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Author Topic: It's getting harder and harder to tell the left from the jihadists....  (Read 4621 times)
G M
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« on: March 19, 2007, 09:23:08 PM »

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/007119.htm?print=1
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G M
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2007, 10:38:55 PM »

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=24853_Leftists_Supporting_the_Troops&only
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G M
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2007, 10:49:16 PM »

http://www.zombietime.com/us_out_of_iraq_now_sf_3-18-2007/

But don't question their patriotism....
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G M
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2007, 03:16:34 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/03/24/video-portland-protesters-serenade-troop-effigy-with-death-chants/
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G M
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2007, 04:28:49 PM »

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=f6edd8aa-0739-4197-b4c4-67a170f45a3c

Friday » April 13 » 2007
 
Green candidate stands by remarks praising 9/11
'Beautiful'
 
Katie Rook
National Post

Friday, April 13, 2007

A federal Green party candidate in Vancouver-Kingsway is standing behind a controversial editorial he wrote more than four years ago in which he describes the falling of the World Trade Center twin towers as "beautiful."

The editorial, entitled, A Revolting Confession, was first published on Nov. 28, 2002 in an alternative newspaper, The Republic of East Vancouver, which Kevin Potvin founded.

"When I saw the first tower cascade down into that enormous plume of dust and paper, there was a little voice inside me that said, 'Yeah!' When the second tower came down the same way, that little voice said, 'Beautiful!' When the visage of the Pentagon appeared on the TV with a gaping and smoking hole in its side, that little voice had nearly taken me over, and I felt an urge to pump my fist in the air," Mr. Potvin wrote in the editorial.

The 44-year-old bookstore owner, who ran for municipal office in Vancouver in 2005, said he at first withheld the editorial, publishing it only after he was approached by others who felt the same way.

"This is a revolting confession," he wrote. "But it's what happened."

He continued: "I know lots of people were killed. But then again, I see lots of people getting killed whenever I turn the TV news on, and frankly, it doesn't really get to me any more....

"Let's face facts. If the news on the morning of September 11 was that 3,000 Tanzanians or Burmese had been killed, they wouldn't have broken in on regularly scheduled programming, or cancelled football games, and there'd be no conversation about it the next day."

Mr. Potvin said in a telephone interview last night that he is now skeptical that the events of 9/11 were entirely the work of terrorists.

"I have no idea what happened on that day, but it's certainly not the story that Washington propagates."

Mr. Potvin, who was recently acclaimed as a Green party candidate, is today meeting with voters to discuss "9/11 truth and its implications for Canadian foreign policy" at a downtown Vancouver cafe.

The Green party could not be reached for comment last night.

Krook@nationalpost.com

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rogt
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2007, 07:38:53 PM »

"Let's face facts. If the news on the morning of September 11 was that 3,000 Tanzanians or Burmese had been killed, they wouldn't have broken in on regularly scheduled programming, or cancelled football games, and there'd be no conversation about it the next day."

Do you consider this statement untrue?

Rog
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G M
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2007, 10:42:07 PM »

Like when the US pulled out of Vietnam, then the democrats in congress cut all aid to the south and then the communists killed millions of Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge killed million in Cambodia, yet you'll hear no regret from "peace activists" that were responsible. Is this what you are talking about?
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rogt
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2007, 01:21:13 PM »

GM,

What I'm asking is:

Quote
"Let's face facts. If the news on the morning of September 11 was that 3,000 Tanzanians or Burmese had been killed, they wouldn't have broken in on regularly scheduled programming, or cancelled football games, and there'd be no conversation about it the next day."

Do you consider this statement untrue?

Rog
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G M
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2007, 02:54:37 PM »

If multiple hijacked aircraft slammed into buildings in Africa or Asia, resulting in 3,000 deaths in one day, i'm sure it would be newsworthy and spur discussions in North America.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2007, 03:36:21 PM »

I'd like to add here that it wasn't just the fact of 3,000 people being killed.  It was also the particular targets which were chosen.  In addition to the WTC (significant not only in its own right but also because it was the second attempt at this particular target, which indicates a unusual degree of sustained focus) my understanding is that the plane that hit the Pentagon did so because the killer pilot couldn't steer well enough to hit the White House and the Pentagon was Plan B.

And what was the target for Flight 93?  The Capitol Building?  The nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island?

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G M
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2007, 03:46:53 PM »

The ugly truth is the film footage and pictures dictate media coverage. Even if no people had died on 9/11, it would have been on every media venue on the planet.
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rogt
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2007, 04:15:31 PM »

If multiple hijacked aircraft slammed into buildings in Africa or Asia, resulting in 3,000 deaths in one day, i'm sure it would be newsworthy and spur discussions in North America.

I'll grant that 3,000 people being killed in a single terrorist attack is a pretty exceptional event, but I don't think that alone can account for the saturation media coverage, scrolling lists of casualties, etc. we saw for weeks afterwards.  You'd have to have been living in a cave to not know about it.  When earthquakes killed 10,000+ in Iran or when the tsunami hit Southeast Asia and killed well over 100,000 people, was the media response even comparable?

The British medical journal The Lancet estimated (back in September) that 650,000+ Iraqis have been killed as a result of our invasion.  I was in London the day the report was released, so I don't know how this was covered in the US (although I can guess), but I can tell you this story dominated news in the UK for the entire week I was there.

Anyway, I would argue that while the extensive coverage of 9/11 was due to more than just the nationality of the targets, there is an unspoken assumption in most US news that American lives are more valuable than non-American lives.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 04:20:24 PM by rogt » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2007, 04:40:36 PM »

Before getting to the main point I note that the readings I saw found the Lancet's methodology extremely agenda driven.

As far as the main point:

1) Hot News Flash!  Apple falls to ground due to gravity!  Yes Americans care more about America and Americans than about other people-- just like just about everyone else on the planet cares more about their nation/tribe/etc

2) The declaration of 4th Generation War on the American homeland by world-wide Islamo-Fascism WAS and IS a big deal.
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G M
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2007, 05:08:38 PM »

****The BBC is one of the biggest Anti-American/hard left media entities since Pravda left Soviet control. As usual, the Beeb won't let the truth get in the way of a good story. I'd agree that US news covers US stories, but when I listen to BBC feeds, I don't care about the Crickets scores or how Manchester United did against Real Madrid.

Domestic violence murders happen constantly in the US, but they generally don't make national news unless the suspect was a former professional football player turned actor. Does that mean a woman murdered by someone other than O.J. Simpson is any less tragic? I'm assuming you (Rog) live in SoCal. If every violent crime and homicide in SoCal were on the news, there really wouldn't be time for non-news programming, much less sports and weather. I read a lot of international websites because US news sources tend not to carry a lot of news from outside America's borders.

As I said before, especially with television based media, film footage of violences spurs stories. This is why though thousands of good things have been done by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the only stories you usually see from the MSM are footage from IEDs and death tolls from press conferences because covering a school being built involves the reporter leaving the green zone, as well as the air conditioned hotel bar.****

100,000 Dead—or 8,000
How many Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war?
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Friday, Oct. 29, 2004, at 6:49 PM ET

The authors of a peer-reviewed study, conducted by a survey team from Johns Hopkins University, claim that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war. Yet a close look at the actual study, published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet, reveals that this number is so loose as to be meaningless.

The report's authors derive this figure by estimating how many Iraqis died in a 14-month period before the U.S. invasion, conducting surveys on how many died in a similar period after the invasion began (more on those surveys later), and subtracting the difference. That difference—the number of "extra" deaths in the post-invasion period—signifies the war's toll. That number is 98,000. But read the passage that cites the calculation more fully:

We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000) during the post-war period.

Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means. For the other 99.9 percent of you, I'll spell it out in plain English—which, disturbingly, the study never does. It means that the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.)

This isn't an estimate. It's a dart board.

Imagine reading a poll reporting that George W. Bush will win somewhere between 4 percent and 96 percent of the votes in this Tuesday's election. You would say that this is a useless poll and that something must have gone terribly wrong with the sampling. The same is true of the Lancet article: It's a useless study; something went terribly wrong with the sampling.

The problem is, ultimately, not with the scholars who conducted the study; they did the best they could under the circumstances. The problem is the circumstances. It's hard to conduct reliable, random surveys—and to extrapolate meaningful data from the results of those surveys—in the chaotic, restrictive environment of war.

However, these scholars are responsible for the hype surrounding the study. Gilbert Burnham, one of the co-authors, told the International Herald Tribune (for a story reprinted in today's New York Times), "We're quite sure that the estimate of 100,000 is a conservative estimate." Yet the text of the study reveals this is simply untrue. Burnham should have said, "We're not quite sure what our estimate means. Assuming our model is accurate, the actual death toll might be 100,000, or it might be somewhere between 92,000 lower and 94,000 higher than that number."

Not a meaty headline, but truer to the findings of his own study.

Here's how the Johns Hopkins team—which, for the record, was led by Dr. Les Roberts of the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health—went about its work. They randomly selected 33 neighborhoods across Iraq—equal-sized population "clusters"—and, this past September, set out to interview 30 households in each. They asked how many people in each household died, of what causes, during the 14 months before the U.S. invasion—and how many died, of what, in the 17 months since the war began. They then took the results of their random sample and extrapolated them to the entire country, assuming that their 33 clusters were perfectly representative of all Iraq.

This is a time-honored technique for many epidemiological studies, but those conducting them have to take great care that the way they select the neighborhoods is truly random (which, as most poll-watchers of any sort know, is difficult under the easiest of circumstances). There's a further complication when studying the results of war, especially a war fought mainly by precision bombs dropped from the air: The damage is not randomly distributed; it's very heavily concentrated in a few areas.

The Johns Hopkins team had to confront this problem. One of the 33 clusters they selected happened to be in Fallujah, one of the most heavily bombed and shelled cities in all Iraq. Was it legitimate to extrapolate from a sample that included such an extreme case? More awkward yet, it turned out, two-thirds of all the violent deaths that the team recorded took place in the Fallujah cluster. They settled the dilemma by issuing two sets of figures—one with Fallujah, the other without. The estimate of 98,000 deaths is the extrapolation from the set that does not include Fallujah. What's the extrapolation for the set that does include Fallujah? They don't exactly say. Fallujah was nearly unique; it's impossible to figure out how to extrapolate from it. A question does arise, though: Is this difficulty a result of some peculiarity about the fighting in Fallujah? Or is it a result of some peculiarity in the survey's methodology?

There were other problems. The survey team simply could not visit some of the randomly chosen clusters; the roads were blocked off, in some cases by coalition checkpoints. So the team picked other, more accessible areas that had received similar amounts of damage. But it's unclear how they made this calculation. In any case, the detour destroyed the survey's randomness; the results are inherently tainted. In other cases, the team didn't find enough people in a cluster to interview, so they expanded the survey to an adjoining cluster. Again, at that point, the survey was no longer random, and so the results are suspect.

Beth Osborne Daponte, senior research scholar at Yale University's Institution for Social and Policy Studies, put the point diplomatically after reading the Lancet article this morning and discussing it with me in a phone conversation: "It attests to the difficulty of doing this sort of survey work during a war. … No one can come up with any credible estimates yet, at least not through the sorts of methods used here."

The study, though, does have a fundamental flaw that has nothing to do with the limits imposed by wartime—and this flaw suggests that, within the study's wide range of possible casualty estimates, the real number tends more toward the lower end of the scale. In order to gauge the risk of death brought on by the war, the researchers first had to measure the risk of death in Iraq before the war. Based on their survey of how many people in the sampled households died before the war, they calculated that the mortality rate in prewar Iraq was 5 deaths per 1,000 people per year. The mortality rate after the war started—not including Fallujah—was 7.9 deaths per 1,000 people per year. In short, the risk of death in Iraq since the war is 58 percent higher (7.9 divided by 5 = 1.58) than it was before the war.

But there are two problems with this calculation. First, Daponte (who has studied Iraqi population figures for many years) questions the finding that prewar mortality was 5 deaths per 1,000. According to quite comprehensive data collected by the United Nations, Iraq's mortality rate from 1980-85 was 8.1 per 1,000. From 1985-90, the years leading up to the 1991 Gulf War, the rate declined to 6.8 per 1,000. After '91, the numbers are murkier, but clearly they went up. Whatever they were in 2002, they were almost certainly higher than 5 per 1,000. In other words, the wartime mortality rate—if it is 7.9 per 1,000—probably does not exceed the peacetime rate by as much as the Johns Hopkins team assumes.

The second problem with the calculation goes back to the problem cited at the top of this article—the margin of error. Here is the relevant passage from the study: "The risk of death is 1.5-fold (1.1 – 2.3) higher after the invasion." Those mysterious numbers in the parentheses mean the authors are 95 percent confident that the risk of death now is between 1.1 and 2.3 times higher than it was before the invasion—in other words, as little as 10 percent higher or as much as 130 percent higher. Again, the math is too vague to be useful.

There is one group out there counting civilian casualties in a way that's tangible, specific, and very useful—a team of mainly British researchers, led by Hamit Dardagan and John Sloboda, called Iraq Body Count. They have kept a running total of civilian deaths, derived entirely from press reports. Their count is triple fact-checked; their database is itemized and fastidiously sourced; and they take great pains to separate civilian from combatant casualties (for instance, last Tuesday, the group released a report estimating that, of the 800 Iraqis killed in last April's siege of Fallujah, 572 to 616 of them were civilians, at least 308 of them women and children).

The IBC estimates that between 14,181 and 16,312 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war—about half of them since the battlefield phase of the war ended last May. The group also notes that these figures are probably on the low side, since some deaths must have taken place outside the media's purview.

So, let's call it 15,000 or—allowing for deaths that the press didn't report—20,000 or 25,000, maybe 30,000 Iraqi civilians killed in a pre-emptive war waged (according to the latest rationale) on their behalf. That's a number more solidly rooted in reality than the Hopkins figure—and, given that fact, no less shocking.

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate. He can be reached at war_stories@hotmail.com.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2108887/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2007, 06:14:40 PM »

Great research skills GM!

So Rog, where did that 650,000 number you bandied about come from?

PS:  GM, he's from San Francisco-- where he's normal  cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2007, 06:25:20 PM »

Well, that explains a lot. Peer pressure is a bitch.
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rogt
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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2007, 07:43:13 PM »

Woof Marc,

The researchers' response to this particular article is posted on the Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancet_survey_of_mortality_before_and_after_the_2003_invasion_of_Iraq

Quote
Some skeptics criticized the relatively broad 95% confidence intervals (CI95) due to the relatively small number of clusters.

For instance, Fred Kaplan in an article on Slate.com described the confidence interval: "the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.) This isn't an estimate. It's a dart board."[11]

The authors responded by claiming that the phrase in parentheses in the above represents a poor understanding of the meaning of a statistical confidence interval because the central estimate of 98,000 was not chosen solely because it is "roughly at the halfway point". The probability distribution follows the normal distribution, with numbers near the central point estimate more likely to be accurate than numbers closer to either extreme. Roberts said, "this normal distribution indicates that we are 97.5% confident that more than 8,000 died, 90% confident more than 44,000 died and that the most likely death toll would be around 98,000,";[12] he said that many well-accepted statistics, such as the number killed under Saddam’s regime or the number dead from the 2005 tsunami, have a similarly broad CI due to small but statistically adequate sample sizes." He also questioned Kaplan's motives and accused him of altering quoted text and for focusing on one aspect of the report.

So how was this covered in the US last October?  Like I said, this was the number one topic of news for the entire week I was in London, and I'm guessing it still was after I left.  The Brits have more troops in Iraq than any other member of the "coalition", so they're not some bunch of America-haters, yet the total number of Iraqis killed is at least a topic for discussion in their news. 

You don't even hear it mentioned on US news, and Bush, Rumsfeld, and others have repeatedly stated that they don't bother keeping track of Iraqi casualties.  For that matter, we don't hear very much about US casualties either, and after the recent scandal the troops at Walter Reed hospital are officially forbidden to even talk to the press. 

But I'd say it's things like this that contribute to this idea that American lives are objectively more valuable than non-American lives.  There's a big difference between that and simply caring more about people from your own countries.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2007, 08:27:03 PM »

Ummm, still waiting for an answer to my query about where that 650,000 number you bandied about came from , , ,

As for your most recent post, I'm puzzled-- you said you weren't here, but you know that it wasn't discussed here-- even though I am able from memory to comment that I read that the data and its interpretation were suspect and GM was able at the drop of a cyber-hat post a three year old article that was directly on point?  Oy vey  rolleyes

"But I'd say it's things like this that contribute to this idea that American lives are objectively more valuable than non-American lives.  There's a big difference between that and simply caring more about people from your own countries."  huh rolleyes huh
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rogt
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2007, 08:48:44 PM »

Ummm, still waiting for an answer to my query about where that 650,000 number you bandied about came from , , ,

Oh, sorry.  From the same link I posted above:

"The second survey[2][3][4] published on 11 October 2006, estimated 654,965 excess deaths related to the war, or 2.5% of the population, through the end of June 2006. The new study applied similar methods and involved surveys between May 20 and July 10, 2006.[4] More households were surveyed, allowing for a 95% confidence interval of 392,979 to 942,636 excess Iraqi deaths."

When you said you considered the Lancet study's methodology "agenda driven" I assume you knew I meant that one.

Quote
As for your most recent post, I'm puzzled-- you said you weren't here, but you know that it wasn't discussed here-- even though I am able from memory to comment that I read that the data and its interpretation were suspect

From what I read, there was little discussion of it.  Can you tell me frist-hand what you saw/read or what kind of coverage it got here?

Quote
and GM was able at the drop of a cyber-hat post a three year old article that was directly on point? 

Did you read the researchers' response to that article, which I quoted in my last post? 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2007, 08:59:29 PM »

BEGIN quote

Quote CD
As for your most recent post, I'm puzzled-- you said you weren't here, but you know that it wasn't discussed here-- even though I am able from memory to comment that I read that the data and its interpretation were suspect
Rog
From what I read, there was little discussion of it.  Can you tell me frist-hand what you saw/read or what kind of coverage it got here?
Quote CD
and GM was able at the drop of a cyber-hat post a three year old article that was directly on point? 
Rog
Did you read the researchers' response to that article, which I quoted in my last post? 

END quote

The point in question at the moment is the basis of your assertion that it wasn't covered here given that you weren't here and both GM and I were familiar, even now a few years later, with the issue.  To this your response is , , , non-responsive.

And no, that it is three years later, I cannot cite the specific pieces that I read about it and no I do not accept your invitation to revisit this issue at this time.    smiley

Thank you for explaining the source of your 650k number.
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rogt
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2007, 09:13:42 PM »

and GM was able at the drop of a cyber-hat post a three year old article that was directly on point?
Quote
 
Did you read the researchers' response to that article, which I quoted in my last post? 

I would appreciate a response to this.
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G M
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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2007, 11:40:49 PM »

I read the researcher's response, and I read Fred Kaplan's response to the researcher's response. Would you like me to post all of it here? It's pretty "inside baseball", but we can parse through it if you'd like.
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