Thread: I am a (relative) liberal - ask me anything

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  1. #61  
    Junior Member Epimetheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Good. Glad to hear it. Going to answer mine?
    Yes, your question will be next - I just don't have the time to write multiple long responses to this thread on work days.
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  2. #62  
    Senior Member Molon Labe's Avatar
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    Do you believe one is Racist to be against the legislation called the Civil rights act of 1964?

    Because I am against it. And based on your answer I'll explain why in a few but, I read in another post that Robert Byrd, who was a racist, was against this legislation. I wonder if there is another reason why someone might be opposed to it?
    Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound - Unknown


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  3. #63  
    Senior Member txradioguy's Avatar
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    I do not believe "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" (Marx/communism) is an appropriate maxim to run a country by. It has a nice ring to it ('hooray no one suffers anymore'), but even if it were possible to objectively define what people's 'ability' and 'needs' were, no government would be adequately capable of executing on this principle. Additionally, the freedom to ascend or descend in social status is too important an incentive for people to be productive members of society to lose.
    Likewise, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his work" (Stalin/Soviet communism/socialism) is bad for the same reasons
    "Equality of Outcomes" is even worse than the above two ideas.
    "Equality of Opportunity" has a nice ring to it but in practice often turns into "Equality of Wealth" or "Bash people with lucky genetics back down to the level of others". Aside from these cases it seems to be a reasonable pursuit (e.g. Equal Opportunity Employment is fine with me)
    Absolute "Equality of Wealth" is no better than "Equality of Outcomes". But it is concerning to me that our Gini coefficient is relatively high compared to the rest of the world (and high compared to what most Americans believe is a reasonable distribution of wealth), and that it has been rising consistently for a good 30 years.
    I believe we have enough wealth and technology that we can afford to have a reasonably high minimum standard-of-living. The tricky bit is to set this up in a way that does not encourage people to become dependent on welfare / stop seeking to make contributions to society. I support universal health care, progressive taxation, and tend to oppose unions in their fights (you can call that progressive or not..)
    I'm not a fan of nationalism, let alone the concept of a master race
    I don't believe that governments plan economies better than the free market. But there are certainly uses for government to provide things the free market would not on its own.
    And yet...from all indications you support a political party that believes ALL of that.

    Why is that?
    In Memory Of My Friend 1st Sgt. Tim Millsap A Co, 70th Eng. Bn. 3rd Bde 1st AD...K.I.A. 25 April 2005

    Liberalism Is The Philosophy Of The Stupid

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    The libs/dems of today are the Quislings of former years. The cowards who would vote a fraud into office in exchange for handouts from the devil.
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  4. #64  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    Byrd was pretty clearly racist. He claimed to have regretted his filibuster, but I'm not sure I buy it.
    I don't. He was using racially vile language throughout his later years, but he wasn't the only Democrat with a checkered past who remained in the senate. Fritz Hollings was the former governor who first raised the Confederate flag over the South Carolina State Capitol in 1962, and he was making antisemitic and racist comments through his retirement in 2004. No Democrats sought to distance themselves from either of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    You'll have to do more to convince me that this is racially motivated. Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin didn't exactly get wonderful treatment from their political opponents either.
    Not a problem.

    Democrats use racist invectives to denigrate black Republicans, demeaning them as “sellouts”, “Uncle Toms”, “House Negroes”, “House N-word”

    While claiming to be racially sensitive, Democrats use racist invectives to denigrate black Republicans, demeaning them as “sellouts”, “Uncle Toms”, “House Negroes”, “House N-word”, or worse. The list of black Republicans attacked by Democrats is long and includes RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, General Colin Powell and Justice Clarence Thomas.
    On the left-wing Internet website called “The News Blog,” Democrats posted a doctored photograph of RNC Chairman Michael Steele while he was the Lt. Governor of Maryland and running for a Senate seat. Democrats depicted Steele as a “Simple Sambo” with a blackened minstrel-style face, nappy hair and big, think red lips. The cartoon caption read: “Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house”. This contemptible racist stereotype is the same one Democrats used to demean black men during the era of slavery and segregation.
    Dr. Condoleezza Rice was the object of particularly vicious racist attacks by Democrats. In addition to several other appalling images of Dr. Rice produced by several Democrats, cartoonist Jeff Danziger denigrated Dr. Rice as an ignorant, barefoot “mammy”, reminiscent of the stereotyped black woman in the movie “Gone with the Wind” about the slave era black woman who remarked: “I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ no babies”. This is the type of racist stereotype Democrats used to demean black women during the era of slavery and segregation.
    A video was shot by WKRN Video Journalist Beau Fleenor at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee that shows Al Sharpton demeaning Gen. Powell and Dr. Rice, when Sharpton was asked to give his opinions about whether Powell and Rice were “House Negroes”.
    An article that appeared in a Portland, Oregon paper was one of many exposing how hardly a ripple of protest was made by black Democrats when Harry Belafonte publicly denounced Gen. Powell as a “House Negro”.
    Posted on the Internet is an article entitled “A Black Man, The Progressive’s Perfect Trojan Horse” by black entertainer Lloyd Marcus exposing Democratic Party racism toward black Tea Party protesters.
    The truth about Democratic Party racism can be harsh medicine, but is sorely needed to finally eject the race-baiting poison injected into our body politic by Democrats, the architects of modern-day racism. As stated by author Michael Scheuer, the Democratic Party is the party of the four S’s: slavery secession, segregation and now socialism. A prominent pundit affirmed that the Republican Party is the party of the four F’s: family, faith, freedom and fairness. Civil rights history details are in the NBRA Civil Rights Newsletter that is posted on the website of the National Black Republican Association.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    You'll have to forgive me taking this shot, but in response to some other posters: I'm surprised a party of low-IQ touchy-feely types could be this devious.
    Democrats are hardly touchy-feely, unless you're talking about Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton around women. They are the heirs of a violent political movement consisting of big city machines, organized labor (which means organized crime, especially in the Teamsters), communists, socialists and assorted other thugs. The antiwar activists of the sixties preached non-violence, even as they blew up ROTC buildings and plotted murders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    In all seriousness, it would not surprise me much if the DNC thought this way. Far too much of politics these days is thinking about how to get/stay elected, not actual thoughtful policy. I'd be very surprised if the average Democratic politician was this cynical, however.
    And yet, they are. I grew up in the Democratic Party in NYC in the sixties and seventies, and registered as a Democrat for my first election (although I voted for Reagan). I even worked at the DNC convention in 1980. I've seen how the party works up close, and it is monumentally corrupt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    And yes, Democrats aren't going to dwell on missteps or nutjobs in their ranks. You'll have a hard time convincing me that Republicans don't do the same thing.
    Hardly. The most obvious example is the Republican response to David Duke, who won a Republican primary in Louisiana in 1990. The Republican Party refused to endorse him and actually endorsed the Democrat, Edwards, who eventually won. If a Nazi or Klansman were to get elected to congress, there is no way that the Republicans would permit him in the caucus, while the Democrats have no problem with Bernie Sanders, the Socialist Party senator from Vermont. When Todd Akin made his rape gaffe during the 2012 campaign, the entire party tried to get him to step down. Richard Nixon's resignation came after a group of Republican senators informed him that they would vote for conviction when the articles of impeachment were presented to the senate, after more than a few Republicans voted for the articles in the house. Not a single Democrat voted for Clinton's impeachment in either chamber. OTOH, no Democrat, no matter how nuts, evil or corrupt has ever lost his/her party's support. Al Sharpton, a racist demagogue with a criminal record, still has his endorsement sought by Democratic politicians. One of the only federal judges ever impeached by the US Senate, Alcee Hastings, now sits in the house as a member of the Democratic caucus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    Yikes. I dislike Islam more than other religions, but this is going too far in my opinion. Every Muslim I've met here in the states seems very unlikely to participate in violent jihad. I would attribute violence by Muslims much more to society in the Middle East than to the religion itself (indoctrinating children to hate the West, poverty, and so on). Now, since religion plays an important role in society, Islam clearly isn't blameless.

    This shows me that you haven't read the Qur'an or any of the Hadiths. Don't confuse your extremely limited experience with Muslims in America with the practice of Islam thorughout the world. My experience with Islam includes American and foreign Muslims (I was at FT Hood when Nidal Hassan shot up the units that we were training), and the basic tenets are violent in a way that Judaism and Christianity are not. But, don't take my word for it, just slip into a mosque on a Friday night and listen to the sermon and see if the radicalism that I'm talking about isn't part of the imam's spiel.


    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    When I started this thread, I assumed 'liberal' would be interpreted in the street-sense of the word used here in the US. That is, tending to agree with the policies of the Democratic Party (post Solid-South). I used 'relative' in the thread title because while I don't actually agree with Democrats on everything, I probably still share more of their viewpoints than most everyone here.

    I'll agree that this isn't a great definition, particularly if we want to get into history, philosophy, etc. But if you pressed the average American to define liberal or conservative, I'd guess that'd is the response they'd give - particularly in this era of 'us vs. them' in politics.
    I suspect that you agree with their viewpoints because you've only been exposed to the media's version of the other side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    I would still tend to disagree. I am not claiming to believe in all aspects of classical liberalism or any other ideology (I should have clarified this earlier - apologies for the confusion), so therefore don't see how I am 'evading responsibility' for the Soviets, let alone North Korea or Hitler.
    But the Democratic Party is evading that responsibility. The prominent Progressives who supported Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and various other totalitarians would read like a who's who of the Democratic Party and western intelligentsia over the last century.
    Just as progressives were generally enthusiastic about socialist movements in the Soviet Union and Europe, they were also overwhelmingly supportive of the fascist movements in Italy and Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. “In many respects,” writes journalist Jonah Goldberg, “the founding fathers of modern liberalism, the men and women who laid the intellectual groundwork of the New Deal and the welfare state, thought that fascism sounded like ... a worthwhile 'experiment'”:
    • H. G. Wells, one of the most influential progressives of the 20th century, said in 1932 that progressives must become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis.” Regarding totalitarianism, he stated: “I have never been able to escape altogether from its relentless logic.” Calling for a “‘Phoenix Rebirth’ of Liberalism” under the umbrella of “Liberal Fascism,” Wells said: “I am asking for a Liberal Fascisti, for enlightened Nazis.”
    • The poet Wallace Stevens pronounced himself “pro-Mussolini personally.”
    • The eminent historian Charles Beard wrote of Mussolini’s efforts: “Beyond question, an amazing experiment is being made [in Italy], an experiment in reconciling individualism and socialism.”
    • Muckraking journalists almost universally admired Mussolini. Lincoln Steffens, for one, said that Italian fascism made Western democracy, by comparison, look like a system run by “petty persons with petty purposes.” Mussolini, Steffens proclaimed reverently, had been “formed” by God “out of the rib of Italy.”
    • McClure’s Magazine founder Samuel McClure, an important figure in the muckraking movement, described Italian fascism as “a great step forward and the first new ideal in government since the founding of the American Republic.”
    • After having vistited Italy and interviewed Mussolini in 1926, the American humorist Will Rogers, who was informally dubbed “Ambassador-at-Large of the United States” by the National Press Club, said of the fascist dictator: “I’m pretty high on that bird.” “Dictator form of government is the greatest form of government,” Rogers wrote, “that is, if you have the right dictator.”
    • Reporter Ida Tarbell was deeply impressed by Mussolini's attitudes regarding labor, affectionately dubbing him “a despot with a dimple.”
    • NAACP co-founder W. E. B. DuBois saw National Socialism as a worthy model for economic organization. The establishment of the Nazi dictatorship in Germany, he wrote, had been “absolutely necessary to get the state in order.” In 1937 DuBois stated: “there is today, in some respects, more democracy in Germany than there has been in years past.”
    • FDR adviser Rexford Guy Tugwell said of Italian fascism: “It's the cleanest, neatest, most efficiently operating piece of social machinery I've ever seen. It makes me envious.”
    • New Republic editor George Soule, who avidly supported FDR, noted approvingly that the Roosevelt administration was “trying out the economics of fascism.”
    • Playwright George Bernard Shaw hailed Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini as the world’s great “progressive” leaders because they “did things,” unlike the leaders of those “putrefying corpses” called parliamentary democracies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    Thank you for not putting words in my mouth, and I do genuinely appreciate your questions - hopefully some progress has been made towards satisfying them. If you still feel I am evading you, let me know and I can attempt to elaborate.
    I try to deal in ideas, rather than personalities, which is why I tend to drive the hard-core leftists nuts. We can never beat them at personal attacks, they've written the book on it, but their ideas are bankrupt. Stick around for a while and you'll see.
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  5. #65  
    Resident Grump
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    Yes, your question will be next - I just don't have the time to write multiple long responses to this thread on work days.
    That was four days ago.

    Well?
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  6. #66  
    Senior Member LukeEDay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    That was four days ago.

    Well?
    He gave up.

    I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
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  7. #67  
    Junior Member Epimetheus's Avatar
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    Alright, not dead or in hiding yet - just on vacation. But while I will probably continue to be pretty inactive this week, I do have a bit of time at the moment.

    Odysseus, that was an excellent response. It will take me some time to digest and get back to you, but thanks for your time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Given the high state of histrionics in Congress, and the Failure's ideals of "reasonable gun control", where do you stand on this?
    Here's a summary - some of these will come up in more detail later so probably best to respond to those sections than this:
    • We should not take guns away from responsible Americans or make it overly burdensome to buy/own guns...
    • ...but I will support regulation that can be reasonably expected to reduce gun violence without breaking the two above principles
    • The assault weapons ban is not an example of the above. It is poor legislation.
    • Guns are not evil - people kill people (but they are not being caused to by Hollywood or Video Games)
    • Passing legislation based on emotion or hype usually leads to poor results (see Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007). Sweeping reform of gun control at this point would be a mistake.
    • The NRA proposal of putting guns, guards, and bulletproof glass at every school in response to the shooting is similarly an overreaction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Do you think this current idea of another assault weps ban will actually achieve anything?
    No, the assault weapons ban seems like a poor piece of legislation. It's vague, easy to get around, and focuses on cosmetic features of weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Do you believe that the Founders were specific in that "The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"?
    Yes. However, this right was given for the purpose of allowing "a well-regulated Militia". I'm no Constitutional scholar, but this seems to allow for reasonable regulation of arms.

    Now, we can argue about what constitutes 'reasonable' regulations. To me, pretty much anything short of making it illegal to buy/own guns is theoretically possible, so long as the benefit to the public can be shown. I've yet to be convinced of the effectiveness of the gun control measures we've introduced so far, but I'm open to the debate.

    There seems to be agreement that we shouldn't be giving guns to the mentally ill or convicted felons, so expanding background checks and eliminating the Gun Show loophole seems to be a sensible approach to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Given that the last shooting was by a lunatic who a/ should never have had access to guns b/ murdered his mother to get them c/ was not a legal or licensed gun owner d./ committed yet another massacre in a so-called gun free zone and e/ as a result has Congress screaming for more "controls" when the elephant in the room is standing there, trunk swinging, with the words "Gun Free Zone" arouind his neck?
    I don't believe these shooters are choosing Gun-Free Zones on purpose (or, therefore, that eliminating them would reduce the number of shootings occurring). Most are murder-suicides, with the perp either killing themselves or engaging the police in a hopeless firefight, so these people aren't looking for a location where they won't be fired upon.

    I also don't believe eliminating Gun-Free Zones would limit the damage from these shootings; I'm not sure I'd trust some random Joe to respond appropriately and fire accurately in a chaotic situation. Police Officers receive a significant amount of training in how to respond to these types of stressful and fast-moving situations in a way that minimizes the risk to bystanders.

    So, for the moment, I don't see any reason to get rid of gun-free zones; eliminating them wouldn't appear to reduce either the likelihood or severity of these tragedies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Where do you stand with the fact that every single gun massacre has been in a gun free zone, including that jihadi Hassan who carried out his shooting on an Army base where..wait for it..wait for it..possession of use of firearms on the base was strictly prohibited? (And screamiong Allahu Akhbar as he did it?)
    See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Do you believe that gun control will stop these massacres? Do you believe that gun control works?
    To the first question, no. I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that current regulations have prevented some violence, or that future ones could prevent more. But I don't think it would ever be possible to eliminate these types of tragedies altogether.

    I haven't seen great evidence for the effectiveness gun control policy in the past, and strong evidence may always be out of reach due to the complexity of sociological factors causing crime and violence. It would be helpful to know which specific parts of gun control you disagree with to continue this discussion more specifically. Or do you believe all regulation of guns is inappropriate (even all of LBJ's Gun Control act in 1968)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    How do you handle the fact that suicide is considered a gun crime, and that more than 98% of all gun crimes are committed with illegal guns?
    To an extent, I agree with your point. It is misleading to lump suicide in with murders and other violence when discussing gun violence, as people will tend to associate this statistic with the latter.

    However, there is an argument that the presence of guns could be increasing suicide rates by being a lethal and available method of suicide with no preparation needed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17426563). While chronically suicidal people could find other ways to plan and commit suicide, guns may allow acute suicidal impulses to be potentially deadly as well. So I think it's fair to discuss suicide when it comes to gun control, but it should be clearly separated from violent crime when it comes to statistics.

    Can you show me where the 98% statistic came from? This is surprising to me, so I'd be curious to read more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    How do you answer this cry for more gun control, based on the massacre in Belgium, whose nation enacted a total gun ban? Bear in mind the guy who did it was a three times convicted felon who got his hands on hand grenades and automatic weapons, despite all the laws that said he should never have been able to? (fat lot that did them, now, didnt it)
    This is just an anecdote - a single instance. Belgium has markedly lower firearm-related deaths per capita than the US (Belgium: 0.23 homicides per 100,000, 2.43 per 100,000 including suicides. I'm not going to make the claim that Belgium is lower because of their gun control laws - I have no way to substantiate that and there are a lot of factors contributing to crime/violence/etc. Is there data showing an increase or decrease in firearm-related deaths following the total gun ban in Belgium? That would certainly be interesting to see.

    Otherwise this appears to be a tragedy that could not be prevented by regulation. We'll never be able to regulate gun-violence out of existence, but that this occurred doesn't conflict with my position that if there exist reasonable regulations that will reduce violence without unduly infringing rights, they should be considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Do you think that any amount of "gun laws" will slow down or stop the possession and use of illegally obtained weapons?
    Slow down? Maybe. Stop? No.

    And whatever regulations come into effect, if any, I doubt we would ever retroactively apply them to guns that Americans already own and use.
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  8. #68  
    Senior Member txradioguy's Avatar
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    I doubt we would ever retroactively apply them to guns that Americans already own and use.
    And yet athat's exactly what Obama and the rest f the Dems have proposed in the legislation they are shoving down our throats.

    You're gonna be in for a world of surprise about how things work in the real world once you get out of school kid.
    In Memory Of My Friend 1st Sgt. Tim Millsap A Co, 70th Eng. Bn. 3rd Bde 1st AD...K.I.A. 25 April 2005

    Liberalism Is The Philosophy Of The Stupid

    To Achieve Ordered Liberty You Must Have Moral Order As Well

    The libs/dems of today are the Quislings of former years. The cowards who would vote a fraud into office in exchange for handouts from the devil.
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  9. #69  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    The NRA proposal of putting guns, guards, and bulletproof glass at every school in response to the shooting is similarly an overreaction.
    And the left calling for banning assault rifles and high capacity mags and calls for banning private ownership of hand guns isn't? Limiting law abiding gun owners to only 7 bullets in a magazine isn't overreacting? My God you people are incredible hypocrites.

    However, this right was given for the purpose of allowing "a well-regulated Militia".
    The man who authored the amendment himself said that the militia is the whole of the people. In case this is still confusing, every swinging dick is a part of the militia.
    Last edited by NJCardFan; 04-09-2013 at 04:52 PM.
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  10. #70  
    Junior Member Epimetheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    And the left calling for banning assault rifles and high capacity mags and calls for banning private ownership of hand guns isn't? Limiting law abiding gun owners to only 7 bullets in a magazine isn't overreacting? My God you people are incredible hypocrites.
    I noted that in the line directly above the one you quoted. I agree it would be hypocritical to support these things in the wake of a tragedy like this after dismissing the NRA's approach, but that's not what I'm doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by txradioguy View Post
    And yet athat's exactly what Obama and the rest f the Dems have proposed in the legislation they are shoving down our throats.

    You're gonna be in for a world of surprise about how things work in the real world once you get out of school kid.
    Even Feinstein doesn't seem to be pushing for this, from what I've seen. Can you show me where Democrats are proposing retroactively applying any possible new regulations? The closest thing I've heard about is a voluntary program for people to return guns that they've purchased in return for cash at-or-above market value for their weapon. But again, this would be a voluntary program.

    I've been out of school for about a year, though this is a short enough period of time that I can imagine I still sound like a student.
    Last edited by Epimetheus; 04-09-2013 at 05:24 PM. Reason: fixed typo
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