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Discussion Starter · #81 · (Edited)
Rights are inherent in being a human being. They do not depend on the ability of others to pay. If they could, people who live in wealthy societies would have more rights than those who live in poor societies. Therefore, people do not have inherent positive rights. The whole "positive" and "negative" rights thing is BS anyway. It's just language that was co-opted by statists in order to have a way to justify their use of government power to take from some people and give to others. There are just rights.
Can you tell me what you believe a positive and a negative right are then? There's a very real difference and it sounds like you're not familiar.

It's not a statist term at all....the term was coined by libertarians to explain the difference in rights one can exercise without anyone else lifting a finger (negative rights like free speech/firearm ownership) and rights that require someone else's labor or participation for you to exercise (like right to health care). I think your confusion comes from knowing at some level that positive rights aren't generally legitimate.....people don't have an inherent right to that which they cannot provide for themselves (i.e., if they are not health care providers or educators, they have no right to to demand health care/education from society if they cannot or will not pay for it since if they aren't in those employment categories, it's unlikely they'd be able to adequately supply it for themselves). In other words, free speech is a negative right. No one is required to listen, nor are they required to provide you with a way to project that speech, like a bullhorn, a column in a privately held newspaper or the internet (as a few examples).

I mean that if you did attempt to look at it from the freedom vs societal harm standpoint, you find that more firearm freedom for adult non-criminals is a societal benefit. It's a societal benefit because it results in less crime and keeps the statists at bay. Note that I said firearms. The 2nd Amendment says "arms". Do individuals have a right to keep nuclear weapons because of this? Well, I could own one and you could own one and literally nobody would be at risk because we wouldn't use them. However, it really wouldn't do anything for my freedom and the potential societal harm would be extraordinary. Ultimately, I don't think there's evidence that the framers meant such weapons should be included in "arms". Of course there's really no way to know because they didn't have a clue that such weapons could exist. They didn't have a clue that TV or radio could exist, so judgement ultimately has to be involved. Ultimately, I think that it's safe to say that the framers would agree that "the people" have a right to the same weapons that their local police department has.

We'll have to part ways here as you're attempting to change the reality of the founders experience, writings and words in favor of the way you view the world. In reality, the founders not only privately owned the modern day equivalent of artillery in the form of cannon, but also the first ships of the US Navy were 12 privateers armed to the teeth with 24+ heavy cannon each....the equivalent of a destroyer in modern parlance. Further, there was no such thing as a police force at the time and extensive writings by the founders explicitly stated that a major point of the 2A was to oppose government tyranny and standing armies....your last statement should end in "the same weapons that their military has"....not merely the local PD.

Of course.
This is where things get more 'murky'. ;) What you're arguing (perhaps unintentionally) via your balance of freedom vs. societal harm is that society as a whole should dictate rights; i.e., that they are NOT inherent to the human condition or provided by the Creator. That's essentially pure Democracy or mob rule. The majority of uneducated Americans believe that full auto should not be owned by civilians regardless of the statistical facts (like the FBI's UCR) that show rifles are not used in crime as often as blunt objects and NFA weapons are used almost never. Like it or not, that's their belief.....I'd wager if you polled Americans on "silencers" ....they'd say they should be outlawed too since the majority likely believe only mobsters and criminals use them. So while your belief is NFA should be repealed (likely based on a reading of the 2A) and you're correct that Lott's stats say more guns = less crime, it doesn't matter what his stats say....the mob has its own 'scientists' doing studies that show more guns mean more death (suicides and murders....especially in Democratically controlled cities).

Do you see the inherent problem with your view in light of those facts?

I think that a better case can me made for the legalization of marijuana than heroin, crack, meth, etc., but ultimately the damage caused by marijuana far outweighs the very limited benefits. I've seen too many people that have stunted their personal growth because they got in to smoking it. Ultimately, if my opinion is in the minority it'll be legal. I try to persuade people every opportunity I get. It's interesting but sad to hear people talk about how it stunted their personal growth when they were young and the opportunities they missed out on. I've met plenty of people who wished they never used it. I've never met a person who never used it that wished they had.
This statement (particularly in bold) emphasizes that your thought process is essentially one of tyranny of the majority in a society is acceptable....and actually, a step farther...it rightly should dictate policy/law.


I've never smoked weed...or done any other illicit drug and I'll admit, I have ZERO desire to. However, being that I'm in the group you're talking about....that shouldn't be surprising. I didn't do it for a few reasons.....from not wanting to pollute my body to being a bit of a control freak and not likely to cede that control to being under the influence. Mainly, it was b/c I was educated that drug use is not a lifestyle I'd want to engage in. Some claim their minds are expanded by the use of psychedelics.....but those folks are usually artists or something like that. I'm pretty type A and right brained, so it never had any real draw.
 

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I will respond to your questions one final time, but I don't have the desire to continue with this thread. It seems that I've failed some sort of libertarian purity test when in reality our beliefs coincide 95%+ of the time. I believe there is no right to harm innocent people, even if they agree to allow you to do so. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this.

Can you tell me what you believe a positive and a negative right are then? There's a very real difference and it sounds like you're not familiar.

It's not a statist term at all....the term was coined by libertarians to explain the difference in rights one can exercise without anyone else lifting a finger (negative rights like free speech/firearm ownership) and rights that require someone else's labor or participation for you to exercise (like right to health care).
There's no confusion on my part. By saying that rights are inherent and don't depend on the ability of others to pay, I think that I explained my point of view pretty well. I don't care who originally coined the term "positive right", it's BS. It's like the term "state rights", there is no such thing (just state powers). There are just rights. What you're labeling as "positive rights" is just socialism. Don't get the wrong idea. I believe that we have a moral obligation to help others. It's just that we have the right to determine ourselves who, how and when. Government on the other hand generally does far more damage than good when it comes to helping people. To the extent that government takes earnings and redistributes it, it's violating our right individual rights to determine who, how and when.

We'll have to part ways here as you're attempting to change the reality of the founders experience, writings and words in favor of the way you view the world.
I'm not trying to change anything. We live in a different world. We must understand the original context of the Bill of Rights in order to apply it to todays' world.

Further, there was no such thing as a police force at the time and extensive writings by the founders explicitly stated that a major point of the 2A was to oppose government tyranny and standing armies....your last statement should end in "the same weapons that their military has"....not merely the local PD.
Good point. The military has nuclear weapons. Do you think that individuals should be able to own them? If not, how would you resolve this conflict with the 2nd Amendment?

This is where things get more 'murky'. ;) What you're arguing (perhaps unintentionally) via your balance of freedom vs. societal harm is that society as a whole should dictate rights; i.e., that they are NOT inherent to the human condition or provided by the Creator. That's essentially pure Democracy or mob rule. The majority of uneducated Americans believe that full auto should not be owned by civilians regardless of the statistical facts (like the FBI's UCR) that show rifles are not used in crime as often as blunt objects and NFA weapons are used almost never. Like it or not, that's their belief.....I'd wager if you polled Americans on "silencers" ....they'd say they should be outlawed too since the majority likely believe only mobsters and criminals use them. So while your belief is NFA should be repealed (likely based on a reading of the 2A) and you're correct that Lott's stats say more guns = less crime, it doesn't matter what his stats say....the mob has its own 'scientists' doing studies that show more guns mean more death (suicides and murders....especially in Democratically controlled cities).

Do you see the inherent problem with your view in light of those facts?
No. There are specific rights that are spelled out in the Constitution. The NFA violates one of those rights and should therefore be invalidated by the Supreme Court. There is no right in the Constitution to sell anything and everything to any willing buyer. Those decisions are are subject to laws created by elected representatives in the federal government (to the extent that it's interstate commerce) or state governments. That said, it is sort of mob rule through elected representatives. We have to make our cases to the mob and hope that freedom loving people outnumber those with a mob mentality.

This statement (particularly in bold) emphasizes that your thought process is essentially one of tyranny of the majority in a society is acceptable....and actually, a step farther...it rightly should dictate policy/law.
If something does not violate a right enumerated in the Constitution, it's subject to have legislation created regulating it. That is generally majority rule. If you don't want laws to be created around rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution, then you have to amend the Constitution. I'm for this as I think there are many rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution that should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
I will respond to your questions one final time, but I don't have the desire to continue with this thread. It seems that I've failed some sort of libertarian purity test when in reality our beliefs coincide 95%+ of the time. I believe there is no right to harm innocent people, even if they agree to allow you to do so. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this.


There's no confusion on my part. By saying that rights are inherent and don't depend on the ability of others to pay, I think that I explained my point of view pretty well. I don't care who originally coined the term "positive right", it's BS. It's like the term "state rights", there is no such thing (just state powers). There are just rights. What you're labeling as "positive rights" is just socialism. Don't get the wrong idea. I believe that we have a moral obligation to help others. It's just that we have the right to determine ourselves who, how and when. Government on the other hand generally does far more damage than good when it comes to helping people. To the extent that government takes earnings and redistributes it, it's violating our right individual rights to determine who, how and when.


I'm not trying to change anything. We live in a different world. We must understand the original context of the Bill of Rights in order to apply it to todays' world.


Good point. The military has nuclear weapons. Do you think that individuals should be able to own them? If not, how would you resolve this conflict with the 2nd Amendment?


No. There are specific rights that are spelled out in the Constitution. The NFA violates one of those rights and should therefore be invalidated by the Supreme Court. There is no right in the Constitution to sell anything and everything to any willing buyer. Those decisions are are subject to laws created by elected representatives in the federal government (to the extent that it's interstate commerce) or state governments. That said, it is sort of mob rule through elected representatives. We have to make our cases to the mob and hope that freedom loving people outnumber those with a mob mentality.


If something does not violate a right enumerated in the Constitution, it's subject to have legislation created regulating it. That is generally majority rule. If you don't want laws to be created around rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution, then you have to amend the Constitution. I'm for this as I think there are many rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution that should be.
Certainly fine to agree to disagree, but I'd argue if you think I'm in favor of "positive" rights....you clearly don't understand my position.

If our world is so different, then our right to free speech doesn't extend to the internet b/c it wasn't invented yet. That's a problematic view to say the least.

Some would argue crew served weapons aren't covered under the 2A (I'm not one of them, considering my stance on the facts surrounding artillery pieces and the country's first Navy). I'd argue that weapons aren't inherently evil and that a monopoly on violence, nuclear or not, is far less than ideal and that M.A.D. would cover most instances of private ownership. Freedom and liberty are not without danger and never will be.

RE: NFA....But SCOTUS has not ruled that way, nor is it likely to. On one hand you seem to be a realist, but not in this case. By contrast, I freely admit I'm an idealist (and I'd argue everyone who wants change is to one degree or another) and would like to see more liberty for my fellow man...in all areas provided that liberty doesn't result in the infringement of others natural, negative rights.

We agree on amending the Constitution, with all the hurdles that entails.

Thanks for your time.
 

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If something does not violate a right enumerated in the Constitution, it's subject to have legislation created regulating it. That is generally majority rule. If you don't want laws to be created around rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution, then you have to amend the Constitution. I'm for this as I think there are many rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution that should be.
I don't agree with this. The failure of the constitution to enumerate every imaginable right does not mean you don't have those rights. The text of the Bill of Rights is pretty clear on this issue.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The US federal government is (supposedly) one of limited, enumerated (specific) powers. It is not suppose to do anything that isn't one of the specifically enumerated powers. Regulating commerce within a single state, for example, is not an enumerated power. The states may have a right to do such regulation, but the federal government does not, at least not under the constitution.

The founders did not intend for the legislature to have to specifically name every area where the Federal government could not act. They named the (very few, specific) areas where it was allowed to do things, and then said 'these powers, and nothing else.'
 

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I don't agree with this. The failure of the constitution to enumerate every imaginable right does not mean you don't have those rights. The text of the Bill of Rights is pretty clear on this issue.
Please reread what I wrote. I never said that you don't have a right if it's not listed in the Constitution. There are certainly plenty of rights that are not enumerated. My point is that from a legal standpoint, one can't claim that a law violates a Constitutionally enumerated right if it's not specifically listed there. I'll add that any federal law created that goes beyond the federal powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution is invalid (though our country is sadly well past that).

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This just means that just because a right is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, that does not mean that it isn't a right. This doesn't mean that any right not enumerated in the Constitution, that I personally believe is a right, has the same legal protections as Constitutionally enumerated rights. For example, I believe that every unborn human has a right to life. Others believe that they have a right to kill unborn humans. Neither is an enumerated right in the Constitution. Since the federal government was not enumerated the power to regulate abortion, it's up to the states to codify what is illegal.

The US federal government is (supposedly) one of limited, enumerated (specific) powers. It is not suppose to do anything that isn't one of the specifically enumerated powers. Regulating commerce within a single state, for example, is not an enumerated power. The states may have a right to do such regulation, but the federal government does not, at least not under the constitution.
100% agree.

The founders did not intend for the legislature to have to specifically name every area where the Federal government could not act. They named the (very few, specific) areas where it was allowed to do things, and then said 'these powers, and nothing else.'[/QUOTE]
100% agree.
 

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Please reread what I wrote. I never said that you don't have a right if it's not listed in the Constitution. There are certainly plenty of rights that are not enumerated. My point is that from a legal standpoint, one can't claim that a law violates a Constitutionally enumerated right if it's not specifically listed there.
Sure you can. A right to privacy, for example, was never explicitly stated in the Constitution, but has been upheld by courts as constitutionally protected. One can easily claim a right to privacy in court, even though privacy is not specifically called out in the bill of rights.

In a procedural sense, claiming that a law violates your (not enumerated) rights is the actual mechanism by which those rights are given legal protection. A law is passed, someone sues claiming it violates one of their rights, and then the courts rule on the question.
 

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Sure you can. A right to privacy, for example, was never explicitly stated in the Constitution, but has been upheld by courts as constitutionally protected. One can easily claim a right to privacy in court, even though privacy is not specifically called out in the bill of rights.
That's a perfect example. All the leftist judges on the Supreme Court would be very happy with your point of view, but there is absolutely no right to privacy enumerated in the Constitution. The founding fathers didn't hide rights in the Constitution to be found by judges hundreds of years later. When judges just make up "rights" and say they're in the Constitution when they are not actually there, it's not protection of rights. It's tyranny because the will of the people through their elected representatives is denied. I believe that all innocent people have a right to life including the unborn. If I can get five judges on the Supreme Court to agree that such a right is implied in the Constitution, would you be OK with that? If would effectively end the murder of babies. As much as I'd like to see that happen, reality is that abortion or even a right to life isn't enumerated in the Constitution. Therefore, it's up to the states to decide what's legal and what's not.

In a procedural sense, claiming that a law violates your (not enumerated) rights is the actual mechanism by which those rights are given legal protection. A law is passed, someone sues claiming it violates one of their rights, and then the courts rule on the question.
What you're envisioning isn't the rule of law. It's rule by whoever can stuff the most judges in the courts that agree with their viewpoints. If that's the way it was supposed to work, there would be no reason to even have a Constitution or make laws. People could just go see a judge claiming that another has violated their rights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
That's a perfect example. All the leftist judges on the Supreme Court would be very happy with your point of view, but there is absolutely no right to privacy enumerated in the Constitution. The founding fathers didn't hide rights in the Constitution to be found by judges hundreds of years later. When judges just make up "rights" and say they're in the Constitution when they are not actually there, it's not protection of rights. It's tyranny because the will of the people through their elected representatives is denied. I believe that all innocent people have a right to life including the unborn. If I can get five judges on the Supreme Court to agree that such a right is implied in the Constitution, would you be OK with that? If would effectively end the murder of babies. As much as I'd like to see that happen, reality is that abortion or even a right to life isn't enumerated in the Constitution. Therefore, it's up to the states to decide what's legal and what's not.
The 4th Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Do you know why they wrote the 4th into the BOR? Because they were tired of the British army stopping them and demanding to search their belongs and their persons and seize documents, money, papers relating to plans for rebellion, etc.

The very definition of privacy:

privacy

prī′və-sē
noun
  1. The quality or condition of being secluded from the presence or view of others.
  2. The state of being free from public attention or unsanctioned intrusion.
  3. A state of being private, or in retirement from the company or from the knowledge or observation of others; seclusion.

The notion of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are very much codified in the DoI....as well as property in many state constitutions....and the Preamble to the USC is the logical progression of that concept into clearly delineated statements. You're not bothering to read the founders' views on when 'rights' are bestowed upon the individual...and it's not until birth. The reason is likely as simple as: Potentiality isn't actualization.
 

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The 4th Amendment means exactly what it says, nothing more and nothing less. If they had just wanted to include an overarching right of privacy, they would have done just that and put it in there. They didn't. Additionally, it doesn't say or imply anything about abortion. It's just not there. Even most of the so-call scholars on the left have admitted that the rulings leading up to and including Roe vs. Wade are weak at best. To look at the Constitution and think one can extrapolate meaning beyond what is written in order to override legislation that was passed by elected representatives means that one is simply in favor of tyranny by unelected people in robes who sit for as long as they wish and are accountable to nobody. This no different from the king the founders rejected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
The 4th Amendment means exactly what it says, nothing more and nothing less. If they had just wanted to include an overarching right of privacy, they would have done just that and put it in there. They didn't. Additionally, it doesn't say or imply anything about abortion. It's just not there. Even most of the so-call scholars on the left have admitted that the rulings leading up to and including Roe vs. Wade are weak at best. To look at the Constitution and think one can extrapolate meaning beyond what is written in order to override legislation that was passed by elected representatives means that one is simply in favor of tyranny by unelected people in robes who sit for as long as they wish and are accountable to nobody. This no different from the king the founders rejected.
And what it says protects you and your property from search and seizure without a warrant. How is that NOT privacy from government intrusion? B/c it doesn't say the word 'privacy' but has the exact same effect?

We agree that black robed bandits have usurped their power to determine constitutionality, but defining the 4A as protecting a right to have private information that the government cannot just obtain without a warrant doesn't even come close to rubber stamping or even mildly endorsing what you've just claimed.
 

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And what it says protects you and your property from search and seizure without a warrant. How is that NOT privacy from government intrusion? B/c it doesn't say the word 'privacy' but has the exact same effect?
It's the right to be secure from government intrusion. It literally says that. If one wants to consider the limits on government power listed to be protections of various aspects of privacy, I don't have an issue with that. What I do take issue with is then extrapolating such an idea to then encompass some sort of all around right to privacy and how that's further perverted to claim that abortion, gay marriage and owning child pornography somehow rights that are protected by the Constitution.

We agree that black robed bandits have usurped their power to determine constitutionality, but defining the 4A as protecting a right to have private information that the government cannot just obtain without a warrant doesn't even come close to rubber stamping or even mildly endorsing what you've just claimed.
If someone can simply claim something that's not written in the Constitution is there so as to invalidate laws, then we don't have the rule of law. We have tyranny. This happened with Roe vs. Wade (among other rulings) and it has literally resulted in the murder of millions of the unborn. It's funny, in a horrific sort of way, that those who could find the right to murder others in the Constitution couldn't find the right to life in the same document. The primary function of government is to protect the rights of the people. If it can't do that, there's no point in having it.
 

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That's a perfect example. All the leftist judges on the Supreme Court would be very happy with your point of view, but there is absolutely no right to privacy enumerated in the Constitution.
I think you are equating 'right to privacy' with 'right to abortion.' I don't think they are equivalent at all.

Privacy is a critical human right. It has nothing to do with abortion. In my opinion, Roe was wrongly decided, and forcing abortion rights into a privacy framework is an error.

I do, however, think that the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy. And plenty of other things that aren't specifically called out in it.

It seems to me that by equating privacy and abortion, and accepting the leftist argument that privacy = abortion, you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You're letting them define the terms of the argument. Accepting a right to privacy does not mean that you accept a right to abortion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
I think you are equating 'right to privacy' with 'right to abortion.' I don't think they are equivalent at all.

Privacy is a critical human right. It has nothing to do with abortion. In my opinion, Roe was wrongly decided, and forcing abortion rights into a privacy framework is all kinds of wrong.

I do, however, think that the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy. And plenty of other things that aren't specifically called out in it.

It seems to me that by equating privacy and abortion, and accepting the leftist argument that privacy = abortion, you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Agreed. The position he's holding doesn't make sense as he's conflating two very different things b/c he's hinged his abortion argument on it not being specifically stated in the BoR and is angry (rightly so) that it was made up from whole cloth by the judiciary and the left. He's right in that the USC is the natural progression of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness found in the DOI and are all protections of a sort (the right to life, the right to be free, the right to pursue goals/property) via the structure of government's checks & balances on power. Where he falls short is equating privacy with abortion....largely b/c he's letting the left control the terms in the argument.
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
It's the right to be secure from government intrusion. It literally says that. If one wants to consider the limits on government power listed to be protections of various aspects of privacy, I don't have an issue with that. What I do take issue with is then extrapolating such an idea to then encompass some sort of all around right to privacy and how that's further perverted to claim that abortion, gay marriage and owning child pornography somehow rights that are protected by the Constitution.


If someone can simply claim something that's not written in the Constitution is there so as to invalidate laws, then we don't have the rule of law. We have tyranny. This happened with Roe vs. Wade (among other rulings) and it has literally resulted in the murder of millions of the unborn. It's funny, in a horrific sort of way, that those who could find the right to murder others in the Constitution couldn't find the right to life in the same document. The primary function of government is to protect the rights of the people. If it can't do that, there's no point in having it.
It's not an 'all around' right to privacy...which is why it's been ruled repeatedly you have no "right to privacy" in public spaces (for example).

I have no idea how you have equated right to privacy with gay marriage or owning child porn. Gay marriage has to do with due process and equal protection clauses of the 14A (I'd argue the USC says nothing about marriage and the govt. has no say in how consenting adults define their relationship). And owning child porn isn't legal anywhere I'm aware of. I know you still need a warrant to seize someone's computer or ISP information (well, there are obvious ways our government circumvents the 4A in those instances when they want to...meaning that rule of law thing is dead already anyway, as we all know).

But whatever.... We agree that right to life is in there, but just as importantly....so is the right to liberty. I would hope we could all agree that you have no right to enslave others in any manner.....though the nation did so (and was wrong then too) when slavery was legal. And that brings us full circle to why positive rights are illegitimate.....b/c the effectively enslave another party in order for you to be able to exercise your rights.
 

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Here's an example of why I think privacy is an essential human right, and why legal action is necessary to protect it (and for courts to establish precedent doing so):

 
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