Category Archives: Gladius Maximus

Find good fortunes in uncertain times

Yesterday’s GDP news was dismal:

“U.S. GDP: The BEA released its initial report on GDP for the second quarter, revealing the largest quarterly drop since 1958. Down 32.9%, it was slightly less than the estimated 34.7% decline, but still severe. Consumption, which is a major component of GDP, fell 34.6% with goods falling 11% and services – the largest part of the economy, falling 43%. The second quarter was the first ‘full’ calendar quarter to be affected by Covid-19.”

All of the experts and politicians will be arguing for decades about the wisdom of  COVID19 lockdowns, but it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that America has entered uncharted economic territory and frankly many politicians, entrusted with making decisions that impact the fortunes of all of us, have proven feckless, incompetent, and in too many cases disturbingly corrupt.

No matter if you view 2020 as a Year of Compounding Misfortunes or “Oh well, pandemics and economic catastrophes happen,” for most of us we’re left feeling powerless and immobilized if we sit around expecting the government to fix things or provide a safe landing for us.

The other night my son picked up Chinese takeout for my husband and me. I always eat the fortune cookies later.  Two out of the three “fortunes” I kept to glue onto bookmarks or use in my junk journal making.  Both fit with a belief in learning self-reliance that my parents drilled into my brothers, sisters and me and it’s something I believe matters most in determining which people fare best, not only in a crisis, but it determines which people will set out to tackle problems and which will sit passively by and let the crisis tackle them.

Fortune cookie #1: “Apply yourself to the basics and progress will follow.”

With the crises piling one upon another this year,  I believe the people who will fare best are those who recognize we’re probably in for more major crises in the near future and if they haven’t prepared yet, they step it up now.  It’s fine to be worried and it’s fine to feel some anxiety, but the most important survival tool each one of us can acquire doesn’t cost a cent.

The must have survival tool is to develop and hone a positive, proactive, can-do attitude.  You don’t need to go out and buy all the gizmos and gadgets on the “Top 10 Survival Things You Need” lists that fill prepper and survival social media sites.  However, you should start assessing your finances and your basic needs, if you haven’t already done that and it’s prudent to start calmly, carefully and thoughtfully stocking up on some of the basics, while staying within your means.  If you can afford to buy a lot of extra canned goods and basics, that’s great, but even if you live on a very tight budget, try to spring for an extra staple item or two each time you buy groceries.

Being practical matters, especially if you live on a tight budget.  For instance, many of the serious preppers devote time to building up a food supply that can last for several months to a year and also long-term food storage with foods packaged to last 25-30 years.  Using common sense, focus on your short-term food supply now and buy foods that you and your family eat and that you can properly store in your home.

It makes no sense to buy a lot of foods that need to be refrigerated and frozen, if you don’t have a large enough refrigerator or freezer to store it.  It also makes no sense to go online and buy expensive dehydrated and freeze-dried food in large #10 cans, that will last for 25-30 years, if you don’t have your basic everyday foods stored up to last for the immediate future.

I thought I knew a lot about food preservation, but after doing a good bit of research online, I keep learning more dos and don’ts and also coming across great tips and solutions.  When it comes to food storage containers, sure it’s wonderful if you can afford to buy expensive airtight storage containers and all the high-tech stuff like mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, but honestly if that’s not in your budget, try using containers you already have or cheap ones you can afford.  Even empty food containers, especially glass jars with screw on lids work great, if washed and dried thoroughly before using for food storage.  The best tip is whenever possible, use what you have and look for creative ways to store food.

You can even use bay leaves to repel pests in flour, rice, dried beans, etc.  And here’s a hint, often you can find packs of bay leaves in the Hispanic food section in grocery stores, that are much cheaper than the bay leaves in the spice section.

Fortune cookie #2: “Allow your mind to absorb new knowledge.”

As important as stocking up on basics is, all of us should work on acquiring more basic skills before the next crisis hits.  Make it a point to learn to do as many tasks for yourself as possible.   It makes no sense to buy large quantities of dried beans if your family doesn’t like beans or you don’t know how to prepare dried beans.  Stockpiling 50 lbs. of dried pinto and black beans won’t amount to a hill of beans unless you have the skills and know-how to prepare them and incorporate them into meals your family will eat.

Make it a point to learn new skills.  For instance if you don’t know how to cook anything, start learning how to prepare a few simple meals.  If you don’t know how to do basic car maintenance, like changing the oil or changing a tire, take the time to learn how.  Same goes for things like learning how to thread a needle and sew on a button or sew a simple straight stitch.  Everyone should have a small sewing kit with some needles, thread and a pair of scissors.

Many years ago, I came across a bit of home decorating advice that applies to emergency preparedness too.  Shop your own house for items to use in your projects.  Most people can’t afford to go out and purchase a lot of special “prepper gear” or all of the items you will find on the crisis lists cropping up everywhere.

And here’s the most important Libertybelle preparedness tip:  Start thinking about the people around you realistically and with clear-eyed focus on their character.  This goes for family, neighbors, friends, acquaintances in your community and start seriously assessing which ones you think will likely just run around in panic mode, latching onto every dire rumor and conspiracy theory that circulates and which ones will be leeches borrowing everything from you (often these two personalities reside in one person, sad to say).  Then start thinking about who you think will likely be problem-solvers in a crisis and which ones will be helpers (here again, often these two traits reside in the same person).  Hopefully, you aren’t the former and if you are, you’ll need to strive hard to become the later.  Character matters most in a crisis.

Think about your support network right around you, because frankly, no one in the federal government is going to come and save you in a prolonged national crisis.  It’s doubtful anyone among your state officials are going to be a place to turn for immediate help either.  And your local officials will be inundated dealing with all the other mess from people who aren’t equipped to deal with a serious crisis and from people who will use a crisis as cover to perpetrate criminal activity.

Instead of running around acting like the sky is falling, it’s best to think about potential crises that might happen, but think about them with a positive, problem-solving attitude.  Set your priorities on what you can do and stick to these – no matter what.  Think about what things you might be able to do to keep you and your family safe, fed, clothed, with a roof over your head and as healthy as possible.  Once you begin to think about those scary “worst case” scenarios and focus on the things you might be able to do, it takes away the fear and panic.  No excuses, learn to be as self-reliant as possible.

In 2012 I started this blog and one of the early blog posts, Gimme A Knife, written by a friend, Gladius Maximus, focused on this very topic of self-reliance:

“It came to me that our inability as Americans to survive in meager circumstances, or put another way, our dependence on technology, gadgets and the government, is evidence of the decay of character in our society. By that, I mean, our inability to be independent, innovative and willing to put up with hardship reflects how truly weak we have become. Our lack of perseverance in the face of adversity is evidence of our impotence. Unless we are surrounded by what many in the world would consider sumptuousness, we don’t believe we can make it.

If we don’t get our water out of a tap from a government approved water system, where will we get it? If we don’t get our protein from the local mega-store, sliced, diced, shrink-wrapped and priced, how do we get it and process it? If the burners on the range don’t work, or if we at least can’t get charcoal for the grill, how do we cook it? Need vegetables? How do they grow? Where do we get seed? When our shoes wear out, what do we do? When it’s cold outside, how do we stay warm?

I understand that folks growing up in the cities don’t have some of the outdoor opportunities that some of us have, but I am convinced that there are opportunities to develop individuality, independence, self-confidence and other survival skills without having to spend a year in the Rockies on some kind of sabbatical. Survival is more a mind-set than a setting. Attitude is everything.”

Now if you want the original year in the Rockies kind of survival tale, also in 2012, I came across this fascinating piece, Looking Back at Lewis and Clark, by David M. Lenard, which mentions a half-Shawnee member of their expedition, Drouilliard, who was the go-to guy to send off into the wilderness alone to hunt for animals to bring back to the rest of the party.  Lenard writes:

“Lewis’s entry for August 3, 1805 begins this way: “We set out this morning very early on our return to the Forks. Having nothing to eat, I sent Drouilliard to the wood-lands to my left in order to kit a deer.”  The journals are filled with dozens of similar orders to several different men, although the half-Shawnee Drouilliard seems to have been Lewis and Clark’s most reliable and productive hunter, sometimes returning from such sojourns with hundreds of pounds of meat.  Still, from a 2012 perspective, Lewis’ laconic directive is truly astonishing.  Allow me to fill in the details that Lewis left out: he was ordering Drouilliard to leave the group and go off, by himself, in a dangerous wilderness, with no means of communication, and to not only survive, but to kill at least one edible animal, with only the weapons carried on his back, clean the beast, and bring the meat back to the main group, which of course he was expected to be able to find again, despite having wandered possibly many miles, in a wilderness with no artificial signs or landmarks.  It is remarkable that Lewis does not even mention the incredible risks faced by the men on these little excursions — they could be injured, or killed, in countless ways, or lost without hope of rescue.  This silence is not because he was unaware of the dangers; in fact, in many journal entries, Lewis fretted about the fate of party members who had become separated from the main group for one reason or another.  Rather, Lewis’s silence was because frontiersmen like Drouilliard faced such dangers almost every day of their lives; Lewis’s order was therefore nothing extraordinary to either man.”

When you think about the type of men on the Lewis and Clark expedition and compare them to the ‘brave” protesters/rioters in Portland and the silliness with their “shield-making” operation, you might be wondering what on earth happened to the American can-do spirit.  Here’s an entire thread on their “engineering prowess” (sarcasm intended):

We should all try to acquire just a fraction of the dauntless spirit, courage and most of all astounding self-reliance of people like Lewis and Clark, and most definitely Drouilliard.   Looking at that Portland  protester “shield-building operation,  Lenard’s piece on Lewis and Clark says it best:

“In our modern republic, where large segments of our population compete to be declared helpless victims so they can receive government handouts, one cannot help but think that little Jimmy might benefit from being sent out with Drouilliard: “Here’s a musket, son — now go kill that deer, and don’t miss, because if you do, there’s a strong possibility you might starve.”




Filed under American Character, Emergency Preparedness, General Interest, Gladius Maximus

America is about individuals

I am not a feminist.

I am a woman, yet I have never once in my life believed I am entitled to special rules due to this.

This week’s feminist hissy fit centers on the U.S. women’s soccer team.  The media Furies rail that the U.S. women’s soccer team deserves pay equal to the U.S. men’s soccer team.  The truth is the U.S. women’s soccer team, while the best women’s soccer team can’t hold a candle to men’s soccer teams.  This is the reality in most sports.

The glaring truth is men and women are physically different and have different physical capabilities.  Pretending otherwise, to appease feminists or advance political agendas, hurts everyone who is willingly brainwashed into buying into policies based on false premises and slippery, deceptive language, or coerced through political and social media pressure to buy into these feminist false arguments and their always-evolving demands.

I do not believe in dogmatic modern feminism, which appears to me to be  a thinly veiled, radical leftist, socialist political movement, with a mission of “destroying the patriarchy” (code word for Western civilization).  Modern feminists state they want to stamp out sexism and remake, not just our political structure, but our culture and even our daily lifestyle choices to fit their ever-evolving notions of what a feminist utopia should be.

Most of all it’s alarming how many women (and many men too) just jump on board each new media-fueled feminist demand or outrage antic.

The radicals leading the modern feminist movement often contradict each other and advocate conflicting policies, but they agree on their demand for political change, all encapsulated under the banner of “Equality and Fairness”, which the mainstream media invariably champions, without question.  The feminist movement’s major mouthpieces issue their demands, which dictate how everyone, especially men, must act and think about… women’s rights and women’s roles in the workplace, “gender roles”, male and female personal interactions, what words must be used when speaking about women and “gender” issues, and what everyone must think about an ever-growing list of issues and grievances their movement decides are “unfair”.  Most of all feminists want to tell men what they can and can not do, even down to their private sexual behavior.

The modern feminist movement is all about controlling men.

It’s exhausting listening to so many grown women living their lives in a perpetual state of raging that men need to change, all to conform to their latest charge of inequality or about how “unfair” some issue is to women.  Oddly, many liberal men have completely bought into modern feminism and are willing to embrace every new angry charge radical feminists level at men and the “patriarchy” writ large.

America is about individuals pursuing their dreams. It’s not about political parties, mass political action or social media mob actions.

Here’s a home truth about people – you can’t dictate what other people must believe.  Freedom of belief is a right in America and should not be dictated or constrained by government, political or social pressure.  Every American should feel free to disagree with or embrace religious, political or even personal beliefs without fear of social, political or even economic retaliation from modern social media or media-generated mob smear campaigns.  We shouldn’t accept dictates on what words we must use to talk about any political or social issues.  Differing viewpoints deserve a hearing.

I believe there are amazingly competent women and there are amazingly incompetent women, smart women and dumber-than-a-rock women, women who work hard and women who are lazier than my old dog, Lucy, whose major daily effort is dragging herself to the food dish each day.  The same is true for men.  I’m all for job opportunities for everyone, based on clear standards, across the board.

My only exception is I do not believe in allowing women in a few grueling combat positions, because I believe the military mission and what best leads to mission success outweigh feminist politics, always.  I base this view based on my view that military mission success often asks soldiers to take on dangerous missions, even sacrificing their lives for some of them.  And due to the gravity of some of these combat missions, I don’t think feminist agendas outweigh, careful, deliberative military assessments, as to what physical requirements are needed to accomplish these missions successfully and feminist agendas certainly do not outweigh the risk to other team members, who might be put at risk by lowering standards or allowing women, who are not as competent as their male team members.  It’s not fair to put other team members at risk due to feminist political pressure.   Some of these tasks require a great deal of upper-body strength and endurance, which the overwhelming body of research shows women do not possess.  Biology is what it is, so in military mission decisions, I opt for what best leads to mission success.  PERIOD.

This latest U.S women’s soccer team win has become an anti-Trump rally and members of this women’s soccer team are just as much to blame for this political sideshow as Trump.  In fact, the team captain is wallowing in media deification for her “trash-Trump”, anti-American political antics.  As an added “feminist issue”, the feminist mantra is all about how these female soccer players dont’ get paid as much as the men’s team.  The truth is the men’s soccer team brings in a whole lot more revenue and although the U.S. women’s soccer team are amazing athletes, no women’s soccer team can compete with the counterpart top male soccer teams.

Male and female biology is what it is – that’s the truth.

What on earth is wrong with cheering on women’s sports and working to expand opportunities for girls sports too, without turning it into a feminist political cause?  Why do radical leftist politics turn everything into a major political and cultural war?

A good starting point for changing America for the better, way beyond political action, begins with treating people as individuals worthy of respect and entitled to their own beliefs, thoughts and opinions.

It seems like America’s 24/7 media spin drama feeds mass hysteria, mass outrage, mass demonization… mass GROUPTHINK.

My modest proposal is that we start listening to each other more and spending more time trying to get to know people as individuals first, rather than as part of some nefarious “other group”.

Just that one change of focus can broaden your view immensely and it can lead you to some amazing conversations with people, whom you thought you had nothing in common with or believed were bad people… based on hot button political issues, the political candidate they support, or group they belong to.  Each person deserves to be treated as more than a one-dimensional object to hate.

How hard is it to work on respecting people as individuals?

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Filed under Culture Wars, Gladius Maximus, Politics

Final Battle Approaches

Just a short post this morning.   Hysteria on the left is building, in anticipation of President Trump firing Robert Mueller.  The White House insists that isn’t even being discussed.  The Left, including fast and furious Eric Holder, were all over Twitter this past weekend ginning up hysteria, urging people to organize massive street protests – once again going for their “crowd size” street optic, which they will spin across the mainstream media relentlessly, to create the impression that most of America wants Trump removed from office.  The mainstream media will, of course, jump into action carrying the Left’s talking points and spin messaging, as they’ve been conditioned to do for decades.

The #Resist crowd rails about Trump’s attacks on our institutions and his comments often are an attack on our institutions, however he has taken no official action that is really an attack on our institutions.  He has the constitutional power to fire the FBI director.  He may go too far at some point, but he hasn’t yet.

However, the Left’s non-stop efforts to overturn a duly elected president are a true affront to our constitutional system.  They rant and rave daily about how Trump must be removed, they have the mainstream media engaged in spreading innuendo, highly distorted leaked information, and constant fear mongering as “legitimate, vetted news”.  They refuse to accept the outcome of the 2016 election.

They refuse to abide by The Constitution.

What is really going on is the Left refuses to play by the rules and accept the outcome of the 2016 election.

We are approaching the final battle in the never-ending 2016 information war, between the sorest loser ever and the sorest winner.

I pray that America will survive these subversives, on both left and right, who have no respect for the rule of law.


Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, Gladius Maximus, Information War, Politics, The Constitution, The Media

Another afternoon in the doctor’s waiting room

“Civilization is built on the practice of keeping promises. It may not sound a high attainment, but if trust in its observance be shaken the whole structure cracks and sinks. Any constructive effort and all human relations – personal, political, and commercial – depend on being able to depend on promises.”

– B.H. Liddell Hart, “Why We Don’t Learn From History”

The massacre of police officers in Dallas late Thursday night, that left 11 police officers shot, 5 fatally, continues to fuel politicians, pundits, political activists and assorted “experts” filling the airwaves and internet with analysis, insights, context, and plenty of SPIN (LIES).  All these public mouthpieces yammer on about how to fix “this problem”.  Politicians make a living  talking about “the problems”, but hardly ever fix any of them.  “This problem”, is not just black and white.

There are politicians fueling BLM, starting with President Obama and his minions at the White House.  There are black grievance industry activists, many whom have become rich off the backs of  “civil rights” activism in America.  There are politicians on the right drawing a red line on the 2nd Amendment.  There are two presidential campaigns trying to capitalize on looking “presidential” in this crisis.  There are police officers across America outraged, saddened and worrying about how to protect their fellow citizens, while feeling under attack and more and more like walking targets wearing their uniforms.   There are many angry black people being encouraged to take to the streets and demand “justice”.  There are many angry white people too…… some racists, some who feel their right to own guns is under attack, some who are outraged about the police being attacked, etc., etc., etc.  Again, “this problem” isn’t just black and white.

There is the Black Lives Matter movement, which at this point should be investigated by federal law enforcement, as to who is funding the movement, who is leading this movement, and determining if this group should be designated a terrorist group.  BLM sure looks like an anarchist organization, working to fuel racial discord, encourage attacks on civil law enforcement and to fuel a breakdown of American society.

Fueling racial tensions in America has been a staple tactic of communist, far-left factions, and it is part of the political playbook of people very close to the Obama administration.  Sorry, that’s the truth.  Van Jones was part of an anarchist movement, an avowed Marxist and an advocate of inciting race wars to advance political change in America.  President Obama follows the Cloward-Piven political strategy.

The mainstream press mentions President Obama’s background as a “community organizer” in Chicago often, but they never really explain the history of  “community organizing”.  Saul Alinksy, an American radical, dedicated to fueling racial tensions for political purposes, founded community organizing and whether you are a leftist who believes, you should never let a crisis go to waste, as Rahm Emmanuel once stated, or a right-winger,  like Rush Limbaugh, who has filled talk radio with warnings about Alinsky, Cloward-Piven and political race hustlers, the fact is community organizing is all about sensationalizing racially charged issues for political purposes.  That’s it in a nutshell.

Now, here’s a small snapshot of race interactions I saw last week.

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in my primary care doctor’s waiting room.  I had a bad week with my blood sugar and despite several medication changes in the past year to get my Type 2 diabetes back under control, it’s still not.  Being put on insulin may be in my near future.  Bad week is waking up Monday morning feeling nauseated, with a really bad headache, and feeling like my head was in a fog.  Checked my blood sugar, 350.  It’s down now, but not down where it needs to be.  So, if some of my blog posts this past week were really bad, I’ll use the excuse that my head was in a fog from my diabetes, lol.

So, I was sitting there waiting to see my wonderful, Syrian-born doctor, whom I really think the world of, because beyond being a very good doctor, he always takes the time to talk to me like a person, not just a number.  Some doctors treat you like you’re just a list of symptoms on a page to examine, diagnose and prescribe a remedy.  My doctor looks me in the eye and listens to me.

While in his waiting room, CNN was playing on the TV, with more news on the Dallas massacre.

There were several other patients waiting, some white, some black.  The receptionists were two black ladies.  The receptionists know me as an established patient and they’re always smiling, helpful and wonderful.  The other patients all behaved courteously and as I waited this elderly white lady showed up, walking with a cane.

I don’t know this lady’s name and the next time I see her, I need to get her name, but we know each other from my doctor’s waiting room and my work in a local store, where she shops often.  She sat down next to me and we picked up talking about what’s been going on in our lives since the last time we chatted, without even a moment’s hesitation.

I wrote about this elderly white lady in  a 2013 blog post, “An afternoon in the doctor’s waiting room”, and I’m going to repost the first and last paragraph of that post:

“We’re approaching that American holiday that’s come to symbolize two diverse cultures,  American settlers and American Indians, oops Native Americans or whatever is the PC-approved term, sitting together to share a meal and offer thanks to God for a successful harvest.  Agrarian societies through the ages have held similar celebrations at the end of the harvest season.  The unique component of our Thanksgiving rests heavily on our national self-image of a melting pot of cultures living in harmony, where Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a place where we will “sit down at a table of brotherhood” evokes a national yearning for the America we hope we can someday be.”

And it ended:

“It’s not about making race the central theme at the dinner table, but to learn to make a seat at the table and feed as many people as possible that will lead us to the fulfillment of Martin Luther King’s dream.  Only by taking the time to get to know people, can you ever find out who they are.  People will surprise you, if you let them.  She told me that she won a motorcycle in a raffle recently, but she traded it in for a new Harley-Davidson trike.  She ended our conversation by telling me, her husband doesn’t have to ask her twice if she wants to ride, because she has always loved to ride motorcycles.”

This lady’s son is a pastor working to build up a congregation for a non-denominational Protestant church and back in 2013 she invited me to her son’s church and yesterday she invited me again.  She wasn’t pushy, but sincere, just as a black lady, who came to my door this week, inviting me to her Jehovah’s Witness church was sincere and seemed to be a very nice lady.  Unlike many people, who get angry at Jehovah’s Witnesses coming to the door, I try always to be polite, because when I was young and newly married, a pair of them showed up at my door and I talked to them.  I wasn’t so much curious about their religion, but why they go door-to-door, despite getting doors slammed in their face often.  So, I asked them.

These two ladies pointed me to a Bible verse, Mark 6:7:

 “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits”

They explained that they go by twos to spread the Gospel.  Now, I am not going to dissect their entire church doctrine, because I am not qualified, but just having a general understanding about why they do go door-to-door helped me to be more tolerant and respectful when they come to my door.

Last week, my friend, Gladius, a Southern Baptist, emailed me an audio link of a sermon, “The Faith of Our Founding Fathers”, which he gave at his local church last Sunday.  He discussed the Christian faith of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence.  He laid out how much they put on the line by signing that declaration:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Gladius gave the statistics on how much many of the signers sacrificed, with many giving their very lives, during the Revolutionary War, to secure the freedoms most Americans take for granted today.  A goodly number of them died fighting in the Revolutionary War, and while Gladius didn’t go into the grim details, here are a couple examples of what the men and women of the American Revolution sacrificed, from an article by Dr. Harold Pease, “The price paid for your liberty”:

“Unable to capture Abraham Clark, another signatory, the British took their wrath out on his two sons, who were imprisoned on the notorious prison ship Jersey. “Word was sent to Clark that his boys would be freed if he would disown the revolutionary cause and praise the British Crown. At his refusal, his sons were singled out for cruel treatment. One was placed in a tiny cell and given no food. Fellow prisoners kept him alive by laboriously pushing tiny bits of food through a keyhole. Both sons somehow survived their ordeal.””

Here’s another patriot’s sacrifice:

” The British had a particular zeal for destroying the homes and property of the signers. Those suffering this fate included Benjamin Harrison, George Clymer, Dr. John Witherspoon, Philip Livingston, William Hooper and William Floyd. The sacrifices of John Hart and Francis Lewis are particularly noteworthy. “While his wife lay gravely ill, Redcoats destroyed Hart’s growing crops and ripped his many grist mills to pieces. Bent on taking him, they chased him for several days. They almost nabbed him in a wooded area, but he hid in a cave. When he returned home with his health broken, he found his wife dead and their 13 children scattered.””

Dr. Pease states:

“Probably John Quincy Adams, a son of one of the 55 patriots making the above pledge and later a president of the United States, said it best. “Posterity — You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” Let us never forget that liberty is not free. It was purchased and maintained by the blood of those before us.”

Gladius brought this same question to the forefront, “How much would you sacrifice for liberty?”  It is something all Americans need to think about.

America does need people willing to fight with all their might to preserve our liberty, but truthfully, as one who abhors violence and loves America, perhaps the best way to fight for The Constitution is to quit with the warring  political factions, quit with the endless partisan hot-headed rhetoric, quit with all the pointing fingers, but most of all:


– Libertybelle, July 9, 2016

It’s time we all work as hard as we can to be Good Citizens.

It’s time for us to fight as hard as we can to unite as one nation dedicated to a common purpose – “Protecting and defending The Constitution”.

Perhaps, if we pledge “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” to preserving our great nation, America can truly fulfill the dream expressed so eloquently by Martin Luther King, Jr. and at long last, “sit down at a  table of brotherhood”

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Filed under American Character, American History, Culture Wars, General Interest, Gladius Maximus, Politics, The Constitution

Confessions of mhere

Just added a new tab, Confessions of mhere, at the top of my home page. This will be an ongoing page of “revelations” from my life. I’ll be adding information to both my Messages of mhere and Confessions of mhere pages to help keep the information somewhat organized. Due to their being many threads to follow, this is my small attempt to help the reader make sense out of the events in my life since the Clinton impeachment and my stepping foot onto the Excite politics message boards.

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Filed under American Character, Confessions of mhere, Culture Wars, General Interest, Gladius Maximus, Messages of mhere, Military, Politics, Public Corruption, The Constitution, The Media

Gimme A Knife (Written By Gladius Maximus)

On December 16, 2012, I entered the world of blogging online and posted my first liberybelle diaries post.  It sure seems like an eternity ago, so I am going to repost some LB oldies in coming days, to give new readers an idea of who I am and what I believe.  I’ve used some material from others at times, with their permission to print in its entirety, so Gladius Maximus’ wonderful essay, “Gimme A Knife” sure hearkens to that American spirit Ian Tuttle touched upon.  Gladius is a Texan, a former US Army officer and a state judge.  He is also my son-in-law’s uncle and he performed my daughter and son-in-law’s marriage ceremony one fine Spring day in 2008.  The bluebonnets were blooming all along the country road heading to the small country church in Texas, putting kind thoughts about Ladybird Johnson and her “beautify America” campaign into my mind that morning , lol.  Surely, that was a miracle of sorts for conservative ol’ me.

Without further ado, from December 22, 2012,  here is Gladius Maximus:


Last Sunday the Pastor posed the question of what we would consider to be necessities in today’s life. He gave some statistics from an earlier, time, maybe 50 or so years ago, wherein there were only about 19 things listed whereas in the current time were listed about 98 items. I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but those are close. Wow, 98 items considered necessities for an American.

Well, me being me, when he said “necessities” I immediately began thinking of survival, as opposed to microwave ovens and hand-held devices. The first item on my list was a good knife as I figured with a good knife I could either build or kill my way into most everything else. With some effort, after reaching only about five essential items on my list, I quit the inventory and got back to the sermon. Since then, though, I’ve had a chance to reflect on that question and the meaning of it to our society.

It came to me that our inability as Americans to survive in meager circumstances, or put another way, our dependence on technology, gadgets and the government, is evidence of the decay of character in our society. By that, I mean, our inability to be independent, innovative and willing to put up with hardship reflects how truly weak we have become. Our lack of perseverance in the face of adversity is evidence of our impotence. Unless we are surrounded by what many in the world would consider sumptuousness, we don’t believe we can make it.

If we don’t get our water out of a tap from a government approved water system, where will we get it? If we don’t get our protein from the local mega-store, sliced, diced, shrink-wrapped and priced, how do we get it and process it? If the burners on the range don’t work, or if we at least can’t get charcoal for the grill, how do we cook it? Need vegetables? How do they grow? Where do we get seed? When our shoes wear out, what do we do? When it’s cold outside, how do we stay warm?

I understand that folks growing up in the cities don’t have some of the outdoor opportunities that some of us have, but I am convinced that there are opportunities to develop individuality, independence, self-confidence and other survival skills without having to spend a year in the Rockies on some kind of sabbatical. Survival is more a mind-set than a setting. Attitude is everything.

Being innovative and imaginative is essential whether you’re in downtown Houston or central Nebraska. Skills of observation and patience are not natural talents, but acquired skills; both are essential and both can be acquired through discipline. The ability to reason and employ a rational, decision making process is needed in order to survive and thrive. Again, that is an acquired skill. Determination, grit if you will, is a trait to be cherished, not erased.

Why do I address this idea of necessities and survival in this column? What, you may ask, does that have to do with Taking Back America?

Our nation was founded by independent free-thinkers who were able to craft in their collective imaginations the essence of liberty. That imagination did not come from a dependence on the Crown of England to provide for their every need, but a willingness to be innovative; a willingness to persevere in the face of scarcity; a willingness to survive. The lack of that spirit is at the heart of the troubles we now face in America.

Health care issues; let the government fix them. Poor education in our schools, the government will fix it. Lack of discipline in the schools, we will regulate that by the government, too. Economy is weak; the government will provide for us. Coffee too hot at McDonald’s, let’s file a lawsuit. Offended by someone’s callous comments, get legislation to make that a hate crime. Don’t want to pray in public, make sure nobody else can either through lawsuits and legislation. Too lazy to work, go on welfare. Too lazy to get job training, get welfare. Want to make the stupid decision to quit school; that’s ok, there’s welfare for that, too. Have babies out of wedlock because of dumb decisions; that’s ok, we will give you money, medical care, food stamps and tell you it is a personal decision (even though tax money from productive citizens supports your dumb choices).

Whatever the problems we may face, the government will take care of us; cradle to grave. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem.

We have lost our independent spirit. We have lost the ability to innovate. We have lost the desire to stand on our own. We no longer want to be self-sufficient. We no longer teach our children what discipline is and why it is important. In short, we have become a nation of parasites.

Fortunately, not all of us are parasites as there are still enough productive tax payers out there to support the rest who are, but the numbers are dwindling. The decisions being made in congress will continue the crippling of our society until finally, the parasites will be the majority. And, when the parasites are the majority, we will be finished.

As for me, though, I’ll take a good knife.



Filed under American Character, Culture Wars, General Interest, Gladius Maximus

America at another crossroads

Gladius forwarded an important Thomas Sowell column, “Local or National Elections?”, which explains the stakes of this year’s battle over control of the Senate. Dr. Sowell, in his inimitable style, reminds us that while Tip O’Neill popularized the “all politics is local” phrase, on some elections in Washington the very course of America’s future rests.   In clear, simple terms he explains:

“In 1860, some abolitionists split the anti-slavery vote by running their own candidate — who had no chance of winning — instead of supporting Abraham Lincoln, who was not pure enough for some abolitionists. Lincoln got just 40 percent of the vote, though that turned out to be enough to win in a crowded field.

But what a gamble with the fate of millions of human beings held as slaves! And for what? Symbolic political purity?

This year as well, there are third-party candidates complicating elections that can decide the fate of this nation for years to come. No candidate that irresponsible deserves any vote. With all the cross-currents of political controversies raging today, what is the overriding national issue that makes this year’s Congressional elections so crucial?

That issue is whether, despite all the lawless edicts of President Obama, threatening one-man rule, we can still salvage enough of the Constitution to remain a free, democratic nation.”

Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow, obviously not well-versed on the arguments in “The Federalist Papers”,  made headlines extolling President Obama’s brand of lawlessness, stating:

“It would be wonderful if we are able to give this man all the power he needs to accomplish the things he needs to,” Ms. Paltrow said.

The same mindless drivel permeates America, with citizens completely uneducated about The Constitution, American history and more importantly our foundational principles.  In country music small remnants of American ideals still linger and Paltrow’s comments  brought to mind the lyrics from an old Aaron Tippin song, “You’ve Got To Stand For Something”: “You’ve got to stand for something or  you’ll fall for anything!”   What Paltrow is preening about is giving one man unchecked power.  In her isolated, elitist celebrity bubble, she rubs elbows with movers and shakers of the American political left, but one can only wonder if she has ever read “The Constitution of the United States”.

My friend, Minta, expressed the erosion of American ideals based on our founding principles, in our latest email exchange:

“I think we need to think about two different countries, one called the United States and the other called America. Most people in our country no longer live in America, just the States. It’s a useful way to view it. They can absolutely be un-American, because America is an idea set onto a real country. If that country loses the idea—the ideas and ideals—America will cease to be. This is the fight we are waging: to keep the United States being America too.”

In lieu of fabricated narratives, lame hash-tag campaigns and repeating hollow slogans, it’s time for Americans to do some independent research away from political ideologues on either side of the political aisle.  Dr. Sowell feels this election is imperative to check the tide of lawlessness (yes, even some liberal law professors have spoken out against President Obama’s brand of “I’ve got a pen and a phone” governance by executive decree) and I hope a Republican majority can check executive hubris, but our problems, while magnified by high-profile attention to Washington, stem from a lazy, uneducated citizenry, bereft of even a morsel of dedication to civic duty.  More than half the country receives some form of hand-outs from Washington, content to believe in what is owed to them rather than what they owe America.  We have become a nation of mindless followers and one election, albeit a crucially important one, won’t change America, until, “we the people” can sit down at the dinner table as one nation, united by our American ideals.

President Lincoln, attempting to unite a divided America at the close of the  US Civil War, left us with these immortal words:

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

His words remain important, but even more important is how a man from humble origins became one of the most pivotal presidents in American history.  “The Eloquent President”, by Ronald C. White, Jr.,  takes you on a journey of understanding Lincoln through his words and as one of our most gifted writers and orators to ever hold the office of President, plenty of material exists.  Lincoln didn’t have access to public libraries or the internet; what he had was the intestinal fortitude to pick himself up and work hard to improve himself.  He refused to believe in “insurmountable obstacles” (yes, that ever-recurring LB theme – “faith to move mountains” and a willingness to work hard).  A little story from Lincoln’s youth explains how this backwoods lawyer found the words to pen the Gettysburg Address.  White writes:

“When Lincoln moved to New Salem he made the decision to master the English language by an intense study of grammar.  While living in New Salem, Lincoln heard that a farmer, John Vance, owned a copy of Samuel Kirkham’s English Grammar.  Lincoln walked six miles to get it.  He was twenty-three years old.” (pages 102-103)

No one handed President Lincoln a free ride to an Ivy league school and likewise Dr. Sowell’s personal biography demonstrates that with hard work anyone can succeed.  Lincoln walked six miles to track down a book he thought held the key to improving his grammar; Dr. Sowell, a poor black man from Harlem,  worked hard to acquire an education in the 1950s, long before the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964.

A few years ago I wrote a piece, “The Quest For American Leadership In The 21st Century: A Few Home Truths” and I still think my three-step plan is worth considering:

“The quest for our 21st century American leaders starts with you. Step One: Think for yourself; move away from being swayed by political partisans hurling talking points at you. Take the time to study issues, candidates and find your own moral compass. President George Washington, my favorite founding father, wrote a list titled, Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation”, 110 rules covering everything from admonitions not to clean your teeth with the tablecloth to don’t run in the streets. He ended with #110: “Labour to keep alive in your breast that Little Spark of Celestial Fire Called Conscience.” That should be your guide.

Step Two: Be the leader of your own destiny. Don’t be a follower of populist movements. left or right, unless you have completed Step One. Before becoming a political lemming, allowing professional media figures to press your political hot buttons, calmly discuss issues with family and friends. In our 24 hour news cycle, internet-connected world, misinformation, disinformation and outright lies can circle the globe in minutes. Don’t let these control your political reasoning, refer back to Step Two.

Step Three: Follow the rules. President Lincoln’s call for reverence for the laws provides the keystone to rebuilding a stronger America. When political aspirants lack personal integrity, obfuscate on public issues, or find excuses for not following the rules; move on and continue your quest for worthy leaders. To honor those who sacrificed all, to secure our blessings of liberty, at the very least we all have a duty to become informed citizens, who demand men and women of character to lead us in this century.”


Filed under American Character, American History, Food for Thought, General Interest, Gladius Maximus, Politics, The Constitution

Gladius Maximus predicts end game: Russia 10; US 1.

Gladius emailed his Syria predictions.  Comments anyone?

BHOzo will claim victory for peace in the Middle East.
> Putin will do the work because the Russians don’t give a hoot about the environment anyway. They will destroy the chemicals some way or other. Or at least some of them.
> Within a year there will be a soviet mech infantry corps in Syria to “protect the workers.”
> Russia will finally have a military post in the Mideast, a warm water port, control of pipelines and a market outlet for its oil and weapons.
> Russia will kill all the rebels it can and there will be no imbedded journalists to witness how it is done.
> BHOzo will claim credit because there will be no US boots on the ground.
> Israel will then be faced with a large Russian force on its border.
> End game: Russia 10; US 1.


Filed under Foreign Policy, Gladius Maximus, Military, Politics

The Pretty in Pink American Foreign Policy

Ran across two more pieces on why we need to maintain our nuclear arsenal, so I’m not a lone wolf  howling in the wilderness.  “Obama’s Nuclear-Zero Dream”  (National Review piece here) written by Jack David (Hudson Institute bio here) explains why President Obama’s “nuclear zero” world exists only in fantasy and  he explains the suicidal nature of  the president’s proposals.  Mr. David lays out the history of our nuclear weapons capability and the nuclear disarmament efforts since the advent of the nuclear age clearly and he speaks with the weight of someone who has spent many years studying our nuclear capabilities, both offensive and defensive.  Also worth reading is Mr. David’s 2010 spirited argument against the nuclear-zero voices that keep pushing the United States to unilaterally disarm and rail against maintaining our nuclear capabilities, in a Wall Street Journal piece ( located on the Hudson Institute website), “The Dangerous Fantasy of a Nuclear-Free World” .

David Lawrence posted a short blog piece at the American Thinker website, titled, “Don’t Slash Our Nuclear Weapons” with this perfect President Obama policy description:

We need peace through strength, not surrender through clichés.”  Read more:   Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

Granted, many very smart people would like to see a nuclear-free world, just as many people (myself included) would like to see a world where peaceful interactions became the gold standard of international relations.  However, we live in the world as it is, not as we wish it were and our national defense demands facing the tough choices and employing the most careful consideration to maintaining our military might, for not only our own security, but for the security of the free world,  that depends on our strength to keep them safe too.  President Obama immersed himself in left-wing grievance politics in college and throughout his adult life.  He does not know much of anything about history and more glaringly his views on military matters demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of military history.

From rogue jihadi bands of fighters to world leaders around the globe, they smell American weakness emanating from this President and the sycophantic nincompoops he surrounds himself with.  He now has a dole of far-left doves fluttering about him, Valerie Jarrett, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice with peacenik quacker, John Kerry, to pontificate out of both sides of his mouth.  He picked the yes-sir, yes-sir, three bags full champion, Chuck Hagel, to turn the military into one big group therapy session, where the focus is on personal sexual relations and  GI Jane’s feminist aspirations.  And to figure out our Mid-East mirages he picked the “gone native” Arabist , John Brennan, who is so enamored of everything Arab and reminds me of the British Lawrence of Arabia crowd, who drew the modern-day Mid-East map, ignoring the shifting sands of ethnic and religious hatred.  They studied the Arab world, they lived among Arabs, they spoke Arabic, but they became tools for Arab interests rather than their own and this is the exact problem with Brennan.

In an ever-increasingly dangerous world, when we should be seriously looking at upgrading our military capabilities, to include keeping our front-line combat units trained and focused on these threats, we’ve got  this clueless bunch wailing about social issues in the military.  We should be vigilantly keeping our nuclear arsenal (both defensive and offensive) upgraded and potent.  This administration’s answer is more politicization within the ranks, rather than giving our military leaders the tools to build a stronger fighting force.  As my friend, Gladius, said, “I learned a long time ago, while still a 2LT, that the best welfare and care of troops is good leadership and good training. We went through a lot of feel-good crap on race relations back in the 70’s. Did no good. Then in the 80’s we went through a lot of feel-good crap about how to deal with women in the military. Did no good. People are people. They respond to good leadership and having a worthwhile mission. These people volunteered. They want to do something meaningful. The couple of hundred folks in the entire 4 million person military (counting Guard and Reserve) are causing all the trouble and causing the entire structure to topple.”  His blunt words speak the plain truth about the situation and he added, “They want good leaders and meaningful work. When I saw weak units, there was racial and sexual tension, poor mission performance and poor performance. When I saw strong units, there was none of that. And that applies whether the budget is bountiful or non-existent. The gutless bastards running the military these days have totally forgotten the basics of soldiering and unit cohesion.”

Amidst the looming gigantic defense budget cuts, this president traveled to the Brandenburg Gate, June 19, 2013, where Reagan threw down the gauntlet to the USSR, to blubber on about a nuclear free world and nuclear arms reductions (full speech here).  He lacks any clue as to how to project American resolve or strength, but he certainly excels at highlighting dangerously provocative weakness.  His “red-line rhetoric” and rose-colored proscriptions on the international stage mixed with his “white flag” waving entourage present a very “pretty in pink” American foreign policy – to include wanting the girls to lead from the front, while the President continues to lead from behind.  What an American image we present to the world……….wimpy, wimpy, wimpy.  I keep hoping we’ll get some national leadership with the strength and determination of a Vladimir Putin, yes, I admire his bold stroke moves to advance Russian interests.  We’ve got President Obama with his Gumby soul – he’ll bend any which way, to include tying our hands behind our back in the face of overt threats.   Just don’t expect him to do more than hide behind the skirts of his top female advisers.

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A Conflict of Cultures or a Matter of Opinion: Arab Spring in Context by Gladius Maximus

What will be the results of the Arab Spring? Will it stabilize the Arab world or simply realign the forces that already and historically oppose the West? Are we truly involved in a clash of civilizations destined to be the West versus Islam in a war to the end of the age? Has the stage of Armageddon been set?

One of the main reasons we in the West have trouble dealing with the reality of Greater Islam is that we do not present a solid front, or world-view, in our global outlook and beliefs. I truly believe that Islam as a whole is not as cohesive as we are led to believe by the mullahs and ayatollahs who make pronouncements and issue decrees in the name of Islam, either. However, it is presented to the West as a cohesive world-view simply because there is no other means of communication within Greater Islam than through these religious leaders. Thus, the world-view of Greater Islam must be seen in a comparative light with that of the West. Therefore, when we address the clash of cultures between the West and Greater Islam, we must address it from two points of view; one secular and one religious. That comparison will tell us whether we are truly involved in a conflict of cultures precipitating a world war or are simply dealing with a matter of opinion.

When Islam is addressed by the West from a secular world-view, we immediately are required to recognize the views of France, Germany and continental Europe, then Great Britain as a bridge between continental Europe and the United States, the value-system of the developing countries of Central and South America, and finally, the secular view of the United States. Thus, there are at least four separate, secular world-views that must be considered in espousing a world-view of the West. This does not take into consideration Israel, middle-Africa or any of the ethnic Asian countries. A further variance to a Western world-view is added in that in the U.S., there is no separately distinguishable world-view that is uniquely American. The nature of our culture and the maturity of our freedom of expression is such that divergent groups within the US have equal opportunity to espouse their own separate world-view, and exercise those rights emphatically. Thus, to even develop a premise that there is in fact a world-view of the secular West strains the bounds of Western imagination. We do not see ourselves as cohesive; therefore, how can Greater Islam see a cohesive world-view from the West? In their world-view, what do we stand for and how do they determine that position?

We in the West are privileged to have the freedom to develop and express our positions and opinions openly and even on a large scale, depending on the forum we elect to use for expression, such as print media, television, internet or live audiences. The forum dictates the scope of distribution of the view point being expressed, be it wide, narrow or regional. Certainly, within the West, there are more recognizable sources of distribution of a world-view than others, such as the New York Times, the German and British daily newspapers, BBC, CNN and other major news outlets. All have the ability to project a world-view, although ideally we would hope they maintain a balanced and steady flow of factual observations. They do not, and thus we are faced with a multi-faceted, secular statement of the world-view of the West. Regardless of how divergent the views stated, however, the views are all seen as a Western View by Greater Islam.

To Greater Islam, the very strengths of our freedom of expression appear to show a weakness in our society, a lack of cohesion in our people and a tendency to be self-destructive in our actions. The old saying of, “We either hang together or we will surely hang separately.”, is seen by Islam as lack of focus, lack of commitment and lack of will in presenting a unified front to their opposing culture.

Further added to this discussion of world-view is that the society of Islamic countries is totally intertwined with the religion of Islam itself. Not only is Greater Islam mono-theistic, it is mono-cultural and a mono-cultural outlook is largely unable to recognize diversity to the extent known in the West. Rightly or wrongly, as perceived by the West, Islam presents a unified front. One reason for this is that any freedom of expression within the Islamic community outside the West is immature. By immature, I mean that freedom of expression is a new thing within Greater Islam. Without a doubt, the freedom of expression of Islamic national leaders from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and other Islamic countries has existed for decades, if not centuries. However, the freedom of expression of the populace to develop their own world-view separate from that of Islam is very new. In Egypt, for instance, in the past often considered a progressive Islamic country, such freedom is very fragile and freedom of expression is still finding its way there.

As perceived by the West, particularly the conservative West, there is very little secular self-expression in Greater Islam. While the reasons may be myriad, such as lack of the internet, lack of national and international media outlets, lack of education, lack of secular dialogue, the perception remains that there is no secular Greater Islamic world-view. Coupled with that lack from Greater Islam, the West is largely unable to differentiate between Sunni and Shia views, and makes few attempts to do so.

Arguably, with no cohesive Western world-view and no truly secular world-view from Greater Islam, logically addressing this clash of the West and Islam is simply not possible. We in the West are aware that we have divergent opinions and, while we may argue vehemently, we are mature enough in our freedoms to allow divergent opinions to exist without going to war over them. Greater Islam, on the other hand, does not have a secular world-view separate from Islam as a religion and thus cannot carry on a dialogue in the same rational, though heated, manner that we in the West are used to conducting.

That brings us to whether it is even proper to view Greater Islam from a secular world-view, and, if so, what we should expect from Greater Islam in return. We cannot deny the fact that all Western culture is derived from the Judeo-Christian ethic of right and wrong. Within some latitude, every Western nation condemns murder, unbridled violence and subjugation of one class or gender of people by another. Truly we in the West don’t always get it right, but culturally, we do see the main points of right and wrong in a single light based on the Judeo-Christian ethic. Greater Islam does not.

Each side of this debate has saddled itself with a theocratic world-view that is diametrically opposed to the world-view held by the other side. The West does not understand a culture that not only condones but encourages bombings of the World Trade Center, trains in Spain, British citizens, suicide bombers and rocket attacks against Israel. The West does not understand a culture whose theocratic holy book clearly states that it is acceptable to lie, cheat and steal in dealing with an unbeliever (of their religion).

On the other hand, Greater Islam does not understand a culture that allows self-expression even when that expression is contrary to the Judeo-Christian ethic. It does not understand a world-view that provides for freedom of expression, even when the majority opinion is contrary to the views expressed.

Thus, the only logical conclusion that we can reach is that we in fact are faced with a clash of cultures and a clash of civilizations. In such a conflict, our choices are limited. From the viewpoint of Greater Islam, they can compromise the very foundations of their faith and in their own eyes abandon the teachings of their religion, or they can stand up for their faith and fight the fight that is set before them in their holy book. From the viewpoint of the West, we can allow ourselves to be attacked, killed and eventually subjugated to the teachings of Greater Islam, or we can fight the fight that is set before us.

We have no choices other than these. Compromise of bedrock moral principals is simply not possible from the world-view of either Greater Islam or the West. From the world-view of either side, we must either fight or culturally die.

Greater Islam has already made its choice. What choice will we in the West make? Support for the so-called Arab Spring is actually support for strengthening the opposition that will ultimately turn on us and attack us at every opportunity.

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