Friday, March 26, 2010

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: The No-David-Bain issue [updated]

Welcome to another ramble round things and places that caught this liberty-lover’s eye this week . . . without any mention of David Bain. Apart from this one.

  • CLICK HERE FOR STORY Never mind bloody Earth Hour this weekend.  Auckland’s Racket Bar is holding a Power Hour tomorrow night, featuring the world's longest multi-box chain, coal-fired air-conditioning and a light show visible from outer space.!  Cool.
    Plus: BRING IN YOUR OWN ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE AND RECEIVE A FREE TIGER BEER!
    Sounds like a place to be.
    --> Power Hour at the Racket Bar  
  • And Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath encourages all New Zealanders to turn on all their lights during Earth Hour this Saturday night.
    “The Dark Ages were a grim chapter in human history. I don’t feel the need to relive those times.”
    --> Light Up The Country This Earth Hour, Say Libz
  • “The symbolic message that Earth Hour sends is deceptive and destructive.”
    --> “Earth Hour” Symbolizes the Renunciation of Industrial Civilization
  • Another carbon tax domino falls—Nicholas Sarkozy has given in to reality and to political pressure, and pulled his country’s much feted carbon tax scheme.
    So if he can see sense . . .
    --> France backs down on plans for carbon tax
  • It’s a bit early to crack down on beneficiaries, says Peter Osborne.  There’s a few things that need to be done first . . .
    --> At Least Do the Job Properly Paula
  • For instance . . .
    --> Why not just scrap WFF Bill?
  • One would hope that those who parade the “neutrality” of Radio NZ journalists might give some thought to John Stossel’s consideration of government-paid journalists.
            “That journalists are supposed to be the watchdogs, not lapdogs of government
        doesn't resonate with many on the Left. …
            “ Journalists shouldn’t get government funds. Using NPR and PBS [and Radio NZ] as
        a defense reminds me of the child who killed his parents then pleaded for mercy because
        he was an orphan. “
    --> Journalism's Parasites [hat tip Thrutch]
  • Yet another economist is getting “sick of reports that talk about these massive benefits of government spending without actually looking at them in context with, you know, opportunity cost.” Matt Nolan lets rip.
    --> I’m sick of this …
  • Speaking of political economy, Labour’s David Cunliffe reckons at the Red Alert blog that "Keynes is alive and well." That Keynes "rescued" 2 Depressions. I comment. Could be the start of a good debate.
    --> The Turning Point (III): The Keynesian Resurgence
  • A “frustrating” Massey University survey on abortion etc. shows far too many busybodies far too interested in what women choose to do with their bodies.
    --> Frustrating abortion survey out
  • No smell-o-vision yet (thank goodness) but 4-dimensional cinema has arrived!  Eat your heart out Avatar.
    --> Too much realism
  • Speaking of Avatar, director James “Dickhead” Cameron politely calls for a debate with climate skeptics.  On the behalf of “boneheads” everywhere, Anne McElhinny accepts. “It appears some negative comments about the nonsensical politics of Avatar by me and others did not go unnoticed by the richest man in Hollywood who described the criticism as ‘ranting.’  So, James Cameron I accept your invitation.”
    I almost feel sorry for the over-precious poseur.
    --> James Cameron – I Accept
  • “The front page story in the Dominion-Post [yesterday] is about disabled woman Margaret Page. She wants to die, and so is refusing food and water, effectively starving herself to death. The hospice she is in, St John of Godhome, is refusing to intervene.
    And so they should be. This is fundamentally a question of autonomy. Our lives belong to us, not to someone's Invisible Sky Fairy, and certainly not to the state.”
    Bravo!  If only Idiot/Savant would follow that principle consistently himself!
    --> The right to die
  • The Family’s Commission CEO offers “a heaven-sent opportunity” to close the bloody place down.
    “Blend the bloody thing in somewhere and give it six months to wither and die as the departmental CEO redirects its funds to something useful,” says Adolf.
    --> Now Get Rid Of It
  • CLICK FOR STORY!“A guy phoned up who worked for NASA who was interested in how we took the pictures,” Mr Harrison told The Times
    “He wanted to know how the hell we did it. He thought we used a rocket. They said it would have cost them millions of dollars.”
    But not when you use a balloon, a camera and a roll of duct tape.
    --> Journey into space with a balloon and duct tape
  • Lisa Van Damme’s Van Damme Academy offers a unique curriculum for students, and “Director’s Teas” where parents themselves get to experience it.
    Check out, for example, this masterful art appreciation class with “Mr Travis.”  It starts unusually, but you’ll be amazed what – in just twenty minutes -- he can show you in what you thought was a simple painting.
    --> The VDA Art Curriculum - Part 3 of 8 [Click through for the full lecture]

 

  • Rodbeater has been trolling again—so excerpts of his trash have been posted to his Redbaiter’s Bile blog.
    Head along and “enjoy” some edited samples of his invective—and get a clue why this idiot is banned.
    --> Redbaiter’s Bile
  • The argument is over, and the liberals have won. But Matthew Yglesias reckons ObamaCare is their high tide.  Sounds like wishful thinking-but a lot are buying that Kool-Aid.
    --> The End of Big Government Liberalism
  •     “You need a way to maintain your morale—to counter the effects of dispiriting circumstances. In short you need a solid basis to expect a better future.  What can provide it when the news headlines fill you with revulsion?
        “The virtue of optimism.  .. But [by this I mean] a very particular type of optimism. It is not wishful thinking..  It is confidence in one's own potency, and it has to be maintained and fought for like any virtue.....”
    --> Tom Minchin - Hope is Dead - Long Live Optimism
  • Who are "the forgotten men and women of American health care”?
    The doctors, of course.  How many have heard from them?
    --> Who cares about the doctors?
  • A quote now for every time someone calls you anti-health care or anti-education…

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the
distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every
time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists
conclude that we object to its being done at all.”
– Frédéric Bastiat

  • Here’s something to ponder for fans of “efficient markets.” Buyers of bonds now rate Berkshire Hathaway’s bonds safer than those peddled by the US Government. Which means, as Bloomber reports, “The bond market is now saying that it’s safer to lend to Warren Buffett than Barack Obama.”
    --> A Fiscal Train Wreck
  • “A sudden drop-off in investor demand for U.S. Treasury notes is raising questions about whether interest rates will finally begin a march higher—a climb that would jack up the government's borrowing costs and spell trouble for the fragile housing market.” And not just for the housing market.  This is the beginning of the end for that school of economists who maintain that government debt is the basis on which currency is organised.
    --> Hoping for a rich uncle, part two
  • “AsMargaret Thatcher once said, "the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Michael Barone reports, “in recent weeks U.S. Treasury bonds have lost their status as the world's safest investment…”
    --> Obama, Meet Reality aka The Bond Market
  • Does NZ really need a Productivity Commission anyway?  Paul Walker doesn’t think so.
    --> Productivity commission, Why?
  • On better things . . . Rachel Miner “shares some tools which have added much joy for me by helping me capture the precious moments of parenting. There are so many experiences that are both easy to forget and worthy of remembering."
    --> Tool: Capturing the Precious Times
  • Jo Kellard offers a guide for how to start thinking about potential careers and career choices.
    --> Did Students Heed My Career Advice?
  • The title says it all:
    --> The Nature of Consciousness Vs. Religious concepts
  • "We may have lost the first round in the health care battle,” says Paul Hsieh. “But if we follow these principles,the final victory can still be ours."
    --> "ObamaCare: The Coming Battles"
  • Earth doesn’t care whether our lights are on or not; if we’re producing or not; which Korea is starving, or free, or not.  The night lights of Korea tell the story of man’s emergence from slavery into freedom.
    For in the slave state that is North Korea, “Earth Hour” is for life.
    --> Earth doesn’t care about our lights, our electricity
    earth-hour-carbon-sense-368
  • "Amazing! A company that provides really great food allergy information that is NOT coerced by the government! Why in the world would they do such a crazy thing?"
    --> Now THAT'S What I Call a Food Allergy-Friendly Company
  • A list of psychological disorders.  Some of them are genuine.  All are bogus.
    --> Take the DSM-5 disorder quiz! 
  • Guess who’s against medical marijuana in California?
    That’s right.  The growers.
    --> Baptists, Bootleggers & Vidalia Onions
  • “The new anti-"Zionism" - or anti-Semitism for many - has gone mainstream in a deadly serious way.”
    --> The betrayal of Israel
  • “The great green paradox of the Coromandel is that the place celebrates its mining heyday at every turn.”
    --> Coromandel can bear more mining
  • New book Genetic Roulette purports to take apart genetic engineering, detailing “65 separate claims that the technology causes harm in a variety of ways.”  The Academics Review website dismantles every one of them.
    Science is the winner.
    --> Genetic Roulette

music1 “Music,” by Theo van Oostrom

  • If you’re somebody who only reads Penthouse for the articles, then you’ll have already seen this: Penthouse magazine taking down Al Gore. “Al Gore and his pals in the science establishment want us to totally change our lives because of a theory that might not even be true. Have the sacred cows of global warming been gored beyond repair?”
    --> An Inconvenient Fraud?
  • This is worth digesting: Doug Casey’s Special Report on the state of the world economy.  Twenty pages of charts and stats that tell you the story in pictures that so many wish to deny.
    --> The Good, Bad, and Ugly: “Outlook for the Economy” [pdf]
  • Scott de Salvo suggests Objectivists should get behind Ron Paul.  Hmmm.
    --> Why Ron Paul Is THE Objectivist Moral Imperative
  • CLICK HERE David Harriman’s Logical Leap: Induction in Physics won’t be available for purchase until this summer. But his ‘Periodic Table of the Sciences’ is available now.
            “The Periodic Table of the Sciences is a graphical
         description of  .. science education. Within each
         column, the table shows the stages of development
         (from bottom to top) of the five major theories that
        are essential to a basic education in science. The order
         of the columns (from left to right) reflects the fact that each theory is a prerequisite
        for the next.
            “The concepts of science have a necessary order. Kepler’s laws of planetary motion
        must come before Newton’s law of universal gravitation, electric charge before atomic
        theory, and atomic theory before modern biology. This logical order is shown in the table—
        vertically in the development of each theory and horizontally in the progression from one
        theory to the next. Thus, the Periodic Table of the Sciences captures the integration and the
        hierarchy of scientific knowledge.
            “For students and teachers, the table serves as a reference that demands an answer to two
        crucial questions: what previous knowledge does an idea rest on, and where does the new
        knowledge lead?”
    --> Periodic Table of the Sciences 
    --> For a more in-depth analysis, see Harriman’s articles in The Objective Standard
  • It’s amazing what’s now available on the internet. 
    Philosopher Stephen Hicks has put his entire 15-lecture Philosophy of Education course online, in video.  Normally you’d pay thousands of dollars for this . . . but it’s yours for the price of your internet connection.
    My bet is most of you will head straight to the ‘Big Bang’ and ‘The Creation Story’  in Lecture 2.  Me, I might head straight for what he has to say about Post-Modernism in Lecture 14.
    --> Philosophy of Education: An Introductory Course
  • 752px-Nancy_Pelosi_0009_3-300x239 Nancy Pelosi a constitutionalist?  No, I didn’t think so either.
    --> Nancy Pelosi vs. the Founding Fathers
  • This is “must-see TV” says Tim Blair. “A couple of things about the BBC’s excellent Generation Jihad investigation:
        “One, baby jihadis born and raised in the West are driven entirely by ideology (says one British extremist, previously jailed for terrorism offences: “I’ve never been a victim of poverty or any kind of family break-up or anything like that").
        “And two, these jihadis are a serious menace, despite – paradoxically – being complete losers.”
  • Eric Crampton talks about the hoped-for rise of “The Ninny State.” Apparently you and I are being mocked, and we didn’t even know!
    -->  Ninny state?
  • Life is rough for warmists right now. “In Britain, the 'Climate Change Museum' has been forced to change its name to the 'Climate Science Museum' and in Russia, the country's top climatologist has come out and said that: ‘The winter of 2009-10 was one of the most severe in the European part of Russia for more than 30 years and in Siberia it was perhaps the record-breaking coldest ever.’
        “And, as a result of all this contrary data, the global warming theorists are now threatening violence. “
    --> Ian O'Doherty: Don't tase me, bro
  • Greenpeace isn’t just paid by the government to lobby them—taking money straight out f taxpayers’ pockets--it also steals directly from its members’ bank accounts.
    But it should be no surprise: greenies are less honest than the rest of us.  We knew it just by watching Al Gore’s and Paul Watson’s lips moving, but turns out research shows it too!
    --> Watchdog warns Greenpeace donors
    --> Goodies behaving badly
  • Must be hard hating technology.  It means you’d have to hate people who are so good at celebrating it … like the genius who designs Apple’s retail stores.
    -- > Meet the Genius Behind Apple's Beautiful Retail Stores

   _quote To suppose all consumers to be dupes, and all merchants and
manufacturers to be cheats, has the effect of authorising them
to be so, and of degrading all the working members of the community.”

                               - ARJ Turgot (1727-1781)

  • And finally, something completely different. Specially for Helen Simpson, a Telephone Call From Istanbul . . .

Enjoy your weekend!

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16 Comments:

Anonymous LGM said...

The Red Alert debate is excellent. PC kicked it off by demolishing Cuniffe's nonsense. Mark posted some good quotes and prosecuted powerful argument against Cuniffe and acolytes. He hit a home run against Mob Red.

Excellent stuff. Well worth reading.

LGM

3/26/2010 12:48:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

Some of the views I've read and seen about the film Avatar are truly incredible, and are about as libertarian as Genghis Khan.

Libertarianism is not rooted in improving outcomes. It is not rooted in the common good. It is rooted in individual freedom. The freedom to choose free of physical coercion even if that choice is bad for you. From a libertarian standpoint, this film is not about mining=bad nature=good.

In the film, the humans offered a choice to the inhabitants, but instead of respecting their choice they used force of arms to destroy homes and lives, all to take something that did not belong to them. If there had been a libertarian government on that planet, the natives would have been allowed to live as they please, and anyone attempting initiate force against them would have been locked away.

3/26/2010 03:16:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

David S

It's a weak film with a silly story- over-hyped, over-done and over with. The damn thing wasn't worth the talents of the technical people, the efforts of the actors or the money that people paid to see it. It's a nonsense.

LGM

3/26/2010 04:38:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

I agree that the plot isn't exactly stellar, I was actually quite bored with the first 1/2 of it. The action in the second half kinda made up for it, it's a popcorn flick.

This of course has nothing to do with my critique of the views espoused by conservatives such as Ann McElhinny, which show just how little they understand liberty.

3/26/2010 07:08:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

Agree with LGM re the Red Alert debate. Mark Hubbard's contribution is highly recommended.

3/26/2010 08:06:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Tim Blair's recommendation regarding the BBC documentary "Generation Jihad" is bang on. There are three episodes of six parts each. Worth watching. Chilling.

BTW is it the sort of conspirators seen on the BBC documentary that the spy station (recently discussed on the Nullification thread) is searching for?

LGM

3/26/2010 08:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Vernon said...

Correct Richard, Mark Hubbard's contribution at RedAlert is excellent. But where is the big mouth-know-it-all LGM on that debate at RedAlert? He is missing. He enthusiastically lectures everyone on this blog, but completely missing in action at RedAlert when his exaggerated opinion shown here on Not PC is needed by Mark Hubbard at RedAlert?

I agree with Sally, that LGM lives on this blog as a troll. He hasn't argued any of his points outside Not PC blog, because he/she is a wimp. He attacks others who come here to read, but act like a sissy in taking his argument to other blogs.

3/27/2010 04:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Hubbard

(I'm on a laptop and can't sign into my Google account. Red Alert has put my last post into moderation, I don't know if it will get through or not, so I'll put it up here, becuase I like third to last paragraph about NZ's mainstream economists :) And because I'm sick of the Somalia comparison, and wanted to destroy it finally.) My post, unedited - whoops, too big, have to split it in two.


You want laissez faire, go to Somalia. It is the pure system of laissez faire

Jeremy states this for the second time, though I have already disabused him of it once. (Does this lack of comprehension have roots in the state school system?)

One more time.


Characteristics of a humanist based classical liberal society, and it’s corollary economic system of laissez-faire capitalism.

The basis of this society is the individual, that is the primary focus. In such a minarchy, the rights, starting with property rights, of the individual are protected by a written constitution, that being the only function of the small state. Given this, consenting adults can live in full freedom, pursuing their goals, and what the founding fathers of America would call their pursuit of happiness, which is necessarily possible only unshackled from Nanny State governments.

Such a state of freedom can further only occur when each individual has nothing to fear from the initiation of force from another individual or group, and the role of state is thus to enforce the non-initiation of force principle. Thus the small state has some basic functions to ensure this:

An army to protect individuals from outside aggressors.

A police force to protect individuals from internal aggressors.

A criminal justice system to try abusers, and punish them.

The minarchy also has other basic functions such as a civil (precedent setting) and contract law system, and to provide for the rule of law, for a minarchy is certainly, per the above, founded on the rule of law.

Below all the above, and guiding the rule of law, is human reason.


Now, let’s look at Somalia.

The country is in a state of anarchy, where power is wielded solely by force: by the gun. That is, the initiation of force is behind every transaction (compare this with laissez-faire above!)

The country has no individualistic ethic, it exists solely on tribal allegiance: if you’re from the wrong tribe from in the wrong area, then that is the only reason needed to kill you.

The country has no rule of law. Again, law comes from the tribe with the biggest gun.

The affairs of the tribe are more often than not ruled by the opposite of reason: that is, primitive mysticism. And hence the barbarity and brutality we see practiced there, for as Voltaire stated, ‘those who believe in absurdities become capable of atrocities.’


So, Jeremy, Somalia, and then the classical liberal laissez-faire society – given my analysis above, would you perhaps like to explicate for all of us what you see as the similarities that you can make your heinous and unfounded statement equating the two? I have demonstrated clearly, irrefutably, that clearly they are as different as night from day. One is a state of freedom, the other a living collectivist hell, a form of societal insanity.

3/27/2010 07:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Hubbard - Part II

In fact, lets go a bit deeper - here’s an interesting question: does the barbaric, violent tribalism of Somalia have any corollary in the West? Well yes it does.

The political Left has as it’s basis the ‘common good’ of the collective. According to this life and liberty hating creed, of which David is part of, individualism is seditious, and the individual effort and life must be sacrificed on the altar of the common good of the majority, the tribe. And hundreds of millions of lives over the last century have been sacrificed on this alter, just as the butchery is set to start over again under the Left’s new darling, Chavez (at this stage he is just entering the stage of starving his populace out of resistance).

Here’s one thing I don’t understand about the Left. Through the last century they have had to wring their hands in anguish as one totalitarian after another slaughtered their populaces, when such tryrants always started out pursuing the common good of those populaces, the ‘common good’ always their catch-cry For the rational mind, there is no confusion in this. Without the individual as the focus and primary unit of society, that individuals life and its pursuit of happiness the only morality, without that, and turning instead the focus on sacrifice for the common good, then why is it any mystery that tyrants are able to sacrifice the lives of individuals en masse in pursuit of the common good, which normally ends up, of course, their very own common good – Labour’s and the social democratic credo, their societies based on need, drip with the blood of the individuals it destroys, always.

3/27/2010 07:08:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Hubbard - oh dear - Part III (sorry Peter)

Now here’s an interesting fact, to pull this back to economics. Ask a mainstream economist from NZ today what is their guiding ethic and they will ‘all’ answer utilitarianism. The mix of policies that produces the greatest good for the greatest number. Yes, the bloodied altar of the common good again. It is no wonder that mainstream economic thought slavishly takes its starting point in Keynes, as David does, despite the clear evidence of history showing the destructiveness of Keynesian collectivist socialism. Though never named as such, Marx still delivers the lectures from the lectern of every Western tertiary economics course. David’s header post shows why the cause of freedom, a once nascent classical liberal individualist ethic of western civilisation is dead now. The irony is that tyrant of the twentieth century – there were so many, none of them possible in classical liberal minarchy - that National Socialist Adolf Hitler did his best to destroy the beautiful blossoming classical liberalism that was flowing from the Jewish émigré communities of Berlin in the early 1930’s, which if they had been allowed to flourish, rather than killed off in the concentration camps, may well have brought the West to a new level of prosperity and civilisation – I can provide references to some of the brightest members - but fortunately he was beaten. However, the political Left have since largely finished his job for him in a way that was far more effective: brainwashing childrens minds through our state education systems into accepting the altar of the common good of the collective their guiding principle, thus slowly over time turning Western nations away from the road to freedom, and to the barbarity of the tribalism we can see in countries such as Somalia, where the gun and force rules. It’s just that in the West, the initiator of force and coercion, the gangs with the biggest guns, are our governments.

Note in the above I use the terms ‘classical liberal’ and ‘libertarian’ as interchangeable.

Anyway, when push has come to shove, David doesn’t seem to have the stomach to argue his case on this forum, to show me how, against the weight of the evidence of myself, Peter, Falafulu and Richard , plus a whole bunch of very well educated and respected Austrian school economists, how he believes he can centrally plan our economy, despite NOT ONE central planner before has been able to, only succeeding in enslaving their populations, as successive governments have done in New Zealand. He is the only one I was interested in trying to influence on this thread, because he is my jailer, so unless he re-enters the fray, answers to the posts demonstrating the menace of Keynes, I’m off.

3/27/2010 07:10:00 pm  
Blogger Dinther said...

Earth Hour I am ready, got all my halogen lights lined up around the house. Extention cables everywhere. It will light up like a Christmas tree.

3/27/2010 08:16:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

And I should have mentioned FF posted up some good stuff on the Red Alert blog (I have yet to download his links to citations to read- need to do that soon). He's just way over their heads! Plenty there.

LGM

3/28/2010 07:52:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Vermin

You are the perfect hypocrit. If you have something substantive you want to debate, by all means post your ideas and have at it. If they're interesting enough I might comment, if not I won't bother with you. Remember to stay on topic- PC has posted plenty of interesting material so even the likes of you should be able to find something. In the meantime you remain nothing more than a soft-cock verson of redbait sniping, emoting and smearing from the safety of your corner. What a hypocrit.

BTW, I hardly think Mark needs help. His posts were outstanding- thorough in depth of fact, quality of research, excellent quotes- just brilliant. I learned some new things reading him on Friday. Well worth the time to follow what he wrote. And that is why I originally commented here.

Who is Sally?

Final point, before making up fibs and reducing yourself into a cheap liar, you might care to ask about matters you lack specific knowledge about. I have been a regular contributor over many years to several other blogs of interest to me. You didn't know that and didn't care to find out prior to posting. What a flake.

LGM

3/28/2010 11:15:00 am  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

Magnificent piece of music by Gorecki. I seem to recall it was featured years ago on the South Bank show or something similar, with a Polish soprano.

From Wikipedia: Gorecki's Symphony No. 4 was to be premiered in London in 2010 but the event has been cancelled due to the composer's ill health.

@Mark Hubbard: Love your piece in the comments re Somalia.

3/30/2010 01:52:00 am  
Blogger Ruth said...

Hubbard also made the only good comment on a Bernard Hickey thread about Jane Diplock the other day.

This regulation-loving *journalist* has the support of both left and right - in fact the ACT type rightist appears to be his biggest cheerleader.

I used to think Hickey was just dumb - now I'm starting to think he could be dangerous.

3/31/2010 02:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Vinnie said...

Ruth, you're right there. Hickey is dumb and dangerous.

His campaign against farmer Crafar group was despicable. That idiot, Cactus Kate joined in to condemn the Crafar's for their incompetent in running their farm. How stupid and idiot was such condemnation. The Crafar's problems were just theirs and not the public. When they go down financially, neither Cactus nor Hickey would ever lose a single cent at all. The market will punish the Crafar's for its incompetent and not self important attention seeking idiots like Hickey and Cactus.

Imagine if these self appointed idiots are to take risks and run a business let alone a big farm like the Crafars? Ha these idiots wouldn't even make a profit at all.

Get out there Cactus and Hickey , take some risks and start a business for yourself. See what's its like?

3/31/2010 07:51:00 pm  

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