Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Denial is a river in ...

The Big Pharaoh, back from his abbreviated vacation notes that nearly half of all Egyptians surveyed think the Dahab bombing was the handiwork of the Mossad.

The poll above was posted on Egypt's number one web portal Masrawy.com. The question asks people whom they think was behind the bombings in Dahab yesterday. 48.9% of the respondents so far think that the Israeli Mossad was behind the terrorist attack. 4.2% believe it was Al-Qaeda and 21% think it was the work of internal terrorist groups.

The above poll is a clear indication of the trouble we as a nation are in. Up till now the vast majority among us and especially among our intelligentsia don't want to admit that we have a terrorist problem in our society, in our currently practiced religiosity. Up till now we don't want to look in the mirror and see what's wrong with us and with our culture. This is the reason why I don't see light at the end of tunnel anytime soon as far as our Arab/Islamic world is concerned.


So Egypt's hopeless; in a quagmire, huh? Yet it's been in existence some thousands of years and will probably keep ticking over some eons more. I guess it's an argument for calibrating expectations in the Middle East. Maybe the "small successes" viewed in context are really bigger victories than one thinks.


Blogger Charles said...

what I find most humorous is that the moslem take on Jesus looks a lot like its been borrowed from the gnostic gospels which--since WWII have been dug out of sand caves in Egypt. the most recent gnostic find was the book of judas.

4/25/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Would the 40 part Egyptian TV production, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, broadcast over 22 Arab language stations have anything to do with the polls result? No, surely not in Dr. Rice’s world, no plausible association is possible; just as there’s no association to be made between the Hamas government and the overwhelming number of Palestinian voters who brought it to power.

That the Arabic version of Mein Kampf is a bestseller says nothing of the Islamic mind, surely. Just as Paine’s “Common Sense” or Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” or Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” had no influence on the world.

Just questions to ask for Shoah Remembrance Day.

4/25/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

JPost today has an editorial on this.

They conclude: There is no neutral place for the Arab world in the militant Islamist war against the West; this is part of the message of the latest massacre in the Sinai. That jihad will either be defeated by Muslims themselves and the West, or it will engulf the Arab world and the West.

Ultimately, Arabs, Israelis, Americans and Europeans must either join to defeat the Islamist jihad, or fall together.

In another article they say Jordan's King Abdullah II calls for a unified battle against terrorism, "Which is completely alien to our Islamic values and traditions."

I had to laugh out loud when reading that quote. Completely alien, indeed.

In fact the general weakness and incompletence of the Arab governments is a problem for the West. Another takeover of an Arab country, as in Afghanistan, is not impossible.

4/25/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger salvakiirmayardude said...

All I know is the "he said, she said" intel intrigue on here is growing tiresome, IMO.

I know, I know, I suppose there is a time and a place for it, and I suppose this *is* the place for it, but should we give short shrift to the goings-on in Honiara, Kathmandu, Juba, and Abuja?

Someone in a previous thread of Wretchard's mentioned the link between this weekend's proclamations of a wall being built round Sharm being pertinent to the latest incident, and I think he might have been spot on.

I'm a long-time lurker and a first-time poster here and I value all of your opinions. I guess I'm just mystified as to why we're all getting caught up with localized legerdemain when the real action is taking place in parts elsewhere.

4/25/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

maybe the Jews of the world and Israel should start living up to the label the arab world wants to give it...

israel could cluster bomb the entire region in one day, kill several million innocent civilians, bomb every arab hospital, school and mosque...

Israel COULD nuke major islamic cities

then the world would treat israel as it does already (according to c4)

guilty as charged...

if the jewish people are GOING to be blamed for mass murder why not PROVE them right, then at least there will be no arabs/islamic peoples left alive

4/25/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

oh btw, happy holocaust day!

cheers to the euro mass murderers that liquified 6-7 million of my cousins in their latest blood lust adventure...

the centuries of murder by christians and moslems topped off by this week's iranian love message...

maybe watching europe, iran and the arab world burn to the ground AINT such a loss...

4/25/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger salvakiirmayardude said...

Interesting, Pork. I think I'll put seven Equals in your latte tomorrow, for good measure!

4/25/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

he he

4/25/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Does anyone know anything about Big Pharoah? Is he coptic, moslem or secular?

Most educated Egyptians understand English. However I find it interesting that Big Pharoah uses English in his blog and doesn't appear to have a section (Arabic) in his native tongue. My guess is that he's talking to the world outside of Egypt along with a tiny number of educated Egyptians with Internet access.

It's reasonable to presume that very few of the 48.9% percent of the Egyptians believing the Dahab bombing was the handiwork of the Mossad, read Big Pharoah's blog. One wonders why Big Pharoah is preaching to the converted?

4/25/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Seriously though: So Egypt's hopeless; in a quagmire, huh? Yet it's been in existence some thousands of years and will probably keep ticking over some eons more.

The Arab Occupiers of Egypt are relatively NEW, they are NOT the original land owners of the Nile, they are "occupiers"

4/25/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

HA - about time we really got that ball rolling, pork.

4/25/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ahmadinejad, center, calls Israel a "a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."

4/25/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger rasqual said...

So Egyptians can't tell the difference between acts they suspect Jewish intelligence would commit, and acts Al Qaeda claims to have committed?

The comet. We need the comet. We need it now, please God.

4/25/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

China, Africa seek win-win:

The New China established diplomatic relations with Egypt on May 30, 1956, opening a new chapter in the history of Sino-African friendship. In the half century that followed, the two sides have respected and supported each other in political affairs and become "all-weather friends"; rich economic achievements have also been scored based on equal treatment and common development.

Bilateral trade has leapt from $12 million in the 1950s to nearly $40 billion today. The two sides have been keeping close cooperation in international affairs and together safeguarding legitimate rights of developing countries.

China, Africa

4/25/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

" 48.9% of the respondents so far think that the Israeli Mossad was behind the terrorist attack. 4.2% believe it was Al-Qaeda and 21% think it was the work of internal terrorist groups."

Those poll numbers seem shocking. And yet, I wouldn't be surprised to see similar numbers on various left-leaning blogs or amongst certain humanities faculties.

4/25/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

lets see, how long ago was the bombing? and now they have a poll published. If a similar poll were done here at the Club, or in the USA, what would those percentages indicate? And you all would be operating on the same amount of information and y'all would have about the same amount of credibility.

4/25/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Well, here we are again. Iran claims to have 40,000 suicide bombers and I believe them. The Egyptians are in massive denial about attacks on them and are more comfortable blaming the Jews. I have yet to hear an Islamic pundit say anything negative about the jihad without the "but", "however" or a well placed comma. We all know this. Some blame Israel and there clearly is a Pavlovian response from US politicians when Israel is mentioned. Israel is irrelevant to the jihad. It probably was not a good idea that the US supported Israel in some ways such as the establishment of "in your face" settlements, mostly settled by rabid right wing American and European Jews.

The question is where do we go from here? I do not believe Israel is anything other than a convenient foil for the jihadists. The Palestinians have been both succored and used by the likes of the Saudis and are the excuse used by the jihadists to continue the war against the West. Israel is a fait accompli and has been accepted by the reasonable Islamic establishment. The US is another matter. There is no permanent US interest in the Middle East other than oil. That is fixable and every resource available should be used to remove the need for Middle East oil in the US. That could be achieved in less than ten years. The US should withdraw all land-based troops from all Islamic countries other than Afghanistan. The only reason to stay in Afghanistan it to dismantle the narco-state. The US should also withdraw all bases from Europe at the same time. They serve no purpose. Removing them simultaneously while withdrawing from The Middle East would diminish the propaganda value to the jihadists. Doing this would eliminate a trip wire where the US has to react to situations not of its choosing. The US would keep the option of reacting to threats with a formidable naval and air presence.

The Middle East is primarily a regional and European problem. Let the Islamic world resolve it. If Europe wishes to have massive Islamic immigration, let them. If they are threatened, let them resolve it. We can never out jihad the jihadists. It was foolish to think we could change a culture so foreign to our own. Let those in the neighborhood solve their own problems.

4/25/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Pork rinds for allah said:

"Seriously though: So Egypt's hopeless; in a quagmire, huh? Yet it's been in existence some thousands of years and will probably keep ticking over some eons more. The Arab Occupiers of Egypt are relatively NEW, they are NOT the original land owners of the Nile, they are "occupiers""

The original Egyptians were incredibly conservative. Their basic culture, religion, political system, art, method of writing, architecture, etc. remained largely unchanged for almost 2000 years. It wasn't until after outsiders (Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, etc.) forced their influence through conquest that the Egyptians felt compelled to significantly change. By the time the Arabs invaded Egypt, the original Eyptian culture had been overlaid by a Hellenistic Greek culture (Cleopatra was Greek!). Arab (Nabataean) culture along with the Jews were also influenced by the Hellenistic Greeks. The Nabataean silver coins used in the ancient world were styled after Athenean Owl tetradrachms.

4/25/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Sounds like Egypt has the same 48% that'll believe anything, that we do here in the USA. BOO!

4/25/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

The Egyptians had a legend that their god Osiris(of the dead)came from the east on a spotted bull--a linkage to India. Some of their tomb pictography has the same seven levelled symbolism as the Hindu chakra system. If(when) you get before Osiris, get past node three--or watch out for that soul-swallower. Taken from Joseph Campbell, our great American mythologist.

4/25/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Porker 5:44,

Your tongue in cheek rant is amusing. As you well know the Jews are too moral to do what you suggest.

And a happy holocaust remembrance day to you.

4/25/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yeh--that's where "joshing" came from--play bellicose in honor of Joshua, who was bellicose as all get-out!

4/25/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

2164th: ...not a good idea that the US supported Israel in some ways such as the establishment of "in your face" settlements...

Easy on Big Lie #5, there 2164th. The overwhelming majority of Middle Eastern Muslims consider Jerusalem an "in your face settlement". Seriously, how many Middle Eastern imams and mullahs have commanded their flocks to "celebrate Jerusalem's diversity", from say, '48 on?

Precious few, even with our $billions of nice-neighbor money. So I've no patience with Muslim apologetics. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." So let 'em reap full harvest, and forfeit the land they never deserved. Meh.

The US should withdraw all land-based troops from all Islamic countries other than Afghanistan.

No, no, that's just too expensive. Fuel costs, you know; all those flights. They should come back after they've conquered enough oil fields to bring the price down. Way down. Like, I don't know... milk and honey? ;-)

The US should withdraw all land-based troops... ...withdrawing from The Middle East would diminish the propaganda value to the jihadists...

Um, you want to offer a case study in support of that thesis, 2164th?

Datum: The U.S. Marines withdrew from Lebanon after being hit with a single bomb. How is it that retreat diminished the bombing's propaganda value to jihadists? Where are the Muslims who say -- who've ever said -- "We respect the U.S. for pulling Marines out of Lebanon. That was really... nice."

4/25/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...


So [a certain warlord] walks into a bar and says, "I forbid alcohol. Close this bar or I shall burn it to the ground."

The bouncers toss him out like a frisbee.

He walks back in and says, "I expressly forbid alcohol. Close this bar or I shall burn it to the ground and cut out your tongues."

The bouncers toss him out like a frisbee and kick his face.

He walks back in and says, "I expressly forbid alcohol upon point of death. Close this bar or I shall burn it to the ground, cut out your tongues and sever your bellies from your chests."

The bouncers toss him out like a frisbee, kick his face, punch his kidneys and break all the bones connecting his fingertips to his sternum.

He walks back in and says, "Hey everybody... Drinks on me!"

4/25/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

I am hopeful because the Big Pharoah understands that there is a problem with their religiosity...

...Yesterday I commented that there was a fundamentalist problem (sorry Trang Bang, didn't mean to side-swipe Christian conservatives; they're the back-bone of the US)...

...we need to understand that the fundamentalist leaders have dictated to the under-educated masses what their religion is:

1) The priests are the intermediators to God (half the moslems don't understand arabic, similar to most catholics didn't understand latin)

2) Only they can correctly interpret the holy book, and establish points of emphasis

3) The emphasis is on the law/prescribed behavior/works (do you pray 5 times a day?) vs. what's in your heart/personal relationship w/God

4) Closed membership/fear of the marketplace (must remain sanctified)

I liken the mullahs to the sadducees of the new testament, that is, they are part of the power structure, immersed in politics.

I liken OBL to the pharisees of the new testament, who saw themselves practicing a more pure form of their religion; however, in their self righteousness, they were so busy finding fault with others, they failed to notice the 2 x 4 in their own eye...

...our hope is that this corruption will be understood for what it is.

I believe that everyone of religion, based upon the sum of our experiences, temptations, sins, successes, and joys, has their own balance of law/obedience vs. joyousness/what's in the heart...
...it's just that in these particular countries, it's take this prescription of fundamentalism, add the fear factor of secret police or local militias, and turn the volume up to 10!!!

4/25/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

The solution?

sooner or later these words will not be taken lightly:

bomb the Kaba... destroy the 5th pillar of islam

this will be the death nail in "old" islam, this will FORCE islam to change as it will PROVE that G-d is angry with them

4/25/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

orlandoslug "I liken OBL to the pharisees of the new testament, who saw themselves practicing a more pure form of their religion; however, in their self righteousness, they were so busy finding fault with others, they failed to notice the 2 x 4 in their own eye..."

please define "pharisees"

I think you might have mis understanding due to the WRONG understanding the New Test. paints

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About this template
The Pharisees (from the Hebrew perushim, from parash, meaning "to separate") were, depending on the time, a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 BCE–70 CE). After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Pharisaic sect was re-established as Rabbinic Judaism — which ultimately produced normative, traditional Judaism, the basis for all contemporary forms of Judaism. The relationship between the Pharisees and Rabbinic Judaism (exemplified by the Talmud) is so close that many do not distinguish between the two. Nevertheless, the social standing and beliefs of the Pharisees changed over time, as political and social conditions in Judea changed. It is thus impossible to understand the Pharisees without understanding their historical context.
More specifically, the Pharisees were one of the successor groups of the Hasidim (the "pious"), an anti-Hellenic Jewish movement that formed in the time of the Seleucid king, Antiochus Epiphanes (175–163 BCE). (This group is distinct from the Hasidism established in 18th century Europe.) The first mention of the Pharisees is by the Jewish-Roman historian Josephus, in a description of the four "schools of thought" (that is, social groups or movements) into which the Jews were divided in the 1st century CE.

Without the "pharisees" you dont have Hillel, Shammai and a much LESSER teacher jesus

So many wrong ideas in the New Test. that need to be corrected, so little time

4/25/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

pork: sooner or later these words will not be taken lightly: bomb the Kaba... destroy the 5th pillar of islam

"And during the few moments that we have left, we want to talk right down to earth, in a language that everybody here can easily understand."

4/25/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger salvakiirmayardude said...

Grace and peace be upon Tex. Dude's right.

Dave, all of those findings equal a nice sandwich. Pastrami on rye, don't sweat the details. Let's all just enjoy a nice sandwich.


4/25/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

"Pharisees" and Christianity

In the 4th century CE, Christians canonized a "New Testament" consisting of texts written between 60 CE and about 150 CE, which spell out a New Covenant and provides the case for its basis in the Bible. In the "New Testament" the ruling Pharisees of his time (the house of Shammai) are often represented as being the ideological foes of Jesus.
An important binary in the New Testament is the opposition between law and love. Accordingly, the New Testament presents the Pharisees as obsessed with man-made rules (especially concerning purity) whereas Jesus is more concerned with God’s love; the Pharisees scorn sinners whereas Jesus seeks them out. Because of the New Testament's frequent depictions of Pharisees as self-righteous rule-followers, the word "pharisee" (and its derivatives: "pharisaical", etc.) has come into semi-common usage in English to describe a hypocritical and arrogant person who places the letter of the law above its spirit. Jews today (who ascribe to Pharisaic Judaism) typically find this insulting if not anti-Semitic.
Many non-Christians object that the four Gospels, which were canonized after Christianity had separated from Judaism (and after Pharisaism emerged as the dominant form of Judaism), are likely a very biased source concerning the conduct of the Pharisees. Some have argued that Jesus was himself a Pharisee (for example see E. P. Sanders), and that his arguments with Pharisees is a sign of inclusion rather than fundamental conflict (disputation is the dominant narrative mode in the Talmud). Jesus' emphasis on loving one's neighbor, for example, echoes the teaching of the school of Hillel (Jesus' views of divorce, however, are closer to those of the school of Shammai). Others have argued that the portrait of the Pharisees in the New Testament is an anachronistic caricature. For example, when Jesus declares the sins of a paralytic man forgiven, the New Testament has the Pharisees criticizing Jesus' blasphemy. But Jewish sources from the time commonly associate illness with sin and healing with forgiveness, and there is no actual Rabbinic source that questions or criticizes this practice. Although the New Testament presents the Pharisees as obsessed with avoiding impurity, Rabbinic texts reveal that the Pharisees were concerned merely with offering means for removing impurities, so that a person could again participate in the community. According to the New Testament, Pharisees wanted to punish Jesus for healing a man's withered hand on the Sabbath, but there is no Rabbinic rule according to which Jesus had violated the Sabbath. According to the New Testament the Pharisees objected to Jesus's mission to outcast groups such as beggars and tax-collectors, but Rabbinic texts actually emphasize the availability of forgiveness to all. Indeed, much of Jesus' teaching, for example the Sermon on the Mount, is consistent with that of the Pharisees.
Some scholars believe that those passages of the New Testament that present a caricature of the Pharisees were not written during Jesus' lifetime but rather sometime after the destruction of Herod's Temple in 70 CE, at a time when it had become clear that most Jews did not consider Jesus to be the messiah. At this time Christians sought most new converts from among the gentiles. They thus presented a story of Jesus that was more sympathetic to Romans than to Jews. Moreover, it was only after 70 CE that Phariseeism emerged as the dominant form of Judaism. For Christian leaders at this time to present Christianity as the legitimate heir to the Old Testament Covenant, they had to devalue Rabbinic Judaism.
The Apostle Paul of Tarsus, who authored much of the New Testament, spoke positively of being a Pharisee. Acts 23:6 records Paul on trial in the Temple Courts. He apologized for speaking against a priest without knowing who he insulted, and then claimed his belief in the resurrection was based on his doctrinal beliefs as a Pharisee. Paul emphasized the disagreements between Pharisees and Saducees for his own benefit, resulting in his release. As F.F. Bruce notes in a commentary on Acts, "A Sadducee could not become a Christian without abandoning a distinctive theological tenant of his party; a Pharisee could become a Christian and remain a Pharisee--in the apostolic age, at least." (F.F. Bruce, The Book of Acts, p. 428). The author of Acts indicates that Paul remained faithful to the rituals and practices of a Pharisee even after becoming a Christian (Acts 26:4-6). However, in the event known as the Council of Jerusalem, Paul argued strenuously that the ritual requirements of Judaism do not apply to Gentile Christians (Acts 15:1-29). In his writings to the church in Philippi, Paul referred to his strict Jewish credentials as a cause for boasting (Philippians 3:4-6), but then stated his belief in Christ Jesus was more glorious.

4/25/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger salvakiirmayardude said...

I'll read your seemingly ridiculously long rejoinder tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope all is well..

4/25/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

9:41--"Thus they presented a story of Jesus that was more sympathetic to Romans than to Jews." Yes, that is my understanding too. They had separated, and needed to be on something akin to good terms with the powers that were. The scene that has Jews(can't recall which Gospel(s)) saying his blood be on us,etc., is an historic impossibility. William Blake said, if I remember rightly, the only thing Jesus inculcated that the rabbis didn't was love your enemies, and I'm not even sure about that.

4/25/2006 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

In case anyone was going to find a 'glass half full' optimism from the fact that slightly more than half of the respondents didn't think that Mossad was behind the attack, I'd like to point out that the percentage of Egyptians with Internet access is rather small, and that the ones who responded to the poll were self-selected to be more modern, literate and educated.

In other words, the sample should have been biased in favour of realism vis a vis the entire population, although exposure to Arab media sites and blogs could in fact be correlated with increased paranoia and tinfoil consumption.

At a certain point, most guys like Big Pharoah are probably going to just leave their homes rather than continue their Sisyphyan labour. Yes, he is 'preaching to the choir', that's us. It's interesting for us Westerners to have a rational exegesis of the strange squawking sounds that are coming from the box, to have an insider account of cultural madness.

4/25/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger lumberjack said...

It could be that the majority believe this was a Zionist plot. But it's a web poll, and vulnerable to the usual poll stuffing tactics we see here. So either a large number of people somewhat believe, or a small number of people believe passionately.

4/26/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Or, more likely to my mind, they don't believe it at all, but are saying they do as a way of fighting the culture war. I don't why this should make us feel any better, though.

4/26/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You've got to wonder what we here in the USA would say out loud about the secret service of a far smaller neighbor--say Cuba--had we made several full-scale maximum effort wars on Cuba, and every time had ended up prevailing upon the UN to keep the Cubans from taking DC.

4/26/2006 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

What would happen in Egypt if America stopped its billions per year in funding? It's apparent to me that said funding for Egypt's being "a friend" isn't working, and I always think if something isn't working, then change it.

If a majority of Egyptians think Mossad is the real terrorist, then it seems to me that they are equally as delusional as the dreadful Palestinians, and if the Pal's are being held accountable for *their* hallucinations, then why shouldn't the Egyptians, also?

4/26/2006 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

We would *have* to say--culrural pride would demand it--that "treachery was afoot" that the Cubans *must* have deviously infiltrated our organizations, that the Cuban secret service must be everywhere and behind everything. Otherwise we'd be stuck with some far less flattering explanation, such as the Cubans just plain kick our ass in the field, and we muct be fools to keep on invading them.

4/26/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Griswel said...

I think it's wrong to say Egypt has been in existence for thousands of years, much less conclude that it cannot be destroyed by terrorists.

Yes, the land area we call Egypt has been in existence thousands of years, and yes, it has been continuously occupied. We tend to make this mistake with China as well.

Neither, in any meaningful sense, has been one, continuously operating, entity. Egypt, and China, have died many times, only to become something else under new leaders.

If a restaurant is closed down, but the building re-opens each time, do we really say it (the current, named, restaurant) has been continuously operating for centuries just because the structure is always there?

Don't let names fool you, Akkad and Sumeria are dead and gone, and would be even if we still used those terms. Egypt can be destroyed. The land will still be there. It will continue to be occupied. We may keep calling it Egypt. But the thing we now call Egypt is not indestructible.

4/27/2006 09:24:00 AM  

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