Archive for the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Category

Occupy Wall Street – Occupy All Streets – September 15, 16, 17, 2012   1 comment

 

 

May 1, 2012 May Day General Strike – Occupy The Streets–#GlobalSpring   2 comments

This winter, we refocused our energies on fostering ties with local communities, saving homes from corrupt banks and jobs from greedy corporations, and building and expanding our horizontal infrastructure. This #GlobalSpring, we will take the streets again. On May 1st, Occupy Wall Street has called for a General Strike. We are calling on everyone who supports the cause of economic justice and true democracy to take part: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking – and most importantly, TAKE THE STREETS!

Information On The Web:

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Occupy Wall Street – Resources On The Web   2 comments

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Alternative Press & Blogs With Occupy Wall Street Coverage

You Tube

Chris Hedges and Amy Goodman

Michael Moore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Occupy Bat Signal

One, Two, Many Occupations – Occupy Silicone Valley – Apple (and our Deal) With The Devil   Leave a comment

Hon Hai has a workforce of over one million worldwide and as human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache,”

Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry

“[Whatever it was Gou said there could have been] a lot lost in translation…[Besides, Biggs noted, it’s important to remember priorities when criticizing such stuff] In the end, it’s companies like Foxconn that keep us in our gadgets,” 

TechCrunch’s John Biggs

Priorities, indeed John.  We need to keep priorities in mind.  If the virtual enslavement of the Chinese workforce and massive unemployment in the United States are required to keep us supplied with our gadgets, so be it.  The New York Times reported extensively on the horrors of Foxconn and Apple Corporation’s culpability here,  here and here. According to Digital Trends, here are some of the workforce issues at Foxconn as reported in a An American Life report from Mike Daisey (he of “The Agony & Ecstasy of Steve Jobs“):

  • Living within dormitories inside the factory walls, employees are packed into 144 square foot (12-by-12) cement rooms with 15 beds stacked up like bunk-beds. Employees are often placed into rooms where they do not know anyone as well.
  • Any attempt at forming a union is met with arrest and a prison sentence as unions are illegal within China.
  • Workers cleaning iPhone screens used a chemical called hexane, specifically because the chemical solution evaporates faster and allows the production line to speed up. However, hexane is a neuro-toxin. Inhalation of hexane causes mild euphoria, followed by nausea and headaches. Repeated exposure causes extensive peripheral nervous system failure, a result that Daisey spotted as the hands of the workers on the line shook involuntarily. 
  • Five percent of the workers Daisey spoke to were underage, some as young as twelve. The children working at the factory mentioned that Foxconn doesn’t check ages and shifts older employees to the front line when inspections occur.
  • The standard working shift at the plant lasts 12 hours, but that’s pushed up to 16 hours when Apple is getting ready to launch a new gadget like the upcoming iPad 3. However, a worker on a 34 hour shift dies while Daisey tours the facility.
  • On the factory floor, there’s no talking allowed among the 20,000 to 30,000 workers. There’s also little machinery on the floor since labor costs are far lower than machines. However, Gau has stated publicly that investing in advanced automation is a high priority.
  • Workers that have developed severe carpal-tunnel issues from repeating the same process over and over are simply fired. Foxconn could eliminate this issue by rotating jobs between employees, but they do not.
  • Workers that get severely injured on the job are fired without any severance and workers that complain about working conditions are fired as well as black-listed with all companies that operate within Shenzhen.

An inside look at the Apple Facility at Foxconn that can be heard on This American Life here.

When Foxconn workers threatened mass suicide Foxconn issued this statement:

The workers climbed to the top of the six-story dormitory on 3 January and threatened to jump before Wuhan city officials persuaded them to desist and return to work, according to the workers and accounts online. The workers gave varying estimates of the numbers involved in the strike, from 80 to 200, and photos posted online showed dozens of people crowding the roof of the boxy concrete building. Actually none of them were going to jump. They were there for the compensation. But the government and the company officials were just as afraid, because if even one of them jumped, the consequences would be hard to imagine,” said Wang Jungang, an equipment engineer in the Xbox production line, who left the plant earlier this month.

Nothing like a mass suicide to ruin an executives day. Just think of the PR headache.  This is not the first time suicides and Foxconn have been linked.  Among the corporate responses has been to erect suicide netting at the workers dormitories.

The basic wage of workers is $17 per Day and that’s for a twelve hour shift.  No wonder the jobs go to China.  There is a work for this type of worker, and that word is Slave.  Western corporations using Foxconn include:

The New York Times recently published a full report on Apple, Foxconn and American unemployment.  This is the most up to date  and comprehensive report I have seen It can be read here.  A full list of ‘the grey ladies’ reporting on Foxconn can be found here.  Being ‘balanced’ The Times reprints Apples defense of using the Foxconn facility.  It is basically our old friend, the cult of efficiency.  On this report, The Daily Beast notes:

In 2007, when Apple made a last-minute change to the original iPhone, workers in China had to scramble to meet a tight deadline, according to an unnamed former Apple executive who spoke to the Times:  A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing 10,000 iPhones a day. “The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” [the executive] said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

The Daily Beast’s Dan Lyons comments:

The question is: should there be? Would we accept the idea of a plant where people are packed into barracks and can be roused in the middle of the night, given a biscuit, and sent to work for 12 hours? Where workers have no right to complain?  We would not accept this in the United States because, quite simply, it’s barbaric.  Not “breathtaking.” Barbaric.

The Times article estimates that making the IPhone in the United States would add $65 dollars to the cost of each unit.  What is a human life worth? 

Dan Lyons concludes:

Why are we doing business with this kind of regime? Why are we making this bargain?  As the Times article points out, this isn’t just Apple. It’s every company. It’s every product we use. It’s our entire way of life, built on the backs of people who are being treated in ways that we would not allow ourselves or our countrymen to be treated.  Ultimately the blame lies not with Apple and other electronics companies—but with us, the consumers.  And ultimately we are the ones who must demand change.  So what if building that smartphone in China means we save 65 bucks and get things done faster? Maybe we would be better off paying a little more and waiting a little bit longer.  This week, Apple will report its financial results for the holiday quarter. It’s probably going to be another huge blowout, with Apple doing about $40 billion in revenues and keeping $10 billion of that as bottom-line profit—an incredible profit margin for a company that makes hardware.  Wall Street will be ecstatic. The stock will soar. But it’s worth keeping in mind how Apple did it.

A nice thing about the New York Times article it is also looks at how this effects employment in the United States.  According to the Times:

Last year, it earned over $400,000 in profit per employee, more than Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or Google.  Apple employs 43,000 people in the United States and 20,000 overseas… Many more people work for Apple’s contractors: an additional 700,000 people engineer, build and assemble iPads, iPhones and Apple’s other products. But almost none of them work in the United States.

As Jared Bernstein, who until last year was an economic adviser to the White House said: “If it’s the pinnacle of capitalism, we should be worried.”

If the jobs are overseas so are the wages, thus while Apple (and Google and Microsoft and …) earn huge profits for the few, the many go unemployed. And the unemployed can’t afford IPhones.  In its own defense An Apple Executive told the Times:

We shouldn’t be criticized for using Chinese workers,” a current Apple executive said. “The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need.”

Right the $17 per day worker and the slave drivers (opps, Middle Managers) to control them (oops again, to manage them).

Strangely, the dominate political culture in the United States, people are taught to blame the government for fixes to the economy.  It was the Occupy Wall Street movement that re-awakened us to the idea that its Capitalism and Capitalism inequality and Capitalisms pursuit of profits over people that drives this country into misery, not congress not the president and the Supreme Court.  It would be so nice if just a change of the resident of the Whitehouse would make an appreciative change in our economic crisis.  Say they say at OWS to the question of why they are on Wall Street and not in Washington: Why deal with middle management when you can talk directly to the boss! 

The economic and moral depravity of this system must end.

Occupy Silicon Valley Anyone?

Occupy Everywhere: Resources On The World Wide Web   1 comment

It been a while since I have been able to post so here a large group of links related to speeches, analysis and social media related to Occupy Wall Street.

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Online Resources:

Occupation Groups:

Occupy Wall Street –> Click Me!

Occupy Boston –> Click Me!

Occupy Together (Clearing House for smaller occupations) –> Click Me! (This is a great way to locate web sites for occupations in other than NYC)

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Alternative News and Analysis:

AlertNet  -> Click Me!

N+1 (New York Based Literary Journal) –> Click Me!

TruthDig –> Click Me!

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Social Media And Images:

Tumblr Sites: Here and Here

Pictures And Logos:    HereHere; Here; and  Here.

TransgenderYinYang Yoga Teachers For The Occupation:

Here; Here; Here; Hereoccupy pumpkin patch

Occupy Comedy:

Daily Show

Colbert

Analysis And Speeches:

Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine) has been an early and consistent support of the Occupy movement.  Her speech at the park began:

I love you.

And I didn’t just say that so that hundreds of you would shout “I love you” back, though that is obviously a bonus feature of the human microphone. Say unto others what you woOccupy-Street-300x300uld have them say unto you, only way louder.

Yesterday, one of the speakers at the labor rally said: “We found each other.” That sentiment captures the beauty of what is being created here. A wide-open space (as well as an idea so big it can’t be contained by any space) for all the people who want a better world to find each other. We are so grateful.

If there is one thing I know, it is that the 1 percent loves a crisis. When people are panicked and desperate and no one seems to know what to do, that is the ideal time to push through their wish list of pro-corporate policies: privatizing education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over.

And there is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it’s a very big thing: the 99 percent. And that 99 percent is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say “No. We will not pay for your crisis.” Read More…

Listen to her here  discussing her theory of the the shock doctrine.

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All rights reserved by DianeSweet

 Hail The Unknown Organizer (By Charles M. Young):

Liberated Autonomous Manhattan — In a century, community organizers will still be debating what to call Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza/Liberty Square. The surrounding skyscrapers will be covered with luxuriant tomato vines hanging from rooftop organic gardens. Electricity will be generated by solar panels and fermenting compost. Inside, the skyscrapers will be humming with intense conversation at the Occupy Education Graduate School of Revolutionary Studies, open to anyone willing to teach everyone wanting to learn.

Visitors to the park will meander through meticulously maintained sidewalks that wind in fractals through authentic tarps and wet sleeping bags from the early 21st century. Scent generators will alternately waft herbal cigarettes, sandalwood incense and mildew into the breeze.

In the center of the park will stand a 100-foot statue, cast from the bronze of the long forgotten Wall Street bull that was melted down in 2014 and recast as a 5’1” woman in a windbreaker, waving a big red flag. On the marble pedestal, it shall be carved: THE UNKNOWN ORGANIZER. And below it there shall be some beautiful words, maybe a sonnet, written about October 15, 2011, when The Unknown Organizer, who looked at a distance to be in her 30s, led a contingent of 500 brave revolutionaries from the 10,000 massed in Washington Square Park to defend 20-odd people who were being arrested for the crime of withdrawing their own money and closing their accounts at Citibank, one of the most corrupt, heartless and stupid institutions in all of corrupt, heartless and stupid Wall Street.

It will be written that the 500 volunteers followed The Unknown Organizer from the center of Washington Square Park to the sidewalk at the southern entrance where she waved her red flag in a “Halt!” gesture and asked, “Hey, does anyone know where LaGuardia Place is?”

Somebody did know, and we marched for a few minutes east and south to a Citibank branch where a couple dozen cops, decked out in their body armor and black uniforms and riot helmets, were standing in the middle of LaGuardia Place nervously tapping their extra-long batons.

Suddenly the riot squad didn’t know whether to shit or go blind. “Are we supposed to face the bank where we’re arresting people for withdrawing their own money?” they seemed to be asking as they turned around and around. “Or are we supposed to face these lunatics on the other side of the street who are shouting that they want to save our pensions while Mayor Bloomberg wants to cut them? Read More…

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All rights reserved by DianeSweet

Noam Chomsky has addressed the Boston Occupation:

I’ve never seen anything quite like the Occupy movement in scale and character, here and worldwide. The Occupy outposts are trying to create cooperative communities that just might be the basis for the kinds of lasting organizations necessary to overcome the barriers ahead and the backlash that’s already coming.

In 2005, Citigroup, which, by the way, has repeatedly been saved by government bailouts, saw the wealthy as a growth opportunity. The bank released a brochure for investors that urged them to put their money into something called the Plutonomy Index, which identified stocks in companies that cater to the luxury market. “The world is dividing into two blocs, the plutonomy and the rest,” Citigroup summarized. “The U.S., U.K. and Canada are the key plutonomies, economies powered by the wealthy.” As for the non-rich, they’re sometimes called the precariat, people who live a precarious existence at the periphery of society. The “periphery” however, has become a substantial proportion of the population in the U.S. and elsewhere. So we have the plutonomy and the precariat: the 1 percent and the 99 percent, as Occupy sees it, not literal numbers, but the right picture.

Karl Marx said, “The task is not just to understand the world but to change it.” A variant to keep in mind is that if you want to change the world you’d better try to understand it. That doesn’t mean listening to a talk or reading a book, though that’s helpful sometimes. You learn from participating. You learn from others. You learn from the people you’re trying to organize Read More….

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An Essay on The Politics Of Poverty and The Occupy Wall Street Movement In N+1:

The celebrated social movements not campingof the past half century achieved their successes—however achingly partial they remain—by demanding full citizenship for Americans whose racial or sexual identity barred them from equality under the law and equal economic opportunity. The different challenge facing Occupy Wall Street can be seen, ironically, in the movement’s most distinctive slogan: We are the 99 percent. Pretty funny when a Canadian-launched agitation, started by a few hundred people, claims to represent 310 million Americans! The problem here isn’t the more ordinary one of gathering a disenfranchised group into We, the people . . . That particular story of freedom, with a deep moral and legal basis in American life, extends from the elimination of property qualifications for white male voters starting in 1811 to the gay marriage victories of 2011. It’s another thing entirely to redefine the American populace at large as an excluded group, cast out from the democracy and prosperity that supposedly form the national birthright. To imagine that something like this could possibly succeed is about as outlandish as supposing that a harassed Tunisian street vendor could topple governments throughout the Arab world by setting himself on fire.For now We are the 99 percent doesn’t come close to being true. And yet the scope of the claim—99 percent!—indicates the immense promise of the movement: nothing less than to build a left populism capable of rescuing the country in the name of the people of, by, and for whom it’s allegedly governed. Given the demoralization of the working class, the corporate domination of politics and the media, the Republican control of the House (and blockade in the Senate), this is undeniably a quixotic effort. No one but our grandparents has a living memory of the last attempt at left populism during a prolonged economic crisis. Can Occupy Wall Street eventually lead to a re-occupation of the fifty states by a citizenry with a new idea of itself? For the moment, it looks like the country’s last best hope. Read More…

No single journalist has been as insightful as Chris Hedges.  Chris is a regular contributor to truthdig.  His essay Why The Elites Are In Trouble contains a seminal analysis.

Ketchup, a petite 22-year-old from Chicago with wavy red hair and glasses with bright red frames, arrived in Zuccotti Park in New York on Sept. 17. SheOccupy your mind had a tent, a rolling suitcase, 40 dollars’ worth of food, the graphic version of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and a sleeping bag. She had no return ticket, no idea what she was undertaking, and no acquaintances among the stragglers who joined her that afternoon to begin the Wall Street occupation.

The lords of finance in the looming towers surrounding the park, who toy with money and lives, who make the political class, the press and the judiciary jump at their demands, who destroy the ecosystem for profit and drain the U.S. Treasury to gamble and speculate, took little notice of Ketchup or any of the other scruffy activists on the street below them. The elites consider everyone outside their sphere marginal or invisible. And what significance could an artist who paid her bills by working as a waitress have for the powerful? What could she and the others in Zuccotti Park do to them? What threat can the weak pose to the strong? Even now, three weeks later, elites, and their mouthpieces in the press, continue to puzzle over what people like Ketchup want. Where is the list of demands? Why don’t they present us with specific goals? Why can’t they articulate an agenda?

jesus-says-meme-generator-jesus-says-occupy-everywhere-54e817The goal to people like Ketchup is very, very clear. It can be articulated in one word—REBELLION. These protesters have not come to work within the system. They are not pleading with Congress for electoral reform. They know electoral politics is a farce and have found another way to be heard and exercise power. They know the economy serves the oligarchs, so they formed their own communal system. This movement is an effort to take our country back.

This is a goal the power elite cannot comprehend. The elites believe, and seek to make us believe, that globalization and unfettered capitalism are natural law, some kind of permanent and eternal dynamic that can never be altered. What the elites fail to realize is that rebellion will not stop until the corporate state is extinguished. It will not stop until there is an end to the corporate abuse of the poor, the working class, the elderly, the sick, children, those being slaughtered in our imperial wars and tortured in our black sites. And that is why the elites, and the rotted and degenerate system of corporate power they sustain, are in trouble. That is why they keep asking what the demands are. They don’t understand what is happening. They are deaf, dumb and blind.  Read More… 

Here is a video of Chris with Amy Goodman discussing the Occupy Wall Street Movement

 

 

 

 

They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are awakening from a dream which is tuning into a nightmare. We are not destroying anything. We are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself.

Naomi Klein

 

Occupy Wall Street: Noam Chomsky In Boston 2011-09-30   Leave a comment

Occupy George

Occupy Everything. Crooks And Liars 50 State Round Up   1 comment

The on line magazine: Crooks And Liars has published  Kenneth Quinnell’s  50 state round up of Occupy Wall Street Blogs.  I am re-printing that list here in its entirety but urge you to visit Crooks and Liars directly.

Image: Colonel Flick

The 50-state blog round-up has existed over the years in various forms. The idea is to take a look at state and local blogs in order to see what important things are going on in state politics and campaigns, to get a preview of what’s coming to the national stage and to recognize the work of great state and local bloggers.

  • Washington: Horse’s Ass has video of a confrontation between police and a homeless woman at Occupy Seattle.
  • West Virginia: West Virginia Blue has lots of video from Occupy WV.
  • Wisconsin: Illusory Tenant reports that enthusiasm is so high for recalling Gov. Scott Walker (R) that a recent training session was over capacity.
  • Wyoming: Haven’t found any progressive blogs for this state yet.
  • Alabama: Left in Alabama points out that Democrats’ failure to challenge Sen. Richard Shelby allows him to use his PAC to help Republicans in other states.
  • Alaska: Mudflats has scenes from Occupy Alaska.
  • Arizona: Democratic Diva has footage from Occupy Phoenix.
  • Arkansas: Blue Arkansas notes that Rep. Steve Womack (R) opposes tax increases, except when Walmart asks for them.
  • California: Sacramento for Democracy says Occupy Sacramento is going to occupy the city council meeting.
  • Colorado: Square State is taking action to get Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) to stop the Occupy Denver arrests.
  • Connecticut: CT News Junkie reports upon the meeting between Occupy Hartford and anti-war protesters marking the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.
  • Delaware: Delaware Liberal has launched a great discussion on Occupy Delaware.
  • Florida: Eye on Miami discusses the difference between the tea party and Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Miami and others.
  • Georgia: Blog for Democracy says that Occupy Atlanta hasn’t exactly been the smoothest operation and that things work a bit differently in the South.
  • Hawaii: Aloha Politics calls for an end to the propping up of Wall Street.
  • Idaho: 43rd State Blues is excited that there is a Democrat, former NFL player Jimmy Farris, running in the first congressional district.
  • Illinois: Progress Illinois has video of some of the 175 protesters arrested in the Occupy Chicago Grant Park action.
  • Indiana: No recent posts.
  • Iowa: Bleeding Heartland reports that, after some arrests, a deal has been reached between Occupy Iowa and Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie about the space they are occupying.
  • Kansas: Kansas Free Press reports on Occupy Wichita.
  • Kentucky: Page One answers the question: “Why can’t Kentucky have nice things.”
  • Louisiana: Daily Kingfish says Bobby Jindal is raising huge sums for his re-election campaign.
  • Maine: Maine Progressives Warehouse documents Gov. Paul Lepage (R) and his assault on a labor mural in what is becoming known as “Mural-Gate.”
  • Maryland: Maryland Juice notes that Montgomery County is censoring a lot of the Internet, including LGBT websites.
  • Massachusetts: Blue Mass Group has a cross-post of an Occupy Boston attendee who is concerned about the movement being co-opted.
  • Michigan: Blogging for Michigan says the movement to repeal Public Act 4, the “Emergency Manager Law,” needs volunteers.
  • Minnesota: Minnesota Independent describes the Occupy MN response to sheriff’s deputies removing their tents.
  • Mississippi: A Liberal in the Midst shows scenes from Occupy Mississippi.
  • Missouri: Show Me Progress says Occupy STL is a Rorschach test for politicians and the media.
  • Montana: Left in the West says the will of the people of Montana will be heard on the use of medical marijuana.
  • Nebraska: New Nebraska Network notes that there were several great Occupy rallies across the state.
  • Nevada: Las Vegas Gleaner takes on Mitt Romney’s remarks about the Occupy movement being “dangerous.”
  • New Hampshire: Blue Hampshire has a guest post from State Rep. Jim Splaine warning Nevada that New Hampshire is serious about a December primary.
  • New Jersey: Blue Jersey says Occupy Trenton is carrying on despite threats from local authorities.
  • New Mexico: Clearly New Mexico reports from Occupy Albuquerque.
  • New York: Daily Gotham says it isn’t enough to occupy Wall Street, we have to divest from it as well.
  • North Carolina: The Progressive Pulse gives a rundown on the fallout of State House Speaker Thom Tillis’s comments that the state should “divide and conquer” those on public assistance.
  • North Dakota: North Decoder has a rundown on Occupy North Dakota events.
  • Ohio: Plunderbund reports that recent polls show opposition to Gov. John Kasich’s anti union SB5 bill is growing again.
  • Oklahoma: Blue Oklahoma suggests the media and conservatives mock Occupy OKC at their own risk and that the movement should be taken seriously.
  • Oregon: BlueOregon points out how protests can go wrong.
  • Pennsylvania: 2 Political Junkies report that Occupy Pittsburgh is challenging Sen. Pat Toomey for his work on behalf of the 1%.
  • Rhode Island: RI Future is impressed with the work of Occupy Providence.
  • South Carolina: SC Prog Blog is all over the story that the state’s voter identification law is discriminatory in its effect.
  • South Dakota: Madville Times calls South Dakota’s lone congresswoman out on her hypocrisy over condemning Washington spending while asking for Washington spending for her state.
  • Tennessee: Tennessee Guerilla Women say that Occupy Wall Street’s proposed national convention could change America.
  • Texas: Burnt Orange Report reports live from Occupy Austin.
  • Utah: The Side Track reports that state Democrats are formally charging the Republicans with engaging in a secret redistricting process.
  • Vermont: Green Mountain Daily brings Occupy Walmart to our attention.
  • Virginia: Blue Virginiahas audio of homophobic state senate candidate Tim McGhee (R) going on an anti-gay rant at a GLBT forum.The list used to create the post can be found here. If you know of a progressive state or local blog that isn’t on the list, e-mail me at quinnelk@hotmail.com and I’ll add it.
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