Monday, October 31, 2011

A Word about the Mobbies

It's that time of year when the Baltimore Sun trots out their annual Mobbie awards. The awards are, of course, ostensibly to "recognize" Maryland's best bloggers when in actuality it is a cleverly designed marketing tactic in order to shamelessly use free labor to drive up pageviews at baltimoresun.com. And invariably, local bloggers will trip all over themselves to try to drive up their vote totals in some strange vanity exercise.

Red Maryland was nominated for best news blog. And my Twitter feed was nominated for best personal Twitter feed.

However, we're not going to encourage you to vote. If you want to participate, feel free. But we're not going to encourage folks to drive up the Sun's pageviews at our expense. It's an honor to be nominated by our readers yes, but we don't need an award to let us know what we're doing is valuable and important.

So thanks. But no thanks.


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The Broadside 10-31-11

Pre-recorded in front of an undead studio audience, this episode of The Broadside features


Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz screenwriters of Hollywood blockbusters Thor and X-Men: First Class;

Former Indiana Congressman David McIntosh, who is running for office once again in Indiana's 5th district.


Happy Halloween!



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Booing, Booers and Boors of Home Teams -- Gutless Cowards

-- Richard E. Vatz


Years ago at an Orioles' game I was sitting behind home plate, and several rows behind me a Baltimore sportscaster, there as a fan, was booing the Orioles.

Decades earlier, my favorite baseball player of all time, Pittsburgh Pirate star Roberto Clemente, in the midst of a rare mini-slump, was booed at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Clemente is the player after whom Major League Baseball's coveted "Roberto Clemente Award" is named. This award is presented each year to the player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement, and the individual's contribution to his team."

The latter event has had a life-long effect on me, because while I have contempt for fair-weather fans, I literally detest those who boo their home teams' players, unless said players are simply not trying. Ever seen an outfielder lazily jog after a ball hit over his head or a tennis player who has given up? Go ahead: boo him or her. He/she is violating the implicit contract between athlete and fan.

As I have heard booing resound throughout sports stadiums (and other, non-sports environments) over the years, I have noticed some critical explanatory facts (and written on this previously as well): first, the sound of booing makes it seem as if many more people are booing than actually are. I have been to many events -- sports and otherwise -- wherein I heard what seemed to be an entire audience booing, and yet I could not see any particular person doing so. Call it the Law of Disproportionate Booing Volume (LDBV) -- 3-4% of people booing reverberates throughout a stadium, auditorium and most other environments, making it sound as if everyone is doing so, not just the boors. Journalists, never having had Booing 300 in college, report it as "the crowd booed," not realizing that it was a tiny percentage of those in attendance who did so.

Second, when I have seen people I recognize booing their team, they have never been high quality people. O.K., I have on rare occasion booed a fatuous or offensive speaker, but it was always an opponent, never a friend, a teammate, or someone or the representative of something I supported.

I taught my children never to boo their home teams, and I think -- think -- I was successful.

Yesterday, the latest example manifested its ugly self: there was loud booing at the Baltimore Ravens game as the team made serial mistakes in the first half, but there was no lack of effort.

In a Baltimore Sun column by Jeff Zrebiec, Ray Lewis was quoted as saying that he had no problem with the booing because the fans would turn around and cheer when the Ravens "put some points on the board."

Exactly -- booers of home teams are gutless, fair-weather fans.

Let me put it clearly: booing your hometown players -- singly or as a team -- is the refuge of a coward. You usually won't be noticed or called to task, but you are utterly beneath contempt.

And there is a special place in hell for those who boo minors -- any minors.


Prof. Vatz teaches communication at Towson University


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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: Live from MD CAN

Hope you caught our great live broadcast from the Maryland Conservative Action Network Conference down in Annapolis today. And we managed to put together an All-star line up of guests for today's show.

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

LinkJoining us today were:Greg with Congressman Fred Grandy
Like I said, an all-star event today!

Lots of thanks need to go out to the following folks for their assistance:
  • Jim Jamitis
  • Tonya Tiffany
  • Duane Keenan
  • Ted Pibil
This was a great experience, and we're looking forward to doing more remotes in the future!


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RMR is LIVE this morning at MD CAN!

Join us this morning for a very special edition of Red Maryland Radio live from the Maryland Conservative Action Network Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis from 10 am-12 pm. Special guests will include Don Irvine from Accuracy in Media and other conservative and Republican activists from around Maryland.Link

Join us live, or stop by and say hi this morning!


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Friday, October 28, 2011

Jimmy Braswell on the Radio Talking Occupy Baltimore

Jimmy Braswell taped a segment for WFSI, WBGR, and WBMD on the Occupy Baltimore movement this afternoon that will air:

  • WFSI, 107.9 FM: 4am, 12:04pm, and 5:04pm on Thursday
  • WBGR 860AM: 5am, 12 Noon, and 5pm on Saturday
  • WBMD 750AM: at 7:30am, 1pm, and 6pm.
You can listen to a preview here.Link


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American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to Younger Generations: Drop Dead

--Richard E. Vatz

Do you ever meet someone who announces with pride that he or she is "not interested in politics"? It is more often than not a young person.

People who want to take younger generations' money, and to control legislators who can ensure that it happens, are very happy with your lack of interest in politics.

Meet the American Association of Retired Persons, known widely as the AARP, which is ecstatic that you find politics uninteresting and hopes you don't vote, especially if you disagree with them.

They do vote -- around 70% of seniors 65 and older vote, while younger voters vote at about 50%, and around one-third of the youngest cohort of voters (18-24) votes.

So when the newest and most prolific advertisement of the AARP threatens Congress that they had better not cut Social Security or Medicare because seniors vote, they know of where they speak. The warning and justification are not ambiguous: "We are 50 million seniors who earned our benefits, and you will be hearing from us...on election day."

You should not accept the claim that seniors have earned all their "benefits." You should, however, infer that they are serious.

Blackmail is always serious.

Perhaps "blackmail" is too strong a word, if seniors do not realize that most of them will receive in Social Security payments, for example, much more than they ever put in, plus interest. Maybe they don't realize that they are taking money from their children. The AARP never tells them about the zero-sum-game reality of enhancing entitlement strategies.

But at some point they -- we -- have the responsibility to understand this fact. As Michelle Malkin argued in Real Clear Politics earlier this year in support of raising the retirement age to 70, "Americans can no longer feel entitled to some 20 to 30 years of subsidized retirement, often collected over the course of many more years than retirees actually spent paying into the system."

In a landmark article titled "Why are we in this debt fix? It's the elderly, stupid," the excellent Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson punctures one of the major premises of those opposing the cutting of the out-of-control entitlements of senior citizens: the "...mythology...that once people hit 65, most become poor."

Samuelson notes, consistent with this blog's opening argument, that "We have a generation of politicians cowed and controlled by AARP." While estimating that retiree programs including Social Security and Medicare "constitute roughly half of non-interest federal spending," the transfers of income from workers to retirees "unless checked...will sabotage America's future."

So, keep your voting percentages down, young voters, so we can expropriate even more of your money.



--Prof. Richard Vatz is a professor at Towson University


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Red Maryland Radio: Special Edition this Saturday

Join Brian and Greg for a very special edition of Red Maryland Radio live from the Maryland Conservative Action Network Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis from 10 am-12 pm. Special guests will incldue Don Irvine from Accuracy in Media and other conservative and Republican activists from around Maryland.Link

Join us live, or stop by and say hi Saturday morning!



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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 10-27-2011

Hope you caught another great episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight.

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

On this week's show:
All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday nights at 8, on the Red LinkMaryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.


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Red Maryland Radio tonight

Don't forget to join us tonight at 8 for this week's installment of Red Maryland Radio!


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gaffes and Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Unpresidential Tin Ear

--Richard E. Vatz


Gaffes should not be -- and are not usually for candidates with stable support -- consequential when they are singular events; when they become a pattern, they may validly reveal truths about politicians and can destroy their candidacies. (An exception to this formula comes to mind regarding, somewhat ironically, George Romney, Gov. Mitt Romney's father, who said over 40 years ago that he was "brainwashed" by President Lyndon Baines Johnson on the Vietnam War, a comment that effectively ended his presidential aspirations.)

Gov. Rick Perry, whose family's west Texas hunting camp was associated with a rock sporting the offensive term "Niggerhead," whose date of erasure has been in hot debate, referred to Herman Cain as "brother" twice in their October 18 debate, beginning with the condescending "I love you, brother."

Does this mean that he is racist? Of course not, but it does mean that he has a tin ear -- it strikes all of those racially sensitive, not to mention those who are overly racially sensitive, as just inappropriate.

What else?

You don't persist in interrupting your opponent when debate rules require that he be given his one minute to speak. Anyone can make this error, but Perry violated it serially in the Republican presidential debate over a week ago.

What else?

Gov. Perry said two months ago that for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to be "printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion." The "almost" gets lost in public translations, and Perry defended his remark as justified by his being "passionate" about his views.

Sorry, but Bernanke is judgment-challenged and should be replaced; he is not treasonous or "almost treasonous" in his behavior. It is language that can work in a primary, but you make impressions for less rough audiences in less rough primary states, not to mention the general election.

What else?

In interviews with Parade Magazine and MSNBC, Gov. Perry has addressed whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States, an anachronistic issue if there ever were one. He not only offered the non sequitur "Well, I don't have a definitive answer because he's never seen my birth certificate," but then in a real rhetorically suicidal coup de grace said that his (Perry's) questioning the president's birth location constituted "fun to poke at [the president] a little bit."

You may recall, dear reader, the light-hearted fun the president has had with this issue.

Gaffes are often sought and found at too low a threshold -- single events, silly misspoken mistakes and the like.

Gov. Perry's unrepentant gaffes reveal a man unsuited for the presidency.



--Dr. Vatz is professor of political rhetoric at Towson University and author of the just-released The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Red Maryland Radio this week

We have another great episode of Red Maryland Radio this week, starting Thursday at 8. On this week's show:

All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday night at 8, on the Red LinkMaryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.


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The Broadside 10-24-11

Since Braswell and Grayson bagged tonight, watch and listen to last night's episode of The Broadside.


Mark and Andrew talked to Christine Harbin of ALEC about state credit ratings, Tom Firey of CATO and the Maryland Public Policy Institute about the virtue of limited government for a diverse nation, and Phil Kerpen Vice President of Policy at Americans for Prosperity about his book Democracy Denied.



Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio



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No Experience Tonight

Tonight there will be no episode of The Jimmy Braswell Experience; Jimmy is on vacation, Ethan has personal commitments and the rest of us already have our shows. So come back next week for a new episode...


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Monday, October 24, 2011

The Broadside Tonight 7pm

We’ve got a great show lined up for The Broadside tonight at 7pm.

Andrew Langer returns to the cohost chair and will regale us with tales of his family trip to Disney

Christine Harbin of the American Legislative Exchange Council to discuss her piece in Investor’s Business Daily Judging State by their Credit Rating.

Tom Firey, Senior Editor of Regulation Magazine, Maryland Public Policy Institute fellow and Maryland energy market expert, joins us to discuss his recent piece on the virtue of limited government for a diverse nation, and his thoughts on the potential merger of Constellation and Exelon.

Phil Kerpen of American for Prosperity joins us to talk about his new book Democracy Denied

All that and more tonight at 7pm on The Broadside, only on the Red Maryland Network.


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Friday, October 21, 2011

Tuesday's Tea Party Caucus Rally

Here's some snippets of the Tea Party Caucus rally via The Capital News Service.



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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 10-20-2011

Hope you caught another great episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight. On this week's show:

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

  • Delegate Justin Ready joins us to talk about the Special Session and redistricting;

  • Fundraising reports are out for the US Senate Candidates; what do they tell us?

  • Mark Newgent comes back for our NFL picks for the week.

  • Brian, Greg, and Mark discuss State Senator Ulysses Currie and the "Dumbass Defense" that his legal team is using during his corruption trial.

All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday Night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Red Maryland Radio This Week

We have another great episode of Red Maryland Radio this week, starting tomorrow night at 8. On this week's show:

All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday night at 8, on the Red LinkMaryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Republican Debate in Nevada: the Only Presidential Possibility is Gov. Mitt Romney

--Richard E. Vatz

Sorry for those of you who want the perfect candidate, but as was painfully evident tonight in the Republican debate on CNN, Gov. Mitt Romney is the only serious prospective Republican presidential hope. Want to argue that he was too liberal in governing Massachusetts? Stipulated. Want to argue that his health care program in Massachusetts, even conceding its lack of national adoption imperative, is government-controlled and appallingly wasteful (look at its psychiatric coverage -- oy)? Stipulated.

There is a process of elimination that is a practical necessity: Gov. Perry's knowledge of national issues is limited, and his support of illegal immigrants' educational benefits is itself sufficient to squash his chances. He lacks debating instincts when outside of Texas. Tonight he and Gov. Romney fought for the right of speaking time (Gov. Perry was in the wrong -- where was moderator Anderson Cooper?), but this was an unimportant sideshow, unlikely to affect either one's support or opposition.

Michelle Bachmann, a House member, knows her taxes and is no fool -- not enough. Rick Santorum is at 1%, and his claim that only he can be sure to carry Pennsylvania was simply sad; he should not be in these debates, although he is the only one who brings up critical family issues, such as the need to stigmatize voluntarily fatherless families.

Ron Paul is a very bright isolationist and hard conservative whose views are unacceptable to more than a tiny percentage of Americans. Newt Gingrich personifies why intelligence is insufficient to win presidential elections, but when historical governing issues come up in debates, such as President Reagan and the Iranians, he is unsurpassable.

Herman Cain is so likeable and attractive that no one seems to notice that he does not know the details of his own 9-9-9 plan and can only say to substantive criticisms of the plan, "Look at my website." If he weren't so easy on the ears, his consistent dodge of "apples and oranges" would have begun to make him an object of ridicule.

Gov. Romney would not make the best president of all Republicans, perhaps, but he is the only strong and potentially successful candidate in the Republican field.

If Romney does not get the Republican nomination, it will be due to a politically suicidal urge on the part of conservatives.



Prof. Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)


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The Jimmy Braswell Experience: 10/18/11

Just in case you missed The Jimmy Braswell Experience from tonight, Jimmy went to Occupy Baltimore. Hilarity ensues.......

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio










Video streaming by Ustream



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An Explosive Episode of The Jimmy Braswell Experience airs tonight at 8

There will be an explosive episode of The Jimmy Braswell Experience tonight. Yesterday, Jimmy visited Occupy Baltimore, taking his video camera with him and interviewing the occupiers.

The results were....surprising. This episode will have you talking.
Link
Be sure to catch this week's episode, both the radio and video versions of the show. And be sure to listen tonight and every Tuesday night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.


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The Broadside 10-17-11

In case you missed it, another great episode of The Broadside.


Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio




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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Broadside tonight 7pm

Tonight on The Broadside:

We’ve got Delegate Mike Smigiel updating us on the first day of the Maryland General Assembly’s special legislative session on congressional redistricting.

Remember Mike organized a rally in Annapolis on Lawyers Row tomorrow at Noon.

Red Maryland Network stars Brian Griffiths and Mark Newgent will be speaking.

Michael Hoffman the Washington Capitals Examiner will be joining us to talk about the Caps 4-0 start to the season.

Ben Folsom of The Curly R stops by for a talk about the 50th anniversary of RFK Stadium, and the rich history of that venue.

All that and more, tonight on The Broadside 7pm on the Red Maryland Network.


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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Red Maryland Radio: 10-13-2011

Hope you caught another great episode of Red Maryland Radio tonight. On this week's show:

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

  • Brian riffs on Occupy Baltimore.

  • Delegate Tony McConkey joins us to talk about the upcoming Special Session;

  • Democrats complained in the Baltimore Sun about the ineffectiveness of Voter ID laws; but are they truly ineffective?

  • Mark Newgent comes back for our NFL picks for the week.

  • And we have an impromptu roundtable with Brian, Greg, Mark, Jimmy Braswell, and Greg's College Frat Brother on the Occupy Baltimore movement.

All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday Night at 8, on the Red Maryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.


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Red Maryland Radio Tonight

We have another great episode of Red Maryland Radio this week, starting tonight at 8. On this week's show:

  • Delegate Tony McConkey joins us to talk about the upcoming Special Session;

  • Democrats complained in the Baltimore Sun about the ineffectiveness of Voter ID laws; but are they truly ineffective?

  • And Mark Newgent comes back for our NFL picks for the week.
All that and a whole lot more this week. Be sure to listen Thursday night at 8, on the Red LinkMaryland Network.......and don't forget that you can subscribe to the Red Maryland Network on iTunes.


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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In case you missed it....

I was on The Marc Steiner Show yesterday from 5-6, talking redistricting with political consultant Hassan Giordano, professor Michael McDonald, Delege Aisha Braveboy, and Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice. The audio is available at http://www.steinershow.org/files/MSS111011SEG1.mp3.Link

I also taped a segment for WFSI, WBGR, and WBMD on redistricting this afternoon that will air:

  • WFSI, 107.9 FM: 4am, 12:04pm, and 5:04pm on Thursday
  • WBGR 860AM: 5am, 12 Noon, and 5pm on Saturday
  • WBMD 750AM: at 7:30am, 1pm, and 6pm.
You can listen to a preview here.


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The Broadside Episode 2

In case you missed it, the second episode of The Broadside.


Andrew and Mark talk to:

Maryland Reporter's Len Lazarick about redistricting, gay marriage and the MD DREAM Act;

Actress turned activist radio host Janine Turner about Hollywood hypocrisy; and the constitution;

Red Maryland Network president Brian Griffiths pops in to the North Brook studio for a visit.

Mark and Brian admit they've never seen 1776 the musical.

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio

Watch on Ustream


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Jimmy Braswell Experience: 10/11/11

Just in case you missed The Jimmy Braswell Experience from tonight. During which an Occupy Baltimore supporter actually calls into the show. Hilarity ensues.....

Listen to internet radio with redmaryland on Blog Talk Radio










Video streaming by Ustream


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An Excellent Washington Post/Bloomberg News Republican Debate: Romney Wins, But So Do All Republicans and the Country

--Richard E. Vatz




Just a few assorted observations on tonight's Republican debate in New Hampshire:




1. This was a most enjoyable and informative exchange of views under the generally good stewardship of Charlie Rose and journalists who do not think the debate is about condescending questioners whose primary goal is trying to make the candidates look bad. Pay attention, Brian Williams et al.: a political debate is about the marketplace of political ideas that should not be scuttled by self-serving questioners.




2. One lesson about rhetoric theory: if you are assigned to ask one opponent a question, understand that if you are not permitted a rebuttal, the respondent has all the advantages. Republican hopefuls who were champing at the bit to confront Romney witnessed the disproportionate number of hard questions aimed toward him not landing a punch, since there were no follow-ups to his mini-speeches.




3. One consensual wisdom point was correct: Rick Perry needed to fight his way back, and he looked as if his heart wasn't in it. He has no chance to be the Republican nominee for president.




4. Rick Santorum must have some hidden way to put off Pennsylvanians. He was, as always, articulate and telling in his arguments. His bringing up the seminal problem of the vanishing American two-parent family as a major factor of economic distress was critically important, despite its being completely ignored.



5. Huntsman, Bachman, Cain, Gingrich and Paul were all articulate and compelling, but this sentence will soon seem so anachronistic -- they simply haven't a chance. Endorsements historically, as opposed to negative endorsements, have meant little, but Chris Christie's may have sealed the deal for Gov. Romney



6. The emphases throughout the debate on America's youth as the unrepresented victims of the economy, the killing of business confidence by President Obama's hostility to business and support of Obamacare, and his destructive hyper-regulating were utterly convincing. President Obama will be destroyed in a presidential debate, it says here.





This was a tremendous debate, and it is the harbinger of a change in administrations next year.







Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)


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