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remote X weirdness

This is not a strictly laptop problem, but I see it on a laptop :-)

It happens at least on  Libranet 2.8, and I seem to recall seeing it 
happen on other Debians.

I "ssh -XC <ip>", then "firefox" or "firefox&".  Sure enough, I get 
Firefox on my local display.  But, it gives every indication that it is 
a local Firefox, not Firefox on the remote box; the URL "file:///" 
shows the local filesystem.  Other X apps run through the ssh ARE on 
the remote box.

What the heck is going on here?  And how to I fix it?

Willie, ONWARD!  Through the fog!
http://counter.li.org Linux registered user #228836 since 1995
Linux system uptime  469 days  4 hours 18 minutes

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