Could Boys Town work today? And other thoughts on Charity and Social Justice.


Cover of "Boys Town"

Cover of Boys Town

“What’s “just” has been debated for centuries, but let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then, tell me how much of what I earn “belongs” to you — and why?”
— Walter Williams

Williams was born into an AfricanAmerican family. His family during childhood consisted of himself, his mother, and his sister. His father played no role in raising either child.[3] He grew up in Philadelphia. The family initially lived in West Philadelphia, moving to North Philadelphia and the Richard Allen housing projects when Williams was ten. His neighbors included a young Bill Cosby. Williams knew many of the individuals that Cosby speaks of from his childhood, including Weird Harold and Fat Albert.[4]

Williams was a talented high school student who displayed a very inconsistent performance in his studies. Following high school he came out to stay with his father in California, and attended one semester at Los Angeles City College, in regard to which he would later state that he was not ready yet to be a serious student.[5] In 1959 he was drafted into the military, and served as a Private in the United States Army.[4][6] While serving in the Army, he “waged a one man battle against Jim Crow from inside the army (where he was nearly court-martialed for challenging the racial order).”[4] Williams:

wrote a letter to President John F. Kennedy denouncing the pervasive racism of the American government and military. “Should Negroes be relieved of their service obligation or continue defending and dying for empty promises of freedom and equality,” Williams demanded of the president. “Or should we demand human rights as our Founding Fathers did at the risk of being called extremists….I contend that we relieve ourselves of oppression in a manner that is in keeping with the great heritage of our nation.”[4]  (Link)

The above article, or at least part of the article from Wikipedia and the beginning quote should be an inspiration to all Americans, it talks of Faith, faith in the American system, faith in self and faith in humanity. It talks of self-reliance and justice, not handouts and welfare.  It talks about picking yourself up and taking care of business, your business, and not relaying on the government to do it for you. I like that!

So what is “just”?

As a Catholic, social justice is a huge part of my faith, we have Bishops and everyday pew sitters working on this issue daily, we have documents coming from the Vatican and our local Church. I could spend hours reading and re-reading the documents, many of them online and available for free. I can read the words of many a great men, saints and some not so saintly. But in the end, I think that simple quote above states it very distinctly:

I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then, tell me how much of what I earn “belongs” to you — and why?”

 

That about states it all… Now I can hear everyone asking, what about the poor, who is going to help them… We need to take and give to them.. True, I agree, you are correct. But… And this is a big but… It’s not the government’s job to decide who or what charities I want to support, it is not the governments job to decide how much is too much. That my friends, it totally up to me… That is “just”.

Humanity will, if allowed, care for herself. In the United Stated we have proven this, prior to big government stepping in, it was left to the local communities to care for one another, and they always did. During the many recessions and depressions this country has gone through, the local community always cared for their own. As it should be. The “Great Society” and the “New Deal” and all other forms of Social Engineering has done nothing to change the simple fact that we will always have the poor. But what it has done is created a whole generation that is now dependent upon the government to fix and provide for all there needs. No longer is it a community coming together, but now it laws and regulations and dependency.

The local out reach programs, Faith based community services and alike are now governed by the Federal Government, bogged down with regulations and paperwork that much of there “good deeds” go undone due to lack of resources to meet the ever-expanding hands of Big Brother. Prior to the government handing out the tax payers money, the local community gathered its resources from the community itself, depended on the community and thrived with in the community it served.

The Catholic church was the prominent provider in many communities, depending upon the Church and the community at large to provide free services to whomever needed them, regardless of their faith. Look at Boys Town as a perfect example. Fr. Flanagan did not ask the Federal Government for moneys to build his Town, nope, he depended upon the common person to send in donations, and the work of building the town, well that was left up the him and the boys. In todays “regulated” world this could never happen, the government would not allow the young men who made up the community of Boys Town to do the labor, they would consider it “degrading” and “child labor”, were as Fr. Flanagan and his boys considered it “Character building” and “Edifying” . How times have changed.

The government would have required trained social workers were as Fr. Flanagan required love and respect. There is not law or regulations for love and respect, so the government would not consider them to be important. How times have changed…

“Charity” and “Social Justice” and not be regulated or forced, they have to be organic in nature. they have to come from the souls of the ones offering. When government sticks its hands into our pockets and forces us to “give” the act of Charity and Justice has just become an act of redistribution and extortion.

In the books “Who Really Cares” and “Gross National Happiness” Arthur C. Brooks, the author, makes the case that charity is a human act, not a governmental act. That it is the benevolence of man and not the redistributionist of government that keeps charities rolling. Both books are well worth the reading.

The Catholic Church, like many organization, has its fair share of redistributionist, who feel that humanity in-of-its-self is not able or capable of caring for each other. To me this is a travesty and a slap in the collective face of man kind! But, truth be told, we allowed this mind-set to happen, we, as a nation have become “dependent” upon the government to not only govern our national affairs, but also our personal affairs.

A return to a simpler time, a time when communities cared for each other, relied upon each other and depended upon their neighbors was when true social justice existed in this nation. We now live in a nation of not social justice, but a nation of social engineering, other wise know as socialism, tyranny or any other work to describe personal liberties and personal responsibilities being replaced by group think. We are teaching our children not to depend upon themselves and the community at large, but rather to look to and depend upon the government. We have generations of Americans that have no concept of charity and giving, of time, talent and treasure. But we do have generations of Americans who understand the concepts of give me, I deserve and “fairness”. Using the term “fairness” not as it was meant, “Equal opportunity” but rather as “Equal treasures” regardless of effort put forth.

The America of pre-New Deal and The Great Society is not yet lost, but is quickly becoming so. We have the opportunity and obligation to change the course of this great nation. To right the wrongs and return American and her citizens back to personal responsibility and community minded obligations. We have a unique opportunity in America, the opportunity to wage a revolution with our guns and blood, a revolution that uses the most powerful weapon ever know to man, the vote. This November we must vote to return America back to Americans, to restore Charity and Social Justice back to the people. It is time to take up the mantel of liberty and forge a new path to prosperity by returning to the founding principles of this great nation. Principles spelled out in our founding documents, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Documents that outline the path to prosperity and freedom, documents that never, not once, call upon the Government to care for the personal lives of its Citizenry. But rather call upon its Citizenry to care for the Government.

God Bless

Paul

Guided Insight Life Coach 

 

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The evil one and his works


ap_oslo_explosion_1_jrs_110722_wgThe past week offered up some  shock and dismay, with the mess in Oslo. The more I hear about it on the news the more one has to consider what evil is going on in this world. I know many do not believe in a active devil, one that plays a part in our daily lives, but one must consider the possibility after such a horrendous act. The pure and simple evil of it all.

The latest report states that he, the terrorist, or one could say, the devils hit man, set off the explosion for the soul purpose of keeping peace officer and other such first responders occupied so he could go tot the island to shoot and murder the innocent young victims. That’s it, that was the plan, big explosion on the main land, travel to island and shoot… And sadly it worked all to well.

The argument for active participation of the devil in our world today spoke loud and clear in Oslo, as it did on 9/11 here in the states, the British heard him speaking with the subway bombing as have countless others through the all to human army of the evil one. He exist and is more than active in our world. It is said that the devils best tool of evil is to make us think he does not exist. How true, what better way is there to work under the radar than to have the ones you are attacking believe that you do not exist. We, through our complacency, make his work that much easer.

Terrorist are proof positive of his work here on earth, but that is not the only sign of his existence, we can see it everyday, if we just stop to look:

  • Abortion
  • Euthanasia
  • Sex abuse
  • Divorce
  • Murder
  • Disrespect
  • Laziness
  • Lies
  • Stealing

The list is as endless, anyway we can show God that we do not care, do not believe, are ways the he, the evil one, can interact in our lives and move us further away from He that created us, from He that loves us, from our Heavenly Father, God.

The devil exist and he is active in our world today, as he was in the past and will be in the future.

Play for the victims in Oslo, pray for the salvation of the soul of the terrorist and pray for all of humanity…

 

God Bless

Paul

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Lent 2011: Are you ready for it?


Christ on the Cross cropped. Crop of old Mass ...

Image via Wikipedia

With Lent here, it’s a good time to ask the question, “Are you ready for it?” or an even better question, “Do you understand it?”

Lent is a complex time in the Church year, we are depriving ourselves, we are reminded of our mortality yet we are to be preparing for the Death and Resurrection of our Lord, a time of celebration….

Talk about emotions running the gamete… The high and lows of life are all put into the 40 days of Lent… We as Catholic/Christians are called to use this time as a time of renewal, a time to prepare for the new life, the new life in Christ.

It’s a time of sacrifice, a time to offer up to God. But many look at it as a time to stop eating candy or drinking pop. Yes they are sacrifice for many, but is that all we need to do?


(Source)

  1. Online Lenten ResourcesTake 30 minutes to pray, ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance, look over this activities list for the Season of Lent, and make a few practical Lenten resolutions. Be careful. If you try to do too much, you may not succeed in anything. If you need to get up early or stay up late to get the 30 minutes of quiet, do it. Turn off your phone and computer. Don’t put it off and don’t allow interruptions.
  2. During the Season of Lent, Get up earlier than anyone else in your house and spend your first 15 minutes of the day thanking God for the gift of life and offering your day to Him.
  3. Get to daily Mass.
  4. If you can’t do Mass daily, go to Mass on Fridays in addition to Sunday and thank Him for laying his life down for you. Maybe you can go another time or two as well.
  5. Spend at least 30 minutes in Eucharistic adoration at least one time during the week.
  6. Recover the Catholic tradition of making frequent visits to the Blessed sacrament throughout the week, even if it is only for 5 minutes.
  7. Get to confession at least once during the Season of Lent after making a good examination of conscience. If you are not sure why confession is important, get my CD “Who Needs Confession.
  8. In addition to the penance assigned by the priest, fulfill the conditions necessary for a plenary indulgence. You can learn about plenary indulgences from the official Handbook of Indulgences.
  9. Make a decision to read at least some Scripture every day. Starting with Today’s!
  10. Even if you can’t get to daily Mass during the Lenten Season, get a Daily Roman Missal or go visit the Crossroads Homepage for a link to the Daily Mass readings, and read these readings daily. During special seasons such as Lent, the Mass readings are thematically coordinated and make for a fantastic Bible study!
  11. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours. You can buy a one volume edition or a full four volume edition. Or you can get it day by day online for free at www.universalis.com. Or you can subscribe to a monthly publication called the Magnificat that provides a few things from the liturgy of the hours together with the Mass readings of the day. The Magnificat is a great way to start learning the Liturgy of the Hours.
  12. Get to know the Fathers of the Church and read selections from them along with Scripture. Short selections from the Fathers writing on Lenten themes can be downloaded for free from the Lenten Library of our website at www.crossroadsintiative.com
  13. Make the Stations of the Cross each Friday of the Season of Lent either with a group or by yourself. If you have kids, bring them.
  14. Online Catholic Resources for LentPray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary often during Lent, especially on Friday and Wednesday. The glorious mysteries are especially appropriate on Sundays. Joyful and Luminous mysteries are great on other days.
  15. Purchase the Scriptural Rosary, which supplies you with a scripture verse to recite between each Hail Mary. This makes it easier to meditate on the mysteries. Another resource to deepen your understanding of the Rosary is my CD set “How Mary and the Rosary can Change Your Life.”
  16. If you’ve never done a family rosary, begin doing it. If starting with once a week, try Friday or Sunday. If it’s tough to start with a full five decades, try starting with one. Use the Scriptural Rosary and have a different person read each of the Scriptures between the Hail Mary’s. This gets everyone more involved.
  17. Make it a habit to stop at least five times a day, raise your heart and mind to God, and say a short prayer such as “Jesus, I love you,” or “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or “Lord, I offer it up for you.”
  18. Pray each day for the intentions and health of the Holy Father.
  19. Pray each day for your bishop and all the bishops of the Catholic Church.
  20. Pray for your priests and deacons and for all priests and deacons.
  21. Pray for the millions of Christians suffering under persecution in various Muslim and Communist countries around the world such as the Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, Viet Nam, and North Korea.
  22. Pray for Christian unity, that there would be one flock and one shepherd.
  23. Pray for the evangelization of all those who have not yet heard and accepted the Good News about Jesus.
  24. Pray for your enemies. In fact, think of the person who has most hurt you or who most annoys you and spend several minutes each day thanking God for that person and asking God to bless him or her.
  25. Pray for an end to abortion on demand in the United States. Pray for pregnant women contemplating abortion.
  26. Pray for a just peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Holy Land and elsewhere. Pray for our troops and for others in harm’s way.
  27. Pray for an end to capital punishment. Pray for those on death row, and for the families of murder victims.
  28. Find a form of fasting that is appropriate for you, given your age, state of health, and state of life. Some fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some fast from sweets or alcohol throughout Lent. Some fast on one or more days per week from breakfast all the way to dinner, spending lunch hour in prayer or at noon Mass. Some cut out all snacks between meals. The money saved from not buying various things should be given to an apostolate or ministry serving the physically or spiritually poor.
  29. Prayer is like breathing – you have to do it continually. But sometimes you need to pause and take a very deep breath. That’s what a retreat is. Plan a retreat this Lent. It could be simply a half day, out in nature, or in a Church. Or it could be a full day. Or an overnight. You can certainly read lots of things during your retreat or listen to lots of talks. But try sticking to Scripture, the liturgy, and quiet as much as you can. During or at the end of the retreat, write down what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying.
  30. Find a written biography of a Saint that particularly appeals to you, and read it during the Season of Lent.
  31. Instead of secular videos for weekend entertainment, try some videos that will enrich your spiritual life. Suggestions: Jesus of Nazareth, by Franco Zeffirelli, The Scarlet and the Black, the Assisi Underground.
  32. While driving, turn off the secular radio for awhile and use commute time to listen to some teaching on audiocassette or CD. Some great resources can be purchased through this site or from other Catholic apostolates and publishers that you can find on our links page.
  33. Find a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or crisis pregnancy center, and volunteer some time there throughout Lent. Serve the people there with the understanding that in so doing, you are serving Jesus. Try to see Jesus in each person there.
  34. Visit someone at a nursing home or in the hospital or sick at home. Again, love Jesus in and through the suffering person.
  35. Is there a widow or divorced person living in your neighborhood? If so, invite that person to your home for dinner, coffee, etc.
  36. Catholic Online Resources, The Passion of the ChristView Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ during Lent on VHS or DVD, if you feel you can handle the violence. Get a copy of The Guide to the Passion to help you get the most out of the movie.
  37. Invite folks to view The Passion of the Christ with you, especially people whose faith is rather nominal, or who do not practice their faith, or who do not profess Christian faith at all. Give them a copy of The Guide to the Passion.
  38. Spend some focused time with your spouse, strengthening your marriage. Start praying together, or make praying together a more frequent occurrence.
  39. Spend some focused time together with each of your children. Listen. Pray. Maybe even have fun.
  40. When Easter comes, don’t drop the new practice you’ve begun during the Season Lent! Make a permanent feature of a deeper Christian life!

God Bless and Happy Lent

Paul

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Immigration reform


An MS-13 suspect bearing gang tattoos is handc...

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One of the many hot topics, both in politics and religion, is immigration reform. From the Arizona law to the US Catholic Bishops from the halls of Congress to the water cooler, everyone is talking about it. It is a hot topic, one that many have an opinion on and one that many consider to be the next great battle (oops I’m sorry, I’m not suppose to use words that sound aggressive according to CNN news…. Ah, the hell with CNN).

Americans and America has always welcomed immigrants, our country is made up the worlds unwanted or people seeking a better life. That is not an issue, I say welcome to everyone. America has always held her arms wide open and taken in the words cast off. And I say God Bless America.

But that does not, and should not mean that we as a nation should put the safety of our citizens at risk. The idea and concept of allowing anyone to enter into our county for any reason is a silly and not so humane concept. When has it ever been ok to allow others to infringe upon the safety and rights of citizens. At what time  in our history have we allowed this? Some will say slavery and the Irish immigrants or the Chinese immigrants who worked the rail road. Or what about the Japanese that were placed in camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. All scars upon America and all regretted by this nation and her people. But none were illegal immigrants, or as the liberals like to call them, undocumented workers, what ever that means. The Mexican border issue is an issue of national security, it is an issue of human rights and an issue of law.

With 6.5 million illegal aliens coming across our southern border each and every year, we must be crazy not to consider it a National Security issue. We stop little old ladies and 5 year olds at the airports for pat downs, but we think it is ok to allows millions into our country with out even asking for a passport… Come on, even a liberal must see how nuts this is.

Some facts:

  • In Los Angeles, 95% of some 1,500 outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens. About 67% of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.
  • There are currently over 400,000 unaccounted for illegal alien criminals with outstanding deportation orders. At least one fourth of these are hard core criminals.
  • 80,000 to 100,000 illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes are walking the streets. Based on studies they will commit an average of 13 serious crimes per perpetrator.
  • Illegal aliens are involved in criminal activities at a rate that is 2-5 times their representative proportion of the population.
  • In 1980, our Federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens but at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities at a cost of about $6.8 billion per year.
  • At least 4.5 million pounds of cocaine with a street value of at least $72 billion is smuggled across the southern border every year. ..
  • 56% of illegal aliens charged with a reentry offense had previously been convicted on at least 5 prior occasions.
  • Illegal aliens charged with unlawful reentry had the most extensive criminal histories. 90% had been previously arrested. Of those with a prior arrest, 50% had been arrested for violent or drug-related felonies.
  • Illegal aliens commit between 700,000 to 1,289,000 or more crimes per year.
  • Illegal aliens commit at least 2,158 murders each year – a number that represents three times greater participation than their proportion of the population.
  • Illegal alien sexual predators commit an estimated 130,909 sexual crimes each year.
  • There may be as many as 240,000 illegal alien sex offenders circulating throughout America. Based on studies, they will commit an average of 8 sex crimes per perpetrator before being caught.
  • Nearly 63% of illegal alien sex offenders had been deported on another offense prior to committing the sex crime.
  • Only 2% of the illegal alien sex offenders in one study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.
  • In Operation Predator, ICE arrested and deported 6,085 illegal alien pedophiles. Some studies suggest each pedophile molests average of 148 children. If so, that could be as many as 900,580 victims.
  • Nobody knows how big the Sex Slave problem is but it is enormous.
  • The very brutal MS-13 gang has over 15,000 members and associates in at least 115 different cliques in 33 states.
  • The overall financial impact of illegal alien crimes is estimated at between $14.4 and $81 billion or more per year. Factor in the crime as a result of the cocaine and other drugs being smuggled in and the number may reach $150 billion per year.

Is it the intention of our leaders both religious and political that we, law abiding citizens or law abiding visitors who entered our country legally be subjected to this? Can anyone really claim that allowing this to happen is a good thing…

I know, many are saying that’s why we need to give them amnesty, because once they are made full members of our Great Nation they will become peaceful law-abiding citizens who pay taxies and raise there children to love thy neighbor. Really… Do you really believe this, because if you do I have a bridge I would like to sell you.

America is a nation of immigrants, and we must allow immigrants to move here and to prosper, but we must enforce the law of the land, because a nation with out law is a nation destine to fail. I pray the the US Conference of Bishops (USCCB) will wake up and understand that immigration is not a one sided story, that they, the USCCB have an obligation to not only the illegals crossing our borders, but also to the law abiding citizens in there care. As for the polititions, well we can only hope for the best, that they wake up soom, or we vote them out come 2012.

God Bless

Paul

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Tearful Pope


Pope Benedict XVI during visit to São Paulo, B...

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Tearful Pope… The link to the left is an AP article about the Pope and his heart felt feelings concerning the sex abuse and scandal of the Church.

My last blog about the scandal received a few comments, and none very positive. I know that this issue is sensitive at best and considered off limits by others, but the victims and the Church will not and can not heal if we act as if it never happened. On that note we must also be willing to accept that not all priest and bishops were involved and that many are holy men. Yet some, a very small percentage, are sick and in a grave state of sin.

The victims of this abuse need healing and understanding and a compassionate response to the loss of innocence. What the Church and the victims don’t need is media sensationalism. An honest investigation in to all allegations with the proper due process of the laws of the land. The Church needs to be forthright with all information and due process with in the Church needs to be swift. The media needs to allow the process to do its job, and they need to stop persecuting the Church for the acts of men.

The media acts as if the Pope and his predecessors sanctioned the acts of molestation, that the Church not only allowed it but encouraged it. They thrive on the news as if it was a shark feeding frenzy, they smell the blood of the Church and all rush in to get fresh food.

This harms no only the Church, which is there intention, but also the victims. True authentic healing can not take place in a bath of sharks, the blood flow and feeding frenzy needs to stop. The victims of abuse need compassion and understanding, not accusations and witch hunts. The lives of many are at stake here, and the souls of many more.

We  need to respect all parties involved, and we need to seek forgiveness and pray for healing. What we don’t need is more hate and violence. Violence of actions and of words, both can do harm and both can kill.

I pray that the Popes words and actions will start the healing process for all, and I hope and pray that the media will continue to investigate the scandal, but will do so in a fashion that is beneficial to all parties involved.

God Bless

Paul

Charity in Truth: Caritas in Veritate

 

Romans 10:9-10“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

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Tearful Pope


Tearful Pope… The link to the left is an AP article about the Pope and his heart felt feelings concerning the sex abuse and scandal of the Church.

My last blog about the scandal received a few comments, and none very positive. I know that this issue is sensitive at best and considered off limits by others, but the victims and the Church will not and can not heal if we act as if it never happened. On that note we must also be willing to accept that not all priest and bishops were involved and that many are holy men. Yet some, a very small percentage, are sick and in a grave state of sin.

The victims of this abuse need healing and understanding and a compassionate response to the loss of innocence. What the Church and the victims don’t need is media sensationalism. An honest investigation in to all allegations with the proper due process of the laws of the land. The Church needs to be forthright with all information and due process with in the Church needs to be swift. The media needs to allow the process to do its job, and they need to stop persecuting the Church for the acts of men.

The media acts as if the Pope and his predecessors sanctioned the acts of molestation, that the Church not only allowed it but encouraged it. They thrive on the news as if it was a shark feeding frenzy, they smell the blood of the Church and all rush in to get fresh food.

This harms no only the Church, which is there intention, but also the victims. True authentic healing can not take place in a bath of sharks, the blood flow and feeding frenzy needs to stop. The victims of abuse need compassion and understanding, not accusations and witch hunts. The lives of many are at stake here, and the souls of many more.

We  need to respect all parties involved, and we need to seek forgiveness and pray for healing. What we don’t need is more hate and violence. Violence of actions and of words, both can do harm and both can kill.

I pray that the Popes words and actions will start the healing process for all, and I hope and pray that the media will continue to investigate the scandal, but will do so in a fashion that is beneficial to all parties involved.

God Bless

Paul

Charity in Truth: Caritas in Veritate

 

Romans 10:9-10“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

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