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Why We Won on Draw Mohammad Day

Previously 12 cartoons had resulted in cartoons that prompted embassy burnings, death threats and murders, all of which had a significant chilling effect on the free press of the West. Now, after Draw Mohammad Day, there are over 12000 cartoons, and the Islamic world has been shown to be essentially toothless. The best that they could do was shut down parts of the Internet for Pakistan (a country where it is still possible to get executed for blasphemy). A short sighted mover as they cannot expect to integrate into the modern world without embracing the internet. That was it…. they were shown to be powerless on the internet…. there were no embassies to burn, no product they could refuse to buy. They were confronted with the proposition that Sharia Law does not apply on the internet, and that if they try to enforce it, or threaten to kill people, they will get served. Through Draw Mohammad Day, the wake up call of the internet age has been heard in the Islamic world, and once they have accepted that they do not get to dictate the rules to the rest of the world, and have accepted free speech…. then there is the possibility for rational discussion. The victory was won by those who acted, and in spite of those who tried to undermine it.

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The Faustian Playoff Proposition

I intended to write a large(r) article, but it seems that a college football playoff is a certainty. It feels futile to break down things in a comprehensive manner when it is at best a eulogy. Nevertheless, there are a few things gnawing at me and I feel I need to get them off of my chest. I have to preface my statements by saying I would support a +1 that gives #1 a bye, and features #2 at home against #3. Without elaborating further, I think that would reward each according to their regular season accomplishments. I can not find a valid reason for including #4 though. Over the history of the BCS, the fourth seeded team has not once proven to be on equal footing with the champion. That aside, I might breath a sight of relief if we actually get a top four seeded playoff rather than some of the abominations we have seen discussed. My greatest concern is why there is such a strong desire for change.

If I was to put it into broad terms, I would say the push represents a desire for inclusion over excellence. We are entering participation trophy territory, in which simply showing up is criteria for a reward. There are people out there that just can’t comprehend why one person’s accomplishments should be more rewarded, or are better. These people tend to think everyone should be able to get a college education, no matter how stupid they are. This mentality is galled by the notion of competitions that reward excellence. The notion of only letting the top two teams have a shot at being champion? This is an affront to that type of thought. If we must compete, surely we can let more teams have a chance! Never mind that the BCS has an unparalleled track record in crowning championship worthy teams. Set aside the fact that the lineal champion nature of #1 vs #2 presents an almost unassailable champion. They have a problem with the process itself. Allow me to finish this point by quoting Buzz Bissinger, who has polluted our conscious by writing a few things about amateur football: “I still think you have the fundamental problem of sports…It’s all about winning.

Another aspect of the push for a playoff is represented by money. Ironically, a playoff is almost universally fair to the players in that amateur, or professional you recieve very little in the way of compensation. The media has incentive to push for playoffs, as it both gives them topic for discussion and gives ESPN and the like more games to air, and the powers that be them self have financial incentives. It’s the players that are generally speaking left only with their competitive spirit as motivation. Do college athletes get more free education for participating in a post season? Professional athletes get mere pittance when compared to their regular pay (hardly worth the risk financially). The NCAA? They make a majority of their money in the NCAA basketball tournament. So, it’s remarkable that college football has held out this long.

Why do I argue that this is a deal with the devil? It might not be disastrous, and surely many people supporting a playoff have good intentions (and in some cases valid, well thought viewpoints). The unavoidable reality is that, the national dialogue is being controlled by entities with dubious motivations. We have the media pushing us toward a playoff, and we have every right to question their motives. This is the same media that, in the form of the AP, refuses to be part of the BCS, but when it comes to the random home court advantage, 68 team, 31 automatic bid, wheel of fate NCAA basketball tournament, they refuse to release a poll at any point during or after the tournament. This is the same media that helped bring us terms like “Mythical National Champions”, a derisive term that acts as though #1 playing #2 is somehow less credible than two lower seeds battling for a “championship”. We have the powers that be, that despite the obvious top 4 seeded option, seem to insist on ridiculous proposals. So, I believe we are striking a deal with the devil. As good as our intentions might be, I see many, many ways for this to go wrong and consider who we’re dealing with the likelihood of that happening eventually seem all but certain.

To put this into more specific terms, and what motivated me to write this, was a May first piece by Rick Reilly I came across today. It might seem innocent enough, labelled “BCS finally gets it right”, but as I read it I saw exactly what I feared. This is the devil we’re dealing with, and I can’t consider any bargain to be a good one in that case. Here’s some excerpts:

So who wants in on my bracket contest? Where are President Obama’s picks? You have a 12.5 percent chance of a perfect bracket.

One will play Four and Two will play Three. Are you listening? The four highest-ranked teams have a chance! That’s a 100 percent improvement on what we have now, which is dog meat!”

I’ll leave the Obama, dog meat part alone. But, are we really supposed to be enthused by this because we get to fill out a bracket? Is that really a motivating factor? 100% improvement? Is this guy a raving lunatic? Is that a rhetorical question? Let’s see, we have #1 vs #2. Somehow, in the land of the media, adding #3 and #4 represents a 100% improvement. That’s like having one painting, by Leonardo and you add one by Thomas Kinkade and claim your collection has improved by 100%. To use the BCS formula, we are being told by Rick that 17809 is 100% better than 19419. Only someone that cares more about brackets than excellence could come to that conclusion.

No more Auburns (12-0, ranked third, 2004) getting robbed! No more Cincinnatis and TCUs (both 12-0 in 2009, third- and fourth-ranked) getting double-shafted! No more USCs (12-1 in 2003, third-ranked, with five first-round draft picks) getting reamed!

To be fair, I included the whole quote. Auburn didn’t get robbed. They are, one of a couple compelling cases to include the third (not fourth mind you) ranked team in the process. They played the 60th ranked schedule. They merely had a good season that fell short of either of the top two teams. The Cincinatti and TCU part is just gag inducing yellow journalism at it’s finest. TCU lost to Boise State. Let’s just stop there for a second, because his argument is that TCU, a team that finished ranked 6th in the AP poll was “shafted”. He chooses not to even allude to Boise State because after all Boise State wouldn’t even be included in a plus one. No doubt, if the same scenario plays out in 2015 he’ll be explaining the need for a 8 team playoff. The most asinine part of this is his mention of Cincinatti. Cincinatti, who finished ranked 8th in the AP. Cincinatti who was blown out by 54-21 by Florida (the second best team in reality, but you won’t see Rick take up their cause because we’re not being inclusive if we include two SEC teams). So, somehow, a team that rode a soft schedule to a meaningless undefeated regular season, a team that proved to be completely unworthy of a championship, got shafted by not being included. I am left with the conclusion that Rick doesn’t care one bit about worthy champions. As to USC? The second team in the history of the BCS that was excluded, that I believe might have had an argument for being championship worthy. Having said that, they lost didn’t they? They didn’t win a conference championship game did they? And, to tell me that including Michigan, who finished that season with three losses is somehow a massive improvement since it gives USC a second chance, well that’s a hard sell in my mind.

And there we have it. If you break things down, and really strain out the superfluous nonsense, what we are left with is the reality that USC in 2003 and Auburn in 2004 are the only legitimate reasons to have a +1. The resolution to that is simple, but we both know a 3 team +1 will never happen. The other undeniable aspect of what is going on, is we’re being lead by people that think sports shouldn’t be about winning. That think 8th ranked teams should have a shot at championships. The BCS isn’t perfect, but the results are pretty darn hard to argue with. We’ve had the BCS since 1998, and only once did a major selector disagree with the results (even then it was an overtly biased move, they actually took #1 votes away from Oklahoma/LSU and awarded them to USC in the final poll). If one is being objective, it is incredibly hard to argue with the results. I can accept the notion that if anything, the BCS accidentally got things right. That despite everything working against it, the BCS actually found a way to function. It’s possible that a +1, despite the NCAA, Rick Reilly’s, Big 10’s, Pac-12’s, and so of the world this might turn out ok. But, it’s still a deal with the devil in my mind.

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If I am free

Tarsiers love freedomI tire of people discussing my rights and freedoms as though I appointed them arbiter. I did not, or in the very least I do not recollect doing so. Many people spend a great deal of time discussing what is “best”. That’s fine with me. However, I have a serious problem when they then decide that what is “best” should apply to me.

I am only free, if I am free to make my own choices. I am only free, if I am free to experiment, to do things that might be harmful to myself. What is the use of discussing whether capitalism or socialism is better? It is not a question of how they perform, but of what freedoms they allow me. A caged animal might live a longer life, but it is still living life in a cage.

To be free is to be in the wild. To live with consequences, and the ability to choose your own path. Captivity is to have others tell you what is best, how you can live, where you can do, and what you can do. There is no way to place a value on freedom, if we do not have it, what purpose is our life? We become automatons, slaves to society, once we give up our freedom.

Freedom does not exempt you from responsibility. It is still my responsibility not to bring harm to others. But, if I am to be free, I can not be forced to take upon more responsibility than that. If I wish to feed the hungry, then that is my right. I am best equipped to decide. Who can better judge how my resources be used than myself? Am I to give up medicine I need to be healthy, to feed someone else? It is my choice and my choice only, if I am free.

Society owes me nothing save one thing. I do not ask for food, or clothing. I do not ask for medicine, or housing. I only ask for my freedom. If you do not provide me with food, I will grow my own. If you do not provide me with clothing, I will sew my own. If you do not provide me with medicine, I will treat myself. If you do not provide me with housing, I will build my own. If I am free, I am free to provide for myself and you for yourself. If we both are free, we are free to share our skills with each other.

If I am free, I am free to fail. If you are free, you are free to succeed. If we are free we have all that we deserve.

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This is a shameless plug. Seriously though, this is a pretty good track.



All Damn Day (Prod. J Wonder)
Ivy League
Before The End


Follow Ivy League on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/The305ivyleague

Follow J Wonder on Twitter http://twitter.com/JWonder_Beats

Follow No Grav Gang on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/NoGRaVGaNG

Follow Last Kiss Films on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/PhunkeyBrewster

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Draw Mohammed Day

Not a bad drawing, and unlike most videos, the commentary is actually fairly good as well.

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Thought of the day.

If George Zimmerman is white, then so is Barack Obama.

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Draw Mohammed Day Jerk

Ok my computer just crashed but Allah saw fit to spare this video. I will take this as a sign that he too thinks that Muslims take their religion to seriously. It is important to note that I am not doing this out of hate for another culture. I encourage and would defend your right to believe , say , and act as you wish … as long as you can do so with out killing those of us who would disagree. IT’S OK TO DISAGREE!!! It is not ok to kill your fellow human beings over these disagreements. I do this video for those who have been killed for a thought; and for those Muslums who did not speak out against it. It’s time to grow up, or at least grow a sense of humor.

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Penn Point – Penn Jillette’s thoughts on Molly Norris going into hiding.

I have to preface this by saying I feel a bit closer to this issue than just a spectator. In truth, I don’t think I got a single threat (although I neglected to check the email I set up for my Draw Mohammed page more than a couple times). I missed not only major sites and the like being denied access in Pakistan (you can read a bit more about it here), but also most reactions. I can say I had a degree of pride in hearing that the nation of Pakistan saw fit to take action to specifically ban my web site in their country.

The whole point I had in drawing a picture and the like was a show of solidarity, the idea that the thuggish behavior was not going to be rewarded with silence. I didn’t go over the top though, I didn’t affix my real name, I set up a new email address and I made sure the site was pure html (nothing to exploit). Although, a few people easily found me as it wasn’t as though I went out of the way to hide my identity either. So, while others got threats and their sites hacked, I just got my site on a short list of banned in Pakistan sites. I guess you could say I had things real easy, I got to make my point and get some recognition without the death threats.

Below is a video Penn Jillette’s comments on Molly Norris going into hiding. It’s an older video, and it’s sad to watch both as a reminder of how Islam treats innocent individuals, but also how powerful their brutality is. Penn Jillette is hardly afraid to speak his mind, but watching him delicately maneuver around this issues is painful.

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Trent Richardson for Heisman

I’m a college football fan, and a Alabama fan, but I’ve never made the case for an Alabama player being worth of the Heisman trophy. It is not decided yet, but in my opinion Trent Richardson is the most deserving candidate at the moment.

The Heisman trophy is awarded to “most outstanding player in collegiate football“. The Heisman seems to factor in not just the player’s statistics, but how outstanding a player he is (the best players don’t always have the best statistics), and how outstanding his team is. The Heisman trophy has completed ignored many record setting players, because their performances while excellent were against inferior competition or did not lead to outstanding performances by their teams. The Heisman trophy does favor offensive players because their performances are easier to measure.

Trent Richardson didn’t start the season off as a leading Heisman candidate. Between Alabama playing below expectations, splitting time with Ingram, and missing a couple of games he didn’t build on his freshman season and get much momentum for a Heisman candidacy. Andrew Luck on the other hand rode a lot of hype. Trent has marched by candidate after candidate to place himself beside Luck as a top Heisman candidate. His statistics are quite impressive, he’s sixth in rushing yards per game, but the players ahead of him have a lower average per rush and less touchdowns. He’s tied for second in the NCAA in scoring, and both the running back tied with him and the running back ahead of him not only have less yardage, but they have a lower average per rush. To sum it up, statistically speaking he’s the best runner in the FBS and when you factor in how well Alabama has performed and the fact that he’s doing it playing an SEC schedule and there’s ample justification for his Heisman candidacy.

Trent vs Luck
If neither team loses and neither player gets injured it is nearly a sure thing that one of these two players win the Heisman. While Luck might be the better player, his performances are not nearly as excellent in my opinion. Let’s take a look at the level of competition:
Opponent’s passing defense ranking
73 San Jose St.
102 Duke
114 Arizona
85 Colorado
103 Washington St.
110 Washington

How do you even evaluate Luck’s performances? He hasn’t even faced an above average passing defense as of yet (there are 120 FBS teams). All you can really take away from that is that he’s done well against horrible competition. He’s 22nd in total passing yards and 12th in points, and in each category he’s below 2 PAC-12 quarterbacks. So, unlike Trent who is running away from his SEC competition, Luck despite horrible competition has not put himself ahead of his peers. He is 5th in passing efficiency (below RG III, Russell Wilson and Kellen Moore), but even against inferior competition he has not (statistically speaking) shown himself to be the best quarterback in the FBS. He does have a chance to prove himself against slightly better competition coming up, as he faces three (barely) above average passing defenses, but even then, these are not good passing defenses: 104 Southern Californi, 90 Oregon St., 59 (tie) Oregon, 46 California, 59 (tie) Notre Dame. These teams bring the average up to 86, but if Luck still hasn’t distanced himself from the other FBS quarterbacks by then I don’t see him as being worthy assuming everything else remains the same.

Stanford is playing bad teams, period. According to Sagarin, Stanford has a 92 strength of schedule. This tells us that not only has Luck’s play not been as outstanding, relative to Trent but that Stanford has not been as outstanding relative to Alabama. By contrast, Alabama’s current SoS sits at 35 and we know that’s going up. The quality of run defenses he has faced is also higher as well:
Opponent’s rushing defense ranking
50 Kent St.
19 Penn St.
64 North Texas
88 Arkansas
32 Florida
45 Vanderbilt
115 Ole Miss
63 Tennessee

LSU is fourth in rushing defense so things won’t get easier. Trent, unlike Luck has had a chance to prove himself against a good defense, as he rushed for 111 yards and 2 TDs against Penn State, making him the only player to rush for 100 yards and the only player to rush for 2 TDs against Penn State. Against Florida, Trent rushed for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The next match-up for Luck is against USC, who is 104th in passing defense with 265 passing yards allowed per game (followed by 90th Oregon St.). By contrast, Trent will go up against LSU next, who gives up a meager 76 rushing yards per game. If Trent is productive at all against LSU he’ll prove more than two great games by Luck. Based on the competition and Luck’s inability to distance himself from the pack, I think Trent thus far, and if things continue will remain deserving of the trophy.

Trent vs Ingram
This is an interesting comparison. They played alongside each other, both played on excellent Alabama teams and logic is that if Mark deserved a Heisman for his performance, Trent has to be deserving at the moment as well. I have to start with the Tennessee game as I saw someone that was critical of Trent’s performance. Trent rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. By contrast, Mark rushed for 99 yards on 18 rushes against UT in ‘09. However, there is a major difference. Mark’s fumble against UT was crucial, and while Trent hasn’t fumbled this year (to my knowledge), he also scored 2 touchdowns, and had three catches against UT while Mark did neither. I am not bashing Mark, but by comparing the two performances, Trent did better.

One has to keep in mind the other roles Trent plays. For instance, UT was playing the run (much like Auburn did in ‘09 against Ingram, holding him to 30 yards) but on the crucial, tie breaking drive to start the second half, AJ passed to Trent (while under pressure), and then faked the hand-off to Trent every play of the drive after (four times), including the final play of the drive which was a touchdown run by AJ. While he didn’t get a single rush, Trent was vital to this drive.

At this point in ‘09 Ingram has 1,004 rushing yards on 153 carries for an average of 6.6. Trent has 989 yards on 149 carries for an average of 6.6. If Trent gets 4 more carries against UT, it’s likely he breaks 1,000 rushing yards and there’s a fairly good chance he sets the Alabama record for consecutive 100 yard rushing games. Mark has the slightest lead in yards. This is opened up a bit when you factor in that Mark had a couple more receiving touchdowns. However, at this point in 2009 Mark accounted for 11 touchdowns and Trent has accounted for 18 touchdowns. This puts Trent well ahead of Mark, and to me gives Trent the chance to have some down games and still have a Heisman worthy season.

Trent vs Everyone
The last weekend of football saw two viable candidates drop out as Russell Wilson and Landry Jones both lost. Considering the number of undefeated teams, this seemingly takes them out of the running. In terms of the SEC, Lattimore got hurt (although at that point he was still behind Trent statistically), and Tyrann Mathieu got caught doing something rather un-outstanding so Trent is the only SEC player with a viable candidacy. Regarding running backs, LaMichael James got hurt and missed a couple of games taking him out of the running. The fact that the other top two RB candidates got injured also speaks to the difficulty of the position. There are still viable candidates at quarterback, as Kellen Moore has put up great numbers but he’s hampered by the lack of competition and he doesn’t have Luck’s popularity to fall back on. Tajh Boyd is looking great as well, but he’s arrived kind of late to the party and I don’t see anyone passing up Luck and Trent unless they drop the ball.

Trent’s touchdowns and his performance relative to his peers (in the SEC and at running back) make him the best candidate at this point. It is also worth mentioning that he is third in receiving yards at Alabama, and tied for second in receptions. While I think he’s earned a mulligan, if teams do pack the box against Trent, there’s a chance he has some big receiving games (if AJ finds him when he’s open). If Alabama stays undefeated, and Trent stays healthy and has a couple more productive games (finishes with 20+ rushing TDs and a 6+ average), I think he deserves the trophy. However, if Alabama loses Trent’s play will really have to be excellent, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Don’t forget to vote for Trent! http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/nissan/heisman/

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Greed is damn good!

Imagine No GreedIf one could credit the “Occupy” protests with coherent thought it seems to be that they are against greed. In all fairness, they didn’t really seem to have much of a point early on but they seem to have gotten together on the notion that they collectively hate greed and like to demonstrate their mastery of percentages. When someone is coming out against greed, and talking about getting a “fair share” and so on they will almost always sneak in some socialist/communist ideology. They can’t accept the notion that some people are worth more than others, or that you need to work to actually earn something (which is why so many of them have the free time to sit and complain about their plight).

These imbeciles stand in stark contrast to the Tea Party protesters, who said their piece then went back to a productive existence. These people have all day, week, and month. I have yet to see a single truly productive individual in their midst. They seem to think wealth is generated at birth and someone should hurry up and reward them because they’ve worked really hard at sitting on their asses.

It’s not hard to get a job. It’s easy as hell. It might be hard to get a job that pays you well to do nothing (unless you luck into a government job), or to get a job that pays for your weed habit with enough left over for a new electric car, organic foods, and what other luxuries your small mind (or the government, for example cell phones) might consider necessities, but you can get a job that meets your basic needs with little effort. We have a lot of illegal immigrants coming here to do jobs many Americans refuse, and they have enough left over to send a lot of what they earn back. So, if those protesters really want a job come to Alabama, I hear they are hiring car wash people and produce pickers.

The irony here is most of these protesters are in fact themselves motivated by greed. It is the worst kind though, many of them want what others have earned. They wish to be given what they have not earned. They wish to break the one fundamental check for greed: individual rights. So, while these protesters decry greed and mindlessly repeat what the person with a megaphone says, they practice greed. While they speak of corruption and criminal behavior, they at the same time seek to undermine the basic protection against such actions we are entitled to. In a society with true rights of the individual (I’ve read a bit Ayn Rand and I suppose you could say I’m speaking of egoism) there is no room for fraud, theft, and corruption because such violations would be the highest crime.

Individualism stand as the only protection needed, if you have individual protections, and individual responsibilities, greed becomes free to function as on of our greatest qualities. Who would you place more faith in, on a cure for cancer? Those protesters, or the corporations that they are protesting against? What has given the human race more, altruism or greed? How many great inventions might we have done without if not for the greed of their creators? So much of what we have is owed to the greed of others, who gave us wonderful things and in return we made them fabulously wealthy. 

The protesters do not understand what generates wealth, which is the product. How is it that America, without the largest population has the largest economy? Some morons might claim it was some evil underhanded tactics, but America for years and years just out-produced other countries. Microsoft, IBM, Ford, Boeing, etc… Consider how different everything might be had they simply not existed. The cheap laptops we give to children in Africa, or cheap medicines, we owe their existence to big greedy corporations, directly or indirectly. I wonder if this even crosses the minds of these people as they document their activities on their cell phone, and go to use the bathroom in McDonald’s, their quality of life is significantly higher because of these evil, greedy corporations. It certainly seems beyond their mental grasp that if they want wealth of their own they need to make themselves as productive as the wealthy they envy.

The sheer stupidity that they exhibit is to formulate the opinion that wealth is always there and the act of greed deprives others of their “fair share” of the wealth. This has been thoroughly debunked by great minds like Ludwig von Mises and common sense alike. If wealth was born with a person, or with a “worker” then this would dictate the wealth of a nation. Clearly this is not the case as population does not define wealth. Bill Gates is not depriving these people of their wealth, he is in fact doing them all a great service but they are too foolish to realize this.

Let’s consider how this works. Bill Gates is filthy rich for his role in Microsoft. How did Microsoft become so important? They provided desirable services to others. These services were paid for and in turn, the customers gained from these services. Here’s where the wealth is generated, where the product comes into play. These services that Microsoft provided helped these customers do what they want to do better than they could have without Microsoft. They in turn became more productive, and continued to purchase from Microsoft, Bill Gates became more wealthy, so on so forth. Microsoft made people more productive, and in turn everyone became more wealthy. If you subtract someone like Bill Gates, you do not have more wealth to distribute, you have less!

Greed helps all of us, it motivates us but it also forces innovations. A greedy person might pay lavishly for a car that while ridiculously expensive, will use technology that might make it’s way into budget cars that most of us drive. Or, the ultra-expensive medical treatment they pay for might ultimately become refined and efficient enough for most of us to afford. They push innovation and they push productivity because they want the best and are greedy enough to feel entitled to it. 

Finally, greed is not limited to the individual. Greed can be wanting your children to have the best, or for your country to have the best. The best might be decadent, expensive, it might not seem fitting because most of us poor folk could never afford it… However, there was a time that most of our household items were absurdly expensive, affordable to only the greediest people who would want something that the common man can’t afford. Greed makes all our lives better, altruism does far less to better our lives. Bill Gates will give away a great deal of his wealth, but his most valuable contributions have already been made. What we need is more greedy people that are willing to work hard enough to become obscenely wealthy themselves.

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