Quotable: Tariq Ramadan on refugees

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Cuban migrants flooding Colombia en route to the US

cubans-in-warehouse

A group of Cuban migrants in a warehouse in northern Colombia. They are waiting for the Colombian government to resolve their situation. Meanwhile, another group of Cubans isn’t waiting. They’re making their way through the dense Colombian jungle toward Panama. Story, via Aporrea:

Dozens of Cuban migrants stranded in Turbo, northwestern Colombia, began a journey through the jungle en route to the United States via Panama following a rumor of their possible deportation and growing border controls in Central America, according to official sources on Thursday.

“The number of Cubans exiting through the Waffe port has grown in the last five days, there’s been more traffic,” Turbo government secretary Emélides Muñoz told AFP.

Between May 19 and yesterday, 7,903 irregular migrants exited via the port, most of them Haitians, Asians, Africans and Cubans. During that period, 290 Cuban nationals left Turbo heading for the Chocó rainforest, the government secretary said.

The irregular migrants arrived at the port of Turbo, where they paid 120,000 Colombian pesos ($38 US) for a one-hour boat trip to Sapzurro, in the municipality of Acandí, in the Chocó department, which borders on Panama, Muñoz said.

In Sapzurro, they began their crossing through the inhospitable jungle of Darién, where, according to authorities, they fell into the hands of human-trafficking networks and illegal armed groups, were attacked by wild animals, and battled against the typical inclemencies of the terrain.

“We have reports that in the jungles, there have been deaths, rapes of women, and abandonments,” said Father Manuel Gregorio, delegate of the diocese of Apartadó (Choco), who accompanied the migrants along their way through the jungle, to AFP.

The Cubans who have left the area are not among the 1200 who have been housed in a storage building of 200 square metres lent by a landlord in Turbo, according to a report by the People’s Ombud.

Aliex Artiles, one of the Cubans in the storehouse, told AFP that they will “keep staying in Turbo until they resolve our situation”.

The group has asked the government of Juan Manuel Santos for a plane to take them to Mexico so they can continue their journey to the United States from there, as US law offers migratory advantages to Cuban immigrants. The Colombian government has repeatedly turned down the request.

On Tuesday, Colombia announced a “shock” plan for their borders, against irregular migration specifically because of the large-scale arrival of persons using the country as a point of entry.

Translation mine.

Colombia is a long way from the US, at least by land. And the crossing into Panama is treacherous (to say nothing of the conditions in Panama itself, which is probably no safer than paramilitary-ridden, gang-infested Colombia). There are about half a dozen countries to be crossed before reaching the Rio Grande, and there is no guarantee that even that crossing can be made safely, as the untold numbers of migrants’ skeletons in the southwestern US have made all too clear.

All told, it would be better for the Cubans if they went to Venezuela, where at least they would be welcomed and offered decent shelter by their ALBA brethren. But the political instability there, made in the USA, makes all the more ironic the desperation of the Cubans to reach Gringolandia instead. The decades-old US blockade of Cuba is the source of all their trouble, and yet, they will do literally anything to reach the country that is the true author of their miseries. Apparently the pull of all that gringo dinero is stronger than anything…even common sense!

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Music for a Sunday: Time to get ready for WHAT?

Oh, Stevie…I wish I had your problem. Right now, the opposite is still prevailing here in Southern Ontario. Yes, that’s right, we’re still looking at a bad drought. But the title at least is still apropos…

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Quotable: Schopenhauer on nationalism

schopenhauer-on-nationalism

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Wankers of the Week: The Sacrifices of Donald Drumpf

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Crappy weekend, everyone! And what a long, strange week it’s been. We found out that Der Drumpf has indeed made sacrifices, although I suspect they’re of the burnt-human-offering type, and don’t involve himself or any of his kids. At least, that’s what I interpret that smell of scorched flesh in my nostrils as being. But hey! It could also have come from all these red asses, in no particular order:

1. Karlie Fucking Hay. Oh look, there’s Der Drumpf’s NEXT trophy wife, already getting plenty of practice…both in wearing rhinestone tiaras AND spouting gratuitous racism as a teen beauty queen. I can just hear his Viagra-assisted boner rising from here. Ugh!

2. Roger Fucking Stone. Meanwhile, one of the Bush Crime Family’s old dirty crapaganda tricksters has cropped up again…this time in the service of Der Drumpf, smearing the father of a fallen Muslim soldier as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. And doing it with the help of those always-reliable and oh-so-believable apostates, the Shoebats. Lovely!

3. Robbie Fucking Picard. What better way to drum up support for our never-popular TAR sands than by relying on “lesbian” pornography (aimed at dumb young straight dudes)…and claiming it somehow promotes “equality”? Dude, I’m pretty sure that actual gay ladies have no use for any of this shit. Fuck off with that, and take your buddy Ezra LePutz with you.

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4. Sonia Fucking Kruger, AGAIN. Looks like she’s not just blatantly racist, but LGBTphobic, too. And full of “reverse” logic. Remind me again why she’s a public figure, Down Under? Because at this point, I’d sooner hear the opinions of a talking kangaroo.

5. Tim Fucking Kaine. Remind me again why you picked him for your running mate, Hillary? Is this that “compromise” you talked about earlier this year? Because it seems that he’s decided to vote with his church and not women (including yourself) when it comes to funding for a rather basic medical procedure!

6. Michael Fucking Weiner. You’re gonna leave if the next president has a D after their name? Oooooo…is that a promise, Mikey? Because if it is…YOU CAN’T COME TO CANADA!!! And I’m pretty sure Iceland doesn’t want your hateful ass, either. And yes, Angela Merkel DOES wear pantsuits! So whatever you do, don’t go to Germany, either! Just stay in your hole.

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7. Don Fucking Yelton. Boo fucking hoo, you got caught in your racism, and your systemic discrimination got popped thanks to the Daily Show. And now you’re throwing a barely literate frizzy on Facebook! Who’s lazy and wants the gummint to give them everything, again?

8. Brad Fucking Trost. No, God didn’t put Conservatives on this Earth to “stop taxes everywhere, forever”. God didn’t put you guys on this earth at all. Your mothers did, and they must all be palming their faces at this very moment to see how goddamn fucking stupid their kids turned out.

9. Katrina Fucking Pierson. That’s right, blame Obama…for a Muslim soldier dying in DUBYA’s fucking war of choice. I mean, it’s not like we didn’t already know you were a fucking idiot, but Jeebus. You and your boss actually managed to make Dubya look smart, and that’s no mean feat. PS: And this isn’t exactly helping you, either.

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10. Katie Fucking Hopkins. Newsflash: Transgenderism is NOT a fucking “lifestyle choice”. For that matter, neither is being gay (which I’m guessing is what she’s got it confused with here). What IS a fucking lifestyle choice? Choosing to be an uninformed, bigoted, willfully stupid individual. Like, oh, say, Katie Fucking Hopkins.

11. Scottie Fucking Nell Fucking Hughes. Why the double Fucking? Because that’s how idiotic you’d have to be to insist, with a straight face, that Der Drumpf “sacrificed two marriages because he’s a job creator”. Uh, what jobs did he create? And more to the point: How the hell does one go from cheating on two wives and marrying two mistresses to being some kind of equivalent to a dead soldier?

12. Kayleigh Fucking McEnany. “Change jobs” is not an adequate response to sexual harassment on the job. Unless, of course, you’re telling it to the HARASSER, which this Drumpfite imbecile isn’t.

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13. Eric Fucking Drumpf. And once more, with feeling…FUCK YOU, DRUMPFLING!

14. Slavoj Fucking Zizek. I did say he was not a serious socialist, did I not? Well, now we have proof. Transphobe? Don’t even consider asking me to take you seriously, doofus. You are NOT a “distinguished thinker”, you are a twaddling, plagiarizing reactionary. Step away from whatever the hell you think you’re doing there. And please stop vomiting on your keyboard.

15. Paris Fucking Hilton. Relax, sweetie, Daesh doesn’t know who you are, nor do they care. And neither do the rest of us. Back in your shoe closet you go.

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16. Pat Fucking Boone. Still alive? WHY???

17. Antonio Fucking Sabato, Jr. No, dopey, you’re not being blacklisted for being a Drumpfite. You’re not being hired because other, younger, more talented actors (who also aren’t complete pieces of shit as actors or people) exist. I mean, just look where you live. It’s Hollywood, and it’s lousy with them!

18. Alex Fucking Jones. No, that crying baby at the Drumpf rally was not a “crisis actor”. It’s a BABY. They can’t act, much less simulate an emergency for first-responder training purposes as actual crisis actors do. They cry when something upsets them, and frankly, Der Drumpf is plenty of reason for any infant to get upset: he’s loud, he’s obnoxious, and he’s ugly as hell. If I were a baby, I’d get colic at the very sight of him, too.

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19. Clint Fucking Eastwood. I never liked him, and it’s not hard to see why. The older he gets, the more that inner ugliness and unlikability just leap right out at you. Along with all that racism, sexism and other ugly-old-guy stuff that passes as “political incorrectness”. PS: Ha, ha.

20. Melania Fucking Drumpf. Yes, HER again. And this time, it’s immigration. How DARE an illegal immigrant attack others? Well, I guess it helps to have been a rich man’s mistress and third wife, eh? And he’s a third-generation illegal-American himself, so of course it’s all water under the trollbridge! And anyway, they’re both white and non-Latin, so hey.

21. Sean Fucking Hannity. Awwww, da Baby Jeebus haz a sad! DIDDUMS.

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22. Andrew Fucking Anglin. Ladies! Are you single? Then put this on your dating profiles: NO NAZIS. Srsly. Because they’re out recruiting, and they’re also looking for “love” (note the quotes, there for a reason). Here’s hoping they all die childless and alone.

23. Ben Fucking Carson. The Khan family should apologize to Drumpf? For what…helping him make himself look bad? Uh, how about NO?

24. George Fucking Zimmerman. Yes, he actually went there…he bragged about killing Trayvon Martin. And got himself punched out for it. This should happen more often!

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25. William Fucking Cox. Your “boys”, you call it, when fellow racist cops get shot? And that’s your excuse for getting drunk and shooting up a church? You have to start thinking up better excuses, deppity.

26. Lawrence Fucking Littman. Because it wouldn’t be a wankapedia without a Florida Man, how about this one? And he’s got a trifecta going, too: he’s a Drumpfite, and he beat up his wife for planning to vote Democratic.

27. Anthony Fucking Silva. Riddle me this: Why would the oh-so-homophobically religious mayor of a California city be recording drunk teenagers playing strip poker with him, in his own bedroom, at a summer camp? If you said “because he’s a wanker and a pervert”, you just won the hand.

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28. Bill Fucking Leak. Drunken fathers are the reason Aboriginal Australian kids end up in youth detention centres? No, dopey. That would be the racist Australian legal system…which, incidentally, also drives all those Aboriginal fathers to drink! But of course, as a white beneficiary of said system, this schlop-cartoonist couldn’t be expected to understand that!

29. Carl Fucking Paladino. “No doubt” that Obama is a Muslim? Uh, actually, there’s plenty of doubt that he is one, and none whatsoever that he isn’t! And there’s also no doubt that this wanker is…well, see for yourself. I feel sorry for the good people of Buffalo, let’s just put it that way.

30. Dimitri Fucking Soudas. Nice master’s thesis (on how to manipulate the media!) you got there. A pity that all the googling in the world isn’t going to get your party a sympathetic audience anymore…because online organizing helped bring down you and your boss, Harpo!

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And finally, to all the not-so-silent, not-so-majority idiots who actually turn out for Der Drumpf’s increasingly farcical rallies. Between your foul language (no, NOT “politically incorrect”, just plain incorrect— and FOUL) and your ready excuse-making for white illegal immigrants, you people need to shut up and take a hard look at your own hypocrisy. Because you and your idiot candidate are the reason your party’s gonna lose, and lose BIG TIME, in November.

Good night, and get fucked!

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A little song for Der Drumpf

Remember those little girls who didn’t get paid for their “patriotic” performance at a Drumpf rally? Well, Stephen Colbert & Co. decided that wasn’t right. So they got together some “girls” of their own:

And if you want to know what the song is really supposed to sound like (with proper syllabic emphasis!), here are Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia, giving Blanche a proper send-off before her life-saving date with the surgeon:

I especially like the old soldier who salutes them midway through.

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Quotable: Romeo Saganash on missing and murdered indigenous people

“Where is the Canada we used to know…the one that has the history of upholding high standards of human rights?”

Yes, this was from two years ago…but I still think this man would make a terrific prime minister. We could do with an indigenous one. Especially today, as the government has finally decided to call for an inquiry into what’s behind all the missing and murdered indigenous women.

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Venezuela: Bolivarian leader’s son assaulted by paramilitaries trained in Colombia

When the president of Venezuela gets up on national TV to denounce a gun crime, you know it’s not just any old gun crime. And sure enough, the recent assault on the son of one of his colleagues turns out to be not just any assault, but an assassination attempt aimed at his popular, prominent father…and one more sordid episode in the opposition’s quest for the destabilization of Venezuela. Story via Aporrea:

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro Moros denounced that the July 28 attack against Mauricio Bernal, son of former revolutionary deputy Freddy Bernal, must have been planned in Colombia.

“The right is capable of reaching even that far. All investigations point to intellectual authorship in Colombia. The two assassins were trained by paramilitary bands in Colombia,” said the Venezuelan head of state during the 62nd edition of his program, “Contact With Maduro”, broadcast from the Junín Theatre in Caracas.

Maduro recounted that the young man was attacked by a pair on a motorcycle in front of his house in the El Paraíso sector of the Libertador municipality of the Capital District. They shot him in the chest without saying a word; before he fell, he gunned the two down. Afterwards, he received emergency medical treatment.

The president indicated that the authorities already have all the proofs which point to those responsible for the crime, and they will soon be shown to the people of Venezuela.

“We’re not just confronting a handful of deputies who have gone mad and disobeyed the Constitution. It’s a plan to assault Venezuela and see if the people give up,” Maduro warned.

Freddy Bernal recently warned of the coincidence of attacks on his own political team and the recent attack on his family, which leads one to presume that the real object [of the attacks] is his own person, as a revolutionary director.

“This type of actions against my political team or my family will not divert me from the peaceful course of the Bolivarian Revolution,” Bernal said.

Translation mine. Here’s Freddy Bernal himself, on the public channel VTV, the day after it happened, talking about the assault (which his son, happily, survived):

Mauricio Bernal, luckily, is a skilled shooter with good firearms training. And the shots hit him in the sternum, rather than the heart. This could have ended a lot worse, especially if there had been more assailants.

Recall that the assassination of Robert Serra was also carried out by Colombian-led and -trained paramilitary bands. And remember, above all, who’s behind them.

I don’t think this will be the last time we hear of an attempt on the life of a prominent Bolivarian (or a member of their family), unfortunately. These bastards are persistent, and there’s been more than one group active lately. But Freddy Bernal himself survived an attempt on his own life and that of his president. You can see him here:

Freddy appears, along with Iris Varela and several other prominent Chavistas, in the scene where the opposition putschists are threatening to bomb Miraflores Palace…with everyone in it. And as you can see, they were not about to leave under even such dire circumstances. The final outcome…well, you can see it for yourself.

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Mexican cardinal offers bizarre sex-ed lesson

norberto-rivera-carrera

Mexican cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera is a powerful man in the Catholic hierarchy. And, like so many of his ilk, he has some mighty…er…interesting notions about human sexuality and the functions of the body:

The Roman Catholic Church and its most hardcore followers have turned the topic of marriage equality into a crusade of fundamentalism and intolerance toward same-sex couples.

The latest argument denotes absolute lack of understanding of human sexuality, but according to them, sustains their beliefs drawn from the Middle Ages and warns the faithful against the great dangers of gay marriage.

“About Faith”, the propagandistic organ of Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of the Archdiocese of Mexico, offers a lesson on the function of the anus. The Catholic hierarchy affirms that “the human body is not designed for homosexual relations”.

Without mentioning the source of such scientific information, they touch on the topic of feminine sexuality with absolute erudition:

“The woman has a cavity specially prepared for sexual relations, which lubricates itself to facilitate penetration, resists friction, secretes substances which protect the female body from possible infections present in the semen.” We suppose that this mysterious “cavity” is the vagina, although this is not clarified.

On masculine sexuality, they offer a lesson of technical physiological knowledge, in particular on the anus, very different from the anus of the woman, according to them:

“On the other hand, the anus of the man is not designed to receive, only to expel. Its membrane is delicate, it tears easily, and lacks protection against external agents which could infect it. The member that penetrates the anus injures it severely, possibly causing hemorrhages and infections.”

Applause, please. Everyone on your feet. More applause. Incredible! Now it turns out that the best sexologists are in the Archdiocese of Mexico, with a new and grandiose theory of sexuality never before seen, studied or divulged. More applause, please.

With this, the Archdiocese of Mexico wants to demonstrate that it is better than any institute of health specializing in human sexuality. And it wants to convince us of the good qualities of the anus, which according to them, should only “expel”, which is to say, we can only defecate through the anus, never “receive” anything, much less a penis.

Pardon — here arises a doubt, a question. What about anal sex? What do we do with anal sex? Maybe the cardinal and his propaganda organ — I’m referring to the pamphlet “About Faith” — don’t know that anal sex exists, nor have they heard of the study of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which recommends safe techniques for couples, heterosexual or, all right, homosexual, to practise it.

The anus, according to this study, is a “muscular sphincter”, tends to offer resistance, for which reason, at the time of relations, they recommend physical relaxation and above all, the use of lubricants. They also state that penetration must be done gently. And it gives us the recommendation of the use of condoms, since the rectal mucosa is a “path of entry for viruses and bacteria”. Also, it states that after anal coitus, it is better not to penetrate the vagina, so as not to contaminate the intimate region with bacteria, and if one does so, one must use a new condom as well as having proper hygiene. The study says that anal sex offers “great erotic and sexual satisfaction” to all types of couples.

Anathema. Surely, Cardinal Rivera would send the Journal of Sexual Medicine to hell, and its expert sexologists too. Moreover, the cardinal places emphasis in his propaganda organ on the notion that lesbian sex is equally dangerous.

“There could be contagion of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as damage due to penetration by objects which substitute for the male member.” That is, the Church proposes that sexual relations should only be between couples of different sex, and, if possible, in the missionary position and with lights out. What type of sexual relations does the Church accept? Those considered “scientifically safe” according to Christian morality.

In a perverse manner, in this pamphlet, Cardinal Norberto Rivera mixes same-sex couples up with AIDS and other diseases.

“More than 50% of persons with attraction to the same sex who have sexual relations, contract some type of sexually transmitted disease: HIV, herpes, human papilloma virus, syphilis, gonorrhea, etc.”, says the text, and adds: “This is a public health problem because an important portion of homosexual persons are known to have an addiction to sex, and an inclination toward a promiscuous lifestyle.”

This text is a clear example of discrimination. Not only does it promote hatred against homosexuals, but it defames them with lies, half-truths, and manipulations without any supporting medical evidence.

Saying that an “important portion” of homosexuals are “addicted to sex” is generating a false concept in society, in order to generate opposition to equal marriage.

“The church doesn’t hate homosexuals, it loves them, and suffers if they suffer. For this reason it opposes ‘equal marriage’, because those who participate in this type of union have a very high risk of suffering the harms previously noted….The Church opposes (equal marriage) because it does not want anyone to suffer the harms that this type of union tends to provoke: injuries to spiritual, psychological and physical health. Let us consider the damage to physical health.”

Appealing to “physical health” to demonize equal marriage is a low blow on the part of the Catholic hierarchy, in which it shows itself desperate and ready to do anything, even spreading lies and inciting hate, in order to prevent the advance of modernity.

Worse yet, Cardinal Norberto Rivera and his propaganda paper propose not having sex: “Even knowing this, the Church insists, as St. Paul did, in season and out of season, that in continence is the only solution.” Continence is the “virtue” of dominating, controlling and orienting sexual impulses and the “concupiscence of the flesh”.

The Church crusade against equal marriage, and that of its organizations of Catholic parents, is national. Other bishops, such as that of the Diocese of Xalapa, Hipólito Reyes Larios, have joined the disinformation campaign, saying that textbooks “make gays” of children, generating an “atmosphere of libertinage” like that of Sodom and Gomorrah: “Books cause children from pre-school age to become gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transsexuals, since they teach them about sexuality.”

These opinions seem more perverse than those emanating from the flesh and desire. Better not to even speak of homosexual priests, much less of what they think about the scientific Catholic function of the anus.

Fortunately, it’s clear to us that priests and cardinals are not sexologists. Imagine what would become of us if we based our sexuality on their primitive criteria. How much happiness, how much joy, how much pleasure, how much freedom, would they have snatched away from us? God forbid.

Translation mine.

So we can see that even as Mexico is moving into the modern era, with marriage equality for same-sex couples popping up all over the place (as indeed it’s doing in other parts of Latin America, as well), the Mexican Catholic church, despite its large number of gay priests, is digging in its heels, opposing what could only be a beneficial trend in the long run.

Most ironically, the hierarchy is ignoring the evidence which points to the dangers of the closet. For no sexually transmitted disease can spread and flourish without widespread ignorance of sexuality in general, and shame about gay sexuality in particular. In the 1970s and ’80s, the backdoor of the closet led straight to the bathhouse, where promiscuity was the norm and safe-sex practices nonexistent. The result: Lightning-fast transmission of HIV and other STDs, and devastation for the gay community as young and seemingly carefree men were decimated. Even monogamous gay men found themselves infected by partners who weren’t, or who hadn’t always been before meeting them, or who themselves had had contact with just one infected person.

The current, largely successful push for marriage equality in North America, and other LGBT rights and protections under law, grew out of the struggles of that era. Today it’s commonly recognized that same-sex marriage has helped to remove the stigma from being gay. When people are no longer closeted, neither do they get the “perverse” (but actually quite unsurprising) urge to throw caution to the winds. When their sexual orientation is seen as just another variation on the theme of natural and normal, they can form relationships and households without fear or deception. They don’t have to marry anyone they don’t love. They don’t have to pretend to be straight. They don’t have to furtively seek out any and all willing strangers to satisfy their hidden urges. With no imperative to conform, there is also no counter-imperative to go sexually berserk, risking life and health for a few moments of pleasure. Result: Lower rates of HIV infection, among others.

Removing the stigma from being gay also removes the obsession with gay sex, as paradoxical as it may seem to the backward theologians of the Mexican Catholic church…who are far more preoccupied with gay men’s anuses than the gay men themselves would ever be. And who are now the butt of many a dirty joke because of it.

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Photo du jour: Scary Russkies!

Did Der Drumpf meet with Pooty-Poot? No pix, so I’m assuming he didn’t. However, we do have this:

putin-clinton

…which looks like a rather cordial and friendly meeting to me.

Things that make you go hmmmm, eh?

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