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Everything posted by overtone

  1. After Trump is nominated and if he starts looking like a possible winner, everyone will take him seriously as well. They may even cut deals with him to embarrass or harass Clinton in return for favors upon his election, as the Iranians did with Reagan to wreck Carter's chances - does anyone think he would not be open to such arrangements? Meanwhile, until he was elected President Reagan was commonly dismissed as a kind of running joke anywhere outside of California (where he was viewed by the Left as a menace). His appeal to the Confederacy crowd was commonly seen to be the measure of his abilities, the inherent and fairly vicious racial bigotry, the anti-intellectual stance, a characterization of his entire campaign. This is not part of the revised history of the Reagan Presidency, true, but it's easily uncovered. Toward the middle of Reagan's tenure, when his habit of falling asleep at meetings had become known, when he had greeted as a complete stranger one of his own cabinet members at a gathering, when his incomprehension of technical matters (such as economics, and nuclear explosions) had become subterraneously famous, when his style of management was being spun by his PR guys as "hands off" and "encouraging independence", his associates started to use the word "disengaged". Whereupon all over the country one heard terms such as "disengaged blonde" and "disengaged as a box of rocks". The revision of all this has been interesting to watch. I used to own a slim paperback compilation of Reagan quotes - just straight quotes, one after the other - that was sold in the humor section of bookstores, because they were entertainingly dumb etc. That was the first such work I had ever seen compiled from anyone not a professional humorist - since then of course we have seen three or four Republican candidates for high office (especially VP) generate enough material in public for such compilations, although even Reagan himself is now overshadowed by the giant of that field and culmination of all else Reagan as well, George W Bush. It was one of those books you never get back. I lost a couple of copies, ended up without. So recently I tried to replace the book - and it's not easy to find: all the quote books of Reagan you see now are hagiographies, carefully edited selections from his composed speeches and biographies and avuncular social chat. The entire quote book industry of Reagan seems to have expunged a major feature of his actual public life: the man kept saying startlingly stupid things. But he also said pithy things with an aura of realism or non-PC straight talk to them - like Trump. And he attacked dissidents and protestors and lefties and so forth personally - he had the bully's touch for the personal jab, and he always singled somebody out or set up a fictional character to mock. Sound familiar?
  2. overtone

    Yay, GUNS!

    That Court decision is simply the ordinary reading of the English language in the Amendment, as essentially everyone has understood it for centuries until recently. It does in fact create problems in a world of technological advance. The handgun we know today was not anticipated by the authors of that Amendment. But now that it is clear these problems cannot be solved by expedient and unethical (and dangerous) pretense, "interpretation" of the language that bears no sound relationship to history, reason, or basic literacy in English, they can be addressed openly and in good faith.
  3. These observers are wrong. They live in a revised historical world where Reagan was a beacon of civility and reason and high class behavior, a pretend world of amnesia and delusion and denial. In their bizarre alternative world Reagan did not pander to racial bigotry and invite the support of the violent segregationists, burden the best of the poor and abet the worst of the rich with bad financial policy and worse regulatory enforcement, threaten the world and ruin the country building up a belligerent and otherwise useless military of boondoggles he did not understand and corrupt contracting he saw nothing wrong with, use his power as US President to set up organized criminals and puppet thug governments in gunpoint control over vulnerable people everywhere on the planet (with horrific consequences, including the among the milder ones the current immigrant problem in the US - which might better be called a refugee problem) deal arms and significant technological capability to America's sworn enemies in return for domestic political advantage, overthrow democracies by violence for the economic advantage of his wealthy backers, and invite organized crime to bring cocaine and violence into America's cities to support these operations, while justifying the mess he was making by a combination of bullshit economics and political braggadocio delivered with manly assertion, alternating with condescending public slander of people better than himself in every way but one: they had no rich friends. The people who voted for Reagan then are voting for Trump now. That is not an accident. They are even offering the same reason - exactly the same reason: he communicates with them; he says what they are thinking; they finally have someone who says in public, with confidence and assertion, what they have been missing in their screw-around mealy-mouthed politicians. He gives public voice to their id and their ego. Trump is their Great Communicator - just like Reagan.
  4. Hatred? No, there's no hatred in my posts. Pretty dispassionate descriptions, actually. Accurate, though. Do you assume that a person would automatically hate anyone they observed acting as that faction of Americans has been acting? These are my neighbors. We lend each other snow shovels, pet each other's dogs, mow each other's lawns at need. Meanwhile, since you claim to be able to argue both sides, that little exercise I offered to you in #76 - forestalling my obvious and many times repeated response to the nonsense you posted in #75 - remains unaddressed. I say you can't do it. As long as you clearly recognize that the Trump-energized voting base of the Republican Party and its elected representation is not going to return the favor. Nor are they going to become educated, by anything said in compassion or understanding. They are not listening to such voices. They have no such source of information or communication. Talk the high road, and you are talking to yourself as far as they are concerned. There is nothing in the exercise of compassion or understanding that requires one to be ignorant, oblivious, foolish, naive, or irresponsible, in the face of fascism taking power in the US via the Republican Party. Obliviousness, ignorance, and refusal to recognize reality, are not stations on the high road. There is no safety in pretending things are other than they are. W&Cheney were not better behaved because they had been treated with compassion and understanding. They did not behave better out of some sense of reciprocity to the many, many people who had granted them a completely unearned respect, or benefit of the doubt. They used their leverage and power to the fullest, and treated their opposition with contempt and slander and violence. So will any current Republican elected to the Presidency, and their backers.
  5. There are no such battles. There is a Democratic Party trying to govern, and a fascist movement trying to take power via the Republican Party. It's not combat. It's organized crime. There's only one "side".
  6. There is a genuine interview with Trump on Oprah, from around that time, when he talks about how bad the US government is at making deals (Japan, at the time) and how much better he would be at it.
  7. Such as the people of Ferguson, whose long suffering under the racial bigotry and abusive behavior of their police force was highlighted by not only the event itself, but also the unfair handling of it by the officials charged with representing them, when Officer Wilson killed a local thug. When Wilson was protected, coddled, coached, and excused without trial, the residents of Ferguson were not treated fairly by their police, their DA, or their other elected officials. Neither was Brown, of course, but he was neither innocent nor alive at the time of Wilson's travesty of a hearing.
  8. We need a flag more than others, because we are such a disparate collection of ornery subpopulations. It's a way to signal a basic willingness to deal with each other as countrymen. The Kurds in Iraq began flying their own flag as soon as Saddam was deposed. That was a sign. So is the Confederate flag, at a Republican rally.
  9. That's the problem: You were wrong about that. The Brown case is no such example, and your false statement about the posting in this thread illustrates that. It also illustrates the inherent falsehood and bad faith in the MigL's posting. There is absolutely no visible danger of Ferguson, or any other such bigotry-poisoned town, swinging the pendulum too far toward unfairly abusing its police force. For example: The established evidence justifies disbanding the entire force,laying off every officer on it, and excluding anyone who lives in the surrounding white areas from applying to replace them. Anything short of that, for starters, is favorable and forgiving and voluntarily tolerant handling of the Ferguson police. If your police force is home to ten guilty persons due to the kind of slack oversight visible in the Wilson case, the suffering of many innocents is guaranteed.
  10. As soon as anyone says "both major parties" they are dealing in confusion. There are almost no relevant assertions one can make about the current Republican Party that are similarly or symmetrically true of the Democratic Party. There is no symmetry in the rise of fascism within the Republican Party, and its takeover of that Party. It's a one-sided phenomenon, entirely, from its funding to its media operations to its electoral base. Nothing like it has happened in the Democratic Party, or among any other demographic or political faction in the US. There are no ideological battle lines behind which any major Party has become entrenched (or even encamped). This is not battle, but armed robbery and extortion. The metaphor is not combat, but organized crime.
  11. No. There's a large, overwhelmingly significant, difference. Can you think of what it is? Try. Sure you can - you know what the "other side" is arguing, right? You can argue "both sides"? So you can spot the obvious thing, the blatant thing, that someone like me is going to point to. It's the same thing I always point to in this circumstance. So you can easily forestall it. So it won't take you but a few seconds. No thought, no trouble, no time, any more than it took me. Show us.
  12. Once again this vague bs about "the two parties". There has been no such behavior on the part of anyone, or any faction, except the Republican Party. There is no "loggerhead" involving two Parties. There is instead one loggerhead Party, in which Party leadership - wealthy corporate rightwing authoritarian men - has encouraged and welcomed the neo-Confederate faction of the American population, financing and guiding their political voice, organizing a fascist movement in return for the electoral leverage they needed to escape the taxation and regulation of the US Federal government. So they could make a little more money, see? And it worked. That does not determine the available spectrum, but rather the distribution on it of the political will of the population involved. And as Willie seems to have pointed out ( intentionally or not ) the attitude/comfort of the voters ( and the political spectrum which suits them ) isn't just different in differing geopolitical areas, it also changes over time. You address that to me? After I make that exact point what, four times, on this thread alone?
  13. This confusion is where you end up if you allow propaganda to define your terms of discussion. This is in fact the goal of authoritarian propagandists - to destroy the meaning of analytical terms is a key step in removing the obstacle of reason from the imposition of authority. If this is accepted, it becomes impossible to describe efficiently the current situation with regard to - say - the American Presidential election, in which both leading candidates are rightwing politicians (strong corporate capitalist support and allegiances) , but leftwing views are available and valuable in the public discussion. You wouldn't be able to say whether John Kasich (to pick one), is a left or right wing politician, until after the votes for Cruz are counted. Unless you are going to alter your terms week by week as the polls change? If this is accepted, it becomes impossible to quote or refer to political discourse from even ten or fifteen years ago, in which the popularity of various ideological allegiances was different than it is now, without confusion. You lose even recent history from your discussion. If this is accepted, ordinary socialism becomes rightwing whenever the discussion is set in Cold War Russia or modern China, and ordinary fascism becomes centrist (or even left-center) whenever the discussion is set in WWII Europe or Cold War South America. People from inside and outside various political systems would no longer share a vocabulary of analysis. If you redefine your terms of analysis every time a population votes, your analysis no longer communicates anything about any issue except the fact that some people voted on it - whether deregulating the private capitalist banks and privatizing Social Security are leftwing or rightwing ideological stances would change from one election to the next, and whatever anyone wrote or said about it last vote would have to be rewritten in the new vocabulary or discarded as meaningless. (Rendering history and analysis meaningless is the goal of the authoritarian propagandist) You are mistaking the map for the territory. These terms have had their meanings established by a century or more of political discourse, and they are used to locate and describe aspects of reality. And it matters only to me that Obama was born in Hawaii if enough of average America thinks he was born in Kenya - ok, that's true in a sense. I'll give you that. So when discussing Obama's biography on this forum, are we supposed to frame things around "American Truth", or can we employ reality based concepts as our norm? Look: for more than a century the terms "leftwing" and "rightwing" have described categories of policy and ideological allegiance, not degrees of popularity. They are used to describe the current state of the population's political will, among other things - not the other way around; they help in such things as answering questions about the ideological movement of that center of opinion. You don't want to lose that. Are you really planning to rewrite all your analysis and change your vocabulary of discussion every two years after the latest election? If Ted Cruz were to win the next Presidential election with 60% of the vote, would you then begin describing Marco Rubio and John Kasich as leftwing politicians? I just thought of a killer app you could develop. I'll give it to you, free: It's a pundit translator, that alters spoken or written prose to fit the current political scene in the neighborhood of the current audience. You could even set it up to work on older documents and film clips - what is a political era or Presidential term but a neighborhood of a kind? From 1960 until 2000 in the US, for example, a lot of policies and political stances and people holding them shifted from being leftwing to rightwing and back again three or four times, in terms of the election returns from inside the US. You can set up a translator to handle that - I'm sure the think tanks who currently provide Fox News and the Republican Party with this month's terminology would be happy to provide you with regular database updates, for free. It would be a compensation of amusement amid the debris of democracy, to read the following: "Many leftwing State governors in America, such as John Kasich (R-Ohio) and Chris Christie (R-NJ) , also supported the transfer of Social Security to private insurance corporations, so with support from both sides at the State as well as Federal level Cruz's initiative easily p[assed both Houses of Congress."
  14. I would say more Nixon, maybe even as liberal as Eisenhower: Reagan's legacy has been cleaned up considerably over time, and you may be too young to be sufficiently wary - Reagan favored revoking and/or privatizing all government welfare including Social Security and Medicare, annulling the Voting Rights Act of 1964 and all Affirmative Action programs, deregulation of the banking and financial industries (which he partly accomplished, resulting in the crash of the Savings and Loan industry under a wave of corruption and real estate fraud, exactly as in the mortgage sector in 2008 only more confined), buildup and belligerent use of the US military, even building and enforcing strong barriers to immigration across the southern border to prevent terrorists from infiltrating (communist ones, from Nicaragua, back then), and so forth. He announced his candidacy for the Presidency in 1980, a significant and major speech, on the site of a famous killing of three advocates for black voting registration by KKK thugs during the Civil Rights unrest, and in that announcement promised to support "States rights" as President, a well known code term for an end to Federal backing of voting rights for black people - the cause of the killers. This was Trump level pandering - the Republican Party hasn't really slid downhill much from Reagan to Trump, at least not in substance. The basic wingnut or T Party behavior and agenda we see today, the same poison, in slightly less vulgar language. Clinton is not in that category. btw: The nostalgia glow around the Reagans, recently given a bump at the memorial services for Nancy Reagan, tends to create a fictional aura of high class and dignity around them. Reagan fit right into the Walmart crowd we see running for President on the Republican ticket today. His natural constituency was the car dealers and small time bankers of southern California, the local Chamber of Commerce types and their employees. The details of his rise to prominence are tawdry. The Clintons are higher class people than the Reagans were, despite being less pretentious.
  15. Poe's Law. I don't get to make jokes, so nobody quoting me does either. See what I mean? That's a joke. But it wasn't, was it. When it takes two or three tries to get a couple of simple declarative sentences read with comprehension - say: "Nixon is responsible for the Chinese economic assault on America" and "Nixon did not open up China to US trade", neither one of which says "Nixon opened up US trade with China" - the goal of having one's point of view seen is impossibly distant and not a realistic concern.
  16. Bullshit The Left is not represented in American politics, nationally. There is no left being stubborn about compromising. The Democratic Party is disparate collection of compromisers, most of whom are ideologically center-right and authoritarian. They squabble, and display the normal prevalence of corruption and special interest influence and so forth. The Republican Party has been taken over by a fascist movement based in the cultural and demographic legacy of the Civil War and a recent rise of Protestant Fundamentalism (The Fourth Awakening https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Awakening .) This was organized by a plutocratic elite. Neither "side" - the fascist movement or its various opposition - is ideologically driven, or in fact possessed of a coherent political ideology. The fascist movement was organized of course to obtain wealth and power for its organizers, who appear (like all such in the past) to have found themselves riding the tiger, so to speak. Fascist movements naturally do not compromise other than as a temporary expedient, because the whole idea is to gain - not share - power. Why would they compromise, other than as a tactic? The opposition to the fascist movement, on the other hand, is a rabble of conflicting and somewhat incoherent interests and ideologies, with no real core set of beliefs or policies, and so they have been compromising like mad - to the point that they have by stages almost completely adopted the supposed political positions of their supposed opposition of a couple of decades ago - but of course gained nothing by that, because fascists are never actually making deals. The only "center" the country and citizenry has is a bit to the left and substantially more libertarian than Clinton's ideology. That is, there is no center that involves the current Republican Party's cooperation, or substantial accommodation of the neo-Confederate thugs that comprise the core of Trump's support. The closest thing to a centrist vote would be for Sanders. Trump is standard Republican. He is no more dysfunctional or idiotic than Romney, Palin, W, or Reagan were.
  17. I have not argued "both". I have argued that he is responsible for having screwed up trade relations with China. He managed to do that without closing the deal, and actually opening up China to trade etc. When he resigned, a step ahead of the Senate impeachment proceedings, China was not open for trade but the US had made commitments and promises - these included setting aside the human rights and political freedom standards previously required of parties to US trade deals (the ostensible reason we were not trading with Cuba, say). The argument against that would be that Kissinger was actually responsible for the US getting off on the wrong foot, and ending up with a bad deal for its citizenry in consequence. But I hold Nixon responsible for Kissinger's involvement. Carter finished negotiating and closed that deal, and gets credit for opening up China - it's interesting that Ford didn't. Ford had the chance. Whether Carter would have made a better deal if it hadn't been bollixed by Nixon I have no idea. Why would I - or anyone - consider trillions owed to China, which were used to cover tax cuts for the rich, a good thing and a benefit of a lousy trade deal?
  18. One of the benefits of not posting personal info here is that when some authoritarian - and it's always someone arguing an authoritarian position, for some reason - invokes some feature of my person or circumstances as an argument or explanation for something, they get it wrong. Always. Way more than chance would anticipate - I've recommended to the more persistent ones they flip coins, to improve their odds. And never to any point. Politics? My guess is that somewhere in the recesses of the stereotypificationist's closet, there is a reflex that requires political stance to be invoked in these matters so that the "both sides" meme can be brought into play - that being how one gets to "fairness" in all matters political. Fairness to the Ferguson police requires that they be given the benefit of the doubt in all their claims and motivations, apparently - including doubt created out of no evidence or reason, for the purpose of giving them the benefit of it. I don't see the point. If fairness is wanted, why not be fair to basic principles of justice and common sense?
  19. The problem we have is not too much bickering. The current difficulty we are having with argument is that there is a huge thumb on the scales of the media of public discourse, namely the centralization brought by corporate money. Entire fields of bickering have been excluded, sound dismissal of the dysfunctional depends on financing, and so the well-financed dysfunctional stuff has no relevant opposition and never goes away. The US had, at one time, controls on the centralization of media: the government had control of the commons - the electromagnetic bandwidth - and explicitly and overtly managed it to prevent profiteering by degradation of the resource. No one person or corporation, no matter how wealthy, could gain financial control of all the major media in a given town. That went away with the Telecommunications Act in 1996, following on the heels of the discard of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 - 1991 (Reagan, the gift that keeps on giving) which had required at least a formality of presenting opposing views, giving opposing political candidates equivalent airtime, etc. The net effect was plutocratic control of the media in most places by vested interests under no obligation to present any views of anything contrary to those interests, or even cease repeating demonstrated falsehoods (much less correct them). And that's how you get a majority of the Republican base switching between Obama the acolyte of the fundamentalist Protestant firebrand Wright, Obama the sworn brother of the atheistic communist Ayers (http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2016/03/12/violence-at-chicago-trump-rally-led-by-known-ally-of-obama/),and Obama the secret Muslim born in Kenya, on cue as needed, sometimes all three simultaneously. The upside is that we know how this situation was successfully handled in the past: a government managing the commons of the airwaves and satellite bounce restores the ban on market control across various platforms in a given area, and restores the basics of the Fairness Doctrine for all who use and profit by these public airwaves. Maybe even a restoration of socialist provision of a public news source.
  20. That would be the beginning of that assault. And I am correct twice. What's your point? Nixon began and abetted the discarding of American trade standards involving human rights abuses and economic warfare, in an apparently desperate (or merely ambitious, in Kissinger's view) attempt at gaining glory and enriching his corporate backers. This constrained Ford and especially Carter, who found themselves negotiating with a China already in possession of various guarantees and promises of access to the American market, and well informed as to American weaknesses and desires, one one side; a corporate America already in possession of various guarantees and promises of access to the Chinese market, and otherwise largely unprepared for what they faced in China, on the other. So he screwed up the opening of China, without actually accomplishing it. And such was his legacy throughout his tenure in office.
  21. I'm not interested in lifting me up. I'm interested in knocking the kind of posting you decorated this thread with flat into the garbage, and pissing on it. Yes, and backed up with as many quotes from this thread as may be required. nothing like that appears in my posts. No portrayal of you appears (you have altered my posting, misleadingly). The description is of your posting, which is here for verification and example. The point was not to denigrate your posting here, much as it should be denigrated and must be if fairness and so forth is desired. The point was that when you said the first thirty pages here were all about "fairness to minorities" you were wrong. There is no need for a counterbalance to thirty pages of extending "fairness to minorities", because it does not exist.
  22. I said your posting over the first thirty pages exhibited stereotypical racial bigotry and excuse mongering for the police. There was nothing unfair about that - it does. The facts behind that would involve me quoting the relevant posts, as apparently you need more than simply the one paragraph I lifted from your very first post - how much do you need? Here, for example, after thirty pages for you to think things over: That isn't actually true. My posting, for example, which you have stated you had in mind, contained nothing about the officer's "guilt" until after a great deal of evidence was available, all of it physical and supported ever since. Your posting, on the other hand, was full of speculation about the facts of the shooting before you had any idea what had actually happened (the location of the brass, say). So what was going through your mind when you posted that?
  23. Everybody agrees it's unlikely. On the other hand, if current trends continue exactly as they have - Sanders gaining support over time at the same rate among the same demographic groups, not plateaued yet - he will acquire a slim majority of the earned delegates on June 7th. He will do that by getting more than 60% of the vote in California, for example, where he is now polling iirc in the 40%s. The likelihood is that future gains will not be as easy or as quick as the initial surge, and Sanders will bog down around 50% or so and lose. But it's not a single digit percentage bet, at the moment. And given his effect on Clinton's rhetoric and positions, Sanders has every reason to continue even a losing effort - there's a chance he can corner her into taking some actual leftwing and liberal stances, to beat him, which would be a good thing for the country if not for Sanders himself.
  24. My first post was 104, made after much of the relevant physical situation was known, and was not on the topic of the officer's guilt. It was completely factual, and evidence based. So were all my subsequent posts. By that time you had posted a half dozen times on the subject of being "fair" to the officer, and presented various hypothetical rationalizations for the event of varying plausibility including ridiculous, while in possession of none of the relevant facts of the shooting and in denial of the obvious racial situation in Ferguson (you posted that the racial segregation in Ferguson is "voluntary", and similar nonsense common to white racial bigotry). Your very first post, for example, was on the topic of being fair to the police, and included the following paragraph of falsehoods attacking those who observed blatant racism and attempts at dissimulation from the officials of Ferguson: Just to be clear: your idea that "not many more than that" was a reasonable way to say the police don't know how many times the guy was shot was ridiculously offensive, and that deafness on the part of the official is exactly what was being mocked; and police were not required to release that video at all, neither was it relevant to the shooting - so the obvious motive was the bad one, and your attempts to excuse that kind of behavior by the police were consistent with all your subsequent posting here. Oliver was being completely fair and accurate. You were not. In addition to your more or less stereotypical racial bigotry and excuse mongering, there were at least three reasonable posters offering hypothetical but plausible defense of the police in Ferguson and Wilson's behavior in the first few pages and from then on. There are also at least three posts from me, later on, offering explanations of the racially biased police stats in the area that partly excuse the police and assign some responsibility to the black people in the area. So that's what the very first pages of this thirty page thread were full of - a hundred posts or more before mine began. Your claim that we have thirty pages of nothing but "trying to be fair to minorities" is not evidence based, and certainly does not describe your posting here over those thirty pages.
  25. He wrecked the country. He put together the coalition that gave us Reagan - in spite of getting his ass in a sling, which should have blown his coalition apart, and would have if it had been an open one instead of a conspiracy. The enabler of Kissinger, (http://en.mediamass.net/people/henry-kissinger/highest-paid.html) a man who for the rest of his life would have to avoid landing in certain European airports due to threat of arrest and trial for war crimes, did not do good internationally. He gave the world Pol Pot, a wrecked Vietnam, the consolidation of the North Korean totalitarian regime, and the beginning of the Chinese assault on the US economy (greased by his de facto discard of all human rights considerations in trade agreements). And that was just SE Asia. Do we need to go into South and Central America? Allende, for chrissake? The Middle East and Nixon's rejection of the 1967 Israel borders - what turned out to have been the last best chance to settle them? https://history.state.gov/milestones/1969-1976/arab-israeli-war-1973 Oh baloney. And that's not because anyone thinks Kennedy and Johnson and Clinton were angels. The man was dirty. Mobbed up (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Rebozo), bought up, Kissinger conned, and fundamentally as cynical and unprincipled a manipulator as the Oval Office had seen. And the problem with that kind of moral and ethical rot is that it weakened the country (as well as the man - he didn't start out paranoid and glory-seeking). The US has never fully recovered from Nixon's Presidency - there's a straight line from his Southern Strategy to Donald Trump, for example. The only reason we mark the decline of the US from Reagan in '80 instead of Nixon in '68 is because his disgrace temporarily paused the influence of his practices. You're English, right? He means black people, and brown illegal immigrants.
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