Truth In Front of Ours Eyes

Recently my wife has begun writing, from a Christian perspective, about popular culture – music, books, movies, etc.  Her premise has been that the soul cries out to God even if the person doesn’t yet realize it.  We have long talked about how, if you listen carefully, you can hear the questions, the pains, the need for the Creator within the secular words and stories told as the author, performer, or director as they try to put the cries of the soul into their work.  It’s a wonderful way to speak with people about God and the longing of their hearts and souls, via questions that often can be broken down into “I wonder why…” or “I wonder how…” that open the door from concepts that are easier to speak about with nonbelievers to concepts of God that are harder to explain and even harder to understand without a baseline understanding that believers are blessed, hopefully, to have already.

Applying this to another part of life is the application of popular culture to understand current events.  With that said, the event I want to talk about is the Donald Trump phenomenon.  Donald Trump is a businessman who decided to run for President.  He’s running as a Republican and has entranced many conservatives to his bandwagon, yet the concepts he talks about and the words he uses are those of a liberal demagogue.  He identified a yearning in the American public and he is playing to it perfectly.

What yearning?


Americans are angry at the government, at politicians, at men and women who promise the moon and then either fail to deliver, or turn around and do exactly the op opposite of what they promised in the first place.

Americans are angry at a lack of justice.

  • Justice under the law (Trump’s initial rise can be directly attributed to the hard line he took on illegal immigration and the promise to punish law breakers and “send them back” and promises of building a wall that another country will finance – never mind that we would have to declare war on Mexico in order to force them to pay for it.)  Also, the criminality of actions by politicians such as Hillary Clinton – lying about the contents of a private, unpermitted, unsecured, and unprotected email server in her home during her time as Secretary of State in order to avoid the documentation preservation rules for all Federal government appointees and employees – used to be called what they are under the color of law – espionage and fraud.  When oaths and laws mean nothing, the law-abiding grow angry.
  • Social justice (the intolerance of the tolerance movement is something I’ve written about before as there are “activists” that aren’t just happy with being permitted to do what they please, but rather want you to celebrate their behavior and their uniqueness as superior to your own – gay marriage/adoption movements, Black Lives Matter, and other such movements fall into this camp squarely.  It has even got so absurd that “All Lives Matter” has been called a racist phrase because Black Lives are apparently more equal than yours.  When you are told that you are worth less and someone else is worth more for any reason is racism whether you are black, white, yellow, red, or green.  There is no justice when ANYONE is elevated above another and the aggrieved grow angry.
  • Economic justice (When banks deemed “too big to fail” are given money via the Federal Reserve, which increases the volume of money thus decreasing the value of money and robbing everyone of stored wealth and income, there is a growing feeling of a economic aristocracy.  When businesses, with politicians beholden to them for campaign contributions and future employment as lobbyists, have laws and taxes written on their behalf to squash competition in the open market or to have the economic advantage of a decreased tax burden comparatively to others in the same market – the government is seen as picking winners and losers.  When good hard-working people lose their jobs because their businesses are regulated out of existence due to profitability problems, when good hard-working people lose their homes because banks deemed “too big to fail” and given money freely to avoid their seemingly inevitable bankruptcies won’t rewrite the terms of their mortgages and force a family into destitution how can there be anything other than a growing anger.

I’m sure you sense a theme now.  Anger is growing in this country.  It is palatable now.  There’s no sense of courtesy anymore.  No consideration of the other person.  No compassion.  What is your first reaction when someone does something unexpected on the road while you’re driving?  Cursing, yelling, honking, aggressively driving with a vendetta toward the other person?  Are these symptoms of love or anger?  I think the answer is obvious.

With this in mind, consider this quote from the great sage of film, Yoda.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

We have passed the point of fear.  The fear is there, but it is deeper, it is foundational.  The fear that our country, our way of life, is changing permanently.  That the freedoms, rights, and privileges we hold as Americans are lessening, not growing.  This is true whether you politically are left or right of center.  There is fear that our jobs are not secure.  There is fear that an economic wall is not just being built, but has been built by those in the highest tier to prevent anyone that they don’t want from joining their ranks.  There is fear that everything that has been accepted as given for so long is simply not so, and the fear is that if the givens are no longer constant, than how can we function without playing “the game.”

Fear leads to anger.

History can be our guide here because the world has seen rises to power like this in the past.  The circumstances of today closely mirror the circumstances of another time and the leaders that can spring out of times like these can restore us or drag us down into darkness.

  • Long-term bitterness makes brazen, bully-like tactics appealing as they see the candidate, in this case Trump, as their champion.
  • Ineffective government and laws give the perception of dual justice systems where certain crimes are excused for those deemed “worthy.”  Equal justice demands equal enforcement, so when selective enforcement is practiced openly faith in the government, police, legislators, and courts is eroded.
  • The usage of money by bureaucrats and politicians to enact personal policy via businesses, lobbying groups, and induced behavior (such as enforced purchases under pain of penalty – The Affordable Care Act mandates ALL people buy health insurance because they were born) reeks of corruption and tyranny.
  • The 24/7 news cycle and unmitigated lying and misleading by politicians (answering one question they want to answer instead of the question asked for instance) has lead to a soundbite culture that hinges not on ideas, but on emotions. It is not a far leap from there to attaching those negative emotions to a race of people, or a political belief, in order to ratchet up anger specifically directed.
  • The Cult of Personality around Mr. Trump is one in which his most ardent supporters don’t care what he says, does, or could do.  They support him fully, leading them to attack those that disagree verbally and, in some cases, physically.

Anger Leads to Hate

The time-period that I referenced above is the 1920s and 1930s in what was then called the Wiemar Republic.  We know it now as Pre-Nazi Germany.  The same conditions and cultural conditions were in place then as now.  I’m not claiming Donald Trump is the new Adolf Hitler, but the comparisons are worth considering.  At what point does he, or his bandwagon turn from expressions of anger to expressions of hate.  At what point do the long knives come out?

Hate Leads to Suffering

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Galatians 5:22-23

I don’t sense any of the these attributes in Donald Trump, or anyone I’ve met who truly believes he is the best candidate for President this year.

I don’t argue to change your vote, your preference, or anything like that, but I do ask that you, regardless of who you support this year, to examine WHY you support them.

Are you making a decision out of fear? Anger?  Hate?  Suffering?  Do decisions made in the heat of passion or despair ever work out well?

What’s in a Word

One of mine and my wife’s biggest grievances is the redefinition or misuse of words and phrases.

Whether these redefinitions or misusage is intentional or accidental is aside from the point.  The fact of the matter is that meaning and understanding are not possible when the terms used for meaning and understanding are constantly shifting.

2 + 2 always equals 4, unless you redefine 2 to mean 2.1.  It’s not really that different after all, but 2.1 + 2.1 doesn’t equal 4.  It equals 4.2.  It’s a rounding error really.  Get over it.  Just because words aren’t mathematical absolutes doesn’t alter the process and endgame of all this redefining.

Today I read this:

“Medicare-for-all is civilization. Campaign finance reform is civilization. Funding education is civilization. Progressive taxation is civilization. Dialing back the use of war is civilization”

What is civilization?

According to Merriam-Webster civilization is defined as follows:   a relatively high level of cultural and technological development;   the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained   the culture characteristic of a particular time or place

  1. 1a :  a relatively high level of cultural and technological development;specifically :  the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attainedb :  the culture characteristic of a particular time or place

  2. 2:  the process of becoming civilized

  3. 3a :  refinement of thought, manners, or tasteb :  a situation of urban comfort

Oxford says:

The stage of human social development and organization that is considered most advanced:they equated the railroad with progress and civilization

The process by which a society or place reaches an advanced stage of social development and organization.

The society, culture, and way of life of a particular area:the great books of Western civilization the early civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt

The comfort and convenience of modern life, regarded as available only in towns and cities:the fur traders moved further and further from civilization

Writers, philosophers, lawyers, and cultural icons for millenia have used word redefinition to bring about cultural shifts and change opinions.

Redefinition doesn’t change the original meaning of a word or term, it just changes how you use it and how others hear or read it.  Culturally everyone usually is on the same page, but the problem really begins to rear it’s head when cultural schisms happen.

Conservatives believe one thing.  Liberals another.

Urbanites speak one way and countryfolk another.

Everyone speaks the same language, but with diverging philosophies and understandings of the world at large.  Words become very important to maintain a common

When the words we use are redefined or misused, that disconnect becomes increasingly more difficult to bridge because the meanings that both sides of that divide also differ.

Let’s go back to the civilization definition that I read today.  That definition is not what you find in the dictionary, but it is the understanding of the liberal left in America today.  The problem arises in that I, as a libertarian-leaning conservative, do not agree with the statement in whole or in part.

Medicare-for-all is civilization – forcing me to pay for someone else’s poor health decisions throughout life or lack of motivation to find an economically viable job in order to afford their own cost of care is slavery by taxation.  You, via the government, are forcing me to work and use the money I earn from that work to pay for someone else who chooses not to work or chose to destroy their body by smoking, banging, drugging, or drinking their life away.  Simply no.  That isn’t civilization.  That is barbarism, not unlike Vikings raiding prosperous farming communities because they didn’t want to work as hard and could “take” rather than “make.”  

Campaign finance reform is civilization – Really?  Legislating how someone spends their money (and yes, corporations are made up of people) is the opposite of civilization.  It is no different from the King “permitting” someone to petition the king knowing full well that that permission can be withdrawn ex post facto (after the fact) and the subject being fully subservient of the king and his life and speech are not free.

Funding education is civilization – I’ll admit that this one I can at least somewhat understand, but education though takes many forms.  Apprenticeships gave us some of the most brilliant thinkers in the world and many modern conveniences.  Higher education today has brought us runaway student loan debt and educational outcomes that aren’t reliant on the number of dollars spent per student.  Further, the question of where that funding comes from and who controls it is the real crux of this issue?  Is it really the best education if it comes from the top down (Common Core) and all students are to be taught to the exact same standards without deviation for talent in one field or another?  

Progressive taxation is civilization. Is it?  Punishing one group in order to reward the other?  How is this different from feudal lords requiring a percentage of the serfs crops for “protection”?  Using law to punish high wage earners is no different than economic slavery.  Progressive taxation is the exact opposite of due process when you really think about it.  All are not equal in the eyes of the law if progressive taxation is the law of the land because then some are “more” equal than others.  True equality would be a tax burden not divided proportionately, but rather levied as a percentage of income equal regardless of how much you make (the millionaire and the pensioner alike pay 10% of their income – a flat tax).

Dialing back the use of war is civilization.  This summary statement is just too broad to agree or disagree with.  Is war overused?  Yes.  Are some wars necessary?  Yes.  Can there be diplomatic peace between one nation and another that has sworn the destruction of the first?  Not a lasting one because there is no middle ground between the two.   This is no different morally than a woman telling her raper to only rape her halfway so they can go their separate ways.  It’s not going to work that way… it never does.  The only recourse for the “victim” nation or woman is to shoot their attacker in the face – to exert the ultimate deterrent force through the best, most effective, and most economic means at their disposal.  To do any less is to tell the offender that their life or nation is superior to one’s own.

So the statement made completely added to what is known as civilization.  Is civilization not dependent on steadfast standards, definitions, laws, and justice?

Is not the veneer of civilization threatened when the laws are twisted to allow what was once illegal?

Is not the veneer of civilization threatened when justice is denied or unequal based on who you are, what you are worth, or who you know?

You can’t redefine words, because the underlying truths remain unchanged.  Redefining the words alone does not make anything true, rather it denies the truth much like Orwell’s opus 1984 states

War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength.









Infinite Power – Itty Bitty Living Space

Furthermore, while saying the federal deficit does indeed need to be curtailed, Mr. Bloomberg argued the United States could owe “an infinite amount of money” and there is no specific amount that would cause the country to default.

Politicker, Colin Campbell

Really Mayor Bloomberg?  How certain are you of that little assertion?

Infinite debt would mean that the debt issued currency is worthless.  Do you really want to open that can of worms?  Do you really want to tell everyone who lives in this country, openly, that their wealth is nothing but debt notes – essentially IOUs?  I know you are a fool, but stop speaking and confirming it for all the world to see.

Here is the God-honest truth.  For the United States, or any other government, business entity, or individual in existence to spend beyond their means, they must have someone, a government, business entity, or individual, willing to front their own capital as credit for them to do so.  This is how deficit spending works.  Bonds, certificates of deposit, corporate paper, stocks, funds, etc… they all exist fundamentally in order to enable credit-based spending by someone.

Mayor Bloomberg, what happens when suddenly no one is available or willing to lend money for deficit spending?  Will the Fed charge to the rescue?

The Federal Reserve is already up to their eyeballs in bad debt with the so-called recovery and the paper shuffling and outright fraud that occurred in order to deceive the American public and the world that the debt intrinsic within the government-manipulated mortgage market had been properly cleared from the balance sheets, when in fact it had simply been shifted to the Reserve’s books and off of the lenders’.

The problem is that spending can not increase in perpetuity.  Without actual wealth generation, any currency creation beyond the available pool only serves to devalue the currency across the board.  This is a basic economic law.  Supply, demand, and valuation are intrinsically linked and the mathematical relationship between them CANNOT be tinkered with as it is outside of your, and anyone else’s, control.  That economic law is as concrete as the laws of thermodynamics, the principle of conservation of mass, and the speed of light.

And here’s where the essential problem is for progressives – they deny the absolute nature of this world.  They may give lip service to the constant relationships that have been measured, but they do not believe them to be true, or worse, they believe that they themselves have the power, wisdom, and ability to rewrite these constants as they see fit.  This is megalomania writ large.  This is equating yourself with God.

In the course of human history, these men have all met the same end.

God save us.


Head in the Sand

I had a brief conversation with someone a few days ago about the unemployment report that came out on October 5, 2012.  Recall that the night before, President Obama took a drubbing at the first of the Presidential debates of the fall.  The numbers at face value seem to be great until you actually look at the statistics themselves.  This person did not want to acknowledge that the report itself was possibly inaccurate and simply touted it as good news economically.

The media and the liberal politicians nationwide did much the same and immediately began to pound conservatives by basically saying “look it IS working,” but let’s consider a few interesting points (Some courtesy of Market-Ticker).

  1. Supposedly about 114,000 jobs were created in one month.  The work force part of the population grew by 206,000 in one month.  The basic math is that when the base grows by more than the number of jobs added, then unemployment actually went up.
  2. The Not-in-Labor-Force number, which are working age adults that are unemployed and not looking for a job any longer (basically, the people that are giving up completely) grew by 386,000 while the number of people that came off unemployment by gaining employment was about 775,000.  That is 1,161,000 people that came off unemployment in one month.
  3. The Bureau of Labor’s most oft-reported number only counts what they deem the total unemployed (U-3) figure when it is seasonally adjusted.  The problem with this thinking is that you are considered employed if you get a job that pays minimum wage and you only work for part-time.  The more accurate number to gauge how the economy is doing is the U-6 figure, which is 14.7%.  This figure in and of itself is still somewhat flawed as it only counts people that have looked for a job in the 12 month period.  According to CNN, nearly one in three unemployed people nationwide have been out of work more than one year so they are not even factored into the unemployment rate calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  4. According to the October 2012 BLS report, there are 243,772,000 people in the workforce population nationally. One year ago, there were 240,071,000 in the workforce population.  That’s a net change of +3,701,000.  The number of employed only grew by +2,832,000 however.  So the number of jobs lagged the number of adults in the workforce by 869,000 jobs.

So the unemployment numbers went down?  If there are 869,000 more adults in the workforce than there are jobs today than one year ago AND people that have been unemployed more than one year are not counted in the unemployment figures compiled by the BLS, than how in the world can unemployment be down?  Go back to my first point – when the population grows faster than the number of jobs for the same population, unemployment rates actually go up.  I smell some intentionally bad math.

So let’s extrapolate a little here.  For the ease of math, let’s assume that the unemployment rate is actually 7.8% as that is a best case scenario.  If one in three Americans that are unemployed have been unemployed for more than a year (which means that they are not factored into the unemployment rate reported by the BLS), then the actual unemployment rate is approximately 11.7%.

Job growth is not on pace to keep up, let alone exceed workforce population growth (Breitbart).  The statistics fail to chart the long term unemployed, so the numbers “sound” better, but the overall picture is still grim.

You can bury your head in the sand and shout “7.8%!,” but if you fail to look at the whole picture, you will be mistaken.

Debate Questions – Tuesday Edition

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 is the first Presidential debate of the 2012 campaign.  This first debate is one regarding domestic policy. The announced topics will be the economy, health care, the role of government, and governing.

Will they be worthwhile topics to explore each candidate’s philosophies or will they be so obscure as to leave both candidates enough wiggle room to answer however they choose based on the most recent opinion polling?  Will we really get a significant debate or just more rehearsed lines?  Will the moderator ask tough questions or toss softballs?

So in honor of this, let’s take a look at ten questions that I would like to see asked at the debate.  There are in no particular order.

1. Both of you claim to have the answer in terms of job creation within the economy.  What is the role of government in terms of job creation?  Where in the U S Constitution is that role specified?

2.  Explain in detail how you will eliminate first the deficit and then pay down the national debt.  What programs will need to be cut, what departments will be shut down, and what austerity measures do you think we need to take as a nation in order to avoid following down the path of Greece, Spain, and all of the other nearly-failing states?

3.  What is your understanding of the role of government?  What are the most crucial things that government does for the citizens?

4.  Explain how you think deficit spending helps or hurts the economy?  Is deficit spending necessary to “prime the pump” or is it a form of taxation that drains the energy from the economy at large?

5.  How do you propose to fund the hundreds of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities that previous administrations have incurred by massively increasing social welfare programs?  Can they be funded or do we need to seriously curtail these programs in order to save the Republic from bankruptcy?

6.  What is the role of government in healthcare?  Can you cite in the Constitution where that role is indicated?  With the rapid growth of healthcare costs in the last few decades, explain how your administration would lower costs within Constitutional limits.

7.  Explain your personal beliefs of where the rights codified in the Bill of Rights originate.  Do you believe that they are absolute or not?  What modifications would you personally like to make?

8.  When you speak about job creation, each of you promises lofty job growth numbers that seem impossible given the current economic climate.  Explain what the typical job your plan would help generate would be.  Would it be a temporary job, such as road construction, or a permanent job such as inside a machine shop?

9.  Tell me who is a good leader in your mind.  Why?  Which of their characteristics do you want to emulate when governing?

10.  Do you agree with the following statement. Why or why not? “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’” (Thomas Jefferson)

Dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 22:28

What questions do you want answered?

Avalanche Warning

Who is going to pay for the United States’ and to remainder of the world’s governments unrestrained splurge of government spending?

Currently, as I write this, the U.S. national debt sits at $16,015,769,788,215.80.

The 2011 US GDP was $15,094,000,000,000.00.

This is not news.  This was entirely foreseeable as the President, together with single party rule in Congress during 2008 through 2010, failed to address a single budgetary concern or make any attempt to control the budget and our burgeoning national debt.  This election season has seen a lot of focus on the deficit which is just a single year’s shortfall in terms of expenditures against tax revenue.  What needs to be talked about though is how the national debt is a greater concern.

Just paying the interest on our national debt last year (2011) cost the United States $454,393,280,417.03.  That is approximately 3.01% of our GDP, just to service the national debt’s interest payments, and a lot of our debt is issued in terms of bonds and t-notes that come due on a revolving basis for interest payments, so that is not the whole story.

As of today, treasury yields (which is basically the future interest rate paid) are indexed at 1.59% for a 10-year term, 2.3% for a 20-year term, and 2.69% for a 30-year term.  These rates are being kept artificially low however.  The Federal Reserve Board has been purchasing these debt securities at lower yields to prevent the Department of Treasury from failing to secure buyers for the debt at manageable interest rates (WSJ).  The long term outcome of this can not be positive as it is the left hand hiding what the right hand is doing and is basically just a large scale cost-shifting.  The loser will be you and I as our purchasing power, via the value of the dollar, will decline as this continues.

Basic market economics dictate that if an investor thinks that buyer a security (a treasury bill, bond, etc) is not worth the risk, then the seller must raise it’s value by increasing it’s yield (interest paid upon the completion of the term).  In short, if the Fed suddenly finds themselves unable to keep hiding the tremendous debt problem that the US finds itself in then we will see sales of treasuries at increasingly larger interest rates as investor confidence requires greater payouts in order to entice buyers.  This will cause the costs of debt servicing to rise, and for a country already running deficits in excess of a trillion dollars, suddenly the US does not look able to pay it’s own debts in the long run.

Rock – Us – Hard place

The only way out of this is for us to immediately stop spending more on government programs and services than we can immediately pay for with current tax revenues (balanced budget).  The problem we must then face is how to pay down our debt so our own interest rates don’t kill us.

Author’s Note: For a much better understanding and explanation of this situation, I highly recommended everyone read Karl Denninger’s Market Ticker and his book Leverage.


Dollars and Sense

The recent debate in the news between Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan and the current administration is interesting.  I am an avid reader of Karl Denninger’s blog The Market Ticker for a while and believe he is closer to the truth in terms of all of the social benefit programs than either major political party wants to admit.

Simple arithmetic, which Denninger does a fantastic job displaying repeatedly, shows the unsustainable fiscal path that we are on.  Simply put, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Welfare, and all of the other “safety net” programs are bankrupting us as a country.  Add the monetary fiddling that the Federal Reserve Board does in to the equation, and not only are we bankrupting ourselves through expenditures, but we are destroying the purchasing power of our currency through quantitative easing.

Medicare is done as we know it.  There is no palatability for higher taxes to fund social programs rife with fraud, bureaucracy, and terrible accounting practices.  The reason for this lack of desire to fund these programs also comes from the simple fact that those that produce wealth for our nation in private industry (whether corporations, small businesses, or single entrepreneurs) refuse to see their margins squeezed any more as it will put them out of business.

Quick aside for business economics lesson.

Let’s say I work for myself out of my house. If I make under $250,000 a year, it makes more sense for me to file my taxes personally rather than go through the difficulty of filing a separate business tax return.  Let’s say that I make about $115,000 a year doing this, which places me in the top 10% of the country in terms of income with an average federal income tax of 28% (as of 2011).

I make a widget that costs me $1 to make in terms of material.  I want to turn a profit.  Since I pay taxes on income, those won’t come into play until I am turning a profit, but I have other hidden costs such as utilities, my housing costs, transportation, marketing prices, etc that will impact my bottom line.  Let’s say that altogether, that makes up $2.00 per widget made.  So my break-even price is $3.00 each.  I don’t want to break even though, I want to make a profit as I stated earlier.  So I price my widget at $7.00 each.  For each widget sold, I earn $4.00.  The federal income tax I pay on those $4.00 is $1.12 each. Let’s say my state taxes are 7%, so that’s another $0.28 each.  Before I can reinvest a penny, I am already down $1.40 per widget.  That’s almost 75% of my base-line cost to make another widget.

Let’s expand that some.  I stated that I made $100,000 selling these widgets pre-tax. In order to make that amount, I had to sell 25,000 widgets during the year.  If my demand goes up the next year, how many more widgets could I make if I invested every penny of profit into making them?  16,250 is the answer because taxes ate up 35% of my income before I could use them to grow my business.  So basically, taxes knock my reinvestment potential down 35% right off the bat.

Reinvestment equals jobs. Jobs in manufacturing my raw materials, jobs in transportation, jobs in marketing, jobs in sales, and jobs in manufacturing.

Bringing it back now.

So how do Medicare and other social welfare programs impact small businesses?  They simply increase the cost of doing basic business through increased taxes.

What I hope to see happen in the very near future is an honest breakdown of where Medicare currently is, where it is going, how taxes will be impacted, how that will impact the federal budget as a whole, and how the demographic onslaught that is about to happen will impact everything.  Oh yeah, the onslaught is the baby boomers – they’re at or nearing retirement age now.  Fiscally, this is a train wreck for us.  We can not kick this can down the road or offset the spending any longer as it is upon us, and unfortunately for the liberals in Congress and the current President, they’ve been caught with their hands in the Medicare cookie jar and the jar is empty.

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