Mid-Day Snapshot · Oct. 14, 2021

 “From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

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“I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.” —Thomas Jefferson (1785)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Biden to the Rescue on the Supply Chain?

There are factors far beyond any president’s control, but Biden’s actions likely won’t help.

Nate Jackson

The supply chain is a mess. That much we’ve already said clearly — not that Americans weren’t already painfully aware of the issue, which is front and center for good reason. But there are some new developments that merit attention.

First of all is a concerted strategy of collusion between Democrats and the Leftmedia. All the mainstream media outlets are playing up these dramatic shortages that Americans are experiencing so Joe Biden can come to the rescue in an attempt to improve his abysmal approval rating by appearing to do something. More on that in a minute, but suffice it to say, ignore the MSM churn.

That isn’t to say the shortages and bottlenecks aren’t real. They most certainly are, and major inflation is the result of it all.

One huge factor in the bottleneck is Democrat unions. Union workers are not unloading all those containers on ships anchored off of both coasts. They’ve been working two shifts instead of three until just a couple of weeks ago. Union truckers are not showing up to ship goods around the nation. Why? Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and others are holding the supply chain hostage for higher wages for union workers.

Unions aren’t the only ones to blame, however. California Democrats imposed regulations on the trucking industry that are as insane as their new off-road gas engine mandates. The state now doesn’t allow trucks older than 2011, and the replacements that will soon be mandated are more expensive and less available zero-emission trucks. Moreover, non-union truck owner-operators largely served the ports in question until California banned them from doing so. Democrats want to take these California regulations and put them in federal law as part of their $5 trillion spending package.

Meanwhile, fewer people are choosing truck-driving as a career in the first place, which makes it difficult to replace the roughly 91,000 truckers no longer in the industry since the pandemic began. “Currently, 20% to 25% of all truck drivers are still missing,” said Mike Kucharski, head of JKC Trucking. That means bottlenecks getting products on store shelves.

Another major factor is that U.S. retailers and Chinese manufacturers ramped up production over the last three months without anticipating the implications of shipping and supply chain capacities in California. Certainly a lot of those products are finding their way to store shelves. Our publisher Mark Alexander says, “I was in Walmart and I didn’t see any shortages of anything.” But a lot of them are sitting in containers off the coast.

All of this brings us back to Joe Biden, because, of course, this mess is partly his fault, even if he does promise to “fix it.”

“Shutting down pipeline projects and barring fracking does not help reduce energy costs,” writes Jim Geraghty. “The vaccine mandate undoubtedly is creating staffing issues at some companies, even if they are minor ones.” Moreover, he says, “Pete Buttigieg didn’t cause the worsening backlog of cargo at our ports, but … isn’t that the sort of thing a Secretary of Transportation is supposed to keep an eye on?”

Biden first stepped in to fix things some four months ago by creating a “task force to address short-term supply chain discontinuities.”

How did that work out?

So stunningly well that, once again, it’s Biden to the rescue just in time to save you from having to explain to a child why you couldn’t get them a Christmas present. The White House is out with another “fact sheet” on its “efforts to address bottlenecks at ports” in California.

“President Biden knew that there would be massive economic challenges emerging from the pandemic,” the White House tells us. No kidding, Sherlock. “The Biden Administration acted quickly to get the economy moving again.”

How did that work out?

We’ll see what the new actions actually do, but we had to chuckle when Biden’s “fact sheet” claimed credit for UPS and FedEx pledging to increase 24/7 operations and volume of goods shipped. That’s all well and good, but Biden didn’t build that. And someone should send a memo to the U.S. Postal Service, which just announced that it will deliberately slow down deliveries of what we all already call “snail mail.”

We’re curious why that didn’t make Joe Biden’s brag list.

Kidding aside, problems with the supply chain are likely to persist well into 2022. Here’s hoping voters remember it come next November.

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OSHA Delivers Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

“Large” private companies will soon be forced to require employees to get a COVID vaccine or weekly tests to maintain employment.

Thomas Gallatin

This week, a month after Joe Biden announced his COVID vaccine mandate on all business with 100 or more employees, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) submitted its proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

The Labor Department stated, “The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been working expeditiously to develop an emergency temporary standard that covers employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing to protect employees from the spread of coronavirus in the workplace.”

A “feature” of the new OSHA rule will require employers to give paid time off for their employees to get the COVID vaccine and for recovery if needed. Those companies caught not complying would face “substantial fines” upwards of $14,000 per violation.

It will be interesting to see how the new OSHA regulation will handle another issue — thus far only one of the vaccines, the Pfizer/BioNTech version, has received full FDA approval. Will employees who have already received the Moderna or Johnson&Johnson vaccines still be considered in compliance under OSHA’s rule despite the fact that neither has received full FDA approval?

Meanwhile, 24 states’ Republican attorneys general have been waiting for OSHA to produce the finalized rule so they can follow through on their threat to sue the Biden administration over this “disastrous and counterproductive” mandate. Biden lectured when announcing his mandate, “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.” Yeah, well, the feeling is mutual.

The final observation is the fact that many individuals have decided not to get a COVID vaccine because they have already contracted and recovered from the coronavirus and therefore have natural immunity. Nevertheless, because the Biden administration, companies, and other entities are still ignoring the science of natural immunity, these employees will be ostracized and forced out of their jobs. Indeed, a record 4.3 million workers recently quit their jobs, often because of such mandates. As we noted earlier this week, that has affected everything from police departments to airline flights.

In Boston, 812 city employees — equivalent to 4% of the city’s workforce — were just suspended without pay for failure to meet the city’s vaccine mandate. Now, thanks to Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate, what’s happening in Boston will be repeated across the entire country. Let’s go, Brandon.

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Biden to ICE: Don’t Do Your Job

The administration’s unending border malfeasance knows no bounds.

Douglas Andrews

The border hits just keep a-coming from the Biden administration.

For a stretch there, it at least paid lip service to the illegal immigration crisis. Now, not so much. This week, for example, we learned that the Department of Homeland Security will no longer direct its Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel to raid workplaces that employ illegal aliens. The ostensible reason for this, according to our criminally negligent DHS secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, is that ICE arrests at workplaces “could discourage illegal immigrants from reporting other unlawful employment practices in violation of a Biden administration directive.”

Here’s the actual memo, in case you’re as incredulous as we are. With this directive, the Biden administration has essentially undone Donald Trump’s effective policies and restored Barack Obama’s open borders.

The Biden administration is more interested in cracking down on American companies than illegal immigrants. But this shouldn’t surprise us. After all, Mayorkas is the guy who said back in March, “We are not saying don’t come, we’re saying don’t come now because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible.”

Compare this to the Trump administration’s rather less equivocal message: Don’t come.

Remind us again what the role of the Department of Homeland Security is: to secure the homeland, or to invite a sustained invasion all along our southern border, drain our already-strapped government resources, and depress the wages of lower-skilled, largely black and brown Americans by way of a never-ending influx of cheap labor?

The answer is obvious. And handcuffing ICE only exacerbates these problems. “After the issuance of today’s memorandum effectively ending worksite enforcement — on top of other radical policy changes that are getting hard to count — one thing is clear,” said RJ Hauman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “Secretary Mayorkas is the biggest disaster for border security and immigration enforcement in American history. Since the Biden administration cannot abolish ICE outright, Mayorkas is destroying it from within.”

And what a helpful message to send to those illegals: Don’t worry, we’re not going to enforce our immigration laws. Feel free to violate our border, take advantage of our social services, and depress our wages. And be sure to tell a few friends.

Were this news not bad enough, we also learned yesterday that, according to leaked documents received by Fox News’s Bill Melugin, “At least 160,000 illegal immigrants have been released into the U.S., often with little to no supervision, by the Biden administration since March — including a broad use of limited parole authorities to make more than 30,000 eligible for work permits since August, Border Patrol documents obtained by Fox News show.” Roughly 1.4 million people have been encountered illegally crossing since Biden took office. How many more evaded capture in the first place?

Where have all these people gone? Who knows? And what’s it to ya, you racist xenophobe?

Not to worry, though. Most of these illegals — 94,570 to be exact — were released with a Notice to Return, which means that they’re required to check in with an ICE office when they get to their permanent destination. At that point, they’re allowed to stay in the country while their immigration proceedings move forward. On the other hand, as the Biden administration has made clear, they’re allowed to stay in the country anyway, so what’s the point of checking in?

We wonder whether the president might pay more attention to the nation’s illegal immigration crisis if a few busloads of dirt-poor unvaccinated brown folks showed up in his hometown of Wilmington. Or perhaps at his gated, guarded home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We’ll never know, of course. But if his blatant refusal to enforce our nation’s immigration laws isn’t an impeachable offense, we don’t know what is.

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Fast-Rising Crime, Far Fewer Cops

It’s a problem all across America thanks to anti-cop bigotry.

Emmy Griffin

Chicago has been featured as a case study in failed leftist policies that are running the city into the ground. Democrat politicians there are the poster children for leftist inner-city reform — à la “social justice,” poor public school education, and welfare addiction — which is hurting law enforcement because it continues the cycle of poverty, ultimately leading to gangs, drugs, and violence. “People don’t want to be the police,” said Alderman Anthony Beale. “The police don’t want to be the police.” Ergo, Chicago cops are retiring early and new recruitment numbers have dropped to one-sixth of past figures.

Chicago isn’t the only city facing these shortages, however. Portland lost an entire unit due to restraints on their ability to capably police. The police shortage problem is so bad in Portland that Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler, formerly a defund-police advocate, is now asking for more money to hire retired cops to help fill the gap. The Portland police overall feel that they have zero support either from the community or from the politicians in power due to the policies that keep tying their hands. Police have been reduced to guard dogs without teeth and criminals are no longer afraid to commit crimes. Throwing money at it by hiring retired cops won’t do any good if you won’t let the police do their job.

This feeling of being spit upon is echoed in places like New York City, where, as one retired police officer put it, “One day, the good guys became the bad guys and the bad guys became the good guys.” And that’s in a city where we just remembered the heroism of police and firefighters on 9/11.

At the beginning of October, the Austin Police Department asked the citizenry not to call 911 if the emergency was non-life-threatening, not in progress, or if the suspects were no longer at the scene of the crime or in sight. This is due to a cop shortage of that city’s own making because it decided to defund the police. In fact, Democrat mega-donors like George Soros are so intent on keeping Austin PD defunded that he reportedly gave half a million dollars to Equity PAC, whose purpose is to oppose the hiring of new officers.

Then you add another level of leftist power drunkenness: COVID-19 vaccine mandates. This has resulted in mass firings across several cities. Seattle could be losing up to 200 vaccine-hesitant cops. That’s roughly 20% of the police department. Seattle already lost 300 officers due to defund-the-police efforts and now it’s pushing out more officers with a vaccine mandate that goes into place on October 18.

The common thread in all of these cities is that they are mismanaged by leftist politicians and, not coincidentally, crime is rising at an alarming rate. But what about the midsized cities that are more bipartisan in their governing? Police Chief Howard Burton of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, says that perhaps the lack of recruitment is a generational issue. “Many people just don’t want to help anymore,” he said. Even in midsize cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee, where there isn’t strong anti-law-enforcement sentiment, police departments are still struggling to recruit qualified candidates.

Between the poorly governed cities, social justice unrest, the defund-police movement, vaccine mandates, rising crime, and possibly a generational lack of caring, our country as a whole is facing a severe police shortage and the vicious cycle will continue if the culture war on police is not stopped.

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Couric Whitewashes Ginsburg

The longtime lefty anchor didn’t think the Supreme Court justice “fully understood” her question about flag-kneelers.

Douglas Andrews

Pretty soon, leftists will be desecrating her tombstone. After all, that’s what they do.

The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for 27 years an associate justice of the Supreme Court and, in her later years, an iconic figure among young leftists, might be in need of a Soviet-style historical whitewashing. Cognitive dissonance has begun to set in on the Left, which long loved its Notorious RBG but which in recent months has been staggered by damning revelations of Ginsburg’s decency, common sense, and patriotism.

First, and worst, she was a dear and unapologetic friend of the High Court’s leading originalist, the late Antonin Scalia. Second, she was a critic of the Court’s awful 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, believing not only that it was a faulty ruling but also that it scuttled the possibility of a more gradual, more legislative, less contentious outcome. Third, she all but came back from the grave to pour cold water on the Left’s desire to pack the Supreme Court: “I have heard that there are some people on the Democratic side who would like to increase the number of judges,” she said in 2019. “I think that was a bad idea when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”

And this week, we were reminded of what she said back in October 2016 during an interview with then-Yahoo News anchor Katie Couric, who asked Ginsburg what she thought about washed-up San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other woke multimillionaire athletes refusing to stand for our nation’s national anthem:

I think it’s really dumb of them. Would I arrest them for doing it? No. Dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.

If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive. If they want to be arrogant, there’s no law that prevents them from that. What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that.

Worse yet, we were made aware this week of what Couric didn’t let us hear. Ginsburg’s comments above are hard-hitting enough, already a stinging rebuke to Kaepernick and his ilk, and they must surely sadden RBG’s leftist acolytes. But she also said Kaepernick and his fellow America-hating anthem kneelers displayed a “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”

True that.

The former “Today Show” host, who’s a member of the Aspen Institute’s commission on — get this — media disinformation, wrote that she wanted to protect Ginsburg from public backlash and that she didn’t think the octogenarian justice “fully understood her question.”

Should we be surprised? No. Remember that Couric also disgraced herself when she deceptively edited a 2016 documentary on gun violence purely to discredit and embarrass gun rights advocates.

So, Couric selectively edited Ginsburg to make her remarks less damning of the Left. But she’s not the only one to have victimized the late justice. More recently, the hard-left, ostensibly free-speech ACLU altered a quote about women from Ginsburg because it contained scientifically accurate (and therefore deeply offensive) language from the obviously insufficiently awokened RBG.

This is what Ginsburg, herself a former ACLU lawyer, said to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1993 during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choice.”

And this is the way the ACLU quoted her in their September 18 tweet: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to either [their] well-being and dignity. … When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.”

Which just goes to show: Leftists and their media lickspittles have no qualms when it comes to whitewashing and rewriting history — even when it’s their own.

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California Kills the Lawn and Garden Industry

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law banning the sale of off-road gas-powered engines.

Thomas Gallatin

California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed yet another ecofascist bill into law in a state that leads the nation in ecofascism. The law will ban the sale of all new off-road gasoline-powered engines, which includes everything from weed eaters to chainsaws to golf carts beginning in January 2024. California already outlawed gas-powered automobiles by 2035, so why not?

When the law goes into effect, all newly sold off-road engines will need to be zero-carbon emissions, which essentially means battery-powered or plug-in electric. Because batteries are made of fairy dust and electricity comes from unicorns.

The bill’s author, Democrat Marc Berman, downplayed just how economically damaging the new law is. “This is a pretty modest approach to trying to limit the massive amounts of pollution that this equipment emits, not to mention the health impact on the workers who are using it constantly,” he pontificated. “It’s amazing how people react when they learn how much this equipment pollutes, and how much smog forming and climate changing emissions that small off-road engine equipment creates.”

While Berman’s genuine concerned for workers’ health may be admirable (ahem), his seeming lack of concern for their continued employment is not. The new law is estimated to have a direct and significant negative impact on more than 50,000 small businesses in the Golden State, many of which are Hispanic-owned. While California plans to throw some $30 million in taxpayer dollars at lawn care industry professionals to help offset the immense hit to their bottom lines, the National Association of Landscape Professionals estimates that the cost of purchasing less efficient electric equipment will be more than double the price of more efficient gas-powered equipment.

Even an analysis of the bill by the California Assembly notes how difficult compliance will be. “For commercial uses,” it says, “there is very little market for zero-emission equipment as today’s technology is relatively expensive and requires multiple batteries and/or frequent recharging and replacement.” By the way, such equipment “may be inadequate even if money is no object, particularly when used in rural areas without convenient access to recharging.” Never mind the real world. California’s Democrats will mandate a market.

One of the markets they’ll create, by the way, is for out-of-state sales of gas-powered engines. Another alternative for many professionals will be using older equipment longer.

Newsom and his ecofascist ilk may be hell-bent on ridding California of fossil fuel-based carbon emissions, but his green agenda will do little to preserve the environment. In fact, Newsom may have ensured that California’s problem with seasonal wildfires will only grow worse, as the law makes it much more difficult to address the clearing of the state’s forests without the use of efficient gas-powered equipment like chainsaws. One thing’s for sure: The air in California won’t be free of carbon emissions with half the state’s forests on fire every summer.

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On the Web

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EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Politics

  • Too little, too late: President Biden steps in as delays cripple supply chain (CBS News)
  • “One heck of a job”: Biden incredulously lauds port czar — despite supply chain crisis (New York Post)
  • “High class problems”: Elitist White House chief of staff dismisses supply chain crisis and surging inflation (Fox News)
  • Leftmedia personified: Katie Couric covered up RBG’s dislike for taking a knee (Daily Mail)
  • Mark Zuckerberg spent $419 million on nonprofits ahead of 2020 election — and got out the Dem vote (New York Post)

Security

  • What’s the point of checking in? Leaked Border Patrol docs show mass release of illegal immigrants into U.S. by Biden administration (Fox News)
  • Five people onboard flight out of Afghanistan “intended to hijack the aircraft” (Daily Wire)
  • Suicides in the U.S. Army’s active-duty forces jump 46% (Fox News)
  • Five dead in Islamist bow and arrow attack in Norway (BBC)

Economy

  • Inflation returns to highest level in 13 years (Bongino.com)
  • Social Security benefits to increase 5.9% in 2022 amid rising inflation (National Review)
  • Huge Social Security cost-of-living increase could accelerate trust’s depletion (Fox Business)

Health

  • Drug overdose deaths hit record high during pandemic 12-month period (Washington Examiner)
  • Employer vaccine mandate a step closer to reality as OSHA submits rule text to OMB for review (Fox News)
  • Follow the Science™: Man’s kidney transplant canceled … because donor wasn’t vaccinated (New York Post)

“Social Justice”

  • The REAL cover-up: Virginia Democrats voted to allow schools to refrain from reporting sexual battery last year (National Review)
  • Seattle school cancels Halloween over “equity,” says black kids don’t celebrate (KTTH)
  • D’oh! Virginia city that removed police from schools following “defund the police” protests reinstates officers (Washington Examiner)
  • State school board groups disavow School Boards Association’s parent inquisition (Daily Signal)

Notables

  • Federal judge finds DC jail warden in contempt, demands DOJ civil rights probe of January 6 detainees (Fox News)
  • Trump team claims Mark Milley never told them of China worries (Washington Times)

Stranger Than Fiction

  • Guy with no arms robs a jewelry store at gunpoint … holding the gun with his feet (Not the Bee)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: The Biden administration’s self-defeating approach to Iran and China (Washington Examiner)
  • Humor: Kids, here are 10 signs your parents might be domestic terrorists (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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READER COMMENTS

Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. Click here for a few thought-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed therein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.

VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The more laws, the less justice.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC)

“‘Vaccinate your kids and it’s over!’ say the people who told you to stay home for 15 days and it’s over, wear a mask and it’s over, get vaccinated and it’s over, etc.” —Jimmy Failla

“We have trained Americans to believe that work is unnecessary. As jobs go unfilled, a certain contingent of politicians celebrates — they say that workers have been unchained from their jobs, and that this is a net positive. In August 2020, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told Vice, ‘Only in America, when the president tweets about liberation, does he mean “go back to work” … I think a lot of people should just say no. We’re not going back to work.’ … Most Americans want to work; most Americans are in fact working. Hence the unpopularity of the Biden administration spending plans, which most Americans feel artificially suppress economic growth and stifle opportunity. But Biden and Democrats are counting on the long-term play: grow government, breed dependence and ultimately shift the relationship between Americans and the government.“ —Ben Shapiro

Dumb and dumber: “I especially want to thank Joe [sic] Porcari. And I think Joe’s [sic] done one heck of a job — my special envoy, specifically on ports, who’s been working this issue with all the stakeholders for the past several weeks.” —President Joe Biden (“Joe’s” name is “John.” And John’s doing as “good” a job with the supply chain as Biden is at being president.)

Braying jenny: “[Mitch] McConnell at one point was saying [Democrats were] playing Russian roulette with the economy. Russian roulette from ‘Moscow Mitch.’ Interesting.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (“One side is free to spread conspiracy theories.” —David Harsanyi)

And the Democrat Party platform is? “Just a reminder: the word ‘filibuster’ is not in the U.S. Constitution.” —Senator Amy Klobuchar

Thanks, Caption Obvious: “I think a lot of times people don’t have a really positive image of the government.” —First Lady Jill Biden

Non compos mentis: “A higher rate of inflation, and correspondingly higher wage growth, could be a net positive for the economy.” —Bloomberg Opinion columnist Karl W. Smith

And last… “It was never just tax the rich. Why do you think they want to monitor personal banks accounts with just $600?” —Senator Marsha Blackburn

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

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