Sunday, February 27, 2022

Enemies at (and within) the Gates


By Isaiah Thomas, Board of Editors with
Florida Correspondent Jenny Herk in Orlando

The brutal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Putin's Russia has shocked and horrified the entire civilized world.  

So it was no surprise whatsoever that the first reaction of the Russian-owned Tangerine-Faced Grifter who, to the nation's eternal shame, served as President for one shambolic term likened the bloody attack to a real estate deal:

1943: German real estate deal in Stalingrad
goes south

It took only 24 hours for Donald T---- to hail Russian President Vladimir Putin's dismembering of independent, democratic, sovereign Ukraine as an act of "genius...." 

"I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, 'This is genius.' Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine, of Ukraine, Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that's wonderful," T---- said....

The ex-President added: "So Putin is now saying, 'It's independent,' a large section of Ukraine. I said, 'How smart is that?' And he's going to go in and be a peacekeeper. That's the strongest peace force," Txxxx said. "We could use that on our southern border. That's the strongest peace force I've ever seen. ... Here's a guy who's very savvy. ... I know him very well. Very, very well."

After three days of scarfing fried chicken and watching the bloody business on his 30,000 sq. in. TV's, the Former Loser Grifter had some second thoughts which he shared with an adoring crowd of Republican insurrectionists and white supremacists:

Former President Donald T!!!! defended his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday while also calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "a brave man" amid Russia's deadly invasion of his country....

"The problem is not that Putin is smart, which, of course, he's smart," Trump said. "The problem is that our leaders are dumb... and so far, allowed him to get away with this travesty and assault on humanity."

"Putin is playing [President Joe] Biden like a drum and it's not a pretty thing to watch," he continued.  

When Former President U Bum was offered a chance to make an appeal on behalf of the people of Ukraine to end the violence directly to his BFF Vlad the Invader, here's what he said:

No message. 

Let that one sink in for a minute.  Here we have a former and (if the great hate-addled masses have their way) future President shrugging off a chance to turn his supposed a**hole buddy away from the path of death and destruction.

But wait there's more.  

Surely the same crowd of Republicans who love to hammer real President Biden as weak because he walked away from a podium at the end of a press briefing (instead of shooting a web and flying out like Spiderman) would not put up with the Demented Former Bigot-in-Chief defending his fellow autocrat Vlad the Mad Bomber while letting Ukraine swing in the breeze?

Wrong, Tovarisch!

Not a single Republican attending the various Florida hate fests or pontificating on Sunday morning television have dared to criticize the Dear Drug-Addled Leader of the Republican Party for his brazen kowtowing to Putin.  Not one.

In fact, among the thought leaders of the Republican Party the tendency is to follow their Leader and praise Putin:

Over the weekend, a group using the name America First held a conference in Florida. Led by a notorious white nationalist named Nick Fuentes, the group explored the explicitly racist and toxic applications of the phrase. No one did so with more eagerness than Fuentes....

“You know, they say about America, they say, ‘Diversity is our strength,’ you know,” he said. “And I look at China and I look at Russia —”

....“Can we get a round of applause for Russia?”

He got one. He also got chants of “Putin! Putin!” from the audience, referring, of course, to the Russian president who last week launched an unprovoked invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Fuentes has been explicit in praising the invasion. On Telegram, he called the invasion “the coolest thing to happen since 1/6” — referring to the attack at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which he called “awesome” during his speech, as he had weeks after it occurred last year.  

What accounts for the veneration of Vlad the Murderer, and the fervent support for his fellow white supremacist Adderall Don?

Sometimes questions contain their own answers. Elected Republicans don't dare criticize the Former Loser Grifter because they are integrity-free cowards. But lots of Republicans don't criticize the FLG or Vlad the Warmonger because they agree with them, as Philip Bump notes in today's Washington Post

Putin’s defenders in his fight against democracy are those who are disparaging America’s diversity, over and over again.

The once and future Russian Empire?
Last year, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was one of a small group of right-wing legislators who floated the idea of a political action committee adopting “America First” as its name. Included in its proposed platform were specific articulations of the need to defend the country’s “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.” It argued for infrastructure that “reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture.”

Like Waffle House?

They support Putin and his Orange-Haired Stooge because they share their values: white supremacy, hatred of liberal democracy, legitimacy of violence as a tool to destroy their political opponents.

We're not the only ones who have reached this not very obscure conclusion:


(Frank Luntz is by the way the disingenuous Republican flack and hatchet man most recently seen in these pages assembling 14 clowns who voted for the FLG to tell the New York Times what's on the mind of today's “independent” voter.  He knows full f***in' well why his white supremacist base supports Vlad the Rampager.)

The shared commitment to anti-democratic white nationalist bigotry links Vlad the Liar to the Tangerine-Faced Grifter now and forever.  That's why no matter how much Republicans squirm under the hot lights, they can't coherently attack Russia while refusing to repudiate as unfit for office their party's diaper-clad Presidential front-runner.

On the brighter side, we can look at this from the other side of the battlefield: Ukraine's fight is our fight too.  Ukrainians were told that they had no chance against the mighty Russian Army.  So far it hasn't turned out that way.  If even the woeful Germans are willing to ship defensive weaponry like Stingers and anti-tank missiles, maybe the Russian Army will tire of squandering its youth to advance Putin's fever dream of a reconstituted Russian Empire.

(Apologists for Vlad the Imperialist might think for minute about the extent of the Russian Empire at its widest, when it included Poland, Finland, and Alaska.)

And if the brave people of Ukraine can defend their democracy against the forces seeking to destroy it, so can we.  There's a lot of talk about the mighty Republican Party inexorably driving to victory in the midterms.  But it's only inexorable if the defenders of democracy sit on their asses.

Although Ukraine faces unspeakable suffering (and most of us do not, unless our children are malnourished by poverty or we die from a coat-hanger abortion), they do have one crucial advantage: their enemy is at the gates.

Our enemy, which shares a common ideology and goal with theirs, is in the house.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

In this urban bistro, they still hate Hillary

By Meta-Content Generator A.J. Liebling
with Nellie Bly in New York

The hulking industrial buildings of this lower Manhattan neighborhood remind the visitor of the district's proud past as a thriving commercial center, where meat was processed and packed for a hungry city. Today those businesses are long gone, replaced with $12,000,000 condos and edgy bars serving Brooklyn rum for $18 a shot. 

These diners are still mad about her emails

Yet in this post-industrial district, a few neighborhood hangouts remain, where the bitter locals doff their black leather jackets and gather to enjoy simple traditional delicacies like duck a la orange and octopus en croute.  We visited one of these old-fashioned watering holes on a bleak winter day and talked to some of the diners about why they still hate Hillary Clinton.

A gaunt old man facing imminent job loss and a sizzling platter of steak-frites, who gave his name only as Dean, was unrepentant:

I know this is going to get everybody riled up again, but I don’t have regrets about the Hillary Clinton e-mail stories. It was a running news story. It was a serious F.B.I. investigation. The stories were accurate.  

Although his views may seem incomprehensible given that there was never any credible allegation that Hillary Clinton's handling of personal and unclassified e-mails violated any law, many of his fellow diners shared his bitterness. 

A withered old lady named Maureen with flaming-red dyed hair seated with Dean paused from devouring her bowl of mussels in garlic sauce to state adamantly: “She was so political and she thought she was better than anyone else and she didn't divorce her cheating husband.  So I agree with my brother Kevin: she can go f*** herself.  And maybe next time she'll return interview requests from 1996.”

Although the bitterness expressed by almost all of the customers may seem incomprehensible to the outsider, it's part of a wider surge of political discord from those who feel somehow left out by the rising tide of prosperity brought about by the Biden Administration.

A young server cautioned onlookers not to judge the bistro's patrons too harshly: “You have to understand that these people have seen their dreams go up in smoke.  Hardly any of them can afford to live in this neighborhood anymore.  Some of them can't even find a place to live in Brooklyn.  I've even heard some of them talking about moving to Yonkers.  Yonkers!” she repeated, shuddering.

She said that she was getting her MBA at night from Baruch College, “so I don't end up like these losers.”

The economic anxiety felt at the bistro was palpable.  A frazzled middle-aged woman named Maggie juggled three cellphones while conversing rapidly: “So you're saying Ivanka knew nothing about the classified documents?  Thanks, Kellyanne.  I mean a source close to Ivanka.  Ciao, bella.”

She put down that phone and screamed into another:“What do you mean you can't option the f***in' film rights now?  Do you know how much a brownstone in Park Slope costs?  No, I won't live west of Fourth Avenue.”  She abruptly poked the phone, ending the call, and returned to her langoustines.

“Look you have to understand why everyone hates Hillary.  She never leaks, I mean, talks to anyone.  What gives her the right to stiff us?” she asked, picking up a third phone and saying quickly, “Yeah, I got another A1 scoop.  Jared and Ivanka knew nothing about the classified documents.  Absolutely solid.”

Tribeca in its long-gone glory days

Her dining companion, a preternaturally boyish man named Peter, put his fork down in his platter of Dover sole and said, “You have to be as smart as I am to understand how terrible Hillary Clinton is.  I don't vote or even have any political opinions at all, but she ruined our country with her shrill partisanship.”

Reminded that the man who lost the popular vote to her in 2016 was known for his non-stop lies and his unspeakably crude invective about women, the disabled, the news media, and anyone who disagreed with him, he said, “You expect that from him, but not from her.  That's the difference.”

Hardly any of the lunch crowd had a good word to say for the former Secretary of State and Senator from New York. The closest anyone came was a woman dining alone in front of a dozen raw Bluepoints on ice staring daggers at the other customers.  “Hillary?  Yeah, I feel for her.  I know what it's like to get f**ked over just when you think you've attained the job you always wanted and deserved,” said the woman, who gave her name as Jill.

What does this level of bitterness say about the future of our broken political process?  

Although the fault lines run deep in this narrow island, if you look hard, you can find tender green shoots of unity.  Just a few miles uptown, where gleaming office towers speak of a more prosperous time, we found a number of well-dressed men and women at a fashionable glass-walled Sixth Avenue bar.  It turned that Greg and Sean and Laura and Jesse, although miles away from their grizzled counterparts in Tribeca, hate Hillary too!

So there's hope!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

White men demand white men decide your rights based on views of dead white men

Editors' Note: The Spy has dispatched its Special Pale of Settlement Correspondent, I. Joseph Singer, to Kyiv to report on Europe's progress towards World War III.  While we're waiting for his battlefront dispatches, we thought we'd provide an update on the latest skirmish in the American Civil War, now in its 423rd year.  Enjoy!


 By Law and Justice Editor Scott V. Sandford
with Nellie Bly in Washington, D.C.

The normally placid halls of Georgetown Law School have been roiled with a controversy over one of the Law School's deepest white man thinkers preemptively rubbishing President Biden's plan to address a 230-year absence of Black women from the Supreme Court by appointing one of the many available fine choices to the position.

All of the candidates are smart, qualified, experienced, and all have the single most important credential: if Justice Rapey Kavanaugh tries to take out little Brett for some fresh air during a conference, they are prepared to smash it to a pulp with their gavels.

But as with any effort to redress America's sordid history of racism, you'll find a white man with a political agenda to whine about it.  Enter Ilya Shapiro, of the Georgetown Law School:

Among the Black women being considered for the Supreme Court vacancy is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, whose qualifications include the following:

Is she really qualified to be Justice Jackson?

Jackson has served as an assistant federal public defender, a commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a lawyer in private practice and on two prestigious federal courts.

If elevated to the high court, she would follow in the footsteps of the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who took the seats of the justices they had worked for. Jackson clerked for Breyer during the 1999 term after serving as a clerk in 1997-1998 to [First Circuit Court of Appeals] Judge Bruce M. Selya...

Why Shapiro thought that these qualifications were somehow “lesser” than those of the guy he was hyping is known only to him. 

Actually, we're just s***ing you: we know exactly why.  To a white reactionary racist, any Black woman can't possibly be as qualified as a white man. Do we have to explain everything to you people?

Then Shapiro tried to apologize.  It did not go well:

"I regret my poor choice of words, which undermined my message that nobody should be discriminated against for his or her skin color," Shapiro wrote.

"A person's dignity and worth simply do not, and should not, depend on race, gender or any other immutable characteristic," he said. "While it's important that a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds be represented in the judiciary, so blatantly using identity politics in choosing Supreme Court justices is discrediting to a vital institution."

The 227-year-history of Justices who were not Black women sitting in judgment of them never bothered Shapiro; it's the effort to add representation to a nine-member court that led him to double down on his drivel.

Since then, by the way, Shapiro has been so proud of his advocacy that he's taken down all of these brave Tweets.

Now you may reasonably be asking at this point: Who tf is Ilya Shapiro and why tf does anyone care what he thinks?

Ilya Shapiro is “[t]he incoming executive director for Georgetown University's Center for the Constitution.” Or rather he was until he started running his mouth, whereupon he was put on “administrative leave.”

If you are not an obsessive follower of the rankings of various American law schools, you should know that Georgetown Law is a highly regarded institution of legal education. In fact, it's known as one of the 14 schools that are in the Top Ten (we didn't make that one up).

Then we started to wonder: why doesn't this guy with lots of opinions call himself Prof. Shapiro? Then we hit upon the answer: because he's not. Instead, he was brought in as the Executive Director from, wait for it, a notorious white reactionary “think tank” (the Cato Institute), by which we mean a fake-academic institution funded by dark money to add a sheen of intellectual respectability to old-fashioned American ideas like greed and racism.

Or, as Georgetown Law's own flacks put it a trifle more elegantly:

The Georgetown Center for the Constitution welcomes Ilya Shapiro as its executive director and senior lecturer. He will join the Center on February 1 after serving as a vice president and director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, and publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Shapiro will oversee all aspects of the Center’s activities with an emphasis on its Originalism Outside of Academia initiative.

And what is this undoubtedly esteemed center for “Constitutional Studies” doing?  We would have thought any law school, even one less distinguished than Georgetown, would have a bunch of professors teaching Constitutional Law already.

Translating this doubletalk into English, it's a partisan effort to promote one very particular method of Constitutional interpretation called “originalism” which is used frequently as an excuse to promote the reactionary agenda, e.g., since the word abortion isn't used in the document, no woman has a right to control her own reproductive system.

How does it help advance this agenda?  On the very same page, we get an exciting preview:

That would be the same Neomi Rao who was shoehorned onto the D.C. Circuit despite (or more likely because of) her immaturity, extremist views, and lack of judicial qualification and temperament.  We didn't hear Lecturer Shapiro complain about her.

Why does this Georgetown Center even exist?  Its origins are lost to history.  Indeed, the School's own detailed timeline of significant events somehow fails to celebrate its 2012 founding.  

We can only guess.  We guess that establishing a center with reliably right-wing views helps Georgetown Law curry favor with judges (like Ms. Rao) and justices similarly inclined, and that always helps a law school win clerkships for its students and appearances by said judges on campus.  When there are 14 schools competing for one of the top 10 slots, every bit helps.

We also suspect that money is involved.  The Center's own materials don't tell us who funds it, because under an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, that's none of our f***in' business, right?  Anyway, there's always plenty of pelf around for anyone willing to opine that the democratic branches of the United States Government lack the power to protect us from fatal disease, global warming, air pollution, and the effects of racism and poverty.

And it wouldn't be the first time that Georgetown did something less than pretty for big bucks.  You may know that the University was founded in 1792.  You might also know that in 1792 slavery was legal in the District of Columbia.  That's part of the originalist interpretation of the Constitution that Georgetown's Center tries so hard to promote.

You may not know that the Jesuits who ran Georgetown relied heavily on slaves they owned.  You may not also know that when things got tight, the Jesuits were able to raise substantial funds by selling the school's property.  Not the land.  The slaves.

272 of them, to be precise:

Mulledy Hall, which was recently constructed, was named for Thomas F. Mulledy, who incurred a large debt while serving as Georgetown’s president in the 1830s. To finance the debt, he oversaw the sale of 272 slaves under the auspices of the Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergymen, a Jesuit organization that owned a tobacco plantation in Maryland and went on to found Georgetown. WAMU’s Michael Pope explains that Mulledy disregarded orders to keep the slaves’ families intact and not to use the sale of slaves to pay debts. Mulledy Hall will be temporarily named Freedom Hall, Shaver reports.

Originalism on the march
The other hall was named after William McSherry, another university president who advised Mulledy on the sale. It will be renamed Remembrance Hall until it can be permanently renamed, Shaver continues. 

How moving. You also don't know what happened after slaves were sold in that part of the world:

In 1834, Armfield [the slave trader] sat on his horse in front of the procession, armed with a gun and a whip. Other white men, similarly armed, were arrayed behind him. They were guarding 200 men and boys lined up in twos, their wrists handcuffed together, a chain running the length of 100 pairs of hands. Behind the men were the women and girls, another hundred. They were not handcuffed, although they may have been tied with rope. Some carried small children. After the women came the big wagons—six or seven in all. These carried food, plus children too small to walk ten hours a day. Later the same wagons hauled those who had collapsed and could not be roused with a whip.

Then the coffle, like a giant serpent, uncoiled onto Duke Street and marched west, out of town and into a momentous event, a blanked-out saga, an unremembered epic. I think of it as the Slave Trail of Tears.

The Slave Trail of Tears is the great missing migration—a thousand-mile-long river of people, all of them black, reaching from Virginia to Louisiana. During the 50 years before the Civil War, about a million enslaved people moved from the Upper South—Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky—to the Deep South—Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. They were made to go, deported, you could say, having been sold.

We hope something to celebrate emerges out of this tale of depraved evil and human suffering when a descendant of those slaves takes her rightful seat on the United States Supreme Court. 

Unless more than 50 Senators listen to the pride of Georgetown Law, Ilya Shapiro.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

From the Archives: A history of legitimate political discourse

By Aula Minerva
Spy Archivist

Yesterday the Republican Party of the United States censured two of its own for the high crime and misdemeanor of investigating the January 6, 2021 attempted violent overthrow of the United States Government.  Among other gems, as summed up in a pithy New York Times headline:

Even the normally staid Times found this a bit much:

On Friday, the party went further in a resolution slamming Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger for taking part in the House investigation of the assault, saying they were participating in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

Wanted for the crime of political discourse

After the vote, party leaders rushed to clarify that language, saying it was never meant to apply to rioters who violently stormed the Capitol in Mr. Trump’s name.

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line,” Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, said in a statement. “They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol.”

But the censure, which was carefully negotiated in private among party members, made no such distinction, nor is the House committee investigating the attack examining any normal political debate.  

The rebranding of violent insurrection, including the attempted lynchings of the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, as “legitimate political discourse” sounded novel as well as batsh*t crazy.  But a quick check of the Spy's voluminous 252-year archives proved that it was as American as no-knock warrants.


May 26, 1850


Senator Seriously Wounded by Southern Savage

By Fast Clipper to The Massachusetts Spy

For the supposed sin of defending the honor of the Nation in a noble speech on the floor of the United States Senate on the bloody subversion in Kansas Territory, Senator Charles Sumner was latterly attacked and gravely wounded by a savage Southerner as he worked at his Senate desk.

The perpetrator of the dastardly deed, the dishonorable of Preston Brooks, the pride of South Carolina, pounced on the helpless Sumner and beat him insensible with a massive club he carried for the purpose of consummating his vile crime.

Adding hypocrisy to injury, and while Senator Sumner lay on his bed of pain in Washington City, Brooks declared that his attack on the distinguished son of the Commonwealth was motivated by Sumner's supposed “libel of South Carolina” and thus was nothing more than a spirited example of “legitimate political discourse.” 

Compounding the outrage, Brooks's fellow Southern brutes echoed his miserable justification of his attempted assassination.  Newspapers in South Carolina commended the thug for nobly defending the honor of his state.  

The leading newspaper of the Slave Power, the Richmond Enquirer, said the act was good in conception and better in execution.  It went on to defend the savage beating as  “legitimate political discourse” opposing the plans of the Radical Republicans to assault the liberty of slave holders to take their property into the Territories.  

If the brutal sneak attack on a distinguished Senator can be admitted as part of “legitimate political discourse,” then what pray tell would the Southern vigilantes regard as beyond the pale?  Human sacrifice?  Cannibalism?  Grabbing white women by their privy parts?

Truly the depravity of Southern slavers knows no bottom.  We can only fear the effusion of blood that will be necessary to crush this menace once and for all. 


Legitimate political discourse, Southern style

April 15, 1861


Rebellion Adds Hypocrisy to its Treason

By Telegraph to The Massachusetts Spy

Hard on the heels of the dastardly Rebel attack on the brave Federals at Fort Sumter, the leaders of the insurrection have now had the temerity to suggest that the violent bloody battle was nothing more than “legitimate political discourse” intended to protect the rights of the Southern rebels to peacefully decide their own political destiny. 

The secessionist powers in Tennessee said that the attack on the Federal garrison in Charleston Harbor was intended to protect Southern rights against what they chose to call Black Republicanism.

So the voracious Slave Power, not content to reduce these United States to a disorganized rabble by the application of powder and shot, now contends that it has the legitimate right to do so, having failed to achieve their dishonorable objectives by peaceful means.

It will be recalled that the assault of Ft. Sumter cost the life of a brave Federal soldier and led to the wounding and imprisonment of the survivors of the attack.  And this the Slave Power calls legitimate political discourse?  Will they say they the same when their bare-chested hell raisers clad only in animal skins storm the Federal Capitol?  

It is hard to know what is more contemptible: the attitude of the Southern Rebels or their arrogant belief that anyone would believe their treasonous drivel.



The cut and thrust of legitimate political discourse, 1861

November 12, 1898


Lynchings, Burnings, and Beatings Force
Innocent Black Families to Flee for their Lives

By Miss “Jane Doe,” Special Correspondent of The Massachusetts Spy

The most brutal assault on American democracy since the Civil War ravaged the formerly free and democratic city of Wilmington, N.C. earlier this week, as an organized white mob used unspeakable violence to overthrow the duly-elected government of the city and wipe from the face of the Earth the wealth and power of its black residents. 

Your correspondent witnessed first hand the murders of innocent hard-working members of the black community at the hands of white vigilantes who decided that democracy could no longer be tolerated if it meant allowing honest black men to vote.  In fear of her life, she fled the state and telegraphed this report from Washington, D.C.

Reliable reports state that up to 60 persons, all black, had been murdered in the violence.  The offices of the black newspaper were burned and its proprietor forced to flee for his life, as were many other black citizens of the community.

The leader of the mob, one Alfred Moore Wedell, was praised by the triumphant white men as a righteous campaigner for sobriety and peace who restored “legitimate political discourse” after decades of multi-racial Republican rule.

Unless the truth of this unprovoked atrocity comes out, it is probable that white racists will be able to exclude all persons of color from “legitimate political discourse” and return the former Confederacy to its former status as a sanctuary for human slavery, oppression, and race prejudice for decades to come. 

Wilmington, N.C. after a day of legitimate political discourse

Hope you've enjoyed a few glimpses of your American history.  You probably have heard about Fort Sumter, but the chances that you knew the story of the Wilmington massacre are between slim and none.

That's because for decades white Southerners successfully prohibited the real history of the South from being taught:

Glenda Gilmore, a North Carolina native and a professor of history at Yale, refers to the whitewashed period as “a 50-year black hole of information.” According to Gilmore, the bloody history of white supremacy was largely unacknowledged in the state’s educational system. “Someone like me, I had never heard the word ‘lynching’ until I was 21,” she says. “This history was totally hidden from white children. And that was deliberate.”

Good thing that kind of willed forgetting in the service of white supremacy could never happen again.  

Except in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, etc. etc.