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INTRODUCTION

  • For about 25 of my 64 years as a writer and photographer, newspaper journalism seemed a promising career. But as my colleagues moved stealthily Rightward, I moved ever-more-openly Leftward, until eventually I was Left...outside. Permanently. Hence "Outside Agitator's Notebook," which evolved into the more closely focused "Dispatches from Dystopia." Under either name it was originally a regularly updated anthology of reports, analyses, commentaries, photographs and other anti-Capitalist testimony from the ecogenocidal dystopia that Neoliberal Capitalism -- our species' newest euphemism for resurrected Nazism -- has made of our world. But the life-threatening shock of a censorship incident (see "Probable Final Dispatches, End of Dispatches," 17 April 2020) has reduced it to far less frequent publication. Meanwhile our species' dystopian epicenter remains the post-humanitarian United States of America with its self-inflicted Moron Nation and its empire of global-conquest malevolence, the de facto Fourth Reich, the true birthdate of which will eventually be recognized – if indeed our species somehow miraculously survives the present era – as 22 November 1963. (¶)-Dispatches will nevertheless continue -- albeit on a far more relaxed schedule -- to chronicle our relentless subjugation by Capitalism as it (inevitably) reverts to its traditional might-makes-right savagery. Just as Capitalism previously transformed itself into Italian Fascism and German Nazism, Capitalism now matures into a Nazism of uniquely USian form and content. By examining the details of what is occurring, DfD shows how ours is a Dystopia characterized as much by the mindlessness of Moron Nation's Zieg-Heil-equivalent chanting of “USA! USA! USA!” as by the brutality such chanting invariably celebrates – the ecogenocidal atrocities the Capitalist Ruling Class perpetrates in the name of “profit,” “growth” and USian “Exceptionalism.” (¶)-Why “USian” rather than "American"? Because to call this exceptionally fascist empire “America” is to slander as fascists or Nazis all humanitarian-minded peoples of North and South America who valiantly and often fatally resist USiaNazi enslavement. And, yes, “humanitarian” versus “anti-humanitarian” are the only terms that adequately differentiate the two now eternally hostile subspecies into which Capitalism has finally divided Homo sapiens sapiens. On one side are those of us who cling to the so-called Golden Rule and its variants, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the ultimate form of which is Marxism's “from each according to ability, too each according to need.” On the other side are the moral imbeciles – Nazis, fascists, Ayn Rand disciples and all the other psychological zombies that are Capitalism's unique and uniquely apocalyptic spawn. (¶)-But what then is Capitalism? Though traditionally defined as economics alone, it is in fact the quintessential patriarchal ethos, the diabolical methodology of building a global empire by conquest and genocide both obvious and clandestine, with post-conquest world governance originally patterned after the despotic management of antebellum slave plantations. Capitalism is thus the forefather of fascism and Nazism, its only possible offspring. Behind its seductive cloak of euphemisms and Big Lies (“manifest destiny,” “easy credit,” “economic freedom,” “self-made man,” “entrepreneur,” “no down payment,” “rugged individualist,” “you too can be rich,” “free will,” etc. ad nauseam), Capitalism is the stench of burning flesh and rotting corpses; the shrieks of napalmed children; the despair of families evicted into the permanent degradation, filth, deadly danger of untreated disease and constant fear of enslavement by arrest or kidnapping that defines USian homelessness; the final agonies of maliciously abandoned patients condemned to death by the deliberately genocidal costs of health care. (¶)-Ultimately Capitalism is the boundless Evil of global dictatorship by the Christian white male One Percent, a tiny, ruthless cabal of Capitalist aristocrats for whom infinite greed is ultimate virtue and for whom the snuff-film sadism of class warfare provides the ultimate entertainment. Under Capitalism's Fukushima-deadly, Ayn Rand credo of serial-killer moral imbecility – absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent and its Ruling Class vassals, zero-tolerance oppression and bottomless poverty for all the rest of us – these obscenely wealthy despots now impose on us their increasingly overt paradigm of Nazi governance. Not that We the (formerly exempt) People should be surprised; the merciless regimen that is now ours is how the Capitalists have always tyrannized our sisters and brothers in America's First Nations, in the USian ghettos and in all the Capitalist victim realms abroad. (¶)-Moreover much of our plight is of our own making. We the People long ago surrendered to our Capitalist overlords. We submit to denial of health care that is everywhere else on this planet deemed a human right; we submit to enslavement by debt; to the outsourcing of our jobs; to bankruptcy; to foreclosure; to eviction and homelessness; to imprisonment in numbers hitherto unequaled in human history; and most of all to the biggest Big Lie of all – the suicidal delusion we somehow remain free despite the Capitalists' no-longer-deniable theft of our liberty and their snickering revocation of the few prefaces to economic democracy our now-powerless unions had once managed to win. Our confinement is ensured, not just by our cowardice but by the invisible but inescapable cage of total surveillance: the electronic barbed wire that has reduced our entire planet to a monstrous concentration camp. (¶)-Cast off as “surplus human capital” when we are deemed no longer exploitable for profit, we are then methodically exterminated. We are slaughtered as cannon-fodder in the empire's endless wars of profit and conquest; we are murdered by the bullets and truncheons of the federalized and militarized local police; we are fatally poisoned by Capitalism's malignant toxification of our environment; we are slain by denials of health care and social services that are in fact deliberate, euphemism-cloaked policies of slow-motion genocide.   (¶)-Meanwhile our overlords pornographically multiply their own wealth by knowingly destroying the planetary conditions upon which all sentient life depends. More recently – as if to demonstrate the infinite magnitude of their Evil by provoking unsurvivable thermonuclear apocalypse (and not coincidentally in fulfillment of a malevolent scheme by Adolf Hitler himself) – they have imposed on the Ukraine the anti-Russian war-mongering and anti-Jewish violence of an avowedly Nazi puppet government. And now, in the person of Donald Trump and his appointees, the USian tyrannosaur has come home to gorge on its final and terminally ironic meal, the denizens of Moron Nation itself, the people who by their prideful ignorance and hatefulness loosed this demonically insatiable monster on the entire world. (¶)-But in these times our ability to effectively resist is obstructed not only by the USian regime of inescapable surveillance, but by the dreadful undertow of Moron Nation's intellectual and psychological paralysis: the deliberate deceptions and outright ignorance fostered by the Capitalist “education” system; by Capitalism's “mainstream media” propaganda machine (which is owned by the same smirking plutocrats whose vassal politicians so gleefully oppress us); and by the physical and psychic terrorism of Capitalism's manufactured crises. (¶)-Yet resist we must. As always, art – sometimes even unwittingly – depicts our present circumstances and so foretells our future. And as it says in a breathtakingly apt, wrenchingly poignant anthem grown increasingly popular far beyond its video-game origin, “shadows fall and hope is gone; steel your heart; the dawn will come.”

For More Information...

Fire Survivors

  • After the Demonstration Failed
    These are some of the very few photographs that survived the 1983 fire that destroyed my life's work, not just most of my pictures but nearly all my writing including three books in progress and all the associated research. Some of these photos shown here escaped the flames because they were with me in my portfolio case; others were produced digitally from negatives dug out of the rubble a year later. The images of obvious print-quality were made on DuPont Varilure paper, which had the highest silver content of all commercial papers and thus produced such intense tonalities, they often seemed illuminated by their own internal light sources. But that sort of photographic quality is now forever beyond our common reach, either gone like Varilure or so prohibitively expensive it is available only to the obscenely pampered dilettantes who produce the aesthetic pabulum favored by the One Percent. Photography as I knew it is dead -- as dead as my career was after the fire and its ensuing clinical depression -- but this body of work provides a glimpse of what was lost and what might have been. All photos copyright Loren Bliss.

Sandwiches for Mind and Spirit

  • Goddess emergent (1), 1968 (blue variant c. 2009)
    In photography, a sandwich is a collage made by printing two or more negatives simultaneously. Collage is a medium that has fascinated me for as long as I can remember -- probably since I was a child experimenting with finger paints, glue and newspapers -- but I never took it seriously until, sometime in my early 20s and still thinking myself a painter-to-be, I discovered the works of Jasper Johns. Now it seems to me making sandwiches is to conventional photography what poetry is to prose: not just an intellectual exercise, but the opening of a doorway to the Mysterious Otherness I know as the Muse, from whom (sometimes in fulfilment of that McLuhanesque notion of art as prophecy) the currents of real creation invariably flow, whether swift and startling as a lightening strike or slow and soft as cottonwood seeds adrift on subtle summer air. (Collage and photographic sandwiches copyright Loren Bliss 2009-2012.)

Graffiti: a Sampler

  • Gun Graffiti
    When I returned to New York City in 1965 I was immediately impressed by the contrast between the graffiti I had encountered "out in America" -- the South and Middle West -- and what I saw in Manhattan. While the form and content of graffiti is sociologically important – possibly a semiotic indicator without peer -- I found the graffiti of Manhattan singularly appealing, the intellectual and aesthetic equivalents of a long-overdue breath of fresh air, and within a few days I had begun documenting it with 35mm and 120 film. (The opening photograph of this series was obviously made far from Manhattan, but I included it to establish an essential contrast.) Many more details about this particular body of work, which I briefly resumed when I went back to the City again in 1983, then abandoned after that year's career-terminating fire, are in my post of January 7, 2010. Yes I regard the best urban graffiti as genuine art, but too much of it, alas, is nothing more than a human variant on the mammalian practice of marking territory with spurts of urine: "I wuz here." All photos by Loren Bliss, copyright dates as noted.

Faces of the Fight

  • Health Care For All!
    Supporters of health care reform and a much smaller number of health care reform's opponents -- each faction identified by its picket-signs -- gathered for the "town hall" meeting called by U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) in Lakewood on August 25, 2009. Originally set for Lakewood City Hall, the event was rescheduled and moved to Lang Stadium to accommodate an unprecedented mobilization of pro-reform people. Cops estimated the crowd at about 2500. Photos by Loren Bliss copyright 2009.

RELEVANT WEBSITES

  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    A vital website that is often our only source of accurate information about the terrifying effort to impose zero-tolerance Christian theocracy on the United States.
  • Best Site for Suppressed Assassination Facts
    The late Mae Brussell was our most relentless researcher into the murder of President John Kennedy and many other such outrages. Her legacy is a damning list of the USian Empire's darkest secrets.
  • Best, Most Thorough Documentation on the CIA's Destruction of the 1960s Counterculture
    Ms. Brussel outdid herself in her nobody-dares-publish-it investigative report exposing how the CIA's Operation Chaos destroyed the 1960s Counterculture. (My assumption is the Agency, with its Ivy-League analysts and their knowledge of pagan mythology, recognized the Counterculture's anti-patriarchal, resurrection-of-the-Goddess direction, understood it as a far greater threat to Capitalism than Marxism and responded with the murderous efficiency inherited from Gestapo predecessors.)
  • Communist Labor Party
    Communism as it is evolving in the United States after the murder of the American Dream and the slaying of the U.S. experiment in representative democracy.
  • Communist Labor Party's Harry Bridges Club (Facebook)
    Communism as it is evolving in Tacoma, Washington.
  • Consortium News
    Superb reporting and analysis. Founder/Editor Robert Parry exposed Reagan's Iran-Contra scheming and has been persecuted by the capitalists ever since.
  • der Spiegel
    Mainstream German newspaper that is often a valuable source of news about Western European politics.
  • Global Research
    A genuinely independent news site -- neither definitively Left nor Right -- that often covers stories suppressed by U.S. Mainstream Media, which (let us never forget), is owned by the same One Percenters who own the Democratic (sic) and Republican parties and thereby control all U.S. governance at every level.
  • Gun Owners of America
    Fanatically hard-Right (and often ChristoFascist as well), it is nevertheless the best source for information about the One Percent's efforts to forcibly disarm the U.S. 99 Percent.
  • International Marxist Archive
    All of Marxism's defining texts defiantly uploaded to the Internet by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as its final contribution to humanity's eternal struggle for economic democracy -- without which there is no democracy at all.
  • Popular Resistance
    A daily newsletter featuring essential tactical and strategic analysis plus vitally informative reports of news suppressed by the "mainstream media" propaganda machine.
  • Rewire
    Probably the most in-depth coverage of women's issues, LGBTQ issues and general human rights issues available on the U.S. Internet today, bolstered by decidedly professional reportage and editing.
  • RT
    Formerly "Russia Today," it accurately covers U.S. news the "mainstream media" propaganda machine routinely suppresses. Its notable work includes the nation's best coverage of the Occupy Movement (2011-2012), and the ongoing struggles of Black Lives Matter, Water Protectors and other such groups against the Empire's now-openly-fascist policies of homeland governance.
  • Second Amendment Foundation
    Unmistakably conservative, it is also the best source on legal action in defense of our right to keep and bear arms.
  • Socialist Worker
    An informative Marxist website in the United States, with news reporting and analysis that is usually far superior to anything fed us by capitalism's "mainstream media" propaganda machine.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
    Best source of information on the burgeoning plague of Nazi, ChristoFascist and KuKluxKlan-type hate groups in the USian imperial homeland.
  • TASS, the Russian Wire Service
    Vital reading, especially now that the USian Empire's plans for global conquest have rekindled the so-called Cold War.
  • Theocracy Watch
    Cornell University's in-depth source on the escalating campaign to impose zero-tolerance Christian theocracy on the USian Homeland. It is flawed only by its refusal to recognize the Democratic (sic) Party's mostly clandestine collaboration with the openly theocratic Republicans -- a collaboration revealed in frightening detail by Jeff Sharlet's "The Family: the Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" (Harper: 2008).
  • TruthOut
    Generally reliable crowd-funded news site sometimes featuring cogent sociological analysis by Henry Giroux. Discussion thread's potential limited by Discus, which discourages posting of comments written off-site.
  • Ultra Violet
    Perhaps the most powerful racially integrated gender-equality organization in the United States.
  • World Socialist Web Site
    The day's news, typically with the most in-depth Marxist analysis available on the U.S. Internet -- this despite constant interference by the Empire's privatized, for-profit censorship apparatus.
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09 May 2017

Comments

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Daniel

Hi Loren. This is "Radscal" from the RSN site. We haven't "seen" you in quite some time, and a number of us have commented that we miss you. Did you get fed up with the censorship and jump ship? I think a lot of people have.

BTW: This is another great article. There's a powerful groundswell for the Expanded Medicare For All plan that most USians have wanted for decades. Even liberal-class spokesman Eugene Robinson thinks the TrumpCare fiasco will lead to universal coverage.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republicans-are-accidentally-paving-the-way-for-single-payer-health-care/2017/05/08/3fc40ab2-3422-11e7-b4ee-434b6d506b37_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.5d62be4182de

Loren Bliss

Hello, Radscal. Thank you for the compliments. As to what obtained with RSN, I wrote a blog piece about it early this year: http://www.dispatchesfromdystopia.net/2017/01/a-not-so-fond-farewell-to-reader-supported-news.html
Hope you and yours are well and thriving, likewise for all the other (former?) RSN folks -- the dialogues with whom I sorely miss.

Daniel

Wow, Loren! I wish I’d read your 1/15/17 article at the time. I had a link to a different website for you - which had not been updated in a while - and only stumbled onto this one after the RSN commenter going by “John S. Browne” suggested I contact you, and so did another web search.

First let me say that I’m thrilled to see you still writing and doing so with the same verve and vigor I so admired. I hope your health is as well as can be hoped.

I had no idea (but am not at all surprised) that it was apparently a comment from you that began the RSN censorship of comments, which is ongoing. I’d noted that the original “reason” they gave was criticism of the site, but that was disingenuously changed to concern over “ad hominem” attacks by commenters on other commenters.

There has been a huge drop-off in comments, with you not being the only “regular” who has disappeared completely from RSN. Economagic and librarian1984 and I still comment, but not with much frequency. (And I’m honored that you named me along with them as people whose comments you miss).

Would you like me to invite them to visit this site? My wife and I have entered what looks to be a permanent phase of “economic embarrassment” to the point that we are having to choose which of our prescription medications to fill each month, so I’m afraid I don’t see being able to help you support this site in the near future. But if you’d like more traffic, I’d be happy to pass a link on to some of my online lefty friends.

Your great historical knowledge and soundly Marxist perspective are more needed than ever.

ps, Please feel free to refer to me as "danny" if you'd like.

Loren Bliss

Hello again, Danny...

First my empathy and condolences to you and your wife for your victimization by Capitalism's deliberately genocidal economics. As our circumstances so painfully demonstrate, even those of us on Social Security retirement income – as with anyone else the Capitalists deem no longer exploitable for profit – have long been amongst the favored targets of the Ruling Class program of slow-motion genocide, i.e., intentionally deadly cuts in life-sustaining stipends and services as typified by the Clintons' knowingly murderous “welfare reform” c. 1995-96. Bottom line, you and your wife have no need to feel even the slightest twinge of “embarrassment” at the fact the Capitalist swine now have you in their sights. Membership in the proletariat is the modern “red badge of courage,” especially for someone as knowledgeably articulate as you are.

For the record, it was the Obamanoids' malicious reductions in all such subsidies – not any atrocities by the Bush League or proposals by der Trumpster– that slashed food stamp allocations for seniors, in my case by a total of 88 percent, cumulatively from $130 per month in 2012 to $16 per month by the end of 2016, though this year my threat of a formal appeal raised my monthly allowance back to $30 [Big Deal], for an adjusted loss of 77 percent. As I have reported, these reductions, plus the Obamanoids' 88 percent slashing of my Medicare Part D subsidy (from $24 per month to $4 per month), plus the Washington state Neoliberals' (aka Obamanoid Democrats) permanent elimination of a low-income telephone subsidy that paid me $17 per month, are a devastating loss when one is living, as I am, on a Social Security pension of less than $1300 per month.

Thus like so many others I have been forced to radically reduce my grocery expenses to enable me to continue paying my medical expenses and prescription drug bills. For example, I have substituted 99-cent-per-loaf junk-food white bread for the genuine article, which costs $3 to $5 per loaf. I have also made unprocessed (and therefore notably cheaper but far more nutritious) long-grain brown rice a primary staple. I have reduced my consumption of fresh vegetables and fruit to only the most occasional purchases of bananas (55 cents per pound), potatoes (five pounds for $1.59) and onions (though only when they are 60 cents per pound or less). I buy frozen vegetables in fill-my-freezer bulk, though only when they are priced for clearance, typically at $1 (or less) per 16-ounce package; I am similarly price-conscious in my even-less-frequent purchases of canned fruits and vegetables, a choice further downsized by how the latter are often prohibitively salted. Since I am citybound by lack of transport (my car died in 2009 and I am thus no longer able to fish or hunt), I have eliminated all meat save lean ground beef and very occasional treats of canned chicken breast (which due to the wastage inevitable with fresh chicken or turkey is way cheaper than the fresh alternatives). I've replaced the $7-$8-per-pound breakfast bacon (admittedly an indulgence even before the near-total elimination of my food stamps), with the you-doan-wanna-know-what's-in-it Spam, which is at least adequately tasty to overcome the objection that occasionally arises from my imagination: might Spam's name be derived from some World War II military acronym, perhaps “Meat Substitute, Slaughterhouse Salvage Prepared As”?

I can imagine such a product-name revised and condensed by an obviously savvy advertising copywriter who was probably as dyslexic as I am, the transformation from “MSSPA” to the dyslexically misread "SSPAM" ("Damn! That's IT!") thereby spawning its present, calculatedly catchy label. (Yes, even decades before computers, Spam was a four-letter word, especially amongst military personnel.) Of course – corporate libel-lawyers please take note – anything I have written about Spam beyond “adequately tasty” and a somewhat tongue-in-cheek recollection from my own military years (1959-1965) is naught but fanciful fiction and is clearly labeled as such even before this final disclaimer.

All that said, the notion of soliciting financial support via Outside Agitator's Notebook – or its present-day, far-more-aptly named incarnation as Dispatches from Dystopia – literally never occurred to me until you, Danny, implicitly suggested it, for which my heartfelt (and obviously needy) thanks.

Notably, it was very generous but anonymous-by-choice readers – to whom as always my eternal gratitude – whose surprise beneficence saved my eyesight after I disclosed I could not afford the approximately $800 in Medicare-won't-cover-it copays essential for correction of a post-cataract-surgery complication that would have permanently blinded me if left untreated [for which see my post of 11 January 2016]. But any broader idea of trying to make this a paying website, as by soliciting regular donations from readers, never entered my alleged mind, either beforehand or afterward. Essentially, I feared such solicitations would inflict some bourgeois sense of obligation I was loathe to encourage because I feared it would discourage readership. Moreover, because I have always regarded this writing as a personal expression of the core Marxian ethos – “From each according to ability; to each according to need” – it had never occurred to me the “from each” might also apply to my readers.

But now there's an almost eldritch synchronicity happening. Just hours before your comment, a new acquaintance who had never read DfD, expressed the hope, when I handed him a card with its URL, this site would generate enough income to keep me alive "a few more years." A Party comrade expressed similar hope as she hugged me congratulations for having survived the sepsis by which I was hospitalized from 28 March through 1 April (a span of days that, perhaps significantly, connects my birth-date with All Fools Day).

Hence – most emphatically yes – please do spread word of DfD as widely as you choose. Yes again, I will most assuredly not reject any voluntary donations from readers.

And yes of course I would welcome Librarian1984 and Economagic as DfD regulars; Economagic's knowledge of economic theory is far more extensive than mine and thus helps keep me informed, thoughtful and above all honest, while I have a particular fondness for Librarian because her erudite consciousness so often reminds me of the wisdom that characterized a former long-term lover, a fetchingly beautiful woman whose physical loveliness was equaled by its spiritual and ideological counterparts in her decision, during her earliest 30s, to exchange a most-promising Madison Avenue advertising career for a hazardous but infinitely more meaningful life as a nurse-practitioner on United Nations post-disaster medical-rescue teams.

As a concluding topic, probably unnecessary in your case but hopefully useful to others, here are a few tactical suggestions for all of us in such circumstances as afflict you, your wife and myself:

Firstly, remember the ultimate function of any state or federal welfare bureaucrat today is not to help us, but rather to find some defensible rationale for denying us help.

Secondly – though what success one might achieve by following these suggestions will be determined entirely by where you live – don't hesitate to contact local food banks. Also contact the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), the AFL/CIO's often-downplayed but far more militant, aggressive and effective counterpart to the Republican-dominated American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which is nevertheless also worth contacting. Both groups can sometimes steer you to helpful programs the welfare bureaucrats routinely conceal. Though if AARP's functionaries respond with bourgeois bigotry, as they occasionally do, remember it's a GOPorker front organization and sometimes behaves accordingly.

Finally, and to complete this (apologetically) long missive, there are often – again depending where you live – local counterparts to the determinedly helpful folks at Pierce County's Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), which here in Tacoma has many times proven itself an invaluable source of vital information.

My best wishes,
once more with thanks,
Loren

PS: Given RSN's tragically ongoing captivity by the Hillaryites and Obamanoids, the sites on which I've become dependent for accurate reporting are Consortiumnews.com, PopularResistance.com, Global Research News (http://www.globalresearch.ca/), Rewire (https://rewire.news/), Socialist Worker and Black Agenda Report. I also get email from the (mostly Millennial and therefore often unabashedly anti-Capitalist) feminist organization UltraViolet, for which email I would recommend signing up, not the least because this is the group orchestrating the long-overdue purge of FOX's myriad misogynists.

Scott A. Weir

Hi Loren,

I'm glad to see you're still alive and still writin' and fightin'. You can probably guess how I found you.

Loren Bliss

Thank you, Scott. As I told Danny, I am going to try a new format of much-more-frequent posting, hopefully to fill some of the gap created by the apparent co-optation of RSN and Common Dreams by the Hillaryites and Obamanoids. (Though both sites do indeed now seem to be trying to restore their pre-election credibility.)

Goddess willing and the creek don't rise, I should have a new "Dispatches" up by tomorrow, Monday at the latest. The uncertain schedule is due to the fact I am in mid-production of the monthly newsletter I edit for the 90-unit senior housing complex in which I dwell. (Being "editor" means I also do all the photography, about half the writing and all the production work save the actual printing.)

Anyway, again thanks; it's damn good to be back in touch.

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