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What's the Difference Between Fascism, Communism and Crony-Capitalism? Nothing

Via: www.zerohedge.com/news/2014...sm-nothing

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The essence of crony-capitalism is the merger of state and corporate power--the definition of fascism.

When it comes to the real world, the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is semantic. Let's start with everyone's favorite hot-word, fascism, which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini defined as "the merger of state and corporate power." In other words, the state and corporate cartels are one system.

Real-world communism, for example as practiced in the People's Republic of China, boils down to protecting a thoroughly corrupt elite and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The state prohibits anything that threatens the profits (and bribes) of SOEs--for example, taxi-apps that enable consumers to bypass the SOE cab companies.

What A Ban On Taxi Apps In Shanghai Says About China's Economy


The Chinese mega-city of Shanghai has been cracking down on popular taxi-booking apps, banning their use during rush hour. Until the apps came along, the taxi companies, which are government owned, set the real price for fares and collected about 33 cents each time someone called for a cab. That can add up in a city the size of Shanghai. Wang says the apps bypassed the old system and cut into company revenues.

Much has been made of China's embrace of capitalism, but — along with transportation — the government still dominates key sectors, including energy, telecommunications and banking. Wang says vested government interests won't give them up easily.

How else to describe this other than the merger of state and corporate power? Any company the state doesn't own operates at the whim of the state.

Now let's turn to the crony-capitalist model of the U.S., Japan, the European Union and various kleptocracies around the globe. For PR purposes, the economies of these nations claim to be capitalist, as in free-market capitalism.

Nothing could be further from the truth: these economies are crony-capitalist systems that protect and enrich elites, insiders and vested interests who the state shields from competition and the law.

The essence of crony-capitalism is of course the merger of state and corporate power. There are two sets of laws, one for the non-elites and one for cronies, and two kinds of capitalism: the free-market variety for small businesses that are unprotected by the state and the crony variety for corporations, cartels and state fiefdoms protected by the state.

Since crony-capitalism is set up to benefit parasitic politicos and their private-sector cartel benefactors, reform is impossible. Even the most obviously beneficial variety of reform--for example, simplifying the 4 million-word U.S. tax code--is politically impossible, regardless of who wins the electoral equivalent of a game show (i.e. Demopublicans vs. Republicrats).

The annual cost of navigating the tax code comes to about $170 billion:

Since 2001, Congress has enacted about one new change to the tax law per day. Pathetic, isn’t it? This tax code is a burden and a fiasco and deeply unpatriotic. As Olson’s Taxpayer Advocate Service notes, this code helps tax evaders; hurts ordinary, honest taxpayers; and corrodes trust in our system.

Here's why the tax code will never be simplified: tax breaks are what the parasitic politicos auction off to their crony-capitalist benefactors. Simplify the tax code and you take away the the intrinsically corrupt politicos' primary source of revenue: accepting enormous bribes in exchange for tax breaks for the super-wealthy.

You would also eliminate the livelihood of an entire industry that feeds off the complexities of the tax code. Tax attorneys don't just vote--they constitute a powerful lobby for the Status Quo, even if that Status Quo is rigged, unjust, wasteful, absurd, etc.

It's not that hard to design a simple and fair tax code. Setting aside the thousands of quibbles that benefit one industry or another, it's clear that a consumption-based tax is easier to collect and it promotes production rather than consumption: two good things.

As for a consumption tax being regressive, i.e. punishing low-income households, the solution is very straightforward: exempt real-food groceries (but not snacks, packaged or prepared foods such as fast-food), rent, utilities and local public transportation--the major expenses of low-income households.

1. A 10% consumption tax on everything else would raise about $1.1 trillion, or almost 2/3 of total income tax revenues, not counting payroll taxes (15.3% of all payroll/earned income up to around $113,000 annually, paid half-half by employees and employers), which generate about one-third of all Federal tax revenues and fund the majority of Social Security and a chunk of Medicare.

As for the claim that a 10% consumption tax would kill business--the typical sales tax in California is 9+%, and that hasn't wiped out consumption.

2. The balance could be raised by a progressive tax on unearned income, collected at the source. Most of the income of the super-wealthy is unearned, i.e. dividends, investment income, interest, capital gains, stock options, etc. As a result, a tax on unearned income (above, say, $10,000 annually to enable non-wealthy households to accrue some tax-free investment income) will be a tax on the super-wealthy who collect the vast majority of dividends, interest, capital gains and investment income.

A rough estimate would be 20% of all unearned income.

This would "tax the rich" while leaving all earned income untaxed, other than the payroll tax, which is based on the idea that everyone should pay into a system that secures the income of all workers. This would incentivize productive labor and de-incentivize speculation, rentier skimming, etc.

The corporate tax would be eliminated for several reasons:

1. It is heavily gamed, rewarding the scammers and punishing the honest

2. All income from enterprises is eventually distributed to individuals, who would pay the tax on all unearned investment income.

But such common-sense reform is politically impossible. That's why the answer to the question, what's the the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is nothing.
Wed, April 16, 2014 - 11:57 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Michael C. Ruppert Has Committed Suicide

"The ultimate crime and everything that's wrong with this world comes from whoever wrote into Genesis that mankind shall have dominion over this planet and go forth and multiply and subdue the fowls. That's the crime, of separating human consciousness from the consciousness of all the other things that we need—whether it's the water that we drink, the air that we breathe, the animals that we eat. We live in a monetary paradigm that demands infinite growth, so balance is not possible."—Michael C. Ruppert, 11 September 2011

Via: www.cryptogon.com/

April 15th, 2014

“I’m tired. I’m ready to die.”—Apocalypse, Man: Michael C. Ruppert on World’s End [www.youtube.com/watch ]

Via: CollapseNet: www.collapsenet.com/free-res...d-suicide

I have been informed that MCR has committed suicide. I am devastated, and very, very sad…

We’ll report more as information becomes available.

PLEASE DO NOT SPREAD SPECULATION!

MCR was my friend, my client (I was his attorney) and business partner in CollapseNet. We will gather and report THE FACTS about MCR’s death, and nothing else. On my honor, the truth of MCR’s death WILL BE TOLD, and his memory will be honored.

Media inquiries should come right here, to me, via ceo@collapsenet.com.

Rest In Peace Mike. I am so sorry that you are gone. You fought the greatest of fights, you opened thousands of eyes and you have earned your place in history, and in our hearts.

Much more to come…

Wesley T. Miller

Research Credit: LoneWolf

3 Responses to “Michael C. Ruppert Has Committed Suicide”

brandon Says:
April 15th, 2014 at 11:14 am
Oh wow this is tragic. One of the 1st books I read that opened my eyes.

mangrove Says:
April 15th, 2014 at 11:44 am
Very upsetting. I followed Michael C. Ruppert since about 2004, and was a member of From The Wilderness until its dissolution. Because of Mike’s concern about the future of this world, he made it his mission to warn those who would listen about what was coming and how we should prepare. I listened, did my own research as well, and got into action. On the financial front, he warned everyone to get out of the dollar long before many others — I did it in 2004, cashed in IRAs, took the penalties, invested in hard assets. On energy, he inspired me to invest in solar panels for my home. On food security, I began gardening and transforming my 1/2 acre into a food producing oasis. I’m now in the 9th year and have mastered a lot of what it takes, and have mature fruit trees, etc.

The man scared the shit out of me, and for that I am thankful. People say we shouldn’t live in fear. I understand the reasoning behind that. In normal times, I would agree. We don’t live in normal times (whatever that means, anyway). To me, fear has been given a bad rap. Fear has been the great motivator for me in changing my life, completely rearranging my priorities, and learning new skills for the coming dark ages. It’s a balancing act, of course, but seeing the coming storm demands getting into action and becoming a prepper.

If Mike taught me anything, it was that denial is not a river in Egypt. But seriously, denial is the number one enemy that keeps us from moving forward into the brave new world paradigm which we all face, like it or not.

I’m deeply saddened. It is a tragic day for humanity when one of the few good truth tellers leaves this mortal coil, regardless of how or why. He will be greatly missed. RIP Michael. Your legacy will not be forgotten.

Dennis Says:
April 15th, 2014 at 4:47 pm
Michael Ruppert’s work was instrumental in leading me down the supra-political rabbit hole and impressing upon me something of how darkness manifests through the earthly game of thrones.
Vale, Mike. Thank you.
Wed, April 16, 2014 - 10:41 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

The Paul Craig Roberts Dilemma: World War or the End of the Dollar

"One of two things is likely: Either the US dollar will be abandoned and collapse in value, thus ending Washington’s superpower status and Washington’s threat to world peace, or Washington will lead its puppets into military conflict with Russia and China. The outcome of such a war would be far more devastating than the collapse of the US dollar."

Via: www.zerohedge.com/news/2014...end-dollar

Submitted by Paul Craig Roberts via The Institute for Political Economy: www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/...berts/

2014 is shaping up as a year of reckoning for the United States.

Two pressures are building on the US dollar. One pressure comes from the Federal Reserve’s declining ability to rig the price of gold as Western gold supplies shrivel and market knowledge of the Fed’s illegal price rigging spreads. The evidence of massive amounts of naked shorts being dumped into the paper gold futures market at times of day when trading is thin is unequivocal. It has become obvious that the price of gold is being rigged in the futures market in order to protect the dollar’s value from QE.

The other pressure arises from the Obama regime’s foolish threats of sanctions on Russia. Other countries are no longer willing to tolerate Washington’s abuse of the world dollar standard. Washington uses the dollar-based international payments system to inflict damage on the economies of countries that resist Washington’s political hegemony.

Russia and China have had enough. As I have reported and as Peter Koenig reports here www.informationclearinghouse.info/a...tm Russia and China are disconnecting their international trade from the dollar. Henceforth, Russia will conduct its trade, including the sale of oil and natural gas to Europe, in rubles and in the currencies of its BRICS partners.

This means a big drop in the demand for US dollars and a corresponding drop in the dollar’s exchange value.

As John Williams (shadowstats.com) has made clear, the US economy has not recovered from the downturn in 2008 and has weakened further. The vast majority of the US population is hard pressed from the lack of income growth for years. As the US is now an import-dependent economy, a drop in the dollar’s value will raise US prices and push living standards lower.

All evidence points to US economic failure in 2014, and that is the conclusion of John Williams’ April 9 report.

This year could also see the breakup of NATO and even the EU. Washington’s reckless coup in Ukraine and threat of sanctions against Russia have pushed its NATO puppet states onto dangerous ground. Washington misjudged the reaction in Ukraine to its overthrow of the elected democratic government and imposition of a stooge government. Crimea quickly departed Ukraine and rejoined Russia. Other former Russian territories in Ukraine might soon follow. Protesters in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Kharkov are demanding their own referendums. Protesters have declared the Donetsk People’s Republic and Kharkov People’s Republic. Washington’s stooge government in Kiev has threatened to put the protests down with violence. rt.com/news/eastern-u...ce-threats-405/ Washington claims that the protests are organized by Russia, but no one believes Washington, not even its Ukrainian stooges.

Russian news reports have identified US mercenaries among the Kiev force that has been sent to put down the separatists in eastern Ukraine. A member of the right-wing, neo-Nazi Fatherland Party in the Kiev parliament has called for shooting the protesters dead.

Violence against the protesters is likely to bring in the Russian Army and result in the return to Russia of its former territories in Eastern Ukraine that were attached to Ukraine by the Soviet Communist Party.

With Washington out on a limb issuing threats hand over fist, Washington is pushing Europe into two highly undesirable confrontations. Europeans do not want a war with Russia over Washington’s coup in Kiev, and Europeans understand that any real sanctions on Russia, if observed, would do far more damage to Europeans. Within the EU, growing economic inequality among the countries, high unemployment, and stringent economic austerity imposed on poorer members have produced enormous strains. Europeans are in no mood to bear the brunt of a Washington-orchestrated conflict with Russia. While Washington presents Europe with war and sacrifice, Russia and China offer trade and friendship. Washington will do its best to keep European politicians bought-and-paid-for and in line with Washington’s policies, but the downside for Europe of going along with Washington is now much larger.

Across many fronts, Washington is emerging in the world’s eye as duplicitous, untrustworthy, and totally corrupt. A Securities and Exchange Commission prosecuting attorney, James Kidney used the occasion of his retirement to reveal that higher ups had squelched his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other “banks too big to fail,” because his SEC bosses were not focused on justice but “on getting high-paying jobs after their government service” by protecting the banks from prosecution for their illegal actions. www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/09/65578/

The US Agency for International Development has been caught trying to use social media to overthrow the government of Cuba. rt.com/news/cuba-usai...e-zunzuneo-241/

This audacious recklessness comes on top of Washington’s overthrow of the Ukrainian government, the NSA spying scandal, Seymour Hersh’s investigative report that the Sarin gas attack in Syria was a false flag event arranged by NATO member Turkey in order to justify a US military attack on Syria, Washington’s forcing down Bolivian President Evo Morales’ presidential plane to be searched, Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” the misuse of the Libyan no-fly resolution for military attack, and on and on. Essentially, Washington has so badly damaged other countries’ confidence in the judgment and integrity of the US government that the world has lost its belief in US leadership. Washington is reduced to threats and bribes and increasingly presents as a bully.

The self-inflicted hammer blows to Washington’s credibility have taken a toll. The most serious blow of all is the dawning realization everywhere that Washington’s crackpot conspiracy theory of 9/11 is false. Large numbers of independent experts as well as more than one hundred first responders have contradicted every aspect of Washington’s absurd conspiracy theory. No aware person believes that a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes, operating without help from any intelligence agency, outwitted the entire National Security State, not only all 16 US intelligence agencies but also all intelligence agencies of NATO and Israel as well.

Nothing worked on 9/11. Airport security failed four times in one hour, more failures in one hour than have occurred during the other 116,232 hours of the 21st century combined. For the first time in history the US Air Force could not get interceptor fighters off the ground and into the sky. For the first time in history Air Traffic Control lost airliners for up to one hour and did not report it. For the first time in history low temperature, short-lived, fires on a few floors caused massive steel structures to weaken and collapse. For the first time in history 3 skyscrapers fell at essentially free fall acceleration without the benefit of controlled demolition removing resistance from below.

Two-thirds of Americans fell for this crackpot story. The left-wing fell for it, because they saw the story as the oppressed striking back at America’s evil empire. The right-wing fell for the story, because they saw it as the demonized Muslims striking out at American goodness. President George W. Bush expressed the right-wing view very well: “They hate us for our freedom and democracy.”

But no one else believed it, least of all the Italians. Italians had been informed some years previously about government false flag events when their President revealed the truth about secret Operation Gladio. Operation Gladio was an operation run by the CIA and Italian intelligence during the second half of the 20th century to set off bombs that would kill European women and children in order to blame communists and, thereby, erode support for European communist parties.

Italians were among the first to make video presentations challenging Washington’s crackpot story of 9/11. The ultimate of this challenge is the 1 hour and 45 minute film, “Zero.” You can watch it here: www.youtube.com/watch

Zero was produced as a film investigating 9/ll by the Italian company Telemaco. Many prominent people appear in the film along with independent experts. Together, they disprove every assertion made by the US government regarding its explanation of 9/11.

The film was shown to the European parliament.

It is impossible for anyone who watches this film to believe one word of the official explanation of 9/11.

The conclusion is increasingly difficult to avoid that elements of the US government blew up three New York skyscrapers in order to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah and to launch the US on the neoconservatives agenda of US world hegemony.

China and Russia protested but accepted Libya’s destruction even though it was to their own detriment. But Iran became a red line. Washington was blocked, so Washington decided to cause major problems for Russia in Ukraine in order to distract Russia from Washington’s agenda elsewhere.

China has been uncertain about the trade-offs between its trade surpluses with the US and Washington’s growing encirclement of China with naval and air bases. China has come to the conclusion that China has the same enemy as Russia has–Washington.

One of two things is likely: Either the US dollar will be abandoned and collapse in value, thus ending Washington’s superpower status and Washington’s threat to world peace, or Washington will lead its puppets into military conflict with Russia and China. The outcome of such a war would be far more devastating than the collapse of the US dollar.
Fri, April 11, 2014 - 4:44 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

USAID Chief Dodges Revealing Mastermind of Secret 'Cuban Twitter' Project

Via: rt.com/news/cuba-usai...e-zunzuneo-241/

The administrator of the US Agency for International Aid and Development testifying before Senate Committee over his agency's covert Cuban Twitter, said he didn’t “specifically” know who was behind the idea of creating the network of “discrete profile.”

Rajiv Shah appeared on Tuesday before a Senate Subcommittee hearing dealing with USAID’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget. At the core of the gathering was the social network ZunZuneo – or the so-called Cuban Twitter program – launched by agency with a suspected goal to stir unrest on the island.

Last week, a report by AP revealed that the USAID had overseen the creation of the text message-based service sparking accusations from Havana which blamed Washington of illegal activities to topple the communist government. The service – that reportedly lasted between 2009 and 2012 when the government grant ended – at its peak had around 68,000 subscribers in the Caribbean state with limited access to the internet.

The scandal also raised questions to Washington, which has maintained that the project was neither “secret” nor “covert,” but, rather a “discrete” form of promoting democracy.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy – the chairman of the subcommittee who publicly called the project “dumb, dumb, dumb” – was pressuring Shah on Tuesday to tell him who initiated the idea to launch the social network. But the USAID chief, who took office in 2010, dodged the question, saying that he did not “specifically know”.

Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), testifies before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee April 8, 2014 in Washington, DC (AFP Photo / Win McNamee)
Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), testifies before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee April 8, 2014 in Washington, DC (AFP Photo / Win McNamee)

During the heated discussion, Leahy called the ZunZuneo a “cockamamie” idea which was doomed to discovery and failure. The Senator said that the USAID failed to adequately describe to Congress the program it was operating.

One of Leahy’s major concerns was that the project could endanger Alan Gross, an American who is serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba after being arrested in 2009 while working for USAID there. The Senator asked Shah if anyone considered what would happen to Gross if the government in Havana discovered US involvement in ZunZuneo and said it would have put at risk him and other USAID workers around the globe, who could be perceived as spies.

According to Gross’ lawyer, the 64-year-old had started a hunger strike a week ago to protest his treatment by the American and Cuban governments.

“As far as I can tell, the USAID and the Obama administration have all but forgotten about him,” Leahy said, as cited by Reuters.

Commenting on the matter, Shah said he had worked personally on Gross' behalf. However, winning Gross freedom was State Department officials’ responsibility.

“I think about Alan every day,” Shah said. “... State Department takes the lead in these types of issues and they are highly sensitive and I would defer to them to be able to explain to you in the appropriate private setting what's taken place.”

In response to the Associated Press investigation, the USAID has released a statement pointing out what it calls “significant inaccuracies” in reporting, claiming that the documents cited “do not represent the US government’s position or reflect the spirit or actions taken as part of the program in Cuba.”
Fri, April 11, 2014 - 4:40 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

SEC Goldman Lawyer Says Agency Too Timid on Wall Street Misdeeds

Via: mobile.bloomberg.com/news/20...eds.html

By Robert Schmidt
April 08, 2014 12:00 AM EDT

A trial attorney from the Securities and Exchange Commission said his bosses were too “tentative and fearful” to bring many Wall Street leaders to heel after the 2008 credit crisis, echoing the regulator’s outside critics.

James Kidney, who joined the SEC in 1986 and retired this month, offered the critique in a speech at his goodbye party. His remarks hit home with many in the crowd of SEC lawyers and alumni thanks to a part of his resume not publicly known: He had campaigned internally to bring charges against more executives in the agency’s 2010 case against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)

The SEC has become “an agency that polices the broken windows on the street level and rarely goes to the penthouse floors,” Kidney said, according to a copy of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg News. “On the rare occasions when enforcement does go to the penthouse, good manners are paramount. Tough enforcement, risky enforcement, is subject to extensive negotiation and weakening.”

Kidney said his superiors were more focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service than on bringing difficult cases. The agency’s penalties, Kidney said, have become “at most a tollbooth on the bankster turnpike.”

His March 27 remarks drew applause from the crowd of about 70 people, according to witnesses. In an interview, Kidney said he hadn’t heard any blowback from SEC officials.

SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment.

‘Afflicting’ Power

Kidney, 66, has worked at the agency since 1986 except for a four-year stint at Aetna Inc. At the SEC he won a half-dozen insider-trading trials. His speech bemoaned the lack of SEC enforcers who “believe in afflicting the comfortable and powerful.”

The SEC has taken a beating from critics including lawmakers, judges and advocacy groups who say the agency has been too easy on the banks that helped fuel the 2008 crisis by peddling mortgage-backed securities of questionable value to unwary investors. No senior executive at a major financial firm has gone to jail and the SEC has brought civil charges against only a handful.

In his speech, Kidney also hit the agency for using misleading statistics to showcase its enforcement efforts. The SEC should focus on the quality of its actions, rather than try to file as many as possible just to tout its record to lawmakers and the media, he said.

“It is a cancer,” Kidney said of the agency’s use of numbers. “It should be changed.”

‘Lower Burden’

Kidney said in the interview that he will always be an SEC loyalist and was trying to offer constructive criticism that could help the agency. He said he wasn’t singling out any specific cases or officials in his comments.

“I don’t think we did a very aggressive job with all the major players in the crash of ’08,” he said, noting that as a civil enforcement agency, the commission does not need to prove its cases beyond a reasonable doubt like the Justice Department does. “The SEC has a lower burden of proof and we should be pushing the envelope a bit.”

The Goldman Sachs suit was one of the highest-profile SEC actions arising from the credit crisis. The bank agreed to pay $550 million to settle claims that it misled investors when it packaged and sold a complex security known as a collateralized debt obligation that was linked to subprime mortgages.

The SEC also sued Fabrice Tourre, who was vice president on the team that put together the deal at issue in the SEC case, known as Abacus 2007-AC1. A federal jury found Tourre liable last year, and he was ordered in March to pay $825,000 in penalties and other costs.

Goldman Executives

Kidney, who was part of the initial team that was building the Goldman Sachs case, pressed his bosses in the enforcement division to go higher up the chain. He later took himself off the team after being given a lesser role, according to people familiar with the matter.

In particular, the people said, Kidney argued that the commission should sue Tourre’s boss, Jonathan Egol. Kidney also wanted to bring a case against Paulson & Co. or some executives at the hedge fund, which helped pick the portfolio of securities that were underlying the Abacus vehicle and then bet against it.

The SEC ultimately decided not to sue Egol, the Paulson firm or any individuals from the hedge fund.

Andrew Williams, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, declined to comment.

While Kidney declined to comment on the Goldman case in particular, much of his role is laid out in a September 2010 report by the agency’s inspector general’s office, which reviewed whether the SEC succumbed to political pressure in bringing the enforcement action. Kidney’s name is blacked out in the report.

‘Little Secret’

In his retirement speech, Kidney noted that he had been “involved in a high-profile case or two” and said he had gotten a message from above not to take too many risks.

“I have had bosses, and bosses of my bosses, whose names we all know, who made little secret that they were here to punch their ticket,” Kidney said. “They mouthed serious regard for the mission of the commission, but their actions were tentative and fearful in many instances.”

Stephen Crimmins, a former colleague of Kidney’s at the SEC who attended the retirement party, said he was one of the “finest lawyers ever to serve in the enforcement division.” Kidney was known for winning the SEC’s first jury trial, which was an insider trading case.

Kidney earned his legal degree at night from George Washington University’s law school while working as a Supreme Court reporter for the United Press International wire service and at U.S. News & World Report.

“People point to him as being very frank and not one to just say what people want to hear,” said Crimmins, now a partner at the K&L Gates law firm in Washington. Speakers at the party even ribbed Kidney about it, Crimmins said.

“There were some high-ranking people in the room, and everyone took it in stride,” Crimmins said. “Everyone there respected that.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at rschmidt5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net Lawrence Roberts
Fri, April 11, 2014 - 4:37 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Obama Administration Wins Jefferson Muzzle Award for Restricting Free Press

Via: rt.com/usa/jefferson-...nistration-708/

The United States Department of Justice and the White House Press Office are this year’s top winners of a dubious award extended to those considered to be “responsible for some of the more egregious or ridiculous affronts to First Amendment principles.”

On Wednesday this week, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression announced that the US Justice Dept. had topped this year’s list of “Jefferson Muzzle” recipients, an award handed out every April since 1992 “as a means to draw national attention to abridgments of free speech and press and, at the same time, foster an appreciation for those tenets of the First Amendment.”

The White House Press Office was listed in the second slot among this year’s “winners,” trailed immediately by a third-place tie between the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

It isn’t unusual for the free-speech loving organization named in honor of the third president of the US to condemn federal agencies for infringing on the constitutional rights of American citizens, but the Obama administration swept this year’s honors, undoubtedly lending further credence to allegations that the White House has ravaged First Amendment-protected freedoms by interfering and attempting to influence even the most venerable mainstream press outlets in the country.

According to the Jefferson Center, first place honors this year were awarded to the Justice Dept. due to the Obama administration’s relentless aggressive pursuit of individuals alleged to have leaked government information, while the press office’s routine shunning of journalists from official functions in exchange for regularly relying on a private White House photographer earned that department second place standing. The NSA and DHS were selected not as a result of any new infringing policies put in place by those offices, however, but rather because they went after Americans who parodied the official government seals of either department.

Elsewhere on this year’s list of winners are the North Carolina General Assembly Police and the Kansas Board of Regents rounding out the top five, followed by Modesty Junior College, the Tennessee State Legislature and the principals of schools in Florida and New Jersey.

"From the White House to the statehouse, from universities to high schools, members of the press have had to defend against a variety of challenges, some never seen before," Jefferson Center Director Josh Wheeler said in a statement this week.

Indeed, the Obama White House in particular has been accused in recent years of treating the press in a manner unheard of since the administration of Richard Nixon — an allegation that would seem overblown had it not been made by the likes of the internationally renowned Committee to Protect Journalists and some of the country’s most well respected reporters.

“I think we have a real problem,” New York Times national security reporter Shane Scott told the CPJ for their report on eroding press freedoms in the US last October. The administration’s prosecution and persecution of leakers was having a real “deterrent effect,” Shane acknowledged, adding, “If we consider aggressive press coverage of government activities being at the core of American democracy, this tips the balance heavily in favor of the government.”

Six months later, the Jefferson Center agrees and has put the White House’s war on leakers and the journalists accused of “aiding and abetting” them at the top of this year’s list.

“The government surely has a legitimate interest in identifying those disclosing such information,” the center said in an explanation included in this week’s report. “Yet if the press is to fulfill its role as a government watchdog and report what it sees to the public at large, it has to be able to assure its sources of confidentiality.”

Imperative as it may be, doing as much has been made harder than ever due largely to the administration’s targeting of leakers: WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning was sentenced last summer to 35-years in prison for disclosing state secrets, and Edward Snowden — the former intelligence contractor who last year began to supply journalists with classified documents pilfered from the NSA — is wanted for espionage in America and has spent nearly the last year in Russia as a result.

And though these instances are few and far between, the severity of these prosecutions and similar investigations into outlets like Fox News and the Associated Press waged by the Obama administration to narrow in on leakers has been credited with creating a chilling effect that is allowing for the government to essentially scare sources and reporters from covering certain topics, lest they wish to risk a federal prison sentence: former Central Intelligence Analyst John Kiriakou is currently serving time at a correctional facility in Pennsylvania for confirming the name of a colleague to an established reporter, and last month State Department advisor Stephen Kim was sent behind bars for having shared secrets with a Fox Reporter — which, in turn, led to the Justice Department seeking in secret that journalist’s private emails. In that instance, the Washington Post wrote recently, “court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist.”

But when the government hasn’t been hounding journalists for speaking to sources, it’s been influencing the way the world sees its news to a certain degree. The White House Press Office, the Jefferson Center wrote, was also awarded a Muzzle award this year because the administration has “dramatically limited” access to the president for photojournalists, instead compelling a government cameraman to create the images dispersed worldwide by the White House to narrate the administration’s otherwise-often-secret inner workings.

“The White House counters that it has released more images of the President at work than any previous administration. While that may be true, the journalistic value of such photographs is a product of their content, not quantity,” the center said. “For systematically rejecting independent journalistic access in favor of its own sanitized visual record, the White House Press Office has earned a 2014 Jefferson Muzzle.”

Tied at third-place, the NSA and DHS were both deemed Muzzle-worthy by the Jefferson Center for spending three ears pursuing an American citizen who designed parodies of those agencies logos, including one which touted the “US Department of Homeland Stupidity.”

The Obama administration was last awarded a Jefferson Muzzle in 2011 for what the center described then as restricting media access to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a year prior.

“Since 1992, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has celebrated the birth and ideals of its namesake by calling attention to those who in the past year forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech ‘cannot be limited without being lost,’” the organization says on its website.

Previously, President George H.W. Bush, the administration of Pres. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and key members of his cabinet were awarded Muzzles.
Fri, April 11, 2014 - 4:35 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

High-Level Threats and Murder Taking Place as Cabalists Turn on Each Other

Via: hipknowsys.blogspot.com/2014/0...of.html

Benjamin Fulford - April 7, 2014

High level cabalists have begun killing and threatening each other in a sign that their unified centralized control grid is falling apart. The recent shooting at Ft. Hood was an attack against George Bush Sr. and other members of the Bush clan, according to Rothschild and Rockefeller family sources. However, it is not clear if the attack was successful because of a total information black-out following the incident. The death of a CIA agent last week is also believed to have been part of an anti-Bush/Nazi campaign now underway.

Then last week a photograph of a T-shirt with the number 44 written on it being held in front of President Obama was widely publicized.

www.nydailynews.com/sports/s...1.1746800

The number 44 symbolizes death in many Asian languages and the T-shirt incident appears to have been to remind Obama that he needed to stop blocking the new financial system.

Also, the murder of former ABN Ambro Bank CEO Jan Peter Shmittmann, his wife and his daughter was part of an ongoing Rothschild plan to eliminate any people who would testify against them, according to CIA sources. The list contains 250 names, including 50 bankers, the sources said. The Rothschilds also believe the Rockefeller family is about to be rounded up and jailed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, thinks the entire Rothschild family needs to be killed in order to end the ongoing financial crisis. The Slavic nations are particularly bitter about the destruction of Yugoslavia and the theft of its mineral resources, which they blame on the Rothschilds. They see the recent shenanigans in the Ukraine as yet another Rothschild resource theft.

The Russians are now occupying Eastern Ukraine and have offered the Western portion to Poland in a sign they are no longer going along with the cabal controlled group of sock puppets known as the United Nations.

Since all the major players are now pointing fingers at each other, perhaps this is a good time to review the forensic trail followed by the White Dragon Society agents to try to find out who was behind the plan to “save the environment” by killing 90% of humanity.

The first suspect was David Rockefeller because he sat at the top of well-known globalist institutions like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission.

However, Rockefeller’s people said they were not the problem but rather it was George Bush Sr. and his Nazi faction that were the true bad guys.

The Nazis, for their part, said they were allied with the Gnostic Illuminati and said they were opposed to bloodline rule. They believed it was the Rothschild/Saxe Gotha bloodline that was the problem. The Rothschilds then came out and said they were junior sub-contractors and that the real center of the Cabal was the P2 Freemason lodge in Italy.

A visit to the P2 lodges in Rome and Milan by this writer revealed that they considered themselves to be the descendants of the Caesars and that they were given a mission by extra-terrestrial beings 26,000 years ago to manage history according to an astrology based script. They said their god was the black sun, an alien being living the gamma rays that can control human minds. Their other name for it was Lucifer.

This is probably a myth but, the forensic and historic trail does clearly indicate there has been a 2000 year old plan by the descendants of the Roman Empire to create a single, centralized, fascist world government known as the New World Order.

The P2 said there was a faction in their group that was behind the plan to kill 90% of humanity and enslave the rest in order to create thousand year Reich. This group was subsequently purged, which is the real reason why Pope maledict resigned to make way for Pope Francis.

Now that their plan is falling apart we are seeing a situation like that at the fall of the Soviet Union when all sorts of long held secrets started coming out. In this case, the P2 are making public details of how they created Christianity and Islam as propaganda tools in their long war against the Jews.

The latest revelations about Islam were sent to this writer in a PDF file which we will try to attach to this week’s newsletter. The part about Islam and the Vatican training of Muhammad starts on page 26.
More detail on the people who wrote the New Testament was also published here:

www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi

It is probable that they based Jesus on a popular Jewish rebel leader they had executed and renamed Isis as Mary and the Sun god as Jesus.

These revelations are coming at a time when many top Western leaders are visiting the new Pope. President Putin of Russia and Obama of the United States of America Corporation were followed last week by Queen Elizabeth.

The Queen was 20 minutes late for her meeting with the pope because her talks with the President of Italy ran overtime. It is a good guess they were discussing financial matters but no inside information from this meeting has leaked so far. In the meeting between Elizabeth and the Pope, the Pope gave an orb (symbol of power) of lapis lazuli (symbolic of wealth). The Queen gave the pope beer, eggs and whisky probably in recognition that having sworn an oath of poverty, he would have refused more lavish gifts.

Since the P2 are very into Astrology, we must now wait and see if the upcoming blood moon on April 15th will coincide with any big announcements.

If not, then pressure on the cabal is going to be increased to an entirely new level with an unprecedented attack on the petro-dollar.

Members of the group known as Cobra resistance went to Taiwan recently after visiting a WDS representative in Tokyo. Last week they contacted this writer via skype and showed a video of Taiwanese mass production of free energy devices. They said they were now being manufactured by over 20,000 different groups, more than oil company men in black could deal with.

They promised to deliver one to this writer before the end of this month. If it runs my home electrical appliances as promised, then I will take it to all the big Japanese manufacturing firms for mass production.

IF this is really true then it would be a total paradigm changer for the world economy and would definitely doom the petrodollar.

The Russians and Iranians are also attacking the petro-dollar with an announced plan to start selling their oil using a barter system that will by-pass the dollar.

In China as well, the money trail is being investigated very thoroughly and all officials found to have been corrupted by Fed money are being removed.

Mohamed was a creation of the Vatican: benjaminfulford.net/wp-conte...tican.pdf
Fri, April 11, 2014 - 4:31 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Russia And China About To Sign "Holy Grail" Gas Deal

Via: www.zerohedge.com/news/2014...l-gas-deal

Several weeks ago we reported that in response to ongoing alienation of Russia by the west Putin was aggressively setting the stage for Russia's eastward expansion, set to culminate with a "holy grail" gas deal with China. We said that "while Europe is furiously scrambling to find alternative sources of energy should Gazprom pull the plug on natgas exports to Germany and Europe (the imminent surge in Ukraine gas prices by 40% is probably the best indication of what the outcome would be), Russia is preparing the announcement of the "Holy Grail" energy deal with none other than China, a move which would send geopolitical shockwaves around the world and bind the two nations in a commodity-backed axis."

Reuters added, reflecting on the recent trip of Rosneft executive chairman to Asia, that "the underlying message from the head of Russia's biggest oil company, Rosneft, was clear: If Europe and the United States isolate Russia, Moscow will look East for new business, energy deals, military contracts and political alliances. The Holy Grail for Moscow is a natural gas supply deal with China that is apparently now close after years of negotiations. If it can be signed when Putin visits China in May, he will be able to hold it up to show that global power has shifted eastwards and he does not need the West."

It's time for an update. According to Itar-Tass, "Russia's Gazprom and China are poised to conclude a gas supply contract in coming weeks, the first in a series of energy projects planned between the two countries. "We’re working now to sign a gas contract in May," said Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. "Consultations are continuing and Gazprom's leaders are holding talks with Chinese partners on the contract terms. We hope to conclude the contract in May and believe it should come into effect by the year end."



The key sticking point remains the price: "Base price is the only problem to be solved,” Dvorkovich said on Wednesday at a session of a Russia-China intergovernmental commission on energy co-operation, co-chaired by Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli." However, even if Russia concedes the topline to China, it will surely "more than make up for it in volume" to borrow a line from Amazon, and furthermore the geopolitical implications from such a deal, not to mention the increase in national leverage vis-a-vis its dealings with Europe and the West, will more than make up for any immediately revenue shortfalls.

But wait - there's more in the rapidly shifting geopolitical axis which increasingly positions Russias as a key commodity source for China:

In other plans, Russian company Novatek’s Yamal region LNG (liquefied natural gas) project was near ready for signing, Drovkovich said. Russia's Rosneft had several interesting plans "seeking to increase maritime supplies by several million tonnes per year,” he said.

“Russia and China have agreed to jointly develop gas fields in (Russia's far eastern) Sakhalin and East Siberia,” Dvorkovich said. “We have discussed co-operation in the coal sphere, agreeing to develop deposits, supply equipment and build electric power plants as well as providing China with additional electricity supplies”.

“We’re finding mutually advantageous decisions on certain projects that will allow us to implement them in the shortest period of time,” Dvorkovich added. Conditions were right to speed the Tianjin oil refinery project and to build a petrochemical facility, he said.

This is happening as Ukraine announced overnight that it won't import Russian gas in April due to the surge in price that Gazprom is demanding from the US proxy state, and following ongoing Gazprom invoiving of how much Ukraine owes it which at last count was well over $2 billion - an amount which we be funded from the still to be finalized western aid to be provided for Ukraine.

Of course, at this pace, Ukraine and even Europe, will become far less meaningful markets to Russia as Putin prepares to announce what indeed would be the holy grail of gas supply deals, one that reduces Russia's reliance on European energy imports and substantially raises Russia's relevance to China as the two countries increasingly become the bestest of buddies.

Which certainly is also why, as Bloomberg reported this morning, "in the talks between China and U.S.’s Hagel overnight, the Chinese are taking a different tack. Rather than argue the merits of the disputed islands/history, they seem instead to say that it’s none of the U.S. business to get mixed up in something in another part of the world and between two sovereign nations.

Bloomberg's conclusion: "Not only is this probably music to Putin’s ears, it also serves to ratchet up the tensions."

Just wait to see how "ratcheted up" tensions will be once Russia and China are finally locked into a bearhug of mutual codependence.
Fri, April 11, 2014 - 4:28 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

The Cross St. Chronicles Continues Its Monthly Run at Ugly Mug Cafe on April 8th @ 7pm

Craig Combs of Sacred Star Productions is happy to present the fourth installment of his monthly music & spoken word variety show series, which will take place Tuesday, April 8th, from 7:00-9:00 PM at the Ugly Mug Cafe & Roastery, located at 317 W. Cross Street in Ypsilanti, MI. The show will be filmed by Dark Elf Entertainment and publicly broadcast as four weekly episodes on WDEE-TV.com starting a week after the event.

On the second Tuesday of each month, The Cross St. Chronicles Variety Show will spotlight four to five musicians and spoken word artists from across the Great Lakes region and will finish with a short open mic segment. It will be hosted by Michigan poet and author Craig A. Combs, and the advertised lineup for this month’s all-ages, community-based event will be as follows (not necessarily in this order):

David Jibson—Ann Arbor Poet & Published Author

Jake LeMond & Joe May—Plymouth-Canton Guitar & Saxophone Duo

Phillip Arrington—EMU English Professor & Published Author

Marco Aziel—Plymouth Singer-Songwriter performing with Ypsilanti Drummer, Travis Anderson

John Louis Good—Country/Folk Singer-Songwriter from Jackson

Anyone interested in being featured in a future installment of The Cross St. Chronicles should contact Craig Combs at craigacombs@me.com. Signup for this month’s Open Mic segment will take place between 7:00 PM and the midpoint break on the night of the event, and will be limited to no more than six (6) slots of five (5) minutes each. Ideally, all performers should present their own original work. The order of the Open Mic lineup will be determined during the break by random drawing of those who sign up.

This is a family-friendly event, and admission is FREE to everyone. To contact the host venue, the Ugly Mug Cafe & Roastery, call (734) 484-4684 or find them on the web at www.uglymugypsi.com. To watch the full video stream of last month’s show, please visit: vimeo.com/89300840.

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate Sacred Star Productions will also be presenting a music and spoken word variety show and open mic at the Whittaker Road branch of the Ypsilanti District Library on Thursday evening, April 24th, from 7:00-9:00 PM. Signup for the open mic segment will begin two weeks prior to this event and will be announced in an upcoming press release along with more details.

This special event is titled “Hear and Now: Merging Trend & Tradition Through Music & the Spoken Word” and will be hosted in tandem with the Library’s month-long exhibit, “America’s Greatest Generation: Our Lives, Our Stories”. The variety show and open mic will take place in the Garage. This too is an all-ages event, and admission is FREE.

Calling all Writers, Musicians, and Illustrators! Combs will once again be teaming up with WDEE-TV to present a musician and author fair and variety show at the Wurst Bar in Ypsilanti on Sunday, June 22nd from 6:30-10:00 PM, titled “RELEASE!: Celebrating Published Artists & Their Dreams Fulfilled”. This event will showcase regional talents both on-stage and in a book- and CD-signing setting.

The two formats will alternate throughout the evening, giving the artists and the public a chance to interact with one another on various levels. All those interested in participating should contact Craig Combs at craigacombs@me.com. Space is limited, and registration will run from now until spots are filled or Sunday, June 15th, whichever comes first. So bring your published works and fill the world with new light, YOUR LIGHT!
Sat, April 5, 2014 - 4:20 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

EMPOWERING YOUR HEALTH: BEYOND MONSANTO, ROCKEFELLER AND THE AMA

Via: www.thrivemovement.com/empowe...on.blog

By Kimberly Carter Gamble with Erin Breech

Information Body

When your doctor tells you your prescription is approved by the American Medical Association (AMA), it’s intended to give you confidence. But what it really means is that the drug or procedure is endorsed and funded by the same corporations that endorse and fund Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other products that are harmful to your health. In fact, the AMA is in part financed by Pfizer, which owns Monsanto, the company that manufactured controversial and proven-to-be-dangerous products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin (a.k.a. bovine growth hormone) and is now the largest manufacturer of genetically modified seeds and the herbicide glyphosate, which GMO’s require. This is only one of the insidious connections between the AMA and corporations that cause, and prosper from, your ill health.

Here’s how it works:

Founded in 1847, the American Medical Association is the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States. Its stated mission includes “…lobbying for legislation favorable to physicians and patients, and to raise money for medical education.”

The AMA spends big money on lobbying. One of the AMA’s top lobbying firms, the McManus Group, also lobbies for PhRMA, Eli Lilly & Co, Merck and Pfizer. According to OpenSecrets.org, the American Medical Association comes in second in overall money spent on lobbying in the last 10 years with over $264 million. The health industry as a whole trumps all other industries including energy and finance in lobbying expenditure.

The AMA looks to legitimize its agenda through its Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, which is the most widely circulated medical journal in the world. JAMA receives major funding through its advertisers, many of which are pharmaceuticals. In addition, the American Medical Association has been accepting money from the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations from as early as 1910. In World Without Cancer, G. Edward Griffin makes the argument that the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations began to support the AMA in an effort to control the medical schooling establishment and to gain power over this “large and vital sphere of American life.”

The editor of JAMA is very influential, and has historically played a significant role in suppressing alternative health treatments. Morris Fishbein, editor of JAMA from 1924–1950, was directly engaged in suppressing Royal Rife’s cancer cure. In 1849, homeopathy was nearly as popular as allopathic medical practices. The AMA was able to use its position to squash what it referred to as “quackery” — stating that the public did not know what was good for it and that the medical establishment must have total control. At that point it called for control over all medical regulations and licenses. These regulations eventually lead to closing down of schools and almost complete suppression of the practice. Even today in America homeopathic practices are mostly “underground.”

This is essentially the same story as that which played out with chiropractors. 12,000 chiropractors were arrested in the first half of the twentieth century simply for helping patients with only their hands. A pivotal point in this war, an antitrust case, Wilk v. the AMA, occurred when court testimony revealed the AMA’s final solution for the “chiropractic menace” to be the “complete elimination of the chiropractic profession.” They called chiropractors “rabid dogs”, “killers”, an “unscientific cult”, and “a danger to public safety”. When taken to task in court, the AMA could not provide one witness to prove these accusations; it was purely propaganda. But the role of the AMA in determining what qualifies as sanctioned medical practice was established nonetheless. It is noteworthy, especially for those who discredit conspiracy theories, that the AMA was convicted of conspiracy for its attack on chiropractic.

It was around the turn of the century that the AMA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Carnegie Foundation forged their partnership. They put their money into drug-based research and made that the main focus of “healthcare”—a move that turned “healthcare” into “sickness management.” The Rockefellers and other prominent banking elite have been able to control and profit enormously from the drug industry.

Now, all medical doctors in the USA are trained in medical schools that are run and/or accredited/sanctioned by the AMA. Of 129 medical schools in America, only 22 require even what amounts to basic rudimentary courses in nutrition. Medical students are not trained to see the connections between many degenerative diseases and malnutrition. Instead they are taught only how to treat with surgical or pharmaceutical methods but do not cure or alleviate the root problem or ailment. In this way, they are assured of life-long customers. Surveys conclude that nearly half of all Americans regularly take prescription drugs. In 2013, the World Health Organization ranked the U.S. #37 in healthcare despite spending $8,608 on each person annually.

What Can We Do?

We are whole and integrated beings and therefore require whole-system, integrated health care solutions.

Get educated and take responsibility for your own health.

Ask your own health care providers to disclose the source of their information regarding their prescription choices and knowledge updates, if they know who funds the research they are relying on, and ask if they have any interactions with drug companies whose products they prescribe.

Create small community-based health clinics, including home visits for individual patients as well as health education and promotion for whole communities.

Encourage more whole-system education throughout all schools.

Make Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) part of mainstream curriculum — not as something to be learned in addition to medical training, but rather as a valid body of knowledge to be integrated at all levels.

Create a campaign to make integrative medicine a mandatory part of curriculum in U.S. medical schools through the American Commission for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME).

Join a campaign to protect alternative health practices.

Support naturopathic medical colleges in the U.S. with enrollment and funding.

Lobby to make alternative therapies accessible to everyone. Currently most alternative therapies in the U.S. are not covered by health insurance and alternative treatments are rarely accessed by low-income individuals. Fabulous work on this is being done by Dean Ornish. Follow and support his work.

Educate yourself and bring awareness of new energy technologies and health devices based on Rife and other current inventors work out into the open. If you have financial resources, help support their development and dissemination.

As people are waking up, Monsanto has been removed and banned by Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, South Australia, Russia, France, and Switzerland. Monsanto is currently the target of effective resistance in the US as well. This same organizing can happen with pharmaceuticals, as we gain an understanding of the connection between them and the agribusiness companies and the medical establishment.

Next time someone says “It’s approved by the AMA”, ask them if they understand what that really means, and share this information.

See Thrive’s 3-Stage Solutions Strategy for the Health Sector: www.thrivemovement.com/the_12...lutions
Sat, April 5, 2014 - 4:05 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment
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