I pledge allegiance...

Discussion of principles relating to God's Law, Agency, Freedom, Liberty, the US constitution, and the Proper Role of Government.
Silver
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I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:21 pm

I pledge allegiance to the principles of freedom and not to the banana republic that America has become. Where are the Trumpsters today, swooning away at his newest infringement on our God-given rights? The Marmalade In Chief shows his true Gadiantonish, traitorous color more and more each day. Now cops all over the US can take away your assets without a trial, just because they suspect you of a crime.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-1 ... nationwide


The Feds Just Expanded Civil Asset Forfeiture 'Laws' Nationwide

by Tyler Durden
Jul 19, 2017 6:10 PM

When you're a government agency, asking for a tax increase is always a hassle. As Ryan McMaken notes, for the most part, taxpayers don't like taxes, and if asked if they want to pay more, they're likely to often say "no." Moreover, when public officials pass tax increases, they may face the wrath of taxpayers at the ballot box. For this reason, governments are always looking for ways to get revenue without having to use tax revenue.

One such 'hidden' method of seizing wealth from the taxpayers is through what is now called "civil asset forfeiture."

This occurs when a law enforcement agency seizes the assets - including real estate, cars, cash, and other valuables - from private citizens based merely on the suspicion that the person has committed a crime with the assets in question. No due process is necessary. No conviction in a court of law need occur. While it is technically possible to sue a government agency to reclaim one's possessions, this requires immense amounts of time and legal fees to pursue. Needless to say, civil asset forfeiture has become a lucrative source of income for law enforcement agencies. And, over the past 30 years, the practice has become widespread.

As Martin Armstrong detailed, between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. Now, according to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses.

This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.

“Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, where property is taken after its owner has been found guilty in a court of law, with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with or convicted of a crime to lose homes, cars, cash or other property. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but civil forfeiture turns that principle on its head. With civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent.”

- “ Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture,” Institute for Justice
In jolly old England, Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor. But as John Whitehead noted, in modern-day America, greedy government goons steal from the innocent to give to the corrupt under court- and legislature-sanctioned schemes called civil asset forfeiture. This is how the American police state continues to get rich: by stealing from the citizenry.

At every turn, “we the people” are getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.

President Trump has made it clear his loyalties lie with the police, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has previously declared his love for civil asset forfeiture, the Supreme Court keeps marching in lockstep with the police state, and the police unions don’t want their gravy train to go away, so there’s not much hope for federal reform anytime soon. As always, change will have to begin locally and move upwards.

Some state legislatures (Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Ohio) are beginning to push back against these clearly unconstitutional asset forfeiture schemes. As the National Review reports, “New Mexico now requires a criminal conviction before law enforcement can seize property, while police in Florida must prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that property is linked to a crime before it’s seized.”

And it is that pushback that has seemingly pushed the federal government to 'fix' the situation. As Reuters reports, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Wednesday that the federal government will reinstate a program that helps local and state law enforcement seize cash and other assets they suspect have been earned from crimes.

Local police will now be able to seize cash, often from those suspected of drug crimes, even in states that do not condone the policy.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters that most seizures were warranted because the "vast majority" of people who have property taken by police do not contest it in court.

"This is going to enable us to work with local police and our prosecutors to ensure that when assets are lawfully seized they are not returned to criminals," said Rosenstein at a media briefing at the Justice Department.
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson

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Silver
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:42 pm

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/justi ... le/2629068

Justice Department reverses Eric Holder policy on civil asset forfeiture
by Kelly Cohen and Melissa Quinn | Jul 19, 2017, 11:57 AM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday rolled out a new civil asset forfeiture policy aimed at expanding law enforcement's ability to seize property from people suspected of criminal activity.

The new policy allows the federal government to take all assets seized lawfully by state or local law enforcement whenever the crime causing the seizure violates federal law. The Justice Department said the change advances Sessions' recently created task force to combat violent crime and will crack down on criminals.

Critics have argued the civil asset forfeiture seizes property from people who are innocent and are never charged with a crime. But Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters on Wednesday that the aim of the change is to focus on assets related to criminal activity.

"It's not about taking assets from innocent people," Rosenstein said. "It's about taking assets that are the proceeds of […] criminal activity, primarily drug dealing."

Rosenstein added civil asset forfeiture is "not about criminal convictions, it's about seizing the proceeds of crime. Sometimes there will be criminal prosecutions, sometimes there won't."
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson

JohnnyL
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby JohnnyL » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:11 pm

Looks like the governors and legislatures of 45 states condone this, too. Where's your wrath for them? ;)

Silver
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:17 pm

JohnnyL wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:11 pm
Looks like the governors and legislatures of 45 states condone this, too. Where's your wrath for them? ;)
Momma would be so proud of you.
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson

JohnnyL
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby JohnnyL » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:20 pm

Silver wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:17 pm
JohnnyL wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:11 pm
Looks like the governors and legislatures of 45 states condone this, too. Where's your wrath for them? ;)
Momma would be so proud of you.
She is. The question is, is your momma proud of you? :D

Silver
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:22 pm

JohnnyL wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:20 pm
Silver wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:17 pm
JohnnyL wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:11 pm
Looks like the governors and legislatures of 45 states condone this, too. Where's your wrath for them? ;)
Momma would be so proud of you.
She is. The question is, is your momma proud of you? :D
You, sir, get an F for originality and an F for being a Trump supporter.
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson

Silver
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:02 pm

Hopelessly lost Trump supporters, using ridiculously twisted logic to support the Marmalade In Chief, will say, "Well, why doncha ever bash Obama fer nuthin'?" To soothe those tender little feelings...

https://thefederalist.com/2017/07/20/ci ... der-obama/
assetforfeiture-1.jpg
assetforfeiture-1.jpg (71.67 KiB) Viewed 513 times
Civil Asset Forfeiture Skyrocketed Under Obama
The dollar amount of assets seized by federal authorities via civil asset forfeiture more than doubled under Obama's watch.
JULY 20, 2017 By Mollie Hemingway
When CBS news announced that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had reinstated rules allowing seizure of assets by the federal government, the broadcast news network painted it as a serious departure from the Obama era:

A change would likely represent another reversal by Sessions of Obama-era Justice Department policies. His Democratic predecessor Eric Holder had tightened control of the department’s asset forfeiture operations amid concerns that property could be seized without judicial oversight and without the owner ever being charged with a crime.
Almost nothing in this paragraph is accurate.

Eric Holder was Attorney General from 2009 to early 2015. During that time, the total annual dollar value of assets seized by federal law enforcement went from less than $2 billion to more than $5 billion, exceeding criminal burglary losses in 2014.

Just two months before the end of his six-year tenure and attendant support of the program, Holder received accolades for supposedly ending the program. Some civil libertarians warned that he hadn’t actually ended the program. They were right.

One of the few journalists to follow the program and report on its abuses is Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post. He reported in March of last year, “The feds have resumed a controversial program that lets cops take stuff and keep it.” That story, from which the above graph is taken, noted:

Reformers had hoped that the suspension of the program in December was a signal that the Justice Department was looking for ways to rein in the practice. But that no longer appears to be the case.

“This really was about funding, not a genuine concern about the abuses rampant in the equitable sharing system,” said Scott Bullock, president of the Institute for Justice (IJ), in an interview. IJ is a civil liberties law firm that researches asset forfeiture and advocates on behalf of forfeiture defendants. It has reported extensively on what it calls the “profit motive” created by the Equitable Sharing Program: Because police get to keep a share of the items they seize, they have an incentive to take more stuff.

Bullock said the suspension and return of equitable sharing demonstrate the need for Congress to act on the issue. “Changes to forfeiture policy can be swept away by the stroke of a pen,” he said.
Sessions’s order opening up the gates received well-deserved condemnation from libertarians and conservatives yesterday (see here, here, here, for example). Libertarians and conservatives are long-time critics of the program that allows governments to seize property without even feinting toward due process. However, the issue never generated much anger among liberals during the Obama administration. The American Civil Liberties Union technically joined with the libertarian Koch Foundation to oppose the program and liberal John Oliver did a segment on it in 2014.

A Nexis search for “civil asset forfeiture” and “Eric Holder” of all English language news from the date of Eric Holder’s nomination as attorney general through the end of 2014, just before the program was supposedly altered, found only 45 mentions, almost all of them reprints of state or federal Justice Department press releases. A couple of libertarian and conservative publications, including The Federalist, ran multiple articles critiquing the practice and its proponents, and Republican Jim Sensenbrenner’s criticism of the program drew minor coverage. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page expressed concern and the San Francisco Chronicle did as well.

More general and less political coverage of “civil asset forfeiture”– that is, coverage that didn’t mention the top Democratic dog responsible for the program — was more common — 1,054 articles. Compare that to 1,119 articles in the last six months alone.

Liberals did condemn Sessions yesterday, though their voice would have been more valuable during the Obama era when civil asset forfeiture skyrocketed.

The group that most consistently opposes the unconstitutional civil asset forfeiture programs — whether they’re tolerated and encouraged by Democratic attorneys general or Republican — is the Institute for Justice. Its “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture” report is available here. The Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General report on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s decade-long abuses of the program, most of which occurred during the Obama administration, received little coverage upon its release in March. It is available here.
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson

Silver
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:04 pm

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_ ... ve_it.html

Everybody Hates Civil Forfeiture
So why does Jeff Sessions love it?

By Leon Neyfakh

Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice in Washington on Thursday.


When he’s making arguments he knows will enrage his critics, Attorney General Jeff Sessions adopts a soft, matter-of-fact tone, as if to suggest it’s obvious he’s being totally reasonable in the face of an immoderate opposition. “With care—gotta be careful—and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures,” Sessions said on Monday in Minneapolis. Two days later, he signed a directive that will make it easier for law enforcement to seize Americans’ assets, explaining that “it weakens the criminal organizations when you take their money, and it strengthens our law enforcement when we can share it together and use it to further our effort against crime.” In signing the directive, Sessions reversed policies put in place in 2015 by then–Attorney General Eric Holder, which sharply restricted the Justice Department’s participation in the seizure of cash and property by local and state authorities.

Sessions’ rhetorical mode—light, unassuming, almost melodic—makes it hard to tell whether he’s being profoundly naïve or profoundly cynical. This is particularly true when he’s singing the praises of a manifestly unjust policy like civil forfeiture, which enables the government to commandeer large sums from people who are suspected of—but have not been charged with—crimes. In declaring his warm support for civil forfeiture, the attorney general practically dared his detractors to look into his soul and wonder: Does he think this is a good, fair idea, or is he just pretending because it serves some broader agenda?

Described euphemistically as the “equitable sharing” of assets between law enforcement agencies and the federal government, the program Sessions is reviving is widely despised by thinkers and politicians on the left and right who see it as an unacceptable violation of individual rights by the state. Sessions has long been a fan of civil forfeiture, however, and has consistently opposed efforts to restrict the ability of law enforcement agencies to take maximum advantage of it.

“Mr. Sessions, while he may be well-meaning, doesn’t really understand the depth of the problems that this program created,” said David B. Smith, a defense lawyer who served in the DOJ’s asset forfeiture office during the Reagan administration and now does pro bono work on behalf of people fighting forfeiture cases. “I don’t know how much he’s learned since he’s been AG, but when he was a senator on the Judiciary Committee he had an almost Pollyanna-ish view of civil forfeiture. Of all the Republicans in the Senate, he may have been … the least concerned with all the abuses that were going on.”

Ever since the federal government started participating in civil asset forfeiture at the height of the drug war in the 1980s, the argument in favor of the practice has been that criminals shouldn’t be allowed to benefit from money they’ve earned by committing crimes (e.g., selling drugs). Through equitable sharing, local and state police can invite a federal law enforcement agency—usually either the Drug Enforcement Administration or Customs and Border Protection—to take over a case, seize any assets associated with it, and “share” a large portion of the haul (up to 80 percent) with the agency that brought it the case. According to the New Yorker’s Sarah Stillman, proceeds from civil forfeiture soared from $27 million in 1985, a year after the passage of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, to $4.2 billion in 2012.

Sessions either can’t fathom that police departments would target innocent people, or he just doesn’t care.
In theory, it’s a clever and morally righteous idea: get drug kingpins to pay for public safety. In practice, civil forfeiture shakes down innocent people who happen to have something valuable in their possession when a local or state police officer pulls them over. “Most of these are supposedly drug cases, [but] in reality most of them are cases where cash has been seized from a motorist and no drugs have been found,” Smith said. “The theory of the state and local cops is that anyone carrying a large amount of cash is considered a drug dealer. Even though they don’t really have any proof that the money’s connected to drugs, they get away with it.” Smith continued: “In the vast majority of cases, nobody files a claim. They don’t try to contest the forfeiture because they can’t afford a lawyer to do it, or if they can afford it, the amount of money is so small that fighting it in court will end up costing them more money than it’s worth.”

An investigation by the Washington Post found that between 2001 and 2014, police around the country had seized $2.5 billion in cash from almost 62,000 people without warrants or indictments, all under the federal equitable sharing program. Only a sixth of those seizures were challenged in court, according to the Post, but of the ones that were, a massive 41 percent resulted in the government returning money that had been improperly seized.

Sessions’ order on Wednesday did include several provisions promoted by the Justice Department as “safeguards” against abuse. From the Associated Press:

Key changes include requiring more detail from police agencies about probable cause justifying a seizure before federal authorities get involved. Also, the Justice Department will have to decide more quickly whether to take on local seizures and also let property owners know their rights and the status of their belongings within 45 days of the seizure, faster than federal law requires.

Another key change will make it harder for police to seize less than $10,000 unless they have a state warrant, have made an arrest related to the seizure, have taken other contraband, such as drugs, along with the money, or the owner has confessed to a crime. Without at least one of those conditions, authorities will need a federal prosecutor's approval to seize it under federal law.

For critics of civil asset forfeiture, these measures are not reassuring. “The supposed ‘safeguards’ implemented by this policy directive offer little or no substantive protection to property owners as they depend primarily on self-policing rather than judicial oversight,” declared the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm. “Most amount to nothing more than a pledge to be more careful.”

Even people who generally support asset forfeiture seem to believe Sessions’ safeguards don’t go far enough. Stefan Cassella, a former federal prosecutor who served as deputy chief of the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture and money laundering section from 1989 to 2009, was quoted by the AP as saying that while Holder’s restrictions on equitable sharing went too far, Sessions had only taken “a step in the right direction” in his efforts to prevent abuse.

“I thought that was very interesting, because he was an extremely aggressive prosecutor,” Smith told me. “He had a mission in life to expand forfeiture and expand the government’s seizure and forfeiture efforts. So for him to suggest there probably are other safeguards that should be instituted is really something.”

By bringing back to life a program that creates a gross power imbalance between the government and its citizens—a program that, in the words of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, “has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses”—Sessions seems to be signaling one of two things. The attorney general either can’t fathom that police departments would ever target innocent people for financial gain, or he just doesn’t care.


But the truth might be simpler. Maybe Sessions’ enthusiasm for getting the federal government back into the business of civil forfeiture is just the logical result of a worldview that treats all police officers as righteous agents of order and all suspects as presumptively deserving of punishment. It’s the same worldview that has led Sessions to dismiss painstaking DOJ research into unconstitutional police practices in Chicago as “anecdotal,” to claim marijuana users are by definition not “good people,” to shut down the National Commission on Forensic Science, and to demand that federal prosecutors always seek the most severe prison terms possible when bringing cases.

This worldview doesn’t come from naïveté nor cynicism—it comes from Sessions’ apparent belief that the unrestrained and overwhelming exertion of law enforcement power makes a society healthier and more decent. That he expresses this belief in an easygoing lilt makes it sound either disingenuous or innocent. In reality, it is both sincere and sinister.
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson

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moonwhim
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby moonwhim » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:41 pm

Sessions’ Plan To Expand Slavery & Gov’t Theft
Civil Asset Forfeiture is going to expand under Sessions
David Knight | Infowars.com - July 19, 2017

Watch Video: https://www.infowars.com/sessions-plan- ... ovt-theft/

If you have no property rights, YOU are the property.

Property rights are fundamental to a free people and a free society.

A society where there are no property rights, no judicial process before seizing property is a society of slaves where the owners can take whatever they wish, when they wish, under whatever pretense they choose.

“Civil” Asset Forfeiture allows “law enforcement” to steal property without ever charging anyone with a crime, let alone finding them guilty, in order to fund their bureaucracy.

Attorney General Sessions likes Civil Asset Forfeiture and has announced a plan to expand this unconstitutional, unlawful theft.
"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Silver
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:52 pm

Perhaps some people won't wake up until it is they themselves who have their stuff stolen from them by the police.

Trump supports this immoral theft. Sessions really likes it. They are part of the oligarchy, well, really just puppets of the Gadianton oligarchy that has been in control for decades. More and more now, the elites don't even try to disguise their intentions to completely abuse their positions of power and to rob us of our God-given rights.
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson

Silver
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:14 am

"Power tends to corrupt," declared Lord Acton, "and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Most are aware of the quote above. Another good one by Lord Acton is this:
“Everybody likes to get as much power as circumstances allow, and nobody will vote for a self-denying ordinance.”

Since the policemen who are seizing assets benefit from the civil asset seizures, they aren't likely to leave that particular tool idle on their toolbelt. Enable by the Trump administration, let's see if the value of assets stolen continues to rise.
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson

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Robin Hood
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Robin Hood » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:35 am

Seriously? This civil forfeiture without a conviction is really a thing in the US?
Surely there must be some kind of due process before assets can be seized.
Is this something to do with anti-terror laws?

Silver
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Re: I pledge allegiance...

Postby Silver » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:00 am

Robin Hood wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:35 am
Seriously? This civil forfeiture without a conviction is really a thing in the US?
Surely there must be some kind of due process before assets can be seized.
Is this something to do with anti-terror laws?
It's a huge and growing issue. Welcome to 1984. And the Trumpsters here still want to defend him because, well, he's not her. You know, her. The Hildabeest. It's stunning how they can rationalize away the robbing of our rights even when it's pointed out to them. But, like Samuel, I'm the bad guy for pointing out the gaps between their supposed beliefs and their actions.
As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. (T)he worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Ezra Taft Benson


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