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Open mike 23/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 23rd, 2011 - 76 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

76 comments on “Open mike 23/05/2011”

  1. ZeeBop 1

    Good times, the rightwing lowered taxes to stimulate borrowing – well that’s what it looks like now. Then along came reality. Oil price trends decimated future value, citizens were forced to pay down debt, target low energy activities and investments. The few countries still hitting profits, China, Australia, Germany, all have good attributes that raise their short to medium term prospects. So now that citizens have the wisdom to save (or forced to), the National government slugs them with higher taxes, GST hike, higher burden of taxation on lower and middle income earners, few services (thus higher costs to them), cut kiwisaver, and what is National doing with this windfall? Charity cases in hard times, overly generous farm subsidies, tax cuts for the top band of tax payers, and inappropriate emphasis on roading.
    How should government make us all more productive? Lower the cost of moving around – public transport, lower the cost of borrowing. A capital gains tax – reduce borrowing competition from the non-trade-able sector. Broadband already everywhere.
    But no! National have done nothing but keep digging, and save the farming industry from what? A growing population globally giving up buying food? Please. Those in farming who are rich are rich enough, those who aren’t should not be in farming if they could not run without massive debt. The farm debt is dead weight around our necks.

    Either the farm sector is heavily under water, in debt, in a time of commodities booming and so massively in need of reform, or farmers have been dodging taxes.

  2. Bored 2

    Has anybody in Labour approached Tapu Misa and asked her to stand for them in South Auckland. She is the only columnist in the Herald who has any sense, she has profile and she is clever. Maggie who?

    • Armchair Critic 2.1

      It’s a gem this morning, Bored. Six months like this and the election will be far from a certainty for National.

      [lprent: Fixed your link (I was puzzled). ]

      • LynW 2.1.1

        I also find her columns excellent. Todays, a gem indeed. Agree with Bored and Armchair Critic.

      • ianmac 2.1.2

        The wrong link surely? Pitcairn Island?

        • Carol

          It looks like it should be this one:


          Tapu Misa writes that the agnostic PM’s support is at risk as the Budget makes Government priorities crystal clear.

          Some Christians I know who voted for National in the last election because they liked the look of John Key and disliked Helen Clark and her godless gay-loving feminist anti-smacking family-unfriendly Labour Party have changed their minds.

          And PS: I like this bit:

          Jesus focused on poverty and justice and helping “the least of these”. Yet many Christians seem inclined to see morality in narrow terms. But what is more destructive to family values – the lack of a living wage, or the legalisation of same-sex marriages?

        • Armchair Critic

          Oops, sorry. And it’s too late to edit it. Thanks Carol.

    • William Joyce 2.2


  3. vto 3

    I just have to up the vitriol on this one… John Key is a fuckwit.

    In Christchurch this weekend he celebrated the growth of the EQC as an example of growth in Christchurch.

    What a fuckwit you are Key. Not just a dick, or a wanker, or a charlatan, or a whoring money-dealer, or a clown. You are a fuckwit.

    And here’s another two for you to add to your gloat list of growing industry – coroners and ambulance drivers.

    Fuck off and don’t come back.

    • Tigger 3.1

      No vitriol here, vto. He is. Time for the left to stop being polite.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And stop pandering to the right-of-centre.

        80% of the people in this country earn less than $60,000 p.a. It’s time to stand up for them so that they are convinced to turn out to vote for the Left.

    • Deadly_NZ 3.2

      And does anyone remember when he said in the house that NZ was fast becoming one of the PIGS? another lie.

      Blinglish is off on a jaunt to Singapore and area to sell New Zealand as an investment place.( or was it just sell NZ??). I cant remember where i saw the article.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Blinglish was off to Asia to sell NZ as a place of cheap labour IIRC.

        I think the article was in Open Mike a couple of days ago – I believe I posted it.

  4. So John Key thinks that making farmers pay for their pollution will make the price of milk and cheese go up.  Funny that.  As stated by Trevor Mallard farmers have responded to complaints about the price of milk by saying that they are set by the market and they have no control over them.  

    Increased market prices are out of their control but increased expenses require them to increase prices.  What the??

    • vto 4.1

      micky, Key just keeps making shit up.

      He doesn’t care whether it has any credibility, or whether it is contrary to previous utterings, as long as it gets a headline. See my post above for another example.

      He is a duplicitous whore.

      • travellerev 4.1.1

        When a banker speaks he lies. John Key was a scammer and and his speciality, the derivatives trade is what is collapsing our economic system. He made his money getting bonuses on the derivatives trade which is merely gambling. So what do you expect?
        I find it very hard not to say I told you so but what’s the point. The damage is and will be done as long as the average kiwi thinks that the sun shines out of JK’s ass. At least it seems some people are waking up.

    • Herodotus 4.2

      MS the farmers have control on the price they paid for the farm and the indebtness that the farm is in. If the returns are marginal then buy the farm at a lower value, as the farm value is based on economic value, returns etc. Trouble is when there are foreign investors able, willing and allowed to pay a greater value (than many would consider it worth) or to buy up a failed farm just to get rid of US$ even if for many they are overpaying for it. Sonner have a farm than a bank full of US$.

    • Bill 4.3

      If a grower has a supply contract with a major supermarket, the supermarket will set the price they pay for produce and squeeze the supplier if extra costs become associated with the product in question. (They’ll also increase costs to the consumer, but anyway.)

      So, if Fonterra have extra costs associated with dairy production, they will protect the corporate profit level and squeeze the dairy farmer. Meaning that economy of scale will become an increasing necessity and smaller farmers will be forced to intensify their operations until such times as they are forced out of business.

      Might not be the same scenario if there was a straight forward carbon tax rather than a wheeling and dealing carbon trading market controlled by bankers and corporations.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.1

        Squeeze the dairy farmer?

        Don’t worry about it mate, the dairy farmer owns Fonterra.

        That’s the beauty of co-operative enterprise, and we need more of them in NZ.

        • We certainly need more Co-Operatives . With worker participation . why not allow farm workers to have shares in Fonterra ?
          However I find it a bit amusing when these rich farmers lecture us on the evils of wicked socialism when their co-operative milk company is pure socialism.

          • Bill

            How cooperative is Fonterra?

            Are farmers the shareholders or are they merely stakeholders who receive dividends that are quantitatively different to the dividends payed to the shareholders who buy and sell Fonterra shares on the stock market?

            And what is cooperative about the management structure? Who makes the decisions to acquire land overseas for example? Who decides what monies will be reinvested and what the nature of the reinvestment should be? Who decides what happens to monies not reinvested? Etc, etc, etc.

            I could be wrong and will be happy to be corrected. But Fonterra strikes me as being parallel to the bad old central command economic model where producers, instead of being tied to the state in this case, are tied to a particular corporate body. In neither case is the producer necessarily wealthy or advantaged. That’s not to say that rich dairy farmers do not exist. But I’m far from convinced that all dairy farmers are wealthy. And I’m not convinced that the dairy industry isn’t deliberately geared to ‘kill off’ small and medium sized farmers over the medium to long term.

            And with the ETS would it be the individual farmer who buys and sells credits, or the corporate body? And if it’s the corporate body, then what incentive exists for individual farmers to invest time, energy or money in reducing emissions?

            • Herodotus

              Fonterra like most co-op operations transfer their “profits” to their shareholders and these shareholders pay the tax bill. See link Fonterras profit $1.86b tax ($28m) so they are able to deduct the fonterra cost at a rate of what profit they make, so there is no profit, this is a great mechanism to push profits to the farmer and then allowing the industry to min tax payments. Otherwise if Fonterra make massive profits the farmer would be at a cash lost and report tax losses but never get the benefit of these losses, as to obtain bebenfit from losses at some stage you have to make profits at least equal to the losses.

  5. Aargh Radio New Zealand is interviewing Trotter and Farrar to talk about Labour’s policies.  Overly critical left and obsequious to Key right are both represented.

    Why can’t they also have a Labour paid party hack to comment on Labour policy?

    And by the way Trotter the conference was anything but subdued.  The mood was determined and focussed.

  6. ianmac 6

    Yes mickey. Trotter is no friend of the Left. Farrar just gets stuck in from the Right’s point of view. But Trotter mulls the pros and cons in an academic fashion and leaves the Left hanging.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Trotter goes out of his way to curry favour with whichever right-wing commentator he is paired with, “for balance”. It’s funny, because he makes all the concessions, and his “opponent”—whether it’s Michele Boag, Larry Williams, Graeme Hunt (RIP), Michael Bassett, Jock Anderson, David Farrar or any other National Party apologist—never concede anything.

      Trotter appears to be playing some sort of long-range strategy; if I’m nice and accommodating on this occasion, then Michele Boag (for instance) will be reasonable and measured in her comments some time in the future.

      Trouble is, it never happens.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Exactly. The Left always bends over to accommodate the centre and the right, and always gets shafted.

        The Right might throw bones to the centre, but in the end it does exactly what suits itself, and won’t even bother to pretend to consult with you while doing it.

        • Morrissey

          Right now on National Radio, there’s another wimp-walloping being administered. It’s “From the Left and Right”, with the impressive right winger Matthew Hooton up against not Sue Bradford, Andrew Campbell, Mike Williams or Lila Harre, all of whom give as good as they get, but John Pagani, who like Tim Watkin and Chris Trotter, is accustomed to playing the patsy role, and being steam-rollered.

          • Colonial Viper

            Someone pass the lube before permanent injury is done.

          • mickysavage

            Grrr, I have just heard an advertisement where Geoff Robinson says “Morning Report, telling it like it is”.  And then I heard the unmistakable tones of David Farrar criticising Labour’s R&D policy.

            Has Morning Report become a mouthpiece for the Government?

            The choice is appalling.  I can feel a letter of complaint coming on.

            • Olwyn

              Isn’t Richard Griffin the new chairman (if that is the right term) of RNZ?

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, but despite years of being a media advisor for the National Party, he is still impartial and all that, don’t you know.

            • Deborah Kean

              Has Morning Report become a mouthpiece for the Government?

              It certainly seems so, of late.. Ms Ryan on Nine to Noon, gets very aerated at criticism of Key and co!

        • ianmac

          Been reading James Carvilles Rules For Progressives.

          No 2. Quit Conceding that the other Side Has a Point!

          • Morrissey

            Carville was no progressive. He was, and is, a cynical operator who fitted in perfectly with that liar and criminal he connived and spun for so tirelessly.

    • I agree ianmac. I have been having doubts about Trotter for some time.
      Whilst he claims leftish sympathy’s he certainly spends a lot of time bashing the Labour Party . I’m turning off Trotter rapidly. He used to spend his time critizising the right , however he seems have a lot of praise for Key and his cronies. What’s going on ?

  7. Morrissey 7

    Mike Leigh, interviewed by Lynn Freeman
    Radio New Zealand National, Monday 23 May 2011, 10:10 a.m.

    The great director cannot hide a certain amount of impatience with Freeman’s narrow and off-beam questions, so the interview is peppered with little signs of testiness: “Obviously. … As I’ve already said… Again, you see, you talk about character, and I’m concerned most of all with establishing a sense of place…”

    A few selections from the interview…

    LYNN FREEMAN: The desperation of your characters—
    MIKE LEIGH: There’s nothing desperate about them!

    LYNN FREEMAN: There seems to be a lot of yourself in your characters.
    MIKE LEIGH: I’m not interested in talking about myself.

    LYNN FREEMAN: You use a lot of close-ups in your work.
    MIKE LEIGH: I don’t think about closeups as an affectation or fetish. Long shots are just as important. It seems to me to be entirely academic.

    LYNN FREEMAN: Oh, I don’t mean to turn this into an academic exercise. I know you’re intuitive.
    MIKE LEIGH: Yeah, again, I don’t like to think about that. There are dramatists for whom silence is a fetish.

    LYNN FREEMAN: What’s the U.K. film scene like?
    MIKE LEIGH: Internationally, there is a funding problem. The incoming, irresponsible government abolished the Film Council.

    LYNN FREEMAN: What is your next film project?
    MIKE LEIGH: In the way we made Topsy Turvy about Gilbert and Sullivan, we want to make a film about JMW Turner.

  8. ianmac 8

    Last night I heard of a comment made by Bill English that building more prisons was immoral and economically irresponsible. Not sure if I heard right as I was on the phone. If he did say that then that is rather amazing. Anyone else hear that?

    • Colonial Viper 8.1


      English made that comment on Q&A yesterday. Watch the interview yourself as that wasn’t precisely the wording he used, but it seemed like what he did intend. Surprising I know.

      • ianmac 8.1.1

        Thanks CV. Liked the intro: “Kim Workman from Re-thinking Crime and Punishment told TV ONE’s Breakfast that Bill English’s stance on prisons is the right one, even if it is for the wrong reasons.”
        Yes. Bill is just looking it from the money side rather that from an ethical or moral viewpoint. That Kim Workman is a great advocate for sensible sentencing but in the opposite way to the SST. Ironic really.

        • Morrissey

          Key difference between Kim Workman and Garth McTheKnifeVicar: Workman does not attack the victims of knife-killings.

        • Campbell Larsen

          Blinglish is just framing the corrections issue as a fiscal problem to set the stage for another act in the privatization play.

          1. Portray Prisons as expensive
          2. Assert that the private sector can make prisons more affordable.
          3. Continue with reducing conditions inside jails and pushing through harsher sentencing and enforcement. Claim ‘the people want us to be harder on crime’
          4. Sell either the infrastructure or the operations or both leaving us with sub standard facilities and providers with a reason (profit) to make sure that reform is not something that ever happens inside.

  9. randal 9

    two points today.
    1. CRI wants more investment but remember when Lou Gerstner took over IBM. he found literally hundreds of money earning opportuniteis had been shelved by the managers who didnt think they fit with IBM’s style.
    CRI needs a good looking at.
    2. Hooton accused Phil O’Rilley of being a stooge for Nick smith and representing Nick smith to business and not business to Nick Smith.
    so who does Hooton represent? Methinks he represents those right wing mini-nutbars (wannabees) that get their their beans in the last chapter of superior splatter novels. tell me I’m wrong why dont you.

  10. prism 10

    travellerev yesterday on Open Mike made this point about the sexiam of men in the USA finance trading houses.. What I’m saying is that male and female as forces and energies can balance each other but it still requires a massive amount of work and goodwill. The banking world and the corporate world have a tendency to stray to the male side of things I hope you will agree with me though.

    I have been thinking about how quickly advances in the standing of females in society can be demolished. Tough competition for advancement as in the world of big finance, war and other excuses can sweep away apparently good men’s standards and the vestiges of any standards others might have absorbed from their parents and a supposedly civilised and advanced society.

    Another male-dominated world is the armed forces one. In a recent Australian case two ‘equal’ people were having private sex, but actually the males organised to watch it all on video. So much for those males’ understanding of the mutual respect that should go with equality. There have been cases of women bosses not respecting their male employees too. Yes “it still requires a massive amount of work and goodwill’.

    We hear now that Gaddafi encouraged his Libyan government troops to strip young women in front of their families and then gang rape them. So far estimate is about 1,000 women, but as one girl was violated by 20 men, many more men might have been involved. The youngest so far is 14 years. Seeing that this is a very conservative society as to sex, as to women’s modesty, as to control of women as possessions, treasure to be hidden away from prying eyes etc etc. this is a flagrant violation of their own society’s rules.

    Men engaging in this behaviour encourage and allow each other to be depraved and degenerate – war gives a free pass on this apparently. But the troops will always know what shits they have been. It must sit in the back of their minds like a festering sore.

  11. William Joyce 11

    Announcement of John Key’s death.

  12. Interesting 12

    Oh dear….Labour going up? in the polls?

    Clearly not….http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2011/4669/

    ….oh it was before the budget….so it wont really count right?

    • Armchair Critic 12.1

      And ACT doubled their vote – must be the Brash effect.
      Now all ACT need to do is double it, and double it again, and they’ll be over the 5% threshold

      • Sookie 12.1.1

        I’m convinced they do those stupid polls in Ilam, Fendalton, North Shore, and Remuera. Everyone I know hates the current government, but then again I live in a Labour town. Ah well, the country will get the government it deserves. Embrace the consequences, peasants.

        • Draco T Bastard

          They ring “randomised” people who have landlines. Problem, pretty much only conservatives have land lines these days.

        • Colonial Viper

          Ah well, the country will get the government it deserves. Embrace the consequences, peasants.


          However I also firmly believe that the country deserves a Labour led Government 🙂

    • Salsy 12.2

      Ive just seen that – Dont want our guys peaking too early though do we!

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        Yeah its a very long road to go. If this was the poll 14 days before the election I might be nervous 😛

  13. logie97 13

    How did the country rack up such huge private debt?
    It stems from Douglas and his fellow travelling zealots removing exchange controls.
    We then had a blow out of speculators while Rob’s mob have been suffering
    ever since. The decent ordinary bloke, who is not, himself, in hock, is having to pay
    for the greed and recklessness of Brash and co. And the free marketeers will
    go to great lengths to defend all the TINA’s of the world.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Cullen should have put his foot down on the private debt issue in 2003, 2004, 2005. He could have made it far more expensive for banks to source money overseas, added a levy to every mortgage, enforced minimum deposit rules, encouraged the market for new economical housing – and built a few thousand more himself.

      But all the MPs were making money on their investment properties and no one seemed to be unhappy that they were getting richer on paper.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      How did the country rack up such huge private debt?
      It stems from Douglas and his fellow travelling zealots removing exchange controls.

      It’s more complicated than that. It has to do more with the way capitalism is designed to channel money to the few and how that money is then reintegrated back into the economy. I still haven’t got the logic totally clear but it’s something like this:

      1) Wealth accumulates to the capitalist
      2) The rich loan that money out at interest – usually to banks and other financial organisations
      2a) Due to there not being enough money within the economy to support the capital + interest the banks use the Fractional Reserve banking system to print more money which is loaned out at interest
      3) Banks pay the rich their capital+interest while keeping the interest that they charged on top of the rich peoples charges + the interest that they get from printing money
      4) Goto 1

      First it’s businesses that are taking out cautious loans to grow their business, then the middle class start taking out loans to prop up their lifestyle because wages are falling due to more and more of the money going to the banks/rich and, eventually, the lower class start taking out loans because there’s a huge amount of nearly free money going around and they need the loans to live and the banks/finance companies need to make the loans to maintain profits.

      • logie97 13.2.1

        Thanks for the analysis.
        However, I think you cannot ignore that Douglas simply copied Howe of Thatchers 79 government. They removed exchange controls and money flowed freely and without tracking.

        They new that, from that point, if their was ever a sign of a shift towards a left wing administration, people would be able to move their money offshore. The incoming elected government would have empty coffers, would fail in its socialist agenda, and the right would be reelected and the money would pour back in…

        • Draco T Bastard


          One of the points (which I didn’t make clear) of my logic is that such an a freeing up of capital is needed as the system needs more and more people to borrow money else returns to capital decrease rather than increase (Also note that returns to capital, especially the banks, will increase beyond sustainability and is the driving force of middle/lower class borrowing as return to labour decreases). Hence the RWNJs removing exchange controls.

          We never needed offshore capital. We have all the resources we need right here in NZ.

          • Colonial Viper


            It comes back down to the power of capital/unbridled markets versus the power of labour/communities.

            The latter must be strengthened and the former must be limited to the role we wish it to play.

            The power of money to make money has to be harnessed to work for the community and to work for labour. The power of capitalists and money lenders to focus on money for money’s sake needs to be fundamentally curbed.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Money cannot make money. It is only a tool that helps with exchanges of value but has no value itself.

              The power of capitalists and money lenders to focus on money for money’s sake needs to be fundamentally curbed.

              Not just curbed but stopped.

              Government prints the money @ 0% interest, and gives it to cooperative start ups as support until such time as they are capable of maintaining themselves or it becomes obvious that they will never be viable. If the start up never becomes viable it is dissolved and the physical resources either reused elsewhere in the economy or recycled back into raw resource. The people supported through whatever changes they need to make to continue on.

              No interest bearing money owed anywhere with the government collecting taxes, not to pay for it’s services (The government commands all the resources of the community at our behest after all), but to prevent monetary build up in the economy.

  14. Carol 14

    Rally against the 2011 Budget, Auckland Saturday 28 May:

    MARCH/RALLY: Budget 2011 DON’T CUT OUR FUTURE.From cuts to student loans, Kiwi Saver, working for families to asset sales and privatisation. Civilised society is under threat. “When good people lay idle, evil prospers”. Stand up NZ before it’s to late! please distribute to your email lists,newsletters facebook, twitter, txt and talk to your friends, groups and neighbours. Thanks
    More info (including where you can get leaflets for March) call CSJ 09 8366389 or 0212106720 or email capwaitakere@xtra.co.nz Coalition for Social Justice.(members of community groups, churches, unions et al)

    12 Noon QE2 Square – Opposite Britomart.

    • PeteG 14.1

      “When good people lay idle, evil prospers”

      It’s sad to see a strong statement being hijacked by petty politicking.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        So why did you comment then? Your comment is, after all, nothing but petty politicking and probably a troll.

      • Campbell Larsen 14.1.2

        If you could put aside your petty politicking Pete you would see just how appropriate this statement is given the current state of affairs in NZ.

      • Armchair Critic 14.1.3

        Sad? Fuck off and have your cry somewhere else.
        People are pissed off with what the government have done, and with what they plan to do. They have the right to protest, they have the right to encourage people to join them using language like this, which is pretty mild IMO.
        Petty politics? There are some fundamental differences between what the government believes and what the organisers of this protest believe. These differences are far from petty.

        • Carol

          Yes, I am very unhappy at the direction NAct is aiming to take the country & at their abuse of democratic process to rush through law changes, like the one to kiwisaver. I am pleased to see that some people are getting organised and have a demonstration planned – and, for once, on a Saturday when I am not working. So I will probably go. It looks like it’s being organsied by a collection fo different groups.

      • RobC 14.1.4

        Gents, like bees to a honeypot you give the attention-seeking delusional one what he craves. Mock and smile is far more effective.

  15. Peter 15

    A Question for economists!

    The Current Account as I understand it explains how much we receive from foreign earnings and how much we pay foreigners for imports. Traditionally it is in deficit as we use more foreign funds than we earn. The Current Account deficit as a percentage of GDP is currently about -2.3%. That’s the fifth best in over 35. The last time it was this low was 10 years ago. No doubt boom commodity export prices are helping the cause.

    Anyway, can someone explain why we are so concerned about borrowing abroad, which we have always done, if we are in fact improving our ability to pay our way.
    Is this overseas debt issue a contrived beat up?

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      If we were borrowing capital from foreign sources in order to build up productive infrastructure, advanced plant and equipment in NZ, it might be considered a good use of that borrowing. As a result of our investments, our workforce would become more productive and our exports overseas would be of higher value. We would be able to pay back that foreign debt and keep the surplus for ourselves.

      That is not what we have used those foreign borrowings for however – it has gone into consumer spending and property speculation. Now we have to pay the debt back plus interest using scarce foreign capital. And in reality we are just adding more to the credit card each week so we aren’t paying anything back.

      • Peter 15.1.1

        Thanks! I guess you can also add in borrowing to buy unprofitable, under contributing farms?

        • Colonial Viper

          The issue with property price speculation is that we now have a generation of farmers who aren’t real farmers any more. They are property speculators who happen to do a bit of farming while waiting for their farms to appreciate in capital value. Sometimes they went into major major debt (to foreign banks) so that they were able to buy a farm to do just that.

          A fundamental capitalist measure is Return on Investment. Let’s say a good sized farm was worth $1M to buy and it could generate $200,000 in income during a year: a worthwhile 20% ROI.

          After crazy property price bubble inflation that same farm might now be worth $5M. But you can’t just quintiple the production of the farm. Nature doesn’t work that way.

          Now the same ROI on the farm is only 4%. And if the farmer is paying 5.5% interest on a $5M mortgage, he is going backwards financially every day.

          Hence a huge amount of pressure to work the land harder, put more cows on per hectare, risk pollution and disease, just to try and stay ahead.

          And also praying every single day that a Chinese buyer will swoop in and buy his $5M farm for $10M.

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