Council seeks commission to improve lives of black boys, men

The City Council today unanimously endorsed a proposal by Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) to create a commission on the status of black men and boys.

Jackson said that two years after Trayvon Martin's death, Boston faces a crisis: Black boys are twice as likely as Asians and whites to drop out of school, they're more likely to get involved in the criminal justice system and to be a victim of a violent crime, "and their life expectancy is shorter."

Jackson said he hopes the commission will focus on boys and men from "cradle to career," and to focus on positives, on how to ensure they enjoy "long, healthy lives."

At-large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who has been active in promoting similar issues for black girls and women in Boston, praised Jackson's proposal.

"There is an epidemic" affecting young black men, she said. "Our black boys are capable of much more than pulling a trigger."

"Black boys and men can instill hope and foster peace and head their households and lead their community," she said.

Although every councilor signed onto Jackson's proposal, under council rules it still needs to go to a council committee for consideration and a public hearing before it is formally approved.

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Comments

Is he blaming Zimmerman

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for the lack of responsibility and personal drive in young black men from Boston. What the hell does Trayvon Martin have to do with dropout rate in Boston amount African American men.

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No, he's not blaming Zimmerman

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He's using Martin as an example of the crisis black teens find themselves in - literally under the gun much of their lives. It's not something your typical white teen would have to worry about.

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How many deaths in Boston

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How many deaths in Boston from licensed defensive gun use last year? 0?

Vs.

Deaths from illegal use by gang bangers? 80 something?

Yeah, I'd be more worried about street thugs than "jerks".

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Yah

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Don't really get the Zimmerman/Martin reference. I think the last thing black men in Roxbury/Mattapan really worry about is being shot by a "non-white Hispanic" while out for a walk.

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I think black men in Roxbury

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I think black men in Roxbury/Mattapan really worry about being shot by the teenage gang member neighbors. Hypothetical vigilantes of a different ethnic background not so much.

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Well....

Every one of those guns probably came from some moron like Zimmerman who doesn't know how to handle such a dangerous item.

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Is today talk out your ass day?

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What the hell are you talking about?

Like guys go out and spend $500 on a gun and then just leave them laying around or give them away to gang bangers.

You have any stats to back up your crazy assertions?

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At some point in time......

Those guns got into the hands of criminals because of dumb, criminal, and immoral people like Zimmerman.

The less zimmermans in the world, the better.

And the less guns in the world, the better too.

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Sounds Good

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When are you turning yours in?

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Good one....

What can I do to make sure someone like you never gets one? I've already passed numerous psyche tests.

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HA

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Aren't you precious. Unfortunately you manage to fail the bullshit test repeatedly. I've been safely handling firearms for 35 years. In fact your buddies down at Moon Island were quite impressed with my skills.

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I'm not impressed.

Any baboon can own and shoot a gun. Since your a gun nut, there really is no use talking with you about the subject.

I stand by my original statement. Zimmerman is a jerk, and people should be afraid of people like him. They should also be scared of you, since you seem to expect people to be impressed that you can shoot a gun well. That's also wierd.

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You crack me up

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That's the best you got?

A baboon? Well I guess that makes two of us huh Pete? By the way, since when could baboons fill out paperwork and go through a background check?

Gun Nut! - Difference of opinion and calling out your BS = gun nut. Solid critical thinking there. I have many hobbies, of which firearms is a minor one that was passed on to me by my family. But don't let that get in the way of your projection.

Scared of Me! - Yes the law abiding citizen that follows the law to a T and doesn't carry. Oooohhhhhh Booga Booga! Why don't we see who commits more crimes per capita, Boston cops or Boston residents with a firearms permit?

This guy totally protects and serves:

http://westroxbury.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/court-says-no-pens...

Expect People to Be Impressed! - Yes of course, I seek your validation daily.

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Go back and find my BS

Zimmerman is a clown, and shouldn't have had a gun. I don't need to write an essay to explain that guns are bad in my opinion. There are accidents and stolen gun incidents every day, and they happen to 'responsible' citizens like you and I. And no, I don't think anyone needs a gun, not you, not Zimmerman, not anyone. The more guns, legal or illegal out there, the less safe everyone is. Stop looking so deep into everything

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no..... but some people buy

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no..... but some people buy them legally through gun dealers, then turn dealer themselves for inflated black market value.

That's one of the theories why Chicago's violent crime rate has become so much higher than NYC or LA.... LA is embedded in gun controlly California, NYC is surrounded by states with strong gun laws like NJ, CT, and MA, while Chicago has a number of gun happy states like Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

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Under the gun?

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Yes - a fellow gangbanger's gun that is. There's tens of thousands of thug shootings for every Zimmerman-type incident, yet somehow it's always whitey's fault.

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Zimmerman

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Wasn't even White, until the liberal media decided to change his heritage.

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Re: Race and Ethnicity are two different things...

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Zimmerman was indeed a White Hispanic or Latino just as I self-identify as Black/Latino. Ever watch Univision? Are you going to tell me the actors on the telenovelas aren't white?

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Lack of responsibility and personal drive

How do you know that this is the problem, and not, say, barriers to the effectiveness of responsibility and personal drive, or, say, a lack of appropriate opportunities for responsibility and personal drive to make any difference?

In fact, how do you know that a lack of responsibility and personal drive are the problem at all?

That's why they want to see what lies behind the problem - because they really don't know.

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Black immigrants thrive in Boston

Why is it that Black folks immigrate from Haiti and the West Indies thrive here, yet African-Americans consistently lag behind?
Probably because the black folks immigrating from elsewhere grew up in societies that fostered personal responsibility, without taxpayer funded social safety nets.

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Not true

Hatian and Cape Verdean immigrant kids are falling into some of the same cycles of poverty and crime, as do migrants from the Carribean.

You must not know any social workers or public health outreach folk. The primary immigrants do fine - their kids get sucked in.

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It is dropping, and that's

It is dropping, and that's good news! I'm not sure where Tito got his statistics, but it is true that the MA dropout rate for black students is 3x higher than it is for white students (3.9% vs 1.3% in 2012-2013 - the gap is narrowing, and 1.3% might be near the "lower bound" once places like South Boston get tidied up)

Yes, a lot of that disparity is geographic and more about the Rust Belt-type problems of Springfield and Dorchester re: declining industry and stable well-paying working-class jobs.

But it's still the case that black students in Massachusetts face an education system that doesn't satisfy the standards of Plessy v. Ferguson, let alone Brown v. Board.

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I'm sorry … but your comment

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I'm sorry … but your comment makes no sense and it borders on the offensive. I guess I can kind of understand where you're coming from when you say that Springfield is dealing with "rust belt" issues like declining industry given the fact it struggles with enticing new business into its city limits on a daily basis but Dorchester is a neighborhood of Boston. Which isn't part of the "rust belt" by any means. Dorchester is geographically right next to one of the fastest growing city-center areas in the country. And much of it's going through rapid gentrification (which is important because it means that fewer of its residents are going for those "stable working-class jobs" you mentioned).

Comments like this are much of what creates the problem for a lot of Boston's kids: it's not that many of them aren't "geographically close" to areas of growth and opportunity. It's that they're not getting a chance -- at an early age (read: preschool and early ed) -- to experience that growth or opportunity in an engaging way. If we don't teach them how to learn, and how to love to learn when they're young, we can't expect them to have the "stick-to-it" mentality that's needed for them to finish school and go on to college. Saying that it's an issue of geography is a typical suburban cop-out ; what we need to provide are the resources our city schools need to teach kids to learn.

And don't get me started on your moronic comment regarding South Boston getting "tidied up". Is that your idiotic way of saying once there are fewer black kids? Because that's what it sounds like. And that's disgusting.

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I think you're misreading the comment.

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I don't think it's any mystery that the disappearance of stable, working-class jobs has left a lot of lower/working-class people stranded, both in Springfield and in Dorchester. The old economy has dropped out from under their feet and they're not equipped to make the transition to the new. And I think by "tidied up" he meant (in a klutzy way) to say that the formerly white working-class neighborhoods would have once had a bigger share of white high school drop-outs but now that they're gentrified and full of professional types, the demographics have shifted. Make more sense?

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Unfortunately, his comment

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Unfortunately, his comment centered around "geography" being the problem … and, at least for Dorchester, geography isn't the problem given the proximity to the city center. The problem is, in large part, the lack of resources going to schools. Many of these kids come from messy backgrounds where they aren't taught about the true meaning of respect and responsibility -- not going to argue with anyone there -- and while we can't control home environments, we CAN create a school environment that's both nurturing and engaging for our students.

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Dear one-trick pony,

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Helping the home environment deal with the changes in the area is also very necessary. And geography most certainly is a problem! That Dorchester is near to "the city center" says little about who has access, to what end, by what means, and for what gain? Just because it's there doesn't mean they can access it and gain something meaningful. And the numbers we want to look at (who, what, where, when, how of accessing / gaining from "the city center") are the poor families who soon won't be able to afford the rents in their old Dorchester neighborhoods, or the rising cost of public transportation as they get shoved further and further away... But, Ya, money into the schools is important, too.

You can only do so much

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How can the city "let the children experience the growth of Boston" if their parents are ignorant or do not care? The city can only do so much. This is why the correlation between per capita spending and educational attainment are pretty uncorrelated (ex. DC spends the most per capita and is one of the worst). This issue is cultural.

while this is true

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if you look at the breakdowns for specific neighborhoods, you can still see that drop-out rates affect certain communities more than others... four corners sees a much higher rate (and total number) of drop outs than the rest of the city...

His math might be wrong, but is message is right.

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Oh stop it!

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If you think for one minute that you can give each child the same exact 'anything' and he/she will thrive the same then you're ignorant to what goes on in the world and I hope to heaven you don't have children! Nothing is being taken away from your precious offspring to help the poor black kid in the corner who lives in terror or has no family support. Go back to sleep...literally!

Andonandon, yes!

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That's exactly the focus!

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A effective way to improve

on this slight improvement is to have METCO host communities increase participation by 500-600%. That way Judge Garritys remedy will finally work.

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So between...

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Ayanna's focus on "women and girls" and now Tito's commission on black boys and men, everyone is now the focus of the city council except non-black boys and men.

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If Boston had any

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program or study aimed solely at helping White Boy/Men all hell would break loose. CNN, MSNBC, Jackson and Sharpton would be talking about how Boston is reverting back to the pre-civil right era of America.

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Zero BUT

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How many White Boys have OD on heroin this year? White Boys DONT need help? Maybe in liberal lala land they dont, but HERE in Boston, LOTS need help.

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Please

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There are NO efforts to help drug addicts in Boston? You're going to make that argument? HERE in Boston?

I thought people in South Boston kept complaining about all the methadone clinics near Broadway. No white boys need apply is what you're saying?

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Great Logic

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Lets help out White kid when, and only when they are already addicted to drugs.

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aaaaaa, we're talking kids, not yo boys!

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I'm not sure there's been an alarming number of white "boys" overdosing on heroin...it's really an adult problem that might better serve everyone if it were properly addressed in prison and healthcare.

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No, you don't ignore them

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But I suspect kids at Boston Latin School, for the most part, need a lot less attention than kids at, say, Jeremiah Burke (and as a BLS parent, I'm fine with that - and as a BLS parent I know that there are resources for BLS kids who do need a helping hand - we've fortunately gotten beyond the "Paper Chase" days there).

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It's not rocket science.

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1. Go to school. Do your work. Graduate.

2. Don't associate with criminals/gangs.

4. Don't knock up your girlfriend.

5. Treat others with respect and mind your own business.

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In the city the concept of

respect has been distorted and is used as a defense for just about everything. Shot someone because they disrespected me. Left school because they disrespected me. Refuse to obey any rules or authority because they disrespected me. Wears people out.

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I agree

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but that's not respect. That's using any real or perceived slight as an excuse to act out.

In the real world. Respect gets respect.

Acting out in class and then complaining that the teacher disrespected you when they give you detention is pathetic excuse making, and as you mentioned, just a way to shift the blame from themselves.

These things are taught at home. If the parents can't or won't teach their kids how to function in society, it's not the responsibility of the school or city government to make up for it.

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Why not?

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Why can't schools and government help out? We're talking about helping kids here, not trying to change cultures through mandates, hand-outs and race-based legislation...just trying to help some kids get a decent education despite the challenges at home and in the neighborhood that make it difficult for some, and impossible for many. What are you afraid of?

these core fundamentals are

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these core fundamentals are precisely what this organization is being created to teach.... it may seem dumb to you but these young men have not had the background nor have they grown up in the same cultural environment as you--it isn't necessarily so simple for everyone.

So please think empathetically, and go back through your own list and pause on #5 for a moment before being so anonymously dismissive and belittling

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Look at 2 and 4

With 2, the problem is that if you live in certain places, this is damn near impossible. It is also not just about individual free will, as gangs recruit and gangs also persecute non-members.

With 4, see also "sex ed doesn't start before age 16 in the schools" and "people throwing fits over condom access".

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Ya, the basics are great...but

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Some of those things mean different things in different neighborhoods... I guess that's the point, to help people understand that every kid deserves and needs the opportunity to achieve and have the ability to chose even these basics. It's an oversimplified list and it looks easy, but for some, the kids families are the gangs, some kids peer girl/boyfriend is the only person they've ever known love and affection from, it's the first stable thing they know (ya, stable...to them), and to treat others with respect and mind your own business means keep your head down, look away, don't snitch, fear the streets, live with anxiety of street violence, or even in your own home. You can't paint the world with one brush, one stroke, one color... We do not come from the same place, but we should al have meaningful opportunities to somehow get there...a little help never hurt anyone.

Sounds like

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Tito's friend/relative needs a new "consulting" job...

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Problem

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We already know what the problem is, there's no need for a bunch of high-paid hacks to sit on their asses for five years while collecting fat paychecks just so they can finally state the obvious.

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Million Man March

I'll say it again, back in the mid-90's we were told that the Million Man March would propel black men to turn around, and here we are 20 years later discussing the same problems.

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So Tito has just discovered

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So Tito has just discovered that something's going on here? And the solution is a ..... Commission?

Let's see if I understand this. He's had his entire life to think about this, he has run for public office, and won. And now he wants someone else to tell him what needs to be done? If I did that at my job, my ass would be kicked out the door.

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Education geared for girls

WCVB Chronicle aired last night about how boys and girls differ in development and the monolithic public school system (with mostly female educators) is more geared for girls than able to serve each well. Boys need more physically active learning that is poorly served now, unless they get labeled special needs. College enrollment used to be male dominated, now its female dominated. I suggest more blonde, white girls in school couldn't hurt getting boys to stay in school.

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Oh the tragedy of the downtrodden

If boys outperformed girls, we'd hear nothing but "just so" stories about how that proved the innate superiority of boys.

In fact, that is what we used to hear about - higher male SAT scores, no matter how insignificantly higher, were "proof" that girls couldn't do math because their girl brains couldn't handle it, etc.

I suppose if minorities started to outperform rich white kids, we'd hear similar tragic stories of discrimination, rather than innate superiority.

Didn't view the Public Meeting of Boston City Council ?

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Didn't view the Public Meeting of Boston City Council? Ask for the remarks of the Boston City Councilors, ask for the plain text full Stenographic Record of the Public Meeting of Boston City Council. Read and reply with feedback to your favorite Boston City Councilors' remarks. Plain text full Stenographic Record a more complete document than minutes, a very convenient document for hard of hearing folks, for all folks
http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/?id=138

Racism and Hatred Still Alive and Well in Boston

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Not that any of the racist cowards posting here would ever overtly say anything racist in the public sphere. But the comment boards of many Boston websites are filled with racist comments. Boston has to be one of the most racist cities in America. I'm no angel myself. I am a white man with plenty of privilege and I need to work on and confront my own racism, but damn! The folks commenting on this post are like full fledged members of the clan.

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Need to do it for themselves

We've been through this before. Wasn't the Million Man March supposed to do the same thing? There's no committee, focus group or government program that will help black men. The change needs to come organically. Having respect for oneself, and pulling up your pants is a good start.

Logic conflicts in this screed

You say "they have to do it themselves", and, yet, when people are organizing TOWARD THAT END, you say "have to do it yourselves".

That makes no sense.

In fact, just about every little screed you have posted here has amounted to "but how DARE they organize" or "here's some rumor I heard and want to believe is true" and "but what about the white peoples".

Newsflash: these guys ARE organizing to address the problems of THEIR community. I'm sorry you don't like that and nobody asked for your opinion or permission. If your community has similar issues, perhaps you should organize a response to that too. Otherwise, please stop the illogical demands that "those" people fix "their own" problems while simultaneously complaining about people who are trying to do exactly that!

*boggles*

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grrrrrrrrrl...

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High five ya on that one!!