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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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Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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