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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

"AT LAST: TALK OF PREVENTION
JOINS MOURNING OVER KILLINGS"
- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness,
But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian”

February 26, 2009

Attractive, hardbound copies of “Life With Marian”—a book which a good many readers have said they would be interested in owning—are still available for purchase (for $22.50) at The Bookworm in Countryside Village.  If more convenient, you can now also send a check payable to Harold W. Andersen for $26.66 (includes tax and postage) and mail to me at P.O. Box 27347, Omaha, NE, 68127.  A copy will be sent by return mail.

The 235 pages of Life With Marian consist largely of anecdotes of the kind which so many readers said they enjoyed when they appeared in my columns in The Omaha World-Herald over a 15-year period.  Some examples:

Sports Start Early

“In keeping with family tradition (Marian attended her first Cornhusker football game when she was 3 years old), we started new grandson Grant Andersen Karger off on the right athletic foot.  At 3 weeks old, he was part of the family group attending the Denver-Golden State basketball game.  (He declined comment on the game, explaining that he had slept through it all.)”

A Real Bonus

“John Andrew (Jack) Karger, the 8-year-old Denver-resident son of daughter Nancy, the other day outlined a career plan that included a praiseworthy intent to share his hoped-for good fortune with others.

“Jack said he wants to become a professional baseball player, earn a million dollars a year ‘and give half of it to charity.’

“Marian and I are, of course, pleased both with Jack’s enthusiasm for sports (he is a bit unhappy because his coach says he should choose between concentrating on soccer or on baseball), although we will not be disappointed if he doesn’t turn out to be a professional baseball player.  But we hope his youthful attitude toward sharing with others lasts a lifetime.”

Getting Jumpy

“Marian’s voice carrying up the stairs:  ‘Peaches!  You never do that.’  Then:  ‘Thank you, Peaches.’

“It turns out that what Peaches (our effervescent 5-year-old cocker spaniel) ‘never does’—but which she had just done—was to jump up on Marian in an effort to speed up the food delivery process in which Marian was engaged at the kitchen counter.

“I suggested that since Peaches does this from time to time, Marian might change her admonition to something like:  ‘Peaches!  You know better than that.’”

* * *

There is a lot more of this sort of thing, but also more serious comment, including a number of public-issue columns written during my “Life With Marian.”

* * *

The Hollywood Line: Agree With Us
Or Be Ashamed Of Yourselves

I indicated earlier in today’s column that I would be commenting on the “nastiness” which was a part of the Academy Award program—a relatively brief part of the 3 ½-hour marathon but nonetheless a prominent part.

The nastiest of all were the comments of Sean Penn, who received the best actor award for his role as Harvey Milk, the homosexual mayor of San Francisco who was murdered.  Penn responded to the enthusiastic applause by smilingly saying to the crowd:  “You commie, homo-loving sons of guns.”

Penn followed with condemnation of anti-gay protestors who demonstrated near the Oscar-award sites.  He condemned also the Californians who recently voted to ban legal recognition of “marriages” between lesbians and between homosexuals.

“I think it’s a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support,” Penn said.  “We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”

I would say it’s certainly nasty—insulting might be a better word—to say that persons who disagree with you on this controversial issue bear the burden of “great shame” and then suggest that their grandchildren will be ashamed of them unless they change their attitude toward “gay marriages.” 

It’s well known that wealthy liberals are frequently disdainful of those who disagree with them, but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard disagreement with the Hollywood liberal line condemned so viciously as in the words of Sean Penn, to whom Hollywood gave its greatest honor Sunday evening.

Another egregious example of nastiness was the anti-Nixon skit which was staged near the start of the 3 ½ hour program—a program which consisted mostly of Hollywood celebrating itself.  The skit, prompted by the best-picture nominee “Frost/Nixon,” had an evening-gowned Hollywood star or starlet—at least she was a good-looking young female—playing the role of Nixon.

Once again—how many times was this shot used in the promotion leading up to the Sunday night show—we see Frank Langella playing Nixon saying, “I’m saying when the President does it, it’s not illegal,” with the actor playing David Frost reacting with a shocked expression on his face.

Those Kids From Bombay Were The Stars

David Frost, the wimpy British television personality, did interview Nixon, but I have never seen any report that the words attributed to Nixon were actually recorded, verbatim, by Frost.  (I’m not asserting that what I’ve been hearing, over and over and over, is not an exact quote of what Nixon said to Frost.  I am saying that I have not seen or heard any authentication of the quote.)

The highlight of the evening, to me, was awarding the “best picture” honor to “Slumdog Millionaire” and the rush to the stage by those cute young actors from the slums of Bombay who starred in the universally popular offbeat production. 

Further on the subject of a Hollywood liberal like Sean Penn insulting Americans who disagree with him on the issue of legalizing “marriages” between two homosexuals  or two lesbians:  Popular votes in a state as liberal as California and a state as generally conservative as Nebraska suggest that opponents of legalizing such “marriages” are in the majority. 

In Nebraska’s case, for example, the proposal giving legal recognition only to a marriage between a man and a woman carried by a whopping 274,904 votes, a 70-30% margin. 

In other words, by the standards of Sean Penn and like-minded liberals, 477,571 Nebraskans who voted to support the husband/wife, man/woman institution of marriage should be would ashamed of themselves.

What arrogance—arrogance which allows no room for the sincerely-held beliefs of defenders of the institution of marriage, beliefs which might be summarized thus:

A married man and woman can logically and equitably be said to have a slice of something like “ownership” in the institution of marriage.  This would give such a couple justification for the sincerely-held belief that the institution should not be changed without the consent of those who are, if not the owners, at least the guardians or custodians of the tradition.

Majority Should Feel Ashamed?

Society is full of such institutions and traditions—particularly institutions which you cannot force your way into at the cost of changing the fundamental nature of the institution.  For example, a religious denomination.  Should you be able to force your way into a religious body by saying you want to become a member but on your own terms, amending the creed of that particular denomination in a way that fits your beliefs and lifestyle?

Should persons who believe in polygamy (still the belief of some Mormons, for example) be allowed to broaden the institution of marriage to include a husband and multiple wives? 

And what about a trio involved in what is known in French as a “ménage a trois”?  This particular arrangement is defined in my dictionary as a “household of three…an arrangement or relationship in which a married pair and a lover of one of the pair form a single household, usually with the consent or tolerance of the other married partner.”

Should such a trio be allowed to change the definition of marriage to include all three of them if they chose to seek some kind of triangular marriage vow? 

An extreme example, you say?  Perhaps so, but whether it’s two women and one man, twelve women and one man, two women or two men—do any of these have an inherent moral right to change the traditional institution of marriage?

I believe strongly that two persons of the same sex, male or female, should have the legal right to form a civil union with privileges and obligations which a man and a woman share in the legally-recognized institution of marriage.  But to invade the institution of marriage itself is quite another matter.

* * *

Nation’s Mayors Line Up For Federal Pork

In recent years, a great deal of public attention has been focused on successful bellying-up to the government trough for what has come to be known as “pork barrel” appropriations which don’t have to go through the normal appropriations hearing process.

Thus it’s not surprising that the nation’s mayors have responded as they did to president-elect Obama’s invitation to submit priority lists of “shovel-ready” projects to provide jobs and stimulate the economy.

The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out that the nation’s mayors have submitted a $73 billion wish list—perhaps the largest collection of “parochial spending projects in American history”—including requests like these:

A million dollars to upgrade the Los Angeles County Convention Center elevated “catwalk” for cameras and lighting; $94 million for a parking garage at the Orange Bowl in Miami; a $35 million Music Hall of Fame in Florissant, Missouri and $3.1 million for a swimming pool in Tulsa.  Then there are requests for $80,000 for a tennis facility in Santa Barbara, California and $6 million from Ventura, California, to renovate the beach at Surfers Point.

The WSJ observed editorially that the Obama team may try to trim this list to remove the most egregious pork but Congress is quickly figuring out that “stimulus” is the greatest spending cover since “homeland security.

Some Newspapers Provide
Quite Unintentional Laughs

Let’s finish today by having a little fun with newspapers.

For example, my nomination for the strangest byline I have seen in print to date this year (although this is an era in which reporters everywhere seem to get bylines for almost anything they write). 

My nomination involves a two-paragraph news item reporting that no one had been injured in a house fire.  The reporter—or rewrite person or whatever—is listed in bold-face type as the author of the two paragraphs.

And here, from a variety of papers around the country, some headlines which amused one of my readers, who kindly passed the collection along to me.  I’m amused, too.

“Federal Agents Raid Gun Shop, Find Weapons.”

Not a headline, but a news item from another paper:  “Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops off significantly after age 25.”

Another headline:  “One-armed man applauds the kindness of strangers.”

This headline read:  “Waterford boy, 8, saves sister’s life.”  Then this subhead:  “I wouldn’t do it again.  She’s been a pain this week.”

And finally, this headline with good advice for us all: 

“Utah Poison Control Center reminds everyone not to take poison.”

# # #

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