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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Moral panics are a natural, if unfortunate, byproduct of the tribal instincts of the great ape called homo sapiens.  They tend to last roughly a generation from start to finish (sometimes, mercifully, a little shorter) and can cause tremendous damage to individuals’ lives and society in general before they’re over.  Clever sociopaths have always found ways to profit from these periodic waves of hysteria; for example, evil opportunists would often hurl accusations of witchcraft at widows whose land they wanted to steal.  But the first major moral panic of the internet era (the Satanic Panic was already moribund by the time AOL began its first major marketing campaign) has created a market for profiting from hysterical propaganda on a scale never before seen in human history.  It’s impossible to even guess how large what Laura Agustín dubbed the “rescue industry” has grown, but when its connections to the garment industry are considered, it’s probably safe to say that it’s comparable in size to its own imaginary claims about “sex trafficking”.  In 2011 the propagandists declared January “National Human Trafficking Awareness Month”, probably due to the increasing popularity of the myth that the Super Bowl, which is held in the first few days of February, is a huge driver of “sex trafficking”, with huge cargoes of “sex slaves” trucked into every host city, unimpeded by the usual logistics of transportation and lodging.  Cops and other police-state organs have taken advantage of the hype as an excuse to present their pogroms and “stings” as “sex trafficking operations”, and as a result every January now produces an avalanche of idiotic propaganda (absurdly referred to as “education” or “raising awareness”) that is shockingly stupid even by the very low standards of “sex trafficking” propaganda.  Take this incredible mass of lies from KAKE in Wichita, Kansas:

…“Back Page [sic] needed to be shut down,” [oinked vice pig] Brent Huhman…“they were exploiting…women”…It was considered a hotbed for human trafficking, which can lead to missing people.  The site’s creators would defend the user-posted advertisements…they were not responsible for [under section 230 of the CDA]…However, [federal propaganda claimed] it…pushed moderators to approve [questionable]…ads [despite ample evidence to the contrary]…

The rest is the usual hodgepodge of local “news” copsucking, yellow journalism, parent-scaring, bogus math, BDSM sexual fantasies, surveillance cheerleading and more.  This article from KDRV in Medford, Oregon is every bit as moronic:

Oregon police report that they encounter 3-5 victims of human trafficking per week; 80% of these victims are women, 50% are children.  “People don’t realize that sex trafficking with children is a silent epidemic in the United States,” said Kirsten Arreguin…of Redemption Ridge…“Portland is the second largest city for forced child prostitution in the United States right after Las Vegas”…Traffickers spend considerable time in areas where children congregate such as parks, malls, youth shelters and on social media in order to carefully lure their victims into sex slavery…

It is a sign of the incredible mathematical illiteracy rampant in the US that nobody questions a “report” which begins with “statistics” that add up to 130% (children cannot be women and vice versa, so the categories cannot overlap).  And the prohibitionist sexual fantasy of “pimps” hanging out at every playground is so sick that one has to wonder how anyone higher on the evolutionary scale than a cop could possibly take it seriously, until one considers that these are the same mouth-breathers who claim there are more “sex trafficking” cases in Oregon alone than in the entire United States (“…jail intelligence suggests approximately 595 minors and 1,191 adults are currently victims of sex trafficking currently in the Portland metro area…“); presumably “jail intelligence” is Copese for “tall tales told by prisoners trying to get on cops’ good sides”, because there aren’t even 500 full-service sex workers in Portland, much less “child sex slaves” (this fantasy claims about 1 “sex slave” per 400 adult men in the area).  Support for sex worker rights is growing all the time, and even some of the usual suspects are beginning to recognize prohibition for what it is.  But cops, politicians and profiteers are going to continue publicly masturbating while riding the gravy train until it finally runs off the rails for good.

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It’s kinda nice when I can keep things moving along for a change.  We’ve got the trim for the bookcases; I’m waiting for the proof of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I; I’ve made my travel arrangements for this weekend; and I’m starting to figure out my schedule for February (about which I’ll say more later).  And in addition to all that I managed to read a novel and listen to a rather strange but very entertaining radio serial from 1972 named The Fourth Tower of Inverness, which Chekhov gave me for Christmas (he also gave me the sequel, Moon Over Morocco).  Normally it would be difficult for me to sit and listen to such a long series, but I’ve driven to or from Sunset five times since receiving it, and the car has a CD player, so ta-da!  If you’ve ever heard the series you’ll understand when I tell you I kinda wish I had listened to at least some of it stoned, but I’ll have a chance with the sequel (which I’m told is not dissimilar).  Learning to relax and let go of stuff that stresses me out has been a long, slow, laborious process, but I’m getting there, and it’s lovely when people give me gifts that help.

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Almost a year ago I published “In the Club“, wherein I explained my two-year plan for reducing stress and making my life easier by spending more energy on the things I’m good at, and less on the things I’m not good at.  I’ve never been good at marketing, and the post-FOSTA advertising landscape is so frustrating I can’t even deal with it any more.  So as I explained in the aforementioned column,

…by the end of [2019]…I’d like to be off of formal escort advertising sites entirely.  This doesn’t mean I’m going Under the Radar, which would be impossible anyhow; it just means I want to increase the fraction of my business which does not come from traditional ad malls…to 100%.  I am moving toward all of my business being either regulars or people who approach me via my blog, Twitter, other writing, my public speaking, TV interviews, etc.  Then…I want to tighten it up even more so that by the end of 2020 I’m no longer taking new clients without a direct recommendation from one of my friends.  I have no plans to stop working any time soon; I enjoy my work and I like making people happy.  What I don’t like is having to constantly deal with advertising, screening and all that jazz.  If you’ve already seen me or plan to soon, you’ve got nothing to worry about; once you’re a proven client you are “in” unless you start acting like a flake or a danger.  But if you want to be in that select group, I suggest you not wait much longer…

Well, so far so good; I dropped Eros last summer and though most of the men who’ve contacted me from my other traditional ads have been cretins and/or time-wasters, I’m in exactly the same position with my budget (two months ahead) as I was last January.  What this tells me is that there’s no real point in paying for ads any longer, because most of my business is coming via other channels anyhow.  I’m not going to delete my ads completely, but neither will I be paying for upgrades or the like; my own escort website and the various media I appear in seem to suffice.  That means I’m apparently on course to stop taking new, unrecommended clients by the end of this year.  Now, mice and men and all; things may not go as I hope, and I may have to push back the deadline.  But I wouldn’t count on that if I were you.  It’s not at all unusual for new clients to tell me that they’ve wanted to see me for a while, but put it off in order to build up their courage to approach me; after the end of this year, it’s very possible that guys who do that may find they’ve procrastinated for too long.  So if you’d like to be in the “club” of people I’ll see in the future, I suggest you make a date in the next few months, while I’m still taking applications.

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When sex trafficking is somehow construed as the “natural consequence” of virtually any action, virtually no person or entity is safe from the threat of liability.  –  Alex Yelderman

Surplus Women

The Swedish model protects women!

[A sex worker was] found dead on Christmas morning…partially burned and stripped…near the pond of Font Merle, in Mougins [France.  Cops are]…trying to find out “who gravitated around this young woman” [in hopes of persecuting her clients or friends]…

Monsters

Yet TERFs want you to believe trans women are the dangerous ones:

David Bogdanov…is accused of second-degree murder in the [strangling] death of Nikki Kuhnhausen, a [Vancouver, Washington] teenager who had been missing since June…Bogdanov and Kuhnhausen appear to have first spent time together June 5 — the same day she last had contact with her family…Bogdanov [admitted]…that Kuhnhausen told him she was biologically male at some point after he picked her up from an apartment on the morning of June 6…He [claims that he then] asked Kuhnhausen to get out of his car…and…that was the last time he saw her.  [But] Bogdanov’s phone records [place him]…near Larch Mountain in east Clark County…[where] On Dec. 7, a passerby…found a human skull…[which] forensic analysis confirmed…[as] Kuhnhausen[‘s]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…St. Charles County [Missouri cops] coerced at least 39…motorists into signing over their assets in 2018…[the pigs] would lie in wait for a car [driven by a minority person, then accuse them of] committing a minor traffic violation…[the pigs] would then…direct them to a private towing lot owned by Superior Towing…[where they would] search the vehicle, all in the hopes of finding large amounts of cash..[they would then get a] dog [to bark, claiming that meant drugs were present, and give]…the motorists two options: they could go to jail, or sign their possessions away to the department and leave with a traffic ticket.  In the 39 documented stops, no criminal charges were filed.  A third of the targets were stopped and taken to the lot after midnight…nearly half of the drivers had either Hispanic or Asian surnames…Missouri…asset forfeiture laws…require…criminal conviction…before forfeiture, and the assets are supposed to go towards schools, not [pigs, but]…the federal Equitable Sharing program…[lets pigs violate state law].  A legislative effort to close this loophole and force [pigs to follow]…state law was defeated this year after the local police lobby quietly campaigned against it, calling it “anti-police”…

Torture Chamber

Just in case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

New York City has agreed to [steal] $12.5 million dollars [from taxpayers] to settle a class action lawsuit by people who were subject to invasive strip searches while visiting loved ones in jail…In the most serious cases, [screws digitally raped] women…or forced them to drop their pants and show their sanitary napkins…each person is entitled to up to $4,000 in damages…The city has also agreed to [tell] all [screws not to rape or humiliate people who aren’t prisoners]…[but] individual [screws] named in the lawsuit…[will not] be disciplined…

He or She? (#512)

Surprising absolutely no trans people:

Transgender children…start to identify with toys and clothes typical of their gender identity from a very young age, a recent study suggests.  And their confidence in their gender identity is generally as strong as that of cisgender children…researchers interviewed 317 transgender children, ages 3 to 12, and 189 of the children’s siblings.  They also interviewed 316 cisgender kids…The transgender kids showed strong preferences for toys and clothing typically associated with their gender identity, not their assigned sex…[and those] preferences didn’t appear to differ based on how long they had lived as their current gender.  Transgender kids also didn’t appear to have preferences much different from cisgender children with the same gender identity…The similarities among transgender and cisgender children were surprising [to cisgender people who believe in the tabula rasa doctrine]…

Amateur Night

This sounds like somebody who followed my repeated advice to older virgins:

Five years ago I wrote an essay for Salon about being a 33-year-old virgin…I wrote about how not having sex is not weird, and that if you haven’t met the right one, to not let bitterness and anger overtake you…I was wrong…last October I bought a plane ticket to Las Vegas…[did] the seven-hour drive to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, and…lost my virginity…It was fine. It was fun…Sex is not a big deal.  Stop waiting.  Have it.  Experience it.  Enjoy it…It’s normal…staying away from sex all those years was like banning myself from the grocery store.  It’s not the end of the world to have sex with someone you have no connection with.  Also, we need to stop the stigma against sex workers.  I had a great time at the ranch.  It did wonders for me mentally.  I used to think I’d be ashamed if I lost it to a prostitute.  Not at all. I was given a great experience and was handled with real care…I’m dating now…and life is good…I [used to] let my fear of…doing it with someone I don’t care for block me from making connections with women…I put that wall up.  Life didn’t change.  I did…

A Moral Cancer (#790)

Prohibitionism is a mental illness:

[Irish] supermarket customers face a ban on using loyalty card points to buy alcohol under new regulations…aimed at [making it harder for poor people to buy] alcohol [under the excuse of]…health…

I Spy (#903) 

The US is following in the footsteps of China:

When Syracuse University freshmen walk into professor Jeff Rubin’s…class…Bluetooth beacons…connect with a…[compulsory] app on their smartphones and boost their “attendance points”.  And when they skip class…the…app…log[s] their absence into a campus database that tracks them over time and can sink their grade…campuswide WiFi networks are empowering colleges across the United States to track hundreds of thousands of students…Dozens of schools now use such technology to monitor students’ academic performance, analyze their conduct or assess their mental health…[only a few] professors and education advocates [recognize]…the systems [as] a new low in intrusive technology, breaching students’ privacy on a massive scale…[to power a Chinese-style “social credit”] system…[to] infantilize students in the very place where they’re expected to grow into adults, further training them to see surveillance as a normal part of living, whether they like it or not…

Loose Cannons (#982)

Florida prosecutors are desperately trying to wipe the egg off of their faces:

Florida prosecutors…[are now pretending that] Robert Kraft’s…two misdemeanor c[harges] of soliciting prostitution…[magic]ally co[nstitute] a felony [because they say so, thus ensuring that Kraft’s lawyers are highly motivated to work even harder to destroy the state’s case if]…the state wins its appeal of a lower court order [dismissing the evidence cops obtained with lies and an illegal warrant]…Observers across the country view it as a constitutional test that pits police powers to [terrorize consenting adults]…against individual privacy rights…

Quiet Genocide (#989)

Oh look, Western nations are starting to notice a genocide in progress:

Western coverage of one of China’s worst human rights abuses…has [very slightly] increased over the past year.  Satellite images revealed the Government destroying scores of traditional burial grounds belonging to Uighurs in northwest Xinjiang; drone footage revealed hundreds of blindfolded and shackled men being transferred to detention camps; and just last month, secret Chinese Government documents revealed how the regime was instructed to deal with the ethnic minority.  But [even] less…reported on is…a forced-living arrangement between Han Chinese men and Uighur women that…[constitutes] mass rape…[which] the Government claims [is] designed to promote harmony between the different cultural groups…The [Newspeak term for the mass rape scheme is]…the “Pair Up and Become Family” program…Rushan Abbas, a Uighur activist…[explained that] “The Government is offering money, housing and jobs to Han people to come and marry Uighur people.  Neither the girls nor their families can reject such a marriage because they will be [treated]…by Chinese authorities…as Islamic extremists for not wanting to marry atheist Han Chinese…

To Molest and Rape (#998)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate teenagers:

A [typical and representative pig Arizona hired to terrorize teenagers in] school…now faces multiple criminal charges [for molesting a teenage girl]…Yuma police arrested Bobby Garcia on numerous charges including [trying to hide evidence]…Police…receiv[ed] a complaint against [Garcia in May, but didn’t arrest him until December]…

Crying for Nanny (#998)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A case challenging FOSTA on constitutional grounds was dismissed on grounds that none of the plaintiffs…could demonstrate a credible threat of prosecution, civil liability, or redressable harm…Three recently-filed civil lawsuits have soundly refuted th[at claim]…Two of the federal  cases that will potentially implicate FOSTA were filed in state courts, one in Washington and the other in California…Craigslist [has] removed [both] case[s] to federal court, on grounds that 18 U.S.C. § 1595 creates a federal (not state) cause of action…The cases are essentially the same, with sections of their respective complaints copied verbatim…and…do not allege that craigslist knew anything about them specifically being trafficked…but rather claim that the website [should have shut itself down]…once [fanatics started spreading ridiculous myths and wanking fantasies about]…its ongoing operation “amount[ing] to a venture with sex traffickers to efficiently market victims”…This is a radical theory of liability, and…shows the Woodhull plaintiffs’ fear to be entirely reasonable…The third case…was filed in Georgia by an attorney who has also sued Facebook, Instagram, Backpage, and Salesforce, among others…the charges against Salesforce were dismissed due to the Section 230 immunity)…[if] the…[expansive] view of “natural consequences” [upon which these cases are based] is [allowed to stand]…there is no limiting factor in sight…

There is also another lawsuit in Texas.

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I will fucking shoot you!  –  “Officer” Keith Sweeney

You don’t need to understand Farsi to appreciate this very short film by a very young filmmaker (20) which won an award at the Luxor Film Festival.  It was contributed by Mama Tush, and the links above it are from Scott Greenfield, Cop Crisis (x3), Melanie Moore, Radley Balko, and Lenore Skenazy (in that order).

From the Archives

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The eternal flame that is Ring’s dumpster fire of an existence continues to burn.  –  Tim Cushing

Rough Trade

Cops wait a year to arrest a dangerous, violent serial rapist.  Guess why?

Stephen Bradley Ewing was charged on Dec. 17 with two counts of sexual assault and one count of [trying to strangle his victim]…from [rapes]…on June 15 and Aug. 1 of this year…The August offence occurred the same day Ewing was arrested by Nanaimo RCMP…and charged with three counts of [raping sex workers]…between March and October of 2018…

Follow Your Bliss

A “national leader in the field of sex offender management”:

A…forensic psychologist and national leader in the field of sex offender management has surrendered to St. Louis [cops] on warrants for child sex crimes in two Missouri counties…Kurt M. Bumby…is accused of molesting two children in incidents in [two different Missouri] counties, the oldest of those charges stretching back to 1988…

Business As Usual

More cops raping sex workers (excuse me, “rescuing trafficking victims”):

…a two-year federal sex-trafficking [boondoggle] started to unravel last week…[because spooks were caught raping women] at massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City [Arizona in the process of trying to frame ordinary massage parlors as part of]…an alleged sex trafficking network…The [spooks raped women] at each location…but never to completion…the [scheme] led to the arrests of seven people…[but] charges against two of the[m] were dismissed because th[e rapists refuse] to testify [on 5th Amendment grounds.  Meanwhile, a lawsuit from]…one of the women arrested…is seeking disclosure of the full names of the [rapists] and all reports they prepared…more felony cases against [the feds’ victims]…could be dismissed soon…

“It’s not rape because I didn’t jizz” is certainly a novel defense.

Broken Record (#748) 

As the hysteria collapses, some “sex trafficking” opportunists will turn to producing “studies” to “find” what is already known:

As the Formula 1…Grand Prix Race approaches each year in Austin…newly published research suggests that…there is not…an…uptick in crimes — sex trafficking or otherwise…in weeks before and after the race….property crimes, violent crimes, and sex-related offenses…[don’t] increase…Earlier this year, COTA and the track owners lost at least $20 million in state reimbursement funds for missing the deadline to submit a…plan [to prevent something that doesn’t exist]…

Torture Chamber (#898)

Imprisonment doesn’t magically become “care” when the prisoner is under 18:

The White House sought…to embed immigration enforcement agents within the U.S. refugee agency that cares for…migrant [minors who were separated from their parents]…to…target the[ir relatives] for deportation…officials…rejected the attempt…[but] agreed to allow [ICE spooks]…to collect fingerprints and other biometric information from adults seeking to claim migrant [minors] at government shelters.  If those adults are deemed ineligible to take custody of children, ICE could then use their information to target them for arrest and deportation…Congress…made clear [after this was done last year, resulting in the arrest of more than 170 relatives] that it does not want those who come forward as potential sponsors of [caged] minors…to be frightened away by possible deportation…[Trump’s henchmen] acknowledge the arrangement will instill fear among migrant parents, but they say it will deter families from having their children cross into the United States illegally…

There is nothing sociopathic politicians (pardon the redundancy) love more than “sending messages” with other people’s lives.

I Spy (#904)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Your smartphone can broadcast your exact location thousands of times per day, through hundreds of apps, instantaneously to dozens of different companies.  Each of those companies has the power to follow individual mobile phones wherever they go, in near-real time.  That’s not a glitch in the system.  It is the system.  If the government ordered Americans to continuously provide such precise, real-time information about themselves, there would be a revolt…Yet…we’ve reached a tacit consensus to hand this data over voluntarily, even though we don’t really know who’s getting it or what they’re doing with it…

Backwards into the Future (#923) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

China’s extrajudicial detention of sex workers or their customers, known as “custody and education”, is set to be abolished, in what experts called a long-overdue move.  The detention system has been used to [persecute sex workers]…since the 1980s.  Sex workers and their clients could be detained for up to two years without trial in centres overseen by the police.  More than 300,000 people were detained in custody and education (C&E) between 1987 and 2000…mainland media have reported a steady decrease in detentions in recent years, resulting in the closures of some detention facilities…

If you’re wondering whether to believe that China really intends to give up “re-education” schemes, see “Quiet Genocide” below.

Train Wreck (#935)

The “Abuja Environmental Protection Board” is a Nigerian vice gang long empowered to do basically anything it likes to terrorize sex workers:

A…high court in Abuja has condemned the arrest of women…by [cops and spooks]…She also ruled that sex work is not a crime…The…police, the army, ministry of the federal capital territory (FCT), and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) were…ordered…to pay N1.6 million [$4415 US]…to the affected women.  [The suit was filed after the perpetrators]…arrested over 100 women at…a night club in Abuja…[raping or] sexually assaulting [many of them] them…[or forcing them to] bribe their way to freedom…

Safe Position (#966)

Just another lying politician who wants to police others’ private lives:

…presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said…”we should consider decriminalizing sex work on the part of the seller,” as this would be “helpful in combating human trafficking.”  [The term for what] Yang is talking about…is…the…[Swedish model, not decriminalization, but] lately, a coalition of old-school moral crusaders…has taken to co-opting the language of the sex worker rights movement to push their anti-sex work agenda.  This means many of them say they are for prostitution “decriminalization” while still pushing to keep prostitution between consenting adults as a crime.  They get away with this linguistic malpractice by saying that they would decriminalize the act of offering paid sex as long as it is still illegal to purchase such services.  Obviously, this is not decriminalization within any normal meaning of the word.  Yang’s preferred model would still mean devoting law enforcement resources to catching people attempting to pay for sex—and that would mean monitoring and conducting stings on sex workers…

Quiet Genocide

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

So progress!  Much Seattle!

At the direction of Mayor Jenny Durkan, [Seattle]’s Human Services Department is studying the possibility of mandatory biometric screening of homeless shelter and service clients, using fingerprints or other biometric markers to track the city’s homeless population…Durkan [mouthpiece] Kamaria Hightower [bloviates] that…a “digital ID” would create “efficiencies” that improve on the scan cards currently used [because] homeless…people…often lose their IDs and other documents when the city sweeps their encampment and [steals] or throws away their stuff, a policy that has accelerated under Durkan…

Torture Chamber (#997)

Just in case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

Four women [visiting loved ones] at [a cage stack in Virginia were] told…they had to consent to a strip search immediately after [screws claimed] dogs [“alerted”]…or they would lose all visitation rights…the women…were on or near their period at the time and believe the dogs may have confused that with the smell of drugs.  A [bureaucrat bloviated]…“It is not…policy to permanently ban anyone solely based on their compliance or non-compliance with a strip search”…Each of the women [was tricked into] sign[ing] a consent form believing that to refuse the strip search would mean a permanent ban from the prison.  All were taken to a bathroom and [violated by screws]…Most…also had their cars searched…

Panopticon (#999)

The “security” system that isn’t:

The log-in credentials for 3,672 Ring camera owners were compromised…exposing log-in emails, passwords, time zones, and the names people give to specific Ring cameras…such as “bedroom” or “front door”…Ring says this leak of personal data isn’t its fault.  The company claims there’s been no breach…it’s kind of hard to take Ring’s word for it.  The company has been doing nothing but putting out PR fires ever since its law enforcement partnerships came to light…Ring took no interest in this…until after the security researcher who discovered the compromised credentials discussed his findings on Reddit…Ring [was]…quick to blame users for the commandeering of their cameras by a forum full of shitbirds, but the company does almost nothing to ensure users are protected from malicious activity…

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Diary #496

During the holidays I was seized with a powerful urge to nest, which took the form of redoing the kitchen cupboards (they’ve never been properly done, in other words done by me, since we moved in) and then launching into the bookcase project.  By Wednesday we had all this done; there are three full units on the right and space for two more on the other wall (you can see the backboard already on the wall).  I did most of the physical labor because Grace is in poor health and is easily exhausted these days, but she did the brain work like design and engineering.  When Chekhov comes back next week he and Grace can finish the two remaining, then there’s the top facade and some nice trim, then staining, and the next time I come out I may be able to act out my nesting impulses on getting my library into proper order for the first time in 17 years.

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