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The Plot to Subvert an Election, from New York Times reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, does not contain everything we know about the Russian incursion into our culture and our 2016 election.  This compilation is, however, comprehensive enough to provide a good, quick survey course on the subject.

Because, as Rachel Maddow pointed out this week, Hillary Clinton was relentlessly in the bull’s eye of the Russian efforts, the entire anthology should be of interest to her 2016 supporters and voters and to Democrats in general. We know it has not stopped. We know they are still doing this in the run-up to the primaries that are almost upon us. Worse, we know that the primaries are not and will not be the prime target. 2020 will be. The presidential election will be – once again. We had better be prepared.

Here is a portion.

Putin Is Angry

The Russian leader thought the United States, and Hillary Clinton, had sought to undermine his presidency.

The Russian leader believed the United States had relentlessly sought to undermine Russian sovereignty and his own legitimacy. The United States had backed democratic, anti-Russian forces in the so-called color revolutions on Russia’s borders, in Georgia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2004. It had funded pro-democracy Russian activists through American organizations with millions in State Department grants each year.

With little evidence, Mr. Putin believed this American meddling helped produce street demonstrations in Moscow and other cities in 2011, with crowds complaining of a rigged parliamentary election and chanting, “Putin’s a thief!”

And Mrs. Clinton, then secretary of state, cheered the protesters on. Russians, she said, “deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted, and that means they deserve free, fair, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.”

Mr. Putin blamed Mrs. Clinton for the turmoil, claiming that when she spoke out, his political enemies “heard the signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began active work.”

The two tangled again the next year when Mr. Putin pushed for a “Eurasian Union” that would in effect compete with the European Union. Mrs. Clinton sharply dismissed the notion, calling it a scheme to “re-Sovietize the region” and saying the United States would try to block it.

Read much much more and see video clips >>>>

We must remain wary of social media presences that play to the disaffected. What we saw, among many other ploys from Russia in 2016, were seemingly American accounts admonishing Bernie Sanders supporters not to vote for Hillary Clinton. Also from the article:

The Russian operation also boosted Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who had dined with Mr. Putin in Moscow, to draw votes from Mrs. Clinton. It encouraged supporters of Mr. Sanders to withhold their votes from Mrs. Clinton even after he endorsed her.

If you are a disaffected Hillary voter, I caution you to be wary of “Hillary supporters” masquerading as Americans on social media. Typically, they praise HRC to the skies but also embed lies within their posts and/or the comment threads, e.g. claiming that Guccifer 2.0 was not Russian (refuted in the Mueller July 13 indictment and in this article) or that Russian organized crime deals exclusively in politics and money laundering and not in weapons or drugs. (They will sell you a mothballed USSR military submarine to transport drugs if you have the money. With a nuclear weapon if you have even more money. This is documented.)

There are several writers of varied levels of English Language Proficiency (ELP). The “ops,” i.e. sock puppets, trolls, bot controllers, access content from databases on cloud platforms as outlined in the July 13 Mueller indictment. The ultimate plan is very likely to skew the 2020 top line vote in ways that would dismay Hillary Clinton and re-elect Donald Trump.

This is not a short read, but it can be taken in episodes if necessary for a weekend read. It is rich with graphs, stats, videos.  It is well worth the time. You will not likely find this much information on the subject elsewhere all in one piece. It is probably also well worth a bookmark.

Have a lovely weekend. Fall is coming.

 

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In one of his final appearances on the Senate floor, Senator John McCain urged his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get back to regular order. Hillary Clinton echoed that imperative on The Rachel Maddow Show last night. Appearing on the anniversary of the release of her book, What Happened, and upon the release of the paperback edition with a new afterword (also published in The Atlantic), Hillary addressed, among other topics, the Kavanaugh confirmation logjam, the Special Counsel probe, the Manafort deal, and the ongoing Russian influence not only in our elections but in our very interactions.

Rachel began the interview quoting from the piece that ran in The Atlantic, and asked Hillary why she is afraid of losing our country. Hillary responded saying that putting aside ideological concerns we have to defend our democracy. Degrading the rule of law, de-legitimizing elections, attacking truth and reason, undermining our unity … is a crisis. She said the authoritarian tendencies, left unchecked could result in the erosion of our institutions to an extent that we have never imagined here. We are not there yet, she contends, but that is because there is an election. “We need a new Congress, and we need a new Republican party.”

With a new Congress, Hillary thinks we need an agenda broader than one of impeachment. She listed policy changes already made, and said those need to be addressed. If people do not go out and vote, she thinks we will see more dismantling of institutions.

She believes that she was clearly a part of the puzzle where Russian interference was concerned in 2016, but she thinks they are playing a longer game of undermining democracy here and globally.  She said, “Foreign money, foreign interference in our elections, I don’t care if it’s from the right, the left, the center, up, down; I don’t care where it’s from. It’s wrong. It’s illegal,and the American people deserve to know if it happened so we can try to prevent it.”¹

Rachel replayed a clip from a year ago where Hillary said we have to depend on those around Trump to be our first line of defense against him doing something that might have serious repercussions. The Times op-ed of September 5 and Bob Woodward’s Fear appear to show that remark to have been predictive.

Her prediction now is that after the election Trump will wholesale fire people. She said he is close to being uncontrollable. She is hoping people will see that we need checks and balances and will vote accordingly. While she has not heard any specifics of invocation of the 25th Amendment, she thinks there are private discussions in the White House, and that people are worried.

It was a broad, extensive interview and thought-provoking. Hillary has warned us in the past. Once again she is sounding the alarms. Yes, we must get out the vote. But we must do more. We need to hold the government accountable. First, we must hold the line. Then, we must repair the damage. That demands advocacy. It is going to take more than a village. It is going to take the whole country.

See the full interview here >>>>

 

 


¹Please bear this comment in mind and take it very seriously to heart if you are one of those who defends a “Hillary supporter” whom you suspect or know not to be American but who insists upon not only impersonating an American but also insists upon telling Americans how to think and how to vote. Proxies, trolls, sock puppets, and bots take every side. There is a purpose to this alleged support. Do not be duped.

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So strange that these are the demeanors of folks supporting Donald Trump at one of his rallies when he is the installed president presumably making all their dreams come true. Why are they so angry? They won, right? Shouldn’t they be happy?

The other question is: Why is Trump having rallies? There’s this N-word that has been floating around – not the one you think.

Whereas here is what the 22nd evening of protest at the Kremlin Annex in Moscow-on-the-Potomac looked like last night.

Rosie O’Donnell brought 55 Broadway performers with her to sing.

I should point out that these artists did this on the one night a week that they have off. Broadway shows do not run on Mondays because at least one weekend day and also on Wednesdays they do both a matinee and an evening performance. So they did this on their only night off. They also said they would be back on another Monday. Thank you! Profusely!

The other day, Brassy Rebel said in a comment that we are in the Upside Down. Protesters are partying nightly having a great time. Rally-goers on the prevailing side appear miserable and angry. So what’s up? And what’s down?

Can’t get to Moscow-on-the-Potomac for the protests? That’s OK. These nice folks will put your name on the Kremlin Annex Sign! Easy as one-two-three! Then you are represented. If you do get to visit, you can highlight your name on the sign.

Tune in tonight! It’s Robert Mueller’s birthday. There will be bagpipes! I hope there will also be drums!

I don’t know why I waited so long to post about this. I guess I thought people would know, but I discovered last night that a lot of people did not.  Also, it is not about Hillary. That’s OK. I think she has been there with us from the first night in spirit. It’s a happy, optimistic, inclusive spirit.  An American one.

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Trump was in the UK the past few days.  Meanwhile … back at the ranch ….

Remember this?

 

Well, now this!

Read: Mueller indictment against 12 Russian spies for DNC hack

It comes days before President Trump’s summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Special counsel Robert Mueller just released an indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller just indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.

They are charged with hacking the computer networks of members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They allegedly coordinated to release damaging information to sway the election under the names “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0.” However, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters that it’s unclear if their efforts changed the outcome of the election.

Read the indictments >>>>

(Proof he’s an amateur or, really, a puppet. Experienced dictators know better than to leave home while a sh*tstorm is brewing.  Even Putin knows Trump is in too deep and doesn’t give a fig. THAT should light a fire under some kettles.)

 

 

 

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Having studied Russian at Moscow State University and having been a Ford Foundation Fellow in Soviet Studies, Condoleeza Rice was George W. Bush’s Russia expert. No one, Republican or Democrat, questioned her qualifications in that realm.

It is, therefore, stunning that she has chosen to side with Vladimir Putin against her successor at the State Department, Hillary Clinton.

dailycaller.com

Rice Blames Hillary For Russian Election Meddling

Benny JohnsonReporter At Large

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice put some of the blame for Russian election on Hillary Clinton in a wide-ranging MSNBC interview on Thursady

Rice, who has considerable experience with Vladimir Putin, did not hold back on her assessment of the motivations behind Russian election meddling.

She said that then-Secretary of State Clinton criticizing Putin for Russia’s 2012 elections encouraged the foreign leader to seek revenge. Rice said that Putin is an “eye for an eye” kind of person and that he was out to hurt Clinton in order to prove that America could also have flawed elections.

“With Vladimir Putin, this was an eye for an eye. He’s an eye for an eye kind of person, and Hillary Clinton criticized his election. Now he wants to show that he can sow chaos in ours.”

 

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Condi is wrong on several counts.

1. Hillary commented (no she did not “meddle” – that is something different but back to that later) on the 2010 Russian parliamentary elections not Putin’s 2012 presidential election.

In her memoir of her State Department years, Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton portrays Putin’s worldview as “shaped by his admiration of the powerful czars of Russian history” and his view of geopolitics as a zero-sum game. Following the December 2010 parliamentary elections in Russia, widespread reports of fraud brought tens of thousands of protestors out into the frigid Russian streets. Hillary recalls stating, “The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted…. That means they deserve fair, free, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.” She goes on to describe Putin blaming her for “setting the tone” for the widespread demonstrations that followed the elections. Nothing in Hillary’s memoir nor elsewhere  provides any account of Hillary speaking out against Putin’s 2012 reelection or any protests, for that matter.

2.  Hillary Clinton was not “meddling” when she made her comments. This is meddling. As secretary of state, Hillary was well within her “paygrade” to make a comment regarding elections and unrest in another country.

3. Victim-blaming is always a cheap shot and always wrong! It is especially disturbing coming from a former secretary of state about her successor. I have this quote in the right sidebar here. It bears repetition. “What I have always found is that when it comes to foreign policy, it is important to remember that politics stops at the water’s edge.” -HRC 11-04-10. Had Condi remained at the State Department in December 2010, she, too, would have been expected to comment on the elections and protests in Russia – especially given her academic background. Would her remarks have been so different?

The cyber attacks against independent election observers that Hillary describes in Chapter 11 of Hard Choices foreshadow some of what we saw happen here in 2016. Some. But not all. Not the worst. We also deserve fair, free, transparent elections and commentary about a foreign country from a candidate never justifies elements from that country interfering in our elections in any way.

Reuters Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets with President-elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton at the State Department.

 

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File this under “you can’t make this stuff up.”


Bernie Sanders on Wednesday blamed Hillary Clinton for not doing more to stop the Russian attack on the last presidential election. Then his 2016 campaign manager, in an interview with POLITICO, said he’s seen no evidence to support special counsel Robert Mueller’s assertion in an indictment last week that the Russian operation had backed Sanders’ campaign.

The remarks showed Sanders, running for a third term and currently considered a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, deeply defensive in response to questions posed to him about what was laid out in the indictment. He attempted to thread a response that blasts Donald Trump for refusing to acknowledge that Russians helped his campaign — but then holds himself harmless for a nearly identical denial.

In doing so, Sanders and his former campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, presented a series of self-serving statements that were not accurate, and that track with efforts by Trump and his supporters to undermine the credibility of the Mueller probe.

Read more >>>>

Theatre of the Absurd at its best! Who was the sole 2016 candidate talking about Russian meddling?

Setting the Record Straight on the 17 Intel Agencies

July 7, 2017 by still4hill

Just to keep the record straight, here are the 17 intel agencies that we have been hearing about since Hillary Clinton brought them up during one of the debates.

Read more >>>>

I am not particularly worried about Bernie running in 2020. I asked this question and got this answer.

Q: How many public high schools are there in Vermont?

A: There are 149 high schools in Vermont, made up of 83 public schools and 66 private schools. Vermont ranks as the 50th state in terms of student enrollment and 48th in terms of total number of schools. It ranks 2nd for the student/teacher ratio and sits 8th for the percentage of students on free or reduced lunches.
high-schools.com/directory/vt/

This may not sound like a lot of high schools but bear in mind that the population of Vermont is 623,657 (2017) as opposed to 8,537,673 (2016) in New York City. That works out to 7.3% of the population of NYC.

Sometimes the oddest, most random stars align.

The Stoneman Douglas students and their allies among high school students nationwide will, I am confident, make sure the VT high school students know about Bernie’s connections to and donations from the NRA as well as his voting record on gun control. They will make sure eligible students register and vote. I am pretty sure he is not long for the Senate in this respect much less the Oval Office.

Blame Hillary? Give me a break! Jeff Weaver? Give me another break!

The kids are all right. They’ve got this now. It’s not the revolution Bernie imagined. But it is a revolution. In fact, it is not even partisan! It is positional. Where do you stand on AR-15s? That is their question. Heads will roll in November. It is very premature to talk about 2020.

DSCN2715

DSCN2716

 

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The news, yesterday, of Mueller’s  indictment of 13 Russian nationals who impersonated Americans on social media for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential election should serve as a reminder and a warning.  ABC News reports that Rod Rosentein remarked “This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the internet. The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence and democracy. We must not allow them to succeed.” (Please note his use of the simple present tense: “want to.”)

The creation and proliferation of “U.S. personae,” as referred to in the indictment, is not simply a matter of history or current events. The indictment validates what we have long suspected based on the Steele memos.

usatoday.com

Russia also helped Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein in election

Michael Collins, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – It turns out Donald Trump wasn’t the only candidate the Russians allegedly tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign.

A 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation shows that Russian nationals and businesses also worked to boost the campaigns of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The Russians “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” according to the indictment, which was issued Friday.

Read more >>>>

These “U.S. personae”  also are and should be of concern for the future with midterm elections coming up this year and one 2020 presidential campaign already launched (Trump’s).

Otherwise intelligent people have questioned why I am concerned about foreign agents posing as Americans passionately imploring Hillary Clinton to run again in 2020.  They don’t see the inherent flaw and hypocrisy in prosecuting Trump forces for Russian influence peddling and turning a blind eye to an eastern European entity doing the same thing on the Dem side – specifically, repeatedly calling on HRC to run again and using the hashtag #Hillary2020 on every post. They do not see the peril in recruiting potentially hundreds of thousands to a false campaign claiming that only one person can cure our ills. That alone should set off bells and whistles. When did we hear that before? From whom? Trump!

One particular foreign entity was recently appointed “administrator” at a Hillary Clinton Facebook page boasting 165K “likes.” Think of the damage possible. This is not simply a campaign that will end in disappointment for many. It is crafted to engender rage and division within the party when Hillary does not run.

I was gratified to see this article since it coincides with what I have been saying in my own series of troll chronicles. Often it is the tiny function words that non-native speakers get wrong.


The Slatest

The FBI special counsel’s Friday indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three companies including a notorious online troll farm did a few things: It revealed that the surge of grass-roots organizing for the 2016 presidential election was at least partly astroturf. It confirmed that the whirligig of ire directed at Hillary Clinton was not completely genuine. And it reasserted the importance of correct grammar.

The indictment includes charges against Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov and Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik for creating aliases like “Matt Skiber” and “joshmilton024@gmail.com,” part of an alleged effort to organize anti-Clinton rallies and wire money to unwitting U.S. collaborators. The social media campaign was vast: One agent bragged about creating “all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”

It was altogether an impressive undertaking. But while Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reminded us that “people are not always who they appear on the Internet,” maybe we should have known. It wouldn’t have taken the FBI: A fastidious English major could have seen the Russians’ inexplicable capitalizations, stiff sentences, and missing articles.

Read more >>>>

OK! I plead guilty. I was an English major as an undergrad and taught high school English back when we still devoted some hours of every week to grammar instruction. I followed that up with doctoral studies in applied linguistics. As a linguist, I am a descriptivist rather than a prescriptivist – that simply means I am not a member of the uniformed grammar police. Nevertheless, as I have mentioned in the troll chronicles, language usage provides a powerful clue in sniffing out false U.S. personae.

Here are a few annotated examples of Facebook posts by the pro-Hillary Hungarian troll I have been investigating. Bolded emphasis is mine.

Our Hillary, the doer she is, already has a vision of a better future and she warns us we all need to show up at the polls and vote blue¹. Mama is delighted and proud to see that Women’s March had drawn² millions of protesters, she says women are strong and resilient. Women of all colors and ages had enough², and together we are unstoppable. Mama’s hometown, Chicago as well as Los Angeles and even Texas saw a record number of protesters, and we expect to see a beautiful #BlueTsunami in the fall of 2018. We learned resilience from Hillary, from the way she stood her ground through the hard-fought campaign. Protesters say that the majority wore Hillary gears³ – thank you for the wonderful news, Lisa Leikus. #Hillary2020 #Onward #PowerToThePolls

¹ We see many instances of 1st person plural pronouns implying that the writer is a U.S. voter.

² Two inappropriate uses of the past perfect tense which normally indicates an action that began and was completed in the past. In the first instance, the present perfect would have been the choice of a native speaker who knows that the “drawing” is not complete and continues in the present. In the second instance the same is true. “Women have had enough.” The present perfect would have been the choice of a native speaker since this state continues in the present.

³ They were not wearing Hillary “gears” unless they were wearing analog Hillary Clinton watches. They were wearing Hillary gear – a mass noun (non-count) including all manner of clothing and accessories associated with any of Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns. Mass nouns operate as if singular.

THIS. This is Hillary gear.

Image result for images of gears

NOT THESE. These are gears.

January 31

Our beautiful Hillary should hold a State of Union speech today, since the sane majority wants her. The psychopath is already plagiarizing her! Why would any of us watch him or click on the news that feature him? Like Auntie Maxine said, “I do not trust him, I will not listen to his lies, he does not deserve my attention.” Plus, the lowest rating views he get, the less support he will receive* from American press. It will also hurt his fragile ego. Let’s skip everything that features Trump! Hear the lies already? Clean coal does not exist, and no, the economy is not booming, the dollar’s value is steadily down since Trump occupied the White House, and the Trump bubble will burst. Plus, unlike Bill and Obama, he will increase debt and deficit. #Hillary2020 #StillStanding #StillWithHill

*Native speakers would have opted for the comparative rather than the superlative here, and there is the issue of subject-verb agreement – “he gets” not “he get.”

Our beautiful Hillary was sharp, smart, and straightforward at the Makers Conference. She warned us to #VoteBlue in the midterm elections to make a difference – we must remember how crucial it is, our future depends on it. Mama warns us that we see an all-out attack against democracy and a war on facts, truth, and reason, and the only way to defend ourself for a brighter future is to vote. We also need more women in politics – we already say a record number of women running for office, thanks to Hillary. Nobody did more for the safety and dignity of women than Hillary Rodham Clinton. #Hillary2020 #Onward

All those first person reference words!!!! And there is that incongruous singular form of a plural reflexive pronoun: ourselves not ourself.

From today: February 17

It is official now, at least 13 Russian persons were involved with Trump’s hate-filled campaign against our Hillary. The Russians used false American personas, false Facebook accounts and false email addresses. Campaign rallies that featured an actress, Hillary in prison uniform, were organized by Russians. Hillary warned us in advance, saying 17 intelligence agencies warned us against Russia’s suspicious moves. Mama also gave us an insight in her What Happened. Thank goodness for Robert Mueller who casts lights in the shadows*, it is frightening what we find there. Those who accused us of making up the Russian interference story must feel embarrassed by now. #Hillary2020 #HillaryWarnedUs #Onward

*I can’t even! The irony of this post! And, of course, there is another issue of a mass noun – light – being treated as a count noun.

Another grammatical indicator of a foreign troll is the linguistic variation exhibited by these entities indicating multiple writers on a single page or a feed from a managing source mixed with commentary by an individual. Some posts are letter perfect while others contain language usages atypical of native speakers. Other dead giveaways at this particular page:

1/ Ignorance of our bicameral legislature – “she” doesn’t know Senators from Congressional representatives. They are all “leaders.” Why bother with specifics?

2/ Timing. It took her six days to figure out that we had elections in November.

3/ Some picked up the “mama” references from the getgo. Americans do not call HRC “mama.”

4/ If you go back far enough, you will see that “she” apparently never heard of Hillary Clinton until 2015.

I am cognizant that there are bona fide American voters whose English is not perfect. My point here is that language usage is a clue. Having picked up these clues, I did confront this persona via a series of private exchanges. The nationality I guessed was verified. I encouraged  a change of pronouns contending that the use of the first person was a lie that encouraged readers to infer that they were interacting with an American.  That was when “she” shut me down by blocking me. I remain unsure that this is a she. It may be a they, and they may include a few “he”s. I can say this: when confronted, first she argues by trying to justify or rationalize the error in the post. After 4 exchanges or so, she employs the Kellyanne Conway strategy in reverse. When Kellyanne is backed into a corner, she switches to the “What about Hillary?” mode. This troll switches to the “You must be a Trump supporter” mode.

The objection is not that she is a foreign national. The objection is that she is impersonating an American while:

1. Encouraging protest against Democrats other than HRC,

2. Attacking U.S. law enforcement,

3. Running polls to collect data on American voters,

4. Encouraging Americans to react online to fake news, e.g. the market “crash.” If it is wrong for Trump & Co. to benefit from Russian intrusion, it should be equally repugnant for our side to encourage Hungarian intervention.

To be clear: The objection is not to a foreigner supporting Hillary. The objection is to a foreigner impersonating an American and “guiding” American voters.

It all goes to show you the power of the little words. The function words that seem so obvious to native speakers can be challenge for English language learners. For trolls, they can also be a hidden weapon to be deployed at a strategic moment in the future when, once again, we will wonder what hit us.

If you remember how you felt late on Election night 2016, be very wary of trolls like this. If we want to unseat Donald Trump, buying into a fake Hillary Clinton campaign is the surest path to defeat. That is the power of “we.”

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dscn8630

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