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The State Will Always Transcend Its Limits

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,

Detaining People Indefinitely on the President's Say-So

A law suit filed by journalists and academics (including Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, and Noam Chomsky) against the NDAA statute that provides for the secret detention of 'terrorism suspects' by the military on the president's say-so, while subsequently denying them any judicial review or recourse, initially ended with the lower court siding with the journalists.

The journalists complained because the law obviously has a chilling effect on their journalistic activities. How can they report on terrorism, when e.g. an interview with a terrorism suspect could land them in indefinite detention without trial? A few excerpts from the reasoning behind the lower court's decision (a decision it reaffirmed when the government challenged it):

“Here, the uncontradicted testimony at the evidentiary hearing was that the plaintiffs have in fact lost certain First Amendment freedoms as a result of the enactment of § 1021," Forrest wrote.


At a hearing in March, three of the plaintiffs testified that the possibility of government repression under the NDAA made them reconsider how they approached their journalism and activism.


Guardian journalist Naomi Wolf read testimony from Jonsditir, who prepared a statement saying that she would not visit the U.S. for fear of detention. Forrest alluded to this testimony in her decision.


"Hedges, Wargalla, and Jonsdottir have changed certain associational conduct, and O'Brien and Jonsdittir have avoided certain expressive conduct, because of their concerns about § 1021. Moreover, since plaintiffs continue to have their associational and expressive conduct chilled, there is both actual and continued threatened irreparable harm," she wrote.


"In addition, it is certainly the case that if plaintiffs were detained as a result of their conduct, they could be detained until the cessation of hostilities – i.e., an indeterminate period of time," Forrest continued.


"Being subjected to the risk of such detention, particularly in light of the Government's inability to represent that plaintiffs' conduct does not fall with § 1021, must constitute a threat of irreparable harm. The question then is: Is that harm immediate? Since the Government will not say that the conduct does not fall outside of §1021, one cannot predict immediacy one way or the other. The penalty we know would be severe."

(emphasis added)

The government apparently wasn't able to completely rule out that it might actually end up detaining one of the plaintiffs one day. It is also worth pointing out here that there can actually never be a 'cessation of hostilities' in the 'war on terror'. After all, terror is a tactic, and will always exist. Hence, this war is going to last forever, similar to other wars waged by the government, such as the completely ineffectual and counterproductive 'war on drugs', or the utter failure known as the 'war on poverty', to name two boondoggles that are evidently open-ended.

It is also well known that the 'war on terror' continually produces new terrorists, as e.g. shown by the enormously successful Al Qaeda recruitment program underway in Yemen by means of drone attacks (for every terrorist killed,  several new ones reportedly join up). In short, it is another never-ending war.

If one is actually detained under this statute, it may therefore well turn into a life sentence – only, there won't be any sentencing. Not one detainee will ever get his day in court.

Shortly thereafter, a federal appeals court of three Obama-appointed judges restored the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA by issuing a stay of the lower court's decision:

A federal appeals court has extended a temporary stay of a district court judge's order barring the government from using an indefinite detention provision in a defense bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama late last year.


A three-judge motions panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issued the order Tuesday afternoon, indicating they saw flaws with the scope and rationale for U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest's original order blocking the disputed provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011.


"We conclude that the public interest weighs in favor of granting the government's motion for a stay," Appeals Court Judges Denny Chin, Raymond Lohier and Christopher Droney wrote in a three-page order that also expedited the appeal.




All three judges on the motions panel were appointed to the appeals court by President Barack Obama.

(emphasis added)

The last hope for the case was the next stage of the appeals process – in other words, the plaintiffs were hoping that  the Supreme Court would deign to hear it. Fat chance.




Challenging Odious Laws Becomes Impossible

No-one should be surprised that the same old trick worked once again: the Supreme Court agreed with the government that the plaintiffs 'have no standing'.

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Barack Obama's administration by declining to hear a challenge to a law that allows the U.S. military to indefinitely detain people believed to have helped al Qaeda or the Taliban.


The high court left intact a July 2013 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that journalists and others who said they could be detained under the law, did not have standing to sue.


The provision in question is part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which the U.S. Congress passes annually to authorize programs of the Defense Department.


It lets the government indefinitely detain people it deems to have "substantially supported" al Qaeda, the Taliban or "associated forces."


Journalists and activists whose work relates to overseas conflicts, including Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and an Icelandic spokeswoman for the Wikileaks website, said that the law could subject them to being locked up for exercising constitutionally protected rights. They also said the threat of enforcement violated their right to free speech.

In September 2012, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of New York issued a permanent injunction preventing the United States from invoking the part of the law authorizing indefinite detentions.


The appeals court said the challengers had no standing because they could not show the provision has any bearing on the government's authority to detain U.S. citizens.

The court said the plaintiffs who were not U.S. citizens lacked standing to sue because they did not show "a sufficient threat that the government will detain them" under the provision.”

(emphasis added)

Consider what this actually means. The government apparently 'promised' that it won't detain journalists under the provision. But that 'promise' is just words. What happens if a journalist does in fact end up detained?

One could easily imagine a hypothetical case in which a journalist in making contact with dubious sources is erroneously (or even deliberately) suspected of having 'aided' terrorists. He is then detained under the NDAA provision.

This would mean two things: for one thing, the person concerned would definitely have acquired 'standing' to sue the government over the detention rule. Secondly, no use could possibly be made of this 'standing', because according to the terms of NDAA detention, access to the courts would be denied to the detainee!

As Jason Ditz remarks:

“Courts initially banned such detentions, over intense objection from President Obama, who argued that prohibiting the detentions would be an unconstitutional restriction of presidential power.


The Appeals Court eventually restored the detention power, however, insisting that Hedges et al didn’t have standing to contest their future detention because they couldn’t prove that the president might decide to detain them at some point in the future.


The standing argument effectively makes it impossible to challenge the NDAA statute, as it precludes challenges before the detention takes place, and once a person has been disappeared into military custody under the NDAA, the law explicitly denies them any access to the courts.”

(emphasis added)

This is neat. Heads I win, tails you lose. How can one still speak of a nation of laws under these circumstances? It is in fact not quite clear why terrorism suspects allegedly need to be 'disappeared' and cannot be tried in court. Are we to assume that the president, or whoever orders such detentions, is an infallible being?

As Murray Rothbard noted in 'Anatomy of the State', the idea that the separation of powers protects against the government eventually arrogating powers to itself it was never supposed to have according to the constitution is misguided. One cannot reasonably expect the State to 'control' or 'limit' itself. As Rothbard writes:

“Certainly the most ambitious attempt to impose limits on the State has been the Bill of Rights and other restrictive parts of the American Constitution, in which written limits on government became the fundamental law to be interpreted by a judiciary supposedly independent of the other branches of government.


All Americans are familiar with the process by which the construction of limits in the Constitution has been inexorably broadened over the last century. But few have been as keen as Professor Charles Black to see that the State has, in the process, largely transformed judicial review itself from a limiting device to yet another instrument for furnishing ideological legitimacy to the government’s actions. For if a judicial decree of “unconstitutional” is a mighty check to government power, an implicit or explicit verdict of “constitutional” is a mighty weapon for fostering public acceptance of ever-greater government power.”




For while the seeming independence of the federal judiciary has played a vital part in making its actions virtual Holy Writ for the bulk of the people, it is also and ever true that the judiciary is part and parcel of the government apparatus and appointed by the executive and legislative branches.


Black admits that this means that the State has set itself up as a judge in its own cause, thus violating a basic juridical principle for aiming at just decisions.

(emphasis added)

'Emergencies' always pave the way for an expansion of government power, which is rarely taken back again afterward (the 'ratchet effect', which is especially pronounced in times of war).

As we always point out in similar contexts, it is irrelevant how likely or unlikely it is whether today's government abuses these provisions. Once laws are in place that can be potentially abused, then all that is required is that people are swept into power who have no compunction about doing just that.

Hitler comparisons may be tiresome, but he remains a pertinent example: after gaining power in a democratic election, he found that a great many 'emergency laws' had been put in place by his moderate predecessors that he only needed to enforce. Consider also what he said to the Reichstag (parliament) when he introduced the 'Enabling Act' (a much broader, truly dictatorial law; however, similar to the infinite detention provision of the NDAA, it inter alia allowed for the suspension of habeas corpus):

“The government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures.  […]

The number of cases in which an internal necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself a limited one.”

In other words, there is nothing to fear! We are a civilized, democratic people and government, nothing untoward can possibly happen. We only have to deal forcefully with the current emergency. It turned out that the 'internal necessities' soon proliferated.



Court challenges to constitutionally dubious laws that have been introduced since the WTC attack, as well as to the highly questionable activities of the national security apparatus, have been regularly stopped in their tracks with the argument that the plaintiffs 'lacked standing'. In the case of the indefinite detention provision this argument is especially bizarre, since all those who will acquire 'standing' in the future will no longer have access to the courts – the very thing the plaintiffs tried to challenge. This seems hardly compatible with how a nation of laws is supposed to operate, but as Rothbard pointed out, the State will always find a way to transcend its limits.





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Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:10 | 4727323 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

The Supreme court is supreme in name only.  They represent the state and no longer uphold their oath to the Constitution and the founding documents of this nation.  They are now "activist" judges working on the States behalf.  As evidenced by their half-cocked rulings where virtually every judge should be in agreement that the State has been overstepping their authority from the Executive branch, spying on its citizens, failure to uphold the laws, ruling that corporations are "people", and a whole host of other issues.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:26 | 4727356 y3maxx
y3maxx's picture


We're #1, We're #1, We're #1

If You aren't with us, You're against us.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:36 | 4727368 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture



Detaining people on the President's say so...

Oh, how utterly tame...

How about killing people by drone on the President's say so!

Coming soon to an American city near you...

Obozo's got you in his cross-hairs!

You may not just be "racist" for criticizing this incompetent President...

You may end up DEAD!

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:43 | 4727390 i-dog
i-dog's picture

And voting for a new president won't even slow down the expansion of state power.

Secede now ... or go down with the ship!

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:47 | 4727399 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Human evolution is not a one way street.

The American voter has proven that.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:06 | 4727429 BellyBrain
BellyBrain's picture

What we need is true, rational, anarchy. 

However, we must bear in mind that the state and "the corporations" are two arms of one giant beast, and that Anarcho-Capitalism Isn't Anarchism

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 01:47 | 4727524 Four chan
Four chan's picture

when the constitution is turned on its head, the republic thats being constrained by it, can not be contained.

conservatives and republicans are that in phony name only, and are not for a republic, nor the conservation of its constitution.


the republic has been lost, and what comes next will be a version of every other disaster befalling societies.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 01:59 | 4727534 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

The con-con is on, I hear.

Been reading about it for a long time.

When it happens, it's a binary world, hello freedom or hell oh tyranny, constitutionalized.



Mon, 05/05/2014 - 02:15 | 4727549 EscapingProgress
EscapingProgress's picture


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:38 | 4727671 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Do our law makers actually live in a cess pool, or are just completely controled by their drug dealers?

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 09:07 | 4727972 kill switch
kill switch's picture

By the NSA!!!

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:36 | 4727668 doctor10
doctor10's picture

Oh shoot. All this will do is finish off the 1st and the 2nd Amendments.

The current Constitution would do fine with term limits on federal judges and Congress.

The American "security" state-all the triple alphabet agencies-are accustomed to turning entire governments upside down in a matter of days to weeks. .  A Con-Conwill be no challenge at all-unless carrier pidgeons are used to organize and communicate!!


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:40 | 4727673 negative rates
negative rates's picture

You can't con a con.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:06 | 4727427 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

We the People created

==> State governments created

==> Federal government created

==> Federal "citizens of the United States".

The created cannot be greater than the creator.  Follow along now:

We the People applied for and became

==> citizens of the United States subjecting to

==> Federal government.

The way out of this is to expatriate from your Federal citizenship.  You are a citizen of the state in which you are born.  The state citizens are the sovereigns.  A "citizen of the United States" has the same status as an emancipated slave.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:26 | 4727438 i-dog
i-dog's picture

I agree ... and I've been an an-cap for most of my life (never voted; float between countries; fully utilize tax sheltering; etc). Here's a repeat of my earlier post in another thread:

By now, even Blind Freddie knows what the problem is: Rampant Government™. We need solutions.


But since there are a thousand proposed solutions, the only logical solution is to allow those thousand solutions to bloom ... in a free society within which each community pursues its own solution AND respects the right of neighbouring communities to pursue their own solutions.


If your own community doesn't largely agree with your own preferred solution, then move to one that does.


There is no "global" solution to this [now] global problem.


Secede now ... or go down with the ship!



* Rampant (adjective): (especially of something unwelcome) flourishing or spreading unchecked.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:50 | 4727475 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Sounds reasonable, I would add..."so long as there is no initiation of force.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:23 | 4727832 g'kar
g'kar's picture

Rampant (adjective): (especially of something unwelcome) flourishing or spreading unchecked.


Similar to a malignant tumor.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 01:51 | 4727529 Four chan
Four chan's picture

we are on tha same page.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:47 | 4727744 CH1
CH1's picture

The way out of this is to expatriate from your Federal citizenship.

The way out is to stop treating ANY gang of rulers as if they have moral legitimacy.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:50 | 4727761 sleigher
sleigher's picture

I thought it all spawns from registering to vote.  When you register to vote you sign up for all the federal crap and agree to be a 14th amendment citizen.

All of this is by our own consent.  Remove consent. 

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:38 | 4727845 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Read up on invisible contracts. You have signed on to all sorts of contracts without ever knowing it- all that require a quid pro quo in the form of State liability.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:16 | 4727794 scrappy
scrappy's picture

Establish Common Law Grand Juries - Nationwide

Let the people decide.

Weekly Monday Call - 9 PM EST

No Authority in Law



Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:37 | 4727872 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

"And voting for a new president won't even slow down the expansion of state power.

Secede now ... or go down with the ship!"


We tried that already.  It was called the Civil War.  And the state won.

We also tried it from a banking perspective.  Jefferson killed off the First Bank of the United States.  It was ressurected only to be killed by Andrew Jackson.  Then the banksters got the Federal Reserve.  The state (from the crony capitalist side of the state) won.

Face it.  You were born on Prison Planet.  There is no escape.  No where to run or hide.  Deal with it.

The only thing that you can do regarding seceding is seceding your mind from the state.  They can't own that....ever.  When you're mind is free then you are matter where you matter if your body is in bondage.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:39 | 4727878 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

"And voting for a new president won't even slow down the expansion of state power.

Secede now ... or go down with the ship!"


We tried that already.  It was called the Civil War.  And the state won.

We also tried it from a banking perspective.  Jefferson killed off the First Bank of the United States.  It was ressurected only to be killed by Andrew Jackson.  Then the banksters got the Federal Reserve.  The state (from the crony capitalist side of the state) won.

Face it.  You were born on Prison Planet.  There is no escape.  No where to run or hide.  Deal with it.

The only thing that you can do regarding seceding is seceding your mind from the state.  They can't own that....ever.  When you're mind is free then you are matter where you matter if your body is in bondage.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:30 | 4727370 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yessir, Colonel it is sickening.  The Deep State meme seems to actually describe our situation well.  

An overly strong President is clearly a danger.  Funny how The Left only saw the danger from W, until it was too late for their bleetings to stop O.

It could get very ugly.  Prepare...

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:32 | 4727375 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

" Funny how The Left only saw the danger from W..."

Not too funny.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:46 | 4727398 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

To be fair, I did not see the danger in W until it was too late.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:53 | 4727411 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

W and O are the brilliance of the system.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:59 | 4727417 james.connolly
james.connolly's picture

Brilliant to make lady-men that like other men to corn-hole them? To make them leaders of the so called 'most powerful nation' on earth?

I can think of no reason they do this, other than to 'project' this KINDER&GENTLER theme, ... but the truth is WOLF has always been in a SHEEPS CLOTHING.

I bet Dick Cheney get's the best laughs, because he's the only one that only thinks about the "Secret Government", and doesn't even give the "Circus Government" a single thought.


Perhaps is modern USA is not unlike ancient Rome where guys like Caligula were made 'leaders' for show,...

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:03 | 4727424 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Divide and conquer.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:54 | 4727415 james.connolly
james.connolly's picture

Surely the same W that run's SERCO, and INMARSAT; It never occured to you that W, whose grandpa brought HITLER to power, it never occured he was a fucking FASCIST ASSHOLE FROM HELL?

The lord does work in strange ways.


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:56 | 4727416 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

W and O are the brilliance of the system.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 05:51 | 4727640 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Hitler was first financed by German Army Intelligence. Later also by domestic industry.

In the 20's German industry and state and municipal bonds were sold in New York and London.

Hitler ceased paying even interest on these notes and self financed by printing MEFO and other state instraments. Bush, Harriman were long gone by the time Hitler came to power. Saying Bush/Harriman Brown financed Hitler is like saying Edison ran death camps because they had functional electric lighting systems.

If anyone was responsible for Hitler it was Wilson and his not delivering/stopping total war into the German hartland and destroying the German elite and educating by experience the German citizen. A education which would have to be retaken 20 years later.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:48 | 4727401 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Yeah, Mrs.N warned me about that.

She's a pretty smart cookie.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:41 | 4727371 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

So you're sayin' there's a downside to wiretapping everybody (read: blackmail), including Supreme Court justices, as whistlblower Russ Tice pointed out?

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:28 | 4727661 doctor10
doctor10's picture

The NSA assures "good"  judges. Or so I hear.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:47 | 4727681 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

The history of the Court from Marbury forward has been a history of supporting the concentration of power in the federal government.  The court has had no problem in weakening the power of the states in the guise of championing civil rights.  But, when it comes to limiting the authority of the federal government it has and always will be remise.


Never forget that this same court deemed slavery to be legal.  The solution is nullification on the part of the states.  Illegal and odious laws that breach the social contract must be resisted on the state level.  The central government has been captured by the multinational oligarchs.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:31 | 4727856 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture


People need to understand it all started with judicial review. The court is a tool to legitimize the tyranny of the State.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 09:16 | 4727866 scrappy
scrappy's picture

The group "PANDA" has had some modest success on NDAA at the local level.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:45 | 4727904 Reaper
Reaper's picture

When you put black robes on any venal lawyer, you still have a venal lawyer, empowered as a judge.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:16 | 4727337 TammanyBrawl
TammanyBrawl's picture

This slippery slope is looking more like a cliff.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:16 | 4727340 CCanuck
CCanuck's picture

  WTF    - "Courts initially banned such detentions, over intense objection from President Obama, who argued that prohibiting the detentions would be an unconstitutional restriction of presidential power"


Fuck'n Cocksuck'n Hypocrite Obama, nuff said!

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:18 | 4727341 maskone909
maskone909's picture

Michigan is the 34th state to join in for a constitutional convention. Therin lies the power to change everything.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:25 | 4727351 CCanuck
CCanuck's picture

Who's power to change everything?

It will be 2000 pages, and they will pass it , to see whats in it!



Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:28 | 4727365 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture


It should be very obvious that there is not really anything wrong with the constitution as is.

The problem is that we "the people" obviously have no way to enforce it.

Go ahead, tell the IRS that their existence is unconstitutional. They'll beat your ass, take your stuff and throw you in jail.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 05:05 | 4727610 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

By making only gold and silver money the constitution contained the means for the people to restrain the government.

The government could not act without directly taking money from the people, which would be a self limiting brake.

With the creation of the federal reserve and the confiscation of gold, all restraints on the government were destroyed.

The growth of government itself was now unrestrained, in fact it was necessary as increasing government deficits are REQUIRED in order to pump legal tender credit money into the economic merry go round.

Any government operating under an "independent" central bank fiat money system, will gradually come to utterly dominate society, and the economy.

There is no way to escape this insidious tendency, except to find another medium of exchange. Which your government will make sure costs you dearly, in terms of your freedom (both personal and economic).

Eventually the state must attempt its final triumph, by finding a way to make it impossible for you to function without it.

This is what must be resisted with every ounce of strength, and ingenuity you can muster.

This makes me wonder.

Was the expansion of credit in the " roaring twenties" as well as the subsequent credit crunch of the 30s engineered by the fed deliberatly in the knowledge that it would lead to gold confiscation, and further power transfer to the state??

Wouldn't surprise me at all!

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:47 | 4727680 negative rates
negative rates's picture

We lost everything in the crash.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:00 | 4727690 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"in fact it was necessary as increasing government deficits are REQUIRED in order to pump legal tender credit money into the economic merry go round."

"Was the expansion of credit in the " roaring twenties" as well as the subsequent credit crunch of the 30s engineered by the fed deliberatly in the knowledge that it would lead to gold confiscation, and further power transfer to the state?"

a mistake in the reasons

you will always find people that are for an expansion of credit, particularly public credit as the modern systems are based on

it's like free booze. and moar booze is better than booze. so there are always theories why a bit moar is better than less, even including the reasoning that "it has to be done in order to provide for a global reserve currency", aka Triffin Dilemma

the point is... you can't stay drunk forever. and what you call credit crunch is just... a hangover. which makes everybody very grumpy (and some poorer)

whenever you keep the credit/currency levels steady or even decrease them... you notice who was swimming naked, aka malinvestment

(as far as I know this is straight from Ludwig von Mises, though the theory of malinvestment should imho be attributed to his predecessor and the Marginal Revolution in economics)

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:07 | 4727695 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"As Murray Rothbard noted in 'Anatomy of the State', the idea that the separation of powers protects against the government eventually arrogating powers to itself it was never supposed to have according to the constitution is misguided. One cannot reasonably expect the State to 'control' or 'limit' itself."

interestingly, separation of powers is way less pronounced in europe, particularly on the continent

at the end, it's always the citizen that controls or limits government. you can't expect a constitutional design feature to do it for you, and most importantly you can't expect to do it alone

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:36 | 4727870 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

This began in 1791 with the first bank of the US. See, "Pieces of Eight". The Supremes have generations of terrible arguments enforcing the use of bills of credit which were "not" bills of credit. Hat tip to Ghordius, we may not agree often, but trusting in the Constitution instead of the people is right on the money.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:45 | 4727678 negative rates
negative rates's picture

The constitution is a wreck, There is no provisional statement to prevent the 1% from voting themselves into power. If 99% of the population stopped voting because of fraudulant congressional behavior, the 1% could still vote themselves into office, and make laws supporting their ideals. If that's not obvious, you must work for the 1%. Attend the up and coming constitutional convention.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:31 | 4727722 sleigher
sleigher's picture

We do have a way to enforce it.  In fact it was Justice Scalia who told a group of university students not that long ago to revolt.  I guess that spirit in American has been watered down to the point of non-existence. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:53 | 4727407 i-dog
i-dog's picture

The mind boggles at what pre-planned provisions the political establishment would put forward [on behalf of their handlers] at a new constitutional convention ... which the baying mob would then cheeringly accept!

They might even decide that the new constitution is to contain only one clause: "Shut yo' mouf and eat yo' peas!"

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:31 | 4727357 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

The Supreme Court, between 1935 and 1995, found exactly ZERO Federal laws to be unconstitutional. Zero.

Furthermore, they granted themselves the power of "judicial review," that is the ability to pass judgement on the constitutionality of laws, because of the famous court case "Marbury V. Madison." Yes, that's correct, one of the three branches of the Federal government granted itself more power than was granted to it by the constitution.

The way it was supposed to work, is that unconstitutional laws were to be nullified by the States. This was discussed by the founders and written about by Jefferson.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:39 | 4727384 r00t61
r00t61's picture

In fact, James Madison, one of the principal authors of the Constitution, asserted that the power of "judicial review" was not anywhere in the Constitution.  But Justices Marshall et. al said "here's a nickel Jimmy, call someone who cares."

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:49 | 4727403 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture


Correct. In my view, the whole Federalist idea has clearly collapsed. It didn't work.

I have sailed past minarchism straight on to anarcho-capitalism.

The state is impossible to reign in. The only solution is no state whatsoever.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:07 | 4727430 james.connolly
james.connolly's picture

I have considered myself an "EMMA GOLDMAN ANACHIST" for the past 50 years,

While I didn't want to wait until government had collapsed, I preferred to go live in a place where government simply didn't exist, where people were too busy eating, sleeping, fucking and getting drunk to bother with 'government'.

Government is the result of the idle hands, the devils work :)


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:50 | 4727474 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

And let me guess. You're doing God's work?

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:19 | 4727710 messymerry
messymerry's picture

The State is not impossible to reign in.  Sadly, the current State is impossible to reign in because of it's size.  The fundamental mistake that was made was to not put an absolute limit on the State's ability to grow itself.  I have argued before that governance should constitute a defined percentage of national GDP.  Let me be clear:  ALL GOVERNANCE!!!  I arbitrarily set 10% of GDP, but that number is subject to arguement.  

This is how it's going to play out:  Yes, fascism is raising it's ugly head here in the United States.  Yes, we are screwed.  Yes, there will be a revolution here.  There will be a global socio-economic collapse.  Many many people will die here and elsewhere.  The perps will be hunted down just like the Nazis and Fascists from WWII were hunted down.  We will learn from our mistakes and set an absolute limit on the size of the State or we will create Gort*.  

Orrrrr, we blow ourselves up and humanity winks out.  I have long argued that while the Universe is a garden teeming with life, advanced civilizations are exceedingly rare.  Precisely for this reason.

I will play the optimist and say that we will feed the tree of life with an ocean of blood, and then we will rebuild and experience a renaissance the likes of which have never before been seen.  "The Singularity is Near"


I still believe that the United States is the best place to be when TSHTFl.  I beileve the people here are the best on the planet.  Witness you all here on ZH.



Mon, 05/05/2014 - 09:58 | 4728175 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

The problem with a percentage of GDP is that the number will get adjusted by those in power. You have to eliminate law in order to rein in the State. With no law, there is no state. All agreements become voluntary. Social rules enforce social contracts rather than courts. Non-binding beyond social stigma and the refusal to deal with those that "cheat". 

We often refer to this as clan rule. Anarchy is the true human evolutionary step.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 10:36 | 4728265 messymerry
messymerry's picture

As far as the GDP question goes, the old tried and true mehtod of: "you cut I choose" applies.  All the GDP calculations are required to be in the public domain and freely available to all citizens.  The government budgets (in their entirity) must be made publicly and freely available as well.  The problem is the conniving bastards hide thier excesses thourgh obfuscation and secrecy.  IT'S OUR MONEY!!!   We have an undeniable RIGHT to know how it is being spent.  That we allow this kind of horseshit disrespect is our fault.  

Law cannot be eliminated.  There has to be some law even if it is only the golden rule.  Anarchy works only in some utopian fantasy.  The real world is ruled by greed and fear.  MAN CANNOT RULE HIMSELF.  Our problem is not that we have laws, it that we have too many laws which are not properly enforced.   Anarchy would be just as damaging as what we have now.  A small government fears the people.  A large government subjugates the people.   

If you want anarchy, I'm moving to Tierra del Fuego,,,



OBTW: Thanks for your reply... ;-D

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 13:47 | 4728892 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

"The problem is the conniving bastards hide thier excesses thourgh obfuscation and secrecy."  You need a solution HERE.

Why can't law be eliminated? The golden rule is a rule, not a law. It is resolved voluntarily, though broken by some, whom you are free to exclude, yes?

Anarchy is not a utopian anything. Life is not utopian, but what we have now is slavery, so it is hard to see where we could digress to. You can't have small government, it is an oxymoron. The State always grows until it breaks down. If anarchy is as bad as what we have now, you would still have liberty, no taxes (except waht you agree to) and war would be diminished in number and capacity to do harm. How is that worse?

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:26 | 4727359 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

All the educated words and laws which are written mean nothing.

When the people lose hope and politacal anger is stoked, watch out.

We are watching a society destroy itself in the Ukraine.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:38 | 4727383 james.connolly
james.connolly's picture

That's always the narrative on ZH, its all about WORDS and IMAGE.

Talk on about the PUBLIC GOVERNMENT, the one for SHOW.

Then there is the REAL GUBMINT,the "SECRET GOVERNMENT" that is ran by HALLIBURTON, SERCO, as private CORPORATIONS.


Talk about COURTS, LAW, JUDGES for what? They're all just for 'show' the fucking circus act.

Why doesn't the TYLER's spend a little time talking about the "Secret Government", ... then we might learn something other than our High School democracy theory is all a SHAM, everybody on ZH already knows.


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 01:05 | 4727472 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, ZH never mentions such things.  Do you have that not so clean feeling?  Let me suggest a.  Douche.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:05 | 4727647 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Change and Hope will/are manufactured and marketed products, when and as needed. Unless they are obstacles, in which Fear and Hate are sold, marketed, or what ever animating force can harness the sheeple mass as needed.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:30 | 4727369 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The Constitution, and the government it created, were doomed to end up as they currently are - the inverse of their intent. That would have been prevented only if government consisted of angels.

Instead, it is made up of psychopaths.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:45 | 4727396 james.connolly
james.connolly's picture

Toqueville predicted it would end this way, some 150 years ago.

Read the book,... if you think any of this shit is new.

Nothing new under the sun, ... ASSHOLES always rise to the top of any man made society, ... this is why all GOVERNMENT eat's shit.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:52 | 4727408 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Why read de Toqueville, just go look at a troop of monkeys.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:03 | 4727423 james.connolly
james.connolly's picture

Tocqueville travelled the world and observed monkey and their governments, and he found that USA most interesting of all, and speculated that the end of this special 'gubmint' would be a special HELL for ALL.

Essentially the FSA will always VOTE for those who steal the most; so Kleptocrats ( common criminals ) rise to the top, over time they breed, and create incestous familys ( clinton, bush, ... ford, rockefeller ); Even Toqueville didn't surmise that the USA would lead the entire world into hell, he assumed the USA would only lead itself into HELL.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:45 | 4727449 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Don't forget JPM, Rothschild, House of Saud, etc.   They don't believe in Hell.  Nor do you, I'm guessing.  I'm thinking you're using it.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 01:54 | 4727531 Rock On Roger
Rock On Roger's picture

Rothschild does believe in heaven.

They're stacking for the gods.


Stack On

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:40 | 4727739 sleigher
sleigher's picture

Everything really went to shit when the supreme court threw out the common law jurisdiction and brought in the statutory jurisdiction.  All courts in America did this back in the 50's.  The SCOTUS did this a bit earlier in the Erie railroad case.  Colorable law was setup for these bastards to "legally" do anything they want without violating the constitution.  

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 09:23 | 4728038 scrappy
scrappy's picture

Our mission is to restore the people to sovereignty through knowledge, and only then will they be armed with the virtue to take political and judicial power. The people have it in their power to disarm and defeat the enemy of Liberty both foreign and domestic if they only understood the principles of freedom and stand upon them.

To take political power is to control our elected representatives, by bringing them into obedience through fear of the people, this is accomplished by understanding the office of & becoming an elected committeemen, and then execute the powers.

To take judicial power is to control our courts by understanding jurisdiction and bringing into subjection all government officers and officials using common law courts by opening courts of record and executing "people" authority, it's that simple...

Let's save Our Nation.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:33 | 4727377 DOGGONE
DOGGONE's picture

PLEASE get your heads out into the light ... Look & see:

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:35 | 4727379 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Its all fun and games until Central Planners begin the Budd Dwyer approach.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:50 | 4727404 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Will that indeed be the end of them?

Do not watch if you are a queezy sort...

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:27 | 4727450 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Sorry. A fat finger error. My dumb associated mistake in voting you down rather than up. Dispite no luggage Rancho Mirage is gorgeous..send you Photo's.  

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:37 | 4727380 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

The limitless detention clause of the 2012 NDAA (i.e. contravention of due process) remains a clear and present danger to American everyday liberty.  Perversely, it rachets up the intensity of any arrest action, as the act of being arrested comes with a probability that you will not receive an opportunity to defend yourself in a court of law.  Consider where your red lines are, and whether you will resist or merely exit the country.  Many Jews did escape Germany before Krystallnacht, but many more failed to discern the danger.  

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 23:43 | 4727391 james.connolly
james.connolly's picture

That our STATE, that our GOVERNMENT doesn't GIVE a flying FUCK about US, is this NEWS good people of ZH?



That anybody can be picked up and black bagged, and sent away forever,... is this new? Fuck no.


I agree with the poster below, the ONLY option you have is to run like hell, and stay out of USA jurisdiction your entire life, otherwise daily by living in the USA you are playing RUSSIAN ROULETTE with your life.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 01:09 | 4727452 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

NWO.  Good luck running from that.  P.S.  I smell a rat.  And it's you.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:19 | 4727442 noless
noless's picture

When access to the courts within a nation are denied, another will arise in it's stead, by those denied, for all.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 01:57 | 4727520 q99x2
q99x2's picture

" the enormously successful Al Qaeda recruitment program underway in Yemen by means of drone attacks (for every terrorist killed,  several new ones reportedly join up). In short, it is another never-ending war."

The really weird part is that the politicians in Washington D.C. then let the borders wide open so the people that are willing to trade their lives in exchange for revenge can waltz across the border and get John the McCains and Lindsey Grahams.

Its beyond me and you know it has to be pretty far out to surpass Q99X2 and all those that live there.

BTW Transcendence wasn't all that bad. They got a few things wrong and a few things right. The girl meets boy thing was kinda dumb. Don't know why they had to try to throw that in. If my ex-wife would have turned into an AI before we divorced and continued to fight like she did I wouldn't be worrying about no financial collapse that's for sure.

Oh and you probably won't have to worry about the NDAA. Those laws are created by banksters and globalists and crooked politicians in Washington D.C.. They all about to get the shit kicked out of them by Russia, China and South America. If they can't have nuclear war and  bankster financial terrorism has become ineffective they will resort to one on one. With any luck the oligarchs will annihilate themselves and the rest of the world can go on its merry way.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 02:37 | 4727565 Bluebear
Bluebear's picture

Stands to reason that for Al-qaeda or the US military to justify their existence, to perpetuate the cycle of violence... Al-qaeda will eventually build drones to bomb innocents to draw in the recruits and the US military will just bomb innocents and label them as terrorists...

I have always wondered in the book 1984 if Big Brother fired missiles at their own people on a regular basis to justify their unending war...

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 03:23 | 4727571 Ham-bone
Ham-bone's picture

Absent a coup or revolution or the like...rates will never go up.  Stocks will not go down. PM's won't likely be a safe haven.  These things must be so they will be...don't think logic; think like a criminal and only then you'll get it.  Overindebted nations cannot service their debt @ market rates nor would the equity / RE / etc. markets be able to survive @ higher rates.  So down, down, down we go...and these rates signify nothing but centralized control.

"governments" issue debt that no one buys nor sells...

10yr debt below 1%

Japan 0.61%

Switzerland 0.84%

10yr debt below 2%

Sweden, Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland,

10yr debt below 3%

Ireland, Spain, UK, Canada, US, Italy

10yr debt below 4%

Australia 3.86%,  Portugal 3.81%


New Zealand 4.38%, Greece 6%

Now no one buys these things with real "money"...just free digits passed around...something called monetization.

Nothing is real....fantasyland

take a glance at US domestic ownership of the $10 T of public notes/bonds...down to $2 T and constantly rolling off...only Fed and "foreigners" (like Belgium) "buy" this stuff...fraud without a care in the world.  EU LTRO handing out money for free to banks to buy bonds, US official and unofficial QE creating dollars to buy bonds from PD's...

 Pensions will be destroyed...insurers, SS, and everybody holding fixed income will be ruined...and turn to the criminals for "help"...the victim will again turn to the perpetrator and ask for "help"


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:52 | 4727685 doctor10
doctor10's picture

Looks like "the mob" has got your monies-and good luck gettin' it back!!

that' s what "Homeland Secuirty" was all about for these effers

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:36 | 4727670 kurt
kurt's picture

So the esteemed men in robes have decided:

The fucken fuckers can do whatever they fucking want!




wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 06:53 | 4727684 falak pema
falak pema's picture

How about the Oligarchy manipulating the State to transcend its limits ?

Ever heard about the double irish and a dutch sandwich to avoid paying corporate taxes ? 

Here it is :

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:09 | 4727696 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

Consider the fact that any federal arrest could result in indefinite detention, torture or death and, this would be sanctioned by the Supreme Court.  Harry Reed has already painted the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters and the militias as terrorist.  Lest we forget, Reed is not some wing nut in a bar.   He is the most powerful man in the Senate.  The ramifications of how deep this rabbit hole can go are truly frightening.


Mene mene tekel upharsin!


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:14 | 4727705 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

Did Stalin respect the rule of law? Did Stalin order executions without trial. Did Hitler respect the rule of law? Did Hitler order executions without trial. Did the German courts try and restrain Hitler. Castro, Chavez, Mao tse Tung, Pol Pot, Robert Mugabe? Why would we think Obama would uphold the rule of law? Why would we think that the Supreme Court would intervene? Or is it "different this time". What we are seeing now is the thin end of the wedge.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:39 | 4727736 deflator
deflator's picture

 This is what you get when there are no checks against ever expanding centralized government. SSI is a good example, SSI was not implemented out of benevolence for the elderly. SSI was implemented to funnel more money through the hands of the government. Leviathans must always be fed moar.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 07:44 | 4727746 acapulco
acapulco's picture

It can sound strange, maybe, but here's my point of view on "current" situation:

Sovereign Freeman: Notice Of Bankruptcy Of The Republic Of Croatia

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:10 | 4727792 Comte d'herblay
Comte d'herblay's picture

".....This seems hardly compatible with how a nation of laws is supposed to operate".

WE are not a nation of laws, we are a nation of Lawyers, most of whom are lower than whale shit in the Mariana Trench. 

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:10 | 4727793 Comte d'herblay
Comte d'herblay's picture

".....This seems hardly compatible with how a nation of laws is supposed to operate".

WE are not a nation of laws, we are a nation of Lawyers, most of whom are lower than whale shit in the Mariana Trench. 

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:29 | 4727850 g'kar
g'kar's picture

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:40 | 4727877 Jack4952
Jack4952's picture

Even ALEXANDER HAMILTON, who favored an extremely powerful central government, realized that ALL governments eventually devolve into tyranny. Once the government has lost the consent of the governed, it is the DUTY and RIGHT of the PEOPLE to restore its original constitutional government.

“The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.” - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 22, December 14, 1787


“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 33, January 3, 1788


“The constitution shall never be prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”  - Alexander Hamilton



Mon, 05/05/2014 - 08:48 | 4727922 jjsilver
jjsilver's picture

You have to really wonder what the motives are of "acting man blog" which left out the most important finding by the 2nd circuit court of appeals.

"We conclude that plaintiffs lack standing to seek preenforcement review of Section 1021 and
[we] vacate the permanent injunction. The American citizen plaintiffs lack standing because Section
1021 says nothing at all about the President’s authority to detain American citizens."

One has to understand jurisdiction, the Congress only has the authority to create legislation for the territories. One also has to understand that words of common usage have no bearing on their code. If I were to speculate, I believe their is a concerted effort to incite the American people to commit violence against the government thus allowing them to crack down on the population as a whole, which would be unlawful. Propaganda and mind control are rampant, govern your self accordingly.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 09:16 | 4727996 Jack4952
Jack4952's picture

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The Constitution and Bill of Rights were written in plain English so that all people could understand them. They meant what they said, without  any lengthy analysis or interpretation. The 4th Amendment clearly states that a person or his property many NOT be searched or seized (arrested) UNLESS a WARRANT has been issued by a judge based on evidence showing probable cause and that someone must state in writing and swear under oath (an AFFIDAVIT) that the information is truthful, thereby making himself liable for prosecution if the information is untrue. Under the Common Law, the ONLY exception was a crime personally witnessed by a sheriff (or another citizen), who could then search or seize that criminal immediately. Simple enough!

NOW in America people and property (such as cars) are searched tens of thousands of times everyday with NO warrant: such as if a dog "smells" marijuana in your car; a cop stops someone on the street and demands ID; you get "frisked" in an airport by TSA;  your car gets searched at an internal, suspicionless Bordere Patrol checkpoint; etc. Add to that the "indefinite detention" under the NDAA.  WHERE is the warrant? WHERE is the sworn affadavit isisued based on probable cause? Where is your probable cause hearing, your arraignment and your trial by jury? THERE ARE NONE !!!!

HOW can such actions by government be considered constitutional by ANYONE with a functionaing intellect????

Just read the 4th Amendment! They are NOT constitutional, regardless of what some clowns in black robes state.


“The several states composing the United States of America are NOT united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for the special purposes [and] delegated to that government certain definite [defined] powers and whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. To this compact each state acceded as a state, and is an integral party, its co-states forming, as to itself, the other party. The government created by this compact was NOT made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers.” - Thomas Jefferson

"The authority to judge what are the powers of the government, and what are the liberties of the people, must necessarily be vested in one or the other of the parties themselves--the government, or the people; because there is no third party to whom it can be entrusted. If the authority be vested in the government, the government is absolute, and the people have no liberties except such as the government sees fit to indulge them with.” Lysander Spooner


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 09:26 | 4728050 Stan522
Stan522's picture

I have no doubt this administration is capable and will be "detaining" TEA Party patriots and other conservative groups before they are gone.... obama is beginning to be cornered with the latest FOIA material and like a vicious wild beast, when cornered, they tend to lash out. You can count on it...... There will be a false flag event that puts the blame on conservatives in some way and this turd will start rounding people up....

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 12:59 | 4728717 gnomon
gnomon's picture

Those doing the "rounding up" better have good life insurance policies.  And the more they "round up", the more there will be insiders like Edward Snowden who will attack from within.  They think AFghanistan is bad.  It won't be just a muzzie that they will have to be worried about.  It will be everybody around them, of any color or religion, (whoever won't kneel to the new order).  Trusted bodyguards will turn their weapons on their so-called superiors and the nerds will wreak internal havoc.  Debased though we may be as compared to our fathers and grandfathers, we still carry their genes, the ones that impelled them to escape the prison planets of the past, Europe and Asia.

As Obummer's mentor said they will have to eliminate at least 15 million.  I don't think they can do it.  

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