win (2017): “According to files in Prague, declassified in 2016, Czech spies kept a close eye on the couple in Manhattan.…There was periodic surveillance of the Trump family in the United States. And when Ivana…
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Trump impeachment trial: Decades of research show language can incite violence


Trump impeachment trial: Decades of research show language can incite violence

The U.S. Capitol, which was besieged by insurrectionists on Jan. 6, and where the Trump impeachment trial takes place in the Senate. Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

Courtesy of Kurt Braddock, American University School of Communication

Senators, acting in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump that begins on Feb. 9, will soon have to decide whether to convict the former president for inciting a deadly, violent insurrection at the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

A majority of House members, including 10 Republicans, took the first step in the two-step impeachment process in January. They voted to impeach Trump, for “incitement of insurrection.” Their resolution states that he “willfully made statements that, in context, encourage – and foreseeably resulted in – lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.’”

Impeachment proceedings that consider incitement to insurrection are rare in American history. Yet dozens of legislators – including some Republicans – say that Trump’s actions leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol contributed to an attempted insurrection against American democracy itself.

Such claims against Trump are complicated. Rather than wage direct war against sitting U.S. representatives, Trump is accused of using language to motivate others to do so. Some have countered that the connection between President Trump’s words and the violence of Jan. 6 is too tenuous, too abstract, too indirect to be considered viable.

However, decades of research on social influence, persuasion and psychology show that the messages that people encounter heavily influence their decisions to engage in certain behaviors.

Donald Trump’s speech on Jan. 6 at the “Save America March.”

How it works

The research shows that the messages people consume affect their behaviors in three ways.

First, when a person encounters a message that advocates a behavior, that person is likely to believe that the behavior will have positive results. This is particularly true if…
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Navalny returns to Russia and brings anti-Putin politics with him


Navalny returns to Russia and brings anti-Putin politics with him

Protesters oppose riot police during a rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny on January 31, 2021 in Moscow, Russia. Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Courtesy of Regina Smyth, Indiana University

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and his team have stunned the Russian government again, forcing President Vladimir Putin and his allies to confront significant protest led by a foe they hoped to first sideline and, more recently, eliminate.

Navalny was nearly killed in August by the Novichok nerve agent in what most experts believe was an assassination attempt by the Kremlin. But he survived, after being airlifted from Russia to Germany, where he spent five months recovering.

The Kremlin discouraged Navalny from returning to Russia by revoking his probation on previous charges and issuing an arrest warrant.

In response, Navalny said, “Russia is my country, Moscow is my city, I miss them.” He flew back on Jan. 17 and was immediately detained.

Navalny didn’t go quietly: His call for protests against his detention brought Russians to the streets in late January, in the largest opposition events in a decade and the most geographically widespread actions since the late Soviet period.

Navalny at passport control in Moscow on his return, just before he was arrested.

Alexei Navalny is seen at the passport control point at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Jan. 17; he was then arrested by Russian police. Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images)

A controversial leader

I write about Navalny’s opposition strategy in my book “Elections, Protest, and Authoritarian Regime Stability: Russia 2008-2020,” which explores the nature of Navalny’s threat to the Kremlin.

Since 2011, Navalny has been often quoted saying that his goal is to live in a normal country that is fair and can realize its economic potential. When he ran for Moscow mayor in 2013, his campaign slogan was “Change Russia, Begin with Moscow.”

Rivals in the opposition and in the regime dispute his motivations. During his early political career, Navalny espoused ethnic nationalist beliefs, and participated in the far…
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Far-right groups move to messaging apps as tech companies crack down on extremist social media


Far-right groups move to messaging apps as tech companies crack down on extremist social media

Far-right groups like the Proud Boys, seen here marching in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12, are increasingly organizing their activities on messaging services like Telegram. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Courtesy of Kevin GrishamCalifornia State University San Bernardino

Right-wing extremists called for open revolt against the U.S. government for months on social media following the election in November. Behind the scenes on private messaging services, many of them recruited new followers, organized and planned actions, including the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Encrypted messaging platforms like Telegram, which was launched in 2013, have become places for violent extremists to meet up and organize. Telegram serves a dual purpose. It created a space where conversations can occur openly in the service’s public channels. Those who wanted more privacy can message one another through private chats.

In these private chats, violent extremists can share tactics, organize themselves and radicalize, something I’ve observed in my research of hate and extremism. New Telegram users are exposed to violent extremist beliefs on the public side of Telegram and then group members carry out the logistics of recruiting and organizing in the private chats.

Online extremism’s long history

Violent extremists’ use of the internet is not new. In the 1990s, electronic bulletin boards and simple websites allowed white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-government groups and a variety of other violent extremists to sell their ideologies and recruit.

In the 2000s, mainstream social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter became the new way for extremists to recruit and spread their beliefs. For many years, these groups cultivated their online presences and gained followers on these mainstream platforms.

Alternative social media outlets, including Gab, 4chan and 8kun (formerly 8chan), developed shortly thereafter. These provided forums where violent extremists could post hate speech and calls for violence without fear of being blocked.

Studies have shown that after 2010 social media generally contributed to an increase in radicalization of individuals by violent extremist movements in the U.S.

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One Day More


Happy Weekend! After four years, I'm finally not worrying that Trump will do something crazy over the weekend and cause the market to plunge on Monday. Progress. 


What is the ‘boogaloo’ and who are the rioters who stormed the Capitol? 5 essential reads


What is the 'boogaloo' and who are the rioters who stormed the Capitol? 5 essential reads

Rioters mass on the U.S. Capitol steps on Jan. 6. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Courtesy of Jeff Inglis, The Conversation

In the wake of the insurrection on Jan. 6, the U.S. is bracing for the possibility of additional violent demonstrations and potential riots at the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings around the nation. While many were in Washington, D.C., ostensibly to protest what they wrongly saw as a stolen election, their presence – and their actions – reflect a larger set of goals that American militants are hoping to seize upon to take more extreme action.

Several articles by scholars of violent extremism, white supremacy and militias explain the path down which these rioters and insurrectionists seek to take America. The Conversation U.S. has compiled excerpts of five of those articles, seeking to explain the rift that has torn wide open in American society.

U.S. Capitol storming, gallows, Trump supporters

A gallows, in part symbolizing the lynching of Jews as part of a massive race war, was among the hate symbols was erected as crowds stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

1. What is the ‘boogaloo’?

QAnon followers, the Proud Boys and the other far-right and alt-right groups that converged on Washington imagined that they were living out the great fantasy that underlies what many consider to be the bible of the white nationalism movement, a 1978 dystopian novel, ‘The Turner Diaries,’ by William Luther Pierce,” writes Jonathan D. Sarna, a scholar of anti-Semitism at Brandeis University.

“The novel depicts the violent overthrow of the government of the United States, nuclear conflagration, race war and the ultimate extermination of nonwhites and ‘undesirable racial elements among the remaining White population,’” he explains.

This widespread and extremely violent conflagration is often called the “boogaloo” by its adherents.

2. Militants seek to accelerate conflict

Amy Cooter, a sociologist at Vanderbilt University who has extensively studied the American militia movement, reports that some far-right…
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Trump’s Twitter feed shows ‘arc of the hero,’ from savior to showdown


Trump's Twitter feed shows 'arc of the hero,' from savior to showdown

Trump’s tweets depict himself as the lone savior of America. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Courtesy of Ronald Hill, American University Kogod School of Business

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

I’ve analyzed over 30,000 tweets from Donald Trump’s Twitter feed from January 2015 to December 2020. They show Trump following a “hero’s journey,” from presenting himself as a savior as he first announced his candidacy for president to his post-election fight and showdown with his perceived enemies.

My paper, which is currently undergoing peer review, looks at Trump’s social media use through the lens of brand storytelling and what is known among scholars as the “hero’s journey,” based on the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell. In his 1949 book “Hero with a Thousand Faces,” Campbell explains that hero quests follow similar trajectories: The hero leaves his ordinary world and enters a place of supernatural wonders. He then faces a series of trials, survives, receives his reward and returns home.

Trump’s Twitter feed – now archived after his account was suspended – chronicles how the president left his comfortable life as a billionaire real estate magnate and entered the political realm as a savior who would protect Americans from immigrants, Muslims, Democrats and even fellow Republicans such as the primary opponents he vanquished to become the party’s nominee. As his Twitter feed tells the story, he also experienced trials that ordinary persons could not have endured, such as the “Russia hoax” and his first impeachment, emerging unscathed. “No collusion, no obstruction,” he frequently wrote, referring to his account of the result of the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference.

His election loss in November means his journey must come to an end, but, to him and his supporters, his job is not complete – and no one else can take his place. So it is no surprise that the hero of the story would fight back with all his might in a final showdown and call on the supernatural energy of his…
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Phil's Favorites

Can vaccinated people still spread the coronavirus?


Can vaccinated people still spread the coronavirus?

Vaccinated people are wondering whether they can ease social distancing and mask-wearing. AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Courtesy of Deborah Fuller, University of Washington

Editor’s note: So you’ve gotten your coronavirus vaccine, waited the two weeks for your immune system to respond to the shot and are now fully vaccinated. Does this mean you can make your way through ...

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Can vaccinated people still spread the coronavirus?


Can vaccinated people still spread the coronavirus?

Vaccinated people are wondering whether they can ease social distancing and mask-wearing. AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Courtesy of Deborah Fuller, University of Washington

Editor’s note: So you’ve gotten your coronavirus vaccine, waited the two weeks for your immune system to respond to the shot and are now fully vaccinated. Does this mean you can make your way through ...

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Zero Hedge

For Bonds, This Is Now The Second Worst Bear Market In 40 Years

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last December, we predicted that the US was heading for a "titanic taper tantrum" in 2021, to an extent as a result of a sharp drop in bond demand as a result of reduced bond purchases by the Fed but also due to a spike in inflation which would lead to a sharp drop in demand for duration.

So fast forward to this week when the crash in US Treasurys, and especially the belly of the curve led by a plunge in 5Y prices...


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There's A "Chip" Shortage: And TSM Holds All The Cards

By Mauldin Economics. Originally published at ValueWalk.

“You drove 1,000 miles just for this game?” Christmas 1988 was a stressful time for many American parents. Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. 2 was the must-have toy that year. But copies of the hit videogame were as scarce as hen’s teeth.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

ABC News ran a 20/20 special on the shortage called “Nuts for Nintendo.” They chatted to one dad who drove 1,000 miles from Indiana to NYC in the hopes of grabbing a copy.

“I’ve tried 7 stores a day for 3 weeks and sti...

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What is fascism?


What is fascism?

A Donald Trump supporter wears a gas mask and holds a bust of him after he and hundreds of others stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of John Broich, Case Western Reserve University

Since before Donald Trump took office, historians have debated whether he is a fascist.

As a teacher of World War II history...

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Chart School

The Fastest Money

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The fast money happens near the end of the long trend.

Securities which attract a popular following by both the public and professionals investors tend to repeat the same sentiment over their bull phase. The chart below is the map of said sentiment.

Video on the subject.

Charts in the video

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.

Click for popup. Clear your b...

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Digital Currencies

Bridgewater Explains When It Will Invest In Bitcoin

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Two weeks ago, Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio called Bitcoin "one hell of an invention" adding that:

"I expect Bridgewater to soon offer an alt-cash fund and a storehold of wealth fund in order to better deal with the devaluation of money and credit that we consider to be a major risk and opportunity, and Bitcoin won’t escape our scrutiny.”

And now, after significant attention that his comments received, Senior Portfolio Strategist Jim Haskel sits dow...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Rising Inflation About To Hit U.S. Economy In Big Way?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Inflation seems to be a thing of the past… but current trading in bond and commodity markets tell us that it could become a thing of the future!

Inflation hasn’t been an issue, or even on our radar, since the 1980s. Sure, the 2007 surge in oil prices offered some concern but the financial crisis killed any thoughts of inflation.

So what’s got us concerned about inflation in 2021?

Today we take a look at long-term charts of two potential inflation indicators: Crude Oil ...

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Mapping The Market

The Countries With The Most COVID-19 Cases


The Countries With The Most COVID-19 Cases

By Martin Armstrong, Statista, Jan 12, 2021

This regularly updated infographic keeps track of the countries with the most confirmed Covid-19 cases. The United States is still at the top of the list, with a total now exceeding the 22 million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. The total global figure is now over 85 million, while there have been more than 1.9 million deaths.

You will find more infographics at ...

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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House


Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...

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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
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Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  


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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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