Season’s Greetings from People Politico

people-politico-obama-family-nov-2011

The presidential holiday letter was released this last weekend in USA Today. The letter was well written and had very little real politics presented in it. Of course there were a few small things but overall it was what you would expect from anyone else in your family. The letter had a quick mention of everyone in the Obama family and what they have been up to. His list of happenings was a bit more extravagant than the rest of us!

Of course, FOX News jumped all over his Thanksgiving Address and this holiday letter. Seriously, can they give it a break for 5 seconds? It is so agonizing how they push to find something wrong with everything. There is something fundamentally wrong with this whole outlook on the world. It comes as no surprise though as FOX news takes the cake for getting things wrong. More on this in another article.

The point is, can’t we all just stop for a while? Let’s take a few breaths and offer each other good will? That is what the holidays are about. We need to keep this poisonous vitriol out of this time of the year, at least out of the Season’s Greetings. We are all American’s aren’t we? Can’t we be civil enough to reflect on the good things in life and wish the same for each other? Who knows, we might actually surprise ourselves and find out we can get along after all.

If we learned to get along with one another, we could learn to actually get some things done in America. If we could use this idea of peace and good will towards each other we might have a shot at tackling some of the issues at hand.

For now, take a step back and remember why we celebrate this time of year. Why we should look to each other with empathetic and kind eyes. Keep peace and good will at the forefront, and it might just become a habit.

Here is a snippet of the Presidential Family’s holiday letter.

On behalf of the entire Obama family, I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season. For us, the holidays are a chance to eat some good food, sing some holiday songs (occasionally out of tune), affirm our faith, and spend time with the family and friends who make our lives so blessed.

It can be strange, living in the White House. After all, every time my family piles into the car, Secret Service piles in with us. But there at the Memorial, as we held hands in silence, we were just another American family. We felt the way I hope you feel, as you celebrate the holidays: surrounded by the ones we love, confident in the promise of tomorrow, and blessed to live in this great country.

Read the entire letter here: The Obama Holiday Letter

So have a happy and good natured holiday season. Wish those around you good health and good living. Use this time to reflect on what we have, what we can offer and how we treat one another. It never is the time to focus on the worst of us, but doing so is nearly blasphemous during this time of the year.

From our hearts to yours, your family, your friends, and your loved ones, have a happy holiday season from PeoplePolitico.com.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Political Book Deals

government-buildingThe flurry of holiday shopping is underway and now is a great time to stock up on all those great political books you have seen through the year.

With the presidential election coming up here in 2012 it is time to make sure you are up to date on all of the hot topics of today.

With the horrible state of our politics, the misrepresentation in much of our news, and emotional tempers running hot, it is hard to have a clear, objective look at the political layout of today.

Along with reading the papers, surfing the online news sites and watching both network and cable news it can’t hurt to back up your political ideals through the wide variety of great political books as well. The more sources you gather your political information from the better. We as people are able to sort out the facts from fiction when we have enough information from enough sources. With this bounty of real and factual information we can make truly good choices when it comes to election time and our decisions on politics.

Our political systems works so hard to manipulate the voters instead of educating voters. That is why it is up to you to be sure that you remain truly educated on the political topics of the day.

Barnes and Nobel is having some great deals this Black Friday. They are also planning on some great blowout prices come Cyber Monday. Use the link below to get 50% off the books and other political media that suits your needs.

Barnes&Noble.com

Grab some great deals this holiday season!

Once you are done reading these make sure to pass them around your friends and family. Ask them to share what political books and media they have as it can only help everyone increase their understanding of our incredibly complex and dysfunctional politico environment.

2012 Presidential Debates have been Scheduled

people-politico-president-barack-obama-debatingThe Presidential Debates have been scheduled for 2012. They are scheduled to be in October over a series of three debates to be held in Colorado, New York and in Florida.

2012 Presidential Debates

  • 1st Presidential Debate is on October 3rd at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado.
  • 2nd Presidential Debate is on October 16th at the Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
  • 3rd Presidential Debate is on October 22ndat the Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

2012 Vice Presidential Debate

  • On October 11th at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
The Debater's Guide

The Debater's Guide

The formats have yet to be decided but will be announced in the beginning of 2012. The moderators will be announced sometime in the summer of 2012.

Whoever the GOP candidate ends up being they need to make sure they prepare and practice for these upcoming Presidential Debates. If the last few GOP debates are any indication of what the Presidential Debates will be like they are at a sore disadvantage against President Barack Obama. President Obama who has proven to be a very talented and quick thinking debate opponent.

Tweet the Super Committee the Peoples Will

older-womanSo this has seemed to fade into the news cycle somewhere but a huge and potentially country changing decision is looming in near future. What will be the Super Committee’s decision and/or suggestions going to be to our current financial crisis? Will the Super Committee be able to craft a solution that satisfies both the Democrats, Republicans and the American People?

The hope is that they will have some ingenious solution to make our pains go away. The hope is that they will bridge their differences and come up with an all-encompassing compromise that will make us all do our fair share.

The reality is that they are very unlikely to come up with anything of substance at all unless we speak up.

With the very idea of compromise seeming to be a bad word in Washington recently. Compromise and working together is openly shunned. It is unlikely that anything real will happen. The current political strategies of obstructionism are wreaking havoc on our country, our government and most notably the people of the United States of America. We are all suffering because of the quagmire of politics right now.

We have seen in recent days that the voice of the people can make a difference should we shout out loud enough.

Stand Up For Healthcare has created a handy little tool to help you get a list of your representatives and their twitter accounts. There is currently a campaign now to inundate our representatives with what the people really want through Twitter in hopes that they will actually represent us and provide what we ask for.

I hope all of you use the tool provided below to make your voice heard. We the people are being systematically silenced but we can use the tools of today to keep out voice. Use yours.

 http://www.standupforhealthcare.org/tweet

What Does Our Government Do?

What does our government do?

What does our government do? I think lots of people do not realize all of the things government does. I fore on take for granted all of the things our government does.

How we love to hate our government. Have you really stopped to think about what our government actually does for us? Here is an incomplete list of 100 things of what our government does, or has done, for the American people.

What Does Our Government Do?

 

100 Things Government Does For Americans

 

Air Force

 

Army

 

Art Galleries

 

Automobile Licensing

 

Automobile Safety

 

Bill of Rights

 

Business Incorporation

 

Border Protection

 

Coal Energy & Subsidies

 

College

 

Computer Research and Development

 

Congress

 

Constitution

 

Countless Innovations for Everyday Life

 

Courthouses

 

Disaster Assistance

 

Disaster Recovery

 

Early Childhood Services

 

Elementary Schools

 

Environmental Protection

 

Export Trade

 

Fair Business Practices

 

Financial Aid

 

Fire Fighters

 

Fire Fighting

 

First Time Home Buyer

 

Flood Management

 

Food Safety

 

Food Stamps

 

Foreign Affairs

 

Foster Care

 

Free Media

 

Fresh Water

 

Gas Energy & Subsidies

 

Global Positioning System

 

Grants

 

Health Care

 

Health Standards

 

High Schools

 

Highways

 

Homeownership Assistance

 

Housing Assistance

 

Hydropower

 

Import Trade

 

Independent News

 

Internet

 

Jailhouses

 

Judicial System

 

Land Management

 

Law Creation

 

Law Enforcement

 

Librarians

 

Libraries

 

Living Standards

 

Marines

 

Medical Safety

 

Medicare

 

Memorials

 

Mental Health

 

Middle Schools

 

Museums

 

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

 

National Defense

 

National Guard

 

National Parks

 

National Security

 

Navy

 

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

 

NPR (National Public Radio)

 

Oil Energy & Subsidies

 

PBS (Public Broadcasting Station)

 

Personal Protection

 

Police Officers

 

Power Research and Development

 

Preschools

 

Prisons

 

Product Safety

 

Protecting Our Liberties

 

Public Schools

 

Railroads

 

Rescue Workers

 

Roads

 

School Teachers

 

Senate

 

Sewage Treatment

 

Smithsonian Institute

 

Social Security

 

Solar Power

 

Special Needs Assistance

 

State Parks

 

Student Aid

 

Student Loans

 

Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment

 

Unemployment Insurance

 

Unemployment Job Assistance

 

United States Postal Service

 

Weather Satellites

 

Wind Energy & Subsidies

 

Youth Development

 

Zoos

This is far from a complete list of what our government does. This was simply meant to get us to stop and think about “What does our government do?” It does a lot, nobody can argue that fact.

Feel free to post in the comments below. Did you think of any other important things about “What does our government do?” Please post your additions below.

Politics of Regulation on Retirement

people-politico-penny-pileRegulations: Ask different people what this word means to them and you will get a lot of different answers. Some will say regulations are an absolute necessity in our society, and some will treat the word like a swear word, saying regulation ruins innovation and stymies growth. However, those views may change drastically when the topic is drilled down to certain kinds of regulations. So instead of trying to talk about all regulations, it’s best to narrow the subject down to regulation of a specific type. Only then can we have an intellectual discussion about the topic.

Today we are going to look into regulations surrounding retirement funds and pensions in private companies. These benefits are often seen as one of the best benefits in privately owned companies. However, retirement and pensions are more and more often being sacrificed in tough economic times. But the upper management and CEOs of some private corporations may be using the recession as an excuse to force workers to give up their retirement benefits and pensions in order to pad their own retirement savings and company profits.

We have to remember that much of the purpose of a corporation is to make money, so it isn’t surprising, but it is appalling, to think that these private corporations can so easily take money from the retirement funds of their most loyal workers and use it for their own gain. This is a benefit that was promised to workers at the prime of their careers to help them plan for a time when they would retire after putting in many long years with a company. Corporations take advantage of a series of loopholes that are little known to the public to pull this money, meant for their work force, and convert it into “profit” for themselves. We don’t say bank robbers are not stealing, they are profiting by seizing the money of a bank, so why can these companies get away with it? Even when they cannot directly shovel cash out of your retirement, there are other means for them to force you to freeze or reduce your benefits while increasing their own benefits dramatically.

 

Retirement Heist

Stop the plunder of American hard work.

The WorldCom and Enron scandals both come immediately to mind with this type of action. However, there are thousands of other corporations that have done the same thing. Apparently after WorldCom and Enron, the media has decided “this is just how things are”. This is insane! “This is how it is” never, ever, justifies inaction to change. These types of horrible injustices will continue if we allow them to continue because of our own apathy.

It seems that these are no longer stories on the front page because this is how business is run in America. Business practices that involve taking from the workers and giving ridiculous amounts of money to the CEO is apparently what a small investment in elected officials will get you. The workers themselves have become a source of income for the upper tier of the corporation. Employees don’t get raises; they do not get more benefits and the benefits they do have already gained are being taken away. The workers get less and less while the upper tiers of these corporations get more and more. The employees have to take it because the job market is so terrible they know they have to be content with having steady employment.

 

But using people like this is amoral. This is ghastly. This is inexcusable.

This is why we need regulations regarding a company’s pension and retirement plans. These plans need to have protection and oversight or they will continue to be abused. Deregulation of pension and retirement plans was pitched as a benefit for the workers. Deregulation has been sold as a way to ensure the safety and security of the American people and the workforce. In fact, deregulation has destabilized the American work force, bringing uncertainty not only to those who are employed by companies that cannibalize their workers’ retirement funds, but to the majority of the American workforce. It has created a corporate environment where the American worker is forced to scrape by on stagnant wages, failing retirement and pension plans, and an unstable job market, while corporate coffers fill with the wages of American workers’ hard earned money. The upmost tiers of these corporations enjoy “profits” that are supposed to be our retirements while they themselves are being guaranteed ludicrously large sums of money in their retirement, and in some cases, even if they are fired for gross negligence!

If there is any hope to bring the American people back to a place where they can look forward to retirement, and can be assured of the pensions they have been promised for their entire lives, we must rip open this scandalous behavior and force regulations back into this area of business. We can no longer allow our hard earned money to be gambled away or stolen from us.

Share this with your friends, families and co-workers. You deserve to retire with your promised pension after a lifetime of hard work. You deserve to have the security that you will be taken care of when you most need it. You deserve confidence that a lifetime of work will be for your own prosperity, not another’s.

Time for a Third Political Option

people-politico-steps-government-buildingI was raised in a staunchly Democratic household with Democratic generational roots in Northern Indiana. I grew up supporting Democratic policies and candidates and looking down on Republicans as backwards and not out for the middle class. I even said many times while living in Northern Ireland that “I will not move back to the States if that country-bumpkin Bush gets elected.” I did, however, eventually move back to the US on September first 2001. I watched the horror that seized the nation ten days later and then watched helplessly as the Bush’s two terms pass. During that tenure, I watched as civil rights and liberties were diminished, an ill-fated war be waged based on faulty intelligence (against a country that had nothing to do with September 11th), torture and abduction become acceptable, national debt skyrocket while more and more money is poured into our military industrial complex, and finally a the crash of the entire financial system. The tide of fear that gripped the nation left no room for any form of decent against what was happening for fear of being labeled unpatriotic or worse yet, a terrorist. In my mind and in my conversations, I had one nice and neat place to lay the blame…BUSH and his Republican cronies.

Does the U.S. Two-Party System Still Work

Does the U.S. Two-Party System Still Work?

I was filled with the “hope” and “change” that swept the Democrat Barack Obama into office and looked forward to congress being held by the Democrats as well. Things will change, they have to get better, I thought. As the dust settled and the Obama presidency got underway, I watched again helplessly as more and more Bush policies were adopted, as a healthcare bill was written by the insurance companies, as more troops die in both wars, and every effort seems to be made to compromise towards a “Republican platform” on social programs. Then one day as I was thinking about the state of our nation, I thought to myself, “What would I think if this were a Republican president?” I came to the realization that neither party has my interests at heart, neither party is willing to make the hard decisions on difficult challenges facing our country with both parties willingly perpetuating problems for political gain. No longer can I support the Democratic Party. I now believe that there is only one “hope” for our country and that is to break the two party strangle-hold that has established its permanent place of power and make our government much more transparent and working for us. We need to return to a point to where the government is the servant of its citizens and no longer its citizens being indentured servants of the government. I do not believe that can or will happen under this two party system.

Republicans Win America Loses

people-politico-credit-cardsI wonder how the Republicans in Congress can look at themselves in the mirror today, after the mockery they’ve made of themselves, our country, and our allies in the world. In the last few years we know the majority of Republicans in the House and Senate have become uncompromising zealots, crippling the government and our democracy as a whole, blocking any sort of American progress for the sake of their own agenda, instead of representing the will of the people.

Preaching change and fresh ideas, newer Republicans achieved great gains and even took over control of the House of Representatives during the midterm election. They did not make enough gains to actually push their own agenda, but to bring our legislative process to a halt.

Why would elected representatives of the American people want to throw a wrench in the works? John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, openly states he will do whatever he can to undermine, undercut and ruin Barack Obama’s presidency. Besides being a traitorous and horribly un-American thing to say, it shows his unwillingness to do his actual job: working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle in order to keep the government running, adapt it to changing issues, and work to improve America.

The Republicans have spent the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency working their hardest to block, stop and oppose any legislation that was proposed. In fact, they’ve spoken out against legislation that was originally introduced by Senator John McCain, Barack Obama’s political opponent in the 2008 election, because President Obama endorsed it! A large piece of the healthcare overhaul was legislation that McCain actually originally introduced during President Clinton’s administration. President Obama has spent so much time trying to work with the Republicans and has compromised so much on key issues that the majority of Americans wanted that his own party is frustrated with him. And instead of being grateful for a President that bends over backward to work with Congress, the Republicans act like a spoiled child who has just learned to say “no”. They say NO at any and every opportunity they have because they can, not because they should.

It is amazing the Republican hate for President Obama runs so deep that it surpasses their love of America and its people’s well being.

Now we are embroiled in a political quagmire. Republicans have irrationally held onto the idea that it is unfathomable to put an end to unreasonable tax breaks and loop holes, even when the current economic climate calls for such action. They have been asked not to raise taxes, but simply to put an end to the breaks the wealthy and corporations enjoyed when the economy was thriving. Instead they would prefer to gut the social programs that help to keep the foundation of America from crumbling. Programs that Americans realized they needed after the Great Depression. They refuse to even consider renegotiating the prescription drug plan that has caused Medicare costs to skyrocket. Instead, the pharmaceutical companies can still charge us more than anyone else for the same drugs. However, they insist we need to cut trillions out of other areas of Medicare. Instead of fixing the part of the system that was broken from the start (non-negotiable drug costs), and is the biggest expense in Medicare (more than 3 times what other countries pay even though they are created in America); they want to continue to allow private companies to rake in our tax dollars, but strip down benefits for our veterans, parents, and grandparents and any disabled Americans.

The healthcare “debate” is just one of the many ludicrous examples of the insanity that has spread like a cancer throughout our political system. They do not even try to hide their intentions of destroying people, parties and lives anymore.

They don’t care about citizens. If there was any doubt, there should be none now.

Standards and Poor’s has lowered the United States of America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+ with both short term and long term outlooks being set to negative.

This is ghastly. This is horrible. This is one more ultimate embarrassment forced upon the American people in the name of the Republican agenda.

It is impossible to know for certain what kind of repercussions this will have for the people of America because this has never before happened in the history of America. Never. Ever.

Economists are scrambling to give some kind of forecast: economic slowdown, increased unemployment, a rise in interest rates. What will happen when the credit worthiness and trust in an entire nation drops? What happens when all of the citizens of a nation experience their debt burden increase, during a fragile economic recovery? This move could bring about changes lasting decades.

Economic Outlook and Fiscal Policy Choices

Economic Outlook and Fiscal Policy Choices

This is what the Republicans have chosen to do. Raising the debt ceiling is one of the more trivial things our government must do. It has been raised 74 times in the last 50 years. That means it has been raised more than once a year, on average. Presidents Bush and Reagan raised the debt ceiling many times, because not doing it would have been disastrous. Now, with the cost of and the interest of the wars they started during the Bush years mounting, with the tax breaks given at the same time cutting down revenue, this one thing has suddenly become a key issue?

This was an unprecedented opportunity for a group of politicians to take advantage of the situation and deal a terrible blow to America, in order to blame the fallout on the current President. They hope to pin this ridiculous insanity on President Obama and the democrats and hope that the American people will somehow forget who dealt us this horrible injury.

They believe they are patriots fighting for what is right, if it is the Republican view. If it isn’t, damn those that disagree and damn those that get in the crossfire.

I believe an American patriot is one that is selfless, and who will do what is best for our country.

I believe an America patriot is one that has the personal fortitude to put aside differences and treat America with dignity.

I believe an American patriot is one who understands that compromise, and doing the right thing, leads to a better America.

My fellow Americans, the horrible circus we just saw from the Republicans regarding the debt ceiling was watched by the world and they did not like what they see.

I do not like what I see.

Thank your Republicans for making a mockery out of your life, your home and you country, for bringing America to a new low. Thank them come next election, by not forgetting what has happened. Thank them by booting them out of office.

Sources

Standrad and Poors Report

General Information on Debt Ceiling

 

Do People Need to Reevaluate the American Dream?

people-politico-flag-cloudsI’m not talking ’bout rich, I’m talking ’bout wealth.
-Chris Rock

Average American people don’t understand the difference between being rich and being wealthy.

Rich is the guy who won the lotto. It happens. It could happen to you. It is not bloody likely, but it could. Wealth… doesn’t just happen to people. It almost impossible to create wealth. It is highly unlikely you will ever create a business that is so successful that you create wealth. The odds are worse than the lotto. Billions of times worse.

Bill Gates did it. He founded a company that revolutionized the business world. Sam Walton did it. He revolutionized the way we shop. Rockefeller did it. He revolutionized steel. Now, look at you. You aren’t going to revolutionize anything. You, Average Joe, are average. The wealthy are attending seminars on how to expand their wealth to take care of their 5th generation. Think about that. If the average person has two kids, then those kids have two kids, we are talking about people who are planning to have enough wealth to have their family of 64 live in lap of luxury for their entire lives. And guess what, these are not the first generation wealthy either. By the time you get that far down the line none of them have earned anything. The more you think about it the more the entire concept of a meritocracy loses water. And do not be fooled, that is exactly what people are being sold; the concept of meritocracy.

You are being sold the idea of “to each according to their merit”, and that is a false statement. That is like saying “everything in the world is fair”. It is just not true. You determine your own self worth, and that has little to no bearing on your financial status. In the grand scheme of things you are average. Most of us are. Billions of us are.

The thing is there is nothing wrong with being average. There is nothing wrong with striving to be better than average either, it is a noble goal. Most of the unwashed masses never even try. But it is a fascinating personality trait that would simultaneously make someone so arrogant that they believe they can break free of the pack, be that one in a billion, yet possess such low self esteem to believe that they deserve their lot in life no matter how bad that lot may be. And they will accept that lot in life no matter how easy it would be to improve. It is as simple as voting for the other guys. It is as easy as reevaluating what is important. But they will cling to the idea that they are exceptional no matter how statistically impossible that achievement may be.

The sooner Americans understand that rich happens by luck (like having some athletic, musical, or acting talent, or by winning the lotto) and that wealth is engineered through generation after generation of careful planning or by revolutionizing the world, the sooner Americans will do more to help each other. But I don’t see it happening because the lie is so entrenched.

“What is that lie” you ask? The lie is American Exceptionalism. For generations we have been told that we are special just for being born in America. President Obama has even been widely criticized for not promoting the concept as broadly as previous presidents. But the concept is faulty. There was a time when America truly was exceptional. When anyone, no matter who you were, where you came from, or your family’s financial status, could and often would achieve the American Dream. But that time was long ago when the American Dream was as simple as owning a home, being your own person, and living a life better than the previous generation. The American Dream itself has been distorted to fit this view of American Exceptionalism. The new American Dream is to be a rock star or movie god. To live the life depicted on MTV Cribs, or Keeping up with the Kardashian’s. But that life is statistically unobtainable. If you return to what the American Dream once was and simply try to live a better life than you had growing up you will see how flawed the whole system really is.

What made American exceptional in the past was how we reacted in the worst of times. It is what we did for our fellow Americans, what we did for each other, that led us to win two World Wars. It was working together that got us through the Great Depression. It was the will to achieve together that put a man on the moon. It was never what we did in the best of times that defined us, but what we did in the worst of times. Now is one of those times, and everyone needs to reevaluate where they stand; with the rest of America, or alone trying to achieve the lie.

Facts vs. Belief

government-buildingI would find it amusing were it not so appalling that people support the idea that the struggles between Democrats and Republicans are simply matters of belief. These problems are a matter of facts. Republicans ran on a platform of jobs and the economy. Since taking office in January the Republican led House of Representatives has rallied behind social issue after social issue while doing everything in their power to make sure taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans were kept at record lows.

It is a fact that corporations are sitting on some of the largest stockpiles of cash in American history. It is a fact that the wealthiest 4% of Americans have an effective tax rate lower than the 1950s and lower than the vast majority of their fellow citizens today. It is a fact that those who the Republicans have deemed “job creators” are doing very, very well despite the perceived economic climate when, in fact, very few jobs have been created. It is also a fact that if we do not raise the debt ceiling we will only worsen our economic climate. In fact, the Republicans (who I will remind you controlled the White House and both houses in Congress for six years) raised the debt ceiling ten times. Ten times they raised it, and now they are playing politics with the one time when it looks imperative that we raise it again.

The Suffering American People

The fact is most Americans are suffering. Why aren’t our Republican friends worried about tax breaks for the 90%? Our roads and bridges are crumbling. Why aren’t our Republican friends talking about improving America’s infrastructure? We are paying 20-40% to export our goods to countries like India and China, while only charging them 2-4% to import them to America. Why aren’t our Republican friends concerned about trade inequity?

Rep. Jared Polis actually proposed legalizing and taxing online gambling and marijuana as a solution. Why aren’t all solutions being considered? Why do we have to have things one way or the other? Why can’t we have spending cuts AND tax increases? Surely if one of these solutions will get us out of our current financial situation, utilizing all of them will get us out faster.

While it is not a fact, I think that both parties have failed us. Unfortunately we do not have a strong 3rd party. Until we do we must vote for the “lesser of two evils” so to speak. If you take out your own long held political beliefs, look at the facts, remember that social issues are not really in the realm of a limited government, and vote for who actually has a plan and agenda to help you, then you will very clearly know who falls into the “greater of the two evils” category.

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