Rock of Talk

If ‘stimulus’ makes a comeback, will Toney Anaya, too?

By Dowd Muska

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KIVA) — As the U.S. economy continues to suffer from the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is insisting on a multi-trillion-dollar “stimulus” package containing, among other things, a bailout for the airline industry, enhanced unemployment benefits, and a “guarantee that we’re going to be helping our state and local employees.”

It’s legislation that is likely to come to fruition, if Joe Biden takes the White House. And if that’s the case, Toney Anaya might again be tapped to oversee the disbursement of federal funds in New Mexico. And he’ll have a former “co-worker” — the speaker’s son, Paul Pelosi, Jr. — to call if he needs a favor in Washington.

During the early days of the Obama administration, Anaya, elected governor in 1982 but legally barred from running for reelection in 1986, was tasked by Governor Bill Richardson to oversee the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” in the Land of Enchantment. As the Santa Fe New Mexican found, via an Inspection of Public Records Act request, during what was said to be a state “hiring freeze,” the Democrat earned $85 an hour (an annualized rate of more than $175,000) to run “the New Mexico Office of Recovery and Reinvestment.”

But at the same time that Anaya was managing the billions of federal dollars that flowed into the state, the ex-governor seized an opportunity to make some private-sector bucks. Unfortunately, his business “partners” were financial fraudsters.

As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) determined, neither Anaya nor Pelosi “had any prior experience as officers of public companies.” But in 2009, both were approached by James Cohen and Joseph Corazzi, and offered key management positons in Natural Blue, a business “focusing on green energy projects” that was about to go public. Anaya secured 18.3 percent of the company’s shares, and Pelosi received 16.5 percent.

Over the next few years, Cohen and Corazzi paid themselves lucrative “consulting” fees, while Anaya, ostensibly the enterprise’s CEO, “deferred” to the two “a lot on most stuff.” As for Pelosi, the SEC found that within “a month of Natural Blue’s going public,” he “had another full-time job and was therefore unable to carry out his duties as President.”

Natural Blue “had no revenues, since the company never generated any income through water purification, its acquisitions of ‘green’ technology and equipment, or any other line of business.” For misrepresenting the fact that they were the company’s actual decisionmakers, Cohen and Corazzi each paid SEC fines of $75,000, and both were barred “from acting as an officer or director” of publicly traded corporations. Anaya got off far lighter — no fines, but a ban on “participating in any offering of a penny stock.” No actions were taken against Pelosi, who went on to associate himself with other failed “green” schemes, such as Viscoil, which “dissolved and re-formed in Singapore under a different name,” and Fogfuels, an “innovative biodiesel producer dedicated to protecting the planet and creating clean, sustainable and renewable energy” that does not have a website and has not tweeted since January 2014.

Anaya’s kept a low profile since his SEC wrist-slap, but the prospect of another gusher of revenue from D.C., combined with a deeply partisan Democratic governor in Santa Fe who needs a loyal soldier to manage the lucre, could tempt him to reenter “public service.” If so, will he be a better steward of American taxpayers than he was a protector of Natural Blue shareholders?

Reality doesn’t care about your narrative

State Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), one of the most radical leftists in Santa Fe, isn’t happy about the prospect of conservative Michael Hendricks joining him in the Roundhouse.

So in an “open letter,” Ely grilled up a nothingburger, accusing Hendricks of writing a “crazy rant about the Democrats being like Nazis.”

It never happened, of course.

What Hendricks actually did was note his opponent’s huge fundraising advantage, and thus her ability to “mail a persuasion piece to every likely voter in the district TEN times.” He then paraphrased “what Hitler famously said: If you tell a lie loud enough and long enough, people will believe it. I figured a quote from Hitler was fitting since this is exactly the technique used today by the Far Left Radical groups.”

Tough talk, but that’s to be expected in a tough campaign. Coming in to the KIVA to tell his side of the story, Hendricks defended his words by citing the deep-pocketed liberal entities that are showering a “deluge of cash” on his opponent in the fight for House District 20. That’s not the narrative Ely, eager to play “anti-Semitic” card, wants to project. But it’s the truth.

The mainstream media frequently struggle with the truth, too. Such was the case in the Albuquerque Journal’s coverage of a 2019 suicide at the Duke City police department’s Foothill Substation. The man who killed himself “had behavioral health issues and was in jail or prison for about 75% of his adult life,” but readers didn’t learn that until the 26th paragraph of the article. Santa Fe’s newspaper committed a similar flub, in a story about the filing of “nearly three dozen criminal complaints in Magistrate Court one day last week, many with months-old charges,” which drew “criticism from prosecutors, public defenders and a Santa Fe County judge who said the delays raise public safety concerns and could cause problems with prosecution.” Readers who stuck around for the penultimate paragraph discovered that “there were only four employees in the department’s records unit — down from five — and those employees were only allowed to work four hours per week from May 6 through June 30, due to furloughs.”

Americans were told that if they complied with the heavy-handed — and as one federal judge put it, “presumptively unconstitutional” — dictates said to “protect” us from COVID-19, all would be well. That’s another narrative proving to be factually flawed. USA TODAY reports that “Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming” are each setting records for coronavirus spikes, and in all, “39 states reported more … cases in the last week than they had in the week before.” DallasBostonPennsylvania and New JerseyBrusselsGermanyScotland — the data indicate that masks and hand sanitizer and “social distancing” cannot halt the spread of a disease that is highly contagious. “The Rona” is unstoppable, and it’s long past time for a national conversation that exposes “the lockdown agenda as cruel pseudoscience that has had a devastating economic, medical, social, and cultural impact on everyone but especially the poor and struggling.”

“Reality,” novelist Philip K. Dick wrote, “is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

Truth, no matter how long-buried, has a way of surfacing

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

— William Faulkner

The wisdom of one of America’s greatest writers can’t be lost on Roger Montoya.

The far-left Democrat, running for a seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives, claims that his “life’s work has centered on the health and wellness of generations of young people and those in need.” A dozen years ago, he “co-founded Moving Arts Española, an after-school program for children of all ages.” CNN, he brags, “recognized my work … as a 2019 Hero in the Visionary category.”

But a little investigative digging, the Piñon Post reports, has uncovered that the “hero” and “visionary” has left something off his résumé: his time in porn.

Montoya, using the names “Joe Savage” and “Eric Martinez,” appears to have “acted” in “multiple gay films titled ‘Hot Male Mechanics,’ ‘Spring Training,’ ‘The Lumber Yard,’ ‘Falcon Bareback,’ and ‘Hot Chili Peppers 2.’”

While the Post “reached out to Mr. Montoya for comment via telephone and email correspondence on multiple occasions,” it “did not hear back and could not leave a message due to his voicemail inbox being full.” One wonders what his powerful endorsers — including Michelle Lujan GrishamMartin Heinrich, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal EmployeesConservation Voters New Mexico, and Planned Parenthood — think about Montoya’s past.

Okay, okay. It’s prime election time, and embarrassing revelations are bound to emerge in what is already a very nasty year for politics. But far more sinister turpitude plague New Mexico.

Ask Phillip Munson.

His group, Stop Elite Child Trafficking, is pressing for the truth about the depravity that doubtless occurred on Zorro Ranch. Yes, Jeffrey Epstein is dead. But neither state nor federal officials in the Land of Enchantment appear interested in exactly what went on at the property, located in unincorporated Santa Fe County. So Munson and his allies have organized a “mystery march,” to raise awareness about what Eddy Aragon calls “the worst-kept secret in the state of New Mexico.”

Secrets. New Mexico’s political class thrives on them. But more and more, citizen activistsand gutsy media outlets aren’t willing to ignore the corruption at the core of power in the Land of Enchantment.

Wrecking New Mexico’s economy means never having to say you’re sorry

New Mexicans were subjected to another COVID-19 “update” from their governor Thursday, and predictably, Michelle Lujan Grisham provided no relief from her lockdown lunacy.

Expanded welfare? Lujan Grisham had that covered.

Just go to www.nmeced.org, the governor beamed, an click the “Am I Eligible?” button. After all, “We really are all in this together.” So why shouldn’t taxpayers be made to provide daycare for parents with incomes as much as 200 percent above the poverty line?

That’s a bitter question for the businesses going under — or thinking of shuttering operations — in a state where COVID-19’s lethality, outside of tribal areas, has had a very light touch.

In Las Cruces, “Zeebs eatery, located out front of Mayfield High School,” may soon join what the New Mexico Restaurant Associationestimates is “at least 200 restaurants and diners [that] have been forced to close down.”

In Albuquerque, the owners of Silva Lanes is “hanging on by their finger nails,” since the bowling alley was ordered closed for six months, and is now allowed to reopen “for league play only.”

Santa Fe’s Todos Santos Chocolates and Confections, after suffering from sales that declined “80 percent three months in a row,”will go out of business in a few weeks. “Almost on any given day I love almost anything here,” cooed regular customer Ali McGraw. (Hmm. Wonder who her pick for governor was in 2018….)

But MLG doesn’t care about any of that messy economic-ruin stuff. She’s focused on getting Joe Biden into the White House. Tagging along for her “update” was Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the privacy-gutting partisanwho’s in charge of ensuring fair and secure elections in the Land of Enchantment. (Seriously.) She insisted that the 2020 general election would be conducted pretty much as usual — and that its’s “perfectly normal” for results to be unavailable on Election Night.

Poppycock.

What the secretary of state didn’t mention is that since hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans have “requested” absentee ballots— a development she’s delighted with, of course — election officials will be dealing with a potentially unmanageable motherlode of mailed-in votes. Think that’s a good thing for ensuring an accurate count?

As writer Daniel McCarthy explained, “Democrats want to maximize the amount of voting by mail throughout the country. This promises to be the trigger of an even worse voting-process breakdown than the one that occurred in 2000: it increases the risk of lost ballots, dubiously ‘found’ ballots and spoiled or improperly completed ballots whose validity will be subject to interpretation — like the infamous ‘hanging chads.’

Whether it’s standing pat with the incumbent president or expressing extreme displeasure with a lockdown that was never needed, MLG and her fellow Democratic pols don’t want allvotes counted — they want the “right” votes to be counted.

Here’s a vote, of sorts, that you can be completely confident will be recorded: Visit www.impeachmlg.com, print your “ballot,” and mail it to KIVA.

The swamp creatures make their last stand

They’ve become completely unhinged.

From “a renowned writer, commentator, professor, Emmy-nominated producer, and scholar of religions” to the boss of the Writers Guild of America, East, leftists cannot process what is happening to them.

Here is Reza Aslan: “If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f****** thing down.”

Here is Beau Willimon: “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.”

As for Democratic Party elected officials, they are looking to wage “total war — profound changes to two branches of government, and even adding stars to the flag — if Republicans jam through a Supreme Court nominee then lose control of the Senate.” (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “threatened that Democrats should consider packing the Supreme Court if Republicans move to fill the seat vacated by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”)

America stands at key decision point, and the Swamp understands that. Another conservative on the court, combined with another four years of Donald Trump in charge of the executive branch, will deal it blows from which it might never recover.

Nothing demonstrates the weakness of the D.C. establishment’s footing better than the flaky ideas it is peddling. The disconnect from reality runs so deep, even former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had to step back — calling the prospect of another impeachment process an example of “what is corrosive to our political system.”

Regardless of whom Trump nominates for the bench, and whether she is confirmed or not, the left’s best prospect for clinging to power is winning the presidential election. But that goal is looking tougher and tougher to achieve. Michael Moore, who predicted a MAGA victory in 2016, is again sounding an alarm. In key battleground states, the “filmmaker” warned, “Biden’s lead is less than what Hillary’s was” at the same time four years ago. (“You can’t blame this one on the PO or Russia. This is on the candidate & party. WAKE UP!”) As for the possibility that the Grand Canyon State — and its 11 Electoral College votes — could go blue in 2020, Rachel Alexander isn’t buying it: “The Latino population continues to increase, but Latino support for President Trump is also increasing. Latinos make up 30 percent of the population in Arizona. A recent ASU poll found they prefer Biden over Trump by only 8 points — which is saying a lot considering ASU polls lean to the left. Even the left-wing Equis Research, a Democratic Latino research firm, admitted that 42 percent of young Latino men support Trump.”

There is no longer any question that “progressives” are willing to destroy our country if they don’t get what they want. But in swing states and beyond, the more the left insults and harasses and personalizes its poisoned politics, the more it drives voters away.

The Swamp’s creatures are terrified. They should be.

We’re kind of being rooked here

KIVA has some awfully smart listeners.

“Rook” isn’t in common usage today, but the verb — “to defraud by cheating or swindling” — was aptly used by a caller to the station, describing how Michelle Lujan Grisham has “managed” 2020’s “crisis” in “public health.”

The governor has again modified her lengthy list of coronavirus commandments, this time allowing plebeians “visits to pumpkin patches,” overnighters in state parks (no more than 10 in a group), and swims in pools (no more than 10 at a time). For the most part, the months-long lockdown will remain in place.

And that’s the way MLG likes it.

Evidently, no amount of data will convince our tiny tyrant that wrecking New Mexico’s economy has done nothing to stop the inevitable spread of a virus that has killed precisely 0.03986972709744 percent of the state’s population.

Compare the Land of Enchantment to two similar states, and MLG’s thuggery becomes even more egregious.

Utah, Nebraska, and New Mexico each have large land areas and not a lot of residents — making for quite low population densities. But the governors of the Beehive State and the Cornhusker State understand statistics and are neither power-crazed nor eager to drive the incumbent president from office. They pursued a very light touch with their COVID-19 controls.

In the fact-free world of MLG, the disgraceful David Scrase, and their ilk, Utah and Nebraska are stacking bodies mighty high. Reality check: They’re not. Per 100,00 residents, the former has experienced 13.8 COVID-19 fatalities. The latter, 22.6.

New Mexico: A whopping 39.6.

Even accounting for the concentration of deaths on tribal lands in the northwest portion of the state, New Mexico’s performance has been unimpressive. That’s right — MLG destroyed the state’s economy, for essentially … nothing.

Utah (4.5 percent) and Nebraska (4.8 percent) have the best unemployment rates in the nation. Meanwhile, New Mexico’s jobless rate stands at a jaw-dropping 12.7 percent. (That’s bottom-feeding with the likes of Illinois, New Jersey, and California). And with oil-and-gas extraction down and the hospitality industry here in a governor-induced coma, the prospects for a quick turnaround don’t look good.

The fears so many of us had in March have been confirmed. MLG never knew what she was doing. Imagining herself a healthcare “leader” and “visionary,” she took an admittedly challenging situation, and made it worse. Measurably, irrefutably worse.

The remedy for her incompetence and selfishness?

www.impeachmlg.com

‘Waldenponding’ for liberty

Tell someone who just woke up from a 30-year coma that billions of digital messages and posts to “social media” (?) are exchanged, created, and commented on every day in America, and he/she will think the condition of public discourse in the Land of the Fee is stronger than ever.

If only.

The evidence is overwhelming: Electronic gatekeepers are suppressing, not enhancing, free speech.

As the president put it earlier this year, “There’s no precedent in American history for so small a number of corporations to control so large a sphere of human interaction.” Yesterday, tech titans testified before Congress, and had to face tough questions about their blinding bias. From suspending the Twitter account of Donald Trump, Jr. “for posting a viral video of medical doctors talking about Hydroxychloroquine” to labeling videos by pro-life activist Lila Rose “false,” social-media platforms pick winners and losers in the battle for ears and eyeballs.  

Differ with the ideology/narrative of Silicon Valley oligarchs, and your content faces deletions, suspensions, shadow bans, and instant “fact checks.”

A major way to fight this deception? Unplug.

Venkatesh Rao disparagingly calls it “Waldenponding” — “retreating from technology akin to how Thoreau extolled the virtues of retreating from social contact and leading a quieter life at Walden Pond.” But it’s a sound strategy to escape what is becoming, more and more, a monstrously one-sided digital Ministry of Truth. Pray. Meditate. Walk. Talk to your neighbors. Volunteer for a good cause.

When you do engage online, limit your exposure to the left’s favored platforms. Cast a wider net. For example, here is the video of the presentation by America’s Frontline Doctors that tech overloads don’t want you to see. (Whether you agree or disagree with the medical professionals’ claims, the decision is up to you — not Silicon Valley’s censors.)

Locally, KIVA and the “Rock of Talk” (broadcasting, streaming online, archived audio/video, or links provided here) bring you data, ideas, and perspectives you simply cannot obtain from newspapers, television “reporters,” and radio stations that spend more time on “Tiger King” than the deliberate destruction of New Mexico’s economy.

The game is rigged. This we know. But there’s no reason for despair. Alternatives are available — and they’re the tools that will be used to save us from socialism.

COVID-19 and crime reveal character — of parties and pols.

Your next shipment of coronabucks is on the way.

Well, nothing’s official yet, but it’s looking more and more like Republicans and Democrats will cut a deal on yet another “stimulus” for an economy that’s been crippled by policies justified as necessary to “protect public health.”

It’s worth noting that while the party of “fiscal responsibility” does not want to spend as much as the “opposition,” it’s still plenty eager to spread goodies from coast to coast. Republicans appear to be comfortable adding as much as $1 trillion to the national debt — currently at $26.5 trillion — with a cornucopia that includes fresh subsidies for agribusiness and “defense” contractors.

One prize that’s not likely to be in the final agreement is a continuation of the $600 extra in each weekly unemployment check. Not only has the “freebie” been rife with fraud, it is a major disincentive for returning to work.

And New Mexico’s politicians love it.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham considers any reduction in the payment “an unconscionable step backward in our fight to provide help to affected workers & to help sustain our economy.” Wannabe senator Ben Ray Lujan, currently “serving” in the U.S. House of Representatives, calls the $600 boost “a lifeline for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” allowing “families to keep a roof over their heads, feed their children, and pay their bills.”

Federal money is always welcome in New Mexico. Federal attention to the state’s glaring inability to protect its residents from violent crime? Not so much. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller has joined the “leaders” of Portland, Seattle Kansas City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. in denouncing “egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities.”

As city after city descends into mayhem and destruction, perhaps Burqueños will soon have a different perspective.

Attack Trump nationally, attack New Mexicans locally

Blame Donald Trump.

Then blame him again.

And when all else fails, blame him a third time.

That’s the strategy pursued, relentlessly, by New Mexico’s governor. Whether prompted by a questioner or concocted all on her own, Michelle Lujan Grisham finds a way to blame the White House for just about everything.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” — oh, how David Brinkley is missed — the governor whined about the lack of a “national strategy” for COVID-19, accusing the president of “the worst abdication of a national response and responsibility to protect Americans I have ever seen in my government career.”

Question for Lujan Grisham and her ilk: If Donald Trump is a stupid, stumbling buffoon with no management skills, why do you want him in command of a “national response” … to anything?

Anyway, the Land of Enchantment’s tiny tyrant surely basked in her latest bigtime media spotlight — the same way she preened over her fawning coverage in Rolling StoneThe Washington Post, and The New York Times. Meanwhile, two of her minions weren’t assailing the 45th president. They were offering “grief” counselling to New Mexicans.

Well, that’s how they portrayed it. New Mexico Human Services Secretary David Scrase and Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley reviewed “COVID-19 related OpEds [sic] and letters to editors over the past four months,” and concluded that “denial and anger” are running rampant in the state, necessitating “a quick fact check.”

The largest whopper offered by Scrase and McCamley? That the novel coronavirus case fatality rate (CFR) is 1.3 percent.

Their deeply dishonest claim ignores the fact that, as Reason’s Jacob Sullum explained a few days ago, the CFR is not a “single, constant number,” but is impacted “by conditions, such as the patient mix and the quality and capacity of the local health care system, that vary from one place to another and that may change over time.” An exact figure at this moment is unknowable, because “the true number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. could be anywhere from six to 24 times higher than the confirmed number of cases.” Given that infections are much, much more widespread than testing currently indicates, Scrase and McCamley’s 1.3 percent is laughably high.

In their lame attempt at pop psychology, the cabinet officials also failed to inform readers that when it comes to COVID-19 fatalities, New Mexico is two very different states. KIVA has been tracking county-by-county data for months. Our analysis finds that “San McKinley” — a thought-experiment “state” comprised of San Juan County and McKinley County — accounts for nearly two-thirds of all deaths in the Land of Enchantment. It has a rate of 199 victims per 100,000 population. Amazingly, that figure is worse than New York. Worse than New Jersey. And worse than Connecticut.

The 31 counties outside San McKinley — making up over 90 percent of the state’s population, with 1.9 million people — have suffered, collectively, 11.5 deaths per 100,000 residents. In the contiguous U.S., that translates into the tenth-safest “state.” Peer states include Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Taking one final step in our analysis, the region outside San McKinley as well as Bernalillo County and Sandoval County, has a ridiculously low rate of 7.1 fatalities per 100,000 residents. That zone, comprising 51.3 percent of the citizenry, would be the fifth-safest “state” in the nation. Peer states include Oregon, Idaho, and Utah.

In no way does “science” justify the draconian, one-size-fits-all lockdown that Lujan Grisham and her underlings have imposed (and re-imposed) on an undeserving populace. And that is why their propaganda focuses, laser-like, on the alleged failings of the Trump administration and “grief” over “our new lives in a COVID positive world.”

How tyranny dies — even in New Mexico

“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

The motto embraced by Thomas Jefferson — it was suggested to be included on the Great Seal of the United States — is inspiring.

But when put in action, it’s transformative.

On KIVA yesterday, financial adviser (and West Point alumnus) Greg Zanetti provided a historical overview of how mankind has fallen victim to tyrants, how totalitarian societies are held in control, and how dictators are eventually driven from power.

More and more, it’s a subject New Mexicans can relate to.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has presided over a ridiculously heavy-handed series of regulations that she claims will protect the public from COVID-19. Brave individuals have defied her junk-science commands from the start. But collective action, including resistance from government officials, is growing at an impressive clip:

• In a true grassroots effort, many, many thousands of New Mexicans have printed, signed, and mailed petitions to impeach their state’s chief executive.

• Hundreds gathered at Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza to protest a lockdown that is “crippling our economy and [is] going to end up being worse than the virus could possibly be.”

• The New Mexico Restaurant Association is suing Lujan Grisham, seeking to stop the re-imposition of her ban on dine-in service. (An initial decision by Judge Raymond L. Romero sided with the organization, but the state’s liberal-dominated Supreme Court reversed his ruling. The fight goes on.)

• The Lea County Sheriff’s Office is publicly flouting the governor’s mask rule. In multiple posts on the department’s Facebook account, deputies were shown at restaurants, sans you-know-whats. (“Do not be alarmed when you see LCSO Deputies enter local restaurants. We’re not there to enforce the Governor’s mandate. We’re there to grab a bite and support our local businesses!”)

• A majority of the City of Roswell’s councilors has approved “a directive to the city manager to not enforce the … emergency health order.” As one of the elected officials put it, “Instead of going to the people and asking them how we want to deal with the situation, she has imposed her values on us. The cost of the governor’s orders on the people of Roswell has been high.”

• A letter signed by nearly 20 New Mexico mayors — from Farmington to Jal, Red River Elephant Butte, Clovis to Bloomfield — fired back at Lujan Grisham, for “threatening to remove local elected officials from office” if they dare to defy her. (“[P]olice chiefs, mayors, city councilors, city/county managers and county commissioners alike are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our communities, and that includes protecting the rights of our citizens from punishments not supported by laws and authority.”)

“Being under tyrannical control is actually the historical norm,” Zanetti noted. But he also discussed how tyrants lose their power. When noncompliance reaches a critical mass, freedom wins.

There’s still time for Michelle Lujan Grisham to learn from Zanetti’s wisdom. But not much.

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