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  • Kresta in the Afternoon – May 4, 2015

    SCHEDULE COMING SOON! 

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 1, 2015 – Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 1, 2015 – Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Little Boy: A Film on Faith and Family

    • Description: Little Boy is the story of a young boy who will do whatever it takes to end World War II and bring his father home. The indescribable love between father and son is the basis for a heartwarming tale. We speak with the film’s producer and director, Alejandro Monteverde
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Back to Basics: Forming Intentional Disciples

    • Description: Consider the following statistics: Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing. 10 percent of all American adults are ex-Catholics. Only 60 percent of Catholics believe in a personal God. As we’ve said before, we’re surrounded by Catholics who have been Sacramentalized but not Evangelized. A lot of people see this as a sign of the end, that the Church in the US is on the way out. Sherry Weddell sees it as an opportunity to regrow the Church on a solid foundation of committed, intentional Disciples of Christ. She joins us today.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Sherry Weddell

        Sherry Weddell is the International Co-Director and co-founder of Catherine of Siena Institute. She created the first charism discernment process specifically designed for Catholics. Sherry is the author of several books including “Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus” and “Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples" and is an international speaker on discipleship and evangelization.

      • Resources:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Back to Basics: Forming Intentional Disciples (con't)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 1, 2015 – Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 1, 2015 – Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Charges Filed against Baltimore Police Officers

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story of how he Gambled his Career Away

    • Description: Gambling addicts often say it’s the thrill of winning, not the money, that keeps them addicted. We ask Michael Burke if he agrees. Michael was a successful lawyer who spent over $1.6 million of his client’s trust account funds on gambling. He was eventually jailed for his actions. He joins us today to talk about how to identify and help people afflicted with gambling addiction.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Michael Burke

        Michael Burke is the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Problem Gamblers. He is a motivational speaker and national lecturer in the field of cross-addiction and compulsive gambling. Michael is the author of “Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story of How he Gambled his Career Away.” He has published numerous articles on gambling addiction

      • Resources:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story of how he Gambled his Career Away (con't)

  • Workers of the World, Unite!

    by Dr. Tom Neal via WordonFire.org

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    Today’s Feast of St. Joseph the Worker was instituted in 1955 by Pope Pius XII as a Catholic liturgical response to the Communist version of the May Day celebration. But, celebrating work seems a bit oxymoronic, doesn’t it?  Didn’t work start after the Fall of Adam and Eve?

    St. John Paul II, the Pope who emerged from within the Communist world, in his powerful encyclical, Laborem Exercens, argues that human labor is not in itself a punishment for sin, but rather our participation in God’s creating, governing and redeeming “labor.” This is why St. Paul calls us synergoi Theou, God’s co-workers (1 Cor. 3:9). In our work we are invited to participate in God’s labor that, in the beginning, brought the universe into existence; that sustains and orders the cosmos at every moment; and redeems us fallen creatures from the corruption of sin and death.

    Work is not merely a means of achieving wealth and capital, but rather is good in itself when carried out in concert with the moral law in service to the authentic and common good of humanity, along with the due reverence required of us as stewards of the world’s limited natural resources.

    In addition, work is a school of virtue that allows us to perfect our gifts to the glory of God and for the good of our neighbor. In this sense what is most important in my work is not what I produce and achieve, but who I become as I work and toil and make a living by the sweat of my brow. Here I recall Mother Teresa’s oft quoted words: “God calls us not to success, but only to faithfulness.” Success is outside of us, but “faithful” is who we are.

    The effect of sin on work, as St. John Paul notes, is to make work into toil and drudgery.  Sin has dis-integrated our moral character, alienating us from work’s genuine goods and ends. Those alienations are many and varied. I think, for example, about the temptation to become enslaved to work, as the Hebrews were in Egypt. As slaves we can unjustly compromise and fail to attend to the goods of leisure, like worship, friendship, marriage or family life. Or I think of the temptation to complain endlessly about the hardships of work, and to miss the immensely valuable grace planted in the heart of our struggles and hardships. It’s only struggle that grows virtue and permits us to collaborate intimately in Jesus’ hard redemptive work.

    In regard to this last point, it’s interesting to note that the vice of sloth is not simply to be equated with inactivity (which can sometimes be very good and necessary!). Rather, sloth is identified with avoidance of the difficult, arduous, tedious, laborious goods that our vocations so often demand of us. The slothful seek the path of least resistance, and so forsake both the small and great heroisms daily life can afford us. The best way to overthrow sloth, I’ve found, is simply to identify those things I like to do the least and then do them first, best, and most often. Such a first resolution, mixed up with divine grace, can do wonders in dismantling our pleasure-seeking ego’s tyranny over seed of divine charity that struggles to grow within our hearts.

    Let me end with a final word on a subject dear to my heart, the lay vocation. The call of the lay faithful — those who have been baptized into Christ — is above all else to be fully engaged in the secular world, animating it with the spirit of the Gospel as salt, light, and leaven. Today, on this feast, I would add that it is principally by their labor in marriage and family life, in culture and in politics, in business and economics — in all the various arenas of human work — that the laity discover their way of perfection; their path to holiness; their journey to union with God laboring in Christ. Let me leave you with my favorite quote from the Second Vatican Council:

    “For besides intimately linking them to His life and His mission, He also gives them a sharing in His priestly function of offering spiritual worship for the glory of God and the salvation of men. For this reason the laity, dedicated to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvelously called and wonderfully prepared so that ever more abundant fruits of the Spirit may be produced in them.

    For all their works, prayers and apostolic endeavors, their ordinary married and family life, their daily occupations, their physical and mental relaxation, if carried out in the Spirit, and even the hardships of life, if patiently borne—all these become “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.

    Together with the offering of the Lord’s body, they are most fittingly offered in the celebration of the Eucharist. Thus, as those everywhere who adore in holy activity, the laity consecrate the world itself to God.”

    So let’s celebrate today the gift of labor, and the saving power Jesus’ cross has infused into your thankless, tedious, and sweaty toil.

  • Remembering Number 84

    by George Weigel via FirstThings.com

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    He scored forty times in an eight-year NFL career, best known, now, for the touchdown he didn’t score, as the sun set over Yankee Stadium on Dec. 28, 1958. His wife of fifty-nine years, Joan, said that Jim Mutscheller, who died on April 10, wanted to be known as a man “who had led a good life,” for he was “quiet, humble, and so conservative that he’d eat crabs with a suit and tie on.”

    And therein lies a tale—and a yardstick by which to measure pro sports then and now.

    Born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania (as was Joe Namath, about as different a character as you can imagine), Mutscheller’s father was known locally as the “best bricklayer in Beaver County.” The son graduated from Notre Dame, having played offensive and defensive end on the 1949 national championship team in the days of single platoon football. He then spent a couple of years in the Marine Corps—including a stint in Korea that convinced Mutscheller, whose look “would bore a hole in a vault” (as one sportswriter put it), that getting knocked around on the football field wasn’t so bad a deal after all.

    He was a tight end in the days when you could be six feet tall, weigh 190, and play that position, what with no 350-pound behemoths on the other side of the line. But he was also reasonably fleet afoot, he could block, he had those great hands, and there was . . . that look. All of which helped bring him and the Baltimore Colts to the Bronx on a bleak December afternoon in 1958, for what’s now known as The Greatest Game Ever Played. It wasn’t, in fact, all that great a game. But it had a lot of drama; it ended with the first (and thus far only) sudden-death overtime win in the history of NFL championships; and Jim Mutscheller was in the pivot of the action.

    With strong men ready to collapse from exhaustion after four and a half quarters of play, the Colts, having driven to the Giants’ six-yard line, were poised for the game-winning touchdown. The immortal John Unitas brought the Colts out of the huddle, having called a running play for “The Horse,” Alan Ameche (who looked more like a tenor in a Verdi opera than a Heisman Trophy-winning fullback). Unitas, however, noticed, a chink in the Giants’ pass defense and checked off at the line of scrimmage, calling for Mutscheller to run an out pattern to the near corner of the end zone.

    It was intended to be a touchdown pass, and would have been except that Unitas deliberately led Mutscheller a bit more to the outside than usual; Number eighty-four couldn’t get traction on the icy surface, slipping out of bounds at the one-yard line. On the next play, Ameche drove in for the winning score, with Mutscheller throwing a key block that took out Giants’ linebacker Cliff Livingston. Years after the game that changed the way America spends fall Sunday afternoons, Unitas would kid Mutscheller, saying, “Geez, Jim, I tried to make you the hero.” To which Mutscheller replied, “If I’d scored that touchdown, Ameche wouldn’t have been able to sell all those hamburgers.” (Extra credit for anyone who can remember the name of the double-stack burger at “Ameche’s.”)

    They’re almost all gone, now, these Catholic sports heroes of my extreme youth: Ameche first, in 1988; Unitas in 2002; Artie Donovan in 2013; now Jim Mutscheller, whom I used to see at daily Mass, head bowed after receiving the Mystery. Only Gino Marchetti is left; and since it was “something inside Gino” that, according to Lenny Moore, held the Colts together, that is right and just. But I’ll think of them all during the parade of oversized young studs, oozing self-esteem and entitlement, who’ll walk across the stage to get their handshake/hug from Commissioner Roger Goodell on NFL draft day. And I’ll remember that, once upon a time, Catholic men from working class families could be sports idols—and role models as well.

    George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Weigel’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver.

  • New GoFundMe rule makes it easy to kill Christian campaigns

    By Valerie Richardson via WashingtonTimes.com

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    GoFundMe’s old policy on crowdfunding may not have been enough to justify its decision last weekend to kill campaigns on behalf of a Christian-owned florist and bakery — but its new policy is.

    The website quietly expanded its list of banned crowdfunding activities this week shortly after The Washington Times questioned GoFundMe’s reliance on its policy against campaigns in defense of “formal charges of heinous crimes” to pull fundraisers for Arlene’s Flowers and for Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

    The new policy, which includes a ban on campaigns in defense of “claims of discriminatory acts,” would appear to make it more difficult to raise money on behalf of businesses facing crippling civil damages awards after refusing to provide services for gay weddings for religious reasons.

    Travis Weber, a lawyer and director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, said GoFundMe’s revised policy “could exclude and discriminate against all types of fundraising.”

    “Who will determine what a ‘discriminatory act’ is? Will the term be decided according to legal standards? If so, which standards?” Mr. Weber said. “Or will it be subject to the same arbitrary decision-making we’ve seen from GoFundMe so far?”

    The previous policy barred “Campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.” The new policy bans “Campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.”

    The old policy was in place last weekend when the website removed the bakery and florist crowdfunding campaigns. Lawyers interviewed by The Times had challenged that policy, saying that it should have only applied to fundraising on behalf of those facing criminal charges.

    Neither the Kleins, who own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, nor Arlene’s Flowers owner Barronelle Stutzman have been charged with criminal offenses. In a series of messages starting Monday, The Times asked GoFundMe about the apparent discrepancy between its policy and its decision to remove the campaigns.

    GoFundMe did not respond to The Times’ inquiries, but screenshots of the website’s policy show the wording was overhauled after the Klein and Stutzman pages were removed. A note on the terms and conditions page, which includes the list of prohibited campaigns, says it was updated Wednesday.

    A message sent Thursday to GoFundMe asking for comment about the policy change was not immediately returned.

    Mr. Weber accused GoFundMe of cobbling together an “ad hoc and hasty improvisation” to provide cover for its decision to remove the crowdfunding pages.

    “GoFundMe may want to appear as if it has a neutral policy prohibiting funds from being raised for certain activities,” said Mr. Weber in an email. “But it is apparent that GoFundMe is seeking to slap several words onto their ‘policy’ merely to cover up the reality that they actually dropped the Kleins’ page because they were scared of cranky LGBT activists.”

    Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom attorney representing Arlene’s Flowers, said in an interview Tuesday that GoFundMe’s decision to drop the page, even though Ms. Stutzman has not been charged with a crime, raises questions as to whether GoFundMe is discriminating on the basis of religion.

    “We’re looking at legal options that she might have,” said Ms. Waggoner. “There have been other campaigns on GoFundMe that haven’t been shut down. To me, this may be discrimination based on religion.”

    GoFundMe yanked the successful crowdfunding efforts under intense pressure from gay marriage supporters, who had complained to the company and urged others to do so on Facebook pages such as “Boycott Sweet Cakes by Melissa.”

    “It’s really quite startling, the approach that GoFundMe has taken, because it’s clear that it’s not enough to have the government just redefine marriage or punish those who disagree, but they’re really trying to ruin every aspect of the lives of those who disagree,” Ms. Waggoner said.

    The Klein campaign raised $109,000 in less than eight hours before being shut down Saturday, while Ms. Stutzman’s page had collected more than $174,000 before it was removed shortly thereafter.

    GoFundMe has also said in statements that the Kleins and Ms. Stutzman will be able to keep the money raised at the time the campaigns were terminated. An Oregon administrative judge proposed Friday a $135,000 damages award against the Kleins.

    After removing the Sweet Cakes by Melissa campaign, GoFundMe issued a statement explaining its decision and pointing to its list of campaigns “Not Allowed on GoFundMe,” which appears on its terms and conditions page.

    The heading “Not Allowed on GoFundMe” has been changed to “What’s Not Allowed.” On that list of 35 banned activities, the only one that refers to “formal changes” is the prohibition on crowdfunding in defense of “heinous crimes” that was expanded this week to include “claims.”

    The company has also broadened the disclaimer at the top of the page, which now says, “GoFundMe relies on its terms as a guideline in the decision-making process to arrive at its long-standing right to remove any campaign at any time for any reason. GoFundMe will continue to reserve the right to amend its terms as it deems necessary to support the wide and varied use-cases it encounters on its growing platform.”

  • 5 Reasons I’m Glad My Parents Were Strict

     by Joy Pullmann via TheFederalist.com

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    Buzzfeed is calling for all the kids who had strict, conservative, fundamendalist parents to grouse about how horrible it was to grow up guided by two strong pairs of hands. I guess they wouldn’t know it from, you know, observing other people, but perhaps the only thing worse than having strict parents is having lax parents.

    1. Learning Self-Restraint Pays Off Big

    Back when I was immature (cough), I had a close friend whose parents let everyone know they believed in “giving kids their space.” I was so jealous that “Nicki’s” parents bought her a car when she turned 16; my parents could have, but they made me buy my own and pay my own insurance and gas, to boot. They also let her run around ordering ketchup packets from fast-food restaurants at 2 a.m. and laughing uproariously at how annoying she was to tired minimum-wage workers. Probably they never knew she did this. It was just one small expression of her utterly unrestrained attitude. This also contributed to her underage and non-underage binge drinking, petty thievery of yard signs, and later dive into drugs, from which so far she has not recovered. It’s been almost a decade.

    One of the major functions of parents is to restrain and direct their inherently rambunctious and barbaric offspring, gradually letting off external controls as these offspring develop internal controls. The parent who stops his kid from running around under the clothing racks at Target turns out a child who respects social boundaries. In that respect, this parent performs two public services: One short-term, where the child is not running into Target shoppers and being a tiny nuisance, and the other long-term, where that child grows up and doesn’t play his stereo so loud neighbors have to hear it booming inside their child’s bedroom every night as they’re trying to put the baby to sleep.

    Kids who learn self control at an early age earn more money, achieve more in school, and have more satisfying marriages. These sorts of behaviors have all sorts of positive benefits not just for the individual, but for society. And they are largely a result of parenting.

    2. Life Has Tradeoffs

    Nicki could watch any movies and listen to any music she wanted. We were limited to classical and contemporary Christian music (the latter of which I now can’t stand because the content and musical quality are so terrible). It felt like a huge act of rebellion for my brother to turn the radio to the “latest hits” station when we were out shlepping around in our cars in high school. This largely accounts for my horrible lack of pop culture knowledge.

    But I consider it a worthy trade to not know about Snoop Dogg (or whoever—celebs are largely interchangeable) while having used that time to learn to play piano classically and by ear at a moderately high level. For most kids, the knowledge ratio is reversed. Does anyone really believe that the type of person who knows more about Snoop Dogg than Beethoven has the rich life we all aspire for our children to have? Does anyone really think a child’s life is more enriched by having spent it checking out porn or playing “Call of Duty” until his eyes bled?

    I especially consider my restricted upbringing a worthy trade because it meant I’ve never been groped by boys at drunken parties or had to retch out my innards afterward, because I never went to those parties. By the time I was in high school, however, I didn’t avoid such illustrious events because my parents had banned me. I didn’t have a curfew in high school, because my parents trusted me. And I didn’t abuse their trust. If I was going to be home after midnight, I told mom, and she left the door unlocked and went to sleep in peace. Our arrangement protected me and de-stressed my parents while giving me the freedom young adults crave.

    In college, I partied just fine when I was too tired to study any more, at the sort of off-campus houses where young men walk a lady home for safety after giving her a drink or two of the best stuff they have in the house, because they care that she enjoys herself with them more than they care about using her body like toilet paper. It’s a real tragedy more young ladies have not had the opportunity to enjoy a party like that. We all know their current party options are more likely to end in date rape than enriched mental, male, and alcohol tastes.

    3. Saying ‘No’ Means ‘I Love You’

    The message parents who “don’t interfere” send their children is that they just don’t care. They don’t care enough to step in and teach that child how to live. Nicki certainly felt that way. She acted like a vagabond, in part because her parents treated her like one—not through direct physical abuse or neglect, as theirs was a warm, well-curated, middle-class home, but through boundary neglect. They attended to her physical needs but neglected her spiritual needs.

    As I noted earlier, children are born barbarians. Just have one. You’ll find that out within the first 24 hours. They can’t even eat properly. You have to teach them. And sometimes teaching even a baby means telling him “no.” No, you can’t bite mommy, because that injures her, which means no milk for you. No, you can’t wake mommy up eight times a night just to cuddle, because that makes her a raging bitch in the morning, which is also bad for you.

    It’s actually hard to think of anything more cruel for a child who enjoys an otherwise comfortable home than parents who refuse to tell him “no,” because it’s an utter abdication of their responsibility for his character. Children who do not control themselves are miserable, and they inflict that misery on everyone around them. Children who know the rules are happier because they do not have to live in emotional chaos.

    4. Strict Parenting Reduced My Propensity for Addictions

    My parents were sugar police. Candy was for holidays and grandma’s house. And they were screen police. We were lucky to watch two whole kids’ movies per week, and subject to serious limits on computer time once we finally got one.

    When  I miraculously find a spare half hour for leisure and turn away from my Kindle towards something more productive or fulfilling, I thank my parents for setting my default programming to real life rather than virtual life. When I enjoy one little piece of cake but am quite satisfied to stop there, I thank my parents for setting my tastebuds to a wider range than the corn-syrup section. I never really developed a taste for or habit of gobbling sweets or escaping life through screens, thanks to my parents. So I actually have hobbies like gardening and crocheting and reading; I have a trim and healthy body. I feel like a multidimensional, capable person. What gifts!

    5. I Enjoy Life More

    When you watch just one movie per week, those weekends you get to binge watch Saturday morning cartoons at grandma’s are the bomb. It’s like having Lent before Easter: Saying no to sugar for 40 days makes Easter candy and cakes and pies super-delicious. Plus, then you get the joy of anticipation. Good things really are better when you wait for them. Just as pornography ruins people’s ability to enjoy or even respond to sex, gorging yourself on otherwise good things has diminishing returns.

    In short, my upbringing meant I never lost out on anything worth having. In fact, my strict parents expanded my self-reliance and self-control, and allowed me to blossom slowly, without feeling wrenched from the bud. Every child deserves to have parents who love their kids enough to tell them, “No.” Those parents are entirely justified in then turning around and snickering when the kids predictably have a hissy fit and self-righteously proclaim, in the attitude of Buzzfeed, “you never let me do anything! You hate me!”

    If you’re lucky, mom and dad, they’ll grow out of it. Maybe it will help if you limit their Buzzfeed intake.

    Joy Pullmann is managing editor of The Federalist and an education research fellow at The Heartland Institute.

  • Kresta in the Afternoon – May 1, 2015

    Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on May 1, 2015

     

    4:00 – Little Boy: A Film on Faith and Family

    Little Boy is the story of a young boy who will do whatever it takes to end World War II and bring his father home. The indescribable love between father and son is the basis for a heartwarming tale. We speak with the film’s producer and director, Alejandro Monteverde

     

    4:20 – Back to Basics: Forming Intentional Disciples

    Consider the following statistics: Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing. 10 percent of all American adults are ex-Catholics. Only 60 percent of Catholics believe in a personal God. As we’ve said before, we’re surrounded by Catholics who have been Sacramentalized but not Evangelized. A lot of people see this as a sign of the end, that the Church in the US is on the way out. Sherry Weddell sees it as an opportunity to regrow the Church on a solid foundation of committed, intentional Disciples of Christ. She joins us today.

     

    5:00 – Kresta Comments: Charges Filed against Baltimore Police Officers

     

    5:20 – Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story of how he Gambled his Career Away

    Gambling addicts often say it’s the thrill of winning, not the money, that keeps them addicted. We ask Michael Burke if he agrees. Michael was a successful lawyer who spent over $1.6 million of his client’s trust account funds on gambling. He was eventually jailed for his actions. He joins us today to talk about how to identify and help people afflicted with gambling addiction.

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 30, 2015 – Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 30, 2015 – Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: What are the Protests Trying to Accomplish?

    • Description: The protests in Baltimore have spread to major cities throughout America, including New York, Seattle and Denver. In the past, racial protests had a clearly defined and achievable goal: the right to vote, to sit anywhere on a bus, to eat at any restaurant and so on. Today’s protests are over the right to...not be killed by white cops? What should the protesters be doing to have an actual positive effect on the lives of the people they fight for? Jesus asks in Luke, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?” He commands us to consider the consequences of our actions. Will we see this in future protests? Al has comments.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match?

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match? (con't)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 30, 2015 – Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 30, 2015 – Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match?

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match?

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match? (con't)

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