When all hope seems lost…

My heart is sore. I never thought I would feel so saddened by a country. I never thought I would feel so disillusioned with the people of New Zealand. I never thought I would ache with sorrow for the way New Zealand has become a country of people who worry more about their pockets than the future generations to come.

Last night I had decided to stay away from the news, but inadvertently [well maybe not] found myself seeing New Zealand sink in to the mire. The people of this once great country voted for another term of corruption, another term of money and profits for the big corporations above the health and welfare of this land, its people…its very heart.

To those of you considering immigrating to New Zealand I say this.

This land called Aotearoa is dying. We are not clean and we are not green. We do not look after our weak and vulnerable.

Our waterways are so polluted children can no longer swim in many of them. You see keeping the commercial farmers happy is so very important. We must allow them to run our rivers dry for their irrigation. We must allow their cattle effluent to drain in to our rivers and choke the life out of them.

We do not value our fauna. Commercial fishing interests are far more valuable to our government than our Maui dolphins, whose numbers sit now at 55. I imagine that in my lifetime this beautiful creature will become extinct while commercial fishing continues to practise methods that fill their boats but rape our oceans. Commercial fishing interests are also more important than the every day kiwis whose fishing quota has been reduced, who must also catch fish much larger than the commercial interests.

We allow commercial interests to plunder our wetlands to sell swamp kauri to other nations. Just ask Judith Collins whose husband’s company does just that. After all…as she said…she doesn’t care about wetlands.

While we are at it…do not try to protest against the government. They will simply pass laws to shut you up. Then they will run off in secret and meet with oil and mining companies to work out deals to mine in national parks or drill so deep in the sea that should a spill happen it will make the Gulf spill look like a minor mishap.

We allow over 250,000 children to exist below the poverty line. That’s a lot in a country of just over 4,000,000. Many go without breakfast, or lunch. Many live in cold damp houses that make them sick. But our government minister who oversees this portfolio says it is all not true. Those kids who rely on the charities that provide breakfast in some of the more vulnerable areas…why they are just lying when they said they didn’t have breakfast at home. And anyway…according to the same minister…it is not the government’s job to feed the poor children of New Zealand. It is their parents, who generally are either on drugs or spend all their money on booze and cigarettes. They are only poor because they make the choice to be.

So – if you want to come to a country that has sold its soul to America…by all means apply to immigrate to New Zealand.

The following belief system is a prerequisite for coming here and living a happy life these days:

  1. You must believe that corporations should be able to tell the government how to run a country. They know best and need to be able to keep governments in line with their ideology.
  2. You must believe that corporate profits are more important than the environment. Big business need to be able to protect those profits by any means available. For instance the TPPA will provide profits for decades to come. Either big business gets its way or it can sue the crap out of the government and those pesky tree-huggers if they interfere with the money-making capabilities or profits. It is the only fair way.
  3. You must believe that corporate profits are more important than the needs of the people. They are just tree-huggers or bludgers after all. It is the only way to stop them breeding. It is not right that governments or big business should have to ensure that the little blighters they birth should be kept fed, educated or God forbid come to expect that they might have a right to grow up and have a say in how their country is run. No…make it harder for them then there will be less of them around in the future to start demanding rights. Rights !! I say !! That is just silly.
  4. You must believe that politicians know what is best for a country. Remember they have the big corporations behind them advising them at all times on what is best.
  5. You must believe that the people who disagree with the government are all ignorant, tree-hugging bludging fools who should just shut up and mind their own business.
  6. You must believe that anyone who needs a helping hand at any time from the government is a bludger and should be made to feel like one at all times. Our best way of dealing with them is not to help them re-educate themselves. No, no, no. Ship them off to another country and let them deal with them.
  7. You must believe that American interests should always come before New Zealand’s interests. After all America is the greatest power on Earth. Look how much money they spend on beating other countries in to submission so that they do what America tells them to do. And how else would any Prime Minister from New Zealand get to play golf with the likes of Barak Obama, or have a holiday house in Hawaii ???
  8. You must believe that sarcasm and behaving like a childish fool is a good look for a Prime Minister, as is name calling.
  9. You must believe that rising power prices are great for everyone, especially the elderly or the infirm or the poor…and shutting their power off because of unpaid bills is nobody’s fault but their own.
  10. You must believe that insurance companies are operating fully within their rights with the people of Christchurch. Those that still live in damp, overcrowded garages four years later are just whiners. What do they expect actually, that insurance companies should actually pay up so that they can rebuild their lives ? And just because they are making record profits does not mean they are being unreasonable is raising premiums.
  11. You must believe that although New Zealand is a farming nation it is fine that basic foods are more expensive here than most places in the world.
  12. You must also believe that no politician should ever have to keep any promise he or she made during election time…ever. After all, their memories are a bit wonky, they can’t remember, let alone put in to action everything they said to get your vote. That would not be reasonable now would it ?
  13. You must believe that any politician has the God given right to lie at any time, and say that he can’t remember.
  14. You must believe that it is just foolish to believe that you should be able to own your own house any more. Do not be so silly. Unless you live overseas. Then it is fine.
  15. You must believe that people who invest in real estate should NEVER, and I mean never have to be made to pay one cent of their profits [especially if they own tens or hundreds of houses] in tax. Come on now…that would be silly.
  16. You must believe that earning a liveable minimum wage is another idea those tree-hugging bludgers came up with and is just not workable. It will most definitely send millions of workers to the unemployment line.
  17. You must believe that the more money you earn the less tax you should pay. Once you reach the top…well why pay any at all ? Hell we should be paying you for granting us the pleasure of you company.
  18. You must believe that being sick is just not a good look in this country. So don’t bother us with it. If you do we will think about sticking you on a waiting list for treatment. If you are lucky that is. After all we didn’t make the criteria for getting on waiting lists for treatment when you are sick so difficult for nothing fella. So unless you are dying, well maybe even then, do not expect help from the health system. That is not what we are here for ! As for getting drugs. Ha !! You should be so lucky. We will of course provide the ones the drug companies tell us to, at a price of course. Now just because they are not as good as the other drugs at fixing your problems is no reason to complain. The drug companies need to make a profit remember, so selling us the cheap stuff that is less effective makes perfect sense. We will of course need to make a profit too, so upping the cost of supplying it goes without saying.
  19. You must believe that mainstream media should tow the line at all times. They should never tell the people the truth, because we all know they can’t handle the truth. But keeping the big corporations that own the media happy is the way of the future. Bribe them with tax concessions and they will tell the general populace whatever you want, which is a good thing. This way you can make up stories and everyone will believe them. They will all think you are telling the truth when you say you give your salary to charity, even if you didn’t technically say that at all.
  20. You must believe that convincing the general public that there is a terrorist hiding under every bed is a good thing. This will allow you to pass laws that let other countries such as America, and if you are sneaky enough even your own spy agencies to reach in to their homes and gather information that you can them store and share with anyone you want to when it suits you.
  21. You must believe that no person should ever think that getting an education should do anything but bury them under a mound of debt. It is much better to give millions to charter schools than make sure that state schools are funded in a way that provides better teachers, smaller class sizes and healthier learning environments. That is not necessary. After all…those of us with money can send the kids to private schools. Why educate the masses…that might lead to trouble in the future as they might do the unthinkable and learn to think for themselves. By burying them under debt they are just too tired and worn down to cause government and big business any trouble in the future. This we call forward thinking.
  22. You must believe that selling of a nation’s assets is a good thing. After all what idiot thinks that keeping those profits in the nation’s coffers is sensible. No !! Much better if rich people and overseas corporations get them. Spreading the wealth around in the country itself is such a silly idea. As is keeping costs down. Profit is what it is all about. Profit above people every time.

Now if you agree with all of the above…then Maybe New Zealand as it is at the moment is the place for you.

Personally, well last night I told The Daughter to stay away. I never thought I would say that to my child. To The Son…I will say hurry up and leave. Go find a country that cares about its people, its environment, its future. Go find a better place. Because this country is headed down a path that will make it a terrible place for future generations.

As for me…well I will stay. I will hope that in the future this country will remember what made it so great in the first place. There are people here who want change. Who want New Zealand to be clean, green and caring again. Just not enough to make it so at the moment.

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

50 thoughts on “When all hope seems lost…”

    1. All I want to do is cry over what happened here yesterday. I am utterly at sea to understand how Kiwis have become so self centered and greedy. What happened to compassion, to caring about the environment, to wanting to leave this country in better shape for our children ??? I just spent an hour talking to The Daughter about it and she is also completely stunned by the result.

      Like

  1. Gosh – what a sad post. Sounds like NZ is going the same politically as Oz. Over here we have the terrible Tony Abbott as PM – he decided to send troops to the Middle East without any consultation even within his own party. The way this government treats refugees is despicable. As for environmental concerns – our list is similar to yours.
    It is hard not to get disheartened at this time when there is so much darkness in our world – to say it is coming to our awareness so that we can change it is cold comfort when it appears the powers that be are deaf to our pleas for peace, environment awareness and respect for all regardless of race and economic status.
    All the same, in these difficult times, I think it is important to build up our own strength and to do things that bring love into our lives. Going out into nature, turning off the news, celebrating beauty where ever we find it – these things refresh our spirit and renew our faith in the beauty of life. It helps give us the strength to go on smiling and to bring light, love and laughter into our little corners of the world. 🙂

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    1. You have a valid point Suzanne. In the dark we must seek out light, if only to bring love and laughter back in to our world. The Daughter rang from Switzerland today and she managed [after we both ranted about the election] to do just that for me. Sadly crappy weather kept me inside much of the day. But the fur babies gave great comfort and I watched a terrific movie [Chef…if you get a chance you should really watch it], as well as the latest episode of ‘Outlander’, which all gave me cause to smile, to feel joy and to be thankful for all the good in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems to me our world as we knew it has been poisoned with greed. No matter which way we turn, it seems we are not finding ourselves in the same soup. We are all going to hell. What matters is the mighty $$ in whatever currency. The people don’t count. They are stupid and the government know what is best for them. How do we pull out of this mess? Some of the problem is people don’t go out to vote and the wrong party gets in over and over again.

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  3. I would suggest it is not the rich or the poor who have the say in our country at election time. It is that huge mass called the ‘middle classes’. They have been really suffering for some time too, but when an outsider and a scoundrel like Kim Dotcom tries telling this country what is best for them, all he does is divide the vote on the left. So middle classes are faced with a choice of the Greens, (who are largely an ‘ideal’ – let’s face it, we are never in this world going to get back to the Garden of Eden pre-apple harvest times – ) and the other option is the right. And clearly the middle classes felt more comfortable with the right. That is what democracy is all about and long may it stay that way. In another three years, and that is a very short time, we have the option to vote again and hopefully Kim Dotcom will have been deported, and a reasonable candidate like Hone Harawira (who made the error of getting mixed up with Kim) will have a chance to get back in power and do his bit for our country, which is not the cot case that has been described here. Ask any American who is on a the US minimum wage, or working for ‘tips’, or who understands that most their taxes go in fighting wars in countries that should be left to sort themselves out – despite all the collateral damage to those nations’ innocent women and children- and who don’t bother to vote in US elections simply because they know that no matter who gets into power, the country is run by the powerful lobbyists.

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    1. I do agree that Dotcom [sadly] derailed this election. But he is not the reason that National won. Our media is [IMO] at fault. I wish that the ‘Moment of Truth’ had been held 3-6 months before. Because what was revealed by both Greenwald and Snowden was important. However ALL the media was focussed on was Dotcom and his non-reveal instead of these incredibly important and revealing issues brought out in to the open. I feel that given more time perhaps the public might have started to digest these issues and want answers. So long as our media is so right wing a fair and equitable reporting of events shall never occur in New Zealand. Given that many give so much power to papers such as the NZ Herald and take it as gospel, this is always going to cause a power imbalance in the reporting of National and what our government does.

      All that aside I disagree Margaret with the belief that the Greens are largely an ‘ideal’. When looked at and taken apart many of their policies are both progressive and desirable for a country such as New Zealand. They can and would [I believe] offer a way forward for this country that would be remarkable. The Greens are no longer a ‘whacky’ party of hippies who want to drive away any and all capitalist ideas. When looked at…their policies show a great depth of understanding of New Zealand’s strengths and our weaknesses. Like any party, not all their ideas are perfect, but if people would actually examine their policies minutely, see that they actually have a plan for a stable economy that over time becomes less reliant on fossil fuels [and hence countries like America] and seeks a way forward that takes the things we are good at and makes us unique in the world…I do see them as an ideal, but an achievable ideal that with balance could work to make New Zealand a place I would be proud of.

      Of course in the scheme of things New Zealand is certainly not the worst country that exists. But I can’t help longing for the country that said no to America bringing nuclear powered ships here. The country that sent her Navy to Mururoa to protest French nuclear testing in the Pacific. The country that forgot [or perhaps actually just never cared] how small it is and stood up, spoke up, shook its fist at injustice. The country that in the past, instead of treating their PM like a rockstar because he played golf with an American President would actually have snickered a little at the pomposity of his behaviour. The country that in the past would have slapped Paula Bennett to the curb when she said: “The government is not responsible for our hungry children,” instead of agreeing with her.

      So yes I do believe New Zealand is falling far short of the country I chose to come to, the country I wanted to raise my children in. And worse still is the loss of empathy. ‘As long as I am all right the rest can look after themselves’ is an attitude I hear more and more. Add to that the apathy…the fact that so many New Zealanders never bothered to vote or be informed about this election is telling. New Zealand is a cot case…at least in my opinion. The rot has set in. Can we stop it ? I hope so. But as long as America has its hand up John Keys arse making him wiggle when ever they want I fear that it may take longer than is good for this country.

      Okay rant over. I am officially over politics for the next wee while. I actually want to feel good about things.

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  4. And whether you are gay or not, there will always be dishes to do, and dissent within families. That Bert and Ernie are gay is easy to deal with.

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  5. What can I say Jo – you have nailed it, and sadly, the same is happening here in Oz; it’s so sad. In fact, the whole world is in a sorry state at the moment, there is nowhere else to go.
    But we have to hold on to hope that things will change and governments will come to their senses. In the meantime, soak up the beauty we have in our respective countries to uplift and strengthen our souls.

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    1. I know Barbara. I have been tossing up leaving New Zealand. But returning to Australia is not really much better of an option…so here I stay for now and hope that at some point the New Zealand I immigrated to will find itself again.

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  6. Oh Jo, I can sense your deep frustration from this well written and obviously well thought-through piece. The themes you highlight of corruption, poverty, greed, raping the environment, seem so universal.

    So many of my countrymen, even family, headed for New Zealand, thinking they’d get away from those very things. Yet, it seems, if you’ll pardon the language, that it is a case of “the same shit, just different pigeons”…

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    1. I also came here because I believed that New Zealand was a place to get away from those things…but as long as we have a Prime Minister who places being on the world stage as an important aspect of running the country and has Obama’s hand up his arse directing the puppet show I fear that New Zealand will never be what it was.

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  7. Hi Jo. You’ve written the post I’ve been thinking about all day, but more eloquently than I feel capable of doing. I’m encouraging my child to do as you are encouraging yours — and thinking about following suit. Kia kaha 🙂

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    1. I talked for a long time today to my daughter. Neither of us could fathom what happened here yesterday. I am so glad she has left the country. I advised her to seek her place anywhere but here…she agreed that New Zealand has lost the plot. I am of the belief that once my son finishes his apprenticeship he too shall leave. Luckily both my children have European passports and Australian citizenship with gives them options [though I wonder about where Australia is headed these days as well]. I am thankful they have the opportunity to find a better place that might not only give them employment but feed their souls. The Daughter was telling me how she has only seen 1 homeless person in Switzerland in the 6 weeks she has been there. This…one of the most capitalist countries in the world, takes better care of its citizens than supposedly ‘socialist’ New Zealand.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Zimmerbitch: age is just a (biggish) number and commented:
    I’ve spent the day pondering how I might respond to yesterday’s election; how I might convey my disgust and disappointment that given an opportunity that only comes once every three years, the people of NZ might choose compassion over greed; sustainability over short-term, limited and selective economic “growth.” I still can’t quite explore all the dark recesses of anger and disgust, so I’m sharing this eloquent and passionate post, which says what I would try to, if only I could.

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    1. Thanks Su…what a lovely intro. I am trying to put my anger and disgust aside for now. I spent the day [crappy weather here for a lot of it] with the fur babies. Watched some great TV [Outlander] and a great movie [Chef] and tried hard to think of anything but politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks; I spent the day working on Sculpture OnShore – an art fundraiser for Women’s Refuge. Not exactly taking my mind off politics, but at least with this I can do something useful. In between times I was talking to friends who all feel the same way. If so many people I know feel like this, why are we facing another three years of slash-and-burn economic policy and I’m alright Jack social policy?

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  9. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared
    to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say
    to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries
    that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined
    out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take
    a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

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  10. Well done you, Jo for putting it in to words. Not today, because today I’m mourning for the lost chance, but tomorrow, or the day after, I plan to pick myself up , dust myself down, and carry on. And when I do, my eyes will be firmly on 2017. We can’t let it happen again.

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    1. No we can’t Jill. Though I see your Labour candidate won. Maybe by 2017 I will be in Napier and we can perhaps [I sure hope so] celebrate a victory for the parties that hold empathy and compassion, the environment and New Zealand’s good name above money and power.

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      1. Deal! Stuart Nash ran a very good campaign and I think he deserved his win. Sadly, when I looked at the statistics it seems he got there because the Conservative candidate split the right wing vote. National got the majority of the party votes in the Napier electorate which makes me worry already for 2017, unless there is a swing to the left before then. But I must say that I’ve started to feel a bit better since reading your post – not quite so alone in the wilderness!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. God I just want to use the ‘f’ word with all this dealing and splitting of the party votes. There are a lot of disappointed Kiwis out there today. I follow this website [on FB as well] and take heart from many of the people on there who really want to work toward a better NZ.

          http://www.wakeupnz.net/2014-election-results-proud-day-kiwi/

          We need to hold each other up and do exactly what you said…push forward [learning from the mistakes of this election] to a better way in 2017.

          Like

  11. A sad post indeed Jo and don’t feel alone. Here in South Africa things are about the same. Money talks hon and the more money they get, the more corrupt they become. They don’t realize that one day they will have to ‘eat and drink’ those money bills because there won’t be any food or water left. I always wonder what it’s going to take for them to wake up and realise. 😦

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    1. So true…sadly so true. I am heartened by the response on here. Especially from Kiwis who feel as I do. I fear they will never wake up. Money has poisoned our society to the point of no return. Add power in to the mix and they become intoxicated with it. Our Minister in charge of Social Development is such an example. A young single Mum she had the system there to help her get an education, buy a house, raise her children. That same system she has now closed off from anyone else being able to use to raise themselves out of the cycle of poverty. She actually believes and said the other week that: “There is no mental illness that a job can’t help you out of.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am sure there are a lot that feel like you do Jo and it’s a pity that money have so much power. I always feel so sorry for the singe parents. Because of our economic problems my sons don’t even want kids and of course most of the young girls of today want rich men and smart cars and homes. Having a degree doesn’t help here either, especially if there aren’t any jobs and here it helps if you have the contacts.

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        1. It doesn’t help to have a degree here either. There are many more people struggling here than are reported with degrees because the jobs are NOT available. People who in the past were able to live and live comfortably are now working two jobs or more and still can’t pay their bills.

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  12. New Zealand is one country that I though had it right, a sort of idyll that was how England used to be, and somewhere I could live because they had it right. Fresh, green and healthy. Obviously I was very wrong, how desperately sad that it being systematically destroyed by a bunch of selfish knobs. I feel your pain Jo.

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    1. Sadly New Zealand is full of people either chasing the $$$$$$$ at the expense of all else or they are too small town minded and fearful of change. Add a large dose of ‘as long as I am all right who cares about the rest’, and an overdose of apathy…New Zealand is in big trouble.

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  13. Of course I don’t like it at all; but I hit ‘like’ simply because I agree with you, and I have a horrible feeling that Australia is going to do exactly the same thing in September 2016. And that after having been beaten to its knees by the most appalling ‘governance’ ever seen in the country. My heart bleeds in anticipation.

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  14. Your post is a real eye opener Jo.
    I had no idea things were so bad over there.
    So many of our people have moved to NZ because of the corruption and the crime in this beautiful country.
    Makes one think there is nowhere to go.

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  15. JO, why do people like yourself not get together and start a new political party in your own home town and then it could spread, its the only way for change.
    One thing about the UK is at least they are trying to fix things.

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    1. I have a friend who has done that [in another electorate] Harry. Me…at the moment I just do not have it in me. And honestly – in my town – they are never going to vote for anything but National. Too afraid of change to even look at the other party’s policies. Bunch of small town minds I am afraid for the most part.

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  16. It makes me so sad to read about the way things are going over there! I visited New Zealand when I was younger and fell in love with how beautiful the country was. The nature and the people were so amazing. I always thought of it as the perfect place. I hate that it’s starting to follow the negative trends of the rest of the world.

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  17. I have always thought of NZ as a clean, green space, so this was a shock. Here, politicians and the super rich routinely behave as though they have another planet in their back pocket that they can pull out when this one is despoiled.
    Actually, a lot of people with little or no money do too, so I am wrong to blame the rich.
    However, and do hang on to this, there are also a lot of people in the world who are fighting to make the planet a better, fairer place for everyone; who want flora and fauna to be part of the equation rather than gas and oil; who want human rights to be a global reality. You are part of that second group. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

    Like

There are two things I know for certain. One: Bert and Ernie are gay. Two: I want to hear your opinion.

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