Let The Eagle Scream Version 2: Star-Spangled-Boogaloo

A brief oversight I'm going to edit real quick.
Figured since it outlawed production, sale, distribution and consumption, why not simple possession (with certain medical and religious exceptions, of course). Also, how exactly would enforcement of consumption and possession work? Only way I can see is basically suspending the Fourth Amendment.
 
Figured since it outlawed production, sale, distribution and consumption, why not simple possession (with certain medical and religious exceptions, of course). Also, how exactly would enforcement of consumption and possession work? Only way I can see is basically suspending the Fourth Amendment.
I imagine the law, like OTL Prohibition, is aimed more at busting bars and brewers and whatnot. Cutting off the head of the snake as it were. Also like OTL Prohibition, it's a completely unenforceable mess.
 
I imagine the law, like OTL Prohibition, is aimed more at busting bars and brewers and whatnot. Cutting off the head of the snake as it were. Also like OTL Prohibition, it's a completely unenforceable mess.
Still, I'd imagine there would be a few...shall we say, overzealous Revenuers who don't care for such frivolous things as "warrants" or "constitutional protections." Another thought about Prohibition that's been in my head for a few years: What if an extreme teetotaler president decided to invade Canada to stop that "vile, evil liquid" from ever reaching American lips?
 
The Golden Twenties Part II: Bootlegging, Baseball, and Boxing
The Golden Twenties Part II: Bootlegging, Baseball, and Boxing


The "Havana Swashbucklers" bootlegging crew in 1926. Back row (L-R) William Morrison and Jack "Big Jackie" Cortez. Front row (L-R) Alexander "Alexander the Great" Smith and Herman Jefferson.

The Golden Twenties saw the rise of a true popular culture in America. Although alcohol was illegal, bar culture flourished like never before. For those who didn't want to break the law, sports offered great thrills. Boxers pummeled each other in the ring like never before. Baseball offered a great way to entertain the family. Americans in the Golden Twenties were never short on entertainment.

Throughout the 1920's Prohibition was the law of the land. Unfortunately for the beleaguered authorities, Americans have never really had much respect for the law, especially when said law infringes on their pursuit of happiness (or drunkenness). This was especially the case in the South and Caribbean. Seeing an opportunity to make a fortune, many enterprising young folks began bootlegging. Appalachian rednecks, poor good ol boys from the bayou, immigrants, Cuban mestizos, and the grandchildren of slaves all began making, selling, or transporting liquor. The best among them would become legends. In New Orleans, James "Diamond Jimmy" Thornton ran Louisiana moonshine, Mexican tequila, and the sugar cane drink seco herrerano (often used like rum of vodka) from the Territory of Panama both into New Orleans proper, and up into Kansas City, Tallahassee, Miami, St. Louis, Omaha, and Chicago. Out of Havana, the legendary all-Black Havana Swashbucklers had complete control of the nation's supply of Cuban rum, one of the most sought after liquors across the whole country. Wilmington, North Carolina was home to the MacDougall Brothers, who supplied fine Cackalacky moonshine, Kentucky bourbon from the Louisville branch of the operation, as well as controlling the import of most Irish whiskey into the country. They mainly supplied Atlanta, Charleston, Richmond, New York, Baltimore, and even the nation's capital. The West Coast was kept inebriated by Julio Erikson, aka "The Swedo Bandito" a half-Mestizo half-Swedish gentleman who ran tequila, vodka, and the Filipino drink lambanog, aka coconut vodka, which was a hot commodity in the Filipino community in San Francisco, from his HQ in Los Mochis, Lincoln Territory. The sole Yankee contribution to this mythology was Abraham "Mean Abe" Bronstein, who supplied Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and Boston with Canadian whiskey and scotch. However, New York and Philly also took in liquor from the Swashbucklers (every city did due to the rum situation) and the MacDougall Brothers. Other Northern outfits tried to get in on the bootlegging racket, but were unsuccessful. It was much easier for Southerners and folks in the Territories to hand a few dollars and/or a couple bottles of the good stuff to sympathetic American authorities who could stall the Feds than it was to deal with the militarized nightmare of the Canadian border (tensions remained high after the Flu). There was a couple years of confused fighting between everybody, which was eventually settled by the Savannah Agreement of 1923. This informal agreement between the various bootleggers, as well as Mafia families in New York and Chicago, established set markets for everyone, and established that in New York and Chicago, the mafia would get a cut of the profits. Since each bootlegger organization had been given a set market, and specialized in certain kinds of alcohol (mainly due to shipping concerns) the regions each group controlled would develop unique cocktails based on certain alcohols, which would become famous later.

With the Agreement in place, everyone involved got fabulously rich. Corrupt cops brought home furs to their wives, judges splurged on plane tickets for their families, and every single major player became a millionaire many times over. Herman Jefferson even became part owner of the newly founded Havana Rough Riders baseball team. If the bootleggers were merely insanely wealthy and had corrupted over half the cops and judges in the country, it would have been bad enough for the feds. However, the big bootleggers also became well-connected celebrities. The MacDougall Brothers became semi-regular guests at the Roosevelts' home in Oyster Bay, frequently bringing the ex-President Jameson whiskey free of charge (he had been an ardent opponent of Prohibition). One of the Brothers, Dick, even briefly carried on an affair Roosevelt's married daughter Alice, although that was shut down by her moralizing (and still terrifying) father. Julio Erikson rubbed shoulders with movie stars, and married Maria Gabriella Perez, a Cuban beauty who gained fame as "The Latin Rose," one of film's greatest female stars of the Twenties. In Havana, the Swashbucklers became a part of the nightlife circuit, regularly cavorting with politicians, musicians, movie stars, and athletes. Not even the Washington elite were beyond their grip. Ardent Prohibitionists in Congress, Yankee Republicans to a man (or woman in O'Connell's case) tried to repeal part of Roosevelt Era colonial legislation which mandated that Federal authorities had to notify Territorial authorities at least a week prior to any kind of large raid or arrest which might entail extraditing Territorial citizens to Homeland federal courts. While designed to prevent Federal authorities from casually arresting and removing critics of Washington, it was now being abused by a thoroughly corrupt and anti-Prohibition elite to help disguise things like Cuban rum distilleries. The repeal was proposed 8 times, and failed every time. We're sure that the appearance of bottles of liquor and wads of cash that wound up on the desks of Congressmen against the repeal were purely coincidental. Despite the best efforts of reformers, the bootleggers were protected by courts, cops, Washington, and public opinion. There were even a few cases of police officers getting into shootouts with revenue men trying to shut down various stills and distilleries. Alcohol would be a key part of American culture in the Golden Twenties.

Not all of the fun involved alcohol. Sports, particularly boxing and baseball, became explosively popular during this time. Tied to the number of great boxers, Latin machismo, the general prosperity of the period, and bootlegging came the culture of the prizefight. Big names, like Ricky "Fightin Irish" Walsh, Eli "Black Death" Harris, William Spooner, aka "The Connecticut Yankee," and Martin Lopez, aka "The Havana Reaper" were among a handful of great boxers who came about in this period. They elevated the sport into a battle royale, an art, and a gargantuan spectacle, and elevated themselves into demigods in the public eye. Thousands would turn out to see these alpha males of fighting duke it out with each other and with other fighters. Eli Harris became an especially famed fighter, being by far and away the biggest Black name in the game, winning 6 middleweight titles over the course of his career. Prize fights between these titans became more than mere entertainment: they were community events and social gatherings, especially for the working classes. Businessmen would make deals over cigars and hot dogs while watching fights. Politicians and aspiring politicians would gladhand constituents and try to get a picture taken with the champion. Couples would go to the fights as a nice date night. Due to the importance of these fights as social events, and thanks to some of the machismo of Cuba and Mexico rubbing off onto the general populace, men in both the stands and the ring would try and show off. Gangsters started showing up with their girlfriends, sometimes coming with two or three simultaneously, and both they and their women were dressed in finery. Gaudy rings, flashy suits, tie bars inlaid with jewels, diamond necklaces, and furs all became de rigeur first for gangsters, then for the young men who emulated them (ie most). It wasn't uncommon for men to be openly sporting guns at fights and challenging men who they felt disrespected them to fistfights. In fact, a prizefight where a fight broke out in the stands became known as "A double prize." One particularly rowdy Boston prizefight became a "Baker's Dozen Prize" according to the newspapers, when some 12 fights broke out in the stands.

Baseball was much less rowdy, and became more associated with the middle class family, while boxing's image would become more working class. Baseball had been around in one form or another since the Civil War, if not longer. The period from 1900-1930 is when the game fully evolved, and secured its spot in America's heart as the national pastime. It proved especially popular in the South, where many schools had implemented a form of baseball at the behest of Federal authorities during Reconstruction to "Fully Re-Americanize" the South. Similar efforts were undertaken in the Philippines and Caribbean, with President James Cox (elected 1920) remarking "Bats and gloves have done more to make the Territories American than almost anything else." Teams and leagues were formed as early as 1870, but the modern incarnation, known simply as Major League Baseball, was formed in 1905, and was restructured in 1922 to accommodate more teams. Below is the structure of the MLB circa 1928:

National League

Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Hawks
Pittsburgh Steelers

Cleveland Pioneers
Milwaukee Bears
Chicago Orange Sox
Detroit Jaguars
Washington Senators

Dixie League

Richmond Colonists
Havana Rough Riders
Charlotte Soldiers
Atlanta Eagles
Miami Minutemen
Kingston Filibusters
New Orleans Trailblazers
Austin Cowboys
Dallas Rangers
Panama City Conquistadors

American League

Seattle Mariners
Portland Lumberjacks
Zion Freedmen
Los Angeles Coyotes
Carson City Miners
San Diego Cobras
San Francisco Lions
Sacramento Bulls
Honolulu Pirates
New Canaan Pilgrims
These teams were insanely popular, and the stars they produced became even more famous. Baltimore's Babe Ruth, Havana's Timmy Sanchez, New York's Jordan Clyburn, and Zion's native son Ezekiel Carter all became legends in the Golden Twenties. They were even elevated above boxers because while the public enjoyed both sports, baseball was more respectable. The nation's obsession with baseball stars helped give birth to celebrity culture, with Ruth's playboy antics being especially notorious in the press. Players and teams would become symbols of the city they played for, and to disparage said team or player was to invite a scolding at best, a beat down at worst. Focusing back on the teams, one might notice that with the exception of Panama City, every team in the Dixie League has an ultra-American name. This is not some explosively patriotic coincidence: it was done by design. The South and the Caribbean had a bit of an image problem. The South was still derided for the Civil War, even though Southerners had overwhelmingly served and disproportionately died in every war since. Not even Southern Blacks were immune, as many Yankees felt a kind of condescending compassion towards them. The Caribbean was at once exoticized, and derided as too Hispanic and Catholic. Nevermind that many in the Caribbean were actually converting to Protestantism thanks to years of missionary work and the fact that just being Protestant would elevate one's status. So, to demonstrate their Americanism, the owners of the Dixie League teams made them "So All-American George Washington would ask us to ease off if he were still on this side of Glory" as Miami Minutemen founder Mark Miller put it. Not only did the teams have patriotic mascots, but the actual event of going to a game became intensely patriotic as well. While most teams outside the South and Caribbean (increasingly being lumped together as Greater Dixie) did not involve much patriotism in their games aside from throwing up flags and bunting on the stadium, the Dixie League made patriotic display into an art form. Since the United States did not yet have a national anthem, each team picked a patriotic classic to play before games, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. During the first games between the Dixie League and others, teams from outside Dixie were noticeably confused by the ritual, and would get heckled until they complied. The sight of Southerners and people from the Territories enforcing patriotism on their fellows was immensely embarrassing, and teams outside of Dixie would begin adopting their patriotic traditions out of embarrassment, although this wouldn't become MLB standard till the 40's.

Another issue we have to talk about in regards to baseball is race. To say baseball was fully segregated would be misleading. To say that the sport was integrated would be either cynical or naive, depending on one's intentions. The MLB in many ways essentially adopted the Cackalack Compromise to sport. Each constituent league had at least one Black owned team. In the National League, this role was fulfilled by the Chicago Orange Sox. The American League had the Zion Freedmen and the New Canaan Pilgrims. Down in the Dixie League, the Kingston Filibusters and Havana Rough Riders were Black owned. Furthermore, all of these teams were all-Black, while the other teams were either all-White or White-Hispanic. This was not a mandate from the League, but an understanding. Black teams were seen as an avenue to display Black excellence in sport without crowding out or being crowded out by the White man. Full integration wouldn't come until the late 40's. However, the teams generally treated one another equally, and racial animus between players and fans was kept to a minimum, although squelching it proved impossible. Regardless, baseball was here to stay.


The 1923 Kingston Filibusters pose in their old practice gear.


A song composed during the Second Mexican-American War, sung by the Richmond Colonists from 1922-25 before being replaced by "You're a Grand Old Flag."


The St. Patrick's Day Massacre (October 27th, 1927). Perpetrated by the Havana Swashbucklers against the Boston Irish O'Reilly Crew after they attempted to break the Swashbuckler's rum monopoly.



Santo Domingo Governor Ricardo Morales poses with his Tommy Gun. Tommy Guns, a favorite of mobsters and lawmen alike, would become a symbol of the era.


William Spooner, aka "The Connecticut Yankee."



Eli "Black Death" Harris engaging in what was known as "showing out" (putting on nice clothes and other activities to flaunt wealth).
 
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Next chapter is going to have even more pop culture (tourism, movies, and music). Then we'll see the Territories before covering more overseas stuff.
 
The Golden Twenties Part III: Travel, Beaconsfield, and Music
The Golden Twenties Part III: Travel, Beaconsfield, and Music


A movie palace in Pittsburgh (1926)

The American mass consumer culture of the 1920's was the envy of the world. Even the Germans, rulers of a vast empire and hegemons of Europe, were astonished by the American standard of living. For not only were many Americans better fed and clothed than the rest of the world, they had the time and money to purchase goods and services most couldn't dream of. This led to a flowering of popular entertainment. New rail, cruise, and plane services allowed Americans to see their vast empire and the world beyond. The dream factories of Lincolnwood produced films popular across the globe. And in the nightclubs of New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, Havana, and California, a new musical style was being born that took the country by storm.

In the aftermath of the Mexican War and the World War, travel exploded in popularity. The United States now stretched from Anchorage, Alaska, to Panama City, Panama, from Boston, Mass, to Hong Kong. This understandably gave many Americans an urge to see as much of their empire as they could. How much one could see was, of course, a function of wealth. However, a boom in cars, railroad travel, cruises, and even aeroplanes made it more accessible than ever. For the working man and his family, numerous railroads offered affordable travel packages in "coach only express trains." These packages were typically regional in scope: a Californian would be able to hit most of the continental West Coast, including Baja California (soon to be Cali proper), while a Southerner would be able to see a good portion of Old Dixie. These were "hop on, hop off" tickets where families could travel to set destinations along set railroads, hop off at a destination, stay a few days, then hop back on the next train to their next destination. Increasing numbers of ordinary Americans also used cars, but the relatively poor state of road infrastructure limited the utility of this option. For middle class and wealthy Americans, a flowering of cruise lines offered them the opportunity to see more far-flung regions of the empire. The ultimate expression of this was the proliferation of the so-called "Liberty Cruises" a multi-month cruise that would start on the East Coast, swing through the Caribbean, go onto Panama, stop off in California, visit Hawaii and Manila, and stop in Hong Kong. These were the province of the ultra-rich, mainly due to the amount of time involved to see all these places. Nonetheless, it was very much affordable for a middle class family who saved a little cash to take less glamorous, much more direct liners to a variety of exotic locales within the empire. For the ultra-rich, flying became the way to go. For those traveling to the far-flung corners of the nation, Hong Kong, Manila, and Havana all became the big tourist hotspots. Abroad, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and Prague all saw noticeable upticks in American tourism, although foreign tourism was still mostly limited to the wealthy.

For those who wanted an escape closer to home, the American movie industry provided an answer. Although films were being made in the 1910's, the 1920's is when they took off. Silent films made a big splash first, with sound being provided by other means. Slapstick comedies and dramas were the main products of this period, as they could function more easily without sound. In 1924, Moses Williams, a Black man from Louisville, KY, invented modern sound pictures. With this, the film industry reached a whole new level. With the implementation of sound into movies, their popularity exploded. Dozens of studios popped up all across the country. Competition could get brutal, and it wasn't uncommon for some unscrupulous studio heads to hire mobsters to disrupt the production lots of their rivals. For the first half of the Twenties, the industry was decentralized, with major hubs in Los Angeles, New York, and Florida. However, none of them would be the ultimate center of the American movie industry. Instead, George Brown and Marty Aaronson, a Black real estate developer and a Jewish entrepreneur began attracting studios to a planned community they wanted to build outside of Havana. Drawing in studio bosses with cheap land to build studio lots, access to the luxuries of Havana (to keep stars happy), and the two magnetic salesmen even secured tax concessions from the governments of Cuba and Havana, both of whom wanted more Americans from the Homeland around so they could secure statehood more quickly. The first major studio, Goldstein Brothers Film Studio, moved to the new community outside Havana (dubbed Beaconsfield) in 1926. The other major remaining studios, Columbia Pictures, Juarez and Mayer Productions, and Golden Eagle Films, moved to Beaconsfield within a couple years. It really was the perfect setup. The climate in the region meant that filming could basically occur year-round, although hurricane season could be problematic. The easy access to Havana meant that the movie stars could blow off steam in the casinos, brothels, race tracks, and speakeasies, while also being close enough for the studios to monitor and control them. Speaking of stars....

With the rise of the film industry came the rise of movie stars, and America's intense celebrity culture. The biggest stars of the era, Greta Garbo, Maria Gabriella Perez, Anabelle Williams (the first Black female star) Marty Arbuckle, Clark Gable, and William Martinson, lived lives so charmed as to be unbelievable to most. They went to raging parties so wild, the term "Beaconsfield Pow Wow" became slang for a wild party. They drove fast, custom cars, not Fords (no offense to Mr. Ford). They wore tailored suits and dresses, and were never caught looking less than spectacular. Their dates weren't soda jerks from down the road: they cavorted with fellow stars, athletes, socialites, and even aristocracy. Finally, they were everywhere. Maria Gabriella Perez was twice as recognizable to the American public as the First Lady. Even abroad, movie stars were mobbed by fans. It was the prospect of having all this, the fame, the glitz, and the glamor, that drove thousands of young Americans and foreigners to flock to the sunny tropics of Beaconsfield, for much the same reasons their forefathers flocked West. The image of Beaconsfield was of a magical realm where the American Dream was supercharged into a reality warping force. Anyone could go there, reinvent themselves, get discovered, and get rich. The city came to represent the wildest dreams of the entire nation. The truth was decidedly less glamorous. In reality, the majority of the people who would flock to that golden paradise would never become famous. After all, stars only shine so bright because they're distant from others and comparatively rare. If they were lucky, they could settle down, get hitched, and carve out a piece of middle-class prosperity for themselves in Beaconsfield's less glitzy districts, one day looking back on their dreams as a crazy fancy that led to more. Many others would either become permanent members of the poor working class needed to sustain the luxury of the powerful, or would be forced to return home poorer and more cynical. Even if one did get picked up by a studio, the life was not exactly as advertised. The stars might have the fame, the luxury, and the hot dates, but the studio bosses had all the money and power. This group of six founders, Midas Goldstein, William Goldstein, Jack Willoughby (Columbia), Antonio Juarez, Leo Mayer, and William Greene (Golden Eagle, the sole Black man among their number) had total control of the entire film industry. They even controlled the box office, each studio having theaters who were beholden to it. If the movie stars seemed like Greek gods to the public, they were nothing more than chess pieces to the bosses. At best, you would be forced into an insane work schedule, with bosses procuring substances like cocaine and amphetamines to get em going, followed by barbiturates, tranquilizers, and whiskey to knock em out, if necessary. Stars were also practically property, most not being allowed to leave the island of Cuba without permission. Keep in mind, this is if you're fairly lucky. Sexual, physical, and psychological abuse were always an ever-present threat. The only one of the bosses to get a true comeuppance was Antonio Juarez. For years, he sexually abused Maria Gabriella Perez, a star his studio elevated to fame. She was dating and later married Julio Erikson, the "Swedo Bandito," one of America's most feared gangsters. When he learned of the abuse on March 11th, 1925, he made a telephone call. The next day, Juarez was found at his desk with 137 bullets in him. The funeral was closed casket. After public hysteria died down, corrupt Cuban authorities ruled the death a suicide. Despite the sordid underbelly of Beaconsfield, the impact of the industry can't be overstated. The musicals, dramas, and comedies it produced literally altered the world's psyche.

The final pop culture phenomenon we will explore is the world of music. In the 1920's, Hispanic and Black influences combined to create a whole new world of music. From the Black community came the genre of jazz. Drawing from a variety of influences, jazz and the ensuing big band and swing genres became a national sensation. Jazz clubs popped up across the country, and jazz records sold in huge numbers. However, jazz wasn't the only music to hit the American mainstream in the Golden Twenties. From Cuba and Santo Domingo came merengue and son cubano. These Latin styles of music were faster than most American music, with more energetic tempos and rhythms than even most jazz. They were combined with unique styles of Latin dance, which were far more sensual than anything America really would have entertained. This music also exploded across the nation, and learning the merengue became a must for any young city slicker trying to score a date.

Predictably, there were parts of the country that were.... unenthused by the spread of Latin dance. If you guessed that the part being referred to is the South, congratulations, you are correct. In a way, Southern apprehension was almost paradoxical: in most other regards, they were actually coming closer to the Caribbean/Latin territories (defined as the Hispanic Caribbean and Panama) in terms of political, social, and even cultural identity. However, this was mostly being done within the context of Anglo-Protestant cultural dominance. When Southerners went to the Caribbean, they didn't go to learn Spanish and convert to Catholicism: they went to teach English and spread Protestantism. The idea that the Hispanic Catholics might gain a serious cultural foothold among the mainland American populace was abhorrent. Furthermore, the more intimate and sensual nature of the merengue unnerved even most moderate Southerners. "There are certain protocols for public behavior, and the Babylonian merengue breaks them all" as Reverend Hezekiah Johnson of Atlanta First Baptist put it most famously. Several Southern states made the performance of merengue music a felony, and when this was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1926, police suddenly reported a massive uptick in disturbances that all seemed to coincide with the locations of merengue clubs, which of course would mean they would have to shut them down after each complaint, sometimes for months. However, despite these efforts, Latin music would remain popular in the South as well.


A film crew on Columbia Pictures' lot in Beaconsfield (1926)


One of hundreds of ocean liners fulfilling the middle class's desire for imperial tourism (1924)


A merengue club in Panama City (1924)
 
I cannot wait for underground dance halls and record clubs, I would think New Orleans would have a large Latin community and dance/music scene. Also, what is the state of gambling in the Union.
 
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Ficboy

Banned
Next chapter is going to have even more pop culture (tourism, movies, and music). Then we'll see the Territories before covering more overseas stuff.
African-Americans will remain the GOP's most important voting bloc unlike OTL and thus the Republicans are going to be more liberal while the Democrats thanks to the Southern wing will remain conservative. The Republicans might even adopt blue as their color to represent their role in preserving the Union and the Democrats might choose red since it is part of the American flag. Basically a reversal of the parties in our world.
 
African-Americans will remain the GOP's most important voting bloc unlike OTL and thus the Republicans are going to be more liberal while the Democrats thanks to the Southern wing will remain conservative. The Republicans might even adopt blue as their color to represent their role in preserving the Union and the Democrats might choose red since it is part of the American flag. Basically a reversal of the parties in our world.
But with less of an internal migration due to racism, remember that southern states have more black people and northern ones have less. So the Republicans might not rely on them as much as you think, especially if they go quite liberal.
 

Ficboy

Banned
But with less of an internal migration due to racism, remember that southern states have more black people and northern ones have less. So the Republicans might not rely on them as much as you think, especially if they go quite liberal.
Well they will be an important voting bloc in the South.
 
African-Americans will remain the GOP's most important voting bloc unlike OTL and thus the Republicans are going to be more liberal while the Democrats thanks to the Southern wing will remain conservative. The Republicans might even adopt blue as their color to represent their role in preserving the Union and the Democrats might choose red since it is part of the American flag. Basically a reversal of the parties in our world.
The way Murica1776 seems to be writing them seems to make the Blacks agree with White Southerners on social issues, especially in these last few, with similar opinions on Prohibition and Latin Dancing, so take that as you may...
 
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