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Corrupt US System

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    Posted: 30 Apr 2017 at 02:30
I've posted my opinion on a number of occasions that I believe that the American electoral and judicial systems are corrupt, and there are other areas that are corrupt too, but I'll confine my comments on this thread to electoral and judicial.

Electoral
In the USA, only those with access to vast amounts of wealth can aspire to be the President of the United States of America.
The money comes from somewhere and with it comes a quid pro quo. People who donate millions of dollars towards a presidential election don't do it out of a sense of charity, it's done with a sense of "what's in it for me?" And so the corruption begins.
This chain of events is replicated down the line to almost every level of American government, to local town Mayor. And so does the sense of obligation to those who have funded campaigns, pulled strings.
This is, of course, an abbreviation of the process, but it's accurate enough for this thread I think.

Judicial
The highest Law Officer in the country is the Attorney General, a political appointment, and common in every western country. What is not common is the appointment of Supreme Court Judges on the say so of the President.
There is in Western philosophy, something called "the seperation of powers",  a political doctrine of constitutional law under which the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) are kept separate to prevent abuse of power. Obvously appointment of judges should not be at the behest of one man.
On down the line, Lower Court Judges, District Attorneys etc are elected, and are done so with aid in funding and support by the rich and powerful, again, quid pro quo.
Because they are elected, District Attorneys have a vested interest in conviction rates, and in most states have managed to inveigle themselves into oversight of police investigations. Again a pollution of the seperation of powers.
Police Chiefs in the larger cities and towns are apointed by the Mayor-another pollution of the seperation of powers-and owe their jobs to the mayors, quid pro quo.
In the smaller jurisdictions, the Police Chiefs are elected, again with the support of the local rich and powerful, quid pro quo, and their jobs, again, are owed to other people who must be appeased.
Which ever way it's viewed, everyone owes someone a buck, a very large buck, and it's there to be repaid on call. How on earth can it be called a fair and democratic system? Answer, it can't.
More than in most western countries, the rich and powerful controls the government in almost every aspect, and for the reasons stated above, the government of the USA is powerless to do anything about it.
The only way ordinary Americans will see a fair and democratic government is by a very, very radical change to the system. (IMHO).




Edited by toyomotor - 30 Apr 2017 at 02:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2017 at 03:46
Can't disagree that corruption exists but I worry less about America than other places such as Macedonia. Although maybe Friday Night Fights in Washington DC would be honest at least. 



 


Edited by Vanuatu - 30 Apr 2017 at 03:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2017 at 08:49
I tend to worry more about the US because of it's place as the free world's leader.

The USA exerts such a massive influence on so many countries, and is the envy of so many others, that the warts tend to go un-noticed, and they shouldn't. The American people deserve better than that.

But, like so many other countries, the people have grown up with a system that they have grown to accept without question, and that's where the danger lies.

We must always question.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2017 at 23:26
I can understand that but lately in US 'questioning' has turned into mob violence like at the University of Berkeley California. Conservative speakers are being turned away bc students have been allowed to cause damage to public property including fires and busting out windows and doors. No arrests! That's bc the liberal professors are feeding into this hysteria The Sky is Falling!

This questioning didn't exist in the last administration of course. 

Heh! College Students Hated Obama Policies When Credited To Trump


  Oh boy the snowflakes are not going to be happy. They don’t like to be confused, it makes them think. College used to be about learning to think and ask questions, but sadly today it’s about learning to conform with progressive politics. On the front line of exposing the truth about today’s colleges is Campus Reform…and they just did it again did it again.

The brilliant folks at Campus Reform did just that this past week, wandering down to the campus of George Mason University to speak with students about the first 100 days of the Trump era. In an effort to understand whether students really did disagree with Trump’s policies, or if they were simply opposed to the man himself, Campus Reform added a twist on their interviews with the students. Instead of simply asking the students how they thought Trump was doing, they listed out the specific policies and asked what students thought of those. However, what Campus Reform didn’t tell the students was that the policies they were asking about were actually Obama policies during HIS first 100 days, and not Trump’s at all.

Not surprisingly Campus Reform found was that the students HATED Obama’s policies… when they thought that they were Trump’s policies. So I guess the answer is they were against the man himself.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2017 at 01:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2017 at 04:32
Mob violence, regardless of the cause, is to be condemned. In many cases, I wonder if these fools even know the real reason for the original protest-they join in for the violence and the chance of looting and mayhem-anarchy.

All too often we see from around the world, this faction or that faction rioting in order, they say, to get their point across. But it doesn't gel in their tiny minds that law abiding, thinking people will abhor the violence and probably support the opposite view anyway.

I don't need to go over my thoughts on Donald Trump, but mob violence at his rallies is not the way to go.

As for the students who dislike the Obama policies when presented as Trump policies, they're displaying their immature ignorance of the political world around them. Their opinions don't count.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2017 at 23:52
On the contrary, their opinions do count (whoever they are), maybe they "shouldn't" count, but in a democratic system, ignorance is a powerful force.  Ignorance and arrogance together are an exceptionally powerful force.

Supreme Court justices are famous for not do what their appointing President wants.  I think your concerns about American corruption are overblown.  Not that there is not corruption, but not compared to Zimbabwe or Myanmar or Venezuela.  Sweden has the least corruption.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2017 at 02:47
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

On the contrary, their opinions do count (whoever they are), maybe they "shouldn't" count, but in a democratic system, ignorance is a powerful force.  Ignorance and arrogance together are an exceptionally powerful force.

Supreme Court justices are famous for not do what their appointing President wants.  I think your concerns about American corruption are overblown.  Not that there is not corruption, but not compared to Zimbabwe or Myanmar or Venezuela.  Sweden has the least corruption.

Ignorance should not be a guiding force. Politically, ignorance in dangerous, as I think your President is learning, as is arrogance.

I think I already wrote that I was more concerned about the USA because of it's place in the world pecking order. Sure, Supreme Court Judges don't always kow tow to the President, but they know that their continued employment is in his gift.

Of course there are countries with almost total criminal corruption, but, imo, the US system that I've mentioned is systemic corruption which has grown to be accepted as the norm.

Perhaps I should write a post as a precis showing the difference between our two systems, it may help you see better what I mean.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2017 at 06:48

franciscosan

 

The Australian System-basics.

 

Anyone in Australia who can raise about $AUD270.00 can run for Elections. What they spend on publicity etc is up to them, but I can assure you, most do not  spend milions and millions of dollars.

The Federal and State Governments are elected at separate elections, by popular vote, with a system of preferences flowing down from other candidates. For example, my first preference is Joe, my second is Jim and my third vote goes to Bob. Those votes flow down to them when I receive sufficient votes to be elected, or not. It's a bit more complicated than that, but you get the picture.

The leader of the party which wins government is automatically the Prime Minister=President. At State level=Governor.

The Prime Minister is not the Head of State, as we are a Constitutional Monarchy, the Head of State is Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and the actual role is carried out by the Governor General-who is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. At state level, the state governors fill the same role.

The political leaders, at state level are called the Premiers, and they are elected in the same manner as the Prime Minister, but state governors have no role in the Armed forces.

 

The Judiciary

The Supreme Court Judges, at both State and Federal level are selected by, and answerable to parliament only, not the government.

 

Prosecutorial Function

The highest Law Officer at each of National and State level is the Attorney General, a politician, who oversees the running of the department, but has no control over its day to day activities. The Head of Agency is The Director of Prosecutions. He/she is the sole arbiter of which prosecutions proceed and which won't. The prosecutorial staff has no role in the investigation of crime-at all!

 

Law Enforcement/Investigation

In both jurisdictions, the Commissioner of Police is the Head of Agency, with a politically appointed Minister for Police. The Commissioner of Police has total operational control of the department, and it is police officers who control all investigations.

 

As I've mentioned previously, anyone in Australia can aspire to high public office. A former Prime Minister has been a Senior Constable of Police (=Senior Patrolman-two stripes) before entering politics. One of our currently more powerful Senators is a single mother ex Australian Regular Army Corporal.

 

Our Senate contains a number of Independent members who, when they get together, can cause the government some serious headaches.

 

Now, I'm not saying that there isn't any corruption in our governments. Of course there is, but it's not,imo, systemic in the same way as in the US system. It's individual’s rorting Travel Allowances or getting involved in Insider Trading with their mates in industry. The system roots them out, they're prosecuted and usually imprisoned.

 






Edited by toyomotor - 02 May 2017 at 06:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2017 at 22:57
I remember for years it seemed Australia was voted "Best place in the world to live." Then couple years ago, Sweden took it away from Aussies. I'm betting that Euro migration deteriorates Sweden's lead and Australia will be judged best again. That whole part of the world is so attractive I guess it's just very different, truly.
Australia has the best of the old world and the new, without centuries old political monopolies crippling quality of life. Good post. 
  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2017 at 00:52
A lot of poisonous vermin in Australia and the surrounding waters.  What is that spider called, the real aggressive one?  Jelly fish galore.  Rock fish.  The crocodile hunter got done in by a manta ray, maybe he teased one critter too many.  But, I am sure there are many nice places in Australia.

I am glad you like your system toyomotor.  There is corruption in our system, but I would not say it is corrupt.  The founding father's believed in playing special interest groups off of each other (Madison, Federalist Papers), instead of trying to do away with them altogether.  The stakes are much higher in America, then they are in Australia (I imagine) but because America is more populous, and more powerful, militarily and economically.  It gets complicated, and it gets even more complicated with money.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2017 at 03:04
franciscosan

Quote A lot of poisonous vermin in Australia and the surrounding waters.  What is that spider called, the real aggressive one?  Jelly fish galore.  Rock fish.  The crocodile hunter got done in by a manta ray, maybe he teased one critter too many.

You really are a glass half empty person, aren't you. And you're last sentence above is highly offensive. Like the USA doesn't have rattlesnakes, sharks, wolves and bears, all of which are capable of killing a human?

Quote There is corruption in our system, but I would not say it is corrupt. 

For the reasons I've outlined, I say it is corrupt, not necessarily all of the people, as it's the system that they've been brought up in and know no better.

Quote The stakes are much higher in America, then they are in Australia (I imagine) but because America is more populous, and more powerful, militarily and economically.

American people are less entitled to an open, honest system of government than Australians and British?

Quote  It gets complicated, and it gets even more complicated with money.
I agree. All it takes for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing, and that's precisely what they've done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2017 at 17:53
Let's say you get pulled over in the United States, if you appear to be 'somebody,' there is probably a greater chance that you could talk your way out of a ticket, than if you are an 'undesirable' (my words).  But, you cannot buy your way out, or bribe your way out and any suggestion that you could is probably going to be taken in the worst possible way, unlike, say, in Nigeria.  Is it a form of corruption, well yes, but a light form.  Do people with high priced lawyers and lobbyists get paid attention to more, yes.  That means that if you really do something heinous, you can get a high priced lawyer to represent you pro-bono, but if you do something run of the mill, you are probably on your own or public defender.  The American system is the best justice that money can buy, of course a good PR agent helps too.  Lobbyists tend to know what they are talking about, even while minimizing the possibility of risk.  Activists have a lot of concerns, but often have more fear than facts.
I am not sure that they do nothing, they might not do what _you_ want them to do, but that is not nothing.  But, if you are feeling like they are doing nothing, you might gird up thy loins, and enter the fray.  Beam in thine eye and so forth.

Why are you offended by me saying there are a lot of poisonous critters in Australia?  I had a friend who was fearful and fascinated by spiders and such, and he would talk about Australia, he never went there, he is gone now.  Yes, there are rattlers and coral snakes in the US, and tarantulas and black widows.  But their poisons are relatively mild.  Part of people's fear of poisonous animals is not how common they are, but how deadly they are.  Vanuatu said how lovely Australia was supposed to be, and I said, yah but it has quite a few poisonous animals.  If that is something you're scared of, than that is a consideration regarding moving there.  If you don't like that judgment, then blame all those Animal Specials on TV that show off Australia's unique fauna.


Edited by franciscosan - 04 May 2017 at 18:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2017 at 01:49
franciscosan

Once again you completely miss the entire point that I'm making. I'm not talking about Traffic Police, lobbyist or protestors.

I'm not talking about pro bono lawyers.

I'm talking about the broad system of government. Please read what I've written.

Read what I wrote in the follow up post on the Australian system as comparison to the US system.

And if you had read my post, you would have seen that I specifically referred to your last sentence in relation to the death of Steve Irwin. It was distasteful in the extreme, and, to me, offensive.

Quote  If you don't like that judgment, then blame all those Animal Specials on TV that show off Australia's unique fauna.

What a load of tripe, so we don't ever travel to the African continent, or the Americas or to Asia? Don't try to justify your garbage with excuses like this.



Edited by toyomotor - 05 May 2017 at 01:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2017 at 04:19
I think that wild life should be left alone and given space, animals do not like humans poking at them.  Steve Irwin made a living disturbing the wildlife.  Maybe you can justify it as educational, but harassing wildlife is not good for that same wildlife.  Now he knew that he was taking a risk in doing so, and I assume that he took precautions when he did it.  As far as I see it, he poked at one too many critters, and the critter poked back.  I feel a little bad for him and his family, but there is a kind of symmetry in what happened.  As far as I can tell, he was a nice guy, unless maybe if you were a critter and wanted just to be left alone.
Or maybe you think that we are doing penguins a favor by strapping cameras to their backs, or tagging birds, eventually scientific data like that might help us help them, but in the mean time, human interference is just making their lives more difficult.  We like to think we are 'scientifically' helping, but how much of our help is for "raising awareness" in other words, playing tourist in the animal world.

What I see is that you like your system of government, and that is good.  What I also see is that you seem to be ignorant of the American system of government, something that you have admitted in the past.  I am trying to come up with cases of corruption that are real.  We can talk about the supposed corruption of a politician or a judge, but that is rather vague.  I am giving an example of how corruption works and doesn't work in the United States.  You probably cannot bribe your way out of anything when in contact with law enforcement or the legal system.  However, some people are treated as "upstanding citizens" and others are not.  It is a matter of whether or not one gets the benefit of the doubt.  Likewise for regulators there is often a chumminess within an industry.  Not overt bribing, but the old 'boy' network.  Laws that are passed are weighed down in exceptions to scratch constituents back.  There is now, what is called crony capitalism, which means that companies instead of competing in the marketplace, compete in congress for who gets the spoils.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2017 at 06:03
franciscosan

Once again, you miss the point. I'm not talking about petty bribery, I'm talking about an entrenched system. As for the US system, I know and understand enough to recognise a system that is out of whack.

But there's no point in continuing this discussion with you.

Nor is there any point in discussing Steve Irwin with you any more.

So, I won't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2017 at 23:40
Well, I have _experience_ with this "corrupt system of US politics" and am basing my judgements on that.  Yes, there is some corruption, but it could be worse.  Moreso, in trying to "fix" it, it is probably more easy to make it worse.  I consider Donald Trump and his "drain the swamp," "make America great again," to be in that camp.  I would say he has good intentions, but I don't believe that.  He may end up doing good things, but that they would be good is just coincidental to inflating his own ego.

As far as Steve Irwin is concerned, I don't think there was ever a discussion, I said a few things, a couple of times, and you blustered that that was unacceptable.  No real explanation why.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2017 at 01:27
franciscosan
Read what I wrote about ithe system, and how it works, and tell me where I'm wrong,  as far as the election of all officials down to and including Town Sherrifs is concerned.

Tell me I'm wrong about the problems associated with having the prosecutorial agency actually running the investigation. And so on.

I'm not having a go at individuals, I'm having a go at a system that was probably faulty from the word "GO", and has never changed, and so people have grown up with that system.

Surely you must see that the system is wrong, I see it as corrupt, but that's my perception, others may see it as simply different.

As for Steve Irwin, I found your comments distasteful because of the jocular manner in which you treated his death. He was a young man, intent on teaching people about wildlife, and his playing with them may not have been ideal, especially from the animals point of view, he never harmed any of them.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2017 at 00:13
So what is that you are exactly saying, that you don't like money in the American system, that you don't like the two party system, that you don't like the way judges are appointed?  That Some Thing Has To Radically Change?  Maybe we should have a revolution like the Russians did, have our own Lenin and Stalin and Trotsky, that "solved" a lot of things.  Or how about the Third Reich, they were big on final solutions.  No, radical change just gives a chance for the wackos to take over.  Incremental, piecemeal change, don't try to fix everything all at once, fix a part of it at a time.  That means that it never get totally fixed, but it will also mean that it won't get totally screwed up either.

There is corruption, but in the US it is a fairly small point of the picture.  There are like world indices of corruption, look them up.  Sweden is the highest score (least).  Radicals love the idea of an emergency in which they can line the opposition up against the wall and shoot them.  Maybe that is your solution for corruption, in my view it is just another form of corruption. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2017 at 03:26
franciscosan

You're being deliberately obtuse and provocative. I've pointed out what I perceive to be the problems with the system, and I don't intend to go over them time and time again.

You obviously don't understand what I'm saying or you're spamming, either way, it's pointless trying to have an intelligent conversation with you on this issue, so I intend to withdraw as of now. 

Shakespeare: The Comedy of Erros (Act 2, Scene 1

“More of your conversation would infect my brain.”



Edited by toyomotor - 08 May 2017 at 07:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2017 at 18:17
You're right, I don't understand where you are coming from.  In the 'dump on Trump' thread you say several times that you don't really understand American politics, but now you seem to know it well enough to condemn it.  That is okay, people involved with it get frustrated with it too.  But I do hope that you realize that if we throw the current ratbastards out, they will just be replaced by new ratbastards that are worse.  I would consider President Trump to be an example of that.  btw, that is one reason why intelligence agencies tend to not favor assassinations, because the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know.  That is probably the analysis on Kim Jong Un.  Knock off the top guy, and you don't know what you will get.  As far as getting rid of the whole system, all that will prove is that the people who say, "it cannot get worse," don't know how wrong they are.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2017 at 12:21
OK, so maybe I should have explained myself better.
What I should have said is that I don't understand how a "system" like that of the USA can exist. And I reiterate, I'm not talking about individuals, I'm talking about the whole electoral system, governmental system, and judicial system from the very top to the very bottom.

I've explained in detail what I mean. If you can't understand what I'm saying, much less agree, it just goes to show that what I said about people growing up with and within a system know nothing else, and so accept it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2017 at 01:56
You know when you get old, and you get hair growing out of places, where you didn't have it before, where you don't necessarily want it, (nose, ears), well that is what has happened to America, America is the oldest democracy and it has hair growing out of where you don't want it.

There are two attitudes regarding the constitution which are competing in the United States.  One is that the founders were knowledgable about what they did, and we should stick to their game plan, as much as possible.  This is the doctrine of original intent, or strict constitutionalism.  The other attitude is that the constitution is a living document and needs to grow with the times.  This second attitude tends to have a mantra of progress, the past is bad and we are getting better all the time.  We need to throw out the old and usher in the new.
Donald Trump doesn't really belong in either of these attitudes.  He is more of a medieval lord that wants to rule by fiat.  But the support or opposition to Trump has a lot to do with these attitudes.  But not in a simple pro/con manner. 
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