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As last we saw, Professor Bernando de la Paz, elderly subvesive and amateur revolutionary; Wyoh Knott, the Lovely Lady of the Left; and Manuel O'Kelly, computer repairman and mostly innocent bystander; have succeeded in overthrowing the Warden of the Lunar Penal Colony, with the help of Mannie's best friend, the Authority's super-computer, Mike, who just happens to be sentient and have a sense of humor.

Now the tough part begins...

Part 1
Part 2

My dinkum word, preparing a revolution isn't as much huhu as having won it.  Here we were, in control too soon, nothing ready and a thousand things to do.  Authority in Luna was gone -- but Lunar Authority Earthside and Federated Nations behind it were very much alive.  Had they landed one troopship, orbited one cruiser, anytime next week or two, could have taken Luna back cheap.  We were a mob.
To buy themselves more time, the Revolutionaries enact a strict communications embargo, with Mike sending false messages to Earth to preserve the illusion of normality.  The Terrans currently on Luna -- for the most part scientists working short-term at one of the observatories and research installations -- are prohibited from calling home.

The Warden survived the coup; although cutting off the oxygen to his living quarters left him in a vegitative state.  The rapists whose assault on a Looney woman triggered the uprising are stripped naked, bound, and handed over to women of the Complex.  "Makes me sick to think what happened next but don't suppose they lived through as long an ordeal as Marie Lyons [their victim] endured."

The question of what to do about the Warden's network of informants is a tricky one.  Wyoh doesn't quite have the stomach to have them all executed, but Prof disagrees.  "A man who finks on his friends once will do it again and we have a long period ahead in which a fink can be dangerous.  They must go.  And publicly, to cause others to be thoughtful."  In an earlier argument on Capital Punishment, Prof claimed that all moral responsibility devolved on the individual and that if a criminal needed to be executed, he would do so himself.  When challenged on this point now, he admits that he will bear the moral responsibility for the decision, but the actual sentence will be carried out by others.  He simply has Adam Selene publicly announce the names of these informants and their addresses.  And lets nature take its course.

Isn't this a little bit disingenous?  Hell, yes.  But remember, Prof calls himself a "rational" anarchist, meaning he sticks by his principles... except when it's expedient for him not to.  Prof justifies using the mob as an arm of public execution by saying it will send a sharper message to those who might be tempted to betray Luna in the future.  And it probably will.

But now another problem comes up, one which unfortunately reminds the reader that the book was written nearly a half century ago.  So far, "Adam Selene", the Chairman of the Revolution, has spoken to people over the phone, but never in person.  Now that the need for secrecy is over, people are going to want to meet their leader.  Mike claims that he can create a convincing video image of his alter ego.  Although Mannie is at first skeptical, Mike proves that he can do it.  Mannie's objections seem a little silly today, when computer generated images are a part of practically everything we see in movies and TV, but in the 1960s the idea was outrageous enough that Heinlein felt a need to hang a lampshade on it to get his readers to accept it.

So Adam Selene addresses all of Luna in a televised speech in which he urges calm, forbearance and co-operation.  He urges people who were working for the Authority providing essential services to stay on the job and promises they will be paid.  Ice will continue to be bought and grain shipments to Earth will continue for the time being.  He begs the citizens of Terra caught up in the uprising to be patient.  And he tells the citizens of Luna that he is going to be busy working to turn over leadership to a goverment of Luna's own choosing.  "Expect me to be as hard to see as Simon Jester!"

In order to facilitate this last point, Prof has set up the "Ad-Hoc Congress for Organization of Free Luna" to which he has invited all the self-professed political experts and armchair Hamiltons who have come out of the woodwork now that the bloodshed is over.  Mannie attends a few of their sessions and is dismayed.

With me breaking heart trying to round up heavy drills and men who could treat them as guns these idlers had spent an entire afternoon discussing immigration.  Some wanted to stop it entirely.  Some wanted to tax it, high enough to finance government (when ninety-nine out of a hundred Loones had to be dragged to The Rock!); some wanted to make it selective by "ethnic rations," (Wondered how they would count me?)   Some wanted to limit it to females until we were 50-50.  That had produced a Scandinavian shout:  "Ja, cobber!  Tell 'em send us hoors!  Tousands and tousands of hoors!  I marry 'em, I betcha!"

Was most sensible remark all afternoon.

Prof reassures him.  "My dear Manuel, I was simply putting all my nuts in one basket.  I know those nuts.  I've listened to them for years."  He has engineered the group to ensure that they will quarrel amongst each other without actually accomplishing anything.  The purpose of the congress is to keep these idiots busy; but it does have one important role to perform.  They need the Congress to ratify something.  
"One man will write it -- a dead man -- and late at night when they are very tired, they'll pass it by acclamation.... The dead man is Thomas Jefferson -- first of the rational anarchists, my boy, and one who once almost managed to slip over his non-system through the most beautiful rhetoric ever written.  But they caught him at it, which I hope to avoid."
Prof gives them the Declaration of Independence.

He presents it almost word-for-word with only the changes neccessary to update it for their situation and rams it through the Congress using expert parlimentary ju-jitsu learned from a lifetime of dealing with committees.  He even manages to have it signed on July 4, 2176, a coinicidence that strains the Willing Suspension of Disbelief almost past SOP tolerances, but the moment is presented so beautifully that I can forgive Heinlein.

Having officially declared Independence, another piece of business must be dealt with.  The Loonies need to send someone to Earth to officially present their Declaration to the Federated Nation and make their case before the People of Earth.  Prof foresaw this would be necessary from the beginning, and he, Mannie and Wyoh have all been training, wearing weights under their clothing, to prepare.  Prof is the logical spokesman for the group, but he is an old man and might not survive the trip.  Mannie has been to Earth before, when he was studying to be a computerman, and is the logical choice to accompany Prof.  Mannie isn't crazy about this idea, but when Prof reminds him that if he doesn't go, Wyoh is the only other possible candidate, Mannie agrees.

Since the Loonies have no spaceships of their own, and no spaceships have arrived since the Revolution, they plan to send Prof and Mannie in a specially-designed compartment in one of the grain shipments sent by Luna's "catapault".  The accomodations are beyond spartan -- the bare minimun necessary to keep them alive.  Mannie does not expect either he or Prof to survive.

The night before the trip to Earth, Mimi Mum calls a Family Meeting.  Mannie has been so worried about the trip, he is completely surprised by the reason.  Wyoh is opting in to the family and Mimi has assembled the whole clan to vote on the matter.  Here we get a glimpse of the Line Marriage at work with a combination of tradition, ritual and informal democracy.  Whatever you might think of the Line Marriage in practice, this scene is a warm and moving one.  (The Minear screenplay I mentioned last week describes the Davis family as like "the Waltons, squared").

Wyoh is welcomed into the familiy.  According to tradition, the new bride spends her first night with the Senior Husband; but Grandpaw Davis is getting on in years.  With the knowledge and consent of both Mimi and Greg (the next husband in seniority), Wyoh comes to Mannie's room once Grandpaw falls asleep to spend the night with him; by implication, the first night they spend together.

The trip to earth in the grain canister is every bit as nightmarish as Mannie anticipates.  The only good thing to be said about it is that he spends most of the voyage in drugged unconsciousness so that his pressure suit's oxygen supply will last him the two-days they'll spend in transit.  He wakes up shortly before the cannister enters Earth's atmosphere and has a devil of a time unfastening his safety harness because somene removed his prosthetic arm before packing him into his suit.  He can't tell through Prof's suit whether Prof is alive or dead.  He endures the hammer jolts of accelaration and deceleration as the cannister goes through atmospheric entry, splashing down in the Indian Ocean; then the completely unfamilar experience of waves as it bobs on the surface of the ocean.

He wakes up in a hospital.  Stu is there, and cheerfully tells him everything went according to plan.  Prof is alive and well and as chipper as ever.  Mannie is boggled to learn that Prof wanted to come to earth by this risky means rather than by a conventional spaceship.  Not only was the stunt great publicity, it also got them on Terra before the Federated Nations could figure out what to do about them.  If they had waited for a spaceship, the FN would have arrested them before they set foot on Earth.

Stu takes Prof and Mannie to Agra, the headquarters of the Federated Nations, to present their credentials as Official Ambassadors of Free Luna.  Prof hopes to address the FN's General Assembly publicly, but they best they'll permit is a private meeting with an "Investigating Committee."  Prof, speaking from a hospital bed, as he is too frail to sit up in Earth's greater gravity, eloquently requests that Luna be recognized as a soveriegn state.  The Committee insists that Luna contiune to accept new prisoners, which Prof is willing to do -- with the understanding that as soon as they set foot on lunar soil the prisoners become free citizens of Luna.  The debate becomes heated and Prof, in his excitement, half-rises from his bed and then collapses.  (Real or fake?  With Prof it's probably mostly political theater).  A second meeting goes no better, although Mannie is able to smuggle recordings of the proceedings out by means of the same mini-recorder he used in Stilyagi Hall, hidden in his prosthetic arm.

But Prof hasn't pinned his hopes entirely on persuading bureaucrats and politicians in the FN.  He and Mannie go on a full media blitz to take the Loonies case to the public.  Much of the media is hostile:  several New York newspapers regard the Loonies as unruly children deserving a spanking and the newspapers in India, where rice imports from Luna is a major source of food, are even more hostile.  Prof's main talking points are that Luna doesn't want war; that friendship and co-operation between Luna and Terra will be beneficial to both worlds; but that if Earth is determined to insist on war, the Citizens of Luna will fight for their freedom.

"Do you gentlemen remember the Pathfinder?  How she came plunging in, out of control?"

They remembered.  Nobody forgets greatest disaster of early days of space flight when unlucky Pathfinder hit a Belgian village.

"We have not ships," I went on, "but would be possible to throw those bargeloads of grain ... instead of delivering them into parking orbit."

That's the stick.  But Prof emphasizes the carrot.  He wants to promote the idea of building an Earth-based catapault to make shipments to Luna as economical as shipments from Luna to earth.  This may be difficult, he concedes, but not impossible.  "When something must be done, engineers can find a way that is economically feasible."

Someone at the press conference asks Mannie if it's fair that the people on the Moon enjoy the benefits of living on colonies established using government tax money, when they don't pay taxes at all.  Okay, listen carefully, because here we're getting to key Tea Party territory.

Mannie turns the question around.  "What is it you want us to pay taxes for? ...I don't know much about your government... What do you get for your money?"  The group throw out some of the standards:  Free hospitals, libraries, roads, public schools, Social Security; in each case he shoots it down saying either that they don't have it, or they already pay for it through other means.  Actually, Mannie's waiting for someone to bring up a key talking point:  Police protection and armed forces.  "Can you tell me how F.N. peace forces protect Luna?  I did not know that any of your nations wanted to attack us... Now about those so-called 'policemen.'  They were not sent to protect us.... They went mad and started raping and murdering!  And now they are dead!  So don't send us any more troops!"

But let's back up to the rest of the list.  Mannie insists that either they didn't have it, or they already paid for it.  But Mannie's fortunate enough to live in a world where the author makes the rules.  Is Luna's tube system 100% subsidized by user fares with no government money whatsoever?  Mannie says he doesn't need health insurance because he's healthy and he doesn't bet on his health, which is pretty big talk from a man who lost a limb in an industrial accident.  Tea Party advocates would love to use a variation of Mannie's argument against government spending, but in truth it only works in Heinlein's Libertarian Utopia because he says it does.

But back to the PR blitz.   Prof and Mannie travel all over the world, pushing the Loonie cause and also Prof's idea for an Earth-based catapault.  Mannie has a conversation with a Chinese delegate who was present at their original meeting, who is intrigued by the idea, but cautious.  Stu has great hopes that Dr. Chang will be an ally for Luna; Mannie is more dubious.  Mannie visits the sites of Lexington and Concord to lay a wreath at Concord bridge; he gets a chance to see a ball game in Yankee Stadium; (he decides it's much better on video).  Sometimes their press is good; sometimes not so good.  After once incidedent Prof tells him:

"A managed democracy is a wonderful thing, Manuel, for the managers ... and its greatest strength is a 'free press' where 'free' is defined as 'responsible' and the managers define what is 'irresponsible.'  Do you know what Luna needs most?"

"More ice."

"A news system that does not bottleneck through one channel.  Our friend Mike is our greatest danger."

"Huh?  Don't you trust Mike?"

"Manuel, on some subjects I don't trust even myself.  Limiting the freedom of news 'just a little bit' is in the same category with the classic example 'a little bit pregnant.'  We are not yet free nore will we be as long as anyone -- even our ally Mike -- controls our news."

While on Earth, Prof buys a brass cannon.  A "signal gun" from the old days of sailing, much like one that Heinlein himself owned and would fire on his property on ceremonial occasions.  Mannie thinks it's rather pointless and silly, but Prof wants it.
"Manuel, once there was a man who held a political make-work job... shining brass cannon around a courthouse."

"Whay would courthouse have cannon?"

"Never mind.  He did this for years.  It fed him and let him save a bit, but he was not getting ahead in the world.  So one day he quit his job, drew out his savings, bought a brass cannon -- and went into business for himself."

"Sounds like an idiot."

"No doubt.  And so are we, when we tossed out the Warden."

In Kentucky, Mannie and Prof are making a public appearance.  "Remember... to most people we will be as weirdly interesting as strange animals in a zoo.  Do you remember that turtle on exhibition in Old Dome?  That's us."  In the Q & A, the topic of marriage on Luna comes up, and Mannie starts talking about his own family and shows a picture of them.  The next day he is arrested for bigamy.

The charges are almost immediately dropped, but Mannie is angered and humiliated by the whole experiece.  It takes him a while to cool off and see the PR benefits of the incident; it made a lot of people on Earth more sympathetic towards the Loonies; and it also helped public opinion back on Luna, where Mannie's arrest was seen as an affront to Loonie pride.

Finally, Mannie and Prof are called again before the F.N. Committee.  The claim of independence are rejected and the F.N. has resolved to re-assert it's authority and extend it's control not just over the prison itself but over all Luna.  Grain quotas were to be quadrupled, and private farms will be absorbed into more efficient Authority-run operations.  To Mannie's surprise, Prof doesn't argue, he doesn't talk about blood from a stone or throwing rocks.  He just asks to be allowed to go home.

The Committee denies his request.

Afterwards the Chairman of the Committee meets with Mannie in secret and offers him the position of "Protector Pro-Tem" -- essentialy the new Warden -- if he will sell the Committee's five-year plan to Luna.  Mannie would much prefer to smash the guy's teeth in, but he is guarded in his replies, recording everything said.

Now it's time for Plan Scoot.  Prof and Stu have been planning for this moment.  They sneak Prof and Mannie out of the hospital by disguising them and having them simply walk out.  Both of them have been training for this for months; although it will be a tremendous strain of Prof, he manages to walk from the hospital to a waiting car. They've lined up an old rocket whose owner is willing to go to Luna on a "humanitarian mission" to rescue the Terrans stranded there.  Stu comes with them.  The work he's done on Luna's behalf has left him broke and deeply in debt.  Going back with Mannie and Prof will spare the Authority the trouble of transporting him.

NEXT:  Earth Strikes Back!

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Comment Preferences

    •  Why do I think Jefferson never used the word (8+ / 0-)


      I love the description of Mannie's marital situation, I dated people who were in similar relationships. Well, not officially similar, it's complicated. Dating poly-people can be interesting; I dated a group of four who were living together until they moved out of state for a really great job opportunity. And, yes, "line marriage" is a great way to insure that children are never orphaned, the poly people I dated had enough aunts/uncles/in-laws etc. to insure that in the unlikely event that they all would have died simultaneously, there were enough people to take care of the children.

      Yes, there is a correlation between President Barack Obama and Neville Chamberlain. Both have brought us "peas in our time."

      by Jonathan Hoag on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 07:49:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another excellent review! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Well done!

      "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

      by Maggie Pax on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 09:38:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My feed back is mostly a thank you (9+ / 0-)

    I read and enjoy and wonder if I did read the story maaaany years ago.  Parts of it sound familiar. :)

    You do such a good job of explaining!

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 07:46:56 PM PDT

    •  Not only that... (0+ / 0-)

      ... ("good job of explaining") but a hell of a lot of work. Thank Mr. Q. Stomper!

      "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

      by TerryDarc on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 04:41:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes it is (0+ / 0-)

        And that's why I keep missing my scheduled post time.  (grin).  I have a busy weekend this week and I still haven't started writing part four yet...

        But I'm glad my work is appreciated.  You're very welcome.

        "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

        by quarkstomper on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 08:49:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  G'night, Folks (6+ / 0-)

    Once again, I was late getting this posted, even though I started writing it earlier this time.  And I got called back to work, so I won't be able to stay up late to read comments.  I'm afraid I won't be back until tomorrow evening.  I'll clean up all the typos then.  See you later.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 07:59:31 PM PDT

  •  good memories (8+ / 0-)

    Read everything Heinlein wrote back when I was in junior high and high school.  Continued to read the new additions over the years - and re-read the old ones now and then.
    Took fencing lessons after reading Glory Road at about age 15.
    One of my first post-high school jobs was at the Santa Barbara Public Library.  My supervisor was an older lady nearing retirement whose husband, by then deceased, had been a minor science fiction writer in the late 40s-50s.  They had a social group/book club of young writers that met to discuss and critique each other's work - Heinlein and Asimov were regulars and she remembered Ray Bradbury as a really annoying smart ass kid.

    "Wouldn't you rather vote for what you want and not get it than vote for what you don't want - and get it?" Eugene Debs. "Le courage, c'est de chercher la verite et de la dire" Jean Jaures

    by Chico David RN on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 08:54:38 PM PDT

    •  Great sig - I love it! (0+ / 0-)

      That about sums up my voting experience (except here in Oregon where I get a couple of fine senators and a decent governor). I will also except the 2008 presidential election where I voted for what I thought I wanted and didn't get it.

      Your 2nd sig on seeking and speaking the truth is so true and so charmingly 20th century.

      "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

      by TerryDarc on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 04:19:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You left out *how* he got his Declaration signed - (5+ / 0-)

    their Congress was not elected: anyone who wanted to could come in and discuss and vote. So he packed the hall with late-arriving revolutionary allies and friends.

    I also really liked the later discussion on how to elect the new congress, debating whether to use traditional residence-based districts or ... divide up the population by profession, by the alphabet, by whatever - Prof raised the possibility that all one might need was a long-enough list of pledged supporters - that every other system left those who'd voted for the losing candidate feeling disenfranchised. I still like this idea.

    •  Unconventional Representation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maggie Pax

      Yes, I left that part out.  The diary was long enough and late enough as it was.  The problem with summarizing a story is that you always risk cutting out a part someone thinks is important.  Which is why I'm relying on my readers to bring these things up in the comments.  (grin!)

      I'm planning on devoting more space to Prof's advice to the delegates on creating their new government.

      In Heinlein's earlier novel, Double Star, one character is mentioned as being a congressman representing Spacers; another represents female college students.  Presumably, in that world the government uses a system of representation similar to the one Prof proposes.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:49:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brass Cannon (4+ / 0-)

    I've got a picture of me with Heinlein's Brass Cannon. I'm trying to post it here. It's not of great quality, but if you look closely, you will see it to the right of a harried graduate student deep in the dissertation process. I am probably thinking of how the cannon might reinforce my position with the dissertation committee from hell.

    But I can't see to get the link to work. Help, oh great masters of IT! It should not be this hard.

    Brass Cannon

    "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

    by Maggie Pax on Sun Aug 14, 2011 at 10:31:52 PM PDT

  •  I'm Curious About The Low G Physiology (0+ / 0-)

    Of living in 1/7th g and what that would do to the human body. I'm pretty sure it would change a lot and quickly. I'd think that you'd lose muscle mass quickly so that the babes would be anorexic looking and the guys sickly thin in a very short time - like a year, say.

    Also pretty sure that coming back to earth would be impossible about as readily. Makes for a good story and Heinlein didn't have the Russian cosmonauts experience to fall back on.

    The record spaceflight was 437.7 days by Valeri Polyakov. Heinlein had the right idea with the Russian influence, eh?

    Upon landing, Polyakov opted not to be carried the few feet between the Soyuz capsule and a nearby lawn chair, instead walking the short distance. In doing so, he wished to prove that humans could be physically capable of working on the surface of Mars after a long-duration transit phase.

    Polyakov volunteered for his 437 day flight to learn how the human body would respond to the micro-gravity environment on long-duration missions to Mars. Upon returning from his second spaceflight, Polyakov held the record for the most total time in space. This record, however, was later broken by Sergei Krikalev. Data from Polyakov's flight has been utilized by researchers to determine that humans are able to maintain a healthy mental state during long-duration spaceflight just as they would on Earth.

    Polyakov underwent medical assessments before, during, and after the flight. He also underwent two follow-up examinations six months after returning to Earth. When researchers compared the results of these medical exams, it was revealed that although there were no impairments of cognitive functions, Polyakov experienced a clear decline in mood as well as a feeling of increased workload during the first few weeks of spaceflight and return to Earth.

    However, Polyakov's mood stabilized to pre-flight levels between the second and fourteenth month of his mission. It was also revealed that Polyakov did not suffer from any prolonged performance impairments after returning to Earth. In light of these findings, researchers concluded that a stable mood and overall function could be maintained during extended duration spaceflights, such as manned missions to Mars.Source Wikipedia.

    Now, zero g is not 1/7th g so the effects would be considerably less, maybe way less. Still over a period of years I think the Loonies would have changed a lot more than RAH allowed for.

    "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

    by TerryDarc on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 04:39:44 PM PDT

    •  "It's Great to be Back!" (0+ / 0-)

      Heinlein used this as the basis for an earlier short story titled "It's Great to be Back!"  In it, a couple who have been working on the Moon are happy to return to Earth; but once they get there, they find that they've become so used to Lunar conditions, that life on Earth has become decidedly unpleasant.  In the short story, these are much more trivial, (their feet always hurt under 1G because they've become accustomed to lunar gravity; they find they're more succeptible to colds, etc.) than in MiaHM (where Mannie can walk only with great difficulty and estimates that every day he spends on Terra probably shortens his lifespan by a year).

      As for Heinlein's use of Russian in the Loonie dialect, I'm sure part of it was indeed reflecting the Soviet Union's major role in the early days of space research and exploration; but I suspect another factor was Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, which also used a slangy futuristic language peppered with Russian loan-words.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 08:47:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm thinking there would be evolutionary changes.. (0+ / 0-) not too many generations. Also living sub-surface in tunnels would have to be to a normal, savannah developed homo sapiens, pretty depressing. Polyakov suffered from depression made worse by the close quarters of the space station, so again, the loonies would have had it marginally better.

        On the whole, I think with present day science, we can imagine that there would have been a lot more going on in the bodies and minds of Manny, Wyoh and Mort the wart than the book posits.

        "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

        by TerryDarc on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 04:28:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great work! (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this series.

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