The Bookworm Beat 2/11/16 — the “watching the political parade” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265As this election year’s craziness continues, I keep trying to keep myself from getting upset. My mantra is that I should save my energies for things I can change, either directly or through my own small contributions. For everything else, I need to relax and watch the passing spectacle. That’s what this post is all about.

Socialism’s shortages kill people.  One of the hallmarks of socialism is shortages, with Venezuela being the latest example.  Canada has socialized medicine.  (They also have cheap drugs, but that’s because American companies invest in R&D, costs they recoup by passing on to American drug purchasers, while the Canadian government helps supplement drug costs.)  That’s why a teenager in Canada who could have had a stem cell transplant died — the donor was available, but the hospital beds weren’t.

Unemployment is a core feature of a centralized economy.  The theory behind a centralized (i.e., government managed) economy is that everyone works and everyone benefits.  The reality is that the more the government manages the economy through taxes and rewards to cronies, the more it stifles individual initiative — and the result is unemployment.  With the Obama economy staggering into its eighth year, one can’t really blame millennials, who have never seen a functioning free market, for thinking that the best they’ll ever get is more government hand-outs, courtesy of Bernie.

The media is trying to ignore Ted Cruz to death, but he’s still the strongest conservative candidate.  The media willingly gave Donald Trump free advertising by covering him endlessly.  It wasn’t just that he was “so clever” that he played them.  They wanted to be played because they believe that, outside of his core 35%, he’s unelectable.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is scary.  After all, Rush anointed him the closest thing we’ll see to Reagan in our era.  Since savaging Cruz hasn’t been working, the media is trying a new tactic:  ignoring him.  That is, they are deliberately denying the American people a chance to hear from a top-ranking presidential candidate.  Gawd, but our media is corrupt.

Still, Ted Cruz plays the long game, and Fox News Latino thinks he’s still got game.  Philip Klein also thinks that New Hampshire is anomalous, since it’s kind of like Europe in that even its conservatives are Leftists.  Look at the rest of conservative America, and Cruz is still the last conservative candidate standing.

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The New York Times reminds us that its highest purpose is as birdcage liner

New York Times reporter Israel objectivity Diaa Hadid

The New York Times, despite its Jewish progenitors, was always too Progressive to be pro-Jewish or pro-Israel. The New York Times was written by and for Jews who like to throw around a few Yiddish words (“nosh,” “meshugganah,” etc.), and who may even go to synagogue once a year, but who think religion is a primitive, backwards approach to the world. They are clean and bright and shiny, and Jews — real Jews — are dirty, backwards and, in Israel, imperialist occupying forces. That’s why you should never believe a word that the New York Times says about Israel, unless it’s a surprisingly positive word, in which case you’ll know that an enterprising philosemite snuck into the newsroom at night and messed with the computers.

I mention the above as a preclude to this story, which the inestimable CAMERA first caught:

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The Bookworm Beat 1/4/2016 — the “I’ve got a secret” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I have sitting in front of me a piece of a very juicy story that’s happening in real-time — and I can’t do anything about it right now! Two things stop me: The first is that, as I said, I currently only have a piece, and I need more information to understand fully what is going on; the second is that I don’t know yet whether what’s happening is operating under a confidentiality agreement.

The fact that I got some of the information means that someone (and I know who) violated confidentiality, but the whole thing is too sensitive for me to charge into. I’m going to keep an eye on things, though, and I’ll let you know when/if I have a real story. Meanwhile….

On guns, using Alinsky against the Alinsky-ites

Saul Alinksy may have had an ugly ideology, but he was a master tactician. One of his mandates is that you have to make your political enemy play by his own rules. The Virginia GOP is making noises about doing just that, although I doubt GOPers will have the courage of their convictions:

Virginia’s radically anti-gun Governor and Attorney General were probably quite pleased with themselves when they spitefully severed concealed carry agreements with 25 states, including all but one of its neighbors.

They probably didn’t anticipate the backlash they’ve received, which includes calls to recall or impeach Attorney General Mark Herring, and pushes for legislation that will both strip elected officials of the ability to make such unilateral decisions, and get a little payback.

Herring’s announcement came three weeks before the start of the General Assembly session, which is controlled by Republicans. In November, a bill was filed that would require Virginia to recognize permits from other states. If approved, it would reverse Herring’s ruling.

Carrico said he’ll address the issue come January.

“A lot of the governor’s power is deferred to the General Assembly at that point and I’ll be getting with my collegues to circumvent everything this governor has done on this point,” he said. “I have a budget amendment that I’m looking at to take away his executive protection unit. If he’s so afraid of guns, then I’m not going to surround him with armed state policemen.”

Read more here.

It would be fruitless and damaging to try stripping Hillary Clinton of her Secret Service detail. Having said that, it would be brilliant if, at every campaign stop, people ask her why, because she is such a strong anti-gun campaigner, she shouldn’t be stripped of that armed coverage.  And I’d love to see the same question asked of Obama at town halls.

I suspect both will reply that they need security because they’re targets.  Statistically speaking, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the average citizen of Chiraq is just as likely to be a target — the only difference is that the Chiraquian cannot defend himself (or have others defend him).

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Vote for Ted Cruz — because he’s the one your political opponents fear most *UPDATED*

Ted CruzSometimes, the best way to figure out what politician will best serve your values and interests is to look at what those antithetical to your interests are trying to force upon you.  In this election, the Leftist media and the decidedly non-conservative GOP are steering conservative voters either to Donald Trump or Marco Rubio.  At the same time, they are using every available tactic to destroy Ted Cruz’s candidacy.  This should tell us something, and the something it tells us is that Ted Cruz should be the conservative candidate of choice.

Let me start with the media’s manipulations. To appreciate how subtle they’re being, let me go back to Obama’s longing statement a few years ago that he wished he could go full Bulworth. For those who missed the remarkably silly eponymous movie, it stars Warren Beatty as a suicidal politician who gains success when his existential despair leads him to speak the truth — in hip-hop prose.  The movie message is that the electorate likes a candidate who not only doesn’t lie but who actually speaks the unfiltered truth.

You realize, of course, who’s the Bulworth in this election: It’s Trump, who is remarkably unfiltered when it comes to saying what he thinks at any given moment. It’s understandable that Americans, tired of politicians lying to them through out-and-out untruths or smarmy mis-statements, as well as disgusted by the fishwife scolds on the Left who shut down debate about relevant subjects by playing the PC card, find Trump’s Bulworthian pronouncements appealing.

The problem is that his invariably self-centered faux oracular pronouncements say nothing about a “President Trump.” Given Trump’s big business, big government, big Democrat background, and his florid narcissism, the reality of a Trump presidency is that it will probably look remarkably like an Obama presidency.  Trump will promote big business and big government; he’ll be led by his ego, not the Constitution; he’ll be incapable of working with the People’s representatives in Congress (which, as Obama does, he’ll marginalize); and he’ll have no learning curve even as his self-centered policies fail.

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The Wall Street Journal’s hatchet job on Ted Cruz

Ted CruzI’ve made no secret of the fact that I support Ted Cruz. I realize he’s not perfect, but no candidate is. What matters to me is that his political values most closely align with mine, that he’s not scared of a fight (and, especially, he’s not scared of the media), and that he is truly smarter than just about everyone else out there. I learned yesterday, though, that Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal most definitely does not like Cruz. She wrote a savage hit piece on him essentially blaming him for ISIS’s ability to spread throughout the United States. (That spread, of course, has nothing to do with Obama’s open borders policy and the contempt he shows for every person and idea that suggests that Islam might have a problem.)

But before honing in on her perception about Cruz’s alleged security failures, Strassel first lambastes him as a rank opportunist who cares only about self-aggrandizement and refuses to take care of the GOP’s needs:

The senator’s supporters adore him because they see him in those moments when he has positioned himself as the hero. To them he is the stalwart forcing a government shutdown over ObamaCare. He’s the brave soul calling to filibuster in defense of gun rights. He’s the one keeping the Senate in lame-duck session to protest Mr. Obama’s unlawful immigration orders.

Mr. Cruz’s detractors see a man who engineers moments to aggrandize himself at the expense of fellow conservatives. And they see the consequences. They wonder what, exactly, Mr. Cruz has accomplished.

ObamaCare is still on the books. It took the GOP a year to recover its approval ratings after the shutdown, which helped deny Senate seats to Ed Gillespie in Virginia and Scott Brown in New Hampshire. Mr. Obama’s immigration orders are still on the books. The courts gained a dozen liberal judges, all with lifetime tenure, because the lame-duck maneuver gave Democrats time to cram confirmation votes through. Mr. Cruz’s opportunism tends to benefit one cause: Mr. Cruz.

So it’s Cruz’s fault we have Obamacare and it’s his fault because . . . he took a principled stand against it?  (I admired that stand when he took it and I still do.) The fact is that Cruz is one of the few Republicans in Congress who actually stood by the party planks and actual promises he and other alleged conservatives made to voters since 2008. He is the only one in Congress on the right who shows the slightest bit of spine. So when Strassel writes, “but Obamacare is still on the books,” the real question shouldn’t be “How do we blame Ted Cruz?”  Instead, the real question should be “How did this happen when Republicans control Congress and the purse strings?”

Strassel’s claim that, following Cruz’s principled stand, it took Republicans “a year to recover,” is patently ridiculous. Republicans have enjoyed greater electoral success in the past six years than the party ever has — and she is going to blame defeats in Virginia and Massachusetts on Cruz. That is infuriating.

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The Bookworm Beat 11-18-15 — “the mother of all round-ups” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I have been collecting links for days and will try to share them all with you. Here goes:

Only conservatives are paying attention

In an attempt to deflect attention of Muslim depredations in Paris, the Left and its foot soldiers (all of whom seem to be my Facebook friends) immediately attacked Americans and other Westerners for failing to pay attention to a bombing the day before in Lebanon (an ISIS v. Hezbollah bombing, so it was Horrible People v. Horrible People). I eventually got tired of commenting on their posts to the effect that I have been paying attention to all of these attacks, primarily because they are all different manifestations of a single radical Islamic entity, and I’ve been trying to get everyone to pay as much attention as I do.

Emma Kelly says what I was too polite to say explicitly to these Leftists: The reason you didn’t know about these other attacks isn’t because the newspapers didn’t report them, it’s because you weren’t paying attention.

I’ll add something that Kelly didn’t, though: You weren’t paying attention because American and European media outlets don’t want you to see that Islam is a problem, so they report on these incidents, but downplay them. Meanwhile you get loud noise about Ben Carson’s alleged lies, Hillary’s brilliance, Republicans’ meanness, Donald Trump’s hair, and Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy.

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[VIDEO] Ted Cruz goes full Gingrich and vigorously attacks the hard-Left moderators *UPDATED*

The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match. And if you look at the questions — “Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain?” “Ben Carson, can you do math?” “John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?” “Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?” “Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?” — How about talking about the substantive issues people care about? [Wild applause.]

[A moderator whines.]

Carl, I’m not finished yet. The contract with the Democrat debate, where every fawning question from the media was “Which of you is more handsome and wise?” And let me be clear. . . .

[A moderator again interrupts, pretending to be substantive about the debt limit, and then warns Cruz, who is coughing hard, that he has 30 seconds left to answer “should you choose to do so.”]

Let me be clear: The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate. That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. And nobody watching at home believes that any of the moderators have any intention of voting in a Republican primary. The questions that are being asked shouldn’t be trying to get people to tear into each other. It should be what are your substantive [cut off by frightened, angry moderator].

I’ve already made clear that I’m a Ted Cruz supporter. He did just the right thing to cement that support.

UPDATE: I’m not the only one who was thrilled.

The Bookworm Beat 10-21-15 — the “purging papers” edition

Woman-writing-300x265My Kondo-mania continues unabated. The task I’ve assigned myself now is to get rid of all but the most necessary papers in my house. And of those, unless the paper itself has some historic, emotional, or legal value, to scan what remains. I’ve been sorting and shredding all day, and am only taking a break now because my son refused to believe me that our little home shredder would jam if he fed in more than three pages. He stuffed in nine, and is now using tweezers to clean out the shredder. Meanwhile….

The bloodless Muslim takeover of Europe

Daniel Greenfield’s article about the Muslim invasion is best summarized in this paragraph:

Europe invested in the values of its welfare state. The Muslim world invested in large families. Europe expects the Muslim world to bail out its shrinking birth rate by working and paying into the system so that its aging population can retire. The Muslim migrants however expect Europe to subsidize their large families with its welfare state while they deal some drugs and chop off some heads on the side.

Mr. Bookworm, incidentally, couldn’t understand my dismay when I learned he’d donated $100 to help the refugees. He tried to analogize the situation to Jews fleeing Nazis, and castigated me for being the person who wouldn’t help the Jews. He couldn’t understand what I meant when I said that these refugees, by virtue of being Muslims from hard-core Muslim countries, are Nazis fleeing worse Nazis. I don’t want to help either group.

Rebutting the lies about Israel

If everyone read Ron Dermer’s Ten Deadly Lies About Israel (and kudos to Politico for publishing it), the world would be a better place. Israel would be treated as a nation among nations, and the Palestinians would be unfunded and unfriended. An example:

Ninth: The reason the conflict and the violence persist is because the Palestinians don’t have a state.
False: The Palestinians have repeatedly refused to accept a nation-state for themselves if it means accepting a nation-state for the Jewish people alongside it. In 1937, the Palestinians rejected the Peel Commission report that called for two states for two peoples; in 1947, they rejected the U.N. partition plan that did the same. In 2000 at Camp David and again in 2008 the Palestinians rejected new proposals that would have created a Palestinian state. The Palestinians rejected peace both before and after the creation of Israel, before Israel gained control of the territories in 1967 and after Israel vacated Gaza in 2005. The Palestinians have always been more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than with creating a state of their own. The core of the conflict remains the persistent refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people in any borders.

Armed Jews would have made a difference during WWII

Ben Carson may have been a little too optimistic when he said that, if Jews had been armed, they could have stopped the Holocaust. What is certain, though, is that Jews would have been harder to capture and less yielding had they been able to challenge the Nazis — and the Nazis knew this because the first thing they did when they decided to destroy world Jewry was to disarm all Jews within reach (as all tyrants do when they’re ready to destroy their chosen victims). William A. Levinson explains what the Nazis did and how important small arms are to partisan resistance (something for Americans to consider in the fight to grab our guns).

If you attack cops, you’re likely to die

Trust Thomas Sowell to cut through the Leftist shower of fecal matter about police shootings, starting with a teenager’s recent death after the teen went crazy during a routine traffic stop:

”He was only a kid” is an almost automatic reaction of the parents and the media. “He didn’t deserve to be killed” over a traffic violation, or because he didn’t drop a toy gun when ordered to, or some other minor infraction.

Are we so addicted to talking points and sound bites that we can’t be bothered to use common sense? If you are killed by a teenager, you are just as dead as if you had been killed by the oldest man in the world.

It doesn’t matter how minor the law violation was that caused the young guy to be stopped. He wasn’t shot for the violation — which could have been jay-walking, for all the difference it makes. He was shot for attacking the police, after having foolishly escalated a routine encounter into a personal confrontation.

Irrational statements by the young man’s parents may be understandable when they discover that their son is dead. But for media people to make such mindless statements to a nationwide audience is just grossly irresponsible.

Income inequality is not an economic issue

The Democrat presidential candidates were obsessed with economic inequality. They are obsessed, of course, because it gives them permission to rob from a smaller class of Americans and give to larger class of Americans, thus ensuring them perpetual power. Dennis Prager, however, points out that, while the Dems are giving themselves a political and financial power card based on their “inequality” rallying cry, inequality is actually a moral, not an economic, problem:

It depends, first of all, on the economic status of the poorer members of the society. If the bottom percentile of society has its basic material needs met, then the existence of a big gap between its members and the wealthiest members of the society is not a moral problem.

But if the members of the bottom rung of society are in such an impoverished state that their basic material needs are not met, and yet there is a supremely wealthy class in the same society, then the suffering of its poorest class renders that society’s inequality a moral problem.

And what most matters in both cases is whether the wealthiest class has attained its wealth honestly or corruptly. If the wealthy have attained their wealth morally and legally, then the income gap is not a moral problem.

Second Amendment links

America is not the top Western nation for the number of people per capita killed in mass shootings. You’d be surprised which countries are higher up the list.

Gun free zones are nothing more than honey pots for people crazy enough to kill, but not crazy enough to want to be stopped before they’ve had a good long time with their victims.

Obama — America’s greatest warmonger — and the Left doesn’t care

With Obama being the greatest warmonger ever to occupy the White House (wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, not to mention all those drone strikes, mostly on civilians), there have been only minor exceptions to the anti-War Left’s eerie silence since 2009. Noah Rothman posits that maybe, just maybe, they never were an anti-War Left. Instead, they were an anti-Bush Left and, to the extent the wars were framed as serving America’s needs, an anti-American Left — which is what we here said all along.

Speaking of which, someone has gone to the effort to imagine what it would be like if Romney stood in Obama’s blood-stained combat boots.

Israel needs to ignore the world and do what’s necessary

If you’re going to be damned if you do and damned if you don’t, and if doing benefits you, just do! Evelyn Gordon explains that, despite yielding constantly to demands from the US, Europe, and the Muslims, Israel is in no better shape than she would have been had she gone ahead with her preferred actions vis-a-vis settlements and other issues. That being the case, Israel should just stop trying to be the best little nation in the world, and do what she and her citizens need her to do.

XXX

For a brief while, I was trying to be a bankruptcy attorney. It turned out not to be my cup of tea. I did learn, however, that it’s often very useful for a business to declare bankruptcy, shed most of its debt, restructure, and start again. Kevin Williamson suggests that the U.S. may have to benefit from this procedure. I just doubt whether the world can weather a bankrupt America shedding most of its debt.

Viewing Muslim men with appropriate caution

One of the aides at my Mom’s care facility is trying desperately to break away from her Muslim husband. I don’t know the details, but I do know I’ve heard countless stories of Western women being charmed by romantic Muslim men, only to discover that there’s a big difference between a Muslim boyfriend and a Muslim husband. The latter tends to like to assert his cultural and sharia prerogatives, usually with the children as his hostages in some lovely country like Qatar or Saudi Arabia. That’s why, rather than being outraged by the young lady in this video, I thought she was pretty wise. Unless you’re certain that your Muslim guy is someone like the amazing and wonderful Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (or like a completely Westernized Muslim man I know, who is an utterly dear person), you need to know very clearly what you’re getting into — and a street pick-up isn’t the way to do it.

What the media means when it dismisses Jewish injuries as “moderate”

Netanyahu wasn’t wrong when he talked about the Mufti and Hitler

Netanyahu stirred up a hornet’s nest when he suggested that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem who got Hitler going on the idea of a Holocaust, as opposed to exiling or enslaving Europe’s Jews. Some people think that Hitler got the idea from Stalin, after his troops saw how effectively Stalin liquidated his own people. But there’s no reason to believe Netanyahu was wrong. The Mufti enthusiastically supported liquidating Jews and there’s no doubt that he and Hitler had a common fanatic hatred for the Jewish people. Certainly, my mother ended up in Indonesia because, when she was living in British-mandate Palestine, British officers told her father that, if they couldn’t hold out against Rommel (and they were dubious that they could), every Jew in Palestine would be slaughtered. Both Nazis and Arabs would participate, with each group egging the other on.

Anyway, Melanie Phillips has lots more data about the Mufti, who was by any measure an exceptionally evil man and Hitler’s soul mate.

[VIDEO] An almost perfect video about media bias against Israel

ISIL and Palestinian terrorists are the sameThe only problem with this otherwise excellent video is that it is aimed at those who already know what’s really happening — i.e., a knife intifada that sees Palestinians stabbing to death as many Israelis as possible, combined with a world media that assiduously focuses on Palestinian deaths with no regard whatsoever for the attacks preceding those deaths.  This means that those who only read, watch, and listen to the mainstream media, both at home and abroad, will not understand the nature of the falsehoods shown in this short video’s second half.

The Bookworm Beat 10-14-15 — the hot quick links edition, and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265So much to share with you, and so many demands on my time. I’ll make it quick, tantalizing you with short links to wonderful things:

We know the other media outlets are hostile to Israel, but is it possible that Fox News is also turning on Israel? CAMERA has caught it doing exactly the same thing as CNN or the BBC — blaming Israel, the only pluralist, democratic, modern, humanitarian country in the region for the ferocious, malignant, blindly hate-filled upsurge in terrorism unleashed against ordinary Israelis. (As you know, a Saudi owns a significant share in Fox TV. Israel’s friends have long been concerned that this might affect Fox’s objectivity with regard to Israel. I’m not saying that this ownership explains Fox’s slip-ups, though. I just note the ownership in passing.)

Here’s the deal:  When Fox News and John Kerry are agreed about something, you know that (a) Fox is in error and (b) there’s the possibility that something is very, very, very wrong over at Fox.

For those who like stories about dystopian futures, Richard Fernandez has a humdinger, imagining the year 2030 in a world lost to Obama’s foreign policies.

Just this past weekend, a national conference for teachers and administrators convened in Baltimore to discuss what’s really wrong with America’s education system. If you thought they were focusing on fatherless families, union depredations on school districts and students, and meaningless, politically correct education, you thought wrong. It’s you — you, the white person over there, hiding in the corner — who is what’s wrong with education. Zombie explains what’s going on, but you’d have to be crazy or a Leftist really to understand the dynamic.

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The Bookworm Beat 9-25-15 — the “bon voyage, Boehner” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’m doing something that’s a little more fun than the legal work that usually comes my way: I’m working on a project for Fleet Week to help welcome sailors and marines to our fair City. My work is editorial, which suits me to a “T.”

I haven’t been ignoring the news, of course. I know that Boehner is on his way out. Democrats on my Facebook thread are shuddering in horror that the man they view as the least awful Republican has left the House and are already having nightmares about the inevitable Tea Party fanatic who will replace him.

Among Republicans, there are pragmatists who say that, given Obama’s refusal to work with a Republican Congress, there was little Boehner could do, while more ideologically committed people say that the least that Boehner could have done was to be a spokesman for conservative ideas — such as pointing out that it is Obama who is flouting the majority of Americans through his refusal to accommodate any legislation that doesn’t match his minority political view.

I think Boehner’s right to leave. The only people whom he made happy were those on the Left who gloried in his failure either to carry through legislation or be a spokesman for conservative ideas.

And now to a few things that caught my eye:

If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, I’m Winston Churchill

I admire Winston Churchill tremendously. He had his faults — big ones too — but he was an extraordinarily brilliant man, a tremendous communicator, a dynamic leader for a country under siege, and for a long time the only world leader to stand up to the Nazis.

Admiring Churchill, though, does not mean I am Churchill. Even if I gained weight, shaved my head, started smoking cigars, drank a lot, and went around giving speeches in a British-accented bulldog rumble, I would not be Churchill. In the same way, none of those Elvis interpreters in Las Vegas are actually Elvis, and that’s true no matter how many may secretly believe they’re his incarnation.

But in modern America, Bruce Jenner, with his male skeleton and musculature, his fake breasts and his apparently still-intact penis, and with a complete absence of female sexual organs, is now identified as a woman as a matter of law. Leftists will say that this is every bit as reasonable as holding — as we in America do — that corporations are legally people.  If that’s true, they argue, there’s no reason Jenner can’t be a woman.

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