Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t seem to know that there is actually an INVERSE correlation between billionaires and dangerous intestinal parasites

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that it was immoral to allow billionaires to exist when there are people who have ringworm.

She later said that she had meant hookworm, not ringworm.

Hookworm is transmitted to people when they walk barefoot in the feces of other people who are infected with hookworm.

And in the real world, there is actually an inverse correlation between the existence of billionaires, and the rate of hookworm infection.

According to wikipedia, this is how to prevent hookworm:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookworm_infection

Hookworm infection

Prevention

The main lines of precaution are those dictated by good hygiene behaviors:

Do not defecate in the open, but rather in toilets.

Do not use untreated human excreta or raw sewage as fertilizer in agriculture.

Do not walk barefoot in known infected areas.

The places with the highest concentrations of billionaires, such as Manhattan, Silicon Valley, and Singapore, have very few or even zero cases of hookworm. (Although I will admit that San Francisco may be an exception to this trend, as an expert on global public health recently stated that the city’s high rate and tolerance of open defecation actually makes the city dirtier than third world countries. San Francisco is run so badly that the government spends $37,000 on each homeless person per year, and yet they still somehow manage to remain homeless. Can you imagine how much housing any city that wasn’t run by idiots could rent or buy for that much money?)

A long time ago, when there were no billionaires anywhere in the world, hookworm was very common all over the world.

Anyone who is truly against hookworm would be in favor of the existence of billionaires, not against it.

And that’s not even taking into account the charitable work of billionaires such as Bill Gates, which has saved huge numbers of lives.

And that also doesn’t take into account all the jobs that these billionaires provide, as well as the goods and services that these billionaires provide. For example, think of LEGO billionaire Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and IKEA billionaire Ingvar Kamprad. Does anyone seriously want to argue that the world would be better off if the countries of western Europe had not allowed these two people to become billionaires?

January 27, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Animals, Economics, Environmentalism, Health care, Science. Leave a comment.

Student debt forgiveness is a horrible idea

Responsible adults pay off their debts.

If student debt does get forgiven, that will just give colleges one more reason to raise their tuition. Students will then borrow even more money, knowing that they won’t have to pay it back. The more money the government spends on college aid, the more the colleges raise their tuition. College tuition has already risen many times faster than the rate of inflation, and the last thing we need is to make this problem even worse than it already is.

Student debt forgiveness is unfair to the students who already paid off their debt.

Student debt forgiveness is also unfair to students who worked their way through college.

Student debt forgiveness is also unfair to people who never go to college.

January 5, 2019. Tags: , , , . Economics, Education. 1 comment.

San Francisco progressives wage war against women’s right to earn a living

According to this new article from the San Francisco Examiner, the progressives who control San Francisco’s government have ordered strip clubs to treat strippers as employees instead of as independent contractors.

Supporters of this new policy claim that it makes the strippers better off.

However, the strippers themselves say that it has actually made them worse off – so much so, in fact, that many of them have quit their jobs in San Francisco, and sought employment as strippers in other cities that do not have this same policy.

The article cites the following three reasons for how the new policy makes the strippers worse off:

1) The strippers get paid far less. For example, the article states:

A dancer at the Gold Club, who asked to be called Mary, said it had been common for dancers on average to sell around $1,000 in dances a shift and keep $750.

Under the new commission structure at the Gold Club, however, dancers said they keep none of the first $150 they sell in private dances, 40 percent of the next $250 they sell, and 60 percent of sales beyond that.

Some dancers said they must also pay a $100 fee for renting the private room.

Dancers at the Gold Club said they now walk away with only $60 on the first half-hour private dance they sell.

“When I make a customer pay $400 and I see $60 of it, it isn’t computing for me,” Mary said. “We want to do our job, and previously our business was to sell dances. And we still need to make living. But at the same time, where is the incentive?”

2) The strippers no longer get to decide how many days or which days they work each week.

3) When the strippers were independent contractors, they could choose to reject any potential client that they did not want. Now that they are employees, they no longer have this option.

The article also states:

He estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the change came down at BSC clubs, including Penthouse and Gold Club and said that the change has “dramatically affected the business and the profitability,” costing the clubs “several million dollars” a year.

and

The drastic pay cuts and availability of cheap flights have pushed some dancers to seek work outside of San Francisco, traveling as far as Las Vegas and Reno one or two nights a week while continuing to live in The City.

So there you have it. The elitist progressives, who think they know what’s best for everyone, claim that this new policy makes the strippers better off. However, the strippers themselves claim that this new policy makes them worse off.

 

http://www.sfexaminer.com/208300-2/

New rules for contractors have unexpected consequences for The City’s strip clubs

January 2, 2019

As some 30 dancers were handed the first employee paychecks ever issued to them by the Penthouse Club one evening in early November, a wave of panic swept the popular North Beach strip club.

“I opened mine in the locker room, and I was shocked,” said a former Penthouse dancer who asked to be identified as Jane. “All the other girls were also freaking out. Me and my friends decided right then that we were done. That was the final straw.”

Historically classified as independent contractors, the dancers were used to walking out of the club’s doors with cash each night — often hundreds of dollars — after their shifts ended. That changed suddenly when clubs across The City began enforcing a California Supreme Court ruling from April in an unrelated industry that set new standards for determining whether or not workers should be classified as employees.

The decision has shaken up the gig economy, but is also having an effect in unexpected places, such as in the hair salons and the adult entertainment industry, where workers have traditionally not been considered employees.

At local clubs, the move to convert dancers to employee status is causing an exodus, with many of them leaving San Francisco establishments.

“This whole business will be completely ruined. The whole point about being a stripper is you go in, get fast cash, no one knows how you’re getting it, it’s not documented and it’s not taken from you,” said a single mother who gave her name as Darla, who also recently cut ties with Penthouse Club. Like other dancers The San Francisco Examiner spoke with for this story, she asked to maintain anonymity for fear of retaliation.

Club owners say the changes are costing them as well.

A sign posted mid-October in the dancers’ dressing room at the Gold Club in the South of Market neighborhood said the club “felt that it was protecting your right and freedom to be an independent contractor.”

“However, as a result of the lawsuits and ongoing demands by the suing dancers and their attorneys, the club is now being compelled by Court order to eliminate the independent contractor option and require all dancers to become the club’s employees,” the sign read.

Axel Sang, marketing director of BSC, confirmed in an email to the Examiner that the dancers were formerly contractors but are now “club employees being paid an hourly wage and commission on dance sales.”

“The BSC-managed clubs now have matching payroll taxes, unemployment compensation, workman’s compensation, Healthy San Francisco costs, Affordable Care Insurance costs, and SF sick leave pay for several hundred new employee entertainers in addition to the hourly wage,” he wrote.

He estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the change came down at BSC clubs, including Penthouse and Gold Club and said that the change has “dramatically affected the business and the profitability,” costing the clubs “several million dollars” a year.

“A substantial reduction in the number of entertainers performing as well as the substantial increased payroll and other costs makes it very difficult to generate profits,” Sang said.

The California Supreme Court decision pushing the changes in the business came out of a lawsuit brought by two drivers for Dynamex, a same-day delivery and logistics company that converted its drivers to independent contractors in 2004. Under the ruling, workers may now be considered employees if they perform work within the usual course of the company’s business, said David Peer, a labor attorney in Carlsbad who has written about the Dynamex ruling.

“If you are running a strip club, you would think that the dancers are performing work within the usual course,” Peer said. “If the club owners want to play it safe, they should certainly be paying minimum wage and following the wage and hour rules that most organizations follow when they hire an employee.”

Lawsuits alleging improper classification of exotic dancers predate the Dynamex ruling, according to Harold Lichten of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, a Boston law firm representing Uber drivers who claim the rideshare company misclassified them.

“When you improperly characterize someone as an independent contractor you don’t have to pay social security tax, unemployment tax, minimum wage or overtime,” Lichten said, adding that the incentives were “incredibly great” for companies to “misclassify people because they were saving so much money at the workers’ expense.”

Lichten said the Dynamex ruling became leverage in ongoing litigation against Uber, and noted that it should also come as a benefit to the dancers, who now are now eligible for the protections afforded to all employees.

“The concern is that some companies may lower the amount they pay them to make up their losses,” Lichten said. “That would be unfortunate. But on balance, it’s much better to be an employee because you have legal protections.”

However the dancers interviewed by the Examiner said that while they are now entitled to minimum wage, benefits and the option to unionize, the reclassification has done more harm than good.

“Not one of those girls had a check for two weeks over $300. There was a lot of upset. A lot of girls packed up to leave that night. I was one of those girls,” Darla said.

“I can go work at McDonald’s for $15 an hour, and not take off my clothes, and not put up with the crap I put up with as a dancer,” Darla added, noting that all of the Penthouse dancers “have considered leaving.”

The vast majority of the strip clubs in San Francisco — 10 out of 12 — are owned or managed by BSC Management. The only exceptions are the Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre and The Crazy Horse.

Sang said the company is not paying dancers more than minimum wage because they “are paid commissions on dance sales which in most cases far exceed the hourly wage.”

But dancers said the commission structure for private dances has also been significantly cut.

Policies can vary for each club, but before the reclassification, dancers said if they arrived to their shift early enough they would keep 75 percent of their dance sales — which is where they made the majority of their money.

A dancer at the Gold Club, who asked to be called Mary, said it had been common for dancers on average to sell around $1,000 in dances a shift and keep $750.

Under the new commission structure at the Gold Club, however, dancers said they keep none of the first $150 they sell in private dances, 40 percent of the next $250 they sell, and 60 percent of sales beyond that.

Some dancers said they must also pay a $100 fee for renting the private room.

Dancers at the Gold Club said they now walk away with only $60 on the first half-hour private dance they sell.

“When I make a customer pay $400 and I see $60 of it, it isn’t computing for me,” Mary said. “We want to do our job, and previously our business was to sell dances. And we still need to make living. But at the same time, where is the incentive?”

Some dancers also feared being classified as employees would mean not being able to pick and choose which customers to serve.

Joe Carouba, an owner of BSC, declined to speak with the Examiner for this story because of pending litigation. But in a deposition he gave in October in connection with a lawsuit filed by Olivia Doe, he said he “firmly believed” dancers should be independent contractors so they can assert more control over which customers they will and won’t serve.

“I think they should control their own sexuality, they should control their own bodies,” he said. “The difference there being, of course, if you’re an employee, you don’t have a choice who you perform for, as an independent contractor you get to choose how you perform, whom you perform for, and what level you’re comfortable at.”

Dancers said many of them were poorly informed and caught unaware when the new contracts were rolled out.

Jane said she was one of the first Penthouse dancers to sign the new contract amid confusion, and wasn’t given a copy or time to review it.

At the Gold Club, Mary said management called dancers into the office in the middle of their shifts, still dressed in bikinis and eight-inch heels, and told them to look at a new contract on a computer screen and immediately sign it. Some dancers had been drinking during their shift, she said.

“We were given no opportunity to look at the contracts or have paper copies beforehand,” Mary said. “There’s really been no communication, no transparency.”

Sang denied the allegations, and said cameras were installed to protect the clubs from legal challenges over the new contracts.

“Signs were posted clearly that the areas were under video and audio surveillance. Each contract signing on video and audio clearly shows each entertainer was required to fully read the contract before signing,” Sang wrote in an email. “On camera, each entertainer was clearly given a copy of the contracts that they signed.”

Dancers said morale has plummeted at clubs across The City. Many are unhappy with how management announced and rolled out the change, but fear losing their jobs if they complain.

Because BSC has a virtual monopoly on San Francisco strip clubs, dancers said if they are blacklisted at one club, they are afraid they won’t be able to work anywhere else in The City.

While dancers across the country have sued clubs saying they should have been classified as employees instead of independent contractors, those who spoke with the Examiner said not everyone wants to be an employee. There are advantages to being independent contractors — so long as they are actually treated as contractors.

Mary said being treated as a contractor would mean being able to negotiate dance fees with clients directly rather than have the club set prices, and to pick which dates and times to work. Previously, as contractors, dancers could pick which days to work, but not which hours.

“Contractors should have autonomy,” she said.

An often-touted perk of being an employee is access to benefits, such as health insurance. But to qualify, employees must work enough hours to be considered full-time — which isn’t practical for most people dancing at a strip club. Dancers said even working three days a week is physically exhausting.

“You do what you need to do to maintain your boundary while making sure they have a good time. It takes a lot of emotional labor to do that,” Mary said. “I don’t think people realize that’s the most difficult part of our job. It’s not really talked about in the public perception of stripping.”

The drastic pay cuts and availability of cheap flights have pushed some dancers to seek work outside of San Francisco, traveling as far as Las Vegas and Reno one or two nights a week while continuing to live in The City.

“Girls are scrambling to find a job to fit their lifestyle or even make ends meet,” Jane said.

 

January 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics, Police state, Politics. 1 comment.

Hypocrite labor unions are exempt from the very same local minimum wage laws that they helped to pass

Labor unions are responsible for passing local minimum wage laws in cities all over the U.S.

But in many of these cities, unions are exempt from the very same minimum wage laws that they helped to pass.

According to this article from the Washington Examiner, hypocrite unions are exempt from the local minimum wage laws in Chicago, Illinois, SeaTac, Washington, and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, as well as the California cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, San Jose, Richmond, and Oakland.

Why would unions support the passage of local minimum wage laws while simultaneously getting exemptions for themselves?

Something sinister must be going on. I don’t trust anyone who isn’t willing to live by the same rules that they expect everyone else to live under.

Apparently, the equal protection clause doesn’t apply to liberal hypocrites.

Shame on unions for not living by the same rules that they expect everyone else to follow.

December 31, 2018. Tags: , , , . Economics, Unions. Leave a comment.

Something called the “Good Country Index” ranks the U.S. at #38 in “Science and Technology,” while the #1 country in that category is the Ukraine

This is the link to wikipedia’s article on something called the “Good Country Index.”

For the year 2017 (the most recent year available), in the category called “Science and Technology,” the U.S. is ranked all the way down at #38.

Meanwhile, the #1 country in that same category is the Ukraine.

Those two facts are enough to tell me that the “Good Country Index” has no credibility whatsoever.

If you’re interested in other indexes that do have a lot of credibility, I recommend these three:

Index of Economic Freedom

Freedom in the World

Corruption Perceptions Index

December 29, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics, Politics, Science, Technology. 2 comments.

Payless opens fake luxury shoe store as prank

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPLWTT3ZVMo

December 7, 2018. Tags: , , , , , . Clothing, Economics, Humor. Leave a comment.

In California, bottle recycling is mandatory, except when it’s illegal

California requires people to recycle their empty bottles.

However, this recent news article from the Merced Sun-Star says that three people have been charged with “recycling fraud” in California, because the bottles they recycled were “smuggled” into California from Arizona. The bottles from both states are physically identical to each other, but the price paid for the bottles is higher in California than in Arizona.

In the private sector, this kind of behavior is completely legal, and it’s called “arbitrage.” This is what wikipedia says about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbitrage

Arbitrage

In economics and finance, arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets: striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance, the profit being the difference between the market prices.

This video shows an example of legal arbitrage. In the video, a guy goes to a bunch of Wal-Marts, buys up every copy of Monopoly for Millennials for $19.82 each, and sells them online for three times that price:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FknkqT5tHK8

What that guy in the video did is 100% legal.

But for some strange reason, the people who sold bottles from Arizona in California were breaking the law.

Even though the bottles that they sold were real bottles, they were charged with “fraud.”

And even though the bottles from Arizona were physically identical to the bottles from California, they were charged with “smuggling.”

It’s completely ridiculous that this is illegal.

The people who bought Monopoly for Millennials from that guy in the video don’t care where it came from. As long they get what they paid for, they are happy.

But for some weird reason, politicians seem to think that there is some inherent difference between bottles from California and bottles from Arizona.

In the real world, the only difference is the price. There is no physical difference between the bottles.

If recycling bottles was truly a good idea, then California would be happy to recycle bottles from Arizona, just like the customers who bought Monopoly for Millennials from that guy in the video were happy to buy what they bought. If the item in question is truly valuable, then the buyer won’t care where it came from.

Therefore, for California to mandate bottle recycling in some cases, while outlawing it in other cases –  even though the bottles involved in both cases are physically identical to each other – is absurd.

Here’s a clip from “The Bottle Deposit” from season 7 of Seinfeld, where Kramer and Newman try to make money by recycling bottles from New York in Michigan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGJZcHgqX1g

December 5, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. 1 comment.

The paperback version of my book “The Maduro Diet” is amazon’s #1 New Release in Venezuelan History

The paperback version of my book “The Maduro Diet” is amazon’s #1 New Release in Venezuelan History.

The full title of the book is “The Maduro Diet: How three-quarters of adults in Venezuela lost an average of 43 pounds in two years.”

Here’s the link to the book:

https://www.amazon.com/Maduro-Diet-three-quarters-Venezuela-average/dp/1726650847/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Here’s a screen capture showing that it’s #1. Click on the image to see a larger version:


And because it won’t always be #1, here’s a link to the Internet Archive from when it was #1:

https://web.archive.org/web/20181030131022/https://www.amazon.com/Maduro-Diet-three-quarters-Venezuela-average/dp/1726650847/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

October 30, 2018. Tags: , , , , , . Books, Communism, Economics, Venezuela. 2 comments.

Attention Adriana Alvarez! It’s not McDonald’s fault that you chose to have a baby out of wedlock.

The woman in this video chose to have a baby out of wedlock.

She has also, apparently, made no attempt to acquire education or job skills beyond the high school level.

She says the $12.50 an hour she gets paid to work at McDonald’s is “poverty” level.

The narrator cites government statistics to show that she is actually above the poverty level.

The narrator asks “Where is the father?”

I had actually asked myself those exact same words before the narrator did.

This woman has been working at McDonald’s for eight years. Instead of acquiring better education and job skills, she thinks the way to earn more money is to protest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_kk5yVsdW0

 

October 8, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Social justice warriors. 4 comments.

California liberals “help” protect workers’ rights by causing them to lose their jobs

In order to protect workers’ rights in California, a bunch of liberals wanted many independent contractors to be reclassified as employees. The state Supreme Court ruled in favor of this. The intent of everyone involved was good.

But the results were disastrous. As is often the case with good intentions, there are “unintended consequences” which ended up hurting the very workers that the liberals had been trying to help.

This video is from the Sacramento affiliate of CBS News. It shows how all the employees of a small business ended up losing their jobs because liberals wanted to “help” them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VZnucGhjtg

September 18, 2018. Tags: , , , . Economics, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Trying to figure out the real reason Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bans reporters from her town hall events

The New York Times reports that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has banned the media from two of her town hall meetings.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted the following explanation for the ban:

“Our community is 50% immigrant. Folks are victims of DV, trafficking, + have personal medical issues.”

“This town hall was designed for residents to feel safe discussing sensitive issues in a threatening political time.”

“We indicated previously that it would be closed to press.”

Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, responded with the following tweet:

“And how does the presence of reporters make people feel unsafe?”

I think Jacob’s question is an excellent one.

I’d also like to point out that all of the other Congressional districts also have constituents who are “victims of domestic violence” and who have “personal medical issues,” but that the Congressional representatives and candidates of those other districts haven’t banned the media from their town hall events.

In the video below, YouTuber Styxhexenhammer666 says that one possible reason for Ocasio-Cortez’s media ban is that any illegal aliens in attendance would – justifiably – worry about being filmed by the media. However, he then goes on to say that Ocasio-Cortez could ask the media to keep their cameras focused on her and not the audience, and that they would likely comply.

Styxhexenhammer666 then goes on to say that he thinks her real reason for banning the media is that there might be a constituent in attendance who asks her a tough question about economics that she can’t answer. Specifically, he says that she doesn’t seem to understand that the only reason that democratic socialism in countries like Norway works is because there is a strong, healthy private sector to pay the taxes to fund it. Take away that strong, healthy private sector, and your country ends up like Venezuela.

I agree with him on both of these points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkk1_J6tucQ

August 18, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Economics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

I just added items #1,367 through #1,375 to my list of Obama’s lies and lawbreaking

The complete list can be found at https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/obama-252/

Here are the new entries:

1,367) Chicago community organizers accused Chicago community organizer Obama of not practicing what he preaches

Before Obama ran for political office, he was a community organizer in Chicago.

Later, as an ex-President, he was planning to build his presidential library in Chicago.

However, the city’s other community organizers accused Obama of not practicing what he preaches.

In November 2017, the Washington Post reported:

In what local pundits are calling the irony of ironies, Obama — who cut his teeth as a South Side community organizer — is now in the bull’s eye of the area’s community organizers.

Dozens of groups have asked the city, the Obama Foundation and the University of Chicago (the official library host) to sign a legally binding pledge to protect low-income housing and homeowners, set aside 80 percent of jobs for immediate neighbors and bolster support for black-owned businesses, among other things.

At a community meeting last month, Obama said he wasn’t interested, according to the Chicago Tribune. Agreements such as those, he said, can be highly successful for communities dealing with for-profit developers.

“But here’s the thing,” he said. “We are a nonprofit and aren’t making money. We are just bringing money to the community.”

1,368) Obama was photographed smiling with racist and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan

Louis Farrakhan is a racist and anti-Semite.

Askia Muhammad is a professional, award-winning journalist who “doggedly covered” Obama.

In 2005, Muhammad took a photograph of Obama and Farrakhan smiling together.

However, Muhammad did not let the photograph be published at the time.

It wasn’t until a year after Obama left the White House that Muhammad allowed the photograph to be published.

In January 2018, Muhammad said that he held the photograph back from publication because, regarding Obama’s chance of getting elected President:

“I insist. It absolutely would have made a difference.”

1,369) Photographs show how horribly the Obama administration treated illegal aliens

The photographs at this link show how horribly the Obama administration treated illegal aliens.

1,370) Obama supporters falsely blamed President Trump for a 2014 photograph of illegal alien children being mistreated by the Obama administration

In May 2018, Obama supporters falsely blamed President Trump for a 2014 photograph of illegal alien children being mistreated by the Obama administration.

1,371) “Obama administration approved $200G grant to group with Al Qaeda ties”

In July 2018, Fox News reported:

Obama administration approved $200G grant to group with Al Qaeda ties

The Obama administration approved a $200,000 grant to a group in Sudan with ties to Al Qaeda even though it had been designated a terrorist-financing organization by the U.S. years earlier…

Further, an agency official acknowledged the prior administration allowed taxpayer money to flow to the group even after its designation was discovered.

The 2014 grant to the Islamic Relief Agency, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, was revealed by Sam Westrop of the Middle East Forum in a story for the National Review.

“More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization,” Westrop wrote in the article.

1,372) The “most transparent administration in history” did not tell the public when it approved a $200,000 grant to an organization with ties to Al Qaeda

In 2014, the Obama administration approved a $200,000 grant to the Islamic Relief Agency, a Sudanese organization with ties to Al Qaeda. However, the grant was kept secret until 2018.

1,373) After Obama said “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money,” he signed a book deal which was worth at least $30 million

In April 2010, Obama said

“I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

You can see him saying it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpoTSeuLffA

However, less than two months after leaving the White House, he signed a book deal which was worth at least $30 million.

1,374) At the same time that Obama criticized rich people who owned mansions, he owned an $8.1 million mansion

In July 2018, Obama said:

“There’s only so much you can eat. There’s only so big a house you can have. There’s only so many nice trips you can take. I mean, it’s enough.”

“History shows that societies which tolerate vast differences in wealth feed resentments and reduce solidarity and actually grow more slowly. And when economic power is concentrated in the hands of the few, history also shows that political power is sure to follow and that dynamic eats away at democracy.”

However, in June 2017, Obama had purchased an $8.1 million mansion in Washington D.C.

1,375) Obama nominee Judge Staci Michelle Yandle illegally maintained the U.S. citizenship of al-Qaida terrorist Iyman Faris, who had met with Osama bin Laden, had planned to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge, and had falsely claimed to be a student on his immigration application

In January 2014, Obama nominated Staci Michelle Yandle to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

In July 2018, Yandle ruled that an immigrant and al-Qaida terrorist named Iyman Faris could keep his U.S. citizenship.

However, Yandle’s ruling was in violation of federal law. Federal law required Faris to be deported because he had lied on his immigration application.

Faris had traveled to Afghanistan, where he had met with Osama bin Laden.

Faris had also traveled to Pakistan, where he had met with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was named as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks” in the 9/11 Commission Report. Mohammed told Faris that he was setting up a plan to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge by slashing its suspension cables. Faris agreed to participate in this.

Like the 9/11 terrorists, Faris had come to the U.S. on a student visa, but never actually enrolled in school.

ABC News reported that Faris had

“admitted he was an al Qaeda sleeper – a terrorist lying in wait for instructions”

and that he

“had access to airports and was licensed to haul flammable, poisonous chemicals”

August 6, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Politics. Leave a comment.

Trump wants to give $12 billion of taxpayers’ money to help farmers who were hurt by Trump’s own trade war

I’m against trade barriers, and I’m also against farm subsidies.

Trump was wrong to start this trade war, and he’s also wrong to use taxpayers’ money to help farmers who were hurt by his trade war.

 
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-farmers/trump-wants-12-billion-in-aid-to-u-s-farmers-suffering-from-trade-war-idUSKBN1KE1YE

Trump wants $12 billion in aid to U.S. farmers suffering from trade war

July 24, 2018

WASHINGTON/KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Tuesday said it will use a Great Depression-era program to pay up to $12 billion to help U.S. farmers weather a growing trade war with China, the European Union and others that the president began.
(more…)

August 2, 2018. Tags: , , , , . Donald Trump. 1 comment.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just buy new crayons?

A woman named Emily Skopov started a non-profit organization called No Crayon Left Behind.

The charity collects used crayons from restaurants and other organizations and gives them to people who can’t afford them.

When the collected crayons are misshapen, Skopov melts them down on her own stove and molds them into new crayons.

Skopov said she spends approximately 45 hours a week volunteering for No Crayon Left Behind.

In addition, she hired a consultant and has a paid staff as well.

She also rents an office.

Skopov said of her endeavor:

“I purposely haven’t kept track of how much I’ve spent because it would freak me out, but it’s got to be thousands of dollars.”

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart sells a box of 64 brand new crayons for $2.94.

So here’s my question: Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just buy new crayons?

 

 

July 12, 2018. Tags: , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism. 1 comment.

Media bias: Wikipedia has repeatedly removed reliably sourced information about how hunting endangered animals, when done properly, makes their populations get bigger

Wikipedia has repeatedly removed the following reliably sourced information from its Trophy hunting article. (The deletion history can be seen here, here, here, and here.)

In 2015, a Texas hunter who had won an auction paid $350,000 for legal permission to kill an endangered black rhinoceros in Namibia. The Washington Post wrote the following about the particular animal that was chosen for this kill: “The bull, Knowlton said, was a problem in his own herd. The animal was too old to breed but so aggressive that it had already killed calves, cows and and other male rhinoceroses in a jealous rage.” The money was used to fund conservation efforts. Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism had approved of the kill. The meat was eaten by residents of a nearby village.

In 2017, a hunter paid $35,000 for permission to kill one bongo at a ranch in Texas. The ranch’s manager said this was enough money to feed the ranch’s approximately 30 remaining bongos for an entire year.

In 2017, wildlife experts said the ranches in Texas had more blackbuck antelope than their native country of India.

In 2018, a hunter from Kentucky legally killed an adult male giraffe in South Africa. Because this particular male was too old to breed, and because it had previously killed three younger adult males who were capable of breeding, this particular kill caused the population to get bigger, not smaller.

The above content is notable, relevant, and reliably sourced. There is no legitimate reason to not include it in the article.

July 2, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , . Animals, Economics, Environmentalism, Media bias, Wikipedia. Leave a comment.

The Maduro diet: How most Venezuelans lost an average of 19 pounds in 2016, plus another 24 pounds in 2017

(more…)

March 10, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Politics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela, War against achievement. 2 comments.

The idiots in South Africa‘s parliament just voted to seize land from farmers

The Independent has just reported that South Africa‘s parliament just voted to seize privately owned land from farmers.

In the past, government seizure of privately owned farmland has always resulted in huge reductions in food production, whether it be in the Soviet Union, China, Zimbabwe, or, most recently, in Venezuela, where the recent government seizure of farmland was followed by most adults losing an average of 43 pounds in two years.

Why do the members of South Africa‘s parliament think the results will be any different this time?

 

March 2, 2018. Tags: , , , . Communism, Economics. 1 comment.

Here’s how most Venezuelans lost an average of 43 pounds in two years

(more…)

February 23, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Politics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

I am thankful for being a middle class person today instead of the richest person in the world 200 years ago

I am thankful for being a middle class person today instead of the richest person in the world 200 years ago.

I can have a real time conversation with someone who is 1,000 miles away.

I have light bulbs.

I can get from New York to California in hours instead of weeks.

Antibiotics will save my life if I step on a rock and cut my foot.

I don’t have to worry about getting smallpox, measles, or polio.

I can eat ice cream in July, without having to hire an expedition to climb a mountain to bring back ice.

I could buy an air conditioner if I wanted one (although I don’t actually have or want one. I live in Pittsburgh, and don’t think it’s necessary). But think about being a rich person living in Atlanta in July before air conditioning was invented – that would have sucked.

I can listen to just about any music, watch just about any movie, or watch just about any episode of just about any TV show, whenever I want.

My access to information online is bigger than any library that the richest person owned in the past.

I have a flush toilet.

I can take a hot shower whenever I want.

I don’t have to worry about my drinking water being infected with deadly bacteria or parasites.

My clothing is more comfortable than any that existed in the past.

I have zero problem with the fact that there are some people today who have thousands of times as much money as me.

I am grateful for what I do have. I am not resentful for the fact that other people have way more money than me.

November 22, 2017. Tags: , , , , . Economics, Holidays. Leave a comment.

San Francisco developer builds 160 unit apartment building on 9,000 square foot lot

I just came across this wonderful success story in San Francisco.

At 16:00 in the video below, the developer says:

“This is only a 9,000 square foot lot and yet we have 160 apartments in it. It comes to about 800 units an acre.”

I have no idea how he got permission to build such dense housing. (See here for an explanation of how San Francisco politicians deliberately prevent affordable housing from being built.)

The video also explains how these “micro-apartments” cater specifically to people who do not own cars.

The amenities in the building are quite amazing.

This type of high density apartment building is exactly what the city needs. And they need a huge number of them.

I wasn’t deterred by the video’s 20 minute length. I watched the entire thing, and I found it to be quite enjoyable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LI0tqVmGtI

October 1, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics. 2 comments.

In Venezuela, they were teachers and doctors. To buy food, they became prostitutes.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article174808061.html

In Venezuela, they were teachers and doctors. To buy food, they became prostitutes.

September 22, 2017

ARAUCA, Colombia – At a squat, concrete brothel on the muddy banks of the Arauca River, Gabriel Sánchez rattled off the previous jobs of the women who now sell their bodies at his establishment for $25 an hour.

“We’ve got lots of teachers, some doctors, many professional women and one petroleum engineer,” he yelled over the din of vallenato music. “All of them showed up with their degrees in hand.”

As Venezuela’s economy continues to collapse amid food shortages, hyperinflation and U.S. sanctions, waves of economic refugees have fled the country. Those with the means have gone to places like Miami, Santiago and Panama.

The less fortunate find themselves walking across the border into Colombia looking for a way, any way, to keep themselves and their families fed. A recent study suggested as many as 350,000 Venezuelans had entered Colombia in the last six years.

But with jobs scarce, many young — and not so young — women are turning to the world’s oldest profession to make ends meet.

Dayana, a 30-year-old mother of four, nursed a beer as she watched potential clients walk down the dirt road that runs in front of wooden shacks, bars and bordellos. Dressed for work in brightly-colored spandex, Dayana said she used to be the manager of a food-processing plant on the outskirts of Caracas.

But that job disappeared after the government seized the factory and “looted it,” she said.

Seven months ago, struggling to put food on the table, she came to Colombia looking for work. Without an employment permit, she found herself working as a prostitute in the capital, Bogotá. While the money was better there, she eventually moved to Arauca, a cattle town of 260,000 people along the border with Venezuela, because it was easier to send food back to her children in Caracas.

The previous night, her sister had traveled by bus for 18 hours from Caracas to pick up a bundle of groceries that Dayana had purchased — pasta, tuna, rice, cooking oil — and then immediately jumped on a bus back home.

“If you had told me four years ago that I would be here, doing this, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Dayana, who asked that her last name not be used. “But we’ve gone from crisis to crisis to crisis, and now look where we are.”

“The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing,” President Donald Trump stated before the United Nations on Sept. 19, 2017. He later called on other countries to do more to address the crisis in Venezuela under the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro which “has inflicted terrible misery and suffering on the good people of that country.”

With inflation running in excess of 700 percent and the bolivar currency in free fall, finding food and medicine in Venezuela has become a frustrating, time-consuming task. Dayana said she often would spend four to six hours waiting in line hoping to buy a bag of flour. Other times she was forced to buy food on the black market at exorbitant rates. Hunger in Venezuela is rampant.

That has fueled a scramble to earn hard currency — Colombian pesos or, even better, the U.S. dollar, which is the legal tender of Ecuador and Panama.

Dayana said that on a good night she makes the equivalent of $50 to $100 dollars, selling her services 20 minutes at a time.

“Prostitution obviously isn’t a good job,” she said. “But I’m thankful for it, because it’s allowing me to buy food and support my family.”

Selling sex is legal in Colombia, and even small towns have red-light districts where authorities look the other way. So while immigration police were actively hunting down Venezuelans selling trinkets and panhandling in Arauca’s central square, the women along brothel row said they were rarely harassed.

Marta Muñoz runs the Casa de la Mujer, a municipal program that focuses on women’s health and rights. She said that prostitution is something of a blind spot for local authorities who are more focused on blatant crimes, like child trafficking, rape and the abuse of minors.

“I know that some of them are being paid unfairly and being treated very poorly,” Muñoz said of the Venezuelan prostitutes. “But how do we protect them without strong public policies?”

Sánchez and others in the sex industry say Venezuelans dominate the trade now because they’re willing to work for less pay.

“I would say 99 percent of the prostitutes in this town are Venezuelan,” he said. All 12 of the women who work for him are from the other side of the border.

It’s not just a border phenomenon. Fidelia Suarez, the president of Colombia’s Union of Sex Workers, said her organization has seen a dramatic influx of “Venezuelan women and men working in the sex trade” across the country.

While it’s impossible to quantify how many might be working in the trade, Suarez said her organization is trying to safeguard the vulnerable migrants.

“We want to make sure they’re not being harassed by authorities or taken advantage of,” she said. “Being sexually exploited is very different than being a sex worker.”

In a sense, Venezuela’s economic crisis has been so severe that it has even upended long-held social norms.

Marili, a 47-year-old former teacher and grandmother, said there was a time when she would have been ashamed to admit she’s a prostitute. Now she says she’s grateful to have a job that allows her to buy hypertension medication for her mother back in Caracas.

“We’re all just women who are working to support our families,” she said. “I refuse to criticize anyone, including myself. We all have to work.”

Both Marili and Dayana said they had told their families how they make a living. “I don’t like to keep secrets,” Dayana explained.

Even Sánchez, the 60-year-old brothel owner, says he was forced into the business by the Venezuelan crisis. Like many Colombians, Sánchez moved to the neighboring country 30 years ago, when the oil rich nation was booming economically and Colombia was mired in violence.

There, he had solid work in Caracas repainting cars. When the crisis killed that job several years ago, he began smuggling Venezuelan wood and its cheaper-than-water gasoline into Colombia.

Eventually, things got so bad he decided to return to Colombia permanently. He and his wife opened the brothel, called “Show Malilo Night Club.” Sánchez’s nickname is Malilo.

“This place is mine, thank God,” he said of the modest building, strung with Christmas lights to provide ambiance. “But it hurts me deeply what’s happening over there.”

Marili said the couple had been lifesavers — giving her a place to stay and a way to make a living.

“Not just anyone will lend you a hand,” she said. “These people are humanitarians.”

There seems to be no end in sight for Venezuela’s economic pain. Last month, the Trump administration restricted Caracas’ ability to borrow money from American creditors, which will undoubtedly deepen the crisis. And yet, President Nicolás Maduro has been digging in, avoiding the economic reforms that economists say are necessary.

Dayana dreams of a day when she’ll be able to go home and start a small clothing boutique. Asked when she thought that might happen, she shook her head.

“No one knows,” she said. “We just have to be patient.”

September 25, 2017. Tags: , , , . Communism, Economics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

My new book “The Maduro Diet” is ranked #1 in the amazon sales category Books > History > Americas > South America > Venezuela

My new book The Maduro Diet is ranked #1 in the amazon sales category Books > History > Americas > South America > Venezuela

Here’s a partial screen capture:


Full title: The Maduro Diet: How three-quarters of adults in Venezuela lost an average of 19 pounds in 2016

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075W2LXT8


September 24, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Books, Communism, Economics, Venezuela. 2 comments.

I just published this new book about the food shortages in Venezuela

I just published this new book about the food shortages in Venezuela:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075W2LXT8

September 24, 2017. Tags: , , , . Communism, Economics, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

Walter Williams: The black family is struggling, and it’s not because of slavery

https://stream.org/black-family-struggling-not-slavery/

The Black Family is Struggling, and It’s Not Because of Slavery

The black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.

By Walter Williams

September 20, 2017

That the problems of today’s black Americans are a result of a legacy of slavery, racial discrimination, and poverty has achieved an axiomatic status, thought to be self-evident and beyond question.

This is what academics and the civil rights establishment have taught. But as with so much of what’s claimed by leftists, there is little evidence to support it.

The No. 1 problem among blacks is the effects stemming from a very weak family structure.

Children from fatherless homes are likelier to drop out of high school, die by suicide, have behavioral disorders, join gangs, commit crimes, and end up in prison. They are also likelier to live in poverty-stricken households.

But is the weak black family a legacy of slavery?

In 1960, just 22 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Fifty years later, more than 70 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families.

Here’s my question: Was the increase in single-parent black families after 1960 a legacy of slavery, or might it be a legacy of the welfare state ushered in by the War on Poverty?

According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers.

Is that supposed to be a delayed response to the legacy of slavery?

The bottom line is that the black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.

At one time, almost all black families were poor, regardless of whether one or both parents were present. Today roughly 30 percent of blacks are poor.

However, two-parent black families are rarely poor. Only 8 percent of black married-couple families live in poverty. Among black families in which both the husband and wife work full time, the poverty rate is under 5 percent. Poverty in black families headed by single women is 37 percent.

The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the black family the way the welfare state has.

September 20, 2017. Tags: , , . Economics, Racism. 3 comments.

Price controls and nationalization of more than 10 million acres of farmland have destroyed Venezuela’s ability to feed itself

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuelas-paradox-people-are-hungry-but-farmers-cant-feed-them/2017/05/21/ce460726-3987-11e7-a59b-26e0451a96fd_story.html

Venezuela’s paradox: People are hungry, but farmers can’t feed them

May 22, 2017


Above: A once-packed henhouse stands empty on Saulo Escobar’s farm in Aragua state, Venezuela, earlier this month.

YUMA, Venezuela — With cash running low and debts piling up, Venezuela’s socialist government has cut back sharply on food imports. And for farmers in most countries, that would present an opportunity.

But this is Venezuela, whose economy operates on its own special plane of dysfunction. At a time of empty supermarkets and spreading hunger, the country’s farms are producing less and less, not more, making the caloric deficit even worse.

Drive around the countryside outside the capital, Caracas, and there’s everything a farmer needs: fertile land, water, sunshine and gasoline at 4 cents a gallon, cheapest in the world. Yet somehow families here are just as scrawny-looking as the city-dwelling Venezuelans waiting in bread lines or picking through garbage for scraps.

Having attempted for years to defy conventional economics, the country now faces a painful reckoning with basic arithmetic.

“Last year I had 200,000 hens,” said Saulo Escobar, who runs a poultry and hog farm here in the state of Aragua, an hour outside Caracas. “Now I have 70,000.”

Several of his cavernous henhouses sit empty because, Escobar said, he can’t afford to buy more chicks or feed. Government price controls have made his business unprofitable, and armed gangs have been squeezing him for extortion payments and stealing his eggs.

Venezuela’s latest public health indicators confirm that the country is facing a dietary calamity. With medicines scarce and malnutrition cases soaring, more than 11,000 babies died last year, sending the infant mortality rate up 30 percent, according to Venezuela’s Health Ministry. The head of the ministry was fired by President Nicolás Maduro two days after she released those statistics.

Child hunger in parts of Venezuela is a “humanitarian crisis,” according to a new report by the Catholic relief organization Caritas, which found 11.4 percent of children under age 5 suffering from moderate to severe malnutrition, and 48 percent “at risk” of going hungry.

‘The Maduro diet’

The protesters who have been marching in the streets against Maduro for the past seven weeks scream, “We’re hungry!” as riot police blast them with water cannons and tear gas.

In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds. This collective emaciation is referred to dryly here as “the Maduro diet,” but it’s a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.

Venezuela’s disaster is man-made, economists point out — the result of farm nationalizations, currency distortions and a government takeover of food distribution. While millions of Venezuelans can’t get enough to eat, officials have refused to allow international aid groups to deliver food, accustomed to viewing their oil-rich country as the benefactor of poorer nations, not a charity case.

“It’s not only the nationalization of land,” said Carlos Machado, an expert on Venezuelan agriculture. “The government has made the decision to be the producer, processor and distributor, so the entire chain of food production suffers from an inefficient agricultural bureaucracy.”

With Venezuela’s industrial output crashing, farmers are forced to import feed, fertilizer and spare parts, but they can’t do so without hard currency. And the government has been hoarding the dollars it earns from oil exports to pay back high-interest loans from Wall Street and other foreign creditors.

Escobar said he needs 400 tons of high-protein imported animal feed every three months to keep his operation running, but he’s able to get only 100 tons. So, like many others, he’s turned to the black market. But he can only afford a cheaper, less nutritious feed, meaning that his hens are smaller than they used to be — and so are their eggs.

“My quality went down, so my production went down, too,” he said.

Escobar’s hogs also are skinnier. An average full-size pig weighed 242 pounds two years ago, he said. “Now they weigh 176.” Last year, he lost 2,000 hogs in three months when the animals got sick and he couldn’t find vaccines.

The piglets born since then are undersized. Many have bloody wounds at the tips of their ears. “When an animal has a poor diet, it looks for nourishment elsewhere,” explained Maria Arias, a veterinarian at the farm. “So they end up chewing off the ears of other pigs.”

‘There are no profits’

Venezuela has long relied on imports of certain foodstuffs, such as wheat, that can’t be grown on a large scale in the country’s tropical climate. But trade statistics show that the land policies of the late Hugo Chávez, Maduro’s predecessor, made Venezuela more dependent on imported food than ever.

When oil prices were high, that wasn’t a big problem. Now Venezuela’s blend of heavy crude is worth barely $40 a barrel and the country’s petroleum output is at a 23-year low, in part because refineries and pipelines are breaking down and investment in new infrastructure isn’t keeping pace.

The government hasn’t published farming data in years. But Machado, the agriculture expert, said annual food imports averaged about $75 per person until 2004, then soared after Chávez accelerated the nationalization of farms, eventually seizing more than 10 million acres. The government expropriated factories, too, and Venezuela’s domestic food production plummeted.

By 2012, annual per capita food imports had increased to $370, but since then, oil prices have slumped and imports have dropped 73 percent.

Instead of spurring growth in domestic agriculture, the government has strangled it, farmers say. Domestic production of rice, corn and coffee has declined by 60 percent or more in the past decade, according to Venezuela’s Confederation of Farmer Associations (Fedeagro), a trade group. Nearly all of the sugar mills nationalized by the government since 2005 are paralyzed or producing below capacity.

Only a small, well-off minority of Venezuelans can afford to buy much food on the black market, where a pound of rice imported from Brazil or Colombia sells for about 6,000 bolivares. That’s roughly $1 at the black-market exchange rate, but for an ordinary Venezuelan worker it’s an entire day’s wage, because the bolivar has lost 99 percent of its value in the past five years.

Venezuelans who don’t have access to hard currency depend on government-subsidized groceries doled out by pro-Maduro neighborhood groups, or wait in supermarket lines for rationed, price-capped items. Those who join anti-government protests have been threatened with losing their food supplies.

The price controls have become a powerful disincentive in rural Venezuela. “There are no profits, so we produce at a loss,” said one dairy farmer in the state of Guarico, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation from authorities. To get a new tractor, he said, he would have to spend all the money he earns in a year. “It’s a miracle that the industry is still alive,” he said.

Four of his cows were stolen this month, probably by hungry families in the nearby village, he said.

According to Vicente Carrillo, the former president of Venezuela’s cattle ranchers’ association, the overall size of the country’s herd has dropped in the past five years from 13 million head to about 8 million.

Carrillo sold his ranch more than a decade ago, tired of threats from squatters and rural activists who accused him of being an exploitative rural capitalist. His family had owned the land for more than a century. “I dedicated more than 30 years of my life to this business, but I had to leave everything behind,” he said.

Escobar, the chicken and hog farmer, said the only way for farmers to remain in business today is to break the law and sell at market prices, hoping authorities look the other way.

“If I sold at regulated prices, I wouldn’t even be able to afford a single kilogram of chicken feed,” he said.

If it’s not a fear of the government that keeps Escobar awake at night, it’s criminal gangs. Since one of his delivery trucks was robbed in December, he has been forced to make “protection” payments to a mafia boss operating out of the local prison. Every Friday, three motorcycles stop by the farm to pick up an envelope of cash, he said. Calling the police would only escalate the danger.

“I know how to deal with chickens and pigs,” Escobar said, “but not criminals.”

September 8, 2017. Tags: , , , , . Communism, Economics, Venezuela. 1 comment.

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