Saturday, June 18, 2011

What the Pope Knew About Child Abuse



Leaked Video: Department of Defense Discusses Eliminating Religious Fanaticism Through Gene-Targeting Vaccine

A recently leaked video shows a Department of Defense symposium discussing genetic manipulation through a vaccine designed to suppress the VMAT-2 gene, a so-called "God gene" that the Pentagon believes leads to to religious fundamentalism.  The Pentagon proposes to eliminate religious fundamentalism through its "Funvax" vaccine, which will be administered surreptitiously to various populations abroad. The implications are staggering: here is a vaccine designed to wipe out religious expression deemed harmful by the Pentagon, and while the initial proposal deals with overseas religious fanatics, one does not have to stretch too hard to imagine the vaccine being used here.

Whatever happened to freedom of religion as a near-sacrosanct right, and why would we stand by as the Pentagon uses our tax dollars to develop a method that could be used to deprive us of our beliefs by interfering with our genetic makeup?  It's time for a revolution in this country, in 2012 if not sooner, one that deals with not only the corrupt two party system, but also seeks to flush out the bureaucracies whose rank and file create such claptrap plans that rank alongside the most bizarre plans of the Nazis.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Anarcho-Misogyny: Whore Logic

In business professional attire,
turtleneck and all!  Smart! 
Ginger Lee, erstwhile porn star and stripper, has emerged with the ubiquitous Gloria Allred by her side to state her case.  She claims that the now-resigned Representative Anthony Weiner asked her to lie, and because of this, she feels that Anthony Weiner should resign.  After all, when a United States representative asks a woman who puts penises in her mouth for money while others film the event to lie, he has crossed the ethical and moral Rubicon.

Whore logic is never worth expending the minimal effort necessary to refute it, but because my friends over at ilxor.com are at the ready, perusing my posts, I've decided to update anarcho-misogyny a bit, and whore logic is in the crosshairs.  Our first undertaking involves defining whore logic: whore logic on the one hand is that misguided nonsense that often emanates from people who place themselves in optimum position to be exploited, only to then whip around with nary an ounce of comprehension for their own fault in the matter to insist that they were exploited and/or abused in some fashion.  On the other hand, whore logic is ideological purity divorced from practical reality.

This is symbolic of the
patriarchal oppression. Really.
Ginger Lee exemplifies this.  She emerged from seclusion to dispute reports that she had a relationship with Anthony Weiner, and one presumes this is because Ginger Lee, the porn star and stripper, has deeply held convictions about sexual liaisons with strange men; namely, that they should be scripted, filmed, and paid for by the production company.  Since Anthony Weiner was spontaneous, un-filmed, and seemingly thought his mere political fame would suffice as payment, Miss Lee was totally turned off to the prospect of engaging in a sexual relationship with Anthony Weiner.  And as for the rest of us, we should learn a lesson or two about assuming that a porn star engaged in conversation with a married man who tweets photos of his boxer-clad erection is up to anything untoward.  It's not fair to Miss Lee's reputation, because her good name as a pornographic actress and stripper is at stake.


What would her mother think? Oh, it's fine that her daughter is engaged in a vocation the end result of which is usually a woman on her knees before a man who ejaculates profusely onto her face and mouth, but that daughter is still a good girl so long as she doesn't run off flirting with married Congressmen.  What would Miss Lee's loyal fans think?  Probably that she's an 18 and nasty barely legal petite amateur who is built for sex.  Perhaps she is still a new whore on the block.  Those are all titles from the Ginger Lee filmography.

The idea that Miss Lee feels slandered is in and off itself hilarious, given that her reputation as a porn actress hinges on her willingness to challenge and even obliterate sexual normative standards with her performances.  Oh, sure she didn't engage in a sexually inappropriate relationship with Representative Weiner, but why did she think he followed her on Twitter?  Was it her deep background and expertise on matters of policy?  I'm almost certain it was.

Gloria Allred, Esquire, has made quite the career for herself standing up for women who could have made the right decision in the first place and avoided a press conference and the disgrace that usually precedes such an event.  There was Joselyn James, she of Cougars, Kittens, and Cock and various other fine titles, standing on the stage weeping with alongside Gloria Allred over Tiger Woods' abusive and exploitative use of her as a sexual rag.  James alleges that she was impregnated by Tiger Woods and that Tiger arranged for her to have an abortion.

This is a woman whose career involves allowing two men to penetrate her anally and vaginally simultaneously.  She was done objectified by that thar PGA golfer!  Below is a video of James being abused by the patriarchy at the 2008 AEE convention.



Do you see any chains?  Restraints?  Is there a man in the background barking out orders to James?  Why, no! She seems empowered in her sexuality, much like all of those Slutwalk participants who dress provocatively and scrawl such phrases as "I'm asking for it!" across their bosoms.  Some of the very finest women of today's generation are proud slutwalkers, as the photo indicates.


The point that underlies a Slutwalk is valid: there is never a reason for sexual violence towards women sufficient to legitimate said violence.  A man should be able to argue that the sex was consensual in his own defense, but his idea of consent being a choice of a attire is absurd on its face.  It's the male version of whore logic, and it's a sad day in our courts when it works to exculpate a man from the charges of rape or sexual assault.

However, there was a time when we taught our daughters that confident women didn't have to parade about provocatively dressed in order to catch the eye of a man.  Moreover, we taught them to go for something more than his mere eye, and with good reason.  We wanted them to be happy, and validated as something other than a receptacle for the bodily fluids of various men.

Today, women are taught that their sexuality is empowerment, and oh, how men have loved that message! Slut it up, ladies, you're really showing us!  We are in our places now!  A woman who knows how to wriggle around and vamp through life can get into places that a woman who relied on mere brainpower and class would be locked out of regardless. It's a lie.  Most victim mythologies are, because the truth of the matter is that the Meg Whitman's and Carly Fiorina's of the world do not get places by shaking their ass and wearing underwear as outerwear.

It isn't because they're women, either.  It's because they were qualified women and their boards thought they were capable of enhancing the bottom line.  Wearing green hair to the office is not likely to get you kicked up the ladder in business.  This is a true for a man as it is a woman, but feminism has built a mythology that only examines sex as a basis for explaining why women are disproportionately excluded from the upper tiers and ranks. The conclusion is always inevitable: because they are women and there is some gigantic conspiracy to keep women down.

It never has anything to do with the choices women make to prioritize family and child-bearing over their careers, and if it does, then the problem is with a workplace that punishes priorities such as family and child-rearing.  In Ireland, there as a proposal afoot to boost the pay of new mothers returning to the workforce, as though new fathers did not have additional expenses to provide for where their new arrivals were concerned.  Feminism as a whole is nothing more than whore logic at its worst, a ridiculous theory of complaints rooted in flawed assumptions about what is fair and just and equitable.

Feminism is fine with deploying force to ensure that businesses value traditionally female concerns like child-rearing, and they usually do so through the legislature.  Today, workplaces must extend maternity and paternity leave of 12 weeks under the Family Medical Leave Act, and feminists are quite vocal that this unpaid leave really ought to be paid leave.  In this way, a business should be held to pay for the choices of its individual workers to have children.  The business and its shareholders made no such decision, but feminists advocate forcing businesses to subsidize the decision anyway through paid maternity leave.  Let a business tell its employees that their decision to choose conception and a family will come at the risk of their job, and feminists will be ready to man the barricades.  However, when feminists tell business that they must pay their out of work employees for their maternity leave, they see nothing in the way of a cognitive dissonance.

Keep your rosaries off my ovaries, but let my legislation pilfer large amounts from your accounts!  Such is the way of feminism.  Feminists support choice, so long as it is the choice they see as correct.  A woman choosing to get pregnant and start a family?  Good.  A business choosing to avoid hiring women of childbearing age in order to keeps its costs down and productivity up?  Bad.  

We live in a society where consensus must be forged and compromises must be made.  Our political system has given us 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new mothers and fathers as a compromise between two extremes.  It's reasonable, admittedly moderate, and well-behind the laws and customs of European countries, most if not all of which pay their mothers generously and provide cradle to the grave care as well. It's all about values.  I suppose it is, which is why I don't understand why those who prefer European values insist on staying in America.

A Personal Aside on Whore Logic and Its Effects

As the husband of an epileptic with chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, and scoliosis, I have considered moving to Europe to live and work.  I know that my wife would the basic care she needs, with no $2,500 deductible on a $200 a month insurance policy.  As I love my wife a great deal, and care for her more than I do my libertarian or anarchist ideology, I've strongly considered leaving America to live in a country where I know that my wife would have access to care with minimal difficulty.  One of my wife's medicines was recently removed from the list of preferred formulary drugs by her insurance companies, despite the fact that it had been on the list for nearly 21 years beforehand.  As a result, our monthly cost rose from $30 for a month's supply to $220 for a month's supply.  Add to this the fact that her deductible shot up $1,000 from year to year, and you can see where I might take issue with the healthcare system in America.  My wife takes anywhere from eight to an even dozen prescriptions at once, depending on what regimen her doctors and specialists decide to experiment with in a given time frame.

However, we stay here in America because as it currently stands, we still have access to a very good healthcare system.  We're on the brink of what we can afford in premiums, deductibles, and co-pays as a couple with insurance, and the moment we can no longer afford the insurance that gains us access to that healthcare system, we will have a decision to make.  At the same time, I understand the frustration people feel with the system as it currently exists.  Why should they have to move?  Why shouldn't companies exist within a market value system as determined by the majority of the people?  If they don't want to play ball by our values, they can move elsewhere.

I have no problem with choices, but I do have a problem with the whore logic that says America has a free-market capitalist healthcare system. We don't.  We have anti-trust exemptions, a ban on drug reimportation, and a more expensive healthcare system than any other country in the world.  In some ways, I sympathize with feminists who want universal single-payer healthcare.  Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medco are not popular in our household. However, there's another part of me that realizes I'd just be trading one devil for another, because instead of an insurance company's abuses, I'd be dealing with the federal government. Whereas I can sue the insurance company when they violate my rights or breach the contract, the federal government can only be sued when it gives you its permission to do so.  If it's not in the Federal Torts Claims Act, the likelihood of receiving any form of redress is nil.

Whore Logic Applied

The problem with ideologues is that there is never a via media; instead, there is only a Kierkegaardian either/or approach.  Either we leave healthcare to the insurance companies entirely, or we turn it over to the federal government.  Black or white, up or down, yes or no.  We could simply lift the antitrust exemption, allow drug reimportation, and let states determine how much of their markets one drug company could control at a given time.  There are other ways of going about this, and in America, we're supposed to be able to utilize our political system to moderate our viewpoints and forge a compromise to suit our needs.  Unfortunately, our political system exists in a state of whore logic and partisan ideological paralysis.

It isn't just feminists who utilize whore logic; it's anyone who believes firmly and without any sense of irony that their way is the only way to approach a problem.  In other words, fundamentalists of any stripe who feel as though they have a monopoly on the truth and merit as a byproduct of their belief system.  Reality defies pure implementation, which is why this approach doesn't work.  Change is incremental because you have to implement your theories piecemeal.  Any theory that doesn't take this into account and then later blames those who opposed total implementation is deeply flawed in and of itself.  We don't judge theories based on what they are supposed to accomplish; we judge them based on what they do accomplish.  If as a matter of practical reality a theory cannot be implemented effectively in the real world, the problem is not with the real world.  It's the theory that failed because it did not account for real world variables.

This is why supply-side economics failed in the long-term, and it's why Keynesian economics doesn't work in the long-term either.  Supply-side economics failed to account for the spending appetite; Keynesian economics failed to account for the fact that people don't want to pay for massive spending through taxation.  When the two are melded together in a bastard hybrid, what you have is what we currently have: Tim Pawlenty pretending as though everything will be fine if we just keep cutting taxes while the nation teeters on the brink of a default, and Barack Obama and others pretending as though the stimulus just wasn't big enough and more may be needed.

Lost in the din of the debate is the reality that giving nearly $63 million to a project run by contractors and overseers who have already had $132 million in cost overruns is a bad idea on its face. These individuals are obviously not fiscally smart or responsible.  It's a bad idea to give them more money.  Yet that's exactly what we did in the stimulus bill.  Another matter lost in the din of the debate is the fact that with Bush-era tax cuts in play, we went from $5 trillion in national debt to $14.2 trillion in national debt. That's what happens when you cut revenues while exploding spending.

These are not complicated issues, but when you approach them with whore logic, you can't examine your problems and comprehend them with basic common sense.  You have debates over whether or not the economy grew, without ever stopping to realize that economic growth is measured in dollars, and that metric has been so devalued over the course of the past 30 years that most of our economic growth over that time period has been a product of inflationary prices.  We've had some growth as a result of productivity, but inflation has consumed a good bit of that productivity, and that's a shame because millions of Americans would have been lifted out of working poor status had productivity gains been paired with a stable currency.  While productivity reduces prices by enabling us to do more with less, inflation requires that we do less with more by raising prices.  The two do not mix well.

Ideological purity divorced from practical reality prevents us from realizing that no group within America is ever going to completely have its way.  At the end of the day, we have similar values: life, liberty, and happiness. We define each term differently according to our own individual nuances, and policy is born out of our attempt to reconcile our unique definitions with each other. What has been lost over time is a sense of civility and respect for each other, as partisans have succeeded in building constituencies out of resentments, many of which are rooted wholly in whore logic.  If you're buying into the modern banking system with an eye towards getting ahead, you're putting yourself in the position to get screwed.

A subprime loan with a variable interest rate that can triple your payments over time is a bad idea.  You will have a house for a year, and then you will lose the house.  Moreover, you will have a foreclosure on your record.  If you're holding a credit card with an APR north of 10%, it's a bad idea unless you pay off your balance every month.  All of the nonsense about building your FICO score is utterly idiotic: all a FICO score accomplishes is the expansion of your ability to take on more debt.  You can't eat a FICO score.  Moreover, if you're financing your ability to eat off of credit cards that tie into that FICO score, you've got bigger problems.

Given the way the banking system is run, and the implications for the larger economy, if you bought a house thinking it was a good deal only to find yourself stuck with a mortgage that exceeds the present value of your house, welcome to the true manifestation of whore logic!  Values fluctuate, but that amount that you mortgaged stayed constant, didn't it?  As for the argument that home values go up over time, fluctuations in value become more volatile over time when a regulatory system fails over and over again to prevent financial fraud in our markets.  Since the Federal Reserve was founded, we've had 21 economic downturns.  The present depression is the most vicious economic downturn in eighty years.  That's right...it's a depression.  Were it not for the flood of dollars into foreign markets to spur artificial demand for such things as financial instruments, we'd be kaput right now.  We know that financial instruments are such good things, don't we?

The only way people get ahead on their mortgages is by borrowing thirty years beforehand and waiting for inflation to reduce the value of the dollars they pay over time.  Let's say you borrowed $34,000 for a home in my home state of Alabama way back in 1980.  You borrowed with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage.  Back in 1980, interest rates were really high. In point of fact, they were high throughout the 80s and 90s by any standard, but especially given today's historically low rates.  We'll give you a benefit of a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 10%, which is a couple of percent off of what you would have paid.  After all, you had a really good FICO score!

Now, by computing your rate over the 30 years, we find that you paid some $96,673.28, and this assumes that you paid $3,400 as a down payment.  For the privilege of borrowing $30,600, you repaid $96,673.28!  But wait, there's more: in Alabama, the median sales price as of 2011 is $145,000.  Theoretically, you come out almost $45,000 ahead if you're able to sell your home in 2011 at $145,000.  When you factor in inflation over that time period, the home that you sold for $145,000 in 2011 and paid over $100,000 in mortgage costs and down payments to purchase in 1980 is worth a stunning $55,532.25 in constant 1980 dollars.

Truth be told, you didn't really come out ahead.  That $34,000 home would cost you $88,777.24 today, and you overpaid in mortgage costs and down payments by some $12,000.  Assuming you could sell your home for the median price, you would probably have had to make some more investments in home improvements, additions, and new appliances, and then there's property taxes and permit fees to build those new additions.  Do you see the whore logic at work here?  Even if you did refinance at some point, between the fees and an extending payment term, you're just adding on additional layers of cost over time.

It's easy to zero in on ideologies like feminism, and to refute their whore logic with simple rhetoric and easily available facts. However, we must go beyond the whore logic of feminists and examine the whore logic of bankers and financiers and politicians.  After all, ideology generally possesses one great power: to render anyone who surrenders their mind to it a complete ass.







Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Anonymous v. Federal Reserve: Operation Empire State Rebellion

The organized criminal class, legitimized as it is by its hold on our political and governmental organs, now faces the beginning of Operation Empire State Rebellion.  May God aid and expedite the work of Anonymous as it fights an unjust banking regime that circumvents constitutional limitations on our government, and devalues our currency, thereby driving millions of already desperate Americans and individuals throughout the world into greater poverty and misery.

This is a biblically mandated effort to restore righteousness through the rule of law to our land.  The Bible in Amos addresses the acts of central banks such as the Federal Reserve, and prohibits such practices as contrary to the will of God in Amos 8:4-6:

"4 Hear this, you who [f](G)trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land,
5 saying, “When will the (H)new moon [g]be over,
So that we may sell grain,
And the (I)sabbath, that we may open the wheat market,
To make the [h]bushel smaller and the shekel bigger,
And to (J)cheat with [i]dishonest scales,
6 So as to (K)buy the helpless for [j]money
And the needy for a pair of sandals,
And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?”

The oppression of the poor, the utter disregard for the law shown by our banking system, and the total lack of justice that runs through the Federal Reserve's policies and programs, these are all issues to be opposed by all who would claim to be followers of God and keepers of His commandments.  To stand by and do nothing as our rights, liberties, and the money we use to purchase our sustenance are reduced to inconsequential and meaningless items is to compound the sins committed by our financial sector.  When rulers are a terror to good works and aid and abet evil works, they may be opposed by those who believe with all deliberate force and strength.  We will not draw first blood in this fight, but we are commanded to take a public stand in opposition to evil.  John the Baptist stood against Herod, and publicly condemned Herod's actions as immoral.  Today, we are bound under the commandment of Ephesians 5:11 to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; rather, we are to expose them for what they are.

The Federal Reserve is an evil, immoral, unethical, anti-capitalistic, and anti-liberty institution that seeks to enslave men by robbing them of the value of their money in order to benefit a few.  Today, you receive less for the same at the grocery store. Your packages are smaller, the contents are fewer, and this is but one of the ways the government and private corporations have hidden the effects of inflation over the past year.  In North Africa, people cannot even eat as a direct result of our monetary policy and the practices of the Federal Reserve, which sent hundreds of billions of dollars abroad that were invested in commodities markets by speculators seeking to gin up the price of basic foodstuffs without regard for the effect their actions would have on ordinary people.  Capitalism as originally defined and articulated by Adam Smith was largely concerned with eliminating scarcity.

Later thinkers such as Bastiat expounded on this with great eloquence, but today speculators are given free rein to inflate the price of basic goods without any connection basic supply and demand.  These speculators have no stake in the end outcome, because they will never  take physical delivery of the goods they are speculating upon.  They're just manipulating the price for the purposes of a trade.  In such an environment, given that our government tolerates such abuses and insane practices, we may justly rise up and publicly condemn the actions of our government as immoral and evil.

The two major political parties have been complicit in the schemes of the Federal Reserve, an institution whose pernicious legacy has been 21 economic downturns since its inception and a loss of 96 percent of the dollar's value.  It is time to recognize this as a moral issue, and to respond to it with the same fervor and indignation we reserve for sexual sin and immorality.  There are people who sin against their own bodies, but the individuals and groups within our financial sector sin against the lives of others and threaten their very ability to have the food and shelter they need to survive.  It is a disgrace.

Support anonymous, occupy a public place on your day off from work, and make a public stand condemning the outrageous and immoral legacy of the Federal Reserve.  Below are the two videos highlighting the group's call for a non-violent rebellion against the Federal Reserve and the system it enables.  It is time to take a stand now, and to vote all of the incumbents who enable the perpetuation of this system out of office in 2012.  Fight back.





Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Scorecard

Our beloved Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, stands astride the world fully cognizant of his inability to effect hope or change.  We have rising unemployment, massive debt, political paralysis that threatens to send the United States into a debt default, and cognitive dissonance is all Washington can offer us.  Here's the scorecard, not just from Obama's administration, but from the administration before his as well: 

  • On the day President George W. Bush took office, our debt was $5.727 trillion.  
  • Today it's now $14.2 trillion, the result of $4.9 trillion debt under Bush combined with another $4 trillion or so in just three years under Obama.  
  • We're still spending nearly $800 billion a year traipsing around the globe in order to continue our mission as the world's policeman.  
  • The Pentagon is the largest landowner in the world.  
  • We have 8% real inflation, and 18% real unemployment.  
  • Despite documents revealed by Anonymous which show Bank of America and its subsidiaries engaged in insurance fraud, not a single indictment has been brought by the Justice Department. 
  • Greece is on the verge of economic collapse, with an aid package conditioned on its continued arms purchases from France and Germany.  
  • Ireland is in the same position, as are Spain, Portugal, and Italy.  
  • We spent $23.7 trillion to bail out $7 billion in toxic mortgage assets under TARP.  
  • All the major banks are still insolvent, but their fraudulent failure to report toxic assets is now mandated by the federal government to cover up the reality of their bankrupted condition.  
  • The only reason major banks have reported profits since the bailout is the fact that they don't have to factor in their worthless or underperforming assets versus their revenues.  
  • China is in the midst of a massive real estate bubble of apocalyptic proportions.  
  • North Africa and the Middle East are on fire, and this is due to the exporting of revolution by Western think tanks and foundations more than it is to any real domestic catalyst for revolution.  
  • Western oil speculators are driving oil prices higher and higher, and 70% of the speculators will never take end delivery of the oil they speculate on, because they're only in the business of price manipulation.  
Here's some of the dopey ideas that Washington came up with as part of its stimulus package, which has expended hundreds of billions of dollars only to see employment creeping upwards again:  

  • Destroying wealth to create wealth, in the form of Cash for Clunkers.  
  • Spending $712,883 to build a joke machine at Northwestern University. 
  • Giving the U.S. Forest Service $554,763 to replace windows on an Amboy, Washington visitors center that has been closed for years.  The Forest Service has no plans to re-open the visitors center. 
  • $762,372 to UNC-Charlotte for a DanceTube online choreography application.  
  • $350,000 to hire experts to assist people with the four step installation process for digital convertor boxes. 
  • $296,385 to study dog domestication at Cornell University.  
  • $62.5 million for a North Shore Connector in Pittsburgh, PA, after the program had $132 million in cost overruns.  One of the casinos which will be connected via the tunnel, the Rivers Casino, has been downgraded by Standard & Poors three times since 2009 and is facing fiscal problems so deep it won't be able to meet its tax liabilities to the city of Pittsburgh.  
  • $54 million for the owner of the Mohegan Sun casino to build a WNBA practice facility.  
  • $308 million for a carbon capture scheme at a power plant in California, despite the fact that carbon capture technology is of dubious merit.  
Despite these items and dozens more, the United States could not spare money to fund any significant aid to homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages or to lend to small business owners who found themselves unable to secure short-term credit when the credit markets froze up.  In both cases, direct infusions of cash along these lines would have prevented foreclosures and kept people employed, if you are in fact into those sorts of things and believe that the federal government should be funding such programs with ever greater amounts of borrowed money.  

In the meantime, the mainstream media is hard at work reporting on the Twitter shenanigans of Anthony Weiner and digging through recently released emails of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for evidence of anything to tar her with, despite the fact that she already has a 60% unfavorability rating and zero chance of being elected in 2012.  The obsession of the media with penis photos (see Brett Favre, baseball player Evan Longoria, and now Anthony Weiner) and Sarah Palin is nearing pathological proportions at a time when the country is on the brink of political and fiscal paralysis and collapse.  

Your media can tell you more about the sex life of Kardashians than it can about the financial crisis or the continuing accounting fraud at major banks, because we all know what's more important: Kim K's impending nuptials and alleged cheating far outweigh factors that could very well lead to another economic collapse.  That's the scorecard, and it ain't good.  As it stands, our President has been tremendously ineffective at getting anything done to repair matters, and both parties in Congress are unable to get over themselves in order to handle the nation's business.  It's time to put a stop to our government in 2012, if not before, given the broad bipartisanship that has led America to the brink of insolvency.  Every single incumbent needs to go, if we're going to eliminate the networks and cronyism that have contributed to our nation's demise from the bedrock of the global economy to the world's leading manufacturer of paper securities and financial instruments.