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Is this a photo of
A) a junior varsity basketball team;
B) the latest hip-hop group to break the top 40;
C) a gang;
D) Illinois’ best high school chess team, second by half a point in last year’s National Scholastic Chess Championships?

Murray and Herrnstein, eat your words: The correct answer is D. The students, hailing from Chicago’s inner-city Rezin Orr Community Academy, vied for the national title with New York City’s considerably more affluent Stuyvesant High to take second place by the slimmest of margins. Out of 850 players from 30 states, brothers Darnell and Cornell Faust (first and second from the left in the back row) took fourth and sixth place, respectively. So for whom, exactly, does the “bell” toll? Not for Orr’s whiz kids.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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