Peggy Noonan. So Much to Savor: A big win for America, and a loss for the mainstream media

Thursday, November 4, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST Wall Street Journal

God bless our country.

Hello, old friends. Let us savor.

Let us get our heads around the size and scope of what happened Tuesday. George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States, became the first incumbent president to increase his majority in both the Senate and the House and to increase his own vote (by over 3.5 million) since Franklin D. Roosevelt, political genius of the 20th century, in 1936. This is huge.

George W. Bush is the first president to win more than 50% of the popular vote since 1988. (Bill Clinton failed to twice; Mr. Bush failed to last time and fell short of a plurality by half a million.) The president received more than 59 million votes, breaking Ronald Reagan’s old record of 54.5 million. Mr. Bush increased his personal percentages in almost every state in the union. He carried the Catholic vote and won 42% of the Hispanic vote and 24% of the Jewish vote (up from 19% in 2000.)


44 thoughts on “Peggy Noonan. So Much to Savor: A big win for America, and a loss for the mainstream media”

  1. Maybe now that the election is over we can start telling the truth again.

    “Soldiers Describe Looting of Explosives: Iraqis piled high-grade material from a key site into trucks in the weeks after Baghdad fell, four U.S. reservists and guardsmen say.”,1,1919348.story?coll=la-home-headlines

    “WASHINGTON: In the weeks after the fall of Baghdad, Iraqi looters loaded powerful explosives into pickup trucks and drove the material away from the Al Qaqaa ammunition site, according to a group of U.S. Army reservists and National Guardsmen who said they witnessed the looting.

    The soldiers said about a dozen U.S. troops guarding the sprawling facility could not prevent the theft because they were outnumbered by looters. Soldiers with one unit, the 317th Support Center based in Wiesbaden, Germany said they sent a message to commanders in Baghdad requesting help to secure the site but received no reply.”

    The incompetency issue isn’t going away.

  2. Dean quotes: “The soldiers said about a dozen U.S. troops guarding the sprawling facility could not prevent the theft because they were outnumbered by looters.”

    Yeah, well when the Great Military Minds of the Bush administration decided to dump the Powell Doctrine in favor of the Wolfowitzian Fantasy, things like that happen. But at least Rumsfeld got to experiment — using the lives of American soldiers — with his “underwhelming force” doctrine.

    But this report is probably just a slander by the leftwing liberal media. What really happened is that the U.S. soldiers couldn’t reach the looters because of all the other Iraqis smothering them with flowers and candy. Yeah, that’s it. It was all part of the catastrophic success. Phew! For a moment I almost thought the Bush administration had made a mistake.

  3. This is how the West Coast, where I live, is celebrating the Bush victory:

    “On the Avowed Left Coast, a Feeling of Being Left Out”,

    “They were feeling the blues here on Wednesday, a city so deep in the blue that President Bush managed just 15 percent of the vote in an election he won nationally by more than 3.5 million votes.

    While the American heartland found great comfort in the president’s re-election, there was melancholy and stunned disbelief in San Francisco and other cities along the avowedly left West Coast.”

  4. Jim: Do you ever think that the West Coast, California, Oregon and Washington State should just secede? Together these three States would comprise an economy that would be fifth or sixth in the world.

    We pay more taxes to the federal government than we get back in federal spending, and we don’t share the war-mongering, environmentally-hostile, socially-intolerant and economically retrograde values of the rest of the country.

    If we are going to be a permanent minority in this country, and have policies we disagree with rammed down our throats by people who are not shy about telling us that they hate and despise us, we may as well just go our own way.

  5. Dean,
    If you want a picture of what the US would look like without the far right, take a look at Canada. Peaceful, clean, tolerant and low crime rates.

    While Canadians ALSO carry guns, their crime rate is remarkably less than it is right across the lake. Something is wrong with our country.

    For all of our noise about “values” over those of Europe’s, our statistics for rape, violent crime and theft dwarf theirs. I will not attribute it to purely conservative or liberal social policies, and anyone who does so is being dishonest.

  6. Welcome to the real world Dean. It’s like that every election. You win some, you lose some. The Democrats should take a page from the Republicans after the Goldwater defeat. Retreat, take stock, and start working on ideas. As long as the “Nation” types control the leadership, the Democrats will continue to lose elections. If they return to their roots, they will start winning again and the country will be better for it. Republicans have become the centrist party. To characterize them as the “radical right” posits the left as centrist, but the left keeps losing thus proving the characterization false.

    Your “Nationesque” analysis is wearing thin mostly because it consists of moral outrage with no substantiation of the ideas behind it. Moral outrage is not the same thing as clear reasoning, although this point is lost to those who hold to their positions as an article of faith — as Progressives do. Politics replaces faith in the progressivist cultural vision, which is also why there is such confusion on moral issues as a result. Progressives really believe that, say, abortion, including partial birth abortion, is solely a a “civil rights” matter. They see gay marriage as the same thing. They decry single issue politics, but they don’t realize that these moral questions is precisely where their politics is revealed as articles of faith.

    Their outrage is really a crusade of secular religionists. Conservatives sense this, including Bush Democrats. It’s one reason why in such a liberal state as Oregon more voters voted for a ban on gay marriage than voted for Bush.

    What you fail to see is that the “compassion” of the Progressives is not compassion at all. You need to read my “Again” piece again (Casualties of the Culture War: Orthodoxy and Morality in the Public Arena), but this time with comprehension. If you grasp my points, you will have a better grasp on why your ideas suffered such decisive repudiation by the American electorate.

  7. Dean writes: “Jim: Do you ever think that the West Coast, California, Oregon and Washington State should just secede? Together these three States would comprise an economy that would be fifth or sixth in the world.”

    Hmmm . . . Interesting idea. Let me close my copy of The Nation, put down my crack pipe, turn off my post-grunge, nihilistic music, turn off the Penthouse Channel, and kick my gay lover out of the room, so I can think about that…..

    Of course there’s been a lot of disappointment among Democrats over this election — definetly an “us” and “them” feeling, as if “we” have fundamentally very little in common with “them.” But I think that overstates the case. Thus, I think there is no reason for Democrats to withdraw themselves either from the nation or from the situation. While it is true that a majority of people who self-identify as conservatives went for Bush, a majority of seif-identified moderates and liberals went for Kerry. Something like 80 percent of the people who identified “morality” as their main interest broke for Bush, which means that the glass is 20 percent full for Democrats.

    I think the main problem Democratic candidates have is that they are not used to using the language of morality and religion in public political discourse. That doesn’t mean that Democrats aren’t moral people or that they have no spiritual life. It just means that they tend not to communicate using that currency. Another problem is that “morality” is being given a very narrow definition. When people identify as being concerned with morality they often mean ‘abortion’ and ‘gay marriage.’ But the moral universe is much larger than that. There are moral issues related to war, the economy, the environment, and so on. Democrats need to be able to widen the discourse related to moral issues, but in order to do that they need to know how to talk to people who operate out of a conservative religious worldview.

    I have a little blog, and posted the following this morning. These are some of my ideas on what the Democratic candidates need to do in order to regain some of the folks whose concerns are primarily on the religious and moral level:

  8. Canadain Eden is a myth

    Note 5

    People just love to refer to Canada as if it is an Eden. It is not an Eden if you are sick. If you have a serious condition requiring an MRI you may have to wait up to a year to be schedule for an MRI. Many people travel to the United States rather than die waiting. There are people in Canada’s heavily rationed health system that die waiting for treatment. Canada has a doctor shortage, predictable, that means that more and more Canadians are treated by physician’s assistants who are hastily trained. The cleaniness level and infection rates at Canadian hospitals are far below American standards. Hospital worker unions make it almost impossible to fire an hospital orderly and seriously ill patients are cared for by time servers.

    Worst, of all is that Canadians, in their insane desire to commit cultural suicide have instituted Sharia law. Muslims are allowed to circumvent the standard Canadian court system and have their disputes settled by imams using Sharia law. Divorce and inheritance provisions under Muslims law heavily favor the man. Wife beating is allowed. Muslim women in Canada are afraid to refuse to go along with the “voluntary” Sharia law Court because of family pressure and fear of ostracism.

    So the Canadians have closed the absurd circle of their suicidal multi-culturalism. They have officialy condoned wife-beating, unequal laws on property division and custody in divorce, unequal testimonial and inheritance rights.

    Yeah, sure, Canada is a paradise. A couple with a total household income of $50,00 to $60,000 pays 50% income tax rate. Canada has a brain drain. Medical professional stream south in hopes of practicing medicine free of the National Health System that is paralyzed with red tape and endless lines of sick patients hoping for an opening.

  9. On 8.
    Well, since I’m a Canadian (and although relationships with the central federal government has been difficult I’d rather have that then be forced to move to the US anytime) I’d like to give a bit of insight on the affirmations.
    Our health system is neither worse nor better than the US healthcare system. However, excluding the province of Alberta which has recently chosen to privatise almost every aspect of health care, Canadians pay half the amount Americans pay every year for the same level of scientific and medical know-how. Canada has a lot more isolated and hard to reach areas that require difficult choices when it comes to medical and nursing staff mobility and distribution of equipment. But the doctor shortage, in Quebec for example, it s very acute because the College des medecins will often show sharp protectionism, even if the candidate passes all the standard tests… They sometmes have to start their training from scratch! (Ka-tching! Gut für die universities, mein dear!)

    On the Sharia law, it is only in the Toronto area and it has generated, needless to say, tremendous debate. All the mosques are carefully monitored and, since the US is our neighbour, we have upped the ante on Muslim populations since 2001. So the sharia thing is not nationwide. Wife beating is NOT allowed, sorry to disappoint you. Property rights are increasingly unjust i have to agree… The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer… We’re trying to imitate our neighbour down south but something’s not right and there’s no point accusing each other on that matter.
    And on the “tax burden”. I’m happy to pay more taxes because paying heavy taxes means you’re rich. Only poor people pay little or no taxes. And $25 000 is more than enough for two people two live by. It’s just a question of being money wise. Rich people pay more taxes like people with a big house pay more insurance than people with a small house or people with two cars pay more insurance than people with no cars (unless they dont want to get insured?)

    Canada does not have a brain drain. That is a myth. We lose a trickle of skilled people compared to, say, India. And most of them go to the United States. I guess our universities are not so bad after all if American companies are willing to give them hefty pays to hire them, won’t you say?

    Health systems worldwide are getting cluttered because the money we could use for fighting diseases is funneled in buying useless big cars, bad but unfortunately legal drugs such as tobacco and caffeine (not to mention the *ugh* illegal ones), and war. Which in turn cause environmental degradation and puts an even greater load on health care systems, be they wholly private ot public.

    Come down to Canada, but I must warn you… you might enjoy it more than expected…

  10. Jim, took a look at your blog and there is much I can agree with. Some of your cultural assumptions are off ;), you have much more faith in Democratic assertions that they care for the poor than I do (I think a lot of it is smoke and mirrors at worst, misguided at best*), but all in all your call for a morally based discourse is a good thing.

    God is not a Democrat or Republican, but He is a moral conservative.

    *Whenever I need money for a charitable project, the conservatives give with less prodding and they always give more. This is not universally true of course, but it happens enough to where I can list it under “Fr. Hans’ anecdotal laws of the universe”. The man who loaned an apartment building for the resettling of homeless families I wrote about upstream is a staunch Republican.

  11. Phronono writes: “Canadians pay half the amount Americans pay every year for the same level of scientific and medical know-how.”

    I think you’re on to something here. Some of the people here may recall that I have worked for over twenty years for a large American university medical center. In every hospital you will find the ubiquitous “patient accounts” office. A large hospital may have 100 or more people employed in that office, and patient billing systems cost millions of dollars. On the reimbursement side you have insurance companies with yet other batallions of employees and computer systems. In other words, in the U.S. you have a fantastic amount of money — surely in the tens of billions of dollars per year if not more — devoted to the overhead expense of billing and payment. This overhead, unfortunately, adds exactly zero value to medical care. And I say this as one who for years has fed at that trough. Hospitals have to deal with literally hundreds of insurance companies, hundreds of managed care contracts all of which cover or do not cover various things, countless types of deductibles, per diem payments, procedure-based payments, DRG payments, etc., etc., etc.

    A single payor system (aka “socialized medicine”) has the potential to eliminate much of this overhead.

    It is the case that every country rations health care. Canada may do it through waiting lists. We do it by dumping people off of health care when they lose their jobs, or by having them work at jobs with no health benefit to begin with. Many of these people work at jobs that pay so little that it is virtually impossible to afford any kind of significant care. Thus, the costs of their care are shifted on to the paying customers and their insurance customers. We avoid the waiting lists of Canada by simply spending much more per capita on health care, but without a commensurate increase in life expectancy.

    We can brag about our current system, but within 5 or 10 years, the foundation of our system — namely health insurance through employers — is going to crumble. What you’re going to see more and more is that health care will simply become too expensive for employers to cover. The costs will shift to employees, but after a point they won’t be able to cover the additional cost either. At that point you’re going to see a crisis as the funds available cannot support the level of health care to which we’ve been accustomed. At that point the Canadian system will look pretty attractive. And if you think Bush’s medical savings accounts will rescue us . . . I have bridge you might like to buy. Whether or not you want it we’re eventually going to end up with a system that looks and smells and walks and talks exactly like socialized medicine. Not because we want it, but simply because the current system will be financially unsupportable.

  12. Note 9

    Sharia law clearly allows wife-beating. The “right” of a man to beat his wife to obtain obedience is taken directly from the Koran.

    If Canadian-Muslim women gets a divorce through Canadian-Sharia law courts, will her claim of being beaten during her marriage be heard? I think not. There are many factors that will serve to suppress the very EXPRESSION of the women’s point of view. It won’t even show up on the official record. Since Muslim-Canadian women have the option of Sharia law, it will be easy for their relatives to pressure them use the Sharia Courts. They will claim that she is not a good devout Muslim woman worthy of respect if she does not.

    The only response you have to this abomination is that it only obtains in one city and ….. drumroll here…. it has generated “a great deal of debate.”This is the most limp-wristed response to genuine injustice I have encountered in several years.

    The plain truth of the matter is that you Canadians have agreed to allow a system of law, directly built on the secondary status of women, to hold sway in your country. All of you blather about “human rights” has been swept aside. If you claim that I don’t know what I am talking about I would refer you to the six volume edition of the Bukhari Hadith that I own. The Hadith are the sayings and teaching of Mohammed. In one section, the Bukhari Hadith report an episode in which a Muslim follower asks Mohammed why the Koran set’s women’s testimony to be worth one half of a man’s. Mohammed responds “because women are deficient in intellect.” Remember it is the Koran which dictates that the tesimony of a woman is worth half of that of a man. Do you think that an imam is going to give women’s testimony the same weight in a contested matter? I think not.

    Why have Canadians shown such contempt for their own Anglo-American legal tradition? Why didn’t you have the cultural backbone to defend your own system of law which lead the world in recognizing the dignity and equal worth of every human being? Why did you allow thousands of people who hold values directly in conflict with your own to move into North American and begin to colonize it.

    It isn’t an answer to say that you allowed religous Jews to use a Jewish system of arbitration. If necesary to avoid the institution of Sharia law in North America, you should have abolished any system of private arbitration.

    Why are you allowing Canada, and by implication, North America to be colonized by a hostile culture. Why do you think that Muslims are going to give up the central tenet of their ideology: that is that religion and government should be one and the same? Why do you think that will change? It has been the Muslim pattern to build a population concentration before asserting special rights. Have you followed what is happening in Europe? They have already succeeded beyond their wildest dreams? What would have thought an “enlightened” modern government would have given a medieval, misogynist system even a toe hold.

    As to health care, I haven’t studied the problem in enough depth to propose systematic solutions. I do know that many liberals in the United States idealize the Canadian health system which is rife with defects. I do know that Canadians die on waiting lists. I certainly agree that our system needs serious help. I tend to doubt more government is the answer. I do know of several professional people who have left Canada because of the oppressive taxation. Taking 50% of a person’s wages is not taxation, it is serfdom.

  13. Canadian Universities:

    Until the Israeli ambassador to Canada become involved, former Isreali Prime Minister was not allowed to speak at a Concordia University because the administration of Concordia claimed it could not guarantee his safety from the Muslim students. This represents the extent to which official Canada has abdicated its duty to govern and protect the rights of other, when they are threatened by Muslims. It took the intervention of an ambassador and public shaming to get action.

  14. Phonono:

    I understand that a Christian printer who did not want to print pamplets supporting homosexuality was penalized by the Canadian government. Canadian “hate crimes” laws suppress free speech. When Daniel Pipes was invited to speak on a Canadian campus, he was taken to a small room before his talk and was lectured by Canadian officials on the scope of what he could say. He was warned that he was subject to hate speech laws. I believe a country that claims the right to punish someone for what they merely say ( with certain very narrow exceptions for criminal threats) is fascistic. Canada uses hate crimes laws to enforce thought control.

    Canada is already dhimmi because it harbors known terrorists and rescues them from arrest by other countries. It has allowed use operation of Sharia law. Muslims will be the main beneficiaries of the hate speech laws. Muslims will use this to suppress criticism of Islam and the Canadians government will be right there behind the Muslims facilitating it all.

  15. In Europe the phrase “Welfare state” does not carry the negative connotations it does here in the United States, but is something spoken of with great pride and appreciation. A citizen of the United Kingdom, for example, can attend Oxford University for $5000 a year (expensive by European standards) and receive all their health care for free. By contrast here in the United States there are upwards of 45 million people who can only get medical care as charity cases, and college tuition costs are soaring beyond the means of most middle-class families.

    As Europeans view an American health care system that produces mountains of Viagara, but is unable to maintain an adequete supply of essential Flu Vaccine, they must find thier worst suspicians about othe US economic model confirmed.

    I don’t agree with all aspects of European socialism, like generous welfare benefits for people idle by choice, but one cannot fail to notice that European nations now maintain a standard of living for their citizens equal to or superior to that of the United States. The European welfare state does not seem to have adversely impacted Europe’s economic performance or competitiveness either. In the last 4 years the value of the dollar has fallen by 20% against the Euro. European companies like Nokia and Vodaphone easily swept away Motorola for dominance of the US cell phone market.

    Uruguay recently elected their first socialist President, following in the socialist footsteps of Brazil and Venuzuela. Even in our own hemisphere, nations are rejecting the US economic model.

    With his concept of an “ownership society”, George W. Bush seems determined to return the US to the economic model of the 19th century, Victorian era Robber Barrons. The “ownership society” represents the abdication of government from any obligation to care for its citizens. Those who can aford to care for themselves will be fine, while those with low incomes who are struggling are free to throw themselves at the mercy of Church-based charities or starve.

    On Thursday Bush announced his intention to loot the Social Security Trust fund and bring about its premature insolvency in order to fund “investment accounts” in the casino-like stock market for every American. It will be a Bonanza for wall Street but for average americans it is another one of Bush’s many acts of economic vandalism adversely affecting our lives and futures.

  16. Note 9. James, Missourian has explained why your idea that Hindu or Buddhist or Muslim tenets should adorn US government buildings next to the Ten Commandments is ill informed. Religious precepts are the moral foundation of law, and different religions create different foundations. The implied notion of “equality” in your request is uniquely Christian, and your request reveals that you confuse social equality with religious relativism.

    Patrick Henry wrote, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason people of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

  17. There you go again Dean. You unload a boatload of assertions (this time championing European statism) along with the requisite condemnation of America as if the condemnation proves the assertions true.

    Two themes dominate your thinking: 1) statism (economic and cultural) is preferred over individual liberty; and 2) the American experiment is a grand mistake.

    Your ideas reveal a numbing conformity to the precepts of the Progressive left — a point I proved when I showed that your assertions were lifted directly from the “Nation” website. Your intellectual godfather is Saul Alinsky, although I wonder if you know this. Look him up.

    You don’t really argue as much as you blankly assert. Ideas are never developed or defended. Someone will probably take the time to challenge your assertions but by them you will have unloaded a boatload of new ones on different topics but faithful to the themes.

    This style of argumentation comes from Alinsky too and the Progressives use it all the time. When the precepts of the Progressive left are presented as self-evidently true (and in your mind they appear to be), assertions can function as fact. Make enough of them and maybe others will see the light just as the Progressive does. Who says secularists aren’t religious?

  18. Fr. Hans writes: “When the precepts of the Progressive left are self-evidently true (and in your mind they appear to be), assertions can function as fact. Make enough of them and maybe others will see the light just as the Progressive does.”

    Ok, rather than making assertions, lets do a little experiment: follow the money and the benefits and then *you* tell *me* who are the big winners under the Bush administration.

    What you’re going to see is what you have seen — a continuing shift of money, benefits, rights, advantages, and power to the rich and the corporations, with the occasional bone thrown to the religious right. The Halliburton no-bid contract is just the tip of the iceberg, and a rather clumsy one at that. Look at the billions of tax dollars that went to Iraq, and for which there is no accounting. Look at the $200 million in taxpayer money that Bush leveraged in order to build a baseball stadium. Look at the Texas university fund — who ended up managing that? This is how Bush operates. If you’re interested in morality, you may find the upcoming looting of the country (concealed by clever euphemisms) at least as important as gay marriage. But don’t take my word for it. Watch the money.

  19. Perhaps I’m not understanding the “no establishment of religion” clause then:

    We can put pictures of Jesus, Abraham and Moses in the State house (not the Virgin, though, we’re not Mary-worshippers!) but not Buddha or Kali?
    It’s okay if someone wants to lead a prayer in class as long as it’s to “God” or “Jesus” but not “Allah” or “Ganesh”? What if the Christian classmates are allowed to make overt displays of disapproval like holding their noses or making the sign of the cross?
    We can put up crosses and mangers in December on the lawns of public parks but not Kwanzaa signs?

    I’m at a loss as to what the line is between freedom of religion and a State-instituted establishment of religion. It seems that once we allow one and forbid others, we have most definitely crossed that line.

  20. To 12, 13 and 14…

    It is interesting to see how I get lashed by someone who interprets too much (lawyer bias? 😉 ) my word and puts some in my mouth, accusing me of saying that Bush is stupid, even though I never said or implied that he was, and then explaining myself and what’s more, having someone else saying that i act like i am persecuted, and then swtich here and i see the same person thinking for me and stating that i attacked Bush- one individual – lashing at 31 million neighbors based on the anecdotal and calling me “limp-wristed” (whatever that means). Again, i placed the Bush sovereignty clip because I don’t have a huge collection of Bush clips on my computer, I just wanted to say that Missourian has a clearer definition of sovereignty than her president, according to me, and that was to compensate for calling Missourian “pretentious”, which was wrong and un-called for.
    A while back there was a judgment passed on a group of Haitians, for the rape of a young Haitian girl. The Canadian judge had declared that “since rape is a cultural element of Haitians” she would not punish the Haitians. Not only was there a huge outcry and the judge had to recuse herself for such an irresponsible decision… As for the sharia tribunal, in the province of Quebec we would never allow for such a thing and in Ontario, I don’t know why it was allowed but I know that if you read the papers (I don’t watch much television, maybe an hour a day at most and not news) you see that the debate is very heated
    This article is very interesting, even though I do not support Christian Science.
    “The Ontario government redrafted legislation in 1991, granting religious leaders the authority to mediate civil matters. The law, called the Arbitration Act, was designed to help unburden an already over-taxed court system. At the same time, they hoped it would enhance the country’s official doctrine of multiculturalism, the notion that a society is made richer when ethnic groups are encouraged to share their cultural expression and values. Rabbis and priests have also used the act to adjudicate squabbles over everything from dietary rules to monetary disputes between parishes.”

    Interesting… the Act was based on a proposition based on tax burden relief… my my how Hell is paved with good intentions…
    You don’t have to convince me that sharia is not desirable, Missourian, but you have to understand the issues. And remember that in Quebecwe don’t have Anglo-American aw, we have our own Civil code and the Charter of Rights and it works well because our minorities are very well treated, it’s when religion gets mixed up in the process that it becomes explosive,
    13. Again, you remain anecdotal by mentioning ONE university. That University invited prime minister Netanyahu and some buildings got destoyed by activists because only a selected group was allowed inside the premises. The adminstration is being very wimpy I agree but that does not prove our Universities are bad.
    14. Anecdotal. The United States has hate speech laws preventing free speech also. A Danish friend was in Canada to visit me and he said that we were fascists for not letting the Nazis and Pedophiles have their websites like in Denmark. Political correctness is one thing but censorship is not a given here. There is as much censorship in the Canada as in the U.S. Except maybe on the news channels where I can see that more is censored in the US media compared to Canadian media.
    And before accusing Canada of harboring terrorists, I ask you the question: What country’s central intelligence agency failed to raise awareness over the heinous and repulsive 9/11 events? In what country did a terrorist manage to plot and succed in the bombing of a governmental building, killing hundreds of ordinary people?
    On voit la paille dans l’oeil du voisin mais pas la poutre qu’on a dans le sien = You see the twig in the eyes of our neighbours but not the branch in yours.

    I could go on and on and say how the U.S. has this and that wrong and you can reply how Canada is full of pink-o liberals and lets in terrorists and is fascist, but that is a) in no way contsructive (aren’t we supposed to be “together”? That attitude does not help) and b) it steers more and more off-topic.

    Getting back to the thread, I’m definitely not seeing a big win for Bush as he got half of the popular vote and Kerry got the other half. For starters a big win is at least 70 or 80 percent of the popular vote. Secondly, he got half of about 60% of the adult population. So that’s 30% of the voters. It means that 70 percent of American voters did not want Bush. Yes, the non-voters, it’s their fault because they did not vote but it does send a sign that a sizeable proportion of the United States clearly is not moved by Bush or Kerry. And I have heard a lot of people saying they would vote for Bush because they did not like Kerry, not because they liked Bush… Where does that leave us? I don’t know. The Catholics have voted because they want a strong father figure who follows their social and moral agenda, even if that means electing a war president.

  21. Note 20

    You invited me to visit Canada. I explained why I declined.

    Concordia is not a trivial example. There is a history of Muslim thuggery preceding Barak’s visit. Canadian Universities are very tolerant of Islamofascist acitivity. About a year ago, a Canadian law student who criticized Sharia law in a student newspaper was disciplined by the school administration and had to issue an apology if he wanted to avoid expulsion.

    Canadian Multiculturalism: When you believe all things you believe nothing. When you “value” all things, you “value” nothing.

    Although you refer to your current legal system with a different name, all English colonies on the North American continent were governed by the English Common Law. This English Common Law embodies an entire culture. The English Common law in place in North American can rightfully be called Anglo-American. It is this precious inheritance which you have rejected. What is the Biblical phrase “traded your birthright for a mess of potage.” The birthright was Anglo-American law. The “mess of potage” was multi-culturalism.

    It is oxymoronic to claim that Canadian law recognizes the legality equality of women and yet allow any form of Sharia law to be enforced. I provided you with textual references from classical Islamic sacred literture which makes clear that Islam is a deeply misogynistic ideology. You cannot refute that. As I understand it, these Sharia Courts will operate in private and there will be tremendous pressure on Canadian Muslim women to “agree” to resolution of their disputes using Sharia law.”Limp-wristed” is a polite term for the abandonment of the principle of equality under the law. I understand that these Court are operating now and your response is “a lot of debate.” You have given misogyny a great victory, since, in other countries where women are fighting for their rights, Muslims can point to the acceptance of Sharia law in Canada. Thank you Canada.

    As you have stated “multi-culturalism” is an official tenet of Canadian law. In the United States it has not reached that level. “Multi-culturalism” in the United States is an intellectual conceit which is nurtured almost exclusively by academia. It has not reached the level of official govenmental endorsement.

    Minorities in the United States do very well. A test of that proposition is the eager willingness of billions of people from all over to emigrate to the United States.

    Free speech in the United States:

    There is no comparison between the American tradition of free speech and the state of Canadian laws on public discourse. The right to free speech is limited only in a very few instances … direct and credible threats of violence against another person and pedophile literature ….are among the few exceptions. Nazis have free speech rights in America. If you Danish friend could not post a Nazis website, it was a private restriction imposed by the server not the United States government. Jewish Holocaust survivors living in Skokie, Illinois have to endure Nazi marches from time to time.

  22. Sharia Law: This is what your Canadian multi-culturalism has welcomed into North America:

    On October 5, France expelled Algerian-born Imam Abdel Qader Bouziane for telling a French magazine that Muslim husbands may beat their wives. This follows the sentencing on January 14 of the Egyptian-born Sheik Muhammad Kamal Mustafa, the imam of the mosque of the Spanish city of Fuengirola, Costa del Sol, for publishing a book that explains that wife-beating is in accordance with Shariah law.

    Sheik Yousuf Qaradhawi, one of the most influential clerics in Sunni Islam and head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and the International Council of Muslim Clerics, has also advocated wife-beating on multiple occasions in his 1984 book “The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam,” and on his weekly Al Jazeera program, which is popular among the surging number of European Muslims who increasingly look to religious leaders from the Middle East for religious guidance. This is particularly true with the growth of viewers watching Arab TV stations, available on satellite TV in Europe, which frequently airs shows dedicated to teaching a husband how to beat his wife. The following examples on this subject can be viewed at

    Egyptian Professor Sabri Abd Al-Rauf of Al-Azhar University appeared on Iqra TV on September 13, and explained that “beating [one’s wife] doesn’t mean beatings with a rod or beatings that draw blood…The beatings are intended to instill fear…and declaring that he isn’t satisfied with this wife.”

    Speaking on Syrian TV on July 26, Sheik Abd Al-Hamid Al-Muhajir explained that the Koran stipulates when a husband can beat his wife: “The Koranic verse refers only to a disobedient wife…First you must admonish…Then comes the stage of sending her to a separate bed…If this does not help either…it is said, ‘and beat them’… What’s better, that she gets slapped, or that she ruins her family, herself, and society?”

    Sheik Muhammad Al-Mussayar, an Egyptian professor at Al-Azhar University, was interviewed about wife beating on Iqra TV on June 7. He described what kind of woman should be beaten: “She is a wife who rebelled against her husband’s advice, and abandoning her in bed did not help.”

    As a member of the Egyptian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Sheik Yousuf Al-Badri explained on Egypt’s Dream2 TV on September 1,”I use beatings [on my children], but symbolically. The same goes for women: ‘Admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them…’ There are beatings in the Koran and in the Sunna…This means we’re allowed to beat.”

    On August 26, Qatar TV aired a panel discussion that included Dr. Ibrahim Elias, and the Director of The Women’s Development Society, Imam Bibars, who discussed a study she performed in the Arab world: “I’d like to say that I found something that took me by surprise. I call it ‘a culture of the electricity cable.’ The men in the study did not know one another, but they all used to beat their wives with electricity cables. These cables are large and they would beat their wives.” In defense of beatings, Dr. Elias, a lawyer, explained, “If you beat your wife and it’s only light beatings in order to set things straight – that’s it…We tell him, ‘They are not considered an assault, but discipline.’ ”

    Responding to the question, “What do you mean by light beatings?” he gave an example of when a man should be beat his wife: “For example, a man comes home from work and finds his wife watching TV. She doesn’t even get up to make him food. He tells her once, twice, and asks again. If only once he would raise his voice and beat her, she would get up to prepare food for him and by the next day she’d be obedient. This will last for a week and when she forgets, he will remind her.”

    The following day on the same channel, a religious leader detailed three types of women who deserve beatings: “The first type is a girl who was brought up this way…The second type is a woman who is condescending towards her husband…With her, too, only a rod will help. The third type is a twisted woman who will not obey her husband unless he oppresses her, beats her, uses force against her, and overpowers her.”

    Unfortunately, the examples mentioned in this article are the rule, not the exception. TV shows dedicated to husbands beating their wives can be viewed regularly on Arab TV.

  23. World financial markets respond to the Bush victory: Wahington Post: “Dollar Falls On Fears of U.S. Deficits”

    “The dollar continued its decline in global currency markets yesterday, intensifying worries among some economists that mounting U.S. budget and trade deficits could send the U.S. currency into a tailspin.

    … Behind such sentiments is the belief that the U.S. economy is too dependent on foreign investors, and that they may balk at pouring money into U.S. securities if the country’s debt continues to soar. Foreigners have provided much of the money the government borrows to cover its deficit, which was $413 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

    “One of the big drivers in the whole big picture the markets are looking at now is our being dependent on foreign sources of funds,” said David Solin, managing partner at Foreign Exchange Analytics in Essex, Conn. “Obviously, if the foreigners step back [from investing in U.S. bonds and stocks], there are going to be serious problems, not only for the dollar, but for all financial markets.”

  24. James writes: “I?m at a loss as to what the line is between freedom of religion and a State-instituted establishment of religion. It seems that once we allow one and forbid others, we have most definitely crossed that line.”

    The reason you’re at a loss is because the proponents of, for example, putting up Ten Commandments monuments in public places talk out of both sides of their mouth.

    The purported reason for such displays is that they simply illustrate the “moral foundation of the law,” or whatever the explanation du jour is. Then, when the courts rightly prohibit such displays, the proponents complain that the courts are “kicking God out of the public square.”

    Basically they want to have it both ways. Under the guise of the displays being innocently informational, they want to have monuments that THEY THEMSELVES know and acknowledge are primarily religious in nature.

    You can have relgious symbols in public places as long as the purpose of the symbol is not religious. Many courthouses in the country have statues or images of the Roman goddess Justicia — the lady with the blindfold and scales. This is the Roman version of the Greek goddess Themis and the Egyptian Ma’at. But there are no Justicia worshippers, no one offering salvation through Justicia, and no one saying that Justicia will be pissed if we remove her statues.

    The courts rightly discern that the purpose of Ten Commandments monuments is in fact religious, as the comments and complaints of the proponents acknowledge. It’s nothing more than an overt attempt to force their own religious views and values on everyone else through occupying a publicly-funded space with their monument.

    Thucydides described how the ancient Greeks after a battle would erect monuments and trophies in honor of their victories. This is what conservative Christians also hope to do. The Ten Commandment displays are nothing more than victory trophies that they hope to erect in honor of what they perceive as their hoped-for domination and victory in the culture wars.

  25. Establishment Clause: At the time of the 1st Amendment, each of the states had their own established religion. The original intent was to allow each of the states to keep their own established religion. The Federal government was not going to override that. Justice Thomas is of the opionion that each of the states still could establish their own religion if they so choose.

    One also has to put it in the context of the historical reality of the time. In Europe each country had an established religion in the full sense–citizens had to belong, were forced to tithe, etc. State recognition of a faith is not the same thing. That is why the attempts of the liberals to push the establishment clause to the point that it trumps the free exercise clause are absurd. Such attempts also demonstate a fear of religion in general, not a quest for freedom.

  26. Each State has its own established religion? Sounds like a recipe for chaos to me.

    Which Christian denomination would it be? Catholic? Baptist? Mormon?

    So how would that be implemented in practical terms? For example, could South Carolina ban tobacco, alcohol, dancing, rock music and divorce and automatically deduct 10% out of each taxpayer’s check for their “tithe”? Would more Catholic states ban the sale of contraception and criminalize the eating of meat during Lent?
    Would polygamy become legal in Utah again? Would states with high populations of Jehovah’s Witnesses be able to “draft” young men and women into service for two years for missionary work and “Watchtower” subscription drives?

    At what point are federal civil rights infringed upon by the States rights to establish their own religion? What is the litmus test?

  27. For everyone who thinks that Pres. Bush engaged the Iraqi front in the war against the Islamofascists because he wanted to benefit his buddies at Halliburton:

    1) This tells me that you think Pres. Bush is so malicously evil that he would send people to die just for to make money (a rather disgusting assertion, in my mind). Do you really believe this?
    2) Do the no-bid contracts Halliburton has recently received bother you more or less than the ones they received during the Clinton administration?
    3) Name one other company that can mobilize as quickly and do what Halliburton has done in Iraq (as Pres. Bush rightly qualified – French, German & Russian need not apply).
    4) How much experience do you have regarding federal bid & contracting procedures and regulations? Are you aware the no-bid contracts are regularly used in federal contracting in specific situations, especially where time is of the essence and a particular bureaucracy does not have the luxury of time to review hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of RFPs, RFIs, and compliance of responses with the Federal Aquistion Regulations (FAR)?
    5) Since so many of you complain that a great deal of resources & services were not put in place and/or restored fast enough in Iraq, why are you now saying that the Bush Administration should have gone through a long drawn out process of bid solicitation and review? Aren’t you being rather inconsitent?

  28. James, swinging to the extreme again I see. You fail to see the point of my post. To make it simple enough: the establishment clause has no where near the scope to prohibit state recognition of religion and praticipation of religious folks in the life of the polity an liberals think is does. At the time, Maryland was Catholic and the rest of the states were some flavor of Protestantism. Orthodox weren’t here yet, Mormonism hadn’t been invented, and the others were not even considered.

  29. Note 23. Dean, I see the Progressivist crusade continues.

    Note 24. There is no obligation to put up Hindu or Buddhist shrines, especially in American institutions, just to assert multicultural correctness. Like it or not, America is a product of Judeo/Christian culture. Radical secularists want to eliminate the memory of this tradition from public spaces which is why the only symbols that offend them are Christian and Jewish.

    Radical secularism is also becoming the home of the new anti-semitism. It’s taken hold in Europe, and it is taking hold here.

  30. Light rather than heat.

    Give me the weekend and I will see if I can find a good article by a reputable legal scholar that explains some of the Constitutional issues associated with religion. It is a big topic and I just don’t have time right now. I will try to chose something that has some depth but is not too lengthy. If I can find that perhaps Fr. Jacobse can post it.

  31. No. 29, Yes, except the intellectual influence is more George Soros, than Saul Alinsky. I’m a Jesuit-educated progressive with an MBA (Loyola University, 1992, Finance).

    In Bond Management class at Business school we were taught that US Treasury securities were the risk-free standard that the risk of all other investments are measured against.

    My professor:

    Now, thanks to the unbridled borrow and spend fiscal policies of the Bush administration that reassuring assumption is abbout to be put to the test. American private and public indebtness will reach critical levels during the next four years and the key question is whether the America can generate enough economic growth to sustain that debt level and still be considered credit-worthy by the roreign investors we now depend on.

    That is why I think the value of the dollar relative to foreign currencies is an important indicator. Also keep an eye on demand for T-Bills and T-Bonds at Treasury auctions. If the Asian investors stay home that’s a danger signal.

  32. Richard Clarke’s credibility

    Someone on this blog asked me to “read Richard Clarke’s book.” I may yet do that, however, I thought this media round up from National Review is a useful summary of what the President has been up against. Again, please remember that I have plenty of disagreements with the President’s policies, myself. I just don’t think he is Hitler.

    So here it is: From National Review

    Joseph Wilson–When Wilson claimed that his clandestine work proved the Bush administration was lying about alleged Iraqi attempts to procure uranium from Niger, he was lionized as a courageous truthteller willing to stand up to a corrupt and deceitful administration. Oops. In fact, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee review of pre-Iraq war intelligence concluded that Wilson’s findings contradicted his earlier public claims and that despite his insistence that his wife, undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, had had nothing to do with his selection, his work was undertaken after she recommended him for the job. The media buried those reports.

    Richard Clarke–Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism czar, was similarly celebrated when he published a book criticizing the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror and the Iraq war. The Fox News Channel released a transcript of a background briefing Clarke gave while he was still at the White House in which Clarke praised some of the very efforts he would later criticize. Most journalists focused on the propriety of Fox’s action, not the contradictions in Clarke’s accounts. Clarke also argued that Iraq had never supported al Qaeda, “ever.” Several months later, the final 9/11 Commission report, however, quoted an email Clarke had written in 1999 in which he cited the existence of an agreement between Iraq and al Qaeda as evidence that Saddam Hussein had assisted al Qaeda with chemical weapons. Most journalists ignored the revelation.

    Dan Rather–The CBS anchor aired a story about “new” documents suggesting that the young George W. Bush

    had received preferential treatment from political big-wigs to avoid serving in the Vietnam war. The documents were forged–something CBS had been warned about before the story was broadcast. When numerous forensic document experts concluded that the memos were fraudulent, Rather lashed out at his critics as partisan hacks and spoke of the supposed broader truth of the allegations. Although CBS later backed away from the story, Rather never apologized to President Bush.

    The Missing Explosives–Eight days before Election Day the New York Times published a major story about missing high explosives in Iraq. The Times’s account was based largely on an erroneous assessment from IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei. The Times collaborated on the piece with 60 Minutes, and a producer from CBS admitted that they had hoped to hold the story for October 31–two days before voters would go to the polls.

  33. Dean, Jim, & James:
    We obviously have quite different definitions of the word morality, let alone the effects and content of a moral vision. Here is my perceptions of the difference:

    Liberals tend to base their public morality on the idea of classes. They look for classes of people who appear (and may well be) disadvantaged under our current conditions, they then label the current conditions systemic and structural. since the large structural inequalities are the problem, it takes large structural government to solve the problem. One of the many negative outcomes of such an approach is the creation of inflexible social dichotomies. Thus we have the permanent oppositions of rich vs poor, black vs white, gays vs straights, women vs men, secularists vs religionists, etc. Morality tends to be seen as the use of government power to right the wrongs of the disadvantaged group. Money is often the personification of evil thus the frequent attempts at redistribution.

    Given such an approach, the class that is on the “wrong” side of the equation gets demonized. The chance for any real compromise or even dialog is greatly reduced. In addition, since the liberals themselves are often in the class that is on the “wrong (evil)” side of the equation, a peculiar type of self loathing occurs that results in the hyper-emotional bombast that passes for logic and debate. Another strange consequence is that despite the fact that liberals have such an inflexible world view that see culture as consisting of opposing classes (remind you of the dialectic of Hegel and Marx?), religious folks are accused of not being flexible when we label certain behaviours as sinful, unhealthy, and wrong.

    Since the liberals see only two sides to any issue, as soon as any faith based approach is brought up, liberals starting screaming THEOCRACY, INQUISITION, and as Robert Reich did on TV last night, RELIGIOUS WAR!

    The Christian approach is just the opposite. Classes are not that important. The individual response to revealed truth and the person of Jesus Christ is what counts. Individuals that respond to the Lord are then formed into a community, by the Holy Spirit, that recognizes the differences, but transcends them–a community in which there is no Jew or Greek, male or female, rich or poor, slave or free, etc. The Christian influenced culture then reflects the true equality, justice, charity, and mercy of the Christian community. The liberal version of the Christian vision is Communisim or its kinder cousin, socialism in which everyone is forced by the state into a single class. Which by the way is no different than establishing a religion.

    In Orthodox history, that is pretty much the way it worked–a synergy that frequently gets dismissed by the west as ceasaropapism.

    I have the great good fortune to actually live in a parish community that does a pretty good job of living the type of Christian vision I describe. I think it would be wonderful to have you all come and visit St. George Orthodox Christian Catherdral in Wichita, Ks. I’d be happy to be your host.

  34. Note 31. Glad to see you come out of the closet Dean. Note though, that you were not honest about your position until I pushed you out of it.

    But Alinsky influences you more than you know, particularly in the tactic of posting endless streams of criticism without stopping to subtantiate any of it. It all appears, well, so lock-step. It has gotten predictable. There is no room for understanding positions contrary to your own.

    On second thought, maybe you are a lot like Soros too.

  35. RE link in 35–proves what I’ve been saying since 2000, the liberals have a tyrannical mindset. The tyranny is founded on both materialism in its worst form and a hatred of God. The Slate article makes thesis in my post #33.

    Jesuit training and Orthodoxy don’t go together very well Dean. You can’t serve two masters.

  36. Fr, Hans writes: “Here is an example of what Progressives really think about conservatives.”

    It’s not what they think about conservatives. It’s what they think about religious fundamentalism when pressed into the service of the current administration. The current administration is not conservative. At present I don’t think there is a word to describe it.

  37. For the person who wrote that article, any faith at all is “fundamentalism”!! She needs her brain washed out with soap.

  38. Michael: Monday is your namesday, the feast day of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. We Greeks like to say “Chronia Polla!”, “Many Years!” on a person’s namesday. Since I’m travelling on business Monday I want to wish you “Many Years” now.

    We learned that Archbishop Demetrios is visiting California and asked to celebrate the feast day of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel Monday morning at our little Church just outside Sacramento. My flight isn’t until noon so I’m going to try and make it to the service.

    I think I need some time in Church to pull myself out of my feelings of gloom and anger.

  39. Note 37. But the point is Jim is that they recast conservativism as religious fundamentalism because they cannot conceive why anyone would not be progressive. It’s what I’ve been saying all along: progressives believe their ideas are self-evidently true. Their politics functions like an article of faith.

    There is a totalitarian temptation in the progressivist vision. The reason they hate all things religious is because to them politics is religion. They cannot separate the two and thus represent a great danger to freedom.

  40. First, of all concerning the article — I didn’t think it was particularly insightful. In fact, I read it before Fr. Hans posted it here. But it does reflect the feelings that many people have about fundamentalism. (Note: about *fundamentalism*, not about religion in general.)

    Religious fundamentalism is not the exclusive property of Christianity. It seems to exist in all religions. Christian fundamentalists exist within a world of certainly, in which God reveals things directly to them. They believe that the vast majority of non-fundamentalists will burn in hell forever. They believe that if God orders genocide — as in the Old Testament — then that’s just fine. They believe that Mother Teresa will probably burn in hell forever since she had the wrong beliefs. They believe that most Catholics and Orthodox will burn in hell forever since they also have the wrong beliefs and follow “the traditions of men.”

    Add religious fundamentalism to politics and you end up with a very dangerous mixture. They operate out of a position of certainty in which they feel the same certainty about their political beliefs as they do about their religious beliefs. They vote for Bush because “he loves The Lord.” They support the war in Iraq because it has something to do with the end times, and because they believe it is primarily a spiritual war. In general, they are indifferent to the sufferings of people outside of the fundamentalist community.

    So exactly how are non-fundamentalists supposed to react to fundamentalists? How are you supposed to feel when in one breath you are told that Bush is God’s man in the White House, and in the next breath you are told that you are going to be tortured eternally in hell because you don’t have the right beliefs? How do you react when you are told that you are among the evil secular humanists because you don’t believe in the literal Garden of Eden story?

    On top of all this, for many fundamentalists the religious and the political have now become a single fabric. Here’s an interesting post that I saw this morning on the religious forum of the local newspaper: “THe Moral Majority is not quiet and will not roll over and be ran over any more. Now you un-moral Libs must play by our Rules. You will find them in the Bible. Of course if you do not wish to do this, you can always go live in France.”

    So someone please explain to me how we’re now all going to kiss and make up after this election.

    Bush now has a “mandate” and “political capital” that he intends to “spend.” But had Kerry received 150K more votes in Ohio Bush would be cutting brush in Crawford, Texas next year. 55 million people didn’t vote for Bush. The country is at a very dangerous time right now. If the administration tries to steamroll over the opposition and put in place a very conservative religious agenda you’re going to have hundreds of thousands of people out in the streets, and we may find ourselves in a situation in which the ties that bind are permanently severed.

  41. Fundamentalism is found consistently among the hard left. If the crowd at the “Nation” and other progressive organs are anything it’s absolutist. The moral vision of the left (which they deny exists) has suffered serious repudiation. That’s one reason why they portray social conservatives as “fundamentalists.” They are bound to the lie that exists at the heart of their doctrine, and they have to maintain the lie to cover the totalitarian impulse that lurks there. Regular people sense that Democratic leadership is captive to the moral vision of the hard left which is why they repudiated it — Democrats and Republicans alike. Don’t forget, the defeat of the gay marriage amendment in Oregon (a blue state) was accomplished because Kerry, not just Bush, voters don’t want it.

    Now Democrats are in a quandry. After spending forty years cultivating moral liberalism and chasing out moderates and conservatives (like Zell Miller), they don’t have an seasoned leader. Hillary Clinton, the hier apparent, has credentials that mirror the ideas just repudiated. They have to scramble to avoid becoming the minority party for a generation. Respecting their opposition by, say, refraining from hysterics like calling them religious bigots, would be a good place to start. No one believes it anymore except the secular zealots on the left.

  42. Fr. Hans writes: “Fundamentalism is found consistently among the hard left.”

    While there no doubt are people on the left who are very doctrinaire and dogmatic, in general I think you don’t see anything like Christian fundamentalism on the left. At least I haven’t heard anyone on the left make the claim that he or she has a pipeline into absolute truth — a claim that is common among Christian fundamentalists.

    Fr. Hans: “The moral vision of the left (which they deny exists) has suffered serious repudiation.”

    I don’t think so. What was repudiated was gay marriage — hardly a centerpiece of the left, and actually an issue not of great concern to many homosexuals.

    Fr. Hans: “That’s one reason why they portray social conservatives as ‘fundamentalists.'”

    Yes, there is a big difference between a social conservative and a fundamentalist. For many on the left this may be a distinction that they do not perceive. But the Bush administration knows the difference and has an overt outreach to fundamentalists and evangelicals. I think the Democrats should do the same.

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