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In a move that few, if any, people saw coming, former US President William J. Clinton is set to announce today that he is joining the Libertarian Party. Clinton first hinted at his new political direction back in 1997, but Libertarians didn’t believe him, and not long afterwards called for his impeachment.

“What really did it for me this time was the recent “Monday message” from LP communications director Donny Ferguson that said winning is the most important principle,” President Clinton told IPR’s Paulie over a few lines of coke in a Bessemer, Alabama truck stop restroom. “That’s been my view for many years, and I’m glad to finally find a political party with the balls to say it openly.”

Clinton acknowledged that people may be skeptical of his conversion, but he pointed out “look at my old nemesis Bob Barr. Back in 2002 y’all were working to get him out of Congress. By 2006 he was on your national committee, and two years later he’s your Presidential candidate. If Ol’ Bob can do it, why can’t I?” He also pointed out that former Democratic US Senator Mike Gravel switched from running for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination to that of the Libertarian Party just last year while remaining consistent in his views.

Bill mentioned that he is working on getting his wife Hillary to switch as well, pointing out that she was a Goldwater girl in 1964, and that her best bet to beat Obama in 2012 will be in the general election rather than in the primaries. He also sent a shout out to Alan Greenspan for introducing him to the works of Ayn Rand.

Asked about his future political plans, Clinton told Paulie that he was considering running for LNC as well as a future run for US Congress, and will be starting a new civil rights organization to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution. “I was hoping to be appointed Ambassador to the UN, but Obama’s being a total dick about it,” he said. “Just because I was the real first black President doesn’t mean he has to be that way.”

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I’ve returned from the great adventure I call “LP-SPAN” and here are my thoughts on the technical side of the issue. It is my hope that we can take this and build on it to make the next round of LNC insanity even better in terms of the broadcast quality. All suggestions are definitely appreciated. This is most definitely a work in progress.

The equipment:

I was using a Microsoft LifeCam either attached to a clip on the top of my laptop or on its independent pole. The camera allows pan and zoom IF you use the Microsoft software. However, the Justin.tv feed doesn’t allow that. No idea if Ustream does. I also had trouble with lighting issues in the room, especially the projector screen glare.

For future, I’d recommend a real videocam on a tripod, which should be able to create a better view and video quality. Personal experience suggests a bird-watching scope tripod over a camera tripod for lightness and ease of use. Plus mine has super-high elevation so it could pan over the crowd. Background lighting

The laptop was sitting on a tray table I had brought along since the room didn’t have any tables except for catering or the meeting table. It caused shaking of the cam at times when I tweeted, and the hunchover caused havoc on my back over time. I was hurting badly until Rachel gave me a much-needed back rub. “Bitchin’!” J

I’d recommend not having the camera attached to the laptop or at least set up in a way that it doesn’t shake. That and having a good setup so the laptop is the proper height to the user.

I’d also recommend a good omnidirectional microphone set up where everything can be caught well. The mic built into the webcam also caught my comments and occasional whispers, and a lot of extra noise. At SD the board table was in a cube with an open center, and the mic in there would have been best. I didn’t have that and it would have been a big help.

The testing:

I made sure that I understood how it all tied together and I did some test runs at home to make sure. That made a big difference come show time. However, the differences between my den and the meeting room were vast. I’d recommend testing in the meeting room if at all possible, because of the acoustics and lighting.

I tried the Justin.tv feed with the laptop’s webcam, then the external one recording, then with outside people and trying to embed.

Embedding the live feed was also a challenge. I had Todd Barnett on the phone helping to troubleshoot on his end. It helps to have someone on the receiving end to evaluate the reception. Ditto during the meeting. The justin.tv feed had a chat room built into each feed window, and that made getting the feedback easy, which came in handy when the connection got bad. Justin.tv does NOT work with WordPress well, unless Todd and I just missed something, which is certainly possible. I got it to embed at blogger/blogspot just fine. Other embedding notes are appreciated.

We also encountered a horrible screeching when we were testing, until we figured out that it was caused by the laptop speakers output being picked up by the webcam mic and creating a nasty feedback loop. The solution was to mute the speakers. Wear headphones when adjusting the microphone volume.

The Feed:

First, I was on the hotel’s wireless connection, which at times was very slow. The more people that were logged into the network, the slower it got. If you can, use a wired connection to ensure the connection rate stays consistent.

Second, it is extremely important to have someone on the other end provide feedback on the reception. On my end, the display on the popout window was far different than the one in the main window. Here the chat box was invaluable, and I was lucky to have multiple people giving me feedback.

Third, Justin.tv gave me the option to record as we broadcast. Do it. It saves off the pieces online for later download. I’d suggest stopping and restarting the recording at various spots to break it up into manageable segments instead of one long one. I always made sure to check the bandwidth between recordings because of the wireless, but I don’t think that may be necessary on a wired connection.

The twitter:

It’s a great tool to do this live. Yes, the 140 character limit can be an issue at times. I’d recommend two tweets, both in the gallery rather than on the board, who should focus on what is going on anyway. Plus, it removes any issue about “decorum” or “executive session”, but the tweets should be as neutral as possible. The advantage of two is that one can pick up what the other missed, which is an area I had trouble with at times. I’d also suggest that if you can’t get on a wired connection, then see if the tweet can be done on a Blackberry. The wireless connection problems that plagued the feed connection also slowed down the tweets. It may be advisable to have whomever is tweeting be different from the camera operations.

All in all, my rig was a little crude, but it was something. I don’t see this as too difficult, just taking a little getting used to. If you test beforehand and practice, it goes better.

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OK, so this is a bit off-topic, but since Paulie graced me with the ability to post here, I figured I might as well use it to promote something good.  And it is good, and free, and once complete, will benefit our movement.  So perhaps it’s not that off-topic after all.

Anyway, George Donnelly and I have started a project to create a set of web-based tools for pro-liberty organizations, with a specific focus on LP state and local affiliates.  It should also be easily portable to the needs of organizations such as pro-liberty PACs, other pro-liberty parties, etc.  This will be based on some existing open source software projects, tie them together neatly (single sign-on via a unified authentication backend and use of the same AAA cookies), create a single frontend for installation and management, and add some additional tools targetted at our specific audience.

What we need specifically are volunteers who can write PHP code, XHTML/Javascript/AJAX/CSS, folks with extensive MySQL development experience, and possibly some additional Perl and Ruby experience.  PHP developers with user interface experience are probably the highest priority, followed by folks who can do front-end user interface coding.  Let me know if you’re interested. If you post here, I’ll reply via email.

You can check out the project over at http://developer.berlios.de/projects/lptools/

Thanks!

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I’ve heard a number of genuine, dyed-in-the-wool Libertarians lately talking about *not* voting for the party’s presidential candidate, Bob Barr.  There are a lot of folks who just don’t think he was a good choice and I can understand that.  That said, it’s important to consider all of the facts before making a decision like this one.  In this case, one important fact is that the number of votes for a presidential candidate impacts the number of delegates that one’s state gets to the LP national conventions.  This means that states with more people who support, and hence vote for, Barr are likely to get more national convention delegates than states with Libertarians who will refuse to vote for Barr on principle.  Think about it! Personally, I want the most principled individuals serving as delegates to the LP national conventions.  Of course, this advice is only what it is.  I’m not necessarily urging anyone to take any specific course of action.  What I am doing is urging everyone to consider all of the facts in this, as in any situation, prior to making a final decision.

I’ll be back later to read comments.  For now, I’m off to go vote for Bob Barr.

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I’ve previously listed the LP candidates here, here, here and here. Now, George Donnelly has turned this list into its own website with graphics and continuous updating. George explains:

An Effort to List all LP Candidates

We Libertarians need to know how many candidates we’re fielding for office. Which states are fielding full slates? no slates? Who are the candidates, what do they look like, what is their history, what are their positions and motivations?

This is all very basic but, before Libertarian Party Candidates (LPC), you could not find all this information in one place.

It’s important to see how well (or poorly) we Libertarians are doing at challenging the Republicrat duopoly at the ballot box. Hopefully LPC will serve as a measuring stick and as an incentive to run more and better candidates in 2010, 2012 and beyond.

Background

When Paulie pointed out in July of 2008 that LP.org doesn’t list all the Libertarian Party candidates running for office, it piqued my interest. How can we expect people to support and vote for Libertarian candidates if they don’t even know who they are – or even that they exist?

So, after chatting with Paulie, I decided that Libertarians might like a website where they can find all LP candidates in one convenient place.

Thanks to Paulie, the state parties and others that have collected the raw information presented here. All I did was design the site and enter the data.

Future Years

The site was built in a hurry during my spare time in the last couple weeks of July 2008, but I plan to significantly improve it for 2010 and beyond. Your sugestions and comments will help make that a reality.

Please Share your Feedback

Please feel free to contact me, George Donnelly, at me@georgedonnelly.com with any suggestions, ideas, complaints or whatever. I’m open to developing the project in new directions. I’m also interested in other strategies to advance the cause of liberty.

According to the site, the LP is running

* 15 for US Senate
* 109 for US House
* 5 for State Governor
* 4 for State Lt. Governor
* 1 for State Treasurer
* 3 for State Attorney General
* 2 for State Auditor
* 22 for Other State Offices
* 42 for State Senates
* 216 for State Houses
* 3 for Local Executives
* 26 for Local Legislatures
* 6 for Judge
* 12 for Sherriff or Constable
* 78 for Other Local Offices
* 546 Total LP candidates

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Rasmussen
reports that

Libertarian voters make up 4% of the nation’s likely voters and they favor Barack Obama over John McCain by a 53% to 38% margin. Three percent (3%) would vote for some other candidate and 5% are not sure. These results, from an analysis of 15,000 Likely Voter interviews conducted by Rasmussen Reports, challenges the conventional wisdom which assumes that strong support for a Libertarian candidate would hurt John McCain.

In June, Rasmussen Reports asked 15,000 Likely Voters if they were fiscally conservative, moderate, or liberal and if they were socially conservative, moderate, or liberal. This created a total of 16 possible combinations (not sure was a fourth option for both questions). However, 87% of voters fit into one of seven combinations. Libertarians, defined as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, are the smallest of these seven combinations.

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originally posted by GE at IPR. Headline by Fred Church in the comments.

In response to House GOP leader John Boehner’s comments to Reason‘s Dave Weigel — that conservatives considering a vote for Bob Barr “might as well vote for Barack Obama” — the LP has issued a press release with harsh words for the GOP and its leadership.

Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis said that Boehner’s comments “reflect the same fallacy of thought that has put America in its current situation, with neither Republicans or Democrats offering the solutions voters want to hear.”

Davis also said Boehner’s comments were “a symptom of the same delusion that cost Republicans control in 2006.”

Read the entire release here.

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Press release posted on the LP Radicals yahoo group. Starchild has had various offices in the San Francisco and California LP, and is one of the spokespeople for this initiative.

The San Francisco Department of Elections announced today that the measure prohibiting city officials from spending money arresting and prosecuting people for prostitution, and mandating equal legal protection for sex workers, has qualified for the November ballot. Of 500 signatures randomly sampled and checked by department personnel, 80 percent were found to be valid. “This is a happy day for San Franciscans who want government to focus on fighting real crimes like homicides and robberies, and are tired of seeing resources wasted in a futile effort to police consensual sex between adults,” said Starchild, a sex worker activist and spokesperson for the campaign. “We’ve cleared the first hurdle.” By the Elections Department’s tally, supporters had turned in 12,745 signatures of registered San Francisco voters on July 7.

The campaign to decriminalize prostitution will hold a kickoff rally and press conference to formally announce the results on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Polk Street entrance of City Hall, with
speakers to likely include Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who was a signer of the petition to put the measure on the ballot along with two of his board colleagues. “It is way past time that the
recommendations of the Board of Supervisors 1996 Prostitution Task Force were implemented,” said the measure’s proponent, Maxine Doogan. “Criminalizing sex workers has been putting workers at risk of violence and discrimination for far too long.”

The prostitution reform measure joins two other voter-submitted measures on the local Nov. 4 ballot, along with eight measures put on the ballot by the mayor or members of the Board of Supervisors, with many others expected to be added in the next several weeks.

Starchild – (415) 621-7932 / (415) 368-8657 / RealReform@…
Maxine Doogan – (415) 265-3302 / MistressMax@…

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In this essay, LP radical and LPNY state chair Eric Sundwall advocates that radical libertarians avoid the BTP and stay in the LP. It is entitled Party Like It’s 1973, an apparent ironic reference to Party like it’s 1773 by BTP interim chair Jim Davidson.

I was somewhat intrigued when popular Libertarian blogger Tom Knapp started the Boston Tea Party soon after the 2006 Portland massacre. An online political party that hearkened to the radical sensibility with a savvy for the political seemed an interesting notion without any real threat to LP work and activities. A place where members could vent and fume within their own diaries and entries and perhaps still effect meaningful activism within the libertarian community in general. Fine. Sometimes a great notion . . .

The current self-flagellation from its members and current standard bearers for office is a greater reflection of petty narcissistic traits and ambitions that one finds within splinters of a small movement, than any real grassroots or political effort. To be sure, most of the current brouhaha is based on the success of reform elements within the LP and the eventual nomination of Bob Barr. But there has also been a disproportionate coverage of their activities within the small third party blogosphere and even some mention in the higher echelons of typical political coverage. I’m beginning to think about getting sixteen of my buddies together to form the American Anarchist Party so as not to be left out. At least there would be no compromise on real principles.

In my estimation the BTP became untenable, less credible and utterly ridiculous when the New York affiliate formed without my knowledge or possible input. I expressed my discontent about this to founder Tom Knapp and got a reply that membership wasn’t tracked on geographical basis and thus any notification about formation of an affiliate wouldn’t be forthcoming to members unless they kept abreast of the website and those postings. At the time I thought I had kept a current feed from BTP in my aggregator (Bloglines) and it was only another entry at the time that serendipitously showed up that brought me back to the site for a quick re-reference. It was at that time that I became knowledgeable of the NY affiliate startup.

Of course the elements forming that start up were no more radical in spirit than in truth ambitious for titles and accolades. In fact some of the players were in dispute with the LPNY about one of their affiliates and a factional shoot off from it in another arena wasn’t all that surprising. Having also expressed some insider concern to Knapp about this, he just shrugged it off and said something about long ropes and the like.

In the course of 2007 one saw a gradual decline of the website and eventually spam took it over and the case for neglect made itself very obvious if one visited the site. Again Knapp was shrugging it off as not his baby anymore since the formation of a national committee and control being handed over to the new principles. Any other misgivings about Knapp and his organizational abilities were already being sent to me through my association of other notable activists and to some extent LNC connections. After he was almost completely rejected for the Platform Committee in Pittsburgh that summer I figured any possible radical ally in this figure was improbable. At the time he was flailing for Kubby as the official or non-official this or that and it was obvious where his pre-occupation was at. Once he started running Ron Paul up the racist flagpole based on a Suicide Girls post, I was done. After the Sean Haugh attack after Vegas, I was disgusted, despite reassurances from Angela Keaton and Paulie that he wasn’t the drama queen I might have marked him as.

Enter the Independent Political Report. They started covering the mini-convention of the BTP in Denver and it seems like new life was born from it. Apparently that long rope came back to bite BTP and Knapp put the kibosh on any usurpation of his baby. Utilizing an administrative override on the former national vice-chair and asserting a violation of by-laws and original intent, he summarily dismissed the usurpers and rallied his original cabal and pressed ahead with their own convention online. I’m sure if I’m wrong about this and on any radar as such, I’ll be corrected on a dozen counts by TK or the like.

But my general point is this. The BTP is an operational and philosophical mess. Great, a one line platform states that they want to reduce government on all counts. So what?! While it’s not the contorted twistings of the Reformista’s tired ruminations and redefinitions, its just annoying at this point. When some kiddie script hacker represents some percentage of the actual vote of their convention and all former users are told to sign up again because their database got trashed, you don’t have to wonder. You just don’t take it seriously. Radicals ought to stay in the LP and exert what influence they can in a franchise which has stood the test of time for at least thirty years. Getting all huffy over one candidate in an impossible race to win is not the solution. There is plenty of room for spirited protest candidacies and meaningful activism.

So don’t get your panties in a wad because Brian Holtz won the platform or that Bob Barr said something about Fannie Mae on TV. Easy ballot access in Colorado and Louisiana may get you on the ballot there and might put you on a temporary pedestal amongst chortling colleagues, but seriously, get a life (or a sound card). Do what you can, where you can. Stop fantasizing about a greater liberty movement or party. Stay real. Stay radical. Stay LP.

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Candidate Endorsement: Chris Bennett for Vice President

Chris Bennett[NOTE: Originally posted on Last Free Voice]

As you are hopefully all by now aware, longtime LFV contributor Chris Bennett is seeking the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination. While he would have my support simply for being an LFV contributor and a great guy, there is so much more to his candidacy that I have decided to formally endorse his bid for the LP Vice Presidential nomination.

Chris is 35 years old (will be 36 on August 30th) and lives in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado. As an interesting aside, Chris was classmates with Matt Stone, co-creator of “South Park”.

Chris has been married to Evonne Bennett for eight years, and they have two children, Brandon (age 7) and Charity (age 9). He will graduate in May from the University of Illinois at Springfield, with a degree in Political Studies, and a minor in Economics. As such, there should be no question that he has the education to back up his candidacy, especially when compared with other LP candidates (including many of those seeking the LP’s Presidential nomination).

Chris also has the actual experience to back him up. As a libertarian activist for the last 16 years, he has volunteered on four presidential campaigns, three of them Libertarians. He was Scheduling Coordinator for the late Aaron Russo during his 2004 presidential campaign, and was also heavily involved in the Marrou and Badnarik presidential campaigns. He is currently the Legislative Chair for the Libertarian Party of Illinois, where he has fought for better ballot access for third parties in one of the most difficult ballot access states in the country.

Chris announced his candidacy right here on Last Free Voice last year, and his platform is as follows:

I will not make promises I can not keep. I do not have 200,000 dollars in future contributions and I am not endorsed by a famous dead person. However there are some promises I will keep:

I am strongly against the invasion and the “police action” in Iraq and will help push for an anti-war resolution at the Denver Convention.

I am against a fair tax and I will continue to fight to decrease the tax burden for all Americans.

I will continue to fight to restore our civil liberties and constitutional rights and fight to eliminate the Patriot Act, the Real ID Act, the Military Commissions Act and the North American Union.

As an African-American, I will use my candidacy to recruit more minorities and women into the libertarian movement.

As a soon-to-be college graduate, I will continue to convince younger voters and non-voters that the Libertarian Party is the future not the two “boot on your neck” parties and use my candidacy to re-energize libertarian college campus and local organizations across the country.

If I am nominated, I will help/assist state parties on getting our presidential ticket on their respective state ballots.

If I am nominated, I will assist serious Libertarian candidates running for office in all facets of their campaign across the country.

The days of a dormant Libertarian Party VP candidate are over. Our VP candidate should be as active as our Presidential candidate and I will proudly work with whoever you choose as our Presidential candidate in order to spread our message of liberty and freedom to the American people.

Chris has been working hard to spread the word about his candidacy, and in fact he is one of the few Libertarian candidates to get attention from the mainstream press. Even better, he received FRONT PAGE attention in a major newspaper, the Springfield State Journal-Register.

By BERNARD SCHOENBURG
POLITICAL WRITER

Published Monday, October 15, 2007

At 6-foot-9, Chris Bennett is hard to miss. And his political aspirations match his height.

Bennett, 35, a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is hoping to become the vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.

“The days of a dormant Libertarian Party VP candidate are over,” said Bennett in a news release announcing his quest last week. “Our VP candidate should be as active as our presidential candidate and I will proudly work with whoever you choose as our presidential candidate in order to spread our message of liberty and freedom to the American people.”

Bennett was soft-spoken as he explained in an interview how he realized, after working on Bill Clinton’s primary campaign in 1992, that he didn’t really believe in Clinton’s platform.

“I just didn’t like how he wanted more government in more stuff,” Bennett said. “I didn’t like government having more control over the health-care situation, as Hillary tried to do and she’s proposing to do now.”

So, Bennett said, “I went soul searching.”

“The Republicans didn’t feel right,” he said. “They never really do reach out to minorities or a lot of women. And the Democrats, it just seems like they were taking the black vote for granted. So I decided ‘I’m going to search for another party.’”

Bennett had seen a Libertarian Party convention on C-SPAN. The convention included an African-American candidate for the presidential nomination, Richard Boddie.

“He was saying stuff that I really agreed with,” said Bennett, who is black.

Bennett now has been a Libertarian activist for more than 15 years, including working as scheduling coordinator during the late Aaron Russo’s 2004 attempt to be the Libertarian nominee for president.

“For the longest time, I used to carry a Constitution in my back pocket,” Bennett said, “so if anybody wanted to get in a philosophical, constitutional argument, I could whip out my Constitution.”

Bennett doesn’t think the country’s leaders are adhering to the Constitution, including going to war in Iraq without a formal declaration of war. Among his platform planks are “restore our civil liberties and constitutional rights,” including elimination of the Patriot Act and a proposed federal “Real ID” identification card. He said both invade people’s privacy.

He’d like to see lower taxes, with eventual elimination of the Internal Revenue Service.

Bennett frequently posts on Web sites, including one called

lastfreevoice.com, often in strong language.

“Jesse Jackson has taken up the anti-gun issue only because he failed as a ‘civil rights’ leader and pushes his new agenda to re-invent himself,” Bennett claims in one entry. “Just remember Hitler forced his people to give up their guns and look what happened; millions died in concentration camps. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; I’ll defend those values with my gun to protect my right to bear arms.”

Bennett said he actually doesn’t own a gun, but believes in the right to own one.

He’s also taken off on television preachers who get rich through their appeals.

“TV evangelists are the scum of the Christian community,” he said, writing about recent allegations of misspending by Richard Roberts, son of Oral Roberts. “Isn’t it immoral to steal from your contributors for your own lavish lifestyles …? Who do they think they are — the GOVERNMENT?”

And in an essay chastising Democrats for not doing more to get U.S. troops out of Iraq, he refers to the president as “Fuhrer Bush.”

Bennett is pro-life on abortion, which goes against the Libertarian platform. But he thinks other Libertarians may be coming around. He also thinks steps should be taken to legalize drugs.

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bennett moved to Littleton, Colo., at age 9. He’s been married to his wife, Evonne, for 71/2 years, and they have two children. He moved to Springfield in 2005 to attend UIS.

While he said rural or suburban Libertarians might not be keyed into the issue of race relations, those from urban areas are, and he thinks the party is good for African-Americans.

In addition to ending discriminatory drug laws, which he blames for too many blacks being in prison, the Libertarians’ anti-tax sentiment would also help, Bennett said.

“If we lower taxes, people would be more able to get the house that they want or be able to contribute to their church or their social organization a little bit more,” he said. People could also “save for a rainy day.”

“I know a lot of people who would like to start their own IRA account, but they can’t because they’re taxed so much,” Bennett said.

Clearly, Chris interacts well with the media, and is able to get across his point intelligently, but also in a way that the average person can easily understand.

For the above reasons, I endorse Chris Bennett, without reservation, for the Libertarian Party’s Vice Presidential candidacy.

This brings me to another point. Chris is in desperate need of donations, to help him get to the Libertarian Party Convention in Denver. As a family man working his way through college, with a wife and two children, he is far from wealthy. Not only will he need the funds for travel and hotel, plus incidentals such as food and beverage, he will also need the funds to print brochures, to hand out to the delegates in order to get the votes he needs.

We all give money to other candidates, whether Ron Paul or Steve Kubby or George Phillies, or someone else. We need to start giving money for Chris’s campaign, because unless he can afford to get to Denver, he will be unable to continue his campaign. It would be a travesty if a qualified candidate such as Chris was not seriously considered for the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination, solely because he lacks the funds to attend the convention. We can do much better than that, especially with a candidate who has proven his worth. If we all pitch in, we can get Chris to Denver.

You can make donations to Chris’s campaign by clicking here, or you can click directly on the “donate” link on his website, which will take you to the same place. You can donate by credit card, debit card, or by setting up other payment arrangements via PayPal.

While I normally would never ask anyone to donate to a specific campaign, I’m making an exception in this case. Chris is “one of us”, a valuable and respected member of the blogosphere, a valuable and respected contributor to Last Free Voice, and a valuable and respected member of the libertarian movement, who has given freely not only of his time and expertise on other campaigns, but also has managed to engage in hands-on activism while in college and trying to raise a family.

Chris is not just another libertarian on the internet, waxing philosophical about libertarianism, who suddenly decides he should be nominated to represent the LP in a lofty position; nor is is a Johnny-Come-Lately to the LP who suddenly decided he should be nominated for for the Vice Presidency; he has actually made many years of sacrifices which benefit us all, and he has the experience and education to back up his campaign for the Vice Presidency.

Unlike many candidates, Chris is not looking to raise millions. He has set a goal of $3000 to attend the LP Convention, and since I used to live in Denver, I can assure you that it’s a very reasonable goal, especially since it will also cover the costs of his campaign brochures.

I have made a commitment to donate $100 to Chris’s campaign, to help him get to Denver. If only 29 more people match that commitment (and I know there are many others who can afford to do so), Chris will have met his goal. However, even if you can only spare $10, or $20, or $50 – or if you can give the legal maximum of $2300 per person, or $4600 per married couple – you can rest easy with that donation, knowing Chris is a tried and proven libertarian, and a candidate who has actually earned that donation through his many years of activism on behalf of libertarians everywhere.

Please, help spread the word. Let’s raise the funds necessary to get Chris to Denver!

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Alden Link is a Libertarian candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination. He’s an older gentleman, and his main emphasis seems to be on nuclear power. He claims that nuclear power plants can produce enough gasoline to end our dependence upon foreign oil.

I’m no scientist, but I don’t understand how nuclear power plants can produce gasoline. Perhaps someone reading this can explain if the following is possible:

A nuclear power plant has the energy to produce about 15 thousand barrels of gasoline a day.

Given the following equivalents:
• 1 watt equals 3.4 british thermal units (BTU)
• 1 nuclear power plant produces 1,000,000,000 watts
• 1 barrel of gasoline contains 42 gallons
• 1 gallon of gasoline is equal to 125,000 btu
• 1 day has 24 hours

1) 1,000,000,000 watts / hour x 3.4 btu = 3,400,000,000 btu/hour
2) 3,400,000,000 btu/hour divided by 125,000 btu/gallon =27,200 gallons per hour
3) 27,200 gals./hour divided by 42 gallons per barrel = 647 barrels/hour
4) 647 barrels per hour x 24 hours = 15,542 barrels of gasoline per day

The raw materials needed for this process are carbon from recycled atmospheric carbon dioxide and hydrogen from water. This process is therefore non polluting and actually cleans the air

The United States imports about 13,000,000 barrels of oil per day. Some of it is used to run electric generating facilities. Most is used as motor fuels.

If the US builds 900 nuclear power plants for converting energy to fuel we would be energy independent. and not need ANY imported oil. More power plants than that and we could export petroleum products.

____________________________

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan 

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The Moderate Voice, “None of the Above”

March 5, 2008 by Pete Abel

—————————————————————————————————–

“As I grow older, I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me.” – H. Rider Haggard

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.” – William James

—————————————————————————————————–

So which is it? Am I an aging addict of the detestable habit of thinking, or am I merely rearranging my prejudices? Honestly, I’m not sure, but I do know this much: The libertarian impulses of my youth and the stoic conservatism of my early adult years are gradually giving way to the doubts of middle-age – doubts that are centered on two questions:

(1) Do I really believe smaller government and lower taxes are the cures to what ails us?

(2) When people are hurting and in need, is it appropriate for their government to turn away, claiming, “That’s not our issue; it should be resolved by individuals and the free market”?

Libertarian conservatives don’t doubt the answers to these questions. They respond “yes,” to both, without hesitation, without equivocation.

Twenty years ago, I would have been similarly clear-headed. I’m no longer so sure and, apparently, neither is 13-year Republican Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio. According to a Feb. 19 article at Politico:

… Chabot has earned a 97.5 percent lifetime rating from The American Conservative Union and has largely stuck to the Republican ranks, except to oppose some pork-laden spending bills.

But when foreclosures in his hometown of Cincinnati skyrocketed, Chabot found himself aligned with Democrats — and against his party’s leaders, his conservative colleagues and the White House.

Chabot’s bipartisan dalliance illustrates how tough economic times could erode the Republican conference that House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is counting on to blunt Democratic victories running up to the November elections.

So, let me get this straight: When rock-solid conservatives learn that their constituents are suffering, they suddenly decide government should do something about it?

Read the rest of this thought-provoking post by Pete Abel on The Moderate Voice.

Read Full Post »

From the Galveston County Daily News (letters to the Editor):

District Needs A Better Man To Represent Us

Are we really getting the most effective representation with Ron Paul as our congressman?

The presidential debates have exposed stubbornness and inability to compromise that is at odds with the intentions of the Founding Fathers.

Democracy requires negotiation and compromise to reach a consensus.

We negotiate and compromise in our daily life, at work and at home. Paul’s inability to reach consensus on vital issues makes him ineffective as our congressman.

He is a self-described Libertarian; if he is so enamored with Libertarian philosophy, why is he running in the Republican primary for Congress?

I welcome his participation in the political process and respect the views of his supporters as honest and sincere.

The question is, does he truly represent the values and priorities of the Republican voters in this district or is he using the Republican Party’s structure and established appeal just to get elected because he can’t get elected as a Libertarian?

If the latter is true, it is intellectually dishonest.

We need a Republican of conviction representing us in the U.S. Congress, not a Republican of convenience.

I urge readers to look at the sterling qualifications, impeccable character and genuine passion and sincerity of Chris Peden as our Republican candidate for Congress.

Peden is a pro-life, pro-family, conservative Christian who is a CPA and the mayor pro tem in Friendswood. He has a proven track record of not only fighting for our conservative principles, but of achieving conservative results. Paul is long on words, but a little short on results.

Just a few days ago, on the Michael Berry radio program, Paul said that being a congressman was his “plan B.” I don’t know about other readers but I don’t want to be anybody’s second choice.

The catchword for this year’s presidential election is “change.” It’s time for real change in congressional District 14 also. Paul is the past — Peden is the future. Let’s put someone in Congress who represents all of us, not just the Libertarians.

Letty Packard
La Marque

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Project Vote SmartI just ran across a website called “Project Vote Smart“. This site gathers information from various candidates for office, so you can view it all in one place, and even very easily compare the candidates if you open them up in side-by-side tabs on your browser.

It is very interesting to see the “political courage test”, which pins the candidates down on the issues. Unfortunately, it appears that most mainstream candidates (including all of the presidential frontrunners from both major parties, and including Ron Paul) have refused to complete the quiz portion. However, Barack Obama did complete the questionnaire when he was running for the Senate, which gives a good insight into how he views the issues; while Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul both refused to complete it even when they were running for Congress. There is no older questionnaire information for any of the other frontrunners.I think it’s obvious why candidates wouldn’t want to complete it, since it can later easily be used against them. Accordingly, I think any candidate which refuses to answer those questions should be viewed with suspicion.

Some third party presidential candidates did complete the “courage test” though, including libertarians. I was quite surprised to see that I disagree with some libertarian candidates on a few issues I thought we’d agree upon. For example, I was extremely surprised to see that neither Phillies nor Kubby have chosen to eliminate inheritance taxes (Phillies wants to slightly decrease them, while Kubby wants to greatly decrease them). Yet why should the government get any of it, since it’s a gift from one person to another? Christine Smith is the only libertarian candidate to propose eliminating that tax.

On the other hand, Kubby wants to greatly decrease gasoline taxes and certain “sin” taxes (alcohol, cigarettes, etc) while Phillies and Smith want to eliminate those taxes altogether. On those tax issues, I agree with Phillies. I would agree with Smith, but she wants to eliminate ALL federal taxes (including income taxes); and while that’s an idea I’d love to get behind, I don’t think it is realistic, at least not at this time.

I will have to study the candidates’ responses a lot more closely, and I strongly suggest others do the same. While it won’t help much with regard to mainstream candidates who have refused to answer the questionnaire (and personally, I hold that against them because it is to my mind proof that they plan to say one thing to get elected, and do another once they are in office), it does give quite a bit of insight into third party presidential candidates.

Originally posted on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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I am in the process of interviewing Juliet Annerino, who put together the Hotties 4 Ron Paul calendar. Juliet is also Ms. July.

DIGG

http://digg.com/2008_us_elections/Several_pages_from_the_Hotties_for_Ron_Paul_Calendar

REDDIT

http://reddit.com/info/64hxb/comments/

julietjulysm.jpg

I previously wrote about the calendar
here
and here.

If anyone has any questions you think should be asked please ask in the comments, and I will be
updating the entry. Some questions have already been answered at the H4RP site.

UPDATE Jan. 5 We now have some Q & A but you can still add questions in the comments. I’ll see if I can get Juliet and/or some of the other calendar participants to stop by and answer if I get some questions.

Are you affiliated with the Ron Paul campaign?
No, Hotties4RonPaul is not directly involved with the campaign. H4RP was created by concerned freedom loving citizens, just like you.

I want a Hotties4RonPaul Calendar! How do I order?
Ne simplified ordering instructions are in the purchase section above.


Do I still have to donate directly to the Ron Paul Campaign like before?

No, we are donating 40% of our proceeds to the campaign ourselves now. That is entirely included in the purchase price at this time!

I’ve already max’d out my donations to the Ron Paul Campaign? Can I still get a calendar?
Yes! You may simply buy a calendar by going to our Purchase page.

If you like, you may also contribute “Hotties4RonPaul” 2008 calendars to our vets of the “Paralyzed Veterans of America” and “Homes for Our Troops” oganisations, by simply clicking on the “Chip-in” button on our Purchase page and donating an amount of $8 or more to the cause.

Can I buy a calendar if I’m not a US citizen and live overseas?
Yes, you can! Just send us an e-mail with your full address to Hotties4RonPaul@Hotmail.com and we will let you know our cost for shipping and then bill you accordingly, before sending out your calendar(s).


What happens to the money collected on the Chip-in?

Two charities will be first; the “Paralyzed Veterans of America” (http://www.pva.org) and “Homes for Our Troops” (http://www.homesforourtroops.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage ) Our goal is to send 300 calendars to these veterans by raising $4,200. (If this amount is not reached we will simply donate as many calendars as we have donations for.) Thank you for your generous contribution to this worthy cause!

Can I order more than one calendar? Yes! Just drop us a quick message at Hotties4RonPaul@Hotmail.com and let us know how many you would like. WE’ll take it from there to get your shipping costs right etc.



Note: Discounts are available for orders of 10 or more!

PC) How is this project different from other Ron Paul items like T-shirts, Slim Jims, bumper stickers, etc?

JA) This project has the unique potential to reach people at the office, garage, shop or other work place or home, who might never have heard of Ron Paul, without the aid of some one even talking about him, or even actually indicating that they are a Ron Paul supporter. In this way. it’s kind of an “innocent” way to promote Dr. Paul and his message of Freedom!

It works on it’s own merit, first as a conversation piece or simply a pretty thing to look at. Then it inspires curiosity and further investigation of Ron Paul and the movement by virtue of the Ron Paul quotes on each page with the matching quotes from great statesmen, authors and other great thinkers all echoing Dr. Paul’s philosophy. This makes the calendar a uniquely accessible, even “friendly” way to effectively reach many people who would otherwise not want to learn more about Dr. Paul!

These quotes, by the way, were chosen by me not just because they work well together, complimenting the words of Ron Paul with the words of visionaries like Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. , but because they also (for the most part), match the sentiment of the personal messages of the girls on each page, either in life experiences or personal philosophies.

As an artist, myself (composer, singer, writer, director) I see how powerful the arts – here demonstrated in the beauty of the photos and the poetry of the text – are, and always have been in shaping the way people, even whole civilizations, feel, respond, reason and form belief systems. Historically speaking, art creates change.

Behind every great socio-political movement has been a corresponding movement in art, literature, theatre (now, including television, movies and video) and of course music. The popularity of Dr. Paul on YouTube, arguably another art forum (as every video is a personal creation) in its own right, marks a profound zeitgeist or “spirit of the times”! At the vanguard of every socio-political movement have been and always will be the artists, because it is always the artist who feels the common human sentiment, the unspoken truths, the wave of change, most sensitively and most strongly. And it is always the artist who feels this sentiment, this truth, this wave of change to be absolutely unbearable unless expressed in a poetic form to as many other souls as humanly possible. It is this drive to feel and to then share that defines a person as an artist. And therefore the artist has and always will be an integral element of any profound socio-political movement.

PC) How did you come up with this idea?

JA) OK, I’ll lighten it up a bit here – hah! I was on one of my MeetUp pages and I was corresponding with some of my new friends there, seeing who was new, etc. I thought to myself, “Wow, we sure have some great looking people here supporting Ron Paul!” Then I thought that it would be cool for other people to see what a great group we had of not just beauty but brains…that maybe they might see that there are some really terrific Ron Paul supporters, beauties inside and out. I figured first off, that this might make them want to check out who these beauties were and just why were they supporting this 72 yr. old Doctor running for the presidency! Everyone likes to be in “good company”, after all…

PC) Have you been politically active long, and how did you get involved with the Ron Paul campaign?

JA) I was always a Libertarian at heart, since reading the Fountainhead in High school, but I was never political to the degree of supporting a political candidate or even voting for that matter. I just never thought my high ideals would ever find a place in the corrupt system I saw. Seeing Dr. Paul changed that for me.

I first heard of Ron Paul on Bill Maher’s show. Here was a true cynic, a sarcastic comic, respectfully calling some man I’d never heard of, his “new hero”. After hearing the reasons why Bill Maher liked Dr. Paul so much, that Dr. Paul wanted us to examine what our “enemies” were saying as reasons they attacked us, the scales fell from my eyes. Here was a man who was telling it like it is, who wasn’t afraid to state simple truths.

From that moment on, I began to watch 6 -12 Ron Paul videos a day on YouTube to learn more about him. I felt charged up and moved by his message. (Sometimes they made me weep!)

I was in the studio working on some new songs at the time and I decided to write some material addressing issues of freedom, including Ron Paul quotes, anti-war sentiments, etc. I would stay up all night reading more interviews with Dr. Paul, going through MySpace to find other supporters, leaving comments on the Ron Paul forums, everything! I was truly inspired. I joined 5 MeetUp Groups in 2 days. I bought a Ron Paul T-shirt to wear for every day of the week. I made iron-on shirts with Ron Paul slogans for everyone in my family! I made signs, I went to rallies, on marches, spoke to newspaper reporters and TV reporters. (I made the front page of the LA times and FOX News!) I hung posters over freeways late at night with my new guerrilla friends, canvassed and attended demonstrations. What a blast!

PC) How did you find the models for the calendar, and can you tell us more about any of them?

JA) Some of the models were girls I’d heard about , like Mona “Liv” Gillen, the Ron Paul Girl, and Michelle Shinghal, who I’d seen on the Tucker Carlson show. Other girls were suggested to me from guys on the forums who directed me to their MySpace pages. I found “Constance Strickland” through an ad I posted on Craigslist. She wrote to me the day after I posted and she was the only reply I got through that! Some of the girls, like “Gina Dumania” and “Courtney Carlisle” I found in my own MeetUp groups. I missed some obvious girls like Erin of Ron Paul Revolution Radio, and Christie “Psycho Bitch”, just because I didn’t know about them yet! Katharine is also working for Trevor Lyman and the Blimp, which is interesting. Krista, our February girl, is the one girl I actually never even spoke with, which was strange considering how close I became with some of the girls, Like Gina and Michelle. Krista’s boyfriend suggested her, sent in her info, pics and it just worked out great! Lisa Kelly is the founder of Redheads4RonPaul.com. All the girls are really activists, which I love!

PC) What do you think of how it turned out?

JA) I’m really happy with how it turned out, though it is not without a couple typos! I was not sleeping more than 4 hours a night for weeks working on it, contacting girls, writing, editing, art directing, photo-shopping (7 of the photos were done right here in my apartment, with my friend, and photographer, Fred Braham).

PC) How many calendars do you have, how many have you sold and how many do you have left?

JA) I had 500 printed. I just took a chance that this was a boss idea and put it all on a charge card! I sold about 50 in person at the Tea Party here in LA and about 300 on line. I’m bringing some to our next event, “Rock 4 Ron Paul” because we have girls coming in from other states for that event. If you want to know more about that, you can go to Safari-sams.com and/or H4RP

PC) Besides the Ron Paul campaign, the calendar is raising money for a couple of veterans charities. Can you tell us more about these?

JA) “Homes for Our Troops” is a great charity with an excellent reputation, suggested to me by Michelle Shinghal. They help to build special accommodations for our men and women who have served who are handicapped and need special facilities to function comfortably in their living arrangements. The Paralyzed Veterans of America is one of my personal favorites. I have been donating to them for many years now. They help our paralyzed vets and are always so grateful for any donations. They always have my heart.

PC) Some people have asked about a less G-rated version. Are there any plans you know of to put anything like that together?

JA) No! Sorry about that…I personally have no issues with nudity or sexiness, but I wanted to present this in a way that would maximize public exposure (no pun intended!) in order to reach as many people as possible.

PC) Who did the photoshoots, editing, etc.?

JA) We already talked about that pertaining to the girls here in LA, but the other 6 photos were taken by photographers/friends (of the girls in the other states)… boyfriends, girlfriends and other pros. Some really amazingly great shots!

PC) What have you learned from working on this project, and do you have other new campaign project you will be working on?

JA) I learned that there really are some great people who will do amazing things if motivated by a powerful cause! My next project is “Rock 4 Ron Paul” a multi-media event on Wednseday, Jan 16th in Hollywood at Safari Sam’s, 5214 W. Sunset Blvd. There will be live music, Dj’s, video shorts, comedy, full bar, full food menu, surprise special guests, calendars for sale…and cover charge is $10 with ALL of the proceeds going to the Call 4 Paul” Project.

PC) What other projects besides the campaign are you involved in which you would like to tell us about?

JA) Keep in mind, Paulie, I don’t work directly with the Ron Paul campaign, but am a volunteer. This means that I am not paid or endorsed by the official Ron Paul Campaign!

Apart from my political activities, I’m recording my next music album to be called “Lit!” independently. I’m also planning to do some touring to support the new record. I was playing some shows in Amsterdam and Paris this past June/July, so I will probably go back there, and might tour the Middle East and even India. A label in Goa, India has expressed interest.

PC) Besides hotties4ronpaul.com and the myspace page, are there any other resources you recommend for people who want to know more?

JA) I love Ron Paul Radio and Ron Paul Revolution Radio! And of course I still love YouTube!


Walt Thiessen also wrote a great review. It includes the pages for:

Melanie Ranza, Ms. November

novmelsm.jpg

Lisa Kelly, Ms. January

janlisasm.jpg

Another article about it is at
Just a Girl in short shorts talking about whatever
, as well as
this one
at Steve Gordon Unleashed and even this coverage in The LA Times. Girl in Short Shorts has the following:

Ms. August, Gina Dumania

2111745187_8d0322d762_o.jpg

Ms. December, Constance Strickland

constdecsm.jpg

Our own Michelle is featured in the calendar; here is a small version:

marchmichellesm.jpg

The calendar also has a myspace page.

Some of the women in the calendar can also be seen at Chicks and Politics which also has a
myspace page
as well. Another page of interest is
Musicians and Hotties for Ron Paul
.

Besides Michelle, the most famous woman in the calendar is Mona Gillen of Liv Films, known as the “Ron Paul Girl” for videos such as this one which promoted the Nov. 5 money bomb:

Great Moments in US History

Liv’s page from the calendar:

junelivsm.jpg

Front Cover:

frontcover1sm.jpg

Back Cover:

h4rp_about_backcover_lowres.jpg

Another project Juliet is working on:

safarism.jpg

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moneydecides2.jpg

The Libertarian National Party has a new program, Liberty Decides ’08 designed “to promote our pre-nomination presidential candidates as they engage in a competitive process. To participate in the program, candidates must cross three thresholds: meet the LP bylaws requirements; file with the FEC; and raise at least $5,000 for the LP or LP state parties for ballot access.

Once qualified, candidates will be ranked by the funds they have raised for the program and promoted through the Internet, mail and LP publications.”

40% of all donations to this program will be set aside in a special fund to be used for expenditures coordinated with the candidate who does eventually win the LP nomination in convention. The remainder of the funds will be used to help the LP move forward with core issues such as media, ballot access and member recruitment.

One candidate has declined to participate, noting that the money does not go to help the candidates now, when they need help the most, and only 40% will go to the eventual nominee – whoever that may be – not necessarily the candidate that the donors click on to contribute in the name of.

Further controversy ensued when, in an early version of Liberty Decides, this candidate was included without his consent, and a silhouette of Ron Paul was used as a “Future/Unannounced Candidate.” The silhouette was removed, as was the objecting candidate, but in a controversial and widely talked about move, the LNC voted unanimously to invite Ron Paul to seek the LP nomination for President if he does not get the Republican nomination.

Some candidates are more positive about Liberty Decides.

Some other Libertarian activists have criticized Liberty Decides, notably Susan Hogarth, who wrote:

It would be a much more useful tool for Libertarian activists and likely convention delegates (you know, the folks who actually select the LP nominee) with two simple additions, which I mentioned yesterday:

1) some indication of how many individual donors each candidate has (and, ideally, how many of them are Party members).

2) some indication (other than a link to their websites) of positions.

Susan shares her thoughts about Liberty Decides here, here,
here, and
here.

Despite the criticism, the LNC expressed support for Executive Director Shane Cory and Liberty Decides at its recent meeting in Charleston.

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A couple of days ago
I posted
about the Hotties for Ron Paul
calendar which was not yet out. Since then the website has become available and the calendar can now be ordered.

According to the website

The much anticipated, “Hotties 4 Ron Paul” calendars are now available for pre-sale at a special pre-order discounted rate, but only until our official release date of December 16th, 2007, at the Los Angeles Tea Party ’07 Celebration!
Ordering instructions are on the Purchase page.

They also have some details about the Tea Party. And a few previews.

h4rp_frontcover_web.jpg

h4rp_about_backcover_lowres.jpg

The calendar has caused a stir in such places as disinter,
Gordon Unleashed
, Ron Paul Forums,

Crazy for Liberty
, and those are just the ones I know of!

Of course, it’s gotten some of the stereotypical comments that such things always get, like this one at redd.it.

fromagewiz says

I think I want the job of removing that bumper sticker, at least.

I liked Michelle’s reply

Because the philosophy of individual freedom empowers people, I was able to remove it all by myself!

While I do appreciate your offer of service, I’ve found that no expert is needed to handle a quality, free market product. Now, if I ever mistakenly don bumper stickers of a candidate other than Ron Paul or of the Libertarian Party, I will look you up right away.

Red tape can be a bitch to fight through and when I find it necessary to hire assistance, I like to look within my community.

At digg
Juliet Annerino, the creator of the calendar writes

1,200 hits worldwide in our first 24 hours!

But the thing I really want to know is…is this outtake

from the same photoshoot? (OK, I admit. I was just looking for an excuse, however flimsy,
to keep it on the front page).

Orange to red on the sedition.com scale

threat-matrix-b.jpg

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