The Bird House: Culture War 101

Blog Post Written By: Colin Offenbacker

Hey everyone, Colin here from Salt of the Streets. When I recorded my last blog post I was in somewhat of a weird head space and I was struggling to understand a lot of what was happening in the country, in the world and even what I was trying to do with these blog posts. It’s been a couple of weeks since then and after some off-mic beers with Don, some conversation and a hell of a lot of thinking I’m feeling like I’m in a better head space this time around. That being said, I spoke last time about not knowing exactly what I was doing with these blog posts. I had gone from a more structured informational pieces to more of an off the cuff personal post, and now, after all this time spinning my wheels and trying to see which direction I wanted to go, I’ve decided to continue on doing what I’ve been doing lately, except now I’m doing it consciously, with a deliberate direction, showcasing my own thoughts and opinions on stories and situations that I feel strongly about. With that preamble out of the way, welcome to my audio blog, a place that, from here on out, I’m going to be referring to as, “The Bird House”, it’s a place where I, @BigBirdOffie (on both instagram and twitter I might add), can invite you in to listen, learn and share ideas about those things I’m most passionate about. And in this first, but not really first episode of The Bird House, we’re going to be talking about a subject I’ve been enamored and yet strangely fascinated with over the past couple years, today is Culture War 101. So come on in, make yourself comfortable and lets have a discussion.

Have you ever heard the phrase; politics is downstream from culture, or perhaps you’ve heard it the opposite way, that culture is downstream from politics. When you really stop to think about it, I feel like it really depends on your outlook toward the government and how it intermingles with our society at large. Does out politics govern our culture, or does our culture govern our politics? Maybe it goes both ways. Maybe it ebbs and floods like the tides. It is that struggle between who’s downstream of whom, and whether politics should lead culture or vise-versa that I see as the greater frame work that makes up what I call the culture war. Now it’s not that “I” call it the culture war, that’s a term that has been around for as long as I’ve been paying attention, but it’s that ebbing and flowing of societal power and control that I see as the culture war. The entire concept of the Culture War is something that’s about as subjective as any of the idea-debates playing out on the various battle grounds of said culture war. Some even see it as a modern day version of a civil war, I don’t think I’d ever go that far, but I can see “some” similarities and commonalities when I compare them to some of the social changes and events that lead up to our historical civil war, but at the end of the day, I just don’t see the events of the early 1860’s ever playing out in any recognizable fashion in our modern age, we’re just not the same people, were not the same society that we were even a couple generations ago, greater still than those in the ladder half of the 1800’s. No, our culture war is being fought over the concept and the validity of something called intersectionality.

And what is intersectionality?

The short answer is that intersectionality is a perspective, and more to the point, a perspective on so called social justice. It’s a way to view the world and society as a whole based off of a certain amount of characteristics a person has. Characteristics such as race, sexual orientation, gender identification, ethnicity, religion, age, occupation, income status, family status, geographic location, immigration status, language and that’s just naming a few.

The longer answer is a that the entire concept of intersectionality was created by, if not created then first pushed as in ideology by a women named Kimberle Crenshaw back in 1989. She is touted as the first person to use the word intersectionality, which she used in a paper for the University of Chicago Legal Forum entitled “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” In 2016, Crenshaw released a TED talk in which, over the course of just under 19 minutes, she breaks down where the idea came from.

While listening to her give this TED talk, one could be forgiven for being convinced that the idea of intersectionality is a great idea, as she describes the case she studied before coming up with the term she coined. In short, back in 1976 a discrimination lawsuit had been brought to a courtroom in which Emma DeGraffenreid and several other black women sued the General Motors company over the idea that the company segregated it’s workforce by race and gender. Men did one set of jobs, women did another set of jobs, but the catch was that the men were all black and the women were all white. This left the group of black women aggrieved, rightly so, but the case was tossed out by the judge for having no basis in discrimination. Now don’t get me wrong for what I’m about to say here, the type of segregation taking place in this suit was 100% terrible and would in no way be okay in our modern day workforce. But without knowing all the details of that particular case I would have to assume that do to the era and the ridiculous racial problems still heavily present at the time, the fact that the suit was tossed out seems to me like a judicial loop-hole at the time. They hired black people and they hired women, how could they be called discriminatory? Looking at it today, I can safely say that they were absolutely sexist and racist for not hiring these women. But when you take that same thinking and apply it to the modern western world, I just don’t see that same situation working out the way it did then, whether viewed through the lens of intersectionality or not, that was just plain wrong.

Either way, this is how Crenshaw came up with this idea of intersectionality. If the judge at the time could have seen there struggle as not just African-Americans, and not just Women, but as African-American women, then he would have not tossed out the case. He would have seen that the oppression that the women were being discriminated under was due to the fact that these women were caught between the intersection of gender and race discrimination. Frankly I just see it as good old fashioned racism and sexism, travesties that ran rampant during this time period. Now, intersectionality, if applied to a systemically oppressive authority could possibly have it’s benefits played out correctly, assuming that the systematic oppression is REAL, but in todays modern age, where the vast majority of discrimination is based on merit and not hatred or systematic oppression, intersectionality simply doesn’t work. In fact it’s totally counter productive, it’s regressive, not progressive.

The massive problem that intersectionality presents in todays world, and unfortunately it’s one of, if not the core principles of the ideology, is the fact that the whole ideology is based off of oppression and segregation. Though it isn’t stated in the TED talk by Crenshaw, the real world ramifications of this ideology has proven time and time again that this is indeed the case. There are many problems with intersectional thinking, but other than the fact that it forces people into various groups and then judges them based off of how much historic oppression that group has received over a period of time, is the fact that it’s simply un-American, and beyond that, it completely and utterly immoral. The thought that you can group people like ALL Straight White Male’s (these are people who are at the intersection of heterosexuality, white privilege and male dominance, also known as the patriarchy) examine there historical oppression, which in this case; white people are counted as oppressors and don’t rank on the scale of oppression, heterosexuals is the historical normalized status, again not oppressed, and male…did I mention the patriarchy already, I feel like that sums that up enough. After all these factors are weighed against every other group of socially marginalized groups that suffer from xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, classism, sexism, racism, heterosexism, ableism, the straight white male is left at the bottom of the oppression scale.

On the other hand, A trans-women person of color, after running the math stacks rather high on the scale and must be propped up to make up for the systemic and historical oppression people like she has suffered over the years… Yeah, no I’m not kidding, this is actually a thing. This type of thinking really exists out there, and in a far greater number than we’d like to think. Now it doesn’t always get that crazy. Lets take a much simpler example. The hetero-normative, cis-gendered African-American male, stands below an African-American women of the same make up, do to the fact that women have historically been oppressed by men.

Again, there are so many problems with intersectionality, it’s impossible to capture all of them here right now, but I will note one other major problem that faces intersectionality. It’s a problem pointed out by none other than the New York Times, back in October I believe, when they put out an article, not an op-ed but an actual detailed article describing the problem that the intersectionalists were facing with the Jewish population of the country. They pointed out that the Jewish population of New York City was experiencing a massive surge in anti-Semitic hate crimes, something that would help sky rocket the Jews higher up the oppression hierarchy, but they pointed out a problem. You see, even though the Jews are about one of the most historically oppressed people on history, they are rather successful these days and there’s the fact that they kind of, well…they look white. Now the article did a very fine job in calling out the fact that there might be a slight problem with the intersectional narrative being pushed if the Jews don’t have a place under this intersectional umbrella, but when you take a step back and stop comparing the suffering of the Jews to others, you might be able to see how flat out racist it is to just lump all Jews together and judge them on an oppression scale.

The simple fact is, intersectionality is totally and completely wrong. If you cannot view an individual by the content of there character, and not by the color of there skin, sexual orientation, immigration status, so on and so forth, then your wrong, your just plain wrong. Americans don’t believe that type of crap, at least we don’t believe it anymore. Yes, we all have ancestral skeletons in our closets, but news flash, I am not my father, I am not my grandfather, or his father and neither are you. You have freewill, you have the freedom of thought and expression and you live in the freest country during the freest time in human history and it is up to us to realize that and act on that. Do not let the hatred of days gone by effect our present or our future. We are the only ones that can create the future we want, all we have to do is…do it, this is how we’ll win the Culture War.

Episode 51 is HERE!

On episode 51 Don and Offie go over the Michael Cohen hearing along with the new and continued allegations raised during the testimony, as well as whether or not he CAN be believed, Don rephrases some of his comments on the fan letter last week, both narratives in the current political unrest in Venezuela, Alex Jones on JRE is a gift to everyone, the summit in Vietnam and the products of it (or lack there of), why the ISIS brides are really a matter of opinion in patriotism, R. Kelly, Zac Efron as Ted Bundy, and a DESTROYED Cowboys D line on a urine fueled SPORTS!!

Our favorite topics are the ones we get from our fans. The whole reason we started this show was to provide people with the information we felt like they deserved. So if there is something you want to know about, but don’t feel you have the time to learn about it then ASK US. Let us do the work for you. Reach out to us on ANY of our social media and we will get back to you.

HERE is the episode a few weeks ago where we discussed Venezuela.

Our podcasts originate from our SoundCloud but can be found anywhere you can listen to a podcast including Apple Podcasts. The pre shows are LIVE on our Facebook every week before we record the show and then can be found on our YouTube along with the full episode video and ALL of our other videos.

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Back to Work Blog Post 2/28/2019

I love my job. It’s very strange and very particular, and makes me feel valued when I get frustrated and take a step back to look at it. I am like Liam Neeson in the way I have a very particular set of skills, except mine won’t translate as well when I’m done working here. I don’t want to go deep in depth about my job here but if you are curious about it check out episode #40 where we interviewed Dave Z and talked quite a bit about what we do to make money.

At the risk of sounding like a douche by saying “ nothing is the same since I have had a kid “, it’s true. Very few things are the same since Dax was born. The three weeks I took off were rad but at the end I did kind of miss work if only because I got so used to doing it all the time, but I was and am happy to be back. I didn’t forget anything major, which was a concern, and was able to step right back into the swing of things. But I FEEL different being here. I get bored way easier. Like, much much easier. Maybe bored isn’t even the right word but uncaptivated is too generous to how captivated I was before by my work.

That’s normal, I know that, to not always be fully enjoying what you are doing but it leads to being much more easily distracted. It’s even carried over into the podcast, albeit to a lesser degree. I attribute that to the fact that I feel very passionate about what we are doing here and enjoy and also need the conversations that Colin and I have every week. There are not many places I can openly, freely, and confidently talk about the things we talk about.  It’s a release for me and an opportunity I didn’t often get before we started the pod.

I shared with my wife today, and put into words for the first time, that one of the things that has changed for me is my work. I no longer feel fulfilled by my work like I did before. I’m not able to plug in and tune out like I was before Dax was born. I’m not sure what to attribute that to yet. Whether it’s just the time I took off work, still getting used to my new life or that my priorities have shifted completely.

I’m not going to start looking for a new job or anything, especially before I figure out why I’m feeling this way, but this new lack of fulfillment has further solidified for me that I will probably have to find something new to do to have the life style I want. It has also further solidified for me that the podcast is probably the way to do that. If I want to be able to be with my family as much I can, want to try and do what I can to change and improve the world around me, and want to be able to express myself, have honest, thought provoking and idea challenging conversations, then building this podcast to a point where my life and the life of my family and co host can be supported is the best option I have.

That’s been the whole point of this from the beginning. For us to have an outlet for ourselves and thoughts that we felt people could benefit from, and if we can support ourselves or even thrive while we are doing it then that’s even better. I’m not sure exactly what I expected it to be like this first year. I certainly didn’t expect to be making money one year in (which we aren’t), and I don’t know that I even expected people to be listening. I suppose in that sense I’m exactly where I thought I would be.

Starting a business is hard, which in the end is what we are doing. And I think starting a business in your 20s is particularly hard because you don’t know who you are yet. I feel confident and blessed that I was able to begin to get a grip on who I am this early. That I even have a clue. I have a lot of people to thank for that.

Myself partially for working and making mistakes but not ever giving up no matter how bad I wanted to so many times. I also have to thank my mom for birthing me and giving me a shot at life, and then for doing an excellent job raising me. My grandma for doing the latter. My sister for teaching me to deal with difficult people. My wife for always pushing me and supporting me through anything I want to do. Even make mistakes. Colin for joining me and again pushing me to try my hardest and challenge my own thinking up until this point. And now finally my son. For changing my life and forcing me into a reality point of what I need to do with myself.

I want to run a media network. One that we started. I want people working for us and reporters in the White House press room. I want to read news from my journalists that is breaking, and that is vital to the American public. I want to take that news and report, along side my good buddy Colin, every single day of the week. I want people to trust our name, because they know that we won’t lie and neither will our journalists. And most of all I want to do it honestly, so that my son can see that it’s possible. For helping me get here mentally I can never thank any of these people enough. All I can do, is DO IT. All I can do is work and strive and yearn for success until I achieve it. I can reach these goals and dreams to show my son and my family and my loved ones that their time was not wasted. To succeed is the only way to repay those who showed faith in me and there for my only option.

From here I use the advice of Dr. Jordan Peterson. The best way to achieve a large goal, is to set small ones that are a pathway to the large one. So now, I reframe my thinking. I need to look at my job as the incredible opportunity that it is that provides me with everything I need to support my family and support the podcast until the podcast itself does that. I need to use the time I have and make the most of it and do research for the podcast. Use my lunch to write my blog posts (which is what I’m doing right now) and try and get my name out there, to try and get OUR name out there. People want what we are offering. They just don’t know it yet. Somethings people know that they want. Cures to diseases. TV whenever they want. Pizza delivery. And some things they don’t. Like honest news and cold. Hard. Facts.

Episode 50 of Salt of The Streets Podcast

On a very big episode 50, Don and Offie address some concerns expressed by a viewer  with a small look into how Don sees the Government, break down the Green New Deal  and the positives, negatives, and inconsistencies, a little about The Bern and why we WON’T be going over any candidates yet, why Amazon is pulling out of New York and why it may or may not be a bad thing , big picture thoughts about money, socialism, taxes, and intersectionality, and a Pats filled SPORTS!!

HERE is the link for the episode where we covered the “Amazon” or “Head” tax that was passed and then repealed in Seattle.

We love to cover topics requested by the fans. We are here for YOU. If you have ANY questions or ANY topics you want covered, let us know. We are ALWAYS open for requests.

All of our podcasts originate on SoundCloud but can be found ANYWHERE you can find a podcast including Apple Podcasts. Our Pre Shows are live on our Facebook and then go up on our YouTube on Tuesdays followed by the full show on Wednesday.

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Dons Valentines BlogPost 2/14/2019

I am finally back. I want to start with an insane shout out to my partner in crime in these affairs for being about the best business partner one could ask for. Not only did he check up on me all the time, he covered several blog posts for me and intended to cover an episode until that unruly brother of his took him on a duck hunt. But who can blame him.

As of right now, Dax is 3 weeks and two days old. Jordyn is feeding him while we watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” while I write this post. This three weeks has been… the most trying of my entire life. I never lacked respect before, but now have a new found respect for everyone who has children that have made into adulthood happy and healthy. I have already started to learn things as a father and also had to learn some things for myself that people had already tried to warn me about.

When you have a baby everyone has advice or their own story. Some of that stuff is really helpful. Weird ways they burped their baby or something like that which may come in handy. Also if you have a boy, he will pee on you. And then you will make sure he is covered always. But he will still get you.

One of the things that always caught me was that so many men told me that the moment I held my baby everything would change for me. That women are mothers when they find out they are pregnant and men are fathers when they hold their child. I looked forward to that.

When Dax was born I didn’t experience that instant feeling that everyone talked about. I don’t know if it’s because I was so tired or it didn’t go exactly as we planned or what, but I didn’t feel that and then was nervous. This is all so new and I didn’t know and still don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. All I can do is what feels natural.

I took three weeks off of work and had a fair amount of time to think about what I wanted or whatever was on my mind. And it took until the third week for me to figure it out. Dax has some days where he is inconsolable. The nurses at our local hospital call it “the phase of purple crying“ and gave us a DVD to help us deal with it. It essentially breaks down that sometimes your baby just cries, and there isn’t anything to be done. Eventually you have done everything but the baby is still upset and it’s easy to get frustrated or upset with yourself because you might think you are doing something wrong, when really you aren’t.

So it’s in the middle of one of these days where I’m trying to let Jordyn get some sleep because she is up every time he wants to eat which can be exhausting. So I’m holding my baby who is screaming at the top of his lungs and has been for 45 minutes, and that’s when it hits me. I know I love him because I wouldn’t accept this behavior from anyone else. Not even my wife. I would just walk away for a while or if it was someone else’s child I would never watch them again.

But when Dax is this upset, as frustrated as I am, all I want is for him to be happy. I want him to be calm so he can sleep and eat and be fulfilled. But it’s not just with this behavior, it’s with everything. Right now in my area we have an average of about 9” of snow and anyone else I would force to go places with me if I wanted them to. My son, I didn’t want to even leave the house if he didn’t have to. I’m limiting the small children I bring my baby around because I am afraid for him to get sick when he is this young. I told my mom yesterday that all I want for him right now is to be safe.

I am beginning to understand what people mean when they say the love you have for your child is indescribable. I don’t mean that in the cliche way like “oh man it’s just so intense I can’t even describe it“. I mean I don’t understand it. Being a father to a newborn is something that is foreign to me in the way my brain works. I have lots of experience with babies and newborns, but spending 3 weeks straight with something that makes no logical sense is extremely difficult to even really comprehend when you live your life based on logic. Because the behavior of a baby is not dictated by any logic past eating, pooping, and sleeping. On my best days I can be very understanding, but on my worst days at 2:30 in the morning? Not always the case.

As I watch my son flail his arms around and every so often slap himself because he doesn’t even know that his hands are attached to his body, I am astounded. Astounded that human beings brains are so wildly complex that we can begin as creatures that are barely sentient and learn and grown and evolve in just a few decades to put people in space or learn to put someone’s face on someone else’s body. It instills an appreciation for people that I did not have before, but now do not think I will ever lose.

I cannot wait to see Dax grow up and choose a path for his life so that I can say that I have seen the entire scope of his progression of intelligence, at least as much as I could. I’m sure when he is an adult I will eat those words and want this time back when he relied on us and was actually comforted by us instead of annoyed by us. Right now I just try to take it day by day and make sure I am doing everything I can to do my best everyday.

Donavan Phillips

Salt of The Streets Episode 48

On our the first classic episode in a few weeks the birth of the first Salt of The Streets baby is announced and the boys get back to the basics with hopefully what will be final shutdown related coverage, the current political strife in Venezuela and different ideas on how to handle it, the recent arrest of Roger Stone, new abortion laws being introduced, a new law considering exeptions from vaccines, lots of red dead talk as well as the first few weeks of father hood and of course SPORTS!!

Things were crazy the last few weeks but should be getting back normal so you can expect our usual pre shows on Saturday and the occasional Sunday, new episodes like this one every Monday, the full video on our YouTube on Tuesday, am the written and audio blog posts on Thursday. All audio originates on our SoundCloud and then can be found anywhere that you can find a podcast.

We love feedback from the listeners and of course answering any questions you have or covering any topics you request. You can reach out to us on ANY of our social media either business or personal and we WILL answer. We also have T shirts for sale that can be purchased from us at any time. If you leave us a review wherever you listen, take a screen shot and send it to us you will get $5 off of your first shirt.

Colin is Angry

Written by: Colin Offenbacker

Welcome back to the Salt of the Streets Blog, Colin here again this week, filling in for Don. Instead of doing the 3rd part of my Iran-Contra series this week, I’m going to be discussing something a little more contemporary. I’ll be back again next week with more Iran-Contra but today were going to be talking about some of my personal frustration stemming from the partial government shutdown. If you didn’t catch Don and I’s hour and a half long conversation on it on the last podcast your seriously missing out. We covered a million different aspects of the shutdown, but I still have a chip on my shoulder about the whole thing. It’s an avenue we didn’t focus on too much, but today, I’m going to get into it.

I’m going to start out by telling a story.

Now, I feel like I should preface this whole thing by saying I do have a pretty mushy soft spot in my heart for little random acts of kindness and charity. That being said, last week I was thumbing through my facebook feed and stumbled upon a post that left a single salty tear slowly rolling down my cheek. It was a post from the wife of an old Coast Guard shipmate of mine. The first thing that caught my eye was the picture attached to the post. It was a picture of an opened card with a simple sympathy entry inside, it said “Just remember, YOU’RE NOT ALONE in this.” And below this was a hand written message, reading, “Sorry your family is affected by the government shutdown. This isn’t much but hope it can help in some way.” The cover of the card didn’t have an address written on it, no return address, just the family’s last name. That right there tells me that the anonymous do gooder was perhaps someone local to there community. They weren’t looking for any recognition, they simply wanted to help a family, a friend, or maybe a neighbor, who through no fault of there own were in need.

This post filled my heart all at once with both joy and sadness. Joy for the selfless act of anonymous charity. Sadness, and rage due to the fact that an active duty service member and his family, do to the shutdown, were in a position to necessitate an act of charity.

Being a prior member of the United States Coast Guard myself, I have been highly agitated by the federal governments complete blundering of the political situation centered around The Wall. As I prefaced in the beginning of this post, I won’t be rehashing all the things Don and I discussed around the shutdown here. No, I have a separate bone to pick today.

This time, my animosity is focused on “my people”. The social and political commentators from the Conservative side of the political spectrum. Particularly Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire and John Podhoretz of Commentary Magazine, both of whom host shows I listen to as part of my regular podcast regiment.

They, like many on the conservative side of the spectrum have seemed to beat the drum of, hey so what if some 800,000 federal workers are either furloughed, without pay, or are having to work, without pay. I am very much of a similar mindset, when it comes to most bureaucratic branches of the federal government, but, when one of those branches is an active duty military branch, my lack of sympathy reaches for the hand break and screeches to a stop.

This ridiculous shutdown has been going on now for the ladder part of a month, with no end in site. All this time, there has been more than 40,000 of our nations young men and women in the United States Coast Guard standing there watch, braving perilous waters to perform search and rescue operations, interdicting massive drug shipments, stopping and often saving the lives of, what would be undocumented/illegal migrants who were trying to make the dangerous voyage across literal oceans to get into this country, and a dozen other various missions. All without being paid.

The complete lack of almost any conversation around this idea of an entire branch of the military missing out on paychecks, and by conservatives no less, seems fundamentally wrong to me. As someone who generally lands on the conservative side more times than not, I always thought that regardless of politics we stood by our military, we supported our troops, at home and abroad. It’s a fundamental core belief. Apparently taking shots at the bevy of democratic presidential hopefuls coming out of the woodwork, or at the lefts latests rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is more important. Don’t get me wrong, I love to destroy the crazy things that come out of her mouth as much as the next guy, but it’s like shooting the broad side of a barn with her. It may be fun, yes, but there’s no substance to it, at this point it’s all just part of this “own the libs” routine they all seem to be playing. All while our nations finest are baring the brunt of another ridiculous game of political softball. I’m disappointed, I’m angry, I mean these are “my people” and they’re dropping the ball on calling out the government for there stupidity and shear incompetence.

Do we need a wall? I mean, who the hell am I to say. I don’t know, I would like to think that in 2019 we could be a little more sophisticated than a fucking wall, but in the end, this is political debate that should be happening on the floors of the House of Congress and in the Senate. That’s how this is supposed to work for god sakes. If we the people, working through our elected representatives haven’t collectively figured out the answer when it comes time to fund our over-bloated government, tough, we’ll have to continue to debate and to politically negotiate while we continue to fund and run the behemoth governmental machine that we’ve all helped build.

In closing I want to leave you with just a few of the statistics put out by the U.S. Coast Guard covering Fiscal Year 2017:

Removed over 223 metric tons of cocaine; 31,190 pounds of marijuana; 6 kilograms of heroin
and other opiates; and 168 kilograms of methamphetamines worth $6.6 billion wholesale.

Interdicted 2,512 undocumented migrants.

Responded to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria assisting more than 11,200 persons.

Conducted over 5,300 hours of icebreaking operations to support movement of cargo worth
over $1.5 billion through ice-impeded waters of the Great Lakes and the Eastern Seaboard.

Not counting hurricanes, they responded to 12,270 pollution incident reports; responded to 16,069
Search and Rescue cases; assisted 22,004 people; saved 4,228 lives; and protected more than
$76 million in property from loss.