Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Sunday, 7 September 2008

More lost data.

Computer disk containing prison officers' data goes missing. About 5000 prison officers apparently, who I'm sure must be absolutely ecstatic at the thought that their personal details have gone walkies perhaps as long ago as July 2007. I'd have thought Jack Straw must be farting sparks as well since it took until July just gone to be reported to the Prison Service and Straw himself is only finding out about it now.

Is there anyone left in Britain whose details have not yet been lost by the government or its contractors? And how would we know?

Met Office gets it wrong.

From Watts Up With That? there's a nice chronology of the Met Office putting its foot in its mouth.
In 2007, they made several notable predictions, starting with this one on Jan 4.“2007 is likely to be the warmest year on record globally, beating the current record set in 1998, say climate-change experts at the Met Office.”

On April 11, 2007 they issued this press release stating “there is a high probability that summer temperature will exceed the 1971-2000 long-term average of 14.1 °C ….. there are no indications of an increased risk of a particularly dry or particularly wet summer.” This was interpreted by The Guardian as “Britain set to enjoy another sizzling summer.“

It was colder than average and fairly shitty. For 2008 they predicted warmer than average temperatures and "near or above average" rain. Result? Colder and shittier than 2007. Seems about as reliable as my footy tipping ability (also based more in hope than expectation).

Has David Cameron seen the light?

According the the Telegraph today David Cameron would like to see a reduction of the state:
>The battleground of British politics is changing. As the economic news continues to get worse, and the Government has to borrow ever more gigantic sums, the central issue for the electorate is no longer: which party can best protect public services? It is: how can the size of the state be reduced?

Or as some of my favourite bloggers have put it, it's no longer a matter of right and left but a matter of libertarian or authoritarian government. However, the Telegraph's concern seems to be more about the cost of a huge state apparatus rather than whether it's good or bad in principle.
That has become a key matter of debate for many reasons. The effects of the credit crunch mean that individuals and families are increasingly concerned about their ability to pay their household bills, never mind their ever-increasing taxes. The colossal sums that Labour has spent on public services have failed to generate the kinds of improvements that were expected. And Labour's failure to set aside money when times were good in order to fund Government spending when times are bad means that, if nothing is done to cut back on the size of the state, Government borrowing will soon escalate to unsustainable levels.

Gordon Brown insisted, as Chancellor, that his watch-word was "prudence", and that he would never spend more than the state's income from tax-receipts generated. His actions have been revealed to be at variance with his words. We are all paying the price of his imprudence.

Well, yes, all true. But really it's just having a dig at the inefficiencies of the state rather than the iniquities that naturally come with it. The financial cost is certainly a relevant part of the debate but let's not ignore forget the state's nasty authoritarian streak, the we-know-better-than-you nannyism and particularly IngSoc's NuLabGov's Orwellian streak.

But is there a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel?
In [the financial] context, David Cameron's insistence, in his interview with The Sunday Telegraph, that - should the Conservatives win the next election - "the state will be taking a lower share of the national income in taxes", is extremely significant. It demonstrates his commitment, which at some points had seemed in doubt, to diminish the size of the state and to cut the burden of taxation.

Mr Cameron has signalled his intention to cut state spending and taxes. His reluctance to tie himself to definite numbers, or to a definite date when he will start wielding the axe, will disappoint those who hope to see a return of the ideology of the "minimal state" that played such a prominent role in the aspirations of the Conservative party during the Thatcher years.

Mr Cameron clearly understands the importance of having an effective, credible plan for reducing the size of the state. He also realises that the state cannot be reduced overnight: the struggle, not just to diminish the annual growth of state spending but actually to reduce it, will be every bit as protracted and difficult as it was when Margaret Thatcher attempted it in the 1980s (and she managed only to reduce the rate of increase in state spending).

Had seemed in doubt? Still is from where I'm sitting. Look, it's all very well saying Cameron saying this and it's good to hear it, but does he really mean it? The guy tried to ditch the Tories' nasty party reputation by jumping on the eco-bandwagon (drawn by huskies of course) and making noises about keeping Labour's spending plans if elected, and now he seems to think that Gordon has been pissing money up the wall and that the state is costing way to much money. Well, it is of course, but has Dave experienced a Damascene conversion or has he just found a new bandwagon to jump on? I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and think this is genuine, or at least evidence that he's falling back on natural Tory instincts (which isn't necessarily good news, but you have to wonder if this is just his latest fad. I'm sure he and his advisors look at what's written in the press and blogosphere and maybe they're sensing a mood of anger at the cost of the state, the waste involved and the abuse of the powers it's granted itself under NuLabGov. The fact that he's only talking about the cost of the state just adds to my scepticism. The Tories are paternalists. Are they genuinely concerned about the big state or do they just want injustice and government interference in the lives of all citizens to be more cost efficient?

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Follow up to 'Why not UKIP?'

Devil's Kitchen talks about UKIP and how they're having a touch of the handbags at the moment. Having written about UKIP last Monday and why I wouldn't vote for them I found it an interesting read. But what most got my attention was a good argument in favour of voting for UKIP, if only in the European elections.
Whatever the state of the party, I would also urge you to vote for UKIP at the Euro-elections: although The Huntsman disagrees, urging a Tory vote, he is absolutely wrong. If we wish the next Conservative government even to start negotiating a withdrawal, we need to show them that there is the wish and the will in this country to start such negotiations.

And, realistically, the only way to do that is to vote for withdrawal; and, because General Elections are decided on a great many issues other than the EU, the only real chance that we have to vote solely on this issue is at the Euro-elections. We need to send a message to our Lords and Masters in Westminster that there is popular support for withdrawal, and that they must stop swithering, take their balls in their hands and start the process of withdrawal: the only way to do that is to vote for the only credible party advocating such a move—UKIP.

He's got a good point. The EU is deeply unpopular with the British people and no party seems particularly keen on listening or offering an alternative to steady and increasing integration. Personally I don't think a federal Europe is necessarily a bad thing if it was libertarian, truly democratic and happened naturally because it was what all European people want - might even have come about on its own in a century or two. But this undemocratic politburo style executive that runs Europe is basically bad news and is worth keeping a very long way away from (I recommend Australia as a comfortable distance). Now, it looks almost certain that barring a spectacularly catastrophic fuck-up on the part of Cameron or one of the other Tory high-ups the Conservatives will win the next election. But the Tories have had any number of opportunities to put a bit of space between them and IngSoc NuLabGov on the issue of Europe and have fucked up just about every time. In fact when they were in power they managed to enmesh the UK more deeply. They are probably the largest Eurosceptic party by numbers in Westminster, and some of their Eurosceptic MPs and MEPs may have a lot going for them. The problem seems to me to be the party leadership, which is a term to be used fairly loosely as far as the EU goes. As the Devil says, if a Tory government is going to be persuaded to change anything substantial as far as Europe goes they need be sent a strong message before the next general election, preferably one that leaves a lot of hard to shift underwear stains. A big vote for UKIP in the nest European elections seems like just the thing.

Thank fuck I left the UK, in association with Ealing council

This is one of the most stupid things I've ever heard.
Children as young as eight have been recruited by councils to "snoop" on their neighbours and report petty offences such as littering, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The youngsters are among almost 5,000 residents who in some cases are being offered £500 rewards if they provide evidence of minor infractions.
One in six councils contacted by the Telegraph said they had signed up teams of "environment volunteers" who are being encouraged to photograph or video neighbours guilty of dog fouling, littering or "bin crimes".
The "covert human intelligence sources", as some local authorities describe them, are also being asked to pass on the names of neighbours they believe to be responsible, or take down their number-plates.
Ealing Council in West London said: "There are hundreds of Junior Streetwatchers, aged 8-10 years old, who are trained to identify and report enviro-crime issues such as graffiti and fly-tipping."

Aside from the creepy nature of using impressionable children and dangling large (for a pre-teen) amounts of money at them as an incentive, this is another example of a nasty snitch society developing in the UK to partner the surveillance society. On top of which they're children for fuck's sake! Eight and nine year olds aren't even legally responsible for their actions but Ealing council are happy to use them as trainee secret police. What fucktard dreamt that one up? And I think children are sometimes brighter than adults give them credit for. Eventually some enterprising young soul will see the financial opportunity here. You report your mates that are also under 10 and you'll get 500 quid for each one you shop, but since they're too young the law can't touch your mates and you can split the money. What sort of person is naive enough to think this couldn't possibly happen? Only the sort of prize winning gold plated cunt who'd think it was a good idea to use children under the age of criminal responsibility to gather evidence of crime in the first place.

Whoever is responsible for this needs firstly a promotion to the human race, and secondly a fucking good slapping.

UPDATE: Also in the Telegraph's Comments section. It's worth quoting the lot.
It has become a cliché to describe many of the developments in modern Britain as ''Orwellian": the CCTV cameras, the databases, the cloying bureaucracy. Yet the news that children as young as eight are being recruited as local authority snoopers really does come straight from the pages of 1984. In Orwell's dystopian nightmare, the children are encouraged to denounce their parents. When Winston Smith, the book's anti-hero, is being interrogated in prison, his work colleague Parsons is brought in for shouting ''Down with Big Brother".
''Of course I'm guilty!" cried Parsons with a servile glance at the telescreen. ''You don't think the Party would arrest an innocent man, do you?"
''Who denounced you?" asked Winston. ''It was my little daughter," said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. ''She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don't bear her any grudge for it. In fact, I'm proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway." Using children to shop adults to local bureaucrats is the hallmark of totalitarian despotisms down the ages. In East Germany - as in 1984 - it was considered a sign of ideological purity rewarded with elevation in the ranks of the party. Here, children are being offered £500. It is grotesque. Orwell's novel was meant to be a warning, not a policy document for a future Labour government.

There's really nothing to add to that except to note, as has at least one person commenting on that piece, that the phrase about 1984 being a warning not an instruction manual has been used for quite a while in the blogosphere, including many of the blogs I like to read. That noise might be the sound of a penny dropping with the mainstream media.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Bristol Palin...

... should she be all over the papers because she's got one in the oven? This is just a guess but I reckon the number of people in the entire world for whom this is genuinely relevant is under a hundred, yet the way some papers are banging on it's as if she's running for President instead of McCain. She is only the daughter of someone who is only going to be Vice President, and only if McCain actually wins. So I really wouldn't give a shit about it even if I was an American, which I'm not, or if I lived there, which I don't. She's completely irrelevant, neither a reason to vote for Obama nor a reason not to vote for McCain. If I had a vote that is, which of course I don't so she's an even bigger irrelevance. Yes, America is the most powerful nation in the world and when it sneezes we all catch a cold blahblahblah, but assuming McCain becomes President what does the love life of the daughter of his VP have to do with anything? Bugger all.

Move along please, nothing to see here. Move along.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Why automatic policing by numbers isn't a substitute for sensible policing by coppers.

From the Sydney Morning Herald: Police drop bridge crash fines.
As motorists were forced to use the Harbour Bridge transit lane yesterday - the only way past a crash that clogged Australia's busiest road for six hours - highway patrol officers recorded their details. They would be sending them a fine for $189.

It so incensed the Police Minister, David Campbell, that he called on the Police Commissioner to show some leniency and cancel the fines.

Five of the bridge's eight lanes were blocked for more than two hours. That left just two lanes northbound and one south bound - the transit lane. It was not until midday that the traffic backlog cleared, demonstrating how easily a main city artery can be thrown into chaos.

It just happened that the police highway patrol was conducting a planned operation on the bridge. The officers started booking drivers who moved into transit lanes to get around the crash. A police spokesman said the operation was called off as soon as officers realised what was causing the disorder. But it was too late for some.

Nice to see that the officers involved realized (albeit after some fines had already been issued) that drivers were taking the obvious option of using the transit lane and weren't simply piss takers, that the Police Minister recognized that fining drivers for being sensible was unfair and wasn't going to be popular, and that the Commissioner agreed and is canceling those tickets that were issued. Commonsense all round, but it does show that reliance on black and white interpretations aren't always the best option and that automatically issuing tickets regardless of circumstances, whether by automated systems or by human operators simply ticketing everything in sight, ignores that fact.

I'm no lawyer but I'm told that many motoring laws are absolute offenses - you are either over the speed limit or you are not, you either entered the transit lane or you did not, and so on. In the case of speed limits and transit lanes these boundaries are arbitrary. Change the limit on a particular road from 50kph to 60kph or vice versa and what has changed in the real world? Nothing. But suddenly 55kph has become legal/illegal where once it was not, and the risk presented by driving at 55kph in that place need not have changed. This is why I like real coppers enforcing laws like this. A trained traffic cop will look and evaluate and decide whether words need to be had or fines are deserved or perhaps even that a driver's action deserve a court appearance. Say someone exceeds the speed limit to overtake a road train... should they be fined because they decided that it was worth speeding in order to spend less time on the wrong side of the road? Is that situation fundamentally different from the situation on the Sydney Harbour Bridge? A camera just takes a picture and sticks a fine in the post, and that's the same whether it's a fully automated fixed camera or one with a human operator. Yes, there's the chance that a copper might be a vindictive sod having a bad day and willing to show no more mercy than a camera would have, but I'd like to think most join up for vocational reasons rather than the power and the gun. I'd rather have more coppers patrolling the roads (marked or unmarked cars, I don't care) and less reliance on cameras.

Make of this what you will.

The MOD - where good kit costs more.

I notice the Telegraph are blaming Gordon Clown for this personally.
New figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) show that Gordon Brown's personal decision as chancellor in 1998 to lease the four Boeing C17 Globemasters instead of buying outright was the more expensive option.
Buying the huge transporters outright would have cost £520 million, but instead the MoD paid £769 million to lease the aircraft for eight years and an extra £220 million to buy them afterwards, a total of £989 million.

The MoD said the decision to lease the aircraft instead of buy them was taken to meet short-term operational requirements.

Is that the same thing as not thinking ahead? And would £500 mill have helped with this?

Driving bans - the solution to everything.

Obnoxio the (scary) clown has picked up on this (my emphasis):
A man found guilty of illegally keeping wild birds in his garden shed has been banned from driving for four months by a district judge.
Police and RSPCA investigators found 22 linnets, goldfinches and chaffinches at his property in Margam, Port Talbot.
Bobby Jenkins, 59, ran a small business buying and selling birds. District judge Jill Watkins said as he was on benefits and a "man of limited means" she would punish him with a driving ban as a deterrent to others.

Jenkins had denied three counts of possessing live wild birds under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 but had been found guilty at a trial. He had claimed he had bought the birds "in good faith" during a trip to Belgium. But he had not been able to provide any documentation to back up his claims.

Sentencing him at Neath magistrates' court Judge Watkins described the subsequent trial as "lengthy and wholly unnecessary" and said she was "troubled" by many aspects of his evidence.
"You were not able to provide any documentary evidence even to confirm where they were purchased," she added.

Sounds like a piss easy prosecution when it sounds like the police have to do virtually fuck all other than establish possession and accused is expected to provide evidence of innocence. Looking around the room I'm sitting in I can see half a dozen things that I'm reasonably confident we didn't bother keeping the receipt for, but I'm reasonably certain no-one would assume we'd got them illegally. Here in Australia we have something called the presumption of innocence* which I'm fairly sure was a concept brought over from British law. Still, maybe the Wildlife and Countryside Act is worded in such a way as to make any possession of the bird species which this loon was keeping illegal without certain licenses and documentation, but from the Beeb report it sounds suspiciously like this law can make an accused guilty until proven innocent. I find that just a little bit distasteful, not to say worrying. I just hope that the police really did have evidence that he trapped the birds or otherwise came by them illegally, and that the Beeb's report has simply glossed over that aspect to concentrate on the weird idea that a driving ban is an appropriate sentence.

And that really is pretty weird. It reminds me of Stuart Harding, the guy who made a warning sign up to let drivers in Farnborough know that the police had a speed trap 300 yards down the road, and who was charged with obstructing police. Aldershot magistrates banned Harding from driving for a month and, rather nastily in my opinion, refused to suspend the sentence so that by the time he could appeal it (presumably on the grounds that while the circumstances were tenuously related to a motoring issue the charge itself had square root of fuck all to do with driving) the ban would be over. Now magistrates are advised by a clerk of the court and we could suppose that maybe the advice they got that day was particularly unfavourable to Mr Harding, but in the case of the Birdman of Port Talbot it was a judge, an expert in the law, who decided that a driving ban was a suitable punishment. Obnoxio notes that the judge felt that a driving ban was appropriate since the Birdman had limited means, but then hit the guy with £1000 costs. Being of limited means in the UK mustn't be too bad these days if you'd typically have a spare grand handy. Obnoxio also wonders if Judge Watkins was off her dial and asks:
How is a driving ban in any way, shape or form, a relevant punishment for keeping birds illegally? What's next, a Chinese burn for littering? A donkey punch for failing to stop at a traffic light?

For failing to stop at a traffic light maybe Judge Watkins would ban you from keeping pets. But how a driving ban is relevant is kind of, er, irrelevant. When I googled Stuart Harding just now one of the links was a local news story about Mr Harding's appeal, which went to the House of Lords. The interesting bit is in the last few paragraphs (my emphasis):
[Viscount Falkland] said: “Could the minister (Baroness Scotland of Asthal) allay the fears of the House and the general public by confirming that this is not the thin end of the wedge and that young people will not have to look forward to a future when they will receive driving bans for not separating their rubbish or for smoking in public places?”

But ex-Labour MP Dale Campbell-Savours, now Lord Campbell-Savours, spoke in favour of the new power and said “a very large body of public opinion is highly supportive” of using driving bans instead of fines, which were often not paid.

The Minister, Baroness Scotland, said the power to slap a driving ban on anyone convicted of an offence was granted in 2000 and “may be seen as an additional deterrent in the context of anti-social behaviour, environmental crime and other offences when a case has a link to the use of vehicles, such as kerb crawling.”

She said it was entirely up to the discretion of the judge or magistrate to impose a driving ban. “The sentence is available to the court if the court deems it appropriate for that particular offender.”

Not exactly shocked to see environmental crime in there, another fucking buzzword of a political generation. But from that it seems like the courts have the power to hit someone with a driving ban without having to justify it in any way or the crime having to be a motoring offense. If they think it's alright then a ban it is. How fucked up is that?

*But possibly not for speeding. The Australian police are even more worked up about hammering speeding motorists than their counterparts in the UK, and since there's pretty much a presumption of guilt for speeding in the UK now I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same here. Hopefully I won't have to find out.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Unlikeable council CEO

Spotted on Nanny Knows Best:
Those of you who are wondering if our beloved local councils provide us with value for money, may care to consider what Dr Allison Fraser (CEO of Sandwell council) is doing with their council taxpayers' money.

Dr Fraser has decided that it is necessary to spend £5K to go on a self-awareness training course in Germany and Florida, to teach herself to 'like herself'.

The courses in the Avatar Professional Course will teach her how to become 'more likeable'. is a simple suggestion Dr Fraser, to make yourself more likeable, don't waste £5K of taxpayers' money on self indulgent crap!

Quite. And a complete waste of money. She might end up liking herself a bit more but I for one can't stand the silly bitch, and I'd never even heard of her an hour ago. Nanny Knows Best points out that she earns £140,000 and suggests Fraser stump up the money herself, but let's remind ourselves that her £140K salary is paid for by the taxpayer in the first place... and on top of that she pisses away more taxpayers' money on this crap. Unbefuckinglievable.

Why not UKIP?

Saturday's Hobson's Choice post has attracted comment from a UKIP member, Vindico, who suggests I have a look at their website to find out more about their policies. On Saturday I said:
UKIP are at least well known and might be worth a vote, but are they interested in much beyond getting the UK out of Europe? What do they plan to do about the various abuses of power, the creeping legislation, the databases, 42 days imprisonment without trial, the extension of police powers to non-police etc? Like the Tories they don't really seem to have a policy of changing it.

I admit that I'd only looked at the policy summary and hadn't downloaded the PDFs for the details, but it strikes me that if they were really concerned with the issues of abuse of power, creeping legislation, databases, 42 days imprisonment without trial, and extension of police powers to non-police then putting something in the summary about what they intend to do about it might have been a good idea. But Vindico did mention that some more policies would be announced soon during UKIP's conference, so we'll wait and see what turns up.

In the meantime I'm sifting through the PDFs for the details and some of what I see I like, and some I don't. And some of what I'd hope to see I haven't found at all. Here's a few examples:

UKIP are strongly monarchist and in principle at least I'm a republican. A very small 'r' republican as far as the UK is concerned since the Royal Family really costs so little the issue is pretty low priority for me, but when it comes up again in an Australian referendum (as it surely will) I'll be voting yes to becoming a republic providing there's no repeat of the Parliament appointed President option that John Howard offered. But as a matter of principle I'm not keen on the issue of the monarchy being off limits for debate, reform and possible abolition. The Libertarians wiseIy don't mention the monarchy in their manifesto so presumably the possible abolition of the monarchy is not taboo. As I said, really not a big deal but some points for LPUK there.

I think UKIP, like LPUK, are right to propose a voucher system for education. But strangely UKIP don't feel strongly enough about it to mention it in the policy summary - it's buried in their education policy document - while LPUK mention it in the precis of the education section on their manifesto web page. It's a good policy and I believe both parties are right to include it, but LPUK are the ones shouting it loud and proud. Points to LPUK again.

Immigration is a matter on which I have strong feelings being, as I said on Saturday, an immigrant myself. UKIP's policy summary states that they'll freeze immigration for five years, and it's the second item on the list and also mentioned on their "vision" page ("Our party has a full range of policies including a firm line on immigration") so presumably it's something they feel pretty strongly about too. I've not yet come across the details in the various PDFs but the tone makes me suspect my strong feelings may be rather different from UKIP's. LPUK on the other hand favour the principle of "free movement of goods, capital and people" (my emphasis), but believe that it is not yet practical to apply that to immigration (due to British welfare-itis and non-libertarian governments elsewhere) so propose a points based system until the time is right (sounds a bit Aussie from where I'm sitting). Points to LPUK again, and possibly points away from UKIP depending on the details.

I was pleased to see UKIP are against things like control orders allowing imprisonment without trial, though like the education vouchers I found this in the middle of a downloaded PDF whereas the Libertarians are again pretty vocal about it. But it seems that UKIP are at least mildly opposed to the sort of authoritarian legislation and policies that are commonly used in Britain today, and I give them credit for that. But again, if it's a big deal for them should it not be in the policy summary? And so far I've found nothing about repeal of Britain's ridiculous gun laws, prostitution, recreational drugs etc*. All things on which Libertarian party have a position I broadly agree with, in spite of the fact that I believe they'll have an uphill struggle persuading the British electorate that the gun laws have achieved bugger all for public safety and firearms in the hands of responsible law abiding citizens are nothing to be afraid of, that the sale of sex is illegal more for prudish reasons than because it does society harm, and that the choice to waste your money on mind altering substances to stick in your veins or up your nose should have nothing to do with the government. Points to both UKIP and LPUK, but more to the Libertarians.

UKIP, if you want to describe yourselves libertarian I'd suggest being a little more, well, publicly and vocally libertarian. I think I read or heard someone call UKIP the real Conservative party, and that might not be so far from the truth. Certainly the current Tories strike me as being overly centrist, scared to say anything that might alarm voters, and a bit opportunist when it comes to the media. With no Libertarian Party UKIP would get my vote. But here's the big problem - having ruled out the big three parties I'd be voting for someone who might not even win a seat in the short term, much less someone who might be in the party of government. So why vote for a party that is merely going to be the largest of the parties to not have any MPs rather than the one that is most closely aligned to my own views and opinions? UKIP has got a lot going for it, but the way I see it the choice is between voting tactically and voting my principles. In the former case someone like myself might as well vote Conservative and done with it, and there would at least be the satisfaction of having cast a vote that helps get rid of Gordon Clown (though from this side of the world it looks like no one is working harder to get rid of Gordon than Gordon himself). UKIP has the advantage of having been around a while and becoming well known (not always for the right reasons - Robert Kilroy-Sulk and the Vanitas business, Tom Wise), but frankly that's not a good reason to support a party that you don't fully agree with unless they had a genuine chance of forming a government in the not too distant future and you felt they were at least a good few steps in the right direction. For now at least LPUK is a better choice.

*Since I'm still reading through some of the PDFs I downloaded from UKIP's site I may come across these later, in which case I'll update this post accordingly.
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