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America’s Elite Thinks it Has a Divine Right to Rule the World

America’s Elite Thinks it Has a Divine Right to Rule the World

undefinedAmerica’s ruling class has a curious attitude to democracy. It seems to be interpreted as something that’s good for the US and its allies but bad for critters who won’t accept their role in the “America-led international order.”First off, let me be clear. I think all foreign electoral interference is wrong. In any country. And if it’s eventually proven that Russians meddled in America’s 2016 presidential election, I certainly won’t condone it. But I’ve have always doubted that the Russian state organized some heinous plan to tilt the contest to Donald Trump, so I’ll be shocked if something of this nature is ever proven.

Instead, I’ve always imagined the greatest extent of Russian “interference” was probably some half-baked playing around by private individuals. Something akin to a “social media marketing campaign,” as the New Yorker’s Adrian Chan believes. And on a relatively minute scale, to boot. Because – given the billions of dollars swirling around American stumping – anything bar a full-scale FSB/GRU, all-hands-on-deck operation would probably amount to little more than a hill of beans.

By the same token, I was stunned back in 2011 when the Moscow Times (a pro-US title, overwhelmingly written by Westerners, despite its name) reported how ex-vice president Joe Biden had told fringe Russian opposition figures that “it would be better for Russia if Putin did not run” in the 2012 election. Indeed, when you see the opprobrium directed today towards US Green leader Jill Stein for once attending an RT banquet where Putin was present, its shows one hell of a double standard.

Distant View

Being relatively new to Russia in those days, and far from Moscow, it also seemed bizarre when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a “full investigation” of alleged irregularities in 2011’s parliamentary elections. 
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The U.S. Returns to ‘Great Power Competition,’ With a Dangerous New Edge

The U.S. Returns to ‘Great Power Competition,’ With a Dangerous New Edge

navy-guam-us-military-base

A U.S. aircraft carrier pulls into port at Guam. (Photo: U.S. Navy / Flickr)

The Trump administration’s new National Defense Strategy is being touted as a sea change in U.S. foreign policy — a shift from the “war on terrorism” to “great power competition,” a line that would not be out of place in the years leading up to World War I.

But is the shift really a major course change, or a re-statement of policies followed by the last four administrations?

The U.S. has never taken its eyes off its big competitors.

It was President Bill Clinton who moved NATO eastwards, abrogating a 1991 agreement with the Russians not to recruit former members of the Warsaw Pact that is at the root of current tensions with Moscow. And, while the U.S. and NATO point to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea as a sign of a “revanchist” Moscow, it was NATO that set the precedent of altering borders when it dismembered Serbia to create Kosovo after the 1999 Yugoslav war.

It was President George W. Bush who designated China a “strategic competitor,” and who tried to lure India into an anti-Chinese alliance by allowing New Delhi to violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Letting India purchase uranium on the international market — it was barred from doing so by refusing to sign the NPT — helped ignite the dangerous nuclear arms race with Pakistan in South Asia.

And it was President Barack Obama who further chilled relations with the Russians by tacitly backing the 2014 coup in the Ukraine, and whose “Asia pivot” has led to tensions between Washington and Beijing.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russiaphobia Is Out of Control

Russiaphobia Is Out of Control

As has been made perfectly clear, Mueller’s “indictment” of 13 Russians and 3 companies is just another hoax. See: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/16/result-muellers-investigation-nothing/ and: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html

All Mueller has found is a bait-click commercial marketing scheme that had nothing to do with election interference.

Why is Mueller comfortable bringing a transparently false indictment?

The answer is, as Glenn Greenwald makes clear ( https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/a-consensus-emerges-russia-committed-an-act-of-war-on-par-with-pearl-harbor-and-911-should-the-u-s-response-be-similar/ ) that Mueller knows there are large numbers of warmongering politicians and media whores who will seize on the fake indictment as proof that Russia has “committed an act of war equivalent to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.” The fact that what Mueller has indicted is only a bait-click marketing scheme will never be mentioned by politicians and presstitutes shouting the military/security complex’s slogan that “Russia must be punished.”

Greenwald supplies the names of some of these reckless and irresponsible people who are willing to bring on war with their rants: politicians Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Jeanne Shaheen, Jerry Nadler, Marco Rubio—indeed almost all of Congress—Clinton aides such as Philippe Reines and John Podesta, and the legions of presstitutes such as Karen Tumulty, David Frum, Chuck Todd, Tom Friedman—indeed, the entirety of the print and TV media with the exceptions of Tucker Carlson and Pat Buchanan.

When a country armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and overwhelmed by its own exceptionalism and indispensability has political and media lunatics equating a bait-click commercial marketing scheme with Pearl Harbor, that country is a recipe for the end of the world.

Note: Two presstitutes at Bloomberg, Lauren Etter and Ilya Arkhipov think that filming disadvantaged Americans in order to cast the US in a bad light is the same as interfering in the presidential election, and they think that a Russian food caterer is heading a Russian disinformation campaign. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-21/how-putin-s-cook-fed-america-s-appetite-for-disinformation?cmpid=BBD022118_BIZ&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=180221&utm_campa

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Risking Major Escalation, Trump Weighs Killing Of Russian Fighters In Syria As Sign Of “Tough Stance” Toward Putin

In the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s indictment against 13 Russian “operatives” for meddling with the US presidential election, President Trump has been under fire for lashing out at everyone… except Russia. So, in response, Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration is weighing citing the deaths of more than 200 Russian fighters – or rather mercenaries – in Syria, who were killed following US strikes on February 7, as an example of Trump’s tough stance toward Russia.

Recall that last week, “more than 200 mercenaries, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base and refinery held by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region” In terms of total body count, the U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured; while Russia admitted that Russians were killed, it said the number was five and denied that the men killed were officially sanctioned Russian troops.

It is this attack that Trump hopes to use as proof of his administration’s determination to show a “hard line” stance toward Putin.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made an oblique reference to “an incident” as she argued that President Donald Trump has been tougher on Russia than his predecessor Barack Obama. And, according to Bloomberg, she was alluding to the Syria battle – an episode which as we suggested last week threatened to further deteriorate relations with Moscow, as it would put the onus on Putin to respond to what Trump will deem an official Russian provocation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russiagate Isn’t About Trump, And It Isn’t Even Ultimately About Russia 

Russiagate Isn’t About Trump, And It Isn’t Even Ultimately About Russia 

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes recently asked a question of his Twitter following that was so heavily loaded it wouldn’t be permitted on most interstate highways: “Aside from genuine cranks, is there anyone left denying it was the Russians that committed criminal sabotage in the American election?”

Hayes asked this fake question because he works for MSNBC and it is therefore his job, and he asked it in response to a report first made viral by deranged espionage LARPer Eric Garland that a Dutch intelligence agency had been observing Russian hackers attacking US political parties in advance of the 2016 election. Like all “bombshell” Russiagate reports, this one roared through social media like wildfire carried on the wings of liberal hysteria about the current administration, only to be exposed as being riddled with gaping plot holes as documented here by independent journalist Suzie Dawson. The report revolves around an allegedly Russian cyber threat now known in the west as “Cozy Bear”, which as Real NewsMax Blumenthal notesis not a network of hackers but “a Russian-sounding name the for-profit firm Crowdstrike assigned to an APT to market its findings to gullible reporters desperate for Russiagate scoops.”

This “bombshell” overlapped with another as it was reported by the New York Times that at one point many months ago Trump had wanted to fire Robert Mueller, but then didn’t.

*Cough.*

Why does this keep happening? Why does the public keep getting sold a mountain of suspicion with zero substance? Over and over and over again these “bombshell” stories come out about Trump and Russia, Russia and Trump, only to be debunked, retracted, or erased from the spotlight after people start actually reading the allegations and thinking critically about them and see they’re not the shocking bombshells they purport to be?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

EIA USA Reserve Estimates

EIA USA Reserve Estimates

EIA reserve estimates for USA for 2016 have been issued (a couple of months later than usual). The numbers they provide are ‘proven’ reserves of crude, condensate and natural gas.

chart/

The data is provided directly by the E&Ps with some adjustments made by EIA for missing numbers. The data show reserves for the end of a given year, plus the reasons for change over the year: basically discoveries, production, revisions and sales. Until 2015 EIA had different categories for discovery (essentially a new reservoir, although there may be new pockets in existing freservoir) and extension (an increase in the area of an existing field). Recently most of this category has been extensions to LTO fields (i.e. an increase in the expected economic drainage area of a play). This year the reporting has changed so all discoveries and extensions are reported as a single figure and I’ve shown only this sum for previous years too. I have summed revision gains and losses plus adjustments to give a net number, and similarly for sales and acquisitions.

This year the data include non-producing reserves. I don’t know for sure if this is new but I haven’t noticed it before and can’t find any history for previous years. ‘Non-producing’ may mean reserves behind wells that are offline (e.g. are uncompleted, for maintenance or because of lack of processing or transport capacity); or that have real development plans for their production (typically starting within the next five years according to SEC rules, although for large, long cycle conventional projects the time can be extended). The undeveloped values for 2016 are shown on each chart.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Deep State and the FBI – Federal Blackmail Investigation

Deep State and the FBI – Federal Blackmail Investigation

Deep State and the FBI – Federal Blackmail Investigation

It’s hilariously naive how mainstream American news media feign an air of disdain concerning accusations of impropriety by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the last presidential elections.

Allegations that senior ranks of the FBI were involved in “dirty tricks” to fix the 2016 presidential vote in favor of Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton – potentially highly criminal conduct – are treated as if such allegations are scurrilous distractions thrown up by the Trump White House or Republican supporters.

When President Donald Trump has alluded to FBI collusion with the previous Obama Democrat administration to destroy his election campaign, or when Republican congressmen released a secret memo earlier this month also suggesting Deep State dirty tricks, there were gasps of disdain among major news media. Outlets like the New York Times and CNN affected a sanctimonious air that such allegations were contemptible slurs against the honor of the Feds – the nation’s top law-enforcement agency.

“Don’t dare impugn the reputation of our law officers,” is the attitude. Former FBI director James Comey – who was fired by Trump – is held up as a paragon of civic duty and squeaky-clean conduct. So too is Robert Mueller, a previous FBI chief who is carrying out a probe into alleged Russian collusion during the last election.

Of course, those media outlets would prefer to keep the focus on allegations of Russian interference in the US elections and supposed Kremlin collusion with the Trump campaign that somehow got him into the White House. That media bias is partly to do with their current political affiliation with Democrats and supposedly liberal politics.

Even though, after more than a year of constant, saturated media coverage on the so-called Russiagate story there is an embarrassing paucity of any supporting evidence.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fed President Sounds Panic Over Level Of US Debt

Nearly a decade after the US unleashed its biggest debt-issuance binge in history, made possible only thanks to the Fed’s monetization of nearly $4 trillion in deficits (and debt issuance), the Fed is starting to get nervous about the (un)sustainability of the US debt.

The Federal Reserve should continue to raise U.S. interest rates this year in response to faster economic growth fueled by recent tax cuts as well as a stronger global economy, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said on Wednesday.

“I believe the Federal Reserve should be gradually and patiently raising the federal funds rate during 2018,” Kaplan said in an essay updating his views on the economic and policy outlook.

“History suggests that if the Fed waits too long to remove accommodation at this stage in the economic cycle, excesses and imbalances begin to build, and the Fed ultimately has to play catch-up.” The Fed is widely expected to raise rates three times this year, starting next month.

Kaplan, who does not vote on Fed policy this year but does participate in its regular rate-setting meetings, did not specify his preferred number of rate hikes for this year. But he warned Wednesday that falling behind the curve on rate hikes could make a recession more likely.

Echoing the recent Goldman analysis, warning that the recently implemented budget could lead to an “unsustainable” debt load, Kaplan – who previously worked for Goldman – also had some cautionary words about the Trump administration’s recent tax overhaul, which he said would help lift U.S. economic growth to 2.5% to 2.75% this year, pushing the U.S. unemployment rate, now at 4.1% down to 3.6% by the end of 2018.

On the all important issue of inflation, he projected it would firm this year on route to the Fed’s 2-percent goal.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. Empire Still Incoherent After All These Years

U.S. Empire Still Incoherent After All These Years 

Exclusive: Without solid economic, political and ideological bases, the U.S. lacks the legitimacy and authority it needs to operate beyond its borders, argues Nicolas J.S. Davies in this essay.


I recently reread Michael Mann’s book, Incoherent Empire, which he wrote in 2003, soon after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Mann is a sociology professor at UCLA and the author of a four-volume series called The Sources of Social Power, in which he explained the major developments of world history as the interplay between four types of power: military, economic, political, and ideological.

In Incoherent Empire, Mann used the same framework to examine what he called the U.S.’s “new imperialism” after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. He predicted that, “The American Empire will turn out to be a military giant; a back-seat economic driver; a political schizophrenic; and an ideological phantom.”

What struck me most forcefully as I reread Incoherent Empire was that absolutely nothing has changed in the “incoherence” of U.S. imperialism.  If I picked up the book for the first time today and didn’t know it was written 15 years ago, I could read nearly all of it as a perceptive critique of American imperialism exactly as it exists today.

In the intervening 15 years, U.S. policy failures have resulted in ever-spreading violence and chaos that affect hundreds of millions of people in at least a dozen countries. The U.S. has utterly failed to bring any of its neo-imperial wars to a stable or peaceful end.  And yet the U.S. imperial project sails on, seemingly blind to its consistently catastrophic results.

Instead, U.S. civilian and military leaders shamelessly blame their victims for the violence and chaos they have unleashed on them, and endlessly repackage the same old war propaganda to justify record military budgets and threaten new wars.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Meddling “Act of War”, Michael Moore Trapped, CIA Admissions

Idiotic comments regarding “Russia’s act of war” against the US for meddling in the Us election has reached consensus.

IN THE WAKE of last week’s indictments alleging that 13 Russian nationals and entities created fake social media accounts and sponsored political events to sow political discord in the U.S., something of a consensus has arisen in the political and media class (with some notable exceptions) that these actions not only constitute an “act of war” against the U.S., but one so grave that it is tantamount to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Indeed, that Russia’s alleged “meddling” is comparable to the two most devastating attacks in U.S. history has, overnight, become a virtual cliché.

The claim that Russian meddling in the election is “an act of war” comparable to these events isn’t brand new. Senators from both parties, such as Republican John McCain and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, have long described Russian meddling in 2016 as an “act of war.” Hillary Clinton, while promoting her book last October, described Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email inbox as a “cyber 9/11.” And last February, the always war-hungry Tom Friedman of the New York Times said on “Morning Joe” that Russian hacking “was a 9/11-scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor-scale event.”

But the last few days have ushered in an explosion of this rhetoric from politicians and journalists alike. On Friday night’s Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, two separate guests — Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler and longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines — posited Pearl Harbor as the “equivalent” of Russian meddling.

Should We Bomb Russia?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire 

Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire 

Photo by Diariocritico de Venezuela | CC BY 2.0

Only in the world of comic-book fantasies is the United States a friend to the oppressed in Africa or anywhere else on the planet. In the real world, the U.S. is a predator, colonial/capitalist nation. But like the imagined nation of Wakanda, in the latest cultural assault on critical mass consciousness, “American exceptionalism” and “make America great again” – two slogans representing both sides of the imperialist coin, ruling class interests are obscured and the people are reduced to working against their objective interests and being accomplices to imperial lawlessness.

In every part of the world, the United States is engaged in maniacal, criminal assaults on democracy, basic human decency and common sense.  From its support for armed jihadists groups in Syria and its illegal occupation of that nation, transferring heavy military equipment to its puppet regime in Ukraine, supporting unending war in Afghanistan, to the military invasion of African, the commitment to maintaining U.S. global dominance has moved war and militarism to the center of U.S. strategy.

But nowhere is U.S. criminality more apparent and unrelenting than right here in the Americas where the Pan-European project was born in 1492. That was the year “Europe” was born, emerging from its relative cultural backwardness using with terrifying efficiency the only advantage it had over the more civilized people of the region—armor protection and steel weapons—to slaughter the people, take the land and begin the 500-hundred-year nightmare the people of the world have suffered ever since.

Today, the barbarism of the Pan-European project continues under the tutelage of what history will record—if humanity survives—as the most violent, racist, oppressive human experience ever to have emerged in the short span of human existence on Earth: The United States of America.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean

Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean

Photo by Christopher Michel | CC BY 2.0

“We’ve been doing this kind of thing [electoral meddling] since the CIA was created in 1947.”

Loch K. Johnson, New York Times, Feb 17, 2018

Electoral meddling has become the gruel of US politics for months, and more servings are being promised in the wake of the indictments against 16 Russians and Russian entities dished out Robert Mueller last week.  Such actions can, when taken in isolation, seem sensible.  Righteous indignation can be channelled appropriately, and given the suitable icing of exceptionalism.

One of the difficulties behind the podium stance of virtue taken by the US political establishment on Russian interference in the country’s electoral process is one of simple hypocrisy.  In the game, and importantly theatre, of international relations, the shove, give, and take are all powerful incentives.  Express outrage, by all means, but do so with a certain sentient awareness that you have been as culpable as your opponent of the same charge.

Idealism, however, is the magic mushroom that clouds such assessments.  Filled with pride and a sense of purpose, individuals such as former CIA director James Woolsey are happy to first say that the CIA “probably” inserts its nose in the electoral affairs of other states, then justify it.

Friday’s encounter with Laura Ingraham of Fox News was sufficiently frank, if unsettling, in pulling down any pretence about the role of US power and its self-justified assertiveness in the electoral processes of other states.  “Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” posed Ingraham.  “Oh, probably,” came the humoured response, “but it was for the good of the system in order to avoid communists taking over.”

Then came a few points of illustration: “For example, in Europe, in ’47, ’48, ’49, the Greeks and the Italians, we CIA…” Ingraham, at that point, charged in with an interruption, asking whether the US “did that anymore”.  “We don’t mess around in other peoples’ elections, Jim?”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S., Canada Face Off For LNG Dominance

U.S., Canada Face Off For LNG Dominance

LNG

Considering that the North American shale revolution is the key global energy development of the past decade, it’s surprising that Canada’s natural gas production has actually been falling. Canada is still the world’s fifth largest gas producer, but output has dropped around 15 percent over the past 15 years to 16 Bcf/d.

As a free market economy without the over-influence of a national oil company, Canada’s future gas production is desired by the rapidly globalizing gas market. According to BP, Canada has about 80 Tcf of proven gas reserves, and with low incremental needs, this large endowment could make the country a worldwide gas exporter at some point in the 2020s.

The main problem for Canadian gas production is the decline of its sole export market, the U.S., where dry gas production has risen 35 percent to nearly 80 Bcf/d since 2010. In turn, over the past decade, Canada’s gas exports to the U.S. have been sliced in half to 5.5 Bcf/d. This decline will continue: The EIA projects that U.S. gas production will increase 40 percent by 2040.

Enter Canada’s necessity for LNG, the fastest-growing way to trade gas and a market that constitutes a rising 12 percent of all global use. There is great potential to export LNG off the coast of British Columbia, where cargoes can ship gas produced in western Canada to fast growing Asian markets. Western Canada accounts for around 70 percent of the country’s gas production.

Now already online, U.S. LNG will be a competitor for Canadian LNG. But, even with the Panama Canal expansion, the trip from British Columbia to Asia is still approximately two-thirds shorter than from the U.S. Gulf. Hampered today by a global supply glut, potential western Canada’s LNG projects should come online early next decade, right when expected higher oil prices will make Canada’s oil-linked LNG profitable, and the end of many long-term existing contracts will allow Asian buyers to seek new sources of supply.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Five Reasons To Be Absolutely Certain That The Establishment Is Lying About Syria

Five Reasons To Be Absolutely Certain That The Establishment Is Lying About Syria 

Whenever you see UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on video she’s trying to start World War Three. At today’s UN Security Council Haley gave remarks about why the UN should “take action” against two of the US power establishment’s favorite targets, Russia and the Syrian government, due to allegations that Bashar al-Assad has been using chemical weapons.

That’s right, just three weeks after the Trump administration unveiled its planto keep thousands of US troops in Syria in order to force regime change, the tired old chemical weapons allegations have been unearthed and recirculated to trusting western mainstream media audiences.

I am not a Syria expert by any stretch of the imagination. If you want detailed information about what’s really going on in that nation I recommend getting in touch with real Syrians online and following the work of independent investigative journalists who regularly go there like Vanessa Beeley. Nevertheless, despite my lack of boots-on-the-ground expertise and intimate knowledge of every detail of what’s going on in that country, I am absolutely certain that the western power establishment is lying very extensively about what is going on in Syria.

One hundred percent certain, zero margin for error. I’d bet my life on it.

How can I be so sure? I’ll show you.

There are many, many, many piles of evidence substantiating the fact that the Syrian government has become the target of what is surely one of the largest and most sophisticated propaganda campaigns in human history, but most people don’t have time to comb through all the tiny details and sort through the complexities of what’s what. For this reason I thought it would be useful to compile a short list for people who, like me, don’t have time to dedicate themselves intimately to the in-depth study of Syria.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Do You Believe in BLS Unicorns

DO YOU BELIEVE IN BLS UNICORNS?

The chart below says there has been 55.6% inflation over the last 20 years. That is just less than a 2.4% annual level of inflation. What a load of bullshit. Let’s look at a couple of categories listed below and do a smell test. Everyone knows the prices of TVs have fallen dramatically, but 99% – I don’t think so. I was able to find the price of a 28 inch Samsung TV in 1997 – $750. The same size Samsung TV costs $200 today. That’s a 73% decrease. The good old BLS says the decrease is really 99% because the new TV does so much more. They call this a hedonic adjustment.

It gets better. The BLS shows the cost of housing up about 56% over the last 20 years. Here are a couple indisputable facts from the same government peddling this inflation drivel. The average new home cost $175,000 in 1997. The average new home in 2017 cost $380,000. For the math challenged, that is a 117% increase. The average monthly rent in 1997 was $576. In 2017 it was $1,021. That is a 77% increase. Housing is the biggest weighting in the CPI calculation. Since using actual cost increases would show at least a 90% increase in housing, the BLS drones created a fake calculation called owners equivalent rent which no one can question. That’s how you fake housing inflation.

And now for the funniest bullshit of them all. According to these fake news aficionados, the cost of a new car has not gone up by one dime in the last 20 years. It seems there is some non-government data that says otherwise. The average price of a new car in 1997 was $19,214. The average price of a new car in 2017 was $33,560. Does that strike you as a 0% increase? The actual increase for the average schmuck living in the real world has been 75%. But those good old hedonic adjustments get you back to 0%.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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