Friday, November 3, 2017

Governor & Mayor make appointments to "Better Together Commission"

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued the following statement.


Better  Together  Commissioners Appointed

(Jackson, Miss.) Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation have appointed 15 members to the newly created Better Together Commission, an independent group charged with transforming the Jackson Public School district that ensures all students succeed.

“I believe that a strong educational system is the basis of an economic model based on human dignity. I am deeply appreciative of these Commissioners sharing their skills to better our community. As we work together to build a bold new vision of our city, let us start where it matters most – the future of our children,” said, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.

“I am grateful for these individuals’ willingness to serve, and for their commitment to bring transformational change to Jackson Public Schools. I look forward to the Commission beginning work as we move toward becoming Better Together,” said Governor Phil Bryant.

The Better Together Commission is an independent group appointed by Governor Bryant, Mayor Lumumba,
the Kellogg Foundation and JPS to chart a new path toward transformational change in the District.

The Better Together Commission will hold its first meeting We nesday, November 8, 2017 at 10:00 am at the
Mississippi Museum of Art. The meeting is open to the public.



50 comments:

Anonymous said...


These appointees are all great people and have proven over the years that they are very accomplished. I did not see a single person on the committee that is in tune to real life issues. Not one "LOWER TO Middle Class" representative !!

Barksdale and Speed have been raised with a gold spoon in their mouths and have no clue of everyday life. All of Speed's kids went to private school. I can only speak of the people I know.

This whole situation is a joke and will accomplish nothing. You see, if the parents of these kids do not do their part, there will be no change. GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What about Dorsey? Thought he was a shoe-in?

Anonymous said...

I will simply say that raising a child in K-12 today is much much much different today than just 10 years ago. I only see four or five individuals on this board that would be able to relate to that experience. There is no denying that digitization of the classrooms, social media and social issues have impacted the classroom. Only four to five of these individuals will be able to relate to the function of current schools/classrooms and the needs/demands associated. My guess is this will be a waste of time and likely money for JPS. Kicking the can down the road....

Anonymous said...

I hope the first thing this group will do is visit ALL the schools unannounced and observe at least two classes as well as conduct a tour with the Principal who can share with the members his concerns. It if fine with me to divide up and report back as visiting so many schools for each member would be too time consuming. They should take their cells and be sure they all know how to use their video function.

Anonymous said...

Personally found the list to be very disappointing. I hope they surprise me.

Anonymous said...

Still can't belive Phil signed off on this.

Anonymous said...

Over-the-top spin. First thing out of nearly all of their mouths will be cries for more money.

Anonymous said...

And thus the "Special K-12 Challenge" begins. Let's start with a cholesterol pop quiz.

Color me Chok'd said...

I'm very surprised that a former hair and nail specialist from the Oprah Winfrey show was not selected for the committee. After all, nobody, and I mean nobody, should be more of a philanthropist for the State of Mississippi than our own native born daughter Oprah.

Spare The Rod said...

What we've got here is a massive formula for failure. A couple of white men of the "I work for a dollar year" mold who know nothing of survival in a failed system or how to deal with it.

And a double handful of black women who are well connected with the world of grants and money-trees and, naturally, how to obtain multiple degrees that populate a resume.

Then we have one or two answerable totally to the mayor of Jackson and one totally answerable to the governor and she will resign and move on within a year, or less.

Where are the sociologists or others with PHds in marriage and family relationships? Where are those who have been in the field (and trenches) of child development, counseling, breaking paradigms and teaching people the traits of goal-building, skills development, personal responsibility, family strength? They're all absent. What we have here is yet another exercise in how not to populate a functioning committee.

But, most glaring of all is the fact that this committee by virtue of its very existence, will, five years from now, eight years from now, be just another excuse of how not to make something work and yet another committee who will be able to say five, eight, ten years down the road, "We're not through yet; We just got started good; There's work to be done; We just got the oxen hooked up in front of the cart, we need to meet for three more years". Of course Phil Bryant and Baby Chock will be long gone by then but they'll have schools named after them. Well, Phil won't.

Anonymous said...

1. Discipline disruptive students.
2. Fire incompetent teachers.
3. Stop the corruption.

That's it. At the end of the day it's going to take a hard-nosed superintendent willing to lay down the law. This committee can meet for a month of Sundays and won't come up with a better solution than that.

Plastic Swirlies on Toothpicks said...

If you have the entrepreneurial spirit and are of the right complexion, this would be a grande time to get into the sandwich and desert catering bidness in Jackson. Imagine the meetings, the people this group will fly in here for lunch, the huge groups of school personnel who will be summoned to hotel conference rooms to break into discussion groups. All those people will have to be fed.

And there will be the required monthly 'report out' sessions where Phil and Chok will bring a group to listen to the group spokesperson tell of progress. All these meetings will occur either at noon or at 6:00 pm. People will be hungry. And My God In Heaven, if Phil can manage to get Trump's secretary of Education down here for a photo op, the catering business will literally blow a gasket.

Anonymous said...

Just one more reason that Gov. Bryant is the wisest, most pragmatic governor in our nation's history. Those boots were made for walking and talking.

#Bryant4Senate

Anonymous said...

Former JPS teacher, here.

3:46 basically has it right, although you could dramatically improve JPS just by doing #1 on their list.

It all flows back to this: When the kids who don't care outnumber the kids who do, and the school lacks the will to control and remove the former, every other "reform" you can imagine is pointless kabuki theater.

Everything goes back to bad students running amok.

Poor quality teachers? We get paid the same everywhere. Those of us who can do so leave for the suburbs so we don't have to constantly be cursed at, stolen from, and assaulted. Good teachers relish changing the lives of disadvantaged students. But we can't get up every morning and trudge into the same soul-destroying hell where we are mocked and threatened by students and administrators alike, and unable to ever teach anything of substance. And that's why you have 50% attrition.

Rock bottom test scores? It's hard to teach when you spend 60% of class time doing disciplinary write ups (which are totally ignored) or "differentiating" (i.e., dumbing down) lessons to cater to the kids who don't give a damn.

Bottom line: you either have the courage to start expelling delinquents or you don't. Their parents failed them, and that sucks. But you can't run a school and a juvenile prison in the same building. You can't ask the poor black girl with a single mom who checks her homework every night to climb a mountain while dragging dozens of jackasses behind her.

You will never, ever in your lifetime have a DOJ/DOE that will be more sympathetic to this kind of change, or less likely to block it. Enough with the bullshit committees and studies. Do what needs to be done or shut up.

Lumumba Personality Cult said...

Kushnik dog-and-pony show. What is hilarious is that our local Obama, BabyChok, actually believes his black Jackson audience is somehow awed by these grand proclamations replete with color graphics.

This is Farish Street all over again. Except this time beyond the fleecing of taxpayers there are actual student victims who will never get back these years wasted in failing JPS schools.

Anonymous said...

+1 to 4:35 PM

Anonymous said...

First order of business will be for the committee to all watch The Principle, starring Jim Beluahi, as research....

Anonymous said...

this group is still better than the Butler Snow Triplets

Anonymous said...

Funny how anonymous posters seem to have all the answers to our societal problems.

Anonymous said...

There should be about 20 cameras placed, unbeknownst, into various classrooms of various grades. Also, ones on school buses - preferably toward the back.

If, as the above poster states, discipline is not enforced, nothing will change. This is a case of a picture being worth a thousand words. When the true state of our classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, and buses is understood fully, then the committee will have a chance to really tackle the core issues and those begin and end with impartial discipline being administered consistently.

Anonymous said...

Funny how?

Anonymous said...

9:05 may be on to something. If the average person doesn't see how the students act then how can we really know what is going on in the classrooms. It's really not a bad idea. Then you can shift the good apples away from the bad apples and the ones who actually do want to learn can be placed with students like them that have the same goals.

4:35 For The Win... said...

4:35 has nailed it. All the other posts (while some make excellent points) pale in comparison, including my previous post. Run her post up the flagpole and salute it smartly every morning and the first best step will have been taken. All else is pissing in the wind.

Won't it be great if the first order of business (of this group) is to sign on to the notion of discipline and the second order of business is to tell the ACLU to stay the hell out of our work-efforts.

"But you can't run a school and a juvenile prison in the same building." Until that sinks in, nothing will ever change.

Anonymous said...

So Phil didn't like what the Biard of Education committee recommended so he does the logical thin an created another board. That real take charge leadership.

Anonymous said...

Well as a administrator with JPS I really am concerned about the racial makeup of this board. How are whites from eastover with large amounts of money and send kids to JA or Jackson prep academy going to show us how to lead a school. Not sure how those private schools operate and how there academics are but they need to keep the racial makeup of the board in tact with the district of the public school. Do these people even know about education. I've worked in JPS for 11 years now and have never heard of any of these people. I would really like to hear there ideas. Might be amusing in a district employee meeting.

Anonymous said...

What legal authority establishes this third option? This is very concerning. Who finances this third option? Taxpayers? Oprah? The Beginnings of the New Repulik of Afrika. They will go outside the law. The use of the 3rd option is an illegal operation. Score one for the New Republic Afrika and its Harlem supporters and G. Soros.
The top-heavy JPS needs to cut people in administration. NO more hiring friends, loved ones, etc.
Put that money back into the schools. Demand parent involvement. Do not send little Daquon or Latiffahy to school with weapons or such hatred for themselves that they take it out on other students and adults.
Students are required to learn how to take a test rather than develop critical thinking skills. This shows up later if they attend college. They do not want to be treated like adults in college. They want to be coddled and given the answers.
SAD!!!

Anonymous said...

After trying to read 8:43's comments assessing of the problems, I see a great need for a complete overhaul of the public education. It is painful to read incomprehensible drivel from a JPS administrator with 11 years of experience.

Anonymous said...

8:43's grammar and spelling says a lot, especially coming from a current JPS administrator...

Anonymous said...

I have talked to numerous jps teachers and we feel like we have been left out of the discussion. Why would teachers in the district have the last say in who's on the board. Racial makeup income what qualified these people to be placed on board. HbCU supporters or some eastover prep academy Ole miss rebel flag waver. It's a bad idea to the teachers.

Holy Moley Tell Me That Was A Joke.. said...

"Well as a administrator with JPS I really am concerned about the racial makeup of this board."

You've just exposed the problem. The racial makeup of decision-makers at JPS has been the problem for forty five years. And you whine about changing that paradigm? Notwithstanding (I know that's a lot of syllables for you to comprehend) your slaughtering the English language in that post, the first thing you people want to jump at is racial makeup, who lives where, who 'they' relatives are, where they're employed and whether they've been 'down for the struggle' long enough or at all. Nothing else matters. Ever!

But, please tell us how you made it into the education-administrative-ranks, with ten years in the system, and you're still unable to construct grammatically correct sentences. Please don't tell us you're a principal and you're evaluating the credentials and abilities of others.

Anonymous said...

@12:05
I made it into education after graduating from Alabama state university and I have been to numerous continue education courses annually as well as the constant grind of impacting the kids for the better. Yes I have a hard time understanding what the white board members can contribute. They don't send there kids to JPS and we benifit in no shape or form from them as a district. Please inform me how Jackson wealthy whites help JPS? My other concern is are they even qualified? The racial optics is questionable. Do they care for JPS students?

What Is There Points. said...

Let's take a look at this entry posted by a JPS administrator:

Well as a administrator with JPS I really am concerned about the racial makeup of this board.

In that sentence, there should be a comma following the word well (In fact 'well' shouldn't be there at all) and a administrator should be 'an administrator'.

How are whites from eastover with large amounts of money and send kids to JA or Jackson prep academy going to show us how to lead a school.

In that sentence, the word Eastover should be capitalized. 'And send' should be 'who send'. Jackson Prep Academy doesn't include enough capital letters and the sentence should end with a question mark instead of a period. For now, we'll overlook the fact that you included no data comparing the 'amounts of money' any of the committee members have, nor would you know that. Your racial prejudice is abundantly apparent in that sentence.

Not sure how those private schools operate and how there academics are but they need to keep the racial makeup of the board in tact with the district of the public school.

Besides just being a terribly sloppy sentence, the first word of it should be 'I'm'. There should be 'their', in tact probably means intact and I give up on what 'there academics' means.

Do these people even know about education.

Ah, hello, but, what is there to be known about education that you'd like us to consider? What does it mean to 'know about education'? Why does that question not end with a question mark?

I've worked in JPS for 11 years now and have never heard of any of these people. I would really like to hear there ideas. Might be amusing in a district employee meeting.

If you'd like to hear 'there' ideas, why not shut up and wait for 'there' ideas to hit the table so you can hear them? And once again, an administrator who doesn't know the difference between their and there. The fact that you believe 'district employee meetings' are held for administrator/teacher amusement is quite telling.

Somebody please tell me the post at November 4, 2017 at 8:43 AM is satirical. If not, this is why JPS is where it is.

Anonymous said...

12:36,
I'm sure you also believe that standardized testing doesn't favor white students over black students either. You should look into this and educate yourself on the disadvantages of being in a black district. We are evaluated on tests. That's why jps shows poorly. These tests are slanted and we as a district are not given that consideration. I'm not sure these board members are educated on black inner city students and they could do more harm than good. How do I know they wouldn't try to implement the same strategies private schools in area use for testing and classroom situations. Secondly are those schools any better... we don't know any of this.

Anonymous said...


The comments made on this blog by JPS teachers are racial and that is just one of the reasons this city and state will continue to be #50.

I CALL BULLSHIT ON EVERYTHING WRITTEN HERE !!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

NE Jackson pays the bills for JPS... the administrator should consider that. We may not send our kids to JPS but we do pay the bills. Also private schools in the metro area are more diverse than the crappy JPS schools. Yes the academic standard is much better at private schools than JPS. I can't believe anyone wouldn't know that. Good grief...

They Shoot Messengers, Don't They? said...

David Clarke:

America’s urban communities need a reformation. So why do they keep electing Democrats whose progressive policies hold them hostage on the plantation of liberal ideology?

Every week a prominent Democrat is in the news labeling their opposition as racist as if it is some sort of sport. Do you support school choice that helps struggling black parents endgenerational poverty? Racist. Call out black crime rates that disproportionately claim black victims? Racist. Criticize the welfare state that keeps black people hooked on government handouts? Racist. Are you a Republican? Automatic racist. And if you’re a black conservative like I am, it’s even worse.

No substantive conversation can take place in this environment. Liberal politicians that engage in identity politics have diluted what it actually means to call out racism. Democrats refuse to admit just how harmful their own policies are to black and other urban communities.

Anonymous said...

12:35,

What is a continue education?

How in the shit does a college grad, from any college, confuse their and there? It's not hard. One shows possession (ownership) and one is a place.

Your grammar is atrocious and I weep for my JPS alma mater.

Calls Bullshit On 2:08. said...

So....here we have it. No tests should be given to 'black scholars' because we all know tests are slanted in favor of white kids. And as Abraham Lincoln so famously told us, the races are not nor will they ever be equal. The answer is that we should not attempt to measure student achievement or progress. To do so is discriminatory. So, at JPS, we're right back to social promotions and giving passing grades simply because a 'try' was attempted. This is precisely what black parents, community leaders, Chock and Cohorts, and administrators (including teachers) in the district want. When you have this, you wind up with posts like that of 'the Administrator at 8:43 a.m.'. An environment where the ability to construct sentences is no more important than the ability to pass tests.

But, I'm holding on for an explanation as to how the black students in the Rankin and Madison County school systems, not to mention numerous other districts, manage to pass their coursework and do well on tests.

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments of those that self identify as JPS employees, I think I now have a clearer understanding of why JPS has been so unsuccessful.

Anonymous said...

"Fret thee not, ye all. I got dis better than thou Pharisee Wright" Philbilly 11:17

Anonymous said...

So according to the JPS administrator, standardized tests are racially discriminatory to black inner city students.

My God, people like this are the main reason minorities are losing ground in society, because they perpetuate the victimhood mentality that makes racial discussions unproductive.

I'm reminded of the recent story about the University of Illinois math professor who believes that algebra and geometry perpetuate “white privilege” and that evaluations for math proficiency perpetuates discrimination against minority students. If that kind of stupidity is the norm among educators of color, then why are whites asked to spend tax dollars supporting "their" schools? Clearly our white standards and our money are the problem, right?

A. Random Cracker said...

One would think that IF standardized testing within JPS or any other school district across the U.S.A. for that matter were "slanted" towards "non-whites" having difficulty with the testing, we wouldn't see an overwhelming amount of graduates with multiple degrees from Historically Black Colleges then would we?

As I heard a few days ago: "His level of education is much higher than his level of knowledge."

Think about that one.

PS: A reliable source, being the concerned parent of a JPS student, has recently expressed concern that JPS is currently in the process of "dumbing down" the school curriculum so the kids can pass.

Patient Wating said...

Some of us was hopeing that the administrative would come back end support or defend they're early commentings on education and what it are that she know about the education.

Anonymous said...

Actually, one all-black school is doing extremely well. That is New Hope. Ask any parent who has a child there. It isn't the children. Every child is born as a clean slate and ready to learn. Even retarded children want to learn. Children with average IQ's can learn. Race is not a factor except for the environment some are forced to live in. If mother is a druggy or absent like the father and grandmother is too tired to raise another group of children, then we all suffer. Becoming a parent is not for a person's entertainment or bragging rights, it is a huge responsibility. The black community needs to send this message to their youth in every way possible. The church and the many social service organizations in our area need to teach and model every day to these children who are being drug up instead of raised. The schools can't do it all, but we have numerous examples right here in Jackson that are able to educate those who can sit still and learn. Calling the Board out before it has even met is not the way to start fixing JPS's problems.

Anonymous said...

I am Black. I am concerned when we make excuses for failing. Our history in America is triumphant! Why have we resolved to ignore our triumphant history by stating that environs dictate capability? We are capable if we accept that we are capable despite our environs.

Anonymous said...

I think it's fantastic that New Hope school is doing well... my child goes to a diverse private school and they all seem to do extremely well... also, look at the charter schools in Jackson also doing well for the most part. My question is this... why shouldn't lower income students in poor school districts get to choose where they attend school. I think we all know the answer to that. The JPS crowd of administrative workers need those dollars for employment reason. Sad but true. School choice please. I get to choose my kids school why shouldn't others

Anonymous said...

Interesting studies show that black families that are a 2 parent household (mom and dad) those families are rarely in the poverty rate and also have students graduate at much higher rates and also teenage pregnancy with black 2 parent households hardly exists. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

5:45 Did you even finish 8th grade... anywhere?

Anonymous said...

Everybody. READ 5:45 Good lord.

Anonymous said...

The schools are merely a reflection of Society.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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