Obsessed with the Israeli War

 

Ever since October 7, I feel like I’ve been living in a kind of fog. I hate that feeling; I thrive on trying to be clear-headed and practical. As the days pass, I’m feeling more like myself, which also means that the numbness is dissipating and the realities of violence and chaos are tugging at my brain.

Many factors are contributing to my disrupted state of mind. For one, I still can’t imagine the savagery and hatefulness that permitted Hamas to act as they did on October 7. It is beyond comprehension. These are human beings destroying human beings in the vilest way in the 21st century. And yet these same people put their children to bed at night, break bread together, and laugh with their friends. The women talk with each other over their tea, and the men meet to pray to a G-d that is incomprehensible to Westerners.

These mixed images prevent me from understanding what has taken place. The enormity and ugliness violate my spirit.

And the Israelis. They, too, put their children to bed at night, but many are sleeping in bomb shelters. I wonder what it would be like to grow up fearing for my life, for my entire lifetime. I’ve heard Israelis travel internationally as much or more than any other country; I often heard Hebrew spoken around me during my international trips. I suspect that, in part, the travel provides an outlet, some relief from living next to “armed camps.” At times, I wonder if others’ borders seem to close in on them. When your neighbors compromise your well-being with their psychopathic obsessions, what mental and emotional adjustments must a person make to live in relative peace?

My own country provides little peace of mind, either. I keep waiting for signs that the anger is ratcheting down, but colleges all over the country are even more obsessed than I am as they defend Hamas and attack the Jews. The atmosphere has been contaminated by an evil and sick belief, like a new pandemic. Do we know where it came from? Has it always been here, lying dormant until just the right conditions unleashed it?

But I will not allow myself to become a victim. I am a proud American Jew. People have endured much worse compared to what I am struggling with now. I will do those things that fill my spirit rather than degrade it. I will pray and meditate. I will write. I wish I felt like writing about something other than the raging war or anti-Semitism or Hamas. Certainly, there are important issues happening in our own country. But for now, I’ll let my friends write about our national issues.

And I will write what I’m called to write.

Published in Islamist Terrorism
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  1. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

     

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen.

    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free.  Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option.  The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans.  They had no other choice.  If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.  

    • #31
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Caryn (View Comment):
    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free.  Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option.  The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans.  They had no other choice.  If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.  

    This. And they were under no illusions that somehow they should recreate in America what they had left behind.

    • #32
  3. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):
    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free. Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option. The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans. They had no other choice. If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.

    This. And they were under no illusions that somehow they should recreate in America what they had left behind.

    And there were probably harsh punishments if they tried, as by illegal voting. 

    • #33
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):
    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free. Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option. The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans. They had no other choice. If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.

    This. And they were under no illusions that somehow they should recreate in America what they had left behind.

    And there were probably harsh punishments if they tried, as by illegal voting.

    Depends on where and when. In the 1830s in Michigan, there were disagreements about whether the newcomers, however they got here,  should be allowed to vote, same as long time citizens. (I’d have to check Ron Formisano’s books to make sure I got the decade right.)

    • #34
  5. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Caryn (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

     

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen.

    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free. Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option. The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans. They had no other choice. If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.

    Yet the condescending poem doesn’t paint them that way. 

    • #35
  6. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen.

    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free. Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option. The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans. They had no other choice. If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.

    Yet the condescending poem doesn’t paint them that way.

    Considering the actual, miserable state of so many of the poor in Europe, was it really all that condescending? Or was it honestly albeit poetically descriptive of their state, while by other phrases in the poem making clear that their state was not inherent in their natures but a consequence of their situations which they could hope to vastly improve in America?

    • #36
  7. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen.

    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free. Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option. The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans. They had no other choice. If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.

    Yet the condescending poem doesn’t paint them that way.

    Considering the actual, miserable state of so many of the poor in Europe, was it really all that condescending? Or was it honestly albeit poetically descriptive of their state, while by other phrases in the poem making clear that their state was not inherent in their natures but a consequence of their situations which they could hope to vastly improve in America?

    We had criteria for admittance into the country. These weren’t people like illegals today who often immediately become drains on taxpayer dollars. They had to pass health checks and have a certain level of self-sufficiency.

    • #37
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    We had criteria for admittance into the country. These weren’t people like illegals today who often immediately become drains on taxpayer dollars. They had to pass health checks and have a certain level of self-sufficiency.

    By the time the Statue of Liberty was installed, yes.

    • #38
  9. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    We had criteria for admittance into the country. These weren’t people like illegals today who often immediately become drains on taxpayer dollars. They had to pass health checks and have a certain level of self-sufficiency.

    By the time the Statue of Liberty was installed, yes.

    The poem helped raise money for the pedestal and then wasn’t much noted until about 1903. The author was an activist supporting the importation of Jews, especially Russian Jews. They were her “huddled masses” who were seeking freedom. I would love to visit her but now refuse to go to NYC. I have seen her live from the air and from port cams. (A Liberty ad just popped up on TV with her in the background.)

    My point is Congress, not poetry, determines immigration laws. Hijacking it to justify illegal immigration (and importing US haters) is obscene.

    • #39
  10. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen.

    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free. Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option. The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans. They had no other choice. If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.

    Yet the condescending poem doesn’t paint them that way.

    Considering the actual, miserable state of so many of the poor in Europe, was it really all that condescending? Or was it honestly albeit poetically descriptive of their state, while by other phrases in the poem making clear that their state was not inherent in their natures but a consequence of their situations which they could hope to vastly improve in America?

    We had criteria for admittance into the country. These weren’t people like illegals today who often immediately become drains on taxpayer dollars. They had to pass health checks and have a certain level of self-sufficiency.

    I agree, but that does not address my question (which I’ll admit is peripheral to the OP): Is the poem genuinely condescending, and is it regrettably so?

    • #40
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    My point is Congress, not poetry, determines immigration laws.

    Yes, but before 1881 immigration control was more of a local thing, subject to local regulations.  (Wikipedia says 1875, not 1881, and I accept that correction.)  What kind of poetry was used to bring about the federal laws in the 1880s, I don’t know.  So far my search for political slogans on the topic has led me only to prose statements. 

    • #41
  12. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen.

    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free. Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option. The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans. They had no other choice. If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.

    Yet the condescending poem doesn’t paint them that way.

    Considering the actual, miserable state of so many of the poor in Europe, was it really all that condescending? Or was it honestly albeit poetically descriptive of their state, while by other phrases in the poem making clear that their state was not inherent in their natures but a consequence of their situations which they could hope to vastly improve in America?

    We had criteria for admittance into the country. These weren’t people like illegals today who often immediately become drains on taxpayer dollars. They had to pass health checks and have a certain level of self-sufficiency.

    I agree, but that does not address my question (which I’ll admit is peripheral to the OP): Is the poem genuinely condescending, and is it regrettably so?

    That would be a subjective determination.

    • #42
  13. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    My point is Congress, not poetry, determines immigration laws.

    Yes, but before 1881 immigration control was more of a local thing, subject to local regulations. (Wikipedia says 1875, not 1881, and I accept that correction.) What kind of poetry was used to bring about the federal laws in the 1880s, I don’t know. So far my search for political slogans on the topic has led me only to prose statements.

    I would hope immigration laws were made with the best interest of the US in mind, not by sentimental people reading poetry. Since immigration for over 100 years expanded and contracted based on the best interests of the country and allowed for assimilation and now is determined by political goals and heart tugs (hence the use of the poem), it no longer is based on the best interests of the country.

    • #43
  14. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    My point is Congress, not poetry, determines immigration laws.

    Yes, but before 1881 immigration control was more of a local thing, subject to local regulations. (Wikipedia says 1875, not 1881, and I accept that correction.) What kind of poetry was used to bring about the federal laws in the 1880s, I don’t know. So far my search for political slogans on the topic has led me only to prose statements.

    I would hope immigration laws were made with the best interest of the US in mind, not by sentimental people reading poetry. Since immigration for over 100 years expanded and contracted based on the best interests of the country and allowed for assimilation and now is determined by political goals and heart tugs (hence the use of the poem), it no longer is based on the best interests of the country.

    In the 1870s there was a slogan, “The Chinese must go!”  I don’t know about the poetic value, but its sentimental expression tugs at the heart strings and was part of the politicking that led to the immigration legislation of the early 1880s.   My reason for bringing it up is to point out that there is no clear separation between “best interests” and “sentimental people reading poetry.” In fact, there is no way to determine “best interests” unless there is some sentimental stuff behind it.  

    • #44
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Chris Gregerson (View Comment):

    I wake up in a nightmare every morning now. I’m filled with anger at not just those deplorable acts, but my lack of power to right those wrongs. My first career was 30 years in the military to fight this kind of evil and now I feel powerless.

    Yep, they’re lucky I’m not a Douwd.

     

    • #45
  16. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Yet the condescending poem doesn’t paint them that way.

    Considering the actual, miserable state of so many of the poor in Europe, was it really all that condescending? Or was it honestly albeit poetically descriptive of their state, while by other phrases in the poem making clear that their state was not inherent in their natures but a consequence of their situations which they could hope to vastly improve in America?

    We had criteria for admittance into the country. These weren’t people like illegals today who often immediately become drains on taxpayer dollars. They had to pass health checks and have a certain level of self-sufficiency.

    I agree, but that does not address my question (which I’ll admit is peripheral to the OP): Is the poem genuinely condescending, and is it regrettably so?

    That would be a subjective determination.

    But that seemed to be the sense of your comment, while my general view is that we are too harsh on previous generations for not being politically correct and for not cloaking their opinions in the currently fashionable language.

    • #46
  17. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Yet the condescending poem doesn’t paint them that way.

    Considering the actual, miserable state of so many of the poor in Europe, was it really all that condescending? Or was it honestly albeit poetically descriptive of their state, while by other phrases in the poem making clear that their state was not inherent in their natures but a consequence of their situations which they could hope to vastly improve in America?

    We had criteria for admittance into the country. These weren’t people like illegals today who often immediately become drains on taxpayer dollars. They had to pass health checks and have a certain level of self-sufficiency.

    I agree, but that does not address my question (which I’ll admit is peripheral to the OP): Is the poem genuinely condescending, and is it regrettably so?

    That would be a subjective determination.

    But that seemed to be the sense of your comment, while my general view is that we are too harsh on previous generations for not being politically correct and for not cloaking their opinions in the currently fashionable language.

    Since she was referring primarily to Russian Jews who had escaped to the “new world,” I don’t see them as either “huddled” or “masses.” I see strong individuals who escaped danger and oppression and braved a long transit to come to America. They weren’t the unskilled folks in poverty but skilled people with resources to escape. The process of leaving everything they had and spending whatever wealth they had to get here doesn’t equate to “huddled masses” in my mind. Too bad Neil Diamond’s uplifting song wouldn’t come along for another 100 years. That is my image of those immigrants. Here is a link-his song does express much of the same sentiment as the poem and gives me the same emotional response as the statue gives me. Enjoy:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrgCxSSwBto

     

    • #47
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I don’t think your are obsessing in a neurotic way. There is the famous quote by Samuel Johnson:

    Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

    Hamas, and their allies in the West, have made very clear, if not a murderous disdain for Jews, an indifference to the murder of Jews. If I were a Jew, my mind would be “wonderfully concentrated”.

    Why are we even importing Palestinians? Even countries which share their religion are smart enough not to want them.

    Please check all that apply:

    __ poor
    __ tired
    __ wretched
    __ huddled

    Bad poetry is no basis for an immigration policy.

    Amen.

    In fairness, back when it was written, the huddled masses really were yearning to be free. Free to work to earn a living because there was no other option. The immigrants who came in that era worked hard and worked hard at becoming Americans. They had no other choice. If there was any welfare it was limited and internal to their ethnic groups and religious organizations.

    Yet the condescending poem doesn’t paint them that way.

    Considering the actual, miserable state of so many of the poor in Europe, was it really all that condescending? Or was it honestly albeit poetically descriptive of their state, while by other phrases in the poem making clear that their state was not inherent in their natures but a consequence of their situations which they could hope to vastly improve in America?

    We had criteria for admittance into the country. These weren’t people like illegals today who often immediately become drains on taxpayer dollars. They had to pass health checks and have a certain level of self-sufficiency.

    I agree, but that does not address my question (which I’ll admit is peripheral to the OP): Is the poem genuinely condescending, and is it regrettably so?

    I would suggest that it was not condescending in the time that it was written and that our finding it condescending now is not necessarily a slam on the people who lived when it was written. 

    We could be wrong in seeing it that way. 

    • #48
  19. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    But that seemed to be the sense of your comment, while my general view is that we are too harsh on previous generations for not being politically correct and for not cloaking their opinions in the currently fashionable language.

    Since she was referring primarily to Russian Jews who had escaped to the “new world,” I don’t see them as either “huddled” or “masses.” I see strong individuals who escaped danger and oppression and braved a long transit to come to America. They weren’t the unskilled folks in poverty but skilled people with resources to escape. The process of leaving everything they had and spending whatever wealth they had to get here doesn’t equate to “huddled masses” in my mind. Too bad Neil Diamond’s uplifting song wouldn’t come along for another 100 years. That is my image of those immigrants. Here is a link-his song does express much of the same sentiment as the poem and gives me the same emotional response as the statue gives me. Enjoy:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrgCxSSwBto

    Thank you. I didn’t see the poem as implying that these immigrants were weak, rather that they were suffering under cruel conditions, but so be it.

    • #49
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    But that seemed to be the sense of your comment, while my general view is that we are too harsh on previous generations for not being politically correct and for not cloaking their opinions in the currently fashionable language.

    Since she was referring primarily to Russian Jews who had escaped to the “new world,” I don’t see them as either “huddled” or “masses.” I see strong individuals who escaped danger and oppression and braved a long transit to come to America. They weren’t the unskilled folks in poverty but skilled people with resources to escape. The process of leaving everything they had and spending whatever wealth they had to get here doesn’t equate to “huddled masses” in my mind. Too bad Neil Diamond’s uplifting song wouldn’t come along for another 100 years. That is my image of those immigrants. Here is a link-his song does express much of the same sentiment as the poem and gives me the same emotional response as the statue gives me. Enjoy:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrgCxSSwBto

    Thank you. I didn’t see the poem as implying that these immigrants were weak, rather that they were suffering under cruel conditions, but so be it.

    Speaking of people as “the masses” has always grated on me, especially after seeing what commies have done with the term. 

    • #50
  21. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    But that seemed to be the sense of your comment, while my general view is that we are too harsh on previous generations for not being politically correct and for not cloaking their opinions in the currently fashionable language.

    Since she was referring primarily to Russian Jews who had escaped to the “new world,” I don’t see them as either “huddled” or “masses.” I see strong individuals who escaped danger and oppression and braved a long transit to come to America. They weren’t the unskilled folks in poverty but skilled people with resources to escape. The process of leaving everything they had and spending whatever wealth they had to get here doesn’t equate to “huddled masses” in my mind. Too bad Neil Diamond’s uplifting song wouldn’t come along for another 100 years. That is my image of those immigrants. Here is a link-his song does express much of the same sentiment as the poem and gives me the same emotional response as the statue gives me. Enjoy:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrgCxSSwBto

    Thank you. I didn’t see the poem as implying that these immigrants were weak, rather that they were suffering under cruel conditions, but so be it.

    Regardless of the intent when written or how we see it now, neither is worth debating. My objection all along is the left’s using it to justify their open borders immigration policy. 

    • #51
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