Ayn Rand, Usury and Capitalism, and Goldman Sachs (Part II)
“A capitalist may wish to sell drinking water, but Mammon wants to poison all water in order to force everybody to buy drinking water. A capitalist may build the mall; Mammon wants to destroy the world outside the mall, for the outside world interferes with the only meaningful occupation, shopping…Mammon will try to eliminate every distraction to shopping, be it churches, art, forest, rivers, seaside, fresh air, mountains.”—Israel Shamir
…by Jonas E. Alexis
We previously pointed out that Objectivism was like a cult from its inception—and for many reasons. Many of those who ended up diverging from Rand’s doctrine were excommunicated. Rand superficially proposed diversity of thought in public, but Rand was excommunicating anyone who would even slightly disagree with her major premises.
“Excommunication awaited members of the Collective [Rand’s disciples], and even mere students of Objectivism, who strayed from the party line. To avoid such a fate, Randians pore over her books like monks over the Bible.”
And those who ended up following Rand’s doctrine had to suspend their mental powers in favor of Rand’s superficial logic. As Flynn puts it, “Ironically, followers of a creed of selfishness were asked to sacrifice their own judgment in favor of blind faith in the judgment of one woman. Many did.”
At one occasion, “a man with a thick Hungarian accent began his question, ‘In his speech, Galt contends that…’ He never got any further because Ayn exploded. ‘Galt does not contend,’ she shouted. ‘If you have read Atlas Shrugged, if you profess to be an admirer of mine, then you should know that Galt does not ‘strive,’ ‘debate,’ ‘argue,’ or ‘contend.’ The man looked stricken. He pleaded, ‘But Miss Rand, all I meant was…’ Ayn thundered back at him, ‘If you wish to speak to me, first learn to remember to whom and about what you are speaking!’”
Objectivism got some of its first critics from Rand’s disciples and people who were ardent supporters of the movement itself. One admirer, John Hospers, who later became a noted professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California and who got exhausted by the cultic elevation of both Rand and Branden at the time, eventually sent Rand a letter saying,
“I felt as if I were in a strange church where I didn’t belong, where all the other people were singing the chants they were expected to and only I did not conform, and where to deny a single thing was considered heresy….And the attitude of the audience in the lecture hall shocked me even more. Rational? Good heavens—an Army of the Faithful, repeating the same incantations and asking questions only about details or applications, never questioning the tenets of the True Faith.”
Rand, speaking like a cult leader, responded, “Through all the years that I spent formulating my philosophical system, I was looking desperately for ‘intelligent agreement’ or at least for ‘intelligent disagreement.’ Today, I am not looking for ‘intelligent disagreement’ any longer, and certainly not from children or amateurs.”
Rand superficially told the entire world that individuals must act independently, but the same right was not granted to her own students and admirers. Those students ought to be subservient to Rand alone, or else…
Jennifer Burns writes, “Rand was oblivious to the idea that presenting multiple sides of an issue might stimulate students to independently measure and evaluate the validity of each option, thereby exercising their reason and arriving at their own, individual conclusions.”
Throughout most of her writing career, Rand denounced the Church as dogmatic, irrational, intolerant, and primitive. But when the Church was out of the equation, a new kind of dogma was introduced. For Rand, it was Atlas Shrugged, which progressively had become, as Burns puts it, “a kind of revealed truth.”
Burns writes, “She argued that for her or Nathan to assume a stance of ‘uncertainty’ would be tantamount to pretending ‘that Atlas Shrugged [had] not been written.’ She also seemed to have equated disagreement with ignorance, and understanding with agreement…She told Hospers that the classes were offered ‘only to those who have understood enough of Atlas Shrugged to agree with its essentials…” Burns continues,
“Although Objectivism claimed to be an intellectual culture, it was decidedly not one devoted to freewheeling inquiry, but rather a community in which a certain catechism had to be learned for advancement. A flyer for the Basic Principles of Objectivism class openly alerted potential students to the bias inherent in NBI [Nathaniel Branden Institute].
“The lectures are not given to convert antagonists,” the flyer noted, but were “addressed exclusively” to those who had read Rand’s major works, “are in agreement with the essentials of the philosophy presented in these books, and seek an amplification and further study of this philosophy.”
One student remembered, “When [Rand] learned that I was a physicist, she made a comment about how physics has been corrupted by bad philosophy. She was apparently expecting my agreement. But I couldn’t agree, because I didn’t think that physics was corrupt. I could see the interest in my dying down in her eyes.”
In other words, Rand’s Objectivism on the surface supported intellectual freedom, but it was basically a smokescreen for Rand’s dogmatism and thick-headedness. Objectivism “was as dogmatic, narrow-minded, and stifling as Rand’s harshest critics alleged.”
Burns writes that “Objectivism could translate quickly into blind obeisance to Rand. One former Objectivist remembered, ‘If you think to yourself, I have to be able to go by rational arguments, and you’re unable to refute them, then you’re really in a bind, which is where we all were.”
When she was asked during an interview, “In the book you talk about love as if it were a business deal of some kind. Isn’t it that the essence of love, that it is above self-interest?” Rand responded, “In love the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them or what they do for you. You love them for their values.” So far, so good.
Right here Rand could implicitly be considered as one of the great apologists for mass genocide. How is her statement not congruent with “survival of the fittest”? And who gets to decide who is weak and who is not? Rand? Stalin? Mao? Marx? Ho Chi Minh?
Moreover, it is pretty safe to say that if a woman like Rand is sixty-three years old, she is physically getting weaker and her physical attraction is certainly non-existent.
Rand’s relationship with Branden, in the end, turned Rand’s philosophy on its head. Branden actually dumped Rand when she was sixty-three. After years of listening to Rand talking about the virtue of selfishness, Branden certainly had to put the philosophy to use, which turned out to be a breaking point between the two sexual adventurers. Did she really “deserve” Branden’s love? If so, why did Branden have to suspend his selfishness in order to please Rand’s?
As it turned out, Rand failed the test of her own philosophy. Rand’s Objectivism, therefore, is weighed and found wanting and is literally and practically worthless.
Rand on History of Christianity
Rand keeps making one historical error after another that to point them all out here would be an endless exercise. For example, she unapologetically declares that “There were no professional intellectuals in the Middle Ages, there were only monks in monasteries,” leaving the impression that monks had no interest in intellectual pursuit or they produced next to nothing to Western civilization.
Here Rand dismisses the works of serious historians in just one sentence! Rand does not tell us that it was monks who largely gave us Western civilization in its institutional, religious and economic form shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire. Rand does not tell us that it was the Church that largely made universities in Europe possible.
Rand forgot to tell us that it was monks who single-handedly established nearly all the major and best universities in Europe. Rand keeps saying that the Middle Ages were periods of scientific and intellectual backwardness, but historians of science have been telling us quite the opposite.
Eminent historian of science David C. Lindberg of the University of Wisconsin himself acknowledges in his erudite study The Beginnings of Western Science, “the church was one of the major patrons—perhaps the major patron—of scientific learning.”
In the same vein, J. L. Heilbron of the University of California declared, “The Roman Catholic Church gave more financial aid and social support to the study of astronomy for over six centuries, from the recovery of ancient learning during the late Middle Ages into the Enlightenment, than any other, and, probably, all other, institutions.”
Similarly, celebrated historian of science Edward Grant argues in his magnum opus Science and Religion, 400 B.C. to A.D. 1550: From Aristotle to Copernicus that the Middle Ages in particular were not “a time of ignorance” but “a period of striking innovation.”
Rand continues to say, “With very rare and brief exceptions, pre-capitalist societes [obviously the Middle Ages] had no place for the creative power of man’s mind, neither in the creation of ideas nor in the creation of wealth. Reason and its practical expression—free trade—were forbidden as a sin and a crime, or were tolerated, usually as ignoble activities, under the control of authorities who could revoke the telerance at whim.
Reason was viewed as sinful? Once again, who established Oxford and Cambridge universities? How, then, did the Church produce Augustine, Leo the Mathematician, Pope Sylvester II (also a scientist and mathematician), Aquinas, Hermann of Reichenau, Hildergard of Bingen (a female polymath), Robert Grosseteste, William of Ockham (Occam’s razor), among thousands of others? And if the Church suppressed reason during the Middle Ages, why do some of the most astute historians tell us otherwise?
Rand and Rapacious Usury
Rand died too soon. She should have waited for a few more years to see how rapacious usury, which is a product of Jewish bankers and intellectuals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, has brought about economic suffering virtually everywhere.
As we said earlier, rapacious usury always revolves around cheating the poor and the needy and the defenseless. Just recently, some major U.S. banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Farg were charging more than 500 percent interest rates! JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon admitted that the organization benefits from “downturns.” The benefits amount to billions and billions of dollars.
At the same time, student debt is almost trippled in eight years. In the last quarter of 2012, student debt rose to $966 billion, a seventy percent increase. And here’s the kicker: the average college student who graduates in 2013 will owe nearly $30,000 to $40,000. Don’t forget that compound interest is going to be added to that amount.
Mandy Woodruff of Business Insider declares, “Seventy percent of students in the college class of 2013 are graduating with an average of $35,200 in credit and student loan debt. Only 30% are graduating debt-free… If they had a better understanding of debt when starting college, 39% said they would have made different choices.”
In other words, our precious college students are going to be in debt for almost the rest of their natural lives. Believe it or not, this is a form of servitude, another way to weaken society. And this form of servitude is only possible in a usurious society, where the oligarchs can get away with almost anything. And this also affects marriage as well, and it has been reported that people are less likely to marry when they are in a financial abyss.
As Helaine Olen of Forbes puts it,
“Marriage might no longer be forever, but student loans most certainly are. They cannot, as we all know, be discharged in bankruptcy court. Monies to pay the bills can be deducted from everything from your income tax refunds to your Social Security checks in your final years. Parents who take on privately issued bank loans to pay their children’s education bills can find themselves making payments even if their son or daughter dies.”
Goldman Sachs—The “Vampire Squid”
Goldman Sachs is probably one of the most visible representatives of Jewish oligarchy that is bent to weaken the economy through rapacious usury. It has been well known that Goldman Sachs was implicated in a sex trafficking scandal with sex trafficking forum Backpage.com, which happens to be “the biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age-girls in the United States.”
Mitt Romney and his wife were also implicated in the deal, though they probably did not know that Goldman Sachs had ties with Backpage.com. But whether the Romneys knew it or not, they certainly benefited from Goldman Sachs.
Isn’t it interesting that sex, economy and usury always play a role in destroying society? Isn’t it interesting that Dante put sodomy and usury in the same circle of hell? Isn’t it interesting that this topic has always been a heated topic in economic discussion?
More recently, Jeet Heer of the American Prospect has put out an article entitled “Sex, Economics, and Austerity,” in which we read: “Historically, attempts to prohibit sodomy (defined broadly as non-procreative sex) have had an economic dimension as well as a moral one.” And isn’t it interesting that both usury and sodomy are sterile intercourse?
When thousands of people were suffering from foreclosures in places like Florida, Romney was making a huge profit from this through Goldman Sachs. Former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich did the same thing with companies like Fredie and Fannie Mae.
“The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
This Jewish “vampire squid” has been involved in cheating and ripping people off for years. Greg Smith, a Jew himself who was vice president of the firm, quit in 2012 after 12 years because he finally had the guts to say that the firm does not serve people but serves what the New Testament calls Mammon or what Karl Marx would have called money, which to Marx was “the god of the Jews.”
Smith declared that in order to get promoted into the company, one has to persuade “your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) ‘Hunt Elephants.’ In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them”
Smith continues, “I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all. It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over internal e-mail.”
Smith has caused a lot of damage to the company, for right after his article was published in the New York Times, Goldman Sachs’ shares had a drop of 3.4 percent, which cost the company $2.15 billion. It has been reported that Smith has committed a career suicide for being a whistle blower.
Smith has not been the only whistle blower; accusations against Goldman Sachs were in circulation in 2011 when it was discovered that Goldman Sachs was “exploiting” clients. One Goldman Sachs executive called clients a “white elephant,” a “flying pig,” and a “unicorn.”
Suzanne McGee, a former staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal, tells us that by 2008-2009, Goldman Sachs has not only been “the masters of the universe” but has already taken us on the brink of economic collapse—and they will do it again if the American people do not rise up. Some of their employees, McGee tells us, “were paid for being ruthless and taking on as much risk as possible.”
Many committed suicide when the economy crashed in 2008, largely because “the checks and balances that should have prevented the disaster either weren’t functioning or weren’t even in place to begin with.”
This is where unregulated capitalism will lead, where there are “neither speed limits nor neatly painted lines,” and Wall Street will continue to push the limit until the economy crashes completely:
The Rothschilds—Gods of Money
Greg Smith brought an issue that was quite relevant in the nineteenth century. During that era, it was not Bernie Madoff or Goldman Sachs that was rapaciously ripping people off; it was the Rothschilds.
Late historian Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University declared that the Rothschilds, among others, were secretly misleading governments and people. Quigley says that both Mirabaud and the Rothschilds became the dominant financial system between the periods of 1871 and 1900.
But with much money and power, the Rothschilds moved on to control politics and economic affairs as well.
Similarly biographer Derek Wilson declared that the Rothschilds were so financially and politically powerful that even royal governments and political leaders were afraid of their covert activity.
Wilson moves on to say, “Clandestinity was and remained a feature of Rothschild political activity…Yet all the while they were helping to shape the major events of the day: by granting or withholding funds; by providing statemen with an unofficial diplomatic service; by influencing appointments to high office; and by an almost daily intercourse with the great decision makers.”
Rand does not tell us any of this largely because that would disprove the thesis that money is the root of all good.
Moreover, when unregulated laissez-faire economics becomes the norm, guess who will eventually rule the economic world? Jewish revolutionaries and intellectuals from the “Right.” Who is running the Federal Reserve at this present moment? Ben Bernanke. Who was the past chairman of the Fed? Alan Greenspan.
And when laissez-faire economics is not in charge, guess who is coming to dinner? Jewish revolutionaries from the “Left.” The recent IRS scandal is a case in point. Lois Lerner, head of the IRS, used her post to target TEA Party groups and has been put on administrative leave. Lerner “asked them to turn over everything from printouts of their Facebook pages to the credentials of speakers who participated in their events.”
The Obama administration denied that they knew about this, but J. Russell George, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General, declared that the administration was aware of this since 2012. There’s more:
“A report from the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service says that 90% of families who claimed the adoption tax credit during the 2012 filing season had their returns flagged for further review. Nearly 70%t had at least a partial audit of their tax return… The IRS’s misguided procedures, and its failure to adequately adjust these processes when it learned its approach was seriously flawed, have caused significant economic harm to thousands of families who are selflessly trying to improve the lives of vulnerable children.”
The funny thing is that revolutionaries fight tooth and nail to change the Fifth Amendment, but when those revolutionaries get into trouble, they invoke the Fifth Amendment. But the same right was not granted to at least four Americans who have been killed by drone strikes under the leadership of “born-again neocon” President Barack Obama.
Rand’s “Bad Premises”
Rand’s “logic” went from bad to worse.
Rand smoked two packs of cigarettes every day and after many decades, she eventually got lung cancer. Barbara Branden, Nathaniel’s wife, wrote that Rand “tended to think that cancer, as well as many other illnesses, was the result of what she termed ‘bad premises’—that is, of philosophical-psychological errors and evasions carried to their final dead end in the form of physical destruction…How could she have had a malignancy, when she had no bad premises?”
When her doctor would persuade her to stop smoking, Rand would respond, “But why? And don’t tell me about statistics; I’ve explained why statistics aren’t proof. You have to give me a rational explanation. Why should I stop smoking?”
Nathaniel declared that Rand believed that using statistics to show that smoking and lung cancer are inextricably linked “were put out by people trying to destroy free enterprise and the cigarette industry. She would not accept any evidence that smoking was bad for you.” (I thought people like Rand wouldn’t believe in conspiracy theory!)
And this is the woman who still has a huge following even to this very day. Former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan “not only tried to get all of the interns in his congressional office to read Rand’s writing, he also gave copies of her novel Atlas Shrugged to his staff as Christmas presents, as he told the Weekly Standard in 2003. Two years later, in 2005, Ryan paid fealty to Rand in a speech he gave to the Atlas Society, the Washington-based think tank devoted to keeping Rand’s ‘objectivist’ philosophy alive” Ryan said,
“[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism…. what’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is that it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now. I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case of capitalism, and that morality of capitalism is under assault.”
Ryan continued, “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are… It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are…. here is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand’s writings and works”
During the presidential debate, Ryan seemed to have foreseen that Rand’s atheistic principles would have gotten him into trouble among the “conservatives,” so he quickly distanced himself a bit from Rand and went back to his Catholic heritage saying, “If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.”
If that was what Ryan really believed, and if Ryan is “a faithful Catholic” as Romney claimed he was, then Ryan would be marshalling a campaign against usury and rapacious capitalism even after his vice presidential campaign, for Aquinas himself agreed with Aristotle that money, like sodomy, is sterile intercourse.
Moreover, for Aquinas and others, both sodomy and usury were two sides of the same coin. According to Aquinas, sodomy and usury were “sins against nature, in which the very order of nature is violated, an injury done to God himself, who sets nature in order.”
In other words, if you put two coins in a drawer, they will never be able to copulate and produce more coins. Human labor is the key. And even Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, recognizes this. In the same vein, if you put two males or females in the same bed, they are not going to be able to reproduce and create children.
In a section entitled “Of the Sin of Usury, Which is Committed in Loans,” Aquinas declares, “To take usury for money lent is unjust in itself, because this is to sell what does not exist, and this evidently leads to inequality which is contrary to justice….”
As we shall see in July, rapacious usury, which makes a mockery of human labor, is the antithesis of true economic development and has already caused severe damage in the American and European economy.
 See for example Kennard Edward Rand, Founders of the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1928); Charles Homer Haskins, The Rise of Universities (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1957); Christopher Dawson, The Making of Europe: An Introduction to the History of European Unity (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1952); see also J. L. Heilbron, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999).
 See for example Ronald L. Numbers, ed., Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010); Gary Ferngren, ed., Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002); John Hedley Brooke, Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998); David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounters between Christianity and Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986); When Science and Christianity Meet (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003); David C. Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992).
 David C. Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992), 151; emphasis in original.
 for sources on these, see for example Brian Duignan, Medieval Philosophy: From 500 to 1500 CE (New York: Rosen Educational Publishing, 2010); Richard K. Emmerson, ed., Key Figures in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia (New York: Routledge, 2006); James M. Kittelson, Rebirth, Reform, and Resilience: Universities in Transition, 1300-1700 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1984); A. C. Crombie, Robert Grosseteste and Origins of Experimental Science, 1100-1700 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1953); Helen S. Lang, Aristotle’s Physics and Its Medieval Varieties (New York: State University of New York, 1992);
 See for example Edward Grant, God and Reason in the Middle Ages (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Richard C. Dales, The Intellectual Life of Western Europe in the Middle Ages (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1980).
 Helaine Olen, “Student Loan Debt And The Wedding Bell Blues,” Forbes, February 19, 2013; Natasha Lennard, “Student Debt Tripled in Eight Years,” Salon.com, March 1, 2013; see also Walter Hamilton, “Student-Loan Delinquency Rate Hits Danger Zone, Report Says,” LA Times, January 30, 2013; “Average Student-Loan Rises Again—To More Than $26,000,” LA Times, October 8, 2012.
 Mandy Woodruff, “New College Grades Are Waking Up to a Huge Debt Hangover,” Business Insider, May 22, 2013; see also “Class of 2013 Student Debt Reaches New Heights,” Huffington Post, May 21, 2013; Dan Kadlec, “Car? House? Sorry: Graduates of 2013 Are Each $35,000 in Debt,” Time, May 17, 2013.
 http://finance.yahoo.com/news/dear-class-13-ve-scammed-110139929.html; My advice to college students out there is simple: be wise about going to a specific college for a name and where you’re going to be in debt for the rest of your natural life. Abraham Lincoln got some of his elementary education in a house, and he was generally self-taught. Other self-taught people include Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Dickens, Thomas Edison, James Monroe, and many more. We should come back to this topic in the future.
 Nicholas D. Kristof, “Financiers and Sex Trafficking,” NY Times, March 31, 2012; “Goldman Sachs Sex Trafficking Controversy: Company Sells Stake in Village Voice media for Promoting Under-Age Sex Trade,” Huffington Post, April 1, 2012; Sam Gustin, “Goldman Sachs Sells Village Voice Stake After Sex Trafficking Furor,” Time, April 2, 2012.
 Josh Israel, “Exlusive: Romney Profited from Mortgage Lenders Foreclosing on Thousands of Floridians,” ThinkProgress.org, January 25, 2012; Judd Legum, “Ginrich Blasts Romney for Profiting Off Florida Foreclosures,” ThinkProgress.org, January 26, 2012.
 “Moral Bankruptcy on Wall Street,” National Interest, March 14, 2012; Matt Taibbi, “On Goldman Executive Greg Smith’s Brave Departure,” The Rolling Stones, March 14, 2012; Larry Elliott, “Why Greg Smith Was Right about Goldman Sachs,” The Guardian, March 15, 2012.
 “Goldman Sachs Accused of Fooling in Scathing Senate Report,” Guardian, April 14, 2011; Dominic Rushe, “Goldman Sachs Accused of Misleading U.S. Congress in Damning Report,” Guardian, April 14, 2012.
 Ibid; see also Elspeth Reeve, “Audio Surfaces of Paul Ryan’s Effusive Love of Ayn Rand,” Atlantic, April 30, 2012; Jonathan Chait, “Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand,” New Republic, December 28, 2010; “Everything Ayn Rand Taught Paul Ryan,” Huffington Post, August, 22, 2012.
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