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COMMENTARY: “VAGINA MONOLOGUES” PLAYRIGHT, EVE ENSLER, TAKES ON SARAH PALIN

Posted in Eco Thugs, Eco Warriors, Endangered Species, Humane Treatment of Animals, News Brief on September 17th, 2008

eveensler.jpg“EVERYTHING SARAH PALIN BELIEVES IN AND PRACTICES IS ANTITHETICAL TO FEMINISM WHICH FOR ME IS PART OF ONE STORY CONNECTED TO SAVING THE EARTH, ENDING RACISM, EMPOWERING WOMEN, GIVING YOUNG GIRLS OPTIONS, OPENING OUR MINDS, DEEPENING TOLERANCE, AND ENDING VIOLENCE AND WAR” – - Eve Ensler

Lest we forget, Sarah Palin is in no way a friend of the environment. Her distain for her state’s natural treasures and the little value that she places on endangered animal life makes her fair gain for Ms. Ensler’s Commentary

Thanks to Hank Honig, my partner in the recoveringliberal.com for forwarding this to us.

A lifelong feminist, Ms. Ensler is best know as the author of the worldwide theatrical hit, the “Vagina Monologues”.

- Denis

DRILL, DRILL, DRIL!
by
Eve Ensler

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it’s their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don’t like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of
God’s plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin’s view, is here to be> taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, ‘It was a task from God.’

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist’s baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next President of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God’s name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or
whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don’t move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, ‘Drill Drill Drill.’ I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

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HOW TO CONSERVE WATER

Posted in Conscious Actions, Conscious Media, Eco Warriors, Ethical Living, Water War on June 14th, 2008

PAINLESSLY AND EASY TIPS TO USE LESS WATER

180px-drinking_water1.jpg

Much has been written of late, both here at libsearthwatch.com and around the BLOGOSPHERE, about what is being called the coming water wars. While the tendency in most advanced countries is to view the idea of wars being fought over something so basic as drinking water as overblown and the domain of conspiracy theorists, the reality is the worlds supply of potable drinking water is no longer adequate to accommodate the needs of Planet Earth’s ever-growing population without both a serious investment in desalination and other purification technology, and realistic conservation efforts being undertaken here and abroad. Well, that’s the bad news.

The good news is that water conservation does not have to be painful. What follows are some easy to enact, relatively painless ways to reduce one’s water usage and to feel good about oneself in the process. In the interest of disclosure, the inspiration for today’s posting came from a feature in today’s Daily Green.com. In fact the list, minus the comments were pinched from that wonderful site via the Huffington Post’s, Green Page.

INSTALL A LOW-FLOW SHOWERHEAD
The experts tell us that this cuts consumption by 50 – 70%. But just think about the water that you could save if you showered with your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, fiancé or that attractive single person down the hall, downstairs, upstairs, across the street, in the next cube, etc?

Best of all, you could sell this liberating idea to your potentially skeptical shower partner as the two of you ‘doing your part for the good of Mother Earth and us all’. What man or woman could resist when the ideas is presented in this way? Talk about a win-win situation…

TURN OFF THE TAP WHILE YOU BRUSH
The EPA tells us that the average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons a minute. Doing the math, this means that by something so simple as turning off the faucet while brushing, you can save as much as 8 gallons of water per day per person.

There is not that I can add here except, perhaps, to suggest only brushing one’s teeth once a day. Whether this would be done in the morning or evening would depend on one’s social calendar, and whether swapping bodily fluids with another is being contemplated.

WATER YOUR YARD IN THE MORNING
The accepted knowledge here is that it is best to water lawns and outdoor plants in the early morning so less precious water is lost evaporation.

Sadly, during a drought, this advice is about as helpful as reorganizing the deck chairs would have been on the Titanic in that it really doesn’t do all that much to ease the water shortage problem.

A better solution would be to tear the damn lawn up all together and replace it with flora native to your particular environment. Here in Southern California that would be cactus.

Additionally, without the water hogging lawn, there is now plenty of water and space for planting an organic veggie garden. This is another win-win as it conserves water and it guarantees a supply of healthy, non- toxic, locally grown food to eat, which in this time of five dollar gasoline and listeria infected produce is a good thing to have going for you.

For those of you who live in areas with plentiful rainfall, consider also installing a water reclamation system that would capture water run off and store it for use water plants. I realize that I used several potentially scary terms in that sentence, – reclamation system, capture run off. So before you work yourself into a tizzy over having to spend thousands of dollars just to have a few tomato plants, know that a water reclamation system is as simple as a clean garbage-type can positioned underneath your house’s rain gutter. So instead of the rainwater making it’s way to the drain and the ocean or the nearby lake, you the environmentally wise person that you are, are capturing it for eventual re-use. Now, if we could only figure out a way to use this in the Jacuzzi? Talk about what a win –win that would be?

USE A PRO CAR WASH
Here to, the experts tells us that merely washing your car in your driveway uses anywhere from 80 and 140 gallons of water per wash depending, I guess, on the size of your car and how anal you are about getting it new car clean. (Note! Hummers are excluded from these estimates, but we won’t go there as I doubt that there are all that many Hummer drivers reading this blog.) Contrast this to a professional wash, which uses about 45 gallons of water per car.

My friends, I like a clean car as much as the next person, and because my hybrid is black, probably more so than most. However, it is more important to me that the inside is clean, it’s odor free (except for my essential oil air freshener), and the carpets are free of dust, coffee spills and food droppings. So why not do as I do. Once every six weeks or so, I have my car professionally washed inside and out. This I have done at one of the many car washes in my area that recycle their wash water. (Note! You can tell which vendors recycle their water pretty easily, because recycled water smells bad – much the way rainwater smells when puddles of it sit in your yard without moving for a few days.

Then on alternate weekends when my 10 yr old nephew comes to visit, I toss him a few bucks to vacuum the inside and wipe down the dash and console with a damp cloth. This way I’m conserving water, have a relatively clean, odor free car, and am employing the youth of America as they learn the value of working for a dollar in today’s economy. Score this a win-win!

FIX THAT LEAK
The experts tell us that ignoring a dripping faucet, leaky pipe joint or dripping sprinkler head can waste a minimum of 3 gallons of water per day per leak. By itself, this is not a lot of water, but these things do add up. As one not that technically astute, particularly about things that get you dirty or could potentially injure your hands – and plumbing is definitely one of those – I have heard that it is amazing what a two-dollar pack of washers can do to remedy most leaky situations.

However, I can speak from experience, that ceasing to park cars, trucks, motorcycles and other weighty objects on the lawn will go a long way toward stopping leaky sprinkler heads. Plus the oil, which all of these vehicles have a habit of leaking will kill what remains of your lawn, which is bad, unless of course that is part of your plan. Then it is merely another win-win.

To summarize, while each of these changes, my snarky comments notwithstanding, are valid ways to reduce one’s water consumption, nothing will really get any better for the long term as long as environmentalists continue to dance around the real cause of today’s water shortages; the water being wasted daily on the tens of billions of sheep and cattle currently grazing on the world’s great plains as they wait their turn to become steaks and hamburgers.

Drastically reducing our consumption of red meat would not only be healthy, but would go a long way to insure that the nations of the world will not one day be battling over the world’s remaining drinking water.

- Denis

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NEWS WATCH! POST OFFICE OFFERS SAFE HAVEN FOR UNWANTED ELECTRONICS

Posted in Conscious Actions, Eco Warriors on April 10th, 2008

TEST PROGRAM FOR OLD ELECTRONICS UNDER WAY IN SEVERAL CITIES

clover-girl.gifNeed a way to dispose of old, unwanted cell phones, PDA’s, MP3 players, inkjet cartridges and other small electronic items?

Hey, who isn’t in that position in this technologically overwhelming day and age? In fact, not far from where I sit here in sleepy, anemic, old Orange County – the OC to all of you kids – a virtual junkyard of old, outdated, seriously trashed electronic gear stares me in the face, gear that I really don’t feel comfortable just throwing in the trash, knowing what I do about the damage that these wonder devices can do to the water table when they are tossed unprocessed into a landfill.

Well, it appears that a pilot program is underway to deal with just this, which means that you and I won’t have to stress about this matter anymore and can move on to more important matters, such as, is John McCain really a ticking time bomb with infidelities up the wazoo, not to mention an out of control temper which would make him totally unsuitable for the Presidency? Or my favorite, speculating as to which scandal the Repubs plan to unload about Bill Clinton’s wandering pecker, should Hillary manage to steal the nomination.

Needless to say, there have been attempts in the past to find a legislative solution to the problem of what to do with old electronics. Perhaps the best among them, a system, which would require gear manufacturers to offer some sort of buy-back at the end of the device’s life. This would not only make the manufacturer responsible for the old, unwanted gear’s ultimate disposal, but would also force manufacturers to begin building these products out of materials, which would lend themselves to recycling and reuse. Sadly, with the current state of affairs in the US Congress, any such legislation is a long, hard battle away.

So the question is, what do we do in the meantime? Surprisingly enough, the solution could be coming from of all places, the US Post Office.

The Snail Mail purveyors are – as I write this – testing a pilot program in several areas, including parts of California, Chicago, Washington, D.C., northern Virginia and Baltimore, Md., where they are providing postage free packaging to consumers to send their unwanted electronics for recycling.

Partnering with the Post Office in this exciting new venture is Clover Technologies Group. Clover best know as a leading distributor of OEM-branded imaging supplies to leading dealers and resellers nationwide, pays the one-way postage to it’s facility at which point it will either refurbish the item or if that is not possible, break the item down and use the parts to refurbish other items. Components that are unused will safely and correctly be recycled.

This service is not all that different from Clovers core business, which recycles print and toner cartridges. So I am optimistic as to it’s potential for success. Plans are in place to roll the program out nationwide, if it is a success in the test markets listed above.

Now, as regular readers of this space know, I am not a great friend of corporations and of the whole ‘corporation as citizen’ theory. Nor, do I put much stock in the Shithead in the White House’s Reagan inspired belief that corporations, unrestricted, will do what is right for society. It is my belief that this whole argument is just a smokescreen to confuse the masses while the CEO’s of the world rob the middle class blind. Thinking as I do, I am nothing short of seriously stoked, dude, to see corporate America doing anything that does not involving steamrolling the masses on their march to profitably.

Seeing what Clover Technologies Group is doing to make this program a success goes a long way to restoring my belief that corporations can be a force for good in this highly complex world. Now don’t screw it up, Clover.

In another matter, Is their any way I get some money for the old I-Pods I recycle?

Just kidding, LOL.

-LIB

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NEWS WATCH! GORE TO FORCE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO DISCUSS CLIMATE

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Media, Eco Warriors, Global Warming on March 31st, 2008

KICKS OFF $300M ADVERTISING BLITZ TO PERSUADE AMERICANS THAT PROTECTING THE PLANET TRANSCENDS POLITICAL DIVISIONS

gore_nyu1.jpgWhile George Bush was being roundly booed as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals baseball game last night, in a New York television studio, his one time opponent, Al Gore, was kicking off a 300 million dollar ad campaign, a significant chunk of it self- financed, to force the issue of global warming and climate change into the nation’s political discourse.

Gore, accompanied by wife, Tipper made the announcement during an interview on CBS Television’s, 60 Minutes.

The ad campaign, which is expected to begin airing on broadcast and cable as early as this Wednesday, teams unlikely allies together to address the seriousness of the Global Warming issue and the need for all Americans to work together for our common good.

In the sample clip aired by CBS last night, fiery black preacher, Al Sharpton was featured sharing the stage with conservative wack-job, Pat Robertson. Now two men with less in common probably do not exist, and thankfully so. But this is what makes the campaign so fresh and exciting and is probably what will strike a cord with many Americans who to now have not formed an opinion on this oh so critical issue. Other odd couples expected to appear include current House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, trading lines with disgraced former congressional leader, New Gingrich, he of the numerous wives, mistresses and the abysmal, Contract with America.

When asked about those who still profess skepticism where the issue of climate change and global warming is concerned, among them the President and the Vice President, the former Vice President observed that their line of thinking “had been isolated as a fringe group” and compared their line of thinking with those conspiracy theorists who “still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona or that the earth is flat.”

Good job, Mr. Gore. I couldn’t have said it better, myself.

-LIB

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RECYCLING OLD TECHNO TRASH

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corporate Responsibility, Eco Warriors, News Brief, Sustainable Business on March 24th, 2008

NEW BUYBACK PROGRAMS AIM TO TURN USED ELECTRONIC TRASH TO CASH

computer.pngEver wonder where that mountain of old, outdated electronic trash eventually winds up? Or are you the sort of person that once they have decided to give something the boot could care less what eventually happens to it?

Well, regardless of where you come down on this issue, a new way of dealing with the problem of outdated technology is about to make its presence felt. Yes my friends, by
the time that you read this plans will be in place for the major electronic retailers to take your old outdated junk in trade for store credit towards a new purchase.

The program is the brainchild of NEW Customer Service Co., the people who provide many of the extended warranty plans and protection programs for retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Joining Customer Service Co. in this exciting new business model is another company, TechForward.

The latter company plans to offer a guaranteed buyback program similar to the optional extended warranty services offered by many consumer electronic retail stores.

According to a story published today by Reuters, both companies will evaluate the condition of the devices returned, wipe clean the hard drives and either resell the refurbished devices online or harvest the components and sell them as salvage parts.

While no one will get rich on these transactions, it
will be good to know that these products will be properly disposed of and not just dumped into some landfill somewhere in the far east.

-LIB

READ MORE…

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COURAGEOUS KANSAS GOVERNOR VETOES PLANS TO REVIVE TWO COAL-FIRED ELECTRIC PLANTS

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corporate Greed, Corporate Polluters, Eco Warriors, Health Watch on March 24th, 2008

THE PLANTS WOULD ANNUALLY PRODUCE AN ADDITIONAL 11 MILLION TONS OF CARBON-DIOXIDE

climate_security1.jpgKudos to Kansas’ Democratic Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, for bravely vetoing a measure, which would have revived plans to construct two coal-fired power plants in the southwest corner of the state.

Production of the plants, estimated to generate up to 1,400 megawatts of electricity, was halted by the state’s secretary of health and the environment, Rod Bremby, when it was revealed that the plants would add an additional 11 million tons of carbon-dioxide for each 1400 megawatts generated.

As might be expected, Governor Sebelius’ action has brought about threats from prominent Kansas Republicans – who like their brothers and sisters elsewhere in the country, have never met a utility, no matter how destructive, that they could not embrace – to draft a new measure to revive the coal plants, but when or if they will be successful is unknown.

Now if only they would spend some of the money that they will invest in fighting this battle developing alternate sources of clean power, well, we all know what that could mean to our world and the futures of us all.

But that is not the way of the corporations, and more importantly why, an unregulated market based economy will never work. Unless big brother is there forcing their hand, the unmitigated greed of corporations will do nothing but destroy what little we have in this country that is actually engaged in doing the right thing by our citizens.

But this is a rant for another day…

-LIB

READ MORE…

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AMAZON RAINFOREST NUTS HELP FUEL FIRST BIOFUEL FLIGHT

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Eco Warriors, Ethical Business, News Brief, Sustainable Transportation on February 25th, 2008

A VIRGIN ATLANTIC JUMBO JET FLIES FROM LONDON TO AMSTERDAM WITH ONE OF ITS FUEL TANKS FILLED WITH A BIO-JET BLEND OF BABASSU OIL AND COCONUT OIL

virginjet2.jpegBritish billionaire Richard Branson, the principle shareholder of Virgin Atlantic Airways and numerous other Virgin named companies, went on record the latter part of last year pledging to incorporate bio fuels into his airline’s fuel mix. Yesterday, he did so.

A biofuel mix is reported to have provided 25 percent of the fuel for yesterdays jumbo jet flight from London to Amsterdam. The biofuel was a blend of 20 percent neat biofuel composed of among other ingredients, Babassu oil and coconut oil, and 80 percent conventional jet fuel. According to Branson, tests have shown it was possible to fly with as much as a 40 percent blend.

Branson went on to say that it was unlikely the nut of the wild growing babassu palm would play a key role as airlines turn to renewable fuel sources. The nut was used for the test, as the company did not want to use any product where they would be “competing with staple food sources.”

Branson agrees with yours truly that algae produced in places like sewage treatment farms is the most likely future source of renewable fuel for the airline industry.

This is not Virgin’s first experiment with bio-fuels. Last year, Virgin started to power some of its trains using a fuel containing 20 percent biodiesel produced mainly using British rapeseed oil blended with U.S. soybean oil and palm oil from the Far East.

READ MORE….

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MOVE OVER, TUPPERWARE. THE ECOMOM PARTY HAS ARRIVED

Posted in Conscious Actions, Eco Warriors, News Brief, Sustainable Living on February 19th, 2008

PART “HINTS FROM HELOISE” AND PART POLITICAL SELF-HELP GROUP, THE ECOMOM ALLIANCE JOINS A GROWING SUBCULTURE DEDICATED TO THE “GREEN MOM

ecomoms.jpegMove over, Tupperware. The EcoMom party has arrived, with its ever-expanding “to do” list that includes preparing waste-free school lunches; lobbying for green building codes; transforming oneself into a “locovore,” eating locally grown food; and remembering not to idle the car when picking up children from school (if one must drive). Here, the small talk is about the volatile compounds emitted by dry-erase markers at school.

Perhaps not since the days of “dishpan hands” has the household been so all-consuming. But instead of gleaming floors and sparkling dishes, the obsession is on installing compact fluorescent light bulbs, buying in bulk and using “smart” power strips that shut off electricity to the espresso machine, microwave, X-Box, VCR, coffee grinder, television and laptop when not in use.

READ MORE…

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WHOLE FOODS SAYS NO TO PLASTIC (BAGS)

Posted in Conscious Actions, Eco Warriors, News Brief on January 23rd, 2008

MARKET JOINS A RISING NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTS AND RETAILERS BANNING PLASTIC BAGS BECAUSE OF CONCERNS ABOUT THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

wholefoodsa.jpegThe Whole Foods Market chain said Tuesday that it would stop offering plastic grocery bags, giving customers instead a choice between recycled paper or reusable bags.

A rising number of governments and retailers are banning plastic bags, or discouraging their use, because of concerns about their environmental impact. San Francisco banned plastic bags last year unless they are of a type that breaks down easily. China announced a crackdown on plastic bags a few weeks ago, while other governments, including New York City’s, are making sure retailers offer plastic bag recycling.

Whole Foods officials said they had hoped to eliminate plastic bags for some time but had to decide how to make it work in the chain’s 270 stores.

READ MORE….

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SAN FRANCISCO TO FUND LOCAL GREEN ACTIVITIES

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Eco Warriors, News Brief, Renewable Energy on December 18th, 2007

UNDER THE PROGRAM, CITY OFFICIALS WOULD CALCULATE THE CARBON COST OF THEIR TRAVELS AND CONTRIBUTE TO ONE OF SEVERAL CITY PROGRAMS AIMED AT REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS — OR FOREGO THE TRAVEL ALTOGETHER

2007-09-28-money1.jpg“What we are trying to do by this is to set high standards to show carbon offset programs that work,” Gavin Newsom told Reuters, adding he was wary of offsets with little accountability that promise action in distant lands.

For official travel, that means a round-trip flight from San Francisco to New York would cost an additional $80 to $90, officials say, to be paid into the city’s offset programs such as converting restaurant grease into fuel, installing solar energy devices or investing in energy conservation.

The program will not cost additional funds, which means city departments would cut out some travel to pay for other trips with carbon offsets, Newsom said. A second phase of the program would also allow residents to buy offsets.

With growing worldwide focus on the climate change impact of carbon emissions, entities from companies such as Google and Yahoo to organizations including the United Nations and countries such as Costa Rica, Norway and New Zealand are implementing carbon offset programs with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral.

MORE….

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