So, What DOES It Take to Get Fired By CNN, Fareed Zakaria?

August 13, 2012

Zakaria plagiarized a piece he wrote for TIME magazine (Breitbart)…He also posted the same plagiarism at CNN. As Friday wore on, CNN and TIME both went from “no comment” to suspending Zakaria, a journalist praised for his perspective on foreign policy. …As a journalist he’s especially known for his anti-Jewish sentiment.  (commentary) Fareed Zakaria is guilty of plagiarism. He has admitted copying a portion of a New Yorker essay and apologized. Time, where Zakaria works as a columnist, has suspended Zakaria for a month, and CNN—owned by the same parent company—has suspended him pending an investigation. This represents a mere slap on the wrist for someone whose standard speaking fee is $75,000. Yale University lecturer Jim Sleeper notes, however, Zakaria has a perch not only at CNN and Time, but also at Yale University, where he sits on the Yale Corporation, the University’s governing board and policy-making body. There is no greater academic sin than plagiarism. Students can be expelled for plagiarizing papers, and professors can be fired. To let Zakaria off the hook on his own recognizance would be to eviscerate the principle of academic integrity for which Yale says it stands. Whether Yale President Richard Levin will do the right thing, however, is another issue. While Levin has distinguished himself as a master fundraiser, he has also shown a disturbing willingness to undercut free speech (ironically, with Zakaria’s acquiescence), compromise academic integrity to foreign interests, and embrace fame over principle.


Political Prejudice at Yale

July 25, 2012


Political Prejudice at Yale

I had not intended to make this last week the week of criticizing historians, but I suppose it is turning out that way. As people know, many leading universities, such as MIT and Yale, have made many courses available on line for free. This is a great service. But this does not merely spread knowledge, it also opens a window to the educational bias that is going on in elite college classrooms.
I have been listening to a course given by Yale Historian David Blight entitled The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877. I was interested in the course because I am writing an article this summer involving Reconstruction. So I have listened to the second half of the course.
I would strongly recommend the course based on the content of the history taught as well as the engaging style of lecture. Blight also does a good job of debunking the Dunning school of Reconstruction History, which somehow I was taught as a lad in New York City of all places.
Despite these virtues, Blight’s course has a serious deficiency: his regular expressions of political prejudice. I would say every other lecture has a statement that involves a snide wisecrack attacking modern conservatives or Republicans. These statements have nothing to do with the course. The most recent example involves a crack about how Ronald Reagan is these days generally rated in the top 5 of presidents in American history, but Blight can think of no reason for this, except perhaps that there is an airport name for Reagan.
Now, one might think that these remarks are relatively harmless. But I can tell you as a student in many classrooms with professors who made such remarks, they are not. Imagine for a second that Blight inserted negative statements about blacks or gays in his lectures.
The introduction of internet course may have a beneficial effect on political biases in academia. Until now, most people, if they are aware of bigotry in academia are only aware second-hand. Let’s face it, adults are not the ones going to college. But when older people, those with mature political views are, exposed to bigoted rants from academia via on-line courses the blowback will be much greater than the occasional objection from the current student body. After all, to call the professor a bigot when you’re looking for passing grade takes more courage than most students are expected to have.

Thomas Friedman Calls Rabbi ‘Stupid

November 4, 2011
(Israel National News h/t Sarah Leah Lawent) New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently faced a silent protest to which he could only respond with: “That’s stupid.”
At the conclusion of his talk at Yale University last week, Friedman was faced with a banner which read: “With friends like Chomsky, Soros, Mearsheimer and Thomas Friedman, does Israel need enemies?”
In the past, Friedman has called in his columns for Tahrir Square-style marches by Palestinian Authority Arabs on Israel.
He has also called to re-adopt the United Nations 1947 Partition Plan, which the Arab world rejected at the time and instead tried to annihilate Israel. He was recently the subject of a Facebook campaign launched by the grassroots Zionist group Israel Online Ambassadors. The campaign was entitled “Tom Friedman, Get Out of Our Lives!”
In the Yale incident, when Friedman dismissed Rabbi Hecht as stupid, the rabbi then held up the back of the banner, which read: “Jews don’t need solutions from your 11,000 square foot Ivory tower.”
“Thomas Friedman has no right and no basis for telling the leadership of a democratically elected government of a sovereign nation what to do regarding its delicate and hard won security,” Rabbi Hecht explained his resistance to the Friedman lecture. “Friedman asks the Israelis to make concessions when there is no credible partner for them to conduct a lasting settlement,” he added. “And yet, the Chomskys and the Mearsheimers are easier to deal with, because their hostility is naked. Friedman comes to the subject cloaked in the language of moderation, neutrality and respectability.”
He added, “The road to peace may look straight from Thomas Friedman’s very privileged worldview in his mansion on his huge estate, but for Israelis everywhere, especially Judea and Samaria, every decision is one that literally tilts the State and her citizens towards either life or death. In the real world, Jews don’t need ‘solutions,’ Jews need safety and security in their historic homeland and reborn refuge.”
Despite Friedman’s insult, Rabbi Hecht said he invites him to join the many writers and intellectuals of all backgrounds and opinions who have lectured at Eliezer.
“I have devoted my life to dialogue,” he said. “I would welcome the chance to discuss these important issues with Thomas Friedman.”

Will Yale’s new program for the study of anti-Semitism get critics as angry as its short-lived predecessor did?

August 2, 2011

Yale’s Capitulation

“What I can say from my observation – the program didn’t have much of a connection with Yale. The director of it wasn’t a Yale professor, and for whatever reasons, Yale faculty members and the students almost completely stayed away from all of the activities of it. To me, it wasn’t that surprising that they decided to close it down”, says the director of the new program, Maurice Samuels, a professor of French, in a conversation with Haaretz

So they are starting a new program on Anti-Semitism… because the greater American community got upset… but the old program got closed because it didn’t have a connection with Yale? read between the lines… Zionist bashing Yale didn’t like it.

Yale’s Capitulation

June 18, 2011

This is Vanity Fair not Truth. Yale is PROFIT$ from public relations not learning

…Public relations for third world dictators want feminism not G-d. They want to promote their tyranny to the ladies who they hurt:

…More stories about the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism that will close at the end of July…

Benjamin Weinthal
In early June, Yale University pulled the plug on the first U.S.-based academic center devoted to the study of modern anti-Semitism, including the growing phenomenon of Islamic animated hatred of Jews, Israel, and the West. The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) was established in 2006, as the brainchild of Dr. Charles Small, an expert on new expressions of Judeophobia. Yale’s recent reversal is part of its ongoing capitulation to political correctness, and its attendant refusal to criticize fundamentalist Islamism. Take the example of Yale University Press and the University’s president, Richard Levin, who censored the publication of twelve Danish cartoons lampooning radical Islam and Mohammed. In October 2009, Yale refused to publish the cartoons in Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen’s book The Cartoons that Shook the World. In its desire to give no offense, Yale preemptively surrendered its intellectual honesty. Roughly a year later, Yale lecturer Hillary Mann Leverett, a former National Security Council official and frequent apologist for Iran’s regime, took students from her “U.S.-Iranian Diplomacy” course to meet with Iran’s despotic leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to Leverett, the academic chat with Ahmadinejad revealed that “he was probably not the stereotype of a crazy irrational figure. … He has a strategy for Iran.”As Michael Rubin pointed out, “the Ahmadinejad meeting is not the scandal, although the obsequiousness of it is problematic.”
Yale’s posture toward Iran has been unduly sympathetic toward the regime’s anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and radical Islamic assaults on Western values.
The university charged that YIISA had not acted as “as a valued input to the research and teaching interests of some significant group of Yale faculty” and “no core of faculty research or student interest has developed around the center or has emerged to direct its interests.”
In the Washington Post, Walter Reich debunked the academic chimera Yale invoked for destroying the institute. Yale outlined its reasons for shuttering YIISA in a report which it refuses to release — thus making a mockery of any semblance of academic transparency and fairness.
However, the real reasons for Yale’s growing servility to political correctness most likely lie in YIISA’s admirable August 2010 conference addressing “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity.”
Maen Rashid Areikat¸ the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, promptly wrote a letter to Yale’s president Richard Levin, charging that the YISSA conference was a forum for “anti-Arab extremism and hate mongering.”
YIISA’s important work in exposing Iranian anti-Semitism, and the regime’s longstanding persecution of women and minority groups, appears to have prompted Iran’s rulers to declare Yale University a sanctioned organization on the regime’s list of targeted groups.
All of this helps to explain Yale’s decision to avoid necessary scholarly pursuits and close YIISA, even as the hatred of Jews remains as widespread as ever in the Muslim world.
— Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism is to close at the end of July, sparking fierce objection from community.

June 13, 2011
Public relations for third world dictators want feminism not G-d. 
They want to promote their tyranny to the ladies who they hurt. 
Academia is money well spent for a government that abuses it’s uterus factory.  From the early thinkers in Greece it was always understood that the vast majority of the population is philosophically handicapped.  To reach this majority you sell the popular idea like a car salesman.  Telling women a backwards idea like feminism is the quick buck… the easy push.  It isn’t that these guys actually believe in Gloria Steinem… it is that she is not a threat to them… in fact she has gone out on a limb for the Ivy League Profit donors and protected their abuse of women to make a swipe at America men.  This is Vanity Fair not Truth. Yale is PROFIT$ from public relations not learning

Leaders of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA) at Yale University were notified last week that the center was to be closed at the end of July, sparking a fierce round of objections, suspicions and conjectures in the US Jewish community, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The Yale Initiative is intended to research international origins and manifestations of anti-Semitism, as well as other forms of prejudice. As part of Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies, the initiative also disseminates its findings and research to contribute to policy discussions.

Jews decry Yale closing anti-Semitism study center

The program was the first US-based institute to research global anti-Semitism, ranging from anti-Israel and anti-Zionism manifestations thereof to other forms of hatred expressed against Jews.

“The short story is this initiative, directed by a non-faculty instructor, was found in its routine faculty review to not have met its academic expectations and has been canceled,” Thomas Mattia of Yale’s Office of Public Affairs told the Post. “This singular action should be viewed in the context of all the continuing work in Hebrew studies at Yale and the provost’s pledge to fund other studies in the area of anti-Semitism.”

Sources who preferred to remain anonymous, however, said the closing of the center resulted from the center’s politically incorrect activities – that is, taking Muslims to task for anti- Semitic and anti-Jewish sentiments.

Yale, sources conjectured, had been angling to mend fences with the Middle Eastern Muslim population, and the Yale Initiative was a thorn in the university’s side.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the center’s closure was particularly disappointing in light of the recent upward trends in anti-Semitism around the world.

“Whatever purported issues and problems arose regarding the Yale Interdisciplinary Center, what was required was a concerted effort to work out the problems rather than ending the program,” Foxman said in a statement. “Especially at a time when anti-Semitism continues to be virulent and anti-Israel parties treat any effort to address issues relating to anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as illegitimate, Yale’s decision is particularly unfortunate and dismaying.

“The decision to end the Center was a bad one on its own terms, but it is even worse because it leaves the impression that the anti-Jewish forces in the world achieved a significant victory,” Foxman said.

Lobbying efforts are apparently under way to get Yale to reconsider its decision, sources said.

“We hope Yale will review this unfortunate decision so that YIISA’s critical work can continue,” American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said.

“In our experience working with YIISA, AJC has been impressed by the level of scholarly discourse, the involvement of key faculty, and the initiative’s ability, through conferences and other programs, to bring a wide range of voices to the Yale campus.”

The Yale Initiative has been an important resource for understanding anti-Semitism, especially in its contemporary manifestations, Harris said.

“YIISA has made considerable contributions to the study of this immense contemporary challenge and lent Yale’s considerable reputation to an issue that remains quite serious,” he said. “If Yale now leaves the field, it will create a very regrettable void.”

Other activists working against anti-Semitism agreed.

“This is a big deal and a major travesty,” Ken Marcus, director of the Initiative to Combat Anti- Semitism and Anti-Israelism in America’s Educational Systems at the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, told the Post. “YIISA was the most important university-based anti-Semitism research institution in North America. The decision to close it was clearly political, and it smells very bad. I hope it gets wide attention.” 

In the event, Yale’s stated reasons for terminating YIISA omit any mention of the 2010 conference or its subject matter. The university’s director of strategic communications, according to Abby Wisse Schachter who broke the story in the New York Post, asserted that the decision was made on the basis of YIISA’s failure to “serve the research and teaching interests of some significant Yale faculty and . . . [to] be sustained by the creative energy of a critical mass of Yale faculty.” Unspecified were the interests that were not being served or sustained, let alone the nature of the alleged failure.

To counter criticism of its action, Yale dribbled out a few additional statements. To Donald Green, the director of the institute where YIISA was housed, the problem lay both in YIISA’s professional standards and in its non-popularity: “Little scholarly work appeared in top-tier journals in behavioral science, comparative politics, or history. Courses created in this area did not attract large numbers of students.”

It may indeed be that course enrollments were low, but so are enrollments in any number of areas that universities deem worthy of study. In any case, such numbers are of little relevance to an entity like YIISA, which was by definition a research and not a teaching unit, and which held numerous events attracting public attention and open to the entire Yale community.

As far as publications are concerned, YIISA, just like similar centers and programs at Yale, published its own highly regarded monograph series that made its scholars’ work freely available for download. Since when is the wide dissemination of scholarly products no longer an important academic goal? Nor is Yale known for applying the “top-tier” criterion across the board. The Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, for example, is a center-Left policy group currently directed by the former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo. It attracts wealthy and powerful speakers, some of whom are or may become Yale donors, and releases its reports and findings not in so-called “top-tier journals” but in various house-branded forms. It is hardly unique in this.

But the pious invocation of “top-tier” academic journals with their hoary review processes is itself specious. Offering a comparison with YIISA’s record in this respect, Green touted the “extraordinary number” of articles in such journals produced by yet another Yale research “initiative.” This is the Field Experiments Initiative, dedicated to “randomized studies of voter mobilization, peer counseling of homeless people, campaign activities in Africa, and the persuasiveness of televised campaign advertisements.” The fact that the jargon-laden study of campaign advertisements yields more placements in academic journals than do analyses of anti-Semitism speaks dreary volumes about the gatekeepers of so much of contemporary scholarship, about the subjects they consider respectable, and about the standards of judgment they apply.

And here we return to the unspoken nub of the matter. At its 2010 conference, YIISA dared to tackle, openly, the single deadliest form of contemporary anti-Semitism, bringing together for this purpose a bevy of “top-tier” scholars from around the world. It was, clearly, the very holding of such an event that raised hackles from within and without. One response came from Maen Rashid Areikat, the Washington representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization: “It’s shocking that a respected institution like Yale would give a platform to these right-wing extremists and their odious views. . . . I urge you to publicly dissociate yourself and Yale University from the anti-Arab extremism and hate-mongering that were on display during this conference.”

by Alex Joffe via JIDAILY

The Unsolved Problem of Labor

March 31, 2011

A century later there are still sweatshops not very far from the former building that housed the Triangle Waist Company, which has been absorbed by the spreading blot of the NYU campus. The women who work in these sweatshops are not Jewish and Italian, but Chinese. They make from 1 to 3 dollars an hour — and 90 percent of them are members of unions.
Many of the NYU students who go in and out of the Brown building, where hundreds of women died, wear trendy clothing made in sweatshops. The clothing is not cheap, it is cheaply made. Those students who wanted a moral alternative bought clothes from American Apparel, which promoted its clothes as sweatshop free, turning the company into a major player in the garment industry. But American Apparel started out by subcontracting its manufacturing to Sam Lim, since then it has employed large numbers of illegal aliens and the lawsuits charging the AA boss with sexual harassment and blackmail, suggest its office workers might envy Norma Rae.
The tale of the Triangle Waist Company is intertwined with that of the ILGWU, the union which represented female garment workers. But the ILGWU no longer exists, instead it has been merged into a restaurant workers union, and even that combined union has half the membership the ILGWU did. The combined union is run by a Yale Phi Beta Kappa grad, whose wife, another Yale alumni, cozily runs the union’s health plan. Additionally he serves on the Board of Trustees of Washington D.C.’s high end liberal public policy think tank, the Brookings Institute. It’s enough to make the NYU tenants of the old home of the Triangle factory seem downright lower class.
What happened to the unions? A union is an organization, not the expression of the collective will of the workers. It is not fundamentally different than the sweatshops, it just operates on another business model. A sweatshop and a union both run for the benefit of the bosses, they just have a different set of customers, the sweatshop’s customers are the brands and the union’s customers are the workers. Both the sweatshop and the union win over their customers with ruthless tactics, but the final profit goes to the bosses.
The Triangle era saw ruthless exploitation and conflict between workers and bosses. The bosses suppressed worker discontent and strikes by hiring local gangs for protection or relying on the Democratic party’s Tammany Hall machine to send out its cops, at a time when promotion in the New York City police force meant paying money to the boys on top . The workers turned to gangs and to left wing radicals, who built up their unions, took them over and turned them into a trust that controlled entire industries. The trust was integrated into the political machine. Soon the sweatshop workers and owners were both working for the same people.
The ILGWU, which newspapers and labor mythmakers would have us believe that the falling women of the Triangle Waist Company died for, used gangsters like Little Augie and Lepke Buchalter, head of Murder Inc, to maintain control over the trust. And though much is made by feminists of the ILGWU being a mostly female union, it was and in its current incarnation is still run by men who did not tolerate any dissent. When the Depression killed the boom that had powered the garment business, it also killed the ILGWU’s trust. Only federal intervention by FDR’s labor regulations turned the tide. But that too was only temporary. Once the garment industry was able to begin outsourcing to cheaper labor abroad, the ILGWU began dying a slow death.
The sweatshop’s business model depended on raising the cost of labor, and charging the workers for doing their organizing for them, which conflicted with the garment industry’s need to make clothes as cheaply as possible. Now those same clothes are being made in China or Chinatown. The ILGWU, like so many unions, promised the good life, but they could only deliver temporary raises followed by the decimation of the industry itself. It was enough time for a generation to get on its feet, but not for those that followed it. There are still garment worker union members and plenty of them work in sweatshops while making below minimum wage. This is no paradox. A large membership means wealth and power for those on top. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything for those on the bottom. Cheap garments will always be made, whether they will be made cheaply by union or non-union members. They fill a need and as long as people buy based primarily on price considerations, the sweatshop will go on existing.

Sweatshops were built to take advantage of a new business model, that sidelined tailors who worked for individual customers, for mass produced garments by factory workers. The workers could be unskilled and disposable. An owner made the lowest bid for a contract, borrowed money and rented a space and equipment, got workers for as little as he could, and then tried to squeeze blood out of them to make a profit. If he succeeded, then he might be able to do the same thing again, if he didn’t, he would be bankrupt. The cheaply made clothes were of lower quality (though of much higher quality than most clothes you’ll find at Wal-Mart or K-Mart today) but affordable for millions of people. A successful worker might save up enough to become an owner himself. And plenty of doctors, lawyers and tycoons had fathers or mothers who started out this way.
That is what makes the problem of labor so difficult. Over a hundred women died in the Triangle Waist Company fire, but how many hundreds of thousands of women lived because the garment industry, with all the ugliness of its sweatshops and child labor, provided a way for them and their families to come to America. How many of them would have survived under Nazi or Communist rule?
It isn’t a cheerful question to ask, but any moral consideration of the Triangle Waist Company must also raise that question. The possibility that the garment industry still saved far more lives than it took. And that moral consideration is often at the heart of unregulated capitalism. Does its ultimate prosperity justify its abuses?
Today China has slave labor, widespread pollution and a rising middle class. And America has a tightly regulated labor market and a declining middle class. Liberals despise trickle down economics, but prosperity is undeniably trickling away from the regulatory republics of the West and into the maw of Chinese crony capitalists. And the Chinese sweatshop workers in New York, slaving over machines in hot rooms, the way their Jewish and Italian predecessors did, are more likely to have children who will go to Yale, than the Black and Hispanic government employees living on generous union negotiated salaries
New York City has lost 2 percent of its Black residents who are mainly moving to the non-union south, because there are jobs there. The large Black populations in Northeastern cities had come for the jobs in booming urban industries. Particularly during wartime, when so many American workers were fighting in Europe or Asia. When those industries moved abroad, they left behind ghettos full of people who could no longer find work. The race riots had far more to do with joblessness, than with discrimination, as can be seen by looking at the much milder race riots during WW2 when jobs were available.
The liberal northeast is a union paradise, and yet black people are deserting it. They are abandoning strongholds like New York, Chicago and Boston. And it’s not just the Northeast, even a Pacific liberal haven like San Francisco is losing its black population. The Federal government is going after Marin County for its lack of diversity, accusing it of violating the Civil Rights Act. But officials have tried to attract Black residents with the usual diversity buzzwords, but how do you do that without jobs? Every article about Black emigration from urban areas uses those same buzzwords and all of them miss the point. Chicago, New York and San Francisco did not suddenly turn racist– they turned jobless.
While unions can lock in a guaranteed number of jobs at a given salary– they can only do so at the cost of reducing the overall number of available jobs. You can have a 100,000 very good jobs, a 1,000,000 average jobs or 10,000,000 miserable ones or a 100,000,000 slave labor jobs. The unionized northeast has gone with the.100,000 and China has gone with the 100,000,000. Which is why they have jobs and we don’t. That is not to say that we should be imitating China– rather it is important to understand the dynamic at work here.
Liberalism’s celebration of diversity is properly a celebration of capitalism. That diversity would not exist without it. America was built by everyone from indentured English and Irish servants, German, Irish, Jewish and Italian factory workers, Swedish farmers and miners to African-American slaves, and half the world, from Norway to China. Many of them were treated badly, but the larger story may be what they and their descendants achieved here. Liberals like to fit that into a narrative that begins with exploitation and ends with regulation– but then why are so many of the millions of White and Black workers who depended on major industries out of work?
Their answer is that government solves everything. But let us take a look at another fire that happened not far from the site of the Triangle Waist Company fire and is much less remembered today. The fire on board the General Slocum.
In the summer of 1904, the General Slocum, a  ship taking the women and children of the ethnic German community in Manhattan, for an outing caught fire. But its safety equipment from life jackets to hoses were completely useless. Over a thousand women and children died within sight of the shore. Died in useless and senseless ways that would have never happened had the safety equipment been inspected. But the ‘inspectors’ were part of the Democratic party’s corrupt Tammany Hall network, who were appointed by political patrons to a lucrative office and were notorious for passing anything. Life vests filled with iron bars and rotten hoses on the General Slocum got their approval. The regulations were there, but government corruption ensured that they would not be enforced.

A year earlier, 650 theater patrons had died in Chicago during the Iroquois Theatre fire, again because of corrupt inspectors. Safety equipment was non-existent and the law went unenforced. Charges were leveled against everyone up to Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison, but the ‘Chicago Way’ ensured that justice was not served. And a year later, Carter Harrison was running for the Democratic party’s nomination for President.
Both these events were at least as horrifying as the Triangle Waist Company fire, and had a much higher death toll. But they are not remembered because not only do they fail to make a pro-labor point, but they actually make a much more dangerous point about the inherent corruptibility of government authority. They remind us that regulation is law and law is enforced by men through a bureaucracy overseen by political patronage. And that such systems are no more moral or ethical, and no less greedy, than that of the sweatshops. As we confront a 15 trillion dollar deficit and an uncontrollable orgy of greed by politicians and public sector unions who are their electoral base, we are reminded of that every day.
The only answer may be that there is no answer. It is men who make moral choices, and it is the individual, whether in a corporation, a union and or a government who does or does not do the right thing. The problem of labor cannot be solved by creating more organizations, as that only creates more hierarchies which also treat workers as cash cows. They cannot be solved through passing laws in one country, while its citizens purchase the benefits of slave labor from another. There may be no solving it at all. And on the former site of the Triangle Waist Company, students pass holding iPod’s made by abused workers in China whose economy is nevertheless threatening to dominate the 21st century.

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