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November 03, 2005

Comments

Oh, and on topic, having just read Cella as quoted by Dr Ngo, I would agree with Paul and Charles that at least I myself would prefer that black Republicans or conservatives be not treated worse or insulted more viciously than any other sub-group of Republicans or conservatives.

Fair is fair.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | November 03, 2005 at 06:15 PM

Fair is indeed fair; it would be unfair to argue otherwise. I also do not hold personally with attacking black conservatives more (or less) vehemently than whites, if it comes to that. However:

(1) I'm not black, and I'm not sure I wish to presume to tell black liberals to temper their criticism of black conservatives. From my own experience I know that I'm likely to get particularly incensed when someone from _my_ group behaves particularly badly. E.g., when the government of MY country tortures people, I'm more upset than when foreign governments do so. E.g., as I'm a historian, I tend to get irked more by a particularly boneheaded remark by another historian than by, say, a sociologist, from whom we expect less. Thus if some blacks feel particularly betrayed by the actions of other blacks, I don't see it as my duty to rein them in with counsel of moderation.

2) With regard to Cella's quote, do you agree that this current kerfluffle constitutes one of the most "detestable" things that exist? In what universe? (I.e., I'm quibbling at his hyperbole, which, even by today's inflamed standards, strikes me as OTT.)

Italics begone!

I tried to "end" the italics (after the original quote) as I had learned to, which has worked in the past, and this time it didn't work. Is there any mechanism for going back and retrofitting these posts?

die italics.

It's quite hard to not respond to criticisms like this with "is this all you got? you still got guys in favour of torture over there?"

I'm not a fan of this type of iconography, black authorship or not, but 'there's no cause so noble and worthy it won't attract fuggheads,' as Niven said, and the Democratic Party ain't that noble and worthy.

dr ngo, if you use the view source utility of your browser (probably ctrl-u) and find your post and edit out or in the extra or missing tag, you can repost. If that's what you mean.

Actually, you could just copy/paste, so that's not what you mean - you're asking if the Kitten can step in. That's above my pay grade, so I'll just recommend Preview instead in future. It wasn't hard to read your post anyway.

Kitten, could someone put up a new post or two please? I'm sick of looking at the picture at the top of the site.

I dont think that black people in Chicago gain that much by being Democrats. On the other hand, if they suddenly all voted Republican, they would lose all of the few political favors they receive now. I don't know how it is in Maryland, there may not be as much of a machine there.

Now as far as the Deep South goes, historically things were tough for the poor people, regardless of race. Heck, things were tough for the "rich" people. I look at, and read parts of "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men", by James Agee and Walker Evans from time to time in order to keep a little perspective about how things have changed from 1939 to 1955 to 1965 to 2005. I highly recommend it, even though Agee saw fit to preface it with the start of the Commie Manifesto.

To lump them together as holding similar degrees of power is simply, well, not a very clear view. So far as I can see.

To be clear, I don't regard "degrees of power" as being linearly ordered so many comparisons simply aren't meaningful. F'rex, I don't regard Condi and Powell as having "similar degrees of power" because they are, to use mathematical jargon, incomparable. Inasmuch as one can (artificially) linearize the order, however, I'd say they have roughly comparable magnitude, though for completely different reasons and in completely different ways.

DaveC: Now as far as the Deep South goes, historically things were tough for the poor people, regardless of race.

Yeah, because white people were under exactly the same threat of lynching and other violence from black people as black people were from white people. And it's not as if the laws or the social systems were set up to discriminate against black people. Things were just tough for poor people, and race made no difference.

Uh huh.

DaveC: Now as far as the Deep South goes, historically things were tough for the poor people, regardless of race.

Yeah, because white people were under exactly the same threat of lynching and other violence from black people as black people were from white people. And it's not as if the laws or the social systems were set up to discriminate against black people. Things were just tough for poor people, and race made no difference.

Uh huh.

When liberals believe that images such as this...

From these attacks, the unspoken illogic by the Left is this: Because we liberals disagree with conservative and Republican policies toward descendants of American slaves, these platforms are "anti-black". Because we liberals believe these policies hurt African Americans, they must also be racist. Conservatives and Republicans must also be racist by association

Stereotype much? You make it clear you think all liberals are the same. Is it any wonder that some democrats think the same about republicans.

"I'm not black, and I'm not sure I wish to presume to tell black liberals to temper their criticism of black conservatives." ...dr ngo

Agreed, and I would a much different reaction if that picture and tone were used by the DNC.

Mr Cella is a polemicist, with a long history of incendiary rhetoric. As is Mr Gilliard. Hyperbole is what they do.

Gary: No, I took it as indicating that he was indifferent, and morally obtuse when he went on to say, at the cemetary, that the dead members of the S.S. were "also victims of Hitler."

Well, there is a rather grand philosophical perspective from which we can see Hitler as seducing Germans who would otherwise have been decent, respectable people. A Swastika'd Piper, if you will.

But that is rather a complex position to (1) advance as a politician and (2) attribute to Reagan.

Anyway, however much the Germans may've been victims, they are in a remarkably poor position to complain about it, as W.G. Sebald noted. I still get angry thinking about the Belgian villages with mass grave markers, captioned "Shot by the Germans"--from the First World War, which looks like Sunday School compared to what Hitler & his "German victims" inflicted on their neighbors.

"Well, there is a rather grand philosophical perspective from which we can see Hitler as seducing Germans who would otherwise have been decent, respectable people. A Swastika'd Piper, if you will."

This "grand philosophical perspective" was pretty clearly rejected at Nuremberg along with the "just following orders" defense. And even if it hadn't been, did the Germans have no freedom to act of their own volition? Was Hitler possessed of mind-control powers? "Persuasive and charismatic politician" does not equal "polity dispossessed of free will."

Now as far as the Deep South goes, historically things were tough for the poor people, regardless of race.

That, Charles, is a perfect example of why the vast majority of the African-American community doesn't trust the Republican Party. DaveC is, by all evidence (meant sincerely), a good and decent person. And yet he is able to equate the significant problems of being poor (or even rich in the South) with a pervasive system of discrimination so well entrenched that large communities of well-bred Southerners felt comfortable screaming and threatening small children entering a school, turning dogs and hoses on people demanding equal rights, or even protecting someone who murdered civil rights workers.

If you were black, and the decent people in a party made such an equation, why would you ever trust such a party? And if you knew someone who was black who did accept such affiliations, how could you not be suspicious?

This "grand philosophical perspective" was pretty clearly rejected at Nuremberg along with the "just following orders" defense.

Goodness, I wasn't talking about criminal liability. Of course every SS or Wehrmacht member who committed crimes is liable for them.

You just need to rise to my airy level of abstraction, Lungfish, rather than remaining mired in the muck of practical considerations.

Re: Joe Trippi's statements - Charles might want to read this and this (and subsequently post yet another update).

Well, there is a rather grand philosophical perspective from which we can see Hitler as seducing Germans who would otherwise have been decent, respectable people. A Swastika'd Piper, if you will.

But that is rather a complex position to (1) advance as a politician and (2) attribute to Reagan.

It's also a position I don't buy for an instant, no matter who's selling. I'm not a 100% back of the POV of Daniel Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners (see my comment above distinguishing ordinary Wehrmacht from SS), but on alternate Tuesdays I am, and the rest of the week I'm not hugely distant. Hitler was a popular leader, who came to power with plenty of popular support (we need not elaborate the details just now), and the war, when the Germans were winning, though until at least Barbarossa started going south, was highly popular.

And caring about the Jews, the gays, the liberals, the infirm, the euthanized, the imprisoned, the killed, was a matter of concern only to a small minority. If the SS were victims like everyone else, no one is guilty of nuthin'. Eff that.

Being nice to Nazis is not high on my list, but Gary takes a sufficiently extreme position that I'll bite.

Let's imagine Hans, who's 10 when Hitler comes to power. Hans's education takes a drastic turn. His teachers are telling him that Jews, democracy, and Communism are dangers to civilization (hey, 1 out of 3 ain't bad), and that Hitler and Nazism are the salvation of Germany. Hans vaguely recalls that politics was confusing before 1933, and his parents are guardedly hopeful about Hitler, so he eats all this up. Needless to say, all the other messages that Hans hears from his society are confirming what his teachers tell him.

Is it any wonder that Hans, when he joins up and encounters the untermenschen in Russia, is going to reflect this education?

This doesn't exculpate Hans. As Kant famously noted, we have to assume free will, because otherwise how could we punish people? But we can at least be grateful that we didn't go to school with Hans, and wonder whether we would've done any better in his shoes.

Put another way, how much collective responsibility do Gary and I have for dead and crippled Iraqi civilians who got that way because America thinks it's okay to drop bombs on cities? That was a war crime 100 years ago, wasn't it? What changed? Will future bloggers shake their heads over our complicity in an evil regime?

I read the books I buy for my kids, and this childrens book gave enough food for thought to be approved.

It was written after I left school, so I never read it. But I read Erich Kastner's Vom Westen Nichts Neues and similar books.

Part of the reason I get afraid and angry these days is that I feel people don't realize that there are not so many "evil" people. Most evil deeds are done by ordinary people and indifference from the general population lets them get away with it.

And caring about the Jews, the gays, the liberals, the infirm, the euthanized, the imprisoned, the killed, was a matter of concern only to a small minority.

If you change Jews to muslims and euthanized to tortured, that is still true today, though fortunately on a much smaller scale. The holocaust didn't start with deathcamps, it took quite a few years to get there.

And this fear and anger is not aimed at just the US, it happens here in Europe too. My toes curl quite often about things that happen in the Netherlands at the moment, I just don't mention it too much here since this is an US oriented blog.

Of course, the Oreo business is a red herring anyway. There's even less to that than to the missing W keys on all the White House keyboards in 2001.

Maryland Newsline - Politics Special Report: Elections '02:

Steele, however, said an Oreo cookie rolled to his feet during the debate.

“Maybe it was just someone having their snack, but it was there,” Steele said. “If it happened, shame on them if they are that immature and that threatened by me.”

Hardly "pelting" him with them. The citations that claim this happened have such a hysterical tone, I'm inclined to disbelieve them.

Not that I think it's OK, but there's a difference between an organizated effort -- someone buys the stuff, someone else passes them out, and several others throw them -- and one person putting one on the stage.

This is more like something out of Rove's bag of tricks. Staging a fake attack on his own candidate is something he's used effectively before so it wouldn't surprise me if some enterprising GOP operative picked up on it.

And yet he is able to equate the significant problems of being poor (or even rich in the South)...

Hey, humor me and at least look at some of the pictures. This is what living conditions were like 65-70 years ago. A lot has changed. You should keep this in mind.

with a pervasive system of discrimination so well entrenched that large communities of well-bred Southerners felt comfortable screaming and threatening small children entering a school, turning dogs and hoses on people demanding equal rights, or even protecting someone who murdered civil rights workers.

Those bad guys, generally speaking, were Democrats.

If you were black, and the decent people in a party made such an equation, why would you ever trust such a party? And if you knew someone who was black who did accept such affiliations, how could you not be suspicious?

If you're thinking that "in the party" means I make contributions to the Republican party, or if you think that I didn't vote for Carter and Clinton, or if you think that I didn't vote for Dems in the last statewide elections, you would be wrong on all counts. I'm not a straight ticket voter, unlike some of you all, who insinuate that blacks who vote for a Republican are race traitors.

Do I have to point out again just how badly Chicago Democrats treated Harold Washington and Gene Sawyer?

Those bad guys, generally speaking, were Democrats.

Yeah, but not any more. And they didn't leave the party, it left them. And the other one was more than happy to give them a home, and their heirs a leadership role.

Have Dems acheived perfection? Absolutely not. They're a helluva lot better than North Korea's governing party, though, to take DaveC's favorite measuring stick. And on racial equality issues, in the 21st century, thought to be well ahead of the Rep party by the folks who are voting on such.

DaveC,
I took a look at your recommended gallery, I hope you'll take a look at mine. While there are images of Caucasians in there, please also note that many of the images of African-Americans are from postcards. You might also note that the images include places like Duluth, Minnesota and Marion, Indiana. If you can equate the problems of the people in the first gallery with the people in the second, I'm not sure if I can help you understand. Also, if you think this was a Democratic problem rather than an American problem, well, again, all I can say that you are very wrong.

Have Dems acheived perfection? Absolutely not. They're a helluva lot better than North Korea's governing party, though, to take DaveC's favorite measuring stick.

I didnt set the bar that low on purpose :)

And as far as the state Republican Party in Illinois goes, I'm reminded of the story of a reporter interviewing a football coach:

Reporter: What do you think about your team's execution today?

Coach: I'm in favor of it.

LJ, I'm on my slow dialup now. I promise I'll look at them at work with faster connection. The Hoover Mississippi flood incident info was quite interesting. As you know, I consider the 1880-1930 period the worst time for lynchings, race wars, etc.
1930-1950 was hard on everybody, 1950's - 1970's the most productive activist period.

So moving on from the fairly boring-to-me topic of this post ("blogger acts like jerk!):

why are blacks SO much more solidly democratic than hispanics? "The Republicans are racist" doesn't explain the magnitude of the gap since presumably they'd be racist against hispanics too. Nor does "voting their economic self-interest," nor does "leadership" or whatever the GOP wants to tell itself. The idea that hispanics are more socially conservative isn't really borne out by the polls either. And it's not that the Democrats are so amazing on race. The cowardice of a lot of the Democrats about a prison policy and unequal justice system that has especially bad effects on blacks is a pretty shameful betrayal of a constituency that we'd be sunk without.

I have a theory, which is this: first there's the actual stuff about race. But beyond that, the Republican's economic policies are not only against the self-interests of a disproportionate # of African-Americans, but are also based on a storyline which has truly insulting implications for African-Americans. As Clinton said, they think "if you're rich you deserve it and if you're poor you deserve it."

Well, if that's the case, the African-American community deserves all the ways in which life in America is worse for them. And that's not something they would or should ever accept.

I assume you're saying that it was coincidence that Harriet Miers is a woman, and that President Bush picked her solely for her outstanding professional achievements, then? You're saying that Bush hadn't decided, at that time, to nominate a woman, and then went to find a woman?

If you're suggesting that I supported Bush's nomination of Miers, Gary, you would be mistaken. I went from skeptical to "slightly no" to "emphatic no" in the days following the nomination.

I see nothing whatever to justify your description of it as "who basically wrote that Clarence Thomas wasn't really black."

To me, the reference to the asterisk says it all, Gary, just like Maris was home run champion, but not really the home run champion.

But what's your point -- that the site selection by Reagan was just a coincidence? Or that he was tone deaf to the symbolic implications of it?

Reagan did not kick off his campaign in Oxford or Philadelphia, but in Neshoba. Kevin Drum has a balanced account. This isn't to defend Reagan, just to add something to the mix.

You'd steal someone's property right by violating copyright in the clear face of the clear refusal of permission from the owner?

Why do I get singled out, Gary? If there is some consistent standard for what does and does not get cut and pasted, I'll abide by it. Double standards I do not accept. As I see it, there are practices in the blogospheric community which tacitly accept copying and pasting of words and images. Bloggers are at the mercy of corporate entities if the copyright holders decide to lawyer up. Gilliard crossed some sort of line with the WA Post when he doctored the photo and used it as he did. The context in which I used the image is completely different. Von's the lawyer here and I'll defer to whatever decision he makes.

And while it's not at all the case that all racists are Republicans, the vast majority of white-on-black racists* are in the Republican party

Anarch, I'll stipulate that there are more white racists in the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. As for what percentage of Republicans are racist, I don't know and I don't think anyone can know because that requires looking into a person's heart. But how about a stipulation from you: that racists in the Republican Party are fewer and fewer over time? Remember, we kicked out David Duke, and we fired Trent Lott from his job as Senate Majority Leader. A good number of racists left the party to follow Patrick Buchanan, who is a borderline racist. Progress is being made to remove racist elements from the party, and if I see racism among fellow party members, I won't hesitate to publicly call 'em on it, as would legions of other conservatives.

That, Charles, is a perfect example of why the vast majority of the African-American community doesn't trust the Republican Party.

Just 'cause we're both conservative, doesn't mean we hold the same opinions, SCMT. Since DaveC has called me an *sshole on at least on one occasion, I'm not even sure that we like each other. Sure, all of the poor had it rough in the Deep South, but blacks are in a category all by themselves. Their descendants are the only people in our country's history who didn't ask to come here. I don't think 40 acres and a mule is the answer, but they still feel the effects of slavery--and its after-effects--to some degree.

Since DaveC has called me an *sshole on at least on one occasion

Whoa. Cite on that, please? Cause I'm inclined to believe that this is further evidence of a persecution complex.

Not my favorite post of yours but good comment at 7:42, CB.


lj: "persecution complex"

I dislike the psychiatirzation of commentary. "Cite on that, please?" does all the necessary work.

Fair enough, rilkefan, apologies for the Krauthammer impersonation.

I agree with you about the content of CB's comment, but it seems to me that if a liberal or an African-American were to make those comments in response to an assertion, they would be accused of playing the race card.

Stirling Newberry comments, with a brand new name for our blog.

Well, if Sterling were to take over here, I'm sure that every Charles post would be deleted in short order.

So the lexical item that is a food and represents people who are white on the outside and non-white on the inside is...?

a Berliner.

Emphatically embraced as an identification by none other than President Kennedy.

Sorry to intrude on a serious conversation, but I couldn't resist. Please return to your regularly scheduled misdirection-fest.

But how about a stipulation from you: that racists in the Republican Party are fewer and fewer over time?

If it were true, sure. I'm not particularly convinced that it is, however, only that it's more covert and somewhat mutating. Trent Lott, for example, was removed from Senate Majority Leader but not, for example, from the Chairmanship of the Senate Rules Committee. It's not a sexy role, sure, but it's a bloody powerful position nonetheless. David Duke is an aberration pretty much all around -- originally ran in LA as a Democrat, ditched the Dems and ran as a Republican (to the chagrin of both parties respectively, I think), ultimately winding up in the Reform Party -- so, um, yay to everyone who realized that he was obnoxious enough to warrant not funding, but that doesn't really prove your point. [I said that the Republican Party had troubles with racism, not neo-Nazism, which is where Duke was (and now is) headed.] OTOH, the embrace and mainstreaming of various militia groups, the continued fetishization of the South in ways that can't really be construed as simple appreciation of a former culture, the recent bouts of immigrant-bashing... it's probably true that there are fewer and fewer overt racists in leadership positions in the GOP, but I'm not at all convinced that a) the number of rank-and-file racists has diminished relative to the number of racists extant, nor that b) the protections afforded to racists by those in leadership positions (probably out of indifference or maybe ambition, greed or vote-grubbing) have changed overmuch in the last 30 years or so.

I'm not saying that all Republicans are racist, nor that the GOP is the party of racism. That's unfair, untrue and unhelpful -- the "trif-un-cta", if you will, though you probably won't. I'm simply saying that the GOP has problems in that department that the Democrats do not, for the time being, have; and that I'm not convinced that this is mere coincidence.

Since DaveC has called me an *sshole on at least on one occasion

Whoa. Cite on that, please? Cause I'm inclined to believe that this is further evidence of a persecution complex.

Not real clear, I think I called EVERYBODY
@ssholes, so I guess Charles could be included in that, and the only particular name I named wasn't even commenting on the thread.

Also, family stuff interrupted me on my comment Fri night. I was trying to develop a point that while racism will always exist, the effects have been reduced slowly from slavery, to outbreaks of race war and lynchings, to laws enforcing segregation and juries soft on heinous white-on-black crime (I was going to point out that Emmet Till was a murder rather than a lynching), to unequal opportunity and perceived lack of sympathy for Katrina. And to use grievances that go back many generations is not constructive.

I think the term used for this is "Irish Alzheimers", where all you can remember anymore is your grudges. (My apologies to any of you Micks reading this comment, I've spent too much time with my sainted Irish mother in law today.)

And to use grievances that go back many generations is not constructive.

Why is it that people who use this argument are almost invariably of the group who historically benefited by past discrimination, and who still benefit by discrimination now?

"If you're suggesting that I supported Bush's nomination of Miers, Gary, you would be mistaken."

I wasn't suggesting that. Strangely, I was instead suggesting what I wrote.

Gary Farber: I wasn't suggesting that. Strangely, I was instead suggesting what I wrote.

Am I the only one to whom this kind of retort is strangely reminiscent of Slartibartfast, albeit in a different cause?

As in those long marriages in which couples come to resemble each other, are we all susceptible to convergence of style here?

Maybe it's time I got a life.

Repeat of the Charles/Gary subthread:

Charles:

"That doesn't rehabilitate op-editors at the MJS since it displays a dismal understanding of the role of the Supreme Court, Nanette. No justice is appointed for the purpose of representing the views of 'mainstream blacks' or any other group. Their calling is supposed to be a little higher than that."

Gary:

President George W. Bush (link):

President Bush hinted on Monday that his next nominee for the Supreme Court would be a woman or a minority, saying that "diversity is one of the strengths of the country."

I assume you're saying that it was coincidence that Harriet Miers is a woman, and that President Bush picked her solely for her outstanding professional achievements, then? You're saying that Bush hadn't decided, at that time, to nominate a woman, and then went to find a woman?

Charles quoted that last paragraph, and responded:

If you're suggesting that I supported Bush's nomination of Miers, Gary, you would be mistaken.

Gary's final response:

I wasn't suggesting that. Strangely, I was instead suggesting what I wrote.

A bit pointed, but not unreasonable.

I assume you're saying that it was coincidence that Harriet Miers is a woman, and that President Bush picked her solely for her outstanding professional achievements, then? You're saying that Bush hadn't decided, at that time, to nominate a woman, and then went to find a woman?

OK, Gary. Since you didn't like previous response, I'll give it another shot. My answer is no and no. In neither case was I saying any such thing, and I wouldn't be making assumptions, but that's just me. I didn't bring Miers up in this thread. In my earlier response, I thought you were challenging my "higher calling" statement by your bringing in Bush's choice of Miers as an example of Bush not going that route. Since I didn't support Bush's choice for multiple reasons, I'm not going to defend him or his decision. But instead of you telling me again what you wrote, perhaps you can tell me what you mean, because it's possible that I'm not sure what you mean.

Not real clear, I think I called EVERYBODY @ssholes, so I guess Charles could be included in that, and the only particular name I named wasn't even commenting on the thread.

Quote: Oh yeah, Charles is an asshole, so skip over what he says and just flame away.

Just to be clear, Dave, I wrote my comment tongue-in-cheek to make the earlier point that conservatives don't uniformly agree, on a whole raft of issues. I know you were pretty upset at the time about other matters, so I took no offense.

Charles,
Since you've dropped in again, I should note that if you think DaveC was seriously attacking you when he made that comment, you really need to recalibrate your sensitivity meter.

And, just for the record, I would also point out that in all probability, DaveC not only hasn't been spanked by Gary, he probably doesn't really want to be.

"I would also point out that in all probability, DaveC not only hasn't been spanked by Gary,"

Have you no respect for our privacy!?

CMatt ... Gary's final response:

I wasn't suggesting that. Strangely, I was instead suggesting what I wrote.

A bit pointed, but not unreasonable.

Tentatively, since I screwed up the last time I tried to be clever ...

I was not suggesting Gary was unreasonable. (Or incorrect, or obtuse.) Mine was purely a stylistic point, that he seemed to be channeling Slartibartfast, or at least what I regard as the pure platonic essence of Slartibartfastifarian rhetoric (when asked to clarify or explain a disputed point):

"Read what I wrote." Plonk.

If no one else sees the resemblance - well, I'm batting 0 for November, I guess.

I should note that if you think DaveC was seriously attacking you when he made that comment, you really need to recalibrate your sensitivity meter.

Didn't I just say that? Hints: "tongue-in-cheek" and "took no offense"

Even I got that.

In Jr. High, I wasn't spanked, but the teacher drew a circle on the blackboard, and I had to stand with my nose touching the board inside the circle for the duration of the class.

"In Jr. High, I wasn't spanked, but the teacher drew a circle on the blackboard, and I had to stand with my nose touching the board inside the circle for the duration of the class."

We really should institute that around here. Web-cams for everyone!

Now the Oreo tossing story is being questioned. cite

In other news, pioneering conservatives discover a new social horror, "racial discrimination", and are incensed. The corpse of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lends rhetorical support to the cause of abolishing scholarships for black women.

These guys' knack for only noticing racial discrimination in any attempt to measure, remedy, or criticize racial inequality is uncanny.

"... Oreo tossing story...."

Thanks. Hat tip here.

The Oreo story seems to be a pack of lies. Disagree with the messenger but when you have someone running with easily refuted lies like this, for no other reason than to stir up a lot of guff about discrimination, how can you trust them on anything else?

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