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Drawing The Wrong Lessons From The Mpls Bridge Collapse

August 11, 2007 Leave a comment

http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/41774.html

Liberty & Power: Group Blog

David T. Beito
Drawing the Wrong Lessons from the Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

As they did with Katrina, the politicians and public have taken it for granted that the Minneapolis bridge collapse illustrates the need for bigger government. In record speed, Governor Tim Pawlenty recanted his previous opposition to a gas tax increase for bridge and road repears. Few have even considered that the collapse might illustrate the dangers of relying too much, not too little, on governments for infrastructure.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the citizens of Nevada, who faced an even more daunting infrastructure crisis, came to a different conclusion. An example was the Placerville State Road, a government-maintained mountain artery on the section of the Overland Trail. It “was literally lined with brown-down stages, wagons, and carts, presenting every variety of aspect, from the general smash-up to the ordinary capsize. Wheels had taken rectangular cuts to the bottom, broken tongues projected from the mud; loads of dry goods and whiskey barrels lay wallowing in the general wreck of matter; stout beams cut from the roadside were scattered here and there, having served in vain efforts to extricate the wagons from the oozing mire.”

Instead of assuming that these problems proved the need for more government, Nevada’s politicians and voters turned to the private sector. They granted dozens of charters to companies and individuals to construct and maintain roads. Between the 1850s and 1880s, local entrepreneurs financed, built, and operated more than one hundred toll roads and bridges. This represented an enormous amount of activity in an area with so few people.

While some grumbled about paying tolls, even the sternest critics acknowledged that privatization brought dramatic improvements in quality. Referring to the Placerville Road, one observer commented that “a narrow, dangerous, wretched trail [which] was scarcely fit for the passage of sure-footed pack-mules” had been transformed into “a broad, compact, well-graded highway, which might be fairly be likened to an old Roman road.”

For more on the rise and fall of Nevada’s toll roads and bridges, see my article (co-authored with Linda Royster Beito), “Rival Road Builders: Private Toll Roads in Nevada, 1852-1880,” Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 41 (Summer 1998), 71-91.

Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 12:33 AM | Comments (0) | Return

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Ron Paul, Iowa and The Presidency…Karen Kwiatkowski

August 11, 2007 Leave a comment


http://tinyurl.com/ysw6nc

Ron Paul, Iowa and the Presidency

Karen Kwiatkowski

Posted August 11, 2007 | 02:30 PM (EST)

A lot of people are frightened of Dr. Ron Paul’s possible presidency. They’re scared to talk about it, to consider it, or recognize its possibility. Like so many frightened people, they are putting their heads in the sand, and hoping it will all just go away.

Give us a snarky political professional like Guiliani or Clinton, or a nicely coiffed white family man like Romney or Edwards. Give us a nice neoconservative grandpa like Fred Thompson, or a grouchy neoconservative grandpa like McCain. Give us an Obama — for a change of pace in everything but currently established domestic and foreign policies.

But by golly, don’t dare threaten the establishment with Jeffersonian democratic vision and Washingtonian non-interventionism. Don’t boldly challenge the NYC/DC axis of politics with sheer constitutionalism. Better yet, don’t remind us that the American president is not the commander-in-chief of everybody but a narrowly defined and legally constrained institution that is only equal — and certainly subject — to our judicial and legislative bodies.

Ron Paul, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich are the only candidates who seem to understand this. They are also the only candidates who will quickly, if not immediately, end the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Wait a sec — I mean end it peacefully. Ultimately, Iraqis and their supporters around the world will bring down the American occupation — but they will do so limb by limb, heart by heart, and soul by soul. They will kill thousands of us and themselves before it reaches that inevitable point of non-occupation and honest political independence. Only Paul and two underfunded Democratic contenders offer wisdom to Americans across the nation who are hungry for wisdom, at least in foreign policy.

However — it is in domestic policy where Ron Paul completes the package. Unlike the democratic longshots, and the candidacy of GuiliClintoRomnObamThomEdwaCain, Ron Paul is about real freedom. Freedom to choose, freedom to live, freedom to decide for ourselves. He offers freedom from excessive government mandates, excessive rules and regulations, excessive confiscation of our life and property. In this, Paul is the only real conservative in the group, and yes, perhaps the only radical.

Social planners of all sorts — some more Marxist in orientation, others more nationalist — present themselves as the American presidential front runners. The media focuses cameras on their faces, murmurs over their every word, and wonders if America and the world will really like them as Most Supreme Leader of the World.

Ron Paul, humbly and simply, honors the Constitution — and perhaps this makes him boring to mainstream media. When asked recently how he would use the great power of the executive office, circa 2009, Paul indicated he’d use his power to restrain the natural temptation to abuse that mostly unconstitutional concentration of power. He’d then work to restore a constitutionally established presidency — in part by revoking the many executive orders to which we have all become inured.

Ron Paul may not excite the mainstream press, establishment policy cheerleaders, big investors in government programs, or the military-industrial complex. But Ron Paul really excites a whole heck of a lot of regular people — and puts the scare in the rest of them.

Ron’s latest odds in the Iowa Straw poll are 8 to 1 — and the big Republican candidates who represent all-spending, all-war, all-the-time are worried. So worried, many of them aren’t even coming to Iowa.

Those who wish to discredit Ron Paul as a viable candidate don’t point out his popularity among traditional Republicans, Democrats and Independents. They don’t point out that his “Don’t Tread on Me” libertarian streak is shared by half the adults in this country, and three quarters of the teenagers. They ignore his grass roots support, the money and the passion that flows steadily into his campaign.

The Republican Party, its Democratic emulators, and mainstream media are living dinosaurs. All refuse to pull their heads out of the sand and face the issues that really touch Americans, and to deliver what Americans really want for themselves, their families and their government. And unlike in previous elections, nobody in American really, truly, cares what mainstream media thinks. It’s not that Katie Couric and her ilk aren’t nice people. It’s just that times have changed.

These dinosaurs — and the theropods that report the news — are increasingly irrelevant. I believe that the other contenders for the Presidency will soon begin to adopt Paul’s message and attempt to promote his agenda of freedom and peace, or they will become politically extinct. As a peace and freedom-loving American, I can’t wait.

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Ron Paul’s Online Support Put To The Test?

August 11, 2007 Leave a comment

<>http://tinyurl.com/2bjam6

Ron Paul

Paul’s Online Support Put to Offline Test


Though he’s bigger on MySpace, Rep. Ron Paul did work the Iowa crowds the old-fashioned way at the Iowa state fair. (AP).

Today’s Iowa straw poll isn’t merely a test for Mitt Romney, who leads in Iowa in the latest Washington Post/ABC news poll and has easily outspent the rest of the GOP field.

It’s also a test for the Paulites — the undeniably loyal and undeniably Internet-savvy followers of Rep. Ron Paul.

His YouTube videos are the most viewed of any presidential candidate — yes, more than Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. He has more MySpace friends than Romney, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former senator Fred Thompson combined. His online followers, many of them live-and-let-live libertarians, were essential to his second quarter fundraising haul of $2.37 million, which easily surpassed former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback.

And the big question on many a online political operative mind is: Can Paul translate all that online enthusiasm into offline results?

Five months before the Iowa caucuses, the straw poll is a non-binding test of a candidate’s organizational mettle. Voters are scheduled to pack Iowa State University’s Hilton Coliseum, in summer heat, to show their support. Paul’s Iowa operation lags behind Romney’s, no doubt. Paul just opened his headquarters in Iowa on Thursday, and his aides said the 400 or so members of his Iowa Meetup groups have been working the phones, passing out campaign literature and stuffing mailers in recent days. “We don’t have any lofty expectations,” Jesse Benton, Paul’s spokesman, said. “We just want to prove that we can run with the pack.”

To some Republican online political operatives, it does look like the Paulites are running with the pack. Patrick Ruffini, head of the Republican National Committee’s online department, views Paul’s chances in Iowa optimistically,

“I think Paul could place as well as second in the straw poll, if the enthusiasm that he’s generating online translates to actual bodies on the ground,” Ruffini said. “If it doesn’t, then you might begin to question the effectiveness of his online support. I mean, if he can’t translate it in Ames, then where can you translate it?”
–Jose Antonio Vargas

Posted at 7:00 AM ET on Aug 11, 2007  | Category:  Ron Paul
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“I mean, if he can’t translate it in Ames, then where can you translate it?”

Possibly somewhere that votes are not so blatantly purchased by the one with the most money. How representative is it to only have people who are able to pay $35 to cast a vote? I suspect many Dr. Paul supporters, the most principled and independent people around, would have a hard time participating in such a sham. They may wait till they can vote for free, in the real primary, rather than a fundraiser for the GOP.
Posted by: lizviering | August 11, 2007 08:19 AM

Or the real caucus even…?

Posted by: Boutan | August 11, 2007 08:59 AM

I live right by Ames and would love to go and support Ron Paul but unfortunately i have to work 2nd shift. You see being recently single plus the cost of living and taxes i have to work over time just to eat. Like lizviering said up above Maybe most of his supporters are the working class Americans who don’t have time or the money to enjoy daily life.

Posted by: alldayworkn | August 11, 2007 09:21 AM

Look it is clear. 30% of Republicans do not like what we are doing in Iraq (and Ron Paul is VERY clear in his position on Iraq). 10% of the population is libertarian. And everyone can vote in Iowa, even the Democrats (for free if they take up ALL the candidates offers!!) to mess with the Republicans selections or even if they do not like any of the candidates better except Ron Paul.

The question is have ALL of these folks been paying attention. Have they heard of Ron Paul? Do they have any clue of how good he is? After all at first glance he IS a politician AND it is 15 months before the real election AND we have been disappointed for 27 years since we last had a statesman running, who was charismatic.

This is a real test for Ron Paul:
Can he get HIS base to the polls in a state that loves the federal government and where a profit is made by the state in return on taxes paid to Washington and dollars back from the feds. If he can NOT get 3-4000 votes or 10%, then in my opinion we are in trouble as a country!

There have to be that many people, only 10% in Iowa, who have not given up on America. Hopefully? Please.

Go Ron Paul!!

Posted by: RamseySt | August 11, 2007 09:43 AM

Ron Paul seems to be a combination of Howard Dean in 2004 and John McCain in 2000. He is appealing to a great # of independent and idealistic voters. However, the primary process is controlled by other forces. Translation, his support is a mirage. His signs are everywhere in my state and his support is loud, but his likely chances of scoring any real victories is long. Like Dean (2004) and McCain (2000), his supporters are unlikely to have any real impact over a closed primary process that tends to strictly favor the the establishment’s candidates of choice.

Posted by: m_guszak | August 11, 2007 10:42 AM

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SEE ALSO:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1879736/posts

Paul’s Online Support Put to Offline Test
Washington Post ^ | Aug 11, 2007 | Jose Antonio Vargas
Posted on 08/11/2007 11:10:49 AM EDT by indcons
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1879736/posts

Today’s Iowa straw poll isn’t merely a test for Mitt Romney, who leads in Iowa in the latest Washington Post/ABC news poll and has easily outspent the rest of the GOP field.

It’s also a test for the Paulites — the undeniably loyal and undeniably Internet-savvy followers of Rep. Ron Paul.

His YouTube videos are the most viewed of any presidential candidate — yes, more than Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. He has more MySpace friends than Romney, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former senator Fred Thompson combined. His online followers, many of them live-and-let-live libertarians, were essential to his second quarter fundraising haul of $2.37 million, which easily surpassed former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback.

And the big question on many a online political operative mind is: Can Paul translate all that online enthusiasm into offline results?

Five months before the Iowa caucuses, the straw poll is a non-binding test of a candidate’s organizational mettle. Voters are scheduled to pack Iowa State University’s Hilton Coliseum, in summer heat, to show their support. Paul’s Iowa operation lags behind Romney’s, no doubt. Paul just opened his headquarters in Iowa on Thursday, and his aides said the 400 or so members of his Iowa Meetup groups have been working the phones, passing out campaign literature and stuffing mailers in recent days. “We don’t have any lofty expectations,” Jesse Benton, Paul’s spokesman, said. “We just want to prove that we can run with the pack.”

(Excerpt) Read more at blog.washingtonpost.com

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1879736/posts
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THE DEATH OF FREEDOM Part 2…by Joe American

August 11, 2007 1 comment

 

 

THE DEATH OF FREEDOM

Part 2

 

 

Joe American
August 8, 2007
NewsWithViews.com


http://www.newswithviews.com/American/joe1.htm

 

“Those who read, study and learn from history Form the foundation Of tomorrow’s victories

Because they understand Where they’ve been And know where they are going.” — Joe American

Preamble: Did you read the “Declaration of Independence” or the U.S. Constitution since we last chatted? Probably not. But if you did, thank you.

Rome’s Emperor’s understood the importance of bread and circus’. The empire knew that if they kept their population in a perpetual state of war, provided cheap bread and offered the spectacle of the Roman Circus in the Coliseum, they could rule with an iron hand and no one would complain. It worked for nearly five-hundred years. Yet Romans thought themselves “free.”

Today, the grain provides cheap beer instead of bread and the “circus” has become television. Just like Imperial Rome, Imperial America has been in a state of perpetual war since 1861. The Civil War, the “Indian wars”, Spanish-American War, World War One, World War Two, the Cold War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Gulf War One, Gulf War Two, and the War on Terror. Then there were uncounted mini-war interventions around the world. For good measure, we also had the War on Poverty and the Drug War. Always it seems, there is room for more war, because war is good for distracting people. It adds to the “circus” atmosphere.

Roman Bread and Circus’s and perpetual war.

American Beer and Television, and perpetual war.

My-oh-my, how little really changes in this world.

Let’s look at another example of repeating history.

The National Socialist German Workers Party, better known to history as the Nazi Party, came to power on January 30, 1933 when Adolph Hitler was sworn into office as Chancellor of the German Weimar Republic. Twenty-eight days later, the Reichstag (The names of Germany’s congressional building and Congress), was destroyed by a deliberately set and very fast moving fire.

The day after the fire, the German press was printing headlines that sound ominously similar to today’s headlines: “This act of incendiarism is the most monstrous act of terrorism carried out by Communists in Germany” and “The government is of the opinion that the situation is such that a danger to the state and nation exists.”

Thirty days after that, the Reichstag passed the “Enabling Act” which gave Hitler the authority to rule by decree. He was now a dictator.

How fortuitous for Herr Hitler that a simple minded, homeless Dutch drifter named Marinus van der Lubbe was found near the Reichstag soon after the fire was put out. Van der Lubbe had past ties to the Communist Party and eventually confessed to setting the fire, but historians disagree as to whether his confession was freely offered or delivered under torture. But what is known is that near military grade incendiary fuel was used throughout the Reichstag to burn the building quickly to the ground.

Where would a homeless, foreign drifter get that type of incendiary fuel? How did he get inside this important Government building late at night? Why did he wait for the police to arrest him before the fire was even put out? Was it just fantastic police work?

And if van der Lubbe’s confession was the result of torture, who really started the fire?

The Reichstag fire was the excuse Hitler and the Nazi Party used to declare a State of Emergency in Germany that lasted until Russian troops entered Berlin in 1945. Hitler called upon the patriotism of all Germans to support what needed to happen to save the “Reich.” What was needed, according to Chancellor Hitler, was for Germans to relinquish their constitutional freedoms, to allow the harsh measures necessary for the State to be able to act in a unilateral manner, to find those people responsible for Germany’s troubles and bring them to (German) justice. Sound familiar to anyone?

Let’s look at recent American history and see how things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse here at home during the past 15 years. In particular, since 1993 Americans have watched a steady stream of events that bode an ill wind. We have seen the destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City. We have also watched Federal authorities burn down a Texas church, cremating the 76 men, women and children inside it, and witnessed the assassination of a young Ruby Ridge, Idaho mother, shot in the head by a Federal sniper, while she stood in the doorway of her home, holding her infant child and posing no threat to anyone. That sniper received a commendation for bravery. The trend is not good and getting worse.

Let’s take a look at Tim McVeigh, convicted and executed for the Oklahoma City bombing. McVeigh was “caught” by lone Oklahoma State Trooper Charles J. Hanger after he was stopped because his vehicle didn’t have a license plate. McVeigh had a fully loaded semi-automatic pistol in a shoulder-holster when he was taken into custody without resistance by this lone Trooper, on an isolated rural road.

Starting to sound familiar? Again, what fantastic police work! Once more, yeah, right.

Let Me ask you these questions:

-If you were smart enough to build a bomb and could destroy a steel reinforced modern American concrete building, would you drive away in a vehicle without a license plate?

-If you were cold hearted enough to have just detonated a bomb, destroying a Federal Building, killing 168 people, would you allow yourself to be taken into custody on an isolated road by a single police officer, when you could just have easily shot him and driven away?

Either McVeigh had nothing to do with the bombing or he was part of a larger plot and thought he was going to be held until his control agent got him released. Since he was executed, if he was an agent, his trust was misplaced. If he was not involved, his trust in the American legal system was misplaced.

McVeigh was considered John Doe number one in this case, Terry Nichols was John Doe number two. But what ever happened to the three other men seen, in now missing video surveillance tapes from neighboring buildings, walking away from the Ryder truck that housed the bomb? Didn’t hear about them? Wonder why.

Some suggest that the government was involved in a conspiracy, even planned the attack in order to justify persecuting right-wing organizations in a manner similar to Nazi prosecutions of left-wing political parties after the Reichstag fire. Terry Nichols maintains to this day that McVeigh was being directed by high ranking FBI agents.

In 1995, demolition’s and explosives expert Brigadier General Benton K. Partin (Ret.) issued an exhaustive analysis of the destruction to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. From the General’s report:

 

“The media and the Executive branch reported that the sole source of the devastation was a single truck bomb consisting of 4,800 pounds of ammonium nitrate, transported to the location in a Ryder Truck and parked in front of the building. It is impossible that the destruction to the building could have resulted from such a bomb alone.

 

“To cause the damage pattern that occurred to the Murrah building, there would have to have been demolition charges at several support column bases, at locations not accessible from the street, to supplement the truck bomb damage. Indeed, a careful examination of photographs showing the collapsed column bases reveals a failure mode produced by demolition charges and not by a blast from the truck bomb.”

 

And then there is the curious absence of FBI agents in the building, along with all their children being absent from the day care that was destroyed in the explosion. All the agents and all their kids did not show up for work or school on this particular day? Makes me curious why. What about you? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

The 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, every bit the symbol of American economic power and freedom, much the same as the Reichstag was a symbol of German political freedom, succeeded with dramatic results, killing 3,000 people.

The destruction of the World Trade Center also occurred soon after George W. Bush was sworn into office as President, and also provided a pretext for changing the nature of our government in much the same manner as Chancellor Hitler changed Germany.

Even if you believe it was a group of determined foreign nationals who succeeded in flying those planes into the twin towers, how is it that a modern superpower like the United States was caught so completely off guard?

What about all of the reports from various foreign or alternative intelligence services and news sources that claimed the FBI, CIA, NSA, among others, indeed had advanced knowledge of not just of a plot, but specifically of this plot to attack these buildings? Why was nothing done? Why has no one been held accountable for, at the very least, bad judgment in burying these reports?

Instead we got the USA Patriot Act, or as I like to call it, the “Death of Freedom Act.” Anyone remember the circumstances and speed with which this law make it through Congress?

Forty-six days after the September 11, 2001 attacks, with virtually no discussion by Congress, this Act was passed into law. Anyone who has ever had any experience with how things work in Washington, D.C. knows that this “Act” could not possibly have been written in response to the attacks in New York.

That means it was already written and waiting, before the attacks occurred. Think about what that means. Don’t believe it? Okay, so don’t believe me. Go check out the facts for yourself. Go online and search the words “patriot act” and see what comes up.

And lest we forget, the USA Patriot Act’s follow-up, “The Real ID Act,” is set to go into effect on January 1, 2008. Cap both of these off with Public Law 109-394 “The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007″ and you have everything in place for a Presidential declaration of Martial Law. In simple language, dictatorship, right here in America.

It took 30 days after the Reichstag fire for Hitler to be given dictatorial power by German Legislators. It took just forty-six days for Congress to give it to George W. Bush.

The USA Patriot Act identifies/creates the justification, the Real ID Act provides the tracking tool and the John Warner Defense Authorization Act provides both the authority and the funding for this act of total aggression against the American people.

What I am telling you is real. It is happening right now and if you ignore it, you do so at your own peril.

This is not a time to mince words. This Republic does not have much time left. Those of us who see what is happening must reach out to our fellow citizens and do whatever we can to raise their awareness of this pending disaster. But we face a tremendous problem. That problem dear reader is you. But as I said in Part One of this article, you still have a chance to make a difference, but it won’t be easy.

The good news is, since you have read this far, it must be for some reason. You are now either very angry at me, or you have become very afraid of your government. Of course you could also be scoffing at everything you have just read, which would indicate to me that you are very tired and probably need to lay down.

If you are mad at me, good. At least you can still get mad. Now you can make a true choice for yourself. Like I said earlier, prove me wrong. Use the internet. I used wikipedia.com for my source information. Look up these issues yourself and prove to everyone that I’m just a nut.

You will have to use our mind to do so, and that too is good. Just maybe you will learn something about the world you live in. And then maybe you can become a person who will make a difference.

On the other hand, if your are afraid of your government, good. You should be. I am. But don’t you see, that is not the way any American should feel? If you are so afraid of your government that everything I have told you is not enough to convince you to become involved with other people whom you trust to talk about these issues, then nothing ever will.

But if you are so moved, don’t wait too long. This country has only until the next “terrorist” incident until the velvet glove comes off the iron fist Congress gave to the President and the Executive Branch of Government when it passed the three anti-American Acts I’ve listed above.

The only reason these extra-constitutional authorities are needed, according to President Bush, is for Americans to temporarily relinquish their constitutional freedoms, to allow the harsh measures necessary for the Federal Government to be able to act in a unilateral manner, to find those people responsible for Germany’s (oops, I meant America’s) troubles to bring them to (German) justice.

It sounds very familiar to me, but then I read history books.

Oh yes, if you are still sound asleep, good night.

Noblesse oblige; Veritas vos liberabit

© 2007 J.O.E. American Foundation – All Rights Reserved

 

 

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These series of articles by J.O.E. American are written by a current elected official in a fairly high position. Person’s name and state in which this person is currently serving is withheld for fear of retribution. Joe American was honorably discharged from the US armed forces, and served as a law enforcement officer. Anyone wishing to send Joe American a letter may send it to the following address, and if possible, we will try to forward those letters.NewsWithViews.com
c/o JOE American
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The Death of Freedom, Part 1
http://www.newswithviews.com/American/joe.htm

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News-N-Views, Military, History, Politics,
Controversial, Unusual, Non-PC
Eye-opening, Thought-provoking,
Articles Just Not Seen On Other Sites!
**********
THE “G” WEBLOG @N54
By R.W. “Dick” Gaines
http://www.network54.com/Forum/578302/
(Formerly Gunny G’s…Weblog)
Previous/Numerous GyG Posts Below!!!!!
http://www.network54.com/Forum/135069
Go To: Gunny G’s Sites/Forums/Blogs!
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