Morning Links

Thursday, June 21st, 2012
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69 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Marty | 

    Bloomberg and the NYPD support the proposal aimed at ending stop and frisk?!! why don’t they just stop stopping and frisking?

  2. #2 |  Eddie | 

    Chances are it is not the NYPD stopping and ticketing people for picking up passengers at the various brides or tunnels. See, here in NY we have multiple layers of police bureaucracy. If the car is coming from Jersey it is almost certainly a Port Authority cop but if a bridge or tunnel entirely within NYC it would likely be an MTA cop although possibly an NYPD cop. Can never have enough authority!

  3. #3 |  Highway | 

    That toothbrush might be a brilliant engineering idea, but whatever happened to using a cup? Does anyone actually crane their head under a faucet? Especially a bathroom faucet?

  4. #4 |  twshiloh | 

    I saw similar attempts to ‘engage’ young people while in the military (cub/boy scout events, etc.) where kids would be put on the same simulators troops are trained on for marksmanship or before deploying. It looked equally creepy and felt inappropriate. There was no (or very little) ‘Hey, this is serious business that involves killing people.’ and had a whole lot of ‘Check out the boom stick!’

  5. #5 |  Highway | 

    Marty, I’m going to guess they’re trying to ride on the fence. If the legislature passes a bill, they get political cover for stopping it – “Oh, we had to do it by law, and if it goes bad, it’s not our fault.” If they just stopped on their own, they would own all the bad feelings when random thug who might have been caught by stop-and-frisk mugs an old lady.

  6. #6 |  Burgers Allday | 

    @ carpool toll avoidance:

    “The charges typically applied are for an illegal lane change or stopping at a bus stop.”

    In the interest of fairness, these things probably are illegal. To say that there is nothing illegal sort of obfuscates two underlying problems:

    1. the city planners really should provide places where passengers can be picked up and dropped off legally in places where motorists want to do that. Roads should well serve the people who use them. People should not need to resort to bus stops.

    2. The problem of the pretextual traffic stop raises its ugly head again. These are traffic stops that are supported by probable cause of an actual infraction of an actual traffic law that is actually on the books, where the primary subjective intention of the policeman making the stop is something other than the infraction that was observed (or at least reasonably suspected). These pretext stops really need to stop, and this is part-and-parcel of that larger problem, IMHO. While courts are reluctant to try to figure out the policeman’s subjective intentions (and to tell the policeman that he is lying when he lies about his subjective intentions in court), pretextual arrests have been somewhat curbed in the context of arresting demonstrators supporting causes that the policeman does not support. The recent Brooklyn Bridge case was one where they did that. So, it is possible that pretextual traffic stops may come to be disallowed, especially if argued against cannily. Of course, pretextual traffic stops are often, these days, about forfeiture of cash money that will make a dog sit down (or not sit down). This thing with the carpools is another front on the same battle. Lots of state actors get to have discretion. It is only with policemen that the concept of “abuse of discretion” seems foreign and mysterious to judicial tribunals (and to the cops themselves).

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    Highway- that’s what I was thinking. It just looks so ludicrous that the cops and mayor who devised this bullshit are supporting the governor.
    The article mentions how the republicans shot it down along party lines, but fails to note the democratic support, even by the democrats the law was designed to thwart.

  8. #8 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    The problem of the pretextual traffic stop raises its ugly head again…

    Yeah, I was thinking… You can get pulled over for “weaving,” a
    classical pretextual stop. But do you know anyone who ever got
    an actual ticket for weaving? “Suspicious activity” is another good one.
    Means nothing. Both are designed to get you searched and
    interrogated with the general purpose of fucking up your life…
    and no court has the balls to call them on it.

  9. #9 |  Burgers Allday | 

    On the stop and frisks:

    Legally they are not supposed to find leafy contraband. IIRC, that was made clear in a companion case decided on the same day Terry was decided.

    If the NYC stop and frisks are finding contraband then the officers are doing them wrong (probably either frisking too hard or else extorting consent).

    I would rather see the problem dealt with in that way rather than lowering the penalties for marijuana. Even if mj were merely ticketable, mj possessors without id’s would still get arrested until their identities could be established, meaning that nothing would really change.

    Cuomo’s approach is a poor fit to solve the stop and frisk problem.

    I know that Cuomo does know how to sue under federal law and that is what his AG should be doing to solve the stop and frisk problem. He doesn’t need the legislature’s approval for that either. It is also a way of solving the problem that makes the individual policeman in the street “feel the heat, “which is important, IIRC. A few lawsuits would clear the John Jay junk right out of their skull cavities.

  10. #10 |  nobody | 

    RE: super-seers. A recent episode of the excellent Radiolab was devoted to colors. In it, they discuss this phenomenon and interview researchers and a woman with this ability. It’s pretty fascinating.

  11. #11 |  nobody | 

    Sorry, that link didn’t work. http://www.radiolab.org/2012/may/21/

  12. #12 |  Pi Guy | 

    Fake SWATers get away with this only because no-knock raids exist in the first place. If every warrant required that the homeowner/occupant be shown the justification for the raid this idea would never even occur to these douche nozzles.

  13. #13 |  crazybob | 

    This is the first time that obama has invoked executive privilege, making his much more transparent than recent administrations. This is especially admirable considering he is faced with an obstructive, highly politicized congress who’s majority party has stated their highest priority is to keep him from a second term (a higher priority than the economy, national security, etc.)

    Fast and furious was a screw up, but the ongoing congressional investigations are now circus whose only purpose is political.

  14. #14 |  Pi Guy | 

    @ #12 crazybob:

    The highest lawyer in the land committed perjury. If Joe Schmo, Attorney at Law, perjured himself in East Outer Bumfuck County Courthouse, he’d likely be disbarred.

    Holder broke the law AND failed to uphold his oath to uphold the Constitution. If he’s not disbarred he’s at least eligible for impeachment for deriliction of duty.

  15. #15 |  omar | 

    Does anyone actually crane their head under a faucet? Especially a bathroom faucet?

    I do, but it’s not a problem I’m wanting to solve for $35. The article is unclear, but it seems there’s some kind of motor? If it’s just a pressure thing, I just as soon print one.

    Although it seems like this would make a mess.

  16. #16 |  DoubleU | 

    “Exhaustive new report finds zero evidence that immigration harms the economy or public safety.”

    If I report says it is true it must be true!

  17. #17 |  DoubleU | 

    > If I report says

    If a report. (sigh)

  18. #18 |  Resistance | 

    “screwup”… Is that what they’re calling mass murder these days? Or is the “screwup” just that they were caught?

  19. #19 |  nigmalg | 

    Re: decriminalize pot

    Suburban soccer moms strike again. Pot is bad mmkay. Where’s my beer?

  20. #20 |  capn_amurka | 

    Yizmo Gizmo:

    While I generally agree, I think you’re misconstruing the problem as one of design when I think it is more correctly a failure to require police to conduct proper and legal stops based on particularized, articulable, reasonable suspicion of a crime.

    That is, when a driver is pulled over for weaving, the officer observing weaving (hard to prove) has a reason to suspect the driver is operating drunk/over-medicated/etc. and can conduct a stop and field investigation to determine if his suspicions are correct. If so, the driver gets searched,
    interrogated, etc. just as you say, but properly and legally.

    “Suspicious activity” is, in my experience, complete BS since it reads out the “of a crime” part of the standard. Furtively passing an envelop full of photographs of local officials and money to another person may be suspicious, but it’s not a crime and being stopped for that alone would not be a proper stop. Here, if the person gets searched,
    interrogated, etc. it is not proper.

  21. #21 |  nigmalg | 

    This is the first time that obama has invoked executive privilege, making his much more transparent than recent administrations.

    This was just painful to read. Can we drop the “Bush did it” bullshit. Any president who invokes privilege to cover up misconduct or negligence is wrong.

    Fast and furious was a screw up, but the ongoing congressional investigations are now circus whose only purpose is political.

    How does this make executive privilege appropriate? Privilege cannot be used to cover up a criminal investigation, regardless of how many democrats want it to go away. Couldn’t the documents the committee asked for have been released without Obama getting involved? Why add fuel on the fire?

  22. #22 |  Bob | 

    First super-tasters. Now, super-seers.

    What if you have a FIFTH cone? Does that give you the ability to fire Optic Blasts or see through walls?

    Stan Lee wants to know!

  23. #23 |  Miroker | 

    Both sides do it is correct.

    “Privilege cannot be used to cover up a criminal investigation, regardless of how many democrats want it to go away.”

    Think back a few years, particularly the Valerie Plame Wilson case. Several
    people involved in that were protected via “executive privilege”.

    Also remember, this type of “gunwalking” operation was initiated in 2006, so that does lend credence to the “both sides do it” meme.

    In an aside, documents recently released show MANY warnings about terror attacks in the works prior to 9/11 that were ignored, because the administration had plans that apparently did not include protecting the USA.

  24. #24 |  George E | 

    I was prepared to cross-post the “exhaustive research” on the economic neutrality of immigration, but there was none at the link — just an NYT essay. And even it said absolutely nothing about the impact/demand on the local tax base. Simply making assertions is not the same as conducting analysis.

  25. #25 |  nigmalg | 

    Miroker,

    Absolutely both sides do it, and in many cases, both sides are wrong. The portion “… regardless of how many democrats want it to go away.” was directed primarily at the notion that it’s Republicans being political in this specific case.

    If it’s political because of Republican-only support for contempt, is it not so for a Democrat-only vote against such contempt? It’s a party line vote over something that surely has a right-and-wrong side.

  26. #26 |  David | 

    Both sides do it so both sides need to fry. Universal corruption is not a good reason to accept corruption.

  27. #27 |  Brandon | 

    Crazybob, whenever any reasonable person reads the shit that spews from your keyboard, all they hear is a slurping sound coming from the direction of Obama’s crotch. Save everyone the time and go back to Media Matters with the rest of the hacks.

  28. #28 |  SInchy | 

    “Home invaders in St. Petersburg, Florida pose as a raiding SWAT team to get inside a home.”

    Very loose interpretation of that video.
    Those home invasion guys didn’t look anything like a swat team. One guy was wearing all white. One them was wearing what looked like a white hoodie. One guy seemed to have a shirt tied around his head. Sure they shouted “police” when they entered but what difference does it make when they just kick down the door. They didn’t need to pretend to be police to gain entry to the house and didn’t “pose as a raiding SWAT team to get inside” they just went inside and shouted police for some stupid reason.

  29. #29 |  SInchy | 

    “Home invaders in St. Petersburg, Florida pose as a raiding SWAT team to get inside a home.”

    Very loose interpretation of that video.
    Those home invasion guys didn’t look anything like a swat team. One guy was wearing all white. One them was wearing what looked like a white hoodie. One guy seemed to have a shirt tied around his head. Sure they shouted “police” when they entered but what difference does it make when they just kick down the door. They didn’t need to pretend to be police to gain entry to the house and didn’t “pose as a raiding SWAT team to get inside” they just went inside and shouted police for some stupid reason.

  30. #30 |  Mattocracy | 

    I hate it when people get pissed off at politicians for being political, as if the name of their very profession doesn’t entail that they are indeed political.

  31. #31 |  nigmalg | 

    …they just went inside and shouted police for some stupid reason.

    It’s not a stupid reason at all.

    It’s not unreasonable to assume the residents of the home you’re raiding can’t see your silly clothing right away. It’s very intelligent to shout “Police!” if you want to temporarily stun or otherwise stall any sort of effective reaction as you round the dark corner to restrain your victims.

    Fake SWATers get away with this only because no-knock raids exist in the first place.

    Exactly. It’s on the radar as a tactic only because the police are doing this.

  32. #32 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Speaking of pretextual stops, and cowboy cops, video shows cop pulls over and arrests biker just for the hell of it:
    http://www.allaboutbikes.com/motorcycle-news/law-legislation/6944-dallas-sport-biker-pulled-over-for-helmet-camera

  33. #33 |  Radley Balko | 

    George: http://ann.sagepub.com/content/641/1/6.extract

    Sincy: The point was for them to get inside with minimal resistance. That’s why they kicked the door down and yelled police. For this purpose, what they were wearing isn’t really relevant.

    crazybob: You’re nothing if not predictable.

  34. #34 |  crazybob | 

    radley: you could at least try to articulate an argument rather than just dismissing someone for being “predictable”. Of course being predictable is a sign of a logical mind, isn’t it?

    “Fast and furious” is a never ending witch hunt of no value.

  35. #35 |  Goober | 

    That kid sort of looks like he’s having fun. To be honest, I really don’t see a problem when kids dress up and want to play soldier. i used to do it all the time.

    it’s when full-grown adults with qualified immunity want to dress up and play soldier that i start to get a bit worried.

  36. #36 |  Mike Williams | 

    Goober, I believe you’ve identified a huge part of the problem. The kid is indeed dressed up as a soldier, but POLICE is emblazoned across his chest. One of the recurring themes of this blog is that the categories of police and soldier are being conflated, right in front of everyone, to society’s detriment.

  37. #37 |  Mike Williams | 

    re: the St. Pete story, my god, I’ve been waiting/dreading a story like this for years. It doesn’t take a criminal mind to reach the conclusion that one of the easiest ways to get your victims to submit without a fight is to go in screaming police. I’m thinking that it actually happens a lot.

  38. #38 |  jmcross | 

    I see that trigger discipline isn’t any more important for kiddie kops than it is for the big boyz. Next lesson: Tasers are FUN!

  39. #39 |  David | 

    Also, why does Cumberland even need a SWAT team? Anything gets bad enough to require body armor, call in Dr. McNinja.

  40. #40 |  celticdragonchick | 

    That is officially the creepiest photo I will see this week.

  41. #41 |  perlhaqr | 

    Of course being predictable is a sign of a logical mind, isn’t it?

    Or just a sign of someone who is consistently an idiot.

    If I always say “It’s the fault of the lizard people!” I’m being predictable, but you wouldn’t claim I’m being logical. (Well, ok, you might.)

  42. #42 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: Pot decriminalization attempt in NY…
    “The bill is killed by Republican state senators from the suburbs.”

    Another principled stand by limited gubmint Republicans. Thank you, senators, for showing your true authoritarian colors!

  43. #43 |  Elliot | 

    crazybob (#33)‘Fast and furious’ is a never ending witch hunt of no value.

    Of no value to whom? To those wanting Obama reelected? Sure.

    Of no value to Brian Terry’s family? Of no value to the ATF whistleblowers? Sorry, they have a case to make and Holder and Obama are acting in dishonest fashion to cover their own butts.

    If this is just a “witch hunt” then handing over documents instead of invoking the royal executive privilege would be the answer. It is obvious they are hiding something damaging.

  44. #44 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    A little wisdom from Sammy Hagar for you, crazybob…

    Watching these politicians
    Swimin’ in a sea of sharks
    One of ‘em’s got blood on his hands
    Everyone scrambles
    Just to save his own ass
    The opposition moves in and makes demands

    Full investigation
    Maybe a resignation
    No matter what the cost
    It’s not for the country, no
    Two terms in a row
    The democrats have lost

  45. #45 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Crazy Bob: “Fast and furious was a screw up, but the ongoing congressional investigations are now circus whose only purpose is political.”

    No, fast and furious was ANOTHER screw up by an out of control system of law enforcement. The system is rotten, even if your man is the president. You may be entranced by Obama’s eloquence, but he is basically just Bush-Lite. But hey, David Brooks was totally impressed by the crease in Obama’s pants so he must be the bestest president ever.

    All jokes aside, Crazy Bob, I urge you to take off the shackles of the Red Team vs. Blue Team mindset. I think you will be able analyze these issues more effectively once you realize that the game is rigged.

  46. #46 |  Meiczyslaw | 

    Keep in mind that “Wide Receiver” actually had RFID tags on the walked guns, and was discontinued when ATF realized that the plan wasn’t working and would never work. (We should actually be praising WR for having clear and measurable goals, and recognizing failure. When was the last time you heard of a government program that did?)

  47. #47 |  SInchy | 

    I just don’t see how barely pretending to be police, not SWAT as your headline claims, was pivotal to their home invasion strategy. Maybe for the initial entry calling out police might gain them a second of unimpeded access but without all the other accouterment of a SWAT team that ruse is falls short pretty quickly.
    Furthermore we all know how even real SWAT raids often turn tragic when the subjects of the raid, innocent or not, mistake the actual SWAT team for home invaders and decide in the moment to resist one way or another.

  48. #48 |  Fascist Nation | 

    “You’ll put your eye out! You’ll put your eye out!”

    I guess it is perfectly OK, but possibly illegal, for a kid to hold a 12G pump shotgun with no stock in Maryland…as long as the cops get paid to do it.

  49. #49 |  croaker | 

    @47 By the time “the ruse is falls short” it’s already too late. You are face down on the floor with a gun to the back of your head while the bad guys steal your stuff, rape your wife, and pop your daughter’s cherry.

    All because the police have a violent and controlling mindset.

  50. #50 |  EH | 

    Crazy Bob is crazy. Too bad all jokes are already written about the self-parodic!

  51. #51 |  EH | 

    croaker: easy there, horndog. that stuff actually (thankfully) rarely happens.

  52. #52 |  Personanongrata | 

    •Obama asserts executive privilege in Fast & Furious hearings the same day his campaign demanded more transparency from conservative Super PACs.

    Secrecy is the way of the tyrant.

  53. #53 |  Burgers Allday | 

    btw, the Zimmerman police chief has finally been officially fired (he was effectively fired very soon after the Sanford pd booted Trayvon’s slaying).

  54. #54 |  Aresen | 

    Maybe Charles Carreon should look into copyrighting and syndicating his stupidity.

    He’s really comedy gold.

  55. #55 |  Kelly | 

    So, they don’t harm the economy, except when they harm the economy – see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303444204577462990313959450.html

  56. #56 |  Deoxy | 

    Think back a few years, particularly the Valerie Plame Wilson case. Several people involved in that were protected via “executive privilege”.

    As best I could tell, that was a (stupid and short-sighted) attempt to deflect politically-motivated BS.

    In that particular case, we KNOW it was politically motivated BS because the source of the leak was known from the beginning (Richard Armitage), and the special prosecutor just went fishing for whatever else he could find. (Not to mention that the original charge was hilarious to begin with – yes, let’s “out” a “covert” agent who hasn’t been in the field for years and commutes to CIA headquarters every day to pilot a desk. It’s so EVIL! Actually, the claim that they were “outing” her to point out her nepotism (a charge that the special prosecutor’s evidence showed to be true) was much more plausible all along, but somehow, the actual crime committed, and the person who did do the actual outing, were both left alone to try to get someone more politically desirable – in other words, political BS of the highest order.)

    In this case (F&F), we don’t know for sure just yet, but the actions (and already-proven lies under oath, not to mention the very-likely lies under oath) don’t pass the straight face test, much less the smell test, so I’ll be VERY surprised if that’s all that’s going on.

    Of course, there is also ALWAYS politics involved, and either side will ALWAYS be tempted to interpret things better for their side and worse for the other. That’s just life (in politics and out).

  57. #57 |  Deoxy | 

    the Zimmerman police chief has finally been officially fired

    He turned in his resignation back in April, and the city didn’t accept it. Now they fire him. Weird.

    I don’t blame him for wanting to escape that mess – it was clear even back then what a political mess that was becoming.

  58. #58 |  Elliot | 

    Meiczyslaw (#46)Keep in mind that “Wide Receiver” actually had RFID tags on the walked guns, and was discontinued when ATF realized that the plan wasn’t working and would never work.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Operation Wide Receiver accounted for all of the weapons upon conclusion. But Operation Fast and Furious, which was a distinct operation, allowed guns to get into the hands of drug gangs.

    So, when Jay Carney claims “Bush did it” and Holder stopped it, he’s leaving out many critical facts.

  59. #59 |  supercat | 

    #13 | crazybob | “Fast and furious was a screw up, but the ongoing congressional investigations are now circus whose only purpose is political.”

    Your last sentence may be true, though not in the way you intended.

    Prior to the exposure of F&F, Obama claimed to be outraged that firearms that had been sold in the U.S. were ending up in the hands of Mexican criminals, and said that to stop that from happening we need to place new restrictions on the sale of rifles suitable for keeping a mob at bay. If Obama’s outrage was genuine, he should have reacted to the revelation that the BATF had armed Mexican gangs by demanding the hides of the people responsible.

    Instead, he and Eric Holder ignore the government’s role in arming Mexican gangs, while continuing to express outrage at the fact that U.S. guns are ending up in Mexico, and demanding more “gun control” to deal with it.

    Given their continuing “outrage” about U.S. guns in Mexico, Obama and Holder cannot plausibly claim that the issue isn’t important enough for them to demand the hides of the people responsible. Rather, it would seem that–at best–Holder and Obama really don’t mind if U.S. guns end up in Mexico, if their doing so can be used to justify more gun control. Willfully turning a blind eye to major crimes because one actually approves of them is not proper behavior for an attorney general–at minimum it would constitute a refusal to perform his legally-mandated duties and, as such, grounds for immediate discharge.

    You’re right the whole affair seems to be political theater, but it’s not because Mr. Holder’s conduct does not merit investigation. Rather, it’s political theater because too many spineless Republicans speak in silly terms of “Holder had better comply with our 592nd demand, or else we’ll have to make a 593rd demand”, rather than in terms of impeachment. Clinton’s impeachment failed because many people believed that the charges against him, even if true, were too minor to justify removal from office. By contrast, it appears on the face of it that Holder and Obama are, at minimum, demonstrating deliberate indifference to the commission of some major crimes. How can such people be regarded as a leaders of a legitimate government when they willingly tolerate such lawlessness within their own agencies?

  60. #60 |  Meiczyslaw | 

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Operation Wide Receiver accounted for all of the weapons upon conclusion.

    If memory serves, there were a couple of problems with WR, in that the RFID trackers could be damaged when hidden in the guns, thereby reducing their already limited detectability. In at least one case, the bad guys figured out they were being tracked, drove around until the helicopter had to land, and then dashed across the border.

    I don’t remember the account I read being clear about whether those guns were recovered, so we might both be right.

  61. #61 |  Meiczyslaw | 

    Oh, and to also be clear: I’m not defending F&F. I’m contrasting it with WR, which — while a failure — was the kind of failure you want in a world filled with imperfection.

  62. #62 |  JThompson | 

    @supercat: Meh. The lawlessness has been going on for a while now. Everyone is too afraid to pop the other guy’s balloon because they’re afraid theirs will be the next one popped. Same reasons we didn’t see impeachment for Bush and Clinton’s impeachment mostly focused on bullshit that no one cared about.

    How can such people be regarded as a leaders of a legitimate government…

    See, there’s your problem right there. ;)

  63. #63 |  Ariel | 

    You know, with a few changes that pose by that kid isn’t any different from pictures from the West Bank. I’m definitely not on the side of Islamic extremism, but I can understand when they ask “what’s the diff?”.

  64. #64 |  Ariel | 

    As for the NYPD and what’s illegal and what isn’t, there’s news here? All the major city police have a level of corruption that shouldn’t be tolerated but is because they’re heroes. One thing I’ll give the Phoenix PD, they aren’t quite up to the low standards of Oakland, Philly, El Monte (most of the San Gabriel area to be exact), Denver, Chicago, Detroit, NY, et al. The MCSO is another matter.

  65. #65 |  Sancho | 

    From here in Australia, it seems to speak volumes about America that its conservatives can be consumed by the notion that Barack Obama is a brutal totalitarian, but don’t find anything at all unsettling about the concept and term “police camp for children”.

  66. #66 |  Sancho | 

    Of course, when I Googled “police camp”, the first result was a police camp for kids being held down the road from me.

    Sounds like a very different affair, however, and doesn’t involve kids playing with riot armour and shotguns.

  67. #67 |  Vic Kelley | 

    re: photo of SWAT kid at summer camp

    This goes WAY back. We should’ve resisted the “courtesy officers” or “D.A.R.E.” officers or whatever else the sheriffs dept. or city cops call their men inside elementary, middle, and high schools. Keep law enforcement as far away as possible from young minds. Teaching kids to submit to authority in a police state is wrong.

  68. #68 |  demize! | 

    “Witch-Hunt” If you dislike Obama as well as Bush you’re one step ahead of the pack imho. I personally dont trust any politician a priori.

  69. #69 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “Obama asserts executive privilege…”

    The “LALALALALALALALA” you hear is combined with a few million liberals with their fingers in their ears.

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