Wednesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Mary Kay Letourneau (remember her?) has died. When she was 34, she had an affair with her 12-year-old student, and served 7 years in prison when she violated an order to stay away from him. They later married, and divorced last year.

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  2. JohnSF says:

    In a last Friday’s forum I commented on how certain familiar names were cropping up in connection with Epstein and Maxwell.
    And now we have
    Deutsche Bank … Ignored Red Flags on Jeffrey Epstein

    Because, of course.

    As well as channeling Elim Garak, I’m also increasingly finding my inner Vir Cotto:

    “I’d like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes and wave like this.”

    Seriously, some enforcement agency need to skin DB alive and nail the hide to the wall.

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  3. Bill says:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    South Florida ICUs running out of beds as COVID-19 fills hospitals

    Only improving the chances I’ll drop dead because there is no one to care for me if one of my numerous health issues pops up.

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  4. SKI says:

    @CSK:A 34 year old doesn’t have “an affair” with a 12 year old. They rape them.

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  5. Teve says:
  6. CSK says:

    @SKI:
    Yes. That’s why the prison sentence.

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  7. SKI says:

    @CSK: Then maybe don’t describe the interaction as an “affair”…

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  8. EddieInCA says:

    @Bill:

    I had an aunt die in FL from Covid. Shortly thereafter, we sent my other two elderly aunts from FL to Toronto, because we could see the writing on the wall, based on DeSantis’ actions. Best move we made during this whole thing. They’ve been there four months, and will stay there until this gets under control or until the Canadian government kicks them out. Given that they’re in their 80’s and staying in a rented home, I doubt the Canadians have any issue with them.

    Take care of yourself Bill.

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  9. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I arrived back late, so I didn’t see this yesterday. Gustopher observed:

    @senyordave:

    “My family and colleagues told me that when I have kids, I’ll think about the separations differently, but I don’t think so,” Miller told Soboroff. “DHS sent me to the border to see the separations for myself, to try to make me more compassionate…”

    Imagine being so awful that the Department of Homeland Security wants to send to somewhere to make you more compassionate…

    Now imagine being proud of that.

    “… but it didn’t work.”

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  10. Kathy says:

    Prior to the pandemic hitting hard, I last had a latte at Starbucks on March 8th.

    I overcame my reluctance to visit quickly after grocery shopping, if there weren’t many people in the store, on June 27th. It didn’t go well. I wiped the lid with alcohol, just in case, and drove off. That’s when I found you can’t drink coffee while wearing a mask.

    No problem. it’s a short drive back home.

    But then there were all those groceries to get up to my apartment. So between getting the building’s cart, getting it all upstairs, and storing some perishables in the fridge, the latte had grown flat and lukewarm.

    Today I tried ordering one using Uber Eats. I had a $10 discount, so I ordered three, two for the coworkers who were in early at the office. delivery took a reasonable time, but the latte arrived rather flat and lukewarm.

    So it’s the milk frother and espresso machine at work until further notice.

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  11. sam says:

    Tech CEO apologizes for racist tirade against Asian American family caught on video

    You’d think that folks would know by now that shit like this will not go unremarked.

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  12. Neil Hudelson says:

    Study on Harvard finds 43 percent of white students are legacy, athletes, related to donors or staff

    The study, published earlier this month in the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that 43 percent of white students admitted to Harvard University were recruited athletes, legacy students, children of faculty and staff, or on the dean’s interest list — applicants whose parents or relatives have donated to Harvard.

    That number drops dramatically for black, Latino and Asian American students, according to the study, with less than 16 percent each coming from those categories.

    The study also found that roughly 75 percent of the white students admitted from those four categories, labeled ‘ALDCs’ in the study, “would have been rejected if they had been treated as white non-ALDCs,” the study said.

    This tracks with my personal experience. The two most intelligent and able people I’ve worked with, one was a high school drop out, ex-boxer with a stint as a low level enforcer, the other was a WASP with a fresh degree from Princeton. Ditto the stupidest and most incompetent people I’ve worked with (although in that case the Ivy Leaguer graduated from Brown.)

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  13. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: I’d die if our Starbucks didn’t do drive-through. I mask and glove. I’m the only person I’ve seen do so.

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  14. Rick Johnson says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I wonder what her response would have been if the detainees would have been orthodox Jewish kids?@Just nutha ignint cracker:

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  15. CSK says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    It’s never been any different. Not that I approve.

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    The trailer for the movie adaptation of THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN just dropped.

    We screened the movie a few months ago at Disney (because yes, we are that cool) and were relieved and amazed. The emotion they got out of a gorilla who’s nothing but ones and zeroes is amazing.

    Also, got to chat with Bryan and Angelina. Yeah, I’m totally first-naming them.

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  17. senyordave says:

    How stupid are these people?
    The Republican Party of Texas is moving forward with its controversial in-person convention during the coronavirus pandemic but Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will be giving their scheduled speeches virtually.
    At least when Jim Jones did his Jonestown thing and killed 900+ people he killed himself too. Abbot and Patrick are perfectly happy to let others make the sacrifice but apparently when it comes right down to it their own self-preservation instincts take precedence over their
    rhetoric.

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  18. CSK says:

    Kanye West says that he is indeed running for the presidency.
    His v.p.: Michelle Tidball, a preacher and self-described Biblical life coach
    His party: The Birthday Party (because it will be like everyone’s birthday when he wins)
    His platform: The Wakanda Management Model

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  19. Gustopher says:

    @Bill:

    South Florida ICUs running out of beds as COVID-19 fills hospitals

    Only improving the chances I’ll drop dead because there is no one to care for me if one of my numerous health issues pops up.

    I keep waiting for the new awful moment that will make everyone get serious about the virus. NYC had theirs, and a lot of the smart states learned from it.

    Exponential growth means it will be nearly impossible to hover at a level of death below whatever is needed for outrage. Florida is on track for a disaster, and while red states seem impervious to learning from the examples of blue states, maybe they can learn from their own examples.

    I’m hopeful that unspeakable horrors will befall Florida quickly, and that a whole bunch of young people will be dying of the virus, on national tv, and that you will outlast them, and the lockdown, and have access to the hospitals you need in the near future.

    Try to avoid having health crisis for the next few months though, please. The world needs more dung beetle books.

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  20. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    The supermarket I go to has cup holders in the shopping carts. So I’d either get the coffee beforehand and drink most of it while I shopped, or get it after shopping and sit at a table to drink it.

    Those two are out.

    I thought about drinking it in the car, parked well away from everyone else (not hard these days).

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  21. Bill says:

    The @#$%! of the day

    I had a 10 o’clock appointment with the podiatrist* today. While I was in the office, some 84-year-old backed into my car and drove off.

    Good news- A patient of the podiatrist saw the accident and took a photo of the other car’s license plate as they drove off. So I was able to give this information to police. Police gave me back an accident report with the name of the vehicle’s driver plus their address and insurance info.

    The internet is a wonderful thing. I could find the 84-year-old’s phone number. He wants to pay me cash and not go through with insurance. He will pay me on the 22nd. As a precaution, I filed a report with my insurer but didn’t start a claim. If the other drives doesn’t pay, then I will file the claim.

    Anyway I had plenty of aggravation this morning. Now I need a rest.

    *- I was long overdue to see this doctor. My last visit was in Oct 2019.
    **- Unless there is anything hidden, my car just has back left fender and panel damage.

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  22. Scott says:

    Trump campaign considers displaying statues at future rallies: Sources

    The idea has been discussed by White House and Trump campaign aides, but no final decision has been made, sources familiar with the planning told ABC News. It’s also not clear who exactly the statues would resemble, but sources say one idea was for “America’s Founding Fathers.”

    Golden Calf? Baal? Baphomet?

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  23. Bill says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’m hopeful that unspeakable horrors will befall Florida quickly, and that a whole bunch of young people will be dying of the virus, on national tv, and that you will outlast them, and the lockdown, and have access to the hospitals you need in the near future.

    Young people, with the exception of those with underlying health issues, won’t do much dying. It will be the elderly or people like myself with serious health issues who will get infected by the young fools and do the dying. A compromised immune system due to my cancer, and my being prone to blood clots and Covid-19 causing the blood to thicken, make me an easy target.

    I just recently updated our attorney* on my business and financial stuff for me and Dear Wife. This in order for my wife to cope if anything happens to me. She knows few details about our finances or my bookselling operation.

    *- The attorney is a friend and parishioner of the church I go to. I give Natalie updates every six months on our accounts, ebook business activity, etc etc.

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  24. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    There seems to be a heuristic I call “First only,” in which the thing you hear first remains what you believe, regardless of its validity, contrary evidence, etc. This may involve rationalizing contrary evidence later.

    This applies to COVID-19 two ways: 1) many early reports were plain wrong, such as person-to-person transmission, the usefulness of masks, and even the odds of catching it. 2) Trump downplayed it at once, comparing it to the flu, and his base does listen to him.

    If I’m right, lots of people who thought there was no person-to-person transmission, masks were useless, and SARS-CoV-2 is no worse than the flu, may continue to believe this even in the face of the overwhelming evidence against it, such as 3 million infections and over 130 thousand deaths.

    Another principle operating is the anti-scientific sentiment prevalent over much of the US. Science is supposed to be self-correcting, and largely it is. But many see corrections as a kind of chaotic “no one really knows anything” version of events. So maybe the virus is as dangerous as scientists claim, and maybe it’s not even as bad as the flu. no one really knows. Maybe all those people have died of something else. Maybe they’re not even dead, just an inflated count of normal, every day deaths.

    Having said all this, I still can’t wrap my head around those who don’t take the pandemic seriously.

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  25. Monala says:

    @Bill: Young people don’t do much dying, but quite a few of them – currently about 10-20% of those infected, even if their symptoms are mild – are left with long-lasting and debilitating side effects.

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  26. Monala says:

    @Kathy: I saw a comment on Twitter that part of the problem is that scientists don’t say, “we don’t yet know.” Instead they say, “There’s no evidence yet” – which people interpret to mean “there’s no evidence period” – rather than “we don’t yet know because we haven’t yet seen enough evidence to make a conclusive determination.”

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  27. Monala says:

    Infuriating. As a woman who had a high-risk pregnancy, and chose as a result to have no more children (even though I wanted more) – I am outraged that an employer can decide that it’s their business.

    The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor on Wednesday, arguing that employers may be exempt from Affordable Care Act mandates to provide birth control to employees if they object due to religious or moral values. The ruling is expected to cause 70,000 to 126,000 women to lose contraceptive coverage from their employers according to government estimates, The New York Times reports.

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  28. Jax says:

    My Dad got in a bad horse wreck yesterday. Stupid fucking horse went off like he was at the rodeo, then after Dad was on the ground he made sure to stomp on him real good. Broke his pelvis, thankfully no internal or head injuries. He’s 71, so it could’ve been much, much worse. They life flighted him to the closest big hospital in Idaho. He’ll have surgery sometime today, no word yet on recovery time or what the options are for WHERE he’ll recover. I’m hoping if he needs a care facility, we can bring him to the one that’s about 30 miles away.

    Have we tried turning 2020 off and back on again? Cuz this damn thing ain’t workin very well. 😉

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  29. Monala says:

    @Jax: I’m so sorry. I know you’ve had your share of heartbreaking events lately. Sending good wishes for your dad’s recovery.

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  30. inhumans99 says:

    @Scott:

    His campaign could borrow the golden calf statue from the film The Ten Commandments, as yes indeed, that would be a most appropriate statue to display at his rallies.

    Also…woot, put your hands up in the air and say hey yo…Bill it is nice to see you back on this site.

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  31. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    If you believe the pandemic is a hoax to topple Trump and facilitate global socialism, then you’re not going to take it seriously as a health threat.

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  32. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    There seems to be a heuristic I call “First only,” in which the thing you hear first remains what you believe, regardless of its validity, contrary evidence, etc.

    Depends on the evidence. Lots of dead bodies are hard to ignore — provided people even see the dead bodies.

    So we either need good media or to stack bodies like chords of wood on the streets.

    There is a hurdle to get over to get people to reconsider what they “know” however, and having Trump reinforce falsehoods does not help.

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  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: Employees have no freedom of religion.

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  34. Jen says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Dang Disney trailers…someone’s been cutting onions here apparently. Seriously, it looks great and I will totally watch it–congrats!

    @Jax: Goodness–glad he’ll be okay, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  35. Gustopher says:

    @Bill:

    Young people, with the exception of those with underlying health issues, won’t do much dying.

    Oh, I don’t doubt that there will be a lot more old people that die. But young people aren’t immune, and an overtaxed health system and exponential growth will mean we get to lots of dead young people at some point if things don’t change.

    And when presented with lots of dead young people, I think our country will change course. Because I am an optimist. But the type of optimist who assumes there will be piles of dead young people. Some people have trouble seeing me as an optimist.

    my being prone to blood clots and Covid-19 causing the blood to thicken, make me an easy target

    I have no idea whether my warfarin protects me more than my Factor V Lieben makes me more likely to have terrible consequences. I hope to not find out. And I hope you do not find out either.

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  36. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    There was an argument during the Iraq War while Bush the younger was president, about not showing the caskets of dead American soldiers when they were brought back to the US.

    I’ve seen lots of photos of long rows of new graves being dug in various parts of the world, but not of odies themselves. Not that I need to, and I just as soon not see dead bodies. But I’ve taken this seriously since early March.

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  37. Jen says:

    @CSK:

    Kanye West says that he is indeed running for the presidency.
    His v.p.: Michelle Tidball, a preacher and self-described Biblical life coach
    His party: The Birthday Party (because it will be like everyone’s birthday when he wins)
    His platform: The Wakanda Management Model

    This just goes to show how un-serious he is about this.

    Qualifying a party to be on the ballot is a hugely time-consuming process. Each state has its own requirements, some of which mandate forming a party at the state level, with qualifying signatures and can even require the Party have officers.

    You can’t just announce that you have a new party and it’s magically on the ballot in November, FFS.

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  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: That sucks, Here’s hoping he mends well.

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  39. CSK says:

    @Jax:
    A fractured pelvis is, happily, not nearly as bad as a broken hip. The recovery time may be as short as two weeks depending on the treatment necessary. Hoping for the best here.

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  40. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    I’ve seen that, too, in other contexts.

    It seems like being willing to die of pedantry.

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  41. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Monala:

    Just one more reason to decouple health insurance from employment.

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jax:

    Durn horses, more dangerous than motorcycles.

    Hope he recovers quickly.

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  43. Roger says:

    @Gustopher:

    Lots of dead bodies are hard to ignore — provided people even see the dead bodies.

    You’d think so. But to change your mind about whether the virus is a hoax, you have to not only see the bodies, you have to agree on what caused them to die. I knew that a lot of folks in my demographic cohort had been captured by Cult45, but I’ve still been surprised at how many of them know to an absolute certainty that hospitals get paid a huge bonus for treating Covid-19, and are falsely attributing every death to the virus to bump up the numbers.

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  44. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds: My wife called earlier today and told me she’d seen the trailer. I said, “I know the movie was coming out, I talk to the author’s husband on the regular.” Haha…seriously, though, it looks wonderful. Congratulations to Katherine and you, and all the best for a successful film.

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  45. JohnMcC says:

    @Roger: Re ‘lots of dead bodies’ it is useful to recall the often recited remark that one death is a tragedy but a million deaths is a statistic.

    My personal pick for the intolerable act that the administration seems set on is forcing K — 12 schools to open nationwide without adequate safeguards. Moms seem unlikely to consider their kids as statistical events.

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  46. senyordave says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I actually posted on the open forum yesterday on that exact article. I said not many thing shock me anymore but that did. We should all hope that this woman and her husband, Stephen Miller, don’t have children to impart their value system to.

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  47. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Congrats! That’s great.

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  48. Teve says:

    There is a very loud industrial lawnmower about 100 feet from my place right now and it was driving me batty for a few minutes until I remembered I got these recently. Now I can’t hear a damn thing, and it’s great.

    https://www.amazon.com/Soundcore-Cancelling-Headphones-Wireless-Bluetooth/dp/B07NM3RSRQ

    I was all set to buy the $350 Bose that The Wirecutter said was the best on the market, but then they mentioned that these were 80% as good for 80% less money.

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  49. Teve says:
  50. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    “My mind’s made up. Don’t confuse me with facts.”
    And this is a surprise for what reason?

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  51. Teve says:

    @TheDweck

    Please stop talking about “Tucker Carlson.” That is obviously not a real person and is just the prep school villain from a straight-to-video teen movie

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  52. An Interested Party says:

    @Neil Hudelson: But remember, affirmative action is evil and white people are a persecuted class…

    …Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will be giving their scheduled speeches virtually.

    This would be the same Dan Patrick who claimed that seniors should be willing to die to save the economy for their grandchildren…I guess he isn’t quite in a rush to shuffle off his own mortal coil…

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  53. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: …but Affirmative Action is reverse racism and needs to end in our colorblind society!

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  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: The story goes that the barista in coffee shop in Seattle reputed to make the best mochas is rumored to have said about them

    yes, it’s awfully hard to do better than Swiss Miss.

    @Neil Hudelson: Only 43%? That’s not nearly as high as I would have imagined.

    @Michael Reynolds: May not be as “all that” as you imagine. I thought ‘Bryan? Bryan who?’

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  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Wa!

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: So sorry to hear that. Wishing your father a speedy recovery and you and your kids as stress free a situation related to it as possible. Your turn in the barrel has been far too exciting this year.

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  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    You’d think so. But to change your mind about whether the virus is a hoax, you have to not only see the bodies, you have to agree on what caused them to die.

    And in this case, they may have to be people for who you will feel loss, too. We’re pretty callous as a society all in all.

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  58. Teve says:

    @RadleyBalko

    The Mississippi legislature held an indoor session where politicians defied social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. Now at least 1 in 6 lawmakers has COVID (and likely more), including the lieutenant governor.

    Dear Mississippi Republicans: please keep sticking it to us libtards for the next four months.

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