Progressive Calendar 09.21.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2010 15:43:08 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   09.21.10

1. Day of Peace    9.21 5:30pm
2. Peace/mind/read 9.21 6pm
3. For socialism   9.21 7pm

4. James Petras - Imperialism and imperial barbarism
5. James Keye   - The meaning of property

--------1 of 5--------

From: United Nations Association of Minnesota <info [at]>
Subject: Day of Peace 9.21 5:30pm

Please come to the Peace Park (Rock Garden, 4124 Roseway Road,
Minneapolis) for a gathering to commorate and strengthen the Ideals of
Peace on Septemeber 21, International Day of Peace.

Commemerating and Strengthening Ideals of Peace
5:30 - 7:00
Peace Garden, 4124 Roseway Road, Minneapolis
Featuring a Hyde Park Speaker's Corner.
Express one or two ideas that will help create a peaceful world!
light refreshments served

--------2 of 5--------

From: Nancy Nielsen <nancywriter [at]>
Subject: Peace/mind/read 9.21 6pm

"A PEACE OF MY MIND" PHOTO EXHIBIT and peace readings
September 21 at Midtown Global Market

Twin Cities photographer John Noltner will open his new documentary
exhibit, "A Peace of My Mind" at Midtown Global Market on Tuesday, Sept.
21, 2010, coinciding with the United Nation's International Day of Peace.

"A Peace of My Mind" is a project that combines art and storytelling to
explore the meaning of peace.  Since early 2009, Noltner has interviewed
52 individuals about their thoughts on peace, including Holocaust
survivors, a Buddhist minister, a homeless man, and many others.  He asked
what peace means to them, what they do to work towards it in their lives
and what obstacles they encounter along the way.

The exhibit showcases 24" x 36" black and white portraits of each of the
subjects as well as excerpts from their interviews. Full audio from the
interviews can be downloaded from the project's website, Visitors are encouraged to download these
interviews to their MP3 players and listen to them as they view the

"Too often we are asked to look at what separates us in life," Noltner
said.  "This project asks us to look at what brings us together."

Noltner will host a free and open-to-the-public opening night reception at
Midtown Global Market on Tuesday, Sept. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. Guests will
have the chance to view the project, enjoy light refreshments, as well as
listen to readings of original essays and poems about peace coordinated by
Michael Kiesow Moore.  Moore, a Minnesota resident, is an interview
subject in "A Peace of My Mind" and also teaches a workshop and class
entitled "Writing Peace into the World." Students from the Loft's Peace
and Social Justice Writer's Group will also perform readings at the

The exhibit will be on display at Midtown Global Market through October

Tuesday, September 21 through Sunday, October 24, 2010
Opening reception to be held on Tuesday, September 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Exhibit open during Midtown Global Market Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Midtown Global Market
E. Lake Street and 10th Ave. So., Minneapolis

--------3 of 5--------

From: lydiahowell [at]
From: "Nick" <eckonate [at]>
Nick Shillingford (612-251-0707)
Socialist Alternative
Subject: For socialism 9.21 7pm

The Case for Socialism: International Speaker Cian Prendiville
September 21 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Coffman Student Union, Rm. 303 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis, MN
Created By Twin Cities Socialist Alternative

Cian Prendiville
* Youth Organizer and National Committee member for Socialist Party of
* Candidate for Irish parliament

Over two years into the "Great Recession," it's clear we face a bleak
future of unemployment, budget cuts, environmental destruction,
discrimination, and war. Yet from Athens to Arizona and from Brazil to
Berlin, a new generation is moving into struggle against the impacts of
the crisis. Global capitalism is increasingly recognized as the root
problem, but what is the alternative? Could socialism resolve the burning
problems we face? And how could it be achieved? Come hear our perspective,
share yours, and get involved in the struggle for a better world.

International Speaker Description: Cian Prendiville

Cian Prendiville is an activist from Ireland who is fighting for economic,
social, and environmental justice. Cian Prendiville decided to dedicate
his life to fighting for a better world when he was only 14 years old and
joined the Socialist Party of Ireland. Now, at 21 years of age, he is the
youngest member of the party's National Committee and a candidate for
Parliament. This fall, he will be on a speaking tour across the United
States to educate young people about why capitalism is to blame for the
economic and environmental crises, such as the BP oil spill, and to
motivate a new generation of young people to get politically active and
get involved in the socialist movement.

--------4 of 5--------

Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism
by James Petras
September 20th, 2010
Dissident Voice

Imperialism, its character, means and ends has changed over time and
place. Historically, western imperialism, has taken the form of tributary,
mercantile, industrial, financial and in the contemporary period, a unique
"militarist-barbaric" form of empire building. Within each "period",
elements of past and future forms of imperial domination and exploitation
"co-exist" with the dominant mode. For example, in the ancient Greek and
Roman empires, commercial and trade privileges complemented the extraction
of tributary payments. Mercantile imperialism, was preceded and
accompanied initially by the plunder of wealth and the extraction of
tribute, sometimes referred to as "primitive accumulation", where
political and military power decimated the local population and forcibly
removed and transferred wealth to the imperial capitals. As imperial
commercial ascendancy was consolidated, manufacturing capital increasingly
emerged as a co-participant; backed by imperial state policies
manufacturing products destroyed local national manufacturers gaining
control over local markets. Modern industrial driven imperialism, combined
production and commerce, both complemented and supported by financial
capital and its auxiliaries, insurance, transport and other sources of
"invisible earnings".

Under pressure from nationalist and socialist anti-imperialist movements
and regimes, colonial structured empires gave way to new nationalist
regimes. Some of which restructured their economies, diversifying their
productive systems and trading partners. In some cases they imposed
protective barriers to promote industrialization. Industrial-driven
imperialism, at first opposed these nationalist regimes and collaborated
with local satraps to depose industrial oriented nationalist leaders.
Their goal was to retain or restore the "colonial division of labor" -
primary production exchanged for finished goods. However, by the last
third of the 20th century, industrial driven empire building, began a
process of adaptation, "jumping over tariff walls", investing in
elementary forms of "production" and in labor intensive consumer products.
Imperial manufacturers contracted assembly plants organized around light
consumer goods (textiles, shoes, electronics).

Basic changes in the political, social and economic structures of both the
imperial and former colonial countries, however, led to divergent imperial
paths to empire-building and as a consequence contrasting development
performances in both regions.

Anglo-American financial capital gained ascendancy over industrial,
investing heavily in highly speculative IT, bio-tech, real estate and
financial instruments. Germany and Japanese empire builders relied on
upgrading export-industries to secure overseas markets. As a result they
increased market shares, especially among the emerging industrializing
countries of Southern Europe, Asia and Latin America. Some former colonial
and semi-colonial countries also moved toward higher forms of industrial
production, developing high tech industries, producing capital and
intermediate as well as consumer goods and challenging western imperial
hegemony in their proximity.

By the early 1990's a basic shift in the nature of imperial power took
place. This led to a profound divergence between past and present
imperialist policies and among established and emerging expansionist

              Past and Present Economic Imperialism

Modern industrial-driven empire building (MIE) is built around securing
raw materials, exploiting cheap labor and increasing market shares. This
is accomplished by collaborating with pliant rulers, offering them
economic aid and political recognition on terms surpassing those of their
imperial competitors. This is the path followed by China. MIE eschews any
attempt to gain territorial possessions, either in the form of military
bases or in occupying "advisory" positions in the core institutions of the
coercive apparatus. Instead, MIEs. seek to maximize control via
investments leading to direct ownership or .association. with state and/or
private officials in strategic economic sectors. MIEs utilize economic
incentives in the way of economic grants and low interest concessionary
loans. They offer to build large scale long term infrastructure
projects - railroads, airfields, ports and highways. These projects have a
double purpose of facilitating the extraction of wealth and opening
markets for exports. MIEs also improve transport networks for local
producers to gain political allies. In other words MIEs like China and
India largely depend on market power to expand and fight off competitors.
Their strategy is to create "economic dependencies" for long term economic

In contrast imperial barbarism grows out of an earlier phase of economic
imperialism which combined the initial use of violence to secure economic
privileges followed by economic control over lucrative resources.

Historically, economic imperialism (EI) resorted to military intervention
to overthrow anti-imperialist regimes and secure collaborator political
clients. Subsequently, EI frequently established military bases and
training and advisory missions to repress resistance movements and to
secure a local military officialdom responsive to the imperial power. The
purpose was to secure economic resources and a docile labor force, in
order to maximize economic returns.

In other words, in this "traditional" path to economic empire building the
military was subordinated to maximizing economic exploitation. Imperial
power sought to preserve the post colonial state apparatus and
professional cadre but to harness them to the new imperial economic order.
EI sought to preserve the elite to maintain law and order as the basic
foundation for restructuring the economy. The goal was to secure policies
to suit the economic needs of the private corporations and banks of the
imperial system. The prime tactic of the imperial institutions was to
designate western educated professionals to design policies which
maximized private earning. These policies included the privatization of
all strategic economic sectors; the demolition of all protective measures
("opening markets") favoring local producers; the implementation of
regressive taxes on local consumers, workers and enterprises while
lowering or eliminating taxes and controls over imperial firms; the
elimination of protective labor legislation and outlawing of independent
class organizations.

In its heyday western economic imperialism led to the massive transfer of
profits, interest, royalties and ill begotten wealth of the native elite
from the post-colonial countries to the imperial centers. As befits
post-colonial imperialism the cost of administrating these imperial
dependencies was borne by the local workers, farmers and employees.

While contemporary and historic economic imperialism have many
similarities, there are a few crucial differences. For example China, the
leading example of a contemporary economic imperialism, has not
established its "economic beach heads" via military intervention or coups,
hence it does not possess "military bases" nor a powerful militarist caste
competing with its entrepreneurial class in shaping foreign policy. In
contrast traditional Western economic imperialism contained the seeds for
the rise of a powerful militarist caste capable, under certain
circumstance, of affirming their supremacy in shaping the policies and
priorities of empire building.

This is exactly what has transpired over the past twenty years, especially
with regard to US empire building.

        The Rise and Consolidation of Imperial Barbarism

The dual processes of military intervention and economic exploitation
which characterized traditional Western imperialism gradually shifted
toward a dominant highly militarized variant of imperialism. Economic
interests, both in terms of economic costs and benefits and global market
shares were sacrificed in the pursuit of military domination.

The demise of the USSR and the virtual reduction of Russia to the status
of a broken state, weakened states allied to it. They were "opened" to
Western economic penetration and became vulnerable to Western military

President Bush (senior) perceived the demise of the USSR as a "historic
opportunity" to unilaterally impose a unipolar world. According to this
new doctrine the US would reign supreme globally and regionally.
Projections of US military power would now operate unhindered by any
nuclear deterrence. However, Bush (senior) was deeply embedded in the US
petroleum industry. Thus he sought to strike a balance between military
supremacy and economic expansion. Hence the first Iraq war 1990-91
resulted in the military destruction of Saddam Hussein's military forces,
but without the occupation of the entire country nor the destruction of
civil society, economic infrastructure and oil refineries. Bush (senior)
represented an uneasy balance between two sets of powerful interests: on
the one hand, petroleum corporations eager to access the state owned oil
fields and on the other the increasingly powerful militarist zionist power
configuration within and outside of his regime. The result was an imperial
policy aimed at weakening Saddam as a threat to US clients in the Gulf but
without ousting him from power. The fact that he remained in office and
continued his support for the Palestinian struggle against the Jewish
state's colonial occupation profoundly irritated Israel and its Zionist
agents in the US.

With the election of William Clinton, the "balance" between economic and
military imperialism shifted dramatically in favor of the latter. Under
Clinton, zealous Zionists were appointed to many of the strategic foreign
policy posts in the Administration. This ensured the sustained bombing of
Iraq, wrecking its infrastructure. This barbaric turn was complemented by
an economic boycott to destroy the country's economy and not merely
"weaken" Saddam. Equally important, the Clinton regime fully embraced and
promoted the ascendancy of finance capital by appointing notorious Wall
Streeters (Rubin, Summers, Greenspan et al.) to key positions, weakening
the relative power of oil, gas and industrial manufacturers as the driving
forces of foreign policy. Clinton set in motion the political "agents" of
a highly militarized imperialism, committed to destroying a country in
order to dominate it.

The ascent of Bush (junior) extended and deepened the role of the
militarist-Zionist personnel in government. The self-induced explosions
which collapsed the World Trade Towers in New York served as a pretext to
precipitate the launch of imperial barbarism and spelled the eclipse of
economic imperialism.

While US empire building converted to militarism, China accelerated its
turn toward economic imperialism. Their foreign policy was directed toward
securing raw materials via trade, direct investments and joint ventures.
It gained influence via heavy investments in infrastructure, a kind of
developmental imperialism, stimulating growth for itself and the "host"
country. In this new historic context of global competition between an
emerging market driven empire and an atavistic militarist imperial state,
the former gained enormous economic profits at virtually no military or
administrative cost while the latter emptied its treasury to secure
ephemeral military conquests.

The conversion from economic to militarist imperialism was largely the
result of the pervasive and "deep" influence of policymakers of Zionist
persuasion. Zionist policymakers combined modern technical skills with
primitive tribal loyalties. Their singular pursuit of Israel's dominance
in the Middle East led them to orchestrate a series of wars, clandestine
operations and economic boycotts crippling the US economy and weakening
the economic bases of empire building.

Militarist driven empire building in the present post-colonial global
context led inevitably to destructive invasions of relatively stable and
functioning nation-states, with strong national loyalties. Destructive
wars turned the colonial occupation into prolonged conflicts with
resistance movements linked to the general population. Henceforth, the
logic and practice of militarist imperialism led directly to widespread
and long-term barbarism - the adoption of the Israeli model of colonial
terrorism targeting an entire population. This was not a coincidence.
Israel's Zionist zealots in Washington "drank deeply" from the cesspool of
Israeli totalitarian practices, including mass terror, housing
demolitions, land seizures, overseas special force assassination teams,
systematic mass arrests and torture. These and other barbaric practices,
condemned by human rights organizations the world over, (including those
in Israel), became routine practices of US barbaric imperialism.

             The Means and Goals of Imperial Barbarism

The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war.
Total in the sense that (1) all weapons of mass destruction are applied;
(2) the whole society is targeted; (3) the entire civil and military
apparatus of the state is dismantled and replaced by colonial officials,
paid mercenaries and unscrupulous and corrupt satraps. The entire modern
professional class is targeted as expressions of the modern national-state
and replaced by retrograde religious-ethnic clans and gangs, susceptible
to bribes and booty-shares. All existing modern civil society
organizations, are pulverized and replaced by crony-plunderers linked to
the colonial regime. The entire economy is disarticulated as elementary
infrastructure including water, electricity, gas, roads and sewage systems
are bombed along with factories, offices, cultural sites, farms and

The Israeli argument of "dual use" targets serves the militarist
policymakers as a justification for destroying the bases of a modern
civilization. Massive unemployment, population displacement and the return
to primitive exchanges characteristic of pre-modern societies define the
"social structure". Educational and health conditions deteriorate and in
some cases become non-existent. Curable diseases plague the population and
infant deformities result from depleted uranium, the pre-eminent weapon of
choice of imperial barbarism.

In summary the ascendancy of barbarous imperialism leads to the eclipse of
economic exploitation. The empire depletes its treasury to conquer,
destroy and occupy. Even the residual economy is exploited by "others":
traders and manufacturers from non-belligerent adjoining states. In the
case of Iraq and Afghanistan that includes Iran, Turkey, China and India.

The evanescent goal of barbarous imperialism is total military control,
based on the prevention of any economic and social rebirth which might
lead to a revival of secular anti-imperialism rooted in a modern republic.
The goal of securing a colony ruled by cronies, satraps and
ethno-religious warlords - willing givers of military bases and permission
to intervene - is central to the entire concept of military driven empire
building. The erasure of the historical memory of a modern independent
secular nation-state and the accompanying national heritage becomes of
singular importance to the barbarous empire. This task is assigned to the
academic prostitutes and related publicists who commute between Tel Aviv,
the Pentagon, Ivy league universities and Middle East propaganda mills in

                      Results and Perspectives

Clearly imperial barbarism (as a social system) is the most retrograde and
destructive enemy of modern civilized life. Unlike economic imperialism it
does not exploit labor and resources, it destroys the means of production,
kills workers, farmers and undermines modern life.

Economic imperialism is clearly more beneficial to the private
corporations; but it also potentially lays the bases for its
transformation. Its investments lead to the creation of a working and
middle class capable of assuming control over the commanding heights of
the economy via nationalist and/or socialist struggle. In contrast the
discontent of the ravaged population and the pillage of economies under
imperial barbarism, has led to the emergence of pre-modern ethno-religious
mass movements, with retrograde practices, (mass terror, sectarian
violence etc.). Theirs is an ideology fit for a theocratic state.

Economic imperialism with its "colonial division of labor", extracting raw
materials and exporting finished goods, inevitably will lead to new
nationalist and perhaps later socialist movements. As EI undermines local
manufacturers and displaces, via cheap industrial exports, thousands of
factory workers, movements will emerge. China may seek to avoid this via
"plant transplants". In contrast barbaric imperialism is not sustainable
because it leads to prolonged wars which drain the imperial treasury and
injury and death of thousands of American soldiers every year. Unending
and unwinnable colonial wars are unacceptable to the domestic population.

The "goals" of military conquest and satrap rule are illusory. A stable,
"rooted" political class capable of ruling by overt or tacit consent is
incompatible with colonial overseers. The "foreign" military goals imposed
on imperial policymakers via the influential presence of Zionists in key
offices have struck a mighty blow against the profit seeking opportunities
of American multi-nationals via sanctions policies. Pulled downward and
outward by high military spending and powerful agents of a foreign power,
the resort to barbarism has a powerful effect in prejudicing the US

Countries looking for foreign investment are far more likely to pursue
joint ventures with economic driven capital exporters rather than risk
bringing in the US with all its military, clandestine special forces and
other violent baggage.

Today the overall picture is grim for the future of militarist
imperialism. In Latin America, Africa and especially Asia, China has
displaced the US as the principal trading partner in Brazil, South Africa
and Southeast Asia. In contrast the US wallows in unwinnable ideological
wars in marginal countries like Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan. The US
organizes a coup in tiny Honduras, while China signs on to billion dollar
joint ventures in oil and iron projects in Brazil and Venezuela and an
Argentine grain production. The US specializes in propping up broken
states like Mexico and Columbia, while China invests heavily in extractive
industries in Angola, Nigeria, South Africa and Iran. The symbiotic
relationship with Israel leads the US down the blind ally of totalitarian
barbarism and endless colonial wars. In contrast China deepens its links
with the dynamic economies of South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Brazil and the
oil riches of Russia and the raw materials of Africa.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University,
New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser
to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of
Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras. most recent book is Zionism,
Militarism and the Decline of US Power (Clarity Press, 2008). He can be
reached at: jpetras [at] Read other articles by James, or visit
James's website.

--------5 of 5--------

The Meaning of Property
by James Keye
September 18th, 2010
Dissident Voice

Owning property provides an incentive for innovation. Society benefits
from inventions. People can get rich, but society gets richer. It's
innovation that raises the standard of living in a society. That's the
story of the rise of the west. Then there's a contrasting story.  When you
don't get to keep what you create, the incentive to create is lost.
 - Austin J. Jaffe, Ph.D.

There will come a time in the not too distant future when these words or
words like these will be read with the same disbelief and horror that we
feel when perusing an account of Aztec attitudes toward the "obvious
necessity" of human sacrifice: "for the rain to fall, for the kingdom to
sustain and thrive, living hearts must be cut from living bodies".

That Professor Jaffe's and similar views are taken as an unquestioned and
unquestionable good is the underlying basis of our present, and long
developing, difficulties.  No biological system can function with
unregulated growth; in fact, biological systems seldom actually grow, they
repair and replace; innovation is slow, invention is far more often
harmful than beneficial.  No biological system can function with the parts
that create keeping what they create, yet no part of a biological system
can take what it does not create without compensating in effective kind.

Humans are animals, biological entities living in ecosystem relationships
with the rest of life on the earth - even as we do violence to the
relationships, we are still in them.  We have an adaptation that, because
of its newness and power, distorts both our relationships with the rest
of life and our understandings of those relationships.

And we have reached the end of the line for those distorted relationships.
The thin biospheric space, sufficiently stable to support life, is about
ready to ratchet back a notch or two to a somewhat simpler order - this is
what it does when severely stressed.  And our maniacal obsession with our
independence from the rest of life will be shown to be the dangerous
illusion that it is.  Even a small loss of environmental "free" services
will cut through human civilization like a reaper's scythe.

Our biology is the basis of our life and all the stuff, all the power, all
the wealth of knowledge and wealth of material is nothing without
biological life.  The conditions for sustaining life are well known and
yet in the face of such clear understanding we poison our air and water,
offer toxic materials as beauty aids, damage our food supply, live with
stresses that damage our hormonal systems and digestive systems, eat
poorly, treat our bodies like an enemy, believe in the most outrageous
palliatives and generally devote our actions to "raising our standard of
living in society" while having no comprehension of what it even means to
live fully as a member of our biological species.

The source of our dilemmas is deep in the design and structure of our
social/economic/political/religious world.  So deep, in fact, that these
sources seem like the natural and necessary bases of our existence - just
as Aztec culture seemed the natural and necessary bases of their world.

The human species exists in numbers and with powers of manipulation orders
of magnitude beyond our ability to comprehend, much less measure with
accuracy.  We are quite literally bursting the seams of this world.  A
tiny few have seen this coming for hundreds of years, but now that it is
upon us that number is exponentially increasing - increasing in number but
not increasing in comprehension, just in a simple recognition of danger
driving doubt and fear.

An unfocused sense of danger is itself extremely dangerous.  We will see
this like the displaying rashes and buboes of a systemic disease breaking
out (and cynically used), as we have seen, in the fear of a "black"
president, a manic oscillation of acceptance and rejection of social and
economic palliatives, and a pathological entrenchment in our oldest
palliative, religion.  That, of course, is when the temple steps become a
cascading river of blood!

I began with a quote about property; this was not without intention.  Much
of our present difficulty has been driven by way humans have come to
relate to the space, objects and consistent imaginings we have about the
world: we have come to think of these things as property.

There is no natural reason for this.  Property is purely a construct of
the imagination and has no basis in the physical or living order.  If I
hold a object in my hand and am using it, the living world has every
expectation that I will protect the object and my use of it with symbols
of force and eventually real force if necessary.  That I should put that
object down and leave it alone at a distance from me and maintain the
notion that it is still mine and therefore not available for use by anyone
or anything else is new to our part of the universe; and as Professor
Jaffe points out, filled with consequences.

Since the idea of property is just that, an idea, it has no more than a
history in thought and human function.  There is a religious component to
the argument that I will talk about in another number in this group of
essays, but for the moment oblige me the conceit that property is an
imaginary relationship unsupported by substance beyond the fact that this
is how we have been acting for some time.

But even that last statement needs correction.  Property is not treated
the same everywhere by everyone; in fact, as one would expect for an
imaginary relationship, the idea of property in highly variable from place
to place, culture to culture and person to person.  There is no one notion
of what property is or should be.

But it is popularly held notions of property that decide whether a priest
can cut your heart out, whether poisonous chemicals can be poured into a
stream, whether I will strive for knowledge/spiritual wealth or material
wealth, whether a dangerous innovation will become the newest form of
human sacrifice.

Western conceptions of property have not changed much since John Locke
articulated the local wisdom of the middle and late 1600s.  Karl Marx had
a run at these conceptions, but had the bad luck of his ideas being taken
up by revolutionaries in the most improbable country in Eurasia.  The
great power of present property notions and resulting laws, as per
Professor Jaffe, to create change and to concentrate material wealth, have
driven us to both deify property ideas - and to the brink of the abyss.
It is not a conception that we should or can leave alone.

1.For a consideration of the human adaptation and its powers see The
Madness . Part Four [.]

James Keye is the nom de plume of a biologist and psychologist who after
discovering a mismatch between academe and himself went into private
business for many years. His whole post-pubescent life has been focused on
understanding at both the intellectual and personal levels what it is to
be of the human species; he claims some success. Email him at:
jkeye1632 [at]


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