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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

- 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.

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’
Even If They Don’t Want It?

March 4, 2010

I’m sure that President Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi aren’t ignorant, so they should know.  I’m no so sure about the bumbling, nearly inarticulate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.  Maybe he doesn’t know.

Know what, you ask?  Know that the majority of the American people believe that the nation’s medical care system needs improvement but, according to poll after poll, do not approve of the expensive, compulsory system of medical insurance which would be imposed upon the American people by Obama and Pelosi and Reid and like-minded Democratic liberals in the House and Senate.

So if it’s not ignorance about the fact that the majority of the American people don’t want medical care reform in the “ObamaCare” package, why do Obama, Pelosi, Reid et al keep promoting it?  

“Arrogance” might be part of the explanation, combined with a feeling—a highly questionable feeling, in my judgment—that an “ObamaCare” victory, if it comes early enough, will bolster the president’s sagging popularity and give a badly-needed boost to Democratic prospects before the November elections—motivations which certainly don’t justify overriding the wishes of the American public by ramming “ObamaCare” through the Congress.

* * *

Was President’s ‘Summit’ Seeking
GOP Cooperation Or Surrender?

Before leaving the subject of ObamaCare, some comments on last week’s “summit” conference called by the president. 

One wonders if the president’s object was more like Republican capitulation than Republican cooperation.  In any case, I found it interesting that some of the most acidulous comments came not from publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote this about Vice President Joe Biden’s performance at the summit conference: 

“No comedy sketch atmosphere would be complete, of course, without a dose of Joe Biden’s logorrhea:  ‘I think it requires a little bit of humility to be able to know what the American people think, and I don’t.  I can’t.  I can’t swear I do.  I know what I think.  I think I know what they think, but I’m not sure what they think.’”

(Biden’s uncertainty over what the American people think should have been relieved somewhat by this statement from the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky:  “It is not irrelevant that the American people, if you average out all the polls, are opposed to this bill by 55 to 37.”)

Times columnist Douthat also wrote:  “The Democrats have a health care plan that may turn out very, very badly and the Republicans, for all their protestations, don’t really have a plan at all.”

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson wrote that the Democrats “have lost a national argument.  Americans have taken every opportunity—the town hall revolt, increasingly lopsided polling, the series of upset elections culminating in Massachusetts—to shout their second thoughts.

“At this point, for Democratic leaders to insist on their current approach to health reform is to insist that Americans are not only misinformed but also dimwitted.” 

A predictably conservative voice, columnist Jonah Goldberg of the National Review, said:

“…it was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who put the ugliest face on the Democratic Party.  Cranky, mean and short-tempered, Reid seemed like he was sitting on a carpet tack throughout the discussion…

“His crotchety dyspepsia combined with arrogant dishonesty made the leader of the Senate seem like the sort of oldster who would pinch little kids for fun if he could get away with it.”

* * *

Should Pro-Choice Nebraskans Offer
A Legislative Deal To Abortion Opponents?

If anti-abortion activists would agree not to press for any more restrictive legislation until there has been a test of the constitutionality of Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood’s LB1103, I would be inclined to support the bill, with its unique new approach to the legality of abortions.

The process of putting the bill through a legal test (which might well go to the United States Supreme Court) could take years.  And if the anti-abortion forces would settle for Flood’s bill until its legal viability is decided, it would be a welcome relief from the threat of a new anti-abortion—or anti-stem cell research bill—every legislative session.

Flood’s bill could conceivably—a very long-shot possibility, I believe—establish a new nationwide policy for legality of abortions, assuming it would likely be tested all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.  Flood would overturn the long-established standard that abortions are legal until the fetus has reached the stage of viability outside the womb—usually considered at about the 24th week of pregnancy.

Flood proposes that abortions be legal only in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy—that is, up until the time that, according to Flood’s rationale—the aborted fetus would begin to feel pain. 

However, in a review of fetal pain literature in 2005, University of California San Francisco physicians reported that “fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester,” or about 27 weeks into the pregnancy.

Flood says his primary object is to prevent Dr. LeRoy Carhart of Bellevue from becoming the region’s main provider of late-term abortions.  He says he didn’t introduce the bill with the goal of having it upheld by the Supreme Court.  But such a Supreme Court ruling would surely be the goal of national anti-abortion forces.

It seems to me not enough consideration has been given to the fact that the wording in Flood’s bill—legally required under previous court rulings to cover cases where the mother’s health is threatened—would very likely not be adequate to prevent Dr. Carhart from performing late-term abortions.

Carhart has said that he would perform late-term abortions only when the mother’s life is at risk.  And Flood’s bill would forbid abortions after 20 weeks unless necessary to “avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”  (Emphasis supplied.)

It seems to me that it could be legally and logically argued that there would be no inconsistency between Carhart’s policy of a late-term abortion only to save the mother’s life and Flood’s language which would allow a post-20-week abortion to prevent an “irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

Don’t all deaths (including those Dr. Carhart would be trying to prevent) result from some “irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function”?

* * *

Dirty Anti-Abortion Tactics In Georgia

Further on the subject of abortion: 

Georgia Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, is trying to make a racial discrimination issue of the fact that a higher percentage of abortions are performed on black women than the percentage of black women in the Georgia population.

Georgia Right to Life hired a black woman to travel to black churches and colleges, delivering the message that abortion is a primary tool in a decades-old conspiracy to kill off blacks.

What rubbish, viciously unfair rubbish.

The explanation is simply the fact that a higher percentage of black women have unplanned, unwanted pregnancies than do non-blacks. 

That fact reflects a serious social problem; i.e., that blacks are disproportionately represented in the ranks of unmarried women facing the prospect of trying to raise children in poverty without the help of a father. 

Persons truly interested in the welfare of black women should be working on that problem, without spreading lies about planned parenthood and efforts that are made—abortion, for one example—to avoid facing the unwelcome, sometimes overwhelming task of trying to raise children under handicaps which almost guarantee unhappy results.

* * *

Are TV News-Readers True Journalists?
Can All UNO Teams Earn NCCA I Status?

Some quick hits:

When will television news-readers try harder to perform more like true journalists?  The answer, in too many cases, “Never.”

My comment is prompted by the way the news-readers performed on a telecast one recent evening.  Early in the 10:00 p.m. telecast, one of the news-readers told us the widely-known fact that the Nebraska Cornhusker women’s basketball team played the Missouri Tigers earlier that evening, then added:

“Which team came out the winner?  We’ll tell you shortly.”

I don’t know how the news-readers define “shortly,” but it was 10:25 before we were told that the Lady Huskers had won, 67-51, a fact that a great many Husker fans already had learned from listening to the game on the radio.

One might surmise that the news-reader chose this not untypical “we’ll tell you later” approach in the hope of holding your attention through the commercials which aired between the early teaser and 10:25 p.m. 

--Moving from the irritatingly trivial to the absolutely irresponsible, as demonstrated in the same newscast: 

Some TV stations are encouraging viewers to make themselves a part of the newscast by submitting comments, some of which are then put on the air, but without the viewer’s name included.  This particular evening, there were two such anonymous comments—one of them viciously critical of Mayor Jim Suttle.

It is totally irresponsible to allow people’s opinions to be broadcast anonymously when they are critical of named individuals or organizations.  What a contrast to The World-Herald’s Public Pulse, where thousands of letters are published each year, every one of them bearing the name or names of who is responsible for the letter.

--Count me among the many Omahans who wish the University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks hockey team well.

But I wonder if building traditional rivalries against schools like Bemidji State—a recognized hockey power in the limited field of colleges offering hockey as an intercollegiate sport—can turn the Mavericks into a power that leads the UNO athletic program in general to greater prestige and possibly overall NCAA Division I status—a level which UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts has mentioned as a goal.

(The Mavs are already among the 64 teams playing in NCAA Division I hockey leagues, whose members range from Bemidji State with its 2,400-seat arena to Ohio State with a 17,500-seat arena.)

* * *

Snow Or No, Augusta Azaleas Will Bloom

Thanks to my friends—the total is eight and rising as I dictate this—who have shared with me pictures of the Augusta National Golf Club course under a blanket of 5 to 6 inches of snow in mid-February. 

Quite a contrast, of course, to the more familiar image of the Augusta National, televised during the annual Masters Tournament, dressed in the lush green of its fairways and the colorful azalea bushes, all framed, by borders of evergreen trees.

Those snow-covered fairway pictures prompted me to call the Augusta National pro shop and inquire as to whether wintry weather had done any damage to plants like the azaleas. 

I was told that the touch of winter was not severe enough to cause any damage, so the course should be at its traditional colorful best when golfing fans around the world view it on television come April.

# # #

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