What Is The German Word For Hypocrite?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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hypocrite definition

Remember the big furor a while ago when Edward Snowden revealed that American intelligence agencies had been spying on their friends and allies as well as their enemies? I even commented on it myself here and there.

One of the politicians most outraged by the unwanted and unnecessary snooping was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Spying among friends, that’s not all right at all,” she said very publicly in 2013. And in July last year in an unprecedented move she expelled, from Germany the CIA station chief, who in plain language is the top American spy in the country.

The German media jumped all over it too, with heavy moralizing tones and whipping up the German public’s natural reaction against what America had been caught doing.

Angela Merkel with phone

Hmmmm.

That was good stuff.

At least it would have been, but for more recent revelations that Germany’s own spy agency, the BND, have for years been collaborating with America’s National Security Agency (NSA) in spying on Germany’s friends in Paris and Brussels.

What???

Yes, you read it correctly.

While Merkel was whining on about privacy this, and privacy that, her spooks were operating hand in glove with the Americans to spy on supposed friends. And Merkel knew it. As Chancellor she is in charge of overseeing what the BND is up to.

German BND

And specifically what the NSA was up to was using the electronic eavesdropping facilities of the BND in Bad Aibling, a town in Bavaria, by giving the Germans phone numbers, search terms or internet addresses they wanted to monitor. The scale of the snooping was huge. In 2013 alone, the Americans snooped in on 690,000 phone numbers and 7.8m search terms.

As investigations and revelations continue we will no doubt hear phrases like “national security’ and ‘terrorist threats’ being cited as the reasons for all this snooping being necessary. That would be fine if it were true. But it isn’t.

The thing that negates all the good elements that those who have been caught red-handed and red-faced will try to emphasize now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag are revelations that the American snoops were also targeting certain commercial companies which, if true is industrial espionage and nothing to do with terrorism.

Airbus, the European aircraft maker and chief rival to America’s Boeing, has already filed a criminal suit with German prosecutors and demanded clarification from the German government.

Airbus logo

Of course that doesn’t mean they’ll get it. Since these revelations a lot of ass-covering has started. Several investigations are apparently underway, investigations that will find whatever the government wants them to find. In other words they will only reveal what they think they have to and little else.

So to answer the question posed in the title of today’s post, ‘Heuchler’ is apparently the German word for hypocrite. So ‘Heuchlers’ they are!

Auf Wiedersehen.

Until tomorrow.

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More WMDs?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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womd2

Apparently recent reports from Western intelligence sources indicate that the government of Syria is in the process of constructing a new secret nuclear plant aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

I say ‘apparently’ because we all know that the Western Governments, particularly the United States and Britain, are in the habit of telling lies.

But, assuming this time they are telling the truth, the question I want to ask is not, ‘are the Syrians building a new nuclear weapons facility?’, but rather, ‘why are they bothering to try to build one?’.

They attempted it before but, just after midnight (local time) on September 6, 2007, Israeli bombers destroyed the facility in an air attack. That site was called ‘al-Kibar’, located 20 miles from Deir el-Zor in eastern Syria. Here are the before and after photos.

Syrian_Reactor_Before_After

The giveaway that the Israelis had got it right lay in the fact that the Syrian government has never commented or protested about the incident. If they hadn’t been up to something dodgy the Syrian propaganda machine would have been telling the whole world about the unprovoked Israeli aggression, you can be sure of that.

Not ones to learn a lesson quickly, the Syrians were at it again in late 2008, trying to produce plutonium aided and abetted by North Korea, which is always keen to promote nuclear weapons development in countries hostile to the West, having for some unknown reason been allowed to develop them themselves.

This time the plutonium producing supplies aren’t heading for al-Kibar which is just a hole in the ground. Instead they are supposed to be going to a facility being constructed in the southwest of Syria in a remote mountainous region near the small town of Al-Qusayr.

That’s just about two miles from the northern Lebanese border and close to the area controlled by the Lebanese Hezbollah group, which is supposed to be guarding the plant with ‘elite units’. The construction project is also being assisted by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

While the project is still in construction I’m sure the Israelis will let the Syrians continue to waste their time and money.

When it nears completion, and the capability to produce bomb quality material, then listen out for another big bang preceding another big expensive hole in the ground.

Israeli bombers

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Okay, I Give Up – Show Me The Money!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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money

I know it isn’t quiz day today, but this is just a short post to ask one very pertinent question – one that deserves an answer.

Quantitative Easing ended on Wednesday past.

QE was the media tag given to the process whereby the US Federal Reserve has printed $3.6 trillion over the past few years.

Quantitative Easing

The Bank of England did it in Britain too, and so did the European Central Bank for the European Union.

So where did all that money go?

I didn’t get any of it.

Did you?

But it must have gone somewhere.

Someone must have got it.

So where is it now?

If you know the answer please do tell. I, and I am sure many other people, would be interested in the answer.

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They’ve Got It Wrong AGAIN!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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russia-sanctions

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I wrote a short post the other day on the subject of failure. I think it was a success 🙂

What hasn’t been a success, however, is America’s foreign policy. I’ve also written about this many times in the past. I find it very annoying that a country as great as America and with so many brilliant people within it can neither elect a smart politician, or even a not so smart politician but one who has enough brains to hire smart advisers.

The current President, Barack Obama, has continued the trend of failure. Particularly with regard to foreign policy, at which he has not only failed but added indecision and procrastination to the mix.

The examples are many, but the latest foreign policy debacle is the leading role America has taken in the imposition of sanctions against Russia. Sanctions that may have been aimed against Russia but which are already starting to backfire against the US.

I noted in another post that sanctions have been imposed in regard to Russian oil and natural gas, which Europe (particularly Germany and France) needs, but America doesn’t; but that the sanctions were not imposed on nuclear fuels, which America does need.

Believe me, the hypocrisy of that has not been lost on the European governments or its public.

And the hypocrisy does not end there.

rosneft getty

On the one hand there have been hyped up media statements telling everyone that Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, and its head Igor Sechin, have been targeted in the sanctions.

But what hasn’t been trumpeted so loudly is the fact that British oil company BP, owns almost 20% of Rosneft, and has confirmed that it would not be severing ties with the Russian firm.

Similarly, Norway’s Statoil is continuing its partnership with Rosneft to search for oil in the Norwegian section of the Barents Sea.

And France’s major oil and gas company, Total, has announced that it is seeking financing for its next gas project in –  where else? –  Russia. When they get that financing, amounting to something in the region of $27 billion, it will be in Roubles or maybe even Yuan, but certainly not in US dollars – again thanks to the ill thought out sanctions.

This will set a trend for similar deals that will also exclude the US dollar, inevitably lowering its standing as the world’s reserve currency. I expect more such deals to be done with the Russians by German companies in particular as the sanctions fail to bring the promised results and as a consequence start to fall apart.

But it gets worse.

Before any of the US Senators or Congressmen stand up and start to call names at the Brits or the Norwegians or the French for backtracking on sanctions, they would be better to take a look nearer home.

It now seems that American Companies are not paying attention to the sanctions either.

ExxonMobil_Challenges

For example, ExxonMobil, America’s largest oil company, has continued drilling offshore in the Russian Arctic, also with Rozneft.

If the sanctions were anything more than a bit of public posturing by Obama, ExxonMobil shouldn’t (and wouldn’t) be doing any more work with the Russians in Russia. But using the excuse that it is environmentally safer to complete the well than to allow the Russians to do it alone, ExxonMobil got permission to continue.

No doubt the company will express its gratitude when the next round of electioneering fund raising comes along! (Gosh, I’m such a cynic!)

Now, if Obama and his advisers had thought for a moment about the consequences of sanctions, they would have realized that, in cases like this, companies such as ExxonMobile had not really got a choice. If they hadn’t continued to work with Rozneft, the Russian company would simply have gone ahead without them with a consequent dilution of ExxonMobile’s return if/when the well is a success.

In addition to that, if the Russian company did need other help you can be sure there would have been a Chinese energy company there ready and willing and eager to take up the slack.

Whilst Obama and his predecessors have been blundering around the world pissing off friend and foe alike, the strategy of the Russian President has been to cultivate new friends and thereby new markets and customers for his country’s vast energy reserves.

It has been a clever move.

Sanctions or not, game to Putin this time I think.

sanctions against Russia

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Chocolate And Yoghurt, Just Two Of The Questions This Quiz Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to Quiz Day on the fasab blog.

Chocolate, yoghurt and a lot more make up today’s questions.

So why not pour yourself a cup of coffee too and have a go?

As usual, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Q.  1:  What are the names of the two famous Star Wars robots?

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Q.  2:  How many muscles does your body use to balance itself when you are standing still?

            a)  100             b)  200             c)  300             d)  400              e)  500

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Q.  3:  What is the name of the largest and oldest chocolate company in the U.S.?

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Q.  4:  ‘tcby’ now means ‘The Country’s Best Yogurt’ but what did the letters ‘tcby’ originally stand for?

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Q.  5:  Who was the leader of the Macedonian Empire?

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Q.  6:  Time to rack up a lot of points, what were the names of the six principal actors in the long running hit TV series ‘Friends’?  (Bonus points if you can also correctly name the characters they played.)

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Q.  7:  What is the name generally used for the traditional curved blade Japanese sword?

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Q.  8:  Recently they seem to be trying to put it back up again, but in what year was the Fall of the Iron Curtain?

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Q.  9:  Approximately how many pieces of ‘space junk’ are orbiting around Earth?

            a) over 4,000          b) over 6,000          c) over 8,000         d) over 10,000

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Q. 10:  There’s a new one out this year, but how many ‘Planet Of The Apes’ based movies have there been? (Bonus points if you can name them and even more bonus points if know the years they were released.)

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Q. 11:  Which two rivers meet at Khartoum to make the Nile?

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Q. 12:  Who, in 2012, became the first person to break the sound barrier, unprotected and under his own power?

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Q. 13:  During World War II approximately how many tanks were produced by American factories?

            a)  59,000           b)  69,000           c)  79,000           d)  89,000           e)  99,000

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Q. 14:  Who is the current Prime Minister of Canada?

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Q. 15:  Isadora Duncan, known as the mother of modern dance, was killed in an unusual way, how?

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Q. 16:  What is the recommended standard recreational diving limit for ordinary divers?

            a)  20 meters              b)  30 meters              c)  40 meters              d)  50 meters

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Q. 17:  In Las Vegas, what is the name of the ancient Egyptian themed hotel with a pyramid shaped casino?

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Q. 18:  What was the name of the mythical Roman god of war?

 

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Q. 19:  Who was ‘Dr Frasier Crane’ and his brother ‘Dr Niles Crane’? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 20:  What musician is known as “The Boss” and what was the name of the band he played with? (A point for each correct answer.)

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What are the names of the two famous Star Wars robots?

A.  1:  The two famous Star Wars robots are called 3CP0 and R2D2.

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Q.  2:  How many muscles does your body use to balance itself when you are standing still?

            a)  100             b)  200             c)  300             d)  400              e)  500

A.  2:  Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.

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Q.  3:  What is the name of the largest and oldest chocolate company in the U.S.?

A.  3:  The largest and oldest chocolate company in the U.S. is Hershey’s. Founded by Milton S. Hershey in 1894, this company produces over one billion pounds of chocolate products every year.

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Q.  4:  ‘tcby’ now means ‘The Country’s Best Yogurt’ but what did the letters ‘tcby’ originally stand for?

A.  4:  The letters ‘tcby’ originally stood for ‘This Can’t Be Yogurt’, but the name was changed after the company was sued by a rival company called ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt’.

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Q.  5:  Who was the leader of the Macedonian Empire?

A.  5:  Alexander the Great.

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Q.  6:  Time to rack up a lot of points, what were the names of the six principal actors in the long running hit TV series ‘Friends’?  (Bonus points if you can also correctly name the characters they played.)

A.  6:  The six ‘Friends’ were Jennifer Aniston as ‘Rachel Green’; Courteney Cox as Monica Geller; Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay; Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani; Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing; and David Schwimmer as Ross Geller.

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Q.  7:  What is the name generally used for the traditional curved blade Japanese sword?

A.  7:  The traditional curved blade Japanese sword is called a ‘Katana’.

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Q.  8:  Recently they seem to be trying to put it back up again, but in what year was the Fall of the Iron Curtain?

A.  8:  The Iron Curtain fell in 1989.

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Q.  9:  Approximately how many pieces of ‘space junk’ are orbiting around Earth?

            a) over 4,000          b) over 6,000          c) over 8,000         d) over 10,000

A.  9:  The correct answer is c) over 8,000.

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Q. 10:  There’s a new one out this year, but how many ‘Planet Of The Apes’ based movies have there been? (Bonus points if you can name them and even more bonus points if know the years they were released.)

A. 10:  There have been eight planet of the apes movies so far, ‘Planet of the Apes’ (1968); ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’ (1970); ‘Escape from the Planet of the Apes’ (1971); ‘Conquest of the Planet of the Apes’ (1972); ‘Battle for the Planet of the Apes’ (1973); ‘Planet of the Apes’ (2001); ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ (2011); and ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (2014).

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Q. 11:  Which two rivers meet at Khartoum to make the Nile?

A. 11:  It’s easier than you think, the two rivers that meet at Khartoum to make the Nile are the White & Blue Niles.

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Q. 12:  Who, in 2012, became the first person to break the sound barrier, unprotected and under his own power?

A. 12:  Felix Baumgartner became the first person to break the sound barrier, unprotected and under his own power. In his record breaking stunt he reached speeds of up to 834 mph.

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Q. 13:  During World War II approximately how many tanks were produced by American factories?

            a)  59,000           b)  69,000           c)  79,000           d)  89,000           e)  99,000

A. 13:  The correct answer is d) 89,000.

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Q. 14:  Who is the current Prime Minister of Canada?

A. 14:  Stephen Harper.

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Q. 15:  Isadora Duncan, known as the mother of modern dance, was killed in an unusual way, how?

A. 15:  Isadora Duncan was pulled from the vehicle in which she was a passenger and violently slammed against the road when her long scarf got caught in the wheel. Her neck was broken and she died on impact.

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Q. 16:  What is the recommended standard recreational diving limit for ordinary divers?

            a)  20 meters              b)  30 meters              c)  40 meters              d)  50 meters

A. 16:  The correct answer is b) 30 Meters (98 feet), the average depth at which nitrogen narcosis symptoms begin to appear in adults.

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Q. 17:  In Las Vegas, what is the name of the ancient Egyptian themed hotel with a pyramid shaped casino?

A. 17:  It’s called the ‘Luxor’.

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Q. 18:  What was the name of the mythical Roman god of war?

A. 18:  Mars.

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Q. 19:  Who was ‘Dr Frasier Crane’ and his brother ‘Dr Niles Crane’? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 19:  They were Kelsey Grammar and David Hyde Pierce from the wonderful hit TV sitcom ‘Frasier’.

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Q. 20:  What musician is known as “The Boss” and what was the name of the band he played with? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 20:  In the music world “The Boss” is Bruce Sprigsteen and he played with the E Street Band.

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Twat Of The Year Award – Update.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Don’t worry folks, I haven’t started a new award or competition on the fasab blog.

But if I did, and we had to choose a ‘Twat Of The Year’, way up front in the running would have to be US Secretary of State John Kerry.

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry

Although he looks as if his feet are a decent size, he can still manage to get them both in his mouth at the same time, as he frequently demonstrates.

And he’s just done it again.

The latest Kerry blooper came amidst a glad-handing and candle lighting visit to the Ukraine.

Frustrated in their attempts to get bogged down in Syria, Obama and his front-man Kerry are intent on interfering somewhere in the world.

The Ukraine, in particular the Crimea region, just happens to be the most convenient at the moment.

As with other parts of the world, they have no business being there or interfering. And they know it.

But Obama’s ego took a battering from the positive impact Russian leader Putin made over Syria, so now he thinks this is his opportunity to get his own back.

That’s not a good reason to interfere. And they know that too.

The whole thing is made even worse when you listen to the justifications coming from John Kerry.

Apparently the very best that Obama’s regiment of political analysts and script writers seem to be able to come up with is that Russia’s recent actions in the Crimea were taken on a completely “trumped up” pretext. 

Whooaaah!

Say that again.

In an interview trying to justify his alleged outrage at what Russia was doing, Kerry said,

“you just don’t, in the 21st century, behave in a 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.”

It was toe-curlingly awful.

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t that EXACTLY what President Bush and his accomplice Britain’s Tony (Liar) Blair did when they invaded Iraq on the totally untrue  – that is, “trumped-up”, reason that Saddam Hussein had Weapons Of Mass Destruction? WMDs that were never found and in fact never existed.

Apparently Mr. Kerry wasn’t paying attention during the preamble to the Iraq invasion that turned into an unmitigated disaster for all concerned.

Yes John, you’ve got yourself a good lead in the ‘Twat Of The Year Award’ contest.

You’re going to be hard to beat this year!

Iraq Libya Syria Ukraine

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The Rats Are Squealing!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

Bankster pyramid of greed and corruption

They say rats squeal when they are being hunted and nearing capture and they’re right.

None more so at present than the rat banksters and nowhere more so than on Wall Street. If you listen carefully you can hear them squeal even above the noise of the New York traffic.

And the reason for the squealing?

Only that federal authorities are at long last closing in on some of the worst culprits whose greed and contempt for their clients caused the financial crisis we have all be suffering from during the past decade and more.

But before you start clapping the feds on the back, let me say it is too little and too late. None of the banksters are likely to face jail sentences which is what they deserve for their crimes against the people.

Foreclosure-Homes

However, it is something and these days that’s about the best you can hope for.

In terms of the numbers, the banksters are facing fines of something in the region of $63 billion.

Wow, listen to them squeal!

It seems like a lot of money – and it is a lot of money, it could keep all of us blogging away happily for the rest of our lives and then some. But put in the context of what the banksters defrauded their clients out of and what they lost it is just a pittance.

Putting the figures into context, J P Morgan Chase’s $13 billion mortgage settlement in November was probably some kind of record, but they issued more than $460 billion in mortgage securities.

To illustrate it in numbers people can relate to better, that’s like a thief stealing a thousand dollars from you and getting away with it if he paid you back $28.

I bet the amount of the settlement doesn’t seem so big now. Nor is it commensurate with the size of the crime. But that’s what they’ll probably get away with. And they’re not even grateful for this small smack on the wrist, hence all the squealing.

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