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581564 Posts in 19234 Topics by 3366 Members - Latest Member: spacepatrolman July 29, 2016, 06:54:48 AM
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51  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Political Discussions Threads: Definitions on: April 24, 2016, 03:16:26 PM

I fully agree that modern definitions will ignore the true meaning of the term.


The challenge, I think, will be that we'll be referring to both from time to time. I don't think we can be either originalist or revisionist, or we'll likely either be using terms that nobody uses in that way, or ignoring the historical meanings, respectively.

What I didn't like about the Proudhon definition was that the way it was stated seemed to focus on the negative from labor's perspective: source of income does not belong to those who make it work. To me this seems to have an implicit bias that it should belong to labor, or that capitalists don't deserve that income as profit for their investments. I'm totally open to that perspective, but just think it's starting from an analysis. an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

Anyway, how about the following combination of the dictionary.com and Proudhon definitions?

An economic system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth are owned and controlled by private individuals or corporations, i.e., capitalists, not by labor, and as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

52  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Political Discussions Threads: Definitions on: April 24, 2016, 02:09:23 PM
Thanks for the suggestion, and I'm not opposed to alteration. I feel like the suggested definition (even by use of the term "regime") includes critique rather than just definition. I must admit the idea that relatively free markets not inherent in the concept of capitalism is somewhat surprising to me. (While I didn't take any economics courses in my life, so take that for what it's worth.) But I'd always understood it to include a belief in markets, albeit with regulation, even back to Adam Smith. If the idea of (relatively) free markets and liberalism really wasn't inherent in its early stages, I'll certainly defer. Just wanted to double-check before changing the definitions. Three somewhat respectable (I think) dictionary definitions are below, for comparison and possible use in drafting our working definition.

Merriam-Webster: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

Dictionary.com: an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

oxforddictionaries.com: An economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
53  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Political Discussions Threads: Definitions on: April 24, 2016, 08:30:40 AM
Thanks for clarification. I see conservatism as more fluid, because it is mostly a hesitation to change. (By the way, I am rejecting outright modern Republicans' and Tea Party/libertarian self-styled conservatives' definitions, since I absolutely agree that is a perversion of the term.) But at any given moment, I think a conservative may well hold entirely different specific views than at any other given moment, since the status quo itself always changes. Conservatism (like many other political ideologies) isn't a set of policy positions in my opinion, but rather a way of thinking about how to craft policy.

Anyway, as you can see, I've begun plugging in draft definitions above and am open to feedback.

(I am trying to keep them as objective as possible, by the way, so we can use them in discussion without excessive bias.)
54  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Political Discussions Threads: Definitions on: April 24, 2016, 06:17:01 AM
I wondered about that same description of conservatism.
55  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Political Discussions Threads: Definitions on: April 23, 2016, 06:46:08 PM
For the first draft of our list, I will use alphabetic order. If it makes more sense to group in some other way (for example, to put left-wing and right-wing together, or whatever), we can do that. I'll plan to edit this post as we go. Also, my goal was to keep a relatively concise list of the most likely to be used terms. But by all means, if anyone wants to add to it, go ahead. Many of these words have many forms (capitalism, capitalistic; liberal, liberalism; etc.), but I stuck with one word per root word, barring situations where two were necessary, such as democracy and Democratic Party.

Definitions below are based on "Political Ideologies: An Introduction," by Andrew Heywood (4th Ed.). I figured a textbook is a good place to start.

Anarchism - A political ideology with the belief that political authority in all its forms, and especially in the form of the state, is both evil (as a repository of sovereign, compulsory, and coercive authority) and unnecessary (because order and social harmony arise naturally).
Authoritarianism - A political ideology with the belief in government exercizing authority over the population with or without its consent.

Capitalism - An economic system in which the means of production, distribution and exchange of wealth are not necessarily owned by the individuals engaged in the productive labor.
Chauvinism - Uncritical or unreasoned dedication to a cause or a group based on a belief in its inherent superiority.
Christian Democracy - Ideological tradition within European conservatism, based on Catholic social theory, characterized by a commitment to the the social group rather than the individual and stressing harmony over competition; favoring intermediate institutions such as churches, unions, and business groups bound by a social partnership; and supportive of the idea that decisions should be made by the lowest appropriate institution.
Collectivism - The belief that collective human endeavor is of greater practical and moral value than individual self-striving. Various, sometimes contradictory understandings within political ideologies: anarchists consider it self-governing associations of free individuals; sometimes linked to the state as mechanism through which collective interests are upheld (thus growing state responsibilities).
Colonialism - The theory or practice of establishing control over a foreign territory, usually by settlement or economic domination.
Communism - Economic and political ideology based on classless society and common ownership of wealth, or a system of comprehensive collectivization, generally supporting revolution to abolish capitalism to reach those ends.
Conservatism - Political ideology defined by resistance to, or at least suspicion of, change, typically with strong respect for tradition and social order. (Modern conservatism tends to combine economic libertarianism with social authoritarianism.)
Corporatism - Belief that business and labor are bound in an organic whole (influenced by Catholic thought that emphasized social duty and mutual obligation); and that the state must mediate relations between business and labor to ensure national interest takes precedence over narrow interests. Authoritarian corporatism may involve direct political control over industry and organized labor; liberal corporatism grants organized interests and institutions access to policy formulation.

Democracy - Political system in which the people have political authority to make decisions.
Democratic (Party) - One of two major contemporary political parties in America, tracing its heritage to the Jefferson-Adams "Democratic-Republican Party" and founded around 1828. The party supported classical liberalism initially, and especially in the south had a populist character. It moved leftward in the late 1800s, promoted a social-liberal platform since FDR (1932), and combined a more centrist economic with progressive social policy in the Clinton era (1992). (Wikipedia-based definition / history.)
Dictatorship - Government where one person or entity rules without limitation.

Elitism - Belief in the rule by an elite minority, either because they are desirable (superior talents or skills) or because it is inevitable (egalitarianism being impractical).

Fascism - Ideology based on a unified national community, strength through unity, in which the individual identity is not valued and should be absorbed into the community. The citizen should be motivated by duty to the nation, and values such as rationalism, progress, freedom and equality are rejected. Typically involves (requires?) ultra-nationalistic, charismatic, unifying leadership.
Federalism - An organization of governments in which several separate governments (e.g., local, regional) are coordinated by a central government.
Fundamentalism - Belief that certain principles are essential truths that have unchallengeable and overriding authority regardless of their content. Usually associated with the belief in literal truth of religious text, but can be found in political creeds as well.

Ideology - A set of political beliefs, a worldview.
Imperialism - The extension of control by one country over another, whether by overt political means or economic domination.

Left-Wing - Part of the "left-right" divide which originates in the French Revolution and the seating arrangement in the Estates-General in 1789, the divide came to be associated with the preference for equality and common ownership on one hand (the left) and support for meritocracy and private ownership on the other (right). The left is generally characterized by principles liberty, equality, fraternity, and progress.
Liberalism - Classical liberalism is a political ideology with commitment to the individual and the desire to construct society in which people can satisfy their interests and achieve fulfillment. Humans are individuals endowed with reason who should enjoy the maximum amount of possible freedom consistent with a like freedom for all; while entitled to equal legal and political rights, they should be rewarded in line with their talents and efforts. Modern liberalism evolved with the belief that government should be responsible for delivering welfare services such as health, housing, pensions, and education, and regulating or managing the economy to some extent. NOTE: We have a decision to make here what we're going to do with the confusion between uses of "liberal." Should we use liberal to mean the modern, colloquial use and "classical liberal" to mean that? Very open to ideas.
Libertarianism - Political ideology that values individual liberty over authority, tradition, equality, etc; seek to maximize individual freedom and minimize the scope of public authority / the state.

Marxism - Philosophy of history that outlines why capitalism is doomed and communism, via socialism, is destined to replace it.
Multiculturalism - Belief that a diversity of cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, etc., benefit a society, and thus distinctive cultures deserve to be protected and strengthened, particularly when they are a minority culture.

Nation - A group of people united by birthplace, culture, historically by race. Separate from the political-governmental entity of "state," not until the 18th century did the term acquire political overtones.
Nation-State - A political entity intended to combine a people (a nation) with political boundaries and a government (a state).
Nationalism - Political ideas based on the idea that nations are sovereign entities with the right of self-determination. Nationalism is expressed in various ways, from the belief that all sovereign nations are equal, to patriotism, to xenophobia and racism, to expansionism.
Neoconservatism - Also called the "conservative new right," a belief in the need to restore order and return to traditional values and revitalized nationalism, which developed as a reaction to the fear of perceived social fragmentation or breakdown of the 1960s. Domestic emphasis is on law and order; foreign policy emphasis is on the pursuit of (often interventionist) national interest abroad, often couched in terms of "good versus evil."
Neoliberalism - Also called the "liberal new right," a belief in classically liberal free market theories and argument for a minimal state.

Populism - A belief that popular instincts are the principle legitimate guide to political action, often reflecting distrust of or hostility toward political elites.
Progressivism

Republic - A form of government in which power resides in elected individuals representing the citizen body and government leaders exercise powers according to the rule of law.
Republican (Party)
Right-Wing

Socialism
State

Terrorism

Welfare State
56  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 06:27:34 PM
How about this? I'll start a thread--Political Definitions or some such thing--and jot down a bunch of terms to define along with brief working definitions from some single resource. The idea won't be to intimidate or bog down anyone, but the opposite: to be as clear and concise as we can on certain, likely-to-be-regularly-used terms. Then we can fine-tune the definitions and add to or subtract from the word list as we see fit. We can get into conversations along the lines of what CSM just wrote, but then use those discussions to tweak our hopefully concise definitions.

And if that sounds stupid, we can let the thread sink like a rock.
57  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 04:52:59 PM
Oh, sure. I don't mean we had to craft each sentence and word from scratch. Just a go-to in case Person A says X, Person B says X+1, but they use different Xs.
58  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 04:35:16 PM
By the way, question for you all: do you think it would be helpful if we defined some terms for ourselves and others? We've discussed in passing several times how some words' meanings have changed (liberal, for example), how some are conflated (liberal with Democrat, conservative with Republican, etc.), and beyond that, there are likely some people here who just aren't familiar with various terminology.

Does it seem worthwhile to anyone to have that codified for our purposes here? If we all agree that when we say liberal, we mean classical liberal (or not), it might be helpful. And the other kinds of things just might help these discussions be less intimidating for anyone for whom it might be. Just an idea. It could be its own thread so as not to derail actual content-rich discussions, or it could be done offline via PMs, or whatever. Then maybe stickied, if anyone thinks that's warranted?

As you can see, I am very cool. I kind of get off on agreed-upon definitions. Back off, ladies, don't crowd me. I know, I know. Irresistible.

Discuss amongst yourselves while I go drink and read.
I would love the discussion. I'd think the end-goal would be next to impossible to achieve.

You think so? You don't think the core group of participants couldn't agree meanings of terms? I think even those of us from different points of view could agree on definitions, for the most part.
59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Forever is about murder on: April 23, 2016, 11:59:40 AM
Yes, I assume fum is meant to be f***. And mourdorous is just plain bad spelling.

(Also, my response was "um..." Hardly comedic genius on that one. I was hoping I'd said something good.)

RRA1, while humor is definitely hard to explain--especially across languages and cultures--I think the reason many of us found that "fum him the mourdorous bastard" line (and post) so funny is that it was just so, so stupid. It's not inherently funny: there's no joke there. The poster wasn't being funny. It's that he rambled with that poorly written nonsense while thinking he was making some kind of worthwhile point. There is something funny about people aiming high with their intentions, confident with their posts, and instead leaving behind incoherent and ignorant drivel. That's funny.

In fact, one could argue it's almost the essence or purpose of comedy: taking down the mighty. That's what most comedy is, whether it's bringing some world leader "down to size," pointing out flaws we all share to keep our egos in check, or something similar. (It's not particularly funny when a 5-year-old writes badly: a 5-year-old is supposed to write badly and is a sympathetic figure. It's funny when an adult trying to make a grand statement writes badly.)
60  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Forever is about murder on: April 23, 2016, 11:48:40 AM
Wait, what's happening? Someone brought back the "fum him" stuff? Ha! My post? What did I post? Now I have to go back and look. Un momento.
61  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 11:25:44 AM

Trump: I know but you didn't see me, is my point. I was wearing my "let's make a deal" tie.
Watson: You have to get Missouri back. The Missourians are confused. Half of them think they have to move to Luxembourg.


LOL! You, sir, have done fine work. The whole thing was great, but those two quoted above are my favorites.
62  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 11:23:29 AM
By the way, question for you all: do you think it would be helpful if we defined some terms for ourselves and others? We've discussed in passing several times how some words' meanings have changed (liberal, for example), how some are conflated (liberal with Democrat, conservative with Republican, etc.), and beyond that, there are likely some people here who just aren't familiar with various terminology.

Does it seem worthwhile to anyone to have that codified for our purposes here? If we all agree that when we say liberal, we mean classical liberal (or not), it might be helpful. And the other kinds of things just might help these discussions be less intimidating for anyone for whom it might be. Just an idea. It could be its own thread so as not to derail actual content-rich discussions, or it could be done offline via PMs, or whatever. Then maybe stickied, if anyone thinks that's warranted?

As you can see, I am very cool. I kind of get off on agreed-upon definitions. Back off, ladies, don't crowd me. I know, I know. Irresistible.

Discuss amongst yourselves while I go drink and read.
63  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 11:17:50 AM

I think the Cheney/Biden vs someone younger thing is not about being afraid of election competition but being afraid of people butting heads in her administration as they position themselves politically.


Isn't that going to happen regardless of the VP choice, with the only difference being whether the VP is among the head-butters?* Of course you'd rather not have your VP among the gaggle of political maneuverers, but it's not as if you want your Sec. of State, or Defense, or Education, or your chief of staff and advisors, among them, either. Some of that is inevitable unless you go with a fully ossified administration.


*Oooh, speaking of head-butting, maybe Trump can get one of his friends from his pro wrestling days to be his running mate! They all seem to die young--most of the characters of my youth are gone--but surely there's some steroid-inflated, empty-headed "tell-it-like-it-is" type out there to run with him. And who doesn't want the VP to be a veiny shirtless man in speedos!?
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 10:31:53 AM
I definitely think it makes sense that, considering it's the year of the anti-establishment and that Clinton is conservative, hawkish, and has a deep history with the party, she turn to someone a little fresher, a little more exciting to the progressives who have been energized by the Sanders campaign.

Klobuchar spends a lot of time batting down suggestions she's looking for a bigger job than the one she has ... but then, who doesn't (up until they move up)? She's very popular here, anyway, not that we're the state that will win or lose it for Clinton.  Warren is a very exciting choice, but she hasn't even endorsed Clinton, so that seems pretty far out. Sec. Castro and Sen. Booker have been batted about for a while as some of the seemingly few rising stars in the party.

The article talks some about whether Clinton would want to go with the Cheney/Biden model of a VP who isn't going to be gunning for the job later, but frankly I think the party could use the exact opposite: they would be wise to have a groomed, obvious next-in-line candidate. (She can't be afraid of someone trying to run against her in '20?)

When I think about Trump's possible selections, assuming he gets the nomination, all I can come up with are things like sock puppets, game show winners, and possibly pets. I want to have serious speculation, but I really can't come up with anything. Cruz could be interesting in that, too. It's not as if he's widely loved throughout the party, either, especially at the federal level. I can't imagine him going with a fellow senator, anyway. Is there some Ohioan or Floridian who would run with him? Can a Rubio or Kasich bite the bullet and be his running mate? He'd have a hard time finding anyone in his political space who isn't a fellow southerner, or even Texan, really.
65  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 09:53:38 AM
Back on topic for me: did anyone read today's NYT story regarding the Clinton campaign beginning to consider VP candidates? The excitement versus risk of an all-female ticket, the question of an inspirational (and forward-looking) younger choice versus a safe bet older choice, regional considerations. It's fun to think about, anyway.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/us/politics/hillary-clinton-vice-president.html?_r=0

I haven't seen anything similar regarding either Trump or Cruz yet. Maybe because it's less clear which will be the nominee, so they're keeping their short-lists (or long-lists) closer to the vest, or even out of mind for the moment.
66  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: April 23, 2016, 09:50:10 AM

We don't need grammar/spelling Nazis, nitpicking, in my view. If you are in a stream-of-consciousness mode, it is highly unlikely that anyone will care so long as the message is communicated.  

FdP: While I agree with what you wrote above, I have to agree with Emily that (with respect to the last clause) it can be very hard to understand what you mean sometimes. I also find it very difficult to follow your logic. So, at least for me, the message isn't communicated. I don't mean this mean-spiritedly, and it's certainly not meant to pick on the odd typo or mistaken subject-verb agreement. Perhaps stream of consciousness mode isn't the best mode for carrying on arguments, as it can feel to others (me, anyway) that the goalposts and boundaries are constantly moving and blurring.

That said, it's a public board and you certainly don't need my advice. You're clearly welcome to participate however you'd prefer; it's not my place to say otherwise.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Obama declares corrupt EU \ on: April 23, 2016, 09:44:00 AM
Regarding the issue of the UK and the EU, though, I don't have a strong opinion. On one hand, I like the idea of opening borders, free travel, easier commerce. On the other, these are sovereign nations and not states, and particularly without a joint fiscal policy in particular, I can understand challenges. To some extent to this not-usually-attentive outsider, the status quo seems like an uncomfortable middle ground to me.

68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Obama declares corrupt EU \ on: April 23, 2016, 07:21:30 AM
I don't know about that. First, at home, the latest Gallup poll has 51% of Americans approving of Pres. Obama, with just 44% disapproving. He won two elections by wide margins, and that current rating shows an increase, not a decline.

Gallup also does a survey of citizens worldwide about their opinions of leaders of some of the world powers (USA, EU, Germany, China, Russia). The US is the most-approved-of, at 45% (Germany at 41%, EU at 39%; Russia is the lowest, at 22% approval). While it doesn't show country-by-country results by number (it's an infographic), UK looks to be pretty solidly approving. I'd guess it's in the 50s%, at least. The caveat is that this worldwide survey is dated 2015.

A UK Telegraph survey from last month shows UK 51% in favor of remaining in the EU. A more recent poll--April 19--from theweek.co.uk (I don't know that publication and won't be vouching for its stature) shows 52% wanting to remain to 43% wanting to leave.

So it's hardly as clear-cut opposed to the EU and Obama as you paint it to be. If anything, it's the opposite, with a strong minority opposed.



69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: What do you think of this quote (attributed to Picasso)? on: April 22, 2016, 04:49:05 PM
Hopefully at least the Captain will humor me.  Smiley

Should I be flattered or offended, my good man?  Grin
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: RIP Prince on: April 22, 2016, 04:16:39 PM
There's a long video on Youtube (about 30 minutes), where director Kevin Smith (not a huge fan of his, some of his work is OK) talks about how Prince asked him to direct a documentary about the release of one of his albums. The part that blew me away is that at one point, Prince's assistant tells Smith that she's directed 20 of Prince's music videos, and that they're for songs that haven't even been released. He just took them and put them away in 'The Vault'. That just seems incredible to me.

The vault has been the stuff of legend for ... damn, decades. Rumors of collaborations with everyone (I mean, Miles Davis!?) have circulated. His posthumous catalogue may end up as remarkable as anyone's we've ever seen. That's assuming it is released, of course. Who knows what the instructions are. But there is serious money to be made.
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: RIP Prince on: April 22, 2016, 12:43:06 PM
It is in Chanhassen.

With the new name, is it "Highlight Shitty Suburbs Day?"
72  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bruce Johnston - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snub on: April 22, 2016, 12:11:36 PM
First off, I am somewhat jealous of OSD and drbeachboy having seen that lineup (incl. both Bruce and Blondie and Ricky). Very cool.

Second, I think Bruce deserves to be in as part of the band because he was a part of so much of their great output.

But third, I think it's mostly irrelevant. The complaint commonly made about the RnR HoF is along the lines of:
There are a lot of people who belong in there but it is political and biased.  

But I don't see how it could be anything but biased (or subjective). Unless it is based on something like album sales or chart position--at which point people would complain that it panders to the lowest common denominator and leaves out the critically acclaimed types like VU, Zappa, etc.--there's just not way to be objective. And the borders of rock and roll are blurry even if we have an objective measurement like sales. So once it's inherently subjective, it's going to be inherently political or biased.

I think the best way to approach the RnR HoF and things like it is to ignore it entirely.
73  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: RIP Prince on: April 22, 2016, 11:52:49 AM
Got it: Chanhassen.
 But for non-Minnesotans, the recognizable name of that urban area is Minneapolis.
Like Revere, MA. Where's that? Boston.

Absolutely. For casual purposes, the only reason it's remotely relevant is to understand that going to a Paisley Park event wasn't going into the heart of downtown or some hip neighborhood, but rather a slog of substantial length along highways through an assortment of suburbs.

Beyond that, it's irrelevant. (As is Chanhassan henceforth.)
74  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2016 New Music on: April 22, 2016, 07:45:53 AM
Has anyone pointed out that there's a new Paul Simon album coming this year (June)? Maybe, but I'm not going to look because that's beyond my energies at the moment. However, just in case not, Paul Simon is releasing a new album this year (June). It's called Stranger to Stranger, and the lead-off single, "Wristband" is on Soundcloud.

You can hear that and read about the album here:

http://www.paulsimon.com/news/paul-simons-new-album-stranger-stranger-set-release-june-3rd/

You have my insincere, half-hearted apologies if this has been covered already.
75  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: National Basketball Association ('14-'15) on: April 22, 2016, 05:41:01 AM
Stanley Johnson is really stepping up and showing why he has had such a sterling reputation the past couple years, dating back to his high school career. He was always praised as a winner, and I have to admit, when I saw him at Arizona I wasn't particularly impressed. He reminded me of Shabazz Muhammad (who reminded me of my mental prototype for this kind of player Schea Cotton, from back in the '90s): a power wing, a big, bulky guy who just overpowered his competition, but as that competition got better, showed flaws. Lack of elite athleticism. Lack of height. Lack of shooting. Really just had to refine his game. Players like that need to change their bodies and skills to make it.

But watching Johnson in these playoffs, I get what the "it" is about him. It's his attitude. He's a competitor and he's a winner. So even just based on that, I think he's going to be a really good player.
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