How would Private Defense Agencies be funded in a free-market society? What's in the News with stories on police state USA, ICE detentions, and asset forfeiture. And, a Herding Cats segment on two cool events coming up.

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

[1:09]

It's a question I hear a lot, “without the government, who would protect me from an invading army.” This is actually a good question, as even if we lived in a free-market society, who is to say the rest of the world does? Frankly, I am of the mindset that most countries would never consider attacking a free-market society because the financial benefits of trading between each other would make it foolish. Generally, when bread and money cross borders, soldiers rarely do. However, as we know, governments don't always act rationally. There would need to be a defense against that. Enter private defense agencies.

I've talked about Bob Murphy's pamphlet “Chaos Theory” several times on this show because it has some excellent answers to this and many other questions. 

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

[10:08]

In legalized theft news, the Drug Enforcement Agency has seized, or rather, has stolen over $4.15 billion in over 100,000 cash seizures since 2007. 81% of those seizures, a total value of $3.2 billion, were forfeited administratively, meaning without charging someone with a crime or any judicial oversight.

In sitting on ICE news, a US citizen is suing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, alleging that he was illegally detained.

In legislating the future news, Chicago high school students may soon need to create a plan for their future in order to graduate. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has laid out his new proposal, which would require students to develop a post-high school plan before receiving a diploma. 

In police state news, everything that you may possibly do is considered suspicious, including having a reclined car seat. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a reclined car seat is suspicious behavior and can be used by police as a justification for warrantless searches. 

In even more police state news, the ACLU of South Dakota has exposed a nightmarish by-product of the drug war in their state. To find out if a person has traces of an arbitrary substance deemed illegal by the state, cops are torturing adults and children alike.

HERDING CATS

[25:20]

For the second year in a row, my wife and I are on the planning team for Freecoast Festival, and this year is going to be better than ever! You don't want to miss this one, I promise.

The theme this year is “Living a Voluntary Life Today,” and it is one I am especially excited about. 

I hope to see you guys there the weekend of September 8th – 10th. You can get all of the details and the tickets at EventBrite or by going to thelavaflow.com/freecoastfestival.

Also, don't forget about PorcFest 2017! Jess and I are also on the planning team for this event, and you don't want to miss it. It is going to be June 21st – 25th at Roger's Campground in the mountains of New Hampshire. Tickets are on sale at PorcFest.com right now for $80 per person for the entire 5-day event, with kids being free. My kids told us last year that they enjoyed PorcFest more than Disney World, and I know Jess and I did as well. I met so many of my listeners there last year and I hope to see many more of you there this year. Don't miss it!

 

Read Full Transcript

TEASER INTRO

How would Private Defense Agencies be funded in a free-market society? What's in the News with stories on police state USA, ICE detentions, and asset forfeiture. And, a Herding Cats segment on two cool events coming up.

INTRO

“Welcome to The LAVA Flow, channeling the flow of information to the Libertarian, Anarcho-capitalist, Voluntaryist, and Agorist community. Find us at thelavaflow.com. Here’s your host, Rodger Paxton.”

Thank you for joining me this week, coming to you from the state that is the home of Triple H, a professional wrestler from Nashua, this is the show that will bring you the people, places, and events that everyone in the liberty revolution needs to know. You can catch me on Twitter @TheLAVAFlowPod.

This is episode fifty-nine, Private Defense Agencies, and it's Tuesday, April 11th, 2017, when there have already been more than 320 people killed by police this year. What's Rustling My Jimmies this week? You're about to find out! Let’s Do It To It!

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

It's a question I hear a lot, "without the government, who would protect me from an invading army." This is actually a good question, as even if we lived in a free-market society, who is to say the rest of the world does? Frankly, I am of the mindset that most countries would never consider attacking a free-market society because the financial benefits of trading between each other would make it foolish. Generally, when bread and money cross borders, soldiers rarely do. However, as we know, governments don't always act rationally. There would need to be a defense against that.

I've talked about Bob Murphy's pamphlet "Chaos Theory" several times on this show because it has some excellent answers to this and many other questions.

Defense from foreign aggression is considered a classic "public good" and as such seems the perfect candidate for government provision. Without the ability to extort revenues from all citizens, how could private firms raise the funds required by modern militaries? (After all, any individual citizen could refuse to buy the "product," yet still enjoy the security made possible by his neighbors’ contributions.) On a practical level, hundreds of small, decentralized armies would surely be wiped out by a consolidated attack from a neighboring State.

According to Robert Murphy, in a free society, it is not the average person, but rather the insurance companies, that would purchase defense services. Every dollar in damage caused by foreign aggression would be fully compensated, and thus insurers would seek to protect their customers’ property as if it were their own. Because of economies of scale, coverage for large geographical regions would likely be handled through a few dominant firms, ensuring standardized pricing and a coordinated defense.

Murphy also points out, that the market for defense is not homogeneous. Large firms could provide the bulk of revenue for the insurance industry. The policies taken out on apartment complexes, shopping malls, manufacturing plants, banks, and skyscrapers would dwarf those taken out by individuals. Consequently, there wouldn’t be the nightmarish bargaining problem that so worries the skeptics of private defense. If necessary, the insurer would write only long-term contracts and would make them conditional on the acceptance of a minimum threshold of clients. In other words, he would offer a package deal to the major companies, but the special, low rates would only apply if a sufficient number of these policies were sold.

Furthermore, certain types of property—airports, bridges, highways, power plants, and of course, military equipment—would be far likelier targets of foreign attack, and their owners would thus constitute an even smaller group to benefit disproportionately from defense expenditures. This heterogeneity would weaken further the "spillover" character of defense services, making an efficient arrangement all the easier to achieve. The highest contributors might even advertise this fact, much as large corporations make ostentatious donations to charity in order to curry goodwill.

Also, wars can remain in a stalemate for many years. During such protracted struggles, insurance companies would certainly be able to deploy their military forces so as to limit gratuitous protection for non-clients.

Defense is often viewed as a public good or a product that can only be provided by government. This is said primarily due to the free-rider problem, in which people refuse to pay for defense but instead rely on their neighbors to pay for defending the community. This, it is claimed, makes it inevitable that it be financed by taxes if a fair allocation of costs is to be achieved.

According to anarcho-capitalist theorists, there are many ways that this problem can be overcome or rendered irrelevant. Rothbard's solution was to simply say "Who cares?" when it comes to the issue of free riders. He points out that free riders are commonplace in other aspects of our economy. He said, "Are we to be critical because more than one person benefits from someone's actions?...In short, am I to be taxed for enjoying the view of my neighbor's well-kept garden?" He also says that we are all free riders on the past, as we would be living in a primitive society if it were not for the efforts of our ancestors; and we are free riders on the present, because we benefit from the continuing investment of our fellow men and from their specialized skills on the market.

Joseph R. Stromberg notes that the American Revolution occurred despite the fact that some individuals might have been free riders who benefited from it without funding it; he says that successful defense of freedom often relies not on precise allocations of cost, but on "nationalism, religion, the desire for freedom, hatred of the enemy, social pressure to do the right thing, and so on," some of which might represent "enlightened self-interest."

Many believe that big businesses will tend to pay the bulk of the defense costs (since they stand to lose the most in the event of an attack). Those businesses would then pass on the costs to their customers, and so the costs of defense would be spread out among the whole population. A landowner seeking to establish a community may sell or lease the land with provisions written into the deed or lease agreement, requiring the new owner or tenant to pay for defense on a permanent basis. This same technique has already been in some neighborhoods to ensure that residents pay for private streets shared in common by all of them.

As is true for homeowners today, everyone would be responsible for buying or otherwise being covered by aggression insurance in order to protect themselves against catastrophic loss from foreign attack. In the event of an invasion, a claim would be filed and the insurer would hire a private defense company to collect from the aggressor.

Is there any historical frame of reference for these ideas? Believe it or not, there is.

Ancient city-states in Greece and Rome depended on liturgy – contributions made by rich citizens for specific purposes – for defense. A liturgy might be used, for instance, to fund the manning of a warship. Although a certain amount was assessed by magistrates, some citizens paid more than required in order to obtain popularity, influence, and sympathy among jurors in the event they were taken to court. During the Second Punic War, Quintus Maximus Fabius Verrucosus used his personal resources to pay for the release of some Roman prisoners. When the son of Scipio Africanus, who at the time was acting as de facto commander-in-chief, was captured during the war against Antiochus III the Great in 190 BC, he came up with ransom himself. As Rome grew wealthier, greater use was made of private money and/or private armed forces, consisting of relatives and clients, to accomplish public objectives. Between 73 and 71 BC, Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus used their own resources to suppress the armies of Spartacus in the Third Servile War.

According to the research of Terry L. Anderson and P. J. Hill, the Old West in the United States in the period of 1830 to 1900 was similar to anarcho-capitalism in that "private agencies provided the necessary basis for an orderly society in which property was protected and conflicts were resolved," and that the common popular perception that the Old West was chaotic with little respect for property rights is incorrect. Since squatters had no claim to western lands under federal law, extra-legal organizations formed to fill the void. They explain:

The land clubs and claim associations each adopted their own written contract setting out the laws that provided the means for defining and protecting property rights in the land. They established procedures for registration of land claims, as well as for protection of those claims against outsiders, and for adjudication of internal disputes that arose. The reciprocal arrangements for protection would be maintained only if a member complied with the association's rules and its court's rulings. Anyone who refused would be ostracized. Boycott by a land club meant that an individual had no protection against aggression other than what he could provide himself.

The ultimate answer to how this would be handled is, frankly, that I don't know, and neither does anyone else. But, I do know that however it is handled when millions of free minds have had the opportunity to try and create solutions for these problems will be much more moral than it is being handled now, where countries attack each other for perceived slights and to expand empires. Private defense agencies wouldn't be dropping bombs on Syria right now, or provoking North Korea, that's for sure. Sadly, as long as the majority of people are willing to allow government to continue to extract money from them for protection, just like the mafia, this is a problem that won't be solved anytime soon.

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

In legalized theft news, the Drug Enforcement Agency has seized, or rather, has stolen over $4.15 billion in over 100,000 cash seizures since 2007. 81% of those seizures, a total value of $3.2 billion, were forfeited administratively, meaning without charging someone with a crime or any judicial oversight. As the Office of the Inspector General report notes, “asset seizure and forfeiture also present unique potential risks to civil liberties.”

Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement agencies to seize property and cash without any criminal charges. Administrative forfeitures happen automatically when a property owner fails to challenge a seizure in court for any reason, including the inability to afford a lawyer or a missed deadline to file a claim. The property is then forfeited through a simple paperwork shuffle, with the seizing agency acting as investigator, prosecutor, and judge. As a form of civil forfeiture, administrative forfeiture presumes the property is guilty and places the burden of proving its innocence on the owner. Also, because this is not a criminal procedure, property owners are not entitled to an attorney. This makes the process prone to abuse.

Eighty-nine percent of cash seizures by the DEA were under $100,000 but they accounted for 30 percent of the total value of cash seized. Those amounts suggest that many seizures are not focused on larger criminal empires. Only about 20 percent of these seizures were challenged and the DEA only returned all or a portion of the cash in less than half of those cases.

This is clearly unconstitutional, but we all know how little that matters anymore. More importantly, this is immoral. It is using force to steal money from people, plain and simple. If I were to do this to my neighbor, I would go to jail. Hell, if I were to do this to a drug dealer or a prostitute, I would go to jail as well. But, the government can get away with it with impunity?

There is no logical way that it makes sense for people to be able to give rights that they don't have to a group of people through the ballot box. If I don't have the right to steal from my neighbor, or a drug dealer, then I can't go to a magic box, put a checkmark on a piece of paper, and elect people who can then hire thugs to steal from my neighbor or a drug dealer. But, let's be clear, this is exactly what government is. Government is the illegitimate initiation of force, whether it be stealing through asset forfeiture, taxes, or extortion when you go a few miles an hour faster than some arbitrary number, it is all force, and it is all immoral.

In sitting on ICE news, a US citizen is suing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, alleging that he was illegally detained.

Rony Chavez Aguilar spent two weeks in the county jail in Chicago after he pleaded guilty to drug charges. However, according to his lawyer Charles Roth, instead of being released as planned, ICE agents believed he was an undocumented immigrant and sought to deport him. The transferred him to a facility in Kentucky where ICE holds other detainees facing deportation.

He was then held by ICE for three weeks. The National Immigrant Justice Center launched a complaint against ICE, saying, "ICE Chicago did not obtain a judicial warrant to arrest Plaintiff; has not provided a sworn, particularized statement of probable cause; has not promptly brought him before a detached and neutral judicial officer for a probable cause hearing; or has not brought him before a judge to understand the charges against him and receive important advisals regarding his due process rights, amongst other procedural protections."

Becuase cockroaches don't like when the light is shined on them, ICE released Aguilar shortly after this complaint was filed. An analysis by NPR found that between 2007 and 2015, at least 693 US citizens were detained in jails illegally at the request of immigration agents, and 818 citizens were held in detention centers. And this is just the ones they know about. There were likely many others

What has the country become when it can allow such illegal detainment with no repercussions to those who committed the act? In the unlikely event that there is a lawsuit brought, such as this case, if the government is found guilty of wrong-doing, the people who actually committed the act will have nothing happen to them. If there ever is a fine paid it will be done using taxpayer money, of course, which only makes Mr. Aguilar a double-victim. These types of actions will continue to happen until the bad actors are personally held responsible for their illegal actions. Just as a judge would tell you and me, ignorance of the law is no excuse. How is it that government bad actors get special protections that we don't?

In legislating the future news, Chicago high school students may soon need to create a plan for their future in order to graduate. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has laid out his new proposal, which would require students to develop a post-high school plan before receiving a diploma. Chicago would be the first city to adopt such a requirement if the measure is approved by the city’s board of education.

Emanuel said, “We live in a period of time where you earn what you learn. The school system of K through 12 is not applicable to the world and the economy and the world that our high school students are graduating to. So we’re moving to a pre-K to college model.”

Under the proposal, all Chicago Public School students starting with this year’s freshman class would have to show an acceptance letter to a four-year university, a community college, a trade school or apprenticeship, an internship, or a branch of the armed services in order to receive their high school diploma.

Emanuel also said, “Around 62 percent of our kids are already either accepted into college or accepted into community college, and our goal is to make sure nobody spikes the ball at 12th grade. We want to make 14th grade universal. That’s the new goal line.”

So, essentially Rahm has never taken an economics 101 class in his entire life. His actions here will on serve to make an Associate's degree as useless as a high school diploma by increasing the supply of those with some higher education or a trade degree, polluting the population artificially with those degrees. But, of course, it's for the children, so we need to hold onto our wallets! And, of course, you should hang onto your wallets because guess who's going to pay for this. That's right, you will be paying for it. Emanuel said the plan is a continuation of the city’s efforts to provide more access to higher education, including free community college for students with a B average or better. But, we knew that was coming.

In police state news, everything that you may possibly do is considered suspicious, including having a reclined car seat. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a reclined car seat is suspicious behavior and can be used by police as a justification for warrantless searches.

Prior to heading to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals first concluded that a reclined seat “does not significantly add to the probable-cause analysis” because reclining in a seat is “a common, innocuous activity.” However, if the officer sees a plastic bag in a car with a reclined seat — they now have probable cause.

The case of the State of Kansas v. Cameron Howard began when Howard allegedly attempted to avoid a traffic light by driving through a parking lot. Claiming this gave him probable cause to detain and otherwise extort Howard, a police officer pulled him over. That’s when the officer noticed the ‘suspicious’ passenger seat that was in a slightly reclined position.

Ignoring the fact that the passenger seat was occupied by Howard’s pregnant companion, the officer ordered Howard out of the vehicle. He then noticed an empty plastic bag and claimed this gave him probable cause to search the vehicle. During the warrantless search of the vehicle, the officer found a handgun under the floor mat.

According to the Kansas Supreme Court, “the officer’s training and experience that led him to know people regularly package drugs utilizing twisted off corners of clear plastic baggies.” You know, because saying people regularly carry drugs in cars, so that should be probable cause, would be too obvious.

Seeing the baggy and noticing the reclined seat — even though it was occupied by a pregnant woman — “Officer Loughman made the reasonable inference that the passenger’s reclined seat was an attempt to conceal something from his view.” Howard was then arrested for felony possession of a firearm — in spite of the fact that he had legally purchased the gun after undergoing an FBI background check.

Police, as the Rutherford Institute so eloquently points out, can now add ‘reclining car seat’ to the incredibly long list of other “suspicious” behavior as having acne scars, driving with a stiff upright posture, having car windows that are too heavily tinted, driving too fast, driving too slow, failing to maintain speed, following too closely, improper lane changes, distracted driving, screeching a car’s tires, leaving a parked car door open for too long, avoiding a traffic light by driving through a parking lot, driving near a bar or on a road that has large amounts of drunk driving, driving a certain make of car (Mercedes, Grand Prix and Hummers are among the most ticketed vehicles), having anything dangling from the rearview mirror (air fresheners, handicap parking permits, toll transponders or rosaries), or displaying pro-police bumper stickers.

Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People, said, “Drivers should beware. At a time when police can do no wrong—at least in the eyes of the courts, police unions and politicians dependent on their votes—‘we the people’ are at a severe disadvantage. As Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas warned almost 50 years ago, ‘If the individual is no longer to be sovereign, if the police can pick him up whenever they do not like the cut of his jib, if they can ‘seize’ and ‘search’ him in their discretion, we enter a new regime.’ We have, indeed, entered a new regime and it’s called a police state.”

In even more police state news, the ACLU of South Dakota has exposed a nightmarish by-product of the drug war in their state. To find out if a person has traces of an arbitrary substance deemed illegal by the state, cops are torturing adults and children alike.

Dirk Sparks recalls that horrid night that it happened to him. “It was degrading,” Sparks said. “I was angry. I felt like my civil rights were being violated.”

The nightmare began when police responded to an incident, in which Sparks had done nothing wrong, at his home. However, one officer said he saw Sparks being “fidgety,” so police claimed the right to test his urine. Because Sparks refused to pee in a cup for cops, they arrested him and brought him to the hospital.

Once in the hospital room, four police officers held Sparks down while they placed a hood over his head. He was then chained to a bed with his pants around his ankles while a nurse at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre forcefully inserted a pencil-sized tube into Sparks’ urethra to extract his urine involuntarily.

Sparks told the Argus Leader that the pain lasted for weeks and every time he tried to go to the bathroom he was reminded of that torturous event. The kidnapping and forced catheterization were so traumatic for Sparks that he moved away because he now fears the Pierre police.

But it’s not just adults these sadistic cops torture either — it’s their children.

Kristen Hunter’s boyfriend was on probation when he failed a routine urinalysis. So, multiple cops showed up at her house, along with a Department of Social Services employee and demanded her and her kids produce urine to see if they too had drugs in their system. Hunter’s children were 3 and 5-years-old at the time.

Police told Hunter that if her kids couldn’t pee on demand that they would be taken from her. Luckily, Hunter and her 5-year-old daughter were able to produce a sample. However, the young boy, who wasn’t potty trained yet, was unable to go.

Police and social workers then held down the child and sexually assaulted him via forced catheterization.

“They just shoved it right up there, and he screamed so bad,” Hunter said.

Because these sadistic cops and social worker were apparently filthy at the time, the poor young toddler contracted a staph infection from the process. “He’s still dealing with a staph infection, and we are still giving him medication,” said Hunter.

“Quite frankly, it’s cruel and barbaric to forcibly catheterize anyone, let alone a 3-year-old child, and this process raises serious constitutional concerns,” said Heather Smith, executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota.

A three-year-old child. I think you know what I'm going to say here... What the actual fuck? If I did this to a child without a medical reason for it, I would be arrested for molestation. Yet, police can act with impunity on a vague suspicion. Fuck these guys in the neck.

Welcome to the land of the free, or should I say the land of the forced pee.

In some housecleaning news, yes, I know, it seems I missed a big news topic this week since I didn't mention Syria. I have a LAVA Spurt planned for the next day or two that will tackle this topic, don't you worry! Be on the lookout for that one.

And, finally, congratulations to Brad for winning the survey contest in March! Brad blogs over at logical-liberty.com, so go check his stuff out. He wins an exclusive Contest Winner's The LAVA Flow t-shirt, a The LAVA Flow tote bag, and a copy of one of my favorite libertarian books signed by the author. Thanks to the 106 of you who took the time to fill out the survey for me, and be on the lookout for a new contest coming up in the next couple of months.

HERDING CATS

For the second year in a row, my wife and I are on the planning team for Freecoast Festival, and this year is going to be better than ever! You don't want to miss this one, I promise.

The theme this year is "Living a Voluntary Life Today," and it is one I am especially excited about.

Festivities begin with a Friday, September 8th, evening social gathering at The Praxeum in Portsmouth, where food will be provided. This will be where registration occurs and will give you an opportunity to network and meet all of the attendees and speakers. Saturday morning features a speaker series, a live broadcast of the Freecoast's own podcast "Freecoast Freecast", and ends with one of our keynote speakers, Hannah Braime from "Becoming Who You Are" at the iconic music venue, The Stone Church in Newmarket.

The Saturday evening coastal cruise is the festival's banner event. We'll board the Thomas Laighton and make our way down New Hampshire's spectacular seacoast, while enjoying an included catered meal, and keynote speech by Jake Desyllas from, "The Voluntary Life". This is one I personally can't wait to see. I've been listening to Jake's "The Voluntary Life" for years now. It's a podcast I never miss, so to finally get a chance to meet him in person is so exciting to me! If you don't know who he is, trust me, you want to. Check out his podcast where he talks about how he lives a voluntary life every day. You won't be disappointed.

And then, Sunday will be our Entrepreneur Day, back by popular demand! If you recall, I won this competition last year with my presentation for Pax Libertas Productions, which is now in full swing. As the reigning champion, I'm excited to see what comes out of this event this year.

Tickets for this event start at $30 for adults and $20 for children aged 4-17. Kids under 4 come for free. This general admission ticket gives you access to all of the events except for the cruise. If you want cruise tickets, you will need to add an additional $100 per adult. Kids 17 and under cruise for free as long as they have a general admission ticket! Trust me, you don't want to miss the three-hour tour of the Portsmouth waterways. It is right at sunset and the views are incredible, not to mention the fellowship, awesome food, and incredible keynote.

I hope to see you guys there the weekend of September 8th - 10th. You can get all of the details and the tickets at EventBrite or by going to thelavaflow.com/freecoastfestival.

Also, don't forget about PorcFest 2017! Jess and I are also on the planning team for this event, and you don't want to miss it. It is going to be June 21st - 25th at Roger's Campground in the mountains of New Hampshire. Tickets are on sale at PorcFest.com right now for $80 per person for the entire 5-day event, with kids being free. My kids told us last year that they enjoyed PorcFest more than Disney World, and I know Jess and I did as well. I met so many of my listeners there last year and I hope to see many more of you there this year. Don't miss it!

OUTRO

Thank you for listening to the show this week. As always, I need to thank my favorite PorcFest organizer, Jessica, for her help with this show. For the show notes to this episode, where I put links and other information that has been on this show, go to thelavaflow.com/59.

I don't have any new iTunes reviews this week. iTunes helps to steer people to this podcast based on ratings and reviews, so please go to thelavaflow.com/itunes and leave me a rating and a review. Thank you to everyone who has left me a rating and a review. You guys rock! Can you guys help me out and go leave a review for me? Go to thelavaflow.com/itunes to do that now.

I have a new Bitcoin donor this week. RT Byrnes stated a $1 per episode donation. Thanks, RT! I had two donors increase their donation since the last episode as well. Paul and Joshua both increased their donations from $1 per episode to $2.50 per episode using Patreon. Awesome!

Thanks to these guys and all of my other awesome supporters, I am now at $177 per episode or 70.8% of the way towards my next goal of $250.

And, if you, like RT, Paul, and Joshua, want more of the LAVA Flow, exercise your free-market muscles by going to http://thelavaflow.com/support and giving a per-episode donation of as little as a buck an episode using Federal Reserve Notes through Patreon or Bitcoin through Coinbase. I want to be able to bring you more content soon, so make sure to add your donation today to help make that happen!

Until next time... keep striking the root.

This has been a Pax Libertas Productions Podcast.

 

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