Readers!

At the end of June seven years ago I began this website. While the first post was short and not very notable, in the next few weeks I put up the first evening pause and a number of longer posts, including this essay noting my fundamental focus on exploration and pushing the unknown.

 

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Glacier: Why I am not posting this week

The picture below will help explain why I am not posting much this week. My wife Diane and I are in Glacier National Park, and today we did a 12 mile hike on the Highline Trail, considered by many to be one of the best trails in the U.S. I’ve done a lot of hiking in my life, and I have to agree.

I hope good internet access will return next week, and I will be able to post regularly again. Until then, make sure you look real close at the picture. On the right, at the end of the trail line, is a person. This will give you a sense of the scale here.

Highline Trail

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The Eclipse

The eclipse approaching totality

Updated with two images. The first shows the mobs of panic-stricken Americans, trapped in Idaho Falls with no food or water because — as predicted by many mainstream media sources — so many people arrived there that it was impossible to keep them from dying. If you look close, you can see many already blind because they had stared at the Sun nonchalantly when the eclipse started.

The second picture is a magnificent shot taken by Diane by hand during totality, using her simple snapshot digital camera. She captured the corona, as well as the quiet essence of the moment.
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Just arrived at Glacier, where the internet access is bad, and there is no cell service. Thus, this might be my last post for the week. I will try to post in the evening, but this is a vacation, so it will not be my first priority. If I could do it in my room that would okay, but I have to go down to the lobby of the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Anyway the image to the right was taken by me by holding my hand filter out at arm’s length, blocking the sun, and snapping a picture with my camera. It came out far better than I expected, as you can actually see the sun in the filter, partly blocked.

Totality was amazing. I was amazed by two things. First, how quiet it became. There were about hundred people scattered about the hotel lawn, with dogs and kids playing around. The hotel manager’s husband set up speakers for music and to make announcements, but when totality arrived he played nothing. People stopped talking. A hush fell over everything. Moreover, I think we somehow imagine a subconscious roar from the full sun. Covered as it was, with its soft corona gleaming gently around it, it suddenly seemed still.

Secondly, the amazing unlikeliness of the Moon being at just the right distance and size to periodically cause this event seemed almost miraculous. Watching it happen drove this point home to me. And since eclipses themselves have been a critical event in the intellectual development of humanity, helping to drive learning and our understanding of the universe, it truly makes me wonder at the majesty of it. I do not believe in any particular religion or their rituals (though I consider the Bible, the Old Testament especially, to be a very good manual for creating a good life and society), but I do not deny the existence of a higher power. Something made this place, and set it up in this wonderous way. Today’s eclipse only served to demonstrate this fact to me again.

Posting will be light for the rest of the week. If I get a chance I will add some more pictures to this post tomorrow.
» Read more

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Democratic staffer signed off on computer theft by foreign IT workers

New evidence in the scandal surrounding the computer staff used by Democratic congressmen shows that the chief of staff for Yvette Clark (D-New York) apparently okayed the loss of $120,000 worth of missing computer equipment, thus hiding the loss from investigators.

Clarke’s chief of staff at the time effectively dismissed the loss and prevented it from coming up in future audits by signing a form removing the missing equipment from a House-wide tracking system after one of the Awan brothers alerted the office the equipment was gone. The Pakistani-born brothers are now at the center of an FBI investigation over their IT work with dozens of Congressional offices.

A senior House official with knowledge of the situation provided TheDCNF with new details about how exactly the brothers are suspected to have stolen the equipment and possibly data from Congress, raising questions about the members or staffers who were signing the checks on equipment purchases.

The $120,000 figure amounts to about a tenth of the office’s annual budget, or enough to hire four legislative assistants to handle the concerns of constituents in her New York district. Yet when one of the brothers alerted the office to the massive loss, the chief of staff signed a form that quietly reconciled the missing equipment in the office budget, the official told TheDCNF. Abid Awan remained employed by the office for months after the loss of the equipment was flagged.

It is not clear who actually did this, as there was a change in staffing at the time. Either way, it once again appears as if the Awan family had some dirt on the Democrats, and was using it to compel their cooperation in a variety of illegal acts.

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Trump administration to end climate panel

The Trump administration has decided to not renew a pro-global warming climate panel set to expire this week.

The panel is part of the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping officials and policy makers integrate the US Government’s climate change analysis into their long-term planning. A mandate for the 15-member Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment is set to expire on Sunday, and will not be renewed.

The press will paint this panel as an objective collection of climate scientists put together to provide the president with good advice on the climate. In truth, it is a part of the propaganda machine for the global warming part of the climate science community, designed to push their conclusions while excluding any skeptical input.

Once again it appears that while Trump might be wishy-washy on many issues, on climate he is serious about dismantling the corruption that has worked its way into that field while eliminating the over-regulation that this corruption has imposed on American society.

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Navy destroyer collides with merchant ship

Can’t anyone here play this game? The Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain today collided with a merchant ship east of Singapore.

No word of any casualties as yet. The key quote from the article however is this:

This marked the fourth mishap for U.S. Navy ships in the Pacific since February. Aside from the USS McCain and USS Fitgerald incidents, the Navy crusier USS Antietam ran aground dumping over 1,000 gallons of oil in Tokyo Bay in Februray. In May, another cruiser, USS Lake Champlain, hit a South Korean fishing vessel.

Four incidents like this since February? Something in the Navy is seriously wrong.

Update: 5 injured and 10 missing.

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In Idaho Falls, ready for the eclipse

Diane and I just arrived at our hotel in Idaho Falls, getting here about an hour earlier than expected because the roads were clear. Nor was I surprised. The typical Chicken-Little panic of government officials in this age is usually wrong, and almost always over-stated. Things look very normal here, with no big traffic jams or crowds. I do expect that tomorrow during the eclipse it will be like a party, as everyone in this hotel is here specifically for it. (I know this because this La Quinta charged premium rates for this event, something they were completely justified in doing. The result however is that it guaranteed that everyone here was here because they were willing to pay the rate.)

Anyway, this only proves again what I’ve written many times. Don’t let fear be your guide. Use your brains and be smart. When something exciting interests you, do it.

The hotel is offering a complementary potato bar dinner for its guests, so off we go to eat.

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Judge comes down hard on IRS for its harassment of conservatives

Still working for the Democratic Party, with Trump’s approval! A judge has come down hard on the IRS in its stonewalling related to lawsuits and investigations of its harassment of conservative groups during Barack Obama’s administration.

A federal judge on Thursday ordered the IRS to name the specific employees the agency blames for targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and said the government must prove it has ceased the targeting.

Judge Reggie B. Walton also said the IRS must explain the reasons for the delays for 38 groups that are part of a lawsuit in the District of Columbia, where they are still looking for a full accounting of their treatment. Judge Walton approved another round of limited discovery in the case and laid out six questions that the IRS must answer, including the employees’ names, why the groups were targeted and how the IRS has tried to prevent a repeat.

The IRS has until October 16 to compile. The article notes a more significant aspect of this continuing scandal: Why hasn’t “drain the swamp” Trump done anything to clean house at the IRS? Why has he allowed the IRS to continue its stonewalling? And why hasn’t he fired IRS head John Koskinen, who has clearly obstructed the investigations, lied to Congress, and even worked to have evidence destroyed?

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Indicted Democratic IT staffers suspected of selling sensitive info to hostile foreign governments

Update on Democratic IT scandal: Investigators now suspect that the computer staffers, hired by numerous Democratic legislators (most notably former party head Debbie Wasserman Schultz) and already indicted for bank fraud, might have stolen and sold sensitive data to hostile foreign governments.

Investigators now suspect that sensitive US government data — possibly including classified information — could have been compromised and may have been sold to hostile foreign governments that could use it to blackmail members of Congress or even put their lives at risk. “This is a massive, massive scandal,” a senior US official familiar with the widening probe told The Post.

Alarm bells went off in April 2016 when computer security officials in the House reported “irregularities” in computer equipment purchasing. An internal investigation revealed the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars in government property, and evidence pointed to five IT staffers and the Democratic Congress members’ offices that employed them. The evidence was turned over to the House inspector general, who found so much “smoke” that she recommended a criminal probe, sources say. The case was turned over to Capitol Police in October.

When the suspected IT workers couldn’t produce the missing invoiced equipment, sources say, they were removed from working on the computer network in early February.

During the probe, investigators found valuable government data that is believed to have been taken from the network and placed on offsite servers, setting off more alarms. Some 80 offices were potentially compromised.

Wasserman Schultz is especially suspect here. While every other Democratic lawmaker fired these IT staffers months ago, Wasserman Schultz kept them on her payroll (though they had lost security clearance and could do no work for her) and has gone out of her way to hinder the investigations.

Note that this is real scandal, involving actual indictments, the misuse of sensitive government data by foreign nationals of countries not friendly to the United States, and the possibly blackmailing of elected officials. Too bad our insane media today is trapped in a bubble and can no longer see a scoop, even when it is forced down their throats.

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Local officials deny pro-Trump group rally permit

Fascist California: Citing safety concerns local officials in the town of Upland, California have denied a permit for a pro-Trump rally.

An ACT for America rally was being planned for Sept. 9 in Upland at the Madonna of the Trail, according to a Facebook post. The location of the rally, which now says “Inland Empire ((somewhere))” was changed Friday after a top Upland official made it clear a permit for the rally would be denied.

It is part of “America First” rallies being held nationwide that day. “This event will be in dedication to all first responders and national security. We appreciate all the hard work our men and woman of service has provided for our protection. As Americans we are giving thanks for protecting our beautiful country,” the Facebook description stated. [emphasis mine]

These officials are essentially endorsing the heckler’s veto, and I bet they are doing it because they agree with the fascist leftwing brownshirts that are attacking conservatives nationwide in order to silence them.

In other words, the first amendment no longer exists in California. Be warned if you go there to protest or speak any conservative ideas. You will either find government officials working to squelch your right to speak, or they will look away (as they did in Berkeley) when thugs move in to beat you up.

Let me add this question: Since when did Americans need permission from government officials to protest?

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At Zion on the way to the eclipse

At Zion

As I have mentioned several times on my radio appearances with John Batchelor, Diane and I today began a two week trip to Glacier National Park followed by several days at Capital
Reef. The trip’s date however was pinned to Monday’s eclipse, with the plan being that we are stopping in Idaho Falls on the way up to Glacier to see it.

Today Diane and I drove from Tucson to a hotel right outside Zion National Park. This was not in my original plans, but when I realized the drive to Idaho from Tucson would be more than 15 hours, I looked to see if there was a nice place midway that we could also do some sightseeing. To my delight I discovered that Zion was perfectly positioned, and that there was a La Quinta hotel at its entrance that I could book practically free by using the points I had accumulated by staying at this chain previously. We had been to Zion previously, but it had been a number of years, and this would give us a chance to do a quick extra sightseeing trip.

After we checked in around 4:30 pm, we ate dinner, then took the shuttle bus into the park. The picture on the right above was taken from a short trail at the Court of the Patriarchs bus stop, up to a look out. When I saw the sun eclipsed in this manner by one of Zion’s many pinnacles, I thought this to be a very appropriate picture for the trip. The picture below is the main view from the lookout of the three pinnacles dubbed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from left to right. We didn’t see much as we didn’t have much time, but still, the place remains as beautiful as ever.

Tomorrow we head up to Idaho Falls.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob peaks in ZionA

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How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble

Link here. Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, provides a very cogent analysis of the insanity of the liberal Democratic mindset today. His description of the event that triggered this hysteria is right on the money

On November 8th of 2016, half the country learned that everything they believed to be both true and obvious turned out to be wrong. The people who thought Trump had no chance of winning were under the impression they were smart people who understood their country, and politics, and how things work in general. When Trump won, they learned they were wrong. They were so very wrong that they reflexively (because this is how all brains work) rewrote the scripts they were seeing in their minds until it all made sense again. The wrong-about-everything crowd decided that the only way their world made sense, with their egos intact, is that either the Russians helped Trump win or there are far more racists in the country than they imagined, and he is their king. Those were the seeds of the two mass hysterias we witness today.

Trump supporters experienced no trigger event for cognitive dissonance when Trump won. Their worldview was confirmed by observed events.

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Read it all to find out if you are in the bubble or not.

Posted north of Phoenix.

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SpaceX postpones Mars Dragon missions

Based on statements from one NASA official, it appears that SpaceX has put its plans to fly a Dragon capsule to Mars on “the back burner.”

Jim Green, head of NASA’s planetary science division, told Spaceflight Now in an interview that SpaceX has told the agency that it has “put Red Dragon back on the back burner.”

“We’re available to talk to Elon when he’s ready to talk to us … and we’re not pushing him in any way,” Green said. “It’s really up to him. Through the Space Act Agreement, we’d agreed to navigate to Mars, get him to the top of the atmosphere, and then it was up to him to land. That’s a pretty good deal, I think.”

It is my impression that, because NASA has forced SpaceX to give up on propulsive landing of its Dragon manned capsules, the company cannot afford to invest the time and money on it themselves, and thus do not have a method yet for landing a Dragon on Mars. Thus, they must postpone this program.

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To protect students from eclipse some schools will close Monday, or will keep their students indoors

The coming dark age: Fearful of the thunder gods, some school administrators have decided to close their schools or to keep their students indoors so they can’t see the eclipse on Monday.

CBS Miami reports some local schools in South Florida are giving kids an excused absence or even the day off to enjoy the eclipse, while others have decided to keep students inside for their safety.

The Scottsdale Unified School District in Arizona decided it was just too dangerous to let kids view the eclipse, especially after some reports of fake eclipse glasses on the market that might put eyes at risk, CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO reports. “So without us being able to control the equipment that’s being used, if it’s donated or something, and also when you’re talking about a large amount of children it’s also very difficult to convince all of the kids to not look up. That’s not to say our kids won’t be very well behaved but if there’s even a question that there could be something unsafe, Scottsdale’s not going to take the chance,” said Erin Helm with Scottsdale Unified.

The quote is from the second link above. The first link describes the decision of Ohio schools to close.

It is horrifying that there are school officials out there who would actually act to prevent children from experiencing the eclipse out of fear. Kids are smart enough to know not to look at the Sun, if you tell them not to. And it is the responsibility of the school to provide them the right kinds of eclipse glasses, which do not cost a lot and can easily be purchased.

In fact, it is revealing that the schools doing this are all public schools, and thus provides more evidence that the public schools might be the worst place to send kids to get educated.

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“One of the greatest discoveries of the century is based on these things and we don’t even know what they are, really.”

The uncertainty of science: New research suggests that astronomers have little understanding of the supernovae that they use to estimate the distance to most galaxies, estimates they then used to discover dark energy as well as measure the universe’s expansion rate.

The exploding stars known as type Ia supernovae are so consistently bright that astronomers refer to them as standard candles — beacons that are used to measure vast cosmological distances. But these cosmic mileposts may not be so uniform. A new study finds evidence that the supernovae can arise by two different processes, adding to lingering suspicions that standard candles aren’t so standard after all.

The findings, which have been posted on the arXiv preprint server and accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal, could help astronomers to calibrate measurements of the Universe’s expansion. Tracking type Ia supernovae showed that the Universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, and helped to prove the existence of dark energy — advances that secured the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The fact that scientists don’t fully understand these cosmological tools is embarrassing, says the latest study’s lead author, Griffin Hosseinzadeh, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “One of the greatest discoveries of the century is based on these things and we don’t even know what they are, really.”

The key to understanding this situation is to maintain a healthy skepticism about any cosmological theory or discovery, no matter how enthusiastically touted by the press and astronomers. The good astronomers do not push these theories with great enthusiasm as they know the feet of clay on which they stand. The bad ones try to use the ignorant mainstream press to garner attention, and thus funding.

For the past two decades the good astronomers have been diligently checking and rechecking the data and the supernovae used to discover dark energy. Up to now this checking seems to still suggest the universe’s expansion is accelerating on large scales. At the same time, our knowledge of supernovae remains sketchy, and thus no one should assume we understand the universe’s expansion rate with any confidence.

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ULA’s Atlas 5 successfully launches NASA communications satellite

Capitalism in space: ULA this morning successfully launched NASA TDRS-M communications satellite, following a several week delay caused by an accident during satellite preparation that forced the replacement of the satellite’s antenna.

This was ULA’s fifth launch for 2017, which is behind the once-a-month pace they have maintained for the previous five years.

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Imran Awan, Wasserman Schultz’s computer geek, indicted

A grand jury today indicted the computer expert who for years ran the computers for numerous congressional Democrats, led by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida).

Awan and other IT aides for House Democrats have been on investigators’ radar for months over concerns of possible double-billing, alleged equipment theft, and access to sensitive computer systems. Most lawmakers fired Awan in February, but Schultz had kept him on until his arrest in July.

The indictment itself, which merely represents formal charges and is not a finding of guilt, addresses separate allegations that Awan and his wife engaged in a conspiracy to obtain home equity lines of credit from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by giving false information about two properties – and then sending the proceeds to individuals in Pakistan.

What I find interesting is that the indictment completely avoids the issues of security and equipment theft that could have been a direct security threat to the country. It is also interesting how the grand jury investigation was aimed at Awan only, and avoided looking into Wasserman Schultz’s part entirely.

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Water ice found near Martian equator

A review of old Mars Odyssey data has revealed the presence on Mars of water ice near the planet’s equator.

The article makes a big deal about the importance of this discovery for the possibility of past or even present life on Mars. I say that its real importance relates to future colonists, and cannot be understated.

I should add one caveat: The resolution of the data is not great, 290 kilometers, which leaves a lot of room for error.

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Proton successfully launches Russian military satellite

Russia today successfully used its Proton rocket to place a military communications satellite in orbit.

Though primarily a military satellite, it will also be used by civilian customers as well.

Meanwhile, in their effort to recover from last year’s engine recall that practically shut down their launch industry, the Russians are trying to up their launch rate, with additional Proton launches now set for September 9 and 28. At the moment, they and SpaceX are tied for the most launches in 2017, and I suspect it will be a neck and neck race for the rest of the year.

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ISIS files “cultural appropriation” complaint against ANTIFA with UN

Link here. The complaint, from ISIS High Command (“somewhere along the Syria-Iraq border”), begins as follows:

As you may know, there is a new category of outrage that “social justice warriors” the world over are fighting to stop: “cultural appropriation.” Loosely defined, this outrage occurs whenever a person, group or organization begins adopting the habits and mannerisms that originate elsewhere…. In this vein, we are writing to file a formal complaint with the UNHRC’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, regarding a matter that we consider most serious: the fact that the recently-organized, global “ANTIFA” movement has:

(1) Culturally appropriated what is clearly ISIS’s trademark black uniforms

(2) Culturally appropriated the terror-tactics we employ while wearing these uniforms

They then provide documented evidence, including photos, and then note, “Now, if you were to see one or the other of these groups marching down your street, would you be able to determine, at a glance, if they are with ISIS, or ANTIFA?”

Their solution?

You might mention to the ANTIFA punks that in quite a few aspects, we are at war with the very same people, organizations and ideas, and, in fact, Western civilization itself. So, if you could arrange a sit-down over tea with us, and them, it might serve all of our interests, and provide a holistic, inclusive resolution to our complaint. Thanks!

Makes perfect sense to me. I mean, really, these guys all seem to have the same goals.

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California Democrats move to stifle free speech

Fascist California: California politicians are demanding that a conservative political rally planned for this weekend be stopped because someone who opposes the rally might come and commit violence.

San Francisco’s top political leaders piled on Tuesday in opposition to a right-wing group’s planned rally next week at Crissy Field, with Mayor Ed Lee expressing outrage that the National Park Service granted a permit for the event and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi questioning whether it had been approved “under guidance from the White House.”

An organizer of the Aug. 26 rally rejected suggestions that it would be a gathering of white supremacists. And the local managers of the Presidio, a national park site, said the group’s politics made no difference because it had a constitutional right to a permit — as long as public safety isn’t endangered.

Pelosi, Lee and Sen. Dianne Feinstein said their fear is that law enforcement won’t be able to ensure public safety, especially in the aftermath of Saturday’s violence at a rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va.

The group, Patriot Prayer, has nothing to do with white supremacy.

“For those of you who believe we are seriously going to throw a white nationalist supremacist rally in San Francisco, it’s time for logic,” [organizer Joey] Gibson said. “We have a black speaker, two Hispanic speakers, we’ve got an Asian, a brown speaker right here (referring to himself) — we got a transsexual and we aren’t talking about race.”

None of that matters however. In the article Nancy Pelosi (D-California) called them white supremacists. To modern Democrats, any right wing group must be a Nazi backer and therefore must be squelched. Moreover, if their rally isn’t shut down by the authorities, I’m sure that these Democrats will have no problems if fascist thugs arrived to beat them up.

Essentially, free speech and dissent is dead in California. If you wish to express an opinion opposing the Democratic Party, be prepared for violence. And do not expect the authorities to protect you. Nor should you expect the press in California to defend your first amendment rights either.

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Three leftist protesters arrested in Chicago

Brownshirts: During a leftist protest today in Chicago, where the protesters wore masks and chanted “Cops and Klan go hand in hand,” three demonstrators were arrested when they tried to block traffic.

Remember, these people are not demonstrating against any real racism or oppression. What they are protesting is the existence of the United States and American culture. Anything they can do to destroy it will please them.

I must add that a red flag should immediately be raised against anyone who requires a mask to protest. If you do not have evil intent you have no reason to hide your face.

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The mob attacks

Fascists: Here are a few more stories today that suggest to me that the new wave of protests over statues honoring individuals from the Confederate side of the Civil War has nothing to to with fighting racism and everything to do with exerting mob rule and power over others.

This mob will tolerate no disagreement, now or ever. And if you dare mention this to them, they will come at you with every weapon possible (including fists and sticks), not to debate you but to literally destroy you. And they aren’t merely interested in silencing any dissent, they wish to destroy our knowledge of American history, so that no one will know anything and be more at their mercy.

Update: I will likely be adding links to this list all day today.

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