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iPM: Are you revolting?

Sequin | 14:29 UK time, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

iPM is back at a more social hour and with Eddie away, I'll be presenting on Saturday. As you know, the programme always starts with its listeners and this week, in the lead up to the G20 summit, iPM is on a march. There's more here


  • 1. At 2:53pm on 24 Mar 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    There have been one comments made here.

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  • 2. At 2:57pm on 24 Mar 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I hope not. Not this weekend, anyway, or not in London.

    But a march and a rally? Ah, those were the days. Mr. Benn and Mr. Foot in Trafalgar Square ... Banners for Greenham Common .... Peaceful, yet effective. I hope the unrest that is forecast will remember the effectiveness of peaceful protest.

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  • 3. At 4:39pm on 24 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Big Sister @ 2, I can't remember where I read that they were expecting one fifth as many protestors as they are dafting in policemen to deal with them, but if that's the case really then I expect it *will* be a peaceful protest -- or else...

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  • 4. At 4:52pm on 24 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:


    Yes, I am revolting.
    No, I will not be on a demonstration this weekend.

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  • 5. At 5:33pm on 24 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    fJd 4, I like the French word for, demonstration, manifestation.

    Don't suggest that someone look up something that goes boom on the internet, even if is is on a thread containing jokes (no sense of humor mods here) or it will be deleted. Think I could mention Freddy 'Boom Boom' Cannon? (maybe)

    boom boom

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  • 6. At 5:48pm on 24 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    woman I married was French. She had a few choice words too! However, I did love her or should I say amour.

    Freddy Cannon? First time I've seen him but dig those suits, dance moves and hair. I prefer James Taylor Myself.

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  • 7. At 5:50pm on 24 Mar 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    On a march?

    Best not take a camera, lest you accidentally photograph a police officer of PCSO. That's not allowed.

    You *will* be expected to allow your own face to be photographed/video recorded, and any comparison between that situation and regimes such as the Soviet Union or China will probably soon be disallowed too.

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  • 8. At 5:53pm on 24 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    fJd 6, Never seen Freddy Cannon? NEVER SEEN FREDDY CANNON?? You led a sheltered life or what? He's even on youube. Sheesh!

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  • 9. At 5:55pm on 24 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    fJd 6, Who is James Taylor Myself?

    SSC 7, I'm getting those remarks about our beloved gov't deleted.

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  • 10. At 6:11pm on 24 Mar 2009, darkdesign wrote:

    Hands up who expects violent protest this year. I do not condone it in any way, but the government is adept at ignoring peaceful protest. Perhaps if they listened to the calm, sensible argument they would have us believe our society operates on people wouldn't feel the need to go too far. Apart, of course, from that minority of every movement who seem to take pleasure in doing harm, and play into the hands of lazy politicians who will seize on anything to avoid addressing real issues.

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  • 11. At 6:35pm on 24 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    I am revolting now - I've just heard some daft, ignorant law has been passed to cull badgers.

    I'm going to have to leave writing what I really think until I calm down.

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  • 12. At 7:27pm on 24 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Lady_Sue @ 11, as I understand it badgers were proved to be the vector for bovine tuberculosis by keeping badgers for several weeks in a pen filled with the faeces of diseased cattle, and then after eight or twelve weeks (I forget which) testing the badgers, which were indeed infected with bovine TB.

    What I wanted to know at the time was whether researchers kept in the same conditions would prove to be infected with bovine TB, and if so whether culling them (for which read "killing", because that is what it means) would be the best way to eradicate bovine TB.

    This measure was made legal in Wales a while ago, I believe, but they are only just starting to implement it. Killing badgers, I mean, not killing researchers. At the same time, I think it is still illegal in England to kill a badger, or at least there was a story-line about it on The Archers a bit ago and they usually get that sort of thing right... Anybody out there happen to know?

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  • 13. At 7:52pm on 24 Mar 2009, Verisimilitude100 wrote:

    Chris_Ghoti No 12

    You are told that Government Scientists are sure that badgers are to blame for TB in cattle, but that is the first time I have heard how they reached their conclusions. If that is a scientific experiment God help us. I refused an MMR inoculation when I went to Moscow in 1992, there being an outbreak of measles I only required the single jab, and I do not trust their science.

    I have seen at least 5 badgers killed on the roads in the last week, very upsetting, we are so lucky to still have such animals in our countryside, but for how much longer?

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  • 14. At 8:23pm on 24 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Verisimilitude100 @ 13, I was equally unimpressed by the research that suggested that MMR was linked with autism, given that the research team involved was being financed by a group of parents with autistic children who wanted the link to be proved, and that the sample used for the research was fewer than ten children... That wasn't the government researchers, but it was clearly looking for a particular answer!

    The first question one always ought to ask about *any* scientific research is where the funding comes from. If someone who wants to be shown a particular result funds reserach into the matter, and the result is what they wanted to be shown, it is ispo facto suspect, as far as I am concerned.

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  • 15. At 8:27pm on 24 Mar 2009, Verisimilitude100 wrote:

    I would like to suggest a middle way for the G-20 to contemplate.

    Capitalism is concerned with the production of wealth, and its distribution should be equitable. However in all capitalist societies there are 2 groups who are wealth extracting institutions without ever contributing to the production of wealth, this leads to the totally imbalanced accretion of wealth in the hands of a small minority.

    The first group are the fractional investment bankers who have grown up over the last 300 years sucking the blood of capitalism like leaches.

    The second group are Landlords, who are the only group within society not to suffer during the depression. The only way for capitalism to work efficiently is for all land to be publicly owned. A tax on land will form the basis of taxation (unavoidable even by the rich); savings will be invested in industry rather than property. You can still own your house in perpetuity, but you have to pay tax to keep it, as you do now, but the land on which it stands is in public ownership. There will be no incentive to be a Landlord as all properties that you own will be fully taxed, whether you have a tenant or not.

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  • 16. At 8:47pm on 24 Mar 2009, Verisimilitude100 wrote:

    Chris_Ghoti 14

    I agree totally with the sentiment that the funding predetermines the result. With the MMR issue I am suspicious because as an adult I only required a booster for measles and was paying privately, and yet the Government insist on the triple inoculation. I had mumps and measles as a child and rubella affects pregnant women and children mainly, and has been widely eradicated. Why should I risk a triple inoculation when only measles was the risk?

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  • 17. At 10:32pm on 24 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Verisimilitude100 @ 16, that's a perfectly reasonable stance, I feel. I'm just edgy about the scare, which means that we now have to start all over agin in trying to eliminate a killer disease that's had a chance to mutate enough to get out of control, which is sad and silly.

    Let's not even think about the "hey we have a new drug, let's invent a condition to treat it with" that also seems to go on (shy? well, take one of these pills every day for the rest of your life to cover the symptoms).

    On your 15, I can't heolp feeling that of all the parasitic trades, advertising is high on the list. Not that there is any way to stop it, but boy, it uses a lot of money on producing nothing whatever...

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  • 18. At 11:40pm on 24 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:

    Ah, those were the days when the Women for Life on Earth march ended in Hyde Park.

    It was there that Anne Pettit (whose idea it had been both for the Women for Life on Earth march to London and for it to go on to form a Camp at Greenham) spoke prophetically of the threats not only to peace but to the environment.

    Were your Greenham banners in Trafalgar Square after Feb .'82 when the Camp became 'women only'?

    Ah, those WERE the days, when a lorry load of spuds from Somerset was sent back home by the women there, because men had grown them.

    Shades of the pride of Gibson's Land Army!

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  • 19. At 11:44pm on 24 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:

    I meant to add:

    I thought Benn's speech greeting the marchers in Hyde Park was his attempt to capture a movement. It failed, of course.

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  • 20. At 11:54pm on 24 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:


    The courts now seem to take the view that action that would otherwise be unlawful is OK if it prevents or even is designed to prevent appalling crimes.

    Faslane and Fairford activities seem to come under that head.

    As may soon, pre-meditated violence against a violent husband.

    There is now strong public evidence of Israel's war criminals recently at work in Gaza.

    Would the knowledge of such activities at the time
    1. have changed your own view ( in effect: .....on the one hand,..... on the other)
    2. have justified attempts to disrupt the work of the Embassy here

    Or do you think that rational discussion, a march and a rally would have caused the Israelis to desist?

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  • 21. At 03:14am on 25 Mar 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:


    No, I am not revolting...
    ~Dennis Junior~

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  • 22. At 08:53am on 25 Mar 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Chris (14):

    I think the big problem with the MMR-autism paper was simply that the media jumped on something it didn't understand. If it had been left to go through the normal peer-review academic channels, it would have been torn to pieces as flawed research, and *if* there were any aspects which did merit further study, other researchers would have taken them up. Then - after much study - there would have evolved a concensus which the government and parents could take notice of *but not before*.

    I think this is a major problem caused by few journalists having scientific backgrounds, in fact, by people generally not having scientific backgrounds. (But mostly journalists. How about it Sequin, Eddie? How many science A-levels have you both got? ;o)

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  • 23. At 09:23am on 25 Mar 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    TRW: My route into marching was Bruce Kent, not Germaine Greer.

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  • 24. At 09:31am on 25 Mar 2009, The Wrath Is Come wrote:



    Rather alluring I thought...

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  • 25. At 10:49am on 25 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (12): Chris you are spot on. To my knowledge, any "research" that has been done into the spread of bovine TB by badgers has been seriously flawed. 'The Offaly Report' in Ireland was similarly skewed.

    My (restrained) thoughts on the matter are these:

    1. Governments in the countries concerned use killing badgers as a fop to the farmers in a "look what we are doing to help eradicate TB" public-relations manner. The development of a vaccine for badgers would be a far more sensible and humane method of dealing with the problem but then the government would have to find an alternative 'public' way to impress this large lobby group;

    2. After the badgers are killed they are given a post mortem. Results from these more often than not show these badgers did not have the disease. There can be a knock-on effect here where sick badgers move into the sets 'vacated' by the healthy ones;

    3. One sensible and relatively simple way to deal with the spread of TB is for farmers and people living near infected farms in the country to adopt the system used during the spread of foot and mouth, eg. have mats with disinfectant at entrances and exits to their farms and homes;

    4. There is also suggestion that the spreading of slurry by farmers has an impact on the spread of TB - cattle can't distinguish between the new smells and inadvertently eat grass that has been contaminated;

    5. Countryside vets derive most of their income from the testing of cattle for TB. I don't wish to discredit the veterinary community, who do an excellent job, nor do I wish to suggest that there might be some collusion between the government and vets but, if a vaccine were developed for badgers (which could easily be administered by having some kind of "salt lick" left out for them) it would have a serious impact on the income of vets (another substantial lobby group);

    6. 'The Archers' storyline infuriated me as it simply towed the government line and clearly no independent research had been done about it. I wrote to the researchers but had no reply. They are currently concerned with a piece on eating food sourced locally - I'm rather hoping one of the characters may discover the truth about what is happening to the poor badger and take up arms against it.

    This morning I emailed the PM and iPM teams some photographs of the traps set here (without permission) last year by the Department of Agriculture. The snares used are cruel and one of my pictures shows the evidence of a frantic attempt by one poor badger to chew through the wooden stake. He/she failed, of course, as the bloody patch in the photograph illustrates. They were set during the breeding season and, despite my request to the Department for the results of the post mortems and statistics about how many of the badgers had been lactating females (meaning their young perished after they were killed), I'm yet to have a response.

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  • 26. At 10:58am on 25 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Amazing how many 'experts' we have here (about nearly everything) who I have never heard of. That's what wikipedia can do for you.

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  • 27. At 11:40am on 25 Mar 2009, U12196018 wrote:

    Amazing how many irritating comments we get here from 'wits' that I wish I had never heard of. That's what open access can do for you.

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  • 28. At 11:46am on 25 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    26: Shouldn't that be, "of whom I have never heard"?

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  • 29. At 1:24pm on 25 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    SSC @ 27, I do rather agree, but surely even a journalist with no background in sciences at all ought to be able to see that at a time when the MMR takeup was over 90%, it wasn't particularly strange or evidential of anything in particular that 8 out of 9 children with autism also had traces of the MMR jab in their systems? That's not science: it is being able to count to ten, so they wouldn't even have had to take their socks off!

    (I am not a scientist, but I don't see why logic or reasoning ought to be thought to be the prerogative of scientists.)

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  • 30. At 4:18pm on 25 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    TIH 27, Speaking of wits, you're half right.

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  • 31. At 4:20pm on 25 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    L_S 28, Tell that to 27.

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  • 32. At 4:29pm on 25 Mar 2009, U12196018 wrote:

    30 - Oh, OK then:
    Amazing how many irritating comments we get here from 'half-wits' that I wish I had never heard of. That's what open access can do for you.

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  • 33. At 5:07pm on 25 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    TIH 32, Never heard of yourself, eh? That sounds a bit Irish.

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  • 34. At 5:42pm on 25 Mar 2009, Sarah wrote:


    I'm sure I read that the Gov.(gawd bless 'em) were looking at training farmers to vaccinate badgers against TB. They would be trapped and vaccinated in an attempt to prevent the spread of TB. Although I believe it may be equally possible that cattle give TB to badgers.Not that I have any evidence as I'm neither a know-all or a half-wit(I hope).

    Also 13- I live in a rural part of Devon where the sight and smell of a dead badger is all too common. I was told by a local farmer that you see so many dead ones because the unspeakable excuses for humans that trapped badgers for badger baiting would throw the badgers bodies into the road side afterwards. It disguised the real reason for their death.

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  • 35. At 6:52pm on 25 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    windWembley @ 34, your second paragraph reminds me of my unregenerate youth, at which time I had a simple answer to badger-baiting: that the people who did it should be put naked into pits with the animals they tormented and left to get on with it. I always thought it unlikely they'd be able to do much against an angry, frightened and hungry badger.

    The problem of course was that one wouldn't want to poison the badgers.

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  • 36. At 05:33am on 26 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Shame the 'badger' story lasted one day only.

    windWembley@34: Sadly most farmers are indoctrinated to think of badgers as "the bad guys" and would be far more inclined to shoot any that were trapped than treat them. The badgers could easily be treated if a "salt lick", of the type used for cattle, were just left out for them and yes, there is an argument that the cattle give TB to the badgers.

    Chris@35: your suggestion is one I can understand.

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  • 37. At 06:00am on 26 Mar 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Chris (29):

    You'd think so, wouldn't you?

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  • 38. At 09:58am on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    C_G 35, You might, however, give TB to the people in the pit.

    Back some 30 years ago, my wife travelled around Asian communities to check people for TB. (She was a nurse, not just nosey.) It seems to be making a comeback. Maybe they should call her out of retirement.

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  • 39. At 10:01am on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    L_S 28, I was passing a certain type of lady on a street corner and asked her what time it was, and how much she charged. She replied that I shouldn't end a sentence with a proposition.

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  • 40. At 10:03am on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    L_S 28, A prisoner tried to bribe a warden 5,000 pounds to let him out of jail early. The warden said that he shouldn't try to end a sentence with a proposition.

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  • 41. At 10:44am on 26 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    DMcN, the cause of sexism is not pronouns. It's verbs. They will keep on conjugating when the subject of their action is trying to decline.

    I don't know what the incubation period for TB is, but I doubt that the risk of being infected with it would be anything but the least of such people's worries.

    Leaving out measles, the two main really nasty diseases or conditions we thought we'd nearly got rid of are TB and rickets, aren't they?

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  • 42. At 10:46am on 26 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (38) David: not as funny as it might sound. It seems there is a new strain of TB for which there is no vaccination. The treatment is the same as they used to prescribe for TB 50 years ago.

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  • 43. At 10:50am on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    C_G 41, Could be six weeks to twenty years according to nursie.


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  • 44. At 10:53am on 26 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Chris, you are right about it not being eradicated. Below is a (somewhat) reassuring quote from a learned friend of mine - I just wish the government would use the same level of common sense:

    "The rather crazy thing about bovine TB - despite there having been erad schemes in operation for 50 or 60 years - is that as long as milk is pasteurised and carcasses inspected at slaughter then it is not, and hasn't been for many years, a public health hazard. That however is a different issue/argument and shouldn't cloud the particular issue at hand."

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  • 45. At 10:56am on 26 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    43 David, further to 'Nursie's' observation (again from my learned friend, in response to a question on 'reactors' in cattle):

    "The incubation period before becoming a "reactor" would not be long and a clinical infection would be likely in weeks. Reactors and Animals with Disease are not one and the same thing. I (having had a positive skin test Mantoux or Heaf test) am a reactor and would have had a sub-clinical exposure - probably to infected milk - at some time in my life. The issue is very complicated because reactors (positive skin test) may, like me, have cured themselves and animals with overt disease and "lesions" can have a negative skin test if the disease itself overwhelms the immune system in a florrid way. However a disease free herd into which a reactor appears is the basis for the Dept of Agriculture's locking-up of herds.

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  • 46. At 10:58am on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    L_S 45, Nursie worked with human beans, not cows.

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  • 47. At 11:02am on 26 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    David: yes, thankyou. I wanted go further with the point and explain the difference between having a reactor and having the full blown disease in cattle.

    It's all such government 'scare mongering' and I do find it upsetting.

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  • 48. At 11:04am on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    L_S 47, Like terrorism and WMD?

    What about reintroducing beavers?

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  • 49. At 11:19am on 26 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    DMcN @ 48, they certainly "talk up" terrorism when what they mean is "stupid young [generally] men [generally] with a grievance".

    I rather wish that when someone is accused of murdering a policeman for no reason as far as I can tell apart from "hey, I've got a gun, let's kill a stranger with it" he could be charged not with "terrorism" or "membership of a banned organisation", both of which make him look important to twerps, but simply with murder, which doesn't inflate his nasty little ego, nor turn him into a martyr for some spurious cause.

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  • 50. At 11:32am on 26 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Chris@ 49 - good observation and good point.

    BTW: David - I do find it reassuring to know you are married to a nurse. It seems... appropriate in some way.

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  • 51. At 11:45am on 26 Mar 2009, U12196018 wrote:

    Lady Sue - :o)

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  • 52. At 4:50pm on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    L_S 50, As I am not in need of infertility treatment, my wife is of no help. Aaaaand, she is retired.

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