Friday, June 12, 2015

Free speech advocates make a fresh start by banning free speech

Sou | 1:37 AM Go to the first of 63 comments. Add a comment
There's some sort of denier shindig going on in Washington, I've heard. WUWT is quiet, probably because Anthony Watts is away receiving his "dumbest fake sceptic of the year" award. (He's already been exercising what he thinks is his right to defame.) No-one can say much about this fresh start for fake sceptics, because the organisers have decided to ban some of the media.

What's clear is that The Heartland Institute has made a "fresh start" for "free speech". What that means is that these champions of free speech are going to preserve their right to make up whatever they like and say it to anyone dumb enough to listen, while making sure there is no-one around to disagree with them.

Seriously. You couldn't make it up.

(Kyla Mandel at DeSmog UK has the details. Check the headline, and the link at the bottom of the page.)

Maybe the Heartland Institute is going to adopt Free Speech HotCopper-style:
We fully endorse unfettered free speech (which is the right of every full-blooded proudly conservative white male, especially those over 50), and will do our best to suppress all stray bleeding heart liberals and feminazis who invade our space, so that you can exercise your right to free speech without fear of contradiction.


  1. We got a pic of him flying over on the way to the shindig...

  2. I hope Senator Inhofe didn't bring his snowball with him: the temperature in Washington is over 90F today! -- Dennis

    1. Somewhere I heard that Senator Inhoff took the snowball and used it to make a snowman? I gathered that it didn't last long.

      Off Topic, but I strongly recommend following Willem Middelkoop on Twitter to be prepared for jaw dropping changes to come in this world.
      Such as...this

      The biggest nightmare for America is a strong, prosperous, peaceful Eurasian Continent with China as hegemon. The batshyt crazy neoconservative thugs know it cannot last... that's why now up to 8.5 trillion dollars is unaccounted for by the Pentagon...

  3. Much to my chagrin, the reporter who was banned, in his letter to Jim Lakely objecting the ban, consistently misspelled "principle" as "principal".

    Which, in principle, makes no difference, but misspellings unfortunately tend to weaken his principal message.

  4. Seriously? You're complaining about censorship? On a site which bans more commenters and deletes more comments than you can shake a stick at. A modicum of introspection wouldn't go astray.

    Of coarse, to prove my point this post is now a prime candidate for deletion

    1. My reply (below) got scrambled somehow, but you get the idea.

      What I didn't finish was the point that Watts does not respect his poster's confidentiality. I tried to argue a point on his site once, and he tried to out me -- he only removed my all-but-identifying information when I called him on it, and some of his posters actually said he was being unfair.

    2. Seriously?

      You are trying to compare people who have been banned from this blog for repeated violations of the blog's policy, to prejudicial banning of a reporter from attending a conference?

      In my opinion the conference organisers have a right to ban someone, just as HotWhopper has the right to point out their hypocrisy.

    3. Off coarse, more like! If you can't tell the difference between blocking trolls on one's website and banning accredited journalists from one's supposedly public, um, *science* conference then you belong firmly in the Wingnut Epistemic Bubble with the rest of them...

    4. Coarse? Alan, tell me your other sock puppet and I'll check to see what comments of yours didn't see the light of day here or at the hotwhoppery. They must have been real doozies. Put your money where your mouth is if you are game.

      (I hazard a guess that this is a person who's been banned for gross infringements of the comment policy, going by the tone and content. I don't ban lightly. The two comments from Alan are daring a ban. Maybe third time he'll get lucky (again).)

    5. Alan is wrong on one other matter too. This article is not complaining about censorship so much as pointing out double standards. Irony is lost on some people.

  5. Now, now, there's a set of well-defined rules, and Sou is actually gives pretty wide latitude. Now over at Watts, if you dare to contradict the party line,

    Watts is a LOT more censorious. Plus, he'll out you if he doesn't like you.

    1. Not to mention his kennel of attack-dogs who are always on the prowl to troll any comment that doesn't suit WUWTs agenda.

    2. I'd venture that you don't actually know of most of the items that Sou deletes and the rationale behind it. eg I was, under a different guise, once banned by her for the unforgivable sin of pointing out her factual errors on an issue regarding St Michael (Mann). But the posts were intercepted and deleted before anyone could see her errors.

      Still its touching that you have such faith in her good graces. Naive by touching.

    3. Alan Rossiter:

      "once banned by her for the unforgivable sin of pointing out her factual errors on an issue regarding St Michael (Mann)"

      Oh, do tell. I'm sure we'd love to hear them, and I'm hopeful that Sou will let them through for the entertainment value.

      Don't expect us to be nice and polite, though.

    4. Alan, you would venture wrong and are skirting close to the limit of the comment policy in calling me a liar. And your so-called "facts", if you are the talking about the instance I recall, were also wrong. It may also be you were way off topic or otherwise out of line.

      HotWhopper is for demolishing disinformation not promoting it. However I don't have the time or inclination to demolish every stray bit of information a stray drops on my doorstep. There's more than enough with the bits I select. One person's fact is another person's conspiracy nuttery.

    5. By the way, if Alan's been banned as he is hinting, he's in the un-illustrious company of half a dozen people who have either made serious threats, made comments that were extreme in racism or sexism, repeatedly flouted the comment policy (which is much more liberal than the one at WUWT), lied to me about themselves despite clear evidence, or indulged in defamation repeatedly. I do not ban lightly.

    6. Alan Rossiter.

      Argument from ignorance?

    7. "I'd venture that you don't actually know of most of the items that Sou deletes and the rationale behind it. "

      And, apparently, neither do you.

      Even if you have had personal experience of being deleted you have not reflected on why that might have been justified. Or learnt to post something worthwhile and worth discussing.

    8. See my comment below.

      Usually when I shift a comment to the HotWhoppery, I explain why that it's been shifted. That's for the benefit of the denialati. The reason would be obvious to anyone thinking rationally.

  6. Sou wrote a standard (for her) attack piece with the usual amount of invective explaining why the ubiquitous deniers were crazy and crazed for raising a 15 yrs old graph to defame poor Mr Mann.

    I pointed out that the reason it was being raised was that Mann was simultaneously telling the court that he had nothing to do with the graph while at the same time showing it on his CV as one of his achievements. The court, it is said, took a rather dim view of Mann's rather fraught relationship with the truth on this matter.

    So clearly, having shown Sou to be in error AND showing Mann to be less than saintly, my comment was deleted (didn't even make it to the whoppery) and I was banned for daring to object. Standard fare for Sou.

    But Sou, I'm not calling you a liar. I'm sure you truly believe the gumph herein. Its what makes this blog of such comedic value and why I keep dropping by.

    1. Ah yes. Another denier thinking that deniers are allowed to attack science. He thinks it's fine for ongoing and wrong onslaughts aimed at scientists from science deniers, but pro-science blogs are not allowed to point out the errors, much less ridicule their conspiracy theories and other idiocy.

      Alan's comment wasn't deleted. It was moved to the the HotWhoppery. And rather than tell me any supposed thing about the graph, he did what he has done repeatedly in this thread, moaning about deleting comments.

      His comments here deserve the HotWhoppery too. When I get time I may post them there as well. I'll leave them here so people can see the self-obsessed and wrong behaviour of the typical denier. No substance, all supposition.

      BTW anon/Alan Rossiter can't envisage that a person would be proud of their scientific research being memorialised on the front cover of a WMO report, without them having drawn the picture itself. And mentioning it on their CV. I would do the same except that my work is unlikely to ever be graphically illustrated on the front cover of anything like a WMO report.

      Michael Mann and other scientists continue to do work that is critical to our understanding of climate. Whereas the Alan Rossiters of the world are much more concerned that their comments aren't fit for publication at HotWhopper.

      Here are two articles that talk about that 15 year old cover that still occupies the minds of deniers (while they wait for their ice age to cometh):



    2. Here, in all it's glory, is Alan's comment of which he is so proud, together with my take on it. And of which he wrongly claims has "shown Sou to be in error AND showing Mann to be less than saintly, my comment was deleted (didn't even make it to the whoppery) and I was banned for daring to object. Standard fare for Sou." Alan's comment is in italics!


      Anonymous ventured to HotWhopper and left a non-comment, at 2:10 PM on 25 September 2014, on Hockey sticks drive deniers nuts...

      The graph is topical because it has been raised in the Mann v Steyn court case. As usual Sou rants about things she doesn't comprehend. I won't bother writing more to elucidate since this will be deleted as are all posts showing our host doesn't know what she's raving about.

      Ah yes. Deniers and disinformers are ferreting around at the WMO trying to find irrelevant material, prepared by scientists at CRU fifteen years ago, and approved by the WMO, that they hope will help Mark Steyn wriggle out of his defamation of Professor Mann on what they believe is a technicality. It doesn't and it won't. It's not at all related to the disgusting and false claims Mark Steyn wrote about Michael Mann. These obsessives really do take the cake, don't they. Talk about the devil finding work for idle hands (and dead brains). Oh, look. There's a squirrel. Oops, it's not even a squirrel.


      His wishful thinking of being banned from HotWhopper for 'daring to object' is just that (for the moment). What a wimp.

    3. Incidentally, I've noticed around the traps more and more random strangers as well as people with known handles, claiming to have been "banned" from HotWhopper. I guess it's a sign that HW is maturing in the blogosphere. Since I've only banned half a dozen people or so, they can't all be right.

      If anyone wants me to ban them from here, the hurdle is high (or the pit they have to slither into is deep, depending on one's perspective). However if they try hard, I expect some could make it.

      Otherwise, if they just want their mates to think they've been banned (as some sort of badge of dishonour), they can send me a request together with a portfolio of their defamatory attacks on scientists, and/or examples of their extreme racism and sexism, or similar material, and I'll consider it.

    4. Nit-picking the Michael Mann defamation suit is usually what gets posted on The Blackboard blog. People can go read it there, but be warned it gets boring pretty fast.

    5. No Sou. Wrong again. Or misleading again? It was after you moved my first post to the whoppery (as above) that I then elucidated and pointed out the the controversy wasn't about the the graph but about Mann simultaneously claiming it on his CV and asserting in court that he had nothing to do with it. THAT comment was sent down the memory hole and I was then banned for pointing out your hypocrisy in merrily deleting anything that didn't fit your world view while claiming to only rarely delete. As you're doing now.

    6. Does anyone else think Alan is a troll out to waste people's time?

      Let's talk about the dirty deeds of the Heartland Institute.

    7. Alan, I showed you the comment you pointed to that was deleted. You said nothing about any other comment. However I went to the bother of checking.

      This is the only other comment from Anonymous that could possibly fit the bill. Is Alan Rossiter really wanting to boast about how he tore down HotWhopper with his startling wit and in-depth investigative reporting? Talk about self-absorption and harbouring grudges. Does anyone else remember comments they made all over the blogosphere six months ago, let alone fly-by comments like this that were nothing more than repeating the nonsense at WUWT? (See Hockey sticks drive deniers nuts...)

      Re your comments on my post over at HW purgatory: the issue with the WMO graph isn't whether it's right or wrong. Instead it's about Mann's difficulty with the truth. He told the court he has nothing to do with the graph while listing it as part of his CV. A little reading wouldn't go astray here Sou. It might help you to understand why your demigod is going down.

      Posted by Anonymous to HotWhopper at September 26, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      Sheesh. Talk about a fuss over nothing (and putting the usual denier a spin on things). Michael Mann was correct in that he didn't draw the graphic. It was based on his research, that's all.

      Hands up all those who think that Alan's anonymous comment needs memorialising. Never mind, I'll add it over the next day or so if that makes Alan feel a whole lot better. If he just want to claim he's been "banned from HotWhopper" I can't stop him from doing it elsewhere. I've already set out some of the conditions - here and here - send me your other stuff and I'll consider a ban, Alan.

      Now, I've spent more than enough time on stroking Alan Rossiter's over-inflated ego and his need for HotWhopper to be all about him. I suppose his little tantrum could be used as part of a case study.

    8. Heartland = conservative libertarian = working hard to keep America free from:
      Healthcare, Public Schools, Labor Rights, Libraries and Parks, Safe Freeways, Safe Roads and Bridges, Anti Discrimination Laws, Food Inspection, Environmental Regulations, Product Safety

    9. I suppose his little tantrum could be used as part of a case study

      In all honesty, I do think that the 'dead pixels' of the crank blogosphere and commentariat are going to provide a rich resource for those in the future who will doubtlessly be studying the social impact of Authoritarian personalities and/or Narcissistic personality disorders in particular - even outright sociopathy - during the course of the early 21st Century's most crucial, future-determining debate.

      I just hope it's not all in the name of 'what went wrong?'

    10. Oddly enough I've never seen a denier complain that a denier site doesn't have an equivalent of the HotWhoppery or realclimate's borehole. They seem quite comfortable for WUWT, for example, to summarily delete, often without trace, many if not most of the rare comments that discuss actual science (rather than the standard WUWT fare of conspiracy theories).

      Another example of the double standards of fake sceptics, like the one discussed in the main article here.

    11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    12. As someone said to Watts the other day, your delusions of grandeur are truly delightful.

    13. For Alan's continuing hissy fit, visit the HotWhoppery where his latest comment might end up if I can be bothered, sometime over the next couple of days.

      Meanwhile, here's another person's approach, which probably has some merit.

      And the probable reaction of most HotWhopper readers when faced with dummy spits from the denialiti.

    14. Just for the record, the FACTS are these: Mann's lawyer made this assertion …

      ". This allegation is yet another example of Defendants' attempts to obfuscate the evidence in this case. The "misleading" comment made in this report had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Mann, or with any graph prepared by him. Rather, the report's comment was directed at an overly simplified and artistic depiction of the hockey stick that was reproduced on the frontispiece of the World Meteorological Organization's Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999.41 Dr. Mann did not create this depiction, and the attempt to suggest that this report suggested an effort by Dr. Mann to mislead is disingenuous.
      While the graph is listed on Page 23 of Dr Mann's CV, in 'Other Publications' along with his RealClimate blog posts and press releases etc.

      Note a few things: the 'absolutely nothing to do with' referred to a comment made as part of one the 'Climategate' investigations. Of course, it was endlessly quote-mined to make it seem as though it was about Dr Mann, and the graph. Also, as is common in academia, if a study or figure makes use of a dataset, it is common to list the creators of the dataset as co-authors, even if, as in this case they did not generate the actual artwork, which was authored by Phil Jones. One of the three curves plotted was based on Mann data from 1999, as was cited on the next page of the report.

      And who was 'misled' by Jones' graph ? Prior to Climategate it was never mentioned once in any blog post, article or book. It is the cover artwork for a short, obscure report. Sound and Fury, signifying nothing.

    15. Over and above the 21,486 comments listed at HotWhopper (so far, in the two and a half years since HW began), and the ones in the HotWhoppery - the archived HotWhoppery or the current one, there are very few, thankfully that are so awful that they don't even make it to HotWhoppery Uncensored.

      There have only been about a dozen relegated to the HotWhoppery since the current version was created six months ago.

      I make no apologies for not bothering to repost the torrent of abuse I get after I've moved a comment to the HotWhoppery, saying things like "you're a big meanie", often using more, shall we say, colourful language. Or indeed for not bothering to repost one or other dumb comment. Almost all comments that are removed from here end up in either the HotWhoppery main or HotWhoppery Uncensored. I've no obligation to do that at all. It's an 'over and above the call of duty'. Most blogs don't bother.

      Two-faced hypocritical deniers like Alan Rossiter are full of conspiracy ideation. He thinks there is censorship here "on a massive scale". He's wrong.

      Showing his double standards, Alan makes no demands of denier websites to stop what he calls "censorship". He hasn't demanded that WUWT or other denier websites show all comments. Nor does he demand that they show the comments that are deleted or never make it through the much heavier moderation at places like WUWT. And if, as he claims, he's been banned here, how does he explain that his self-aggrandising, wrong and attention-seeking comments are showing up here?

      The mundane reality is that there just aren't a lot of comments that I move to the HotWhoppery, let alone the handful of comments that don't even make it that far. (Don't get me wrong. It's a compliment that the Alan Rossiter's of the world think HotWhopper gets many more defamatory or otherwise wrong comments from deniers than it does. Or that I'm superwoman who practically controls the internet, as some deniers have claimed over at WUWT.)

    16. Alan, it's "Dr" Mann.

      Alan, one can claim to have 'nothing to do with' [not having made] a graphic, while showing the joint paper/ publication that it appeared in one's detailed CV....it's really not the problem you'd like to think it is..

      "The court, it is said, took a rather dim view of Mann's rather fraught relationship with the truth on this matter."

      I don't believe you.

      Meanwhile Heartland lacking the courage to allow journalists into their little shindig is really sad, no? I mean, they do want people to know what they are thinking, eh.

  7. The reality is that 80% of the known coal reserves and about 60% of the known oil reserves must stay in the ground to not go past the 2C rise in Spaceship Earth's temperature.
    This makes the carpetbaggers who own these reserves back the misinformation industry.

    There are literally trillions of dollars at stake. These turds are so greedy they waste their money on imbeciles who actually believe the misinformation they are peddling.

    These sociopaths would love to own the Sun and the Wind and only then they would be in favour of renewable energy.
    Woody Guthrie had a different idea.



  8. O/T, but as I understand it Mann v. Steyn is ongoing -- does anyone know what the next forseeable development is (e.g., scheduled court dates, or whatever?)

    Obviously, something totally unforeseeable could happen, like Mann tearfully confessing that he and tens of thousands of other scientists have conspired behind the scenes to do the bidding of the shadowy one-world government conspiracy so that they can take away our golfs. Or, perhaps, the NR realizing that a legal finding of fact about the science behind Mann's work would be highly embarrassing to their cause, and deciding to settle.

    The latter is slightly more likely, but these folks are so heavily insulated from reality that it's still not gonna happen

    This is a really interesting article about how the echo chamber functions in Washington (and likely elsewhere):


    1. The Mann case is still in the DC Court of Appeals. In 2013 the trial court (DC Superior Court) denied motions by Steyn and other defendants to dismiss Mann's case under the DC Anti-SLAPP law. Defendants appealed, and the Appeals Court has been considering (1) whether it has jurisdiction to hear an appeal like this before there has been a final order in the original case and (2) what the standard is for granting (or denying) an Anti-SLAPP motion. The Appeals Court heard arguments last November, but hasn't issued an opinion.

      However the Court has recently given an opinion on similar issues in another anti-SLAPP case, so a decision in Mann might come sooner rather than later.

      The best place to follow this stuff - as long as the Anti-SLAPP issues are undecided - is the "DC Anti-SLAPP Law" blog. Here's a list of the relevant articles: http://dcslapplaw.com/?s=Mann

      Now, none of this has anything to do with the merits of the case. One would think that if the defendants were so sure that Mann is a fraud (as deniers are so fond of saying), they would forego this procedural maneuvering and get right to the substance. Could it be that they are afraid of having to prove their allegations? Oh, no, how could I think that..........

      BTW as a lawyer I do agree that the procedural issues raised in this case - especially the standard of review question - are important. The defendants are not just wasting the courts' time. It's unfortunate these issues had not already been decided before this case started.

    2. As a non lawyer I'd say the entire process seems so stuffed full of Byzantine crap that it makes a mockery of what is supposed to be a justice system.

    3. Actually, Millicent, I tend to agree with the Wolverine. The legal issues are important and relatively novel as I understand it, and need to be adjudicated carefully. It is interesting that the Steyn people are trying to stretch it out, while the hounds on the right are baying for Mann's claims to be adjudicated in court.

      What could they possibly be afraid of? (/snark)

    4. I've seen in the UK where a simple case of unfair dismissal has been built up into a complex case involving all manner of 'important and novel' legal issues that, frankly, were not relevent as to whether the complainant had been unfairly dismissed. Our learned friends made hundreds of thousands of pounds out of it.

      The rest of the population looked on in horror at the workings of a legal system where, win or lose, the costs of the case meant only the lawyers really won. Justice should be affordable by everyone: not just the rich or those backed by various groups.

    5. Is being paid to publish lies which ultimately harm or kill millions or billions of people merely a question of free speech? WUWT and the Heartland Institute evidently are making that argument.

      Sou, you (or someone else) deleted a comment I made a few days ago on this topic. I really think this is a valid question:

      Are the people who pay/receive money to carry out the sustained program of deliberate lying, obfuscation, character assassination, and destruction of the respectability of climate science, a program which will inevitably lead to the physical harm of millions if not billions of people, not a crime against humanity?

    6. Millicent, I can't comment on the UK legal system (having no experience there) but it's true that in the U.S. the legal system can be and is abused by people who have clever lawyers and lots of money. I don't think that's the case here. The defendants were just lucky or clever enough to hit on a couple of issues that are important to people who are subject to SLAPP suits - strategic lawsuits against public participation - which are often used to try to silence journalists or other critics.

      And trust me, this isn't Byzantine by a long shot.

    7. It's sort of weird though given that anti-SLAPP laws are generally meant to protect individuals against frivolous lawsuits brought against them by corporations. The request of the CEI and National Review seem to turn this type of law on its head.

  9. I spent some time today watching the livestream of the Heartland denierfest. What struck me as their overarching theme was that there must be some giant conspiracy going on in the scientific community that just keeps the truth from coming out.

    They blamed the "executives" who run the scientific societies for putting out scientifically wrong statements that support AGW, implying that the the tens of thousands of members who select those executives must not agree with the statements. If they sincerely believe that, then why not follow up with a campaign to replace them with leadership that's to their liking?

    Later on they blamed the scientific community for failing to "audit" themselves properly. Yet there was no mention of that long established audit mechanism: the peer review process. Similarly they want "impartial" information from the government, but neglected to mention that it was their friends in the Republican party who abolished Congress's impartial scientific research arm, the Office of Technology Assessment.

    1. The vast majority of them seem to have no idea that scientific research is very competitive. Nor do they appreciate that there is simply not enough money to go around. They don't understand that in order to be successful in grant funding you have to propose original and innovative science that will move your particular field of investigation forward. None of this favors consensus or support of the status quo. Ergo they will never understand that having the vast majority of scientists in one field so unanimous in agreement is so incredibly unusual.

    2. @-"I spent some time today watching the livestream of the Heartland denierfest. ... Similarly they want "impartial" information from the government,"

      In the political sphere (where Heartland lives) 'Impartial' is code for Balanced.
      Obviously there is nothing 'impartial' about a 97% consensus that warming will continue with continued CO2 emissions.

      Impartial government advice would be that it might warm because of CO2, or it might not. with absolutely no probability ascribed to either option.
      That way politicians can select the option that best matches their policy position and claim they have taken a balanced view on impartial advice.

      Journalists who would question the validity of this approach, rather than just report their assertion it is required given the unbalanced statements from scientists are obviously not welcome.

    3. "they will never understand that having the vast majority of scientists in one field so unanimous in agreement is so incredibly unusual"

      I do not know if it is so unusual. There is quite universal agreement in physics about existence of gravity or in astronomy about earth going around the sun etc.

      But naturally there are zillions of open topics of research hotly debated in just about any science..

      Some parts are largely settled and that should be no surprise. IMHO.. ;)

  10. Apologies for going off topic, but does anybody with a strong enough stomach to visit WUWT know if Anthony is managing to remain oblivious to the, um, perfectly normal in a dry sort of way, situation in his own home state?


    1. "It's happened before, in the 1970s, and the anasazi. Totally normal, nothing to worry about [pay no attention to what happened to the anasazi]."

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I guess there is some kind of mirror universe bubble for wuwt crowd..

  11. Science Friday had a few minutes about the meeting.. Somebody visiting SciFri had participated it incognito. Apparently it had been a smallish gathering of men who know they are fringe, most probably average age around 60 or more. No clear message coming out as the speakers had sort of incompatible "science" (co2 warming been good / does not exist etc). A few statements by the GOP luminaries were fact checked and found (surprise) a bit dubious..

    1. The link http://www.sciencefriday.com/#path/segment/06/12/2015/climate-skeptics-convene-on-capitol-hill.html

  12. I recommend the photo galley attached at end of Andrew Freedman article @ Mashable Read the captions.

    1. That slide show is priceless. Do check it out folks!

    2. And a great, representative cross-section among the none-too-numerous attendees, running the gamut all the way from older white men to some older white women, too.

      'Roosters of the Apocalypse' is still a great title, and is almost-certainly totally wasted on its actual contents...

    3. When I watched this video of the conference from Suzanne Goldenberg's story in the Guardian, I wondered if Heartland might have bussed in people from some local aged-care homes to pad the numbers of the attendees.


    4. You mean *this* video of the pope's upcoming encyclical? :-)


      (h/t to Ugo Bardi at Resource Crisis)

    5. Some comments should be prefaced with "I'm not ageist but ..." ;)

      I'm no papist but I'm delighted we have such an ally as Francis.


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