Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam

Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are the bed beneath you, and worms are your covering. “How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the most high.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew cities, who did not let his prisoners go home? All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; but you are cast out, away from your sepulcher, like a loathed untimely birth, clothed with the slain, those pierced with the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trodden under foot. You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people. May the descendants of the evildoers nevermore be named! Prepare slaughter for his sons because of the guilt of their fathers, lest they rise and possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities.”
Isaiah

Monday, December 25, 2006

An Important Holiday Message

Humbug!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Blogging Responsibly

With the ability to reach out to others by way of the internet with issues of interest comes a responsibility. That responsibility is to state matters of opinion in such a way that it represents the views of the blogger while at the same time maintaining the same degree of integrity and truthfulness as is expected of the old media journalist.

While venturing forth with this humble little blog I have come to realize that what I say could have potentially serious consequences to others. So, with that in mind I want to state here and now that it is not nor has it ever been the intention of me or this blog to cause any “undeserved” harm to anyone.

For the record if the words which I write here within the confines of this blog have caused or may be causing or might in the near future cause a chain of events to unfold, then the results of that chain of events are to be measured and judged by society and the governmental agencies holding jurisdiction.

The true measure of responsibility is resting upon those who have by way of their previous actions and business strategy brought potential critical review upon themselves by their own well conceived and executed stratagem.

In example I offer for your valued and enlightened consideration the example of a portion of a previous article. In that article I stated the following quote which in part said “I would imagine that anytime a company attempts to get over on the federal boys that such company is just flirting with disaster. So how then is it that Lab Corporation of America seems to continue to flirt by allowing the fleet staff to use company vehicles for much personal use? Perhaps their stockholders should ask the question. Perhaps the I.R.S. should like to ask as well.”

Well, since it is a well documented fact that the government of these United States of America doesn’t overlook a thing which is written on the internet as you can imagine I once again seem to have managed to set off a few bells and whistles in the capitol of our great nation.

I offer in proof of this statement this visit to this blog and the above quoted comments of mine as proof in point.

IP Address 152.216.11.# (INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE)
ISP INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : District of Columbia
City : Washington
Lat/Long : 38.8933, -77.0146 (Map)

This I.R.S. visit is apparently in response to my point in matter of course and in furtherance of their understanding and review of my comments as quoted herein: “And since they have still failed to explain to me, Snake Oil Sam how they can allow their employees the ability to utilize Lab Corporation of America corporate fleet vehicles as personal vehicles for sixteen out of every twenty-four hour day in addition to a forty eight hour weekend and all vacation time while using fuel, oil, tires, maintenance costs associated with mechanic labor costs while writing off that expense on tax records, then I fail to see just how they expect to gain the trust and confidence of the medical community or the patient.”

And in continuation of point “After all, who could do business with a company which gives their employees something akin to an employee benefit and then manages to list it on federal tax records as the cost of doing business when that in fact might not be the case?”

In addition to those above quoted words of mine and after having given it a little more thought it occurs to me that not only are certain employees of Lab Corporation of America getting the benefit of a company paid vehicle potentially at the expense of the American taxpaying public, but in fact the employee is getting a portion of his or her weekly or hourly pay without the necessity of paying any income tax represented by the value of the personal usage of that vehicle and the cost saving of its operation.

If Lab Corporation of America conducted business the same way that Quest Diagnostics does in regard to fleet vehicles then Lab Corporation of America would be required to pay their driving staff a wage of several dollars an hour more than they now pay them in place of the free company vehicle deal. And that is a deal which appears to be offered at the expense of the American taxpayer as higher wage generates higher income tax.

How is it that a company can do business in that way? If business is to compete fairly in the United States of America then it is the obligation of the government to assure that all companies comply equally with the corporate business tax codes of the United States of America.

That is especially true if those companies receive money from agencies of the government in regard to things such as Medicare and Medicaid payments or any sort of federal agency reimbursements.

If this is a practice which has been going on for any number of years then I believe that there is an obvious question to be asked. That question is simply this. When extrapolating the years of potential abuse of a tax code just how much does Lab Corporation of America owe to the government of the United States of America in back taxes, interest and penalties? Perhaps Lab Corporation of America is acting completely within the law. I simply want the executives of Lab Corporation of America to defend their current fleet policy.

There are of course other questions. Does it owe anything? Have they in fact either intentionally or unintentionally misrepresented their cost of doing business? It is because of questions like this that blogging has become such an important issue. Honest and sincere questions which until now would never see the light of day can be asked in a public venue.

Yes, blogging is serious business as it can directly or indirectly affect things such as I.R.S. investigations or even possibly issues related to the perception of a company tied to stock market valuation. That is a profound thought and one which points out the importance of fair and honest blogging.

When someone does a Google search on finance for purpose of better understanding a company for investment purpose it even takes into consideration words at a blog such as this. In example I offer this link to the results of a
Google search which contains a link back to an article on this site dealing with the issue of the power of blogs.

Without question, blogging is a very large responsibility which must be taken seriously since the results can prove disastrous for a large economic engine. In conclusion I can only say that it seems that even a humble little blog such as this is not something to be taken lightly.

Words have power and blogging is a large responsibility so always blog responsibly when speaking about important issues. And don’t forget to eat your oatmeal.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Bloggers of America Power in Words

Having just read an article at Lab Soft News written by Bruce Friedman dealing with the subject of blogging I would like to take a few moments of your valuable internet time to offer my view of the subject. First let me say that I am still just a little more than excited about this subject since it earned me a Time Person of the Year Award as I am sure you are already aware.

Yes, that award makes a good point about blogging and bloggers. Indeed we do play a part in modern culture of media and news. That is why I feel that it is such an important medium. The fact that just about anyone who can compose a cogent sentence can express ideas and opinions which sometimes might even prove important or at least informative is a powerful idea.

If a news organization which once proved all powerful, as they were those who controlled the news can be challenged that turns the balance of power to the people as it was intended to be. In effect true democratic values can now be exercised as never before in all of human history.

In the world of the internet no subject is sacred. Political views can be challenged or expounded. Religious teachings and belief can be evangelized or perhaps challenged as can those who place themselves as the representatives of Gods word can be questioned. It is then up to the teacher to defend his or her teaching rather than simply hide behind a veil of media and information control.

Those who do not have the savvy or time to create a full blown internet website or do not choose to go to the expense of registering a domain name can simply create an account with one of many blogging sites such as Blogger and let the world hear what that blogger has to say.

But is the blogosphere simply for the individual? I say no! Cleary it is a medium which anyone can utilize. However, having said that I would add that if a company, a business does choose to blog then that business should point out that they are indeed talking about a subject from the perspective that they have a vested financial interest in the thing being blogged about.

It is highly likely that not too many large corporations will utilize the field of blogging as pointed out in the Lab Soft News article; there are so many layers of lawyers that nothing would ever get approved for a blog submission. A blog such as this would never fly since it is a very open type of format.

Still that does not change the fact that there are many benefits to all companies both large and small in establishing a corporate blog. How the company would go about organizing it would be their business. But no company should overlook the power of a blog.

On the other hand any individual inside a company who has a self published blog might want to consider keeping identity secret as the individual might not always have complimentary things to say about the company. And as well the company might have internal rules related to the matter. Rules which discourage him or her from blogging, rules which are not legal I might add.

Still rules which can cause internal problems do often exist somewhere within the pages of a dusty employee handbook. For that reason I suggest that any individual not willing to deal immediately with company reaction maintain a degree of anonymity while blogging.

In example I offer a subject which I have had a good deal to comment on lately. That is of course the issue of the United Healthcare contract which is soon to transfer over to the terms established between United Healthcare and Lab Corporation of America.

This is a subject of interest and note which has been viewed and reviewed here by the Justice Department of the United States of America, the Internal Revenue Service, and host of banking and investment institutions and a few company legal departments to name just a few.

That United Healthcare contract is intended to cut the current contract holder Quest Diagnostics out of the picture as of midnight entering January 01, 2007. A question asked here is will it have that intended effect?

In my opinion, as stated earlier in other post(s) it will prove to be a real cat fight. From what I am hearing on that subject, Lab Corporation of America and if I were to extrapolate, United Healthcare might be getting just a little nervous about this still fluid situation.

It seems from what I have been hearing; Lab Corporation of America had hoped to convert as many of the Quest Diagnostic accounts over to the Lab Corp. group as early as possible for obvious reasons.

That does not however appear to be the case. It seems that the Quest Diagnostics sales staff has been busier than Santa and his elves in calling on their medical client accounts assuring them that all legal avenues will be pursued to make it possible for those who now depend on the high quality and value of
Quest Diagnostics testing services to continue to be able to maintain that level of service sans United Healthcare contract.

That of course is an issue important to both doctor and patient. And one of the many guiding values of Quest Diagnostics, a core value, is that the patient comes first. So with that having been said it appears that Lab Corporation of America not only needs to get the business from Quest Diagnostics, perhaps even more importantly they need to get the trust of the medical professional.

And since they have still failed to explain to me, Snake Oil Sam how they can allow their employees the ability to utilize Lab Corporation of America corporate fleet vehicles as personal vehicles for sixteen out of every twenty-four hour day in addition to a forty eight hour weekend and all vacation time while using fuel, oil, tires, maintenance costs associated with mechanic labor costs while writing off that expense on tax records, then I fail to see just how they expect to gain the trust and confidence of the medical community or the patient.

After all, who could do business with a company which gives their employees something akin to an employee benefit and then manages to list it on federal tax records as the cost of doing business when that in fact might not be the case?

Quest Diagnostics does not conduct business that way and with good reason. Beyond their concept of total integrity and compliace with the law at every level, they want to protect the company Quest Diagnostics and its investors from legal action directed at the company and the executive staff from the Internal Revenue Service.

I would imagine that anytime a company attempts to get over on the federal boys that such company is just flirting with disaster. So how then is it that Lab Corporation of America seems to continue to flirt by allowing the fleet staff to use company vehicles for much personal use? Perhaps their stockholders should ask the question. Perhaps the I.R.S. should like to ask as well.

Perhaps such a company feels that they are able to fly under the radar of the Internal Revenue Service. Who knows maybe such a practice is completely legal. Perhaps the only reason that Quest Diagnostics doesn’t do the same thing is that they expect their employees to use there own G.T.O. (gas, tires, oil) in conducting personal business.

And I offer this article as yet one more example of the power and importance of the blog. And that comes to you courtesy of the individual who recently received the Time Person of the Year Award. Pretty sweet! Thank you Time!
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Oh My God, Ron and Fez are Back on New York Radio

Oh my god, Ron and Fez are back! I tuned into 92.3 free f.m. so as to hear the last hour 6 to 7 of C.B.C. and instead heard the voice of Ron Bennington and his girlfriend Fez Watley. After a long absence they have returned.

Of course they had previously been on the old 102.7 N.E.W. before it became radio we suck and have no idea what to do. Does anyone know what is on that station anymore? Who cares because the gang is on 92.3 free f.m. weeknights between 6 and 9 p.m. which is just fine with me.

It appears that Black Earl has come out of hiding to produce the new show. I hope that Fez is going to do the well known Friday night Fezitorial which always proves to be a great rant. I am sure that Ron will be listening to every word of the Fezitorial.

All that I can say is that it will really be great to have Ron and Fez back on the air in New York City. I hope that everyone listens. Welcome back boys.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Time Names Snake Oil Sam Person of the Year

The celebration had gone on for hours and old Snake is just a little tired following all of the festivities. I think that a shot of Snake Oil is called for. Besides, all of the good Kentucky Bourbon is gone. Really though I am truly gratified by the selection of myself for such a prestigious honor.

I really think that such honor belongs to each of you and I am more than happy to share it with you. After all, you deserve this honor as much as I do. Some are critical of the move, saying that it is a copout on the part of Time. But in my view I think that it is an act of capitalistic genius to name us all Person of the Year.

Who is not going to rush to the newsstand in order to purchase this issue? Get an extra copy or two for your friends. This just might be one of the best selling issues ever. But apart from the issue of money, who truly deserves the award of Person of the Year?

Is it not the members of the United States Military who are on the frontline? Is it not the families of those individuals who each day wait for the safe return of a loved one not knowing if they will ever again feel the warm embrace of that man or woman?

It is indeed those people who keep us safe. It is the members of the civilian police forces throughout America, the firefighter, the emergency response teams along with the medical professionals who care for us. It is the individual members of the intelligence gathering community who work in secret so that something like 9-11 might not ever happen again.

Do they take some of our precious freedom and liberty by doing so? Some would argue yes to that question. But what is the cost of freedom but that some of it should be expended in the fight against those who would seek to destroy this nation and its allies.

If darkness prevails then freedom and democracy soon becomes a distant memory. So if the C.I.A. or the F.B.I. wants to listen to my rather dull telephone conversation then let them. I just wish that they would do it in a way that does not cause all of the line static and clicking. Come on guys, clean it up a little. Please! Pretty please with sugar on top.

I would like to thank the members of the Picatinny Arsenal for your continuing interest in and support of this humble little blog. I hope that you are enjoying it and I hope that you tell your friends so that they also might honor me with an occasional visit.

So, as I add this entry to the library of Snake Oil Sam blog posts, I hope that I have managed to fulfill my obligation as a Time Person of the Year in that I might have brought a little joy into a world of sadness. Just give peace a chance. Blog on then my fellow award winners.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Twas’ the Week before Christmas

Twas’ the week before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The reason that the mouse was not stirring is because about a week ago I left him a little piece of cheese and he went for it. The metal trap snapped right on his little mouse head. It popped one of his eyes right out of his head.

And now we move on to a little discussion of more important issues. I have believed for quite a while that our government knows everything that we say, everything we blog and just about all we think. Yes, I know, wear the tinfoil hat, but they have technology capable of penetrating even the tinfoil hat.

A few days ago I was talking to little Snake junior on the Nextel Direct Connect and he brought up a subject which we have discussed in the past. It was about how the military of the United States moves military equipment and weaponry around using the trucks of Wal-Mart, a great company in my view.

As he is driving down Route 80 in New Jersey he calls me and asks if there are any military bases nearby. When I ask him why he wants to know he says that he just saw a slow moving convoy of Wal-Mart trucks.

So, I tell him that the only thing nearby that I can think of is the Picatinny Arsenal which develops, test and I think produces some highly sophisticated weaponry. Well don’t you know that the next day someone at the Picatinny arsenal is checking out my little blog?

As a matter of fact they have been here a couple of times.

IP Address 68.196.104.# (Optimum Online (Cablevision Systems))
ISP Optimum Online (Cablevision Systems)
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : New Jersey
City : Picatinny Arsenal
Lat/Long : 40.9262, -74.5789 (Map)

Sorry folks but you won’t find any security threat here. However, I am happy that you stopped by and hope that you become a regular reader. Feel free to bookmark the blog.

Now I guess that you are likely sitting in that big steel tower that you built off of Route 15 in Jefferson Township right after 9-11. I bet you get a great view from up there. Is there any way that a civilian can come up and visit on a clear day?

Anyway, I am becoming extremely bored blogging about United Healthcare as I am sure everyone else is. Well, everyone but the legal department at Quest Diagnostics. They can’t seem to get enough of this stuff.

Perhaps I will have more to say on the subject after the New Year since I don’t think that much is going to change before then. After that all bets are off. After Lab Corporation of America assumes control of the contract it shall prove interesting just how effective the Quest Diagnostics sales staff is at retaining old business and how effective Lab Corporation of America is at converting the large volume of business which they potentially stand to gain.

It should prove to be a real cat fight and I just love to watch a good cat fight. Who will prevail in this fight? Will there be a clear winner? I think that Quest has a long row to hoe in order to maintain the market share from this still developing situation. Both sides are being pretty tightlipped and I imagine that they would both like to see it kept as quite as possible until one or the other seems to be prevailing in the conversion war.

Just one more thing yet another party interested in the conversion war.

IP Address 12.146.96.# (SUNGARD TREASURY)
ISP AT&T WorldNet Services
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : New York
City : New York
Lat/Long : 40.7619, -73.9763 (Map)
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hobnobbing with the Big Boys! Oh Baby!!

Whenever anyone mentions the name George Soros anyone with even a modicum of knowledge associates the name with both political power and great wealth. So how is it that a little nobody like Snake Oil Sam, a guy who couldn’t even show up as a blip on the Teterboro airport radar screen is able to attract the attention of those controlling the money of Mr. George Soros? Yet that appears to be the case.

IP Address 208.197.121.# (Soros Fund Management)
ISP UUNET Technologies
Location Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : New York
City : Brooklyn
Lat/Long : 40.6525, -73.9554 (Map)

Sure, by my writing on this subject of the United Healthcare, Lab Corporation of America, Quest Diagnostics issue it seems that I have been able to attract the attention of the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department of The United States of America, several major banking institutions, the legal departments of Lab Corporation of America, Quest Diagnostics as well as United Healthcare, each a player in a very important healthcare issue which directly affects the lives of millions of people, but now George Soros. Wow!

I have to say that I am honored to be in such enviable company. Miss. Crabtree was right when she said that it was important to learn to write well. And imagine I almost played hooky to go fishing with Alf Alfa, Spanky and the boys.

I have to wonder what side of the fence old George has his money on. My guess would be that it is with United Healthcare. But I could be wrong. In any event I have to say that I am indeed fascinated by the power of one tiny little blog.

Can it be possible that such a simple and insignificant person as me utilizing some pretty simple technology by publishing with the help of a really simple syndication feed constitutionally protected thoughts and opinions can cause concern or upset in the halls of the industrial and financial power elite?

Well all that I can say is that I hope that people or governmental agencies who have any power in investing the developing story of the actions taking place in the issue of the United Healthcare and Lab Corporation of America contract do some digging.

Because even though Snake Oil Sam believes in the concept of free enterprise, I also believe in the concept that companies should play the game by the rules. And if the talk that I have heard that doctors are being intimidated with lawsuits if they so much as consider sending medical specimens out of network to Quest Diagnostics after the new contract with lab Corporation of America becomes effective as of January 01, 2007 then it just might be time for the feds to start asking some questions.

Let’s face it when a few billion dollars is on the line people tend to stop thinking about following the law and consider doing things in a less than business like fashion. And that is simply the protected free speech opinion of Snake Oil Sam.

Yes children, it is not an accusation it is just a point of view which I as a native born American of no less than five generations offer for the consideration of others. I am simply asking questions. I don’t have the answers but I sure would like some. And who could be accused of doing the wrong thing when all as they are saying is that big brother should take a look and ask some questions.

Good Morning Miss. Crabtree!
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lab Corporation of America vs. Quest Diagnostics Perspectives of Lab Soft News and Snake Oil Sam

Once again Bruce Friedman at Lab Soft News has done a stellar job in attempting to present both sides of the issue of Lab Corporation of America and Quest Diagnostics related to the United Healthcare issue and areas of interest and concern.

Herein I offer an excerpt of some of his and his colleague’s valuable thoughts and insights which are in all likelihood far less one sided than my own tend to be on this particular issue. I present his words in a highlight of yellow and below that offer some of my own thoughts on the subject.


Addendum on 12/11/2006 @ 3:48 p.m.

I have had additional discussions with colleagues about this issue of "transition costs" paid by LabCorp to UnitedHealth. Their understanding is that the transition costs incurred by LabCorp (up to $200M and mainly in the first year) are to encourage LabCorp to (1) build out their lab and patient service center capacity quickly in order to manage the rapidly increasing test load (i.e., rapidly increase infrastructure) and (2) ensure that lab tests ordered for UnitedHealth patients are routed to LabCorp and not, out of office/physician habit, to Quest or some other lab. "Capture" and "leakage" are the two sides of the same coin. UnitedHealth wants the tests performed at their low negotiated price in LabCorp labs and not performed by other labs at higher prices. If the tests are routed to other labs, the patients may also be required to pay an out-of-pocket premium. However, Quest will be anxious to retain the previous UnitedHealth business and may lower their prices to retain the business, if possible. Stay tuned.
(End Excerpt)

My thoughts on the above comments are as follows:

Why would it be necessary for Lab Corporation of America to pay any amount of money to United Healthcare in order for Lab Corporation of America to “build out” their business? That would be like me paying my business partner a guaranteed amount of money so that I might be able to expand the size of my house.

And if there is an amount to be paid to United Healthcare why would that amount be a variable amount “(up to $200M)” as Mr. Friedman states above. The reason is that the amount is directly connected to the amount of business which manages for one reason or another to “leak” to Quest Diagnostics, Bio Reference and any other worthy competitor. The amount of $200,000,000.00 is simply a guarantee to United Healthcare to protect that company from lost revenue caused by dreaded leakage and nothing more.

As far as it relates to the issue of the patient having to pay an out-of-pocket premium by permitting the medical professional to re-direct the specimen out of network the issue is a complicated one which is subject to not only federal rules and regulations but those legislated by state governments as well. In other words it is something which must be dealt with on a state by state level. What is true in the experience of one patient will not necessarily be true in the experience of another.

As far as the matter of Quest Diagnostics lowering their price in order to retain the current level of business, which they have every plan on attempting to do as much as possible within the parameters of law, that matter is a somewhat sticky issue.

Unlike a business which sells candy and can do just about anything that it wishes to do in order to set pricing and retain business, the laboratory business is highly regulated at all levels and it might not be possible for Quest Diagnostics to simply lower pricing. But you can be assured that they are taking all possibilities under consideration. The issue of medical specimen testing related to United Healthcare remains highly fluid (no pun intended) at this moment and I suspect it shall remain as such.

In addition to that, anyone considering this subject will soon learn by studying the philosophy of Quest Diagnostics that that company will not simply try to be the least expensive player on the block in order to win business.

Quest Diagnostics works with a carefully planned and pre-conceived business strategy which demands that any business taken on by that company must produce results based on a closely guarded formula in order to achieve the desired result.

If Quest Diagnostics had simply wanted to be the provider of choice for United Healthcare then the Executive at Quest Diagnostics would have simply bent to the contractual demands of United Healthcare. That didn’t happen though did it? The reason that it didn’t is directly related to the Philosophy of Quest Diagnostics. A philosophy which has made them the company they have grown to be.

One of the things that play a part in that formula that is not a closely guarded secret is the concept that Quest Diagnostics demands integrity at every level of service to the client and the patient. That is something which you can not place a price on. It is that portion of the equation known as “priceless.

And that it why so many people choose Quest Diagnostics
as the laboratory which they want to utilize for their medical testing services.

And while speaking to the issue of “integrity” one of the important issues related to leakage which Friedman might want to do a little investigating into is the issue of whether or not United Healthcare is acting in less than a professional manner in order to prevent medical professionals from re-directing medical specimens for lab testing to any other lab, especially Quest Diagnostics.

The reason I bring this issue to the attention of Mr. Friedman is that I have heard talk of such a possibility due to what has become very bad blood between these two large and powerful companies.

As Mark Friedman states above in conclusion to his comments “stay tuned.”

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Is There Bad Blood between United Healthcare and Quest Diagnostics?

Quest Diagnostics, the laboratory of choice for millions of people, is no stranger to blood. After all, it is a fluid which they examine in laboratory tests 365 days a year. But from what I have been hearing it seems that some of that blood might be bad blood. I am talking not about medical specimens but rather about the bad blood which seems to have been produced by the failure of United Healthcare to force terms upon Quest Diagnostics which that company found to be unacceptable.

The result of that bad blood might have found its way into the offices of medical professionals who currently have a good business relationship with Quest Diagnostics. From what I am hearing through that infernal grapevine, representatives of United Healthcare are none to happy about the prospect of doctors going out of network with the processing of specimens after the current contract between Quest Diagnostics and United Healthcare ends beginning in 2007.

I have heard that at least some doctors if not all are being told in very stern terms that the doctors “must comply” with the terms of the contract and are absolutely not to send any work to Quest Diagnostics!

That is a sad thing to report, but if true, it just might be time for the Federal Trade Commission to look into the matter and determine if United Healthcare, its executives and or representatives have gone beyond the law in order to protect that company from any negative fallout created by the contract change to Lab Corporation of America.

It would seem to be a logical conclusion that the legal department of Quest Diagnostics is keeping a close watch on this situation and I would think that they are prepared to take any and all legal means possible in order to protect their business interests and assure that the doctors are able to conduct their individual medical practice in a way that benefits the patient.

It is a sad state of affairs when a company such as United Healthcare is able to force medical professionals to do things in the conduct of their medical practice which they may believe is not in the best interest of the patient.

I hope that it is not true that United Healthcare is attempting to acting like an eight hundred pound gorilla simply because it fears the possibility that the results of the new contract with Lab Corporation of America might just prove less than financially beneficial to them.

It still remains to be seen whether or not the service provided by Lab Corporation of America will be sufficient in order to provide the clients affected by this contract with the same level of service which had been up to this date provided by Quest Diagnostics.

Only time will tell how all of these issue will play out but it would be a good idea in my view if the Federal Trade Commission or any other federal regulatory agency with a stake in such business dealings would take a look at the issue of whether or not United Healthcare is in actual fact strong arming the medical profession in order to protect United Healthcare’s own business interests.

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Lab Corporation of America and the $200,000,000.00 Spin

While perusing the internet I had the opportunity to read an interesting article at Lab Soft News about the Lab Corporation of America, United Healthcare contract which becomes effective at midnight January 01, 2007. The current contract is with Quest Diagnostic which walked away from the table a few months ago due to unreasonable demands made at the last minute by United Healthcare which the executives at Quest Diagnostics believed would harm not only that company, but indeed the entire industry.

According to what I read at
Lab Soft News it appears to me, Snake Oil Sam, that Lab Corporation of America is attempting to put a spin on the issue of the $200,000,000.00 writing it off as “transition fees.”

Perhaps it is the intended goal of Lab Corp. using a term like “transition fee” to cloud and confuse the issue so as to soften the political effects standing before the executive board of that company, due to the potential financial blow in the distance caused by their signing a bad contract. Now I have to ask a very simple but obvious question. What really is this transition fee?

Are the executives at Lab Corp. currently attempting to downplay a very serious screw up made by that team in their haste to acquire a contract which Quest Diagnostics had already written off as bad business practice?

As I have already pointed out the $200,000,000.00 figure is simply a guarantee which will protect United Healthcare from lab test re-directs to other laboratories outside of the contract between United Healthcare and Lab Corporation of America.

Face the facts, there is no such thing as a transition fee of $200,000,000.00 and furthermore if that company agreed to pay United Healthcare such a large amount of money calling it a “transition fee” in order to obtain the contract then besides being something that would in all likelihood be highly illegal, they appear to be even worse off than I had realized. Perhaps it is time for someone in governmental authority, say like the Justice Department of the United States of America to make inquiry into this matter.

So I think that it is time for Lab Corporation of America to be honest with everyone and issue a press release to the media stating exactly what the amount of $200,000,000.00 represents to that company as it is related to the contract and the reason for its existence.

The answer will be just as I have already stated it. And I believe that Quest Diagnostics is at this point in time assuring the doctors with whom they now conduct business that the idea of re-directing that business “out of network” to Quest Diagnostics after the new year and allowing Quest Diagnostics the privilege of continuing to provide first rate service as they have always done will prove a simple and painless matter to the medical professional.

I believe that Quest Diagnostics has every intention of obtaining as much of that $200,000,000.00 figure from Lab Corporation of America as possible since some of that business might go to other worthy labs as well.

After that amount is depleted then Quest Diagnostics and others will be able to bill United Healthcare directly for any amount of charges permitted by law remaining beyond the initial $200,000,000.00.

The only thing that is a certainty in this situation is that Quest Diagnostics is clearly dedicated to making any transition of specimens out of network with specimen re-directed to Quest Diagnostics as transparent, painless and cost effective as possible for those doctors and medical facilities choosing to remain with Quest Diagnostics sans contract.

It is clear to me that Quest Diagnostics has every intention of continuing to resolve issues of concern to their clients and continuing to remain the
laboratory of choice for millions of Americans.

Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

Teterboro Airport and the C.I.A. Connection?

Now I like a good conspiracy story just as much as the next guy. But the last thing that I thought that I would ever read is a conspiracy story involving Teterboro Airport and some of the issues surrounding that facility.

Sure I see the “Men in Black” there from time to time but that has more to do with security issues related to the United Nations and things associated with that fine organization. But the story at the blog at this link really was interesting if nothing else. And it contains a couple of nice old pictures of the airport back in the day when it was still a safe place. Looks like maybe back as far as when Lindy himself flew out of the airfield.

I have on at least one occasion bumped into Al “Sharpy” Sharpton and have to admit that I have to admire a man who travels on private jets with women who look that good. Many well known and not so well known people use the facility. But I have never given much thought to it being a cloak and dagger type of operation.

But since it is a convenient airport from which people can travel with little or no substantial security checks it shouldn’t be a surprise that it makes a good launching sight for a C.I.A. operation or two. That isn’t to imply that the facility is simply a C.I.A. operation as a lot of legitimate and important business is conducted there on a daily schedule.

Personally I am still more interested about how the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owner and operator of that diverter airfield will have paid upon completion of the new arrestor beds which allegedly make the field a little more safe, something on the order of I believe about $20,000,000.00 for what I think is at best about an acre or two of light weight concrete blocks which are designed to crush under the weight of any aircraft passing wheels over them.

Shortly after the installation of the arrestor bed at the Northern terminus of the main runway a misplaced jet inadvertently verified that it works. Well, works might not be the best way to define the situation. At least it breaks as it is designed to do at slow override speed. That doesn’t account for a craft driving over it at about 120 M.P.H. and departing the airfield on the ground, which the N.T.S.B. has already determined will likely not be able to prevent.

I really am surprised that The Record of Hackensack hasn’t looked into the issue of the cost in a little greater detail. Perhaps they have and I simply missed the article. On the other hand since the owners of the airport have considerable political power that fine daily might not want to ask too many questions regarding what I feel is far more than should be paid for such a job.

But then again since most people don’t give much of a thought about that bi-state agency other than thinking that they charge way too much in bridge and tunnel tolls. I guess that just about any sort of back door politics can go on there without much more than an eyebrow raising.

Still I wish you guys at The Record would ask a few questions about the cost of the arrestor beds. After all the only reason that anyone even knows that it was installed was because some pilot screwed up and forgot that red lights mean pretty much don’t go here.

Perhaps he thought that the red light was just the port light on a jet going the other way. So if anyone at The Record is reading this blog and you know of a reporter who is just sitting around drinking coffee and waiting for the phone to ring, maybe you could just ask him to go to Teterboro and ask a few questions. Maybe he might get a good story out of the subject.

And since you folks at the Internal Revenue Service in the Beltway have recently joined my circle of friends along with the United Sates Department of Justice perhaps you could also ask a few questions about why cheap concrete is costing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and ultimately the American people about $20,000,000.00 for something that won’t likely make the airport any safer in the long run.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Show Me the Money! Prepared to Move Beyond Hypothetical Legalistic Issues

Some people understand that to be able to blog what you think and believe is very much an important right. To be able to say something which the larger more mainstream media might not say is something which has many ramifications for both the blogger and the American corporate attorney as it relates to the subject of a blog being published.

As a blogger I am one of those individuals who recognize that blogging is a protected right of all who are guaranteed protection by the constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of the press. Yet, much of corporate America has not yet gotten up to speed on many issues related to this new medium of communication. Hopefully this article will help in setting the record straight. Many American corporations have failed at recognizing the importance of the blog as a medium of communication.

Clearly the mainstream media has always understood the rights which they enjoy. Bloggers understand that right as well. Unfortunately there are those who fail to recognize the fact that in the new media, the people’s media, based on the words of the founding fathers and made possible by the age of technocracy, that bloggers do indeed have such protected free speech rights as well as rights protecting the press.

This is though as previously stated a new field to all but the very most cutting edge corporate lawyer types, a select few of the suits if you will, who find themselves in an ever increasing bind to protect their companies business interests while at the same time serving and benefiting their corporate master.

What then is the legal department to do? As a legal professional it is clear that the law calls for you to walk very gently in this minefield of the blogosphere. To do otherwise might very well cause great financial harm to the very corporation for which you are charged with protecting. Indeed, any wrong moves could clearly prove to be costly to the corporation which attempts to harass or silence the blogger in any degree whatsoever.

Since in most cases the corporation doesn’t even know for a certainty the individuals identity, beyond a masking nom de plume, a carefully crafted pseudonym such as Snake Oil Sam, it might even prove risky business for any company to even consider broaching the subject by attempting to question any individual as to whether or not the person is indeed the individual behind the alias.

In the process of the publishing of an individuals personal thoughts about a public issue in the venue of the blog so that a larger audience, indeed a worldwide readership, might have opportunity to read that individuals thoughts what should the position of the corporate entity be in respect to the blogger?

Though perhaps concerned about the matter any lawyer worth his or her salt will understand that such individual has the right to publish such thoughts free of any form of harassment. But what if the situation was that the individual worked for the company who has such legal concern?

Apart from the law, reason will tell you that the situation does not change in any significant way in that circumstance. But since we are operating in a world which is not apart from law the fact remains that even an employee of a company has the right to blog at will.

Yes, no company may make and attempt to enforce any corporation rule or regulation which abridges the right of a free citizen from blogging about any subject which the blogger wishes to blog about.

Unless the blogger was doing the blogging on company time or by using company equipment I see little possibility that the corporation would have a legal leg upon which to stand.

But what if the blogger said things which were aimed at hurting the company? What for example if the blogger worked for the Rats Nest Ice Cream Company and stated in a blog that the aforementioned Rats Nest Ice Cream Company made an inferior product?

Well, first of all, if it is true then the company has nothing with which to make a defense. After all truth is truth, and someone in law once said that the truth is a great defense. Or on the same line of thought what if that employee said something about the companies’ competition? What if the blogger questioned the integrity of how the competition conducts their business?

Consider that it was only a question intended to get people to look more closely into the way that the competition conducts business and ultimately decide whether or not they wish to support such a company.

Perhaps in example, Rats Nest Ice Cream Company only let their delivery drivers use the ice cream truck to do the job of delivering Rats Nest ice cream. When on the other hand the competition allowed their drivers to take the ice cream truck home at night and use it for family business when not using it for the company business.

Then when it was time for the accountants to do the books at the end of the year that company wrote off all of the use of the ice cream truck as a business expense for tax purposes. Clearly the Rats Nest Ice Cream Company would be at a business disadvantage.

Perhaps that is not the case; perhaps there is a mechanism in place to account for the personal use of the ice cream truck taking into account factors reported to the Internal Revenue Service. But since the issue is raised is it not incumbent upon the purveyor of the other ice cream company to answer the inquiry so that the mind of the public and him who makes the inquiry should be put at ease?

Now to simply have stated that this is what might be going on might be a derisory way in which to approach the subject. But to state it in the form of a question or questions in a fictitious letter would clearly be intended to simply get people in positions of responsibility to look at the matter and fix what might possibly be wrong with a system of bookkeeping so that each company is playing on a level playing field.

In summation I would simply say that it is very important that corporate lawyers see and clearly grasp all of the issues which are involved in a person’s right as an American citizen to blog about any topic he chooses to blog about.

When Corporate Lawyers spend a full hour plus, dedicated to reading every single topic which an individual blogs about, then it is certain that they are at the very least concerned about the issue.

The most important thing which they need to keep foremost in mind is, as the title of this article states, “Show Me the Money! Prepared to Move Beyond Hypothetical Legalistic Issues.” And the crux of the matter is that of understanding the true reason for the existence of the corporate lawyer, to protect the money. How does one do that?

There are clearly several ways to accomplish that goal but the best way would be to accept the fact that the corporation has no accountability for the actions of others and simply remember that “freedom is the bottom line.”

Always keep in mind, practice and take to heart the credo that no corporation has the legal right to overstep the authority of a beautiful legal document, The Constitution of The United States of America.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Clean Safe Water! Emergency Preparedness

At some future time you might find yourself in a situation where you need to provide drinking water for yourself and others. Perhaps there might have been some sort of natural disaster or a situation related to national security in which society as we now recognize it might be at least temporarily less than ideal.

This is a subject which I have been thinking about recently and like most people I am basically unprepared for the worst case scenario. It just might be a good idea to consider this subject at greater length. In today’s world, it doesn’t hurt to learn some basic information on survival skills.

We all need to consume water for survival. Since we have been very blessed as a nation we don’t give much thought to a subject like safe drinking water. The fact is that we rely on public utilities to provide that for us. But what if there was suddenly no safe water supply? What if the utilities could not provide the service which we have come to rely on them for? What would you do?

The most obvious answer is to keep a supply of clean and safe drinking water stocked in the event of an emergency? But what if you did not have access to safe clean water? What would you do? Would you simply drink water out of a stream which looks clean? The fact that it looks clean does not mean that it is.

But does that mean that the idea of drinking water from a stream is not possible? No! But simple precautions can be taken in order to make it relatively safe. It would be a good idea to purchase in advance a simple water filtering system designed for this purpose. They are available and don’t cost all that much when considering the value of such a product.

Simply purchasing charcoal from a pet supply store used for filtering aquarium water would be useful for this purpose. Coffee filters can filter out larger pollutants. Anything that will remove a great deal of product that you don’t want to ingest is a useful item to have on hand.

Of course it is always important to bring the water to a boil and let it boil for about one minute. Personally I would recommend a boil of about five to ten minutes. But that is just me; I want to make sure those little bugs are dead.

At times due to circumstances the boiling process though important is not always possible. There is however an alternative process to producing safe drinking water and it is a very important step before the water should be consumed. Chlorine Bleach! That’s right, common household bleach.

The idea of adding bleach to drinking water seems like a strange idea since if you drink bleach it could kill you or at least make you very ill. But in the correct measure adding bleach to water is an important step in killing any microbe that has as its goal causing you a lot of illness and possible death.

Here is the recommended procedure for making field water safe to drink:

When boiling of water for 1 minute is not practical, water can be made potable by using chlorine bleach. Prior to addition of this product, remove all suspended material by filtration or by allowing it to settle to the bottom. Decant the clarified contaminated water to a clean container and add 8 drops of this product to 1 gallon of water [(2 drops to 1 quart)].

Allow the treated water to stand for 30 minutes. Properly treated water should have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat dosage and allow the water to stand an additional 15 minutes. The treated water can then be made palatable by pouring it between clean containers several times. For cloudy water, use 16 drops of this product per gallon of water [(4 drops to 1 quart)]. If no chlorine odor is apparent after 30 minutes, repeat dosage and wait an additional 15 minutes.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Is Snake Oil Sam Offensive? Yes Says Blogger Search

Well, it seems that you learn something new about yourself everyday. It appears that in response to an inquiry from someone in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, yes indeed Snake Oil Sam does have a worldwide readership, that the individual was searching the Blogger search engine for “offensive blogs” and guess whose favorite Snake showed up.

Here I have always thought that the word “offensive” always applied to things such as actor turned stand up comic Michael Richards going ballistic and calling members of the audience “niggers.”

Whoever it was at blogger search who listed this as an offensive blog needs to get his or her priorities straightened out soon. This is not an offensive blog. It is a critical blog. There is a difference you know. In most cases being offensive serves little useful purpose.

On the other hand being critical can be a very useful tool for effecting change in society. Perhaps the person who listed this as an offensive blog considered it such due at least in part to the fact that I have in several articles referred to Michael Savage as possibly one of the most intelligent men in America today.

Maybe the person who listed this blog as offensive is a liberal who hates Michael Savage and anyone who agrees with much of what he has to say. Well, if that is the reason that I am being called offensive then I don’t mind as long as it puts me in the company of the likes of Dr. Savage.

But for the record, since the Department of Justice of the United States of America has been known to be a visitor to this blog please get the listing correct. Again Blogger, it is not offensive, it is critical.

But on the other hand, whatever listing gets the readership here, a hit is a hit. Thanks for the reference Blogger.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

What? Censorship in a Free Society?

I sure hope that the good people of the United States of America understand that the right to free speech is indeed a fragile right. So fragile that in this paranoid society there are those wolves who are just waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting.

Recently I have been quite intrigued by the source of some of the visits to this humble little blog, Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review. Upon viewing a particular visitor I decided to do a search of just who they are and what is being said about that visitor.

It appears that along with all of the people who come to the blog by way of hyperlinks and perhaps and hopefully bookmarks, many of the truly interesting and important visitors are large and powerful banking groups, lawyers, government agencies and those companies being spoken about. I guess that they feel that they all have a vested interest in what I am saying.

That is the problem with blogging, it allows far more information to be discussed on the internet than some powerful people might like to see disseminated. Add to that a syndication feed and you have a regular twenty first century corporate concern. What might really bother them is that because of blogs they really aren’t as powerful as they might like to imagine.

And so since they can’t control what is said, short of shutting down a blog, which in all but the most severe cases is highly unlikely for a slew of legal reasons which I won’t go into right now, they will simply continue to watch and wait for what they see as a just legal cause. And besides, think of all the bad press that they would get if they tried to silence someone who has a small voice. Face it, Americans don’t like censorship.

Sadly for them they won’t find that legal reason here to shut down this blog or take legal action, because this is a non malicious blog in which I raise legitimate issues of public concern, often stated in the form of a non accusatory question rather than an out and out accusation. “Momma didn’t raise no fool.” So, it would appear that perhaps because of the focus of some of my comments and questions, such folks want to prepare for damage control in advance.

So I ask this question, is Media Edge working at the behest of Lab Corporation of America? That is simply a question. There is still nothing illegal about asking questions as far as I know. Perhaps it is simply the business practice of this organization to mine information for a data base. Perhaps Lab Corp. has nothing to do with the issue. But since Lab Corp. has been apparently interested in what I have to say it just makes for a plausible explanation in my humble view.

That is only a matter of speculation, but large corporations with large banks investing hundreds of millions of investor dollars have to do what they see as appropriate to protect that investment. And since those big G.S. 5 riding bankers are watching old Snake Oil, well just put the pieces together.

In my inquiry into the agenda of a visitor of interest YOUNG RUBICAM MEDIA EDGE I found a blog of interest, addressing this very
subject
, in which this and many other similar groups have paid visits. If you would like to read of those comments feel free to follow this link. As I have not done any research into this herein linked blogger I assume no responsibility for anything there which might be offensive or legally actionable. All things written at that blog are of a nature of which I have no control or responsibility.

I provide the link simply for purpose of shinning light on a subject of which I am just now myself become aware. It seems that in this age of “The People’s Media,” a media which is in the hands of the private citizen there are many who are interested in keeping track of such information distribution.

And that is just fine with me, Snake Oil Sam. I am more than happy to have anyone and everyone read what I have to say on anything and everything about which I write. Since I do so without malice I fail to see any legal issues. Visit often and thank you. See, not only non malicious but polite too.

I conclude this note by saying that I wish a good day to the good people at Media Edge, Lab Corporation of America, Quest Diagnostics, United Healthcare, The United States Department of Justice, Master Card the Bank of America all of whom are reading my thoughts about Lab Corporation of America to name just a few.

I also send my warmest regards to those Lawyers who are reading what I have to write about Michael Savage, who in my view just might be the most intelligent man in America. I also wish all of the Spooks in the Department of Homeland Security a wonderful day. Keep America safe, and remember, there really are terrorists under your bed.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Do Believe In Spooks! Is Lab Corporation of America Under The Microscope?

Cowardly Lion proclaimed “I do believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do believe in spooks!" And I might add that I, Snake Oil Sam, do also believe in spooks, especially after seeing that some spooks in the guise of the “Architect of the Capitol” have been looking into some of what I have blogged regarding the questioning of certain issues of a particular business practice of Lab Corporation of America. And since the “United States Department of Justice” has also been visiting that subject I suspect that I might have set off some alarm bells in the capitol of our great nation.

Of course there is always the possibility that it is I, Snake Oil Sam, who is under the scrutiny of the federal government for having said something which upset someone within the corporate power elite. Perhaps the heat is on me and not Lab Corporation of America. But who am I but a simple and humble American with a blog and a copy of the Constitution of The United States of America, someone who doesn’t want to see apathy consume that great document.

It seems that even the Bank of America wants to read what I have been writing about the subject. It is nice that I am able to attract such a wide and diverse group of readers and researchers. I should consider myself fortunate to be so honored. It just goes to demonstrate the significance of freedom of speech.

And in this day and age of ‘The Patriot Act” data mining protects us all not only from radical fundamentalist Islamic terrorism, but serves as a great way for the spooks in Washington to learn about any possible corporate misadventure as well.

Yes, like it or not we all live within the Matrix and whether you accept it or not everything you or I say, do and yes especially blog, is known by those spooks. So it is a simple matter of, red pill, blue pill. The Craft really does control everything. The Illuminati live and die by the collection and analysis and appropriate distribution of raw data.

So it should not surprise anyone when questions asked about certain bookkeeping practices related to the Internal Revenue Service should cause the “All Seeing Eye” to focus on comments and questions within my innocent little blog, Snake Oil Sam’s Radio Review.

But in all fairness to the Executive of Lab Corporation of America in advance warning, a friendly heads up if you will, I suggest that you consider certifying that all of your books are in order. Think Enron! You just might be expecting a visit from the Justice Department. But of course I could be wrong about that.

Lab Corporation of America spends a lot of time looking into the microscope. Be assured that Lab Corporation of America is a worthy competitor of Quest Diagnostics, the laboratory of choice for millions of people. Perhaps Lab Corp is now under the microscope? Mcgoo, you’ve done it again!
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006


IP Address 192.136.24.# (Architect of the Capitol)
ISP Architect of the Capitol
State : District of Columbia
City : Washington
Lat/Long : 38.8933, -77.0146

IP Address 149.101.1.# (US Dept of Justice)
ISP US Dept of Justice

IP Address 171.159.192.# (Bank of America)
ISP Bank of America

Has Michael Savage Gone Somewhere Over the Rainbow?

Now I am not making any claims to having any formal education in the medical field, but I have to wonder, has the pressure finally gotten to Savage? The man is talking about childhood dreams and asking his audience to interpret the meaning. Michael, either you are pulling someone’s leg or you need a rest.

Savage seems to think that he has some sort of higher calling. Mike, it’s a radio show. You are starting to get a little to full of yourself. Take Teddy and get on the boat. Go out in the bay and watch the sea birds for a few hours. Mike people are starting to worry about you. You are going to lose your credibility if you continue with this nut cake talk. Leave the Twilight Zone stuff to Art Bell. After all that is his gig.

Savage, you need to stay on target. Politics and Washington D.C. is your point of concern. Enough with the Bible verse spouting and talk about Evolution vs. Creation. We really don’t care about that subject. Leave that subject to the Pentecostals.

If you want to talk religion keep it in context of the problem with Islam. But come on Mike stay away from the subject of individual belief. That does not make for a good program. People are starting to tune out. If you keep on the current path you are going to drive everyone away.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

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