"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, June 27, 2016

And History Repeats Itself

Two stories that caught my attention this morning (well, over the past couple of days, but I was focused on other things).

First, this, from Towleroad:

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, gay state Senator Mark Leno, and gay SF Supervisor Scott Weiner were booed off stage at a kickoff event for the annual Trans March in San Francisco, KRON reports:

“My first year in Sacramento, we added gender identity to the Fair Employment Housing Act,” state Sen. Mark Leno said.

But he was mooned by a heckler and booed by several others. Openly gay state Sen. Leno was yelled off the stage, as was Scott Weiner, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and also openly gay, and Lee.

Lee and Weiner didn’t even have a chance to speak.

“Though this has not been a warm welcome or one of respect, I will continue to fight for transgender rights, equality, and the respect that you’re not giving us today,” Leno said.

This is what caught my eye:

“I’m upset because I’m a Trans woman who has a lot of Trans friends who are homeless, and I’m tired of people using our community as a prop, a political prop,” Ashley Love said. “I’m tired of white, gay men riding the Stonewall movie and reducing Trans women of color to secondary props, to historical props, to social props, political props. I’m tired of politicians coming here for 5 minutes, do a little sound bite, and run off, but do they really care about us?”

I've seen this before: in the 1970s-80s, I watched the New Left take over the gay rights movement, which up until then had been pretty well focused and pretty effective. All of a sudden, it was "Yes, we'll work on equal rights for gays and lesbians, but first we have to end war and world hunger." It took a decade and the AIDS epidemic to regain momentum. Now, suddenly, the trans rights movement has to take on homelessness.

And as for white gay men "whitewashing" Stonewall, read this:

Two longtime LGBT leaders/activists, who were at the Stonewall uprisings, one transgender and one lesbian, have just weighed in publicly. Here’s what they witnessed that night.

Trans leader Dana Beyer writes:

“I was there [at the Stonewall Uprising] the second night, too, and the streets were overwhelmingly filled with white men (which included the way I was perceived back then, too).”

Lesbian activist Robin Tyler:

“I was there [at the Stonewall Uprising] the second night. The majority of protesters were white gay men. And a lot of people were very upset about the death of Judy Garland and their grief turned into anger. We talked about it.”

All the documentary evidence, eyewitness accounts, what have you, point to the fact that the majority of the demonstrators/rioters were white gay men. As Aravosis points out, yes, there were trans people of color, mostly trans women, heavily involved, front and center, but let's not have a lot of bullshit about "whitewashing."

It's worth noting that the controversy was sparked by a two-minute trailer.

Pat Cordova-Goff, an 18-year-old who describes herself as a “trans woman of color” and a student at Citrus College in Glendora, Calif., created the Gay-Straight Alliance Network petition calling for a boycott of “Stonewall” after watching the trailer. The petition has now racked up more than 24,100 signatures.

And, strangely enough, we hear from Ashley Love again:

“Seeing the film in its entirety was disappointing in how once again white gay men reduce trans women of color down to historical, social and political props,” said Ashley Love, 35, a journalist and coordinator with the education group Stonewalling Accurate & Inclusive Depictions. Describing herself as a black and Latina woman of transsexual history, she said that the film further highlighted “issues of classism, trans-misogyny, anti-blackness, Hollywood trans-face casting, misgendering, identity appropriation and transparent propaganda.”

What I'm hearing is a lot of ideologically generated bullshit, backed by a desire to be in the spotlight.

And, for the love of all that's holy, the film is not a documentary, it's fiction.

What I'm seeing in both these stories is ideological (read "moral") purity overtake all other considerations. (Fiction is supposed to reflect your agenda? Since when?) I saw it in the '80s, with the rise of the New Left and its "politically correct" approach to everything, and if you look real hard (actually, not all that hard), you'll find it on the anti-gay right, and in fact, the contemporary conservative movement (which shares with the fringe left the inability to differentiate fiction from reality).

And that approach is self-defeating. By all means, boo the people who are in the best position to help advance your cause, and boycott a movie that's going to do more to raise awareness than you're ever going to do. That will be real effective, won't it?

Oops -- Happy Belated Pride Day

Yesterday was Chicago's Pride Parade, and by all reports, it was, as usual, a huge success. (And I mean "huge," and not in the Trump sense: over the past several years, Pride has drawn a million people, making it one of the largest in the world.) And, as expected, the predicted storms did not happen: in 47 years, it has never rained on Chicago's Parade. (There have been years when the morning started with downpours, but the skies always clear up by the time the Parade starts.)

And the date this year was especially significant: on June, 26, 2003, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Lawrence vs. Texas, voiding all sodomy laws; on June 26, 2013, the Court found Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional, thanks to Edie Windsor; and on June 26, 2015, the Court found, in Obergefell v. Snyder, that same-sex couples have the same right to marry the person of their choice as anyone else.

As for me, I'm past the point where standing in 90 degree heat with a million of my closest friends for several hours to watch a parade is appealing. I went downtown and tried to work on other things, which is another story.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Today's Must-Read

Josh Marshall's thoughts on Brexit, Trumpism, and the similarities and differences:

Put simply, Trumpism and the greater arc of rightist politics in the US in recent years seems to follow this pattern. A declining but still very large fraction of the population which feels that it is losing power, wealth and something between ethnic familiarity and dominance to rising segments of the society. To map this on to the specifics of US society this pits a one group that is both older and whiter against another that is generally younger and less white.

Two points are worth recognizing about this deep social and political cleavage. First, this rebellion on the right is based not on strength but on weakness, the loss of power, control, demographic dominance, privilege. Second, in key respects it is an accurate perception of the change overtaking America.

I think this goes way back, to the Civil Rights movement of the '60s and the social movements that have come after -- women's rights, gay rights, the increasing presence of non-white minorities, and the slow but steady excision of religious assumptions from our civil law. It's no longer the white, Protestant America that people assume is the only possible America.

And I think this dissatisfaction has been manipulated to direct it against the wrong targets: it's not Mexican immigrants who are "stealing" American jobs, it's the corporations who are moving them to Chinese sweatshops and who have enough influence in government to push trade deals that benefit them and no one else. It's easy to point to feminists, gays, immigrants as the cause, when those groups are tangential at most. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Read Marshall's take. It's interesting, but I don't think it's the whole picture.

And speaking of Brexit, we're seeing some buyer's remorse.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday Science: Earth, a Biography: Two Concepts and a Calendar

We have living organisms, although no one is really sure how that happened. But, before I get into that discussion, I want to introduce a couple of things that are critically important.

First, plate tectonics, also known as continental drift. We're at a point where we have landmasses and oceans on a planet that is still geologically very active. Those landmasses, which we will call "continents," move around. They still do, because the planet is still active. Earth's crust is divided into plates that are subject to the influences of convection currents in the planet's mantle, that layer of molten rock between the crust and the core. Where the currents rise, the crust splits -- what we call "rifts." Where the currents sink, so do the edges of the plates -- subduction: in other words, the edge of one plate moves under the edge of the adjoining plate, leading to lots of earthquakes, volcanoes and things like the Himalayes, the Andes, the Rockies -- pretty much every mountain range that ever existed. (It is possible for mountain ranges to be created other ways -- such as when the crust moves over a "hot spot" -- the Hawaiian Islands and the Galapagos are good examples: they're really huge mountains -- sea mounts -- created as the crust moved over a hot spot on the ocean floor.)

It's worth remembering that the plates are not static. In addition to moving around, they split and combine over time. Here's a nice animation of the movement of landmasses over time, created by a user named Algol at YouTube:

You'll notice that there seems to be a lot more land at the end of the video than there was at the beginning. In part this is due to fluctuations in sea level, but of more import, I think, is the fact that more land was being created by volcanic eruptions: a lot of that molten rock from the interior is now on the surface. However, in spite of all this activity, we can still find rocks that date nearly to the creation of the planet.

Continental drift is important because continents moving around have a huge influence on climate. One of the Great Extinctions resulted from a large continental mass moving over the South Pole, which lowered global temperatures and sea levels as the water in the oceans became locked into snow and glaciers. And climate is a key element of the environment to which organisms must adapt -- climate, along with geography, determines whether a given area is desert, rain forest, savannah, or whatever. If I can, I'll include maps showing the contemporaneous distribution of continents as we go along.

The second thing is evolution. In spite of what you've been told by your creationist uncle, evolution does not have a thing to do with the origin of life. It kicks in once life has already happened. One thing I'd like to point out about how it works: all too often, we hear people say (even people who should know better) say that such and such an organism evolved to fit such and such an environment. Not really. In fact, that's just about the opposite of what happens.

Evolution happens in populations, and thanks to sex, populations have a fair amount of genetic variability -- some individuals will have traits that others lack and vice-versa. (We'll get to sex later -- it hasn't happened yet.) One or a combination of these traits may allow an individual to take advantage of a new environment. The descendants of that individual will, for the most part, possess that trait and are more successful at exploiting that environment than their fellows who lack that trait. This is what Darwin meant by "natural selection": the environment exerts selection pressure that favors certain traits over others. This will eventually lead to the appearance of new species and, early on, to new orders of life. Remember, we all started out as a single-celled organism.

And in that regard, I will probably be including from time to time what are called "cladograms" -- diagrams that show the descent of various groups from common ancestors, based on what we know about their relationships from genetics, morphology, biochemistry, and the fossil record. The image to the left is a sample of what a cladogram looks like -- I think this one is mostly concerned with fishes.

I should also mention here geologic eras. Earth's history is divided into sections (as you might well imagine -- 4.5 billion years can be pretty much unmanageable without some markers along the way). The largest are eons, which may be composed of several eras; subdivisions of eras are named periods, and further subdivisions, the smallest segments, are called epochs. The Hadean Era, which we've already encountered, is usually considered part of the Precambrian, which is where we are. (I'm probably not going to deal with anything larger than periods here.):

And that's enough for now. I'll get into the thorny question of how all those organic molecules got themselves organized into an actual organism next week.

Well, It Took A While

But it does: the Armed Forces are very thorough:

The Pentagon plans to announce the repeal of its ban on transgender service members July 1, a controversial decision that would end nearly a year of internal wrangling among the services on how to allow those troops to serve openly, according to Defense officials.

Top personnel officials plan to meet as early as Monday to finalize details of the plan, and Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work could sign off on it by Wednesday, according to a Defense official familiar with the timetable but who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly about it. Final approval would come from Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and the announcement will be on the eve of the Fourth of July weekend.

The plan would direct each branch of the armed services over a one-year period to implement new policies affecting recruiting, housing and uniforms for transgender troops, one official said.

And as usual, there's a Republican congressman from Texas bitching and moaning about it:

“If reports are correct, I believe Secretary Carter has put the political agenda of a departing administration ahead of the military’s readiness crisis," Thornberry said. "The force is exhausted from back to back deployments and spending their home-station time scrambling to get enough equipment and training before they deploy again. My focus is on helping the troops now — to be the most effective, deployable force possible.

Back to back deployments because we've had to extricate ourselves from the mess the last Republican administration left in the Middle East.

"In particular, there are readiness challenges that first must be addressed, such as the extent to which such individuals would be medically non-deployable. . . ."

There are an estimate 2,500 transgender enlisted personnel. That's obviously going to have a huge impact on the readiness of a military force that numbers just over 1.3 million enlisted personnel, plus another 800,000 plus in the reserves.

But back to the main topic. I can't help but wonder how much of that "internal wrangling" was obstructionism. I do have to hand it to the Pentagon, though: once DADT was repealed and the necessity was plain, they've really focused on making open service work.

And in related news:

Navy Department officials are urging the thousands of sailors and Marines forced out of the military because of their sexuality in previous decades to come forward and appeal their discharge — in a step to restore benefits and right a historical wrong.

The Board for Correction of Naval Records can overturn a wide range of records, from counseling letters to detachments for cause, but recently they have been putting the word out to veterans who were separated because of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy — and its previous across-the-board ban — that they can have their discharges upgraded and their reenlistment codes or reason codes changed to reflect a post-DADT world.

Both via Joe.My.God.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Coming Soon to an Election Near You

Britain has voted to leave the EU, which has pretty much shocked the hell out of everyone. The world is still digesting the results, but what I found very interesting was the campaign of the exit proponents:

The British campaign featured assertions and allegations tossed around with little regard to the facts. Both sides played to emotion, and the most common emotion played upon was fear.

The “Remain” side, citing scores of experts and elite opinion, warned that leaving the bloc, a so-called Brexit, would mean an economic catastrophe, a plunging pound, higher taxes, more austerity and the loss of jobs.

The Leave side warned that remaining would produce uncontrolled immigration, crime and terrorism, with hordes pouring into Britain from Turkey, a country of 77 million Muslims that borders Syria and Iraq and hopes to join the European Union. . . .

In England especially, 85 percent of the population of Britain, many people fell back on national pride, cultural exceptionalism and nostalgia. Many English voters chose to believe the insistence of anti-Europe leaders like Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and potential challenger to Mr. Cameron, that as a great nation, Britain would be more powerful and successful outside the European Union than inside.
(Emphasis added.)

Sound familiar? I just hope to hell it's not a harbinger of November.

I'm still digesting this -- sadly, it's not something I've been paying much attention to, but the results could shatter the EU, which has already started showing some cracks due to its inability to handle things like the Bush Recession of 2008/09 and the refugee crisis. The first indicator, though, is that the pound took a nosedive and the markets in general are not reacting well to the news.

Via Joe.My.God. It's worth reading the comments there -- Joe has a lot of European readers and their insights are worth knowing.


Lots of repercussions. First, the markets are tumbling:

Global markets buckled as Britain’s vote to leave the European Union drove the pound to the lowest in more than 30 years. U.S. stocks joined the selloff with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 400 points, though losses were roughly half what was signaled overnight.

This is most likely going to have a major impact on Britain's economy:

The vote appears likely to prompt multinational banks to shift significant numbers of jobs from Britain to competing financial centers in the European Union, led by Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and Amsterdam. Many experts assume Brussels will move quickly to restrict trading of euro-denominated assets — a major business for Britain. Prominent banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup warned during the campaign that an exit would cause them to transfer some operations elsewhere.

Scotland is preparing for another referendum on independence:

[First Minister] Nicola Sturgeon said it was "democratically unacceptable" that Scotland faced the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will.

She said the Scottish government would begin preparing legislation to enable another independence vote.

Sinn Fein is pressing for a vote on the reunification of Ireland:

The UK's deicision to leave the EU means Sinn Féin will press for a border vote in the North.

Both Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain in the EU, but the leave campaign was able to convince Wales and England to leave the union.

“We have a situation where the north is going to be dragged out on the tails of a vote in England… Sinn Fein will now press our demand, our long-standing demand, for a border poll,” Sinn Fein’s national chairman Declan Kearney said after the UK as a whole had vote to leave the EU.

Northern Ireland could now be faced with the prospect of customs barriers for trade with the Republic.

(All via Joe.My.God.)

Oh, and Texas wants to secede. Again.

After residents of the UK voted today to leave the European Union, the movement for an independent Texas may be gaining serious momentum, with thousands online calling for a “Texit.”

The largest group agitating for secession is the Texas Nationalist Movement, which has been promoting its own version of Brexit, called Texit, over the past several weeks. The group has taken inspiration from the pro-exit campaign in Britain, noting that the two movements share many of the same principles.

Same principles? You mean like racism, Islamophobia, isolationism, nativism, all that good stuff?

Please, do it. It would do the federal treasury a world of good, and we wouldn't have to deal with Ted Cruz or Louie Gohmert any more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

And That's the Way It Should Be

Which is my response to this:

Donald Trump questioned Hillary Clinton’s commitment to her Christian faith on Tuesday, saying that little is known about her spiritual life even though she’s been in the public eye for decades.

Speaking to a group of top social conservative evangelical Christian leaders at a gathering in New York City, Trump said, “we don't know anything about Hillary in terms of religion.”

“Now, she's been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there's no — there's nothing out there,” Trump said. “There's like nothing out there. It's going to be an extension of Obama but it's going to be worse, because with Obama you had your guard up. With Hillary you don't, and it's going to be worse.”

And of course, since it's coming from The Hairpiece, you know it's bullshit. Read on at the link to find out just how bullshitty it is.

Culture Break: Benjamin Britten: War Requiem: Agnus Dei

This came up on Box Turtle Bulletin (in a brief biography of Peter Pears), and given the events of the past ten days, it seems fitting:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Is Anyone Surprized?

People were actually crowing about the Senate Republicans agreeing to hold a vote on gun control measures after the Democrats staged a fifteen-hour filibuster. Guess what happened:

The US Senate failed to advance new restrictions aimed at curtailing gun violence on Monday, as lawmakers voted down four separate measures just one week after a terrorist attack in Orlando marked the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history.

Democrats and Republicans had put forth competing amendments to both strengthen background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms. But all four bills fell short of the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate, in a near replica of a vote held in December when a pair of shooters killed 14 people and wounded 22 more in San Bernardino, California.

The series of votes on Monday evening came in the aftermath of 12 June massacre at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 people dead and another 53 injured. Senate Democrats had secured the votes following a 15-hour filibuster last week demanding action against gun violence, a politically vexing issue that has yet to produce any major legislative breakthroughs in more than two decades.

It's "politically vexing" because the NRA owns enough senators and congressmen to make it that way.

(And a sidebar: Republican control of Congress has been a disaster for this country. Sixty votes to do anything in the Senate? And you wonder why nothing gets done?)

And from the "I'm not interested in staying in the Senate" Senate candidate from Florida:

Nelson’s Florida colleague, Marco Rubio, voted for the Republican amendments while opposing those offered by Democrats. Rubio issued a lengthy statement explaining his vote, in which the former Republican presidential candidate emphasized the need to refocus on the threat posed by homegrown extremism and the broader war on terror after the Orlando attack.

“We can’t say for sure if anything in our laws would have stopped this maniac from carrying out some form of attack, but I know that the proposals I supported today would specifically fill gaps that are evident after this attack and protect people who may one day find themselves needing firearms to protect themselves,” Rubio said.

Bullpucky. Hey, Marco, why don't you offer prayers for the victims -- that would be just as effective. And of course, it's all about terrorism, because the shooter (whose name is not to be mentioned) was Muslim. That's the standard Republican/NRA dodge: it's not about guns, it's about radical Islam. No, it's really about how much bullshit you can shovel down people's throats before they start choking on it.

A couple of points: this was quite obviously a hate crime: those targeted were at a gay club on Latino night.

The Orlando killing is uniquely at the intersection of gun violence, anti-gay violence and anti-immigrant violence (it was Latin night at the club, and 90% of the victims were Hispanic).

Hate crimes are, by definition, a form of terrorism: they are intended not to target an individual, but a group.

And as the FBI releases more information, it's apparent that the shooter was not affiliated with ISIS and received no support from them. Yes, of course they claimed credit. They always do. That's how they make themselves seem powerful. This was one really mixed-up man who had a lot of issues, a history of violence, and was basically a walking time bomb.

It starts to look more and more as though the only way to get this country back on track is to boot the teabaggers and their fellow-travelers out of office, across the board. That's going to take a while, since they have so many voters convinced that getting screwed is good for them.

Gaius Publius, at Hullabaloo, links to this piece by Joe Sudbay that deserves a read:

So, as we consider what to do moving forward in the wake of the worst shooting in American history, here’s a key thing to know: Al Gore didn’t lose because of the NRA. He lost because he ran from the gun issue instead of owning his record. The NRA capitalized on that thinking and for that past 15 years has run amok. That group and the politicians who kneel as the gun lobby’s altar give us a nation where 49 people can be mowed down. But, we all have a part in it for letting our politicians be controlled by them.

Most people in this country -- even gun owners -- favor regulation of guns, especially assault weapons. But then, it's been a while since Congress listened to the people.

Today in WTF?

All the leftie sites are carrying stories about Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent in Utah vs. Strieff. First, some background:

The Supreme Court issued an extraordinarily disappointing 5–3 decision on Monday in Utah v. Strieff, a Fourth Amendment case about police searches. . . .

Strieff itself involves a fairly simple question of constitutional law. Typically, when police illegally stop an individual on the street without reasonable suspicion, any fruits of that stop—such as the discovery of illegal drugs—must be suppressed in court, because the stop was “unreasonable seizure” under the Fourth Amendment. Strieff gave the justices an opportunity to affirm this constitutional rule. But instead, Justice Stephen Breyer joined the court’s four conservatives to add a huge loophole to that long-established doctrine. In an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, the court found that if an officer illegally stops an individual then discovers an arrest warrant—even for an incredibly minor crime, like a traffic violation—the stop is legitimized, and any evidence seized can be used in court. The only restriction is when an officer engages in “flagrant police misconduct,” which the decision declines to define.

The end result of this decision, according to Justice Sotomayor (and anyone else who still has two functioning brain cellsl), is far-reaching, to say the least. She concludes:

By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.

We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.

In short, anyone is fair game.

Let me leave you with this parting thought, courtesy of Linkin Park:

Welcome to American, land of the free -- once upon a time.

An Antidote

And a reminder:

We're all in this together.

Monday, June 20, 2016

And Just Because

of the last post's title, this;

Somehow, this seems to fit the season.

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

From the Washington rumor mill, this:

Justice Clarence Thomas, a reliable conservative vote on the Supreme Court, is mulling retirement after the presidential election, according to court watchers.

Thomas, appointed by former President George H.W. Bush and approved by the Senate after a bitter confirmation, has been considering retirement for a while and never planned to stay until he died, they said. He likes to spend summers in his RV with his wife.

His retirement would have a substantial impact on control of the court. The next president is expected to immediately replace the seat opened by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, providing a one-vote edge in the court that is currently divided 4-4.

Of course, these "court watchers" are anonymous, and absent any independent corroboration, I'm taking it as rumor.

But one can dream.

And via NCRM, Keith Olberman nailed it:

Wait. Clarence Thomas may be the next to leave the Supreme Court? How will we be able to tell?


Forgot to remind you -- yesterday was "What's New" day at Green Man Review, with newly published reviews, so head on over.

(What do you mean, you don't have it bookmarked?!)

Today's Must Read

Very interesting article at The New Civil Rights Movement by Claude Summers on Justice Anthony Kennedy's "jurisprudence of dignity."

Justice Kennedy is author of four historic gay rights rulings from the Supreme Court, Romer v. Evans (1996), Lawrence v. Texas (2003), U.S. v. Windsor (2013), and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). These decisions, each building upon the other, are marked by a deep concern for human dignity. More precisely, they address forthrightly the ways in which discrimination against lgbt individuals is an affront to personal dignity. Indeed, his rulings on gay rights may be said to constitute a jurisprudence of human dignity, one that has expanded and given heft to the principle of equal protection under the law.

There's more, including historical background on Kennedy and these four crucial cases, and several videos. The CBS Special Report on the decision on Obergefell especially is worth watching -- it gives a good sense of the excitement of the day. In fact, here it is: