Post image for OB Elementary Principal Reflects on His First Year

By Matthew Wood

It’s the middle of summer and the halls of Ocean Beach Elementary School are desolate.

The kids are long gone, having hit the beach or camp or family vacation and otherwise soaking in the three-month summer break. Teachers have been dismissed to recharge for a few student-less months.

Yet here’s principal Marco Drapeau, sitting at his desk, sifting diligently through paperwork as the rest of the world around him goofs off.

“It’s just me and the custodians,” he jokes, his words nearly echoing through the empty halls.

Drapeau explains that principals don’t have much of a summer break – at least, not like the one everyone else in school gets. He’ll be at OB Elementary until the middle of July, “and then three weeks later, we start right back up again” in August.

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Post image for 18 Million Americans Suffer from GMO and Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance is a hot issue these days. Research estimates that over 18 million Americans now have a gluten sensitivity. These new gluten sensitivities are likely due to genetic alteration of crops, and while there is no GMO-wheat, per se, GMOs and modern wheat are killing us.

Wheat’s mass production turned into toxic junk food, and now the combination of the two is causing headaches, stomach ulcers, prostate cancer, IBS, bladder and pancreatic cancers, and all sorts of digestive issues for a huge portion of the population.Celiac disease is on the rise too – also caused by eating the proteins in GMO gluten. It used to be a rare disease, and now its popping up all over the place:

“Celiac disease was rare, but it’s now more common in all age groups,” says Joseph Murray, M.D., a Mayo gastroenterologist. Although the cause is unknown, celiac disease affects about one in 100 people. What’s more, the Mayo Clinic has found a fourfold higher death risk for people with undiagnosed gluten intolerance.
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You’re eating pesticides, junk-wheat, and altered DNA!

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Post image for Anger and Compassion Shown at Point Loma Library Meeting on Homeless Issues (Without the Homeless)

In what was billed as Councilman Ed Harris‘ “Homeless Issues Meeting”, at the Point Loma library last night, July 10, at a standing-room only crowd, angry OB and Pt Loma residents and a few businesspeople met up with folks who serve the homeless. And apparently, there were no homeless people present.

The meeting – which Harris did not attend – generated different accounts (the OB Rag did not have a reporter present).

OB Jess reported the following:

When I went to the forum on the homeless last night I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, I just wanted to go and listen to all the different concerns of my neighbors and my community. It started at 5:30 so I only caught the last 45 minutes but that’s when community members spoke and that was who I most wanted to hear from.


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… and the Struggle Continues

From Press Release from Che Cafe Collective:

The Che Café Collective, a world renowned cultural icon and UCSD landmark that operates as an all-ages music venue, performance space and cafe, will not be so easily uprooted by University officials after over three decades of continuous operation and huge support from students and the public.

In a hearing on Thursday, July 10 on a temporary restraining order, a judge ruled to keep the Che in possession of the space and preserve the status quo until a more full hearing on the merits can be held. This preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for August 1, 2014. If the Che prevails in the injunction hearing, it will maintain possession of the space until a final resolution is reached in the breach of contract lawsuit filed by Che’s legal counsel, Andrea Carter, against the University Regents and by extension, the University of California San Diego (UCSD) on July 7, 2014.

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One year ago almost exactly, reportedly a “gang” from OB attacked several homeless men, causing serious injuries, and then also attacked some local residents. This happened on the 4900 block of Newport Avenue around 2 a.m. on July 14, 2013.

One year later, no one has ever been charged with these crimes or brought to justice. It had been alleged that an OB gang, the “OB Rats” were responsible. Here is what the OB Rag reported on July 17, 2013:

The OB Rag has heard from two independent sources that an Ocean Beach gang attacked several homeless men Sunday night, July 14th, causing at least one serious injury, and then also attacked some locals. This occurred at approximately 2 a.m. on OB’s main street, Newport Avenue.


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Central American Refugee Children Forced on a Dangerous Journey

July 10, 2014 by Source

refugeechildren4Socialist Worker

The arrival of Central American refugees, including many young children, has garnered much attention in the U.S. media and among the anti-immigrant right.

True to the dominant right-wing discourse emanating from Washington, D.C. over the last decade, the knee-jerk reaction has been to analyze this latest development through the “tough on enforcement” framework. This has allowed the spotlight to be turned toward the actions of small groups of racists and reactionaries in Murrieta, Calif., giving them a national platform to promote a spectacle of resistance to immigration, using the coded racist rhetoric of white nationalism.

Lost in all of the noise is the plight of tens of thousands of children, why they are migrating or their basic human rights.

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The US Military is a Major Contributor to Global Warming

July 10, 2014 by Source

The US Military: Protecting Our Freedom While Destroying Our Planet

warispeachBy John Lawrence

The impact of the US military on climate change is enormous due to its excessive consumption of fuel oil. The US must spread its influence across the oil producing parts of the world in order to protect its supply of oil.

The US military consumes huge amounts of oil so that it may preserve strategic access to oil in order to get the oil it needs to preserve strategic access to oil and so on in a never ending loop. Insatiable militarism is the single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global climate change.

The US military is the largest single consumer of energy in the world. If it were a country, the Department of Defense (DoD) would rank 34th in the world in average daily oil use, coming in just behind Iraq and just ahead of Sweden.

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Sunset Cliffs Park – Is It a Park or a Parking Lot?

July 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Sunset Cliffs Park – Is It a Park or a Parking Lot?

Report on Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Council, July 7, 2014

By Lois Lane

At the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Council meeting, it was déjà vu all over again, as they say.

The public comment period of the meeting lasted over an hour, as Point Loma neighbors on Amiford, Stafford, and Cornish voiced their impatience with park graffiti, under-age drinking, any-age drug use, all accompanied by cars, noise and general disruption by the people involved (not all homeless in this case), most of it at night, with the park a regular hangout.Not to mention the off-leash dogs.

Ocean Beach isn’t the only place where people are outraged about what is going on in their neighborhoods, and the residents were there to be heard.

Cornish Drive added complaints about cars parking in the parking lot, and what goes on when they do – under-age drinking, drug use, eating hamburgers and tossing the wrappers out the window, having sex and tossing used condoms out the windows.

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District Attorney Dumanis Holds up Three Fingers, Tells Media to Read Between the Lines.

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter

Three MonkeysBy Doug Porter

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis appeared on KUSI-TV’s morning talk show today to release a copy of her letter of recommendation written for the son of indicted Mexican financier Susumo Azano.

A consortium of media organizations including City News Service, inewsource, KFMB News 8, KNSD/NBC 7, KPBS, KSWB/Fox 5, the San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists San Diego, U-T San Diego, and Voice of San Diego had made repeated requests for a copy of the document.

At 5pm yesterday a deadline passed for what was essentially a demand letter (the last thing you do before you sue somebody) written by attorney Guylyn Cummins on behalf of the media organizations.

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Manhattan Beach Shark Attack Caught on Video

July 9, 2014 by Source

Here is the video of the July 6 shark attack up at Manhattan Beach.

The following is a summary from post by Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit / July 7, 2014

A 10 foot long great white shark, hooked by a fisherman and fighting for its life, took a bite on a distance swimmer in the waters off the Manhattan Beach Pier today.

The men in the video on the Manhattan Beach Pier were fishing. Some allege that they were illegally fishing for shark and threw bloody chum in the water knowing it would attract sharks.

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Tell SeaWorld: Stop the Nightly Fireworks

July 9, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Tell SeaWorld: Stop the Nightly Fireworks

Sign the Online Petition

There’s now an online petition to get SeaWorld to put a halt to their nightly fireworks explosions. As of Wednesday morning (July 9), it had 1,754 signatures.

Here is what the website states:

STOP the Nightly Fireworks at SeaWorld

SeaWorld is damaging the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans on a nightly basis, 90 days straight during the summer season alone. They are causing hearing damage and overall the physical well-being of the citizens of San Diego who live within a 20 mile radius or larger.

The fireworks at SeaWorld constitute animal cruelty. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t understand that the terrifying loud bangs are a celebration.

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Certain Bare Facts About San Diego

July 9, 2014 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

cursusThere are certain bare facts about our city that we ­– as informed San Diegans and curious citizens – would benefit from knowing more about.

The intent of my upcoming commentaries is to shed light on the anatomy of hometown government while getting the bare facts out in the open.

Having just weathered the July 4th weekend, why don’t we start with some bare facts about flashy celebrations, San Diego style.

You’re probably aware that the job of drumming up money and excellent ideas for a centennial celebration of the 1915 Balboa Park Panama-California exposition (Panama refers to the canal, not the hat or cigar) …

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Minimum Wage Increase, Earned Sick Days Proposal Set for Full City Council Hearing July 14th

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Minimum Wage Increase, Earned Sick Days Proposal Set for Full City Council Hearing July 14th

By Doug Porter

The full San Diego City Council is set to hear arguments over proposals increasing the minimum wage and allowing for up to five earned sick days. The measure being considered is Council President Todd Gloria’s attempt at comprise from an earlier proposal.

The specifics of the current plan are:

  • $9.75 Jan 2015
  • $10.50 Jan 2016
  • $11.50 Jan 2017
  • Indexed to inflation after Jan 2019
  • 5 Earned Sick days
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Torrey Pine on West Point Loma Coming Down

July 9, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Torrey Pine on West Point Loma Coming Down

A Torrey Pine on private property at 5035 West Point Loma Blvd is coming down today – Wed., July 9th.

Even though Torrey Pines are a protected species, the San Diego Municipal Code does not protect them if they are on private property. Public property is another matter, as it is illegal to cut them down. Here’s what the SD Muni Code say:

§63.07 Destruction, Injury of Torrey Pines Trees — Prohibited

That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to cut, injure or destroy any trees known as the “Pinus Torreyana” growing upon Pueblo Lots Nos. 1332, 1337 and 1338 or any other public lots or lands, belonging to and within the corporate limits of the City of San Diego.

Of course, OBceans have been planting and saving Torrey Pines for a century.

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News From Around the Surf and Sand of Ocean Beach

July 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for News From Around the Surf and Sand of Ocean Beach

* No Injuries a Miracle as SUV Plows into OB Episcopal Church

A Honda Pilot SUV plowed into OB’s Episcopal Diocese

* No Arrests at July 4th BBQ for Homeless

There were no arrests of anyone at the July 4th BBQ for homeless people in Saratoga Park.

* Volunteers Needed at Farmers Market to Circulate OB Plan Petition

Volunteers are needed as OB organizers gear up for the final showdown at the City Council. They’re needed to help circulate the Petition in support of the OB Community Plan.

* Councilman Ed Harris to Hold Forum on Homelessness – Thursday July 10

Councilman Harris will host a forum at the Point Loma library Thursday evening – July 10 – at seven


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San Diego Media Discovering the Battle Over OB’s Community Plan

July 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Local Press Playing Catch-Up

Finally, some of San Diego’s mainstream media have discovered the battle over the Ocean Beach Community Plan. The U-T San Diego ran two versions basically of the same article by reported David Garrick on June 28 and 29, quoting Pete Ruscitti, the OB planning chair, and Gretchen Newsom, the head of the OB Town Council. Here is the lede:


OCEAN BEACH — Worried that a new community plan for Ocean Beach could destroy the area’s small-scale charm, more than 2,000 residents have signed petitions this month asking the city to maintain building restrictions that date back four decades.

The residents say loosening the rules would transform their community into Mission Beach or Pacific Beach, where three-story vacation rentals have replaced small cottages and other less intense housing in many areas.

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America Has a Koch Problem

July 8, 2014 by Judi Curry

Move-on sponsored movie “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” shown in households all over the nation.

By Judi Curry

Bill from the Swamp CrittersSenator Bernie Sanders sent out an email telling Move-on members that “ . . . our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like Charles and David Koch. For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back, and we must do it now in advance of November’s elections.”

I had heard of the Koch brothers for months; I was somewhat aware of the dastardly deeds they were doing throughout our country, and decided to attend the showing of this documentary at “The Hippie House” recently with approximately twenty of our Pt. Loma/Ocean Beach neighbors.

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Our Children: Thoughts from Murrieta

July 7, 2014 by Source

They are now our children. Photo by Rick Najera.

They ask again what side I’m on. I think and answer, “I’m on the children’s side.”

By Rick Najera / Latino Rebels

I’m in Murrieta, California, ground zero in the immigration debate. I’m watching hundreds of protestors and supporters at a hastily called town hall meeting at the local high school.

Police surround the auditorium to shield between protestors and supporters. A massive wall of news vans fill the parking lot. Reporters with news cameras troll the crowd hunting for sound bites. On both sides, people fly American flags. …

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Surfrider: Significant Decrease in Trash on Beach After July 4th – Partly Due to Curtailed Marshmallow War in OB

July 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Surfrider, other environmental groups and all the volunteers who massed the day after July 4th to do the beach clean-up found a huge drop in the trash on the beach. A spokesperson stated that there was a “significant decrease in the amount of trash collected this year compared to the last few years.”

The group attributed part of the this to the curtailment of this year’s OB Marshmallow War.

In a press release from Surfrider San Diego, they announced that nearly 650 people gathered at 4 beach sites on July 5th as volunteers for the massive annual clean-up effort, led by Surfrider. By midday, they reported that a total of 1,410 pounds of trash and 326 pounds of recycling had been collected.

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The City “Dudette” meets the Real Cowboy!

July 7, 2014 by Judi Curry


By Judi Curry

Weeks ago I said that I was going to stop my on-line dating sites. To a certain degree that was true; those sites that cost money I have now eliminated; those that are free I have kept. About 3-4 months ago I began corresponding with “Cowboy.” When he told me he lived in North Dakota – near Fargo – no less – I knew that there was no purpose in continuing our relationship, but it just seemed to continue, sometimes talking or texting 20-30 times a day.

After only a short period of time – maybe 3 weeks, he told me that we had texted over 2000 times! What in the world did we talk about? I don’t know, really, but our conversations went on and on, and pretty soon we were talking on the phone. For an honest-to-goodness cowboy I was impressed with his knowledge and truly enjoyed our conversations.

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What the Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn Decision Means for Workers and American Democracy

July 7, 2014 by Jim Miller

David Sachs/SEIU via Equal Times

By Jim Miller

After last week’s slew of bad Supreme Court rulings much of the media attention rightfully went to the horrendous “Hobby Lobby” case where the rights of corporations were deemed more important than the rights of women.

But there was another big decision where the Supreme Court surprised some observers and ruled narrowly on Harris v. Quinn, the case which could have gutted public sector unions and virtually wiped out their ability to play in American politics by ending all public sector unions’ ability to collect agency fees. As the Daily Kos noted of the case:

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OB Marshmallow War 2014 – a Shadow of Its Former Self

July 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Marshmallow War 2014 – a Shadow of Its Former Self

The Marshmallow War in Ocean Beach last night, July 4th, was less than a third of what it was in 2013. Way less marshmallows were thrown, the throwing did not get out of hand, and by 9:30 it was over and there was hardly a marshmallow in the streets down around Newport and Abbott.

Compared to last year, there were no marshmallows thrown before the fireworks, none thrown during the fireworks, and after the explosions and light show, it took a few moments before the first white globs were seen in the air.

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San Diegans Urged to Respond with Compassion to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

July 3, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diegans Urged to Respond with Compassion to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

We are not only facing a humanitarian crisis, but a crisis of values as well

By San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

The leadership of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC), a coalition of nearly 20 community, faith, labor, and legal organizations released the following statement in response the current humanitarian crisis migrant families are facing in Southern California.

sdirclogoAlor Calderon, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and Program Director at the Employee Rights Center:

The issue of unaccompanied minors fleeing their home countries is a humanitarian crisis, not an immigration crisis, and should be treated as such.

Furthermore, we are not only facing a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of values as well.

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OB Rag Looking for July 4th Monitors and OBservers

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Rag Looking for July 4th Monitors  and OBservers

Will the Marshmallow Ban Hold? Will Homeless Advocates Be Arrested?

Your online, local website is looking for a few good observers who have cameras for July 4th. That’s right, the OB Rag wants to sign up a handful of volunteers who will assist us in monitoring what happens in Ocean Beach on Friday, July 4th.

There’s a bunch of stuff to observe – and we’re not talking about the surf or the fireworks.

First, if homeless advocates go ahead as planned and feed homeless people in Saratoga Park at the beach, they may be arrested. The group that does feed homeless on major holidays say they have threatened with being arrested if they proceed with their plans. They’ll be doing this from 11 am to 2 pm.

So, we need observers with cameras and monitors for that potential scene.

And second, of course, is what happens down on the beach at night after the fireworks.

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Group Threatened With Arrest If They Feed Homeless at Saratoga Park on July 4th

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Group Threatened With Arrest If They Feed Homeless at Saratoga Park on July 4th

UPDATE: No arrests made as volunteers served dozens of homeless and other needy people this morning at Saratoga Park in OB.

A group that feeds homeless people on every holiday at an Ocean Beach park has been threatened with arrest by police if they go ahead feed the homeless on July 4th.

The group – Second Chances – is a non-profit that works with local churches and homeless advocates. They feed homeless people in OB every Saturday at the Episcopal Church on Sunset Cliffs and Brighton. And on major holidays the also feed homeless folks at Saratoga Park down at the beach. The last holiday they did this was on Memorial Day this year – without hassles.

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Is Park and Rec About to Remove 2 North OB Park Picnic Tables Due to Complaints From OB’s Gentry?

July 3, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Is Park and Rec About to Remove 2 North OB Park Picnic Tables Due to Complaints From OB’s Gentry?

UPDATE: It has been confirmed to the OB Rag by a Park and Rec manager that these two picnic tables will be moved. Dan Danerio said that these two tables have not always been where they are now, that his department had a couple extra ones and decided to place them in the grassy area as an experiment. It didn’t work out due to complaints from local homeowners, including some of the new owners of the large mansions close to the tables. …. More inside

Why? Why would Park and Rec remove two picnic tables?

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Break-down of Coastal Commission Recommendations to OB Plan

July 2, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Break-down of Coastal Commission Recommendations to OB Plan

Last Friday, June 27th, staff of the California Coastal Commission submitted 43 recommendations involving the Ocean Beach Community Plan to the City for its considerations. This 11th-hour submittal of modifications has now delayed the review and potential approval of OB’s Plan by the City Council. This past Monday, the Council moved their hearing to July 29th.

The Council felt that City staff, both from the planning department and the City Attorney’s Office, needed to review and respond to the recommendations.

If staff found a recommendation that is “material” – that is a substantial change – to the Plan, then the potential exists for even more delays, as the Plan then would have to go back before the Planning Commission.

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Ugly Americans Block Migrant Buses in Murrieta on Eve of 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

July 2, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Ugly Americans Block Migrant Buses in Murrieta on Eve of 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

Editor: On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights Act, ugly Americans showed the world just how far this nation still needs to go up in Murrietta in Riverside County, yesterday, July 1.

By Doug Porter

A group of right-wing demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday, July 1, turning away three Border Patrol buses bringing 136 Central American migrant children and families to a Murrieta, California processing center.

So much for the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, which begins:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
Tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

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Facebook Conducted Psych Experiments on 700,000 Un-Witting Users

July 2, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Facebook Conducted Psych Experiments on 700,000 Un-Witting Users

Subjects Had Their Feeds Altered to Gauge Effect on Emotion in 2012

By Reed Albergotti / The Wall Street Journal / June 30, 2014

A furor has erupted over news that Facebook, in 2012, conducted a psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users. WSJ’s Facebook reporter Reed Albergotti discusses the fallout on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: Getty

A social-network furor has erupted over news that Facebook Inc., in 2012, conducted a massive psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users.

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To Hell with Hobby Lobby

July 2, 2014 by Source

By Lauree Benton

womanseye44“Corporations are people, my friend.”

Women? Well… the jury is still out on that. Whether you are a person or not may depend on the religious views of your boss.

Makes sense I guess. The Constitution does say that all men are created equal.

I’m sure the ALL MALE majority who made this stirring decision is just looking out for us lady types. You know, we can’t be trusted.

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