158 Comments

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Sykes: "Open discussion and debate [on male-born transgender athletes' participation in competitive women’s and girls’ sports] are sorely needed."

I would suggest the following approach

The normal range of natural testosterone for men is 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or 10 to 35 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)

The normal range of natural testosterone for women is 15 to 70 ng/dL or 0.5 to 2.4 nmol/L

To allow their participation in competitive women’s and girls’ sports, enforce a continuous cap on trans-women's testosterone of 70 ng/dL or 2.4 nmol/L, which must be demonstrated by continuously meeting the limit for six consecutive months before the event(s)

This cap would not apply to cis-women's natural levels of testosterone

https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/tests/testosterone

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Thanks for the translation of Dugin's rant. It sounds insane to us, but this kind of thinking is now the official line in Russia. Last week, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the second highest bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church, was fired from ALL of his high-level responsibilities and named Metropolitan of Budapest, a diocese with just 10 parishes. It appears his offense was a lack of enthusiasm for the holy war rhetoric of Putin and Kirill. He never spoke against it, mind you; but his silence was perceived as too loud.

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I’m a Jew and using that as a verb is absolutely antisemitic, as you say. It has no innocent etymology. The fact that people still use it doesn’t mean they don’t know what it means.

There is no comparison with employing neutral words.

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All I know is that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality even once, but he did say we should treat others the way we want to be treated, so I’m going with that (two facts which I’m surprised more devout Christians haven’t picked up on).

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Lia Thomas caught my attention. At the high school and college level scholarships can be involved, and biological advantage seems unfair. On the other hand, Thomas lost this week to a trans man who swims for the women’s team at Yale.

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"niche voice within the Republican Party, because there are plenty of gay conservatives out there, there are plenty of lesbian conservatives out there"

See that's the problem. The Republicans are no longer conservative. They are fascists. Knuckle under or your dead.

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I believe calling a spade a spade does mean “speaking plainly and honestly” .. y'know, don't call a spade a shovel or a hoe. Just call a spade a spade”

Im curious how much of this is regional dialect?

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Wow. Well… couple things.Putin has no more face to save. It is NOT Europe’s job to save his face. Perhaps smoosh his face in a pie made out of the poison he used on Navalny? Id be okay w that.

As for the whole trans thing. Much like pregnancy, its complicated by the fact that each pregnancy and each trans human are different. Often dramatically different. Each situation is novel and deserves to be treated UNIQUELY. BY DOCTORS. Both pregnancy and transitioning are MEDICAL. NOT LEGAL.

I am sick to death of Republicans “playing doctor”. Checking the genitalia of athletes? Egregious Child abuse.

Should we rationally discuss the best way forward for trans kids? Yes if its to provide parents with resources and children with acceptance. We cis folk need to defend and ally of course, but we should listen a LOT before we “pronounce”. We should listen to trans people, and to parents of exploring kids

Transitioning seems deeply personal, and politics has no business in our personal decisions which do not affect anyone else.

Why is simple kindness so difficult for Republicans? Thats a genuine question in case someone wants to attempt an answer.

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They have plenty of kindness, it just stops for people who are different enough. Which is weird, since so many of them identify as followers of Jesus.

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I'm inclined to snark on the question you pose. But I'll try to 'go straight'. I don't really know the answer. I'd like to think perhaps they just forgot how to be kind. But that would assume that they once knew how to be that. Some of them, maybe. Some of them, probably. But for many of them, I think that trait never existed at all, or was only for 'show' if it was exhibited. A pretty broad brush, but that's all I've got.

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It isn't just Rs - society as a whole, I think, has forgotten to be kind. A lot of so-called good manners are simply people being respectful and kind to each other. When a society becomes all about "me, me, my feelings", kindness is considered weak and "anti-me".

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Yep. Think you're quite right about that, Eva. Quite right, indeed.

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Honestly, in addition to the homophobia, there is a lot in the Texas GOP platform to be legitimately worried about. It is literally trying to take us back to pre-civil war era politics. I think when the economy gets better and inflation isn’t top of mind the GOP will pay a huge cost for its radical views…a shame it can’t be sooner though.

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My favorite is they brought up seceding from the US again.... SCOTUS ruled in 1869 in White v Texas that no state could secede. Read your own local history! lol

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But if they secede they lose all federal benefits—SS, Medicare, disaster relief—so I vote to let them try. With this Court Who knows what will happen? And we should all open our homes to sane Texans fleeing the new nation.

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How do you think they would try? Do you think that would be without violence? It would be our next civil war.

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Are you naive enough to think that’s not their plan? Do you think that troubles them? I doubt if they’d hold out long against the US military, but I acknowledge that secession being a stupid, self-destructive choice doesn’t mean they won’t make it anyway. I don’t engage in conversations with those with adolescent oppositional disorder, though, so I’m out of this one.

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I was asking a serious question. What do you think they would try to do?

The only process I can envision is war. I live in Texas right now and can say for all the talk, there's no actual action being discussed. I'm not sure they have thought about a process. Honestly most Texans couldn't care or for that matter name their federal benefits or have even thought that far into it. Sorta like how they caught the bus with abortion - there is zero actual plan to deal with consequences.

There's zero need to be insulting. I'm genuinely trying to have a conversation.

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Jun 19, 2022·edited Jun 19, 2022

I'm just here to find out why all the people who told me to shut up and pay my debnts on the student loan matter are outraged that gas is more expensive. I mean, gotta maintain those bank profits, right? But gas? Come on man, just let Russia sell again, please?

Just stop eating avocado toast, bro.

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Peter Thiel a gay billionaire is a huge GOP/trump financial backer. Texas GOP needs to be careful not to crap where it eats.

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There's something a little quaint about citing opinion polls when democracy itself is arguably teetering the the brink of collapse. Who cares what the general public thinks if policy can be commandeered by a vanguard of violent insurrectionists and revolutionaries whom the public is too apathetic or demoralized to oppose in practice? The whole point of the attempted coup was that the country should be at the disposal of (and will obediently follow) whoever has the single minded ruthlessness to seize it.

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"[H]omosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice.” As though we needed any more proof of Republican hypocrisy--or of the clear and present danger Republicans pose. Republicans are all in for freedom except when it conflicts with their prejudices. Then they become the lifestyle judges, juries, and executioners. This is what comes after their rejection of the rule of law.

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They can think what they want about homosexuality. Sexual intercourse was typically defined as "the insertion of a man's erect penis into a woman's vagina, typically culminating in orgasm and the ejaculation of semen." By that definition, homosexuality is abnormal. However, when checking today, I noticed that some dictionaries now differentiate between a heterosexual definition and a homosexual one. In any case, it does not belong in any political platform.

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“DOES NOT BELONG IN ANY POLITICAL PLATFORM”

(Along w any other medical

Procedure, like women’s healthcare. )

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With it being Juneteenth one thing that caught my attention, "calling a spade a spade"

*sigh*

We have so much what I call fossil racism in our language.

I think myself an enlightened person but I catch myself doing it some times.

Jack

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??? Really??? I swear I always thought that phrase was about garden tools.

I still believe that. Why do you think its racial? (Is it a demographic thing? Like where you grew up or something?)

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In the dictionary, I find 2 definitions for spade. A rectangular shovel, or one suite in a deck of cards. The deck of playing cards is steeped in medieval history, so I don't know. I've heard "spade" used as a reference for black people. Does that come from the medieval history? Were the Christians and Kings in the 12th century racist? Probably. Happy Juneteenth.

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Nah, sorry that doesn't give you cover, it is like the term "Pot calling the kettle black"

both rely of black being a derogatory description. other wise they are nonsense.

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Just 2 cents here. Not looking to gainsay anyone's opinion on this.

Was aware of the origin of pot / kettle, but not the medieval connection to cards. My own experience with the word and phrase has been this: 'call a spade a spade' meant speaking frankly and honestly. No racial connection. As to the word itself, in my youth (a long time ago and in a southern state), I heard the word spade used as a derogatory racial term a few times, always by people of my parent's generation or older. Don't think I ever heard it used that way by people my age or, later, younger than me, though some of those folks had plenty of other derogatory and racist words to use and not much compunction about using them.

Some terms or phrases do depend on 'black' (or darkness) as a means to create negative meaning or connotation...'black-hearted', for instance. Don't think there's anything racial about that one, at least I could find none associated with its etymology. But I'll bet there are some people somewhere who would see it that way for some reason.

Words and language can be tricky things. Time passes, meanings and connotations change, sometimes only slightly, sometimes more so, as common usage and understanding at the time dictate. And so you end up with what we have here.

I don't often think to use the phrase 'call a...' because it has fallen by the wayside a good bit. But when it comes to mind, I don't think of it as racist.

As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, meaning is in the mind of the listener (or reader). And we're all unique individuals with different experiences. As relates to that G.B. Shaw quote about two peoples (Brits and Americans) being divided by a common language, I often think the same applies in a way about us as Americans alone: a people sometimes divided by a common language, at least to some extent.

I am also intrigued by your idea of 'fossil racism' in our language. Never thought of that before. In case you haven't guessed, language and words and their usage are of interest to me. No expert by any means. Just an interested observer (and user). So, thanks for a new idea and something else to contemplate in that regard.

I think be mindful and count to ten both good advice.

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"'call a spade a spade' meant speaking frankly and honestly. "

I've never heard it used that way. Or maybe the definition is phrased that politely.

What I hear is this, "I'm going to say this and I don't give a Fk if you like it or not.

The modern equivalent "this may not be politically correct but..."

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Yeah, definitions can often seem 'polite' compared to how a word or phrase may be understood colloquially. One example from many of a quick google re: 'call a...': "speak plainly without avoiding unpleasant issues". Which really has been my own personal experience with this particular phrase, but obviously not yours or others. Perceptions of meanings depend on different things, and often we aren't aware of what they even are. And sometimes our own perceptions of meanings change with time. Which is what I was getting at with that "a people sometimes divided by a common language" thought. Not sure a whole lot can be done about that, other than the type of thing that's been going on here. It's a very large and diverse country, after all. And as with other things, one size doesn't always fit all. But on a more positive note, we'd all probably be bored a lot more often if it did. ;-)

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Your definition/usage is why I called it a fossil.

For most of the 20 century at least, it has been deeply tied to American racism even if certain individuals don't currently use it that way.

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I actually never heard the word “spade” used derogatorily. And never heard it applied to humans until I went to a racially diverse boarding school. The black kids used it about themselves… idk. My brain hurts now.

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Yeah. I get a headache or 3 along these lines sometimes.

Recommend aspirin. Or bourbon. (Not in tandem, though.) Myself, I prefer the 90-proof remedy.

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I was intrigued by your concept of fossil racism in our language and hoping to see some concrete examples. However, when cooks used open fires to prepare meals, pots and kettles both became black with soot. It is not a nonsense saying.

"To call a spade a spade means to speak the unvarnished truth, to speak plainly and without embellishment and without softening the hard realities of that truth. The term to call a spade a spade has its roots in Ancient Greece, in a phrase found in Plutarch’s Apophthegmata Laconic: “…to call a fig a fig and a trough a trough.” Later, in the mid-1500s, the Dutch scholar Erasmus collected various Greek works and translated them into Latin, at which time he interpreted the aphorism as “…to call a spade a spade.” https://grammarist.com/idiom/call-a-spade-a-spade/ The phrase was ruined in the 1920s when "spade" became a pejorative for black people.

I did not know any of this until I looked it up. I did not know "spade" was ever a pejorative for black people. I have never once heard the word used that way in my life. The lesson is to count to ten before ascribing racism. The all-too-quick jumping to conclusions gets elevated by segments of the right as "the left are finding racism under every rock" as a reason to dismiss actual instances of racism.

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I think I love you! ❤️

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There is a reason I used the term Fossil in that people will use a term but not knowing the racism underneath.

Then when they are looking for cover they did like you did with your camp fire or the other example of playing cards.

The amazing thing is in one quick google you discovered that for 100 years calling a spade a spade had racist overtones

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I like the term "fossil" but so far you have not identified any examples of such fossils.

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We have discussed 2, then another of my favorites, across the south,is the use of Jew as a verb for hard bargaining. If you and your date split expenses you are going dutch. There are others and none of them in current usage for most people are derogatory but when they get vigorous defense one wonders.

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Ha, I love it!

How we want to hang on to racist terms, I guess it is not a fossil after all.

And of course the pot calling the kettle black is just a campfire discussion.

Got it.

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What is your point? The saying originally came from Cervantes' novel, Don Quixote. Another early instance is from a book called Some Fruits of Solitude by William Penn, 1693:

“For a Covetous Man to inveigh against Prodigality, an Atheist against Idolatry, a Tyrant against Rebellion, or a Lyer against Forgery, and a Drunkard against Intemperance, is for the Pot to call the Kettle black.”

A saying is not rendered racist simply because it includes the word "black" even when the phrase has a negative connotation. For example, the phrase "black magic" is very old and has nothing to do with racism. The real problem is the over-simplification of the wide variety of skin tones. My son noticed this oversimplification when he was five and asked me, "Why do people say my friend is black when actually he is brown." Your extremism only alienates allies.

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No the real problem is willful blindness and an attempt to defend the indefensible. When I see that I have wonder the value of such an alliance.

I started this with a "benefit of the doubt" thus the term fossil.

Now I wonder.

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Thank you. This is what I was looking/asking for. I had seen the term used as a pejorative in novels I read as a young person. I was thinking that maybe because the Spade suite in a deck of cards is black? I'm not always sure how to ask the right questions to get what I'm looking for. Thanks for your intuitiveness.

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Well, I wasn't asking for "cover". I just asked a simple question. Is that where using the term came from? Which you did not answer. Perhaps you don't know, either.

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I think Tom Nichols laid it out in his newsletter over at the Atlantic. As I remember, once Ukraine did not fold, it was going to be a brutal stalemate that will last as long as Putin wants it too.

of course he is a better writer than I am but I think that about sums it up, in a crude sort of way.

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Jun 19, 2022Liked by Cathy Young

So. Does that Dugin guy speak Russian with a Texas accent? Or is it the other way around down there in the Lone Star State when it comes to the shot callers in the party in power.

A little light reading copied form the newsletter from Heather Cox Richardson "Letters from an American" (6-18), the name of which in this instance (for me, anyway) contains a tad bit too much irony on a couple of levels to go unnoticed.

"...delegates to a convention of the Texas Republican Party today approved platform planks rejecting “the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and [holding] that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States”; requiring students “to learn about the dignity of the preborn human,” including that life begins at fertilization; treating homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice”; locking the number of Supreme Court justices at 9; getting rid of the constitutional power to levy income taxes; abolishing the Federal Reserve; rejecting the Equal Rights Amendment; returning Christianity to schools and government; ending all gun safety measures; abolishing the Department of Education; arming teachers; requiring colleges to teach “free-market liberty principles”; defending capital punishment; dictating the ways in which the events at the Alamo are remembered; protecting Confederate monuments; ending gay marriage; withdrawing from the United Nations and the World Health Organization; and calling for a vote “for the people of Texas to determine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”"

Can hear a bit of a 'twang' in there in a couple of spots from over yonder there beyond that Ukraine place, nyet?

With apologies to all the people in Texas who do not and will not support this bullshit...

What say you, Governor Abbott? I don't think you're planning on taking a shot at POTUS. But there may be another presidential job opening in your neck of the woods, if your political comra...er, allies get what they're apparently wishing for. How's that sound to ya'? Korosho, maybe?

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Ha!

I only wrote about the homosexuality plank in the Texas platform, but yeah, the whole thing is nuts.

(FWIW abolishing the Dept of Education was a fairly mainstream GOP thing that was being pushed in the Reagan era; note that the Department was just over a year old when Reagan took office, being founded in 1979. Which is also part of why this whole thing feels so 1980s.)

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Hi, Cathy...Nuts and then some! IDK, having read about that *platform* in the source I mentioned and a couple of other places yesterday, reading that bit about Dugin just started a couple of bells ringing. Abnormal lifestyle choice, ERA, Christianity / government, gay marriage, monuments, the Alamo (the freakin' *Alamo*, for God's sake!! Guess it's sort of important to those folks. But come on!!). And throw in secession, just for good measure.

Ain't a butterfly net big enough - or enough of 'em - for what's goin' on down there!

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M Trosino. I hereby bestow on you the coveted award: Comment of the Day!!

Bravo. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼🏅

It was insightful, funny, well written and instructive. 🙏🏼

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Wow. DeeDee. Me thinks thou dost praise a bit too much. But thank you. Very much.

(Trying right now to figure out a way to hang it on my wall!)

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Jun 19, 2022·edited Jun 19, 2022

There is a certain brilliance to just how comprehensively awful that list is. I couldn’t come up with it. I don’t think a stupid person or group of stupid people could; although perhaps a smarter person might be able to pause and consider the real world outcomes of such a platform. It’s an assembly of people who are well prepped on the issues, very thoroughly briefed, but they’re getting their briefings from QAnon and 8chan. God help us.

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God help us, indeed.

But wait. How's that gonna' happen? Even if we ask for His help (I do), He's already on *their side*, right? Talk about a stacked deck!

Comprehensively awful, and then some. Actually, it just sort of turns my stomach, and no amount of Dramamine will help with that.

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At least it is a party platform. The national Republicans did not have one in 2020. Furthermore, every time I ask a Republican what was lost that a return to American greatness would recover, they never have an answer besides an indignant list of what they have been told to dislike about Biden. Now the Texas GOP has finally felt strong enough to express in writing what MAGA means.

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Yeah, I had a similar thought. They really spelled it out pretty clearly, didn't they? Except, of course, for the couple of points that Alondra makes below. ;-)

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Is it too late to add to the Texas R's platform? Asking cuz I don't see anything about banning birth control, and they know what God wants and doesn't want regarding human sexuality. Also, DeSantis has not ordered vax doses for the youngest kids, leaving Texas in the dust in anti-vax-ness. But I think Texas could retake the lead if they were to ban vax for kids, maybe even make it a criminal offense to vax your kids.

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Probably just slipped their minds. I'm sure they know what God wants and doesn't want concerning pretty much everything regarding human behavior, period.

So, let's not encourage them by pointing out their mistakes, eh?! But then again, never mind. I was making the assumption that one of them who knows how to read might see this.

Silly me.

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Hah, the inclusion of the battle of the Alamo is perfect. If you have ever been to the Alamo you would realize that the only reason the battle lasted so long was that the Mexican army was waiting for the Alamo defenders to come to their senses. But like modern Texans it never happens.

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Gotta' have some senses to come to first, I suppose. I never like to paint too broadly, so apologies to those there that do.

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One thing I've learned about Texas politics, it takes a broad brush to cover everything.

In some ways Texas is to politics as Florida is to male intelligence

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I assume Jack is a mans name here? I read the comment and thought it mighta been a sister. Hahaha. Good for you, Jack!!

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