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Rethuglicans Follow An Old Model: Fear, Anger & Simple (Minded) Slogans

“All propaganda should be popular and should adapt it intellectual level to the receptive ability of the least intellectual of those whom it is desired to address. Thus it must sink its mental elevation deeper in proportion to the numbers of the mass who i has to grip. …The receptivity ability of the masses is very limited, and their understanding small; on the other hand, they have a great power of forgetting. This being so, all effective propaganda must be confined to very few points which must be brought out in the form of slogans.” — Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf…

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The GOP’s Systematic Plot To Destroy Any Remaining Scraps Of Democracy Is Rapidly Clicking Into Place

  By Sonali Kolhatkar Truthdig (12/6/18) The Republican Party has once more demonstrated that it has no respect for democracy and is determined to hold on to power by any means necessary. GOP state lawmakers in Wisconsin this week engaged in a brazen power grab in the form of bills that were introduced, debated and voted on with breathtaking speed in order to cripple the decision-making powers of Gov.-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. Legislators called a special session late last Friday, and then, as protesters marched and rallied outside the state Capitol building, the politicians debated in a closed-door session….


Explain That ‘Lesser-Of-Two-Evils’ Argument Again: Global Warming Denier Set To Lead Democrats On The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee

  By Paul C The Daily Kos (12/3/18) I received an ominous email Friday from Oil Change USA’s Climate Truth Action saying that unless Sen. Schumer intervenes, global warming denier Sen. Joe Manchin is in line to “lead” Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (I will quote the email extensively as this is an action notice not an article): Senator Manchin as ranking member in the Energy Committee would be a complete disaster. Senator Manchin has proven time and time again to be a fossil fuel money puppet, having accepted $965,288 from the coal, oil, and gas industries…


Winona LaDuke Calls For Indigenous-Led “Green New Deal” As She Fights Minnesota Pipeline Expansion

  [Editor’s Note: Wow, Ojibwe leader Winona LaDuke is amazing! Unlike so many on the left, LaDuke is bold, declarative and able to make an argument in a compelling manner. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (12/7/18) While world leaders converge in Poland for the U.N. climate change summit, we look at the indigenous-led fight against destructive oil pipelines and the revolutionary potential of the Green New Deal with Winona LaDuke, Ojibwe environmental leader and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. Link to Story, Transcript and…


By Now It’s More Than Clear, Climate Denial Equals Mass Murder

“Sometimes it seems as if I’ve banged out a trillion words over the last half-century in news dispatches, books and assorted screeds. None, I believe, are more important than these.” By Mort Rosenblum Readers News Service (12/6/18) PARIS – Let’s be clear before it is too late. Any government leader or corporate executive who flouts irrefutable evidence of climatic shifts is complicit in murdering the human race. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman called willful denial of climate change “depravity” in a New York Times essay on heedless greed and hubris. That’s not the half of it. Bill McKibben, in The New Yorker,…


‘Lobbyists Are Here. Goldman Sachs Is Here. Where’s Labor? Activists?’ Tlaib & Ocasio-Cortez Pull Back Curtain on Corporate-Sponsored Freshman Orientation

    By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (12/6/18) Pulling back the curtain on the ostensibly “bipartisan” orientation for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard’s Kennedy School in Boston, Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) informed the public through live social media updates on Thursday that—contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising—the private conference featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out organized labor and members of the progressive community. “Our ‘bipartisan’ congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group,” Ocasio-Cortez noted, likely referring to the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute, which is co-sponsoring the event. “Other members have…



Russia Monitor: Bumbling ‘Individual-1’ Bangs Up Against Grim Reality

  “This has been the most consequential day of the Mueller investigation.” — NBC News investigator Ken Dilanian (12/7/18)   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (12/10/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice, guilty of a federal crime of violating campaign finance law and there is proof of collusion between Trump and Russia. There were three different court filings by federal prosecutors on Friday. Though they were procedural there were enough facts and clues to make it clear that the Trump-Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller has the goods on Trump – there is more than…


Whistleblowers Warn Of Harmful Conditions For Children In Migrant Detention Centers

  All Things Considered / NPR (12/8/18) Physicians Scott Allen and Pamela McPherson discuss the abuses they witnessed in government detention centers when they inspected the facilities for the Department of Homeland Security. Link to 6-Minute Audio No One On The Inside Can Talk About What’s Happening At The Tent City For Migrant Kids — TORNILLO, Texas – About 40 miles southeast of El Paso, past the billboards for fast food joints and rugged desert hills, residents of this small community sometimes can see the lights of the nearby detention camp glowing in the night. Some of them have brought gifts for…


Watch Out! American History Shows Repression & Violence Is Never Limited To ‘Just the Immigrants’

Family members of political prisoners protest outside the White House in 1922. (Shutterstock) The targeting of immigrants is intimately linked to a long and ignoble record of labor civil rights repression in the United States.  By Harry Blain Foreign Policy in Focus (11/30/18) The Republican pre-election strategy of exploiting “the caravan” was irredeemably ugly. It’s hard to say what was worse: the shameless and farcical framing of a helpless stream of people as a national security threat, or the president’s off-hand suggestion that these people might actually be funded by the prime villain of most anti-Semitic conspiracy theories: George Soros. Few commentators have failed…


All US Presidents, Living & Dead, Are War Criminals

“The US has caused the deaths of 20 to 30 million people since World War Two, a level of carnage approaching that inflicted on Europe by Hitler.” By Glen Ford Black Agenda Report (12/6/18) Especially at state funerals, media and politicians pretend that US presidents are honorable men, instead of the mass murderers that all of them become in office. The daily whitewashing of imperial crimes that masquerades as “news” on corporate media becomes high ceremony when a Genocider-in-Chief dies. Now it is George Herbert Walker Bush’s turn to be canonized for bringing “’a ‘thousand points of light’ illuminating the…


COUP! Unable To Even Name The Foe, Wisconsin Dems Flap Hankies & Rattle Teacups At Fascist Onslaught Against State Govt.

A brass knuckle legislative coup. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (12/6/18) What has happened in Madison this week with the hard right Republican legislature preemptively kneecapping the administration of Democrat Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kraul before they even have a chance to take the oath of office is a brass knuckle legislative coup. While it is shocking the republicans would take such action it is not surprising; after all, that is what fascists do; abandon legal niceties, tradition and the normal transition of power. All those vestiges of democracy are as dead to the GOP…


Author Jason Stanley Explains “How Fascism Works”

  “In a healthy liberal democracy, language is a tool of information. The goal of fascist propaganda is not merely to mock and sneer at robust and complex public debate about policy; it is to eliminate its possibility.” — Jason Stanley, “How Fascism Works: The Politics Of Us And Them”, 2018. (p.54) Politics and Prose (9/25/18) Jason Stanley discusses his book, “How Fascism Works”, at Politics and Prose. In this clear and direct primer, Stanley, the award-winning author of How Propaganda Works, draws on a wide range of history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory to define fascism, explain its…


Of Lies & Blood Of Innocents: A Dose Of Reality On George H.W. Bush’s True Dark Legacy

  Mehdi Hasan On George H.W. Bush’s Ignored Legacy: War Crimes, Racism & Obstruction Of Justice With the sanctions, with the devastation that came in the ’90s and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi kids who died. That all started on George Bush Sr.’s watch. Democracy Now! (2/3/18) George H.W. Bush died in Houston on Friday night at the age of 94. Bush was elected the 41st president of the United States in 1988, becoming the first and only former CIA director to lead the country. He served as Ronald Reagan’s vice president from 1981 to 1989. Since Bush’s death, the media…


After Briefing With CIA Chief Republicans Agree: Yeah, Saudi Crown Prince Definitely Had Jamal Khashoggi Killed

“There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (12/4/18) Reasonable observers and analysts concluded weeks ago that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome killing of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi. Though it took them far longer than most, a small group of Republicans finally fell in line with this widespread consensus after a secretive briefing by CIA chief Gina Haspel on Tuesday, admitting that all the available evidence suggests MBS orchestrated the murder that has sparked international outrage and brought America’s longstanding military relationship with the brutal kingdom under sharp scrutiny. “There’s not a…


Republican Wet Dream: What It Means That Hillary Clinton Might Run For President In 2020

Third time’s a charm, right? Right? By Norman Solomon Reader Supported News (12/4/18) wenty-five years ago – when I wrote a book titled “False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era” – I didn’t expect that the Democratic Party would still be mired in Clintonism two and a half decades later. But such approaches to politics continue to haunt the party and the country. The last two Democratic presidencies largely involved talking progressive while serving Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. The obvious differences in the personalities and behavior of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama diverted attention from their underlying…


The Republican Betrayal Of The Lincoln Heritage

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln   By Mike McCabe Blue Jean Nation (12/2/18) For a very long time, the Republican Party was synonymous with the man who was arguably America’s greatest president, Abe Lincoln. For most of my life, I heard the GOP referred to as the party of Lincoln. Today, no one can make that claim with a straight face. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and guided the nation through the Civil War to save the union by ending slavery. Today’s Republican Party…


The Crass Hypocrisy, Cynical Mendacity & All-Around Fakery Of Our Very Own Paul Ryan

His record of accomplishing virtually nothing. By Andrew O’Hehir Salon (12/1/18) There’s considerable pathos and dramatic irony to the end of Paul Ryan’s political career — if you are able to view him from a distance, like a character in a Jonathan Franzen novel or a Netflix drama set in Norway. He’s a guy who believed he was out in front of history and positioned to shape it, but wound up being dragged behind the emperor’s chariot while the populace laughed at him and threw unpleasant objects. Until a few years ago, I bet he didn’t even know what “cuck”…


Russia Monitor: Donald Isn’t The Only Sell-Out In Trumplandia

  “This memo is more blacked out than Brett Kavanaugh on a school night.” — Trevor Noah, The Daily Show, tweet (12/4/18)   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (12/6/18) Dear Fellow Readers, The former Trump National Security Adviser and retired 3-star U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to a single charge of lying to the FBI following investigation of influencing U.S. foreign policy to benefit Turkey and coordinating in secret with Russia to negotiate a quid pro quo deal related to U.S. sanctions against Russia; these sanctions were in place prior to those related to Russian influence…


‘We Have Not Come Here To Beg World Leaders To Care,’ 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Tells COP24. ‘We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming’

Time to hand over the baton. By Jon Queally Common Dreams (12/4/18) Striking her mark at the COP24 climate talks taking place this week and next in Poland, fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden issued a stern rebuke on behalf of the world’s youth climate movement to the adult diplomats, executives, and elected leaders gathered by telling them she was not there asking for help or demanding they comply with demands but to let them know that new political realities and a renewable energy transformation are coming whether they like it or not. Thunberg said that she was not asking anything of…


High-Profile Wall Street Pedophile Pal Of Trump, Bill Clinton & Alan Dershowitz Benefits From Corrupt Connections & Twisted ‘Just-Us’ System

  The Young Turks (12/4/18) Jeffrey Epstein avoids a civil trial by paying out and apologizing. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. “A politically connected multi-millionaire sex offender accused of sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls struck a last-minute deal to avoid a civil trial that would have allowed some of his victims to finally testify against him in open court. Jeffrey Epstein struck the deal with lawyer Bradley Edwards shortly before jury selection was set to begin in West Palm Beach, Florida. ‘What happened today was a win,’ Edwards, who represents some…


The Trace: Guns News Updates From Around The Country

  The Trace (12/5/18) Police arrested an armed man in a school cafeteria. Police are trying to figure outhow the man was able to enter the North Carolina high school on Monday with a backpack filled with bullets and two handguns, which he pointed at officers before he was detained. Law enforcement agencies and gun shops are getting a heads up on the bump stock ban. A Minnesota TV news team obtained a copy of a memo circulated by the Department of Justice laying out new details about an upcoming reclassification of devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to approximate machine guns. According to the memo,…


The Reality Of George H.W. Bush’s Legacy: War Crimes, Racism, Weapons Smuggling & Obstruction Of Justice

  [Editor’s Note: This past weekend was awash in high praise for former president George H.W. Bush. The lofty ad infinitum praise of supposed statesmanship, wisdom, decency and ‘public service’ had little tethering to the truth of the man or his administration and earlier gigs as vice-president, head of the CIA and his personal life. The coverage was a cringe worthy display of the mainstream media’s servile deference to the ruling ‘elite’. Fortunately, the Intercept boldly injected a dose of reality about what H.W — and similar grifters of the corrupt corporate ruling class — was really about. — Mark…


Climate Catastrophe — This Is How Capitalism Kills Us

  By Hamilton Nolan Splinter News (11/18/18) On Meet the Press yesterday, Utah Senator Mike Lee said about our climate change crisis, “all the proposals I’ve seen so far that would address any of these issues would devastate the U.S. economy.” This is considered a reasonable explanation of maintaining the status quo. This is the insanity built into capitalism. Lee was specifically explaining why he would not support a carbon tax, the single most direct, rational, and market-friendly way of restricting carbon emissions. The context for the question was the release on Friday of a reportfrom the US government itself saying that, within a century, climate change…


Bling, Celebrity & Narcissism: Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield On The Fundamental Shift In The American Dream

  Salon Talks The rich are not like you and I, but we are becoming more and more like them. That’s the observation of renowned documentarian and photographer Lauren Greenfield, who spent more than two decades documenting the lifestyles of the one percent. In that time, she observed something stunning: the cultures, values and (especially) the materialism of the hyper-wealthy were, unlike their money, trickling down to the middle and lower classes. In this special on-the-road episode of “Salon Talks,” held at the Original Thinkers Festival in Telluride, Greenfield describes how she became the foremost “rich-people-ologist,” and how wealth and…


Wealthy Hedge Fund Exec Jeffrey Epstein Sexually Abused Underage Girls And Got Off With A Light Sentence

  Morning Edition / NPR (12/2/18) Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown discusses her investigative report on hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, who sexually abused dozens of teenage girls but served only 13 months in a county jail. Link to Story and 5+-Minute Audio ***** Bombshell Investigation Reveals How Trump’s Secretary Of Labor Helped Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein Hide His Many Sex Crimes By Travis Getty The Raw Story (11/28/18) President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor struck a highly unusual deal when he was Miami’s top federal prosecutor to go easy on the well-connected multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein — and keep his sex crimes…


Medicare For All: As Healthcare Costs Soar, Momentum Grows To Guarantee Healthcare For All Americans

  Democracy Now! (11/30/18) As Democrats prepare to take control of the House, pressure is growing on the Democratic leadership to embrace Medicare for All. Nearly 50 newly Democratic members of Congress campaigned for Medicare for All. In the last year, 123 incumbent House Democrats also co-sponsored Medicare for All legislation, double the number who supported a Medicare for All bill in the previous legislative session. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical, insurance and hospital companies are paying close attention. As the Intercept’s Lee Fang reports, over the summer the groups formed a partnership to fight the growing support for expanding Medicare. We speak…


America’s Forgotten Dark History Of Organized Anti-Semitism Re-emerges In Today’s Far-right Groups

Mass rally of 20,000 American Nazis at Madison Square Garden in 1939. Orgnizer Fritz Kuhn declared that if George Washington had still been alive, he would be a Nazi. This aspect of history is rarely found in textbooks. By Bradley W. Hart The Conversation (11/29/18) Hours after Robert Bowers allegedly walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 people, investigators told the media that Bowers appeared to have acted alone and fit what experts call the “lone mass shooter profile.” Weeks later, FBI agents arrested a Washington D.C. man who followed Bowers on social media. He had told relatives he wanted…


Russia Monitor: Truth Revealed On Trump’s Blizzard Of Lies

  “This is literally the “I am not a crook” tweet:”  @realDonaldTrump FollowFollow @realDonaldTrump “Oh, I get it! I am a very good developer, happily living my life, when I see our Country going in the wrong direction (to put it mildly). Against all odds, I decide to run for President & continue to run my business-very legal & very cool, talked about it on the campaign trail…” — David Frum re-tweet of Donald Trump tweet 11/30/18 ***** “I have no deals … because I think that would be a conflict.” — Trump denial during presidential transition press conference. ***** “People…


Why Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Lied To Congress

  The Daily Podcast / The New York Times (11/30/18) Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, has pleaded guilty to lying about Mr. Trump’s business ties to Russia and has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation. It’s the second time this week that a subject of the inquiry has been charged with lying. On today’s episode: Michael S. Schmidt, who has been covering the special counsel investigation for The New York Times. Background reading: Mr. Cohen admitted on Thursday to making false statements to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, and about Mr. Trump’s involvement in…


Empire Files: Randy Credico Exclusive Tell-All With Abby Martin On Trump Pal Roger Stone & Wikileaks

  Empire Files (11/28/18) In this exclusive extended interview, Randy Credico tells his side of the story on his role in the Russia investigation, his upcoming interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and true nature of his relationship with Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone. With never before revealed details about Roger Stone and the Mueller investigation, Credico details his long-standing ties to the political operative and answers the hard questions about his alleged coordination with Wikileaks. The interview highlights the larger context of the multi-front assault on Julian Assange, Wikileaks and the future of press freedom. Link to 44-Minute Video


With ‘Unlimited Funds to Lie,’ Insurance Industry & Corporate Democrats Gear Up To Kill Off Medicare For All

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/21/18) Medicare for All is rapidly surging in popularity among the American public and gaining momentum in Congress, but private insurance interests and Big Pharma have no intention of giving up their immensely profitable stranglehold on the U.S. healthcare system without a fight. According to strategy documents obtained by The Intercept and the watchdog group Documented, the private healthcare industry is working aggressively alongside corporate Democrats to spread anti-single payer propaganda and “minimize the potential” for Medicare for All as an alternative to the current for-profit status quo. Directed by former Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton staffers and leading insurance industry lobbyists, an…


Free & Open Press? Mmm, Not So Much In The World Of American Corporate Media

Jim Hightower in LaCrosse, Wisconsin for a 2016 campaign event. Free The Free Press From Wall Street Plunderers Texas populist Jim Hightower’s columns have been distributed by Creators Syndicate for a decade—but the agency said they had to take a pass on this one. “The big, hedge-fund owned newspaper chains that Hightower calls out in his column are big customers of theirs, and as such, they don’t want to risk offending them,” says Hightower assistant Melody Byrd (Corporate Crime Reporter, 11/29/18). “While Creators’ reluctance to anger these powerful interests is somewhat understandable, the implications are frightening. It’s one more example of this dangerous time…


Russian Trolls Prey Upon & Pry Open The Toxic Way We Do Our Politics

  By Rafael Behr The Guardian (11/13/18) To understand the current political frenzy on both sides of the Atlantic, it helps to know Tortuous Convolvulus. Unfamiliar with his work? Convolvulus was a spy, operating around 50BC, a specialist in psychological warfare. He was deployed by Julius Caesar against a stubborn Gallic rebellion, and his methods were not so different to those of Russian cyber-saboteurs against western democracies. It is worth adding that Convolvulus is a character from Asterix and the Roman Agent, a book known to most English readers in translation by Anthea Bell. The sad news of Bell’s death last month triggered many…


Meet The Russian KGB Spies Who Invented Fake News

A never ending, exhausting game of Whack-A-Mole The New York Times (11/19/18) In Episode 1 of Operation InfeKtion, we reveal how one of the biggest fake news stories ever concocted — the 1984 AIDS-is-a-biological-weapon hoax — went viral in the pre-Internet era. Meet the KGB cons who invented it, and the “truth squad” that quashed it. For a bit. Read the story here: www.nytimes.com/disinformation Link to 15-Minute Video ***** The Seven Commandments Of Russian Disinformation Fake News  The New York Times (11/20/18) Episode 2, Operation InfeKtion: The Pizzagate Playbook — same tactics, new technologies. How the seven rules of Soviet…


‘Corporate Greed At Its Worst’: After Reaping $514 Million From GOP Tax Scam & Billions In Public Subsidies, GM To Fire Nearly 15,000 Workers

  Sweet Deal! By Julia Conley Common Dreams (11/26/18) Tax justice and labor advocates were among those who expressed outrage Monday at the news that General Motors—one of the corporate giants that benefited immensely from the Republican tax plan last year—would cut 15 percent of its workforce, shuttering production facilities in three states as well as Canada to trim costs. The auto maker is closing five plants in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and Ontario, with plans to cut thousands of office jobs in January—slashing a total of 14,700 jobs. The move comes less than a year after the Republican Party pushed through its…


Deadly Disparity: Who Controls The World’s Wealth?

While 30,000 people a day die of starvation. Ralph Nader Radio Hour (11/24/18) Peter Philips, author of the recently published book “Giant: The Global Power Elite”, reveals the handful of people who control the world’s wealth and maintain the yawning and deadly disparity of opportunity and resources crippling billions around the globe. This important book has garnered no coverage or interviews in the mainstream press. — even public broadcasting. Please forward on to your contacts. Interview begins at the 40-minute mark. Link to Audio


It’s More Than A Matter Of Nancy Pelosi: Heart Of House Dems Is On The Line

  Will it be the corporate dems or the dems representing the rights & future of the people?   By Norman Solomon Reader Supported News (11/28/19) When Democrats take control of the House in early January, they’ll have two kinds of leadership – one from the top of the party’s power pyramid, the other from its base. With formal control, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer can brandish huge carrots and sticks to keep Democratic lawmakers in line. With grassroots support, a growing number of those lawmakers can – and should – strategically step out of line to fight for progressive…


Labor’s Challenge To The New Democrats In Congress

  By Leo Gerard OurFuture.org (11/21/18) In his victory speech on election night, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb said he would always remember the union members who helped him defeat two Republican incumbents in one year. “Side by side with us at each step of the way were men and women of organized labor. . .  I will never forget that. I will never forget that. Thank you,” he told a cheering crowd overflowing a ballroom at the Hilton DoubleTree, 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. In his first contest last spring, in a district that went for President Donald Trump by nearly 20 points and…


Dictionary.com’s Word Of The Year Is … ‘Misinformation’

Dictionary.com (11/26/18) The rampant spread of misinformation poses new challenges for navigating life in 2018. As a dictionary, we believe understanding the concept is vital to identifying misinformation in the wild, and ultimately curbing its impact. But what does misinformation mean? Dictionary.com defines it as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” The recent explosion of misinformation and the growing vocabulary we use to understand it have come up again and again in the work of our lexicographers. Over the last couple of years, Dictionary.com has been defining words and updating terms related to the evolving…