We, the People and Domestic Terrorism

Posted on April 28, 2014. Filed under: Government, Politics |

In the aftermath of the Cliven Bundy standoff, the rhetoric has really been ratcheted up. It’s amazing to me what the left believes about people like me, people who believe in a limited government. The left actually believes its own rhetoric about the right, while the right simply thinks people on the left are crazy. Of course, the people on the left believe that of the right, so I guess that really puts both sides in the same camp.

A couple of people have suggested to me that I should become a polemicist, but I have no desire to become a Rush Limbaugh or a Michael Moore. Maybe that’s why I will just languish in obscurity on the internet, because I believe in calling things like I see them, not fueling anger and resentment that is now ever present in our politics.

Enter Harry Reid.

Harry Reid should have been an advocate for Cliven Bundy. After all, the way the system currently works, Reid is supposed to be a representative of Bundy. Instead, Reid decided to show his mean spirited, ugly side, something he has done repeatedly over his last term of office.

Reid has shown himself willing to attack people; Mitt Romney, the Koch brothers, and now Bundy and his supporters.

As I did more research into the Bundy situation, I eventually came down against Bundy, before his ill-fated remarks about blacks and slavery, and before I discovered that he and his family made up the story about how his ancestors settled the land in the 1880’s. His father bought the land in 1946.

But then Reid and his cronies, and eventually the left, labeled Bundy and his supporters domestic terrorists. That’s where I have to draw the line.

Terrorists. Really?

I ask the following questions about Bundy’s supporters:

  • How many people did they kill?
  • How many people did they taze?
  • How many did they throw to the ground and rough up?
  • How many hostages did they take?
  • How much property damage did they cause?
  • How many buildings did the blow up?
  • How many airplanes/buses/trains hijacked and blown up?

Since when did the BLM become a law enforcement agency? When they deploy snipers and helicopters with the intention of intimidating the people on the ranch, does that not, in fact, make them the terrorists? Bundy’s supporters are considered to be the terrorists instead, because they chose to defend the man and refused to stay in their government mandated “free speech zone” set up for them by the government.

But the left truly believes that the people were the terrorists, while they stay silent on groups like the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front who are constantly causing damage to private property.

I put a photo up on my facebook page that said at the very top “We are not against government”, but yet those on the left don’t process that. They believe, instead, that we are anarchists, that we want no government whatsoever.

That is so far from the truth.

Those of us on the right have been painted as anti-everything; anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-government, racists, etc.

And now domestic terrorists.

When you have government officials who are bound and determined that they are going to crack down on individual citizens by any means necessary, you have the basis for tyranny.

Think that’s just an idea that I harbor? Check out the Declaration of Independence:

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass [sic] our people, and eat out their substance.

The Revolution started because the American colonies did not to pay for a larger share of their own defense. That’s why taxes started going up. We are in the same situation now. We pay taxes, but what do we get for them? A gigantic national deficit and National debt.

It is far past time for the Federal government to divest itself of the lands it owns in the west. It is well past time for the government to stop harassing individual citizens, and to live within its means, instead of brokering land deals with the Chinese for personal gain.

But, we who believe in that, who believe in what this country used to be, we’re the terrorists.

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Obamacare and Me

Posted on April 24, 2014. Filed under: Government, Obamacare | Tags: , |

I had the luxury this last weekend of an extended stay at a luxury hotel, where I didn’t have to get up to use the bathroom, I didn’t have to drink anything if I didn’t want to, I could sleep all I wanted to, and if I needed to get anywhere, I was wheeled around by the friendly staff.

The name of that hotel was the emergency room.

Last Thursday, I developed a slight toothache on the left side of my face. The aching didn’t last very long, but suddenly my upper lip began to swell up. By Friday, the pressure of my swollen lip was pushing so hard into my gums that my teeth were starting to ache. The swelling continued to grow, and I still had no idea what had happened. By Saturday, I decided to go see an emergency dentist. The dentist took a quick look and said I need the ER, so that’s where I went. After sitting around for 2 hours waiting to get a room, I was finally escorted in, given pain medication that I didn’t need (it made my head feel like it was going to explode, and I was fighting nausea for the next 24 hours). I didn’t have pain, just discomfort. They gave me a ct scan and determined I had a tooth infection. They gave me some antibiotics, and sent me on my way. All of this after a rotating circus of nurses who would come in, have their phone ring, and then would leave. The doctor himself came in and said something like two words before his phone rang, and I never saw him again.

I returned the next day, because the swelling got worse. The doctor on duty that day looked at it and said I needed a dentist.

Isn’t that nice. The dentist said I needed a doctor, and the doctor said I needed a dentist.

Finally, on Monday, I went to see an oral surgeon who the ER recommended. Out of all of them, this guy was the best. He looked at my teeth, and said that I had an infection around two of them, and that the cheapest option was to extract them, but they could possibly be saved if I spent thousands of dollars on a root canal.

So I now sit here toothless, with a lot of medical bills.

The question now becomes, would have enrolling in Obamacare made any difference for me?

Probably not. Could my teeth have been saved by having a root canal? Possibly, but the oral surgeon made it clear that it was not a guarantee.

Both sides are spinning Obamacare like crazy. The president and some Democrats are claiming Obamacare is working because 8 million people signed up, and 3 million have been shunted to Medicaid, while the other side is playing up the disastrous rollout and that 4.2 million people, by the last numbers I can find, have lost their insurance. Even some “fact check” sites are trying to spin it one way or the other.

What do these numbers really mean?

Let’s go back to the beginning. Remember 2008, when this was a hot campaign topic? Most probably don’t, but the number of uninsured Americans kept hopping all over the radar like a frog on a hot burner. It changed from 15 million all the way up to a high of 45 million, with stops at 19 mil, 25 mil, and 30 million in between. That is a deviation of 15 million either way. So, we have somewhere around 30 million people uninsured, yet only 8 million people “signed up”. That’s a success only if you set the bar so low that you clear it only by tripping. If we assume a maximum of 45 million uninsured (for argument’s sake), less than 20% of those signed up. For the sake of argument, let’s add the 4.2 million who had their policies cancelled due to Obamacare regulations, bringing the total to 49 million uninsured. That means only 16% of the uninsured signed up.

Rousing success.

Let’s break the numbers down a little further.

Eight million people “signed up”.

How many of those people actually enrolled? Actually picked a plan? How many of them actually paid their premiums?

How many of them are getting subsidized, and are paying very little to nothing? Of course, I wonder if the deductibles are subsidized.

How many “young invincibles” signed up? How many paid? How many would have signed up if they were not allowed to stay on their parent’s plan until the age of 26, assuming their parent’s plan wasn’t cancelled.

How many of that 8 million number are people who had their insurance cancelled, and signed up because they have to have insurance? I’m not talking about the mandate, I’m talking having to have the insurance.

Three million people were shunted to Medicaid. Are those numbers counted in the enrollment numbers? If so, how are they supposed to help prop up the system when they won’t be paying anything?

Besides, there is a dark side to Medicaid that most people don’t know about, like, if you are elderly and use Medicaid, the State can seize your house after you die. We had to sell my grandfather’s house more than 10 years ago when he went into an assisted living facility just so the State of Oregon couldn’t seize it.

If the ACA is such a success, why are so many Democrats whose seats are vulnerable this election cycle backing away from it?

Try as you might to justify and spin it, the American people have been against this monstrosity from the beginning.

And Washington just doesn’t care, because they are looking out for the insurance industry, not the American people.

How will the American people react when the insurance bailouts kick in?

More about my situation. We can’t afford to put me on my wife’s plan. Obamacare is also too expensive, but the deductibles are $5500 to $6500. What I ran up this last week still fails to top the deductible threshold. A root canal possibly still would not have broken that threshold. Which means I would be paying for an insurance policy that would not cover my illness this weekend. Useless and pointless.

I don’t get majorly sick very often. The last time was in the late 1990’s.

What I am trying to say is that with or without insurance, I would be in the same place, only I would have been paying premiums out my backside as well for no gain. Obamacare makes no sense for me.

The president has a vested interest in convincing us it is working. It isn’t, no matter what he says, and I think he knows it. Premiums are going up across all age brackets in most states (they are going down in a few states). Deductibles have jumped quite a bit. But 8 million people is considered a success, when we were told back in 2008 that as many as 45 million people were without insurance?

Can we set the bar any lower?



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Cliven Bundy and the Nevada Constitution

Posted on April 15, 2014. Filed under: Government | Tags: , |

After watching the standoff in Nevada between rancher Cliven Bundy and the Federal Bureau of Land Management, I continued to dig for information. The BLM suddenly backed off and said they would pursue other options.

As I said before, two Federal courts have ruled against Bundy, but that hasn’t stopped him in his “range war’, nor did it stop militia groups from showing up to defend him.

As usual, a government agency got overzealous and abused a few people, including a pregnant woman and a cancer survivor.

Bundy’s stance it that the land in question is public land, not Federal land.

Well, you know, my cattle is only one issue—that the United States courts has ordered that the government can seize my cattle. But what they have done is seized Nevada statehood, Nevada law, Clark County public land, access to the land, and have seized access to all of the other rights of Clark County people that like to go hunting and fishing. They’ve closed all those things down, and we’re here to protest that action. And we are after freedom. We’re after liberty. That’s what we want.

Unfortunately, Mr. Bundy is seriously ill informed.

Nevada became a State in 1864, as the American Civil War was raging in the east. Nevada created a Constitution that would please Abraham Lincoln. They outlawed slavery, but they also slipped something in there that leaves me scratching my head.

Article I, section 2 of the Nevada constitution:

Purpose of government; paramount allegiance to United States.  All political power is inherent in the people[.] Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it. But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair[,] subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existance [existence], and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.

The emphasis is mine.

So, at least in Nevada, the state constitution requires every citizen of Nevada to become a mindless drone to the Federal government. That certainly explains a lot about Harry Reid.

That the Union is indissoluble is a precedent that has been established by the end of the Civil War. Should it be? The Nevada constitution says all political power is inherent in the people, but then denies the people of the one right that may be more precious than any other. The right to alter or abolish our government. To say that no state can leave the Union makes it sound like the United States is the mafia. Once you are in, there is no going back. How is it possible that those who crafted the constitution of Nevada could handcuff its citizens, and essentially make them slaves to the Federal government?

It is because of this section in the Nevada constitution that, unfortunately, makes Cliven Bundy and all of his followers wrong. Dead wrong. Look back at what Bundy said.

But what they have done is seized Nevada statehood, Nevada law, Clark County public land, access to the land, and have seized access to all of the other rights of Clark County people that like to go hunting and fishing. [emphasis mine]

Bundy has also said that he does not recognize the Federal government, when in fact, it appears that he is required to. The only thing left out is requiring citizens to pay tribute to the government.

It is important to note that this was written two decades before Bundy’s family settled the area. All of this adds up to one inescapable conclusion. Bundy is wrong. His followers are wrong.

Map of all Federal lands (click image to enlarge)

Map of all Federal lands (click image to enlarge)

So, the Federal government has not seized Nevada’s statehood. They have not seized Nevada law. Nevada law states that they give the Federal government the power to use armed force to compel obedience. The map to the right shows where all Federal land is located, and the area in dispute is colored in red; Federal land. All of this land was ceded by the states to the Federal government for one reason or another.

The reality is, the land does not belong to Clark County, Nevada. It belongs to the Federal government and is administered by the BLM. Much as I hate to say it, they have the right to do what they want with the land. They have the right to charge grazing fees. Two Federal courts have found this to be true. Either Bundy needs to pony the fees he owes, or he needs to stop with this confrontation. The only people getting hurt are his family and his supporters.

I do not condone what the BLM is doing. I do not condone the acts of force they are using to force compliance.

People have forgotten that our Founding Fathers were all for abolishing government. By the Civil War, fervent Unionists wanted us to surrender to the Federal government.

I’m not saying the government is right, but, contrary to the Nevada Constitution, the people do not have the right to alter or abolish their government. They need to work on amending that.

As I said in my last post, I don’t think the Federal government should own more land than it needs. I do not believe that anything beyond military posts is constitutional. I definitely think that Nevada’s constitution needs to be amended. Until that happens, Bundy’s stand is completely wrong.



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Federal Land Ownership and the Bundy Standoff

Posted on April 10, 2014. Filed under: Government, Police State | Tags: , , , |

800px-Gopherus_agassiziiIn northeastern Clark County, Nevada, home of the city of Las Vegas, a showdown is brewing between a rancher and the Federal Bureau of Land Management.

The Feds claim that Cliven Bundy has been illegally grazing his cattle on Federal lands for two decades. The family claims that that right has been purchased from the Federal government as far back as the late 1800’s, and that their right is grandfathered in.

So, what is the source of this friction?

Bundy’s beef with federal land management officials dates back to 1993, according to federal officials, when Bundy’s allotment for grazing his cattle on public land was modified to include protections for the desert tortoise.

In other words, some bureaucrat decided that these animals were “threatened” and need to be protected. It is yet another case of the government putting animals before humans.

One has to consider that these animals have a very low reproduction rate. That in itself is going to threaten the species, not allowing some rancher to graze his cattle on Federal land.

Here’s where the government expose their hypocrisy.

They are trying to stop this man from grazing his cattle in order to protect these tortoises. Meanwhile, back in 2013, the BLM killed hundreds of desert tortoises that were in shelters because they didn’t have the money to keep them. ( (Note, the Washington Post link has disappeared)

Instead of turning them loose in their native habitats, the government chose to kill them instead.

That’s a great way of protecting them.

What this tells me is that it is not so much about saving tortoises as it is flexing government muscle. The government is cracking down because it can, and now things are heading to yet another confrontation between the government and the people. It looks like it could possibly be another Waco or Ruby Ridge.

The BLM has deployed not just armed agents, but snipers and helicopters as well.

I understand the FBI having weapons, but the BLM? Why is it that every government agency is suddenly becoming a militarized “law enforcement” agency? The BLM. The ATF. The IRS. The Department of the Treasury. The United States Post Office. All purchasing ammunition for the Federal government. This country is becoming a police state like never before.

In accordance with a law signed by Obama back in 2012, the BLM set up so-called “free speech zones” to corral protesters into a little area where they could neither be seen nor heard. The government did this as well back at the 2012 party conventions so people going in and out of the conventions would not be exposed to the riff-raff.

The First Amendment clearly states Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

There are those who argue that telling people where they may have their free speech is not an abridgment of that right. But it is. Telling people where and how they are allowed to exercise their rights is as much a violation of their rights as telling people what they can and can’t say.

Protesters have been ignoring that little “free speech zone”, and the BLM has begun arresting people because of it. The governor of Nevada has called this action intimidation. Yes, that’s what stormtroopers do. They intimidate, and that is exactly what these jackbooted thugs are doing.

They have been tasering people, and even arrested the rancher’s son for videotaping them, a practice the courts have said over and over is perfectly legal. Watch the video for yourself:

All because they refused to be contained in their “free speech zone” cage.

My wife asked an interesting question, though. Why doesn’t this rancher graze his cattle on his own land? Doesn’t he have enough?

Unfortunately, that’s an answer that we may never get.

Two Federal courts have ruled against Bundy, and has created this standoff. Bundy insists that he isn’t doing anything illegal, because he believes that the Federal government doesn’t really own that land. It raises the question of Federal land ownership and the Constitution.

My position is that the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, clause 17 specifically limits what purposes the Federal government can own land. Article IV, Section 3, clause 2:

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

The Supreme Court has ruled that this clause gives the Federal government unlimited powers concerning property ownership, a position I strongly disagree with. You cannot read the different sections of the Constitution in a vacuum. While this clause says that the Feds can make the rules for property they own, Article I clearly defines what that property can be used for, and it is not unlimited. A friend of mine has stated that my understanding of the Constitution differs from the Supreme Court’s understanding. It does. I do not see the Constitution based on “precedence” and “case law”. I base my understanding of it on the Constitution itself, and on my research of it. If I find my interpretation to be incorrect, and I have, my understanding of it changes.

The Federal government owns nearly 85% of the State of Nevada. That is nearly 7/8 of the State! The State that is not a State! That should be their motto. The Federal government owns 53% of the State of Oregon, and not a single fort, magazine, arsenal or shipyard in sight.

Why does the Federal government need so much land?

There are those who argue that under this interpretation, the Louisiana purchase, the Gadsden purchase, the purchase of Alaska and Florida would have been unconstitutional. They could very well have been. Thomas Jefferson, who made the Louisiana Purchase was himself unsure of the Constitutionality of it, but at the same time, the Federal government did not hold onto it for long, instead dividing it up into territories as quickly as possible and turning the new territory into states.

It may have just been easier to take the land, like we took Texas, California, Nevada and Utah from Mexico.

There is an interesting paper on the internet about the Constitutionality of Federal land ownership and how it has been interpreted over the years that can be found here: It is a very interesting read.

The Nevada desert

The Nevada desert

How much land should the Federal government be allowed to own? I have no problems with the Federal government owning property for the purposes of military bases and naval yards, but I do not agree that the Constitution allows for National Parks and National Forests, of which Nevada has none. I’m not even sure Nevada has any trees.

The policy of Federal retention of lands actually began in 1976, even though states, and sometimes the Federal government (under Reagan) tried to force divestiture of these lands. The reality is that this is a bigger issue in the west where the Federal government owns more land than they do in the east. According to this paper ( the Federal government owns 28% of all the land in this country. Over 1/4 of this nation!

Federal land ownership is concentrated in the West. Specifically, 62% of Alaska is federally owned, as is 47% of the 11 coterminous western states. By contrast, the federal government owns only 4% of lands in the other states. This western concentration has contributed to a higher degree of controversy over land ownership and use in that part of the country.


And so, we have the basis of the conflict between this rancher and the government. If the government were wiser, it would offer to sell the land to the rancher rather than confiscate his cattle.

If we had a wiser government, it would divest itself of a lot of this land, and work towards paying the national debt off. After all, isn’t that the sole purpose that the Federal government was formed for, to pay off the collective debt from the war?

let’s hope this gets resolved peacefully, and it does not escalate into another Ruby Ridge or Waco.

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The Assault on the Bill of Rights

Posted on April 4, 2014. Filed under: Government, Politics | Tags: |

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts…

… All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.-George Washington

George Washington warned, back in 1796, that there would be factions intent on destroying this country, from both the inside and the outside. Today, our freedoms are under constant assault.

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, supporter of the unconstitutional SAFE Act, threatened to remove sheriffs from their jobs if they did not stop exercising their First Amendment rights in opposition to his law.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Lawrence Torcello (Rochester Institute of Technology) says “With such high stakes, an organised campaign funding misinformation ought to be considered criminally negligent.”

Criminally negligent? For disagreeing over an issue?

He cites the conviction of 6 scientists in Italy who failed to predict an earthquake back in 2009. Three hundred nine people were killed in the quake, and I think the government was desperate to blame someone.

But I think the broader point that Mr. Torcello misses is that predicting future events, such as catastrophes coming as a  result of “global warming”, is a very difficult affair. After all, the weatherman has trouble predicting the weather two days from now. So, if these doom and gloom scenarios that these “scientists” offer (remember, Mr. Torcello is a Philosophy professor), should they be held criminally negligent for inciting fear and panic?

This is what happens when one side can’t produce results in debate. They demand the opposition be silenced.

Look at Obama on Obamacare. He claims Obamacare is “settled law”. Those who are moving through the court system would disagree, but again, it is the Left’s way of saying “shut up” when they can’t debate on merit or facts.

But here is where things start getting nefarious. Our children are slowly being brainwashed into eliminating the Bill of Rights.

In the Bryant School District in Arkansas, sixth grade students were given a worksheet in which the Bill of Rights had been determined to be ‘outdated”, and the students were to decide what two amendments should be repealed, and what they should be replaced with. Mind you, they had to come up with two, and it appears that “none of them” would be an acceptable answer. Follow this link to read it for yourself:

The lesson is that rights are not natural. We do not have the right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, free speech or religion, self defense, unreasonable searches, et al unless the government says we do.It’s an idea that permeates every level of government, every tyrant at every level.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio openly said he believes in the heavy hand of government.

Washington Governor, taking his cue from the President, decided to just unilaterally suspend the State’s death penalty, much like Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.

The President himself has been altering the “settled” Obamacare law by pushing back deadlines and requirements, and handing out exemptions to his donors.

In the last three cases, the executive has done a run around Congress (or legislature), and while Congress bitches and kvetches about it, they do nothing.This is how tyranny is born.

President Obama has said he has a phone and a pen, and he will move his agenda forward.

The Founding Fathers thought that it would be the government who protected these individual rights, but it is not the nature of government to protect the individual. The government will do what it feels is best for the group, even at the expense of the individual, and whatever it needs to do to grow in power.. That’s why the Second Amendment is embattled. They feel the group, the government  needs to be protected from the individual, not the other way around.

That is why our children are being brainwashed. Groupthink.

Attack the individual. Any who disagree with us must be silenced.



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Loose Constructionism and the United States Constitution

Posted on March 26, 2014. Filed under: Government, Politics, United States Constitution | Tags: , , |

A couple of weeks ago, Justice Antonin Scalia gave a speech about the Constitution ( in which he claimed that the Constitution is not a living document. There are those who argue that it is, referred to as loose constructionism. We live in a day and age where the Constitution is constantly under fire, and the interpretation is based on whim, depending on the agenda.

Take Obamacare, for instance.

The whole purpose behind universal healthcare, or Obamacare, is constitutional, supporters claim. It falls under the General Welfare Clause:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

The Founders did not mean the government should provide for healthcare, only they should provide for the general welfare. By general, they meant general health (making sure the food supply isn’t making people sick, etc), general happiness, and the ability to work, be educated, be as safe as we can and to live free. It is not, as some have suggested, the concern of the government for us to be moral. You want to be moral? Go to church. Leave it out of the government.

One of the key phrases in the Constitution is whether a bill is Necessary and Proper, something that is never debated today. The President has taken to issuing executive orders in place of law passed by Congress to try to move his agenda forward. The Constitution not does not give him this power, but doing this would be considered, as James Madison put it, unnecessary and improper. Does it become an impeachable offense? Probably not, and it needs to be challenged in front of the Supreme Court to put a stop to it.

For example, is Social Security necessary? Is it Proper for the Federal government to be behind this program?

Medicare? Medicaid?

If we already have these programs in place for the elderly and the poor, why do we need Obamacare? Aren’t most of the people signing up being sent to Medicaid anyway? So why do the rest of us have to purchase health insurance if we don’t want to?

The problem stems from this concept that the Constitution is a living document, a document that changes in meaning as society changes. I had a long discussion with a local radio personality about whether the Constitution was a living document or not. It was his contention that since the Constitution could be amended, that makes it a living document.

In reality, that is not what it means when someone refers to the Constitution as a living document.

Take the Second Amendment, for example.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Today, schools are trying to teach that you have the right to keep and bear arms, only if you are in a militia, only if you register them, only if you have not been in prison, and it restricts you to only certain types of weapons.

Wow. Does anyone else see all that in those words?

As I pointed out in my section on the Second Amendment (under the Meet the Constitution tab), the States feared that the Federal government would stop funding the State militias, leaving them defenseless against invaders, and the government itself, not these crazy stories about fearing slave revolts or squads of men hunting fugitive slaves. After all, New York, a State that had abolished slavery, was one of the primary forces behind this amendment. Yes, it means that people in each State can keep and bear arms for defense, self defense; defense of the community, defense of the State, and if needed, defense of the nation. That the State militias were evolved into the National Guard does not render this amendment invalid. The key words are shall not be infringed.

I’ve argued before that the Second Amendment does not limit the types of arms you may own, arguing that it includes cannon, aircraft, tanks, and explosives. Of course the government disagrees with that, but they have their own agenda. I found this interesting website that explains the Constitution to kids, and found this under the Second Amendment:

Bear arms: When the Second Amendment was written, arms meant weapons. [Editor’s Note: It still does] The word arms did not necessarily only mean guns, but it definitely included guns. The Second Amendment did not specifically explain what categories or types of arms nor did it list what weapons were considered arms. When you bear arms, this means you physically carry weapon. You may have arms in your home as well as on your person.

Shall not be infringed: The Second Amendment does not grant any right to bear arms. Furthermore, the rest of the Bill of Rights does not describe any right to do so. These rights are thought of as natural rights or God-given rights. In the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is just a reminder to the government that they should not try to stop people from having this right. 

What they said is true, to a point, but they stopped short. The Second Amendment does not categorize weapons, because there are no categories. A weapon is a weapon, this goes for a rifle as well as a cannon. Plus, they are incorrect about their definition. To bear does mean to carry, but it also mean to bring, to possess, to have and to use. And the Second Amendment is not a reminder to the government, it is a prohibition upon the government to keep them from taking the arms from private citizens.

This is the idea of a living document. The notion that we can change the meaning of the words by parsing commas and semicolons, or in the case cited above, by leaving out certain definitions. That we can sit here and say that the Founding Fathers only meant muskets, which is an absurd notion, considering, by that logic, the First Amendment does not apply to social media, the internet, television, radio, etc.

Is not the FCC, government controllers of the airwaves, an anti-First Amendment agency? Does it not say that there are certain things you cannot say on broadcast television, or on the radio, and fines you if such things are said?

I know people who say that the Second Amendment should be abolished, that if we take all of the weapons from law abiding citizens, then somehow, criminals and murderers will never get them. This too, is absurd and naive.

As with most things, people don’t ask “is this Necessary? Is it Proper?” They just jump on the party bandwagon and off they go.

People spend too much time parsing the words on the paper that they tend to forget that the Bill of Rights is not a be all, end all list of rights, and those rights are not subject to the whims of the government.

We tend to forget the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Just because it is not listed in the Bill of Rights does not mean that other rights do not exist.

But it isn’t just those on the left who do things like this. I have friends on the right who do this sort of thing as well.

Let’s go back to the Second Amendment.

California is putting several gun control laws into place. My friends on the right are screaming “California is violating our rights!”

Here’s the problem. The Second Amendment applies only to the Federal government, unless otherwise specified! If you look at Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution, the States are specifically forbidden from doing certain activities:

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

The Bill of Rights are a set of guarantees that the Federal government shall not do certain things. In other words, the States are not required to guarantee your right to bear arms. Why not?

The Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The problem extends back to the Warren Court of the 1950s and 60s, when they began to apply the whole of the Constitution to the States. This is a gross misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the United States Constitution. They took the concept of the living document to a whole new level.

While I think that what California is doing is wrong, I think the government is well within its power, until such time as California’s constitution is amended. If the United States Constitution applies to all of the States, what is the point of each State having its own Constitution?

Connecticut, on the other hand, is violating its own Constitution by even threatening citizens who don’t register their arms with confiscation and imprisonment. Connecticut does guarantee the right to keep and bear arms.

The Constitution is not a living document, to be interpreted as we see fit. There is no need to divine the Founders intentions, it is all right there in plain English.

But it is also not a document of convenience, that it somehow does not apply when it doesn’t fit our world view.



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Opposition to Light Rail Grows in Oregon

Posted on March 14, 2014. Filed under: Government | Tags: , , , |

Metro Area Express (MAX) light rail, Portland, Oregon

Metro Area Express (MAX) light rail, Portland, Oregon

Welcome to Portland, Oregon, bastion of the green movement and choo-choo trains.

The Portland metro area has been moving forward with its light rail system. Proponents of this system claim that it relieves traffic congestion. The first system, MAX, was built on the east side of the city, running from downtown Portland all the way out to Gresham, part of East Multnomah County. The claim was that it would relieve congestion on I-84. The freeway is still backed up just about every morning and evening during rush hour.

Then they expanded to the west side, running from downtown Portland out to Hillsboro, Oregon. It would relive traffic congestion on Highway 26, they said, but every morning and evening commute is still backed up. Honestly, I think traffic was better before MAX was built on the west side.

They even built one that runs north along highway 217 from Wilsonville to Beaverton, called WES. Every time I see it, it’s empty. Of course, it only runs every 30 minutes from 5:21 AM to 8:51 AM, then there is no service again until around 3:30 PM when it again runs every 30 minutes until about 7:00 PM. During these rush hour commutes, highway 217 is still backed up both ways, every day.

More and more trains. Out to the airport, a trolley rolling around downtown, and now they are building one down the I-205 freeway to Milwaukie, Oregon, once again claiming it is going to relieve congestion.

Billions of dollars and way over budget.

The City Councils of all the respective areas want people to take light rail everywhere, like to Ikea out by the airport.

How is it feasible to take the train to Ikea, purchase a product, them transport that product home via the train?

These things are not as efficient as proponents say they are. During the winter, if ice builds up on the rails or the overhead power lines, it shuts down. If it snows, it shuts down. 

During the summer, if the rails get too hot, it shuts down. If a blackout hits, it’s done.

The whole thing is dependent on electricity, and yet at the same time, the respective state and local governments are trying to push us off of coal generated electricity to “green” electricity. So far, green energy has not shown that it can produce the amount of electricity that we need, without sprawling ugly windmills all over the place. Oregon is not an ideal place for solar panels.

But the biggest problem that this system has is that it has become a magnet for crime. People are being assaulted, not just on the trains themselves, but on the platforms where people are waiting. Homeless people urinate and defecate on those platforms. People are assaulted and robbed while waiting for the trains. Not to mention the number of people who are killed while walking down the tracks.

Is it worth it?

According to Tri-Met’s statistics (Tri-Met is the organization that runs the buses and trains in the Portland Metro area), Max carries about 700,000 riders a week. There are four different routes, but I have broken the “Blue Line” that runs from Gresham to Hillsboro into two separate lines, radiating from downtown Portland). []. If one breaks it down, MAX serves about 14,286 people per day, or about 3000 per line per day. That’s just an average, because the Blue Line, the primary route is the most used line of the four. This represents only 2.37% of the population of Portland, and a mere 0.62% of the entire Portland Metro region.

Let’s look at WES now. It serves just under 11,000 rides per week. It does not run on Saturday or Sunday.

There are a total of 32 trains (from beginning to end) than run on any given day. About 2200 people are served, which, after doing the math, means that each train averages about 69 people per run.

Light rail supporters have cited studies that say that light rail reduces traffic congestion. Well, there are studies that say that monkeys could fly out of my butt, but that doesn’t mean those studies are right.

Is it worth it? That’s the question. I’m sure that to the people that use it, it is. Is it worth it to the rest of us who have to foot the bill?

This last Tuesday, March 11, 2014, Tigard voted on the issue. Not to decide if we should build light rail or not, but to stop the Tigard City Council from approving any such adoption without the approval of the voters. Of course the City Council was against it, but it passed 51% to 49%. The sad thing is that only 36% of voters bothered to vote on the issue.

Why did it come to a vote?

People are frustrated with what they see as government waste, then the governments cry poverty and want to raise taxes.

In Clackamas County, where Tri-Met was building a light rail line to Milwaukie, where the Milwaukie City Council wanted it, voters got together and wanted to vote on it, but ahead of the vote, the county went to Bank of America and issued bonds through that agency to Tri-Met to proceed with the project. Voters went on to reject the issuance of bonds from the county. Voters in the county also bounced county council members who were in favor of the project for some who were not in favor of it, prompting Tri-Met to sue Clackamas County.

Voters in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River, have repeatedly rejected a MAX line to their city. As part of upgrading the Interstate bridge between Washington and Oregon, the plans were to include space for a MAX rail line to Vancouver. Washington balked, and backed out of the project. Oregon’s governor John Kitzhauber has been trying to go it alone, but the state legislature is not cooperating.

The thing is, Vancouver has it’s own bus system. The Tri-County area (Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas Counties) has it’s own bus system, as well as it’s own government (Metro). That means this area has four layers of government. Vancouver, and Washington in general, do not want Metro (or Tri-Met) getting their hooks in Vancouver. The Oregon governments will not stop trying to push their green agenda onto our neighbors to the north.

So, light rail service to Vancouver, Washington has been nixed, so far. Clackamas County residents have voted and said they don’t want light rail, but that is not stopping them from proceeding. If Milwaukie, which neighbors Portland, wants light rail, then the rest of Clackamas County should not be able to stop it. However, Milwaukie should have to come up with the funds for it, not the county.

Voters are turning against these projects, because they are so expensive, and at a time of high unemployment, people don’t want their tax dollars going for projects that are a poor return for your investment. Congestion still exists.

People were opposed to the Tram from the South Waterfront District to Oregon health Sciences University up on the hill. Poor return on investment, and called a boondoggle by many.

Vancouver and Clackamas County against light rail, and now Tigard.

The State Representative from Tigard has warned that if it were approved, then the State could run light rail right down 99W, because it IS a state highway.

Well, it is not the state that has planned all of these light rail lines, it’s Metro.

And if it is a STATE highway, then why is Tigard paying to expand it through Tigard rather than the state? []

The sad thing is, though, that if Metro decides to put light rail in Tigard, it is going in, no matter what people want. That’s the problem of having yet another layer of government. Especially one that disregards voter wishes and proceeds anyway, displacing homes, businesses, and disrupting traffic even worse for years on end. The number of voters were small, but 51% is still a majority. The other 64% didn’t care enough to say anything, and you cannot, I repeat, CANNOT ignore those of us who did vote and pretend that the other 64% would have wanted something different. They had their opportunity to speak up, and failed to do so. Now they must live with the consequences of their failure to perform their duty as a citizen of Tigard.






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NSA Spying on Citizens Good, CIA Spying on Government Bad

Posted on March 12, 2014. Filed under: Government, Politics | Tags: , , , |

It wasn’t too long ago that California Senator Dianne Feinstein defended the NSA’s program of spying on American citizens. Amazingly, at the time, she said that the data collection program kept the country safe while not trampling on civil liberties. (,0,7661713.story#axzz2vl44tgLH)

Really? It doesn’t trample on our right to privacy?

Feinstein is one of a growing number of people who believe that if the right is not listed in the Bill of Rights, it doesn’t exist, despite the fact that the Ninth Amendment says that not just because a right is not enumerated in the Constitution, it does not mean it doesn’t exist.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

While there is certainly a need for intelligence gathering, must it be done at the expense of our civil liberties?

There is, and always will be, a faction who wants greater security, to be protected. Back in the days of the Revolution, they took the form of the Tories, or Loyalists. They remained loyal to the King because they wanted what they felt was greater security. They felt, like most of today’s liberals feel about people who are talking of over the government today, that the patriots could never overcome Britain’s might and would fail, and ultimately be hung for treason.

But when you give in and start trading your rights and liberties for security, you open the door for tyranny. A few more of your rights are stripped away, but due to spying and invasions of your privacy, the government rounds up thousand more prisoners, not for crimes they committed, but plotting against the state, crimes they may not have committed, crimes they are suspected that they may commit. Certainly, you will be safer, but at the price of no longer being able to say what you want, or think what you want. (

Enter the CIA.

We have been told repeatedly that the CIA’s charter does not allow them to operate on American soil, despite claims by some that they are, indeed, working within our own borders. (

Now a brouhaha has erupted between Feinstein and the CIA. She is claiming that the CIA has been “secretly removing documents, searching computers used by the committee and attempting to intimidate congressional investigators by requesting an FBI inquiry of their conduct…”

Well now. Isn’t that special?

What happened to the need for intelligence?

Is it ironic that Mrs. Feinstein is the head of the Intelligence Committee?

Please explain to me why it is okay for the NSA to spy on the average American citizen, but not okay for the CIA to spy on Congress.

The whole thing revolves around an apparent report that the Intelligence Committee is preparing that will expose the CIA’s uses of waterboarding and other “torture” techniques in overseas prisons.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the Senate has oversight of this agency, couldn’t they, shouldn’t they have put an end to those practices long ago?

Here’s what I find hysterically funny.

Feinstein, who has been a staunch supporter of other CIA programs including its drone campaign, said the agency may have violated Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, as well as laws against domestic surveillance.

So, now the government is protected by the Fourth Amendment, while we are subjected to inspection, invasive searches and groping by TSA personnel if we want to board an airplane, a gross violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, and Feinstein, one of the leading Senators in the crusade to remove our Second Amendment rights, is applying the Fourth Amendment to the Senate?

The CIA is now bringing the FBI in on it. I’m not exactly sure why, but it seems to be because Senate staffers made hard copies of some of the CIA files.

Now, a government agency, which is subservient to Congress, is now at war with Congress.

Get some popcorn. This could be fun to watch.

If it wasn’t so pathetic.

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Government Entitlements and the General Welfare

Posted on November 21, 2013. Filed under: Government, United States Constitution | Tags: , |

Secretary of State James Madison, who won Marb...

James Madison,  Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At what point did this nation fall under the control of the junkies, stoners and the lazy?

In the late 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson created the dual programs of welfare and Medicare. FDR created food stamps. Clinton created the “Obamaphone”.

There are those who feel that the government should provide everything for us. They call it “basic income”.

The government gives everyone a certain amount of money every month, and there is no requirement to work, find work, or do anything, really. It’s a stoner’s dream come true.

The problem is, where do these people think this money comes from? Well, they don’t care. It is yet another income redistribution scheme. Tax the rich, and give it to everyone else. They really don’t care where it comes from, as long as they receive it.

Why would one want to work if the government gives them everything they need; rent, clothes, food, healthcare, and ultimately, free weed!

While the idea is that this income is paid unconditionally, there are always strings attached.

The idea that people would willingly enslave themselves to any government escapes me. I know people who are all for this idea, and they don’t see themselves as becoming enslaved. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

What happens when the rich run out of money, or disappear with it and no longer pay to support the rest of the population?

People will have to go to work to earn what the government pays them. Will the government then determine what jobs they go into?

Most people on the left cite the General Welfare clause of the Constitution as the basis for this idea.

From Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; (emphasis mine)

But what does that mean, exactly?

In the Anti-Federalist #6, Brutus wrote:

But it is said, by some of the advocates of this system, “That the idea that Congress can levy taxes at pleasure, is false, and the suggestion wholly unsupported: that the preamble to the constitution is declaratory of the purposes of the union, and the assumption of any power not necessary to establish justice, &c. to provide for the common defence, &c. will be unconstitutional. Besides, in the very clause which gives the power of levying duties and taxes, the purposes to which the money shall be appropriated, are specified, viz. to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare.” I would ask those, who reason thus, to define what ideas are included under the terms, to provide for the common defence and general welfare? Are these terms definite, and will they be understood in the same manner, and to apply to the same cases by every one? No one will pretend they will. It will then be matter of opinion, what tends to the general welfare; and the Congress will be the only judges in the matter. To provide for the general welfare, is an abstract proposition, which mankind differ in the explanation of, as much as they do on any political or moral proposition that can be proposed; the most opposite measures may be pursued by different parties, and both may profess, that they have in view the general welfare; and both sides may be honest in their professions, or both may have sinister views. 

The prevailing anti-Federalist view was that the term “general welfare” would mean different things to different people, and that Congress was the sole arbiter of what constituted the “general welfare”. Brutus was correct in his assessment.

Federalist James Madison (who later became and anti-Federalist) disagreed. In the Federalist #46, Madison wrote:

But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.

What Madison is saying is that the powers of Congress are being related in general terms, and specifics follow. Consider this. Article I, section 8 says that Congress has the power to levy taxes to provide for the common defense. A pretty general statement, but as one continues reading, restrictions begin appearing:

  • Define and punish piracies and felonies on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations (international law/relations)
  • Declare war
  • Grant letters of Marque and reprisal
  • Make rules concerning captures on land and water (Congress makes the rules on what to do with prisoners)
  • Raise and support armies, but appropriation of money for that use can’t be longer than a term of two years
  • Provide and maintain a navy
  • Make rules for the government and regulation of land and naval forces
  • Provide for the calling forth of the militia to execute the law of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions
  • Provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and governing those that may be employed in the service of the United States; however, it is reserved to the States to appoint the officers and train the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress

All of the above is providing for the common defense. So it follows that other items within this article pertain to the general welfare. Nowhere do I see that the Federal government is responsible for feeding people, clothing them, providing them with money if they are not working, or giving the healthcare in any form.

In other words, there is no constitutional basis for food stamps, social security, medicare, medicaid, Obamacare, or Section 8 housing.

I’m not saying these programs should not exist, but they should be left up to the states. Let the states find their own way.

It has often been said that Obamacare was modeled after Romneycare in Massachusetts. Oregon had it’s own healthcare plan (called the Oregon health plan). What do these two have in common with each other that they don’t have with Obamacare?

They are both run by their individual states.

I believe that the general welfare clause refers not to the general welfare of the populace, but to the nation as a whole, as in establishing post roads, regulate commerce, coin money and establish rules for naturalization. Anything beyond what is laid out in Article I, Section 8 is prohibited to the Federal government. Let the states decide how to take care of their own people. 

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Obama’s “Enforcement Discretion”

Posted on November 14, 2013. Filed under: Government, Obamacare | Tags: , , |

In the wake of the disastrous Obamacare rollout, and the complete exposure of the President as a fraud, the White House has announced an answer to all of the people who are having their health insurance cancelled.

He has announced that he is going to give insurers the “option” of cancelling those plans or not. He is doing so by allowing state health insurance commissioners to decide for themselves if they allow these plans to continue. In other words, each state may be different. The added caveat is that this extension will only be good for one year. Then we are right back where we are right now.

That’s not  a solution.

Since people will have to pay more while receiving less coverage (or coverage they don’t want), how much you want to bet that most of these plans still get cancelled, even if the states let them continue?

It isn’t as simple as that, however.

Along with this decree comes the question on whether or not the President has the authority to change a law by fiat. He has already been granting exemptions and amnesty to big corporate donors and many of the unions out there. The White House is claiming that they have the authority to do so, because it is up to them to enforce it, suggesting that if they choose not to, they don’t have to.

Article II, section 3 of the Constitution disagrees with the idea of “enforcement discretion”:

…he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed…

This president has used executive orders like he has the ability to make law with them. He has, in essence, created his own amnesty program through the use of Executive Orders.

Executive orders are orders to different departments within his administration. They are not for writing law. If the president were to write an executive order saying that all men over the age of 40 must wear tu-tu’s on every third Thursday of the month or face a fine, it would not be enforcable, because it is not a law.

The Affordable Care Act specifically sets out the rules, and Obama, nor his administration can change them without referring it back to Congress.

It is Congress that creates the legislation. They argue over it and vote on it, and if it passes, it is sent to the president. The president can either sign it or veto it. Nothing in the Constitution says he can change it. He can, however, send a message to Congress and say “this is what I would like to see in it.”

Even hardcore leftist Democrat Howard Dean has asked aloud if Obama has the authority to do this.

What does this action actually solve? Nothing.Look carefully at the wording. The insurance companies have the option of renewing those plans. Not the people who are having them cancelled.

Any bets how this works out?

The utter incompetence of this administration is more shocking every day.


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