Sacrifice

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𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐁𝐢𝐧𝐝

Published August 19, 2019 by tindertender

Written by Huntsman@Flyover_Country

Leadership is one of the key concerns of those who wish to explore the totality of the masculine experience.

This is specifically for the man who wants to step up and be a respected leader of other men, as well as women and children.

This is NOT for the guy who wants to argue the utility of ethics.

If a discussion of ethical leadership threatens your worldview enough to attack that frame, this isn’t an emotional safe space to work out your dissonance.

Onward.

Because modern man’s views are inherently informed by pop culture, let’s broadly introduce this discussion around two models of “leadership”:

Maximus and Commodus, from the film Gladiator.

They are strongly archetypal, and well-acted by Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.

When we meet Maximus, he is preparing to lead the Roman legion into battle.

He is calm, sober.

He knows that death is an old friend who calls us in our turn.

As he rides the line doing his final inspections, the men salute him.

They will die for Rome, and for him.

Maximus calls his men to silence.

He and his cavalry unit are the teeth of the Roman tiger, and will take heavy casualties.

He reminds them that Elysium, their paradise, awaits those who fight bravely:

“𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲.”

This is no mere call to arms.

It’s his ethos, and that of the warriors who follow at his side.

It is their tie that binds – the reminder that however different they are individually, they are brothers, covered in the same blood spilled in the same mud.

Persuasion – and thus the right to lead – begins with ethos. It is the essential character, or statement of purpose, to the group.

From this we derive “ethics”, or specific commonly-shared standards that tether individual action to the group’s ethos.

Upon the murder of the emperor by his son, Commodus, the honorable general Maximus is captured and sent for execution.

Even in that moment, Maximus’ servant Cicero is ready to pull his sword and kill the multiple captors, knowing he would die in the process.

Maximus escapes, but is taken into custody by the owner of a gladiatorial ludus.

Here again proves himself a man for whom other men will die, using his leadership to help the men survive the arena.

He leads, because his ethos demands that he do what he believes is right.

Commodus, the prince who murdered his father to gain the throne, is the antithesis of Maximus.

He is vain in the extreme, first seen arriving late to the battle, then later showing his “prowess” at choreographed swordfighting.

He has no ethos – only his own self-interest.

His father the emperor wished to return Rome to a republican system, led by the senate and held in trust with Maximus as regent.

Commodus, seeing his moment to become emperor vanish, kills his father and attempts to eliminate Maximus, who knew of the emperor’s plans.

With Maximus in exile (presumed dead by Commodus) and his father dead, Commodus establishes himself as the new emperor.

His purity of commitment is undeniable – he is actualized to his own radical self-interest.

But he builds his empire on a pile of bodies to do it.

In the end (because it’s mostly a fictional story and the good guy always wins), Commodus and Maximus die by each other’s blades.

Maximus is feted and carried out as a hero, Commodus dead on the sand.

The reforms are made, spurred by the example of noble Maximus.

And while a blockbuster like Gladiator must certainly follow major beats of the Hero’s Journey to ensure audience engagement, the film resonates deeply with men in particular because it is rooted in our cultural and ancestral memories of what it means to be a “good” man.

In this instance, “good” and “ethical” are broadly similar.

Maximus shows a willingness to put his life on the line, just as he asks the same of his men.

To stand against the royal might of an empire, avenge his family and mentor, and bring new hope to Rome.

Contra Maximus, Commodus is a caricature of pure self-interest.

Narcissistic and brutal, ambitious.

His father says “Commodus is not a MORAL man.” to justify the structural change in governance.

He is unethical, unfit to lead, because everything is a means to his own end.

This is the primary takeaway of the Gladiator example:

An unethical man is not a “leader” in the traditionally-masculine sense.

He can be “alpha”, and have primacy of position and status, but the rank and file are not followers – they are subjects.

The subject/follower dynamic is critical to distinguishing what a “leader” tends to mean to the average person.

A subject is obligated.

A follower volunteers.

The ethos must be clear, and the ethical expectations enforced, for a leader to maintain primacy.

Understand, an ethos and ethics can be polarizing to some (or many) people.

Hitler built power through ethos (however horrific) to attract a certain type of “true believer”, but also used terror and coercion as weapons to maintain the balance of the population as subjects.

The key is that the ethos and ethics are congruent to the leader and enough followers to achieve a certain threshold of power and influence.

Note: This diversion was needed to forestall the inevitable whataboutism from drive-by critics.

Returning to our frame of ethics being a concept that carries a traditionally-beneficent context…

We may assume that someone who pursues primacy of a group out of pure self-interest MUST hurt people to do so. However, their pain does not factor into his calculus.

The average person would say that the wholly self-interested man is acting “unethically” when he takes primacy by means other than acclamation of the crowd.

The truth is that most people will not follow a man who openly admits to embracing harm as a valid means to primacy.

As social creatures, humans have a combination of inborn and cultural factors that reinforce in us a general desire to avoid actively harming others.

Marriage, family, religion, education – the foundations of ethos/ethics – are mitigating influences on our primal biology.

We co-evolved notions of ethics alongside social structures as a species-enhancement (or survival) mechanism.

Thus, a man who wishes to be fit to lead willing followers has to embrace and enforce an ethical code based on a palatable/desirable ethos.

Even in situations where a body politic resorts to force to achieve its ends, as the Romans did in the Germanic forests where we meet Maximus, it is the individual ethos and ethical code embodied by Maximus that compels his men to follow and fight so fiercely.

Even in situations where a body politic resorts to force to achieve its ends, as the Romans did in the Germanic forests where we meet Maximus, it is the individual ethos and ethical code embodied by Maximus that compels his men to follow and fight so fiercely.

If a leader cannot abide by an ethical code, the only tools remaining to maintain control are:

– Transactional means

– Manipulation

– Force

Each is also self-limiting because it cuts against the natural behaviors of most civilized people.

To avoid loss of primacy, it is both practical and “good” for a man to develop within himself the behaviors and mindset of a beneficent monarch.

Leading is a lonely, difficult thing.

Challengers, externalities, and the inertia of life start fires constantly.

Still, decisions must be made. Actions taken. New decisions are made and actions taken based on observation and orientation from previous experience.

And an effective organization or team MUST have a single point of leadership at some level to get anything done.

Without a leader, the Bystander Effect kicks in.

Everyone assumes someone else will do the work.

This holds increasingly-true as the emotional intensity of the task is elevated.

Someone must still ride to the front of the column and lead the charge.

The cult of leadership theory that has arisen in our industrial and post-industrial age has made major science out of basic ethics, by and large.

I’ve even been published in a book about applications of principles of military leadership.

The body of knowledge is extensive.

And yet, we watch Maximus utter a few simple words…

“𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲.”

…and we connect with the ethos and NECESSITY of such a man.

We would jump into the screen and charge headlong into clashing steel for him.

No fancy words. No dogma. No regard for the intellectual rightness or wrongness of the action.

It is an ethos and applied ethics that are compatible to the shared culture of leader and led, which drives cohesion and action.

This is why I disclaim, reject, and advocate against any system that attempts to diminish or eliminate the notion of ethics.

It is a rejection of both common sense and cultural behaviors that have provided practical utility since the dawn of civilization.

A man can only go so far alone before he runs out of options or capacity.

He can stare at that wall and justify to himself why it is the right choice to stay there.

Or, he can do what great men have always done, and enlist the help of others to move forward.

We require those ties that bind – ethics – to achieve great things together, even to survive as a social species.

Radical self-interest can work for a man so long as he can rationalize to himself the emotional, mental, and physical consequences of being limited and alone.

Even the concept of “enlightened self interest” is a weak attempt to have it both ways.

There will always be times when a man must choose to submit himself to loss or pain for the good of his followers, or sacrifice them to his own needs and wants.

And the leader is free to do that, so long as he also accepts the consequences of not reconciling those competing interests via ethics.

He will:

Fail

Be deposed

Succeed by leveraging mercenary behaviors

None of these achieve long-term stability and success in one’s life.

To become a true leader of men, a man must focus on embracing accountability to himself, and those he wishes to lead.

He must maintain balance of his own self-interest and that of others.

He must be willing to put himself to the fire first, and eat last.

Above all, the ethical leader – the man who would be Maximus – must know who he is inside.

He must be honest with himself if he is up to the lonely, painful life of a leader.

He must have the strength to carry those who can’t carry themselves, and leave hope in his wake.

For an excellent long-form discussion on some of these points, click through to the YouTube link of a podcast I did with https://twitter.com/bethmartens. She’s a wonderful lady doing good work in helping both men and women find the leader within themselves.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/speeC0-TiCo
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Pedophilia ~ Tearing Down The House

Published July 20, 2019 by tindertender

There was only one thing going on at his island. He owns 40 mansions. Only thing going on at that island was pedophilia. The flight manifests show who went to that island. It’s possible they did not partake. But, it was well known that that island had one use.

The actual plane had beds and 12-15 year old girls who would “service” the passengers:

https://www.foxnews.com/us/flight-logs-show-bill-clinton-flew-on-sex-offenders-jet-much-more-than-previously-known

They can’t say they didn’t know. It would be a blatant lie.

The battle for innocence is very real. How many children (were we) who had to spend at least two decades coming to terms with childhood trauma? It is said that if you corrupt innocence, destroy it, you destroy God, and everything holy. As above so below … if this is what is “above” there better be some serious action taken to clean up this mess. Shed light on darkness, and eliminate the crevasses where they do their evil deeds. Take back our lives and bring peace to replace the trauma.

What Is Your “Job”?

Published June 13, 2018 by tindertender
kirsten-24k-641094-unsplash
Photo by Kirsten 24K

Entering this life you developed amnesia. You learned how to form words with the human mouth, you learned what is hot, and how all of the body senses work. You discovered emotions, and have learned, or are learning, how they can be manipulated.

You have been ‘schooled’ on how to behave, on what is deemed important and valuable. When you do not conform to these ideals, you experience something unsavory, you are manipulated over and over again until you succumb to the ‘program’.

Your job, our job, has been a calling for reinstatement to the earthly plain. We are here to create positive and beneficial change for the whole of life here on the planet … of course, there are others who’s task is to destroy it.

Climb out of the little box your grand self has been conditioned to stay in. Begin to consider the bigger picture, the larger scheme. You are meant to hinder, and bring to an end, destruction which humanity and all life has been plagued with.

Do not let anyone sway you from this truth. Remember your purpose, and take action … with honor, with truth, with compassion and care. Summon your integrity, guided by your inner moral compass, and apply the now hidden knowledge you came here with, as Michael Meade calls it, The Genius within you.

This task? You were certain you could complete. And you were correct. You are much more powerful than you have been trained to believe. Shed human teachings and remember … you know the world is relying on you.

You are a Warrior in a very real sense … of mending, of healing, of harmony. These changes will occur once you escape the grip of that which has taught you of destruction. Habits taught are made to be broken. Shine your alchemist light on the world, do what you came to do. Transform it, transform everything you see in the shadows (which are now coming to light).

We’ve been waiting for you.
The whole world has been waiting for you.

Who am I?

Published June 2, 2017 by tindertender

Who Am I.jpgI found myself answering this question with a memory. As a teenager, I was sitting on the deck of an underage pool hall with another gal. We were chatting, the sun was down and dusk was upon us. As we sat there, a few girls began to approach us. They started mocking the girl I was with and picking on her … bullying her. They didn’t see me, they knew she was with someone, but didn’t know who.

Banshee.JPGWhen I was in high school, I was very high strung, and I did not like the fact that boys would grope me in the hallways. I would sock ’em in the noggin and freak like a banshee. Well, everyone thought I was slightly off kilter.

Back to the deck with the gal being bullied … I stood up and walked to the edge of the deck asking if there was a problem. They then knew who I was and decided to leave.

I said to myself, when remembering … THIS is who I am. I am one who favors the meek. I know, it sounds cliché, and straight out of the bible … yet it is indeed who I am. If one is favored to win, I root for the underdog, always have.

When I got my second dog, he was a badger to my first. She would cower and really didn’t know what to do. I started putting the second in time outs, shutting him in the bathroom for a few minutes whenever he acted up against the first. Soon, the first knew that mom was saying this is NOT ok, and she began putting the second in his place.

Inner wealth.pngThis is like life today … in Portland 2 men were stabbed and died, and a third was stabbed and lived … bless them all for they stood up to injustice as a crazed mad man threatened two women of a faith he is not able to comprehend. These brave men possess(ed) the actions, and are models for us to keep in mind when we decide who we will create ourselves to be.

Every day, every moment, we have the authority to choose how we will live, and what we will become in this world. Wealth is not about money ~ it is about what we are made of on the inside.

Martyr :: A Person Who Is Killed Or Who Suffers Greatly For A Cause

Published November 20, 2016 by tindertender

Last night I was meditating on the people who are suffering all over the world. An event I attended was full of vibrational sound. I closed my eyes and leaned into it. For an hour, images came and went through my mind. I thought of the destruction, of the murder of whole peoples, and starvation of whole others.

It came to me … Although these people are suffering so very gravely, being abused so intensely, they are also giving the world the greatest gift it could ever receive.

You see, in their suffering, the corruption of governments, of bands of people, is being exposed in a way that has never been seen before.

Martyr? Every one of these … Men, Women, Children, Animal ~ Every growing and living thing, including the plants and the waters and the air … Are sacrificing themselves in the name of life, of peace, of unity. They may not know it, or remember it as part of their life plan, but they are gifting the world a tremendous eye opening, heart breaking, soul repair possibility.

Pain is a terrible thing, to experience, to see … it is mind shattering when we see innocence suffer and die. It is horrendous that the earth, air, and waters are being murdered just as all other life.

The line is clear, and increasingly firmly set, it is becoming thicker and darker dividing those who are for life, for love … and those who are for death, for hate.

Yes, those suffering now may not remember their purpose for this lifetime, but they are gifting the world the greatest lesson we have ever seen. Their sacrifices are not in vain, and this physical life time of suffering is temporary.

Martyr … if anyone deserves this title, it is those who give their life essence for the possibility of all to open their minds, their eyes and their heartsto have one final opportunity to break habits that are harmful, and retrain themselves, as a loving and kind parent would do, to be better able to lift mankind out of the depths of darkness.

Veterans Head To Standing Rock To Support ‘We The People’

Published November 13, 2016 by tindertender

We Are Power
“As a natural part of the Earth, the Earth will take care of us … IF we take care of the Earth.”

Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions

Published November 1, 2016 by tindertender

To clear the way for a pipeline, North Dakota invoked a measure reserved for state emergencies like natural disasters. That’s one answer.

Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn posted Oct 31, 2016

On Thursday, scores of law enforcement officers from seven different states showed up with riot gear, armored vehicles, and military weaponry to clear away Standing Rock’s newest camp, the “1851 Treaty Camp.” The camp stands directly in the path of the Dakota Access pipeline. Tipis and sweat lodges were destroyed. Vehicles were set ablaze. More than 140 protesters were arrested.Standing Rock Arrets.jpg

More than 140 protesters were arrested.

The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.

Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, has maintained that its citizens and supporters are engaging in peaceful, nonviolent expressions of their opposition to the pipeline.

Tara Houska, national campaigns director for the Native environmental group Honor the Earth, and Thane Maxwell, an organizer with Honor the Earth, have been at the camp for months. They describe what is happening:

Law enforcement from at least six other states have been involved in the assaults in North Dakota. And Morton County’s sheriff claims the federal government’s refusal to provide manpower and financial assistance factored into the call for help from other states. Tell me about the law that allows this.

The troops from other states (Wisconsin, Indiana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Nebraska) are sent here through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which was designed for natural disaster situations. In 20 years of operation, EMAC has only been used twice for protest purposes—in the Baltimore rebellion after Freddie Gray’s murder and here at Standing Rock. Its use here was made possible by Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s declaration of a State of Emergency, which was itself a gross misuse of funding and powers intended for natural disaster relief. DeSmogBlog an excellent, in-depth piece on this.

If folks in those surrounding states and counties want to complain about their tax dollars going to support this, what should they do?

I (Thane) am from Minneapolis, where Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek has sent 30 Special Operations forces to Standing Rock. We encountered them here on the front lines on Thursday and documented their brutality against us. Tara shot footage of Hennepin County officers violently beating a man with batons that they had pulled out of the crowd. Honor the Earth has a substantial constituent base in Hennepin County, so we and our allies have pushed hard to demand the sheriff withdraw the troops. Thousands have signed petitions and attended rallies at government offices this week, and many elected officials, nonprofit leaders, and faith leaders have issued public statements calling for immediate withdrawal. But so far, we have not won. We encourage people in other jurisdictions sending troops to demand their elected officials put an end to this violence.
Don’t take no for an answer.

How many water protectors have been arrested so far?

Over 400 people have been arrested. Some are still in jail from the mass arrests on Thursday, as law enforcement makes it extremely difficult to track people, so an exact count is unknown.
There have been reports of police violence against elders and children, right?

Yes. Elders and children have been bitten by DAPL private security attack dogs, pepper-sprayed, shot with rubber bullets, and beaten by police. Often elders are in ceremonial dress and actively praying when arrested—drumming, singing, burning sage. One member of the International Indigenous Youth Council suffered a broken wrist from a strike with a police baton, and just a few days later an officer saw the cast and intentionally twisted her wrist to reinjure her.

What are the incidents of torture that have been reported?

Arrestees have reported numerous experiences of abuse and torture while in police custody. Folks have been strip-searched for misdemeanor charges, and there are reports that women have been left naked in their cells and harassed by male guards. Native arrestees have had their braids undone and pawed through for an alleged “weapons search” in what is a clear effort to demean. Others have had hoods placed over their heads, been incarcerated in dog kennels due to lack of cell space, or marked with numbers on their skin. Amnesty International classifies these practices as “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment (CID),” which is illegal under international and U.S. law. Water protectors who locked themselves to construction equipment have also reported the use of waterboarding and pain compliance techniques such as zip-tying people in contorted positions for hours at a time. These are internationally recognized as methods of torture.

I heard police are targeting medics and journalists. Is this a recognized tactic?

Yes. People know about Amy Goodman’s charges, but many other members of the press have suffered physical violence, arrest, detention, and confiscation of equipment. Journalists are often targeted during confrontations because they possess and disseminate evidence of police brutality and human rights violations. Medics are also targeted because they make it possible for protectors to continue fighting the Dakota Access pipeline on the frontlines.

Arrestees have reported numerous experiences of abuse and torture while in police custody.

These are recognized combat tactics, and if it were actually a war, clear violations of Geneva Convention humanitarian rules. Clearly identifiable medics have been shot in the back with less-lethal ammunition while attending to patients. On Thursday, several people saw police use batons to hit two medics who were sitting on the back of a vehicle, slowly retreating from the police line. They also pulled the driver out of the car while it was moving, and it continued into the crowd. Luckily, a bystander jumped in the car and stopped it before it hit anyone.

Did they really shoot horses?

Yes. On Thursday, I saw the police shoot many rubber bullets at a horse at point blank range. Police in ATVs also chased horses in full gallop herding buffalo towards the confrontation, and shot them with both rubber bullets and live ammunition. One horse did not survive.

What exactly happens to people who get arrested? What do they go through and how expensive is it for them? Will nonresidents need to return to North Dakota for trial?

Arrestees have had a huge range of experiences, and it keeps getting worse. Some have been bonded out for a reasonable amount of money in just a few hours. Others have stayed in for days and been tortured and abused. Many have been told their personal property was “lost.” Many have faced trumped-up charges and inflated bonds. This is partly an intimidation tactic by Morton County and partly an attempt to seize as many of our financial resources as possible.

Almost all of the estimated 142 people arrested on Thursday are facing felony charges.

Currently, a team called the Red Owl Legal Collective consults with people while in custody and prioritizes bond for those with medical conditions, immigration issues, proximity to structural violence. They bond people out as quickly as possible, and sometimes represent arrestees at bond hearings where a judge may or may not reduce the inflated bond. So far, we have spent nearly $300,000 just to get people out of jail.

Right now, almost all of the estimated 142 people arrested on Thursday are facing felony charges and bonds of $1,500 each. Hopefully none of these charges will stick, but it puts an incredible burden on the movement.

Yes, people are expected to return later for an arraignment hearing where charges are finalized—some have had charges dropped, others have had misdemeanors transformed into felonies. At that point, a plea is entered and the defendant is expected to return again for either a pre-trial conference or a trial. All of this is of course very taxing for people who live far away and, in many cases, in poverty.

Who is providing legal assistance to those arrested?

We are both members of The Freshet Collective, which raises money and manages the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. We work closely with the legal support team on the ground at the encampment, operating with support from the National Lawyers Guild, and we are currently seeking additional attorneys experienced in this line of work. Many other groups on the ground here support this effort, as expressed in thissolidarity statement.

What’s the best way for people to support legal defense from afar—both for those arrested and for the other legal battles ahead?

The Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund is online at www.fundrazr.com/sacredstone. Direct contributions can be made via PayPal to freshetcollective@gmail.com to reduce processing fees. This fund is restricted to the direct support of those arrested—bail, fines, court costs, vehicle impoundment, defendant travel, and attorney fees. Any remaining funds will be used in civil cases against Dakota Access, law enforcement, or other parties responsible for human and civil rights violations.

The tribes’ legal interventions in the regulatory process are entirely separate, as are the supplementary legal interventions we are working on at Honor the Earth.

The treaty camp was on Energy Transfer property, but the property closer to the river belongs to Army Corps of Engineers, is that right?

Well, the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 clearly affirmed all of this land as sovereign, unceded territory belonging to the Great Sioux Nation. But according to the current laws of the occupying colonial forces, yes, the treaty camp was on Dakota Access land and the main encampment is on Army Corps land.

Is there still time for Obama and Justice, Interior, and Army Corps to step in?

The Obama administration could intervene any time. So far, they have taken measured steps of delay, such as the suspension and review of Army Corps permits related to this project. But no firm answers have been given and construction of the Dakota Access pipeline has sped up.

The Obama administration could intervene any time.

The U.S. Army Corps has still not sent the final easement to Congress that is required for DAPL to drill under the Missouri River. At a bare minimum, the USACE should deny this permit until a stringent level of environmental review—an Environmental Impact Statement—is conducted for the project, which will require a full survey of sacred sites and other cultural resources, and cumulative impacts to the public health and the environment, all in formal nation-to-nation consultation with the impacted tribal governments. We at Honor the Earth recently teamed up with the Sierra Club and the Indigenous Environmental Network to submit a letter to the Army Corps spelling out the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historical Preservation Act in this situation. Since DAPL intentionally destroyed sacred sites to circumvent their protection, the Army Corps cannot legally issue any more permits. And as the brutal, militarized response by this petro-State continues to escalate, the Obama administration’s lack of intervention is indefensible.

Anything else you can tell us about the treaty camp’s plans now?

All we can tell you is that we will be here until the end, and we will do everything in our power to protect this land, this water, and all the beings who depend on it. We cannot express to you the courage, dedication, and passion in the hearts of the people. You are seeing the videos and images and hearing the stories, but you really have to be here to feel it. This is a war. People are willing to die for this. Five hundred years of oppression is enough.

Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn wrote this article for YES! Magazine. Tracy is the editorial director at YES!

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