“Equal justice for all in
At one level, this statement is undeniable: equal justice for all would be served by Mike Nifong standing trial, an outcome prevented by then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. But the line above serves as the motto of the “Justice for Mike Nifong” committee, the organization led by
The committee has produced a 10-part, 36-question document—filled with leading yes-or-no questions, seemingly designed to demonstrate the myriad ways in which Nifong was wrongly treated.
In its statement of purpose, the two-person group plays off demagogic beliefs deep-seated within the
Perhaps the most striking element of the JMN document comes in what it does not include. Nifong was disbarred in part because of his barrage of false and defamatory public statements about the case and the lacrosse players. The JMN questionnaire makes no mention of the ethically improper statements. Justice for Nifong, it would seem, requires pretending that these statements never were made.
The JMN document likewise neglects to mention of Nifong’s decision to prosecute a case without probable cause, or his ordering the DPD to violate its own procedures and run a third lineup after Crystal Mangum couldn’t make any identifications. Justice for Nifong, it would seem, requires pretending that the rigged lineup never occurred, or that probable cause existed.
The questionnaire itself consists of ten sections, only one of which deals with Nifong’s actual misconduct. According to JMN, Nifong’s only improper behavior in the lacrosse case was his “withholding non-exculpatory evidence that had no relevance or advantage for the defense.”
That’s the description given to Nifong’s repeatedly lying to the court about the content of his conversations with DNA lab director Brian Meehan, his decision to violate North Carolina state law by not reporting all results from a DNA test obtained through a non-testimonial order, and his decision not to report evidence proving (a) that Mangum lied when she claimed she had no sex a week before the party and (b) that an innocent explanation existed for Tara Levicy’s Hail-Mary effort to suggest that “diffuse edema of the vaginal walls” suggested that a rape occurred.
JMN questions on this issue borrow from the unique legal analysis of Wendy Murphy and imply that Nifong had the right to unilaterally cherrypick which DNA test results to report, and then to lie to the court about his actions. From the JMN questionnaire: “Do you believe it is possible that the reasons Mr. Nifong may have withheld the multiple male DNA evidence from the defense are because it had no relevant value, and he may have wanted to spare [Crystal Mangum] from unnecessary shame and embarrassment?”
Nifong, of course, didn’t simply withhold this evidence from the defense—he withheld it from the court, twice falsely informing judges that nothing existed in the tests beyond what was contained in Dr. Meehan’s incomplete report. As to a possible motive of sparing Mangum “from unnecessary shame and embarrassment”:
Having described both the case and
The JMN questionnaire makes clear the central villains of the case: the three falsely accused players and DHC chairman Lane Williamson. Two sections of the questionnaire minimize the harm experienced by the falsely accused players (despite the acknowledgement on this point by Nifong’s own apology). A third bizarrely asks whether the outcome of the case would have differed had the accuser gone to Duke and the accused gone to NCCU. Given that Nifong desperately needed the black vote for his primary, it’s hard to imagine what political benefit he would have received from bringing charges without evidence against black students.
For good measure, the JMN authors assert that “for reasons unknown, each of the defendants received $1.5 to $1.7 million from
As for Williamson, the JMN questionnaire leads off with five questions insinuating that the DHC chairman had a conflict of interest because he was a law school classmate of Nifong’s who had a daughter who attended Duke. The only problem: Williamson disclosed both items publicly, and Nifong indicated that he saw no reason for Williamson to step aside from the case.
The JMN’ers wind up with a “question” asking readers if they agree with the premise that “the North Carolina State Bar should take responsibility for its mistake in unjustly disbarring Mike Nifong, and it should reinstate his license to practice law immediately and without restrictions.”
Indeed. About the same time that Bigfoot is named
If anything, the Justice for Mike Nifong effort is an around about way to reassert as Mike Nifong stated at his disbarment proceedings that something did happen that night which began these whole sordid proceedings. I believe that this is not so much to gain justice for Nifong as it is an attempt to restore the meta narrative that Crystal Mangum was raped.
As I keep saying this is why it is so important that the civil suits proceed and that careful attention is paid to them. Those who believe that Mangum was a victim will continue to cause unending harm to he three young men who were so falsely and viciously accused until they are made to pay until it hurts. While it is doubtful that they will never get much from Nifong,the DUMC, DPD, and the city of Durham just to name a few deep pockets will have the resources to pay and be forced to make the changes to insure that no one, no matter their creed, color, or class endure what happened to those so falsely accused.
Airbrushing: Practical Application in Durham, NC
This group in Durham is attempting to airbrush their own history and stay under the radar of state and national journalists ...until today.
DIW has smoked them out.
Will the Duke University Chronicle and local journalists in Durham pick up on this story?
Well, I guess Durham is in need of some comic relief, and Victoria Peterson always is anxious to provide it. (Who can forget "DAMN Appreciation Week" complete with a fried chicken dinner?)
Still, I wonder why the NAACP has not joined in. While they accused Nifong of "using" the black community, it seems that the black community -- and especially the black politicians, the NAACP, and black ministers -- used Nifong. Don't forget that they out-and-out told him that unless he provided arrests and indictments, he could forget about winning the election.
Now that Nifong is disgraced, however, it seems that many of his former friends who demanded he do exactly what got him disbarred now have abandoned him. At least Peterson has been willing to stick by him, even if she is wrong.
You write like you've seent the JMN questionaire. Could you print it please?
From what I have heard, Nifong and Cy and their friends have been spreading the lie that the Bar was "bought off" and the disbarment of Nifong was a "political" decision.
That, of course, is not a good way for Nifong to have his law license reinstated. Accusing the Bar of misconduct because it had the audacity to address the out-and-out criminal behavior of the disgraced DA is not going to win friends on that committee now or in the future.
As I have said before, Nifong is a sociopath, and everything he has done in this case and beyond has confirmed that label. I have concluded that he is incapable of being able to admit that he could have been wrong and that his conduct throughout this case not only was illegal, but was immoral as well.
Sending Victoria Peterson to defend him is just another example of just how morally depraved Nifong really is.
This litany of questions is, of course, nutty.
More illustration of the kind of jury pool the lacrosse players would have had if Nifong had succeeded.
It can't be highlighted enough that this, in so many ways, represents the mindset of Durham.
Throughout the saga I've had conversations with people who live there about this case. Especially when it was in the news on a daily basis.
Throughout I was struck by how many well-educated, otherwise rational people in that town all of a sudden developed a nonsensical rationale.
Few criticized Nifong and never criticized Mangum.
As if the world should accept this kind of behavior for some reason from some people.
It makes you wonder how those people think, fundamentally, and negotiate their own lives.
There are only two people who supposedly make up this Nifong group; however, many more people over there agree with this effort but won't make nuts of themselves the way Peterson does.
Witness the huge vote Nifong received after it became known that the case was bogus.
I'm sure KC has covered this before, but I don't remember.
Is there some way that Nifong's pension can be used to pay when he is found liable in the civil suits?
It seems that it could be if he's found to have done this with full knowledge and malice.
"Will the Duke University Chronicle and local journalists in Durham pick up on this story?"
Probably not with any higher degree of fervor than they have in the past.
The local media will never do more than insist that they were "fair" and will blame players like Nifong for the fact that they were giddy and excited about what they thought this would turn into for their bottom line.
The Chronicle has done some good work, but who knows now that Kristin Butler is no longer there?
I stay in touch with Monica Chen. She is an excellent reporter and covered Stuart's appearance at Duke last fall quite well. She's someone who would most likely turn out a balanced and fair story or two.
Stunningly, she works for the H-S.
OJ Simpson was found civilly liable for the murder of two people, and even then they couldn't get his pension.
It's possible to go after such things, but it is very very hard. Maybe showing that his entire crime was based on getting him a better pension and that he shouldn't prosper as a result of his crime.
It's still gonna be an uphill fight.
" Maybe showing that his entire crime was based on getting him a better pension and that he shouldn't prosper as a result of his crime."
Presumably he 'earned' the bulk of his pension from his service prior to being DA; so in theory, that should not be affected.
But, hypothetically, what if during those years before, while he was in Traffic Court, he also abused his position to solicit money from people with traffic violations? Should his pension for those years then be allowed to be untouchable?
This may have appeared in an earlier comment or blog but I could not find one.
Durham police have been arresting Duke students for drug possession when a package is delivered to the unsuspecting student's home and, in the N&O story linked below, at least one innocent student was terrorized in the process --
There may be more to the story (the house was a fraternity so someone may have ordered the drugs but the student arrested was clearly innocent).
In fairness to the Durham police, there are worse examples in other cities. Recently, police in Maryland pulled the same stunt on an innocent family (the husband being a mayor), killing the family's two dogs in the process and terrorizing the mayor, his mother-in-law and wife. See www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/07/mayor.warrant/
Pension payments generally are protected from debtholder claims. I suppose part of the rational is to prevent the state from having to support them when they are no longer able to earn a living.
President Richard Brodhead, Duke University is a signatory of the Amethyst Initiative. A group of College Presidents urging the lowering of the drinking age to 18.
If that had been the case - Crystal and Kim would never had been hired - since the whole team could have gone to a strip club together.
Is this Brodhead's way of making sure this doesn't happen again?
Here's a link to the Amethyst Initiative web site.
Actually, I agree wholeheartedly with Brodhead and the other presidents on this one. When I was in college, the drinking age was 18, but it was raised during the Reagan administration by Liddy Dole, who then was Secretary of Transportation.
Actually, the feds threatened to withhold highway money from states that did not raise the drinking age to 21, so they complied.
Americans have had a love affair with prohibition since the 19th Century. It was a staple of Progressivism (that's right, the main backers of Prohibition were Progressives), and after alcohol prohibition was repealed in 1933, the feds then turned to drugs.
The Reagan administration gave us the Drug War, and the Bush I administration upped the ante. So, we can see the failures of prohibitionism in front of us, but apparently police are enjoying their no-knock raids and shooting family pets too much to want to give it up.
And, without the drug war, where would our prison system be, poor thing? No longer could the government give us the nonsense that new prisons will "revitalize" rural areas.
So, this one time, Brodhead is making sense. A broken clock is right twice a day.
Is Murphy a Communist?
About Nifong's pension, I think there should be a change in the rules.
Under these circumstances, his pension---which he sought to increase with these false charges and his DA job secured---should be on the table.
It's at the heart of the case.
Nifong's wife has a high-paying job, if I'm not mistaken. He wouldn't starve.
He should be made to start from scratch with nothing remaining regarding his career in the law profession.
Some of you guys are going to hate me for this, but almost all men who marry little women in careers with salaries comparable to or exceeding theirs are the smarmy types like Nifong.
And their wives are most often the dried-up, checkbook-monitoring, bossy types like Cy Gurney.
I think men should be the primary breadwinners so that women can do the "women things".
"Justice for Mike Nifong" would demand a criminal trial and conviction followed by a lengthy stay in the "crowbar motel" (as Bill Anderson likes to call it.)
Mike Nifong's supporters are seeking mercy. But, in my opinion, Nifong has shown absolutely no remorse for his role in the lacrosse hoax and I hope that his pleas fall on deaf ears.
I agree with the lower drinking age, kids in college should have experimented with alcohol at home, with parents supervision, they have enough to deal with at college, that should be off the table. Parents are put in a position of conflict when they allow drinking at home before 21, yet, that is where is should start, so it can be supervised better. College is not where the early drinking should be done.
However, underage drinking is not what the lacrosse case was about, nor would the drinking age of 18 have prevented the lacrosse case.
Responsible officials acting responsibly would have prevented the lacrosse case, age doesn't always apply to that either.
This is one of the biggest problems with lowering the drinking age to eighteen. Eighteen year olds buy booze for thirteen year olds just like twentyone year olds buy booze for eithteen year old. We had this back in the early eighties and it was just horrible.
Drinking, underage or not, isn't the issue in the lacrosse case.
This little ritual takes place on campuses all over the country on a daily basis.
The lacrosse team just wanted to have a party.
It was the Spring and that's what university students do.
Hiring "exotic dancers" was for the fun of it and perhaps to add a decidedly "adult" patina to the evening with all the freedom that implies.
But they forgot they were in Durham.
In all their exuberance they forgot that almost the entire population of Trinity Park had it in for them.
And then "Precious" showed up.
The ("What's the big deal about some lacrosse players?")--Greg Childress, seems to be stepping outside the editorial arena into reporting.
Guess the H-S is experiencing bottom line issues:
Feelings mixed on drinking age issue
By Gregory Childress : The Herald-Sun
Aug 20, 2008
DURHAM -- Word that Duke University President Richard Brodhead agrees with leaders of 100 other universities in thinking that Congress should revisit the 1984 law that raised the minimum drinking age to 21 had not filtered down to parents and students moving in on East Campus Tuesday.
Brodhead has not come out in support of the return to 18 as the minimum legal drinking age, just that debate on the issue should be on the table.
Parents and students expressed strong opinions both for and against moving the legal drinking age back to 18, when asked about it on move-in day for Duke freshmen.
"I think there's some merit to that," said Jan Ramsey of Nashville, who was in Durham to help daughter Catherine move in. "It's unfortunate that it's an issue. I can see both sides."
Ramsey said a minimum drinking age of 21 makes it difficult for the university to manage student drinking because some students are old enough to drink while others are not.
But Catherine Ramsey was solidly behind lowering the drinking age. She said it would be practical because the law doesn't stop teens from getting alcohol.
"I'm kind of for it," Catherine Ramsey said. "People who want to get it [alcohol], can," she said.
Catherine Ramsey also said her mother's generation managed to survive even though the drinking age was 18 when they were in college.
After that gentle reminder, Jan Ramsey seemed to move closer to her daughter's position.
"They're adults in almost every other way," she said. "I know 50-year-olds who don't make good choices."
David Arias of Virginia Beach said whether an 18-year-old is mature enough to drink alcohol depends on the individual. But Arias, who was helping his daughter Megan move in to her dorm, said he'd rather see the minimum drinking age remain 21 to protect young adults who are unable to make good decisions while drinking.
"I know the things kids were doing when I was in college," Arias said. "It's scary stuff."
Brodhead, in signing on to the Amethyst Initiative supported by so many other campus leaders, stopped short of calling on Congress to roll back the drinking age to 18. But the Amethyst Initiative reported him as saying the present law "is not an effective solution to the problem" and "has not prevented alcohol from being available, and drinking is widespread at all American colleges, and at younger ages as well."
In addition, Brodhead said the current law "pushes drinking into hiding, heightening its risks, including risks from drunken driving, and it prevents us from addressing drinking with students as an issue of responsible choice."
The Amethyst Initiative was organized by John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College, who also says the current law isn't working. His efforts to lower the drinking age have been criticized by such groups as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, who argue that lowering the drinking age would lead to an increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths.
This appears to be a letter from our Bill Anderson.
Notice that he doesn't sign his name with a "Dr."....or a "PhD" at the end like most overblown dopes try to do.
Columnist was eloquent on sexual relationships
Thanks to The Herald-Sun for running the recent column by Kylie Harrell on the "hookup" culture at Duke University and other college campuses, and the administration's seeming open acceptance of it. While her column will generate protests from the "usual suspects" who believe that this culture of anonymous and near-anonymous sexual relations represents a great step forward in human history, Harrell has exposed this lie for what it is.
No doubt, the attacks on Harrell will be political in nature. Critics will call her "right-wing" and the like, yet they will miss the point entirely. She has not politicized sex; indeed, she has written eloquently about the dangers of "politically-correct" sex, with its emphasis on avoiding AIDS, STDs, and unwanted pregnancies by emphasizing that young people at Duke and elsewhere (and the adults who supposedly are supervising and advising them) have lost sight of the larger issue of human relationships, as well as those things that make us distinctly human, as separate from the rest of the animal kingdom.
WILLIAM L. ANDERSON
August 20, 2008
I would agree that lowering the drinking age only makes sense. Ask any college freshman - part of the allure of college is the ability to get liquor with little or no legal consequence. I would go one step further and lower the drinking age of all alcohol to age 18. If one is old enough to give one's life in combat, one should be old enough to walk into a bar and order a drink. Our bifurcated laws on adulthood are ridiculous on the face of it. We give eighteen year olds the vote, enable them to serve in combat and they have the right, in college, to keep their grades private - not open to the scrutiny of the parents who are footing the bill. Yet, we tell them that they are too young to drink. In most states they cannot rent an automobile as well if for some reason their auto is damaged in a wreck or needs repair work that necessitates an overnight stay in the shop.
One is either an adult, or they are not. It is time that the laws of this country are consistent on the subject.
I would also agree that one's first "experimentation" with alcohol is best done within the home in a controlled environment. Of course, we would be much better off if we adopted the European attitude on alcohol. When children are brought up to see it as part of the meal, rather than something one does just to get a buzz or as something that is illicit, the result is young adults who have a healthy attitude and respect for alcohol. I have never been able to understand the Puritan attitude that exists in this country. My siblings and I were brought up with the ability to have wine at dinner on special occasions and as we entered ourr teen years we were allowed to drink a beer if we desired (for me, the smell and taste of it were sickening and so I never imbibed). Once we reached college age, mixed drinks and hard liquor were added as an option. We have done the same with our own children. Deos that mean that they have never imbibed too much at college? Hardly. But I know from their discussions both with their father and I and the snippets of conversations between their friends, that they have a responsible attitude - always in control of themselves and the situation around them; never consuming any alcohol without also eating; and finally a resoluteness about never stepping into a car with anyone who has even had as much as a sip and making certain that anyone that they are with does not either. What the older two have also said is that they quickly realized that academic success and drinking much do not go hand in hand. Again, as in all things, it boils down to parents setting boundaries and engaging thir children in discussions as well as setting an example. My guess is that if parents were more parental in their duties rather than trying to be friends with their children, we would have a lot fewer problems in this world.
The more I think about, the more I realize that Victoria Peterson is correct: Mike Nifong has not received justice. Indeed, he has been able to get off much too easily for what he did.
If Nifong had received justice, he would be sitting in prison right now for at least a decade, along with some other criminal enablers of this frame. So, here's hoping that sooner or later Nifong receives the justice he deserves.
I agree with lowering the drinking age (back) to 18. Eighteen to twenty year olds are adults. They might not be the most experienced or the wisest adults, but they are legally adults, and I am surprized that they have not risen up in protest at such a blatant infringement of their rights.
I have read many of the comments posted on KC's blog. I have emailed at least one very impressive writer and been honored with a reply. I often go to Debra's blog site and the blog site of others. I bought four of KC's books and went to Duke to hear one of his many live discussions of the case. Having said this, I want to remind all that at the core of this horrible fiasco was not only Mike Nifong, but also a lynch mob mentality of people who were supposed to be seekers after the truth.
"It's not about the truth anymore." speaks volumbes to a lynch mob mentality on the part of many academics at Duke . . . whether reflected by their intimidated passive state and unresponsive behavior or the agressive and overtly racist and gender driven behavior of the infamous Group of 88. These members of a so-called enlightened and privileged group of academicians was, in the face of their civic and professional responsibility, horrible. In the end, they could manage only to be bigots who were unable to tolerate a search for the truth . . . in the end, they showed themselves to be much the same stuff as the street rabble they encouraged to misbehave and to do their own dirty work for them . . . their behavior is frightening and much less understandable than similar behavior by the NAACP. As for all of us, a long ago comic strip called Pogo said it best, "We have met the enemy and it is us." or said words to that effect.
Walt Kelly said:
"We have met the enemy and he is us."
But that was for littering.
At 18 years of age:
Old enough to be drafted into the military (it's coming again, I know it, you know it, Obama knows, it McCan knows it.)
Old enough to die on the battlefield.
Old enough to vote.
Old enough to be tried as an adult in a court of law.
Old enough to drink.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Spotted in Durham
(Wherever you are...)
I know that you must show up here and on all the other sites just to check out the latest, even though you don't post.
Some time ago, you mentioned to someone that you were a dentist.
It's difficult to believe given your keen sense of humor.
Yesterday I spent some time with a dentist after having chipped a lower molar while eating a Diva salad last week.
This one had been reinforced exactly a year ago and certainly should not have been compromised so soon.
When talking with this dentist I mentioned that he had fixed a tiny chip on this tooth already---issuing the Diva a surprisingly large fee for such a tiny problem.
I mentioned that I expected this to last YEARS...not just ONE YEAR.
Naturally, he glossed over everything explaining that nothing is guaranteed and that I will just have to get a crown for that molar.
Needless to say, I was less that pleased with his attitude, but decided to handle it with a humorous anecdote....which, is a completely true---and scary !!!---story.
I explained to him that almost every dentist who has ever had his paws on the Diva pearls through the years has been met with his demise....or has come upon very bad karma.
Especially the ones who were rude.
I went down the list for him:
---A childhood dentist who squeezed the tiny Diva arm and made a bruise on it because she was screaming and crying, later fell over with a massive coronary.
---The one I had at nineteen led a double life. He was gay, yet chose to marry a woman. They later divorced.
One night he was driving his BMW with the sun roof open. He had a fatal crash and was almost decapitated as he went through the open sun roof.
---Several years later, the next dentist was at home alone and choked to death while eating dinner.
---Still years later, the next dentist who has always been an avid cyclist had an almost fatal collision with a car. He was close to death and had to have months of invasive surgeries to save his life.
So.....yesterday I explained to this current Diva dentist that I really hope he's not superstitious as well as unreasonable since dentists have not had a smooth road when they cross the Diva.
You should have seen his face...although we both laughed.
He assured me that he's not superstitious.
However, I got a call from him hours later saying that he was referring me to another dentist who is the very best for what I need and that he even has his own dental lab. "He will be able to deliver the level of aesthetics you require."
So Gregory, I know you will get kick out of this little story. "The Diva does the dental lab."
An interesting March 2002 Business Week Q&A with Jamie Gorelick who was then Vice Chairman of FNMA.
Regardless of ones opinion of Ms. Gorelick's involvement with the 9/11 commission and/or questionable stock bonus compensation while at FNMA, it is clear based upon FNMA long-term results that one should question her leadership.
Q&A with Fannie Mae's Jamie Gorelick
"...says Fannie and Freddie are "managed safely"..."
"...We believe we are managed safely..."
"... we carefully monitor potential areas of credit loss..."
"...we are a naturally hedged business..."
"...the demographics are very strong for increasing rates of home ownership and increasing housing prices..."
"...So it's a good market for people refinancing to take cash out. It's a good market for people to continue to buy homes, and we expect new and existing home sales to decline very slightly...."
"...We are very well protected against credit losses..."
FNMA since 2003 (Gorelick served from '97-'03) has seen a catastrophic drop in value from around $70 per share to +/- $4 today. That's a loss in market capitalization of between $70 and $75 billion. Over 13% of their shares are currently sold short.
Fannie Mae five-year stock chart:
FNM 5-year stock chart
It continues to shock me that Duke has Steel, Brodhead and now Jamie Gorelick deciding their future.
This is a kind of dead week.
Very quiet before the storm.
A new school year to begin.
The political conventions back-to-back.
This from Maureen is simply evil.
" . . . or words to that effect." Yes, it is hard to imagine Walt Kelly using those words in metaphor to mean the littering of our prisons with innocent people because a privileged few want to advance their own private agendas. "We have met the enemy . ... " was often used during the Viet Nam era to mean more than littering. The inability of Duke to deal with its dishonest faculty is appalling.
This slanted Questionnaire, as a school assignment submitted for grading, would deserve a laughable “F.” However, as an instrument to influence public opinion, submitted to selected, mainly partisan, Questionees, it is positively evil.
A principal slanted aspect is its treatment of the subject of withholding under the N.C. Open File Discovery Rule :
Q: “Do you believe that it is possible that the reasons Mr. Nifong may have withheld the multiple male DNA evidence from the defense are because it had no relevant value to the defense, and he may have wanted to spare the accuser from unnecessary shame and embarrassment?”
This North Carolina rule deals with evidence in the Prosecutors File; it is not limited by legal conclusions as to whether such evidence is “inculpatory,” or “exculpatory,”; the question is whether it is in the file.
The DNA evidence in the Prosecutor’s File in this dispute goes, among other things, to the credibility of Magnum, and therefore to the right of the defendants to evidence that can call her credibility into question i.e. impeach her. The credibility of a witness is ALWAYS RELEVANT in a legal dispute.
The multiple male DNA evidence in this case has great relevant value to the defense; it is damning to Magnum’s credibility.
The Questionnaire authors’ amateurish arguments relating to “exculpatory” are red-herrings.
Justice for Mike Nifong would consist of 5-10 years in the big house. He was making every attempt to completely destroy the lives of three UTTERLY INNOCENT young men for his own self-promotion! That is amoral, immoral and utterly despicable behavior and should have been punished beyond the limits of the law!
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