The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

More On Smart Guns

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago


“Smart guns,” or guns that will only fire for an authorized owner, are back on the radar.

The White House has called for pushing ahead with smart gun technology.

James Bond has one in the movie “Skyfall,” but in the real world, the technology is not quite there yet, according to smart gun activist and investor Jonas McCord.

McCord’s company Biomac Systems is working on smart gun technology, and he’s not alone.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology has been working on a gun that will recognize the owner’s grip.

Trigger Smart, an Irish company, relies on radio frequency embedded in the gun and in a ring or bracelet the owner is wearing. Without the owner’s ring or bracelet, the gun will not fire.

Armatix GmbH, a German company, has a personalized gun it hopes to put on the market in the U.S. this year. The gun will only shoot if it’s in range of a radio device which carries the owner’s biometric data.

I hope they spend a lot of money on it and get it on the market soon.  Let the market tell them what something like this is worth.  Like I said before.  When hell freezes over.

The Most Absurd AR-15 Article Ever

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago

Rolling Stone:

For gunmakers, the political fight over assault rifles and high-capacity pistols is about more than just profits – it’s about the militarization of the marketplace and represents a desperate bid by gunmakers to prop up a decaying business. The once-dependable market for traditional hunting guns has fallen off a cliff. To adapt, the firearms industry has embraced a business strategy that requires it to place the weapons of war favored by deranged killers like Adam Lanza and Jared Loughner into the homes and holsters of as many Americans as possible. “They’re not selling your dad’s hunting rifle or shotgun,” says Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a top industry watchdog. “They’re selling military-bred weaponry.”

The Violence Policy Center.  But who else would Rolling Stone go to but the Violence Policy Center?  Of course.

So this article makes it sound like gun manufacturers are just struggling to stay in business, and have had to adapt to give people what they want, which is not really old fashioned rifles, but rather, these awful, evil black guns.  If this is true, I guess the cost for a nice Remington 700 series rifle has dropped like a rock.

Oooopppps!  I guess not, since the MSRP is still $800 – $1200.  Not good.  A broken narrative.  But let’s continue.

Less than 20 percent of Americans born after 1980 report having a gun in the home. “For the industry, the problem is ‘Who is going to buy the guns?'” says Sugarmann. “To borrow the language of the tobacco industry,” he says, “they need to find ‘replacement shooters.'”

Good grief.  Maybe he should have focused on people born between 1980 and 1990, since people born much later are prohibited by law from owning firearms.  What a dumb ass.  And any shooter knows just how hard it is to order firearms now, what the demand is, and how many new and young shooters there are at ranges.  But this author isn’t a shooter.  He is a dumb ass.  The narrative has changed too, from one of simply meeting creepy customer demand to making that market themselves by a slick strategy.  Does this guy have an editor?  Was he drunk when he wrote this crap? But going backwards in the article, we get this little gem.

AR-15 enthusiasts brag they can fire up to 400 rounds in 60 seconds. Paying roughly 50 cents a bullet, such shooters are blowing through $200 worth of ammo in a hot minute.

Maybe he should have gotten up with me.  I could have told him that the going price for 5.56 mm is about $1.00 per round.  I want to know what store told him they could sell at 50 cents per round?

Oh well.  This is what you get when writers at Rolling Stone weigh in dramatically and breathlessly on things about which they are ignorant.

UPDATE: Oh look!  It’s like watching a train wreck.  Rolling Stone was picked up and parroted by … you guessed itMSNBC.  The only thing better than progressives choosing to look like dumb asses is progressives falling in line to be like each other and looking, well, like dumb asses.  Daily Kos, anyone?  What other progressive rag will run with this meme?  How rich.

Tactical Considerations For The Lone Wolf

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago

Max Velocity Tactical has an interesting and thought provoking article up entitled Tactical Considerations For The Long Wolf (hat tip Western Rifle Shooters).  This is must reading and well worth the time he has put into this.  I find it improbable that you read his article without picking up something that you need to think about.

The article sets the stage with a clear and present danger to your family, and rather than being coupled with other like-minded defenders and partners, you are alone in your quest for self defense and family safety.  A bit of his article is reproduced below.

Area of Operations: you need to consider that if the enemy is in any way switched on, and are keeping any sort of incident map, then if you simply operate close to your retreat they will build up a picture that may well lead them to your home and family. Thus you should be unpredictable and move further away or from unexpected directions in order to prosecute your attacks.

Navigation: you will need to be able to accurately move by map and compass across rough back country terrain to get in and out of your objective. You will take separate routes in and out and use deception.

Movement: You must use cover and concealment to move. You will have to move slowly, at a jungle patrol pace, in order to effectively scan ahead and around. Cover means using the ground (hard cover) to conceal you, such as moving in draws or behind terrain features. Concealment means using vegetation to hide you from any observers. You will need to plan a route accordingly, also avoiding any settlements where there is an increased risk of compromise and where dogs will bark at you.

However, do not move on obvious features or along trails and tracks. You can handrail (parallel) them at a distance if you need to or if you need to use them for navigation. It is often best to ‘cross-grain’ the terrain thus making your moves hard to predict. Valley bottoms and trails/streams are good places for you to walk into an ambush. Use techniques for avoiding ambush such as hand railing and moving partway up a valley side (contouring), thus giving you the benefits of cover and concealment but avoiding natural ambush sites and places where others will travel.

You must be very careful at any kind of obstacle, vulnerable point, channelizing feature or linear danger area. Examples of a channelizing vulnerable point include crossing a bridge or moving through a track or trail junction. A linear danger area is any kind of open feature that you have to cross such as a road, river or trail, even a power line through the woods. You must be very careful to observe in detail prior to crossing and find a point where the crossing is best concealed, such as in a depression or even by crawling through a culvert, for example.

As you move, you need to stop regularly for listening and observation breaks. Scan and listen. Do this before moving through the next natural part of the terrain, cross it then stop again. A real game changer would be having a portable FLIR thermal imager (such as the FLIR Scout), with which you can scan around and into the brush to spot anyone concealed.

He makes you consider whether you or your enemy have FLIR or night vision, he covers the concepts of enfilade and defilade, food, water purification, firearms, concealment while sleeping, etc.  Again, the article is well worth the time and if you don’t read anything else today you should read this article.

He discusses taking multiple weapons with you: “You may carry two rifles, a hunting rifle slung on your pack and an AR-15 style for while you are patrolling and for closer range self-defense.”

Here I break ranks with him.  It seems to me that you select a rifle, not two or more.  That one rifle needs to sustain your mission.  If you choose a bolt action scoped rifle, then ensure that your shots are stand off long range shots under concealment and that you have a means of egress and evasion.  If you choose an AR-15, then ensure that you have Travis Haley-like skills and you can make your shots count at 800 meters.

If you must take two rifles, one for long range and one for short range, then you’ve already planned poorly for the mission.  You are counting on a combination of stand off shots and CQB, and adding to the weight and ammunition you must carry.  My choice would be to choose your rifle well, and then carry your favorite CQB pistol or revolver.  If I carry more than two firearms, I might carry a backup handgun in an ankle holster.

My only other comment about this article is that the assumption behind some of the considerations is an abundance of wealth.  Who has the kind of money necessary for infrared capabilities, night vision, expensive firearms, optics (e.g., a high end EOTech Holographic sight plus shipping will run nearly $600), backup firearms, and so on and so forth?  You can even invest in fully body armor if you wish, including SAPI plates.  In contrast, hopefully I have given you an inexpensive option for cover if you need to be in the elements for a protracted period of time.

On the whole, though, I am really not a fan of the lone wolf paradigm.  I think such a defense needs two or more men, and I probably wouldn’t make the choice to leave my family alone in order to effect these kinds of operations.  The risk to my family would be too high.

That brings me to another article by Mike Vanderboegh on his fourth installment of William Diamond’s Drum.  As always, Mike is good reading and worth the time.  David Codrea weighs in with the following:

… it can be smart to have a hidden cache and it can be self-defeating to shoot it out when the team shows up at your door.

Living to fight another day, at a time and place of your choosing, not theirs, seems like an option we’d want to leave ourselves, and if we’re taken out of commission, it’s a legacy to leave our children.

Bottom line — there’s no one size fits all response, and different scenarios present different potentials.

David is referring to Mike’s opinions regarding burying weapons rather than fighting now.  Mike prefers the later and eschews the former.  I understand Mike’s point, but frankly, if gun confiscations ever do start, any team entering my home will find a few range toys to confiscate because “I forgot to turn them in.”  The rest were buried at the bottom of lake Keowee in that horrible boating accident several years ago.  I cried buckets of tears over that accident.  “Have a nice day, SWAT team.  I hope you enjoyed tea and crumpets.”

There is no virtue in engaging a SWAT team in your home, endangering your family for no good reason, and fighting a battle that you cannot win.  If gun confiscations ever start, believe me when I tell you that they will never find me again – but they will see the results of my handiwork.  They won’t know it’s from me, and they will never see it happen.

I agree with David.  A SWAT team at your doorstep means they’re dictating the terms.  Live to fight another day.  Do it at a time and place of your choosing, not on their terms.  And thus I see battling down a SWAT team at your doorstep as a fixture in the lone wolf paradigm.  I don’t like the lone wolf paradigm.  There are better ways to do this.

UPDATE: Thanks to WRSA for the attention.  Remember the swamp fox.  I will become a phantom.  As far as they know I will disappear from the face of the earth.  But I will ally with a few like-minded individuals, and they will know what the phantoms do.

Foreign Policy Insane Clown Posse

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago

So Chuck Hagel is confirmed as Secretary of Defense for the United States of America.  I don’t have a long, complicated assessment of what will follow, or why Hagel is a horrible choice for mowing my lawn, much less being SecDef.

But contrary to the notes I have received, the blog entries I’ve read, and the speeches I have heard the Senators make on how much he concerns anyone with a lick of common sense, it doesn’t really matter whether Hagel was confirmed or not.  It didn’t matter with Secretary of State Kerry either.

Anyone in this post will be implementing Obama’s foreign policy, and that makes for a very dangerous world for some time to come.  But it is noteworthy that Hagel acted so foolishly in front of the Senate, like a bumbling clown.

Together with Kerry, Obama has his insane clown posse, and they will do his bidding for an insane clown foreign policy.

I’m glad that my son is out of the Marine Corps.  The battle is now for the homeland.

Murphy, N.C., Rejects Public Disclosure Of Concealed Handgun Permits

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago

I hiked and camped and went shooting and trained quarter horses in my youth.  The woods and mountains of South and North Carolina was my playground.  If I had been raised in the mountains of Virginia I might have made a little untaxed corn liquor in a still.  I have never made moonshine, but I still pride myself on knowing something about my region.

I was watching a recent episode of Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners, and I remarked to one of my sons visiting with us that “those boys are to the West of us from around Murphy.”  Later in the season I learned that I was right.  Like I said, I know my region.  Like the times in which I grew up, around Murphy, your handshake means something and speaking directly to your face instead of going behind your back shows respect.  People are generous, perhaps to a fault, but no one wants government intervention in their lives, or meddling foreigners either.  Minding your own business is of paramount importance.

In what may be the most remarkable instance of “you ain’t from around here, are you” I have ever seen, the local news in Murphy tried to obtain concealed handgun permit information, and was soundly trounced.

The Cherokee Scout of Murphy, North Carolina, has printed an absolutely groveling apology to its readers and to the local sheriff for even asking the sheriff for public records of those with concealed carry gun permits. Publisher David Brown writes, “We never meant to offend the wonderful people of this community,” in a letter noticed by media blogger Jim Romenesko. Again, this is discussing public records that, according to North Carolina law, the sheriff legally is legally required to make public. The editor who made the public records request was subsequently threatened on Facebook.

Last week Cherokee Scout editor Robert Horne asked sheriff Keith Lovin for a list of locals seeking concealed carry permits. Lovin ignored state law and denied the request. He also posted the letters on the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, a space that appears to be used primarily to post photos of good-looking locals involved in meth busts and robberies. Facebook commenters were furious. “Didn’t they do this up north a couple of months ago. It was a fiasco,” one commenter asked. (The answer is sort of: The Journal News, in suburban New York, published a map of locals licensed to own handguns.) The outcry was big enough to get covered by other local news outlets. Here’s a Facebook comment that was likely exactly what Lovin was looking for: “Thank you Sheriff Lovin for your patriotism and high morale caliber! Will definitely be voting for you again!”

Publisher Brown initially had a different tone. “We should have expected Sheriff Keith Lovin’s posting of his correspondence with Editor Robert Horne, because he knows he can’t win in a court of law but wants to win in the court of public opinion,” he wrote in a letter on February 21. But he was already looking to calm down readers. “The truth is… we never had any desire nor intention to publish any names of any person carrying a concealed weapon.”

In the February 21 letter the editor and publisher sound simply indignant.  They said “We should have expected Sheriff Keith Lovin’s posting of his correspondence with Editor Robert Horne because he knows he can’t win in a court of law but wants to win in the court of public opinion.  He also knows’s that he’s breaking the law because if the list wasn’t open, he wouldn’t have been pushing the state Legislature to close it … However, despite the fact that the Scout would likely win a lawsuit, we have no intention of taking it to court.”

Only two days later they ran with this note to readers.

The Cherokee Scout made a tremendous error in judgment this week, and thanks to our readers we learned a tough lesson.

As publisher of your local newspaper, I want to apologize to everyone we unintentionally upset with our public records request for a list of those who have or have applied for a concealed carry permit. We had no idea the the reaction it would cause.

Sheriff Keith Lovin had the best interests of the people of Cherokee County at heart when he denied our request. The Scout would like to offer an apology to him as well.

To that end, Editor Robert Horne spoke with Lovin on Friday morning to tell him we were withdrawing our public records request. He asked for a written copy of request, and Horne dropped it off at his office that morning.

I realize many people are upset with Horne, myself and the Scout and we can understand that. We never meant to offend the wonderful people of this fine community nor hurt the reputation of this newspaper. We do a lot of positive work that helps make Cherokee County an even better place to live, and I hope more good work will repair our reputation with readers.

Many of you have asked where Horne is from. He is from a small town in south Georgia — Cairo, Ga., to be exact. It is a rural area much like Murphy, and his roots are helping him better understand this community.

“Better understand the community.”  He went after private information, possibly lied about his reasons (why would you want it unless you intended to divulge it), and then tried to invoke the law in his quest to meddle in the affairs of others.

As for Sheriff Lovin, rock on, but leave the gun owners and moonshiners alone.  As for the North Carolina State Legislature, be about your business making the records of concealed handgun permits unavailable to public disclosure.  We’re waiting, and watching, and taking notes.  As for the editor of the paper, you might want to go back to where you came from.  You picked the wrong town in which to tilt progressive, boy.

What Happens If Your Bug Out Gun Breaks?

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago

Over the last few years, I’ve seen a lot of ink spilled about the one—that is the ultimate, end of the world, SHTF, need no other, bug out bag firearm that will carry you and yours at the end of days.  These articles usually go into great detail as to the how’s, what’s, and why’s of the caliber, model, and make for that ideal, one and done gun but I’ve seen precious little written about one very important issue that could turn your uber-pistol into a good looking paperweight.  What if it breaks?

Recently I had one of my Smith & Wesson revolvers put completely out of action by the tiniest of parts, a hand torsion spring. This spring is what keeps the hand engaging the ratchet on the rear of the cylinder. This little two-dollar part shut the gun down completely and it was eye opening for me because, if the bombs start dropping, I know I would want to have that wheelgun with on my hip.

So, if you are into buying a gun for one of those dreaded “what if” occasions, how do you guard against mechanical failure when ordering a replacement part from Brownell’s or another part is no longer an option?

Author David LaPell does a good job of discussing the need for some rudimentary Gunsmith skills, having spare parts and the right tools, buying reliable guns, and the virtue of purchasing in two’s (although this is an interesting option and one that I have thought about, it could get much more expensive than the average person’s bank account can sustain).

The article is worth the read time.  I have a number of guns, all of them reliable personal defense weapons except one, and that one will never go anywhere with me except to the range as a range toy.

I realize that your so-called bug out provisions are weight-limited.  You cannot carry unlimited water, freeze dried food, water filter, first aid and medical supplies, tactical lights and batteries, cordage, cover (like a tarp), electronic gear and ammunition (frankly, to me ammunition seems the most important of these provisions and yet the most weighty).

Here is a side bar comment about cover.  You can purchase a tarp covering from Lowe’s or similar store, but I constructed my own by using house wrap (used for vapor barrier) in 12′ X 12′, double-side-taped the edges with Gorilla Tape, and then used grommets (purchased from Lowe’s) to place holes in the corners and middle.  It makes a perfect covering in the absence of a weighty tent if you have cordage and trekking poles, and if you can find a housing contractor to give you a piece of house wrap, the supplies cost $15.  You can also use the hole in the middle and some cordage to lift the center of the tarp above the rest of it, making provision for water run off.

But even something like this isn’t weight-free.  So I understand that the premier concern is weight.  Hard decisions must be made.  But here is the crux of the issue.  Do not ever carry one bug out gun.  Have a bug out gun, and a backup, and a backup to that one if you can carry it.  And enough ammunition for all of them.

Guns Tags:

Obama’s Anti-Gun Campaign Is A Fraud

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago


Congressman Steve Stockman (R., Texas) accused President Obama’s gun-control campaign of using Twitter bots to flood Republican lawmakers and give the illusion of widespread support for the president. “Obama’s anti-gun campaign is a fraud,” Stockman said. ”Obama’s supporters are panicking and willing to do anything to create the appearance of popular support, even if it means trying to defraud Congress.”

Last week, organizers told Obama supporters to tweet at their representatives with the message: “I’m 1 of the 92 percent of Americans who support universal background checks. #WeDemandAVote.” When Stockman reviewed the Twitter messages he received, he noticed that more than half were from what appeared to be spam accounts …

Stockman noticed that these “fake, computer-generated spambots” used the default Twitter avatar, had tweeted once (to Stockman), followed only a few people, and had one follower: Brad Schenck, Obama’s former digital strategist. Other GOP lawmakers, such as New York’s Michael Grimm and Illinois’s Adam Kinzinger, are being flooded with similar messages from seemingly fake accounts.

I’ve said it before.  The polls saying that people want more gun control are lies.  The GOP is full of idiots if they believe them, and also if they believe that the polls are any cover once primary time begins.  We gun owners are a fairly sophisticated bunch.  And we never forget.  Ever.

So, Obama’s anti-gun program is a fraud.  Sort of like … Obama is a fraud.

Letter To Rock River Arms

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago

Alan and Steve,

My relationship with Rock River Arms has been an interesting one.  I first purchased an Elite CAR A4 several years ago, and in the thousands of rounds I have put downrange with my rifle, I have yet to have a failure of any kind, FTF or FTE.  My former Marine son has shot it before and tells me it’s far better than the rifles he had to shoot in the Marines.  I am proud to have my rifle, and you should be proud to make them.

However, I sent a note to you several years ago (a month or so after I purchased my rifle) when I realized that I had lost my registration card for the warranty, and you informed me that you could not send a replacement registration card, meaning that my rifle wasn’t under warranty.

That mattered a lot to me then, but matters little to me now.  My rifle has had no problems and I expect none from it.  It is a fine, precision machine.  But I must say that this was less than stellar customer service, especially when I offered to send you my receipt of purchase from Hyatt Gun Shop.  Your refusal to help me puzzled me then and does so to this day.

Letting “bygones be bygones,” we should move on to more pressing matters.  There is the issue of the firearms manufacturers boycott that we need to discuss.  I understand that these are serious issues, not only because of the gravity of the subject, but because you have a fiduciary responsibility to your employees.

As you know, several states are enacting draconian gun laws that infringe on our second amendment rights.  A number of firearms manufacturers have decided to boycott these states, allowing law enforcement to purchase only those weapons allowed to non-law enforcement.

The response give to us by some manufacturers, i.e., that there is concern for the ability of law enforcement to do their jobs in the face of the boycott, rings hollow.  If this is true, it is true of non-law enforcement as well, and the only way to drive this point home is to allow everyone to reap the consequences of what they sow.

I would like to say that RRA had worked well with me in each and every interaction.  That would not be true, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t purchase a RRA firearm in the future.

But this decision is important to me and millions of other gun owners and defenders of the second amendment.  Please let me know the decision made by RRA concerning this matter so that I may pass it on to my readers.  Believe me when I tell you that I have been your local ambassador for RRA.  I wear a RRA hat on my walks and at the gym, discuss my rifle over my web site, and recommend your company to people asking me questions about AR-15s.  I would like to continue this advocacy.

Respectfully submitted,

Herschel Smith

Essential Liberty

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago

In the mail from Rob Olive, Essential Liberty.

They thought it would never happen here… Seemingly ripped from today’s headlines, Essential Liberty is an action-filled, thought-provoking work of fiction about governmental overreach and the abuse of power. Through believable characters and words that could have come from our current political debate, Essential Liberty asks, “What if?”…and then provides the answer. The United States government has banned and begun confiscating firearms from its citizens. Insurance executive Don Williams has never owned a gun and is part of the majority of Americans who initially favored “Collection” (the official term for confiscation), yet he’s shocked to see his fellow countrymen being rounded up on the evening news. Don’s good friend, former Marine Mike Niculescu, owns many firearms and has refused to surrender them. The son of immigrants from Communist Romania reveres them as symbols of liberty. Bill Payne, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, commands an ATF Hazardous Operations Team. These elite new teams are reserved for Collection operations with a high level of risk. Payne wants his unit to be the first to make headlines. As the story unfolds, Don is forced to make a choice: Will he turn a blind eye to the abuse of power, or will he choose—for the first time in his life—to make a stand on principle that will put everything he cares about at risk?

The first chapter reads very quickly, and Mike is taking actions that I have soberly discussed with my sons, only Mike is better prepared and more thoughtful that I am.  As I read through the chapter, I thought, “This isn’t a novel, this is prescient.” David Codrea also has a good review.  It’s worth the time and money, both David’s review and Rob’s book.

I Thought You Couldn’t Hunt With An AR-15?

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 1 month ago

Montana Outdoor:

Jeramiah Mathis, of the Hamilton, Montana area, has been hunting his entire life, and before he was legally able to hunt, he was tagging along with his Dad while he was hunting and laying traps.  Jeramiah wasted no time having his first successful hunt and shot his first deer at the age of 12.  His passion for hunting increases with every hunt he does.

Now 29 years-old, Jeramiah went on ”his” first cat hunt up the West Fork on February 10th of this year.  He had been out before with his father-in-law, a local outfitter at Rocking W Outfitters in Darby, assisting out-of-state hunters with their mountain lion hunts, but Jeramiah hadn’t ever been the one trying to fill his own cat tag.

Jeramiah’s hunting buddy on this particular trip was his six year-old daughter.  “Hunting is in her blood”, Jeramiah responded with when I asked him if his daughter has any interest in hunting when she is old enough.  “She is always asking me to take her up in the snow to look for animals” he added.  This lucky youngin got to be right there with her parents when her Mom shot her first whitetail and her Dad shot his first mountain lion.

The cat was taken with Jeramiah’s AR-15 sporting rifle.  This particular gun is his gun-of-choice while hunting nowadays, and it certainly proved to be effective with this hunt!

You mean you can actually hunt with an AR-15 – or as some prefer, a modern sporting rifle?  Maybe it’s sort of like hunting feral hogs, the ones that run in such huge packs that you need a high capacity magazine for them, except that with hogs you take a lot of shots and with the big cat he apparently took one.

And Stephen Bayazes defended his life with one too.  I guess you can just do all sorts of things with them.

UPDATE: Rick Keyes comments over Facebook that “I have used mine to deer hunt for 8 years since my last shoulder surgery.”

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