Jefferson Davis, My Distant Cousin

Another Sunday and I have little of worth for this FYI session…..unless I can go on and on about the terrible pick for SCOTUS….but I prefer a different way today……so I fall back to a forte….HISTORY.

What do most people know about Jefferson Davis?

Jefferson Davis

Basically they know he was the first and only president of the Confederate States of America…..once they say that they are at a loss for words……and that is why I am here to help fill in the gaps in people’s education and knowledge.

As always I want to be up front….according to the family story my maternal grandmother was related to Jefferson Davis….he maiden name was Bessie Mae Davis…..I believe they were cousins twice removed or something like that…..

There is so much more about Davis than his stint as president of the CSA…..

Did you know he was put under house arrest for involvement of cadets at West Point in the Eggnog Riot?

Or that he was in the Army on the frontier dealing with the Comanche and Pawnee….or that he came up with the idea of the Camel Corps.

Or that his father and uncles fought in the Revolutionary War……or that Davis married the daughter of an American president Zachary Taylor…..

Like I stated so much more about the man…..let’s look at the man…..

Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) was a Mexican War hero, U.S. senator from Mississippi, U.S. secretary of war and president of the Confederate States of America for the duration of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Prior to the start of the war, Davis had argued against secession, but when Mississippi seceded he resigned from the U.S. Senate. In February 1861 he was elected president of the Confederacy. Davis faced difficulties throughout the war as he struggled to manage the Southern war effort, maintain control the Confederate economy and keep a new nation united. Davis’ often contentious personality led to conflicts with other politicians as well as his own military officers. In May 1865, several weeks after the Confederate surrender, Davis was captured, imprisoned and charged with treason, but never tried.

https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/jefferson-davis

Like I stated there was more to the man than his presidency…..like he was NOT a secessionist leader…..

Davis was not a secessionist leader.
Less than two months before his inauguration as Confederate president, U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis opposed secession for his home state of Mississippi. While Mississippi Governor John J. Pettus and other state leaders advocated immediate secession in the weeks following the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, the slaveholding Davis urged caution. While he firmly believed states had the constitutional right to secede from the Union, he was among a committee of 13 U.S. senators who attempted to find a suitable compromise after South Carolina left the Union in December 1860. After Mississippi seceded in January 1861, Davis declared that his allegiance to his state required him to abide by its decision and leave the U.S. Senate.

(there is more)

https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-jefferson-davis

After the war Davis lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where he worked on his memoir, “Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government”……his last home is called Beauvoir…..

The Beauvoir estate is notable as the historic post-war home (1876-1889) of the former President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, (1807/08-1889). Its construction was begun in 1848 facing the Gulf Coastline (Gulf of Mexico) at Biloxi, Mississippi. It was purchased earlier in 1873 by the planter Samuel Dorsey and his wife Sarah Dorsey. After her husband’s death in 1875, the widow, Sarah Ellis Dorsey learned of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ difficulties. She invited him to visit at the plantation and offered him a cottage near the main house, where he could live and work at his memoirs (“Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government”). He ended up living there the rest of his life. The house and plantation have since been designated as a National Historic Landmark, recognized and listed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and its National Park Service

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauvoir_(Biloxi,_Mississippi)

If you are in the region and fancy some history then I suggest a visit to Beauvoir it is well worth your time.

There is more to Jefferson Davis legacy than his time as president of the ill fated Confederacy…..

My thoughts on my ancestor…..

Do I think he was a traitor?

Yes I do…..the rest of that side of the family does not agree.

Should we preserve his memory?

Yes we should….it is history and history should not be censured.

Any statues of Davis should be removed and placed on the grounds of his home at Beauvoir….after all it is a museum as well……

Anything you would like to ask or add to this?

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The First Racist President

Recently Dem candidate Joe Biden has said that Trump was the first racist president…..

Joe Biden on Wednesday dubbed Donald Trump the nation’s “first” racist president. “The way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said at a virtual town hall. “No sitting president has ever done this. Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed. They’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.” As the AP points out, “many presidents—including the nation’s first, George Washington—owned slaves.” The HuffPost put it more bluntly: “He’s wrong,” it declared on Biden. NBC News notes Biden’s campaign later issued a statement acknowledging, “There have been a number of racist American presidents, but Trump stands out—especially in modern history—because he made running on racism and division his calling card and won.”

In addition to the slave-owning presidents, the HuffPost points out that Andrew Jackson was responsible for forcing indigenous people off their native lands and onto the “Trail of Tears”; he also would order “harsh, even brutal punishment for enslaved people who disobeyed orders.” Ronald Reagan was caught on tape calling African UN delegates “monkeys,” Woodrow Wilson supported segregation and segregated several federal agencies, and Franklin D. Roosevelt had Japanese-Americans placed in internment camps.

Come on Joe!

To my mind the first was Woodrow Wilson…..

He may have been the only president with a PhD……but he was also a supporter of the KKK and tried to roll back the progress Blacks had made since the Civil War.

Wilson was also a segregationist who wrote a history textbook praising the Confederacy and, in particular, the Ku Klux Klan. As president, he rolled back hard-fought economic progress for Black Americans, overseeing the segregation of multiple agencies of the federal government. 

Wilson is often associated with the state of New Jersey because that’s where he served as governor and as president of Princeton University. But he was born in antebellum Virginia in 1856 and lived in Georgia during the Civil War. His parents supported the Confederacy, and Wilson’s five-volume history textbook, A History Of The American People, echoes those attitudes. The book adheres to what historians call the “Lost Cause” narrative, a non-factual view of history that romanticizes the Confederacy, describes the institution of slavery as a gentle patrician affair, recasts the Civil War as being about states’ rights instead of slavery and demonizes Reconstruction-era efforts to improve the lives of the formerly enslaved.

https://www.history.com/news/woodrow-wilson-racial-segregation-jim-crow-ku-klux-klan

Most presidents were racist in one way or another…..but for me it was Woodrow Wilson……I will admit that Trump may be one of the most racist presidents….but that is just my opinion.

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The Saga Of Hercules

No Irene this is not some silly post about some half Greek god hero and his story…..

There has been a wealth of interests about the musical “Hamilton”…..I am not a fan of musicals but I will give the play credit for introducing the American people to an unsung hero of the Revolution……Hercules Mulligan.

Born in Ireland’s County Londonderry on September 25, 1740, Hercules Mulligan immigrated to the American colonies when he was just six years old. His parents, Hugh and Sarah, left their homeland in hopes of improving life for their family in the colonies; they settled in New York City and Hugh became the eventual owner of a successful accounting firm.

Hamilton lived with Mulligan for a period during his tenure as a student, and the two of them had many late-night political discussions. One of the earliest members of the Sons of Liberty, Mulligan is credited from swaying Hamilton away from his stance as a Tory and into a role as a patriot and one of America’s founding fathers. Hamilton, originally a supporter of British dominion over the thirteen colonies, soon came to the conclusion that the colonists should be able to rule themselves. Together, Hamilton and Mulligan joined the Sons of Liberty, a secret society of patriots that was formed to protect colonists’ rights.

https://www.thoughtco.com/hercules-mulligan-4160489

As a spy during the War…his information twice saved Washington from the Red Coats…..

Twice, the spy’s information prevented General Washington from ruin. On one occasion, a rushed officer came to Mulligan late at night in dire need of a coat. Upon further questioning, the officer carelessly disclosed his mission to capture George Washington later that day. Mulligan sent for Cato immediately and upon receiving the news, Washington relocated to safety. In another instance, the British had caught wind of Washington’s plan to travel to Rhode Island via the Connecticut shoreline. By a stroke of luck, Hercules’s brother, Hugh, was charged with loading the British boats with supplies. Hugh informed Hercules of the enemy’s stratagem and Cato carried the message to Washington who quickly rerouted.

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/hercules-mulligan

Yet another brave American that has not received the accolades he deserved for his part in the victory over England.

America has a way of ignoring those that did the most to protect this country.

This is my little effort to bring those unsung heroes into the light.

There is so much more to the Founding of America than the limited lessons we are taught in schools.

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The Real Robert E. Lee

These days of turmoil around the statues of Confederate generals and their “monuments” have lots to talk but few actual accounts of the perpetrators of treason.

This post is about the general of the Confederate Army, Robt. E. Lee……and for all those that think they know all there is to know about the war and the people…..

Robert E. Lee is one of the most revered, beloved generals in modern history. Many are taught that this son of a Revolutionary War hero helped lead a revolution of his own, and although it was ultimately unsuccessful, his legacy and defiant spirit have inspired millions. For a few short years during the American Civil War, Lee thwarted Union armies twice his size with bold attacks and brilliant strategy. He took the fight to the enemy and very nearly won the war for the South, all by himself. After the war, he pushed peace and humble reconciliation, earning the respect of his former foes.

Or, so goes the story, anyway. The reality is, as usual, a bit more complex than the popular version. And in Lee’s case, it’s uglier, too. What were Lee’s actual thoughts on slavery? What about racial equality after the war? How good a general was he really? This is the real, complex, often ugly, untold truth of Robert E. Lee.

There’s no shortage of misconceptions floating around regarding what, exactly, Robert E. Lee’s personal feelings towards the institution of slavery actually were. Proponents of the myth that the war was fought over “state’s rights” often claim that Lee himself was opposed to the practice of owning human beings. They might even cite a letter to his wife in which he calls slavery a “moral and political evil.” Later in the same letter, though, Lee goes on to support the subjugation of slaves at length and claims that only God can free them.

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/223599/the-untold-truth-of-robert-e-lee/

There is another post coming about the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis……according to family tales was a cousin of my maternal grandmother….her name was Bessie Mae Davis….more on that later.

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That Wine

Weekends are time for me to relax and have a nice wine and some cheese and nuts on the patio…..something that can be done without the worry of the virus finding a home in my body.

Are you a wine drinker?

I am….I prefer French and Spanish wines…although I have found few Argentine wines lovely and even one from New Zealand….but sadly I do not appreciate German or Austrian wines….they just do not pair well for me.

Ever tried a Austrian wine called Zweigelt?

Did you like it?

Did you know that it is wine perfected by a rabid Nazi?

Yep a Nazi viticulturalist came up with this wine…..

Whether or not we want to admit it, we are consuming a lot of alcohol while in quarantine. Nielsen, the market research firm, estimated that online sales jumped 243% during the prime stock-up weeks of the pandemic, with wine sales alone increasing by 66%. After a year of declining alcohol consumption, responses to Covid-19 have effectively undone last year’s teetotalist trends and made alcohol easier to get. Wine shops and restaurants have begun liquidating their inventories, increasing the number of weird, natural, and rare options for wine drinkers to explore at home. Many of these come from unusual places like the Czech Republic, Mexico, or Croatia, containing unusual grapes like malvasia, rebula, or blaufränkisch. And if you’ve been enjoying an Austrian wine called “zweigelt,” you’ve got a lot to learn about a wine with a history you may not want to hear.

Zweigelt is a red grape used in wine that typically bears its name; it tastes like Pinot Noir, but with a bit more boldness and only a fraction of the Sideways-attributed success. The export value of Austrian wine has increased tremendously in the last few years, with a nearly 20% volume increase in the United States in 2018 alone. Accessible to every level of red wine drinker, a bottle of zweigelt typically costs between $14 and $30 and pairs well with a vast range of foods. It is Austria’s second most important wine after Grüner Veltliner. Of the 35 organic wineries officially certified by Sustainable Austria, 32 of them grow zweigelt. The sharp, blue-colored grapes grow easily and in spades, making it readily available for bottling.

https://gen.medium.com/the-nazi-origins-of-your-favorite-natural-wine-ce81828f790d

There you have FYI….. a history lesson and a food post all in one…..enjoy.

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RFK Dead!

There is lots of history happening around us but we should not lose sight of the history that preceded today’s situations….

Today 06 June 1968…the probable next president was shot and killed…

Senator Robert Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. Immediately after he announced to his cheering supporters that the country was ready to end its fractious divisions, Kennedy was shot several times by 22-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. He was pronounced dead a day later, on June 6, 1968.

The summer of 1968 was a tempestuous time in American history. Both the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were peaking. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated in the spring, igniting riots across the country. In the face of this unrest, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided not to seek a second term in the upcoming presidential election. Robert Kennedy, John’s younger brother and former U.S. Attorney General, stepped into this breach and experienced a groundswell of support.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/bobby-kennedy-is-assassinated

Americans lost their best chance of ending the war when RFK was killed.

Let us look into the possibilities if he had lived and become the president….

Historians have long wondered what would have happened had Robert F. Kennedy lived. What if he had continued his 1968 presidential campaign 50 years ago? Could he have forged a working-class political coalition that might have cauterized the nation’s racial wounds, arrested the slide into polarization and won working-class white support for the Democratic Party? Could RFK have built a multi-racial coalition featuring African-Americans and working-class whites?

These what-ifs have received more than modest attention from historians. In 1968, RFK was “the last liberal who could reach both races as well as both generations,” wrote historian John Morton Blum. At the time of his murder, Kennedy was beginning to construct “coalitions of supporters that cut across race and class lines,” historian James T. Patterson has argued. But beyond animating decades of historical scholarship and political analysis, the questions also emerged from a series of developments in 1968 that had begun to make Kennedy the unlikely face of a black-white lower-income political coalition.

https://www.history.com/news/rfk-what-if-he-lived

More thoughts of a what if…..

Most of us take history as a given, that things had to turn out as they did. But that assumption ignores the question, “What might have been?”

What might have happened if America had continued its World War II alliance with Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam instead of siding with French colonialists in the postwar world? What if President Eisenhower had embraced the Brown vs. Board of Education decision the day after it was issued and ordered school desegregation to start within a year? And would there have been an invasion of Iraq if Al Gore had been elected president in 2000?

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/390629-what-would-the-world-look-like-if-robert-kennedy-had-lived

I believe the world would look a lot different if RFK had lived and made it to the presidency.

Thoughts?

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A Little History Update

These days of doom and gloom around the Covid-19 has many of us frustrated and looking for anything but bad news…..so why not read a little history?

I am a historian and conflict analyst and one thing I dislike is the stealing of a culture like looted artifacts of Iraq and Palestine……I wrote about this recently and in the past……https://lobotero.com/2020/03/19/theft-of-culture/

When I wrote about this before there were 4 of 16 Dead Sea Scrolls that were fakes….well that diagnosis has been revised to ALL 16 are fakes…..

The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, opened to great fanfare in November 2017. Among its most prized acquisitions featured at the opening were 16 purported fragments of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. But in a blow to the fledgling museum, an independent scientific analysis has now revealed that all 16 of those fragments are modern forgeries. While the identity of the forgers remains unknown, it seems all 16 came from the same source, although they were purchased from four different sellers. The full report from Art Fraud Insights is available here.

“After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible’s Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic,” Colette Loll, founder and director of Art Fraud Insights, wrote in the final report. “Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the 20th century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments.”

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/all-16-dead-sea-scroll-fragments-in-the-museum-of-the-bible-are-fakes/

This place is a hotbed of thievery and lies….deception of the faithful.

Then there is the inscription on a stone tablet about the “resurrection”……

A mysterious tablet bearing a Roman emperor’s orders from around 2,000 years ago has long been thought by some scholars to refer to early Christian claims of Jesus’ resurrection from a tomb in the Middle Eastern village of Nazareth. But new research has opened up an entirely different possibility —that the marble slab issued a general demand for law and order after Greek islanders vandalized the tomb of their recently deceased ruler

Instead, a chemical analysis of the marble puts its origins in a quarry on the Greek island of Kos, near Turkey’s southwestern coast, says a team led by Roman historian Kyle Harper of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. That suggests the unnamed emperor’s edict, decreeing that anyone who disturbs tombs and graves or destroys corpses be killed, was a response to a break-in at the grave of a Kos tyrant named Nikias by his former subjects, the researchers report in the April Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. Nikias ruled Kos during the 30s B.C. before being overthrown.

The Nazareth Inscription’s origins may refute ties to Jesus’ resurrection

Another fake…like the burial box of Jesus’ brother James…..like the nail from the cross….like so much more that charlatans try to pass off as religious artifacts.

The Gospel of John may be a forgery……

There are four versions of the life of Jesus in the New Testament but, let’s face it, everyone has a favorite. For most people, that preferred version is the Gospel of John. Not only is the fourth Gospel the most poetic and ‘spiritual’ of Gospels, it’s also the most theologically weighty.

It’s in John that Christians find the evidence for many of the dogmatic claims that form the bedrock of Christian belief. And it’s John that supplies the pithy quotes about faith, eternal life, and love that you find on coffee mugs and laminated bookmarks.

Now new research, which claims that the Gospel of John is an ancient forgery, is poised to overturn much of what we know about everyone’s favorite biography of Jesus.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/everyones-favorite-gospel-the-gospel-of-john-is-a-forgery-according-to-new-research

Go figure since a lot of the Old Testament is in an older document entitled the Saga of Gilgamesh from the Sumerian city state of Uruk. from around 2800 BCE.

A few thoughts on how some will try and cheat those that are devout…..

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Just Who Was The Worse Monarch?

I like these types of things for it makes me think and hopefully my readers as well…..this post is about the worse monarchs in history.

We Americans may have a different take to this question….I am sure that many will say George III of the UK…..but with a little knowledge that would not be accurate…..

So without further ado….who were the worse monarchs in history?

From ‘Bad King John’ and the debauched Gaius Caligula to the “useless” Mary, Queen of Scots, historian Sean Lang rounds up nine of the worst kings and queens in history…

History has no shortage of disastrous rulers; this list could easily have been filled with the Roman Emperors alone. Rulers have been homicidal, like Nero or Genghis Khan; incompetent, like Edward II; completely untrustworthy, like Charles I; or amiable but inadequate, like Louis XVI of France or Tsar Nicholas II.

Some royal stinkers were limited in their capacity to do serious harm: the self-absorbed Edward VIII by his abdication, the narcissistic prince regent and king, George IV, by the constitutional limits on his power. And the mass murderer and self-proclaimed ‘Emperor’ Jean-Bédel Bokassa of the Central African Empire might have featured on this list had his imperial status been international recognised, but it wasn’t.

Nearly-rans include the French Emperor Napoleon III, whose delusions of competence led to disaster in Italy, Mexico and finally defeat at the hands of Bismarck, and the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, a ludicrously gauche and immature ruler but not actually responsible on his own for launching Germany, and the rest of Europe, into the First World War.

https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/9-of-the-worst-monarchs-in-history/

There you have this person idea of the worse…..do you agree or do you have someone to add to the list?

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Kiss Me…I’m Irish

Something to think about while you are held up like a bank robber waiting for the all clear.

That line becomes popular, very popular, at least once a year….on 17 March or St. Patrick’s Day……and we have a long history of the Celts and Irish on the island.

You might be Irish but you are not Celtic.

But some recent research has shown that the Irish are not all that Celtic……

The chance discovery of ancient bones under an Irish pub in County Antrim in the mid-2000s has cast doubt over whether Irish people are actually related to the ancient Celts at all. 

In 2006, Bertie Currie was clearing land to make a driveway for McCuaig’s Bar on Rathlin Island off Antrim when he noticed a large, flat stone buried beneath the surface.

Currie realized that there was a large gap underneath the stone and investigated further. 

“I shot the torch in and saw the gentleman, well, his skull and bones,” Currie told the Washington Post. 

He eventually found the remains of three humans and immediately called the police

Instead, Irish ancestors may have come to Ireland from the Bible lands in the Middle East. They might have arrived in Ireland from the South Meditteranean and would have brought cattle, cereal, and ceramics with them. 

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/ancient-bones-irish-celts

Fascinating!

Another cultural find that may have originated in the Middle East….one pet peeve…..please stop calling them Bible lands…there was more history before that era….stop trying to prove things that do not exist…..use events to prove your beliefs not beliefs to try and prove events.

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Women’s History #6–Margaret Sanger

My closing tribute to women for this month…..afterwards I return to the world of Covid-19…..

Margaret Sanger…….Another woman that does not get much play in our study of history unless you are inn a women’s studies class…..she was an important rights activist for women’s birth control rights…..

The consequences of sexual relations between women and men simply were not fair.

An old double standard dictated that men were rewarded for sexual prowess and women suffered a damaged reputation. Males were encouraged to “sow a few wild oats” while women were told “good girls don’t.”

Most of all, if a relationship resulted in pregnancy, it was the woman who was left with the responsibility. For decades, pioneers like Margaret Sanger fought for contraceptives that women would control. With the introduction of the birth control pill to the market in 1960, women could for the first time deter pregnancy by their own choice.

The fight for reproductive freedoms was intense. Organized religions such as the Roman Catholic Church stood firm on their principles that artificial contraceptives were sinful. Many states in the early 1960s prohibited the sale of contraceptives — even to married couples.

https://www.ushistory.org/us/57b.asp

More on Sanger’s life……

In the early 20th century, at a time when matters surrounding family planning or women’s healthcare were not spoken in public, Margaret Sanger founded the birth control movement and became an outspoken and life-long advocate for women’s reproductive rights. In her later life, Sanger spearheaded the effort that resulted in the modern birth control pill by 1960.

Born September 14, 1879, in Corning, New York, the sixth of eleven children born to Michael Hennessey Higgins, a stonemason, and Anna Purcell Higgins, a devoutly Roman Catholic Irishwoman. Sanger’s life course was shaped by the poverty of her childhood and the death of her mother at age 50, which Sanger understood resulted from the physical toll of eleven pregnancies. Sanger later became a nurse, attending Claverack College and Hudson River Institute in 1896 and completing the nursing program at White Plains Hospital in 1902. That year she married William Sanger, an architect, and moved to Hastings, New York, where the couple had three children

Sanger strongly believed that the ability to control family size was crucial to ending the cycle of women’s poverty. But it was illegal to distribute birth control information. Working as a visiting nurse, she frequented the homes of poor immigrants, often with large families and wives whose health was impaired by too many pregnancies, miscarriages, or in desperation botched abortions. Often, too, immigrant wives would ask her to tell them “the secret,” presuming that educated white women like Sanger knew how to limit family size. Sanger made it her mission to 1) provide women with birth control information and 2) repeal the federal Comstock Law, which prohibited the distribution of obscene materials through the mails, and regarded birth control information as such.

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/margaret-sanger

Another woman that has been pushed aside in favor of BS history that features men over women……Margaret Sanger deserves better than to be forgotten by the masses when she did so much in their name.

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