Fiscal Policy and the Challenging Economic Environment

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In the face of the increasingly alarming global economic crisis, the Philippine government, as the institutional embodiment of the sovereign authority of the Filipino people, is challenged to fulfill its constitutional mandate to protect the general welfare.

Debates over what government must do to save the economy are happening almost everywhere, from public offices and school classrooms to wet markets and barber shops. It is argued that it is through its fiscal administrative power that government attempts to resuscitate the dying economy.

Public fiscal administration generally refers to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies and decisions on taxation and revenue administration; resource allocation, budgeting and public expenditure; public borrowings and debt management; and accounting and auditing (Briones 1983: 2).

The hope of seeing real economic progress seems to be dependent on the success of the whole fiscal policy process. Fiscal policy derives its meaning and direction from the people's aspirations and goals which are said to be embodied in the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan.

"The basic task of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan … is to fight poverty and build prosperity for the greatest number of the Filipino people. We must open up economic opportunities, maintain socio-political stability, and promote good stewardship-all to ensure a better quality of life for all our citizens. We will focus on strategic measures and activities that will spur economic growth and create jobs. This can only be done with a common purpose to put our economic house back in working order "(Arroyo 2004 ).

But the big question is: how does government carry out its fiscal administrative function to really cushion the Filipinos from the adverse effects of the onrushing global financial crisis?

The Fiscal Policy as a Political Process

Lying at the heart of public fiscal administration are the fiscal policies shaped by the socio-economic and political interaction of internal and external policy environment. Internal policy environment includes the decision-making agencies of government such as Congress, the Office of the President and its support agencies, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Finance, and the Commission on Audit, among others. Internal environment also includes the private sector, interest groups, non-government organizations and people's organizations in the society.

The external policy environment, on the other hand, encompasses foreign interest groups composed of international financial institutions like the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Asian Development Bank, among others. Moreover, external policy environment includes the international agreements and economic cooperation such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), World Trade Organization (WTO), Asia and the Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and institutions that extend Official Development Assistance (ODA), among others (Cuaresma 1996: 46).

Professor Leonor Briones of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance claims that "these foreign interest groups prefer to maintain a low profile in local fiscal politics. They do not have to come out in the open anyway-the WB-IMF has regular consultations with Philippine officials due to the enormity of the Philippine public debt; the MNC's [multinational corporations] are represented by local dummies, and the foreign creditors by their Filipino proxies. In the open political contest, these foreign interest groups express their preferences by financially supporting their politicians. Where the local technocrats and bureaucrats are more significant in fiscal policy administration, they attempt to influence their nomination and appointment. " (Briones 1983: 97)

This only means that the financial health of the country is at the mercy of the international financial creditors and policy bodies that issue our fiscal prescription. While it is often argued by scholars that the field of public administration must not be political in its very nature, fiscal administration as its sub-field is not free from political maneuvering as it is operating within the political system.

From the scholarly view of Professor Briones, fiscal policy has four major functions: (1) the allocation function, (2) the distribution function, (3) the stabilization function, and (4) the development function.

The major fiscal instrument in the allocation function of fiscal policy is the national budget. In general, a national budget is the financial plan of the government for a given fiscal year, which shows what its resources are, and how they will be generated and used over the fiscal period. The budget is the government's key instrument for promoting its socio-economic objectives. The government budget also refers to the income, expenditures and sources of borrowings of the national government that are used to achieve national objectives, strategies and programs.

In developing countries like the Philippines, gaps between the rich and the poor are insurmountable. Thus, distribution of income and wealth is a serious problem. The distribution function might have serious implications for tax and expenditure policies. Recently, a report came out saying that the Department of Finance (DOF) planned to jack up the sales tax or value added tax (VAT) to 15 percent from the current level of 12 percent to raise much-needed revenue to plug the country's ballooning budget deficit which hit a record P298.5 billion last year (Agcaoili 2010).

The report makes the fiscal debates even more heated as the issue of stability, another function of fiscal policy, is now the subject of concern. Often, government resorts to increasing taxes to have the means of public spending or avoid budget deficit. But it is known to many the myriad tradeoffs it can create.

People often hear in the news the fiscal plans created by government all in the name of "development," another function of fiscal policy. Perhaps, this word is the most overused, if not abused, word in the political arena.

Development is multi-faceted. The word itself is nice to the ear. But it is a "very expensive commodity" in the words of Professor Briones. In order to translate development into reality, financing is, of course, needed. In harmony with other measures, fiscal policies are expected to generate resources in order to finance development activities (Briones 1983: 55). In loan-dependent countries like the Philippines, generating resources means borrowing more and paying even more.

Over one third of our national budget goes to debt servicing. With the widening fiscal deficit, the national government's debt now amounts to P4.42 trillion, accounting for more than half of its GDP and more than three times the government revenues if creditors were to call the debts in. The Philippines relies heavily on domestic and foreign borrowings to bridge its fiscal gap, which is expected to hit a record P325 billion this year (abs-cbnNEWScom).

The Challenging Economic Environment

Borrow more. Tax more. Pay more. It is a vicious cycle. It is without a doubt that the Philippines, the then mighty tiger in Asia, has transformed into a desperate pussycat roared by the giant financial institutions to which we are heavily indebted. The Filipino people become victims of immoral and debilitating conditionalities imposed by the IMF and the international financial oligarchy.

The economic situation becomes even more difficult as the world is facing what many economists describe as the worst economic crisis in history. The credit crisis in the US has accelerated the rate of financial meltdown all over the world, making the international lending institutions more eager than ever to force heavily indebted countries like the Philippines to extract a pound of flesh from their people. The national government's total indebtedness has ballooned as a result of sudden and sharp currency depreciation during this critical time of global economic uncertainties.

In response to minimizing the impact of the global economic downturn, the Philippine government embarks on measures aimed at stimulating positive performance in all sectors of society. Former Socioeconomic Sec. Ralph G. Recto, for example, proposed stimulus package intended to keep the economy afloat. As a consequence, Economic Resiliency Plan (ERP) was put in place to supposedly manage to sustain economic growth by fiscal policy adjustments alongside the implementation of pump-priming programs and vital projects and activities.

The former NEDA Chief simply argues that the government intends to battle the present crisis by increasing spending through what he calls stimulus package-a fiscal and monetary strategy that is very Keynesian in nature. The ERP basically entails "ensuring resources through better revenue collection; enhancement of cash liquidity, access to credit and low interest rates; and more effective spending. It seeks to ensure stable growth, save and create jobs, provide assistance to the most vulnerable sectors, ensure low and stable prices, and improve competitiveness in preparation for the global economic rebound "(Recto 2009).

This stimulus package, however, is a mere pain reliever. It does not cure the cancer, which is the crisis itself. A major surgery operation, therefore, is needed.

Think out of the Box: A Fiscal Strategy for the General welfare

"There's life after the IMF."

These are the words of then President Nestor Kirchner of Argentina when he defied the predatory financial institutions that imposed belt-tightening measures on his people.

The newly elected Philippine President Noynoy Aquino must do the same. He must have the courage to disassociate himself from the deceptive legacy of "honor all debts" policy of his mother. The traditional government action plan for debt management such as bond exchanges, maximizing the use of ODA, guarantees for GOCCs, and more borrowings, will not create lasting economic growth.

The Philippines, as an independent nation, with all dignity and courage, must therefore declare a moratorium on foreign debt payments. This will allow our country enough time to rebuild and expand our productive physical economy.

Through this fiscal strategy, the country can channel huge amount of its annual budget, instead to debt servicing, towards effective educational system, efficient healthcare system, and sustainable scientific research centers focused on food production, health maintenance, and industry. Consequently, this will encourage real investment into agro-industrial and manufacturing sectors and ensure a genuine path towards development.

To seriously participate in the global effort to save the world's economy, the Philippine government should join the growing worldwide call for a new financial system of fixed exchange rates. This new financial system is said to put an end to the financial tsunami hitting practically all nations in the world today. Proposals are made by the Governments of Italy, Argentina, Malaysia and a growing number of countries, institutions, statesmen and patriots aiming at changing the global financial structure based on the tradition of the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1945 (Philippine LaRouche Society 2004)

The issue of fiscal policy amid global crisis is indeed a very complex and thought-provoking issue. The crisis, which we now face as a nation, requires intelligent understanding of the problem and courageous act to do what is right for the benefit of the present and future Filipino generations.

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Source by Marlou Mumar

The Dilemma of Finding an Alternative: Sine Die and Status Quo

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The theory of alternative option emanates from failure of the existing practice and is a popular approach in all walks of life. The alternative option leads to changes, development and continuity. But finding the alternative is not an easy thing because the alternative has to be better than the previous failed one. The option is agreed to only when its viability is tested as better, if not the best. The universe is searching for option in every spectrum of life; broken homes, dilapidated administration, degraded environment, deplete resources and so on. The universal dilemma is the viable becoming unviable in due course of time. In other words, even if the option is viable, it becomes enviable and stays on Sine Die till another option is found again. Until then, the Status Quo is to be maintained.

In a poorly governed state, the entire state machinery and various factions of political party unanimously denounced its Chief Minister for bleeding the state near to death out of extreme corruption and nepotism. The demand for change of leadership for nearly a year by all political parties did not receive response from the high command at the centre. Some believed that the corrupt Chief Minister took his booty and filled the coffer of the center to urge for status quo while some rationalized that the centre deferred the decision Sine Die in the absence of an alternative leadership. The acceptable answer is that the Sine Die decision making process led to a Status Quo because there was no alternative leader. It was felt that appointing another leader would lead to the same unviable position and hence helping maintain the Status Quo would also mean enriching the central coffer. The Chief Minister was allowed to fill the central coffer because there was no one to replace him.

In the same fashion, many felt that the Congress rule government in India derailed governance internally and externally, promotes corruption and nepotism and the Prime Minister is a mere puppet. The criticism fades away in the absence of an alternative viable group to win the people. The Status Quo is a compulsion and will continue Sine Die until another viable group challenges the Status Quo.

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Source by Margaret TC Gangte

The Seven Blunders Of the World, and How We Are Teaching Them to Our Children

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Recently a colleague sent me a short list titled The Seven Blunders of the World. The list was attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, who was supposed to have scribbled them in a note to his grandson shortly before his assassination in 1948.

Regardless of the source, this list is very profound and provides a lot of food for thought. The list of blunders is:

1. Wealth without work.

2. Pleasure without conscience.

3. Knowledge without character.

4. Commerce without morality.

5. Science without humanity.

6. Worship without sacrifice.

7. Politics without principle.

The application of this list is easily understood when applied to our society around us, but it also can give us some insights into what teens who are struggling are learning from parents, schools and other adults. My question is, "Is this what we are teaching our children?" Many of these blunders can explain the problems these teens are having. For example:

1. Wealth without work. For some time, young people have been referred to as the "entitled" generation. That is, many of them receive almost everything they want without any effort on their part. Many parents (and our society) seem so focused on providing everything they can for their children, and protecting them from anything that may make them feel bad, that children are deprived of learning how to handle failure or overcoming challenges. Thus, in a very real sense, these children's experience is "Wealth without work" and are unprepared for adulthood.

2. Pleasure without conscience. The mantra made popular in the 1960s, "If it feels good, do it!" seems to have become institutionalized in our society, especially among the young. Having fun, feeling good right now and the Peter Pan attitude of never having to grow up, is a common attitude despite the longer term consequences. Movies and popular sitcoms usually glorify what is fun, glossing over unpleasant consequences like unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, inability to get a job or the harm from shallow relationships. News programs at times touches on these consequences, but those consequences are rarely shown to relate to earlier irresponsibility. If having fun harms or disappoints others, the frequent attitude by many young people is "That's their problem and has nothing to do with me!" Too many young people are learning this stunted lesson that immediate pleasure is the only value. Schools perpetuate this through valuing only high scores on tests and ignoring any character implications of how the high scores are obtained.

3. Knowledge without character. The expressed goal by many educators and politicians is for every person to have a college degree. We have a system of higher education with a quality that attracts students from all over the world. The knowledge passed on in our Colleges has helped fuel an amazing growth in scientific knowledge and standard of living. But, except for adding a few courses in ethics in recent years, it seems we are teaching knowledge by itself without much consideration about the purpose of obtaining all that knowledge except for the self satisfying idea of ​​"getting a better job." The lesson to our students is that knowledge by itself is what is important and applying character values ​​is of little importance.

4. Commerce without morality. "Whatever it takes!" is a legitimate motivator. However, this slogan is all too often taken to mean there are no boundaries. As an example, the recent recession was cooked up in Washington DC and Wall Street providing a role model to young people that success is obtained by misrepresentation, spin, hiding the real agenda and empty promises. Often the person who tries to provide a legitimate valuable service or product, if successful, is suspected of doing something underhanded to achieve success. The person with the most money, no matter how obtained, is glorified, teaching young people that the only consideration is acquiring lots of money, and adding morality to business is for suckers. In schools, the person who has the highest test scores is glorified, and little consideration is made of how he / she got those scores.

5. Science without humanity. It seems like we almost worship science. In a dispute, if someone can make the claim that their perspective is "scientific," their argument almost always carries the day. Science is usually seen as the engine of progress, and what follows from that is if scientists are capable of doing something, then they should simply do it. Any other considerations, like if a course of action is humane, tends to get lost. The arguments and decisions as to whether we should do something that is scientifically possible tends to be passed on to legislative bodies, where politics, vote counting and political considerations tend to carry the day. What we are teaching our children is that the main question is if we can do it, rather than if we should. It goes even further. On some issues we have so much faith in the ability of scientists to accomplish what we want, we tend to adopt governmental policies on the faith that scientists will progress at the speed we want, as if they can do miracles. Schools tend to perpetuate both these concepts, by curricula emphasizing knowledge without serious concern on ethical issues, and teaching to political visions without questioning their feasibility.

6. Worship without sacrifice. Worship is usually spoke of in religious or spiritual terms, and teaches that we should orient our lives to that faith / belief. This automatically assumes a sacrifice of some of our lives to that belief. However, many people have got into the habit of professing a religious belief, but comfortably reserving that for Sunday mornings, not letting it interfere with the rest of our lives. What we teach our children is that religious worship is not all that important and not worth sacrificing our ambitions or comforts.

7. Politics without principle. Can an honest person survive in politics? Most thoughtful people who watch politics fairly closely would be doubtful. We see people of modest means get elected, and by the time their political career is over are millionaires. We see people accused of wrong-doing and we do not know if the accused or accuser are most at fault. We hear of voter fraud, and of secret unsavory deals made in our legislative bodies. Millions of people are outraged in general at our political process, but confused as to who is at fault. So many wind up simply blaming all politicians. Or, others buy into somebody's agenda as to who to blame, thus perpetuating the problem. How can our children see all this and believe there are very many politicians, and their supporters, who are acting on principle?

There is little any one of us can do to change these attitudes in society, but we can influence what schools are teaching, and maybe even counter some of these blunders. There are many private emotional growth or therapeutic boarding schools I work with that take character education seriously. Actually, one of the most therapeutic elements successful schools adopt is to teach character as a healing influence. That is, the best way to help a struggling teen is to teach the opposite of these blunders by how the teachers and other staff act, as well as by words. There is no good reason our public schools can not do this also. Some are, and that is one of the important reasons they are successful.

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Source by Lon W Woodbury

Global Warming Hyperbole

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They call Global Warming skeptics "anti-science." The term is a misnomer, however, because the skeptics are not actually against science, they are merely skeptical of the claims of its believers. Here are some reasons for their skepticism:

• Apocalyptic forecasts. Future climate forecasts for virtually every region in the world tend to be apocalyptic in nature. If you live in a dry area, it will only get drier. Areas of tremendous precipitation will only get rainier. More flooding will inundate areas prone to flooding; more heavy winter snowfalls will blanket areas traditionally hit with heavy winter snowfalls. Even in the short-term, nothing ever improves. You might assume that growing seasons in Siberia or Canada might lengthen due to warming, and they might receive bountiful harvests for a few decades. Perhaps the Sahara Desert will receive more rain and transform into a more hospitable savannah. Such changes are never predicted. Instead, we hear nothing but catastrophic scenarios. In my opinion, this is intentionally designed to frighten the public into action. It is understandable for politicians to engage in such hyperbole since most politicians tend to stretch or exaggerate the truth but scientists should be above spewing pseudoscience.

• Scientific neutrality. Scientists claim to be neutral, speak only the truth, and are above personal politics. Ironically, this can not be the case, since I have heard scientists who accept Climate Change label scientists who question Climate Change as dishonest or tools of Big Oil or Big Tobacco (yes, Big Tobacco! They just can not kill enough children with their cigarettes, so now they want to destroy the entire planet!). Skeptics sometimes point to a late snowstorm or cold spell as evidence against Global Warming. Climatologists, meteorologists, and other scientists denounce such evidence, explaining that one atypical storm or weather event does not disprove a climate theory. They are correct. Unusual local or regional weather incidents and climate are not necessarily connected. In addition, Climate Change will transpire over decades, and may not be observable over a season, a year, or even several years. However, when defenders of Climate Change use that very same storm as evidence to confirm their scientific beliefs, the scientific community is eerily silent. An impartial and honest scientist would be as quick to denounce the latter claim as well as the former. However, their silence, along with the apocalyptic scenarios mentioned above, demonstrates that many scientists are as inconsistent and biased as the skeptical scientists and non-scientists they condemn.

• Climate Change is responsible for everything. Whether it is Tropical Storm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, or a brutal winter blizzard, all are attributed to Climate Change. A cool day in the middle of summer? A warm day in the middle of winter? Sleet? Wind? Freezing rain? There is no need to accept unseasonable weather, blame God, or even indict "Mother Earth", because Climate Change is the real perpetrator. Some also attribute tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic activity to Climate Change. Apparently, none of these "natural events" ever occurred before man-induced (anthropogenic) Climate Change. Incidentally, this all-encompassing culpability is the reason they altered the name from Global Warming to Climate Change. It allows its promoters to blame any "act of God", unwelcome weather, or abnormally cold weather on man's activities.

• Storm damage and lost lives. Every blizzard, hurricane, or major storm takes a tragic toll on human life. Everyone grieves for the loss of life, and we should continue to do all we can to minimize these seemingly senseless deaths. However, all claims that storms are becoming costlier and deadlier is deceptive. Real estate in general is worth more today than it was decades ago. Buildings and structures also cost more, and construction often takes place in precarious areas, such as flood zones, near earthquake fault lines, or even below sea level near the ocean. In addition, population has increased significantly in a very short time. In the last fifty years, the US alone gained over 120 million more people; Canada and Australia's population has virtually doubled; the UK added nearly 10 million people; China and India's populations have swelled by over 600 million each; and the world has added over 4.5 billion MORE people. Any large storm will impose larger monetary damages and tragically take more lives, simply because the cost of real estate has increased and the world's population has grown.

• Carbon footprint. It is the epitome of hypocrisy when the wealthy fly private jets to global warming conferences, eco-conscious celebrities are chauffeured in gas-guzzling limousines to movie openings and award ceremonies, and performing artists fly and truckload staff and equipment from city to city on a worldwide tour, all the while preaching ecological platitudes during their performances. Perhaps when they heat, cool, and light their mansions with genuine renewable energy sources, and walk, ride bikes, or at least carpool to their destinations, skeptics will begin to believe. Whatever happened to leading by example? Imagine a rally to save a local park from development. Celebrities, politicians, and other speakers lament what would be the loss of pristine beauty. They call for the community to come together and do whatever it takes to save the park. After the rally ends, paper bags, empty water bottles, plastic bags, flyers, and other assorted debris litter the park. Would anyone really believe that the speakers and their supporters were serious? And why is it acceptable to exclude the rich and famous from practicing what they preach, simply by virtue of their position?

• Carbon Credits. This brings us to carbon credits. Paying a company to invest in green energy might be a sound investment; using that investment as an excuse to continue a carbon-profligate lifestyle is duplicitous. Many Climate Change leaders claim to be "carbon neutral" simply because they purchased carbon credits. The easiest way to see if this works is by asking a simple question. What if everyone bought carbon credits, technically became carbon neutral, but continued to live in disregard to their lifestyle? Clearly, this would accomplish very little in fighting Climate Change. We do not possess the technology for the entire world or even entire nations to become carbon neutral. Carbon credits are a way for very rich people to "buy" their way out of altering their lifestyles. This gives the impression of real sacrifice for the cause, and allows them to continue to denounce those who remain skeptical of Climate Change. During the American Civil War, the wealthy avoided fighting in the battles by paying a fee or finding a substitute. They may have contributed to the cause but everyone knows they did not participate in the actual fighting.

• Kyoto Treaty. During the Clinton Administration, the Kyoto Treaty failed to secure even a single vote in the US Senate. Among its many proposals, the Kyoto Protocol attempted to set worldwide standard carbon emissions. Not even "environmental senators" voted for it. Nearly all global greenhouse emission proposals exclude China (the largest "carbon polluter" country) and India, the two most populous countries in the world. The argument against their inclusion is primarily economics. Emission cuts will cripple their economies, leading to an increase in poverty. If this is true for China and India's economies, it is also true for other countries as well. In addition, proponents argue that those two countries, and Third World or Developing countries, should be exempted, because they did not cause the problem. Culpability lies with the Western industrial countries. Even if this is true, exempting countries from emissions only worsens the problem, since they will continue to emit greenhouse gasses. Is the goal to assuage our Western guilt or save the planet?

• Satellite evidence. Large storms recorded from weather satellites are visually impressive. Experts point to video of huge storms and claim that their enormous size reflects the impact of Climate Change. They make a similar argument with Arctic sea ice. Through satellites, we can now accurately measure the summer meltback of ice each year, and science can confirm that the polar ice cap has shrunk in the past few decades. However, while these observations might indicate a change in climate, according to NASA, the first successful Geosynchronous Satellite was launched in 1964. Polar satellites did not exist until the 1970s. We simply do not possess any satellite data before that time. Thus, from a climate perspective, most of this scientific information and observation, while valid, is very recent.

• Al Gore. It certainly does not help a scientific movement when the person most associated with that undertaking is a politician. No doubt, people hold different opinions about the politics and personality of former Vice President Al Gore. But what is not debatable is that he possesses no scientific training. I would also argue that he does not understand scientific argument or method, and it is unparalleled chutzpah when he questions the scientific expertise of those who disagree with him. If having a former politician like Al Gore as the face of fighting Climate Change does not bother you, then imagine that face is Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, John Howard, Stephen Harper, or even Sarah Palin.

• Transfer of Wealth. It also does not help the cause of Climate Change when there is official discussion at the international level about the transfer of wealth from the wealthy countries to the poorer countries. Remember, the stated objective of Climate Change fighters is to lower carbon emissions worldwide. That goal is sensible and desirable. However, transferring money from one group to another is social engineering, and once again an attempt to placate Western guilt. It certainly has little to do with lowering world carbon emissions.

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Source by Jim Schicatano

How to Enslave the Human Race

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Your primary point of address is to gain control of the energy of the civilization.

The means by which human being exchange with one another, the money system itself, comprises the energy of a culture. You must therefore set up banking cartels that take from government the role of creating and issuing money. Once you are able to create and issue the money supply, issue it as interest-bearing debt.

Having achieved that, you will find yourself the master of all economic activity, senior to government and able to control events on the planet simply by through the puppet strings of debt, flowing money to those things that suit your purposes and denying money to those human activities inimical to your goal of enslavement.

To make sure nobody twigs what you are doing, hide your basically simple scam behind a smoke screen of complexity and call this baffling complexity "economics." Now you're all set.

Use your control of money to nurture and promote operations that further consolidate your power. Important among these are:

Facilitate the political careers of your proxies in government and hinder the careers of anyone who genuinely seeks to further the cause of human freedom. You do NOT want well-intentioned, capable politicians who seek to serve the interests of their people in any position where they can influence anything. This may give politics a bad name but so what? If politics has a bad name it will be shunned by men of good will and you do not want men of good will to embrace it or meddle in it in any case.

Facilitate the promotion, instigation and carrying out of warfare. Keep human beings fighting one another, keep them afraid of one another, keep them desperate and confused. While thus kept busy slaughtering one another, they will be unable to see and target their true enemy: YOU. This has the added advantage that you can extend limitless loans to desperate governments embroiled in war and thus make a packet on the interest.

Keep human beings and their various groups and endeavours in debt and make sure they never get out of debt. Make sure that debt levels keep on increasing. The more universal the debt, the greater your influence.

Extend your influence through the media. Use the media to ensure that human beings never get information that makes sufficient sense that they can resolve problems. Make human beings believe thereby that problems can not be solved. At the same time, disseminate "information" that will lead them to conclusions that suit your purpose, however daft and however inimical to their own long term survival. Their long term survival is unimportant. Keep them misinformed, afraid and bewildered.

Use your money power, your control of government and your control of the lines of information to nurture the growth of unworkable psychotherapies that actually reduce the ability of human beings to function and which render human beings apathetic and malleable. At every opportunity make sure human beings do not amount to anything or become more able. Dress all this up in the guise of "help" and "healing." Ideal for your purpose is psychiatry, so ensure it is nicely dressed up as "science." Use your political proxies to pass laws that extend its power.

Use this influence to further the cause of drugging as the best and most efficient way to render a population dull and incapable. The importance of drugging everybody you can on any pretext you can dream up can not be overstated.

Make sure that at the same time any workable methods that do arise which make human beings better, more alert, more well and so forth are crushed. Such movements, if allowed to take hold, will jeopardize your whole operation. Be afraid of them.

Use your political proxies and psychiatry to infiltrate and subvert the education system. Make sure thereby that human beings are rendered incapable of reason and the ability to think for themselves. Limited literacy is your goal. You do not want free minds and free minds should be neutralized at every opportunity. Such people make very poor slaves.

Create a climate of confusion. A bewildered or upset human being is grist to your mill.

Given the constraints of distorted economics, misinformation, poor education, drugging, the predominance of debilitating "psychotherapies," and control of the machinery of government, you will have your slave planet, to do with as you will.

The only problem you will encounter then is the fact that no civilization can run when the minds of its individuals are dulled and crippled.

The whole exercise therefore will enable you only to inherit ruins, smoking rubble and corpses.

This may, however, be perfectly acceptable to you if your goal is to destroy the human race.

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Source by Kieron Mcfadden

Swift's Criticism of Society in "A Modest Proposal"

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Anglo-Irish writer Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" (anonymously published in 1729) is a powerful political satire about the economic and social conditions of the poor in Ireland under British rule. The essay is rich with references to political events in England and Ireland in the 18th century. Swift takes 'irony' as the best weapon to attack on all kinds of vice and injustice prevailing in the society. Now we will see how Swift criticizes the society in his essay.

Before, entering into our discussion we are to know something the miserable condition of that Ireland. Actually the misfortune of Ireland begins when, in 1541, the Irish recognizes England's Henry viii, a Protestant, as king of Ireland. The protestant landlords acquire almost ten percent of estates. Meanwhile, a law is enacted limiting the rights of Irish to hold government office, purchase, real estate and get education. Consequently, many of Irish flee away and those who remain live in poverty disease and starvation.

The essayist, at the very beginning of the essay, states the deplorable economic condition and social picture of Ireland under the British rule. As the author says:

"IT is a melancholly Object to those, who walk through this great Town, or travel in the Country; when they see the Streets, the Roads, and Cabbin-doors crowded with Beggars of the Female Sex, followed by three, four, or six Children, all in Rags, and importuning every Passenger for an Alms. "

Moreover, the author fears that, when the infants of these beggars grow up, "either turn Thieves for want of Work; or leave their dear Native Country, to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes."

This miserable situation is, in fact, resulted by the indifference of English administration and the oppression of landlords. Instead of solving the problem the British government shows a great carelessness to the repeated appeals to feed those hungry mouths.

Now, swift, as an English patriot finds out a "fair, cheap, and easy Method of making these Children sound and useful Members of the Commonwealth". He wants to come with a proposal in such a manner, as he says:

"… As, instead of being a Charge upon their Parents, or the Parish, or wanting Food and Raiment for the rest of their Lives; they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the Feeding, and partly to the Cloathing, of many Thousands. "

Swift criticizes the authority by prospecting that this scheme "will prevent those voluntary Abortions, and that horrid Practice of Women murdering their Bastard Children" which is "too frequent among us". His criticism towards the English administration becomes more clear when he doubts that, the poor innocent babies are killed "more to avoid the Expence than the Shame". The author mocks the intellectuals and the policy makers of the time by proposing his grotesque proposal in the most formal manner with a great gravity. As the essayist comments:

"I SHALL now therefore humbly propose my own Thoughts; which I hope will not be liable to the least Objection."

Now we will have a look on his proposal. In his proposal Swift suggests that a significant portion of Irish children should be slaughtered and their carcasses should be sold to the wealthy as well as landlords so that the poor parents can be economically benefited and get rid of the burden of the maintenance. The essayist criticizes the brutal mentality of the authority, as they never considered Irish as human being. To indicate their meanness, the essayist uses such words which are best suitable for the animal not for the human being. He uses the word, for example, 'carcasses', remains of dead animals dressed by butchers, to refer the remains of children prepared as meat.

Again, the essayist equates the oppressors with the butchers as they mercilessly snatch away the bread from the hand of the Irish children and rush them to the way of death. As the author says:
"… And Butchers we may be assured will not be wanting"

The essayist also criticizes the landlords for their aggressive attitude to the poor Irish. As Swift remarks:
"I GRANT this Food will be somewhat dear and therefore very proper for Landlords; who, as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best Title to the Children."

Swift stabs the authorities for their mistreatment to the Irish poor prospecting that, they will be very glad to eat human flesh as they have lost their sense.

"I could name a Country, which would be glad to eat up our whole Nation without it."

The author also criticizes the fashionable ladies and the so called gentle folk of the society. As he says:
"THOSE who are more thrifty (as I must confess the Times require) may flay the Carcase; the Skin of which, artificially dressed, will make admirable Gloves for Ladies, and Summer Boots for fine Gentlemen."

Swift, in order to criticize the society, ironically shows six benefit of the proposal.
Firstly: it will reduce the total number of Catholics, the enemy of the Protestants.
Secondly: the poor parents will get some money with which they can pay landlords rent.
Thirdly: the money will circulate among the Irish and increases national income.
Fourthly: the mothers will get rid of the charge of maintaining the children after the first year.
Fifthly: the empty taverns will be full with a huge number of customers.
Finally: it will be a great encouragement to marriage and increase the care and the tenderness of mother to their children.

Actually Swift's proposal shocks every reader even the cruel barbarian can not think of such a cannibalistic idea of ​​eating man's flesh. Everyone with common sense can easily understand that out of extreme agony the essayist gives such suggestion. He wants to say beneath this proposal that government should take this proposal if they can not solve the problem immediately.

At the end of the essay, the bitter criticism is clear when the essayist terminates the proposal ensuring the readers that he has not least interest rather the public good of his country. As he says:

"I have no Children, by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine Years old, and my Wife past Child-bearing."

Swifts, by this easy, very successfully draws the attention of the authority as well as the readers. Robert Phiddian has written an essay entitled "Have You Eaten Yet" after reading this essay.

Some scholar argues that, "A Modest Proposal" is largely influenced by Tertullian's "Apology". James William Johnson points out the same central theme in both of the essay. Both of the essays are similar in their tone and the use of irony.

Last of all, it can be said that Jonathan Swift very successfully uses his mighty pen against the English oppressors by ridiculing their so called vanity as the writer knows that, the devil is brave in the face of threat, strong hearted before the tears and vulnerable only in the Achilles' heel of his vanity.

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Source by Talim Enam

Why an Educated, Professional Iranian-American Woman Supports Donald Trump

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Born in Tehran, I'm happy to be legally in the United States. As a European college educated female professional, I'd gladly support Donald Trump in the general election this fall. This is a good nation, and the clear-yet-ironic signal that it could be even better under Trump's unorthodox leadership is the amazing breadth of opposition to the Republican Party's front runner.

It's obvious why Democrats oppose Mr. Trump, but ponder these questions. Why would insider Republicans spend millions to derail their own party's front runner? Why stop someone bringing millions of new voters, lining up in record numbers at primary polling precincts? Answer – because political insider's pet special interests are threatened, period. Everything else is arguably a deliberate dodge, detraction or distraction.

Mr. Trump is obviously no politician. That's part of his entertaining, un-PC appeal. At the 40,000 foot level, Mr. Trump's foreign and domestic policies make good, common sense.

Example, why would the US accept:

– A half-trillion dollar annual trade imbalance with China,
– Allow millions of American jobs to go to China,
– Spend hundreds of millions in defense against China and others,
– And then borrow the money from China to pay federal deficits? Hello?

Is not that unimaginably ignorant? Yet the two major party's brain trusts have their fingerprints all over those policies.

It's Donald Trump who pounds away on:

– Trade – China, Mexico, Middle East oil, etc.,
– The tragedy of vets poorly treated by VA hospitals,
– Backing the men and women in blue,
– The outrage of not enforcing US immigration laws,
– Banning unvetted Muslims coming to America, after jihadi terrorists slipped into Europe and the US as "refugees,"
– Who else claims a plan and asserts the need to pay off the staggering federal debt,
– Repatriating trillions of dollars off-shored by high taxes and job-killing regulations,
– On becoming the job-creating president,
– Among other issues resonating with millions across the political, economic and educational spectrum.

Proof he can be "presidential" was given during his address to AIPAC.

Having listened to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders debate, they may be more polite than their GOP rivals, but it's obvious each has huge policy problems.

Examples. As sincerely passionate as Senator Sanders seems, how can he imagine universal federal medical care working for over 330 million, when government can not properly run healthcare for several million veterans?

Or with President Barack Hussein Obama admitting to Chris Wallace on a Sunday morning show that the biggest mistake of his administration was 'having no day after plan' for Libya-post the US intervention; that points directly to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton bragged about her influence in toppling Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddaf. What most Americans call ISIS or ISIL, in the Middle East is known as "Daesh" (or Da'ish). Whatever you call them, they now control large parts of Libya. That failed policy was created by the POTUS Obama / Hillary Clinton team. Thanks, Madam Secretary …

ICYMI, as an Iranian-born professional woman, I agree with Mr. Trump that the deal giving Iran $ 150 billion was incredibly flawed.

Democrats have lurched far left. Communist and socialist systems are a proven failure. Just look at Korea to see the superiority of free markets vs. state socialism. North Korea is an economic basket case, while the South is vibrant. The more America moves towards socialism, is it any wonder our economy and people suffer?

Crony capitalism controls DC. "The System's" profiteers are trying desperately to stop Donald Trump's self-funded campaign.

Professionally, we manage the manufactured home (MH) industry's two largest trade media sites. Working with MH firms of all sizes, we know the following first-hand. Though the MH Industry is over 6 years into its recovery, poor public policies throttle faster growth. Growth yields tens of thousands of good, new jobs annually. Multiply that across scores of US industries …

There is plenty of blame to go around. Forget the blame-game! A leader is needed to refocus on restoring America's political and economic system. Let's revitalize growth, security and upward mobility.

You do not build a multi-billion-dollar empire unless you know how to manage situations and people. An objective review underscores Mr. Trump has intelligent America First principles that will make this land greater and safer again.

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Source by Soheyla Kovach

Impact of Baby Boomers on American Society

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Demographers' defined the baby boom as a birth surge started in 1946, after the World War II and reached its peak in 1957 and continued until 1964 because of the postwar prosperity. Most people uses "generation" as their term but demographers precisely referred it as "cohort" (group of individuals experiencing a certain event within a specified time). This reveals that social changes interconnect with the life of every baby boomer.

There two groups of baby boomers. The babies born from 1946 to 1955 were called early boomers. Those who were born from 1956 to 1964 were called as late boomers. The last set were born during the first tour of Beatles in America and the first early ones was approximately 18 years that time. They are were noticeable because of their big populations. They crowded junior high, elementary schools, high schools, labor market, and colleges.

Studies show that the impacts brought about by the society where baby boomers grew up contributes a lot in reshaping the society. They never think like their parents. Because the population of these cohorts is unprecedented during the 20th century, their beliefs and behaviors are then predicted to dominate things.

But there is also a great discrepancy in terms of economic status between early and late boomers. Compared to the energetic job market and emerging economy laid beneath the feet of early ones, late boomers needs adjustment on economic shifts. It is due to the rapid growth of service sectors, jobs for middle class became less stable, changing locations of workers, and career market adjustments.

Most are considered economic security as an elusive thing. They are the people who were born after the era of civil rights. Conducted studies even reveals income differences according to ethnicity, race, and birthplace creating ethnic classes. It was because one third of the population are Hispanic, African-American, or Asian besides the black and white Americans. Take for instance, the black boomer's generation are considered inferior than whites, although the generation were rated the best in terms of education.

It is a fact that the life was accompanied by postwar transformations changing the American society. The ideas about sexuality, gender, and family were altered profoundly. Likewise, parenthood changed, old age and retirement was redefined, and labor forces were transformed. Even in their old age, they seize opportunity to stay involved and active like staying in their work force to meet the responsibilities of supporting their children.

The changes in the society were never brought solely by the stereotype but also the conservative types like Seth Grossman. They expressed themselves through street protests while the conservative use other forms such as leaflets, student newspapers, and forums. Although their actions did not attract the attention of media but they achieved their success when they forced a referendum which resulted in the withdrawal of Duke students from the National Student Association.

Conservative may not be a part of the projected boomer's image but they became a strong force in making their way silently. They are not even in the front page of the newspapers because they still attend their class while others were boycotting. Nevertheless, they have supported conservative politicians like George Wallace in 1968.

One third of the populations of early boomers served during the Vietnam War. Other made a name in different fields throughout history. Joyce Johnson was an African-American who belongs to the stereotype her activist work in her graduate school. When she entered Duke School, she sought for advancement not only for herself but her entire race. She belongs in the Afro-American Society involved in the iconic events in the Duke campus during the 60s. Grossman and Johnson are baby boomers who contributed great change in their society.

Deep understanding about the baby boom generation is very important as they advanced on to their old age. It should be more of demographic curiosities because if demographic bulge move continuously on the system, then economic differences also persists. They once do their best in shaping the society providing significant impacts on the lives of many people besides themselves.

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Source by Roger Mitchell

Antony and Cleopatra As a Love Tragedy

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Love as an emotion is dealt with great precision and maturity against the backdrop of war and that essentially constitutes the groundwork of Shakespeare's most enigmatic drama: Antony and Cleopatra. Written approximately around 1606-07, this play combines chemically the nuances of love, politics and the history of the Roman Empire in its concoction.

Love has a slightly different connotation for Shakespeare's protagonists; it does not point towards a mild affection that conjoins two hearts but a destructive power that storms away a person's rationale and sends him to his doom. This adulterous love engorged with voluptuous desires and sensual pleasures could be considered immoral by Elizabethan or Christian standards. It stands in stark opposition to the love of Romeo and Juliet also constructed by Shakespeare which stood by intense emotion and weighty melodrama. The love in Antony and Cleopatra clearly envisages the fact that both lovers have a rich previous personal history however it seems to transcend these perspectives and emerges as a somber nevertheless true love. Antony phrases it beautifully by stating that "there's beggary in the love that can be reckoned" he posits that love is an immeasurable quantity that resonates with grandeur especially in this case. The hero, mark Antony is portrayed as a man of brilliant valiance and exceptional martial prowess. When in a dilemma between stately duties and sexual gratification chooses the latter as pointed out by Philo in the very first dialogue of the play. He stands unflinching by his supreme love, flickering in his decision. His position is validated by the fact that even his enemies speak high of him.

Octavious Caesar articulates his achievements on the battlefield and says that "… in the name lay a moiety of the world". He can be contrasted with Horatio from Shakespeare's hamlet whose "blood and judgment were well co-mingled. Although it has been suggested that his sentiments are base and it has been termed as an obsession, dotage and silliness, he still functions in consonance with it lest with its glimpses of ambivalence. The heroine or the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra comes across as a highly attractive, awe-inspiring enchantress with fathomless coquetry. her wit, dialogues and her poise all have a theatrical edge to it. Enobarbus describes her demeanor appropriately when she and Antony met for the first time. she often behaves with relentless self-absorption. she favors high drama and displays a spectacle of emotions, indulges in play acting revealed consistently through her praxis as well as her ideology of life. Reflected through the scene where she deals in Proculeius' proposal or even her love prattle in act 1 where she states "if it be love indeed tell me how much." However she is also a woman of substance and has an active hand in the implementation of policies and the assertion of important decisions. Also she is a quintessential woman; she consolidates her authority over her lover, throws tantrums perpetually and rebukes him when she is angry. William Hazlitt regards her as the masterpiece among all the female characters, her "whole character" is the triumph over the voluptuous, of the love of pleasure and the power of giving it over every other consideration. The fact remains that both lovers are past their prime into love- that is a malady without cure. Their love stands as an inquisition within themselves and it is a daily war that they wage against each other. Like Cleopatra's fascination of Antony, Antony's greatness is also one of the two absolutes in the play. It defies any compartmentalization in the context of diplomacy, war, calculation, magnanimity, sensuality or heroism. Love as a word encompasses a multitude of emotions ranging from the purely spiritual to the basest perversions and the theme of the play is to amplify or conform to them. Quill and Couch avers that "the theme is of love: not the pretty amorous ritual played on a time by the troubadours and courtiers … Not as a business understood by eighteenth century sentimentalists, but love the invincible destroyer. Love: voluptuous, savage , perfidious, true to itself though rooted in dishonor … "A tragedy might be as episodic as history or as complicated as a comedy. Shakespeare creatively crafts Antony and Cleopatra against the backdrop of the Parthian war defining all characters in that context. It is known for its subject matter not for its structure. This play however does not cater to all features of an ideal tragedy; for instance it is not marked by a suffering leading to a downfall, the element of chance is very subtly enforced by the soothsayer. However it does not procure within its spectrum the pangs of despised love, the anguish of remorse, powerlessness and pity. The hamartia of the protagonist, Antony can be stated as the 'blind judgment' of the situation at hand. According to Aristotle, '' a tragedy is an imitation of action that is serious and complete in itself "in this regard even his Troilus and Cressida is also not a conventional tragedy as it lurches between bawdy comedy and tragic gloom.

The world of the play absorbs political contingencies, love affairs, and solemn deaths. Tragedy is nourished by the social context in which the individual is placed textually. Shakespeare does not seem to use his faculty of poetic justice as in the final conflagration both evil and good are destroyed alike. His vivid interest in roman histories can also be witnessed in his Coriolanus and Julius Caesar. Personal desires of Antony and Cleopatra are bracketed by the political vicissitudes and public catastrophes. The dichotomy between the geographical locales of Rome and Egypt is the pivotal framework of the play. The east stands for sensuousness, luxury and extravagance whereas the west symbolizes cold calculation, decadent heroism, and duty and soldiers hip. This binary permeates into the intimate relationships and subverts the very basis of it. People regard Antony as the '' strumpet's fool '' and Cleopatra as the '' Egyptian dish ''.

Shakespeare using Romanesque rhetoric analyses the manipulative nature of tragedy crystallized in the death of the lovers thus immortalizing their names. Although their love is not composed of private intimacies they both desire an escape route to the world of their own wherein their interests are harmonized and bodies merged forming a solid compound. The love actually belongs to the public arena wherein displays of affection are understood to be expressions of political power and allegiance. It also has to bear the weight of personal failure and defeat of the state notwithstanding astute criticism of their co-inhabitants in a ceremonious manner. It grapples with the self-consuming rage of its tragic figures and the constant refinement of brute actuality with lyrical illusion. What comprises the frustration of the dramatist is the difference in the perceptions of its hero and heroine. Tragic dimension is attained by an excess and concentration of emotions, the profundity of the issue lies in the tragic potential of love because it can not grant happiness to its pursuers. In death the lovers are not divided and become examples of legendary love. However it also serves as an apotheosis to love because it is a means to form a union beyond the realm of jealousy, uncertainty and regret. DA Traversi argues "… a tragedy of lyrical inspiration justifying love by presenting it as triumphant over death … a presentation of spiritual possibilities dissipated through a senseless surrender to passion".

The outward struggle is of highest importance in a tragedy for its total effect. From the moment, Antony sets his eyes on Cleopatra in Cydnus. "… And for his ordinary pays in his heart / for what his eyes eat only", it was instantaneous love, a tempestuous passion that both united and kept asunder both Antony and Cleopatra. Shakespeare uses poetry of the highest order to accumulate variety in scene and distinction in character. Compared to Richard II where he intimated the love was the natural choice for all mankind. He seems in Antony and Cleopatra less interested in the battle of Actium than in the nature of that forces that utterly obliterates the individual mindset. To deepen the content he shows that it is precisely out of dishonor and defeat that spiritual triumph emerges, which is always found at the heart of any tragedy. As it nears its end, it seems to recede from history and myth and leaps forward to a colossal degree of imagination.

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Source by Sanjhee Gianchandani

How to Layout an Effective Palm Card Design For Your Political Campaign

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The ultimate goal of your palm card layout and design is to deliver a candidate image and message that is clear and consistent to voters. Also called push cards, palm cards are an effective form of campaign advertisement. You should communicate your main talking points as well as background, education and such other relevant information all while being visually appealing to your desired demographic.

Designing a campaign palm card consists of several facets. First is the use of color. When ordering your push cards, remember to use the colors that are specific to your campaign. Red, white and blue are traditionally the most popular colors among political hopefuls, but if you have a pre-existing color scheme use those colors.

This leads us into our second design point; be consistent. Do not change your color scheme or election slogan halfway through the campaign. It is important to be consistent with all of your campaign materials in regards to color, font and style of design. When building a campaign image, or brand if you will, uniformity is key to accomplishing this successfully.

Third, choose palettes of colors that are complementary to each other. In the age of digital printing, voters expect to see full color printing, and an appealing palm card. Be creative with your color choices. Also make the text, especially your name, easy to read. Your name should be the first thing that the voter sees in respect to your push card. The font you select should be clear and large. Gothic and fancy script-type fonts should be avoided due to their lack of clarity.

The fourth facet of designing your campaign palm card is presenting your message. Make sure your message is clear and simple. Do not confuse your voters by throwing legal jargon or complex phrases at them. Use simple words and concise sentences to get your point across. There should be a natural flow of information that is easy to follow. Remember, if the voter does not read your message, you have wasted your time and money.

Pictures are an essential staple to have on your palm card. It is important to have a headshot of the front on your palm card so your voter can put a face with a name. For local offices, this may be the only time the voter sees you. You might also include a nice family photo on your palm card under the family section. If available, include some action shots of the candidate in the community. Choose the best quality pictures available. Most printers will not accept anything less than 300 dpi at print size (4 "x 6"). If you are unsure about the terminology used here, your photographer or printer should be able to help you. Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words!

There are many layout and design options available when designing your push card, but you must take your quantity of information into account when deciding which layout works best for you.

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Source by Meesseman missy