Monday, March 31, 2008

1776: Abigail wrote a letter to John Adams

On this day in 1776, Abigail Adams wrote this to her husband John Adams:  
“I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
It went down in history as the "remember the ladies" letter.

A few years ago, I saw a TV series called "The Adams Chronicles".   It was the story of the Adams from Massachusetts.   A bit later, I saw "The American Experience" or the wonderful story of John & Abigail Adams.

The two documentaries tell us about President and First Lady Abigail Adams, perhaps the greatest couple of the early days of the nation.    

In 2007, the "John Adams" HBO series added more to the wonderful story of our second president and his First Lady.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30, 1981: President Reagan was shot!

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On March 30 1981, I was having lunch in Mexico City with a British friend and the phone rang.  It was my mother calling from Dallas saying that President Reagan had been shot.
Reagan nearly died. He was clearly affected by the shooting, physically and emotionally.
Looking back, we remember some great Reagan lines:
“Honey, I forgot to duck” (The President’s words to the First Lady)
”Please tell me you’re Republicans.” (The President greets the surgeons)
Reagan survived and went on to have two very successful terms.  Nevertheless, we remember that sick feeling hearing that the President had been shot in Washington DC.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

We remember those who served in Vietnam, 1961-73

Today We Celebrate Vietnam Veterans Day - Welcome Home Brothers ...
On this day in 1973, US troops left Vietnam.  

It ended a war that began when President Kennedy sent some advisers, was later escalated under President Johnson to 500,000 troops and finally ended by President Nixon.  

As you may know, the parties signed a cease fire in January 1973.   It followed the "famous Christmas bombing" when President Nixon forced the communists to sign the agreement.  We called it "Operation Linebacker" and it was effective.  The bombing missions were so good that the communists were shortly begging for a paper to sign.

Twenty-seven months later, or May 1, 1975, the North walked into Saigon, and we’ve known it as Ho Chi Minh City ever since.

Did it have to turn out that way?    

President Nixon did not think so.  He wrote about it in No More Vietnams, a book that gets better with age.  The point is that we choose to win wars or lose them, the latter of which we did in Vietnam.  To win would not have required a single soldier – just a few B-52s to remind the North that we meant to enforce the ceasefire.  We should remember that North Vietnam was devastated in 1973.

The tragedy of Vietnam is that the USSR could not believe that we let South Vietnam collapse in 1975, as Stephen J. Morris wrote on the 30th anniversary of the disintegration of Saigon:
If the United States had provided that level of support in 1975, when South Vietnam collapsed in the face of another North Vietnamese offensive, the outcome might have been at least the same as in 1972. 
But intense lobbying of Congress by the antiwar movement, especially in the context of the Watergate scandal, helped to drive cutbacks of American aid in 1974. 
Combined with the impact of the world oil crisis and inflation of 1973-74, the results were devastating for the south. 
As the triumphant North Vietnamese commander, Gen. Van Tien Dung, wrote later, President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam was forced to fight “a poor man’s war.”
Even Hanoi’s main patron, the Soviet Union, was convinced that a North Vietnamese military victory was highly unlikely. 
Evidence from Soviet Communist Party archives suggests that, until 1974, Soviet military intelligence analysts and diplomats never believed that the North Vietnamese would be victorious on the battlefield. Only political and diplomatic efforts could succeed. 
Moscow thought that the South Vietnamese government was strong enough to defend itself with a continuation of American logistical support. 
The former Soviet chargé d’affaires in Hanoi during the 1970’s told me in Moscow in late 1993 that if one looked at the balance of forces, one could not predict that the South would be defeated. 
Until 1975, Moscow was not only impressed by American military power and political will, it also clearly had no desire to go to war with the United States over Vietnam. 
But after 1975, Soviet fear of the United States dissipated.
No kidding that fear of the U.S. dissipated.  

The post-Vietnam years contributed to the perception that the U.S. was weak and unwilling to defend its interests.  From Nicaragua to Iran to the Soviets in Afghanistan and Cuban troops in Africa, it was a time of U.S. weakness.  

Thankfully, it ended with the Reagan presidency.

Yes, there were many mistakes in Vietnam, from using the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to send 500,000 soldiers to war to not fighting to win. 

I believe that the biggest mistake was not preserving our gains, or a South Vietnam that would have looked a lot like South Korea today.

Again, it could have turned out very different, especially for the many who served in Vietnam.  They won the battles, and the politicians lost the peace.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).    This is President Nixon's book and for some of the young people who don't remember:

Friday, March 28, 2008

March 30, 1984: Does any one remember that the Colts left Baltimore?

The Baltimore Ravens are a very successful franchise.  They've won 2 Super Bowl championships since the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996.

However, Baltimore used to have another team or the legendary Colts many of us remember from our younger days.   

Back in March 1984, the Colts moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis.  Mr Irsay, the owner who had bought the team in 1972, had the movers pack up the offices in the morning while the city slept.  It was a bit "sneaky" to say the least.  

Wonder how many fans remember this story in Baltimore?  

The 1958 Colts were one of the greatest stories in NFL story.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

We remember Vic Raschi (1919-88)

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Vic Raschi, as we remember him, broke with the Yankees in 1946 and joined the rotation in 1948: 19-8, a 3.87 ERA & 18 complete games.
Raschi won 63 over the next 3 seasons, 21 each year. He was part of a great pitching rotation along with Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat.
Raschi was great in 6 World Series: 5-3 and a 2.24 ERA.
In early 1954, he was traded to the Cardinals. On April 23, 1954 he gave up Hank Aaron’s first HR.  
Raschi played on great Yankees teams who won the World Series in 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 & 1953.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

We remember David Janssen (1931-80)

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We remember David Janssen who was born in Nebraska on this day in 1931.   He died in 1980.

Jannsen played Dr. Richard Kimble on TV's "The fugitive".   It was a series about a man on the run for a murder he didn't commit.    It was a great TV show.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Time" and The Pozo-Seco Singers from Texas

The Pozo-Seco Singers were Don Williams, Lofton Kline plus Susan Taylor.  I understand that they had a connection to Corpus Christi, TX.

We know that Don Williams went on to have a country music career.  However, I don't know about the other two.

They did record some very nice songs.  

I love "Time", now available in a digital fomat:
"Some people run, some people crawl,
Some people don't even move at all
Some roads lead forward some roads lead back
Some roads are bathed in light, some wrapped in fearful black
Time oh time where did you go
Time oh good, good time where did you go
Some people never get, some never give
Some people never die and some never live
Some folks treat me mean, some treat me kind
Most folks just go their way, don't pay me any mind
Time oh time where did you go
Time oh good, good time where did you go
Sometimes I'm satisfied, sometimes I'm not
Sometimes my face is cold, sometimes it's hot
Sunset I laugh, sunrise I cry
At midnight I'm in between and wondering why
Time oh time where did you go
Time oh good good time where did you go
Time oh time where did you go
Time oh good good time where did you go....."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We remember Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

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Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on this day in 1942.  She died in 2018.

Her father was Baptist preacher Reverend Clarence La Vaughan "C. L." Franklin. 

Her mother was Barbara Siggers Franklin, a gospel singer.

In the spring of 1967, Aretha had her first # 1 with "Respect", an Otis Redding song.   She had many more hits after that.   

In 1987, Aretha became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

1634: The settlement of Maryland

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On this day in 1634, the first colonists arrived at St. Clement’s Island and found the settlement of St. Mary’s.    The territory was named Maryland in honor of Henrietta Maria, the queen consort of Charles I. 

Today, Maryland is known for its wonderful seafood, the city of Baltimore, Fort McHenry and popular sports teams.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

We remember Joseph Barbera (1911-2006)

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We remember Joe Barbera who died in 2006 and was born on this day in New York in 1911.

I did not know that he was the creator of all of these cartoon characters:   Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, the Flintstones & the Jetsons.   

What a great and creative life!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

We remember Thomas E. Dewey (1902-61)

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We remember Thomas E. Dewey who was born in Owosso, Michigan, on this day in 1902.    He was a distinguished lawyer, prosecutor, and the 47th Governor of New York, 1943-54.   

Dewey was the GOP nominee for president in 1944 and 1948.   

No one expected Dewey to win in 1944 but the popular vote turned out to be a lot of closer than predicted.     FDR won by 3.5 million out of 48 million cast that day but blew out Dewey in the Electoral College:  432-99.

Everyone expected him to win in 1948 or defeat President Truman, who had assumed the presidency after FDR died in April 1945.    In the end, President Truman won and surprised all of the experts.

Mr. Dewey served as Governor of New York until 1954.  He was active in GOP politics until his death in 1961.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

We remember Harry Houdini (1874-1926)

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The great Harry Houdini was born in Budapest, Hungary on this day in 1874.    He died in 1926 or age 52.      

It was an amazing but short life.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

We remember Clyde Barrow (1909-34)

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Clyde Barrow was born on this day in 1909 in Texas.    

We remember him as the Clyde of Bonnie & Clyde.  They turned into a deadly couple who robbed banks and killed a lot of policemen.    

In 1967, a movie starring Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway made them famous all over the world.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  Here is the movie:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

We remember Joan Crawford (1905-77)

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We remember Joan Crawford.  She was born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas, on this day in 1905.     

We loved her movies like "Mildred Pierce" (1945), "Possessed" (1947), "Sudden Fear" (1952) and "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?" with Bette Davis (1962).  

She died in 1977.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

1994: They're still talking about who shot Colosio in Mexico

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On Saturday, I checked with a good friend in Mexico and we spoke about the coronavirus down there.  To say the least, many are unhappy with President Andres Lopez-Obrador’s casual attitude.
After that , I joked with him about another anniversary of “Who shot JR“?   Like many Mexicans, my friend is a huge fan of “Dallas”.
Then he asked:  “Who shot Colosio”?
Down in Mexico, they still ask that question:   Do you believe the official story about the lone gunman who shot presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio?  
On this day in 1994, I left a Toastmasters meeting and got the news from the radio.    
The PRI’s candidate, a 40-something man known by his supporters as Luis Donaldo, was killed in a rally in northern Tijuana, by coincidence not too far from the U.S. border. 
It was quite a shock, to say the least.  I can’t recall the last time that a major Mexican political figure was assassinated.  
It shook up the country to such an extent that Mexicans were imagining tanks in the streets and hearing talk of President Carlos Salinas declaring martial law and a coup de etat.
Colosio’s victory in July was a done deal.  Back in 1994, the PRI had a monopoly on nominating and electing presidents.  They controlled every inch of the electoral process, so he was going to be the next president.  They had run the country since the 1920s.  
Nevertheless, Colosio inspired a lot of people with his talk about reform and ending corruption.  It was a bit like today’s President Lopez-Obrador, but not so far to the left. 
At times, it sounded like he was being critical of the incumbent President Salinas, something that the incoming guy never does.  He didn’t sound like “uno del PRI,” someone from the PRI, as Mexicans would say.
Within years, there were books and theories about the assassination.  How did a guy with a gun get that close to him?  Did President Salinas have him shot over the criticism?   
No one really knows, but the official word is that the guy got through security and shot him.
Every time the topic comes up, and it comes up a lot more often than you may realize, Mexicans compare this one to President Kennedy’s assassination.
They’ll say:  Don’t you think that the explanation of both assassinations are a bit strange?  
I always say respectfully, no.  I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone… but I have my doubts about the guy who ended Colosio’s life one late afternoon in 1994.  
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

We remember George "Boomer" Scott (1944-2013)

George Scott was born on this day in 1944 and died in 2013 at age 69

In 1972, George Scott was traded to Milwaukee and he became the team's first big star.  He hit long home runs.  I recall seeing him hit a line drive to the left field seats that left park in a second.

My first memory is that he was fun to watch.  He hit "taters" and play great defense at first base.  He was a big man but he could move around first base.

My second memory is running into Scott in Mexico City in 1981.  He was out of major league baseball and playing for the Mexican League.

I was waiting for a light change and crossing a street.  I noticed this man next to me and said:  "Are you George Scott"?

He said yes and we shared a few Brewers' stories.  He was a really nice guy and invited me to go to watch a game.

Unfortunately, I did not make the game and Scott was out of baseball soon after that.

Thanks for those "taters"!   He hit 271 of them when hitting 25 Hrs in a season was having a pretty good season!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

1963: We remember "Please please me", the first LP by The Beatles

We remember this week another anniversary of "Please please me", the first LP released by The Beatles in the UK.     It did not chart in the US although some of the tracks were released in different LP's in 1964.

The album was recorded in one day.   Parlaphone rushed the LP's release to take advantage of "Please please me", the group's first number one in the UK.   

Overall, it was a good debut effort.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

"The early Beatles", an LP from 1965

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We remember today another anniversary of "Please please me", the first Beatles' LP in the UK on March 22, 1963.   

Many of the songs on that LP were later released in the US as "The early Beatles" on this day in 1965.

The song list included "Love me do", the group's first UK 45 and "Please please me", the first million seller & # 1 in the English charts.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

2008: We lost Cachao

Israel “Cachao” López died on this day in 2008
This is a little bit about Cachao
“Born in Havana in 1918, he came from a family of musicians and studied classical music. He began his public career at 8 years old, playing bongos in a children’s group.
A year later, he had stood on a crate to play bass for the Cuban pianist and singer, Bola de Nieve, accompanying silent films.
At 13, he became the bassist of the Havana Philharmonic, and he performed with the orchestra from 1930 to 1960.
But he also played Havana clubs with his brother Orestes, working with a noted Cuban dance orchestra, Arcaño y Sus Maravillas, and with their own groups.”
In recent years, Cachao recorded several albums and collected many awards. He was a master arranger of Cuban music.  
Rest in peace Cachao! 
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dick Clark's American Bandstand (1957-89)

It's 1964. Dick Clark Sets the Stage and All the Kids on 'American ...
On this day in 1989, Dick Clark announced his retirement from "American Bandstand".   It started in 1957 and went on for 33 seasons on ABC-TV.

Like some of you, I spent a few Saturdays in my life watching Dick Clark introduce one of the week's top songs and watching young couples dance.

He died in 2012 and "American Bandstand" is available for new generations to see what life was like back then.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

1973: Roberto Clemente and Hall of Fame

On this day in baseball history, Roberto Clemente was elected to The Hall of Fame.   

It was a big move by MLB.  They waived the "5 year rule" following Clemente's death a few months before.  A few weeks later, # 21 was retired by Pittsburgh.

Clemente got # 3,000 on his last at-bat of the 1972 season.  He was one of the best hitters in baseball history:   .317 average, 3,000 hits in 2,433 games, 240 HR, 1,305 RBI, 4 NL batting titles, 1966 NL MVP and 12 straight NL Gold Glove Awards.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

We remember Hank Izquierdo (1931-2015)

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As a kid in Wisconsin, and passionate about the Minnesota Twins of Camilo Pascual, Tony Oliva & Zoilo Versalles, I remember Hank Izquierdo.    
Hank was the “other cubano” in that 1967 Twins team eliminated on the last day of the season.   
He was born Enrique Roberto Valdes Izquierdo in Matanzas, Cuba. Hank bounced around professional baseball and finally got to the majors as a backup catcher in 1967:    .269 in 16 games.   
Hank never played in the majors again and died in 2015.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

1854: Happy birthday to the GOP

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We say happy birthday to the GOP.  

In happened in Ripon, Wisconsin, on this day in 1854.  The new party was formed by former members of the Whig Party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories.

Since that moment, the GOP has elected many of our greatest presidents:
"Lincoln (1861-1865), 
Grant (1869-1877), 
Hayes (1877-1881), 
Garfield (1881), 
Arthur (1881-1885), 
Harrison (1889-1893), 
McKinley (1897-1901), 
T. Roosevelt (1901-1909), 
Taft (1909-1913), 
Harding (1921-1923), 
Coolidge (1923-1929),  
Hoover (1929-1933), 
Eisenhower (1953-1961), 
Nixon (1969-1974), 
Ford (1974-1977), 
Reagan (1981-1989), 
Bush, GHW (1989-1993), 
Bush, GW (2001-2009) &
Trump (2017-2021)"
We also nominated some great men who did not win, such as McCain in '08, Romney in '12 and Dole in '96.  They were were talented men and war heroes.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We remember Wyatt Earp (1848-1928)

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Like many of you, I got reconnected with Wyatt Earp from that movie a few years ago starring Kevin Costner.   The movie was released in 1994. 
Also, I started watching "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp", a TV series 1955-61.   You can now buy the whole series HERE.

Wyatt Earp was born on this day in 1848 and died in January 1928.

Earp was quiet a figure from the old West.   

The aforementioned book by Stuart Lake is available HERE.  
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).


The Iraq War, many years later!

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It was March 2003 or the day that President Bush led military forces in Iraq.

At the time, I supported the military decision because the US could not give Saddam Hussein the benefit of the doubt after 9-11.

After 9-11, the US could not afford to have a well armed tyrant in the Middle East giving us the finger for 12 years without consequences.

Everything changed in '98 when Saddam kicked out the inspectors and gave everyone the finger. Saddam should have been removed in '98. By late '98, it was clear that Saddam Hussein had no intention of respecting any international agreement or the cease fire.

Between '91 and '98, Saddam shot at US planes. He did not allow UN inspectors access to Iraq's labs and military bases. He tried to kill the first Bush during a private visit to Kuwait in '93. Last but not least, he did not comply with any of the cease fire requirements.

Saddam was given one more chance in '02. President Bush went to the UN and enumerated all of the violations. The UN gave us one more resolution calling on Saddam to do his duty or face consequences.

The inspectors went back in after a 4 year absence. Once again, Saddam did not allow the inspectors to move freely and do their work.

So President Bush acted and Saddam was removed!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

2003: What if President Bush had not invaded Iraq?

On another anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, let me ask a simple question:  

What if Pres. Bush had not invaded Iraq?   

Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote this in 2005:    
"One problem is that we always know what did happen as a result of war, but we never know what didn't happen. What if we had not gone to war in Europe in 1917, Korea in 1950, or even Vietnam in the 1960s?" 
What would have happened if Pres. Bush had not invaded Iraq?  Let me offer some ideas:

1. Saddam Hussein would have succeeded in mocking the UN and the Security Council.  How many more times can you warn someone that this is your last warning?  Is 12 years enough warning?

2. Iraq would have continued shooting at US and UK planes enforcing UN resolutions. How many times do you allow someone to fire missiles at your aircraft without interpreting it as an act of war?

3.  What about the cost of doing nothing?  Containment wasn't cheap. We did not choose between peace and war with Saddam Hussein. We were in fact at war with Iraq but we did not call it that.

4.  What about Israel? Saddam was not a friend of Israel. What would the Middle East look like with Iraq and Iran threatening Israel?

Yes, Bush's critics need to answer one simple question: What if Bush had not invaded Iraq?

So far, I have not heard anyone explain to me how Iraq would have been better if we had left Saddam in power.

Our inability to act against terrorism in the 1990s proved fatal on 9-11. As Clifford May wrote:  
"It's easy to say that if we had left Saddam alone, nothing bad would have happened. But how is that different from what was said for years about Osama bin Laden? We knew his intentions. We didn't take pre-emptive action. Don't you wish we had? If Americans have learned anything, it should be this: When people say they intend to kill you, take them seriously."
Put me down as someone who believes that taking out Saddam was the right thing to do. 

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We remember the great Chuck Berry (1926-2017)

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Many of us learned of Chuck Berry when we heard The Beatles, Rolling Stones or other British bands record covers of his songs.  

I remember asking the question:  Who is that fellow Berry who wrote “Rock and roll music” or “Carol” or “Reeling and rocking”.

In 1972, I saw Chuck Berry in concert and I became a huge fan.

We remember Chuck Berry who was born in St. Louis on this day in 1926 .    He died in 2017
Elvis put rock on the radio but Chuck Berry invented the rock guitar and wrote the songs that every garage band played.    He was awesome and his songs belong in every rock collection.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, drop a dime here.




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