By The Goldwater Institute
February 3, 2017

Pima County Superior Court judge struck down the county’s contract with (Mark Kelly’s) World View Enterprises that would have required taxpayers to foot the bill for a new facility for the company’s luxury tourism business. According to Judge Catherine Woods, the county was required to have the building appraised, hold a public auction, and set a lease rate no lower than the appraised value. The county ignored those requirements; therefore, the lease with World View will be cancelled. The Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit against the county on behalf of Pima County taxpayers.

“Judge Woods’ ruling protects Pima County taxpayers from having to foot the bill for World View’s untested business model,” said Jim Manley, senior attorney at the Goldwater Institute. “Instead of relying on a sweetheart deal from taxpayers, World View will need to pay market rates to lease its building, just like every other business in Pima County.”

In November 2015, Pima County voters resoundingly rejected six ballot measures that proposed to let the county borrow hundreds of millions of dollars for economic development and tourism. Two months later, county officials secretly negotiated a deal to borrow $15 million to build World View’s headquarters, without taxpayer approval.

The deal used government-owned buildings as collateral to borrow money to build a 135,000 square-foot headquarters and balloon pad for World View. The company planned to charge $75,000 per balloon ride, but was only required to pay the county a fraction of the market lease rate for a custom-designed building.

“The county is free to renegotiate the lease,” said Manley, “but only after they appraise the building, hold a public auction, and lease the building to the highest bidder. All of that will protect taxpayers from illegally subsidizing a private business.”

The World View deal also violates the state constitution. The Arizona Constitution makes it illegal for the county to “give or loan its credit in the aid of, or make any donation or grant, by subsidy or otherwise, to any . . . corporation.” In Turken v. Gordon the Arizona Supreme Court decided that public expenditures must be for public purposes. The Court held that general economic improvement or potential job growth do not satisfy the Constitution.

The county conceded that it ignored Arizona laws that forbid counties from leasing land without auctioning it to the highest bidder. However, the County claimed economic development projects were exempt from this law. Judge Woods rejected that argument.

“‘Economic development’ is not a magic phrase that vanishes taxpayer protections,” said Manley. “In fact, when the County conspires to subsidize a private company, that is exactly when you want the most robust protections in place. Judge Woods’ ruling ensures those protections still apply to Pima County.”

Editor’s Note: Mark Kelly’s World View was also in a partnership with the Chinese Communists and the Chinese company Tencent.

Arizona Dem Mark Kelly Tied to Company Accused of ‘Surprise Billing’ and ‘Price Gouging’ Corruption

By Reagan McCarthy, Townhall|

Jun 23, 2020

Financial filings show that Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly served as a consultant for, and on the board of, Arizona-based air ambulance company Angel MedFlight from 2015 to 2019 as an “aviation expert.” Kelly served on the board of the company’s subsidiary, Alacura Medical Transportation Management, from 2016 to 2018. The air ambulance industry as a whole has faced controversy for “surprise medical billing” and “price gouging,” and Angel MedFlight is no exception.

Air ambulance companies notoriously overcharge patients for rides in air ambulances in order to see a higher profit, and patients often receive threats if the hefty fees are not paid by insurance. A 2017 Consumer Reports study found that companies’ ability to price gouge is largely due to a lack of regulation on the industry, and an “oversupply” in the air ambulance industry contributes to an “unnecessary overuse of this lifesaving service,” meaning that air ambulance companies can take advantage of patients in the name of a profit.

Angel MedFlight was accused of inflating bills for patients’ rides in air ambulances in 2018, including one instance in which a patient was charged nearly $500,000 for a ride in an air ambulance, including a $275 per-mile fee. When the patient’s insurance company refuted the outrageous charge, Angel MedFlight sent a threatening letter to the patient’s family demanding that they pay the balance. In some cases, dating back to 2016, Angel MedFlight filed federal lawsuits against insurance companies if they claimed that an air ambulance ride was “not medically necessary.” During Kelly’s tenure on the company’s board, 21 lawsuits were filed against insurers demanding fees be paid. Kelly reported that he collected $20,000 in consulting service fees from Angel MedFlight in 2019, in addition to non-public stock investments from which he drew no income, which totaled to between $250,001 and $500,000.

President Trump advocated for the end of “surprise billing” along with a few senators. At risk of losing a reliable avenue for profit, The Association Of Air Medical Services (AAMS), a major air ambulance industry lobbying group to which Kelly’s company belongs, pushed back on the effort and resisted government oversight.

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report from 2019 showed that nearly two-thirds of air ambulance trips were “out of network” for appropriate insurers, which contributed to the hefty bills. Rather than take responsibility for the blatant corruption that only hurts patients in need, AAMS lobbied for reimbursements from the federal government.

Aside from the clear corruption from an industry to which Kelly has visible ties, his association with the air ambulance industry is highly hypocritical. Kelly has built his Senate bid around advocating for “affordable health care” and lowering “out of pocket costs” for patients. Kelly even asserted that lawmakers in Washington are “doing nothing” to lower the cost of healthcare, when a company with which he works is pushing back on efforts to cut billing costs. Most glaringly, Kelly claimed that pharmaceutical companies and corporate PAC money are the reason price gouging exists in the healthcare industry, while a company he associates with is guilty of those very offenses.

Opposition to price gouging and surprise billing should transcend partisan lines, and Mark Kelly should afford transparency to the voters he seeks to represent in the United States Senate by taking a clear stance on the issue so deeply steeped in corruption.

Biden Says Days as a Lifeguard ‘Prepped Me to Save America’

By John Semmens — Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

In a bid to persuade voters that he is the man that will save America from the evil Donald Trump, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden recalled his days as a lifeguard, saying that “I saved 77 people and one set of dentures from drowning. Who did Trump ever save? Are we even sure he can swim?”

“Today our country faces perilous times,” Biden continued. “In city after city armed police are oppressing mostly peaceful rioters and murdering unarmed black men like George Floyd. Yet, all Donald Trump has to offer is a plea for law and order. Law and order is a dog whistle for racism. We need to breakaway from this out-dated policy. When I am president funds that have been wasted in futile attempts to pacify an angry public will be redeployed to community outreach programs that will bring people together.”

“One of the main objectives of our outreach will be to reeducate the police and their supporters in the general population in an effort to help them adjust to the new reality that America so desperately needs,” the Candidate added. “Until we develop a comprehensive reparations and wealth redistribution, law enforcement and the general public must learn to accept the spontaneous efforts toward this objective that we have seen taking place in Chicago, Seattle, Portland and other places. This is the only way we can move as one people united in a shared goal of social justice.”

Fox News commentator Chris Wallace called Biden’s remarks “thoughtful and bold,” but questioned whether Biden “had ever saved anyone from drowning. I seem to recall that it was Ronald Reagan who rescued those 77 people during his seven years as a lifeguard in Dixon, Illinois in the late 1920s. I think Biden spent one year as a lifeguard in Delaware around 1960 where his greatest claim to fame was his luxuriant leg hair.”

NJ Judge Orders “Do Over” in Paterson Election

Democrats’ assertions that an all mail-in ballot election is just as good as a vote-in-person ballot were dealt a blow when state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal charged four individuals—Alex Mendez, 1st Ward Councilman Michael Jackson and two workers for 2nd Ward candidate Shahin Khalique’s campaign with fraud in casting mail-in votes, unauthorized possession of ballots, tampering with public records and election fraud in the City’s May elections.

The fraud was aided and abetted by New Jersey’s law allowing ballot harvesting—a procedure in which Party operatives collect and deliver ballots to the polls. Unlike when ballots are dropped into mail boxes, ballots turned over to partisan intermediaries break the chain of custody and allow undesired votes to be discarded or altered. Unsurprisingly, Superior Court judge, Ernest M. Caposela, ordered a “do over” for November 3, saying that the May election “was not the fair, free and full expression of the intent of the voters.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) still maintains that “a nationwide vote-by-mail protocol is our best option for conducting an election during the pandemic. Even if some of the ballots are lost or altered via the ballot harvesting process, at least voters are spared the risk of being exposed to the COVID contagion they would face going to the polls in-person. In the grand scheme of things, a tainted outcome is preferable to one where masses of voters become infected and die from the virus. Lives will be saved and Trump will be defeated. We consider that a win-win situation.”

Impactful Community Leader” Endorses Biden

One of a so-called group of “impactful community leaders” invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention was convicted murderer Donna Hylton. In 1986 when she was 21 years old, Hylton was convicted for kidnapping, raping, torturing, and murdering Thomas Vigliarolo. In a three week torture session Hylton starved her victim, burned him with cigarettes, squeezed his testicles with a pair of pliers, sodomized him with a metal rod, and ultimately murdered him when the ransom she was demanding wasn’t paid.

She justified her crime on the grounds that she needed money to launch a modeling career and that Vigliarolo “was a homo anyway.” She spent 26 years in prison for these crimes and was paroled in 2012. After regaining her freedom she found work as a Democrat activist, joined the Coalition for Women Prisoners and advocated for the early release of “prisoners like me.”

Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz boasted that “the endorsements of these impactful community leaders shows that Joe has touched the heart and soul of those who have been mistreated by our judicial system. Victims of the systemic racism of our courts and law enforcement recognize the tranformative potential of the policies and personnel that Joe will bring to this nation if voters make him the next president of the United States.”

In related news, Biden also received the endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper The Global Times. The paper’s editors predicted that “Mr. Biden will be much easier to deal with than Trump—a viewpoint that is shared by many countries. Polls already indicate that a majority of American voters are ready to reject the ‘America first’ policies of Trump and begin the transformation into the socialist progressive nation envisioned by former President Obama by electing Mr. Biden president of the United States in November.”

Pundit Demands Trump Supporters Be Deprogrammed

CNN’s Don Lemon warned that “the nation could face the bleak future of another four years of Trump if we don’t take steps to prevent his cultish followers from reelecting him.”

While the views he expresses on CNN are pretty consistently hard core leftist, Lemon claims he is an “independent thinker who’s not afraid to color outside the lines.” One of the lines he says he is ready to breach is “the presumption that everyone should be allowed to vote for whoever he pleases. Clearly, those who genuinely like Trump are deluded. I don’t see how we can let them cast ballots until they undergo deprogramming. I know that Biden has pledged to set up reeducation camps if he wins, but he may never get the chance if Trump’s zombies aren’t prevented from reelecting him.”

Merkel Irked by US Troop Withdrawal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is furious at President Trump for his decision to reduce the number of US troops stationed in Germany by 12,000. “I find his assertion that it is time that Germany start defending itself rich with irony,” Merkel said. “Not too long before the US occupation German troops were defending a large portion of the European continent from foreign invaders. The stability of that situation was disrupted by the violent intervention of the United States and its allies. The destruction of our army left us defenseless. As the chief architect of that disaster it is America’s responsibility to take care of us.”

President Trump rejected Merkel’s demand and pointed out that “Germany is the richest member of the NATO alliance. They have an annual $50 billion balance of trade surplus with us. Six years ago they pledged to spend 2% of their GDP on their own defense. They have consistently fallen short of this promise. The original purpose of the US troop deployment to Germany was to deter Soviet aggression against Germany. Now the Soviet Union is no more and Germany is a major trade partner with Russia. So, I’d say we are well within our rights to reduce our contribution to Germany’s defense. I mean, it’s not as if we are totally abandoning them. We still have 24,000 troops stationed there.”

Merkel called Trump’s position “a replay of the mistake made by the western countries in 1939. They spurned an alliance with Germany to resist the Bolshevik threat. This forced our Chancellor to seek a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union. The result was the onset of the most destructive war in human history. Trump’s latest action risks a repeat of those dreadful days.”

Chicago Mayor Gives Self Special Protection

While Mayor Lori Lightfoot has shown extraordinary tolerance for the violence criminals and mobs have been inflicting on the law-abiding residents of her city, she reached the breaking point when a mob of “demonstrators” started gathering outside her home this week. She ordered a special contingent of police officers to be regularly stationed outside her house, saying “I have a right to make sure my home is secure.”

The Mayor insisted that “police resources are limited. Officers can’t be everywhere. They can’t protect everyone. We have to prioritize where we spend the taxpayers’ money and ensure that the most important people are not victimized. Remember, there are millions of ordinary people living in Chicago, but only one mayor. Scarcity alone argues for putting the maximum effort toward making sure I’m safe at all times.”

Lightfoot also pointed out that “so-called peaceful demonstrations can morph into violent episodes, as we saw in the downtown Miracle Mile section of the city. However, the theft and destruction of commercial merchandise that occurred there did no permanent damage. Insurance will cover the losses and the shelves will eventually be restocked. The same is not the case at my home where many keepsakes acquired over a lifetime could be irreparably harmed. I could be injured or maybe even killed. A tragedy of such magnitude must be avoided at all cost. I think the citizens of Chicago understand this and won’t begrudge me taking whatever steps are necessary to avert it.”

In addition to stationing police officers on the street in front of her home, Lightfoot will continue to receive the round-the-clock protection provided by bodyguards routinely assigned to every mayor. This includes one or more bodyguards permanently stationed inside her residence.

School Opposes Parents Viewing Lessons

Rutherford County Schools (RCS) in Tennessee is requiring parents to sign forms promising that they will not not watch the virtual lessons being piped to their children in lieu of the live in-class sessions during the pandemic.

RCS spokesman James Evans explained that “the bond between a teacher and student requires privacy if best results are to be achieved. Many parents have out-dated notions that the school must work very hard to overcome. The world has changed since the parents went to school. What they were taught no longer resonates in the woke era we are now seeking to make the new norm. When classes are held in places where the parents are not present the indoctrination process is smoother. The only way we can continue this pattern of success when lessons are conducted over the internet is for the parents to butt out of the process. The forms we are asking them to sign informs them of their obligation to do so.”

“However, there will still be allowances for parents who are fully on-board with the woke agenda to assist in the indoctrination of their children, but only if their child’s teacher is convinced that the parents’ commitment to the progressive way of thinking is genuine,” Evans said. “In order to ascertain if the parents’ progressive views are genuine children will be regularly questioned about any political and social comments the parents make at home. Statements made by each student will, of course, be verified by crosschecking with the statements of their siblings, if any, and any discrepancies will ‘red flag’ the parents and their children for more intensive interrogation.”

In other education news, Chloe Clark, an English professor at Iowa State University issued a syllabus in which students were warned that they could be dismissed from her class if they argue against abortion or criticize the Black Lives Matter movement. “Some ideas simply aren’t worthy of being heard in a free society,” Clark argued. “It’s up to me to make sure my students learn that.”

Meanwhile in Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has issued an edict imposing a punishment of six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 for any K-12 student who fails to wear a mask while on school grounds. Herbert defended his absurd criminalization of the mask issue by maintaining “I’m trying to save lives” and calling parents’ objections “irrational. Look, I’m hoping it doesn’t come down to sending some kid to jail. I think the threat alone will either spur compliance or encourage scofflaws to simply drop out of school.”

California Loses Bet on Wind & Solar Power

The Democrat political establishment’s decision to reject nuclear and natural gas as a method for generating electricity has left the state sweltering as the preferred “renewable” options of wind and solar have failed to meet demand. As temperatures broke records across the state residents have been advised by former Gov. Jerry Brown “to turn up your damn thermostat!”

Current Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted that “it’s uncomfortable to be so hot and have your AC turned off by the rolling blackouts that are necessary if we are to fairly ration the scarce supply of electric power. Beyond this I think it would be good for everyone to remember that this state was founded before air conditioning was invented. Our ancestors thrived despite the heat. You can too.”

Critics have pointed out that the Governor’s mansion is exempt from the rolling blackouts. Ed Sprague, resident of Borrego Springs where temperatures reached 115 degrees this week, wasn’t impressed by Newsom’s pep talk. “Our modern economy depends on access to reliable and affordable electricity,” he countered. “Without it output and standards of living would be far lower—like they were when the state was founded. Is that the direction that our government wants to take us?”

Apparently, the answer is yes. Newsom justified his exemption from blackouts, saying that “government is essential. It must be able to operate at maximum capacity at all times. The less important and nonessential segments of society may very well have to accept lower living standards as the price of the Green New Deal.” Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has vowed to implement a nationwide Green New Deal after he is elected.

Sanders Warns “America Faces Authoritarianism”

In a grim convention speech, Sen. Bernie Sanders said “voters will face a choice between authoritarianism and freedom this November. One of the candidates intends to impose a regime of individualism that will stifle the human dream of collectivism envisioned by Karl Marx. The other candidate offers a pathway to escape this dire fate.”

“If Donald Trump is reelected Americans will be forced to earn their own livings,” Sanders lamented. “Some will be encouraged to embark on a futile quest for success as owners and operators of small businesses. Others will be expected to take jobs producing products that consumers are willing to buy. Everyone will be an orphan with no one to take care of him or tell him how to live his life. Material abundance will divert society away from the security of conformity and solidarity.”

“On the other hand, if voters elect Joe Biden an expansive government will take everyone under its wing,” Sanders promised. “No one will be left alone to decide his own fate. Everyone will be yoked together for the common good of all. Government will abolish failure. The guiding principle of a Biden Administration will be from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Competition will be replaced by cooperation as each person is assigned his or her unique role in society by the brightest minds and best people working under the unquestioned authority of the government.”

“The choice is clear,” Sanders asserted. “I hope and trust that voters will choose wisely.”

In related news, Sanders urged that “any debates about the future of this country should be postponed until after Joe Biden is elected president. It is pointless to debate such weighty matters with those who disagree in principle about whether we should have an individualistic or a collectivistic society. Once Biden is the president every variety of progressive thought will be invited to participate in the discussion. Suggestions on how to most effectively redistribute wealth, whether to intern dissidents in reeducation camps or whether a simple forced hard labor would be preferable, when to ban the use of fossil fuels, and other topics of interest could be explored in a more convivial atmosphere.”

Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties our Founding Fathers tried to protect.” His work has been cited on the Rush Limbaugh program.

Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

AZ Attorney General’s Office Refutes Democrats’ False Claims Of Ballot Delays

Joe Kanefield, an assistant to Attorney General Mark Brnovich. has accused Democrat and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs with undermining public confidence in the integrity of Arizona’s elections. On Wednesday, he said there is absolutely no basis for Hobbs’ false claims that the Trump Administration is attempting to prevent the timely delivery of ballots in Arizona. Kanefield says her complaints are without merits. He called Hobbs’ complaint — which echoes Democrat conspiracy theories — “purely speculative” and without evidence.

Kanefield also said Postmaster Louis DeJoy was appointed to his post by the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, not by President Donald Trump, and does not report to the president.

“Making accusations of criminal misconduct by the president and other federal officials based on mere conjecture undermines the integrity of our elections,” Kanefield said.

DeJoy said Tuesday that any cost-cutting initiatives by the postal service will not be implemented before the November the election. “Given that the allegations in your letter are without merit and are now moot, we will take no further action on your complaint,” Kanefield said.

Democrats across the country, who’ve committed voter fraud in the past, are paranoid about voter suppression, trying to distract voters from their radical socialist plans for America.

Kanefield said to Hobbs: “You present no evidence … that any action by the president impacted USPS operations in Arizona during the Aug. 4, 2020 primary election. The evidence in Arizona, therefore, does not suggest that there has been or will be voter disenfranchisement as a result of any changes to the postal system.”

Furthermore, Kanefield zinged Hobbs with these remarks:

“In the midst of a pandemic and within months of a major election, it is critical that election officials not spread misinformation, politicize administrative processes, or criminalize congressional funding issues. To the extent you may be confronted with other political issues like this one in the future, we encourage you to take steps to maintain, rather than undermine, public confidence in Arizona’s election process.”


Four Months of Unprecedented Government Malfeasance

The following is adapted from a lecture delivered by Heather Mac Donald, of Manhattan Institute, on June 18, 2020, for a Hillsdale College online symposium, “The Coronavirus and Public Policy.”

Over the last four months, Americans have lived through what is arguably the most consequential period of government malfeasance in U.S. history. Public officials’ overreaction to the novel coronavirus put American cities into a coma; those same officials’ passivity in the face of widespread rioting threatens to deliver the coup de grâce. Together, these back-to-back governmental failures will transform the American polity and cripple urban life for decades.

Before store windows started shattering in the name of racial justice, urban existence was already on life support, thanks to the coronavirus lockdowns. Small businesses—the restaurants and shops that are the lifeblood of cities—were shuttered, many for good, leaving desolate rows of “For Rent” signs on street after street in New York City and elsewhere. Americans huddled in their homes for months on end, believing that if they went outside, death awaited them.

This panic was occasioned by epidemiological models predicting wildly unlikely fatalities from the coronavirus.

On March 30, the infamous Imperial College London model predicted 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. by September 1, absent government action. That prediction was absurd on its face, given the dispersal of the U.S. population and the fact that China’s coronavirus death toll had already levelled off at a few thousand. The authors of that study soon revised it radically downwards.

Too late. It had already become the basis for the exercise of unprecedented government power. California was the first state to lock down its economy and confine its citizens to their homes; eventually almost every other state would follow suit, under enormous media pressure to do so.

Never before had public officials required millions of lawful businesses to shut their doors, throwing tens of millions of people out of work. They did so at the command of one particular group of experts—those in the medical and public health fields—who viewed their mandate as eliminating one particular health risk with every means put at their disposal.

If the politicians who followed their advice weighed a greater set of considerations, balancing the potential harm from the virus against the harm from the shutdowns, they showed no sign of it. Instead, governors and mayors started rolling out one emergency decree after another to terminate economic activity, seemingly heedless of the consequences.

The lockdown mandates employed mind-numbingly arbitrary distinctions. Wine stores and pot dispensaries were deemed “essential” and thus allowed to stay open; medical offices were required to close. Large grocery stores got the green light; small retail establishments with only a few customers each day were out of luck. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer notoriously used her red pen within megastores to bar the sale of seeds, gardening supplies, and paint.

It was already clear when these crushing mandates started pouring forth that shutting down every corner of the country was a reckless overreaction. By mid-March, two weeks before the Imperial College model was published, Italian health data showed that the coronavirus was terribly lethal to a very small subset of the population—the elderly infirm—and a minor health problem to nearly everyone else who was not already severely ill. The median age of coronavirus decedents in Italy was 80, and they died with a median of nearly three comorbidities, such as heart disease and diabetes. The lead author of the Imperial College model has admitted that up to two-thirds of all coronavirus fatalities would have died from their comorbidities by the end of 2020 anyway.

Three months later, this profile of coronavirus casualties still holds true. Public health interventions could have been targeted at that highly vulnerable population without forcing the American economy into a death spiral.


By now it is impossible to attribute the media’s failure to publicize the facts about the coronavirus to mere oversight.

Every story that does not mention, preferably at the top, the vast overrepresentation of nursing home deaths in the coronavirus death count—above 50 percent in many countries and 80 percent in several of our states—is a story that is deliberately concealing the truth. Casual readers and viewers have been left with the false impression that everyone is equally at risk, and thus that draconian measures are justified.

The media have been equally uninterested in the scientific evidence regarding outdoor transmission. Coronavirus infections require what Japan calls the three Cs: confined spaces, crowded places, and close contact. The fleeting encounters on sidewalks and public parks that characterize much of city life simply do not result in transmission. And yet if you briskly approach someone on one of Manhattan’s broad and now empty sidewalks, the oncoming pedestrian may lunge into the street or press up against the closest wall in abject fear if you are not wearing a mask. You may be cursed at.

The public health establishment has been equally complicitous in creating this widespread ignorance. It has failed to stress at every opportunity that for the vast majority of the public, the coronavirus is at most an inconvenience. The public health experts did not disclose that outdoors was the safest place to be and that people should get out of their homes and into the fresh air.

Not coincidentally, the experts’ newfound power over nearly every aspect of American life was dependent on the maintenance of fear.

While the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has been demographically circumscribed and lower than the previous flu pandemics of 1968, 1956, and 1918 when adjusted for population, the economic toll has cut across every sector of the country and every population group. Whole industries have seen their capital wiped out overnight.

Despite a better than expected employment report in early June, the long-term effects of the shutdowns and the continuing mandates to socially distance will prevent a full economic recovery for years to come. Forty-four million Americans are still out of work. Supply chains have been thrown into chaos. Fresh fruits and vegetables are being plowed under and livestock burned uneaten for lack of access to processing plants and markets. Small businessmen who have put their life savings into creating a service that customers want have seen their hard work go up in smoke. Without rent from their retail tenants, commercial landlords can’t pay their taxes. City budgets have been decimated. The additional $8 trillion in public debt taken on to try to substitute for the private economy will depress opportunity for generations.

And what has been the response to this economic carnage on the part of our ruling class? Branding strategies! Politicians have put cute names on what has been a taking of private property on an unprecedented scale. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calls the state lockdowns “New York on Pause,” as if commerce can be indefinitely suspended and then magically resuscitated with the flick of a switch.

The politicians’ ignorance about the complexity of economic life was stunning, as was their hypocrisy. To a person, every elected official, every public health expert, and every media pundit who lectured Americans about the need to stay in indefinite lockdown had a secure (“essential”) job. Not one of them feared his employer would go bankrupt. Anyone who warned that the effects of the lockdowns would be more devastating than anything the coronavirus could inflict was accused of being a heartless capitalist who only cared about profits.

But to care about the economy is to care about human life, since the economy is how life is sustained. It is a source of meaning, as well as sustenance, binding humans to each other in a web of voluntary exchange. To its workers, every business is essential, and to many of its customers as well. Even judged by the narrowest possible definition of public health—lives lost—the toll from the lockdowns will exceed that of the virus, due to the cancellation of elective medical procedures, patients’ unnecessary fear of seeking medical treatment, and the psychological effects of unemployment.

In May, politicians started inviting a few scattered sectors of their state economies to reopen, with blue state governors and mayors being particularly parsimonious with their noblesse oblige. These blue state officials invoked “science” to justify yet another arbitrary set of guidelines to determine which businesses would be allowed to start up again and when. “Science,” we were told, dictated the timetable for reopening, based on rates of hospital bed vacancies and new infections.

In fact, the numerical benchmarks, enforced with draconian punctiliousness, seem to have been drawn out of a hat—they certainly had no evidence behind them. But even with official reopenings, many customers will be long reluctant to resume their normal habits of consumption and travel thanks to the uninterrupted fearmongering on the part of the media, the experts, and elected leaders.

Being fantastically risk averse is now a badge of honor, at least among the professional elites. A young tech columnist for The New York Times wrote an op-ed in May about cancelling a restaurant reservation in Missoula, Montana. Missoula County had been virus-free for weeks, and Montana’s case load had been negligible. Nevertheless, the columnist experienced a panic attack after booking a table, contemplating the allegedly lethal risk that awaited him in the reopened restaurant. Rather than being ashamed of his cowardice, the columnist was proud, he wrote, to have bailed out of his reservation in order to continue sheltering in place.

The absurd social distancing protocols make operating many businesses and much of city life virtually impossible. The six-foot rule is as arbitrary as the “metrics” for reopening. (The World Health Organization recommends three feet of social distance, and many countries have adopted that recommendation.) Keeping customers and employees six feet apart will render a city’s basic institutions unworkable, from restaurants to concert halls. The Metropolitan Opera has cancelled the first half of its 2020-2021 season while it figures out how to maintain social distancing among audience members and on the stage. Every other performing arts organization will face the same almost insuperable dilemma.

My 34-story apartment building in Manhattan, like many others, has imposed a one person per elevator ride rule, even though the elevator interiors are more than six feet across. I invite anyone who may also be waiting for an elevator to share my ride up; no one has ever accepted the offer, even though both I and my invitee are masked. Nor has anyone ever extended such an offer to me. Now translate this hysteria to Manhattan’s massive office towers. If New York City ever fully reopens, a similar social distancing rule for office elevators will lead to lines of workers around every midtown block each morning. As long as this fear lasts, city life is not possible.


Then the cities started burning. What had been a cold war on the economy and civic life became a hot war.

Government officials, having shut down commerce due to unblemished ignorance of how markets work, now enabled the torching and looting of thousands of businesses due to the shirking of their most profound responsibility: protecting civil peace.

On Monday, May 25, a video of the horrific arrest and death of a black man suspected of passing a forged $20 bill in Minneapolis went viral. A police officer kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd begged for help breathing. Floyd was already handcuffed and thus posed a minimal risk. The officer ignored Floyd’s distress even as Floyd stopped talking or moving.

The officer’s behavior was grotesquely callous and contrary to sound tactics, and the officer will be prosecuted and punished under the law. His behavior was not, however, representative of the overwhelming majority of the ten million arrests that the police make each year. Indeed, there is no government agency more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police. Nevertheless, within 24 hours, the violence had begun.

On the night of Thursday, May 28, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey ordered the city’s Third Police Precinct evacuated as the forces of anarchy descended upon it for a third day in a row. The building was promptly torched, sending a powerful sign that society would not defend its most fundamental institutions of law and order.

Soon cities across the country became scenes of feral savagery. The human lust for violence, the sheer joy of plunder and destruction, were unleashed without check. Police officers were shot at, run over, slashed with knives, and clubbed; two current and former law enforcement officers were killed in cold blood. Police cruisers and station houses were firebombed; courthouses were trashed. Looters drove trucks through storefronts and emptied the stores’ contents into the back of these newly repurposed vehicles of civil war. ATMs were ripped out of walls; pharmacies plundered for drugs.

Blue state governors and mayors ordered law enforcement to stand down or use at most (in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s words) a “light touch” with the rioters. By the time these progressive public leaders realized that something more forceful needed to be done, it was too late. The fire of sadism and hatred could not be contained, but would have to burn itself out. Belatedly imposed curfews were universally ignored: why should anyone obey an edict from a government that refused to protect human life and livelihoods?

Perversely, the rioting exhibited features of the coronavirus shutdowns in even more literal form. If before, businesses were boarded up due to bankruptcy, now they were boarded up to prevent further theft. Small businesses, lacking the resources to outlast the shutdowns, now saw the final depletion of their inventories. The fortress mentality in residential buildings from coronavirus hysteria was replaced by an actual fortress, as building managements hastily erected plywood barriers over lobby windows and doors. The hyped-up fear of going outside into allegedly virus-infected public spaces became a justified fear of leaving one’s fortress and being sacrificed to the mob. Shelter-in-place became a necessity, not a product of government overreach. The fall of night became a source of terror for ordinary citizens and business owners.

Previously, securely-employed public officials breezily dismissed their constituents’ anguish over unemployment and growing business failures. Now those same officials, safe behind their security details and publicly-owned mansions, foreswore the activation of the National Guard and military. None of those officials owned businesses, so they faced no loss either from economic quarantine or from physical rampage.


One thing did change markedly between the coronavirus lockdowns and the riot lockdowns, however: elite wisdom regarding social distancing. The politicians, pundits, and health experts who had condescendingly rebuked business owners for reopening without official permission, who had banned funerals and church services of more than ten people, and who had heaped scorn on protesters who had gathered in state capitols to express their economic distress, suddenly became avid cheerleaders for screaming crowds numbering in the thousands.

Most remarkably, public officials overtly admitted to choosing the forms of assembly that would be allowed based on the content of the protesters’ speech. Mayor de Blasio explained that protests over “400 years of American racism” are not the same as a “store owner or the devout religious person who wants to go back to services.” While the store owner or worshipper may be “understandably aggrieved,” he conceded, their grievances must still be suppressed in the name of coronavirus safety. Not the grievances of the protesters and rioters, however. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy congratulated the Black Lives Matter activists and distinguished them from mere “nail salon” entrepreneurs protesting their ongoing business stasis. The two are in “different orbits,” Murphy said.

The politicians’ hypocrisy was a mere warm-up for that of the public health establishment. These were the people whose diktats had inspired the lockdowns and whose allegedly supreme knowledge of medical risk was allowed to cancel all other considerations in maintaining a functioning society. Nearly 1,200 of these same experts, including from the CDC, signed a public letter supporting the unsocially distanced protests on the grounds that “white supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19.”

One could just as easily argue that a global depression, induced by the gratuitous crushing of trade and the hollowing out of capital, is a lethal public health issue of at least equal magnitude. But it turns out that public health is as much about politics as it is about science.

This shameless reversal should have torpedoed the lockdowns once and for all. If it turns out that mass gatherings were now not just allowable but to be encouraged, no rationale remained for preventing restaurants and stores from reopening. But instead, once media attention became a little less monomaniacally focused on the anti-police agitation, the familiar chorus rose up again, directed at everyone else: Stay socially distanced! Wear your outdoor masks! No gatherings of more than a few dozen! No entering “non-essential” stores! The same arbitrary “metrics” for business reopenings were still in place and still being enforced.

By now, the collapse of government legitimacy is complete. For three months, public officials abdicated their responsibility to balance the costs and benefits of any given policy. They put the future of hundreds of millions of Americans in the hands of a narrow set of experts who lack all awareness of the workings of economic and social systems, and whose “science” was built on the ever-shifting sand of speculative models and on extreme risk aversion regarding only one kind of risk.

The public officials who ceded their authority to the so-called experts were deaf to the pleas of law-abiding business owners who saw their life’s efforts snuffed out. They engineered the destruction of trillions of dollars of wealth, through thoroughly arbitrary decision making. And then they stood by as billions more dollars of work burned down. Public order and safety, equal treatment under the law, stability of expectations—all the prerequisites for robust investment have been decimated. The failure to quell the riots means that more are inevitable. Any future business faces possible destruction by another lockdown or by looting—which it will be is anyone’s guess.


The coronavirus lockdowns demonstrated our leaders’ ignorance of economic interdependence. After the riots, that ignorance has been shown to run far deeper. It is an ignorance about government’s most fundamental obligation: to safeguard life, liberty, and property. It is an ignorance about human nature and human striving.

Property and capital are not soulless abstractions, easily replaced by an insurance payout, as the rioters and their apologists maintain. (The Massachusetts Attorney General noted that burning is “how forests grow.”) Capital is accumulated effort and innovation, the sum of human achievement and imagination. Its creation is the aim of civilization. But civilization is everywhere and at all times vulnerable to the darkest human impulses. Government exists to rein in those impulses so that individual initiative can flourish. America’s Founders, schooled in a profound philosophical and literary tradition dating back to classical antiquity, understood the fragility of civil peace and the danger of the lustful, vengeful mob.

Our present leaders, the products of a politicized and failing education system, seem to know nothing of those truths. Pulling the country back from the abyss will require a recalling of our civilizational inheritance.

AZ Congressional District 1 November Election

Conservative Tiffany Shedd

  • Supports a border wall, enhanced technology, more boots on the ground, and better systems to monitor who is in our country.
  • Plans to introduce legislation that matches veterans with job opportunities that relate to their military training and match volunteers with veterans organizations to provide services such as grant writing and donations. Tiffany has already spoken with leaders in law enforcement, border patrol, and construction that have pledged support for this plan. Like President Trump, Tiffany is committed to going to bat for our veterans, and ensuring they receive the treatment, care, and opportunities they so desperately need and deserve.
  • As a firearms instructor, she supports the Second Amendment
  • Will stand up against liberals’ efforts to eliminate private health insurance and give Medicare for all to illegal immigrants. Instead, she will make sure we have a patient centered and free-enterprise based system that allows families to make the choices that best fit their needs.
  • Will work with President Trump to identify and eliminate unnecessary job killing regulations, keep taxes low, the economy strong, and stop Democrats from passing the Green New Deal.
  • As a constitutional conservative Tiffany believes that we all must have the freedom to choose how we worship, how to educate our children, and the values that our families live by. As a home school mom, Tiffany makes sure that her kids are well versed in the Constitution and in the Christian roots on which our country was founded. Strongly pro-life, Tiffany will always stand up for all of those who are unable to fight for themselves.

Leftist Tom O’Halleran

  • His campaign site lists accomplishments he had as a liberal “Republican” years ago in the Arizona Legislature
  • His campaign site lists no accomplishments as a congressman
  • Boasts of his supporting Sen. John McCain’s and Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Gang of Eight group that sought to reward illegal aliens for violating immigration law
  • Demands taxpayer-supported abortion
  • Supports Planned Parenthood, an organization accused of refusing to report adult predators who sexually abused minors, which illegally sold dead baby body parts and puts profit over human life
  • Opposes Israel’s sovereignty
  • Supports gun control in opposition of the Second Amendment and citizens’ right to defend themselves
  • Opposes denying federal funding for sanctuary cities
  • Supports gender identity confusion

DC Appeals Court Covers For Hillary’s Crimes

By Tom Fitton, President, Judicial Watch

Today I made the following statement about the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit regarding the request of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and her former Chief of Staff, Chery Mills to avoid testifying under oath about Clinton’s emails. The court granted Clinton’s request to avoid testimony but denied Mills’.
Today’s extraordinary Appeals Court decision protecting Hillary Clinton from having to obey a court order requiring her to testify about her emails is contrary to longstanding precedent and undermines the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The opinion’s deviation from a long line of earlier mandamus cases creates the appearance of favoritism towards Clinton and undermines the public’s confidence in the fair administration of justice. One need only contrast the DC Circuit’s agony over granting General Flynn mandamus relief with the unprecedented mandamus relief so easily given to Clinton.
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton hid her government emails, then stole them when she left office. Her lawyers unilaterally determined what would be returned later. The State Department knew this occurred but tried to game a federal trial court into shutting down Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit before Clinton’s scheme became public. In response, the trial court rightly ordered Clinton to testify about the reasons for her actions and their impact on the public’s right to know. That this was too much for the DC Circuit is a miscarriage of justice.
In addition to today’s political decision, the Justice and State Departments’ continuing efforts to avoid getting to the bottom of Clinton’s email misconduct are a scandal. President Trump should hold Secretary Pompeo and Attorney General Barr accountable for their failures of leadership.

City Council Member Praises Mob

By John Semmens — Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant expressed her disgust with Police Chief Carmen Best’s resignation, saying “this tool of capitalist oppression had the nerve to object to the Council’s decision to reject her beloved ‘law and order’ and replace it with a more progressive vision for our City.”

“We need to represent the will of the people,” Sawant said. “Just the other night Black Lives Matter protesters were chanting ‘who do we protect? Black criminals.’ These so-called criminals are the very victims of capitalist oppression that Best so enthusiastically wants arrested and punished. Blacks have been impoverished by capitalism. They have a human right to expropriate or destroy the property of the capitalist class. This includes the shopkeepers who man the front lines of the capitalist war on the little people. Rather than side with the socially just resistance in this war, Best has inserted police to defend the ill-gotten gains of the capitalist oppressors and to physically assault those trying to assert the people’s right to take their fair share of the community’s wealth.”

“The sadness expressed by the nation’s Oppressor-in-Chief Donald Trump and his lackey William Barr at Best’s departure should be enough to persuade any right-thinking person that we will be better off without her and the police department goons she so loves,” Sawant added. “It is my fervent hope that what has gone on in the streets of our City will inspire voters across the nation to choose socialism by electing Joe Biden our nation’s next president.”

Oregon State Police Pull Out of Portland

The 100 state troopers sent to Portland to protect the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse are being withdrawn because the City’s district attorney refuses to press charges against any of the rioters the Troopers arrested.

Capt. Timothy Fox explained that “it makes no sense for us to risk life and limb trying to stop criminals from burning down the courthouse if the DA is just going to release them to rejoin the nightly attacks on this federal facility. We can’t win the war for law and order if those intent on flouting civilized behavior face no consequences for their destructive behavior. Putting criminals behind bars is a necessary action if good is to triumph over evil.”

It is unclear whether the departure of the State Troopers will result in their replacement by the federal agents they were meant to relieve under the agreement reached between President Trump and Gov. Jay Inslee (D) two weeks ago. Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said “I hope not. The presence of unwanted federal forces in our City was intolerable. Their departure was a key step to resolving the standoff. With the State Troopers now gone maybe the mob will let the courthouse be. If they still decide to burn it down at least that will eliminate a focal point for their animus against law enforcement.”

Biden Wants Everyone to Wear Masks

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says “every American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum. It will decrease the risk of getting the coronavirus expodentially. Of course in an ideal world everyone should be staying at home like I am. If you don’t go anywhere you can’t get infected. Staying home is what we should all do.”

“Trump’s notion that we should open up the economy is insane,” Biden contended. “The federal government has the power to create money. They can just mail everyone a government check. There is no need for anyone to have to risk going to work just to make a living. Pretending that people have to do this as Trump and the Republicans are is simply attempted murder—something my new running mate Kamala Harris has vowed to prosecute once I also name her my Attorney General.”

“The best we can hope for in the interim is for the 50 governors to implement statewide mask-wearing for whenever you leave the house,” Biden said. “With over 120 million Americans already dead from the coronavirus since February you’d think this simple measure would have already been taken because at the rate we’re going I’m afraid that there won’t be any people for me to govern by the time I’m inaugurated.”

In related news, dentists are reporting a decline in dental health from all the mask wearing people have been doing during the pandemic. “In about 50% of our patients we’re seeing inflammation in gums that have been healthy forever, and cavities in people who have never had them before,” says Dr. Rob Ramondi, a co-founder of One Manhattan Dental. “Gum disease will eventually lead to an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.”

Facebook: Robots Will Protect Us from Bad Ideas

In its brazen march toward totally unconstrained power over information, Facebook is now touting its “unmatched utilization of artificial intelligence to detect and eradicate harmful content and misinformation.”

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, explained that “the average human isn’t competent to judge whether information is misleading or harmful. Fortunately, the superior minds at Facebook are diligently expanding the scope of artificial intelligence—robots, if you will—that can make these distinctions for the less gifted among us.”

“A particularly acute problem that has intensified during this election year has been hate speech,” Rosen said. “The volume alone has surpassed the capacity of human interdiction. Fortunately, we have been able to program simple key words and phrases to flag potentially offensive posts. A few examples are ‘Trump,’ ‘MAGA,’ and ‘law and order.’ We find that posts using these words in a positive sense almost invariably contain misleading and/or harmful content. This enables us to delete these posts before too much damage is done.”

“Over the longer term we envision a day when artificial intelligence can completely replace human thinking,” Rosen speculated. “Thinking is one of the most complex and difficult tasks for ordinary humans. If we can relieve them of this burden we believe that the quantity of human happiness among this segment of the population can be dramatically increased. Polls already show that a majority of people have enjoyed the veg-out and binge watching of streaming TV that has occurred during the lockdowns. There no good reason why this can’t become the new normal for the nonessential members of society.”

Lightfoot Blames Trump for Rioting & Looting

Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) put the blame for the rioting and looting going on in Chicago on President Trump, saying that “people are frustrated over his coronavirus response. They’re particularly scared about being forced to go back to work. Trump’s indication that the government checks everyone has been getting during the pandemic won’t be permanent is frightening. People felt safe staying home knowing that the money they need to live would be in their mail box or bank account each week. Now, they’re terrified.”

“Terrified people do terrifying things,” the Mayor reasoned. “Breaking windows and looting stores should have been a foreseeable consequence of the decreased and eventual phase-out of federal pandemic payments.” Oddly for the Mayor’s theory, it wasn’t food stores that were robbed, but high-end retailers in the Miracle Mile district. Reminded of this, Lightfoot offered the opinion that “just because you are desperate doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate a little luxury in your life. Why wouldn’t the poorest among us want a Gucci bag?”

“Maybe if we had been quicker to defund the police and shift the money to social programs like some of our sister cities have the looters wouldn’t have done what they did,” the Mayor speculated. “Fewer police means fewer victims of police brutality and the righteous rioting that can be expected to follow from that brutality. The knowledge that a future 911 call would be routed to a social worker rather than a cop could have exerted a calming influence that would have dampened the enthusiasm for a spree of looting.”

Black Lives Matter organizer Ariel Atkins led a protest demanding the release of the more than 100 looters arrested by the police in the Miracle Mile riot. “I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci… or a Macy’s… or a Nike… because that makes sure that that person eats,” she insisted. “These people are not criminals. The stuff they took is part of the reparations they are owed for slavery. And the stores are all insured, so no one was hurt by by the looting.”

In a next-day follow-up to the Miracle Mile looting, rioters destroyed large sections of the city, including the Ronald McDonald House where families were staying to be near the hospital where their severely sick children were being treated. Though the Ronald McDonald House is a charitable activity, a spokesman for the rioters pointed out that “MacDonald’s is one of the biggest corporate oppressors in the world.”

Cuomo Nixes Probe of Nursing Home Deaths

Though his state led the world in coronavirus fatalities occurring in nursing homes and despite bipartisan support for a probe in the State Legislature, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) says “there is no need for an investigation.” It was the Governor’s controversial March 25th order that required nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients and exposed the uninfected elderly already housed in these homes to high risk.

“Look, what’s done can’t be undone,” Cuomo argued. “We can’t bring these people back to life. We should let them rest in peace. I think it’s time that we all forgive and forget any mistakes that may have been made in our struggle to cope with an unprecedented pandemic.”

State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) disagrees with the Governor. “If we want good state policies and procedures we ought to investigate what the Governor admits were ‘mistakes’ so as to avoid repeating them in the future. This seems like just common sense to me.”

The Governor wasn’t persuaded by Rivera’s argument, calling it “politically motivated. Let’s face it. There is no unbiased party who can be trusted to fairly weigh all the evidence. I’ve made a mental note of the mistakes that occurred. I’m well-situated for avoiding a repeat of them in the future. I can see no good coming out of additional unnecessary inquiries. Besides, I have already signed documents pardoning all the involved parties from any crimes that may have been committed or liability that may have attached for any actions taken during the crisis. So, the issue is now moot.”

While the “official” count of nursing home victims in the state is around 6,400, the death toll could be much higher. The reason for this is that only deaths occurring inside the nursing homes were added to the official tally. Nursing home patients who were on the verge of death were usually transferred to a hospital where they died shortly thereafter. Those deaths were then attributed to the hospital, not the nursing homes. Based on the 13,000 “deficit” in nursing home beds occupied this year compared to last year the fatalities could be double the official tally.

Nearly 50 Percent of Black Small Businesses Wiped Out

According to a report issued by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the lockdowns decreed by governors in response to the coronavirus pandemic drove nearly half of black-owned small businesses out of business. This was nearly three times the failure rate of white-owned small businesses.

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden declared that “on the surface this might appear to be a bad thing, but a fuller understanding of what it means to be a small business owner shows that it is a good thing. No one has to work harder than the owner of a small business. Eighty-hour workweeks are the norm. The financial risk is off the charts. Bankruptcy is an all too common fate.”

“We shouldn’t be encouraging blacks to take on such a load for so little reward,” Biden asserted. “That is why I’m supporting H.R. 2474: Protecting the Right to Organize Act. This bill discourages people from going into business for themselves when they should be joining unions to fight for higher wages. The idea of becoming self-employed is a dream, but the reality is a nightmare.”

“Basically, a capitalist economy has two types of job classifications—workers and bosses,” the former Vice-President alleged. “Workers are the doers of society. Bosses are scum who steal the workers’ surplus labor to get rich. We must protect all those who are born into the working class from aspiring to join the exploiting class. These are the souls I’m fighting to save in this election. In the new economy that my administration will give to America the capitalistic bosses will be replaced by socially-conscious government overseers who will demolish the greed that pushes people to take on the arduous tasks and risks of owning and operating a business. All the common people will be united for the collective well-being of society and energized by the opportunity to labor for the common good rather than for the profit of the capitalist exploiters.”

Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties our Founding Fathers tried to protect.” His work has been cited on the Rush Limbaugh program.

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