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 Post subject: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:32 pm 
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Our home is less than a half mile from The Market Common, a vibrant urban community which offers a unique mix of homes,
businesses, entertainment, movie theaters and restaurants.

But over that half mile area, you'll find weeds, trees, overgrown bushes, along with roads and sidewalks tapering off to bare
land, as they await an uptick in the economy. This area also gets its share of bugs, rats and snakes.

On his days off, Wally likes to ride his bike in early evening after dinner. Sometimes I go along; other times I opt to stay home.

Just the other day he came home with a plastic container full of ripe juicy blackberries which he held out to me as if it were a
precious gift. We grinned at each other as visions of blackberry cobbler crept into our heads. "Come back there with me," he
invited, "and bring that little pocket camera with you. There is something you need to see."

I got my bike out of the garage, and a short way from home, he stopped. "The berries are on the right. But look to your left."

What I saw is shown in the two pictures below. Homeless people? Smack dab in the center of Myrtle Beach? What should we
do? Report this to the City of Myrtle Beach? Pretend we didn't see it? Call the police? So far, we have done nothing.

What would YOU do?

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:34 am 
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There are a few things: the politically correct tactic of saying nothing and the correct tactic of reporting the issue to the local authorities with a comment that they aren't bothering anyone but...
There are, as in Detroit much better places for the homeless to be helped. I will guarantee you if a crime happens these people will be blamed, if rowdy kids happen by these people will be harassed. It is not a good situation for anyone involved.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Why would you feel the need to report them? That's just mean-spirited. These people spend their miserable lives running from one place they aren't welcome to another. If they've found a little niche to hang out where they're out of the way, why should you care? Push them out of this little out of the way spot so they have to go sleep in a doorway downtown where they will get harassed even more? Of course they're fscked up people, but if they're going to be homeless and fscked up, at least they're doing it here, in a weedy patch, where they aren't in direct conflict with anybody.

Show some fscking sympathy. They aren't bothering you (other than maybe your suburban prejudices), and if they harass anybody else those people will rightly call the police on them *for that*. You can't force them to "get help" by calling the police on them. You know that's not going to work and that it's just a justification for having them removed from your sight.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Walter, you truly "assumed" judging from your reply. :) This is a friendly toned response..please don't assume! :D

I defend the need for coordinated services (social work, housing, etc) for a long-term solution, and the small success stories thus far, citing the number (which escapes me at the moment) of people placed in housing as a direct result of homeless programs here in the Metro-Detroit area. We never stated that the homeless are not actual human beings and we never called them f' up'd or whatever. The recent economic downturn is accountable to the rapid rise in homelessness and they are not all fscked up people. Some are one helping hand away from turning the corner.

"Why should we care?" My question Walter is why don't you care, not confronting a problem by relegating the homeless to their little niche is not caring; it's ignoring. Can you drive past a "homeless" woman with two kids and pat yourself on the back for letting them "hangout?"? I don't think so.

Leaving these people to fend for themselves without a chance at a proper meal or sanitation is more of a inhumane act ( aka mean spirited) than reporting them and getting them to an area that is prepared to help whether providing meals, medical assistance or a chance at temporary housing. Not giving them a chance for the previously stated reasons is the true act of not caring and showing no sympathy, in fact driving by, letting them "hang out" is simply ignoring a greater problem. You cannot help a fellow human by ignoring their dilemmas. Truly, as you stated, you cannot "force" them to get help, the proverbial" lead the horse to water but can't make it drink" but what kind of person are you if you don't try?

I apologize for not being so in depth on my first reply. I will agree to disagree with you on the methods to help the homeless. :)

Phil

PS...Walter you went directly to the standardized PC mantra...which IMHO is short sighted and wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:59 pm 
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eastsider wrote:

Leaving these people to fend for themselves without a chance at a proper meal or sanitation is more of a inhumane act ( aka mean spirited) than reporting them and getting them to an area that is prepared to help whether providing meals, medical assistance or a chance at temporary housing.


I think it's very naive to think that reporting some homeless people is going to result in them getting help, that's all. The police will show up, rough them up, maybe confiscate their meager possessions (if they are not around, or perhaps even if they are), and just push them around and make them slightly more miserable.

At least that's how it works up here; maybe Myrtle Beach is a socialist paradise where the homeless are cared for, but Canada certainly isn't.

Quote:
PS...Walter you went directly to the standardized PC mantra...which IMHO is short sighted and wrong.


I'm not a "politically correct" person and I resent the term. I just think that "reporting homeless people" is basically tantamount to treating them like an illegal nuisance who are not welcome in the neighbourhood, and I think most people who call the police on them are primarily interested in moving them on to keep the property values up and because they are afraid of them, or revolted.

A situation arose here recently with the downtown business association ganging up on a sort of unofficial camp-out along a boulevard on an ugly street near the homeless shelter (which is always full, but where there are also other services they used even if they couldn't get in for a bed). They eventually succeeded in pushing them away from this spot which was relatively close to services and basically probably the best place in the city for homeless people to be hanging out. The angle was the hit it was making on property values and on the "vitality" of the downtown core. And I hate pretty much everything about that. The goal was, pure and simple, to move them out of the way. I guess Patrish's comment "Our home is less than a half mile from The Market Common, a vibrant urban community which offers a unique mix of homes, businesses, entertainment, movie theaters and restaurants" kind of reminded me of that.

You're right that I'm not a big homelessness activist and I do very little in my day to day life to help them, but I also don't pester them or resent them, and I don't really like it when people do. It's up to them to figure out how to get out of their situations, and being shoved around by the police constantly doesn't help any.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:40 pm 
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walter23 wrote:
eastsider wrote:

Le\\\\\\

I'm not a "politically correct" person and I resent the term.



It's up to them to figure out how to get out of their situations,



You are politically correct....by the book.


"It's up to them to figure out" You got to be fsking kidding! Like the people of Dafur? Just let 'em figure it out on they're own?? That is the most heartless statement I've heard in sometime. George W. Bush would be proud to call you an American..c'mon down and please send contributions to Sarah Palin.


EDIT: Actually DO NOT send any contribution to Sarah Palin...our country is already in a bit of a mess! :D

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:57 pm 
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eastsider wrote:
walter23 wrote:
eastsider wrote:

Le\\\\\\

I'm not a "politically correct" person and I resent the term.



It's up to them to figure out how to get out of their situations,



Heh, you picked this easy "gotcha" out of the brunt of my comment, and hammered on it, but didn't really address my main points.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:07 am 
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:lol: Yes, I'm guilty...and that "gotcha" is a tried and true Sarah Palin tactic. Can't believe I did it! Sorry, a cheap shot, Walter you deserve better and please don't donate money to her, that was in jest.

My point is I don't believe the human race is subject to Darwin's theory of natural selection a cold and heartless...only the strong survive, humans are above that. We have the ability to reason, think and react.

People need help, whether it's in Myrtle Beach , Darfur, Detroit or Katmandu...wherever.

We are defined by what we do. If a person does nothing they are defined as a person that will not do anything.

I resented being called a bleeding heart through high school but years later I wonder why I cared what the future self centered yuppies thought. We are what we are even if we resent the label. A person can call me a bleeding heart if they like but they shouldn't be surprised if I call them cold and heartless.

I believe some people need help, some will accept and others will not. I will not and have not over the course of my life not tried to help when possible. I'm the guy you will see on the side of the road helping a person change a flat tire. I'm the person you read about that volunteers countless hours per year for local charities.

We raised our son with the philosophy of "help when needed..volunteer." When he was in kindergarten he helped at the shelters in downtown Detroit 2-4 hours every other week. When he was a freshman in high school he was teaching English in Mexican Village. As a college freshman he spearheaded an "incursion" past the National Guard to provide assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina via a caravan through the back roads of Louisiana. Helping when the US Government was saying let them figure it out themselves. Today he put in 15 hours at a homeless shelter in a Detroit suburb.

I say this so you may understand the foundation from which I speak. Clearly our views of assisting people in need are drastically different....I get that. You can say let them fend for themselves but the old adage of "brother can I lend a hand" is where my family comes from.

Some people concede that homelessness is a guaranteed fact of life and is a life choice the homeless must figure out on there own. I submit homelessness is a by product of society and that we are obligated to confront the issue to balance the inadequacy of a society. Here in Michigan to the chagrin of some we have hate crime laws that protect the homeless, we don't believe they need to figure out that aspect by themselves. We believe for the majority being homeless is not a choice; eroding employment, domestic violence, affordable housing, drug addictions, mental illness are a few causes of homelessness.

I will not apologize for being one of the bleeding hearts that cares and I will never concede that people in need should figure it out themselves.

So once again I will agree to disagree with your and Mr. Darwin. :D

EDIT: we have polarizing views on this subject, I recognize this, I will give you the final rebuttal because I've written my views as basic and correctly as possible. AND honestly, I'm glad you entered this discussion where most fear to tread. If we had "K's" I'd give you five!

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:01 am 
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I think we're actually on the same page, more or less, here, but have different ideas about what "calling the authorities" means. I don't know how you get that I'm some social darwinist creep out of this, because I'm actually a bloody commie (note the nickname the admins gave me under my name after some previous debate where I apparently seemed like a Marxist).

I thought the complaint was "there goes the neighbourhood", not "what should we do to help these poor people?". The former is what I was opposed to.

When I said I wasn't a homeless activist I meant that I was not personally doing anything useful, not that I'm opposed to it. In fact now that I'm earning an income again I'm happy to pay taxes so that other people who *are* personally active (e.g. working at shelters) have the resources to feed and shelter homeless. What I mean is that I'm not actively involved in helping homelessness because, well, I guess I'm sort of too wrapped up in my own pressing concerns at the moment to also go out and take care of others. I'm coming out of a year of unemployment and constant worry that I'd be joining them.

But I'm coming at this from a position of sympathy, not antipathy. When I was a lot younger, I was pretty close to homeless myself (couch surfing for a few months, eating from the food bank, etc). And from everything I've seen, the police, generally speaking, do not help homeless people. They push them around and make their lives miserable, often resorting to arrests for outstanding warrants to physically remove them... and almost all homeless people have outstanding warrants, usually for unpaid fines (e.g. riding transit without a fare).

That is my objection. I don't know how on earth you twisted it around to mean that I want to leave them to suffer. I want them to be left in peace or offered aid - but certainly not reported to the authorities as though they were rabid dogs. Because when you are on the fringe, being dealt with by the police is always an extremely fscking unpleasant and counterproductive experience. Police may seem like friendly and useful people to you, as a normal citizen, but slip through those cracks and you'll see another side of them. In Montreal just in the last day or so, a homeless guy was shot dead after he was found rummaging through trash with a knife. In Seattle a year ago or so, another homeless guy (from my town, Victoria BC) was shot dead while whittling a piece of wood with a knife (he was shot for refusing to drop it, or not dropping it fast enough, or something, when confronted by police on a corner where he was just making a wood carving to try to sell). There have been some suspicions and allegations in Vancouver leading up to the Olympics of police misconduct in dealing with homeless people. This is what riled me up. Not the idea of them getting aid - OF course I'd want that - but of them being "reported" to the authorities, who will then go and make their lives miserable.


I hope this clarifies my position somewhat. You're making all kinds of wrong assumptions about what I mean, but it's my fault for not making myself clear.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:11 am 
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Good reply Walter. I always like our mini debates.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:42 am 
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I don't see any homeless people....? Could be I guess, but could also be the place where local teens hang out and wait for their drug dealer to show up; the fences just create a sort of out of sight place for any variety of activity.... If it were me, I would just watch it a bit and figure out who is doing what there. Then, I might be able to decide whether that should be going on in my neighborhood and what if anything I should do about it.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:48 am 
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Meadowlark wrote:
I don't see any homeless people....? Could be I guess, but could also be the place where local teens hang out and wait for their drug dealer to show up; the fences just create a sort of out of sight place for any variety of activity.... If it were me, I would just watch it a bit and figure out who is doing what there. Then, I might be able to decide whether that should be going on in my neighborhood and what if anything I should do about it.



this I totally agree with.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:40 pm 
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It looks like a place where some rowdy teens have been hanging out from the broken bottle and tags / spray paint on the walls. It doesn't look like a place where homeless people have been staying for shelter. I would call the city and have them clean up the area of the garbage and broken glass, regardless of homeless people or rowdy kids. I'm seeing it from a health and sanitary perspective. If no one is willing to clean up the mess or take some responsibility to keep the area free of garbage, then it does become the city's responsibility eventually.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Meadowlark wrote:
Could be I guess, but could also be the place where local teens hang out and wait for their drug dealer to show up;


That could very well be the explanation (teen party spot), though I only see signs of drinking beer in those pictures.

I don't see any bedding either, so could very well be that the assumption about "homeless people" is way off. Maybe it was a one-off / former party spot for some kids - looks like it hasn't really been used in awhile. If anyone was actually sleeping there they'd have brushed the broken bottles out of the way, at the very least, and there would be signs of bedding and clothes / meager possessions around.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Sorry Phil, but the liberal side of politics doesn't have a corner on compassion and caring for the homeless.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:33 pm 
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ScottHadl wrote:
Sorry Phil, but the liberal side of politics doesn't have a corner on compassion and caring for the homeless.



Who is liberal? :? I'm a card carrying Republican.

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 Post subject: !
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:49 pm 
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What really bothered me was that little stuffed yellow rabbit which made me think children may be involved. Walter, I don't have "suburban prejudices" and I was not being elitist in my description of the area. I was trying to point out how incongruous this scene is with the surroundings.

During the last couple days I've noticed a City of Myrtle Beach car (not the police) heading down that road, and I don't think they were looking for blackberries. We did not report the situation to anyone, but my guess is that someone else did.

There are some newly-constructed ball fields in that area which means lot of lights and people at night. So Al and Jon could very well be right about it being teens, and Walter, I probably jumped the gun by assuming homeless. We have not been back since I took the pictures, but I'll be sure to take my camera with me the next time, and let you know what I see.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in on this subject with different points of view. Phil and Walter, I guess from the tone of your bantering, that you either know each other in person, or have been though discussions like this before. Glad you have agreed to disagree!

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 Post subject: Re: !
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Patrish wrote:
Phil and Walter, I guess from the tone of your bantering, that you either know each other in person, or have been though discussions like this before. Glad you have agreed to disagree!


Yeah, it's all good.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:14 pm 
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yep, Walter has straightened me out a few times. :D

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Phil, why do you keep relapsing :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:05 pm 
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Yeah some really good discussion here and excellent points raised by both sides. I must say I agree with both points of view, which I know isn't helpful at all.

I must confess I was a bit shocked about the prospect of calling the police in this case (assuming there were homeless people involved). In the UK people won't tend to call the police unless specific crimes were being committed (we don't like to make a scene don't you know). I tend to agree with Walter, that the police wouldn't be much help (to the homeless) in this scenario. In fact, I'm still amazed that "vagrancy" is a crime in the states (I'm sure they can't do you for it here).

Mind you my understanding of these things is based on the movie First Blood, where Rambo (a Vietnam vet) gets arrested for vagrancy and then it all turns out really messy for everyone involved!

Anyway, hope everything gets back into order and everybody ends up happy.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:33 pm 
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Sorry Phil, I guess this line tripped me up.

George W. Bush would be proud to call you an American..c'mon down and please send contributions to Sarah Palin.

Not to say I am a fan of Palin, I am not, we should be able to provide a much stronger candidate than SP.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:31 pm 
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ScottHadl wrote:
Sorry Phil, I guess this line tripped me up.

George W. Bush would be proud to call you an American..c'mon down and please send contributions to Sarah Palin.

Not to say I am a fan of Palin, I am not, we should be able to provide a much stronger candidate than SP.



I was sorely disappointed if GW's 2nd term and for SP
.. IMHO we don't need another rock star status president. I cannot see myself ever pulling the lever for SP. Still lots of time for the game to be played.

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 Post subject: Re: !
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:03 pm 
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Patrish wrote:
What really bothered me was that little stuffed yellow rabbit which made me think children may be involved.


I think that worry is unfounded here.

Sometimes teens / young adults carry around a little stuffed animal as a fashion thing or a joke - you know, they win 'em in one of those little toy dispensers at a diner / coffee shop, and carry them around for awhile for fun. This one looks like an Easter bunny and might have been received as a gift or picked up somewhere for a couple bucks, and then taken to the party where it was probably played with jokingly while they drank. So I'm guessing your partiers were doing it sometime around April ;)

In rare cases homeless young people carry their childhood teddy bear around which is pretty sad (as someone who tends to explore urban and park space a lot I encounter camps or former camps with those sad sights from time to time, and in the worst cases with accompanying signs of prostitution (ie, the type of clothing strewn about)), but this one doesn't look worn out enough to be that kind of thing.

I think you're just being confronted with something that you have absolutely no reference for, and you're trying to understand it. Looking at the images with a fresh mind and forgetting the "homeless people" thing I'm inclined to believe it was just a party spot, maybe a one off thing, maybe a few times.

Maybe someone was sleeping here for awhile, but if so, where's the bedding? Hobo camps tend to have a bit of bedding and clothing around.

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 Post subject: Re: What would YOU do??
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:59 am 
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The only thing I would complain about is how much of an eyesore this area is. If it's private property the city would have to get a hold of the property owner before the city steps in and does anything about it. I'm fairly certain that if the property owner doesn't comply with the city's request in a certain amount of time the city will do it for them for a fee. I would forward these images to the city and explain your concern about how things look and not who hangs out here or lives here.

Complaints to the city work...just ask my neighbor :lol: . Another neighbor called our city concerned about the how their property looked and within a few days a city worker showed up and made a "to-do" list for my neighbor concerning his yard and it's appearance. Man, they nit picked everything. :shock: :lol: And yes, I helped them out taking care of their yard despite them having a worthless 21 year old son living there who didn't lift a finger. I'm fairly certain my tax dollars will be supporting this mooch in the near future either by welfare or in jail. I love kids these days.....incert sarcasm smiley here. :lol:

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