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Republican General Counsel on Primary Ballot

by: gregsteimel

Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 13:55:04 PM EDT

(From the diaries. - promoted by ScottyUrb)

With the primary just next Tuesday, I thought it prudent to point out that on most of the ballots across the state, Eric Doster, General Counsel for the state Republican Party for the last 15 years is running for the Court of Appeals in the 4th District (the 4th district includes Lansing and just about all points north).
gregsteimel :: Republican General Counsel on Primary Ballot

It's worse than that: Doster represented U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg in his recall fight. He was appointed to the Judges' Retirement Board by Gov. John Engler in 1996. In 2004, he represented Citizens for the Protection of Marriage, and was widely quoted as promising that the ballot measure would not impact domestic partner benefits (Brian Dickerson recently beat him up for this in a column entitled: Rewarding dishonesty in Lansing). He's also a member of the ultra right wing Federalist Society, sits on the board of the Great Lakes Education Project political action committee (GLEP PAC).

He has so far raised $66,859.05 from his right wing friends, including $10,650 from the Michigan Chamber, $3,400 each from Dick and Betsy Devos, and a grand from Dick's brother Doug and Peter Secchia.

These are business people. They know that you get what you pay for...

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We got some local news
on that race re: Manderfield and Kelly...

Yes, I'm pimping Mordor...

pimp away :O)
FYI- Manistee County Dems endorsed Kelly. Have it on good knowledge he's a Dem.

"Kill the headlights and put it in neutral..."

[ Parent ]
Manistee County Dems' endorsement
was made before we were aware of Manderfield's candidacy(her bad, she has not run a good campaign IMO). Me thinks it was hastily made. I'll take a pro-choice Independent/Democrat over an anti-choice Democrat.

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.

 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

[ Parent ]
Kelly and Manderfield
And that's how I've been explaining it to people.  If you're a Starbucks sipping, Prius driving, Whole Foods shopping, liberal first and a Democrat second, pick Manderfield.  If you're a Jackson/Roosevelt/Kennedy. pro-labor. Joe Six Pack Democrat first and a liberal second, pick Kelly.  Regardless, either are much better choices than the other two running.  I'll be voting for Kelly in the primary and I'm happy he's not afraid to call himself a Democrat.  Yet if he doesn't win, Manderfield is a much better second choice than any of the other two.

[ Parent ]
Clueless on Kelly
Where do you get this analysis from? - certainly not empirical evidence.

The following endorsements have been received by Judge Manderfield in the 4th Distict Court of Appeals race:

Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council

Michigan United Auto Workers

Northern Michigan Building & Construction Trades Council

IronWorkers Local #25

Greater Lansing Labor Council

Operating Engineers Local #324

MEA (Michigan Education Association)

Southeastern Michigan Building Trades Council


Teamsters Union Local #380

Detroit Free Press

I doubt you'll see many foreign cars, vegans, or cappuccino drinkers in any of those union halls.

I'm new at this blogging business, but I would hope it could be a forum for informed thought and reasoned opinions rather than propaganda and personal insult. I don't believe any of the above organizations are known for ivory tower elitism.

As far as Manderfield not calling herself a Democrat, if all that's required is a nominal membership fee and no commitment to what principles remain in the Democratic Party (when they're done pandering to every last vote of the rapidly diminishing center), then the great Democratic donkey has indeed become a directionless jackass.

I have nothing against Mike Kelly, including his curious "Right to Life" endorsement, but I think it's shameful the way Paula Manderfield has been insulted and dismissed for her lack of a party membership card.

Frankly, I think it's a noble and uplifing gesture for a judge to see herself as an interpreter of the law and an impartial jurist rather than a party hack. Wouldn't it be refreshing if we could have a judge or two worthy of handling the scales of justice?

Unlike too many Kelly backers, I have nothing disparaging to say about their candidate, including his anti-choice credentials. He is a vastly superior choice to the other two competitors- both blatantly GOP tools. He may even make a better appellate judge than Manderfield, but the way his campaign is being waged by some of his supporters is distasteful and below the dignity of self-respecting Democrats.

It may be that alone that has swayed my vote to Judge Paula Manderfield.

[ Parent ]
My silly analysis was tounge-in-cheek; written with humor.  This is a political blog.  Take what you read here with a light heart.  I like Mike Kelly becauses he's an old-style Irish Democrat and proud of it.  That appeals to me.  If Manderfield appeals more to you because you are bothered with Kelly being pro-Life, that's fine with me.  She's also a great choice.  They're both far more acceptable than the other two Republicans running for the job.  And though some may think we're basing our decisions on trivial distinctions or issues, we're still better informed than 99% of the electorate.  

I did a quick (and unscientific) survey this morning of 10 Democrats.  One was a county party officer, two were local activists, one was a labor official and the rest were House Dem staffers.  All live in the 4th district.  I asked each who they were voting for Appeals Court next Tuesday.  One said Manderfield "because she's from Lansing".  One said Kelly, because "he's the only Democrat running".  One said, "Oh, is the primary here already?"  The other seven couldn't name any of the people running for the position.  And all 10 of these people are more involved in politics than the average voter.  Scary.

[ Parent ]
Understanding Sarcasm
Yes, sometimes I take myself and others too seriously. I'm glad you took time to clarify your thoughts to me. I am new to the blogosphere, so have patience please- and I will try to remember to do the same. I got carried away last night, up until 3 am getting a rush out of letting out my cries in the wilderness.

I am aware that others must see us as crazed or just incredibly dull voyeaurs of this often ignored world of local & state politics. I suppose I do need to "get a life".

As for Kelly and RTL, I have never rejected any candidate (that I can remember) over any "one issue". The subject of a right to choose may never come up, and if it does, there is precedent, a state & US Supreme Court, and both state and federal constitutions that will inevitably play a part in any decisions made.

Sorry to "go off" about Kelly-Manderfield, but it has been a recent bone of contention locally. It will all be over on Tuesday, and I can go back to worrying about the Detroit Tigers bullpen and other crises of western civilization.  

[ Parent ]
No problem
There are few of us on here who haven't gotten a bit carried away at some point while blogging.

[ Parent ]
Unless...of course
they both go through...which would be a problem I wouldn't mind too much!

[ Parent ]
Manderfield v. Kelly, The Rematch
Oh, we'd have so much more to talk and blog about, wouldn't we? We might even forget that there were votes for "leader of the free world"/ imperial decider to be cast in November. Or choices in congressional elections on whether that body is an instrument of the people or the hired hand of "interests" both hidden and manifest. But damn it, we'll have the right (or left) judge in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Of course, the flipside of the rematch coin is a showdown between Howell and Doster- "The Horror!"

I will drop the 4th District thing until Tuesday night at least. May the better Democrat win, and may the force be with you Nazgul. Excuse the mixed sci-fantasy nomenclature.

[ Parent ]
Doster made it harder to seniors to get AV applications
Mr. Doster was the GOP attorney who fought to keep clerks from mailing absent voter application forms to all seniors equally in Fleming v Sabaugh.  As a result, elections officials do not mass mail AV applications equally to all and instead only third-parties do, without accountability.  This also raised costs for taxpayers since clerks cannot use the reduce bulk mail rates the way they used to.

Perhaps his opponent could send AV applications to constituents with, "Warning:  Enclosed is the form Eric Doster does not want you to have!"

[ Parent ]
A tough one
There were only a couple of UAW guys at the Bay County party.  One who's regularly there who made the motion.  It was supported by one of the diehard BC Dem members.  And the support for her seemed to be organic.  Manderfield and her husband came, spoke to a couple of people they knew, and the party chair and she, along with a representative of Mike Kelly were allowed to speak to the party membership.  

The Bay County Dems did not revoke their endorsement of Kelly, they added an endorsement of Manderfield.  

Not pushing either candidate here, but I will say, Manderfield's refusal to join the MDP or declare herself a Dem irks me, but looking at the 58 counties that comprise the District, I sort of don't blame her.  She claims to be pro-choice, which brings me to the thing that irks me about Mike Kelly, his MI RTL endorsement.  Mike's a nice guy, but I hate to reward those RTL thugs.  

Manderfield's a hell of a campaigner and has been active on the Ingham County political scene for years now.  Her popularity there is genuine.  She handily won her Primary in 2000 to win her Circuit seat there.  And since then she's presided over a few high-profile Lansing cases, and even some that got state-wide attention.    

Agree with everything you said.
And the fact is that Manderfield has a reason to be independent, given, as you say, the nature of the district.

I just think that Democratic organizations should not endorse non-Democrats when there is a Democrat in the race.

That being said, if Manderfield makes it through without Kelly, of course the party should endorse her (and we all should vote for her).

And yes, it bothers me about the RTL endorsement, but I've spoken to Kelly about it and his position is that:

1) The issue never comes before state courts as it is a Federal issues.

2) Should it come before the state courts, he is bound by the Supreme Court on the ruling anyway.

3) He's Catholic, so his pro-life position actually means pro-life and not pro-fetus, like many Republicans. That would include being anti-death penalty and pro-social justice (the reason he states for running).

In any event...for as important a race as this is to the people of Michigan, the coverage from the Traditional media has been pathetic!

[ Parent ]
Not a state issue?
I worked for the Michigan House for 10 years, and we saw a RtL bill every other year (so as to force votes to set up the next election cycle). There's plenty of choice statutes for a Ct of Appeals judge to rule on. And how are SC precedents overruled? Very often by well-reasoned minority opinions from lower courts. Kelly's RTL position matters.

[ Parent ]
Nazgul's Excellent Point
Nazgul's got a excellent point.  There is a huge difference between a Republican being pro-fetus and a Democrat who is genuinely pro-Life.  People who continue to make an issue of Democratic candidates who object to abortion on demand, divide the party and help set up Republicans to win elections.  Democrats can't afford to make the same mistake Republicans have made over the past 20 years by creating a litmus test on the abortion issue for Democratic candidates.  Pursuing this path of purging the party of pro-Life Democrats, put Republicans back in power.  And unlike the pro-Life Democrats, the Republicans aren't going to support fully funding social programs, opposing Right to Work, supporting Universal Health Care, ambitious renewable energy standards, water protection, etc.  (Nazgul, feel free to mock me if need be to preserve your image)

[ Parent ]
I was just thinking
this might be one of the signs of the Apocalypse...

[ Parent ]
You and JPowers both.  Even Julie N has been making a point to reach out.  I don't know what's going on with you all.  You're getting soft.  Then again, I've become an Obama cheerleader recently so it works both ways.

[ Parent ]
Not the real Apocalypse... just a sign of....

I'm a Democrat who is pro-death penalty and I'm not entirely opposed to gun ownership. What does that make me?  Like most of Michigan voters - conflicted.

We'll probably never agree about abortion, Brady, but I'd rather keep talking about it.  I promise to (most of the time) keep it civil.   However, you start pushing for banning contraceptives and we're going to have to have a chat in a dark alley.  :)

Do stupid people know they are stupid?

[ Parent ]
Contraceptives, the Death Penalty and the Bill of Rights
Hell, I have no problem with contraceptives as long as they are truly preventing conception and not killing an embryo or fetus (human life).  We're on the same page there, sister.  And in terms of your professional job, I practice what you preach and thank you for your efforts.

But, how can you be pro-death penalty?  I mean, I'm not going to stoop so low to say that you can't be a Democrat and support the death penalty, but even people as right wing as John Engler and Nick over at Right Michigan don't support the death penalty.  Perhaps you mean just for war criminals and genocide and not for common use by single states?  This is troubling.

Claiming you're not entirely opossed to gun ownership isn't a very enthusiastic endorsement of the Bill of Rights.  It's like a Christain fascist saying they're not entirely oppossed to freedom of religion.

[ Parent ]
2nd Amendment verbatim (Italics added)
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Even if we were to make the incredible leap from the cliffs of reality to declare that we're all self-designated minutemen (or women) in defense of America against the "Axis of Evil" or some homemade bogeymen- and therefore the "true" American militia, the U.S. Constitution is a product of the 18th Century, with all its enlightened thought, limited knowledge, and simple technology. Original intent is fine when it honors the better minds who put their efforts into framing a grand document and setting forth a workable government of, by, and for the people that has survived and often thrived for over 200 years. But it is an insult to their memory and our own intelligence to think they would not have wanted their work adapted to a later- more advanced and hopefully more civilized- time, especially when common sense, practical necessity, and basic survival necessitate it.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I can't recall any recent threats from native tribesmen, grizzly bears, Spaniards, Frenchmen, or even those perfidious Brits in my neighborhood- and I live on the always precarious borderlands between "America" and British Canada.

That is, of course, because I dwell in the 21st Century in an urban landscape where gun crimes are a dailyoccurance, and I have no interest in joining in the Wild West show

A Right to Bear Arms? I was a hunter much of my life, and despite any claims by the NRA about us commie-loving, bleeding hearted, unconstitutionally godless liberals, I have no inclination to take away anyone's "privilege" to go out and cull some local animal populations as a form of natural resource management.

I do take exception to the notion of some absolute "right" to "bear arms". The terms well-regulated are pretty clear, even if they are glossed over by millions of gun nuts.

In any case, in this age of modern weaponry, what "arms" do you claim a "right to bear"? Defined in my nearest dictionary as "a weapon", can we assume a right to arm with an Abrams tank, an F-16 jet fighter, a nuclear device.

I think it's high time we brought a little sanity to this tired argument.

[ Parent ]
Second Amendment
In attempting to interpret the intent of founding fathers' meaning of the Second Amendment, read some of what they wrote on the subject.  It's not hard to locate on-line.  It is more than clear that they intended gun ownership to be an individual right for self defense.  Our right to keep and bear arms isn't limited to hunting or fighting the British.  It's just a relevant in today's society as it was back then.  And that's not just my opinion.  Just last month we had a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on this very issue, a ruling which Barack Obama supports btw.

[ Parent ]
Understanding 2nd Amen.
The Second Amendment was actually based on a specific provision in the Declaration of Rights of 1689(?).  That document was the formal agreement between Parliament and William and Mary of Orange, allowing a foreign potentate to take the crown of England.

The provision indicated that individuals could maintain and bears arms suitable to their station.  That meant that lords of the manor could maintian a small private army - and collect the local taxes to pay for it.  Lesser nobility could maintain the arms they would use in a war, and the small staff necessary to outfit them.  And freeholders could keep arms sufficient to protect their family from invasion and/or marauders.

No doubt, Madison and Jefferson, and other elitist slave owners did not want regular folks to have unlimited access to arms.  However, early Americans clearly understood the inherited right to bear arms they had as "Englishman".  In addition, the Scot Irish were absolutely sure that they had the right to keep arms sufficient to kill those who attempted to harm them.

Today, arms suitable to our station as citizens of the U.S. would not include nuclear devises or fight jets.  They would include arms sufficient to kill a home intruder.  They also should include arms sufficient to topple a future dictatorship if one should ever arise.

[ Parent ]
Toppling Dictators and Shooting Intruders
Great history lesson and great populist blog name, but it only backs up my point of the "right" being an anachronism. I'm not aware of ant "legal" station that I'm assigned to in 21st C. USA, so why not the best personal defense, or hell, private army, too that money can buy. Though personally, with my income, my arsenal may consist of a cap pistol or at best a bb gun.

I pay taxes for professionals who are expected to protect me from home intrusion or assault- and for that matter for
national defense as well. If they don't they're not doing their job.

I know I have no intention of replaying the Gunfight at the OK Corral in my front yard. My aim is just fine at arcades and shooting ranges, but I don't delude myself with fantasies of being Charles Bronson or John Wayne, neither should other would be vigilantes.

Speaking of those age old rights of Englishen, how do those sacred freedoms stand today? Is England less secure, is their government more tyrannical, arbitrary, or imperial as a result of not being infested with armed bands or survivalist crazies.

The popular idea that we are more safe if everyone is armed is maybe the most dangerous notion in the gun culture and Old West mythology we still embrace. Whether or not we are more likely to avoid death by homicide by arming ourselves, we are certainly to be by then in a state of constant, gripping terror of what may happen every moment we interact with our fellow citizens.

I get enough reasons to be in fear from our own government's policies and practices to want to add further mistrust and suspicion among neighbors.

As for taking on once and future "dictators" (or deciders), just what do you think such tyranny will be enforced with? It won't be waterpistols I can tell you. Do you honestly believe that any arms this government will legally allow you to possess will be able to stand up to the people who brought you "shock and awe"?

The idea that our legally possessed weapons, even stockpiled in compounds with paranoid well-trained fanatics, will sustain an armed resistence would be laughable if it wasn't so dangerously mad.

[ Parent ]
Although we disagree, it's good to see a thoughtful discussion
Rich people do have private armies.  Black Water is a good example.

The Black Panthers did not feel safer because of the armed local officials patrolling their streets.

My father was opposed in Viet Nam by people with a wide range of weapons from very modern to stone age.  They won, and we lost.  Same thing in Northern Ireland.  Same thing in the Boer War.  We have troops in Iraq facing highly motivated indivuals bearing all manner of arms.

I'm not a "black choppers comin' after us" kind of guy, and I certainly don't want to come off that way.  But I do think the 2nd Amen is still relevant.  The debate will get better in the future due to the recent SC decision.  What is a reasonable regulation?  What is suitable to our station as citizen?  

[ Parent ]
All Great Points
These are good historical examples of popular resistence against overwhelming odds, though at a very high cost in lives and destruction. Still, there comes a time when no price is too high to pay.

There is also a question of attitude however. The "average" American seems far more concerned with American Idol and the NFL opener than they are with a knock down, drag out, near suicidal revolt against their own government. I don't think the 21st Century American compares favorably with the VietCom, Panthers, Boers, or IRA in terms of toughness, righteous indignation, or desperation.

Come to think of it, where is the "fightin' liberal" compound. I may decide to join the "movement". What is the membership fee? Is there a waiver to sign? Should I get a physical first? I could drop a few pounds, get some exercise. Is the food in the mess organic?

Seriously, though, my arguments are almost entirely academic. I am under no illusions of personally overthrowing a culture and mentality that has been in development since at least the colonial era.

The Democratic Party has recognized the same, which is why gun control never comes up in the speeches and platforms. It's an invitation to electoral humiliation.

There is, whether I like it or not, a now established yet still vague right to bear arms in this country. All my ranting will not change that a bit. Neither will nightly shootings in my own neighborhood.

Maybe "Brady" is right. Maybe we do have to arm as Liberals to defend ourselves from the reactionary as well as the strictly criminal elements. Just be careful what you wish for- you will surely get it.

I am not an anti-gun zealot. I own two rifles myself, which are now merely collecting dust. I only ask that you follow the reasoning of a right to bear arms to its logical conclusions- and to consider the issue in its historial context.

I think this has been a very worthwhile exchange in viewpoints.

[ Parent ]
Police not doing their job
I pay taxes for professionals who are expected to protect me from home intrusion or assault- and for that matter for national defense as well. If they don't they're not doing their job.

Please tell me you don't actually believe that drivel.  Take a good hard look at the number of police in your community versus the number of criminal opportunties.  We don't have even 1/50 of the number of law enforcement officers on the street to provide real crime prevention.  While they sometimes do foil a crime in progress, most often police show up well after the fact.  It's not their fault.  They are way outnumbered.

Most police officers support an armed citizenry for this very reason.  The shall-issue CCW debate several years back is a great example.  Cops appreciate the fact that 3%-20% of Michigan residents depending on locality (the higher number if you're in Barry County) are carrying concealed firearms.  It may be difficult for some people to accept because it goes against their base beliefs, but guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens actually do prevent crime.  And guns laws only apply to the law-abiding citizens willing to follow them.  A criminal who commits a murder or an armed robbery isn't going to respect no-carry zones or handgun registration laws.

Back when shall-issue CCW was adopted, Second Amendment opponents warned Michigan would become the Wild West and that there would be blood in the streets.  It never happened.  In fact, our crime rate went down.

I'm an armed liberal.  Not because I fear an tyrannical government (although the Patriot Act does scare me) or because I'm some survivalist militia fanatic, or because I need the testerone boost.  Simply put, I'm not willing to just hope I and my partner survive another violent gay bashing or a home invasion or a car jacking.  When confronted with a violent crime, I deserve the right to be able to fight back.  This is what the modern Second Amendment is all about.  In fact, it's been what the Second Amendment has always been about.  

[ Parent ]
Enough Already
I blame myself, but this conversation started with some guy named Doster running for Court of Appeals. I also must admit that too much of my analysis was based on how things should be rather than how they are.

As Liberals, however, I would hope we would at least continue to seek the root causes of societal ills that bring about the supposed need to bear arms-instead of compounding the problem. Whether its drug & gang issues, hate crimes, or property violations, we can never throw in the towel in trying to come to grips with why are society is so often dysfunctional. However, I also recognize and respect the harsh realities of the world we inhabit.

I do live, in a sense, in a wartorn neighborhood of the City of Saginaw, where shootings are quite literally commonplace. I am not an expert in crime patterns, but it does not take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that these irregular outbreaks are related to gang rivalries and the black market drug trade. It's been going on my whole life. I believe it was Nixon who first "declared war on drugs", circa 1968-69. There was an escalation under Reagan- Bush I, then seemingly a respite under Clinton, when incidently crime did drop in our city and so many others.

I guess what I'm getting at is that we all come out of different experiences, which is one of the things that makes this type of forum so valuable. For example, you wrote: "Back when shall-issue CCW was adopted, Second Amendment opponents warned Michigan would become the Wild West and that there would be blood in the streets.  It never happened."

There are places in Michigan where this has happened- and continues to happen, just as the horrible experiences you shared about being attacked also regrettably happen.

I do concede there is a need for some to defend themselves in today's society, but I see it as a necessary wrong or at least a needed concession to the forces of reaction, mistrust, and hatred in our society.

In closing, I would like to share a quote from a sign in our Dem Club office: "Let Us Not Become the Evil We Deplore".

[ Parent ]
I can't speak for Kelly
but can you point to a single instance of an abortion case being decided in Michigan appellate courts?

These cases are handled through the Federal courts.

Besides, your statement suggests that the issue is far larger and more properly taken care of in other areas of government.

[ Parent ]
Technically ...
State and fedeal courts can have concurrent jurisdiction over the issue.  If a plaintiff raises both state and federal issues in a suit, then either a state or federal court can take the suit.  I'm think of the mandatory drunk driving checkpoints issue from the 1990s.

But I can't think of a state decision on the abortion issue right now, and the federal precedent certainly binds state judges, regardless of the judge's personal opinion on the issue.  Even a state constitutional amendment to ban PBA must fit within the confines of USSC decisions on the issue.

[ Parent ]
Some Inhabiting World of Delusion
Agreed on the relevance of judges' views on choice in the states. There are a lot of Dem/ Progressive issues on which to choose judicial candidates, but no one can afford to be deluded(unless they care to be) about privacy rights being exclusively a federal issue.

I hate to sound pessimistic, but the days of Roe as written are numbered. There are too many holes in the original decision because of the trimester and viability analysis- too much reliance on the state of the art medical data of the time (c. 1973).

The objective at this point of the RTL sect seems to be to take the fight on in the states one (or several) at a time. I think they realize that is the better strategy since Pro-Choice groups have centralized so much of their essentially defensive efforts in Washington. They know they have overwhelming support in many "red" states and considerable support in "purple" and even a few "blue" (Michigan for one). If you're concerned with the right to privacy and choice, be afraid, be very afraid.

I'm not writing to disparage "Pro-Life Democratic" would be judges, but at some point on the Michigan bench these individuals will face the dilemma and the "choice" between their own religious convictions and someone else's basic bodily rights. They will have to decide whether this agonizing issue is best left to a woman, her doctor, and her God- or to his church and government.

[ Parent ]
I'd also like to point out
that Mike Kelly has announced that he was just endorsed by the Justice Caucus.

[ Parent ]
GMS is right on target
In May 2008, the MI House voted to ban partial birth abortion... kind of like they did in 1996, 2001 and 2003.

Sen. Cameron Brown, R-Sturgis, the chief sponsor of the legislation, said even though federal law prohibits the practice, it's necessary for Michigan to adopt is own version "as another layer of protection."


These people don't go away, which is why the lower courts do matter.

Then I'll pose the same question
can you point to a single abortion case that made it's way to the Michigan appellate court and not the Federal courts?

[ Parent ]

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