Thursday, January 21, 2010

If after 20 or 21 times you don't succeed, try again 

Last year on my old radio show on AM1280 I had on my sister-in-law, Deb Banaian, who is remarkably trying for her 19th time to get on as a contestant on Survivor. Her story is remarkable both for its perseverance and desire, and for overcoming disabilities. To see her story, watch this video posted on CBS.

Here's the Facebook page for her fans. We want people to vote for her to get CBS, after nine years, to finally get Deb onto the show. Thanks for watching the video and joining up.

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Friday, October 09, 2009


Sorry to have been so busy today. Still working on details for radio tomorrow -- looks iffy at this point, but we will know more shortly. Meanwhile, please see my first post at the new National Association of Scholars blog. Bookmark that blog for commentary on higher education from at least 22 academics.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

No radio tomorrow (UPDATED) 

We are in the middle of making some changes to the radio show, which will include the time of its broadcast. Suffice to say, my travel gave us little time to get all the changes made for this Saturday, so the best thing to do is to take another week off. I hope that in a week I can offer you a full update of where Final Word will be going next. The first four hours of NARN will be on the air as always and we don't anticipate changes to that part of the schedule.

I apologize for how sketchy this note is, but there are many details that are TBD at this point and probably will be for another five days or so.

If you're really desperate to hear me, besides needing to get your head examined you could hear me on KNSI next Thursday 6-8am on its Morning Show, filling in for Don Lyons.

UPDATE: Forgot it was first Saturday, so I'll take my usual turn on the David Strom Show at 10am.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 and 9/12 

We'll be quiet today and let you read honors to September 11th elsewhere. Here's an audio we played on the air last year. And check out Project 2,996; Ed Morrissey's turn at writing about one of the victims is here. (UPDATE: Chad suggests these videos too.)

Janet Adds: Today was doubly memorable for us. In addition to our remembrances of 9/11/2001, we saw our youngest son off at the airport this morning. He is an army 1st Lieutenant, deploying to Iraq at the end of this month, so it will probably be a year before we see him next. [End Janet.]

While I'm at it, for those who are wondering about the St. Cloud T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party, here's how you get to Lake George -- and pay particular attention to the construction in the area.

Lake George is across the street from Technical High School (233 12th Ave S, St. Cloud MN 56301), so using your GPS for the high school will take you there. That area is also your best bet for street parking. There is a parking lot on the south side of the lake as well. The organizers plan to set up in the northeast corner of the lake, which is where there is still construction for a new bridge and the 9th Ave underpass.

If you are coming from the east, remember that the bridge on Highway 23 over the Mississippi is still closed, so you will want to follow the detour signs. From any other direction, my advice is to come off Interstate 94 or U.S. 10 to State Highway 15, and turn east onto Division Street (which is labeled as Highway 23, Crossroads Mall will be to your west.)

I will be speaking around 10:15, just before Rep. Bachmann, and then hopping in the car to head to the Patriot. Live call-ins from St. Cloud will be on NARN Volume I, which is going to be hosted by Ed this week (Mitch will probably be there after noon.) So if you can't be there, you can at least listen to all the fun you're missing!

P.S. Yes, I'll stop by the MOB gathering too tomorrow night at Keegans. But I leave very early due to Sunday church singing, so if you snooze, you lose.

P.P.S. I'm glad Andy Levy preserved that Twitter stream. I was stretching before bed -- it's the only way my back can stay moderately healthy any more -- and as is my wont, I usually go to bed around 12:30am. My iPod Touch gave me the usual last hundred posts, which I read while listening to either Dennis (Miller, Prager) or music, and last night I chose Red House Painters. Stretching is about twenty minutes. I start reading and half my tweetstream is AllahPundit's stream. I got up, sat down, and refreshed until Twitterrific wouldn't let me any more. Music ran out at the same time, and I went to bed. I slept poorly.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Shows to a fair-thee-well 

I'm late thanking everyone -- and I mean everyone with this year's record attendance -- for stopping by the State Fair, particularly for Saturday's show. We had a blast with the buffalo meat kebab for my breaking the vegetarian fast (and it has gone well, with a little turkey eaten on Monday) and with seeing so many friends at the fair. My special thanks to our guests who stopped by and to Mitch and Ed for playing emergency backstop if the buffalo experiment had gone poorly. If you want to relive the experience, here are hour 1 and hour 2 of that show.

Tommy's playlist (as usual, with one video included):

Hour 1

out/in: Pink Floyd, Brick in the Wall

out: Motley Crue, Smokin in the boys room

in: Lupe Fiasco, Superstar

out: Chicago, Saturday in the Park

in: Green Jelly, Three Little Pigs

out: Better Than Ezra, Our Last Night

Hour 2

out: AC/DC, Big Gun

In: Yul Brenner, A Puzzlement (because the night before while with Mitch I said something about playing The King and I.)

out: Prodigy, Breathe

in: Meatloaf, I would do anything for love
out: Ted Nugent, Great White Buffalo

in: Bob Marley, Buffalo Soldier

From the week before, I had President Earl Potter and state Rep. Laura Brod on in Hour 1 from the State Fair, and then in hour 2 I had announced the fair meat contest and some general news items. Tommy's playlist for that week:

out: Counting Crows, Mrs Potters Lullaby

in: Kid Rock, All Summer Long
out: The Black Crows

In: AC/DC, Runaway Train
out: Foo Fighters, Learning to Fly

in: Coldplay, Politik
out: Gomez, How We Operate

2nd Hour:

out: Van Halen, You Really Got Me

in: Free, Alright Now
out: The Refreshments, Banditos

in: Radiohead, Just
out: Marvelous 3 (Butch Walker), Freak of the Week

in: Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc
out: ZZ Top, Tush (at which point I wondered where was my normal outro!)

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Friday, September 04, 2009

State fair poll continues 

What will King eat at the State Fair to end 22 years of vegetarianism?
Buffalo kebabs
Corn dog
Turkey drumstick
Free polls from
Polling closes at 3pm Saturday -- keep those votes coming! We will purchase the selected item at 4pm and be ready for me to consume at 4:30.

NARN on a Stick continues from the State Fair today 5-7pm, with Mitch Berg and myself, on AM 1280 the Patriot. We're on Dan Patch Blvd just inside the Snelling gate across from the Farmers Union building.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Your State Fair poll -- What does King eat Saturday? 

What will King eat at the State Fair to end 22 years of vegetarianism?
Buffalo kebabs
Corn dog
Turkey drumstick
Free polls from
A number of you have asked why I would do this. Most people know that vegetarians always work towards keeping a balance of proteins, carbs and fat in the diet. I'm kind of naturally inclined towards a high-carb diet, which accounts for my carrying a spare tire around my midsection. Since my gallbladder came out last year, some of the things I used to consume for proteins, in particular eggs, no longer work for me. (You do not want me to explain this.) The diet has, in my mind, gotten worse rather than better. At one time I was vegetarian for ethical reasons, but mostly now it's health and laziness and fear. Like many, I don't want to put weird stuff in my mouth and stomach. Particularly after that surgery.

And that leads me to why I would do it this way. When faced with doing something difficult, making a commitment that's difficult to break can get you over the hump. What could be more embarrassing than me NOT going through with this on my own radio show? It would be rather humiliating. But committing to do something five days later is easier than committing to doing something five minutes later. So I built this up not just to have something humorous for Saturday's show, but to make the cost of backing out higher. It's a bit more than a nudge, but has the same effect.

The most popular choice in comments was the buffalo kebabs, but we'll put this post up for today and repeat it tomorrow, and you can vote as you like.

UPDATE: To be clear about this: This isn't a stunt; I am intending to put small amounts of meat back in my diet for the foreseeable future, and have intended to do so for a few months. It's intention is to make me commit to doing it on a date certain, and to do so in a way that's fun and might get a few more people to listen to the show and stop by the booth. And by small amounts, I mean just leanest meats, just a few times a month, mostly prepared by me at home. For now, Mrs. S and I agree not to cook meat in the home, but on my grill is OK. (I should note, she eats fish, but does not cook it at home because the smell of fish -- and meat -- cooking mostly makes me ill. Neither of my children are vegetarian.)

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Speaking alert 

Two talks this morning, to a local commercial real estate group on the local economy, followed by a quick dash to St. Paul to speak to a coordinating group concerned with taxation. I have one or two quick notes in the queue to read; back this PM.

Remember: NARN on a Stick continues all week. (How come they call it NARN on a Stick if they don't put our heads on sticks, but do Strom?) I'll have the end-King's-vegetarianism poll up Thursday morning.

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Request for meat suggestions 

In comments to this post, as discussed on NARN on a Stick today, please give ideas for what meat King will eat to give up 22 years of vegetarianism at the State Fair. Suggestions will be polled later in the week.

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Media alert 

I will be on KKMS at 3:30, live from the State Fair, and then Ed Morrissey and I take a turn for NARN on a Stick at the Patriot booth at the Fair from 5-7pm. Please tune in (links to both those stations will include streaming audio.)

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Tomorrow's a Fair Day 

Tomorrow I have first an opportunity to hear some conservative views on the health care debate. See yesterday's note for more, but the short of it is: 9-11am at the St. Cloud Public Library on St. Germain. I will be moderating a panel that will include medical professionals and state Rep. Steve Gottwalt. Our discussion will be more general intended to show alternatives to the plans being discussed at town halls. We are not replicating a town hall; I am using a moderated format for audience participation that I think will promote a good discussion.

Then I'll hop in the SUV and head to the State Fair, as NARN begins in a few minutes with its NARN on a Stick broadcast schedule. Normal Final Word tomorrow, 3-5 pm. guests to include state Rep. Laura Brod. I have a potential surprise guest too that you won't want to miss. Be sure to turn your radio to AM 1280 all day as we start with the David Strom Show at 9am and then six hours of NARN.

I'll be pulling extra NARN on a Stick duties on Monday and Friday next week, 5-7, so if you plan to come to the Fair, please look for us on Dan Patch, about fifty yards inside the Snelling gate. Alternatively, if you're already in the Fairgrounds, come up Dan Patch, walk past the DFL booth and turn right. We'll be there.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Tommy's playlist for 8/22 

We are starting a new category, on request of Final Word listeners. Tommy Huynh, my producer, makes a list of the songs he plays as bumper music for FW. (For the curious, our intro music is Doves, Words, and the outro for the last segment is always Cheap Trick, Who D'King, as proposed by Derek at Freedom Dogs.)

Our podcast always appears with the rest of NARN at Townhall. For the most recent Saturday, they normally don't go up before Monday night (and please don't ask why -- there's always some damn reason or another for slow posting even though we're the only live Salem/Townhall show going on a weekend and could kick some Monday morning butt.)

UPDATE: Well what do you know? Hour 1, Hour 2.

We'll use Final Word and Tommy's Playlists in the labels for those wanting to follow along, and I'll link to a YouTube each week of one song I like.

1st hr

out: Seether, Remedy

in: AC/DC, Runaway Train

out: Prodigy, Breathe

In: Counting Crows, Los Angeles

out: Len, Steal My Sunshine

in: Weezer, Hashpipe

out: Tom Petty, Mary Jane's Last Dance
2nd hr

out: Gomez, How We Operate (I showed him a Gomez CD in my car months ago, and he went to my favorite Gomez song without bidding.)

in: Coldplay, Yellow

out: Radiohead, Iron Lung

in: Better Than Ezra, Pull

out: Muse, Starlight

in: Greenday, Holiday

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Tommy's playlist for 8/15 

To catch up from two weekends ago, here's Tommy's playlist.

Out first break: Rock You Like a Hurricane, Scorpions

In: Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden

Out: Rain in the Summertime, The Alarm

In: Iron Lung, Radiohead

Out: Diesel Power, Prodigy

In: Viva La Vida, Coldplay

Out: I Wish it Would Rain, Phil Collins

2nd Hour

Out: Dust in the Wind, Kansas

In: Cold as Ice, Foreigner

Out: Earth Song, Micheal Jackson

In: Super massive Black Hole, Muse

Out: Turn, Turn, Turn, the Byrds

In: Holiday, Green Day

Be sure to hear Hour 1 with John Coleman and Hour 2 with Prof. Al Pekarek, both on climate change, which appears to be the most popular topic on this blog. Your choice, folks, not mine.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

All I know about cars... 

... I learned at the MSRA's Back to the Fifties rally last year. �So I'm glad we're doing this again this year.

Memories will also be evoked by a special reunion broadcast 11-1 with Mitch, Ed and me. � Anything nostalgic will also have the possibility of a Lileks sighting, possibly around 2. �I'll take a break in the usual Headliners period finding food (without Michael, this will be easier) and be back at 3 trying to tell a Buick Phaeton from a VW Phaeton. �

All this happens at the State Fairgrounds, with our tent set up on Dan Patch near the Snelling entrance. �If you like cars, Americana, or just a nice day looking around the Fairgrounds, come on out and see us please! �If you cannot make it, start listening at 9am CT to AM 1280 the Patriot for the David Strom Show and then let NARN tell you all that you're missing.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

On boycotting GM and Chrysler 

I read and hear my friend Hugh Hewitt bemoan the socialization of GM and Chrysler's profits and losses, and calls for a boycott. Most of the time it's the Left that calls for economic boycotts -- Cesar Chavez in the Seventies, South Africa in the Eighties, Israel nowadays. But lately the American conservative has decided it's cool to boycott French wines, and now is going to get into calling GM Government Motors.

Freedom of contract mean we get to buy and sell goods with anyone we choose, for whatever reasons we want to. That right to choose means the right to discriminate against certain folks we don't want to buy from, or in favor of those we do. So it's right for Hugh or anyone else to try to persuade us not to buy GM, and it's right for someone to try to persuade me not to buy Israeli products because they're sold by people who (the boycotter says) oppress others. And I'm free to agree or disagree. You're free to hire cute blondes (even Latvian blondes!) to try to persuade me to buy a Corvette, and my wife is free to persuade me to pay that blonde no nevermind or else it's the couch for me! Free markets work by persuasion.

What is the purpose of a boycott? Typically to change behavior of the people against whom you are boycotting. In his interview with Paul Rubin of White Bear Lake Superstore -- where both Hugh and NARN* have broadcast in the past -- Hugh argues that a successful boycott will get the government to divest of GM. He also argues that if the GM socialization is successful it will breed other socializations of private firms. But we cannot force them to do this: All we can do is to make the political calculation of the costs and benefits of socialization work in favor of divestment of GM and Chrysler. That does not require votes; adding $50 billion to a $1.8 trillion deficit isn't going to create any pain upon the White House. It will put pain on Paul Rubin; Hugh's calculation is that Paul's pain is a necessary cost to meet Hugh's goals.

So how is it that Hugh's boycott will work? It's worth noting that the "Freedom Fries" boycott was estimated to reduce French imports to the U.S. by 15% and U.S. exports to France by 8%. Not too big an effect there. And the apartheid boycott of South Africa didn't do much good either. The boycott will make great radio and vociferious editorials, but the impact of them is unlikely to do much good. Particularly when the UAW and other union leaders will funnel millions in campaign contributions to keep the government money coming.

And lastly, what has happened at GM and Chrysler (the latter temporarily, though it will maintain a minority interest for the foreseeable future) is that the government is accepting a bigger share of the gains and losses those two places make in the market. The impact of losing the entire $50 billion invested in GM will be about $362 per taxpayer (there were about 138 million in 2007.) If more of us crowd Ford and Toyota the price of those cars go up; the GM and Chrysler lots will be more inviting thanks to elbow room and lower prices. Selling at a loss is not an issue for government, which can always tax to make up those losses. (It does for Amtrak already.) Socializing profits and losses -- I used that term in the first sentence for a reason -- means that using an economic means to make a political point will be ineffective because the losses are spread throughout the populace, not focused on the Obama team.

The boycott will make some people feel good. But if you want to stop the socialization of American business, take it out at the ballot box, not on the dealer caught in the middle.

*--Full disclosure: I have been part of those broadcasts in the past, but have not been at the Superstore since creating the Final Word segment of NARN.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thanks for last night 

I am again away from home today and lecturing so posting is light. �I had a front-row seat for three amazing minds talking to a room of more than 1000 great listeners of AM 1280 the Patriot. �It was the first time I had ever seen Bill Bennett, who is much funnier than I had remembered and every bit as intelligent as I imagined from his books. �I also thank the commissioner of the NARN, Hugh Hewitt, for recognition from the stage. �It was great to see so many listeners. �Let's hope we can do this again soon.

Oh, Prager? �My only regret is that he was never my professor of Marxism. �I would have learned so much more.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Short note 

I'm out of pocket most of the day today, but to just let you know that the 100 days of Obama tour comes through Minneapolis tonight and tickets are still available at the door. Doors open at 7 and the three tenors of Salem -- Bennett, Prager and Hewitt -- begin at 7:30. Hope to see you there.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Tomorrow on the Final Word (and the David Strom Show) 

I will take my normal turn on the David Strom Show a week late this week talking about the economy. I would tell you there's plan for what we'll talk about but this is not true. Whatever comes out of David's mouth, I react to. This usually turns out well.

Then on the Headliners with Mitch and Ed and on the Final Word, we're auctioning off two spots in the DAV of Minnesota golf outing with the Final Word. I and a special NARN participant will join two winners of the auction for golf at the Wilds, a beautiful course in Prior Lake. All proceeds go to disabled veterans, a great cause, and while I am not a good golfer I can be quite entertaining. Dial in and make bids starting at 1pm to 651-289-4488 and then listen to AM 1280 the Patriot at 4:50 to see if you've won! (Actually, we hope you'll listen all afternoon.)

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Friday, April 10, 2009


We're going to replay last week's Final Word tomorrow to permit me Easter weekend with the family up here (with some time taken to finish my taxes and a conference paper) and so that the crew can get home to their families a little sooner. With such a small number in our house we don't usually prepare the Armenian Easter eggs, but I'm lobbying to take them to Easter dinner with friends and to make them with onion peels. (The latter would be a first for me.)

Happy Passover to our Jewish readers, and Happy Easter to our Christian ones. See you Monday.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

First Saturdays are two-for-one 

First Saturdays usually mean I will be on the David Strom Show at 10am CT to talk economics with David and Margaret. Streaming and podcasting information is available from here.

On the Final Word this week (beginning at 3pm) you will hear The Nihilist In Golf Pants, who has wanted for some time to get an hour to grill me on economics; he'll get to do the questioning and I will try to answer. Chime in via Twitter. Both shows are as always on AM 1280 the Patriot, and between those two times you'll get John and Brian, the First Team, and then Ed and Mitch, the Headliners. (NARN podcasts are always available here, usually posted 24-48 hours after the show. We also replay on Sunday nights on the Patriot beginning at 7pm.)

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Friday, March 06, 2009

In a sense, a record 

This graph, of which I've been doing a local version for about a year, has a new story to tell. Last summer I thought it said the recession was wimpy. It's not any more. The data is from the Minneapolis Fed, which has a really nice tool to create one of these graphs and data to download if you want more control (as I did.) "Median" is the median value of the 10 previous recessions. "Record" in the sense that we now have a postwar record almost; I've always viewed the 1948 recession as an abnormality created by demobilization from WW2. I'm not sure why I think that. I downloaded a paper on that recession, written before the 1957 recession, to read over the weekend. Maybe I'll write about this again, as I think this ties to some of the conclusions in Amity Shlaes work on the Great Depression and some of her interviews lately where she's talked about the postwar recovery.

I'll be on the David Strom Show tomorrow at 10am CT on the Patriot (in addition to my usual NARN turn at 3pm); since they always have me the first Saturday of the month, it's almost always the case that the employment numbers are the first thing we discuss. So keep this graph handy; I'll discuss it then.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Whatcha gonna call it? 

I'm tempted to keep The Final Word name for the NARN Volume 3 show, but it seemed Michael thought the name would be retired with his departure. The Misanthropic Frat Boy at Nihilist in Golf Pants came up with a list of potential names, which included some commenters' suggestions as well. Sounds to me like a poll idea! So I've taken some that I liked, and are having them run against "Final Word." You can vote once a day, and we'll run the poll for a week. Have fun.

I know Mom will ask why not the King Banaian Show? Well, while for now it's a solo act, it may not be forever, and all the NARN shows have had some catchy subtitle, which an unspellable last name kind of inhibits. (If this was Mitch, I could see Ice Ice Bergie. Or not.)

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Friday, December 19, 2008

My weekend to-do list 

  1. Grade.
  2. Final Word, 3-5pm Saturday, AM1280.
  3. Fill out Boehner's form.
I'll let you know how 1 and 3 go on Monday. See you then.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Media alert 

I'll be on KKMS (AM 980) in the Twin Cities in a few minutes with Jeff Shell and Lee Michaels, talking about the current economy. For those of you outside the Twin Cities, KKMS is the sister station of The Patriot. The interview should last until 4pm CT. Listen in! (Stream on the station link.)

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Radio atwittering 

For those of you following the Final Word today, you can use Twitter to follow the conversation. �I'll monitor the hashtag #finalword to track what you're saying about the show. �Streaming starts for NARN 2 in a minute, and Final Word begins at 3, all at

Michael is away today, so I am joined instead by our show friend Pat Shortridge. �A man who lists The Cocktail Hour as a hobby is a perfect fit for FW!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Never grew up 

John Christie writes about that uncle who makes Thanksgiving (and other holidays) fun.

There are ways, though, to be graduated to the adults' table ahead of schedule. One of them is to lead your younger cousins at the kids' table in a show of bad manners, including roll-tossing, ginger ale snorting and a burping contest (judged by loudness and length).�

The following Thanksgiving will find you at the big table, the cousins cowed back into good behavior.

At the adults' table, you'll find out what sparkling cider tastes like out of a crystal goblet, that the silverware is actual silver and that you'll get your hand slapped if you hold your knife in your fist.

But, if you are lucky, you will have a bachelor uncle at the table, the colorful sheep in the family of whom his older sisters say, "He's never grown up."

You know the type. He shows up late, smoking a cigar, perhaps with an overdressed date on his arm one year and another year with two buddies from the Elks Club who had no place else to go.

He is to the adults' table as you were to the kids' table. He doesn't mush up dinner rolls and try to "make two" with a hook shot into Aunt Mary's water glass, but he cracks ribald jokes, rags on his brother-in-law's comb-over and challenges you to an eating contest.

"I'm on my third helping, kid, and I ain't even started yet," he declares as you try to force down one more forkful of mashed potatoes.
You have an image of Uncke Buck, but John is actually speaking of Uncle Licky, whose gift of old comics I've written about here before. John and Gary were my two older cousins to whom I looked up. I always thought Gary threw the rolls, but John did inspire some great Thanksgiving burping contests.

And Uncle Licky? Never married, never left home, and only grew up later. When he was given a short prognosis for Lou Gehrig's he decided if he walked five miles a day it wouldn't catch him. And it didn't for several years. A joy of life and a will to live, in equal measure. I remember the overdressed date (referred to simply as "the Queen" by one and all, with Licky rolling his eyes), the stories of taking the bus to the dog tracks (Seabrook, Wonderland, Hinsdale, he hit 'em all), and some guys with Greek-sounding names he saw at the Elk or some greasy spoon on Central Ave. We kids loved the drive to Dover for Nana's food and Uncle Licky's entertainment.

We've finished two days of visiting friends and family this Thanksgiving, and I hope you had a fine holiday too, and that you got to see your favorite bachelor uncle. I'll be on the Patriot tomorrow without Michael; we'll do some different things than our usual fare unless some major stupidity in the recount happens. See you then.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

AM 1280 Stars in the Cities - October 28 - Join Us! 

Talk the Vote
The Patriot's very own Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt are coming to town to Talk the Vote on Tuesday, October 28th! Talk the Vote will take place at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis at 7:30pm (doors open at 7:00pm). The event is free, but you need to RSVP here or 651-289-4444.

Limited tickets remain to a Talk the Vote VIP Dinner with all three hosts prior to the event at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis. Tickets are $99 which include dinner, photo opportunity with all 3 hosts and front row seats to the big show! Click here to order your tickets.

Let's pack the house!!!!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't forget the Patriot Debate 

We're at Trocadero's tonight for the Patriot Debate. Hope you have a ticket! (Or try crashing the joint if you don't.) What does McCain do to shake up the race? Will Obama be able to run out the clock? Can Bob Schieffer do any worse than Tom Brokaw in moderating? (I think I do know the answer to that one.) Come by for the discussion with about 400 of your best friends.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

I'll just have to tell you 

I'll post over the weekend on the financial matters of the week. �If you want to hear it instead of read it, I will be on the David Strom Show at 9:20 to discuss matters with David and Margaret, and then I will be flying semi-solo (Matt will be my co-pilot) for Final Word as Michael basks in the glow of his prize. �Please do listen in.

Meanwhile I'm helping to celebrate the inauguration of President Earl Potter here at SCSU. �Congratulations, Earl. �It was a marvelous ceremony, and a word of praise for the SCSU Concert Choir, who sang some beautiful and challenging music.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hot time 

It's been so busy I haven't posted here. Be sure to follow the Twitter feed for updates. Hear us tonight 8-10p CT at AM 1280 the Patriot.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In case you forgot 

The NARN is at the Minnesota State Fair each night from 5-7pm. Tonight it's Michael and me, as Ed and Mitch get a breather from their week-long stint here. If you're not here, you can hear us on AM1280 the Patriot. (Streaming available there.)

UPDATE: Senator Norm Coleman will be with us at 5:20. We will ask about his new support for the expanded "Gang of 16". We also expect Zack Stephenson from MnPublius at 6pm to talk with us as the countdown to the coronation of Obama reaches its climax in Denver.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Media alert 

I will be subbing for Don Lyons on the Morning Show today at 6-8am on 1450 KNSI here in St. Cloud (streaming available through the link). Then at 5-7pm, the Final Word begins its State Fair duties. If you are at the Fair this afternoon, come by the Patriot booth, newly placed on Dan Patch Blvd, and visit with Michael and me. NARN will be at the Fair weekdays 5-7 along with our normal Saturday gig (11-5; the Final Word begins at 3.)

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Radio daze 

My radio schedule is pretty full this coming week. Tomorrow I will be on the David Strom Show at 10am for my usual one-hour discussion of the economy with David and Margaret. I would guess that we will discuss whether recession is a mental disorder.

Then the usual shenanigans of the NARN begin at 11 with the First Team of the Fraters and Ringo Hinderaker, followed by the Headliners, Mitch and Ed, and then us in the Final Word at 3pm. I'm pretty sure I saw something about Franken on Michael's blog; he might want to talk about it. Or maybe we'll just spend two hours playing with his new iPhone.

For the local St. Cloud listeners, I will be sitting in for the vacationing Don Lyons next week at KNSI's Morning Show, 6-8am Monday through Friday.

All of these shows stream (Patriot; KNSI); the Saturday shows can be found here (for Strom) and here (NARN.)

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Friday, June 06, 2008

A double-dip 

Per our usual agreement, I'll be on the David Strom Show tomorrow at 10am to talk about some of today's posts and a more general discussion of economics. Then the Final Word appears at its normal time of 3pm. Michael says he'll be live-blogging the DFL Senate endorsement debate, so I might be riding solo back at the mothership (though if there's an empty seat, guess who will take it?)

We'll see you tomorrow then, from 9-5 for Strom and the NARN, all on AM 1280 the Patriot.

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Convention wrapup 

After one more battle over the national delegate slate -- won handily by the pro-McCain/party regular forces, though not without about an hour of tense debate, and which featured a speech by Michael that brought a broad majority of the house up and cheering -- Karl Rove is now speaking after which the convention will be over. The house is at this point only half-full. There will be a couple of meetings for the national delegates and alternate, and a state central committee meeting, but most of the hall will empty in about 30-45 minutes.

Rove's speaking skills serve to show the difference between those ready for national stage and those that are not. The people here are pleased by the comments where Democrats are criticized. His comment on Rev. Wright: "I'd be more comfortable with Sen. Obama if there was moral indignation than personal indignation." And then support for the Iraq War, which drew even more favorable applause when comparing who spoke to their enemies when. Foreign policy issues were most favorably received by the convention, though he certainly causes the Paul supporters to seethe.

Longtime convention attendees that I spoke to this morning thought this was not as well handled a convention in re the rules and the nominating slates, and there was a fair number of people unhappy with the degree to which McCain floor managers were signaling votes on every item. It's worth remembering -- a majority of these delegates were not elected at the precinct level to be McCain delegates. They supported Romney, or maybe Huckabee, or came undecided after being Guiliani or Thompson folk. Their attachment to McCain is something not that deeply felt. Thus the curiosity about Paul and attendance at his rally, and why some of those who eventually voted for McCain may have nonetheless been less than enthusiastic with the tactics employed by both the McCain managers and the party's rules.

Again, show time for us at 3pm, Mitch and Ed are up now. I have had so many people thank us for the NARN here, and let me on behalf of them all say how humbling and gratifying your support has been. You have no idea how much we appreciate your support -- heck, I'll drive through a gallbladder attack to do this!

Unless something extraordinary happens here, that's all from here and I'll return to my usual weekend blog silence. See you Monday.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Show time 

Chad, Michael and I will be on the air at 5pm at AM 1280 the Patriot. No more blogging from here unless we're still doing things at 8pm. Thanks for being here today.

UPDATE: Show ended at 7, and the convention recessed fifteen minutes later. I will say the noise level and the hail outside was the most challenging environment for broadcast that I can remember. But great guests today, including Congressional candidates Ed Matthews and Brian Davis, and an excellent thirty minutes with Marianne Stebbins and Bill Paulson of the Ron Paul campaign, made it worth the effort.

The David Strom Show and the Northern Alliance are here 9-5 tomorrow. Hope you'll listen.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Live at five at the MNGOP! 

Michael and I will be on AM1280 the Patriot 5-7pm for the opening of the Minnesota GOP convention at the Mayo Civic Center. We'll be here tomorrow same time, and Saturday as the usual list of the suspects of the Northern Alliance Radio Network. Streaming is available from the link.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Here, grab this mic, or, TANSTAAFL! 

So I get an invite to a Dennis Prager talk from the station tonight, as did all of NARN. Late last week we were asked to put forward someone who will emcee the event. I had never seen Prager talk before and thought it a good thing to see (I had met him ever so briefly onces before, at a state fair event.) So I accepted the ticket, but, given I had to teach late this PM and worried about traffic, thought it would be better if someone else did this. Usually, you cannot keep Mitch away from the microphone and he's better at it anyway.

I had not planned on having dinner because of the schedule anyway, so I was surprised by light traffic and hit the Northland Inn around 6:15. They get me a seat in the dinner anyway, I get to talk a minute with Prager -- who is as nice as you would expect if you listen to his show; he says there's no radio-Dennis vs. real-life-Dennis, and from what I see that is right. I get my chicken (no use to this vegetarian, and at this stage not replaceable so I did without a main course), push it aside and talk with Fraters three and Nih(i)list. Over comes station management: We need someone to stall for Dennis, he's running late. (The dinner guests were to get personal pics with Prager, more on which in a minute.)

Now, walking into a room of 40-75 people and talking for 10 minutes is easy, and a studio with just a mic and a producer, well, that's fun. But this thing was sold out, and I had no idea how big the ballroom was. Something "sold out" placed in the "Grand Ballroom" isn't likely to be 75 people.

It wasn't. It was 600. And save for the picture-takers wandering down in twos and threes, it was full.

It was at this point I realized, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Or even a chicken you gave away.

I suppose I did OK. It did not help that one of my Celtic heroes, Wolves GM Kevin McHale, was in the audience in the front row, or that the room was darkened and a bright spotlight was on the podium. But in and out, maybe three minutes tops (they wanted ten, and I think my facial expression in response convinced them that was not a good idea.) Apparently I did well enough that they had me give a minute as a close to get Prager out of the hall without being stopped by 50 fans.

Me, I got five on the way out.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Saturday on AM 1280 

Tomorrow, Saturday the 23rd, I will join Michael Brodkorb for the Final Word of the Northern Alliance Radio Network program on AM 1280 the Patriot. We will be joined by Mary Liz Holberg, MN House Representative from Lakeville. Main topic - the irresponsible transit bill our legislature is in the process of trying to ram through before the actual budget numbers are released.

Please join us and share your thoughts.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Media alert 

Sticky for the day: I will be hosting an election returns show on AM 1280 the Patriot tonight beginning at 8pm. At some point Michael will arrive; we anticipate many local political figures calling in with their observations. Ed Morrissey is anticipated to stop by after his caucus (which I believe is his first experience ever with the MN system). THere's streaming audio available from the Patriot site if you are not in our broadcast range (which in the evening is quite possible.) We will have updates from other states as well on a night that could be decisive for John McCain but likely to be just another step in the danse macabre that has become the Democratic primary.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

A hot day at the Fair 

Here we are again, Michael and me, ready for three more hours of NARN Live at the State Fair. We're here 5-8pm tonight; many guests are expected but unconfirmed, so I'll leave this list blank (Michael updates while we're on, so check to see from his link. I'm busy trying to keep this thing between the ditches.)

Tomorrow, we have John and the Fraters 11-1, Mitch and Ed 1-3, and then we're back 3-5, for our usual NARN turn. Below is video from a food eating contest two years ago created by Saint Paul, featuring Mitch and former Patriot program director Patrick Campion.

So stop by us at the Fair, or listen, on AM 1280 the Patriot.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to the Fair 

I am behind the Patriot booth preparing for NARN Live at the MN State Fair. If you are at the Fair today or tomorrow at 5-8pm, or Saturday 11-5, be sure to stop by the booth on Judson Street, across from the Horticulture Building and say hi. We hope to have Sen. Norm Coleman on with us before he leaves for Iraq tonight, Prof. Larry Jacobs, a pollster at the University of Minnesota, Rep. Marty Seifert, along with Mark Yost, author of , and Sean Broom from MN Publius. He seems nervous, but we promise to treat him well.

If you're not at the Fair, listen in.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Tune in tomorrow 

I need to go tune up my golf game for MilF next week, so I'm off to take advantage of the weather. You get a double-dose of me tomorrow, and I get two guest co-hosts. I'll fill in for Mitch and Ed as the Headliner-of-the-Day, with guest host from the ether Duane Patterson, a/k/a the Generalissimo of the Hugh Hewitt Show. I will among other things talk about his post on the study of strike calls by Major League umpires (see Phil Miller, J.C. Bradbury and Skip Sauer; Skip gives us a link to the actual study.) That would be 1-3pm CT. Then, with Michael annoying his wife and new twins by live-blogging their births, Residual Forces' Andy Aplikowski will join me for The Final Word. You can bet the words "special" and "session" will be used liberally. The politicization has been noted as far away as New York and Washington. Andy has posted that the BPOUs (read: grassroots) are making inroads to slow the idea down.

That's all from 1-5 on AM 1280 the Patriot tomorrow. Stream it. Or (from Monday) podcast it.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

How people can help 

Michael has been posting some information at the end of each post since Wednesday night with information on how to help with the victims of the Minneapolis Bridge tragedy. Here's some information (poststamped to stay top for the day.)

Minneapolis Red Cross - donate blood and money
* Web site:
* Donate blood: 1-800-448-3543
* Donate money: 612-460-3700

United Way (2-1-1)
The United Way has an established protocol for handling donations. They work with state and local officials by consolidating offers of emergency assistance and making them known to responders. Contact United Way's 211 hotline for donations. Just dial 2-1-1 or 651-291-0211. (Full disclosure: I am a board member of the United Way of Central Minnesota.)

Minneapolis Red Cross has established a Family Assistance Center at the Holiday-Inn Metrodome, 1500 Washington Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55454

We'll talk more about this tomorrow on The Final Word at 3pm on AM 1280 the Patriot, and I will guest host for Tony Garcia on The Tony Garcia Show on 1450 KNSI Sunday at 1pm. (Links go to sites where streaming audio is available.) More about the bridge tragedy as infomrmation develops, otherwise, we'll see you Monday.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Radio Saturday: Whaddya think of Giuliani? 

Michael and I are starting a series this week on the Final Word in which we will focus on one presidential candidate per week and ask callers to tell us specifically what they like or don't like about that candidate. This week we kick off with Rudy Giuliani as the focus. Do you like him or don't you and why? Do you think he'll win or not? I'll focus mostly on domestic policy -- since Steve Forbes has signed on with Rudy as an advisor, should I be treating Rudy as a Forbes/Kemp tax warrior? -- as that's what I know. Michael will offer some thoughts as well. But what will make this feature work or not are opinions on the candidates from you, the listener. Be sure to listen and call us Saturday at 651-289-4488 with your view.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

One fine day 

If you are a blogger, or read blogs, just wonder what that word means, you need to be at Keegans tonight at 6pm for the Minnesota Organization of Blogs gathering. Usual ringleader Chad the Elder has decided he prefers Manila, enjoying his satellite TV connection, but the rest of us should be there. Cigars preferred.

You can start your fine day right now, listening to the second hour of Taxpayers League Live and then six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network beginning at 11am, on AM 1280 the Patriot (stream, later podcasts). Michael and I will have the Final Word starting at 3pm, with a focus on state and local politics. Exactly what? We're still working on guests while I hop in the car now and drive to the station; moonroof open because it's another gorgeous day in Minnesota.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Let's review 

On Saturday's show, we did a rather obscure story that I'd like to review now and provide some background.

A seat is available on the MnSCU Board of Trustees for a student from one of the four-year universities in the system (one of which is SCSU.) The current holder, Michael Boulton, goes off on June 30.

Chapter 136F of the Minnesota Statutes governs MnSCU and specific provisions are provided for the selection of trustees. 136F.04 covers the student board members' selection, assigning them "the responsibility for recruiting, screening, and recommending qualified candidates" to the board. They can recommend between two to four. The statute explicitly states that the governor "is not bound by these recommendations." The student association covering the four-year universities is the Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA.)

During the show we reviewed first the case of Luke Hellier. Luke is a graduate of St. John's University, has been active in Republican politics both on and off the campus, and has experience in SJU student government. I met him while he was at SJU and active with Students Fostering Conservative Thought; I have spoken as well to the campus' College Republicans chapter. Luke says he is enrolled for classes this fall at MSU-Mankato for a masters degree in public administration. He tells that upon speaking with Boulton, and realizing he met the requirements for the position, he decided to apply for the post. Using the Open Appointments process meant he filled out a form. He reports that last week, he was interviewed for the position. Nothing on that form indicated to him that he should speak to MSUSA for screening, nor did anyone from the governor's office when they interviewed him.

We also interviewed Adam Weigold, a candidate who went through MSUSA screening. When I asked how he knew of the post opening, he reported that as someone affiliated with MSUSA he was aware of the process anyway. How was the position advertised? I asked. He replied that it was up to campus student government presidents to make the position known to people on their campuses. While Adam was very supportive of Luke's candidacy, he felt that Luke should have known this process by finding the statute.

That's a fair enough point. But what I would ask is, when the statute says (136F.02) that "Three members must be students who are enrolled at least half time in a degree, diploma, or certificate program or have graduated from an institution governed by the board within one year of the date of appointment." (emphasis added), it clearly contemplates the applicant pool to include a student entering school. Nobody disputes this. And this would appear to be the case: The entering student would be a graduate student coming to a MnSCU school. We do not offer doctorates (yet) and master's programs typically take two years. So it's most likely that if grad students are contemplated to join the board, they would most likely join it at the very beginning of their enrollment in a program. Without the provision I italicized, it is unlikely that graduate students could gain the 4-year student seat on the MnSCU board.

Yet the system by which MSUSA announces the process it uses is exclusionary to those who would enter a program a few months after the announcement of a vacancy. It puts candidates like Luke at a disadvantage to insiders within MSUSA and the seven campus student governments.

If you think that's fair -- that there should be preference for current over incoming students, even if the incoming student has experience in student government from a non-MnSCU school -- you're welcome to argue that point. Please indicate how you read that into current Minnesota statute.

Enter last week's folderol from the leftist blogs inspired by Hal Kimball. Long-time readers of the Scholars are familiar with Mr. Kimball. He is a past student government president. During his tenure his student government helped get a man elected homecoming queen, interfering enough with the campus' student finances that its student finance committee quit en masse, and causing enough ruckus with the student newspaper to have its editor make Kimball the focus of his valedictory editorial, including these famous words:
Kimball is a whiny, two-faced, corrupt liar- all of the personality traits of a politician. He probably has a good career ahead of him.
The career path was rather evident early on. The year before Kimball became president of the student government, SCSU's students voted to remove themselves from MSUSA. To do so requires legislation, so the vote was to bind student government to seek that legislation. Throughout early 2004 the debate raged, and when Kimball won election that April, he indicated he would still abide by the students' preferences.
Kimball and [VP Bianca] Rhodes [who also tried to quit as Kimball's VP during the finance flap in 2/05 but was persuaded to stay] intend to keep the pressure on, they said.

"We will still be working on the MSUSA issue," Rhodes said. "That is very important to the students and student government."
But in the greatest about-face since Gomer Pyle, Kimball not only does not press for SCSU's departure from MSUSA, he becomes its chair. In a scathing editorial of Kimball's tenure, the campus newspaper notes that this is "similar to President Bush becoming the head of the United Nations after his term."

So those who think I might have been a little over-the-top last Saturday on my show should review this fellow who you have followed into your calumny over Luke Hellier's legitimate candidacy for the MnSCU Board. Is it really about protecting the recommending authority of MSUSA -- a body that Hal Kimball has both said he wanted SCSU students out of, and then became chair of -- or is it in fact about the politics of Luke?

After reading the facts above, and reading Hal's post, you decide: Does this look like the post of a 35-year-old adult that should serve on a board of MnSCU to you?

UPDATE: Michael looks at the reporting and finds it lacking.

UPDATE 2 (10pm): Since some people are missing key points, let's review again:
  1. I don't really care if Mr. Hellier wins or loses the Board seat. I think he is qualified, but it is reasonable to assume all three candidates are. Having not interviewed one and having only talked briefly to the other two, I'm in no position to pick. Nor is that my job: It's Governor Pawlenty's.
  2. Mr. Kimball is not a student at SCSU at this time. Having left the university, he is not subject to any special consideration from me as a faculty member. I checked this before agreeing to do the story on the show by establishing he no longer had an email account at the university. He has never been in one of my classes and his resume indicates he left the university in 2006.
  3. Reporting on his past at the university goes to motive. Mr. Kimball is a political actor in this issue; the post I offered of his above shows a political argument disqualifying his contention that the issue is about the MSUSA recommendation. Even in his questions he would ask of Mr. Hellier, he makes Hellier's work with the Bachmann campaign an issue. There is no political qualifications or disqualifications for a Board position. And his inconsistent position on MSUSA ("it's not your daddy's MSUSA") should call his judgment on the MSUSA recommendation into question. The target of his post is not Hellier but Pawlenty, and his willingness to smear Hellier with misrepresentations to get at Pawlenty is in fact part of a pattern of behavior.
  4. We are grateful for the listenership of the leftist blogs to our show. We are glad you found it entertaining. That is, in fact, what we do. We both inform and entertain. If leftists could figure this out, maybe they'd draw more than a 9% share of the talk radio format.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nope, just playing hookie 

There are simply days where you can't blog. Sometimes it's work related, and today is one of those days. Yesterday, though, was the glorious day of golf for The Patriot. Met great people and played a fabulous golf course. (I was skeptical of their talk that golf carts were special, but they were, and fast as heck too!)
Sure, we had no birdies, but we had sun and fun, and at least one of us had great shoes.

Came home trying to think up something and instead saw my daughter wanting to go for a walk, and the blog lost to Littlest.

More tonight when I return from Chili and Chat.

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