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Open mike 24/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 24th, 2010 - 73 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

73 comments on “Open mike 24/11/2010 ”

  1. Logie97 1

    The parallels between our traditional education system and philosophy and what is happening at Hogwarts is uncanny.

    Many will be familiar with Delorus Umbridge as Minister of Education and what she attempts. It would appear that Voldemort is gaining greater influence as well.
    Having dealt to the muggles of Auckland and imposing his supercity on them
    he has been given the portfolio of special education. What havoc will he wreak there. The scary thing about them is the physical likeness…

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    I see them there down home grassroots anti-elitist activists within the tea party faction of the Grand Old Party of Lincoln, the republicans that is, have done gone and got themselves yet another endorsement. I’m sure the founders would approve.

    Ladies and gentlemen please, doff one’s hat for Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein …

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/253630/prince-and-tea-party-peter-robinson

  3. jcuknz 4

    Two usage of words caught my eye yesterday. Firstly a journalist’s caption to a photo.
    “Passengers embark from cruise ship” Hey Man![actually story written by woman but maybe a male subbie did the photo caption ] you don’t embark from but embark for, on or onto.
    The second one doesn’t seem so bad on reflection … a sign ‘For Rent’ … For sale yes but for rent? Surely To Rent is better and one character less to paint. 🙂

  4. vto 6

    Regarding the Pike River disaster – has our kiwi culture morphed into such a PC, cautious, wary, health & safety / policies & systems & handrails ridden system that it is backfiring on itself?

    Was pointed out in our local this morning that if we applied the Pike River rescue culture to past disasters more people would have died – think locals taking boats to Wahine, tthink farmers jumping into Tangiwai to rescue people, think even wartime when people sign up.

    A very fair point. If we follow Pike River procedures then never again will heroes roam our fair land…

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Another 24 hours with no explosion, another 24 hours which could have been used to do a foot recon into the mineshaft.

      This time its not about a single shopkeeper bleeding out while emergency services stand around while the people in charge do their important, uh, whatever it is that they do, but it does remind me of it.

      • prism 6.1.1

        Yes, got to follow the safety regs listed like constipated crabs – instead of putting on masks and using gear and making short sorties with cameras and test equipment to gauge conditions, and why weren’t robots available immediately for use while the bores were being drilled? They probably wouldn’t have cost as much to lease as the CEO spends on his Chair and Desk.

        One relative talked about a window of opportunity after the blast when there would be no methane. Oxygen could then presumably have been supplied to investigators with masks feeding from backpacks.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          Know how we hear over and over that it’s prudent to avoid doing anything that might generate a spark that in turn might generate a second explosion? Well, what was all that incessant ringing of the telephone down in the mine about? Don’t phones have the capacity to arc somewhere in their innards? Just wondering.

        • Richard 6.1.1.2

          Robots are not readily unavailable because they are expensive and designed for other jobs, and therefore stationed elsewhere. Also, as they have demonstrated, robots are entirely unsuitable for this situation.

          If robots were a practical and good idea for a rescue operation, then robots would have been doing all the mining work in the first place.

          Oxygen could then presumably have been supplied to investigators with masks feeding from backpacks

          Yes and the “investigators” would be carrying several hours worth of oxygen in their “backpacks”. Along with lights, batteries, assorted equipment for shifting rock falls, trauma kits, gas sensors, etc. That sounds very practical.

          Also, if you are in the situtation that you need to provide oxygen to the rescuers, then you are only looking for dead bodies. Although, it is upsetting for the families, there’s no great rush about extracting bodies. Better to do it safely.

      • Richard 6.1.2

        …another 24 hours which could have been used to do a foot recon into the mineshaft.

        The reason there has not been an explosion is likely because there has been no source of ignition. As the latest evidence is that there appears to be an explosive atmosphere in there.

        Rescuers clambering around rocks, maybe trying to back out a loader, banging into things in the dark, perhaps trying to drill into or otherwise shift a rockfall is exactly the problem. There’s been no explosion, because there have been no rescuers in the mine.

        • The Voice of Reason 6.1.2.1

          Spot on, Richard. The ignorant adventurism of the comments above yours really pisses me off. The reason we have a ‘pc’ safety culture is to keep workers safe. If we go back to the atitudes of the past, more workers will die in all NZ industries, and we ain’t even close to best practice now anyway.

          The sad fact is that it’s always been known by the company, the police and other miners on the coast that most, if not all, the miners died instantly. It just hasn’t been right to say that publicly. Sending others to their deaths makes no fucken sense at all.

          BTW, while I’m full of righteous indignation, these sad facts would have been told to Key on Friday night. Didn’t stop him pissing up large with First Loser Hekia Perata on Saturday night though.

          • vto 6.1.2.1.1

            So tell me tvor, if superintendent Knowles had been in control at the Wahine situation, what would he have done? Wait until the storm passed?

            Or Tangiwai? Wait until the flood waters receded?

            Give us a specific and practical answer, not some general waffly one.

            For what its worth I have worked in some industries of danger and risk, including mines, and agree with the more safety conscious approach today. My point was around whether that modern safety culture has its limits, one of which may have been exposed at Pike River.

            • Richard 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Wahine and Tangiwai were completely different kinds of risks.

              This situtation is more like the cool-store fire at Tamahere. You are asking the rescuers to glibly repeat the mistakes of the firemen.

            • gingercrush 6.1.2.1.1.2

              and don’t you look a fucking complete tosser.

              • vto

                Great contribution ginger, fucking tosser.

              • vto

                Oh great contribution ginger. Idiot

              • vto

                Oh great contribution ginger. Idiot. Have you not heard others ask these questions? Do you have blind faith in the components of the state? I don’t. Organisations make mistakes, believe it or not.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Well, I’m not going to call you an idiot VTO, but I hope you at least understand my point now. Lives have been saved by not doing what you thought should have been done.

                  • vto

                    Well, in defence, we don’t know if lives have been saved. In addition I did not say what should have been done – I questioned whether what has been done was right.

                    As I say below, these are fair and entirely understandable questions being asked by the families and others. The questions deserve decent answers. The questions need decent answers. Those answers will no doubt be some time off yet.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Well grim as it is, time of death is going to be a major factor for the consideration.

                    If all the miners died on Friday then those who assumed that the miners had perished ~immediately would be shown to be tragically correct.

                    If a number of the miners are shown to have died this afternoon, quite a different narrative will emerge.

                    • Richard

                      The fact is that the mine did explode again. Even if some of the miners were killed in the second explosion, which frankly I doubt, then we are still left with the fact that there was an explosive mix of gases in the mine. Which could have triggered at an unknown time.

                      Sending rescuers in earlier may have just caused the mine to explode again earlier.

                      To be honest, I don’t think it is a coincidence that conditions were apparently looking “more” favourable for rescuers to enter the mine immediately prior to the second explosion. An increase in oxygen levels would be good for potential rescuers and would possibly have also been the final component required for an explosion.

            • KJT 6.1.2.1.1.3

              There were definitely live people to rescue at Tangiwai and on the Wahine.
              Sending rescuers into the mine had to be balanced against the slim likelihood that there were survivors of the first explosion.

          • vto 6.1.2.1.2

            I believe these questions, which are being asked by the families and by many others, are fair questions which must be asked and must be answered in a comprehensive manner given how the situation has developed at Pike River. To provide confidence in our emergency services in the future if nothing else.

  5. Tigger 7

    Further on Pike River…don’t want to jump in with criticism but did anyone see yesterday’s press conference. Some guy spoke about what would be said, then Judith Collins (who had literally nothing to say), then Howard Broad (who also added nothing) then about a billion other people before they showed the film…truly an example of ego over necessity. Stop posturing please and give us the facts…the last thing anyone, including the families, need is peacocks who are essentially just looking to be seen to be doing something…

  6. just saying 8

    A leaked copy the Welfare Working Group report due out next week says that Invalids beneficiaries are to be targeted. According to Tumeke: http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2010/11/welfare-razor-gang-leaked-report-night.html

    Quote:
    I have had confirmation from the Benefit Rights manager at the People’s Resource Centre in Wellington, that Work and Income are embarking on a programme of extermination of Invalids Benefits.

    They are apparently starting with the “softer”targets, beneficiaries certified for alleged psychosomatic conditions such as backaches, depression, ME (a specific target, apparently – they don’t like us), drug and alcohol dependencies, probably Fibromyalgia, and certainly any anxiety conditions. End quote.

    This will be the acid test for Labour’s purported change of heart. Will they go all out to defend the vulnerable citizens under attack, or will they make some mealy mouthed non-statement and effectively throw the chronically ill to the wolves. I’d like to think they’ll show some moral fibre, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    • Vicky32 8.1

      Oh no, dear heaven….
      My son and I have both worked with people on IB, in my case with special needs people (including those with mental health issues) and in his case with alcohol and drug rehab.
      How mean this policy is!
      Deb

  7. ak 9

    ..Judith Collins (.. literally nothing to say)

    Exactamundo. The headline SECOND ROBOT BROUGHT TO MINE was the perfect caption: another yellow-jacket milksop trying to cash in on the Seismic Bob hero effect.

    This will be the acid test for Labour’s purported change of heart.

    Pono. Hope they’re gearing up for a big serve on this one, should be talking to advocacy groups, church leaders and clinicians as we write – on top of Fire at Will the most vicious attack on the very weakest seen in decades.

    Another “Enough is Enough” march should be organised pronto to beat the holiday miasma. Our Christmas message to the Greasy GRINch: pick on your fat-cat mates.

  8. Zorr 10

    Just reading through the “recommendations” from the Welfare Working Group on Stuff. Absolutely sickening.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4380929/Group-proposes-radical-welfare-reform

    Forcing sole parents back in to work once their youngest turns 1? WTF?!?!?!? This would just lead to increased social issues, not less!
    Forcing beneficiaries in to paid/voluntary work after 6 months? So big corporates can keep further downward pressure on wages? “Look Bob, we can’t afford to give you a pay rise. To be honest, a trained monkey could do your job and there are thousands more where you came from coming up to the 6 month point on their benefits”.
    Creating a levy on wages based on perceived chance of becoming unemployed? More money for rich pricks because they will always be rated lowest and more of a disincentive to get back in to work for those already on a benefit.

    Congratulations Welfare Working Group you pack of fucking muppets.

    • hateatea 10.1

      Wonderful beneficiary bashing report that marries really well with the 90 day Fire at Will legislation.

      Your benefit will be terminated after 6 months, you find a job and then at 89 days you are terminated so you go back on benefit etc etc

      You are on DPB and your youngest child is more that 1 year old so you are forced into work. Your minimum level wage leaves you worse off than your benefit when you factor in suitable clothing, childcare costs (if you can find it) and transport costs then at 89 days you are terminated!

      In the meantime, your child(ren) do not have the benefit of their sole carer doing the parenting but rather, a stranger. I am the first to admit that there are positive benefits to individuals to being in the paid workforce, especially when they are properly remunerated, but parenting the next generation of children is as important a job as any and it is surely more sensible to look at the 6 year old level as the minimum age at which the DPB recipient is assessed and supported back into the paid work force.

      Of course, there are many other issues and I need to go read the whole report but given the cuts to childcare, recent employment legislation and now this report, it is fair to say that beneficiaries and low skilled workers of this country must feel like a threatened species at imminent risk of extermination or enslavement.

      Our current government certainly doesn’t make me feel a valued member of society

    • Vicky32 10.2

      “Forcing sole parents back in to work once their youngest turns 1”
      When I heard that on the radio this morning, I thought I had misheard! That’s the Wisconsin thing, that is…
      Deb

    • ianmac 10.3

      What is even more scary is the poll on Stuff where so many people are voting for many of the worst aspects. 2160 Work for the Dole!

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        Punitive vindictive little country

        • Olwyn 10.3.1.1

          There is also a certain silliness, a bit like the sudden shift from posturing about the “property portfolio” to wailing, “we were only trying to look after our retirement” when a tax threatened. Similarly, after endorsing work for the dole, the same people will be wailing, “but I’ve always tried to be a good person, why should I be punished?” when its their turn for the dole queue.

          • Pascal's bookie 10.3.1.1.1

            Just heard the PM say that one of NZ’s basic values is that we are our brothers keepers, so this report must be for the dustbin too then.

            • ianmac 10.3.1.1.1.1

              The plan will be to let the people stew about the worst aspects of the report. Then with superb timing John Key will block those aspects and lucky for us will just introduce the more moderate ones like when your youngest child is not 1 but 4, then you will lose your DPB. Lucky us. You see it was not too bad was it?
              They did this with the Brash report.

          • Vicky32 10.3.1.1.2

            I heard a guy on Nat Rad, talking to Noelle McCarthy, about having moved from somewhere to somewhere – she asked why and he said “The company I worked for went bust and I lost my job”. I suppose that’s actually quite common!
            Deb

  9. The Voice of Reason 11

    Terrific win in Oz against the last of John Howard’s anti union laws. The ABCC was set up to stop workers organising to improve safety conditions in the construction industry and had the power to jail workers doing anything to make their sites safer. Gotta love that BLF belt buckle too!

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/ark-tribe-cleared-in-building-case-in-first-court-test-of-watchdogs-coercive-powers/story-e6frg6nf-1225960047425

  10. Draco T Bastard 12

    What’s In CBD Link Business Case

    Cost benefit:

    The combined benefit-cost ratio is put at 3.5 at the current Treasury discount rate of 8%. At reduced discount rates of 6% and 4%, the benefit cost ratio increases to 4.7 and 6.6 respectively.

    Unlike the roads of National Party significance, which will be a constant drain on the economy, the trains will actually provide a benefit.

  11. Draco T Bastard 13

    Just Calling Something Property, Doesn’t Make It Property

    For years, we’ve pointed out how rather insidious it is to refer to copyright and patents as “property,” as it leads to those who support traditional property rights to default to supporting these government-granted monopoly privileges as if they were property.

    One thing that I’ve come to understand over the years is that patents and copyright are used to oppress other peoples creativity for the benefit of the few.

  12. hateatea 14

    Paula Bennett just spotted on TV One lauding the benefits to those on DPB being ‘encouraged’ back into work.

    Is it a coincidence that she returns to work in time for this release?

    captcha: opportunities – Paula Bennett made the most of hers before taking the same of the current cohort on DPB

  13. hateatea 15

    Breaking news> 2nd explosion – all 29 miners are dead

    My heart is breaking for their loved ones

  14. felix 16

    John Key, despite not being able to make it to parliament so far this week to answer questions on notice, will be magically appearing at the beehive for a press conference at 6.30pm.

    The last question he dodged – question 12 today – was less than two hours ago.

    • Anne 16.1

      Yes, and we all know why he’s dodging parliament. Two words – Pansy Wong. Didn’t watch his press conference out of respect for the West Coast miners. Can just imagine it though… “jis wanna let youse all know down there on the Wist Coast. Youse are our bruvvers. We’re wiv ya all the way… to the ballot box.”

  15. Draco T Bastard 17

    Food: UK Govt gets multi-nationals to write policy

    It’s hard to believe, but this is true. Food corporations no longer have to spend millions lobbying for favourable government policy in the United Kingdom. Instead, they have been invited by the new Conservative government to actually write the policy!

    I suppose that’s a slightly more direct form of self-regulation than what our present government is trying with meat producers doing their own safety inspections on the meat.

  16. belladonna 18

    So typical of the Nats to punish those who are sick or poor. What sort of society do they want.
    It sickens me.

  17. Draco T Bastard 19

    Bernard Hickey video interview Why Free Trade with the US will NOT be Free

  18. Descendant Of Smith 20

    What’s with the right wingers suddenly getting all choked up over some dead people and suggesting that making political comment ( on a political blog none-the-less ) is disrespectful.

    Much unionism came out of the mining industry and I for one appreciate the efforts they made and the sacrifices they and their families made to give all workers in this country better working conditions. Conditions that those right wing posters here almost universally bitch about and are quite happy to erode.

    These workers were working in a mine that solely existed in order for someone to make a profit. We didn’t need it for our energy needs – it was selling it’s coal to India for Christ’s sake.

    What’s disrespectful is ignoring the fact that they died when we didn’t need a mine there in the first place.

    What’s disrespectful is the Prime Minister putting himself at the centre of his comments – ” a personal email from Prince William” at the start and latterly “my office has received thousands of messages” . He just can’t help tacking on my statements. It’s not about him.

    What’s disrespectful is holding up ACC as the support that these workers will get in his opening statements when this is a government trying to dismantle and privatize it. Spend all their time criticising it and now use as the pancea to all evil. I would assume by the PM’s statement that the company does pay ACC levies and isn’t an accredited employer. That would have made things interesting wouldn’t it a la Talleys and their carpark shooting.

    I have no doubt that this government like all NZer’s are upset at the loss of life but will this loss turn into a rethink of their views on anything – not bloody likely. Any change will come from the workers and the unions kicking up and raising issues.

    And as seems common with problems for this government links to the National Party are apparent once again in their management structure. No doubt there are others but this is the most obvious.

    Hélène Ambler – Relationships Manager

    An 18-year background in journalism including eight years in Parliament’s Press Gallery.
    Most recently, a Ministerial Press Secretary with the National Government following two years as a key member of the National Party media unit in Opposition and Campaign Press Secretary to Bill English.

    It will also be interesting to see if the provision made for clean-up of the site will be sufficient to meet the cost of actually doing so.

    [lprent: Probably too politically sidetracked for this particular post. This post is about the deaths, background on what might have caused it, and about the need for an inquiry. Moving it to OpenMike. ]

    • Descendant Of Smith 20.1

      Noted. you might like to also move the comments added before moving this one.
      I’ll take a deep breath now and exhale gently.

      [lprent: I’d already answered most of them pointing out what the post was about. Your comment(s) and those directly replying are over in OpenMike. They aren’t on-topic for this post. ]

    • hateatea 20.2

      “What’s with the right wingers suddenly getting all choked up over some dead people and suggesting that making political comment ( on a political blog none-the-less ) is disrespectful.”

      I am unsure as to whether this is directed at me but if it is, you have given me the biggest laugh I have had since the news broke. I have been called many things in my life but ‘right wing’ has never been one of them.

      As for ‘right wingers’, they are human beings too – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and may well be expressing heartfelt and genuine sorrow at the loss of 29 human beings in such a sad and tragic way’

      I may not share or have respect for their politics but that doesn’t, of necessity, make them devoid of empathy and compassion.

      Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui, kia ū. Ahakoa te pouri, ahakoa te mamae, ka haere tonu ngā whakaaro ki a rātou kua mate, ki ngā whānau whanui

      • Descendant Of Smith 20.2.1

        No it wasn’t directed at you.

        It was directed at those who constantly berate and demean those working class people I’ve grown up with all my life and generally have little sympathy or empathy for them – particularly those who are unwell, or drug addicted or get into debt, or whose husband leaves them for someone else or they choose to get out of a violent relationship, or get laid off by their employer, and so on.

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    And it looks like Wikileaks is about to throw a spanner into US foreign relations.

    The Pentagon warned the U.S. Senate and House Armed Services Committees that the website WikiLeaks.org “intends to release several hundred thousand” classified U.S. State Department cables as soon as Nov. 26.

    The documents “touch on an enormous range of very sensitive foreign policy issues,” Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Elizabeth King wrote yesterday in an e-mail to the defense panels.

  20. Descendant Of Smith 22

    Sorry Bruv you guys call my working class friends and family and neighbours – bludgers and scum and slags, you want them to be sterilised so they can’t have kids and so on – and you never let up. Now you want to pick and choose when I should comment. You want to tell me I should take pause today – show some restraint.

    When is a good day – tomorrow, yesterday.

    I hope you are as critical of your beloved government who today released an report outlining bullshit suggestions for the welfare system. Was it disrespectful of them to release that report today. I think it was. Is it disrespectful for all the right-wing garbage spilling out about these changes today in various forums e.g. being about time, and serves em right, and make em work for my money and so on . Mate you lot continue to attack workers just like these today and every day.

    It’s tough Bruv when I don’t want to follow your rules but that’s life.

    “I came here to offer my condolences to the people of the West Coast. ”

    That’s sincere and appreciated and is probably one of the few things today that we all have in common regardless of political spectrum.

    [lprent: Also well off topic. ]

    • DOS

      Agreed …

      We are not allowed to be political when workers lose their lives because if we were we may start blaming this corrupt incompetent Government, the one that wants “surgical mining” happening throughout the country.

      We should resist this. We should discuss the relationship between coal mining and capital and government policy and miners’ deaths. Maybe not today but soon.

    • Big Bruv 22.2

      If you want to discuss the changes to the welfare system them please point me in the direction of that thread, IMHO this thread is not the place to do so.

    • LP you are a hard taskmaster, almost as hard as Lockwood is on the nats in Parliament. This is not a bad thing but I though that DOS’s comments were very appropriate.

  21. Big Bruv 23

    Descendant Of Smith

    “Mate you lot continue to attack workers”

    Nothing the current gov’t (who are far from being “my lot”) are doing is attacking workers rights, in face giving them the option of cashing in the fourth week of annual leave is increasing their rights.

    As for the repost of the welfare working group, well, I fail to see what you might be upset about, IMHO it does not go nearly far enough toward ending the welfare mentality that is holding back this country.
    We are still going to be paying people to breed (the wrong people) and still be encouraging families to have more kids than they can afford, what is needed is a total overhaul of the welfare and taxation systems, we need to reward hard work and personal responsibility instead of rewarding laziness and dependency.

    • Vicky32 23.1

      “paying people to breed (the wrong people)”
      What an utterly foul thing to say! I am gobsmacked that you can even think such a thing, much less say it. Who died and put you in charge, you rotten little elitist?
      Deb

    • KJT 23.2

      It really is past time we cut welfare.

      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2010/08/kia-ora-yeah-we-should-be-doing.html

      “* Banks and finance companies who fail with Government guarantees. and payouts to insider trading customers of the same.
      * Employers who can pay low wages because the state takes up the slack with WFF and childcare allowances. Poor employers who drive good ones out of business because labour laws are so slack.
      * State owned companies given away to corporates to asset strip and destroy.
      * External subsidies from ratepayers to dirty Dairy.
      * Employers given handouts to employ people who then get rid of them when the subsidy ends so they can get someone else who is subsidised.
      * State pays training for employees so employers do not have to pay for it.
      * Banks and lenders getting windfall profits when the OCR is raised.
      * Currency speculators who short the NZ dollar.
      * Police protection against people they have disenfranchised.

      Yeah! We do need to cut welfare.

  22. Big Bruv 24

    Micky

    I note that you have complimented the speaker, does that mean you are now prepared to admit that his predecessor was pathetic and the worst speaker the house has ever had?

  23. The Voice of Reason 25

    Back from the pub. A quick Public Service Announcement for the hippies:

    Local farmer type told me over a whiskey that the mine disaster was the fault of the Greens. If it was open cast, there’d be no hole in the ground and the gas would just dissipate. Then he said something unpleasant about snails.

    I’d say there’s gonna be some ugly stuff out there in the next few days about the need to bulldoze our national parks on safety grounds. Best get the responses ready, eh?

    Speaking of mining, Gerry Brownlee seemed on the verge of blubbing when interviewed by Peter Williams. And Andrew Little wiped away tears after talking to John Campbell. I was at the pub when Key spoke to the nation, so I missed him. Can anyone tell me how emotional he was?

    • hateatea 25.1

      I tortured myself by watching the PM. I have to say that he seemed fairly emotionless but then he usually seems that way to me.

  24. felix 26

    “…we are our brother’s keeper”

    “…NZ stands shoulder to shoulder..”

    “…care deeply about our fellow countrymen and women…”

    “…a series of communities knitted together by a set of values and principles…”

    Interesting to see John Key resort to such socialist language and imagery to express the nation’s sympathies. I suppose his own right wing values like “rational self-interest” and “look after number one” and “personal responsibility” don’t really cut it when it matters eh John.

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