SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS- June 11 2018

HARRY BELAFONTE- remember him?  He turned up on CNN the other night looking like a 40-year old.  He’s 90!!! What is his secret? A clear conscience?  Amazing!

PUBLIX VS THE KIDS- Ever shop at a  Publix?  In Florida, Georgia and elsewhere in the Southeast, they’re the equivalent of Safeway.  Big company with 120,000 employees.  They made the mistake of endorsing a candidate who’s real cozy with the NRA and are now facing a boycott led by the brave students from Stoneman High.   Hopefully, they’ll come  to their senses.  If I had to bet, I’d take David Hogg over Publix.   In Jax, Publix is the best market, then it’s Winn-Dixie,  which is in bankruptcy, then at the bottom there’s Food Lion which is awful but has sweet employees who urge you to “have a blessed day’.   Publix has the best grab-n-go lunch I’ve ever seen,  a Cubano sandwich that is PERFECT.  Someone should be selling those here.  A shrink-wrapped Cubano stays fresh a long time.

FOOD NEWS-  Southside Mike and his truck will be at St Joe’s at the Harrison Street entrance,  from 1130 to 2pm on Tuesdays. Also Murphy’s in Cutten has started their “BBQ”  again, M-F from 11 to 4.  It is insane that they close so early, leaving  the 15,000 or so residents who go past everyday on their way home to pine for burgers and ribs which they would gladly purchase for dinner that night.  Go figure.

— SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-ARIZ.), (on Twitter): “To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED that Our Fake President runs away from dealmaking (hid out during the budget negotiations, hid during the Obamacare  negotiations, leaving everything to McConnell, blew the immigration negotiations. .  He wouldn’t know a deal if he hit one in the road.  And have you noticed that whenever he is faced with anyone who is more confident, more educated, more prepared , better spoken, better educated –  he pulls a cheap attack like finding “dandruff” on Macron and pretending to pick it off. How come no one else saw the “dandruff’? Now young Justin Trudeau is eating Trump’s lunch and reminding the world what a statement is SUPPOSED to sound like.

MORE RETAIL CLOSINGS-  Stonestown Mall,  having already lost its  Macy’s, is about to lose its Nordstrom’s, leaving the center with no anchor.  How times change!

I am very sad about the death of Anthony Bourdain.  I bought his “Kitchen Confidential ” book and encouraged my Job Club  members to read it, when I was doing that. He apparently did not give his closest friends the slightest hint that he was considering suicide which is sobering.  PLEASE pay attention to anyone who acts depressed or seems to need help. You could be saving a life.

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS June 5 2018

THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING- The vile creature who inhabits the Oval Office is opining that he can pardon himself of his crimes.   If that were true, Nixon would have figured it out, wouldn’t he have? Tricky Dick was a statesman compared to the belligerent ignoramus elected by malcontent voters in 2016. This thug is isolating us from our allies, has no interest in governing, only in self-aggrandizement, lies incessantly about all matters great and small, shows more loyalty to Russia and China than to the US, vilifies loyal civil servants while sheltering abominations like Scott Pruitt, and his judicial appointments have largely been rejected as completely unqualified,  like most of his cabinet.  As ignorant as he is, his greater sin is arrogance and contempt of government in general.  I haven’t even mentioned his flagrant racism which causes him to treat the Puerto Ricans as if they are subhiman. t the  Most monstrously, he is separating  thousands of children from their parents while piously claiming  to be a champion of family values. Now the Great Negotiator,  who runs for cover whenever he is confronted with REAL negotiations, (remember the Obamacare debate?) is headed for Singapore, where he will again make a fool of himself. I don’t blame Melania for going into hiding. I’d be ashamed, too.

IT’S ELECTION DAY and I assume that you,  like all intelligent voters, have voted by mail. It’s been so long since I showed up at a precinct I wouldn’t know how to act. I have often repeated my mantra that NO ONE SHOULD GET MORE THAN TWO TERMS.  right now I’d put my money on Madrone  but in the 4th District, the Democrats have stupidly run two good candidates.  We’ll have to do better than that, won’t we?

TOM WOLFE and PHILIP ROTH-   two masters of literature died in the past few days and both were brilliant at depicting How We Live Now.  I had his Tangerine Flake etc book n that big paperback edition and I wish i still had it. My favorite Phillip Roth moment (can’t recall which book it was) was his taking  in his parents to a fancy New York restaurant and his father tells the waiter,  “Bring me a piece of fish. And make sure it’s hot”.  Sounds like my family.

TOO MUCH MEXICAN?  The City of Eureka  is oversupplied with Mexican restaurants. The Tres Chiles whatever that replaced the Marie Callendars has already been shut down briefly  by the health inspectors, is too expensive for Eureka, and had an empty parking lot when I went by during the afternoon.  They’re apparently trying to be a Mexican dinner house,  for which there’s not much demand locally.  For folks here, “casual” means “cheap” or should.  There are a few such places in SF.  Anyone remember the La Barca Room on Lombard? They were there for fifty years, closed down in 2012.  Eureka needs a Korean place,  a Greek place, and how about a REAL deli that corns its own beef?  When Tres Chiles bites the dust, who will replace them? I MISS Marie Callendars.  I never ate in the restaurant but I used to buy their quiches all the time.

Short Ribs and Random Thoughts- May 11 2017

Thanks for your patience.  I’m not quite well but starting to get there. And SHORT RIBS are on sale at Safeway, $4.99!!!   Had ’em last night. They were great!

OUR FAKE PRESIDENT-  has continued his descent into infamy.  His vile personality, his ignorance, his narcissism-what is there to say? Add his corruption and his utter disregard for the people he was elected to represent and you can understand why my house is a lot quieter  than it used to be since I turn down the sound whenever I see his face.  I can hardly wait till he resigns.

THE ELECTIONS-  I have not been in touch with any of the candidates but I think it’s a darn shame than Mary Ann Lyons’s bid for 4th District  Supervisor is apparently in disarray since she didn’t make the Time-Standard’s deadline for inclusion in their article.  I remember  her from the ’08  election and she was a crackerjack.  Money will apparently talk in this race  and Virginia will apparently get another term.  Does she deserve it?? I’ve been preaching for months that NO ONE should  get more than two terms at ANYTHING.  If you can’t make an impact in eight years, GET OUT!!   This also applies, of course, to the 5th District where Ryan Sundberg, a very nice guy,  is about to be turned out by Steve Madrone.  Re: the 4th, Dani Burkhart, who took on the thankless job of treasurer for the HCCDC, is also a good candidate.  Too bad she and Lyons couldn’t have worked something out. Re:  Jared Huffman’s bizarre endorsement of Ryan,  I don’t know what to say.  When Mike McGuire made that embarrassing endorsement of Rex Bohn  we all put it down to poor staff work. Who do we blame this time?

MICHAEL AVENATTI-  is a media star and good for him. He”s cute as a bug and sharp as a tack and gives me a reason to turn the sound back up.

FACEBOOK_   Are any of you still on Facebook??? For God’s sake, WHY??? Send your kitten photos by email and make your own “friends” list.  Don’t give Shmuckerburg one more cent of your  money!! And I’d hate to think any of you are depending on FB  for your NEWS.  Don’t do it!!!

EATING OUT  is something I haven’t been doing lately but I wanted to say a respectful good–bye to Liu’s.  When I worked at 3rd and D I ate lunch there once a week, always the broccoli beef  They were a solid restaurant, and will be missed. I only ate at the Black Lightning once (hate motorcycles- only tried it because I love the Richard Thompson song ( ..and he gave her his Vincent to ride…” ) but their menu was all paninis- hard to srcew up-  and they were out of their bean soup so I never got to try it. Curious to see what will go into that corner.

THE OKIE-  Of all the horrible cabinet nominations made by Our Fake President the worst may be Scott Pruitt who is dismantling the EPA as fast as he can.  No less than TEN investigations have begun into his crazy spending  of YOUR MONEY.  And Trump stands by and does nothing  while cutting children’s heath insurance. The THEFTS continue.  They are all acting like Okies set loose in a treasure hunt. What a spectacle!!

END

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS Feb 19 2018

HOW DUMB IS TRUMP? Does he really believe the FBI exists in a single room and can only do one thing at a time? Now he’s claiming the Russia investigation kept the FBI from checking out the Florida shooter. He probably doesn’t know that the FBI has over 30K employees.  Shouldn’t have skipped those briefings, Don.  Keep it up, Don.   You’re not as smart as you think you are.

FEDERAL TAX FORMS-  I’ve been wondering where they were.  Now the County website says they’ll be here in ‘Late February.”  So hang tight. Or hang loose. I’ve never figured out which you re supposed to say.

INTERESTING STATS:  Broward County FL has ONE (1) high school counselor for each 462 students.

MOMMAS DONT LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE TRUCK DRIVERS-  For years , employment counselors could count on Swift or someone always being in the market for truck drivers.  No more! “More than 3.7 million Americans make a living behind the wheel and 3.1 million of those jobs are at risk”, according to Tim Dickinson’s article in the Jan 11 issue.   Self-driving cars are safer and more reliable than human-driven.  Trump,   of course,  wants to cut the DOL retraining budget.  And as usual, the Chinese are ‘way ahead of us.

Speaking of transportation, according to the New York Times, that city’s partially completed Second Avenue subway is costing SIX TIMES MORE than a similar line extension in Paris. WHY????  Don’t blame the unions.  Their unions are ferocious compared with ours.

THE ROB PORTER MESS-  is probably just an indicator of how sloppy and mismanaged our White House is.  Porter had to abuse BOTH his ex-wives AND a girlfriend?  People with hair like that are always either vampires or  Mormons. 130 people without security  clearances? Obama would have been run out of town on a rail.

WATCHING THE OLYMPICS-  a distraction for which we’re all grateful. I like the Winter Olympics better than the Summer because I will never, ever, do anything even remotely like that. I tried to ice skate once.  Once.

ADS I LOVE-  I love the ad with the Ray Charles music.  Who could resist that? And i love the ad with Butch the coonhound who doesn’t like his owner’s new boyfriend.  Well done!

THE BRISTOL ROSE CAFE  is closed  by the heath department.  This is a place I have never visited.   Tried to eat there once but turned away because the whole place was empty and it was just too creepy. The Eureka Inn is such a jewel but I’m afraid the current owner has neither the cash nor the expertise to run the place,  What a shame!!!

So here we are on Presidents’ Day, with the worst President EVER in the White House. He’s gross, egomaniacal, wouldn’t  know empathy if he hit it in the road, ignorant, crass and came up with a budget plan so bad his own staff is ashamed of it. Read over the indictment and know that better days are coming.

END

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS SOTU Edition, plus “Fire and Fury”

I won’t go through the excruciating review of Our Fake President’s State of the Union speech since Cong. Huffman has already provided a good summary.  The most divisive President in history  says the SOTU is “strong”.  A lot of us would disagree.  Meanwhile the despicable Devin Nunes ought to be brought up on treason charges himself for disclosing sensitive info for political reasons.  Let’s hope he’s stopped before lasting damage is done.  Trump is waging a war against the FBI, the intel agencies and everyone  else who stands between him and his alternate reality. This is going to be a very long three years. As of this writing, Trump, and his staff- the most incompetent in history- and his stooge Nunes are hell-bent on destroying our government and those who work there and they  have nothing better to offer.  And Trump is hell-bent on leaving  us defenseless against the ongoing cyberattacks.  Disgusting.

BTW Nunes has at least seven opponents this year.  Give generously to any of them.

“Fire and Fury”-   We finally got our copy from Eureka Books ($33) and it IS a juicy read,  Did you know that Trump is so out of it he thinks Nixon was framed???? Even Nixon didn’t claim that. It’s the ignorance, again.  I also hadn’t realized how pivotal a figure Jared Kushner is- he’s been behind every bad decision Trump has made. ‘(His West Wing nickname is “The Butler” because he hovers a lot and does little.) No less than NINE solid DC law firms turned down the dubious honor  of representing Trump in the Mueller inquiry. This is good:  “This was Bannon’s fundamental insight about Trump: he made everything personal and he was helpless not to.”  Bannon was obviously the smart one of the bunch. The part about Nicky Haley is not as was publicized;  no indication that she had an affair with anyone although she is regarded as being “as ambitious as Lucifer” .  Perhaps she’ll be picking over the bones  when the Trump thing collapses.

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS- Davos Edition

Well, our Fake President took a huge retinue to Davos, including the one with the trophy wife- is it Munchkin? It wasn’t cheap.  When I was there 20 years ago a plate of spaghetti at an outdoor café was $17.   That was in Bern, not Davos.  Davos would be twice that. Davos is close to Klosters where Audrey Hepburn, the most elegant woman who ever lived( including Nefertiti) had her residence.  She was married to a rich Italian doctor, which didn’t save her from dying of cancer at 63.

Yes, the good die young , which means we’ll be stuck with Trump and his gang of robber barons for awhile. Everyone was relieved that he stuck to his  teleprompter speech but the next morning he started in on his Greatest Hits List again,  bashing Hillary and the Fake Media again 15 months after the election. His 71 year-old brain apparently cannot accept new data like THE ELECTION’S OVER.  If they invite him back next year will they/we have to listen to the same crap?

BTW the way to stay on a budget in Switzerland is to hang in the train stations,  which have wonderful takeout food. Everyone  goes there.  The train stations are clean and busy and right in the heart of whatever town you’re going to.  Not like our poor sad neglected stations.  

Short edition today because I believe I’m coming down with that damn flu.  Wish me luck. 

END

TRUMP’S LIES, The Count

 

As of January 2, President Trump had made 1,950 false or misleading claims over 347 days, according to the Washington Post.  It’s hard to keep up with him. The following is a few days old but is a good summary.

 January 2
 3:08
President Trump’s top five false or misleading claims
 
 

As of Jan. 1, President Trump has made 1,950 false or misleading claims since taking office. Here are the five he says most regularly. 

 

With just 18 days before President Trump completes his first year as president, he is now on track to exceed 2,000 false or misleading claims, according to our database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.

As of Monday, the total stood at 1,950 claims in 347 days, or an average of 5.6 claims a day. (Our full interactive graphic can be found here.)

As regular readers know, the president has a tendency to repeat himself — often. There are now more than 60 claims that he has repeated three or more times. The president’s impromptu 30-minute interview with the New York Times over the holidays, in which he made at least 24 false or misleading claims, included many statements that we have previously fact-checked.

We currently have a tie for Trump’s most repeated claims, both made 61 times. Both of these claims date from the start of Trump’s presidency and to a large extent have faded as talking points.

One of these claims was some variation of the statement that the Affordable Care Act is dying and “essentially dead.” The Congressional Budget Office has said that the Obamacare exchanges, despite well-documented issues, are not imploding and are expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future. Indeed, healthy enrollment for the coming year has surprised health-care experts. Trump used to say this a lot, but he’s quieted down since his efforts to repeal the law flopped.

Trump also repeatedly takes credit for events or business decisions that happened before he took the oath of office — or had even been elected. Sixty-one times, he has touted that he secured business investments and job announcements that had been previously announced and could easily be found with a Google search.

With the successful push in Congress to pass a tax plan, two of Trump’s favorite talking points about taxes — that the tax plan will be the biggest tax cut in U.S. history and that the United States is one of the highest-taxed nations — have rapidly moved up the list.

Trump repeated the falsehood about having the biggest tax cut 53 times, even though Treasury Department data shows it would rank eighth. And 58 times Trump has claimed that the United States pays the highest corporate taxes (25 times) or that it is one of the highest-taxed nations (33 times). The latter is false; the former is misleading, as the effective U.S. corporate tax rate (what companies end up paying after deductions and benefits) ends up being lower than the statutory tax rate.

We also track the president’s flip-flops on our list, as they are so glaring. He spent the 2016 campaign telling supporters that the unemployment rate was really 42 percent and the official statistics were phony; now, on 46 occasions he has hailed the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years. It was already very low when he was elected — 4.6 percent, the lowest in a decade — so his failure to acknowledge that is misleading.

An astonishing 85 times, Trump has celebrated a rise in the stock market — even though in the campaign he repeatedly said it was a “bubble” that was ready to crash as soon as the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates. Well, the Fed has raised rates three times since the election — and yet the stock market has not plunged as Trump predicted. It has continued a rise in stock prices that began under President Barack Obama in 2009. Again, Trump has never explained his shift in position on the stock market.

Moreover, the U.S. stock-market rise in 2017 was not unique and mirrored a global rise in equities. When looking at the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, it’s clear U.S. stocks haven’t rallied as robustly as their foreign equivalents. Yet Trump loves this claim so much that he has repeated it 28 times in the 49 days since our last update — more often than every other day.

We maintain the database by closely reading or watching Trump’s myriad public appearances and television and radio interviews. The interviews are especially hard to keep up with, in part because the White House does not routinely post on them on its website. In fact, a recent redesign of the White House website appears to make it difficult to find transcripts of Trump’s remarks at the White House.

This project originally started as a first-100-days database, but by popular demand we extended it to one year. We will soon face a decision about whether to maintain it beyond one year, even though it strains the resources (and weekends) of our staff. In at least one instance, the database was used for academic analysis. We welcome thoughts from readers about whether it remains a worthwhile endeavor.

 

 

The “Genius” In the White House

The Washington Post

The ‘genius’ of Trump: What the president means when he touts his smarts

Trump defends his mental fitness
 

At a news conference at Camp David Jan 6., President Trump responded to a question from a reporter about a tweet he posted on his mental state earlier that day. 

 January 13 at 8:04 PM

The genius in the White House has always believed that what makes him special is his ability to get things done without going through the steps others must take.

In school, he bragged that he’d do well without cracking a book. As a young real estate developer, his junior executives recalled, he skipped the studying and winged his way through meetings with politicians, bankers and union bosses. And as a novice politician, he scoffed at the notion that he might suffer from any lack of experience or knowledge.

So when President Trump tweeted last weekend that he “would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!” it was consistent with a pattern of asserting that he will do this his way, without bending to expectations about what constitutes proper presidential behavior.

The tweet, issued in response to a new book that suggests his closest advisers doubt his mental stability, not only doubled down on his belief that smashing conventions is the path to success but also underscored his lifelong conviction that he wins when he’s the center of attention. In the ceaseless battle of life, Trump made clear by claiming the title of genius that he won’t give way to those who believe he doesn’t belong at the top.

“There is a certain kind of genius to winning the presidency like it was an entry-level job,” said Dave Shiflett, the co-writer of Trump’s first book about his political views, “The America We Deserve,” which was published in 2000. “To go into those campaign rallies with just a few notes and connect with people he wasn’t at all like, that takes a certain genius. His genius is he’ll say anything to connect with people. He won by telling the rally crowds that the people who didn’t like them also didn’t like him.”

To many people who worked with Trump throughout his career, last week’s tweets — and Tuesday’s virtually unprecedented Cabinet Room reality show, in which the president conducted an on-camera negotiation about immigration policy with stunned congressional Republicans and Democrats — were familiar tactics: a bold, even brazen, drive to put on a show and make himself the star.

Even when he is not overtly trying to win attention, his natural instinct — a form of genius to some, a sign of instability to others — is to choose the unfiltered path, as he did Thursday, when he told senators during a White House discussion about immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations that the United States should bring in people from countries like Norway, not from “shithole countries.” Although Trump on Friday appeared to deny having used that vulgarity, he tweeted that he did use “tough” language — a long-standing point of pride for the president, whose political ascent was fueled by his argument that, as a billionaire, he is liberated to say what some other Americans only think.

From his earliest days in the real estate business, Trump boasted frequently about being smart, said Barbara Res, who was Trump’s top construction executive when he built Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in the 1980s.

“He needed to be stroked all the time and told how smart he was,” she said. “Every decision process was clouded by his sense that he knows more than anybody else. But you could work with that: The way we got things done was to approach him with an idea and make him think it was his. It was so easy.”

Res added: “Donald was always a forest person; he never knew anything about the trees. He knew concrete was brought in on trucks, but he really didn’t know how to run a project. What he had was street smarts — good instincts about people.”

Those instincts did not always bring about stellar results, as Trump’s enterprises suffered a series of bankruptcies and other setbacks from the 1990s through the years before he entered politics.

Those who have watched Trump for decades say he has always encouraged people around him to view him as someone who could see things that others could not. A.J. Benza, a former journalist who covered Trump for many years in New York and in 2001 had a public spat with him when Trump began going out with Benza’s girlfriend, said that Trump often talked about being the smartest guy in the room.

 

“He never meant ‘book genius’ when he said it,” said Benza, who now hosts “Fame is a Bitch,” a podcast about celebrity. “He means, okay, he didn’t hit the brains lottery, but he’s brilliant and cunning in the way he operates. He’s amazing at taking the temperature of the room and knowing how to appease everyone. You want that kind of instinct in your quarterbacks, in your generals. It’s not what we’ve ever thought of as what makes a great president, but he’s never going to be the guy who makes great speeches. This is who he is.”

Being something of a genius was central to Trump’s self-image, his former executives said. Everyone around him learned to cater to that — even his father, who trained Trump to follow in his footsteps as a developer.

In the first major newspaper profile of Trump, in the New York Times in 1976, his father, Fred Trump, describes his son as “the smartest person I know.”

Throughout his life, Donald Trump has believed that his instincts and street smarts positioned him to succeed where others might struggle. At the University of Pennsylvania, he concluded that “there was nothing particularly awesome or exceptional about my classmates” in the real estate division of the Wharton School’s business program, Trump later wrote in one of his books. “Perhaps the most important thing I learned at Wharton was not to be overly impressed by academic credentials.”

Res said that Trump often bragged that he was “first” in his class in the Wharton program or that he was a “top student” there, but his name does not appear in the school’s honor roll, and classmates recalled him as someone who skated by doing little work. “He did what it took to get through the program,” classmate Louis Calomaris told The Washington Post in 2016.

His father often told Trump that “you are a king,” instructing him to “be a killer.” Fred Trump was a student of Dale Carnegie, the evangelist of success through self-improvement, and an acolyte of Norman Vincent Peale, the New York minister who preached a gospel of positive thinking.

“I believe in being prepared and all that stuff,” Trump told biographer Michael D’Antonio. “But in many respects, the most important thing is an innate ability. I’m a big believer in natural ability,” which, Trump said, he had “always had.”

Throughout his business career, Trump expressed deep skepticism of book learning, scoffing at the notion that academics were smarter than others, contending instead that his instincts would prevail over those who studied a subject to death.

In 2000, when Shiflett co-wrote Trump’s book on politics, a newspaper that was writing about the book asked what author had most influenced Trump. Shiflett said he called Trump’s office to find out what he should tell the reporter, and he was told to pick any writer he wanted to. “So I told them he likes Dostoevsky,” Shiflett said. “It was all just good times; the spirit around him was kind of mirthful. Everybody understood that and nobody took any of it very seriously.”

In Trump’s vocabulary, “genius” is perhaps the highest praise, and it refers to a street-level ability to get things done. Trump often referred to his lawyer and early mentor Roy Cohn as “a total genius” or a “political genius,” even if he was also “a lousy lawyer.” Trump explained in one of his books that his own true “genius” was for public relations: Rather than spending money on advertising, he said, he put his efforts toward winning news coverage of himself as a “genius.”

Despite his long history of boasts and his many admissions that he has a large ego, Trump has also had moments of extreme self-doubt. Biographer Harry Hurt described a period around 1990 when, as his marriage to Ivana Trump was breaking up, he occasionally spoke about suicide, according to friends and relatives.

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Ivana Trump decided that the couple should see a psychiatrist. Her husband resisted at first but then agreed, telling her he’d go, “only if you think it will fix what’s wrong with you,” according to Hurt’s 1993 book “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump.” Hurt reported that the future president attended only one session.

Soon, he was back to his usual publicly bullish self, “Trump being Trump,” as he sometimes called it.

“He says things because it gets attention,” Shiflett said. “He just wants people to talk about him.”

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