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It's been a beautiful day here in Texas as well. Please put "How We Win - A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigns" by George Lakey on your summer reading list while you're sitting by the water. It is brilliant and timely for this group and the moment of history we're living in. It is triggering so many thoughts about how we can turn all this around and have a more perfect democracy as a result. And, the people reading Heather's Letters are the people who can make it happen.

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And on your way to enjoying a spot for your summer reading, or while multitasking, listen to this 1 hour podcast from 1/14/2021, an interview of Valarie Kaur. Before you dismiss the concept of Revolutionary Love as airy-fairy, listen for what she says about embracing and channeling rage with the fist.

"Valarie Kaur is a seasoned civil rights activist and celebrated prophetic voice at the forefront of progressive change. She’s the founder of the Revolutionary Love Project and author of the book See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love...In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Valarie discuss “revolutionary love” as a guiding ethic for our times...Valarie also talks about “the heart and the fist,” and why both are necessary in order to create the systemic, cultural, and environmental transformations our world needs. Finally, Valarie shares what we can learn from our rage and grief, as well as the importance of connecting with our joy and our ancestors as we keep showing up for the labors of love before us."

https://www.resources.soundstrue.com/podcast/valarie-kaur-activating-revolutionary-love/

(Thank you, HCR reader Steve Levin!)

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Thank you, Ellie. I haven't listened yet but my first thought is that of course the heart and the fist are connected by the heart meridian as well as the pericardium or heart protector meridian, both of which run through our arms between the chest and the fingers. I look forward to hearing the interview and thanks for sharing.

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She’s just what we need now and radical revolutionary love of course was what Jesus was all about.

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Mmm-hmmmm. The heart and the fist.

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We can also subscribe to humorous short digests of history on Ben Tumin's Skipped History channel, including this 8 minute one on the Turner Thesis, sourced in part from HCR's How the South Won the Civil War:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J08sIzP5Ofg

(Thank you, HCR reader Kim Findlay!)

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I'm an old Nonviolent social activist a la Dr. MLK, Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Pilgrim, et al. It remains my mantra. "May it be so."

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Amazon gives a good excerpt of the book if a reader doesn’t have time for the whole book right now. For me, George Lakey has a perspective where I can feel the 70’s but with a nudge for now. He’s so informed and intuitive about sustained outcome. I like it. Thank you, Cathy, for suggestion while we take collective breath. The times, the times all around us.

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George Lakey on effective messaging: “Nonviolent direct action campaigns that stay on the offensive can build vision-led movements that win.”

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Hi Cathy I think those Democrats are absolutely right to postpone their return.

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Cathy, can you put a link to the guide in a reply to your post or my reply, for igits like me? Thanks, I'll catch it tomorrow. I'm going to rest in my water (shower) and go to sleep.

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https://www.mhpbooks.com/books/how-we-win/ Melville House Publishing

Sleep well.

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Thanks Cathy, I will.

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Hi, Cathy. I just found this 1-hour International Center on Nonviolent Conflict webinar with George Lakey from February 2019. I haven't watched it yet. It seems as though it might be useful.

https://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/how_we_win_with-george-lakey/

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Hi Jan, I took a webinar with George Lakey last fall and loved it. One thing I learned that I pass on is "if in doubt, sit down" which deescalates the situation.

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Thanks Cathy, just ordered! "Nonviolent, Direct Action"👏👍

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I hope it will come out in audio soon!

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I hate to be the crepe hanger here but Lakey's work dates from the 1960s and I'm at a loss to see that it has made a whit of difference. It gives me no pleasure to say that as I was involved with Movement for a New Society in the late 1970s. He co-founded that organization with several people, including Bill Moyers. My hopes were high that we could be a counter force to the burgeoning right-wing. What we lacked was a Richard Scaiffe and Evangelical churches. Scaiffe created a database of millions of addresses that could spew out tens of thousands of direct mailings with the push of a button. Those addresses were garnered from Evangelical churches and the subscriber lists of far-right publications like Human Events. This was all before the revolution brought about by the Internet and the creation of Fox "News." I don't need to say what has happened since.

While I find some hope in the grassroots activism of young people that has arisen from action on climate change and issues of race and identify, I fear that it won't be enough to counter the far-right cancer that has metastasized here and abroad.

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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

P.S. The membership of Evangelical churches is diminishing and teens in no-vaccine families are getting themselves Covid vaccines.

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Hope - I've laid my hope in that quote for decades. Alas, it seems to be a false one. The decline in church attendance no longer matters as they have better tools. Like all aggressive cancers, the damage is done and the metastasizes are spreading. I do find hope in youth-led grassroots organizations but I fear the air has seeped out of their rising balloon secondary to the pandemic. Not only does the virus make direct action much harder, it has caused other, more immediate issues, to sap energy and attention.

It is heartening that some teens are taking charge of their own health, but stories are not data; we can't get to herd immunity without adults getting vaccinated. I see this thing being like the boulder of Sisyphus.

PS - Sorry for being such grump. It's not my usual disposition.

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Good to know! Thanks for taking the time to share🤗

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Thank you for expressing, every day, the American values taught to me by my two non-college-educated, Depression-era parents: their simple gifts to me.

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Thank you, William Bolick, for your particular, simple and true perspective offered by this comment.

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Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! We in Virginia are having great weather as well the past few days. It goes along with this great news sent to me from the Sierra Club:

"We just got word that the Biden Administration is fully restoring protections to Alaska's Tongass National Forest1 -- reversing the Trump administration’s attempt to open it to mining and logging. Even better, the administration is adding new safeguards, like an end to old-growth logging across all 16 million acres of the forest, and a $25 million investment in sustainable development.

"If you've been following this issue, you probably already know that the Tongass is "North America's lungs" -- one of the largest carbon sinks in the world. This news is a huge victory for wildlife, the climate, and local Tribes who fought to protect their ancestral lands2. It's also an important step towards our goal of protecting 30% of our lands and waters by 2030.

"Later this year, there will be more chances for the public to weigh in on the future of the Tongass. We'll be in touch then, but in the meantime, we hope you can take a moment to celebrate this victory.

"Thanks for your activism,"

Alex Craven

Campaign Representative, Forests

Our Wild America Campaign

Sierra Club

[1] Davenport, Coral, "Biden to Restore Protections for Tongass National Forest in Alaska," The New York Times, July 14, 2021.

[2] Smith, Anna V., "Eleven Tribes Offer New Way Forward on Managing the Tongass," High Country News, October 1, 2020.

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Morning, Lynell. it's nice and sunny here in Paris this morning with nice pale blue skies.

We are now getting into the imposition of lock down of the non-vaccinated, depriving them of access to public space, restos, cinema, concerts, malls etc even if masked etc while leaving access to the minority of the population that have been vaccinated....upon producing documentary proof of their "state" and identity.. We heard the first news of this only last monday and it starts on Aug 1st. All hospital and restaurant staff who are not vaccinated by Sept will get fired without compensation for "grave fault". Restaurants owners not enforcing the ban on non-vaccinated and not checking everyone's identity are open to fines of $50,000 and a year in prison! A lovely way to "unite" the people to fight the epidemic! The nursing staff have gone from being the nations "heroes and heroines" to being treated almost as traiters as they are no more keen on the vaccination than the rest of the population. And who wants to work in a restaurant these days, Peanuts wages and tips and a whole lot of hassle!

Only a third of the population is vaccinated here and unfortunately the credibility of Macron's government was totally shot even before he pulled this stunt. He said himself just a few months ago that obligatory vaccination would never be introduced in France and he has yoyo-ed and dithered on every other element of the epidemic since the start. He first maintained that masks weren't necessary and then that they were essention. In the meantime he and his immediate predecessor had destroyed emergency stocks of a billion masks and the medical staff had to work without protection. He then went on to make chaos out of order on the tracing and then the vaccination program. France still hasn't been able to produce its own vaccine. Many people are waiting for the Sanofi people to produce their "old fashioned, low-tech vaccine (like the flu jabs) which should be available by the end of the year.

The holidays of most people have just been thrown up in the air abruptly. People are going to come back to work extremely angry at our local "pocket Hitler". The French were already very unhappy with the way they are ignored by the politicians on all the issues that they consider important...immigration, security and unemployment at the top of the list. Their were 20,000 on the streets of Paris protesting last Wednesday, 120,000 on Saturday.......a geometric progression starting to develop....and the Gilet Jaune are back on the streets with them. Autumn is going to get very hot here. Summer has just been cancelled. And the election isn't till next April......

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I absolutely agree with Macron. The only way to get ahead - if possible - of the variants is to quit allowing unvaccinated to put others at risk and be incubators for new strains. We live across the border from France. Tourists are flooding in. Unmasked. I've a friend who is a doctor. She works 14 hour days 14 days a week in the emergency wing. It's overflowing with covid and Delta virus patients. Many refuse to believe they have it. I wish our government here would do what Macron did. But. We need the tourists.

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France's hospitals are not overflowing with Delta victims. Unmasked tourists are probably those thinking that they don't need it as they are vaccinated....a common error unfortunately....as most people are effectively being very reasonable here in paris, keeping the masks in any case of contact with crowded places. If Germany was worried about the phenomena then they would given past actions close the frontier. Try to imagine if you will what the reaction might be if Biden tried to impose such restrictions in the US. Americans are not alone in being concerned about the incipient non-democratic tendencies of many western governments.

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Sadly, I know what the reaction would be in the U.S.. Land of My Rights. Screw Yours. Seatbelt laws would most likely be screamed down if they were introduced for the first time at this time.

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A footnote. Record numbers are now being vaccinated in France.

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Love it.

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Stuart thank you for your periodic updates on current affairs beyond the geographical boundaries of the USA. I have access to news sources and of course this internet thingy, but a boots on the ground “peoples version”is far more insightful (yes, all, I know I can’t take Stuart’s word for everything - I would be forgetting about my critical thinking skills to go beyond one source). I managed to catch news analysis last week of Macron’s announcement, I mean appeal, that individuals get jabbed or risk not being able to move about freely. Can you imagine how that would go over here?

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You have Biden with 50 years experience and we have our Trump substitute, the adolescent Macron with zero political and real life experience. This will not end well,

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I wish our country could get tough like this but states’ rights has a way of creating our particular vaccine tragedy currently unfolding in Arkansas and other areas where governors continue to politicize this health disaster.

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Oh, Stuart, where can we go to get some peace from all this! At least for a little while.

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And the good news however which makes Macron even more ridiculous is that, like in UK, there is a peaking of infections with the Delta Covid...but not in the hospitals and the funeral homes.

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Sounds like he learned from tRump, the master of ignoring the obvious.

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Good morning, Lynell. What fabulous news to begin my day with!

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Morning, Ally!! I can't help but think this will have "trickle down" benefits for Oregon...I hope!

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Alaska is starting to look good!

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I even have always loved the name….The Sierra Club. Morning, Lynell. Good week.

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Morning, Christine!! A big plus when this came in my inbox: They didn't ask for a donation...just wanted to pass on the news.

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Well, I have to add my thanks to everyone else's. And thanks for taking tonight off. We all need a sabbath, including you, our prime informer, especially. I often worry about you, knowing that this was not planned as a permanent gig. But hey, you have Maine! What a place to charge the old spiritual batteries. Rest, with our thanks....

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Thank you for all you do for us Heather.

It is appreciated more than you know.

Be safe, be well.

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In the comment thread here, even though less extensive than most because the letter is on Ms. Richardson's day off, I am struck by the many different ways her admiring readers (admiring for a reason) refer to her, the varying references ("Heather," "HCR" "Professor Richardson," "Dr. Richardson," "Ms. Richardson" ([as here]] appearing along a spectrum that includes metrics such as friendship, loving admiration, respect, awe, and political comfort. Each admiring reader gets to choose what is right for him or her. I suspect that Ms. Richardson embraces all the references.

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Early on, Professor Richardson encouraged us to address her with the formality she gives her grad students: Heather if you can, Professor or Doctor if you must. I am a product of my parents (two of the least prudish and most friendly people that I knew, who stressed that while a person's preference for how they wanted to be addressed was a good indicator, we should always use what of their preferences made us most comfortable) and with that guidance, I choose things like "Mrs. Susan's Mother" or "LT/Sarge/Cap" in less formal settings while still giving the people I'm dealing with their due respect. It is why I do not use the former guy's name.

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I think you’re right.

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I’m curious to your choice of Ms. over Dr. which she undoubtedly has earned.

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Hi Christy. Thank you for your reasonable and doubtlessly well meaning inquiry. The custom and usage with which I am familiar with is, in part, explanatory. Without recitation of unnecessary detail, I am familiar with the relevant customs and usages at several prestigious universities ( e.g. Yale, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Chicago, University of Illinois). And never once, in the more than fifty years since I entered college at one of those institutions,, have I ever heard a professor (or any faculty member for that matter , e.g. lecturer, instructor, assistant professor) with a Ph.D refer to himself or herself as "Dr." or be __ routinely__ addressed in that way by students or colleagues. (Which is not to suggest that they were never referred to in that way, especially by people in initially unfamiliar with the custom and usage). Similarly, in an op-ed in the NYT , one would, for example, be startled to read in the one line bio of the op-ed's author, "Dr. Timothy Snyder is a Professor of History at Yale." One would almost certainly read e.g. "Timothy Snyder is Professor of History at Yale," or even, "Timothy Snyder teaches European History at Yale." What is going on here is a form of so-called "humble brag." If one is a Professor of History at Yale or, I might add, Boston College, one doesn't need to publicize that he or she has "earned" a Ph.D by referring to himself or herself as" Dr." or encouraging that usage. If you have achieved that status at such institutions, a Ph.D. is a given. A related point is this. If you are a tenure track faculty member at Yale, Boston College or its sister institutions in any discipline in which the Ph,D. is the terminal degree, your having earned at Ph.D does not distinguish you in any way from your tenure track family members throughout the University. So no useful purpose is served of referring to yourself in that way or encouraging such usage. In contrast, a secondary school or community college instructor with a Ph.D. may well refer to himself or herself as "Dr." and to be referred to by others in that way precisely because having earned that degree is likely to distinguish him or her from most other faculty members at the institution. It follows that, contrary to what you suggest, I was giving Ms. Richardson her just due by referring to her as "Ms. Richardson," the title "Dr." being, __ for me__, certainly unnecessary and very arguably demeaning, as if she were a secondary school or community college faculty member. In any event, it is the reference I feel comfortable with. Compare "Heather" (suggesting friendship, which would be wishful thinking on my part). Nothing herein is mean to criticize Ms. Richardson's readers who, with a different background from mine, choose to refer to her as "Dr." By definition, it is the reference with which they feel comfortable, in part, it is assumed, because they are of the view that not using that term is not sufficiently respectful. I am quite sure, in any event, that Ms.. Richardson embraces the many admiring comments directed to her (admiring comments being the overwhelming majority of those posted), regardless of how her readers reference her. Regards.

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I neglected to thank you for your considerable response. I find myself still considering it and the responses of others here. I wanted to let you know that I’m grateful to you for your time and energy and gift of yourself. Understanding each other’s “cultures” will (hopefully) unite us.

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Hi Christy. Thank you for your generous and thoughtful comment. I doubt, however, that, while we may differ on how appropriately to refer to Ms. Richardson, that reflects any meaningful difference in "culture" between us that we need to understand. To the contrary, whatever differences there may be be between us in terms of education, profession, age, religion and other markets of "culture," I am confident, simply because you are subscriber to Ms. Richardson's letters, that we share underlying sensibilities that do not need to be newly understood. These sensibilities include an allegiance to humane values (e.g. democracy, equality of opportunity) a respect for the facts, and, as Ms. Richardson, consistently teaches, an appreciation that history instructs. Best regards. Bob

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Mr. Lehrer, Having no clue how peers in that situation would refer to each other your comment is very interesting to me. What I do gather from your response, though, is that there is an element of prestige unspoken among peers at these institutions. It’s almost as if the avoidance of the “humble brag” (using Dr.), because of it’s rarity at a community college, is a “humble brag” in and of itself. Even more interesting.

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Thanks for a quiet night. The news will keep. One blessing of a reasonably normal administration - we can take a moment to breathe before beginning a new day's work!

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Your state is going to get a lot more crowded if you keep posting pictures like this!!! :) Absolutely beautiful. I can smell the salt air and seaweed from here!

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Maine Tourism should underwrite Buddy’s photos. ;)

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Absolutely!

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In Arizona, February makes up for July. Thank you for your highly valued insight.

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The yin and yang of different parts of the country.

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“Now people see what’s happening. Thank God!” https://www.facebook.com/1135165144/posts/10224685675986036/

Thank you Professor!

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Thank you Donna. Felt like I was right there on the wharf. Nice interview.

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Wow, what a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. Thanks for sharing, Donna!

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Donna McKendree, thank you for sharing this interview with Heather. In addition to her intellectual prowess, it showcases how humble, open, and honest she is. Such a treasure!

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Click on her picture to get the article from the Financial Times. I almost missed it!

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Thank You for this wonderful Financial Times interview of HCR, Donna!

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You have to have a FB account to view this :-(

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Reading all your posts and replies gives me such a feeling of connectedness.

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In 1971, I spent the winter in Carrabassett Valley, Maine…between Kingfield and Stratton. I was young enough to endure the relentless snow and find a seasonal winter job on Sugarloaf Mountain. Skiing every day in early morning sub-zero temperatures was memorable. And in the Spring snow melt, kayaking in the Carrabassett River was unforgettable. The ruggedness and beauty of mountains of Maine were unforgettable. Quoting Paul Theroux…Maine is a joy in the summer. But the soul of Maine is more apparent in the winter.

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You live in a beautiful part of the country. I grew up near the water in Massachusetts, and later in NH. Water soothes the soul.

Thank you for your amazing teaching and for keeping us informed.

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Wow, just beautiful. My phone just got yet another gorgeous Maine background.

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What a restful scene -- thank you. It's very refreshing after a long day in the garden. Thank you for sharing the beauty of the Maine coast with us, and thank you for sharing your knowledge and understanding of past and present.

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