Clayton Locket was a Murderer. I Am Not.

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Oklahoma managed to execute a prisoner this week, but we did it in the most ungainly fashion possible.

Make no mistake about it, Mr Clayton Locket is dead, and the reason why is that he was executed on Tuesday night of this week by the people of the State of Oklahoma. Also and again, make no mistake about it, in the parlance of the death penalty debate, Mr Clayton Locket “deserved” to die.

He was a cold-blooded killer and a mad dog prisoner who evidently never showed a moment’s remorse in all the years since he shot 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman twice and then buried her alive.

I want to pause here and make what is, for me at least, the most important observation. Stephanie Neiman was a brave young girl who had just graduated from high school. Her murder left behind two devastated parents who will grieve all their lives. Stephanie Neiman deserves our sympathy; as for sympathy for Mr Locket, I’m fresh out.

This sounds for all the world like I’m leading up to a defense of the death penalty. I am not. I oppose the death penalty and I have the votes, going back through decades of legislative service, to prove it. I have never voted for the death penalty. I have always voted against it. Even deep in my anti-God period, I opposed the death penalty.

Why?

Back in my anti-God period, the reason was simple and direct. I come from a poor background. I have sat in courtrooms and listened as police officers perjured themselves to give testimony to convict someone. I have listened to testimony in which witnesses said under oath that law enforcement had instructed them to lie to help them convict a “bigger fish” or face criminal prosecution themselves.

I wasn’t motivated by a belief in a consistent respect for the sanctity of human life at that time. After all, I was doing everything I could to keep abortion “safe and legal.” What motivated me was the simple fact that I knew — not guessed, but knew — that our justice system is too rife with human weakness to be allowed to take a person’s life.

That was back then in my anti-God period. I still have not evolved to the point that I can honestly say I feel sorry for people who do heinous things to other people. I am not wracked with sympathy for Mr Locket because it took him just under an hour to die from the drugs that were administered to him Tuesday.

My sympathy is all with Stephanie Neiman and her parents. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be Stephanie Neiman, raped repeatedly, begging for her life, shot twice and then still alive while the dirt fell over her head?

How must it be for her parents to know that their beautiful little girl, the baby they brought home from the hospital, the little girl dancing under the Christmas tree, the young woman who had just graduated from high school, died alone and inhaling dirt?

No. I’m all out of sympathy for Mr Clayton Locket, the man who murdered Stephanie and then went on to threaten to kill prison guards and throw feces at people and who repeatedly made weapons out of objects in prison to use on other prisoners.

I oppose the death penalty for one simple reason. The Clayton Lockets of this world are murderers. I am not.

The press surrounding this botched execution has, predictably, run straight to purple. A guest on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show is reported to have likened Mr Locket’s execution to medieval torture. I can only assume that Miss Maddow and her guest don’t know very much about medieval torture. Likewise for all the other over-the-top nonsense I’ve been reading.

The death penalty is wrong because it’s unnecessary killing. We have what it takes to deep six these guys in our prison systems and leave them there until they die their natural deaths. I am not talking about, and I do not support, anything less than a total and absolute life sentence with no paroles, parole hearings, or compassionate truncations.

I don’t care if these murderers serve 60 long years and then get a terminal illness and petition to go home to die. There are some crimes that must mean that you die in prison. Heinous murders are such crimes.

We need a sane discussion of the death penalty in this country. The purpose of any law concerning legal punishments for crimes should always be to provide for the public good. Vengeance has no place in the law.

I do not doubt for a single moment that there are people who should never be allowed to walk free in our society. I do not limit that consideration to heinous murderers. I think violent or repeat rapists, gang rapists and child rapers should all be put in prison for life. The recidivism rate on violent sexual predators is simply too high to let these people out to prey again.

However, we do not have the right to kill people.

Let me say that again.

We do not have the right to kill people.

Human life belongs to God and we may not arbitrarily end it.

I believe that self-defense is always an exception to this, for the simple reason that every life is precious, including our own. I believe that I can use deadly force to defend my life or the lives of others. I extend that right of self-defense to nations, as well.

But other than acting in self defense, killing any human being is always wrong.

Governments are charged with providing for the safety of their citizens, which is a clear form of self-defense. We do not need the death penalty to provide for the public safety. We can lock these killers up and keep them locked up. We also do not have to let them give interviews, call their victims and all the other many things they indulge in while behind bars.

Mr Locket’s death was not medieval torture. That’s just bizarre hyperbole. If you’re looking for a better example of wanton disregard for life, and something that approaches torture, consider what Mr Locket did to Stephanie Neiman.

We need to create just penalties for the monsters among us that do not make murderers out of all the rest of us.

Why?

Because they are murderers.

We are not.

How to Join Crowdfunding of Gosnell Movie

Film makers are asking individuals to contribute so that they can make a movie about Kermit Gosnell.

This is called crowdfunding.

Watch the video below and consider if you would like to help them.

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So … I Starved My Granddaughter to Death and Now I’m Campaigning to Let Other People Kill Their Kids Faster

Say no to euthanasia

The latest salvo in the push for legalizing euthanasia is to kill kids.

What was once supposed to be all about putting down people who were suffering horribly and in the last stages of terminal illness and who requested their own death has now become killing people who can’t consent and are nowhere near dying.

It has evidently occurred to a few people in America that we’ve got an euthanasia gap. Belgium has jumped ahead of us and allows their docs to kill children and people with dementia. But never fear: the euthanasia movement has found someone who is willing to tell us all about the tragic experience of euthanizing his toddler granddaughter by slow starvation and how we need to do something to kill these kids faster.

I’m normally not so sarcastic about people who step forward and take positions that I find appalling. I know that they are just people and that they probably believe in what they are doing. I think they need conversion, not the destruction of public attack.

But this push to expiate personal guilt by politicizing the victim’s death in order to change the law and open the flood gates on medical murder of children is a bridge too far.

I’ve been reading the stories about Bradley Newton’s heart-rending tale of how horrible it was for him to watch his granddaughter starve to death; how painful and hideous this death was and how he’s traumatized by it all.

What he’s leaving out is that he and the rest of his family were the people who starved this child to death. The victim is the little girl, not them.

Not content to have done such a terrible thing, Mr Newton and the rest of his family have made little Natalie the poster child for a campaign to legalize euthanasia for children. He’s appeared on CNN and other news shows, where I’m sure he got the tender and heartfelt sympathy of the interviewer for the “agonizing decision” he and his family made to slowly starve this child to death.

The family has set up a web site in “honor” of the baby they slowly killed. They petitioned the governor of Texas to “spare” others by allowing quicker ways to kill kids.

Watching Mr Newton’s teary interview pulls at my heart. He’s done a terrible thing and it bothers him. I identify with that. I also know how overwhelming and forceful the white coat people can be when your loved one is in the hospital. Any of us can fall prey to their pushy “advice,” especially when we don’t walk into the situation with values and beliefs about these things to guide us.

However, Mr Newton doesn’t want forgiveness. He still doesn’t think he did anything wrong. His response to his grief is to use his granddaughter’s death to multiply the harm. According to him the fault lies in the law that makes it too hard to euthanize children.

He, and at least part of the rest of Natalie’s family, blame everybody else for their actions. They’ve done everything but admit that they were not forced to submit this little girl to death by starvation, that murdering her in this way was their free choice. They could have chosen to let her live.

Their solution for their remorse is to campaign to turn this one murder into a cause for legalizing mass murder. That makes this grandfather’s grief a lot less touching.

The tragedy began when 21-month-old Natalie drowned in the family’s backyard pool. Doctors were able to revive her, but she suffered permanent brain damage that required her to be on a feeding tube. According to Mr Newton, the hospital “ethics” committee recommended that they “let her go.” But the only legal way to do this was to withdraw her feeding tube and let this 21-month-old child slowly starve to death over a period of nine days.

The articles I’ve read said that Natalie was “brain dead.” I don’t think that’s accurate. She clearly could breathe on her own, since the method of euthanizing her was to starve her to death. What her condition actually was, I don’t know. There are no facts about her condition in the stories surrounding this case; only lots of manufactured sympathy for the family which was “forced” to starve her and zero concern for the child they starved.

What passes for sympathy for Natalie is an aggressive politicizing of her death so that it can be used to allow quicker, more “merciful” ways to kill children in the future.

Here’s a news flash for everyone: Natalie should not have been murdered. Killing a person by actively, deliberately and with premeditation ending their life is murder.

Legislatures can pass laws saying that it is not murder. Legislatures can also pass laws saying that the moon is made of green cheese. They can make other statutes repealing the law of gravity. Ethics committees can vote that killing is the “ethical” thing to do and bamboozle families into putting down their loved ones. None of these laws and “ethical” votes will affect the reality that this is murder, because reality is not all that impressed with legislators and ethics committees.

Whatever you call it, however you disguise it, actively, deliberately and with premeditation ending the life of another person is murder and there is no law, lawmaker or ethics committee on this planet with the power to change that.

Natalie was horribly, cruelly murdered by her own family. Now her grandfather is using his sorrow over the “agonizing decision” they made, and the trauma he suffered from having participated in her slow, painful death to lobby the country for laws that would allow us to euthanize kids.

Natalie should not have been starved to death. That was the “agonizing” choice the family should have made. They should have said “no” to the ethics committee.

The decision to starve her to death is the kind of thinking I would expect from an “ethics committee.” I learned long ago that “ethics” is a nice-sounding synonym for no morals and no compassion.

No one can claim that this was a kindness to Natalie. I’ve talked to nurses who had to care for elderly people whose families decided to murder by withdrawing fluids and nutrition. Their descriptions of the resulting deaths are horrific. One question I have is why the “grieving family” whose trauma over this is so great that they feel compelled to campaign for legalizing ways to kill kids quicker didn’t call a halt to it and restore the feeding tube once they saw what it was like.

Natalie was murdered because not murdering her would have been a costly inconvenience for everyone, but most particularly for the medical ethicists who voted for her death. The recommendation of this committee was a classic case of putting a little girl out of the medical industry’s misery.

God Is Not Dead and Messages that Resonate

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God Is Not Dead, the low budget surprise hit of the season, is drawing audiences and brickbats that seem out of proportion to the movie itself.

God Is Not Dead is an uber low-budget film that opened in a limited number of theaters to consistently terrible reviews. The movie has a predictable plotline and, with the exception of Kevin Sorbo, who had the starring role in the television series Hercules, unknown actors.

Yet it is pulling in the $$. The small side theaters where it is showing are filling up. It’s been in those theaters long enough for any roll that accrued to the film through early direct marketing to churches has died. But the audiences keep coming, and, surprisingly, they are mostly young people who cheer and applaud when the film’s hero vanquishes the villain.

At the same time, a matching vitriol, not toward the film itself, but toward it’s message, is dotting the internet like a bad case of chickenpox.

What’s with this little film?

I didn’t get around to seeing the movie until recently, so I attended it with a post-direct-marketing audience. I personally witnessed the full theater of young people, with late-comers going from aisle to aisle, looking for a seat. I saw and heard the entire audience cheer and clap at the gotcha line aimed at the villainous professor.

I came home wondering if this was an Oklahoma thing. I looked at the box office results, and it turned out that $2 million God Is Not Dead was in range with $125 million Noah for the weekend’s box office. Meanwhile the Christian-bashing thought meisters of the internet were in a rageful froth over the film’s astonishing success.

Predictably, this spiteful jabbing was aimed, not at the film itself, but at Christians in general. The basic message in these opinion pieces is simple. Here’s the gist of it: YOU CHRISTIANS ARE STUPID, PARANOID FOOLS! YOU ARE NOT PERSECUTED!!!! NOW SIT DOWN, SHUT UP AND STOP SPENDING YOUR MONEY ON A FILM WITH A MESSAGE TO THE CONTRARY OF WHAT WE TELL YOU!!!

It turns out that there are at least three underlying messages in the success of God Is Not Dead, and only one of them is in the film itself.

I think that God Is Not Dead is somewhat analogous to the Billy Jack movies of the 70s. It has a message that strikes a powerful chord with the younger generation of Christians. Every Christian kid who’s sat in a classroom while the professor derides people of faith, or who has been belittled and given lower grades for standing firm on their beliefs, knows from their own life experience that this movie is based on reality. I think that’s the reason that this movie has legs, and I also think it’s the reason that young adults in the audience burst into applause and cheers when the student zapped the bullying professor.

I know from personal experience that nothing gets the Christian-bashing crowd going more than Christians who call Christian bashing what it is. They turn personal in one ugly step. I’ve been accused of all sorts of things, including indifference to the mass murder of millions, because I raise these issues.

The Christians-are-crazy crowd is really heaping it on right now because of the surprise success of God Is Not Dead. They appear to be confounded by the fact that people will spend their money and go watch a film with a message about Christian bashing in higher education. According to them, Christians who believe that Christian bashing exists in higher education are all a bunch of paranoid hayseeds with very small brains.

What they fail to see is that this attitude in much of the media, along with the undeniable Christian bashing that occurs in a great deal of higher education, is exactly why God Is Not Dead is striking such a chord with so many people. It speaks to their experience, an experience which is denied, derided and belittled by both big-time entertainment and the internet mavens who are jabbing at God Is Not Dead’s surprising success.

I honestly thought that this movie had the possibility of a good run when I saw the previews for it. I knew that the Christian bashing that the film dramatizes is happening and that a lot of Christians are beginning to get enough of it.

I’m glad God Is Not Dead is a success. My reason is simple: I want Christian young people to stop allowing themselves to be bullied in the halls of academia by professors with personal problems.

To the extent that God Is Not Dead raises the self-awareness of Christian young people and helps then find their courage, I think it is a very good film, indeed.

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Conversion Story: Inside I was Dead

 

Jesus Saves.

It’s as simple as that.

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It’s Getting Awful Crowded Under that Bus. Another Catholic School Apologizes for a Speaker Teaching Catholic Morality

It’s getting awful crowded under that bus.

Another Catholic high school has apologized to “outraged” parents for a speaker who spoke on Catholic morality. The lucky winner this time is Prout School in Rhode Island.

It’s the same old, same old song once again. According to an article in Catholic Culture Father Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, who is the executive director of Relevant Radio, gave a talk to a group of high school students whose parents were subsequently “outraged” by its content.

Outraged parent, Kathleen Schlenz, says that the talk was “offensive regarding divorce, homosexuality, and even adoption.”

Just like the proverbial slot machine, David Carradini, principal of the Prout School apologized, saying that Father Hoffman’s answers to student questions “were not entirely representative of the full breadth of Church teaching on a number of complex and sensitive issues.” Dan Ferris, the Providence diocesan school superintendent, followed up with a statement proclaiming that the remarks were “disappointing and pastorally insensitive to Church teachings.”

In an interesting twist, Father Hoffman’s presentation was recorded so that it could be aired on Relevant network. Parents at Proust School said that the address should not be aired.

First Sister Jane. Now Father Hoffman. And I’m not even mentioning the mess in Seattle.

If this keeps up, we’re going to need a whole fleet of buses.

From Catholic Culture:

For the 2nd time in recent weeks, parents of students at a Catholic high school are protesting that a speaker’s presentation on Catholic morality was harsh and insensitive.

Parents of students at the Prout School in Rhode Island have expressed outrage over an appearance by Father Francis (“Rocky”) Hoffman, the executive director of Relevant Radio, a network of 33 Catholic stations. Kathleen Schlenz, whose daughter attends the school and heard the lecture, said that the presentation was offensive “regarding divorce, homosexuality, and even adoption.”

Father Hoffman, who was on retreat, was unavailable to comment. But David Carradini, the principal of the Prout School, apologized for the presentation and said that Father Hoffman’s answers to students’ questions “were not entirely representative of the full breadth of Church teaching on a number of complex and sensitive issues.” The Providence diocesan school superintendent, Dan Ferris, also issued a statement, saying that the priest’s remarks were “disappointing and pastorally insensitive to Church teachings.”

Maybe the Only Honorable Place for a Catholic to be is Under the Bus

Under the bus

Fear God, and you will have no need of being afraid of mortal man. What can anyone do against you by his words and injuries? He rather hurts himself than you, nor can he escape the judgement of God, whoever he be. Keep God before your eyes. Thomas a Kempis

It’s getting crowded under the bus.

I would imagine that it’s also lonely and a bit shattering for the people who are under there.

First, we’ve got Mozilla, throwing their founder and the inventor of JavaScript under that old bus because he made a political donation six years ago in favor of Prop 8, or, to put it more simply, in support of traditional marriage.

Next, we’ve got Sister Jane Dominic Laurel who committed the “crime” of using sociological studies that the gay marriage/gay rights people claim are bogus in a presentation to high school students. Evidently, she said nothing, nothing, that was against Church teaching. The only half-way legitimate criticism that anyone can dig up is that parents  weren’t “informed” of the talk beforehand. Informing the parents beforehand sounds to me like the administrative responsibility of the school, not Sister Jane.

I’ll toss in one more. Father Marcel Guarnizo says he was removed from ministry for refusing communion to a woman who had informed him she was living in a sexual relationship with another woman.

Meanwhile, this priest (who is a Jesuit, so has different superiors, but the principle is the same) is supporting open defiance against Church teachings and writing about it in national Catholic magazines.

I wonder how many others are out there lying under buses for standing for what the Church has taught us we should stand for?

The forced resignation of Brandon Eich from Mozilla is different because the people who abandoned him were not bishops of the Church. I am not in any way abrogating their responsibility for acceding to an egregious and unconscionable attack on the principles of civil liberties which have allowed us to all live together in peace in this country for over 200 years.

I am saying that when a bishop of the Church throws people under the bus for following Church teaching, it … well … it gets too ripe to breathe.

When the zeitgeist turns, it sometimes turns ugly. You can get ugly mobs at your Catholic high schools, demanding the head of a nun. Situations like that are the ones that let true leaders shine. They are also the situations that lead the weak links to tarnish themselves and shame the rest of us.

A bishop who is a good leader must be a great follower. He must be a follower of Christ before anything else. A bishop who follows Jesus and lets the Holy Spirit work through him, will be able to deal with mobs without running away and abandoning his people. But bishops who decide that being a bishop is all about them, will not stand in the tough times.

Such is our fallen state. Jesus Himself told us that the tares would grow up alongside the wheat and not be separated out until Judgement Day. We, meaning you and I, have the task of remaining faithful to Our Lord, even if we have to do it alone, even if our priests and bishops abandon us, even if it makes social martyrs of us.

Make no mistake about it, those who destroy people’s careers and push them to the sidelines for supporting traditional marriage are making martyrs of them. I include bishops who do not stand by them among the martyr-makers.

The suffering of a Brandon Eich who had the corporation he founded and his life’s work stolen from him in what can only be described as an act of malice and spite, must be exquisite. Imagine what it is like to be Sister Jane or Father Guarnizo, who have given their lives to the Church, to have that Church cashier them as a matter of convenience for a bishop who won’t make a stand? Meanwhile those who ignore the Church’s teachings, or even deride them, are riding high.

So long as individual Catholics, ranging from priests, to nuns, to laity, can not rely on their bishops to stand by them when the angry mobs of the zeitgeist come at them for standing for Christ, the only honorable and faithful place for Jesus loving, Jesus following Catholics may very well be under the bus.

Euthanasia: Putting You Out of My Misery

Friday Forum Euthanasia1

Recent arguments about euthanizing children, those with dementia and healthy adults pulled the mask off the death-dealing death with dignity movement.

Advocates of medical murder tossed the pretense that only those who were fatally ill, in irremediable suffering and could give informed consent would ever be subject to euthanasia over the side of the political ship without a fare-thee-well. All of a sudden, the arguments morphed to a question of choice, as in the notion that people should have the right to hire their own government-approved hit man and have themselves done in if they wanted.

This swung the door wide open to medically murdering people who are depressed, on the depressive side of being bi-polar or, I guess, have just had a bad day and decide to chuck it all. Legally sanctioned murder doesn’t come cheap. Evidently a well-to-do woman Italian woman traveled to Switzerland (while her family thought she was going to a spa) and paid $14,000 to have herself offed. The reason? She was getting on in years and had become depressed about losing her looks.

Statistics concerning euthanasia have repeatedly shown that where it is allowed, medical people decide to jump the moral shark and begin killing people without the victim’s knowledge or consent. This is ignored by euthanasia advocates who just toss out slick lies and facile arguments to confuse and obfuscate the plain facts of what is happening. Just to be clear, what is happening is legalized medical murder.

Let me say the word again: Murder.

What it often comes down to is killing someone instead of writing a script or taking them out to a movie and spending time with them. I wonder how many people are being constantly badgered by family members and caretakers to assent to euthanasia in order to get them out of the way and hurry along getting an inheritance. How many doctors decide to kill their patients for no reason because that is the ethos of the doctor’s environment and their personal morality?

It’s not a question of sparing people misery and suffering. It’s a question of putting you out of my misery by killing you and getting you and your problems out of the way.

Here are a few statistics from LifeNews.com concerning the new business of putting you out of my misery:

In Belgium, one study found that 32% of the assisted deaths were done without request.

Another Belgian study found that only 53% of the assisted deaths were reported and 73% of the reported assisted deaths fulfilled the requirements of the euthanasia law and .

Netherlands study found that 23% of all assisted deaths are not reported. Euthanasia in the Netherlands has been extended to psychiatric conditions. In 2013, euthanasia for psychiatric reasonsoccurred 45 times.

Recently a former leader of a euthanasia group in the Netherlands stated that the Netherlands euthanasia law has derailed.

A study from Switzerland found that in 16% of the assisted suicide deaths, the person who died had no physical illness.

Some real life stories.

healthy woman, who was becoming blind, died by euthanasia in the Netherlands because she thought that it would be intolerable to live without knowing if her clothes were clean.

depressed woman died by euthanasia in Belgium, even after her psychiatrist thought that treatment was possible.

Court Upholds Ban on Religious Services in NYC Public Schools

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A federal appeals court upheld a ban on renting public school facilities to religious organizations for religious services. 

In my opinion this ruling is clearly discriminatory. 

The reason I say it is discriminatory is that it is aimed at one group of people only. The city evidently allows rental of their school facilities to other groups for their private purposes. This ruling singles out religious groups and applies a prohibition to them that is not applied to other groups of people. 

From Catholic News Agency:

A federal appeals court has upheld a New York City policy prohibiting religious services in public school buildings, a decision critics said wrongly targets churches for exclusion.

Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, objected to the April 3 decision, saying that “the First Amendment prohibits New York City from singling out worship services and excluding them from empty school buildings.”

He noted that the buildings are “generally available to all individuals and community groups” for activity related to the community’s welfare. Groups that are religious should not be excluded.
 
Two of the three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overruled a lower court’s finding that the city’s education department’s policy wrongly restricted the free exercise of religion.

The two appellate judges said the policy seeks to avoid the risk of illegally endorsing a religion.

The dissenting judge noted that among the 50 largest school districts in the U.S., New York City is the only one to exclude religious worship from school facilities.

Small churches in poor neighborhoods have said they are particularly affected by the rule since they rely on the inexpensive space, The New York Times reports.

The Bronx Household of Faith, a small church that describes itself as “community-based,” filed a legal challenge to the rule.

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, backed the policy and contended that religious congregations were “dominating” public schools each Sunday.

She said that when a school is “converted to a church in this way” it sends “a powerful message” that the government favors that church.

However, critics say that renting out space to religious groups with the same rules and standards as non-religious groups is in full adherence with the Constitution.

Dr Alveda King, Niece of Martin Luther King, for Marriage

I was honored to meet Dr Alveda King when she was in Oklahoma for our annual pro-life event at the state capitol, Rose Day.

Dr King is a Pastoral Associate and Director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life.

She is the niece of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, and the daughter of his brother, Reverend AD King. Her mother is Naomi Barber King.

Her family home in Birmingham, Al was bombed during the Civil Rights Movement, as was her father’s church in Louisville, Ky. Alveda was jailed for her Civil Rights activities. she is the author of How Can the Dream Survive If We Murder the Children? 

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