Friday, October 29, 2010

Digest of Today's Posts (29 October 2010)

  • An ObamaCare Catholic in Big Trouble in My Old Stomping Grounds

  • If They're Going to Continue to Run Against Him, It Was Only a Matter of Time Before He Started Outpolling Them

  • The Catholic Vote and What Really Matters [UPDATED]
  • Labels:

    An ObamaCare Catholic in Big Trouble in My Old Stomping Grounds

    And a visit today from the President - which is reportedly wreaking havoc on C'ville's already congested streets - likely won't do him any good.

    Virgil Goode, the man Tom Perriello defeated in 2008 to win the 5th District Congressional seat, is a friend of mine from back in the days when I was Mayor of Columbia. It's a shame Virgil chose not to run again because I believe he would have retaken the seat handily.

    Nevertheless, it will be sweet watching Perriello - the Catholic who listened to Obama and Pelosi and Sister Carol rather than to his Bishop and the majority of his constituents - go down to defeat, should the current polls reflect the electoral reality.

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    If They're Going to Continue to Run Against Him, It Was Only a Matter of Time Before He Started Outpolling Them

    "Shocker: Bush beats Obama 48/43 in poll".

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    The Catholic Vote and What Really Matters [UPDATED] has a new video out in time for the elections:

    Also just in time for the elections, Rich Leonardi links to Pope Benedict's ad limina address to the Brazilian Bishops and wonders "what is it about Brazil that brings out the best in Benedict?":
    "First, the duty of direct action to ensure a just ordering of society falls to the lay faithful who, as free and responsible citizens, strive to contribute to the just configuration of social life, while respecting legitimate autonomy and natural moral law", the Holy Father explained. "Your duty as bishops, together with your clergy, is indirect because you must contribute to the purification of reason, and to the moral awakening of the forces necessary to build a just and fraternal society. Nonetheless, when required by the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls, pastors have the binding duty to emit moral judgments, even on political themes".

    "When forming these judgements, pastors must bear in mind the absolute value of those ... precepts which make it morally unacceptable to chose a particular action which is intrinsically evil and incompatible with human dignity. This decision cannot be justified by the merit of some specific goal, intention, consequence or circumstance, Thus it would be completely false and illusory to defend, political, economic or social rights which do not comprehend a vigorous defence of the right to life from conception to natural end. When it comes to defending the weakest, who is more defenceless than an unborn child or a patient in a vegetative or comatose state?"

    "When political projects openly or covertly contemplate the depenalisation of abortion or euthanasia, the democratic ideal (which is truly democratic when it recognises and protects the dignity of all human beings) is betrayed at its very foundations. For this reason, dear brothers in the episcopate, when defending life we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, rejecting all compromise and ambiguity which would conform us to the mentality of this world".

    In order to help lay people live their Christian, social and political commitments in a unified and coherent fashion it is necessary, said the Holy Father, to ensure appropriate "social catechesis and an adequate formulation of Church Social Doctrine. ... This also means that on some occasions, pastors must reminds all citizens of the right, which is also a duty, freely to use their vote to promote the common good".
    (Hat tip: Don McClarey at The American Catholic)

    From Creative Minority Report comes this story about Catholic voters turning to the GOP:
    Are Catholics finally turning their back on the party of death? As we all know, a majority of self identified Catholics voted for Barack Obama for President.

    But this past week a number of polls have shown a stunning turnaround; an exodus of sorts from the Democrat Party. The Telegraph reports:
    The Democrats' 10-point lead among Catholic voters has been reversed into a 24-point Republican advantage.
    That's pretty startling.

    [Read the whole thing]

    UPDATE #2
    Michael Voris speaks out on "murky" electoral messages coming from Bishops:

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    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Digest of Today's Posts (27 October 2010)

  • Texas Rangers Music: "I Like Texas" by Pat Green

  • It's Less Than a Week Away from November ...

  • Labels:

    Texas Rangers Music: "I Like Texas" by Pat Green

    Played after a Texas Rangers home win. I'm hoping we'll hear this a lot over the coming days.

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    It's Less Than a Week Away from November ...

    ... and the Texas Rangers are still playing baseball !!!

    Tonight is Game 1 of the World Series.

    GO RANGERS !!!

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    It's Time !

    Been There, Seen That

    Oh Yeah! Texas Rangers Moving On to the ALCS

    The Feel-Good Sports Story of the Year

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    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Democrats Attack Church in Disgusting Ad

    Matthew Archbold reports at National Catholic Register that the Democrat Party isn't even trying to hide its disdain for the Church anymore:

    Matt's piece is mistaken about one thing: the Democrat Farm-Labor Party is not some "Democrat Party supporting independent non profit group"; the DFL is THE official Democrat Party in the state of Minnesota. This is the Democrat Party in Minnesota blatantly attacking the Church.

    This is what you tacitly support when you vote for Democrats. That doesn't mean you should vote for Republicans (who aren't exactly paragons of Catholic virtue either), but when you vote for the Democrats, you're voting for an ideology inherently hostile to the Catholic faith.

    And this is just the first step, believe me. As our old friend Regular Guy Paul has noted, "Liberalism Leads To Religious Persecution".

    (Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

    I'm hearing that what appears on the other side of this mailer is aimed at a Protestant clergyman. Once I have confirmation of that, I will update this post with the information.

    UPDATE #2
    Here is Matt Archbold's response to the suggestion that this ad specifically targets a particular Protestant clergyman:
    Nobody doubts that the piece hits Tim Pawlenty and Dan hall on the other side but there can’t be any doubt that it uses the image of a Catholic priest to deliver its messsage. The other side is about healthcare for the poor and who the Democrats blame for holding up Obamacare? The bishops. It’s that simple.
    On the other hand, Commonweal provides the reverse side of the mailer in an effort to bolster the argument that it is not aimed at the Catholic Church.

    But I'm not buying the argument. "Preacher Hall" doesn't wear a Roman collar. "Preacher Hall" is shown on the reverse side in a coat and tie. So why the Roman collar on the front? I agree with Matt that it is to represent a Catholic priest.

    Matt is correct that the reverse side of the flyer is an attack on those who opposed ObamaCare, like Governor Tim Pawlenty. "Preacher Hall" is attacked in the ad for "remain[ing] silent" over alleged health care cuts and for endorsing someone else who "stands with Pawlenty in rejecting over $1 billion" in ObamaCare funds.

    C'mon! This ad isn't about "Preacher Hall". This ad is about ObamaCare and the people of faith who don't support it. People like the USCCB. How stupid do you think we are? "Preacher Hall" is merely a stand in for all the people who oppose ObamaCare because of its abortion funding. Again, people like the USCCB.

    Since "Preacher Hall" doesn't wear a Roman collar, and since the ad is a targeted attack on people of faith who oppose ObamaCare - "Don't pass this off on God" - I think it is quite appropriate to conclude that the image on the front of the mailer represents a Catholic priest and to see this ad as an attack on the Church for its opposition to ObamaCare.

    UPDATE #3 (27 October)
    Kathryn Lopez offers her take at The Corner:
    ... I think it’s safe to say it’s unholy politics. That’s a bipartisan problem for sure. But there is reason for bipartisan, ecumenical offense here. It’s an insult to suggest there isn’t some convenient anti-Catholicism here. But more so, it’s an insult to intelligent debate. Tim Pawlenty doesn’t “Ignore the Poor,” and I don’t know many men of the cloth who do either.

    The Democratic party in Minnesota disagrees with cuts the governor made and this candidate won’t throw under the bus (to use the most overused phrase in politics). Democrats can easily make that point without the use and abuse of clerics.

    UPDATE #4 (27 October)
    Ed Morrissey, who lives in Minnesota, has more on the story:
    If the Minnesota DFL intended to make a splash in an otherwise-obscure state Senate race, well, they succeeded. The party, which is the Minnesota version of the Democratic Party, sent out a mailer attacking Republican challenger and Christian minister Dan Hall by accusing him of ignoring the poor for opposing ObamaCare. However, the front of the postcard shows a headless man wearing the traditional shirt and collar worn by Roman Catholic priests, with a button that proclaims “Ignore the Poor” — which has a large number of Catholics in Minnesota angry over a perceived attack on their church. KSTP reported on the mailer and the DFL silence last night...


    The flip side of the mailer is a classic case of a cheap-shot, last-minute attack campaign that both parties indulge in the final stretch of an election, but the front picture goes way beyond anything in recent memory in attacking a church of any kind in a political campaign. The full context in which this was issued makes it difficult to believe the archdiocese’s expressed hope that this was just a poor decision. A few weeks ago, the Catholic bishop issued DVDs with the Catholic Church’s arguments on same-sex marriage, which the DFL and its supporters decried as interference in the election. This looks suspiciously like payback...


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    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Digest of Today's Posts (22 October 2010)

  • Anderson's Law Meets the Ultimate Political Low

  • It's Time !

  • Labels:

    Anderson's Law Meets the Ultimate Political Low

    Missouri Democrat Russ Carnahan sponsors a website that tries to tie the priest scandal to his Catholic opponent:
    ... Today Russ Carnahan admitted to hiring Democratic operative investigator Michael Corwin to smear Republican Ed Martin.

    Corwin put together a disgusting website that tried to link Republican Ed Martin to the Catholic Church priest scandal.


    Here is the
    press release from the Ed Martin campaign:
    Corwin’s approach in service to Russ Carnahan is to imply that I was somehow involved with the criminal conduct of priests within the St. Louis Archdiocese. The proof? I worked there. Many people have served faithfully and to the best of their ability in churches all over St. Louis. Is it now the new standard that Catholics who serve their church are open to being slandered like this?

    To speak directly to the implied accusation: I worked for the Catholic Church doing education and advocacy about charity and service to our community. I had zero involvement or authority on the adjudication or disposition of those accused of crimes or wrongdoing. The only scandal I was responding to was that the Human Rights Office was supporting goals and making contributions to organizations that reflected poorly on the Church and her mission.

    The abuse scandals that has been rocking the church for years is a still-open wound. There is still much work to be done to heal and make whole those who were betrayed by the men and women of the Church. Much work is being done by men and women in the church who tirelessly pour their hearts into these victims. Dragging this scandal into the political world is a heartbreaking tactic. This is not being done to pursue justice, healing or reckoning. It is a vulgar attempt to maintain power by an unpopular politician.
    Later today Russ Carnahan admitted to hiring Corwyn for the job.

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis is Gateway Pundit's)

    Hat tip: Creative Minority Report.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Bishop Takes a Stand and ... Well, You Know the Routine

    If You Want to Experience Bishop Hatred from the Right That Rivals Anything You Might See on the Left ...

    Newsweek Bigot: "When Bishops Play Politics"

    Noted Loser Bob Shrum Crawls Out from Under Rock, Invokes Anderson's Law

    President Goes to War Against Marriage and the Catholic Church: How Will the Bishops Respond?

    A Personal Message from Bishop Blair

    Vaguely Familiar

    TIME: "Is Liberal Catholicism Dead?" [UPDATED]

    "Godwin's Law" for Sex Scandal Revisited

    A Version of Godwin's Law for the Sex Scandals

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    It's Time !

    Sportswriter Jim Reeves of ESPN Dallas and the Fort Worth Star Telegram writes that "Rangers fans must savor every last drop" of the American League Championship Series, noting that the "added drama only enchances incredible flavor, intoxicating aroma of what's at stake":
    Fred Koenig, the one-time Rangers first base coach who now hits his fungoes in the highest league of all, taught me how to drink beer. Well, what he really taught me was how to appreciate good beer. To Fred, beer drinking, done right, was an art form.

    Now I know that some of you believe that makes you at least a Picasso, if not a Michelangelo, and you have the beer belly to prove it. But quality, not quantity, is what Fred had on his mind that long ago night in Milwaukee.

    I think it was his German roots talking. Fred believed that a good draft beer should arrive, cold and fresh, at the table with a full head bubbling at the top, maybe even spilling over the sides. If it didn't, he might well roll up a napkin and stir it around in his beer until the foam arose two, three inches thick. As Fred explained, that foam meant a full release of the flavors and the heady aromas of a good beer.


    Koenig would have long ago warned the Rangers and all of us that this wouldn't be easy, that the clinching game is the toughest game to play in all of sports, but especially baseball. This is the Rangers' first time there, remember. All of this is uncharted territory.

    It won't be easy Friday night to put the Yankees away, either. They have talent, they have history and even more, they have pinstriped pride. That all counts for something. The Yankees rarely give anything away. If you want their title, if you want that ticket to the World Series, you have to earn it; you have to take it. They're not likely to hand it to you on an engraved silver platter.


    As for the rest of us, this is what Fred would say: Enjoy the moment. Savor it. Remember it.

    Somebody stuck a rolled up napkin in this cold beer of a playoff series, stirred it up, and now we're getting the full taste sensation, the anticipation, the tension, the drama, the amazing high of something we've never felt before with this baseball team.

    Sip it slowly. Savor the moment. Let it go to your head and open up all your senses.

    Rangers fans, this one's for you.
    Yes, savor it, Texas Rangers fans. Win or lose, tonight at the Ballpark, (and, if necessary, Saturday at the Ballpark) savor the atmosphere, savor the excitement, savor what it all means for the Rangers to be playing to go to the World Series.

    Think about that for a moment. The World Frickin' Series !!! The Rangers !!! The Texas Frickin' Rangers playing for the opportunity to play in the World Frickin' Series !!! That's awesome. Savor that !!!

    I know I will be. But I I wish I could be down there in Texas for it. If not at the Ballpark itself, at least in some bar with some of my oldest friends. Drinking Shiner beer, eating nachos, and watching the Rangers.

    Watching the Texas Frickin' Rangers play for the opportunity to play in the World Frickin' Series.

    Win or lose, I'm going to savor it.

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    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    NPR Thinks Wishing Jesse Helms or One of His Grandchildren Would Die of AIDS is Okay [UPDATED]

    This is the only conclusion one can draw from National Public Radio's decision to fire Juan Williams after Williams related to Bill O'Reilly his understandable anxiety over flying with Muslims after 9-11 (while nevertheless warning O'Reilly of the necessity of not stereotyping all Muslims for the actions of a few), but NOT firing Nina Totenberg several years ago after making the following statement:
    “... if there's retributive justice, [Jesse Helms] will get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.”
    As the linked piece notes, Totenberg is still NPR's legal affairs correspondent. It is perfectly reasonable to conclude, therefore, that NPR thinks it's just great for one of its correspondents to publicly wish AIDS upon the innocent grandchildren of someone with whom that correspondent disagrees politically.

    Any doubts about whether NPR is anything more than a left-wing propaganda organ may now be removed.

    JUAN WILLIAMS: I Was Fired for Telling the Truth

    UPDATE #2 (22 October)

    UPDATE #3 (22 October)
    The Corner has complied a list of Nina Totenberg's Greatest Hits: "What About Totenberg?"

    (Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

    Meanwhile, the NPR ombudman/person, while noting that the firing was "poorly handled", nevertheless defends the public broadcaster's decision to terminate the contract of Juan Williams.

    UPDATE #4 (22 October)
    For the record, someone in this whole Juan Williams - NPR dustup made a public comment that should cost someone that person's job. That someone was NOT Juan Williams, but NPR's CEO, Vivian Schiller:

    Someone needs a refresher course on HR dos and don'ts. Ms. Schiller has likely opened up herself and NPR for a lawsuit. I, for one, hope Williams decides to take them to the cleaners.

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    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    When Mikey Sean Winters is Crying ...

    ... that generally means there's cause for faithful Catholics (or at least those who try to be faithful and aren't in open dissent) to rejoice.

    (Hat tip: Larry D)

    A special thanks to Paul Zummo for this:

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on that ugly, boorish, small-minded piece of work Michael Sean Winters:
    Michael Sean Winters Reveals His Ugly, Boorish, Small-Minded Pettiness Via His Sullivanesque Obsession With Prof. Robert George [UPDATED]

    Michael Sean Winters: "Deceitful Bogeyman" of the Catholic Left

    Fr. Z Defends Well-Known Catholic Apologist Patrick Madrid ... [UPDATED]

    REPOSTED and UPDATED: "... Dollars to Doughnuts ..."

    "... Dollars to Doughnuts ..."

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    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Steve Driehaus Voted to Fund Abortion When He Voted for ObamaCare

    I know it. You know it. The pro-life groups know it. The pro-abortion groups know it. The Bishops know it. President Obama knows it. Hell, even Steve Driehaus knows it.

    But that hasn't stopped him from trying to shut down the Susan B. Anthony List by filing a criminal complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission for making "a false statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official" against the pro-life group who works to elect pro-life candidates and defeat abortion-funding ones like Driehaus.

    Hey, Congressman, did you read what I just wrote? Bring it!

    The truth hurts, don't it Congressman? You know what else the truth does? It serves as a defense against claims of defamation and making "a false statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official".

    You did it. You know you did it. So, why don't you just own up to it?

    By the way, no way does this statute pass constitutional muster, certainly not as applied in this particular situation. A conviction of the Susan B. Anthony List, or anyone else, under these circumstances, would be overturned on appeal. And, if it came to it, by a 9-0 decision of the Supreme Court. Even the liberal Justices would scoff at this.

    UPDATE #2
    See also InsideCatholic for "Why It's Absurd to Deny Obama's Healthcare Bill Contains Abortion Funding":
    With the decision of the Ohio Elections Commission to allow a hearing to decide whether the Susan B. Anthony List has falsely represented the voting record of Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH), the question is again raised: Was abortion funding authorized by the health care legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama?

    The complaint arose from the SBA List's use of billboards declaring that Representative Driehaus of Ohio's 1st Congressional District had voted for taxpayer-funded abortions by voting for the health care bill. If Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA, is found guilty, she could go to jail. Supporting Driehaus's effort to imprison Dannenfelser are James Salt, policy director of Catholics United, and Kristen Day, president of Democrats for Life of America.

    Driehaus, by the way, had made essentially the same characterization of the health care legislation as made by Dannenfelser. On March 19, Driehaus was an original co-sponsor of H. Con. Res. 254, an "enrollment correction," introduced by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI). That resolution would have removed abortion funding from the Senate version of the health care bill.

    The language of the final health care bill -- "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (PPACA) -- had not changed when both Stupak and Driehaus voted for it and Obama signed it into law. Now, Driehaus is trying to send Marjorie Dannenfelser to jail for precisely the same view of the health care bill as expressed in his support for H. Con. Res 254 -- that it authorizes federal tax dollars to be spent on abortion.

    Three members of the Ohio Elections Commission voted 2-1 to find "probable cause" to send the Driehaus complaint to a full hearing of the seven commissioners. The date has not yet been set.

    The evidence supporting the SBA List is undeniable. In addition to the witness of Driehaus himself (and Stupak), there are the multiple provisions of the legislation itself that authorize the funding of abortions. The best summary is found in the affidavit submitted for last week's meeting of the Ohio Elections Commission by Douglas Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life.


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    Been There, Seen That

    Mitch Williams, the original "Wild Thing".

    As a life-long fan of the Texas Rangers (I was 5 years old when the former Washington Senators moved to Arlington, Texas to become the Rangers), I've seen a LOT of bad times and very few good times (only 4 playoff appearances in their 39-year history). So bad have the Rangers been throughout their history, that the nickname "Strangers" has stuck.

    So, this hilarious piece by ESPN baseball writer Tim Kurkjian brought back a lot of bad, but nevertheless priceless, memories:
    The Texas Rangers are at the highest point in their 39-year history, making their first trip to the American League Championship Series as the last current franchise to win a postseason series. To appreciate where they are, we must understand from where they have come, the depth from which they have emerged, as told by a guy who was there every night from 1982-85.

    I should have known what I was getting into that first spring training as the new Rangers beat writer in 1982. Two weeks after having met me, Rangers center fielder Mickey Rivers asked if he could borrow $2,000, not knowing, of course, that The Dallas Morning News was paying me approximately $14,000 a year, and Mickey was making closer to $300,000. That began an interesting relationship with The Mick, easily the most amusing player I've been around in 30 years of covering baseball.

    It was Mickey who said one freezing day in Milwaukee, "The wind was blowing 63 degrees today. I felt like the Lost Mohican out there." (The Lost Mohican?) It was Mickey who would walk through the clubhouse, shirt off, flexing his muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger, screaming, "I am Cohan the Barbarian,'' instead of "Conan the Barbarian.''

    That first spring I pulled out the map in my rental car in an attempt to find the Rangers' spring training facility in Pompano Beach, Fla., and there it was in the lower right-hand corner: "Municipal Stadium, home of the Washington Senators,'' who had moved to Texas 10 years earlier. The spring training home of the Rangers wasn't a complex, it was one full field -- it looked more like my high school field -- and one half-field, on which one day, Rangers reliever Dan Boitano announced during a drill, "I'm going to wheel, throw, and hit that seagull.'' And to the astonishment of everyone, including Boitano, he went to make a pickoff throw to second base, instead threw the ball straight up in the air, hit a seagull in the head, and it came crashing to the earth, dead on the infield dirt. It was horrible.

    "But that's what you get,'' pitcher Charlie Hough said, "for not wearing a helmet.


    In spring training 1985, the Rangers introduced pitcher Mitch Williams, who had been acquired in the Rule V draft from the Padres. Williams threw so hard and was so unbelievably wild that no one wanted to hit against him. As he warmed up for his first live batting practice that spring, he threw one pitch that missed the cage entirely. The ball hit a tire on the side of the batting cage. At that point, veterans Buddy Bell and Larry Parrish announced that they would not be hitting against Williams, who would say later that day, "That's OK. I didn't want to kill any of my teammates on my first day of spring training.''

    [Read the whole thing]
    Mickey Rivers was the StRangers' center fielder in the early-to-mid 80s.
    Nicknamed "Mick the Quick", I assume for his running abilities
    as opposed to his mental capabilities.

    My Comments:
    I know the movie "Major League" features the Cleveland Indians as the story's protagonists, but I would swear that it's really about the Texas StRangers circa 1980-1985 (except, of course, that the StRangers never actually won their division during that time period - they didn't make their first playoff appearance until 1996).

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Oh Yeah! Texas Rangers Moving On to the ALCS

    The Feel-Good Sports Story of the Year

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    Friday, October 15, 2010

    120th Birthday of "The Big Fella", Michael Collins

    "It is my considered opinion that, in the fullness of time, history will record the greatness of Michael Collins, and it will be recorded at my expense."

    ~ Eamon de Valera

    Tomorrow - 16 October - is the 120th anniversary of the birth of one of my heroes - Irish patriot and statesman Michael Collins:
    "One day he'll be a great man. He'll do great work for Ireland." -Michael Collins, Sr.

    "Yet even the most grotesque subversions of history cannot outdistance the true facts of the story, of a country boy who became the first urban guerrilla, laid the foundations of a state and then negotiated its independence, was chairman of its Provisional Government, then commander in chief of its armed forces when it was plunged into civil war—all this before dying at the hands of his fellow republicans at the age of thirty-one." -A.T.Q. Stewart

    Michael Patrick Collins was born on October 16, 1890, near Clonakilty in West Cork, Ireland. As described by Tom Barry, a future friend and colleague of Collins', West Cork "is a poor land, where bogs and mountains predominate, but there are fertile stretches, such as those along the valley of the Bandon and in the vicinity of the towns of Clonakilty and Skibbereen. Those rich areas were in the hands of a small minority, and the large majority of the people had a hard struggle for existence." Michael's father was 36 years older than his mother and this caused Michael to develop a sense of respect for his elders. Moreover, Collins was the baby in a family of eight children. The farm owned by the Collins family boasted ninety acres, an impressive share of land for Catholic farmers of the time.

    "…Mary Anne was far advanced in her eighth and last pregnancy, complicated by a bad fall in which she saved the baby she was carrying but broke her ankle. The fracture was inexpertly set, leaving her with a bad limp for the rest of her days, but she struggled on with her chores. One autumn evening she milked her cows as usual, then did a large baking and attended to other household duties before retiring to her bed where, early on the morning of Thursday, 16 October, she gave birth to her third son" (James MacKay, Michael Collins: A Life).

    "The care of the smaller children, particularly Michael, devolved upon the older girls. It is the inevitable, and often deeply resented, way with large families; yet from the first they lavished affection upon him. ‘We thought he had been invented for our special edification,’ is Miss Hannie Collins’s comment" (Margery Forester, Michael Collins: The Lost Leader).

    Michael Collins as a young boy

    When Michael was very young, his father passed away. But shortly before he died, he made a prediction that his son would go on to do great things for Ireland. Though Michael and his father did not have much time together, it is apparent that his words and his own intelligence had a favorable impact on the young boy. The senior Michael Collins had been fluent in several languages including Gaelic and had serious interests in a variety of subjects such as astronomy, construction, architecture, and math. The additional paternal influences in Collins’s life included one of his favorite teachers, Denis Lyons, and a local blacksmith, James Santry. Michael paid close attention to the stories they told and would think of the experiences they’d had whenever he needed a boost to stay motivated. Scholastically, Michael was a voracious reader and a lover of history. He studied the failed rebellions of the past and frequently read the works of authors like Thomas Davis, A.M. and T.D. Sullivan, Thomas Moore, and G.K. Chesterton.

    "On the very day he himself was killed he reminisced about an incident when he was no more than five. His father was ill at the time, and for some reason it fell to the boy to pay the rent of £4 6s 8d. On his way to the land-agent’s office in Rosscarbery, Michael chanced to see, in a shop window, a football priced at a shilling. Oh, how he longed for that football, and he quickened his step in the hope that the agent would reward him for prompt payment by giving him a shilling discount, as was sometimes the case. But the man took the full amount, snapping nastily, ‘Tell your father he’s a fool to trust such a small lad with so much money.’ Right there and then, Michael vowed that there would be no land-agents in Ireland if he ever had his way. ... One thing appears to be lacking from Michael’s early boyhood; he seems not to have had any close friends of his own age. After his father died, he preferred his own company, often going for long solitary walks through the beautiful, wild countryside. … And, in turn, Griffith attracted the attention of the precocious schoolboy. In an essay written at the age of twelve, Michael extolled his new-found hero: ‘In Arthur Griffith there is a mighty force afoot in Ireland. He has none of the wildness of some I could name. Instead there is an abundance of wisdom and an awareness of things which ARE Ireland.’ This is all the more remarkable because, at that time, Griffith’s potential was recognised by very few politicians." (MacKay).

    It was typical for children raised in County Cork to become postal workers and Collins followed this example by taking up residence in England. This process has been documented by noted Collins biographer, Tim Pat Coogan:

    "There was at the time a tradition of recruiting for the British postal service in the Clonakilty area. When a baby boy was born, the neighbours' first comment on looking into the pram was 'musha 'tis the fine sorter he'll make.'"

    Michael was no exception...

    [Read more about the life of Michael Collins]

    "Hang Up Your Brightest Colours: The Life and Death of Michael Collins"
    This 1973 documentary, a biography of Michael Collins by Kenneth Griffith,
    was banned that same year by both the British and Irish Governments.
    The ban was not lifted until a quarter century after the film was produced.

    Video showing actual footage of Michael Collins

    This scene from "The Treaty", starring Brendan Gleeson as Michael Collins,
    shows how the Big Fella was able to travel around Ireland in the open
    and still evade capture by the British forces.

    A scene from the movie "Michael Collins", starring Liam Neeson
    in the lead role. (Brendan Gleeson, who played Collins in "The Treaty"
    and who bears a closer resemblance to the Big Fella than does Neeson,
    also appears in the movie as one of Collins' collaborators, Liam Tobin.)

    Until very recently, no statue of Michael Collins existed
    anywhere in the world. Tim and Dolores Crowley of the
    Michael Collins Center and Traolach O’ Donnabhain of
    Clonakilty Historical Society organized an effort to
    rectify that. Sculptor Kevin Holland was commissioned
    to make a seven foot bronze statue of Collins and it was
    placed at the edge of Emmet Square in Clonakilty.
    22 August 2002, the 80th anniversary of the Big Fella’s death,
    was the date for the unveiling, and Liam Neeson travelled from
    the U.S. to unveil the statue.

    "Michael Collins" by The Wolfe Tones

    "Michael Collins" by Johnny McEvoy

    "The Ballad of Michael Collins" by Brendan O'Reilly

    Video footage of "Michael Collins - A Musical Drama",
    a fairly new musical on the life of Michael Collins
    produced by the Cork Opera House

    Promotional video for "Michael Collins - A Musical Drama"

    ‘‘He was the man whose matchless energy, whose indomitable will, carried Ireland through the terrible crisis; and though I have not now, and never had, an ambition about either political affairs or history, if my name is to go down in history I want it to be associated with the name of Michael Collins.’’

    ~ Arthur Griffith

    For more on Michael Collins, see
  • General Michael Collins (website of the Collins 22 Society, of which I am a member)

  • Michael Collins - The Lost Leader

  • The Michael Collins Centre

  • The Michael Collins Web Page

  • An excellent and very comprehensive Michael Collins Site

  • A Man Against An Empire - History Net

  • Michael Collins Irish Leader - Economic Expert

  • Michael Collins - Military History Online

  • Michael Collins - University College Cork

  • The "Michael Collins" Official Movie Site

  • MICHAEL COLLINS - A Musical Drama

  • Michael Collins Irish Whiskey

  • Recommended Reading:
  • The Path to Freedom by Michael Collins

  • Michael Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland by Tim Pat Coogan

  • Michael Collins: A Life by James MacKay

  • The Big Fellow: Michael Collins & the Irish Revolution by Frank O'Connor

  • Michael Collins : The Lost Leader by Margery Forester

  • Illustrated Life of Michael Collins by Colm Connolly

  • Michael Collins - A Life in Pictures by Chrissy Osborne

  • Michael Collins and the Troubles: The Struggle for Irish Freedom 1912-1922 by Ulick O'Connor

  • Michael Collins's Intelligence War: The Struggle Between the British and the IRA 1919-1921 by Michael T. Foy

  • The Squad: and the intelligence operations of Michael Collins by T. Ryle Dwyer

  • Michael Collins and the Making of the Irish State by Gabriel Doherty (Author), Dermot Keogh (Editor)

  • "Michael Collins' Ireland: Following In The Footsteps Of The Big Fellow From Dublin To County Cork", Chicago Tribune, March 7, 1999

  • Recommended Viewing:
  • "Michael Collins"
    (1996 Neil Jordan film starring Liam Neeson in the title role - can be purchased via

  • "The Treaty"
    (1991 RTE/BBC production starring Brendan Gleeson as Michael Collins, in a much better portrayal of The Big Fella than that of Neeson - difficult to find, but a DVD copy can be purchased

  • "The Shadow of Béalnabláth"
    (1991 documentary on the life and death of Collins by Colm Connolly - used VHS copies available on

  • "Hang Up Your Brightest Colours"
    (1973 documentary on the life and death of Collins by Kenneth Griffith; banned for many years in both England and Ireland - a DVD copy can be purchased

  • "The Wind That Shakes the Barley"
    (2006 Ken Loach film is a fictionalized drama focusing on the War of Independence and the ensuing Irish Civil War in Collins' native Cork - can be purchased via

  • Shake Hands with the Devil
    (1959 film is a fictionalized drama starring James Cagney, Michael Redgrave, and Don Murray as members of the IRA battling the "Black and Tans" in 1921 during the War of Independence - can be purchased via

  • Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    "The Spirit of Michael Collins"

    In Memory of "The Big Fella", Michael Collins (d. 22 August 1922)

    85th Anniversary of the Death of "The Big Fella", Michael Collins

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    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Look on the Bright Side, Cleveland ...

    ... at least you're not Detroit.

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    “I Would Argue That More People Would Support My Catholic Faith Than His Marxist Beliefs”

    The appropriate response to the left's disdain for the presence of people of strong faith in the public square.

    More here.

    Patrick Archbold has more at National Catholic Register with "The Catholic Or The Commie?".

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    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Oh Yeah! Texas Rangers Moving On to the ALCS

    The Texas Rangers win a playoff series for the first time in their history! (Until tonight, they were the ONLY team in Major League Baseball never to have won a post-season series.)

    Bring on the Yankees!!!

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    The Feel-Good Sports Story of the Year

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    The President's Nun: Obamacare Scandal Explodes

    The American Spectator alleges that Sr. Carol Keehan is playing hardball, engaging in intimidation efforts to keep a CEO of a small Catholic hospital quiet, in order to protect ObamaCare (and herself) from bad news stories:
    Can you say "October Surprise"?

    A mushrooming political battle over ObamaCare involving the White House, two incumbent Pennsylvania congressmen, three Catholic hospitals and a nun has just exploded in, of all places, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Charges from the Scranton medical community of intimidation by the Obama White House and its allies are filling the air.

    All of this just as Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Scranton today to raise money for one of the participants.

    There are two issues at the core of the controversy.

    1. ObamaCare and the sale of three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals.

    2. The re-election prospects of the two House members, Democrats Paul Kanjorski and Chris Carney, both of whom cast key votes to pass ObamaCare.

    Here's the list of players -- major and minor -- so far.
    • The President of the United States.
    • The Vice President of the United States.
    • Three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals suddenly for sale.
    • The CEO of the three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals for sale.
    • ObamaCare, otherwise known as "health care reform" or the "Affordable Care Act."
    • A Catholic nun.
    • Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak.
    • A pen.
    • Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.
    • Time magazine.
    • The Scranton Times
    • The two Scranton-area House members Kanjorski and Carney, both losing in the polls.
    • U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr., a native and resident of Scranton.
    • Congressman Joe Sestak, the Democrats' nominee for the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat.

    Where to start? That would be….

    [Read the whole thing]

    (Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

    More at

    UPDATE #2
    At The American Catholic, Michael Denton offers a more measured take on the story.

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    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Columbus Day: No Apologies [UPDATED]

    Read Joe Hargrave's tribute to Columbus Day at The American Catholic:
    Few days provide so great an occasion for an orgy of self-hatred (among the white elites) and faux moral outrage as Columbus Day. But long before communists, socialists, and their fellow-travelers seized control of our educational institutions and rewrote the history of the Western civilization – a revision which is force-fed to most students in our public reeducation centers – Columbus was celebrated as a great explorer and a daring adventurer who undertook great hardships to undergo the voyage that would lead to the discovery of the New World. Pope Leo XIII, on the 400th anniversary (1892) of that famous voyage, wrote of Columbus in Quarto Abeunte Saeculo:
    By his toil another world emerged from the unsearched bosom of the ocean: hundreds of thousands of mortals have, from a state of blindness, been raised to the common level of the human race, reclaimed from savagery to gentleness and humanity; and, greatest of all, by the acquisition of those blessings of which Jesus Christ is the author, they have been recalled from destruction to eternal life.
    Indeed, Columbus Day holds a special significance for Catholics, because it marks the beginning of the transformation of the Americas from a landscape of unbridled savagery, reaching its demonic apotheosis in the mass human sacrifices carried out by the Aztecs, to a hemisphere consecrated to Christ. Leo’s words also remind us of a truth that has been forgotten by some, rejected by others, and denounced in the modern and post-modern world, even by many Catholics: that without the light of the Gospels and incorporation into the mystical body of Christ (which is the Church), salvation is impossible to attain.

    [Read the whole thing]

    This pantload of PC crap was making its way around Facebook the other day:

    UPDATE (12 October 2010)
    See also Don McClarey's Columbus Day post at The American Catholic: Pope Leo XIII on Christopher Columbus

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    Friday, October 08, 2010

    Digest of Today's Posts (8 October 2010)

  • I'm a Few Days Late With This ...

  • Matt Archbold on the "Twin Relics of Barbarism"

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (7 October 2010))

    Highlights from this Week:
  • For All You Atheist Libertarian Types ...
  • So, Joe, Will You Be Using Your Rosary Beads to Do That?
  • Labels:

    I'm a Few Days Late With This ...

    ... it should've been posted Monday on the Feast of St. Francis:

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    Matt Archbold on the "Twin Relics of Barbarism"

    An excellent post at Creative Minority Report:
    When the Republican Party held their first convention in 1856 the delegates adopted a platform stating "It is the duty of Congress to prohibit in the territories those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery."

    What I find most amazing about that is how consistent the problems this country faces are. Over 150 years laters we're facing the same crises now.


    While there have been outrages and sins by the party there is little doubt that the party is the pro-life pro-traditional marriage party.

    If the party adopts an agenda of some kind of truce on social issues it will cease to be a party many feel comfortable standing with. The moment the Republican Party accepts the twin relics of barbarism as negotiable it will be time for a new party and a new convention.

    [Read the whole thing]

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    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    Digest of Today's Posts (7 October 2010)

  • For All You Atheist Libertarian Types ...

  • Our Lady of the Rosary

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (6 October 2010))


    For All You Atheist Libertarian Types ...

    ... who are lamenting over the notion that social conservatives have allegedly "hijacked" what you see as "your" Tea Party movement, let's just get a couple of things straight:

    (1) Social conservatives (of which I am one) were part of the Tea Party movement (of which I am not) from the very beginning, providing much, if not most, of the energy behind the movement (social conservatives don't tend to compartmentalize their conservatism as do, say, so-called "fiscally conservative/socially liberal" types - in fact, social conservatives tend to be more consistently fiscally conservative than the self-described fiscal conservatives).

    (2) Thousands of social conservative activists getting together in church basements around the country to organize in support of families, marriage, decent schools, and the right to life - THAT's a "movement". You and a couple of your stoner buddies getting together in your mom's basement to smoke pot, view porn, and bitch about the government - NOT a "movement".

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    Our Lady of the Rosary

    O GOD, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

    Cathedral of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Toledo, OH

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    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    Digest of Today's Posts (6 October 2010)

  • Radical Feminists to Stay-at-Home Moms: "Get a Job!"

  • Comeuppance for "Conservative" Critics of Conservatism (Who STILL Won't Admit That They Were Wrong)
  • Labels:

    Radical Feminists to Stay-at-Home Moms: "Get a Job!"

    Matt Archbold has the scoop at National Catholic Register:
    ... The New York Times asked Gloria Feldt, the former head of Planned Parenthood, about how women who “flee the work force” impact those who do not.
    They make it harder for the rest of us to remedy the inequities that remain. We have to make young women aware of how their choices affect other women. It should be acceptable criticism to point out that, although everyone has the right to make their own life decisions, choosing to “opt out” reinforces stereotypes about women’s priorities that we’ve been working for decades to shatter, so just cut it out. And, the “individual choice” women have to become stay-at-home moms becomes precarious when they try to return to the workplace and find their earning power and options reduced. If we could see child-rearing as a necessary task and not an identity, and if we could collectively recognize that facilitating it benefits us all, we would go much further in guaranteeing women’s choices than we do when we are expected to uncritically celebrate every individual’s decisions.
    So let’s get this straight, the former head of Planned Parenthood is telling women to STOP being so selfish and think of someone other than themselves and their kids? Seriously?

    In short, she wants you to think of Gloria Feldt’s feelings rather than your kids.

    If you thought feminism was all about giving women choices, well it turns out you were wrong. Feminism is about doing what Gloria Feldt wants you to do...

    (Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Rachel Campos Duffy: A Real Housewife of Wisconsin

    Feminist Manifesto Excoriates Stay-at-Home Moms for Not Going to Work

    Dutch Feminazis Want to Punish Educated Mothers

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    Comeuppance for "Conservative" Critics of Conservatism (Who STILL Won't Admit That They Were Wrong)

    At Slate, erstwhile Journolister David Weigel interviews some of the more outspoken “conservative” critics of conservatism (or, as I once referred to them, “professional self-policers” who are the “conservative media equivalent of tattle-tales”):
    ... "In the fall of 2010, nobody needs Comeback and nobody needs Grand New Party," says Frum.

    Rush and his listeners couldn't have planned it better. They argued then, and argue now, that people like Frum, Salam, Douthat, Sam Tanenhaus, and others care more about the fabled "Georgetown cocktail circuit" than they care about conservative principles. And they may have a point that a conservative apostate gets more media attention, and more Diet Coke in the green rooms, than a standard-issue true believer.

    But that's not why the Frums of the world wrung their hands and wrote their manifestos. Yes, they were written with the assumption that the GOP was going to serve more time in detention—and that detention was actually necessary. If the GOP came roaring back by going further to the right, their theory went, that would prove that they didn't understand why they governed so poorly in the first place. They would think that all they needed to do was bang on about tax cuts and the Constitution, and that would not only win the election but make them govern more intelligently.

    Of course, to the horror of the smart set, this is exactly what is happening. The conservative base looked at any attempt to answer the Democrats on policy as a cave-in to socialism. When they're making the case for their research, Douthat and Salam acknowledge that reality. But they argue that Republicans have been using their key insights anyway and that the hot rhetoric of the GOP obscures what actually happened.

    "I think the way a lot of Republicans are campaigning now—as resolute foes of big government who are also going to save Medicare from the Democrats—suggests that they understand the point of Grand New Party pretty well," says Douthat. They're just taking our insight, that even many conservative voters like the welfare state, and running with it in a cynical rather than a constructive direction."


    It's an ingenious argument: We're not wrong. We're just not yet right. After the election, says Frum, after the GOP has recovered in record time, either it's going to have to move away from its campaign rhetoric or it's going to be unable to govern. "What happens in January," Frum says, "when the GOP majority arrives and the Bush tax cuts expire, the U.S. economy has deflationary shock, we don't have a program for pulling the economy out of inflation, and we don't have permission from party supporters or permission from voters to compromise? You have people arriving in office with highly apocalyptic vision of a president but programs they don't know how to execute on their own. It's a formula for crisis."

    And crises, of course, often require just the kind of smart thinking that only the smart set can provide. Wherever there's a Tea Party candidate who won by promising to roll back the Progressive Era, there will be the conservative critics they ignored, ready to bail them out.

    My Comments:
    Yes, only our elitist Ivy League-educated betters in "the smart set" can provide us with the kind of "smart thinking" we need. The kind of "smart thinking" that makes the readers of the The New York Times go all tingly as the latest house "conservative" validates their views of the conservative riff-raff.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Self-Critical Navel Gazing for Thee, But Not for Me

    Another Elitist "Conservative" Realizes Too Late That "This Obama Fellow Is Unequal to the Task"

    David Brooks Wonders What Went Wrong [UPDATED]

    "Educated Class" Waking Up to Fact That Us "Yokels" Were Right All Along

    Noemie Emery on David Brooks and the "Educated Class"

    Michael Barone on David Brooks and the "Educated Class"

    The "Elizabeth Bennett Conservatives"

    Brooksback Mountain

    Today's Must-Read: "Palinphobes and the Audacity of Type"

    A Conservative Manifesto

    Another Elitist "Conservative" Likes the Cut of Obama's Jib

    The Liberal Media's Elitist Conservative Rats Leave the Sinking Ship

    Victor Davis Hanson: "What is Wisdom?"

    Let's Get One Thing Straight ...

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    Tuesday, October 05, 2010

    So, Joe, Will You Be Using Your Rosary Beads to Do That?

    Vice-President (and unintentional court jester) Joe Biden is so lame that even his idle, chest-thumping threats are somewhat recycled.

    If I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them.

    sounds an awful lot like

    The next Republican that tells me I'm not religious I'm going to shove my rosary beads down their throat.”

    It does lead one to wonder whether Joe is contemplating using his rosary beads to strangle his opponents before shoving said beads down their throats.

    It is the Month of the Rosary after all, and the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is coming up on Thursday. I mean, Joe's actions in vanquishing his opponents via rosarian asphyxiation could recall an important historic and spiritual event: but rather than using the rosary of Our Blessed Lady to defeat Islamic invaders when all hope seemed lost, Joe could use the rosary to defeat the evil Republicans now that all hope for the Democrats in the 2010 elections seems lost.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Dawn Eden to Sen. Biden: "Keep Your Rosaries Off My Uvula!"

    Biden: "I'm Going To Shove My Rosary Beads Down Their Throat"

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    Monday, October 04, 2010

    Digest of Today's Posts (4 October 2010)

  • Electoral Prospects Not Looking Too Promising ...

  • When Lefties Congregate ...
  • Labels:

    Electoral Prospects Not Looking Too Promising ...

    ... when you're running a campaign ad just a month away from election day to reassure the voters that "I'm not a witch."

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    When Lefties Congregate ...

    ... they do so in MUCH SMALLER NUMBERS while leaving the place FAR DIRTIER than their right-wing counterparts.

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    Friday, October 01, 2010

    Anti-Carbon "10:10 Campaign" is Confirmation of the Global Alarmists' "Inhuman Agenda"

    Not too long ago, Joe Hargrave wrote about the "inhuman agenda" behind the fight against so-called global climate change. Some among the usual suspects scoffed at Joe's description.

    Need more proof that Joe's assessment is 100% correct? Here it is:

    Yeah, "no pressure". None whatsoever. Conform to the alarmist agenda, or die. That is all.

    Hard to believe, but Alan Grayson's theatrics are tame by comparison.

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